The story behind the Chilean miners' Jesus T-Shirts
October 14th, 2010
04:49 PM ET

The story behind the Chilean miners' Jesus T-Shirts

As miners were being pulled from Chile's San Jose mine Wednesday, most were wearing tan T-shirts over their coveralls. The Chilean government told reporters the green coveralls were designed to help absorb the sweat as they ascended to the top.

But Wes Little, a CNN editor/producer in Atlanta, wondered why the miners were wearing the T-shirt over their coveralls. He noticed a logo on the T-shirt's left sleeve for the Jesus Film Project.

Here's what we found:

The Jesus Film Project is a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ International, the massive Orlando, Florida-based evangelical ministry.

The Jesus Film Project tells us they have translated the film into 1,105 languages and that it has been seen in every country. You can watch or listen to over a 1,000 of the translations here.

The main goal of TJFP's ministry is to create and distribute effective media in every language, says Berry Fiess, the group's director of field information services.

Seventeen days into the mine accident, CCCI country director for Chile, Christian Maureira, started contacting public officials to see if they could send the miners a copy of the film. Fiess said Maureira was able to reach a daughter and a brother of miner Jose Henriquez.

Through that family contact, the group was able to send an MP3 audio version of the Jesus film and an MP3 audio version of the New Testament in Spanish to Henriquez down in the mine.

The Jesus film explains that the New Testament tells how Jesus is laid in a tomb-like cave after his crucifixion. Three days later, Jesus is said to have risen from the dead. In the Jesus film, women come to the tomb and find the stone that blocked the entrance has been rolled away, the cave empty.

It is unclear if the miners saw the resurrection story as a parallel for their hoped-for rescue, but Jose Henriquez passed along a letter to CCCI's Maureira from inside the mine. Fiess shared the English translation with CNN:

Thank you for this tremendous blessing for me and my coworkers. It will be good for our spiritual edification. I am fine because Christ lives in me.

We have prayer services at 12 noon and 6 pm.

"At the end of the letter," Fiess said, "(Henriquez) said goodbye with Psalm 95:4, which says, 'In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him.'"

A few days later, Henriquez asked Maureira to get them special T-shirts.

"The T-shirts were a gift from Campus Crusade for Christ Chile," Fiess said. "In the front you can read, 'Gracias Senor' - 'Thank you Lord.'"

And on the back, Psalm 95:4.

"Apparently, all the miners liked them," Fiess said. "It kind of solidified them."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Chile • Christianity • Missionaries • South America

soundoff (580 Responses)
  1. Renee

    When I read the hateful and cutting tone of the atheist messages in this blog....and then I read the kind and forgiving tone of the Christian posts, the truth just glares. Which kind of approach will create a better (positive) way of life? I'll take the Christian tone over the hateful atheist tone any day. I was actually situated in the middle until I read this blog. Now I know for a fact that I do not want to come across as negative and hateful as the atheists who have been posting here.

    October 15, 2010 at 6:24 am |
    • mayaj

      I just saw a believer post a wish for non believers to disappear into the empty mine..kind hearted response? Hardly. Perhaps you should re-read a few of these postings.

      October 15, 2010 at 7:36 am |
  2. Renee

    So, this guy died and claims he didn't have the experience that Christains claim. Is anyone surprised by that? Jesus saves only believers. Choose what you want to. Those of us who have "experienced" real-life miracles will believe in our God. Those of you who don't believe....well, because we aim for goodness, we will still pray and hope for you....but again, that's because our God tells us that it is the authentic thing to do.

    October 15, 2010 at 6:15 am |
    • Peace2All


      Oh.. right, the typical response from the fundamental christian, when there just might be something different from what they 'think' out of a book(bible).

      Try to minimize, discount, rationalize 'my' experience away, that is the trypical ignorant response.

      You don't even know what the 'experience' was... And... Have you been 'clinically' dead....? If I were a betting man, my money would be on that you have not.

      Its kind of the equivalent of someone finally going into outer space and having an experience, but the ones who haven't been there, are claiming *absolute fact* about what it is like, out of a book.

      Remember.. you have your beliefs... but.... beliefs do *not*=facts.

      October 15, 2010 at 6:26 am |
    • Raison


      Capitalizing on your personal experience is an accepted gambit, but since it is entirely subjective, what does it prove?

      Just arguin'

      October 15, 2010 at 6:38 am |
    • Peace2All


      Nothing.... I wasn't out to *proove* anything. I, as I know you do, get a bit tired of hearing the fundamentalists talk as if they know for sure, about something.

      I haven't ever really talked about my NDE in all of the months and thousands of postings. I just wanted to throw in another possibility of someone, who has 'actually' been there... at least for awhile, and 'my' experience, as I suggested, was just that, my experience.

      But, until I read of a fundamental christian c-o-m-i-n-g on here and saying that they died, and god and jesus came to judge them, or something of that nature, then maybe my 'actual' experience should be at least explored, and not just thrown out because it doesn't match the traditional christian biblical view.

      And to add to this.... Almost all of the people who have been to the 'other side' so-to speak, very few, if any come back with anything remotely connected to the christian life after death world view. And yep... I have read about 30 books on the subject... since i had the experience.

      All subjective, and anecdotal for sure..... But, its about as close as we can come...

      And, by the way Raison.... Everyone seems to think(assumed) that I am an atheist all these months.

      But, like you, I am, and especially after my NDE.... an 'agnostic'... way beyond the traditional definition of the word 'agnostic'

      October 15, 2010 at 6:50 am |
    • Raison


      wow! So...um...you are agnostic...ok...I recall making wrong guesses about your stance before, but I don't recall having done so recently......hm.
      But that would make my argument all the more...meaningful. I suppose you question what you went through as an agnostic and this gives you that extra "umph" in being "out there"...yes?

      October 15, 2010 at 7:02 am |
    • Peace2All


      Yes.. you are correct.

      I question it... and.. from my posts, as you can see, you never hear me making any claims (just because I had this experience ) as *fact* for everyone, nor for myself even. Quite the contrary. However, I do lay claim to ..that I have 'been there' (as now we are getting into a discussion where there are absolutely no words to describe or convey my experience).

      What I am specifically going after is the fundies absolute claim of *fact* or *truth* based on their 'beliefs', when, some of us, have actually been there.. so to speak. And, it could be just a dying brain phenomenon.. it could be an experience that has a -time experation-... and a myriad of other possiblities.

      October 15, 2010 at 7:16 am |
    • Raison


      Well, I certainly hope you've read enough of my long-winded posts to know or guess what I would think about that....

      ...but let me just say...from me...that I would put what you experience in the category of extreme physiological and neurological effects as far as perceptions go. The logic of how God is supposed to work according to some of his attributes demands a logical stance against religion anyway. If he is the god of logic and science and truth and good and all of that...why the hell is everyone insisting on what has been proven to be lies?
      But here I am preaching to the choir. 😀
      As for Kate's clue, just google it. It was the easiest thing in the world to use. Just replacing an "i" with a small string of characters did the trick. Any letter can be replaced with these characters. I will be having fun with them when I am bored.
      I still have faith in the truth for it is true. Does that make me a fundie of sorts? LOL

      October 15, 2010 at 7:30 am |
    • Peace2All


      Yep...! And with that... Good night pal...!

      Talk with you Errr.. tom(today).... sleepy...time....

      October 15, 2010 at 7:45 am |
    • Raison


      Peace to you, bro. See you later. ®

      October 15, 2010 at 7:51 am |
  3. segun opadeyi

    "JESUS is Lord"....it is in Him, all things consist!

    October 15, 2010 at 6:01 am |
    • Peace2All

      @segun opadeyi

      Please see my response to @jack, and @only me... right above this post.

      October 15, 2010 at 6:05 am |
  4. jack

    one thing I have learned never argue with a fool. People might not now the difference!
    Jesus is real. He is coming again. Put your trust in Jesus!

    October 15, 2010 at 5:40 am |
    • Peace2All


      Then given your intractable fanatical christian fundamentalism... Then, we shouldn't argue with you, as you are sounding definitely like a *fool* to just think you *absolutely know*... when *you* have not been their yet.

      October 15, 2010 at 6:03 am |
  5. only me

    Jesus is real...but to the doubting Toms out there....I ask you this...

    If I am wrong, and heaven, Jesus, God etc. does not exist and I have chosen to live a good life that has made me a better person, follow the Bible, etc what have I lost? Nothing! I have improved my life and that of my children and everyone I know (hopefully anyways)

    BUT, if you are wrong, and God and Jesus and heaven does exist, what have you lost? Everything!
    Just something to think about.

    October 15, 2010 at 5:35 am |
    • Peace2All

      @only me

      Keeping it short as it is getting late.....

      1) You are assuming beliefs as *fact* when in fact their is no proof of God, Jesus, etc.. You have 'beliefs'.... lets make that very *big* distinction from the world of facts.

      2)Pascal's Wager-- If you took any basic Philosophy class in high school or college, you would have learned about the philosopher Blaise Pascal and his famous 'wager.' If you are wrong you have lived a good life...i.e...(no life after death), however, if you are right, and atheists are wrong and their is God, etc.. the we are to burn eternally.

      Where your argument falls apart, and the 'wager' gets trounced soundly, is that you are assuming if there .. *is* a life after death, then it *must* be the way you think it is. When obviously, there could be any number of scenarios much more likely to happen then a loving god and jesus sending you to hell. Maybe it is the god of Islam, maybe there is reincarnation.

      Again, the possibilites are endless. And... speaking as someone who has crossed that veil, for a short period of time..... at least in 'MY' (experience), there was nothing even remotely close to what you 'think' your version is.. because .. of the bible.

      Something for you to maybe think about, and not be so fanatically *sure* that you think you know what happens.

      October 15, 2010 at 5:48 am |
    • Mel

      @only me: Good question...you got him on the run (tht's what the do when they try to blablablabla their way out of it

      @Peace2all.. you've read one book too many. Keep it sane You get an F.

      October 15, 2010 at 8:54 am |
    • Raison

      @only me

      Is God merciful and good? Then I am not worried whatever you may say.

      Sorry to hear that you find reading long posts difficult. You can miss out on some interesting responses that way.
      As for Peace2all's post...I give him a C +....but of course a religious person would condemn him out of hand.
      So kind of you to judge us before God gets a chance. Yes. I'm "sure" God would appreciate that a lot. He can't do anything himself, you see.....and he must have told you to judge everyone as harshly as possible. Yeah. Go with that.

      October 15, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
    • Peace2All


      Say wut..? C+... Arrrrrrgghhh..!!!! 🙂

      October 15, 2010 at 1:01 pm |
    • Peace2All


      What the F* * * K..? How can you dismiss me outright, when I had an 'experience'.... this did not come from any books.

      Are you 'even' thinking about what you just said...?

      Please....c-o-m-e back and respond, as I am very, very curious as to what your thinking is.

      Maybe I missed something very *profound* in your post....?

      October 15, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
    • Raison


      LOL...I can just see you clenching and unclenching your hands waiting to get a "friendly" grip on your new friend Mel. 😀

      Or the steam coming from your ears and nostrils as you wait for him to respond...LOL

      Now it's my turn to be the peaceful one! Mel's posts remind me of many people in my town. What some might call "Solid Republican Christians" who bring us the not-so-wonderful legacy of the Cold War into this new century.
      Mel is looking for communists, I think. Are you one of those "godless" communists? LOL

      Just troll-baitin'

      October 16, 2010 at 9:16 am |
  6. jack

    I am willing to bet the miners were praying to the God in heaven and you can ask them why they were wearing the Jesus
    T shirts. Its there faith in Jesus, who is lord of their lives. Not some other person or diety. Its all about Jesus. He is the savior.
    By the way seems like some of you have lost your way. If you want to know Jesus. Then buy a bible. That BIBLE. The truth of life is found in it.

    October 15, 2010 at 5:23 am |
    • Peace2All


      I get where you are coming from, however...... if the miners where living in... oh.. a country where the predominant faith or religion is 'Islam'.... They would be wearing other t-shirts. Quotes from the Qur'an..and shouting .."Allahou- Akbahr"... God is great'...

      Do you understand..?

      October 15, 2010 at 5:30 am |
  7. Brendon

    Since real truth and real faith seem to be the issue of the day, then let me throw one more thing on the table in response to the post "10 Minutes after you are dead, you will see how cheesy Jesus is!" The Scriptures state specifically that when a believer or non-believer dies that they stay in the grave as though asleep and wait until the 2nd coming of Yeshua. A good site with all the Scriptural references is http://www.truthaboutdeath.com/ Be blessed and come to know Him more daily through reading the Scriptures and Prayer.

    October 15, 2010 at 5:10 am |
    • Peace2All


      It is interesting to me the people that seem to claim they know the most about what happens after you die, are the ones that are usually the fundamental christians.

      Well, I said it before.... I had an "NDE–near death experience" and 'my' experience was certainly *nothing* even close as to what the christian fundamentalists claim to be true... Nothing even remotely close.

      October 15, 2010 at 5:27 am |
  8. Elijah

    Can there be creation without the creator? For arguing that there's no God and looking for proofs on whether HE exists or not, you have the proofs all around you except you yourself dont exist. Have you ever wondered where air you breathe in and out comes from? What other proof are you seeking when you have vegetations around you, your body systems discharge their responsibilities accordingly and orderly... wait a minute! You want to tell me that they are natural? Yes, they are! But could you just tell me what nature is all about?
    Above all, you can do the self-test yourself if truly you want to know whether God exists or not... Say this from your heart and not mouth your alone; "God show yourself to me" mind you, you may not see him face-to-face as you are thinking right now but HE will certainly reveal himself to you in one way or the other, positively or negatively.

    October 15, 2010 at 4:29 am |
  9. John

    Why argue with the non christians they'll never change.It's kind of like trying to teach a pig to sing it annoys the pig and wastes your time.For all you who laugh at religion I pray our heavenly father forgives you.

    October 15, 2010 at 4:26 am |
  10. henry

    how can U tell?

    Check the new and free BMI calculator: http://bmi-bmi.com

    October 15, 2010 at 3:53 am |
  11. JenkaPen

    Out of something frightening and tragic, an entire world was united in care, concern, and with love for the well being of those stranded men. This is the life of Jesus. His crucifixtion was not about death, but about life. Men rose to the surface and kneeled in prayer giving thanks to God. It is interesting they didn't emerge, angry with God.... That in itself should give professional sarcastics pause. but they are too busy telling them people of faith they are delussion and ridicules. Like to see you tell it to the face of one of those miners. Talk about laughter then....Gracias Senor!!!!!

    October 15, 2010 at 3:50 am |
  12. Blinkinloid

    The Odd Masonic Imagery of the 33 Chilean Miners’ Rescue

    October 15, 2010 at 3:33 am |
    • Frank

      Oh, Vigilant Citizen. Do you also believe that Lady Gaga is a Monarch Trauma-based Mind Controlled Satanic Illuminati sl@ve? Hmm?

      October 15, 2010 at 3:36 am |
    • Frank

      I noticed you didn't reply. Lady Gaga is awesome; a great musician and visual artist (and yes, I'm well read when it comes to Monarch programming and it's triggers). If I may gave a suggestion, it would be to stop focusing on entertainment celebrities and focus on the real string pullers with the power. Lady Gaga, Kanye West, the Black Eyed Peas, Christina Aguilera, Rihanna and Jay-Z are just entertainers. You either like their music or not. Pretty simple. You give them their power. Symbolism is what you make of it. That's why it's art. If it means one thing and one thing only, it won't reach such a wide audience.
      I'll probably post about this on Vigilant's site sometime because he doesn't really know what he's talking about when he's talking about art. He doesn't understand how art works. He might be a disinformation agent. Just my two cents.

      October 15, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
  13. Frank

    This kinda reminds me of the story of Immaculée Ilibagiza, who spent 91 days trapped in a bathroom with 7 other women during the Rwandan genocide. Her faith helped her to survive.

    October 15, 2010 at 3:32 am |
  14. Spewie

    Something's fishy – The T-shirts have an inverted pentagram on the front.

    October 15, 2010 at 3:28 am |
  15. GS

    Wow, this is quite the debate! I believe in God and in science. I believe that God answers prayer and I believe that he gives wisdom to people who ask for it and honestly and earnestly seek it. Just as he gave the rescuers wisdom to rescue the miners. I can't imagine what these miners have gone through and am totally encouraged by witnessing their rescue being broadcasted live around the world. it's so refreshing to see some good news for a change!

    It's also totally encouraging to see that they put their faith and trust in God through this horrific ordeal. Why do a few atheists have to slam them for their faith? You guys are like a bunch of school yard bullies as you belittle anyone who expresses their joy in the rescue through any expression of faith. You guys are really making your selves look bad.

    There is plenty of evidence for the existence of Jesus based on real history. There is also very good reasonable and scientific evidence for the existence of a creator God.

    Check out: http://www.ultimatequestions.org, reasonablefaith.org, Jesusfactorfiction.com and bethinking.org for resources that show that faith in God and Jesus are more than reasonable.

    As Jimmy Sanchez, one of the 33 Chilean Miners said in his letter he sent from the mine on Tuesday:
    “There are actually 34 of us, because God has never left us down here." My prayer for all who read this blog is that God will reveal his love and truth to all those who honestly seek him, He will transform your life and give you peace in the same way that he has changed the miners and mine... if you let him.

    October 15, 2010 at 3:07 am |
  16. YO

    The greatest thing...those miners chose to wear those shirts that stated clear as anything..."To God Be The Honor and all Glory" It also said Jesus..."whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved!!"

    October 15, 2010 at 3:03 am |
  17. Becky

    Hey miners, I know you are so glad you're out of that mine. I see your wearing one of those T-shirts and I know you are thanking God for all this, but, well, here is the problem, you should really thank that machine over there. No, seriously, you should kiss that machine. Oh, and bow down to that engineer. You need to know the truth, God didn't save you. Hey, why are you punching me in the face? Shesh, they respect my comments so much more online.

    October 15, 2010 at 2:44 am |
    • Raison

      witness the fake post.
      very low, very low indeed.

      October 15, 2010 at 11:53 am |
  18. Becky

    Hey miners, I know your really happy you're out of that mine, and YOU choose to to wear that shirt. I know this should be a celebration. But you know God doesn't exist right? Instead of thanking God, you should go kiss that machine over there. You should go bow down to that engineer. Hey, why are you punching me in the face?! I'm just trying to tell you the truth. Shesh, they sure do appreciate my comments more online.

    October 15, 2010 at 2:34 am |
  19. Seeker

    Must admit I'm a little turned off by Christians exploiting the suffering of the mining families. Chile is a very Catholic country and many of the miners were clearly Catholic. That Campus Crusade for Christ would exploit their families to promote their ministry is an excellent example of the dramatic insenstivity evangelicals of all sorts display.....I hope the miiners go see their local Catholic pastors when they are released from the hospitals....and keep the creep set away from them.

    October 15, 2010 at 2:17 am |
    • KennyK

      A highly emotional moment of human triumph co-opted by a corporation, how very American of us Christians.
      By Campus Crusade for Christ's own account, only 1 to 3 of the 33 miners where Christian at the beginning of this event.
      The same MP3 devices that the miners used can be ordered on line, haven't been able to get the T Shirt yet but I'm sure it will soon be available. Donations are pouring into CCC, keep up the good works!
      Shalom, Salaam, Peace be with you all

      October 15, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  20. Nathan

    @David and Alicia,

    You are right about Pascal's Wager and its not really a good argument to give others for why they should have faith in anything. There are other good ones I think but this one very much falls short. Sorry, Alicia. I dont mean to disrespect you but you should go study some more and find some more solid arguments to build upon your belief forming faculties.

    But David, you said... "Also, if there is no afterlife, then this life is all the more precious. Each minute, of every day, should be spent on something that fulfills you. Think of how much time you might be wasting, worshiping a god who isn't there."

    I have a few questions for you...much of this I am hammering out very fast so please do not take my abruptness as rudeness...it is what it is, abrupt because I have to write fast...

    1) Where do you derive this advice? It seems to me that your logic does not flow well on this point. How is this life all the more precious if there is no afterlife? I want to say your argument is a non sequitur. Your argument does not follow. Some could argue that it makes it all the more meaningless. that would be more consistent. This all actually depends on your starting point, your conclusions, and the assumptions you make about the universe. Are you suggesting your life is precious because the universe is a closed system? Are you suggesting its "precious" because there is limited time? Is that only what makes it more precious? Because if there is no after life and you die and you are annihilated then why does YOUR LIFE matter? Who really cares about it? Now, while we can thank Hollywood for the "Good Will Hunting/Dead Poets Society Robin Williams, Carpe Diem, seize the day, ya gotta make the most of it" argument, the problem with that is, you are only gonna care about your life for 70 or 80 years, five generations after your life people wont ever really talk about you or care about your life even if you are president, the universe wont care about you because its impersonal, and besides, you dont exist anymore. The universe doesn’t care so how again is your life precious? Sounds like sentimentalism to me. It seems illogical to suggest it is precious and since you are such an advocate of technology and reason (as am I), but based on your starting point,
    it seems your only really logical position is to say that your life is not precious and its okay to waste your time.

    2) By saying it should be spent on something that fulfills "you," that seems a bit self-centering. In other words, it seems you are suggesting that Alicia should place herself at the center of the universe despite the fact that she came into this life as a squirmy helpless baby and her life is so short. In addition, you are placing "self fulfillment" as a supreme ideology. Now, in your universe, since there is no god or after life anyone can define what is supreme so how about humility and self sacrifice? Thinking of your self less perhaps? Based on your earlier logic, if my life is precious, then certainly your life is just as precious? RIght? So why wouldnt the supreme ideology be for me to fulfill you rather than myself? Or why dont we just take both as supreme ideologies? Sadly, we cannot because they conflict with each other. Self fulfillment taken to its logical conclusion means you should not care about miners and whether or not they made it out safely. That is, unless these things really give you a sense of self-fulfillment. But lets face it, they dont. If self fulfillment is your supreme ideology then what do you care about another man's life? It seems to me that though it may turn our heart strings a little, most people do not find these things to be truly self fulfilling. And another thing, you really shouldnt care so much whether or not some Jesus person claims this as a miracle. How is that self fulfilling?

    3) Following my last question, you are concerned with making the most of your time and you have commented MANY times on this thread. I was amazed with the amount of time you are able to spend and the multiple comments you have made. Is this really something that fulfills you? It seems you and I both could be doing better things with our lives rather than commenting so exhaustively on a thread that only a handful of people read, on a little blog post, of the obsolete religion section of CNN online. Remember, your life is precious on this earth (sarcasm) - a life about which the universe nor anyone else really cares.

    4) You have said a couple of times that modern technology is the only thing that saved those miners. By saying that, you are implying that there is no god. You say it more explicitly earlier in the thread. Now, while i agree with you that to call the miner rescue a miracle is wrong. But perhaps for different reasons. You say it is not a miracle because there is no god...right? I say it is not a miracle because it is a poor use of the word and a poor understanding of "miracle." A miracle is something that transpires when something more than natural happens (super natural). But to say that there is not a god? To say that there was not a particular God who gave those miners encouragement while trapped? To say that there is not a God who gave the minds, the hands, and the materials to the men who designed the modern technology and the courage to those who implemented them? To say that the miners were not rescued because this same God allowed it? This is something that neither of us can prove nor disprove with "scientific" certainty and so your argument that technology is the ONLY thing that saved those men is just as rigid and narrow as the Jesus person claiming it as a miracle. Thus, you are just as much a fundamentalist as they are, just in a different way.

    October 15, 2010 at 1:52 am |
    • Raison


      I hope you don't mind me commenting on your article, Nathan, but I was so glad to see that I am not the only one making gigantic posts that I just can't help myself. LOL

      For pointing out that David appears to be a fundamentalist in his own right is fairly accurate in it's way, but it is just a bit off. People who seek evidence or who demand evidence before accepting something like the disputed existence of God are simply people who are not taking the word of other people without proof. In his case this is not a bad thing, but a religious fundamentalist is another animal entirely. Religious fundamentalists truly have no leg to stand on in the face of evidence to the contrary – of which we have mountains of evidence in every scientific field known to man.

      For David's position, which is that there is no proof that God exists, he is on firm ground until such proof appears. Until that time would you please do your best to obtain this proof instead of insisting that we must only play with hypothesis that have no way of being tested – a very bad position to take and ends up being mere speculation?

      For I tell you, sir, that the lack of rational arguments is a sore point in this centuries-long debate. Science has to fight against every nut who cannot deal with the contradiction of things like dinosaurs and biblical creationism. Freedoms are suppressed and prohibited in the name of religious values. Crimes are committed. Insane things are done daily. Delusional thinking is the problem, I contend, and it will remain so until properly dealt with.
      Comfortable lies are very nice, yes. I have a few myself that I play with once in a while. But I can put them down when I am done with them and face the cold comfort of truth, painful though it might be.

      For your other points, (that number 1 paragraph could have been deleted and just the last sentence used in my opinion) I would say that human behavior is a strange mirror when studying the results. Selfishness is almost imbedded in every action – even the so-called "selfless" acts a human might do.

      Study human behavior and you find that the delusional aspects of religion are the greatest threat, in my opinion, to humanity's future as a species....and that the problems of dealing with delusions and the effects of same are rooted in the structures of the human brain and so on.

      You seem to think that religion has cornered the market on hope and happiness. You could not be more wrong. Religion has cornered the market on madness, hate, hopelessness, and violence....thanks to delusional belief systems that cannot help but cause irrational behavior in otherwise sensible people.
      As for your other assertions, I will only say that there is no proof on your side but what could be easily explained as simple emotional feedback.
      I am of the firm opinion that biological life is a biochemical feedback loop, and that our brains contain electrochemical feedback loops of thought and such. This seems supported by the available evidence we have so far.
      To prove your assertion and disprove my assertion of emotional feedback, we need more scientific research.

      Now the possibility of proving that God exists would be focused upon the brain and how thought and self-awareness works and perception and all that.
      But it might be that there is found yet more questions needed to answer the question. Questions that physics would have to answer.
      Yet the anti-science lobby is strong and filled with bribers and such types. Intelligent design believers refuse to face the debunking that has occurred. Textbooks are modified to deny scientific truth by religious people who cannot handle honesty. Their unethical behavior is yet another shocking indictment of religious delusion.
      Good grief. I could go on for days trying to point out the logical fallacies of a religious position in the face of facts we have at hand.
      But on the position of waiting for evidence, why, we are very strong, sir. Very strong, indeed. We have only to ask and you are all to seek.

      Egad. I look at my posts and I see I have become a great windbag. A rambling old professor trying to educate. I hope no one fell asleep trying to wade through my post. 😀

      October 15, 2010 at 6:08 am |
    • Peace2All


      There you are my friend. No wonder I couldn't find you.... Your posts are probably taking a half-hour to write each one. Not sayin' they ain't good posts my friend.

      You fundies just are a bit 'verbose'..... 🙂

      Hope that you are well...?

      October 15, 2010 at 6:15 am |
    • Raison


      Verbose? Verbose? LOL I only wonder that you didn't toss in a few more words and become verbose yourself! LOL
      No, I like that post, but -yes- it is very long to read. a tl:dr post. Many will skip right past it. I do not care all that much. I had fun writing it even though the people who need to read it the most probably aren't even connected to the internet.

      Just verbosin'

      October 15, 2010 at 11:51 am |
    • Theism defended

      raison, if our thoughts are nothing more than physics and chemistry, why should we place any confidence in them giving us information coming anything near to reality? the mind/brain issue is actually one of the reasons i believe in transcendence and God. we have never seen a purely physical process produce a consciousness. i see the brain as necessary but not sufficient to bringing about consciousness and thought. if I lived in some mechanical suit i needed for me to move/function but then you impaired that suit somehow and I couldn't move. my personhood, or whatever the right term is, would still be there apart from the suit. the mind is beyond merely the physics and chemistry of the brain.

      October 15, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
    • Nathan

      I am glad you commented about my tome! It appears we are in a race as to who gets to be the biggest windbag! I have much to say about your response but i cant keep up with threads like these because I am swamped. I will say one thing.

      The point I was trying to make about David's assertion that there is no God is as follows:

      To say there is no God (in this case I know WITH CERTAINTY that a being outside of ourselves had nothing to do with the rescue of these miners) is to make a very strong absolute truth claim. A claim that cannot be proven. So, I am having a hard time seeing the different between the Christian that David is railing against as being narrow and what sounds to me like "God had nothing to do with this, I just know." Both are narrow truth claims based on the individual's belief forming faculties. To sum up, my question is this, Can David really know with such certainty? If so, show me this certainty!! I know you say the burden of proof does not lie with him, and I dont think it does if he at least says "maybe there is a Creator." But to say it with such certainty an intellectually honest person has to provide proof. And if he cannot, is he not at the most fundamental level a fundamentalist?

      I would argue that we are all fundamentalists at some level about something. Fundamentalism isnt the problem. It just depends on what the fundamental is! Have you ever seen a hostile Amish person? You dont get much more fundamental than that! Now if you find a fundamental that humbles you, then you are on to something.

      October 16, 2010 at 1:49 am |
    • Raison


      Ah. Yes, the certainty thing has always bothered me. David is a great guy. To tease him by calling him a fundie is funny. But he is just convinced and that is not necessarily bad. He's got YOUR lack of proof as his "fundamentalist" basis. So if you don't want him to "act like a fundie" then shake him up with some proof. Fundies need shaking up if you can do so. Solid conviction without acknowledging all possibilities is a problem we all share.
      David is my friend and fellow fundie-fighter. I was defending him in lieu of being able to drink with him. A sad state of affairs, I must say. 🙁
      You are not someone I would call clueless, Nathan. I think we may agree on a lot of things if our keyboards could handle the load. I look forward to your future posts. 😛

      October 16, 2010 at 8:31 am |
    • Raison

      @Theism defended

      Hi Theism! That is a good response. I left you a lengthy post elsewhere, but I have to say this latest post of yours is easier to read. You make good points. I agree with most of them. All I would ask is that everything make sense no matter what our limitations are. If something doesn't make sense, there should be a reason why it does not make sense. Your "transcendence" is where I would start my search for proof of God's existence. Whatever a "soul" might consist of, there is the possibility that it "drains" away after death through tiny corresponding "wormholes" or something. Who knows?
      But it needs to make sense and fit together with everything else or I want to know why it doesn't.
      The Bible does not make sense. That's why I threw all of mine away. God, if he exists, surely makes sense, so if he wants to act sensibly and let us all know what's going on I would appreciate it very much.
      The problem of consciousness, self-awareness, and neurological bio-chemistry and making it all come together in a way that makes sense is a problem, yes. Very much a yes on that one!
      Perhaps I could joke and say, "no one ever saw a thought, so please prove that they exist." LOL

      October 16, 2010 at 8:42 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.