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My Faith: How storytelling saved my life
The author in his college days, as seen in his student ID card from Yale.
August 7th, 2011
01:00 AM ET

My Faith: How storytelling saved my life

Editor's Note: Edward Grinnan is editor-in-chief of Guideposts magazine and author of "The Promise of Hope: How True Stories of Hope and Inspiration Saved My Life and How They Can Transform Yours."

By Edward Grinnan, Special to CNN

One spring day 25 years ago, I found myself perched on the 21st floor windowsill of a Denmark hotel room, holding what I thought would be my last alcoholic drink. I planned to give it up in a big way.

For all these years, I never told that story publicly, despite being the editor-in-chief of Guideposts, an interfaith magazine in which ordinary people tell their own stories of hope. My job is to persuade and help people tell those stories.

I’ve long known that such stories are our best medium for forging connections with our fellow human beings. They help span the breach of solipsism to unify the human experience.

We’ve been telling our stories since we could carve on cave walls, and probably longer. Stories are the roadmaps of our lives, and we're hard-wired for telling them.

Two generations before the internet and social networking, the minister and grandfather of the self-help movement, Norman Vincent Peale, founded Guideposts as a place for what would eventually come to be known as user-generated content.

Its origins were humble; the first issue of Guideposts was a 16-page booklet that featured World War I hero Eddie Rickenbacker on the cover.

Peale saw that by sharing our stories, we not only change ourselves, we change others. The act of telling our stories is transformative.

When I crawled into the Guideposts office in midtown Manhattan 23 years ago looking for a job, any job, I had no idea how being exposed to the power and beauty of true personal stories would change my life.

I was virtually homeless at the time and still recovering from the alcoholic seizures I'd suffered just a few weeks before.

I have no idea why I was even given a job, albeit an editorially menial one. I certainly wouldn’t have hired me.

Several years removed from getting a master’s degree in playwriting from Yale, I had been in and out of detoxes and rehabs, ERs, sobering-up stations and flophouses. I’d occasionally lived on the streets, smoked butts I’d found in the gutters and begged for change in the Hoboken, New Jersey, train station and in the shadows of the twin towers.

I’d hit bottom and now I was trying – again – to claw my way back. Little did I know that the path was right before me, aptly named Guideposts. Still, at the start I never intended to spend more than a year working for this odd little magazine.

Eventually, that changed. And so did I.

Yet two years ago, when I decided to write a book about a career spent helping people tell their stories, I had absolutely no intention of sharing my own. I’d never told it to my readers, or even my employers.

Yes, shame was a factor. Who wants to admit he’d sunk so low as to beg for change and sleep on benches? But it was also the nihilism of my 20s that I wanted to keep buried, that part of my life that felt more like an archeological dig than a personal story. Who was that person?

And I knew enough to understand that writing autobiographically can be like performing surgery on yourself without anesthesia.

No, I wanted my book to explain the basic steps for making personal changes that I’d picked up from the people who told their stories in Guideposts. People like Bill Irwin, who thru-hiked the 2,000-mile Appalachian Trail blind with only the assistance of his service dog, Orient.

Or the professional ballplayer who had to reconcile his shock at being traded like some commodity from the only major league team he had ever played for.

Or the woman who learned to forgive her cruel, abusive father when she was forced to care for him in her home as his life was drained by Alzheimer’s.

These were people whose stories moved and inspired me and made me look at my own life with not just a sense of hope and, eventually, to look at it through a spiritual lens.

I wanted the book to be just about them. But before I signed my book contract, my wife intervened.

“You’re going to tell you own story aren’t you, Edward?” she asked as we reviewed the contract. Sensing my reluctance, she made her case.

“You get people to bare their souls and share their stories with millions of others,” she said. “Your story will help people, too. Isn’t it time for a bit of your own medicine?” She held the pen out. “Look, Edward, I married you because of your story.”

So I made the difficult decision to include my own story in the book.

It wasn’t easy. I felt a little like the Wizard of Oz must have when the curtain was torn away. Honesty can be painful. I have greater respect than ever for the people who find the courage to help others by telling their stories in Guideposts.

And my wife was right - my story has helped others.

But mostly it has gotten me to finally look at the narrative roadmap of my life. I discovered that it is in telling our own stories that we truly find ourselves.

And it was in writing my story that I finally recognized a deeper and more ineffable plan.

When I see my life as a story, with all the richness and depth of art, the beauty and serendipity and redemption, the synchronicity of forces beyond my knowing, I understand finally that I am not necessarily the author.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Edward Grinnan.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Inspiration

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soundoff (602 Responses)
  1. RightTurnClyde

    @Damian ." ..s c i e n t i s t s ..a l l ..o v e r ..t h e ..w o r l d ..h a v e ..f u n d i n g ..a n d ..g o v e r n m e n t ..p e r m i s s i o n ..t o ..w o r k ..o n ..w e a p o n i z e d ..s m a l l ..p o x , ..e b o l a ..v i r u s ..( 1 2 ..v i l e s ..i n t e r c e p t e d ..a t ..t h e ..U S ..b o r d e r ..f r o m ..t h e ..C a n a d i a n ..m i l i t a r y ..w e a p o n s ..l a b ) , .. ..b i o e n g i n e e r e d ..f o o d s , ..i n s e c t i c i d e s , ..n e r v e ..g a s , ..e x p l o s i v e s , .."" ..n u c l e a r ..w e a p o n s , ..g u i d a n c e ..s y s t e m , ..c o m p u t e r ..v i r u s e s ..a n d ..s c a m e s ..( N i g e r i a ) , ..c l o n i n g ... . ..a n d ..o t h e r ..( o d d ) ..r e s e a r c h ... . ..s t e m ..c e l l ..a n d ..w h a t ..i s ..n e e d e d ..f o r ..s t e m ..c e l l ..i s ..s i m p l y ..n o t ..p r o f i t a b l e ..( a n d ..t h e r e ..h a v e ..b e e n ..n o ..c u r e s ..f o r ..a n y t h i n g ..b a s e d ..o n ..s t e m s ..c e l l s ... . . ..i t ..w a s ..m e r e l y ..a ..p o l i t i c a l ..p l o y ..u s e d ..b y ..A l ..G o r e ..- – ..l i k e ..g l o b a l ..w a r m i n g ) " (which reveals much about Al Gore)

    August 9, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Muneef

      Well you see on what they waste money making then there are all those fancy buildings...all those only lade to people going out in riots screaming for mercy from the new slavery systems that had not given them the chance to feel the true feeling of being well fed or prosperity....
      They wasted money on how to destroy life rather than build a life...!?! Man those mentalities have to pay for their crimes to humanity with out fail...

      August 9, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
  2. RightTurnClyde

    @Atheist Science may have brought about mad cow (Not sure if this is true, but I'm not going to look it up and argue), but it also eradicated small pox. (No, small pox still exists and is worse than ever because NOW it is a weapon. We actually made populations more vulnerable. You are believing propaganda as science. Propaganda is politics)

    @Atheist .. for stem cell research, there are tons of investors, it's just that the drug companies stand to lose millions and they have deeper pockets so they can bribe who they want to make sure it stays illegal. (no, there are more than 500 sovereign nations and if it were proficable investors could find a host nation .. China dn India are not Christian and do not have Christian influences)

    @Atheist .. every Christian out there .. you know ALL and NOTHING usually incorrect .. very few Christians do more than believe and occasionally go to church.

    @Laughing <this is just like your "people have stopped reading because book stores are closing" theory. It doesn't make sense .. ,, [it's not only the book stores .. that is just one indicator. We read tha our schols systems are failing and cannot teach our native language (English) and .. at least 15 years ago Cal State Fuyllerton (and other Cal-State colleges) stopped teaching remedial English to incoming students (many of whome became teachers) .. and I know more than one full professor of English who tell me they are retiring because they have class after class who cannot write academic papers ... IN OTHER WORDS .. there is plenty of evidence.. and atheists go by evidence right? You say gie me evidence and I believe it .. there is an abundance of evidence... why do you doubt? (are you simply a contrarian??)

    @Laughing .. moronic and way off. ... (you are rude as well as incorrect a stupidly following propaganda .. so I am laughing at you ... you're a fool and you cannot even see it)

    @Laughing Clyde, your post was inane and highly ignorant. (actually you are ignorant and rude and ill informed an resistive to help ... I think that is characteristic of your viewe point)

    @Laughing ..to spew your idiotic ideas on comment boards. (I think you use those words .. rude words... when you have no substantive resoning and it isa clear that you are not well read and have no capacity to formulate a rational response ... making you the idiot ..

    August 9, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • Funny

      You got to love it when someone condemns others for being rude but turn around and do it themselves. It has to do with that annoying log in your eye, you just can't see the truth about yourself.

      August 9, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • Atheist

      I do admit that small pox was not completly destroyed, but it's not quickly still killing off everyone though. This is because of science. It's not worse than ever, because only a few countries still have a little. Yes they can weaponize it, but there is also a vaccine, so if an outbreak starts, it won't last long.

      As for stem cell research, I don't think you understand the reach of these big drug companies. Most of them make their drugs in other countries and have them sent here to be sold. Or just sold in that country. The point is, they will do anything they can to keep something from making them lose money. It's not just the christians, it's politics.
      And maybe not every christian out there, but most definitely are opposed to abortion (where they get more stem cells)

      August 9, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Laughing

      Funny's got a point and let me say right now, I am completely meaning to be rude with my subsequent point,
      also, glad to see you typing real sentences again instead of putting a space after each letter........

      First off,:
      "[it's not only the book stores .. that is just one indicator. We read tha our schols systems are failing and cannot teach our native language (English) and .. at least 15 years ago Cal State Fuyllerton (and other Cal-State colleges) stopped teaching remedial English to incoming students (many of whome became teachers) .. and I know more than one full professor of English who tell me they are retiring because they have class after class who cannot write academic papers ... IN OTHER WORDS .. there is plenty of evidence.. and atheists go by evidence right? You say gie me evidence and I believe it .. there is an abundance of evidence... why do you doubt? (are you simply a contrarian??) "
      - Our native language? Sorry friend, America might have started as some English colonies, but we've come a long way from that and there's a reason why we don't have a national language, furthermore our schools are going to sh.it because the government is cutting funding, NOT because people have stopped reading. Furthermore, you've decided that since students who can write in english are on the decline that reading levels are going down......do you not see how stupid that line of reasoning is? You know books come in other languages other than English right? I said it once and I'll say it again, you need to stop living in the 1950's and join us in 2011 where most things are now electronic and so the need for paper books is becoming less and less. Schools, Libraries, Book stores.....yes, all of those are switiching to becoming electronically centered – which by the way was your original argument if I recall (that people have stopped reading because bookstores are closing).

      I'm only contrary to people trying spout dumb theories that have no foundation. It's a public service I do for this bored when I point out the horrible fallacies that you seem to think are truthes.

      I'm sorry if you find my postings rude, I think you need to get thicker skin.

      "it isa clear that you are not well read and have no capacity to formulate a rational response ... making you the idiot .."
      - Not well read? Don't make me laugh (wait.......). I'm confused as to how you reached that conclusion, wait let me guess.

      Ok, lets see if I can walk through your thought process:
      [laughing] has no capacity to formulate rational response.....I think that's code for [laughing disagrees with me, I make a good point, he gives me reasons why I'm (right turn clyde) am wrong. Since I am never wrong he can not formulate a raional response"? Is that it?

      Ok, now for the first part:
      It's clear that [laughing] is not well read, because he has argued that people are still reading when clearly my[right turn clyde] point is that people are not. He [laughing] is in favor or electornic books......HE DOESN'T READ!
      I think I got the second part of your statement down too, is that right?

      You remind me of my grandfather, and it's ok because he was a senile old shmuck too so I'm sure you would get along with him.

      August 9, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • J.W

      I refuse to get one of the electronic devices for reading books. I like the old fashioned way better

      August 9, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Laughing

      @JW

      I highly reccomend you rethink it. There are some pros and cons though. For instance, I do love going to book stores and the smell of books, I also like the feel of know just how many pages I have left and watching the the thickness of the book slowly migrate from right to left

      However, you can't beat walking around with your entire library in the palm of your hand. If you travel somewhere instead of weighing your bag down with 5-6 books that take up space, you can carry 80 books with you that take up less space than a regular book. You can also buy any other book you want right then and there and you can get people to sync up with your account to instantly share books and even interactively read by highlighting certain parts and writing notes in margins (which you can do with real books too I know, but this way won't ruin the books themselves). There's also being able to set it down without losing your place and you can browse the book store all day if you desire.

      Highly reccomend it, it will change your life forever.

      August 9, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Civiloutside

      Personally, I love books. Always have. My kids love books. My wife loves books. I will never give them up. However, when I got my smartphone, one of the very first things I downloaded was the Kindle app. Amazon has this awesome feature on their site – free classics for the Kindle! Literally hundred of classics from literature, available *for free!* how can any lover of reading pass that up?

      E-reader technology did more to get me reading classic literature than my entire academic career. Seriously, don't knock it.

      August 10, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • Stevie7

      I'll second (or is it now third) the opinions in favor of e-readers. I swore them off until my wife got one. I have a kindle and I find the lack of backlighting and the e-ink that's used to really mimic reading an actual book. The only times were I don't like it is when I need to use a book for reference, like a technical manual, where I need to quick flip to specific sections.

      August 10, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • J.W

      Yeah I just like books. I look at a computer screen all day long, so it is refreshing in my opinion to look at a book for a few minutes a day. Hopefully there doesnt come a day when people completely stop writing books.

      August 10, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • Laughing

      @damian,

      I was just able to read your post and felt compelled to answer.

      1. You quoted genesis to me, but it has nothing to do with disease. Anything after genesis however does not count as you said that man only was subject to disease after the fall, and yet there's nothing in the bible clearly stating that, it's just your interpretation and what you imply, but why wouldn't there be disease in the garden of eden? I mean, god created it for a purpose in the first place right?

      2. You say that if I'm determined not to see god in a misdiagnosis then I won't, which is spot on, but of course that can be turned around and applied to you as well, so we sort of reach an impass where you believe it must have been god to save a person from dying and I believe that it was just error or odds that a person could do that.

      3. Jesus did bring back other people from the dead which didn't really venerate them the way that jesus's ressurection did, however jesus is the only person to come back by his own accord (sort of I guess) instead of being ressurected by another person. I guess the main part of my question however is, if a person is brought back to life from being braindead, what are the religious implications to that? Can you just ignore it or just say, "god's got a plan, back to the daily grind". I mean, a ressurection would usually get most people into a tizzy, so why aren't more people going crazy over a resurrection in this day and age if it actually happened?

      4. "Free will is not a sin, per se. It depends on how you use it. If you use your free will to do horrible things, then yes! It's a sin! But if you use your free will to come in line with God's will, then it's not sinful" – See, this is what really doesn't make any sense, you say free will itself isn't a sin, but if you exercise your free will, (whatever it may be) you can be punished. Give a loaded gun to a child and tell him he's never, ever allowed to shoot it and if he does then he's kicked out of the house. Does that really make sense to give people (who you consider now inherintly evil and sinful in the first place) and tell them to only use it to submit. As to your computer example, a computer doesn't have atrifical intelligence, yet, but people have grown incredibly attached to their electronics recently (one guy even married a robot!) so what exactly is that love then? I think you have an idea that god wants a specific type of love from us that borders on obsession and a type of stockholms syndromesque action, but there are all kinds of love.

      5. It's funny you liken us to fruit flies and yet in the paragraph above you're talking about how god wants our emotion of love, he can hear our prayers he is interested in every individual life of close to 7 billion people on earth. Ok, if we look at a human fly analogy, you might agree that in the eyes of the fruit fly (if lets say it was "aware" the way we are), One human could be considered god for so many reasons. On a flies level I could literally recreate everything supposedly did on earth. I can create an environment for it, I can rain fire or water on it, smite any and all flies I wanted......but on my level am I god? nope, not even close. So two things come from this analogy, first if you ascribe god all these powers and knowledge that my lowly human brain can't comprehend (the way a fly could never ever comprehend my power and mind) then why would god care about one specific fly our of 7 billion and furthermore, interact with it? Secondly, can you imagine if on gods level he's actually not nearly as powerful as you think he is, it's just he's so much more powerful than you (or at least you perceive him to be) that you give him powers he doesn't posess, I mean you are just taking other people from 2,000 word for it that this is what god is like and sure you pray, but like you said, you just know, god hasn't come down and spoken with you, sent you a note, a vision or any other nonesense.

      Lastly, you don't know what paradise is? Wouldn't paradise be different for everyone? So isn't jesus's paradise so different than yours that his paradise might be your hel.l. I know if I had to spend an eternity with some of the most crazy evangelicals that sounds like he.ll to me, I'd rather go to hel.l.

      Just some thoughts for you to think about......if you happen to come back to this thread at all.

      August 10, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • Laughing

      Whoops that was supposed to be for a different thread.

      Also, JW, Stevie has got a point that the no back light and the e-ink are so that it won't be anything like looking at a computer screen and it's actually as good for your eyes as reading a regular book.

      Though he also has a point that when you want to flip back and forth between two sections of a book, it becomes a lot more frustrating than it should be,

      August 10, 2011 at 10:41 am |
  3. The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

    Re-typed due to clerical errors on my part, 🙁

    The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar
    On August 9, 2011 at 11:45 am, 'Laughing' posted declaring, "Can a believer tell me something please. As an atheist I've been told I believe in both nothing and then had my non-belief in god as a rallying point that my non-belief IS actually a belief and so everything I say is moot (somehow.....?) So which is it exactly? Furthermore I've seen many a believer get really upset (I mean, like really really upset) that atheism leads people to question whether man has any cosmic significance, why is this so important? Really, why is it incredibly important that a god needs to give me significance? Can't I do that myself without help?

    Atheism, Thought-filled 'Laughing', is likened to a tree that was planted when but a sapling. For as it grows and extends upward this Atheistic tree of but a sapling does encounter many difficulties. Mainly, other Atheistic trees around this young atheistic sapling of a tree might be in the way and thusly the older trees diminishes the light needed for this Atheistic sapling's nourishment, The Atheistically young sapling of a tree tends to be needful of Light so this Atheistic sapling extends its' reach higher committing its' trunk to weaken. If not enough Light is given to this Atheistic Sapling to become a Atheistic Tree of Righteous Immensity, it will dwindle away and die without coming to full Fruition of Atheism's Righteousness and Light.
    (August 9, 2011 at 1:17 pm)

    August 9, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Even with clerical errors corrected, this is a lot of effort to say nothing meaningful

      August 9, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

      Atheist wrote on August 9, 2011 at 1:31 pm, stating, “So what you're saying is that you have no idea where you are, what's going on, and what Laughing was trying to ask?
      If this is the case, please stop posting, it just adds to what we have to scroll through. If you were trying to make an argument, next time make sure it is understandable to people who are sane. Thanks.”

      My response to ‘Atheist’ is this, “I am here, so where are you?” And I am what’s going on, TYVM Though! and ‘Laughing’ did ask, “ Can a believer tell me something please.” (I told Laughing something in the form of a parable) Your’ scrolling days will have to be with my postings glaring away like a sunny day! J

      August 9, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Atheist

      Well, I don't know if I'm missing something but I don't think that parable had anything to do with his actual question.
      Now I do agree that you told him 'something', but I just think it was completely unrelated and had no place in this thread.

      August 9, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

      On August 9, 2011 at 1:53 pm, Stevie7 wrote me stating, "Even with clerical errors corrected, this is a lot of effort to say nothing meaningful."

      Meaning my youg Stevie7 is what all folks, young and old should find instead of blatant disregards and shallow thoughtlessness meanderings meant to confuse and lead others into Acts of unsought and unrighteous Temtptuousness.

      "Thus Saith I, The Lionly Lamb of (ALL) The Gods in the Abovements of My Word and Truth Be Told Manuscrpts of Mostly Loving Kindness, AMEN and Amen and amen."

      August 9, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Laughing

      You didn't answer my question Richard and now you're dodging people who complain about your inane ramblings only because you seem to think that they somehow make even a little bit of sense. Please, think before you type, put down the thesarus and communicate with plain, old fashioned english. Please?!

      August 9, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Stevie7

      "Meaning my youg Stevie7 is what all folks, young and old should find instead of blatant disregards and shallow thoughtlessness meanderings meant to confuse and lead others into Acts of unsought and unrighteous Temtptuousness."

      It's hard to find meaning in made up words and incoherent ramblings.

      August 10, 2011 at 10:23 am |
  4. The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

    On August 9, 2011 at 11:45 am, 'Laughing' posted declaring, "Can a believer tell me something please. As an atheist I've been told I believe in both nothing and then had my non-belief in god as a rallying point that my non-belief IS actually a belief and so everything I say is moot (somehow.....?) So which is it exactly? Furthermore I've seen many a believer get really upset (I mean, like really really upset) that atheism leads people to question whether man has any cosmic significance, why is this so important? Really, why is it incredibly important that a god needs to give me significance? Can't I do that myself without help?

    Atheism, Thoughtfilled 'Laughing', is likened to a tree that was planted when but a sapling. For as it grows and extends upward this Atheistic tree of but a sapling does enounter many difficulties. Mainly, other Atheiistic trees might be in the way and thusly deminishing the light needed for this Atheistic sapling's nourishment, The Atheistically young sapling of a tree tends to be then needful of Light so this Atheistic sapling extends its' reach higher commiting its' trunk to weaken. If not enough Light is given to this Atheistic Sapling to become a AtheisticTree of righteous Immensity, it will dwindle away and die without coming to full Fruition of Atheism's Righteousness.

    August 9, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Saying a lot, without saying anything at all.

      August 9, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Laughing

      Stevie got there before me. That literally was nothing, not an answer, it was even devoid of thought and meaning, the only thing you have proven thus far is that you can put words together to make a passably english sentence but have yet to understand the mechanics of imbueing those sentences with real meaning and content.

      August 9, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Atheist

      @ Lionly lamb,
      So what you're saying is that you have no idea where you are, what's going on, and what Laughing was trying to ask?
      If this is the case, please stop posting, it just adds to what we have to scroll through.
      If you were trying to make an argument, next time make sure it is understandable to people who are sane.

      Thanks.

      August 9, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  5. RightTurnClyde

    "@ k n o w w h a t .. ..t h e r e ..a r e ..s l i g h t l y ..m o r e ..t h a n ..5 0 0 ..i n ..W a s h i n g t o n ..w h o ..h a v e ..t h e ..a u t h o r i t y ..t o ..g o v e r n ..t h e ..r e m a i n i n g ..3 0 0 ..m i l l i o n . .. ..T h e y ..d o ..n o t ..l i s t e n ..t o ..C h r i s t i a n s ..a s ..m u c h ..a s ..t h e ..l i s t e n ..t o ..g o d l e s s ..m a m m o n ..t o ..m a k e ..p o l i c y . " "T h e y ..a r e ..p a i d ..e n o r m o u s ..s u m s ..b y ..b i g ..o i l , ..b i g ..l a b o r , ..t h e ..m i l i t a r y ..i n d u s t r i a l ..c o m p l e x , ..a n d ..o t h e r ..g o d l e s s ..s p e c i a l ..i n t e r s t s ..i n c l u d i n g ..a t h e i s t s ..a n d ..C P U S A . .. .. .." "N o b o d y ..h i n d e r s ..s c i e n c e ..i f ..t h e r e ..i s ..s o m e ..s c i e n t i f i c ..p r i n c i p l e ..t h a t ..c a n ..m a k e ..m o n e ..e v e r y ..i n v e s t o r ..o n ..e a r t h ..w i l l ..f u n d ..i t . .. ..G o o d ..e x a m p l e : .. ..c e l l ..p h o n e s . .. ..W a s ..i t .."" s c i e n c e "" .. ..t h a t ..b r o u g h t ..u s ..m a d ..c o w ..d i s e a s e ..( a s ..a ..c h e a p ..w a y ..t o ..f e e d ..l i v e s t o c k ) ? .. ..W a s ..i t ..s c i e n c e ..t h a t " "( S t e m ..c e l l ..r e s e r a c h ..i s ..n o t ..w o r t h ..w h i l e ..s c i e n c e ..o r ..i t ..w o u l d ..h a v e ..i n v e s t o r s ..- – ..b u t ..a s ..p r o p a g a n d a ..i t ..w o n ..y o u r ..t y p e ..o f ..m i n d ..- – ..l i k e ..A l ..G o r e s .."" w a r m i n g "" ..) .. .. ... . . .. ..a d m o n i t i o n s ? .. .." "w e l l ..w e ..a l l ..h e a r ..t h e m ..a b o u t ..d o z e n s ..o f ..p e e v e s ..a n d ..n o t i o n s ... . ..m o s t ..o f ..u s ..j u s t ..c o n s i d e r ..a ..s o u r c e . .. .. ..N O W ..a s ..t o ..a t h e i s t s ..r e a c t i n g ... . ..t h e ..r e a c t i o n ..i s ..m u c h ..g r e a t e r ..t h a n ..t h e ..s t i m u l u s ..s o ..t h e r e ..i s ..s o m e ..o t h e r ..f a c t o r ..i n v o l v e d ... . .."

    August 9, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Atheist

      Science may have brought about mad cow (Not sure if this is true, but I'm not going to look it up and argue), but it also eradicated small pox.

      And for stem cell research, there are tons of investors, it's just that the drug companies stand to lose millions and they have deeper pockets so they can bribe who they want to make sure it stays illegal. Plus with them on the side of every Christian out there, they have quite a backing force.

      August 9, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Laughing

      @Clyde

      From what I understood, this is just like your "people have stopped reading because book stores are closing" theory. It doesn't make sense and your conclusions from some of the facts presented are moronic and way off. Why is stem cell research having issues? It's not from lack of investors, it's from the religious right trying to shut down any and all science because of the religious implications. Christians have no voice in congress? Are you joking? Clyde, your post was inane and highly ignorant. I urge you to actually do research on the internet instead of using it to spew your idiotic ideas on comment boards.

      August 9, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      At the risk of going off-topic, I don't really have a problem, per se, with stem cell research. The only problem I have is creating fetuses in a lab to extract more stem cells. But if you want to get stem cells from, say, an umbilical cord, then by all means!

      That's just my two cents.

      August 9, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Laughing

      @Damian

      Ok, so couple of questions then. I don't think that scientists are creating fetus's in lab's in order to take their stem cells, but even if that is the case, does it count if the baby is synthetic instead of made naturally in the womb? I mean, isn't a scientist "playing god" as it were by creating life out of nothing and if this "abomination" is made in the lab and not in a womb, does it count as even human?

      The umbillical cord is good becaue it does have stem cells that further scientific research, but usually you can only get that when they're already maturing, so to get a stem cell with less maturity (making it easier to change it into what you want) you need an earlier fetus. Now of course this leads into when does life begin and I'm afraid that this is probably where we'll split because I think an embreyo in its first trimester is not a living and breathing human yet and so if a woman elects to have an abortion, she, nor the doctor providing that service is a murderer. Something tells me that you probably disagree.

      August 9, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @ Laughing,

      This is where we are probably going to seperate. I believe (I have no scientific proof whatsoever to back this up, it is merely my belief) that life begins and conception, be that scientific or "the good ol' fashioned way." I believe (once again, no scientific backing) that the fetus has a soul and therefore, creating it and then destroying it is killing it, which is wrong. So yes, I believe it is a human being, the same as if someone were to clone someone and then murder him/her.

      Here is where I'm probably going to be condemned on both sides. I believe, intrinsically, abortion is wrong. I believe God has a plan for that child, regardless of how that child came about (even through inc.est or ra.pe.) HOWEVER, I am not one of those proposing we outlaw abortion. Just because -I- don't agree with it, doesn't mean that the LAW should outlaw it. Further, I tend to believe, that regardless of the legality of things, people will do what they want to do. I think our prison population speaks to that. I do not want 14 year old girls going into a back alley with a coat hanger, or having someone repeatedly punching them in the stomach to abort an unwanted child. I guess I kind of follow this simple idea: "Don't like abortion? Don't get one."

      Now, if we are not going to outlaw abortion, and the doctors/scientists want to take the aborted fetus and do stem cell research on it, well the damage is done and we might as well get all that we can out of it.

      August 9, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Laughing

      @Damian

      Well, apart from us disagreeing on when life begins I find your candor refreshing, I appreciate that you practice what you preach, mainly "if you don't like abortion, don't get one" sort of thing. I guess my question for you is this. If you believe that if an abortion happens and scientists take the left over stem cells to use for experimentation because the damage is already done, do you feel the same about experimentation on say, a freshly dead 85 year old? How sacred is perserving the body after death for you?

      August 9, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      I believe that the physical form is more or less, a place for the soul to reside and interact within the world. While I believe we should respect it and treat it well (i.e. don't do crack, mmkay? 🙂 ), once we are dead, the soul has left the body. I believe the 85 year old (or whomever is in charge of the body once they are passed), should have the option of bequeathing their body to science and should the scientists take stem cells from the corpse, there is nothing wrong with that.

      My opinion, pretty much comes down to, we shouldn't create life to destroy it. But if life is destroyed, God gave us brilliant men and women of science to use that tragedy and turn it into something beneficial for society.

      August 9, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Laughing

      @Damian

      First of all, I LOVE CRACK so......there. Secondly, how do you know that god isn't making all these fetus's with the express intetion of giving their stem cells for the good of humanity? God moves in mysterious ways right? I guess this is directed more at violent anti-abortionists and less towards you that is of the "live and let live" mindset, but what if with all the evil thats in the world, god is giving us an out by providing us with the cure and we're misinterpreting this and digging ourselves a deeper hole?

      August 9, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • J.W

      I am not personally in favor of abortion, unless for extreme cases, such as when the mom is going to die. And that is a much trickier issue than say gay marriage, because as gay marriage harms no one, you could argue that abortion is murder. I think we should perhaps have it be legal but no federal funding for it, as kind of a compromise.

      August 9, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      Maybe I need a definition in terms. You said, "Secondly, how do you know that god isn't making all these fetus's with the express intetion of giving their stem cells for the good of humanity?" Are we talking aborted fetuses or are we talking fetuses created in labs? I'm gonna get a bit preachy here, so bear with me. I believe God takes sin and transforms it into something according to His purpose. God is a God of healing, so He inspires and enables man to do great things (even Jesus said we'd do more wonderous works than He had done.) But sin is not God's way, He just turns the tables.

      So to sum up all of that "Godspeak", I think it is not God's way for sin to come about, but when it does, God can turn it around into a blessing. I'm gonna get myself in trouble here, but I believe that's what happened in the Holocaust. Look at what Dr. Mengele did. Horrible acts and experimentation on people. But the wealth of medical knowledge we received from it all jumped our knowledge of medicine further than any jump ever has!

      August 9, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • Laughing

      Eeeeesh, Meng.ele huh? Ok, I can agree with you that the inform.ation that meng.ele was va.luable in terms of science, it's hard to try and find that sil.ver lini.ng. Then again, we can both agree on that so I guess we see eye to eye, although I always hate that example because it makes my skin crawl to think that Men.gele will actu.ally live on throu.ghout history as posi.tive co.ntri.butor to med.ical knowledge.

      Here's the kicker for you though, so ignoring the "why" of having ca.ncer, the plague and so many other disea.ses that could eas.ily rav.age the entire human po.pulation and de.cim.ate our numbers, I think you would agree with me that god will always provide a way for pe.ople to pro.tect thems.elves right? I mean, take the best of the best chris.tian and give him canc.er, in fac.t this chri.stian could even become a sa.int in due time but he needs to live a lit.tle longer in order to perf.orm his mira.cles, do you believe that god would provide a way for him to live? I mean, if god wants him to live he wouldn't have given him cancer in the first place but lets just say he contr.acted can.cer on his own but was called upon god to do these good dee.ds but needed more time, now what if the only way he could survi.ve was from stem cell res.earch? Doesn't that mean that god is giving man his tac.it ap.proval to use abo.rted fetu.s's to get these stem cells?

      I know it's a bit of a stretch and obvi.ously it's hypotheti.cal so take from it what you will,

      August 9, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      Here's the kicker for you though, so ignoring the "why" of having ca.ncer, the plague and so many other disea.ses that could eas.ily rav.age the entire human po.pulation and de.cim.ate our numbers, I think you would agree with me that god will always provide a way for pe.ople to pro.tect thems.elves right? I mean, take the best of the best chris.tian and give him canc.er, in fac.t this chri.stian could even become a sa.int in due time but he needs to live a lit.tle longer in order to perf.orm his mira.cles, do you believe that god would provide a way for him to live? I mean, if god wants him to live he wouldn't have given him cancer in the first place but lets just say he contr.acted can.cer on his own but was called upon god to do these good dee.ds but needed more time, now what if the only way he could survi.ve was from stem cell res.earch? Doesn't that mean that god is giving man his tac.it ap.proval to use abo.rted fetu.s's to get these stem cells?

      Hahahahahahaha! I had to read your example twice to make sure I understood it, because, as you said, it is a bit of a stretch. But I will try to answer. 🙂

      Sometimes God provides a way for man to protect himself. He certainly didn't with the locusts of Egypt.

      I don't think God gives cancer. We all have to die. It's the price of sin. Cancer is just one way to go (and I won't get into if you died of nothing else, cancer would kill you off) and it's a doozy. So God needs this holy guy to be there to do a mission for God. Then I believe God will extend the man's life, regardless of what science does. I don't believe God would allow sin to be the only way for His Will to come about. God's not limited to our "only stem cell research will save him!" mentality. Really, if it's God's will for you to live, then you will, unless of course, you put your own will above God's a commit suicide, but that's a different story all together.

      August 9, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • Laughing

      @Damian

      Ok, so it was a strech, but I think you missed my point. In any event it was too hypothetical so I'll try to stay a little more grounded.

      "Sometimes God provides a way for man to protect himself. He certainly didn't with the locusts of Egypt."
      Let me modify this statement, god provides a way for his followers to protect themselves.... is that true? I mean sure if you look at the bible there's direct intervention, but we haven't seen a spiral of fire come from the sky in over 2000 years so its pretty safe to as.sume at this point god is working "behind the curtain" right?

      "I don't think God gives cancer." – who does? why does it exist if god didn't make it?

      "So God needs this holy guy to be there to do a mission for God. Then I believe God will extend the man's life, regardless of what science does." Holding to the statement I made above, how exactly is god going to extend someones life without working through man and science? I have yet to see someone completely heal or stay alive when by all accounts their organs should be shut down and dead. Sure, there have been people to live beyond expectations and beat the odds, but what I'm saying goes beyond that, I have yet to see someone get 6 months to live, and then live for the next 30 years.

      Really, if it's God's will for you to live, then you will, unless of course, you put your own will above God's a commit suicide, but that's a different story all together. – I'm having a hard time understanding this. So you're saying that I can trump gods will with my own (omnipotence?) but if I don't willingly try and committ suicide then I'll live, ignoring the inherint dangers that are around every day. Will god stop a man in a car from running me over, or shooting me with a gun? You've said in the second part of your sentence god can't stop me from committing suicide, so why can he control other peoples will and not my own?

      August 9, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      Ok, you're asking me to step into the mindset of God, an immortal being who created the Heavens and the Earth millenia ago. Not sure I can. So my answers may not be real good, they may not even be satisfactory, but I will give you what I think and what I know.

      "Sometimes God provides a way for man to protect himself. He certainly didn't with the locusts of Egypt."
      Let me modify this statement, god provides a way for his followers to protect themselves.... is that true? I mean sure if you look at the bible there's direct intervention, but we haven't seen a spiral of fire come from the sky in over 2000 years so its pretty safe to as.sume at this point god is working "behind the curtain" right? – Usually, yes. We are not usually seeing direct, blatant displays of God's power in the manner of pillars of fire.

      "I don't think God gives cancer." – who does? why does it exist if god didn't make it? – This is a difficult one to answer. The best answer I can give you is, it's a product of man's sin. Before sin, we were perfect (made in God's image) and didn't have to worry about it. After the fall of man, God lifted that protection over us because we had decided to step away from God. So diseases are what comes naturally and we are subject to them because we do not have God's protection over us.

      "So God needs this holy guy to be there to do a mission for God. Then I believe God will extend the man's life, regardless of what science does." Holding to the statement I made above, how exactly is god going to extend someones life without working through man and science?"

      Number one, you're as.suming we can accurately tell what a person's life span will be. You and I have no idea whether we will die when we leave work today, or in 50 years. So how do we know what is "extending" and what is God's plan for how long a person will live? Second, God is not bound by science. Sometimes God just heals. There have been many stories of people dying of cancer and the next day, the doctors can't find any trace of it.

      "I have yet to see someone completely heal or stay alive when by all accounts their organs should be shut down and dead. Sure, there have been people to live beyond expectations and beat the odds, but what I'm saying goes beyond that, I have yet to see someone get 6 months to live, and then live for the next 30 years."

      I have heard of numerous cases. I have a friend, for example, who the doctors predicted he wouldn't live past five years old...he's in his mid-thirties now. Does he have some health struggles? Yes. But he's still around! Have you never seen those shows where a person is brain dead and suddenly comes back to life?

      Really, if it's God's will for you to live, then you will, unless of course, you put your own will above God's a commit suicide, but that's a different story all together. – I'm having a hard time understanding this. So you're saying that I can trump gods will with my own (omnipotence?) but if I don't willingly try and committ suicide then I'll live, ignoring the inherint dangers that are around every day. Will god stop a man in a car from running me over, or shooting me with a gun? You've said in the second part of your sentence god can't stop me from committing suicide, so why can he control other peoples will and not my own?"

      Here's where it gets a bit tricky. God gives us free will. I'm sure you've heard the adage, "You can't control anyone but yourself." So God has a plan for you, but you can tell God "I'm going to do it my own way. I don't need you." That is the very essence of sin. Stepping outside the will of God. The problem is, not only do you have free will, but so does everyone else. And their actions have an impact on you. We don't live in a bubble. So, it all depends on God's will. Maybe He decides it's time for your life to end when that madman shoots you with a gun. Or maybe He still has a greater purpose and you live.

      All of this to say, I don't know God's will 100% of the time. It's why I commune with Him, trying to get His perspective, but I'm still limited in my understanding. I know these aren't the best answers, because I truly don't have all of them (OMG! A CHRISTIAN WHO ADMITTED HE DOESN'T HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS! That should be a headline on the CNN blog) and anyone who believes they do, well I have a piece of beach front property in Saudi Arabia to sell them.

      August 9, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Laughing

      @Damian

      You make some interesting points, but here is my rebuttle:

      1. God's protection from disease...... where does it say this in the bible exactly? Is this your interpretation? I'm not making any judgement (yet) but I want to know if that's your explanation for why diseasse is on earth or if it literally says it somewhere and I missed it.

      2. I guess medical healings are hard to say if it was miraculous healing that allowed people to live, or doctors misdiagnosis. I've heard of plenty of people getting misdiagnosis and so technically they made it through something that a doctor says they shouldn't have, but I don't see god in that, I just see that man is a fallible. Some believers say, Potato Potahto, but I think personally that it's important to know the difference.

      3. People coming back from being brain dead.......well couple of things to this, One can you give me an example of this actually happening and for how long was this person brain dead before coming back to life? I mean what you're telling me with this specific examples sounds very much like another person who came back from the dead, but when HE did we made him into a god, why haven't any of these people being "healed" from god gotten the same god treatment?

      4. It's sin to use free will god gave us? Now I'm REALLY confused. What exactly is gods game to give us free will only to call it sin and say we're evil to use such a thing? Also you sort of ignored the fact that if god is all powerful, then how could my will trump his own? Does that make me more powerful than god in a way?

      Lastly, ok so first I'm sorry, I don't mean to offend, but you.......commune with god? Like you actually talk to him and he reponds or do you pray and just sort of fill in the blanks? You say you don't know gods will because to try and think like god is too hard (which for the record I think is a cop out in any debate or discussion about god that I understand you really believe it and are not trying to duck around a question, but to say I don't know, god is too powerful to understand sort of halts discussion from there) but you also are saying to speak with him on a daily basis. To put on my snide hat: can you please ask him these questions for me (he's clearly stopped listening to everything I've got to say) and get back to me tomorrow?

      Ok snide hat off: I agree that if anyone thinks they have all the answers they need to crack open many many many many more books, nor have I seen christians claim they know all the answers just as much as atheist do, however it is crazy that christians, and other relgious folks, seem to know what happens after death, how is it you got those answers?

      August 9, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      1. God's protection from disease...... where does it say this in the bible exactly? Is this your interpretation? I'm not making any judgement (yet) but I want to know if that's your explanation for why diseasse is on earth or if it literally says it somewhere and I missed it.

      Well, God told Adam we will die: Genesis 3:19 "19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food
      until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” And there are several cases where God talks about protecting people from disease: Deut 7:15 "The LORD will keep you free from every disease. He will not inflict on you the horrible diseases you knew in Egypt, but he will inflict them on all who hate you."

      2. I guess medical healings are hard to say if it was miraculous healing that allowed people to live, or doctors misdiagnosis. I've heard of plenty of people getting misdiagnosis and so technically they made it through something that a doctor says they shouldn't have, but I don't see god in that, I just see that man is a fallible. Some believers say, Potato Potahto, but I think personally that it's important to know the difference.

      I think you stated this. Was it a misdiagnosis or was it a legitimate healing? You can't rule out either one. But if you are determined to not see God, you won't. That's just the bottom line.

      3. People coming back from being brain dead.......well couple of things to this, One can you give me an example of this actually happening and for how long was this person brain dead before coming back to life? I mean what you're telling me with this specific examples sounds very much like another person who came back from the dead, but when HE did we made him into a god, why haven't any of these people being "healed" from god gotten the same god treatment?

      Ok, can I provide a specific example and how long? No, it was a television show. Had I known we would have these conversations, I would have taken notes. 🙂 (Just messing with you.) As for why these people aren't considered God? Because they aren't God. They're people, for whatever reason, they're miraculously brought back from death. The same way when Christ rose Lazarus from the dead, Lazarus wasn't venerated as God either. The simple act of dying and coming back is not enough to make someone a diety.

      4. It's sin to use free will god gave us? Now I'm REALLY confused. What exactly is gods game to give us free will only to call it sin and say we're evil to use such a thing? Also you sort of ignored the fact that if god is all powerful, then how could my will trump his own? Does that make me more powerful than god in a way?

      Free will is not a sin, per se. It depends on how you use it. If you use your free will to do horrible things, then yes! It's a sin! But if you use your free will to come in line with God's will, then it's not sinful. God can tell you to do anything, but He gives you free will. It's not that you're more powerful than God, it's that God gives you the ability to do as you want and suffer the consequences. Could God -make- you love him, yes, but would it be genuine love? For instance, I can program my computer to say "I Love You, Damian" every morning when I turn it on. Does my computer really love me? No, it has no free will. It is only following its programming. Same thing. God could make you love him, but love isn't real love unless it's freely given.

      Lastly, ok so first I'm sorry, I don't mean to offend, but you.......commune with god? Like you actually talk to him and he reponds or do you pray and just sort of fill in the blanks? You say you don't know gods will because to try and think like god is too hard (which for the record I think is a cop out in any debate or discussion about god that I understand you really believe it and are not trying to duck around a question, but to say I don't know, god is too powerful to understand sort of halts discussion from there)

      To answer this, I know it does. It's an unsatisfactory answer, and I apologize, but it's an honest one. I can't completely understand God, anymore than a fruit fly can understand you (assuming it could communicate with you.)

      but you also are saying to speak with him on a daily basis. To put on my snide hat: can you please ask him these questions for me (he's clearly stopped listening to everything I've got to say) and get back to me tomorrow?

      I have faith He hasn't forgotten you or ignored you, Laughing. 🙂

      Ok snide hat off: I agree that if anyone thinks they have all the answers they need to crack open many many many many more books, nor have I seen christians claim they know all the answers just as much as atheist do, however it is crazy that christians, and other relgious folks, seem to know what happens after death, how is it you got those answers?

      Just going with what I've read in the Bible. Jesus said we'll be together in paradise. What is paradise? No idea, but it sounds like a train I'd rather not miss.

      August 9, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • Laughing

      @damian,

      I was just able to read your post and felt compelled to answer.

      1. You quoted genesis to me, but it has nothing to do with disease. Anything after genesis however does not count as you said that man only was subject to disease after the fall, and yet there's nothing in the bible clearly stating that, it's just your interpretation and what you imply, but why wouldn't there be disease in the garden of eden? I mean, god created it for a purpose in the first place right?

      2. You say that if I'm determined not to see god in a misdiagnosis then I won't, which is spot on, but of course that can be turned around and applied to you as well, so we sort of reach an impass where you believe it must have been god to save a person from dying and I believe that it was just error or odds that a person could do that.

      3. Jesus did bring back other people from the dead which didn't really venerate them the way that jesus's ressurection did, however jesus is the only person to come back by his own accord (sort of I guess) instead of being ressurected by another person. I guess the main part of my question however is, if a person is brought back to life from being braindead, what are the religious implications to that? Can you just ignore it or just say, "god's got a plan, back to the daily grind". I mean, a ressurection would usually get most people into a tizzy, so why aren't more people going crazy over a resurrection in this day and age if it actually happened?

      4. "Free will is not a sin, per se. It depends on how you use it. If you use your free will to do horrible things, then yes! It's a sin! But if you use your free will to come in line with God's will, then it's not sinful" – See, this is what really doesn't make any sense, you say free will itself isn't a sin, but if you exercise your free will, (whatever it may be) you can be punished. Give a loaded gun to a child and tell him he's never, ever allowed to shoot it and if he does then he's kicked out of the house. Does that really make sense to give people (who you consider now inherintly evil and sinful in the first place) and tell them to only use it to submit. As to your computer example, a computer doesn't have atrifical intelligence, yet, but people have grown incredibly attached to their electronics recently (one guy even married a robot!) so what exactly is that love then? I think you have an idea that god wants a specific type of love from us that borders on obsession and a type of stockholms syndromesque action, but there are all kinds of love.

      5. It's funny you liken us to fruit flies and yet in the paragraph above you're talking about how god wants our emotion of love, he can hear our prayers he is interested in every individual life of close to 7 billion people on earth. Ok, if we look at a human fly analogy, you might agree that in the eyes of the fruit fly (if lets say it was "aware" the way we are), One human could be considered god for so many reasons. On a flies level I could literally recreate everything supposedly did on earth. I can create an environment for it, I can rain fire or water on it, smite any and all flies I wanted......but on my level am I god? nope, not even close. So two things come from this analogy, first if you ascribe god all these powers and knowledge that my lowly human brain can't comprehend (the way a fly could never ever comprehend my power and mind) then why would god care about one specific fly our of 7 billion and furthermore, interact with it? Secondly, can you imagine if on gods level he's actually not nearly as powerful as you think he is, it's just he's so much more powerful than you (or at least you perceive him to be) that you give him powers he doesn't posess, I mean you are just taking other people from 2,000 word for it that this is what god is like and sure you pray, but like you said, you just know, god hasn't come down and spoken with you, sent you a note, a vision or any other nonesense.

      Lastly, you don't know what paradise is? Wouldn't paradise be different for everyone? So isn't jesus's paradise so different than yours that his paradise might be your hel.l. I know if I had to spend an eternity with some of the most crazy evangelicals that sounds like he.ll to me, I'd rather go to hel.l.

      Just some thoughts for you to think about......if you happen to come back to this thread at all.

      August 10, 2011 at 10:42 am |
  6. a person of the Name

    @ lionly lamb, yeah I myself love to study and watch science but by nature the TV takes from our time for other things. Such concentrating on family and God.

    August 9, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
  7. The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

    Re-edited to correct my typo mistakes! 🙂

    I in priorness did write, ""Atheism has just as much a "Right" to Be among our many "Isms". To bicker and barter goes from mankind's mountaintops to its' social rivers flowing down thru the cultural valleys onto the seas of all the people."

    Alone Truly are all the people yet in the company of the otherly kind does one bring about a sense of togetherness, as an aliveness of sorts. One could live out their Life being alone and without another soul to keep them company and that would be sufficient for the sake of Oneness, But GOD, in HIS Wisdom did create a sameness Being for the aloneness of His Being but One. So GOD Himself created and made manifested another Being much likened to Himself, thusly HE was in the Beginning now 2, GOD and God, One Being the Father and the other Being a Son. The Aloneness was now a Departation and GOD did rejoice in His Creation; The Son of HIS Own Being!"

    Still do these 'anti-religious' and sociologic Barbarianists and culturally clothed Paganists of heathens' lamentations ridicule and dismember themselves in rude plagerisms of malnourished discontentments unbecoming a Righteous Atheist's Garnishment or RAG for shortness sakes. No offence intended to you of a Righteous Atheism Trail that does not procalim the ideosyncratic embolisms of spurned generation-held teenaged mindsets of the Brainyards of Atheismismatic bigotry and such.

    Thus Saith The Lionly Lamb Of (ALL) the Gods in My Aboveness Word, AMEN And Amen and amen!"

    August 9, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
  8. The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

    I in priorness did write, ""Atheism has just as much a "Right" to Be among our many "Isms". To bicker and barter goes from mankind's mountaintops to its' social rivers flowing down thru the cultural valleys onto the seas of all the people."

    Alone Truly are all the people yet in the company of the otherly kind , does one bring about a sense of togetherness, as an aliveness of sorts. One could live out their Life being alone and without another soul to keep them company and that would be sufficient for the sake of Oneness, But GOD, in HIS Wisdom did create a sameness Being for the aloneness of His Being but One. So GOD Himself created and made manifested another Being much likened to Himself, thusly HE was in the Beginning now 2, GOD and God, One Being the Father and the other Being a Son. The Aloneness was now a Departation and GOD did rejoice in His Creation; The Son of HIS Own Being!"

    Still do these 'anti-religious' and sociologic Barbarists and culturally clothed Paganists of heathens' lamentations ridicule and dismember themselves in rude plagerisms of malnourihed discontentments unbeoming a Ritheous Atheist's Garnishment or RAG for shortness sakes. No offence intended to you of a Righteous Atheism Trail that does not procalim the ideosyncratic embolisms of spurned generation-held teenaged mindsets of the Brainyards of Atheismismatic bigotry and such.

    Thus Saith The Lionly Lamb Of (ALL) the Gods in My Aboveness Word, AMEN And Amen and amen!"

    August 9, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • Kelly

      You are such a hypocrite, what a disgusting morality of for a human being.

      August 10, 2011 at 10:48 am |
  9. Laughing

    Can a believer tell me something please. As an atheist I've been told I believe in both nothing and then had my non-belief in god as a rallying point that my non-belief IS actually a belief and so everything I say is moot (somehow.....?) So which is it exactly?

    Furthermore I've seen many a believer get really upset (I mean, like really really upset) that atheism leads people to question whether man has any cosmic significance, why is this so important? Really, why is it incredibly important that a god needs to give me significance? Can't I do that myself without help?

    August 9, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • J.W

      Personally with the word 'belief' in my opinion that is just your thought on a certain matter, even if it is not about religion. So basically your position that there is no God or any other supernatural forces is your belief. As for your other question I am not sure why some get mad about that. I dont care if my life affects the entire universe or not. I just care about how I affect the community around me.

      August 9, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • Laughing

      @JW

      Yeah, I think we can safely establish that you are one of the few people out there who have an open mind and can understand atheism on a much more significant level and that you succeeded personally at reconciling modern day ethics and morals with the bible and found a happy center. My question was aimed for the majority of peope that also disagree with you as much as me and cling to their faith so violently that if someone even broaches the subject, they immediatly lash out and try to either convert the unbeliever, condem him, or bring up the inane, breathtakingly stupid argument of "I can't prove there is a god, but you can't prove there isn't so we're at an impass" – I think that argument is probably the most frustrating thing EVER

      August 9, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • J.W

      As far as God making humans significant I personally think that is up to the person. Humans are significant to our world since we are the most intelligent life form, but I dont think it is important that we have an effect on the whole universe.

      August 9, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • Laughing

      I guess it comes down to this: what exactly is significant? I mean, you're right when you say we have meaning on Earth. We are top of the food chain and our actions have identifiable consequences on the environment around us, but both atheists and believers can agree on that much (well most of us any way), but that's not good enough for most people, they have to have MEANING, there has to be something more than meets the eye with them. They consider the idea that if there is no afterlife, not god to imbue them with a sense of purpose (spread the gospel, pray, repent, ect....) then life is inherintly meaningless because all the work we put into living amounts to nothing once we pass.

      August 9, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • fred

      Laughing,
      You asked why do people get upset when atheism causes believers to question.
      Some of the posts from atheists will cause a new believer to question their new found purpose in Christ which is to worship and glorify God. This is the tact used in the beginning on Eve “did god really say that” i.e. question who god is an what god has said. It is the weak link in our free will where the gift of curiosity and imagination turns a mans head to look where he was told not to look. It was the weak link as you follow the chosen ones through their entire journey in building a relationship with God – doubt God ;in the Desert, in the promised land then finally “this Jesus cannot be the Messiah”. To the Gentile up to this day we see doubt break the weak link “did the bible really say ho mo $exuality does not glorify God”. It is important because Jesus said the wolf will come for the weak ones that have no shepherd. In the parable of the seed Jesus shows the threat to these new ones “since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away”.
      At the least you have thrown a monkey wrench in their new works and at worst caused them to turn from God. Now God is powerful enough to save whoever he wants yet allows those who would cause a little one to stumble to go ahead and trip the little guy up. You can trip him up for pleasure or by accident, perhaps nothing more than collateral damage. This is how we prove the true character of our soul during our journey. Whether we believe in God or not our true character always breaks through.

      August 9, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • Stevie7

      "Now God is powerful enough to save whoever he wants"

      So god can save whoever he wants. That means that god explicitly elects not to choose to save some people and instead chooses to have them tortured for eternity. That is one sadistic god.

      August 9, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      How many believers have gone on a rampage about atheists? Have Christians torn up London over atheists? Did Christians burn down L.A. rampaging about atheists? You exaggerate what Christians DO about atheists. Very few (less than .0001% rant or something). Very few Christians are "activists" (like our population in general), Very DO anything (except work and pay mortgages and raise kids)

      August 9, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • J.W

      See I have trouble with the idea that God would send people to hell. The idea of hell is never introduced until the NT, and Jesus does not say that whoever does not believe in him will go to hell. It seems to me that the context that Jesus uses seems like he is using hell as an analogy.

      August 9, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Laughing

      @fred

      So you're telling me that it's not the inherient lack of significance that believers fear from atheists, but the simple fact that atheists make people question their beliefs and turn away from god?Don't these people have free will? Why are you depriving them of their right to freely choose their own path and trying to force them into believing god?

      August 9, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • J.W

      I actually think the fact that at one time I turned my back on my faith actually made my faith stronger in the long run. I was brought back into my belief in God, and it made me think more about exploring what I believe. I probably dont believe the same way, but I am stronger now in what I do believe.

      August 9, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • fred

      J.W
      Jesus actually made it clear that the only way to reconcile with God is through Him. You and I can't get in on our own, we can't lead a life of purity etc as all these things are impossibe for man. Our only hope is in Christ. Now, God is big enough to take care of getting those through that want to get through but He is not under any obligation to anyone. As to hell that place is reserved for Satan and his demonds / followers. Jesus also referred to the unbeliever that would not even give the scraps of food off his table to the poor man. A very graphic scene of the unbeliever asking for a drop of water in that hot place, then asking if God could let him go back to warn his brothers to repent and accept Jesus. The answer was no they would not listen to Moses why would they listen to one raised from the dead (Jesus). In short God knows who will some day come to Christ and those that will not.

      August 9, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • I Don't Get It

      fred, "In short God knows who will some day come to Christ and those that will not."

      According to your story, this omniscient "God" knew this even before it created these folks... and created them anyway - whattaguy!

      August 9, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Laughing

      @JW

      What made you turn your back on your faith in the first place and what exactly convinced you to run back to it? Also He.ll really makes no sense when you think about it theologically, it directly goes against the whole "loving god" bit that believers are quick to say. I am in agreement with you that it was probably more of an analogy than anything else.

      @fred With the above being said, so just to be clear before I go any further, do you believe in hel.l and if so, who goes there? What does hel.l actually accomplish? I mean, if all the people who don't believe in god go there, he.ll's goal is to punish right – even though a loving god would not want to send his creation to eternal torment. On the other hand, if it's only satan and his demons (all of which are also gods creations so....... yeah) then what does satan and his demons do down there?

      August 9, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • fred

      Laughing,
      A 3 year old has free will but I hold their hand on a busy street. The 3 year old still has free will and I will let loose when they have foundation to make a critical choice. Imagine that not everyone has your emotional stability or IQ and some need hand held a lot longer in life. Some let go of Dad and hang onto Abba Father. The still have free will and need that extra something to hang on. Fear of the unknown, and you offer what an unknown -thanks a lot

      Another new beliver may have just found something to hang onto and has a new purpose to say "work as if working onto the Lord". Typical in conversion experiences some life altering event has occured and the security of knowing God is in control brings relief. Often times you have just realized the broken sinful nature of your existence, repent and follow your new belief. This is not a fair time to turn my new apple cart upsidedown. Now I am nowhere god is myth, my life worthless and yeah I am not going to sound pleasant when I reply to you since you just popped my new ballon.

      Or like me I race with some athiests that give me a hard time. I could not wrap my brain around nothingness and they cannot wrap their brains around my belief in a myth. Once they found out I was Christian they thought less of me intellectually. They are physicists and engineers and talk circles around me so I stick with the old the Bible verses. The good news is I have converted one into an agnostic since he could not prove there was no God.
      I was also mislead for a long time thinking I needed to do something to save these people from eternal darkness. Not so much anymore because because I found just how powerful God was. God is very capable to do what I cannot. Given there is effect which we can measure there must be cause.

      August 9, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • fred

      Laughing,
      As to he.ll it is clear in Bible it is reserved for Satan and his followers. As to everyone else the theme seems to be as you judge so will you be judged, as you give mercy so will you receive mercy, to him whom much is given much is expected and then the last words "father forgive them for they know not what they do".

      On the one hand Satan gets it big time for eternity burning flesh the whole imagery. The babylonians symbolic for evil were to punish the jews but went way overboard in their cruelity and their lot is included with Satans bunch. God is simply allowing these souls to live out their eternity being who and what they are. Just as he allowed them to do here on earth. This is the bed they made for themselves. They had a lifetime to change and did not why would you assume more lifetimes would change such basic souls.

      All the rest that don't make the pearly gates (and they are narrow gates) take with them for eternity all that they are in a demension outside of the place God has prepared for those who were chosen before time. We are not sure what a place is that has no God (perhaps you could clue me in on what happens outside the umbrella of a loving God one that would give his own son that we might have life eternal). The picture is no presence of God, all the things we did against the clear guidelines from Jesus somehow haunt us or simply are us, all the fruits of the Spirit are in the Kingdom so there are none of these qualities in this eternity, basically everything that once gifted soul sought after.

      Why would God do such a thing? It is because He is perfect holliness and oil and water do not mix. We cannot touch it because we cannot shake off what we are. God has made a way back into relationship with him. Justice demands a consequense otherwise there is no justice.

      August 9, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • Laughing

      @fred

      I think you mean well, but do you realize the extent of how insulting it is that you think that if people don't believe in god they are little more than 3 year old children? Also,you said, " Fear of the unknown, and you offer what an unknown -thanks a lot" – I'm sorry, i thought you were adult enough to know that just because you're afraid of something doesn't mean it'll go away if dad says it will. I mean, this quote right here shows that you would rather live in willful ignorance rather than face your fears head on and deal with them. If you admit that and believe you would rather use religion as a crutch to face the unknown future I can sort of respect that (I felt the exact same way just 5 years ago, it's what led me to admit that I didn't actually believe in religion as much as I liked the feeling of security that the belief gave me).

      You've also said you converted a scientist friend into an agnostic, something tells me he said he was to shut you up. Honestly bud, it sounds like you've clung to religion so much because it's given you security that even though the universe is unknowable in many aspects, there's something out there that does know it and this same thing is looking out for you. You have incredibly intense cognitive dissonance and so I can understand why you strongly reject any sort of notion that upsets your way of thinking, but don't worry, once you make the leap and truely think about it, it's not so bad to undertand that we're just on a round spinning ball, speeding around another gigantic firey ball that is intself spinning with billions of other burning balls around a massive black hole which is also moving and interacting with other galaxies. It's actual laughable when you think about all the danger in the universe, the high speeds, the intense gravity the large scale of the universe, who could have guessed that all of this is happening above us all the time.

      August 9, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • J.W

      Well I think I just turned away in the first place because I had a vision of the way that the work of God would be done through the church and I did not see that. My church had an exclusive atti.tude and I just not agree with their theology. But when I turned away I struggled through alot of things. Then I started praying and reading the Bible alot more. I actually read all the way through the Bible from beginning to end. Then I stumbled upon a church that agreed more with my theology with really good people and that made me see there was hope for Christianity to be something better, and to do good things in the world. Actually I do think conservatives wonder how a loving God could send someone to hell too, they just believe that it has to be true because they believe the Bible to be literal. That makes it seem to me that their need to convert others is a guilt factor, because they think that they dont want someone to go to h.ell when they could have done something about it.

      August 9, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • fred

      @I Dont Get it
      You dont get it because you use logic that is limited in time and space (FYI in Genesis you can read about the action god had to take limiting time and space).
      God cannot be proven and we can never even touch God with our intellect or knowledge because of our limitation. God is outside of time and space, the creator the cause of all we see and know. I have yet to hear anyone express what is outside of our time and space because we can only relate to what we have observed.
      To your direct question why build a man that will fail over and over again which implys it would have been better that God had never created that man. Well read the bible and you find Jesus said that to those who would trip up his little ones.

      If you were God you imply you have a better way and that is the problem you think you know more than God as to what one needs to go through in life to reach the next level. What snap you fingers, no baby bottle, no teenagers, no old people, no opportunity to test yourself against good or evil, no acquired knowledge handed down over generations so you get to do all over again and again from scratch. I think not as I look at the evolution of civilized man seems to follow a very consistant pattern of constant impovement at some level. That branch on the evolution tree of mans soul gets cut off when it is not fit for the kingdom it is evolving towards.

      August 9, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Laughing

      @fred

      I know how clear the bible is about he.ll, however, have you considered who would actually be going to hel.l, or not making it into heaven if this is all right? If god created all men, women and children, he sure denies them the opportunity to go to heaven, and these aren't sinners that you believe deserve he.ll anyways, these are people who live good lives and do good deeds, but in the name of shiva or buddha instead of allah. Their only sin is not believing in god, I mean how petty for something like an all powerful creature in the universe. Also, since god created all of this, that means he created: Hel.l, satan, demons, sin, evil, dam.nation and so on. Why do all this if he's so loving? WHy send Ghandi to hel.l? Ghandi and god don't mix why exactly? because he was a hindu? Sorry freddie, you're going to have to do a lot better than that, and might I reccomend that instead of spewing out what the bible has told you, that you think for yourself and make up your own mind? I'm not saying that when you'll do this you'll become an atheist (though personally I believe if you truely do think about it, that you will become one soon enough) there are a few people on this board (like JW) who has thought long and hard about god and rationalized it enough to still be a believer and make some sense, but fred, I will not be even remotely swayed to understand your point if you only use the bible as your bullhorn.

      @JW
      I think conservatives have no problem with a hel.l because they so firmly believe they aren't going and everyone else is because they don't think like them. It fits perfectly with their MO. So when you say turned away, did you stop believing in god and religion in general, or did you just dislike the current brand you were following and stopped attending church? I know we've also gone into what you think of prayer and my thoughts on it as well, but what results did you start seeing exactly right after you prayed that convinced you that it was working?

      August 9, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • fred

      Luaghing,
      How is my unyielding any different than yours? Are you not every bit as stuck as I am? Nicodemus went to Jesus in the dark of night and Jesus said “ I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe so how can you believe when I speak of heavenly things”. In short there was a blockage there and even tangible evidence was not sinking in. You still are not looking for “God” who is (i.e. the one that cannot be measured). You look for a tangible that fits your man made preconceived image of god even though this nonexistant god is intangible. Nineveh did not receive tangible proof only the testimony of Jonah (even Jonah could not believe they went for it). Hint: the heart must be first willing to receive the good news. When the neck is stiff it is unyielding.

      August 9, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • J.W

      I think that I turned more to apathism rather than atheism. I dont know whether I stopped believing that there was a god but I just never thought about it. I never prayed, went to church, read the Bible, or even had the thought of God cross my mind really. I would say probably my biggest problem around that time was drinking. I saw my life going bad and I lost all the money that I had, so I prayed and even went back to an old Bible study group that I hadnt been to in months. Suddenly I had no motivation to drink and was more motivated than ever to worship God. I left that Bible study group again though, although they had good people I found a church that fit more into what I believed. Another point about hell, have you noticed that Jesus never explicitly stated that a person would go to hell just by not believing in him. He does say no one will get to the father except through me, but it seems like that could mean that he meant he might be the way to heaven but the ones that dont believe may just remain in the grave. Thats kind of what I tend to believe. Or maybe there could be some sort of temporary punishment.

      August 9, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • Laughing

      @fred

      You make the mistake that I am and have always been an atheist, which is simply not true. There have been many times that I truely wished for a sign from god, something to show me the way, to help me when I was in a tough jam, to give me a sign that he was there at all, you know what I got right? Nothing, nada, not one sign. You would say that's just my "unyielding neck" and then I only expected proof from my man made preconceived notions. But first of all, how else am i supposed to figure out what proof is? God sure as he.ll doesn't lay out what is proof of his existance (except I guess for hearsay and speeches). What sign did you get exactly that I apparently missed? seriously, my heart was open, my eyes searched for a sign. I was incredibly vulnerable and if I had noticed ANYTHING out of the ordinary that was a "sign" I probably would have seized it and then who knows, I might be on this blog agreeing with everything you're saying (to some extent at least, as I grew up Jewish, so I think we'd still be at odds, just slightly less so).

      Also, what did i tell you about using the bible as a bullhorn? Please, use your brain! come up with your own opinions and feelings! god gave you a brain to use on your own, not to be a robot to spout of bible verses!

      Lastly, I can honestly admit that if proven wrong today, tomorrow, or in the future and someone gave me empiracle evidence that god exists, that gravity is not constant on earth, that the sun IS actually revolving around us and not the other way around, I would be more than happy to revise my current view of the universe around me and change accordingly. Is it ever possible for you to stop believing in god, even if it was somehow possible to prove his non-existance? What exactly would get you to believe he doesn't exist? Pretty simple for me, I could easily believe in gods existance with just a few miracles performed, big booming voice from the sky, ect.. ect..., so what will change your mind? I'll also accept the answer of "nothing" that will change your mind because at least we'll agree that since nothing can change your mind it's impossible to debate or even hold a discussion with you and we'll go our separate ways.

      August 9, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • fred

      J.W
      You indicated that perhaps Jesus ment to say I may be the way the truth and the light. Well the exact words were: John 14:6Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
      Notice Jesus went to the trouble of repeating just to make sure you did not miss the point. This line sums up what Jesus is all about. I am = this is what God referred himself to in the old testament, "I am the way" i.e. God is the way he shows you the path lays it out. "the truth" Jesus was God, God revealed himself to us in Him – Hey guys look this is me this is who God is do you believe it. "the life" -before Christ man was spiritually dead and death the end place, life eternal life is in Jesus.
      Interesting J W that you would doubt the way but you are in good company as doubting Thomas said "lord we dont know where you are going how can we know the way?" This question is what prompted the above statement. Philip said "show us the Father and that will be enough" to which Jesus said Philip dont you know me If you have seen me you have seen the Father or at least believe the evidence of the mracles themselves. Judas (not Iscariot) Why do you intend to show yourself to us and the world? In short because you love me and obey was Jesus reply. Love and obey was also the theme for getting to the promised land of the old testament.

      @ Laughing take note God is revealed to those who love and obey not a Petri dish in a lab

      August 9, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • fred

      oopps, the above should say from Judas "why do you intend to show yourself to us and NOT to the World"

      August 9, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • J.W

      But fred my point actually wasnt relating to heaven, but to hell. Jesus says that if we follow him we will go to heaven, but does he say that if we do not believe that we will burn forever, simply by not believing?

      August 9, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • Laughing

      @fred

      So what you're telling me by repeating the statement that jesus isn't going to prove himself to unbelievers is that the ONLY way I can have proof that god exists is if I already believe in him? I'm sorry but thats the stupidest thing I've ever heard. That's like saying Neptune only exists because I was looking for it and would only reveal itself once I was open to the idea. As you may or may not know, Neptune was found because of the affects it had on Uranus and other asteroids and comets that we charted their trajectory we found they were doing weird things around a certain point in space that could be from a large object. We found Neptune out there, spinning away merrily but we found it, not because we were looking for it, but because it gave us a sign before we even knew to look.

      August 9, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • fred

      Laughing,
      I would have lost my faith long ago if not for the ridicules number of coincidences that came into my life which ended in a Bible sitting in my car. That was all I had left (a car and a Bible) after losing my company, home and family. So when I doubt God I back track through all the events since that day and ask was that really God at each critical moment. By the time I am done with that regression I am usually back on track again. Note I said usually. I also trust God has not allowed some trials into my life yet as He knows I would toss my Bible…….yet I know another trial is coming my way and it will be a big one. Now in the Old Testament I see the chosen ones were to erect alters, or place stones in rivers etc. to remind them of what God has done. Interesting I once noticed that is what I do – build alters and review old stones to keep my faith strong. I forget quick what God has done in my life and cry out why when disaster hits. My take is that is why Abrahams generation followed this tradition.

      August 9, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • fred

      Laughing,
      I was not looking for God or even thinking or knowing about God. As a matter of fact I thought God was for sick people only and I was healthy as a horse (ready for the glue factory). I went to clean out my trunk and there was that Bible I could never toss because some day I would return it to the man to whom it meant so much. Out of courisoity I noticed it was bent open to some red letters amoungst the black ones. I began to read and within 10 minutes was in tears because I was convicted as to who and what I really was. Tears of shame, guilt, loss and overwhelming emotion.
      Since that time I tend to see God in everything so I will get to the drawing board and figure out why Neptune the god of the sea caught your attention through mathematics rather than empirical data. Noahs ark will work according to mathematical prediction but sink on empirical observation. It took a storm on the sea for the apostles to notice the God of the sea. Hopefully you dont need a storm in your life to before you get on the boat. Ouch there were 8 people on that ark and the rest were drowned ........was Neptune not the 8th planet also.....and furthest from the Son (non believers distance from the Son of God). Ok, just playing but , I do need to get a handle on why me Lord.

      August 9, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • J.W

      I remember when I had a Bible stolen from me. I remember thinking I hope they read it and didnt just throw it away.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
  10. a person of the Name

    No its him fully.

    August 9, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • J.W

      Remember to hit the Reply button so that your post is posted under the comment in which you are replying. This comment by itself makes no sense.

      August 9, 2011 at 11:43 am |
  11. a person of the Name

    "God said let's make man in our image"
    Who was with God that he said that. God is spirit there for has no flesh.

    August 9, 2011 at 11:39 am |
  12. a person of the Name

    We strive only to do the best we can and though Jesus we can acheave, as close as can be, perfection. Nobody is perfect but that should not stop us for striving for it.
    By the way Jesus was with God from the beginning because he is God.

    August 9, 2011 at 11:36 am |
  13. The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

    Colin wrote on August 7, 2011 at 3:56 am stating, “This is interesting. One of the more common roads to religious nonsense is an inability to function in society. How many times have we read of somebody being down and out on drugs or alcohol and suddenly "finding Jesus". I am yet to hear of a prisoner or other loser who does not grasp for the lowest common denominator, the simple, mindless, easy-to-understand sky god, who will magically solve all their problems, in this life or the next.
    I guess, when all else is lost, the make-believe will beckon, because it forgives all, allows one to pretend they have their act together when they don't, and will, in all respects, be exactly what one wants it to be.
    At times I wish my mind was small enough, and my ability to self-delude large enough, that I could crawl into this matchbox of self-deception and cuddle up with my sky-gods. Unfortunately, reality strikes and I realize that it is all up to me. Comforting and all as invisible friends are, they don't hold a candle to accepting self responsibility and holding the pen to the script of one's own destiny.”

    I, The Lionly Lamb do respond and write, “Faith is this ‘make-believe’ and your ‘sky-god(s)’ thru which the Lost might find their Way from the depths of hurt and despair, oh well intended and kind Colin. Your Being a “Self-Made Individuality” goes without your saying Colin. Faith in yourself is your aloneness and reverberates only with the companies you keep. Such is aloneness just a byproduct of the oneness yet is guided toward each and curtails every Individualized Fundamentalist’s Daydreamings of Selfish Solitary Thoughtfulness Regardless of anyone’s mental stance and or socialized harborages. The delusions around which one invites their mind to proclaim a sense of togetherness is itself a Lie for alone in our bodies Brainyard we all Truly are.”

    “Thus Saith I, The Lionly Lamb of (ALL) the Gods in the Aboveness of My Word, AMEN and Amen and amen!”

    August 9, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • ....

      "Thus Saith I, The Lionly Lamb of (ALL) the Gods in the Aboveness of My Word, AMEN and Amen and amen!"

      Pretending to be an anti-Christ is a sin but you really need to learn how to spell.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

      .... responded to my Aboveness Word stating thusly, "Pretending to be an anti-Christ is a sin but you really need to learn how to spell."

      I am no 'anti-Christ' and my spelling is nearly an Immaculate conception of Civilty!

      August 9, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
  14. The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

    The author of this Blog, a Mr. Edward Grinnan wrote, " We’ve been telling our stories since we could carve on cave walls, and probably longer. Stories are the roadmaps of our lives, and we're hard-wired for telling them."

    "In the Beginning was the Word,,,,,,,,,,, and the Word was GOD,,,,,,,,,,,, and GOD was with God,,,,,,,,,,,, and men became "as" gods for the Gods' whim and the Will of GOD,,,,,So Help Me All you manly gods and womanly goddesses created by all so many Gods and Goddesses, from their manifestations being of GOD!

    August 9, 2011 at 8:55 am |
  15. friend

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZLzLVAUJiU&feature=player_profilepage

    August 9, 2011 at 8:54 am |
    • tallulah13

      This guy looks like one of those puppets from the Gerry Anderson oeuvre of television programs, like Thunderbirds or Captain Scarlet.

      August 9, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
  16. Frogist

    "I understand finally, that I am not necesssarily the author."
    I think the author (Grinnan) has a point to some degree.
    I realize he meant to say his life was pre-destined by his god. Personally, I think that is a very depressing idea. To have no say at all in your own existence seems hopeless. It makes you feel imprisoned no matter whether your jailer is supposed to be benevolent or evil.
    But I think it is true that our story is not just written by ourselves. Sure, we cannot ignore the part we play with our decisions and actions. But I think other people we meet play a large part in how our story turns out. And that's something we have little if any control over. Random acts by other people impact us in ways we can't really quantify. I think maybe that's why sharing our stories with each other can be a powerful thing because something revelatory or influential can come from so far out of our normal sphere that it might seem like destiny or fate. And that's a powerful feeling whether it comes from a god or the recognition that there are others in the world whose lives have bearing on your own.

    August 9, 2011 at 8:52 am |
    • The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

      Well written postie toastie Frogist! I do so salute your penmanship! 🙂 The author of this Blog (Edward Grinnan) is also very talented in His Word! My post-it notes are mostly vulgarious blatancies not worthy of denunciating by otherly postie people who bicker and bawk cowardlessly upon the ridicule-ings of my Type. Caring such as I do toward all folks and genders, I am an intertwinement of causality and crewlality never truly knowing the righteous wrong nor the evil rights! "May all of each and every singularity of each one's Godly-Being that is made manifest in each of our templed' bodice, be one day known by yourself in their right.minded namesake!

      "Thus Saith I, the Lionly Lamb of (ALL) The Gods in the Aboveness of My Word, Amen and Amen!"

      August 9, 2011 at 9:12 am |
    • Frogist

      @Lionly:
      Hi.
      No offense meant, but it is really hard to understand your posts. I think that people might criticise you unfairly simply because they just don't understand what you're saying. Do you mind trying to write in plain, simple language? That way we can have honest conversations.
      Hope you're having a good day.

      August 9, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
  17. Abby

    "And it was in writing my story that I finally recognized a deeper and more ineffable plan. When I see my life as a story, with all the richness and depth of art, the beauty and serendipity and redemption, the synchronicity of forces beyond my knowing, I understand finally that I am not necessarily the author."
    ________________

    Yesterday I debated on telling my story, attempting to convince myself that is was not crucial to do so. Today, after reading your article, I am confident it is the right thing to do.

    Thank you for listening to the voice of wisdom that eventually guided you on this path for otherwise our paths would have never crossed thus my story would have stayed buried not touching those it was meant to reach.

    Abby

    August 9, 2011 at 8:02 am |
  18. A woman with many names

    Reality, you have false informations only and no true knowledge or moral wisdom. Atheists only promote meaninglessness, destruction and despair. Poor creatures. They can't live without Christians because attacking good things is their only food.

    August 9, 2011 at 12:29 am |
    • RightTurnClyde

      You are right: atheists only promote meaninglessness and despair .. AND (apparently) they cannot be content to believe nothing, so they have need to attack Christian faith (probably because of our faith). Man, being reflective, tries to ascribe meaning (not meaninglessness) to his existence. But man is finite and cannot understand the meaning of his existence or the meaning (reasoning) of God's action (and interaction) with man. Aquinas called it "contingent being." He said we cannot know why God created man (by whatever means). We cannot actually know the Being that created all being (it's beyond us). We can only understand that some Being (God) caused everything and hence caused man (life and us). The "giant accident" theory of cause doesn't cut it. And the atheists know it. Giant accident is impossible (most physicists have to admit it). But we cannot REASON beyond the giant accident. We can only *know* there is a Causa Prima (an Omega) and it is intelligent and beneficent (loving) Which is why the author says "When I see my life as a story, with all the richness and depth of art, the beauty and serendipity and redemption, the synchronicity of forces beyond my knowing, I understand finally that I am not necessarily the author." And that IS what we can understand (nothing more)

      August 9, 2011 at 12:59 am |
    • Spiffy

      You sure have us Atheists pegged. At our last meeting we were discussing ways to ultimately bring forth the destruction of Christianity when I realized how could we possibly live without the Christian faith and those who "practice" it. I mean the only thing keeping me alive is my hate for Christianity. Otherwise there is nothing else going on in my life. Yep it is almost like you have read us Atheist's minds.

      August 9, 2011 at 2:22 am |
    • RightTurnClyde

      Well you were moved to respond. Why? If I did not believe there was an Oracle at Delphi what would it matter to me if Alexander visited her before battle? If I did not believe Troy existed what difference would it make if Achilles battled Hector? Or if there was a wooden horse? Why would I care if Crazy horse actually SAW a White buffalo? The atheists invest way to much reacting to Christians to be indifferent. Atheists care because they actually believe..

      August 9, 2011 at 2:39 am |
    • Know What

      RightTurnClyde,

      If there were people who were trying to rule your country according the the Oracle of Delphi - make laws and public policy according to it, hinder science, affect your taxes, and constantly admonish you that Hades'll smite ya' if ya' don't watch out; I'll just bet that you would show some interest in that alleged Oracle.

      August 9, 2011 at 3:30 am |
    • Laughing

      @Right Turn Clyde

      First, if you're using parentheses in every sentence, you're doing something wrong. Secondly, where do I even get started? Apparently athesits don't believe in anything because......we don't believe in religion? Well that's wrong, I think you have us confused with nihilists, but I can assure you I have many beliefs, they just happen to fall into the "real" category. Next, you talk about a "great accident theory"..... why must physicists admit that its impossible? If it actually were and we all agreed that it was impossible, then why, may I ask, is it still the leading theory in explaining the inception of the universe? Mind you, it doesn't have anything to do with the "why" it only has to do with the "how", but something tells me that's a litte hard for you to grasp. It sounds to me like you are either incredibly intellectually lazy and have decided that "god did it" is an acceptable answer, or you firmly believe that since you have such a short life that you deserve, in a way, some more firm answer than what most scientists and atheists and a lot of other people admit without hesitation: I don't know. You don't know anything, neither do I, but you insist in your first paragraph that you both know and don't know the underlying reason for the universe. Which one is it Clyde? You can't say, "I don't know, god did it" Either you don't know, or you believe god is real and did it, in which case you completely contradict your intial statement that everything is too great for human understanding. I guess christians are so well versed at doublethink and can read the bible and believe in all its teaching in the blink of an eye, this is childs play, right?

      August 9, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • Nonimus

      The dogged desire to have everyone believe, consciously or unconsciously, in your God belies your inability, or unwillingness, to entertain any perspective that does not include your God.

      The beauty of this existence is that we create our own meaning. You may consider that meaningless, but to those who appreciate the truly awe inspiring universe without the need to hide behind the false security of a divine father figure and face the unknown honestly and without artifice, it is the very thing that makes it awesome.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

      @ ALL,

      "Atheism has just as much a "Right" to Be among our many "Isms". To bicker and barter goes from mankind's mountaintops to its' social rivers flowing down thru the cultural valleys onto the seas of all the people."

      Alone Truly are all the people yet in the company of the otherly kind , does one bring about a sense of togetherness, as an aliveness of sorts. One could live out their Life being alone and without another soul to keep them company and that would be sufficient for the sake of Oneness, But GOD, in HIS Wisdom did create a sameness Being for the aloneness of His Being but One. So GOD Himself created and made manifested another Being much likened to Himself, thusly HE was in the Beginning now 2, GOD and God, One Being the Father and the other Being a Son. The Aloneness was now a Departation and GOD did rejoice in His Creation; The Son of HIS Own Being!

      "Thus Saith I, The Lionly Lamb of (ALL) The Gods in the Aboveness of My Word, AMEN and Amen and amen!"

      August 9, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • Juggling Squirrel-Jesus

      So ... god was lonely ... until he created himself? This makes sense in your head?

      That post seemed like a lot of quasi-religious speak that was made to sound like it should be profound, when in fact it made little sense and was fairly devoid of meaning.

      But maybe it's fun. Here, let me give it a try:

      Thus sayeth he, who, from up on high in his mightiest of almighty lairs did he speak to all creation and, being in that creation, did he thus speak to himself and where ever he thus spoketh to himself did he exhault himself and all creation and all the universe for, he being the great and most holy being, the word, all that he sayeth was truly. forever and ever more, amenest of the amens!

      August 9, 2011 at 10:16 am |
    • Laughing

      @juggling squirrel jesus

      Couldn't have said it better myself. It really burns my toast when people say something that needs to sound profound and yet doesn't make sense. It's sort of like talking in a hushed tone when you order your coffee. You can give it all the gravitas you want and make it sound like this coffee is the be all, end all decision in the universe, but at the end of the day it's just a frappachino (possible the worst invention ever to grace America)

      August 9, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • Free

      The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar
      So, God split his own personality? That's not generally seen as being mentally healthy, is it?

      August 9, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • Civiloutside

      RTC – I could just as easily claim that the fact that you are willing to come argue with us means that you really don't believe. It makes exactly as much sense. It's also smug, and condescending, and completely fails to contribute anything meaningful to the discussion.

      August 9, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • Frogist

      It is funny that believers like Right Turn Clyde will slander their atheist bretheren and then wonder why oh why they bother to post on this blog. You're insulting people and then blaming them when they defend themselves? Come on!

      August 9, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Free

      Frogist
      Yup, it doesn't get much ruder than to tell complete strangers that they are evil and deserve to be tortured mercilessly.

      In fairness, however, there have been some characters posting here who attack Christians in very much the same way, labeling all of them evil. This is, of course, just as bad. I know many Christians who are very nice and apparently good people. Some others, on the other hand, are not.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
  19. a person of the Name

    Jesus is God, God is Jesus. He came himself to save a world that didn't deserve to be saved. I thank him for it everyday. 🙂

    August 8, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
    • Faith

      Amen

      August 9, 2011 at 12:25 am |
    • RightTurnClyde

      Jesus IS God (He says it in John). God did not change because God is immutable and perfect. Thus Jesus did not become God (which is heresy), Jesus is God incarnate. Jesus instructed us about the Spirit (the Paraclete) and so the Trinity is the nature of God’s being: a Triune God. Infinite in nature and beyond our comprehension. SO in Mark 8 Jesus told Apostles do not try to reason just believe what you have been told. That is our instruction: believe.

      August 9, 2011 at 1:07 am |
    • tallulah13

      Spiderman could totally beat Batman. But he might have a problem with Superman.

      August 9, 2011 at 1:10 am |
    • Spiffy

      So what you are saying is that God sacrificed himself to himself in order to forgive sins of the people he created (when creating said people knowing perfectly well what they would do) from hell (a place he created) which tortures people for just being the way God knew you would be when creating you.

      August 9, 2011 at 2:25 am |
    • Nonimus

      Believe what you want. Enjoy!

      August 9, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • Uturn

      @RightTurnClyde,
      "God did not change because God is immutable and perfect. ...Jesus is God incarnate. ...a Triune God."

      Just trying to understand, what was God before Jesus was incarnated, a Biune God? and when did he change to a Triune God, at conception or when Jesus took his first "breath of life"?

      August 9, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • herbert juarez

      what is really being said
      spiffy does not exist

      August 9, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • Free

      tallulah13
      "Spiderman could totally beat Batman. But he might have a problem with Superman."

      I had that comic back in the 70's and Spiderman did beat Superman. He had Lex Luthor's secret help though.

      Come to think of it, Superman and Jesus have a lot in common. Ever read The Gospel According to the World's Greatest Superhero, by Stephen Skelton?

      August 9, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • Free

      RightTurnClyde
      "Jesus IS God (He says it in John)."

      Shouldn't you have said that John has Jesus say that? It doesn't appear in any of the earlier gospels, so wouldn't you suspect that it's a new idea being added to the legend?

      August 9, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • S.T.

      Seriously spiderman defeated superman back in the 70's, you learn something new everyday

      August 9, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • Free

      S.T.
      Yes he did, but Superman didn't want to hurt him, so he just took the hits. However, in another comic book Superman also created a perfect copy of the earth in just one day. They reeled in his powers quite a bit after that.

      August 9, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • tallulah13

      So when it comes down to it, Superman might be able to beat God? Whoa!

      August 10, 2011 at 1:58 am |
    • Stevie7

      "Free

      RightTurnClyde
      "Jesus IS God (He says it in John)."

      Shouldn't you have said that John has Jesus say that? It doesn't appear in any of the earlier gospels, so wouldn't you suspect that it's a new idea being added to the legend?"

      --

      Actually, I think the most accurate would be to state that the anonymous author who wrote the gospel of John attributed those words to Jesus that he or she received second hand (or more) and didn't bother to put into writing until at least many decades after the words were said.

      August 10, 2011 at 7:58 am |
    • Free

      Stevie7
      Of course! The tradition attributing that gospel to John only began a little after a hundred years after it first emerges, and it was likely the product of a whole community owing to it's gradual, layered structure. Few of the Church Fathers even mention it, and it seems that the only group that loved John as much as the evangelicals now do were the gnostics, and we know what the early Church did to them. 🙂

      August 10, 2011 at 9:55 am |
  20. Faith

    I thought Guidepost was Christian. Without the Christ, any spirituality makes the Westerners only worse with all kinds of narcissism. There maybe a storyline, since everyone has a placed position with relations to others in certain timeframes, but one still faces consequences for the free-willed actions. People need Jesus. Only in Jesus, there is meaning and dignity of human life. Otherwise, most humans on Planet Earth are only the objects of vengeance. Every story ends with justice done or the Redeemer's entry

    August 8, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
    • Free

      And viewing yourself as being made in the image of the most powerful, most perfect being imaginable isn't narcissism?

      August 9, 2011 at 11:28 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.