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July 20th, 2011
06:20 AM ET

Finding God in the Mississippi Delta

By Tommy Andres, CNN

Moorhead, Mississippi (CNN) - The Mississippi Delta is the kind of place where everyone shows up for a funeral.

It was on such a day in 1997 that Lucas McCarty and his grandfather had come to pay their respects to a young man who'd been killed in a car crash.

John Woods was there to bury his son.

Lucas and John had met a handful of times before, but that's the day John found his new son and Lucas his "black daddy" – each one delivered in his own way from a tragic past.

John worked for Lucas’ grandfather on his catfish farm as an “oxygen man." Catfish are fickle creatures, and if they don’t have enough oxygen, the whole lot of them can go belly up in minutes.

He’d gotten the job a decade earlier after getting out of jail. John had killed his brother-in-law on a lonely Delta road, according to T.R. Pearson's “Year of Our Lord,” which tells about John and Lucas. John had been indicted and tried for first-degree murder, but the trial resulted in a hung jury. He was then indicted and tried for first-degree manslaughter - and this time the jury found him not guilty. He was a free man.

At about the time John was starting a new life, Lucas’ life was almost ending before it could even begin.

Elizabeth Lear McCarty’s heart sank when her son was born, the familiar cry of a baby’s entrance into the world replaced by phrases like “no heartbeat” and “no spontaneous respiration.”

Elizabeth says a botched delivery deprived her son of oxygen at birth, damaging his brain.

He was born “gray and dead,” she says.

There would be unanswered questions and a lawsuit, and pretty soon it would become clear that Lucas would never be like other kids.

Lucas has cerebral palsy, a condition suffered when a baby's brain is deprived of oxygen, usually at birth. The condition began to show its devastating effects more and more as he matured.

He never learned to walk, read or write. Even eating was a challenge. It looked like Lucas was destined to spend the rest of his days in a wheelchair, dependent on others for his most basic needs.

Though he has never spoken a word in his life, at age 5 he found a way to say anything he needed to. It would take him years to master it, but the machine he shied away from at first, slowly became his link to his family and the world.

Based on Mayan hieroglyphs, Minspeak allows Lucas to create full sentences by pushing a series of pictures.

If he wants to say the word food, he pushes the picture of an apple. If he wants to say eat, he pushes the picture of an apple followed by the picture of a man running, called the “action man.” If he just wants to say apple, he pushes apple twice.

It can get fairly complex to an outsider. A hamburger, for example, is apple + scale + treasure chest. Somehow, this all makes sense if you’ve never learned to read or write with words.

Lucas grew up going to an Episcopal church, but his mom says he never liked it all that much. He was antsy and easily irritated, and sitting quietly for hours not only was difficult, but practically ran counter to his genetic predisposition.

“His sister kept his hands down the whole time he was at our church,” Elizabeth says.

‘My calling is singing the gospel’

At the funeral for his son, John Woods was touched by the presence of Lucas and his grandfather, James Lear.

“I looked around the church and Mr. Lear was there. Lucas was there. That’s to show you an old black man like me has some dear, sweet white friends,” John says.

Afterward, John began coming to the McCarty house to sing gospel songs with Lucas.

“He really couldn't do much else,” John says. “We would sing songs like ‘God’s Got It All In Control’ ” - no doubt a message that, at the time, offered equal comfort to both of them.

John asked Elizabeth if he could take Lucas to Easter service at Trinity House of Prayer, where he was the music director. John had been saved at Trinity, and he hoped Lucas could be too.

At that first service, John carried Lucas, and because of John’s position as music director, they sat in the deacon’s box, a spot reserved for congregational royalty.

“The Trinity House of Prayer congregation are such a loving environment of peoples,” John says. “A man can be a sinner, a whiner, (but) when they bring him into Trinity House of Prayer he will feel nothing but pure and genuine love.”

The love Lucas felt most was for the music. He fit right in with the loud expressionism and theatrics, and adored the soulful singing. Trinity changed his image of church.

“Shouting, dancing, falling out and speaking in tongues is real church,” Lucas says through his device.

Trinity House of Prayer is known for its choir. Tucked deep into the fertile soil and God-fearing air of the Mississippi Delta, the church is nestled on a flat, barren landscape, one of hundreds in a region where faith is the answer to poverty and hardship.

The chapel isn’t much to look at - an old gray building surrounded by a graveyard of dilapidated vehicles and rusted-out farm equipment. On the inside, windows are covered in a clear red film, a cheap alternative to stained glass. And on a sunny day, the faded carpet and beautiful wood pews light up with a glow that can feel transcendent.

Most notably, Trinity’s congregation is all black – with one exception. Every Sunday for the past 15 years, Lucas has shown up, sometimes carried, sometimes crawling, but always ready to put his “foot on the devil’s head.”

It’s a bit of a peculiar sight, a white man in a black church, on his knees, wailing indecipherably, but passionately into the microphone in the corner of the choir stand. He knows every word, he just can’t say them, but that sure doesn’t stop him from finding his voice.

“My calling is singing the gospel,” he says.

A warm, cleansing oil

Four months before Lucas was born, John Woods prayed for the first time for as long as he could remember.

The hard crack of the pistol, pulled from his waistband and fired without aim on that balmy Father's Day in 1987, rang through his head over and over.

John didn’t know if the man he had shot was dead, but he knew he was in trouble. He and his wife, Mary Frances, cried together until a squad car pulled into his driveway and took John away in handcuffs.

According to John, he heard his sister's husband had beaten her with a pipe, and John wanted to get even. He tracked the man down at a diner to give him a piece of his mind, the gun in his waistband providing punctuation for each cautionary sentence.

But according to John’s description in Pearson's "Year of our Lord," his brother-in-law didn’t take too kindly to the threat. He chased John down a road and pulled out a .25 automatic. He got off two shots before the gun jammed, and before John knew it, he’d shot back.

John wouldn’t find out for sure until he was in his cell that the man was dead, but he had felt the life leave his brother-in-law the second he shot him.

It was in the Sunflower County Jail where John found God. As he sat there in a cold cell, a cellmate told him to turn his life over to the Lord.

John’s life had been far from charmed. Plagued by drugs and alcohol, he now found himself sharing a fate suffered by all too many poor black men in the Delta. But on one of those sleepless nights, John prayed, and that’s when he says he felt it.

“It was like a warm oil being poured down from the top of my head, running slowly down my body, and every place it touched it was cleansing me.”

It was when John got out of jail that he says “old Jimmy Lear” took a chance on him, made him his "oxygen man," always telling John not to worry and “keep moving.”

John would drive around to each pond and put a long stick into the water and check the oxygen levels. The job required him to check the oxygen nearly every hour around the clock, so sleeping was in short spurts spread throughout the day and night.

It was during one of these naps 15 years ago that John had a strange dream. In the dream, Tony, the oldest of his four sons, had crashed his truck, and John was consoling him. John awoke to the phone ringing. It was his wife Mary Frances. Tony had fallen asleep at the wheel coming home from work at 4 a.m.

“God called him home.”

Crawling into the choir stand

Despite being told he’d never be able to walk, Lucas has found his own way, slipping out of his wheelchair and onto the floor at Trinity House of Prayer, where he shuffles around on thick knee pads as if in a state of constant reverence.

Drawn to the music, it was only a matter of time before Lucas crawled up into the choir stand. Not only was Lucas the only white member of the church - and definitely the only member with cerebral palsy - until last year he was also the only man in the all women’s choir. A young man has since joined him.

Trinity’s pastor, Willie B. Knighten, tried to heal Lucas at one of his first services. Lucas says it was the only time he felt uncomfortable at the church.

“I only felt funny when the preacher laid hands on me the first time,” he remembers.

It’s the soft spot within many people that makes them wish Lucas normal, but the hand of God hasn’t taken away his condition.

Still, to nearly everyone who attends Trinity, it’s a small miracle each time Lucas crawls into the choir stand on his own every week to sing. In a small way, he has been healed.

Lucas is a lot like any 25-year-old single man. He likes cars, he loves surfing the web, and the No. 1 thing on his mind at any given time is women. He wants a girlfriend - specifically one, he says, who is “an outgoing sweetheart, who does not smoke, has never had children but wants (them) and is a Republican.”

Lucas’ access to the outside world is a bit limited. Because of his handicap, going anywhere can be an ordeal. He refuses to use a power chair, instead relying on the push of a friend, relative or stranger.

A few days each week, Lucas works at his father’s restaurant in nearby Indianola washing dishes and cleaning. When Lucas was 6 years old, his parents got divorced. It’s no secret that the difficulties of raising an impaired child strained the marriage.

The job gets him out of the house he shares with his mother, something that’s important for a young man whose body is disabled but whose ambition knows no limits. Lucas wants to start his own cleaning company, and during the announcements following a recent service at Trinity House of Prayer, Lucas asks for the microphone, holds it up to his machine and slowly types out the message that if anyone is looking for work, he’s hiring.

Church is the one time a week Lucas knows he can get out of the house, and at Trinity House of Prayer people won’t look away when he comes down the aisle.

“Lucas would be at church every time the door opened if he could,” his mother says. “But we just usually go take him on Sunday. And that's the most important part of the week for Lucas … getting to church on Sunday.”

Lucas has found other ways to connect. He has an e-mail address and a Facebook account, but for years his favorite hobby has been jumping on the CB radio he keeps in the family room. Most of the truckers know him by now. His handle is “Teddy Bear,” and he starts each interaction the same way: “Is there a pot of coffee on?”

John Woods, now Bishop John Woods, has moved on from Trinity to be the associate pastor of a church down the road. He and Lucas still get together, singing their favorite gospel songs just as they did 15 years ago. Lucas’ favorites are “I’ll Fly Away” and “I’ve Got To Run.” Between songs they talk about life and the Lord.

When John asks Lucas if he’s been saved, he shrugs. Despite the music and the love of Trinity’s congregants, he hasn’t quite made his peace with God. It’s a familiar struggle for many, but when you draw a hand like Lucas’, making sense of it all can be even more challenging.

Lucas may still be on a search for God, but the boy who was born without a breath has found his “oxygen man” - and John has found the son he lost.

When they speak of God, John tells Lucas, “Don’t worry, you’ll find him one day.” But Lucas seems content to find his solace “in the music,” and he’s happy as long as he can convince folks of one thing: “I want people to know I am more than a boy in a wheelchair.”

Editor's Note: Nashville band Sleeping Bulls provided the song “Jean Baptiste” from their upcoming album “The Least Banquets” for the video.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Faith & Health • Mississippi

soundoff (1,300 Responses)
  1. ijreilly

    NO NO NO. The trick is escaping religion in the south. They got it backwards.

    July 20, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • DC from NJ

      Thank you ljreilly. You can't find what isn't there.....

      July 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  2. itsme

    Question: Why is it that CNN uses the hyperlink phrase "White boy finds his 'black daddy'" to attract people to the article? Is it because the word 'daddy' used in context is a presumed and stereotypical diction associated with black folks? Granted, the article was inspiring, it was not all that neccessary. C'mon, CNN, you have GOT to do better. SMDH

    July 20, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Ghetto Homey messes with the mind of Christian Idiot, people would have thought it was about Obama and Bachman

      July 20, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • itsme

      Let me rephrase: Cmon, America, we have GOT to do better! (That includes you too, Will D.)

      July 20, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  3. Iceman

    @Ein
    Yes, I agree. Only those hungering for Truth and Righteousness. =)

    July 20, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  4. gibby18

    LOVE GOD LOVE PEOPLE PERIOD

    July 20, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Rob

      so, you love Hitler? you love Bush? you love Mussolini?(sp?)

      July 20, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Well Rob it's strange you might ask, but yes I do love bush, but clean shaven is probably my preference

      July 20, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Rob

      then can you really say you LOVE bush? or you just won't let it get in your way?.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Floss dude.

      It's natures perfect floss!

      July 20, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • gibby18

      The Bibles calls us to be Disciples of Christ and spread his word and to love others. I will not judge anyone’s sin for I sin myself. There is no greater sin than any other. All sin is the same in the eyes of our Lord. Everyone will have their day of judgment.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • Rob

      technically, pride is the greatest sin...it's in the english versions of the novel....

      July 20, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • David Stone

      I hate to break it to you, but in general, PEOPLE SUCK. Most suck in fact. Religion sucks, and a religion that encourages rolling around on the floor "speaking tongues" REALLY SUCKS.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • William Demuth

      David Stone

      Maybe you are on to something.

      Maybe there is no GRAVITY

      Maybe the whole world sucks!!

      July 20, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • fred

      Rob,
      You put Hitler, Bush and Mossolini together again. Heck all the kings horses and all the kings men could not do that

      July 20, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • Rob

      3 most evil people that popped into my mind first....and I had to struggle to think of anyone beyond Hitler and Bush....Moussolini seems kinda like a weak cop out just to make the list longer....

      July 20, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • fred

      Rob,
      So what is that Bush did which puts him up there with Hitler.

      July 20, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  5. peakarach

    Has white and black Christians ever realize that Christianity came from the Middle East countries?

    July 20, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Sudzzz

      Yes, we has. Doesn't matter.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • David Stone

      Yes, and it doesn't matter. The middle east now embraces the WORST of all religions, ISLAM.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Bruce

      It was the Romans who kicked it off, you know. If those white boy centurians hadn't killed Jesus in that very public manner in the first place, there would have been no "resurrection" and thus no Christianity!

      July 20, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @David Stone,
      I don't know why you'ld think Islam is the worst. There have been many religions that involved human sacrifice and even Judaism used to require animal sacrifice.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  6. ToniaS

    Black people can be so accepting...it would be a small black church in the south with welcoming arms open to embrace Lucas. I commend Lucas' family for allowing him to grow and be the man that he is and for providing him with a way to find his voice. And most of all I commend Lucas for reaching deep within himself, in spite of his physical limitations, to find his own truth...wherever and whatever that may be. Lift your voice even higher!

    What a great story!

    July 20, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Rob

      white boy just likes a big booty....nothing else....

      July 20, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • William Demuth

      They will probably cook him and eat him after dancing with snakes and speaking in toungues.

      It dosen't seem right to let the indoctrinated have another simpleton for themselves.

      In fact, they seem to be cornering the market.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • David Stone

      If this was a "normal" white person he would feel about as welcome as a chicken in a pack of wolves. They pitty this guy, and some probably enjoy have a white person to look down on and have as a "deformed pet". Get real.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • itsme

      Loved the comment Tonia S. 🙂 Please do not mind those cynical (and probably older, white) males trolling on your post. Instead, pity them for the lack of joy and mental stability that they evidently experience. Tisk Tisk

      July 20, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  7. Iceman

    @Isocrates

    Yes,I agree with you there. We have made technological, and scientific advances.

    However, do you think that the Medical Industry truly wants people to live without sickness? It's a money maker for them to keep us sick and dependent, hooked on their medications. On the other hand there are other problems: war, crime, growing old, and global warming- just to name a few. Perhaps we are better to "look out the window" and think that we can some how permanently eliminate these problems? Ah, but there is a better way and we don't have to wait another 6,000 years. =)

    July 20, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  8. Richard S Kaiser

    About a year ago, I was at a Karaoke establishment when the bar owner asked me if I'd sing a song she picked out for me. I obliged her and it was the song "Teddy Bear" by Red Sovine. Not knowing this song at all, I began to sing/read it as it came on the Tv screen. I wasn't half way through the song and tears came down like falling rain! A lot of People their did also cry out! A few Days' Later on I looked thru the song listings on the jukebox and to my surprise the cartoon character who is voiced by, dang I can't remember! Anywho, this person who did the voice did "Teddy Bear" and it was worth paying to hear it from other then me.

    July 20, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  9. peakarach

    Seriously has ANYONE ever met so call an imagining GOD personally?

    July 20, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Nympha

      All believers have.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • William Demuth

      I think I sold him some smoke back in the 70's

      Strangest thing though, I seem to remember he was a gay black guy with dreads and an accent.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Rob

      No, but Jesus mows my lawn and cleans my pool....

      July 20, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • petra88

      seriously I for one HAVE met God, meet Him every day, and have a changed life to prove it. You'll never understand faith with your head-it's a heart issue. Faith is not wishing -it's like a key that opens a door to reality-ask God for faith-He WILL show you the true reality.

      "Truth is truth whether it's believed or not" -anonymous

      July 20, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • William Demuth

      petra88

      Please, spare me the egocentric nonsense! The all mighty ruler of time space and dimension wouldn't give a rats rear end if you were eaten by komodo dragons.

      I bet you haven't even seen Justin Bieber.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • Rob

      Petra...interesting that you'd misquote a quote that was an argument AGAINST religion....just because you believe, doesn't make it so....

      July 20, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • petra88

      William, my question is how do you KNOW for sure that God doesn't exist or care. If your answer is because of what you see and hear only with your senses or your limited experience, then you don't understand faith. This isn't your fault, and I don't think I or anyone else is better than anyone-just sharing my life as an encouragement; my belief,in God, which is just as valid as you sharing that you don't believe in Him. For whatever it's worth to you (I guarantee its worth a WHOLE lot more than you see right now), I will be praying for you. Bless you William.

      July 20, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • petra88

      Rob-the quote is still valid either way-my point is that just because someone (or everyone for that matter) says that the moon is made of cheese doesn't make it true. Just because you or anyone else says there is no God-doesn't make it true. Truth IS truth. There is a truth-it's not my truth, yours, or anyone else's. Truth isn't dictated by anyone's opinion.

      July 20, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • William Demuth

      petra88

      And I shall curse you, and neither of our efforts will change anything.

      As for debating God, you must first define him, but I will spare you 40 years of research and refer you to Epicurus so you can get the general picture.

      July 20, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "but I will spare you 40 years of research"

      And whose unbiased, scientific and theologically sound research is this?

      July 20, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • petra88

      That's what you believe William. Doesn't make it true. Hard to argue with me about MY experience.

      July 20, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  10. Spiffy

    So God was hiding out in the Mississippi Delta the whole time? Why didn't we see it before?

    But in all seriousness if this is what makes this boy feel good about himself good for him. I will just choose to believe differently then him.

    July 20, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • Bruce

      Spiffy, where in this article do we find out what Lucas believes?

      I really think we know very little about Lucas' opinions regarding theological matters. Of course, if you are talking about his taste in women then I agree. Republican women are definitely not for me!

      July 20, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • Spiffy

      He attends church and says "my calling is singing the gospel". It is very obvious to see what he believes.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Pondering what he belives is like pondering what a Labrador believes.

      Many claim they understand, but as for myself, I HIGHLY doubt it.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Spiffy

      So you are comparing a human being to a dog? That is a horrible analogy.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Spiffy

      Yes I am.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • Bruce

      LOL, because "singing the gospel" is the obvious shorthand for all that Christianity entails, and it never means anything different based on who says it.

      The fact is that most people who say they believe in Jesus haven't given much thought at all to any of the ideas involved in Christian theology. Lucas appears to enjoy the powerful emotions/feelings he gets when he whips himself into a frenzy along with everyone else there.

      Look at the video. What they are doing there is not intellectual theology. It's not even close. If it was, my guess is Lucas wouldn't be there. It's not about what Lucas believes, what Lucas' personal opinions might be when he stops to reflect on theological ideas such as transubstantiation and orthodox theosis. The trust of Lucas' attraction to this church isn't about belief–it's about the experience he has when he's there.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • Spiffy

      Not morally a horrible analogy. Intellectually a horrible analogy.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • Spiffy

      @Bruce so what you are saying is Lucas could have the same experience if he went to a kindergarten class.

      If Lucas was just looking to sing and have a fun time then there are other options for him. But he clearly chose a church. A church where they practice Christian beliefs. You do not have to give much thought to the subject to become a Christian. That is why we get horrible interpretations of the bible from the Evangelical community.

      Is it a good thing most people do not even understand what they believe? No but if you were to ask them about Jesus they would most likely have some sort of story to tell you and the usual Christian nonsense.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Spiffy

      How so, they are both of limited intellect, being forced to serve a master to eat.

      Seems spot on! Hell they probably have him in a cage on wee wee pads.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • Spiffy

      @William so even though you know nothing about Lucas other then what this article says you know a lot more about him. You even know the range of his intellect.

      Seems to me that you are using a Christian argument. You "just know".

      July 20, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • Bruce

      I don't know, I suppose it depended on the kindergarten class. My guess is that most kindergarten classes won't deliver the experience Lucas enjoys at that church.

      Look at the video. They are not "practicing Christian beliefs." They are dancing, they are singing, they are speaking gibberish in highly emotional tones. There is nothing remotely resembling any kind of orthodoxy in their practices.

      If you don't understand it, you really don't believe it. If you don't engage it intellectually, it is not a "belief" in any meaningful sense of the term.

      Is it a good thing that people do not even understand what they believe? That's a nonsensical question. They believe what they understand. If they don't consider it at all in any intellectual sense, in what way do they believe it?

      Atheists will go on and on about how they can't understand how people believe in this or that and how these same people might as well believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny when in fact these people they are talking about don't actually believe in this or that in the first place. You state confidently that you don't believe what Lucas believes, but the fact is you don't know what Lucas might or might not believe.

      If a person says, "I am a Christian," it really gives you very very little insight as to their beliefs.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Wow!

      Bruce, well put.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Spiffy

      Actually, having grown up in a ghetto, I can attest he would HAVE to be an idiot to be anywhere near that church.

      He will probably end up as a damn sacrifice!

      July 20, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Spiffy

      Who says their beliefs are what you consider Christian. They obviously believe in Jesus and God. So how is that not Christian?

      A belief is an opinion as defined by dictionary.com. If they have any opinion on Jesus it is a belief. It doesn't have to be grounded in dogma. They can call whatever they believe whatever they want.

      People believe what they want to believe even if it makes no sense. Just look at every religion out there. No sensible person would ever say they think that there are these people who are like spirits with wings and do whatever a guy in the sky tells them to do. And yet a majority of the world believes this garbage.

      A belief should be grounded in thought, reasoning and intellectualism. Seeing as belief is synonymous with opinion I can only assume that is what everyone goes through to form their beliefs. But alas that is not usually the case. What is usually the case is you are born into a religion. Whatever your parents believed you usually end up believing too.

      I can say with absolute certainty that Lucas believes in God in some way or the other. All the evidence shows it.

      If a person say, "I am a Christian" it gives you a lot of insight into what they believe. They believe in God, they believe in Jesus, and they believe in the bible. If they do not believe in one of these things then they are not a Christian. Simple as that.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • Spiffy

      @William so because you grew up in the "ghetto" you know everything about Lucas and what that church believes.

      You are simply being ignorant and arrogant.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Spiffy

      Spare me. Arrogant yes, but that dosen't alter the reality that Churches thrive on the weak minded. You speak of ignorance, yet this article is about a REAL person being dragged into a cult. This real person is impaired and vulnerable and should be protected from parasites like yourself and the other indoctrinated pieces of filth that would corrupt this young and damaged mind.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Spiffy

      @William if you had read any of my other posts you would realize that I am an atheist myself but sure go on and be purposefully stupid. It does fit you well.

      July 20, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Spiffy

      Touchy today. I just keep the flock in line.

      You claimed no harm to the kid, like none of the evils the church does to kids ever happens.

      You see I have seen what they do

      July 20, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Spiffy

      I am 16 and easily was able to realize that there was no God after being Catholic most of my life. I don't hate all Catholics and call them brainwashers just because they believe differently then I do. If I was able to discover that there was no God then so can others. I didn't come to disbelieve because people started telling me I was apart of a cult though.

      July 20, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Spiffy

      Your a bright kid, I didn't intend to offend.

      Be carefull, this is a rough crowd.

      I just get very protective of the vulnerable when it comes to the church, and this man is no different.

      July 20, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  11. Ein

    Breaking News: Christianity attracts the mentally handicapped and guilty criminals.

    Who would have thought?

    July 20, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      "I RESEMBLE THAT REMARK!" But I am not "Handicapped", I am Disabled and I am NO Criminal! My Mental Equalibrium is out of Whack due my Past Life's Social Reconnoitering with Others who themselves were not quite right in the Mind and did all manner of Illegal Drugs. My Parents; back in my teens were hard workers and both worked hard back then leaving little to no Guidance for me to react with. I was an only child for almost 10 years before my brother was born. We; my brother and I didn't socialize together until I was honorably discharged from the Army, but this was detrimental in ways I would really not care to talk about.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  12. JZ

    I think it's interesting that many people opposed to religion viciously comment on things outside of the scope of the article before us.

    I believe that truly shows a disregard for reason and even-handed talk.

    It's just hatred.

    Ironically, the very thing you used to blame christians for.

    July 20, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Rob

      I'll agree with that....intelligent people HATE willful ignorance....

      July 20, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Rob

      it's basically the same as teachers trying to educate children....well it's exactly like that

      July 20, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • JZ

      @ Rob

      Right, maybe in the future we'll exterminate those we perceive as not as intelligent as we are. Just have ourselves a nice "cleansing"

      Eventually hatreful thoughts will lead to hateful action.

      How much better if we can just have discussion like decent human beings.

      Or just respect one another and let christians rejoice over a brother who loves to sing without this banter back and forth.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Laughing

      Personally I come to these boards to chat about religion and follow the threads that are getting the most commented on. Of course I read the articles as well, but usually the comments go off book because both atheists AND believers also get a little off-topics as well. For instance, you yourself are disregarding the topic to say that atheists who come here are terrible just like christians (did I get that right?) and that you find it ironic. Well I will say this, regardless of topic, I'm here to debate, anytime, about anything.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • WhatWhatWhat?

      We love the people, we can't stand the delusion. If your friend had a cancerous tumor on their face, and they thought it was a beauty mark, wouldn't you think that was pretty ridiculous, and wouldn't you give them information and tell them they were wrong? No difference here, it's exactly the same thing. You have a delusion, and you should get a grip on reality. There, now I've told you too, because I care. I really do, I want to see you get well.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  13. Ismael.718

    THIS IS EXACTLY WHY I AM MUSLIM..AND PROUD TO BE ALSO.

    July 20, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • David Stone

      And with that, you remind all of us that there IS actually a MORE insane religion that this one....ISLAM, the ultimate example of religion making the world worse.

      July 20, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Yeah Right

      We got Muslims because we let dudes like the one in this article breed.

      Two retarted Chrisitans and a bottle of cheap red wine makes one Muslim

      July 20, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Rob

      ret-arded christians is redundant

      July 20, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      What dear Ismael.718 is your Muslim Faith Teaching you? What is in their Scriptues that makes you feel "Proud"?

      July 20, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  14. Jessica castaneda

    This is a beautiful story! I think people in this world needs a little hope and guidance! By the way jesus is real and loves all of u!

    July 20, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Rob

      hope is what causes people to sit around waiting for help instead of picking THEMSELVES up and making more of an effort in life....I don't need hope because I have created a great reality for myself and my family....I don't need imaginary friends because I have REAL friends....

      July 20, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • peakarach

      Don't you know by now that both Jesus and Muhammad was born as a Arab?

      July 20, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • David Stone

      I think it is a pathetic story of a bunch of pathetic losers who roll around on the floor speaking jiberish while claiming they are speaking for God, all the while coddli

      July 20, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  15. Rainer Brownstain

    Maybe if I ate less fiber I wouldn't have to "post" so often and in such volume of smelly goo.

    July 20, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  16. David Stone

    People who speak in tongues rolling around on the floor thinking that God is speaking through them, make me want to vomit. This guy fits right in with them, and I think it says a lot. People like this are the ones that make many HATE organized religion, they are nuts, and most everyone knows it, including most church-goers. I think have CP and making everyone around you take care of you is also quite selfish and bizarre as well, and were I unable to function normally I would wish to be put down, so as to not selfishly burden others with giving up their lives to wipe my rear, and clean my drool and other fluids constantly. Some people were not meant to live. Sorry, hard truth here.

    July 20, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Rob

      that is a result of mankinds attempts to combat evolution....stop the weak from naturally dying off long enough to pass on whatever weakness should have eliminated their contribution from the gene pool....the de-evolution of humanity

      July 20, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • Randy

      Wow David...what an absolute jerk! I hope you never find yourself in this position because I think you'll be on your own. Grow a conscious!

      July 20, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Rob,
      Social organization and cooperation might also be evolutionarily favorable traits. If we allowed the less fortunate to die, we would not have Stephen Hawking, on of the brightest physicists ever. Personally, I think diversity is the key to long term species survival, but that's just my own speculation. My point is that evolution is not as simple as "survival of the fittest," otherwise the dinosaurs would probably have survived instead of the tiny, weak, little mammals that existed back then.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Rob

      concerning the dinosaurs, they had a fatal flaw...inability to adapt...that was the weakness that caused their extinction....thus, they were not, by definition, the "fittest"....

      July 20, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Rob,
      Okay, define "fittest."

      July 20, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Rob

      whatever survives....

      July 20, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Laughing

      The Dinosaur point is moot, regardless of how good their genes were, no adaptation can survive an E.L.E., I mean if you want to get really into it, dinosaurs technically did because we still have crocodiles around and other amphibious creatures. But you can't blame genes for the extinction of a species by asteroid. That is dumb.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Rod,
      By that definition, "survival of the fittest" becomes "survival of the ones that survive'. Isn't "tautology" the right term for that, which says absolutely noting.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Sorry, @Rob not Rod.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  17. jonathan

    jesus christ has come in flesh again. please visit
    http://emperoremmanuelchurch.org/

    July 20, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Rob

      how much money are we supposed to send you?

      July 20, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • David Stone

      Hey wait I just converted to Mormonism and they said Christ came back already, in the old west during the 1800's. Which is it?

      July 20, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Was the flesh Jesus came into an Altar boy in Philly?

      It seems lots of them have been recieving the body of Christ.

      July 20, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Willy Demuth

      Quit being disgusting William.

      July 20, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  18. tmichelle72

    Hey Rob it's not the main article. At all actually. So instead of trying to make me sound foolish answer the question. Why did you come to this page?

    July 20, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • Rob

      It was when I got here.....if you look through the comments, you'll notice quite a few people mention and confirm that THAT is how they got here too....

      July 20, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • Nonimus

      it is on the main page, in the Featured section.

      July 20, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  19. JZ

    I have a question for those who keep asking why they should believe in a God who does things like that.

    What does God owe you? What did you ever do for him that he should somehow be indebted to you to give you:
    – The sun shining every morning
    – food to eat
    – friends to have
    – family that loves
    – a job that pays.

    We Americans think we just derserve everything.

    God has never been unjust to us. In fact, its the other way around.

    July 20, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Rob

      actually, people aren't asking why they should believe in god....they are asking how you can possibly believe in something so ridiculous in a day and age where people are SUPPOSED to be better educated.

      July 20, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • JZ

      @ Rob

      I am asking those who ask why they should believe in a cause that causes suffering aka "the achilles heel of christianity" i am not referring to what you're saying

      but since you are on the subject, the true irony is that education doesnt make you better. Some of the most educated people have done worse than those who had little education.

      So in terms of claiming christianity and obtaining education, neither is better than the other.

      July 20, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Laughing

      Sorry JZ but your point sort of makes sense, but it's sort of like a child asking for his favorite toy but instead god/parent didn't even give him a toy, he gave him the box the toy came in and said, "be greatful and stop complaining".

      In anycase, you asked "What does god owe you?" well god doesn't really owe anyone anything does he? However, what god does is instead of being passive and letting people figure out their life on their own, he's actively putting obstacles in front of them, for their own good. Tell god to quit being such a bully and maybe I'll start listening to what he has to say.

      July 20, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  20. Iceman

    @Rob
    You can quote from Steven King if you want, but he leans toward Demonism and the occult.

    If you are Talking about Theocracy-There is no "True Theocracy" today- If it does exist that government is run by a Clergy class- has not worked out too well. Look at the Talaban,and Iran, Then there is France, Britain, Germany, Spain in the Dark Ages when the Catholic Church controlled the world- There has been a lot of damage done in the name of Christianity. True. So it is up to us to find out what true Christianity is and involves. We do so in finding those who pattern the first century Christian congregation. =)

    July 20, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • Rob

      don't forget about Bush's little crusade/holy war

      July 20, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
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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.