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February 5th, 2012
02:00 AM ET

The new Christian abolition movement

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Greensboro, North Carolina (CNN) —The truck-stop hooker is no Julia Roberts, the trucker in the cab with her no Richard Gere, and this truck stop off the highway could not be any farther from Beverly Hills, the staging ground for “Pretty Woman.”

The woman sports baggy shorts, a white T-shirt and frizzy hair. Her fat middle-aged pimp sits in a beat up red Honda, watching as his “lot lizard” moves from truck to truck, in broad daylight.  If this pimp has a cane it is for substance, not style.

She moves through the parking lot, occasionally opening a cab’s passenger-side door and climbing in.

The trucker and hooker disappear in the back for 10 minutes.

Danielle Mitchell watches from the other end of the parking lot and shakes her head.

“We know from talking to other victims and other agencies that girls are taken to truck stops and they’re actually traded,” she says, sitting in her car, a shiny silver sport utility vehicle, keeping a healthy 50-yard distance from the pimp.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

Mitchell is North Carolina human trafficking manager for World Relief.  World Relief is a Christian nonprofit attached to the National Association of Evangelicals and is best known for its efforts to combat global hunger and respond to disasters around the world.

Mitchell is trying to tackle a disaster in her home state.   And she is not alone.

Motivated in large part by their religious traditions of protecting the vulnerable and serving “the least of these,” as Jesus instructed his followers to do in the Gospel of Matthew, World Relief and other Christian agencies like the Salvation Army are stepping up efforts and working with law enforcement to stem the flow of human trafficking, which includes sex trafficking and labor trafficking.

“Jesus didn’t just go around telling people about himself.  He also healed the blind and healed the brokenhearted, he freed captives, and I think that it would be ridiculous to walk up to someone who is hurting and tell them, ‘Let me tell you about the Gospel,’ and then walk away while they’re still hurting,” Mitchell says.

In North Carolina, the result of those efforts can be seen in the number of victims of human trafficking being referred to World Relief for services, up 700% in 2011, Mitchell says.

“It’s not that North Carolina is all of a sudden trafficking more people,” Mitchell says. “It’s that we know what to look for and we’re actually identifying and rescuing them.”

Truck stops and sweet potatoes

North Carolina’s rich soil makes it an agricultural hub. It produces more sweet potatoes than anywhere else in the country.  The state acts as a crossroads for three major interstate highways. The mix of accessibility and low-paying farm jobs make a good working environment for traffickers, Mitchell says.

This truck stop is the type you think twice about.  It’s grimy and run down.

How badly do I really have to use the bathroom?  I bet I could hold out for another 12 miles.  That kind of place.

Mitchell walks in and politely asks the women behind the register if they have tape.

“Over there, honey,” the cashier says, pointing to a dimly lit portion of the store.

After paying for a roll of industrial packing tape, she tucks it in her purse and heads for the restroom.

In a stall on the far end, she shuts the door behind her and pulls out the tape and a poster with words in English and Spanish.

“Need help?” the poster asks. “Are you being forced to do something you don’t want to do?” There’s a toll free number, 888-373-7888, for the National Human Trafficking Hotline, run by the nonprofit Polaris Project.

More on the fight against modern-day slavery at the CNN Freedom Project

“A lot of times when girls are being trafficked they’re being controlled,” Mitchell says. “They’re often not allowed to get very far from their trafficker.  And we’ve found one of the very few times girls are alone is when they’re in the bathroom.”

She used to ask if she could hang posters in truck stop restrooms. Now she just hangs them.

That toll free hot line number is plastered on combs, lip balms and nail files that Mitchell and other anti-trafficking workers can slip discreetly to men and women they suspect might be victims. Slipping a potential client an anti-trafficking business card could be dangerous, even deadly, they say.

A comb, nail file and lip balm feature the number for the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

But it’s not the only way Mitchell gets in touch with victims.  Law enforcement is reaching out to her more and more.

When North Carolina law enforcement breaks up a trafficking ring, they call her.

She helps the victims get safe places to live, food and job training,  along with just being a conversation partner.

Since 2010, North Carolina has had a statewide coalition to fight human trafficking. Law enforcement officers are now trained in what to look for. The program includes rapid response teams made up of representatives from law enforcement, service providers, hospitals and charities. When a potential victim comes into a hospital or is discovered through an arrest, the team springs into action.

“Victims are not going to self-identify,” says Mitchell, who has since left World Relief and is considering going back to school after a lack of funding threatened to cut her hours to part time. “ They’re not going to say ‘I’m a victim of human trafficking.’ So the burden is really on the service providers and law enforcement and the community."

In North Carolina, the partnerships between those groups, she says, “have helped to rescue victims.”

Church and state in an unlikely coalition 

Christian groups working to combat trafficking are providing law enforcement with some much-needed relief.

“Because of the limitations of our work, we like to partner with organizations that can provide services,” says Kory Williford, a victim specialist with the FBI based in North Carolina.

“Human trafficking isn’t the only victim population we work with, so to have organizations who can provide care to our victims on a longer term basis than we are able to is huge,” she says.

“A lot of sex trafficking is occurring in this state” and labor trafficking is on the upswing, Williford says.

The FBI in North Carolina has been partnering with World Relief for several years.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Anand P. Ramaswamy, who focuses on human trafficking cases across the state from the federal prosecutors office in Greensboro, says he has been collaborating with local law enforcement on human trafficking.

“Those kind of cases have only recently been on the uptick,” he says. “As officers become more trained in what to look for, the number of cases goes up.”

The nation and the state are still working to catch up with the reality of trafficking, he says.

“Sometimes the victim was treated as part of the problem,” he says.  “In one instance a 16-year-old girl was charged with prostitution by local authorities.  So we have to go and sort of undo that.  That’s also the case where the person may have done something wrong, so they’re reluctant to come forward.”

Ramaswamy is keenly aware that his office and religious groups do not always have the same interests. His is in upholding and enforcing the law, while religious groups are interested in practicing their religion.

But the assistant U.S. attorney still believes in the partnership between church and state.

“On one hand the fact they’re a religious organization is not directly relevant,” he says. “However, if you look at the history of the abolitionist movement, it has always been religious communities and those are the people who are concerned enough to be active in it.

“And today with modern-day slavery the same is the case.”

The new Underground Railroad

Westover Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, is imagining what fighting modern-day slavery could look like. The nondenominational suburban church is cut from an evangelical cloth and has 5,000 members and a sprawling campus.

In 2011, the church started a ministry called “Abolition!” to fight human trafficking. It focuses on prayer, awareness and resources.

“In truth we didn’t know what we were going to do. We just knew we had a really strong passion for it,” says Dianne Stone, an "Abolition!" member. “We didn’t want to be a group that got together and said, ‘Oh we feel so bad for this.’ We wanted to do something and we wanted to make a difference.”

In a bright room off the sanctuary, Stone, Cambre Weller and Jennifer Craver, all members the group, explain why they got involved. They seem unlikely fighters against trafficking.

They could easily pass for a women’s Bible study group as they casually chat about their children and church activities before turning their attention to trafficking concerns in their area.

“It’s another thing to realize this is in your backyard and that’s our responsibility to address that and protect those who are being exploited,” Craver says.

What's the role of faith in fighting slavery?

Craver says the things they have learned about trafficking are horrible and keep her up at night. “I don’t want to know about trafficking, but I do know about it and as a Christian, I feel like I have to respond to that,” she says. “That is part of my calling.”

The group screens documentaries about human trafficking at other churches and sends out speakers to the Christian circuit. They also prepare emergency bags: canvas totes with a comb, brush, journal, pajamas, clean towels and other basics they learned that most trafficked women don’t have.

They keep a ready stash of bags for World Relief to distribute to victims, particularly those who are rescued during raids.

Mitchell says her faith has played a large role in her work to help victims of trafficking. “I don’t think I’m any different than anyone I work with, in vulnerability or dignity,” she says. “And man, I really believe that Christ saw everyone equally.”

Danielle Mitchell views her faith as integral to her work in fighting human trafficking.

“I could have been born in a brothel in India,” she says.

But there is a limit to how much personal faith she shares with clients.

“We’re completely client centered,” she says. “That means we’re not going to force our faith on anyone.  And I don’t talk to the clients about what I believe, unless they ask me.”

“If a client asks me and they want to go to a Buddhist temple, then I’m going to take them because that’s what they want.”

Prostituted not prostitute

Back at the truck stop, Mitchell explains that she hates the term “prostitute” and despises the phrase “lot lizard.”  She says it strips people of their dignity.

Instead, she refers to a “woman or man who is being prostituted.”  It is a slight change in wording that reveals a starkly different viewpoint.

“A lot of people think of sex trafficking or prostitution, they think it’s glamorous and that you can pinpoint someone who is selling sex or being sold for sex,” she says. “Usually it’s just average people who maybe aren’t taking care of themselves."

The prostitute, or woman being prostituted, or potential human trafficking victim, gets back into the beat up red Honda with the overweight pimp, who drives off, maybe after catching a glimpse of a journalist and activist watching them from a safe distance.

Mitchell calls the police to report what she just saw.

A few hours later, they call back and say the alleged pimp and alleged prostitute are long gone.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church and state • North Carolina • United States

soundoff (1,631 Responses)
  1. JC

    Why not just pray to the magic man in the sky to make it all go away? Oh, that's right, fictional characters don't give a ****, lol.

    February 5, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Dante

      Bump! Yeah, I pray to the Green Lantern every night. All hail the Green Lantern!

      February 5, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • urafkntool

      Seeing as angry and poisonous and bitter as athiests are on this board, I'm half tempted to convert to Christianity just to avoid becoming like YOU.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Toby

      So, you have no idea what prayer even is, and you obviously have no concept of god.. Only what you like to use as weaponry to mock. Isnt that sort of silly? I hate math, but i dont show up in science forums making fun of them because i think particle physics sounds silly.. I mean with all those particles appearing in multiple places at the same time.. It sounds like silly magic.. You are so ignorant and you dont even know it. Doesnt that scare you?

      February 5, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • bajadelmar

      urafkntool, you're either lying or you're a fool. No rational person would convert to another religion based on message board comments.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • David

      Atheists don't tend to get angry unless they are having religion forced upon them (as in laws) or when harm is done in the name of religion. If a person wants to pursue their religion harmlessly, an Atheist's reaction is usually one of amusement at worst.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Toby

      David. That would be SOME athiests.. As in e ones who are truly athiests. It seems there are many branches of athiesm. Ive even heard athiests fight amongst themselves over concepts like "faith" and the idea of "good and bad". My friend is an athiest and he could care less about any of it. Now if you are an activist and out to make a point, like flying banners in public space saying "there is no god" then you are in the "fight" and are basically as religious as the next guy

      February 5, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Prayer changes things

      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      February 5, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • David

      "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things"

      Christianity causes warts.

      See, I too can make silly, unsubstantiated statements too.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  2. Vladimir G

    PRISM 1234, you keep amazing me. On one hand, you are saying that people who reject authority of God will burn in hell, on the other hand you are telling me that you hate what men allowed themselves to become.. That is extremely contradictory. If God gave me the instinct and the want – was the purpose of that for you to hate me or for him to control me? I respond much better to positive motivation so do most humans so probably it was not Gods intent for you to hate what men become...

    I am theist by the way with years of education about Christianity and Judaism and it took me 1 sentence to understand form your first response that you were white Christian conservative republican woman and you could not even remotely guess who or what I was when I posted. Thanks for hating what I become, you can thank God for that.

    February 5, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  3. Yea

    What has your local atheist done to help humanity today? Nothing most likely.

    February 5, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Brian

      surely you are not serious. What has religion done for mankind except for war, famine, destruction, murder, etc etc etc. It is the cancer of society disguising itself as a positive thing. It does nothing positive. All it does is provide a false sense of comfort, hope and security. When you stop believing atheists are evil or bad people then you can step into reality and also intelligence while you're at it. what has your local atheist done for humanity? how about every scientific discovery pretty much known to mankind? Do you enjoy your computer and your cell phone and your television? Science flies us to the moon. Religion flies us into buildings.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Brian

      WHen you imply that in order to be a good person you have to be religious you putting your ignorance on display for the whole world to mock. Educate yourself before you make ignorant comments. sad

      February 5, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • bajadelmar

      At least we're not sending people off on what basically amounts to a fools errand in life.

      Xians haven't done much more and if they really believed what they say they believe they would be doing a lot more. I mean if you're xian then what else is there in life than to help others??? Yet it seems as though most people that call themselves xian are just going along to get along in life. Telling everyone how xian they are but DOING very little to prove it.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • apostate

      Not hold back human progress and scientific advancement with ridiculous bronze age sheepherder myths.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Don

      More people in the world have been killed and murdered in the name of god than for ANY other cause in the history of man. Oh, and the church and Christianity supported Hitler and helped bring him to power. Go do some research, now maybe you will understand WHY fascism is said to come in the name of god and wrapped in a flag. Nationalism was the OTHER cause that brought Hitler to power. Interesting isn't it? Especially when you undrstand that most religious people are conservatives and Fascism is nothing more than the EXTREME form of Conservatism? It would do you ALL well to study and learn what you preach before you pick it up and run to the ramparts swearing youo are acting in the name of god, you never knkow what Hitler you may be bringing to power next.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Dante

      You are serious? This is the kind of ignorance that should embarrass you christians. God does not have to exist for people to do good things. Believe it or not, there are other religions out there that share the same morals and ideals that you do. Go take a class and get out of rural USA for a minute and learn something.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • David

      My personal observation is that Atheists tend to be better human beings than Christians. For examply, they are more likely to help a poor person without strings attached; they are less likely to try to get laws passed that force their views upon others. But like I said, that has been my observation – I can't speak for everyone else.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Toby

      This is great.. "My personal observation is that Atheists tend to be better human beings than Christians".. So, let me ask you this. If in MY personal observations, christians tend to be better human beings than athiests, who would be correct? My point is, you need to stop hanging out with your christian friends, they dont sound like good people. And i need to stop hanging out with athiests

      February 5, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • David

      Toby, calm down. I did not say that Atheists are better human beings than Christians. I simply stated that that is my observation and opinion. And it is entirely possible that your observations differ from mine. And I think you are confusing my observations with my friendships. I observe more in this world than simply those people I choose to "hang out with."

      February 5, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Toby

      Sure you did man.. At least be confident in yourself. Dont backpeddle

      February 5, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  4. I am not an atheist

    Don't be lazy, research it your self. BTW, I do help people. Also, IF everyone stop buying se.x the industry will die. The demand is THE PROBLEM. So, everyone posting here can stop buying then we have a start.... then HELP your neighbor to do the same and you all we'll be part of the answer to this problem. 🙂

    February 5, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • JC

      "...Also, IF everyone stop buying se.x the industry will die. The demand is THE PROBLEM. So, everyone posting here can stop buying then we have a start.... then HELP your neighbor to do the same and you all we'll be part of the answer to this problem. " – LMAO....then you better come to the hard realization that it will NEVER,NEVER,NEVER,EVER,EVER go away.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  5. I am not an atheist

    Don't lazy, research it your self. BTW, I do help people. Also, IF everyone stop buying se.x the industry will die. The demand is THE PROBLEM. So, everyone posting here can stop buying then we have a start.... then HELP your neighbor to do the same and you all we'll be part of the answer to this problem. 🙂

    February 5, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • DAVE

      MY SISTER WORKS AT A TRUCK STOP AND SHE HAS A BAD RASH....YOU KNOW WHERE.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  6. David

    “I don’t want to know about trafficking, but I do know about it and as a Christian, I feel like I have to respond to that,” she says.

    I am glad that this person would like to help, but her statement, unfortunately, perpetuates the myth that "doing the right thing" is a Christian trait. What if someone made the same statement, but with the word "Atheist" in place of "Christian." How would we react?

    How about simply saying, “I don’t want to know about trafficking, but I do know about it and as a human with a conscience, I feel like I have to respond to that."

    February 5, 2012 at 3:16 pm |

    • There is no reason why being atheist would compel someone to do anything. People who are atheist usually adopt a moral code of some sort. Usually they identify with humanism.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Don

      EXACTLY David, thank you for showing some intelligence unlike those here who are so caught up in the ignorance they cannot see the forest for the trees. It is the "FACT" this whole article is set up to promote christianity in the eyes of this pathetic person that makes it so wrong and makes her SUCH a HYPOCRITE!

      February 5, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • JoyfulGypsy

      I was thinking the exact same thing.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • DoggSho

      @David, then you could've complained that she "talked like it was a human trait to do the right thing". Okay, newsflas: to do the right thing is "not" a "human" trait, it's a learned and or acquired principal, in fact the word Christian is derived from Christ, who is not only the symbol and epitome of "righteousness" but is considered "Righteousness" personified, since He was also considered GOD incarnate while he walked here on earth. So yes, to be a true Christian is to do the Right things. A true Christian's calling is higher than anyone could hope to discern; Christians are called to "be ye perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect". Have a very good day all.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • David

      Dogg, think about the implications of what you just said. A Christian who does the right thing does so because Christ commands that of him/her. The Atheist who does the right thing does not have Christ as his/her reason. So the Atheist must have some other motivation – perhaps conscience? So if you are trying to logically deduce that Atheists are, inherently, better human beings than Christians, you have succeeded. Perhaps a rethinking of your argument is in order.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  7. A Male Point of View

    Strange that the Bible mentions prostitutes, but not pimps. Has the sex trade changed? I thought it was the world's oldest. I do not' subscribe to the notion of the whore as victim, blaming the pimps and clients for it all. The entire sex trade reeks of evil and all involved should be held accountable.

    February 5, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • AL

      THE LAST GIRL I MET ALMOST BLEW THE TOP OF MY HEAD OFF

      February 5, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • 1 Corinthians 11:3

      But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Malachi 2:3

      Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Don

      @ 1 corinthians for stupid people, ROFLMFAO Please take your joke book somewhere else ok? Maybe to the joke of a church you belong to?

      February 5, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Hosea 3:2

      So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley. Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will behave the same way toward you.”

      February 5, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  8. Peter

    I was very supportive of all her efforts, until she mentioned the words "god" and "jesus".

    Why dont you do it just because its "the right thing to do".

    Why do people have to get "god" and "jesus" involved in this?

    Leave those crazy thoughts out of the picture.

    February 5, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • urafkntool

      Peter: It's just to p-i-s-s you off. YOU PERSONALLY. The editor and the writer woke up today and asked each other, "hmm, how can we p-i-s-s Peter off. We know he'll be posting on the blog, how can we make him REALLY REALLY MAD?"

      February 5, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Common Sense

      Maybe because that's the source of their motivation? Ever think about that? OMG the craziness....

      February 5, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • what?

      Would you prefer her to stop doing this then and not reference Jesus?

      February 5, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Ann

      This is a religion blog. If you don't want to read about acts people do because of their religion, there are plenty of other parts of CNN you can read.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Toby

      Peter, for the same reason you are saying "leave god out of it".. Because thats your belief and you feel strongly about it. Athiests and the like state their beliefs all the time. They fly banners over public parks, rent out bus benches, billboards saying "god doesnt exist".. People who believe strongly in things will interject it into their actions.. Why be surprised?

      February 5, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  9. PrimeNumber

    I"m not a Friend (for atheists, this is a member of the Society of Friends, an old Christian denomination. Also called Quakers). These people were some of the earliest abolitionists. They also fought for better treatment of the insane. In the late 1800's, President Grant sent Quakers to the WEst; being people of peace, they were very highly effective mediators between the Native Americans and the government.

    February 5, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  10. glu

    Banging lot lizards is no way to go through life son.

    February 5, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • AL

      I DID A GIRL AT THE TRUCK STOP THAT HAD MORE SKID MARKS IN HER PANTS THEN A HIGHWAY

      February 5, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  11. Don

    It never ceases to amaze me how much of a busybody stupid people get to be once they 'Think' they have felt the mythological 'god' in their lives. It is like they become the judge and the jury for EVERYONE else in the world, which is especially amusing because according to their mythological 'god' they are NOT to judge but the mythological 'god' is supposed to. I find the words of Gandhi very enlightening when it comes to the so called christains. His words were, " I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." and I feel this story and what is typical of the rabid hypocrites who call themselves christians in this country truly make his point so well. IF ONLY christians ACTED like the christ they speak of you would not hate to see or hear them quite so much. Stop BEING Judgmental Hypocrites and at least TRY and act like the christ you keep preaching to all the rest of us about PLEASE.

    February 5, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Toby

      Your big post says nothing about the people trying to help the other people. You are just an angry hateful person.

      February 5, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Don

      Poor Poor misguided Toby. She is NOT trying to help ANYONE, she is only trying to PUMP UP her OWN self righteousness in her own eyes. She is NOTHING but a pathetic HYPOCRITE which according to her mythological god is the worst sin of all. Ever truly read the bible Toby? I have many many times, that is why I know it is NOTHING but a pathetic myth.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • KEVIN

      I WEAR VERY TIGHT PANTYS

      February 5, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • TheTraveler

      If the shoe fits wear it Don. I can easily say the things about people who feel it's their place to judge and denounce anyone or anything that shows in the slightest inclination towards faith. Especially in forums where the poster is anonymous. If it bothers you so much, but it means so little, why do you feel the need to comment? Hypocrite.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • NJBob

      @Toby - You're wrong and he's right.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Don

      Sorry Traveler yes you can say the same thing but just like you and her I do NOT claim to worship a mythological god who says the worst sin of all is to be a hypocrite. To claim to be a christian and then to judge others which is forbidden in the bible makes you and her a hypocrite because you are NOT really a christian. I have read and studied your pathetic bible often, I suggest you do likewise before trying to act 'Holier' than thou.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • notheism

      @Don, surely, even is someone does something for the wrong reason, the consequences can be good. She might believe in whatever god but I think the cause is a good one. I really don't care what religion she adheres to and the fact that she admits “If a client asks me and they want to go to a Buddhist temple, then I’m going to take them because that’s what they want" is enough for me to consider the validity of her effort as sincere.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Don, TRUE BELIEVERS JUDGE (not according to their own standard Matthew 7:1-2).

      "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment." John 7:24 (Ephesians 5:11, 1 Corinthian 5:12).

      "But he who is spiritual judges ALL things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one." 1 Corinthians 2:15 (1 Corinthian 6:2-3; 10:15; 14:29, Romans 16:17)

      Judging Is Believing.

      Yes, and why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right? (Luke 12:57)

      What is right?

      The statutes of the Lord are right (Psalm 19:8).

      False Christians (and others) often tell us it is not right to judge. Some fools hypocritically condemn us for judging (Luke 6:37), and they all hypocritically judge that we judge. When we identify preachers as false teachers leading both themselves and those who follow them to hell, when we declare others as on their way to hell, and especially when we warn them they are lost, we often hear these words (or the equivalent), "Judge not" (Matthew 7:1). Yet, these words are exactly why we judge.

      Amen.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Don

      @notheism, then I ask only one thing. WHO appointed her the consceince of everyone else in life? It certainly wasn't the mythological god she claims to worship because supposedly his words were 'Judgement is mine, Judge NOT lest Ye be judged' Thus according to her religion this makes her a hypocrite, which her mythological god also states is the WORST sin of alal sins, to claim to be a christian but not to ACT like one. I do not care WHO or WHAT she believes in. But it is NOT her place to go and be EVERYONE else's conscience, she needs to work on herself and become more in tune with her so called religion. Gandhi had it very right, chrisitanity does sound good but the way Americans practice it makes it an abomination.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • notheism

      @HeavenSent, quoting a fantasy book doesn't make anything you say more true. If you quoted Harry Potter, I would have the same reaction.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Don

      @Heavensent " Judge NOT lest Ye be Judged for Judgement is mine saith the Lord" I think that says it all. Also, no man can say he is free of sin, let he who hath not sinned cast the first stone, do yu also remember that one as well?

      February 5, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • PrimeNumber

      Don, let me tell you some discouraging news. If you had dug a little deeper here's what you would find: human nature. Human nature can and will and does distort anything. If you take a jerk who is a Christian, make him an atheist, he will probably still be a jerk. But nothing in atheism urges him to do better. Christianity at least attempts to bring human nature up a notch. But let's get rid of religion, and face ourselves. THe conclusion? Humanity has evolved into a freak. People were not created equal, but evolved unequally. Humans no longer know how to live on this earth (pollution). People enslave each other just as Darwin's red aunts enslaved the black ones. EVolution gave us minds that have allowed us to turn against ourselves (nukes, WW1, WW2, and now the H5N1 lab virus produced by some Dr. Jekyl in the Netherlands.
      And we don't call atheists hypocrites: you can't be a hypocrite unless you first embrace a standard and then violate it. Any standard held by the atheist is borrowed. He's too tolerant. Tolerance requires very little thought.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Toby

      Njbob. Good to see you ran out of things to say.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Biendako

      Jesus had opinions, and he sent out disciples to preach and share those opinions.
      This woman seems to be doing that...
      Seems to me she is acting like Christ...

      don don donnnnn

      February 5, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • TheTraveler

      "Sorry Traveler yes you can say the same thing but just like you and her I do NOT claim to worship a mythological god who says the worst sin of all is to be a hypocrite. To claim to be a christian and then to judge others which is forbidden in the bible makes you and her a hypocrite because you are NOT really a christian. I have read and studied your pathetic bible often, I suggest you do likewise before trying to act 'Holier' than thou."

      Wrong again Don. There is nothing in my post where I profess to be anyone of faith, Christian or otherwise. You automatically assume I am because I have a somewhat wider view of the issue than you do evidently and I can weigh the argument on both sides. I simply disagreed with your post and refuted your analysis. Your obvious dislike of anything or anyone of faith impairs your ability to reason or post intelligently.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Don

      I so love christiaans like Traveller who tries to denounce their beliefs when all they do is defend them over and over, just shows truly stupid people NEED religion because they are SO afraid of the TRUTH.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • notheism

      @PrimeNumber, I understand your nature vs. nurture (or indoctrination) point and I see it with nature vs. nurture vs. rationality. It sounds, however, like you're saying that our ability to reason is in fact the problem. I agree to a certain extent, but, if what you say is true, what is the solution? Shouldn't we utilize reason to attempt to make things better, or should we abandon it and hope that things get better (perhaps guided by religious dictators)?

      February 5, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • crazyvermont

      sound angry Don

      February 5, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  12. GodIsTheWay

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with abolishing pro-st-it-ut-ion. Personally, I find the practice disgusting and repugnant. It IS the world's 2nd oldest sin after all (right after original sin.) The government does not do enough to stamp out this disgusting, evil practice. When churches have to step in to do the government's job, it's bad. But then again, who actually expects an obongo goverment to do anything right?

    February 5, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Don

      That is your opinion and you are welcome to it but that does NOT give you the "Right" to force your 'opinion' on ANYONE else. Act like christ if you are going to claim to BE a christian.

      February 5, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • NJBob

      How long have you been a racist? Did you learn that in church too?

      February 5, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Toby

      Hey don, isnt he basically doing exactly what you just did? Post your opinion? The hypocrisy is off the charts in this thread

      February 5, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Don

      Uh Toby, I do not clam to live by a mythological god who says the worst sin is BEING a hypocrite, she DOES, there in lies ALL the difference.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • TheTraveler

      "That is your opinion and you are welcome to it but that does NOT give you the "Right" to force your 'opinion' on ANYONE else." Really Don?

      Try reading your own post: " Poor Poor misguided Toby. She is NOT trying to help ANYONE, she is only trying to PUMP UP her OWN self righteousness in her own eyes. She is NOTHING but a pathetic HYPOCRITE which according to her mythological god is the worst sin of all. Ever truly read the bible Toby? I have many many times, that is why I know it is NOTHING but a pathetic myth."

      Hypocrite.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • GodIsTheWay

      @Don: I don't remember putting a gun to your head to force you to learn the truth. Also, I'm not a "she."

      @NJBob: I'm not. Last time I checked, disagreeing with a presidency is not racism. However, nice try.

      @TRaveller: I'm still not a she. I am, however, completely ent-it-led through the con-sti-tution of the United States to state my feelings and opinions whenever I so see fit, without fear of censure or government interference.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Peter

      Forcing your thoughts and morals on others isnt what so called "god" would have wanted you to do.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Don, the poster is acting like Jesus, pointing out what is sin.

      P.S. Stop acting like an arrogant, big ego atheist that wants chaos to rule supreme so they can sit on the top of the heap.

      Amen.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • GodIsTheWay

      @Peter: It's too bad that I'm not. Quit trying to be a victim.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Don

      You ALWAYS have to lLOVE the oh so self righteous christians, they are so quick to "Preach that which they do not even come close to practicing rather than Practicing that which they preach". ROFLMFAO @ the truly stupid people who 'think' they are going to do anyting once they die EXCEPT become worm food.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Toby

      Whatever you claim to be your religion to be, you are still spouting your opinion here and doing the same thing. It doesnt matter how you mince words, semantics wont help you argue your point. Man, you are one confused dude.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • GodIsTheWay

      @Don: uhh.. wahh? Cry often? Stop trying to be a victim. You're not one.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • bajadelmar

      Toby, you're a blatant hypocrite. Xian doctrine is not the rule of law in this country. If this country was a xian theocracy with complete control gays/lesbians and atheists/agnostics would be burned at the stake or stoned to death. Don't believe me take a good look at countries like Iran. Xians always put themselves first, controlling others based on their made-up BELIEFS.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Don

      Actually I do NOT cry at all, instead I get a lot of humor and laugh a lot at pathetic stupid people who got caught up in the biggest scam ever sold, religion. And ya know? Thanks for the laughs, you truly are so laughable and funny ROFLMFAO @ stupid people like christians.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • GodIsTheWay

      @Don: What I find really amusing is that you call me an idiot, but I'm scientifically more capable than about 90% of the rest of the world, my IQ is higher than any member of your family has ever been able to dream about, I'm far more technologically knowledgable and capable than you are. I also work in a very humble job, doing what I enjoy.. helping people. I love science and technology. I also love God. You can do both, after all.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Capt. Aubrey

      @Don

      It is truly unintelligent to bash a christian for saying what they believe, then do the same yourself while encouraging said christian to "act like christ" and proceed to bash said christian again for being self-righteous and not practicing what they preach.....even though that christian has posted nothing on this thread that has in any way been self-righteous.....

      You on the other hand have been insulting, rude, and hypocritical......please stop posting and misrepresenting the rest of us atheists because when your final recourse is to insult someone's intelligence based on their 2-3 posts (or simply b/c they are christian) and you start "ROFL" as a way to avoid an intelligent rebuttal you come across as the "stupid' one no matter what high ground you attempt to speak from....

      February 5, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Capt. Aubrey

      well, when I wrote my last post GodIsTheWay hadn't been insulting yet.....now he crossed over....scratch that from my last post

      February 5, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Capt. Aubrey

      @GodIsTheWay

      seriously? how do you know your IQ is "higher than any member" of his family?....c'mon man

      February 5, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • GodIsTheWay

      @CAptAubrey: I know this because I read, I weigh. I don't post often, because I mostly study. I've been studying the disease known as Atheism for a long time now. That's what it is, is a disease. Atheists aren't intelligent enough to catch it. As for Don, well... education tends to run in families, and according to everything Don has ever posted, his reading comprehension skills run so low as to barely qualify for third grade literacy level, while his critical thinking skills are also severely underdeveloped. All he really has to fall back on are ad hominem attacks that don't include the ideal of logic or reasoning, which he CLAIMS to hold so dear. That's how I know I am.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Toby

      Bajad. I dont think you really understand what it is youre saying. And hypocrisy doesnt mean what you think it means.. Either that or you are really really confused

      February 5, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  13. Helaine

    This is great! FINALLY! A christian-based effort that protects the rights of those being exploited, instead of taking away the rights of women in favor of the not-yet-living. This is an effort I can - and will - support! Thank you Danielle Mitchell..you are so brave and right on target!!!

    February 5, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • notheism

      Helaine, the two are not mutually exclusive. On one hand you're talking about women rights and on the other, abortion. Well, guess what, pro-choice means women rights... and you don't have to be religious to be on either side.
      Additionally, if the effort had been non-Christian-based, would it have been worth less of your attention?

      February 5, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Don

      She is no hero and she is NO christian, she truly needs to LEARN about christ before she can continue to pretend to be a christian instead of nothing but an egotistical HYPOCRITE!

      February 5, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • notheism

      @Helaine, I apologize. I just reread your post and you're absolutely right; I misread it the first time.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • TheTraveler

      Don evidently has his own set of blinders on: "She is no hero and she is NO christian, she truly needs to LEARN about christ before she can continue to pretend to be a christian instead of nothing but an egotistical HYPOCRITE"!

      This is from someone who just a few posts up lamented about having an opinion shoved down our throats. Hypocrite.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Don

      You know, you really cannot reason with stupid people like chrsitians, they lack the ability to reason, that is how they got sucked into the biggest scam ever sold.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Toby

      Don. Thanks for exposing your hatred. Not like we didnt know you were like that though.. "stupid people like christians".. Um, thats the train of thought that led hitler to his decisions. Youre in for a long hard road. Once you turn 18 youll understand a little more about acceptance and peace. Have a good life.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Toby

      Traveler. Don isnt a hypocrite, hes just ignorant. Its like a dog barking ferociously when hes really scared to death and doesnt understand. Don will come around once he gets a little older and moves out of the basement.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  14. I am not an atheist

    "Every scientist on earth with any credibility is an atheist" Do you even know what the word science mean?
    FYI : Science (from Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of TESTABLE explanations and predictions about the universe.[1] An older and closely related meaning still in use today is that found for example in Aristotle, whereby "science" refers to the body of reliable knowledge itself, of the type that can be logically and rationally explained..." Show me any object that EXIST without a maker! (logic) TESTABLE : Do you know the sun is shrinking and science is able to measure how much per decade so it can be calculated how big the sun was millions/billions years ago and it would be to big = nothing could live on the earth? Measurable = logic = no stupid billion of years fairytale.... Also, the moon is sloooowly moving away from the earth, meaning it has been closer ( can be caculated) how close would it have been millions/billions of years ago. The tide is because of the moon.... 🙂 IF the moon has been closer, calculating the evolution millions/billions of years, the earth at one point would be drowned every day, tide to high. In regard to population growth, we are now at 7 billion and with LOTS of room (still) on earth to populate. IF you take the time to calculate people added and people dying calculating years backward, you'll actually end up with just a few thousands of years, like 5-8, NOT 100 million or 100 billion of years when mankind "showed" up. With the "moderate" evolution calculation of the age of mankind of let's say "100 million years ago" by now the world would be a VERY uncomfortable place to live = no room! SO SCIENCE or should we say MODERN SCIENCE of today, can confirm this to you. Don't live in the 'dark ages' so called data. There is no magic, every existing thing/object have a maker, so logic calls for one making this earth/universe, wether you understand that or not IT is logic! NOT " the spinning ball/ explosion fairytale... (You don't get order by explosions) Turn to your maker!

    February 5, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • notheism

      @I am not an atheist, "Show me any object that EXIST without a maker! (logic) TESTABLE" Are you trying to say that all living things are objects?
      The rest of your post was very confusing. I think I understand that you're trying to say that there was no evolution of the universe because you can't get your numbers to match up. That's probably because you're not an actual scientist, expert in the pertinent fields.

      February 5, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • NJBob

      The depth of your ignorance leaves me gasping for breath. It's truly stunning. You didn't get ANYTHING right!!!

      February 5, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      We do not have order .. we have chaos that we recognize as order since we've evolved to be accustomed to it. That's logic. Believing is an unseeable, untouchable, unprovable God(s) is delusion, not logic. Look up the definition of delusion.

      February 5, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • PrimeNumber

      Scientists may be credible when talking about their own specialty. When they talk about God, they are as out of their depth as the person who picks up our trash every week.

      February 5, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • LinCA

      @PrimeNumber / catholic engineer

      You said, "When they talk about God, they are as out of their depth as the person who picks up our trash every week."
      Any adult who seriously tries to discuss their imaginary friend could use some help.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses, you posted "We do not have order .. we have chaos that we recognize as order since we've evolved to be accustomed to it. That's logic. Believing is an unseeable, untouchable, unprovable God(s) is delusion, not logic. Look up the definition of delusion."

      Answer: Hitler couldn't do a better job recruiting nazis into his regime. You atheists are being conned the same way.

      Amen.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Toby

      Linca. Doesnt it worry you that you are repeating the same ideas and words verbatim that every other person in your religion does? "imaginary friend". You heard other athiests say it and you picked it up and now you are saying it. Dont you feel like a sheep? I mean, you should practice concepts not words. You guys all sound the same, if you didnt have names here id think it was the same guy. Can you not see how religious you are?

      February 5, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Brian

      Your Christian science that you learn at your christian schools is not science, It is fabricated bs. Go to an accredited college that teaches about reality.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Heavensent ... that is not an answer, but it is what I'd expect from someone without an answer.

      Amen Brother

      February 5, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Toby

      You said, "Doesnt it worry you that you are repeating the same ideas and words verbatim that every other person in your religion does?"
      There really are only so many ways to express the sheer insanity of adults still believing in creatures that are no different from the Tooth Fairy (I'm sure you've seen that one before), or Pink Unicorns (ditto), or my favorite, Bob the Magical Blue Sock.

      Even a belief in Santa Claus, the Abominable Snowman or Loch Ness Monster are more reasonable than belief in your god.

      You said, ""imaginary friend"."
      Until there is some evidence to suggest your god is anything other than imaginary, the description fits.

      You said, "You heard other athiests say it and you picked it up and now you are saying it."
      *atheists. And even if that were true, it doesn't make it any less valid.

      You said, "Dont you feel like a sheep? I mean, you should practice concepts not words. You guys all sound the same, if you didnt have names here id think it was the same guy."
      It may sound the same to you, but I guess it is because our positions are very similar. Until there is evidence to the contrary, it is ridiculous to believe there are any gods.

      You said, "Can you not see how religious you are?"
      Being religious requires worship or belief, so no.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  15. bill

    Don't EVERRRRR est sweet potatoes at a truck stop.

    February 5, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • LARRY

      I MET A GIRL AT A TRUCK ONCE AND SHE GAVE ME THE BEST HEAD I EVER HAD, OTHER THEN MY BROTHER.

      February 5, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  16. bill

    Could this article win a Pulitzer Prize or even a Nobel? I think not!

    February 5, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • KEVIN

      I AM GETTING ALL HORNED UP JUST READING THIS STUFF. I'M SITTING HERE IN MY PANTYS.

      February 5, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Credenza

      Kevin – No friends; live alone; not bright enough to have a hobby so you show yourself up as a disgusting little man on an anonymous board – and you think anyone who is not one chromosome removed from a potato will be amused?????? Grow up, little Muppet!

      February 5, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  17. If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

    As an Atheist I'd love to say how scientifically adept I am, but that actually has little to do with Atheism. Even a cursory examination of the history of religions & the psychological evolution of God(s) will leave you with little choice but to accept an Atheistic view of religion.

    February 5, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Toby

      Atheism is the only religion that Is completely learned. There is no person on earth who would naturally become an athiest. It is a peer learned behavior and is an un natural path for the mind.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Toby, you are to indoctrinated to see clearly. All people are born Atheists naturally. It is natural to anthropomorphize things in nature that we don't understand & give it a name .. until we learn what it is or what causes it. Your post is so obviously & easily dismissed that I'd suspect it's a trolling attempt, but I've read some of you other posts.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Toby

      Sorry man, but people naturally gravitate toward the idea and concept of a god from birth. It happens naturally, sometimes to a fault. But denial of a higher being is a learned trait. For how can you deny a god without first accepting the idea of one. I know you hate religion, but dont be naive about the human mind.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Toby .. "For how can you deny a god ..." even your post sounds like an indoctrinated recital of text.
      I don't need to first accept the concept of a teapot floating at a lagrange point between the Earth & Moon to not believe in it's existence. Not once in human history has a people separated from another come to the conclusion of the same God(s). I'm agreeing with you that it's natural to create a God(s), but that it's a trait of the human mind with it's ability for abstract thought & not a real being. It's just how our mind answers questions we can't yet understand.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  18. Reality

    A possible solution?

    Video tape the situation i.e.the time and date, the girl getting into the truck, the truck's license plate and the pimp's car and license plate and run said tapes on YouTube. Shame is a great deterrent as are wives of truckers who find that their husbands are not being faithful. Complaints made to the trucking companies and to those companies paying these truckers to haul their products would also help to put a quick end to said practice especially when said truckers lose their jobs over their obscene activities. With the sophisticated video cameras/recorders available today, the taping can be done at a safe distance.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    February 5, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  19. bill

    Wait. What just happened? P!mp$ & Wh0re$ in NC?

    February 5, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  20. bill

    Moral of the story – Don't go to truck stops and don't watch Julia Roberts movies.

    February 5, 2012 at 2:43 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.