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My Take: Jails need Jesus
June 30th, 2011
10:57 AM ET

My Take: Jails need Jesus

Editor's note: Ronald W. Nikkel has been President of Prison Fellowship International, which cares for offenders and other people affected by crime, for 29 years. PFI is holding its World Convocation this week in Toronto.

By Ronald W. Nikkel, Special to CNN

Over the past 35 years, I’ve visited more than 1,000 prisons on every continent except Antarctica. The more time I spend in them, listening to stories of inmates and seeing the terrible impact of incarceration, the more I believe prison is the most irrational of human institutions.

It makes no sense to confine offenders in a population of other offenders and to expect a good outcome – namely, that prisoners become non-offenders by the end of their confinement.

Yet prisoners can change.

To a point, any relationship in which prisoners are loved and know they are loved can have a positive impact. But prisoners are truly transformed not because of punishment or prison but through the love and grace of Jesus expressed through the friendship and care of chaplains and volunteers. Prisoners awaken to the realization that God’s love is unconditional and that they can be forgiven.

Imprisonment, meanwhile, serves more to undo justice than it serves the cause of justice. Nearly everywhere I go as president of Prison Fellowship International, prisons are overused, overcrowded and highly overrated by politicians.

This came into sharp focus in May when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that California must drastically reduce its prison population because of severe overcrowding, calling conditions “incompatible with the concept of human dignity.”

Jeanne Woodford, a former state prison director and warden at San Quentin, testified in the case that such conditions “make people worse” and later told the Los Angeles Times that California incarcerates "many more prisoners than is necessary for the safety of the public."

Indeed, the excessive use of imprisonment does far more damage to society than good.

Consider the consequences in post-prison unemployment, repeat offenses and broken families. Global statistics are hard to come by, but The New York Times reported this year that two-thirds of the prisoners in the United States are arrested again within three years of their release and that unemployment rates among ex-prisoners hover in the 50-percent range within nine months or a year of release.

Children of incarcerated parents have higher rates of delinquency, mental illness and drug abuse, and lower levels of success in school and, later on, of employment.

Plus, communicable diseases like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis find a breeding ground in the prisons of many countries and spread into the community.

I am not suggesting the abolition of prisons. But most non-violent, non-habitual offenders would benefit far more from punishment befitting their offenses, including restitution, drug or alcohol treatment or fines.

About 40 years ago, Philip Slater wrote a critique of American culture called “The Pursuit of Loneliness,” in which he described what he called the “Toilet Assumption.” It’s the belief that social unpleasantness like criminality, once flushed out of sight, no longer exists.

Walls not only keep prisoners confined; they conveniently remove them from sight. The community believes it is safe.

But sometimes the toilet backs up.

Prison overcrowding such as has occurred in California forces society to face the unpleasantness. And although this process sometimes leads to token reforms, public attention is quickly distracted by other news.

But almost all offenders eventually leave prison. And then our unwillingness to deal with the causes of crime comes home to roost.

Prison conditions contribute to offenders’ ability and inclination to make good decisions when they are released. Repeat offender rates are high anyway, but overcrowding can drive them even higher, partly because prisons are less likely to offer rehabilitation programs that ease prisoners' re-entry into society.

But the real challenge is not overcrowding; it’s the Toilet Assumption, which makes it possible for otherwise humane societies to allow those conditions to develop. When something is out of public sight and mind, otherwise compassionate people simply do not care.

Perhaps this is why Jesus said the nations of the world will one day be judged by how they responded to those society wants to flush away: the hungry, the naked, the sick, the prisoners. In fact, God effectively says, “When you flushed them away, you flushed me as well.”

As reformer Vivien Stern points out, prisons are a mirror of society. How we treat our offenders is not just a problem of the criminal justice system; it is a problem of the community.

All too often, politicians don’t deal with the failure of prisons because the public thinks prisons work. We Christians have a responsibility as followers of Jesus to tell the truth - to counter the Toilet Assumption.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Ronald W. Nikkel

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church and state • Courts • Politics • United States

soundoff (361 Responses)
  1. SB

    You can't make someone good by teaching them how they can be forgiven for the bad things they've done. You can only make someone good by teaching them personal and social responsibility, and drilling into them the notion that there are serious real-world consequences to their actions in the here and now, not in the here after. Religion is not a fear-factor and religious counseling methods are chaotic, unscientific and uninformed. They likely do more harm than good, and they have no place in the criminal justice system.

    July 2, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Your post is the first one I've read on this blog, but as I read it, I am painfully reminded how so many people have absolutely no understanding of message of Christ, why He came and what hope and healing comes to those who listen, take it to heart and don't turn away....
      It is not about teaching someone how they can be forgiven for the bad things they've done or making them good. It is to lead them out of bondages of slavery to their fallen nature, and all the forces that make one's life imprisoned, even without being behind the bars of prison. It's not about free bailout of prison.... it's about being set free in one's soul.
      Here is something that people need to understand .... that even if a man is on the death row, if he receives the message of hope which is in Christ Jesus, who came to save the lost , fallen human race.. if he comes to Him and humbles himself to receive Him as his Lord and Savior, although he is one the death row, awaiting his execution, he is much better off then one who is out in the world, thinking himself of being free, but rejects Jesus Christ, and goes into eternity without him.
      That is why those who ar e in prisons, need to hear the world of God, and His message of salvation. It is the only hope for every human being. There is no human being alive that is not in need of it. But no man can come to Him and receive His forgiveness and healing unless he sees his need for Him! That's where it all begins. But it is Pride what separates a man from his Maker, and makes him walk in darkness. And that's the mark of this age we're living in..

      July 2, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
    • Auntie Mabel

      To coerce a man or woman with false fear and false guilt, while they are also incarcerated, into believing any particular religion, is a heinous crime that violates their civil rights and human rights and it should be opposed in every way.

      July 4, 2011 at 6:26 am |
    • Odessa

      People must fear God properly and feel guilty in doing wrong things. Otherwise, they go insane. Increased insanity in the West is because of the manual suppression on having proper guilty feelings. Those who admit the humanity's total depravity are the most healthy and strong because it is true.

      July 4, 2011 at 6:38 am |
  2. Avgthinker

    Oh good grief! Really? We are actually going to believe that a fictional mthylogical being is going to save us? I work in the prison system and the juvinelle system. I am in and out of them everyday. They are in there because they committed crimes. Talk to one, they know why they are there. Most know they earned every day of their sentence and then some. The problem isn't that we house them away. It is we are not making it a bad enough place to begin with. Many will tell you they have it better on the inside than on the outside. I see the little juvinelle prisoners with chips on there shoulders the size of Everest. They don't fear going into the adult prisons. In fact, many of them are looking forward to it and want to go to the famous ones. Our prisons need to be far more worse than they are. Religion blinds us to the truth about life.

    July 2, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
    • Auntie Mabel

      If we are suddenly going to go into the business of throwing people's lives away for the sake of your own frustration, then why don't we start with you and give you a toss into the nearest garbage receptacle?

      July 4, 2011 at 6:30 am |
  3. Red

    YES l agree: It makes no sense to confine offenders in a population of other offenders and to expect a good outcome – namely, that prisoners become non-offenders by the end of their confinement. BUT WHO SAYS THAT IS WHAT SOCIETY EXPECTS OF PRISONS?

    Prison is first and foremost a punishment.. a consequence of the criminal actions that landed the prisoner in jail! What are we supposed to do forgive and forget as a society.. that would be great except that there would be absolutely no deterrent to further criminal actions by criminals. Should we implement even stricter consequences.. an eye for an eye? a hand for a theft? the death penalty for all offenders? The bible says that there is a hell and God sends people there as a consequence of their actions..

    July 2, 2011 at 10:34 am |
  4. Gumby

    Jesus is already in our jails. 85% or more of incoming inmates are professed Christians.

    Cue "Oh, but they're not REAL Christians!" from the godbot brigade in 3...2...1...

    July 2, 2011 at 10:17 am |
  5. WonderSpring

    Sometimes it's fortunate to be in jail because we think about life deeply and can read the Bible there and hopefully find Jesus. Many innocent Christians get jailed wrongly in different parts of the world and they witness to the prison population. Jesus is present even in the most wretched conditions. In the darkest darkness, Jesus still shines...

    July 2, 2011 at 8:45 am |
  6. Pooua

    Ron Nikke makes a good point about society's philosophy about getting rid of inconvenient people. I've encountered the same thing in my life. Some people don't like me, so they do whatever it takes to get someone to get rid of me. They don't actually care what happens to me, as long as I am gone. That is the philosophy of many people; dispose of inconvenient people with as little mess on oneself as possible.

    We should be looking for better ways of dealing with people. I also have to wonder why California–a liberal, Left-Wing, Democratic-dominated state–would have such a high prison population? Why are they putting so many people in prison? We have to ask that question before we can solve the problem.

    July 1, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
  7. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    One problem with his argument. I had a friend who was incarcerated in Florida. He was Eastern Orthodox along with a handful of others. The Prison Chaplain was Baptist and treated them like dirt because they didn't attend HIS service, but the service of the visiting Greek Orthodox priest who came twice a month from St. Augustine. From what I was told by some of his fellow inmates, Roman Catholics were treated the same. Therefore it appears that only those who accept Jesus in the flavor offered by the Prison Chaplain were considered worthy of salvation, all others need not apply.

    This is similar to the problem they had at the USAF Academy in Colorado Springs. A large number of the staff were Evangelical Christians. Those who were not of the same stripe often received poorer evaluations, lower grades, and more demerits than their Evangelical counterparts. This caused a Pentagon investigation to take place that resulted in the dismissal of the Commandant, and a large number of the staff. Unfortunately, those poor evaluations followed those cadets for the rest of their Air Force careers.

    July 1, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  8. Etkoom Speerie TootwoOh

    New hear. Great topical BLOG .. all dedicated to Jesus Christ Almighty Lord and Savior of all who accept his grace and salvation, witness Him and adore Him. For all the others ... well, if you can read this it is not too late .. you can still BELIEVE (as the BLOG says) and partake of His redemption and eternal life. Shakespeare says "that land from whose bourne no traveler returns .." but actually I have known a few who came back (Shakespeare was wrong .. dude ..) I never met anyone who came back from the other place. I've met some whom I wondered about ...

    July 1, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • Revenge of the Mildly Agry Kittens from Beyond Hell ! ! !

      You know people who came back from the dead? Really?

      ZOMBIE PARTY AT ETKOOM'S PLACE ! ! !

      July 1, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • SharkBoy

      Feeding frenzy about to begin.

      July 1, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Etkoom Speerie TootwoOh

      Cannot reply for some reason. Pending approval.

      July 1, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • Etkoom Speerie TootwoOh

      Strange BLOG (actually) not worth it (after all) ... weird & weirdo's (so it seems)

      July 1, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Etkoom Speerie TootwoOh

      If "Your comment is awaiting moderation." it won't ever be posted. There are no moderators only automated censoring. You post must have had a forbidden word in it.

      The following words or word fragments will get your post censored (list is incomplete):
      arse
      bastard
      bitch
      cock
      coon
      cum
      cunt
      douche
      effing
      fag
      ftw
      fuck
      homo
      horny
      jackass
      jap
      jism
      kooch
      nipple
      orgy
      pis
      porn
      poo
      prick
      rape
      sex
      shit
      slut
      snatch
      spic
      tit
      twat
      vag
      whore
      wtf

      To fix that you can break up the word by putting an extra character in, like consti.tution (breaking the oh so naughty "tit").

      July 1, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
  9. William Demuth

    noʎ ʞɔnɟ

    July 1, 2011 at 8:54 am |
    • Jesus

      You are upside down. How does it feel?

      July 1, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • Kangaroo Dan

      ˙ɐʎ ɹoɟ ǝıqɹɐq ǝɥʇ uo dɯıɹɥs ɐ dıls ll,ı ¡ɹǝpun uʍop puɐl ǝɥʇ `ɹǝpuoʍ ɟo puɐl ǝɥʇ oʇ ǝɯoɔlǝʍ ¡ʎllıq ʎɐp,ƃ

      July 1, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
  10. William Demuth

    This is just a pitch for government subsidies.

    Not only do they want to indoctrinate people who can't run away, they ALSO want to use it as an excuse to both get tax payer monies, AND avoid paying the taxes they should be paying.

    I actually do support sending Christian missionaries to Afghanistan, but ONLY if they have a bulleys painted on the back of their indoctrinated heads,

    July 1, 2011 at 8:49 am |
  11. Sindhi

    Yeah...let all work handled by Jesus PBUH and you sit idle as if never accepted religion 😛

    July 1, 2011 at 8:33 am |
  12. Reality

    More details:

    Saving Christians from the Pervasive Resurrection Con:

    From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

    Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

    To wit;

    From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

    "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
    Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

    Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

    Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

    The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

    Only Luke's Gospel records it. The Assumption ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

    "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
    http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

    With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

    o An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,
    o
    o p.4
    o
    o "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."
    o
    o p.168. by Ted Peters:
    o
    Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

    o So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

    July 1, 2011 at 6:56 am |
  13. Reality

    It is time to replace all religions with a few rules like "Do No Harm" and convert all houses of "worthless worship" to recreation facilities and parks. Said destruction followed by construction will add jobs and decrease the crime rate and thereby help reduce the jail population. --------------

    And by the way, jails are supposed to be horrible places. We should make them even worse than they are today as an added incentive not to commit a crime. "Country club" prisons for white-collar crimes should be at the top of the list of things to cut from state and federal budgets.

    For posting on all the cell walls of prisons:

    SAVING 1.5 BILLION LOST MUSLIMS:
    THERE NEVER WAS AND NEVER WILL BE ANY ANGELS I.E. NO GABRIEL, NO ISLAM AND THEREFORE NO MORE KORANIC-DRIVEN ACTS OF HORROR AND TERROR

    SAVING 2 BILLION LOST CHRISTIANS:
    THERE WAS AND NEVER WILL BE ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS I.E. NO EASTER, NO CHRISTIANITY

    SAVING 15.5 MILLION ORTHODOX FOLLOWERS OF JUDAISM:
    ABRAHAM AND MOSES PROBABLY NEVER EXISTED.

    Added details upon request.

    July 1, 2011 at 6:53 am |
  14. WonderSpring

    I'm glad CNN called in Prison Fellowship. America is deeply sick, following the steps of Europe and Ja-pan, with more calamities ahead. Christians need to wake up and pray and mobilize themselves for the cause of righteousness. Only Jesus liberates inmates and everyone else from the slavery of sin.

    July 1, 2011 at 2:57 am |
    • William Demuth

      You are a witch.

      Please comelean against this stake and we shall cure you.

      It wont hurt a bit.

      July 1, 2011 at 8:51 am |
    • Vlad

      @William
      You are doing it wrong. Impale them. That way they sit still and don't run away.

      July 1, 2011 at 10:20 am |
  15. RightturnClyde

    The censored a one liner because I said I deleted them from my book marks. What Can I say? (nothing!)

    June 30, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
    • Revenge of the Mildly Angry Kittens from Beyond Hell ! ! !

      There's just no helping you. As Eric Idle once said of a religious looney, "When you're stupid, there is nothing that can be done."

      June 30, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • frank

      The word filter did it. It won't let you post certain things.
      "stupid motherfucker," for instance.

      June 30, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
    • Abby Normal

      It is sad when Alzheimer's strikes our older citizens. And it is not anyone's fault that they cannot function, as this is not a choice-based phenomenon, but a reflection of many factors coming together to hinder the expression of one's self.

      Clyde, I suspect that your eyesight is bad.
      Maybe you should find other ways or other sites to express yourself where you do not need to worry about a messed-up filter like the one they have here.
      I respect your willingness to help reform our Justice system and agree with you on many things, but CNN is not going to fix this filter problem anytime soon, as it has been a year filled with complaints and they have never even responded to anyone's complaints in this regard. We are stuck with this stupid filter and a corporation that does not care about complaints.
      Go forth and fight the good fight where you can do so easily. Wasting time trying to find the needle in the haystack is just taking time that could be better spent elsewhere.

      July 1, 2011 at 2:18 am |
    • HotAirAce

      @RightturnClyde

      Have you tried praying?

      July 1, 2011 at 2:37 am |
  16. HeavenSent

    Phony HeavenSent, I'm different from you. I have an extra orifice. Jesus talks to me through it. I poop through it too.

    June 30, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Phony, you are too carnal!

      Amen.

      June 30, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
    • JF

      Welcome back HeavenSent and phony HeavenSent.

      I wonder if HeavenSent and phony HeavenSent are the same person just jerking us around.

      June 30, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
    • JF

      I love Jesus. He's great!!!

      June 30, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
    • JF

      Get a life phony JF.

      June 30, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
    • JF

      See what I mean?

      June 30, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
    • Revenge of the Mildly Angry Kittens from Beyond Hell ! ! !

      Can I have a phony too? I haven't had my turn yet! It's not fair!!! I'm going to hold my breath until I get a phony me, and I don't care I die! It'll be all your fault.

      I'm holding my breath now!

      June 30, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
    • Phony Revenge of the Mildly Angry Kittens from Beyond Hell ! ! !

      Okay, you can breathe now. Kitty? Kitty? Are you dead?

      July 1, 2011 at 2:30 am |
  17. RightturnClyde

    My reply did not pass muster .. one sentence .. clean .. innocuous actually

    June 30, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
    • RightturnClyde

      The censors are succeeding .. I am getting tired of this BLOG for that reason

      June 30, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
  18. Artist

    Is it me or does the real HeavenSent have an insecurity about her old age? She is not aging gracefully.

    June 30, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • RightturnClyde

      It's not an easy process. Last week I took a friend to the ER who thought he had congestive heart failure .. but he has COPD .. either way .. he's scared .. everybody has to face the grim (fellow) and it's rough.

      June 30, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • Artist

      Clyde I didn't mean the actual aging process, rather the minds of younger being sharper and faster. Time and people are passing her by and I get that she might be intimidated. However, it appears she is REALLY having a hard time coming to terms with it from her posts. The issue is not the subject matter simply the "age" of people. It is so obvious. Perhaps she is on borrowed time and can see the final grains of sand falling in the hour glass?

      June 30, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Artist, you haven't a clue to what life is all about yet due to your youth and inexperience of most life issues you post. You're bent on being a non-believer and I comprehend that but you assume you've experienced life and the issues you post on but none of your posts have any originality nor depth to them that you can truly call your own. You choose cookie cutter responses taken from others before you. You need to stay off those non- believer sites and find your own voice.

      Amen.

      June 30, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • AmazingSteve

      Apparently run-on sentence awareness doesn't come with age, though.

      July 1, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • Artist

      "You choose cookie cutter responses taken from others before you"
      .
      Now this is interesting being what your posts consist of lol. Non-believer sites???? Hate to break it to yu but I do not visit such sites. I don't consume myself with such things. I post simply what I observe. For the most part this blog serves as humor for me. The one thing that I have found interesting is the blinders each of the religous sects wear. Very cultic you might say. They have no sense of seeing outside the box. They simply cannot comprehend outside their belief system. They cannot see the absurdity in each pointing the finger at the other claiming the other is false and theirs is real. Entertaining you might say. Like watching emotionally and mentally handicapped people argue over what their reality is.

      July 1, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  19. RightturnClyde

    Censored again. Nine out of ten times my posts get censored .. it can only be their politics versus mine.. I use clean words but they don't like them

    June 30, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      I've been posting here for some time Right, and I've seen much worse people posting then you. Your messages contain the words somehow. For example..

      Docu-ment would get you blocked. So would Consti-tution.

      June 30, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
    • Artist

      Have you tried praying about it?

      June 30, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • LinCA

      @RightturnClyde

      You said: "Censored again. Nine out of ten times my posts get censored .. it can only be their politics versus mine.. I use clean words but they don't like them"

      How fucking dense can you get? Have you read any of the replies to your previous posts about being censored?

      June 30, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      RtC
      Send me a couple at cnnbeliefblog@hotmail.com. Let us try to assist you.

      June 30, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • Paranoia Puncture

      Rightturn: Maybe you can try this: Go over to this article on Yahoo news: http://news.yahoo.com/life-prison-hire-ex-con-134803270.html

      They have a less goofy filter.

      Post a copy of your comment there and I (or whoever else wants to help you) can take a look at it and see if we can spot your problem word(s). I'm only going to be here for about another 45 minutes, but I will check back later.

      June 30, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • Revenge of the Mildly Angry Kittens from Beyond Hell ! ! !

      Hey Lin? How did you get "fuking" as one clean properly-spelled word?

      June 30, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Revenge of the Mildly Angry Kittens from Beyond Hell ! ! !

      You said: "Hey Lin? How did you get "fuking" as one clean properly-spelled word?"
      I'll let you know through a riddle. That way the religious nut jobs won't find out. Look on page 1 of these comments.

      June 30, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
    • Revenge of the Mildly Angry Kittens from Beyond Hell ! ! !

      Well fuck my dog! So that's how you fucking do it!

      June 30, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
    • Revenge of the Mildly Angry Kittens from Beyond Hell ! ! !

      Oh no! That means I can never be a religious nut job! My life is RUINED!

      June 30, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Revenge of the Mildly Angry Kittens from Beyond Hell ! ! !

      You said: "Oh no! That means I can never be a religious nut job! My life is RUINED!"
      Welcome to the dark side.

      June 30, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
  20. Malibu 1369

    Those that rely on a god, a higher power, Jesus or some other myth to give them strength and hope are lost. Only when humans learn to rely on themselves and each other do we have social, community and educational improvement. Only then do we have less torture, less murder, less crime and less justification for all of these wrongs.

    June 30, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Malibu, it would help if you read Jesus' truth instead of listening to others who haven't a clue to what He teaches then taking their beliefs as your own.

      Amen.

      June 30, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • Artist

      And don't forget every true christian has a wo oden jesus. This comes with your Standard Christian Package. You can always upgrade to silver or gold. Or try the Catholic Package, which is known as Jesus Bling.

      June 30, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
    • GodPot

      @ Malibu – Very true. I like to think of it in terms of the medical profes sion. Learned men have been compiling what they have learned about how our bodies work for thousands of years. No one would suggest today that we go back and use the Edwin Smith P apyrus from Egypt 5000 years ago to help with any modern surgical procedure. Why? Because we keep learning and refining what we know as new information and technology becomes available. Trying to live by the law of a 2000 year old doc ument makes about as much sense.

      June 30, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      GodPot, God loves physicians. Luke was a physician. Why you non-believers continue to believe that Christians don't appreciate the medical field or the other sciences is beyond my imagination. I worked and retired from the medical field. So much for your theory.

      Amen.

      June 30, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • Teddy

      When humanity relies upon itself will we see "less torture, less murder, less crime?" We've actually experienced that reality in communism. How did that work out?

      June 30, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Torture must be good for us because god wants to do it to all of us forever if we misbehave. If it's good enough for god then we should do it too.

      June 30, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
    • JF

      HeavenSent,

      Give a Christian with clogged arteries a choice between a prayer from every Christian on the planet (religion,) or a date with the heart surgeon (science) and they will choose science 99% of the time. Maybe it's not 99%, but it would be pretty darn high. For the small percentage that decided to choose the mega prayer resulting in death, well, I guess it was just part of God's plan.

      June 30, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      JF, from personal experience I will tell you this truth. I just underwent surgery in a Christian hospital with a Christian surgeon. When I was wheeled into the OR, the surgeon came over to me and proceeded to explain multiple procedures. I said to him, Doc, you went how many years to medical school? How many years to residency? You are in charge of your surgical team. Do your thing.

      He just smiled.

      Amen.

      June 30, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      JF, as I stated on numerous posts, as a Christian I believe that God gives gifts to those who ask. Whether those gifts are in the medical field or any field of their choosing. There are serious, thoughtful, deep people in all walks of life just as there are goof balls who haven't a clue and give lip service. Besides, it's all in God's plan. He is the Alpha and the Omega.

      Amen.

      June 30, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      God has a plan. No really, he does. That botched first testament with all its mistakes was just a slip up. Well, OK, the second one was a bit of a mess-up too. That`s why he stopped there and we haven`t heard from him since.

      Amen.

      June 30, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
    • GodPot

      @HeavenSent – It's obvious that you not only lack writing skill's but also reading comprehension. My point was not that Christians don't like doctors or medicine, it was that medicine is an ever evolving and adapting field that is constantly updating itself based on new discovery's. Christians and most religions on the otherhand attempt to stick to law's that were written for people over 2000 years ago and most of which are outdated and archaic to say the least. Your age of mysticism and miracles is over, there will be no rapture that allows you to leave this planet behind covered in all your shlt. Stop treating your planet and your fellow man as a toilet for all your selfish faith based diarrhea.

      July 1, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      @HeavenSent
      Am waiting for my beeper to go off, to go put in a Swan-Ganz.
      When you get sick do you still call the barber do a bleeding ?

      July 2, 2011 at 5:22 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.