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Pope Francis' first year
December 17th, 2013
10:32 AM ET

Pope celebrates birthday with homeless men (and one cute dog)

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN)  Pope Francis marked his 77th birthday on Tuesday by welcoming three homeless men to a Mass and a meal at the Vatican, according to Catholic officials.

The Pope wanted a "family" environment, with just a few top aides, the staff of Casa Santa Marta the Vatican guesthouse and the homeless men, one of whom brought his dog, the Vatican said.

(The Vatican originally said four homeless men joined the Pope's birthday celebration before revising the number late Tuesday.)

Afterward, the group sang "Happy Birthday" to Francis, and he invited everyone to eat  breakfast with him at the hotel's dining room, according to the Vatican.

The homeless men were brought by the Pope's aide in charge of charity, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, who has been taking Francis' concern for the poor directly to the streets of Rome.

The Vatican's sharing of the Pope's birthday plans is sure to burnish Francis' image as "the People's Pope," a man who eschews pomp and ceremony, favoring small and intimate gatherings instead.

Francis has famously refused to live in the sumptuous papal apartment, picked out a used Fiat to scoot around Rome and dropped the fancy papal vestments and high theological language of his predecessors. Emphasizing his common-man roots, Francis said recently he was a janitor and a bar bouncer in Argentina before becoming a priest.

Pope: I was once a bar bouncer

Perhaps as a birthday present to himself, the Pope, without going through the usual church channels, announced the canonization of a 16th-century Jesuit priest on Tuesday.

The Rev. Pierre Favre (known in the United States as Peter Faber) was a co-founder of the Society of Jesus, the Catholic order of priests to which Pope Francis himself belongs. Francis has praised Favre's "careful interior discernment" and "simple piety."

In September, the Pope used a similar process to announce the canonization of the late Pope John XXIII, who will officially be made a saint, along with Pope John Paul II, in April.

In the Pope's birthplace of Buenos Aires, where Francis was an archbishop,  Catholics are celebrating his birthday by pitching a "missionary tent" in one of the city's most troubled areas, where they will minister to migrants, prostitutes, the homeless and jobless, the Vatican said.

"God has always walked alongside his people," beginning with the Hebrew patriarchs, the Pope preached at Tuesday morning's Mass.

God became man at Christmas to redeem and share in the lives of saints and sinners alike even "high-level sinners," Francis said.

Pope Francis: No more business as usual

- CNN Belief Blog Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Francis

soundoff (624 Responses)
  1. ljjm

    God bless and protect Pope Francis!

    December 17, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      tooth fairy collect pope francis' teeth

      santa bring pope francis lots of presents

      December 17, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
  2. the one truth

    I had a dream last night.
    It took place in the middle east thousands of years ago.
    A young Jewish girl was pregnant out of wedlock, and was engaged to be married to a simple Jewish man. The man she had slept with was not her fiance but a high ranking Roman guard. In order to save herself and her child from being stoned, this young Jewish girl convinced her fiance their sky god has impregnated her with his son, and not to tell a soul of this. Since the young Jewish girl would show before she could have possibly conceived a child as a married woman, the couple crept out of town and gave birth to the baby "off the grid", in a stable.
    The dream ended with the Jewish woman teaching her son (she named him Jesus) how to switch a barrel full of water with a barrel full of wine, how to bribe a health old man to play dead and "rise" up later on, and how to manipulate crowds of uneducated people, etc.

    What a crazy story that surely no one with an ounce of intelligence would believe.

    December 17, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • middle america man

      I can understand what you're saying, but if she did all that, she also taught him a pretty decent philosophy to spread. And when he ran afoul of the authorities and was executed, he himself did reanimate, so to speak. I'm a reasonably skeptical person, but they left us some rules that are good to follow for living a nice life, regardless what religion you follow or none at all. If I'm wrong, I will never know it, no one knows for sure. I wish you well wherever your intellectual or spiritual quest takes you.

      December 17, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
      • the one truth

        I truly believe Jesus taught no philosophy.
        The words attributed to him are phrases and stories passed on throughout the centuries in different cultures in an effort to make him seem mysterious and wise. Men made it up, possibly for the "greater good" of uniting their cultures and giving hope in the face of despair.
        It doesn't make it true however, and it certainly doesn't mean there isn't a better smarter alternative that doesn't deal with lies.

        December 17, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
        • Alias

          can you tell me one thing jesus taught that was original?

          December 17, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
        • Sevenless

          And I truly believe, as an extension of Alias' question, that nobody has ever said anything original. Nihil sub sole novum.

          December 17, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
  3. Mopery

    Don't forget the Press. He's celebrating his birthday in full view of all those magnificent cameras, thus showcasing his humility and humbleness for all the networks of the world to dawdle and coo over. Good thing there isn't any important news to report on today.

    December 17, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • Max

      You don't think he is just slightly mobbed by the press? That's how they make their coin, yanno.

      December 17, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
      • HotAirAce

        So the press can go wherever they want within the Vatican and the pope is helpless, unable to shoo them away for a private birthday party?

        December 17, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • H.S.

      Have you ever thought that maybe if he did call the press to cover this, that he's using the press to show his example to the world?

      People don't always do things for the wrong reasons, you know. In fact, I would submit that this Pope is doing it for the right reasons.

      December 17, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
  4. tom

    Here is a Pope that does not simply "talk the talk", he "walks the walk". Read the bible. What did Jesus do? He ministered to and focused on the lowest of the low in society. This Pope does the same. I admire him. Its about time a Pope did that. God bless him.

    December 17, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • Not All Docs Play Golf

      But it seems the "prosperity gospel" folks believe in trickle-down salvation.

      December 17, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • doobzz

      And coincidentally, there are a barrage of cameras around when he decides to "walk the walk".

      December 17, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
      • H.S.

        A leader leads by example. If the press weren't there to cover it, how else would the Pope show leadership to the world?

        December 17, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
        • doobzz

          The pope doesn't need the press present to make changes in the church. These pretty little tableaus he's shown in are not "leadership", they are photo ops.

          What is so great about having one of his flunkies go out, find four homeless guys, bring them back to his palace and feed them a meal? How is that "leadership"?

          True leadership would be doing the right thing by the children who have been abused by the priests he is in charge of. Not for the cameras. For the actual human being whose lives were ruined because they were Catholic children and some pervert used them like a piece of trash.

          Besides, didn't Jesus say that you shouldn't do good deeds publicly? I think he was pretty specific about that one.

          December 17, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
        • JDD

          "Besides, didn't Jesus say that you shouldn't do good deeds publicly? I think he was pretty specific about that one."

          If so, Jesus violated his own principle many times.

          What he actually said was, "Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them." Matthew 6:1. So it's the motivation that counts.

          December 18, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
        • doobzz

          And what is the motive for all these pretty photo ops? Why couldn't the pope have a private birthday party with these guys and no cameras?

          Let me guess, because then the world wouldn't be distracted from the real issues that he's failed to address?

          December 18, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
        • JDD

          doobzz,

          I don't know, doobzz, what was Jesus's motive, when he fed people in public?

          For a person whose every other post barks about how judgmental the Church is, you sure seem to know the heart of others.

          December 19, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
  5. Not All Docs Play Golf

    Meanwhile, Mitt Romney spent his birthday with Donald Trump, Rupert Murdoch, the Koch brothers, and his dog was on the roof of his car.

    December 17, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • Mary

      Why can't that be their prerogative? Why do you want to control their behavior?

      December 17, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
      • Philip Eugene Douglas CS,CO

        Why are you such a troll?

        December 17, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • bostontola

      And all their various Gods approved.

      December 17, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
  6. Dyslexic doG

    one year since the Newtown massacre.

    If I had the power to create the universe I wouldn't have let all those poor innocent children die in pain and horror.

    I am glad to say that's the difference between me and your god.

    December 17, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Mary

      Why are you coming down on a god that you believe does not exist?

      December 17, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
      • Nope

        Why do you ask questions, knowing you are not interested in the answers?

        December 17, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
        • Mary

          Why am I not getting any answers that interest me?

          December 17, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
        • Philip Eugene Douglas CS,CO

          Are you even reading the answers?

          December 17, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
        • Mary

          Why would I read answers that do not interest me?

          December 17, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
        • doobzz

          @Mary

          You aren't getting answers that interest you because you've already decided what the "correct" answers are.

          December 17, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
      • Hex

        Simple...because people idolize this concept(god) and devote their life and way of living to it. Because it effects others.

        December 17, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        Because of what you claim it does,but obviously doesn't.

        December 17, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
  7. Phil in KC

    Why all the haters? Because he's not everything you want him to be? I'm not Catholic, but I can still give credit to the man for 'walking the walk'. He seems to be very down-to-earth with a genuine concern for people. And it appears he is taking the priesthood in a new direction. You don't turn a ship that big around on a dime. But he's making some rather large course corrections – some that are probably not very popular among many of the insiders in Rome.

    December 17, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      he's a puppet in the Vatican PR campaign.

      Francis is a construct.

      take a look at what he used to be like in South America if you want to see reality.

      December 17, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
      • H.S.

        Yes, by all means, take a look at what he "used to be like". You'll see much of the same.

        It's been widely reported, not only here on CNN but other networks, that the Jorge Bergoglio known in Argentina is quite the same as the Pope we know today. He ministered to the poor and the sick and the homeless.

        But then again, you'd rather shoot your mouth off to look smart. Instead, you just look foolish.

        December 17, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
        • Youtube - Teresa MacBain "Shift Happens"

          Hate to say it, but some of the atheists here can't even admit there is a silver lining to the dark cloud they perpetually see. I say that as an atheist.

          December 17, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • Austin

      PR campaign? He used to do the same in South America, since you mentioned that. I laugh at people like you, the kind of people that can't see good in anyone, get a life.

      December 17, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        laugh away blind man

        December 17, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
  8. bostontola

    Ei incu.mbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat (the burden of proof is on he who declares, not on he who denies).

    December 17, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Mary

      Why don't you prove this declaration?

      December 17, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
      • bostontola

        There is no proof, I didn't say it was a fact, it is a principle. It is from the Romans, it was their way of saying innocent until proven guilty. Can you prove that people are innocent until proven guilty? I answered your question, please answer mine.

        December 17, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
        • Max

          He won't answer, bostontola. He never does.

          December 17, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
        • Mary

          Why would I want to do that?

          December 17, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
        • Philip Eugene Douglas CS,CO

          Uh, to prove you're not a troll?

          December 17, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
      • Max

        He did.

        December 17, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
  9. greenaxe

    Didn't Billy Graham celebrate his birthday in the same fashion....Oh wait a minute...

    December 17, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
  10. Foz-man!

    I see many comments railing against Atheists. Well, guess what? Athiest LOVE this Pope! Myself included. I don't care what he (or anyone else) "believes", it's actions that matter. And his actions prove that he really cares and is doing what is in his power to actually help people.

    December 17, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      He has done nothing for victims of priestly child abuse. He continues to allow criminals within the RCC to be protected. He is a fraud!

      December 17, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
      • Valentina

        Liar

        December 17, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Ok, what has he done? Why do think I am a liar?

          December 17, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
  11. truth for all

    at least we can say that atheist's good works are genuine. No promises or window dressing.

    December 17, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Breaking News

      Archbishop Nienstedt Denies Inappropriately Touching Minor

      The head of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is stepping aside from public ministry after an allegation that he touched an underage male. Archbishop John Nienstedt denies the allegations, but is removing himself from ministry pending an investigation. The archdiocese says the incident allegedly occurred in 2009 after a confirmation ceremony...

      December 17, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
      • Max

        I just read this...but no indication he's been arrested.

        December 17, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
        • Valentina

          Arrested for waht?

          December 17, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Valentina: Arrested for this "he touched an underage male". Or do you support harming children?

          December 17, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
        • Max

          Valentina, do you not comprehend what you read?

          December 17, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
        • JDD

          Max, do you not understand that we don't automatically arrest the accused in this country?

          December 27, 2013 at 10:07 am |
        • JDD

          "truthprevails", for a person who takes on such a name as "truthprevails", you are seriously undermining your credibility as a defender of it.

          I don't think anyone failed to notice that you removed the words "an allegation that..." from your quotation.

          December 27, 2013 at 10:11 am |
      • HotAirAce

        So when and where will he be moved to another part of the RCC?

        December 17, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
        • Breaking News

          Hopefully they won't let him leave Minnesota .

          December 17, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
        • Geo

          When Francis does stamp out this abomination, what will you complain about??

          December 17, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Whatever I like. I would be delighted not to have child abuse and coverup of child abuse by the RCC to complain about.

          December 17, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
        • Mr. Duckworth

          So you've convicted him already without any evidence at all ? This is the exact same way of thinking that led to lynchings in the deep south decades ago.

          December 17, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Where did I say I think he is guilty? It's a fact that the RCC moved priests around based on mere allegations. Why shouldn't we think they might do the same thing again?

          December 17, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
      • Breaking News

        Interesting CNN picked it up and ran an article .

        December 17, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
  12. Heal the world!

    Happy Birthday to the Pope!

    If other Christians could celebrate their birthdays with the homeless or celebrate their birthdays by honoring the poor this world would be a better place.

    December 17, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Al

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3J_3mcOwdQ&w=640&h=390]

      December 17, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • effects of child abuse

      far more people do far more than this pope-for-show does.

      December 17, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
      • Pat

        Like make useless comments on CNN??? How mighty of you to grace us with your babel.

        December 17, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • tony

      Why should a world as rich and advanced as ours still have "the poor"?

      December 17, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
      • dwamikayla

        As Jesus (supposedly) said: "The poor will always be with us."

        December 17, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Vincent

      Don't have to be a Christian! LOL

      December 17, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
  13. effects of child abuse

    Between 20-50% of abused children will have some degree of permanent disability as a result of abuse (NASMHPD/NTAC)

    People who experienced considerable trauma during their childhood died 20 years prematurely, CDC researchers have found.

    Females abused in childhood are at greater risk of suicidal and self-mutilating behavior (Herman, 1992).

    Seventy percent of women who are homeless were abused as children. Nearly 90 percent of women who are both homeless and have a mental illness experienced abuse both as children and adults.

    Recent studies have shown that victims of childhood abuse actually experience physical changes to the hippocampus, a part of the brain involved in learning and memory, as well as in the handling of stress. (Bremner JD, Narayan M)

    The study states as many as 80 percent of young adults who had been abused met the diagnostic criteria for at least one psychiatric disorder at age 21. These young adults exhibited many problems, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and suicide attempts (Silverman, Reinherz, & Giaconia, 1996).

    December 17, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • effects of child abuse

      now tell me how nice this pope is.. Or rather how he deflects and ignores the UN's request for answers on crimes of cover up by the vaticaan

      December 17, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
      • Denise

        I am very sorry for what happened to you in your childhood. I pray that you will begin to relase all the hurt and pain and bitterness from the incident and begin to heal. You have a right to be upset but it's time to move past it. God can and will heal you of the pain if you let him. Give it to HIM and stop holding on to it. All of that hurt and pain bottled up on the inside is not good for you. I love you but God loves you more. I will be praying for you. God bless you my dear.

        December 17, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
        • G to the T

          So if someone kills your son, you should just drop all charges and forgive? See the difference here?

          December 17, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
        • doobzz

          "You have a right to be upset but it's time to move past it."

          How dare you. Who the fuck are you to tell an abuse victim how to deal with his/her experience and that he/she should just get over it already? You are a prime example of why people hate religion.

          December 17, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
        • JJ

          You sick delusional Christian bitch. You are the enablers of your pedophile infested cult to rape children. You are most disgusting.

          December 17, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Jax

      This is a study done exclusively on victims of priestly abuse, yes?

      December 17, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
      • effects of child abuse

        nope.. However it points out the effects of abuse. More so it demonstrates the damage caused by the cover ups. In each of those studies, the child coped alone.

        Amazing the damage caused by the popes, cardinals and bishops. As they continue and lobby to stop laws so they can deny victims again.

        December 17, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
        • Jax

          Oh, so what should be done about the #1 perps of child molestation: relatives if the child, mostly parents? Since they abuse millions more than who you're complaining about...wipe out the RCC, sure, but wipe out parents as well.

          December 17, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
        • doobzz

          Family members or anyone who abuses children should be reported to civil authorities. What's so difficult to understand about that?

          December 17, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  14. Rob

    I'm not a catholic. But I do believe in the righteous of life and I must say.
    It does appear that Francis is the first person I've seen that is actually doing
    right to life's work. He seems like a just man. I truly hope he is

    December 17, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • truth be told

      well priest. What about his child abuse cover ups?

      December 17, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
      • It's a good start

        We all know about the abuse, we all know that more could be done, and we all know that it is much bigger than just the pope. You seem to be ignorant of how things work in this world. There is no one person who waves a wand and makes everything good and right again... even though Christians want you to believe this, it just ain't going to happen. Maybe your time would be better spent actually going out and comforting the abused instead of sitting behind your computer repeating the same thing over and over and over with no real plan of your own.

        December 17, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
        • effects of child abuse

          the cover ups are the worst crime. Children denied help and the pedos out destroying more.

          Who could stoop as low as the catholic pope and clergy? Likely, no one.

          December 17, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
        • Bob

          How about the parents of the victims, who stood by and did nothing, instead of helping to cover it up? How about the #1 perpetrators of child mokestation: PARENTS?

          December 17, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Which group or organization of parents got together to coverup systemic child abuse, protect the abusers and continues to refuse to cooperate with investigators? None that I know of. What is this pope hiding?

          December 17, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
        • effects of child abuse

          a parent won't know anything happened if the child becomes traumatized.

          Odd you blame the parents.

          December 17, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
        • Bob

          "a parent won’t know anything happened if the child becomes traumatized."

          What kind of carp parents are they?? And PARENTS MOLEST MORE KIDS THAN ANY OTHER GROUP IN TGE WORLD!

          Odd that you don't know this.

          December 17, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
        • Dina Schon

          He has made a very good start...when one walks into a filth house, you must clean one room at a time. Pope Francis is living by example...his actions say, "I will not live in excess as other Pope's have, while others suffer; I will not judge others, as that is God's role not any man or woman's; I will not support harm done to others...." and so on. He will address the issue of abuse, in some ways he already has...he fired a Bishop in his first few weeks because of suspected abuse. But I also must say that abuse against children is not only a Catholic Priest issue...bank robbers go to the bank because that is where the money is folks...sick pedophiles go where children are...we need to check and watch those involved with our children. The most important issue before us is our broken judicial system and how these animals are dealt with when they are caught. Our laws are ridiculous when it comes to prosecuting these people...they should get life, no chance of parole...instead someone with a bit of illegal drugs will often times receive a greater sentence than someone who destroys a child life...let's support our new Pope and do as he says...pray for him so that he can make the changes we all believe are necessary.

          December 17, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Your pope is not allowing the judicial system to deal with the animals within the RCC.

          December 17, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
      • Valentina

        For example?

        December 17, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • rl

      I am not Catholic either, but am in complete agreement with you and am very impressed with Pope Francis.

      December 17, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
      • effects of child abuse

        yes you are rob

        December 17, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • batmans left nostril

      you must of not heard of the illegal gambling dens in the vatican.

      December 17, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
  15. Aerin

    Love this Pope!

    December 17, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • hey

      He's not bad. Better than the last.

      December 17, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
  16. Reality # 2

    The hammering continues:

    Nice gestures but again Francis needs to pay attention to the problems at hand . Said problems if not addressed soon will end Catholicism as we know it. Francis' first and foremost problem:

    The Infamous Resurrection Con/

    From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15: 14, Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

    Even now Catholic/Christian professors (e.g.Notre Dame, Catholic U, Georgetown) of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

    To wit;

    From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

    "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
    Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

    Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

    Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

    The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

    Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Ascension ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers.

    The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

    "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."

    http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

    The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

    With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

    An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

    p.4

    "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

    p.168. by Ted Peters:

    Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

    So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

    December 17, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • JDD

      Reality # 2, here's some reality # 1: We already know a lot of Catholic professors are Catholic in name only. This isn't really very different from the state of the world at the time of Jesus, is it? The first 2/3rds of your post are really not very new, or revealing.

      After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

      This is a theory that's been put forth numerous times over numerous decades. My sociology professor in college suggested it as if it was self-obvious. The first thing that's never explained is why, (if this was actually their motivation,) the disciples continued to declare Jesus's resurrection after the financial security and standing failed to materialize and were replaced with jail, beatings, and martyrdom.

      What's also never explained is how the disciples managed to steal the body from the tomb guarded by the Roman army – the leaders of which really, really wanted Jesus dead and really, really didn't want any sort of resurrection story to start spreading. Recall that Jesus had publically declared he would physically – not just spiritually – rise from the dead. This was exactly the thing the Roman government wanted to put an end to when they crucified Jesus. Historically it's also clear that the Roman soldiers guarding the tomb from vandals and thieves would have been doing so with the understanding that failure to protect the corpse of Jesus meant their own death. The "disciples stole the body" theory is, upon examination, one of the most difficult theories to defend intellectually.

      December 17, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
      • Some Antics

        "The "disciples stole the body" theory is, upon examination, one of the most difficult theories to defend intellectually."

        Right, a man dead for three days who stands up with holes in his feet and hands and walks out of the tomb on his own is so much easier to fathom...

        December 17, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
        • JDD

          Yes, that's usually the first response – caricature the Christian argument and then ridicule it.

          Remember that we've started here with the argument that "the disciples stole the body." I just poked some holes in that argument. Please respond to those holes and tell me where I'm wrong.

          "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth". – Sherlock Holmes

          December 17, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
        • Some Antics

          The Romans didn't give a fart about Jesus and you know it. They did not consider him a threat and believed the sanhedren was far more an issue than some rabble rouser that the Jews had submitted for execution. Other than the bible there was no record of any guards at all and it was not a common practice to guard a single tomb from robbers but guards were posted at the entrance of cemetaries to discourage grave robbers. The idea that somehow your "holes" in the disciples stealing the body claim rule it out is laughable. We have about 6000 years of recorded human history and so far we have ZERO reliable accounts of anyone coming back from the dead and the answer for why is simple, because no human has ever come back from the dead. We have many amazing accounts of humans coming back after several minutes because of cold slowing down the heart and keeping the brain tissue viable. The Jesus account however, is preposterous.

          December 17, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
        • JDD

          The Roman government as a whole didn't consider him a threat, but did consider him a trouble maker, and a nuisance, which is why they executed him. He was hardly just some 'rabble-rouser' as can be seen from his impact on history.

          The one who carried out the execution, however – that is, the local governor Pontus Pilate – would certainly have considered a new uprising of a movement that claimed Jesus had actually risen form the dead to be a threat to his providence and to his own personal power. It's clear that there was some additional pressure from the tetrarch Herod Antipas on this account. Pilate would have been very personally interested in making sure that the movement he'd just squashed didn't restart three days later with full force. His head may have been on the line. As you yourself suggest, ""...it was not a common practice to guard a single tomb from robbers but guards were posted at the entrance of cemetaries to discourage grave robbers." Okay, we'll go with this possibility: then, again, how was the body stolen?

          You know how my sociology professor responded to this question, oh, a little over twenty or so years ago? He said, "Oh some MacGuyver thing or something – you go figure it out." And that's about all that anyone's ever managed to offer me – along with scorn for even raising the obviously valid question. Words like "laughable, preposterous" and the like in your post aren't deterring me, and I'm hoping for more respectable debate. If you'd like to give me some more concrete theories then I'm open to hearing them.

          December 17, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
        • doobzz

          @ JDD

          It sounds like your professor was just humoring you, or he said that to get you to quit pestering him.

          There's a much easier explanation – none of it happened. No resurrection. No theft of a body. No nothing. Just stories that grew and became legends, then myths, then a religion.

          December 17, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
        • JDD

          doobzz,

          Actually, someone else posed the question. Nonetheless, I accept that speculation about my professor's motives, and your 'much easier explanation' is your entire contribution to this thread.

          December 17, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
        • doobzz

          Goodness, that class must have been filled with looneys. No wonder your prof was frustrated.

          December 18, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
        • JDD

          doobzz,

          I'm sure. Just tell me where I'm mistaken. Just tell me why the question is an unreasonable one. And while you're at it, can you explain to me, how did the Roman government lose control so badly of the Christian movement – founded by a bunch of fishermen – if all they had to do in order to squash the "resurrection" claim was parade the actual dead body of Jesus around for a day?

          December 18, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Brenden

      Poor atheist, walking shiftless through life spiritually deprived. I'll pray for your soul.

      December 17, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        infantile slave mind

        December 17, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
        • Brenden

          Dyslexic believes he is an intellectual with factual insight. Pathetic. He is socially constructed like everything else LMAO

          December 17, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
        • Leprechaun

          Brenden still believes in invisible beings in the sky, I hope he doesn't try to come after my pot O' Gold, it's right there at the end of that Rainbow Brenden! Go Catch it!

          December 17, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          amazing! Brenden posts without saying " unhappy and bitter, walking shiftless through life"

          well done Brenden. using new words is very good.

          December 17, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
      • Farfeknuckle

        Shall I perform the shim sham shuffle for your farfeknuckle? If you don't know what your farfeknuckle is just take your pinky finger and gently slide it in your ear and if it comes out stained with any yellow then you can tell you have had a farfeknuckle moving through your ear canal. It's never been seen or captured but we know it exists based on the wax it's tiny invisible anus excretes in our ears. It's far more real than any "soul" which has zero evidence of its existence...

        December 17, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          is it written about in an old book?!?!

          it must be true!

          all hail farfeknuckle!

          December 17, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
        • Ghost Cow

          I have seen evidence of the ghost cow in the human body. If you rub a man in the lower groin area for a while you might get sprayed by its ghost milk.

          December 17, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
      • Vincent

        "Poor atheist, walking shiftless through life spiritually deprived. I'll pray for your soul."

        Wrong. Poor you walking through life led by the chains of a spiritual myth.

        December 17, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
      • doobzz

        Poor sad gullible xtian, walking dead man until Jeebus returns.

        December 17, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      Added details from those who have exhaustively studied the scriptures:

      From Professors Crossan and Watts' book, Who is Jesus.

      "That Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, as the Creed states, is as certain as anything historical can ever be.

      “ The Jewish historian, Josephus and the pagan historian Tacitus both agree that Jesus was executed by order of the Roman governor of Judea. And is very hard to imagine that Jesus' followers would have invented such a story unless it indeed happened.

      “While the brute fact that of Jesus' death by crucifixion is historically certain, however, those detailed narratives in our present gospels are much more problematic. "

      “My best historical reconstruction would be something like this. Jesus was arrested during the Passover festival, most likely in response to his action in the Temple. Those who were closest to him ran away for their own safety.

      I do not presume that there were any high-level confrontations between Caiaphas and Pilate and Herod Antipas either about Jesus or with Jesus. No doubt they would have agreed before the festival that fast action was to be taken against any disturbance and that a few examples by crucifixion might be especially useful at the outset. And I doubt very much if Jewish police or Roman soldiers needed to go too far up the chain of command in handling a Galilean peasant like Jesus. It is hard for us to imagine the casual brutality with which Jesus was probably taken and executed. All those "last week" details in our gospels, as distinct from the brute facts just mentioned, are prophecy turned into history, rather than history remembered."

      And from Professor Gerd Ludemann's analysis of Mark 16: 1-8 (Mark's gospel is the more historic gospel) in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 11-114, " ......the historical yield is nil......."

      See also: http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb017.html/

      To summarize:

      The Apostles'/Agnostics’ Creed 2013: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
      and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen
      (references used are available upon request)

      December 17, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
      • JDD

        "Reality # 2",

        Interestingly enough, you've refuted "doobzz" above, who insists Jesus didn't exist and didn't get crucified to begin with.

        December 17, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
        • doobzz

          Please point out where I "insisted" that Jesus never existed. I said "No resurrection. No theft of a body. No nothing. Just stories that grew and became legends, then myths, then a religion." I have no idea whether a man named Jesus existed at that time, but I have a pretty strong feeling that if he did, he didn't come back to life after three days.

          Also, Josephus believed that Hercules was a real person, too, so his "historical record" is in a bit of doubt.

          December 18, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
        • JDD

          doobzz,

          I never cited Josephus.

          If you don't believe that Jesus even existed, then may I ask how you think Christianity began?

          December 18, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
  17. Ted

    God Bless Pope Francis! He's a great example to many, even myself!

    December 17, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
  18. truth be told

    interesting.. as the Vatican takes its cut from donations for personal wealth gain, they then pretend they are doing good deeds.

    Interesting, as children are starving to death the Vatican claims its vast wealth.

    December 17, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • JR

      Interesting that Catholic Chariities is the largest in the world, yet you fiscally responsible GOTP want to cut off aid to starving children in the US. Hypocrite.

      December 17, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
      • truth be told

        interesting, catholic charities is run primarily off our tax dollar, grants. yet the catholic church parades around like it's all their money.

        Keep in mind, the Vatican was recently caught money laundering in Italy and in the late 80's in the USA.

        If there is no profit in it, the Vatican doesn't do it.

        December 17, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
        • JR

          Yes, I am aware if that, but jeep in mind that they help more people than all of the other charities.
          Big world out there that the RCC is helping. Not just the US.

          And guess what? The United States isn't the be all to end all. And that is the EXACT mantra of the US: if there's no profit in it, it isn't worth doing. Look at your GOTP today. The "IGM,FY" party.

          Leave the RCC alone. They do more charitable works for the world, by far, than any other enti.ty.

          December 17, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
        • truth be told

          the rcc needs to held accountable for crimes against children. They need to quit deflecting.

          December 17, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
        • Alias

          just keep in mind that they recruit from the people they help.

          December 17, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
      • HotAirAce

        I recommend helping those in need by donating via richarddawkins.net. 100% goes to the needy – no skimming to help hide and defend child abusers and their protectors.

        December 17, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
        • truth be told

          agreed. The Vatican is in the 'do good' business for cash.

          December 17, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Austin

      The Catholic church out of all religions, is the one who donates and does the most, get your facts straight before writing BS.

      December 17, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
  19. bostontola

    The God character in the bible is omniscient and omnipotent. If true, such a being would know everything that has happened and will happen. It is curious that this biblical character appears to react to events, actions, and decisions of people when it must have already known the result from the beginning.

    In the Old Testament, the God character gets angry, inflicts terrible punishment in this life to people that choose to ignore its laws. It carries that punishment for 4 generations, to people that had no choice.

    Later, we are told that we have free will. God's policies changed. Now we can choose. An omniscient being changing, learning, reacting to man's decisions seems bound by time, not above it. This God changes the rules as we go along instead of setting up perfect rules from the beginning, even when it would know all that was to happen.

    These flaws in the God character can only be attributable to the men that wrote the stories. That makes the doc.ument flawed. Each person can now interpret as they please. Each person derives their own subjective truth. There is then no objective truth in the book.

    I think it's cool that lots of people choose to believe these stories as true, but the factual, logical, and moral flaws in the bibles lead others to conclude it is created by humans and not the word of the God character within it.

    December 17, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • Brenden

      Poor Bostontola, unhappy and bitter, walking shiftless through life spiritually deprived. I'll pray for your soul.

      December 17, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
      • bostontola

        Have we met? You presume much. Does your God condone such baseless judgement?

        December 17, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        doG knows brenden.

        he is an underdeveloped 12 year old with a problem that his mother tells him will make him blind ...

        poor brenden

        December 17, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
        • Brenden

          dyslexic believes he is an intellectual with factual insight. Pathetic. He is socially constructed like everything else LMAO

          December 17, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          good one handed typing busy boy. well done.

          December 17, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Doug

      Man has always had free will under God, to choose whether to accept salvation through the finished work of Christ, however the Israelites were freed from Egypt, they wanted to relate to God based on their own righteousness, rather than through the finished work of Jesus on the cross. God allowed them to attempt to be justified through their own works, and history has proven man is incapable of attaining righteousness through his own efforts. Even people who heartily accept the free gift of righteousness struggle to walk out their salvation as we are not programmed to accept favor without "earning" it. The Bible also makes it clear that man will never uncover the will of God through their intellect, and those who attempt to will only find frustration, only through revelation by the Holy Spirit will we truly learn the truth of God. The best part is that the power of God really manifests as we realize how much God loves us, which I find is rarely taught in churches. I can identify with all the points you made, because I felt pretty much the same way, but if you sincerely want to know about God, He will find the right time and place for you.

      December 17, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
      • bostontola

        In your stories, God punished the children of transgressors, what choice did they have?

        December 17, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
        • JDD

          bostontola,

          As in my other post, I'll say here that the Catholic understanding of the Scriptures is that they themselves reveal, in part and imperfectly, people trying to understand the character of God. Jesus in a real sense 'takes the blinders off' from many misconceptions. In one way I see the Scriptures simply echoing reality when we read something about sin passing down to the fourth generation. Say there's divorce in a family. The effects of that sin and brokenness indeed affect the next four generations in terms of parenting, relationships, family reunions, etc – hopefully less and less for each generation. It takes time for sin, (call it mistakes, if you want,) to work itself out of a family. The point is that I think the Scriptures are on to something, but they're not describing a curse of God – they're describing the effects of our decisions. People in the old testament struggled to understand what was going on.

          Jesus is asked a question on this topic in John 10:1: "Rabbi, who sinned – this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus replies, neither – correcting the error and heals the man.

          December 17, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
        • Doug

          Under the old covenant, (salvation through works) God said that he would cause the iniquities of a person to visit the 3rd and 4th generations because after the Exodus from Egypt, the Israelites rejected salvation through faith, though through faith was was how God gave the gift of righteousness to Abraham. Because the Israelites asked God to relate to them based only on their perfect obedience to the law, they brought the curse of having to be faultless to be acceptable or reconciled to God. If you read the books of Deuteronomy and Leviticus, God appears cruel and unforgiving only because he honored the Israelites request to attain righteousness through works. Hope that helps.

          December 17, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
      • Church of Suicidal

        "Don't try to think. Don't question. Just obey."
        This explains a lot.

        December 17, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • JDD

      This won't be an adequate response to everything you've said in your post, but part of the Christian understanding is that the Scriptures show us getting a clearer picture of God's character over time. We start out trusting in him completely in the garden, then decide that we know better. He must reveal himself to humanity then first as Creator, along with the moral laws which are part of the nature of creation. In time he comes to us in the person of Jesus to reveal to us that God is a good Father and a Good Shepherd, who as he says in John 10:11 "lays down his life for the sheep" and again in John 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." This is the Catholic understanding of God.

      December 17, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
      • bostontola

        JDD,
        If it works for you, go with it.

        December 17, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
        • JDD

          I hope you've given my post more thought than that. What if, say, an idea of God that advocates pedophilia works for me. Should I go with it?

          December 17, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
        • bostontola

          JDD,
          As long as you don't break the law, you can think as you like.

          December 17, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
        • JDD

          So you object to pedophilia only because it's against the law?

          December 17, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
        • bostontola

          JDD,
          Why would you draw that conclusion? Please read the comment more carefully. I said you can think whatever you want, believe whatever you want, just don't act on it if it's illegal. How could you draw the conclusion that i approve of the action from that?

          December 17, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
        • JDD

          You're right – I worded it badly. I should have asked, "So you object to a view of pedophilia being acceptable, for example, only because its against the law?" Is there any other reason you would object to a person having such a view?

          And the 'don't act on it' condition is arbitrary, and yours. First of all, people act on their views by default. But second, I object to lots of beliefs that others hold. Can I insist they don't act on them?

          December 17, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
        • JDD

          bostontola,

          I'm going to cut to the chase – You wrote a rather long first post. I took you seriously and responded in kind. "Whatever floats your boat" is a sinking philosophy. I simply hoped for a more thoughtful response.

          Regards,
          JDD

          December 17, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
        • bostontola

          JDD,
          I was trying to be polite when I said whatever works for you. Your explanation was a complete rationalization with no objective evidence or logic to back it up. Your explanation was in fact evidence of my point, that your God is temporally bound. An omniscient God is not. It is evidence that this God of the bible was a human creation, however imaginative it was, a human creation.

          December 17, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
        • JDD

          I was trying to be polite when I said whatever works for you. Your explanation was a complete rationalization with no objective evidence or logic to back it up. Your explanation was in fact evidence of my point, that your God is temporally bound. An omniscient God is not. It is evidence that this God of the bible was a human creation, however imaginative it was, a human creation.

          Bostontola,

          I wasn't writing a theology paper with my first post – only sharing some reflections and some reasoning. And by the way, you are right in a sense – the Catholic understanding is that God is indeed 'temporarily bound' – but by himself, out of respect for the dignity and free will of his creations and his children. He is not a "helicopter parent", so to speak.

          December 17, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
        • bostontola

          JDD,
          In the Old Testament God was quite the helicopter parent, He became looser later. That was my point, He wouldn't have to adapt like that if He were omniscient.

          December 17, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
        • JDD

          bostontola,

          And my point is that God didn't 'adapt'; rather our understanding of his character is refined by the life and example of Jesus – the example of the blind man in John 10 that I cited above is a prime example. And that's why Paul writes in 1 Corinthians that "now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face: Now I know in part; ..." and in Colosians 1:15 that "He is the image of the invisible God."

          I suppose you could liken it to any relationship, particularly family relationships, where you continue to re-evaluate your understanding of past impressions, decisions, past events. Christians know that even now we are imperfect and don't understand everything about the character of God.

          We're not talking about being 'loose' in the sense of not having any particular care about right and wrong, or course, but God didn't become 'looser' later; rather, Jesus revealed to us that the Father was 'loose' all along. "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father." [John 14:9]

          December 17, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
        • bostontola

          JDD,
          Then your view of the bible is quite liberal. Most Christians view the bible as truth, the word of God as it is. Once you go into interpretations, you can bring out almost any meaning. That is why there is so many sects of Christianity, each with its own version of truth.

          December 17, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
        • JDD

          First, I think that your understanding of what is a 'liberal interpretation' – whatever that is – reads a bit of your own preconceptions into what you think 'other Christians' must think. Different sects have different language, and as a Catholic I'll hardly defend them all without discussion. But some use language one way in formal creeds, and when you talk to them more in depth a more refined view emerges. The Apostles Creed took several centuries to emerge, but no one expects it not to be then broken open and explained. Soundbites like "the Bible is truth as is" don't really do justice to what many Christians mean by that. I think you'll be hard pressed to find that they believe God had an epiphany one day and decided to stop being mean. Again, I'm not going to try to defend every single independent church out there.

          Second of all, 'truth' and 'getting a clearer understanding of that truth' are two different, and not contradictory, ideas. Truth doesn't change, but our vision gets clearer. As an example, my father on earth is a certain person right now. Whether I understand everything he does at this moment doesn't affect who he is, and he isn't going through 'character iterations' as I have different opinions about him from day to day and hour to hour. In the same way neither is God changing. But my understanding of him is changing.

          There's not nearly this big conundrum as you seem to think between old testament and new. Jesus revealed the full character of the Father, period. The quote from John 14:9 – along with John 3:16-17 – is about as central to Christian thought on this as you can get.

          December 17, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • Vincent

      Spot on. Happy Festivus!

      December 17, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
  20. jenncoolva

    God love him.

    December 17, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • truth be told

      god has no idea who he is

      December 17, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
      • Blackcurry

        How would you know the mind of God??? Are you really so arrogant that you think you know what God thinks? I feel sure that God doesn't discuss his feelings or ideas with you. For all you know, Francis could be the Second Coming.

        December 17, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
        • WASP

          anti-christ and the beast comes first, then jesus shows up to ruin the party after a 1000 years of peace. lmfao

          December 17, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
        • effects of child abuse

          the anti-Christ was created by the Christians. It was done to scare those who didn't believe and then used by Christians in their judging and name calling.

          How sad and destructive.

          December 17, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
        • WASP

          @effects: yeah, but the 1000 year party would have rocked though.
          XD

          December 17, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • WASP

      prove god.
      then prove he loves him.

      December 17, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
      • Brenden

        This atheist wants to see before believing. Pathetic. The atheist walks shiftless through life seeking the "truth" when he/she is spiritually deprived. Pathetic. I'll pray for your soul.

        December 17, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
        • sly

          Ho ho ho – good one Brenden. We know you are just joking. Gotta love the 'shiftless' walk.

          You do provide some humor for this discussion, which is welcomed.

          Let's hear more about the 'shifty God-Walk'. I'll bet it's kinda a levitation – similar to how drones operate. (And God knows we seem to have a bunch of drones on here).

          Anyhow ... keep up the good humor – many of us enjoy a good laugh about the unicorns and santa claus this time of year.

          December 17, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
        • Fred Garvin

          Good thing you follow religious teaching by not judging. You might want to pray for yourself, hypocrite.

          December 17, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
        • mrsinned

          Your repeated recitation of the same phrase smacks of mindlessness. And that's always the difference here and it's fine to admit it. You have FAITH. Others do not. It's no insult to an atheist to say we want to see before we believe–that's precisely the point. But save your labels ("patethtic"); they aren't constructive and they presume the truth of the very thing in dispute (your message is basically that atheists are "pathetic" because we're wrong). NONE of us know who's right or wrong but some of us would like to make educated guesses based the evidence that IS available. And a book written by other men that is so often contradicted by the observable world is not going to be seen as trustworthy to those looking to reach an informed decision on this topic.

          December 17, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
        • Mopery

          Spirituality = Gullibility

          December 17, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.