My Faith: 2011 year in review
A Muslim convert, an unlikely patriot, a U.S. senator, an atheist recovering alcoholic, and a labyrinth walker all share "My Faith."
December 26th, 2011
02:36 PM ET

My Faith: 2011 year in review

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN)–This year, here at the Belief Blog, one of our most popular features was My Faith. It was a chance for people to explore and explain their faith - or faithlessness.

There were submissions from across the religious spectrum and a host of comments from our loyal readers.

Our top five stories for 2011, in no particular order, focused on a U.S. senator, a Muslim congressman, a recovering alcoholic who's an atheist, a labyrinth walker, and an unlikely patriot.

My Faithlessness: The atheist way through AA
There was a sense this piece was going to do well because it was so well written and an interesting take, but we were stunned it did as well as it did.  Comments and social network shares went crazy when this piece hit, as it clearly struck a nerve with readers.  Marya Hornbacher was able to capture her awkwardness at the religiosity at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting; regardless of where you stand on the religious spectrum, you could relate that feeling.

My Faith: How walking the labyrinth changed my life
This piece featured Sally Quinn from The Washington Post's On Faith section.  CNN photojournalist Jeremy Moorehead interviewed and filmed Quinn as she walked, and lay down in, the labyrinth she had built at her summer home.  The piece was almost derailed by triple-digit temperatures on the day of the shoot, but Quinn and Moorehead powered through.

My Faith: Sen. Joe Lieberman embraces "the gift of the Sabbath"
There was something surreal about filming this in Sen. Joe Lieberman's Washington home. We knew he had a book coming out on the topic of the Sabbath and thought it would be different to go and see how he and his wife prepared for the Sabbath.  The entire time the crew and I were there, Hadassah Lieberman kept calling the senator "Joey."

My Faith: Why I don't sing "The Star-Spangled Banner"
When Mark Schloneger, a Mennonite pastor from Waynesboro, Virginia, wrote this piece, it stirred a hornet's nest of civil religion.  Commenters questioned his patriotism when he explained, "I love my country, but I sing my loyalty and pledge my allegiance to Jesus alone."  Schloneger even took to CNN TV to explain his views.

My Faith: Rep. Keith Ellison, from Catholic to Muslim
Rep Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota, was the first Muslim elected to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.  We had covered several of his events in Washington and worked with his staff for a long time to make this happen.  The congressman allowed CNN all-platform journalist Chris Welch to follow him for a day in Minneapolis for this surprising and intimate look at his faith.

Other notable My Faith stories included Pastor Rob Bell on suffering, a priest who spent Christmas at the South Pole, and Leeana Tankersley on life as the wife of a Navy SEAL trying your faith.

What do you think - did we get the top five right? What were your favorites?

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Iqbal Khan


    December 27, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  2. Reality

    Summarizing the major religions in 2011:

    • There was probably no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • There was probably no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    A quick Google, Bing or Yahoo search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    December 27, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • .........

      hit report abuse on reality garbage

      December 27, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • Bob

      Here's to more great Reality posts in 2012, and less religion too. Reality, keep up the great posts.

      December 27, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Credulous Christian

      Please stop with the reality stuff, okay? It's very difficult to process.

      I prefer the imaginary.

      December 27, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  3. Rainer Braendlein

    Concerning Mr. Keith Ellison:

    He converted from Catholicism to Islam.

    Was that a spiritual advance or regression?

    It was neither an advance nor a regression. He merely shifted from the Western Anti-Christ to the Eastern Anti-Christ or from the pope to Muhammad.

    The elders called Muhammad the Eastern Anti-Christ and the pope the Western Anti-Christ. That statement was true and is still true. It is confirmed by the Book of Revelation of the Bible.

    One could claim that at least the pope doesn't kill people in contrast to the Imams (the disciples of Muhammad).

    At Luther's time the so-called enlightenment had not yet taken place and the pope was still higher than the emperor, that means at Luther's time the pope ruled the whole Western Church and the whole Europe. The pope had the most ecclesiastical power and the most secular power at the same time and was thus the most mighty man on earth during Luther's lifetime. Once, some German princes had to ask the pope for permission, if their bakers could use butter for the Christmas stollen.

    I constantly read original sermons of Luther and he mentions repeatedly that at his time Protestants were persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church or by the pope. Not a few were killed.

    By the impact of enlightenment the pope lost his secular power, which he had kept 666 years. Assumed, the enlightenment had not taken place, the pope would still persecute the Protestants. We should be aware of that. The pope is more or less merely a tamed beast.

    In the Eastern parts of the world the purely secular powers are obviously still to weak to tame the Islamic beast, which still tries to rule.

    May God give the real faith to Mr. Ellison. In contrast to the pope and Muhammad Jesus Christ never reached out for secular rule, although he was the legitimate king of Israel. Jesus took care of the health of the souls of the people. Jesus cured body and soul of the people. He was a real saviour.

    Damned pope (killer, greedy for honor, power and riches).

    Damned Muhammad (killer, greedy for honor, power and riches).

    Blessed Jesus (saviour, concerned about the health of the people).

    December 27, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • Reality

      The Protest-ants in a 2011 Summary:

      Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      December 27, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • geraldh

      Catholics persecuted protestants. That is true. But protestants also persecuted protestants, i.e. anabaptists drowned by baptists, Luther called for the killing of 100,000 protestant peasants in germany, there was a protestant inquisition, attended by John Calvin in which 55 protestants were put to death, and of course protestants killed Catholics. 19 nuns and priests killed in switzerland. 200 priests killed in England and Catholic services forbidden, Catholic Bibles burned, etc. Lots more of course but you lack historical understanding.

      December 27, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
  4. hippypoet

    oh fuk it all... lets just have a good time while we are alive. Pull the faith- swap it for the word hope- for that is all it really is , is a different word for hope and start saying hope when ever you would normally say faith – watch how it works... its a rather interesting experiment... its like the color purple – think about it.

    December 27, 2011 at 10:16 am |
  5. Colin

    As I look at the religious stories making news, as we round out 2012, the remarkable ability of religious supersti.tions to invoke violence is brought sharply into focus. Sunnis bomb Shiites in a spate of bombing attacks in Baghdad, Christians are slaughtered in five separate bombings in Nigeria by the Boko Haram Islamic terrorist group, and young Jewish children cannot walk to school without being assaulted by their more orthodox neighbors.

    And that is just the current news from this week!

    To all those atheists out there, I say we need to redouble our efforts in 2012 and help as many young people as possible escape the cycle of generational indoctrination that causes them to adopt the religious supersti.tions of their parents. The only way to do so is to continue to promote free thought, reason and logic as an alternative to dogma, unthinking acceptance and scientific, historical and geographical ignorance.

    The internet and chat forums such as this are our best weapons to open minds and help these kids. Every mind opened is a victory and the demographic studies are increasingly showing that we are slowly succeeding in dumping blindly accepted religious dogma into the dustbin of history.

    Onwards and upwards for 2012!

    December 27, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      I think this name says it all
      Pray without ceasing in 2012
      Prayer changes things

      December 27, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • tallulah13

      I agree that education is the best way to stop this sort of nonsensical violence, Colin.

      As for as the response of the person who has the screen name that disparages atheists: Yes. You go ahead and pray. Please spend the entire year, in fact your entire life, praying. Do nothing but pray. When you are praying you are doing no good, but at least you are doing no harm.

      December 27, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Colin

      "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things". So, know a lot of animals that believe in god, do you?

      December 27, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • An inconvenient truth

      All animals are subject to and thus believers in their creator God. Only man in his arrogance is given the ability to dishonor God. But what man would be foolish enough to dishonor God? I mean if a baboon recognizes God or a prophets donkey how would a man do less?

      December 27, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • rick

      Inconvenient Truth: Support your claim that animals believe in a creator god

      December 27, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • rick

      "Only man in his arrogance is given the ability to dishonor God."

      Only man in his arrogance has the ability to claim to speak for God.

      December 27, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • An inconvenient truth

      Already did rick you must have missed it in all your excitement at being able to show someone how smart you were.

      December 27, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • rick

      Incontinent Truth: I am just expressing an opinion. I am not purporting to speak for God, like so many theists do

      December 27, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  6. One one

    Dear heavenly Father, I pray for you to bring harmony between Christians and Atheists. Help me understand why the godless, who deserve to burn in hell, are offended by those of us who are holy, pious, and god’s favorite people.

    Help me understand why they reject our repeated attempts to impress upon their children that they can avoid being sent to hell if only they submit to our, I mean God's will.

    Help the unsaved understand that by judging and condemning them I am trying to save them from your vengeful & vicious wrath, of which they deserve, AND I APPROVE, as long as they refuse to believe what I believe. Amen.

    December 27, 2011 at 8:06 am |
    • False Prophet Spotting Service

      Christianity 101: Everyone deserves to burn in hell.

      December 27, 2011 at 8:48 am |
    • False Prophet Spotting Service

      My bad. From your first lines, I thought you were a wayward wannabe Christian. Now that I look more close at your last lines, ESPECIALLY WHAT YOU PUT IN ALL CAPS, I can see that you are a troll.

      December 27, 2011 at 8:51 am |
    • claybigsby

      "Help me understand why the godless, who deserve to burn in hell, are offended by those of us who are holy, pious, and god’s favorite people. "

      look no further...you answered your own question.

      December 27, 2011 at 9:11 am |
    • rick

      False Prophet, etc: Just another reason Christianity should be dismissed out of hand

      December 27, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • evolvedDNA

      One one.. as long as you are just praying we are safe...we know the result of your prayers already..

      December 27, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
    • Joe

      You owe me a new keyboard. i spit my coffee out on mine. lol

      December 28, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  7. Tony

    MY old saying:

    December 27, 2011 at 7:21 am |
    • JohnR

      You might want to get yourself a new one. That which is hateful in religion can be discerned and condemned just like that which is hateful in other things can be. When you say religion = hate, you really do just come off as some sort of ignoramus.

      December 27, 2011 at 8:01 am |
    • Sue

      If anything, religion is often used as a justification for hate and bigotry where reason cannot be used.

      December 27, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • fred

      Sue, a lot of people as used religion for the wrong purpose and will continue to do so.
      You use religion for the wrong purpose. What is your true fear? Religion without man missusing it cannot hurt you. Man without religion can hurt you. So, who hurt you and why blame Jesus.

      December 27, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • Actually....

      "Man without religion can hurt you."

      What a load of crap. Morality is all in your brain. They have now discovered an ancient and tiny molecule, oxytocin, which has been shown to be responsible for many other moral behaviors, from being generous to sacrificing to help a stranger.. It's a tiny molecule that traces its lineage back at least 400 million years. The more we learn the more we realize it was never a god, but our brains.

      December 27, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • fred

      oh, that old we but chemicals and chemical reactions argument. Do you actually............believe that?

      December 27, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Joe

      "oh, that old we but chemicals and chemical reactions argument. Do you actually............believe that?"


      December 27, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • fred

      Get yourself a Bible and take two Oxytocin then call me in the morning if atheist delusions persist.

      December 27, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Actually....

      "Get yourself a Bible and take two Oxytocin then call me in the morning if atheist delusions persist."

      Fred proves once again his poor reading comprehension skills.

      December 27, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • evolvedDNA

      fred what worries me is that many folks believe that god can talk to them and give instructions or direction. I imagine you believe that gods law is above that of man, so acting against society would be easy for you if you had the call,,it would be gods will, ?. Women who have killed their children got the call from god telling them their kids were evil...do you believe that or are these folks insane..and how would you tell.?

      December 27, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
    • fred

      “I imagine you believe that gods law is above that of man, so acting against society would be easy for you if you had the call,,it would be gods will, ?”
      =>Yes, but there are very few circ-umstances where a Christian can cause harm intentionally.
      “ Women who have killed their children got the call from god telling them their kids were evil...do you believe that or are these folks insane..and how would you tell.?”
      They would be insane or under an influence that is not of God. God would not even allow Abraham to offer up his child. Abraham may have misunderstood God as it was God who would provide the sacrifice not Abraham. God did provide and Isaac lived to begin the line of David. God stepped in to stop an innocent killing. Since Jesus we held to an even higher standard. Jesus said if you have hate in your heart towards another you have committed murder. Christians are not to hate others. Christians are to love their enemy.

      December 27, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
    • fred's educator

      Oxytocin is a drug to stimulate uterine contractions during childbirth. It is destroyed in the gastrointestinal tract, and therefore must be administered by injection or as nasal spray.

      I always bwhahahahah when I read stories of Oxytocin being stolen from pharmacies and vet clinics!

      December 27, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
    • Sue

      "Sue, a lot of people as used religion for the wrong purpose and will continue to do so."
      And, in some places, it's the majority. The problem is that there's no convincing a true believer that his use of religion causes evil.

      I don't blame Jesus for anything. If anything I pity him because, if he was real, a whole lot of evil was done in his name and a great deal of religious intolerance was done in making that pious Jew into an abomination to his own faith by calling him God's son. Any orthodox Jew capable of imaging this being done to him would simply shudder in disgust.

      December 28, 2011 at 12:36 am |
    • Sue

      "Yes, but there are very few circ-umstances where a Christian can cause harm intentionally."

      "With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." Steven Weinberg

      The Christians who tortured to death pagans, women they suspected of being witches, Jews and blacks never thought of their actions as 'evil', and that's the problem. Any action against humanity is permissible if you believe that it pleases God.

      December 28, 2011 at 12:46 am |
    • fred

      I would think that anyone who read and understood the words of Jesus knows better. The example of what people (religious and secular) did to the likes of Jesus should send out alarm bells. As you mentioned it did not sink in as people did as they always do when the need arises to target a specific group be it witches, Jews or any other scapegoat group.
      Perhaps that is why Jesus was hardest on the religious types of his day. He sent most of his woes their way and his harshest language in their direction. The treatment of the poor, the sinner and the lost by these religious leaders was made clear. Then the big warning to all of us as the soldier led Jesus to the hill “For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry”

      December 28, 2011 at 1:40 am |
    • Sue

      But every generation of conservative Christians has it's own scapegoats. Today's happens to be gays, atheists and Muslims. There must always be some 'enemy' to frighten the sheep into submission with, after all. In this we atheists share something with Jesus in not being afraid to criticize religious hypocrites.

      December 29, 2011 at 12:22 am |
    • fred

      Since the known history of mankind man has worshiped from cave drawing to massive temples of today. A social experiment of atheism is a death wish. We ponder as to a world without the constraints of God assuming it is somehow better. The vast majority (92%) of the world is theistic yet it somehow seems right for the 8% to impose a new order that has never been tried in the history of man. The issue is based upon this minority’s inability to see or comprehend what 92% of the world can sense. What fool would conduct such an experiment, is it the same basis that sought to create a race of only blond hair and blue eyes? Something is wrong with this picture yet the 8% continue their fight to purge the world of the 92% majority that just doesn’t get it.

      December 29, 2011 at 1:19 am |
    • tallulah13

      Fred, from where do you get atheism as a death wish? Atheists actually have a greater love of life than christians, because we know this is all that we get. Atheists choose the truth over comforting lies.

      December 29, 2011 at 1:26 am |
    • fred

      Atheist China and Russia would persecute religion for the purpose of uniting the people against a common enemy. The problem with their reasoning is that if they were ever successful then they would have no cause for unity and fall apart. That is the death wish of atheism. Marx, Stalin, Lenin, Mao all failed in their attempts to wipe out religion. China recently gave up the goal of an atheist nation due to complete failure in their persecutions of religion.
      Over 110 million people at a minimum were killed in this religious cleansing by atheists. Atheists and Christians do evil things in the name of God and in the name of Mammon.

      December 29, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
  8. Josiah

    The truth is, nobody cares about anybody else's religion. And if you do care about somebody else's faith, that's a sure sign that you need a hobby.

    December 27, 2011 at 7:13 am |
    • JohnR

      Wrong. Given that many religion's have adherents with religious based political ambitions, one SHOULD take an interest in what those religions are saying to those people. Plus, religion can be fascinating, ESPECIALLY when viewed objectively by someone outside the faith with no sense of obligation to that faith. SOme of the most pleasurable reading I've ever done has been on religion, the different beliefs and their histories.

      December 27, 2011 at 8:05 am |
    • Sue

      People care about other people's beliefs when they use them to make political decisions that affect us all, like abortion rights and the definition of marriage. Religious people sure do care about, and are not afraid of criticizing what their opponents believe when it comes to issues such as these, so why is it somehow bad form to question their beliefs in return?

      December 27, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  9. sybaris

    Religion.............the ultimate ponzi scheme.

    December 27, 2011 at 6:42 am |
    • JohnR

      What??? Do you know what a Ponzi scheme is?

      December 27, 2011 at 8:08 am |
    • The Ponzi Pontiff

      Actually, it's really more of a snake oil sale.

      December 27, 2011 at 10:48 am |
  10. Maltese Falcon

    All this stuff is political/government stuff. The most interesting thing that happened during 2011 was the Taylor Swift tour. Amazing.

    December 27, 2011 at 6:28 am |
  11. Christopher Hitchens

    I was wrong! There IS a God, and a Heaven and Hell! I am burning in Hell, and God is ignoring my cries for mercy!

    December 27, 2011 at 4:38 am |
    • Sam Harris

      There is wi-fi in hell? Who knew?

      December 27, 2011 at 4:59 am |
    • Ironicus

      Lame. Troll harder.

      December 27, 2011 at 5:48 am |
    • Inconvenient George

      Now that you're there, can you tell us how long it took to get "over" there, and what the fuel is there, and where "they" get it, and while you're at it, can you describe the combustion process over there, and do they ship in the extra oxygen needed for all that "burning" going on ?

      December 27, 2011 at 8:19 am |
    • tallulah13

      Wow, Mr, Hitchens. I didn't know they gave you access to computers in hell.

      I suspect what we have here is another christian who is flat-out lying, first by claiming the name of a dead person, then by making up what is happening to him. Why are so many christians such liars? Lying is one of the major sins of the bible, you know the whole 10 commandments thing? Thou shalt not bear false witness? I've never seen a more blatant example of bearing false witness. So much for christian virtue.

      December 27, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • Sue

      Christopher Hitchens
      "I am burning in Hell, "
      And yet you don't seem bothered enough by this torture to be prevented from typing. Hell sure can't be as bad as some would make it out to be.

      December 27, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Godfrey

      No, but there are lots of gloating, hate-filled, self-righteous Christians here on Earth.

      December 27, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • Keith

      t13, to say Hitchens wasn't in hell would be a lie. Jhn 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. Pretty self-explanatory stuff, isn't it?

      December 28, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Sue

      To clarify, it is your BELIEF that Hitchens automatically ended up in some place called 'hell.' This is an opinion, not an actual fact, as is the case for all Christian belief about God and what happens after death.

      December 29, 2011 at 12:13 am |
    • Hagar

      Thanks, Sue! I was going to say something similar.

      December 29, 2011 at 12:20 am |
  12. joey

    these religions have great scams going !!!

    December 27, 2011 at 3:11 am |
  13. fritz

    With reguards to the sabbath day, which one do I go with? My Jewish father says Saturday, my Christian native americam-irish Mom said Sunday. Well guess what? I finally figured out there's no such thing. The sabbath is a human created notion. God's day of rest after creation? Sorry folks, God or G-D doesn't get tired. Nor does She get mad about such things as breaking the sabbath-or anything for that matter. So we can do what we want on Saturday. There is no more Moses to murder us for working that day as the bible tells us. If you want to pick up a fiddle and play it? Go ahead, it's okay! As far as Sunday, no god gave pope Gegory any authority to change it from Saturday to Sunday. That was his own arrogant idea to separate the Christians from the Jews. How he must have hated them. My father's people. So I say everyday is a sabbath day or no day is. And to hell with the Christian blue laws! Maybe I'll pick Tuesday as next week's sabbath. Nah, Thursday might be better. Lots of laundry to do that day. Happy Holidays everyone!

    December 27, 2011 at 3:02 am |
  14. UGAGirl

    My aunt went from Baptist to Catholic to Muslim back in the 50's. I love her so much. The search for God does not change who you are. God does have many names.

    December 27, 2011 at 12:51 am |
    • Sue

      Yes, and some of us call him "myth."

      December 27, 2011 at 1:05 am |
    • Humans invent gods where there are none

      But those Gods are not only incompatible and thus cannot be the same, they are also mutually exclusive, insisting that believing in any of the others sends you to hell for worshiping a false god. Their characteristics are just too different. The whole "all gods are just different faces of the same god" just does not hold up.

      December 27, 2011 at 1:08 am |
    • pockets

      RIP Hitch.....you were right 🙂

      December 27, 2011 at 1:11 am |
    • Sue

      Or, that which people imagine is greater intelligent power than we are is most often labeled "God" these days, and that includes a very wide range of things not just classical deities.

      December 27, 2011 at 1:23 am |
    • Rich

      Even if God doesn't exist, it is still healthy to have faith and believe, God brings so many people out of addiction and many people into a good path. Im not saying we NEED believe God, I just believe that is humbling to have faith in a higher power, and most people need that humbling experience.

      December 27, 2011 at 2:04 am |
    • Rich

      This is for Humans invent gods where there are none, ( The commentator) Islam and Christianity have the same old testament therefore they have the same God, the only difference is that they believe in different messiahs therefore they have a new testament.
      Ignorance is NOT bliss.

      December 27, 2011 at 2:10 am |
    • Fizzylift

      Rich, Islam and Christianity are both evil, twisted faiths that belong alongside the druids, Greeks and Harry Potter as outdated fables. The difference is the body count of Islam and Christianity. Islam has been kicking the Christian's add in terms of body count for the past few years. Come on Christian soldiers, strap one on for the big guy and send Allah back to the stone age. And hey Allah, are you gonna take that from some hippie, stoner Jesus? He's a wine drinker you know. So, let's get this rumble started pay per view. Meanwhile, all the sane people will sit back and watch sitcoms and let you morons do yourselves in.

      December 27, 2011 at 2:27 am |
    • TR6

      @Humans invent gods where there are none:” they are also mutually exclusive, insisting that believing in any of the others sends you to hell for worshiping a false god.”

      But what if god has multiple personality disorder? It would explain a lot

      December 27, 2011 at 4:59 am |
    • Sue

      "Even if God doesn't exist, it is still healthy to have faith and believe, God brings so many people out of addiction and many people into a good path."
      And Santa helps some kids check their behavior but, eventually, these kids grow up and learn to check themselves. In this sense atheists are just people who have grown up and taken responsibility for themselves. It may not be humbling, but it is the adult thing to do.

      December 27, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  15. kamana

    In Jesus’s trial (for sedition) before Pontus Pilate he was asked if he advocated a rebellion against the roman government to which Jesus stood mute and refused to respond. He was than asked if he were the promised jewish messiah who would liberate the jews from their roman conquers to which Jesus again refused to respond. Finally, he was asked if had anything to say in his defense and Jesus did not. Whereas in most serious crimes the criminals head was simply decapitated, in the crime of sedition the punishment was crucifiction to insure that the victim would suffer a long, slow and painful death to discourage others from rebelling or advocating a rebellion..

    December 27, 2011 at 12:29 am |
    • Fizzylift

      Amazing. I didn't know you were there and knew what happened. I thought he was still in Utah hanging out with is many wives at that point.-Mitt Romney

      December 27, 2011 at 2:28 am |
    • claybigsby

      and you know this how exactly? please dont site the bible as a source as the writers never knew jesus and only wrote what they heard from other people - HEARSAY

      December 27, 2011 at 9:15 am |
    • JohnR

      And for sure the disciples weren't invited in to observe the trial! This is one of at least three passages in which Jesus was away from all of his allies and no one sympathetic to his cause could have been there to witness anything, yet the gospel writer kept babbling on as an omniscient narrator much like in any other fictional or fictionalized work. The other two are when Jesus had his silly little feud with Satan and then again in Gethsemane, where he was supposedly totally alone.

      December 27, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • claybigsby

      dont worry john, the authors of the bible were inspired by god, who, as we all know, knows everything and obviously told them of everything they were not witnesses of.

      December 27, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
  16. allfaith

    The truest form of faith is the belief in one's self. The world is made up of equal individuals who act out their beliefs. If the truth is to be known we must strip ourselves of the myth that has become our clothing and accept what lies beneath.
    The five articles that were chosen all reflect the individual nature of faith and show how our actions are influenced by our need to understand and give meaning to life.
    I hope that through reading these articles everyone will see how our differences are all part of our shared humanity and not to be feared or attacked.

    December 27, 2011 at 12:11 am |
    • Jon

      People are scared. They think there is some grand plan for all life and death. There's not. It's not that complicated. You are on the Earth for a short speck of time. Inventing God is just trying to find reason out of nothing. Just go out there and have fun while you can. Enjoy your life.

      December 27, 2011 at 12:17 am |
    • allfaith

      Thank-you Jon.

      December 27, 2011 at 12:24 am |
    • As I See It


      Yes, people are scared (of death), and they are also greedy... so greedy that they are not satisfied with life as it is and must invent another life hereafter that is perfect and eternal. Perfect and eternal life - how much greedier can one get?

      p.s. As for enjoying life... these evangelicals actually do enjoy their avid hunt for converts.

      December 27, 2011 at 12:47 am |
    • Sue

      As I See It
      Don't forget that some are even willing to shun non-believing family members, condemn others and give more than they can afford to greedy clergy just to further this selfish ambition to live after death. What's so wrong with not wanting to step over people and deprive your family for the remote chance of getting some "reward" after death?

      December 27, 2011 at 1:12 am |
  17. Lord

    God advises you all to take two cookies and call me in the morning.

    December 27, 2011 at 12:00 am |
    • Electric Larry

      Lord? Jack Lord? The original Hawaii 5-0 guy is actually God? And here I thought Clapton was God.

      Wait a moment! Darth Vader famously said: "Come to the Dark Side. We have cookies." Lord Vader. I get it! You are evil incarnate, seducing us with cookies!

      December 27, 2011 at 12:26 am |
    • tallulah13

      One of my favorite bumper stickers: Jack is Lord.

      December 27, 2011 at 11:00 am |
  18. Stan

    CNN is a disgrace of the media outlet. The whole point to their Belief Blog is to attack Christianity. Nearly every article portrays the religion in either a negative light, or in some sensationalist way which attempts to trivialize or belittle it. It's just an outlet for hating atheists to post insults. CNN knows this.

    December 26, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
    • JPX

      That's because religion is a stupid, outdated way of thinking. Go to college, take some science courses. Soon you will realize how utterly stupid you sound.

      December 26, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
    • John

      Excellent. JPX's comment just demonstrated my point about the atheists. Idiots.

      December 26, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
    • Jon

      You have to admit though. In today's world with ever expanding science, religion is a little backwards.

      December 27, 2011 at 12:09 am |
    • allfaith

      Are we talking about the organized religion that divides men and leads some to believe that they have the right to judge others, or are we talking about true religion which is about a discipline practiced by individuals to live each moment in the light of acceptance?

      December 27, 2011 at 12:22 am |
    • Noah Webster

      Religion is NOWHERE defined as "a discipline practiced by individuals to live each moment in the light of acceptance." That's just your own personal self-congratulatory myth.

      December 27, 2011 at 12:31 am |
    • allfaith

      Noah- Webster, how do you define religion?

      December 27, 2011 at 12:48 am |
    • Sue

      No Stan. There really is no need for CNN to attack these beliefs directly. Every article simply grants Christians the opportunity to express the ugly side of their beliefs, which they freely do of their own accord.

      December 27, 2011 at 1:16 am |
    • AdmrlAckbar

      JPX.. please supply some empirical proof to support your opinion passed off as fact.. or should we take it on faith?

      December 27, 2011 at 1:58 am |
    • AdmrlAckbar

      It's rather funny.. I have yet to see an atheist supply solid empirical proof supporting their hypothesis (of course not to say that it may not be correct, given proof) , and let alone disprove their null. Yet for some reason the editors at CNN seem to dislike such comments..And the web traffic ca$h girls sing do doo doo doo doo do doo do do doo doo.. take a walk on the profit side = )

      December 27, 2011 at 2:03 am |
    • AdmrlAckbar

      Hi JPX.. I have my PhD .. please give me some nice solid empirical proof to support your statements =)

      December 27, 2011 at 2:14 am |
    • sam

      Boring dumb.a.s.s.

      December 27, 2011 at 3:34 am |
    • JohnR

      @AdmrlAckbar Zzzzzzzz, Wake me up when you have a point.

      December 27, 2011 at 8:16 am |
    • Inconvenient George

      Ya, you have a Ph D and I am the man in the moon. What a crock. I have mine too. What web site did your's come from ? Mine cost $19.98. As for atheists providing "proof" of anything, please start holding your breath. We'll get it just as soon as we see ONE shred of evidence for the fairy tales. While you're waiting, pick up a copy of Logic for Dummies, and check out the chapter on "proof of negatives". Oh look, Wal-Mart has a special on fake PhD's for internet frauds today. 2/1.

      December 27, 2011 at 8:32 am |
    • CA's Enemy aka Reality Is A Good Thing

      maybe if christianity was not so absurd, it wouldn't be portrayed that way

      December 27, 2011 at 9:07 am |
    • rick

      John: Good comeback.

      December 27, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Sue

      "I have yet to see an atheist supply solid empirical proof supporting their hypothesis"
      Check your logic. All atheists do is acknowledge that there isn't any proof for the existence of any gods. Even if this was just a claim and not a fact it would still be up to believers to provide the proof, or simply just point to it, but of course they cannot. So they try to have us prove a negative, which is just silly because it leads to the conclusion that all things from mythology must be equally real because they cannot be 'proven' false. So all you end up with is an admission that God is as real as Zeus, Thor, Baal, and Isis, which I will be more than willing t agree with.

      Believers, however, insist that at least one god does in fact exist, and usually also insist that all other gods do not. These are fantastic claims so the burden of proof lies in your court entirely.

      December 27, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  19. Bill P

    CNN's contribution to "Belief" will be burned up in the stubble. Total garbage.

    December 26, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
    • sam

      Your mom!

      December 27, 2011 at 3:34 am |
    • JohnR

      "... burned up in the stubble." Ha! I have an image of some guy's five o'clock shadow on fire!

      December 27, 2011 at 8:17 am |
  20. Sean

    If God is real because there is a name for God. Name something that isn't real... Go

    December 26, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
    • JPX

      "Name something that isn't real" God.

      December 26, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
    • serdich

      The Flying Tea Pot that orbits the Earth..but I guess applying your logic it is perfectly real.

      December 26, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
    • Sue

      The Flying Tea Pot orbits the sun, heretic! 🙂

      December 27, 2011 at 1:18 am |
    • AdmrlAckbar

      Following this line of solid empiricist logic.. NO U

      December 27, 2011 at 2:12 am |
    • JohnR

      Unicorns, leprechauns, Thor, the proof of the consistency of arithmetic, the golden mountain, Newt' Gingrich's moral compass, the northwest passage, the largest prime number, the Loch Ness monster, ...

      December 27, 2011 at 8:21 am |
    • Mirosal

      Don't forget the last digit of Pi, Bigfoot, The Flying Dutchman, anything on Ghost Hunters tv show, ethical televangelists, honest politics, werewolves, vampires, the brain of ANY Kardashian, ... we could continue this list in an entirely new bolg and still not make it complete.

      December 27, 2011 at 8:28 am |
    • CA's Enemy aka Reality Is A Good Thing

      captain america, Keith, my child has downs, heaven sent...reiki; goblins; santa; easter bunny

      December 27, 2011 at 9:01 am |
    • rick

      "Name something that isn't real" Bugs Bunny

      December 27, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Sue

      Can you prove that Bugs Bunny isn't actually real? Have you looked everywhere? Children know in their hearts that Bugs is real. Ask

      December 27, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Not Now John

      Any number in the complex plane off of the real axis?

      December 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
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About this blog

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