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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. nelson

    are evangelicals dangerous? Yes, they could be dangerous to our democracy. proof of that was the 8 years we went through with Bush...

    October 17, 2011 at 1:24 am |
  2. Susan

    You might say Max just took Andrew to the doghouse!!!! Ouch!!!

    October 17, 2011 at 1:16 am |
    • Andrew

      Why? Because Max portrays the god you worship as an egotistical owner who wouldn't care for a stray dog unless the dog treats the owner well? My dad proved then that he has hell of a lot more empathy and patience than your god. I respect the person who cares for a dog even if the dog is ungrateful a lot more than the person who only cares for a dog if the dog fawns over the owner. But then again, I apparently hold people to a higher standard than you hold your own "all loving" god.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:35 am |
    • Skeptic

      Andrew, keep up the good fight!!

      October 17, 2011 at 1:51 am |
  3. Tom

    The problem is not having people praying to a God, holding their beliefs firmly, or going to church. The problem is how evangelicals make up a massive (and absolutely critical) voting bloc for the GOP and thus steer the political narrative and agenda for the most powerful nation in the world.
    I am a fiscally conservative person and can see the merits of having small government and lower tax rates and a host of other Republican issues. However, I would never in a million years vote for a Republican presidential candidate (save for Ron Paul) because that is the party of religious fanaticism and hatred (see: gay marriage). What does having a small government have to do with abortion or gay marriage? [something that has always struck me as paradoxical. Conservatives almost always argue against any sort of government limitations on one's personal life, except when it concerns gay marriage and abortions]
    In the article, the author says that half of America questions evolution. I really hope that's not actually true. 99% of the scientific community agrees with evolution. That is exactly the sort of disconnect from reality that is evident in the evangelical political agenda.
    My point is that evangelicals have effectively high-jacked one of the two parties in the USA. They do not have a dialogue with the opposition based on logic, compromise, or sharing knowledge. They have "it figured out" and we heathens are the ones who do not understand.

    October 17, 2011 at 1:16 am |
    • Relictus

      So many good points ... Thanks, Tom!

      October 17, 2011 at 1:22 am |
    • Al

      Yep.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:26 am |
    • Skeptic

      Spot on! Excellent points.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:40 am |
  4. tensai13

    Stupidity is always dangerous and Religion is no exception, indeed it usually proves the rule.

    October 17, 2011 at 1:14 am |
  5. Travis

    Evangelicals not dangerous?!?!?! Ever here of the "Dark Ages" or "The Inquisition"??? LOL No they're no danger at all.

    October 17, 2011 at 1:14 am |
    • Skeptic

      lol all true!

      October 17, 2011 at 1:34 am |
  6. William

    Any cult seeking to impose their will and eliminate secularism in the US is dangerous. these people are a threat.

    October 17, 2011 at 1:14 am |
    • K Kammeyer

      The Left demonizes evangelicals and other Christians as if they represented some unified, monolithic bloc about to take over the US. That is absurd. There are thousands of individual churches of all persuasions in the US, and about a dozen major denominations, with Catholics being by far the largest. They run the gamut from liberal "social gospel" denominations to ultra-conservative and orthodox congregations. There is no way on earth any one of these sects can possibly dominate the political discussion, and in fact they are prohibited by law from politicking (which law is often ignored, I'll admit.) But for some reason, the secularists are driven and obsessed with purging Christianity from the American public forum. Why?

      October 17, 2011 at 1:33 am |
  7. Farzan

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

    October 17, 2011 at 1:10 am |
  8. OMG

    MADMAX WORLD!!!

    October 17, 2011 at 1:07 am |
  9. Skeptic

    Religious myth and especially christianity are the scourges of humanity...the only thing these ideas teach is hate and intolerance to those who are not the same. Its a shame that so called intelligent people on this planet still believe in such nonsense!

    October 17, 2011 at 1:03 am |
    • Mark

      Skeptic, then I can break God's law and not pay an eternal price? Good news for the perv that burried that little girl alive in Fl back in 2003. Speaking of scourges of humanity.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:08 am |
    • Andrew

      Mark, let me make this perfectly clear to you.

      SEEK A MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL IMMEDIATELY!

      If the only thing keeping you from burning a little girl is fear of your god's eternal punishment, you have deep seeded issues that should be addressed. You are not a normal human being, and you need to seek help. If "I'm afraid of eternal punishment" is the only thing keeping you from committing atrocities, your problems extend well beyond your religious beliefs. You might very well be a sociopath.

      Seriously, just because I don't believe in a god doesn't mean I think it's appropriate to burn little children. You apparently think that "if god doesn't exist, burning children is ok". That is not normal. That is not appropriate. You need help.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:14 am |
    • Skeptic

      MARK, if that is the only reason you are not a perv(as you put it) "...to pay an eternal price" then you are just as mentally disturbed and perverted as the person who did whatever you are talking about to a little girl.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:19 am |
    • Mark

      So you're saying it would be evil to do such an act? It would be immoral?

      October 17, 2011 at 1:24 am |
    • Andrew

      Yes, I'm saying it would be evil and immoral, because us humans have empathy. We're social creatures, we've evolved to have a conscience, and we function very well because of it. We're not an inherently cannibalistic species like the Praying Mantis or Black Widdow. We should take lessons from a species like Bonobo's which are INCREDIBLY peaceful. (They happen to resolve issues with s-x, not violence)

      So considering that most humans have parts of their brain that function to prevent us from wanting to burn little girls, if the only thing keeping you from wanting to burn little girls is "I fear eternal punishment", then you NEED TO SEEK MENTAL HELP IMMEDIATELY! It is inappropriate, god or no god, to ever think that is fair. If god doesn't exist, then it is still very wrong to want to burn little girls.

      Seek help. Now.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:29 am |
    • Skeptic

      lets see mark., I am not going to get into a long discussion with you about evil and good and immoral and moral because as you probably know already (this may be a stretch) these concepts are SUBJECTIVE(look it up if you don't understand). In general it is not a good idea to kill or harm another human being as this will cause angst in that humans family and friends and lead to retaliation, causing war....we all know that is just wonderful for everyone to go through right? So is it a moral question, no not really. Its a matter of survival. That is all I am going to say on the subject.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:32 am |
    • Mark

      Oh so we don't bury little girls alive because it would hurt our survival...not that it's necessarily evil. You're sick. Don't you see your insistence to get around a moral law because it requires a moral lawgiver. Nice dodge. sleep well.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:40 am |
    • Skeptic

      quid pro quo mark , the "sick", I would presume you in your infantile verbiage mean "mentally ill", one here would be you, as according to your original statement the only thing keeping YOU from doing whatever it is you want to do to some little girl is "not pay an eternal price". Going back to the original statement again, you are the one that needs psychiatric help. Your other argument is irrelevant.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:48 am |
    • Andrew

      Why is it that evangelicals always come up with the most silly strawmen?

      I'm going to try to use simple words for a simple mind.

      "Evil" is a human concept. "Good" is a human concept. They are not part of the universe. They do not exist outside of humanity. If humans didn't exist, no concept of "evil" or "good" would have been defined, except by perhaps some other species to fit our evolutionary niche of a social species with a rather advanced diction.

      Oh, wait, sorry, that last sentence might have been a bit too difficult for you to grasp. Let me try again, cause you seem to have a really hard time understanding my argument without making a strawman.

      We define our own morality. The "moral lawgiver" are HUMANS THEMSELVES. And, these morals likely came about via an evolutionary process. The fact as to how we arrived at our morals does not, in any way, make them less real, or less present in humanity. If, then, you feel killing little girls is appropriate outside of fear of eternal punishment, then clearly the part of your brain responsible for empathy or moral decisions has gone awry. You need medical help.

      I don't need some form of absolute morality to be a moral person. I'm a human, that's good enough. You, apparently, don't even seem human.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:48 am |
    • Andrew

      Mark, I don't believe I'm making it clear enough yet. You really do need to seek help of a mental health professional immediately.

      It doesn't matter where I draw my morals from, as humans, we all generally agree that burning little girls is evil. If the only thing preventing you from doing that is fear of your "moral lawgiver's" eternal punishment, you NEED HELP. I'm being as serious as possible, those thoughts are not normal, not for an atheist, like me, nor for Christians, like you. If you have those feelings, you have problems. Very, very large problems.

      SEEK HELP!

      October 17, 2011 at 1:52 am |
  10. Susan

    Max says God bless you and jon shows his eloquence. I don't have a horse in this race but some people come off as real jerks.

    October 17, 2011 at 1:02 am |
    • Skeptic

      typical snide remarks from so called christian. Amazes me that people who 'turn the other cheek' and 'love' everyone cause so much hate and intolerance in the world. To point in fact, people who believe in mythical beings, hear voices that no one else can hear, and act out of fear(paranoia) towards others are mentally disturbed, so Jon was dead on the money with his description.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:24 am |
  11. Nibor

    "When Rick Perry questioned the theory of evolution...even as polls indicate that a majority of Americans question evolution."

    That's because many Americans are ill-educated (NOT necessarily unintelligent), and have throughout their lives been deliberately discouraged from engaging in critical thinking: thanks in no small part to people like you, and arguments exactly like that one. Opinions don't make for the truth just because of the number of people that hold them. Five hundred years ago, the "majority" of people polled would have said that the earth was flat. But that didn't make it any less round.

    If you, personally, want to disbelieve in the idea of evolution, then that's fine with me. However, you should really understand that everything in science is connected, and there's not some kind of magic box around evolution with perfectly plausible ideas on one side and ridiculous ones on the other. If you don't believe in evolution, then you must also disbelieve in agriculture, and artificial lighting, and automobiles, and tall buildings, and penicillin, and the internet, and virtually everything else around you; otherwise, you are a hypocrite. And hypocrites ARE dangerous.

    (Or you could just be ignorant and unwilling to learn about the world around you. Also kind of dangerous, actually.)

    October 17, 2011 at 1:00 am |
  12. Alex

    Wrong..Evangelicals are dangerous because they are often willing to sacrifice the well being of our nation in favor of adhering to laws and traditions from the bible...individuals with their eyes fixed towards the heavens and the reward of the afterlife have no business telling us how we should conduct ourselves for the benefit of tomorrow.

    October 17, 2011 at 12:59 am |
    • MJ

      Exactly.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:16 am |
  13. me

    There are four types of people:

    1. People who believe in God (creationism) and follow him as believers (I have respect for this type of people).
    2. People who believe in God (creationism), but they don’t follow him or do not want to be in a religious boundary for any reason: it is hard to be a believer, or it is more enjoyable to not follow God (I respect this group as well, so does God).
    3. People who have tried hard doing research; usually they are scholars or scientists, and they believe in Evolution (this type have my respect too).
    4. People who don’t have enough guts to admit that they are type (2), so they come up with Evolution theory every time one asks them; "what do you think?" to justify themselves (I have NO respect for this group!!).

    October 17, 2011 at 12:56 am |
    • Lenny Pincus

      All i know is the guy who wrote this article looks like he is insane.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:59 am |
    • Skeptic

      Wrong there are only TWO types of people...
      1. Those who believe in myth and faerie tales.
      2. Those who believe in sound reasoning and empirical evidence, this group happens to be the group that brought you into the modern world with medicine to save lives and all the wonderful things that science has wrought...along with the negative things that science has wrought. If it were up to the former group we would all still be living in caves and praying to lightning and rainbows.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:13 am |
    • iminim

      Believing in Christ & accepting the theory of evolution are not mutually exclusive. In the New Testament, Christ told parables. These are stories used to demonstrate the idea he was teaching about. Christians readily accept that the prodigal son of the Bible was not any specific person but was, instead, a character in an explanation of God's relationship with man. Likewise, some Christians accept that the story of creation is a parable as well. The parable of creation has nothing to do with Christ's life, death and resurrection. Accepting or rejecting it's scientific basis is a separate issue from belief in Christ.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:23 am |
    • tallulah13

      There are many types of people. They are not limited by your simplistic accounting.

      October 17, 2011 at 2:52 am |
    • Scott - 1

      @imini: “Believing in Christ & accepting the theory of evolution are not mutually exclusive”
      Here’s the problem: If evolution is real then there was no garden of edan, and Adam and Eve didn’t exist. Without them there is no original sin and without original sin there is no need for Christ because there is nothing to save us from

      October 17, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
  14. vince

    There's nothing wrong with believing in God, and there's nothing wrong with proselytizing for Jesus, and the 10 commandments are a great basis for civil law, but there IS a problem when you refute facts because you perceive it conflicts with your belief system. The danger is taking something that is not theory, but scientific fact, and pretend its ONLY a theory and that it's ok to disagree. Its not. Evolution by natural selection is the basis for ALL living systems – it can be proved over and over again in the lab, it can be proved by the fossil record, it can be proved by DNA and radio-carbon dating. The danger is NOT acknowledging that it took millions of years to get to where we are and not acknowledging the massive impact we're having on the fragile planet in only a couple generations. The danger is looking at oil as just this ooze that comes out of the ground rather than looking at it as a precious precious resource that took millions of years and billions of dead and rotting animals to create that we burn up in our fuel tank in the flash an eye. How you perceive the world, and the policies that you put in place are directly related to how you view the world around you. Even things like conservation are heavily impacted. Humans wiped out the dodo and moa, the largest bird in the world just a few centuries ago - they could not compete against man. If you take every species that has gone extinct over the last 3500 years you could build a boat big enough to hold them (the Noah thing). Plus every farmer knows that inbreeding creates problems and species suffer as a result. But somehow Evangelicals insist on believing in only 2 of each animal someone magically repopulated the earth. As a metaphor its wonderful, as fact its fatally flawed and dangerous because as long as you only have a couple of species, then the species can bounce back. That is not true. And this effects public policy and ecologically regarding conservation of species and habitat. Refuting facts to get points on Sunday is not just silly but dangerous for our survival and the planet.

    October 17, 2011 at 12:56 am |
    • Andrew

      "Thou shalt not take the lord's name in vain"?
      "Thou shalt keep the sabbath holy"?
      "Thou shalt have no idols before god"?

      Sure "thou shalt not murder" and "thou shalt not steal" are pretty good... but coveting thy neighbor's property is the basis of capitalism, and those religious commandments are just plain silly. Most of the 10 commandments are entirely irrelevant.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:11 am |
    • Jimtanker

      Which ten commnadments?

      October 17, 2011 at 1:16 am |
    • News Flash

      There are 628 commandments. They pick and choose the ones they decide they want to keep.

      October 17, 2011 at 7:25 am |
  15. mic johnson

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

    Well, considering I live in a secular democracy which grants freedom of religion as well as freedom FROM religion, I do find you dangerous because I do not want your ideals to become the law of my land. There is no room in government for religious doctrine.

    October 17, 2011 at 12:55 am |
    • Skeptic

      indeed. There is no room in a civil society free of hate and intolerance for religious mythology either.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:07 am |
  16. Lenny Pincus

    What about the literally billions of humans who lived BC? By your thinking they are all in hell for eternity, or they were all given a free pass to heaven. Either way, a pretty weird outlook, one I doubt Jesus intended.

    October 17, 2011 at 12:52 am |
  17. Daniel Voth

    Please get religion out of government immediately, thank you kindly.

    October 17, 2011 at 12:50 am |
  18. Jason

    Christianity: The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.

    October 17, 2011 at 12:50 am |
    • Daniel Voth

      Yep, that sounds about right, now lets pray. I'm kidding of course, nice post!

      October 17, 2011 at 12:54 am |
    • d1527

      Not even close. The story is one of redemption and love.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:57 am |
    • Greg

      Naaman the Syrian wouldn't humble himself either...

      October 17, 2011 at 12:59 am |
  19. Max

    Hello CNN readers up way too late. The bad news is God wrote a law in stone that we've all broken. Ever lied? Stolen? Blasphemed God's name? (the God who has given us 10,000 taste buds to enjoy our fav food) Ever looked with lust? (Jesus said that's adultery of the heart). If we were to die tonight and face a Holy God we wouldn't be seen as good people but rather lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterers at heart! If God is good and Holy He MUST punish lawbreakers as we would expect a good judge to do. Now the good news: 2000 years ago God became a man. Kept the law that you and I trampled under our feet. Then laid His life down as a sacrifice and offering for our sin. What happenned 2000 years ago was a legal transaction. You and I broke the law of God, we're condemned criminals in Gods eyes, but Jesus Christ paid our fine in His life's blood. What God commands us to do is repent (turn from your sins) and trust in Christ alone to save you. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved. This is called the gospel (good news) and it's the honest truth CNN readers. God bless you.

    October 17, 2011 at 12:47 am |
    • jon

      Evangelicals are a bunch of nut bags.

      October 17, 2011 at 12:59 am |
    • Greg

      Amen to that Max!!!

      October 17, 2011 at 1:00 am |
    • Skeptic

      Religious myth and especially christianity are the scourges of humanity...the only thing these ideas teach is hate and intolerance to those who are not the same. Its a shame that so called intelligent people on this planet still believe in such nonsense!

      October 17, 2011 at 1:01 am |
    • Mark

      Skeptic, then I can break God's law and not pay an eternal price? Good news for the perv that burried that little girl alive in Fl back in 2003. Speaking of scourges of humanity.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:05 am |
    • Andrew

      So... wait, let me get this straight, every time I lie, steal, or say "god doesn't exist" or "the Christian god is an egomanical dick", I deserve everlasting eternal torture?

      I mean, that's not to say I consider lying or stealing a good thing, but for some reason the punishment there seems incredibly incredibly disproportionate to the crime. It's not just "a lot of torture", no, it's "eternal punishment".

      And the fix seems even more absurd. So this god is willing to give really horrendious punishments for crimes that don't seem very severe, but then requires that we offer it sycophantic praise as well?

      "I consider you all evil, but if you offer me never-ending sycophantic praise, I won't have you suffer".

      You know, I say this quite often to Christians, but for you, it's particularly relevant. Your version of god is a MAJOR d!ck, and that's being very charitable because the actual description I would offer such a monster would certainly set off all sorts of "profanity filters" on this site.

      Further, if praising such a demon would be how I get into heaven, I'd rather "suffer" an eternity in hell than have to endure an eternity in heaven surrounded by people like you offering praise to a "god" like that. Your heaven would be the best description of hell I can come up with.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:07 am |
    • steven harnack

      Now if that isn't a bunch of weird, stranger-than-science-fiction balderdash then I'll eat my hat!

      October 17, 2011 at 1:09 am |
    • Andrew

      Mark, if the only thing keeping you from burning a little girl alive is the fear of your god's eternal punishment, you have a LOT more problems than just your religion. You should seek help, immediately. Those feelings are not appropriate for any human being, seek a mental health professional.

      I'm an atheist and I have no desire to kill or murder, I don't need fear of eternal punishment to be a good person. If you do, you really need help.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:09 am |
    • Incredible

      "You and I broke the law of God, we're condemned criminals in Gods eyes,"

      You (well, primitive Hebrews, actually) have created a horrid, monster of a god. That you *worship* such a being tells us a lot about you... and it is simply outrageous.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:09 am |
    • Incredible

      Andrew,

      We agree. I was typing quite similar things at same time that you were.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:12 am |
    • Max

      Hi Andrew,
      Thanks for writing. Imagine if you saw a stray dog in the rain and you took it in, gave it a home, shots, food, took it to the park on the weekend, built a big dog house and moved somewhere with a big backyard so it could have room to run. But everytime you went to pet it, the ungrateful mut bit your hand. Would you keep the dog around? Andrew, you and I are the dogs, and the master didn't just take us in, he became a dog and laid his life down for us. Your comments show you haven't thought much about God's goodness to you. Please think about God's law and let it drive you to the cross. God bless you.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:14 am |
    • Susan

      You might say Max just took Andrew to the doghouse!!!! Ouch!!!

      October 17, 2011 at 1:19 am |
    • Andrew

      Mark, first of all, if I took in a dog, fed it, sheltered it, and it'd try to bite me every time I tried to get near it, I WOULD STILL CARE FOR IT!

      In fact, my dad did exactly that, and it's one of the things I respect him for immensely. He took in a stray Irish Setter that had been abandoned. It would constantly try to bite him and lash out against him whenever he tried to care for it. But he didn't abandon the dog, that's likely what made it so aggressive in the first place. In the end, what actually happened was he got into a literal fight with it as it attacked him... he ended up punching it in the nose and apparently after that it no longer tried to attack him, and they did in the end become really good friends.

      My dad also had a cat who would be chased around by that dog, and one day turned around and scratched its face, they started sleeping beside each other after that.

      So, would I still care and feed for a stray dog I took in even if it is entirely ungrateful? YES! Because I don't require worship, if I take in a dog, I'd do it because I genuinely want to care for it, even if it doesn't seem to appreciate anything.

      Which brings me back to you and "eternal punishment". You seem to think that no fear of eternal punishment makes burning little girls ok. It's not. And nor is abandoning dogs. You really don't sound like a very good human being at all. I don't need the sick god you worship to be a good human being, and the fact you do speaks volumes about the type of human being you actually are.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:22 am |
    • Andrew

      Max I apologize, I read your name as Mark, and you didn't say anything about burning girls alive being anything less than horrid without fear of eternal punishment. I don't want to attribute truly awful beliefs to you if you said nothing of the sort.

      That said, your version of god is still pretty monstrous, and still is worthy of nothing but scorn. Requiring sycophantic praise to show love, kindness, and charity is about as much of an ego-centric thing as I can possibly think of, and the punishment is disproportionate to an extreme level.

      October 17, 2011 at 1:26 am |
  20. LEB

    "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."

    And the majority of Americans used to believe that slavery was okay, too. Sorry, but "the majority" can be stupid sometimes, if not flat out wrong. Just because "the majority" of people choose to believe that the Earth is flat doesn't mean that our planet will somehow morph into a disk-like celestial body to conform to humanity's ill-informed world views. Facts don't require "faith" or "belief," and facts stay the same regardless of how many people "believe" that they are facts. Evolution is a fact. Gravity is a fact. The Earth orbiting around the sun and not being at the center of the universe are facts. Disbelieve all you want, but those facts aren't going to change to suit what you "believe."

    "Above all, evangelicals are those who believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and are most concerned about telling others about Jesus."

    Yes, and that is the main problem... that you foist your views on people who don't want to hear it. EVERY FREAKING PERSON IN THE ENTIRE FREAKING WORLD has heard about Jesus! So if a person chooses not to worship Jesus, then accept it and BACK OFF! Have some respect! And above all, don't force your *personal* beliefs into the political sphere! Keep it in your homes, your churches, and within your circle of influence... and instead, *live by your values* in your OWN lives rather than trying to force your values on others. People who agree with you will follow your example. People who disagree with you will not. And considering that Evangelicals are the BIGGEST hypocrites among all Christian denominations (for example, you have the highest rates of divorce... much higher than atheists), then you folks are in desperate need to some introspection over living what you preach.

    October 17, 2011 at 12:46 am |
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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.