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August 19th, 2011
01:43 PM ET

Does God support mountaintop removal mining?

Editor's note: Soledad O'Brien's documentary, "Battle for Blair Mountain: Working in America" airs at 8 p.m. ET Saturday, August 20.

Art Kirkendoll, a former West Virginia county commissioner, says that God clearly supports mountaintop removal mining, which is vigorously opposed by environmentalists. Check out the clip.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Content Partner • Environment • God

soundoff (136 Responses)
  1. prophet

    so why so serious believes in god

    August 19, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  2. prophet

    do any of the atheiests here go and help in a hospital or help the poor or help the elderley, and i ask the same of those trying to intellectually prove God existence.

    August 19, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • J. Scott

      Of course. That is a ridiculous question. USAID is a secular organization that has offered more charity work than many religious organizations. Furthermore, they do so without the alterior motive of converting those they are helping. Your belief that religion is required in order to help people shows a lack of rational thought.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • Arvn Huac

      Yup. I give many hours of my time, as well as donating thousands of dollars to charities such as Doctors without borders and the local food bank and childrens' home.

      Christians are so deluded by their indoctrination that they think only they are capable of compassion, that compassion, charity and humane behavior can only come from decades of being brainwashed by visions of heaven and hell. Sorry – those are characteristics shared by a portion of the human race, whether religious or not.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • Awkward Situations

      I don't understand. What do these people need "help" with exactly?

      Hospitals are filled with patients in declining health suffering from lifelong chronic illnesses, incurable diseases, and/or traumatic accidents. Hospitals are also packed with doctors, physician as-sistants, nurses, and everyone else on the medical team whose only priority is to keep the patient alive and minimize collateral damage once the diagnosis is made. Unless you can help find the cure to cancer, the only help you'll be doing is pushing paper, wheeling beds around and be on standby for coffee requests.

      Poor people. There is a spectrum of "poor" so make sure to make adjustments for the amount of "help" you give accordingly. Homeless guy on the street poor. Section 8 housing poor. Military veteran poor. Single mom poor. Immigrant poor. Father working 4 jobs poor. Natural disaster and didn't have insurance poor... etc..etc. Make sure to let them know you feel sorry for them before you take out your wallet/give them help.

      Old people don't need your help, they're old! They should have figured everything out by now.

      I know the type. Knight in Shining Armor Syndrome. Help yourself to a pat on the back. I hear god keeps a score card –
      3 points for the sick; 2 if it's a terminal illness
      5 points for helping the poor since you have to keep on donating because god is watching you
      1 point for the old, they're on their way out soon anyway

      "Helping" the sick, poor, and old does not make you a good person. "Not helping" the sick, poor, and old does not make you a bad person. Doing good deeds with no expectation of recognition or reward from fellow primates or a god, makes you a real human being.

      August 20, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  3. prophet

    those who deny God deny themselves

    August 19, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • AGuest9

      You make it sound like atheists miss out on something. It's quite the opposite.

      August 19, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
  4. prophet

    The Bible is not open to interpretation, the ones that have been mistranslated are just that. There is a Bible that is an accurate translation and when read it doesn't need to be interpreted. The Bible cannot be studied, the theologists are really getting nowhere with it. The Bible can be understood by anyone who has the heart to do so and it cannot be read like a book. You need inspiration to understand what is written not knowledge. Its knowledge that got us all into this mess in the first instance.

    August 19, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • J. Scott

      Your illogical and error-filled ramblings amuse me. Yet, they sadden me at the same time.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • barberie

      You should educate yourself on how the books of the Bible were compiled, voted upon, written, and rewritten over many centuries. It is not the Word of God. When you stop worshipping a false idol like a book, you will find God.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Or not.

      August 19, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
    • The Lame Wigged-out Lying of the God-Babblers Does Bore

      No interpretation of the Bible allowed! The Bible is literal in every regard and must be read that way! We true Christians know that Jesus actually was a lamb. Literally.

      August 19, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @prophet

      You said: "The Bible is not open to interpretation, the ones that have been mistranslated are just that. There is a Bible that is an accurate translation and when read it doesn't need to be interpreted. The Bible cannot be studied, the theologists are really getting nowhere with it. The Bible can be understood by anyone who has the heart to do so and it cannot be read like a book. You need inspiration to understand what is written not knowledge. Its knowledge that got us all into this mess in the first instance."

      Notice how many denominations of Christianity there are (~ 34,000). Each denomination can show you scripture, that "proves" they understand the wants of Jesus/god.
      All of the denominations could not be correctly interpreting the bible. Many are contradictory.
      Many of these denominations believe only their members will be saved.

      If the Christian god exists, and He is all knowing and all powerful and all good, why didn't He provide a bible that could not be misinterpreted? That everyone's comprehension of His wants would be the same?

      The bible says:
      1 Corinthians 14:33 – KJV
      33For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

      Christians believe god's purpose in creating the Bible is to guide human beings towards a knowledge of God, and to help them lead moral lives, Christians must be certain of the meaning of the Bible.

      ambiguity – a word or expression that can be understood in two or more possible ways : an ambiguous word or expression.

      "There are in excess of 1,000 Christian faith groups in North America. They teach diverse beliefs about the nature of Jesus, God, the second coming, Heaven, Hell, the rapture, criteria for salvation, speaking in tongues, the atonement, what happens to persons after death, and dozens of other topics.

      On social controversies, faith groups teach a variety of conflicting beliefs about abortion access, equal rights for ho_mo$exuals and bi$exuals, who should be eligible for marriage, the death penalty, physician assisted suicide, human $exuality topics, origins of the universe, and dozens of other topics.

      The groups all base their theological teachings on the Bible. Generally speaking, the theologians in each of these faith groups are sincere, intelligent, devout, thoughtful and careful in their interpretation of the Bible. But, they come to mutually exclusive conclusions about what it teaches. Further, most are absolutely certain that their particular interpretations are correct, and that the many hundreds of faith groups which teach opposing beliefs are in error." Source: Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance

      If the bible is ambiguous, then it cannot be said to be inerrant. If the bible is not without error, then how do we know which parts to accept as truth and which to reject as fiction?

      What evidence can you offer, that proves your interpretation is the correct one? Your "inspired" interpretation is nothing more than your opinion. Like anuses, everybody has one. Why is your's special? LOL

      The Christian god is very unlikely to exist.

      Cheers!

      August 19, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
  5. WhySoSerious

    No.

    August 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  6. pmk1953

    When my Grandmother took me to church as a young child, the priest would read portions of Gullible's Troubles at us. We had a copy of it on the coffee table. The cover said "Bible" on it.

    August 19, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  7. Bo

    ============@DocV4:15================ I'm not sure if your post was for me, but yes, the Bible is full of mediphor, most all the prophices, though there are some literal, such as: Matthew 24:6-8 Look at that and what is happening in the world today, does it sound familiar?. But, almost the whole book of Daniel and Revelation is symbolic mediphor. It takes study to understand what it means. And I grant you, there are many different interpertions, like you said, that is why there are so many denomenations.

    August 19, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  8. prophet

    My God has already given us an answer to this about 3500 years where He Gave Us The Ten Commandments to Moses and that was on the top of a mountain and He left that as it was.

    August 19, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Magic

      prophet,

      Well, according to the story, old Mo made off with some fairly large rocks a couple of times...

      August 19, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  9. prophet

    alcoholism

    catholism

    these are both iillesses

    August 19, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • WhySoSerious

      *Catholicism

      Bad spelling.

      This, too, is an illness.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @prophet

      You said: "alcoholism, catholism these are both iillesses.

      So is stupidity. Alcoholism and Catholicism can be overcome. Stupidity will be with you for life.

      Cheers!

      August 19, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
  10. Bo

    ==========@Damian2:06=================VERY, VERY GOOD! That is very good interpertation. And I agree with you. There are other texts that could be applied also.

    August 19, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  11. prophet

    But so many people deny the existence of The One and Only True God but then these same people are trying to tell us what God is doing that is wrong so they deny and yet at the same time confirm God's Existence.

    August 19, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Shut up

      Shut up.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • Magic

      prophet,

      I'm sorry if we don't specify each time: "YOUR purported 'God', and all that you crack it up to be"...

      August 19, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • LinCA

      @prophet

      You said "But so many people deny the existence of The One and Only True God but then these same people are trying to tell us what God is doing that is wrong so they deny and yet at the same time confirm God's Existence."
      The figment of your imagination that you call your god doesn't exist. He/she/it is just as imaginary as Pink Unicorns, the Flying Spaghetti Monster and Bob the Blue Sock.

      Loch Ness Monster is more likely to exist than your imaginary friend.

      August 19, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @prophet

      Christians claim their god is Omnipotent ( all powerful), Omniscient (all knowing) and Omnibenevolent (all good).

      1). If god is Omnibenevolent, He would WANT every human to believe in Him.

      The bible says He does:

      2 Peter 3:9
      9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. King James Version (KJV)

      1 Timothy 2:4
      4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. King James Version (KJV)

      2.) If god is Omniscient, then He would KNOW exactly how to convince anyone and everyone that He exists.

      3.) If god is Omnipotent, then He would be ABLE to convince anybody and everybody that He exists.

      Yet, ~ 67% of the world's population are not Christians.

      Therefore, the Christian god is very unlikely to exist.

      Cheers!

      August 19, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Looks like all the residents of "Faith"'s group home are getting internet access.

      August 20, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  12. prophet

    I suppose one has to ask whose god becuase My God The Only God has not made it clear to this west virginia county commisioner. When people talk about god, they obviously refer to the pagan gods that cannot speak or save them.

    so using the name god in a coversation or article can refer to the god that they believe in and not to The Real and Only God.

    August 19, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • John

      There is no god and there are no gods.

      August 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • claybigsby

      @ John: Prove it.

      August 22, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • fimeilleur

      @ Claybigsby

      Humans do not require a god to be moral.
      Religion divides more than it unites.
      It’s untrue that atheists “believe in nothing.”
      It does not take more faith to be an atheist.
      Atheists do not deny god because they wish to be gods.
      Religion and science are incompatible.
      Complexity does not equal design.
      The scientific method trumps primitive anonymous texts.
      The scriptures are ridiculous, offensive and demonstrably false.
      One doesn’t require an afterlife to have a meaningful life.
      Threats of eternal hell-fire betray a weak argument.
      Schools should be filled with facts, not fanatics.
      Your personal experience does not prove god.
      An inability to disprove god does not prove god.
      Not knowing what caused the Big Bang does not prove god.
      And if you believe in any gods, the burden of proof is on you.

      With thanks from thethinkingatheist.com

      August 22, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
  13. Bo

    ========@Doc&AntiC==================== You really like to take the 'symbolic' and make reallity of it, don't you? (Rev 12cf) It may be interisting to get your oppion of what the symbolic message in Revalation means. ===============================

    August 19, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I laud you for recognizing that the Bible is full of allegory and metaphor.
      Unfortunately, there are many who believe it to be literal and innerrant.
      It is those types of people that ACTS and I are poking at.
      The Bible is a piece of literature and as such, can be interpreted in myriad ways – hence teh thousands of denominations of Christianity.
      I've read Revelation in much the same way as I read Lord of The Rings – as fanciful entertainment. I understand that there is deep symbolism in both tales, but I have not taken the time to delve into the minutiaie of either.

      Like Gulliver's Travels – an entertaining story even if one hasn't researched its historical context.

      August 19, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  14. The Guy

    This is the single dumbest debate I've ever heard of.

    August 19, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  15. Bo

    ////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Truely this is an eviromentlist issue. I believe that God does not want us to destroy nature caerlessly, but at the same time I believe God gave us resoces in nature to be used. I would be saddened if some mining company destroyed a beautiful sceanic moutain, but there are natural places that mining would not be a big issue. I guess it all depedns what the situation is. I know, this is a none answer. ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    August 19, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  16. Qwerty Elemeno

    Of course God is in favor of strip mining! He is also a big fan of cancer, tornadoes, nuclear accidents, drugs, war, famine, and all sorts of other nasty things.

    God could make all of those horrible things go away . . . but he doesn't. God is happy to let bad and evil things happen, even though he could easily stop it. It really makes no sense, does it? But if the universe has no controlling divinity, then all these problems make perfect sense.

    The world around you would not be as it is if there was a God.

    Okay religious nincompoops, here's your cue! Let's hear all the lame implausible excuses and denials and rationalizations again. Let's hear from the Borg now.

    August 19, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • William Demuth

      I have often wondered why Jesus hates Red Necks.

      It seems the more they cower, the more he messes with them.

      If he wasn't divine, he would be just another school yard bully.

      Perhaps if one of them just broke his Palestinian nose, all the disasters would stop?

      August 19, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  17. William Demuth

    God dosen't exist you idiots!

    August 19, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Don't waste your typing. They aren't smart enough to see beyond their bible stories.

      August 19, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
    • claybigsby

      show me proof that god doesn't exist....you cant just like someone cant prove that it does.

      August 22, 2011 at 9:47 am |
  18. J.W

    Well it wont let me see the clip on my work computer, but I have always though protecting the environment is very important. I admit I dont do as much as I maybe could. I do try to recycle. I do not think God would be in favor of anything that harms the environment.

    August 19, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      Well one could make reference to 1 Peter 4:10 "Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms." Now this is speaking about spiritual gifts, but one could extrapolate it to mean the environment...but I don't think that was the original intention of the scripture.

      August 19, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  19. Doc Vestibule

    God clearly supports the Compact Muon Solenoid but condemns the Total Cross Section, Elastic Scattering and Diffraction Dissociation.
    It's right there in the chapter of Revelation that deals with quantum physics. You know – in between the bit about 7 headed dragons that eat babies and the part with armor clad locusts with women's hair, men faces, lion's mouths and scorpion tails.

    August 19, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Hey, don't diss the Beatles, or Charley will start a race war.

      August 19, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Doc Vestibule

      God clearly supports the Compact Muon Solenoid but condemns the Total Cross Section, Elastic Scattering and Diffraction Dissociation.
      It's right there in the chapter of Revelation that deals with quantum physics. You know – in between the bit about 7 headed dragons that eat babies and the part with armor clad locusts with women's hair, men faces, lion's mouths and scorpion tails.

      --------
      You got to love the nuballs like Faith/Adelina and HeavenSent... lol

      August 19, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  20. DamianKnight

    ...what? I don't think God had much to say on mining at all in the Bible.

    Once again, someone using religion to promote his own agenda.

    August 19, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      You're overlooking the entire book of Excavators, which was excluded during the First Council of Nicaea.

      August 19, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      Oh, right! Ok. "Thou shalt destroy thine mountaintops with the fury and the industry of a gopher." – Excavators 4:17.

      August 19, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      SeanNJ

      You're overlooking the entire book of Excavators, which was excluded during the First Council of Nicaea.

      ------
      Wasn't there a Gospel of Backhoe?

      August 19, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
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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.