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January 19th, 2012
05:27 PM ET

'Hate religion, love Jesus' video goes viral

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - With so many atheists coming out of the closet, it’s not difficult to imagine a video decrying religion racking up millions of hits on YouTube.

But a video along those lines has been viewed 15 million times and liked more than a quarter-million times since it was posted on January 10, featuring an enthusiastic young Christian from Washington state.

[youtube= http://youtu.be/1IAhDGYlpqY]

“What if I told you Jesus came to abolish religion?” 22-year-old Jefferson Bethke says in the video, reciting a spoken word poem he wrote. “What if I told you getting you to vote Republican really wasn’t his mission?”

“I mean if religion is so great, why has it started so many wars?” he says later. “Why does it build huge churches but fail to feed the poor?”

Bethke's video is emerging as a symbol for many young evangelical Christians who are calling themselves “followers of Jesus” rather than overtly identifying with institutional Christianity. Many of the country's fastest-growing churches are nondenominational.

“Religion is man-centered,” Bethke writes in a post accompanying his YouTube video. “Jesus is God-centered.”

In the video, Bethke talks about what he calls his own spiritual rebirth, saying he went from being a self-righteous religious person to an admittedly deeply broken believer.

The video has provoked an avalanche of response, including other YouTube videos, like "Why I hate religion but love Jesus, Muslim Version" and "Why I Dislike Your Poem, But Love God," which includes these lines:

I see where you’re coming from but there’s insanity in your vision
You overlook the fact that Christianity is religion
You’re like the van who claims to hate diets
Or astrophysicists who reject laws of science.

That response video has itself been viewed 390,000 times. Not bad.

Many religious bloggers echoed that video’s criticism on Bethke, alleging he’s trumpeting tenets of Christianity while purporting to blast organized religion. Critics called Bethke’s take on religion overly simplistic and dangerous.

“Anyone who does just a little digging on Bethke's YouTube channel or on Google will quickly learn that this young poet is a conservative Christian and member of the Mars Hill Church led by controversial pastor Mark Driscoll,” writes Patheos blogger Brian Kirk, a Missouri-based pastor. “All this seems to me an odd résumé for one who lambastes organized religion.”

Yet Kirk marvels at the national conversation that Bethke has provoked around deep questions:

Certainly one can agree or disagree with Bethke's take on religion but it's difficult not to admire the way he has stirred up those of us who may have been slumbering comfortably in our own faith without really thinking about why we do what we do. Some times the best way to wake up a sleeping giant is to poke it with a stick and Bethke has done just that.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity

soundoff (3,716 Responses)
  1. Shelle

    Maybe it's a little bit cynical but I think all species will get away with what they can. Our instincts only compel us to protect ourselves and our offspring. Sure, we can imagine that if we are mean to someone, they may be quite unpleasant in return. But this says nothing about doing what is right, simply because it is the right thing to do. And it also doesn't address the actions that people think they can keep secret. Take an extreme situation. Let's say that person A has what person B wants. If person B thinks that they can get away with killing person B and no one will ever find out, with no moral compass, person B will likely behave just like any other species on this planet and kill person A. If you have on omnipotent being always watching who controls your fate, you are far less inclined to murder indiscriminately. This is the extreme of the spectrum and there is a lot of room for far less heinous acts that would still make this world a sadder place to live in. I don't disagree that religion likely causes as many problems as it prevents. I just don't think that the solution of eliminating religion would realistically paint such a pretty picture as many anti-religious people seem to think.

    January 21, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Or if you have an ALLEGED omnipotent being MADE UP by power-hungry politicians or tribe leaders (whatever you call them), then this too would instill more fear into the masses and achieve the result you are defending. How do you KNOW the alleged "god" is real? Just because your leaders tell you so? What if it was just a ruse? They could have just skipped the "fear of hell" crap and said "We have armed police who will punish you for your crimes (if you're caught)"? But then you get into the topic of how capital punishment is not an effective deterrent (but then neither is some alleged hell fire).

      January 21, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Shelle

      Actually, I don't make any of those claims. I really don't know what the truth is, so I wouldn't argue that I do. My argument is simply that eliminating religion would not necessarily result in a net positive effect for mankind. Religious types ignore all the harm that religion does. Anti-religious types ignore the good that it does. I don't think either position is very effective. A strict law enforcement may prevent a lot of people from murdering. However, I don't think law enforcement is quite so influential on matters of love, loyalty and fairness.

      January 21, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Teeby

      Religion. Once again you are caught up in a "which came first" game. People use religion and concept of god to control.. They didnt create them. Mankind has been worshipping and believing in a higher power since recorded time. Before governments or even verbal communication. Its not a new "technique" created by modern day governments to control people.

      January 21, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  2. Earl

    A new flavor of Kool-Aid, drink the Kool-Aid!

    January 21, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  3. ReligionIs4Dolts

    If "God Almighty" is really so petty as to require people to incant the correct name (whether it's Jesus, Mohammed, Bodhisattva, etc.), eat the "right foods", dress the "right way", treat women like dirt, etc., then God has a lot of growing up to do. Anyone that believes in an organized religion has really missed the point. Look around and notice all the religions (or spirituality or beliefs, etc) that have been formed by virtually every tribe on the planet (some completely independently, others having been influenced by their neighbors). Either every single one of them holds a key to the real deal, or every single one of them is absolutely incorrect. There is NO WAY that a single belief system is correct, particularly if said religion was made up tens of thousands of years after modern man arrived on the earth, and the assumption is that this religion is the only way man can be "saved". How irresponsible is that for an all-knowing, all-powerful "god" to give everyone the "only correct answer" after countless generations have already perished without a chance. Let alone the fact that said religion was revealed at a time when there was no mass communication (and therefore further countless generations must also perish without a chance). What? Did "god" still think the earth was flat until man figured out that it wasn't?

    January 21, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • One one

      I shall now pray. Dear heavenly father, I give thanks for killing your son to end the eternal curse of your wrath & vengeance you put upon me because, in the beginning, two people wanted knowledge. Unlike the unsaved godless trash who deserve to burn, I do not seek knowledge. I seek only your approval by submitting to your absurd, conflicting, and egotistical demands. And though you never show yourself, I believe in you, for if I have doubts, you will send me to hell to burn forever… because you love me. Amen.

      January 21, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • fred bazzeeda

      Well put and well said!

      January 21, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Teeby

      Havent you ever stopped to think that the basics of all religions are pretty much the same? Showing that there is no one single, yet they are all the same? You have a very narrow minded, earth based logic on what you think God is. There are many many places in the universe where linear logic and "proof" doesnt apply. You seem hopelessly trapped and naive. You have polarized the concept of what god is and let "religion" persuade you to drink the koolaid of denial of ANY possibilites outside your own narrow range beliefs.

      January 21, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  4. rick

    End all religion now.

    January 21, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Teeby

      How.. By killing every living person on the earth?

      January 21, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  5. RoadRunner, Albuquerque, NM

    Awesome! The Apostle's Creed in rap, and the gospel here is clear and undistorted by the stain of man's ego, and the blotches of bigotry that has spoiled religion for all–yes, even for Christians. This IS GOOD NEWS!

    January 21, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  6. ALBERT

    Albert Einstein: God is a Product of Human Weakness

    The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.

    if this being is omnipotent, then every occurrence, including every human action, every human thought, and every human feeling and aspiration is also His work; how is it possible to think of holding men responsible for their deeds and thoughts before such an almighty Being? In giving out punishment and rewards He would to a certain extent be passing judgment on Himself. How can this be combined with the goodness and righteousness ascribed to Him?

    January 21, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Teeby

      You sound like a person completely bogged down in semantics.. So much so that it has become your religion. You have completely let your ideas become twisted based off of what another person has told you.. Which is pretty religious. Using albert einsteing to dictate a belief in god is a good example.. Isnt that the same as quoting some preacher? Einstein is just a person.. Whats he got to do with god? So weird

      January 21, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  7. Religion does not = God

    I am so glad he put it so well in his poetic words. I have come to realize this over the last several years through my own life experiences and reading but could not have put it out so well as he does.
    He is 100% right on when it comes to Christianity in USA and Republicans. I lived down south (NC) for many and its nuts. People are so ignorant there that many have bought into this concept that being religious means we will only vote Republican!
    I go a step further and say “most” religions today have become heavily involved in politics and thus are no longer helping humanity. In fact they are intuitions for division and war against fellow human beings. This is why I too believe in God but stay away from Religion. God wants us to live in peace and harmony with everything on this planet/universe regardless of differences. Differences make it unique and interesting. Same goes for everything non humans on this planet.
    Religion=Divisions/wars

    January 21, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  8. YouTube's Actual Inventor

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8P1Y1a7-L4&w=560&h=315%5D

    January 21, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  9. Schizoid

    "I mean, if government is so great, why has it started so many wars?” “Why does it build huge capitols but fails to feed the poor?"

    see, works with almost any human enterprise

    January 21, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  10. Jesus loves me more because my I.Q.'s Higher

    to all the religious nuts that no nothing about your own history or how your cult was started. Did any of you take European history or ever hear about the crusades. what that was for you christians and your low i.q.'s it was a long period in your history were you killed everyone who just simply didn't agree with you on the subject of god. not to mention the all the times you purged the jews and muslims and not to forget the pagans from whom you derive your own religion.
    jesus wouldn't even recognize you as a friend but as an sinner and a charlatan.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 21, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Average IQ but I can spell

      "to all the religious nuts that no nothing about your own history " excuse me mister high IQ did you mean "know" nothing lol

      January 21, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  11. Jesus loves me more because my I.Q.'s Higher

    to all the religious nuts that no nothing about your own history or how your cult was started. Did any of you take European history or ever hear about the crusades. what that was for you christians and your low i.q.'s it was a long period in your history were you killed everyone who just simply didn't agree with you on the subject of god. not to mention the all the times you purged the jews and muslims and not to forget the pagans from whom you derive your own religion.
    jesus wouldn't even recognize you as a friend but as an sinner and a charlatan.!

    January 21, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Bill Nye, The Science Guy

      If your I.Q. is so high, why can't you spell the word, "KNOW", correctly?

      January 21, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  12. Mr.Surakij Vuthikornpant.

    Hello,sir.
    Please allow me to introduce myself again,this time properly,sir.

    "My God name's "God",sir."
    "My name's Mr. "Surakij" Vuthikornpant,sir."
    "I can be all I can be,uncertainty is very very certain,with my modesty,humility,good manners & courtesy,with highly respect to my "God",my father,my God name's "God",if "God" said so,so be it,if "God" 's will,so be it,zero to infinite,be myself....my nature."
    "I can be all I can be,uncertainty is very very certain,zero to infinite,be myself....my nature."

    To be honest,today I'm just a normal civilian in Bangkok,Thailand,sir.
    And with humility,and respect to another people's opinions,sir.
    Please allow me to show my opinions,sir.
    That's quite interesting about religion is man-centered & Jesus is God-centered...
    But last time,I check,sir.

    Actually,"Peace" is my "God"-centered,sir.

    And actually,I have a poem too.
    It inspired from modern Jepanese literature "Haiku" original in Hiragana & Kanji but thiss version modified in English.

    "Pursuit of Peace,Pursuit of Spirit of Humanity morality perfection,Pursuit of 7 HeavenlyVirtues."
    Please allow me....^^ .

    Merited grace.
    Selflessness pursuit.
    Forbearance waited.
    Silencely refrained.
    Willingly aspiranted hope.
    Modesty prudence faithfully.
    Fondlely sophrosyne endlessly.

    Please allow me to translate,sir.

    Merited grace
    Supreme high worth Supreme high worth honoured being.
    Merited = Supreme high worth being,.Reflection of “God” , Deity,Omnibenevolence.
    Grace = Grace of forgiveness,grace of graciousness,grace of merci,kindness,sympathy & compassion,including to know standards of right & wrong with feeling of responsibility for wrongdoing, Reflection of divine grace,Grace of my "God", “God”.

    Selflessness pursuit
    To ran into ,to threw themself into it for another people good sakes,without thinking of self-interest, Reflection of Compassion,sympathy , "Kindness".
    Selflessness = Generousity,benevolent giving , the term should not be confused with the "more restricted modern use of the word "Charity".
    Pursuit = To run into it,throw yourself into it for another people good sakes,highly supreme benevolent giving,"self-sacrifice".

    Forbearance waited.
    Waited for long long time for peace , waited for conflicts & injustice to resolved peacefully. Reflection of people in the ways of peace,"Judism & Christianity and people "subula I-salami" (ways of peace) conflict's resolved" ,reflection of "Mermaid Dawn" “Israeli-Palestinian prisoners exchanged with Peace Celebration”.

    Forbearance = To keep doing goodness & never give up doing goodness . To help another unconditionally,the benevolent giving,with compassion & sympathy,for accept grace of forgiveness,mercy , graciousness .the true repentance,the redemption Reflection of "Patience" , "Faith" .

    Silencely refrain.
    Poem,songs that told story quitely.

    Refrain= Refered to refraining from despair and not giving up , To be honest ,Embracing of moral excellence & purity of thought,To be honest with oneself, one's family, one's friends, and to all of humanity. Embracing of moral wholesomeness and achieving "the purity of thought","the enlightenment", through the education,Reflection of "Chasity".

    Willingly aspirant hope
    "Courage that people honored",who helped another unconditionally and still helping another with their own freewill and never give up to believing in peace. Reflection of to the excellencies , ladies and gentlemen , the moral excellence , my friends , "my helping hands".

    Modesty prudence faithfully
    Believe in peace & never give up ,while pursuiting of peace ,with courage ,decision only for goodness,to help another for another people sakes selflessly with self-controlled,to not make decision to do something bad,with modesty. Reflection of us ,we, everybody “the Spirit of Humanity” "good side of humanbeings" who I ultimately ultimately believe faithfully always. "the Spirit of Humanity" who made us came this far together today.

    Fondlely sophrosyne endlessly.
    healthy-mindedness self-control to love infinitely. Reflection of omniamorous infinite love of my "God" unconditionally infinitely,for all humanity of all nations unconditionally infinitely,for all living unconditionally infinitely, to love all humanity of all nations unconditionally infinitely,to love all living unconditionally infinitely. Reflection of "Love of God & Grace of graciousness".
    Fondlely = lovely,to love.
    sophrosyne = mindedness self-control with temperance ,purity,integrity,”Nothing excess”,”to know thyself”.
    Endlessly = infinitely.

    "Loving-kindness toward eachother unconditionally infinitely is most desirable & worthy salutation". ^^

    January 21, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  13. Tim

    A young man, on his way to being an atheist... I hope he arrives there soon.

    January 21, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • One one

      I dont think so. He's still drinking the same wine, but from a different bottle.

      January 21, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  14. Erimes Jack

    This is the perfect response to all of the backlash this video is getting.

    http://newagora.me/2012/01/21/the-response-to-the-response/

    January 21, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  15. Jonathan

    "Not based on my merits but based on Jesus's obedience alone" this is one of most contradictory statements out of the whole lashing out against religion!!! For one, get your facts straight before you go on ranting again and read the bible with a open heart and pray about it. Another thing Salvation is not freely yours... yes it is a free gift to all mankind but yet not free. Because it took the suffering, death and resurrection of one so pure and true even Jesus The Christ for you to have this gift... so be appreciative! Oh and just so you do know there is a big difference between Salvation and Exaltation! think about that for a bit and then come out with a video and realize there is more to life then just ranting and raving about what is wrong. Some of the things he said are rect and true but some of the things I am going to have to disagree with... and there is a Church... Religion.. that takes care of the poor and needy... The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints! I Love Jesus and I Love my Religion and am proud to be a Mormon!!!!!! Jesus is the Christ and God is our Heavenly father and the Holy Ghost is our conforter and he will guide us to live with Jesus and God again 🙂
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtcEN843cQE

    January 21, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Kay

      Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah...snore.

      January 21, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • tallulah13

      It's really, really sick that you are so happy that a man was tortured to death so you don't have to be responsible for your own actions.

      January 21, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • One one

      God is perfect, never makes a mistake.
      He tested mankind with a talking snake.
      Things didn’t work out like he originally planned.
      He decided to change his religious brand.
      He killed his son to “save” mankind.
      From the curse and wrath of his self centered mind.
      Now we have hell for those who doubt.
      To give fairy tale salesmen a lot more clout.

      January 21, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Morons are so ridiculous. You believe that "god" is so irresponsible that he not only killed his son in the Middle East when there was no technology to prove anything (like video cameras and Internet), but that this "god" would also make everyone WAIT 19 centuries to actually get the story clarified by "prophet" Joe Smith, who allegedly found golden tablets with the alleged "real version of the story," though no one can find these golden tablets to corroborate the story? HA HA! Not that that even matters since the foundation of the religion that Moronism was ripped off from was already bunk 2000 years ago....oh I mean it was total bunk in 10-5 BC when the Jews were just getting around to writing down all the oral tradition that had been passed down for many many generations and which itself borrowed many elements from the religions and folklore of their neighbors, some of which were actually written down by these Jewish Neighbors thousands of years before the Jews even wrote down their story. Ever play that game in kindergarten where you pass a message around a circle by whispering it in the next kid's ear, and when it comes back around to you it's nothing like the original?

      January 21, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Bizarre

      R4D,

      Yes. It is simply outrageous, ludicrous, inane and nonsensical to claim that "God" "spoke" to Abraham, Moses, Paul of Tarsus, Mohammad, Joseph Smith, just because those guys "said so"; but when David Berkowitz (Son of Sam), or Andrea Yates (TX killer mother), or various prosti-tute murderers, or (the opinion of most folks) Warren Jeffs, Jim Jones, David Koresh claim that "God" spoke to them, it is considered insanity.

      January 21, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  16. PureFury

    You're complaining about people sharing their faith with others, being "pushy," and in the same post putting in your little plug for whatever system you follow.

    Define hypocrisy.

    January 21, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • One one

      If "sharing your faith" with others means preaching that your invisible all powerful god will send them to hell to be tortured forever for not believing your faith, then no thanks for sharing.

      January 21, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  17. ShogunRua

    Jesus was a buddhist. Case close. Now, lets watch football and do a little Tebow.

    January 21, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • DasDood

      I like that.

      January 21, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  18. thes33k3r

    Jesus=Religion=Lies

    January 21, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Teeby

      Jesus = a person that lived on the earth like you.. You blindly assigning things based on what everyone around you says=you being gullible.. Stop it and learn

      January 21, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      Teeby
      And, maybe, King Arthur was a real person who existed on Earth too, but does that mean that all the stories about him are true?

      January 21, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Teeby

      I posted that because a lot of people refuse to exist jesus existed because hes tied to religion.. Which i find amusing.. Seriously..

      January 21, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  19. John

    He's an idiot.

    January 21, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  20. Shelle

    Eh, it was all going pretty well until he was all, "Christianity is different, blah blah blah." He's talking about hating religion but he subscribes to one of the most widespread religion, talking about how it's the best. People thinking their religion is superior to that of others is the very reason religions have started so many wars in the first place. He seems like a sincere guy, heart probably in the right place, inspired lots of my friends to repost on Facebook, but I kind of roll my eyes to it. Just another attempt to disguise religion as something more innocuous.

    January 21, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Teeby

      Religion stems from mans heart, not god. As long as men exist, religion will exist, and those men will always think their religion is the truth. Look at athiests. They are agressive in their zealotry and act in identical resolution as the staunchest christian. Side by side they are the same beast. Even in the absence of a deity men will resort to praying to other men. Dont be naive.

      January 21, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      So true. The only way this could have been effective is if he had left out "Jeezus." Sure, OK, be spiritual if you want to, but don't let anyone tell you what to think. There is no one on the planet who knows for sure and there has never been anyone on the planet who knew more than anyone else regarding matters of spirituality.

      Think for yourself. That is the best policy.

      January 21, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Teeby: "Atheists," as you call them (though I assume you collectively mean agnostics, pagans, spiritual-but-not-religious, and any other brand of "non-believer"), are ONLY so adamant about voicing their opinions because there have been religious zealots shoving their crap down everyone's throats for thousands and thousands of years. The non-belief movement is a direct reaction to (and ONLY EXISTS BECAUSE OF) the actions of (what I assume are) people like you who defend religion and tell people to believe in their version or BURN IN HELL!

      January 21, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      Teeby
      If someone was superst.itious enough to kill black cats on sight, would that make anyone who tried to stop him equally superst.itious? You don't have to be religious to see religion as being harmful.

      January 21, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Tim

      Hi Shelle. Christianity is not a religion. It is the belief in Jesus Christ. Many 'Religions' believe in Jesus. Just wanted to explain the difference. God Bless.

      January 21, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • StheT

      Teeby, not all atheists are aggressive in their non-belief in a "God". However, most are astonished that religious people can believe in such myths. What happened to all the "Gods" in history that are now "dead"?

      January 21, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Amazing

      Tim - "Just wanted to explain the difference."

      Well, you didn't. Christianity is a religion. [Period/Full Stop]

      If you want to say that you just follow the alleged philosophy of the alleged Jesus Christ, you might call yourself a "Christophist" or something.

      January 21, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Amazing

      p.s. But once a "Christophism" adopts rituals and doctrines and dogma, it also becomes a religion.

      January 21, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Shelle

      Tim:
      e·li·gion   [ri-lij-uhn] Show IPA
      noun
      1.
      a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
      2.
      a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
      3.
      the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.
      4.
      the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
      5.
      the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.

      "A rose by any other name," etc. Trying to call Christianity a "belief" instead of a "religion" is mere semantics. Your post is non-aggressive and you seem like a nice person, but I have to completely disagree. I was raised Christian and am vary familiar with what it is all supposed to mean. But the word "religion" didn't become a bad word until religious people gave reason for it to be a bad word. There is nothing inherently wrong with the collective belief in a deity or a shared faith with others. It is the acts that people are willing to commit in the names of these deities where the problem lies.

      To several other people on the post, I find atheists can be just as aggressive or non-aggressive as the "religious." I put religious in quotes because I find atheism to be a form a religion itself. Atheists have their own set of beliefs and frequently try to "convert" the religious.

      January 21, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Shelle

      *very

      January 21, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Teeby

      Trust me. If athiests had no christians or religions, they would still find one. Athiests fight against other athiests who dont believe in god, but have "faith" in mankind. There is always someone else who is more "wrong" than you, regardless of what "branch". Even the scientific community regularly fights and mocks each other (string theorists and staunch reductionists). You guys are looking at the religion and not the behavior.. Trust me, you are all just as religious and always will be, with or without christians..

      January 21, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Teeby: Of course man will always be focusing on differences, whether they be skin color, gender, se-xual orientation, political views, scientific views, etc. But if we could just get rid of religion, we'd be rid of the MOST RETARDED wedge issue that has ever entered into the human equation to screw things up.

      January 21, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Shelle

      Religionis4Dolts: I think that is an overly simplistic view of things. Stepping on others to bring oneself up is innate in the animal kingdom. You say yourself that "man will always be focusing on differences." To think that getting rid of religion would eliminate the so-called "wedge issue" is a little bit naive. Additionally, you ignore all of the potential benefits that religion brings with it. There is a certain amount of undeniable "controlling of the masses" that comes along with instilling a consequences-for-actions model, and preaching love and kindness is not completely useless either. I don't disagree that religion is a major source of destruction in our world, but I think you'd need to start with changing human instinct. Otherwise, you're really just trying to put a band-aid on a severed aorta.

      January 21, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Shelle;: but religious fairy tales are not required to teach morals. Sure they help kids understand, but are no longer needed with adults. Furthermore, I would a-ssert that the notion of "doing unto others..." is self-evident, and needed not be attributed to some alleged "son of god" to sp-ice up the story with useless metaphysical tripe. I think it's obvious to every human adult (except those that are mentally ill) that if you want to be treated nicely by others, then the best practice is to treat them nicely in the first place. This also ties in well to the axiom of "every action has an opposite and equal reaction." It's really a no-brainer.

      January 21, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Teeby

      Dolts. Yu are strangely doing what the guys in the video did. You are seperating yourself from religion with your posts, but are coming full circle with what you say. And to be frank, you sound very aggressive in your fight, which makes me think you have an agenda, or have been hurt. Most agnostics could care less about these things, but you seem radically convinced that religion can be "cured" when im telling you it is a part of every human being. It will never "go away". You are getting tied up in semantics and not seeing the big picture. Good luck and stay strong.. But open your mind to truths.. Dont be angry

      January 21, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Shelle

      Religionis4Dolts: Maybe it's a little bit cynical but I think all species will get away with what they can. Our instincts only compel us to protect ourselves and our offspring. Sure, we can imagine that if we are mean to someone, they may be quite unpleasant in return. But this says nothing about doing what is right, simply because it is the right thing to do. And it also doesn't address the actions that people think they can keep secret. Take an extreme situation. Let's say that person A has what person B wants. If person B thinks that they can get away with killing person B and no one will ever find out, with no moral compass, person B will likely behave just like any other species on this planet and kill person A. If you have on omnipotent being always watching who controls your fate, you are far less inclined to murder indiscriminately. This is the extreme of the spectrum and there is a lot of room for far less heinous acts that would still make this world a sadder place to live in. I don't disagree that religion likely causes as many problems as it prevents. I just don't think that the solution of eliminating religion would realistically paint such a pretty picture as many anti-religious people seem to think.

      January 21, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
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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.