Kagan on faith, the high court and hunting
Justice Elena Kagan and Chief Justice John Roberts outside the U.S. Supreme Court, October 1, 2010.
October 19th, 2011
07:23 PM ET

Kagan on faith, the high court and hunting

By Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer

Baltimore (CNN) - Shortly after becoming the nation's 112th Supreme Court justice, Elena Kagan by tradition was presented with a silver cup, engraved with the names of those who preceded her in that particular seat.

Speaking Tuesday evening before an audience at a synagogue here, Kagan recalled one name standing out in her mind: Louis Brandeis, the nation's first Jewish justice.

"His nomination was controversial, and it took some courage for the president to name him to the bench," she said. "He later faced prejudice on the bench. Justice (James Clark) McReynolds would turn his back on Justice Brandeis when he spoke from the bench, and refused to shake his hand or have his picture taken with him."

Ninety-five years and three justices removed in that seat she now occupies, Kagan said her Jewish heritage barely attracted attention when she was nominated last year.

"There are three Jews on the court, but nobody talks about that. It doesn't matter, times have changed," she said.

Kagan addressed a mostly Jewish audience of Beth Tfiloh Congregation, celebrating its 90th anniversary. She was asked if her faith affected how she approaches certain cases, especially those involving religion.

A case the court will hear early next month involves the State Department's decision to currently list only Jerusalem as the place of birth on Israeli or Palestinian passports, deliberately leaving out the country name in that disputed region. An Israeli couple sued the government, and the issue is whether courts can intervene to overturn such executive and diplomatic decisions.

"I don't think the fact I'm Jewish will matter with respect to the Jerusalem passport case, and it shouldn't, " she said. "Anyone who comes before the court should expect impartial justice, and getting the same kind of treatment."

Kagan deflected suggestions the court's religious makeup - three Jews and six Catholics - would somehow undermine public confidence.

"It sometimes requires effort to put your feelings aside," she said. "We are all the sum of our experiences, but we (justices) all understand the role of the judge is to step back from any personal proclivities and look just at interpreting the law."

The 51-year-old justice noted her colleagues also share other things in common: all attended either Harvard or Yale law schools, and five come from the New York City area.

Kagan herself grew up in the west side of Manhattan, and describes her family's religious journey as "wandering Jews."

"My mother never really found a rabbi she liked, so we joined several synagogues when I was growing up: Conservative, Reform, modern Orthodox."

The family settled on the Lincoln Square Synagogue, where Kagan was a pioneer of sorts, becoming the first girl to have a bat mitzvah at the Amsterdam Avenue facility. She was the one who insisted on it, after her older brother had his bar mitzvah.

"It was the great Jewish experience of my youth," she remembered. "It was a completely natural thing" to want to have a bat mitzvah. "I had to negotiate myself with Rabbi (Shlomo) Riskin," who had never before performed the coming-of-age rite with a 12-year-old girl.

Compromises were made at the modern Orthodox synagogue: her ceremony took place on a Friday night in May 1973, not the usual Saturday mornings boys enjoyed. The star student at her Jewish school read from the Book of Ruth.

"It was good, not great," she said of the ceremony. "It was not exactly what my brother had done, which is what I wanted. But the experience shaped my life, negotiating with Rabbi Riskin. It was a formative experience, and I guess I've always been a striver."

That drive led her to the job that she says "is now my life's work," a place she expects to stay for some time. Despite never having been a judge before, Kagan said the transition has been in some ways easier than she expected.

"Was I nervous, sure," she said of her first days on the bench. "But then I just starting speaking (during oral arguments) and I noticed, oh look, words are coming out of my mouth, and I think I'm making sense. I can do this."

Her colleagues too, she said, have been enormously supportive, and have even opened new worlds for her.

She recalled paying a courtesy call on Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) shortly after her nomination to the court by President Obama in May 2010. Risch asked her about gun rights, and remarked she may not realize how important the issue was to some Americans, especially in his home state.

She admitted never having owned or fired a gun before. "But I told the senator if I was fortunate enough to be confirmed, I would go hunting with Justice Scalia."

And she has, joining her conservative colleague on an excursion to a Washington-area shooting range and on several hunting trips, until now never reported. Her host at the synagogue event was surprised.

"You're Jewish," deadpanned Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg.

"Yeah, but it turns out, it's kind of fun," said Kagan, laughing.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Courts • Judaism • United States

soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. Simon Wilby lawsuits

    Smart mouth mobile has yet to let me down. I have not experienced any dropped calls. Thank goodness for the unlimited texting feature, between me and my kids my texting is endless. The apps are simple and easy to download. I am satisfied with my service, there were no hidden fees or surprises when I got bill. You get exactly what you pay for good service!!!

    May 16, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
  2. Guest

    Professor do you believe Our Creator allows freewill?

    Professor: Sure, I'll play along.

    Did you support Obamacare?

    Professor: Yes.

    Then you do not accept freewill and you are a potential tyrant.

    Professor: You just flunked this course pal.

    Hey climate scientist, do you believe Our Creator allows freewill?

    Climate scientist: I don't believe a Creator exist let alone that one allows freewill.

    AGW Skeptic: Einstein was right: Science without the [Creator] is blind and religion without the [Creator] is lame.

    Climate scientist: Silence skeptic! We must sacrifice your rights and do what's best for society as we see fit. Don’t you know science is a democracy fool!

    AGW Skeptic Ben Franklin was right.

    CRU emails Burn the Skeptic’s book!!

    Hey Hillary, Nancy, Harry, Obama, progressive intellectuals and Dems, do you believe Our Creator allows freewill?

    Choir: We must sacrifice the rights of the individual and do what’s best for society.

    Who decides what’s best? Certainly not society -see Obamacare.

    Choir: From one, many -see Obamacare.

    Al Gore: e pluribus unum – from one, many. The science is settled! Everybody knows science is a democracy – the skeptics are trying to turn science upside down – leading to backwards conclusions.

    Professor: The founders were racist capitalist pig slave holders.

    Saul Alinsky: Pick a target, freeze it, smear it, ridicule it.

    Common Sense: I see a pattern: Professor with all due respect the Founding Fathers knew they couldn’t fight the Civil War before the American Revolution or shortly thereafter and remain United States. They were wise enough to put mechanisms in place though.

    October 21, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
    • Reality

      Obamacare was approved by the US Congress, our free-will representatives.

      October 22, 2011 at 8:05 am |
    • jpeditor

      Obamacare was rammed through by a DEMOCRAT controlled Congress, republicans were given no time to review it / amend it, Pelosi BRAGGED "we have to pass it to know whats in it", and all 178 Republicans voted against Obamacare last night! ...

      So don't give us any crap that it was passed in a bi-partisan fashion. The bill is junk, just like the people who pushed it.

      October 25, 2011 at 3:37 am |
    • Reality

      In a democracy, the majority rules.

      October 25, 2011 at 8:48 am |
  3. brooksjk

    “One has to wonder, how many people, self-proclaimed Christians, many of whom we see in church with us every week, never really even made a conscious choice to accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior. How many people inherited their faith, have maintained it, and adhere to it publicly, but have never actually asked Jesus to be lord of their lives? How many of us are unwittingly destined to hear Christ tell us, “I never knew you; depart from Me.”
    My new book, The Four Pillars of the Kingdom, is set to be released soon. It is, not only a response to some of the metaphysical arguments of the so-called New Atheists, but also a call to believers to take their faith serious in a very real way. You can find a few excerpts from the work at my website, The Immaculate Conservative, here:


    Please read and let me know what you think!

    Joe Brooks

    October 21, 2011 at 9:28 am |
    • RightTurnClyde

      That's the main reason why I do not belong to a denominational church. They are half-filled with unconscious blobs who look down their noses (that is their core belief) Without a cogent thought in their head. THEN they insist that newcomers think and act like them (think??) Cult up: dress, speech, manner, party line, kow-tow to the hierarchy, kiss somebody's ring, give money. That is not even close to what Jesus taught (and nobody cares .. especially the pastor .. he has a mortgage).

      October 21, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • fred

      In the final exerpt you spoke of America as a mega phone for the Gospel and how we passed that tourch. I would agree in that what we spread today is a far cry from what a "Christian Nation" once stood for. This web site is a mega phone for those that trash the Word of God 24 / 7. Christians and our churches are a mega phone in a like manner because our behavior is no different than an atheist and sometimes worse. The problem is we seem to like this downward slide because we are all in it. People do not change until they really want to or need. Gadhafi yesterday begged for mercy and they strapped him the hood of a car and paraded him for all to see. He did not want to change in time.
      If you have a good idea on how to get Americans to want change I am all ears. Time is running out on us.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      My comment was expunged. I am on papal interdict on Belief BLOG.

      October 21, 2011 at 10:56 pm |

    Oh look. Another end times prediction from a fundy. Any other predictions when jesus is coming back? I bet I could make a LOT of money off of second coming betting. I'd never lose either.


    October 20, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
    • steveinmo

      Sad as that article and man is, it has to do with this thread how?

      October 20, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      So you have nothing to say about the Supreme Court or the justices .. you want to discuss Google News? How irrelevant is that?

      October 20, 2011 at 10:39 pm |
  5. justathought

    To all of the believers out there – PLEASE – pay attention:
    "RELIGION IS LIKE A PENIS...it is fine to have one; it is fine to be proud of it...BUT PLEASE – do not WHIP it out in public and start waving it around, and PLEASE do not try to shove it down my children's throats! "

    October 20, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • steveinmo

      HATER...BIGOT...ANTI-SEMITE! Glad all you libs are so open-minded that you have to keep your minds closed to other's ways and beliefs.

      October 20, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      Not much of a thought. Are you just trying to show how warped your post can be? It's warped (and it probably reflects your mind).

      October 20, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
    • News Flash

      Anyone who disagrees with me is a "hater".

      October 21, 2011 at 8:02 am |
    • gerald

      In other words keep your religion in the closet. Funny how when things like h o m o s e x u a l i ty come out of the closet they try to force relgion in. Freedom of religion is on the way out soon and Christians will undergo great persecution because of people like you.

      October 21, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • Dog, the dyslexic deity

      It's not just Christians. In years to come, ALL those who cling to the ancient belief systems, with NO foundation in reason, logic, or have ANY evidence for them, will be seen as the nut jobs they are. Religion IS on the way OUT. Grow up.

      October 23, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Dtdd- You sound like you have a lot of hope in that. Keep your faith.

      October 24, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
  6. RightTurnClyde

    The U.S. Supreme Court is inc.r.e.m.e.n.t.ally moving away from a Cons.t.i.t.u.t.i.o.n.a.l Republic and toward a oligarchic dictatorship for the U.S. When our nation was formed the founders divided powers and set up checks and balances to sure a king could not recur. That is a very inefficient form. We are moving toward a more efficient government with ALL power centralized in less than 12 people in Washington. They can dictate and monied interests can BUY policy. The globalization resulting from the Internet and computers needs efficiency to manage 9 billion.

    October 20, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Anon

      More likely into a pseudo-theocracy.

      October 20, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      Not a theocracy; not a federal (national-state-local) division; not a Congress (they get more useless every day); ot a charismatic premier (it would take a JFK - we do not have one - it ain't the one that's in there) ... the court is moving into the abyss caused by the ineffectual congress and presidencies. The court makes policy but it is not const.i.t.u.t.i.o.n.a.l. and more than HALF of the court does not believe in a Cons.t.i.t.u.t.i.o.n, a Bill of rights, the national heritage (our history); they have ethnic roots and dislike America (like Rev. Wright and Bill Ayers .. or Jane Fonda) They will erase everything American including its history.

      October 20, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      Our War on Terror and Horror: Is this an example of a success? Xcuz me?
      Operation Iraqi Freedom: is not related to a Supreme court oligarchy
      Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: not related to Supreme Court
      Sa-dd-am, his sons and major he-nchmen deleted: ditto .. US lost the war
      Kuwait was saved. (so what?) It is merely a port facility
      Iran is being been contained. It has? Could have fooled me.
      North Korea is still u-ncivil but is contained. Ditto Northern Ireland is finally at peace. Is it? No, it is not.
      The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. the 1948 UN accords? What?
      Fa-na–tical Islam has basically been contained?? Are you blind?
      Timothy McVeigh was exe-cuted. (So what?) Eric Ru-dolph is spending three life terms in pri-son with no par-ole. (Not relevant) Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, etc. … not relevant Islamic Sudan, Dar-fur and So-malia .. so what?
      The terror and tor-ture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended (they were?)

      Military activities are an extension of diplomacy. They have no power inside the United States. Military and police powers require resources. The Supreme court dictates law. Military budgets are the consequence of an appropriations act. No act = no budget = no military power.

      October 20, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
    • Reality

      Some of the reasons for our latest wars on terror and horror:

      And the koranic/mosque driven acts of terror and horror continue:

      The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

      ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

      and more recently

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

      16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

      17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

      18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

      19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

      20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

      21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

      22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

      23) "October 4, 2011, 100 die as a truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded Tuesday at the gate of compound housing several government ministries on a busy Mogadishu street. It was the deadliest single bombing carried out by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia since their insurgency began. "

      October 20, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
    • Reality

      Abyss? Give us a break !!!

      One example of the power of the Citizens, Congress, the Presidency and the Supreme Court of the USA:

      Our War on Terror and Horror:

      -Operation Iraqi Freedom- The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles as of 09/15/2011/, 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed mostly due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror,

      – Sa-dd-am, his sons and major he-nchmen have been deleted. Sa-dd-am's bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. Kuwait was saved.

      – Iran is being been contained. (beside containing the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Baghdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes, essential oil continues to flow from the region.)

      – North Korea is still u-ncivil but is contained.

      – Northern Ireland is finally at peace.

      – The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. Unfortunately the Annapolis Peace Conference was not successful. And unfortunately the recent events in Gaza has put this situation back to “squ-are one”. And this significant stupidity is driven by the mythical foundations of both religions!!!

      – – Fa-na–tical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. Ditto for a wall between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      – Timothy McVeigh was exe-cuted. Terry Nichols escaped the death penalty twice because of deadlocked juries. He was sentenced to 161 consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole,[3][7] and is incarcerated in ADX Florence, a super maximum security prison near Florence, Colorado. He shares a cellblock that is commonly referred to as "Bombers Row" with Ramzi Yousef and Ted Kaczynski

      – Eric Ru-dolph is spending three life terms in pri-son with no par-ole.

      – Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, the "nuns" from Rwanda, and the KKK were all dealt with and either eliminated themselves or are being punished.

      – Islamic Sudan, Dar-fur and So-malia are still terror hot spots.

      – The terror and tor-ture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended by the proper application of the military forces of the USA and her freedom-loving friends. Ra-dovan Karadzic was finally captured on 7/23/08 and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war – charges related to the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina's secession from Yugoslavia.

      The capture of Ratko Mladić: (Serbian Cyrillic: Ратко Младић, pronounced [râtkɔ mlǎːditɕ], born 12 March 1943[1][2]) is an accused war criminal and a former Bosnian Serb military leader. On May 31, 2011, Mladić was extradited to The Hague, where he was processed at the detention center that holds suspects for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).[3] His trial began on 3 June 2011.

      – the bloody terror brought about by the Ja-panese, Na-zis and Co-mmunists was with great difficulty eliminated by the good guys.

      – Bin Laden was executed for crimes against humanity on May 1, 2011

      – Ditto for Anwar al-Awlaki on September 30, 2011

      October 22, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  7. Anon

    Keep religion out of law making unless you want something similar to sharia law.

    October 20, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  8. G-D

    Religion(s) as in 'Faith(s)' are the opiates of those who are socially bedridden when it comes to seeing worldly perspectives. Even the 'common' atheist is not without their own 'personalized' agendaship’ motives establishing within them a godlike periphery of Self. People are an allotment to be played by those who are a 'feel the need' types. As my being a 'Christian Theocrat', in that I walk a tightrope between two mountains, and neither mountain top is where I want to be at when my walk ends.

    Atheists might forever deny that their inbred feelings toward godliness is of copious self-interests and thusly yet profusely denounce a Godly Being's existence. Their onward and outward crying 'there is no god' is but a sullen ripeness of their inward chasm’s voice, that echoes against the deafening walls of silent disregards. Shamelessly does the atheist starkly complain to those who find solemness in their views about G-D. Awkwardly does the atheist stand upon their pedestals of ill-contentment, while the devoted ones of religious cohesion stay the course. Both ships may eventually find safe harborage but in differing ports of calling.

    god, built by God & forever in GOD

    October 20, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Your god is a fossil

      Posting the same BS over and over again doesn't make it any more true, it just makes you look like a tool

      October 20, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • G-D

      Well I'll be 't'ooled!

      god built by God and forever in GOD

      October 20, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "Religion(s) as in 'Faith(s)' are the opiates of those who are socially bedridden when it comes to seeing worldly perspectives."

      Wow...that's a tremendous lie.

      October 20, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • So

      "Wow...that's a tremendous lie."

      Yeah, and lying is a sin, it's funny how christians don't see it that way.

      October 20, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • hippypoet

      ok, now speaking for a logical stand point- if something exists and it has created us and laws for us small humans to follow and according to the bible the christian god has upheld these laws in the past...yet today the christian god does nothingto uphold anything...even his preachers who preach against being g@y, gambling, lieing, half these folks are g@y themselves and lie about it while gambling there supposed eternal souls – and no devine punishment, seems strange if god exists... oh maybe he did once but then he died. Some god you folks got there!!

      October 20, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • G-D

      Uncouth Swain wrote on Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 3:13 pm, G-D wrote, "Religion(s) as in 'Faith(s)' are the opiates of those who are socially bedridden when it comes to seeing worldly perspectives."

      U.S. replied, "Wow...that's a tremendous lie."

      G-D responds with, "How so is it a 'tremendous lie'"? Please explain yourself to me,,,,, 😐

      October 20, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • hippypoet

      ah notice the skip over the logical post because thats the believers kryptonite! too bad.

      October 20, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • G-D

      @ hippypoet,,,

      Let me again 'splain' myself. There are 3 very distinct types of Beings. 1. GOD 2. God 3. god

      Need I continue or can you grasp my intentions of thought?

      god, built by God & forever in GOD

      October 20, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • So

      "Let me again 'splain' myself. There are 3 very distinct types of Beings. 1. GOD 2. God 3. god"

      DUMB, Dumb and dumber! LMAO!

      October 20, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • hippypoet

      LOL so you explain your thoughts by typing the word god 3 times... huh, let me see if that works...

      logic, logic, logic.....nope your still a moron! darn, i really had high hopes for you too. too bad.

      so have you read any of the OT or are you one of those true morons who only know of the man so called jesus and you worship what he said?

      October 20, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • G-D

      hippypoet wrote, "LOL so you explain your thoughts by typing the word god 3 times... huh, let me see if that works...logic, logic, logic.....nope your still a moron! darn, i really had high hopes for you too. too bad."

      1. LOGIC = GOD
      2. Logic = God
      3. logic = god

      & NOT

      1. logic = god
      2. logic = god
      3. logic = god

      Spelling accuracy is of tantamount importance Hippy drippy. Try not to drool so much in your 'moron' bashing techniques,

      god built by God & forever in GOD, the COSMOS

      October 20, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • So

      "god built by God & forever in GOD"

      dumb built by Dumb & forever in DUMBER!

      October 20, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • hippypoet

      LOL, your showing your pride again...keep breaking those sins...and you lied as i never said logic=god, because thats clearly bs, logic and any god have little to do with each other... so thats 2 sins down , have you any more to say?

      October 20, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • hahaha

      One mountain is imaginary

      October 20, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @GD- it's a lie because there are many of other faiths that know quite a bit about the world beyond their own faith or beliefs. To imply an absolute on a group of ppl is foolish.

      October 20, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
    • Kyle

      Self gratification exists in all of our actions. The difference is here:

      Atheists do nice things because they want to. Christians only do nice things because they think it'll get them into heaven. Nearly every christian I've met grit his or her teeth in misery when they had to help another person out. Most of 'em are flakes too.

      October 20, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      G-D.. you most likely only believe in your particular god because of exactly the inbred beliefs you had been subject too while young. That is the reason religion works so well. It does not make it real, just traditional.

      October 21, 2011 at 12:43 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      G-D is waving his Dickie around again.

      October 21, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • Lycidas

      @Kyle- "Atheists do nice things because they want to. Christians only do nice things because they think it'll get them into heaven."

      No, you are incorrect.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  9. Rev. Rick

    The whole Conservative Christian fascination with Israel, and support of a Jewish state, is bizarre. As Christians, we’re fostering our relationship with Israel and allowing them to hang on to our coattails since we believe them to be “God’s Chosen People.” And of course, ethnically, they are the stock from which Jesus was born. But at the same time they are hanging on to our coattails, as Christians we’re telling them, “by the way, you know you’re going to hell if you don’t believe in Jesus.”

    What kind of a sick arrangement is that? The Jewish state of Israel must somehow feel obligated to maintain this dysfunctional relationship with the “Christian” U.S. due to our political and military influence. It has been a delicate balancing act for decades. Of course this also puts the U.S. at odds with Palestinians, and Arab states, who, rightly or wrongly, view Israel as an interloper.

    I feel a live-and-let-live approach is the way to go and I do believe that both the Jews and the Palestinians have a right to their own independence (and well-defined borders), but this two-faced relationship with Jews by conservative Christians, just seems wrong to me, and one day it's going to get us into a bad situation – and I mean really bad.

    October 20, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "The Jewish state of Israel must somehow feel obligated to maintain this dysfunctional relationship with the “Christian” U.S. due to our political and military influence."

      Not really. There have been many times Israel has went directly against what the US would want. The Suez Canal crisis is one example.
      Also, Israel is the toughest military in the Middle East. It's been shown over and over again. They are our allies...not our patsies.

      October 20, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • G-D

      @ Rev. Rick,

      You have been reading too much about Revelations Rev. Rick. Time to watch some HBO!

      god, built by God & forever in GOD

      October 20, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • hippypoet

      @g-d – that sounds ki-nky... if your god is a man that makes you and him g@y.... isn't that against your belief... enjoy hell. as you said, it was made by god for you.

      October 20, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • Anon

      So much nonsense over a freaking patch of sand in the middle of nowhere.

      October 20, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • Rev. Rick

      @ Uncouth Swain – Thank you for proving my point exactly.

      Why do you think Israel is so powerful militarily? Where do you think they get their weapons? From the US. They buy weapons from us (the US). We arm them to the teeth with advanced weaponry that we sell to very FEW other allies. . And the Suez Canal crisis? Seriously? Who do you think gave then a p-ass on that? We did, because we support them even when it's not in our best interest. That's exactly what I'm pointing out. No, they are not our patsies, but sometimes we sure appear to be theirs.

      October 21, 2011 at 7:03 am |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Rick- They buy them...we sell. What was the problem again with this capitalistic form of exchange again?
      And no...we did not give them a pass on anything. Recheck your history. This was one of those times that Russia was getting involved and we really really wanted Israel to stop and worked to do just that.
      They are our allies....allies don't always get along nor do they always do what the other one wants. More to the point, Israel is the only western style democracy in that region. That has a lot to do with why they are our allies.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • Rev. Rick

      @ Uncouth Swain – you continue to miss the point by going off on the tangents of capitalism, history, democracy and the military. My point was religious, so I'll simply repeat this one phrase:

      ...this two-faced relationship with Jews by conservative Christians, just seems wrong...

      October 24, 2011 at 8:42 am |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Rick- I don't see any two-faced behavior from conservative Christians. Sure..there are some I bet...but it's not as widespread as the anti-Israel or anti-Christian ilk think.

      October 24, 2011 at 12:50 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.