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February 1st, 2012
04:39 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Wednesday, February 1

By Dan Merica, CNN

Here's the Belief Blog’s morning rundown of the top faith-angle stories from around the United States and around the world. Click the headlines for the full stories.

From the Blog:

Komen cut funding in light of increased scrutiny on Planned Parenthood by Congress.

CNN: Susan G. Komen drops funding for Planned Parenthood
The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation revealed Tuesday it was cutting funds to Planned Parenthood, sparking an outcry from abortion rights advocates blaming “political pressure” and praise from an anti-abortion group.

CNN: Egypt’s Coptic Pope in poor health, official says
Coptic Pope Shenouda III, the spiritual leader of Egypt's Coptic Christian community, is in deteriorating health, the head of the Egyptian General Coptic Association said Tuesday.

Belief on TV:

Tweet of the Day:

From @TribSeeker: As Occupy movement blasts Wall Street, Chicago's Cardinal Francis George looks there for inspiration: trib.in/AaQ29N

Enlightening Reads:

Catholic News Service: Pope to visit Mexico, Cuba March 23-28, meet leaders, Catholic faithful
Pope Benedict XVI will meet with Cuban President Raul Castro, Mexican President Felipe Calderon and bishops and Catholics from the region when he visits Mexico and Cuba in late March.

Jewish Journal: Jews in Super Bowl history
With much of America looking forward to Sunday’s big game, the Jewish Journal profiles a number of Jews who have played in the Super Bowl.

Quote of the Day:

I called my wife and told her to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and hot chocolate. I was bringing a gang home.

Rick Del Rio, a pastor from Brooklyn, New York, serves a community on the fringes. On Aveunue D and 3rd Street, Del Rio’s worshipers live in a world known for shootings, drugs and prostitution – but his church, says Del Rio, has helped many with one-on-one counseling. But due to a recent ban forbidding religious organization from using public schools, Del Rio’s ministry will have to move.

Today’s Opinion:

Callista and Newt Gingrich campaign this week at a retirement community in Sumter County, Florida.

My Take: Why evangelicals should dump Gingrich
At the moment, Newt Gingrich appears to be riding high with evangelical voters. After dismal performances in Iowa and New Hampshire, Gingrich dominated the evangelical vote in South Carolina and has made a strong pitch to evangelical voters in Florida. There’s no question that evangelicals are intrigued, and they are just now starting to take a close look. They won’t like what they see.

Join the conversation…

Sojourners: Tony Campolo: Newt’s Surprising Evangelical Fan Base
The need for Red Letter Christians to no longer be labeled "evangelicals" became abundantly clear this past Saturday following the South Carolina Republican Primary. Most Evangelicals claim to be politically non-partisan, and say they only identify with the Republican Party because the Republicans are committed to "family values."

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Uncategorized

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soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. Maisya Eberattc

    There is visibly a lot to know about this. I consider you made some nice points in features also.

    August 1, 2012 at 5:26 am |
  2. The True North strong and free

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBoItR59REQ&w=480&h=360]

    February 1, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
  3. O Canada

    O Canada!

    Our home and native land!
    True patriot love in all thy sons command.

    With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
    The True North strong and free!

    From far and wide,
    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

    God keep our land glorious and free!
    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

    February 1, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
  4. 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 exposes your backside to pervert priests.
    Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
    Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
    Prayer makes you hoard cats.
    Prayer makes you crave the smell of kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
    Prayer wastes time.</b

    February 1, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
  5. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Prayer changes lives

    February 1, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
  6. lunchbreaker

    So.... does anybody else think "Athiesm is not healthy..." and "Nope" are the same person with multiple personality disorder?

    February 1, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • just helping out

      no

      February 1, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
  7. just sayin

    to hippypoet
    Prayer has changed me as well not my own strength for prayer put me 180 degrees from where i was.

    February 1, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Science

      No, prayer was just a conduit in which you used to change yourself. Furthermore, whenever someone asks "what has prayer changed" clearly it's looking for physical evidence. Has prayer, for instance, grown back a limb, rained lollipops from the sky, brought someone back from the dead, etc... to say that prayer works and it's had effects on a spiritual level and in the realm where it's just as easy to say that instead of prayer and god that changed you, you changed yourself and are giving credit to an unseeable being.

      now come on, actually show me physical proof that prayer has achieved something outside the physical laws.

      February 1, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • hippypoet

      well, thats great for you to believe – it makes me laugh to think you have no faith in your own abilities to improve yourself but instead lay all strengh on an imagary figure... tell me, do you check under the bed too before going to sleep every night? there might be a monster! i wonder if i was to punch out a tooth if you would then say "thank you, i haven't seen the tooth fairy in soo long."

      delusions are fun when we are children, its time to grow up.

      February 1, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • just sayin

      That is what is

      February 1, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Wow. What a brilliant post, justyin'. Really.

      February 1, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What's really telling is that if prayer 'changed' you, justlyin', what were you like BEFORE? One can only imagine. And cringe at the horror.

      February 1, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
  8. Brad

    Dr. Harold G. Koenig's statements, also quoted, were a lift from Stephen Jay Gould's thinking. Essentially, science should play in its own backyard. Did you take that as a challenge?

    February 1, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Science

      I agree, science should definitely stay within the confines of what can and can not be proven empirically and stay away from the philosophical. Yet, religion also seems to have the same problem staying out of science's domain, would you not agree? When science has found evidence and created theories like, the Big Bang, or Evolution, or gravity, and so on, is it really in the purview of religion to comment and even deny these findings?

      For things like what is a "soul" (if that exists), or what happens after death (if anything at all), that's well within the realm of religion and philosophy. Science by all means can comment and deny it because there's no proof but religion (and by extension, religious people) take this as an assault on them and their beliefs and so fight back.

      I'd be willing to call a truce, and allow science to move forward unhindered by religious philosophies looking to debunk findings simply because sometimes the findings don't fit in their narrow doctrine.

      February 1, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • just sayin

      science was a gift of God to man. science and faith are not opposites

      February 1, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Actually

      "science was a gift of God"

      Yet there is still no scientific proof your god exists. LOL!

      February 1, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Brad

      Science –

      Indeed. Here is a quote from Stephen Jay Gould on that topic:

      "Religion is too important to too many people for any dismissal or denigration of the comfort still sought by many folks from theology. I may, for example, privately suspect that papal insistence on divine infusion of the soul represents a sop to our fears, a device for maintaining a belief in human superiority within an evolutionary world offering no privileged position to any creature. But I also know that souls represent a subject outside the magisterium of science. My world cannot prove or disprove such a notion, and the concept of souls cannot threaten or impact my domain. Moreover, while I cannot personally accept the Catholic view of souls, I surely honor the metaphorical value of such a concept both for grounding moral discussion and for expressing what we most value about human potentiality: our decency, care, and all the ethical and intellectual struggles that the evolution of consciousness imposed upon us."

      Regarding religion staying in its domain, my observation is that many believers often call on science, or perceived weaknesses in science, to support their particular beliefs about things science touches on. I imagine everyone is familiar with the "God of the Gaps" arguments and their flaws and failures. I believe God has no need for such things. If he really is truth, then certainly we believers should welcome scientific inquiry and promote the intellectual honesty it strives for.

      February 1, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @just saying
      Science a gift from God?
      As we've discussed before – science has always moved onwards in spite of God and His earthly mouthpieces, not because of them.
      The Original Sin for which all of mankind is punished forever more was gaining knowledge.
      Scientific theories that have contested church dogma have been suppressed throughout the ages and the scientists who presented such theories branded heretics and blasphemers.
      Darwin and evolution, Copernicus and Heliocentrism, Galileo and the moons of Jupiter, Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler and Edmond Halley and the orbits of comets and planets.
      William Buckland, Charles Lyell, Louis Agassiz, and Adam Sedgewick were geologists who set out to prove that the Genesis creation account was real – but instead could not escape the conclusion that the planet is far older than a few thousand years. As a result of publishing their finding, the Church labelled them "infidels," "impugners of the sacred record," and "assailants of the volume of God." Their geology was condemned as "a dark art," "dangerous and disreputable," "a forbidden province," "infernal artillery" and "an awful evasion of the testimony of revelation."

      Furthermore, Professor Greg Graffin's Thesis found that the overwhelming majority of the world's biologists see no conflict between religion as science – so long as religion is recognized solely as a sociological adaptation.

      February 1, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  9. hippypoet

    so CHAD, shall we continue our chat from yesterday... i shall repost anything needed for others to join in with full knowledge of where we were when last posted...if need be that is... our convo can be found in yesterday's speed read belief blog, under TruthPrevails long paragraph of Dr. Herbert Benson of Harvard Medical School.... which by itself is very interesting.

    February 1, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • Brad

      Sorry hippypoet – the above was a reply. Still haven't had my coffee.

      February 1, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • hippypoet

      ok if you are willing to read all this then bravo, i wouldn't!

      ok so chad has a post that ended with "god isn't a vending machine" this is where i chime in.

      o hippypoet
      @chad – "god is not a vending machine"
      well duh! god is an idea, such an improbable idea that many have, to make the idea inarguably, said that the idea is beyond human comprehension and so be doing remove the need but more importantly the ability to prove and so make it an untouchable notion of truth all based on an idea....how is that different then being delusional? you hold fast to an idea of an improbable , incomprehensible , untouchable nature as if its fact!
      not good chad! not good at all!
      January 31, 2012 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
      o Chad
      @hippypoet "god is an idea, such an improbable idea that many have, to make the idea inarguably, said that the idea is beyond human comprehension and so be doing remove the need but more importantly the ability to prove and so make it an untouchable notion of truth all based on an idea....how is that different then being delusional? you hold fast to an idea of an improbable , incomprehensible , untouchable nature as if its fact!"
      => you talk of the God of Abraham as if he is a philosophical idea like the Greek notion of Areté.
      God is not an idea, He is (for lack of a better term) a person.
      Jesus Christ was fully man and fully God, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us .
      January 31, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
      o hippypoet
      @chad – you said two words that caught my eye – he and person – so god is a male person..and you know this to be true i take it... how? jesus WAS a person sure, as far as the son of this god "person" well thats another one of those notions that can ONLY be taken on faith which i am not discussing. I am talking about that which is provible! god is only an idea for none have proof nor anything suggesting existence of any kind of all powerful being. Your grasps at reality are shallow at best. But i do enjoy watching the game played out.
      for your own information – definitons
      faith – strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.
      delusion -A belief strongly held in spite of invalidating evidence (or lack thereof to the contrary)
      until you have tangible evidence of the existence of god, the notion of god remains in the realm of ideas...and thats a factual statement!
      keep at it, maybe you will find something – and i will say that i would love to know beyond a doubt that god exists...so please, go and find "him"! lol
      January 31, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
      o Chad
      @hippypoet "you said two words that caught my eye – he and person – so god is a male person..and you know this to be true i take it... how?"
      => the bible refers to God as "He", and "father", so I refer to him using likewise. Does God have an actual male body the way that I do? I honestly dont know.
      @hippypoet "jesus WAS a person sure, as far as the son of this god "person" well thats another one of those notions that can ONLY be taken on faith which i am not discussing"
      =>agreed, the question is whether or not Jesus was divine.
      @hippypoet "until you have tangible evidence of the existence of god, the notion of god remains in the realm of ideas...and thats a factual statement!"
      =>so questions:
      1. How did our universe originate?
      2. How did life on this planet originate?
      3. When one considers the "evolution" of fish to amphibian to reptile to mammal , why do we have virtually no fossil evidence doc umenting the transitions between these major groups? There had to have been millions of interim species, why did they all escape fossilization? Why does stasis dominate the fossil record?
      4. Why did Jesus of Nazareth claim to be the Jewish messiah? Is it really plausible that a person who seems so rational and coherent could at the same time be utterly insane?
      5. Why did the behavior of the disciples change so radically after they reported witnessing a resurrected Jesus? From denying Christ and running, to proclaiming Christ and standing (and being tortured to death for that belief)
      IMO, a person has to answer those questions in a coherent manner to say there is no God.
      January 31, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
      o hippypoet
      @chad – well, first i shall address the "him/father" remark -in the bible it does indeed say "father" as well as him" but if you are to use the bible for an exact reference then shouldn't you take the whole literally? It was written by men who lived in a day and age where women had no rights and the only creature that could hold power was man! So of course in that world the god would have been written to depict a man as god. I need only to ask : if you wash your feet before prayer, and when the last stoning was that you attended : to get my point across…but you did say I had to answer in a coherent manner…:)
      Yes, the jesus story... one of those that many love to argue about, even me at times in my life have i taken the position of "he never existed"....but most of us know he did, the only real question is his divinity. So in this we are in an agreement.
      your questions – 1. How did our universe originate?
      2. How did life on this planet originate?
      3. When one considers the "evolution" of fish to amphibian to reptile to mammal , why do we have virtually no fossil evidence doc umenting the transitions between these major groups?
      I can't answer any of them, but nor can you. I can however do exactly what you do when one askes you to answer them....make stuff up or regurgitate someone elses answers which of course are made up as well. (we hope our own answer sounds better then the latter) However i will offer this tid bit out, there are reasons one can think of to answer without full knowledge of truth that would in place of false information be better used for an answer even thou both are equal in the sense that neither can be proven correct. For instance, before the discovery of any other humanoid species it was considered truth that we were the only types of primate alive like us, ever! And so with such truths, one can easily say, yes, there is a god who must have created us for we are unlike anything on this planet. However the truth is far from that. We have found many different humanoids in recent years to connect how we came from trees to streets. Now as far everything else, fossils no – your right that we are MISSING fossils from the records due to fossils yet found, but i will say that the proof for evolution over time is found in the DNA of species. We can track most species to a common ancestor species and then due to earths history of m@ss extinctions, minor extinctions, and many ice ages realize that a great many species may have died off due to lack of available food. Since the creatures may have died in less traumatic events left corpses, the corpses may have been eaten and then its bones exposed to the weather and then no fossils – But this is only one of many possible answers.
      The truth is, both evolution and god are but ideas, however one idea has evidence while the other (god) has only believers and a long history of them.
      4. Why did Jesus of Nazareth claim to be the Jewish messiah? Is it really plausible that a person who seems so rational and coherent could at the same time be utterly insane?
      Answer to question 1 : many people at this time and ALL THOUGHOUT history have made such claims. Right now there is someone in South America who claims to be the reincarnated jesus himself – that’s not a joke! And get this, he is rational, coherent and most likely completely not insane!
      Answer to question 2 : Being rational is subject to the whims of society. Example – a woman hands a man a cup of tea, he calls her a witch and the whole town backs him over her and puts her to death. Coherent is only the ability to remain consistent. So if jesus was schizophrenic his whole life, believed the voices in his head telling him he was the messiah, and was consistent about it then in his day and age he would not have been considered to be insane. The definition of insanity is : In a state of mind that prevents normal perception, behavior, or social interaction. He lived in a world that was LITERALLY waiting for “his” arrival so he was not exactly off the beaten track. Oh and you can’t make such claims to jesus being so rational and coherent being you weren’t there, just so you know!
      Now as for the disciples, they fit the bill of those who would believe the words of jesus utterly and completely to the point of being made to believe someone saw jesus walking around after his execution. All that’s needed for such belief is the right person telling the story of “I saw him”! And again, this is where FAITH takes over for believers… from this point on all which is known is from accounts from those who knew people who talked to people who were friends with a guy who was there. The closest account to the date of death of jesus is still 60 plus years off. There is too much room for story telling. And lets not forget that this culture is a desert culture, there entire history is based on oral traditions, STORY TELLING!
      Please keep in mind that if one has complete faith in anything, it should always be oneself over anything no matter how grand the idea or painful the consequence!
      hugs and kisses
      The Hippypoet
      January 31, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |

      o Chad
      @hippypoet "if you are to use the bible for an exact reference then shouldn't you take the whole literally?"
      =>Literally in the sense of completely understanding what the original author said, and what he meant when he said it. yes absolutely.
      =>Literally in the sense of taking a single verse out of context and attempting to erroneously make it into something else, no.
      I'm sure you'll agree that it's always best to first seek to understand what the author was saying prior to attempting to criticize it, right?
      @hippypoet "It was written by men who lived in a day and age where women had no rights and the only creature that could hold power was man!
      =>Not exactly correct, see Deborah, Judges 5
      @hippypoet "if you wash your feet before prayer, and when the last stoning was that you attended"
      =>nope, and never been to one. See New Testament: John 19.
      @hippypoet "iI can't answer any of them, but nor can you"
      =>actually I can answer all of them. See Genesis
      @hippypoet "i your right that we are MISSING fossils from the records due to fossils yet found, but i will say that the proof for evolution over time is found in the DNA of species. We can track most species to a common ancestor species"
      =>ah, but that fact doesnt differentiate between supernatural creation of major life forms using genetic mutation as a vehicle, vs an entirely naturalistic process that occurs randomly.
      @hippypoet "both evolution and god are but ideas, however one idea has evidence while the other (god) has only believers and a long history of them."
      =>well, "evolution" doesnt really say anything one way or the other about God.
      "Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations"
      so, what you have to say is "Evolution by an entirely random process with out supernatural intervention"
      and, unfortunately that doenst really say anything yet..
      you have to explain how life got here.. so what you have to say is
      "Spontaneous generation of a life form based on random combinations of available molecules, then followed by evolution by an entirely random process with out supernatural intervention"
      and, unfortunately, that doesnt say anything either.. because how did the universe get here to begin with?
      so, you have to say: "First there was nothing, nothing at all. No time, no space, nothing.. not the vacuum of space, but literally nothing, then, that nothing exploded and all of the matter in the universe was created, space and time itself created, from literally nothing.. in such a precise manner that it enable the universe to cool and matter to gather.. then spontaneous generation of a life form based on random combinations of available molecules, then followed by evolution by an entirely random process with out supernatural intervention"
      so... you were saying something about evidence?
      January 31, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
      o Chad
      @HippyPoet " many people at this time and ALL THOUGHOUT history have made [the claim that they are the offspring of divine origin] Right now there is someone in South America who claims to be the reincarnated jesus himself – that’s not a joke! And get this, he is rational, coherent and most likely completely not insane!
      =>hmm.. I think I'll have to call your bluff on that one.. provide a pointer to some of his calm and rational statements.
      @HippyPoet "[Jesus was crazy but not perceived as such by the society of His time]" (paraphrase mine)
      =>we arent relying on their as sement though, we have what he said in the gospels to make our own judgement on that matter. right?
      January 31, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |

      OK NOW FOR MY ANSWER TO HIS REPLIES – its a bit long to bare with –

      Chad you have a lovely way of not answering really anything – so here is your answers WITH my rebuttal…I would love it if you could keep this going because this is rather enjoyable for me. I say fact, you answer with bible quotes, I laugh at you…its fun.
      o @hippypoet "if you are to use the bible for an exact reference then shouldn't you take the whole literally?"
      =>Literally in the sense of completely understanding what the original author said, and what he meant when he said it. yes absolutely.
      =>Literally in the sense of taking a single verse out of context and attempting to erroneously make it into something else, no.

      Answer – The definition of the word literal – Taking words in their usual or most basic sense without metaphor or allegory.
      You said – “I'm sure you'll agree that it's always best to first seek to understand what the author was saying prior to attempting to criticize it, right?”
      Answer – one can’t ever understand the meaning of the AUTHORS being THEY are all dead, and there wasn’t a lovely back section to help with questions and answers. Darn!
      Please see the word conjecture for more information. And if that doesn’t help, perhaps the word speculative would be better suited.
      ________________________________________________________________________
      @hippypoet "It was written by men who lived in a day and age where women had no rights and the only creature that could hold power was man!
      =>Not exactly correct, see Deborah, Judges 5
      @hippypoet "if you wash your feet before prayer, and when the last stoning was that you attended"
      =>nope, and never been to one. See New Testament: John 19.
      @hippypoet "iI can't answer any of them, but nor can you"
      =>actually I can answer all of them. See Genesis
      Answer – Ok these above three are not answers in anyway and no you can’t use a story book for your answers. See I was discussing things that are provable – it’s a bed time book for young jews then as the book continues it turns into a how to book for christians.
      ________________________________________________________________________
      @hippypoet "i your right that we are MISSING fossils from the records due to fossils yet found, but i will say that the proof for evolution over time is found in the DNA of species. We can track most species to a common ancestor species"
      =>ah, but that fact doesnt differentiate between supernatural creation of major life forms using genetic mutation as a vehicle, vs an entirely naturalistic process that occurs randomly.
      Your original questions were “When one considers the "evolution" of fish to amphibian to reptile to mammal , why do we have virtually no fossil evidence doc umenting the transitions between these major groups? There had to have been millions of interim species, why did they all escape fossilization? Why does stasis dominate the fossil record?”
      Problem – your questions never stated anything needing a supernatural anything and since I was discussing only provable events the supernatural is out!
      Answer – for my answer to your questions you will have to reread my original answer.
      ________________________________________________________________________

      @hippypoet "both evolution and god are but ideas, however one idea has evidence while the other (god) has only believers and a long history of them."
      =>well, "evolution" doesnt really say anything one way or the other about God.
      "Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations"
      so, what you have to say is "Evolution by an entirely random process with out supernatural intervention"
      and, unfortunately that doenst really say anything yet..

      Correction, what is says is that your god type figure is not needed for the evolution of life. It doesn’t state that we didn’t come from a god type architect but I as stated before am discussing the provable and if all your answers will be “god did it” then you might as well just stop talking save only to yourself or others who believe as you do. That way you won’t sound so outlandish silly or just poorly educated.
      And now you continue to rattle off –
      you have to explain how life got here.. so what you have to say is
      "Spontaneous generation of a life form based on random combinations of available molecules, then followed by evolution by an entirely random process with out supernatural intervention"
      and, unfortunately, that doesnt say anything either.. because how did the universe get here to begin with?
      so, you have to say: "First there was nothing, nothing at all. No time, no space, nothing.. not the vacuum of space, but literally nothing, then, that nothing exploded and all of the matter in the universe was created, space and time itself created, from literally nothing.. in such a precise manner that it enable the universe to cool and matter to gather.. then spontaneous generation of a life form based on random combinations of available molecules, then followed by evolution by an entirely random process with out supernatural intervention"
      so... you were saying something about evidence?
      Answer – I never said anything about needing evidence for the beginnings of the universe but rather needing evidence of the existence of your god. See I don’t really care how we got here nor do I concern myself with the why either – both when facts are being utilized end up with a depressed me for the answers are impossible to answer without making stuff up…such as god did it! See, without proof, its just another story. When one believes the story is real even in the face of evidence to the contrary that one is delusional. I will say that I am envious of any who believes because it most definitely makes things easier, but I am not after easy. That’s a childs game, I prefer chess!
      ________________________________________________________________________
      So I will ask one question of you mr. chad…..if god is real, full existence and all that. Then why is it that even after he allowed his only son to be murdered in a most heinous fashion do you believe he will be kind to you? Please keep in mind that this is the same god that destroyed two cities, whole generations of children, and then the entire planet with water, he also asks one of his most devout followers to slay his son…now that STORY says that an angle stopped Abraham but again, stories are told to teach morals not necessarily to speak the truth. Perhaps god let Abraham kill his son. God clearly has no issue with killing children…just some food for thought!
      @HippyPoet " many people at this time and ALL THOUGHOUT history have made [the claim that they are the offspring of divine origin] Right now there is someone in South America who claims to be the reincarnated jesus himself – that’s not a joke! And get this, he is rational, coherent and most likely completely not insane!
      =>hmm.. I think I'll have to call your bluff on that one.. provide a pointer to some of his calm and rational statements.
      Answer – you are funny, you believe a 2000 year old dead guy claiming to be the son of god but a man today claiming the same thing is ill rational – lol, please explain how that works?!?!?!
      @HippyPoet "[Jesus was crazy but not perceived as such by the society of His time]" (paraphrase mine)
      =>we arent relying on their as sement though, we have what he said in the gospels to make our own judgement on that matter. right?
      Answer – one can’t ever understand the meaning of the AUTHORS being THEY are all dead, and there wasn’t a lovely back section to help with questions and answers. Darn!
      Please see the word conjecture for more information. And if that doesn’t help, perhaps the word speculative would be better suited.
      Problem – you can’t use a story book for your answers. See I was discussing things that are provable – it’s a bed time book for young jews then as the book continues it turns into a how to book for christians.

      In reality the bible is a written account of an oral tradition of the jewish culture as it emerged from the desert into the cities of the middle east at the turn of the 8th century bc.
      After those oral traditions were laid down in the written word it became more and more accessible to others and instead of them only receiving part of the story from there fathers or the chief of the tribe now they got the whole picture from Abraham down on thru Saul, David, Solomon and then to Jesus. In essence it was a history of there people but since it was written down from oral traditions they must be subjected to extreme scrutiny.

      This part below is my own opinion using facts about the lifestyles of nomadic peoples to draw conclusions. Again, this is not fact but opinion based off of facts or commonly accepted truths of the time.
      I the mental illness known as schizophrenia is believed to be hereditary by many geneticists. Add the fact that most nomadic tribes intermarry and share blood ties can create a m@ssive breeding ground where schizophrenia could whelm the population. Just how many prophets are there in the bible, are they all jews? There is a great many and yes, they were all jewish. The only reason for the lack of prophets today is the numbers of jewish people alive today. If you go back 3000 years the tribe was exactly that, a small group of family/blood ties that lived together under a common father figure who like most nomadic groups often shared wives with the chief of the tribe.

      February 1, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • whoa - slow down before you hurt yourself

      So, thats a lot of words huh!
      You never finished your self drawn conclusion at the end.
      Thought you should know.

      February 1, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Chad

      @hippypoet "one can’t ever understand the meaning of the AUTHORS being THEY are all dead, and there wasn’t a lovely back section to help with questions and answers.”
      @Chad "Utter nonsense, see hermeneutics and Exegesis, that is precisely what historians do for a living, right?"

      =================
      @hippypoet "The bible was written by men who lived in a day and age where women had no rights and the only creature that could hold power was man!” "do you wash your feet before prayer, and when the last stoning was that you attended"
      @Chad “Not exactly correct, see Deborah, Judges 5 for an example of a women in a position of authority. I do not wash my feet (see New Testament) and I have never been to a stoning”
      @hippypoet "you cant use the bible to refute a claim”
      @Chad “then you cant use the bible to make a claim”
      @hippypoet "ah… er… hmmm.. never thought of it that way…”

      =================
      @hippypoet "both evolution and god are but ideas, however one idea has evidence while the other (god) has only believers and a long history of them."
      @Chad “If you want to demonstrate that God is a myth, you need to answer how the universe came into being, how life was first created, and how all life forms as we know them today were achieved via a totally random series of genetic mutations and how that is in harmony with stasis in the fossil record”
      @hippypoet "I don’t really care how we got here nor do I concern myself with the why either”
      @Chad “exactly”

      =================
      @hippypoet "if god is real, full existence and all that. Then why is it that even after he allowed his only son to be murdered in a most heinous fashion do you believe he will be kind to you?”
      @chad: “you need to read the bible and get familiar with what Christianity is all about (why do so many atheists think they can critique something they are completely unfamiliar with?). Jesus paid the price for my sin on the cross, that’s the ultimate demonstration of love.

      =================

      @HippyPoet "there is a guy in South Africa claiming to be a resurrected Jeus, he is rational, coherent and most likely completely not insane!”
      @Chad “hmm.. I think I'll have to call your bluff on that one.. Provide a pointer to some of his calm and rational statements.
      @HippyPoet " you believe a 2000 year old dead guy claiming to be the son of god but a man today claiming the same thing is ill rational – lol, please explain how that works?!?!?!
      @Chad “I missed the part where you provided statements of the guy in SA? That was your original as sertion, right?”

      =================
      @HippyPoet "[Jesus was crazy but not perceived as such by the society of His time]" (paraphrase mine)
      @Chad “we arent relying on their as sement though, we have what he said in the gospels to make our own judgement on that matter. right?
      @HippyPoet " one can’t ever understand the meaning of the AUTHORS being THEY are all dead”
      @Chad: “if one can’t understand the meaning of any written word, then how are you coming to the conclusion that Jesus was not perceived as crazy by the society of his time? Why are you making a claim based on your understanding of what is in the Bible, but denying anyone else the same right? Your reasoning is phenomenally inconsistent”

      February 1, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Science

      @Chad

      Quick fun fact, did you know jesus wasn't the only one to claim to be the messiah, here's a list for ya: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_Messiah_claimants

      The fact that jesus claimed to be the messiah and that people followed him and believed in his message does not automatically make him what he claims to be. People have been tortured and died for causes they believed in that either failed or were actually nonexistent, just because the early christ followers did this does not mean the idea of jesus being the messiah holds any more weight than Simon Bar Kokhba, who still has followers in Israel and has never been found, which most take to mean that he ascended to heaven and he never died. Can you prove them wrong? Can you somehow show me that Simon Bar Kokbah who fulfilled just as many prophecies in the OT, has ardent followers and is thought to be divine is not who he says he is while Jesus is in fact that person? yeah... I didn't think so.

      Also, just because a scientist hasn't come up with an acceptable answer or how the universe began, how life began on earth, etc... does NOT mean that the bible is true, god exists and did everything that is attributed to him. That's a huge leap from one unanswerable question to definitive answer without any of the in-between needed. It's actually the most egregious use of the Begging the Question Fallacy I've seen in a while.

      Please try again.

      February 1, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Chad

      @Science “Quick fun fact, did you know jesus wasn't the only one to claim to be the messiah, here's a list for ya: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_Messiah_claimants”
      =>Absolutely true.
      1. The fact that many have claimed to be so doesn’t mean that they are all wrong, one could be right.
      2. Jewish leaders at that time said the same exact thing:
      “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men(jail Peter and the other apostles for preaching Christ). 36 Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. 37 After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. 38 Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” – Acts 5 Gamaliel speaking.
      Sage advice, turns out he was right
      3. When someone claims to be immortal and a king, and then is killed, what is the logical thing for the followers to do? Disband.. slink off to the corner, which is exactly what they did until they saw the risen Christ. After that their behavior changed dramatically.

      @Science “People have been tortured and died for causes they believed in that either failed or were actually nonexistent.”
      =>for a cause yes, but in this case, the cause was a risen Christ, not an abstract idea. They were killed for refusing to recant the belief that Jesus Christ had been resurrected. Completely different.

      @Science “Simon Bar Kokbah who fulfilled just as many prophecies in the OT, has ardent followers and is thought to be divine is not who he says he is while Jesus is in fact that person? => you can take any person an overlay some “fulfilled prophecy”. I could find no indication he was considered divine or made such a claim. No one believed that Simon Bar Kokbah had been resurrected. That movement withered and died as Gamaliel predicted such movements would.

      @Science “Also, just because a scientist hasn't come up with an acceptable answer or how the universe began, how life began on earth, etc... does NOT mean that the bible is true.
      => the bible is true because everything in it is true.. not because the lack of another non-supernatural mechanism has yet to be found.

      February 1, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Duh

      “the bible is true because everything in it is true.. not because the lack of another non-supernatural mechanism has yet to be found.”

      No it’s not the scribes embellished on some of the stories.

      Everyone knows the story about Jesus and the woman about to be stoned by the mob. This account is only found in John 7:53-8:12. The mob asked Jesus whether they should stone the woman (the punishment required by the Old Testament) or show her mercy. Jesus doesn’t fall for this trap. Jesus allegedly states, let the one who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her. The crowd dissipates out of shame. That story was not originally in the Gospel of John or in any of the Gospels. It was added by later scribes. The story is not found in the oldest and best manuscripts of the Gospel of John. Nor does its writing style comport with the rest of John. Most serious textual critics state that this story should not be considered part of the Bible.

      After Jesus died, Mary Magdalene and two other women came back to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus, according to Mark 16:1-2). They were met by a man in a white robe who told them that Jesus had been raised and was no longer there. The women fled and said nothing more to anyone out of fear (16:4-8). Everyone knows the rest of Mark’s Gospel, of course. The problem with the remainder of the story is that none of it was originally in the Gospel of Mark. It was added by a later scribe.

      February 1, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Science

      I'm going to ignore your little circular reasoning about the bible being true because the bible is true. If you can't see the ridiculousness of that statement then showing you where in the bible things are patently false isn't going to change your mind. I'll focus on the specific Simon Bar Kokbah who's movement most certainly has NOT fizzled out. Just because you haven't heard of it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Many await for the Kokbah to return and finally come out from the mountain in which he is currently in and deliver the jews. The Kokhba as well as many of the messianic figures are slightly different from jesus because they also tried to keep the messiah within judaism and did not try and spread it to the gentiles, Jesus felt the same way, it was Paul who decided to co-opt jesus's message and spread it outside the faith. So again, if the Kokbah still has faithful followers who believe he will come again, follow the word of god (more closely than you and most christians I might add) then why are they wrong and you right?

      February 1, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • hippypoet

      here ya go chad... 🙂 enjoy.

      @hippypoet "one can’t ever understand the meaning of the AUTHORS being THEY are all dead, and there wasn’t a lovely back section to help with questions and answers.”
      @Chad "Utter nonsense, see hermeneutics and Exegesis, that is precisely what historians do for a living, right?"
      None sense is your you thrive chad – they, the people you mentioned, are those who interpret...do you know the definition of interpret – to explain the meaning of… not that they KNOW the meaning of, they are rather taking the best guess humanly possible using the evidence available. That alone doesn’t state that what they THINK it means is what it really means. Lets not get into the FACT that words and the they we’ve used them has changed over the years.

      @hippypoet "The bible was written by men who lived in a day and age where women had no rights and the only creature that could hold power was man!” "do you wash your feet before prayer, and when the last stoning was that you attended"
      @Chad “Not exactly correct, see Deborah, Judges 5 for an example of a women in a position of authority. I do not wash my feet (see New Testament) and I have never been to a stoning”
      @hippypoet "you cant use the bible to refute a claim”
      @Chad “then you cant use the bible to make a claim”
      @hippypoet "ah… er… hmmm.. never thought of it that way…”
      That part at the end there was not me but you acting as me… I don’t talk like that, nor did I ever once use the bible to make any such claims, so yea, kinda makes you look like an @ss – but its ok, I’ve move past that!

      =================
      @hippypoet "both evolution and god are but ideas, however one idea has evidence while the other (god) has only believers and a long history of them."
      @Chad “If you want to demonstrate that God is a myth, you need to answer how the universe came into being, how life was first created, and how all life forms as we know them today were achieved via a totally random series of genetic mutations and how that is in harmony with stasis in the fossil record”
      @hippypoet "I don’t really care how we got here nor do I concern myself with the why either”
      @Chad “exactly”
      See, I don’t have to answer where, why, and by whom we are here because I don’t need to. I am discussing facts but you wish to sidetrack me into talking about things that are at this point in time unknowable. I think its because you believe you KNOW but again, I ask for proof – and I’m willing to bet you fall short, again.

      @hippypoet "if god is real, full existence and all that. Then why is it that even after he allowed his only son to be murdered in a most heinous fashion do you believe he will be kind to you?”
      @chad: “you need to read the bible and get familiar with what Christianity is all about (why do so many atheists think they can critique something they are completely unfamiliar with?). Jesus paid the price for my sin on the cross, that’s the ultimate demonstration of love.
      Again, you make me laugh. I was raised catholic, I have read the bible many times over, and for you information cristianity isn’t about god but rather jesus himself. To safe guard your dum.ba.sses you folds have created more lies to explain the older lies – example the holy trinity. See, you worship the son of what you call god and since that’s against the rules of said god you just created a loophole by saying that the son is really just god in human form…snow ball fight anyone? And again, since the bible is a book on improvable ideas why must I become more familiar with it being, and I will say this again, I am discussing things that are provable!

      @HippyPoet "there is a guy in South Africa claiming to be a resurrected Jeus, he is rational, coherent and most likely completely not insane!”
      @Chad “hmm.. I think I'll have to call your bluff on that one.. Provide a pointer to some of his calm and rational statements.
      @HippyPoet " you believe a 2000 year old dead guy claiming to be the son of god but a man today claiming the same thing is ill rational – lol, please explain how that works?!?!?!
      @Chad “I missed the part where you provided statements of the guy in SA? That was your original as sertion, right?”
      Yes that was my as.sertion, however I need not prove anything if you can’t first “take on faith” that this man or woman is what they claim to be. After all, we don’t want to be a doubting Thomas do we? My reasoning is that you without even knowing all the facts believe completely that the man you know as jesus was the son of your god, yet seem to be having a very difficult time accepting this man for the EXACT SAME THING. The word hypocrite comes to mind.

      @HippyPoet "[Jesus was crazy but not perceived as such by the society of His time]" (paraphrase mine)
      @Chad “we arent relying on their as sement though, we have what he said in the gospels to make our own judgement on that matter. right?
      @HippyPoet " one can’t ever understand the meaning of the AUTHORS being THEY are all dead”
      @Chad: “if one can’t understand the meaning of any written word, then how are you coming to the conclusion that Jesus was not perceived as crazy by the society of his time? Why are you making a claim based on your understanding of what is in the Bible, but denying anyone else the same right? Your reasoning is phenomenally inconsistent”

      LOL. If I have no understanding of ANY written word how is that we are having such a conversation? Yes, you are quite the genius to have come to such conclusions. Again LOL! Oh and again, I am not taking anything on my understanding of the bible. I’m a Aesop fables kinda guy. I am taking all on facts or cultural truths. I ask you when was the last time you read a post from me that involved a quote from the bible?
      Oh and to be phenomenally inconsistent I would have to rival the bible. I don’t think I do for I make sense more often then not and I don’t make up stories to fill in the blanks. The bible of yours however is containing a great many self-contradictory elements all thru-out and thereby is actually phenomenally inconsistent. I do love puns!

      And one more thing, you are equal to those that have rewritten the bible over the centuries… paraphrasing is not a good thing to do, for it changes the words used and over time will change the overall meaning of the sentence. Shall I touch upon the meaning of words and how they change over time again?

      February 1, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • hippypoet

      Until you have tangible evidence of the existence of god, the notion of god remains in the realm of ideas...and thats a factual statement! 🙂

      god is an idea, such an improbable idea that many have, to make the idea inarguably, said that the idea is beyond human comprehension and so by doing remove the need but more importantly the ability to prove and so make it an untouchable notion of truth all based on an idea....how is that different from being delusional? You hold fast to an idea of an improbable , incomprehensible , untouchable nature as if its fact!

      definiton of delusional thinking – the said delusion has to be believed completely and that no argument or proof of its falsity would sway a patient’s mind....thats you chad! 🙂

      February 1, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Chad

      @Science "'m going to ignore your little circular reasoning about the bible being true because the bible is true."
      =>Nice strawman 😉 what I actually said was "the bible is true because everything in it is true.."

      @Science "Simon Bar Kokbah who's movement most certainly has NOT fizzled out. Just because you haven't heard of it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Many await for the Kokbah to return and finally come out from the mountain in which he is currently in and deliver the jews."
      =>er.. no.. Jews are still awaiting the messiah. Any thought that Simon Bar Kokbah was that messiah fizzled out with his death.

      @Science "Jesus felt [that he came only to save the Jews], it was Paul who decided to co-opt jesus's message and spread it outside the faith."
      =>er.. no..
      First to the Jews, then to the Gentiles.
      "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, " Matthew 24

      February 1, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Chad

      @hippypoet "one can’t ever understand the meaning of the AUTHORS being THEY are all dead"
      @Chad "Utter nonsense, see hermeneutics and Exegesis, that is precisely what historians do for a living, right?"
      @hippypoet " people you mentioned are those who interpret only"
      @Chad "So interpretation doesn't seek to understand what the author was trying to say? LOL
      The fact that word meanings have changed over the years is PRECISELY why interpreters seek to understand what the author was trying to say using archeology, word study, etc..

      =================
      @hippypoet "The bible was written by men who lived in a day and age where women had no rights and the only creature that could hold power was man!” "do you wash your feet before prayer, and when the last stoning was that you attended"
      @Chad “Not exactly correct, see Deborah, Judges 5 for an example of a women in a position of authority. I do not wash my feet (see New Testament) and I have never been to a stoning”
      @hippypoet "you cant use the bible to refute a claim”
      @Chad “then you cant use the bible to make a claim”
      @hippypoet

      =================
      @hippypoet "both evolution and god are but ideas, however one idea has evidence while the other (god) has only believers and a long history of them."
      @Chad “If you want to demonstrate that God is a myth, you need to answer how the universe came into being, how life was first created, and how all life forms as we know them today were achieved via a totally random series of genetic mutations and how that is in harmony with stasis in the fossil record”
      @hippypoet "I don’t really care how we got here nor do I concern myself with the why either”
      @Chad “exactly”
      @hippypoet "See, I don’t have to answer where, why, and by whom we are here because I don’t need to"
      @Chad "exactly"

      =================
      @hippypoet "if god is real, full existence and all that. Then why is it that even after he allowed his only son to be murdered in a most heinous fashion do you believe he will be kind to you?”
      @chad: “you need to read the bible and get familiar with what Christianity is all about (why do so many atheists think they can critique something they are completely unfamiliar with?). Jesus paid the price for my sin on the cross, that’s the ultimate demonstration of love.
      @hippypoet "cristianity[sic] isn’t about god but rather jesus himself
      @chad "ah.. er. you weren't paying attention apparently, Jesus is the son of God.. God the Father.. "by myself I can do nothing" etc..

      =================
      @hippypoet "example the holy trinity. See, you worship the son of what you call god and since that’s against the rules of said god you"
      @Chad "Really?? I must have somehow missed that rule.. source?"

      =================
      @HippyPoet "there is a guy in South Africa claiming to be a resurrected Jeus, he is rational, coherent and most likely completely not insane!”
      @Chad “hmm.. I think I'll have to call your bluff on that one.. Provide a pointer to some of his calm and rational statements.
      @HippyPoet " you believe a 2000 year old dead guy claiming to be the son of god but a man today claiming the same thing is ill rational – lol, please explain how that works?!?!?!
      @Chad “I missed the part where you provided statements of the guy in SA? That was your original as sertion, right?”
      @HippyPoet " "Yes that was my as.sertion, however I need not prove anything"
      @Chad "interesting.. you get to make as sertions without demonstrating their correctness.."

      =================
      =================
      @HippyPoet "[Jesus was crazy but not perceived as such by the society of His time]" (paraphrase mine)
      @Chad “we arent relying on their as sement though, we have what he said in the gospels to make our own judgement on that matter. right?
      @HippyPoet " one can’t ever understand the meaning of the AUTHORS being THEY are all dead”
      @Chad: “if one can’t understand the meaning of any written word, then how are you coming to the conclusion that Jesus was not perceived as crazy by the society of his time? Why are you making a claim based on your understanding of what is in the Bible, but denying anyone else the same right? Your reasoning is phenomenally inconsistent”
      @hippypoet " I am not taking anything on my understanding of the bible"
      @Chad "hmm, then how are you coming to the conclusion that the people of Jesus' day considered him rational and coherent? (Your original claim)

      February 1, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • hippypoet

      i can say such about jesus because chad, if he was just walking around talking to himself mumbling people would have thought him insane.(people don't follow insane dudes) If when he spoke it was always inconsistant then people who not want to hear to next part being already confused. If he was illrational he would have been called crazy and put in a cell not raised to messiah. People generally don't listen to people who are inconsistant, illrational, and talk to themselves – most definitly not in those days where you could be called such yourself for simple hangin out with the dude... this is called deduction, and i have studied the culture of the jews, as well as other sources of information...sooooo sorry if your only source of information about the thing you base your life on is a story book. that totally sucks! Do you also believe that green eggs and ham exist? ( i mean naturally)

      February 1, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • hippypoet

      oh and that rule you stupidly missed is the one about idol worship....its ok... when there is 610 rules you must follow or you go to hell, why worry about that one right!

      February 1, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Chad

      @hippypoet "i can say such about jesus because chad, if he was just walking around talking to himself mumbling people would have thought him insane"
      @Chad "based on what? If you aren't using the bible, what is your source? How do you know anyone followed Him? How do you have any idea whatsoever about what he said? How do you know He claimed to be the Messiah? How do you know every single person of that time didnt think he was insane?"

      February 1, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • hippypoet

      so according to you the bible is the only source for information on jesus... LOL thats rich. ok its time to stop this, i am quickly seeing that your background doesn't allow you to have any opinion save that which was instilled in you tiny head when you were young and whats found in the bible... so sad! lol hey, at least i got a laugh out of it!

      if you so chose to – research roman historians after the life of jesus...also a good tip off that people followed him was that whole christians dieing in the name of jesus thing, yeah i know, weird right!
      such stupidity is still found today, thats the sad part!

      February 1, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Chad

      @hippypoet "you worship the son of what you call god and since that’s against the rules of said god you just created a loophole by saying that the son is really just god in human form"
      @hippypoet "oh and that rule you stupidly missed is the one about idol worship..."
      @Chad "You think God views worshiping a person identified as the messiah as idol worship?? That's what you are as serting.. namely that the trinity had to be invented because the messiah couldn't be worshiped?
      that's pretty nuts...

      February 1, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • hippypoet

      nuts you say... funny, cause i think its nut to believe he was the son of anything but another human. Even more funny is the idea that god is real in the first place. Just look at this one thing, he had a son, and let him die, and you call him kind and loving – you call me nuts i think is the funniest damn thing you've said yet!

      February 1, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Chad

      @hippypoet "you worship the son of what you call god and since that’s against the rules of said god you just created a loophole by saying that the son is really just god in human form"
      @hippypoet "oh and that rule you stupidly missed is the one about idol worship..."
      @Chad "You think God views worshiping a person identified as the messiah as idol worship?? That's what you are as serting.. namely that the trinity had to be invented because the messiah couldn't be worshiped?

      you said that God would view worshiping the messiah as idol worship.. on what basis do you make that claim?

      February 1, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • hippypoet

      well for starters, in jewish lore there is not spirit of god, there is god....so what we have here is a creation by man to explain something that they view as important but missing something...what do you suppose that is....perhaps its what they were worshiping in the first place... according to the 610 laws one must follow or burn is not to idol worship, and that was defined by jewish lore as anything but god. They do not worship the burning bush do they?No because that was merely god taken the form of something. The same thing was attempted here by matthew. it is his as.sertions of a "holy ghost" in 1.18-25 i believe where he and he alone makes up a new creation that was before this point unheard of....more made up stuff! Using this new holy ghost – which btw was the exact thing that jesus in matthew's words was, the early christians had there first drawing board. So now they prevert it more by claiming that jesus isnt the holy ghost by rather god incarnate put there by the holy ghost – so now we have three...god, the holy ghost, and jesus – then later when there was too much mucking about and early christians yerned for a set doctrine, it was given a name – the holy trinity – yet more made up stuff!

      before this jesus was god in human form but being worshiped by early christians – they were worshiping the son and not the father.....my i just add that by wearing the cross you idolize your savior! lol, this is just too easy... where did you learn your sm.ut anyhow!

      oh and this is the one and only time i will post anything from the bible – the whole matthew 1.18-25 sh!t....never again.

      and just so you know, i am only using the bible because i ahve realized your scope of referrences blows...so in tring to have a convo with such a person one must dumb down. Or i would have just mentioned that jesus was a jew and before him there was no such thing as the holy ghost!

      February 1, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Chad

      @hippypoet "well for starters, in jewish lore there is not spirit of god, there is god
      @Chad "... are you sure about that? 😉

      Genesis 41:38 So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God ?”
      Exodus 31:3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills—
      1 Samuel 10:10 When he and his servant arrived at Gibeah, a procession of prophets met him; the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him, and he joined in their prophesying.
      2 Chronicles 15:1 The Spirit of God came on Azariah son of Oded.
      2 Chronicles 24:20 Then the Spirit of God came on Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest.

      ... and so on and on and on...

      February 1, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Science

      Oh Chad,

      Again, just because you don't know about it doesn't mean it does not exist. Kokhba still has a fair amount of followers and believers. Don't believe me? Go to Israel and glance around at the kippot men are wearing that have the word "kokhba" or "simon bar kokhba" on them.

      Next, to say the bible is true because of everything in it is true is tantamount to saying the bible is true because the bible is true. That's not strawman, that's just you using circular reasoning to support your own agenda, doesn't work.

      Next, the quote you gave is a very jewish idea and again was meant FOR jews. The jewish mission for all jews, whether ultra-orthodox or reconstructionist is that we need to be a light unto the world to teach them what it is to be a chosen one and how to worship. This is different from proselytizing because jews don't go out and try to convert and or anything, we try to lead by actions. The gospel he was preaching was for jews and only jews, the same way that the OT was for jews and only jews. He, nor other jews, need to "spread the good word" by conversion and missionaries, it's just by living and showing what life could be like once you live a jewish life. Paul on the other hand decided to take it one step further and actually spread it to gentiles and try and to get others to convert and become a christ follower specifically and NOT a jew.

      Learn a little about your own religion chad before spouting utter nonsense.

      February 1, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • Science

      PS your misunderstanding the hippy in terms of jews believing in the "spirit of god" vs. "god". Yes, the quotes you provided are accurate and there are parts that show the spirit of god in a sense, but he's pointing out there's no holy ghost, there's no separate enti.ty in judaism unlike christianity that has 3 very defined and different beings that embody god. The Hippy is right there is no "spirit of god" the way you and all christians know what spirit to mean.

      Again, please learn a little about your own faith and that of others before spouting garbage.

      February 1, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • Chad

      Science “Again, just because you don't know about it doesn't mean it does not exist. Kokhba still has a fair amount of followers and believers. Don't believe me? “
      =>right, I don’t believe you. You can always just provide a link to a source on it, if people today still believe it, it will be on a web site somewhere.

      ===============
      Science “Next, to say the bible is true because of everything in it is true is tantamount to saying the bible is true because the bible is true. “
      =>er, no.. a fundamental difference. The contents are true, so the entire book is true. The reason you tried to attribute to me something I did not say, is that what I did say was accurate.

      ===============
      Science “Next, the quote you gave is a very jewish idea and again was meant FOR jews. The jewish mission for all jews, whether ultra-orthodox or reconstructionist is that we need to be a light unto the world to teach them what it is to be a chosen one and how to worship.
      => God has never been for the jews and only the jews. The jewish people are Gods chosen people, the vehicle for the delivery of the messiah to all nations. Gods salvation plan from the beginning included gentiles.

      Isaiah 49:6 he says: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”

      ===============
      Science “The gospel [Jesus] was preaching was for jews and only jews, the same way that the OT was for jews and only jews. He, nor other jews, need to "spread the good word" by conversion and missionaries, it's just by living and showing what life could be like once you live a jewish life. Paul on the other hand decided to take it one step further and actually spread it to gentiles and try and to get others to convert and become a christ follower specifically and NOT a jew.”

      =>You should read the New Testament first.. Your as sertion that Jesus did not command His disciples to go out and preach the word is so completely out of whack, I cant imagine how you think it could be supported.

      Matthew 28 “ Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

      Jesus Christ sent His disciples out to all nations, healed gentiles (centurions slave, women from Canaan, etc, etc..)

      Matthew 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis,[g] Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him

      Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”

      February 1, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Chad

      Science “Again, just because you don't know about it doesn't mean it does not exist. Kokhba still has a fair amount of followers and believers. Don't believe me? “
      =>right, I don’t believe you. You can always just provide a link to a source on it, if people today still believe it, it will be on a web site somewhere.

      ===============
      Science “Next, to say the bible is true because of everything in it is true is tantamount to saying the bible is true because the bible is true. “
      =>er, no.. a fundamental difference. The contents are true, so the entire book is true. The reason you tried to attribute to me something I did not say, is that what I did say was accurate.

      ===============
      Science “Next, the quote you gave is a very jewish idea and again was meant FOR jews. The jewish mission for all jews, whether ultra-orthodox or reconstructionist is that we need to be a light unto the world to teach them what it is to be a chosen one and how to worship.
      => God has never been for the jews and only the jews. The jewish people are Gods chosen people, the vehicle for the delivery of the messiah to all nations. Gods salvation plan from the beginning included gentiles.

      Isaiah 49:6 he says: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”

      February 1, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Chad

      ===============
      Science “The gospel [Jesus] was preaching was for jews and only jews, the same way that the OT was for jews and only jews. He, nor other jews, need to "spread the good word" by conversion and missionaries, it's just by living and showing what life could be like once you live a jewish life. Paul on the other hand decided to take it one step further and actually spread it to gentiles and try and to get others to convert and become a christ follower specifically and NOT a jew.”

      =>You should read the New Testament first.. Your as sertion that Jesus did not command His disciples to go out and preach the word is so completely out of whack, I cant imagine how you think it could be supported.

      Matthew 28 “ Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

      Jesus Christ sent His disciples out to all nations, healed gentiles (centurions slave, women from Canaan, etc, etc..)

      Matthew 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis,[g] Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him

      Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”

      February 1, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Chad

      wierd double post.. sorry about that..

      February 1, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • Chad

      @Science “PS your misunderstanding the hippy in terms of jews believing in the "spirit of god" vs. "god". Yes, the quotes you provided are accurate and there are parts that show the spirit of god in a sense, but he's pointing out there's no holy ghost, there's no separate enti.ty in judaism unlike christianity that has 3 very defined and different beings that embody god. “

      =>hmm, no..
      The Spirit of God in the OT is the same exact Spirit of God in the new testament. The only difference is that in the OT it came and went, in the NT it is now available for everyone who believes in Jesus Christ.

      “28 “And afterward,
      I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
      Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
      your old men will dream dreams,
      your young men will see visions.
      29 Even on my servants, both men and women,
      I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
      30 I will show wonders in the heavens
      and on the earth,” Joel 2

      "As soon as Jesus Christ was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and landing on him. And a voice from heaven said, 'This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.' – Matthew

      1 Samuel 10:10 When he and his servant arrived at Gibeah, a procession of prophets met him; the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him, and he joined in their prophesying.

      If you do a little reading, you will see that the term “trinity” is never mentioned in the new testament.

      February 1, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Q

      @Chad – Sorry to interrupt, but I did leave a response for you on the other thread. Apologies for the delay, but the re-entry into the spring semester is always a little bumpy. Of course I'm sure you're busy too and so I don't expect a quick response; will check back as time allows. Cheers...

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/01/10/survey-u-s-protestant-pastors-reject-evolution-split-on-earths-age/

      February 1, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
  10. hippypoet

    question for the day – out of all the known gods, if you were given the choice to be one of them, but retain your innerselves, what god would you choose and why? the abrahamic god is out however! so all choices will be of a pantheon rather then one almighty power.

    February 1, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • SeanNJ

      Easy. Thor. I want that hammer.

      February 1, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      I initially would have gone with Thor also. However after some thought, I don't like the idea of my powers being limited by an object. But he has such awesome hair. Maybe I will stick with Thor.

      February 1, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Thor Heyerdahl - thanks for choosing me to be your god!

      None They all suck, and the world would necessarily be different. No, keep the natural system as it is: no gods, just a lot of dimwits who believe there is.

      The only reason for Thor is that he has the right hammer to smite the Christians for being infidels.

      February 1, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Thor Heyerdahl - thanks for choosing me to be your god!

      None They all suck, and the world would necessarily be different. No, keep the natural system as it is: no gods, just a lot of dimwits who believe there is.

      The only reason for Thor is that he has the right hammer to smite the Christians for being infidels.

      February 1, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Thor Heyerdahl - thanks for choosing me to be your god!

      Ooops. I seem to have hiccuped there.

      February 1, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Dionysus!
      I'd have women and wine – who could ask for anything more?

      February 1, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • hippypoet

      hey now... don't make fun of hiccup – that movie rocks! its a family favorite at my house! my daughter doesn't know it yet but she is getting the other two for her b-day ...ok, in truth, i can't wait either! lol sad i know, but who cares!!!!

      i would choose Athena – the Greek virgin goddess of reason in war and peace, intelligent activity, arts and literature, and useful arts. She sprung full grown from Zeus' head rather than being born by a woman. She is Zeus' favorite and is allowed to use his weapons including his thunderbolt.

      i have been told i have an amazing ability to keep my cool under pressure (war) and i can see my way thru peaceful times by writting poetry, painting, and composing plays.. i also have a uncanny ability to wield the sword and bow.

      February 1, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • J.W

      At first thought I may be Poseidon because I like to swim, but I may be Krishna as well. Krishna plays the flute, which is a lovely instrument. But I also like his philosophy in the things I have read about him.

      February 1, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Stormfront

      I have to say Thor.

      February 1, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • hippypoet

      it seems odd to me that most of you picked Thor.... he isn't even the king of the Viking gods – Odin is. But hey, i'm not saying any of you are wrong, being its an opinion, being wrong is impossible but why the son of Odin and not Odin himself?
      Loki is cool too, just destined to be the failure of Asgard...he does try to repent but Thor, being overly emotional, kills him before ever getting the chance to pleed his case after locking Thor up to await his death. I don't know....but interesting.

      February 1, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  11. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    February 1, 2012 at 5:54 am |
    • Nope

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.

      February 1, 2012 at 8:11 am |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      The prayers of a righteous man
      Are valuable and effective to God
      Prayer changes things

      February 1, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • Nope

      Thanks for proving that people like you will make a "desperate effort to confirm their beliefs." LOL!

      February 1, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • Alfred E Neuman

      Without prayer I would not be changed. Prayer has changed how I view life. Prayer does change things.

      February 1, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • Nope

      "Without prayer I would not be changed. Prayer has changed how I view life. Prayer does change things."

      You're so desperate you're posting as different people, keep proving it right. YOUR SO DESPERATE to confirm your beliefs even though it's crap. LOL!

      February 1, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • Alfred E Neuman

      There is no desperation in personal testimony it is what it is. It is a foregone conclusion that nope will oppose, so what?

      February 1, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • hippypoet

      @Alfred you changed things not prayer. You choose to do what you did and in that action held the seed of change...might i add that if one was to change all it takes is (normally) a different outlook on life – and so with that you could have tried anything as long as you thought full heartly that it would have an impact on your life and the way you view things (whether good or bad, poistive or negitive). The fact the it was prayer is of little consequence. But change isn't always for the best, however one must first change to then realize that is wasn't! Example today comes from the awesome movie "Lucky number Slevin" The unlucky are nothing more than a frame of reference for the lucky. You are unlucky, so I may know that I am not. Unfortunately the lucky never realizes they are lucky until it's too late. Take yourself for instance; yesterday you were better off than you are off today but it took today for you to realize it. But today has arrived and it's too late. You see? People are never happy with what they have. They want what they had, or what someone else has.

      February 1, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      Guys, quit feeding the troll.

      February 1, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Nope

      "There is no desperation in personal testimony it is what it is. It is a foregone conclusion that nope will oppose, so what?"

      More desperation but guess what two working hands do far more than a thousand hands clasp in prayer.

      February 1, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • just helping out

      two hands working without plan or proper instruction are useless

      February 1, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Nope

      "two hands working without plan or proper instruction are useless"

      You made that assumption, but a least they are headed for results, clasp hands signify nothing but a waste of time. Keep being desperate... LOL!

      February 1, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Prayer changes things

      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      February 1, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • hippypoet

      name one thing that prayer ALONE has changed...i'll wait.

      February 1, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Brad

      "name one thing that prayer ALONE has changed" Me, I believe.

      February 1, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • hippypoet

      no brad, you thru your own strengh have changed yourself. Pawning your own strengh on some imagary figure is not healthy. One should take pride in there accomplishments. It was you and it has always been you. You hold the power over yourself.

      February 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • just sayin

      Prayer changed me. Spare the I did it myself comment mr poet i was there i am here you are not.

      February 1, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Nope

      "Prayer changed me. Spare the I did it myself comment mr poet i was there i am here you are not."

      Nope, you changed yourself.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.

      February 1, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      justlyin' says: "prayer changed me."

      How? Were you even worse before? Or are you worse now? You certainly aren't any better, because you're about as sh# t t y as they come.

      February 1, 2012 at 11:57 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.