November 17th, 2011
05:26 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Thursday, November 17

Here's the Belief Blog’s morning rundown of the top faith-angle stories from around the United States and around the world. Click the headlines for the full stories.

From the Blog:

CNN: Catholic Church smooths way for disaffected Episcopalians

The Roman Catholic Church is establishing a program to help disaffected American Episcopalians to join the Catholic fold – including married Episcopal priests who want to become Catholic priests – it announced Tuesday.

CNN: Benetton pulls ads featuring doctored photo of pope kissing imam

United Colors of Benetton announced Wednesday it is pulling an ad featuring a doctored picture of the pope kissing a male Muslim cleric on the same day the ad was unveiled in response to criticism.

@CNNBelief’s follow of the day: The founder of lifenews.com, @stevenErtelt, provides consistent attention to pro-life issues.

Enlightening Reads:

The Week: 10 politicians who say God told them to run: A slideshow

Herman Cain insists he’s been called by God to join the race for the White House. He’s hardly the first candidate to receive inspiration from above.

(Side note: check out this hilariously funny New York Magazine article, titled “God Caught Backing Multiple GOP Candidates for President")

LA Times: Chapman University ups its bid for the Crystal Cathedral

Chapman University has upped its bid for the bankrupt Crystal Cathedral to $59 million, almost $2 million more than the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, court documents filed Wednesday show.

Clerics and Queen gather to mark 400 years of Bible translation

The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles attend a service marking the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible at Westminster Abbey, London.

Workshop reveals the spirituality of Bruce Springsteen

Visitors to St. Barnabas Parish, Bayville, were led on a rock and roll journey through Scripture at the “Spirituality of Bruce Springsteen” workshop held Oct. 18. Father Kevin J. Keelen, pastor of the Ocean County parish, examined the musical legacy and faith of the singer songwriter. (Full disclosure – your humble author would link to just about anything Springsteen related.)


They went into Zuccotti Park being themselves, found each other as they actually are, and let that be the basis of their relationship.

That is what Imam Khalid Latif wrote about a couple he married during the Occupy Wall Street protest in NYC's Zuccotti Park. This may not come as a surprise to those who clicked through the Huffington Post's slideshow of religious artwork at Occupy protests.

Comment of the day:

I think this show is like any other reality t.v. show; it only shows a sampling of a community. Jersey Shore doesn’t represent every Italian person just like the Housewife shows don't represent every housewife! It would be impossible do represent everyone.

– Jess responded to Aman Ali’s idea that the new TLC show “All American Muslim’s,” only shows a small sampling of American Muslims.

Keep the comments coming…

In yesterdays piece, Ali wrote that anytime he hears about a TV show coming out that features Muslims, his initial reaction is almost always “Oh man, please don’t suck. Please don’t suck.” According to Ali, TLC's "All American Muslims" doesn't meet that standard. People have engaged with this story all over the internet – it currently has over 1,500 comments.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (130 Responses)
  1. Occupy Belief Blog

    I am not leaving.

    November 17, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Shoot

      I think the death-trolley is going to run over you...

      November 17, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      Bring it on. Not gonna budge.

      November 17, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Little Jenny

      What's that red stuff all over the tracks, daddy?

      November 17, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Jenny's Dad

      That red stuff is Occupy Belief Blog's guts and blood. He had a lot of guts didn't he?

      November 17, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • Little Jenny

      Eww! I'm glad I don't have to clean that up! He's going to stay here like that a long time, isn't he, daddy?

      November 17, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • Jenny's Dad

      Yep. That's why we aren't protesting. We know better than to stand in front of a death-trolley.

      November 17, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      Still.......not.........leaving..........can you toss me my head pal? Thanks.

      November 17, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Trevor


      Pull yourself together, man!

      November 17, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • Occupy Belief Blog

      A little help here?

      November 17, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  2. Dethpoet

    When replying to this blog
    I ran over my dog
    a hippy cried
    and the dog died
    and so I bought a frog.

    November 17, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  3. Question

    What is nigging? I only ask because I've never understood the word "nigger"..............?

    November 17, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Webster

      < French nèg-re < Spanish ne-gro black

      *< Language-challenged southern Americans whose drawl pronounced it, "nih-gro"

      November 17, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • Little Jenny

      So the N-word just means "ne.gro"? Then why can't we say it, Mr. Webster?

      November 17, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Jenny's Dad

      Shh! Let them have their melodrama, Jenny! Melodramatic people don't care about reality or common sense.
      Sort of like religious people. They worship the taboo of these words and don't care about how stupid they look.

      November 17, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  4. Ray of Sunshine

    Springsteen sucks and his fans suck. I have yet to meet a Springsteen fan that didn't suck as a human being.

    November 17, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Prattler

      I think you should change your name.

      November 17, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Ray of Shit

      how's this?

      November 17, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • Prattler

      better, but can sh.it really become a ray? better change the ray part too man.

      November 17, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • Piece of Shit

      Okay, you have forced me to reveal my true inner being. Happy?

      November 17, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Prattler

      sort of...thanks for being so open sort of...you are quite the troll

      November 17, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Piece of Shit

      I aim to please. Got any extra toilet paper? I'm all out.

      November 17, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Fookin' Prawn

      I really should not have laughed as hard at this thread as I did.

      November 17, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • Little Jenny

      My daddy says little girls shouldn't say bad words, but when some dumb fucker says stupid shit I just can't help myself!
      Is that what you guys are doing?

      November 17, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Jenny's Dad

      I see Jenny has been busy again. C'mon Jenny, let's go ride the death-trolley again!

      November 17, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Little Jenny


      November 17, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  5. AtheistSteve

    Off topic but I think this might start an interesting debate.
    How would you resolve the following Moral Dilemma?

    A train is rolling down a track headed toward a group of 5 men working. They are wearing ear protection, have their backs turned and are unaware of the coming train. Near you is a switch that would divert the train to an alternate spur. Along this spur, around a blind corner is an obstacle that would stop the train but a single man is positioned in front of it with no hope of getting out of the way of the diverted train. So you have 2 options. Do nothing and the 5 men may or may not notice the oncoming train and may or may not perish. Or you flip the switch thereby surely condemning the single man to death.
    What do you do?
    More importantly what would a Christian faith REQUIRE you to do?

    November 17, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • Chuckles

      I won't answer because I just finished up the God Delusion (so I know the underlying meaning of the question) but I would like to see how many christians align with what dawkins says and how many choose their own morality and try to form christianity around it instead of vice versa.

      November 17, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • J.W

      I would probably let it go towards the five men because I would be thinking about what to do so I wouldnt be able to react in time, but I will think about the second part as far as what I should do as well.

      November 17, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Reaction time is skirting the issue and adding an unnecessary parameter to the dilemma. You should assume you have ample time to decide.

      November 17, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Brad

      Depends – do I have an overriding sense of empathy? BTW – this question usually has 5 cub scouts, not 5 workers.

      November 17, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • J.W

      I think that I would let it keep going to the 5 men because if they are working on the tracks they are probably trained to turn and watch for trains periodically, even if at the time they are not looking at the time. They are probably more prepared for that to happen more so than the random dude on the tracks. I guess it is kind of like from a Christian perspective if there were 5 Christians and one non-believer you would rather save the non-believer.

      November 17, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • J.W

      Of course if there is a lot of time I would just run over and yell hey a train is coming.

      November 17, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • hippypoet

      first, if i have an option of any sort then i am present at the tracks when said train is to kill some folks – so the real choice is clear, just tell the 5 guys to move... why would you not if you are there also...

      November 17, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Hippy and JW

      You're missing essential question of case if you're trying to figure out ways to get around it. Basically he's asking what's worse, inaction to allow the train to kill 5 people or action that will only kill 1. Is the collective greater than the individual or is the individual more important. It really boils down to you have the opportunity to save 5 and kill 1 or vice versa, which one do you decide?

      JW you sort of answered by inserting 5 christians and 1 unbeliever, but take out religion, race, age, gender, out of the equation, who do you save/kill and why?

      November 17, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Cub scouts wouldn't likely be wearing ear protection, but I digress. The object here isn't about trying to find ways to circu.mvent the parameters of the dilemma. It's strictly about your choice of 2 options.
      In fairness I'll even provide my choice. Without hesitation I would throw the switch.

      November 17, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • J.W

      If it is five cub scouts and the other guy on the tracks is the scout leader I would say I'd let him die since he let cub scouts play on train tracks.

      November 17, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • J.W

      Ok yeah if you take out all the other factors involved then of course it would be better for only one to die than for five to die.

      November 17, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Yeah this isn't the Kobayashi Maru where Kirk managed to cheat by rewriting the program...lol
      My decision is based on the possibility of saving the most lives. The idea of making the decision if both outcomes were known with certainty is obvious, but life rarely provides certainty. Also I would have difficulty living with my decision after watching 5 men perish knowing I could have saved them by sacrificing just one. It would be less difficult coping with being responsible for one death if I allowed the train to proceed and they all escaped.

      November 17, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • hippypoet

      chuckle i get what the true question is, i just don't see how if you have the option of touching the switch to make it turn the corner why you wouldn't just tell the 5 dudes to get out of the way...

      November 17, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Of course I would let it hit the five.

      Five corpses mean five wallets to lift, versus the one.

      Its the greatest good for the fewest people. The only real moral standard that has ever existed.

      November 17, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • hippypoet

      Kobayashi Maru is my exact point! thank you steve!

      November 17, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • J.W

      I thought maybe the fact that the five men were workers and the one guy by himself was not was supposed to be a deciding factor. But I got somewhat confused when Brad said they were usually cub scouts. But I suppose that they train could be anything that may cause them to die. I would definitely agree with you if there was nothing else involved.

      November 17, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • hill cannister

      This comment is concerning John King's report about the Hypocrite "Bob Jones" the demogogue from "Bob Jones Univ." who has set himself up as judge of Pres. Obama's Christianity and morality! I call on all Christians everwhere to call Bob Jones before the elders of their churches and asertain if he himself is a christian and if he should be withdrawn from for pretending to be so holier than thou as to judge the President's faith and for being one of the biggest hypocrites in America.

      It is people like Jones, Robertson, Huckabee, and a host of other psudo-christians who give the church not only a bad name but have sold out to mammon. These hypocrites have no right or business pretending to arbatrate church dogma nor to make judgements about anyones faith. They will all bow their knees to God at the last judgement, as will we all, and answer for their hypocracy, lies, pomposity, self-righteous egos and all the rest.
      That the news media hasn't a clue what Christianity is, what and how the true Church was founded or what it's true teachings are. They see all religion through the eyes of the Catholic Church or the Jewish faith, which are diametricly opposed to the truth and have polluted and twisted the truth until it no longer even resembles the words, actions or commandments of Jesus Christ or of His and our God and Father, who will have the LAST WORD. People better repent and look at themselves, removing the board from their eye, before attempting to remove the splinter from their brother's!!

      November 17, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Chuckles


      I love that the Kobayashi-Maru is starting to make its way into everyday speak, being a Trekkie it makes my heart sing.


      I think you're assuming that the switch is close enough to the 5 workers that you could make it to them in time before the train outran you and killed them. I think what a lot of people also overlook/ignore is that if there are 5 people working on live traintracks, they'd feel the vibrations of the train before it hit them so technically in that way you wouldn't have to do anything because you should be able to trust people to feel if a train is coming. Personally I'd also throw the switch if it would kill the one person for the same reasons as the atheist trekkie has pointed out.... which leads to JW, do you think most christians would agree or disagree with your decision and what do you think a "good" christian should do according to christian doctrine?

      November 17, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Special

      @hill cannister - Ah, but you - YOU - and only those who think like YOU have it right, eh?

      @hill cannister = another self-proclaimed TRUE Christian. Isn't that special.

      November 17, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • hippypoet

      well with the addition of me perhaps not being able to get to them... then yes, the one dies a sad lonely death – and i wouldn't feel bad knowing that i save 4 lives on top the one lost. To me, each life is equal to another and therefore i would kill 1 to save even 2. Even if that one person was important to me, they should know me well enough to know that they are dead! 🙂

      November 17, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • J.W

      Well I still question the existence of a literal hell as well as what a person would have to do to go there, but that is something that I still think about. As I believe now I would say it would be with me as if in this situation all of the subjects were healthy adult males with equal chance of escaping the train. But if I did believe that I would kill five people and they would surely go to heaven and save one person who would have gone to hell, then I would kill the five people. However most people would just go with their first reaction and save the five and not think about it. See I was think the fact that they were workers was significant and would make them more able to recognize the situation, such as how most Christians believe that Christians are more prepared for the afterlife.

      November 17, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • Chuckles


      To throw in a doctrinal wrench for any believer, don't you also have to take into account why this situation has occurred in the first place? For instance are you more apt to believe that the train is heading towards the 5 men because god means to kill them or that god placed you at the swtiching station in order to save them and kill one? If you knowingly kill one person are you still regarded as a murderer in gods eyes? Would you still be a murderer by refusing to pull the switch and killing the 5 other people on the tracks? One thing thats stated on this board time and time again is that we're incredibly lucky as humans to have free will and god only gives us opportunity, so what opportunity is this specific situation?

      November 17, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      @hill cannister: could you please explain the pertinence of your comment? Or did you just see 'Atheist' in his alias and figure you needed to give a religious lecture to a non-believer? I hope you realize how futile your comment really is and how it really makes us wonder who forgot to give you your meds today.

      @Everyone else: I'm not answering AtheistSteve on this for the obvious reasons.

      November 17, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      I think your reasoning is a bit convoluted but factoring in the possible afterlife implications is valid for a believer. Assume all are workers, including the one alone and that they are all God fearing Christians.
      With respect to how the Bible would or should factor into your decision it boils down to this.
      By not acting(throwing the switch) you are letting things play out as they will. In other words allowing things to occur according to Gods will. After all he does have a plan, doesn't he? Second by taking control of the situation you are in effect murdering someone. Clearly a violation of one of the Ten Commandments. Remember that not throwing the switch has the possibility of no one getting hurt so it isn't merely a choice of 5 deaths vs 1. It's about making a conscious decision to kill or not kill, but by choosing not to kill may still result in 5 dead. Playing by the rules of the Bible seems to favor putting 5 men in jeopardy which to me(an this is only my personal viewpoint) demonstrates the superiority of secular morality over Biblical objective morality.

      November 17, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • Shoot

      I would shoot the one guy while I drove over the five guys. Why waste four bullets when you have a death-trolley under your feet?

      November 17, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • Chuckles


      Gun jam! What do you do now hot shot?

      November 17, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • bo

      @Steve, This would never happen, but since it is a hypothetical question it is acceptable. The answer, I believe is: no matter what the Christian does, God will accept the man’s action in accordance to his faith.

      November 17, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Shoot

      My gun never jams, but if it did, I would use my other gun.

      November 17, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Brad

      I do not throw the switch because I feel empathy for all 6 men. The empathy is overriding and prevents me from acting. I identify too completely with the fates of the 6 men: I would have difficulty living with my decision after watching 5 men perish knowing I could have saved them by sacrificing just one. I would likewise have difficulty living with myself after killing 1 man when the 5 might have survived.

      But what if I don't feel empathy. Inaction requires the least of me. I can live fine with the outcome. I don't throw the switch.

      November 17, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • JustForFun

      “By not acting(throwing the switch) you are letting things play out as they will. In other words allowing things to occur according to Gods will.”

      Not necessarily, it could be their gods will that a person is at the switch to save some of the lives, a person god knew the choice that they would make, because their god really wanted the lonely man dead. The god in bible did introduce capital punishment, did allow some to kill under the right circumstances. Even though the commandment says thou shalt not kill the god in the bible did allow his followers to kill under his guidance. The best solution a Christian could do is throw the switch then repent for killing the one person through their Christ – problem solved. LOL!

      November 17, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • hippypoet

      @brad – MURDERER!!!!!!!!! OH YOU ARE SO GOING TO HELL! LOL

      November 17, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Chuckles


      Body armour! You are now having return fire from a gattling gun.....

      @Bo – Cop out to the highest degree, you're passing off any and all blame for any death on god. I don't think god would want you to blame him for a death or deaths you could have prevented.

      @Brad – What? Seriously, you're saying your empathy would make you kill 5 instead of just 1, that doesn't sound very empathetic...

      November 17, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • Shoot

      A gun that gattles doesn't sound very dangerous. And where'd the body armor come from? These are guys working on trolley tracks.
      You might as well say they're terrorists with a suitcase nuke and they set it off.
      Or they could just use their jetpacks to fly to safety. What?

      November 17, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • hippypoet

      godda-mn you gotta love mental master-bation! truly is the most fun one can have without doing anything.

      November 17, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • fred

      Prayer is the correct response. Stop, bow your head and pray. Gods will be done on earth as it is in heaven. When you pray you acknowledge God is sovereign over all things.

      November 17, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • AtheistSteve


      So if it was Gods will that you would be there to throw or not throw the switch and whatever outcome is still ultimately Gods will then what of Free Will?

      November 17, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • J.W

      I see the moral dilemma you are talking about, but I believe that in some situations the Bible does we should take action. I cannot think offhand of a specific situation like this in the Bible, but there is the story of the good Samaritan, and the passages about feeding and clothing the poor. But say even in feeding the poor it could be said that the food to feed one adult could feed more than one child. Sometimes I think we are put in the situation of the lesser of two evils, and then we just have to use our best judgment.

      November 17, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • Chuckles


      Do not ask questions, just answer. First you should know that anyone working on train tracks OF COURSE have body armour and guns to return fire. It's a dangerous business. Secondly, Jet packs? Don't be absurd.

      @Fred – What if you pray, god reponds and says "Idiot! Look up! flick the switch!" What then? You disobeyed god, killed 5 people all because you stopped to have a mental chat with god? That sounds like a poor choice.

      November 17, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • AtheistSteve


      Yeah ...and we all know how effective that talking to yourself is...just like Rick Perry praying for rain and instead having Texas end up on fire.

      November 17, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • hippypoet

      J.W a great analogy for this is the case of kinf solomon... 2 women appear is his court, both claim to be the mother of the child which is under contest.... the king says fine, you both shall have the child and orders his guard to cut the child in half... seeing this the real mother crys out, stop, give the child to her she says... then the king knew who the real mother was. thats the best i got to compare to this..,. but i tried!

      November 17, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • fred

      That is why you pray, this is your full exercise of free will. I could make the choice or give my free will to Gods sovereign nature. The choice in the Garden was an exercise of free will. The correct answer for man was pray and God would have provided something better than the tree of good and evil. Notice Abraham did not figure this out yet prayed and blindly went forward with the sacrifice of Isaac. God stepped in and provided. Faith trumps logic and reason

      November 17, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • I'm The Best!

      I would say allow the train to continue towards the 5 men. It's either maybe let 5 die or definitely kill one. The one man is just a bystander, the 5 knew they were working on live tracks and should have known better. There's also the chance it wouldn't kill any of them

      November 17, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • hippypoet

      fred.. first your insane... second it was the tree of knowledge for it was only after eating it did adam and eve realize they were naked and felt shame for being so. they had the knowledge of what being naked meant and therefore the abilty to feel shame for it.

      November 17, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      "Faith trumps logic and reason"

      Really....wow....just I had it all wrong.
      First Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden(heaven on earth) is a laughable example. God set up the fall by introducing a taboo that gets explained as an exercise of free will. Perfect God created perfect people who somehow were still able to perform an imperfect act? Lured no less by Satan(snake) to act against God. Why would the 2 first people, in direct communication with God ever dare to defy him. This makes no sense unless you accept the possibility that if you were in Heaven, at God's side, that you would still have free will and be capable of defying his will. Can you get evicted from Heaven?
      Second Abraham had no free will. God told him what to do and he did his darndest to fulfill what what asked. That God chose to stop his hand was just an example of how much of a robot Abraham was.

      November 17, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • Shoot

      Yes, I wouldn't want to be absurd, would I? lol

      November 17, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • fred

      They had the free will before not after "the woman saw it was desirable for wisdom then ate".

      November 17, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      Fred: I was wondering when you were going to rear your child-like head today. First of all-YOU SIR ARE A COMPLETE MORON!!! Where is your proof that prayer works?
      Second, on a completely different story you made some dumb a$$ statement about how AtheistSteve turned me from religion. Let me explain something to you...unlike you and your wife (heavensent) or your child (herbie the hate bug) I am quite capable of thinking for myself. Steve had nothing to do with me turning away from religion...completely my choice. Steve's only role was in helping to introduce me to other proof that god does not exist but I had pretty much figured that out on my own by the time we got together. Steve is not out there steadily co.nverting people but we also don't lie to people...when my daughter questions religion we point her to people like Gregory Paul; Sam Harris; Richard Dawkins; Christopher Hitchens...we do not support the buybull and so we will not promote it. Steve believes in freedom of speech and freedom of religion/freedom from religion. As adults we have grown up and realized that fairy tales are for children and all christianity provides is a feel good measure for the weak minded...christianity makes a thinking brain stop functioning (why think when the buybull written 2000 years ago provides all the answers you need, even if science and logic dem.onstrate otherwise?). We don't fear heLl b/c it can't be demo.nstrated to exist (who was the last person you personally met who came back from the dead to provide that proof?). Sorry if this doesn't cut it for you but tis your loss...we will continue to live in reality regardless.

      November 17, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • NOo..oON

      Do nothing.
      Flipping a switch is work and work is forbidden on the Sabbath.

      November 17, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • hippypoet

      fred, i never argued against free will... i am saying you are wrong in your state of "the tree of good and evil" And to properly understand this fable, you must first come to grips with the idea that the satan figure is just a tool of god and therefore it was really god who tempted his creation .....kinda di-ckish if you ask me.And Satan is a relatively new figure as an enemy of god... that all started in the middle ages, around 1300 or so, before this point Lucifer was just another angle of god.

      November 17, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • The Oracle

      There is no such thing as free will, only the illusion of free will – which works very well considering our low levels of human perception and thought.
      No such thing as an omnipotent, all-knowing god either. The proof is everywhere. Pretending is not a basis for truth, thus all religions fail.

      November 17, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • Ed

      I have seen this type of question in other forms. There are to schools of thought that don't require me trying to interpret Gods's will. If I act I am responsible for the outcome. So if I throw the switch I am responsible for the one mans death. If I don't act I am not responsible because I did not cause anything in the question so I am not to blame for the outcome. If I let the train keep going its not my fault in the fives guys die.

      School 2 I am resposble for both action and inaction so I am resposible either way and must chose 1 life or 5. If I follow this school my choice would be to throw the switch since that is fewer deaths.

      Several people have siad it would not bother them to know they have casue the one to die to save the 5. I think the are either underestimating the cost of such a decision or lack moral fiber. I would feel badly about my decision in either case. I would not want to be responsible for anyones death. However if I had to make the choice in the question I would choose to throw the switch as one life to save five is a rational decision. I would be perpared to face God's judgement for my decision because the choice is mine I am resposible for my own actions or lack there of.

      November 17, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • fred

      Adam and Eve are a perfect example of mankind in relationship with God. Take two people give them everything they want and their eyes will drift towards the one thing they cannot have. The entire Bible is about a chosen people that turn from God for the same reason. As Solomon said; “there is nothing new under the sun”. That is what man will do with his free will in the presence of God. Imagine what man will do with free will in the absence of God (yes it’s hell).
      They should have taken the issue of desire for the forbidden direct to God. God did not blind them he gave a choice. God always gives a choice so there can be no excuse. If the tree was not appealing there would be no choice. One must desire a relationship with God over all other desires. This is a simple 4 paragraphs is Genesis yet it tells the entire story of relationships and the purpose of man. That in itself is Divine. Dr. Phil writes books that cannot get this point across.

      November 17, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • JustForFun

      "So if it was Gods will that you would be there to throw or not throw the switch and whatever outcome is still ultimately Gods will then what of Free Will?"

      I think for christians there is no actual free will, they believe their god tells them what to do. They don't seem to comprehend that it's not even free will to choose between going to heaven or hell. It's why the men wrote that into their religion knowing most sane people would choose going to heaven based on fear of being torture for eternity.

      psss, don't tell a christian, it's our secret.

      November 17, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • JA

      First off, I make my own choices. You give me two to pick from, and I give you a third if necessary. There is no greater love than to sacrifice your life for another's. You have my answer.

      November 17, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Ed

      @JA no we don't have your answer. Sacrificing your life will not change the question so therefore is not relevant. If you jump in front of the train you will die so may the 5 men. If you throw the switch and jump you die so does the man. No change to the problem just another death.

      November 17, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • hippypoet

      i'm not sure if i see the issue with JA jumping infront of the train even if the train keeps on its track and kills the other 5... its a win lose kinda moment there. 🙂

      November 17, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      I have to leave for work. Thanks to all who participated in this thread. There was much more dodging the issue than I anticipated but much was revealed nonetheless. Good day.

      November 17, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • JA

      haha, oh hippy you are a character you. And Mr. Ed...i wasnt aiming at changing the question, but only the answer. To be honest, flipping that switch makes you responsible for that death. Trying to save as many of the 5 men as you can while possibly sacrificing your own life as a result, i believe, does not make you responsible for any death except your own.

      November 17, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • JustForFun

      "You give me two to pick from, and I give you a third if necessary."

      That's funny. The god in the bible gives you only two choices heaven or hell but the third choice is that there really is no god. 😉

      November 17, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Ed

      @JA "First off, I make my own choices. You give me two to pick from, and I give you a third if necessary. There is no greater love than to sacrifice your life for another's. You have my answer"

      your answer says nothing about trying to save anyone just mentions sacrificing your own in no clear mention of how. As for throwing the switch making me responsible. I clearly state that it did in my response and that I accept the resposibility. if the quesion where real is a bad situation with any decision some times the lesser of 2 evils is all ther is. When that occurs I do my best to pick the lesser. That is all I can do. Regardless I am resposible for what I do.

      November 17, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • JA

      "There is no greater love than to sacrifice your life for another's"
      hint:for another's
      so you see i did mention how just not specifically.


      What's so funny? I clearly stated i would give a third "if necessary"
      It's not necessary for me to choose otherwise, between heaven and hell.
      Yeah perty funny though 😉

      November 17, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  6. Bo

    @hippy, When I did make a reply I was afraid that you may not see it because there were so many other posters doing their thing at the time. I finelly Googled the right thing and found the info I was looking for. The Nicaea Creed propses the idea that Christ was a created being; this is why I can't accept the creed. In this sort of thing; (spiritual matters) if one thing is false, the whole thing is rejected. Remember, I said spiritual matters, that is not to be compared with secular matters. If you did want to compare it with something secular, it would simular to a perfect diamond; one flaw would make a perfect diamond unacceptable even though the rest of the diamond is very beautiful. Since this is a spiritual matter I don't expect you to understand, nor will I burden you with details.

    November 17, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • hippypoet

      "Since this is a spiritual matter I don't expect you to understand, nor will I burden you with details."

      you insult me everytime you say that... i prefer to be burden with details over a lack of... and you are correct in saying that i may not understand, but you at least give a man a chance to understand. And the creed says
      "Jesus Christ,
      the only Son of God,
      eternally begotten of the Father,
      God from God, Light from Light,
      true God from true God,
      begotten, not made,
      of one Being with the Father.
      Through him all things were made.
      For us and for our salvation
      he came down from heaven:
      by the power of the Holy Spirit
      he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
      and was made man. "

      so i am not sure why you said that "it says he was made", it clearly states he wasn't made, nor created, but simply made man thru incarnate with mary by the holy ghost, he was before and after this point still " one Being with the Father. " according to the creed.

      thank you for getting back to me tho. I think its the apostles creed you are referring to.

      November 17, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • bo

      @ Hippy, sorry I don’t mean to insult you, but spiritual matters deal with faith and belief. So I believe that the trinity is made up of three eternal individuals, separate yet united, which makes a unity, which equates into God, or the God Head therefore become one God. This where I would expect you to say: this doesn’t make any sense, and on the secular level, I would agree, but it takes faith to believe.
      What I read on the Internet about the Creed of Nicaea, it was proposing the idea that at some point God created the Son, or that somehow the Son was within God as a thought and at some point transformed Him into a Being. I understand what this hypothesis, but I can not accept it.

      November 17, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • hippypoet

      cool, thank you for getting back to me on this... and i agree with you on the fact that all religious doctrines are subject to interpretation and therefore with your views, i can see why you don't agree with the creed.

      November 17, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • bo

      @hippy, I forgot to mention, I had answered the question earlier, and I was afraid that you wouldn't see it, because of all the traffic on the blog, so I had to answer it the second time, but serendipity, this time the answer was better stated.

      November 17, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • hippypoet

      "serendipity" thats one of my favorite words... have you ever seen the movie "serendipity" great flick! I'm not one for romance, but this was a good one!

      November 17, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  7. hippypoet

    how about a real poem – and the best part of this poem is the whole poem is one big pun! 🙂

    Se-x on Stage

    One with coin and set desire,
    may produce counterfeit love that will always expire.
    Now you arrive at the famed Caligula’s door
    By now you thrive in the power to choose you own wh-ore.
    The actors of life who work the streets
    only add to mans immoral conquest.
    But in modern society such acts do nothing but fuel the moral protest.
    Know to boast is to presume you have the most.
    Male, female, either or, both can be summed up within an hour,
    For we all end up shrunk up, dried up, and withered like a dying flower.

    written in 06 by yours truly, me, the hippypoet 🙂

    November 17, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • Reality

      You're an idiot.

      November 17, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • Freud Dude

      ohhhh, mr. Reality doesn't get the poem, hence his angry towards it and mr. Hippypoet. Tell us your issues and why you are so angry mr. Reality.
      I rather like that piece of art work. It speaks volumes on the human mind and the way society views things on moral grounds and mortality. I think its a work of genius. Perhaps it could have been written better, but so, it is still great.

      November 17, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • hippypoet

      thank you freud dude... i wrote that in a drunken stupper... then i read it the next day and said whoa – i loved it at first, well second glance... lol... whats cool is i wrote it before the movie "The Libertine" came out and there is a very similar line to my last line – its when johnny dep is in the who-res room and drunk off his @ss just speaking in ryhms. That is now one of my most loved movies ever of all time – i see myself in the Earl of Rochester.

      November 17, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • bo

      @ hippy, I think your poem carries a message. I don’t know why Reality doesn’t understand it, maybe he/she needs to be drunk, or perhaps drunkenness is the reason.

      November 17, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • hippypoet

      thank you Bo... it seems you and freud dude are the only ones who even bothered to check it out.. and i think its one of my best... but i consider myself to have over 50 "bests" so this one fits in under i'd say top 20 outta the whole 50. I would gladly share what i believe to be what i call my master piece.. if you wish.

      November 17, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • You suck at writing poems

      Like, BAD. Do you have severe brain damage from drug use, or were you just born with a subnormal brain?

      November 17, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • its pronouced I-gor

      no no no.... its abbey something... abbey normal....abnormal.. WHAT! YOU GAVE ME AN ABNORMAL BRAIN AND LET ME PUT IT INSIDE OF 7 FOOT NEANDERTHAL!!!!!!!

      November 17, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • hippypoet

      look, i am sorry you can't understand my art....most people fear what they don't understand and the most common ways to act to when fear is involved is by getting angry then insulting – tisk tisk... i can write one you will understand ... here i will do it now.

      roses are blue,
      voilets are red
      i am sorry if reading
      hurts your head


      November 17, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • Little Jenny


      November 17, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  8. Mr. T

    I pity the fool who sits on here everyday like hippypoet

    November 17, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • hippypoet

      sry if that bothers you... i am bored at work... its the slow time of year, my only real work during these times is making the clients happy and making sure my techs don't fuk it all up... i pity the fool that only has mean angry things to say. I crave intelligent conersation, this is an outlet for some poetry of mine and an open forum to discuss world issues – what could be better?

      November 17, 2011 at 11:45 am |
  9. You Sir, Are A Tard

    @ hippy – Get at me brooooooo, you nothin but a scrubby scrubbbbbbbbbbb.

    November 17, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • hipppoet

      looks like you got nothing, but talk...lots of talk....too bad, i thought a poetry slam would be fun.

      November 17, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • hippypoet

      looks like you got nothing, but talk...lots of talk....too bad, i thought a poetry slam would be fun.

      lol silly y

      November 17, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • You Sir, Are A Tard

      I actually respodned w another poem but cnn blocked it and i didnt feel like typing it again.

      Get at me broooooooooooo.

      November 17, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • hippypoet

      hit backspace till it brings you to before you hit post and then fix the bad word and cnn won't block it.

      November 17, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • You Sir, Are A Tard

      That's what she said.

      hippypoet is a clown

      get at me brioooooooooooooooooooo

      November 17, 2011 at 11:19 am |
  10. Abraham Lincoln

    Fourscore and...
    [looks at his pocket watch]
    seven minutes ago... we, your forefathers, were brought forth upon a most excellent adventure conceived by our new friends, Bill... and Ted. These two great gentlemen are dedicated to a proposition which was true in my time, just as it's true today. Be excellent to each other. And... PARTY ON, DUDES!

    November 17, 2011 at 10:56 am |
  11. You Sir, Are A Tard

    @hippypoet – Get at me bro. You don't want any of this, get at me broooooooooo.

    I created a poem also:
    I once was a hippy
    my intelligence was wishy
    I then becam a poet
    I suck and you know it
    My name is hippypoet

    November 17, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • hippypoet

      you sir are silly and are a tard
      you don't know whos house your in, Bit-ch, this is my yard
      go now and play with your only friend
      you may think your a poet, but your only pretend
      how about i tell you where to go
      cause i'm the only poet, your just for show.

      i like yours too.. was your writtten right now too? its a poetry slam on cnn!!!

      November 17, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • NewbiePoet

      i once wrote a haiku
      i dont remember what it said
      i thought it was just 3 lines of rubbish
      how do these go again?

      Now i remember
      wrote it back in september
      touche' -You Sir, Are a Tard

      November 17, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
  12. hippypoet

    Westminster Abbey is the by far the most beautiful building i have ever been in. They take your cameras if they see you take pictures because the flash can damage the marble and other paintings and reliefs... but i took a bunch and never got caught... i got one of the tome of shakespeare, darwin, and charles dic-ksons... it was amazing. The shrine to princess Diana was beautiful, the whole royal family dating back to i think richard the third were shown there in marble reliefs... fantasic worksmenship. True art like that of ancient Greece was here... and interesting fact – the movie the three musketeers with tim curry , it was filmed at the Westminster Abbey's sister abbey as to still uphold the no camera law...it is an exact likiness of Westminster Abbey. i forget the name thou. If you ever get the chance, you should totally go to europe...
    two second poem i cameout with while i was in London walking towards the Rose. I wrote it down later. 🙂 no t!tle
    the most beautiful buildings and history can only be found across the sea, it only takes a thought to want to be to free, come, let you and I feel the wind and taste the air, this is London town and we are finally here!

    November 17, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • You Sir, Are A Tard

      That was the dumbest poem I ever read loser.

      November 17, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • Freud Dude

      @Yes sir...Come, sit down here...now, tell me about your mother?

      November 17, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • Freud Dude

      @Freud Dude – Bill and Ted's excellent adventure right? hehe – Bill: It is indeed a pleasure to introduce to you a gentleman we picked up in medieval Mongolia in the year 1269.
      Ted: Please welcome, the very excellent barbarian...
      Ted, Bill: ...MR. GENGHIS KHAN!
      [All the students applaud wildly for Khan]
      Ted: This is a dude who, 700 years ago, totally rav-aged China, and who, we were told, 2 hours ago, totally rava-ged Osh-man's Sporting Goods.

      @Yes sir.... i never said it was great, not even very good... but i said it like you say hello to people as you walk by – just comes out naturally, and thats why i like it. Why the hate... and why only post on that part of my post when i was talking more about the Westmister Abbey then my poem yet you felt it was more important to bash me then comment on something beautiful... you sir are a sad, hateful creature!

      November 17, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • hippypoet

      don't ya just hate a copy and paste slip up... Freud dude is not me.. i am baked and somehow pasted his name over mine instead of after the @ symbol.. whatever – it still works, kinda! lol ah fuk it.

      November 17, 2011 at 10:34 am |
  13. Brad

    @hippypoet I am up for that. Let's enjoy all the sun we can.

    November 17, 2011 at 9:50 am |
  14. Nonimus

    @Dan Merica,
    I liked the New York Magazine article. Thanks for the link.

    November 17, 2011 at 9:45 am |
  15. Brad

    Good morning Bo,

    The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

    November 17, 2011 at 7:19 am |
    • William Demuth

      Which Lord?

      There seem to be so many of them?

      It seems to early for Allah to be up, and Zoroastor has been heard from in decades.

      So I guess you mean Rah, after all he is ALWAYS up with the sun.

      November 17, 2011 at 8:56 am |
    • Brad

      The sun is nice, really warm on my face – I like it. The Aaronic Benediction refers to YHWH, I believe. And no, you can't buy a vowel.

      November 17, 2011 at 9:05 am |
    • William Demuth

      So your imply the Sun of God is equivalent to the Son Of God?

      Does that make the devil the moon?

      November 17, 2011 at 9:17 am |
    • hippypoet

      come now, lets all bath in the lovely light of the ALMIGHTY SUN! plus i have glenfiddich! – 21yr 🙂

      November 17, 2011 at 9:20 am |
  16. Bo

    Good morning–nothing of interest here, but there may be a fieldday for some. I don't know why anyone would want the Crystal Cathedrial. Even though it is an impressive piece of architecture, it is very expensive to maintain, however, the ground it sits on is worth 59 mil, that alone makes the purchase a bargain.

    November 17, 2011 at 6:35 am |
    • hippypoet

      i'lll chat with you in a few but i just wanted to say that you never got back to me about your issues with the niece creed, or any creed for that matter.. i was curious...

      November 17, 2011 at 7:43 am |
About this blog

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