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My Take: Why should Santorum decide who's a real Christian?
February 20th, 2012
01:03 PM ET

My Take: Why should Santorum decide who's a real Christian?

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

There has been much chatter in recent days about the reinjection of religious matters into the presidential campaign, with a focus on the increasingly bitter debate over Catholics and contraception. But Rick Santorum has just opened up a new and dangerous front in the culture wars.

We are now being asked to debate which of the Christians running for president is really a Christian. I am referring here not to questions about Mitt Romney, whose Mormonism according to many evangelicals is not the right theological stuff, but to questions about President Barack Obama.

In the past, the strategy on the right was to intimate that Obama was a closet Muslim (he is not.) It was too crass even for our crassest politicians to come out and utter this falsehood, so, when asked about Obama’s faith, the strategy was to say, “If the president says he’s a Christian, he’s a Christian.”

In fact, that is precisely what Santorum said in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday.

This “Obama is a Muslim, maybe” strategy was also on display in Lady Lake, Florida, in January when a woman in the audience called Obama an “avowed Muslim” and Santorum let her remarks pass unchallenged.

Santorum took things a step further on Saturday, however, when he blasted the president for adhering to a "phony theology." The context, oddly enough, was a discussion of oil drilling technology, namely “fracking.”

In an effort to explain why Obama was in his view dragging his heels on this new technology, Santorum said the president was not motivated by “quality of life” issues. “It’s not about your job. It’s about some phony ideal, some phony theology,” he said. “Oh, not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology. But no less a theology.”

On Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation," Santorum tried to shift the conversation from Obama's faith to the "phony ideal" of "radical environmentalists." "I accept the fact that the president's a Christian," he said,  even as he insisted on questioning Obama's "worldview."

Later on Sunday, at a suburban Atlanta megachurch, he seemed to compare Obama to Hitler while comparing Americans' complacency about Obama today to complacency about the Germans during World War II. "Remember, the greatest generation for a year and a half, sat on the sidelines while Europe was in darkness," he said. "We think . . . 'This will be okay. I mean, yeah, maybe he's not the best guy after a while. after a while you find out some things about this guy over in Europe who's not so good of a guy after all."

I will leave it to theologians to explain to me what the Bible says about hydraulic fracturing, to lexicographers to parse the fine distinctions between phony "theology" and a phony "worldview," and to historians (or 5th graders) to distinguish between our president and Germany's Fuhrer, but my point is this: Santorum has crossed a line.

In 2008, he crossed a similar line, but he had not yet announced his run for president, so his remarks went largely unnoticed. In remarks at Ave Maria University in Naples, Florida, however, he said that our culture war actually a “spiritual war” and that “Satan” was on the march in America.

This “Prince of Lies,” as Santorum called him, was destroying universities, the government and popular culture. But he had also infiltrated mainline Protestantism, which in Santorum's view had ceased to live up to the name of “Christian.” “We look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country and it is a shambles. It is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it," Santorum said.

All this language about the “phony theology” of the president and mainline Protestants is in my view a misguided response to the decision of the Democrats to get right with God after Senator John Kerry’s loss to President Bush in the 2004 election.

Up to and during that election, Republicans were able to cloak themselves in the mantle of right religion and tar the Democrats as the party of the secular left. After 2004, however, the Democrats spoke increasingly about God and the Bible, linking their public policies to longstanding Christian commitments to justice and the poor.

Today Republicans continue to attack Democrats for adhering to the religion of “none of the above,” but such charges are increasingly implausible. So the new charge is not that the Democrats are godless. It is that they are the wrong kind of Christians.

There is considerable debate about what the founders meant when they preserved religious liberty and disestablished religion in the First Amendment. About these meanings (and in my view they were multiple) reasonable people can disagree.

It is also worth debating how far the founders thought religious diversity might go in their new nation. There was some conversation about Muslims and Jews during debates over Constitution's exclusion of any religious test for federal office. Some questioned whether Americans really wanted to allow non-Christians to be president.

There is no debating, however, the fact that the founders insisted on amity among the Christian denominations. In fact, they saw such amity as essential to peace and prosperity in their new republic.

Now Rick Santorum is turning the tables on those 19th century bigots who excommunicated Catholics from the community of the Christian faith. Evangelicals apparently pass muster with him, but not liberal Protestants, who according to Saint Santorum are less Christian than he.

There are doubtless theological discussions to be had here. In fact, Americans have been having them since the Reformation. And if Santorum wants to address a Catholic catechism class about whether Protestants are going to heaven, more power to him.

I also have no problem with Santorum citing chapter and verse from a papal encyclical to explain why he thinks "artificial birth control" is “harmful to women” and "harmful to our society" (as he said in 2006).  You want to give Catholic reasons for your public policies? Knock yourself out. Just don’t expect non-Catholics to agree with them (or many Catholics, for that matter).

Santorum also has every right to argue (as he has repeatedly) that church and state have never been separated in the United States the way some strict separationists would like them to be. But there must be some distinction between what happens in a sermon on Sunday morning and what happens in a presidential debate.

Conservatives in the United States have long spoken on behalf of community values. One of the most venerable values in American public life is religious pluralism.

This tradition of agreeing to disagree in the public square about such matters as the Trinity does not dictate that you check your faith at the door. It does not mandate that we all become moral relativists or theological compromisers. It does insist, however, that we refrain from reducing God to a wedge - which is to say a tool –for our own partisan politics. As any real conservative will recognize, that is not our tradition.

When I look at the shape of politics in this country, I too see that it is a shambles. And when I look at Rick Santorum's recent remarks I see one reason why.

My question for the former Senator from Pennsylvania is not whether he adheres to the right kind of Christianity. My question is whether there is anything he will not say in order to become president. Have you, sir, no sense of decency?

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church and state • Culture wars • Politics • Protestant • Rick Santorum • Uncategorized • United States

soundoff (796 Responses)
  1. brdwyguy

    Let me start by saying, I am Catholic and from Pennsylvania. I have a question I wish someone would ask of Mr. Santorum.
    "Mr Santorum, as president of the United States, how do you plan on representing all non-christians that are US Citizens? Or will you just be ignoring them?"

    February 21, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  2. toosliq

    I wonder if there will ever be a major religion where people actually followed and took seriously what Jesus of Nazareth himself preached.

    February 21, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
  3. Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
    Prayer makes you fat.
    Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Prayer fucks up your knees and your neck 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 makes you think doilies are exciting.
    Prayer makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
    Prayer gives you knobbly knees.
    Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just google him to find out.
    Prayer dulls your senses.
    Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
    Prayer makes you hoard cats.
    Prayer makes you smell like shitty kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
    Prayer wastes time.

    February 21, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
  4. Nii Croffie

    If the X'tian God can do xyz but does not do it then He does not exist. Is that what u r saying Bizarre? Well imagine me saying because my president has the power to declare war and has not he does not exist. Or because he has not given a State of the Nation Address he does not exist. Absurd.

    February 21, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  5. denny

    Could we all agree Obama is a christian if he cheated on his wife, dumped her for a younger woman, cheated on her, and than dumped wife #2 for another younger woman.

    February 21, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  6. GvilleT

    I'm a Christian, but I don't want the government all up in my business. ANYONE using their Christian faith for power, money or fame is not using it in the way God intended. It should be a personal thing. Also, as a Christian NO ONE should pass judgement on another. Isn't that the whole basis of Christianity...if someone says their Christian, then they are a Christian??? Why would someone question Obama or his beliefs, especially if he claims to be a Christian and he goes to church? Santorum is a FREAK! Talk about BIG GOVERNMENT! He's going to start telling us what church we can or can't go to from the oval office if he's elected. God help us all!!!

    February 21, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>"He's going to start telling us what church we can or can't go to from the oval office if he's elected. "

      When did he say that? Do you have youtube clip or link to this statement?

      February 21, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • quybaosky

      No, god will not helps us, but we are the people can by NOT vote for this Satanom crazy numb nuts on this coming election. He is a Hitler's reborn!

      February 21, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
  7. Hypatia

    My goodness, this article really brought out the lunatic fringe!

    February 21, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Actually, every article in the Belief blog brings out the same usual suspects, including me. These discussions via comments, are a very popular hang-out for those who love to debate theology, regardless of the article's subject. And some of us are definitely more zany than others.

      February 21, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  8. Bootyfunk

    it's a mainstay of the christian faith to judge everyone - except yourself.

    February 21, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  9. Rev. Rick

    For a while there I thought maybe Santorum might be worth looking at as a GOP candidate. But he opens his mouth and reveals himself to be no better than Neuter Gingwitch and the rest of that ilk. It's getting very discouraging. Obama is beginning to look more and more like the lesser of multiple evils.

    February 21, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  10. dani

    maybe santorum should try BEHAVING like a christian instead of spreading gossip and hate. It isnt his place to judge anyone and as a "christian" he should know and practice that

    February 21, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
  11. Tim

    Isn't one of Jesus's rules of Christianity "Judge not, lest the be judge themselves"? Yeah I think it's pretty safe to say this guy missed that one.

    February 21, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Ttim

      It must be out of extreme desperation.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  12. ForGoodOfAll

    Take 'God' out of American politics forever, please!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 21, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Leo

      Educate yourself...

      Black liberation theology asks whose side should God be on – the side of the oppressed or the side of the oppressors. If God values justice over victimization, then God desires that all oppressed people should be liberated.

      Socialists generally argue that capitalism concentrates power and wealth within a small segment of society that controls the means of production and derives its wealth through a system of exploitation. This creates a stratified society based on unequal social relations that fails to provide equal opportunities for every individual to maximize their potential, ...Socialists argue that socialism would allow for wealth to be distributed based on how much one contributes to society, as opposed to how much capital one holds.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Too bad for atheists

      It NEVER happens and NEVER will to a Country who has been indivisible UNDER GOD and IN GOD it TRUSTS

      Anyway, you are free to buy a ticket to China or North Korea. But PLEASE!!! do NOT buy a round-trip one.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • EnjaySea

      As an atheist citizen of the USA, I don't have to buy a ticket to another country in order to enjoy religious freedom. I already have it right here. And I'll continue to believe or disbelieve anything I choose.

      February 21, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • jimtanker

      Too bad,

      The US has only been “under god” or “in god we trust” since the 50s when a bunch of people got scarred of the evil communists and thought that this was going to do anything. It didn’t do anything, It was just a stupid political deal.

      We are a secular nation just as the founding fathers wanted us to be.

      February 21, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • toosliq

      Just because you say, chant, pledge, print the words "under God, indivisible" and "In God we trust" dosesn't mean you are/do.

      February 21, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
  13. Wow

    The GOP is for the rich, people. The fact hat they jumped in bed with the religious right is what is destroying their Party. The .1% only care about their money and protecting their assets. Religion, abortion, conteaceptives, gun and immigration scare tactics are issues only put out to smoke screen and draw in the simple minded and one-issue voters. The billionaires who want desparately to control the Treasury and the Laws favoring the rich are using you. If you are a woman or poor, you are a fool to vote for Sanotrum or any of this bunch plain and simple.

    February 21, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • Leo

      Obama has brought into America his Black Liberation Theology and people are buying it hook line and sinker. The Oppression by the rich, and class warefare that also gave rise to Marxism, look into history and look into the truth.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • Eric

      If you are a woman, poor, or middle class, and vote for either major Party you are a fool. Both Parties now claim to be Christian, to be championing what Christ did, and yet neither clearly understand what Christ was asking believers to do. That is very sad. Women are being used to achieve an agenda other than reproductive rights. Children in public schools are being used to achieve an agenda other than literacy. The abortion rates here in America are twice those of Western European nations, why? Democrats claim to be the ones who stand up for those who have no voice, and yet they are the ones who speak loudest in favor of killing fetuses who are unable to speak for themselves. Why aren't they the advocates for the unborn? It is all just a smokescreen to hide the actual agenda. They have succeeded in dehumanizing the unborn child, who is to be next? The elderly? The mentally challenged? Or the emotionally disabled? Will it be triggered by economics? The elderly are costing us too much money in health expenses and are causing our economy to fail? Personal productiviity may be the "smoke" used to convince us that we ought euthanize everyone over the age of 75, or have an IQ under 80. Hey, that will solve the population problem won't it? That will open up some more jobs for the young people won't it? Sounds good to me!

      It is coming people. Santorum is merely pointing out an observation that any Christian can easily see for themselves, if they understand what it takes to actually be a Christian. The criteria are clearly laid out in the Bible. So many who say that they are Christians are that in name only. When pressed to describe what God wants them to do with their lives, they come up with social activism and loving everyone. Jesus was not an acitivist seeking social change. He came to change one person at a time from the heart to the outside behavior. Lasting social change only comes through changing the hearts of people, not from throwing money at them. Real Cjhristians do not impose their faith upon everyone else; they merely show their faith through how they live each and every day.

      February 21, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Dance This Mess Around

      *** Obama has brought into America his Black Liberation Theology ....

      What the fork ???
      Leo, you make this garbage up pretty good for an idiot.

      February 21, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Leo

      Educate yourself...

      Black liberation theology asks whose side should God be on – the side of the oppressed or the side of the oppressors. If God values justice over victimization, then God desires that all oppressed people should be liberated.

      Socialists generally argue that capitalism concentrates power and wealth within a small segment of society that controls the means of production and derives its wealth through a system of exploitation. ...Socialists argue that socialism would allow for wealth to be distributed based on how much one contributes to society, as opposed to how much capital one holds.

      These two ideas are now mainstream thought processes that will help him get re-elected.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:40 am |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    February 21, 2012 at 7:26 am |
    • Primewonk

      Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam!
      Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!
      Spam spa-a-a-a-a-am spam spa-a-a-a-a-am spam.
      Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam!
      Spam spam spam spam!

      February 21, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • Dance This Mess Around

      Prayer bots should be deleted.
      They may be infected.

      February 21, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Proven

      February 21, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • just sayin

      Truth Wonderful Truth

      February 21, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • EnjaySea

      Prayer works, sometimes. I've also found that when playing poker, I get a full house, sometimes.

      February 21, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  15. AutumnskyD

    The negativity of the right has finally reached the point that they consume even themselves with hatred. The left has let lust for power and greed for money to achieve that power drive them to duplicity and inaction. We are left leaderless in an era the cries out for leaders. Stop voting out of tradition and religious belief, do you think the Jew or Buddhist in the next booth cares who the best Christian is. Start voting for America before there no America. Turn off your tv forget your political party and do the right thing before you have ask your bank who you can sleep with. BTW the right thing is thinking for yourself.

    February 21, 2012 at 6:37 am |
  16. 1man

    religion belongs nowhere on earth. We do have science, no need for fairy tales anymore. Religious scholar? What an oxymoronic statement. Gop is a dying breed. It funny to me.. a friend had a family member become very sick, instead of recognizing that science saved her life he thanked god and ignored the fact that science saved her life. Hmm when she had the stroke where did they take her? to a church? God doesn't give life folks. people take lives in the name of god.

    February 21, 2012 at 4:17 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      Another example of
      the DOLT PROPOSITION
      Disease(God's will)=Medicine(Satan's will)
      Disease(Satan's will)=Medicine(God's will)
      leaving out conveniently Genesis Ch.2
      Disease(Man's will)=Medicine(man's will)
      Take responsibility for ur life. Love ur neighbor as urself. The Bible says we have power to

      February 21, 2012 at 5:01 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      for me He manifests most when I love my neighbor as myself. I also know Him through the Bible and learning about the world I live in. One example is the Mosaic Model. I don't think Moses may have known what it was himself? or stories like Adam n Eve which do not make common sense.

      February 21, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      for me He ma nif ests most when I love my neighbor as myself. I also know Him through the Bible and lea rning about the world I live in. One example is the Mosaic Model. I don't think Mo ses may have known what it was himself? or sto ries like Adam n Eve which do not make com mon se nse.

      February 21, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Leo

      Those great scientist always doing only good! So perfect and far better than other men, Right?

      Now we have the atom bomb, and all other sorts of ways to kill each other. We are now creating new strains H5N1 that could destroy millions more.

      The problem is MAN and MAN alone, you can blaim God, but the the truth is Religion in the wrong hands has the same problems as Science in the wrong hands.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Chubby Rain

      Leo, "God" is responsible for 99.9% of all diseases and natural disasters. Cancer? Flu? Tsunamis? Earthquakes? All on him. Rather than believe and omnipotent, benevolent God would do this, it makes more sense that God doesn't exist and these things are part of natural processes.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • Leo

      Do you blame him for Hiroshima, WW1, WW2, The Soviet Socialist Murders, The Deaths in Communist China, the starvation when we have plenty of food to feed everyone? The killings going on now?

      February 21, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Eric

      1man,
      Yours is only one way to perceive life. God gives life, god gives man a brain and expects him to use it wisely. So in thanking God I implicitly am also thanking the doctors who save my loved one through their skills. Science is only possible because God has given man the ability to think and to synthesize new concepts from out of older data and concepts. No other animal has this ability.

      February 21, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • Chubby Rain

      Yes, Leo. Man is responsible for war... You didn't really address my post.

      February 21, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • EnjaySea

      Come on people, get with the program! All of the bad stuff is caused by man, and all of the good stuff is caused by god.

      When you pray and nothing happens, that's a problem with your faith. When you pray and something great happens, that's god's grace. If you survive a drowning, it was your fault for falling in the water, but god's beneficence that pulled you out.

      February 21, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Bizarre

      Eric:
      "Science is only possible because God has given man the ability to think and to synthesize new concepts from out of older data and concepts."

      It seems as if you are not a believer in the Bible. In Leviticus 14 "God" spoke to Moses and told him the correct treatment and cure for leprosy. It is the dangedest, silliest thing you'd ever want to read. This was the LORD speaking, Eric, THE LORD - how dare anyone search for a better treatment!

      Briefly, it says:
      Get two birds. Kill one. Dip the live bird in the blood of the dead one. Sprinkle the blood on the leper seven times, and then let the blood-soaked bird fly away. Next find a lamb and kill it. Wipe some of its blood on the patient's right ear, thumb, and big toe. Sprinkle seven times with oil and wipe some of the oil on his right ear, thumb and big toe. Repeat. Finally find another pair of birds. Kill one and dip the live bird in the dead bird's blood. Wipe some blood on the patient's right ear, thumb, and big toe. Sprinkle the house with blood 7 times. That's all there is to it.

      February 21, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Eric

      Why Does God Need Doctors?

      An Omnipotent god, if He existed, would not need doctors. He would just heal. The bible doesn't say god will heal through doctors. In none of the passages I have read, does it mention a need for a doctor. All you need is faith, no larger than a mustard seed. LOL, 'till my sides ache.

      You go to the doctor, because you know the bible is B.S. You know prayer does not work. One shot of antibiotic, is better than all the prayers ever prayed, for curing an infection. You know it, and I know it.

      Knowledge – Information and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.

      Man gained his knowledge, over time, through hard work. If god were responsible, why did he wait so long to give medical knowledge? Why doesn't He give a cure for AIDS or cancer?

      Why did God create all the horrid things that harm humans to begin with? All the germs and viruses and parasites...All part of an all loving god's creation. ?

      Look back through history. Man's knowledge was acquired over time. Man developed a vaccine for Smallpox. 300 to 500 million people died from Smallpox in the 20th century. If god gave man this knowledge, or allowed man this knowledge, why didn't He give it in time to save these people's lives? Why doesn't He give man the cure for cancer or HIV? How many people must die, how much suffering must occur, before we have purchased the next cure from god?

      Cheers!

      February 21, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      DJ u still use the DOLT PROPOSITION in ur submission after being told that the God of the Bible does not work like that. Also the ritual cure for leprosy is different from the ointment Isaiah used to treat Hezekiah's boil. The first was an invocation of God and the second medicine. Both God-given.

      February 21, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      The problem with using de DOLT PROPOSITION is that it exposes most atheists as God blamers rather than people who don't believe in a god. Why do people blame God so much anyway? Is it de old Legalism which is de Juice of de Tree of Judgement? DJ answer me. Surprisingly Adam blamed God too!

      February 21, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      @Nii, your suggestion that atheists blame god is a misunderstanding. When atheists supposedly "blame" god, what we are doing is saying, "since xyz doesn't happen, even though your god should be able to perform xyz, then perhaps that suggests that there is no god."

      That's quite different than believing in the god, and then just being all whiny about what he does or doesn't do.

      February 21, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Bizarre

      Nii Croffie,
      "atheists as God blamers rather than people who don't believe in a god."

      Another one who doesn't understand (after having been told umpty-ump times) that non-believers are not accusing "God" of anything, nor do they hate one. They are carrying on a conversation, using your premise of an alleged "God", and are discussing the fallacies and contradictions of this imaginary being's purported attributes and ballyhooed accomplishments.

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

      p.s. do we have to say each time, "IF your 'God' exists, and IF it supposedly does such and such..." - u r big into shorthand - I usually just put the "God" part in quotes.

      February 21, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  17. Bobs Friend

    @ Flinders: Every doctrine of Paul is supported in the Gospels

    Lk 19:9Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”

    Jesus Himself describes Himself as one who seeks and saves what was lost in the context of saving Zacchaeus. So Paul was not alone in describing Jesus as the Savior.
    If you contend with Paul regarding Law and Grace, Jesus said this:

    Jn 6:29 Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."
    and also
    Mat 5:17
    "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them."
    As Paul says, Jesus has fulfilled all of the requirements of the Law.

    And He told the "Law abiding" Jews this:

    Matt 12: 5Or haven’t you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple desecrate the day and yet are innocent? 6I tell you that onea greater than the temple is here. 7If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’b you would not have condemned the innocent. 8For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
    Jesus places Himself above both the Temple (&thereby the sacrificial system of bulls & goats, as Paul contends) and above the Sabbath itself.
    Jesus said on the Cross "It is finished", in the greek, to conclude, discharge, complete.
    He was the final sacrifice, because the Father said:
    Matt 3:17 "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."
    and Jesus said,
    Mat 26:28 " for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."

    Christian Jeopardy for 800

    February 20, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • Mirosal

      I would like to see ANY link you have, by any reputable, legitimate, licensed physician, phsychologist or psychiatrist that endorses your "Moses model". Surely with the advances in physiology and psychiatric reserach in the past 100 years, surely SOMEONE somewhere has verified this "model", right?

      February 21, 2012 at 5:39 am |
    • Science fail big time

      @Mirosal, you said:

      "I would like to see ANY link you have, by any reputable, legitimate, licensed physician, phsychologist or psychiatrist that endorses your "Moses model"."

      So you meant to say that for anything to be proven to be true "must" be endorsed by the likes in the other article?:

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/02/18/tending-the-garden-one-person-at-a-time/comment-page-34/?replytocom=1043017#respond"

      that says and I quote,

      "When he was diagnosed, doctors gave him 3 to 5 years to live.

      That was 11 years ago."

      YOU MUST BE KIDDING!

      February 21, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • EnjaySea

      Every time someone is cured of a disease first of all, it always must be pointed out that those foolish science-loving doctors were wrong, and that god intervened and saved the patient's life. We can just ignore the obvious problem that if god can save lives, then he should have been able to also just prevent the disease in the first place - we'll just set that aside.

      Or maybe this deity is just fond of playing the hero, so he gives people diseases, then saves them. The doctors look like idiots, and he comes out smelling like a rose.

      February 21, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Bobs Friend

      Assumptions:
      (1) Jesus died in about 30 C.E.
      (2) Hearsay is not acceptable evidence.

      Hearsay – hear•say/ˈhi(ə)rˌsā/
      Noun: Information received from other people that cannot be adequately substantiated; rumor.
      The report of another person's words by a witness, usually disallowed as evidence in a court of law.
      Synonyms: rumor – report – gossip – whisper – scuttlebutt – crap (mine)

      There were no eyewitness accounts of Jesus. The Gospels were written by god knows who in the third person. The Gospels were written with an agenda i.e., Jesus was the Messiah and Son of God. Old Testament predictions were said to be "fulfilled". Miraculous events are told of.
      John 20:31 – "These things are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God..."
      Apparently, nothing is going to be related, that might make you consider Jesus was not a demigod.

      We know virtually nothing about the persons who wrote the gospels we call Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
      -Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University, (The Gnostic Gospels)

      The bottom line is we really don't know for sure who wrote the Gospels.
      -Jerome Neyrey, of the Weston School of Theology, Cambridge, Mass. in "The Four Gospels," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)

      Jesus is a mythical figure in the tradition of pagan mythology and almost nothing in all of ancient literature would lead one to believe otherwise. Anyone wanting to believe Jesus lived and walked as a real live human being must do so despite the evidence, not because of it.
      -C. Dennis McKinsey, Bible critic (The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy)

      Mark was the first gospel (Markan Priority). Luke and Mathew copied from Mark and from a doc_ument called "Q". 90% of Mathew's gospel, is copied from Mark. Why would an eyewitness need to copy from Mark? Not just the same narratives, but the exact same words?

      There are no known secular writings about Jesus, that aren't forgeries, later insertions, or hearsay. NONE!
      Most of the supposed authors lived AFTER Jesus was dead. Can you say hearsay? Can you say "the dead tell no tales"?

      Philo of Alexandria (20 BC – 50 AD) a contemporary Jewish historian, never wrote a word about Jesus. This is odd, since Philo wrote broadly on the politics and theologies around the Mediterranean.

      Lucius Annaeus Seneca (ca. 4 BCE – 65 CE) A.K.A. Seneca the Younger. A contemporary of Jesus wrote extensively on many subjects and people. But he didn't write a word about a Jesus.

      Gaius Plinius Secundus (23 AD – August 25, 79 AD), better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher. Plinius wrote "Naturalis Historia", an encyclopedia into which he collected much of the knowledge of his time. There is no mention of a Jesus.

      The area in and surrounding Jerusalem served, in fact, as the center of education and record keeping for the Jewish people. The Romans, of course, also kept many records. Moreover, the gospels mention scribes many times, not only as followers of Jesus but the scribes connected with the high priests. And nothing about the Jesus. Nada! Not even something chiseled on a wall or carved into a tree like: "Jesus Loves Mary Magdalene".

      John 21:25 King James Version (KJV)
      25And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

      Golly Gee! You would think a fellow this "gifted" , would have at least been mentioned by one of these historians. Even a negative comment...
      There is a line in the musical Jesus Christ Superstar that says:"The rocks themselves would start to sing".

      Hmm...

      We don't even have a wooden shelf that Jesus might have built. Or anything written by Jesus. God incarnate, and we don't even have a Mother's day card signed by Him. Can you imagine how precious a note left by Christ, preserved by god, would be? Or even a note to Him.

      Mark 3:7- 8 King James Version (KJV)
      7But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea: and a great mult_itude from Galilee followed him, and from Judaea,
      8And from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great mult_itude, when they had heard what great things he did, came unto him.

      Yet, not one of these adoring fans, bothered to draw a picture, chisel a bust, or even write down a description. Even Mohammad has a description. Virtually all important people do. And god, being god, could have preserved it. For that matter, god could have created a bust of His only begotten. Maybe on a stone tablet.?

      Huge groups of people following a man who had performed so many miracles...yet no historian of the time, commented on it.

      The Dead Sea Scrolls did not mention Jesus or have any New Testament scripture, as some have claimed.

      Jesus, if he existed, was not considered important enough to write about by any contemporary person. The myth hadn't had a chance to flourish. The future stories and miracles needed time to grow and spread. Think about that. Explain that.

      Paul's writings were the first, about Jesus. But, Paul's writing was done 25 to 30 years after Jesus was dead. In a primitive, ultra-supersti_tious society, 25 years is a lot of time for a myth to grow. Twenty-five years was most of the average person's lifespan in the 1st Century.
      No television, No electric lights. People mostly sat around and told stories... Ever played "telephone"? A story is started at the beginning of a group. Each person passes the story along to the next person. The person at the end retells the story and it is compared to the original. Often the ending story is totally different from the original.
      Also, when you have a superhero, it is beyond belief that this hero's deeds would not get better in the telling. Consider how the writers in the Old West, would embellish the deeds of the gunslingers of the time.

      "The Messiah must be a descendent of King David. (Jeremiah 23:5, 33:17; Ezekiel 34:23-24) Although the Greek Testament traces the genealogy of Joseph (husband of Mary) back to David, it then claims that Jesus resulted from a virgin birth, and, that Joseph was not his father. " – Copyright 2008 – Jews for Judaism

      The authors of the gospels gave Jesus two separate genealogies, both of Joseph. Some claim that one of these is actually from Mary and not Joseph. This is a moot point, since the lineage must be from the father.

      There is NO mention of Herod's massacre of the infants, by any scholars of Jesus' day. It is ONLY mentioned in the Gospel of Mathew. It was included, to seemingly "fulfill" a prophesy in Jeremiah: "Then was fulfilled that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet, saying, A voice was heard in Ramah, Weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children."
      "Most recent biographies of Herod the Great deny it entirely." Paul L. Maier, "Herod and the Infants of Bethlehem", in Chronos, Kairos, Christos II, Mercer University Press (1998), p.170

      Some people feel that Paul, not Jesus, is the real father of what most Christians believe today (Pauline Christianity).
      Paul never actually met Jesus. His knowledge and faith was the result of hearsay and an epileptic "vision".
      "In more recent times, this opinion has found support from the fact that sight impediment-including temporary blindness lasting from several hours to several days-has been observed as being a symptom or result of an epileptic seizure and has been mentioned in many case reports."
      Source: http://www.epilepsiemuseum.de/alt/paulusen.html

      The Christian Right has embraced Paul as the moral lawgiver. Paul's First Ep_istle of Paul to the Thessalonians, is often quoted by the Republicans. You never hear them quote Jesus' advice to the rich. You don't bite the hand that feeds you.

      Questions on the Crucifixion story:
      "Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save." Mark 15:31
      "Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe..." Mark 15:32
      It would appear, that the chief priests are admitting that Jesus "saved" others. If they knew this, then there is no reason for them to demand that Jesus descend from the cross, in order for them to believe. They already admitted to knowing of Jesus' "miracles".
      This is just an obvious embellishment by Mark. A work of fiction possibly constructed to make it appear that some Old Testament "prediction" was fulfilled. Like:
      "I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting." – Isaiah 50:6

      The New Testament writers admitted: "These things are written that you might believe"

      "The claim that Jesus will fulfill the Messianic prophesies when he returns does not give him any credibility for his “first” coming. The Bible never speaks about the Messiah returning after an initial appearance. The “second coming” theory is a desperate attempt to explain away Jesus’ failure." – Copyright 2008 – Jews for Judaism

      Actually the tasks left undone, are the result of Jesus being a myth. Consider, that it's been 2000+ years. I don't think those "other" tasks are gonna be done. LOL

      Here is another:
      1 Corinthian 15:14-17 – Paul says Christianity lives or dies on the Resurrection.
      1 Corinthians 15:4 "4And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures"
      Matthew 12:40 – Jesus said, that He would be buried three days and three nights as Jonah was in the whale three days and three nights.
      Friday afternoon to early Sunday morning is only 2 days at the most. Or, if you count Friday and Sunday as entire days, then you could get 3 days and 2 nights. This is a gimme though. The Mary's went to the grave at sunrise and it was empty.
      Obviously, the believers spin this like a pinwheel. I have seen explanations like: Jesus was actually crucified on Wednesday or maybe Thursday; The prophesy actually means 12 hour days, and not 24 hour days; The partial days are counted as full days. This one is true, but still doesn't add up.
      At any rate, the crucifixion day and number of days and nights Jesus spent in the grave, is disputed.
      It looks very much like, that Jesus was not in the grave for 3 days and 3 nights. The prophecy was not fulfilled.
      1 Corinthian 15:14-17 – Paul says Christianity lives or dies on the Resurrection. Hmm...

      And what of this?:
      Jesus had healed a woman on the Sabbath!:
      Luke 13 31:33 KJV
      31The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee.
      32And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.
      33Nevertheless I must walk to day, and tomorrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.
      NOTE that Jesus is saying, it is impossible for a prophet (Himself) to be killed outside of Jerusalem.
      Yet, Jesus WAS killed outside Jerusalem!
      Calvary or Golgotha was the site, outside of ancient Jerusalem’s early first century walls, at which the crucifixion of Jesus is said to have occurred. OOoopsie!

      And there is this:
      According to Luke 23:44-45, there occurred "about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour, and the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst."
      Yet not a single secular mention of a three hour ecliptic event got recorded. 'Cause it didn't happen!

      Mathew 27 51:53
      51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ crucifixion and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
      How come nobody wrote about zombies running through the cities? 'Cause it is all b.s.

      An interesting note, which should not be ignored:
      "The same phenomena and portents of the sudden darkness at the sixth hour, a strong earthquake, rent stones, a temple entrance broken in two, and the rising of the dead have been reported by multiple ancient writers for the death of Julius Caesar on March 15, 44 BC." – Sources Wikipedia (John T. Ramsey & A. Lewis Licht, The Comet of 44 B.C. and Caesar's Funeral Games, Atlanta 1997, p. 99–107

      Hmm...

      If you can't even believe the crucifixion story how likely is the resurrection account to be true? In a book that is a mix of fiction and "fact", how do you know which is which? Especially, since all of the bible seems very unlikely and does not fit with the reality we see around us.?

      Then there is the "testimony" of Jesus himself, who explicitly stated that some of his disciples would not die until Jesus inst_ituted the Kingdom, and that his generation would not pass away until all his prophecies of the end of the world had been fulfilled:
      [Jesus Speaking]
      Matthew 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

      I know, spin, spin, spin. But the truth is, the authors of the Gospels wrote that Jesus predicted He would be back in the 1st Century.
      Jesus could not be wrong and be god.

      If Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of God, who died for man's redemption, then this would be the most important event in the history of man.
      Having gone to the trouble of impregnating a human and being born god incarnate and dying for mankind's sins, why wouldn't god have ensured there was tons of evidence that this was true? Multiple Writings by contemporary eyewitnesses – Jews and Romans and Greeks.
      You are going to want to say that there IS lots of evidence, but look at reality: There are way more people, in the world, who are not Christians (67%) than who are (33%). Obviously, the evidence is not adequate to convince even a majority of the world's people.
      I would expect better performance from an almighty god.?

      You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep-seated need to believe. – Carl Sagan

      Cheers!

      February 21, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  18. Reality

    Only for the newbies:

    Why the Christian Right no longer matters in presidential elections:

    Once again, all the conservative votes in the country "ain't" going to help a "pro-life" presidential candidate, i.e Mitt Romney, Newton Leroy Gingrich, Ron Paul or Rick Santorum, in 2012 as the "Immoral Majority" rules the country and will be doing so for awhile. The "Immoral Majority" you ask?

    The fastest growing USA voting bloc: In 2008, the 70+ million "Roe vs. Wade mothers and fathers" of aborted womb-babies" whose ranks grow by two million per year i.e. 78+ million "IM" voters in 2012.

    2008 Presidential popular vote results:

    69,456,897 for pro-abortion/choice BO, 59,934,814 for "pro-life" JM.

    And the irony:

    And all because many women fail to take the Pill once a day or men fail to use a condom even though in most cases these men have them in their pockets. (maybe they should be called the "Stupid Majority"?)

    The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions ( one million/yr) and S-TDs (19 million/yr) in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or condoms properly and/or use other safer birth control methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.

    February 20, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
  19. Joe

    This guy is sensationalizing the undergarments of anybody who listens, conservatively speaking, if this nominee resorts to this extent of double talking, what will he do if elected. He claimed to be the most evangelical conservative in Iowa, if this is a sample of it then give me truthful liberalism.

    February 20, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • SPA Knight

      There is no thing as truthful liberalism.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  20. Graham Krueger

    Can the religious show the slightest evidence of anything transcending simple natural processes? Any reason, why all tolerance and even knowledge should be held subordinate to the direction of those who by the very definition "believe that which they know to be untrue"?

    As far as the creation myth goes, I actually interpret it as the birth of teaching. The woman derided as weak and sinful took the apple-the symbol of knowledge from the serpent who offered it. She didn't obey the word of a patriarchal god, she was brave enough to search for truth. When she began learning (eating the apple), she didn't shy from it, or conceal her newfound knowledge. She shared it with Man, and became the first teacher (aside from the snake). Every time I see teacher's groups use the apple as their symbol, I smile. There's this whole inherent subversion of patriarchal religion going on even in its own stories, and I feel like I'm the only one to see it! (My fiance and I enjoy discussing many different mythologies, including Christian mythology as literary works, but she seldom initiates discussions of the latter. She's a proper classicist I guess).

    The only question for me is if I ever succeed in my goal of winning election to office, what shall I be sworn in on? Right now the top possibilities are a book of my fiance (and by then, hopefully, wife)'s poetry, or possibly Lovecraft's "Call of Cthulhu", just to shake things up:)

    February 20, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • O.S. Bird

      Graham: somehow I never made the connection about the apple. It doesn't matter to me whether or not the connection is real – it's the irony (if I may call it that) that is amusing. Maybe a bit of smugness too. In any event, "The Call of Cthulhu" woul dbe a good choice, though you might consider "The Dream Quest Of Unknown Kadath".

      February 20, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • Bobs Friend

      Like millions of other people who have been delivered from every kind of sin and affliction, I too took Jesus Christ up on His offer, and He supernaturally changed me forever. There are literally millions of people who have had their lives transformed by the power of Jesus Christ, by the simple act of asking Him.
      You cannot see this because you have already decided that you do not want to walk with God. You understand fully that walking with God means pursuing righteousness, and that would mean that you would have to stop doing some of the sins you love.
      The whole intellectual argument is a facade.. I know because I used to have my brain wrapped in an iron curtain like you. The bricks in the wall are your pride, your arrogance, and your love of sin.

      The really tragic part is that once you actually encounter Jesus Christ in a real way, that is, become Born Again, leaving behind sin and chasing after righteousness becomes easier and easier. Because it is based on loving God. Anyway, it is impossible for you to understand these things in your current state.
      I will pray for you, since it is your only hope.

      February 21, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      This is one of the paradoxes of atheism. Most atheists read pagan and other holy books and then equate them to those of ethical monotheism, classifying all of them as myths. If u r reading a pagan holy book and will like to be sworn into office with it then u r a pagan period. Don't lie to urself.

      February 21, 2012 at 2:34 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      "why all tolerance and even knowledge should be held subordinate to the direction of those who..."

      Graham, that is a bit of the trap. Tolerance is not a one way street. Its easy to desire tolerance, but part of wanting folks to tolerate your views is that part of you will need to dig deep and tolerate. In other words, while wishing someone to tolerate your views, you must work towards tolerating theirs.

      February 21, 2012 at 2:42 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      What u r doing is Syncretism where u combine as many religions as possible so that if u get some wrong some wud b right. Thats y ur partner has a hard time adding the Bible. Spiritually it is hard if she is more into it than u r.

      February 21, 2012 at 2:52 am |
    • Mirosal

      @ Graham - I would like to suggest you use Richard Dawkin's book "The God Delusion" when taking your oath of elective office. That would definitely shake things up a bit.

      February 21, 2012 at 2:57 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      The Eve story interpretation is virtually word for word the Satanist point of view. However the long Hebrew phrase translated Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is more accurately translated as Tree of Judgement between Good and Evil as in justice rather than discernment.

      February 21, 2012 at 3:15 am |
    • Tallulah13

      I've always thought Eve to be the most admirable character in the bible. Thank you for your perspective about the apple, Graham. I'd never even made the connection.

      February 21, 2012 at 3:43 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      If the Tree of Judgement's fruit was learning what was Eve doing when she was being taught about the fruit by the snake. Besides that will mean eating the Fruit of Life is refusing to learn. Which is stupid. Most people forget about the Tree of Life.

      February 21, 2012 at 3:56 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      The Tabernacle of Moses is a functional model of de human brain. The Holy of Holies being our cerebellum which holds our sub-conscious (spirit) n de Ark of Covenant being our conscience. The Holy place being our cerebrum (mind) n de Menorah our intelligence. The outer court is de Medula Oblongata...

      February 21, 2012 at 4:06 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      (the flesh) which contains de Altar, our instinct. The Adam and Eve story is an explanation as to why we have a conscience but cannot satisfy its requirements. This is why Moses is deemed to have written both. A myth or hypothesis? If you are conversant with history you my know the difference.

      February 21, 2012 at 4:17 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      The cerebellum (our heart) which contains our sub-conscious (spirit) where the Ark of Covenant(our Conscience) is very important here. We have psychologists telling us that the sub-conscious controls our conscious. Evolution-wise it should be the other way round. This confirms Moses' hypothesis.

      February 21, 2012 at 4:27 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      The cerebellum (our heart) which contains our sub-conscious (spirit) where the Ark of Covenant(our Conscience) is very important here. We have psychologists telling us that the sub-conscious controls our conscious. Evolution-wise it should be the other way round. This confirms Moses' model.

      February 21, 2012 at 4:29 am |
    • Mirosal

      You'd need to prove that Moses actually existed. Not one heiroglyph that has been found mentions his name. We have found PLENTY on Ramses II. It is said that Ramses II was the Pharoh that let Moses and his people go. Yet not a single word has ever been found to suggest that Jews were ever slaves of Egypt, nor has there been a single shred of evidence about a mass exodus of the Jews from Egypt. The bible is the ONLY place it is mentioned, and the historical "accuracy" of that book has been questioned for centuries. Don't you think that someone in the Pharoh's royal court would have recorded the escape of thousands of Jews from their masters? Sounds pretty newsworthy to me. Or wrote down the 'plagues' that "god" sent because of Moses? One of the plagues was the killing of the first-born. You DO know that Ramses II had over 100 children, right?

      February 21, 2012 at 4:35 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      Mirosal so u trust Egyptian tomb writings so much, huh? Do u know that it is Sudanese(including Egyptian) tradition to avoid mentioning the failures of the dead? If the Hebrews mention their ancestors' failures and Moses' model is scientifically accurate then I'll logicall go for the Bible.

      February 21, 2012 at 4:49 am |
    • Mirosal

      Where are you gettting this "Moses' model" from? What text? Is it religious, and if so, which religion? I have very limited internet here, so fill me in.

      February 21, 2012 at 4:56 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      The Moses' Functional Model of the Human Brain is the Mosaic Tabernacle in the Torah. B4 u poh poh it though take your time to go through it. I modernised the language using Anatomy and Psychology as well as Psychaitry.

      February 21, 2012 at 5:07 am |
    • Mirosal

      The Torah was written well over 3000 years ago. The functions of the brain were NOT known then, nor were the different sections of the brain. Your analogy is along the same lines as phrenology and astrology. What's next for you, tarot, palm reading, and ouija boards?

      February 21, 2012 at 5:18 am |
    • Mirosal

      This posted in the wronfg spot so I'll try again .. @ Nii ... I would like to see ANY link you have, by any reputable, legitimate, licensed physician, phsychologist or psychiatrist that endorses your "Moses model". Surely with the advances in physiology and psychiatric reserach in the past 100 years, surely SOMEONE somewhere has verified this "model", right?

      February 21, 2012 at 5:40 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      The Jews and Egyptians did not burn their dead so it is known that such peoples knew more about human anatomy than we thought possible. That said my tribe is an ancient tribe and differentiates brain functions. Maybe what you are talking about is brain physiology which are a new field in science.

      February 21, 2012 at 6:17 am |
    • Mirosal

      Brain physiology IS (not are) not all that new. And just what do you mean when you say your tribe differentiates brain functions?

      February 21, 2012 at 6:23 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      The brain functions have been known for a long time. So much so that my unsophisticated tribesmen have it in their own language. I think u r asking more about modern brain physiology than psychology which is an ancient science. The Jews used a clearer distinction of function using ancient terms.

      February 21, 2012 at 6:26 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      That is to say my tribesmen know the difference between instinct, intelligence and intuition though they do not know it comes from different parts of the brain like Medula oblongata, cerebrum and cerebellum.

      February 21, 2012 at 6:31 am |
    • Mirosal

      You said "The Tabernacle of Moses is a functional model of de human brain". First of all, the word is 'the" NOT 'de'. Second, no one really knew HOW the brain worked until the 20th century, 5000 years after the Torah was written. If you are going to describe a FUNCTIONAL model, it would help to know it FUNCTIONS. Neither the Jews, nor your tribe, had a clue how it worked. No one really did, until the 20th century came along.

      February 21, 2012 at 6:33 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      To correct a couple of Nii's definitions:
      cerebellum...Nii defined this as 'our heart', the actual definition is "The cerebellum (Latin for little brain) is a region of the brain that plays an important role in motor control."
      subconscious
      adjective
      1.existing or operating in the mind beneath or beyond consciousness: the subconscious self.
      2.imperfectly or not wholly conscious: subconscious motivations.
      noun
      3.the totality of mental processes of which the individual is not aware; unreportable mental activities.
      **Note: it does not say anything about spirit here***
      Spirit is defined as:
      1.the principle of conscious life; the vital principle in humans, animating the body or mediating between body and soul.
      2.the incorporeal part of humans: present in spirit though absent in body.
      3.the soul regarded as separating from the body at death.
      4.conscious, incorporeal being, as opposed to matter: the world of spirit.
      5.a supernatural, incorporeal being, especially one inhabiting a place, object, etc., or having a particular character: evil spirits.

      There are extreme differences in Nii's definitions compared to the actual definitions which should lead anyone with any form of common sense to the conclusion that Nii is not as intelligent as he tries to make people believe he is. Making up definitions to suit your own views doesn't work.
      Nii fails to see past his theology courses which of course tell him the 2000 plus year old garbage still applies today.
      Point here is that Nii can't be trusted and is not worthy of arguing with.

      February 21, 2012 at 6:40 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      Mirosal de world has come a long way knowing that "what goes up must surely come down" without defining this as de Law of Gravity. The Jews considered the spirit as de bearer of intuition, de mind as de bearer of intelligence n de flesh as de bearer of instinct. Now relate this 2 brain functions.

      February 21, 2012 at 6:50 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      Mirosal: You're far too intelligent to continue to argue Nii's own delusions with him. Don't feed the christard troll...he will never go back to his bridge if you do.

      February 21, 2012 at 6:55 am |
    • Mirosal

      There is NO instinct in flesh. NONE. And you haven't proven that a "spirit" of ANY kind even exists. No one has. Instinct and intelligence are in the brain. And the skin (flesh) is the largest organ in the body. It also serves to protect the internal organs, muscles, veins, arteries, capillaries, skeletal system, nervous system. all from the outside things wanting inside, like viruses, spores, fungi, and other little nasty things.

      February 21, 2012 at 6:57 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      Mirosal please basic brain science says that it has these three functions does it not. If I say my spirit does what the sub-conscious does then the two are the same, aren't they? The definitions of spirit left out this-A part of the human soul which is supposed to notice God n spiritual things.

      February 21, 2012 at 7:25 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      In your definition of flesh you mentioned the nerves. The nerves are part of the peripheral nervous system which is wired into the Medula Oblongata of the central nervous system aka brain. Then again you forgot to mention that flesh is also used for meat not just skin. Mouse is a PC input device too

      February 21, 2012 at 7:33 am |
    • Mirosal

      You still haven't shown that a soul, spirit or even a "god" itself exists. Do you believe in ghosts as well? And what the hell do you mean by "Mouse is an input device too"?

      February 21, 2012 at 7:40 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      Mirosal I said mouse is a PC input device. Read it again. We use words constantly whose definitions change. Note this for instance "Out of the heart comes all envy, murder, cheating, etc. Our att.itudes are emoted from our cerrebellum so what is 'heart' here. This was Jesus of Nazareth speaking.

      February 21, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      A soul is a personality (the other definition of spirit given by TP) inhabiting a physical body. I don't believe in ghosts. X'tianity is not so mystical as u may think. God to us is the ultimate personality. He is a self-existent soul. All powerful yet ruled by Law. He is Love personified n deified

      February 21, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • Eric

      Nice try with the apple thing, but if you actually went and read the scriptures in question you would quickly realize that "apple" is not the word used. Again, it was the tree of good and evil, not of knowledge only. The tree had to do with conduct morally and ethically, which is the major problem facing America today.

      February 21, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Tallulah13

      Eric, the apple is the item most often used to represent the fruit Eve and Adam ate. I'm surprised you didn't know that.

      February 21, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Mark from Middle River

      My capacity to respect the belief of others is maxed out, as I am compelled to make their beliefs my own.

      Even if I am to take a beating, I will not tolerate a bully. The Christian Right are bullies. Their puppets, the Republicans, have declared they will not compromise. This is a culture war.

      Cheers!

      February 21, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      DJ after declaring a cultural war how do you turn round to blame God for the results. These are the things humans do each day and put the world out of whack thinking God will clean their mess(believers) or God is not good enough to clean it so He does not exist /we won't worship Him(non-believers)

      February 21, 2012 at 3:31 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.