January 13th, 2012
10:07 PM ET

Pastors protest New York ban on religious services

By Vivienne Foley, CNN

New York (CNN) -
Pastors and their congregants took to the streets of New York on Thursday to protest and to pray for Mayor Michael Bloomberg to reverse a ban on religious groups' use of public schools for worship service, scheduled to go into effect February 12.

"Throughout our history, schools have been used for all kinds of community service, including church service. Why, all of a sudden, they want to make it a crime?" asked Pastor Peter Kemp of Hope Chapel Church.

More than 200 people attended the protest outside a Bronx public school where Bloomberg was giving his annual State of the City address.

For two hours, protesters sang hymns, prayed and chanted "Freedom of worship!" while holding signs reading "Save the Church, Save the Community!" and "Closing Churches Embarrasses NYC!"

Pastor Jon Storck of Grace Fellowship Church said, "It's not just for us. It's for our communities that we minister in. We offer so much in the neighborhood, and we offer so much to the school that we meet in. The school doesn't want us to leave."

Storck was arrested for disorderly conduct along with 43 other people who linked arms in groups of five and left the secure, barricaded area to pray on the street, ignoring police warnings.

Jeremy Del Rio of 20/20 Vision for Schools believes that the ban will hurt low-income communities where most of the 68 congregations affected by the ban are located. "Mayor Bloomberg believes that children in New York City can't tell the difference between the church that rents the building on Sundays and the academic instruction that takes place Monday through Friday. New York is smarter than that. Our children are smarter than that. They know the difference."

The mayor's office declined comment.

The Department of Education announced the ban in December after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal on a lower court decision that the state of New York has the right to ban religious groups from using public property.

Jordan Lorence, an attorney from the Alliance Defense Fund, which has been fighting the policy for two decades, said that all legal avenues had been exhausted and that the only way to stop the ban was for Bloomberg to use his executive authority to change the Board of Education policy and allow religious groups to rent space in public schools.

"We benefit the community. Why can't we meet like everybody else? Why do you think that empty school buildings are better than having churches that are helping poor people that are helping people get off drugs, get out of crime and tutoring students of all faiths?"

David Garcia, a former gang member who now Ministers at the House of Worship Christian Center, believes that troubled kids will be the ones most hurt by the ban: "In schools there's a lot of violence going on. There's a lot of killing. Gang slayings and all of that. And we are trying to make a difference in the schools. If they open the doors to other people to borrow the schools, why can't they lend the schools to the churches?"

On behalf of the Department of Education, the New York Law Department provided a statement defending the policy: "We view this as a victory for the City's school children and their families. The Department was quite properly concerned about having any school in this diverse City identified with one particular religious belief or practice."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Church and state

soundoff (381 Responses)
  1. John


    January 16, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • ...

      TROLL Alert – don't bother watching this garbage, click the report abuse link to get rid of this stupid TROLL!

      January 17, 2012 at 11:21 am |
  2. claybigsby

    "HeavenSent: Mirosal, tune in. You atheists are the dead zombie guys. Jesus called you spiritually dead.


    LOL how do you even know what Jesus said when the people who wrote in the bible what he supposedly said never heard him say it?

    January 16, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • momoya

      Prove "spiritual life" exists and the "spiritually dead' will have something to worry about. Until you do so, I claim that you are karpistually dead. How dare you deny the magic realm of karpistual?

      January 16, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  3. Timmy

    Timmy is signing off, must get some sleep to go to work.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:03 am |
    • Timmy

      I don't cook the Big Macs right if I don't get enough sleep. That's what mama says, anyway. I haven't actually been allowed to make the food yet. I have to be promoted up from "sanitary technician, broom" first.

      January 16, 2012 at 3:29 am |
  4. Timmy

    Ah, you "think' that religious people don't think and just blindly follow orders. Well, that's what many young men and women do in the Armed Forces. In battle they don't think but follow orders. They are skilled on procedure, rank, ability and trained not to do for yourself, but for the good of the team. Religious people who actually read the Bible are like the many talented men and women in the Armed Forces. They follow a code, written manual and must learn to operate not an individual but as a group. To win as group means not too "think" for yourself, but to "think" about others. Atheist will never accomplish much on their own, but as a group maybe, but it requires you to stop thinking about yourself, and I don't "think" that is something you can handle.

    January 16, 2012 at 1:27 am |
    • Answer

      Exactly – your kind are retarded.

      January 16, 2012 at 1:34 am |
    • HellBent

      You know what happens when you get armies that don't think for themselves and just blindly follow orders? You get the holocaust. All in all, a great ana.logy – you've pointed out exactly what the parts of religion are that atheists tend to despise the most and why. kudos.

      January 16, 2012 at 1:45 am |
    • Timmy

      Doing what is Right comes first before obey a command from someone. The Holocust is a result of people choosing to follow orders and not do what is right. Even in War there are rules. In Religion the same applies, as a member you must always do what is right and not simply choose to follow any and every command, its in the manual of the Bible, you should read it someday so that you can make an informed and educated response in the future.

      January 16, 2012 at 1:54 am |
    • HellBent

      I've read it cover to cover. It's the single largest influence on me becoming an atheist.

      Glad to know that doing what is right trumps hatred and bigotry. Someone should tell that to those wanting to oppose gay marriage, just as those opposing interracial marriage should have been clued in to their bigotry and hatred.

      January 16, 2012 at 1:58 am |
    • EnjaySea

      @Timmy, that was a nicely constructed post. However, your central point, that atheists will never accomplish anything is moot. Just because atheists share a lack of belief in god doesn't mean that there is some need for them all to congregate and not believe together. It's a non-issue.

      January 16, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • sam

      The funniest part is the varying definition of 'right'. Right can be just about anything you want it to, can't it.

      January 16, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
  5. Timmy

    Revelation Chapter 18 really describes the beginning stages of what will eventually happen to all of Religion shortly in the Future. Their the Bible portrays bad Religion as a Harlot that the Governments or Kings of the Earth have enjoyed having relations with, but all of a sudden turns on her. Bad religion is devastated and the Governments are proud of their response, but soon realize the ramifications of their own actions. Bad religion turned out to be their biggest supports of them financially.

    Think about it, if it was not for the many religious holidays, church activities as Day Cares, Contributions to Hospitals for naming rights, sports, political campaign funds, and many other church sponsored drives the economy would worse than it is now. But very soon more and more governments will decide to crack down on bad religion so that they can distance themselves from it only paving way to fullfill Bible Prophecy. Chapter 19 of Revelations gives a step by step detail of Jesus in spirit form methodically......well you have to read the rest for yourself if you have a Bible, but its all their in print for all to see, because.....God give everyone an opportunity to escape a calamity, He always has and He always will.

    January 16, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • Answer

      "Think about it, "

      Religion – the exact opposite of your very desire.

      January 16, 2012 at 1:14 am |
  6. Timmy

    Which takes more faith, to believe things came into existence by mere chance or by design. If you say chance, then really individual can have no purpose in life. But if you say by design, then you can have a purpose.

    January 15, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • Answer

      Limiting your own capacity to think is inherently your own damn fault.

      January 15, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • Timmy

      Haha, it looks like you were stumped by my question.

      January 16, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • Tharg

      Timmy's stunted logic is a wonder to behold.

      January 16, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • Timmy

      Ah, now were talking, you used the word logic. Oh so happy now, ahahah! I can tell you did see the logic, but you are afraid to point out anything illogical with that line of reasoning.

      January 16, 2012 at 12:41 am |
    • Tharg

      What is the purpose in a dog turd like you? Your god does not exist. No faith needed or wanted. No faith used to understand reality. Faith is used to believe fantasy, not reality. You know deeep down your god doesn't exist. That's why you are so desperate. If you think everything has a purpose, then what is the purpose of logic if not to be used?
      Why do people have reasoning abilities if we are not supposed to use them?
      See? Your logic does not take these things into account. If reason and logic destroy faith, then the opposite supports faith.
      Your fantasy is believing your god exists and does anything you want it to. It can only be found in your head.
      Things found only in your head are not proof of god but are only proof of your insanity. You are very stupid to point at anything and think that it is proof of your god. Your god does not exist. Things are just things. There is no "purpose" to inanimate objects. We only feel a sense of purpose, we do not actually have a supernatural one. It is just emotion.
      You are an emotional wh.ore who lives in a hypocrite fantasy wonderland. You may as well be on LSD.
      You'll never prove anything because you don't have a god to work with on your end. And you don't have much in the way of brains either or else you would have figured this out already and kept your faith to yourself.
      If your god existed it could defend itself. You seem to know that your god doesn't exist or you would leave it up to your god and not arguing on the internet.
      Why doesn't your god send me an email when he gets done giving "purpose" to dog turds. I've got better things to do.

      January 16, 2012 at 12:56 am |
    • Timmy

      Ah, I love Tharg, you were just all rants, you have not supplied me with one shred of proof either. But you do continue to prove my point, that the only reason your religion of Atheism exist is to because my religious belief in God.

      January 16, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • Two Tone Timmy

      That's like saying you MUST believe in the Tooth Fairy cuz that's the only way to get the $5.00 under your pillow. Grow up.
      "meaning" is whatever YOU assign to something. It does not exist because some old book assigned one to you. But since 70 % of the universe is Dark Energy, and 30 % is Dark Matter, and everything you see including yourself is <1 %, you're gonna have to think real hard to come up with a "meaning" for THAT. Who would have designed a universe for such an insignificant %. You call THAT design ? Mighty poor designer.

      January 16, 2012 at 1:30 am |
    • HellBent

      I never understand why christians NEED there to be some grand, universal meaning in life. I can find relative meaning here on earth in my own life with my family and friends while acknowledging that on a cosmic level my life has far less purpose than a grain of sand has purpose on a beach. It's arrogant, egotistical, and narcissistic to think that some creator of the universe has some individual plan or purpose for us. Grow up.

      And my 'religion' of atheism is quite similar to my hair color of bald. Now, if you'll excuse my I'm afraid that I have some catching up to do on my hobby of not collecting stamps.

      January 16, 2012 at 1:40 am |
    • Timmy

      You assume God is finished creating by presenting those figures. Well, the Bible clearly explains that God is not finished creating or Designing things yet. Oops, I forgot you never read the Bible so you missed out on those details. Its hard to respond to an article if you never read it, the same goes with the Bible, Its difficult for most Christians to take seriously atheist objections, when they most of them have never read the Bible to begin with.

      January 16, 2012 at 2:01 am |
    • HellBent

      Ah, poor little Timmy. Studies have shown that atheists know more about christianity than christians. Most of us were believers at one point and have studied the bible and theology extensively. Fail. Try again.

      And really, if god is still 'designing' us, he's either doing it half-heartedly or he isn't that intelligent. There's little about biology that's efficient or optimized. Of course, to realize this you'd actually have to think for yourself and use the brain that your god supposedly designed for you. But as you've explain above, you're electing not to do so.

      January 16, 2012 at 2:06 am |
    • HellBent

      "You assume God is finished creating by presenting those figures. "

      No, I assume that he/she/it isn't real

      January 16, 2012 at 2:08 am |
    • I'm The Best!

      Of course it takes more faith that everything came by chance. But your question is flawed. The real question is does it take more faith to believe that mass and energy came into existence in such a way to (relatively) evenly displace it throughout the universe that came into existence at the same time, or did it come together in such a precise manner to create a supreme being that could design and build a universe after the fact?

      Obvious answer to that is that it happened by chance and there is no supreme being, or god.

      January 16, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • EnjaySea

      You couldn't possibly be more wrong Timmy. Being created by design, or being created by chance has no bearing whatsoever on our quality of life, our enjoyment of life, our ability to love and give, or our purpose in living.

      January 16, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  7. Timmy

    Everyone needs to be apart of and organization and Atheism is organized Religion. According to Merriam's Webster Dictionary a definition of Religion "a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith" Every atheist has a common belief that their is no God, and that's fine the you believe that way, but you must realize that Atheism is a Religious belief, the same as a group of people that believes in God.

    January 15, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • Jim

      So would all people who believe that the world is spherical be a religious group? Does that common belief make them a religion? The real problem is the word "faith" in your definition. Faith is generally defined as either a belief in a religion or a belief that is not based on proof. Most Atheists would argue that they do not fall into either of those definitions, as they reject religion and they generally demand that belief is based on proof. Religion is notable for the supernatural aspects, also something rejected by the Atheists I know.

      January 16, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • Timmy

      Well, Jim Faith is actually not a problem. The Bible, Gods, def, of Faith found at Hebrews 11:1 shows that Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities, though not beheld. In other words, Biblical Faith is not blind but based on past or previous evidence. So if you learned of something or seen it occur in the past then you can believe it can happen in the future. For instance I think its safe to say that you never met Abraham Lincoln before. So how do you know he was a real person, I mean you never seen him before. But you can trust that other have seen him, you can trust what was written about him, thus it take really takes faith (evident demonstrations) to believe that Abraham existed because you honestly can't say you met the guy in person, but you believe right along with millions of other people who have met him either, as a group we are convinced that he was real. Even though no one has seen God, all a person has to do is look a the evidence.

      January 16, 2012 at 12:21 am |
    • Jim

      Look, Atheists reject religion. We do not have rituals, we do not believe in supernatural beings, no magic, no miracles. The only thing we have in common are the things we don't believe in. I guess you and I are in the "no tooth fairy" religion. The claim that Atheists are somehow a religion is without merit, and quoting the bible and applying to an Atheist is right out.

      January 16, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • Tharg

      So where is your proof that your god even exists?
      Who cares about your distorted ideas of atheism when you can only prove you're insane?
      Who cares about your opinion when you have nothing to back it up?

      January 16, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • Timmy

      People who believe in God as Creator say look around you, in fact look at your body. Your body is wonderfully designed, no doctor has to guess where a persons heart is located at each time person goes for a check up do they, no because its all in the same place. If everything man made is designed by someone, why would logic tell us differently when it comes to a tree, a bird, the earth and the stars. Atheist let the size of a product scare them into thinking, impossible, but size does not matter to God. If engineers can create finite things or massive things, surely God or the Creator can do much more. It not too hard to see when you look at the evidence.

      January 16, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • Tharg

      So a dog turd means god? I bet your pastor would be glad to hear you feel that way about your god.

      January 16, 2012 at 12:41 am |
    • Timmy

      Ah Jim, Jim, Jim. I'm quoting the Bible because, Atheist attack the Bible. Just like the primary purpose of this blog is to share your views on the article at hand. I'll admit i'm abusing this blog to illicit comments regarding my own topics but hey it works, because your responding. But seriously, Religious people who believe in the Bible don't get involved in magic because God condemns the use of magic. Fairy tales, well, people who believe in the Bible believe that all the character were actual people, like the many historical presidents of the U.S. tha many read about, yet never met in person.

      January 16, 2012 at 12:50 am |
    • Tharg

      So your god is god of the dog turds. I can't say I'm surprised to hear it.

      January 16, 2012 at 1:01 am |
    • HellBent

      "Fairy tales, well, people who believe in the Bible believe that all the character were actual people, like the many historical presidents of the U.S. tha many read about, yet never met in person."

      When wanting to verify the truthfulness or accuracy of a statement (e.g. Abraham Lincoln was a real person), one should rely upon mutliple, independent, primary sources. This is fairly easy to do for presidents. But when evaluating the claims of the bible, one must use circular logic ... which isn't logical at all. Logic Fail.

      January 16, 2012 at 2:10 am |
  8. Christian

    All i can say about this is 'wow'. NYC is jacked up for real!

    January 15, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
  9. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Pray without ceasing in 2012
    Pray at home
    Pray at school
    Pray at work
    Pray coming in and pray going out
    Prayer changes things

    January 15, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Jim

      Maybe our kids would learn to read and our workers could keep up with the rest of the world if they stopped whispering to themselves.

      January 15, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • An inconvenient truth

      Reading comprehension and all learning skills began a rapid decline when prayer was removed from schools in the 60's.

      January 15, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • Jim

      You seriously believe that the forced indoctrination of children led to higher achievement?

      January 15, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Ironicus

      Actually the opposite occurred when all those billions of man-hours wasted in prayer were suddenly used for teaching actual knowledge.

      January 15, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • Atheist_Man

      Fact: studies have shown an inverse relationship between level of education and religiosity. The smarter people are, the more likely they are to reject religious beliefs as necessary or healthy for themselves and the world. Separation from religion allows real learning to take place, which is inconvenient to religion because it leads to lower levels of participation. In short, religion wants to keep you and your children stupid so that you will stay a part of it. Religion, then, must necessarily be removed from our world in order for mankind to reach its highest potential. Or, humanity's progress will leave religion as a relic of the past.

      In any case, fact: religion in schools is dangerous to the future of humanity, and all forms of religion should remain separate from all forms of education.

      January 15, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Gee, incontinent liar, I guess you never learned much in science class. Correlation does not equal causation.

      You're such a dimbulb.

      January 15, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • Atheist_Man

      You're right, there are multiple ways to view the data of the study:

      1. As people increase their level of education they reach a point where they cannot reconcile belief with reality and leave belief behind.

      2. Only those without religious belief decide to pursue higher education. This could be for a variety of reasons, none of which make religion look good.

      In this case it only takes correlation to be damning to religion. If causation can be experimentally proven that will be an added bonus. The fact is that a greater understanding of the world around us is mutually exclusive with fundamental religious beliefs.

      January 15, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Tom Piper'Sr.

      Ey, son! how's the straitjacket, still wearing it?

      January 16, 2012 at 1:43 am |
    • An inconvenient truth

      We are all agreed then prayer belongs back in schools.

      January 16, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts or goblins

      The only way prayer belongs in school is as part of a demonstration of the ineffectiveness of prayer, tribal mythologies and astrology.

      January 16, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
  10. Really?!?!?

    This is even a topic of debate? Religion, all religion, should stay out of schools. Period. Churches paying money to rent the school property is even worse. They want to meet? There are plenty of other options for doing so that don't involve mixing their fairy tale nonsense in any way, shape, or form with the real knowledge provided by learning.

    "Mayor Bloomberg believes that children in New York City can't tell the difference between the church that rents the building on Sundays and the academic instruction that takes place Monday through Friday. New York is smarter than that. Our children are smarter than that. They know the difference."

    Actually, many young children do not. They are indoctrinated to believe there is no difference, and that one (religion) even supersedes the other (education).

    Thank you New York for a strong step in the right direction! Today, we move closer to kicking religion out of our educational system for good. Tomorrow, maybe we can begin doing the same for politics.

    January 15, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Bobs Friend

      Spoken like a true Nazi! Congratulations..Christians need not apply for usage of public places. I guess we'll have to go into the closet and put on the usage application "A gathering for book reading and philosophy" Or perhaps "A meeting for the purpose of biblical criticism" or "A meeting to denounce Christianity"

      Let the book burnings begin!!!

      January 15, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • Jim

      Christians can use the facilities all they want, for non-religious purposes. Jeez you want to be the victim so badly you just make crap up.

      January 15, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • Bobs Friend

      Maybe you can have government agents in these meetings, to ensure that the words "Jesus" or "Christ" are not used.. unless of course it is an atheist group denouncing Christ... that would be OK.
      This whole discussion is absurd. I have an annual Easter Event in the Local City park, where we proclaim to the public the Resurrection of Jesus Christ... Guess that is out also.

      Look everyone understands that rented government space has no bearing on whether the government is promoting or "Establishing" a religion. The level of ignorance among the atheists here is truly astounding.

      January 15, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Really?!?!?

      Nazi? All I'm advocating is an adherence to the principles our nation was founded on. Period.

      Also, as far as "just making stuff up" I'm not sure if that was directed at me or the gentleman calling me a Nazi, but, for the record, there is nothing in my post that is "made up." Again, only advocating the very strict separation of church and state.

      Also, book burnings? I, as an atheist, would never promote a book burning. It is the religious who have a history of trying suppress the spread of knowledge and understanding, not atheists (if you don't believe me, look up any of Martin Luther's handful of sermons on the mutually exclusive nature of reason and faith). From my own childhood as a christian I know from experience that churches have no problems finding places to meet. There is no reason schools need to be considered appropriate venues.

      January 15, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Jim

      @Really?!?!?, the "making crap up" was directed at the idea that christian's are somehow being turned into second-class citizens because they will not be allowed to rent gym space at the Elementary School to hold a revival.

      @Bobs Friend, yea, your "Public Proclamation" should be banned from the park as well.

      January 15, 2012 at 11:27 pm |

    MILLIONS TO BE ASSASSINATED FOR THE SAKE OF $$$ LIABILITIES(mk-ultra, chip implants, electroshocks etc. performed on them) AND NEW WORLD ORDER(multiculturalism = terrorism) POLITICAL AGENDA KNOWN AS "YOU ARE NEXT"(financial liabilities are 2 expensive for the government and it is cheaper to get read of you instead) !!! IF YOU WERE TREATED WITH ELECTROSHOCKS OR DRUGS USED FOR WIPING OUT MEMORY(numerous Americans and Europeans were and are) AFTER ENDURING FORCED CHIP IMPLANTS(exactly how BRAIN CANCER AND HOMELESS people are produced), YOU ARE SCHEDULED NEXT !!!

    NOW YOU KNOW WHAT ORWELLIAN UNITED STATES CONGRESS(USSR#2 which consists of lawyers or what are liars, physicians/doctors and family members of effected individuals who suffered some sort of brain desease etc....lawyers, so crime per physicians OR WHAT IS HUMAN EXPERIMENTATION can get away with it) AND OTHER GOVERNMENTS WORLDWIDE ARE SOOO BUSY WITH WHEN PLAYING/CLOWNING(acting) IN FRONT OF CAMERAS ONLY HOW SOMETHING HAVE TO BE DONE(deliberately omitting/delaying facts of genocide as seen on this complain)....NO DIFFERENT FROM ROMNEY WHOSE FATHER EXCELLED AFTER GM WAS DELIBERATELY SCREWED/BANKRUPT LIKE AMERICA TODAY(soon to be success based on deliberate sabotage which is nothing else than grand treason/betrayal with acts of genocide against targeted white population) !!!






    January 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  12. Religion is not healthy for people who got burned alive for heresy

    You can keep your prayer, I'll take life, love, and freedom from religion over prayer any day of the week.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Bob

      Religion is not healthy for people who got burned alive for heresy: wonderful post. Thanks very much. I wish others thought that way.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Be free of religion in 2012.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  13. Reality

    And the solution coming down the road of 21st thinking?

    Recognizing the flaws, follies and frauds in the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Christianity, the "bowers", kneelers" and "pew peasants" are converging these religions into some simple rules of life. No koran, bible, clerics, nuns, monks, imams, evangelicals, ayatollahs, rabbis, professors of religion or priests needed or desired.

    Ditto for houses of "worthless worship" aka mosques, churches, basilicas, cathedrals, temples, rented schools rooms and synagogues.

    January 15, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • HeavenSent

      What reality means when he posts his hatred for Jesus' truth is he favors chaos ruling supreme and the spiritually dead like him arrogantly assume they should be at the top of the heap.

      Spiritually dead until he takes his last breath.


      January 15, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I'll wait to see how soon my handle gets stolen to have nonsense atheist stupidity written because reality's world got shook.


      January 15, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Reality

      Still breathing well with the following note concerning the flaws in the Judaism (added information on the flaws in Christianity and Islam is available upon request):

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

      New Torah For Modern Minds

      “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

      The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

      January 15, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Bizarre

      Ah, the carnal EGO of HS, who thinks that she "shook" Reality's world or anything else!

      January 15, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • TR6

      @HeavenSent:” arrogantly assume they should be at the top of the heap.”

      Typical hypocritical Christian. Condemning others for being arrogant while insisting they know everything including the mind of god

      January 15, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      HS is ridiculous even by the standards of fundies.

      It's hilarious to read her diatribes. She must have to change those Depends all the time-she's obviously wetting herself with every angry post.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • .........

      recognize the flaws hit report abuse on every reality repeat bull sh it post

      January 15, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Fookin' Prawn

      omg it's HeavenSent! We are so blessed. HS, talk about how carnal everything is!! It's like listening to my favorite song except the record is broken and skipping pointlessly!

      January 16, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
  14. JohnR

    If the religious groups are paying a fair rent to use the buildings, I would consider it imprudent for a school district scrambling for funds to disallow it. If they are getting a free ride or even a discount from fair rental price, then the practice should have been stopped long ago.

    January 15, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • Kierra

      Then it must be okay for me to rent out a church for a Gay wedding.

      January 15, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • James Swanson

      Kierra....complete non sequitur, the school is owned by the public whereas churches are privately owned.

      January 15, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Ironicus

      Let's rent out military weapons as well, then. How much for a nuke?
      I'd like to rent one for a few days.
      Just don't expect me to pay a damage deposit is all I'm sayin'

      Really, JohnR, are you really that foolish?

      January 15, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hey, Ironsides, when are you going to prove that it's illegal to teach sacred music in schools? Hmmm? Still waiting for you to cite a case.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Ironicus

      Ah, here you are!
      Tom, I said a Christmas pageant is illegal. They usually use Christmas carols. It is an expression of religion banned by the First Amendment.

      And I agreed with you when you paraphrased me. When part of a well-rounded secular music education it is NOT illegal.
      See? I'm agreeing with you. I'm no longer sure who said it first, but we agree already.
      So how's your weekend going? I'm finding it hard to find the time to post. I guess you are, too.
      When I agree, why are you still angry? Did you think I was seriously hatin' on you? Nope.

      January 15, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You really are dense. I never mentioned "Christmas", "Christmas pageants", or any such thing. Did you think that is the only sort of performance that entails religious music? Did you think all religious music performed in a public school is Christian?

      January 15, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Go back and read your own post again, Iron. Maybe you were posting drunk or high.

      January 15, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • Ironicus

      You're the one who's dense. I never said you did, did I? Go back yourself, idiot. I never accused you of saying that.
      Frankly, I don't know why you have this massive hang-up over this. I think you're the one who needs to rub one out.
      You know what they say about people who go without s.ex. It plugs the chakras or something.
      Go get laid and quit messing with me. I'd rather discuss something else, if you don't mind.

      January 15, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Go get laid yourself, you loser. If you don't want to discuss this, then shut up and go elsewhere. Stop responding to my posts. You're the idiot who continues to dig yourself deeper into a hole by pretending you actually had a point, other than the one on your pimply head.

      January 15, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Your back-pedaling is amusing, I must say. You keep claiming that you never said I stated anything about Christmas carols or pageants, yet you attempted to argue with me about those very things. Moron, do you not comprehend that you're the one who is arguing apples and oranges? You are the one who's not playing with a full deck. You could have simply admitted you were wrong in attempting to argue a point that I never stated was an issue, but you're too much of a pr ick to do so.

      No, I won't stop "messing with you" if I don't feel like it. I'll do as I damn well please, and if you don't like it, you can shove it up your fundament.

      January 15, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Ironicus

      Thanks, Tom.

      January 15, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • sam

      For the first time, it's about the principal and not the money; churches don't need to use public spaces for their nonsense. Plus, I'm sure God will find a place for them to pray, right?

      January 16, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  15. hesalive

    Non Christians can't help but hate Jesus Christ. There is no neutrality when it comes to King Jesus. You're either with him or against. It's a supernatural war and human beings who oppose him come under the control of Satan.

    January 15, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • Mirosal

      There is no such thing as the supernatural. What's next, werewolves, vampires, and ghosts? Those are "supernatural" as well. If you deny their existence, then you dent the supernatural, and your dead zombie guy jesus as well.

      January 15, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Mirosal, tune in. You atheists are the dead zombie guys. Jesus called you spiritually dead.


      January 15, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      hesalive, great post when posting His truth.


      January 15, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      I'm a non-Christian, and I don't hate Jesus at all. I simply don't believe he was anything more than a man like any man that's ever lived, and that all the hype about miracles is nothing more than typical human exaggeration. When I express anger, it's with men now, in this time - Santorum is a great example - who wish to shove Jesus' story down my throat by incorporating Christian law into the secular government of my country.

      January 15, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Jim

      No hatred here, couldn't care less really. Just a really big fish story that grew over time. The problem is so many adults believing in magic.

      January 15, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • sam

      Took you all day to come up with that gem, didn't it.

      January 16, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Prayer enlightens the soul
    Speaking with God is joy
    Prayer changes things

    January 15, 2012 at 7:16 am |
    • Reality

      (only for the "newbies")

      Free Will and Future are inherent to all the thinking beings in the Universe. This being the case, it is not possible to alter life with prayers. Statistically, your request might come true but it is simply the result of the variability/randomness of Nature..

      So put down your rosaries and prayer beads and stop worshiping/revering cows or bowing to Mecca five times a day. Instead work hard at your job, take care of aging parents, volunteer at a soup kitchen, donate to charities and the poor and continue to follow the proper rules of your religion or any good rules of living as gracious and good human beings.

      January 15, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • Kierra

      Please take your meds, you're experiencing grandiose delusions again.

      January 15, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Reality, it takes a newbie to write to the newbies to ensure they too, stay spiritually dead.


      January 15, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • TR6

      Please tell this to amputees. They know exactly how much prayer changes things; because they know exactly how many of them have been miraculously healed by prayer

      January 15, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • AndriconBoy

      Prayer is the ability to think you're making a difference without actually having to help.

      January 17, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • AndriconBoy

      The next time you want to help some poor family in another country, instead of donating bibles ask your church to donate FOOD!

      January 17, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
  17. DUMBAtheiStS

    From the article:

    "New York is smarter than that. Our children are smarter than that. They know the difference."

    Yes, New York definitely is and children absolutely are. Too bad.. Bloomberg isn't. He must be an atheist, a TYPICAL one.

    January 15, 2012 at 3:20 am |
  18. Chris

    Michael Bloomberg is Jewish and Anti-Christ !!!

    January 15, 2012 at 1:10 am |
    • Mangle

      And an atheist too.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:14 am |
  19. Starr Reardon

    My church met in a high school for years. We purposely chose a school in an impoverish area and we adopted them. We paid rent which helpped them in this economy when their budget continuously got slashed. We had several work parties over the summer doing odd jobs for the school like painting classrooms and doing landscaping. By renting the auditorium instead of paying a hefty mortgage we were left with money to invest in paint and plants etc. as well as help other schools. We didn't tell students or families what we did... we were investing in our city and being good neighbors. Maybe New York could look at Portland OR and see how well religion, public schools and community action can work together.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:01 am |
    • Prettygreenbird

      I could not agree more. I'm a NYC resident and bible belt transplant, and admittedly I typically love that the separation between church and state is taken seriously here. However, I really don't see how a church renting out a school building when school is not in session in any way threatens that! If anything, I have seen a lot more of what you describe, which in my mind, creates more tightly knit, responsible members of a community.

      January 15, 2012 at 9:49 am |
  20. stsm1

    Why don't they arrest OWS disorderly conduct?

    January 14, 2012 at 11:24 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.