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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. smellarat

    I do pray for Weiner. I think Obama is the one pushing this out in front of the media. That is why Weiner is irritated. What Obama is trying to do is get to Hillary through Huma because Hillary is not enthusiastically supporting Obama for a second term, not really deep down in her heart. Obama knows it and he is using this scandal (since Obama controls the media) to get to Hillary.

    June 14, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • copanut

      Change your name from smellarat to inhalapot.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
  2. NoMoreLabels

    Religion (or lack of) is a personal thing. We all know this. Actions such as this are unnecessary and come across as self-serving. Why do some individuals feel the need to push their own perceptions onto others in a 'this is all you need' capacity? If you are happy/content with your own perceptions, your actions should show it by allowing others to find their own way and not force it upon them. If they stray, let them learn from it and quit trying to shove your own brand of perception upon them!

    June 14, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
  3. wylie

    Why not just honoring your wedding vows??? Or at least resort to simple masturbation in private!

    June 14, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • Redeye Dog

      LOL!! You took the words out of my mouth. Was just thinking the same thing... Works for me!!!

      June 14, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
  4. AngryAtGov1

    I agree. Weiner should send some pictures to jesus.

    June 14, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • TERRY from WI

      Doesn't have to send anything to Lord Jesus. He sees all acts, thoughts, feelings, and intentions. To Him, we are literally an open book, 24/7/365.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
  5. cd

    Sorry to far gone try a 38 pistol one bullet is all that is "needed!

    June 14, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
  6. Jason G.

    A great deal of Chinese are atheists and they crack down on their people all the time for things...that is lack of religion with same problem

    June 14, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • copanut

      The Chinese don't crack down on people because the leaders are atheist. They crack down on them because they are horrible dictators. You need to learn about cause and effect. Hitler (raised Catholic) killed people because they were Jews and he believed he was doing God's work. The Crusaders killed people because they were Muslims. Osama bin Laden killed Americans because they were not Muslims. If an atheist kills, it isn't for the sake of atheism, it is only because he is a killer.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • NoMoreLabels

      You *really* need to go back to the drawing board on this thought!

      June 14, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • Swordswipe

      Lets not forget about Castro, Stalin, Hitler( he believed he was better than Jesus,) Mao Zedong, the French Revolution, and San Salvador

      June 14, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • anubiss

      Go to websters, look up 'spuriousness'

      June 14, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
  7. JESUS WAS A MUSLIM

    Jesus (Peace be upon him) is not a God. Bible said it. Matthew Chapter 19:17. He does not have power. Church leaders even don't follow Bible. they only follow their own desire. their desire is their God.

    June 14, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • dan

      YOu are a moron. Jesus was jewish dont neccesarily think he was a god, but he was a JEW not a MUSLIM

      June 14, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
    • Tena

      It is easy to take things out of context to fit ones own belief system. We easily forget that the Bible was written not in English but in Greek and Hebrew and that english is an incredibly clumsy language. When one investigates Matthew 19:17 it can be found that in the passage Jesus is asking "Why are you asking me concerning what is good?" And Jesus correctly states that only God can answer that question. The fact Jesus answers the question in the next verse quietly proves His rightful claim to deity. And lest we forget one of the most important verses God gives is John 3:16. Stating without a doubt
      the deity of Christ as God and savior.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • davegeorgia

      no that's not true, His geneology is listed in Matthew, there are no muslims listed there, and there are no muslims in heaven, the false allah moon god was never worshipped by Jesus, and John 1 tells us the Word became flesh and He dwelt among us, that Word was Jesus, Jesus proclaimed Himself to be God, "He stated He was the I AM" He is Yahweh Yeshu, not allah, muhammed was a false prophet and did not rise from the dead, Jesus did. The koran is not inspired by God, the Bible is

      June 14, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
  8. Ray

    Me to evangelical – get a grip on reality!!!

    June 14, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
  9. Jon

    I love this fasination with sin. If God created man in his own image then why didn't he create man with the ability to not sin? No, not only did he know that Man was going to sin he did nothing to stop it and punished Man anyway. Now THAT is a loving God!

    June 14, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • Swordswipe

      He gave us FREE WILL. The first humans chose to sin, and then all hell broke loose. He wouldn't want us to be zombies, anyway.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • Jesus brother

      Jon, God's gift to all is the ability to make choices but choices come with consequences (good or bad). He want men that will follow Him out of free will not for lack of choice. Ain't you grateful that you are not a robot. God loves you so dearly my friend.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • dv

      You're an idiot....God did create us perfectly...in His own image! It was satan that brought sin into the world. Get your facts straight and read your bible.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • copanut

      Three fine examples of bad logic. (1) "He gave us FREE WILL." Free will is a cop-out answer. God is all powerful and all-knowing, therefore he knew in advance exactly and precisely what his creations would do. Citing free will is just a way to shift blame from the perfect creator to imperfect humans. God does the creating, but humans take all the blame and punishment for God's failures. (2) "Aren't you glad you aren't a robot." More free will nonsense. If there were no free will, we would not know the difference anyway because there would be no reference point. Even better, what is the point of creation at all? If we are not here, we wouldn't know the difference. (3) "God did create us perfectly...in His own image! It was satan that brought sin into the world." Oh, come now. God created Satan. The buck needs to stop with him. "Get your facts straight and read your bible" – what an amusing concept – telling someone to get facts from a book of fiction. That's like telling someone to get the facts on vampires from Bram Stoker's book.

      Look, folks, here are two facts: (a) Human beings are flawed. (b) Human beings wrote the Bible. Therefore, to believe the Bible reflects cosmic reality is to have faith in God, but rather it is having faith in human beings. Bronze-age human beings at that. You are kidding yourself to think your faith is in God when it is the exact opposite. Everything you know, or think you know, or believe about Yahweh/ Jesus was passed down, written down, transcribed, and preached 100% by flawed human beings. You think it was God-inspired? Human beings told you that, not God. Your faith is false, which is clear from its internal consistency and physical absurdity. It is an insult to any real god to be given the blame for the mess you call religion. God's laws are not in a book, they are written in nature. The creature in the Bible is a petty monster fabricated in the image of man, not the other way around. Wake up.

      June 14, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
  10. KC

    Yes, the Jesus followers are SAINTS! NOT! I wish that Mr. Mohler and the rest of the evangelists would stop ramming Jesus down everybody's throat. Live and leave people alone! There are plenty good people in every religion even among the atheists. Clearly, Mr. Weiner has a problem which needs to be taken care of, but this doen't make him a bad person.
    It is up to him and the Democratic leadership to decide whether he should step down or not.

    June 14, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
  11. Derek G

    It is never appropriate for a leader of any faith to insinuate that a persons shortcomings are rooted in the fact that they are of a different faith. In doing so Mohler has insinuated that Jewish people of lesser moral fiber solely based on the fact that we do not believe the same way he does. For any religious leader to make this comment is completely unacceptable.

    June 14, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • steve

      Mr Mohler clearly did not make the insinuation you allege. He clearly stated a fact: all people regardless of religious background are sinners. He then went on to prescribe the Christian solution: Jesus atoned for the sins of all men regardless of the religious leaning. At no point in this article is there even any hint that Mr Mohler is suggesting that Christians are any better than anyone. He alleges the opposite. All religions and all ideologies including atheism agree that there is a problem with man:Evil-otherwise called sin. The differences come in how to deal with the problem of evil. It is a responsible thing for anyone who believes they have a solution to a known problem to actually air it. To keep it to oneself would be rather selfish and diabolical.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
  12. Francis

    Try Jesus. Lets see; Ted Haggard, Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, Eddie Long, etc, and countless Catholic Priest tried Jesus. These are ordained 'from God." See Weiner, what Alber Mohler is really saying is that you are hopeless because you a Jew that has no redemption because you have no savior. Not only is Mohler damning Weiner but "missionizing" at the same time. Talk about a two edge sword. Jews and all other non-(Mohler) Christians are damned. Wow, with a preacher like that who needs the devil.

    June 14, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • copanut

      Thank you for this post. The REAL truth is that if the only thing that gives you a moral compass is a belief in some supernatural hero, then you are fundamentally a flawed and immoral person to begin with, and you will always be one even if you temporarily hiding it behind Jesus' robes. There are an awful lot of people who don't do the horrible things that are done by people like Haggard,etc., and those people don't need Jesus to be good. It is simply their nature. There are people who are pigs, people who are not pigs, and people who are pigs wearing Jesus-lipstick.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • TERRY from WI

      Francis: You named several infamous Christians who sinned and who were unfortunately hypocritical in their faith. Other lists of Christians includes Mother Teresa, Francis Collins (director of NIH), Isaac Newton, Abe Lincoln, Pres. Jimmy Carter, Pres. Barak Obama, Pres Clinton & Secretary Clinton, CS Lewis, Rev. MLK Jr., and the founders of some of the world's most elite universities like Yale, Princeton, Harvard, and biggest hospitals, among other Christian contributions like Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity. I'd put this list up against yours any day. Given your logic, if medical doctors are fraudulent and bad, do we stop believing in medicine? I think you know the answer. Christ is the Savior of the World. Some of His believers represent Him well, others do not.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • Reading Miss

      Terry, Mother Teresa was a sadistic evil woman. She thought suffering "enriched" the soul and deliberately let people suffer instead of using all those donations to help them. The people of India knew she was evil. Take her off your damn list.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • copanut

      Terry, all you have shown is that Christians can be good OR bad, which is exactly why someone saying you MUST believe in Jesus to be good is so ridiculous. Thanks for helping to prove the point. Whatever is the source of morality, it certainly is not the Bible, as anyone who has actually read the book will understand. And I agree, Mother Theresa was a horrible person despite her saintly reputation to the ignorati.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • TERRY from WI

      To Copanut: I believe in Jesus, I'm not good after I believe in Him. I'm still sinful, but MY SINS ARE FORGIVEN. Believing in Jesus doesn't make me good. It makes my badness be forgiven. Good people don't go to Heaven, forgiven sinners do.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • copanut

      Terry, I understand that this is what you believe, but you've done nothing to show that your belief is anything other than delusional wishful thinking. You said "I'm still sinful, but MY SINS ARE FORGIVEN. Believing in Jesus doesn't make me good. It makes my badness be forgiven. Good people don't go to Heaven, forgiven sinners do." Who are you trying to convince, me or yourself? I'm not sure what sins you have that are so egregious that you would deserve eternal damnation if you fail to prostrate yourself before your deity, but I know surely I have no such egregious sins. Indeed it's hard to imagine how a benevolent creator could eternally punish even the worst sinner, being merely a failure of his own design. I would think simple extinction would be sufficient, and He would not need to spike the football for all eternity. I'm sorry, but it's all such silly nonsense. I think in many cases, those who are most aggressive in their view of sinner/salvation must have some serious issues being suppressed. That's sad and scary, but there is no need for you to project your own flaws onto everyone else.

      June 14, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
  13. Leah

    The only one who can transform a person's heart is Jesus... He did for me, a sinner, and I know He can do it for anyone who receives Him. Try Jesus.

    June 14, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • BD70

      In moderation that works...however... some people take the Jesus teachings to the extreme.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • copanut

      So, because of your anecdote that it worked for you, therefore it is the ONE AND ONLY solution? Incredible.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • leonard

      How would a fictional character of a pagan faith help?

      June 14, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • yogaenthusiast

      what a crock of krap

      June 14, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • Steven

      No Leah. You changed your heart. You took the responsibility and you took the action necessary to effect change in your own life. Claiming that Jesus did it for you is like saying that you can't be trusted to think for yourself. God wants you to take responsibility for your own actions. Maybe you need to consider another religion where you're allowed to think for yourself like Buddhism or Judaism.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • leonard

      but jesus is a fictional character with no basis in reality

      June 14, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • TERRY from WI

      To Copanut:

      Yes, for us believers, because He saved us, He can save you as well. If I take a leap out of a 5th story building because I don't believe in the reality of gravity and what happens to my body upon hitting the concrete, my disbelief will not save me. The next person, if (s)he jumps out, (s)he will splatter as well. To your point in support of Francis's "parade of bad Christians", YES, all are immoral and sinful. 100%. We all need the salvation of Christ. It is a free gift, will you accept? Dr. Mohler's advice was just a gentle suggestion, EVERYONE NEEDS JESUS, all 6 billion + on Earth.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
    • copanut

      Sorry, Terry, but I don't need to be saved. You are delusional to think your own personal failings apply to everyone else, and that your own personal solution is the one and only cure. You can repeat it all you want, but it doesn't make it any more true.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • A Christian who read the entire Bible

      Agreed – that path worked for you and me. However, here's two points (1) just lest you be judged (2) Jesus was Jewish – the Bible actually doesn't require Jewish people to believe in Christ for salvation.

      If, as Christians, we say he can only find forgiveness in Christ, then we make judgement on Weiner that he IS a sinner – which, the Bible says only to do if you are prepared to be judged yourself.

      Lastly, Mohler should not push exclusivity statements when attempting to clear up controversy over prior statements. "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, 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.” – this statement actually says "No, Christians not only think Judaism got it wrong, but so did everyone else – we are better (beats chest and has a barbaric "yelp!") – Not the Christianity I want to be associated with – The Christianity I want to be a part of is accepting of all.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @TERRY from WI

      Hey -Terry from WI...

      You Said To @copanut..."Yes, for us believers, because He saved us, He can save you as well. If I take a leap out of a 5th story building because I don't believe in the reality of gravity and what happens to my body upon hitting the concrete, my disbelief will not save me. The next person, if (s)he jumps out, (s)he will splatter as well."

      I am respectfully suggesting that you 'may' want to re-think your choice in comparisons. On the one hand you are using an absolute 'tangible' and 'real' world example with 'undeniable' effects(person jumping from 5th story building), while at the same time using an 'intangible' 'unproven' example and acting as if they are 'equal.' Obviously, they are not.

      Of course... you 'may' be right about your -beliefs- in Jesus and what is written in the bible.

      However, please try not to mix your metaphors and an-alogies when making your points.

      Respectfully,

      Peace...

      June 14, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • Anubis

      @Copanut – thank you.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • dv

      Leah...I'm with ya sista. Sounds like you have peace in your life...which is far more than I can say fror some of the other posts I'm reading in response to you. In life and in death...I take my stand in Him. We're not talking about good or bad here...we're talking about a relationship with Jesus Christ, a changed life and eternal life!

      June 14, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
    • Jesus brother

      In response to "A Christian who read the entire Bible". I urge you to keep reading, you sure can use more understanding. The Bible teaches loving all not 'accepting all' in your sense of it. Have you not read "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" or your Christianity does not subscribe to that part of the Bible.

      June 14, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
  14. BD70

    Well, seems to me he already has Jesus in his life...but his weirner took precedence...bwhahahhahaha!

    June 14, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
  15. copanut

    It's typical of the pathological thinking that infests so many Christians. It's all about guilt, self-loathing, and arrogant assumptions. The guilt and self-loathing is expressed in forms such as "He, like all human beings, is a sinner". There is just this wide-open assumption that there is such a thing as "sin" and that everyone is guilty. The arrogance is revealed in the breathtaking statement that the only solution to this affliction is "atonment" via "Jesus". Where do people get that gall to make such statements? Where do they get the nerve to assume that their personal psychological experience somehow invalidates all others? Weiner is sickening, but people like Mohler are worse. Far worse.

    June 14, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • TERRY from WI

      From the Holy Bible, handbook of life.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • copanut

      Human beings are flawed. The Bible was written by human beings. By basing your world view on the Bible, you are putting your faith not in God, but in flawed human beings.

      You will never see or acknowledge this simple fact, which is a pity.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
  16. Jeff

    Jeff to top evangelicals: The kult manual your group worships is one of the greatest threats to secular freedom and liberty in the history of America. From the Crusades to the Inqusition to Hitler's attempt to exterminate the Jews, no religion has brought more misery to the world than christianity.

    June 14, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • Pagan

      Right on the mark! I couldn't agree more.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • Jason G.

      Every religion has it's fringe that does horrible things...that doesn't make Christianity or other religions bad.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • Swordswipe

      Hitler was not a Christian when he entered politics. He proclaimed himself to be greater than Christ. The Crusades were caused by Ottoman Turks who invaded Jerusalem. The Inquisitions were caused by political tyranny. Sod off, hater

      June 14, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • Free of Crap

      A swing and a miss for Swordswipe.
      Listen, bucko, Hitler was a Catholic and died a Catholic. He never proclaimed himself greater than your puling "Christ".
      The Crusades were a way for Catholics to ra-pe and pillage with the full blessing of the Catholic Church.
      The Inquisitions were Catholic, too. That they were also controlling most of the politics is just more proof that religion is bull-crap.
      Catholics need to leave the RCC. All Christians need to leave their faith behind and start thinking like intelligent beings.
      The Pope is a child-molester and was a Nazi in his youth. The Catholic Church is filled to overflowing with child-molesters.
      Your sword is no better than a wet noodle. Shove it up your ass.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
  17. NW1000

    Jews are free to accept or reject Jesus. Why does everybody get outrage? Christians can become practicing Jews, right? Nobody goes ape over that.

    June 14, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
    • copanut

      Maybe because proselytizing is obnoxious. If you don't want people to go "ape", then keep your religion to yourself. You do have the right to proselytize, but I have the right to go ape. If you don't like the effect, then avoid the cause. Thank you.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • Derek G

      A core tenet of fundamental Christianity is proselytizing. However, in this day and age, it is not an acceptable quality of any religion. Judaism however, with the exception of the Chabad Lubavitchers, does not force or impose itself upon other people.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • Steven

      Big difference – Jews don't proselytize to others. They're not allowed to. Maybe they should.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
  18. Plum

    stupid

    June 14, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
  19. Mary

    Gag!

    June 14, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
  20. Praetorian

    You know, the man has got a point. I think that Weiner would fit right in with such Christian luminaries as Ted Haggard, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker, etc, etc, etc!.

    June 14, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
    • Plum

      LOL

      June 14, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
    • Martin

      Good one!

      June 14, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
    • Jason G.

      Jim Baker went to prison cause he overbooked his Christian resort he wanted to build, so they got him for fraud. Airlines and Hotels do that all the time, so he should not be put into this category.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • leonard

      Why he did nothing wrong except a little bit of stupidity.No adultery,no phyical contact and no laws or relgious laws were broken.

      June 14, 2011 at 7:27 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.