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Pope: The Internet is a 'gift from God.' But watch out for the trolls
Pope Francis addressed digital technology and social communications on Thursday.
January 23rd, 2014
10:40 AM ET

Pope: The Internet is a 'gift from God.' But watch out for the trolls

By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) Careerist clergy. The super rich. And now we can add another pelt to Pope Francis' collection: Internet trolls.

In statement released on Thursday, the Pope said the Internet and social media are making people across the world "increasingly interdependent."

"The Internet, in particular, offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity," Francis said. "This is something truly good, a gift from God."

At the same time, though, all those tweets and texts and comment streams can cause people to "lose our bearings," said the 77-year-old pontiff.

"The speed with which information is communicated exceeds our capacity for reflection and judgement, and this does not make for more balanced and proper forms of self-expression," Francis said.

"The variety of opinions being aired can be seen as helpful," he continued, "but it also enables people to barricade themselves behind sources of information which only confirm their own wishes and ideas, or political and economic interests."

There's a tinge of irony to the Pope's comments, considering that his own soaring popularity can be partially traced to the Internet and social media. According to a study released in November, Francis was the most talked about person online last year.

MORE ON CNN: Pope Francis won the Internet. Literally.

Whether consciously or not, the Pope has become an unlikely poster boy for how stories spread in the modern world.

Photos and videos of him washing the feet of Muslim inmates, embracing a severely disfigured man and giving his pal a lift on the Popemobile have gone viral, with hundreds of thousands sharing the images.

MORE ON CNN: Pope Francis' greatest hits of 2013

"Goodness always tends to spread," Francis said in his apostolic exhortation, "The Joy of the Gospel," a line that could have been uttered in the boardrooms of savvy online outlets like Upworthy and BuzzFeed.

But the Pope's theory of communication seems to derive from a more ancient source: his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi.

"Preach the Gospel all the time. Use words when necessary," the 13th century friar is often quoted as saying. (Some call the quote apocryphal.)

Rather than "bombarding people with religious messages," the Pope urged Catholics on Thursday to listen patiently and engage their interlocutors' doubts and questions.

"Let our communication be a balm which relieves pain and a fine wine which gladdens hearts," Francis said.

The Pope also warned against spending too much time online, saying  the "desire for digital connectivity" can sometimes isolate people from their friends, family and neighbors.

“It is not enough to be passers-by on the digital highways, simply 'connected'; connections need to grow into true encounters," he said.

"We cannot live apart, closed in on ourselves. We need to love and to be loved. We need tenderness. Media strategies do not ensure beauty, goodness and truth in communication."

Drawbacks aside, the Pope did not argue that people should reject social media, which he said can foster unity and "help us feel closer to each other."

Instead he argued that advances in bits and bytes shouldn't distract from the fact that digital communication is, at root, about people connecting with each other.

"What is it, then, that helps us, in the digital environment, to grow in humanity and mutual understanding?" the Pope asked.

"We need, for example, to recover a certain sense of deliberateness and calm. This calls for time and the ability to be silent and to listen. We need also to be patient if we want to understand those who are different from us."

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Internet • Pope Francis

soundoff (2,371 Responses)
  1. Alias

    L said,"Atheists on this board don't "challenge" anyone."

    We have many times. You never give straight answers to our questions.
    My last question was in a thread about original sin.
    I asked if anyone really believed that your all powerful god had no choise but to get a virgin pregnant and kill the child. The bible is clear that this was the only way god could forgive us all for a sin we did not commit.

    The only reply I saw was from Topher, who asked 'why god ould do that?' and then rambled on answering his question instead of adressing mine.

    January 23, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      and I asked 2 posts below why god won't just show himself and put an end to any doubt.

      sure enough, the post has been reported as abuse.

      January 23, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
      • Your atheism is dead. Give it up trolls

        You atheists do the same when your "atheism" is questioned.

        January 23, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
        • Alias

          So back your claim up with an intelligent question.
          Or answer our.

          January 23, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
        • Dan

          We are not the ones making outrageous statements about an invisible magician in the sky.

          January 23, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • Your atheism is dead. Give it up trolls

          "god doesn't exist" is a ridiculous claim as you are only saying it to mock people. Your atheism is indeed dead.

          January 23, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          so why doesn't your god appear to the world and put an end to any doubt?

          January 23, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
        • UncleM

          All the evidence suggests that god doesn't exist. Do you have anything credible to the contrary? Circular arguments from the bible don't count.

          January 23, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
        • Alias

          Try this:
          According to your religion, your god gave us a bible to follow. There are tens of thousands different denominations because there is no concensus on how to interpret the bible. That makes me question the higher power that supposedly wrote the bible.
          The bible has factual errors. Some easy ones are the world is not flat, and it does move.
          The bible has logical errors. Once again, your all powerful god had to have a son and sacrifice him to forgive us for Adam eating from the tree of knowledge. If he were all powerful, he would have had options.

          These are some of the things that make me think your god does not exist as described in the bible.
          Now, will you please explain why you believein him?

          January 23, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
      • blackandwhiteblackandwhite

        He Shows himself to those who believe–if you talk about "fairy stories" and the like you are speaking as if you already made a decision; that does not leave much room for God to grace with a visit: HE WILL IF YOU OPEN YOURSELF TO THE POSSIBILITY.<+3 "REMINDER: (IF YOU SEEK THEN YOU-ALONG-WITH-THE-REST-OF-US SHALL FIND!!!!)

        January 23, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
        • Pete

          Talk about confirmation bias.

          January 23, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
        • Alias

          This could be said of ANY religion. It proves nothing.
          Unless you decide to believe in Thor, then you will see proof in every storm.

          January 23, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
        • doobzz

          "He Shows himself to those who believe"

          What happens to the people who never heard of your version of god?

          January 23, 2014 at 6:36 pm |
  2. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Once again Daniel Burke carries water for Pope Francis.

    January 23, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Indeed so, the Belief Blog – the all Pope all the time 24×7 conduit.

      8 of the last 10 topics here relate to the Pope directly or Catholicism in some way.

      January 23, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
  3. Ah

    ..All PR to deflect from the cover ups. He's pretending it's a new church now with a new leader,, Just as they tried after the crusades, Inquisition and now child abuse cover ups

    January 23, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
  4. Happy Atheist

    "The variety of opinions being aired can be seen as helpful," the Pope continued, "but it also enables people to barricade themselves behind sources of information which only confirm their own wishes and ideas, or political and economic interests."

    I re-read the article because no where did I see the Pope mention internet "Trolls". He talks about the internet and the "variety of opinion" but never mentions people who are just making posts to get a rise out of someone.

    Doesn't this just really just make Daniel Burke a giant troll? Making a false equivilency and putting words in the Popes mouth to get responses from others?

    January 23, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
    • FlyI

      Yes. But the internet atheists are eating up and having a field day with it. Let it be.

      January 23, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
      • Happy Atheist

        It just appears that the term "internet troll" is being applied to anyone who disagrees with your personal opinion, at least that is how I see the Christians on this blog defining "troll".

        January 23, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
        • Ah

          the religious are like alcoholics,, they want drinking buddies.

          In the case of the catholic church they are Cathoholics.

          We need d-tox centers for them

          January 23, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
    • Alias

      This is a religious blog. Stop with all the thinking already!

      January 23, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
    • Ah

      the pope's PR dictated it, more than likely.

      Just like the pope used the term Gossip in one article's heading, yet the word was never used directly in it.

      Where 'Gossip' was the word used my the catholic church to discount the 10's of thousands of children worldwide who were abused, along with the cover ups. Just a method to discount the truth. The earlier pope stated the abuses were simply Gossip, then this one used the term

      January 23, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
    • CNN Belief Blog Co-EditorCNN

      Umm, how about this: "The speed with which information is communicated exceeds our capacity for reflection and judgement, and this does not make for more balanced and proper forms of self-expression."

      And this: "We need, for example, to recover a certain sense of deliberateness and calm. This calls for time and the ability to be silent and to listen. We need also to be patient if we want to understand those who are different from us."

      You really don't think that he's talking about trolling?

      January 23, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
      • Fan2C

        Co-Editor,

        Generally "trolls" are just wandering around looking for a fight or to watch one - just for entertainment. I don't think that's who the Pope is talking about, but is talking more about the ranters and ravers who really mean it. Some of them like a good fight too, but it's not necessarily their primary motive.

        January 23, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        It is hard to get believers to explain how they arrived at their belief, and show that their belief is justified in some way. When they claim that their belief is true – that the object of their belief is a fact, they are reluctant to explain how they have access to that fact. It takes a bit of work, but some of us are willing to do it.

        January 23, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
  5. PushingBack

    It's too bad the trolls on the CNN boards don't actually read articles and just come here to write fiction about Obama.

    January 23, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      So far... you are the only douche who has mentioned Obama... and now you've made me do it... jerk

      January 23, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
  6. sybaris

    "God doesn't kill people, people with gods kill people"

    January 23, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
    • Ah

      religions and dictators are quite the same. Both have destroyed so many innocent. BTW: The vatican is a dictatorship and much like in middle eastern countries, women are treated as 2nd class

      January 23, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
      • StatsMan

        An atheist leader is much more likely, statistically, to murder a significant part of his country’s population than any religious leader.

        January 23, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
        • PushingBack

          People with the tag "Statsman" are, statistically, much more likely to claim they have knowledge of something of which they really don't.

          January 23, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
        • Ah

          as I stated, religions and 'DICTATORS"

          Both love to control others, make up stories they expect people to believe and use fears to make people believe. And murder.

          January 23, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
        • Alias

          You mean like that atheist king in Syria right now?
          Or those god fearing terrorists?
          Or the atheist Georeg W Bush?

          January 23, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          codswallop!

          January 23, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
        • Ah

          Kings are dictators.. get it now???

          January 23, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          "It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so, and will follow it by suppressing opposition, subverting all education to seize early the minds of the young, and by killing, locking up, or driving underground all heretics."
          – Robert Heinlein

          January 23, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
  7. sybaris

    "The Internet, in particular, offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity," Francis said. "This is something truly good, a gift from God."

    Uh no, the internet is a gift from eebil scientists

    January 23, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
    • Ah

      I thought 'Google' was god after he stated that.

      January 23, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        wasn't it Al Gore?

        January 23, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
      • Alias

        If jesus has all the answers, why do we need google?

        January 23, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
        • Ah

          I've been waiting a while,but,, google upgraded their servers and I seem to get answers more quickly. Maybe jesus needs to automate or something. Wait.. If he knew all, we should have had the internet 2000 years ago

          January 23, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
        • Alias

          Nope. He knew how fast he would lose followers once it got popular.
          Maybe Al Gore is the antichrist after all?
          All Hail Mnabearpig!

          January 23, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
  8. Dyslexic doG

    I don't see where the pope speaks about internet trolls in particular ... ?

    He speaks of the internet and people who use it but ... no mention of trolls or trolling.

    January 23, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
    • Ah

      actually, the pope has become the troll

      January 23, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        🙂

        January 23, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
  9. Happy Atheist

    The internet is a powerful tool. It can be used to spread education and understanding, empathy and allow us to get to know our fellow humans all over the globe. On the down side, those who profit from the lack of education, lack of empathy and lack of understanding have been forced to flood the internet with misinformation so that it appears everyone is a troll. That is their only defense, to muddy the waters so bad they can keep the stupidists among us in their pockets. The largest of the profiteers is organized religion which needs people in fear, prefers them uneducated and frustrated so it can swoop in and save their souls, for a fee of course...

    January 23, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
    • Tennessee Wildman

      This man has touched more lives for the better than the entirety of the atheist collective. Seems to me all the atheists are just freaking jealous that they cannot get the same respect and do their best to dismantle anything that science cannot explain or disprove. If you do not believe in a deity, at least have a respect for the people that do. That is why every self-proclaimed atheist I have seen on these boards are about as bright as the center of a black hole and suck just as much. When you prove that there is no God, then run your pickle-smokers... until then just shaddup.

      January 23, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
      • Pete

        Then maybe you should keep your mouth shut until you prove god does exist. Or do you only want to shut up one side of the argument? Also, proving god exists would go along way to getting atheists to shut up about god.

        January 23, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
      • doobzz

        Oh, please. He's done what any politician does to curry favor – hugging babies and telling people to help the poor. He's done nothing substantive.

        And your best argument is "U R JESS JELLUS!!", the go to of junior high school girls.

        January 23, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
      • Happy Atheist

        "If you do not believe in a deity, at least have a respect for the people that do."

        You do know this works both ways right?

        If you do believe in a deity, at least have a respect for the people that dont.

        Sadly, respect is about the very last attltude I see displayed by Christians and the religious on this blog. They have told me i'm going to heII and that i'm a terrible person and that I must hate life and I have no future and nothing matters to atheists and we have no purpose and that I need to read the bible. I simply disagree and tell them I am happier than I ever was teaching Sunday school and that I have read the bible several times cover to cover. Funny how that usually ends the discussion because most of the Christians I have debated over the years have not read their entire bibles.

        January 23, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
        • G to the T

          Agreed.

          I've always felt respect should be earned, not bestowed. Very few around here have earned my respect at this point and certainly fewer believers than not.

          January 23, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
  10. TomGI

    Everyday another pope story. This guy must have Bill Clinton's old PR firm working for him.

    January 23, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
  11. doofus

    Why am I not surprised the pope's comments fall on def ears here in the comment section of CNN... /facepalm

    January 23, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
    • babies are beautiful

      As an old Irish teacher used to say "What do you expect from a pig but a grunt!"
      Once a CNN troll – ALWAYS a CNN troll.

      January 23, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
      • Alias

        Don't be disrespecting pigs.
        They are they only way I know to turn vegetables into bacon!

        January 23, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
    • Alias

      and if they reported what an Imam was saying, would you listen?

      January 23, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
  12. anchorite

    The pope's popularity can not be partly traced to the internet and social media. Everyone on earth right now is living in a time when they could be as talked about online as he is. He's popular because unlike the last guy he is actually walking the Christian walk.

    January 23, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
    • Moonraker

      I'm an atheist but I love this new Pope (the last Pope looked like the Emperor from the Star Wars movies). He is saying all the right things. If he just took the religion out of his speeches he would be the perfect humanist.

      January 23, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
      • doobzz

        He's saying exactly the same things that every pope says. Feed the hungry. Pray for world peace. Then he hugs a baby.

        What he doesn't say is when he's going to come clean about the abuse of children in the RCC.

        January 23, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
    • Ah

      denying abused children help is christian?

      January 23, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
      • Hugh Jass

        Look again; he's not in favor of that either. That's why I think they will kill him soon.

        January 23, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
        • doobzz

          He's "not in favor" of child abuse? Big deal, who really is? What he's not in favor of is helping the abuse victims.

          January 23, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
      • babies are beautiful

        Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn. That's been sorted since WAY BACK. Get on with your life and stop obsessing over your own hang-ups.

        January 23, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
        • Ah

          is that why the catholic church to continues to lobby against children victims abused and there families?

          Odd, yet many children suffering illnesses caused by the abuses and others committed suicide. How come that won't go away, but the cover ups continue.

          January 23, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
        • babies are beautiful

          AH – There have been many arrests and millions paid in compensation .....................still covered up? I don't THINK so! Bigot.

          January 23, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
        • doobzz

          "AH – There have been many arrests and millions paid in compensation .....................still covered up? I don't THINK so! Bigot."

          Perhaps you missed this one...http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-archdiocese-hid-decades-child-se.x-abuse-109550

          If your child was abused by a priest, would you still be yawwwwwwning about it?

          January 23, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
  13. Dyslexic doG

    God is an ever receding pocket of scientific ignorance
    – deGràsse Tyson

    January 23, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
    • babies are beautiful

      "I am the way, the truth and the life; No-one can come to the Father except through Me"
      ~Jesus Christ, Son of God. Crucified 33A.D.

      Life and death witnessed and recorded by 6 eyewitnesses.

      January 23, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
      • Pete

        So the story goes.

        January 23, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Wait, how many women visited Christ's tomb again?
        Is it 6? Mark says 3, Matthew says 2, John says 1, Luke says at least 5....

        January 23, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
      • doobzz

        Wow, a bible quote. That took a lot of brain power, didn't it?

        January 23, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
      • Thomas

        Yeah, well Voldemort's death was witnessed by many and then he came back to life, too. What do you conclude from that?

        January 23, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
      • Alias

        Mohamad moved a mountain in front of hundreds of witnesses.
        What does that prove to you?

        January 23, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
  14. Rainer Braendlein

    What is the point of Abraham's faith?

    Abraham was a very old man when he received God's promise that he would get a son (Isaac). Looking at his mortified body it was biologically impossible that he could get another son. He had no more intercourse with Sarah who was also very old. However, Abraham did not look on his "nearly dead" body but on God's promise. Abraham trusted God, and that was his salvation.

    Today a Christian could despair when he looks on his sinful body or nature. How to overcome my sinfulness? But, thank God, God has delivered his Son Jesus Christ for our sins, and raised him from the dead for our justification. Despite the natural condition of our bad old nature we believe God that Christ's sacrifice was an atonement for our sins and a work of redemption. Through faith in Jesus we can overcome our bad old nature, and love God and our neighbour. Beside our sins are forgiven (only let us keep the faith, and practice love of neighbour).

    Conclusion: Christians have the same faith like Abraham; that is confirmed by St. Paul in his Epistle to the Romans, Chapter 4. Abraham is our spiritual Father. He is neither the spiritual father of the Jews nor of the Muslims because they don't believe in Jesus, God's Son who incarnated.

    January 23, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
    • Ah

      yep, stories created by man who lacked knowledge and made it all up

      January 23, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      That was great! Can you do a book report on Harry Potter too please?

      January 23, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      The pope is a traitor of genuine Christianity because he claims that Muslims would also share Abraham's faith.

      Muslim's, of course, do not share Abraham's faith but they imply that Abraham had preached the Islam, Jews and Christians had distored Abraham's doctrine, and Muhammad had restored the pure doctrine. Muslims assume that Jews and Christians are infidels, and their great crime would be that they had forged the genuine doctrines of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Paul etc. whereby they imply that Abraham, Moses, Jesus, etc. had teached the Islam.

      Do we realize the malice of Islam?

      I claim: Abraham was a very faithful Christian. I pray that Israel may convert, and that Israel realizes who Abraham really was: He lived a life of righteousness through faith in an invisible redeemer.

      January 23, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
      • G to the T

        "genuine Christianity" don't forget to put the little "(TM)" next that...

        January 24, 2014 at 11:35 am |
    • zach

      As a humanist jew, I find that your statement lacks in proof. It is a bunch of statements. Many are false. Abraham was the biological and spiritual father. There was no mention of Jesus until the new testament. The old testament is the basis of modern day monotheism.

      Therefore, Abraham is the leader of monotheism based on the old testament

      January 23, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
      • Rainer Braendlein

        Isaia 53

        Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despi-sed, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. 9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

        January 23, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          " he shall see his seed" – Jesus had children?

          "he shall prolong his days" – But Jesus died young.

          January 23, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
        • Rainer Braendlein

          He will come again as divine Judge of the mankind.

          After resurrection he ascended to heaven where he lives as God from eternity to eternity (ain't that prolonging?).

          "His seed" are all people who believe in him.

          January 23, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
        • Hugh Jass

          " All we like sheep have gone astray" Someone seems to have left a door unlocked or something, for sure. Are you attempting to illustrate the Pope's comments about trollery?

          January 23, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
        • Rainer Braendlein

          There always very many heretical churches, cult and sects in the world claiming they would preach the truth, and therefore it is not easy to find the Christian Church. The Christian Church just preaches the pure gospel of Jesus Christ who died and resurrected for us.
          You are welcome!

          January 23, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
        • G to the T

          "The Christian Church just preaches the pure gospel of Jesus Christ who died and resurrected for us." Translation – the only "true" christianity is the way I interpret it. All the others are heretical.

          Good luck with that!

          January 24, 2014 at 11:39 am |
    • Hugh Jass

      LOTR is more internally consistent. The Bible is full of continuity errors that a good editor would have fixed.

      January 23, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
  15. L

    The only trolls here are atheists.

    January 23, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
    • Mmmmmmm

      You should know.

      January 23, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
      • L

        I only speak truth. Atheists are the only ones that lie on this site.

        January 23, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
        • Mmmmmmm

          You wouldn't know truth if it walked up to you and shook your hand. You're mendacity on this site is well known.

          January 23, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Care to cite your evidence?

          January 23, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
        • Hugh Jass

          Really? You get that from a Bible, or from the radio? How about you run along and play with your little friends now, sonny, and let us talk in peace? Think you can do that? We'll get you a juice box.

          January 23, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      ... and multi-handle idiot trolls like 'L'

      January 23, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
      • Heads Up

        Tip for CNN:

        Put a tracker on this "L" joker to perhaps find the "mad deleter".

        January 23, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
    • Alias

      Real trolls worship gold and live under bridges.
      We get tired of all you pretenders using our title.

      January 23, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      L, you're hilarious! LOLOL

      Thanks for the ongoing entertainment, whatever your handle du jour.

      January 23, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
    • G to the T

      That's a pretty broad brush you're painting with there. Care to share any examples?

      January 24, 2014 at 11:45 am |
  16. JJ

    Sorry, bubba, but if you can't handle the traffic it's because you're old.

    January 23, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
  17. Dave

    This Pope gets it. Republicans, the super rich and internet trolls have to go.

    January 23, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
    • Ah

      the liberals do not side with the pope,, nor to the conservatives. The pope is delusional

      January 23, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
      • Fred Evil

        More liberals will back this Pope than you care to admit. He seems to call it like he sees it, and the rich and conservative who are oft at the tip of his pointed comments are the ones truly wailing.
        If every Xtian were like this Christian, Christianity wouldn't be the refuge of those who talk the talk, LOUDLY, but couldn't WALK the WALK if they were holding Jesus' hand.

        January 23, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
      • Mmmmmmm

        The liberals, as you're using as some sort of epithet, are solidly behind this Pope.

        January 23, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
      • Hugh Jass

        You are likely to be very surprised one of these days to find you are a liberal yourself, since apparently you have no definition for the word.

        January 23, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
    • ajk68

      Catholic teaching is neither Republican nor Democrat, conservative nor liberal.

      January 23, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
  18. Ah

    Looks like the clergy are here flagging posts,, helping the pope silence the truth.

    January 23, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
    • Fan2c

      I don't think that anyone (other than the perp(s)) know for sure who's doing it. CNN should be able to find out and track them down, but they do nothing... *sigh*

      January 23, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
      • Ah

        over the last few weeks posts have been disappearing off many other non-CNN forums.

        You think that's by accident? And it's all posts relating to the pope and vatican crimes

        January 23, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
        • Mmmmmmm

          Really now? If that were true? You'd think that there would be no Pope stories being posted, if the V was that powerful. Where else is it happening at?

          The mass deletions happen on every story here on BB, btw. I an not sure if the person's hand me is doing it, or a disgruntled poster....but it's annoying.

          January 23, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
    • Hugh Jass

      The moderators 'prune' the comments about once an hour. And everyone flags racist trolls, of course. Are you seriously complaining about that? Aw, poor racist trolls.

      January 23, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
      • Fan2C

        Hugh Jass
        "The moderators 'prune' the comments about once an hour."

        Maybe on the main CNN (Disqus) articles, but not here.

        The main reason posts disappear here is because someone(s) click the "Report Abuse" button a number(?) of times, which causes posts to be automatically deleted.

        CNN either can't or won't fix it either. *sigh*

        January 23, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
        • Hugh Jass

          Last I heard, 10 different people had to flag something to delete it.

          January 23, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
  19. Dyslexic doG

    Religious people, please beware all of these, for they are evil:
    – facts
    – logic
    – science
    – any book not in your particular cult's religious book store
    – any internet content not posted by someone in your particular cult

    instead stick with "belief".

    January 23, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Dyslexic doG : Religious people, please beware all of these, for they are evil:
      – facts (Dino soft tissue, radiometric dating errors, Piltdown man fraud, etc.)
      – logic (Where did the singularity come from?)

      Got it! 😉

      @Dyslexic doG : instead stick with "belief".

      Same to you!

       

      January 23, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
      • Pete

        PIltdown man? Really? What does a know fraud have to do with anything?

        January 23, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          Christians cling to whatever they can.

          January 23, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
        • Pete

          One scientist lied and was caught by other scientists and exposed as a fraud, and this is somehow evidence against evolution?

          January 23, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
        • Hugh Jass

          Maybe he will one day learn about the Cardiff Giant.

          January 23, 2014 at 4:02 pm |
      • Science Works

        Wow really L4H – your comment is welcomed here too.

        Smithsonian's Human Origins Program

        http://humanorigins.si.edu/

        January 23, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
      • Getting deleted..

        Might as well give them a good reason for doing same. L4H you are a stupid common cvnt but keep up the good work you are driving people to atheism.

        January 23, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
        • Fan2C

          Heheheheh, yeah, might as well get some bang for your buck.

          I read it! Success!

          January 23, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
    • Dumb Doggie

      Hate to burst your bubble, but there are religious people that know more about facts, logic and science than you.

      January 23, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
      • Pete

        Apparently they just don't come to the CNN Belief Blog.

        January 23, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        how could you possibly know that? What an asinine statement.

        January 23, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
        • Dumb Doggie

          There are religious people that are elite scientists, historians and mathematicians. They know more about science, facts and logic than you. It is one thing to post all day long talking about how logical and reasonable your opinions are, it is quite another to demonstrate that you can think logically and act reasonable. You fail at that. You are just a typical atheist internet with way too much time on his hands.

          January 23, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
        • Hugh Jass

          I can tell you that there are certainly a lot of religious people who know a LOT less than I do. Some of them are here today.

          January 23, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
  20. ME II

    Wow, the "report abuse-bot" is already working hard today, comments are disappearing left and right.

    January 23, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
    • Fan2c

      Fie on that little coward!

      CNN, wake up!

      January 23, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
    • doobzz

      I hit a new personal record today. I've already had three comments deleted and I've only been here about a half hour.

      January 23, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
    • Ah

      the catholic clergy is out in full force, flagging posts. Not only here but many other sites as well.

      In one site, they flagged any post that was exposing the vatican and the pope.

      The popes, cardinals and bishops behave like little kids. And if you upset them, they will say – you hate catholics. They include the catholics pretending they too are being targeted.

      Much like a little kid caught red handed doing wrong "You hate me mommy." This group is as immature

      January 23, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
      • Sea Otter

        Operator: Thanks for calling the Food Network hotline. Billing is $9.95 for each 60 second period. To accept, say "Creme Fraiche".

        January 23, 2014 at 12:44 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.