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September 14th, 2010
07:56 AM ET

Mira Sorvino finds faith in new movie

Editor's Note: Academy Award winning actress Mira Sorvino sat down with CNN's Belief Blog to talk about her new film Like Dandelion Dust. The film is based on the book by Christian author Karen Kingsbury. CNN's Chris Ford filed this report.

Academy Award winning actress Mira Sorvino is the star of the latest film aimed at the faith community. Sorvino says she found faith in the story of a mother who gave her child up for adoption but has decided to try and get him back.

While not overtly a religious film, Sorvino says "Like Dandelion Dust" contains religious values: forgiveness, love, and redemption. Watch what she had say in our interview.

The film also stars Barry Pepper, Cole Hauser, Kate Levering, and Maxwell Perry Cotton and is directed by Jon Gunn. It is rated PG-13 for mature thematic material including domestic violence and alcohol abuse. It will be playing in select theaters Sept. 24.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Art • Christianity

soundoff (185 Responses)
  1. Sharpe

    "well now you got me all confused.... I guess I never knew GOD was Jesus???
    That's what happens when you never opened a bible... :\"

    There is this thing called the Holy Trinity. Maybe you should look it up.

    September 14, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
    • Patrynn

      Oh, yeah – I love Dexter too!

      September 14, 2010 at 2:38 pm |
    • Weez

      k, so I Did, and it turns out the girl in the Matrix is HOLY!!

      September 14, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
    • ScottK

      Guess what!! The words "Holy Trinity" or even just "trinity" is not found anywhere in the bible!! Look it up

      If you consider yourself a Christian then you are worshiping the SAME god as the jews and the muslims which is the singular, monotheistic (meaning just one) god of Abraham. Period. If you dont understand or believe this you are either delusional, uninformed or just plain ignorant.

      September 14, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  2. Dissident

    It's listed as top stories on the CNN frontpage you feebleminded sheep.

    September 14, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
    • TammyB

      Haven't you ever heard of "Human Interest" stories, "Entertainment" News, "Sports" news, etc.? Not all "news" is political, or catastrophe driven. Some people like to read "news" and "stories" about other kinds of things, which makes it "news" to them!

      September 14, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
  3. ryan

    i think the christian people here are right . let them have a place to talk. were not going to "convert" any of these people. im sure most of these people here are good, like most people. this is obviously something they need. so lets leave them in peace.

    September 14, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
  4. DarkBronzePlant

    My wife and I are adoptive parents. We could've conceived children ourselves, but decided way back when, before we were married, that we would instead rather provide a home to a child who needs one. We currently have a wonderful two-year-old boy, and just adopted a second cute little guy three months ago. It's taken us years of work, expenses, and lots of heartache along the way to finally get to here.

    Which leads me to my wondering... how can a story like this be at all considered heartwarming? When you're an adoptive parent, you're not just babysitting someone else's kids. You're not borrowing them. Those kids are *yours*. My wife and I have given our entire lives for these boys. If someone was to show up now–much less six year later, as is the case with this story–and try to take either boy away from us, I wouldn't care who that person is. They'd be trying to take my child away from me, and I would do anything–anything at all–to prevent that from happening.

    September 14, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
    • Think Tank

      Too right. People act as if adoption is not real, doesn't make a real family. I plan to adopt God willing. Biology does not always if ever make a "real" family, love, raising the kids, nurturing, supporting, providing for etc. IS what makes a family. Need more people like you and your wife adopting kids. I hope to do the same myself with my partner one day...

      September 14, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
    • TammyB

      I so totally agree with that. In the cases where the biologicals have come back and tried to take kids away from the adoptive parents, I totally thought the courts were wrong for even considering it. Just making a baby doesn't make you parents, nurturing and loving a child does.

      September 14, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
  5. Chris J

    She is a really good actress. She has another new movie coming out called 'The Presence' which is excellent.

    September 14, 2010 at 12:30 pm |
  6. jjboston

    Agreed, Matt.

    September 14, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
  7. Dissident

    WTH! CNN has a 'belief blog' attached to their news site with pieces masquerading as news. Does the C stand for christian?

    September 14, 2010 at 12:13 pm |
    • Leah

      If you don't believe in God, then why are you here? You're like "why is this news?" in the Entertainment section.

      September 14, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
  8. Grim Reaper

    And what about the parents that adopted this child and raised him for 6 years? What about the test of their faith. Is Mira's character concerned about what is best for this child or herself?

    September 14, 2010 at 11:56 am |
  9. Pascal

    Why do so many anti-Christians post on this site? Everytime I wander over here I see more Christian-bashing than anything else. Somebody just wrote that "Vengence, retribution and greed" are religious values. Huh?

    Setting aside the sins of individuals – religious or not – what teaching of Jesus Christ is something we should scorn? What values promoted by Christ are vengeful or greedy? Why is any philosophy, like Christianity, so threatening and evil to so many?

    Oh well. I guess the Atheist posters get their therapy by lashing out and the religious folks get some reassurance that their choices aren't easy and obvious. The value and comfort of Faith is increased when so many disparage it and try to diminish it.

    September 14, 2010 at 11:29 am |
    • kei

      Please realize that Christians attack non-Christians all the time. Everyone loves to claim they are right, no matter what they believe. Picking out Atheists as though they are all hateful and that they are the only type of person that "lashes out" at others is just ignorant. Christian, Islamic, Jewish, Atheist, etc... we all have people that share our beliefs that are not necessarily the nicest toward others.

      September 14, 2010 at 11:59 am |
    • Leah

      Right! It irritates me. If you want religious people to shut up about their beliefs, you need to shut up and leave them alone. You're only adding fuel to the fire. Yes there are religious extremists, but does that make ALL religion bad? No. There are extreme sports, but that doesn't make all sports bad.

      I tell people, those who are willing to listen even if they don't agree, about God. In doing so, I've done my part. FYI, the Bible was INSPIRED by God. Not written by him as many believe. I try to be good and I generally fall short. That's where God comes in. I ask him, as I would as my parents, for forgiveness if I knew I did something wrong.

      IE: I believe cursing is wrong (just me). So every time I curse, I say something along the lines, "I'm sorry God. I cursed again. I'm afraid it has become a habit. Please lend me your strength to break the habit." And strive to not curse any more. That is a perfect example of a prayer. Within about 2 months, I don't curse as much as I used to. Actually I'm very mindful of who I'm cursing in front of too.

      September 14, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
    • Leah

      Kei: The reason why she pointed out only Athiests is the fact the MAJORITY of them lash out.

      September 14, 2010 at 12:13 pm |
    • ScottK

      I think the Christian bashing happens more here because the majority of Americans claim to be Christian so thats more likely the religious leaning of the other posters. And they get bashed because they often make sweeping generalizations (like this one) about things they know nothing about but have a faith based opinion. Throughout the ages faith has given us such things as a flat earth, earth at the center of the universe, the inquisition, blaming jews for the black plague, burning young women who some "believed" were witches and many more blind blunders. I'll take science over faith anyday.

      September 14, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
    • Alwaysamazed

      The problem is that the majority of people who claim to be Christian don't follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. If we did, then there would be no room for the criticism or ridicule that we recieve from non-christians. Those who claim Christians are hypocrites have reason to say so. There is a reason that Gahndi said,“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” We Christians have nobody to blame but ourselves for the bad rap we've gotten over the last 2,000 yrs.

      September 14, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
    • Dude

      Start with Heaven, Hell and the rest of the juvenile fantasy peddled to adults. Then the misogynistic tendencies of Paul. The anti-gay bigotry. We could talk about the hyper-violence commanded by in the Old Testament, the twisted sacrificial morality, the whole nine yards. There's a lot to despise about Christianity. The ethics of Jesus are only a small bit of that, and frankly, wouldn't be offensive if stripped of the weird supernatural claims and divorced from the Old Testament blood god.

      September 15, 2010 at 8:23 am |
  10. Pascal

    i don't think forgiveness is a natural trait. I'm pretty sure it's taught through religious tradition. Tolerance may also be part of the religious tradition. What non-religious cultures are known for their forgiveness and tolerance? And redemption. C'mon. Where is there redemption without a belief in a higher calling. Western Atheists seem to forget that they were raised in a culture where Christianity dominated law, norms and consciousness. Now they get to say that only the bad stuff came from Christianity and their atheism is responsible for all the enlightened thought. Very convenient thinking with but 50 years of atheist history to trace.

    September 14, 2010 at 11:11 am |
    • kei

      While our nation has a strong Christian dominance, our oldest laws were written by Deists. The Founding Fathers were not Christian.

      September 14, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
    • Leah

      Actually yes they are. Of course our "founding fathers" isn't nessecarily (sp) George Washington. I'm going back long before then. Columbus's Era. Columbus founded this land. Washington "founded" (created is the better word) democracy.

      September 14, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
    • Leah

      Forgiveness is taught, not "human nature". If it was, then why do some people hold grudges for extremely long periods of time? I can name quite a few people in my family (and friends) who hold grudges.

      September 14, 2010 at 12:18 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      America is NOT a Christian nation, nor were the Founding Fathers Christians.
      The 1796 treaty with Tripoli states that the United States was "in no sense founded on the Christian religion". This treaty was written under the presidency of George Washington and signed under the presidency of John Adams.

      James Madison said:
      "Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise."

      John Adams addressing Thomas Jefferson:
      "I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved– the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!"

      Thomas Jefferson:
      "I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature."

      Benjamin Franklin:
      "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason."

      Thomas Paine:
      "Take away from Genesis the belief that Moses was the author, on which only the strange belief that it is the word of God has stood, and there remains nothing of Genesis but an anonymous book of stories, fables, and traditionary or invented absurdities, or of downright lies."

      Secondly, Washington is not the father of democracy. If anyone is, it would be Plato.

      September 14, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
    • Dude

      50 years? Try thousands of years. Many of the great Greek thinkers were atheists, and we've been around ever since. I suggest you broaden your education a bit.

      September 15, 2010 at 8:17 am |
  11. ja

    """All "good" values have root in faith"""

    its sad that people still think this way

    September 14, 2010 at 10:59 am |
    • kei

      Agreed. In my time I have met many fantastic people that consider themselves Atheists... and many cruel people that consider themselves Christians.

      September 14, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
    • Weez

      let's not forget those lovely people who burned so many innocent people (small children included) .... as witches!!

      September 14, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  12. Roland

    In my experience, religion and 75 cents will get you a diet soda.

    September 14, 2010 at 10:48 am |
    • ScottK

      Religion is the diet soda of our times, full of fizz and flavor but no substance and leaves a bad aftertaste in your mouth.

      September 14, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
    • Think Tank

      OMG OMG OMG you found diet soda for 75 cents?!?!?

      September 14, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  13. ja

    If Forgiveness, love and redemption are religious values. . .. than so are Vengence, retribution and greed

    September 14, 2010 at 10:42 am |
    • Sera

      well said!

      September 14, 2010 at 10:48 am |
    • CRAIG HAMPTON

      the last three are sin. no matter who partakes in them.

      September 14, 2010 at 11:14 am |
    • The Finger

      @Craig Hampton

      If those are sins "no matter who does them" then GOD is a SINNER!

      September 14, 2010 at 11:34 am |
    • Leah

      The Finger: How so? God is "he without sin". He was never greedy. He had nothing but the clothes on his back. He taught many people. He didn't even argue his case when he was accused and hung on the cross. He didn't fight back. He was actually AFRAID to die but knew it must be done to save humanity. Before you spew toxic crap, please pick up a Bible and attempt to read it.

      September 14, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
    • Weez

      well now you got me all confused.... I guess I never knew GOD was Jesus???
      That's what happens when you never opened a bible... :\

      September 14, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
    • ScottK

      Whats funny is the example Leah uses about jesus being afraid to die has him praying to his G od for help and he says "Father, if you are willing take this cup away from me, yet not my will but yours be done" Every priest Ive asked about how jesus could be praying to himself and asking that not his will be done but his fathers, who apparently is the same as himself could make any sense, but the priests always answer with "G od is as mysterious as he is miraculous" Like that makes any sense either, but I guess when your not really trying to teach people truth and your just trying to control their actions and wallets any double talking excuse can be used.

      September 14, 2010 at 2:01 pm |
    • Rick

      Leon, the God of the bible sinned numerous times. What about though shalt not kill? Well he supposedly killed many Egyptians for the sake of the Jews. He is a vengeful, violent God. He shows love to his favorites and disdain for others. Far from a non-sinner I'd say and it just proves than God was made in the image of man, not the other way around.

      September 14, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  14. Guest

    I think i know what she was afraid of. There are so many stories that people jump on to lash out against religion and she was only referring to that i'm sure.
    I agree with the reply comments that say there are only the values of any good person. And you don't have to be religious to believe. But from my experience with atheists, you do need God to do Good because without God and without a reason and a purpose, the only reason to do Good is to make you little time on earth as enjoyable as possible for you and others because after that there is nothing. I wouldn't mind any new insight into that point of view. That's all i understand from it right now. I don't have it all figured out, i'm not super religious, i'm not judging anyone else. I am merely observing everyone and making my own opinion on these things as i go.

    September 14, 2010 at 10:18 am |
    • Trying

      @Guest

      For me, one of the many reasons I do good is because of what "good" means. I have reasons and purpose that thankfully do not require a belief that makes no sense.
      As for life being enjoyable, it depends on who is willing to let you enjoy yourself. Most religious values seem to be against letting anyone have joy unless it is within super-strict guidelines.

      I guess the big thing is: Do you want a wonderland of fantasy that distracts you from the harsh truths of reality?
      Do you want comfort at the expense of others? Is prose less appealing than poetry?

      Many people who experience traumatic events will turn to ANYTHING in order to forget. They will use whatever they can to numb their perceptions, to dull their senses, to turn away from what cannot be borne...
      ...and if they find comfort in religion, it is no surprise to anyone, for in their hysterical attempts to escape reality they have succeeded in finding something that takes away the control they never really had over their lives.
      But I believe that they have sold their souls into slavery to get a well-crafted delusion in return that makes them happy and smooths out all those rough spots that life can bring. It can be very nice, indeed.

      But religion is used against them. They are manipulated and deluded into thinking everything is taken care of.

      It's about comfort.
      How badly do you want it?
      Bad enough to let other people take everything from you, including your mind, your decisions, your soul, your whole life?

      Religion is a purposeful system of denying reality. Sometimes for good purposes, sometimes not.

      But if you have anything like a strong curious streak, or problems with authority, or other things that can frustrate your intent to "believe", then your "joy" won't be as full because you will still see the things in religion that make absolutely no sense whatsoever.

      But if you have principles, moral values, a system of ethics, and empathy for your fellow human beings, then all you need is integrity to tie it all together and to help you stand by your principles.

      Religion is cartoonish in its attempts to make people "moral" or "ethical", yet some succeed despite religion's shortcomings.
      Maybe I should be asking: "how good do you want to be?" because the best good does not contradict itself. That's one of the reasons I do not follow a particular religion.
      If God is good, then having doubts and being unable to believe is not something that can be held against you after death.
      If God is merciful, then you would be forgiven no matter what you did.
      If God is Truth, then the lies and contradictions in the "holy" books are against God.
      If God is Life, then we all have God – for we live and are alive.
      Do you want to worry about real things?
      Or do you want to worry about stuff that has nothing to do with reality?
      I'm sorry this has gone on so long. I have my doubts that all this will get past the moderator filter...:(

      September 14, 2010 at 11:10 am |
    • Craig

      In scientific studies, it has been determined that people that perform "good" or "moral" acts are happier, irregardless of religious conviction. Many non-religious people work in the Peace Corps, the soup kitchen (including myself), and other very non-selfish acts. It is a HUMAN desire to help others that we all (well, most of us) have inside us. If religion is so moral how do we explain the child abuse, embezzlement by church leaders, gay bashing and other hateful activities performed by believers? We are all human, flawed, creatures, endowed with morals of varying degree, independently of who we believe created our environment. Regards and respect to all, except those that believe I cannot be moral because I don't believe what your chosen book says.

      September 14, 2010 at 11:17 am |
    • ryan

      everybody is rude on the internet these days. about anything. it's sad but true. anwser me this though. how many times out in the real world do you have to deal with atheist bothering you or talking down to you about your belief? im going to guess not very often. Leah said " The reason why she pointed out only Athiests is the fact the MAJORITY of them lash out" i think thats a joke. and what a broad statement. if your going judge every group of people by how they comment online then your going to think everyone's a jerk. because unfortunately alot of people these days think it's ok to talk to people like that while on the internet.

      September 14, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
    • bostonjim

      @Guest- I have to agree with Ryan on this one Internet message boards are the worst place to form your opinions on the general disposition of any group. That being said, I have met some atheists who can be complete tools about it, live and in person. It is embarrassing and irritating.
      To answer your other question, I think it comes down to a basic view of the commonality of the human condition. When you look at your fellow man and see, in part, yourself, you are much more likely to be empathetic, and therefore giving and moral. After all, morality is, generally speaking, judged by how you treat your fellow man. I am not sure where we aquire this sense of connectedness- a combination of nature and nurture, I imagine. Faith in God is not required to develop it, I can tell you that much. I have seen the most dyed in the wool atheist possess this understanding, and act accordingly. And I have seen the most devout followers of God who lack this, and they act accordingly as well. I hope this helps, as I'm starting to get long winded.

      September 14, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
    • TammyB

      Many religious people, however, do good only because of God, that is, they do good things in order to get to heaven, because religion sells them that. If you don't believe in God, however, you usually are performing charitible works and acts of kinds out of no reason to get a reward at the end, i.e., heaven/everlasting life, etc. That is real self sacrifice, and although I know there are many religious people that are self-sacrificing also (purely charitable/kind) many also just do those things so they can be percieved as good, thus go to heaven.

      September 14, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
  15. Falcon78 in Northern Virginia

    Although the movie did not do great, I enjoyed Mira Sorvino in her role as the wife of General "Stonewall" Jackson in the Civil War story, "Gods & Generals."

    September 14, 2010 at 10:13 am |
  16. Kate

    This was a wonderful book, I was through it in two days and went through a lot of kleenex. You will be touched regardless of your beliefs because the human elements that we all share are so strongly portrayed. Looking forward to seeing the movie.

    September 14, 2010 at 10:06 am |
  17. Sera

    Valerie you don't need to be religious to believe; and choosing not to be religious is a belief. Thankfully nobody need your permission to speak their minds. Nobody is trying to sway anybody but yourself.

    Forgiveness, love, and redemption are suppose to be the values of a person regardless of religious or not.

    September 14, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  18. Dirty Joe

    I thought money was the main religious value these days.

    September 14, 2010 at 9:40 am |
    • Heather

      Funny, I thought it was intolerance.

      September 14, 2010 at 9:51 am |
    • jesus

      It's all about the Benjamins. Pastors, Priests, Ministers etc all have been collecting money on my behalf and I haven't seen a dime of it. Have they been pocketing my money? I am not happy about this routine of using my name to get gullible low I.Q. types to fork over cash by invoking me or using my name in films without sending me royalty checks. I will soon come back and when I do, everyone who has used my name to collect money, better turn over every dome of it with interest.

      September 14, 2010 at 9:53 am |
    • can u spare a dome?

      @jesus

      What does your middle initial "H" stand for?

      September 14, 2010 at 10:00 am |
    • pastafaria

      I believe the "H" stands for "Hallelujah", as in "Hallelujah! I can't believe my husband Joseph fell for my story about this baby being the son of god! I hope he'll be out of town again next year during fleet week."

      September 14, 2010 at 10:31 am |
    • Tacoma

      Go to your neighborhood church, the one that's just around the corner, or the one that's meeting in a theater or in a school and then tell me that all religion is about is money. I've gone a church for 2 years now and they have never once passed an offering plate or personally asked me for money (in the interest of full discloser, there is a place in the back were you can drop an offering if you so chose but nobody is watching and there's no sign or anything pointing to it, you just have to know what it is). My experience in different churches (I've consistantly gone to churches in MN, IA, DC, and WA) has been that the focus is on community and the love of Christ, Not money. And to tell you the truth it really stinks that that's your impression of Christians and all religions and I'm not saying that it's your fault i'm just saying that it stinks.

      September 14, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
    • TammyB

      @ Tacoma...I've attended many types of churches (Baptist, Mormom, Catholic, and others). You are right that the little church around the corner, the one that meets in an office space or theatre, is probably not going to be exploitive, however, that's the minority. The bigger churches (and it can be a pretty small church, but one on it's own) is going to ask for money. Most of the time, it's to fix the roof, or buy new books. However, some churches go overboard and make people feel like they won't get to heaven unless they give up all extra money. And there's alot of them out there. They encompass all kinds of denominations (I don't know anything about Jews or Muslims however). So even though it is sad, it is true.

      September 14, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
    • Tacoma

      @Tammy B
      One I don't think they are in the minority and Two I think you have a misunderstanding why churches ask for money. It's not because they want to exploit the patrons or even to build a new roof, the new roof may be an outcome of your giving but it should not be the purpose of your gift. The fact is it is a spiritual discipline to give, God has asked us to give of our time, our money and of ourselves, and when we give out of joy we often gain in return (and i'm not talking that prosperitiy BS I'm talking about gaining joy from some others happieness for one example).
      The thing I always remember (and you can agree with me or not but because I do believe in God I believe this to be true) is everything I have is God's and when He asks me to give so that I can glorify him I do it happily. It's like when a child asks his dad for money to buy the dad a birthday present. That money was never really the childs it was always the dad's but because now it's in the child's possesion he can do whatever he wants with it. The child can buy a small gift for his dad and pocket the rest for candy or the child could buy his dad a really amazing present something that will glorify his dad. I think the majority of children buy the amazing present because they love their father and want to glorify them. So, even though no one at my church has ever asked me to give, I still do because I want to glorify my father in heaven.

      September 14, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
    • TammyB

      @ Tacoma...Oh, I don't think I'm wrong...been around a long time. And I believe in God also. However, when I want to give of my time and my money, I send it directly to whomever needs it, or I give it directly to the person or place that needs it. I'm not saying that I don't think churches are not honest, I think most have become too politicized, and so the money gets broken down. I was raised Southern Baptist and yes, the money did go to the church building fund, new roof, new hymnals, etc. I pretty much don't misunderstand when I see the big sign in the front of the church tallying up the money to get those things done. Also, to hire a new choir minister, things like that. They're pretty up front. I just think if I want to contribute, I go to the soup kitchen, give it to the guy on the corner, give it directly to the hospital, etc.

      September 14, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
    • Tacoma

      @Tammy B
      Ya, I can see where you're coming from (and ya there are certain "Benny Hinn's" out there who want take advantage of people) but I also feel that sometimes God just asks us just to give without knowing you know as a step of faith, I'm not saying that's true in all cases and that it's not good to be carefull with your money, I am saying that there has been certian times in my life I know that God has called me to give (not always to churches) even though I had no idea where the money would end up.

      September 14, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
    • TammyB

      @ Tacoma...Totally agree! And your money probably wound up somewhere it was supposed to be! Really, that's all any of us can do!

      September 14, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
  19. Valerie

    I've always thought Miro Sorvino was a very beautiful and talented actress. She always picks interesting roles.

    September 14, 2010 at 9:35 am |
    • TammyB

      I agree! I have always loved her. She does pick interesting roles, and I like her because she's not always mainstream, which I think makes her a better actress over all. I particularly love Romy and Michelle (who doesn't...LOL!!).

      September 14, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
  20. Matt L

    Forgiveness, love, and redemption are not "religious value", they are just values of any good person, whether religious or not.

    September 14, 2010 at 9:35 am |
    • Valerie

      In case you haven't noticed, you are in the "belief blog"..........so go pontificate someplace else if you have no beliefs....you aren't going to miraculaouly "sway" everyone else.

      September 14, 2010 at 9:37 am |
    • Weez

      What Matt said was not to try and "sway" anyone, he was merely pointing out that those three values are not only for the religious. Anyone can forgive, love and redeem. And yes Mira is a wonderful actress, love her to pieces :o)
      Strange as it sounds, I loved Romy and Michele!! It shows hom diverse her characters can be.....

      September 14, 2010 at 9:47 am |
    • Valerie

      "Weez".......of course they aren't strictly religious values, they are human values...but this story was obviously placed in the belief blog because if it was put in the entertainment blog, you would have all kinds of Athiests up in arms over it....can't people of faith go ANYWHERE anymore without having to be bashed? Apparently not...and YES! I loved Romy and Michelles reunion too....very funny movie! : )

      September 14, 2010 at 9:53 am |
    • Sarah

      I disagree that these values are characteristic of a "good" person... how do you define good? All "good" values have root in faith. Otherwise we are moral relativists - "good" is in the eye of the beholder. If there is no baseline for good or evil or whatever, how can we define anything as good? Good compared to murder? Good compared to a little white lie?

      Without faith, without religion, morality cannot exist.

      September 14, 2010 at 10:22 am |
    • Howard

      @ Valerie ... as long as people of faith discriminate against those who do not share their faith, they invite confrontation. If you're gonna dish it out, you gotta be ready to take it, too. Where is it written that only the religious are allowed to proselytize?

      September 14, 2010 at 10:26 am |
    • Howard

      @ Sarah ... you're either woefully naive or ignorant. The basis for morality began even as people were still living in caves. I don't have faith or practice any religion, but I'll wager that my "morale values" are a match for the vast majority of so-called religious people, including many of the hypocrites of the cloth.

      September 14, 2010 at 10:31 am |
    • AL

      @ Valerie: You said, "but this story was obviously placed in the belief blog because if it was put in the entertainment blog, you would have all kinds of Athiests up in arms over it...."

      I accessed this story directly from the front page of CNN, under "Editor's Choice". There was no indication that it was part of a "Belief Blog".

      September 14, 2010 at 10:40 am |
    • Michael

      Lots of good people who show these values are still going to find an eternity of separation from God (hell but it has been sanitized for public viewing because people don't want to hear the truth) because they have not accepted Christ as their personal savior.

      September 14, 2010 at 10:43 am |
    • sisi

      I agree.

      September 14, 2010 at 10:56 am |
    • jonathan hanemann

      Atheists are such a pain in the a__, aren't they? Always need to insert their snide remarks. ESPECIALLY when it comes to Judeo Christianity. Of course, since these people are moral and intellectual cowards, they never have anything specific to say about Islam.

      September 14, 2010 at 10:59 am |
    • Michael

      Amen. Most religions are a "Get Out of Jail Free, Card". I'm sick of hearing, "I may not be perfect, but I'm saved"
      Maybe if they worked more on their values, they wouldn't have to be so apologetic to their gods.

      September 14, 2010 at 11:07 am |
    • just curious

      Good point, Matt -If those are values of "good".. Where does that come from? Honestly? Don't mean to be offensive as so many are these days when I am asking in good faith.. Thanks!

      September 14, 2010 at 12:03 pm |
    • David

      Forgiveness, love, and redemption are not "religious value", they are just values of any good person....This is actually not a true statement. There is no good or evil in the absence of an absolute moral authority such as a God. The concept of a "good person" is absurd for anyone who believes in moral relativism. The entire world is reduced to actions which have no acutal moral value but only ethical standards against which to act.

      September 14, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
    • susanct

      Valerie–I didn't know that only people who believe in a religion are allowed on the belief blog. An atheist can believe something–that humans can exibit love, forgiveness and redemption-you don't need to believe in a god in order to believe in those qualities.

      September 14, 2010 at 12:13 pm |
    • TammyB

      @ Valerie....First time on Belief Blog? There are all kinds of beliefs here, along with non-beliefs and "maybe" beliefs. We agree to disagree on all kinds of things. It's all good.

      September 14, 2010 at 12:30 pm |
    • John L

      I was asked recently how I knew right and wrong if I'm an atheist!! I find this type of thinking very strange. We humans have developed through the ages and have created value systems in every community. We're all searching for answers and meaning. It's very strange to me that you would need, say, the Catholic Church, to let you know that abusing a child is wrong.

      September 14, 2010 at 12:33 pm |
    • ScottK

      Good exists even though G od may not. You do not have to have a higher moral authority to be able to tell the difference between good & evil, infact almost every religion today has used their supposed moral authority to justify some of the most heinous acts in history. Humans have developed what we call "good" through thousands of years of social evolution defining "good" things as those that benefit and help groups of humans to survive and thrive, and "evil" things as those that cause disruption or destruction of the group and lowering its chances of survival.

      The thing that disgusts me the most about "people of faith" is that they wont ever take responsibility for their actions. Its always "the devil made me do it" or "without the Lord I could never have: stopped drinking, comitting murder, rap ing, beat the other team at some idiotic game, ect..." Try standing on your own two feet and taking responsibility for your actions, say "I stopped drinking, I chose not to ra pe, I chose not to kill, our team was better which is why we won, ect..."

      Besides, with 1/3 of the world muslim and 1/3 christian and the other 1/3 a mix of hindu, budist and jewish which G od is the real moral authority? Who are you supposed to believe? And guess what, that right there is why we have so much violence in the world, because people are fighting over whos G od is the true G od. So much for faith promoting forgiveness, love, and redemption.

      September 14, 2010 at 12:59 pm |
    • TammyB

      @ Sarah...Long ago before there were belief systems, and it was all muddled, I am pretty sure that groups had a "moral" system, that is, good behaviour to get along with the group...no stealing someone else's food, no bopping someone upside their head, etc. or else they were exiled. I think that societies as a general just had group good behaviour. I think you can be a good person, moral, without believing in a belief system, or religion. It's just good manners.

      September 14, 2010 at 1:14 pm |
    • TammyB

      @ jonathan hanemann....Well, I disagree, mostly because I grew up in a religious household, and I don't go to church anymore (I do not agree with organized religion) directly because of the caliber of people I met there...judgemental, back-stabbing, hypocritical people (not all of course!). Alot of times, people who go to church think because they do, and because they've been saved, christened, go to confession, etc. that the rest of the time they can do just what they want, and be holier than thou. I don't like that kind of hypocrisy. The reason I think so many athiests/agnostics are up in arms are due to those kinds of people, people they see as totally unChristian like but touting it anyway. Besides if you are secure in your faith, then it should not bother you that anyone argues the point.

      September 14, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
    • msaprilr

      Humans are fundamentally selfish. Forgiveness, love – these things contradict human nature. People aren't born with the nature to value these things. They have to be learned. So I would definitely consider them to be religious values. If you have no religious faith, yet you still value these things, you can thank your religious parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc., who built these values into our culture. There is no such thing as a "good" human being. We are all naturally selfish.

      September 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
    • mdn

      Remember that the word "good" has its root in the word "God".

      September 14, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
    • Joe

      Forgiveness, love, redemption are definitely Christiian values, Christ's sacrifice was for the forgivenss of sins, it was out of love for humanity that God sent his son to suffer and die. Christ said I have come for the lost sheep, how much more do you want to realize Christ was all about Love, Forgiveness and Redemption. These are supposed to be the pillars of Christianity.

      September 14, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
    • Buster Bloodvessel

      Valerie, it's just fun to hear you bleat when we object to you believers burning Qurans and exorcising children to death. Don't take it personally, unless you are required by your beliefs to do so. Oh, and Jonathan? step outside with me for half a minute while we talk over this business about cowards. Yep, half a minute's all I need.

      September 14, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
    • Donal

      Matt: Amen (pun intended).

      September 14, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
    • Bob

      Valerie, he sayed me. I just believed in God not a moment ago.

      September 14, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
    • Brian

      I wonder at those who don't value morality in the context of human interactions.

      Forgiveness and love are considered "good" because we all want to be loved and want to be forgiven by those we've wronged.

      Fundamentally though, most morality isn't based on theology, it's based on consequences (and not divine consequences, immediate consequences).

      September 14, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
    • Rick

      Exactly what I was going to write, if you need to find religion before you can have these values you have a serious problem.

      September 14, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
    • BDnNC

      Well DUH, I don;t she said that those values were ONLY found in religeon. Quit being so picky and sensative, Good Lord.

      September 14, 2010 at 9:57 pm |
    • Debbie

      You are absolutely right. I'm so tired of Christians thinking they corner the market on moral values.

      September 14, 2010 at 10:58 pm |
    • Phillip

      @Matt L

      Baloney. Words like "forgiveness, love, and redemption" all carry weight and value in a religious perspective, but are meaningless and without root in an athiestic worldview. Athiests have to borrow moral capital from the religious to even have a rational foundation to try to make sense of words/concepts like forgiveness, love and redemption.

      September 15, 2010 at 12:19 am |
    • jaihind

      If you're not a practising christian, you won't get it. Love, Forgiveness and Redemption are central and core to Christianity. If you don't have these, you're not a Christian. Yes, these values exist elsewhere, and f you possess these values, you're Christian, even if you don't know it. Go in Peace, now.

      September 15, 2010 at 6:11 am |
    • JD

      I agree with @Sarah.....................one may not 'need' religion to practice forgiveness, love and mercy....but what is true love..or rather absolute love?

      it only comes from God..the creator of true love itself..... why be forgiving and loving if there is no 'eternal consequence' for your actions...is it any wonder people are so much more self-centered and hateful today as belief in the 'eternal consequence of one's actions' (read belief in God) declines...

      also we are a very 'morally relativistic' society..what is 'good' today may not be so 50 years from today because it may 'hurt' someone's feelings.....

      cant go into too much detail here..but yeah i believe God is the source of all goodness and to take the source out ..would leave us all with an 'adulterated' sense of virtue

      September 15, 2010 at 10:27 am |
    • Frank

      True, Matt. In fact, organized religion's values tend to be exactly opposite to love, forgiveness and redemption.

      Valerie:
      You're telling someone not to pontificate in the Belief blog?! Leave that to the preachers, right? lol

      September 16, 2010 at 1:07 am |
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About this blog

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