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June 26th, 2010
11:09 AM ET

Survey: 4 in 10 say Jesus is coming back by 2050

The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press released a new survey this week that looks at the year 2050. Of note to followers of the Belief Blog is 41% of people surveyed believe Jesus is coming back by the year 2050.

"...the public is divided over whether Jesus Christ will return to earth by 2050. About four-in-ten (41%) expect Jesus Christ to return while slightly more (46%) say this will definitely or probably not happen. Opinions about the return of Jesus Christ are little changed from 1999 when 44% said it would definitely or probably happen."


You can see the results of the entire survey here and here's how the Pew conducted this survey.

Editors Note: This photo is from CNN's Patrick Oppmann: A statue of Jesus keeps watch over Point Aux Chenes, a small mainly Native American community in the Louisiana bayou.  You can find more of our oil spill coverage here.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Jesus

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soundoff (483 Responses)
  1. crowonwnow

    If I have to invent an invisible alien to love, maybe its because I have a problem with loving my children, spouse, grandkids, friends and my fellow human beings generally. Persons who know that stories about gods are just stories are free to love their kids and families with all their hearts. It's not a conditional love. There's no god silliness to come between it. It doesn't depend on going into a building every few days and singing songs to invisible creatures that live in the sky. You can just go to a park or musem and hold that little hand and have a great time while you exchange smiles and laughs, and make the world a better place. There's no hell to burn in and no fixation on death and suffering.
    Catholics generally, and certainly priests, have a problem expressing their love. And I think this is why they go to all this trouble of building churches and making out like kings, and pretending invisible creatures are going to save them from themselves. They don't love because they have their religion instead. It must be a terrible thing, a wasted life in many ways, but certainly a life lived on the run from love.
    Catholicmom, if I were you I'd push the keyboard aside and find a way to express my love other than preaching about it. To me that's always been the irony of the Jesus story in a nutshell. Here's this dude who goes through all this trouble to help his fellow human beings, I guess because he loves them, and in the end gets nothing for his efforts save the knowledge that he did a good thing. Catholics, however, look toward an eternal reward, a big payoff, for nothing near the effort. That's not love, that's a deal, and a very selfish one at that.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:40 am |
    • conoclast

      You're a bright light in a dismal swamp – well put! Religious zealots and their voodoo deals with "god" should be something rather private (and maybe even a little shameful?), not things to be shouted from the rooftops as "witnessing".

      June 28, 2010 at 10:57 am |
    • Joel3

      crowonwnow – You have to understand this: Yes, there are alot of so-called Christians out there who are not doing what they were commisioned to do by the Father, but don't let a small fraction of hypocrits steal YOUR salvation. It took me a long time to figure this out. We are not following the followers, we are following the truth in Christ as instructed by the gospel. Faith, prayer, and good works is what you should be focused on, not the few idiots who make the news, or have in some way "offended" you with their belief.

      June 28, 2010 at 10:57 am |
    • CatholicMom

      crowonwnow, what is with the keyboard? Don't you follow your own advice?

      June 28, 2010 at 11:08 am |
    • crowonwnow

      Catholicmom,
      Glad you took the time. Hope it helped. TTFN

      June 28, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  2. Joel3

    Yes Lord, Maranatha! Christ shall indeed return with His saints, however it would be foolish to try and set dates. How do we know He will return? Jesus Christ was fully man and fully God. God has never ever ever made a promise He did not keep. His track record is superb. In fact, the bible clearly states God does not lie and is incapable of doing so. If He ever lied, He would cease to be God. Understood? The harvest of souls on earth which belong to the Father is not fully completed yet. The worthy will be caught up and saved, the unworthy will be destroyed along with the earth. Come on people, it's time we ALL face the facts: We are not in control down here. The creation wants to be creator, and man loves to exhalt himself above God because God has hidden His face...for now. Just as Lucifer's grave decision will lead him to destruction, so will it go with the arrogant man who mocks our Creator in the heavens.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:38 am |
    • Todd

      I worship Gozer the Traveler. He will come in one of the pre-chosen forms. During the rectification of the Vuldrini, the traveler came as a large and moving Torg! Then, during the third reconciliation of the last of the McKetrick supplicants, they chose a new form for him: that of a giant Slor! Many Shuvs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!

      June 28, 2010 at 10:42 am |
    • Joel3

      Todd – Good luck with that- and have a blessed day! lol

      June 28, 2010 at 10:48 am |
    • Dustin

      "the bible clearly states God does not lie and is incapable of doing so. If He ever lied, He would cease to be God."

      Do you see what the problem is with what you've stated here? If your proof that gods exists is because a book tells you so, then prove that Zeus doesn't exist, or even Odin for that matter. If I can swap out the deity in question, and you wouldn't buy it, then it's not a good argument to make.

      June 28, 2010 at 10:51 am |
    • Eric G

      Ha!!! Gotcha!!! I KNOW that Oden exists. We play softball on thursdays, and he never pays his part of the bar tab.

      June 28, 2010 at 10:55 am |
    • Joel3

      Dustin – We have much more than His Word in the book. The Spirit within us is absolute and undeniable. Something offered to any and everyone who seeks God. Sorry, but God can not be summed up using your petty "logic" which has no place in the spiritual realm. It's almost like some of you think like a computer because if you can't "google" the answer there is no way it could possibly be true, right? lol what ashame.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:06 am |
    • Dustin

      If my logic is "petty," then your evidence is "severely lacking." Science has explained a sizeable chunk of the world we live in. We have laws of motion, laws of gravity, methods in which to test the speed of light, the properties of the elements; all of which can be tested and proven. This is what I regard as evidence. If that's "petty" to you, then maybe you should consider the source material that you're using.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:20 am |
    • Joel3

      Dustin – Science has improved our lives by making things more convenient (technology). However, when it comes to LIFE and the creation of it, man doesn't have a clue. No, not one.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:30 am |
    • Dustin

      No Joel, it's more than just convenience. Do you wear glasses? If so, those were created using science. Do you take any sort of medication? Have you ever had surgery? Do you use machinery (and/or electronics/computers) in your job? Do you drive to work? Do you use electricity in your home (obviously if you're typing responses on CNN)? Do you own a refrigerator? How about a toilet with a septic system? These are more than mere convenience items; these are tools/essentials that are required for a civilization of our magnitude. And if we didn't have a clue about life or the origins of it, why are we able to clone animals and living tissue? I think discrediting mankind's compiled knowledge while making personal use of it is a disservice.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:42 am |
    • Joel3

      Dustin – All of those things you listed are still "conveniences" at our disposal which make life easier, less stressful, and may improve our health. They have NOTHING to do with the reason you have life and a conscience. And when it comes to the flesh (our body/tissue) man has identified ways to clone it. CAN MAN CLONE YOUR SPIRIT? Does he even have an understanding of our spirits which give life to our bodies? No, not one, just a bunch of theories and guessing games.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:58 am |
    • NewWicca

      Todd: that's one of my favorite parts of that Movie! Thanks for the memories!!! 🙂

      June 28, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  3. JD Hamilton

    Religion is the problem! We need to make brainwashing children with any religious dogma a CRIME!

    June 28, 2010 at 10:37 am |
    • illlisten

      you might have enjoyed soviet russia. they did that.

      June 28, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
  4. Dustin

    I've got to give Christianity credit for perpetuating the longest lived houx in human history. How many generations have been born and subsequently died awaiting some messiah to return to save their souls? How many people have given their loyalty, their money, and most importantly, their time, to a faith that leaves them holding their breath? Maybe it's time for people to realize that no superbeing is going to fly down from the upper atmosphere and solve their problems. The human condition is something every one of us shares, and in the grand scheme of our existence on this planet, we need to help and rely on each other to improve our overall well being.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:32 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Who is holding their breathe?
      Yes, the Catholic Church has been around for thousands of years and it will prevail against evil until the end of time.
      Yes, we need to love everyone and help them in ways that will help each person reach their ultimate goal–to live in eternal happiness for all of eternity. At least that is my end goal. My goal for today to pray for world peace among all people, do my daily tasks, enjoy my time here on earth, and to give thanks and praise to God.

      June 28, 2010 at 10:56 am |
    • Dustin

      If your faith motivates you to care for your fellow man and doesn't cause harm to others, then more power to you. I just want to leave a better world for my children and my grandchildren than the one I grew up in.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:08 am |
    • Reality

      CatholicMom,

      Why the RCC is failing:

      The Catholic Eucharist et al is not about truth but about the Three B Syndrome i.e. Bred, Born, and Brainwashed in orthodox mumbo jumbo i.e bloody wine, hairy bread, "pretty/ugly wingie, talking/singing, flying, fictional thingies, limbo, ascensions, assumptions, immaculate conceptions, virgin impregnations by theoretical ghostly gods, guilt trips of atonement/mythical sinning-original parents, food/wine replicators, raising bodies only to die again, imminent second comings that never come, imaginary wise men, slaughtering innocent children and filicide.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  5. Seriously?

    There's no reasoning with religious nuts. If they had the capacity to reason they wouldn't believe in these fairly tales to begin with. Jesus will comes back to earth right after Santa Claus, Frosty and the Easter Bunny. It's all crap designed to keep insecure people looking for answers to questions they don't understand and drain their wallets in the process. All wack jobs.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:24 am |
    • CatholicMom

      You are having a hard time with this! Don't be so hard on yourself!

      June 28, 2010 at 10:45 am |
  6. Sir Craig

    Reading all these comments by what can only be described as the "god botherers," it amazes me people are still arguing about the supposed return of a fictional character in order to "save" the planet. There has never been conclusive proof Jesus ever existed in the first place (and spare me the texts by Josephus et al; debates are still raging on the validity of those), let alone he was a demi-god born of a virgin.

    What Beliefblog needs is an atheist/rationalist contributor, one who can point out the utter absurdity that religion holds dear and hopefully make people think about what it is they are actually worshipping. For example, John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." If this god is so fantastically powerful that He can not only create an entire universe but also keep track of every action within it, why does He require blood sacrifices? What kind of twisted sadist is this supposed "god of love", that He would willingly sacrifice His own offspring in order to remove a stain (original sin) that was of His own creation in the first place? Does anyone ever bother to think about that?

    Those billboards really need to read: "Aren't you a little old to believe in fairy tales? –God"

    June 28, 2010 at 10:24 am |
    • CatholicMom

      it looks like your pride has appointed you atheist/rationalist.
      What do you know about free will and God? So how is it that you can discuss Someone whom you don't know?

      June 28, 2010 at 10:43 am |
    • Ituri

      What a silly assumption, that an atheist does not understand the religious drivel parroted by the masses.

      I spent 20+ years in the religious death-worshipping cult called Christianity. I can quote the Bible further and faster than most Christians I know, and I know every line of "reasoning" (if you can call it that) that the religious use to justify their self-serving belief, because *I* use to believe it myself.

      Many atheists and non-religious people, especially in the US, come from Christian backgrounds and families. Assuming they "don't know" the useless muck you're throwing like a monkey with poo is yet another self-serving assumption you LOVE to make, because it means you can frivolously dismiss anything any non-religious person says without actually THINKING about what they said.

      June 28, 2010 at 10:47 am |
    • Reality

      Sir Craig,

      From one of the RCC's very own regarding John 3: 16,

      From Father Ray Brown's epic tome, An Introduction to the New Testament;

      When we try to think of this scene occurring in the ministry of Jesus, there are many problems that must be faced, not the least of which is setting. The opening statement of Nicodemus in vs. 2 implies that Jesus has worked many miracles in Jerusalem, and this is also the burden of ii 23 and iv 45. Yet, the fact that no miracle done in Jerusalem has been narrated by John has led many to suggest that the Nicodemus story should come later in the Gospel after miracles in Jerusalem have been described. Mendner, art. cit., suggests that the authentic setting for the Nicodemus story is in vii 51. Mendner supposes that, after Nicodemus had spoken on Jesus' behalf, he went to investigate him. In his Diatessaron (Codex Fuldensis), a 2nd century harmony of the Gospels, Tatian placed the Nicodemus scene in Holy Week, an arrangement Lagrange finds tempting. A prediction of death, such as found in vs. 14, would be more in harmony in Holy Week. Gourbillon, art. cit., would relocate iii 14 21 between xii 31 and 32, thus giving part of the Nicodemus scene a setting toward the end of Jesus' life. Such exercises of ingenuity are always interesting, but in the end one is discouraged by the lack of proof.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:33 am |
    • Sir Craig

      Catholic Mom: I would love to take on the role of token atheist/rationalist on this blog, but I lack the time to do more than comment. Research alone for each article would take up hours I don't have, but thank you for the vote of confidence (and yes, perhaps I do have a small sense of pride – name one person who claims they are nothing but humble and I'll show you a hypocrite, because chances are they take pride in their humility). Besides, it sounds like there are others who who would do a better job than I. For example:

      Reality: You definitely know your religious history – it is chock full of editorial changes, committee agreements, abridgments, re-interpretations, etc., to the point that any claims made by the god-soaked that the Bible is anything but the inerrant word of God is utterly ludicrous.

      June 28, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
    • cheryl

      Sir Craig, If you understood the Bible there is no need for blood sacrifices today as Jesus fulfilled the old testiment prophecy and he was the last blood sacrifice we now live uner a new law and that is why as it states in Acts 2:38 there is only one church the church Christ died for there is no need for any othere denomination. All other "religions" I use the term loosley are man made because someone didn't want to follow the original rules God put in place after Jesus was ressurected now if he was ressurected why would there be evidence of a body? Because there is none and yes this is super natural. Even the ghost finders really don't understand super natural and as humans we don't need to know everything. I truly wish you could join me in my lessons and than you would understand most of it. I don't understand everything and I've never met a person who does either. There are some things we just don't need to know. But the truth is in the bible and I must add when they put the Bible in book form they did not do it chronallogically. thanks for listening

      July 19, 2010 at 10:17 am |
  7. Bubba

    Sure He is, and He'll say that I was right and the rest of you were wrong. Then we'll go fishing and He'll buy me a pony.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  8. faithplusnothing

    @CatholicMom needs to read the scriptures instead of listening to the Pope. Your entire religious system is based on the law program given ONLY to Israel and some other things brought in that isn't even in the scriptures. I would study Romans through Philemon and then show me where anything you practice in your religion is for us today.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:23 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Of course I am going to listen to the successor of St. Peter. Don’t just read parts of the Bible, read the whole thing.
      And then you will see that the New Testament is the fulfillment of the Old Testament.

      June 28, 2010 at 10:37 am |
    • Reality

      CatholicMom, Search outside your biblical box and you will find that the establishment of the papacy i.e. Matt 16: 18-19 was not historic but an addition made by Matthew post-resurrection to establish some leadership in the growing religious sect.

      June 28, 2010 at 10:52 am |
  9. CatholicMom

    irreverentreverend

    I hate anchovies on pizza, too!

    Too bad your conscience isn’t working right—it should warn you not to be rude, disrespectful or unpleasant before you commit those sins. But yes, we don’t always listen to the voice of our conscience until the deed is done but at least yours will still work to get you to apologize or make amends. So since you are irreverent, does that mean you don’t go so far as to confess your sin to the One you have really offended and ask His forgiveness?

    Not believing in God is rejecting Him.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:21 am |
    • Dustin

      So what would you call an agnostic then? Someone that does not claim that a god does or doesn't exist? And why does having a conscience require belief in a god? How do explain people like Jim Jones, who are willing to sacrifice the lives of hundreds of people, to perpetuate their beliefs? Conscience is clearly independent of a god. Otherwise, how would you explain the value systems that other cultures share with ours. Do not murder, do not steal, do not commit adultery; these concepts are commonly accepted as being beneficial to society as a whole.

      June 28, 2010 at 10:41 am |
  10. Todd

    Jesus is just a cheap rip off of the Egyptian god Horus. Sad that so many rational people put stock in these ridiculous myths.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:18 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Todd, why do you believe in Egyptian god Horus?

      June 28, 2010 at 10:26 am |
    • Eric G

      True, he is a rip off. The christians used many stories from other religions for ease of conversion. Recycled pagan myths litter christian dogma (christmas and easter come to mind). The christians were smart enough to get copywrights on the stories. If they were really thinking, they would have had the forsight to retain the international merchandising rights, just like George Lucas.

      June 28, 2010 at 10:28 am |
    • Todd

      Don't believe in ANY gods. I stopped believing right about the time I stopped believing in the Easter Bunny and Santa.

      June 28, 2010 at 10:29 am |
    • Bubba

      Mom, why do you believe that Todd believes in Horus?

      June 28, 2010 at 11:34 am |
  11. jocie

    i believe He is coming back.
    but whether by 2050 or not, no one knows

    June 28, 2010 at 10:14 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Yes, He is coming back but it is foolish to listen to people who throw out dates as to when it will happen. We have not been given a date; only the Father knows when His Son is coming back.

      June 28, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  12. illlisten

    where did the other religions come from catholic mom? who made them up?

    June 28, 2010 at 10:10 am |
    • CatholicMom

      I only know about my faith and what it is to be Catholic. You have to ask all the others about their beliefs.

      June 28, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  13. CatholicMom

    Ok, Eric G, I cannot clear my conscience by myself, so yes, I confess to my God who is the one who is offended by my sin. In order to confess sins they have to be spoken out loud and there has to be ears to hear the confession and so I confess out loud to a priest who has been SENT by God to sit in Personna Christi and has been given this power through ordination through the succession of St Peter the first Pope, to tell me that my sins are absolved or they are not absolved.

    I do not have to prove anything to you. I know what is in my heart and that is something that we each have the privilege of knowing; we can believe or not believe in God and once, we hear the Truth and still wish to wallow in our sins, that is our own free will to take that on and live with it.

    I don't know what you are talking about that 'I have an imaginary friend that I can blame for my sins and another imaginary friend who can clear me of any responsibility for my sins–where did all that come from?

    My God is not man-made. Some people are creative but I doubt if anyone is so great as to be able to produce a God!
    If you think there is a man-made God prove it, silly!

    June 28, 2010 at 10:08 am |
    • Sir Craig

      No, CatholicMom, it is not up to us to prove "god" exists – it is up to you to prove He does. There is no evidence for a supernatural deity, so in order for us to accept your notion (or any other religious notion) that there is some external paranormal force guiding existence, it is up to you to present that proof for thorough examination.

      And trust me, a 2000 year old collection of Iron Age myths is not proof. If a book was all I needed to prove the existence of something, without any corroborating evidence that could be objectively tested, then I can prove space aliens wanting to build an intergalactic highway through the solar system was also true.

      June 28, 2010 at 10:32 am |
    • Sir Craig

      Sorry – I meant to say "It is not up to us to prove he doesn't exist" – I hate not having preview capability

      June 28, 2010 at 10:33 am |
    • Eric G

      You are right, you don't have to prove anything to me. I think our differences are caused by your definition of the word "truth". I prefer my "truths" to be proved through evidence, testing and verification with repeatable results. You have stated that your "thruths" are based in your belief. Science has not proven everything, and it does not claim to. What science has proven, they consider truths. Where our scientific understanding ends, you choose to use faith to explain the questions that remain. Science is using this method to discover more about the natural world everyday. Religion uses faith and dogma to claim that they already have all the answers. Science makes no such claim. I guess the best way to describe it is religion is writing the discovery process in reverse. They claim to have explainations for everything and then re-write their beliefs as science discovers the real explaination. So, when you reference something as a "truth", I expect you to be able to prove your truth because use faith to explain a truth is, at best wishful thinking, and at worst, a malicious attempt to mislead others. It is not your faith that I have a problem with, it is your definition of truth.

      June 28, 2010 at 10:46 am |
  14. CatholicMom

    Jacob,
    I think we should be clear that we are not a conscience. A conscience is invisible and we are visible. A conscience can be formed by our will. That is why, as you say, it seems that some people do not have one—that is, ‘anything goes’ right or wrong with some peopl; it does not seem to matter to them and they have killed their conscience.
    The Catholic Church has much to say about Love. I am interested in what Atheists think about love. It could lead one to gain an insight into why Atheists are so against the Author of love. [God the creator of all good things.]
    The Catholic Church does not bash science at all. Any inroads to Truth is always a blessing for mankind. Truth is always sought—always upheld as good.
    You said, ‘ But you don't have to believe in God to find the sand God made, and you don't have to believe in Him to find love either.’ Glad you admit that God made the sand! But it wouldn’t hurt people to be thankful and show thanks by praising God for showering us with these good things instead of denouncing the Creator by saying, ‘ He doesn’t exist’. Who likes a sculpture and doesn’t wish to thank the sculptor for making such a wonderful work just so one’s eyes could behold it?
    Love is not an emotion that is fleeting, it is a decision. You grow your love, nourish it or let it die. Same with hate; you can increase it or let it die. People hold on to the worst things sometimes; why is that? Doesn’t it have to do with our conscience? A good conscience will set you free. Continual denial of Truth is how you kill your conscience. It is something like this: we have in our heads this voice that when we are eating, it tells us, ‘you are full, stop eating’. Now if you ignore that warning, pretty soon, you silence that voice by neglect. These voices are blessings and some people are thankful for them, others ignore them. That is free will.

    June 27, 2010 at 11:45 pm |
    • Eric G

      So, your conscience is clear because you believe that your sins are forgiven by someone else? You cannot prove that the person you claim can forgive your sins exists. You also claim that the very clear conscience that you have was also provided by the person that you cannot prove exists. Your claim to the moral high ground is corrupt. It seems to me that you can do whatever you like because you have an immaginary friend that you can blame for your actions and your immaginary friend can clear you of any responsibility for your actions. Please, one last time, and stay on topic...... Provide verifiable evidence of your god, or admit that you cannot and that your god is man-made. This is the same question I have asked multiple times and you refuse to answer it.

      June 28, 2010 at 8:55 am |
    • irreverentreverend

      Do atheists believe in love? This one does. I love my family, friends, knowledge and life.
      Do I hate? At the moment the only thing I can think of is anchovies on pizza.
      Do I have a conscience? Yes I do. It tells me when I have been rude, disrespectful or generally unpleasant and urges me to apologize or make amends.

      As for rejecting god, no, I simply don't believe in a god. Any god. Nor do I follow any particular dogma except living a good life and teaching my children to do the same. Which includes taking resposibility for one's own actions.

      June 28, 2010 at 9:31 am |
    • Chisos

      You asked what atheists think about love. Well, all of us (atheists) are different, so I am sure that we all probably have different opinions. This is what this particular atheist thinks about love: Love is a useful emotion that is the result of eons of biological evolution and natural selection. Offspring who are loved are much more likely to survive than offspring who are not. Feelings of love, both romantic and parental, are characterized by the release of very specific chemicals in the brain as well as localized brain activity. Love can easily be thought of as a very complex nurturing instinct. This does not mean that feelings of love are weak or easily dismissed, on the contrary our natural instincts are very strong, for example you mentioned hunger. Anyone who hasn't eaten in 10 hours can attest to that. This is an instinctual reaction of our body to lack of food.
      As far as conscious, I am guessing you are talking about morailty and not Awarness. I am a moral person. I don't steal or kill. I don't assault people. Indeed many people have descibed me as a "nice guy". I am not a nice guy because I fear some god's divine judgment. I am nice because I like being nice. I do not need any more reason than that.
      On a side note, Galileo would disagree with you on the Church's stance on truth.

      June 28, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  15. verify

    The scientific study of love and emotion is far too complex and lengthy to put here. I think that you are going to have to research that yourself. Sorry, the answer is not a one-liner such as, "God is Love", that religionists so crave. Yes, athiests love. And yes, love and hate, as well as numerous other emotions, can be felt by a person.

    Au contraire, I became 'heartened' to discover a whole world of truths and possibilities without all of religion's contrived views, slogans and threats; and their myths, legends and fantasies about supernatural beings. I do remember the emotional high of thinking that I was communing with the 'Almighty' or some dead 'Saint'... it can be quite seductive and pleasureable and addicting. But it is not real. I find much more rapture in reality.

    June 27, 2010 at 10:53 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Verify,

      How did you commune with ‘dead’ Saints, as you called them? I would not call Saints ‘dead’ as they are more alive than we are! If the Saint is ‘dead’-he/she is in Hell and is not a Saint. Those souls who are dead are not part of the family of God—the Communion of Saints.

      The ‘Communion of Saints’ is made up of all the faithful—those in Heaven and those in purification and those of us in pilgrimage. As a family, we have Jesus Christ as our Head and we make up His Body; we can pray for each other while here on earth which is one of the ways we can help each other—that is loving thy neighbor as thy self which is what Christ wants us to do. If a soul is in Heaven we can ask them to intercede for our soul as they are more closely united to Christ than we are; they do not need our prayers because they have already attained eternal happiness and see the Face of God.

      When a person ‘dies’, his soul goes to Heaven or may need purification first [as no unclean thing will enter Heaven], or the soul goes to Hell in which case the soul is dead. If the soul goes to Hell they have been cut off from the body by the Father who is the judge of our soul; they are no longer a Saint.

      The Church has recognized many people as Saints but there are many that She has not named as such however we recognize all of the Saints in Heaven on the feast of All Saints Day. So we forget no one. We love the whole Body of Christ, every member.

      I continue to hope and pray for everyone’s soul to attain that final destination and ask members of the Body who are already in Heaven to intercede for my soul that I might also join them in everlasting life with Jesus Christ the Almighty. We need all the help we can get! This thing we call life is not something we are in all alone—we are a family.

      Verify, you may not know it but your soul is prayed for by many people every day in the Catholic Church all around the world. Yes, every day…

      June 28, 2010 at 9:49 am |
  16. CatholicMom

    Thank you, Verify, I see you did answer one of my questions but something prevented you from answering them all. Please, if you will, answer the rest. I am sorry you had something happen that caused you to become disheartened; if I may ask, can you speak about it?

    June 27, 2010 at 10:09 pm |
  17. CatholicMom

    Why is it no one will attempt to answer some easy questions? Answering a question with a question makes me conclude you don’t really know how answer. Or did I ask too many questions at a time? Oops, sorry, you don’t have to answer that…or any if they are too hard for you. You don’t have to be wordy, just use common sense wording; I won’t be rude to you if you just want to slam me with nonsense—I will understand where you are coming from…
    Do you have a conscience? Yes or no. If no, where did it go? What does science say about what ‘conscience’ is and is it possible to lose it?
    What is love and what does science say about love? Do atheists find love? Is it possible for a person to hate but still know love at the same time? How does that work? What does science say about love/hate within a person?

    June 27, 2010 at 10:00 pm |
    • Jacob

      CatholicMom: Most people have "a" conscience, if it is indeed correct to use the word as something one "has" apart from what one actually "is." It seems that some people do not have one, however. Sad.

      While it would be strange to expect every scientist to care about such things (since the question would be utterly irrelevant to an astronomer, statistician, or geologist), certain areas of science - sociology and psychology in particular - do care a great deal and have much to say about conscience and moral development. If you are seriously interested, then I would suggest beginning with Freud's explanation of the superego and move your way through Maslow and Piaget.

      "Science" says less about love than it does about conscience, I would guess. Science also says little about many other interesting things in the world such as modern sculpture, American Idol, or the Book of Psalms. On the other hand, the Catholic Church in turn has little to say on Planck's constant, the care of houseplants or how to bake a chocolate cake.

      While there is significant overlap, science and religion are not generally asking the same questions about the universe, don't pretend they do, and can peacefully co-exist, even if some choose to use "science" to bash religion or "religion" to bash science.

      Do athiests find love? Of course. Love exists. It would be like asking "Do athiests find sand on the beach?" You and I might believe that love and sand both come from God, and we might be correct. But you don't have to believe in God to find the sand God made, and you don't have to believe in Him to find love either.

      I think most of us hate and love at the same time, or at least some of the time. A good love lasts forever. A good hate is fleeting and is often overwhelmed by love. Bad divorce. Wife really hates exhusband, but her children don't know because she never lets on out of love for them. It's really not that hard to see how this is part of the human condition.

      June 27, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
  18. crowonwnow

    Santa gets to come back every year but Jesus hasn't been seen again in a couple thousand. I don't understand. I just don't understand.

    June 27, 2010 at 9:10 pm |
    • Reality

      Me neither!!!!

      But Joe Smith did meet the "angel" Moroni in the 1800's? Hmmm? And Mohammed met mythical Gabriel somewhere in the 600's AD. Strange how these "myths" incubated huge, wealthy religions. Darn, when is my "profit angel" going to appear????

      June 27, 2010 at 9:34 pm |
  19. Lisa

    LAST WORD: Einstein and Newton believed in God (the Christian One). Were they nuts? "There's nothing wrong with Christianity- it's just that it hasn't been tried yet!" anon. Organized religion is and always has been the problem. The Bible does sound like a fable and it does take faith to believe, but so do a lot of scientific theories. Listened to some of Stephen Hawkings ideas about parallell universes etc lately? So, unless we are content to guess that the hokie pokie really is "what it's all about" then we are justified to try to find answers. Newton secretly studied and believed the Bible, but wisely secreted his notes away till long after his death. He did NOT believe the Trinity, but was smart enough to keep that to himself at the time. Had he come out with it, he'd have been a heretic, burned at the stake and we'd have NEVER known his name! Church oppression of TRUTH has always been around because EVERY ORGANIZED RELIGION will lie to preserve itself and it's heirarchy. Jesus is coming soon and if He doesn't we will self-destruct. It's pretty obvious just from reading these comments that "every man's hand is againsst his neighbor." Where's the LOVE? Newton was on to something. Check it out. But I think the 2050 or 2040 idea was his. I don't think we can wait that long. There won't be any food to eat or water to drink by then at the rate we're going. Organized religion, yes even you J.W.s, always REPLACES loyalty to CHRIST with loyalty to the ORGanization.

    June 27, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
    • RadicalRationalist

      Lisa said, "Einstein and Newton believed in God (the Christian One)."

      Newton certainly did, but Einstein did not. Newton was a devout, though secretive, Christian and lived during a time when virtually everyone was religious. Einstein, on the other hand, was born Jewish, never converted, and did not attend synagogue. He believed in what he described as a "personal God". Although Einstein spoke very little about his religious beliefs, he did say this: “I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings.” Einstein's beliefs were clearly more akin to pantheism than traditional monotheism. To describe Einstein as believing in the Abrahamic god (as belonging to Judaism, Islam or Christianity) is incorrect.

      Lisa said, "The Bible does sound like a fable and it does take faith to believe, but so do a lot of scientific theories."

      No. Scientific theories do not require faith, they require evidence. Religion demands loyalty to an idea with no evidence They're not even remotely the same thing.

      Lisa said, "Listened to some of Stephen Hawkings ideas about parallell universes etc lately?"

      Be careful when generalizing about the word "theory". The concepts of parallel universes, the multi-verse, and string theory.. etc.. are all mathematical constructs. These are not supported by evidence but they are not entirely without logical support. A better word for these constructs would be, "theorems". A theorem is a mathematical statement derived from previously established statements. In the physical sciences the word "theory" is defined as a well tested hypothesis; a model with predictive power. It does not mean a hunch or a guess and is not defined solely by a mathematical model.

      Lisa said, "EVERY ORGANIZED RELIGION will lie to preserve itself and it's heirarchy"

      Ah, delicious irony. Lisa, it's fairly clear you don't even know that you're lying yourself. I suppose, to that extent, you can be forgiven.

      June 27, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
    • Sgstuck

      I can't find anything wrong with what radicalrationalist has posted above, but on the topic of Einstein and other great thinkers of the past, I find it to be almost entirely irrelevant. In Newton's time it was very reasonable to believe in a supernatural power, as there was simply inadequate evidence suggesting otherwise. Newton was much smarter than the average man of his time, but even a child born this century would have greater knowledge of the universe.

      If I were born 100 years ago, I would likely be much more religious, and I am confident that those born 100 years from today will be, on average, much less religious than my generation simply because the evidence will be that much more available and convincing.

      June 27, 2010 at 9:54 pm |
  20. Lt. Dan

    Don't waste your time with Catholic Mom, you will end up just pulling your hair out. You can't have a rational conversation with religious fannatics. She will just pull out a quote from the bible soon and say "see it says right here, so nanny nanny boo boo" Like I said in my previous post, you will have to let people draw their own conclusions. You cant have a ballte of wits with and unarmed person.

    June 27, 2010 at 2:38 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.