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Top evangelical to Anthony Weiner: Try Jesus
June 14th, 2011
11:59 AM ET

Top evangelical to Anthony Weiner: Try Jesus

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - One of the nation’s most prominent evangelicals has entered the debate over whether Anthony Weiner will benefit from therapy, encouraging the embattled  Jewish New York congressman to try Jesus instead.

Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, tweeted this message of the weekend: “Dear Congressman Weiner: There is no effective ‘treatment’ for sin. Only atonement, found only in Jesus Christ."

The tweet set some tongues a wagging, especially because Weiner is Jewish.

USA Today said the remark echoed Fox News' Brit Hume comment that golfer Tiger Woods, a Buddhist, should try Christianity after he became embroiled in a sex scandal last year.

Mohler, who leads the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention - the nation's largest evangelical denomination - took to his blog Tuesday to defend himself amid the controversy, noting that his tweet “never mentioned Judaism.”

“Rep. Weiner’s problem has to do with the fact that he is a sinner, like every other human being, regardless of religious faith or affiliation,” Mohler wrote. “Christians — at least those who hold to biblical and orthodox Christianity — believe that salvation is found through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and in him alone.”

Mohler called the controversy over his tweet “another sign of how politically incorrect biblical Christianity is becoming in our times.”

What do you think? Is Mohler simply stating Christian doctrine? Or is it improper to suggest that members of other religious traditions who are facing crises try Jesus?

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Jesus • Judaism

soundoff (968 Responses)
  1. boocat

    Another Jesus freak spouting gibberish...NEXT!!!

    June 14, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • Jesus

      Try Jesus? Weiner doesn't have Jesus' tel number (nobody does...that myth has been dead for over 2000 years). Besides Weiner seems to be into texting women. Rather than go into some bogus rehab, he ought to get a perky upturned nose job and come out looking Irish and run as Tony McNabb. The voting public is that dense!

      June 14, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
  2. Gen

    "Improper" or not, Christianity will always reach out – and people who follow Christ will always reach out. What we won't do is bomb your cities or force you to do anything at all. But if I have something that I truly believe will help someone, and I withhold that, what does that make me? So if you don't want what I've got, you can say no, thank you, and that'll be that. But don't hate on us for offering that which we truly believe will be of ultimate help.

    June 14, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • Baruch

      What drugs are you taking?? Christian Bush declared a "crusade" as he bombed Iraq into the dark ages. Keep telling yourself how benign christians are, but you are lying to yourself. Jesus is not the problem, most of his followers are.

      June 14, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • zeie

      The thing that you "truly believe" is making the world's education levels and living standards drop. We have no need for such supersti.tions in the 21st century.

      June 14, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Gen: no thank you. Now p!aa off, and stop ringing my doorbell to try to sell me your silly jeebus tales. I'm not buying the BS that you are selling.

      June 14, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • Chris

      I wish it was shocking that the first three responses were hate filled denouncements of a religion when you make a posting declaring the motivations of a true Christian. But I also know the atheist's church is the CNN Belief message board.

      June 14, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • Befairandjust

      Gen, you should review history. Remember George Bush saying God is on our side in the Iraq war? What God do you think that was?

      June 14, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • Gary

      Bush was just one man. Just because he was Christian doesn't mean his actions represent Christianity. He was human, and there are plenty of humans who acted poorly throughout history, regardless of whatever religion they hailed from.

      June 14, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • puckthecat

      You pin heads missed the point he was trying to make. It is not that we don't bomb cities...it is that we don't bomb cities just because you don't want to be a christian! Even I figured that out I ain't got no degree 🙂 But your point is well made...

      June 16, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Adam R.

      One of the great revolutions in modern religious thought has been the growth of tolerance and acceptance of other religious beliefs as legitimate, which is the foundational basis for interfaith dialogue. You may truly believe that your religious belief will be of ultimate help, but the rejection of the legitimacy of other religions (in this case, Judaism) is not helpful. Instead, it undermines the possibility of interfaith dialogue and understanding. That is why it is "improper": Mohler may have been simply stating a sincerely-held belief, but it is one that delegitimizes others' sincerely-held beliefs. That is something all well-meaning religious people ought to reject.

      June 16, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  3. Elisheva

    Jesus is the AntiMessiah that the baptist teach along with their rapture myth.

    June 14, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • Jesus

      I thought he was the anti-freeze.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
  4. Adam

    Like all Americans, Albert Mohler is exercising his freedom of speech. For someone to call it "improper" is silly. To use a recent event as an analogy, that's like me suggesting that Miami Heat fans wanting to see Dallas lose, and vocalizing such, is somehow "improper." Silly analogy, but I hope you get my point.

    From a religious perspective, whether you, or Weiner, believe what Mohler says is true doesn't negate the fact that it is. Whether you believe the Sun is the center of our solar system, or not, doesn't change the fact that it is the truth. The truth is the truth, period.

    And why is it that whenever ANY perspective OTHER than Christianity is expressed, it's accepted as "enriching" and embraced in the name of "tolerance." However, when a Christian perspective is expressed, no matter how non-inflaming it is, it's labeled as "ignorant" and "hateful." There is a huge double standard being applied. Regardless of what your belief is, you have to at least recognize that fact.

    June 14, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Heather M.

      I totally agree, Adam! A country founded on freedom of speech and expression should not punish people who articulate their religious beliefs. We can share whatever we think about politics, the environment, social issues, etc., but why can't we discuss religion? You don't have to agree with a person's beliefs but you can't tell them to live in a religious vacuum unless we want to become like Mayoist China.

      June 14, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Adam, not merely "ignorant and hateful". The correct guote is "ignorant, hateful bullsh!t", all of which are accurate.

      June 14, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Laughing

      First of all, its laughable to think that every religion in the US is embraced except christianity. I don't know what you're smoking but my guess is your jesus probably is against it. As for this statement, it is silly and sort of ignorant in the sense that you christians view this as a benign statement, but to a jew you're basically saying "you are evil and you're religion is worthless, hows about you join us"

      Please, stop deluding yourself into thinking that christianity is the victim, christianity is almost always the perptrator (in the USA that is)

      June 14, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Adam: Freedom of speech does not give you immunity from being called rude or insensitive when you ignore or denigrate someone else's heritage or ident!ty just so you can push your own agenda. And that applies whether or not you think you have the "truth". How about a little common courtesy and responsibility when we exercise our freedoms?

      Also can you please let the "poor me Christian" thing go. It is patently false and honestly tiresome. In these United States you are the majority and should probably use some responsibility with that power.

      June 14, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Befairandjust

      Adam, why is it that evangelical christians feel that they have the right to suggest that someone else is praying to the wrong God? Please tell me the difference between that and radical muslims or hasidic jews who all say they have the only path to God?

      June 14, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • Joe

      Adam you are correct, but freedom of speech does not mean freedom from criticism or responses. He is free to say what he wishes..no one stopped him from giving his advice. At the same time people have the freedom to respond and give there advice as well . Why is it so hard for people to understand you have a right to say what you want. You don't have a right to say what you want without response, debate or being called out on your statements. Freedom of speech applies to all not the only one side of any subject debate or statement.

      June 14, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  5. Lydell Z

    I believe your question @ the end was; Is Mr. Mohler quoting true doctrine, Or is it improper to suggest that members of other religious traditions who are facing crises try Jesus?
    Answer: Yes he is quoting true christian doctrine. but you should search that out for yourself.
    Question: Would not other religious traditions suggest you give them a try in the midst of a crises if they were so- called christians and it did not seem to work? It seems to me you as an editor are trying to steer the line of thought as though Christians and only Christians have very stern beliefs.

    June 14, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
  6. Henry

    IIt's inappropriate and insensitive to suggest a Jewish person turn to Jesus for help.

    June 14, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • MindiK

      Absolutely agree! And I'm a Christian.

      June 14, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • 4mercy

      Why? Jesus was Jewish. Many other Jewish people have turned to Jesus....Messianic Jews and Jewish converts to Christianity. If seeking help from faith in a new way leads him to a better life, why not suggest it? It's not like someone's forcing him to do it. He can say "no thank you".

      June 14, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • zeie

      4mercy – would you like it if people tried to convert you over to Islam?

      June 14, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Frogist

      @4mercy: He's not asking him face to face in a personal meeting. He put that message out on twitter. There is a huge difference. Yes, in one instance it is a case of one personal recommendation to another human being. But broadcasting it openly is smugly suggesting that being christian is better than being a jew, and not just to Mr Weiner, but to the world.

      June 14, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Befairandjust

      Zeie, you hit it right on the head. Kind of like telling a christian Happy Hanukah. There response: I am not Jewish. My response: Well then if that is the way you feel, why do you wish everyone a Merry Christmas?

      June 14, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  7. Heather M.

    Weiner's problem is the fundamental problem we all enter the world with–we are born as sinners and wanting to do what we want to do when we want to do it with no regard to the God who created us. There has to be reconciliation with God and Jesus Christ is the only way to find it. Al Mohler is just stating the truth that people who believe the Bible know and have experienced.

    June 14, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • grist

      What a horrible thought! You think that we are born sinners! How crazy. I feel sorry for you.

      June 14, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Headless Chocolate Rabbit Hanging on a Cross

      Heather get mental help

      June 14, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Heather M. you bought thst "born sinners" guilt trip thing hook line and stinker, didn't you? You're so bad.

      June 14, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • Reality

      You have amazing intolerance. I feel sorry for you and your life.

      June 14, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  8. Elisheva

    Why should he follow your Paganism that your doctrines teach? Albert he does not need your false replacement thelogian doctrines. You need to study what you follow and try to find some truth don't worry about Mr. Weiner. He needs to Shema he does not need the Jesus that your doctrines teach.

    June 14, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
  9. egm11

    One Eared Puppy on Crack doing the Moonwalk Sideways

    obviously you are one of the pack of moronic antichrist dopers, what would you know about anything other than trying to get pencil neck and his progressive friends to legalize dope. so go back to yo mammas basement and slip back into your purple haze. the rest of us are doing fine without you.

    June 14, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • SnafuBob

      I like Purple Haze, killer Hendrix song...not to mention a sweet leaf.

      June 14, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • Artist

      Wow you make so much sense. lol

      June 14, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • zeie

      See, the amount of education you see in this comment is why we're laughed at by Europeans.

      June 14, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Headless Chocolate Rabbit Hanging on a Cross with splinters in his...

      I think egm11 was having a stroke when they typed

      June 14, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  10. GonzoG

    Shalom, Rev. Mohler, but you're still a putz.

    June 14, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
  11. SnafuBob

    Hmmm to funny. The thought of a Jew replacing Judaism with Christianity...well we'll not go there...

    June 14, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • jayg

      @SnafuBob
      "Hmmm to funny. The thought of a Jew replacing Judaism with Christianity...well we'll not go there..."

      What's funnier - the Christ in "Christianity" was a Jewish male, not a WASP, no matter what political parties say. So it's not a "replacement" at all.

      June 14, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • zeie

      jayg – That's like having Germany force English speakers to speak German. I mean, they all originate from the same language, right?

      June 14, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  12. theoldadam

    I think he should try 'restraint'.

    Jesus has forgiven him as He has forgiven us all. If he (we) choose to ignore that forgiveness and go on our merry way, then we receive none of the benefits from that forgiveness.

    June 14, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • 4mercy

      He will only be forgiven for that sin if he repents of it in action and in his heart. We cannot continue to sin and think "Oh, Jesus will forgive me anyway." No, sorry, it doesn't work that way.

      June 14, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • Frogist

      Yes, a bit of "restraint" is good advice. And it doesn't belong to any particular religious persuasion.

      June 14, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  13. mgc florida

    Here we go with the silly season again, the man has not actually had an affair like vitter, ensign, spritzer etc. I don't know what jesus has to do with redemption or change since all of these guys were devout christians, didn't help much did it.

    June 14, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • Frogist

      You make a salient point, mgc florida.

      June 14, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  14. Becarefulwhatyoumock

    The Jeus of the Bible ( not necessarily the one found in RELIGION)offers only hope and salvation to our brokenness. He is also the comforter and healer for Weiner's wife in this horrible time. Why wouldn't he be suggested in our times of crisis? God help us if we are so embroiled in hate for Christ that we can't be open to that which saves us.

    June 14, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • Rich

      Weiner's wife is muslim.

      June 14, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Artist

      The jesus that man wrote about was clearly schizophrenic. It is hard to hate a crazy person. Your faith is in a man that was delusional and sadly died as a result of his delusions

      June 14, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Becareful: So you wouldn't be offended in the least if some stranger on Twitter tells all their followers and the world that the reason for your personal issues is because you're not muslim?

      June 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  15. Francis

    Mohler said he "never mentioned Judaism". Yeah. We know. That's kind of the problem.

    June 14, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
  16. Baruch

    Christofascists everywhere and no one says a word.

    June 14, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • egm11

      hey man, maybe you hear from so many christians because we are basically a christian country, duh! if you dont like it move to libya or iran.

      June 14, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • One Eared Puppy on Crack doing the Moonwalk Sideways

      egm11

      hey man, maybe you hear from so many christians because we are basically a christian country, duh! if you dont like it move to libya or iran.

      ---–
      However it appears your numbers are fading 🙂

      June 14, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • egm11

      dear One Eared Puppy on Crack doing the Moonwalk Sideways

      June 14, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • LinCA

      @egm11.

      The Treaty of Tripoli, unanimously ratified by the U.S. Senate on June 7, 1797 and signed by President John Adams, taking effect as the law of the land on June 10, 1797, states in part: "[...] the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion [...]"

      Don't liars go to hell, according to your fairy tales?

      June 14, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • Katy

      @LinCA

      Demographics are not the same thing as politics. They are what they are, no matter whose line you choose to quote.

      June 14, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Baruch

      @egm1 you missed the point of my post entirely. Christofascism is a clear and present danger to us all. Any kind of extremist ideology or religiousity is dangerous. Perhaps your thinking apparatus needs to be dusted off.

      June 14, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Katy

      You said: "Demographics are not the same thing as politics. They are what they are, no matter whose line you choose to quote.

      I couldn't fucking care less about the demographics. It is the laws of the land as set by the government that determine what "kind" of nation this is. In the US that means that I have the same right to religious freedom as you or egm11 or anyone else.

      Telling someone to move out if they don't suffer from the same mental illness as egm11 does, is typical of the christofascists that Baruch mentioned.

      June 14, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • zeie

      egm11 – So theoretically, if this was an atheist country, we could tell you to move out to Vatican City or somewhere. Yeah, it shows the amount of respect you have for other people.

      June 14, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  17. Luke

    Aww. that's cute. Telling a Jewish guy to try Jesus. What a tard.

    June 14, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • davidkay

      @Luke
      "Aww. that's cute. Telling a Jewish guy to try Jesus. What a tard."

      Telling a Jewish guy to try a Jewish guy. Cute? Er, what's cute about that. Logical to me.

      June 14, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • Luke

      davidkay

      and that makes you just as dumb as the person who said it.

      June 14, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
  18. Eric G

    Albert Mohler is suggesting that Anthony Weiner should convert so his sin can be washed away. Mr Mohler does not seem concerned with the harm done to Mr. Weiner's pregnant wife.

    It is immoral to suggest that responsibility for your actions can be passed to another.

    June 14, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • egm11

      ole pencil neck antkee weenee does care about his wife, obviously it is all about him and that is what she probably knew when they got married.

      June 14, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • Frogist

      @egm: Or maybe she's ok with it. Maybe that's how they roll. Everybody's relationship is different.

      June 14, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  19. kcusick

    Things are starting to get really hard for Rep. Anthony Weiner. See why in “A Day in the Life of Anthony Weiner” on The Loop Now.com. It’s mostly fiction, except for all of the REALLY embarrassing stuff.
    theloopnow.com/?p=8260

    June 14, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
  20. One Eared Puppy on Crack doing the Moonwalk Sideways

    Sorry but I have to laugh

    June 14, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.