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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. Laurie

    Wonderful story – thanks for writing it.

    July 20, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  2. Duvone

    After reading these "lively" conversations periodically for over a year now, it's obvious that non-believers consider themselves to be the new "cool," and that "smart people" look down on Christians and organized religion. I see you as bullies, completely full of yourselves, and easily the most petulant and contentious people I've ever encountered. The posts are sad...so many arrogant comments from individuals who obviously enjoy getting online and making very cruel generalizations about those whose beliefs differ from their own. LIfe is beautiful, and life is hard. I see no wisdom in your words. I just feel sorry for you.

    July 20, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • Rhonda

      I concur with this observation.

      July 20, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • RUSerious

      Funny, I was just thinking the same thing about the religeous folk. Always so quick to "remind" non-believers about their fate in a burning pit (hell) for eternity, but god loves them... o.O
      It's ok, I know you are just prejudiced against non-believers. It shows quite well in your post. Hasty generalizations about a group of people is probably something you do regularly, so why ask you to change now? It's nice you grouped all athiests together from some posts on a blog site. At least athiests have centuries of data from religion-based events, science, and common sense to back up our hypothesis (that religion sucks). What do you have, other than anonymous forum posts?

      July 21, 2011 at 12:37 am |
  3. Iceman

    @Elizabeth
    This is not just a beautiful story. It gets even better, for the story is not over yet. For one to know that Lucas will walk and talk without the use of machines or computers. This is what the Bible has been saying to everyone born with these physical disabilities. Now that is reliable, good news that you can count on. =)

    July 20, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  4. BENJI

    This is a beautiful story and just shows us how God can use anybody.

    July 20, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • David Stone

      Too bad God doesn't do anything to help him from Sh1tt1ng and drooling all over himself, or to help him to walk and live a productive life that doesn't simply sap the life out of the people around him.

      July 20, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  5. Laurie

    For me this was nothing about religion and everything about a young man with incredible challenges finding acceptance. What a beautiful story.

    July 20, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  6. Iceman

    @Laughing

    Check these out, if you'd like =)

    Event Prophecy Fulfilment
    Born of the tribe of Judah Genesis 49:10 Luke 3:23-33
    Born of a virgin Isaiah 7:14 Matthew 1:18-25
    Descended from King David Isaiah 9:7 Matthew 1:1, 6-17
    Declared by Jehovah to be
    his Son Psalm 2:7 Matthew 3:17
    Not believed in Isaiah 53:1 John 12:37, 38
    Entered Jerusalem riding an ass Zechariah 9:9 Matthew 21:1-9
    Betrayed by a close associate Psalm 41:9 John 13:18, 21-30
    Betrayed for 30 silver pieces Zechariah 11:12 Matthew 26:14-16
    Silent before his accusers Isaiah 53:7 Matthew 27:11-14
    Lots cast for his garments Psalm 22:18 Matthew 27:35
    Reviled while on the stake Psalm 22:7, 8 Matthew 27:39-43
    None of his bones broken Psalm 34:20 John 19:33, 36
    Buried with the rich Isaiah 53:9 Matthew 27:57-60
    Raised before corruption Psalm 16:10 Acts 2:24, 27
    Exalted to God’s right hand Psalm 110:1 Acts 7:56

    The only person in world history that could fulfill these prophecies is the historical person, Jesus. =)

    July 20, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Kyle

      That's awesome...except that none of this is history. It's mythology. Big difference.

      July 20, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • Bob Bobberson

      How do you know the prophesies weren't invented afterwards to dupe the yokels?

      July 20, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • Phil

      Cool story bro.

      July 20, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • Laughing

      Bob Bobberson has about the right of it.

      You can't make a prophacy of a specific person AFTER they've come, it sort of defeats the person, you know? If I were to tell you that on June 23rd, 2011, a person born in Denver, CO to a jewish family would move to DC to a specifc address and when that person does you'll know him as the messiah and then look at it now and be like like, "Whoa! I'm the messiah! I fill all those requirements! sweet". Sorry, but the dog doesn't hunt.

      July 22, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  7. Elizabeth

    These comments make me sad. That was just a beautiful story about a disabled man finding comfort through music. This story isn't all about religion. Lucas himself said he hasn't been "saved." I am from MS and I don't know how many of you have ever been to the MS Delta. As far as race relations go they haven't moved past the 60's. This emotional story is about being color blind, gender blind (as he was the only male in the women's chore) and handicap blind. All of the said issues are thick in the MS Delta so stop the religious debate and see the beauty and heartache of this moving story.

    July 20, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • Spiffy

      No.

      July 20, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      I agree Elizabeth that this "Factually" Relevant Story is heartbreaking but is also joyously enlightening! I know of a song written some time ago by a "Red Sovine" and it is called "Teddy Bear" but I'm not too sure it's this boy's Tale. Maybe,,,,,

      July 20, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • Ryan

      Elizabeth- Good point. I have a real issue with religion but I agree with you. This is really a different type of story. A good one

      July 20, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • David Stone

      I read this and see a story about pitiful people all wallowing in ignorance and poverty. Anyone who does the things they do is pathetic.

      July 20, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  8. IN FAITH

    How is it that all these none believers know so much about the bible? If you have faith & believe in him everything else will follow. He helps those who help themselves. Some people have generations of families praying for them. Sounds like you want to be a believer but your afraid. I pray that you will change your mind God Bless You All.

    July 20, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • Spiffy

      It has been proven that atheists know more about religion then the religious. Maybe if you learned more about your and other's faith you too would become an atheist.

      July 20, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • JMR

      We've studied it and found it to be ludicrous. It's not me that want to believe. I'm happy with truth, honesty and reality.

      July 20, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • Ryan

      Yes, I love living my honest, reality filled life. Not one of magic talk and fear from an invisble power.

      July 20, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  9. Spiffy

    Isn't it likely that if you were born in Spain you would be Catholic? If you were born in Israel a Jew? If you were born in Indonesia a Muslim? If you were born in India a Hindu?

    People are generally born into the religion they follow. If they had been born anywhere else they would probably be something different. What makes people think they are right when the only reason they are generally a religion is because their parents were?

    July 20, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      spiffy does not exist

      July 22, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
  10. Kyle

    Meanwhile, in other parts of the country, scientist are developing cures for central nervous system disorders such as cerebral palsy. Luckily, they're conducting this research using the scientific method and not prayer.

    July 20, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • Chris

      This.

      July 20, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  11. Dionne

    If everyone had the Spirit of Lucas, what an awesome world this would be.

    July 20, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • William Demuth

      I don't think so, cause then the idiots would vote in some nut who would get us all killed in the name of their imaginary sky freind.

      July 20, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • Sean

      Agreed Will

      July 20, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • rob

      This kid is incredible i just hope he does not sell out his black friends for the sake of the mostly racist republican party

      July 20, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • Alex

      Solving our problems with prayer and not science? Sounds horrible to me...

      July 20, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • David Stone

      Lucas is a pathetic waste of space, a drain on society. In a logical world his kind wouldn't exist. You do realize that one or more people have no life because of having to tend to him constantly right? In the animal kingdom, he would die at birth or be killed off quickly, because his type weakens the herd, the community.

      July 20, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • Wow

      David, we are at the top of the food chain. So are you saying that he should be just left to die?

      July 20, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
  12. Paula

    This is the best story in the news! Thank you for sharing it!

    July 20, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Enter another Jesus freak.

      Hey Paula, why did your God make this guy an idiot? Seems kind of cruel.

      July 20, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      hey paula why did God make william demuth an idiot? it seems kind of cruel

      July 20, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Herbert with a small h?

      Ha HA HA.

      Run, the INS is coming!

      July 21, 2011 at 8:53 am |
    • herbert juarez

      william with a small intellect
      ha ha ha
      william with a small......fill in the blank
      ha ha ha
      better the ins than an irisher
      God put the irish on an island and gave them round boats so they wouldn't annoy the civilized world.You are a prime example of why.

      July 21, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  13. MSKD

    And they say the internet is a colossal waste of time. Invisible man in the sky.

    July 20, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  14. William Demuth

    Has anybody else realized that the more one hears about Chrisitianity, the harder it becomes to distinguish it from schizophrenia? Voices in your head, sky monsters, reanimated zombie saviors and now speaking in tongues?

    Hell most southerners can barely speak english!

    July 20, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • Bruce

      Actually, "speaking in tongues," at least in the context of this article, is kind of the opposite of voices in your head. They have come to believe that the jibberish they are delivering in the ecstatic state is understandable only to God, so in that sense it's the opposite of a "voice" because it is not communicating with you.

      July 20, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • William Demuth

      So an unitelligible language to talk to an imaginary sky freind.

      How deviantly Christian!

      July 20, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • mjg

      May you find peace.

      July 20, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • Zebula

      And we're supposed to be impressed by a retard finding god.

      July 20, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      @zebula
      is this your way of saying you found God?

      July 22, 2011 at 10:22 am |
  15. Ryan

    ---A general thought on the bible-–

    Is it that crazy to believe people want and like POWER so a book to control them (the bible) was created? Don't you see how well it worked? The best creation ever! You and many others are still blindly following something that was put in place thousands of years ago by leaders! And so much so, that people are still using the very book they wrote as the only evidence they need as proof of a higher being! With everything else in your life...I'm sure that you use a great amount of rational thought on weather something could really happen or not. You reason and try to come up with RATIONAL explanations for things. Every day I bet you do this. Or you say to your buddy, that "I don't believe you saw the lockness monster this weekend", BUT when it comes to this topic, your rational thought is completly shut off and this one thing (even though its not a rational thought) you allow slide. Why should this topic be any different? Why should you treat this one as a "special case" or exception to the rule when it comes to rational thought? It really is the greatest invention in the history of men.

    July 20, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • Bruce

      Actually, Ryan, the views regarding scripture you are talking about are a relatively recent phenomenon and certainly weren't that way in the 4th century when the canonical councils were putting the bible together.

      In fact, for many centuries after that the church wouldn't even allow the laity to read the scriptures. It really wasn't until the time of the Reformation before the scriptures gained such rhetorical authority among the common folk.

      July 20, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Some believe it actualy cause genetic damage!

      I remember when my son was eight I told him that they invented color in 1967, and before that the world was actually all black and white.

      I even showed him pictures to prove it. Needless to say, we still get a laugh out of it, but he will admit it made perfect sense to him because I told him.

      That power is so often missused by the indoctrinated.

      July 20, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • Ryan

      I'm speaking generally here. Not specifially for any scriptures. The idea as a whole with a book empowering groups of people.

      July 20, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • Sean

      Meh.. according to the Times, it’s about to be ‘translated’ again.

      July 20, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  16. B123

    Wow Albert what is incredibly scary is you're handle on scripture. I would like to see you're bible theology degree, I can show you mine. If you really want to get into this you are taking Matt 7:21-23 completely out of context. Furthermore you are really missing the point of the Gospel. Jesus came for the least among us, the vulnerable the poor. You're Matt 7 passage is referring to this as well. As so many Christians sit in their pretty churches passing the plate and singing their hymns while people in their church and out in their communities are hurting, and yet they do nothing. Jesus is saying if you are doing all the right church things but your heart is not in the right place then it's as if I never knew you. This Matthew 7 verse is also referencing the fact that these things DO happen in churches but must not be abused. Please note 1 Corinthians 14:39 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.' Paul speaks about the use of the gifts of the spirit in several places. And finally the gifts of the spirit ending with the death of the apostles is A.) NOT in the Bible and B.) Not inline with the accounts of Acts and the assent of Jesus to Heaven. Perhaps you should stop listening and attending whatever heretical church you are attending.

    July 20, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Bruce

      LOL albert is one of those who will insist all day long that people need to "read the bible for themselves" and then the moment someone does read the bible for themselves and comes to a different conclusion than he does he says "you are misquoting the scriptures" as if now some form of orthodoxy is appropriate.

      I opened up the bible to look up Matthew 7:21-23 and I laughed as I read the first lines from that chapter. LOL. The first handful of verses have albert pegged. 🙂

      July 20, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • Ein

      You have a degree in buIIs%it.

      July 20, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • Sean

      You don’t need a degree to know the bible is BS. Common sense will tell you that. But hey if you need more.. watch the history channel sometime. See how many times is been ‘translated’ and rewritten to suit who was in charge at the time. It’s a lot cheaper and takes less time than a degree.

      July 20, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • Wow

      Yeah Sean, the history channel has never been wrong or scewed a view on something. I always rely on television for my information and take it as the absolute truth.......

      July 20, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • Alex

      To B123, you wasted all that time and money getting a degree focusing on religion and the bible... OMG how funny is that! Now that respected scientists such as Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, and Dennett are pulling the cover from over our heads.. Most of the world now realizes that religion and the whole idea of god is a complete delusion.. So basically you studied the made up idea of a delusion.. that would suck..

      July 20, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • David Stone

      A degree in theology has to be the most useless degree on earth. What a freaking joke. You actually spent all of your college money getting a degree in the study of things that are all about feeling and belief, none of which can be proven? How foolish.

      July 20, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  17. Brian

    ." The all mighty was the holi ghost that pregnated Mary, mother of Christ".........................................................

    It was more likely a Roman soldier according to the only credible records we have. But – keep the faith.

    July 20, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • fred

      You have no credible records that say it was a Roman. We barely have records it was Joesph. She would be dead it was the custome if it were true

      July 20, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  18. Iceman

    @Doc Vestible
    You raised some excellent questions. Perhaps I can answer some of them.

    The Messiah did not invalidate the rules of the OT, The OT prophesied some 200 times about the arrival, birth, life, and death of the Messiah.

    The Christian Greek Scriptures or NT is part of the Bible Cannon because it s contents give evidence of inspiration by God’s holy spirit; it s counsel against superst it ions, demo nism, and creature worship; it has total unity with the rest of the Bible (OT); It is a message that turns people to the worship of Jehovah and stimulates deep respect for his work and purpose; It has an appeal to love and to serve God; It has a conformity with the divine “pattern of healthful words” and harmony with the teachings of Jesus Christ.

    The Book of Mormon is not a third edition or a new revealed truth of the Bible but a literary masterpiece from the mind of John Smith and we know this from the warning recorded at Revelation 22:18,19.

    I hope this info helps you a little bit. =)

    July 20, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Laughing

      First off, Jesus says a lot that's exactly what he did, he invalidated everything in the OT which is why christians don't have to keep kosher, or have pais or wear tefilin (but for some reason they still use Lev.....?) as for the coming of the messiah. Yes, it's in there. Jesus doesn't even remotely fit the qualifications though. You should probably reread those.

      July 20, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • fred

      Laughing,
      Jesus did not say a lot, his public ministry was but 3 years. The few things he said are powerful even now. I note they strike a cord with you in 2011AD yes the year of the Lord. His birth separated BC from AD and old testament to new

      July 20, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • fred

      Laughing,
      The Jews wanted a King in the image of their pridful hearts. Jesus was intentionally the son of carpenter from Nazarath as nogthing good ever came from there. God does not play up to fools he uses the things of the foolish to stump the proud

      July 20, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • David Stone

      I love hearing Christians babble on about how Christ came along and invalidated much of the old testament....all as if it is so logical, and makes such sense. Do you ever step back to realize how silly your beliefs sound when confronted with logic?

      July 20, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  19. maude

    By the year 2020 25% of the US population will bowing towards Mecca. Christians have come to realize that God=Allah. Allah is lord. The all mighty was the holi ghost that pregnated Mary, mother of Christ. When Christ was born, Mother Mary
    made sure that Jesus came to this world throug her womb and face Mecca. Mecca his the true house of god (kabba).

    July 20, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • albert

      First of all, your statistic is made up and has no bearing. Second if you think I am going to stick my face behind someones a$$ to pray, you are crazy!

      July 20, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • zzzz

      LOL

      July 20, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • JF

      Greeeeat. So America becomes even less educated.

      July 20, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Q

      "...stick my face behind someone's a$$ to pray". Isn't that what all prayer is about? Blowing kisses at the magic invisible sky daddy's backside?

      July 20, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  20. IN FAITH

    This story is not about your personal feelings. It's about this young man's spirit.

    July 20, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      I keep telling people that, and they don't get it. The story isn't Religion:True or False? It's a kid getting some happiness in his awful life.

      July 20, 2011 at 4:36 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.