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. Freethinksman

    Poor modern day Jesus! Life in prison, not merely three days of "death" before walking free. I never really inderstood the significance of His death anyway. It seems that if he really assumed the sins of the world and bore their punishment, he would be burming in hell as we speak. Without paying any real price ( I mean who WOULDN'T take an eternity in Heaven over being broke in the desert with no A/C), why does he get so much credit? Yes getting hung up on a cross would not be fun, but there are people who have suffered the same degree of torture, died, and didn't get to wake up and go to Disneyworld for eternity three days later. I like today's justice system better. Life in prison is a much stiffer penalty.

    April 23, 2011 at 7:53 am |

    Jesus is powerful==so powerful== haters like you waste their time trying to prove jesus is wrong and he should be punished what good have you done? keep trying and none of Jesus followers will listen to you. I have so much to say but i don't want to break your heart.

    Up Your Rear Admiral
    Zombie Jesus


    You sound like a smart guy i think you should learn about what Jesus is about.

    April 23, 2011 at 5:34 am |
  3. Adelina

    Modern jury would not have existed without Christianity.

    April 23, 2011 at 3:36 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Really? Why don't you prove that, you silly twit?

      April 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
  4. Daniel

    What would Jesus or Yeshua be on trial for , Today ?
    Breaking Jewish Law ?
    Working on the sabbath ?
    Claiming to be the son of G-d ?
    What would be the punishable offense ?

    Is it true that a Jewish woman today can get 7 yrs in prison in Israel for a wearing pray shawl ?

    April 23, 2011 at 2:19 am |
  5. Daniel

    What would Jesus or Yeshua be on trial for , Today ?
    Breaking Jewish Law ?
    Working on the sabbath ?
    Claiming to be the son of G-d ?
    What would be the punishable offense ?

    Is it true that a Jewish woman today can get 7 yrs in prison in Israel for a wearing pray shawl ?

    April 23, 2011 at 1:35 am |
  6. Mark from Middle River

    Admiral, its easy to use FoxNews and NPR in the same sentence. Those on the extreme left hear me say such and their response is normally exactly the same reactions I get from those on the extreme Right.

    Interesting, you must be one of those that one side is always correct 100% of the time. Probably just go into a voting booth and just look for the R or the D.

    How sad, kid how sad.

    April 23, 2011 at 1:11 am |
  7. Sham on you

    It was obviously a rigged jury down south, what a surprise.
    Any Christian should have recused themselves or been disqualified from the jury. The whole thing is a joke. And pathetic.
    We don't have blasphemy laws here, so the whole thing is a sham.

    April 23, 2011 at 12:50 am |
  8. Upon this rock

    That "mock trial" of Jesus is ridiculous. You cannot re-play divine intervention of the life of Jesus, He was God-man and for anyone to think they can play act or story tell or mock trial the life of Jesus are the same people who think the moon is cheese. You are dealing with Deity, God. The very eyes mouth and tongue that you blasphemy with are God given. And upon that Cross He cried "Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing". And for the naysayers out there,
    God forgive you, you don't know what you are talking about.

    April 23, 2011 at 12:31 am |
  9. Upon this rock

    If Jesus is what the Holy Scriptures say He is and we are to accept it not by fact but by "Faith" which means 'beleiving in something with the information at hand until proven otherwise' then what are you skeptics going to do if it is all true? You will be big time forever losers. And you and everyone else will know it. If it is not true,I will never know it. I don't lose either way. Would you gamble those odds just to satisfy your "flesh' for a mere sixty-seventy years????? And by the way you unbeileivers only add merit to the Truth of Christ. "for many will say where is his coming..." 2nd Peter

    April 23, 2011 at 12:02 am |
    • Keith

      Oh, the old "What if you're wrong?" argument. I love this one. My answer is two fold.
      A. I'm not. I'm really really not. The god of the bible is an impossibility of reason. But I digress. We can agree to disagree on this point.
      B. If it somehow is true, and I find myself standing before the god of the bible, the god who made us with some original flaw and then damned us for it unless we believed in some ancient fairy tale that doesn't stand up to the least bit of scrutiny, then I will give him the finger and jump willingly into his fire.

      April 23, 2011 at 1:04 am |
    • Maybe

      Upon this rock:

      Please put this on your church bulletin – and on your sign boards:

      1. What if you have chosen the wrong god (maybe it's Allah, or Ra or one of the 10,000 others? You LOSE.
      2. What if the real god hates and punishes people who believed just to cover their azzes? You LOSE.
      3. What if the real god rewards people who used their brains and didn't believe nonsense? You LOSE.

      I am really tired of seeing this same old cr@p from you all.

      April 23, 2011 at 1:34 am |
  10. Evan

    Jesus Christ would probably not have been sentenced to execution today (especially in the United States). His crime was declaring that He was King, which was against Roman Law. Today, He would have been dismissed as a dellusional person, but not as a criminal deserving of the worst type of execution.

    April 22, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
  11. Ed

    Who was Jesus trying to save us from? Who punishes us when we commit a sin? Son God giving up his life to save us from Father God. Wow this is the most confusing myth there is.

    April 22, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
  12. bubba gump

    use the force luke, use the force.

    April 22, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
    • Todd

      Dont you mean, the schwartz?

      April 23, 2011 at 1:37 am |
  13. Dan

    If you want to know God, faith is not the first attribute that's required–it's a seeking heart and mind and I underscore "mind." There is overwhelming evidence, not of the scientific variety, which means it's not certain in objective, measurable terms; rather, it's of the courtroom variety, the kind that if tested by reasonable people can be found to be true or false on its own merits.

    The four gospels were written by eyewitnesses to Jesus' life and actions. The first gospel written, Mark, was written within two to three decades of Christ's crucifixion. Mark was a traveling companion of Peter, who was one of the three closest disciples to Jesus. The next two Gospels, Matthew and Luke, were written within a few years of Mark's version. Luke was a doctor of the time who knew and traveled with Paul. He opens his account with the words that he has thoroughly investigated the matter and has written what he has so that future people can have the facts. Matthew was one of the apostles, so no need to expound upon his credentials. The last of the four gospels, John, was written by one of the three closest to Jesus at the end of John's life. John was in the inner circle, along with Peter and James. He is referred to as the beloved disciple and was the only one who did not die a martyr's death.

    However, if the gospels written within two to three decades after Christ's crucifixion are not close enough and relevant enough, which is a stretch of logic and rationale, then one must deal with Paul's writings, perhaps the best evidence we have that Christ is who He claimed to be–the Son of God. Paul was a Pharisee and persecuted Christian's after Christ's crucifixion when the movement started to take form and gain steam. He was actually on his way to round up some Christians to be tried by the law when he had an encounter with the risen Jesus in audible terms. He roundly left his life as a Pharisee and within a couple of years was traveling the Mediterranean preaching on Christ's behalf and died a martyr's death at the hands of the Romans. Now, who would do that if they knew that what they were doing was in support of a lie? It's one thing when Muslims blow themselves up today for their faith when they don't fully know it's a lie, but it would be another thing altogether for Paul to do it when he was in a position to KNOW that the story he was preaching was a lie if in fact it were. No one dies for a lie when they know it's a lie. Additionally, his letters, which are contained in the new testament are the closest writings we have to Christ’s crucifixion, written within 10 years and perhaps as early as 2-5 years after.

    The empty grave is another issue that one must deal with....if Jesus was dead, where was the body? All the Romans or the Jewish leadership had to do to disprove the immediate claims of Jesus's resurrection would be to display the body and say, look, here he is and he's positively dead. But they did not do this. The idea that they body would be stolen is ridiculous and hard to fathom as well, as Pilate, the Roman governor was in the midst of a Jewish uprising and had every motivation to keep anything that could further that uprising locked away. The Jewish leadership, for their part, could also not tolerate stories of Christ's resurrection or have his influence continue after his death. It would be to their demise.

    The women who discovered the empty grave are another evidence. Women had zero credibility as witnesses in this period of Jewish history. A Jewish court would hear of no testimony from a woman–their testimony was not valid. The fact that the new testament writers included the women, who were the first witnesses to the empty grave, attests that the new testament writers want their story to be taken as truth and that they are indeed telling the truth. It would have been in their interest not to include this part or to use only male witnesses. Using women is most scandalous, unless of course that's the way it really occurred.

    April 22, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
    • Baloney


      You stated: "It's one thing when Muslims blow themselves up today for their faith when they don't fully know it's a lie, but it would be another thing altogether for Paul to do it when he was in a position to KNOW that the story he was preaching was a lie if in fact it were. No one dies for a lie when they know it's a lie."

      First off, I can't tell if you are sarcastic in this comment or serious (I mean, seriously, you can't be serious). Who are WE (as people) to judge what another believes and tell them they are right or wrong and that they are being lied to (without 100% proof.) I attest the fact that terrorists blow themselves up (notice I didn't use the term Muslim, because that is stereotyping). But lets try to make some kind of educated and informed comments on here.

      Second, you stated that "No one dies for a lie when they know it's a lie"...I would love to see what would happen to you if you said that to the wife or family member of a fallen soldier, who was ordered to go to Iraq to ensure that they don't use WMDs...how soon we forget that we are all being lied to, and people are still dying because of it.

      April 23, 2011 at 6:47 am |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Dan wrote: "If you want to know God, faith is not the first attribute that's required."

      You're correct... The first attribute required is the suspension of logic, intellect, and critical thinking... actually, that should be "thinking of any kind."

      In order to buy into fairy tales you simply need to be gullible...

      April 23, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
  14. Believer

    Jesus is put on Trial each day. You choose to believe or doubt. You accept His sacrifice or you refuse It. Every person makes his own choice for eternity.

    April 22, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
  15. The Dude

    If the story in the bible is true, please explain this to me.

    If Jesus knew that after he gave his life that he would go to heaven and live in paradise forever, how is this such a great sacrifice? Shouldn't burning in hell for all of humanity's sin be a sacrifice?

    And why are all of the accounts of the resurrection so different? 3 days of darkness? No record in the world of such an event happening. The dead rose from the graves? It is stated in 2 of the accounts....but not others...

    It is BS

    If you Believe it you are RETARDED. There are cognizant deficient people, then there are retards who believe Christianity.

    April 22, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.

      Psalms 107:17


      April 22, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I like to paste bible quotes in here much often. I want to make people think Im smart.


      April 22, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
    • Jim

      @Heaven, bible quotes don't make you smart... they just demonstrate you can Google bible quotes. Being able to accurately and thoughtfully analyze a piece of scripture in the context of its time and history might make you seem marginally intelligent. But that's just crazy talk to a thumper, right?

      April 23, 2011 at 12:11 am |
  16. Hey Zeus

    I bet if the man ever did a real murder trial he'd be a lot more prepared for this role play crap. Also, why have a public defender? Get someone who is paid well to handle the cases that are losers and make them winners, and I bet that professor would get crushed. I have to assume that they allowed a public defender in there just because the man is too far removed from practice to be a challenge for highly skilled attorneys.

    April 22, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
  17. Shawn

    Jesus would have been jailed for horse theft and (at that time) executed for it (Luke 19, verses 29 – 36.) Yes, if someone started walking around saying they were a deity and that they could take whatever they wanted in the name of them self or their father, they would be tried and rightfully so.

    Today he'd have just been jailed for his actual crimes, anything religious, even if untrue is protected under freedom of religion.

    Personally I think any belief in an actual Jesus being a super-powered magic man is just the continuation of the ignorance and gullibility of the poor and uneducated of the time. It would have been pretty easy to pull one over on the completely uneducated back in the day.

    I think that belief in an all loving, all accepting person though is entirely noble and is something we should all strive to emulate.

    April 22, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

      John 1:1


      April 22, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      And the Word is 6000 or fewer years old. Rrrrrrright....

      April 22, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
    • jsaiditfirst

      If your referring to the colt which Jesus instructed the apostles to collect at jerusalem, then you are, at the very least, mistaken in your historical reference concerning what punishment the apostles may have garnered in their taking the animal.
      Hanging em' high for horse theft actually occured more "on the trail" than in any books of law. However, under the Mosaic law handed down to the isralites, anyone guilty of stealing anothers beast, was subject to repayment at twice the value. (heh' two beast)
      I wonder what other statements might be wrong?

      April 23, 2011 at 1:22 am |
  18. 21k

    oh for X's sake!

    April 22, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
  19. Michelle Shira

    @ Artist. I'm truly sorry you don't have the faith and hope I have. By believing in Jesus I have absolutely nothing to lose if I'm wrong. Can you honestly say that?

    April 22, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
    • Artist

      Michelle if one believes on odds then they never had true faith. I almost went down the path of becoming a preacher. After educating myself I could no longer have faith in writings that were hearsay of men who were never there.
      Hearsay is information gathered by one person from another person concerning some event, condition, or thing of which the first person had no direct experience.
      Then to top it off, the creation of what would be considered the word of god was decided by men.
      In order to get past the vast incredibility, one must have faith in man.

      April 22, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • Artist

      So my passion is my art and giving back to others to make a change in ones life 🙂 Art is a gift that we give back.
      Never felt better or more free.

      April 22, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • Artist

      ps to clarify, if you are basing your decision on jesus simply because of odds/risk, then you never had true faith. If the holy ghost is in you, then you cannot be uncertain. When I was a christian I never understood people he used fear as a tactic. Whatever path you choose you should be certain.

      April 22, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • jeebs

      So my passion is my art and giving back to others to make a change in ones life Art is a gift that we give back..
      Never felt better or more free.

      Funny, if your art is a gift, who gave it to you?

      April 22, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • Artist


      So my passion is my art and giving back to others to make a change in ones life Art is a gift that we give back..
      Never felt better or more free.

      Funny, if your art is a gift, who gave it to you?


      Zues? Its a gift (of expression) you give others. People gravitate towards different passions. My progress in my art is through experience and perspective.

      April 22, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
    • Shawn

      Well if you are wrong you certainly have credibility to lose. Also, having misled whomever you tried to convert, I mean if you convinced some kid to fear the judgement of God and live their life that way, they could be seriously scarred. You can do a lot of harm in the world through religion, simply perpetuating something that isn't true is "wrong" enough. At the very least you have to admit to not knowing, but few Christians really do that.

      April 22, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • Artist

      Jeebs even the great masters had to learn. It wasn't like they were born with a goft from god and they intantly painted. lol

      April 22, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • Greg

      @Jeebs: One does not have to believe in Jesus to believe in God. One does not have to buy the Bible to believe in a creator.

      Remember that once the Catholic Church gained power, it attracted and became riddled with corrupt men who sought to make use of that power. Those men who decided which books were the true word of God and deserved inclusion in the Bible were no more trustworthy or pure than the U.S. Congress. Basically the Bible has as much credibility as any federal law you oppose.

      April 22, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • Michelle Shira

      @Artist. I don't put my faith in odds. I was just trying to make a point. Fear isn't my reason for believing either. I believe because believing has changed my heart and my life. I was a very angry, bitter person before I gave my life to God. I can not claim to understand everything in the Bible and I certainly don't have all the answers, but that's ok with me. What I do know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that I am a much happier, loving, and peaceful women then I was before I believed in God.

      April 22, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Artist, you must have skipped over this scripture ...

      Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

      Colossians 2:8


      April 22, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Michelle, if e.g. god is Zeus or Brahma, or Sid or Bob or Pam, then you lose. You are taking Pascal's Wager. Google it.

      April 22, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
    • Todd

      You really don't get it do you? Christ eaters justify discrimination, child molestation, murder. And we are talking about modern times. You want prayer? Fine.

      Hey God, your religions suck. I double dog dare you to burn Texas.

      Happy now?

      April 23, 2011 at 1:36 am |
  20. Artist

    I think some christians if not most need to have a real history lesson.

    April 22, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      History means His Story.


      April 22, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
    • tallulah13

      No, HS, it's just one word. History. I guess your spell check didn't catch it.

      April 22, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
    • Jim

      "His Story" as you put it was written by the Roman Emperor Constantine in response to a crumbling empire and the need for a system of coercion to keep the people from rebelling. He chose Christianity ebcause the people were sheep, and the religionspreached peace and adherence to authority. The emperor used the pwoer of the purse to control the religious leaders by funding those who suppoprted him and taxing those who didn't. He led the determination fo the books of the bible and what went into each. the religions is a sham and based on political greed and corruption in the 4th century. But who cares about "history" anyway...

      April 23, 2011 at 12:02 am |
    • Adelina

      Here is history. Westerners without Christianity = barbarians

      April 23, 2011 at 3:37 am |
    • Adelina

      And here is current going: Westerners without Christianity = hedonistic barbarians

      April 23, 2011 at 3:39 am |
    • Tallulah13

      Adelina/Fredrika/Justina: Look up the Pequot Indian tribe if you want to read about barbarians. Good christian puritans who had come to America wiped them out, burning women and children alive in their homes and slaughtering or selling into slavery any that managed to escape the fire. The carnage was so bad that even the native tribes who helped the puritans because the Pequot were their enemies were begging those good christians to stop. That is history. Christians can be as just as greedy and vile as any other group, and only a fool pretends differently.

      April 23, 2011 at 3:57 am |
    • Adelina

      Tallulah, Christians did far more good than those abuses as exceptions to American Indian tribes. American Indians should be thankful it wasn't your countrymen but it was European Christians who found them first.

      April 23, 2011 at 4:08 am |
    • tallulah13

      Adelina/Fredrika/Justina: Just who do you think my "countrymen" are? Some of my forebears came over on the Mayflower. They WERE christian Europeans and puritans (just not the same bunch that destroyed the Pequots, though they did do their own damage). Also among my forebears are members of the Cherokee tribe and the Seminole tribes, who had their homes and livelihoods taken and destroyed by christian Europeans. I like to study American history. My ancestors lived it.

      I wonder where are you are from, that you are so ignorant of the effect of christian Europeans on the Americas. I doubt the native people who have struggled to reclaim their beliefs and ident ities, even after they were robbed of their ancestral homes and ways of life, would agree with you that christian Europeans have been a positive force. MILLIONS of lives were ended or destroyed by christian Europeans, most because of the accidental introduction of unfamiliar diseases, but many others by the simple conquest of greedy people who thought they had god on their side.

      As artist said, you need to learn some history.

      This is a repost, because I accidentally posted it elsewhere.

      April 23, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • No One Is Safe

      oh, the paranoid schizophrenic known by the names of "justina", "frederica", and "adelina" will not tell you where she is from (the philipines is my guess), for fear that some nameless "they" will "find her" and "do something horrible" to her, like try to undo the intense brainwashing she has clearly undergone. arguing with that one is about as worthwhile as trying to teach brain surgery to an otter....

      April 23, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
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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.