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November 5th, 2011
10:00 PM ET

Rick Perry’s long faith journey culminates in presidential run

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Editor’s note: This is part of an occasional series of stories looking at the faith of the leading 2012 presidential candidates, including Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich. We also profiled the faith journey of Herman Cain before he suspended his campaign.

Austin, Texas (CNN) – Rick Perry’s new church is not like his old church.

At his new church, several hundred worshippers showed up in jeans on a recent Sunday to listen to high-decibel Christian rock from plush stadium-style seats.

The crowd, mostly under the age of 40, raised their hands to Jesus in between sips of freshly brewed coffee from the java hut in the lobby.

Outside Lake Hills Church – situated on 40 acres about half an hour’s drive from downtown Austin – a dozen sheriff’s deputies managed the Sunday morning traffic rush.

Back in town at Perry’s old church, a graying, neatly dressed crowd of several dozen gathered for services in a stately sanctuary, singing old hymns and reciting communal prayers from hard wooden pews.

There is no java hut at Tarrytown United Methodist Church – and not nearly enough traffic to justify sheriff’s deputies.

Perry’s jump from Tarrytown to Lake Hills mirrors some of the big recent changes in American Christianity: From cities to suburbs, from a formal mainline worship style that relies on liturgy to a more casual evangelical approach that’s all about connecting to Jesus.

The Republican presidential candidate’s 2007 church switch also may mirror something much more personal: The culmination of Perry’s journey from a mainline Protestant upbringing to an evangelical-flavored faith built on close relationships with Baptist preachers and giving public testimony about God.

How Mormonism helped shape Mitt Romney

Politically, his faith evolution creates an opportunity for Perry to connect with the evangelical voters who constitute the Republican Party’s base at a time when some say he’s the only candidate who stands any chance of derailing Mitt Romney’s bid for the GOP nomination, even as he has fallen behind Romney and Herman Cain in the polls.

Perry speaking at an Iowa Faith and Freedom Forum in October.

The Texas governor has made his faith a centerpiece of his presidential campaign in ways both overt and subtle – hardly the first time he has enthusiastically mixed religion and politics.

At a time when Americans have grown accustomed to hearing public officials invoke a kind of generic national religion that’s sensitive to diverse faith traditions and nonbelievers alike, Perry has often gone a big step further, telegraphing a distinctly Christian message.

For instance, when Perry lent his signature to a Texas ballot initiative to constitutionally ban gay marriage – an effort that didn’t even require the governor’s endorsement – he did so on a Sunday from inside an evangelical Christian school.

Opinion: Why Perry needs Palin

And the four-term governor often speaks of a culture war between the nation’s Christians and secular humanists, who he says are trying to stamp religion out of the public square.

“America is going to be guided by some set of values - the question is going to be whose values,” Perry said in a speech at Virginia’s Liberty University in September. “I would suggest … it is those Christian values that this country was based upon.”

Now, as he wages an uphill battle for the Republican nomination, Perry is emphasizing his Christian commitment even more than in the past, trying to line up support from conservative Christian leaders and religious voters nationwide.

Some friends of the governor say he sees his presidential quest as a kind of mission from God.

Rick Perry talks to CNN's John King

“He said he didn’t want to do it, but he felt the Lord was calling him,” says Kelly Shackelford, who recently heard Perry discuss his campaign with religious activists.

“His wife and him were both reluctant,” says Shackelford, an influential conservative activist in Texas. “But as Christians, when you know you’re called to do something, there is no doubt, no hesitation. You just do it.”

“In those days, the churches were full”

Rick Perry grew up in tiny, isolated Paint Creek, an unincorporated farming community on the dusty plains of central Texas.

Paint Creek “was on a farm to market road where they had this Methodist church on one end and a Baptist church on the other and the school in the middle,” Perry’s wife, Anita Perry, told CNN.

For Rick Perry, “life revolved around school, church and – for most boys – the Boy Scouts,” he wrote in his 2008 book, “On My Honor.”

Paint Creek’s Baptists dominated local government and imposed a strict moral code, prohibiting school dances and Halloween carnivals, reasoning that carnival games were tantamount to gambling.

“The school board was nearly all Baptist, and they drew up a dress code every year that was very concerned with hair and short pants and exposing too much skin,” says Wallar Overton, a childhood friend and Perry’s neighbor in Paint Creek.

Overton’s parents, who were Methodists, once held a prom in their house to get around the school’s ban on dancing.

Wallar Overton, Perry’s childhood neighbor from Paint Creek, Texas, says Baptists dominated local government and imposed a strict moral code.

Bud Adkins, the current pastor at the community’s Baptist church, calls such bans “pretty characteristic. That’s how everyone in the area grew up.”

“A lot of parents just felt that dances were where bad things took place,” Adkins says. “Drinking and fighting and carousing and things you shouldn’t be doing.”

Perry said his family was active in both churches when he grew up in Paint Creek in the 1950s and ‘60s.

Perry’s campaign declined interview requests, but his religious friends say his early exposure to both Methodists and Baptists initiated him into the two main branches of American Protestantism – mainline and evangelical.

Mainline Methodists tend to stress good works, while evangelical Baptists focus on personal relationships with God.

“It’s a mix of looking out and looking in,” says David Barton, a Texas-based evangelical activist who has been close to the governor for 20 years. “And it’s why [Perry’s] comfortable in so many different settings, whether it’s a Catholic or a Hispanic or a black church.”

When Perry was growing up in Paint Creek, there was a Methodist and a Baptist church. Only the Baptist congregation survives.

Perry has spoken in scores of Texas churches since becoming governor in 2000, including visits to black churches for Juneteenth, the annual holiday commemorating the arrival of news that President Lincoln's had ended slavery.

Perry’s ties to Texas’ black and Hispanic communities are largely built around faith-related issues such as abortion and gay marriage, on which polls show minorities tend to be more conservative than whites.

Though Perry attended the occasional Baptist revival in Paint Creek and appears to identify as an evangelical today, Overton says the governor was raised squarely in the Methodist church, attending Methodist services and Sunday school, taught by Overton’s mother, every week.

“Baptists taught doctrine,” Overton says. “My mom taught Christianity. ... Her God was a loving God.”

Years later, when Gov. Perry actively supported the death penalty and cuts in government programs for the poor - positions that clashed with the more progressive stances of the United Methodist Church - some fellow Methodists speculated that Paint Creek’s cultural conservatism shaped the governor more than his church did.

“This was a pretty good Bible Belt when we grew up,” says Adkins, who is a few years older than Perry and grew up in Rochester, about 30 miles away. “In those days, the churches were full and the parents were really conservative.”

Going evangelical

When Perry landed back in Paint Creek in the late 1970s, after college at Texas A&M and a four-year stint as an Air Force pilot, its small-town ways helped provoke an identity crisis for the future governor.

Then 27, Perry had been around the world flying huge C-130 cargo planes for the military. But in 1977, he found himself back on the family farm helping his dad.

After a lifetime of structure – Boy Scouts, the Corps of Cadets (a Texas A&M program similar to ROTC), the Air Force – Perry was adrift, struggling to find a path in the face of a wide-open future.

“I was lost, spiritually and emotionally, and I didn’t know how to fix it,” he told Liberty University students in his September appearance there.

Anita Perry, who was dating Perry at the time, said he “came home and all of a sudden he kind of had this world of independence.”

“He went to farm with his dad, who had been farming successfully for many, many years,” she says. “He didn’t really need Rick to come in and tell him how to do the farming.”

For someone who had served as an aircraft commander, the move home felt like a demotion.

“I came back into my old room. I swear to God I know mother cleaned it, but it looked exactly like it did the day I left,” Perry said at a May fundraising event for a Christian prayer rally he helped organize.

“It had my football number on the door, and it had the all-star football game program still stuck on the bulletin board,” he said. “It was an eerie moment for me to move back home.”

Perry says that he found resolution, while still 27, by turning to God.

“My faith journey is not the story of someone who turned to God because I wanted to,” he told students at Liberty, in what has become a mainstay of his speeches to Christian audiences. “It was because I had nowhere else to turn.

“I spent many a night pondering my purpose, talking to God, wondering what to do with this one life among the billions that were on the planet. What I learned as I wrestled with God is that I didn’t have to have all the answers, that they would be revealed to me in due time and that I needed to trust him.”

At other public appearances, Perry has said his soul-searching ended when he realized “I’d been called to the ministry.”

But that turned out to be a call to enter politics. “I’ve just always been really stunned by how big a pulpit I was going to have,” he said at the May fundraiser. “I truly believe with all my heart that God has put me in this place at this time to do his will.”

While being “born again” is considered an important milestone for many evangelicals, Perry isn’t known to describe his experience in 1977 Paint Creek in such terms.

As his wife puts it, “He’d already found Jesus because he had been baptized.”

“I don’t know really how to classify it,” she says of her husband’s experience. “I wasn’t in on that with him. … But I think he found the answer he needed.”

Church with the Bushes

Despite the evangelical overtones of Perry’s life-changing encounter with God, he and his wife joined a Methodist church when they landed in Austin in the mid-1980s, continuing his mainline childhood tradition.

Perry had been elected a state representative as a Democrat from a rural West Texas district in 1985. He was following in the political footsteps of his father, who was a county commissioner at the time.

In 1990, after switching to the Republican Party, Perry was elected agricultural commissioner, his first statewide office. Later, one of the capital’s other prominent families – the Bushes – joined the Perrys at Austin’s Tarrytown United Methodist Church.

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The Tarrytown United Methodist Church in Austin, where the Perrys attended until 2007.

George W. Bush was elected Texas governor in 1994, and he, Laura and their two daughters began attending Tarrytown.

By that time, Tarrytown had gained a reputation as a conservative alternative to Austin’s First United Methodist Church, which is right next door to the state Capitol and boasted high-profile Democratic attendees like Ann Richards, the governor of Texas from 1990 to 1994.

During the 1990s, the Perrys and Bushes were among the worshippers who made a tradition of distributing Holy Communion during Tarrytown’s Christmas Eve services. The Perrys also helped lead confirmation classes as their two children prepared to be confirmed in the church.

Perry was elected lieutenant governor of Texas in 1998, inheriting the governor’s office two years later when Bush left Austin for the White House.

Jim Mayfield, senior pastor at Tarrytown from 1988 to 2006, says the Perrys generally kept a low profile at the church.

“We weren’t close, but it was very cordial,” he says. “They attended worship, and that’s about all they did.”

Perry and then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush attended the same Methodist church in Austin.

At the same time, Perry was forming close relationships with evangelical pastors across the state.

“I’ve known the governor in a personal way for 20 years, since he was agricultural commissioner,” says Ed Young, a prominent Baptist preacher based in Houston. “I see God’s hand leading him and working in his life.

“He has grown in his faith,” says Young, who regularly talks and visits with Perry. “During crises, we look in every direction, and more and more the governor has looked up. Not in some pious God-told-me way, but in humility.”

In 2007, when the Perrys moved to a rented house in West Austin during a governor’s mansion renovation, Young encouraged them to check out an evangelical-style church a protégé had started nearby.

That congregation, Lake Hills, has been Perry’s church home ever since.

For some of Perry’s evangelical friends and supporters, his jump from a mainline to an evangelical church was a sign of spiritual growth.

“Lake Hills is a very strong church, and I’ve seen him get stronger in his faith,” says Shackelford, the conservative Texas activist. “Methodist churches are all over the spectrum. One could be really strong and conservative and the next one could be liberal.”

Anita Perry, meanwhile, says she misses her old church, Tarrytown.

“I miss those traditional hymns,” she told CNN during a recent campaign visit to Bob Jones University, a fundamentalist Christian school in South Carolina.

“The contemporary music [at Lake Hills], you know I hear it and I hear the beat. I hear the words, but I don’t know the words,” she says. “I didn’t grow up in that church; I grew in a traditional church.

“So that transformation for me was hard,” she says. “But I’m truly able to bring something back from the message [at Lake Hills] when I walk out of there.”

Pastors and presidential politics

In late 2004 as Election Day approached, polls showed the country about evenly divided between Perry’s political ally, President Bush, and Democratic challenger John Kerry.

Perry was worried. He headed to a dry creek bed somewhere outside Austin and called his friend James Robison, a Dallas-based televangelist.

“I’m out here in the middle of nowhere, a place so remote I'm surprised I get a cell signal,” Perry said, according to Robison. “I’m sitting down by myself, and I want to pray about the direction of the country.”

Robison had been friends with Presidents Reagan and Bush and had fielded many calls from Gov. Perry. The Baptist preacher said he was moved to learn his state’s chief executive was spending a day alone in the wilderness, praying.

For Robison, the call was “strictly spiritual.” But it could also be seen as evidence of Perry’s effortless fusion of faith and politics.

Perry, center, at a memorial for the crew of the space shuttle Columbia in Lufkin, Texas, in 2003.

In Austin, Perry’s political fans and foes alike say that fusion is best reflected in his track record on abortion.

Since taking office in 2000, Perry has signed laws mandating parental consent for minor girls who want an abortion, slashing state funds for Planned Parenthood and requiring a woman seeking an abortion to first view a sonogram of her fetus. (A federal judge recently issued an injunction effectively blocking that law’s enforcement.)

Supporters say the record testifies to Perry’s faith-based commitment to life.

“He has passed 20-odd pieces of pro-life legislation,” Shackelford says. “He was vilified by the media for it, and he didn’t stand his ground [just] because it was a good policy position. It really all emanated from his faith.”

Critics say the governor has overstepped, compromising women’s basic health care in the name of ideology.

They note that state funding for Planned Parenthood was barred from going to abortions even before he cut it. And they say the sonogram law Perry signed requires doctors to read biased information to women seeking abortions.

“As governor of Texas, Rick Perry has pursued a single-minded agenda: Take away women's health care, destroy Planned Parenthood, and block women's access to safe abortion care,” the Planned Parenthood Action fund wrote in a recent petition drive.

More recently, Perry has become an outspoken advocate for religion in the public square and a vocal opponent of those who don’t believe in God.

“The life of the secular humanist has a depressing end,” Perry writes in “On My Honor.”

“All their possessions will be left behind, and the only thing that will matter is what God thinks of their life in the face of eternity.”

Elsewhere in the book, which tracks what Perry calls a secular war against the Boy Scouts, he characterizes evolution as an inherently atheistic idea.

“Even if one goes along with the atheists’ argument that life evolved from previous forms,” Perry writes, “where did the previous forms come from?”

Many scientists and believers would no doubt disagree with the governor. Polls show that tens of millions of Americans back evolution and also believe in God.

Perhaps Perry’s most audacious religious gesture as governor came in August, when he organized a prayer rally in the stadium where the NFL’s Houston Texans play. The event came a few months after Perry had proclaimed three days of prayer for rain in Texas amid the state’s long drought.

Robison, who helped launch the Christian Right in 1980 when he organized a meeting between then-candidate Reagan and pastors in Houston, says he approached Perry with the idea for the rally late last year to confront what Robison said was a national moral crisis.

“I simply said that we don’t seem to call for prayer anymore, and I referenced the biblical book of Joel, when he calls a solemn assembly after locusts had stripped the crops,” Robison says. “I said to the governor, ‘No one’s called a solemn assembly.’

“I was surprised when he called one,” Robison says. “There just are not many leaders who do that.”

The August prayer event, called “The Response,” was financed by the conservative evangelical American Family Association and was intended to acknowledge that, in Perry’s words, “America is in crisis.”

Perry at The Response prayer rally in Houston.

"We have been besieged by financial debt, terrorism and a multitude of natural disasters," Perry said in the run-up to the rally, which organizers said drew 30,000 people.

Billed as a “day of prayer and fasting,” it also involved dozens of conservative Christian leaders whose support is coveted by most of the Republican White House hopefuls.

But Perry's aides insisted The Response had nothing to do with presidential ambitious.

Aides say that calls for Perry to consider a White House run came only after other big-name Republicans, like Mike Huckabee, Mitch Daniels and Haley Barbour, announced they would not run. And that happened after Response planning was already well under way.

Skeptics argue that Perry, the longest-serving governor in Texas history, had to be at least pondering a White House run since late last year.

Either way, the prayer event created a major political opportunity for Perry. Intense media coverage allowed him to broadcast his Christian commitment to a national audience just one week before formally launching his presidential campaign.

Perry’s Christian messaging could be especially important because Romney, the perceived Republican frontrunner, is a Mormon. Many evangelicals don’t consider Mormons to be Christian, and flaunting his faith could be a way for Perry to distinguish himself.

Last month, a Baptist pastor who introduced Perry at a major conservative gathering stirred controversy by calling Mormonism a cult. Perry has said he disagrees.

Hours with the faithful

In the months since The Response, Perry’s courtship of national Christian leaders has intensified. With Romney locking up support from much of the Republican establishment, Perry is working overtime to shore up his party’s socially conservative base.

Just a few weeks after the Houston prayer rally, roughly 200 religious leaders from across the country, mostly evangelicals, descended on a San Antonio-area ranch for the chance to meet Perry and his wife.

Over the course of a Friday afternoon and a Saturday morning, Rick and Anita Perry talked up the governor’s record and took questions from the audience. James Dobson, founder of the evangelical group Focus on the Family, served as moderator.

Robison, one of the attendees, said the Perrys talked to them for six or seven hours.

“People who were there were stunned,” Robison said. “I’ve spent time with lots of candidates, and I’ve never seen one take that much time.”

Another attendee, Christian activist David Lane, said one audience member asked Anita Perry what people would be most surprised to learn about her husband.

“He’s more spiritual than you probably think,” Texas’ first lady responded, according to Lane. “He reads the Bible every day.”

For the Texas-based pastors and activists in attendance, that was hardly news. But to scores of others who were just getting to know Perry, it was reassuring information.

“As governor, people are not asking you, ‘Tell me when you came to the Lord,’” says Shackelford, who has known Perry for more than a decade. “The people you hang out with every day already know.

“But now he’s running for president,” Shackelford says, “and all of a sudden there are these Christian leaders meeting him for the first time, and they want to know: How did you come to know the Lord? What was your journey?”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Leaders • Politics • Rick Perry

soundoff (3,096 Responses)
  1. cindy Sedaker

    A Course In Miracles. 'Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God' debating is a politically correct term for arguing... We are, as we speak making choices that shows our true beliefs. As these next few years unfold, we will see where our choices bring us... while I did not read these other comments, because I respect where each person stands, I offer just a little food for thought... be the peace your choose to see in the world. Won't be coming back to read the comments... I'm out living my life... we will adjust to what ever our choices bring. I for one offer my own personal blessing of peace to which ever path we walk together. Namaste

    November 7, 2011 at 5:59 am |
  2. DMnewberg

    Apparently God has asked just about every Republican candidate to run for President.

    November 7, 2011 at 5:55 am |
  3. me again

    MISSION FROM GOD?????? Great! Now he thinks he's one of the Blues Brothers!!

    November 7, 2011 at 5:31 am |
  4. Mirosal

    I'm still waiting for Martin to provide something, ANYTHING else other than that book he's so fond of cutting and pasting. You cannot use the Babble .. I mean buy-bull ... oops bible for science class. If you do I only have 2 questions. When did snakes develop vocal cords? And, in a planetary flood, just exactly to where did all that water recede?

    November 7, 2011 at 4:21 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Don't hold your breath Mirosal...Martin is one of those Ray Comfort types who still expect to see a crocoduck as evidence of evolutions validity even though such a creature would actually serve to disprove evolution theory. He also mentioned the Law of Gravity while dismissing the fact that gravity too is also a theory. The "Law" part only applies to the mathematics of gravity's effects...not it's nature(which we still have no real idea about).

      November 7, 2011 at 4:41 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Mirosal, you atheists have a right to stay the fool and remain spiritually dead. Free will remember? You're responsible for loving and following satan.

      Amen.

      November 7, 2011 at 5:51 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hey, HS, how's it hangin'? When are you going to answer my question? Are the souls of those Jewish chaplains in heaven now?

      November 7, 2011 at 8:50 am |
  5. europe best

    So you tell me what is the difference btw Islamic Iran and Ultra JeusLovers USA? U have a guy that hears voices in his head to run for President????? WOW, WOW,WOW......

    November 7, 2011 at 4:19 am |
  6. Mirosal

    I would hate to see Martin as a science teacher. To pass his class, all you'd need to do is answer "god did it" to every question. You'd ace his course. And as far as your job, I also understand spectra, waveforms, wavelengths, frequencies and the like. I did not use "god made it that way" on any test answer, and I passsed with flying colors.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:07 am |
  7. Craig

    It's funny. He says he talked to God, and God told him to run. I've talked to God, and God says he darn tired of all these people who claim he told them to run. He says he hasn't picked sides for a long time...because it never seems to do much good.

    November 7, 2011 at 3:56 am |
  8. Rick Perry

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXyYp4LDQwo

    November 7, 2011 at 3:56 am |
  9. dilberth

    My little boy, Timmy asked me the other day, "Dad, when did religion start?" I told him that I didn't know the exact date, but that I believe it began when the first con artist met the first fool. Rick Perry reminds me of that con artist.

    November 7, 2011 at 3:51 am |
  10. Gaunt

    So Perry is a True AMERIAN Christian then. No abortion, no birth control, no real freedom for women at all really. No dancing, no parties, no dressing up, nothing that might be considered entertainment at all. Call of God, word of God, voice of God, act of god will of god, those are all that matters.

    Oh, and he supports the death penalty.

    The man who puts all his faith and belief and devotion to a god who was martyred through execution by the state, believes in execution by the state. Hypocrite.

    November 7, 2011 at 3:38 am |
  11. Lynn

    What is it with Evangelicals? Perry is running for President because he had a calling from God? (This kind of talk is so utterly narcissistic, arrogant and delusional!) OR is he's really saying exactly what Evangelicals want to hear? I am convinced that most Evangelical leaders think that they personally know God because they feel superior to everyone else. For example: they go out of their way to bash other religions as being false. They are constantly professing how they are the only true Christians and that only they will be saved! As a former Catholic and a current atheist, I find this kind of thinking to be not only ridiculous but childlike. From a psychological standpoint, why do Evangelicals always have to remind us that #1) God called them, #2) Only they are true Christians that will be saved when Jesus returns? If this is how Jesus talks... he's a really immature and quite nasty deity. I mean according to the "real Christians" all non Evangelicals will perish with the earth and only those people that have professed their righteous allegiance to Jesus will have access to heaven. Why? Is it because if you desperately want to belong to the Jesus club and get your first class ticket to heaven you have to completely give up all free thinking? As an Atheist, I'm going to pray that Perry is NOT elected. I don't trust people who claim they were called by God for anything. (HELLO!!!!) People who claim that God called them do something sound like are delusional. Wasn't that the problem with Bush? It may seem unkind for me to say such a thing about Christians but if we're being honest here...I'm only saying what most Americans are thinking when Evangelicals make those kinds of statements. If having "true faith" means becoming delusional.. no thank you!

    November 7, 2011 at 3:21 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Lynn, I can tell by your post you never picked up the Bible in your life, let alone open the pages and read His wisdom.

      Amen.

      November 7, 2011 at 5:55 am |
  12. Franklin

    Invade Mexico? Evidentally, he forgot to consult with Jesus on that issue, which Governor Perry created.

    November 7, 2011 at 2:30 am |
    • ignorance

      Mirosal....you are not doing great with any answers....as a matter of fact you arent answering any questions.....you are asking them....and why is it so important to claim that you are atheist....this is false pride....something that is evident in any unatural and foolish human group...its almost as if people hide behind this false pride to make them feel better for things they know in their own heart are foolish....and what need is there for order if there is no GOD.....because if no one cared about their soul....then this might become the dog eat dog world that you people are hoping for

      November 7, 2011 at 2:54 am |
    • Mirosal

      All I am asking is that you back up your claim. That's it, nothing more nothing less. As far as order, there are laws, and unfortunately, there is crime. There are also punishments for said crimes. You do not need any diety to establish a legal code, Hammurabi did this almost 4000 years ago, and he didin't need your "god" to do it.

      November 7, 2011 at 2:59 am |
    • ignorance

      Where did his unconventional enlightenment come from? whether or not he had "My God" or not he had to believe in a higher purpose. Yes of course his endeavour might have been driven by his want for economic and social superiority, but he must have believed that he was the right man for the job. And even if he did it under his breath...he hoped that what he believed was true...but then that hope has to be directed to what he thought his destiny was. Illusions drive our faith because we can see ourselves coming into our own and the second we go after those dreams is the second we believe in ourselves...and as soon as we do that we have to have faith that we have a higher purpose. And that higher purpose is from a higher power

      November 7, 2011 at 3:11 am |
    • Mirosal

      "we can see ourselves coming into our own and the second we go after those dreams is the second we believe in ourselves...and as soon as we do that we have to have faith that we have a higher purpose. And that higher purpose is from a higher power". Faith in one's self does NOT imply a faith in a higher power. We do not have to have faith in a higher power to realize our potential.

      November 7, 2011 at 3:19 am |
    • Answer

      Ignorance ...

      "And that higher purpose is from a higher power"

      Says you. Without any facts.

      November 7, 2011 at 3:21 am |
  13. Foreverwar

    Rick Perry’s long faith journey culminates in presidential run made possible by his dark lord Satan.

    November 7, 2011 at 2:16 am |
  14. Martin

    It is endlessly fascinating to me that atheists, being a free minority in this country, enjoying freedom to profess their beliefs in whatever context....(A freedom that was crafted and approved by Religious people, mostly Christian), the minute they get the chance, start clamoring for religious people to stop professing THEIR beliefs!! What stark hypocrisy!!

    Fascinating, yet expected...

    Romans 1:18 "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. "

    The minute an evolutionist goes into a Lab with a cat and comes out with a dog, I'll start elevating Evolution to the level of say.. the Law of Gravity.

    November 7, 2011 at 2:04 am |
    • HellBent

      Well, given that gravity isn't a law, but a theory, and one that probably has more holes and questions than evolution, I think we probably won't be going to you for any science advice.

      November 7, 2011 at 2:23 am |
    • Mirosal

      You miss the whole point. Freedom of religion also includes freedom FROM it as well. Atheists do not go door to door telling people that they must be saved. We do not go on TV and say that we need your money to spread "the word". You have said in earlier posts that this "god" is real. You made the claim, so back it up, but can you do it WITHOUT using a 2000 year old book to do it? We don't care what "faith" you have, just don't tell me that according to YOUR beliefs that I am evil and you NEED to "save" me. Go ahead, go to your church, I don't care. Just don't think your "god" should run MY life. And the louder you proclaim your faith to be, the more people will know that all you care about is how you're perceived by others.

      November 7, 2011 at 2:28 am |
    • ThinkForYourself

      Do you also not think that plate tectonics is valid science since you can't mash up South America and Africa in a lab? And since you can't build a star in a lab, do you think that cosmology is as relevant as astrology? And since you can't actually see an electron, do you think that your computer works by magic? And since you can't by definition see something in a super position of states, do you think that quantum mechanics is really just science fiction?

      'Or do you only dismiss science that doesn't fit nicely with your 2000 year old book?

      November 7, 2011 at 2:32 am |
    • ignorance

      you are absolutely right....it seems they do not get the big picture.....me- im happy with myself.......they- on the other hand are unhappy with themselves so they blame everything on anyone else....A word of advice just follow your heart and what's truely within you find happiness and quit trying to control the things you ultimately have no control over....it is a chasing of the wind a vexation of spirit...

      November 7, 2011 at 2:36 am |
    • ignorance

      THINK....your easy to catagorize....knowledge is not intelligence....quit showcasing it.....and think about this.....what created the forces that hold atoms together.....you might say intermolecular dispersion, polarity, affinity charge ...furthmore integral calculus and laplace transform helped in defining them....but is it no coincidental that even the laws of physics and chem are seem to have been engineered to perfection....its like peices to a puzzle....but that means the puzzle had to be created

      November 7, 2011 at 2:46 am |
    • Clarifying

      Mirosal and ThinkForYourself,

      You are doing great with your answers. Thank you.

      Just for facts sake, though, it is just the New Testament of the Bible that is around 2000 years old - the Old Testament goes back to stories and writings from around 3000 years ago.

      November 7, 2011 at 2:46 am |
    • Martin

      Hell bent: You know its getting rich when folks resort to questioning Gravity..
      Mirosal:
      If your point is that atheists don't publicly advocate their beliefs.. your're proof of the contrary.. here you are , on a public forum, advocating your beliefs. And I comment you for it.. thank God for our freedom to chat with each other. But your post defeats your point.

      Asking for money for a cause is something that all non-profits do theist and atheist, it is not an exclusive Christian activity.
      One of the things that set atheists off is this question of evil.. they hate Christians running around calling them to repentance. And this gets to the core question:
      Is Mankind really evil in nature? If History is and testimony, the answer is a resounding "YES". Humans of every stripe committing murder and mayhem.. including Christians.
      Do you claim moral perfection? I hope not.. most people can't even keep their New Years Resolution.. a "Law" they make up.. for their own good!!!!
      Mankind will never construct any kind of utopia because he is incapable of obeying any moral code, divine OR manmade. Man is doomed without the intervention of a Holy God... Which is what the Bible is all about.

      November 7, 2011 at 2:49 am |
    • HeavenSent

      ThinkForYourself, you babbled on about "Do you also not think that plate tectonics is valid science since you can't mash up South America and Africa in a lab? And since you can't build a star in a lab, do you think that cosmology is as relevant as astrology? And since you can't actually see an electron, do you think that your computer works by magic? And since you can't by definition see something in a super position of states, do you think that quantum mechanics is really just science fiction?

      'Or do you only dismiss science that doesn't fit nicely with your 2000 year old book?"

      Answer: Yes, God does work in mysterious ways.

      Amen.

      November 7, 2011 at 2:53 am |
    • Answer

      @Martin

      "Man is doomed without the intervention of a Holy God... Which is what the Bible is all about."

      You are so afraid of your own shadow. How does an i-d-i-o-t like yourself function from day to day? Cowering in hate and fear? Denying oneself the freedom to make and assert change to our own world and live in it without fear! You live in a constant state of denial and fear and you are REACHING out for help! Well f-u-c-k off ! If you can't help yourself out of your own twisted mindset of evil and inescapable wretchedness, it is because you accept it. You want your own world of torture to keep your self in, don't spread your c-r-a-p to everyone else and make them accept your garbage is the truth.

      This world is not perfect but this is where I live. I'll help change the world to make it better. Even if an insufferable dou-che like yourself thinks it is JUST ALL EVIL, Go f-u-c-k off.

      November 7, 2011 at 2:59 am |
    • tallulah13

      Martin, freedom of religion as well as freedom of speech in this country were given to us by founding fathers who were not terribly fond of christianity. You don't have to take my word for it; Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, Madison and Paine had plenty to say. Here is a website that contains a comprehensive list of quotes from them explaining exactly how they felt about religion.

      http://freethought.mbdojo.com/foundingfathers.html

      Christians aren't doing atheists a favor by allowing them to exist. They are following the law of the land. It's rather pathetic that you feel the need to praise yourself for obeying the law.

      November 7, 2011 at 3:00 am |
    • tallulah13

      "God does work in mysterious ways."

      Ah, yes, the catch all phrase that christians use when they don't have any idea what they're talking about.

      November 7, 2011 at 3:02 am |
    • Martin

      Answer:
      Luke 6:45
      The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks."

      1 Peter3:9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10For,

      “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.
      11He must turn from evil and do good;he must seek peace and pursue it.12For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
      and his ears are attentive to their prayer,but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

      Your vitriol is unbecoming of a rationalist.
      MMM

      November 7, 2011 at 3:22 am |
    • Answer

      @Martin

      You rhetoric is junk as per all the other religious quotes. Spare the garbage.
      You won't find any hell nor heaven never mind wishing me to partake in your garbage. You've accepted your wretchedness, I have accepted that you ARE wretched. So now your life has meaning.. what more could you ask for?

      November 7, 2011 at 3:26 am |
    • Martin

      Answer Re Fear:

      The Bible is clear regarding Fear.. I fear nothing or no one except God. My heart is not full of fury, as as it is obvious that yours is. Your rude language is not doing your camp any favors.

      MAt 6:25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his lifeb?

      28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

      November 7, 2011 at 3:38 am |
    • Martin

      Answer:
      IS your theory that Mankind is actually good? A rationalist should look at the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
      I admit I am not perfect.. can you?

      Romans 3:9 What shall we conclude then? Are we any betterb? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. 10As it is written:

      “There is no one righteous, not even one;11there is no one who understands,no one who seeks God.
      12All have turned away,they have together become worthless. there is no one who does good,not even one.”c

      November 7, 2011 at 3:43 am |
    • HellBent

      @Martin,

      If you really don't understand that we have multiple theories of gravity and that they all have flaws, then you've pretty much just proven my point that you have no idea what you're talking about. Thanks!

      November 7, 2011 at 8:47 am |
  15. Rahn

    Religions are our fantasy when reality is too complex to understand. Simple people like simple answers. How did the universe begin ? Simple – God magically made it. Complex – in the Science of cosmology you can learn about how the universe exists and what we have observed about it's beginnings. The simple answer takes 2 seconds. The complex answer takes 10-15 years of dedicated study and even then, you still won't have all the answers you were looking for, but you will have facts, evidence, observation, models that have predictive capabilities, truth and reality. God & Faith are never answers to anything. They are when you want to give up and let your mind enjoy the simple, untruthful fantasy of knowing nothing at all.

    November 7, 2011 at 1:52 am |
    • LawnSausage

      Excellent Post!

      November 7, 2011 at 2:04 am |
    • Martin

      Science and Faith are NOT mutually exclusive, and Faith in God is NOT the end of scientific inquiry.

      Science for the Christian is the discovery of HOW God created. There are many scientists, even these days, who are Christian. Denigrating Christians is just a means by which atheists pump up their ego, it makes them feel smart to say others are dumb. For a Christian, this is a sin.

      Atheist scientists have faith, even though they have been wrong before (Many times before) that they will find the answers..Their faith is in their own ego or intellect.. but it is faith nevertheless.

      Yet the more answers they find, the more questions there are! Questions are the product of answers.. i.e. they multiply.
      Even now, we are at the point in history where there are not nearly enough scientists to answer the more and more questions that come up...
      As Solomon said:

      Ecc 12:11The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one Shepherd. 12Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.

      Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.

      13Now all has been heard;

      here is the conclusion of the matter:

      Fear God and keep his commandments,

      for this is the whole [duty] of man.

      14For God will bring every deed into judgment,

      including every hidden thing,

      whether it is good or evil.

      November 7, 2011 at 2:15 am |
    • Mirosal

      I fail to see WHY we need to "fear" this god of yours. Oh, and Martin, can you PLEASE offer us something else other than that book? Something? Anything? Just because your book says it's true doesn't make it so. Please tell me one, just ONE, case in which your book was submitted as evidence in ANY court. And as far as religion versus science, you DO realize that religion hindered science for over 1000 years, right? Think how far ahead we'd be from now if your book of fairy tales had not impeded man's natural curiosity of the world around him.

      November 7, 2011 at 2:32 am |
    • Rahn

      @ Martin – I have no need to fear your delusions and truthfully neither does anyone else. Saying that christians use science to discover how god created is about the same as using science to figure out how to put humpty dumpty back together again. And just because a few scientists have now or in the past have held on to their religious beliefs, it does nothing to support nor degrade all of the good science that they produced. All of their published work, their experiments, peer reviewed papers, evidence that others can reproduce is all good science. Look around you at all the items in your house, all the parts in your cars engine. These things were designed and tested by engineers, not by priests. Their reliability wasn't verified through some ancient ritual or blessed with holy water to ensure that it would do what it was designed to do. I don't have faith that my car will perform reliably. I have science that shows how it all functions. And for those days when it doesn't work right, we have mechanics for that.

      November 7, 2011 at 2:33 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Rahn, now your getting ahead of the science community, or as usual, another atheist just lying. Scientists still can't answer "where did it all come from?

      Besides, catch up with your out dated ranting information to bash Jesus. True science and the Bible are in harmony and always have been. True science is proving Jesus' truth to be factual.

      Amen.

      November 7, 2011 at 3:00 am |
    • kimsland

      Rahn I'm keeping your post to quote to others, I'll keep your name as the original poster as well 🙂

      November 7, 2011 at 3:07 am |
    • Martin

      For people who claim **objectivity** you atheists sure resort to insulting people a lot.. Why do you do that?. It ads nothing to your argument.. in fact I would say it belies a weakness in your arguments.
      Nevertheless..

      The scientific community is regularly convinced of things that turn out to be entirely untrue. Even still they still profess to know the truth NOW. PHDs used to believe Africa & South America had an isthmus (because of similar fossils on the coasts) The list of things like this is endless... and constant.
      Face it, it is a faith. You have put your FAITH in science.. that science will eventually (because it hasn't yet) explain everything.

      Anyway.. all i can tell you is this.. I called out to God and He answered.. millions of people have done this. It is the reliable TRUTH. Christ will lead you to a righteous lifestyle.

      I always wonder.. what is it the Jesus ever said or did to make you hate Him so?
      Was it this "Love your Enemies, and bless those who persecute You"

      or maybe this
      "For God so loved the World that He gave His only begotten son"
      orperhaps this is it:
      34Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. "

      Just admit that you do not want to be bound by any moral code.. be honest with yourself. "to thine ownself be true"

      Jesus Christ symbolizes righteousness, which you want to avoid. You would not want to be accused of being a "Goody two shoes" the ULTIMATE insult for an atheist!

      What you do not realize is the God can change your heart. You will Love all the great moral qualities that are taught in the New Testament, over and over again: (Such as):
      Col 3:12 12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

      Know this: I pray for you! Beware!!!! WOOOOO

      Haha! God Bless!

      November 7, 2011 at 3:12 am |
    • Answer

      @Martin

      "Know this: I pray for you! Beware!!!! WOOOOO

      Haha! God Bless!"

      Once again.. when your words fall flat.. threaten. Typical christian garbage.
      Losing ground in providing honesty and factual base discussions then throw out the "BEWARE!"

      You'll die too. You won't live an immortal life on this planet. Death is sure and is an equal right to all.

      November 7, 2011 at 3:18 am |
    • Mirosal

      @ Martin ... actually the scientific community welcomes opposing views. And if you can prove that someone's theory is incorrect by showing them the reasons AND proof as to why, they appreciate knowing the truth to theor answers. Oh, and before you start in on the Atheists' opposite view of your own by askling us for proof, you'll need to provide all your research and evidence so as to give us a working baseline. Simply opening a 2000 year old book filled with 3000 year old stories, then copy and paste to a blog is NOT evidence or research in any way shape or form.

      November 7, 2011 at 3:28 am |
    • tallulah13

      Yes, Martin. Science is self-correcting and always pursues the truth. That's the beauty of it; what is known is a stepping stone for what will be known, and may even be replaced. There are no pat answers or pretty promises in science. It's the pursuit of the unknown by people with intellectual curiosity.

      Christianity is the opposite, content with an immutable, yet contradictory 2000 year old text of dubious origin. It is full of supernatural events and beings that have absolutely no basis in the real world. It promises a heaven and threatens a hell, yet there is no evidence that either exists. It offers adults perpetual childhood under the watchful eye of a supernatural parent. Frankly I have no idea why anyone would find this believable or desirable.

      November 7, 2011 at 3:31 am |
    • Martin

      The "Beware" was a jest, Answer.. lighten up. I was kidding around.

      I understand the standard of scientific truth, so don't get high & mighty. I use high end math in my job, I study spectra & waveforms...statistics, I am an educated man.

      By requiring God to meet your standard of proof.. you put yourself on His throne. You forget that, being the Almighty, as much as you may despise it, He sets the rules. He does not come to you on your terms. You must humble yourself and come to God on His terms.

      The truth is that I called out to God & He answered. Millions of people, both highly educated people and simple people, will tell you the same.
      You don't need proof, you need an excuse to continue in sin, it is that simple. And if you were honest with yourself, you would admit that. But as it is, you a spiritually blind. That is why I pray for you. Because God CAN intervene an open your eyes.

      November 7, 2011 at 3:56 am |
    • Tallulah13

      Only a fool believes in god without proof. It's as simple as that. Humanity has invented thousands of gods and there is no evidence that your god is not yet another invention.

      November 7, 2011 at 4:46 am |
    • HeavenSent

      He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,

      1 Timothy 6:4

      Amen.

      November 7, 2011 at 6:17 am |
  16. ignorance

    I find it hard to believe that the people who are truely ripping this country apart are the ones who want to blame everyone else. As a matter of fact thats all they do all day is blame everyone else. Instead of getting to work and "getting this coutry back together" they want to point the finger all day. They want to tell you that your beliefs are wrong and that faith is worthless. I mean of course faith is worthless if you have none. And therein lies the cycle you people need to give up.....you have no faith in this country because you refute faith altogether.....you remain vain in the face of truth.....you believe our country is hurt when it is strong....your pessimism and lack of faith is what leads you to believe your own self concieved disastrous state of our nation. America is on track you foolish people need to just quit whining....dust yourself off....realize that vanity and superficial beliefs are whats making you become your own worst enemy.....especially if you are as enthusiatic about politics and public welfare as you claim.....because to me all you "enlightened" people want to do is scream with the crowd and hope that in the future you have a story to tell whoever wants to hear that "you were there when the revolution began"...oh yeah and if you wanted to make a difference as you claim.....go to school get to work and do something with your life...become a leader....and then you will realize just like our leaders realize.....what other people think about you or anything does not matter...because happiness and self fulfillment comes from within...but you have to take one step forward in faith, not take two steps back and blame who you can and hopefully in 2 months you can watch the world burn for all the wrong its done to you.....stand up be proud of our leaders and have faith in our country...God Bless America!!!!!!!!

    November 7, 2011 at 1:41 am |
    • miscreantsall

      oh shut up!!!!!!!!

      Faith in our country has nothing to do with faith in God (your God , my God, their God…..the Universe…….whatever).

      Your generous text mirrors your handle name: IGNORANCE

      November 7, 2011 at 1:48 am |
    • ThinkForYourself

      Let's not get carried away here. Atheist lack faith in a higher power. That doesn't mean they don't have faith in their country. With the beginning of your post I thought you were going to be referencing congress – just pointing the finger but not actually doing anything. But then you went off the rails... Are you talking about atheists? The Occupy Wall Street protesters ('cause many of them are quite religious – cnn did an article on that not too long ago)?

      "you remain vain in the face of truth"
      – are you talking about Perry's stance on evolution?

      "America is on track you foolish people need to just quit whining"
      -I'll stop whining when my friends stop having their civil rights oppressed. I'll stop whining when state legislatures stop passing bills that allow students to bully others if they can claim religion motivation. I'll stop whining when people stop trying to inject religion into science classes. Sorry, but I love this country and I'm not going to sit quietly in the corner and watch it stumble.

      November 7, 2011 at 1:54 am |
    • Mirosal

      Your little diatribe is full of contradictions. We aren't the politicians at a microphone telling others who is to blame. We aren't the ones telling people that "god told me to". let me quote you here - "America is on track you foolish people need to just quit whining....dust yourself off....realize that vanity and superficial beliefs are whats making you become your own worst enemy." Exactly WHAT track is that? And as far as the 2nd part of that sentence, you just nailed Gov. Perry to a "T". I'll agree than happiness and self-fulfillment come from within. I won't argue that. But there is NO need for any imaginary sky-fairy to help us accomplish that. We are very amused by you thumpers. You bring us a lot of laughter in our lives. It isn't artheists that go knocking on doors telling people that they are inherently evil and need to be "saved". We do not go on TV to tell others that "god" needs money to support a church. Nor are we on TV in a political sense to tell others what they think they want to hear. We do have faith in this country, and if this "god" of yours is SO important in the running of it, then why isn't this "being" mentioned in our most important legal docu.ment? That paper expressly says (in Article 6) that NO religious tests are ever required for any ..ANY political office at all. We are not impressed by the politicis because they are all about style over substance.

      November 7, 2011 at 1:54 am |
    • ignorance

      obviously you read all i had to say....it made sense didnt it....but as i said the foolish will be foolish....and faith is faith.....so a person of faith will not spend all day crying about spilt milk....and a leader will let nothing hold them back....but someone like you will always look for the worst..

      November 7, 2011 at 1:56 am |
    • ThinkForYourself

      "obviously you read all i had to say....it made sense didnt it"

      No, it didn't. It was clear as mud. You're never clear on what you're referencing. Stream of conscious writing usually isn't a good method of effectively communicating ideas. Try sentences. And try being more explicit.

      November 7, 2011 at 1:59 am |
    • HellBent

      so a person of faith will not spend all day crying about spilt milk.
      -Like when many believers drone on and on about how gay marriage will mark the end of civilization as we know it?

      "...and a leader will let nothing hold them back"
      -Like the GWB lied to start a war? He wasn't going to let something so trivial as the truth hold him back!

      November 7, 2011 at 2:01 am |
    • ignorance

      Thinky for yourslef....then why whine...go for a longterm goal that will actually have an effect,...you seem to want to project enthusiasm...but if your conviction was truely written deep within u.... and it might very well be...i believe youd try your hand in politics...and another thing...faith has to be in a higher being because if you believe that you faith has cause...then what created that cause....why is it significant to actually have true faith

      November 7, 2011 at 2:04 am |
    • Rahn

      Your name fits you perfectly, because I have no idea what the hell you are talking about and from the looks of it, neither do you. Faith is believing in something for no good reasons or in other words believing in something for bad reasons. All of your little one liners are absolutely ignorant of the situation that this country is in. I know facing reality for you is difficult, but you need to do it. Why ? you might ask. Because it's the truth and living in the light of truth is always best. It's always best to be able to justify your reasons for believing in something. If you care whether or not your beliefs are true, then you need to provide reasons and evidence to back them up, otherwise you are just being irrational and dare I say ignorant.

      November 7, 2011 at 2:05 am |
    • ignorance

      THink for yourself.....obviously it stirred you up...and you are still responding....because the way i wrote it was to incite those feelings....how else can you get to say all you want....if i wanted to spend all night writing then maybe id care...but as i said ...leaders do not care what others think...your opinions are as well founded as a mermaid on land...because the way i write a blog does not hinder my ability to get my point across...try adding feeling to your writing...and you might find it works better than your seemingly monotnous tone

      November 7, 2011 at 2:11 am |
    • ThinkForYourself

      @ignorance – is english not your first language? Because the following makes no sense:

      faith has to be in a higher being because if you believe that you faith has cause...then what created that cause....why is it significant to actually have true faith

      What in the world are you trying to say? What created what cause? Do you really not see a difference in say, a faith in Allah and a faith in country – or even just in a real person?

      And I am politically active – I do get involved in the causes I'm passionate about.

      November 7, 2011 at 2:12 am |
    • ThinkForYourself

      "because the way i write a blog does not hinder my ability to get my point across"

      -yes it does. And its clear from other posters I'm not along in feeling that way.

      November 7, 2011 at 2:14 am |
    • ignorance

      Rahn....Do i really need to back up what i think online...and you being the expert....why dont you fully explain to me the state that the country is in...enlighten me....but you already know how far that will go....just as my attempt to change others mind's fell short....so will any others opinion...i have my mind made up for my own well founded reasons...all im saying is that spending all day protesting and postulating is of no benefit to anyone...going about your life and making things best for yourself is in the best interest of this country as a whole....I believe Adam Smith said it best....the best results come from one person doing whats best for himself and the team...not throwing a hissy fit

      November 7, 2011 at 2:19 am |
    • tallulah13

      "Ignorance" is the perfect screen name for this particular poster.

      November 7, 2011 at 2:47 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Ignorance, all the atheists on this site are unemployed. That's why they are complaining 24/7.

      Amen.

      November 7, 2011 at 3:03 am |
    • tallulah13

      Making up untrue stories about people is bearing false witness, HS. Don't you ever tire of breaking that particular commandment? You would rather tell a malicious lie than tell the truth. You may not care how your love of lying makes you look, but it reflects very poorly on your religion and your god.

      November 7, 2011 at 3:15 am |
    • HeavenSent

      tallulah13, you spewed the following babble "Making up untrue stories about people is bearing false witness, HS. Don't you ever tire of breaking that particular commandment? You would rather tell a malicious lie than tell the truth. You may not care how your love of lying makes you look, but it reflects very poorly on your religion and your god."

      Answer: Your generation can't get a job because the baby boomers have yet to retire. Look up those statistics on that ratty site that makes you hate Jesus the way you do.

      As for speaking truth, you atheist disregard it whenever it suits you.

      Amen.

      November 7, 2011 at 6:14 am |
  17. Mirosal

    @ Martin ... You won't find X-tians telling atheists to shut up simply because we do not go on TV to express our views to "impress" people. All we ever hear from people like you is that this "god" is real because a 2000 year old book says it's real. We would just like you to make your claim WITHOUT using that book. Can you do that for us? Just this once? Use another source of reference? You made the claim, the burden of proof is on you, it isn't on Atheists to prove you wrong. We didn't make the claim, you did.

    November 7, 2011 at 1:38 am |
    • Answer

      Mirosal,

      They'll never understand that concept! The burden of proof is such an easy concept to grasp in this world and yet for them it is farther than their god.

      I've tried to give the most basic understanding by using the "insurance company" analogy and yet they still don't get it. Call them stupid, that's what I do. 🙂

      November 7, 2011 at 2:32 am |
    • Martin

      Atheists on this board are advocating and asking for Christians to "Shut up".

      As for Proof:
      Have you ever sincerely asked God to show you the truth?

      I used to be an ardent agnostic.. I couldn't be an atheist because it is impossible to make a positive proclamation that God doesn't exist without being Omniscient yourself, thereby producing a contradiction. I would have been an atheist if it were logically possible or sustainable.

      But one day, called out to God, and He answered.. and my life changed forever.. just like the Bible says. ..

      Eze 36: 26 "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws."

      You want proof.. I am your proof.. I am telling you, as one human being to another.. The Bible is true.. Jesus IS The Way, The Truth, and The Life.

      and if you sincerely repent and call on Him.. He guarantees He will answer. That is the promise. That is the Proof.

      Don't let your pride block you from the truth. I'm sure you claim in your heart you are a truth seeker.. If you truly are, then it behooves you to explore what may be true. An honest atheist will admit he cannot prove Gods non-existence. Admit it. You could be wrong, and I am telling you, you are wrong.

      2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."

      November 7, 2011 at 2:32 am |
    • Answer

      @Martin

      Shut up!

      Now what part of those words hurt you? Do they hurt? Good.
      Shut up. Go back to the stone ages and live in that way. Be free in your ignorance and shut it.

      November 7, 2011 at 2:35 am |
    • ThinkForYourself

      "I used to be an ardent agnostic.. I couldn't be an atheist because it is impossible to make a positive proclamation that God doesn't exist without being Omniscient yourself, thereby producing a contradiction. I would have been an atheist if it were logically possible or sustainable."

      This depends on what definitions you're using. I would consider myself an agnostic (I cannot know) atheist (I lack belief).

      November 7, 2011 at 2:35 am |
    • Answer

      There are only two paths to take to get to a conclusion of "god existing". If you can name a third then go ahead.
      Here they are:

      1) There is never a case of something always being there at the beginning.
      2) If god created this universe in the beginning, THEN, HE pulled himself out of nothingness and then started creation!

      On the same concept of a god pulling himself out of nothingness, then there is an equal valid point that the BIG BANG started on it's own. which part of the logic you follow? I follow the BIG BANG because this one is valid and makes sense.

      November 7, 2011 at 2:40 am |
    • diggydirt

      @Martin – Doesn't it also say in John 14:14 "If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it." If this is absolutely true and the word of GOD, then why doesn't he answer and DO IT like he promised? I know that many many Christians have asked for the end of hunger, war, drought, famine, poverty, etc etc.... So why does it still happen? I wan't a REAL Christian, someone who deeply and truly believes in GOD to ask for this and see what happens. Let me know the outcome.

      November 7, 2011 at 2:52 am |
    • Mirosal

      Actuallym by telling us that jesus saved you only tells us that you really are gullible. You say that your jesus is the ONLY way... so then the other 6 billion on this planet who do not follow your belief are doomed to eternal suffering? How selfish can you be? You DO know that non X-tians outnumber X-tians in this world 6 to 1 .. right? It's amazing how narrow-minded you are. You keep telling others it's real. Tell us all, please, are Zeus, Apollo, Isis, Ra, Thor, Odin et. al. real as well? Well, are they? Just a yes or no will suffice here.

      November 7, 2011 at 2:54 am |
    • HeavenSent

      I do believe this scripture is becoming one of my favorites ...

      Jesus said,

      But there are some of you who do not believe.

      Not believing dictates not understanding.

      2 Corinthians 4:4

      November 7, 2011 at 3:07 am |
    • Answer

      What do you understand HeavenSent?

      November 7, 2011 at 3:14 am |
  18. Alex

    As a Christian who lives in Texas, it's obvious that Rick Perry is a complete crock. Clearly if Rick Perry adhered to the Christian faith and made it the center of his life, he wouldn't have indulged in corruption and driven the education system in Texas into the ground. He's crooked just like every other politician who's tried to use the "faith card" to get more votes from far right conservative Christians. The fact that this is such a long, in-depth article is nauseating to me. Rick Perry has been awful for Texas and would be infinitely worse as the President.

    November 7, 2011 at 1:30 am |
    • wow

      I am seriously impressed. A christian who disowns Perry? You have entrusted me with a glimmer of hope for your kind. Thank you for being rational.

      November 7, 2011 at 3:36 am |
  19. AlienFactor

    Thank the Gods that I am an Athiest. What? Huh? LOL!

    Let me rephrase that. All praise to the Flying Spaghetti Monster that I have been granted reason enough to be able to fathom the Universe in all its Majesty and realize that we are so insignificant in all regards that we do not matter one whit as far as the Universe cares. One insignificant planet orbiting one insignificant star out of billions, in one insignificant galaxy out of billions of other galaxies, and we are somehow the sole focus of a greater being that by all accounts has not had any provable direct communication with mankind, ever?

    Mostly Harmless. 42. Douglas Adams got it right. Grab your towels, this election could end up in a bumpy ride.

    November 7, 2011 at 1:27 am |
    • Mirosal

      Don't forget to say good-bye and thanks for all the fish 🙂

      November 7, 2011 at 1:31 am |
    • miscreantsall

      AMEN!!!!!!!!!!

      🙂

      November 7, 2011 at 1:42 am |
    • ignorance

      if you really believe that...and its not just vainty mixed with rhetoric so that you can seem as if you are so enlightened....then why state your opinion...why care....why not go end it all right now.....especially if you are so SURE of your truth....because any move you make after reading this will only further prove my point....your ideas are vain....open your heart to the truth....because its within you at all times no matter how much you try to hide it......

      November 7, 2011 at 1:48 am |
    • ThinkForYourself

      "why not go end it all right now"
      -if you think you need a deity to have a desire to live then I'd say your handle is highly appropriate.

      November 7, 2011 at 1:57 am |
    • IKYABWAI

      ignorance - "why not go end it all right now.....especially if you are so SURE of your truth."

      Back atcha, bud. You are the one who thinks that he is for SURE going to eternal bliss. Why not just go?

      p.s. you are as dotty as your writing.

      November 7, 2011 at 1:59 am |
    • Mirosal

      "Vanity mixed with rhetoric" .. .you just described every single politico with an agenda, including your boy Perry. If you really ARE so sure of your truth, please, go ahead, end it all for you.... PLEASE ... we promise to not stand in your way

      November 7, 2011 at 2:11 am |
    • Answer

      @ignorance

      It's a funny thing that religious i-d-i-o-t-s always want people to die when people reject their garbage. Typical self righteous morons.

      November 7, 2011 at 2:28 am |
  20. Jackie

    It worked for Bush and Perry now says it will work for him as God is now directing him to be President. We now know Bush's God was really Satan as we saw 8 years of crime, two Wars, Recession and War Crimes. Now Perry must be talking about the same fake God as his speech while being drunk/high spoke to who he worships.

    November 7, 2011 at 1:24 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.