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. FairGarden

    Every Jew and every American needs Jesus just as the rest of mankind do. Without Jesus, you are on your own whatever religion or ideology you claim – no difference. The Christian faith is unique and unequal. It's Jesus(salvation and getting grace in Heaven) OR your filthy self(condemnation and getting justice in hell). No middle-ground. A cosmic fact and truth from the Word of God observed in the reality with mankind every moment.

    June 14, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Please provide proof.

      June 14, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
    • Reality

      Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

      Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Most contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospels being mostly fiction.

      Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European, white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices.

      June 14, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
  2. tallulah13

    I am no fan of Weiner, but I think this Mohler guy is an ignorant yahoo. What an arrogant terd.

    June 14, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
  3. Elijah


    June 14, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
  4. Elijah


    June 14, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
  5. Robert Johnson

    Makes total sense to have Weiner sign up with the Christian God:

    A God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave his angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice, and invented hell — mouths mercy, and invented hell — mouths Golden Rules and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people, and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites his poor abused slave to worship him! -Mark Twain

    June 14, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
  6. ichthus

    Jesus did instruct us in Matthew 28:19-20 to go into all the world and make disciples. Jesus also said in John 14 "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." These are Jesus own words. While Al Mohler's post probably will never be read by him, Dr. Mohler is right that the only cure for sin is forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Jesus invites everyone to come to him. It is an offer that anyone can accept. Tragically the god of this world (satan) has blinded the eyes of many. Our only hope is to put trust in Christ.

    June 14, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
    • apostate

      "These are Jesus own words."

      No they aren't. There is no evidence an actual Jesus ever existed and there are no writings from any Jesus. All you have are folktales with unknown authors based on hearsay.

      June 14, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
  7. YBP

    Yes, perhaps the "Reverend" Ted Haggard can take dear brother Anthony under his wing. Or maybe "Bishop" Eddie Long would like to set him "straight." I think someone's forgetting that Mr. Weiner is a Jew, whose religion, although abhorant and a danger to civilization for other reasons, is far older and wiser than the Christian "faith," particularly because it is lacking in pagan ritual meals, virgin births, resurrected god-men and doomsday prophecies. Perhaps a Catholic Priest is available to "speak with" our nebbish friend. Oh, yes, most of them are in prison these days...or should be. Maybe a republican from the Family at C Street will come to Mr. Weiner's assistance, and show him the ropes for next time. Why must anyone look to the ancient world as a moral compass? Were the people then more enlightened than we are now? Not in any way.

    June 14, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
  8. Jesusfreaker

    Yes. Albert Mohler is correct. Weiner should give Jesus a try. No one in a church has ever emailed photos of their private parts. They might molest your children, but they would never email inappropriate photos. Weiner should join Pastor Eddie Long's church down in Atlanta. There he can receive Jesus' message on morality. I wonder what's in Albert's closet.

    John 8:7 "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her".

    FYI Jesus never said this. This verse is not in any of the early copies of the Bible. Scribes added this verse in the 12th century. I personally don't think Jesus said anything that is written in the New Testament, but that's another debate.

    June 14, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
  9. apostate

    Try Odin

    June 14, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
  10. Marie Kidman


    June 14, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
  11. opinionated

    Is Mohler simply stating Christian doctrine? Yes. Jesus saves the sinner. Or is it improper to suggest that members of other religious traditions who are facing crises try Jesus? It is not improper to a Christian. . . because there is only one way to a relationship with God and that is through Jesus Christ. If you are insulted or don't want to believe it, then that is your free will to deny it. I choose Christ.

    June 14, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
  12. NJreader

    David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam killer, "found Jesus" in prison. He "ministers" now to other inmates. There is something creepy about this. But I suppose it is a case of . . . whatever you would like to choose/do from whatever remains available to you. I don't fault converts, but I suspect them, as I do proselytizers. I kind of think that Mohler and Weiner would get along-extreme egoists both of them.

    June 14, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
    • Penelope Pitstop was really hot for a cartoon character

      So the Son of Sam is now the Son of Jesus? His previous supernatural lord was a telepathic dog, and now it is an imaginary man in the sky?

      Well, it fits.

      June 14, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
    • Daphne on Scooby Doo was much hotter

      That means the Son of Sam, a mass murderer, goes to heaven, but those atheists, agnostics, and people of other religions who have never done anything wrong, who lived decently and behaved charitably to their fellow humans, they burn in hell for eternity.

      Either God is incredibly unjust, he has really bad standards, or it's all bullsh!t.

      June 14, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
  13. Gigiastro

    Leave the guy alone. He was just showing his political credentials to Ms. Palin

    June 14, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
  14. cosmicsnoop

    Why doesn't Mr. Mohler try Allah? What a dick, uh I mean weiner.

    June 14, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
  15. Diane

    Albert Mohler should keep his thoughts to himself. Any one persons belief in Christ does NOT give them the automatic right to impose their belief on anyone else. Christ may be the solution for Albert Mohler, but it may not be for the Congressman, or anyone else. This was a totally inappropriate response by Mr. Mohler.

    June 14, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • davegeorgia

      isn't that special, Mr Mohler doesn't have the right to comment but all the clinical psychologists on national tv can weigh in on the compulsive behavior of weiner and tell what he should do with counseling, that's quite a double standard you have there and quite hateful and oppressive

      June 14, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
  16. James Wilson

    Shouldn't we be moving on about Weiner's weiner, and thinking more about the extreme corruption in Congress, and the virtual collapse of Democracy here in the good ol' USA?

    June 14, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
  17. David Johnson

    There were no eyewitness accounts of Jesus. The Gospels were written by god knows who in the third person. The Gospels were written with an agenda i.e., Jesus was the Messiah and Son of God.

    We know virtually nothing about the persons who wrote the gospels we call Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
    -Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University, (The Gnostic Gospels)

    The bottom line is we really don't know for sure who wrote the Gospels.
    -Jerome Neyrey, of the Weston School of Theology, Cambridge, Mass. in "The Four Gospels," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)

    Jesus is a mythical figure in the tradition of pagan mythology and almost nothing in all of ancient literature would lead one to believe otherwise. Anyone wanting to believe Jesus lived and walked as a real live human being must do so despite the evidence, not because of it.
    -C. Dennis McKinsey, Bible critic (The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy)

    There are no known secular writings about Jesus, that aren't forgeries, later insertions, or hearsay. NONE!

    Most of the supposed authors lived AFTER Jesus was dead. Can you say hearsay?

    We don't even have a wooden shelf that Jesus might have built. Or anything written by Jesus. God incarnate, and we don't even have a Mother's day card signed by Him.

    The Dead Sea Scrolls did not mention Jesus or have any New Testament scripture.
    Jesus, if he existed, was not considered important enough to write about by any contemporary person. The myth hadn't had a chance to flourish.

    Paul's writings were the first, about Jesus. But, Paul's writing was done 25 to 30 years after Jesus was dead. In a primitive, ultra-supersti_tious society, 25 years is a lot of time for a myth to grow. Paul never met Jesus.
    Some people feel that Paul, not Jesus, is the real father of what most Christians believe today (Pauline Christianity).

    Questions on the Crucifixion story:
    "Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save." Mark 15:31
    "Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe..." Mark 15:32

    It would appear, that the chief priests are admitting that Jesus "saved" others. If they knew this, then there is no reason for them to demand that Jesus descend from the cross, in order for them to believe. They already admitted to knowing of Jesus's "miracles".
    I'm sure you will apply Evangelical gymnastics to these verses, but taken literally it would seem that this is just an embellishment by Mark. A work of fiction.

    Here is some more:
    According to Luke 23:44-45, there occurred "about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour, and the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst."
    Yet not a single mention of a three hour ecliptic event got recorded by anyone. 'Cause it didn't happen!

    Mathew 27 51:53
    51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
    How come nobody wrote about zombies running through the cities? 'Cause it is all b.s.

    If Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of God, who died for man's redemption, then this would be the most important event in the history of man.

    Why wouldn't god have ensured there was tons of evidence that this was true? Multiple Writings by contemporary eyewitnesses – Jews and Romans and maybe something written by Jesus Himself.

    You are going to want to say that there IS lots of evidence, but look at reality: There are way more people, in the world, who are not Christians (68%) than who are (32%). Obviously, the evidence is not adequate to convince even a majority of the world's people.


    June 14, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • davegeorgia

      there is a simple explanation in one word, FAITH in God, try it it works, some believe, some don't – death and 30 seconds makes a believer out of everyone

      June 14, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
    • Chris

      The most obvious evidence is that most don't want to look into the mirror to see the true reflection of their lives. It's hard to do, I know. Running from it doesn't settle it. Your studies on the evidence you provided is wrong, sorry to say. Test all that you read, trully try to find the truth in all that you read and you will be led to truth that will inheritly make sense. I know it sounds stupid to you now, but give it try.

      June 14, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
    • apostate

      Exactly, mythological folktale hero without a shred of evidence for his existence. Might as well worship King Arthur and the Knights of Camelot.

      June 14, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
    • YBP

      You just skimmed the surface, David. But you are without a doubt on the right track. Excellent post.

      June 14, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
    • David Johnson


      You said: "Test all that you read, trully try to find the truth in all that you read and you will be led to truth that will inheritly make sense. I know it sounds stupid to you now, but give it try."

      Chris, Chris, Chris! I assume you are a believer. Facts, do not sway you. You have faith.

      “Facts are the enemy of truth. ” – Don Quixote

      If you apply critical thinking to your beliefs, you would come to the same conclusion as I. Jesus is no more real than Santa.


      June 14, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
    • David Johnson

      You said: "You just skimmed the surface, David. But you are without a doubt on the right track. Excellent post."

      Thank you for the "Excellent post". I try to keep the post's length, within reason. I am sure you could teach me much.


      June 14, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
    • Sybaris

      @ Chris

      Yeah you're right, all us atheists are dishonest and in denial. Got anymore ad hom's to throw around?

      June 14, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
    • Lorn

      David, I suggest you also look at current theologians/authors that disagree with those you quoted so you can get a balanced view and be able to weigh the evidence completely, similar to what is done in court. You can start with Josh McDowell's "Evidence that Demands a Verdict" and then begin to make your own judgment. C.S. Lewis, though not contemporary and not really an apologist, also wrote some great "layman" theology. John Piper is also a good read.

      June 14, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
    • Peace2All


      You Said: "death and 30 seconds makes a believer out of everyone."

      You are assuming that #1) there is something after death. #2) That 'something' is the way you 'believe' it to be (christian beliefs...?) #3) Death will then make one a 'believer' in the way you 'believe', etc... etc...

      Obviously, I could throw in a few more, as you have way too many inferences and assumptions here.

      Your response did not in any way negate -David Johnson's assertions, nor 'prove' anything.



      June 15, 2011 at 1:53 am |
    • Boggled

      Peace2All, that was well said.

      June 15, 2011 at 11:18 am |
  18. Samculper

    Weiner is certainly not a follower of Mohler on Twitter. Mohler's point was to his own Twitter-followers, that the idea that the response to every embarrassing personal revelation is "therapy" is silly, disingenuous, and pointlessly superficial. Besides, the headline to this is really absurd; for reasons too complicated to explain here, Mohler would never, ever say to anyone "try Jesus". If you're going to quote the man, quote him accurately.

    June 14, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
  19. stupid congressman

    how can such stuipd person makes decision for the New York people

    and his stuff was not too good to show off..

    June 14, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
  20. Thersites

    Why not? Weiner has shown himself to be an open-minded man about religious belief. The Southern Baptists would likely be a real experience for this guy, might develop a fixation on foot long rulers though 😉

    June 14, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
    • davegeorgia

      that's good, weiner has tried the islamic trail, so he may be looking, he is very opportunistic, but his quest must be sincere to find truth, confessing the lies was a start

      June 14, 2011 at 8:27 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.