December 5th, 2011
11:00 AM ET

Baby boomers heading back to seminary

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Washington (CNN)– At 51, Vincent Guest could well be the professor at a table filled with 20- and 30-year-olds. He is leading a lunchtime social justice meeting for seminarians at Theological College at Catholic University in Washington.

Forks clink on plates in the basement conference room as Guest opens the November meeting in prayer. "In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit," he says as he bows his head and clasps his hands.

Guest is not a visiting professor. He is a seminarian, just like the other younger men at the table.

But he is not alone in his age group. According to a decade-long study of enrollment by the Association of Theological Schools released in 2009, the fastest-growing group of seminarians include those older than 50. In 1995, baby boomers made up 12% of seminarians, while today they are 20%.

"I think I was always looking for something else in a lot of ways and always felt the call to do something else," Guest said.

He spent time in government and Pennsylvania politics before settling into a career in law. He had a three-bedroom home near the Jersey Shore with a meaningful job as an attorney helping the poor.

Though successful by any measure with a job that made a difference, he kept looking.

“Helping people with domestic violence, you know suffering from domestic violence or immigrants who were being deported ... I just saw their brokenness. In so many different ways, they were broken. And I know they needed to be touched by the love of God,” he said.

The feeling that something was missing led Guest to Theological College to study to become a parish priest in Camden, New Jersey.

Vincent Guest, right, leads a social justice meeting at Theological College.

“Ministry, whether that be a priest or a minister or a rabbinical student touches people’s lives at the core, where God is where it’s most meaningful. I think people grasp that and are searching for that," he said.

Guest, who never married, was good candidate to become a priest. As a young man, he enrolled in the seminary for a few years to become a priest before leaving to experience life.

It is a journey that has played out similarly for a lot of baby boomers.

“Many of them felt a call early in life, maybe in their teenage years or college, and set that aside to be the bread winner for the family or do what the family expected them to do,” said the Rev. Chip Aldridge, admissions director at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington.

The Methodist seminary, which boasts students from 40 denominations, has also seen a rise in baby boomers in the last decade, making for some interesting classes.

For many of the boomers who went to college in the analog age, they have to get up to speed in a hurry to learn in the digital era.

"Everyone has to be able to use online academic tools. ... They've got to be very comfortable with technology," Aldridge said.

The majority of seminarians are still in their 20s and 30s.

"You've got two very different kinds of rich experiences when the baby boomers and the millennials come together in the classroom setting," Aldridge said.

"Yes, the baby boomer may have had a career, two careers, has raised a family, but millenials are coming from these colleges where almost all of them have some overseas studies, almost all of them have been on some kind of volunteer mission; they speak a second language. So in some ways those two sets of life experiences complement each other, and it becomes a very rich conversation," he said.

One benefit, unseen a decade ago when boomers began returning to seminaries, was the impact they would have on shrinking mainline denominations.

“They’ve got a little bit of that financial burden taken off them because of a previous career behind them," Aldridge said. “We’ve got a lot of churches that would not have been able to have a full-time pastor unless these baby boomers are returning to study and are raising their hand and saying, ‘Send me to those churches because I’m ready for something quiet in the country or outside the beltway.’ "

It’s a working retirement plan that skips the beach house.

“Whose got time to lie on the beach? There’s so much going on out there," Leah Daughtry said.

Daughtry, 48, is a former senior staffer for the Democratic National Committee who ran the party's 2008 convention in Denver.

As her secular career was slowing down, she started ramping up a spiritual one, taking the pulpit at House of the Lord Church, a Pentecostal church in Washington.

Leah Daughtry studies at Wesley Theological Seminary library in Washington.

Like many boomers, she kept working a 9-to-5 job during the day and took seminary classes at night to bolster her theological knowledge.

On a bright November afternoon, she was pouring over books in the library for her thesis. She even was mastering paperless photocopying, using a USB thumb drive in combination with a photocopier at Wesley's new library.

She chuckled as she considered when some of her classmates were born. "I'm glad that I came later in life - after I had a chance to experience some things and experience some knocks in the outside world before coming to this sort of secluded space of seminary."

For Daughtry, it's natural for boomers to return to seminaries.

“We came of age at a time of activism and doing something, where you want to roll up your sleeves and be involved in something, somewhere," she said. "I don’t think we’re people who check out, and would be happy sitting on the beach in Florida looking at the sun. There’s something in our ethos that craves involvement with the world around us.”

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- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Church • TV-CNN Newsroom

soundoff (653 Responses)
  1. Colin in Florida

    It's so sad that so many people think that to do 'good deeds' you must be religious.

    Interesting to me that both main subjects of this article were in politics. So now, instead fo telling masses of people how to run their lives, they are now trying to do it one-at-a-time. I wonder what a pyschologist would say about this?

    December 5, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • novoodoo

      religions steal the good works of otehrs and claim it as their own..

      December 5, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
  2. meagain

    All I can say at this point is - no wonder boomers and others are joining the seminary. This crowd is angry, resentful, feeling sorry for themselves, playing the blame game, and no fun to chat with. Very little intelligent life here. Even iif you are right you have nothing to say other than hostile verbal attacks against people and organizations you know nothing about and probably never will. You're too busy complaining!

    The seminary looks good compared to living with folks who think like the ones on this blogosphere.

    December 5, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • Dasein

      Don't let the door hit your massive, pimply butt on your way out!

      December 5, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • meagain

      obviously, we haven't met.

      December 5, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
    • haha

      otherwise you would know he has no ass at all

      December 6, 2011 at 1:35 am |
  3. Wicked Fairy

    Maybe some of the 'Free Love', 'Flower Power', 'God is Dead', 60's generation of self-centered hippies have come around to 'believing' in something other than/outside of themselves. God has infinite wisdom, infinite patience, infinite love. In a meager 40 years, these 'hippies' have found how 'hollow', 'shallow', 'dead', 'valueless', their lives are and have 'Seen the Light'. Maybe they have come to realize there is more to life than a short 70/80 years here on Earth. However they came to their 'Epiphany', it will certainly work in the Grand Plan of God.

    December 5, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • FatSean

      Yet another religious person with the arrogance of faith. The god of the bible ordered the ancient Jews to commit genocide on several occasions. That is what you worship: the cause of the first recorded Holocaust. You are a mean-spirited mental child, but I don't begrudge you your crutch. Self-centered egotistic cowards must cling to the promise of eternal life and of a greater meaning than simple existance. Those with strong minds don't need it. I don't need promises.

      If I ever lose my job I will become a preacher. Tax-free and your audience is proven to believe any old nonsense.

      December 5, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • Wicked Fairy

      Fat Man: You state you don't need promises. Yet (if you married, you promised to your wife). You hold a job and by signing the contract to the employer, you promised to faithfully show up for work as required. You posses a valid drivers license and made a promise to obey the traffic laws. You see you make promises all the time. You are a nefarious, deluded, empty headed, fool. You are a sick fool living with lies instilled by people who are as withered and dead in inelegance as you.

      December 5, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
    • claybigsby

      "You are a sick fool living with lies instilled by people who are as withered and dead in inelegance as you"

      You do realize that the book you hold so dear to your heart was written by people right? Nothing in that book was written by god.

      December 6, 2011 at 10:26 am |
  4. arcandciel

    A real Christian like me with real supernatural Bible knowledge could slice ALL of you people in a thousand pieces with all your false pagan arguments and false knowledge. BUT we got far better things to do, like for instance studying even more instead of writing stupid things on a stupid page.... What you think???....

    December 5, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • Wicked Fairy

      Me thinks you failed third grade grammar.

      December 5, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • FatSean

      Keep worshiping that god of yours. The Hebrews exterminated entire races on that god's command. And suddenly... HITLER! Just sayin'...

      December 5, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • novoodoo

      You'd lose arcandciellll.

      December 5, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • msmith

      I think you like to hear yourself talk. That's what I think. You asked me....

      December 5, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • Answer

      "A real Christian" ?

      With those first 3 words you've already stated that you are an idiot. Did you define yourself as a real christian or did someone tell you that you were the real christian? Garbage promoting his own superior complex. In reality an inferior.

      December 5, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
    • arcandciel

      Hey FatSean that's a very bright comment and it shows you understand at least something! If God decides to use some people to extermenate others, who are we and what power do we have to interfere. We can only choose the side that won't be exterminated. Anything wrong with that?... You're very good!....

      December 5, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • Answer


      "If God decides to use some people to extermenate others, who are we and what power do we have to interfere. We can only choose the side that won't be exterminated."

      If God decides? Hilarious ... time and time again the fanatics always say that it is god who say. Blame god, have god make the choice, attribute it to god. So silly.

      December 5, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
    • arcandciel

      If you knew the 1/4 of the Bible which is prophecy, the basic lesson that you would learn is that GOD rules in the kingdom of men and NOT men themselves, even though they don't know it. And he sometimes sets the lowest of the low over a people to accomplish his purpose. The proof of that is that the basic skeleton of human history has been written in advance with sometimes extremely precise details. Prophecy is A proof of God but you wouldn't know that since I perceive you know nothing!....

      December 5, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
    • Answer

      Pure bulls-h-i-t.

      Ask yourself how a book is put together first. Then you'll see it's just a collection of pages glued together. Get a grip of your fanaticism with your faith. Destroy yourself if you wish but I'll cram you with logic to help you.

      December 5, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
    • arcandciel

      I have to correct you because a book is not just paper and glue, it is CONTENT that matters! And history written in advance over thousands of years is the strongest LOGIC in the universe! Everything that God prophesied through the pens of men, he has had the power to bring to pass without a miss! Even down to certain events happening 2,520 years later day for day!... That's more than paper and glue!...

      December 5, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
    • haha

      so you are for predestination and not free will? then there is no sin and we are all in your god's matrix of sadistic senselessness and you are not good but only a robot who only feels what his alien robotmaster wants him to feel.
      ha ha ha ha! religious believers cannot reason their way out of a wet paper bag every damn time!

      December 6, 2011 at 1:41 am |
    • Know What

      arcandciel: "Everything that God prophesied through the pens of men, he has had the power to bring to pass without a miss!"

      Nope. You can investigate and find that this is wholly untrue... If you are not interested in truth and reality, then never mind.

      December 6, 2011 at 1:51 am |
    • Hamilton

      ha ha, I agree. I kind of wish you would use proper English, though. Capitalize once in a while!

      December 6, 2011 at 2:57 am |
    • arcandciel

      Regarding INVESTIGATION, I mentioned a period of 2,520 years. BUT that's not all!!! There are not one, or two, but THREE such periods of 2,520 in Bible prophecy totally independent of each other, showing that spectacular events in human history happened exactly that amount of time later. And for two of these periods it was DAY FOR DAY, 2,520 later!!! That's not just coincidence you know, there is an INVISIBLE power behind this, you have to be a crackpot to deny this!.... And we still have free choice and are not robots. It's true that the whole history of the world has been written in advance but it changes nothing to sin and the power to choose right over wrong. It just shows God's power to control history. The real meaning of predestination is that some people like me for instance are predestined to know all of this before the great majority in this life, instead of waiting for the other side of the grave. But I could still lose out on salvation as I'm NOT a pre-programmed robot!....

      December 6, 2011 at 6:48 am |
    • .......

      said the parrot-robot-crazyfuuck...

      December 6, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • Know What


      Your lucky (unlucky?) 7 times whatever stuff is nonsense:


      December 6, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • arcandciel

      Well! Well! If Jehovah's Witnesses are allowed to give their websites without being erased, could I write http://WWW.LCG.ORG without being barred? Let's see!....

      December 6, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • Know What


      That is not a jehovah's witness site - it is an extensive investigation and refutation of the 607 nonsense... if you are interested in reality. If not, never mind.

      December 6, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • arcandciel

      Oh no! no! no!.... This is NOT a Jehovah's Witness website of course! BUT it is interesting to note that the address contains the words jehovah's witness!! What better PROOF could you give that you are totally insane not knowing the meaning of words as are all of Jehovah's Witnesses. Not knowing the meaning of secular words, how can you expect to really understand the Bible which is written in a coded language anyway so that people like you cannot understand it?....

      December 6, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
    • Know What


      Does this sound like a jehovah's witness site to you:

      "The Watch Tower Society is consistently off by around 20 years also relative to Egyptian chronology.

      There are several synchronisms between Biblical, Egyptian and Babylonian chronology, and in these it is evident that the WTS chronology is wrong. 2. Kings 23:29 let us know that Josiah died during Pharao Nechoh's reign. Nechoh started his reign in 610 BC, but according to the WTS Josiah died 19 years earlier. Jeremiah 46:2 informs us of a battle between Nebuchadnezzar and Pharao Nechoh in Jehoiakim's fourth year. In WTS chronology this would be 625 BC, but as we have seen Nechoh didn't start his reign before 610! Jeremiah 44:30 informs us that shortly after the death of Gedaliah, Pharaoh Hophra (elsewhere called Aphries) was king in Egypt. He ruled Egypt 589-570, so this fits perfectly with dating Jerusalem's fall in 587 but not 607. Finally, we have the cuneiform text BM33041, telling us that Nebuchadnezzar makes a campaign against Egypt's Pharao Amasis in his 37th regnal year. Amasis ruled 570-526, so this cannot have happened in 588/87 as WTS chronology claims.

      The WTS have to admit:

      "The difference between the above dates and those generally assigned by modern historians amounts to as much as a century or more for the Exodus and then narrows down to about 20 years by Pharaoh Necho's time." (It-1, page 450)"

      Frankly, I don't know who that site is - if it's JW, it's very strange. I only referred to the page and the article as an example of refutation of your "numbers game".

      December 6, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
    • arcandciel

      If you had a brain to understand with, you would have understood in a second that I was not at all setting dates for the return of Christ. I was talking about real events that have already happened in the past but without giving any details on this page, as it would be too long. Your long paragraph proves nothing about nothing, it's just another big amount of empty wind! The real point is that IF you study with the site I mentioned and you disagree with ANY point mentioned therein, then you can KNOW for a fact that you are really blinded. And by the way, do you like this site or not? Instead of wasting your time on a site called jehovah's witnesses and wondering if it is associated with jehovah's witnesses. why don't you buy yourself a brain and a personality and study my site?..... The first point to verify is your faulty knowledge of prophecy as you refuse to admit it is real, after that everything else would also help!..... A real crackpoot que j'te dis, c'est pas possible!.... NO HOPE!

      December 7, 2011 at 12:16 am |
    • Know What


      That excerpt that I posted was just a small part of the whole article debunking your bogus 2520 prophecy.

      You are quite obnoxious, you know; and there is no evidence of your purported good "God" in you.

      December 7, 2011 at 2:50 am |
  5. Convert

    Isn't it remarkable that so many immature narcissists are so devoted to the faith that the faith of others is worthless?

    December 5, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
  6. JD

    I see hate speech is alive and well in the Church of the Left.

    December 5, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
  7. CSX

    Social Justice? Sounds like the Catholics are trying to cath the Methodists in being cooler tha luke warm.

    December 5, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
  8. Rockward.Waco

    self centered hypocrisy... how sad, and perhaps evil

    December 5, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
  9. Daniel in Canada

    Religiosity in America, from where I sit, has reached a dangerous level. Way too many of you are no longer rational, my good neighbors, I'm very sorry to say.

    December 5, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • Stephanie


      December 5, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • captain america

      You worry about canada we'll worry about America , Your opinion is useless here and probably useless there.

      December 5, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • Answer

      @captain america

      Oblivious much? Canada is economically paired to the US.
      Morons like you are too common making the stupidest comments.

      December 5, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • captain america

      canada was founded by traitors to the USA and is useless except for resources which we take whether you like it or not. Partners implies equality or par. Why would the worlds superpower be on par with a third world gang of losers?

      December 5, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • Answer

      @captain america

      canada was founded by traitors to the USA and is useless except for resources which we take whether you like it or not. Partners implies equality or par. Why would the worlds superpower be on par with a third world gang of losers?

      So funny. Try it and get your asses whoop back to the stone ages. Your barbarian kind of mentality that hates every other culture will consume yourself. We Canadian do wish you Americans well but the whole lot of you will kill yourselves over your hate. We won't mind taking over the US when you nuke yourselves. Canadians will win any war versus the States. That is a fact.

      December 5, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
    • haha

      canada did not rebel against the british but remained a colony.
      they were never traitors to the usa.
      they even used canada as a base for the british to wage war against the usa in the war of 1812 when they burned the white house to the ground in a special ops raid by british naval marines.
      we are all very good friends now even to the point they have their own version of the tea party from the same subversives you are being brainwashed by in the first place. ha ha ha ha! you are so stupid captain america. you are not even american.
      oh yes i can see you from here.

      December 6, 2011 at 1:47 am |
    • claybigsby

      "Canadians will win any war versus the States. That is a fact"

      when canada actually becomes involved in a war, then come talk. Otherwise your comments are nothing but meaningless drivel.

      December 6, 2011 at 10:32 am |
  10. chaplain2

    The commentary on this article is ridiculous. What is everyone so angry about? If anyone thinks seminary is the ticket to get paid, go to seminary and see how that works out. My Masters of Divinity cost per year almost twice of what I'm currently making. One doesn't go into ministry to make money or for job security. Boomers are going because many of them have already had jobs providing them with financial security and they are now able to afford a masters and future instability. And I'm not even sure why CNN thought this was interesting enough to write about. The average age of clergy is, and always has been 50-somethings.

    December 5, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • meagain

      Agreed. If 50-somethings are all wrong then make a new way! It's time for the next generation, the X generation, whoever has a better idea. Go for it and leave the boomers to their IRAs and elderly hobbies. Just do it.

      December 5, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • Green Furhammer

      you can get a free doctorate of divinity from the universal life church for free and it's worth the same amount of money.

      plus you can pick some pretty sweet religious names. and if you want, you can officiate weddings and funerals if you're ordained online. much better than wasting money on alleged real divinity trash.

      we all know god isn't real anyway, so if you waste money on it you're a fool.

      December 5, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • Answer

      "My Masters of Divinity"

      Geez what a bunch of crap for a t-i-t-l-e. Hilarious. What kind of fancy hat do you get for that? 🙂

      December 5, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
  11. novoodoo

    The catholic church is full of sc-umm-y old men who preyed an small defenseless children.

    December 5, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • Hadenuffyet

      novoodoo...your credibility is highly suspect...

      December 5, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • novoodoo

      then again, you are worthless.

      December 5, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
  12. meagain

    Beam me up, Scotty. I'm stuck on Planet Angry.

    December 5, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
  13. Joe

    We need more scientists and smart people instead of these religious sham such as Pastor Long Dong.

    December 5, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
  14. migs

    An old very wise gentleman once asked me, "Would I rather go through life believing in God and then die and find out there isn't one OR would I rather go through life not believing in God and then die and find out there is one?" In other words, would I rather be happy and have some sort of spiritual guidance during my life or would I rather run around like people at OWS with no leadership or spiritual compass? Not hard to figure out...

    December 5, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • novoodoo

      You really are brainwashed to believe what you said has any value. How sad.

      December 5, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
    • Mike

      Wow really so why not just go thru life thinking that perhaps the great spirit in the sky is in fact the Easter bunny?

      Your faith is mighty strong when you are simply hedging your bets just in case...

      Sorry but I would prefer to spend my 52 Sundays a year watching sports, or in some other outdoor activity than gathering with people singing, chanting and praying to an invisible man in the sky they believe controls it all.

      "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain"...

      December 5, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • Green Furhammer

      much happier being an atheist. i don't need a tooth fairy and an outdated book to use as a moral compass.

      December 5, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • Answer


      Pascal's wager. Typical unconvincing argument for god and religion.
      So many morons incapable of even looking at the logic of their fairy tales. Poor fools.

      December 5, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • icedawg

      hey noovoodoo, you've been brainwashed to with just another type of poison

      December 5, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • Answer


      And what is that poison? Logic? Reason?

      I guess you despise those who use it correct? Just say it clear won't you? Why do you hate people who use their logic and reason? Hiding in the security of doctrines doesn't make you better. Skip the religion and go with reason.

      December 5, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • M.A.

      I would rather live life having had discovered God than to have not discovering death.

      December 5, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • fred

      When it comes to the things of God your reason or logic has less value than faith. Suggest you use a different attack.
      Both atheist and faithful must know that their reason and logic is correct otherwise both are wrong

      December 5, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • Green Furhammer

      no fred. an atheist is willing to admit when he is wrong and is willing to change for the better.

      a believer thinks the bible is perfect and won't budge in arrogance and stupidity.

      December 5, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • Answer


      Logic defines everything. Not faith. You can promote you prejudice against logic but you even use logic. The only time you ever use faith is in suspending logic. So faith is always s-h-i-t.

      December 5, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • fred

      Faith defies everything logical to a materialist. Yet, even you have faith. You have faith that when you die nothing happens. How are you any more logical than a believer?

      December 5, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • Answer

      "You have faith that when you die nothing happens."

      That is faith in knowledge. Your level of stupidity is always trying to define that everything is religious in context. So many times your level of understanding beyond anything outside of religion is simply idiotic.

      December 5, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
    • fred

      A Christian and atheist both know what the end holds which is different that feeling sure about it. Based on your posts you know that death brings nothing but, since you do not "feel sure" about it you continue to search. A good example would be the fact the earth is round (oblate spheroid) it is not part of your knowledge until you are sure about it.

      December 5, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
    • Answer


      Based on posts you are lying to yourself. Try really hard to tell me what really bothers you with your religion.

      Do you fear death every moment? Have you accepted that there isn't a god? What you people constantly crave is for others to sympathize with you. Frankly i don't and wouldn't care if you off yourself tonight. What I prefer to do is just educate others on logic and advise people to stay away from your kind.

      Let me ask you why you feel the need to carry on with these silly doctrines?

      December 5, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
    • fred

      No fear of death, we actually are to look forward to it.
      I only carry on with the silly doctrines when somebody brings one up. As Christians we really do not have a whole bunch of doctrine. There is only love God and love your neighbor as yourself. Don't forget a Christian is to give his life to Christ so it is not I that carries on with silly doctrine but Christ who lives in me!
      You know what Christ wants and that is to save all !
      Ok, I slip a lot and live more like a heathen on some days but, the good news is God undestands that so I do not need to worry about it.

      December 5, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
    • Answer

      "No fear of death, we actually are to look forward to it."

      Hilarious. Then why not try out suicide tonight and see your way to your heaven and your god?
      Don't tell me you have a higher calling spiel that you have with god that prevents this suicide. Such a nice security blanket you've developed to encompass yourself fred. Get some real confidence about the world for a change. It will do you good to read up on science.

      December 5, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
    • Answer


      "Don't forget a Christian is to give his life to Christ so it is not I that carries on with silly doctrine but Christ who lives in me!"

      You don't carry silly doctrines do you? That above line is a silly doctrine you know.
      I'll give you a better bit of advice to follow. Straight from pure social and family perspective developed from psychology.

      "In life, when you have sufficient knowledge to make a choice, decide on how to live your life. Decide first whether your life is to live it out for the benefit of your family. Decide if your life is then towards yourself frst. Then to the last group – whether it is your friends – who comes first. Also place anybody outside of your immediate family and then yourself and your friends as LAST. The whole premise is to reach a conclusion whether your family or yourself or your close friends are first in your path to living."

      You see fred, this is my core philosophy. Develop by research and study. Religion falls way off the outside as to be dirt.
      You on the otherhand prefer dirt to your own being. That is pathetic.

      December 5, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
    • fred

      As a matter of fact some of the attacks against God and Bible made me realize there were things in the Bible I just took for granted. You will love this one: I never even gave it a second thought that Adam was made 6,000 years ago until Colin wrote one of his 10 point satires. Not to worry I found lots of support for anytime period of creation going from 6 days to 13 billion years. So thanks for sharing.
      Now, if I could just find some scientific proof that God loves you.

      December 5, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
    • Answer


      Your answer that you want is to find the answer that god loves you. I know that your fairy tale god does not matter to me.
      Tell yourself that you want your god to love you. Not me.

      I have my family, myself and friends who love me. I don't need your foolish bulls-h-i-t.

      December 5, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
    • fred

      Jesus said love the lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself. All other laws of the prophets flow from this. Without God it falls apart for us since we know and have heard. You say you love family first then friends then self, correct? Well, love is most important when God is concerned and I believe God to very capable. The Bible says God loved us before we loved him. So, you just one step away.

      December 5, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
    • Answer

      "Jesus said love the lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself."

      Again you are spewing your doctrines. Foolish bulls-h-i-t. How many times do you want to lie to yourself that you are not living for a book? Get a grip fred. You are sinking deeper into your self profess delusion with talks about your god crap. Keep on chanting it to yourself. Not me.

      December 5, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
    • Answer


      You do realize right fred.. that I don't read your crappy quotes right? All I need to do is just glance at the words for markers and cut the line then feed back your delusions. So save your breath with the quotes from your bible.

      What are you so afraid of? Can you not properly digest on how to communicate how you are really feeling?

      December 5, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
    • claybigsby

      if the reason you believe is so you can double down in case there is a god, i feel sorry for you.

      December 6, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • fred

      Double down only works in Vegas and what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Faith is of little value if you doubt. An atheist who doubts the existence of God is in the same boat as a "believer" that doubts God. Both need to see Jesus walk on water before doubt is removed.

      December 6, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  15. 300b

    Maybe Jerry Sandusky will sign up, he'll fit right in with the Catholic Priests

    December 5, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
    • Dasein

      Look, those kids expressed a desire to be "ball boys." What was Sandusky supposed to think?

      December 5, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
    • Alfred E Neuman

      What has sandusky been found guilty of?

      December 5, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • Dasein

      Sandusky hasn't been found guilty of anything, Alfred E. What does that have to do with his being a pedophile? Legal non-guilt and innocence are two different things. Is legal positivism your new conceptual toy?

      December 5, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
  16. Joe

    Churches should be taken down and all these pedo pastors and priests should be sent to jail.

    December 5, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • ThisIsWhy

      You are an idiot.

      December 5, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
  17. meagain

    This is fascinating. I had no idea boomers were so hated. Just remember, abortion was illegal back in the day and we wouldn't have boomers if it werent' for the "greatest generation" celebrating the end of WWII. And we wouldn't have you if it weren't for your boomer parents. Why such loathing of boomers? Locusts eat everthing in sight too.

    December 5, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • catholic engineer

      meagain, on the faith blogs, everybody hates everybody else.
      I'm a boomer. My Dad's generation enjoyed three decades of continuous prosperity after WWII. By 1976, I had worked my way through college. I then raised four kids in the midst of recessions, factory closures, oil busts, mass layoffs, corporate bankruptcies. I"ve done my time in unemployment lines trying to figure out how to keep everyone fed.
      Some of the punks on this blog think they're having a bad day if they can't work the latest ap on their phones.

      December 5, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • Answer


      "Some of the punks on this blog think they're having a bad day if they can't work the latest ap on their phones."

      Getting old and hate the younger generation? You're funny and generalizing like an old fart.

      December 5, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • haha

      who would have thought a catholic would be a hypocrite? ha h ah ahaha!

      December 6, 2011 at 2:01 am |
  18. Joe

    It is a good business cause most americans are gullible and/or hateful christians.
    I bet pastor Long Dong would agree with me.

    December 5, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  19. novoodoo

    Dear catholics,

    You really aren't catholics, we just make you feel like you are part of their operation. What you are is customers, that's right. You have no vote and you buy 'vapor'. That's right. You are at the bottom of the pyramid scheme. But please, keep telling the priests your sins so in case you become a government official, we have something on you.

    Sorry, may as well face the truth. Keep buying our sacraments.

    Your truly,

    pedo Pope

    December 5, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • icedawg

      hey, novoodoo, go drown in your own self-righteousness

      December 5, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
  20. Tom

    Why would anyone want to head to the seminary. 5,000 catholic priests are s3xual predators with charges brought against them in the U.S. Only 150 have been successfully prosecuted in the US. The catholic church has chosen to be uncooperative with the investigative authorities. The seminary supports p3rverts..

    December 5, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • novoodoo

      much more than 5,000 are. In fact it is now believed that it is 3 times that number. Proof is the 5,000 came from the bishops. And 4 of those who so-dom-ized me at ages 8 and 9 are not listed in the 5,000. In fact one is a bishop today. Yep, one who added his numbers to the count of abusers. Guess how many he added?

      December 5, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
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About this blog

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