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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. Bob

    I think this kid has it right.

    January 21, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
  2. domolvr238

    finally someone who believes the same thing i do i love jesus do my best but church and religion i agree with him its about time and jesus and god are real they have helped me and proven to me they are there

    January 21, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Bob

      That makes at least three of us. LOL

      January 21, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
  3. LibsLieAlways

    CNN continues with their anti-religion athiest viewpoint, how wonderful. Liberals, cannot live with em, easily live without em.

    January 21, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Bob

      You've got some growing up to do.

      January 21, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
  4. frank

    Jesus NEVER existed.
    There is NO historical proof of this.

    ps. God left TBow "hanging" on the football field cross last week.
    Further proof that he doesn't exist or doesn't give a crap !

    January 21, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Reality

      Only for the "newbies":

      From Professors Crossan and Watts' book, Who is Jesus.

      "That Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, as the Creed states, is as certain as anything historical can ever be.

      “ The Jewish historian, Josephus and the pagan historian Tacitus both agree that Jesus was executed by order of the Roman governor of Judea. And is very hard to imagine that Jesus' followers would have invented such a story unless it indeed happened.

      “While the brute fact that of Jesus' death by crucifixion is historically certain, however, those detailed narratives in our present gospels are much more problematic. "

      “My best historical reconstruction would be something like this. Jesus was arrested during the Passover festival, most likely in response to his action in the Temple. Those who were closest to him ran away for their own safety.

      I do not presume that there were any high-level confrontations between Caiaphas and Pilate and Herod Antipas either about Jesus or with Jesus. No doubt they would have agreed before the festival that fast action was to be taken against any disturbance and that a few examples by crucifixion might be especially useful at the outset. And I doubt very much if Jewish police or Roman soldiers needed to go too far up the chain of command in handling a Galilean peasant like Jesus. It is hard for us to imagine the casual brutality with which Jesus was probably taken and executed. All those "last week" details in our gospels, as distinct from the brute facts just mentioned, are prophecy turned into history, rather than history remembered."

      See also Professor Crossan's reviews of the existence of Jesus in his other books especially, The Historical Jesus and also Excavating Jesus (with Professor Jonathan Reed doing the archeology discussion) .

      Other NT exegetes to include members of the Jesus Seminar have published similar books with appropriate supporting references.

      Part of Crossan's The Historical Jesus has been published online at books.google.com/books.

      There is also a search engine for this book on the left hand side of the opening page. e.g. Search Josephus

      See also Wikipedia's review on the historical Jesus to include the Tacitus' reference to the crucifixion of Jesus.

      From ask.com,

      "One of the greatest historians of ancient Rome, Cornelius Tacitus is a primary source for much of what is known about life the first and second centuries after the life of Jesus. His most famous works, Histories and Annals, exist in fragmentary form, though many of his earlier writings were lost to time. Tacitus is known for being generally reliable (if somewhat biased toward what he saw as Roman immorality) and for having a uniquely direct (if not blunt) writing style.

      Then there are these scriptural references:

      Crucifixion of Jesus:(1) 1 Cor 15:3b; (2a) Gos. Pet. 4:10-5:16,18-20; 6:22; (2b) Mark 15:22-38 = Matt 27:33-51a = Luke 23:32-46; (2c) John 19:17b-25a,28-36; (3) Barn. 7:3-5; (4a) 1 Clem. 16:3-4 (=Isaiah 53:1-12); (4b) 1 Clem. 16.15-16 (=Psalm 22:6-8); (5a) Ign. Mag. 11; (5b) Ign. Trall. 9:1b; (5c) Ign. Smyrn. 1.2.- (read them all at wiki.faithfutures. Crucifixion org/index.php/005_Crucifixion_Of_Jesus )

      Added suggested readings:

      o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.
      o
      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

      30-60 CE Passion Narrative
      40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
      50-60 1 Thessalonians
      50-60 Philippians
      50-60 Galatians
      50-60 1 Corinthians
      50-60 2 Corinthians
      50-60 Romans
      50-60 Philemon
      50-80 Colossians
      50-90 Signs Gospel
      50-95 Book of Hebrews
      50-120 Didache
      50-140 Gospel of Thomas
      50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
      50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
      65-80 Gospel of Mark
      70-100 Epistle of James
      70-120 Egerton Gospel
      70-160 Gospel of Peter
      70-160 Secret Mark
      70-200 Fayyum Fragment
      70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
      73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
      80-100 2 Thessalonians
      80-100 Ephesians
      80-100 Gospel of Matthew
      80-110 1 Peter
      80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
      80-130 Gospel of Luke
      80-130 Acts of the Apostles
      80-140 1 Clement
      80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
      80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
      80-250 Christian Sibyllines
      90-95 Apocalypse of John
      90-120 Gospel of John
      90-120 1 John
      90-120 2 John
      90-120 3 John
      90-120 Epistle of Jude
      93 Flavius Josephus
      100-150 1 Timothy
      100-150 2 Timothy
      100-150 T-itus
      100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
      100-150 Secret Book of James
      100-150 Preaching of Peter
      100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
      100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
      100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
      100-160 2 Peter

      3. Historical Jesus Studies, faithfutures.org/HJstudies.html,
      – "an extensive and constantly expanding literature on historical research into the person and cultural context of Jesus of Nazareth"
      4. Jesus Database, faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html–"The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
      5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      6. The Jesus Seminar, mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      7. Writing the New Testament- mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/testament.html
      8. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias
      joezias.com/HealthHealingLandIsrael.htm
      9. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.

      January 21, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • kr

      Aside from eyewitnesses of the resurrection which you have the option not to believe, the Christian movement itself which has contributed so much good for humanity around the globe is the greatest proof of Jesus Christ's existence. The contribution of Christianity for the advancement of civilization, education, medicine, law, and social work, among others, is phenomenal in the past 2000 years. If Jesus Christ is fiiction and not from God, what is the power behind the goodness of Christianity? And what could have happened to the world in the past 2000 if there is no Christiianity factor?

      January 21, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Libs

      I pretty much say the same about mitiant athiests, they don't exist they don't count, they are not human......do to them and their property as you please ! Democrats do it to others anyway so do to liberals as they do to you! Most of our prision population is athiest as are the greatest mass murderers in history Stalin, Mao, Lenin.........

      January 21, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • vertexpoint

      Even it were true that there is no historical proof Jesus existed that does not prove Jesus did not exist. So you'll have to retract your unsupported assertion.

      January 21, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • LibsLieAlways

      Frank just because no one gives a crap about you don't blame God.......it's all just you buddy!

      January 21, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Teeby

      Wow, your thoughts are dangerous. There is as much historical "proof" that jesus existed as anyone else from that time or earlier. Just because you hate the idea of god doesnt negate historical figures. You cant "erase" people or facts because your anger. Thats the stuff hitler was into.. Jeesh, where do you guys come from? Seriously

      January 21, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • Reality

      From Professors Crossan and Watts' book, Who is Jesus. (as noted above)

      "That Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, as the Creed states, is as certain as anything historical can ever be." i.e. if he was crucified, he existed !!!

      January 21, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • Jimmy

      kr
      Other religions report having eyewitnesses too. Does that prove that they are all right?

      January 22, 2012 at 12:18 am |
  5. kr

    He hates religion so he doesn't have to attend church on Sundays/or Saturdays and follow the rules and regulations of a church =).

    January 21, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Teeby

      Theres no rule that says you have to go to church.. If you like football and dont go to a game, are you still a fan? People are so weird, i swear

      January 21, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • kr

      Teeby: There has always been Christian communities or a communities of the followers of Jesus that gather together on the Lord's day based on the writings of St Paul. Christians not wanting to join a "communnity" is a recent phenomenon of self-centered, individualistic "Christians" who think simply "confessing the name of Jesus" is enough to be called "Christian."

      January 21, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • Teeby

      Kr. Christians gathering on sundays to worship the lord has never been a rule. Ever. Its simply a chosen day to do it. Im making a point to the original post because so many people ignorantly think these things ar rules, as use that as a weapon to attack..

      January 21, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • kr

      Teeby: One of the Ten Commandments is "Remember the Lord's day" and what better way to do it but in a community of fellow believers. The Jews gather together on Saturday and the early Christians, who were mostly Jews in beginning do it too on the day of the resurrection of Christ. One of the reasons why the need for community is support for one's faith. Just be honest why don't you like to attend Sunday community worship, service, liturgy, or mass (whatever you call it)? Is it individualistic reasons? Is it selfish reasons? Is it simple laziness? Is it preaching? Another reason for attending worship service is it is an expression of one's love for God with the community (which is the Body of Christ on earth accd to St Paul) even though sometimes it is boring and music is bad. We attend church service/liturgy/mass not based on feelings but on the knowledge that this is an expression of our love for God and his community.

      January 21, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
  6. One one

    This vid should be re-named to "I love religion but am pretending to hate it because it's the cool thing to do now"

    January 21, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
  7. Oh Yeah

    If it's a 'personal relationship' with Jesus, why doesn't he keep it to himself?

    January 21, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • ALBERT

      😀 Cause He is full of craps LMAO

      January 21, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • One one

      Because the enterprise is always looking for more customers.

      January 21, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Teeby

      So if you tell your friends you are in love with your partner its wrong, because it should be a personal relationship.. Bad logic.. But points for effort..

      January 21, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      Teeby
      If somebody constantly went on about how much they love their partners, as some Christians do about Jesus, you would be tempted to avoid them as well, I suspect.

      January 22, 2012 at 12:24 am |
  8. Brian

    Sounds like fairly conventional Protestantism to me.

    January 21, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
  9. chiliconkyle

    we are all in this together http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pdc2Om84gw

    January 21, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
  10. nepawoods

    This is one of the most hypocritical yet popular bit of religious preaching I've heard in a long while.

    January 21, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Brian

      What makes you think it's hypocritical? Is there any sign he doesn't believe what he says?

      January 21, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • nepawoods

      He's bashing religion and preaching his own at the same time. He criticizes self-righteousness in others, and is full of it himself.

      January 21, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • vertexpoint

      You have to understand the he is using a very specific and narrower definition of the word "religion" than most people usually use. By "religion" he means outwards systems of rules and rituals where humans try to earn their way to heaven. But in a broader definition of the word, yes he is following a religion too.

      January 21, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      vertexpoint
      But isn't his narrow definition of religion an invented one, made up specifically to exclude his own religious beliefs?

      January 22, 2012 at 12:27 am |
  11. Marlin

    Yeah he speaks the truth I like it and that is my old high school Tacoma Washington

    January 21, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • kr

      He comes from an old school that's why he has nothing new to say. I heard his preaching again and again from evangelicals who say there is no need for a church but their group is a church itself which is usually called non-denominational. And their pastors become wealthy =)...

      January 21, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  12. gager

    Believe in nonsense all you want, it's still nonsense.

    January 21, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • kr

      Do you have a reason to live and a reason to die for? What are your "whys" for living?

      January 21, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      kr
      If God is fictional then this would put your reasons on the same par as those of the teen girls who live and die for Twilight characters.

      January 21, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • kr

      Oh Yeah: I'm asking a question to make the person think. I am not saying my reason to live and die. And, by the way, God is not fiction. For you God is a fiction. Hope God will not consider you a fiction at the end of your life, even though He gave you life, reason, freedom, and choice.

      January 21, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • LibsLieAlways

      You mean like "hope and change?" Believing in Obama is where you got F-ed up, not believing in God. God exists and he even loves evil like you.

      January 21, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Teeby

      So you want people to believe you, just because you say so?

      January 21, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
  13. kr

    Although I agree with him the Christianity does not mean we vote Republican, I don't agree with him that we don't need organized religion. Without an organized Christian Church, this kid would not even be a Christian today. Organized Christian religion, especiially the ancient Churches, were the instruments that brought the Gospel, the teachings of Christ, to our present time. He is an arrogant, self-righteous kid and opinionate kid. He needs to study some more church history. "Little knowledge is dangerous."

    January 21, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Sleebiscuit

      "Church history" is the most tampered with and false sort of history. Google The Great Library, you will see how christians destroyed any fact or historical event that did not coincide with their beliefs. "Kill them all and let god sort them out" what a great christian moto. How can you honestly modify your values and logic based on a story written by several people, almost 2000 years ago. Thats like passing a note around in class, do you really think the note will make it to the person you intended? Or that it would still be the same note that you wrote? Please, get your head out of the sand and realize that we are just advanced life forms as the result of evolution. We are nothing in this vast ocean of stars and galaxies.

      January 21, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • kr

      Sleebiscuit: The fact is look around you and cross reference books and Christianity has done many good things in this world. Don't you wonder what is the power behind the Christian movement that after 2000 years it continuous to promote, among others, justice, peace, education, and social work around the globe. What is the power behind Christianity?

      January 21, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Chad

      A little organization is good, if that organization gets to the point where it's main purpose becomes advancing itself then that's a problem.

      Awesome video!

      January 21, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Sleebiscuit

      The reason for living is the same amongst all life forms, to multiply. It's just too bad we are too smart for our own good. Now we think that we are alive for something "more".

      January 21, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Teeby

      Slee, thats really the weirdest thing i ever heard. So theres no reason for anything to live, other than to multiply? Why would anything multiply if there was no reason to live other than to multiply.. Ha ha.. Your posts ramble more and more.. Youre gonna have one serious hangover..

      January 21, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
  14. Sleebiscuit

    If it wasn't for religion, this man would not know the character Jesus. I shake my head in disbelief when I hear people talk about Jesus, the bible, or any other "event" that supposedly happened over 2000 years ago. The bible is like a story that has been edited, cut, pasted, and modified throughout history to control emotions. Tell me, if you wrote a story 2000 years ago, then left it to the world to edit and vamp over time, do you really think what you wrote would still be there, or would it be something totally different. The bible is like a 2000 year old rumor...after a few people get a hold of it, there is no truth to it anymore.

    January 21, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Teeby

      Soooo.. According to your logic, every historic account written could be completely made up and no true at all since it could have been altered? Thats laughable at best.. So much for the ancient egyptians, it was all fake! Ha ha

      January 21, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • Chad

      The story would change for any other book/verbal account, but the OT has remained unchanged for ~3500 years, the NT for close to 2000 years now.

      January 21, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
  15. Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer causes small kids to get hit by buses when they aren't paying attention.
    Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Prayer fucks up your knees and your back.
    Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
    Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
    Prayer makes you hoard cats.
    Prayer makes you crave the smell of kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
    Prayer wastes time.

    January 21, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • Teeby

      Cut n paste from yesterday.. And its still as dumb now as it was yesterday

      January 21, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • LibsLieAlways

      Lets see greatest mass murderers in history ALL athiest, Stalin, Lenin, Mao..........hmmmmm commonality here.

      January 21, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
  16. kr

    This kind of talk is based on ignorance of history. The kid wouldn't even be a Christian now if there is no organized Christian religion, especially the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church, is the Christian Church that has preserved, guarded, preached and promoted the Gospel and values of Christ from one generation to another for more than 2000 years. The Church has contributed so much for the advancement of civilization, education, medicine, science, law, and social work around the world. It has promoted justice, peace, and brotherhood all over the globe and many Catholic Christians died as martyrs for these values. Now, I don't know the kid's experience with his evangelical church, which most likely has a brief history.

    January 21, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • catholic engineer

      You are exactly right, kr. However, I'm reminded of something Bishop Fulton Sheen said. " Millions of people hate what they think Catholicism is. Very few hate what it really is." Bethke is like so many others. Teaching people about Catholicism is like giving them a drink from a fire hose. There is simple too much.

      January 21, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Nigel Goddard

      To assume that the bible and the story of Jesus needed the Catholic church to survive is not true. There have always been men and women of wisdom and kindness from all man made organizations. As for the the church advancing civilization,education, medicine science, law and social work, those would have happened even without the catholic church. Man is very curious and eventually tires of killing and persues art. The catholic church has abandoned christ many times. It has at times been a hinderance to understanding of others and created conditions that perpetuate poverty. The European countries that left catholicism have done materialy and socially better that those nations that have been enslaved by vatican dogma. Scotland, England, Switzerland, Norway, Danemark, Holland, and Sweeden are largely non-Roman Catholic and have done quite well in many areas of mans developement because they were free of the vatican traditions, clerical heirachy, and ecclesiatical beurocracy. Now the modern world is witness to a church that has stood by while its own priests have made a mockery of the words of Jesus be harming young, children. Bishops have been biatified for trying to convert Serb Orthodox into Roman Catholics using tactics that made the Waffen SS blush. The church has often been opposed to science advancement. The church would excommunicate a catholic nurse for discussing family planning, but hide from the law, priests that commited very un-christ like deeds against their own flock. Please kr. The catholic church needs to clean itself up. Compare the life of the average pope to that of Jesus. The churches are grand stone buildings on prime real-estate, yet the poor the catholic church claims to help is still roaming the streets in -15 weather. Those churches should be filled with streed people. I've been to St Peters in Rome and I estimate that every Roman Catholic Roman sleeping rough could easily find accomodation in the inn that is the biggest church in the vatican. I know you love your church KR but I'm not sure you church is showing all the love it can.

      January 21, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • kr

      Nigel: Look at the Catholic Church as a whole. Do some more research and compare the positives and negatives about the Catholic Church. There is no way I can convince you if you don't like the Catholic Church. Do not judge the Church, policies, and its buildings based on your current lenses. For instance, research/study how and why the people of God constructed those beautiful churches as expressions of their faith. Behavior science studies show that on a white page with a blot of ink, people will focus on that one blot instead of focusing on the whole white page.

      January 21, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
  17. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Prayer brings change you can believe in

    January 21, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer causes small kids to get hit by buses when they aren't paying attention.
      Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
      Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
      Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
      Prayer fucks up your knees and your back.
      Prayer reveals how very stupid you are to the world.
      Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
      Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
      Prayer makes you hoard cats.
      Prayer makes you crave the smell of kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
      Prayer wastes time.

      January 21, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Sleebiscuit

      Prayer has never changed anything. If you pray and something good happens you say "it is a miracle". If you pray and something bad happens you say "god works in mysterious ways". Face it, events will happen the way they do, regardless of prayer. All prayer does is make someone feel better on the inside. If you knew anything about your christian religion you would know that God does not intervene in the world of man. That is why the "devil" was cast out of heaven. He was cast down along with other dark angels because they complained that god gave man free will, something they didnt have. So if god gave man free will, how exactly would he act upon them to change the events of their lives?

      Educated Atheist- "ask me about your god, and I'll tell you why he doesnt exist"

      January 21, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • bringoutyourdead

      two demons tormented by the concept of prayer

      January 21, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Teeby

      Slee. Scientists have data that PROVES prayer works. Now to what they actually think prayer is, is under scrutiny. Sme think its a transfer of electrical energy, etc. but they have proven prayer, whatever it is, has a DIRECT influence over biological functioning. Your belief is another indicator that you are religiously influenced and ignorant to the truth of bigger things.

      January 21, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • What IF

      Teeby, Prayer can provide some physical and emotional benefits to the one who is praying, benefits which can be achieved in other ways - biofeedback, relaxation, meditation, etc.

      There is no evidence that prayer has any positive effect upon other people or events, anymore than there is that placing a curse upon someone or something has any effect.

      "A 2006 "Study of the Thera-peutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer (STEP)" led by Harvard professor Herbert Benson was by far the most comprehensive and rigorous investigation of third-party prayer to date.[27] The STEP, commonly called the "Templeton Foundation prayer study or "Great Prayer Experiment", used 1,802 coronary artery bypass surgery patients at six hospitals. Using double-blind protocols, patients were randomized into three random groups, but without measuring individual prayer receptiveness. The experimental and control Groups 1 and 2 were informed they may or may not receive prayers, and only Group 1 received them. Group 3, which tested for possible psychosomatic effects, was informed they would receive prayers and subsequently did. Unlike some other studies, STEP attempted to standardize the prayer method. Only first names and last initial for patients were provided and no photographs were supplied. The congregations of three Christian churches who prayed for the patients "were allowed to pray in their own manner, but they were instructed to include the following phrase in their prayers: 'for a successful surgery with a quick, healthy recovery and no complications'. Major complications and thirty-day mortality occurred in 52 percent of those who received prayer (Group 1), 51 percent of those who did not receive it (Group 2), and 59 percent of patients who knew they would receive prayers (Group 3).

      -------------------

      Mayo clinic

      A 2001 double-blind study at the Mayo Clinic randomized 799 discharged coronary surgery patients into a control group and an intercessory prayer group, which received prayers at least once a week from 5 intercessors per patient. An-alyzing "primary end points" (death, cardiac arrest, rehos-pitalization, etc.) after 26 weeks, the researchers concluded "intercessory prayer had no significant effect on medical outcomes after hos-pitalization in a coronary care unit." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Studies_on_intercessory_prayer#The_STEP_project

      January 21, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Teeby

      Exactly. And there has been studies on "curses" as well, on both the religious and scientific. But your post is appreciated, as it shows thought toward the subject. People who blindly deny everything are as bas as those who blindly accept. Understanding prayer works is important. Because it transcends semantics and applies logic toward a very real functioning part of our fabric as humans. Or minds are very mysterious. People who laugh off "prayer" because they associate it with religion are really missing thhe bigger picture. Its as bad as some religious nut laughing off science entirely because it is not "of god".. When in reality, science is the framework of gods thoughts. He IS science.. Its his blueprint

      January 21, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
  18. kr

    This kind of talk is based on ignorance of history. The kid wouldn't even be a Christian now if there is no organized Christian religion, especially the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church, is the Christian Church that preserved, guarded, preached and promoted the Gospel and values of Christ from one generation to another for more than 2000 years. The Church has contributed so much for advancement of the civilization, education, medicine, science, law, and social work. It has promoted justice, peace, and brotherhood all over the globe and many Christians died as martyrs for these values. Now, I don't know the kid's experience with his evangelical church, which has probably a brief history.

    January 21, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  19. jtarver

    Jungian psychology at it's finest.

    January 21, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  20. Chris

    Hey, that's Stadium High School. I used to go there a long time ago. 🙂

    January 21, 2012 at 5:17 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.