home
RSS
iReport: Holidays, minus God
Steven T. Schlicht's family (pictured above) are among the nonbelievers who shared their secular holiday traditions with iReport.
December 22nd, 2011
10:52 AM ET

iReport: Holidays, minus God

(CNN)- Americans who are unaffiliated with any faith tradition are the fastest growing religious group in the country. With the holiday season upon us, we asked iReporters: If you're atheist, agnostic or a nonbeliever of any kind, how do you celebrate the holidays? The outpouring of submissions we received were thoughtful, heartwarming, engaging and, above all, cheerful - In other words, perfectly in tune with the holiday season.

Read the full story here from CNN's iReport
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Christmas • Holidays

soundoff (308 Responses)
  1. Iqbal Khan

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBexua4EvnU&w=640&h=360]

    December 27, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  2. Johnny Blammo

    I celebrate on the 26th, by saying "Damn I'm glad that bullshit is over! It's even worse than the Zombie Jesus Rises From The Grave day they do in the spring."

    December 23, 2011 at 1:35 am |
    • ThinkForYourself

      The Cadbury egg would be the one saving grace of Easter – but my local grocery store started selling it about two weeks ago. *sigh*

      December 23, 2011 at 1:38 am |
    • J.W

      Hmmm I usually celebrate the other 11 days too.

      December 23, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
  3. The Phist

    Celebrate the holidays with beer and cigarettes. It's what every child wants.

    December 23, 2011 at 1:01 am |
  4. Russ

    @ Tom Tom: "repent" just means (literally) 'turn around.' It assumes we're going the wrong way. It's the very same thing you are calling me to do with my belief system.

    And for the record, I'm not saying anything about you deserving judgment that's not equally true of me. I deserve Hell. And yet Jesus took that in my place. That's the good news & bad news of the cross. That's why I'm a Christian. My best efforts only earn me Hell. My hope is what he did on my behalf.

    December 22, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I don't recall dictating to you what you should believe, Russ. I don't care WHAT or IF you believe anything at all. I don't believe I deserve punishment and I don't believe I'm "going the wrong way." If you think you are, great. Turn around. You don't get to decide that I need to do the same.

      If I'm not good enough for your God, tough toenails. I didn't make myself imperfect. I am what I am and if that's not enough, oh,well. I don't believe in an afterlife anyway, and I certainly don't intend to suffer now for some imaginary hereafter.

      Do as you wish. I don't care about your life, as long as you leave my rights and privileges alone.

      December 22, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Tom Tom: I'm merely relaying to you what the Bible says. God's Word, not mine. Your argument is not ultimately with me.

      As for being "good enough for your God" – here's the joy & uniqueness of Christianity:
      every other belief system says "if you're good enough, you get in. bad people out."
      only Christianity says (b/c of what Jesus did) bad people like me get in – and not because the standard has been lowered! but because he upheld a higher standard than I ever could.

      It's not a guilt trip. It's being the recipient of unbelievable love. That's why I keep talking about it. It would be a travesty not to share the greatest news & joy in existence.

      December 22, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
    • lol

      lol you believe an unborn child in the womb deserves–but for the self-sacrifice of your god (which of its very nature is really no sacrifice at all)–to burn in hell forever.
      truly the most ruthlessly inhuman, morally degrading, and ethically sickening religion evah.

      December 22, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
    • Russ

      @ lol: so you regard them as unborn children? I agree – yet where do you get that notion? on what do you base that belief?

      seems to me that a God who became an unborn child in order to die in our place has more to say about the value and condition of life. on what basis do you define life?

      December 22, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
    • lol

      ply your transparent half-assed socratic methodish attempts at puppetry on somebody more gullible, pal.

      December 22, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • Russ

      @ lol: it's not socratic nonsense. If you're going to make such generalizations, you should be able to support them. Otherwise, it's just name-calling.

      I think you're refusing to answer my questions because you know your answers expose you to the very same criticisms you are levying.

      December 22, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
    • lol

      cool story, homie!

      December 22, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      Jesus did not take Hell in your place. Jesus never visited Hell.

      Jesus never sacrificed anything for you. He was tortured and died on the cross. Three days later he was back on his feet and speaking with his compatriots. Then up to Heaven to chill with Pops till He felt like returning.

      Jesus never made a sacrifice for you. He always knew He was the Son of God and that He had nothing to fear from death.

      That's not a sacrifice.

      December 22, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • Maybe you could buy a clue

      Russ,
      The problem is, your premise is false. No one "had" to die for anything. So the "love" part is therefore also false. Your god set up the need for payback scheme, and if he didn't set up the "cosmic order" that required it, he was not the creator, (and actually the ancient concept of the angry gods started LONG before your religion imported/ hijacked that idea.) Humans have been sacrificing to appease the angry gods for eons. This is no different. The self-congratulating business of your religion : "god loved you so much he gave his son" wouldn't even have been necessary if your angry god wasn't an unforgiving a- ho-le in the first place. And actually your Jeebus NEVER said he was dying for anything. That concept was slapped onto Christianity as a later development, which is well doc'umented in history.

      December 22, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
    • Trask

      Russ, I cannot "sin" against a non-existent "god", and I am not stupid enough to fall for this fake guilt trip of yours.
      Either show proof of your "god" or shut the ffck up.

      December 23, 2011 at 12:33 am |
    • tallulah13

      Well, I don't deserve hell, and if I did, I would rather pay the price myself than let some other guy be tortured to death for my crimes, even if he volunteered. You christians creep me out with your willingness to let others take responsibility for your actions. What a bunch of cowards.

      December 23, 2011 at 12:45 am |
    • Lee

      Russ here is exemplifying the sadistic nature of his religion. If he really is as bad as he makes himself sound, maybe he does deserve some punishment, but no one deserves ETERNAL TORTURE. I pity anyone brainwashed enough to actually think there is a literal hell.

      December 23, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • Russ

      @ warmestghost / clue / trask / tallulah / lee:

      there is a theme here among you. the primary issue is the cross. if God acted in this way, it is not a question of whether or not "I think I deserve" this or that. It is a revelation. He is showing us something.

      He reveals the insidious nature of our existence. We are so bad we will deny it. "The heart is deceitful above all things." (Jer.17:9) I understand you are not Christians – but this is the depth of the problem of the human condition **as revealed by God himself.** Not sadistic – but honest.

      And until we understand that, we will never celebrate Christmas appropriately. God enters into our brokenness. He became human – in order to fix us. That's the good news. But if you miss the problem, then you miss the whole height of joy that Christmas is. It's unthinkable that God would do this. And it means his love is greater than our problems.

      That's life altering. That's joy. That's why I'm a Christian. Not on a guilt trip, but blown away by love.

      December 23, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • claybigsby

      "Tom Tom: I'm merely relaying to you what the Bible says. God's Word, not mine. Your argument is not ultimately with me."

      Sorry Russ, but your bible is not the word of god, but the word of mere mortals trying to control the population.

      December 23, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Clay: so you're saying: "Russ, my word is more authoritative than your God's Word"? You see the irony, right?

      Existentially speaking, have you ruled out the possibility that the Objective can & might have already spoken to the subjective?

      December 23, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • Lee

      So in review, you agree with the teaching that all people, including new born babies, are deserving of eternal torture. Yeah I'm sticking with sadistic.

      And don't give us that "revealed" nonsense. We know that the bible was written by men – lots of men – over a long period of time. It was then edited, re-edited, translated, voted upon and edited some more. It is not the word of god. It is the word of many, many men.

      Do you ever stop and think how ridiculous is the idea of dying for someone else's sins? How could it be just for you to be punished for my crime? It isn't. It is unjust and morally reprehensible.

      December 23, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Lee: you're missing the thrust of what I'm saying. We have chosen to walk away from the source of life. Like a lamp unplugging itself from a socket. All of us – children included. That is self-destructive. That is our situation. Call it something other than "Hell" if you can only envision a lake of fire. It is not what we were made for.

      Your notion that it is ridiculous is dead on. But the ridiculousness of it is the joy. Weakness wins over power. Love over violence. Death is turned inside out. It's unthinkably awesome. Even if you hate various aspects of Christianity, wouldn't you want at least that element to be true?

      The Bible was written by men... over 1700 years. But if there is a God – who are we to dictate the acceptable means via which he chooses to reveal himself? Why exclude the possibility (which is what the Bible claims) that God spoke THRU those people? Yes, that is a dangerous proposition if abused (as it has been at times), but it doesn't exclude the possibility that it could be true. That would require a leap of faith (to rule out the possibility that the Objective could use the subjective to make Himself known).

      Moreover, the Bible is not only the most read book in history – it is the most heavily scrutinized. And yet it continues in the public sphere. Why is that? People love a good fairy tale? What if – as JRR Tolkien said to CS Lewis – this is not just one more fairy tale, but the underlying truth to which all other fairy tales point?

      December 23, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • onehippypoet

      tom tom the pipers son
      stole a pig and
      stole a pig?
      Theft !Thou shalt not steal
      there is a mortal sin right there

      December 23, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Lee

      Russ,

      It doesn't take any faith to disbelieve a claim. You don't have faith that Hinduism is incorrect, do you? You don't have faith that all the thousands of gods, religions and opposing religious sects are wrong, so why would you accuse me of having faith. I reject claims due to insufficient evidence. That doesn't take faith. Don't project your faith position on me.

      I'm glad you can admit that your position is ridiculous, but disagree that the ridiculousness somehow adds to its credibility or awe. Keep using your unsupported claims and clever lamp analogies and see where that gets you with anyone with critical thinking abilities.

      December 23, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Lee: much to the contrary, every position requires faith. And that is central to critical thinking (being self-aware). What is your point of departure, philosophically speaking?

      For example, even the term evidence. Are we appealing to science? What is that? Human observation as a discipline. I think all of modern philosophy has pointed out the serious problems here.

      But most directly, I'll give it to you through Nietzsche: "it is still a metaphysical faith that underlies our faith in science" (the Gay Science). Faith. It is not a question of faith versus reason, but how reasonable is your faith?

      Everyone has a metaphysical point of departure (faith). It's inherent to being finite. Unless of course, one is claiming to be infinite. Are you aware of your "leap of faith"?

      December 23, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • Lee

      Bollocks. It takes no faith for disbelief. If I don't know something, I admit it is not known and suspend judgement.

      Regarding your "everyone has faith" claim, I have faith only to the extent that I accept my senses as being accurate representation of reality. It is a tremendous leap from that to disbelief in your version of your sect of your religion being considered faith. I'll say it again, don't project your faith position on me. It is apples and oranges.

      December 23, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Lee: it is the same leap. As Kierkegaard said, there is an "infinite, qualitative difference" between the Objective & the subjective. You are making objective statements from a subjective point of view ("I'm only finite. But I will dictate what the Infinite can or can't be"). That is leap – an infinite, qualitative one. As such, it requires a metaphysical set of assumptions, philosophically speaking (or put religiously, faith).

      The only apples & oranges difference there is between the Objective & subjective. And that was Nietzsche's whole objection: such an appeal to human observation is no longer the discipline of science (subjective learning through observation), it is scientism (putting metaphysical faith in my observations or giving objective weight to them). That's one atheist saying to other atheists: 'you're just criticizing faith claims while making your own faith claim. You're guilty of your own criticisms. That's the pot calling the kettle black.'

      December 23, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
    • Lee

      What objective statement did I make? You are accusing me of claiming that there are no gods. I haven't done that. I don't know for certain if the millions of god claims are all false. I simply don't accept them as true due to lack of evidence. Disbelief in this regard is the default position and requires no faith. Otherwise you would have to admit that you have a near infinite number of faith positions because there are a near infinite number of possible god claims. You never answered me earlier; does your disbelief in Hinduism require faith? No it doesn't. Similarly, my disbelief in whichever sect of Christianity you espouse requires no faith.

      December 25, 2011 at 11:38 am |
  5. Observer

    Russ,

    The King James Bible does NOT say "YOUR incense". You have CHOSEN a different version. So is the King James Bible wrong? Which is the actual CORRECT Bible if KJV is not?

    There's a big difference between "Incense is an abomination" and "YOUR incense is an abomination". So which is it?

    December 22, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Observer: in such a discussion, the original Hebrew is the question. And the Hebrew begs the context. What was Isaiah's main point? The intent (not only of the chapter, but of all of Isaiah) is that "God's people" have made worship a hollow thing. Their lives are opposite from the God they supposedly serve.

      The incense is an illustration of one of the overarching points of the book of Isaiah.

      December 22, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • fred

      ThinkForYourself
      No, of course not. I was reflecting back to Answer on how silly what he said was.

      December 23, 2011 at 1:14 am |
  6. Observer

    This is the season showing the ultimate hypocrisy of Christians who trash gays. Those same Christians praise the so-called "Three Wise Men" who brought incense to baby Jesus. "Incense is an abomination to me" according to God.

    December 22, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Observer: context. read the context in Isa.1:13. it also says: the sabbath, worship assemblies, etc. these are all good things – but people going thru rituals instead of having a relationship with God is an insult.

      Incense is not the problem in & of itself. Thinking ritualistic use of incense suffices for a relationship is a travesty. It's like eating dinner with someone without ever speaking to them. God is calling out hypocritical 'believers' for going thru the motions with no true heart.

      December 22, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
    • What's the context wherein slaughtering infants is a good and holy thing?

      How does that work?

      December 22, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @Russ: He does? When's he gonna call out George? HeavenSent? Chad? herbie?

      I just wanna be prepared with stones and boulders.

      December 22, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Tom Tom: great point. The cross is exhibit A that he does call out hypocrites like me. But the very same place where he calls me out, he also shows me his mercy.

      @ slaughtering infants: are you referencing Ps.137? Or what happened with Moses' or Jesus' birth? The cross makes two things clear: we deserve much worse than we get, yet in his love he takes the worst on himself for those who put their confidence not in what they can/have done, but what he did for us.

      For those of us who have lost children, such evil & death is a terrible thing. The hope of the Gospel is that Jesus takes the hit of death ultimately. God became a fragile, newborn infant. Fragile. Killable. And he did that on purpose. To heal what we have broken. To take it on himself.

      December 22, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
    • dedicated troll posts horse sh!t with dedication

      dedicated troll posts horse sh!t with dedication

      December 22, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How is the cross representative of "calling out hypocrites"?

      December 22, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Tom Tom: the cross says: "hey Christian, I'm taking your place. This is what you deserve in all your hypocrisy. You deserve to die. That's what's necessary for justice."

      The cross upholds justice (what I deserve – implication: I should stop doing those things) while making the very place that pronounces what I deserve into the place of rescue/mercy.

      December 22, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • the god of the christian belief system makes jeffrey dahmer look peaceful and rational

      kthxbai

      December 22, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
    • Russ

      @ infant / dedicated / dahmer:
      I'd be glad to engage in respectful conversation if you have some logical support for your inferences.

      December 22, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
    • Observer

      Typical nonsensical SPIN by Christians who love to trash gays for their "abomination".

      FACT: Isaiah 1:13 “Incense is an abomination to me.” [God]

      So everytime we hear about the "Three Wise Men", we need to remember they are being praised for bringing an ABOMINATION to the baby Jesus. It's all HYPOCRISY. Just pick and choose what you want from the Bible.

      December 22, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Observer: it is not nonsensical to attempt to engage with the author's meaning. Clearly, Isaiah is not telling Jews to stop worshipping God (assemblies, Sabbath, etc.). He's calling them out for doing so hollowly.

      It is the anti-thesis of spin to attempt to take someone in context. Your interpretation & use of Isa.1:13 is directly contrary to the author's intent – as reading the whole chapter (or even the whole book) makes clear.

      So, Isaiah 1:13 does not stand in opposition to the "Wise Men." On the contrary, it supports genuine worship – which is what they are bringing.

      December 22, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
    • Observer

      Russ,

      What part of "incense is an abomination to me" don't you understand?

      The ONLY context that would change it would be if the preceding statement said "here are lies I'm going to tell: "

      Pretending that the Bible doesn't say what the Bible says is humorous.

      December 22, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What, precisely, have I 'done' that requires any sacrifice or repentance? Can you explain why any supreme being would create a world or worlds in which He places imperfect beings, and then require them to worship HIm? Why? Why would He make a being capable of choosing to sin and then punish it for doing so? To what end?

      Sorry, not buying it.

      December 22, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Observer: have you read the rest of the chapter? or even the surrounding 5 verses?

      Isaiah 1:13 as a whole says:
      "13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings!
      Your incense is detestable to me.
      New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations—
      I cannot bear your worthless assemblies."

      "meaningless... worthless..." It's not saying: stop assembling or stop worshipping. The whole point of the book of Isaiah is that God is calling out ritualistic religiosity. The very thing that makes you sick of Christian hypocrisy is the self-same thing that turns God's proverbial stomach. FAKE-ness.

      That's what he's calling out. To think it's simply a prohibition to incense would mean also saying it was a prohibition to worship or assembling for the Sabbath. That mistakes the author's intent. You are taking a phrase out of context – and thereby misapplying it to the Wise Men.

      December 22, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Russ, it just sounds like so much bull sh!t. Why does any sin I might commit require anyone to die for my salvation?

      Utter nonsense.

      Again, what is this creation? Just another amusement for a vengeful being to toy with?

      He can suck my hind t it.

      December 22, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
    • Observer

      "To think it's simply a prohibition to incense would mean also saying it was a prohibition to worship or assembling for the Sabbath."

      Didn't say that. It's just symptomatic of hypocrisy.

      December 22, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Tom Tom: I think we had this same conversation about a month ago. Since I respect your intelligence, I don't think you've forgotten the answer – I think you don't like it. Correct me if I'm wrong on that deduction.

      But here it is biblically:
      Finite is not the same as imperfect. We are beings, not robots.
      We did this to ourselves. The Bible says we were good when we were made. We rendered ourselves 'dead in sin' (Eph.2:1-3).

      Illustration: you make a clay figurine. you breathe on it. it comes to life miraculously. you say "hey clay man, i just made you. isn't that wonderful? let's talk." the clay man gives you the bird & runs off.

      Now, that is a very earthy way of telling the story of Gen.1-3. And it is riddled with the limitations of any analogy, but run with the central idea. The God who knit atoms together thru simply uttering now is being told "Thanks, but I'll do existence on my own." Though justice & relational pain could be appealed to, more fundamentally is this: how can a product truly know its purpose without knowing its manufacturer? to separate itself from the One who gave it life is to separate itself from life itself.

      The cross shows us the reality of what we have done to ourselves – and at the same time provides a rescue from a Hell of our own making.

      December 22, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Observer: not trying to put words in your mouth, just making a logical inference.

      You are saying the passage prohibits use of incense. The same verse says "I'm sick of your assemblies." If your logic holds, not only incense but worship is being prohibited.

      Just using a consistent hermeneutical methodology. If you read the whole verse the way you're reading it, that interpretation is self-refuting.

      December 22, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
    • Observer

      Russ,

      "I'm sick of YOUR assemblies"
      "I'm sick of assemblies"

      See any difference?

      December 22, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Tom Tom & Observer: consider this, every other belief system separates judgment from mercy. Only Christianity reveals a God who makes judgment a function of revealing his love.

      Every other belief system (atheism included) says: follow these rules or you are a bad person. Bad people get what they deserve. Only good people get "in."

      Only Christianity says: bad people like Russ get in. Not because it's ok to be bad, but because my love is that great. I'll fix his broken, evil self & make him what he was meant to be before he ruined himself.

      December 22, 2011 at 10:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I don't care if we've had this conversation a million times. I've done nothing so vile that it requires me to burn in Hell unless I "repent".

      You can just shove it, Russ. I'm sick to death of people like you. I don't give a damn whether you believe in the Easter Bunny or the Giant Snail, as long as you keep your beliefs out of my life and leave me alone. Your nonsense causes nothing but more pain and suffering to those who least deserve it. Not a single one of you can explain the purpose of your religion or your beliefs adequately.

      I'm disgusted with all of you who post here. You're a sorry lot and I want less to do with you every time I come here.

      December 22, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Observer: yes! that's my point entirely! it's not incense per se that's the problem... it's "their" incense – just as it's "their" worship/assemblies.

      December 22, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
    • Answer

      @Russ

      "Every other belief system (atheism included) says: follow these rules or you are a bad person"

      I love how religious idiots like yourself try to label atheism – to put it down. So hilarious.

      December 22, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And Russ? I didn't "do" anything to myself. I'm not evil. I don't hurt others. I give of my time and resources to those less fortunate. I am not the original sinner and I won't honor or obey or kowtow to some imaginary fairy who demands I do this, that, and the other to appease his anger.

      You do as you wish. I will do as my reason tells me.

      December 22, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Tom Tom: "repent" just means (literally) 'turn around.' It assumes we're going the wrong way. It's the very same thing you are calling me to do with my belief system.

      And for the record, I'm not saying anything about you deserving judgment that's not equally true of me. I deserve Hell. And yet Jesus took that in my place. That's the good news & bad news of the cross. That's why I'm a Christian. My best efforts only earn me Hell. My hope is what he did on my behalf.

      December 22, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Answer: isn't that the whole point of the indignation toward Christians? isn't it their hypocrisy that is being judged & (rightfully) excluded?

      Help me out here: how is that not "bad people out. good people in."? That's the very exclusionary principles that make so many so-called inclusivists angry, right?

      December 22, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, I DON'T "deserve Hell", if I even thought there WAS such a thing, Russ. You can debase yourself for your imagined transgressions; I won't. None of them are so egregious that any just, merciful being who made me as imperfect as I am would consign me to a "lake of fire" for such miniscule missteps.

      If that's your conception of God, you can tell him to go fKK himself. He's not my God. I don't care what He does to you; it's your Hell, Russ. You burn in it.

      December 22, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
    • Answer

      @Russ

      I wouldn't care if every religious person suddenly decides to commit suicide. It would be a great event to look forward to.
      You can whine on and on til your god shows up – keep whining.

      December 22, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Tom Tom: the lake of fire is just one image of Hell. Weeping & gnashing of teeth, being in the dark, alone, outside, isolated, Gehenna (burning trash heap outside Jerusalem)... All are pointing to a deeper reality. And maybe most poignantly, Christ on the cross quoting Ps.22: "my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

      Hell – if it is real – is not something to believe in or not. As an objective reality, it is choosing to walk away from the only real source of Life. Or as one person has put it: the theme song of Hell is Sinatra's "I did it my way."

      The Gospel comes down to this:
      I told God: go to Hell.
      He did... to save me from it.
      There is no other love like this.

      December 22, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yeah. Really appealing. You want to live your life in fear of Hell, go right ahead. Nothing you've said has mitigated my disgust for the absurdities and violence of your beliefs. Keep them to yourself, Russ. They're a waste of life, energy, and time as far as I'm concerned. I'm better off without them or the misplaced guilt they attempt to induce.

      The God you believe in isn't the one i believe in.

      Yours is an azzhole. Mine is not.

      December 22, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
    • fred

      Answer on
      "I wouldn't care if every religious person suddenly decides to commit suicide. It would be a great event to look forward to."
      => Here we have the heart of the atheist on full display. This in contrast to Christians that actually pray for Answer on because of some things he has said to offend a mighty and holy God.
      So tell me answer how is Christ so terrible that you would hate Christ and any that would follow Him?

      December 22, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Tom Tom: the irony here is the violence is mine, not His. It is what I deserve, but he makes the place of judgment into one of love. That's not guilt, that's joy.

      The problem here: building your own god – one of your own making.
      It becomes a thin veil for being your own god.
      Litmus test: can your god tell you things you don't like to hear? If not, who is the real god?

      Furthermore, and more problematic: what did it cost your god to love you? And what does that god's love do in the face of injustice?

      December 22, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
    • lol

      lol. "So tell me answer how is Christ so terrible that you would hate Christ and any that would follow Him?"
      uh...how bout the god of the bible is a vicious murderous thug, and jesus is claimed to be either a) that god himself or b) that god's son, who fully endorsed his poppa and all his bloodthirsty villainy, or c) both.
      does that work?

      December 22, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
    • Russ

      @ lol: how is the God who voluntarily came to die for people who wanted him dead a murderous thug?

      December 22, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      ""I wouldn't care if every religious person suddenly decides to commit suicide. It would be a great event to look forward to."
      => Here we have the heart of the atheist on full display."

      @fred, that is as much the heart and soul of atheism as @George's comments are the heart and soul of Christianity. You don't really believe that, do you? Nearly all of us have very close friends who are believers, after all.

      December 22, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
    • fred

      ThinkForYourself
      No, I do not. Just letting Answer on know his comment was ungodly.

      December 23, 2011 at 1:16 am |
    • TL

      @ThinkForYourself

      ""I wouldn't care if every religious person suddenly decides to commit suicide. It would be a great event to look forward to."
      => Here we have the heart of the atheist on full display."

      @fred, that is as much the heart and soul of atheism as @George's comments are the heart and soul of Christianity. You don't really believe that, do you? Nearly all of us have very close friends who are believers, after all.

      Balanced Perspective

      December 23, 2011 at 1:37 am |
    • fred

      Lol
      You said” ...how bout the god of the bible is a vicious murderous thug, and jesus”
      =>You and I must read different bibles because the God of the Bible died a terrible death so that all may have eternal life. I could assume you are speaking about the Flood which contrasts Noah who was kind and obeyed God with the ungodly generation of Cain which did the most unthinkable and wicked things to others. I know some think the Flood was more allegory than a real account, others think it a metaphor for God love and many assume it was literal. No matter which opinion you take God certainly was not a murderous thug. The flood story is for believers not unbelievers or those that are looking for an excuse to bash God.
      So, how does one respond to a non believer as to why God blotted out the generation of Cain? Well, what if Hitler or Stalin were “blotted out so they could never again kill and torture millions of people. Consider Cain was becoming wicked over time since killing his own brother. Just how wicked do you allow someone to become before putting a stop to it. No matter what you think you would not be a murderer or thug for stopping the problem before it became worse.

      December 23, 2011 at 1:38 am |
    • TL

      @TTPS

      A mask is discerned through the wearer not by the mask itself.

      Knowledge of said mask has been withheld, but present nonetheless.

      December 23, 2011 at 2:02 am |
    • Q

      @fred – The problem is this argument destroys free will, i.e. "blotting" out an individual for deeds they would have done. Whether taken as allegory or literally, one who dismisses the logical inference that children, infants and others incapable of making a "free will" choice to chose evil died in the flood is attempting to absolve themselves of any personal responsibility in resolving the moral conflict. Further still are those passages explicitly demanding the slaughter of children of infants (e.g. 1 Sam 15:3). It's amazing what atrocities people will justify when presented with perceived promises of great rewards or threats of great punishments. What might follow would be any number of rationalizations attempting to absolve personal responsibility for their (implicit) complicity but they would invariably reflect variations of the Nuremberg defense and would stand with equal moral illegitimacy. I'm sure the omnibenevolent creator of the universe will be quite satisfied with such displays of morally flexible opportunism.

      December 23, 2011 at 2:41 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "The Bible is evidence." No, it most certainly is not. It is no more "evidence" than "The Book of Mormon" is evidence of anything, you nimrod.

      I don't believe most of the baloney in the Bible, and people like you make me question even the small fraction I did believe. There's no "evidence" in a book written by men nearly 2000 years ago. None.

      December 23, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Tom Tom: so what about Herodotus? Do you discount him as well or other ancient writers of history?

      Unlike the book of Mormon (which – as far as I know) has had zero archeological evidence confirm its claims about North American history, the Bible has repeatedly been confirmed. And many times after modern, critical writers had written off the conclusion. The Hitt.ites are a great example. For hundreds of years, critics said: "what is this nation? there's no evidence for them historically outside the bible. and they were supposedly great. see, they're made up!" Then, guess what they found in the 19th century in Asia minor? A massive capital. It was the Hitti.tes. A clearly significant group as the Bible had claimed – previously w/o extra-canonical evidence of their existence. Now proven correct.

      Repeatedly, biblical claims have been subjected to this sort of scrutiny. And repeatedly, historical details like this are verified. The Gospel of John is another example. John 5 references a pool with 5 pillars in Jerusalem – the pool of Bethesda. Many critics said the Gospel of John must have a late date. "It's theology is too complex to be early. And references like this clearly are not firsthand. There's no such thing in the city. the author has mistaken details. so clearly not firsthand." Then guess what they found in the 19th century? the pool of Bethesda, just as John described it – 5 colonnades & all. Not only verifying the historical content through archeology, but also casting serious doubt on any later dating of John (since it was destroyed by 70 AD).

      Evidence. Archeology. No one disputes these factual discoveries. The trouble people have is with what comes along with these proven historically accurate descriptions in the biblical text: objective truth claims – in particular, that Jesus Christ claimed to be God in the flesh. The problem here, then, is that there can be no 'neutral' discussion. If such claims are true, it changes everything. An historian must admit that his/her conclusions in this area could be life altering – possibly in ways he or she is unwilling to concede at the time.

      In other words, bias. The evidence is there. But the 'objectivity' of a historian won't be. It's too important. It entails too much personally. Actually believing it might mean everything in your life changes. So, everyone comes with bias to the text. But the evidence is there. How will you deal with your bias?

      December 23, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
  7. Lose my Soul

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8du_xWWt8E&w=640&h=360]

    December 22, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  8. Snow

    @Bo.. god "wants" your prayer, love, faith and obedience? why? why does he need his creations to suck up to him? sounds very Egotistic and Narcissistic of god to demand people's obedience. If god truly did love people so much, then he should accept them as they are. Not put conditions on how he expects people to be to gain his "love".

    for example, just because you love your son/daughter, do you demand that they love you back too?

    December 22, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • George

      Of course, He's egotistic and narcissistic. He is God after all.

      December 22, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • Louise Cypher

      ok I get your playing a character here,...I was actually thinking you were a real right wing extremist

      December 22, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • WellWell...

      "He's egotistic and narcissistic. He is God after all."

      LMAO – So you worship something that has issues with personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity. How pathetic is that and you wonder why your world is so screwed up. LMAO! NPD is a personality disorder. LOL!

      December 22, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • Louise Cypher

      Unless of course you actually follow are egotistic, narcissist, with a superiority complex, that’s drools on ou’s bib every time someone prays to them, then turns around and destroys towers committed to trade when ignored, yes I just compared the trade centers with the tower of Babel, the both were destroyed by god and arrogance, and both their functions were for world trade, no I’m not sorry

      December 22, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • Louise Cypher

      I must admit though you trolled me well be proud of yourself, you tolled the originator of the troll.

      December 22, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I have posed similar questions before, and the zealots have no answers. Why would God require worship? Is he some sort of dictator who demands that his subjects debase themselves to pay him homage? Why? If He created us to have free will, why threaten us and punish us with eternal damnation for exercising it? To what end? For what purpose? Why did he bother to make a world that contained evil and temptation and then burn anyone that wasn't strong enough to resist? Why create people who WERE too weak to resist temptation that he created in the first place? Again, to what purpose?

      Do you think this world is just His enormous Xbox?

      December 22, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Isn't it curious that God possess not even one quality that is not a projection of human traits, or exaggeration of human traits. Not one. (I know, I know, "man was created in the image of God", but actually God was created in man's image, and for some odd reason, is usually referred to as a "he", even though IT would not have se'xual traits, unless it reproduces). What's going to happen in the future when more advanced beings are encountered ? Why would THEY not have been made in his image, and we being less advanced, what does that make us then ?

      December 22, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Tom Tom: worship – comes from Old English (worth-ship). Worship is a question of what has central worth in your life. In other words, what do you build your life around? In that regard, everyone is a worshipper. It begs the question, really: what do you 'worship'?

      So, if God exists, as the greatest thing in existence, what would be better to build existence around? It is not narcissism to take the place that matches who you are. On the contrary, building existence around anything less would be self-destructive...

      In that way, God is the only appropriately egocentric being in existence.

      December 22, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Garbage. I won't spend my life praising some vengeful imaginary being who punishes people he created for doing that which he made them capable of doing.

      I've yet to see any of you nuts explain the purpose of our being here if all we are is some amusement for an adolescent being who is capricious, cruel, and vengeful.

      Unless you can provide any shred of proof such a being exists and is worth my obedience and sacrifice, you can go f* ckin' blow. I'm sick of your excuses for your idol.

      December 22, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Russ, I'm just plain sick to the point of vomiting from people like you. You can't adequately defend your ridiculous beliefs, yet you lambaste anyone who can't suspend disbelief in your absurd claims. You can't explain why your "merciful, loving God" allows his most ardent worshippers to suffer excruciating pain and terrible trauma when they've done NOTHING but take care of others, sacrifice their lives, and obey every law set forth in the Bible to the best of their abilities.

      Sorry, but you can kiss my lily-white butt.

      Your God is nothing but a nightmare. I don't want any part of him, or of zealots like you.

      December 22, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Tom Tom: quite the contrary – a God who chooses to make himself fragile/killable and dies in our place is not a capricious adolescent. This is a God who, even having seen the depth of our depravity, does not consider a mess like me irredeemable.

      It's both better & worse than we want to believe.
      It's worse than we want to admit (he had to die for me),
      but at the same time, it's better than we ever dared hope (he was willing to do it).

      December 22, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
    • Maybe you could buy a clue

      Russ' self esteem seems to be a serious problem.

      December 23, 2011 at 7:06 am |
    • Jb

      evidence, evidence, evidence. That's all you want? Enough has been provided already for the existence of the living God. The problem is that you want more. Even one of Jesus's apostles didn't believe Jesus rose from the dead even though he stood right in his face! The apostle didn't believe until he saw the wounds in his hands and feet. Let me tell you, if you want more evidence, you will not receive it. Enough has been provided. Its up to you to decide to believe on the evidence given. You just haven't done your research. Wiki-pedia doesn't count as a source.

      December 23, 2011 at 9:30 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      There is NO evidence. None. You simply choose to believe. I find it impossible to believe.

      December 23, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Tom Tom: there is evidence. The Bible is the evidence. People may argue over the reliability of the texts, but they present themselves as historical accounts. You can say you find them suspect, but I don't think anyone here argues that the biblical texts simply don't exist.

      Furthermore, Richard Bauckham's "Jesus & the Eyewitnesses" demonstrates from a scholarly perspective why these texts must have been written or dictated from eyewitness accounts. And certainly, Luke 1:1-5 & 1 Cor.15:1-5 are claiming that very thing: to be firsthand evidence.

      December 23, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ridiculous. The Bible isn't evidence of anything that's verifiable. It's no more than a collection of writings by a bunch of men. There may be historical evidence of the existence of Jesus. So what? That's not evidence of a god.

      I don't believe most of the nonsense in the Bible. There's no reason to do so. It's not factual. It's nothing but an expression of beliefs, and I don't share them.

      December 23, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Tom Tom: In 1 Cor.15, Paul says that the risen Jesus appeared to more than 500 people at once. That's within thirty years of the event itself. Some, if not most, of the 500 would still be alive. These people could travel. They could write letters. They could talk to relatives. They were no less skeptical than you or me. They would have checked into it before giving their life away.

      Christianity would not have gotten off the ground if these claims were false. They could & would have been checked out. Not to mention, all but one of the Apostles died for their beliefs. You don't knowingly die for a lie you made up. And 500 people saw him at once: you don't have group hallucinations.

      The infinite, transcendent God of the Jews entered time & space in the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. It was an historical event, passed on by firsthand eyewitnesses. And it changes everything. That's why we celebrate Christmas.

      December 23, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
  9. Reality

    Conclusion: the holyday of Christmas is historically a non-event. Ditto for the Feast of the Magi, Holy Innocents Day and the solemnity of Mary aka New Years day.

    The Background:

    After thorough analyses of the NT Christmas passages, what are a few of the conclusions of some of the top contemporary NT scholars?

    Matt 1:18-25: From Professor Gerd Ludemann in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 123-124, "The fathering of Jesus from the Holy Spirit and his birth from the virgin Mary are unhistorical". Ludemann gives a very detailed analysis to support his conclusions. One part being the lack of attestations to these events and the late time strata of said story.

    "Lüdemann [Jesus], (pp. 261-63) discounts Luke's account as a legend deriving from Jewish Hellenistic circles that were concerned to hold together the procreation of the Spirit, the authentic sonship of the Messiah and the virginal conception. "

    Then there are these additional conclusions:

    Bruce Chilton

    "In [Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography] (2000), Chilton develops the idea of Jesus as a mamzer; someone whose irregular birth circu-mstances result in their exclusion from full participation in the life of the community. He argues for the natural pa-ternity of Joseph and finds no need for a miraculous conception. In his subsequent reconstruction of Jesus' life, Chilton suggests that this sustained personal experience of exclusion played a major role in Jesus' self-ident-ity, his concept of God and his spiritual quest.

    John Dominic Crossan

    "In [Historical Jesus] (p. 371) Crossan treats this cluster, like 007 Of Davids Lineage, as an example of the interplay of prophecy and history in the development of the Jesus traditions.

    "In [Birth of Christianity] (pp. 26-29) Crossan uses Luke's account of Jesus' conception and birth to explore ethical issues concerning the public interpretation of the past. He notes the tendency of Christian scholars to disregard "pagan" birth legends while investing great effort in the defence of biblical birth narratives. He concludes:

    I do not accept the divine conception of either Jesus or Augustus as factual history, but I believe that God is incarnate in the Jewish peasant poverty of Jesus and not in the Roman imperial power of Augustus. "

    "The following ancient parallels to Jesus' miraculous conception should be noted:
    Birth of Moses (Exod 2:1-10)
    Birth of Plato (Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, 3.45) [see Acts of Jesus, p. 507]
    Birth of Alexander the Great (Plutarch, Parallel Lives, 2.1-3.5) [see Acts of Jesus, p. 502f]
    Birth of Apollonius (Philostratus, Life of Apollonius, I.4) [see Acts of Jesus, p. 505]"

    And some final words from Thomas Jefferson, not a contemporary NT scholar, but indeed a very learned man:

    "And the day will come,
    when the mystical generation of Jesus,
    by the Supreme Being as His Father,
    in the womb of a virgin,
    will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva
    in the brain of Jupiter.

    – Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
    Letter to John Adams, from Monticello, April 11, 1823.

    Conclusion: the holyday of Christmas is historically a non-event. Ditto for the Feast of the Magi, Holy Innocents Day and the solemnity of Mary aka New Years day.

    December 22, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Reality: seeing the consistency with which you post & double post & triple post this sort of stuff, I can't help but think Shakespeare: "methinks thou dost protest too much."

      As the late Hitchens so frequently pointed out: there is no middle ground here. Jesus is either who the Bible said he is, or you should be an atheist. Trying to ride this fence lacks intellectual integrity.

      Not only that, but Crossan has made a Jesus of his own self-projection (coming to the text with the conclusions pre-determined: Jesus as a cynic philosopher, etc.). Even wikipedia has a decent list of the many flaws of the Jesus Seminar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Seminar#Criticism).

      But more tangibly: So why celebrate Christmas at all? B/c Crossan likes nice myths that inspire? That requires ignoring MOST of the accounts' content. Instead, read the birth narratives in context. That's not the point of the text. Crossan's position is untenable at a basic perusal. Luke 1:1-5 won't let you hold that position. Luke states bluntly that this is eyewitness testimony. And Luke 2 (which directly follows) is the primary Christmas narrative.

      Conclusion:
      If you claim to be a Christian (along Crossan's lines), then why celebrate Christmas?
      It is either a bold-faced lie (he wasn't God & it's a sham made up after the fact) that should not be celebrated OR...
      it really happened and Crossan is denying THE central moment in history.

      December 22, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Reality

      The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
      ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen

      Some of the references used for the update:

      20. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT ntgateway.com/
      21. Writing the New Testament- existing copies, oral tradition etc.
      ntgateway.com/
      22. The Search for the Historic Jesus by the Jesus Seminarians:
      members.aol.com/DrSwiney/seminar.html
      23. Jesus Decoded by Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco (Da Vinci Code review)jesusdecoded.com/introduction.php
      24. JD Crossan's scriptural references from his book the Historical Jesus separated into time periods: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan1.rtf
      25. JD Crossan's conclusions about the authencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the conclusions of other NT exegetes in the last 200 years:
      faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan2.rtf
      26. Common Sayings from Thomas's Gospel and the Q Gospel: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan3.rtf
      27. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
      28. Luke and Josephus- was there a connection?
      infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html
      29. NT and beyond time line:
      pbs.org/empires/peterandpaul/history/timeline/
      30. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
      harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm
      31. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
      33. The books of the following : Professors Gerd Ludemann, Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.

      December 22, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • Reality

      As a good student, you have read the reiterations of the "fems" (flaws, errors, muck and stench ) of religion. Therefore the seeds have been planted in rich soil. Go therefore and preach the truth to all nations, reiterating as you go amongst the lost, bred, born and brainwashed souls of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism as Rational Thinking makes its triumphant return all because of you!!!! 🙂

      December 22, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • .........

      hit report abuse on all reality bull sh it

      December 22, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • Maybe you could buy a clue

      Russ,
      The Goblet of Fire tells me Harry Potter is real. Eye witness testimony. Therefore it MUST be real.

      December 23, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • Russ

      @ clue: Harry Potter makes no such claims at historicity. The Bible does. Read Luke 1:1-5, for example.

      Myths develop hundreds of years after supposed events & make no such particularized claims. Read the Odyssey. It never includes this sort of detail. "Odysseus & company rowed about 3 miles out at about 3:30pm in the afternoon." You won't find that kind of detail. It's not there, but it is in the Bible. Such detail in fiction is an innovation of modern realistic fiction (roughly 1700 years after the Bible). Either these guys were absolute literary geniuses whose genre was never copied again for 17 centuries or they believe they are reporting events. Facts. History. NEWS. That's the reason the Bible calls it Good News. It is an historical event.

      And consider, these reports are coming within 30 years of the death of Christ (for example, 1 Cor.15:1-5). Though there weren't jets & cars, people traveled. Under the Roman Empire, not only commerce but people moved freely about. Though people doubt the moon landing today (which happened roughly 40 years ago), you can talk to guys who were there. They'll still alive. You can check the sources. Christianity would not have gotten off the ground if such claims were not verifiable.

      December 23, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • Reality

      JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")

      Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694

      Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

      Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Most contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.

      Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

      So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher-magic man would do or say?

      December 23, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
  10. TR6

    Christmas and the power of prayer.
    For as long as I can remember (and I’m a bit over 50) every year the pope (Christ’s vicker on earth, the most powerful prayer on earth, Mr. religion himself ) has prayed for peace in the Middle East at Christmas and it hasn’t done a bit of good. He might just as well have wished upon a star. So if decades of praying by Mr. Big doesn’t change anything, then I’ m left to the conclusion that either god does not answer prayer (if not for the big guy then for who?) or there is no god to answer at all

    December 22, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • George

      Did you ever think what it could be like but for the Pope's prayers? Maybe a radioactive hellhole from lobbing nuclear bombs? Maybe even worse? It's still relatively peaceful.

      December 22, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Well....

      "Maybe a radioactive hellhole from lobbing nuclear bombs? Maybe even worse? It's still relatively peaceful."

      No, it's because Obama is doing his job. LMAO!

      December 22, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      For every Papal prayer for peace, I'd wager there are a thousand prayers beseeching God to smite someone.
      God bless us, every one! (except the muslims, jews, atheists, hindus, buddhists, and assorted pagans).

      December 22, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Maybe you could buy a clue

      Well George, it certainly is good to know that god did her job at least half a$$.

      December 22, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • claybigsby

      george, have you ever thought that when you pray, you are really just talking to yourself?

      December 22, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • Ah....wait just a second

      Georgie,
      Are you telling us that God sits there with his calculator, and says "hmm, well, I really didn't get enough prayers for that one, so screw em" ? You cannot be serious.

      December 22, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Bo

      We all pray for peace in spite of the prophecy of Jesus, Matthew 24: 6,8; 6 And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. We still need to pray even though we know, "...all these things must come to must come ot pass, but the end is not yet". Keep praying, all you who are faithful.

      December 22, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      God wouldn't need a calculator... if he existed!

      December 22, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • O.S. Bird

      Maybe if the pope was christ's vicar, instead of vicker (as you put it), he woul dbe more effective. But then if he were a vicker(s) machine gun, that might work too.

      December 22, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
    • Maybe you could buy a clue

      Nostradamus made all sorts of prophesies that came true too. Do you worship him ? Why not ?

      December 23, 2011 at 10:14 am |
  11. Carpenter

    For me I don't care if Santa Claus exist or not,what matter most is the spirit of Christ that will shower to us his love for both you and me....He died for you because he loves you more that what you can possibly imagine....Have you not realized it Jack the ripper?

    December 22, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Eric G

      Sorry Carpenter, but I must ask you to present the evidence that provides the basis of your belief for verification. If you cannot present the evidence, your claims must be dismissed as personal speculation.

      December 22, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      Definition of Faith: "b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust "

      December 22, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Bo

      @ Eric; 3:33pm: Sorry Eric, but you have been given all the evidence you need, it is up to you decide if you will choose to accept it or deny it. God wants your faith, love and obedience; with definite proof of His existence, there is no room for faith, so God in His love and wisdom has allowed many hooks to hang your doubts on, it's your choice, nobody can force you; nobody can do any more for you.

      December 22, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      There's more proof Santa existed than there is that god existed!

      December 22, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Eric G

      @Bo: Sorry Bo, you now are claiming to know the wants and desires of something that you have not prove to exist. Please provide the evidence without trying to take the holy high road of the free will argument.

      If you cannot provide evidence to support the existence of your god, how can you claim to know what it wants?

      December 22, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      Bo sez:
      "God wants your faith, love and obedience; with definite proof of His existence, there is no room for faith,"
      WRONG WRONG WRONG !!!
      I had this posted in an earlier story so forgive me if this is redundant.
      GOD HAS supplied definite proof of his existance. Through Thomas John 20:27
      Atheists want the same empirical evidence that he gave Thomas.
      I'm still waiting ...

      December 22, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Mildred the Mouth

      Bro Maynard,
      Harry Potter exists because The Goblet of Fire tells me so.

      December 22, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, please, you impostor. Stick it up your nose.

      December 22, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
    • Smothers Brothers' Lament

      Brother Maynard: "Atheists want the same empirical evidence that he gave Thomas."

      Mom always liked Dickie best, but I guess Jesus liked Tom best... 😦

      December 22, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
  12. Jack the Ripper

    There is no such things as Christmas......Santa Claus is fraud....Why don't you accept the fact that that fat man with red clothing doesn't exist!!!You are so foolish!

    December 22, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      Santa may not exist in the sense he is portrayed as but there is Saint Nick from the UK where he did similar.

      December 22, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  13. Jack the Ripper

    Here we go again....a lot of us here post a nonsense comments....kiss my ass you dumb and dumber...Why don't you mind your own business instead of posting a comments here which is technically nonsense!Hey Lord Darth Vader is comin'....MAY THE FART BE WITH YOU ALWAYS....Hahahahaha!( SUCKER!)

    December 22, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  14. George

    To all Christians out there, let's remember to keep Christ in Christmas this year.

    December 22, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • Huh

      "To all Christians out there, let's remember to keep Christ in Christmas this year."

      It's been a great shopping season, full of greed and gluttony. so there is no christ in Christmas.

      December 22, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • TR6

      Take a look at the shopping malls, the catalogs in the mail and the commercials on TV. Christ got kicked out of Christmas a long time ago

      December 22, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • George

      @Huh

      Speak for yourself.

      December 22, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Thunder

      So, why did Thor get kicked out of Thursday?

      December 22, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Huh

      "Speak for yourself."

      Nice try George but I don't belong to your cult.

      December 22, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • George

      @Huh

      That's why I said speak for yourself. You don't speak for Christians.

      December 22, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You don't speak for Christians, either, George, but that doesn't stop you from vomiting all over every thread, does it?

      You're not fooling anyone who's sentient. You aren't a conservative at all; you're a troll who is simply fomenting more disagreement.

      December 22, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • Huh?

      "That's why I said speak for yourself. You don't speak for Christians."

      Neither do you because you don't follow the true teachings of your christ, that's the POINT idiot.

      December 22, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Just ignore his silliness. George isn't a "conservative Christian" at all. He's just an agitator.

      It's unlikely he'll even bother to deny it.

      December 22, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
    • A Christian

      @George – I've seen a number of your comments on several articles. You don't speak for most of us Christians either. There is little, if anything, that is Christ-like about your words and ideas.

      December 22, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yea, verily.

      December 22, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
    • hippypoet

      yes tom tom, the same can be said about you.

      so shut it.

      December 22, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sure thing, hippy impostor. I'll do so the very MOMENT you stick it up your bum.

      December 22, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
    • onehippypoet

      tom tom la biana blanca

      how much do you weigh?

      December 23, 2011 at 5:02 am |
  15. (C)huckles

    Thanks Lucifer, now I have Futurama bubbling in my brain:

    High Priest: Great Wall of Prophecy, reveal to us God's will that we may blindly obey.
    Priests: [chanting] Free us from thought and responsibility.
    High Priest: We shall read things off you.
    Priests: [chanting] Then do them.
    High Priest: Your words guide us.
    Priests: [chanting] We're dumb.

    Old Man Waterfall: That's right, I'm a polygamist.
    Crowd: Boo!
    [later]
    Supreme justice: And, in a rare double-whammy, we also find polygamy to be const.itutional.
    Crowd: Boo!
    Old Man Waterfall: I can't wait to tell my husband!
    Crowd: BOO!

    December 22, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • hippypoet

      lol, i love Futurama – i like the episode where santa the killer robot flys around shooting people 🙂

      December 22, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  16. Professor Farnsworth

    Good news, everyone! I found my underwear! You can all stop looking now.

    December 22, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
1 2 3
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.