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Pastor to GOP: Don't vote for Romney because he's Mormon
Pastor Robert Jeffress told reporters he thinks Mormonism is a cult.
October 7th, 2011
06:46 PM ET

Pastor to GOP: Don't vote for Romney because he's Mormon

By the CNN Political Unit

(CNN) –- A pastor of a mega church in Dallas said Friday that Republicans shouldn't vote for White House hopeful Mitt Romney because he's a Mormon and described the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a "cult."

"I think Mitt Romney's a good, moral man, but those of us who are born again followers of Christ should prefer a competent Christian," said Robert Jeffress, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, which has a congregation of about 10,000.

Jeffress, who's endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry and introduced him at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, told CNN Political Correspondent Jim Acosta that the Southern Baptist Convention "has officially labeled Mormonism as a cult"

"That's why I'm enthusiastic about Perry," Jeffress said, later adding: "I again believe that as Christian, we have the duty to select Christians as our leaders…Between a Rick Perry and a Mitt Romney, I believe evangelicals need to go with Rick Perry."

This isn't the first time the Dallas pastor has hit Romney over his religion. During the 2008 campaign, he made similar comments.

Read the full story from CNN's Political Ticker

soundoff (210 Responses)
  1. LDS

    I am a member of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints. First I would like to say, Mormonism does not exist- We do not worship Mormon, We Worship God the father & his only begotten son Jesus Christ. WE fallow the Teachings of Jesus Christ by reading & studying The Bible & The Book of Mormon. By learning & fallowing the lessons in the two great books, this will help us stay on the path of righteousness, obey the commandments & return to our father in Heaven.
    Second ... The church is not the church of Mormon. It is The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints

    October 10, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Get Real with this crap...

      There are one too many 'M's in Mormon,,,

      October 10, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Mirosal

      Sorry, but any organization that issues special undies, has posthumous baptisms, preached racism for 120 years, still segregates the women from the men at religious functions, issues "secret names" to the men only, and proclaims that you too will be a god with your own planet and people someday is most definitely a cult, just like EVERY other religion on this planet is also a cult. Get over it.

      October 11, 2011 at 4:01 am |
  2. Richard

    As a Latter-Day Saint I don't take Pastor Jeffries comments about the Mormon Church being a "cult" serious. He invented a new definition of cult to fit his perception of the LDS church calling it a "Theological Cult"?? If we resort to this kind of nonsense I could label the Pastor as a member of the scrawny little grey haired myopic bigots cult.. What's the point? He is what he is. I agree with the Pastor over his other point.. Mormons are not Christen... in the traditional sense. According to the Pastor, the Mormons are not christen because their church was founded by a man (Joseph Smith) and they believe in non-traditional things like other books of scripture (Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenents etc..) and modern revelation. To these accusations we plead guilty! If that makes the LDS church "not christen" then so be it. The LDS church has never claimed to be a "traditional" christian church. In fact, we believe that the traditional christian church fell into apootasy after the death of Christ's original apostles. We're not trying to be "traditional" Christians, we are trying to expound the "original" christianity. Joseph Smith "Restored" the tenents of the orignal faith. It's remarkable that Pastor Jeffries forgets to include his own church. By his own definition any prostant, reformed, church would be considered non-christian if they were founded by men.. Does Martian Luther, John Wesley, Calvin etc.. ring a bell? The truth is, the Pastor spoke the incindery remarks to provoke controversy but for the LDS people, these remarks are not new and we treat them like water off a ducks' back.

    October 10, 2011 at 11:19 am |
  3. Bill the Cat

    We're electing a President, not a Prophet.

    October 10, 2011 at 6:03 am |
  4. Central Scrutinizer

    My fellow Americans, until such time as an Atheist, an Agnostic, an openly ho-mose-xual person, or any other minority can be seriously considered for political office, particularly the presidency, then I hang my head in shame as an American. Sure, Obama is half black and that is a step. But where are the Asians, Africans, Mexicans, Gays, Atheists, Agnostics and all other minorities? Scr-ew the Christians! Let some intelligent folks move the country forward for a change. The Christian Right are liars, cheats, thieves and charlatans. The Dems just lie to fit in. Americans, let’s take back our country! The time is now! Call out the politicians on their lies. Call out the banks on their thievery. Take Wall Street money away from the politicians. Smart people in Congress, that should be our mantra, Carry on with common sense or we are doo-med. It is up to us to remove them!

    October 10, 2011 at 1:52 am |
    • Brandon

      But if you only have love for your own race
      Then you only leave space to discriminate
      And to discriminate only generates hate
      And when you hate then you're bound to get irate, yeah
      Madness is what you demonstrate
      And that's exactly how anger works and operates
      Man, you gotta have love just to set it straight
      Take control of your mind and meditate
      Let your soul gravitate to the love

      You can't lead the country being full of hate for Christians.

      October 10, 2011 at 3:36 am |
    • warmesTghosT

      We don't hate Christians, just Christianity.

      And Islam, and Judaism, and Hinduism...

      October 10, 2011 at 10:25 am |
  5. Daniel

    Actually, a church risks its 501(3)c non-profit tax exempt status if it goes into the business of endorsing candidates or ballot measures. I don't say it doesn't happen, but it really, really is not supposed to. Ministers know this, too – or at least they certainly should. It is part of the separation principle – religious organizations can teach their beliefs and can urge believers to vote their conscience. But once a church goes into the business of political campaigning, it really loses a lot of its credibility – something that the LDS in California should reflect upon, perhaps, in light of its endorsement of Prop. 8.

    October 10, 2011 at 1:42 am |
  6. A Cult?

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has NEVER suggested to its members to vote/not vote for a particular political candidate. (Yeah, there was the gay marriage thing, but whether you agree or disagree, that was a moral issue and had nothing to do with one candidate vs. another).
    And W'ERE the cultists?
    I come from an LDS (Mormon) background. I went to public school outside of Utah. I have LDS and non-LDS friends, all of whom I adore. I've taken classes in math, science, world religion, literature, philosophy, etc. Each Sunday, I go to church to feel the Spirit and to learn gospel principles. Never have these things been "forced" upon me. In our church (if any of you nay-sayers would bother investigating for yourselves) we are taught to learn principles and then decide FOR OURSELVES if they are true or not. That's just a basic doctrine of our faith.
    Perhaps those of you who have never actually asked an LDS person about their beliefs, have never been to any of our meetings, have never read/listened to what members surround themselves with everyday– and STILL believe that we are a brainwashed, naive people who worship Joseph Smith– perhaps YOU are the ones who are not able to think for yourself. It's easy to believe the media. It's much, MUCH more difficult to do your own research and decide for yourself.
    You may end up deciding that our beliefs are silly. You may end up deciding that we're nice people, but we're all going to Hell. That's fine. But you would not hold this bitterness in your heart towards us. That I know. If you claim to be a Christian, why not try acting like Christ?

    October 10, 2011 at 12:31 am |
    • Tim Lister

      It's still a cult. But don't worry; so is every other religious group when you get right down to it. The big ones like Christianity, moderate Islam, etc. try to walk a fine line by paying lip service to religious diversity in order to appear tolerant, but if their back's against the wall they'll show their true colors just like this pastor did. Religions are a relic of the era prior to the Age of Reason. Eventually we'll grow out of them.

      October 10, 2011 at 9:39 am |
  7. jessica

    It IS a cult. A scary, scary cult that controls people. I live in SLC, UT. and BELIEVE me, it's a dangerous and discriminatory CULT.

    October 9, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
    • mashelle

      it is so sad to hear people say that mormons are a cult. you just don't understand or have tried to understand momonism. i was raised a mormon and even though i may not be a perfect mormon there is not another church that i would even consider to belong to. Mormons don't sit and judge other christians because there beliefs are different. We follow jesus and work hard every day to walk in his footsteps, to be good citizens, caring and loving people. So for you to be so ignorant is a sad thing. But i still don't judge you because of that. we do not push our religion on anyone but would love to talk about what we believe to anyone that will listen. just because you lived in SLC does not mean you ever took the time to learn what mormonism really is. christians are suppose to love thy neighbors isn;t it about time you did??

      October 10, 2011 at 4:21 am |
    • Bev

      In reply to those who thrive on intrue rumors and heresay and speak without knowledge.
      The definition in the dictionary of a Christian is: "Professing belief in Jesus or following the religion based on his teachings."
      If you go to Mormon.org you can see the true beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

      October 10, 2011 at 9:50 am |
  8. herbert juarez

    Authorship of the Gospels.
    The misinformation that "we do not know who penned the gospels" is a recent addition to the blasphemies applied to the Holy Bible.Since the 1st century A.D. there has not been this controversy.Matthew the apostle wrote Matthew,Mark a youth at the time of Jesus' ministry wrote Mark,Luke the physician wrote both Luke and Acts and John wrote John.John the Apostle Jesus loved.John who wrote 1st, 2nd and 3rd John.John who claimed to have not only seen but also touched Jesus.With
    all due respect to Elaine, she's probably sold a book or two to the extremely gullible, but I would be surprised if you've ever read her work ,unless compelled as a student.Elaine advances a theory to advance her own cause and i dispute her conclusions based on the history cited and hands on testimony of the men who lived and ministered with Jesus.
    The Dead Sea Scrolls would only mention the coming messiah in prophecy as they only contain what we would identify as the Old Testament.The scrolls are dated 1st to 2nd century B.C.which is 100-200 years before Christ was born.There are copies of all Old Testament scripture except for one book and they confirm a remarkable accuracy to the Old Testament we have today.
    You have followed your predictable pattern of starting with a lie and adding additional lies as fact.Having proved your first two points false, it should be sufficient to disavow your entire lengthy post of bs.It is getting late and God willing I will continue to disassemble your lies and misinformation at another time.God bless

    October 9, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
    • Daniel

      Actually, the authorship of the books of the New Testament is a matter of sincere and serious debate, and has been for a very long time. I personally am rather deeply involved just now in a study of the Johannite literature, and at present the prevailing belief is that there are three separate authors – John the Evangelist, John Presbyter and John the Revelator – based upon stylistic differences in the material. I personally believe in one John, but that is a choice I make as a point of faith and I realize that I am making some pretty big assumptions to explain away the evidence to do so.

      But scholarly dispute over the origin and validity and correct version of scripture is -NOT- a new phenomenon. It is a very old one, which kept early church councils busy for hundreds of years. Decisions were made as to what was and was not scripture long after those who had written (or dictated) the books were dead.

      And then we need to remember that Jesus himself didn't write a thing. We don't even have any good indication that he was literate – many people of his time were not.

      October 10, 2011 at 1:56 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Root post by herbert juarez contains multiple instances of the Ad Hominem Fallacy, in common and Circu-mstantial forms.

      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

      October 10, 2011 at 9:23 am |
    • fred

      Daniel
      You need to toss your Bible out the window if you think Jesus could not write. He knew scripture to the extent it surprised the Jews when he would read the scrolls. He wrote in the sand to those that accused the adultress woman. What he wrote turned an angry mob to sulking whimps. The awe of God should stir your heart that to this day only those that accept Christ and come to Him as child can understand yet, those who demand signs today see nothing.

      October 10, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
  9. Chad

    I erroneously stumbled on to this American Association of Atheists blog here thinking it was the CNN Belief blog... my mistake. But while I'm here, I'd like to re-frame your debate. This blog will not solve the question of the existence of Jesus. The article in question is about the open-mindedness of some Christians to stop labeling certain religions as "Christians." In my experience, some Christians (including Mormons) are Christian and some aren't. It has all to do with they way they act and talk, rather than the technical beliefs of their churches. If Bible is true, which I believe it is, Jesus was far more interested in the heart, as displayed by one's actions, than in the religious debates of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

    October 9, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      No True Scotsman fallacy

      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/No_True_Scotsman

      October 10, 2011 at 9:25 am |
  10. Bud Tarken

    So once again these tax exempt "church businesses" get to spew out politic agendas on our tax dollar. Who cares any religous nut case needs to be far away from influencing our political system. Wish the rapture would get here and take all these "saved" souls to heaven now rather than later leaving the rest of us in peace.

    October 9, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
  11. Betty Popp

    It was said that people will know you are Christian more by how you live rather than what you say. Perry supports and is responsible for years of capital punishment in Texas and claims to be proud of it.
    Hardly Christian.
    There are many people of other religions or no religion whose lives reflect values that Jesus would admire.
    And there are many people calling themselves Christian who bring shame to the name.
    I am an Independent, politically, and a Catholic, by choice, but in conscience I could never vote for Perry.

    October 9, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • fred

      Independent?
      My mother claimed to be an independent but always voted straight Democrat ticket. She was a Catholic and thought Catholics are to help the poor people which priests told her is what democrats do. I explained many times that Democrats are no more for the poor as any other politician. You claim independent but what percentage of your votes go to Democrats?

      October 10, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
  12. David Johnson

    I'll be back later, to check on your progress.

    Cheers!

    October 9, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  13. Mike

    As a non-believer I actually half @$$ support this disillusional pastor because I'm not voting for Romney. As a Texan whose had to deal with Rick Perry for 12 years, that pastor can go his fairy tale hell.

    October 9, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
  14. David Johnson

    @Fred

    Well, I'm going to dinner. I will check back, but I suspect you won't have found your 9 secular writers, who prove your case for Jesus. Or even 1 LOL

    Cheers!

    October 9, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  15. Reality

    Hmmm, if the flaws of Romney's Mormonism were removed i.e. all references to Moroni and his revelations and if the flaws of Islam were removed i.e. all references to Gabriel and his revelations, there would hardly be anything left in either religion other then some version of the Code of Hammurabi. Finally the start of the Utopia of Religious Convergence!!!!

    Hmmm, what shall we call this potential joining? Musmors? Morms? Musmos? M&Ms? Ismors? Moisls? or Islamorms?

    October 9, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • .........

      plz hit report abuse on all reality blogs

      October 9, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  16. nolapearl

    I agree with strategy pony. And why isn't the IRS taxing any church that gets involved in politics. They have almost all become political organizations.

    October 9, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • mashelle

      people who are mormons that run for office of any kind are not bringing their church to the office. they are actually bringing themselves. Mormons do not tell you to vote for another mormon. you vote for who you think will do the best job in that office. The Mormon church does not get into politics. Some people who are mormons might. Everyone who runs for some office is part of some church. vote for who you feel can do the job no matter what beliefs he has..

      October 10, 2011 at 4:29 am |
  17. Ordination

    In scripture, the prophet often sets apart the political leader of the country. Will the Mormon Prophet set apart Mitt Romney as President of the United States.

    October 9, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • LDS

      No!

      October 10, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • Charlynn

      The Bible also talks about moral agency. We are free to do as we please, that does not negate the consequences, but the LDS church doesn't tell people who to vote for because we, as God's children have the right to make that decision for our selves.

      October 10, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
  18. Misunderstands Mormonism and Religion

    In the Book of Mormon, it teaches that leaders should live off their own wealth and not receive a salary or reward from lobbying. Someone should be asking Mitt Romney, who claims to be Mormon, if he becomes President, "will he work to eliminate salaries and lobbying proceeds for elected officials?" Instead of that, this is just more of he says, she says nonsense that is repeated by the press without examination of the facts.

    October 9, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • LDS

      I believe the book of Mormon is talking about the leaders of the church should not receive salaries for positions of leadership in the church. They Do not get paid for their service to the church & it's members. From the 12 year old deacon of the smallest branch of the church, to the President & leader & Prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, No one gets paid.
      I wonder how much does that Texas Pasteur get paid $100,000 – $200,000 MORE??

      October 10, 2011 at 10:32 am |
  19. Strategy pony

    Sounds like the pot is calling the kettle black.

    October 9, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  20. John Stefanyszyn

    Mr. Romney claims to believe in Christ....as his religion....and does not agree with Perry / Jeffress
    Mr. Perry claims to believe in Christ ...as his religion....and does not agree with Romney / Jeffress
    Mr. Jeffress claims to believe in Christ...as his religion....and does not agree with Romney / Perry (as Perry does not agree with Jeffress)

    Each claims Christ and yet each disagrees with the other.

    But there is one common belief that they all do agree with, claim, and live by...the belief in "self-rights"....the desire to serve one's interests....the belief in self-rule...the belief in freedom to live according to one's self-interest rights.

    They have all placed this belief before and above the One and Only True Way of Life...the One Christ and King....and the One and Only Creator Father.

    Christ is NOT a religion. There is no separation between the rulership of the Creator God and His Way of Life. They are one and the same.

    As Christ said, they will all speak His Name but they will live according to another first love.

    As many people who do not want to believe this, the return of Christ as Ruler and King is at hand....and the people's disbelief of this reality is irrelevant....

    As Christ said to "professing Christians"..."I do not know you, you workers of lawlessness". These same "Christians" along with all of mankind will reject Christ at His return....but there will be the gnashing of teeth and the weeping of tears when their "glory in self-rule" will be brought to an end.

    There can be and is only One True Creator and can be and is only One True Way to Him, Christ His Son.

    October 9, 2011 at 9:09 am |
    • Tracie

      Amen.

      October 9, 2011 at 9:17 am |
    • Eric G

      Of course, if you can define and falsify the beliefs of others, you can provide verifiable evidence to support your claims?

      October 9, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @John Stefanyszyn

      Christianity is a religion. There is no real evidence that an actual Jesus ever existed.

      Cheers!

      October 9, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      Once again david johnson trots out a lie and expects it to be accepted.Many people on these blogs have shown the extra biblical references to the historical Jesus ,but david just reslings his bs in spite of facts.Beware of this self proclaimed authority,he is at best misguided and at worst destructive.God bless

      October 9, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Magic

      herbert, "Many people on these blogs have shown the extra biblical references to the historical Jesus."

      ... and just as many people have refuted those references as being contrived, mistaken or downright fraudulent, oh ye of short memory.

      October 9, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • fred

      Dave Johnson
      Herbert is right, you have been given detail historical reference and facts that Jesus did exist. You have been given statistics from Hisoritcal experts that a small firnge that think as you do. The vast majority of Historians conclude Jesus was real and those that say otherwise are not considered reputable.

      October 9, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @herbert juarez

      So, Herbie. Show me the evidence, that you claim.

      There were no eyewitness accounts of Jesus. The Gospels were written by god knows who in the third person. The Gospels were written with an agenda i.e., Jesus was the Messiah and Son of God.

      We know virtually nothing about the persons who wrote the gospels we call Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
      -Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University, (The Gnostic Gospels)

      The bottom line is we really don't know for sure who wrote the Gospels.
      -Jerome Neyrey, of the Weston School of Theology, Cambridge, Mass. in "The Four Gospels," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)

      Jesus is a mythical figure in the tradition of pagan mythology and almost nothing in all of ancient literature would lead one to believe otherwise. Anyone wanting to believe Jesus lived and walked as a real live human being must do so despite the evidence, not because of it.
      -C. Dennis McKinsey, Bible critic (The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy)

      There are no known secular writings about Jesus, that aren't forgeries, later insertions, or hearsay. NONE!

      Most of the supposed authors lived AFTER Jesus was dead. Can you say hearsay?

      Philo of Alexandria (20 BC – 50 AD) a contemporary Jewish historian, never wrote a word about Jesus. This is odd, since Philo wrote broadly on the politics and theologies around the Mediterranean.

      Lucius Annaeus Seneca (ca. 4 BCE – 65 CE) A.K.A. Seneca the Younger. A contemporary of Jesus wrote extensively on many subjects and people. But he didn't write a word about a Jesus.

      Gaius Plinius Secundus (23 AD – August 25, 79 AD), better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher. Plinius wrote "Naturalis Historia", an encyclopedia into which he collected much of the knowledge of his time. There is no mention of a Jesus.

      The area in and surrounding Jerusalem served, in fact, as the center of education and record keeping for the Jewish people. The Romans, of course, also kept many records. Moreover, the gospels mention scribes many times, not only as followers of Jesus but the scribes connected with the high priests. And nothing about the Jesus. Nada! Not even something chiseled on a wall or carved into a tree like: "Jesus Loves Mary Magdalene".

      We don't even have a wooden shelf that Jesus might have built. Or anything written by Jesus. God incarnate, and we don't even have a Mother's day card signed by Him.

      The Dead Sea Scrolls did not mention Jesus or have any New Testament scripture.

      Jesus, if he existed, was not considered important enough to write about by any contemporary person. The myth hadn't had a chance to flourish.

      Paul's writings were the first, about Jesus. But, Paul's writing was done 25 to 30 years after Jesus was dead. In a primitive, ultra-supersti_tious society, 25 years is a lot of time for a myth to grow. Twenty-five years was most of the average person's lifespan in the 1st Century.

      Some people feel that Paul, not Jesus, is the real father of what most Christians believe today (Pauline Christianity).
      Paul never actually met Jesus. His knowledge and faith was the result of hearsay and an epileptic "vision".

      Questions on the Crucifixion story:

      "Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save." Mark 15:31

      "Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe..." Mark 15:32

      It would appear, that the chief priests are admitting that Jesus "saved" others. If they knew this, then there is no reason for them to demand that Jesus descend from the cross, in order for them to believe. They already admitted to knowing of Jesus' "miracles".

      This is just an embellishment by Mark. A work of fiction possibly constructed to make it appear that some Old Testament "prediction" was fulfilled. Like:
      "I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting." – Isaiah 50:6

      Here is another:

      1 Corinthian 15:14-17 – Paul says Christianity lives or dies on the Resurrection.
      1 Corinthians 15:4 "4And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures"
      Matthew 12:40 – Jesus said, that he would be buried three days and three nights as Jonah was in the whale three days and three nights.
      Friday afternoon to early Sunday morning is only 2 days at the most. Or, if you count Friday and Sunday as entire days, then you could get 3 days and 2 nights. This is a gimme though. The Mary's went to the grave at sunrise and it was empty.
      Obviously, the fundies spin this like a pinwheel. I have seen explanations like: Jesus was actually crucified on Wednesday or maybe Thursday; The prophesy actually means 12 hour days, and not 24 hour days; The partial days are counted as full days. This one is true, but still doesn't add up.
      At any rate, the crucifixion day and number of days and nights Jesus spent in the grave, is disputed.
      It looks very much like, that Jesus was not in the grave for 3 days and 3 nights. The prophecy was not fulfilled.

      And what of this?:

      Jesus had healed a woman on the Sabbath:
      Luke 13 31:33 KJV
      31The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee.
      32And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.
      33Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.
      Note that Jesus is saying, it is impossible for a prophet (Himself) to be killed outside of Jerusalem.

      Yet, Jesus WAS killed outside Jerusalem.
      Calvary or Golgotha was the site, outside of ancient Jerusalem’s early first century walls, at which the crucifixion of Jesus is said to have occurred. OOoopsie!

      And there is this:

      According to Luke 23:44-45, there occurred "about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour, and the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst."

      Yet not a single secular mention of a three hour ecliptic event got recorded. 'Cause it didn't happen!

      Mathew 27 51:53
      51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
      How come nobody wrote about zombies running through the cities? 'Cause it is all b.s.

      An interesting note:

      "The same phenomena and portents of the sudden darkness at the sixth hour, a strong earthquake, rent stones, a temple entrance broken in two, and the rising of the dead have been reported by multiple ancient writers for the death of Julius Caesar on March 15, 44 BC." – Sources Wikipedia (John T. Ramsey & A. Lewis Licht, The Comet of 44 B.C. and Caesar's Funeral Games, Atlanta 1997, p. 99–107

      Hmmm...
      If you can't even believe the crucifixion story how likely is the resurrection account to be true? In a book that is a mix of fiction and "fact", how do you know which is which? Especially, since all of the bible seems very unlikely and does not fit with the reality we see around us.?

      If Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of God, who died for man's redemption, then this would be the most important event in the history of man.

      Having gone to the trouble of impregnating a human and being born god incarnate and dying for mankind's sins, why wouldn't god have ensured there was tons of evidence that this was true? Multiple Writings by contemporary eyewitnesses – Jews and Romans and Greeks.

      You are going to want to say that there IS lots of evidence, but look at reality: There are way more people, in the world, who are not Christians (67%) than who are (33%). Obviously, the evidence is not adequate to convince even a majority of the world's people.

      You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep-seated need to believe. – Carl Sagan

      Cheers!

      October 9, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • fred

      Dave Johnson
      I will wait to see how you reply to Herbert as I have given you all the prove on two other occassions. Now had you disputed one of the proofs we could had talked about it. You simply ignore what is given to you then repeat the same old lies. I just want you to take an honest look thats all. I mean somepeople tell me we never landed on the moon and they believe that and provide evidence.
      Let us start with the basics. Jesus did exisit, even the Jews recorded it at the time ( of course they cite him as a lyar) and they hated the guy and killed his followers after nailing Jesus to the cross.

      October 9, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @fred

      What you are attempting is to use an appeal to authority. It is a fallacy, for the following reason:

      "If there is a significant amount of legitimate dispute among the experts within a subject, then it will fallacious to make an Appeal to Authority using the disputing experts. This is because for almost any claim being made and "supported" by one expert there will be a counterclaim that is made and "supported" by another expert. In such cases an Appeal to Authority would tend to be futile.

      In such cases, the dispute has to be settled by consideration of the actual issues under dispute. Since either side in such a dispute can invoke experts, the dispute cannot be rationally settled by Appeals to Authority. "
      Source: The Nizkor Project, 1991-2011

      So, tell me why the contemporary historians wrote nothing of Jesus.

      Why didn't the Romans?

      Everything that was written about Jesus was from people who weren't born until Jesus was in His grave. Or were inserted later by dishonest Christians. LOL

      No description of Jesus was given. Virtually every other important person was at least described, including Mohammad. That's 'cause Mohammad was at least real.

      Why is the death of Christ just like Caesar's (and other leaders of that time)?

      Why was there a darkness and an earthquake that no one recorded?

      Why were there dead people running around that nobody noticed?

      The gospels were obviously written to establish a mythical person as the Messiah.

      Your demigod is a fake. No more real than Santa.

      Cheers!

      October 9, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • fred

      Majic
      David Johnson
      "I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history."
      H. G. Wells, world historian
      "If the life and death of Socrates are those of a philosopher, the life and death of Jesus Christ are those of a God."
      Jean-Jacques Rousseau, philosopher
      Dr. Gary Habermas notes that a total of nine early non-Christian secular writers mention Jesus. That is the same number of secular writers who mention Tiberius Caesar, the Roman emperor during Jesus’ ministry

      I doubt if I spent hours cutting and pasting proof it would not matter. "We can agrue about if Jesus was God or not but we really need to stop saying Jesus never existed.

      October 9, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Fred

      You said: "Let us start with the basics. Jesus did exisit, even the Jews recorded it at the time ( of course they cite him as a lyar) and they hated the guy and killed his followers after nailing Jesus to the cross."

      I must have missed your post. On the Jews recording Jesus:

      Some Christians use brief portions of the Talmud, as evidence for Jesus. They claim that Yeshu in the Talmud refers to Jesus. However, this Yeshu, according to scholars depicts a disciple of Jehoshua Ben-Perachia at least a century before the alleged Christian Jesus or it may refer to Yeshu ben Pandera, a teacher of the 2nd centuy CE.

      Regardless of how one interprets this, the Palestinian Talmud didn't come into existence until the 3rd and 5th century C.E., and the Babylonian Talmud between the 3rd and 6th century C.E., at least two centuries after the alleged crucifixion. At best it can only serve as a controversial Christian or Jewish legend; it cannot possibly serve as evidence for a historical Jesus.

      You god is a myth, Fred!

      Cheers!

      October 9, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Fred

      Dr. notes that a total of nine early non-Christian secular writers mention Jesus. That is the same number of secular writers who mention Tiberius Caesar, the Roman emperor during Jesus’ ministry

      There were no eyewitness accounts of Jesus. The Gospels were written by god knows who in the third person. The Gospels were written with an agenda i.e., Jesus was the Messiah and Son of God.

      There are no known secular writings about Jesus, that aren't forgeries, later insertions, or hearsay. NONE!
      Most of the supposed authors lived AFTER Jesus was dead.

      Name the secular writers who mention Christ. The only stipulation, is they must not be born after or shorty before Christ died. They cannot be hearsay. They cannot be disputed. Hearsay is trash.

      Do this, and I will agree an actual Jesus lived.

      Cheers!

      October 9, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Fred

      Here is some of the demigod myth's contemporaries that I mentioned, but you may have missed:

      These contemporary historians wrote of everything , but Wrote Nothing of Jesus:
      Philo of Alexandria (20 BC – 50 AD)
      Lucius Annaeus Seneca (ca. 4 BCE – 65 CE) A.K.A. Seneca the Younger.
      Gaius Plinius Secundus (23 AD – August 25, 79 AD), better known as Pliny the Elder

      The area in and surrounding Jerusalem served, in fact, as the center of education and record keeping for the Jewish people. The Romans, of course, also kept many records. Moreover, the gospels mention scribes many times, not only as followers of Jesus but the scribes connected with the high priests. And nothing about the Jesus. Nada!

      The odd thing, as I state at the end of my comment, is that this was the most important event in the history of the world. An almighty god surely would have left no doubt that Jesus existed. But, if Jesus was made up...then obviously no contemporary writings could have existed.

      Hmm... Which seems more likely? Jesus existed? Jesus was made up in the image of the sun gods, like Horus and Mithra?

      Cheers!

      October 9, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • fred

      Dave Johnson
      Are you kidding? You want me to to find secular historians that fit the following: "Name the secular writers who mention Christ. The only stipulation, is they must not be born after or shorty before Christ died" So you want a writter who was born between 10,000BC and 30AD ?

      October 9, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @fred

      You said: "Are you kidding? You want me to to find secular historians that fit the following: "Name the secular writers who mention Christ. The only stipulation, is they must not be born after or shorty before Christ died" So you want a writter who was born between 10,000BC and 30AD ?"

      My meaning was that I would not accept someone who was born after Christ died or was a young child when Christ died.
      This would obviously imply hearsay. Hearsay is a worthless form of evidence.

      Cheers!

      October 9, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • fred

      David Johnson

      I guess one could get on Google and copy / paste all the written evidence that Jesus was a real person that died at the hands of Pilate. That would fill up a lot of space and bore people that already have their minds made up. Bottom line I am not an expert or a Historian. I must value the opinion of respected Historians when they agree on one topic: Jesus lived was a preacher and died about 30 AD at the hands of Pontius Pilate.
      If you cannot even agree with this basic statement supported by a vast majority of Historians why go on with any debate? Not even a hadfull of Historians would consider your argument valid.

      October 9, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @herbert juarez

      You are an idiot. This is not ad hominem. This is fact.

      The consensus of many biblical historians put the dating of the earliest Gospel, that of Mark, at sometime after 70 C.E., and the last Gospel, John after 90 C.E. [Pagels, 1995; Helms].

      All three of the other narrative Gospels in the Bible are based directly or indirectly on the Gospel of Mark.
      Of Mark's ~666 verses, some 600 appear in Matthew, some 300 in Luke.
      The author of Luke admits himself as an interpreter of earlier material and not an eyewitness (Luke 1:1-4). Only Luke writes in the first person in his introduction. He then switches to the 3rd person. All the other authors write in the 3rd person. Odd for eyewitness accounts.

      The Gospel of John disagrees with events described in Mark, Matthew, and Luke.
      Odd, since all were eyewitnesses, except for Luke.

      There is also some language that is shared between the Gospels of Matthew and Luke which is not in the Gospel of Mark. The most well known proposed explanation for this is the "Q" docu_ment theory, which purposes that there was some other source docu_ment which both the authors of Matthew and Luke used, but was not used by the author of Mark.

      The reality is that the gospel authors never signed their names and their names do not appear anywhere within the body of the text. The t_itles, “The Gospel According to Mark”, “Matthew”, “Luke”, or “John” are headings that were added sometime late in the second century.

      Irenaeus of Lyons, who wrote around 180 CE, is the first Christian writer to call the four gospels by their current t_itles. He gave them these t_itles, to give them more authority with the people. A gospel with the name "Herbie" probably wouldn't excite a lot of people.

      Your Jesus is a hoax, Herbie. It isn't just Prof. Pagels that think the Gospels are "not the gospel" LOL!

      The Synoptic Gospels employ techniques that we today associate with fiction.
      -Paul Q. Beeching, Central Connecticut State University (Bible Review, June 1997, Vol. XIII, Number 3, p. 43)

      The bottom line is we really don't know for sure who wrote the Gospels.
      -Jerome Neyrey, of the Weston School of Theology, Cambridge, Mass. in "The Four Gospels," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)

      The gospels are so anonymous that their t_itles, all second-century guesses, are all four wrong.
      -Randel McCraw Helms (Who Wrote the Gospels?)

      Cheers!

      October 9, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @David Johnson

      You said: "I guess one could get on Google and copy / paste all the written evidence that Jesus was a real person that died at the hands of Pilate."

      It would do no good, fred. The evidence doesn't exist. Jesus was a fictional character. Whatever you posted, I would refute.

      You said: "I must value the opinion of respected Historians when they agree on one topic: Jesus lived was a preacher and died about 30 AD at the hands of Pontius Pilate."

      You don't believe that, because it is true. It is true, because you believe it.

      Cheers!

      October 9, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Fred

      Ooops! The above was supposed to be to you.

      Cheers!

      October 9, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
    • fred

      David Johnson
      You said” The consensus of many biblical historians put the dating of the earliest Gospel, that of Mark, at sometime after 70 C.E., and the last Gospel, John after 90 C.E. [Pagels, 1995; Helms].” This notion of sometime after 70 AD comes from a core assumption that Jesus was not gifted in any way and could not have predicted the destruction of the temple. Talk about bias !

      Well David, you had to dig deep to come up with someone that would date Mark at 70 AD. This is about the furthest extreme a skeptic could possible push the date of that Gospel. I am not even sure you are aware the extent to which you have searched out extreme positions. The first thing you should do is ask yourself why you need to go to such a highly unlikely date to push your case. The true date is 50-67 AD. 70AD can and should be ruled out simply because the temple was not destroyed at the time of writing. Mark certainly would have mentioned that the prophecy of Jesus coming through on such a major event.

      October 10, 2011 at 2:15 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Fred

      You said: "Well David, you had to dig deep to come up with someone that would date Mark at 70 AD. This is about the furthest extreme a skeptic could possible push the date of that Gospel.
      The true date is 50-67 AD. 70AD can and should be ruled out simply because the temple was not destroyed at the time of writing. Mark certainly would have mentioned that the prophecy of Jesus coming through on such a major event."

      No, fred. As usual I'm right and you are wrong. 70 AD would be a mid figure. The range would be something like 65 to 75.

      A number of modern scholars believe that the gospel was written in Syria by an unknown Christian around AD 70, using various sources including a passion narrative (probably written), collections of miracles stories (oral or written), apocalyptic traditions (probably written), and disputations and didactic sayings (some possibly written). Source – Wikipedia

      Estimated Range of Dating: 65-80 A.D. – Source: Early Christian Writings Peter Kirby

      Because of the reference to the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE (Mark 13:2), most scholars believe that Mark was written some time during the war between Rome and the Jews (66-74). Source: Dating and Origins of Mark’s Gospel
      "When Was the Gospel According to Mark Written?" By Austin Cline, About.com Guide

      Most scholars date the Gospel of Mark to sometime between 60 AD and 80 AD. It was probably the earliest of the four gospels and a source used by Matthew and Luke. – Source: © 2004-2010 ReligionFacts

      Just think what a first edition Jesus would bring, if it was still in its cover! More than Spiderman, I bet! And both are fiction.

      Your Jesus did not exist. He was the product of storytellers.

      Cheers!

      Cheers!

      October 10, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • fred

      David Johnson
      The range is not as you say the range is 50 AD to 80AD. What we can agree on is those that believe the Bible true will lean towards the 50AD range. Those that believe the Bible false lean towards 80AD Those with the agenda that the church made it all up for some reason push for 70- 80AD . The attack is on Jesus for those are not believers. They must be 70AD or better if you hate Jesus otherwise you cannot explain the prediction regarding the destruction of the temple. Neither of us can win this argument because I believe and you hate Jesus for some reason.
      Exactly why do you hate Jesus?

      October 10, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @fred

      Dude! The Gospels were written to prove Jesus was the Messiah. That is why they work so hard to show prophesies that Jesus supposedly fulfills.

      New Testament prophesies come in two flavors:

      (1) Unverifiable claims by biased biblical writers that certain events fulfilled certain prophecies.
      Example: Predictions in the Old Testament (that may not even have been about Jesus), that the Gospel authors "say" Jesus fulfilled.

      (2) "Fulfillments" of prophecies that were probably written after the fact.
      Your destruction of the temple would be a good example of this.

      Mark 13:2 King James Version (KJV)
      2And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

      Scholars have been sharply divided on how to deal with it: was it a genuine prediction, demonstrating Jesus’ power, or is it evidence that Mark was written after the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE?

      Let's apply Occam's Razor – The simplest answer is usually the correct one. This "prediction" was written AFTER the destruction of the temple.
      This is obviously true, since Jesus never actually existed.

      Or, do you have evidence that this event was undeniably written before the event, by Jesus?

      Prophesy is easy, after the fact. Or if you know a prophesy and set out to fulfill it.

      Consider:

      The author of Mathew even admits to Jesus riding on a colt for the sole purpose of fulfilling a prophecy.
      Mathew 21: 1-11
      Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.”

      Note this next verse.

      All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:
      “ Tell the daughter of Zion,
      ‘ Behold, your King is coming to you,
      Lowly, and sitting on a donkey,
      A colt, the foal of a donkey."

      It isn't really very hard for the writers of the New Testament to have Jesus fulfill the prophecies. You just choose a prophesy and write away! Much like comic book writers do today.

      Don't be a sheep. Use your critical thinking. Ask yourself, "Which explanation is more probable...The explanation that does not include the supernatural will always be the better choice.

      Consider one last argument and then we are done:

      Evolution, with its evidence of transitional fossils, geological column, DNA evidence, vestigial organs etc., is very damning to the biblical Creation Story.

      If god created all the organisms on the planet, then He must have created even the diseases that have caused and are causing so much death and misery for humans and animals. He would have had to fashion the tick and the flea. The mosquito and blood flukes. And worms that bore into a child's eye.

      How could an all good god do such a thing? Why would He spend His time creating gruesome things to cause human suffering? Yet, these horrors exist. And if god didn't create them, who did?

      Evolution explains the diversity of the planet's organisms, including the pathogens and the parasites that have caused so much human death and misery.

      If the Creation Story is a fable, then Adam and Eve did not exist.

      If Adam and Eve did not exist, then there was no original sin.

      If there was no original sin, then it cannot be the reason god allows so much suffering in the world. Instead, there are natural causes for earthquakes and floods and and other disasters.

      If there was no original sin, then there was no need for a Redeemer.

      There were many "messiahs" at the time of Jesus. The Gospel writers chose a name and created a Messiah. Nothing supernatural. No actual Son of God. Could have just as easily been Billie the Christ. LOL

      The Christian god is very unlikely to exist.

      Cheers!

      Cheers!

      October 10, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • fred

      David Johnson
      I am not a history buff so all I can do is pull conclusions from others. There is little doubt that Jesus existed, was a preacher and died at the order of Pilate. You need to forget wiki on the internet where pressure groups go to twist historic data to their agenda. If you cannot trust the top Historians and vast majority of all Historians of antiquity that conclude Jesus existed then what ever you say after that is suspect even though some of what you say is correct. Is this a game with you or do you have some other agenda that keeps you so far out in left field?
      Do you really think a group of religious control freaks went out and made up all this stuff to the detail you claim and then OOPPS, we just built our case on a man that never existed ? If they twisted all the other data around why not just make one of themselves the Messiah. Oh, then to boot let’s put in all kinds of inconsistencies as you like to point out just so Atheists can topple our book of myth.
      David , you need to pick a story line that works

      October 11, 2011 at 1:48 am |
    • David Johnson

      @fred

      You have curled into a ball and are crying, "is not!". You offer nothing to refute my arguments. Wiki, was not my only source. It was one of many.

      If you cannot even defend your demigod's existence, how could you ever hope to make a case that He was the Messiah, had I chosen to challenge you with that?

      Would your argument also be: "Well so and so believes it, so I believe it."? Pfui!

      When people believe things without evidence, they are left with no way to accurately judge whether or not what they believe reflects how things really are. Their beliefs must then be based on feelings and emotion or the unquestioned authority of something or somebody else, not evidence.

      Cheers!

      We are done. I won't look for, or respond to further posts.

      October 11, 2011 at 3:57 am |
    • fred

      David Johnson
      I do not see how I could possibly defend God. He is bigger than either of us can ever imagine. There are volumes written by theologians that lay out a proof to rabbis that Jesus is Lord and vice versa that He is not. No way can I hold up a candle to any of them. However, should you read any of the main line books that were not written by skeptic Atheists at least you would see that Jesus did exist. Once your debate is serious enough to acknowledge Jesus existence we can talk about God. You are ent-itled to your opinion but when go into a cla-ss room and tell everyone we never landed on the moon then site 30 members of your area 51 club as proof you will not pa-ss the cla-ss. In short get a reality check on the historic Jesus.

      You are correct in one key point. I would never have believed there was a God or believed in God if I did not have a miraculous personal conversion experience that completely transformed my life. I went from thinking this stuff nonsense to having an existence open up to me that I could never imagine. Jesus did exactly what He said He would do when I asked for His help with my broken and contrite heart. He said the Holy Spirit would reveal truth to me and go figure I swallowed the big fish story hook line and sinker.

      David you are right on again ! My beliefs are based on the unquestioned authority of Christ. The evidence is I personally saw it, I hear the voice of God, I see the hand of God past, present and future. I am still trying to absorb all the wonders before me.

      I am just now looking as time allows into things similar to what you bring up. I come from a different direction. You come from the direction of a complete skeptic atheist and I from gla-ssy eyed convert. You want proof from something that seems obvious. I mentioned it last time. No one doubts Paul wrote Romans 25 years after Christ’s death. So tell me you wish to believe Paul was nuts or never existed? You also want me to believe a bunch of guys in the late 1st and 2nd century somehow faked these authenticated docu-ments? If these guys were so good why didn’t they write the story to incorporate the Jews that were busy killing off the Christian threat. Had they done so we would need to put with 2,000 years worth of Jewish scholars and Rabbis undermining Christ and covering up something that "never happened"

      October 11, 2011 at 5:45 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.