With 9/11 anniversary on a Sunday, pastors prepare their sermons
Clergy will be taking the pulipt looking to give answers to hard questions on the ten year anniversary of 9/11.
September 8th, 2011
12:42 PM ET

With 9/11 anniversary on a Sunday, pastors prepare their sermons

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - The details of the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and the plane crash in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, will be remembered at length this week.  What, when, how and who will dominate the headlines.   As people across the country head to churches, temples and mosques this weekend, they will once again wonder why. They will look to the pulpit and listen for an answer.

This week, clergy of all faiths are preparing answers as their congregants ask why 9/11 happened, how it should be remembered and what their response should be as they go out from their sacred space and back into the secular.

For some, there will be calls to patriotism among the prayers.  Others will shy away from country.

The remembrances cover a wide variety.  Some churches will bring care packages to first responders, Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles will be packed for a prayer service Saturday, and there will be hundreds of churches simulcasting services featuring megachurch pastor Rick Warren or other famed clergy.

We spoke with clergy of many different faiths, in many different parts of the country, and asked how they were preparing and what they would tell the faithful as the 10th anniversary of 9/11 falls on a Sunday.

The Rev. Rich Smith had just arrived as the pastor of a church in Bethesda, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C., in 2001.  His first Sunday was September 9, 2001.  On the morning of the 11th, they were planning for the next service.  "A lot of that had to go out the window," he said.

He was fortunate, he said, because no one from the church died in the attack.  A family joined later and the husband, a lieutenant colonel in the Army, was at the Pentagon when the plane struck on 9/11.  "He described running as the floor was collapsing behind him," Smith said.

Smith said that 9/11 "affected the whole nine years I was there."

Today, Smith pastors the First Congregational Church in Reno, Nevada, part of the United Church of Christ.

"Even though Reno wasn't attacked, I think people feel like we as a nation were attacked. Even when you're out in the hinterlands like we are, you still feel like you're part of something bigger."

For their 9/11 services, thousands of Catholic and Protestant churches that follow the lectionary, a standardized collection of scripture readings, will be reading from the Gospel of Matthew, where Jesus teaches his disciples how to forgive.

Smith's church will do the same.  He said there's some providence to the timing of the passage.

As he preaches about forgiveness, he will remind his congregants of a quote from Nelson Mandela.  South Africa, he said, was a, "marvelous example of how you handle something when you feel like you've been so wronged."

"I love the phrase Mandela used, 'No future without forgiveness.' "

In New Orleans, Catholics sitting in the well-worn pews of St. Louis Cathedral  in the French Quarter will hear the same passage from Matthew and a similar theme from the Rev. Msgr. Crosby W. Kern when he steps up to the pulpit.

"Forgiveness is probably God’s plan.  We don’t forget.  We don’t let our guard down.  We as a people should be defensive to protect ourselves.  But have we got that same sense of mercy and forgiveness we see in God the Father?  Whatever our attitude is to our enemies, it’s a good time for us to reflect one that," Kern said.

He will preach to a group of congregants who faced different struggles in the past decade.  The statue of Jesus in the back of the church is still missing fingers, a scar from Hurricane Katrina; one that Kern hopes to restore this year.

"We don't forget.  We learn.  But part of the American psyche is, we are big enough to forgive.  We are big enough to try and get over the scars and the wounds that we've suffered throughout our history.  It might take a long time, but we can't give up," he said.

In the passage in Matthew, Jesus tells Peter he should forgive the person who has wronged him seven times seventy.  "In scripture for us, that's eternal.  That's the perfect number, without end.  So I'm going to take off on the forgiveness part," explained Father Adam Lee Ortega y Ortiz, Pastor of Santa Maria de la Paz Catholic Church in Sante Fe, New Mexico.

"I know people are meditating on the evil of the attack and the anger it brought about," he said.  "When we can quench the anger in our own hearts first, we can do a lot better in the world."

Chaplain Capt. Mijikai Mason, a Southern Baptist minister, will be preaching Sunday to a group of high school students at a military academy outside Columbia, South Carolina.  As a member of the Army, he has lived the response to 9/11 and the wars that followed. His audience this Sunday were toddlers at the time of the attack.

He will preach on theme of remembrance.  "Now we’re in more of a healing phase.  Now it’s more how will we remember and celebrating the lives that were lost,” he said.

Maj. Tommie Pickens, one of Mason's fellow chaplains, is being flown to Chicago to deliver the message Sunday at Addison Community Church on the west side. Pickens said the church is patriotic and loves the U.S. and its military.

He will be preaching from 2 Chronicles 7:14: "If my people which I call by name, humble themselves and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and heal their land."

The verse refers specifically to ancient Israelites but has been interpreted throughout the ages to apply to any country at any time and is very popular with American evangelicals.

Pickens will preach about the first responders, the troops and the spirit of unity that swept the country after the attack, "and lifted the simple prayer, 'God bless America.' "

"We need to remember the cost of the human lives," he said. As congregants go out after the service, he wants them to remember to "be proud of our great nation.  Be proud we live in the land of the free because of the brave. Our nation has always exemplified resolve."

"We can stand tall even at the end of a horrible day," he will emphasize.

Days after the attacks, the Rev Billy Graham stood and delivered a sermon to the nation at Washington National Cathedral.  Ten years later, Graham is 93 and does not have the stamina to participate in any services, said his daughter Anne Graham Lotz.

His health is failing, and his daughter will be taking the pulpit this year.

Her message will focus on Isaiah Chapter 6, which pertains to when Israel was in crisis and how the prophet's life was shaken.

"When his life was shaken, he didn't say, 'why me?' and allow his life to be filled with self-pity.  He looked up," she said.

"I'm going to take that and flesh it out," Graham said.  "I think it's very appropriate that in times like this, we look up and ask God to give us a fresh glimpse of himself and a revelation of truth."  Her sermon will be in Raleigh, North Carolina, and simulcast around the world on radio and TV.

Tony Campolo will be guest pastor at Trinity United Methodist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. Campolo is a professor of sociology at Eastern University, a Baptist school not far from Philadelphia.  For years, he has been a popular speaker and author, and he relishes his role as the guy who comes in to speak and gets to leave at the end of the service.  It frees him to speak what he feels God is calling him to say.

"If I anger people, I'm gone.  It's easier for me to sound the prophetic voice than someone who is there all the time," he said.

Campolo will also be preaching on Isaiah Chapter 6 but will take a different approach than Graham.

"The focus of the passage is that there is a sense that in a national crisis, each of us is called upon to stand up and be instruments of God for making things right in the world," he said.

He will also warn congregants against the radical elements in their own midst, not just in other faiths. "All religions have the tendency to create extremism, and in the words of Fredrich Nietzsche, 'Men never do evil with more enthusiasm, than when they do it in the name of God.' And we must recognize that the evil we see in the extremists in the Muslim community that brought about 9/11, is the extremism that we can find in the Jewish community and in the Christian community."

"Revenge is not the way of God's people," he will say, knowing that the memory of 9/11 can stir up old emotions and broad hatred that he says is "unbefitting of religious people."

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld of Ohev Sholom - The National Synagogue in Washington, D.C., said that though terrorists misused the name of God to commit their atrocities, in many ways, 9/11 brought Jews and Muslims closer.

He will use his time in the pulpit to warn against cynicism the attacks may have allowed to creep in. "Al Qaeda punctured our belief in ourselves, and we need to remember to ignore them. Al Qaeda’s greatest threat is not the physical, but the attack on our belief in our own destiny; they have spread disbelief and cynicism throughout our land," he plans to say.

"This 9/11, let us remember the dead. But let us also remember the great things we have accomplished in our history and promise ourselves that despite the evil intentions of al Qaeda, we will continue to soar for greatness."

Charles Park is pastor of the nondenominational River Church in Manhattan.  They are partnering for a joint service with the Lower Manhattan Church, which was founded after the attacks by Rick Warren's Saddleback Church as a way to minister to the community nearest to ground zero.

Both churches meet blocks from ground zero, and on Sunday, Park will speak to congregants who watched what happened 10 years ago in person; congregants who brushed the toxic dust of falling buildings off their jackets and had to move on with their daily lives.

"I will be focusing on 'how to move forward from 9/11' because as one wise person said, 'Every pain that is not transformed is transmitted,'" Park said in an e-mail.

He will lean heavily on the prayer of St. Francis, "to remind the people of faith the calling from God to be a 'blessing to all peoples on Earth.' "

"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 9/11 • Belief • Church

soundoff (287 Responses)
  1. Anton LaVey

    Make no mistake this is bonus time for churches.

    September 8, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • BILL/FL

      Anton, another sad man. Join Wiiliam Demuth. You too can have your own 9/11 party.

      September 8, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • Woof

      The 9/11 show: brought to you by religion, cashed in on by religion.

      September 9, 2011 at 1:06 am |
    • William Demuth



      You seem confused. I watched them fall with my own eyes. My mother was in WTC5, but they couldn't kill here, she is a tough one.

      If it had been my call, Afghanistan would still be glowing in the dark.

      I KNOW you can not reason with the indoctrinated, you can only kill or deprogram them.

      September 9, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • Thomas

      911 is big money.

      When ever I read stories like this, two words come to mind: Cui Bono?

      September 9, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Anton LaVey

      Churches are lining up volunteers and getting out their extra calculators....TIME TO GET PAID!!!! I think Easter still is the king when it comes to MOOOONNAAAYYYY for the chruches.

      September 9, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Jesus

      Both Christianity and Islam in the Bible and Koran respectively sanction KILLING the non-believer. Of course there are other scriptures that promote kindness to those who do not believe. That said, there still exists written source material in the Bible and Koran for fringe believers to do horrendous deeds. Maybe we ought to re-evaluate the so-called "wisdom" in these books. Frankly, there is nothing of value in them that can't be traced back to the ancient Greeks, pre- 1st century Romans, or Egyptian laws of 3,000 years ago (BTW, look up the source for the word, "Amen"...it's Egyptian for recognition of a diety). Let's toss out those vestiges of ignorance!!!

      September 9, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  2. BILL/FL


    needs to get a life. A changed heart too.

    Sad, sad, sad man that he must be.

    September 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • i wonder


      William *is* harsh at times, and I wonder if he knows that he is often sabotaging the efforts of regular non-believers to bring some realism to the table. There are many more on the believer side who post here that are ranting, raving, radical dogmatists who predict eternal damnation for those who don't agree with their supernatural fantasy and superst.ition, and who are so wrapped up in them as to be truly, pathologically, delusional.

      September 8, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • BILL/FL

      @ i wonder

      your name tells all. It begs the question.

      If God exist, why doesn't He reveal Himself personal to you?

      I never met a person without that question at the heart of every quest for truth.

      Let us know. Are you open to hearing the truth?

      September 8, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Bill/FL Why do you presume to call him sad? He is obviously angry at some things and also clearly goes over the top and then some in expressing that anger with some frequency. More than a few non-believers have expressed exasperation over some of his antics and expressed beliefs. But we don't presume to know his psychology beyond the obvious. Does it make you feel better to think that he's sad? If so, why?

      September 8, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Bill Most non-believers are very open to wondering. Indeed, most non-believers are open to a very wide range of experiences and thoughts and philosophies and have educated ourselves on many different religions and philosophies. What we aren't open to are simplistic answers from closed-minded little twerps who insist that deep down, everyone wants to be a fellow simplistic, closed-minded twerp.

      September 8, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • BILL/FL


      You are welcome to your opinion. Wrong or right.

      Be careful who is bring simple minded. A fool says in his heart there is no GOD.

      September 8, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
    • John Richardson

      No, Bill, a fool quotes 2500 or so year old theistic propaganda that was written to keep some VERY ignorant, simple-minded folk in line as though it's the word of god.

      September 8, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • William Demuth

      To all

      The Diplomat and the Statesman play games

      Some of us see it more clearly.

      Only one side can win, and I intend it to be mine.

      Just because religious people started the terror, dosen't mean an Athiest can't end it.

      Fight fire with fire, suicide bomber with suicide bomber, and zealotry with zealotry.

      Just as many of faith might hang me or execute me if given the chance, I merely admit that my sentiments are the same.

      September 9, 2011 at 8:54 am |
  3. Message of Hope

    Am sure Pastor Rick is going share a wonderful message of Hope at the Dodgers stadium. Look forward to it!

    September 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • USmellLikePee

      Qhat a coincidence. That's the same day all little boys under 12 get a free Dodger Dog. 🙁

      September 8, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • Prayer

      Praying for million little molecules of HOPE all over the atmosphere this Sunday!
      Let there be Hope and Comfort and Healing!!!!!

      September 8, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Prayer What is hope's atomic weight?

      September 8, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • Pope Bentdikk XIV

      As the Church has sooooooooo much money that we need to invest, I have proclaimed that we buy a baseball team, which we shall name the Prosecution Dodgers in honor of the fine efforts to preserve the Catholic Churches image in the face of prying eyes.

      We will have our priests going throughout the stadium selling weenies to all of the young fans. We would sell beer too, but it keeps vanishing before we get it too the public.

      September 9, 2011 at 1:12 am |
    • Jesus

      Pastor Rick looks like he has had too much PASTA. He is one obese flim flam artist.

      September 9, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  4. Pat

    What's wrong about reflecting upon 9/11? Be it in a place of worship, or the village tavern? Nothing!

    Ironic as I read some of the responses hijacking the article's theme into atheism/theism/whatever conflicts, I mean, on 9/11 we briefly became shocked, equally fragile, human beings pulling together despite divisions which normally "we" allow to tear us apart – just plain fellow human beings coming together in deed and sentiment, from New York's various boroughs to Canada to rest of the world. I'm looking forward to the various upcoming religious & nonreligious reflections, my bias (whatever it may be) won't interfere.

    September 8, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • William Demuth

      On 9-11 I was buying T-Shirts and putting a two buck flag iron transfer on to them and selling them for 25 bucks a piece to the patriots.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Chork

      What a cheezy outlook. Let's all hold hands now and reflect on how easy it is to transmit diseases by touching.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • USmellLikePee

      That was the say I thew out all of the falafel and cous cous from my house.

      September 8, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  5. Bean

    I'm not quite sure why, to the ones who put down religion, would you go to a religion blog? Do you not have anything else to do with your day? I'm not trying to be mean, I'm just curious. If you are doing it for comedy or entertainment, then that is just wrong.

    September 8, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Its a BELIEF blog.

      And we believe religion is a pack of lies perpetuated by idiots.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • BILL/FL

      CNN wants this site to exist to help the cause of anti-religion of any kind. It just demonstrates the mindset of athism in the media. They want this forum to allow for bitterness and hatred is alive, because they think GOD is dead. Well, HE is not!

      Nice try CNN.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Bean

      @William: so it is a belief blog, I was reading the website on my toolbar where it reads http://religion.blogs.cnn.com. There is no need to call anyone an idiot though. Why can't you just say you don't agree with the idea of religion and leave it at that? And by the way, I'm really not that religious, I just wonder why people have to attack each other on this subject...

      September 8, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Religion-Free

      Actually, many of us KNOW that religion is fakery and fraud and seek to help open the eyes of the deluded that they may know or at least wonder about the truth. The truth will set you free of religion.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • William Demuth


      Perhaps Foz is more fitting for you? You can learn 6000 years of history from a company who touts Christianity, yet is really run by a Muslim guy and a few Jews?

      You can unlearn evolution, and if your lucky you might be able to burn a witch at the stake, and elect a redneck simpleton to the presidency~!

      September 8, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • William Demuth


      Because this is war.

      Jesus and his zombie army want to ruin the greatest country this world has ever seen.

      The zealots have us in four open and six covert wars, and are killing thousands upon thousands of people.

      They want to force feed their ridiculous beliefs on my children, and undermine my democracy.

      They are the devil they claim to fight, and I for one have had enough.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Ed

      Ah thats the hate filled William we all know and love

      September 8, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Bean

      @Religion-Free: But who asked you for your help? Why must it be your mission? And how can you be 100% sure you know the truth about anything?

      September 8, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • William Demuth


      Just getting warmed up.

      Gonna go desecrating tonight and I wanted to get in the mood.

      Being a Heretic is a dark and lonely job, but someone has to do it!

      September 8, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Bean

      I agree with Pat. I apologize for veering off topic. The events of 9/11 will be in my thoughts and prayers this week. Have a safe weekend everyone, no matter what you do or don't believe 🙂

      September 8, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Thinker23

      William: Your belief is just another belief which is no better than any other religion. As a matter of fact, it is worse because every other religion assumes that all other religions are wrong. YOUR belief, however, is based on an assumption that everyone whos beliefs differ from yours is an idiot...

      September 8, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • BILL/FL


      your mistake. Top of web page on phone app shows CNN/Belief Blog.

      NICE TRY.

      Athiest like William and Anton hang out here to bash Christians. And we are not red necks, but cam eat some chicken if you are a fry'n

      Have a interesting day.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • William Demuth


      Athiesim is a religion when bald becomes a hair color!!

      September 8, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Bean

      @Bill/Fl. I'm not trying anything, sweetheart. I'm on a computer, not a phone and the web address is http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/08/with-911-anniversary-on-a-sunday-pastors-prepare-their-sermons/ So I don't know what mistake it is I made. Have a good day.

      September 8, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • Ed

      Look again William its hardly a lonley job on these blogs more anti religous the religious here. Have fun being as hateful as you claim the fundlementatlist are

      September 8, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • Thinker23

      William Demuth: Religion is a FAITH, a belief that can not be proven or disproven. Traditional religions are based on a belief that the world we all live in (commonly referred to as the Universe) was CREATED and is ruled by someone having knowledge and technology to build Universes. Atheism is based on a belief that the Universe came into existence all by itself from nothing. It's up to each and every one of us to decide which one of these two possibilities is more plausible.

      September 8, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • John Richardson

      You mean the people at CNN aren't actually hankering to become dutiful little Jesus stooges? I thought you said everyone was! Why the flip flop?

      September 8, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  6. senoy

    Wow, there is so much hate on here. It's really unbelievable. This is a glurge story. It's not an opportunity to rail against people who disagree with your interpretation of a godless reality. The quotes I see are pretty much positive messages. Let's heal, let's forgive, let's be on guard against our own extremism. What's so bad about that to invite the kind of vitriol that I'm reading on here? Sounds like these guys have the right idea.

    September 8, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • William Demuth

      I bet the Imams thought the same thing on 9-10.

      Your fantasies are poison, and we are tired of your fairy tales.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • senoy

      Wow, talk about poison. FIrstly, you have no idea what my beliefs are. Secondly, I'm not sure that forgiveness, healing and fighting extremism are particularly poisonous fantasies. They seem pretty healthy to me. Perhaps I'm in the minority. If an imam wants to preach that we need to heal, forgive and combat extremism, then I'm all for it.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Your rhetoric betrays your beliefs.

      One cult, the other cult, you guys are all the same to me.

      You are the enemy.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Religion-Free

      Any lessening of extremism is okay in my book. Healing using lies is not really all that healthy, for the lies might become uncovered at any time and reopen wounds much worse than if everyone was just told the truth in the first place.
      Relax. All those dead people no longer exist. Your goofy religious tenets no longer matter where they are concerned.
      The only place the dead are alive is in the past and in your imperfect memories and records.
      Religion caused this violence, religion should not also be used to heal it. That is perverted.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Religion-Free

      Okay, that was a bit garbled, but I hope you get my point.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • senoy

      Wow, seriously William. That's really unhealthy. 'The enemy?' I just want you to know that I don't think you're the enemy.

      Religion. I'm not exactly sure that your premise is correct. Religion caused a harm, it should not be used to repair it? That seems pretty reactionary to me. That's like saying that science invented the atomic bomb, so we should clean up Hiroshima using prayer instead of science. Or saying that someone with a botched surgery shouldn't go to the doctor. That's some messed up thinking. You use the tool that does the job. Religion is certainly a tool capable of healing as well as harming. If it leads to good outcomes and good rhetoric why not use it?

      September 8, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • William Demuth


      Because religion is like government, when you feed it it grows.

      We need to starve it, ridicule it, dismantle it, and KILL it.

      It is a cancer that kills until it is cut from the body.

      September 8, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  7. Brian

    I'm always nervous about coming to read anything on the comments page. I feel like an Athesist put out a piece of cheese, and is waiting in the shadow, ready to pounce on me.

    September 8, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Nice Mousy.

      Just come a LITTLE closer

      September 8, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • BILL/FL


      September 8, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • Ron

      These Atheist are mere pawns...they hang out in the "Belief" section in order to pretend not to believe...One of my best friends is an Atheist that constantly proposes that life is meaningless and belief is for the weak-minded...and yet he like every other human being on this page waits in places such as these to "hopefully" hear some truth that might change his/her life. Of course there is no truth they will be open to, unless it involves Family Guy or some other cartoon they can call genius!
      I love the true Atheist that does not even bother with that which he truly believes does not exist. These arguments for him are utter non-sense.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • William Demuth


      I just come here to pick up Wiccan chicks and to keep the priests from buggering the Altar boys.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Ron

      Young William...you are the most faithful of the bunch!

      September 8, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Thinker23

      Ron: Every human with a functioning brain believes in SOMETHING. Most of us allow for a possibility that our own beliefs may be wrong. Some (usually, it's very young or infantile ones) believe that everyone who may not share their beliefs is wrong and must be persecuted or even killed.

      September 8, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • Redneck louie

      as much as that there demouth fella goes on about buggerin im awonderin ifn he aint about it his ownself

      September 8, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
  8. Hasa Diga Eebowai

    So you try to offend me by saying that I come from apes and you don't? OK, if your appendix ever becomes infected please do not let the doctor remove it as it is a vestigial organ from our ape ancestors and you don't believe it exists.

    September 8, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • William Demuth

      SOme of my co workers haven't even finished evoloving yet.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  9. Anton LaVey

    This is bonus time for the preacher man to tear at the hearts and get more money. Along with christmas and east...9/11 is the new rage for churches to rake in money.

    September 8, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • BILL/FL

      Too bad that is the message you only have heard when you attend church every Sunday.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  10. Visitor

    Coming to these belief blogs is like visiting a filthy stall, desecration everywhere by these Athiests.Yikes

    September 8, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • A Theist

      Don't forget filthy Theists too! 😉

      September 8, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • Anton LaVey

      Coming here and seeing foolish ignorant people is depressing at times...is there hope for the religious stupid?

      September 8, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • William Demuth

      I suspect you spent may a night on yours knees in a similar place as you describe, so it must be just like coming home for the holidays

      September 8, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • Ron

      These are not Atheist...these boys are plagues on society grinding an axe behind their monitors. These boys are not Atheist. These are the leftovers that have been spit out!
      BTW- I am not religious...I merely despise these pretenders!

      September 8, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  11. Misha Gastonai

    All religions exist solely to tick off the atheists.

    And for that I am thankful.

    September 8, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • William Demuth


      The Wiccan religion exist so bi chicks with black nail polish can sell candles at the mall smoke shop.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Ron

      William 1 Misha 0

      September 8, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  12. HeavenSent

    Heaven sent us tsunamis, tornados, plus cancers, meningitis, typhoid, lupus, and other awful diseases too numerous to mention. But he loves us. No, really.

    Actually, god could be fairly called an azzhole if he actually existed.


    September 8, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • Hasa Diga Eebowai

      And if only he left all of his "gifts" to just his faithful.

      September 8, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Adam

      As Cameron says on House "It's not Lupus."

      September 8, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  13. William Demuth


    Just remember it was MY ancestors that crucified you beloved savior the first time.

    And it shall be me or my children that do it a second time if that pathetic Palestinian punk shows up again.

    And this time, he gets a fourth nail, right between his eyes.

    September 8, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • BILL/FL


      So, your ancestors were Roman soldiers?

      Jews ask for crusifiction. And this was to fulfil Bible prophecy. Read Psalms 22.

      Christ hung on a tree because he let them do it.

      Read John 3:16.

      He loves you too. He also forgave them because they didn't know what they were doing.

      You know what you are doing, spreading lies and hatred and bitterness.

      Try switching to another blog or decafe.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • William Demuth


      Well duh!

      Plus I thought you guys blamed the Jews, or was that just an excuse to kill them and steal their stuff?

      September 8, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • BILL/FL


      you got your facts wrong. Apparently, not the first time. I'm enjoying reading your comments.

      If don't know something, learn the real truth, come back, and we can have a reality check.

      Read a Bible first. Get the truth.

      September 8, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • Justice


      Your comments are disgusting. You embody everything that is wrong in the world and your anger and hatred need correction.

      September 9, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  14. JohnR

    Churches! Dang! Sounds like all those wimpering clergy who weren't invited to the NYC ceremony will have perfect places to hold their prayers and sermons after all! How about that?

    September 8, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • William Demuth

      And then their vomit wont be broadcast live to a billion potential suckers for their con.

      They must be SUPER cranky.

      September 8, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  15. Poem

    When the “storms of life” gather darkly ahead,
    I think of these wonderful words I once read
    And I say to myself as “threatening clouds” hover
    Don’t “fold up your wings” and “run for cover”
    But like the eagle “spread wide your wings”
    and “soar far above” the trouble life brings,
    For the eagle knows that the higher he flies
    The more tranquil and brighter become the skies…
    And there is nothing in life God ever asks us to bear
    That we can’t soar above “On The Wings Of A Prayer,”
    And in looking back over the “storm you passed through”
    You’ll find you gained strength and new courage, too,
    For in facing “life’s storms” with an eagles wings
    You can fly far above earth’s small, petty things.

    ~Helen Steiner Rice

    September 8, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • That Was Poesy, Not Poetry

      Thank you for sharing that incredibly trite bit of fluffle. When there is something serious to face, there is nothing like a shallow bit of sappy non-thinking to make things all better.

      September 8, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • Princess


      Thanks for that, encouraging indeed!

      September 8, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • William Demuth

      What is this that stands before me?
      Figure in black which points at me
      Turn around quick, and start to run
      Find out I'm the chosen one
      Oh no

      Big black shape with eyes of fire
      Telling people their desire
      Satan's sitting there, he's smiling
      Watches those flames get higher and higher
      Oh no, no, please God help me

      Is it the end, my friend?
      Satan's coming 'round the bend
      people running 'cause they're scared
      The people better go and beware
      No, no, please, no!

      The Gospel of Ozzy!

      September 8, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • JohnR

      The eagle flies in order to find things to kill. Just thought I'd point that out.

      September 8, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  16. William Demuth

    Just what we need!

    More charlatans making up lies and asking for money!

    Jesus wants to make a buck off the blood of 9-11!

    September 8, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • BILL/FL


      no, got it wrong again.

      Jesus is in the business of salvation and healing. A gift from God.

      You never pay for a gift someone gives you.

      HE doesn't need your money. Keep it.

      But, HE does love you and wants to provide the only means to heaven. By the way, there they use gold for asphalt. See your money is no good to GOD. Accept HIS free gift of salvation. TODAY!

      September 8, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  17. Muneef

    Hopefully their Sermons will not include burning the Quran since as it seems is becoming a part of Sermons carried out by Pastors...!!?

    September 8, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • JohnR

      It's not exactly common, Muneef. Remember, only a handful of terrorists carried out 9/11 AND to the best of my knowledge, only one dingdong Christian fundamentalist made a spectacle of burning a Koran. Neither group represents their entire group. But for my money, I'd rather see people burning books than people, though it'd be mighty cool if everyone knocked off ALL of the hateful histrionics.

      September 8, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Muneef


      Agree with you...the extremes are a heartache to those in the middle of the ideology of "Live and Let Live"... Because even those living as being the Isthmus between extremes...are considered by the extremes as traitors if not the enemy... May GOD "Allah"have mercy upon all those with Good intentions towards Humenity and Livings...Amen

      September 8, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • William Demuth


      Actually, it seems to be my memory that it was the Christians who used to burn people?

      Unless witches deserve to burn in your eyes?

      September 8, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Thinker23

      Muneef: Your Prophet declared that "the Muslims will find the Jews and kill them." It's up to you to decide WHO is lying here about the intentions of YOUR god, your Prophet or YOU, Muneef.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Yes, William, the Christians used to burn witches and some probably still would if they thought they could get away with it. But I was talking recent history and a lot of people were burned to death or suffered other horrible deaths on 9/11, facts a lot more distressing than the mere psychological hurt of seeing some clown burn your favorite "holy" book. I just figured I'd mention that in passing while also mentioning that Koran burnings have themselves not been common. The numbers of deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan would seem much more appropriate subject of legitimate Muslim ire to bring up, even if a lot of those deaths were themselves Muslim on Muslim affairs.

      September 8, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • Muneef

      Glad to hear from you again... Am not sure to what occasion you were referring to but do know that during the wars between Islam and the Tyrent pagans of Mecca... Certain tribes of Jews did not keep their word of undertaking made to the prophet...and took sides with the pagans against Islam.. But that did not include all the Jews of Mecca...!

      September 8, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • Muneef

      William Demuth.

      Unfortunately burning of evil witches was in the past as well condemned and burnt alive... But no longer we hear of that..but the problem is not that...but rather the problem was to accuse scientists or good people of being evil witchs and burn them alive...! That was the way to clear out any opposition to the doctrine whether were Jews, Catholic ,Christians or Muslims...

      September 8, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • Muneef

      I suppose this sermon will take place in the National Cathedral !? The same one that was damaged by the earthquake !? And the same one which the heavy working crane fell beside !? .. Well guess people you have to be careful going there for some reason I fear that any thing happens to it on that date while filled with people..ending up accusing Muslims for it...!

      September 8, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
  18. A 9/11 Prayer

    Oh God, you could have stopped this, but you did not.
    You can stop cancer, but you do not.
    You can stop rape and murder, but you do not.
    You can stop birth defects and natural disasters, but you do not.
    It's almost like you do not exist.
    The real world makes absolutely no sense if there is an all-powerful deity – it would not be this way
    The real world makes perfect sense if it is just nature taking its course unguided by a god.
    The real world operates exactly like you don't exist.

    September 8, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Amen to that!

      September 8, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      A niner 11, you still don't get it. Most likely, you never will. If God stopped all that you complain about, it would make you more arrogant and self absorbed than you are at this writing. Instead, the folks that have dealt with what you write, are closer to Him as well as spiritually stronger in His truth ... the way He planned.


      September 8, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • JohnR

      Sure Heavensent, what's a little r@pe, murder, cancer, war and disaster compared to having a bunch of arrogant people? Man, if I lived in a peaceful world with no death and suffering but a bunch of people who had the hubris to think they deserved peace and life, I'd start killing the arrogant little twits myself and then demand that they thank me for removing their arrogance! Hey, am I compassionate or what!?!?!? 😀

      September 8, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Hey John R, it's you non-believers that don't ensure these folks get the death penalty (as Jesus requires us to do) when caught. Instead, you're all a bunch of bleeding hearts that gives them time in prison, then paroled to go out and do it again.

      Booh on you non-believers that don't comprehend nor abide in His wisdom.


      September 8, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • William Demuth


      Jesus REQUIRES the death penalty?

      Sounds like a defense out of Nuremburg!

      You, and the God you worship are the dregs of our society.

      Its folks like you that make me hope the Muslims take over, just so they can hang you.

      September 8, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Neither all nor only atheists oppose the death penalty, not that that has ANYTHING to do with our prior exchange or anything! You are being really stupid even by your own pathetic standards today, HeavenSent!

      September 8, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  19. Prayer

    A prayer of Hope and Comfort to all the widows/widowers who lost their loved ones, to all the children who lost a parent.

    September 8, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
  20. HeavenSent

    Jesus told us not to pay attention to the ways of the world and that we should focus on Him. When the horror of 9/11 hit and loved ones were lost to us, we should remember that all of them went back to Him.


    September 8, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Even the Muslims and Jews and Wiccans and Zoroastrians all went?

      The Buddists still have to burn?

      September 8, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • And Then There Is The Real World . . .

      All of them? That's pretty funny from someone who just loves to tell everyone they are going to hell.

      Tell it true: If your kooky religious delusions are true, then most of the 9/11 victims went to hell.

      September 8, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      And then, you lie as you write the word Hell under my handle. I have never told anyone that they are going to Hell. I'm not Catholic. I actually read the Bible and no it's called the "eternal flames". Besides the semantics, I've told people they are in jeopardy of no eternity with Jesus due to their own arrogance. I am not the judge. He is.


      September 8, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • William Demuth


      Tell Jesus to shove.

      Him and his ilk are not welcome in my world.

      September 8, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      No kidding, Bill? LOL.

      P.S. I didn't know satan was blotted out, no eternity for him ... for you to inherit the world from the ilks of him?


      September 8, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Hasa Diga Eebowai

      Is jesus or his father the judge, do they get together and vote on it with the holy spirit being the tie breaker?

      September 8, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Hasa, Jesus judges ALL. That's why He had wise men pen His truth (the Bible).

      P.S. Jesus is God the father, come to earth in the flesh. I know it's a lot for your brain to absorbed coming from apes as you do.


      September 8, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • Anton LaVey


      Hasa, Jesus judges ALL. That's why He had wise men pen His truth (the Bible).

      P.S. Jesus is God the father, come to earth in the flesh. I know it's a lot for your brain to absorbed coming from apes as you do.



      HeavenSent's faith is in man. Man is her god.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Hasa Diga Eebowai

      So you try to offend me by saying that I come from apes and you don't? OK, if your appendix ever becomes infected please do not let the doctor remove it as it is a vestigial organ from our ape ancestors and you don't believe it exists..

      September 8, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • God

      C'mon, man! HeavenSent didn't descend from lowly apes! I made her out of dirt!

      Some people simply have no reverence for human origins. My children are all a bunch of little dirt balls and you nasty, nasty evolutionists had better stop insulting them with all this "ape" nonsense!

      September 8, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
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About this blog

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