April 13th, 2011
04:04 PM ET

My Take: Relationships and religious advice

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

I have been giving a lot of lectures recently — at institutions as different as Duke, Virginia Military Academy and the University of North Alabama — and I have settled into the routine. A bit about my book "Religious Literacy" (Americans are very religious, but know almost nothing about their own religions), a bit about my newest project, "God is Not One" (no, religions are not different paths up the same mountain) and some humor thrown in here and there.

My favorite part of any speaking engagement, however, is the Q& A, which gives me an opportunity to hear what is on the minds of college students, and allows me to freelance a bit — to think on my feet.

In an April 6 talk sponsored by the Center for Interreligious Education at DePaul University in Chicago, DePaul’s Cortelyou Commons — the “Harry Potter” room, as my host David Wellman called it — was packed, thanks to the extra credit offered by many professors and the fact that I had appeared a few nights earlier on "The Colbert Report".

Usually the questions and answers last only 15 minutes or so, and often they traverse familiar ground. This time, however, the back and forth went on for an hour, and I got a lot of new questions.

The Q&A started with an angry young woman eager to exempt her beloved Confucianism from the horrors of religion. Do I really think Confucianism is a religion? Yes, I do. But Confucius hardly spoke of God or the afterlife. Well, neither do many forms of Buddhism.

I asked her whether she had been to the Temple of Confucius in Qufu, China, where Confucianism’s founder is plainly worshipped as a god. She said yes, but added that Confucius would be disgusted by efforts to turn him into anything other than a sage. The debate ended only when Wellman, an assistant professor of religious studies at DePaul, told us to move on.

Apparently I wasn’t particularly convincing. The next day the woman called me an ignorant “a–hole” on her Twitter feed.

My favorite exchange of the evening came from a young Muslim woman. She told me she was rooming with two Russian Jewish women who had become her friends, but that her grandfather was very upset with the arrangement.

“What should I do?” she pleaded. "It's a real problem."

At first, I had no idea. So I stalled by saying I felt like I was on the NPR program “Car Talk,” where the hosts dispense advice about carburetors and timing belts but are really talking about relationships and other human foibles. In between my hemming and hawing, she asked me to explain “this Jewish-Muslim thing” — something I said I doubted I could do in a minute or two.

In the end, what I said was that her grandfather was concerned because he loved her. I then suggested she do some research on "La Convivencia" — a moment in medieval Spain, from 711 to 1492, in which Jews, Christians and Muslims coexisted peaceably, collaborating together in such arenas as mathematics, philosophy and architecture — and share her findings with her grandfather. Perhaps her dorm room could become yet another place of interreligious “coexistence.”

I have often observed that religious traditions intrigue me more for the questions they ask than for the answers they offer. And so it goes for my invited lectures. At least for me, it’s the questions that really get me going.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Confucianism • Interfaith issues • Islam • Judaism

soundoff (149 Responses)
  1. Muneef

    In one of the meetings on TV programes an Islamic scholar was asked why mankind is so violent and all those killings ?

    He simply answered because all mankind had derived from a criminal that had killed his brother,meaning that all mankind derived from the son of Adam named as Cain who killed Abel who had not performed any attack or even self defense;

    The First Murder*
    [5:27] Recite for them the true history of Adam's two sons. They made an offering, and it was accepted from one of them, but not from the other. He said, "I will surely kill you." He said, "GOD accepts only from the righteous.

    [5:28] "If you extend your hand to kill me, I am not extending my hand to kill you. For I reverence GOD, Lord of the universe.

    [5:29] "I want you, not me, to bear my sin and your sin, then you end up with the dwellers of Hell. Such is the requital for the transgressors."

    [5:30] His ego provoked him into killing his brother. He killed him, and ended up with the losers.


    April 17, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
  2. Muneef

    About Atheists;
    As understand from the oxford English English that the word means non-believer,disbeliever.unbeliever,sceptic.doubter,doubting.Thomas,agnostic,nihilist.
    Well seem as those are not specifically being towards Religion only but towards all that goes on in life and life it self ! 
    Not having faith or trust is a problem and blindly giving a faith and trust is another problem !

    Was informed that N.Korea system is an atheist system and for that they are more advanced than religious systems ! 
    Just heard on the news that N.Korea 2012 will declure her self A Super Power ! And that they are annually visiting as a pilgrimage the Idol of their deceased ex President offering flowers,for they had considered him their eternal President !
    Soon they will have the Son Idol to visit, after that all they need a holy ghost !
    Seeing that atheist system means you become to worship idols such as those (men of ideologies,political parties or even movie stars or football teams) those get of you  all love and attention rather more than God !    

    In such though could those who worship and fear men and ideologies more than God like the Mafia or Similar Gangs be considered as atheists for they have God Fathers and War Princes to fear more than God ! Or is it that no one fear God any longer ? Is it in disbelief or in belief such as those who think God is all about love and would not punish while others think they have been saved by having their Prophet sacrificed as a sin taker and that no matter what they do today they are sure to go to Paradise only because they think there is no place for Hell for it does not exist nor punishment exist ? Forgot to ask them whether for all or them only or for other faiths as well ? Then if the other faiths have paradise and hell or only hell because all were wrong not accepting their named son or the 3in1 formula ! ? For they have made idols that are considered holy as well as many other faiths who have made for them selves live and dead idols to worship than God or worship them beside God or assigning them as God's partners that are feared by them maybe even more than God ! ? It is those who are killing,corrupting the earth and the sea !? 

    Now how could atheists and disbelievers to become to believe in such teachings and practices over the what the creator been calling upon us to believe !? 

    If i thought to ask what is needed to be seen for man to believe in God ? And if need an individual to see it or needs the world to see it with him for him to become to believe in the unseen ?  And if need to see it while fully awake or while you are fast asleep ?

    Many do get all the signs and warnings in their asleep in their dreams !   
    For that they have to go to bed in ablution state and no alcohol then pray asking God to be able to see the truth and might you one day see some thing if kept on trying !!
    God only answers those who call upon him wanting him and his guidance but might not to those who remember to call upon him only when they are in trouble and when they are saved they fail to remember him and go back to what they used to do before then rather than to do what should have to be done in return !
    What is happening to mankind and am one of them that as well not perfect or trying hard to be as perfect as should be as a follower of the Quran on the faith of Abraham and the path of Muhammed (SAW)to both... My God help and guide me and who ever wishes before death and after death and on the judgment day.  Ameen 

    April 16, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
  3. One Whose Name Means Beloved of God

    If something could "prove" there is a God, none of us would be having this discussion. Besides which, proof would only negate any value to faith.

    Also, perhaps you would do well to investigate a little farther into not only those civilizations that existed long before Christianity or even Judaism, but also how barbaric the Biblical societies really were. These religions have no lock on values that I would condone.

    April 16, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
  4. Adelina

    @Brad, that independent thinking – acade mic disci pline – developed only in the Christiuan West in order to interpret the Bible. @Oscar, all earthlings are barbaric. Judeo-Christian values alone made mankind civilized. Man naturally doesn't have a good moral compass except for a sense of unfairness. Morality comes from values and education especially from the Bible. You never read the foundation( the Bible) of Western morality; that's why you think it's naturally with you.

    April 16, 2011 at 12:42 am |
  5. Adelina

    @Chris, scientific observations and logical investigations prove there is the Creator God. @Oscar, the Jews are one who rejected their Messiah though God has come for them as He had promised. Christians accept the Old Testament Bible in the light of Jesus' fulfillment. @Civiloutside, considering how pre-Nazi Germans turned into something else so quickly... I'm not sure. Present Americans are all too hedonistic collectively. Other nations are in danger, too. We'll see. Please ask one question at a time when you meet me next time. You are too polluted to understand Biblical text, that's all. Be honest. Second Kings is about people like you and I. Find yourself there. And ask God for help.

    April 15, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
    • civiloutside

      Perhaps I was a little unclear. I wasn't saying that Second Kings was revolting, I was saying that every section I'd read up to and including Second Kings was revolting. And generally speaking, it was the behavior of God and the people of whom he approves that were the worst. I'm trying to reserve judgment until I've read the whole thing and have the full picture, but so far he's the villain.

      But anyway, I asked god for about 18 years. No answers were forthcoming, most likely because he's fiction.

      It's interesting that you're so comfortable insulting everyone who disagrees with you. "too polluted to understand," "hedonistic," I suppose blatant disrespect and outright hatred towards people about whom you know absolutely nothing except that they disagree with your religion is moral behavior in your world. But hey... That's exactly what the portions of the Bible I've gotten through seems to teach, so I guess you may be a fine example that the complete message doesn't get any better. But I'll continue reading.

      Meanwhile, you sound very sad and resentful. I do hope you find greater happiness someday soon.

      April 16, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
  6. Muneef

    [7:157] "(4) follow the messenger, the gentile prophet (Muhammad), whom they find written in their Torah and Gospel. He exhorts them to be righteous, enjoins them from evil, allows for them all good food, and prohibits that which is bad, and unloads the burdens and the shackles imposed upon them. Those who believe in him, respect him, support him, and follow the light that came with him are the successful ones."

    [7:158] Say, "O people, I am GOD's messenger to all of you. To Him belongs the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth. There is no god except He. He controls life and death." Therefore, you shall believe in GOD and His messenger, the gentile prophet, who believes in GOD and His words. Follow him, that you may be guided.

    April 15, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
  7. Muneef


    In return of your 3 YouTubes find my comments to contents and verse that are self explaining; 
    Not fair that God and his prophets&messengers are blamed for the wickedness of men who worshiped some thing they made of gold that looked like a Bull and being hollowed it makes a sound from winds passing through it rather than worshiping the God of Moses who had freed and saved them by the Exudes....for that reason God had to purify them from the guilt and sin to grant them repentance...

    [2:49] Recall that we saved you from Pharaoh's people who inflicted upon you the worst persecution, slaying your sons and sparing your daughters. That was an exacting test from your Lord.

    [2:50] Recall that we parted the sea for you; we saved you and drowned Pharaoh's people before your eyes.

    [2:51] Yet, when we summoned Moses for forty nights, you worshipped the calf in his absence, and turned wicked.*

    [2:52] Still, we pardoned you thereafter that you may be appreciative.

    [2:53] Recall that we gave Moses scripture and the statute book, that you may be guided.

    Kill Your Ego*
    [2:54] Recall that Moses said to his people, "O my people, you have wronged your souls by worshipping the calf. You must repent to your Creator. You shall kill your egos. This is better for you in the sight of your Creator." He did redeem you. He is the Redeemer, Most Merciful.
    Another wickedness of men was to change the words of God in the scriptures and books;

    Distorting the Word of God
    [2:75] Do you expect them to believe as you do, when some of them used to hear the word of GOD, then distort it, with full understanding thereof, and deliberately?

    Concealing the Word of God
    [2:76] And when they meet the believers, they say, "We believe," but when they get together with each other, they say, "Do not inform (the believers)of the information given to you by GOD, lest you provide them with support for their argument concerning your Lord. Do you not understand?"

    [2:77] Do they not know that GOD knows everything they conceal, and everything they declare?

    [2:78] Among them are gentiles who do not know the scripture, except through hearsay, then assume that they know it.

    [2:79] Therefore, woe to those who distort the scripture with their own hands, then say, "This is what GOD has revealed," seeking a cheap material gain. Woe to them for such distortion, and woe to them for their illicit gains.
    The Quran: God's Message to the Jews and Christians
    [5:15] O people of the scripture, our messenger has come to you to proclaim for you many things you have concealed in the scripture, and to pardon many other transgressions you have committed. A beacon has come to you from GOD, and a profound scripture.

    [5:16] With it, GOD guides those who seek His approval. He guides them to the paths of peace, leads them out of darkness into the light by His leave, and guides them in a straight path.
    You Shall Not Make Any Distinction Among God's Messengers
    [4:150] Those who disbelieve in GOD and His messengers, and seek to make distinction among GOD and His messengers, and say, "We believe in some and reject some," and wish to follow a path in between;

    [4:151] these are the real disbelievers. We have prepared for the disbelievers a shameful retribution.

    [4:152] As for those who believe in GOD and His messengers, and make no distinction among them, He will grant them their recompense. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
    Quran: The Ultimate Reference
    [5:48] Then we revealed to you this scripture, truthfully, confirming previous scriptures, and superseding them. You shall rule among them in accordance with GOD's revelations, and do not follow their wishes if they differ from the truth that came to you. For each of you, we have decreed laws and different rites. Had GOD willed, He could have made you one congregation. But He thus puts you to the test through the revelations He has given each of you. You shall compete in righteousness. To GOD is your final destiny – all of you – then He will inform you of everything you had disputed.
    Crucifying "the Body" of Jesus*
    [4:157] And for claiming that they killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of GOD. In fact, they never killed him, they never crucified him – they were made to think that they did. All factions who are disputing in this matter are full of doubt concerning this issue. They possess no knowledge; they only conjecture. For certain, they never killed him.

    [4:158] Instead, GOD raised him to Him; GOD is Almighty, Most Wise.

    [4:159] Everyone among the people of the scripture was required to believe in him before his death. On the Day of Resurrection, he will be a witness against them.
    So what is your objection and denial to, is it the belief in the existence of God or is it towards the Religion which you might think that it had been distorted by men...?

    Do we want a religion of our own choice and design to practice or are we seeking the actual truth to believe in and practice??

    Well guess each will want it his own way accepting some and rejecting some choosing paths in between...??     

    April 15, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  8. Muneef

    Crucifying "the Body" of Jesus*
    [4:157] And for claiming that they killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of GOD. In fact, they never killed him, they never crucified him – they were made to think that they did. All factions who are disputing in this matter are full of doubt concerning this issue. They possess no knowledge; they only conjecture. For certain, they never killed him.

    [4:158] Instead, GOD raised him to Him; GOD is Almighty, Most Wise.

    [4:159] Everyone among the people of the scripture was required to believe in him before his death. On the Day of Resurrection, he will be a witness against them.

    April 15, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  9. interfaith interest

    Stephen Prothero, can you do an article on interfaith relationships and dating? Particularly maybe Christian/Muslim relationships?

    April 15, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  10. Tha_Truth

    Her grandfather is just concern that bad association could affect the views of what young Muslim has been taught. Sometimes there's nothing her grandfather can do, other than take her out of secular education. We all must learn to live with one another regardless and learn to tolerate. The unfortunate thing is that society is changing for the worse. There's no tolerance of anything, especially in religion. False religious beliefs will always beget some form of prejudice and violence. whether a person believes the Bible already alludes to that happening or not, we are all being witnesses of that undeniable truth- idiocy is well and alive. Can you teach an old dog new tricks? Yes you can, but they refuse correction.

    April 15, 2011 at 10:57 am |
  11. Mandi

    More paecdul withour religion Chris. Have you lost your mind?

    April 15, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • LEB

      Christ is right, in that wars are traditionally and historically fueled by one of two things: 1) Access to resources (tangible and non-tangible), and 2) Religious/cultural ideals.

      Just think about it for 5 minutes and you'll see how correct that is. Try no name a war that WASN'T about resources or cultural/religious ideals. Seriously, try to name just one. You can't, can you? Even today, the US vs Iraq/Afghanistan/etc war is about oil, strategic clout in the middle east (because of oil), and the cultural clash of Judeo-Christian Western democracy/imperialism and Islamic theocracies. Without religion, the second biggest cause for war would be gone, as would much of the xenophobic religion-fueled passions that drive nations to make war on other nations. If war was nothing more than a clamor for resources, it would mostly be obsolete now because open-market commerce has proven itself a more effective and cost-efficient way to control resources than war.

      April 21, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  12. Chris

    This world would be such a more peaceful, more intelligent place if there was no religion.

    April 15, 2011 at 9:26 am |
    • Oscar on the Couch


      April 15, 2011 at 11:30 am |
  13. Reality

    Presenting "to the point" text of the Jewish and Christian sections of the professor's book and lecture at no cost :

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

    New Torah For Modern Minds

    "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 (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) 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, Ludemann, 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 sects.

    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, Hitti-tes, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

    For added "pizzazz", 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 "filicider".

    Current RCC problems:

    Pedophiliac 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:

    Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac ministers, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

    April 15, 2011 at 8:26 am |
    • Oscar on the Couch

      Case and point is the story of Jesus"s immaculate conception, his 12 disciples, his virginity, etc, through his resurrection is IDENTICAL to the much earlier Egyptian religious text about their God, Horus.
      Go Figure.

      April 15, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • brad

      Jesus was not illiterate. Luke 4:16 narrates how Jesus READ the scrolls in the synagogue.

      April 15, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • brad

      "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." You could say the same thing about B*ar*ack O*bam*a who came out of nowhere to lead a great nation. And he's been a "rallying point" for a lot of people.

      April 15, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • brad

      The scripture scholars of Jesus' day didn't know what to make of him while in his very presence. But, Reality, your hand-picked scholars understand him clearly – on paper, and 2000 years after the fact.

      April 15, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Reality

      o The illiteracy of the simple preacher man aka Jesus, as per contemporary experts:

      From Professor Bruce Chilton's commentary in his book, Rabbi Jesus, An Intimate Biography,
      "What Luke misses is that Jesus stood in the synagogue as an illiterate m–amzer in his claim to be the Lord's anointed".

      Note: Luke 4: 16 is a single attestation. No where else in the NT does it say Jesus could read thereby making said passage historically unreliable.

      Crossan suggests Jesus was an illiterate "Jewish Cynic" from a landless peasant background, initially a follower of John the Baptist.

      The question of Jesus's literacy has been much discussed in modern scholarship; the Jesus Seminar and others feel references in the Gospels to Jesus reading and writing may well be fictions.

      The only Gospel reference to Jesus writing is John 8:6 in the Pericope Adulterae, widely considered a later addition, where it is not even clear he is forming letters in the dust, and the Greek "εγραφεν" could equally mean he was drawing.

      It is very unfortunate that Jesus was illiterate for it resulted in many gospels and epistles being written years after his death by non-witnesses. This resulted in significant differences in said gospels and epistles and with many embellishments to raise Jesus to the level of a deity to compete with the Roman gods and emperors. See Father Raymond Brown's book, An Introduction to the New Testament, (Luke 4:16 note on p. 237) for an exhaustive review of the true writers of the gospels and epistles.

      Of course, Muslims believe that Mohammed was also illiterate. This way, they can claim that the only way he could have received the "angelic", koranic passages of death to all infidels and Islamic domination of the globe by any means, was orally since he could not read or write.

      April 16, 2011 at 12:33 am |
  14. Adelina

    @thes33k3r Jesus is God and He is coming back as He said He would. God had promised He would send a Savior and He did, so the Second Coming will take place as well. Man cannot be good without God. You believe otherwise because you have no idea how filthy humanity's sins are. And you have no good news for mankind to look for; don't bar people from believing in true Good News. What you atheists do is only slandering good things all day long; you have no good content in what you preach but just despair and hopelessness. Thes-, God loves you. Return to Him in repentance. You were never Christian before; you just think you were.

    April 15, 2011 at 7:42 am |
    • Mary

      it amazes me how many of us "Christians" feel that we can speak on behalf of God, Jesus, etc. Who are you to prophecy? You are nothing. Only God can judge, Adelina. And let me break it to you – you're not God.

      April 15, 2011 at 8:17 am |
    • Oscar on the Couch

      Man cannot be good without God? Are you sick or insane? God, especially your God, has nothing to do with Man's good and moral compass.

      April 15, 2011 at 11:32 am |
  15. Adelina

    @thes33k3r I think you non-believers in the West are proving yourselves to be evil and maliciously lying for all to see. That's why you hate religion. You are stupid, selfish worshippers of pathetic self and are spewing ignorance on religions you never had any chance to know. I said I used not to have any opinion on American atheists, but I found you guys are much worse than communists in every way.

    April 15, 2011 at 7:11 am |
    • Mary

      And you, Adelina, are spewing hatred and intolerance. Pardon my asking, but isn't Jesus' message to love and accept all despite their sins? Pharisees? Samaritans? Lepers? Wouldn't that include non-believer's in today's world? Nice job following Jesus' message, hypocrite. You're the kind of "Christian" who gives Christianity a bad name.

      April 15, 2011 at 8:14 am |
    • Oscar on the Couch

      From your statement you show a deep hostility with no rational for it. It appears by your posts you believe that if a person doesn't believe in a religion in the same manner as you do, then that person is vile and evil.

      April 15, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • brad

      In the West, we like to stress "self reliance" and "thinking for ourselves". Great ideas, right? The trouble is, a person can be self reliant while walking through a dark forest full of hostile animals. We westerners wouldn't follow a person with a lantern and knows the way. We like to think for ouselves even though we might be thinking nonsense.

      April 15, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  16. ICEMAN

    @ ADELINA you need to do some research on the bible. If you do you will find out some of the books that was banned. IT'S TRUE AND GUESS WHAT THEY DID TO THOSE WHO DIDN'T PART WITH THEIR HOLY WORD? USE YOUR IMAGINATION. ARE YOU RCC?

    April 15, 2011 at 5:26 am |
    • Adelina

      Iceman, what do you mean? What books were banned? RCC = Roman Catholic Christian? No, I'm not. Iceman, I believe you are living in a free country; read the Bible while you can. American evil fanatics may ban the Bible anytime.

      April 15, 2011 at 6:52 am |
    • civiloutside

      Adelina, the overblown rhetoric is painful to watch. Given that fully 75% of Americans actively profess to be Christians, that it is virtually impossible to get elected to national office unless you claim to be Christian, and that book banning is entirely counter to the values of even secular Americans, the odds of the Bible getting banned in America anytime soon is somewhere between zero and zilch. You really display no understanding of American culture and values (yes, we do have such things).

      By the way, I am reading the Bible. Even though I attended church for a large span of my life, I am finding vast swaths of it that were never described as they are actually written. I'm only up to Second Kings, but I'll let you know as soon as I find a section that's more inspirational than revolting.

      April 15, 2011 at 11:10 am |
  17. Adelina

    People's sins and stupidity are truly amazing.

    April 15, 2011 at 12:00 am |
  18. Logan


    April 14, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
  19. Adelina

    There are actually only two religions in this world. People choose either the atonement by the Divine Savior Jesus or reliance of self with various modes.

    April 14, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
    • NL

      Let me get this straight; you're saying that being self-reliant is a bad thing? You'd rather be a dependent child for your entire existence?

      April 14, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
    • Adelina

      NL, no. Of course we are independent in a way and therefore morally responsible beings.
      The meaning of the above statement is: A person either chooses to trust entirely in what the Lord Jesus did for salvation or try to make a merit on one's own for salvation under a religion or whatever. There are only these two kinds in existence, though there are a lot of religions out there. That's why claiming a name is not important. The life saved by Jesus manifests newness, by the way. Human beings in their total sinfulness are unable to save themselves from the eternal justice against sin. This is the reason Jesus came to Planet Earth and this is why He is called the Savior and Redeemer.

      April 14, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
    • Chris

      You're forgetting the people who use observation and logical conjecture to conclude that there is zero proof of a god or that Jesus was anything more than a nice man. And no, the bible does not count as evidence, there is no proof that it is anything other than a novel.

      April 15, 2011 at 9:31 am |
    • Oscar on the Couch

      Adelina – How can you say such a stupid thing? With the odds leaning towards you being a Jesus follower isn't it true you must also accept the old testament as well because YOUR Savior spoke of this book in his teachings as he was a Jew. To deny Judaism is to deny Jesus.

      April 15, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • LEB

      Awesome. I'll take reliance on the self... aka, rationality.

      April 21, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  20. chris

    of course the questions are more intriguing than the answers. in religion, there are no answers!

    April 14, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • Sevenveils

      Set and Match.

      April 14, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
    • Logan


      April 15, 2011 at 4:13 am |
    • klova

      or rather, the "answers" they do provide have no explanation, and simply leave you wondering "why" to everything.

      April 15, 2011 at 7:53 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.