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My Take: If Rwandans can forgive killings, we can forgive the waitress
Innocent, left, is a Rwandan who murdered five people, including the brother of Gespard, right.
November 7th, 2011
12:13 PM ET

My Take: If Rwandans can forgive killings, we can forgive the waitress

Editor’s note: Jeremy Cowart is a Los Angeles-based celebrity portrait photographer and founder of Help-Portrait, a global movement of photographers giving free portraits to those in need. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

By Jeremy Cowart, Special to CNN

Would you forgive the bully that tripped you in 3rd grade? What about the terrible service from that lazy waitress? Or the guy who cut you off on the interstate?

What about the man who murdered your children? If he asked you for forgiveness, would you grant it? Would you agree to spend time with him – maybe one day call him your friend?

That's what some in Rwanda are doing: Forgiving and reconciling with murderers who killed their children, friends, siblings and parents during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

See Cowart's Rwanda series on CNN Photos.

I recently met some of them face-to-face.

My journey to them began a year ago, when I attended a conference for young Christians called Catalyst. A filmmaker named Laura Waters Hinson presented her documentary "As We Forgive," about a pair of Rwandan women on a journey to reconcile with the men who slaughtered their families.

The 1994 genocide had seen tens of thousands of Rwandan Hutus, provoked by extremist propaganda, kill roughly 800,000 Tutsi neighbors. Hinson had been showing her film across Rwanda to encourage reconciliation in schools, churches and villages.

After she spoke, I presented "Voices of Haiti," a series of photos I captured in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

At the conference, Hinson and I discussed combining our projects into a "Voices of Reconciliation" photo series. We wanted Rwandans to have an opportunity to make their own statements to the world. Nine months later, I was in Rwanda, working with Hinson and her team.

I grew up in the church and am a practicing Christian. I've heard "love your neighbor" and "forgive others because God forgave you" my entire life. But I don't recall my church ever discussing the idea of forgiving killers.

Our culture certainly doesn't promote the idea. The terms we discuss are "death penalty" vs. "life sentence." We expect full justice at every turn.

No one ever goes so far as to say, "You know, you might consider forgiving the guy that killed your dad." And who would suggest building a relationship with the murderer?

But what if we did forgive because "God forgave us?" Christians believe that God offers forgiveness to the worst of humanity. God, via the death of Jesus, traded places with humanity, bearing the punishment for sin that everyone else deserved. For Rwandans, it’s this theological principle that’s enabling a growing phenomenon of radical forgiveness.

Let's put beliefs aside. What if our entire culture - Christian, Jewish, Muslim, atheist, whatever - forgave everyone,  even our worst enemies?

What if we generously tipped our waitress after terrible service? What if we stopped counting the wrongs of our spouse and gave them a clean slate? What if we forgave the uncle who sexually abused us as a child?

From what I witnessed in Rwanda, this kind of radical grace is possible. While incredibly difficult to accomplish - especially if the offender has not admitted their wrong and asked for forgiveness, it’s a force that has the power to tear down walls and free hearts.

Hinson, whose film led to the creation of a Rwandan reconciliation organization, says that “some Rwandans liken unforgiveness to the experience of having acid eat you from the inside out. Others describe it like being trapped in a prison of hatred.”

“For the victims,” she says, “forgiving their offenders is a way of setting themselves free from the chains of anger and bitterness.”

On the other hand, I was struck by meeting many perpetrators whose burden of guilt seemed to weigh almost as heavily on them as the victims’ burden of pain. Forgiveness released both ends of the burden. It is perhaps the greatest thing I'll ever see in my lifetime.

The guys in the photo above wrote a message on their arms: "Love is the weapon that destroys all evil.”

It's hard to believe that the man named Innocent, left, murdered five people, including the brother of Gespard, right. They are standing on the site of the executions.

After serving a few years in prison, Innocent was released upon confessing to his crimes. He begged Gespard for forgiveness during a reconciliation workshop sponsored by the As We Forgive Rwanda Initiative.

Like many Rwandans, these men participated in a reconciliation process that involved months of workshops, along with praying and doing agricultural work together, part of an ingenious effort to encourage reconciliation and alleviate poverty at the same time.

Today, Innocent and Gespard count each other as friends.

Other messages that survivors and perpetrators wrote on their signs are "Brothers in Forgiveness," "Truth restores trust" and "We restored our humanity."

Maybe we start small and decide to forgive the waitress, no matter what. Maybe if we begin with small acts of grace, we could one day find ourselves practicing radical grace and restoring humanity, too.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Jeremy Cowart. Cowart's and Hinson's work in Rwanda was funded by a grant from the SEVEN Fund, an organization that promotes enterprise solutions to poverty.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Opinion • Rwanda • Violence

soundoff (442 Responses)
  1. myweightinwords

    Forgiveness like this is something many can not conceive. We have trouble forgiving the little things, we hold grudges, we carry our hurts around inside of us like some kind of precious cargo.

    That hurt festers within us, and grows, even when we think it is forgotten.

    I'm not sure that I could forgive someone who murdered someone I loved, particularly not if that person didn't come seeking that forgiveness. I know that it took me years to come to a place to forgive someone who hurt me profoundly, destroyed my faith and left me stranded alone in a strange city with no means to support myself. It took a long time and a lot of soul searching, but I eventually did it. I forgave him, even if I never told him so.

    Also, I should have it noted that I did so outside of Christianity. I did it as a Pagan. Because it was the right thing for me to do, in order to get past it, to let go of the hurt and begin to grow again.

    November 8, 2011 at 11:34 am |
  2. William Demuth

    Forgiveness is a genetic suicide trip.

    Kill or be killed. Deal with it, or your genes will be overwhelmed.

    November 8, 2011 at 8:55 am |
    • o.k.

      Nice try William. You complain that Christian's hold on to a bronze age belief, yet you yourself hold on to a cave man's philosophy. Kill or be killed indeed. Forgiveness does not mean that you don't have a right to self-defense or the obligation to come to the defense of others. It means that once the deed is done, once the adrenaline has subsided, once you have time to think clearly, you make a conscious decision not to hold a grudge–not for the transgressors benefit, but for yours.

      November 8, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Keep thinking that and my genes will win.

      Kill or be killed

      November 8, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • o.k.

      William...I honestly feel sorry for you. What a way to live...always holding a grudge, letting it eat you up from inside. Do you enjoy the stress that goes with it? I don't know how your genes survive over mine–your're headed for the early heart attack. You mantra (at least here) is "I will always hate you!" What a small person you are.

      November 8, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  3. hippypoet

    @The Soul of The English Language... why did you attack me last night and for what reason besides my clear non caring towards proper use of the english language and poor grammer useage....why the hate? Did i do something to you or are you just natural this mean out of spite? Whats your real handle, i have never seen this one around but yet you seem to have been reading or at least trying to read my posts the whole time...strange, kinda stalker-ish, but i take compliment! Oh and i forgot to tell you last night becaue i was confused to your issues that i love your post on bashing me... it was awesomely evil with connections to hitler and jack the ripper – that was a thing of beauty. Just lovely, mean and hateful, but lovely! I would like to get to know who you are, what your about, what your beliefs are if any, and if possible – find out why your so mad at me...any order is fine, its up to you....please come and chat with me. 🙂

    November 8, 2011 at 8:09 am |
  4. Jimtanker

    Comparing someone who cuts you off on the freeway to someone who brutally murders your childeren? Is this guy re-tarded? I would kiII the guy the first minute that I saw him if he so much as touched my kids inappropriately.

    Who does this Jeremy Coward guy think he is?

    November 8, 2011 at 8:08 am |
    • hippypoet

      Jimtanker, he is speaking in general terms for the idea of forgiviness... can you forgive the guy who cut you off on the highway? if not then the man who killed your family is definitly out! But knowing where your limits are, if you try, allows you to push them outward and stretch your arm of forgiviness and maybe live a more forefilling life. Not my idea, just the article. I think its asking for a hell of a lot. I would hunt down and murder in the most evil way anyone who fuks with my family, but i am a very forgiving person....just before i kill the dude, i would totally ask him/her for their forgiviness, then they die! The answer wouldn't matter to the extent of there lives but it would help my brain over come the deeds later in life. I know, i'm sick, but it works for me.

      November 8, 2011 at 8:17 am |
  5. James

    Africa Is mess American blacks are To Poor to help them. We need the secret KKK members in the Republican party to stop oppressing us.

    November 8, 2011 at 4:34 am |
  6. Luther

    Ah I love this article.. This is what being a Christian is all about! Praise the Lord!!! Jesus rocks!!!

    Romans 5:6 "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. "

    November 8, 2011 at 1:18 am |
    • allfaith

      With all due respect, does man need an intermediary between himself and God? Jesus was an example of the application of acceptance, but if Jesus would believe that every man is a son of God then no man is divine, including Jesus.
      Religion aside, this effort to focus on love, compassion, and peace is a wise and necessary step to moving forward as equal individuals that are aware of the madness that comes from acting out of ignorance and fear.

      November 8, 2011 at 3:09 am |
    • Jimtanker

      There was no jebus, the bible is a work of fiction, stop believing in fairy tales.

      November 8, 2011 at 8:09 am |
    • hippypoet

      @Jimtanker – sry to inform you but – now keep in mind that I am an devoted atheist – there was a man who lived at the time jesus was said to have lived, preached a similiar message, and died the same death... and so he was the man know today as jesus... his name then was more like todays Joshua then jesus but whatever... there is plenty of historic proof to his existence, and all the ancient historians don't argue his life, only his divinity. Just something to think about.

      November 8, 2011 at 8:13 am |
    • Jimtanker

      There is no PROOF HP. There may be spurious evidence but I don’t have to believe that garbage. Was there ever a man named Jesus way back then, probably so, but not the person who they are talking about.

      November 8, 2011 at 9:29 am |
    • hippypoet

      proof and evidence are different. One leads you to a conculsion, while the other is exact "proof" of something ... evidence is something one has to provide for an argument, while proof is something someone can't argue. There is proof for the existence of jesus, duh, the dude lived 2000 years ago... however this is plenty of evidence of his existence.

      November 8, 2011 at 9:59 am |
  7. Reality

    Dear citizens of Rwanda,

    Putting the kibosh on all religions:

    • There was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • There was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    Recognizing the flaws, follies and frauds in the foundations of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity et al, the "bowers", kneelers" and "pew peasants" are converging these religions into some simple rules of life e.g. "Do No Harm".

    No koran, bible, clerics, nuns, monks, imams, evangelicals, ayatollahs, rabbis, professors of religion or priests needed or desired.

    Ditto for houses of "worthless worship" aka mosques, churches, basilicas, cathedrals, temples and synagogues.

    November 7, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Reality: what do you find so threatening about such radical forgiveness that you feel the need to enlighten Rwandans out of it?

      November 8, 2011 at 12:26 am |
    • Therese

      Russ, - Forgiveness does not require superst-itions.

      November 8, 2011 at 4:44 am |
    • Joxer the Mighty

      I will believe you when you cite your facts. Since there were no facts in it, your post holds no weight.

      November 8, 2011 at 6:23 am |
    • Russ

      @ Therese: I guess that begs a question. Why forgive? It costs terribly to forgive. Why do it?

      Christians forgive because our *superst.ition* tells us that's what Jesus did for us. God gave us mercy instead of justice.

      Why not just seek justice? Unless you believe you've done similarly wrong things... but that begins to sound a lot like what you call superst.ition...

      November 8, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
  8. FaithChaser

    Very inspiring post, Jeremy. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    This is truly RADICAL, IRRATIONAL grace in action. Wow.

    I have never experienced anything like the atrocities in Rwanda; I don't know how I'd respond if I did and I'm certainly not going to try to guess.

    I do know a few things about forgiveness...and the lack of it. I've, fairly recently, learned a couple of things which have helped me set a different tone for forgiveness in my life. Someone told me that when I refuse to forgive it's "like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die."

    Holding on to hate destroys a person – the hate damages your body, your mind, your soul, your relationships, your life. Hate leaves people paralyzed and unable to effect change – either within ourselves or in the world around us. And these realities aren't confined to a single religion, faith, belief, ethnicity or country. It's poison. The only way to heal is to get rid of the hate.

    Recently, I read another profound statement: "Forgiveness is giving up all hope of a better past." Not only am I unable to change the things I've already done – or the things which have been done to me...neither can the person(s) I wronged or who wronged me change their past. No matter what I do or say – or how much punishment is meted out – the past will never change.

    Healing begins when we realize that we have to release the hate and grab on to hope for the future. I'm not naive enough to think that all of the stories of forgiveness can or will culminate in reconciliation. I am agreeing with you, Jeremy, when you say that – if some of the Rwandans can forgive those who "trespassed against them", then I can certainly put on a smile and use a kind tone when I've received bad service. Suddenly, that doesn't seem radical at all!

    Thanks again, Jeremy, for your writing, your insight, your courage, and your stories of RADICAL, IRRATIONAL grace.

    We are POTSC! http://www.potsc.com

    November 7, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
    • merrill

      What a great article!! I am so inspired by the stories of forgiveness, especially when so much pain/past/hurt is at stake. I cannot begin to imagine what I would feel if I were in either of these men's shoes, but I can see how forgiveness has freed them both. What an amazing story! Thank you for sharing.

      November 7, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
  9. Copy paste sucks

    The Soul of The English Language
    hippypoet, what is a "lier?" Could you by chance educate yourself prior to making outlandish claims? That would be a great start. Otherwise, none of us are ever going to take your arguments seriously. The only thing I see are cancerous tumors of grammatical error riddling each and every one of your posts. I can't get through any of your posts without weeping for torment you have wrought upon English. It is as though I'm walking through a concentration camp full of the corpses of malnourished and tortured, broken bodies of words and phrases. You, with each post start a war whose grammatical casualties cannot be counted. Please, for the love of balls, stop being lazy and learn how to spell, use proper punctuation and figure out how to properly use contractions.

    You whine about "reading the content of the message," but we can't read or be bothered to figure out the content if you can't get the content written out without filling it full of your figurative bullet holes. You've left the English language bloodied and bashed like an unfortunate victim of Jack the Ripper and Hitler rolled into one.

    November 7, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    hippypoet
    i care not for proper grammer useage or spelling corrections, but if thats what makes your day, then by all means, correct me...but read the message as well.

    here is the historic evidence on my reasons for saying that jesus is a thief and a lier –

    before jesus came around Abraham's god was mean and angry, jelous and spiteful...but thats not the god jesus preached about...his message was nearly exactly like that of another great preacher – the first Buddha – he spoke about the evils of material wealth and to love one another and to show compassion to all people – jesus even preached rebirth of himself, a.k.a. reincarnartion! and the heaven idea is just a view of reincarnartion but on a different realm of existence...Shortly after the Buddha there was a spiritual happening going down in Persia, the Movement was started with a man named Zarathruster – greek translation Zoroaster – the religion that stemed from it...Zoroasterianism, the basic tenets are One great good all powerful god and the evil enemy...no other religion has an enemy of god like Zoroaster did...the first monotheistict religion was Abraham, but the first devil figure was Zoroaster's god... so with the good vs. evil gods and the message of love and compassion jesus had the perfect scam...then he died...oops!

    November 7, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice
    The Soul of The English Language

    This is a blog. People type fast. There is no spell checker. We all make mistakes and no one cares as long as the messages can be understood. If you have nothing to offer besides that, fuk off. You are just being a dik and will get no respect here.

    HP is well respected by many here and a very bright young man.

    November 7, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
    Bob
    What AO said, and see my response next article over. Hey Soul, did you really need to repeat that ramble here too?

    November 7, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice
    @soultrain

    What about Jesus' famous statement in the Bible (attributed to him), "Happy are those who have not seen yet still believe"? What you realize is that this statement creates the perfect cover for a scam. Let's say you are Jesus, you are a normal human being, you realize that you are going to die (everybody does) and you want to cover for this fact. Here is what you would say: "Happy are those who have not seen yet still believe." What you are saying is, "the way I am going to show you that I exist is by not showing that I exist." For every other object in the universe, the way that we know it exists is because the object provides evidence of its existence. If there is no evidence for an object's existence, we call it imaginary (e.g. Leprechauns). But with Jesus, the lack of evidence is turned into evidence. Quite clever, but obviously a scam.

    November 7, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
    Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son
    Soul, I really do empathize with you. It grates when I see the horrendous mangling of the language that occurs on these boards. I agree that it's awful, but it's useless to rail against it. Unless it's some whack-basket posting it. Then it's okay to lambaste to your heart's content.

    November 7, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
    hippypoet
    sry, i wish i could help myself but alas, i can not... "weeping for torment you have wrought upon English." you state here that you are crying for torment.....you wish to be beaten and you are crying for it, interesting. And what is the word wrought? And upon English... is that the people, culture, or language? since you are the Soul of the English Language you should have proof read your post of meaniness and insulting nature.... i mean come on really!!!! you make me sad.

    November 7, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
    The Soul of The English Language
    Actually, there is a spell check. Use Firefox. If you murder a word, it can be revived once you glance over it and see the little red squiggly under it. Give it a little CPR by consulting with a thesaurus or a dictionary. Just a little tender, loving care. I can't take a believer's posts seriously because they're spouting filth, and I can't take hippy's posts seriously because I can't read them. Making the excuse that "this is a blog" is just a cop-out. Take a little pride in what you have to say. I see a whole lot of people rapid fire posting with no issues. What's this guy's excuse?

    November 7, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice
    Tom Tom
    Dare I say you are lightening up a bit? LOL

    OK, so Harriet has been confronted in Australia. I have reserved the next book at the library.

    November 7, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice
    OMG Soul. This is NOT about offending your sensibilities relative to the English language. Get over yourself.

    November 7, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice
    Oh, also I hate Firefox, and if I gave a fuk I would just type my posts in Word, which I do sometimes. But the bottom line is, you are like a little nerdy dweeb. Are you 15? How about participating in the conversation and if you make a mistake in grammar or spelling, I won't mention it.

    November 7, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    hippypoet
    wat da mater? cant u unda sand ma words bit-ch! dammmmmmmm you must be dum or sumtin huh... too bad.

    November 7, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    The Soul of The English Language
    hippy, as usual, you have no idea what you're talking about. Do you not know what the word "wrought" means? You can look it up in the dictionary. It means "worked," more often in regard to the beating and shaping of metal objects into various shapes. In this case, it means you have beaten and shaped (or worked) the English language in a way it is not meant to be. I was stating that I was weeping for English because of what you've done to it. Basic reading comprehension is taught in elementary school.

    November 7, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
    The Soul of The English Language
    Alien, I see you're hippy's little personal savior butt-pal. I guess when the submissive can't defend itself, the little dominatrix has to come along and protect it's little slave. I really don't care whether or not you hate Firefox. My point is that if people actually cared, they'd put in a little effort to better themselves. I suppose if you'd like to continue being maniacally ignorant, by all means, continue writing ineligible posts. Those of us who aren't complacent mind cripples will continue to skip over them and converse with people who actually care.

    November 7, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
    hippypoet
    ""weeping for torment" basic english was taught where? cause i think your missing the word "the" after for...otherwise you truly are stating that you are weeping for torment, the love of being beaten... just sick! lunacy is everywhere – example A – you, plus your a sad little kid with a napoleon complex thinking your better then others because you can spell and correct grammer... who cares about that but you? like i said, sad little kid!

    November 7, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
    hippypoet
    Soul... you claim to have bettered yourself? wheres the wisdom? wheres the intelligence? aside from english...you got nothing!

    November 7, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice
    Yess, thatt iz rite you little troll. I hav a man-crush on HP and poor HP is jus so dum he cann't speek for hisself.

    November 7, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
    Father O'blivion
    Who's in the mood for some flap jacks?

    November 7, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Alien Orifice
    St. Alphonzo and I are rubbing out some tasty pancakes..... come on soul I have some special syrup for you sweety....

    November 7, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice
    Tom Tom
    Lay this one on HS. Do creatures on other planets get to go to heaven too? Perhaps that explains Jesus' 2000 year absence from Earth, He is out on his Galaxy tour preaching the word of the Father!

    November 7, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    BUMBLECLAD
    whynot

    Great article, The one thing I struggle with is what if we forgive a person who kills but then keeps on killing. I'm not God so I don't know how he can do this for us. I agree with what he is saying don't get me wrong it's just not an easy thing to do.
    November 7, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    Ned Nickerson and Nancy play golf with Mortimer

    God is a she.
    November 7, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    Awkward Situations

    Forgiveness isn't a contract. The person may very well go on to do the same horrible things or something similar. Forgiveness has more to do with reconciling the feelings of the person giving the forgiveness and it usually is for a specific event in time.

    I think this article is a bit twisted. I don't understand why someone would want to be buddies with a person who has murdered his family. Okay, fine forgive them but the whole kumbaya thing seems manufactured and creepy. People forgive but they never forget – doing so would be a state of denial.
    November 7, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
    HeavenSent

    God is an evil jerk,

    Amen.
    November 7, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
    youknow

    fine God is not he or she. Give it a break.
    November 7, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |

    jhugz

    Jeremy – you are right in stating that these Rwandans are practicing a radical grace and forgiveness. But you fail to realize that it is exactly because of their belief and their realization of forgiveness through Christ than enables them to extend forgiveness and grace to others. Without realizing the depth of our sin and the cost of our forgiveness through the cross, we have no reason to forgive others to this degree.

    To then say "let's put beliefs aside" and ask if this is possible of all people (Christian, Jew, Muslim, atheist, etc) in our culture is both far too idealistic and ignorant that only Christianity has a view of a God who came down on earth, got His hands dirty, and paid for our sins with his blood.

    What we believe is incredibly important, because it dictates how we act. In the same way, someone's actions are an outflowing of the beliefs of their heart. I praise God that these Rwandan's have been able to believe the gospel so deeply as to forgive in this way.
    November 7, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    miracle

    Absolutely, it is purely God's grace that has made forgiveness possible.
    And, what a testimony this is of what God's grace is all about.
    November 7, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice

    My bolagna has a first name, it's Oscar. My bolagna has a second name it's Meyer. Ohhhhhhhh. I love to eat it every day, and if you ask me why I'll say....Cuz Oscar Meyer has a way wtih bolagna. And I can prove it!
    November 7, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice

    What would happen if we get down on our knees and pray to God in this way:

    Dear God, almighty, all-powerful, all-loving creator of the universe, we pray to you to cure every case of cancer on this planet tonight. We pray in faith, knowing you will bless us as you describe in Matthew 7:7, Matthew 17:20, Matthew 21:21, Mark 11:24, John 14:12-14, Matthew 18:19 and James 5:15-16. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
    We pray sincerely, knowing that when God answers this completely heartfelt, unselfish, non-materialistic prayer, it will glorify God and help millions of people in remarkable ways.
    Will anything happen? No. Of course not
    November 7, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice

    The "God" and the "Jesus" that Christians worship today are actually amalgams formed out of ancient pagan gods. The idea of a "virgin birth", "burial in a rock tomb", "resurrection after 3 days" and "eating of body and drinking of blood" had nothing to do with Jesus. All of the rituals in Christianity are completely man-made. Christianity is a snow ball that rolled over a dozen pagan religions. As the snowball grew, it freely attached pagan rituals in order to be more palatable to converts. You can find accounts like these in popular literature.
    November 7, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    what have u done?

    We all have a big heart of concern for all the ills and plagues and diseases of this world, our heart goes out to mankind that is suffering.

    Now the question to you Alien Ori... is , what have you done lately to help someone in need?
    November 7, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice

    There is no scientific evidence indicating that God exists. We all know that. For example:

    God has never left any physical evidence of his existence on earth.

    None of Jesus' "miracles" left any physical evidence either. (see this page)

    God has never spoken to modern man, for example by taking over all the television stations and broadcasting a rational message to everyone.

    The resurrected Jesus has never appeared to anyone. (see this page)

    The Bible we have is provably incorrect and is obviously the work of primitive men rather than God. (see this page)

    When we analyze prayer with statistics, we find no evidence that God is "answering prayers." (see this page)

    Huge, amazing atrocities like the Holocaust and AIDS occur without any response from God.

    And so on…
    November 7, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    what have u done?

    forgot to add, once you have done enough to be on AC's CNN hero of the year, then come back and I promise , you will hear from me about suffering and what God can do.
    November 7, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice

    @what have u done?
    When you tell me how that is in any way relevent to this post or my follow ups, I will gladly answer you question.
    November 7, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice

    When you look at different religions, they usually contain "magic." For example:

    The Mormon religion contains the magical golden plates, the magical angel, the magical seer stones, the magical ascension of the plates into heaven, etc.

    The Muslim faith contains the magical angel, the magical flying horse, the magical voices, the magical prophet, etc.

    The Christian faith contains the magical insemination, the magical star, the magical dreams, the magical miracles, the magical resurrection, the magical ascension and so on.
    The presence of "magic" is a clear marker for "imaginary." For example, how do we know that Santa is imaginary? Because (among other things) he has eight magical flying reindeer. How do we know that Jack and the Beanstalk is a fairy tale? Because (among other things) the story contains magical seeds. In the same way, how do we know that God is make believe? Because God is surrounded by magic.
    November 7, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice

    If you care for the page references let me know and I will post. I am not big on posting URL's if the website is not my own.

    If someone were to come to you today and say, "I am God!", what would you do? Yes, you would immediately ask for proof. Of course you would. And you would not want goofy proof.You would want real, solid, tangible proof.

    No normal person, and I mean no one, would accept anything less than rock solid proof from a person who claims to be God.

    Why should it be any different with Jesus? Jesus was a man who claims to be God. If he is God, then he ought to be able to prove it in a real, inimitable way. If he cannot prove it then, quite clearly, he is not God.

    A Christian would say, "But Jesus HAS proven it! Just look at all of the miracles he did in the Bible! He healed the sick! He changed water into wine! That PROVES that Jesus is the Lord!" Does that make sense to you? Imagine that someone, today, were to come up to you and say, "I am God, and I will prove that I am God by healing the sick and turning water into wine!" What would you say? Be honest. You would not believe this person because:

    Everyone has seen all sorts of "faith healers" who can "heal" the sick. And we all know that this sort of "healing" is quackery. If it were true, then we would not need doctors, hospitals or prescription medicines.

    Turning water into wine... Doesn't that sound like something that a B-grade David-Copperfield-wannabe magician would do in a nightclub act? There are a dozen ways that you could stage things to make it look like water is turning into wine. There is no reason why a normal person would accept a magic trick as proof that someone is God.

    Neither of these miracles can be scientifically tested today. Not one of Jesus' miracles left any tangible evidence for scientists to study.
    It is as simple as that. If someone claimed to be God today, you would never believe it if the evidence consisted of faith healing and magic tricks. Never. Yet billions of people claim that Jesus' faith healing and magic tricks prove that he is God.
    November 7, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    seek

    @Alien-Are you new to this blog? if you are then I will refer you to the previous article where believers have posted copius amount of material you seek.

    The bigger question is, have you truly searched for the truth?, the scriptures say-Seek and you will find.
    November 7, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice

    jhugz and miracle
    Have you nothing to say to these challenges? I have offered you proof that you are delusional but am met with silence. Here is a good one for you. The good book states that God decides when you will be born and when you will die. It is HIS PLAN. Therefore, God is responsible for abortions and the halocaust correct? It is what God wants.
    November 7, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice

    @seek
    Name ONE provable piece of "material" that you claim are in this blog in copious amounts. Standing by.
    November 7, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    seek

    Standing by is not seeking. Did you go through the previous article?
    November 7, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    Russ

    @ A.O.: Richard Bauckham's new book, "Jesus & the Eyewitnesses" is a scholarly work that has lots of the evidence you are seeking.

    It is interesting that you assume no one in Jesus' day was as skeptical as you are. When Paul says Jesus appeared to 500 people at once (1 Cor.15), that's within 30 years of the claimed event. That's a claim people could & WOULD have checked. If Christianity didn't have eyewitnesses, it would not have gotten off the ground.

    On the flip side: you are clearly skeptical of anything miraculous. Are you consistent enough to be skeptical of your own skepticism?
    November 7, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice

    seek
    You are tiresome. I am not going to tell you my life story. If you have something to prove then prove it. Otherwise move along. Your delusions are of no interest to me. Only truth and facts.
    November 7, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    seek

    @Russ, Thank you!
    You are helping the believer think and helping the thinker believe!
    November 7, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice

    @Russ
    I am familiar with his work. He has spent his career trying to prove that which cannot be proven. His claims are interesting, but speculative. This is not science. He has not satisfactorily demonstrated that “the period between the ‘historical’ Jesus and the Gospels was actually spanned, not by anonymous community transmission, but by the continuing presence and testimony of the eyewitnesses”
    November 7, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
    hippypoet

    i'm just throwing this out there because its more true then god's existance – jesus was a thief and a lier! deal with it... i can offer some evidence to show this point of view as well....
    November 7, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice

    seek and Russ

    What about Jesus' famous statement in the Bible, "Happy are those who have not seen yet still believe"? What you realize is that this statement creates the perfect cover for a scam. Let's say you are Jesus, you are a normal human being, you realize that you are going to die (everybody does) and you want to cover for this fact. Here is what you would say: "Happy are those who have not seen yet still believe." What you are saying is, "the way I am going to show you that I exist is by not showing that I exist." For every other object in the universe, the way that we know it exists is because the object provides evidence of its existence. If there is no evidence for an object's existence, we call it imaginary (e.g. Leprechauns). But with Jesus, the lack of evidence is turned into evidence. Quite clever, but obviously a scam.

    If the resurrection were true, then Jesus would be answering prayers as he promises in the Bible. He would appear when people pray to see him. The reason why he does not appear is simple: Both Jesus and God are imaginary.
    November 7, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    Bucky Ball

    @Alien O,
    Yeshua bar Josef did NOT claim to be divine. THAT was made up much later by *some* of his followers. For a Jew of that day to claim that would be blasphemous. He NEVER said it.
    November 7, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice

    Russ, you are delustional and you are helping no one but whatever. Bring some facts if you want to have a discussion though.

    November 7, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Alien Orifice
    I am not sure why you re-posted all these posts but I can see the humor in it.

    November 7, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
    News Flash
    She has nothing original to say.

    November 7, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice
    But it is so strange and weird.....

    November 7, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
    youknow
    fine God is not a he or a she. Give it up already

    November 7, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Alien Orifice
    Agreed and obviously.

    November 7, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    HeavenSent
    Heaven sent us tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and other natural disasters, plus cancers, typhoid, meningitis, lupus, malaria, and other awful diseases too numerous to mention.

    Wow, Christian god is quite the jerk. He just can't get enough of making innocent folk miserable and killing them.

    Amen.

    November 7, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Alien Orifice
    OH PRAY TO THE WORSHIPFUL ALMIGHTY SUN AND GET ON YOUR KNEES AND MAKE SURE YOU WEAR KNEEPADS OH I AM SO FUNNY AND HUMOROUS. I SPEAK WITH PRETENTIOUS WORDS IN A MATTER OF FACT MANNER FOR I AM NOT SUBJECT TO ANYONE ELSE'S OPINIONS, EVERYONE ELSE IS WRONG WRONG WRONG! MY WORDS ARE THE ONLY THAT MATTER.

    November 7, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Alien Orifice
    Thanks fake Alien. I didn't know how much you cared!

    November 7, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    BUMBLECLAD
    CAN I HAS CHEEZ BURGER NOW?! DON'T YELL SO LOUD I'M NOT THAT HARD OF HEARING. ....:) I HAS BACON IN MY POCKET HOORAY FOR BACON!!!!

    November 7, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice
    You know those cheese burgers are not healthy..BUT...if you are Jonesing, Wendy's has really improved their product.

    November 7, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
    Branden
    Great work Jeremy. Truly inspiring.

    November 7, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Alien Orifice
    Who is Jeremy and what did he do? I have to know.

    November 7, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice
    Oh! You are a first name basis with the author. Got it.

    November 7, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
    hippypoet
    yeah, get it father O......here let me insult too – your mother is a hampster and your father smelt of elder berries! LOL

    gotta love the ALMIGHTY SUN! and scotch.

    November 7, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    Go D is abled
    Love you much Nick, Thank you!

    November 7, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Alien Orifice
    Is it just me or are these embedded movies irritating?

    November 7, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice
    I'm far more irritating than any embedded video could ever be. At least you can ignore a video by not hitting play. Me on the other hand, I know it all, so you're forced to happen upon my superior facts and adhere to them. WORSHIP THE ALMIGHTY SUN.

    November 7, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    Father O'blivion
    Thanks again HS, errr....AO stalker. I can't even disagree with you, except for the Sun Worship. I DIG the sun mind you, but I don't worship it. You see, that is just fooling around and having some fun with the HP. You wouldn't understand anything about fun or humor because you are a bitter old broad with no friends and an on-godly stench in your house due to the dead pets and feces.

    November 7, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    Father O'blivion
    @Alien Orifice
    I agree with ya son, and responded to the old HS. She is busy fixin' herself some cat food for dinner now I think. Bless ya.

    November 7, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    hippypoet
    sry, i posted it in the wrong place!

    yeah, get it father O......here let me insult too – your mother is a hampster and your father smelt of elder berries! LOL

    gotta love the ALMIGHTY SUN! and scotch

    November 7, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice
    Thanks Father O, but I do worhsip the sun. I slather on the SPF 50 every day and dance naked in the streets worshipping the ALMIGHTY SUN!

    November 7, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
    Father O'blivion
    Well then ya are a might irritating son, but bless ya and keep yer privates save now.

    November 7, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    whynot
    Great article, The one thing I struggle with is what if we forgive a person who kills but then keeps on killing. I'm not God so I don't know how he can do this for us. I agree with what he is saying don't get me wrong it's just not an easy thing to do.

    November 7, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Ned Nickerson and Nancy play golf with Mortimer
    God is a she.

    November 7, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    Awkward Situations
    Forgiveness isn't a contract. The person may very well go on to do the same horrible things or something similar. Forgiveness has more to do with reconciling the feelings of the person giving the forgiveness and it usually is for a specific event in time.

    I think this article is a bit twisted. I don't understand why someone would want to be buddies with a person who has murdered his family. Okay, fine forgive them but the whole kumbaya thing seems manufactured and creepy. People forgive but they never forget – doing so would be a state of denial.

    November 7, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
    HeavenSent
    God is an evil jerk,

    Amen.

    November 7, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
    youknow
    fine God is not he or she. Give it a break.

    November 7, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
    News Flash
    The point was, I assume, that if "it" is neither a he, nor a she, then it is not a person, or anything we could imagine. It is a projection of our imaginations, nothing more.

    November 7, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    AGuest9
    How can something that doesn't exist have a gender?

    November 7, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
    jhugz
    Jeremy – you are right in stating that these Rwandans are practicing a radical grace and forgiveness. But you fail to realize that it is exactly because of their belief and their realization of forgiveness through Christ than enables them to extend forgiveness and grace to others. Without realizing the depth of our sin and the cost of our forgiveness through the cross, we have no reason to forgive others to this degree.

    To then say "let's put beliefs aside" and ask if this is possible of all people (Christian, Jew, Muslim, atheist, etc) in our culture is both far too idealistic and ignorant that only Christianity has a view of a God who came down on earth, got His hands dirty, and paid for our sins with his blood.

    What we believe is incredibly important, because it dictates how we act. In the same way, someone's actions are an outflowing of the beliefs of their heart. I praise God that these Rwandan's have been able to believe the gospel so deeply as to forgive in this way.

    November 7, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    miracle
    Absolutely, it is purely God's grace that has made forgiveness possible.
    And, what a testimony this is of what God's grace is all about.

    November 7, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice
    My bolagna has a first name, it's Oscar. My bolagna has a second name it's Meyer. Ohhhhhhhh. I love to eat it every day, and if you ask me why I'll say....Cuz Oscar Meyer has a way wtih bolagna. And I can prove it!

    November 7, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice
    What would happen if we get down on our knees and pray to God in this way:

    Dear God, almighty, all-powerful, all-loving creator of the universe, we pray to you to cure every case of cancer on this planet tonight. We pray in faith, knowing you will bless us as you describe in Matthew 7:7, Matthew 17:20, Matthew 21:21, Mark 11:24, John 14:12-14, Matthew 18:19 and James 5:15-16. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
    We pray sincerely, knowing that when God answers this completely heartfelt, unselfish, non-materialistic prayer, it will glorify God and help millions of people in remarkable ways.
    Will anything happen? No. Of course not

    November 7, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice
    The "God" and the "Jesus" that Christians worship today are actually amalgams formed out of ancient pagan gods. The idea of a "virgin birth", "burial in a rock tomb", "resurrection after 3 days" and "eating of body and drinking of blood" had nothing to do with Jesus. All of the rituals in Christianity are completely man-made. Christianity is a snow ball that rolled over a dozen pagan religions. As the snowball grew, it freely attached pagan rituals in order to be more palatable to converts. You can find accounts like these in popular literature.

    November 7, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    what have u done?
    We all have a big heart of concern for all the ills and plagues and diseases of this world, our heart goes out to mankind that is suffering.

    Now the question to you Alien Ori... is , what have you done lately to help someone in need?

    November 7, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice
    There is no scientific evidence indicating that God exists. We all know that. For example:

    God has never left any physical evidence of his existence on earth.

    None of Jesus' "miracles" left any physical evidence either. (see this page)

    God has never spoken to modern man, for example by taking over all the television stations and broadcasting a rational message to everyone.

    The resurrected Jesus has never appeared to anyone. (see this page)

    The Bible we have is provably incorrect and is obviously the work of primitive men rather than God. (see this page)

    When we analyze prayer with statistics, we find no evidence that God is "answering prayers." (see this page)

    Huge, amazing atrocities like the Holocaust and AIDS occur without any response from God.

    And so on…

    November 7, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    what have u done?
    forgot to add, once you have done enough to be on AC's CNN hero of the year, then come back and I promise , you will hear from me about suffering and what God can do.

    November 7, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice
    @what have u done?
    When you tell me how that is in any way relevent to this post or my follow ups, I will gladly answer you question.

    November 7, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice
    When you look at different religions, they usually contain "magic." For example:

    The Mormon religion contains the magical golden plates, the magical angel, the magical seer stones, the magical ascension of the plates into heaven, etc.

    The Muslim faith contains the magical angel, the magical flying horse, the magical voices, the magical prophet, etc.

    The Christian faith contains the magical insemination, the magical star, the magical dreams, the magical miracles, the magical resurrection, the magical ascension and so on.
    The presence of "magic" is a clear marker for "imaginary." For example, how do we know that Santa is imaginary? Because (among other things) he has eight magical flying reindeer. How do we know that Jack and the Beanstalk is a fairy tale? Because (among other things) the story contains magical seeds. In the same way, how do we know that God is make believe? Because God is surrounded by magic.

    November 7, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice
    If you care for the page references let me know and I will post. I am not big on posting URL's if the website is not my own.

    If someone were to come to you today and say, "I am God!", what would you do? Yes, you would immediately ask for proof. Of course you would. And you would not want goofy proof.You would want real, solid, tangible proof.

    No normal person, and I mean no one, would accept anything less than rock solid proof from a person who claims to be God.

    Why should it be any different with Jesus? Jesus was a man who claims to be God. If he is God, then he ought to be able to prove it in a real, inimitable way. If he cannot prove it then, quite clearly, he is not God.

    A Christian would say, "But Jesus HAS proven it! Just look at all of the miracles he did in the Bible! He healed the sick! He changed water into wine! That PROVES that Jesus is the Lord!" Does that make sense to you? Imagine that someone, today, were to come up to you and say, "I am God, and I will prove that I am God by healing the sick and turning water into wine!" What would you say? Be honest. You would not believe this person because:

    Everyone has seen all sorts of "faith healers" who can "heal" the sick. And we all know that this sort of "healing" is quackery. If it were true, then we would not need doctors, hospitals or prescription medicines.

    Turning water into wine... Doesn't that sound like something that a B-grade David-Copperfield-wannabe magician would do in a nightclub act? There are a dozen ways that you could stage things to make it look like water is turning into wine. There is no reason why a normal person would accept a magic trick as proof that someone is God.

    Neither of these miracles can be scientifically tested today. Not one of Jesus' miracles left any tangible evidence for scientists to study.
    It is as simple as that. If someone claimed to be God today, you would never believe it if the evidence consisted of faith healing and magic tricks. Never. Yet billions of people claim that Jesus' faith healing and magic tricks prove that he is God.

    November 7, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    seek
    @Alien-Are you new to this blog? if you are then I will refer you to the previous article where believers have posted copius amount of material you seek.

    The bigger question is, have you truly searched for the truth?, the scriptures say-Seek and you will find.

    November 7, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice
    jhugz and miracle
    Have you nothing to say to these challenges? I have offered you proof that you are delusional but am met with silence. Here is a good one for you. The good book states that God decides when you will be born and when you will die. It is HIS PLAN. Therefore, God is responsible for abortions and the halocaust correct? It is what God wants.

    November 7, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice
    @seek
    Name ONE provable piece of "material" that you claim are in this blog in copious amounts. Standing by.

    November 7, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    seek
    Standing by is not seeking. Did you go through the previous article?

    November 7, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    Russ
    @ A.O.: Richard Bauckham's new book, "Jesus & the Eyewitnesses" is a scholarly work that has lots of the evidence you are seeking.

    It is interesting that you assume no one in Jesus' day was as skeptical as you are. When Paul says Jesus appeared to 500 people at once (1 Cor.15), that's within 30 years of the claimed event. That's a claim people could & WOULD have checked. If Christianity didn't have eyewitnesses, it would not have gotten off the ground.

    On the flip side: you are clearly skeptical of anything miraculous. Are you consistent enough to be skeptical of your own skepticism?

    November 7, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice
    seek
    You are tiresome. I am not going to tell you my life story. If you have something to prove then prove it. Otherwise move along. Your delusions are of no interest to me. Only truth and facts.

    November 7, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
  10. The Soul of The English Language

    hippypoet, what is a "lier?" Could you by chance educate yourself prior to making outlandish claims? That would be a great start. Otherwise, none of us are ever going to take your arguments seriously. The only thing I see are cancerous tumors of grammatical error riddling each and every one of your posts. I can't get through any of your posts without weeping for torment you have wrought upon English. It is as though I'm walking through a concentration camp full of the corpses of malnourished and tortured, broken bodies of words and phrases. You, with each post start a war whose grammatical casualties cannot be counted. Please, for the love of balls, stop being lazy and learn how to spell, use proper punctuation and figure out how to properly use contractions.

    You whine about "reading the content of the message," but we can't read or be bothered to figure out the content if you can't get the content written out without filling it full of your figurative bullet holes. You've left the English language bloodied and bashed like an unfortunate victim of Jack the Ripper and Hitler rolled into one.

    November 7, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
    • hippypoet

      i care not for proper grammer useage or spelling corrections, but if thats what makes your day, then by all means, correct me...but read the message as well.

      here is the historic evidence on my reasons for saying that jesus is a thief and a lier –

      before jesus came around Abraham's god was mean and angry, jelous and spiteful...but thats not the god jesus preached about...his message was nearly exactly like that of another great preacher – the first Buddha – he spoke about the evils of material wealth and to love one another and to show compassion to all people – jesus even preached rebirth of himself, a.k.a. reincarnartion! and the heaven idea is just a view of reincarnartion but on a different realm of existence...Shortly after the Buddha there was a spiritual happening going down in Persia, the Movement was started with a man named Zarathruster – greek translation Zoroaster – the religion that stemed from it...Zoroasterianism, the basic tenets are One great good all powerful god and the evil enemy...no other religion has an enemy of god like Zoroaster did...the first monotheistict religion was Abraham, but the first devil figure was Zoroaster's god... so with the good vs. evil gods and the message of love and compassion jesus had the perfect scam...then he died...oops!

      November 7, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      The Soul of The English Language

      This is a blog. People type fast. There is no spell checker. We all make mistakes and no one cares as long as the messages can be understood. If you have nothing to offer besides that, fuk off. You are just being a dik and will get no respect here.

      HP is well respected by many here and a very bright young man.

      November 7, 2011 at 9:44 pm |
    • Bob

      What AO said, and see my response next article over. Hey Soul, did you really need to repeat that ramble here too?

      November 7, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      @soultrain

      What about Jesus' famous statement in the Bible (attributed to him), "Happy are those who have not seen yet still believe"? What you realize is that this statement creates the perfect cover for a scam. Let's say you are Jesus, you are a normal human being, you realize that you are going to die (everybody does) and you want to cover for this fact. Here is what you would say: "Happy are those who have not seen yet still believe." What you are saying is, "the way I am going to show you that I exist is by not showing that I exist." For every other object in the universe, the way that we know it exists is because the object provides evidence of its existence. If there is no evidence for an object's existence, we call it imaginary (e.g. Leprechauns). But with Jesus, the lack of evidence is turned into evidence. Quite clever, but obviously a scam.

      November 7, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Soul, I really do empathize with you. It grates when I see the horrendous mangling of the language that occurs on these boards. I agree that it's awful, but it's useless to rail against it. Unless it's some whack-basket posting it. Then it's okay to lambaste to your heart's content.

      November 7, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
    • hippypoet

      sry, i wish i could help myself but alas, i can not... "weeping for torment you have wrought upon English." you state here that you are crying for torment.....you wish to be beaten and you are crying for it, interesting. And what is the word wrought? And upon English... is that the people, culture, or language? since you are the Soul of the English Language you should have proof read your post of meaniness and insulting nature.... i mean come on really!!!! you make me sad.

      November 7, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • The Soul of The English Language

      Actually, there is a spell check. Use Firefox. If you murder a word, it can be revived once you glance over it and see the little red squiggly under it. Give it a little CPR by consulting with a thesaurus or a dictionary. Just a little tender, loving care. I can't take a believer's posts seriously because they're spouting filth, and I can't take hippy's posts seriously because I can't read them. Making the excuse that "this is a blog" is just a cop-out. Take a little pride in what you have to say. I see a whole lot of people rapid fire posting with no issues. What's this guy's excuse?

      November 7, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Tom Tom
      Dare I say you are lightening up a bit? LOL

      OK, so Harriet has been confronted in Australia. I have reserved the next book at the library.

      November 7, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      OMG Soul. This is NOT about offending your sensibilities relative to the English language. Get over yourself.

      November 7, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Oh, also I hate Firefox, and if I gave a fuk I would just type my posts in Word, which I do sometimes. But the bottom line is, you are like a little nerdy dweeb. Are you 15? How about participating in the conversation and if you make a mistake in grammar or spelling, I won't mention it.

      November 7, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
    • hippypoet

      wat da mater? cant u unda sand ma words bit-ch! dammmmmmmm you must be dum or sumtin huh... too bad.

      November 7, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
    • The Soul of The English Language

      hippy, as usual, you have no idea what you're talking about. Do you not know what the word "wrought" means? You can look it up in the dictionary. It means "worked," more often in regard to the beating and shaping of metal objects into various shapes. In this case, it means you have beaten and shaped (or worked) the English language in a way it is not meant to be. I was stating that I was weeping for English because of what you've done to it. Basic reading comprehension is taught in elementary school.

      November 7, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
    • The Soul of The English Language

      Alien, I see you're hippy's little personal savior butt-pal. I guess when the submissive can't defend itself, the little dominatrix has to come along and protect it's little slave. I really don't care whether or not you hate Firefox. My point is that if people actually cared, they'd put in a little effort to better themselves. I suppose if you'd like to continue being maniacally ignorant, by all means, continue writing ineligible posts. Those of us who aren't complacent mind cripples will continue to skip over them and converse with people who actually care.

      November 7, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
    • hippypoet

      ""weeping for torment" basic english was taught where? cause i think your missing the word "the" after for...otherwise you truly are stating that you are weeping for torment, the love of being beaten... just sick! lunacy is everywhere – example A – you, plus your a sad little kid with a napoleon complex thinking your better then others because you can spell and correct grammer... who cares about that but you? like i said, sad little kid!

      November 7, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
    • hippypoet

      Soul... you claim to have bettered yourself? wheres the wisdom? wheres the intelligence? aside from english...you got nothing!

      November 7, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Yess, thatt iz rite you little troll. I hav a man-crush on HP and poor HP is jus so dum he cann't speek for hisself.

      November 7, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
    • hippypoet

      lol alien, thats funny cus thats a pun, the use of the word dum to not be able to speak and being dum at the same time. good stuff.

      November 7, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      The sole uv the engich languge

      You can apogize now you little dweeb.

      November 7, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
    • The Soul of The English Language

      Thanks for proving my point, fellas. Hippy, always thinking he's the winner each and every time the dodge ball busts his lip open. Alien, anything better to do than ride the sinking catholic love boat? Nah, didn't think so. Enjoy bathing in the blood of ignorance, ramrods.

      November 7, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
    • News Flash

      Report abuse please.

      November 7, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
    • Father O'blivion

      @The Soul of The English Language

      That is all well and good, but you are not getting any pancakes if you don't apologize! And St. Alphonzo will be none to happy my little doo doo poo poo.

      November 7, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • The Soul of The English Language

      You must think I'm a believer.

      November 7, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • Father O'blivion

      @The Soul of The English Language
      A belliever in what son? Don't cha like pancakes?

      November 7, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
    • The Soul of The English Language

      Not if they're made out of manchowder.

      November 7, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
    • MasterCheif

      They’re knees too bee sum leawhey with graymmar but to much mistake make hard four reding? Eets lick putting the breaks on and have to reads it gain to finger out what meens.

      November 8, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • Austin

      i detect massive amounts of butt-hurt in this post

      November 10, 2011 at 12:08 am |
  11. Father O'blivion

    Who's in the mood for some flap jacks?

    November 7, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      St. Alphonzo and I are rubbing out some tasty pancakes..... come on soul I have some special syrup for you sweety....

      November 7, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
  12. Alien Orifice

    Tom Tom
    Lay this one on HS. Do creatures on other planets get to go to heaven too? Perhaps that explains Jesus' 2000 year absence from Earth, He is out on his Galaxy tour preaching the word of the Father!

    November 7, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
  13. BUMBLECLAD

    whynot

    Great article, The one thing I struggle with is what if we forgive a person who kills but then keeps on killing. I'm not God so I don't know how he can do this for us. I agree with what he is saying don't get me wrong it's just not an easy thing to do.
    November 7, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    Ned Nickerson and Nancy play golf with Mortimer

    God is a she.
    November 7, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    Awkward Situations

    Forgiveness isn't a contract. The person may very well go on to do the same horrible things or something similar. Forgiveness has more to do with reconciling the feelings of the person giving the forgiveness and it usually is for a specific event in time.

    I think this article is a bit twisted. I don't understand why someone would want to be buddies with a person who has murdered his family. Okay, fine forgive them but the whole kumbaya thing seems manufactured and creepy. People forgive but they never forget – doing so would be a state of denial.
    November 7, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
    HeavenSent

    God is an evil jerk,

    Amen.
    November 7, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
    youknow

    fine God is not he or she. Give it a break.
    November 7, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |

    jhugz

    Jeremy – you are right in stating that these Rwandans are practicing a radical grace and forgiveness. But you fail to realize that it is exactly because of their belief and their realization of forgiveness through Christ than enables them to extend forgiveness and grace to others. Without realizing the depth of our sin and the cost of our forgiveness through the cross, we have no reason to forgive others to this degree.

    To then say "let's put beliefs aside" and ask if this is possible of all people (Christian, Jew, Muslim, atheist, etc) in our culture is both far too idealistic and ignorant that only Christianity has a view of a God who came down on earth, got His hands dirty, and paid for our sins with his blood.

    What we believe is incredibly important, because it dictates how we act. In the same way, someone's actions are an outflowing of the beliefs of their heart. I praise God that these Rwandan's have been able to believe the gospel so deeply as to forgive in this way.
    November 7, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    miracle

    Absolutely, it is purely God's grace that has made forgiveness possible.
    And, what a testimony this is of what God's grace is all about.
    November 7, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice

    My bolagna has a first name, it's Oscar. My bolagna has a second name it's Meyer. Ohhhhhhhh. I love to eat it every day, and if you ask me why I'll say....Cuz Oscar Meyer has a way wtih bolagna. And I can prove it!
    November 7, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice

    What would happen if we get down on our knees and pray to God in this way:

    Dear God, almighty, all-powerful, all-loving creator of the universe, we pray to you to cure every case of cancer on this planet tonight. We pray in faith, knowing you will bless us as you describe in Matthew 7:7, Matthew 17:20, Matthew 21:21, Mark 11:24, John 14:12-14, Matthew 18:19 and James 5:15-16. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
    We pray sincerely, knowing that when God answers this completely heartfelt, unselfish, non-materialistic prayer, it will glorify God and help millions of people in remarkable ways.
    Will anything happen? No. Of course not
    November 7, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice

    The "God" and the "Jesus" that Christians worship today are actually amalgams formed out of ancient pagan gods. The idea of a "virgin birth", "burial in a rock tomb", "resurrection after 3 days" and "eating of body and drinking of blood" had nothing to do with Jesus. All of the rituals in Christianity are completely man-made. Christianity is a snow ball that rolled over a dozen pagan religions. As the snowball grew, it freely attached pagan rituals in order to be more palatable to converts. You can find accounts like these in popular literature.
    November 7, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    what have u done?

    We all have a big heart of concern for all the ills and plagues and diseases of this world, our heart goes out to mankind that is suffering.

    Now the question to you Alien Ori... is , what have you done lately to help someone in need?
    November 7, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice

    There is no scientific evidence indicating that God exists. We all know that. For example:

    God has never left any physical evidence of his existence on earth.

    None of Jesus' "miracles" left any physical evidence either. (see this page)

    God has never spoken to modern man, for example by taking over all the television stations and broadcasting a rational message to everyone.

    The resurrected Jesus has never appeared to anyone. (see this page)

    The Bible we have is provably incorrect and is obviously the work of primitive men rather than God. (see this page)

    When we analyze prayer with statistics, we find no evidence that God is "answering prayers." (see this page)

    Huge, amazing atrocities like the Holocaust and AIDS occur without any response from God.

    And so on…
    November 7, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    what have u done?

    forgot to add, once you have done enough to be on AC's CNN hero of the year, then come back and I promise , you will hear from me about suffering and what God can do.
    November 7, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice

    @what have u done?
    When you tell me how that is in any way relevent to this post or my follow ups, I will gladly answer you question.
    November 7, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice

    When you look at different religions, they usually contain "magic." For example:

    The Mormon religion contains the magical golden plates, the magical angel, the magical seer stones, the magical ascension of the plates into heaven, etc.

    The Muslim faith contains the magical angel, the magical flying horse, the magical voices, the magical prophet, etc.

    The Christian faith contains the magical insemination, the magical star, the magical dreams, the magical miracles, the magical resurrection, the magical ascension and so on.
    The presence of "magic" is a clear marker for "imaginary." For example, how do we know that Santa is imaginary? Because (among other things) he has eight magical flying reindeer. How do we know that Jack and the Beanstalk is a fairy tale? Because (among other things) the story contains magical seeds. In the same way, how do we know that God is make believe? Because God is surrounded by magic.
    November 7, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice

    If you care for the page references let me know and I will post. I am not big on posting URL's if the website is not my own.

    If someone were to come to you today and say, "I am God!", what would you do? Yes, you would immediately ask for proof. Of course you would. And you would not want goofy proof.You would want real, solid, tangible proof.

    No normal person, and I mean no one, would accept anything less than rock solid proof from a person who claims to be God.

    Why should it be any different with Jesus? Jesus was a man who claims to be God. If he is God, then he ought to be able to prove it in a real, inimitable way. If he cannot prove it then, quite clearly, he is not God.

    A Christian would say, "But Jesus HAS proven it! Just look at all of the miracles he did in the Bible! He healed the sick! He changed water into wine! That PROVES that Jesus is the Lord!" Does that make sense to you? Imagine that someone, today, were to come up to you and say, "I am God, and I will prove that I am God by healing the sick and turning water into wine!" What would you say? Be honest. You would not believe this person because:

    Everyone has seen all sorts of "faith healers" who can "heal" the sick. And we all know that this sort of "healing" is quackery. If it were true, then we would not need doctors, hospitals or prescription medicines.

    Turning water into wine... Doesn't that sound like something that a B-grade David-Copperfield-wannabe magician would do in a nightclub act? There are a dozen ways that you could stage things to make it look like water is turning into wine. There is no reason why a normal person would accept a magic trick as proof that someone is God.

    Neither of these miracles can be scientifically tested today. Not one of Jesus' miracles left any tangible evidence for scientists to study.
    It is as simple as that. If someone claimed to be God today, you would never believe it if the evidence consisted of faith healing and magic tricks. Never. Yet billions of people claim that Jesus' faith healing and magic tricks prove that he is God.
    November 7, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    seek

    @Alien-Are you new to this blog? if you are then I will refer you to the previous article where believers have posted copius amount of material you seek.

    The bigger question is, have you truly searched for the truth?, the scriptures say-Seek and you will find.
    November 7, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice

    jhugz and miracle
    Have you nothing to say to these challenges? I have offered you proof that you are delusional but am met with silence. Here is a good one for you. The good book states that God decides when you will be born and when you will die. It is HIS PLAN. Therefore, God is responsible for abortions and the halocaust correct? It is what God wants.
    November 7, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice

    @seek
    Name ONE provable piece of "material" that you claim are in this blog in copious amounts. Standing by.
    November 7, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    seek

    Standing by is not seeking. Did you go through the previous article?
    November 7, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    Russ

    @ A.O.: Richard Bauckham's new book, "Jesus & the Eyewitnesses" is a scholarly work that has lots of the evidence you are seeking.

    It is interesting that you assume no one in Jesus' day was as skeptical as you are. When Paul says Jesus appeared to 500 people at once (1 Cor.15), that's within 30 years of the claimed event. That's a claim people could & WOULD have checked. If Christianity didn't have eyewitnesses, it would not have gotten off the ground.

    On the flip side: you are clearly skeptical of anything miraculous. Are you consistent enough to be skeptical of your own skepticism?
    November 7, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice

    seek
    You are tiresome. I am not going to tell you my life story. If you have something to prove then prove it. Otherwise move along. Your delusions are of no interest to me. Only truth and facts.
    November 7, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    seek

    @Russ, Thank you!
    You are helping the believer think and helping the thinker believe!
    November 7, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice

    @Russ
    I am familiar with his work. He has spent his career trying to prove that which cannot be proven. His claims are interesting, but speculative. This is not science. He has not satisfactorily demonstrated that “the period between the ‘historical’ Jesus and the Gospels was actually spanned, not by anonymous community transmission, but by the continuing presence and testimony of the eyewitnesses”
    November 7, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
    hippypoet

    i'm just throwing this out there because its more true then god's existance – jesus was a thief and a lier! deal with it... i can offer some evidence to show this point of view as well....
    November 7, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice

    seek and Russ

    What about Jesus' famous statement in the Bible, "Happy are those who have not seen yet still believe"? What you realize is that this statement creates the perfect cover for a scam. Let's say you are Jesus, you are a normal human being, you realize that you are going to die (everybody does) and you want to cover for this fact. Here is what you would say: "Happy are those who have not seen yet still believe." What you are saying is, "the way I am going to show you that I exist is by not showing that I exist." For every other object in the universe, the way that we know it exists is because the object provides evidence of its existence. If there is no evidence for an object's existence, we call it imaginary (e.g. Leprechauns). But with Jesus, the lack of evidence is turned into evidence. Quite clever, but obviously a scam.

    If the resurrection were true, then Jesus would be answering prayers as he promises in the Bible. He would appear when people pray to see him. The reason why he does not appear is simple: Both Jesus and God are imaginary.
    November 7, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    Bucky Ball

    @Alien O,
    Yeshua bar Josef did NOT claim to be divine. THAT was made up much later by *some* of his followers. For a Jew of that day to claim that would be blasphemous. He NEVER said it. 😈
    November 7, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
    Alien Orifice

    Russ, you are delustional and you are helping no one but whatever. Bring some facts if you want to have a discussion though.

    November 7, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      I am not sure why you re-posted all these posts but I can see the humor in it.

      November 7, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
    • News Flash

      She has nothing original to say.

      November 7, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      But it is so strange and weird.....

      November 7, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
  14. youknow

    fine God is not a he or a she. Give it up already

    November 7, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Agreed and obviously.

      November 7, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
  15. HeavenSent

    Heaven sent us tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and other natural disasters, plus cancers, typhoid, meningitis, lupus, malaria, and other awful diseases too numerous to mention.

    Wow, Christian god is quite the jerk. He just can't get enough of making innocent folk miserable and killing them.

    Amen.

    November 7, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
  16. Alien Orifice

    OH PRAY TO THE WORSHIPFUL ALMIGHTY SUN AND GET ON YOUR KNEES AND MAKE SURE YOU WEAR KNEEPADS OH I AM SO FUNNY AND HUMOROUS. I SPEAK WITH PRETENTIOUS WORDS IN A MATTER OF FACT MANNER FOR I AM NOT SUBJECT TO ANYONE ELSE'S OPINIONS, EVERYONE ELSE IS WRONG WRONG WRONG! MY WORDS ARE THE ONLY THAT MATTER.

    November 7, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Thanks fake Alien. I didn't know how much you cared!

      November 7, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
    • BUMBLECLAD

      CAN I HAS CHEEZ BURGER NOW?! DON'T YELL SO LOUD I'M NOT THAT HARD OF HEARING. ....:) I HAS BACON IN MY POCKET HOORAY FOR BACON!!!!

      November 7, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      You know those cheese burgers are not healthy..BUT...if you are Jonesing, Wendy's has really improved their product.

      November 7, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
  17. Branden

    Great work Jeremy. Truly inspiring.

    November 7, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Who is Jeremy and what did he do? I have to know.

      November 7, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Oh! You are a first name basis with the author. Got it.

      November 7, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
    • hippypoet

      yeah, get it father O......here let me insult too – your mother is a hampster and your father smelt of elder berries! LOL

      gotta love the ALMIGHTY SUN! and scotch.

      November 7, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
  18. whynot

    Great article, The one thing I struggle with is what if we forgive a person who kills but then keeps on killing. I'm not God so I don't know how he can do this for us. I agree with what he is saying don't get me wrong it's just not an easy thing to do.

    November 7, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • Ned Nickerson and Nancy play golf with Mortimer

      God is a she.

      November 7, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • Awkward Situations

      Forgiveness isn't a contract. The person may very well go on to do the same horrible things or something similar. Forgiveness has more to do with reconciling the feelings of the person giving the forgiveness and it usually is for a specific event in time.

      I think this article is a bit twisted. I don't understand why someone would want to be buddies with a person who has murdered his family. Okay, fine forgive them but the whole kumbaya thing seems manufactured and creepy. People forgive but they never forget – doing so would be a state of denial.

      November 7, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      God is an evil jerk,

      Amen.

      November 7, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
    • youknow

      fine God is not he or she. Give it a break.

      November 7, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
    • News Flash

      The point was, I assume, that if "it" is neither a he, nor a she, then it is not a person, or anything we could imagine. It is a projection of our imaginations, nothing more.

      November 7, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
    • AGuest9

      How can something that doesn't exist have a gender?

      November 7, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
    • fred

      God does exist.

      November 7, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      Fred: Prove god exists please...we've been waiting for a long time for you to do this but yet you fail to even attempt with a rational, scientific based answer (no using the buybull as proof considering it is apparently the inerrant word of this vicious creature...thus making the use of the buybull circular and only moron's and schizophrenics use circular reasoning)

      November 8, 2011 at 4:26 am |
  19. jhugz

    Jeremy – you are right in stating that these Rwandans are practicing a radical grace and forgiveness. But you fail to realize that it is exactly because of their belief and their realization of forgiveness through Christ than enables them to extend forgiveness and grace to others. Without realizing the depth of our sin and the cost of our forgiveness through the cross, we have no reason to forgive others to this degree.

    To then say "let's put beliefs aside" and ask if this is possible of all people (Christian, Jew, Muslim, atheist, etc) in our culture is both far too idealistic and ignorant that only Christianity has a view of a God who came down on earth, got His hands dirty, and paid for our sins with his blood.

    What we believe is incredibly important, because it dictates how we act. In the same way, someone's actions are an outflowing of the beliefs of their heart. I praise God that these Rwandan's have been able to believe the gospel so deeply as to forgive in this way.

    November 7, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • miracle

      Absolutely, it is purely God's grace that has made forgiveness possible.
      And, what a testimony this is of what God's grace is all about.

      November 7, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      My bolagna has a first name, it's Oscar. My bolagna has a second name it's Meyer. Ohhhhhhhh. I love to eat it every day, and if you ask me why I'll say....Cuz Oscar Meyer has a way wtih bolagna. And I can prove it!

      November 7, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      What would happen if we get down on our knees and pray to God in this way:

      Dear God, almighty, all-powerful, all-loving creator of the universe, we pray to you to cure every case of cancer on this planet tonight. We pray in faith, knowing you will bless us as you describe in Matthew 7:7, Matthew 17:20, Matthew 21:21, Mark 11:24, John 14:12-14, Matthew 18:19 and James 5:15-16. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
      We pray sincerely, knowing that when God answers this completely heartfelt, unselfish, non-materialistic prayer, it will glorify God and help millions of people in remarkable ways.
      Will anything happen? No. Of course not

      November 7, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      The "God" and the "Jesus" that Christians worship today are actually amalgams formed out of ancient pagan gods. The idea of a "virgin birth", "burial in a rock tomb", "resurrection after 3 days" and "eating of body and drinking of blood" had nothing to do with Jesus. All of the rituals in Christianity are completely man-made. Christianity is a snow ball that rolled over a dozen pagan religions. As the snowball grew, it freely attached pagan rituals in order to be more palatable to converts. You can find accounts like these in popular literature.

      November 7, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • what have u done?

      We all have a big heart of concern for all the ills and plagues and diseases of this world, our heart goes out to mankind that is suffering.

      Now the question to you Alien Ori... is , what have you done lately to help someone in need?

      November 7, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      There is no scientific evidence indicating that God exists. We all know that. For example:

      God has never left any physical evidence of his existence on earth.

      None of Jesus' "miracles" left any physical evidence either. (see this page)

      God has never spoken to modern man, for example by taking over all the television stations and broadcasting a rational message to everyone.

      The resurrected Jesus has never appeared to anyone. (see this page)

      The Bible we have is provably incorrect and is obviously the work of primitive men rather than God. (see this page)

      When we analyze prayer with statistics, we find no evidence that God is "answering prayers." (see this page)

      Huge, amazing atrocities like the Holocaust and AIDS occur without any response from God.

      And so on…

      November 7, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • what have u done?

      forgot to add, once you have done enough to be on AC's CNN hero of the year, then come back and I promise , you will hear from me about suffering and what God can do.

      November 7, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      @what have u done?
      When you tell me how that is in any way relevent to this post or my follow ups, I will gladly answer you question.

      November 7, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      When you look at different religions, they usually contain "magic." For example:

      The Mormon religion contains the magical golden plates, the magical angel, the magical seer stones, the magical ascension of the plates into heaven, etc.

      The Muslim faith contains the magical angel, the magical flying horse, the magical voices, the magical prophet, etc.

      The Christian faith contains the magical insemination, the magical star, the magical dreams, the magical miracles, the magical resurrection, the magical ascension and so on.
      The presence of "magic" is a clear marker for "imaginary." For example, how do we know that Santa is imaginary? Because (among other things) he has eight magical flying reindeer. How do we know that Jack and the Beanstalk is a fairy tale? Because (among other things) the story contains magical seeds. In the same way, how do we know that God is make believe? Because God is surrounded by magic.

      November 7, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      If you care for the page references let me know and I will post. I am not big on posting URL's if the website is not my own.

      If someone were to come to you today and say, "I am God!", what would you do? Yes, you would immediately ask for proof. Of course you would. And you would not want goofy proof.You would want real, solid, tangible proof.

      No normal person, and I mean no one, would accept anything less than rock solid proof from a person who claims to be God.

      Why should it be any different with Jesus? Jesus was a man who claims to be God. If he is God, then he ought to be able to prove it in a real, inimitable way. If he cannot prove it then, quite clearly, he is not God.

      A Christian would say, "But Jesus HAS proven it! Just look at all of the miracles he did in the Bible! He healed the sick! He changed water into wine! That PROVES that Jesus is the Lord!" Does that make sense to you? Imagine that someone, today, were to come up to you and say, "I am God, and I will prove that I am God by healing the sick and turning water into wine!" What would you say? Be honest. You would not believe this person because:

      Everyone has seen all sorts of "faith healers" who can "heal" the sick. And we all know that this sort of "healing" is quackery. If it were true, then we would not need doctors, hospitals or prescription medicines.

      Turning water into wine... Doesn't that sound like something that a B-grade David-Copperfield-wannabe magician would do in a nightclub act? There are a dozen ways that you could stage things to make it look like water is turning into wine. There is no reason why a normal person would accept a magic trick as proof that someone is God.

      Neither of these miracles can be scientifically tested today. Not one of Jesus' miracles left any tangible evidence for scientists to study.
      It is as simple as that. If someone claimed to be God today, you would never believe it if the evidence consisted of faith healing and magic tricks. Never. Yet billions of people claim that Jesus' faith healing and magic tricks prove that he is God.

      November 7, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • seek

      @Alien-Are you new to this blog? if you are then I will refer you to the previous article where believers have posted copius amount of material you seek.

      The bigger question is, have you truly searched for the truth?, the scriptures say-Seek and you will find.

      November 7, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      jhugz and miracle
      Have you nothing to say to these challenges? I have offered you proof that you are delusional but am met with silence. Here is a good one for you. The good book states that God decides when you will be born and when you will die. It is HIS PLAN. Therefore, God is responsible for abortions and the halocaust correct? It is what God wants.

      November 7, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      @seek
      Name ONE provable piece of "material" that you claim are in this blog in copious amounts. Standing by.

      November 7, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • seek

      Standing by is not seeking. Did you go through the previous article?

      November 7, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • Russ

      @ A.O.: Richard Bauckham's new book, "Jesus & the Eyewitnesses" is a scholarly work that has lots of the evidence you are seeking.

      It is interesting that you assume no one in Jesus' day was as skeptical as you are. When Paul says Jesus appeared to 500 people at once (1 Cor.15), that's within 30 years of the claimed event. That's a claim people could & WOULD have checked. If Christianity didn't have eyewitnesses, it would not have gotten off the ground.

      On the flip side: you are clearly skeptical of anything miraculous. Are you consistent enough to be skeptical of your own skepticism?

      November 7, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      seek
      You are tiresome. I am not going to tell you my life story. If you have something to prove then prove it. Otherwise move along. Your delusions are of no interest to me. Only truth and facts.

      November 7, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • seek

      @Russ, Thank you!
      You are helping the believer think and helping the thinker believe!

      November 7, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      @Russ
      I am familiar with his work. He has spent his career trying to prove that which cannot be proven. His claims are interesting, but speculative. This is not science. He has not satisfactorily demonstrated that “the period between the ‘historical’ Jesus and the Gospels was actually spanned, not by anonymous community transmission, but by the continuing presence and testimony of the eyewitnesses”

      November 7, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • hippypoet

      i'm just throwing this out there because its more true then god's existance – jesus was a thief and a lier! deal with it... i can offer some evidence to show this point of view as well....

      November 7, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      seek and Russ

      What about Jesus' famous statement in the Bible, "Happy are those who have not seen yet still believe"? What you realize is that this statement creates the perfect cover for a scam. Let's say you are Jesus, you are a normal human being, you realize that you are going to die (everybody does) and you want to cover for this fact. Here is what you would say: "Happy are those who have not seen yet still believe." What you are saying is, "the way I am going to show you that I exist is by not showing that I exist." For every other object in the universe, the way that we know it exists is because the object provides evidence of its existence. If there is no evidence for an object's existence, we call it imaginary (e.g. Leprechauns). But with Jesus, the lack of evidence is turned into evidence. Quite clever, but obviously a scam.

      If the resurrection were true, then Jesus would be answering prayers as he promises in the Bible. He would appear when people pray to see him. The reason why he does not appear is simple: Both Jesus and God are imaginary.

      November 7, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      @Alien O,
      Yeshua bar Josef did NOT claim to be divine. THAT was made up much later by *some* of his followers. For a Jew of that day to claim that would be blasphemous. He NEVER said it. 😈

      November 7, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Russ, you are delustional and you are helping no one but whatever. Bring some facts if you want to have a discussion though.

      November 7, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • hippypoet

      Bucky Ball

      did i read in a past post that you are from County cork ? i am from cork and kerry!!!! we could be related! just saying hi... haven't talked to you before.

      November 7, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Gosh HP, I guess for some reason they don't want you to provide evidence the Jesus was a liar and thief. Oh well. Same would say a murderer too!

      November 7, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • Get Real

      Russ: "When Paul says Jesus appeared to 500 people at once (1 Cor.15), that's within 30 years of the claimed event. That's a claim people could & WOULD have checked."

      So, you are as-suming that someone did check Paul's blowhardy, hearsay? Who? Who did they interview 30 years after the fact? Do you know how far Ephesus (Corinthians) is from Jerusalem?

      Your "God" and Jesus left very POOR records.

      –and–

      "If Christianity didn't have eyewitnesses, it would not have gotten off the ground."

      - Who eyewitnessed the Hindu gods to get that religion off the ground?
      - Who eyewitnessed the ancient Greek and Roman gods to get those religions off the ground?
      - Who eyewitnessed the ancient Egyptian gods to get those religions off the ground?
      - Etc., etc.

      November 7, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      Hi hp,
      Not exactly. A branch of my family is from County Cork, and many of my cousins still live there. (My aunt came back from there a few years ago, and said, "I hope you kids know you have clones walking around in Ireland" !) How long ago did your family live there ? We are the Whites, the Moores, the D'Havilands, and a few others, (and some have moved to Scotland, .....some Rosses). 😈

      November 7, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • hippypoet

      alien.. i can provide the evidence myself, or course...hehe..

      bucky, my grandfather's father was born and raised there.. i have scotchish relatives afew years before that point...no info on them. I have engish relatives at this moment... i was over there 2 years ago, there and france. no relatives in france however – not too sad about that one. 🙂

      November 7, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Oh I know you can HP!!

      Hey, my acestors on my Dad's side immigrated from Ireland (and Scotland) and we have Whites in the family too, but they are Dutch.

      November 7, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • Russ

      @ G.R. – of the major religions, Christianity uniquely claims God came to earth & lived a fully human life, including dying a death in our place. No other religion makes such a claim, nor needed eyewitnesses for such a megalomaniacal assertion. Other religions teach "here is the ethical system to follow." Only Christianity teaches "here God came & died for you." That is why Christianity uniquely could not have gotten off the ground if such claims were made. And yes, Ephesus & Corinth are close enough that there was regular trade & people would have checked it. Paul was not the only one who traveled between these urban centers. 30 years later (much like today), people would still be alive who witnessed such an unforgettable thing.

      November 7, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • Russ

      @ A.O.: you have misunderstood Jesus' term – to pray "in my name." It's not a formula (as he makes clear in the Sermon on the Mount when he criticizes both the Pharisees & religious for praying in that sort of way). It is very much clarified in both the "Lord's Prayer" (Thy will be done) & the Garden of Gethsemane (take this cup if at all possible).

      If Jesus himself, who has perfect prayer & a perfect life, can hear 'no' as an answer, thinking of prayer as taking a Christmas list to Santa Claus seriously misunderstands the purpose of prayer.

      But the fact that you are already aware of Bauckham's work tells me that you already knew that. So why the straw man?

      November 7, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Russ you don't know what he said, you don't want he meant, you don't what kind of man he was and most certainly he did not rise from the dead. Everything in your religion is based on one lie after another. I don't know how you don't get this, but the Bible does not mean anything to me. When you argure based on it, to me they are not arguments, it is just you preaching. Preach to someone who cares. That person would not be me.

      November 7, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • hippypoet

      before jesus came around Abraham's god was mean and anger, jelous and spiteful...but thats not the god jesus preached about...his message was nearly exactly like that of another great preacher – the first Buddha – he spoke about the evils of material wealth and to love one another and to show compassion to all people...Shortly after the Buddha there was a spiritual happening going down in Persia, the Movement was started with a man named Zarathruster – greek translation Zoroaster – the religion that stemed form it...Zoroasterianism, the basic tenets are One great good all powerful god and the evil enemy...no other religion has an enemy of god like Zoroaster did...the first monotheistict religion was Abraham, but the first devil figure was Zoroaster's god... so with the good vs. evil gods and the message of love and compassion jesus had the perfect scan...then he died... oops!

      November 7, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
    • WhereAreYourEyes?

      "God has never left any physical evidence of his existence on earth"

      Are you kidding?! All things that exist are physical evidence of God! You must have gone through your life with blinders on!

      November 7, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
    • fred

      The Lord answers my prayers. You don't have to believe in it, your belief is irrelevant. What matters is that I believe. It doesn't hurt you that I believe, so why insult?

      November 7, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
    • Father O'blivion

      @where are your eye balls and fred

      I have never said there is no God. Just not your fake God and supersti-tious dogma. Oh and tell people who are blind how wonderful and perfect God is. I am sure they would love to look around too.

      Fred, I don't give a cr ap what you believe in, just get it OUT OF THE GOVERNMENT AND OUT OF MY FACE.

      Thank you.

      November 7, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
  20. kimsland

    Lol, this story is in actual fact about pathetic christians being bullied back in school (or anywhere), and since they are weak they can't fight back so they use the 'forgive' defense.
    Oh, I wish I could kick a religious christian right now (its cleansing for me) Now get ready to forgive me you wastes of lives.
    Kick kick, I'm waiting...

    November 7, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      I forgive you Kimmy.....don't kick me! :0

      November 7, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      But if you see the waitress could you please tell her to GET OVER AND RE-FILL MY GAD DAM ICED TEA ALREADY!!!!

      November 7, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • o.k.

      Oh look, Kimsland is back with her usual childish rants. Do tell Kimmy...what additional wisdom do you have to offer?

      November 7, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • suckers

      Oh i wish i was an Oscar Mayer wiener that is what I'd truly love to be, oh and if i were an Oscar Mayer wiener then every one would be in love with me!!!!!!!!

      November 7, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • suckers

      How about this.

      PIZZA IN THE MORNING PIZZA IN THE EVENING PIZZA AT SUPPER TIME! when pizzas on a bagel you can have pizza anytime!

      November 7, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      @suckers
      Yeah man! Now THAT'S the truth!

      November 7, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • No trespassing

      Waitresses need Jesus.

      November 7, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      kimsland, you spewed your babble "Lol, this story is in actual fact about pathetic christians being bullied back in school (or anywhere), and since they are weak they can't fight back so they use the 'forgive' defense.
      Oh, I wish I could kick a religious christian right now (its cleansing for me) Now get ready to forgive me you wastes of lives.
      Kick kick, I'm waiting..."

      Answer: I had no idea your elevator doesn't go to the top.

      Amen.

      November 7, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      And Jesus needs coffee and keep it comin' sweet cheeks.

      November 7, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      HS, how would you know? You've never been to the top of anything more than 2 stories high.

      When are you going to answer my question, HS? Are the souls of the Jewish chaplains in heaven?

      You praised their service. Are they sitting with God now?

      November 7, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      @HS: Jealous that Kimsland actually has a working 'elevator'? She may not always come across in the politest of manners but she's on our side of this debate and at least thinks with a rational, functioning brain that consists of more than one brain cell...sadly you are unable to say the same.

      November 8, 2011 at 4:36 am |
    • o.k.

      TruthPrevails...do you really want to align yourself with Kimsland? Her side of the debate is violence against someone who doesn't share your views, yet you say "she's on our side of this debate(.)" Is that your position too? More importantly, is that the position of all atheists? I doubt it, but, then again, you make the effort to confirm it. My best guess is that you didn't think this one through all the way. Why give Kimsland's hysteria any value? It is possible for us to debate issues of faith without the vitriol that Kimsland embodies.

      November 8, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.