home
RSS
December 21st, 2011
04:36 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Wednesday, December 21

By Dan Merica, CNN

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:

The day of split Republican endorsements reflects a Republican religious base that is largely fractured just two weeks before the first-in-the-nation Republican caucuses.

CNN: Split GOP presidential endorsements reflect fractured evangelical base
When Newt Gingrich’s campaign announced Tuesday morning that it had won an endorsement from Don Wildmon, president of the evangelical American Family Association, it seemed like one more bit of evidence that the former House speaker has become the unlikely favorite of conservative Christian activists.

CNN: Hindus ask Russian court to drop case against holy book
For Hindus it's the Song of God, but prosecutors in the Russian city of Tomsk want the Bhagavad Gita banned, calling it an extremist book that sows social discord.

CNN: Iowa faith leader asked Bachmann to consider dropping out, campaign says
Prominent Iowa faith leader Bob Vander Plaats asked Michele Bachmann to dramatically alter her White House plans, according to the Bachmann campaign, including the possibility of dropping her presidential bid altogether.

Just because Hanukkah offers a festival void of the restrictions, it doesn’t make it any less important, Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky says.

TIME: Why Hanukkah Is the Most Celebrated Jewish Holiday in America
Even though listed officially as a “minor” Jewish holiday, Hanukkah has turned into the most celebrated Jewish holiday in the U.S. There’s nothing minor about Hanukkah anymore.

CNN’s Piers Morgan learns to pray like Tim Tebow…

Enlightening Reads:

American Atheists: Atheists applaud decision by Travis AFB to allow atheist display
An atheist civil rights group today applauded the final decision by Travis Air Force Base to allow an atheist display alongside other religious holiday displays.

Activists are questioning whether the president will embrace same-sex marriage during the 2012 election.

The Christian Post: Will Obama Fully Embrace Same-Sex Marriage in 2012?
Gay activists have found themselves confused and often perplexed at President Obama’s position on homosexual rights; more specifically, whether or not he is willing to publicly embrace same-sex marriage prior to the November 2012 elections.

RNS: Muslims caught in reality show crossfire struggle to understand controversy
When Fordson High School football coach Fouad Zaban was asked to be on a reality show about Muslim family life, his impulse was to decline. Now that he and his family have appeared on TLC’s reality series “All-American Muslim,” Zaban struggles to understand how his life and the ordinary lives of four other Muslim families in Dearborn could be viewed as controversial.

Jewish Journal: Israeli officials escalate war of words with N.Y. Times
Israeli officials are stepping up their criticism of The New York Times, slamming columnist Thomas Friedman and arguing that the newspaper is an unfit venue for an Op-Ed from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Quote of the Day:

No one ordered us to put up the figure (of Chavez). No one ordered us to do it, it was born in our hearts.

Yazmina Hereu is a member of a women's ministry in Venezuela whose nativity scene included small figurines depicting Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, South American liberator Simon Bolivar and Ali Primera, a political activist and Venezuelan songwriter. The nativity scene sparked controversy for what critics say overstepped the lines of taste, religion and politics.

Today’s Opinion:

CNN: My Take: Reclaiming the politics of Christmas
It has become a truism that the Victorians invented Christmas. We all know, through the yearly cycle of feature articles, that without Queen Victoria and Charles Dickens we’d all be much less merry at this time of year.

Join the conversation…

CNN: My Take: Kim Jong Il and the danger of deifying leaders
There are no atheists in dictatorships. The death of North Korea’s “Dear Leader” Kim Jong Il underlies a basic fact of earthly politics: when a political regime denies any transcendent supernatural reality, it deifies itself.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. off the grid homes

    That is really attention-grabbing, You're an overly professional blogger. I've joined your rss feed and look forward to in search of extra of your fantastic post. Additionally, I have shared your site in my social networks

    April 21, 2012 at 8:45 am |
  2. www.homesec.us

    Hello! I know this is kinda off topic however , I'd figured I'd ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa? My website addresses a lot of the same topics as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other. If you're interested feel free to send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you! Wonderful blog by the way!

    April 11, 2012 at 5:31 am |
  3. harley davidson stickers

    I enjoy what you guys are up too. This kind of clever work and coverage! Keep up the good works guys I've included you guys to my personal blogroll.

    April 11, 2012 at 5:18 am |
  4. houston seo

    Very great post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I have really loved browsing your weblog posts. In any case I'll be subscribing on your feed and I hope you write once more very soon!

    April 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  5. Avser Bastian

    NEW – NOT LIABILITIES OR DISCRIMINATION, BUT INSTEAD ASSASSINATIONS !!!

    http://myshortbiography.blogspot.com/ LEARN TRUTH ABOUT EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, UNITED NATIONS, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL AS WELL AS NEW WORLD ORDER(MULTICULTURALISM = TERRORISM) GOVERNMENTS !!! NOT THERE TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS, BUT TO DENY YOUR RIGHT TO EXISTENCE !!!

    http://myshortbiography.blogspot.com/ ABDUCTIONS / RENDITIONS / BRAIN CHIP IMPLANTS / BLACKLISTING / BLACKBALLING / MK-ULTRA BRAINWASHING against civilian population TODAY / ASSASINATIONS and much more per WHO, WHY, AND HOW !!!

    WHY TO ACCEPT LIABILITIES FOR CRIMES COMMITTED WHEN WE CAN SIMPLY ASSASSINATE OUR VICTIMS(YOU) THANKS TO HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS AND FREE PRESS/MEDIA(most severe censorship ever !!!) !!?

    COMING NEXT: WHITES ARE NOT WELCOME IN AMERICA ANY LONGER !!! WE DON'T NEED YOU ANY MORE !!!

    OUT OF AMERICA WITH WHITES NOW !!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xGfYOAydjw
    OR
    http://www.youtube.com/user/BostjanAvsec OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE RECORDED LIVE IN 2009 !!! These are hard facts about lunatic Obama/Bush's twilight zone administrations(HORROR) or genocide against whites per ZIONIST Washington DC and in complete agreement with communist Moscow !!!

    EXILING WHITES WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE AND IMPORTING NON WHITES IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS COMPLETELY FREE.

    THIS NEWS IS RELATED TO WALL-STREET PROTESTS...NOT ANTI WALL-STREET, BUT ANTI WHITES !!!

    ANTI WALL-STREET PROTESTS ARE ALSO KNOWN UNDER ZIONIST "TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP" IN AMERICA FROM HANDS OF WHITE AMERICANS TO SO CALLED "MINORITIES"(COMMUNISM). Wall street protesters are Obama's raise of the planet Apes army which spread from London per Zionist Washington DC and communist Moscow where Mr. SOVIET UNION NUMBER TWO or new Stalin is in place = PUTIN

    ANTI WALL-STREET PROTEST MOVEMENT IS LED BY SO CALLED "ANONYMOUS" !!

    Anonymous !!? REALLY !!?

    NOW TELL ME WHO IS ANONYMOUS IN A POLICE STATE WHERE WE ARE SURVEILLANCED 24/7 !!? WHO !!?

    NOBODY !!! ABSOLUTELY NOBODY IS ANONYMOUS IN A POLICE STATE AND NOR ARE THOSE WHO MADE YOU PROTEST FOR THEIR SAKE OR WHAT MULTICULTURALISM(animal Apartheid) IS !!! http://multiculturalismisterrorism.blogspot.com

    GREEK CRISES !!! We are all Greece...find out who wants to burn not only what is Greece, but is burning our countries for over 66 years now !!! http://burnbabyburnahaha.blogspot.com

    December 21, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • HellBent

      Everyone at once now: 1, 2, 3 ... 'Report abuse'

      December 21, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  6. Avser Bastian

    NEW – NOT LIABILITIES OR DISCRIMINATION, BUT INSTEAD ASSASSINATIONS !!!

    http://myshortbiography.blogspot.com/ LEARN TRUTH ABOUT EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, UNITED NATIONS, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL AS WELL AS NEW WORLD ORDER(MULTICULTURALISM = TERRORISM) GOVERNMENTS !!!

    NOT THERE TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS, BUT TO DENY YOUR RIGHT TO EXISTENCE !!! 66 YEARS OF GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITES WORLDWIDE IS NO LONGER ACCEPTABLE !!! STOP THE ANIMAL APARTHEID NOW !!! http://myshortbiography.blogspot.com/ <== ABDUCTIONS / RENDITIONS / BRAIN CHIP IMPLANTS / BLACKLISTING / BLACKBALLING / MK-ULTRA BRAINWASHING against civilian population TODAY / ASSASSINATIONS and much more per WHO, WHY, AND HOW !!!

    WHY TO ACCEPT LIABILITIES FOR CRIMES COMMITTED WHEN WE CAN SIMPLY ASSASSINATE OUR VICTIMS(YOU) THANKS TO HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS AND FREE PRESS/MEDIA(most severe censorship ever !!!) !!

    December 21, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  7. DamianKnight

    I'm really surprised that CNN isn't reporting on the scientific results of the Shroud of Turin on this blog.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/scientists-say-turin-shroud-is-supernatural-6279512.html

    December 21, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • SeanNJ

      Still have the problem of the unnatural dimensions of the figure in the image.

      December 21, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • Chuckles

      I think the issue is that even after radiocarbon dating (which lands the shround in the 1200's or so) people are saying that the samples used aren't representative of the entire shroud.... but it's also been denied to be tested again beacuse its just so sacred. I think there are some interesting things at play in this particular piece of fabric, the face is particularly interesting, however it doesn't really point towards definitive proof of anything.

      December 21, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • DamianKnight

      It's hard to know. Obviously you have conflicting stories on a piece of cloth that is at least 700 years old and could be as old as 2000+ years. Hard to say what happened to it.

      I just think it's interesting that the energy required to put that image on there cannot be replicated even today, which therefore debunks the idea that it was created in the medieval period as an elaborate hoax.

      December 21, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • J.W

      I think it would be an interesting discussion. It is not definite proof of the supernatural, but it could be evidence.

      December 21, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian

      Yes and No. I mean, We still have yet to figure out even with all our technology how Stonehenge was created, or the Great Pyramids of Giza, you can just add the shroud of Turin to the list of things that are definitly worth a look at and puzzling, but nothing more than that.

      December 21, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • DamianKnight

      @Chuckles,

      ...except that the scientists themselves are saying it's supernatural. 🙂

      December 21, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • Well

      "except that the scientists themselves are saying it's supernatural"

      it's all about ancient aliens landing on our planet and we thought they were gods, nothing supernatural about it. We just have to let go of our ancient thoughts, once we do that they will return. 😉

      December 21, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • SeanNJ

      @DamianKnight: You said, "I just think it's interesting that the energy required to put that image on there cannot be replicated even today, which therefore debunks the idea that it was created in the medieval period as an elaborate hoax."

      In fact, it was replicated today, hence the reason why they're suggesting it.

      As for it debunking it as a hoax, that's not remotely close to being true. They just found one way to do it that didn't involve supernatural means. They could find others, I'm sure; but I also doubt we have researchers from every walk of life dropping what they're doing to work on the "problem."

      December 21, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian

      Yes, but in the loosest sense, but even so, there are religious scientists who have no problem believing in the supernatural and there have been other scientists who just out right reject the shroud of Turin as nothing more than a hoax. Isn't science wonderful that you can have two dissenting opinions on something but neither is taken as absolute proof or fact until it can be scientifically tested and reproduced by peers?

      December 21, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • DamianKnight

      @Sean,
      I'm confused. You said, "In fact, it was replicated today, hence the reason why they're suggesting it." But in the article it says, "And in case there was any doubt about the preternatural degree of energy needed to make such distinct marks, the Enea report spells it out: "This degree of power cannot be reproduced by any normal UV source built to date."

      @Chuckles,

      So basically, what you're saying is, because we can't create a piece of linen, send it back through time so that it's there both at 2000 years ago and 700 years ago and then set them, that we will never know?

      I know people will say the same thing about Christianity, but it seems like even when the scientists, including professors at universities say, "Yeah, this has to be supernatural because there's no way this could have been created" that atheists, who put so much faith in science, then turn around and argue the smallest of minutiae just to be able to cling to their beliefs that there is not only no god, but there is nothing even supernatural.

      December 21, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian

      So here's the deal. Like I said, the Shroud is worth consideration and there are puzzles to it but an inconclusive result does not prove the conclusion of a different hypothesis. For instance, we can't replicate the shroud with current technology, that doesn't mean we need more technology to able to create it, it just means that for a yet undetermined reason, we have yet to figure it out.

      As part of your second post, anyone who puts stock in science and scientific findings know that all results have to stand up to the harshest of scrutiny. Unlike religion in this case, it's our job to do exactly what you think is actually a fault of atheism. I wouldn't necessarily say it's in the pursuit of clinging to my beliefs and trying to prove my end, it's to test it and review it myself and see if there is any flaw.
      Something being "supernatural" is a hard term, because a lot of time when it's used it's in relation to religion. I don't necesasrily believe in the supernatural in the religious sense, but to break down the world at its root, there are things that seem impossible to explain by natural methods and are so "supernatural" at its essence. I prefer to think however that things that are supernatural are things that still have a natural explanation. For instance, you might have been seeing the viral video making its rounds lately about a briney icicle literally freezing downwards in a lake and flash freezing everything it comes in contact with. It's magnificient and awing, it's supernatural in its own right.... nothing to do with god however and there is most certainly a natural explanation to it.

      December 21, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Chuckles,

      I can understand what you're saying. My only point is, that the only thing the atheists don't consider is, could this be authentic? Could this have been the cloth that covered Jesus and that the bright flash of light was supernatural in origin and happened when Christ was resurrected? No, THAT option is out, but everything else from space aliens delivered it (see Richard Dawkins views on potential intelligent design in No Intelligence Allowed) to someone used it as a blanket while laying next to the Sea of Galilee and the sun suddenly had a huge, momentary burst and burned the image upon it, but left everything else untouched.

      The problem is, there are things science can't conclusively prove. Like evolution. Are there some strong indicators? Absolutely, no doubt. Is it generally accepted? Yes. But is it absolutely proven beyond any doubt? Not hardly. There are still quite a few holes. And one of the reasons it cannot be inexplicably proven is because we'd have to be able to start growing cells, expose it to EXACTLY the same environments and conditions for millions of years and have it come out to be a human. Because that's what science demands. Results to be recreated.

      At what point do we accept something because we'll never know? I suppose that begs the question, do we ever accept something because we have lack of evidence to the contrary? If that's the case, then it's hard to believe we'll ever know anything, other than something we can do right now (like a drop an object and prove gravity's existence).

      December 21, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @DamianKnight: You said, "I'm confused. You said, "In fact, it was replicated today, hence the reason why they're suggesting it." But in the article it says, "And in case there was any doubt about the preternatural degree of energy needed to make such distinct marks, the Enea report spells it out: "This degree of power cannot be reproduced by any normal UV source built to date.""

      1) Define "normal." They did recreate the effect using a really powerful laser, which most likely wouldn't be considered a "normal UV source." Translation: we did it, but it took more than a sun lamp.

      2) There's nothing about their results that insists that god did it, or Jesus was divine or anything like that. They found a singular possibility for how it could've been created. It's interesting, but not nearly convincing enough in the way you'd like it to be. There's a reason why, more often than not, Nobel Prizes are given out decades after the discoveries. There's a lot of extra legwork that goes into accepting something as true.

      December 21, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian

      I see what you mean and I personally don't count out god immediately, I think that in itself is bad science, to start off counting out something. However, I count god out soon after because not only does god preclude the ability of finding a natural answer to something, but the experiement still needs to go on, but this time with a god bias which I don't think is good science either. As I understand it, if god is really behind the shroud, what does it mean? That jesus was definitly real and that his godliness was so intense it imprinted a piece of fabric? I'll say this, if the authenticity of the shroud is ever proven, it will only mean that and just that even though the implications would be trotted out to try and prove otherwise that if the shroud is real, the entire bible must be entirely factual.
      If you look at the facts that we know, that the person who brought the worlds attention to it supposedly confessed it was a fake, there has been some talk of something floating around with jesus's head, but before the 1300's or so, this shroud was not in the public eye, which seems strange in of itself considering if it's such an important find, why wouldn't someone have brought it forward earlier? There are enough problems that I think it would be foolish regardless of being a believer or not to just accept what it is at face value and move on, don't you think?

      Proving evolution..... that's a bit tougher because we've seen micro-evolution in action and macro-evolution can't exactly be observed other than through the fossil record which is admittedly incomplete. However, it's a case by case thing. Macro-evolution is going to be a toughy to conclusively prove, but is the shroud of turin, stonehenge or other oddities grouped in the same way? Hardly, the shroud is something that can tested and shown whether to be an authentic piece of fabric drap.ed over jesus or not, and to accept that it's unprovable shouldn't really be an option.

      As for your last question, you've asked two separate questions. First, I also maintain there is an answer to anything, we just have to find it. I don't think anyone should ever accept the idea that we'll "never know" other than in the most cosmetic sense that I might never know it, but that does't mean the answer will forever be out of reach. As for your second question about accepting something because we lack evidence to the contrary... well that's how science works. Thats the point of the null and alternative hypothesis, however the beauty is that we can accept something because there is no evidence to the contrary and then later come up with the evidence and revise it. Acceptance of something doesn't etch it into stone for all time.

      December 21, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Mildred the Mouth

      Why is your god so lame and powerless that it can't conclusively, once and for all, just provide one piece of irrefutable evidence. Oh wait...we made it up. It's a good bed-time story.

      December 21, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @DamianKnight: To piggyback on Chuckles point, we don't rule out god or the supernatural or what have you as possibilities. We merely don't assign them the same probability of being true as you do; there's a very good reason for that: we have thousands of books full of testable, verifiable information that was previously considered to be "god's work."

      Given the number of times something has been considered divine intervention, only to be explained away as testable, falsifiable phenomena, it's perfectly..ahem, natural...to refuse to accept a knee-jerk declaration of "supernatural" as true.

      Once again, our definitions of "knee-jerk" are probably different.

      December 21, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Sean

      "1) Define "normal." They did recreate the effect using a really powerful laser, which most likely wouldn't be considered a "normal UV source." Translation: we did it, but it took more than a sun lamp."

      You asked me to define "normal." According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, normal, in the sense of the definition you are looking for is defined as: "a : according with, consti.tuting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle b : conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern, 3: occurring naturally , 4 of, relating to, or characterized by average intelligence or development "

      If we then assume, that this was all a fraud, how did a group of people who were, at worst, still mucking around in the Middle Ages, at best, barely beginning the Renaissance period, create a light source with UV rays powerful enough to burn this into linen? That would certainly be "abnormal" or "preternatural." The question certainly shifts it back to the scientific community to prove conclusively, how a bunch of people, just beginning to get into philosophy and art, let alone science, created a light source that emblazoned this image on a piece of linen.

      That's all I'm saying. I don't know if the Shroud of Turin is actually the burial shroud that was placed on Jesus. I'm just saying that based on the scientific evidence conducted by this group, it certainly lends more credence to the people who believe it to be authentic, but is in no way, absolute proof.

      December 21, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Some scientists are saying... Others are saying this (at http: / / blogs.telegraph.co.uk / news / tomchiversscience / 100125247 / the-turin-shroud-is-fake-get-over-it /):

      "...Without wanting to be too cocky, when the ENEA scientists say that radiation is the "only" way the image could have been made, I imagine that many of their fellow researchers will say it's the only way that they managed it.

      However it was made, if – as many have claimed – the Shroud was made in the 13th century, then it isn't a relic of Christ, for obvious reasons. Radiocarbon dating has repeatedly placed the Shroud as medieval in origin – specifically, between 1260AD and 1390AD. There have been suggestions that the radiocarbon process got it wrong – but this is unlikely, according to Professor Christopher Ramsey of the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, one of three labs which carried out the research. "We're pretty confident in the radiocarbon dates," he told me. "There are various hypotheses as to why the dates might not be correct, but none of them stack up. ..."

      December 21, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @DamianKnight: I repeat...they found AAAAAAA way. Certainly not the only way.

      You said, "The question certainly shifts it back to the scientific community to prove conclusively, how a bunch of people, just beginning to get into philosophy and art, let alone science, created a light source that emblazoned this image on a piece of linen."

      Are you seriously suggesting that we have to accept this method as the only viable solution and now set out to show someone could've done it 700 years ago?

      Where's that fallacy spotting guy when you need him? I think this is the excluded middle fallacy, but I'm not sure.

      December 21, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      This is yet another example of the "free pass" religion gets. From the same article I pointed to above (with emphasis added by me):

      "... Regarding the ENEA findings, he is similarly sceptical. "Just because you can create similar results using an ultraviolet laser, that doesn't mean it's the only way it could have been made in the first place," he says. "There are several possibilities, and it could just be a chance effect due to a number of different phenomena. But in archaeological science, being able to reproduce something, doesn't imply that that's the technique used; it may simply show that you've got a new technique you want to try out." He adds that the confidence in the medieval result is such that, were it not suggested to be a relic, there would be no more discussion over its age. ..."

      December 21, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Chuckles,

      "I see what you mean and I personally don't count out god immediately, I think that in itself is bad science, to start off counting out something." – Woot! Chuckles is an agnostic. 🙂

      This is the problem I have with science. If something occurs once, science cannot prove or disprove. It forever lies in the depths of theory. I'm not saying science is bad. Not at all. I think of all of the wonderful things science has done, including giving me the ability to even respond to you. My only point is that if something cannot be recreated, it can neither be proven nor dis-proven.

      So you have people, like Jesus. Some would argue that Jesus even ever existed, despite the evidence that there was someone named Jesus written down by Tacitus in Rome less than 100 years later. But then people will dispute even that, which then begs the same question as the Bible. If Tacitus' writings were somehow incorrect, then we have to label all of his writings as incorrect and that brings into question everything we know about the Roman era.

      As for whether it's odd that the shroud was hidden for so long, let's look at who we're talking about. The Catholic Church. The Catholic Church hid key evidence about child molesting priests, does it really surprise us that they hid something as important as the burial cloth of Christ? Not hardly.

      I simply believe that many in the scientific community, spear-headed by people like Richard Dawkins, would not allow scientific inquiry into the existence of God because their egos are so large that having to reveal the existence of a supernatural enti.ty would cause them to lose credence. The exact thing you are talking about, the ability to question, is hindered by some in the scientific community.

      December 21, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      DamianKnight: You said, "I simply believe that many in the scientific community, spear-headed by people like Richard Dawkins, would not allow scientific inquiry into the existence of God because their egos are so large that having to reveal the existence of a supernatural enti.ty would cause them to lose credence. The exact thing you are talking about, the ability to question, is hindered by some in the scientific community."

      You were doing sooooo well, until you started treading in tinfoil hat territory.

      December 21, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Sean,

      "Are you seriously suggesting that we have to accept this method as the only viable solution and now set out to show someone could've done it 700 years ago?"

      Then explain to me how a group of people that had one shot muskets created a light source powerful enough to do this? Or are you suggesting that something preternaturally occurred? Something is either normal, or it's not. Since we know UV rays don't normally do something like this, it either had to be a randomly occurring event which, as far as I know, hasn't happened elsewhere, or 14th century people managed to do it despite not having the technology. Which is it?

      December 21, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Sean,

      Do some research on the following people: Richard Sternberg, Dr. Caroline Crocker, Michael Egnor, Robert Marks, and Guillermo Gonzalez before you start mocking me.

      December 21, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • fred

      DamianKnight
      I do not understand what you mean by the energy it takes to burn the image on the Shroud? CNN reported on a toaster that could do it just last week

      December 21, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian

      We'll leave the agnoticism to another debate, but I am both an atheist and agnostic.

      I think it's tough to say that if something happens only once it is relagated to theory territory forever. If it's possible to recreate it can break out of that theory. Of course, if you're talking about the existance of a singular person doing extradorinary things then that persons existance can be thrown into doubt without there being a way to prove differently, the actions he's said to have done though....well those should be something that we should be able to reproduce and if we can't we have to rule towards the most likely possibility that it's made up or exagerrated. I was once told my a christian friend of mine that the sermon on the mount where jesus gave out bread and fish to everyone wasn't actually a miracle, the point was the miracle of sharing – and here's the issue. Many people believe that jesus was passing out full loaves and whole fish to everyone and magically making them appear yet it's a lot more believable that jesus was breaking stuff in half and sharing and saying how awesome it is to share and then it's written down that it was like jesus was creating these things from nothing. After a single edit, all you have to do is remove the word "like" and you have an impossible miracle that only a god could have done. Through all the edits, translations, bias and ulterior motives of the church and christians in general, do you think there might have been at least one person who saw the advantage of changing a few things around?

      To your point about hiding the shroud. Yes, the church has covered many a gruesome actions, but the shroud seems like exactly the opposite of something you would want to keep hidden. Watch a christian, any christian, seize even the notion or the guess of something being true in the bible to bolster it's veracity, if you had hard evidence you thought was completely real, would you put it away. Nevertheless it was the church that had the shroud for a while, it made it's way from Jerusalem passing through the hands of many different people, supposedly, which makes you wonder if it is what people say it is, for over 1300 years it was being passsed around, damaged, and all that, and yet it was in surprisingly good shape by the time it was unveiled. Seems questionable at least right?

      As to the last part, scientists can not stop others from trying to spearhead a study into the existance of god, no matter how many people battle against it. You'll have a little trouble finding funding for such a venture from the US or other 3rd party benefactors but that's not because of ego and people being afraid of the result, it's a waste of resources and time.

      December 21, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @DamianKnight: I've seen that ridiculous Ben Stein doc-umentary, and I researched all the people in it. It left me less than convinced.

      You're also back to the excluded middle fallacy. I will raise my voice so you understand the point...

      THEY'VE SHOWN THE MARKS CAN BE MADE WITH A HIGH-POWERED UV LASER. THEY HAVE NOT SHOWN IT'S THE ONLY WAY.

      December 21, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @DamianKnight: And since I think you're missing this part, it doesn't necessarily have to be UV at all.

      December 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Thanks for the suggestion.
      --Richard M. Sternberg is an American scientist. Sternberg believes intelligent design should be part of the discussion about evolution and the origin of life on Earth. Dr. Sternberg has been critical of the mainstream in evolutionary biology for refusing to even consider alternatives or challenges to Darwinism. He was the editor of the scientific journal Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington who controversially handled the review and editing process of the only article published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal advocating intelligent design. The journal subsequently declared that the paper did not meet the scientific standards of the Proceedings. He is a Roman Catholic who attends Mass.That's all I need to know.

      December 21, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Fred,

      Read the article I posted. It talks about it.

      @Chuckles,

      Think about when we are talking, regarding the RCC. We're talking about the Middle Ages and just the beginning of the Renaissance era. The Catholic Church was THE authority. They didn't have to prove anything to anyone. Everyone not only accepted but KNEW God existed. If the Pope said, "We have the burial shroud of Christ" the masses believed it. So it is really no surprise that the RCC didn't bring it out for everyone to look at.

      "As to the last part, scientists can not stop others from trying to spearhead a study into the existance of god, no matter how many people battle against it. You'll have a little trouble finding funding for such a venture from the US or other 3rd party benefactors but that's not because of ego and people being afraid of the result, it's a waste of resources and time."

      Right. So science is being thwarted by the people with the money. After all, if science is truly looking for the "whys" of the universe, shouldn't all possibilities, especially ones like the beliefs of...oh I don't know, half the world population, be researched? That hardly seems like a waste of resources and time to me.

      @Sean,

      I got your point the first time. Fine. It wasn't the only way that it could have been created. But let me raise my voice so you can read it clearly. THEY COULD ONLY RE-CREATE THIS WITH A MODERN DAY LASER. THERE ARE ONLY TWO WAYS THIS COULD HAVE HAPPENED. SOMETHING PRETERNATURAL (IE HAPPENING OUTSIDE OF THE REGULAR NORMS OF NATURE) OR A BUNCH OF PEOPLE WHO BARELY UNDERSTAND SCIENCE WERE ABLE TO BURN THIS SYMBOL ON THE CLOTH WITHOUT DESTROYING IT. Which is it?

      December 21, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @DamianKnight: And since I think you're missing this part, it doesn't necessarily have to be UV at all.

      a.k.a. paint, as in "what everyone else believes it to be."

      December 21, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Sean,

      I'm sorry. I think I am misunderstanding. What do you mean by "a.k.a. paint, as in "what everyone else believes it to be."?

      December 21, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian

      Yes, all the RCC would have to do is claim to have the shroud.... but they didn't even do that. The RCC didn't have it at all and I doubt it's because they didn't feel like trotting it out to reinforce a fact. Even so it's called PR, when it's bad they tried to hide it, when it's good (like a real artifact of jesus) you yell and scream about it from the highest moutain. If the RCC really had it and knew it for what its supposed to be, it wouldn't just something to show people who are already christian. It would be something to show the jews, the muslims, the pagans, etc..., it would be used as a way to bestow prayer. The RCC also wasn't exactly known for its modesty back then either.

      Next, anyone can donate money for a study. It goes both ways here. If there was some sort of experiement that would prove god exists, don't you think there would be many many many christians out there who'd be willing to donate money for an experiement to happen. In this case, as you've pointed out there's a large amount of people who already believe that god exists, why would want to waste time and resources proving something you already know to be true? Conversly for the many atheist scientists out there, what experiment could they come up with to prove god doesn't exist, and if they do and did it, would they have to live in fear from all the crazy people out there? Specifically for the "why" of the universe science can't really figure out the "why" part, that's relegated to philosophy so it's not really in science's purview.

      As to your reply at SeanNJ and he can correct me if I'm not saying what he meant, but just because we were able to do it one way doesn't mean it was either done with high tech UV lighting or god, it just means those are two ways. A third way doesn't have to be done with lasers, nor does a 4th. He's correct in pointing out the fallacy that in this case, there aren't only 2 answer to choose between, it's just those are the only two we currently have and since they contradict one another we are waiting until we can find other answers that satisfies everything.

      December 21, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Chuckles,

      Sure. I get it. Anyone can get funds from anywhere to do it. But the mere mention of God or even, not God, but a preternatural ent.ity will essentially get you blackballed from the scientific community. That's the problem. It's not only just getting the funding, it's the idea that you will essentially be ostracized from your peers. It's the idea of, "We'll let you hypothesize ANYTHING except..." Like you said, ruling out anything is not a good way to do science.

      As to your understanding of Sean's point (not sure if it actually is), fine. But what is it? What happened? What created it? It's very simple. They don't know. And that's ok!

      But I just have a problem with people saying, "Well, we don't know, but it's not..." unless it's blatantly obvious. "We don't know what caused the building to collapse, but it certainly was not this feather." That's acceptable because we know the feather doesn't have the mass or energy to cause a building to fall over. But "It was a high-powered energy source, but it certainly wasn't God." seems like someone has an agenda.

      December 21, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian

      Sure, you might be ostarcized, and run out of town if a scientist did what you think is a worthwhile experiment, however the thing is, if it's good, irrefutable science then those few people who are actively trying to stop a "god proving experiement" would become the minorty. I'm serious, if a scientist could come up with a concievable, possible experiement that could be reproduced, a) they could find donors I suspect in a hearbeat, b) might be laughed at unless it proves gods existance, then more money would stream in and scientists all over the world would start testing it for themselves, if that holds up to scrutiny then it could be accepted. The real lithmus test you have to use here is, does such an experiment exist and is the only thing not making it possible is funding? I have a pretty good inkling that it goes a little deeper than that. Sorry, buddy, but on this I think SeanNJ might have a point about tinfoil hat territory. There are definitly some scientists who are actively opposed to god and religion and what not, but for the most part there are greater issues than funding and reputation to start experimenting if god exists.

      Next, yes I can admit I don't know if the shroud is because of jesus, or UV light, or paint, or whatever, but I lean towards a natural explanation like a hoax done with paint because of my disbelief in god and the sketchy history of the shroud itself. I can admit that it's my bias that makes me lean away from a divine explanation, but my bias is supported by the facts.

      December 21, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @DamianKnight: You said, "As to your understanding of Sean's point (not sure if it actually is), fine."

      It is. Thank you, Chuckles. If it's not to much to ask, would someone explain to me why my point wasn't being sufficiently made? At the risk of sounding sarcastic, I'm pretty certain I was typing in English.

      You also said, "But what is it? What happened? What created it? It's very simple. They don't know. And that's ok!"

      We're OK with that too, but you immediately latched on to this one solution as the ONLY WAY (come on...you know you did) at the exclusion of all others.

      To illustrate my point, the pyramids exist. It would've been a monumental engineering feat given current technology at the time. Using all of our modern equipment and machining, we could certainly build others just like them. Just because we haven't created a reasonable technique viable for that time period does not mean that our method is the only way it could've been done.

      People also performed higher mathematics before computers.

      December 21, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Chuckles,

      I think you're slightly missing my point. My point is, God is never considered one of the causes. Let's say they do these tests on the Shroud of Turin and they come up with, "Gee, there's no real explanation. Nothing other than these massive amounts of UV lights could have caused this and there's no way these Medieval chums had the ability to do it, and we don't see anything in all of ours studies to indicate that an abnormal UV ray light hit anything, let alone this ONE piece of cloth in the world that just so HAPPENED to emblazon a face like that of Jesus Christ." They would come up with something like a massive, solar flare or anything just to never come to God. It's so sad, it's almost amusing. It's like the elephant in the room that everyone accepts to recognize.

      I think this is where we are going to hit the roadblock. In that you're some atypical conglomeration athiest and agnostic (not sure how that works, but perhaps you can enlighten me), and I'm a believer.

      December 21, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • Clayton

      CNN isn't bothering with it because the shroud has been tested multiple times by several different labratories and shown to have been created in the MIDDLE AGES you dinkwit!
      It has been thoroughly debunked!
      The "red" parts of the shroud have been shown to be OCHRE, a pigment used in paints and NOT BLOOD!!!
      As for UV treatments, all it takes is setting something down in sunlight and you will get a very strong UV radiation. Leave it outside for a week and you'll probably get results that are similar to a UV laser.
      But who cares about the UV questions when the shroud was debunked years ago? The very cloth was made after the year 1200 ad!!!!!! And the frenchman who "discovered" it was also known to have created it in a letter from a bishop to the RCC at the time – a bishop who knew the frenchman personally!
      1. No blood, just cheap paint
      2. all fabric, away from any patches or other questionable parts, has been shown to be carbon-dated from the 1200s a.d.
      3. the Vatican has a letter stating the shroud is a hoax by a bishop who knew the hoaxer personally.
      4. the fabric is not even of the right origin, weave, or materials that would have been used in the 1st century.
      5. UV damage is easily done with sunlight. No lasers are needed.
      6. Christians who are desperate for proof will ignore all the above because they still have no proof of Jesus.

      Quit trying to give credence to a debunked hoax. For that matter, Christianity is also a debunked hoax, so I guess you guys deserve each other.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Sean,

      I didn't know if you were suggesting that someone painted the figure of Jesus on the Shroud. I'm pretty sure, considering they went through the trouble of using a laser, it wasn't just painted on. And at the risk of sounding sarcastic, "a.k.a. paint, as in "what everyone else believes it to be." are indeed English words, but do not follow proper grammar and syntax rules, so I was confused. 🙂

      "We're OK with that too, but you immediately latched on to this one solution as the ONLY WAY (come on...you know you did) at the exclusion of all others."

      No, in fact I said explicitly I didn't know. Here are some quotes from yours truly: "It's hard to know. Obviously you have conflicting stories on a piece of cloth that is at least 700 years old and could be as old as 2000+ years. Hard to say what happened to it."

      "That's all I'm saying. I don't know if the Shroud of Turin is actually the burial shroud that was placed on Jesus. "

      December 21, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian

      Not really..... here's the thing. It's not trying to ignore god as being the cause for the shroud and that scientists are trying to exhaust the many different explanations. If this shroud did just magically appear in medievil europe and we did radiocarbondating it it showed to be dated around 1 AD, and there was really 0 way on how to explain it, then I might agree with you, but there are other bits of data here that you are willfully ignoring to try and push god as the explanation. The Shroud, had it not been shown to be able to replicate it, that carbondating showed it was around that time that it was created. that we had a decsription of jesus and matched this (i'm talking hair length, height, ect... not wounds that show up in the shroud), then it could be a very damning piece of evidence, but it's not, it's just another relic that has controversy surrounding it because christians like to believe it is and refuse to give up it that it probably isn't. I mean, this shroud, regardless of it being divine or not is still worth study, but its protected because it's religious nature.

      As for the atheist agnostic thing, it really comes down to the two words. I'm an atheist because I think theism, religion in general is stupid nor do I agree with any doctrine of any religion – but that is just on the the doctrine and description and everything that surrounds god. god itself COULD exists, not the god of the bible or any god we currently know about, but I won't count out that there is a divine being that shares one, two or all the properties of god and is out there somewhere. i find it unlikely but I won't absolutely reject the idea. Thus, I am an atheist and agnostic (plus jewish, but since that just describes heritage and culture, I don't even consider that bit a part of my religious identi.ty in any way).

      December 21, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Chuckles,

      Fair enough. We wouldn't even be looking at it if it weren't a religious artifact. To be honest, I'm done discussing and debating this topic. All I initially wanted to say when I started this thread, was I was surprised, given the stupid stuff that CNN puts on the belief blog, that this scientific analysis of the Shroud of Turin wasn't put up here for discussion. I really appreciate that you, Sean and I had a more or less, reasonable, intelligent and articulate discussion regarding it.

      Question for you: As an agnostic/athiest/Jew, do you celebrate Christmas? Or do you celebrate Hanukkah? Or do you not celebrate anything at all? I think it's interesting that you're willing to ascribe to the idea of a supernatural deity. I personally believe that a true scientist (I know, no true Scotsman fallacy) cannot be an atheist; they have to be agnostic because one cannot prove for certain that any god exists.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian

      Yeah, I'm shroud of turin-ed out.

      I like to think that I celebrate both hanukah and christmas, but celebrate in a very lose way. For instance, whether I like it or not, Dec. 25th is a very different day than the 24th and the 26th so usually I do something for it, but that mostly includes going to chinese (haw haw), go to the movies or go out on the ski mountain (some of the best snow of the year and the mountain is completely dead in the morning). I don't do mass, or gift giving or anything inherently christian about christmas, but in a way I still celebrate it. Same sort of goes with hannukah on a lesser extent, Like last night I did something (had some latkes, played dreidle) and I'll be exchanging gifts with my family when I fly home for the holidays, because we have every year and I think it's nice that we take time out of the year to exchange gifts as a way to show our appreciation for one another. I really try to avoid the whole candle lighting thing these days, cus its boring and I don't go to temple (for obvious reasons), but I sitll would say I celebrate both holidays.

      As to your second point, I can openly admit that there could be some sort of god out there somewhere, but thats as far as it goes. I think most atheists are both agnostic and atheist, it's just a mouthful to say both and when you see an atheist rail against religion and yahweh, it's not because of their disbelief in A god, it's their disbelief in THAT god and the religion itself, so stating they're an agnostic doesn't help and would probably detract from the statement that they're making.

      A true scientist can still be an atheist by just not being part of a religion and not believing in god (the yahweh version), but I agree that all good scientist should be very skeptical of god but not completely count out the existence of some sort of diety.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • Maybe you could buy a clue

      If your god had wanted this piece of crap hoax to be THE proof of something, why would he have allowed it to be damaged in the fire in the Turin Cathedral ?

      December 21, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  8. hippypoet

    ok i have an idea, it may not be liked by some, but all can use it in one way or another – ready?...

    live life like life isn't worth living and only then will you truly be living a life worth remembering and then you have a life worth living but sadly near the end... now, p@ss on your knowledge and wisdom to the next generation so they can keep alive the lessons you lived to find. Reverence, that is whats missing from this world, a reverence for the past and therefore no care for the future!

    December 21, 2011 at 10:00 am |
  9. I'm The Best!

    Way to go American Atheists for another win! Keep on fighting for freedom!

    December 21, 2011 at 9:27 am |
  10. Mike Jossel

    Evangelicals and the religious right need to stay in their churches and keep out of the political arena. Religion should be a personal and private matter, and those churches that try to influence the politics of their members should lose their tax exemptions. I get tired of hearing evangelicals trying to influence politics and our candidates pandering to them for their votes. We should not become an abusive theocracy like Iran.

    December 21, 2011 at 9:23 am |
  11. Mathew

    Tebow makes Prayer look cool!, Morgan now that you learnt the pose, learn the content in Mathew 6

    December 21, 2011 at 8:59 am |
    • Mike Jossel

      Tebow's grandstanding takes religion out of being a personal and private affaie and takes it to the realm of outright spectacle. It is bad enough to have to hear about the antics of overpaid sports figures without having the additional bad taste of Tebow's religiousity on the field in front of the camera. It is worse than spiking the ball in the end zone and illustrates his poser religiosity instead of spirituality.

      December 21, 2011 at 9:31 am |
    • Round John

      Mike, religion in at least one sense is a spectacle. It doesn't sustain itself effectively without major participation and especially, social/peer pressure. The more strident believers and proponents sure make it a spectacle, too.

      December 21, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • Mildred the Mouth

      Now that you learned some babble, (Matthew), learn some English. Hint there is no word "learnt".

      December 21, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Avid

      English lesson for the uneducated:
      learnt: 1.Gain or acquire knowledge of or skill in (something) by study, experience, or being taught.
      2.Commit to memory.

      December 21, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
Advertisement
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.