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October 3rd, 2010
05:39 PM ET

Biden, 5 Supreme Court justices attend controversial 'Red Mass'

CNN's Lauren Pratapas and Bill Mears filed this report from Washington:

Vice President Joe Biden joined five Supreme Court justices to attend Sunday's annual Red Mass, the Roman Catholic service for the courts that has drawn criticism in recent years.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, Stephen Breyer and Clarence Thomas attended the service, held at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, on the eve of the court's new term.

The Mass was started in 1952 by the John Carroll Society, a lay Catholic group of prominent lawyers and professionals, to celebrate the legal profession. But the event has drawn criticism in recent years for what many see as an unhealthy mix of politics, religion and the law.

The mass is a Catholic service, but power brokers of other faiths are asked to attend the invitation-only event. Critics have called the attendance of leading decision-makers, including members of the highest court in the land, inappropriate.

Past homilies by individual speakers have lamented the high court's ruling legalizing abortion and the constitutional separation of church and state, although most recent Red Mass ceremonies have avoided hot-button social and political issues to focus on universal themes. Church officials insist they do not attempt to lobby or seek to persuade anyone who attends the service.

Archbishop J. Augustine Di Noia, who gave this year's sermon, told parishioners the church understands the "nearly overwhelming complexity of the climate which envelops the practice of law and the administration of justice today."

"No informed observer can fail to acknowledge that the social and cultural pluralism of our times - not to mention the relentless and sometimes pitiless public scrutiny to which you are subjected - makes the work of judges and lawyers today very hard indeed," he said.

The archbishop also asserted that laws are based upon certain principles: "the pursuit of the common good through respect for the natural law, the dignity of the human person, the inviolability of innocent life from conception to natural death, the sanctity of marriage, justice for the poor, protection of minors, and so on."

Di Noia later decried a trend toward "exclusive humanism" and said, "That innocent human life is now so broadly under threat has seemed to many of us one of the signs of this growing peril." Washington archdiocese spokeswoman Susan Gibbs told CNN afterwards that the reference to "innocent human life" was meant "broadly," referring to "all life that is at risk, not just simply the unborn, but the fragility of all human life."

All the justices who attended Sunday are Catholics except Breyer, who is Jewish. The court is currently made up of six Catholics and three Jews, including its newest member, Elena Kagan.

One member of the court who no longer attends is Ruth Bader Ginsburg who, like Breyer and Kagan, is Jewish. Ginsburg has said she grew tired of being lectured by Catholic officials.

"I went one year, and I will never go again, because this sermon was outrageously anti-abortion," Ginsburg said in the book "Stars of David: Prominent Jews talk About Being Jewish" by author Abigail Pogrebin. "Even the Scalias - although they're much of that persuasion - were embarrassed for me."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Courts • Joe Biden • Politics

soundoff (263 Responses)
  1. james

    I think I must just be luck I grew up in a small town outside of a major city and was taught (education) that as long as I was nice to others they will treat me the same way.

    October 4, 2010 at 4:08 am |
  2. james

    I am Catholic – I have also never been to a mass that has said nothing more than to treat all as equals as the way you want to be treated by others. That includes all of other religions.

    October 4, 2010 at 4:02 am |
  3. james

    Macdonaldbank1 – how can you say the Pope supported hitler.

    Are you insane. Your sermon is nothing but a speech of hate.

    October 4, 2010 at 3:57 am |
    • Frank

      He must be a Freemason. Lol.

      October 4, 2010 at 4:01 am |
  4. james

    Catholics are still a minority in this country. How many Roman Catholics have been elected president. It is because of bigotry.

    October 4, 2010 at 3:51 am |
    • Frank

      Exactly. Catholics have always been persecuted, slandered and suspected in this country. Protestants have no room to whine in America!

      October 4, 2010 at 3:56 am |
    • Peacemaker

      Actually..... NO.......... Catholics are not the minority, in the USA! We are the largest Christian denomination. And yes, we have been and will be persecuted. One of the groups that actively persecuted Catholics, Jews, Blacks & all foreigners is the KKK. Who recruited INSIDE, from the pulpits of Baptists churches! Its a tragedy that the Followers of Christ, do not LOVE! I include Catholics in that group.

      October 4, 2010 at 10:23 am |
    • Medardus

      James, there was an agreement, or Concordat, between the Vatican and the Nazi Party. It effectively legitimized Hitler and the Nazi government in the eyes of the Catholic church.

      It was signed on 20 July 1933 by Cardinal Secretary of State Eugenio Pacelli (who later went on to become Pope Pius XII).

      It would do you well, James, you as well Frank, to dig a little deeper into the history of religion.

      October 4, 2010 at 10:24 am |
    • Frogist

      @james&Frank: Aren't Catholics and Protestants both Christians? What's the problem here? You're both worshipping the same god. Why the divisive nature?

      October 4, 2010 at 11:40 am |
    • Frank

      Yeah, I know about that. And what of it? The world didn't know what it would lead to at that time. This is 1933 we're talking about, not 1941. Hitler was still sucking up to the churches then.

      October 4, 2010 at 11:49 am |
    • Frank

      I have nothing against Protestants. I wish for unity. I am just tired of all the slander, lies and persecution being hurled against the Church. But, this is to be expected.

      October 4, 2010 at 11:57 am |
  5. Really???

    This is simply a mass that is held to ask blessings on the law profession. There are also masses held for police, firemen, ect. These guests are invited to attend, not REQUIRED to attend. They may refuse to attend if they wish. No one will be removed or prevented from holding an office if they do not attend.
    I am becoming increasingly concerned by the comments that are being made. There seems to be a growing bigotry towards people who are freely expressing their religion. I am sorry to inform the militant minority who do not want anyone to believe in any religion..... There is NO requirement to remove religious expression from public venues. There IS a requirement to not establish a STATE religion ( one example of a state religion is Iran). However, there is a freedom to practice religion expressly stated by the founders of our country, and those individual rights should be respected. So please, conduct yourselves with civility towards others. For example if someone blesses you, just take it as an expression of their good will towards you. After all, you have the right to "wish" them well ! Being polite is not going to change the way you believe, or disbelieve. Please endeavor to remember that those other people have the freedom to express themselves too.

    October 4, 2010 at 3:41 am |
  6. PHDeed

    Politics is about playing the game. As soon as people pretend it's otherwise they fall into hypocrisy, sometimes using their hypocrisy as the means to an end. Too bad Obama's people are so good at playing that game.

    October 4, 2010 at 2:40 am |
  7. VegasRage

    The basis of Catholicism has no reference in the bible, it's a made up hierarchy. Pope to monk to nun, not one position is found in the bible. Rosaries, purgatory, and the list goes on. Not one reference in the bible, the religion is a sham.

    October 4, 2010 at 2:36 am |
    • Frank

      If you knew anything about Catholicism, you would know that we also look to Tradition. Truth is a continuous revelation.
      As for the the Pope, St. Peter is the first Pope – the rock on which the Church is built. (Peter is 'petras', which means 'rock'.)

      October 4, 2010 at 2:53 am |
    • Peacemaker

      I am always amazed at statements like yours, which show such ignorance of the oldest Christian faith. However, I know that there are millions of people like you who haven't a clue about Catholicism, nor about Islam, nor about Judaism (though in recent years many conservatives have suddenly began to support Israel!). I would tall you to do some research, but I would be wasting my time. In defense of Catholics, I will say that we have a largest charity in the world & help all God's people even those of other faiths. Its okay, "VegasRage" your "name" speaks volumes, anyone who has "rage" is not reasonable.

      October 4, 2010 at 10:20 am |
    • Truth

      @Frank And this is exactly why Jesus said at Matthew 15:3, 6, 9: "Why is it you also overstep the commandment of God because of your tradition? You have made the word of God invalid because of your tradition. It is in vain they keep worshiping (God), because they teach commands of MEN as doctrines."

      October 4, 2010 at 10:40 am |
    • Frank

      Truth, your problem must be with Christ since the Catholic Church is the one He founded. The Traditions it carries on are the Traditions of the Apostles. That's what Apostolic succession means. The Pope, Benedict XVI, is the direct spiritual descendent of St. Peter with the same authority.
      You either agree or disagree. Simple as that.

      October 4, 2010 at 11:55 am |
    • Truth

      @Frank and actually the word for Peter is pe' tros, the masculine form of the Greek word, which actually means "piece of rock." Pe' tra, the feminine form, which designates a mass of rock. The apostles themselves did not understand Jesus' statement at Matthew 16:18 to mean that Peter was the rock-mass. They continued to argue and dispute about who was the greatest among before and even AFTER Jesus said this. (Matthew 9:33-35; Luke 22:24-26)

      Peter HIMSELF identified Jesus as the foundation conerstone upon which all the apostles rest. (1 Peter 2:4-8) Similarly, the apostle Paul wrote: "For they (the Israelites) used to drink from the spiritual rock-mass that followed them, and that rock-mass is CHRIST." (1 Corinthians 10:4).

      On at least two occasions and in two different locations the Israelites received a miraculous provision of water froma rock-mass (Exodus 17:5-7; Numbers 20:1-11) Therefore, rock-mass as a source of water, in effect, followed them. The rock-mass itself was evidently a pictorial, or symbolic, illustration of Jesus Christ, who said to the Jews: "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink." (John 7:37).

      October 4, 2010 at 11:58 am |
    • Frank

      Thanks for the correction. I was a bit...out of it last night.
      There are many instances when the crowds did not understand what Christ meant by something. This is a reflection of people as a whole. We are often confounded by what God speaks to us. The Apostles were no different.

      October 4, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
    • Truth

      @Frank Yes you are exaxtly right in a sense. Jesus even told them: "I have many things yet to say to you, but you are not able to bear them at PRESENT." (John 16:12) But he also told them that "the helper, the holy spirit, which the Father will send in my name, that one will teach you all things and bring back to your minds all the things I told you." (John 14:26)

      So yes, certain things that Jesus told his disciples at that present time they would not understand because it was not the right time for that knowledge to be rendered to them. But when the time came for certain things to be understood and certain works to be carried out, that is when God's holy spirit would not only "teach" them but it would also help them to recall and 'bring back to their minds all the things he told them.'

      So they were not just blindly following Jesus like zombies. They were able to understand what Jesus and his Father wanted them to carry out as these things were progressively revealed to them by means of holy spirit. Yes, "they were borne along by holy spirit," as Peter tells us. (2 Peter 1:21)

      A key example of this is shown to us at Acts 2:14-47. Peter and the apostles were avid students of the scriptures, but they were not aware of just how a good number of prophecies were to be fulfilled. But at this momentous when the Christian congregation was about to be formed, holy spirit, just as Jesus told them at John 14:26, worked as a teacher for Peter and the others, teaching them how prophecies of Joel and David were then being fulfilled, which they weren't sure of before. It also 'brought back to mind all the things he had told them' while Jesus was on earth, and they thus relayed these things to their audience in this account.

      So God and his Son wanted his followers, and us as well, to not be confounded, but to understand and also be able to teach others about God's purposes. Its kind of like a professor at a university. Can that professor teach his curriculum and subject with true conviction and authority if he has been told things about his profession/field but is confounded and the foundation of what he is trying to teach his students is a mystery to he HIMSELF? Of course not! So why would it be any different with the Almighty and his Son in teaching us, especially when, not just mere knowledge, but the salvation of billions is at stake?

      October 4, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
    • Frank

      I see nothing to disagree with in this post. But I believe that God gave us the Church so that we may not continue in our misunderstanding.
      May I ask what denomination you are a part of? Just curious.

      October 4, 2010 at 1:13 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      VegasRage,

      How do you think the Church that Jesus Christ founded lasted over 300 years without a Bible in the beginning?
      Do you believe in the Trinity? That word is not in the Bible?

      October 4, 2010 at 1:28 pm |
    • VistaNow

      Can it be that you are mistaken – The Church Fathers used the term Catholic very early on to describe the universality of the Church founded by Jesus Christ and setting up St. Peter as the first Pope. Scripture were inspire by God and written for you to come to understand the tradition, history and holiness of the catholic Church. Can you see, that! The dogmas and believes of the church are not some obscure constructs, but rather the perfect realization of that harmony with Jesus Christ now seated at G’ds right hand!

      October 4, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
    • Truth

      Sorry for taking so long to answer. Lunch break! Now im like -_- lol. Im actually one of Jehovah's Witnesses and I enjoy conversations like these very much, especially with persons who have a spiritual background such as yourself.

      October 4, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
    • Frank

      Time for a catnap? 😛
      I enjoy conversations with spiritual people, as well. May I ask what lead you to become a Jehovah's Witness?

      October 4, 2010 at 2:07 pm |
    • Truth

      Well I was actually raised as a Witness. But I must say, growing up as a student of the Bible has allowed me to extensively research many beliefs and teachings which in turn has allowed me to sift through what is considered Bible truth just because it has been part of certain traditions/doctrines for so long and what the Bible REALLY teaches.

      I think many people would be very pleasantly surprised to find, upon deeper research and study, just how many things are blindly accepted by many to based be on the Bible and Jesus' teachings just because it is part of so-called "traditional Christianity" or because that's what their families always has always believed, but are not based on Bible truths whatsoever but are really based on pagan or ritualistic rites that, when researched further, are actually rooted in practices CONDEMNED by God in his Word the Bible.

      October 4, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Frank,

      JW do not believe in the Trinity or the Succession of Popes...just to name two Catholic Truths....

      Here is something that is well written about Peter as the Rock.....Dave Armstrong – a convert to Catholicism from Evangelicalism wrote the following…. Is Peter "Rock", or is he only a "pebble"?

      Non-Catholic Christians charge that Peter is not the "rock" because the Greek word used for "rock" in this verse means a little pebble. Right away, it is obvious from the very beginning, that there is a translation problem here. Scholars have determined that Matthew was not written in Greek, but in Aramaic, and was soon translated into Greek, so we have to go to the original written language to find the true meaning of this verse.
      Peter was called "Cephas" or "Kepha(s)" in Aramaic, by Christ in Matthew 16:18, and it means a large massive stone or rock. Christ said this at Caesarea Philippi, the site of a large rock mass. See Matthew 16:13. The Aramaic word for a small stone or pebble is "evna". "Kepha", when translated to the Greek language means "Petra" (a large rock) or "Petros" (a small stone). However, unlike Aramaic words which have no gender, Greek words do have gender, and "Petra" is feminine. Translators from the Aramaic to the Greek, changed the word to the masculine gender or "Petros" because they were unwilling to assign a name with feminine gender to a man.
      In Matthew 16:18, it is correct to say that Jesus would have said, "You are 'Kepha', and upon this 'Kepha', I will build My Church." In Greek, it would translate to, "You are 'Petros', and upon this 'Petra', I will build My Church." It was the translation of the Aramaic word, "Kepha" (Cephas), into the Greek language that caused the confusion among some who look upon Peter as not being called "rock", but only a "pebble".
      Matthew 16:13, 18, John 1:42, 1Corinthians 1:12, 3:22, 9:5, 15:5, Galatians 2:8-9

      Detractors argue that Peter could not be the rock because GOD is, 2Samuel 22:2. Well, not only does Scripture call Peter the rock, but it also calls Abraham the rock, in Isaiah 51:1-2. Also, who is the Light of the World? Jesus Christ is in John 8:12, but yet the Disciples are in Matthew 5:14.
      The words "Rock" and "Light of the World" are not limited to describe GOD alone.

      October 4, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
    • Truth

      Well CatholicMom thank you for addressing these things.

      First off, let's touch on the subject of the Trinity. You are correct. Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe in the Trinity, not because of mere opinion, but Jesus' own testimony and also that of the apostles and other Bible writers. Let's examine this doctrine in light of God's own Word, the Bible.

      -Immediately after his baptism and God's spirit had descended upon Jesus, "there was a voice from the heavens that said: "This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved." (Matthew 3:16, 17) If the Trinity doctrine is true and the Father, the Son, and the holy spirit are all 3-in-1, who is this speaking from heaven? How could all three be the all one God but be in 3 different places at one, with the God speaking from heaven, the holy spirit on its way descending from heaven, and the Son on earth being baptized?

      -Concerning the end Jesus himself said: "Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but ONLY THE FATHER." (Matthew 24:36) If Jesus was part of an equally powerful 3-in-1 triumvarate God, would not Jesus have this knowledge as well, being equal to the Father?

      -Speaking about his Father, Jesus said: "I am going my way to the Father, because the Father is GREATER than I am." Firstly, how could Jesus be on his way to the Father if they both are the same, part of a 3-in-1 God? Secondly, and on a greater note, how can the Father be greater than the Son if they both equally powerful? Did not Peter say at 1 Peter 2:22: "Nor was there any deception found in his mouth?"

      -In his famous prayer in John 17 when Jesus prayed for his Fathers will ti be done and his name to be sanctified, who was he speaking to? Is not he the same and the equal to the Father as part of an equally powerful Trinity?

      -John 1:14 mentions that the Word "became flesh and resided among us." Yet 1:18 says: "No man has seen God at ANY time." Yet they are the same, all-powerful 3-in-1 God known as the Trinity?

      -Paul mentioned at 1 Corinithians 11:3: "The head of the Christ is God." But how can God be the head, yet they both be equally powerful Trinity?

      ________

      As far as the issue at Matthew 16:18 see my above post.

      But to go along with that, Jesus himself debunks the issue of papacy. At Matthew 23:8-10 he says to not be called Rabbi/teacher, Leader (like as in the Holy Pope) or FATHER (wow, as in like Holy Father like the Pope) because only one was their teacher and Leader, Jesus himself. And only one was their Father, their heavenly Father. "Whereas all you are brothers." Yes they were all equally brothers, not staggered in laity with one man giving guidance to all. Yes there were ones with positions higher than others, but according to Jesus, there was no one man installed here on earth to be their 'leader' because Jesus was leading them as their perfect King.

      J

      October 4, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
    • Reality

      Hmmm, lots of "bible-thu-mping" in this section:

      What do some contemporary NT experts say about John 14:16

      John 14:26 (New International Version)

      "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."

      See http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?ti-tle=062_Spirit_under_Trial for the answer.

      October 4, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  8. Thomas

    Let's be clear here: The "Red Mass" did not begin in the 1950s, it began between the 11th and 13th centuries. This specific celebration of a "Red Mass" at St. Matthews started in 1952, but "Red Masses" are celebrated around the world, the Catholic parish nearby has one tomorrow. Many Church's also celebrate "White Masses" for medical professions.

    The point of these masses is to pray for the protection, safety, and guidance of the judges, lawyers, and medical professions that go to these masses.

    October 4, 2010 at 2:21 am |
  9. Thomas

    Let's be clear here. The "Red Mass" did not begin in the 1950s, it began between the 11th and 13th centuries. This specific celebration of a "Red Mass" at St. Matthews started in 1952, but "Red Masses" are celebrated around the world, the Catholic parish nearby has one tomorrow. Many Church's also celebrate "White Masses" for medical professions.

    The point of these masses is to pray for the protection, safety, and guidance of the judges, lawyers, and medical professions that go to these masses.

    October 4, 2010 at 2:19 am |
    • Frogist

      @Thomas: Thanks for the clarification. As I learn more I can understand why they would want to go since it is tradition. I am still very uncomfortable with them being lectured to about abortion and things that might come under their jurisdication as public officials. Seems to me if it really was just about giving them blessings and praying for their health, the topic of abortion would not come up at all.

      October 4, 2010 at 11:35 am |
  10. Frank

    This is basically a reprint of the first article! CNN is lazy!

    October 4, 2010 at 1:38 am |
  11. MACDONALDBANK1

    My father fought at the front on D-Day in Normandy … through the Battle of the Scheldt to Germany and grandfather was a Sgt. Major at Vimy. My Dad who was a catholic - is alive today at 87 and doesn’t believe in santa claus - an easter bunny or any of that bogus cross related filth.

    October 4, 2010 at 1:25 am |
  12. MACDONALDBANK1

    Einstein stated in a letter recently auctioned that the bible was a collection of primitive legends. He said believing in God was childish and he as a Jew is no different than another person and are not chosen by God. Do you want to be lambs at the slaughter or be wise and reject religious cultist manipulation? Mean & nasty; run by evil and bogus religious cults from Rome or wherever. Is this the world you want? The pope talks about ending prejudice and hate; what a hypocrite! Religion is a crutch for the insecure.

    October 4, 2010 at 1:24 am |
  13. MACDONALDBANK1

    The Vatican basically supported Hitler and religion is responsible for more corruption and violence in the world. Pope Ratzinger was involved in the Nazi youth. The Pope with his blatant witchcraft related to the bible and its hateful beliefs; tries to rule with extreme prejudice against a world … that may fall victim to religions' absolute evil. Many theologians state quite correctly that the birth; crucifixion; resurrection and other elements of christianity actually didn’t even happen! The pope is running a bigger fraud than Madoff’s $50 billion ripoff. Today’s evangelical extremists are like the nazis who cast others into ovens & are actually supremacists – who practice their bogus hocus pocus – and are trying to suppress and deprive others of their happiness and their legal rights in an open and proud society.

    October 4, 2010 at 1:23 am |
  14. MACDONALDBANK1

    There is no scientific evidence to prove any of the cross related bogus elements of christianity. Civilization goes back more than 2 million years; 1,996,000 years before the Greeks, Romans and the Jews and 1,998,000 years pre-dating the myth of christianity which is a mere 2010 years old. In the year 300 AD when Emperor Constantine, who to some was the first pope; went on to fabricate & market Christianity – a fantasy – which turned out to be one of the most hateful & evil concoctions ever perpetrated on the world.

    I am the son of a catholic father who never went to church and a protestant mother who took us to church and Sunday school. Onward christian soldiers; I think not. Such absolute drivel. To be manipulated by a santa claus; an easter bunny and worst of all a bogus cross.

    October 4, 2010 at 1:22 am |
    • Thorrsman

      2 MILLION years? Well, you completely demolished any shred of credibility right there. Thank you for doing so quickly, it saves the intelligent people time they would otherwise have wasted reading your tripe.

      October 4, 2010 at 9:42 am |
  15. Linda

    This is an insult to the victims of Catholics. I can't believe these "masses" are still legal.

    October 4, 2010 at 1:15 am |
    • Peacemaker

      How is this an insult to the victims of Catholics? Please explain. You make this comment without explanation. Judge & condemn ALL Catholics.

      October 4, 2010 at 10:13 am |
  16. rzy

    It is obvious that a lot are ignorant about the Red Mass. The Red mass is not organized by the Catholic church but by the St. Thomas Moore fraternity/society. St. Thomas Moore is considered the patron saint of lawyers. Justices, judges and lawyers are the main participants in this annual event. I understand why it's by-invitation-only event. You got the justices of the supreme court in attendance and the vice-president. I'm sure one can figure out the reason.

    October 4, 2010 at 12:34 am |
    • Aloisae

      Just to clarify: The Red Mass is celebrated in locations in the US.. not just this one church. It also dates back to the middle ages and it is not only held in the US but also in other countries around the world. Sponsorship varies by location.

      It is not, and never has been in the US, an official government function. Unlike some of the ceremonies that have been held in the Washington National Cathedral... an Episcopal church.. which HAVE been official government functions that officials have been required to attend (not just invited) regardless of personal faith and nobody seems to get up in arms about them.

      October 4, 2010 at 1:26 am |
  17. Reality

    Repeating the topic of course requires repeating the last sermon that should be said at St. Matthew's Cathedral. Actually this should be the last sermon said at any Christian house of worship:

    There should be only one sermon preached during this Mass and it should be the last sermon read there or at any other house of "worthless worship":

    The Sermon: (for new members only)

    origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

    "The New Torah and NT For Modern Minds"

    1. Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

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

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

    2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan se-cts.

    The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hit-ti-tes, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

    earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

    For added "pizz-azz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "fil-icider".

    Current RCC problems:

    Pedo-ph-iliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

    3. Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

    Current problems in "protesting-type" religions:

    Adu-lterous preachers, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

    With these revelations, we will now ask you all to leave as we permanently lock the door to this church!!! " Amen

    October 3, 2010 at 11:37 pm |
    • Really???

      TROLL!

      October 4, 2010 at 4:07 am |
  18. stanknasty

    @ Jawz, What if they are Jewish and their Rabbi asks for a favor? What if they are Mormon or whatever and their friends, family, political affiliation, country club, bolwing team, fishing buddy asks for a favor... C'mon. Get real.

    October 3, 2010 at 11:26 pm |
  19. stanknasty

    No one should be discriminated against because they hold a religion dear to them. Whether it be Jewish, Catholic or whatever. People should attend whatever meeting they wish except political meetings. They are not to be neither Democrat nor Republican. they need to judge righteously.

    October 3, 2010 at 11:24 pm |
  20. Jawz

    An unbalanced court, this worries more than al qaeda. Sorry but we they profile all kinds of things so that we have have a fair represenataion of the general public in positions in the goverment. The USA is not 55% Catholic, peoples religon have an effect on their judgements whether they say so in front of congress or not. Too much power is in the Catholic Churches hands. What do you thank a Justice is going to say if the Pope ask for a favor?

    October 3, 2010 at 11:24 pm |
    • BADGUY

      Especially if they're black mailed with "loss of the Sacraments" or "ex-communication". (The former was used extensively in the 2008 elections for politicians that voted to uphold abortion.)

      October 4, 2010 at 12:42 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.