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How faith can help and hinder forgiveness
Former first lady Laura Bush was involved in a car accident which claimed a friend's life when she was a teenager.
June 24th, 2011
01:00 AM ET

How faith can help and hinder forgiveness

By Todd Leopold, CNN

(CNN) – When you can’t forgive yourself, it’s easy to lose faith in a higher power. It happened to no less than former first lady Laura Bush.

In November 1963, two days after she turned 17, the then Laura Welch was driving on a highway on the outskirts of Midland, Texas. Unaware of a stop sign at an approaching intersection, she plowed into a car being driven by a good friend from high school, Mike Douglas. She was unhurt; Douglas was killed. She recalled the incident in her memoir, “Spoken from the Heart.”

After the crash, she remembers saying, "Please, God, please, God, you know, let him be OK," she told CNN’s Larry King in an interview last year. “And you know,” she told King, “it was like no one heard.” She lost her faith for many years.

“I dealt with it by trying not to think about it,” she said. “You just swallowed your troubles and went on.”

In his recent book, “Half a Life,” author Darin Strauss relates a similar incident – he ran into a cyclist, killing her, when he was 18 – and the difficulty he had in coming to terms with its enormity.

When I asked Strauss if he'd appealed to faith or a higher power when coping with the accident, he said he'd never considered it: he was raised in a secular household and thought himself "too meek to shake a fist at God."

But for those raised in a religious tradition, it's a logical step.

Indeed, one way of coping, says Gregory LaDue, a therapist and Methodist minister based in San Diego, is to get angry at God.

“The randomness of the world is there whether you believe in God or not,” he says. “But I’ve had people who come out of a faith tradition who got angry – really pissed – shook their fist at God and said, ‘F- you’ to God … and in that, found some sense of relief.”

But Dr. Gaby Cora, a Miami psychiatrist, says that religion can sometimes hinder forgiveness and letting go.

“There are some religions that have more of that guilt," she said. "In Catholicism, for example, you’ll see people feeling more responsible, and there’s a lot more of that inherent guilt going around – and you will not see that in Buddhism, for example.”

Nevertheless, forgiveness – of others, and ultimately, of yourself - is a big part of many faiths.

The New Testament repeatedly stresses the concept. “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you,” says Colossians 3:13. In Judaism, Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement – requires that Jews ask for forgiveness from others who have been sinned against, and grant forgiveness to ourselves and those who ask it.

Anger and grudges should be discarded: "Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart," says Leviticus 19:17-18. "… Thou shalt not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

“Ultimately, there’s a humbleness that comes when we realize that there’s something or someone out there bigger than myself that ultimately loves me, accepts me, cares for me, can give me grace, and in places where it’s hard for me to do that for myself,” says Richard Shaw, a marriage and family therapist in Oregon who runs Shame No More Counseling and Ministries.

“When there’s a spiritual dimension to it, there’s a sense that there’s stuff beyond my control and someone in the universe who cares deeply about me, even in the midst of my own shame and my own brokenness," he says. "… That can be, in the forgiveness process, a healing component for some folks.”

Laura Bush eventually came back to her faith. But it wasn’t easy, she told King.

“It was slow and a long time coming,” she said, her voice breaking. “And it was more a study of what faith is, and what that means, and it just came slowly.

“The accident was a tragedy beyond belief for the Douglases and for Mike, whose life ended then, and then for me," she continued. "And I learned the hard way that there are those kinds of tragedies that you can’t do anything about ever – that you can’t change, no matter how much you might want to.”

- CNN.com Entertainment Producer

Filed under: Bible • Faith • God • Lost faith

soundoff (221 Responses)
  1. svann

    I think a problem with the church is that with their mouth they preach faith in God but with their spirit they preach faith in the preacher. Would God want me to take the preacher's word for what God's wishes are?

    June 24, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Free

      svann
      "I think a problem with the church is that with their mouth they preach faith in God but with their spirit they preach faith in the preacher."

      And they preach faith in themselves as well, right? Problem is that's where they get their ideas about what God wishes, from their preachers and their own minds.

      June 24, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
  2. CRAIG

    The subject matter is concerning guilt and forgiveness, In Christ, if we confess our sins we are forgiven. He does not want us to hold onto the guilt, because it will stop our christian growth, it will be stunted. We have to continue to ask God to help us with the guilt. The guilt is from the enemy, he know how guilt effects us.

    June 24, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  3. DoodleSheep

    "Faith" hinders everything. It is a sickness.

    June 24, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • brad

      I have "faith" that humanity is totally capable of wrecking itself without recourse to religion.

      June 24, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • QS

      Oh I don't know, I'm an Atheist and believe that there is a distinct difference between religion and faith. I, for example, as an Atheist have faith that our species will outgrow its need for supernatural beliefs that are used for no other reason than to comfort some and torture others.

      Just as people who place their faith in any version of god can't prove that their version god does in fact exist, I can't prove that our species will do what I hope....but I have faith that we will.

      June 24, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  4. Sly

    Catholicism is one of the few religions that provides a path and basis to God to forgive us and for us to forgive ourselves, the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You own what you do, you confess your sins to God with Priest as mediator, you offer up prayer and sacrifice, and you are forgiven. It is actually a sin to continue to dwell on something you have confessed. So I don't see how Catholicism can be branded such a "guilty" religion. It's just the opposite, as most other faiths don't require that you own up and confess, and don't require that you accept forgiveness. They just leave you hanging in the wind like Laura Bush was for so many years. If she was Catholic, she would have had to go confess not letting go of her guilt until she finally got straightened out.

    June 24, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • Colin

      Hey Sly, if your god is omniscient, why do you have to tell him your sins? Would he not know of them and your regret for having committed them anyway? And what role does the priest serve, surely god can hear you anyway? And why the penence?

      The whole silly idea of confession is just another example of the completely silly, Dark Ages nonsense Catholics still believe.

      June 24, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • W247

      Colin – I agree with you on this one. I don't see the need to confess to a priest or to use a priest as a mediator. Jesus is considered the "great High Priest", therefore we have a direct communication to the Lord through Him, we don't need a physical embodiment here on earth ( in terms of a priest or a pope).

      June 24, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Sly

      Literal confession, especially with a human witness there, demonstrates humility and a desire to change. THe Priest is just a symbollic rep for God and a guide to help us understand our sin and answer any questions we have. He's not judging us, he's serving us and God. The pennance is just a tool to continue to demonstrate our humility and to keep our mind on what we are trying to change about ourselves. Even if you put religion aside, psychologists agree that verbalizing things we are sorry for or want to change about ourselves is a valuable tool in the process of obtaining peace and happiness.

      June 24, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • W247

      Sly – the priest is a symbolic rep of Christ, however he is still a human being with all the sin nature that a human being has. I do agree that humility AND a change of heart is absolutely necessary but using a priest as a confessor and punisher ( in giving out penance) is giving the priest more power over your life and gives the illusion that he is on the same level as the Lord – almost to the point of idolatry. The Holy Spirit residing within you does the work changing the heart and helping you to understand the humility that needs to occur in your life. I am just very careful of people raising other men to a position of power over ones life, a power that they cannot handle.

      June 24, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Sly

      I appreciate your perspective, but I don't consider the Priest to have power over me or to be powerful in general. Just the opposite, he is a slave and a servant to his vocation, just as I am a slave and servant to my own, both being in service to God, his as clergy, mine as worshipper. He doesn't need to be perfect or free from sin to be helpful in matters of the spirit. If that were the case, none of us could ever help each other. But it is important to know that we believe that judegement and forgiveness only comes from God, not a Priest. But as someone who has studied Christianity for many years and pledged his life to preserving and serving it, I value our Priests as people and respect their role in the Reconciliation process.

      June 24, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Oremus

      I highly recommend this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ci38-z_CDsU&feature=related for anyone interested in Confession.

      June 24, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Sybaris

      The problem with this is that it was all created by man. It's a perpetual machine driven by guilt. It tells you what you should be guilty of based on the whims of ignorant people who lived 2000 years ago. Provides a "sacrificial" conduit for forgiveness (Jesus) based on the ultimate fear – death which is funny because this alleged Jesus, if he was who he said he was only returned to it's original form. Shedding a body would have been no consequence to him so he sacrificed nothing. This brings into question the authenticity of his claims because the people who were alleged witnesses to the crucifiction could have easily arrived at the same conclusion yet they mourned the loss of the body. It is more reasonable to conclude that the alleged Jesus was the product of embellishment provided by followers no differnt than thiose who followed others with savior complexes.

      June 24, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Sly

      Sybaris, what you're talking about is obviously a much broader and longer conversation. I alternated between considering myself an atheist and an agnostic for about 20 years before I ended up returning to the Catholic Church, and I have experienced and reconciled many of the concerns you express. I wish you love and peace on your own journey wherever it may take you.

      June 24, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • DoodleSheep

      You don't consider the priest to have power over you, yet the only way you can confess your sins and be in "god"'s good graces is to confess to him... You don't see the problem here? Drink a wee bit too much blood of christ?

      June 24, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • Sly

      And as for the jab about drinking the blood of Christ, how is it that so many Protestants take as much of the Bible literally as possible, which is something I disagree with as a Catholic and is clearly wrong, yet one of the very few direct commandments by Christ, one of the very few things that almost ALL Biblical scholars agree He said, "Take this all of you and eat it, it is my body..." they decide THAT part is just metaphor? How does that make sense?

      June 24, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  5. Sybaris

    “it was like no one heard.”

    News flash Babs, no one did!

    June 24, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      So you believe.

      June 24, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • Sybaris

      Do you not believe there is a purple unicorn in my closet?

      June 24, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Sybaris- Should I?

      June 24, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  6. Susan

    In regards to people getting mad at God – people think that is so bad but, as the article says, it can be a relief. It's ok, God can take it.

    June 24, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • Sybaris

      Getting mad at a god, that's funny.

      That's like a 5 year old getting mad at Mr. Jiggles who lives under the bed.

      June 24, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • Stevie7

      When I was five, I used to get upset with Santa for not bringing me what I asked for.

      June 24, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Sybaris- Why?

      June 24, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  7. fred

    C n n had to look hard for a way to bash Catholicism this time. Let’s see Catholicism bad (stereotype make you feel guilty) and Buddhism good. God does not answer prayer it is all random as Laura the Christian had the same result as the secularist. Those who believe in God are weak they need to know there is someone in the universe that cares for them. Nothing new here the media has been pounding this point home for 15 years and those ignorant weak Christians are finally starting to get the point. I wonder if atheists aren’t any more brain washed than Christians when I see all this stuff constantly being recycled. We are brainwashed by same recycled God stuff from Bibles to Qurans whether it is Jesus or the great Yogi. I sure am glad to see it is C n n separating the light from the darkness this time around. I once was blind now I can see thanks to C n n .

    June 24, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • kim

      Ok this looks like a pattern with most of the media. I guess you point is do we get caught up in secular thinking or hold onto faith. Is is possible that just as people may be wired gay or straight some may have the ability to sense another existance and some may not?

      June 24, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  8. Zelda

    I understand Mrs. Bush for I, too, almost caused a car accident that could claim innocent lives. Thank God no one was hurt. Sometimes I wonder what I would be if I did cause innocent death by a mistake – it would be truly constant unbearable pain and each day will be a torture. Nothing, even offering my life for the victim, would be never enough.
    Humans must accept God is sovereign, no matter how unbelievable the happenings in life seem to be. For years I learned what is happening on this planet and what humans did to each other. The answer has been the same: God is in control, God is good. And there are always the overwhelming hints God will make everything right. Those who ask God "why" in Jesus get replies from Him and the universe start spinning around with meaning and hope again. Jesus alone makes sense in the most severe nightmares, pain and injustice.

    June 24, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • Sybaris

      No Zelda, thank the laws of physics that no one was hurt not some imaginary sky daddy.

      June 24, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • W247

      Sybarius – people are expressing their opinions and you are being rude, inconsiderate and offensive in your replies. What drives you internally that you find the need to be so rude to other people?

      June 24, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • Sybaris

      W247 I find religion and people who utilize their beliefs in imaginary dieties to construct laws that govern this country offensive.

      June 24, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • W247

      That is your right to find it offensive however you can utilize a certain maturity level in your postings that would be beneficial to the conversation and not so antagonistic to the conversation. Unless you don't truly care about having a conversation on this topic and just want to throw an arrogant statement out to the world?

      June 24, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Stevie7

      "Unless you don't truly care about having a conversation on this topic and just want to throw an arrogant statement out to the world?"
      -------------
      I think Sybaris was only responding to zelda in kind. Why not point out the behavior of both instead of just focusing on the atheist?

      June 24, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • W247

      Zelda has her own issues too 🙂 I actually don't really read her posts because they are kind of ranting. There are ranters on both "Sides" of the issues. You learn to ignore them when you see their names pop up.

      June 24, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • Sybaris

      W247
      I don't care what you think and I don't care if you read what I write. It's a long fall from the high road.

      June 24, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • W247

      Sybaris – that is a great honest answer! Thank you!!

      So if you don't care if people read your posts, why do you post?

      June 24, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Sybaris- "...some imaginary sky daddy."

      Thank goodness no believes in that.

      June 24, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • Sybaris

      Sybaris – I don't care what you think and I don't care if you read what I write. It's a long fall from the high road.

      W247 – So if you don't care if people read your posts, why do you post?

      The operative word in my response is YOU as in W247.

      June 24, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • gozer

      Zelda, so from what you said, you thank your god when someone isn't killed but you won't blame your god when someone is killed, in similar circu-mstances. Uh huh.

      June 24, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • Free

      gozer
      "Zelda, so from what you said, you thank your god when someone isn't killed but you won't blame your god when someone is killed, in similar circu-mstances. Uh huh."

      That only works if you imagine God is like Superman, not powerful enough to save everyone despite his best intentions, and certainly not the cause of any of the disasters.

      June 24, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
  9. Zelda

    Secular Americans became weird in mentality by eating fast food for years and years....

    June 24, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • Duh

      Your lies are showing your true mentality. Lets guess you never learned that emotional maturity is defined as: the ability to express one’s own feelings and convictions balanced with consideration for the thoughts and feelings of others.

      June 24, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Zelda

      Duh, American atheists don't show respect to God. Why should anyone show any respect to anyone else in such a world? I've been very nice to the likes of you, mind you.

      June 24, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • Stevie7

      "Duh, American atheists don't show respect to God. Why should anyone show any respect to anyone else in such a world?"

      Why don't we reword this as: Duh, American Christians don't show respect to gods of the hindus.. Why should anyone show any respect to anyone else in such a world?

      Which one are you, Adelina, the pot or the kettle?

      June 24, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • Zelda

      Stevie, there is only one God. American atheists don't care about paganism or pagan gods, since you can just amuse yourselves with them. You only hate Christianity with all your might because Christianity alone is Truth.

      June 24, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • Stevie7

      I don't hate Christianity and I don't hate Christians. I don't know where you got that from. Though I see that you missed the analogy (or purposely ignored it) entirely.

      June 24, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • Zelda

      Stevie, if atheists have anything they hold dear, people will show respect. But you have nothing. You just burst into Christian gatherings and start spewing blasphemies for no reason other than trying to be pure evil. Know yourself, please. You have no belief other than hopelessness and despair.

      June 24, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • Rick

      zelda: how can atheists (american or otherwise) show respect to a being in which they do not believe? do you respect daffy duck?

      June 24, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • Susan

      "Duh, American atheists don't show respect to God. Why should anyone show any respect to anyone else in such a world? I've been very nice to the likes of you, mind you."

      Zelda you showed Duh is right you didn't learn what it means to be emotionally mature.

      June 24, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • Stevie7

      "You just burst into Christian gatherings and start spewing blasphemies for no reason other than trying to be pure evil."

      I do? Really? How so? And you've seen me do this? Doesn't your bible have something to say about bearing false witness?

      If you're calling me pure evil, then you may want to read over your bible a little more carefully. May I suggest:
      Matthew 7:1-29
      Luke 6:37
      James 4:11-12
      Romans 2:1-3
      Ephesians 4:29
      Romans 14:1-12
      John 8:7
      Luke 6:31
      Galatians 5:14
      1 Corinthians 13:1-8
      Juhn 3:17
      1 Corinthians 6:1-6
      Isaiah 11:3
      Romans 12:16-19
      2 Timothy 2:24-26
      Ti.tus 3:2-7
      Philippians 2:1-4
      and I would especially recommend Luke 18:10-14

      June 24, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • Zelda

      I show my respect for my god by getting on my knees and servicing him

      June 24, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • JA

      "If you're calling me pure evil, then you may want to read over your bible a little more carefully. May I suggest:
      Matthew 7:1-29
      Luke 6:37
      James 4:11-12
      Romans 2:1-3
      Ephesians 4:29
      Romans 14:1-12
      John 8:7
      Luke 6:31
      Galatians 5:14
      1 Corinthians 13:1-8
      Juhn 3:17
      1 Corinthians 6:1-6
      Isaiah 11:3
      Romans 12:16-19
      2 Timothy 2:24-26
      Ti.tus 3:2-7
      Philippians 2:1-4
      and I would especially recommend Luke 18:10-14"

      Good job Stevie7, it only took about 5 seconds to copy and paste these scriptures along with the 0.14 seconds it took for g00gle to search "being a good christian".. I would suggest you take the time and sit down and read them.

      June 24, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Sybaris

      "I show my respect for my god by getting on my knees and servicing him"

      Zelda is a troll

      June 24, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • GodPot

      "if atheists have anything they hold dear, people will show respect. But you have nothing." What would a logical person hold more dear, their life and their planet if this is all they get or their life and their planet if they don't intend on staying too long and are awaiting being whisked away to some magical place where all their dreams come true.

      I believe atheists hold their lives and the world around them more dear than theists simply because we don't have some mystical backup plan, we hope to live a long and happy life with our loved ones and hope that the next generation get that chance as well.

      June 24, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Stevie7

      "Good job Stevie7, it only took about 5 seconds to copy and paste these scriptures along with the 0.14 seconds it took for g00gle to search "being a good christian".. I would suggest you take the time and sit down and read them."

      they were not copy and pasted and I did read them all. But nice try, better luck next time. Perhaps you should read them, because if you are Christian, you're certainly not following their advice.

      June 24, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • JA

      Stevie7, if you would have actually read Ephesians 4:29 like you said, you would have know that i was only saying what was best for you.
      Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

      June 24, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • Stevie7

      "Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

      You accused me of something that I did not do. How is that "helpful for building others up according to their needs" And my response was to Zelda, who does nothing but criticize and demean. This passage fits perfectly for that. What, exactly, are you missing?

      June 24, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • JA

      Im not quite sure just yet....i might go g00gle it.

      June 24, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Stevie7

      So, just so we're clear, you make nonfactual and incorrect arguments without thinking about them, right? And in defense of your arguments, you just have a weak sarcastic response? Kudos.

      June 24, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • DoodleSheep

      I hope Link doesn't rescue you...

      June 24, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  10. frank

    Jesus had mild Down Syndrome and severe ADHD, and his wild delusions were caused by a very poor diet, lacking in nutrients.

    June 24, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • Free

      That's even more baseless than the idea that he thought of himself as God. You know that, right?

      June 24, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • Sybaris

      Acutally Frank may be on to something. In Matthew whoever wrote it said that the alleged Jesus spoke of Noah and the flood. There is no evidence of a global flood as depicted in the the Bible. If the alleged Jesus was a god and omniscient as portrayed then he would have known there had been no flood. So not only did he lie but he was delusional in his self-portrayal as the savior of man.

      June 24, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Sybaris- No, because Frank is a wannabe scientist. Why a wannabe? Because he has NOTHING for his theory to fall back on except his own biased opinion and lackeys like you that nod their heads in agreement.

      June 24, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • Reagan

      "There is no evidence of a global flood as depicted in the the Bible."

      You mean like sea life fossilized on mountain tops in various continents, or trees petrified upright? Yeah, there isn't anything like that anywhere.

      June 24, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Stevie7

      "You mean like sea life fossilized on mountain tops in various continents, or trees petrified upright? Yeah, there isn't anything like that anywhere"

      You realize that global means all at once right? And all over the world? And that current moutain ranges were once under the ocean, right? And that this happened millions and millions of years before man (or Noah, if he ever existed) arrived on the scene, right? And that the age of such fossils are evidence of this, right?

      June 24, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • Free

      Sybaris
      "In Matthew whoever wrote it said that the alleged Jesus spoke of Noah and the flood."

      It wouldn't be a lie on Jesus' part if this little detail were just one of the elements added to the legend of a simple preacher, right?

      June 24, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Reagan

      Millions and millions of years.... based on what? The geologic column? Which is based on carbon dating. Or vice versa. It's circular reasoning. There is no set foundation. Secondly, if the earth flooded from the ground up, through various fault lines (which you know exist), it's ceratinly possible, and probable, that it happened simultaneously. This all supported by evidence scientists have gathered from the Mt. Saint Helens eruption.

      June 24, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Stevie7

      "Secondly, if the earth flooded from the ground up, through various fault lines (which you know exist), it's ceratinly possible, and probable, that it happened simultaneously. "

      Where do you think the water came from? And where you do you think it went? This is not only improbable – its impossible. Unless a bunch of liquid rack – magma – spontaneously turned itself into water, leapt up from beneath the crust and somehow the crust stayed supported itself, even though there must necessarily have been a gap, and then spontaneously turned back into water and moved back through the fault lines. You do realize that fault lines are not gaping holes in the crust of the earth, correct?

      And carbon dating is based upon nuclear physics. And it's only accurate to about 62,000 years. Dates older than this rely on radiometric dating – same basic principal (that being nuclear physics and the rate of decay of various isotopes). No stratigraphic columns or circular reasoning needed.

      June 24, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • Sybaris

      Reagan
      You really need to study geology and plate tectonics. Stay away from the Creation Museum and CARM while you're at it, they perpetuate junk science.

      June 24, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • I_get _it

      Reagan,

      In the world-wide flood scenario, many, many taller mountains than those in the Middle East would have been the first to reappear, and the development of the brand new civilization from Noah's family would have taken place elsewhere.

      June 24, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Reagan

      Please, any of you, give me your theory. Then I will show you the holes in it as well. I'm not out to prove anything. My bible reads 'by grace you have been saved through FAITH (not proof)...' If there was any proof to anything, there would be no debate. That being said, minds much brighter than yours or mine still hold their beliefs based on the evidence. The facts don't change. It's all based on how you choose to interpret those facts.

      Many claim that the universe started with gravity. Unfortunately, that goes against the 'logic' that you all preach. Gravity is a law, meaning it describes the actions of certain events. Laws don't create anything or cause anything outside of themselves. For instance; Newton's laws of motion; When was the last time a ball was sitting on a table and just flew off on its own? Never, because laws don't DO anything besides describe what's happening. Therefore, gravity could not have created anything in itself.

      June 24, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • Reagan

      "In the world-wide flood scenario, many, many taller mountains than those in the Middle East would have been the first to reappear, and the development of the brand new civilization from Noah's family would have taken place elsewhere."

      I'm not sure this makes any sense. Are you suggesting that Noah's Ark had unlimited traveling capabiliies without any rudder or engine? So that if Noah 'launched' in the Middle East, he would have hit land on the other side of the earth (if that's where the highest mountains were) simply because the mountains were higher there? You're saying it's not possible for the ark to have just bobbed around for a while and not really gone anywhere before it hit land?

      June 24, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • Stevie7

      "Please, any of you, give me your theory."
      -----------
      Nuclear and quantum physics can't exactly be explain in a blog post.

      Also, gravity is not a law, it's a theory. Newtonian gravity is incomplete and is only revelant at certain scales. That something can come from nothing is a principle that has been shown in quantum physics and there is real and concrete evidence to support this theory.

      The more that you post, the more that you highlight your misunderstanding and misconceptions about advanced modern physics.

      June 24, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • Reagan

      "Nuclear and quantum physics can't exactly be explain in a blog post."

      That's imcomplete. Let's just say nuclear and quantum physics can't fully explain anything without some presumptions.

      June 24, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Free

      Reagan
      "Secondly, if the earth flooded from the ground up,"
      If it did, wouldn't you see an even spread of fossils? Certainly there must have been old folks, kids, and lame people who couldn't climb up the hillsides in time, and swift, smaller dinosaurs who could even outrun humans to the top. Why no mixing of fossils then?

      June 24, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Real quick..you all do realize that Jesus never said anything about a worldwide flood when he mentioned Noah..right?

      June 24, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • Stevie7

      "That's imcomplete. Let's just say nuclear and quantum physics can't fully explain anything without some presumptions."

      Such as ... what? Objective, verifiable, and repeatable evidence? Mathematical models based upon that evidence? And I don't think any scientific theories "fully explain" anything either. All scientific theories are subject to revision based upon new evidence. That's the whole nature of science.

      These would not be presumptions such as, for example, a 2000+ year old book is true because the book says so, correct?

      June 24, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • Stevie7

      "Real quick..you all do realize that Jesus never said anything about a worldwide flood when he mentioned Noah..right?"
      ----------

      Matthew 24:37-39

      "But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be."

      June 24, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • Sybaris

      Reagan by your posts you seem to be a Young Earth Creationist. Isn't it odd that there are, as you believe, seashells from the flood on mountain tops but man made and natural structures at sea level that were built or occured in the same YEC chronology that show no signs of damage or exposure to water?

      June 24, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Stevie7- Thank you...as I said, no mention of a worldwide flood.

      June 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  11. Frogist

    I urge everyone to listen to Darin Strauss story on This American Life. It is the most honest story of loss, I've ever heard. It is so accurate and cutting. Anyone who has ever suffered a loss will instantly relate to all the things he says and does as ridiculous as they sound. And anyone who hasn't felt that themselves won't completely get it, but they will get some idea of what it's like. The sense of loss of control is catastrophic. I truly urge you to give his story a listen.
    I guess I understand why looking at the random crap the world throws at you and resolving the confusion with "At least it's all in God's hands" or "God is good and he has a plan". I can understand the need for that and the comfort it can bring. But I just don't buy it myself. There is something untruthful in that position in my eyes. But I won't deny anyone the comfort it brings them.

    June 24, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • Colin

      Frogist, I hear what you say. This is actually the very reason that I cannot help but feel a strong thump of pride in my chest at being an atheist. I feel proud that I have "gotten above" the feel-good fantasies that indulge the mind of the theist. I know I will die and that that will be it. No trumpets will sound, no angels will sing, and there will be no final accounting at the Pearly Gates. Just a big zero. A big nothing. Just like during the entire 13.7 billion years before I was born.

      In this respect, and survival instinct aside, it is impossible for the atheist to fear death, for the simple reason that the capacity to feel pain or discomfort, or even fear itself, dies. Hell, you won't even know you are dead. Fear of death is as meaningless to the atheist as is the fear of a vacuum, the fear of not being born. I feel a lot more secure in this comforting acceptance than I would in trying to yoke myself to some quasi-hope that every part of my intellect tells me is untenable.

      June 24, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • Frogist

      @Colin: I am glad that you have transcended that fear of death. I can't say I'm completely free from it myself. But then again fear and anxiety has been a very powerful force in my life. I'm not sure if it is all because of intellect that I can't completely buy into the idea of a religious God figure. It's more that when I look around and see the pain and death that affects so many people through no actions of their own, it just doesn't make sense that any "loving" God would do that. And no justification of sin or guilt or lessons to be learned ever makes sense of all that destruction. It never really adds up, not just intellectually, but emotionally too.
      I can see the benefit of thinking some all knowing being has looked at you and forgiven all your bad deeds when you cannot find the forgiveness on your own. I don't think there is a greater motivator for love or empathy than having someone accept you warts and all. My issue comes when people feel then motivated to impose their methodology for acheiving that feeling onto others because of their perception that you are lacking simply because your methods are different.

      June 24, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • Justin

      I hate to point out the obvious, but everyone lives their life in fear. Do you lock your doors? Do you have insurance? Do you wear a seatbelt? Do you keep your PINs and passwords secret? Do you have a smoke alarm? Do you use protection? The list goes on and on and, without exception, everyone is included.

      June 24, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Justin: I don't know if that would qualify as living in fear or taking precautionary measures that you don't generally pay attention to. They might be one and the same. But I don't really know what that has to do with the discussion.

      June 24, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • TheyNotHim

      @Justin – I do not live my life in fear. Death is simply the end of all things. There is nothing on the other side, no accounting for one's actions during our lifespan, so nothing to answer for. Guilt, fear, anxiety, these are the crutches of the deist, who must live every day in terror of a mythical being that will judge them after the moment of death. Instead of fear, I live with daily desire to see that I support those close to me, appreciate the beauty of the world around me, and to have some fun in the process.

      Simple and clean.

      June 28, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  12. Zelda

    Those who believe in Jesus live the unmistakable new life as the beloved, redeemed children of God, though growth and the state vary. Christians practice genuine forgiveness and love( because of the knowledge of being forgiven and loved by God) and expect God to conduct ultimate justice in every matter, though carry out the judicial justice for real crimes where possible.

    June 24, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • UncleM

      "Christians practice genuine forgiveness and love"

      There's plenty of evidence that they don't.

      June 24, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • Zelda

      UncleM, there are a lot of us who do. Atheists butchered my family friends but I truly love atheists ONLY because I'm Christian.

      June 24, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • Frogist

      @Zelda: "I truly love atheists." Your previous anger-filled and bitter posts suggest otherwise. I don't know you and I don't know your experiences so I can't discount what you are saying. And I don't doubt there are Christians out there who have taken their faith to heart and found the ability to love and forgive truly. But when you say it, I doubt you're honesty.

      June 24, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • Frogist

      @Zelda: I accept that the power of being forgiven yourself by someone else is a powerful thing. Even if that "person" is in your mind and you call it "God". That is undeniable. But I reject your implying that all Christians practice this forgiveness and love towards others. It is something they should do. But some Christians only use "love" and "forgiveness" as a means to persecute others who are different making a sham out of what love really is.

      June 24, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • Zelda

      @Frogist, I'm sorry if I failed to show Christian love to you atheists. Your blasphemies are really hellish you needed to know truth about yourselves in plain, realistic statements without political correctness or cover-ups. Maturity and the degree of obedience differ from Christian to Christian. And of course there are plenty pseudo-christians out there. I found the Biblical Christian love the most genuine, strong and immovable among anything in existence. I encourage you to explore Christianity more. Read the Bible and talk to more Christians. Stop hating what is good.

      June 24, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • Frogist

      @Zelda: You have failed to show love. Plain and simple. "Christian love" of the kind I described from the hypocrites who use the term only to punish others for being different, you have shown aplenty. Thankfully not all Christians are like that.

      June 24, 2011 at 11:06 am |
    • RAWoD

      Religion isn't required to forgive nor to practice charity, enjoy your fellow man, or be at peace with the universe. Believe what you want - but Zelda, you've made a fool of yourself with your postings. We all get it that you believe in your fairy tale. Now, please STFU.

      June 24, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • Stevie7

      "Your blasphemies are really hellish you needed to know truth about yourselves in plain, realistic statements"

      Your over-generalization are not truths. This would be like me stating that all Christians are ignorant, hypocritical, evil fools. Both statements are blanket generalizations that are without merit. They do not add to any debate or argument, they only reveal the bias of the one making the statement.

      June 24, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • Zelda

      Alright, guys, rant whatever. Christians have told you your own state and what can come from it. You alone are responsible for whatever you do – a fact, not generalization.

      June 24, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • RAWoD

      When you wrote "you alone are responsible for whatever you do - a fact" you showed the first signs of getting what we've been saying. Stop believing in fairy tales and understand that it's YOU and not ANYTHING ELSE in control.

      June 24, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • Sybaris

      "Atheists butchered my family friends"

      The prisons are filled with Christians who butchered others

      June 24, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • Zelda

      God talks to me and I talk to him, he must love me. Atheists do not have ears to hear.

      June 24, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • Artist

      Zelda

      UncleM, there are a lot of us who do. Atheists butchered my family friends but I truly love atheists ONLY because I'm Christian.
      .
      Zelda aka HeavenSent – it was god's will they were butchured, praise jesus. His plan is always carried out. The atheists were jsut doing god's will.

      June 24, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • GodPot

      @Zelda – So atheists butchered your family and you say "God talks to me and I talk to him, he must love me. Atheists do not have ears to hear" Sounds like a perfect profile for an up and coming serial killer. Seriously, get some professional help instead of confessional help.

      June 24, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • I_get _it

      Artist,

      I don't think that Zelda is HeavenSent... fact is, there are quite a few people who think ridiculous stuff like they do - *that's* the scary part!

      June 24, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Free

      Zelda
      "God talks to me and I talk to him, he must love me. Atheists do not have ears to hear."

      What does he sound like? George Burns or Morgan Freeman?

      Also, regarding the link between being talked to and being loved, have you ever had an enemy who has never talked to you? Just asking!

      June 24, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
  13. stevie68a

    There are some good things about religion, but basically, it's fake. It was created to control people. Really, if you think about it,
    invisible people you'll see when you're dead! HA ha ha ha! Also, religion wears a cloak of "love", but is really about hate. Some
    of the most bigoted people you'll ever meet are "christians". They actually think they belong to some exclusive club. When they
    speak of their beliefs, it is the same stuff they were brainwashed into as children. jesus is imaginary.

    June 24, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • Sybaris

      "She is beautiful and so proper. A good version of true American"

      KKK much?

      June 24, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
  14. frank

    She looks like she's on enough antidepressants to kill a rhino.

    June 24, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • Zelda

      She is beautiful and so proper. A good version of true American.

      June 24, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • W247

      Zelda _

      "Proper" to whom's definition of what "proper" is? If I don't look like Laure Bush when I go to church, am I not "proper" anymore? How "proper" looking were the disciples when they traveled with Jesus? How "proper" looking were the Pharisees and Saducees at the Sanhedrin? Be careful that you are not being judgmental.

      June 24, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • Sybaris

      I think she looks like Jack Nicholson with a bad whig playing the Joker

      June 24, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  15. Zelda

    Christianity is truly one-of-a kind and ground-breaking in human history in that it teaches complete forgiveness based on the death of God's Son on the cross. It provides God's forgiveness for me and the ability to forgive because of Jesus. Believers are forever freed from both guilt and revenge. Until Jesus came and outside of Jesus, guilty feeling and necessity for revenge enslave every human. In fact, revenge is the sole virtue and justice outside of Jesus.

    June 24, 2011 at 9:55 am |
    • UncleM

      Christianity is all about guilt.

      June 24, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • Zelda

      UncleM, people without guilty feelings are either insane or demon-possessed. Guilty feeling is there to rightly bring the person to face facts and back to God in repentance. Christianity provides positional(permanent) liberation from guilt and strength to do what is good and right.

      June 24, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Guilt is a tool used by religions to make people feel as though they NEED something.

      True guilt manifests when we do something we regret. It is not a sign that you need to hide under the sacrificial blood of some sacrifice in some barbaric ritual cleansing to make yourself worthy of forgiveness.

      June 24, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • Peter F

      @UncleM

      Christianity is about letting go of our guilt, and allowing ourselves to be forgiven by God. It is very freeing

      June 24, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Sybaris

      "people without guilty feelings are either insane or demon-possessed"

      If demonic possession were real then drugs to right the chemical imbalances in the brain wouldn't work.

      June 24, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • Sybaris

      "Christianity is about letting go of our guilt, and allowing ourselves to be forgiven by God. It is very freeing"

      Deconverting from Christianity is about letting go of the guilt imposed by Chrisitianity and childish belief systems. It is very freeing

      June 24, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • GodPot

      "Until Jesus came and outside of Jesus, guilty feeling and necessity for revenge enslave every human. In fact, revenge is the sole virtue and justice outside of Jesus." So I take it you want to be inside of Jesus...or maybe the other way around...

      June 24, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @UncleM- "Christianity is all about guilt."

      I would hope not.

      June 24, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Peter F

      Hey -Pete...

      You Said: "Christianity is about letting go of our guilt, and allowing ourselves to be forgiven by God. It is very freeing."

      I can understand that model from within your belief system. And... just good mental/emotional health and hygiene (without the Christian model or God) is about appropriately letting go of personal guilt.

      You are correct. It 'is' very 'freeing' (too).

      Regards,

      Peace...

      June 24, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Sybaris- There is no guilt.

      June 24, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Free

      Peter F
      @UncleM

      "Christianity is about letting go of our guilt, and allowing ourselves to be forgiven by God. It is very freeing"

      Can you demonstrate how this works better with God being real as opposed to the subject merely believing that God is real? The result is the same either way; they BELIEVE that they are forgiven, and that's what brings the actual benefit, right?

      June 24, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
  16. Colin

    Her prayers weren't answered hey? Fancy that. This reminds me of a situation I would regularly see in Rio de Janeiro. The taxi drivers in Rio regard seat belts as little more than an inconvenience. They rarely use them themselves and would often tell me, as I went to put mine on, not to worry about it, as the police rarely enforce the law requiring their use.

    These same taxi drivers, however, virtually to a man, have beads which they hang over their rear-vision mirrors which they believe protects them from car accidents. These magic beads appear in probably 90% of the taxis I took in Rio. They are often accompanied with dashboard magnets picturing a magic dead person who can protect them in their journey.

    It seems to me an act of stunning inanity, to shun one of the most basic, proven and convenient safety devices ever utilized in transportation in favor of the supposed powers of rosary beads and magnetic pictures of Saint Christopher. Nevertheless, couple an ingrained supersti.tion with an oblivious disregard for the basic laws of Newtonian motion, and there you have it.

    Needless to say, the beads and magnets do nothing. I would regularly pass accident scenes of varying severity and see damaged and steaming taxis, their magic rosary beads dangling ineffectually from the rear vision mirror of the bent and mangled vehicle, as useless as a dead soldier’s lucky charm. The driver would often be standing outside, engaged in spirited debate with the other involuntary player in this small experimental proof of the futility of supersti.tion, as to who was at fault. I doubt they ever question the neglect of their magic friends.

    While this, in itself, is a small example of where superst.itious beliefs cause harm, I can imagine how the road toll in Brazil would plummet if the populace dropped the nonsense of the magic saints and beads adopted the common sense of the seat belts instead.

    No, Mrs. Bush. Magic beads, magic pictures and a sky-god reading your mind (or "hearing your prayers" to the extent you see a difference) won't help you. Rather than being "angry" at god, you should have asked yourself if it exists at all.

    June 24, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • Stevie7

      Perhaps the magic dead person meant to cause the accident. You know, because the guy in the sky manipulates the laws of physics all of the time – causing storms and earthquakes and the like. When one uses the guy in the sky – or faith – to justify both sides of the argument, kinda like this article, the discussion becomes pretty pointless.

      June 24, 2011 at 9:49 am |
    • Free

      I grew up Catholic and the rosary beads on the rearview mirror thing aren't there just for good luck. The idea is that they're within easy reach in case of an accident. That way, a seriously injured Catholic could start working on the rosary, and should things really go south, they would die with their beads in hand. It's kinda like having a fire extinguisher or first aid kit within reach, just in case.

      June 24, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • Colin

      Free, but my same fundamental objection to their futility subsists. What possible remedial or medical benefit can they serve, other than to appease the superst.itous insecurities of their bleeding clutcher.

      June 24, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • Free

      Colin
      Sure, a lot of it may be fear induced, the superst.ition that something awful may be following death so a little last minute worship couldn't hurt, but I guess that it could be a source of comfort to a dying person as well. Imagine that you're dying; wouldn't it be nice to go out looking at a photo of your loved ones, listening to your favorite music, or something else you find comforting?

      June 24, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • Colin

      Free, agreed. Jethro Tull's " Moths" or Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights" sounds good.....

      June 24, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • Ed

      Kind of torn on this one. On one hand having the beads and St Christopher on the mirror did not cause the accident and may help provide come with comfort so no harm done. On the other not wearing a seat just not smart. I think God would recommend the seat belt and the trinket but I think the seat belt first. Thats what I'd recommend anyway.

      June 24, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • W247

      As far as the Taxi Cab driver situation, it astounds me that the Lord gives us brains but we refuse to use them some times. It reminds me of a joke I once heard.

      "A lady was in her house and the river started flooding. She sat on her porch as a guy in a row bow came by to offer her a lift out of harms way. She refused the lift exclaiming "God will save me!"
      The water started getting higher, she is now hanging out her second story window sill. A guy in a motorboat came by to offer her a lift out of harms way, same response " God will save me!"
      Now the water is up to the rooftop, she is standing on the chimney when a rescue helicopter comes by to offer her a lift out of harms way. "No! God will save me!"
      When she gets to the pearly gates, she confronts God "Why didn't you save me?" to which He replied " I sent you a row boat, a motorboat and a helicopter, but you kept refusing me".

      So moral of the story, God gives us brains to use them. He can't force you to use them though, that's up to us. There are some Christians that use Christianity as a shield against the world when they forget that the Lord wants us out in the world, just not being "worldly".

      June 24, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • Free

      W247
      A modern version of this joke would have this as a punch line:

      – He replied " I sent you Darwin, Einstein and Hawking, but you kept refusing the truth I sent you". 🙂

      June 24, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • W247

      Free-

      Ever see a Galapagos Elephant?
      Neither have I.

      June 24, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • Free

      W247
      "Ever see a Galapagos Elephant?
      Neither have I."

      What the...?!

      June 24, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
  17. Jim

    I do not see any benefits coming from believing in an invisible sky friend. Take personal responsibility.

    June 24, 2011 at 9:38 am |
    • Peter F

      Mark 4:12 "'they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!'"

      June 24, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • Zelda

      Peter, read Isaiah ch. 6 as well. It was so only until the due time. There is timing in everything so that more people can be saved.

      June 24, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • JD

      Your all missing it because you can't hear and you cannot see. Let me explain. Before we become born again we are all deaf and dumb spiritually and with no hope at all. The bible says we are dead in our trespasses and sins. The only way for us to come alive is: # 1 acknowledge that Jesus died for our sins, next step: Admit we are sinners 3. Repent. 4. Confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart that God raised him from the dead and we shall be saved. In other words, you we need to plead with God to forgive us, so we can go to heaven. Now, when God saves you here is the best part--He sends his Holy Spirit to live in your Spirit which gives you the ability to forgive yourself and others. Everyone Listen–you need the supernatural power living in you to forgive anyone that has ever offended you, and this power on the inside(the Holy Spirit), is evidence that you are now a son of God. This is how you can be adopted by God. He than becomes your father, and until that happens the bible says that we are all belong to our Father the Devil, and was a liar and so will we. Can you handle this? Your are of your father the devil, before God adopts you. If I were you, I would be pleading with God to Adopt you every moment of the day until he does.....

      June 24, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • frank

      The 200' tall Jesus idol in Rio has great powers, you can tell by the low homicide rate there.

      June 24, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • Juggling Squirrel-Jesus

      @JD

      Your argument is all based on the axiom that the bible is true. This is not fact, only your belief. And if it's not true?

      June 24, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • fred

      Juggling Squirrel-Jesus, Whether you believe in the Bible or not the principles of God apply. Whether you say Jesus is myth, real and who He says he was or plain don’t care does not matter. The truth always prevails as to God and an atheist or Christians’ belief or unbelief will not change the truth.

      June 24, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • GodPot

      @JD – You forgot step 5. Accept that none of the fossil's that exist of humans 60,000 years before the biblical account of Adam must have been faked. 6. Accept that Adam and his wife were tricked into eating magical fruit by a talking snake. 7. Accept that a global flood occured where only 8 people survived despite all geological and dna evidence to the contrary. 8. Accept that a child was born from an unfertalized (at least by any man) egg that then grew up, let himself be killed, went to heII and then resurected himself three days later, then was whisked away on a cloud. 9. Believe that the magical child who is his own father will someday beam back to the planet to fix all the problems that his followers have caused or let happen to the planet since they figured they weren't staying long anyway. 10. Believe that you have reservations at the most exclusiive place in the universe, the unknown, the magical, the be anything you want to be place called heaven, all because you sprinkled some water on your head and told a pasty faced pedophile your sins on a regular basis.

      June 24, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • GodPot

      Correction "Accept that the fossil's that exist of humans 60,000 years before the biblical account of Adam must have been faked"

      June 24, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • fred

      GodPot,
      The Bible does not set a time line on Adam that is mans guess in some beliefs. JD was not talking about Old Testament stuff which you bring up, he was speaking of the new covenant brought in by Christ. Are you ticked off because you cannot sense a reality beyond the physical senses, ticked at God, Christians, Pedophiles or what? Figure that out and a healing process may begin with or without some God.

      June 24, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • GodPot

      If you add up the Torah genealogies, the ages add up to place Adam and Eve's creation at around 4,000BC, and Noah at around 2100BC. Read Genesis 5 which gives a timeline from Adam to Noah. The only way around accepting that the earth is 6000 years old for a believer is to claim that either the years used aren't the 12 month calander years we use today and/or the dates used in ancient Israel for Noah and the flood are inaccurate. Even with all the slight of hand math they use in an attempt to ratify the creation myth they still are unable to push it back much for than 9,000 years. This still leaves more than 60,000 years of human history that has been verified by science with both tools and bones and cave art unaccounted for in the bible.

      June 24, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • GodPot

      @Fred – "Are you ticked off because you cannot sense a reality beyond the physical senses, ticked at God, Christians, Pedophiles or what?"

      I am ticked at pedophiles, I am not ticked at your invisible deity, I am a little ticked at Christians who constantly push their agenda in everyones and claiming ownership of truth and morality but often are exposed for the hypocritical pompous bags of wind they are. I'm also a little ticked at Christians for not reading their bibles enough to know whats in them, like a timeline from Adam that some claim doesn't exist.

      June 24, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • fred

      GodPot,
      As to pushing the Christian agenda those who read the New Testament understand we are to spread the gospel and we really don’t know how to do that in a modern world that puts science in your face from the time you start preschool and hides reference to Jesus in public schools.
      As to ownership of truth, Pilate responded to Jesus in John 18:38 “What is truth” and he was looking right at Jesus.
      I have read the bible and often the best sense I can make of it comes from some bible study where someone else tells me what was going on. My thoughts have changed over time and I will never be in a position to debate with one that is knowledgeable. For this reason I hang my hat on what Jesus said as it seems simple for me. I look at the rest of the bible with a bias that if it does not fit with what Jesus said it’s not something I hang my hat on. Unfortunately I do spout off on occasion and seems like folks on this web site are happy to clear a few things up. To which I am thankful as I was off base a few times.
      I do not see an agreed upon time line prior to the flood. I have seen your explanation of 4,000bc and at one point went with it. I have heard lots of explanations since as to what a day and morning really means in Genesis so I gave up. We don’t know at what point in the evolutionary process of man God breathed life into him. Could that have been 60,000 years later…I don’t know. Lot of people pushing the thought God created through an evolution like process. The Bible does not specify time from creation to the flood or flood to Abraham. Those names and ages listed in the authors genealogy may have only shown those important to the story. Given copper was used in 4500 B.C. we know it was before then at least.

      June 24, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Stevie7

      "that puts science in your face from the time you start preschool and hides reference to Jesus in public schools."

      The first amendment doesn't protect freedom from science.

      And without science, you wouldn't have a computer to type on or an internet to post on. I have no idea how science "can be put in your face". Is that like reading comprehension being put in your face?

      June 24, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Frogist

      @JD: Do you believe what you wrote is what literally happens? Because, and I'm not trying to be mean, but it sounds a little crazy. It sounds like something you tell a child when you want to scare them straight. I'm really having a hard time taking in the fact that you truly believe this.

      June 24, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Artist

      JD that sounds nice and magical but well you are talking about magic.

      June 24, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • fred

      Stevie7,
      Up until 1965 public school students heard about the bible in an unbiased manner. It was just assumed there was a god and the bible was true. Prayer and talk of Jesus was taken out of the room and out of books. We taught evolution – man created without a God. Man has evolved out of virgin sacrifice at the volcano. We taught the bible was restrictive and laughed at goofy kids that went to church. The media tied backwards to Christians and backwards to the bible. It was man and man’s scientific achievements that create not God. Man solves problems God doesn’t. Christianity was torn apart by “scholars” “historians” that replaced the priests and ministers. That is the modern day in your face science over God.
      So my statement regarding how to reach a modern world can be rephrased in how do you preach the Gospel to a community that has been taught the book in your hand is myth, the Pope is a fool, the earth is not flat.

      June 24, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @frank

      You Said: "The 200' tall Jesus idol in Rio has great powers, you can tell by the low homicide rate there."

      LOL 😀 I love the use of Post Hoc faulty causality. Very nice !!!

      Regards,

      Peace...

      June 24, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • Free

      GodPot
      If you look at all the Torah genealogies, you'd notice that some of these characters live incredibly long lives already, nearing 1000 years in some cases. If the years used aren't the 12 month calander years we use today then these character would be credited as having lived even longer lives, in the thousands of years. This would be even more problematic for believers, right?

      June 24, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
  18. Rhonda

    I have heard it said that Jesus' Sermon On The Mount is a helpful guide for good mental health. He talks a lot about forgiveness there.

    June 24, 2011 at 9:21 am |
  19. Alex

    How many deaths have these Bushs' caused? Are you sure they really don't worship the devil? Laura's husband was a member of skull and bones which affiliated with the illuminati, who do horrible things on purpose but spin it like their wonderful people.

    June 24, 2011 at 8:41 am |
    • Zelda

      Alex, Mr. Bush saved millions of lives in USA and elsewhere. War causes death; stop being naive. No sacrifice, no freedom. The present movement of democracy in the Middle East is due to him, not to Mr. Obama.

      June 24, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • Gene

      Plus David Rockefeller and the Warren Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations and Bohemian Grove and the Rosicrucians and the eyeball on the one dollar bill and the Masons and Henry Kissinger and the Mormons and the United Nations and the oil companies paying General Motors to keep the one-hundred mile-per-gallon carburetor off the market and the grassy knoll and the, and the, and the...

      June 24, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • Frogist

      @Zelda: The present movement in the Middle East is despite the wars imposed on Iraq and Afghanistan by George Bush. The prevailing idea is that Iraq's democracy was not real because it was forced on them by outsiders while Egypt's and others are real because they were started within. But if you have proof that the revolutions occurring are all due to George Bush's invasions and wars, I'd be glad to read it. Also it might interest you to recognise that Christianity is not a big motivator towards democracy for the people of these movements as they are primarily muslim.

      June 24, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • Zelda

      Frogist, without the Judeo-Christian values, proper democracy is impossible. It'll be one form of tyranny after another. It was good that the lids of the Middle-East were opened up wide by Mr. Bush. They needed it.

      June 24, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • GodPot

      "without the Judeo-Christian values, proper democracy is impossible" LOL

      "Democracy is a form of government in which all citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal (and more or less direct) participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law." – Wiki

      I'm sorry, but why would it require "Judeo-Christian values"?

      I know you are a troll Zelda, but your ignorance is just astounding.

      June 24, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • Free

      Zelda
      'Tyranny', as in an absolute Lord dictating all modes of conduct for his people, and expressly forbidding his word ever being questioned on pain of the worse torture imaginable? Yup, God's a real champion of democracy, all right!

      June 24, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • brad

      @ Free
      You're interested in Tyranny? Well, dump religion. Then the civil law will restrain you. But in the name of freedom, just abandon yourself to your own impulses and desires. Then you'll find out what true tyranny is.

      June 24, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Free

      brad
      Civil laws can be changed democratically; try doing that with the Bible. Saying that we would abandon all law and embrace anarchy with the exit of religion is just plain silly, ... or is it fear mongering?

      June 24, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
  20. eduardo

    looking for help and support?..come to http://www.wpray4u.com and you will find it.

    June 24, 2011 at 3:43 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      Or, if you need a fix of beta-endorphins, you can go for a run, meditate, chant, read some poetry, or listen to some Mozart.

      June 24, 2011 at 9:22 am |
    • JohnR

      Do overtone singing!

      June 24, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • Frogist

      I find Victoria Secret provides some support but Playtex is much more comfortable.

      June 24, 2011 at 11:29 am |
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About this blog

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