home
RSS
February 21st, 2012
06:20 PM ET

Jeremy Lin emerges as emblem of burgeoning Asian-American Christianity

By Steve Almasy, CNN

(CNN) - When Jeremy Lin was a sophomore at Harvard, he was struggling emotionally. A good guard on an awful basketball team – the Crimson finished the season with an 8-22 record – he needed something more than hoops.

Lin, who had been baptized into an evangelical Chinese church near San Francisco in ninth grade and had come to value Christian fellowship through his youth group, was part of the  Harvard-Radcliffe Asian American Christian Fellowship group, regularly attending Bible study.

But most of his life was spent with his basketball teammates and other athletes, he later told the Student Soul, a website of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.

“It’s a tough environment and if you don’t have appropriate boundaries, you’ll compromise your faith,” he told the website, run by a major Christian college ministry, in 2010.

So, during his sophomore year, Lin stepped up his involvement in the Asian-American Christian group, about 80 members strong, gaining a sense of community that had eluded him.

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

Those kinds of stories are becoming increasingly commonplace as more second generation Asian-Americans like Lin join campus Christian groups, said Carolyn Chen, who directs Asian-American Studies at Northwestern University.

"What's happening at the college level, for students this is a really important time and this is a really important form of community," Chen said. "It is also somewhat like an extended family for them."

According to the latest census, the Asian population in the United States grew by 43.3% between 2000 and 2010, the largest percentage increase of any ethnic or racial group. Asians make up just under 5% of the population.

Asian-American Christianity, experts say, is growing along with that population boom, especially among second generation Chinese-Americans. Jeremy Lin, whose parents are from Taiwan and who talks openly about his Christian faith, has become a symbol of that trend.

Pyong Gap Min , a sociology professor at Queens College in New York, said there has been growth in the number of Asian-America Christian churches, though it is hard to get reliable numbers on the size of the community.

But Min said the number of Pan-Asian churches is increasing, especially on the West Coast, where congregations that have traditionally been dominated by one ethnicity have become multiethnic. Many of those churches are adding services specifically for second generation Asian-Americans, many of whom want services in English.

Chen said more Asian-Americans are also joining traditionally white evangelical congregations.

“You see Asians gaining more visibility in American evangelical circles,” Chen said. “What you are seeing is more integration.”

Lin grew up in Chinese churches. On college campuses, Asian Christian groups have grown up separately from the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.

Jeremy Yang, a senior at Harvard who sits on the board of the Harvard-Radcliffe Asian American Christian Fellowship, said his group offers a place where faith and culture intersect. Students feel comfortable being with and sharing their faith with other Asian-Americans, he said.

The Harvard group began in 1994 as part of the Harvard-Radcliffe Christian Fellowship. So many Asians joined their Bible study that the founders decided to form a separate entity, he said.

“The growth was really explosive,” he said. “There is something about being Asian-American that attracted people into the fellowship.”

Fenggang Yang, author of “Chinese Christians in America: Conversion, Assimilation, and Adhesive Identities” and a professor at Purdue University, said Asians are drawn to Christianity partly by values that dovetail with Asian culture, including thrift, education and family.

“In that way it helps them assimilate into the U.S. culture while preserving important aspects of their cultures,” he wrote in an e-mail.

Evangelicals tend to have a value system that fits a widely held Asian desire for order and success, he writes in his book, adding via e-mail that Lin is being lifted up as an example of those values.

Despite being a superstar in high school, Lin received no scholarship offers to college. And despite being a high-scoring player by his senior year in college, he didn't get drafted by the NBA.

Lin signed a free agent contract with the Golden State Warriors and seemed to get in the game only when his team was way ahead or far behind.

The Warriors sent him down to a developmental league, where he fought emotional battles while on long, late-night bus rides, he told an audience at River of Life Christian Church in Santa Clara, California, last year.

Lin, who until last month was sitting on his third bench in his short pro career, was given a chance to play when some fellow New York Knicks were injured. He responded with a record-setting stretch of games in which he scored more points in his first five starts than stars like Michael Jordan or Allen Iverson had over a similar number of games.

As a student, Lin led what the Harvard-Radcliffe Asian American Christian Fellowship calls a "family group," a small group devoted to Bible study and praying for others.

"A lot of people looked up to him because he was good at sports and really solid in his faith," said Yang, the Harvard senior.

Lin, who has said he may become a pastor someday, credits his rise as a professional athlete to understanding the way God was working in his life and developing a trust in God’s plan.

"I've surrendered that to God. I'm not in a battle with what everybody else thinks anymore," he told the San Jose Mercury News last week.

But there have been plenty of struggles.

When he was sent down to the minor league the first time, Lin told a church group last year, he turned to his pastor, Stephen Chen, at the Church in Christ in Mountain View, California. Chen told him to spend an hour a day with God.

Lin memorized a few Bible verses, Chen says, including a passage from Paul’s letter to the Romans in the New Testament that reads in part: “We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

Chen told CNN's Sandra Endo last week that Lin doesn't believe in a prosperity gospel, where having great faith means everything will always work out.

"It's true hard things may come and you're not guaranteed an outcome but through it all, there'll be joy because you're walking with the Lord," Chen said. "The greatest joy you could have. Greater joy than being a professional NBA basketball player all-star."

Michael Chang, a Taiwanese-American who was once the second ranked tennis player in the world, said Lin will need to keep a balance in his life that can be hard in the world of competitive sports.

Sports stars are offered a tricky platform, said Chang, who now plays tennis on the Champions Tour and runs a Christian foundation that administers several sports leagues. People will listen to your every word, but they also watch your every move, waiting to see what you will do in public, he said. They  equate your value with your success or lack of it in the spotlight.

"As believers, we don't measure it that way," Chang said. "For us, it's going out there, knowing the Lord, and being able to take all the talents and gifts that you've been given and use that as a platform to  touch lives and touch hearts."

Lin told the Mercury News that his own battle as a believer continues.

"There is so much temptation to hold on to my career even more now," Lin told the paper. "To try to micromanage and dictate every little aspect. But that's not how I want to do things anymore. I'm thinking about how can I trust God more? How can I surrender more?

"It's a fight,” he said. “But it's one I'm going to keep fighting."

- Producer/Writer

Filed under: Christianity • Sports

soundoff (629 Responses)
  1. TOMG

    THERE ARE TOO MANY AND TOO MUCH SICK MIND ARE OUT THERE IN THIS CRAZY TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY ERA OF ANIMAL TIMING NOW , AMEN .

    March 11, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  2. TOMG

    BY BALANCING AND KEEP ON REMIND ONESELF OF THE BALANCING BREATHING OF THE INHALE FRESH AIR AND EXHALING THE DIRTY AIR ARE THE MOST POWERFUL TOOL TO HAVE AND HELPING ONESELF TO HAVE A LONG LIFE AND A GOOD HEALTH LIFE THAT ALL IT TOOK , AMEN .

    March 11, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
  3. TOMG

    WE ALL HAVE TO ATE ON OUR DAILY BASIC ISN'T IT , AND THAN WHAT NEXT AFTER THE TEN HOURS PASSING BY AFTER ONESELF GOING TO SLEEPING AND WOKE TO JUST FOR GIVING OUT OURSELF HUMAN WASTE AND HUMAN URINE IN OUR DAILY KEEP ON REPEATING PROCESS AGAGIN AND AGAIN ISN'T IT THAT ARE BORING OR WHAT IS JUST THE RECYCLING PROCESSING OF THE REINCARNATION THAT ALL , AMEN .

    March 11, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
  4. TOMG

    HUMAN WASTE AND ANIMAL WASTE ARE ALWAYS WILL BE THERE AND SO DOES THE HUMAN URINE AND THE ANIMAL URINE EITHER , AMEN .

    March 11, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
  5. TOMG

    WE ALL HAVE THE HEAVY SMELL IN OUR HUMAN WASTE AND HUMAN URINE NO DOUBTH ABOUT IT , IS'NT IT , AMEN .

    March 11, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
  6. TOMG

    DOES ANY ONE NOT BELIVING IN THE GOOD LUCK FORM OR THE BAD LUCK FORM , AMEN . GOOD LUCK IS THE SAME AS THE HEAVENLY PLACE , AND BAD LUCK IS THE SAME AS HELL PLACE , AMEN .

    March 11, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
  7. TOMG

    HEAVENLY PLACE IS REPRESENT AS THE GOOD LUCK . HELL PLACE IS THE SAME AS BAD LUCK THAT ALL , AMEN .

    March 11, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
  8. TOMG

    JUST BY LOOKING AT THE GOOD LUCK THAT MEAN IS THE HEAVELY LIFE ALREADY , BUT IN THE BAD LUCK THAT MEAN IS IN THE HELL WAY OF LIFE THAN THAT ALL , AMEN .

    March 11, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
  9. TOMG

    ONE WGO DOES BELIVED IN THE KARMA LAW WILL BE PASSING AWAY IN THE NATURAL WAY OF THE TAO WAY OF TRUE LIFE FORM SHOULD , BUT TO THOSE WHO DOES NOT BELIVING IN THE KARMA OF LIFE FORM THAN THOSE ARE MOSTLY DIED IN THE TRAGEDY WAY OF ANIMAL WAY OF LOW LIFE ANIMAL FORM OF LIFE , AMEN .

    March 11, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
  10. TOMG

    TO THE ONE WHO'S BELIVE IN KAMRA OF WHAT GOING AROUND MUST GOING BACK AROUND , BECAUSE THE SUN , THE MOON , THE EARTH AND THE HUMAN SKULL ARE ALL ROUND . THAN THAT WILL PROVE IT ALL THAT LIFE ARE TRUELY THE KARMA AFFECT ONTO ONESELF GOOD DEED OR BAD DEED , AMEN .

    March 11, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
  11. TOMG

    I ONLY BELIVE THERE WILL ALWAYS WILL HAVE THE GREATER KARMA AFFECT ON EVERY SINGLE ONE ON ALL OF THE HUMAN FORM MIND AND SOUL AND THE THINKING INORDERING TO HELPING ONESELF TO EITHER GOING TO THE HEAVENLY PLACE OR THE HELL PLACES , AMEN . MO PHAT . KARMA ARE REAL NGHIEP KARMA , KARMA IS NGHIEP NO DOUBTH ABOUT IT , AMEN .

    March 11, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
  12. Religion is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer is delusional.

    March 11, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • Ian Bell

      You are paraphrasing a comment made on another blog and this leads me to believe you are simply trolling.

      March 11, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Religion is not healthy for children and other living things

      This is just a response to someone who posts the opposite message over and over.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  13. reason

    The gods of all organized religions, if true, would all be horribly unjust and evil deities to send billions of people to eternal suffering for choosing the wrong one or being born in the wrong place. Looking at organized religion objectively, they are myths from stone age societies that were trying to explain the world, and there is virtually no chance any one is truth.

    Rationally speaking if there is a just god and an afterlife, you will be judged on how you lived your life. Rejecting reason and deluding yourself in blind faith does not help your case.

    March 9, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • windshadowmoth

      I agree with a lot of what you said about the "rational" perspective of a "just God". I will say this however; a truly just and beneficent God would also consider the separation of knowledge and understanding between this life, and the life before and after (that being the energy or spiritual existence as energy is not destroyed) and in so knowing this a just God or "father" would simply have the ending of the material life be a moment of coming home, learning, and changing over into understanding of all that occurred while we were away. It does not sound "fair" to some; but in truth, there is great suffering here and now, and sometimes a greater suffering is the suffering of facing the truth of being "loved" and disappointing one who has "loved" us so much while we suffer needlessly or allow or cause others to suffer. In fact scripture points more towards this perspective than the Hellish damnation one. Why would Christ need to die if there is still a Hell? Why would "Every knee bow and every tongue confess in Heaven, on Earth and in Between them"; if all do not come to understand and know God on such a level. Frankly I agree because I am sick of reading one thing and hearing and seeing wealthy and thieving preachers or warmongers so obviously twist and contort what I read with my own two eyes. Caution does need to go to non-believers. I am noticing a trend in fanaticism that is growing into hate for believers, and no matter how rational a mind may be, believers and non-believers have always been linked in struggle. It does not take God to encite war, it certainly doesn't take a believer to put on a suit and pass a collection plate around. "Rational" minds are the minds that conceive the instruments of destruction set forth by teachers of false doctrine. I'd be wary in following in the footsteps of traditions that are in fact not reflective of the true spirit of what is written. It is a prophecy that "You will be persecuted" and "Logic" is growing weary and ill tempered. Not to say that there has been no cause for this. Even in scripture, God judges harshly those that are mislead into sin by leaders that corrupt churches into exactly the problems that you just mentioned....but that judgment isn't limited to believers. I'm not speaking of a "Hell" either.

      March 11, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  14. JOH

    I think some of the Christians defending against atheist comments are misunderstanding the "issues" people have with Jeremy Lin... and Tim Tebow as well. Partially because many comments are offensive. I'm no Christian but I'm born under a Asian Christian family too. I gotta tell you, the actual "tradition" my parents follow are still very similar to Confucius while they practice Christianity like it's everything.

    The real issue here is the fact that when speaking about Jeremy Lin or Tim Tebow, you will always hear people say "Oh God is doing divine work in him! God is the reason why he's so good." So what about all the other athletes in the NBA? Many of them are religious too... they just haven't advertised it like Lin and Tebow did on camera. When talking about his athletic skills, there should NOT be any religious inputs for the sole fact that it will create biased perspectives. So Jeremy Lin averages the most turnovers out of any NBA player. He also is a PG in one of the most offensively stacked team in the NBA. People forget ALL of those mistakes in-game that would never be allowed in a playoff game, and talk about his great game because God was there. What about all the other players? Like Ricky Rubio, a REAL rookie with no experience in the NBA. And he's doing this with less weapons in his team.

    Moving on, though, I have another comment to say. Christians are human too. You DON'T want people to recognize your good deeds? I know the Bible would say do not boast. No one is telling you to go brag about everything. But you don't enjoy it or feel good when you hear a good compliment? If you're a parent, don't you want to hear your kids tell you they love you? Or hear from someone you care how good you were at a certain task? It certainly bothers Jeremy Lin and Tim Tebow. There's something those two guys aren't telling the media. I don't trust it... maybe I'm wrong. But let's not forget, devils were once angels fallen from heaven. I'm not even religious. Not sure why I even made this comment. I respect what you religious people are doing. I really do. It's not easy constantly being harassed by society about how delusional or brainwashed you are... but in reality, we're all burning in the melting pot. I definitely do not believe in God... or rather I don't like this approach. God is too "characterized." I thought God was a spiritual bond. I may not believe in God but I can definitely tell you the devil exists. They stand next to you watching your every move. Waiting for you to slip. Once you slip, it gets easier and easier to commit certain bad deeds you yourself deemed "evil" or cold. Every one inflicted by this stage of "introduction" to the "lust world" will make a life-moving decision to decide whether they want to dance with the devil. Better say never because the dance with the devil lasts forever. Despite my not believing Christianity, I've read the Bible in the past. I know it doesn't detail someone selling their soul to the devil.. But we all see the types of people who sell their soul and are slaves in their contract every day. Crystal meth addicts. Heroin and crack addicts. Rapists, murderers. And like I said, once you do a deed it is much easier to do it again and again until you get trapped in your own spiral of death. That's something to consider for the atheists.

    March 9, 2012 at 2:25 am |
    • RagingLamb

      Joh- I understand your point and I agree with your point. I personally believe every athlete at that level has been blessed with God-given talents whether they believe in God, or not. When we watch them play, we are seeing amazing things done by gifted individuals. The Jeremy Lin and Tim Tebow stories in my opinion, are less about their God given talents and more about their success despite adversity. When you have someone riding the bench step in and make an immediate impact, despite his turnovers, it’s really quite inspirational. For Christians, it is encouraging to hear him give glory to God through his success. Not all, but a fair share of athletes seem to want to let their egos ride high with these moments. Expressing faith and humility through success despite being less touted is a great story.
      On the good deeds part – yes, Christians like to be recognized for good deeds too, but there’s something unique satisfying about not getting that pat on the back because you have done something good no one saw. Jesus talks about this… giving in secret, praying in secret, etc. When you do a good deed in public and get your pat on the back, then you got your reward. When you do it in secret, Jesus indicates there’s a greater reward in heaven for those things. That’s why the secret stuff is more enjoyable, at least for me. (see Matthew 6 beginning at verse 1)

      March 9, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Isaac

      I do not agree with the saying that if I got a pat on my back then I received my reward already. There are some people that spend their lifetime doing good deeds so that God will reward them. They do not do it for human attention or for van glory but for love of God. Therefore, just because other humans noticed and pat them on the back does not mean they lost a reward from God. God has honored many of His servants on earth and in heaven. King David, father Abraham, etc.
      Matthew 5:16, Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly father.
      I give glory to God for the amazing deeds of love of mother Teresa and many Catholic Saints for example. God who reads hearts knows if the person is only doing good deeds for human attention or for love of God.

      March 10, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  15. RagingLamb

    What if... as a Christian believer you choose to do random acts of kindness, good deeds, for fellow believers, neighbors, complete strangers. But don't tell anyone you did it. No one. Not your barber, not your wife, no one. And don't revel in any merit for yourself, give all the glory to God, acknowledging that He gave you that desire, and perhaps the eyes to see the need, and the resources to fill the need.

    Now imagine the planet where millions of believers do likewise – secret acts of kindness that no one can figure out who did it. Continually giving glory to God and taking none for yourself. No self deprecation. Just be silent on the issue. And continue to do these things. That may not be the song John Lennon was writing about when he wrote Imagine, but it's a song I'd like to see written, written in the hearts of men and women everywhere, no matter who you are or where you come from.

    Jesus overcame the world. We can too, with His love.

    March 8, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • Gerri

      Perhaps many ARE doing as you suggest. How would you know it if it's "silent"? But some of what you write misses the point. Helping others is a priority but so too is "letting your light shine". Glory for self isn't to be sought but letting others see what God is doing through us is of much value.
      Part of the public perception is that too many people want to see the bad- which makes better headlines- and don't care to see the good that is being done.

      March 9, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • reason

      I often help others and do not seek attention or credit for doing it. I do not do it to give glory to any god, just to make the world a little nicer.

      What does this have to do with believing in a god?

      March 9, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
  16. Birther

    I de-mand to see his birth certificate cuz he don't look like no American to me.

    March 8, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • mugicha

      Sounds like you just woke up from the 1800's.

      March 9, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  17. Martin

    Religion never made anyone good, but it has provided sheep's clothing for many wolves. Linn has just been brainjunked like all believers in the supernatual

    March 8, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • AdmrlAckbar

      Another boring atheist with absolutely zero empirical evidence to support their statements. How's that disproving null hypothesis treating ya?

      March 8, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • RagingLamb

      Define good Martin. Is there anyone "good?" Religious, not religious, you name it – what is a "good" person? Now, compare all the people you know, yourself included, with Jesus. Actually read His words yourself. Read it. For most believers, it's not what they know, it's how much of what they know actually changes them. Does it make it from the head to the heart. You may have come across some you don't like at all. But obviously you think Jeremy is cool. Is there something that his faith has done to influence who he is? I think so.

      March 8, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • magnus

      Jesus was a nice man but not the best carpenter. He got fired from Jeruselum Lowes and decided he needed a new career. He preached this and that, and realized that his calling was to be a nice guy who preached this and that. Leaders back then were always worried that some new preacher – preaching this and that – would come along and take away their power so they had Jesus killed. The man died by cruxification and he no longer was able to preach this and that and make badly built sheds.

      March 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • Ian Bell

      AdmrlAckbar: "Another boring atheist with absolutely zero empirical evidence". And what empirical evidence do you claim for the existance of god, jesus, etc. At most, you can claim no more than any atheist. You have a belief and will cling to it regardless of what evidence is presented to you.

      Jeremy Lin is a talented athelete. He believes in god. That's all you can say. To expound upon this is simply speculative and reflects only on the beliefs of the commenter. I have the old/new testament several times and can emphatically state it is one huge contradiction that is ripe for selective quotations. Like any good book on morality (including an 'atheists' perspective) you can take what you want and ignore the rest.

      It is a fallacy to argue religons and religous people

      March 11, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  18. Martin

    its a shame to see such a cool guy fall for something as silly as Theism and blood sacrifice religion....he needs to replace the point guard in his brain 🙂

    March 8, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  19. Fabiola

    Great article, wow I did not know Jeremy was christian 🙂 God is blessing him tremendously and I am glad he found a purpose in his life. God is certainly using him and blessed him with abilities to touch many people's lives. God is indeed great! 🙂

    March 7, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • jesus

      what if the religion he chose', was'nt christianity? would you still say this with your hip smiley faces for the christian god, pointing his almighty powerful finger at jeremy lin , and now he's better? because of his relationship with something, not someone, who's invisible and has all these stories told of him, by other people, and we all know people lie..., i'd just like to say this whole finding "faith" in a religious god, is horrible for society.... anything you "think" you can find out there , you can find inside of you ... stop being so ignorant , and everyone should agree we dont know.... no 1 knows... ok... stop labeling this kids success with religion. please. Now go say your "tebow" and curse my comment, because its actually realistic , something the majority of people cant grasp.

      March 8, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • RagingLamb

      J – I don't think you can attribute success in basketball or business etc. to faith in God. If that were true, then those apostles would have ended their lives on this planet in a much better condition than they did. Jesus didn't promise "success." On the contrary, He said that in this life you will have many troubles (John 16:33, read whole chapter if interested). I think too many unbelievers miss the purpose of Jesus' mission on this planet. "Getting religion" wasn't the purpose either, otherwise, He would not have lambasted those pharisees like He did, calling them "white washed sepulchres" and "brood of vipers." He came for a much bigger purpose. Your sin and your need to be saved. And yes, it is implied in the Bible that there is a Holy God who created everything and everything is accountable to this Creator. First 10 words of the Bible gives you a good head start in that direction. As opposed to the evolutionist’s convoluted origins. Bible – you were born in the image of God therefore you have capacity to think, create, reason, feel compassion, sense of morality etc. – vs – evolution where you can attribute all those fine attributes to a rock (single celled organism) billions of years ago.

      March 8, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • Chris

      RL, Jesus never guaranteed success and comfort, but He didn't guarantee the lack of those either. We will encounter troubles in this world, but that doesn't mean that God intends for all of His followers to be absent of success. Why not attribute his basketball success to God? Maybe God has a specific reason for giving him a platform from which to speak and be watched. You make it sound as if God is against success. 🙂

      For the poster coming on here using Jesus' name, I give your post no credibility and say that you have no ability to think independently of your hate. Why come on a Christian blog for the sole reason of disparaging Christians?

      March 8, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • RagingLamb

      Well said Chris. I'm happy for Jeremy and the opportunity he has to share his faith publicly. I guess I was trying to answer the critic J- to say that faith in God is not necessarily equivalent to success in worldly terms. Rain comes on the just and unjust. I think of Ecclesiastes and book of Job. Whatever the circmstance, well fed or hungry, praise the Lord.

      March 8, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • magnus

      RL, you are wrong about evolution. God lives outside space-time and this billion years to us is an instant to him. He created the laws of evolution to bring harmony into the universe. he did not create everyone 5 thousand years ago. there is nothing wrong with believing in god and evolution.

      March 9, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Gerri

      " i'd just like to say this whole finding "faith" in a religious god, is horrible for society..."
      Gee, I'd say historical evidence says differently. "Religion" was much more dominant in society 20,30,100 years ago and our society,while certainly not perfect, was in a better place than it is now. That can be considered an opinion but look at the behavior and mores of people in general. The general sate of things dictates, More religious influence = Greater moral behavor. We can debate morales all day but let's dumb it down and keep it simple; People treated each other better 50 years ago than we do now. Schools were lessa war-zone before religion was removed than now.
      No amount of my writing will change minds but if you're pleased with the state of our society and how our youth behave you'll probably contribute to the slope that we're sliding down.

      March 9, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  20. Sara

    I don't get why some people think without religion, countries go crazy. There's a small thing that keeps our values in check-it's called empathy. Not the fear of eternal punishment, not the hopes of reaching paradise in afterlife, but the realization that life is precious and should be respected. You cannot argue that since "religion keeps us civilized", we should bring Christianity back into the US. If so, then you are only saying that we should believe in religion because it's good for our society, not because God actually exists. That's brainwashing, and shouldn't be the purpose of religion. So please, please, please do not promote religion by claiming that it maintains peace and stability-use other arguments.

    March 7, 2012 at 4:28 am |
    • Hugo

      Sara, your focus on Christianity appears to show a belief that you think Christianity says that those who are moral go to Heaven and those who aren't go to Hell. If that's what you believe Christinaity is about, I suggest you should learn what it really means to be a Christian. Your description looks more like the First Covenant to me. (This is what the Jews have.) A key tenent in Christianity is the Second Covenant, which you have either ignored or don't know about. If it's the latter, I once again suggest you learn what it really means to be a Christian. If the former, why did you ignore such an important aspect of Christianity?

      As for your claim of "empathy" I suggest you find yourself a good college level Ethics textbook and read. What are core values? (You should be able to answer that.)

      March 7, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Eldon

      what happened to Russia after they removed religion? Have you heard what they did in CHina?

      March 7, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • jesus

      well put

      March 8, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • RagingLamb

      Sara – what is the source of empathy? Have you ever seen someone empathetic towards another who was either a criminal or corrupt? Rather than empathetic to the person(s) being victimized?

      Empathy is a weird one. It can be twisted and corrupted. I agree that you can't make a strong argument for religion solving a country's instability because we have so many examples where the opposite is true. What if a group holds to the rule of law?

      I don't believe Christianity is intended as a political solution for this particular epoch. If you try to impose beliefs on someone who doesn't want it, then you don't have solidarity. Maybe you like John Lennon's song Imagine. Sounds like it may be fitting for you. I still can't see how this planet achieves that considering what we see on the news each day, confirmation of some underlying condition. Bible calls it sin. Jesus deals with sin on a personal basis. Though His sacrifice was for all men, not all want Him. If you are one who does, He can do amazing things in you. But that's probably a very weird idea for one who doesn't believe in God. Probably brainwashed, right? One of the weird ones, I guess. Love your God, love your neighbor.... yeah, those weirdos. As opposed to – get rid of God, hopefully have some empathy in a Godless world, no hope for my human condition....

      Jesus came to save people from our sins. Maybe you think you don't need to be saved. I know I do. I'm probably brainwashed to believe that, but I do believe it.

      March 8, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • RagingLamb

      Consider a horrible scenario: You have a boyfriend whom you love and have spent many years together. Another girl comes into the picture. In her mind, she believes your boyfriend's needs aren't being met and has "empathy" for him, so she sleeps with him. I would guess that would initiate your senses of right and wrong, vengeance etc. True? Somehow morality and issues like this seem to matter more when it effects us personally. Bible deals with this stuff. Evolution does not. Ethics, taught in school, fails to address these issues other than to provide labels for it. And depending on who you talk to, some may even suggest that this girl was ok in doing so since he is not married. I've heard that reasoning. But the Bible would tell her to Love your neighbor as yourself and should would not be honoring that by hurting you.

      March 8, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Advertisement
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.