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Jesus on trial: What would a modern jury do?
April 22nd, 2011
07:18 AM ET

Jesus on trial: What would a modern jury do?

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Richmond, Virginia (CNN) - If Jesus were tried in Richmond, Virginia, today, would he have been sentenced to death? Or would he have faced life behind bars with no chance for parole?

That’s the choice given to jurors here recently.

During Lent, the Church of the Holy Comforter used Virginia law to retry the sentencing phase of the blasphemy case against Jesus of Nazareth. Church members and guests played the role of the jury.

The trial was the brainchild of Mark Osler, a former U.S. Attorney in Detroit who teaches at the University of St. Thomas Law School in Minneapolis and is friends with a member of the Richmond church.

Osler wanted to hold the trial in part to call attention to the state’s use of capital punishment. Virginia is second only to Texas in the number of executions per state since the mid-1970s, when the U.S. Supreme Court reinstituted the death penalty, according to federal statistics. He held a similar event in Texas a few years ago.

“For many of us our faith, as it relates to policy especially, is often unexamined,” Osler said “We’re surrounded by people who feel the same way, and what we need to do is have it be troubled at least and see if that takes us someplace different.”

The mock sentencing phase was held the night before Palm Sunday.

Osler played the part of Caiaphas, the Jewish high priest in the biblical narrative of the trial. In that account, Jesus had no defense council. But on this night, Osler faced off against Jeanne Bishop, a real-life public defender from Chicago.

“Jesus was indigent,” Bishop said. “And so I think [Osler] wanted a public defender to underscore the point that this is a man with no money, no resources, no position in society.

“Most of the people that I represent fit that description.”

“He also wanted to have a young African-American man play Jesus, and that’s what we have tonight. Most of clients look exactly like this young man who will be sitting beside me,” she said.

The night was bittersweet for Bishop. “My younger sister, her husband and their unborn baby were murdered 21 years ago today, the day before palm Sunday.”

In 1990, Nancy Bishop Langert was killed during a home invasion in Winnetka, Illinois. Her death was part of the reason Jeanne Bishop became a defense attorney and an outspoken opponent of the death penalty.

Even before her sister’s murder, Bishop said, she was against the death penalty. “When my sister and her husband and their baby were killed, my immediate response was, ‘No more killing, no more bloodshed, please let it stop right here.’”

Jeanne Bishop questions a witness at the trial of Jesus in Richmond, Virginia

Osler is also against the death penalty. It was a decision he said he reached as a prosecutor while sitting in church one Sunday.

“They read John 8, about stoning the adulteress, and I’m like everyone else - when I hear a story like that, I put myself in the role of Jesus. A lot of prosecutors who are Christians who talk about that will say, ‘Jesus said go and sin no more.’ And what I came to eventually is, ‘I’m not Jesus. I’m part of the mob. I’m somebody with a stone in my hand.’

“I think that story is very direct that we don’t have the moral authority” to execute prisoners, Osler said.

Playing the role of prosecutor and asking jurors to condemn Jesus to death was difficult for Osler.

“It’s very dark to have the prosecutor in me go to war with the faith [in me]. There’s a cynicism you need to be a good prosecutor,” he said. “It’s been in some ways a troubling enterprise, and I didn’t see that coming.”

“We don’t have a script,” Osler said shortly before taking the stage at the Church of the Holy Comforter. “We’re approaching this the way trial lawyers would. I haven’t known what her theory of the case is or what her arguments will be, and she doesn’t know mine. That’s the way it really works. It’s not a play. It really is a trial in that sense.”

Mark Osler waits to take the stage at the trial of Jesus

As the audience took their seats, Bishop leaned over and whispered to her client, a teenager from the church who sat beside her in a dark blazer and khaki pants.

William G. Broaddus played the role of the judge. He was Virginia’s attorney general for six months after his predecessor stepped down to run for governor. During that time, five defendants were executed in Virginia.

“We will now call the case of the Commonwealth of Virginia versus Jesus of Nazareth,” Broaddus bellowed from the pulpit. “I will remind you this man has already been found guilty of the criminal charge of blasphemy.

“Tonight it is your duty to determine the proper punishment,” he told the jurors.

The attorneys each called two witnesses. The prosecution called Peter, one of Jesus closest disciples, and a rich young ruler whom Jesus urged to sell all of his possessions and give the money to the poor, here though the witness was played by a woman from the congregation. The defense called a centurion whose slave Jesus had healed, as well as Malchus, a high priest's slave whose ear was cut off by Peter then reattached by Jesus.

The sentencing trial followed the rhythms of a standard criminal case. Bishop spoke gently yet firmly as she questioned the witnesses, her line of questioning seeking to emphasize Jesus' acts of compassion and mercy.

Osler was forceful and tried to paint Jesus as a rebel who sought to rend the fabric of society. He also played heavily on the issue of slavery in his questioning.

Richmond was an international slave port prior to the Civil War - a fact not lost on members of the audience, who quietly bristled or frowned when Osler brought it up. He repeatedly reminded them that while Jesus healed the centurion and high priest’s slaves, he did not set them free.

In her closing argument, Bishop told the jury that Jesus loved his enemies. “A man who showed such compassion is at least deserving of your compassion at this moment,” she said.

Osler rebutted that Jesus had “poked a hole in the fabric of society. Are you going to let it tear or are your going to keep it a small hole?” he asked as he tore a hole in his own pressed, white button-down shirt to gasps in the crowd.

After the closing arguments, the audience broke into several juries of 12. Following the Virginia state statutes, they had two votes to consider. First: “Do you find that there is a probability that, if not executed, the defendant would commit criminal acts that would constitute a continuing serious threat to society?”

If they answered yes to that question, they were instructed to move on to the second: “In the light of all mitigation, is a death sentence warranted?” Both questions required a unanimous vote.

In one of the juries, 11 members quickly agreed the answer to the first question was yes, but there was one holdout. The other jury members began to press her in favor of the prosecution. Eventually they were successful.

“I think he's convincing," an older woman on the panel said of Osler, adding, “I didn't like myself for thinking that."

As the judge told the crowd they had just five minutes left to deliberate, the noise in the sanctuary grew louder and more heated.

The votes were taken and the jury forms passed forward.

The judge stepped forward and read the verdict.

“Jesus please stand,” he said.

He read the first question aloud and said, “The majority of the juries have found that should be answered in the affirmative.”

It meant the juries thought Jesus would blaspheme again if not executed.

“Turning then to the next question,” he said. “The majority of the juries voting on that issue found that the death sentence is not warranted.”

There was applause from the audience.

“The defendant is remanded to the jailer for the rest of your natural life.”

And with that the trial ended.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Episcopal • United States

soundoff (1,632 Responses)
  1. reader10

    Why not Mohammed on trial.He is doing more damaged.

    April 22, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • No One Is Safe

      you need to take your computer back to the store, and get your money back.

      you're too fkucing stupid to own a computer.

      April 23, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  2. Dan Durea

    My Father, do not forgive the Americans, for they DO know what they are saying.

    April 22, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      Awww, whimper.

      April 22, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Sally Li

      If your prayer is answered, then woe to Americans.

      April 24, 2011 at 1:57 am |
  3. reader10

    Why not Mohammed on trial.He did more damaged.

    April 22, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  4. maybe

    He would have been assassinated long before any trail. Going against the federal reserve system.

    April 22, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  5. bluemax77

    Guilty – whatever the charge...!!!

    April 22, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  6. FairAndBalanced

    Whether one believes in religion/God or not is totally irrelevant.

    What matters is religion plays a very important part in today's world. It dictates almost all politics, wars, terrorism, and power.

    Yet, there is also the other side of religion – the positive side. Large sections of people follow at least some religious code of morals, and this helps in cutting down on crime and havoc, and keep them anchored to a life of goodness.

    So, I do think it's important to discuss the effects of religion/God.

    And every time there are such discussions, it hardly means that we would first need to resolve the existence of God (or not).
    All we need to know is religions exist and they play a big role in our lives (even if one is an atheist), and many people believe in Jesus, Jehovah, Vishnu, Siva, Buddha, & Mohammad.

    April 22, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • Annunaki

      People who believe in organized religion are psychologically weak hypocritcal sinners – no more pious than atheists and no more enlightened than Hitler.

      April 22, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • know your cuts of meat

      Be glad to go toe-to-toe with you Annunaki on intellect and enlightenment. Your post smacks of elitism and closed-mindedness. A different way to have an educated dialogue would be to debate the issue. Instead, you and your fellow pseudo intellectuals instantly resort to exaggerated postulates to underscore your opinion about issues you disagree with. What a sad, empty, shell of an existence you must live in. This weekend has a lot to offer you. Best of luck.

      April 22, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
    • BibleClown

      "What a sad, empty, shell of an existence you must live in." Wow, how "Christian" of you to say that. Would it make you feel better about disagreeing with him if he was unhappy? Believe what you want, but lose the anger; you're trying to tell us a man two thousand years dead is sending you messages of love by telepathy and we find that weird and unbelievable.

      April 24, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  7. Alex Bruzzone

    Jesus would have been declared insane

    April 22, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • know your cuts of meat

      Illuminate us with your wealth of knowledge, please, to back your statement. Else, you are simply a mindless blogger making assertions which mean nothing.

      April 22, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • Shawn

      Possibly, or if he was malicious, a con artist.

      He could have been executed for his crime of horse theft alone back in those days. And if he made a lot of fish and bread "appear out of nowhere" he most likely stole it from somewhere.

      April 22, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
  8. krankykris

    and the point of this article is what?

    April 22, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Dan Durea

      That even if Obama is a Moslem, it's okay.

      April 22, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  9. Dan Durea

    Wow! Now I am convinced 100% that I am living with terrorists and atheists. I am going to apply for emigration to a Moslem country, like Turkey, after I convert to Islam, the peaceful religion.

    April 22, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  10. Mickey Haist Jr

    The ultimate leap of faith:
    "An atheist called me a toothless, backward, slack-jawed, idiotic, childish, judgmental, child abuser because I said that God loved him. I'll join that philosophy! ...and this happened online."

    April 22, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • Shawn

      A lot of atheists are angry because of how they are treated in society (they used to be killed), but not all atheists are like that. Just like all Christians aren't like that crazy guy who was burning the Qur'an.

      Usually the most vocal atheists are the ones that were once Christians. Many feel like they had been tricked for a large portion of their life or they may have had very oppressively religious parents. Most atheists are silent about their feelings on religion because they don't really think it matters. You can even celebrate the holidays in a generic pagan or secular way, so where is the need for religious belief?

      April 22, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
    • BibleClown

      So, was he right?

      April 24, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
  11. Ihaveabridgetosellyou

    Jews, Christians and Muslims debating about God is like watch Star Wars and Star Trek fans fighting over which money making franchise is better.

    April 22, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • ThinkBig

      or like watching athiest bash religion on a Religious Blog.... Get a Life!

      April 22, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • crucified

      I agree... you do not have anything better to do..than troll the religious blogs.. and bother faithful people...Grow up!

      April 22, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Yeah

      You need to grow up Christianity is a farce it's based on other religions to make people believe they have value so they won't guestion those in charge... be a good sheep now.

      Roman Pagan Religion: Attis was a son of the virgin Nana. His birth was celebrated on DEC-25. He was sacrificed as an adult in order to bring salvation to mankind. He died about MAR-25, after being crucified on a tree, and descended for three days into the underworld. On Sunday, he arose, "as the solar deity for the new season." His followers tied an image of Attis to a tree on "Black Friday," and carried him in a procession to the temple. His body was symbolically eaten by his followers in the form of bread. Worship of Attis began in Rome circa 200 BCE.

      Greek Pagan Religion: Dionysus is another savior-god whose birth was observed on DEC-25. He was worshipped throughout much of the Middle East as well. He had a center of worship in Jerusalem in the 1st century BCE. Some ancient coins have been found in Gaza with Dionysus on one side and JHWH (Jehovah) on the other. In later years, his flesh and blood were symbolically eaten in the form of bread and wine. He was viewed as the son of Zeus, the Father God.

      Egyptian Pagan Religion: Osiris is a savior-god who had been worshipped as far back as Neolithic times. "He was called Lord of Lords, King of Kings, God of Gods...the Resurrection and the Life, the Good shepherd...the god who 'made men and women be born again'". Three wise men announced his birth. His followers ate cakes of wheat which symbolized his body. Many sayings as-sociated with Osiris were taken over into the Bible. This included:

      • 23rd Psalm: an appeal to Osiris as the good Shepherd to lead believers through the valley of the shadow of death and to green pastures and still waters
      • Lord's Prayer: "O amen, who art in heaven..."
      • Many parables attributed to Jesus.

      Worship of Osiris, and celebration of his DEC-25 birth, were established throughout the Roman Empire by the end of the 1st century BCE.

      Persian Pagan Religion: Mithra was a Persian savior. Worship of Mithra became common throughout the Roman Empire, particularly among the Roman civil service and military. Mithraism was a compet-itor of Christianity until the 4th century. Their god was believed to have been born on DEC-25, circa 500 BCE. His birth was witnessed by shepherds and by gift-carrying Magi. This was celebrated as the "Dies Natalis Solic Invite," The "Birthday of the Unconquered Sun." Some followers believed that he was born of a virgin. During his life, he performed many miracles, cured many illnesses, and cast out devils. He celebrated a Last Supper with his 12 disciples. He ascended to heaven at the time of the spring equinox, about March 21.

      The Babylonians celebrated their "Victory of the Sun-God" Festival on DEC-25. Saturnalia (the Festival of Saturn) was celebrated from DEC-17 to 23 in the Roman Empire. The Roman Emperor Aurelian blended Saturnalia with a number of birth celebrations of savior Gods from other religions, into a single holy day: DEC-25. After much argument, the developing Christian church adopted this date as the birthday of their savior, Jesus. The people of the Roman Empire were accustomed to celebrating the birth of a God on that day. So, it was easy for the church to divert people's attention to Jesus' birth.

      April 22, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • crucified

      If could be varified what you are saying... but the archelogical evidence does not support what you have stated from conjecture.. or maybe you know where the attis temple is? also.. Jesus travel plans where with in 30 miles.. and had no contact with your imaginary friends.. the Dead sea scrolls confirm accuracy of bible.. along with jewish accounts from talmud.. the Quran even substanciates the Bible.. your imaginary ideas are foolish at best..

      April 22, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Yeah

      The Attis temple? hmmm.... Ostia, Italy
      Temple platform is visible and an intact temple statue of cybele, also statue of Attis.

      April 22, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Oh, I see "Yeah" likes to copy/paste wrong info. Go read about Attis here: http://www.theoi.com/Phrygios/Attis.html

      April 22, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
    • Marc

      The dead sea scrolls do NOT verify that there is or was a Hebrew God. Jesus wandered just thirty miles? Where was he during his 20's? The Qur'an was written 100's of years after Jesus. Where are these ancient scrolls of which you speak? By the way, where are the original Bible chapters? Nope...there are none to be found. Where are the originals that were created by Constantine? Nope...there are none to be found. You believe what you were told by your parents, Sunday school teachers and ministers.

      April 22, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • BibleClown

      crucified, what a dumb name for a "Christian" to use. Do you have actual nail holes in your hands, or are you just mocking your own faith?

      April 24, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      What would that make Galactica fans? Heathens?

      April 24, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Marc- Do you believe in the phrase, "The unexamined life is not worth living for a human being."

      I hope not since it was from Socrates, who under your strict rules must never had existed.

      April 25, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • YeahRight

      The most obvious similarity between Jesus and Attis is, of course, the Christian celebration of Easter. A god that dies, is mourned, and celebrated after three days as having risen from the dead; a god who initiates redemption or salvation, (through his own suffering and death), where initiates can be washed in blood and free from sin; these similarities seem more than coincidental – and there is no doubt that Attis came first. The ‘Holy Week’ of Attis was already a State Ceremony by AD 41-54 – decades before the gospels were written. Moreover, Cybele had been worshiped by Romans for centuries, (she was credited with an exceptional harvest in 204BC (Pliny, NH,18,16)), and “numerous clay ex-votos depicting Attis (many of which are datable to the second century BC), unearthed during excavations in the temple cella, prove that the god had already reached the ordinary populace.” (Turcan, 111)

      “And if generations of Christians believed that Jesus died on the cross as the only means to pacify his father’s anger at mankind, it was no more absurd for the devotees of Attis and Cybele to worship a jealous goddess and her mutilated son.”

      April 25, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Ihaveabridgetosellyou

      Don't even bother debating them, while they were home studying a book plagiarized by sheep herders, real people archeologists were studying real history.

      April 26, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • Ihaveabridgetosellyou

      @crucified
      You believe in talking snakes and burning bushes and I have to grow up? Yeah right..

      April 26, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • crucified

      @Ihaveabridgetosellyou not hard to believe snakes can talk.. your lips keep moving.

      April 27, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Ralph

      "you not hard to believe snakes can talk.. your lips keep moving."
      Nice judgment su_cks to be you on judgment day. LOL!

      April 27, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  12. Larry

    apparently it's just the idea of Jesus that frightens alot of people on this discussion.. kind of interesting when you think about it...

    April 22, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      I have no use for hippies.

      April 22, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • HappyyppaH

      I have no use for pseudo intellectuals.

      Ooooooh SNAP!

      April 22, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      A dead guy coming back to rule the world after two thousand years doesn't scare you? Are you the GateKeeper? Have you seen the KeyMaster?

      April 24, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  13. MontyP

    No one suspects the Virginia Inquisition!

    April 22, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • HappyyppaH

      Hahahaha

      April 22, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  14. Mike

    How silly. First, if Peter had taken the stand, he would have denied even knowing the defendant. Three times. Under oath. Second, had Jesus not been put to death, humanity would still be dead in its sins, and no one would be saved. There would be no Christianity, and Islam would be the world's largest religion with no serious rivals. Good job, silly people!

    But what's really silly is that God established the death penalty for many crimes in the Old Testament. Hence, it is moral, so long as you have authority from God, to exact the death penalty. And what did Paul say about the Roman authorities? "The powers that be are ordained of God." These were not Christian but pagan rulers, yet Paul argued, "There is no power but of God." So, yes, our secular authorities are ordained of God because all power and authority ultimately come from God, and therefore the death penalty can be morally applied even by secular authorities. And that, according to the Old Testament, is how we "put the evil away" from us - that evil being, according to the New Testament, those who are "worthy of death" according to "the judgment of God."

    April 22, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • James dot

      Wake up. There are bhudists, shintoists, hinduists, most of all taoists. Taoist alone would exceed the number of the combined believers of christianism and islamism. These people are not as agressive, radical and killing people as christians and muslems have killed.

      April 22, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • James dot

      Long before those two religions there were better and more peaceful regions in the world. People started to kill each other badly in a massive scale after christinism and islam were created by jews and arabs.

      April 22, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • HappyyppaH

      Holy cow this is the most (insert expletive) nutty thing I have read so far!

      God said: "Yeah, stone everyone–it's righteous! I'm a loving and understanding Father! Break they facez!" Really? Yet many of the religious flip out over the idea of abortion. What insanity!

      What a confusing mess!

      Also, be mindful of these facts:

      If there was no Christianity, there would be no Islam, not as we know it anyway–Islam was influenced/inspired by both Judaism and Christianity, whether some Muslims care to accept it or not. Muslims believe that Christ was a prophet with the ability to perform miracles. They see him as a very important prophet, though not as the son of God. Muslims also believe that Mary, or Miriam, was (to put it lightly) a super special lady, too.

      Ugh.

      April 22, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • BibleClown

      "that evil being, according to the New Testament, those who are "worthy of death" according to "the judgment of God.""

      Down South they used to put on hoods and ride out at night to kill black people using exactly that sort of moral authority. You can stick that up Uranus and rotate on it; Christians are very often evil according to their own standards.

      April 24, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  15. HappyyppaH

    Buddy, Islam has a lot of followers. Countless people would have died if all of them were fundamentalists.

    Get it together.

    April 22, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  16. greg pallone

    even if bthe trial was today,jesus would still be executed,this ios gods plan ,period.

    April 22, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • Tom

      Jesus was BORN TO DIE! And HE knew it! One way or another He was going to get on that cross!!

      COMMITTMENT!!!!!

      April 22, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • Bruce

      There were other ways that Jesus could have died and resurrected, in fulfillment of those same scriptures, than to be crucified by the Romans on that cross.

      Just so you know...

      April 22, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • standingwave

      I've never understood how Christians can hate Jews for killing Christ while at the same time thanking God for sending Christ to die for their sins.Perhaps someone can explain that one.

      April 22, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Jake Johansen

      Maybe He would have stepped on a bar of soap in the shower?

      April 24, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      "I've never understood how Christians can hate" anyone at all. They claim they are bringing us the good news that we can all live together in happyland in the sky forever, and they are always angry and scowling and wanting to kill us, so obviously they don't believe it themselves.

      April 24, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  17. hilary O'Hare

    You are all closet believers, out of convenience you mock God to justify wickedness, acting like you don't believe. So when judgement comes you all will be saying, what kind of God would let this happen? Explain that.

    April 22, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      Hilary, I’m sure you are a 250lb housewife with a high school education, but let me assure you, I’m no closet believer.

      Nothing will have to be explained on judgment day because judgment day will not come. Revelations was written to be an allegorical statement against Rome, who outlaws Christianity because its founder was a political upstart. Attacking the government was a favorite pastime of those who tended to be burned at the stake.

      As far as the wickedness in the world, I battle it every day, without disclosing more about myself. I need no God to do “God’s work”, and I do it because I know damn well that a divine being with magical powers won’t do it for us.

      Stop using religion as a security blanket. If you want the world to improve, stop doing laundry and go out and get your hands dirty.

      April 22, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Bruce

      What needs to be explained? Jesus explained it all. I was not given eyes to see, nor was I given ears to hear. Everyone like me will either be healed of our blindness or our deafness or we will continue to see and hear these messages as idiocy.

      Why so-called "Christians" don't understand this much, which is quite obvious to the likes of me–in spite of my blindness and deafness–and why so-called "believers" continue to marvel at what was predicted from the very beginning of your religion (even earlier, since Jesus explains this by paraphrasing a prophet named Isaiah), is beyond me. Don't you people listen to your savior?

      April 22, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Tom

      "Religion" is about man's attempt to reach out to God. From a philosphical standpoint, that's GOOD and WHOLESOME and RIGHTEOUS....but CHRISTIANITY is NOT about "religion". The difference in CHRISTIANITY is that GOD REACHED OUT TO MAN....in the form of Jesus Christ! So now it's NOT about "religion"......IT'S ABOUT RELATIONSHIP!!!!

      April 22, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • Shawn

      If God is really an unknowable and all powerful being, what makes you think a human could ever understand it? It is far more likely that some people got together and made it all up.

      I'm no closet believer either, I find the whole thing ridiculous. There are thousands and have been tens of thousands of religions out there. This one just got into the hands of some powerful people and pushed out to the masses.

      Don't you find Norse Mythology ridiculous? Well someday people will be saying that about Christianity, about 20% of people already are!

      April 22, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • Todd

      Prove Judgment day will come, Fat Albatross. And don't just say you know. I just know the sky is plaid. I never looked up at it.

      April 23, 2011 at 1:42 am |
    • BibleClown

      "You are all closet believers" I'm not, and one of me is enough to call you a liar. Why do you people always honor your god with a big fat lie? Are you trying to tell us something?

      April 24, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • some emo kid

      I am not a closet believer. There are NO CLOSETS. You are deluded.

      April 24, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  18. The Jackdaw

    Easter, the pagan spring festival of fertility with a nice Christian dressing! Oh, how I can’t wait!

    At least we still have the symbol of the rabbit, chosen for its prolific breeding habits! Oh, and chocolate, to placate those pesky children who ask far too many questions!!!

    April 22, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • HappyyppaH

      "Easter, the pagan spring festival of fertility with a nice Christian dressing! Oh, how I can’t wait!"

      How passé. That's the same crap I was saying in high school. Blah. Boring!

      As if multiple religions are not allowed to have holidays falling on the same day merely by coincidence. As if two religions sharing common symbols as people slough off one religion for the other and keep old memorabilia somehow makes the newer religion less legitimate. I understand the winter solstice vs. Christmas indignation, because it's so obvious, but come on already.

      April 22, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      Passé, sure, but it’s still accurate.
      If Constantine had not converted on his deathbed to stave off a revolt, you would still be a pagan. If Constantine hadn't been a follower of the Colt of Mithras, Christianity would look a lot different. If the New World was settled by Hindu's the world would be different again. Passe', you bet, but the facts of history are what they are. And Christ being divine, I see no evidence, passe' or otherwise.

      April 22, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  19. Larry

    @ Heaven Sent:Is this the best you can do with your loose leaf edition of the scriptures?Cutting & pasting absurd passages that make no sense whatsoever.First off, verses & chapters wern't even added till the 11th & 12 centuries.LOL, you'd be lost without that little help.Why don't you go learn something about the bible and how it was put togethere.The editing and the redaction that took place by paid copyist is amazing. You might learn something you mindless twit.

    April 22, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • ThinkBig

      You do not realize how silly you just made yourself look..... Did you forget the Dead Sea Scrolls.. The Bible has been confirmed to be the most accurate historical book in History.. KJV.

      April 22, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Todd

      Thinkbig, books don't confirm books meathead. How about some physical evidence of your miracles?

      April 23, 2011 at 1:40 am |
    • Jordan N.

      @Think Big:
      You're in real trouble if you're referencing the King James version of the Bible, since that was commissioned by said king to justify his divorce, and only proves his point even further about how the Bible has been edited, revised, etc. throughout history, with whole books and sections being wholly rejected.

      May 5, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  20. sylvan finkelstein

    WHO CAN SAY THAT JESUS OR EVEN MOSES EVER EXISTED..RELIGION IS SUCH A FOREST AND PEOPLE FALL
    FOR IT ..JESUS MIGHT AS WELL COULD HAVE BEEN DAVID KARESH

    April 22, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Bruce

      God stated very clearly in Revelation 67:8-9 that those who abuse the caps-lock key will spend eternity in the deepest pits of hell.

      April 22, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • HappyyppaH

      rofl

      April 22, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Andrew

      Jesus is coming and the end times are escalating. Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.

      April 22, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • ThinkBig

      You should read Josepheus

      April 22, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • thunderknuckles

      Jesus of Nazareth was a factual, historical person. Whether or not you believe in his message is another thing.

      April 22, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • Shawn

      thunderknuckles..... there is no historical record of Jesus outside of the bible and Josephus. As you know both were written decades after he died then translated, edited and mythologized.....so you you can't blame anybody for being skeptical

      April 22, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • know your cuts of meat

      Actually Shawn, Jesus is mentioned in several ancient scrolls and manuscripts – including the Qur'an. You, and others like you, would do well to educate yourselves in something [anything] before belittling someone/something else.

      April 22, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • Todd

      Bruce, you rock

      April 23, 2011 at 1:39 am |
    • Maybe

      know your cuts of meat:
      "Jesus is mentioned in several ancient scrolls and manuscripts – including the Qur'an."

      Please cite these 'ancient scrolls and manuscripts'.

      The Qur'an was written 600 years after the Jesus legend started - so what if it mentions him.

      April 23, 2011 at 1:45 am |
    • BibleClown

      knowyourcuts, there are comic books about Jesus too. Does that prove the existence of Mickey Mouse? If you hadn't gotten into that whole educate somebody/something/somewhat thing, it wouldn't have sounded so ignorant. Maybe you need to think about it before posting stuff?

      April 24, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • VaderZan

      Be thou not blaspherous. Your point is taken.

      April 30, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
    • Jordan N.

      @know your cuts of meat:
      because Islam is descended from Christianity, just as Christianity from Judaism. That hardly makes compelling argument, however. That's like saying astrology must be true because there are a couple books on astrology that back each other up. The most noteworthy thing in my mind is the fact that of the major scholars/historians in the region at that time, not one mentions a Jesus or a religious movement centered around him (I know there is supposedly a text that refutes this, but that has since proven a fraud). You might do well to heed your own advice regarding self-education.

      May 5, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.