Your Take: Comments on misquoting the Bible
June 6th, 2011
11:37 AM ET

Your Take: Comments on misquoting the Bible

Our Sunday post about oft-quoted biblical lines that don't actually appear in the Bible struck a chord, with 5,000 comments so far.

Lots of atheists and critics of religion used the piece to ridicule believers, taking several different lines of attack. Here are a two:

Because most people would prefer to be ignorant rather than think for themselves. That is what the whole of organized religion is based on, especially Christianity and Catholicism. Organized religion has never done anything good for humanity in history.

Atheism is Great!
Actually, the bible is nothing more than a collection of stories and moralities written by human beings thousands of years ago who's max age was maybe 30, who thought the Earth was flat, and who did not have access to scientific or medical science/information. It's not from "god" people, god doesn't exist either. Whatever helps you get through your life I guess. I personally don't need that crutch. Have a nice day.

There was also more nuanced criticism of organized religion, with some commenters arguing that the prevalence of biblical misquotes suggested that religious folk have been overly dependent on religious authorities for a long time:

The point to remember here is that just up until very recently, the masses believed whatever their clergy told them. They either didn't have the skills to read (for whatever reason), or simply didn't believe they should read the bible themselves.

I once asked an elderly Catholic where her bible was ... (I love old books and thought her bible would be a real treat to look at ... ) She was horrified that I thought she'd even HAVE one ... Her thought, at the age of 90, was that Catholics are not supposed to read the bible on their own. It was their job to believe what the Father told them, and it was the Father's job to know the bible.

So many times it's either just plain ignorance, or the situation that they come from (IE: can't read, etc) that produces these types of situations. Thankfully we're coming out of those situations, if only little by little.

All the criticism of religion brought out plenty of faithful. One responded to Amanda, the religion critic whose comment is above:

Really, Amanda? I would encourage you to try to prove your statement about no good ever coming from organized religion. I can think of a few well-known and recent organized religionists who have done quite a bit of good – Mother Theresa, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ghandhi. I can also think of a few anti-religious people who have done a lot of bad – Stalin, Mao, Hitler. "Never" is a big word.

Others believers lobbed ad hominem  attacks on atheists:

Bottom line
Atheists/Agnostics have nothing of substance to do on weekends. Also since they are empty when it comes to faith or beliefs they have to make the attempt to urinate on ones who do so they can feel full and superior.

A fair number of commenters, meanwhile, criticized our piece, arguing that some misquoted scriptural lines have biblical roots:

Many of these phrases many not be in the bible verbatim, but their intent is very much contained in it, specifically "Spare the rod spoil the child". This phrase is a direct distillation of Prov 13:24 & 23:13-14 "He who spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him correcteth him betimes" (Proverbs 13:24) and "Withhold not correction from a child: for if thou strike him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and deliver his soul from hell." (Proverbs 23:13-14).

I find it disingenuously nit-picky to state that a faithful paraphrase of a verse is "not" in the bible.

I find it very disturbing that the "CHAIR" of a "SCHOOL OF RELIGION" would go record as say that the "the devil was not in eden". Kevin Dunn is right in saying that the word "devil or satan" was not mention in Genesis but if Mr. Dunn is "BIBLICAL SCHOLAR" then he should be familiar with the "BOOK OF REVELATIONS" which equates "THE SERPENT, DEVIL & SATAN" as one and the same: Revelations 12:9 "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world:". And you wonder where people get the wrong impression about things that are "IN" the Bible. Mr. Blake, apparently you did not know your Bible well enough to call Mr Dun on that one.

And, as always, there were plenty of attempts at humor, including this on Adam and Eve eating that apple:

If he didn't want man and woman to eat it, he should have made it broccoli or spinach.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Bible • Comments

soundoff (1,118 Responses)
  1. John

    If anyone needs scripture reference-see strong's concordance, then king james version As for God being embarrassed, disrespected,despised, or any form of insult won't be in your make-up in that day. When all behold His severity & powerful authority, who will dare speak loosely or even at all? Go ahead now mock,criticize, spit on it even lacerate it. Remember His turn is coming to judge you as well. My God has feelings, eyes, & ears, so why don't you tell Him anything you so want to.As for second editions rewritten, can't happen. Only second chance one will have is to reread it. In eternity no second chances allowed, especially no seconds on the clock either..BE CAREFUL..

    June 6, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Impotent rage.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      "My God has feelings, eyes, & ears"

      Mine has gall stones.

      You poor soul. 😈

      June 6, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  2. iLikeToEatSPAAm

    YouTube William Lane Craig

    then say this out loud 300 times: youtuube william. lane craig yew tewb will yumm layne cregg youtooob willyumm lane kregg yuutewb wilyum layne kreegg you tube william layyne craaig youtube wilyuumm lane crraigg

    then go to youtube and type
    william lane craig

    😀 ;p~

    June 6, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  3. bizcuit eyeballz

    that was for 'Enlightend1'

    June 6, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  4. bizcuit eyeballz

    Sorry to hear that you have strayed.
    Just know that God still seeks you, and if you will just be honest with yourself and open your heart, he will speak to you. Be honest with yourself and know that you can not DISPROVE God, just like no one can PROVE god. But you can know him. You can have a relationship with him. It's not too late.

    Youtube William Lane Craig

    June 6, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      You can't prove or disprove leprechauns either. Is someone who believes in them just as reasonable as someone who doesn't?

      William Lane Craig is a joke and his arguments are circular and flawed.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • bisscuit eyebawls

      There is no evidence for leprechauns, however, there IS evidence for God. And to say that Craig is a joke, well you might as well say that Einstein or Plato was a joke.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      I looked it up, and it was another crazy preacher. So what? Dime a dozen. Does he owe you money or something?

      June 6, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • bisscuit eyebawls

      Ummm, haha, no! He is not a preacher actually. Maybe you did not even look him up?

      People seem to think that SMART people don't believe the scriptures. A lot of people on this board need to wake up and smell the iced lattee. Here are some more people to look up, just to name but a few. These people are EXTREMELY bright intellectuals, who DO, in fact, believe. Take Francis Collins for example. He heads the Human Genome Project.

      Michael Behe, Francis Collins, William Dembski, John Lennox, Alistair McGrath, Alvin Plantinga, John Polkinghorn, Hugh Ross, Richard Swinburne

      June 6, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Micheal Behe?
      The same Micheal Behe who was publically debunked and humiliated in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District court case during which he prounounced that when presented with fiftyeight peer-reviewed publications, nine books, and several immunology textbook chapters about the evolution of the immune system declared it "not good enough" evidence for evolution.
      The same Behe whose concept of 'irreducible complexity' was proven to be BUNK, easily dismissed by junior high level logic?

      Swineburne is a philosopher, not a scientist.
      Most sane people would disagree with his core postulates, like that we should believe whatever we see (Principle of Credulity)and whatever anyone says (Principle of Testimony).

      June 6, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  5. Michael

    Wanna bet this only applies to conservatives. I doubt the author will approach the cult of oprah and tell her how much she has perverted scripture to justify her own beliefs

    June 6, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  6. kate

    II find it interesting that such a loving god would allow for so many innocent people to be killed in his name. Aren't we all god's creation, and aren't we all supposed to be god's children?

    Also, I find it almost impossible to take your post serious if you can't put together proper sentences and use proper grammar.

    Faith is a personal matter, for as long as the world has had recorded history, people have been arguing over which religion is the correct one. Don't you think we would have answered that by now if there was one correct answer?

    June 6, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • sealchan

      And God isn't helping any what with His frustration of man's united efforts which he confused thus creating the Tower of Babel...

      June 6, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • ShaneB

      Having religion isn't a magic charm against doing the wrong thing. It would be nice for things to be that simple.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  7. Steve

    Look, going back and forth on who's right or wrong when it comes to religion is for the most part a huge waste of time. The typical individual has the belief of a greater being engrained in them from the time that they are born. If you believe, you believe; if you don't, then you don't. Either way the bible was written by mortals regardless if they were spoken to by "a god" or not and some of the material is a good road map to living, some not so much. Agreeing to disagree and finding common ground is typically the best way to go and just live and try to be happy.....life's too short to fight about it.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Dave From Philly

      I agree with everything you posted except finding common ground. There is none. Either you believe or you don't. I can agree to disagree, b/c I am a believer and will never insult anyone that does not agree with me.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • Steve

      @Dave from Philly: Fair enough Dave. When I say common ground; I only mean in the interest of not hating someone because they may disagree with another person; IMO, I just think there is too much hate and violence because of people not being able to accept that another person might not believe what they do.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      Fine, stop calling me names and trying to pass laws restricting what I can think, and I'll stop laughing at you for believing in sky people made outta ribs. That okay with you? Of course not! You're gonna keep trying to force me to believe in Allah or Baal or YHWH until I make you stop the hard way. I know, sky people tell you to attack me, and it's in a book, but you won't like the hard way.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Dave From Philly

      Well Bible Clown I believe it was you who just insulted me and others that believe. Notice my respond was not to insult you back, but just point out the double standard you have.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      What double standard? Do you want an exception? Fine, you personally haven't called me names. That leaves millions of santorums willing to kill me for their idol, preferably after burning a cross on my lawn. Get back to me when they decide to be reasonable, but I think they would say that you are a luke-warm christian if you don't hate me.

      June 6, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  8. Johnny

    RE: Bottom line

    First, as an athiest I would like to say I have many things of substance to do on the weekends and the weekday as well. Secondly, athiests aren't empty people by any means but are of those who think logically. Superiority and the feeling of fullness does not apply in athiesm since we are non-judgmental of something we lack belief in to begin with. The only one urinating on others is Mr. Bottom line himself and thats the bottom line.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Sfe

      I agree with everything you say but two generalizations. I've met fairly judgmental and illogical atheists.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Atheists are just like everyone else; some are jerks too.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      There's no such thing as an athiest. Geez. You're either an atheist or a theist, unless there's a Cult of Athiesm. What would it believe? There's no such thing as Thies?

      June 6, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  9. Michael

    The so called Believers just cannot stand to be confronted with their limitations. I have no need to have a Supernatural Babysitter and can define Right and Wrong just fine. Which is more than I would say for most who put themselves up as Authority Figures, whether as spiritual, or political leaders.

    If the pseudo or crypto-Christian spent more of their time actually reading the Bible in context and thinking it through for themselves they would be harmless. But they do not and will not, preferring to accept the "Expert" opinion of some very questionable characters. Why? for the same reason that they need the Supernatural Babysitter, they want to avoid responsibility for the really tough issues and to shirk the hard questions.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  10. Sfe

    Can't we just stop arguing? It's not inherently bad for someone to be atheist or religious. I've met great religious people and I got a few atheists in the family; they're good people. This all comes down to people wanting to argue for argument's sake. Religion itself is rarely even the focal point of religious debates. It almost always devolves to people insulting those who are religious/atheist, real debate always exits the conversation early on. Can we just agree to disagree and let others live in peace?

    June 6, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Dave From Philly

      The argument is also about many wanting to force their beliefs unto others. Religion, politics, favorite sports team(s).

      June 6, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Sfe

      Everyone tries to force their beliefs on others. It's human nature. We always think we're right and wan't others to agree. Both the religious and atheistic force their beliefs on others.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Sfe You are willing to accept forcing one's beliefs on others as just human nature, but scream in objection when people insist we debate the validity of those beliefs? That's one of the most ridiculous positions I've ever heard.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • Christopher

      @Sfe Yes and unfortunately that is what is wrong with human nature. People do always want to force their beliefs on other people. But having taken many a psycholgy and philosophy course I have learned to accept my truths as my own and understand that what other people believe is their own truth. I have tried to impart this belief onto others, with limited success because of the aforementioned human nature.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • LinCA


      Are you the same Sfe that just a few posts below says:"For Christ's sake, you actually believe a single word of the Old Testament? That book is a complete fraud, it's a collection of fairy tales that anyone who thinks can't honestly believe.?

      Hypocritical much?

      June 6, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  11. Jesse Anderson

    Subjectivity has always been a Biblical characteristic. That works to the chiming of both atheists and the faithful. In and of itself, it suggests a lack of certainty, and a lack of evidential knowledge. Within our own regions and speakerboxes, we can go into greater depth as to why this provokes a problem with the value of the Bible, but for the sake of this brief statement, it can be stated simply. Without evidence, the Bible lacks anymore truth value than a Dickens novel, but has none of its poetic appeal. Treat it as such...

    June 6, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  12. Pablo

    That is true, the writers of the Bibles were men with little or no scientifically knowledge and some of them were very young prophets, but the important thing is they were inspired with God’s words. It is like a secretary who typewrites a letter that her boss hands her a manuscript or dictate her what to write, her boss is the Real Scientist and the Author, she typewrites. Please read two examples of Bible verses that shows that it was impossible for these men to have such knowledge even though they wrote precisely what we know today as facts.

    Isaiah 40:22 There is One who is dwelling above THE CIRCLE OF THE EARTH, the dwellers in which are as grasshoppers, the One who is stretching out the heavens just as a fine gauze, who spreads them out like a tent in which to dwell,

    Job 26:7 He is stretching out the north over the empty place, HANGING THE EARTH UPON NOTHING;

    Some don’t believe in what they can see. I can understand you need some proof but oxygen keeps you alive every day and you can’t see it, who can deny it’s existence? I personally do not believe in politics but I see politics every day in the news sometimes in person, I just choose not to believe in them, but to deny its existence will be nonsense.

    Keep seaching for the thruth, read the Bible.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • mcore

      With all due respect, Pablo – how do we know they were inspired by god? Because they told us so? Because our religious leaders tell us so? That's not much to go on. What makes the claim even more suspect is that every world religion has "prophets" who claimed to be inspired by god writing holy texts. Are then all religious texts in the world inspired by god? Isn't it far more likely that none of them were?

      June 6, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Sfe

      For Christ's sake, you actually believe a single word of the Old Testament? That book is a complete fraud, it's a collection of fairy tales that anyone who thinks can't honestly believe. The New Testament has its fair share of magic in it too (miracles, Revelations) but at least it boils down to a man who taught some really great things. A good who interferes in temporal affairs is not necessary to believing in the teachings of Christ.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Sfe

      For Christ's sake, you actually believe a single word of the Old Testament? That book is a complete fraud, it's a collection of fairy tales that anyone who thinks can't honestly believe. The New Testament has its fair share of magic in it too (miracles, Revelations) but at least it boils down to a man who taught some really great things. A god who interferes in temporal affairs is not necessary to believing in the teachings of Christ.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Jesse Anderson

      Evidence is not defined as a proclamation of the unknown. Evidence is reportable. In the chapters noted, those speaking could not provide evidence that the Earth was round...they could just say "because God said so." That is not evidence, and does not provide value when discussing the topic of the Bible's value or God's existence. Camping told us that he translated the Bible to mean that the world will end on 5/21. Evidence? No. He simply said it was a hidden text translation that did not come to fruition. He can predict anything, but until evidence supports it, its just heresay. I wouldn't bank my life on it, and if you are banking your life on it simply to avoid the potential for rapture, read Pascal's Rule.

      Its not acceptable to call the Bible "truth" anymore when its lineage, authors, and translations have been found to be evidentially false already.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Nonimus

      The Earth is not a circle.

      There are no "pillars of heaven." Job 26:11

      June 6, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Faux Paws



      The "thruth" is (to quote BB); The Moon is made of Green Cheese.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Pablo

      Nonimus, FYI

      What Is the Shape of the Earth?
      In ancient times humans in general believed that the earth was flat. As early as the sixth century B.C.E., however, Greek philosopher Pythagoras theorized that the earth must be a sphere. Even so, two centuries before Pythagoras formulated his theory, the prophet Isaiah stated with extraordinary clarity and certainty: “There is One who is dwelling above the circle of the earth.” (Isaiah 40:22) The Hebrew word chugh here translated “circle” may be rendered “sphere.” Interestingly, only a spherical object appears as a circle from every angle. Far ahead of his time, then, the prophet Isaiah recorded a statement that is scientifically sound and free from ancient myths.

      Technically speaking, the earth is an oblate spheroid. It is slightly flattened at the poles.

      June 6, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
  13. Heather

    Wow. All I can say that it DOES say in the Bible that no man will ever figure "it" out....yes, a paraphrase showing that if one knows what is actually written in the Bible, they can take that Truth and say it in their own words. A God that is so mighty as to create EVERYTHING certainly has the capability to hide those secrets from puny-minded men ( and women). I for one do not concern myself with such thinking for that is not my purpose and I know it will ALL be revealed me to me once I enter Heaven, so why debate? If everyone spent all this thinking time humbling themselves before our Creator and asking for God to show them His Purpose for them, what they were created to do, and actually DID that purpose- the world would be harmonious and right and none of these matters would matter at all. It is sad to see so many so far away from Our Father, for if you only knew how much He loves you and yearns for you to come TO Him for a relationship of Healing and Love- if you only knew that it only takes the belief that Jesus Christ was sent to save you by taking on YOUR sin upon the cross and died so that YOU can live to receive not only The Holy Spirit to guide you but ETERNAL Life!! That's all- BELIEF and you enter a New Life with never before felt love and Righteousness....I think you would be too joyful and freed from these moot points of men. Only God knows and so will I when I join Him later on.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Bob

      "If everyone spent all this thinking time humbling themselves before our Creator and asking for God to show them His Purpose for them, what they were created to do, and actually DID that purpose- the world would be harmonious and right and none of these matters would matter at all."

      Oh, bollocks.

      How many humans have been brutally slain by other humans who believed they were acting according to what they thought was God's "purpose"?

      If God has a pre-determined Purpose for me, what's the point of exercising free will? Why does free will exist at all? To tempt me away from the One True Path?

      If that's true, it follows that God isn't omnipotent and omniscient, because if God were, permitting free will is pointless, as it will lead to pain and suffering in God's beloved Creation; if God loves us so much and can control everything, why does God allow suffering on such epic scales?

      June 6, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  14. Mike

    Humans are like fish in a lake. We understand what's around us the like trees, planets animals galaxies or whatever. But what's on the outside of the water is what interests me.

    Yes we live in this immense vacuum called the Universe but whats on the outside of THAT? You see, that's where most people brains stop and can no longer understand but this is where MY brain is able to see exactly whats going on.

    Call me special call me a babbling lunatic.... I know what happens when you die.

    It's like changing the frequency on an old radio. One minute you're here on the Earth (a place humans cannot understand that was created for the life force to experience the physical world.) and when you check out......

    well...I won't say, you'll have to figure that out yourself.

    I will say this, if you're arrogant, materialistic, greedy, unsympathetic and didn't learn a damn thing while here you will pay dearly in the end.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • mcore

      There is nothing beyond the Universe. That's implied in the definition of "universe." Please read a science book.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • ShaneB

      @mcore so you've looked, or are you just taking someone's word for it?

      June 6, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Unverifiable claims of special knowledge

      June 6, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • mcore

      I trust the consensus of world scientists who have studied and collected data on the universe for hundreds of years to provide a reasonable description of the world and cosmos we live in. So far, they've done alright. Science isn't perfect – but it's be best tool we have to understand the universe. And I was referring to the definition of "universe," which implies everything we can see and everything we cannot. But this is probably more information than you were asking for with your comment.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • Sfe

      The Universe is the physical world. The spiritual world exists separate from our's, that is where god and heaven exists. We all have a soul that moves on goes heaven when we all die. Everyone gets in. It can't be proven or disproven, it's purely faith-based. That is what I believe.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • ShaneB

      @mcore No you reply is sufficient and what I was expecting really. I just think it requires some trust or "faith" to believe something that you cannot truly measure yourself.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • Michael

      How is it that so many of the negative qualities you cite are so very common in the would-be Believers? And this even after they "See the Light" or are "Born again".

      Scoundrels infest Organized Religion just as they infest politics and for the very same reasons, power and money.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Observer

      We could actually rejoice and be encouraged by the fact that ALL of us in this conversation are intuitive, intelligent, and curious enough to contemplate these monumental questions of our existence, and care about the answers, but instead lets just speculate back and forth and try to dwell on what makes us so different and shoot down eachother, it's much more fun, right? Let's all just whip'em out right now and see who's is the biggest. Why don't we just all write down all the scientific vocab we know and see who has the biggest list? That shall be the winner.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      "Call me special call me a babbling lunatic" You are a special babbling lunatic. When you die, you become Kirstie Alley's thong.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  15. Enlightend1

    Sorry biscuit eyeballs, I have read it, and I clearly understand it far better than you ever will even though I'll never read any of it again.

    You want to believe, go ahead, just do not try and make me, because nobody can ever make me a believer again. I've never been as happy as when I left all that nonsense in the garbage where it belongs.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  16. Aaron Moore

    What is most telling in the comments regarding religion (which ususally ends up being about Christianity) is the utter hypocrisy of the detractors. Go ahead and slam the Bible or Christianity. Talk about how we need to be focused on "feeding the hungry" or things that are so important. Go ahead and pretend that you have fed anyone but yourself or your family lately. Go ahead and pretend that you don't seriously long for real hope and value. That whole "I define right and wrong and value" thing must really make things o.k. when your world is falling apart.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Have you ever heard of the psychological term Projection?

      June 6, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      "Go ahead and slam the Bible or Christianity." If you insist; you guys believe in a book instead of human beings and spend half your time bothering gay men. Do you feel better now?

      June 6, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  17. Rick Morrow

    Liberals and Atheists are fools. It says that in Psalms 53:1 'The fool has said in his heart, There is no God.'

    We see the stupidity of Liberals on display everyday, everywhere.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • ShaneB


      June 6, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • mcore

      Really? It would help your argument immensely if you would cite some examples. Otherwise, you're just blowing hot air.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • mcore

      Rick likes to lump everyone he hates into the same category, It makes him feel better.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • Proven

      Rick, I completely agree and I like the fact that someone has the guts to post this on a liberal news site! Way to go!!

      June 6, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • William Demuth


      What about those conservative Atheists you deny exist?

      Christians are pathetic fools who fear the dark so badly they will check their rationality at the door of their Church so some child molestor who cheats little old ladies will tell them they don't have to die.

      Get a grip. You live, you die, you rot and you are forgotten, and anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • mcore

      @Proven – how much guts does it take to post a comment? Answer: Not much.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Jeff

      *bald (not blad). But I'm sure Rick's god hates them too.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • Roland

      You must admit yo are a liberal too. Otherwise you will not be posting on CNN.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • ShaneB

      @William thats hardly a reasonable response.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • equalOpportunityOffender

      It was a fool that correctly pointed out the absence of the Emperor's Raimant. You, of great faith, should be thrilled to have non-believers against whom you may judge your righteousness. You of the atheist stripe are simply the other side of the coin. Those of use who sit in the agnostic camp can but shake our heads at both extremes. We have a magnificent little universe to ponder, but the atheists want to write it all off to chance; the religious all off to unseen intelligence. We have neither the data nor the models to resolve those two views. And, to prevent the "but I know in my heart" rebuttal, you also know in your heart a great many things which are demonstrably wrong when extraploated to the very large and very small.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • Jack

      Wow...if you don't realize how ridiculous it is to offer a quote from your book of mythology as proof of the veracity of your book of mythology, then you must also believe it is possible to get to the moon by climbing on your own shoulders.

      As for the agnostic argument, do you also sit on the fence about the existence of unicorns? There's no definitive proof either way! How about Santa Claus? Giant carnivorous space bunnies? How about the claim that Charles Manson was Jesus Christ? There's really no proof that he isn't. Lacking that proof, do you entertain that as a possibility?

      You can claim to be completely open-minded, but I'm guessing there are some things you doubt to the point where you may as well say they don't exist. The only proof offered for the existence of a god or gods is the fact that many people have believed it to be so for thousands of years. And many people have written stories about these gods. These people also once believed that our planet was flat. They also once believed in unicorns.

      As an atheist, I don't hate any gods anymore than I hate unicorns or any other fictional thing. They are interesting stories. That's pretty much it. And I don't hate or scorn anyone who believes that these stories are real. I decide how I feel about people based on their actions toward others – not on what they do or don't believe.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • kate

      Is the stupidity of those "non-believers" almost like the thousands of people (most likely way more) who gave their life savings to be help spread the word about the 'End of the World"?

      June 6, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • John Richardson

      I'm neither an atheist nor a liberal, so let me adjudicate this fairly: I've met foolish liberals and atheists. But if you really want to have a good laugh, get some theists and conservatives babbling about how they "know" how the world "must" be. For an extra hoot, get them to disparage others' right to think for themselves and reach their own conclusions and then babble about how they "know" the bible is true because of their personal experiences. It's more fun than watching the monkeys on monkey island!

      June 6, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      Man, I really hope you're right. I'd hate to think these are Republicans laughing at you fuzzy-minded believers. I tend to vote left, but I'm going to have to dash your hope and reveal that I actually DON'T eat little conservative babies for breakfast. I love my wife, have a responsible job, and generally make the world a better place. I'm surrounded by religious nuts, and I just smile; if you think I hate ANYBODY you are going to be disappointed badly. I can see how Jesus has entered your heart and filled you with pure love, that's for sure. Are you the Grand Wizard yet, or will you be elevated at the next Klavern?

      June 6, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  18. FaithNotReligion

    There is a diffference between faith and religion. Faith is deeply personal but not necessarily God-based. People who have faith can have faith in the inherent goodness of humanity. Religion requires one to abide by the version of God that the religion's clergy teach, whether it is based on the Torah, Bible, Koran, or other book. Therefore their "balance-bream" of faith is much narrower.

    Stephen Stills paraphrased best what religion can do when teachings are interpreted in a fundimentalist way. "Nobody's right if everybody's wrong". The fact that there are multiple versions of the Bible (based on who was in power at the time of each interpretation), demonstrates quite clearly that religion, to a major extent, is political and fluid, and therefore God is fluid.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  19. Mark

    Many of the commenters defending the misquotes claiming they "paraphrased" an actual passage are equally idiotic. When David talks about "Spare the rod, spoil the child" all the proverbs quotes he list make the OPPOSITE argument: there's certainly no "sparing the rod", infact the Bible is advocating "Withhold not correction from the child". No, the kitchy quote implies the exact opposite of the passage.

    And when Mahanaim finds it disturbing that a religion professor would say there was not Satan in Eden, they can present no evidence to the contrary other than "well Revelations says there was..." which was written over 1000 years later BASED on the misconception that Satan is mentioned in Eden! Believe it or not there's nothing about women wearing viels in the Koran either!

    If you read any Holy Book without any forknowledge of a religion, it's beliefs or history there's no way you'd come to the same conclusions! The best argument against religion is the fact that there is no majority. If someones RIGHT, than that means 99% of the world is WRONG! It doesn't matter who is right...

    June 6, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  20. Elizabeth

    And CNN focused on "Spare the rod, spoil the child," but the author said the most dangerous mistake is "God helps those who help themselves." I agree with the author: the worst interpretation of the Bible is by those who divert attention away from God's call to mercy. God is merciful (or else the world would have been destroyed already), but we are also supposed to be merciful to others, and almost all those who commented said nothing about that. But while we're at it, Ben Franklin didn't really want independence either.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Paraphrasing the Bible?

      I believe the VERY last page explains what happens if you do that, and it ain't pretty.

      SOOO if you believe, I would avoid paraphrasing at ALL cost!

      June 6, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @William Demuth
      I hope you can read ancient Greek, otherwise your translation of teh Bible will land you in a fiery lake!

      June 6, 2011 at 3:18 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.