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June 13th, 2011
09:26 AM ET

Site of Republican debate is college run by world’s oldest religion order

Editor's Note: CNN hosts the first New Hampshire Republican presidential debate tonight from Manchester at 8 p.m. ET. Follow all the issues and campaign news about the debate on CNNPolitics.com and @cnnpolitics on Twitter. Watch the debate on CNN TV , CNN.com and mobile devices . And participate with your questions on the live blog at cnn.com/ticker.

By Jeremy Moorhead, CNN

Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) - The staging ground for Monday night’s Republican presidential debate - the first of 2012 presidential cycle in the critical early voting state of New Hampshire - is connected to a history so deep that it predates American politics by a millennium.

Saint Anselm College, in Manchester, New Hampshire, was founded and is run by the Benedictines, a Catholic order founded in the 6th century. It claims to be the world’s oldest religious order.

The school has hosted Republican and Democratic presidential debates in previous election cycles, sometimes drawing criticism for appearing to get involved in partisan politics.

But Dale Kuehne, professor of politics at the college at Saint Anselm, defended the school's role in the political arena.

“Why I think it makes sense to have a debate at a Benedictine University is that the rule of St. Benedict says every visitor should be treated as Christ himself,” Kuehne says.

“If you talk to people about the events at Saint Anselm, they would of felt that hospitality… regardless of their political or religious position.”

Kuehne, who is the founding director of the New Hampshire Institute for Politics, notes that Saint Anselm students are preoccupied with the economy, the top issue of the 2012 presidential campaign.

“Students are really concerned about the future of the U.S. I think they are also concerned about whether or not they will have a job,” he said.

Thirty monks live in the abbey at Saint Anselm.

One of the goals for the so-called Anselmians is providing pastor care for students at Saint Anselm, a liberal arts school.

“What we try to do is develop the spiritual side of the faith dimension, to integrate their beliefs with their life so [students] have an active faith,” said Rev. Anselm Smedile, a longtime priest here.

The school’s website says that “Saint Anselm shapes the kind of leader the world is hungry for; not only smart, but good.”

Saint Anselm was an 11th century Italian Benedictine monk whom Smedile calls “the greatest Christian philosopher or thinker between Augustan and Thomas Aquinas.”

Anselm’s definition of theology was “faith seeking understanding."

Two of the candidates in Monday night’s debate are Catholic: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is a convert, and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • New Hampshire • Politics

soundoff (102 Responses)
  1. W. Baez

    What is an "order"? They may be the oldest catholic or christian order but hardly the worlds oldest relidious group or group of followers. That is just ignorance on the part of the writer.

    June 13, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
  2. pkfops

    I believe the Shaolin is older.

    June 13, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
  3. Peikovian

    Clearly the Benedictines are NOT the world's oldest religious order. They may be very old within Christianity, but there are schisms described in the NT and the Dead Sea Scrolls (the Essenes) that are older within Judaism, and no doubt some religious orders in the Far East that are older still. Whether or not candidates for office in a secular government should even be hosted by a religious denomination, as compared with a purely social organization, is a legal and ethical and political question that ought to be discussed.

    June 13, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
  4. T-Party

    I am agnostic I always vote republican. I vote my pocket book.

    June 13, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
    • John Richardson

      How did 2006 work out for you?

      June 13, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
  5. adam

    If they treat all so kind and fairly... Why is Gary Johnson being denied participation. He a former Governor, hes not a nobody!?!?

    June 13, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Eric

      CNN sets the participant's... Not the college

      June 13, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  6. God

    >>the rule of St. Benedict says every visitor should be treated as Christ himself

    So, they're just going to hang out for a few days?

    June 13, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • Niall

      lol

      June 13, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  7. SteveP

    “If you talk to people about the events at Saint Anselm, they would of felt that hospitality… regardless of their political or religious position.”

    "would of"?
    OF !?!?!?

    So, CNN is now hiring editors who spell everything the way it sounds to them? Wow, our schools really *are* failing.

    June 13, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Sir Loin of Beef

      Jeremy Moorhead is not good at English stuff, I guess.

      June 13, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • Bruce Williams

      Morehead was quoting the guy from St. Anselm, who apparently said, "would of" – –

      June 13, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  8. LogicGuru

    A little misleading to call St. Anselm an "Italian monk." He was an Archbishop of Canterbury, that is, an Anglican–before the Roman Catholic Church broke away from us.

    June 13, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • burkey696

      saint anselm was born in Itatly.... i.e he is italian
      additionally he was the archbishop of cantebury before the church of england...... check your dates before you question someones loyality furthermore just because the church of england became the official church of england doesnt mean every single person left the catholic church... there is a reason he is a saint

      June 13, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • KeninTexas

      You said "Anglican–before the Roman Catholic Church broke away from us.",,, Are you showing your ignorance?

      June 13, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
  9. bigmoney

    no it aints even posted anywheres on this pages. where is you see that same videocuz i aint finds it. itsa good one to i had just watch it while go..

    June 13, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  10. MCR

    There's a difference between oldest religious order and oldest CHRISTIAN order. Since Christianity is not nearly the world's oldest religion, having the world's oldest religious order would be difficult.

    June 13, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      (Nerd alert !) Agree. It would have been more correct to call it (the Benedictine order) one of the "early" orders, as it seems not to be the "earliest" Christian order. There are multiple examples of early Christian mona'stic co'mmunities in Egypt, (the Desert Fathers), that predate this group, and also, as I recall, in Greece and maybe Italy (?) (Monasticism was not unique to Christianity.) Having spent an interesting weekend with my grandpa, while in France at one of their off-shoot's places, (the Cistercian Abbey of Citeaux, south of Dijon), a few years ago, he tried to explain to me some of their contributions to the evolution of farming practices, wine production, calligraphy, the copying and preservation of ancient texts, and simply the evidence that humans had c'ome to be able to live together in harmony without compet'ition.

      June 13, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Stan Dupp

      @Bucky Ball – I guess your granpa conveniently left out the fact that there has never been a period in all of human history that did not include violence and war and contention regardless of technological advances.

      June 13, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • Jbaugh

      Benedictines though an old and venerable order are not even the oldest monastic order. Buddhist monasteries have been functioning since about 500 BCE.

      June 13, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      @Stan Dupp
      How about, sit down. BTW he mentioned that, but he knew how to stick to the subject at hand, and that the Cistercians, (in general, except for Bernard of Clairvaux, who "preached" the crusades), who I was talking about HERE, lived peacefully, and that "fact that there has never been a period in all of human history that did not include violence and war and contention regardless of technological advances." is totally beside the point, and has nothing whatever to do with the point at hand, (that being that a few people had "figured it out"). Your comment is so illogical that my brain is going to explode.

      June 13, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
    • Stan Dupp

      Sorry, Bucky Ball. I read your post too fast.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      @Stan
      Apology accepted.
      Bucky can be far too harsh than the situation calls for.
      Especially when you do have a good point.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
  11. Alan

    What is the difference between CNN reported facts, Wikipedia and history: Answer: the first two can be made up or changed depending on what the authors want the 'slant' to be and what gets the highest ratings. Again CNN has it's facts wrong: The Benedictines is not the oldest religion, hinduism is, over 6300 yrs old, followed by Judism, over 5700 yrs old. Of course CNN hasn't bothered to list all the other religions and the historical truth but that what makes for sensationalism, unfactual journalism they consistently put out.

    June 13, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Perhaps you should start reading articles and not just injecting your own biases. Can you point to where anyone called Benedictine a religion? It's an ORDER of Catholicism, not a religion. The article also stated that the Benedictines called themselves the oldest religious order, it did not state that as a matter of fact.

      June 13, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • duh

      L@@K at the ti-tle of the article you half-blind idjit!

      June 13, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  12. Natalie N.

    Why is it that Republicans have to veil themselves in religion? What personel deficits are they attempting to make up for?

    June 13, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Artist

      It is the key to their delusional and weakminded base. They play the fiddle that their base will dance to. Interesting is the majority of their base are not truly represented. You string a majority of the dumb@ $$ es along to get yourself in office.

      June 13, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  13. Spiffy

    My cousin goes there. It is a nice place but I have only seen it in the snow. They also allow open drinking on campus 😛

    June 13, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • Niall

      So they can all get drunk and sleep it off in each other's arms, eh? No surprise there.
      I'm surprised there isn't a "Saint Anus" or something in the Catholic spaz-o-rama parade.

      June 13, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • Eric

      Haha actually the drinking policy is really strict; I graduated in 2010 from the school. Drinking is allowed only for 21 in the campus pub. There is nothing like getting a beer or two with a monk and discussing politics! Saint Anselm is a very special place.

      June 13, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  14. Phil in KC

    Much ado about nothing, if you ask me. The candidates are not necessarily promoting St. Anselm and the "St. Anselmians" do not appear to be promoting any particular candidate. Just a nice venue for the debate, graciously hosted.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • yllus228

      agree Phil, we (class '94) hosted the democratic debate in '92.

      June 13, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  15. Peacemaker

    This is one of the many reasons I LOVE being Catholic! We seek understanding, we are willing to listen to all sides and discern what is best.

    Peace everyone!

    June 13, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • Mocking your empty faith and lack of intelligence

      What a crock! Catholics willing to listen? Since when?

      June 13, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • Former Catholic

      Whoa, Mocking! I obviously got fed up with the Catholic church too. However, I do think that many Catholic individuals are willing to listen to others. It's just that the hierarchy isn't. Not only won't they listen, they consider it wrong for them to listen to anyone else because they think they (and only they) directly represent Christ. The fact that I thought that was hogwash explains why I'm not there anymore.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
    • Free

      Former Catholic
      Yet, listening to outsiders is usually what leads to Catholics leaving the Church, right? That's why they say that Roman Catholic is the largest, single Christian denomination, and the second largest is "former Catholic." 🙂

      June 15, 2011 at 8:07 am |
  16. bustarhymes

    Free:
    You said 'supposedly', so I assume you have not read Antony Flew's latest book. I have read it, and I would kindly ask that you also consider reading it. You will then be left with no doubt that it is his writings. And if you are an atheist, I would assume that you are familiar with his earlier writings, since so much of his work has been foundational to a great many of the atheist writers of today. And any suggestion by others that 'he is just old and senile' is absurd. Even in his later years, his intellect still towered high just as before. Even if you watch the more recent videos of him speaking, it is obvious that his mental faculties still rival the greatest minds.

    As stated in the book's introduction (I think it was by Roy Abraham Varghese if I'm not mistaken): "Dawkin's "old age" argument (if it can be called that) is a strange variation of the ad hominem fallacy that has no place in civilized discourse. True thinkers evaluate arguments and weigh the evidence without regard to the proponent's race, s.e:x, or age."

    so WORD UP YO!
    😀

    June 13, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • Nah

      busta: "You said 'supposedly', so I assume you have not read Antony Flew's latest book. I have read it, and I would kindly ask that you also consider reading it."

      Lol. Expecting a militant atheist to be open minded, or to be acquainted with any sort of philosophy at all is hilarious.

      🙂

      June 13, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • ScottK

      Another word for a Christian being "open minded" is gullible.

      "Gullibility is a failure of social intelligence in which a person is easily tricked or manipulated into an ill-advised course of action. It is closely related to credulity, which is the tendency to believe unlikely propositions that are unsupported by evidence. Classes of people especially vulnerable to exploitation due to gullibility include children, the elderly, and the developmentally disabled." – Wiki

      They forgot to add "theists" at the end there.

      June 13, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • Hebeluvinyew

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYdzUYyIKMM&w=640&h=390]

      June 13, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • Free

      bustarhymes
      You already posted this down below. Getting forgetful? 😉

      June 13, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Free

      Nah
      You know what the definition is of a 'militant' atheist? It's someone who says out loud that they don't believe in God, and is willing to discuss it with you over a beer. I know, real scary! Ooh... watch out for the militant atheists, they'll order wings if you're not careful! 🙂

      June 13, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • bigmoney

      i aint dunno why my blog post wont go here first times. here its is now.
      -
      no it aints even posted anywheres on this pages. where is you see that same videocuz i aint finds it. itsa good one to i had just watch it while go..

      June 13, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  17. Hazel

    Just so you know, CNN, Christianity is far from the world's oldest religion.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • Xenophon

      CNN did not say Christianity was the world's oldest religion. It said the Benedictines were the world's oldest religious ORDER. Vast difference.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      I do believe the Shankacharya monks of Shivite Hinduism represent a significantly older religious order (pre 1st century BCE). The Benedictines do represent the oldest Western Christian Order currently in existence. If they had not been suppressed by Rome, the Culdees would have represented an older order, being founded by St. Patrick's disciples in the 4th century.

      June 13, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • Get some glasses

      The ti-tle of the article is "Site of Republican debate is college run by world's oldest religion order"
      It is only a few paragraphs in where they actually mention that this whole farce is being hosted by some Catholic idiots.

      June 13, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • Ancient Monkey of Messy Order and Poo-flinging

      The oldest religion would be whatever our primate ancestors came up with, probably some sort of animal-plant-object spirit beliefs. Maybe something else. When Hom0 Sapiens appeared, if there was anything like a religion going, the new species would have drawn from that I would suspect.
      And of course, no spiritual religion of such antiquity is going to have any adherents left, unless you want to count the more primitive religions in the few places where such things can be found.
      "World's oldest religious order" is total bullsht. Catholicism is one of the newest cults to appear on the scene as an offshoot from Judaism. Catholics are heretics to Jews. Jews are heretics to the primitive religion they peeled away from.
      A college of heretics of heretics of heretics of nonsense in the first place.
      What a strangely apt place for Republicans to gather.

      June 13, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  18. Reality

    A suggestion for the opening statement:

    1. There was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    2. There was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    3. There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    4. There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    5. There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    6. Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    7. Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • seek the TRUTH

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSUkEhfERuE&w=640&h=390]

      June 13, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • seek the TRUTH

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZhUrKiRGrQ&w=640&h=390]

      June 13, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • Peacemaker

      "Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance, the only thing it cannot be is moderately important." ~ C.S. Lewis

      I want to err on the side that Christianity is of infinite importance.

      PS. God doesn't send anyone to Hell, you choose to go freely by denying He exists!

      June 13, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Nah

      reality: "A suggestion for the opening statement: ... 1. There was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent."

      Conclusory statements and empty assertions without proof. Brilliant.

      "foundations ... are non-existent"

      Who said Judaism, etc. are founded on the existence of an Abraham or a Moses? Last I checked, their religious beliefs were derived from the existence of a god who gave moral commandments.

      Your ad hominems and straw men are cute, though.

      June 13, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • ScottK

      @Peace – "Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance, the only thing it cannot be is moderately important." ~ C.S. Lewis

      "Islam, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance, the only thing it cannot be is moderately important." ~ Me

      "Buddhism, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance, the only thing it cannot be is moderately important." ~ again, Me

      "Hinduism, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance, the only thing it cannot be is moderately important." ~ Me

      "Judaism, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance, the only thing it cannot be is moderately important." ~

      "Zoroastrianism, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance, the only thing it cannot be is moderately important." ~

      "Shinto, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance, the only thing it cannot be is moderately important." ~

      "Jainism, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance, the only thing it cannot be is moderately important." ~

      I think I might be starting to see a trend here...

      You think you are choosing one of two sides like flipping a coin, but you forget that when it comes to theism and the possibility of an afterlife and how to get there there are any number of possible right or wrong choices, none of which can be proven or disproven.

      June 13, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Peacemaker

      You Said: "Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance, the only thing it cannot be is moderately important." ~ C.S. Lewis
      I want to err on the side that Christianity is of infinite importance."

      I would respectfully suggest that this is just another version of Philosophy's Pascal's Wager. If... there is some sort of life after death, it could be a multi-tude of scenarios.

      You Said: "PS. God doesn't send anyone to Hell, you choose to go freely by denying He exists!"

      It's the old 'believe or burn' argument. And, such a loving God at that !

      No thanks -Peacemaker.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      June 13, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • Reality

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

      "New Torah For Modern Minds

      "Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument."

      " The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "litany of disillusion" about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

      June 13, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Reality

      It is called the Great Angelic Con:

      Joe Smith had his Moroni.

      Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

      Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

      Jesus and his family had Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day dem-on of the de-mented.

      The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

      Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.
      Some added references to "tink-erbells".

      "Latter-day Saints also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

      Apparently hallu-cinations did not stop with Joe Smith.

      newadvent.org/cathen/07049c.htm

      "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."

      Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:

      "TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."
      And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:

      "In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."
      "The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "

      "The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel. "

      June 13, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Free

      ScottK
      I think it's more like the debate between those who believe in good luck charms and those who don't, with one focusing on the truth about how lucky not washing your socks during the playoffs is while forgetting about the believers in lucky rabbit's feet, four-leaf clovers, holy medals, horseshoes and others.

      June 13, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
  19. Al

    They should have picked a site with even more conservative symbolic significance for the GOP, like a Museum of National History. Having a line of dinosaur fossils in the background would frame where their mindset is rather well.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • Rev. Rick

      @ Al – dinosaurs would only have confused the conservative Christians since they don't believe in evolution. Come to think of it, maybe they're right. Very few of the conservatives seem to have evolved at all.

      June 13, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • yllus228

      Al, you realize St Anselm was the host of the DEMOCRATIC debate in '92, right?

      June 13, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • Al

      yllus228
      I'm Canadian. Your two parties rank as really conservative, and really, really conservative on our political spectrum. 🙂

      June 13, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  20. lilwayne YAYUH!

    But this debate is so much better. 😀

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=maoGItxwTTA&w=640&h=390]

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1e4FUhfHiU&w=640&h=390]

    June 13, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam

      Wife: Have you got anything without spam?

      Waitress: Well, there's spam egg sausage and spam, that's not got much spam in it.

      Wife: I don't want ANY spam!

      Man: Why can't she have egg bacon spam and sausage?

      Wife: THAT'S got spam in it!

      Man: Hasn't got as much spam in it as spam egg sausage and spam, has it?

      Vikings: Spam spam spam spam... (Crescendo through next few lines...)

      Wife: Could you do the egg bacon spam and sausage without the spam then?

      Waitress: Urgghh!

      Wife: What do you mean 'Urgghh'? I don't like spam!

      Vikings: Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!

      Waitress: Shut up!

      Vikings: Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!

      Waitress: Shut up! (Vikings stop) Bloody Vikings! You can't have egg bacon spam and sausage without the spam.

      Wife: I don't like spam!

      Man: Sshh, dear, don't cause a fuss. I'll have your spam. I love it. I'm having spam spam spam spam spam spam spam
      beaked beans spam spam spam and spam!

      Vikings: Spam spam spam spam. Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!

      Waitress: Shut up!! Baked beans are off.

      Man: Well could I have her spam instead of the baked beans then?

      Waitress: You mean spam spam spam spam spam spam... (but it is too late and the Vikings drown her words)

      Vikings: (Singing elaborately...) Spam spam spam spam. Lovely spam! Wonderful spam! Spam spa-a-a-a-a-am spam spa-a-a-a-a-am spam. Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Spam spam spam spam!

      June 13, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      @Spamy
      I think we saw these Viking productions at the Met, it's in the Spam of the Nibelung Cycle, Part -3. We fell asleep.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • Free

      What is evident from the videos of Flew is how much more vibrant he was in the 70's compared to the years leading up to his death. Poor man, his mind even forgot that it was British. His last book "There is a God" 'co-authored' with Roy Varghese has Flew supposedly using American spellings for words, something he had never done before his conversion.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • bustarhymes

      Free:
      You said 'supposedly', so I assume you have not read Antony Flew's latest book. I have read it, and I would kindly ask that you also consider reading it. You will then be left with no doubt that it is his writings. And if you are an atheist, I would assume that you are familiar with his earlier writings, since so much of his work has been foundational to a great many of the atheist writers of today. And any suggestion by others that 'he is just old and senile' is absurd. Even in his later years, his intellect still towered high just as before. Even if you watch the more recent videos of him speaking, it is obvious that his mental faculties still rival the greatest minds.

      As stated in the book's introduction (I think it was by Roy Abraham Varghese if I'm not mistaken): "Dawkin's "old age" argument (if it can be called that) is a strange variation of the ad hominem fallacy that has no place in civilized discourse. True thinkers evaluate arguments and weigh the evidence without regard to the proponent's race, s.e:x, or age."

      so WORD UP YO! 😀

      June 13, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • Free

      bus tarhymes
      He never use to write with an 'American accent' in his earlier days so, yes, I do find that sus picious. And to suggest that he could not have been senile is even more abs urd. It's sad to say, but it is obvious that he had trouble keeping details and information in his mind, as do a great many people in their 80's.

      Try this article from the New York Times relating to the controversy that plagued his last years:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/04/magazine/04Flew-t.html

      June 13, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • JohnR

      Deism is fine by me. A conversion to Christianity or Islam or some such would be more disappointing. But no one owes it to any community to stand still in their beliefs, the treatment of apostates by religious zealots notwithstanding.

      June 13, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • JohnR

      @Free Thanks for the NYT link. There does seem to be more than a hint of zealots taking advantage of a famous man in intellectual decline. But it also continues to baffle why Christians would consider someone's conversion to Deism something to gloat about. The deity envisioned in Deism isn't even remotely like Jehovah.

      June 13, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Free

      JohnR
      You're welcome!

      That he shifted to deism is a little detail that is not advertised within the circles that use him as a poster child, but when it comes right down to it counting celebrities and defections oughtn't sway anyone to join any particular belief system. What's important is that it makes sense to you personally, right?

      June 13, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • JohnR

      Yes, what appalls is that both before and after his conversion not to Christianity but to Deism, he was being treated by his new "friends" as though he is simply a "trophy convert".

      June 13, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • Al

      JohnR
      In all fairness, wouldn't you say that Flew wasn't much of a 'trophy' as a convert to atheism? He converted while still an undergrad, chiefly because he found C. S. Lewis's arguments unconvincing, but he was just an ordinary student then, and hadn't published anything that would have made him a trophy yet.

      So, the proper sequence of events is that he started off as an ordinary Christian, indoctrinated since birth, became unconvinced of Christianity after meeting Lewis, published a number of great works detailing reasons for atheism, and became a noted figure amongst atheists as a result. He only became a 'trophy' convert to Christians later in his life because of the reputation he had as an atheist, right?

      June 14, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • John Richardson

      @Al Yes, precisely! I was referring only to his conversion to Deism after he was a famous atheist when I mentioned "trophy convert". His earlier departure from his Christian upbringing (to which he never returned!) was something he did as an all but anonymous young man.

      June 15, 2011 at 5:56 am |
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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.