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My Take: Are evangelicals dangerous?
Many evangelicals want to ban abortion, but does that mean they want theocracy?
October 15th, 2011
10:00 PM ET

My Take: Are evangelicals dangerous?

Editor's Note: R. Albert Mohler, Jr., is president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world.

By R. Albert Mohler, Jr., Special to CNN

Here we go again.

Every four years, with every new presidential election cycle, public voices sound the alarm that the evangelicals are back. What is so scary about America’s evangelical Christians?

Just a few years ago, author Kevin Phillips told intellectual elites to run for cover, claiming that well-organized evangelicals were attempting to turn America into a theocratic state. In “American Theocracy,” Phillips warned of the growing influence of Bible-believing, born-again, theologically conservative voters who were determined to create a theocracy.

Writer Michelle Goldberg, meanwhile, has warned of a new Christian nationalism, based in “dominion theology.” Chris Hedges topped that by calling conservative Christians “American fascists.”

And so-called New Atheists like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris claim that conservative Christians are nothing less than a threat to democracy. They prescribe atheism and secularism as the antidotes.

This presidential cycle, the alarms have started earlier than usual. Ryan Lizza, profiling Rep. Michele Bachmann for The New Yorker, informed his readers that “Bachmann belongs to a generation of Christian conservatives whose views have been shaped by institutions, tracts, and leaders not commonly known to secular Americans, or even to most Christians.”

Change just a few strategic words and the same would be true of Barack Obama or any other presidential candidate. Every candidate is shaped by influences not known to all and by institutions that other Americans might find strange.

What stories like this really show is that the secular elites assume that their own institutions and leaders are normative.

The New Yorker accused Bachmann of being concerned with developing a Christian worldview, ignoring the fact that every thinking person operates out of some kind of worldview. The article treated statements about wifely submission to husbands and Christian influence in art as bizarre and bellicose.

When Rick Perry questioned the theory of evolution, Dawkins launched into full-on apoplexy, wondering aloud how anyone who questions evolution could be considered intelligent, even as polls indicate that a majority of Americans question evolution.

Bill Keller, then executive editor of The New York Times, topped all the rest by seeming to suggest that conservative Christians should be compared to those who believe in space aliens. He complained that “when it comes to the religious beliefs of our would-be presidents, we are a little squeamish about probing too aggressively.”

Really? Earlier this month, comedian Penn Jillette - a well–known atheist - wrote a very serious op-ed complaining of the political influence of “bugnut Christians,” in the pages of The Los Angeles Times, no less. Detect a pattern here?

By now, this is probably being read as a complaint against the secular elites and prominent voices in the mainstream media. It’s not.

If evangelicals intend to engage public issues and cultural concerns, we have to be ready for the scrutiny and discomfort that comes with disagreement over matters of importance. We have to risk being misunderstood - and even misrepresented - if we intend to say anything worth hearing.

Are evangelicals dangerous? Well, certainly not in the sense that more secular voices warn. The vast majority of evangelicals are not attempting to create a theocracy, or to oppose democracy.

To the contrary, evangelicals are dangerous to the secularist vision of this nation and its future precisely because we are committed to participatory democracy.

As Christians committed to the Bible, evangelicals have learned to advocate on behalf of the unborn, believing that every single human being, at every stage of development, is made in God’s image.

Evangelicals worry about the fate of marriage and the family, believing that the pattern for human relatedness set out in Scripture will lead to the greatest human flourishing.

We are deeply concerned about a host of moral and cultural issues, from how to address poverty to how to be good stewards of the earth, and on some of these there is a fairly high degree of disagreement even among us.

Above all, evangelicals are those who believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and are most concerned about telling others about Jesus. Most of America’s evangelical Christians are busy raising their children, working to support their families and investing energy in their local churches.

But over recent decades, evangelical Christians have learned that the gospel has implications for every dimension of life, including our political responsibility.

We’re dangerous only to those who want more secular voices to have a virtual monopoly in public life.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Opinion • Politics

soundoff (5,318 Responses)
  1. Colin

    Have you ever noticed that evangelicals NEVER have to refute an allegation that they are too smart. They are always refuting comments that say they are really dumb. Hmmmm, I wonder why that is,.

    October 16, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • Colin

      Tru dat.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  2. Bob P.

    The problem with religion in government has existed for at least 3000 years. The problem is that the religious leader, once confirmed, has unfettered power to persecute based on his (and it is almost always a him) direct connection with (being according to the Pharaohs and Roman leaders) god. The worst of evils are made OK because of "God's blessing". Obvious wrongs like ritual sacrifice of dissidents, torture, slavery, and even worse are justified because "Gott mit uns" (to bring back a well known phrase). The first (or at most second) thing that a religious-based leader does is attempt to stamp out all other religions, eventually by force.

    For this reason, the founders of our country attempted to make it impossible to impose a religion on the body politic. It worked until the US adopted atheism as its official state religion. This movement is now attempting to stamp out all other religions, with some degree of success. The reaction by christian and other religious organizations is the normal one of any group facing extinction, fight.

    October 16, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful." —Lucius Annaeus Seneca (5 BCE – 65 CE), Roman statesman

      October 16, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • TexMax

      I wouldn't say that atheism is the state religion or that there are efforts to stamp out religions. Religious orgs get preferential tax treatment and nobody is shutting them down or prosecuting people for practicing (like in some parts of the world) unless the practice breaks laws (like child abuse because you think God tells you to had a child with an underage girl). No one says you can't pray, but when you want to force others to listen to you pray in your way, that's can easily be considered offensive.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • No One Is Safe

      ...and to think, you sounded so lucid and sane throughout your entire first paragraph!

      November 2, 2011 at 11:27 am |
  3. holly

    There is no definite proof either way for or against a God. That is the only fact. So you have faith or you do not. Why are so many people threatened by someone who believes something different than them, and then are so full of themselves to put down other people beliefs. Fools. No one really knows.

    October 16, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Why are so many people threatened by believers? I dunno, do you suppose it might have anything to do with all the threats you've issued thru the centuries? (I'm purposely ignoring the Big Threat — roasting eternally in Hell — because it's the one I know you'll never deliver on, unlike so many of the more direct ones delivered with thumbscrews and oppressive, discriminatory laws.)

      October 16, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Colin

      Not so Holly. Think it through.

      If one says they made a leap of faith to their belief, can they really be said to believe in their chosen god(s) at all? The mere fact that they had to leap to believe in the means they, at some level acknowledge the absence of evidence. Their “belief” is really more in the nature of a hope or wish, than a true belief. They more “hope” for a god or “wish” for a god than they do truly believe in a god.

      Bridging the gap between where the evidence stops and their chosen end belief (God, Allah, Krishna, reincarnation etc.) by wistfully leaping over the credibility gap that lay in between may be satisfying to the believer. However, if you think it through, once you accept that making a leap of faith is a valid foundation for arriving any particular belief, you are effectively declaring yourself a pantheist (one who believes in many gods).

      This is because you have to accept that any other religious view arrived at by a similar leap from the precipice of where the evidence stops is as valid as yours. One cannot seriously argue, to the effect, “well, I was justified in unhinging myself from the evidence and going off in this theological direction, but your going over there toward that deity is flawed.” In a dark room without features, any groping guess by a blind man at the direction of the door is as valid as the next.

      Spin the wheel and see what god it stops on. Co.ck-a-doodle do, c.ock-a-doodle-do, any god will do!

      October 16, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Colin

      Holly, clearly you have taken an intro to philosophy class and it has eroded your better senses. Yes, it is true that nothing is ever ultimately provable or disprovable, but you use that as a reason to support nonsense. It is like if I came at you and said "you can't prove that superman doesn't exist!!" You would tell me the same things I say to people like you – there is no evidence. Maybe making the arguement for the lack of evidence doesn't fulfill your requirements for a good arguement against something, but as a practical person, it definitely should because Superman doesn't exist and evidence or non-evidence almost doesn't even matter. We all know nobody has superpowers. We all know that Superman just exists in the book. The same goes for your God. Open your eyes! C'mon!

      October 16, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Tammy

      Colin – I wonder why you think that Holly's leap of faith in a unproven God is less intelligent than your leap of faith in a unproven science? I think that is the point she is trying to make.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Colin

      One does not "leap to science." Science is a disciplined methodology by which one can make conclusions. It is not the destination, it is the path.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • TexMax

      I'm not threatened by people's beliefs except when their belief makes them want to pass laws to enforce their beliefs on those who don't believe the same way. There are a lot of people in the country (including me) who shudder at the thought of living under Muslim law, but they don't see that their own attempts to pass morality-based laws are just a step in that direction. There are plenty of people out there doing terrible things to others and our prisons are overcrowded without adding to the list with this evangelical laundry list of goody-two-shoes laws.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • Kev

      @ Collin, I'm rather puzzled here, especially regarding your definition of what faith is.

      "The mere fact that they had to leap to believe in the means they, at some level acknowledge the absence of evidence. Their “belief” is really more in the nature of a hope or wish, than a true belief. They more “hope” for a god or “wish” for a god than they do truly believe in a god."

      It sounds like your equating faith to hope. While grant you that hope is an essential step or ingredient in faith, it's not the the same thing. It's my belief that "...faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen" (Book of Hebrews Chapter 11). To me that means coming to a realization that cannot be proven. It's not just hope but rather a realization that is built upon hope and yet cannot be proven. It's not just saying I hope that there is a god. Faith gives a sense of assurance that is greater than hope.

      Again, this greater sense of assurance, this personal realization cannot be proven. Now although others from various different faiths may have their own faith building experiences, that does not automatically conclude that one's own personal beliefs based on the worship of one god would have to acknowledge the validy of another god that is worshiped by someone else.

      Since faith is experienced only on a personal level, how do you know for certain what the other person experienced is actually the same thing that you experienced? This would certainly be the case since one's own faith cannot be proven. It's like trying to explain to someone who has never tasted salt before what salt tastes like. You might be able to readily explain what salt doesn't taste like for comparison, but unless that person tastes the salt on their own they're not really going to know what salt actually tastes like.

      Since faith is only obtained on a personal level because it cannot be proven, yet the mere fact that it cannot be proven does not necessarily mean that it is not true. If there is a supreme being out there whose intention is to not be made known to the world, but rather whose intent is for us to build faith in that supreme being, you really cannot prove one way or the other, and so one argument is really no less valid than the other, when it comes to the question of there being a god.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  4. mike

    And I guess us atheists are only a danger to those that want to turn the government into a theocracy, and want to use the government as an instrument of discrimination and bigotry.

    October 16, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  5. Byrd

    The only people worse than evangelists are the censors who work for CNN: equally ignorant and myopically dogmatic.

    October 16, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Colin

      Byrd, o The moderators of this blog have set up a secret forbidden word filter which unfortunately not only will delete or put your comment in the dreaded "waiting for moderation" category but also will do the same to words having fragments of these words. For example, "t-it" is in the set but the filter will also pick up words like Hitt-ite, t-itle, beati-tude, practi-tioner and const-tution. Then there are words like "an-al" thereby flagging words like an-alysis and "c-um" flagging acc-umulate or doc-ument. And there is also "r-a-pe", “a-pe” and “gra-pe”, "s-ex", and "hom-ose-xual". You would think that the moderators would have corrected this by now considering the number of times this has been commented on but they have not. To be safe, I typically add hyphens in any word that said filter might judge "of-fensive".
      • More than one web address will also activate “waiting for moderation”. Make sure the web address does not have any forbidden word or fragment.
      Sum Dude routinely updates the list of forbidden words/fragments.
      Two of the most filtered words are those containing the fragments "t-it" and "c-um". To quickly check your comments for these fragments, click on "Edit" on the Tool Bar and then "Find" on the menu. Add a fragment (without hyphens) one at a time in the "Find" slot and the offending fragment will be highlighted in your comments before you hit the Post button. Hyphenate the fragment(s) and then hit Post. And remember more than one full web address will also gain a "Waiting for Moderation".
      And said moderators still have not solved the chronological placement of comments once the number of comments gets above about 100. They recently have taken to dividing the comments in batches of 50 or so, for some strange reason. Maybe they did this to solve the chronology problem only to make comment reviews beyond the tedious.
      “Raison's Filter Fiber© (joking about the copyright)
      1. Here's my latest list – this seems like a good spot to set this down, as nobody's posting much on this thread.....
      ––
      bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to post that wonderful argument:
      Many, if not most are buried within other words, but I am not shooting for the perfect list, so use your imagination and add any words I have missed as a comment (no one has done this yet)
      – I found some but forgot to write them down. (shrugs).
      s-ex
      c-um.........as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, etc.
      sp-ic........as in disp-icable (look out Sylvester the cat!)
      ho-mo...whether ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, etc.
      t-it.........const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, etc.
      an-al......ban-al
      sh-it
      fu-ck...
      who-re
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, (an unexpected one)
      pr-ick
      sl-ut
      c-lit
      va-g....as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant
      hor-ny
      ar-se....yet "ass" is not filtered!
      nip-ple
      po-rn
      c-ock
      nig-ger
      cu-nt
      b-itch
      ra-pe
      jacka-ss...but ass is fine lol
      p-is.....as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, etc.
      o ficti-tious, repeti-tion, competi-tion.
      Sna-tch
      soft-ware
      Ja-panese
      Span-king
      hoo-ters
      There are more, so do not assume that this is complete.
      -–
      okay words that you might not expect to be filtered....!!!
      beaver
      penis
      ass
      crap
      damn
      anal
      anus
      sphincter
      testicles
      testes
      pubic
      boob

      October 16, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Colin is correct but neglects to mention that the "awaiting moderation" message is an utterly false promise. There are no live human beings monitoring these conversations (would YOU want to?), only CNN's idiot nannybot that doesn't have the sense a 13-year-old could program into a cell phone.
       
      But I haven't seen the "awaiting moderation" message of late. Maybe they've just taken to dropping those things into a black hole and no longer deluding people into thinking that, if they wait long enuf, their comments will eventually get thru. Don't hold your breath; ain't EVER gonna happen.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  6. Mark

    First of all, evangelicals are only a threat to ideals, not other people.

    I'm glad we're viewed as a threat. It means we're standing up and speaking out against some things that are wrong. The Bible says, "be salt and light". It also goes on to say that if the salt loses its flavor, it's not good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled under foot.

    The problem is that non-believers want to quickly label Christians as "trouble makers" or "dangerous" any time Christians voice oppostion to the anti-God agenda that's constantly being pushed...Abortion...Gay Marriage...Seculariztion of our gov't, our schools, etc. The anti-God crowd gets all upset when they can't (simply at will) marginallize God because they don't want to be shackled by his commandments.

    Yes, I have a problem with secularists...
    1.) Re-writing the history books and devaluing the fundemental, Scriptural roots of our Nation.
    2.) Declaring God to be irrelevent in our Schools & and our Governmental forums and tossing Him out like an old shoe.
    3.) Treating unborn HUMANS as blobs of goo that can be "disposed" of at will. And further more, doing in under the guise of "welfare of the mother" which is only the case in about one half of 1% of the time.
    4.) Brainwashing our kids in schools. Telling them that a couple billion years ago they simply floated up out of some primordial soup, sprouted legs, and boom...here we are. Rather than the truth. That they were all CREATED in God's image, with a purpose.
    5.) Sanctioning the "union" of two men or two women and insulting real married couples everywhere by declaring the "union" a marriage. A marriage is a man, and a woman. That desciption has served us well as a species since the beginning of time. Only in the last 40 to 50 years has it been deemed inadequate.

    Secularist, non-Christians are determined to tear away the moral fabric of our nation, and the ironic question that's asked is...are Evangelicals Dangerous??? Confusing.

    October 16, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Colin

      4. is my favorite, demonstrating, as it does, the typical jaw-dropping ignorance of evolution most Evangelicals have. If you want to take on evolution, at least argue what we say, not what you wish we would say.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • Colin

      Christians like you make me sick. You are so hateful and you don't even see it in yourself.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • mike

      You can't be "anti" something that doesn't exist. You don't understand the first thing about atheists, so you just build a straw man. Let me break it down for you. To be an atheist, there's only one requirement: Not currently believe in any gods. Not just the one you think is real, but the ones people on the other side of the world believe in too, and the thousands man has dreamt throughout history. Morals don't come from your god. Morals are common sense, that even people who worship different gods figure out.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • Colin

      *note* two different Colin's wrote the past two messages.... but I agree with everything the other Colin said. If Christians want us to take them seriously, they need to start critically debating what atheists like myself actually say and not just what they wish we were saying. I have never once met a Christian who understood evolution. That is a fact. They inevitably always misrepresent it. Also, when they write about us wanting to 'tear apart the moral fabric of the country" or something ridiculous like that it shows so much ignorance that if it wasn't serious it would be entirely laughable.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • Colin

      Hey Colin. I guess we are not as unique as we thought. Da.mn Irish, had too many kids -:)

      October 16, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Mark

      Colin...

      You're so very right. I should know better. Thanks for pointed out my critical mistake.

      Brainwashing our kids in schools. Telling them that a couple billion years ago they simply floated up out of some primordial soup, sprouted legs AND ARMS, and boom...here we are.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • Walter

      Explain to me why you feel compelled to impose your beliefs on other people? If you are against abortion. Fine. That is your right as a U.S. citizen. But do not think for one minute that because I believe in a woman's right to choose, that your personal opinions are superior to mine. They are not. The fundamental problem with our world is that others feel the need to impose their ideologies on others. You have a right to your opinion but please remember that it is just that – your opinion.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Mark

      Colin...

      If you two will put your heads together, you might have half a brain.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • That Guy

      If you dislike religious freedom so much, by all means move to Saudi Arabia or Iran. I'm sure you'll be right at home.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • Colin

      Very simple Mark. Name one evolutionary biologist or biology text book that says that. Just one. Come on, show us all. yo uallege it, I dispute it, now prove me wrong. One will do – one that says we emerged from slime and spouted arms and legs.

      Weel, to help you, there is one that makes such an infintile and silly claim. It is called the Bible.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Mark your parodic description of evolution simply confirms that you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. How can you honestly criticize something you can't even describe? It's like telling people to stay away from a movie you haven't seen or a book you haven't read. Surely you evangelicals would never do THAT, would you?

      October 16, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Mark

      Walter...

      Thanks for your brilliant and rousing defense of infanticide. This is just a hunch, but I'm betting that there are about 1 Million babies each year that would tend to disagree with you. Ya think!?

      October 16, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Tom

      Apparently Mark's understanding of evolution is on par with Palin's understanding of evolution.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Kim

      Since most abortions occur before brain development they probably don't think that.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Colin

      Wow Mark, you are STILL misrepresenting what we say. You REALLY don't get it.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Colin

      Evolution by natural selection is not an appeal to randomness the way that Christians like Mark try to make it sound.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Tim

      This is the exact same rhetoric those opposed to inter-racial marriage and minority rights in the 1950s and 60s used. Social conservatives have a long and storied history of being on the wrong side of progress since the nation was founded. History remembers them as narrow-minded bigots that held back national progress and representatives of shameful periods in our history. Tell me, what makes you think history will see you any differently? Do you honestly think you will open a history book 50 years from now and hear about the brave defenders of Christian theocracy that plugged their ears and went "LALALA" at the face of scientific evidence? Paragons of morality that stood up for their right to deny rights to those they saw as second class citizens? Think about it.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • Methusela

      Eric Rudolph, James Kopp, Paul HIll, Scott Roeder..............

      October 16, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Don

      Colin, resorting to name calling is hadly a sign of intelligence, more akin to saying I am superior. How wonderful it must be to be you.

      All of which you wrote I already knew but I enjoyed the reading just the same. Nowhere in the Bilbe does it date existence. You would probaly know that if you actually read it. Like Evolution and modern science, it says in the beginning there was void. Natual Selection also holds that all life generated from a single common organism. I know many, many Christians and only a very small number think the Earth is 6,000 years old. In that, we agree. Nowhere in your arugment can you discount a grand design nor thought it is often attempted provide the missing link between the development of modern humans and their closests cousins.

      Your science is incomplete and only a compete moron would believe otherwise and state wihtout a doubt that we are right and you are worng. Both sides of the argument could be wrong. Thanks for the insults by the way. I intended to get under your pompus skin.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Tim

      To Don: http://www.bradyns-blog.com/2011/04/human-evolution.html
      You'll be surprised what you can find in a minute on google.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Don

      Thanks Tim for the link. If the inference was that I am uniformed you would be wrong. Have you read the info on the site. The earliest reference still provides no direct link. The last I looked the word 'may' is not conclusive. When fossil records that are 6.5 million years old are still not conclusive are we supposed to make what you would term a "leap in faith". That seems a bit hypocritical don't you think.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Tim

      I'm not saying evolution is the absolute truth, but it is so heavily supported by evidence, that it's the best option for teaching in biology. There is a reason it is unanimously supported by the greater scientific community and it isn't "faith", which is a lot more than we can say about the Bible.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Methusela

      "First of all, evangelicals are only a threat to ideals, not other people" Tell that to the jihadists. And the Christian killers mentioned in my former post.

      October 16, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • Don

      Thanks Tim, again I agree that from a scientific viewpoint it provides some observable evidence to human ancestory. I think we should be careful though that science simply doesn't become the new religion. Our observations tend to only be as good as our technology can measure or we can infer based on those observations. For at least 100 years, scientist scoffed at the ideal of parrallel universes and now we aren't so sure. We also discovered that certain laws widely accepted do not apply in particle physics. I get riled when people who profess scientific principles start talking in absolutes like Colin.

      Also you have to consider that the old testemant is an oral history based on what those people could observe or their direct experience based on their belief in God. The new testemant does not try to explain existence. Athiests who post here seem to make completely contridcitory statements such as "Don't you legislate for me but I have every intention to legislate for you". I attempt to keep an open mind and am completely okay with the idea I might be wrong. I am not born again, nor a religious nut. Classifying people in order to belittle them is a very dangrous game. As an agonostic for most of my life but I now believe in God. I can do that while still considering science and that God created life. I don't see the two as contridictory.

      October 16, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • Don

      Methusula, radicals are dangerous to others and it doesn't matter from what cause they spring.

      October 16, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  7. scieng1

    It is amazing that those who hate Christians the most completely fail to understand what they believe, what they have promoted, or how they proivde services (at their own expense) that help millions survive every day.

    October 16, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Colin

      Oh, drop the "woe is me" c.rap. Most of us have no issue with Christians who cuddle their Bibles in their own homes. It is when they try to impose their views on us that we object.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      For my part, I don't hate Christians, I pity them, as I would anyone else infected by a contagious brain parasite (such as, say, objectivists, Islamic terrorists, or advocates of the designated-hitter rule).

      October 16, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • Don

      And Colin, what exactly would you say you want to do? So explain to me evolution, an imperfect science that has been as controversial in the scientific community as it has in the theistic one. Or is that your religion and if you could fast forward a thousand years in the future, would you still be able to defend it? The scientific method by its very admission, is one that provides the best possible explaination based on observation. What we are really talking about is Natural Selection. Come on, you can do better.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Colin

      Hey Don, funny you should ask.

      To get a gauge of just how inane the belief in Adam and Eve is in the 21st Century, here are some areas fundamentalists must ignore, any one of which proves beyond rational argument that, not surprisingly, the World did not start about 6,000 years ago at the behest of the Judeo-Christian god, with one man, one woman and a talking snake.

      First and most obviously is the fossil record. The fossil record is much, much more than just dinosaurs. Indeed, dinosaurs only get the press because of their size, but they make up less than 1% of the entire fossil record. Life had been evolving on Earth for over 3 thousand million years before dinosaurs evolved and has gone on evolving for 65 million years after the Chicxulub meteor wiped them out.

      The fossil record includes the Stromatolites, colonies of prokaryotic bacteria, that range in age going back to about 3 billion years, the Ediacara fossils from South Australia, widely regarded as among the earliest multi-celled organisms, the Cambrian species of the Burgess shale in Canada (circa – 450 million years) the giant scorpions of the Silurian Period, the giant, wingless insects of the Devonian period, the insects, amphibians, reptiles; fishes, clams, crustaceans of the Carboniferous Period, the many precursors to the dinosaurs, the dinosaurs themselves, the subsequent dominant mammals, including the saber tooth tiger, the mammoths of North America and Asia, the fossils of early man in Africa and the Neanderthals of Europe.

      The fossil record shows a consistent and worldwide evolution of life on Earth dating back to about 3,500,000,000 years ago. There are literally millions of fossils that have been recovered, of thousands of different species and they are all located where they would be in the geological record if life evolved slowly over billions of years. None of them can be explained by a 6,000 year old Earth and Noah’s flood. Were they all on the ark? What happened to them when it docked?

      A Tyrannosaurus Rex ate a lot of food – meat- which means its food would itself have to have been fed, like the food of every other carnivore on the ark. A bit of “back of the envelope” math quickly shows that “Noah’s Ark” would actually have to have been an armada of ships bigger than the D Day invasion force, manned by thousands and thousands of people – and this is without including the World’s 300,000 current species of plants, none of which could walk merrily in twos onto the Ark.

      Secondly, there are those little things we call oil, natural gas and other fossil fuels. Their mere existence is another, independent and fatal blow to the creationists. Speak to any geologist who works for Exxon Mobil, Shell or any of the thousands of mining, oil or natural gas related companies that make a living finding fossil fuels. They will tell you these fossil fuels take millions of years to develop from the remains of large forests (in the case of coal) or tiny marine creatures (in the case of oil). That’s why they are called fossil fuels. Have a close look at coal, you can often see the fossilized leaves in it. The geologists know exactly what rocks to look for fossil fuels in, because they know how to date the rocks to millions of years ago. Creationists have no credible explanation for this (nor for why most of it was “given to the Muslims”).

      Thirdly, most of astronomy and cosmology would be wrong if the creationists were right. In short, as Einstein showed, light travels at a set speed. Space is so large that light from distant stars takes many years to reach the Earth. In some cases, this is millions or billions of years. The fact that we can see light from such far away stars means it began its journey billions of years ago. The Universe must be billions of years old. We can currently see galaxies whose light left home 13.7 billion years ago. Indeed, on a clear night, one can see many stars more than 6,000 light years away with the naked eye, shining down like tiny silent witnesses against the nonsense of creationism.

      Fourthly, we have not just carbon dating, but also all other methods used by scientists to date wood, rocks, fossils, and other artifacts. These comprehensively disprove the Bible’s claims. They include uranium-lead dating, potassium-argon dating as well as other non-radioactive methods such as pollen dating, dendrochronology and ice core dating. In order for any particular rock, fossil or other artifact to be aged, generally two or more samples are dated independently by two or more laboratories in order to ensure an accurate result. If results were random, as creationists claim, the two independent results would rarely agree. They generally do. They regularly reveal ages much older than Genesis. Indeed, the Earth is about 750,000 times older than the Bible claims.

      Fifthly, the relatively new field of DNA mapping not only convicts criminals, it shows in undeniable, full detail how we differ from other life forms on the planet. For example, about 98.4% of human DNA is identical to that of chimpanzees, about 97% of human DNA is identical to that of gorillas, and slightly less again of human DNA is identical to the DNA of monkeys. This gradual divergence in DNA can only be rationally explained by the two species diverging from a common ancestor, and coincides perfectly with the fossil record. Indeed, scientists can use the percentage of DNA that two animal share (such as humans and bears, or domestic dogs and wolves) to get an idea of how long ago the last common ancestor of both species lived. It perfectly corroborates the fossil record and is completely independently developed. It acts as yet another fatal blow to the “talking snake” theory.

      Sixthly, the entire field of historical linguistics would have to be rewritten to accommodate the Bible. This discipline studies how languages develop and diverge over time. For example, Spanish and Italian are very similar and have a recent common “ancestor” language, Latin, as most people know. However, Russian is quite different and therefore either did not share a common root, or branched off much earlier in time. No respected linguist anywhere in the World traces languages back to the Tower of Babel, the creationists’ explanation for different languages. Indeed, American Indians, Australian Aboriginals, “true” Indians, Chinese, Mongols, Ja.panese, Sub-Saharan Africans and the Celts and other tribes of ancient Europe were speaking thousands of different languages thousands of years before the date creationist say the Tower of Babel occurred – and even well before the date they claim for the Garden of Eden.

      Seventhly, lactose intolerance is also a clear vestige of human evolution. Most mammals only consume milk as infants. After infancy, they no longer produce the enzyme “lactase” that digests the lactose in milk and so become lactose intolerant. Humans are an exception and can drink milk as adults – but not all humans – some humans remain lactose intolerant. So which humans are no longer lactose intolerant? The answer is those who evolved over the past few thousand years raising cows. They evolved slightly to keep producing lactase as adults so as to allow the consumption of milk as adults. This includes most Europeans and some Africans, notably the Tutsi of Rwanda. On the other hand, most Chinese, native Americans and Aboriginal Australians, whose ancestors did not raise cattle, remain lactose intolerant.

      I could go on and elaborate on a number of other disciplines or facts that creationists have to pretend into oblivion to retain their faith, including the Ice Ages, cavemen and early hominids, much of microbiology, paleontology and archeology, continental drift and plate tectonics, even large parts of medical research (medical research on monkeys and mice only works because they share a common ancestor with us and therefore our fundamental cell biology and basic body architecture is identical to theirs).

      In short, and not surprisingly, the World’s most gifted evolutionary biologists, astronomers, cosmologists, geologists, archeologists, paleontologists, historians, modern medical researchers and linguists (and about 2,000 years of accu.mulated knowledge) are right and a handful of Iron Age Middle Eastern goat herders were wrong.

      So Don, any other questions, you Bible-cuddling simpleton. I have to go, but I'll find a fifth grader to help you understand Middle school science.

      Moron.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      A thousand years from now, there will still be a theory that covers the observed facts about how species change gradually over time. It will be BETTER than the current Theory of Natural Selection, because it'll have had the benefit of all those years of additional study and thot. But here are the 2 critical things you need to know about it:
       
      (1) It will explain MORE than the current theory does, but it will also have to explain the SAME THINGS the current theory does.
       
      (2) It will have been developed using the scientific method, not prayer, revelation, meditation, or any other such hokum.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • Don

      Colin, resorting to name calling is hadly a sign of intelligence, more akin to saying I am superior. How wonderful it must be to be you.

      All of which you wrote I already knew but I enjoyed the reading just the same. Nowhere in the Bilbe does it date existence. You would probaly know that if you actually read it. Like Evolution and modern science, it says in the beginning there was void. Natual Selection also holds that all life generated from a single common organism. I know many, many Christians and only a very small number think the Earth is 6,000 years old. In that, we agree. Nowhere in your arugment can you discount a grand design nor thought it is often attempted provide the missing link between the development of modern humans and their closests cousins.

      Your science is incomplete and only a compete moron would believe otherwise and state wihtout a doubt that we are right and you are worng. Both sides of the argument could be wrong. Thanks for the insults by the way. I intended to get under your pompus skin.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  8. PRISM 1234

    From reading the posts written on this blog, and especially form those who would have a totally secular society, my conclusion is that it is no wonder this country is gone down the toilet! Just happened to see a commercial segments of "dancing with the stars" And that is supposed to ber one of the milder daily wild'n vulgar shows of America's beloved and can't-do -without- it entertainment.... But that's just the picture of what this God-less society is producing.... Perhaps some of you could see what is the road we as a culture and society are on, wiithout regarding the laws of God!

    October 16, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Colin

      Which god?

      October 16, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Tom

      Here is the difference between Evangelical Christians and everyone else.

      The average person's solution to this problem: Stop watching offensive shows.

      The Evangelical's solution to this problem: Stop everyone else from watching offensive shows.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Spiffy

      It is obviously the extremely small amount of atheists that are doing this and not the 80% of Christians in the U.S doing this.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Interesting. You think the country has gone down the toilet while the Christians have been running it, eh? Do you suppose there's a cause-effect relationship at work there?

      October 16, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • Methusela

      Prism 1234

      Let me recommend some reading to you: A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kenndy Toole. The hero, Ignatius J. Reilly, spends a great deal of time watching television programs, specifically dance programs, in order to pontificate upon their lack of taste and decency. Sound familiar?

      October 16, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  9. Dixie AZ

    The majority don't believe in evolution? Na-uh. But Christians believe Noah built an ark and gathered the animals of the world 2×2? Which makes sense? Everyone in this country may believe as they please, but don't force the nonsense on me.

    October 16, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  10. Colin

    1. The belief that an infitely old, all-knowing sky-god, powerful enough to create the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, will cause people to survive their own phsical deaths and live happily ever after in heaven, if they follow some random laws laid down in Bronze Age Palestine = Judaism.

    Judaism + a belief that the same god impregnated a virgin with himself to give birth to himself, so he could sacrifice himself to himself to negate a rule he himself made = Christianity.

    Christianity + a small IQ, a jaw-dropping ignorance of the natural Universe and a vacuous belief that the natural World comports to one's own myopic views = Evangelicals.

    Applying the commutative law of addition, Evangelicals = stupidity, resting on a myth, propped up by a fable

    October 16, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  11. Sam

    If Evangelicals had been in charge during prehistoric times they would have stoned to death the guy who discovered how to make fire, which would have denied them the joy of burning to death many other people in the future.

    October 16, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • mike

      Nice. I need to save that one.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • becool

      Stoning and burning people has to do with the mideaval churches not the evangelicals who grew with the renaissance and freedom! Check it first.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Sam

      becool

      You're technically right, as they prefer guns and righteous indignation to kill people in modern times, but they would have had to make due with what was available back then.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  12. RichardSRussell

    Years ago, I learned a valuable lesson from a science teacher who told me "You can argue about opinions, but you should never argue about facts. Look them up."
     
    Same deal here about what percentage of the American public believes in evolution. Just google it. Here's what I found on one hit about polls conducted from 2006 to 2010, religioustolerance (dot) org/ev_public.htm:

    2006 CBS poll:
     • 55% believe God created humans in their present form.
     • 27% believe humans evolved, but that God giuded the process.
     • 13% believe that humans evolved, but God did not guide the process.
     • not reported, but simple math shows that 5% are unaccounted for.

    October 16, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Mike

      So, the fact of the matter is that a large portion of the polled populace is ignorant. (take that as you will)

      Public polls should not be considered as observational proof of reality other than the reality that people will believe what they want despite evidence to the contrary.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Bryan T

      Because that 2006 CBS poll included everybody in the US correct? They missed me, I don't remember taking that poll.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • Jason

      Well stated.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      The CBS poll said essentially the same thing as the other polls quoted. You DID read those, didn't you?
       
      And, of course, anyone with an elementary understanding of beginning statistics understands the concept of "representative sample" and "margin of error", which explains how statisticians can arrive at a pretty good feel for what the TYPICAL American believes without having to exhaustively query ALL of them.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  13. oneone

    How many gods are there to believe in?

    God has angles, Satan has demons.

    My god and religion are real and true.

    YOUR religion is just a pile of bull poo.

    They say there’s only ONE god to believe in.

    If you don’t believe, it’s the ultimate sin.

    No more Zeus, Odin, or Thor, MY hero.

    We’re just one god away from the real number…. ZERO.

    October 16, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Paul

      Are God's angles acute?

      October 16, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • oneone

      Paul. No, they are chronic. Good catch.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Crillie

      ROFL!

      October 16, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • Real Deal

      Paul
      🙂

      ... and are the believers in them obtuse?

      October 16, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  14. Daniel

    This country was founded on the secular voice. It is the only voice with reason.

    October 16, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • GodsGirl

      Daniel, I think you need to go back and study your history. This country was found on Christian-Judea morals and values. A belief in God – the belief in certain inalienable rights – given by God. Perhaps if our schools were to teach the FACTS of history – and not the recently rewritten history, our society would not be so lost. I was once required to take a class in college for history. It showed the cyclical nature of man and history. It would be good if all of us took some time to educate ourselves and others on the facts of what historically brings down great nations, countries and empires. Might be a rude awakening for a lot of people!

      October 16, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      @GodsGirl: It is you that has it wrong. The country was founded by deists, not christians. It is a secular nation whether you christians wish to accept that or not. The words 'in god we trust' was not put on money until 1954. How about pulling your nose out of the bible and doing some real research for a change?

      October 16, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      GodsGirl, you give away a lot with your handle and your admission that the only reason you took a course in history was because you were required to. In fact, you yourself are a victim of historical revisionism when you write "This country was found[ed] on Christian-Judea[n] morals and values." The likelihood that that evidenceless assertion is true is directly proportional to the total number of references to God, Jesus, Christianity, and the Bible to be found in the US Consti tution and Bill of Rights. Count 'em up for yourself!
       
      Have you heard of the "Islamic Republic of Iran"? Now THERE'S a country that doesn't have a problem stating what it was founded on. The US of A, contrarily, went with "e pluribus unum" (out of many, one), which sure doesn't sound to ME like the Founders wanted to play favorites.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  15. JIM

    Jesus did exist,& the historians did mention him, you would have to study history to know that though...

    October 16, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Real Deal

      Jim,

      You would have to study the history of the history too - in other than Christian-biased places. There is further info on Josephus and Tacitus, you know...

      October 16, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Colin

      Yeah right, a "History" that begins with "In the Begining" and ends with "Amen".

      October 16, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Yeah, well, people mention Gilgamesh, Paul Bunyan, and Harry Potter, too, so what? There are NO contemporary records of Jesus's existence, only propaganda pieces created by his followers starting years after his death and written by nobody who claimed to know him personally.
       
      Stop and think about it. If there HAD been a Great Caesar's Census and a brilliant star in the east at the time of Jesus's birth, plus earthquakes and a plague of zombies at the time of the crucifixion, don't you think SOMEBODY would have mentioned it SOMEWHERE? But no. Those fables are to be found only in the Bible, an obviously biased, self-interested source.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  16. DiatribesAndOvations.com

    There's a time and a place for everything. http://wp.me/p1se8R-1C8 Politics from the pulpit has never worked and never will.

    October 16, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  17. gts

    I never realized Christians were such an oppressed minority.

    October 16, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • G

      Goes all the way back to Nero.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  18. Actually...

    What it really comes down to is this: one either believes in the theory of evolution ( and it still is a theory regardless of what atheist would like us to believe) or the theory of creationism which true Christians will never deny because they have been miraculously born again and know the truth. Though atheists and secular humanists often call biblical beliefs fairy tales they can not know the truth because they are not born again. They base their truth on man's perception and that is their prerogative just like the evangelical has the right to believe in a the written account of mankind. God reveals Himself to those who seek for Him with all their heart. A good place to start is the Gospel of John.

    October 16, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • David

      Science is what is known to occur by repeated observation. If Evangelical Christians can't learn from repeated observation what does that say about them?

      October 16, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • oneone

      What your comment really comes down to is this, we are right, they are wrong.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Actually...

      Christians have learned from reported and repeated observation. The early Christians reported what they observed. Even reliable history texts repot the accuracy of the witness of Christ. Also, if one studies biblical history they will discover that all the prophecies about Christ have come true. Well, except his coming again and that will happen but only God the Father knows when. Aren't you glad it's not too late to believe? : )

      October 16, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Dave

      I am replying to your post not to challenge your religious views or debate them...

      I have a sincere question for you though... if democracy requires compromise, how could you, if you held office in the US House for instance, compromise politically on the issue of evolution?

      As you say, you have been born again and know The Truth... I am not challenging this, and for the sake of argument, let's assume your right here....

      My question is this; how could you compromise, politically, with someone that held a contrary view?

      My belief is that since you feel you know the Truth, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, for you to vote on a law that supports teaching evolution in schools (and lets say the same law has a lot of great riders to help women, orphans, kittens or whatever 'good' social cause you believe in).

      I think that conflict you'd have over a compromise is the heart of conflict between the religious and non-religious.

      I am not a troll, I am not trying to bait you, I am asking honestly... How can you compromise when you feel you know the Truth?

      And if politics requires compromise, how then can Evangelicals engage in the political process?

      October 16, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Richard Kaiser

      "Seek first the Kingdom of God" is what people should be doing and not firstly 'preaching' the gospel. If one cannot find the Kingdom of God and profess its' whereabouts, then you a of falsehood and should not be followed.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • Actually...

      Dave- I believe a compromise would be to allow the public schools to teach both theories. I believe it is wrong to just teach the secular worldview. If secularists do not want creation taught as a theory or truth then they should not complain about Christians who have a problem with evolution taught as theory/ truth. Fair?

      October 16, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • Dave

      Thank you for the reply... I am not a troll, and I am not baiting you...

      Actually, I think if these issues can be worked out, both sides will feel more comfortable with the other.

      You propose teaching both, I could go along with that... but I have a HUGE point you may not like...

      I believe that if taught, Creationism should be taught in context of Social Studies in the framework of beliefs of the world. And that Christian Creationism should be given equal time as the creation beliefs of other cultures... including non-christian cultures. And should NOT be in the science room... not because of a philosophical disagreement over creationism/evolution... but creationism in no way represents 'science'. Not slamming it, not calling it invalid, or belittling your beliefs. But just as we wouldn't teach astronomy during a history class on WWII, I don't think exposure to alternative creation views are 'science' per se, or belong in the science classroom.

      Still on board?

      October 16, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • TexMax

      This idea that only atheists believe in evolution is just plain wrong. But back to the topic, the article misses the point that evangelicals are trying to pass laws based on their take on morality. So much hate is behind all their pseudo-pious words. Legislating morality doesn't work and it's a bad basis for a legal system.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • George Marshall

      Try to understand this or if you do not then refer to a science book, not a Christian fundamentalist web site. A theory is not a belief. There is no such thing as the "theory of creation." For beliefs there are no restrictions. A requisite of any theory is that it provides an explanation of related and independent observations that have been verified multiple times. The modern theory of evolution meets all of those criteria. No other explanation meets any of them. The belief in a "creator" like the Hopi Indians belief that people came from the underworld is just that, a belief.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • JIm

      I think you took too much LSD in your youth.............you hallucinate a lot........

      October 16, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • What IF

      Actually...

      Teach creationism in schools? OK, a 60-second (or less) informational presentation of: "Some people think that a god created the world, and various gods have been suggested over the centuries as having been responsible for it. The scriptures of religions describe different supernatural scenarios."

      For a more extended 30-minute course, a brief example of Christian, Muslim, Hindu, American Indian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Norse creation stories could be presented. Problem sorted!

      October 16, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Actually...

      George, right, it is a belief but I would say is more accurate than the scientific theory of evolution as no one yet has discovered the missing link although there have been enough false reports.
      Dave, in light of the fact that evolution is just a theory but often presented as factual I don't see any problem presenting creation alongside it as they both address the origin of mankind. Gotta go hold my newborn grandson. : )

      October 16, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Oh, "Actually...", this is so sad. "Missing link", really? And not just A missing link, but THE missing link? That's SO 19th Century!
       
      The fossil record is absolutely RIDDLED with transitional forms (and this despite the powerful handicap that hardly any creatures that die leave fossils at all). Indeed, one could make an excellent case that every single one of the literally billions of fossils we've discovered so far is a transitional form, as is every single living organism on the planet today. You have to be willfully blind to reality to ignore the gargantuan mountain of evidence supporting the basic FACT of evolution: species change over time.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Dave

      I disagree on this point...

      Science is a process of arriving at a theory based on upon observable evidence and fact to explain certain events. This core methodology of scientific reasoning is the common thread between biology, engineering and astrophysics. It is an important process children should be taught.

      I could concede to creation beliefs in school as a contrary opinion to evolution... but not side by side... creationism isn't science. It is not a theory arrived at by observable evidence.... it is a belief, an important one in your life and one I am genuinely trying not to belittle or marginalize.

      It may have a place in discussion and debate, but it doesn't fit any definition of science. I wouldn't agree with putting music or art in the science classroom either (well except how music might demonstrate ideas of soundwaves etc.)

      October 16, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Actually? Do you doubt the theory of gravity as well? Do you understand that the scientific definition of "theory" is not the same as the more casual use? Evolution is proven. One can observe bacteria evolving. However, there is not a single shred of evidence that any god ever existed Therefore the concept creationism is intellectually lazy and doesn't hold water with anyone interested in the truth.

      October 16, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • Actually...

      Hi Richard – yes I acknowledge species change over time but they do not evolve into another species.
      Dave- I get your point but I still object to the fact that many students are being taught that man evolved from apes. False teaching. When there is solid proof I won't object.

      October 16, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
  19. oneone

    Jesus does not believe in religious tolerance.

    He sends people to hell if they don’t believe in him.

    October 16, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Actually...

      He did say, "I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me". You might say someone sends themselves to he'll if they don't believe. Sure beats being killed by mus lim terr or sits before you even get a chance to do a thorough search for truth.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Real Deal

      @Actually - ""I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me"."

      Did he say that?... or did a group of evangelists for a new 1st century religious cult just *say* that he said it?

      October 16, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Rich

      I think that most of the words attributed to Christ were the words of someone else to justify Christ's presence. In other words - lies!

      October 16, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • philipp

      Jesus isn't intolerant. Quite to the contrary, he accepts one's decision for or against him as he grants us our free will. In Heaven as well as Hell there will only be volunteers. It's strange to not want to having to do anything with God and then complain about the fact that he accepts that decision...

      October 16, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • oneone

      Actually: 2 Thessalonians, 8-9:"In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord"

      The bible is very clear that Jesus takes vengance on those that do not believe in him and punishes them with flaming fire and everlasting destruction.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • philipp

      You should read the text in 2 Thessalonians in context, to reallize that the passage you cited talks about people who "trouble" the believers in the God of the Bible.

      Romans 2, 14+15 states the following about "gentiles" who didn't have the chance to hear about Jesus:
      "(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)"

      You should note, there are several different kinds of tolerance: Social tolerance, that tolerates other social groups and forms of living, religious tolerance that tolerates other beliefs in that it doesn't call for prosecution of them. That however doesn't mean one is obliged to believe the other religion is right. Which leads us to intelectual tolerance. There are certain limits to it: If Jesus says, he (and his death on the cross and resurrection) is the only way to God and Muhammad states the opposite by saying, good deeds might be enough, obviously both cannot e true from an intelectual standpoint. Both could be wrong, but since they completely contradict each other, obviously – if at all – only one could be true.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  20. TruthAndNothingButTheTruth

    Dont ask the tough questions. Cause some will always say no and some will say yes.

    October 16, 2011 at 3:16 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.