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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. Ted Ward

    Ya know...faith is just faith. It's a very careful, humble choice. It's not knowledge. It's not a sure thing. It's just one's own choice to believe because one hopes, feels, guesses that maybe it's the right thing to do. It's a choice made every day. No one knows for sure. It's just a choice, but an important one. If the scriptures that one reads speak to one and one feels moved to faith then that's what one does. But one never knows for absolute sure, one just believes...Maybe it's Pascal's wager maybe it's something more. Only the heart knows what one feels and is moved to believe. Some public, communal ,agreed upon expression of faith is part and parcel of any faith, it's a carful balance. All things in moderation, even faith and religion.

    January 22, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      But this seemingly innocuous faith you speak of has led to such events as the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the Salem Witch Trials, the KKK, etc. It has also led many US-American Christians (up until the early 20th century) to view Native American spiritual practices as "witchcraft" and "satanic" and "devil worship" as if there were such things as "satan," "witches," "devils," any more than there is a "god." it gets really sick, really fast because it so easily leads to such mass psychoses!

      January 22, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • Nick

      Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

      Faith is not a guessing game. It's assurance and conviction. I can tell you that I believe in Christ and why, but I can't force you into anything. You can ridicule me, but never change my mind because I'm sure he is the embodiment of God and he is present.

      January 22, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • notconfused

      People persecuting religion will find out what happens to them when they die and double back and say that life was a dirty trick. 🙂

      January 22, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • One one

      Religious tolerance is OK (even though Jesus didn't believe in it). If someone wants to worship a telephone pole, that is OK. But when believers push their fantasies into the public space and preach that if the rest of us don't buy into their beliefs, their invisible, all powerful god will send us to hell to be tortured forever, that's not OK. Even more offensive is that they believe eternal damnation for non-believers is perfectly justifiable.

      January 22, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • just sayin

      oneone
      why not, you bring the judgement on yourself. God created this world, God is enti tled to His place in it which includes government, schools and every square inch of territory.

      January 22, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      (not)confused: I take it you mean to say that you HAVE DIED before and therefore know from experience what you are talking about? You have no argument if you have no evidence.

      January 22, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • One one

      @just sayin: would you want me to tell your kids that if they don't believe what I believe my all powerful god will send them to hell to be tortured forever, if you personally did not accept my beliefs?

      January 22, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • just sayin

      God has made provision so that no one has to go to hell. The choice to go to hell is in the individuals own choice and personal responsibility.

      January 22, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • One one

      @ just sayin: Right. Believe or burn. What kind of free choice is that? How would you like it if atheists insisted on teaching your kids that?

      January 22, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      "god" was so responsible in making that "provision" for being "saved" that "he" waited tens of thousands of years after modern man arrived on this planet (dooming countless generations to "hell" because they didn't have a chance), and then on top of that "he" implemented "his" "provision" in the middle of a freakin' desert in a time when there was no Internet and at a time when those ignorant goatherding people thought the world was flat (thereby dooming countless more generations of people to "hell" because there was no way, for example, to even get the message to what would become the Americas 15 centuries later). What a nice track record for an all-knowing, all-powerful "god". You must be proud to server, sycophant!

      January 22, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      to SERVE....not server

      January 22, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • just sayin

      Salvation has always been available by faith through grace and will be from Adam to the last person at the end of this age.
      Abraham knew salvation it is written Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. David expected and looked forward to seeing God in person. Your opinions are at odds with Truth. When those who do not have the actual knowledge of God do what is required of them for salvation,that is accept by faith they too have been saved.

      January 22, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • md2205

      Everyone in the world knew that G-d gave the Torah to the Jews way back when. He made sure everyone knew about it – He has His ways. Even before that, Abraham lived and travelled all over the place, telling the people what G-d wants from them. They all knew and were inspired by him. He had children who spread (or tried to spread) his message to the world as well – Ishmael, and other brothers who he sent to live in the Orient.

      January 22, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Sorry, but I thought this alleged "Adam" was the one who first p|ssed off this alleged "god" of yours. Now if you're saying that everyone since "Adam" could have been saved, then doesn't that mean that Jesus (or even Mohammed, Joseph Smith, L. Ron Hubbard, etc.) were completely unnecessary?

      January 22, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      md2205: Uh, no. No one in the Middle East at that time even knew about the "New World" which is now the Americas. Try again.

      January 22, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • One one

      Well, apparently 1.5 billion Muslims and millions of others did not buy the message. Are you saying god will torture all of them in hell for all eternity? Are you OK with that? Do you worship this god?

      January 22, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • md2205

      Let's put it like this: If there is a people who never heard of G-d and what He wants from us, then He is not going to be upset if they don't do what He wants. He and His attributes are infinite, which means that He is infinitely reasonable. However, when we do hear about what He wants from us, we have to start doing it, little by little, so that we do start incorporating into our lives what He wants. He wants everyone to observe Seven Basic Laws: To believe in One G-d, not to blaspheme Him, not to steal (or kidnap), not to murder, not to do adultery, etc., not to eat the limb of a living animal (animal cruelty) and to set up effective courts of justice. Everyone who incorporates these laws into their lives He considers righteous and will not end up where he doesn't want to end up.

      January 22, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      md2205: But my point is that, for example, the Native Americans didn't even have a chance to hear about this alleged Jewish "god" until only 500 years ago. What about all the people that lived on the "American" continents for the unknown thousands of years before 1492? Not that that really matters, because Native Americans already had their Great Spirit and their Happy Hunting Ground.....though surprisingly they didn't have any "hell"....hmmmmm....go figure.

      January 22, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • md2205

      The world was created so that even in the most physical of places, which is a place that hides the presence of G-d so that it cannot be seen or felt, G-d's presence will be there. How can that happen? It can happen when people do what G-d wanted, what He created the world for. He wants people to live according to Seven Basic Human Laws: To believe in One G-d, not to blaspheme Him, not to steal and kidnap, not to murder, not to do adultery, etc., not to eat the limb of a living animal (animal cruelty) and to set up effective courts of justice. When people will live like this, the world will be a wonderful place to live and G-d will "feel comfortable" here. He wants us to make this place into a place where the physical will "hold" the spiritual, and be elevated to feel His presence. When the first generations of people began living how they wanted, and not the way G-d wanted, He gave them a few generations to see if they would improve, and then when they did not, He chose the Jews to teach it to them, either by example or directly.

      January 22, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • md2205

      That is what I am saying: If there are peoples who did not hear about it, G-d does not hold them responsible. But once someone hears that G-d wants the seven laws to be observed, it then becomes his responsibility to do so to the best of his ability.

      January 22, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Just curious md2205, are you Jewish? I don't buy the whole "Jews were chosen when the Jews thought the world was flat" bit. That is just a bit conceited for the Jews to nominate themselves as the ones "chosen" by the version of "god" that they fabricated (and for the fabrication of which they borrowed elements from neighboring religions and folklore, such as from Babylon, Persia, Greece and Egypt). It defies temporal logic to such an extreme degree that it is absurd, let alone many other logic flaws, contradictions, etc.

      January 22, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • md2205

      G-d chose the Jewish people to create a society that would focus on improving the world to the point where the Messiah would come. This would make the world return to the way G-d created it before Adam and Eve made their mistake. Their mistake was to think they knew better than G-d. G-d told them to stay away from the fruit of the tree that would make them internalize evil. If they had pushed away their desire to do what G-d didn't want, they would have merited to have the days of the Messiah come immediately, and this is what G-d wanted of them. Their rationale was that if they would eat from that fruit, it would make evil part of themselves, and every action they would do after that would be the same: pushing away the evil, time and time again, which would be a greater accomplishment than before because the evil they would be pushing away would be from inside themselves. The Jewish people were chosen to bring the world back to that original state. We are almost there, as it is hard to recall when the days were that people all over the world were cannibals, would murder each other, steal, etc. and do so without a government to stop them.

      January 22, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      I'll take that as a YES that you are Jewish.

      OK, so how do you reconcile the fact that your "god" created evil and then expected man to be able to shun it?
      (Isaiah 45:7) – "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, AND CREATE EVIL: I the LORD do all these things."
      (Amos 3:6) – "Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? Shall there be EVIL in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?"

      Furthermore, it seems a bit risky for this all-powerful, all-knowing "god" to entrust a vital message regarding "salvation" to mere humans who invariably screw things up. How could man be expected to carry this alleged message in its pure form such that it could not be misinterpreted (as it obviously has been misinterpreted for thousand of years, at times for the most desp-icable ends imaginable!)?

      If other men on the planet already knew "god" before being exposed to any version of Judaic religion (as if that were the one and only true religion), then why bother spreading the message? I would put it to you that the concept of "doing unto others as you would have them do unto you" is an innate notion that does not require a man-made religion to enforce. At least adults (except for mentally ill) can usually come to this conclusion: "Gee, if I want to be treated well by others, then I suppose I had better treat them nicely in the first place." This ties into axioms such as "What comes around goes around," "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction" Virtually everyone knows these things and they encompa-ss "do not murder," "do not steal," "do not p-ork your friend's wife," etc.

      January 22, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • I Don't Get It

      md,

      How do you say this word, "G_d", out loud - "Gunderscored"? If it is disrespectful to write it in full, why do you speak it?

      January 22, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      md2205: If an omniscient "god" commanded Abraham to lie with Hagar, wouldn't this "god" have known that Ishmael's offspring would lead to the formation of the rival Islam? If so, why then did he command this union to take place? Or are you alleging that Islam is (or is part of) "god's" plan?

      January 22, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • md2205

      I'm sure you understand that it would take more than just a blog to explain all these thoughtful and thought-provoking questions. Judaism requires that people ask questions as that is what we all were created to do: We must ask and find out what it is that G-d created us for, individually and within the group. Yes, it is true that G-d created people with the ability to choose good and stay away from evil. It is a lifetime's work made up of small daily choices. He told us which choices to make that would lead to the good, or to the evil, as I have pointed out already. He gave us a way to be able to study what He wants from us, which is the Torah that He gave. It has been passed down meticulously from generation to generation. It is better to study it in the original Hebrew as there are not just words, but markings that have meanings as well, and much of the translations are inaccurate, to the detriment of everyone who really wants to know what the Bible means. The English translation is so full of inaccuracies that it makes no sense at all and doesn't seem to be a book from which one can learn.

      The statement that you make re "do unto others...etc." is taken out of context, and that is why you think it is mundane. There was a non-Jewish man who came to a Jewish rabbi and asked him to teach him the entire Torah while standing on one foot. That is like saying "Teach me the entire calculus in one minute" and you don't know how to add 1 plus 1. Of course his request was foolish, but the rabbi said to him the basic essence that that person would be able to understand. He actually said, "Don't do unto others what you would not have them do to you. The rest is commentary; now go and learn it." Everyone, of course, forgets the second part of the statement. The man who came to him was not capable of hearing more at the time according to the rabbi's assessment of him. We have to remember, also, that the times this man lived in were not conducive to not doing unto others... etc. The Romans were not known for kindly treating their slaves, and they did do much in the way of oppressing many peoples, and the other ancient peoples were not known for their kindness to others as well. We are looking at this statement from a time and place so removed from those kinds of behaviors that we just think everyone always behaved like that. Unfortunately, that is not true, and unfortunately, in many parts of the world, children, women and the poor are cruelly and cynically taken advantage of at best.

      January 22, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • md2205

      Thank you for asking why I write the word G-d the way I do. I write it that way on paper because I wouldn't want it to be thrown in the garbage. So that is why I continue out of habit, or respect, to write it on the computer, even though I guess it wouldn't get thrown out.

      January 22, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • md2205

      Maimonides wrote that the world's great religions, Christianity and Islam, have made the idea of One G-d and the Messiah something that most peoples in the world are familiar with. That is so that when the Messiah does come, people will know about it and will understand what is happening.

      January 22, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • md2205

      G-d did not command Abraham to marry Hagar. It was his wife's Sarah's idea.

      January 22, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • I Don't Get It

      md,

      Thanks for your explanation of the "G_d" thing. I sort of understand, but I do think that it is a bit superst.itious... and odd to think that the trash fairies / demons wouldn't figure it out.

      January 22, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      My mistake. Though "god" appears to have been responsible for not letting Sarah bear children:
      Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; 2 so she said to Abram, “The LORD has kept me from having children..."

      And yet "god" then seems complicit in multiplying the offspring from the extramarital affair, which seems odd if this was such a bad thing for Abraham to have done:
      9 Then the angel of the LORD told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”

      Or perhaps the angel acted alone, without "god's" help or knowledge?

      Anyway, you've already addressed "irresolvable conflicts" in another post. Thanks for chatting.

      January 22, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • I Don't Get It

      p.s. And lest you think that I am being superficial, there is an oblique reference in my query regarding *all* things supernatural.

      January 22, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
  2. Gary

    @4Dolts- I couldn't have said it better... Those who post links to their own videos that has nothing to do with conversation piece are in a cult all their own.

    January 22, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • Israel

      and as you formulate your snrpoese (if you choose to do so). I have no reason to assume I know you or your intentions at all, but I can say how your post came across. In my opinion your post was arrogant, sadistic and extremely immoral. The assumption of original sin is beyond me. Allow me to break it down in non-biblical terms (it might sound different): The world was created by him . He gave one couple (the very first couple) the option to eat a certain kind of fruit that gave the mystical and yet unattained power of knowing the difference between good and bad. This knowledge would ruin everything for everyone, but this critical piece of information isn't exactly shared as part of the warning. A sneaky snake is able to entice this first family into breaking their agreement and eating this naughty fruit. Now we can welcome the biggest change in the history of the world. For this one action, this one bite of bad fruit changes everything that was created good into something bad. Now that everything is evil and sinful, we (the created beings) should be given some sort of upgrade to combat these inherently sinful desires that were installed at the very beginning, right? No. We are told that these desires that are part of our biological/psychological make-up are the very catalysts to eternal torture because the first family chose the wrong snack in the greatest garden of all time after the talking snake had convinced them to. Now we have this wonderful choice (or free will ): We can either believe that these desires we were created with had everything to do with a terribly gruesome human sacrifice a couple thousand years ago and plead for forgiveness through that murdered innocent individual in order that we might be chosen to be forgiven for being born this way; or we can be tortured for a ridiculously longer period of time than we were actually alive in this sinful state (that we were unwillingly, unknowingly, forcefully thrust into). If we are lucky enough to be chosen, then we have the good fortune of having the resurrected dead man as an advocate, a heavenly lawyer that continually pleads our case to the creator so that he doesn't act on his overwhelming urge to kill us on the spot for being exactly how he made us. Not only that, we also get this much needed upgrade (of course after we choose to accept that our initial created state was worthless and nothing good could have happened from this state). This upgrade consists of a spirit splashing all over our spirit like a creek or river would splash all over a kid. Then after this spirit has completely soaked our spirit we are able to share this mortal body with it. This spirit lives inside of us, and we are finally able to confront these wicked desires head on and we have the courage to tell others all about the good news. Forgive me for being so callous, but this is not good news . This message is so awful, and silly, on so many levels that it amazes me every time I find someone intelligently discussing it. This isn't love, this message of redemption . This is the worst kind of slavery, the kind you have to willingly walk into. This is the worst bondage that mankind has ever known, the kind that has captivated entire nations and some of the most brilliant minds with its message of guilt and forgiveness. If God is real, something none of us can ever hope to prove in this lifetime , is this really the best plan for redemption he could muster? Why does it appear to be so similar to the other religions that were popular during and before its inception? This story, the message of the cross, isn't just foolishness to those that are perishing ; it's morally offensive on every human level.[]

      March 3, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
  3. miller

    I always remember that great Nobel Prize winning ecconomist Milton Friedman and the story of the call he got from the Church. The phone rang in his office and the person on the other end of the line said: "Milton, it looks like there is tough ecconomic times ahead and the Church wants some advice from you on what to do with our money" Friedman responded: "have you considered giving it to the poor?" the person on the other end of the line said: "is this the real Milton Friedman?" to which Milton responded "is this the real Church?" ..The person then hung up. 😉

    January 22, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Funny

      January 22, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
  4. ReligionIs4Dolts

    Just to spite all these j&rk-offs who waste SO MUCH space posting their l@me You Tube videos!!!!
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    How do ya like that? Let's see how much height I can waste by just posting CRAP!

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    January 22, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Stop copy and pasting from the bible!

      January 22, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Bob

      You know, I have a script that could do that all day. Let's not use the nuclear option.

      January 22, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
  5. Dana

    It's amazing how this book of fiction still gets attention by weak-minded, brainwashed, people.

    January 22, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
  6. J

    http://www.youtube.com/embed/?v=3Ya12I036lg?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

    January 22, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Joseph Smith

      Try something like this with your own url and the associated width and height

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLxGOLaM5dQ&w=640&h=360]

      January 22, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • Joseph Smith

      Sorry, it strips out so it didn't show the code. Just look at the page source.

      January 22, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • J

      Thank you, Joseph Smith!

      January 22, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
  7. J

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Ya12I036lg?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent'
    <

    January 22, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  8. J

    http://www.youtube.com/embed?v=3Ya12I036lg?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent
    <

    January 22, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
  9. N

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqY&w=640&h=390]

    January 22, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Yeaaa! You know how to repost something that's already in the main article! Yippee!

      January 22, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • J

      haha, I know I can get the code to repost this, but can't cut and paste the url for the one I want to show! This was just a test. Any help on how to embed would be appreciated from my fellow 'Mericans.

      January 22, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Use the Force, ...or the page source instead.

      January 22, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
  10. HONESTLY

    not confused? Does it bother you that you are considered to be closer to witchery and cultism than the atheist are. take a minute to digest that and see what you come up with. What does that mean?

    January 22, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      WITCHERY? What is this, the 1690's? And do you live in Salem, MA? Witches are as "real" as leprechauns, goblins, orcs, fairies, etc. Grow up!

      January 22, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      I spy, ... miscomprehension.

      January 22, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • HONESTLY

      Isn't 1690 still alot closer to 2012 than say 1000. Which is when your bible was written? And there are actual witches you pretentious freak. You at a computer stupid! Look it up!

      January 22, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Harry Potter is not real.

      January 22, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • notconfused

      Honestly has silly opinions and likes to persecute religious freedom. Go join Stalin.

      January 22, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Moi? I persecute religious freedom? Nay and forsooth!

      What about how the staunchly religious, who for TWO THOUSAND YEARS (at least), have persecuted the irreligious freedoms (the freedom NOT to believe in any "god") and the religious/spiritual freedoms (to believe in their own versions of "gods," afterlife, and such) of virtually everyone they encountered who didn't buy the fairy tale tripe that they believed in? Namely Judeo-, Christo- and Islamo-Fascists (though there are others). You lose that argument.

      January 22, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
  11. Reality

    HEAR YE, HEAR YE all you "red-neck" Muslims, Christians and Jews:

    A PowerPoint Slide for your refrigerator doors-

    SAVING 1.5 BILLION LOST MUSLIMS:
    THERE NEVER WERE AND NEVER WILL BE ANY ANGELS I.E. NO GABRIEL, NO ISLAM AND THEREFORE NO MORE KORANIC-DRIVEN ACTS OF HORROR AND TERROR LIKE 9/11.

    SAVING 2 BILLION LOST CHRISTIANS:
    THERE WERE NEVER ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS AND THERE WILL NEVER BE ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS I.E. NO EASTER, NO CHRISTIANITY.

    SAVING 15.5 MILLION FOLLOWERS OF JUDAISM:
    ABRAHAM AND MOSES PROBABLY NEVER EXISTED.

    Added details upon request.

    January 22, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • China is hell

      No Easter huh? Then why did I take off on a holiday? Boom boom pshh!

      January 22, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • Steven L. Bullington

      The give-away. the word PROBABLY?
      All of us want to believe that there is more to life than what is in this world.
      A simple test.
      Put a small bible in your pillowcase while you sleep and see what a differance it makes in your dreams.
      God comes to men in their dreams and so does Satan.

      January 22, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • md2205

      Neither did Julius Caesar or Mark Anthony.

      January 22, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • Reality

      Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con/Disease:

      Only for the "newbies":

      From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

      Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

      To wit;

      From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

      "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
      Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

      Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

      Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

      The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

      Only Luke's Gospel records it. The Assumption ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

      "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
      http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

      The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

      Of course, we all know that angels are really mythical "pretty wingie talking thingies".

      With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

      An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

      p.4

      "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

      p.168. by Ted Peters:

      Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

      So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

      January 23, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • Reality

      -from the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi)

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:
      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      The First Five of the 77 Branches:

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)
      alone."
      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

      Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

      January 23, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • Reality

      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 23, 2012 at 12:12 am |
  12. One one

    Go Giants!

    January 22, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
  13. One one

    I find it amazing how many people claim to know what Jesus/God thinks and wants.

    January 22, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • CanOnTo

      Agreed. It's also amazing how someone can claim a "personal relationship" with Jusus or God. Personal? Really? You guys know each other?

      January 22, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
  14. notconfused

    I need evidence that the big bang wasn't created as opposed to being created. I wouldn't leave it to chance simpletons.

    January 22, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • ashrakay

      Then you're going to need to rely on science and be patient. Religion never offers verifiable evidence.

      January 22, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • HONESTLY

      Give us time ever so wise one. We're on top of that too. But im sure what ever we find, you'll be there ready to dispute and persecute, until so many believe the scientist that you'll have to accept it. At which time you will change your interpretation of the bible so that it'll all fit. Juts like the whole world is flat incident!

      January 22, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      No matter how much you DON'T believe in science, it doesn't change the fact that things based on science still work. On the other hand you're supposed to have to believe in your faith to make something work (but then I guess the problem with that is you'll convince yourself it worked without a shred of evidence merely to justify your assumption that you had enough faith in the first place and that your "god" exists and actually pays attention to your smarmy @$$). Nevertheless, doesn't that strike you as an important difference between the two?

      January 22, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • MrMufasa

      Huh? Your burden of proof is messed up. In the absense of a naturalistic explanation, your default belief is magical thinking? Wow. That was easy. Religions have been preying on that kind of intellectual laziness for centuries.

      January 22, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • notconfused

      Comical that the scientists actually think that they will ever explain creation. Good luck. You will find out where you came from when you die simpletons.

      January 22, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • ashrakay

      simpleton |ˈsimpəltən|
      noun
      a foolish or gullible person.

      That sounds a lot more like religious folk than the scientific community.

      January 22, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
  15. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    The Book of Origin is as real as any other book.

    January 22, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  16. cgimarelli

    I understand exactly where he is coming from. I include "Christianity" in the mixes of religions he talks about, because you don't need to follow a church to believe in Jesus. Jesus himself isn't a religion he's a person and he wants a relationship not a religion.

    January 22, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • CanOnTo

      If Jesus wants a relationship, he should join eHarmony. Or better yet, Christian Mingle 🙂

      January 22, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
  17. Itstruethough

    okay this is for the Athiests you say they your belief is in Reality do you truely know what is Reality anymore? "Here is my belief "Science was also created by man" what does man like to do more then anyone here on earth?" Lie, Gossip, Steal, Murder, Envy themselves by thinking they are better then anyone else, and dozens and dozens of things we are not supposed to do. And we dont likee to be told that we arent supossed to do it. so we do it anyway. that is called SIN Satan created sin so it would take our mind off of GOD, people need to wake up and stop letting greed blind them....

    January 22, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Itstruethough

      If Jesus wanted to wlak in to my house right now i would let him cause i'd want to know him

      January 22, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • ashrakay

      Man is also responsible for art, music, altruism and wonderful food options. They are innovative, determined, courageous and trusting. That you see the world in the scope that you do says more about you, than it does humanity at large. Of course, there is great destruction in the world and there is great creation. This is reality.

      January 22, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Chris in WI

      No. Science and religion are two separate things and shouldn't be mixed.

      Here is why, Religion is based on "belief". If facts counter this belief you will not change your mind.

      Science is based on "fact". If the "facts" you believed in turn out to be wrong, it doesn't destroy all of science. You simply discard the old wrong belief and incorporate this new information until it is either proven or disproven in the future.

      Science is evolving toward pure truth (even if we will never get there, that is it's direction of travel). Religion is based in delusion (dictionary: A delusion is a false belief held with absolute conviction despite superior evidence). No matter how I prove to you that there is no god you will NEVER believe me... THAT is delusion.

      If you can find a way to prove to me that fusion doesn't fuel the sun, I can change my scientific belief structure, that is what allows me to say I live in reality while you float in the clouds with your invisible friend.

      January 22, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Sum won kneads two reed moor sew thay no howe too spayell, uther y's ewe doant half a argyoomint werth reeding.

      January 22, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • MrMufasa

      Pah!!!!! Tell that to the Catholic Church! That giant juggernaut is a freakin' multinational business. Check out their annual revenues some time. Billions. Billions!! I always bust out laughing when religious people tell ME to "wake up." Oh the irony. I'm not among the billions who share a collective delusion from which it is at least POSSIBLE to wake up. What am I supposed to wake up from? Reality? No thanks. I prefer embracing the cosmosmas it is, not as one might wish it to be.

      January 22, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
  18. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    PATRIOTS BABY!!!!

    January 22, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Eric G

      God must hate the Ravens.

      January 22, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      HOOAH!

      January 22, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
  19. I don't agree but I understand

    If I had a dollar for every time someone told me they turned their back on organized religion or never bothered in the first place because of hypocrisy, I could write a check and eliminate the national debt. So, it is not a surprise to me that this opinion is so popular especially with the younger generation. It is still up to the individual to seek truth and make their own decision no matter what anyone else is doing, but there are many out there that will pay a terrible price for poor way they have represented their God.

    January 22, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • md2205

      Abandoning religion because of hypocrisy would be like saying I am not going to follow the traffic laws because someone ran a red light. It is everyone's responsibility not to look at what others do but to do what is right, regardless.

      January 22, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      I don't agree but I understand:
      If you were 80 years old already (a rough estimate for an average human life span), you would have to hear someone tell you that they had turned their back on organized religion about 6050 times per second for your entire life just to pay off the national debt. Might want to try another analogy. 😉

      January 22, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
  20. Prior

    "Pity not the blind man, for he is hindered not by the visions of this world, but rather pity yourselves, for he will see the light before you do."

    "Those who reach enlightenment shall rejoice with the Ori forever."

    "Hallowed are the children of the Ori."

    January 22, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Ironicus

      Stargate, huh? Tsk, tsk.

      January 22, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Prior

      "The power and the greatness of the Ori cannot be denied."

      "Hallowed are we; Hallowed the Ori."

      January 22, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Eric G

      @Prior: Let it go son, jokes over.

      Tell me, is it a bit chilly in Mom's basement?

      January 22, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      The Book of Origin is as real as the bible, because it says so in the book.

      January 22, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Prior

      "Fear not the Ori, fear the darkness that would conceal the knowledge of the universe. Believe in the truth of all things, and you too may find the path to enlightenment."

      "Hallowed are the Ori."

      January 22, 2012 at 6:34 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.