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November 19th, 2011
10:31 PM ET

The gospel according to Herman Cain

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

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

(CNN) – On a bright spring day in 2007, a black-robed Herman Cain officiated the wedding of a young couple at a mansion outside of Atlanta. The sun sparkled on the pair’s wedding rings as Cain, an associate minister at a nearby church, held them aloft.

All seemed perfect.

When it came time for the bride and groom to exchange vows, however, Cain was dissatisfied with the volume of the groom’s “I do.”

"Say it louder," Cain told Matt Carrothers.

“When he tells you to say, ‘I do,’” the groom recalled, “it almost sounds like the voice of God telling you that and you take it very seriously.”

In the race for the Republican presidential nomination, Herman Cain is not seen as a candidate who wears his faith on his sleeve. Mitt Romney’s Mormonism, Rick Santorum’s Catholicism and Michele Bachmann’s evangelical Christianity have all garnered much more attention than Cain’s Baptist-flavored beliefs.

On the campaign trail, Cain is more apt to talk about his business acumen and leadership skills than his faith. His unlikely rise as a straight-talking White House contender was pegged largely to the popularity among fiscal conservatives of his “9-9-9” tax plan.

But those who know Cain describe him as a devout Christian who leans on his faith in times of hardship. That would appear to include the present moment, when a flurry of sexual harassment allegations and a viral video of a Libya interview gaffe are renewing doubts about Cain’s legitimacy as a candidate.

Indeed, Cain’s religiosity runs deep enough that he regularly delivers sermons at his childhood church, has recorded a gospel music album and has a traveling minister as part of his campaign apparatus.

Carrothers - who worked as Cain’s political director during his failed 2004 bid for a U.S. Senate seat from Georgia - says one of Cain’s favorite sayings is, “There’s our plan, and then there’s God’s plan.”

Rev Herman Cain presides over the wedding of Matt Carrothers and Debra Ann Delong.

“You may think that things are going wrong in your life,” Carrothers says, paraphrasing the candidate, “but just step back it will always get better.”

Faith and work, hand in hand

Cain’s faith journey began at a young age. Born in Tennessee and raised in Georgia, he and his parents joined Antioch Baptist Church North in Atlanta when he was 10.

The 134-year-old, historically black church was founded by freed slaves. For the Cain family, faith in God and hard work went hand in hand.

Cain has written that his family grew up so poor they were “po.” His mother was a maid and his father at times worked three jobs at once: as a barber, a janitor at Pillsbury and a chauffeur for Coca-Cola executives.

His father, Cain writes in his 2011 book, “This is Herman Cain! My Journey to the White House,” worked and saved enough to buy a modest home and quit two of his jobs, rising in the ranks at Coca-Cola to become the CEO's private chauffeur.

Herman Cain, meanwhile, would climb the corporate ladder, rising to become the CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, based in Omaha, Nebraska, and then head of the National Restaurant Association, where the sexual harassment charges originated.

Cain has always considered Antioch his spiritual home. The candidate declined to comment for this article, but Fred Robinson, a former Antioch minister who left to form his own church, says Cain’s late parents were pillars of the church.

Cain greets potential caucus voters prior to speaking at an Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition event earlier this year.

After he returned to Antioch amid “great fanfare” in 2000, Robinson says, Cain became a fixture in the deacon’s corner, a row of seats near the pulpit.

On any Sunday, Cain could be seen sitting with the other deacons in his favorite light-blue dress shirt shouting, “Preach Rev!” or “Say it.”

Cain became a licensed associate minister at Antioch in 2002.

The liberal church of Herman Cain

“Like most ministers, I felt called to preach the word of God and minister to the least, the last, and the lost, and minister to His people,” he told Christianity Today.

Antioch officials and Senior Pastor Cameron Alexander declined interview requests, saying the church doesn’t divulge information about members or staff.

But congregants paint a picture of Cain as deeply involved, part of a group of associate ministers known as the Sons of Antioch. Members say that if a man feels called by God to preach, he can approach the senior pastor about it. A trial sermon is then arranged.

If the congregation and pastor approve, the man undergoes training in scripture and preaching and can be licensed by the church to preach.

The Sons of Antioch are given the honorific of “reverend.” The positions are unpaid.

Antioch is part of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. but like many Baptist churches, it operates largely autonomously. The process of appointing ministers is particular to the church.

As an associate minister, Cain sometimes preaches at Antioch and regularly helps distribute the elements of communion, a role he has kept up while campaigning for president.

Valencia Seay, a Georgia state senator and longtime member of the church, falls on the opposite end of the political spectrum from Cain. But she said they put politics aside on Sunday mornings.

From the pulpit, Cain is “charismatic, he is knowledgeable, he is on point, and he knows the Word.”

“He can lift a hymn,” she said. “It’s always enjoyable to hear a minister who can not only deliver a powerful message but also finish it with a song that speaks to that message.”

While in Omaha at Godfather’s Pizza, Cain put his singing to work, directing a men’s chorus at Pilgrim Baptist Church and cutting a CD of gospel tunes. The proceeds went to charity.

On the campaign, Cain sometimes sings for supporters and once serenaded reporters with a hymn at the National Press Club.

God-centered self-determinism

For all his church involvement, Cain’s message of self-determinism is seemingly at odds with Antioch’s focus on social justice.

The Rev. Gerald Durley, senior pastor of Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta, told CNN that Cain’s call for blacks to forget about racism and pull themselves up by their bootstraps doesn’t mesh with the philosophy of Antioch’s pastor.

“He’s not going to talk about pulling yourself up by your bootstraps,” Durley says of Antioch’s pastor, Cameron Alexander. “It’s about providing bootstraps.”

Since becoming an associate minister at Antioch, Cain has preached in pulpits around the country, often eschewing the big paydays of motivational speaking gigs for modest preaching honorariums.

In many of those sermons, Cain has promoted a message of self-reliance.

In 2003, while Cain was running for Senate, he preached at the Crystal Cathedral, a high-profile church in Southern California headed at the time by the Rev. Robert Schuller.

“I told Bob that I was so excited that it inspired me to prepare a two-hour message for you this morning,” Cain told the congregation.

“Bob said, ‘That’s great, as long as you can do it in 20 minutes,’” Cain joked.

Cain’s sermon, which was beamed around the globe as part of Crystal Cathedral’s “Hour of Power” TV broadcast, focused on the biblical verse Mark 8:36.

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Cain quoted.

As he continued, Cain's message seemed to harmonize with his libertarian politics.

“Finding your purpose in life is a continuous process that God reveals to each of us when we are ready and when God is ready,” he said. “Living our purpose in life is a decision.”

In the gospel according to Herman Cain, God may lay out plans, but it is up to each believer to push forward - regardless of obstacles - to reach that goal.

For Cain, that’s meant repeatedly running for political office despite his failure to win.

Cain addresses the Northern Virginia Technology Council and the Consumer Electronic Association earlier this month in McLean, Virginia.

From the pulpit of the Crystal Cathedral, Cain traced his political career to an epiphany that accompanied the birth of his granddaughter in 1999.

“The first thought, so help me God, that went through my mind when I looked at that little face was, ‘What do I do to use my talents to make this a better world?’” Cain said. “God had revealed my next purpose in life at an unexpected moment.”

In his 2005 book, “They Think You're Stupid: Why Democrats Lost Your Vote and What Republicans Must Do to Keep It,” Cain said that epiphany led to worrying about
leaving Social Security and Medicare a “mess” for her.

“For three and a half years I would not be able to answer the question of what do I do to make this a better world,” Cain writes. “But I would often reflect on the words of the prophet Isaiah (40:31): ‘They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles.’”

In 1999, Cain formed Citizens for Cain Exploratory Committee to test the waters for a presidential bid in 2000, the National Journal reported at the time. He made campaign stops in Iowa and New Hampshire, according to press reports, which focused on his business acumen and the fact that he was a black GOP candidate, not his religious proclivities. He eventually backed Republican candidate Steve Forbes and joined Forbes' campaign as a national co-chairman.

Three and a half years later, Cain ran for the U.S. Senate, saying the decision had been divinely inspired.

“Being on a God-inspired fast track of success and surviving the many things that could have gone wrong was no accident,” he writes.

He woke early one morning to study the Bible as he wrestled with whether to run for Senate.

The Bible fell on the floor, Cain writes, and opened to Matthew 18, where Jesus asks, “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?” - the same words he would quote from a different gospel at the Crystal Cathedral.

Later that week, Cain writes, he heard a sermon titled “The Calling” by Alexander at Antioch. After the service, Cain consulted with the pastor.

Cain said he felt God was calling him to run for Senate. According to Cain, the pastor responded: "How much louder does God have to tell you something?"

Not long after, Cain threw his hat in the ring.

Looking for God’s road signs

He would lose in the Republican primary to now-U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, but Cain took a respectable 26% of the vote. Being a millionaire black conservative made him somewhat of a novelty, and he attracted lots of national and local press.

The experience helped Cain land a conservative radio talk show in Atlanta, a book deal and appearances on national television.

Indeed, Cain sees God’s hand in his 2004 loss. Referring to his radio show, Cain writes, “I believe that having that program was God’s way of forcing me to understand the critical issues confronting our nation.”

While his radio career was humming along, Cain faced a major challenge in February 2006, when he was diagnosed with colon cancer.

The diagnosis tested the faith of Cain and his wife, Gloria. But he saw the hand of God at various points in his treatment.

After the initial diagnosis, Cain’s Atlanta doctor wanted him to get a second opinion from a specialist in Savannah, Georgia, some five hours away by car. Cain didn’t want go, but then he learned the specialist’s name: Dr. Lord. That was the first sign.

Later, Cain went to MD Anderson Cancer Center, a Houston hospital specializing in cancer treatment, after his business pal Boone Pickens called to get him in.

The nurse who gave Cain and his wife their orientation tour at the hospital was named Grace. Yet another sign, Cain writes.

And when it was time for surgery, the doctors explained they would be making a J-shaped incision. “Like J-E-S-U-S?” Cain asked the doctor. The candidate would go on to call the incision a “Jesus cut.”

“You see, the Lord gives you these road signs - that is, if you know how to recognize them,” Cain writes.

By January 2007, Cain was cancer-free. The road signs began to change. He returned to the radio airwaves and began sowing the seeds of a run for president.

‘You got the wrong man, Lord!’

Herman Cain did not want to run for president. He did not want to be president. But God told him to.

In a campaign speech in early November, he told the Georgia Young Republicans he never considered running for president until he saw President Barack Obama’s “arrogant disregard for the people,” which he said weakened the county's economy, military and standing in the world.

“That’s when I prayed and prayed and prayed. … More praying than I’ve ever had to do in my life.

“When I finally realized that this was God saying what I needed to do, I was like Moses. ‘You got the wrong man, Lord! Are you sure?’ Now, you're not supposed to doubt God. But I'm going, ‘I think maybe you're looking at somebody else.’”

Cain announced his candidacy for president in January.

Cain speaks during a campaign visit to Versailles, a Cuban restaurant, in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami on Wednesday.

To be sure, Cain is hardly the only candidate who has said that God wants him or her to run for president. Rick Perry and Bachmann have expressed similar sentiments.

“Maybe God just wants a good race,” says Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.

Sabato points to the large numbers of religious Republican voters in the Iowa caucuses and South Carolina primary. Many voters in those states “respond to language like that,” Sabato says.

Benny Tate, senior pastor of Rock Springs Church in Milner, Georgia, has accompanied Cain on the campaign trail, joining the candidate on recent trips to Ohio and New Hampshire. Tate said whenever they stop to eat on the road, “Herman will literally bow his head and thank God for that food. It may be something small, like a sandwich, but I’ve never seen Herman have a meal where he didn’t thank God for the meal.”

Despite that piety, Cain has had his fair share of trouble with the Christian Right.

In an October interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan, Cain seemed to mix two disparate positions on abortion. He said he believes life begins at conception and that he opposes abortion in all cases.

But he also said government ought to stay out of a family’s decision - a line that seemed to speak to Cain’s limited government, tea party-flavored conservativism.

The comment enraged many anti-abortion groups and is featured in a new web ad for Bachmann that’s aimed at positioning the Minnesota congresswoman as the true anti-abortion candidate.

While most of the other Republican candidates have reached out to Focus on the Family, an influential evangelical organization and long a stopover for GOP figures, the group has not heard from Cain.

But those who know him say Cain’s focus on economic issues is an outgrowth of his faith and his view of an individual’s ability to chart his or her own course.

“Herman sees the pressing issues of our day are economic,” Tate said. “Because of his faith he sees that that can turn around. One way he sees that is through personal responsibility.

“Herman believes that, ‘By the sweat of thy face thou shall eat bread,’” Tate said, referring to Genesis 3:19, in which Adam and Eve are banished from the Garden of Eden.

Cain has used this idea to criticize the Occupy Wall Street movement.

“Don't blame Wall Street, don't blame the big banks,” he recently told The Wall Street Journal. “If you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself!”

That idea is not original to Cain. It is one long found in black churches.

“The fiscal conservative thread … not being dependent on anybody else, especially not ‘the white man,’ is a theme that is decades old in the black community,” said Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church, a black megachurch in Maryland.

Jackson, who was invited to give an opening prayer when Cain kicked off his presidential campaign, says Cain is representative of many conservative black evangelicals - though he might not be getting many votes from the folks at Antioch.

The question remains whether Cain’s blend of self-determination and striving to complete what he sees as God’s plan will land him the Republican presidential nomination - whether he wants it or not.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Baptist • Belief • Christianity • Georgia • Herman Cain • Politics • Race • United States

soundoff (1,421 Responses)
  1. george k1

    ... and you wonder why the rest of the world laughs.

    November 20, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  2. Aezel

    So if Cain thinks "God" told him to run for president, really this is an article about someone who is mentally ill.

    November 20, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  3. al kuwahara

    Herman Monster Cain just CAIN'T be president

    November 20, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  4. Brasil1958

    NovaCain...a numbing of logic and rational thought.

    November 20, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  5. apostate

    Good thing he'll never be president.

    November 20, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  6. David Nicholson

    "He didn't want to run for president. But God told him to."

    "He didn't want to kill his children. But God told him to."

    Both of the previous statements describe crazy people.

    November 20, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  7. Brian C

    Great, another politician hearing voices in their head. Personally, I don't think that's a call from God, I call it schizophrenia. Look what happened when George W listened to the voices in his head. 3771 American soldiers and at least 100,000 Iraqi civilians died. Come on people! Wake up and see how the republicans and the christian right are destroying this country. Haven't we evolved enough as a species to no longer need to rely on ancient beliefs?

    I'm not saying that religion should disappear. I'm realistic enough to know that will never happen. People can worship anything they want. Just don't tell me that I have to also. And religious statements should not be allowed by any political discussion, and the faith or lack of faith of any candidate can not be used in campaigns. I really don't care what church a candidate attends, I just want someone to come up with a workable plan that will get the US out of the toilet . I also don't want someone like Bachman or Cain or Perry or Santorum running this country and forcing their moral beliefs onto the whole country.

    November 20, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  8. Julie

    I don't want any leader who thinks he has God telling him what to do. It's been my experience that most people who have God telling them things are really just doing what THEY want and using God as a rationalization.
    A person whose spirituality springs from true spirituality doesn't need to be trying to strain to hear voices in their head that they think might be God. And that kind of spirituality takes a lot of work to achieve, it requires study, contemplation and humility. Herman has not shown that he possesses any of those qualities to any degree that would permit him to act as an agent of good faith.
    He doesn't want to do what God wants – he wants to just BE god.
    But then I doubt HC knows what hubris is either.

    November 20, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  9. sybaris

    But Christianity makes so much sense!

    An omnipotent god who created the first man out of dirt and the first woman out of dirtman’s rib impregnated a man’s wife to reproduce itself. Then the baby called Jesus disappears for over 30 years, reappears and sacrifices himself to himself with the aid of the Romans. Before he is killed though he walks on water, turns water into wine, heals lepers and makes a zombie out of a man named Lazarus. Jesus tells us that his death is redemption for his omniscient and perfect father having created imperfect beings. Also that his father had made a previous attempt to rid the world of evil a few thousand years earlier by drowning every single living thing except that which boarded a large wooden boat and dispersed themselves on island continents thousands of miles from where the boat eventually landed. After Jesus’ death he reawakens three days later and tells his followers that if you telepathically promise that you accept him as your master, symbolically eat his flesh and drink his blood he will accept you and cleanse you of an evil force you inherited from his father’s first creation who was convinced by a talking snake to eat a fruit from a magic tree.

    How can you not possibly believe that?"

    November 20, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  10. Anon

    Christians are screwed up the head.
    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUVXEmJRGns&w=640&h=360]

    November 20, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • RoxieInTheSouth

      Great clip from Sam. I also like the quote "Those who can get you to believe absurdies, can get you to perform atrocities." Can't remember said it or if that is exactly it, but I do think history bears out its truth.

      November 20, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • LH

      You are right on. It's just so very difficult to get anyone to really listen. Thank you for articulating the truth.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  11. Ned David

    God told me to not vote for Herman Cain, and to stop biting my nails.

    November 20, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  12. Blessed Geek

    And it came to pass in the 8th year of the reign of GWB, we the captives of his ceaseless useless war in Babylonia, when the heavens opened up, and I saw the visions of god.

    And the word of god came and he spake unto me. Expressly unto my pastor too. By the rivers Potomac and Shanandoah.

    Oh Shanandoah I long to hear you. Away you rolling Americans who gather no moss.

    Oh Herman ... O brave Herman, thou art not Herman McCain but Herman Cain.

    And thence came a whirlwind and the appearance of four brazen creatures in the likeness of Harry McReid, Mitch McConnell, Eric McCantor and Nancy McPelosi. Each of them had wings. When they went forward they would not go straight ahead. When they went straight ahead, they would not go forward.

    And the four creatures were riding on a wheel upon another wheel. And the wheels were greatly spinning one against the other, never really achieving any productive work.

    Thence was when the holy one spoke unto me, saying, Herman, run for the President and get rid of these useless nincompetentpoops, and make the two wheels of Congress spin properly, effectively and productively.

    November 20, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • amadeo122

      hahahahaha... then god said "Herman how does a pepperoni pizza plus cheese sticks for 9.99 sound to you.?" and Herman came down from the mountain holding a pepperoni pizza, a 2 liter bottle of pepsi and salad to go" ................... hahahahah these GOP candidates are seriously Insane Asylum material.

      November 20, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  13. David

    Unfortunately the GOP nomination process is set-up in such a way that four candidates that claim God speaks directly to them is somehow reasonable.

    November 20, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  14. Ned David

    God just told me not to vote for Herman Cain, and to stop biting my nails.

    November 20, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Dennis Goulet

      Exactly !!!

      November 20, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Mighty7

      You too? Damm, he is working overtime.

      November 20, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  15. Dennis Goulet

    Separation of Religion from State is so underpracticed here.

    This society needs people Like the present Presidential Candidates to show leadership and stop this " I Am Religious" CRAP. What is next .. I had coffee with GOD? I believe this election is becoming more of a "Election for the Church" rather than for Democracy at any piont in time in History. This is a dangerous precedant to set. We have the churches using thier pulpet to sway parishiners to vote for Candidates that they Judge to be "Godly" or "Morally Perfect". Elections in a Democratic Society should come from the people as it was designed to be. Churches should be helping the homeless, the weak, the poor or simply cleaning out their closets not controling Politics and dividing society into Republicans and Democrates the way they they are currently. Politicans should be representing all citizens Equally. All laws for all citizens Equally!

    Think about it !

    Love to you all!

    November 20, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  16. pattyo

    Know what Herman? Is your ego so inflated that you think you have a direct line to God? Well here is some news for you.......I heard from God this morning and he told me not to vote for you.

    November 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  17. Someone

    @Tiller form Texas –

    When I stated my interpretation of Church and State – the freedom to worship as you see fit, and to keep the Church out of government, since most monarchies derive their power from the church (like in England) – you declared me a "whack job" – nothing else. So, prithie, why, exactly am I a "whack job"? I have not criticized religion – I am simply saying that having people say "they have been told to do such and such by some eternal being" is likely a bunch of baloney. Yes, it happens in the Bible – but that is the Bible – this is the modern world. And I see absolutely no reason why God would choose a pizza chain founder, and a couple of loud mouthed politicians who think that the world is a nice wonderful place and that the US is "God's Country" to be leaders.

    November 20, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • Mighty7

      In Tyler's defense: he is from Texas. The poor souls are still waiting for rain, their minds are dehydrated.

      November 20, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  18. JAG0419

    The Republicans need to quit hearing from God and they need to start listening to Jesus. I'm not particularly religious, but last I checked Christ was still the ultimate role model for Christians. Christ would be hanging out with and bettering the lives of the poor, the diseased and the prostiutes.
    These clowns are intereted in bettering their bank accounts. Does anybody know how I can get my hands on some shares of that Boehner/Pelosi hedge fund?

    November 20, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • amadeo122

      that would be because most christians in the US never read the bible, it was read and interpreted by a preacher to them so they can take money from them.

      November 20, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • Veritas

      Of course, according to the biblical fairy tale, god and jc are the same person somehow...

      November 20, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  19. mainhoon

    I dont understand this country.. Religion and Government are supposed to be separate. What about my faith? Why would these idiots only espouse christianity. America is one step removed from dictatorship. What is this stupid 2 party system. Just like a toss of coin? Cant there be a third REASONABLE party? Not the idiotic republicans?

    November 20, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Milton Platt

      I feel your pain......but the problem with a three (or more) party system is it is then possible for someone who has less than 51% of the popular vote to be declared president......oh, wait......that can already happen with the electorlal college.
      Never mind. LOL

      November 20, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  20. Rick

    So this clown thinks God talks to him? Funny, if a politician says that he considered pious if a street person says it he's crazy.

    November 20, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • SciGuy

      God has spoken to us all. If you're not hearing him, it's because you're not reading his word.

      November 20, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • dwech

      Rick my man, you nailed it.

      November 20, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • TR6

      @SciGuy: “God has spoken to us all. If you're not hearing him, it's because you're not reading his word.”
      So here are some of his words
      1. Exodus 22:20: He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the Lord only, he shall be utterly destroyed.
      2. Leviticus 24:16: And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death.
      3. Exodus 31:15: Whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
      4. Exodus 21:15: He that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.
      5. Exodus 21:17: He that curseth his father or his mother, shall surely be put to death.
      6. Exodus 22:19: Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death.
      7. Leviticus 20:13: If a man lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death.
      8. Leviticus 20:10: And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death.
      9. Mark 16:16: He that believeth not, shall be damned.
      10. Malachi 2:1-4: And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. If you will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart to give glory to my name, ... behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces.

      November 20, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Anon

      @SciGuy: Yeah, reading the words from your so-called "lord" made me an atheist.
      You're all delusional.

      November 20, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Milton Platt

      @TR6.......i see you like the old testament by your quotes....do you follow all of the old testament teachings or just cherry pick quotes to serve your own needs? Do you observe the Sabbath from Sundown on Friday? Do you deem your wife unclean when she has her period? Are you okay with stoning a person to death on the say so of only two witnesses?

      Just curious

      November 20, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Observer

      Milton Platt,

      Since you are apparently picking on the Old Testament, is there any reason to follow the Ten Commandments?

      Of course it's all pick and choose from the Bible.

      November 20, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • Frank Bund

      According to Jesus, the old testament is still valid. So, that's not cherry picking. That's just a few instructions from the loving book of the bible.

      November 20, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Milton Platt

      @BUND
      Not picking on the old testament. Just picking on TR6, whoever he/she is. I just don't think you should be able to choose just what you like...it isn't a buffet. Are parts of the old testament no longer to be followed? It stand or falls as a whole, no?? I doubt TR6 actually follows levitical law.

      Well, we're getting off topic here, sorry.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • Milton Platt

      Observer
      Not picking on anything but TR6. I thought the testament was supposed to stand or fall as a whole? There may well be good reasons to follow the advice from the ten commandments, but not necessarily because they came from the old testament. I can show you lots of good advice from non christian religious texts as well.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Observer

      Milton Platt,
      "I just don't think you should be able to choose just what you like...it isn't a buffet"

      The Bible IS a buffet. No one believes every word. They just pick and choose what they like. That's why so many Christians pick verses to trash gays while ignoring the Golden Rule. Christians even think the Bible says it condemns abortion or child molesters. They only pick and choose what they like and imagine the rest.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • 99.5RT

      If only, atheists have a bit of common sense, they might be able to grasp that the Bible is NOT entirely the word of God but only contains the word of God. Supposedly by it, they would have gained some basic understanding that some laws and commandments written during those times were (came) from people with influence (i.e seer, kings, prophet etc.) that were trying to influence other people by using the name of God just to gain dominion over them. Just like what other politicians is doing right now. God is absolutely has nothing to do with these bunch of idi'ts.

      Too bad, it seems that when it comes to the Bible and God, atheists don't only have lack of belief but also common sense. No wonder, they become an atheist upon/after reading the Bible.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • i wonder

      Milton Platt,

      Perhaps TR6 didn't make it clear enough, but he is simply pointing out some of the more atrocious "words of "God" that believers supposedly (or are supposed to) live by. He AGREES with you.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • Observer

      99.5RT,

      Speaking of lacking common sense, please tell us all about talking serpents, unicorns, animals teleported from around the world to a 600-year-old man's boat, and how the laws of physics are all optional.

      Lol.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:40 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.