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May 22nd, 2014
07:04 PM ET

Pope Francis in the Holy Land: 5 things to know

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Editor

(CNN) - So, a rabbi, a sheikh and a pope travel to the Holy Land…

It might sound like the start of a trite joke, but it’s actually the entourage for one of the most highly anticipated papal trips in recent history.

As Pope Francis heads to Jordan, Bethlehem and Jerusalem this weekend, he’s bringing along two old friends from Argentina: Rabbi Abraham Skorka, who co-wrote a book with the Pope, and Sheikh Omar Abboud, who leads Argentina’s Muslim community.

The Vatican says it’s the first time that a pope’s official entourage has included interfaith leaders.

In a region roiled by competing religious and political visions, Francis’ chosen companions communicate an unmistakable message, church officials said.

“It’s highly symbolic, of course,” said the Rev. Thomas Rosica, a consultant to the Vatican press office.

“But it also sends a pragmatic message to Muslims, Christians and Jews that it’s possible to work together - not as a system of checks and balances but as friends.”

The visit to the Holy Land is the first for Francis as leader of the Roman Catholic Church, and just the fourth for any pontiff in the modern era.

With so much at stake - the stalled negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, the plight of Christian refugees - the Pope’s every word, gesture and photo-op will be microscopically examined.

Already, some conservative Israelis are advocating against the Pope’s visit, scrawling anti-Christian graffiti on Catholic buildings in Jerusalem and planning  protests outside papal events in Jerusalem.

While the protesters form a fringe minority, they underscore the tensions that simmer around the Pope’s short but substantial trip.

With those challenges in mind, here are five key things to pay particular attention to.

1. The Pope’s schedule makes Rick Steves look lazy.

It’s a good thing the 77-year-old pontiff rested up this week.

Francis will be traveling to three cities, shaking hands with dozens of religious and political leaders, celebrating several Catholic Masses and delivering at least 13 speeches and homilies – all in less than 36 hours.

In Jordan, the Pope will meet with King Abdullah II, greet refugees from Iraq and Syria, celebrate Mass and visit the Jordan River, where many Christians believe Jesus was baptized.

Crowds welcome Pope Francis to Jordan at start of Holy Land trip

In Bethlehem, he will convene with the President of the Palestinian Authority, celebrate Mass in Manger Square, lunch with Palestinian families, greet children from refugee camps and visit the site of Jesus’ birth.

In Jerusalem, the Pope will meet the city’s grand mufti and chief rabbis, visit the Western Wall and Yad Vashem (a memorial to the Holocaust), lay a wreath on the grave of the founder of modern Zionism, and sign a joint declaration with the head of Eastern Orthodox Christians.

He’ll also confer with Israel’s Prime Minister and President, chat with Catholic seminarians and celebrate Mass at the site of the Last Supper.

Got all that?

“I’m amazed at what they are trying to do in such a short amount of time,” Rosica said.

2. The Pope says the trip is religious, not political.

Francis has called the reasons behind his Holy Land excursion “strictly religious.” Earlier, he had described it as a “pilgrimage for prayer.”

Perhaps the popular pontiff was trying to tamp down expectations that his visit could solve the region’s seemingly intractable political problems. But the trip does have religious roots, church officials say.

At the Pope’s installation in 2013, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of some 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide, invited Francis to Jerusalem to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic meeting between their predecessors.

“It’s hard to understand now what a breakthrough that meeting was,” said the Rev. Alexander Karloutsos, an Eastern Orthodox priest who is helping organize part of the Pope's trip.

At the time, the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, the world’s two largest Christian communities, weren’t even on speaking terms, said Karloutsos. Marriages celebrated in one church would not be recognized by the other.

On Sunday, Francis and Bartholomew will sign a joint declaration outlining common principles and a potential path forward to greater unity.

“These people don’t sign things lightly,” Karloutsos said. “This is a very substantial document.”

Francis and Bartholomew also will celebrate a joint religious service at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on Sunday, the first time the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic leaders have held such a service in 50 years, according to Karloutsos.

3. The ‘people’s Pope’ will strike again

He has celebrated Masses for migrants who drowned while trying to sail to Europe, visited Brazil’s most dangerous neighborhoods and welcomed homeless men in Rome to his birthday party.

In the Holy Land, Pope Francis is again expected to draw the world’s attention to the poor and downtrodden; he has refused to travel, as most leaders do in the Middle East, in an armored car.

In Jordan, where some 600,000 Syrians have fled since the start of the civil war in 2011, the Pope will meet refugees and disabled young people before delivering a speech at a church in Bethany.

On the West Bank, he will greet children from several Palestinian refugee camps.

Palestinian Archbishop Atallah Hanna, who is Eastern Orthodox (as are most Christians in the Middle East) said he hopes Pope Francis will “see the suffering of the Palestinian people.”

“We are misrepresented and are unfortunately seen by some to be criminals and terrorists,” Hanna said. “I hope they can see that we are a civilized, peaceful and well-educated people seeking freedom and a better future.”

John Esposito, an expert on international relations at Georgetown University, said the Pope’s meeting with Christians in Bethlehem could open some eyes about the Israel-Palestinian standoff.

“It will underscore the fact that it’s not just a Muslim-Jewish conflict,” he said.

4. Conservative Israelis are nervous.

In the weeks before the Pope’s arrival, graffiti calling Jesus “garbage” and calling for “death to Arabs and Christians” has been scrawled on Christian buildings in Jerusalem.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews have planned to protest outside the site of the Last Supper - known as the Cenacle - because it is also said to house King David’s tomb.

They believe Christians should not hold religious services, as Pope Francis plans to do on Sunday, so close to a Jewish holy site, and they worry that Israel will turn the Cenacle over to the Vatican during the Pope’s visit, according to reports.

Jerusalem's five most contested sites

On Wednesday, Israeli police issued restraining orders on several right-wing Jewish activists, according to The New York Times, ordering them to stay away from the Pope during his visit.

Rabbi David Rosen, international director for interreligious affairs at the American Jewish Congress, told CNN that the troublemakers are fringe figures who “don’t deserve anything like the attention they’ve gotten.”

“The vast majority of Israelis are looking forward to the Pope’s visit, if they’re even aware of it yet,” said Rosen, who is in Jerusalem to participate in papal events.

The rabbi said he is slightly chagrined, though, that Francis will not hold an interfaith service with Muslim and Jewish leaders in Jerusalem, as Pope Benedict XVI did in 2009.

“I am personally disappointed that this opportunity to demonstrate in actions and not simply in words the possibility of bringing together Christians, Muslims and Jews is not on his schedule.”

The Vatican says that, because the Pope is traveling with Rabbi Skorka and Sheikh Abboud, the whole trip is essentially an interfaith gathering.

5. Muslims view Francis as a welcome change.

Pope Benedict XVI didn’t have the best relationship with Muslims, said Georgetown's Esposito, who is traveling to Jordan to meet with Francis on Saturday.

The former Pope quoted anti-Islamic remarks made by a 14th-century Christian emperor in a speech in 2006, leading to Muslim riots.

Benedict apologized, but later baptized a prominent Muslim-born journalist, which some Islamic leaders called an unnecessary provocation.

In contrast, one of Francis’ first interfaith steps as Pope was to wash the feet of two Muslims during a Holy Thursday ceremony in 2013, a move noted throughout the Islamic world, Esposito said.

“What popes do is as symbolically important as what they say,” Esposito said, “and Muslims have been very impressed with Francis.”

The Pope also called on Western nations to find a peaceful solution to Syria’s civil war, rather than use military force.

On this trip to the Holy Land, Francis is expected to call for a Palestinian state, which has long been Vatican policy, but will surely upset some Israelis.

That can't-please-both dilemma shows how hard it can be to navigate the Holy Land for any world leader, even one with the charisma and political acumen of Francis.

Bringing a sheikh and rabbi along may help buffer the Pope from some criticism, but ultimately, all eyes will be on the man in white.

(CNN's Roba Alhenawi contributed to this report.) 

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Foreign policy • Islam • Israel • Jerusalem • Judaism • Leaders • Mass • Middle East • Palestinians • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope Francis • Religious liberty • Religious violence • Vatican

soundoff (859 Responses)
  1. joeyy1

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeedE8vH1FQ&w=640&h=390]
    ..

    June 9, 2014 at 3:10 am |
  2. manicdrummer

    The pope must never forget that his God is also the God of Israel, the God of the Jews. The pope had better mind his Ps and Qs when in the Holy Land. The Catholic Church has a long history of persecuting Jews and should never forget that when addressing Jewish issues.

    May 29, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
  3. nakowacynthia

    Reblogged this on nakowac and commented:
    the religious world is surely changing

    May 27, 2014 at 2:11 am |
    • awanderingscot

      "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." – John 3:16, NKJV

      May 28, 2014 at 8:56 am |
      • igaftr

        "There was Eru, the One, who in Arda is called Ilúvatar; and he made first the Ainur, the Holy Ones, that were the offspring of his thought, and they were with him before aught else was made. And he spoke to them, propounding to them themes of music; and they sang before him, and he was glad. But for a long while they sang only each alone, or but few together, while the rest hearkened; for each comprehended only that part of the mind of Ilúvatar from which he came, and in the understanding of their brethren they grew but slowly. Yet ever as they listened they came to deeper understanding, and increased in unison and harmony.”
        ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion

        See, I can quote from the fictional works of men too.

        May 28, 2014 at 9:27 am |
        • awanderingscot

          igfty, that's fine, be sure it helps you live a good life.

          May 28, 2014 at 9:34 am |
        • igaftr

          scot
          I haven't convinced myself that I need a book to tell me how to be a good person.
          Fictional books don't help you that way anyway.

          May 28, 2014 at 9:37 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        "For God so loved the world that He killed everything on it that couldn't fit on a 400ft floating zoo."

        – Vestibulus 4:20

        May 28, 2014 at 9:40 am |
      • James XCIX

        awanderingscot – "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son..."

        This verse is quoted frequently, but can you explain how your god "gave" his son, since the son god and the father god were already just part of the three-part god to begin with? Why did one part have authority over the other part that he had the ability to send him to get tortured to death? And just how was the son part "given", since he is still in heaven with the father part? Should "gave" be changed to "loaned"?

        May 28, 2014 at 9:47 am |
  4. Vic

    ♰♰♰ Jesus Christ Is Lord ♰♰♰

    A U.S. Navy fighter pilot, astronaut, aerospace engineer, and university professor, was taken on a tour of the old city of Jerusalem in Israel in 2007. Down the steps to the Temple Mount there, he rigorously inquired about whether Jesus Christ stepped on those, and when told yes, the devout Christian made the following iconic statement:

    "I have to tell you, I am more excited stepping on these stones than when I was stepping on the moon."

    Neil Armstrong

    Happy Memorial Day Everyone

    Early on:

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/05/22/pope-francis-in-the-holy-land-5-things-to-know/comment-page-1/#comment-3015374

    May 26, 2014 at 4:37 am |
    • Reality

      Unfortunately, Neil Armstrong suffered from the Three B Syndrome i.e. Bred, Born and Brainwashed in his religion.

      May 26, 2014 at 7:20 am |
    • sam stone

      Jesus Christ is mythology, Vic.

      Whether Armstrong bought into the myth is irrelevant

      May 26, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      That's awesome Vic. Thanks much

      May 28, 2014 at 8:53 am |
  5. Marek Zielinski

    The Truth About The Holy Land 
Or Let's Council The Whole World.




    When in 1967 that war erupted between Israel and Arabic States my farther said: They are still, like for centuries, fighting for the holy land. But imagine Maniuṡ, imagine the globe, imagine the earth from afar. Drain the whole water from its surface, all you going to be left with is a dry, solid ROCK!, dry solid land!. Wherever you put your finger on, on any place of this one solid land, it is going to land on the holy land. Isn't? The holy land is everywhere. 

The whole world have to learn and comprehend and accept it, especially those people living in that particular area, people who live in Jerusalem, in the city of Peace, that THE HOLY LAND IS EVERYWHERE! 
Not only in Jerusalem, Mecca or any other 'holy' shrine on Earth. 
Wake up people, wake up to the Truth. To the True image of The Holy Land. 
Stop living this distorted image our father's fathers lived for so long. Wake up and accept the Truth and Reality.



    THE HOLY LAND IS EVERYWHERE!



    Taken from Sequel Box, Sequel 2: http://www.visutech.net/peace365/index.asp?pageID=86

    May 25, 2014 at 11:20 pm |
  6. lookatuniverse

    Quran says (Islamic Scripture)

    “Do you say that Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Patriarchs were Jewish or Christian? Say, "Do you know better than God? Who is more evil than one who conceals a testimony he has learned from God? God is never unaware of anything you do." [2:140]

    “The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]

    “It does not befit God that He begets a son, be He glorified. To have anything done, He simply says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is.” [19:35]

    “No soul can carry the sins of another soul. If a soul that is loaded with sins implores another to bear part of its load, no other soul can carry any part of it, even if they were related. ... [35:18]

    “They even attribute to Him sons and daughters, without any knowledge. Be He glorified. He is the Most High, far above their claims.” Quran [6:100]

    “Recall that your Lord said to the angels, "I am placing a representative on Earth." They said, "Will You place therein one who will spread evil therein and shed blood, while we sing Your praises, glorify You, and uphold Your absolute authority?" He said, "I know what you do not know." [2:30]

    “They say , "We live only this life; we will not be resurrected. If you could only see them when they stand before their Lord! He would say, "Is this not the truth?" They would say, "Yes, by our Lord." He would say, "You have incurred the retribution by your disbelief." [6:30]

    “We have honored the children of Adam, and provided them with rides on land and in the sea. We provided for them good provisions, and we gave them greater advantages than many of our creatures.” Quran [17:70]

    “O children of Adam, when messengers come to you from among you, and recite My revelations to you, those who take heed and lead a righteous life, will have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.” Quran [7:35]

    “O children of Adam, do not let the devil dupe you as he did when he caused the eviction of your parents from Paradise, and the removal of their garments to expose their bodies. He and his tribe see you, while you do not see them. We appoint the devils as companions of those who do not believe.” Quran [7:27]

    “Losers indeed are those who disbelieve in meeting God, until the Hour comes to them suddenly, then say, "We deeply regret wasting our lives in this world." They will carry loads of their sins on their backs; what a miserable load! [6:31]

    ‘Say, "We believe in God, and in what was sent down to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Patriarchs; and in what was given to Moses and Jesus, and all the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction among any of them. To Him alone we are submitters." [2:136]

    Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to visit whyIslam org website.

    May 25, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
    • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

      The Koran is a heap of crap. Muhammad, the author of the lousy Koran, was a murderer; case closed – forget Islam, the most delusional moronism of all times.

      May 25, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
      • hotairace

        The Qook is no worse than The Babble. Both are steaming piles of unfounded crap!

        May 25, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
      • observer

        Rainer Helmut Braendlein“Whoever does any work on a holy day - put to death”
        “anyone who blasphemes - stone him.”
        “worship other gods - stone the guilty ones to death”
        “stubborn and rebellious son - stone him to death.”
        “man is found lying with a married woman - both of them shall die”
        “virgin engaged to another man and he lies with her - stone them to death”
        “Whoever strikes his father or his mother - put to death”
        "Anyone who says cruel things to his father or mother - put to death.”
        “anyone who curses his father or his mother - put to death”
        “man who commits adultery with another man's wife - they shall be put to death.”
        "man or woman who is a medium or a fortune-teller - stone them to death"

        From the Quran? Nope. From the Bible

        May 25, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
        • Reality

          But said passages are from the OT not the NT. The NT however has its own problems basically involving the invention of passages to make Jesus into a Caesar-like character by non-witness, semi-fiction writers.

          May 26, 2014 at 7:28 am |
        • awanderingscot

          Our God is wise and just. Thanks for reminding us why He needed to give these commandments!

          May 28, 2014 at 9:24 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          awanderingtot: Wise and just??So allowing for the slaughter of millions is wise and just? You truly are ignorant and quite the ass. Time to act like an adult and leave the imaginary friends behind...sorry your god isn't real and you'll never be able to show it is...fairy tales are for children and the weak-both of which you come across as.

          May 28, 2014 at 9:36 am |
        • Doris

          No thanks for reminding me how dangerous it is when idiots are left to follow their own mental delusion, snotty.

          May 28, 2014 at 9:40 am |
    • Reality

      The koranic passages that make Islam the terror and horror religion that it is:

      o "Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends." (Surah 5:51)
      o
      "Believers, when you encounter the infidels on the march, do not turn your backs to them in flight. If anyone on that day turns his back to them, except it be for tactical reasons...he shall incur the wrath of God and Hell shall be his home..." (Surah 8:12-)

      "Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God's religion shall reign supreme." (Surah 8:36-)

      "...make war on the leaders of unbelief...Make war on them: God will chastise them at your hands and humble them. He will grant you victory over them..." (Surah 9:12-)

      "Fight against such as those to whom the Scriptures were given [Jews and Christians]...until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued." (Surah 9:29-)

      "It is He who has sent forth His apostle with guidance and the true Faith [Islam] to make it triumphant over all religions, however much the idolaters [non-Muslims] may dislike it." (Surah 9:31-)

      "If you do not fight, He will punish you sternly, and replace you by other men." (Surah 9:37-)

      "Prophet make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home." (Surah 9:73)

      "Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them." (Surah 9:121-)

      "Say: 'Praise be to God who has never begotten a son; who has no partner in His Kingdom..." (Surah 17:111)

      "'How shall I bear a child,' she [Mary] answered, 'when I am a virgin...?' 'Such is the will of the Lord,' he replied. 'That is no difficult thing for Him...God forbid that He [God[ Himself should beget a son!...Those who say: 'The Lord of Mercy has begotten a son,' preach a monstrous falsehood..." (Surah 19:12-, 29-, 88)

      "Fight for the cause of God with the devotion due to Him...He has given you the name of Muslims..." (Surah 22:78-)

      "Blessed are the believers...who restrain their carnal desires (except with their wives and slave-girls, for these are lawful to them)...These are the heirs of Paradise..." (Surah 23:1-5-)

      "Muhammad is God's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another." (Surah 48:29)

      "Shall the reward of goodness be anything but good?...Dark-eyed virgins sheltered in their tents...They shall recline on green cushions and fine carpets...Blessed be the name of your Lord..." (Surah 55:52-66-)

      Quran (8:12) – "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them"

      Quran (9:5) – "So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them."

      May 26, 2014 at 7:23 am |
  7. Rainer Helmut Braendlein

    "As Pope Francis heads to Jordan, Bethlehem and Jerusalem this weekend, he’s bringing along two old friends from Argentina: Rabbi Abraham Skorka, who co-wrote a book with the Pope, and Sheikh Omar Abboud, who leads Argentina’s Muslim community."

    Unquote.

    The pope should be aware of his state. He is not a secular politician who has to ensure the peaceful cooperation of people of different belief within a state, but the pope presumes to be a Christian leader (actually he is no Christian leader, but a servant of Satan). A Christian leader's task it is not to ensure that people of different belief live peaceful together, but the pope had to defend the Christian truth, if he would be a true Christian leader: Jesus, the Son of God, died and rose for poor sinners in order to set them free, and in order to make possible divine forgiveness for them (of course, that message includes that true Christians would never harm people of different belief, but love them without denying the truth in Jesus).

    As the pope lumps together all religions, as if all religions could give the soul's health, he commits a spiritual crime. Neither Jewry nor Islam have the power to save anybody. On the contrary, Islam, Jewry, Catholicism and all other man-made religions worsen man instead of improving us (all man-made religions provide any justifications for sin, and therefore they are anti-Christian; God doesn't want to justify our sin, but he wants to release us from sin).

    The great "mystery" of Christianity is that Jesus Christ has solved the problem of the incorrigible, bad old nature of man. All man-made religions stuck in the bad old nature of man. Jesus has borne the human flesh or bad human nature when he died for us on the cross. When we believe in Jesus, and get sacramentally baptized, we can be sure that our "old man of sin" has died together with Jesus, or we have died together with Jesus. Jesus set an end to our life as sinners, and he himself became our new life. If we daily remember these two facts (dead for the sin, and in Christ), we will certainly improve, and overcome the lust of our sinful body, our old nature which is still there but declared dead, and besides Jesus dwells within us through the Holy Spirit.

    No other religion has such overwhelming great promises like Christianity. All religions save Christianity require their believers to keep certain ridiculous rites, but don't give them the releasing power to love God and their neighbour in daily life, in reality.

    We will only come through at Judgement Day, if we have really loved God and our fellow human beings day by day. The man-made religions don't give power to love, but rather cause hatred and bigotry.

    That great message, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the pope withholds from us. This man es extremly guilty, because he could know it better through the Bible, the writings of the Fathers of the Church, and the decisions of the ecu-menical councils.

    May God give us a new Christian ruler who promotes the true Christian Church, and puts in their place all sects, cults and false churches. A true Christian ruler would certainly sharply criticise the popery.

    When today politicians take a stand for the peaceful cooperation of people of different belief in their state, then this is a quite good thing. They just shouldn't commit the pope's sin to lump together all religions. However, if they do that they don't sin as heavy as the pope because a politician is no specialist for spiritual matters. A politican aspires after the peacful community of all citizens of his country. A politican has to take care of people of every kind according to God's will. A Christian bishop is responsible only for believers in Jesus. A Christian bishop is not allowed to tolerate stubborn sinners within the Church, but they have to be excluded. Don't confuse state and church – these are two very different realms.

    The forerunners of the Antichrist: Muhammad, the caliphs and the popes.

    Get the real thing!

    Jesus can set you free!

    May 25, 2014 at 10:24 am |
    • Doris

      As per Akira's reply yesterday:

      Translation:

      "I'm a bigot, in case you didn't get that message the first 4 times I posted this on the same page."

      May 25, 2014 at 10:26 am |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        I don't give a damn!!!

        May 25, 2014 at 10:28 am |
        • sam stone

          suck a 12 gauge, rainy fuhrersucker

          May 25, 2014 at 10:45 am |
    • Doris

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnGxq3JwO0Q&w=640&h=390]

      May 25, 2014 at 10:52 am |
    • Reality

      And again, RB's brain has been invaded by the Lutheran Satan, a contemporary version of the demon of the demented.

      May 25, 2014 at 11:33 am |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        You shall not comment my comment but the article above.

        You miss the point!

        F!

        May 25, 2014 at 11:44 am |
        • Reality

          I did not miss the point. You are disgrace to the Lutheran religion and a bigot to boot.

          May 25, 2014 at 11:42 pm |
  8. Rainer Helmut Braendlein

    "Benedict apologized, but later baptized a prominent Muslim-born journalist, which some Islamic leaders called an unnecessary provocation."

    Unquote.

    Though I am convinced that every pope is a forerunner of the Antichrist, the baptism of that Muslim-born journalist by the pope is valid (I know that that sounds crazy, even moronic). It is only that as soon as that baptized Muslim-born journalist starts to understand the gospel of Jesus Christ, and believes in Jesus Christ, he should abandon the Roman Catholic Church. The RCC has become a pi-sspot of heresies, furthermore the pope has stolen Christ's office as invisible head of the Church, and they assume to sacrifice Jesus every Sunday again in form of the host which is blasphemous.

    Why is that baptism valid though any pope is anti-Christian?

    Reason: Any church just celebrates baptism. The invisible baptist is always God himself, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The validity of any baptism doesn't depend on the condition of the church. Before Luther became a reformer, he was a Catholic abbot. Luther had been baptized by a Catholic priest when he was an infant. However, although Luther was convinced that the Catholic belief was wrong, he got never baptized again. He was convinced that his infant baptism was valid. Luthers reform was just about the faith: Our relationship with God depends just on our faith in Jesus, but doesn't depend on (Catholic) good deeds. True faith in Jesus, of course, is connected with love of neighbour and God in daily life. A Christian shall really practice what he or she believes. We keep the faith through remaining in a state of love of neighbour and love of God – that is the heavenly state, the state of health.

    May all Muslims repent, believe in Jesus, the Son of God, and get sacramentally baptized right now or today. Jesus, the Son of God, will once judge little Muhammad, and send him to the eternal lake of fire, because of the multi-tude of very bad sins he committed.

    "In contrast, one of Francis’ first interfaith steps as Pope was to wash the feet of two Muslims during a Holy Thursday ceremony in 2013, a move noted throughout the Islamic world, Esposito said."

    Unquote.

    People not believing in Jesus are inclined to be bossy and proud. The meek and humble gesture of Jesus of washing the feet of the desciples (believers in Jesus) certainly should not be applied towards Muslims because the Islam promotes a very nasty pride and bossiness of Muslims against Christians. Thus a Christian should never wash the feet of a Muslim who is not ready to renounce Islam the religion of pride and bossiness. If a Christian washes the feet of a Muslim, he or she commits a sin because he or she confirms the false faith of the Muslim that he had a right to rule of the Christian.

    Conclusion: Though the acting of Francis seemed to be very Christian, it was anti-Christian bottom line because he confirmed the false belief of the Muslims.

    Muslims should not always judge us, the "infidels", but submit themselves to the divine judge having a right to judge, Jesus Christ, Lord, God and Saviour.

    Get the real thing!

    Repent, believe in Jesus, and get sacramentally baptized or refer to your infant baptism right now.

    A new life in Jesus waits for you.

    May 25, 2014 at 10:21 am |
  9. awanderingscot

    nope, not true because the evidence has been found in the Indo-Iranian regions adjacent to. the reason the artifacts haven't been FOUND in what is now modern Iraq is due to ancient Mesopotamian floods that have had layer upon layer of silt covering them. there was prehistoric monotheistic religion in India (ancient Hinduism) Persia (modern day Iran), all the way down into Africa. no my friend there is a very good reason monotheism has been around longer and that is simply because the real and living God who created the universe and everything in it has been around longer – eternity.

    May 25, 2014 at 3:11 am |
    • Doris

      Now you have this on two different articles as if you're in the middle of a conversation.

      What a dolt.

      May 25, 2014 at 3:55 am |
      • Doris

        Not two articles – I thought I was relocated to the other article and it stalled. But who are you replying to?

        May 25, 2014 at 4:06 am |
    • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

      Which denomination do you belong to?

      May 25, 2014 at 10:26 am |
    • igaftr

      scot
      Christianity is NOT monotheistic, it is polytheistic.. Your first commandment...thou shalt have no OTHER gods before me...clearly YOUR god telling you there are other gods ( so you can't believe in just one god, unless you don't believe YOUR god allegedly saying that, though you can WORSHIP just the one.) and to not worship them.

      May 25, 2014 at 10:31 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        "Anyone who can worship a trinity and insist that his religion is a monotheism can believe anything... just give him time to rationalize it."

        – Robert Heinlein

        May 28, 2014 at 9:48 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Animism and it's cousin, Pantheism, have been around far longer than monotheism.

      May 28, 2014 at 9:43 am |
  10. awanderingscot

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhP-LOlPNX8&w=640&h=390]

    May 24, 2014 at 11:08 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      atheist is utterly dismantled by creationist.

      May 24, 2014 at 11:10 pm |
      • observer

        Even if it WAS true, ONE debate proves NOTHING.

        May 24, 2014 at 11:13 pm |
      • Reality

        Are you sure you watched the entire presentation? Hitching appeared to me to win the debate, a debate held at Notre Dame, a university with many liberal thinking theologians such as John Meier whose books on the historical Jesus raise many questions as to the historical validity of much of the NT.

        One example:

        As per many NT scholars to include Professors Crossan, Borg, Ludemann, Meier and Fredriksen,, there is "No Historic Reason for the Season".

        There was no Virgin birth. http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php/026_Jesus_Virginally_Conceived
        And there was no Star of Bethlem. http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php/369_Star_of_Revelation

        "Gerd Lüdemann

        Commenting on the infancy narratives overall, Luedemann [Jesus, 124-29] concludes that Luke and Matthew represent "two equally unhistorical narratives." He cites the occurrence of a miraculous heavenly sign at key points in the life of Mithridates VI in a history written by Justinus (active in the reign of Augustus, 2 BCE to 14 CE). "

        John P. Meier of Notre Dame

        "Meier [Marginal Jew I,211ff and 376] considers these traditions to be "largely products of early Christian reflection on the salvific meaning of Jesus in the light of OT prophecies" and concludes that their historicity is "highly questionable."

        May 24, 2014 at 11:51 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          i'm not sure you watched or listened to the debate closely. Dinesh responded to Christopher's challenge on the grounds of reason and logic and took him to the cleaners. it was only when Christopher knew he was losing did he take a different path and start couching the debate in biblical terms. Dinesh is quick thinking on his feet however and countered successfully. Dinesh's grasp of science, philosophy, and religion is very impressive and in mho he clearly won this debate.

          May 25, 2014 at 1:08 am |
        • otoh2

          "Dinesh is quick thinking on his feet..."

          Yeah, sure is:

          http://www.politico.com/story/2014/05/dinesh-dsouza-pleads-guilty-illegal-campaign-contribution-106882.html

          May 25, 2014 at 1:19 am |
        • Reality

          Making it easier:

          "In January 2014, he (Dinesh D'Souza) was indicted on charges of making illegal political contributions to a 2012 United States Senate campaign.[12] On May 20, 2014 D'Souza pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court of Manhattan to a charge of using "straw donors" to make illegal political campaign donations. The charge, a felony, carries a sentence of 10 to 16 months according to the plea agreement reached between D'Souza and federal prosecutors. "

          May 25, 2014 at 7:13 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        D'Souza's argument tend towards the "fine tuning", "argumentum ad populum" and the "god of the gaps" fallacies.

        May 28, 2014 at 9:59 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      awanderingtot: Hitchens vs a Criminal...way to go you fool. Hitchens buries all creationists and I don't even have to watch the video to know that-I've watched many other debates Hitchens had with other creationists and the creationists can never hope to beat Hitchens because they have nothing to support them outside of the bible and stories made up that they think supports it.
      There's a reason evolution can be taught in schools and creationism/ID can't be...one is backed with evidence (the former) while the other is based on fairy tales (the latter). Sorry you failed on posting this video...a sad attempt on your behalf to discredit a terrific man but thank you for showing us the criminals ugly side-it explains why he is a dishonest jerk.

      May 25, 2014 at 6:16 am |
  11. bostontola

    Interesting that humans invented the idea of God(s) all over the world, some long before Yahweh and Jesus revealed themselves. Yahweh was very jealous of humans feelings towards other Gods. But humans invented these Gods long before he came along. If Yahweh was so jealous and angry about people believing in false, man made Gods, why didn't he reveal himself before humans invented thousands of Gods (pretty much one for each group)?

    It's also interesting that God identifies with a gender. Gender is for procreation. With only 1 eternal God, there would be no gender.

    It is also interesting that the stories of Yahweh paint a God with the morals of powerful men at the time, you could own other people, punishment was brutal, punishment was not restricted to the perpetrator (family members punished), genocide was encouraged.

    It almost makes you think that Yahweh was just another of the thousands of man made Gods. Invented by men, to define men as superior in social status to women while they were at it.

    May 24, 2014 at 8:47 pm |
    • Doris

      Indeed.

      May 24, 2014 at 8:53 pm |
    • educatedatheist

      Very well put. ..

      May 24, 2014 at 9:20 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      Granola,
      your premise that Yahweh was a new god in the ancient world is based on ignorance

      1) polytheism did not predate monotheism in the cradle of civilization of Mesopotamia.
      a) prehistoric Egypt was monotheistic
      b) prehistoric Iran was monotheistic
      c) Yahweh has always had many names. Yahweh is the root source of monotheism

      2) Mesopotamia transitioned from a monotheistic culture to a polytheistic culture between the stone and bronze ages from 4000 BC to 3800 BC

      3) Abraham revived and brought monotheism from Mesopotamia to Caanan in around 2100 BC +/-100yrs
      a) Hebrews were in bondage in Egypt 400 yrs until 1600 BC
      b) David began his reign as king of Israel 1062 BC
      c) Christ born 2 BC according to most scholars

      Yahweh did reveal Himself to the first man and woman. It was only after man rebelled that idols were created; and man foolishly began to worship false gods. THIS was the beginning of polytheism. True worship resumed when God called Abraham out of Ur of Chaldea. You really should research these things before you open your big stupid mouth. ok? sorry but i don't want you to go on being a fool.

      May 25, 2014 at 12:54 am |
      • observer

        awanderingscot

        "i don't want you to go on being a fool."

        (Matt. 5:22) "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with their brother or sister will be in danger of judgment. If they say to their brother or sister, ‘You idiot,’ they will be in danger of being condemned by the governing council. And if they say, ‘You fool,’ they will be in danger of fiery hell.” - Jesus

        Your HYPOCRISY never ends. Classic!

        May 25, 2014 at 12:59 am |
      • Doris

        scotty forgot at the end of his list after "c) Christ born 2 BC according to most scholars"

        d) God goes to anger management counseling classes fearing he'll be a lousy father. returns and says "oh cr</bap, we have to have a new covenant".

        May 25, 2014 at 1:19 am |
        • Doris

          (crap)

          May 25, 2014 at 1:19 am |
        • awanderingscot

          "Whom will he teach knowledge? And whom will he make to understand the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just drawn from the breasts? For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little." For with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people, To whom He said, "This is the rest with which You may cause the weary to rest," And, "This is the refreshing"; Yet they would not hear. But the word of the LORD was to them, "Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little," That they might go and fall backward, and be broken And snared and caught.- Isaiah 28:9-13 NKJV

          because we are a stiff-necked people, full of rebellion, full of pride. the Lord God must bring us along with baby steps. the problem is not with Him, the problem is with us.

          May 25, 2014 at 1:36 am |
        • otoh2

          "little by little"

          "Ah yes, I'll just tell them first about correct haircuts and fabric blends, but I'll not say a word about not OWNING other people right now... or EVER."

          What a stupid god. Good thing he doesn't exist.

          May 25, 2014 at 1:57 am |
      • awanderingscot

        "being a fool" (at this time and in this instance) is quite different than calling someone a fool. This again shows your utter lack of spiritual understanding since Christ was referring to being ANGRY with a brother or sister and i was and am not angry with Granola. LOL Odzerver, i told you before we are justified by faith and not by works. you just think i go around telling people how they should live their lives but i don't. what i do however, unlike many graceless professors of Christ is obey Him by proclaiming His kingdom. If you don't like it, too bad. you have no power to stop me.

        May 25, 2014 at 1:25 am |
      • bostontola

        Anthropologists have found temples to Gods 12,000 years old, well before Yahweh.

        You stating things as fact doesn't make them facts. You casting insults doesn't bolster your case.

        May 25, 2014 at 1:36 am |
        • awanderingscot

          that's a myth too. ancient archeology has only found evidence of early mortar making in Egypt going back to 4000 BCE.

          May 25, 2014 at 1:43 am |
        • bostontola

          You seem to be stuck on Egypt. Gobekli Tepe, Ggantija, Hagar Qim, and Mnajdra are just as old and older. The Mayans were just as old on the other side of the world.

          May 25, 2014 at 2:16 am |
        • awanderingscot

          radiocarbon dating methods are highly inaccurate with the discovery that neutrinos accelerate radioactive decay. several things on this.
          a) acceleration of decay is increased in winter months
          b) solar flares with associated magnetic triggers
          c) coronal mass ejections propel subatomic particles in solar winds.

          In addition to solar events we have the cosmic events such as the ones that occurred in 774 and 775 AD whereby huge amounts of C14 were created in earth's atmosphere, not the first or only events of this kind

          radiometric dating methods today can only be used to give a very rough estimate. the methods once believed to be accurate have been found to be very inaccurate. half-life in radiocarbon dating still remains at what 5500-5700yrs ? so the idea that they can be used going back beyond that is simply unrealistic. accuracy diminishes the further you go back anyway. so any date beyond 5k years is only a guess

          May 25, 2014 at 2:50 am |
        • redzoa

          http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CD/CD004.html

          May 25, 2014 at 3:01 am |
        • bostontola

          Scotty,
          You are in deep denial. There are many dating methods that are used to cross check results.

          I don't blame you. It would be very hard to explain ancient Gods in your religious model of the universe. Better to just close your eyes, put your hands over your ears, say lalalalala, and deny it.

          May 25, 2014 at 9:47 am |
        • awanderingscot

          "To get unweathered rocks, rocks for radiometric dating are usually taken from some depth into an outcrop, where cosmic rays have insignificant effect."

          this is patently false and does not deserve further consideration. subatomic particles pass thru the earth and matter.

          May 25, 2014 at 10:40 am |
        • bostontola

          Scotty,
          The subatomic particles that pass through the earth (only a few types out of the scores of types), interact with matter very weakly, that's why they pass through. That means they don't have any impact on the atomic clocks in atoms. Try taking a class in physics.

          May 25, 2014 at 11:49 am |
        • redzoa

          "In addition to solar events we have the cosmic events such as the ones that occurred in 774 and 775 AD whereby huge amounts of C14 were created in earth's atmosphere, not the first or only events of this kind"

          I wonder if Scot knows he's referencing a paper that used dendrochronology to determine those years (i.e. the same practice he declares is just unreliable). I wonder if he knows that, out of the last 3000 yrs, they could identify the specific tree ring (singular) affected by the gamma-ray burst because of the otherwise stable C14 content within all the others sampled.

          And again, the levels of radiation required to produce an earth that appears 4.5 billion yrs old in a world which was actually less than 10K years old, would have ended all life on the planet.

          Scot is illustrating that creationism is anti-science because any and all science that contradicts their very narrow and self-perceived infallible interpretations of genesis, must be fundamentally-flawed and unreliable. Our basic understanding of physics, chemistry, geology, biology, astronomy, etc are all suspect because they all point in the opposite direction of the fantastic narrative in Scot's preferred holy book. But the biggest irony is this alleged reliance on evidence, when in fact, the mechanisms they would use to explain the observations are invariably untestable magic.

          I could be wrong. Evolution could be false, the earth could be 10K years old or less, and the biblical deity could be the direct cause of all that I see. These are possibilities that I must concede. But are you, Scot willing to make the same concessions? Is it possible that:

          1) Evolution on a very ancient earth is actually true?

          2) The biblical deity doesn't actually exist?

          Not asking if you believe these things and I'm not asking you to believe these things, just whether or not they are at the very least, theoretical possibilities?

          In a similar vein, I would reject evolution if there were observations of rabbit fossils in the pre-Cambrian, observations of true chimeras, or direct observations of forms arising ex nihilo. In addition to the positive supporting evidence, these negative lines of evidence remain available to future discovery, but consistently unsatisfied. And so conceding I'm willing to abandon my acceptance of evolution, I'd ask Scot if he'd possibly be willing to reconsider his rejection of evolution:

          3) Is there any evidence that could possibly convince you that evolution is true?

          May 25, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          sure, want to convince me of evolution?

          Find me the complete remains, fossilized or otherwise of man's closest ancestor, another hominin, not another hominid. shouldn't be too hard to do since they are our closest relative. And don't try to pawn off another Lucy hoax.

          The bottom line is that the universe and our own little neighborhood here on earth all proclaim intelligent design. All of the laws of physics and the natural order are evidence of intelligent design and are in and of themselves intelligent design. And yet we're supposed to somehow believe it just randomly came about? Just accidently happened? That is irrational and illogical thinking but it is exactly what evolutionists want everyone to believe. It's foolishness.

          May 25, 2014 at 9:46 pm |
        • hotairace

          As illogical and foolish as it may sound to *you* it makes way more sense to many than your alleged but never proven god delusions for which there is not a single bit of actual evidence. And of course, scientists saying "we don't know" does not mean "some alleged but never proven god did it." Where can we find your scholarly article, published in a credible peer-reviewed scientific journal, that successfully debunks evolution and successfully concludes with "some god did it"?

          May 25, 2014 at 10:15 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          Why then if evolution is fact is this necessary? Because it's not.

          In 1912, a well-known doctor and amateur paleoanthropologist named Charles Dawson came out with the assertion that he had found a jawbone and a cranial fragment in a pit in Piltdown, England. Even though the jawbone was more ape-like, the teeth and the skull were like a man's. These specimens were labelled the "Piltdown man". Alleged to be 500,000 years old, they were displayed as an absolute proof of human evolution in several museums.

          For more than 40 years, many scientific articles were written on "Piltdown man", many interpretations and drawings were made, and the fossil was presented as important evidence for human evolution. No fewer than 500 doctoral theses were written on the subject. While visiting the British Museum in 1921, leading American paleoanthropologist Henry Fairfield Osborn said "We have to be reminded over and over again that Nature is full of paradoxes" and proclaimed Piltdown "a discovery of transcendent importance to the prehistory of man.

          In 1949, Kenneth Oakley from the British Museum's Paleontology Department, attempted to use "fluorine testing", a new test used for determining the date of fossils. A trial was made on the fossil of the Piltdown man. The result was astonishing. During the test, it was realised that the jawbone of Piltdown Man did not contain any fluorine. This indicated that it had remained buried no more than a few years. The skull, which contained only a small amount of fluorine, showed that it was not older than a few thousand years old.

          It was determined that the teeth in the jawbone belonging to an orangutan, had been worn down artificially and that the "primitive" tools discovered with the fossils were simple imitations that had been sharpened with steel implements. In the detailed analysis completed by Joseph Weiner, this forgery was revealed to the public in 1953. The skull belonged to a 500-year-old man, and the jaw bone belonged to a recently deceased ape! The teeth had been specially arranged in a particular way and added to the jaw, and the molar surfaces were filed in order to resemble those of a man. Then all these pieces were stained with potassium dichromate to give them an old appearance. These stains began to disappear when dipped in acid. Sir Wilfred Le Gros Clark, who was in the team that uncovered the forgery, could not hide his astonishment at this situation and said: "The evidences of artificial abrasion immediately sprang to the eye. Indeed so obvious did they seem it may well be asked-how was it that they had escaped notice before?"

          In the wake of all this, "Piltdown man" was hurriedly removed from the British Museum where it had been displayed for more than 40 years.

          May 25, 2014 at 11:45 pm |
        • hotairace

          So there have been fraudulent scientific claims, not unlike those made for the shroud of Turin, various saints blood, bits of jesus' cross, etc. The beauty of science and the scientific method is that it is self correcting. Over time, hypotheses are refined and rejected. Compare this to religion where charlatans just spin more lies in an attempt to backup claims for which there is no actual evidence.

          May 25, 2014 at 11:56 pm |
        • redzoa

          "Find me the complete remains, fossilized or otherwise of man's closest ancestor, another hominin, not another hominid. shouldn't be too hard to do since they are our closest relative. And don't try to pawn off another Lucy hoax."

          Well, first, the demand for complete remains is unreasonable in light of what we understand regarding the probability of fossilization and preservation through discovery. Nonetheless, I suppose we could look at H. neanderthalensis and the Denisovans. We can distinguish the forms as non-modern humans based on morphological traits, but more importantly, we've done so via phylogenetic comparisons, particularly with respect to modern Europeans/Asians v. sub-Saharan Africans. This isn't to suggest any direct ancestry, but rather that these forms existed, are now extinct and that they were very clearly, not non-modern human forms. With respect to the actual direct ancestor, well we won't know this unless we can confirm the morphological traits with similar phylogenetic analyses. But clearly, we have a number of extinct hominin forms which are viable candidates, e.g. erectus, heidelbergensis, habilis, rudolfensis, etc.

          I notice you didn't answer the other questions.

          Is it possible that evolution is true?

          Is it possible that biblical deity doesn't actually exist?

          May 26, 2014 at 2:13 am |
      • bostontola

        There is not not one shred of evidence that Mesopotamian religion was monotheistic and transitioned to polytheistic. All archeological evidence shows only polytheistic origins in Mesopotamia. The idea that they started monotheistic is old Christian dogma that has been academically debunked and abandoned by most Christian academics and virtually all other academics.

        May 25, 2014 at 2:38 am |
      • Reality

        A New Torah For Modern Minds

        By MICHAEL MASSING (NYT)

        origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

        “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob•a•bly
        Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

        The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

        Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

        The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

        The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

        :

        May 25, 2014 at 11:30 am |
        • awanderingscot

          no proof whatsoever, merely conjecture. it is illogical to say that just because one did not see something happen that it did not happen, or just because you say it did not happen and you can't find the evidence. this is schoolboy philosophy.

          May 25, 2014 at 7:23 pm |
        • Reality

          You will have to read the studies of contemporary historians and biblical scholars to see how they decide the authenticity of historical events and passagess. Their conclusions rely on the number of independent attestations, the time of the publications, the content as it relates to the subject and time period, and any related archeological evidence. Obviously, rigorous testing of the life of Abraham, Moses and David resulted in the conclusions presented by the Conservative Jewish scholars and their rabbis. If you have definitive proof of the existence of Abraham and Moses, please present it. A single attestation like the OT basically is all you are going to find. It takes multiple attestations to pass modern rigorous testing.

          May 25, 2014 at 11:49 pm |
  12. Doris

    Daniel Dennett at Cal Tech ∙ Free Will Determinism and Evolution

    "Free will can be quite wonder enough and still be part of the natural universe. And the way to understand this is not by looking at physics and particularly not looking at quantum physics, but looking at biology...."

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIQwwWu0Uhs&w=640&h=390]

    May 24, 2014 at 6:07 pm |
  13. Rainer Helmut Braendlein

    "Benedict apologized, but later baptized a prominent Muslim-born journalist, which some Islamic leaders called an unnecessary provocation."

    Unquote.

    Though I am convinced that every pope is a forerunner of the Antichrist, the baptism of that Muslim-born journalist by the pope is valid (I know that that sounds crazy, even moronic). It is only that as soon as that baptized Muslim-born journalist starts to understand the gospel of Jesus Christ, and believes in Jesus Christ, he should abandon the Roman Catholic Church. The RCC has become a pi-sspot of heresies, furthermore the pope has stolen Christ's office as invisible head of the Church, and they assume to sacrifice Jesus every Sunday again in form of the host which is blasphemous.

    Why is that baptism valid though any pope is anti-Christian?

    Reason: Any church just celebrates baptism. The invisible baptist is always God himself, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The validity of any baptism doesn't depend on the condition of the church. Before Luther became a reformer, he was a Catholic abbot. Luther had been baptized by a Catholic priest when he was an infant. However, although Luther was convinced that the Catholic belief was wrong, he got never baptized again. He was convinced that his infant baptism was valid. Luthers reform was just about the faith: Our relationship with God depends just on our faith in Jesus, but doesn't depend on (Catholic) good deeds. True faith in Jesus, of course, is connected with love of neighbour and God in daily life. A Christian shall really practice what he or she believes. We keep the faith through remaining in a state of love of neighbour and love of God – that is the heavenly state, the state of health.

    May all Muslims repent, believe in Jesus, the Son of God, and get sacramentally baptized right now or today. Jesus, the Son of God, will once judge little Muhammad, and send him to the eternal lake of fire, because of the multi-tude of very bad sins he committed.

    "In contrast, one of Francis’ first interfaith steps as Pope was to wash the feet of two Muslims during a Holy Thursday ceremony in 2013, a move noted throughout the Islamic world, Esposito said."

    Unquote.

    People not believing in Jesus are inclined to be bossy and proud. The meek and humble gesture of Jesus of washing the feet of the desciples (believers in Jesus) certainly should not be applied towards Muslims because the Islam promotes a very nasty pride and bossiness of Muslims against Christians. Thus a Christian should never wash the feet of a Muslim who is not ready to renounce Islam the religion of pride and bossiness. If a Christian washes the feet of a Muslim, he or she commits a sin because he or she confirms the false faith of the Muslim that he had a right to rule of the Christian.

    Conclusion: Though the acting of Francis seemed to be very Christian, it was anti-Christian bottom line because he confirmed the false belief of the Muslims.

    Muslims should not always judge us, the "infidels", but submit themselves to the divine judge having a right to judge, Jesus Christ, Lord, God and Saviour.

    Get the real thing!

    May 24, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
    • Doris

      I'll repeat what Akira wrote below:

      [ Translation:

      "I'm a bigot, in case you didn't get that message the first 4 times I posted this on the same page." ]

      May 24, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
    • Akira

      Reposted bigotry is still bigotry.

      May 24, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Rainy: What exactly do you think you prove by posting such useless long diatribes? Does it not bother you that most of the people commenting think you're a bigoted ass? Your self-righteous, holier-than-thou attitude is a great reasoning as to why not to be Christian-thank you for your service to Atheism....no-one in the right mind would want to be around a cult of people like you. You tell us we need medication-look in mirror child-we're not the ones suffering from religious psychosis-that would be you....very diseased mind poisoned by your parents.

      May 24, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        Thank God that you little cootie have no authority on this blog. Stop spewing – it is in vain.

        May 24, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Aw, Rainey. Do you think that you have any authority. You sad, self-important buffoon.

          May 24, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
        • ausphor

          Helmut
          You must be in Prussia where insanity is pretty much the norm.

          May 24, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
        • Doris

          Evidently a buffoon with cootie-phobia.

          May 24, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
        • Akira

          Last time I heard "cootie", and 8 year old was taunting his little sister.
          I didn't realize "adults" used such juvenile words still.

          May 24, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Wow Rainy! You say this but yet you don't follow your own advice...such a bigoted hypocrite you are...your Mommy must be proud! Thank you for helping to bury Christianity.

        May 24, 2014 at 2:35 pm |
    • Reality

      Obviously, RB's brain has been invaded by the Lutheran Satan, a contemporary version of the demon of the demented.

      May 24, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      Brother Rainer,
      ask any atheist what came before the big bang and watch them run for cover ... watch the obfuscation and falling back to profanity. it's something they simply have no answer for .. and yet we do, our God Almighty.

      May 24, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
      • Doris

        Making up stories again scotty?

        So in lieu of a solution to an unknown puzzle of life, you feel it's necessary to make up an answer?

        May 24, 2014 at 7:49 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          not making up anything do-russ. either mass energy is eternal .. or a supernatural creator is eternal. virtually all scientists confirm that mass energy is NOT eternal. physics has termed this entropy. what is eternal is a supernatural being we call God. so explain to us all do-russ, how does nothingness in the universe get to the big bang? how does the big bang magically come about out of nothing? starting with ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in the universe, how all of a sudden does there appear matter and mass energy? you will never explain this with your godless theory.

          May 24, 2014 at 8:07 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          what about it do-russ? i will take your silence to mean that you have no causal argument for the scientific consensus of a big bang origin of the universe. can you explain how the big bang could have come about from absolute nothingness?

          May 24, 2014 at 8:29 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          atheists believe in nothing and nothingness, this is irrational

          May 24, 2014 at 8:32 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Yep, Doris. Scotty is making stuff up rather than asking. Where I come from, we call that lying.

          May 24, 2014 at 8:35 pm |
        • observer

          awanderingscot,

          STUMPED about how much you support "Brother Rainer"? Why? You like to tell people how to live their lives, so why are you AFRAID to answer questions about how much you ACTUALLY believe.

          May 24, 2014 at 8:43 pm |
        • Doris

          scotty: "either mass energy is eternal .. or a supernatural creator is eternal."

          unknown means whatever you are guessing is guessing – conjecture – get it? and as soon as you start limiting possibilities of the unknown as you are attempting to do here, you are showing a cognitive deficiency.

          May 24, 2014 at 8:46 pm |
        • Doris

          Also, dufus, you continue to misrepresent what others think. Just because some scientists show the plausibility that something might come from nothing doesn't mean that everyone believes that is the case or not the case. It is a consideration – something evidently foreign to you.

          May 24, 2014 at 8:49 pm |
        • Doris

          (my last reply, of course, to scotty)

          May 24, 2014 at 8:50 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          "Just because some scientists show the plausibility that something might come from nothing"
          no do-russ, no scientist believes the big-bang came about from nothingness, that is an illogical assumption atheists make.

          May 24, 2014 at 9:22 pm |
        • Doris

          Oh so now you're bringing up big bang. My how that mind of yours wanders. The theories about big bang are one thing, but aside from that – the notion that something can come from nothing, although just a notion, is not out of the question. Alex Vilenkin, co-author of BVG discusses this. And no you obviously continue to misrepresent what others think. But it's not surprising when you keep reinventing the subject within each conversation.

          scotty: "atheists believe in nothing and nothingness" –Only a total buffoon would say something like that.

          May 24, 2014 at 9:40 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Doris,

          That skeptics turn to the possibility of something coming into being uncaused out of nothing shows the desperation and illogical, unreasonable path they are willing to go down to try and avoid God. It's an embarrassment really. If you believe this is possible, do you believe it's possible that a zebra or tank could appear in your kitchen this moment?

          May 24, 2014 at 11:31 pm |
        • Doris

          tf: "That skeptics turn to the possibility of something coming into being uncaused out of nothing shows the desperation and illogical, unreasonable path they are willing to go down to try and avoid God. It's an embarrassment really. If you believe this is possible, do you believe it's possible that a zebra or tank could appear in your kitchen this moment?"

          "uncaused out of nothing"? My goodness you can be dim. Try reading what I wrote again – maybe it will sink in this time.

          May 25, 2014 at 3:54 am |
      • observer

        awanderingscot,

        Do you support the IGNORANT BIGOTRY that Brother Rainer supports and believe that laws should be change to force gays "to the edge of society"?

        May 24, 2014 at 7:54 pm |
      • tallulah131

        Aw, scotty. Making up stories about people you don't know isn't nice. In fact, it's lying. And you know what your god says about bearing false witness...

        May 24, 2014 at 8:17 pm |
      • Akira

        I decided to take the challenge Scot posited, so I called my sister, the atheist, up and asked her what came before the BB. (I figured since she was my sister, the chances of her "run[ning] for cover" and "watch[ing] the obfuscation and falling back to profanity" may be lessened.)

        She said, "I don't know yet. I'm just as happy not knowing or caring about that."

        I said "thank you" and hung up.

        Theory disproved.

        May 24, 2014 at 9:02 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        awanderingTOT: Nice god of the gaps argument! Admitting to not knowing is far more honest than plugging an invisible god in to the factor but then again to expect honesty from you would be akin to speaking to a blade of grass-just as dumb and nothing to it.

        May 25, 2014 at 6:34 am |
      • Reality

        o Think infinity and recycling with the Big Bang expansion followed by the shrinking reversal called the Gib Gnab and recycling back to the Big Bang repeating the process on and on forever. Human life and Earth are simply a minute part of this cha-otic, sto-cha-stic, expanding, shrinking process disappearing in five billion years with the burn out of the Sun and maybe returning in another five billion years with different life forms but still subject to the va-ga-ries of its local star.

        May 25, 2014 at 7:19 am |
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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.