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June 1st, 2014
07:02 PM ET

When religious obsessions slide into OCD

(CNN) - When she was 12, Jennifer Traig's hands were red and raw from washing them so much. She'd start scrubbing a half an hour before dinner; when she was done, she'd hold her hands up like a surgeon until her family sat down to eat.

Her handwashing compulsions began at the time she was studying for her Bat Mitzvah. She was so worried about being exposed to pork fumes that she cleaned her shoes and barrettes in a washing machine.

"Like a lot of people with OCD, I tended to obsess about cleanliness," said Traig, now 42. "But because I was reading various Torah portions, I was obsessed with a biblical definition of cleanliness."

Family dinners were awkward for Tina Fariss Barbour, too, as an adolescent. She would concentrate so hard on praying for forgiveness that if anyone tried to interrupt her thoughts, she wouldn't respond.

"First I had to get rid of all my sins, ask forgiveness, do it in the right way, and then I had to pray for protection," said Barbour, now 50. "Or, if something bad happened to my family, it would be my fault because I had not prayed good enough."

The women come from different faith backgrounds: Barbour is Methodist and Traig is Jewish. But as children they believed fervently that they needed to conduct their own rituals and prayers, or else disaster would befall their families.

Both women say they suffered from a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder known as scrupulosity. A fear of sin or punishment from deities characterizes this condition, saidJonathan Abramowitz, professor and associate chairman of the department of psychology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, involves unwanted thoughts ("obsessions") and accompanying behaviors called compulsions that patients use to reduce anxiety. In scrupulosity, the obsessions have a religious or moral underpinning.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (374 Responses)
  1. skdo23

    Thank goodness Tina Barbour and Jennifer Traig were able to get the help they needed so they can exercise their respective faiths in a sane and logical manner, i.e. by pretending to drink the blood and eat the flesh of her dead savior, or by celebrating the anniversary of her God murdering the first born son of every non Jewish family in Egypt.

    June 26, 2014 at 11:24 am |
  2. iowasundevil

    Religious belief is a mental disorder. The 2 primary symptoms of schizophrenia, hallucinations and delusions, are essential traits of religious belief.

    June 11, 2014 at 2:31 am |
  3. joeyy1

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

    June 9, 2014 at 3:19 am |
  4. believerfred

    The veracity of the Genesis account, Exodus, Birth / Death and Resurrection of Christ is based upon that which the godless do not have access. Some of the godless were offered the gift but rejected it while others claim they were never offered the gift. The godless attempt to use science and measure or validate a belief in the hope and promise of God yet fail to even note the foolishness of such attempts. This hope and promise yields mountains of evidence that shows, without doubt, the effect of this belief on all mankind since recorded history. The overwhelming evidence cannot be denied logically or rationally.
    In the days of Micah they demanded "Where is the Lord your God?" and they received a promise of would be forthcoming near term and eternal. There was hope in the promises of God which brought the reality of God into the heart of the people. It was the hope in the promises of God that brought the light of God into the heart of the community. With this hope they continued to move forward and received the promises of God presently and eternally. That is the way the truth and the life Jesus spoke about. This began with Genesis account where in the beginning God was the first 4 words and without that there is no purpose in creation. As the godless clearly demonstrate without that knowledge there is no hope and promise presently or eternal.
    I believe because I have experienced that hope and the promise as written in the Bible. The veracity of the Bible is not dependent upon the human authors but the truth in the Word of God. The hope and promise was by the Word of God as revealed to mankind not the codices which trap the godless with their empty skepticism or scientism.

    June 3, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Gosh that's swell, fred. But it doesn't help people who suffer from the chemical imbalance known as OCD. It doesn't help those people trapped in a frustrating and endless cycle of action, irrational fear, and more action. It doesn't help those whose OCD manifested as religious mania. But I bet it makes you feel better about yourself.

      June 3, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      "The veracity of the Genesis account, Exodus, Birth / Death and Resurrection of Christ is based upon that which the godless do not have access."

      -– Truly amazing.
      The human capacity for self-delusion.

      There is almost no Biblical scholar in the entire world, at any major university or seminary that thinks Genesis is anything other than allegorical/mythical. In 1952, a team was set in place by the world-famous, pre-eminent scholar, archaeologist and pioneer discoverer of Holy Land historical sites and docu'ments, Dr. William Foxwell Albright, the professor of Semitic languages at the Johns Hopkins University. Their job was to write criticisms and scholarly work concerning all biblical texts. The team was composed of the most respected biblical scholars in the US and Europe, including Dr. John W. Bailey, Professor Emeritus, New Testament, Berkley Baptist Divinity School, Dr Albert E. Barnett, Professor Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Dr. Walter Russell Bowel, Professor, The Protestant Episcopal Seminary, Virginia, Dr. John Bright, Professor, Union Seminary and many others.

      The team of 124 clergymen and scholars came mostly from conservative, mainline universities and churches for the most part, the likes of whom will never be seen again in one place, whose names evoke the utmost and deepest respect, even if one completely disagrees with their religious views. They wrote the huge 13 volume set, now considered a valuable rare book, called "The Interpreters Bible". Today it is usually kept under lock and key in seminaries and libraries. This set includes an introduction to scholarship and looks at every single verse and word in the Bible, discusses their origins and possible meanings from various points of view. It has been updated in the 1990's, but the original scholarship is still the central fundamental summary of knowledge, which summarized scholarship from the Medieval period (1850's -1950's) and is therefore considered to be an interesting historical snapshot. It is also an assurance that these absolutely respected leading intellectuals from the 20th Century scholarship, of whom most were religious, have agreed to have each other's names associated with their own and that they felt comfortable with what each other were saying in an academic setting and commanded world-wide respect as conservative, careful, and sincere, life-long teachers, academics and scholars.

      On page 15 of "The Interpreters Bible", Dr. Herbert F. Farmer, Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University wrote about the indispensability of the texts, their importance and how the "truth" of them should be approached, after an exposition of the traditional conservative Christian view of person-hood, sin and the salvific actions of Jesus (aka Yeshua ben Josef), known as "the Christ" in human history.

      "The reason has to do with the evidence afforded by the texts themselves, and calls for fuller treatment. Scholarly research into the texts themselves, has convincingly shown that they cannot be accepted in detail as they stand."

      He then continues by discussing the details of what a "faith docu'ment" is and how it differs from what we would consider an historical text today. The next chapter, authored by Dr. Arthur Jeffrey, Professor of Semitic Languages at Columbia, deals with the formation of the Old Testament canon. He wrote what is seen as the fundamental insight in modern Biblical Study and summarized the central academic position of every mainline, respected, and credible center of Biblical scholarship in the world today :

      "Historians can merely state that a canon of scripture is not something given, but something humanly devised. From the historical point of view, the canon is the result of human decision as to which among the religious writing existing in a community are those in which it recognizes the authentic voice of religious authority speaking to man."

      http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/Thread-Old-Testament-Texts-Another-Look

      June 5, 2014 at 7:32 am |
  5. Dyslexic doG

    "Properly read, the bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived."

    - Isaac Asimov

    June 3, 2014 at 10:57 am |
    • bostontola

      I would say reading the bible is a potent force for AChristianity and AJudaism.

      June 3, 2014 at 11:16 am |
    • colin31714

      There is a good series from Yale University on (what Christians call) the Old testament on You Tube. I highly recommend it. I have done a number on the New testament and this was my first on the Old testament. Very enlightening.

      The more I learn, the more obvious it becomes that 99% of Christians today haven't got the slightest idea about their holy book (which is a collection of writings spread over between 500 to 1,000 years) who wrote the various books, how they changed over time, how they came to be assembled into the final product(s), nor how they were still being altered well into the Middle Ages.

      June 3, 2014 at 11:42 am |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Nor do they want to know.

        They want to believe that the Pentateuch was composed by Moses himself. (Presuming of course that Moses is actually an historical figure.)

        June 3, 2014 at 11:47 am |
        • colin31714

          Whether Moses existed is interesting. Obviously there is a lot of myth and legend around him, but there may have been a real person who was instrumental in battles against the Egyptians at the core of the stories.

          June 3, 2014 at 11:59 am |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "there may have been a real person"
          -----------------
          As I think is usually the case for most myths that purport to be a historical narrative.

          One presumes there was an origin for people like Utnapishtim (the ark guy in Gilgamesh, tablet 11) as well. I like to imagine him sitting in a coracle with a pair of goats.

          June 3, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
      • new-man

        "The Bible is an Integrated Message System – comprising 66 separate Books, penned by over 40 different individuals over an almost 2000 year period, the majority of whom did not know each other. Yet, every detail, every name, every number etc. is there deliberately by "design" or purpose. And once you discover this truth, you discover the implication that this package of Books is deliberately authored by one single Author – The Holy Spirit, which has it's origins outside our domain of time, evidenced by the recording of history in advance." [edited]

        I hope you use the same gusto you've employed in trying to disprove the authenticity of the Bible to proving/establishing for YOURSELF the integrity of Scripture and thereby establishing for YOURSELF the ident-ity of Messiah, Jesus Christ!

        June 3, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
        • otoh2

          new-man,

          1. " 66 separate Books, penned by over 40 different individuals over an almost 2000 year period, the majority of whom did not know each other."

          They *all* read or heard what was written/told before them. They merely added their own 2 cents to the fantasy.

          2. This alleged "Holy Spirit" will "tell" you whatever you want to hear - every dang interpretation that you can think of. Over 40,000 Christian denominations and who knows how many "independents" **all** claim this "divine guidance" in their diverse and disparate interpretations.

          June 3, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
        • bostontola

          "every detail, every name, every number etc. is there deliberately by "design" or purpose."

          No dispute there. The purpose and design behind the contents of the bibles was determined by men. That's why there is so much contradiction, factual error, and obsolete morality in it.

          June 3, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
        • Madtown

          once you discover this truth
          ----
          If this is God's truth, how come he deliberately denies it to so many of the humans he creates?

          June 3, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
      • Rynomite

        Is that the Bart Ehrman class you are referring to?

        June 3, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
  6. bostontola

    When I was a kid, I was obsessed with science. I couldn't get enough. I devoured it like candy. As I got older, that obsession turned compulsive regarding making things and I switched to engineering. The harder the problem, the better. I couldn't give up on a problem, staying up all night until I cracked it. The fact is, that obsession and compulsive behavior felt good. I created mental energy around the challenge, I always believed I could solve it, and wouldn't give up until I did. I probably have a mild form of OCD, but I like it.

    Others probably have mild forms of OCD regarding their passions. Where does passion end and OCD start? Does it matter if the behavior is constructive or not? If a person has a passion for their religion and is obsessed with it, who's to say when it's too much? In my opinion, as long as a person's passion or obsession doesn't infringe on others' privacy, freedom, or rights, it's their (and friends and family) choice as to whether it's too much.

    June 3, 2014 at 10:41 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "Where does passion end and OCD start? Does it matter if the behavior is constructive or not?"
      -----------------------------
      You are asking questions that relate to clinical diagnosis.

      Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is going to be diagnosed when the behavior is destructive or connected to a serious irrationality where the patient experiences deep and present fear if they do not submit to the compulsion, even when compulsion is not in itself physically harmful – like toggling each of the lights in the house in a particular order.

      June 3, 2014 at 11:01 am |
      • bostontola

        That makes sense not GOPer. I suspect OCD is a spectrum where there is clear cases of extreme behavior, normal behavior, and a gray zone. The gray zone is always hard to deal with.

        June 3, 2014 at 11:14 am |
        • tallulah131

          I have lived with OCD for over 20 years. Trust me, having a passion is not OCD.

          June 3, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Lighthearted looks at compulsive behavior in popular culture like Sheldon Cooper's compulsion to knock on Penny's door (three times three)* are amusing but they can belittle the seriousness for people who struggle with irrational fears that something will happen to themselves or a loved one if they don't submit to the compulsion.

        * In The Big Bang Theory

        June 3, 2014 at 11:21 am |
        • bostontola

          It may ring up as funny because so many reside in the gray zone. The folks with serious disorders are probably not as amused. I must admit that TBBT is a guilty pleasure of mine.

          June 3, 2014 at 11:25 am |
    • tallulah131

      Unless you were afraid that something terrible would happen, like the house burning down, if you didn't complete your projects perfectly, then you don't suffer from OCD.

      June 3, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
  7. Dalahäst

    Can you provide an example of what stories were copied from earlier civilizations?

    I think the general understanding is nobody knows for sure who wrote some of the books in the NT. Jesus had followers who were educated and wrote (Matthew, the tax collector, would have carried paper and writing instruments for his job.) So people were able to pass on information, both verbally and in the written form. And Hebrew back then were trained to memorize large amounts of text. There are also people who have photographic memories: they can perfectly recall and share things that happened 30 years ago.

    June 3, 2014 at 12:30 am |
    • fintronics

      "Can you provide an example of what stories were copied from earlier civilizations?"

      Written in 1280 BC, the Egyptian "Book of the Dead" describes a God, Horus, son of Goddess Isis.

      Egyptian mythology predates the birth of Christianity by 1500 years.

      Horus..

      -Born Dec 25th.

      -Born to a virgin mother(Isis), a virgin birth.

      -Birth marked by a bright star in the sky.

      -Birth announced by angels. Jesus' birth was announced by angels.

      -born in a cave. Caves were used as stables. Laid in a manger.

      -birth event witnessed by 3 wise men bearing gifts whom traveled from afar.

      -during infancy, Herut tried to have Horus murdered. Herod tried to have Jesus murdered during infancy.

      June 3, 2014 at 11:52 am |
      • Dalahäst

        -Born Dec 25th.

        No date given on Wikipedia. Please provide your source.

        -Born to a virgin mother(Isis), a virgin birth.
        *Horus was born to the goddess Isis after she retrieved all the dismembered body parts of her murdered husband Osiris, except his pe.nis which was thrown into the Nile and eaten by a catfish,[7][8] or sometimes by a crab, and according to Plutarch's account (see Osiris) used her magic powers to resurrect Osiris and fashion a gold phallus[9] to conceive her son (older Egyptian accounts have the penis of Osiris surviving).* – wikipedia

        -Birth marked by a bright star in the sky.

        Source?

        -Birth announced by angels. Jesus' birth was announced by angels.

        Source?

        -born in a cave. Caves were used as stables. Laid in a manger.

        Source?

        -birth event witnessed by 3 wise men bearing gifts whom traveled from afar.

        Source?

        -during infancy, Herut tried to have Horus murdered. Herod tried to have Jesus murdered during infancy.

        Source?

        ** Once Isis knew she was pregnant with Horus, she fled to the Nile Delta marshlands to hide from her brother Set who jealously killed Osiris and who she knew would want to kill their son.[10] There Isis bore a divine son, Horus. _Wikipedia

        June 3, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
    • fintronics

      Earthly father named Seb. The name/word Seb translates into Jo-seph.

      -Both Horus and Jesus were baptized at age 30.

      – Horus was baptized in a river by Anup the Baptizer. The name/word Anup translates into John.. as in John the Baptist. Anup was beheaded shortly thereafter, like John the Baptist.

      -at age 12 he was led to a temple for his "coming of age" ritual. At age 12 Jesus was led to a temple for the same. Now called the bar mitzvah.

      -no data on his life between ages 12-30. No data on Jesus between ages 12-30.

      -Both Horus and Jesus disappeared for 18 years from age 12-30.

      -Horus wandered into the desert alone at age 30 and was tempted. Jesus wandered into the desert alone at age 30 and was tempted.

      -Horus had 12 disciples. 2 named Anup and Aan. Both names translate into John.. the 2 Johns from the 12 disciples of Jesus.

      -Horus walked on water.

      -Horus healed the sick, the blind, cast out demons, performed miracles.

      June 3, 2014 at 11:53 am |
      • Dalahäst

        Sources?

        June 3, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
        • fintronics

          Can you back up your claim to "know jesus" with doc.umented sources????

          I can play your game too...

          June 3, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I'm asking if you can provide references to what you posted.

          I have people post lists like that toward me often. When I ask where I can read about those things for myself they either disappear or change the subject.

          June 3, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
  8. Dyslexic doG

    do OCD people wash so much because god originally made them from dirt?

    June 2, 2014 at 11:52 pm |
  9. Dyslexic doG

    if you believe the fairy tale that a sky daddy made us and everything else around us, then OCD proves that your god either didn't do a good job designing us, or he made us this way because he enjoys watching us suffer.

    June 2, 2014 at 11:40 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Is that the only 2 options you can imagine? Seems kind of a bit too simplistic to be sufficient. I mean, for you, sure, it probably appears to be an intelligent statement. I mean look at you: posting in the message board of a religion blog. Here is an article on a mental disorder and you seem happy to use that as an excuse to put down a group of people you don't like.

      Look at how the dictionary defines a bigot:

      big·ot noun \ˈbi-gət\
      : a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc. : a bigoted person; especially : a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group)

      Some religious people do demonstrate they are bigots. I'm sure that bothers you. It bothers me. But why would you decide to turn around and act like a bigot yourself?

      June 2, 2014 at 11:57 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        nice dodge.

        Keep running from reality. Insult me all day long. Say anything to avoid facing facts.

        This is the information age and your primitive voodoo is already on the decline. A couple more generations and your sky fairy will be categorized with Zeus and Thor.

        June 3, 2014 at 12:03 am |
        • Dalahäst

          No, you really do act like a bigot. Most atheists do not act like you. I can only imagine most would not want you to represent them in any way.

          Your materialism viewpoint is primitive, too. You are not sharing anything new or revolutionary.

          Most of how you describe God is not what people believe. Like, I do not believe in a sky fairy. I know you probably learned that from some anti-theist website, or you read it in The God Delusion – but both of those sources aren't credible resources.

          June 3, 2014 at 12:10 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          keep dodging. keep insulting.

          there is as much evidence for santa and the easter bunny and the tooth fairy as there is for your god.

          yet you still believe because a bronze age story book tells you so, and your imagination does the rest.

          June 3, 2014 at 12:15 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Actually I'm not dodging. I'm attempting to address your comments. Why do anti-theists love to accuse others of dodging? And what happens when I ask you a question?

          "keep insulting."

          That is what you are doing, too! How are you not doing that? Doesn't that make you a hypocrite? I'm not trying to call you a name. But you insulting me, and then criticizing me for insulting you seems incredibly hypocritical.

          Do you imagine it any different?

          Do you somehow imagine you are not a bigot?

          Did you know all people have blind spots? We can't see them. We are blind to them. It often takes a therapist or a very honest friend to point them out to others. What methods have you embraced to prevent yourself from falling victim to your blind spots?

          – "there is as much evidence for santa and the easter bunny and the tooth fairy as there is for your god."

          Actually, I have witnessed people who testify that God helps them. History shows Martin Luther King, JR credited God to leading a peaceful civil right movement that led to freedom for persecuted Americans. I see people in my community leading peaceful changes against some of the corruption and evils of our society.

          I have heard no one preaching about Santa, the tooth fairy, or the Easter bunny. I have seen anti-theists websites that claim such things. But they don't seem to be credible sources. Not even most atheists pay attention to them.

          – "yet you still believe because a bronze age story book tells you so, and your imagination does the rest."

          No, that is not why I believe. That is just what you imagine. You are the one letting your imagination do all the work.

          June 3, 2014 at 12:39 am |
      • In Santa We Trust

        What other options do you suggest?

        June 3, 2014 at 9:52 am |
        • Dalahäst

          We all have weaknesses. They don't make you less of a human. A person that has OCD and believes in God shouldn't be told they are flawed or being punished. Another option would be to show compassion and love. Yea, I know – there is no objective evidence that proves that compassion and love are helpful. But if trolling for Christians on a religion blog and taunting them with ridicule of mental illness is ok in your book: continue on.

          June 3, 2014 at 11:13 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          The OP was about the options of why a omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent god would create OCD. My question was what are the other possibilities for why god would create OCD. Obviously the question is broader than that – Ebola, HIV, etc. but let's just stick to OCD for now.

          June 3, 2014 at 12:10 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Oh, I would look into different theologies. The 2 options the OP gave, while in a very negative and hostile method, are valid. But there are definitely more options.

          If you look at scripture it describes that we live in a fallen world. God said this world was not perfect, but good. A condition like OCD can be seen as a curse. Or it can be a blessing in disguise. A person with OCD can overcome their disorder or learn to manage their life with it. That experience and knowledge they gain from that can be used to help other people. We all have imperfections. Nobody is perfect. But there are people who believe in God who do not have the same opinion as OP.

          “I thank God for my handicaps, for, through them, I have found myself, my work, and my God”

          Helen Keller

          June 3, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
        • observer

          Dalahäst

          "We all have weaknesses. They don't make you less of a human. A person that has OCD and believes in God shouldn't be told they are flawed or being punished. Another option would be to show compassion and love"

          So why don't Christians follow that logic similarly when it come to gays (as if that actually was a "weakness")?

          June 3, 2014 at 11:18 am |
        • Dalahäst

          There are g.ays that are Christians. I have an openly lesbian pastor.

          And there are Christians that believe ho.mos.xuality is a sin, but that the people should be loved. They actually treat the hom.s.xuals well, they just don't agree with their actions.

          And then there are the Fred Phelps that hate them.

          Why do some atheists hate hom.s.xuals? I went to a very secular public school. G.ys were harrassed and teased: and it had nothing to do with religion. It was more about hom.ph.obia and misunderstandings.

          There are some churches that are very welcoming to hom.s.xuals. They support and treat them as equals.

          June 3, 2014 at 11:36 am |
        • midwest rail

          " There are some churches that are very welcoming to hom.s.xuals. "
          This is true. I would suggest, however, that your church and your pastor are the exception, rather than the norm. That makes it no less commendable, but the prevailing sentiment in the evangelical movement is one of rejection, if not outright hatred.

          June 3, 2014 at 11:39 am |
        • SeaVik

          "Why do some atheists hate hom.s.xuals? I went to a very secular public school. G.ys were harrassed and teased: and it had nothing to do with religion."

          I think that had much more to do about teenage behavior towards those who are different than anything to do with hom.s.xuals.

          June 3, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It appears in the adult world, too.

          June 3, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Jonah Hill in the news demonstrates that.

          June 3, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "It appears in the adult world, too."

          Right, but adults tend to hate hom.s.xuals for religious reasons. Most teenagers don't hate hom.s.xuals, per se, they just pick on people who are different. Hom.s.xuals happen to be one of many who fall in the category of "different".

          I can say honestly that I've never heard of an adult atheist hating hom.s.xuals. Perhaps there are some out there, but without religion, there isn't any reason to hate them.

          June 3, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Black Atheists of Atlanta

          June 3, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          An atheist statement:

          "Black Atheism has nothing to do with the support or promotion of h-mos-xuality, but White atheism does. Why do White atheists promote and support h-mos-xuality? The answer lies in their European myths (Google G-y Zeus and Ganymede).

          H-mos-xuality was routinely practiced by the Greeks. Their high god Zeus routinely had s-xual contact with the mortal called Ganymede the Water Bearer proving that h-mos-xuality and p-dophilia was the highest standard of their culture. The ideas, concepts, customs and traditions that went into the making of the deity is a reflection of the culture of the people. Simply put, if you have no problem with h-mos-xuality then you have no problem with deifying that concept into your ideal god.

          Africans clearly had a problem with h-mos-xuality because they never based a god around that idea and concept. They never based their culture or gods around that behavior. Another difference between Black Atheism and White Atheism —-White Atheism is based around Darwin and European science and culture. But, Black Atheism is based around the African symbol Khepera (Dung Beatle) and African science and culture. We follow the signs and symbols of African original culture, which clearly understood reproduction and evolution that is verified in the symbol of Khepera in the Nile Valley as early as 56,000 B.C. or earlier (reference Dr. Ben Jochannan and Dr. John Henrick Clarke). "

          June 3, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Pew data suggests that around 20 percent of self-identified atheists and agnostics don’t support same-s-x marriage.

          http://www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2010/10/public_opinion_g ay_marriage

          June 3, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          An atheist writes a h.mophobic letter to another atheist:

          http://www.discord.org/~lippard/Lauritsen-OHair.pdf

          June 3, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
        • midwest rail

          http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/peter-labarbera-fears-lgbt-history-initiative-will-destroy-america

          A Christian with a radio program, and loads of Christian listeners...

          June 3, 2014 at 5:12 pm |
        • midwest rail

          http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/michigan-pastor-claims-enemies-god-are-behind-marriage-equality

          Michigan pastor with loads of Christian supporters...

          June 3, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
        • midwest rail

          http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/mark-creech-attacks-lgbt-affirming-churches-satanic-fifth-column

          A Christian newspaper writer with loads of Christian readers...

          June 3, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Oh, I know there are anti-g.ay Christians. Some have attacked me personally for the church I belong to. In fact they say horrible things about and to me, just like some of the anti-theists on this blog do.

          I was just not accepting the myth that h.moph.bia in adults is based in religion. And that agnostics and atheists do no all support equal rights for people of differing s.xual orientation.

          June 3, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
        • midwest rail

          There are hundreds more, Dala – who do you think has more influence, more followers, and more political clout ? As I said earlier, I'm sure your particular pastor and church are not like this, but they are exception to the rule.

          June 3, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          After that news;

          http://www.religionnews.com/2013/06/03/elca-lutherans-elect-first-openly-g ay-bishop/

          I thought the hostile anti-theists on here were arrogant and mean-spirited. Oh my, their zealot religious brothers and sisters give them a run for their money!

          June 3, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          So, why do the anti-theists on this blog and the anti-g.ay Christians act and treat me is such a similar manner?

          June 3, 2014 at 5:21 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          They both preach a literal understanding of the Bible. And they often exclaim their way is factual, and my way is wrong.

          June 3, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
        • midwest rail

          Regarding your last question, I have no answer. But seriously, in the real world, who do you think has more influence ? The anti-theists (your terminology) you encounter here, or the anti-gay Christians with newspapers, radio stations, and the followers attendant to that media exposure ?

          June 3, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Neither. The ones that attack me are generally just guys and gals with too much time on their hands.

          June 3, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
        • midwest rail

          You can't seriously believe that the slight number of posters here who attack you have the same level of real-world influence as the anti-gay Christians referenced, can you ?

          June 3, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Oh, sorry. I'm talking about the ones I've had personal encounters with.

          Yea, while both are a very vocal minority – there are more Christians that would be hostile toward my beliefs than atheists. Most atheists and Christians are kind and peaceful toward me.

          June 3, 2014 at 5:46 pm |
        • tallulah131

          It's that christian martyrdom complex. When people insult christians, it's persecution. When christians insult others, they do it because they love them.

          June 3, 2014 at 5:46 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No. I'm saying I have Christians and atheists attacking me. And neither are being loving.

          For the most part, both groups have always been kind to me. But there are fringe elements of both that are downright nasty and terrifying.

          June 3, 2014 at 5:49 pm |
        • midwest rail

          My only disagreement with your latest post, Dala, is that I believe they are no longer just "a vocal minority" or the "fringe" at all. The fringe has become the center.

          June 3, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          So, why do the anti-theists on this blog and the anti-g.ay Christians act and treat me is such a similar manner?
          ------------------
          I can't speak to how anti-gay Christians treat you.

          I can make observations as to how the anti-theists on this blog treat you. You seek it out.

          I understand that you (understandably) want to challenge sweeping generalizations that imply all Christians have uniform beliefs or opinions. Such generalizations are almost always inaccurate. And I don't condone any of the ad-hominem language used or tiresome haranguing on single topics. Clearly the anti-theists come here to pick a fight with anyone who will fight with them and you oblige them.

          I have seen you hide what I perceive to be your true stripes and make exaggerated claims to rope-a-dope them. I think if you were more forthright with people here, there would be less of the "show me evidence for belief" nonsense that I see here between you and one individual in particular.

          June 3, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Have you ever seen the doc.umentary "The Power of Nightmares"?

          [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaLPFayD8FA&w=640&h=390]

          June 3, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          But there are fringe elements of both that are downright nasty and terrifying.
          ---------------------
          Undoubtedly. We have a challenge in this society. That is to undo the politicization of religion that has taken place over the last 50 years. This has produced a very strong 'us versus them' mentality amongst Christians who identify their faith as part of the political right and people who want to oppose this.

          The anti-theist movement is a backlash to the politicization of religion mastered by Karl Rove in the 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections. It is not entirely good.

          We need to not lose sight of two things:
          1. Freedom of and from religion is an essential right. This means respecting both deeply held beliefs (and unbelief) as essential rights of all of us.
          2. Tyranny of the majority is not democracy. Minorities have rights and there are times the majority has to defer to the minority.

          June 3, 2014 at 6:04 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          GOP

          I used to be a lot like the people I seek out. I still am in ways. But I'm working to overcome that narrow-minded view I held for so long. Oh, I didn't think I was the narrow-minded one back then. All the religious people were, not me.

          I was bigoted toward religious people. Especially Christians. I hated them. I hated their judging and narrow-mindedness. I failed to see that hatred was poisoning me.

          It took an act of God for me to be honest about myself and stop pointing out the flaws in "religious people". I really wasn't capable of doing that. I see people like that here. In some ways it is like I'm talking to that younger, hostile me.

          Anyway, you 2 both seem like straight sho.oters. Thanks for sharing.

          June 3, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Have you ever seen the doc.umentary "The Power of Nightmares"?
          ------------------
          No but it looks interesting.

          This is the "We are at war with terror. We have always been at war with terror." narrative.

          It is our replacement for the Cold War. The Godless Commie enemy is replaced with the Infidel enemy. Arguably it takes us back 1,000 years.

          June 3, 2014 at 6:12 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I recommend it. It is a 3-series program by the BBC.

          June 3, 2014 at 6:15 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          I see people like that here. In some ways it is like I'm talking to that younger, hostile me.
          ---------------------------
          I am sure you do.

          I think if you put more cards on the table and sought a middle ground there would be more respect. That's harder to do than simply counter-punching, particularly when you already know their argument.

          June 3, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
  10. Dalahäst

    My church teaches about the poisoning religion has on Jesus' teachings. We have open discussions where we freely discuss this topic.

    In our Sunday School meeting today, we talked about the importance of teaching and exposing the children to different belief systems. We think our Lutheran theology is best for us, but we want them to choose it because they decide it is best for themselves.

    Both of these facts I've witnessed this week suggest that some anti-theists on here that claim belief in God is the result of brainwashing, childish beliefs or an even sadder more unfortunate view, a type of mental illness, just makes no sense to me. I know I should just ignore them like 99.9999% of the population does. I know I used to hold similar views so I hope to help them see those viewpoints really are not reasonable. And there are believers in God that demonstrate logical thinking, understand and embrace science and support the right for all citizens to have an equal voice in government.

    June 2, 2014 at 11:30 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      "Jesus' teachings ..." the Christians bleat.

      It's a delusional statement really. We have absolutely NO idea of anything your book character may or may not have said or done. In a time when stories were passed on verbally and people had no idea of how the world worked and so wanted their "god" to be bigger and better than the next man's god, the stories just got better and bigger and more far fetched. You couldn't trust the accuracy or the authenticity of a story written down a month after the supposed happening, much less something written down the staggering 60 years, 100 years, 200 years after all the "jesus said" and "jesus did" parts of the bible supposedly happened. And even more laughable is that the "jesus" parts were written by people who weren't even there when it was supposedly said or done!!!

      And to add to that, the stories have all been changed countless times by theologians (i.e. men who say they know something about this book) and rulers and governments and committees. All people with ample reasons to influence the story based on their own interpretations and/or their own need for power and money.

      It's all just so stupendously, mind numbingly asinine, I have trouble even knowing where to begin pointing out the myriad flaws in this whole cultish belief system.

      June 2, 2014 at 11:42 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        We can know Jesus, and not just by what we read in a book. The book is helpful and points to Jesus. But it is not a substi.tute in actually knowing Jesus.

        You actually seem to have no problem of knowing where to begin pointing out the flaws you see in the belief system. You dedicate an enormous amount of time talking about it. I don't know who the "we" you are referring to are, but I doubt many would follow your example in treating others or constantly talking about a God you insist doesn't exist.

        June 2, 2014 at 11:51 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          you can know jesus the same way as I can know Harry Potter. We both read a story book and feel like we "know" the character. Is that what you mean when you say you know jesus?

          June 2, 2014 at 11:54 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          J. K. Rowling made it very clear that Harry Potter was a fictional character she was writing about.

          The authors of the Gospels, personal letters and books of the new testament make it clear they were writing about something real.

          And we have access to that same thing they experienced.

          June 3, 2014 at 12:01 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          you're delusional. It is agreed by all – even those scholars in your cult – that any parts of the bible about jesus were written 60 to 100 to hundreds of years after jesus was said to have lived and by people who weren't even there.

          IT WAS ALL MADE UP!!!!

          no-one knows what jesus said.
          no-one can say what jesus really did.

          all stories, and most of them copied from earlier civilizations' god stories. So yours aren't even original.

          aren't you embarrassed? You're basing your whole belief on primitive men's made up stories.

          unbelievable!

          June 3, 2014 at 12:08 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Can you provide an example of what stories were copied from earlier civilizations?

          I think the general understanding is nobody knows for sure who wrote some of the books in the NT. Jesus had followers who were educated and wrote (Matthew, the tax collector, would have carried paper and writing instruments for his job.) So people were able to pass on information, both verbally and in the written form. And Hebrew back then were trained to memorize large amounts of text. There are also people who have photographic memories: they can perfectly recall and share things that happened 30 years ago.

          June 3, 2014 at 12:31 am |
        • colin31714

          Dalahast, there are a number of contemporaneous or earlier myths from the Greco-Roman times that clearly influenced the Jesus myth. To quote directly from Bart Erhman; "Before Apllonius of Tyana was born, his mother was visited by an angel who told her that her son would be divine. His birth was accompanied by miraculous signs and as a child he was religiously precocious. As an adult, he left home to be an itinerant preacher, teaching the good news that people should live for what is spiritual, not the material things of this world. He gathered disciples and performed miracles. He raised the ire of those in power who had him brought up before the Roman authorities. His followers saw him after he died and he ascended into heaven."

          You can add the stories about Horus, Dionysus and Mythra to that. Further, Roman legend held that Augustus had been born nine months after his mother was visited at night by the god Apollo. The poet Virgil reputedly foretold in 40BC that a king would be born of a virgin and it was believed that Augustus’ birth fulfilled this prophesy. It was widely (and falsely) rumored among ordinary Romans that, in the year of Augustus’ birth, the Roman Senate ordered the murder of all other children born that year. See the parallel to Matthew's birth myth about Jesus.

          June 3, 2014 at 11:49 am |
        • Dalahäst

          pollonius of Tyana was born after Jesus. He wasn't written about until the 3rd century, more than 200 years after Jesus was born. Any similarities can be explained as Philostratus (Apollonius' main biographer) having been influenced by Christianity.

          Horus, Dionysus and Mythra? How come when I look on Wikipedia or sources that cite the original stories very little seems to be paralleled? And there are plenty of anti-theist websites that make claims that can not be backed up about Horus, Dionysus and Mythra?

          June 3, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
        • colin31714

          Dalahast, the Gospel of Matthew was not written by Matthew the tax collector. It was written in Syria in about 85 C.E. The apostle Matthew would have been long dead. Not only that, but the Gospel of Matthew records Jesus meeting Matthew in the third person!! In Mark and Luke, this tax collector isn't even Matthew, his name is "Levi". The author of Matthew wrote in Greek, was educated in rhetoric and very likely was wealthy. The apostles all spoke Aramaic and were poor, simple men.

          June 3, 2014 at 11:55 am |
        • fintronics

          "Can you provide an example of what stories were copied from earlier civilizations?"

          Written in 1280 BC, the Egyptian "Book of the Dead" describes a God, Horus, son of Goddess Isis.

          Egyptian mythology predates the birth of Christianity by 1500 years.

          Horus..

          -Born Dec 25th.

          -Born to a virgin mother(Isis), a virgin birth.

          -Birth marked by a bright star in the sky.

          -Birth announced by angels. Jesus' birth was announced by angels.

          -born in a cave. Caves were used as stables. Laid in a manger.

          -birth event witnessed by 3 wise men bearing gifts whom traveled from afar.

          -during infancy, Herut tried to have Horus murdered. Herod tried to have Jesus murdered during infancy.

          Earthly father named Seb. The name/word Seb translates into Jo-seph.

          -Both Horus and Jesus were baptized at age 30.

          – Horus was baptized in a river by Anup the Baptizer. The name/word Anup translates into John.. as in John the Baptist. Anup was beheaded shortly thereafter, like John the Baptist.

          -at age 12 he was led to a temple for his "coming of age" ritual. At age 12 Jesus was led to a temple for the same. Now called the bar mitzvah.

          -no data on his life between ages 12-30. No data on Jesus between ages 12-30.

          -Both Horus and Jesus disappeared for 18 years from age 12-30.

          -Horus wandered into the desert alone at age 30 and was tempted. Jesus wandered into the desert alone at age 30 and was tempted.

          -Horus had 12 disciples. 2 named Anup and Aan. Both names translate into John.. the 2 Johns from the 12 disciples of Jesus.

          -Horus walked on water.

          -Horus healed the sick, the blind, cast out demons, performed miracles.

          June 3, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          fintronics

          Where did you copy that from?

          Try to back up those claims with doc.umented sources.

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2012/06/better-atheist-fact-checking.html

          June 3, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Colin,

          I never stated Matthew wrote the Gospel of Matthew. I said it was possible we was taking notes, which means the person who wrote his testimony had access to his written word as well as oral words.

          June 3, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          " I said it was possible we was taking notes, which means the person who wrote his testimony had access to his written word"
          -----------–
          Which you will admit is purely speculative on your part.

          June 3, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Right, I don't know. I'm discussing what experts have theorized.

          June 3, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
        • fintronics

          @dala... "Try to back up those claims with doc.umented sources."

          Unlike your "holy sprit", Egyptian history isn't based on my imagination... google is your friend.

          Can you back up your claim to "know jesus" with doc.umented sources????

          June 3, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Most of those claims are false. That is not Egyptian history you are describing. Someone has rewritten it. Google is my friend.

          You should be able to show me on Wikiepedia or show me the original stories that make those claims.

          June 3, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
        • fintronics

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Christ_in_comparative_mythology

          The key word there is "mythology"

          June 3, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Oh, that is a theory.

          But nothing on that page supports that list you posted.

          June 3, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
        • fintronics

          Can you back up your claim to "know jesus" with doc.umented sources????

          your turn..

          June 3, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No. It is personal.

          I'm just asking if you can back up your claims that you listed. Where did you get that list? I look at Wikipedia and I can't figure out where those claims and similarities you made came from.

          June 3, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
        • fintronics

          and I'm asking you to back up your claims, which obviously you can't. No surprise.

          June 4, 2014 at 8:18 am |
    • James XCIX

      Dalahast – " ...some anti-theists on here that claim belief in God is the result of brainwashing..."

      Brainwashing may be too strong a word to use, but you have to admit that the vast majority of religious people follow the religion of their parents, which is usually the religion that predominates in their region of the world. What do you attribute that to?

      June 3, 2014 at 10:01 am |
      • Dalahäst

        Humanity.

        June 3, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
        • James XCIX

          Can you perhaps expand on your answer?

          June 3, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
        • Madtown

          Humanity.
          --–
          I'd say that's correct. Religions are a result of humans asking spiritual/religious-oriented questions, over time. Religions developed culturally, with each independent culture having their own variation.

          June 3, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I think that is how human beings learn. Christians experience this life in community. God created us to be in relation with each other. We have a God of relationship – Father, Son & Holy Spirit. And we are invited into that relationship.

          June 3, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
  11. realbuckyball

    I need to grow me some umlauts. Will Jebus like me more with umlauts ? I can have two dots above the "u" in Bucky.

    June 2, 2014 at 11:18 pm |
  12. Vic

    Test...

    And here is the start of Page 2.

    June 2, 2014 at 10:59 pm |
    • Vic

      BINGO!

      June 2, 2014 at 11:03 pm |
      • Akira

        Congratulations!

        June 2, 2014 at 11:06 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.