My Take: Stop sugarcoating the Bible
The 17th century painting Judith Beheading Holofernes, by Artemisia Gentileschi, depicts a biblical scene.
February 25th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Take: Stop sugarcoating the Bible

Editor's note: Steven James is the author of more than 30 books, including "Flirting with the Forbidden," which explores forgiveness.

By Steven James, Special to CNN

(CNN) - The Bible is a gritty book. Very raw. Very real. It deals with people just like us, just as needy and screwed up as we are, encountering a God who would rather die than spend eternity without them.

Yet despite that, it seems like Christians are uncomfortable with how earthy the Bible really is. They feel the need to tidy up God.

For example, look in any modern translation of Isaiah 64:6, and you’ll find that, to a holy God, even our most righteous acts are like “filthy rags.” The original language doesn’t say “filthy rags”; it says “menstrual rags.” But that sounds a little too crass, so let’s just call them filthy instead.

And let’s not talk so much about Jesus being naked on the cross, and let’s pretend Paul said that he considered his good deeds “a pile of garbage” in Philippians 3:8 rather than a pile of crap, as the Greek would more accurately be translated.

And let’s definitely not mention the six times in the Old Testament that the Jewish writers referred to Gentile men as those who “pisseth against the wall.” (At least the King James Version got that one right.)

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The point?

God’s message was not meant to be run through some arbitrary, holier-than-thou politeness filter. He intended the Bible to speak to people where they’re at, caught up in the stark reality of life on a fractured planet.

Dozens of Psalms are complaints and heart-wrenching cries of despair to God, not holy-sounding, reverently worded soliloquies. Take Psalm 77:1-3: “I cry out to God; yes, I shout. Oh, that God would listen to me! When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord. All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven, but my soul was not comforted. I think of God, and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for his help” (New Living Translation).

And rather than shy away from difficult and painful topics, the Old Testament includes vivid descriptions of murder, cannibalism, witchcraft, dismemberment, torture, rape, idolatry, erotic sex and animal sacrifice. According to St. Paul, those stories were written as examples and warnings for us (1 Corinthians 10:11). So obviously they were meant to be retold without editing out all the things we don’t consider nice or agreeable.

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I believe that Scripture includes such graphic material to show how far we, as a race, have fallen and how far God was willing to come to rescue us from ourselves.

God is much more interested in honesty than pietism.

And that’s what he gives us throughout Scripture, telling the stories of people who struggled with the same issues, questions and temptations we face today.

Peter struggled with doubt, and we hear all about it.

Elijah dealt with depression; Naomi raged with bitterness against God; Hannah struggled for years under the burden of her unanswered prayers.

David had an affair and then arranged to have his lover’s husband killed. Noah was a drunk, Abraham a liar, Moses a murderer. Job came to a place where he found it necessary to make a covenant with his eyes not to lust after young girls (Job 31:1).

It’s easy to make “Bible heroes” (as Protestants might say) or “saints” (as Catholics might refer to them) out to be bigger than life, immune from the temptations that everyone faces.

I find it encouraging that Jesus never came across as pietistic. In fact, he was never accused of being too religious; instead he partied so much that he was accused of being a drunkard and a glutton (Matthew 11:19).

Jesus never said, “The Kingdom of God is like a church service that goes on and on forever and never ends.” He said the kingdom was like a homecoming celebration, a wedding, a party, a feast to which all are invited.

This idea was too radical for the religious leaders of his day. They were more concerned about etiquette, manners, traditions and religious rituals than about partying with Jesus. And that’s why they missed out.

That’s why we miss out.

According to Jesus, the truly spiritual life is one marked by freedom rather than compulsion (John 8:36), love rather than ritual (Mark 12:30-33) and peace rather than guilt (John 14:27). Jesus saves us from the dry, dusty duties of religion and frees us to cut loose and celebrate.

I don’t believe we’ll ever recognize our need for the light until we’ve seen the depth of the darkness. So God wasn’t afraid to get down and dirty with us about life and temptation and forgiveness. And grace.

Only when the Bible seems relevant to us (which it is), only when the characters seem real to us (which they were), only then will the message of redemption become personal for us (which it was always meant to be).

We don’t need to edit God. We need to let him be the author of our new lives.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Steven James.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Opinion

soundoff (5,744 Responses)
  1. big ron

    Be careful what you say about the bible.Rick Santorum will get mad at you.

    February 27, 2012 at 3:42 am |
  2. jesse

    I'm not into religion but i really really like what the writer is saying here. i hate hypocrites more than anything and i feel so many religious people are not honest and are the worst of the hypocrites. maybe if they were more honest and sincere, like this article argues for, i'd be more prone to liking it and the followers more.

    February 27, 2012 at 3:37 am |
    • Joe

      If the Bible is true then why would you let it's fallen broken believers get in the way of your believing it? It's not the behaviour of Bible believers that makes the Bible true. I mean that's kind of the point of the article, even the Bible characters were total screw ups that could only be reconciled to God if he sacrificed himself.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  3. dko

    So, it's okay to sugercoat or overlook all the death, destruction, slavery, mysogyny and contradiction....just don't change "menstrual rags" to "filthy rags" because then you lose the true meaning. lol

    February 27, 2012 at 3:29 am |
  4. mena

    If a book is rewriten by human beings again and again, how is it Gods words? why cant people access the original copy? Why did they change a book which was sent thro God for guidence? How can you beleive in a book which is written by the creation of the creator...I don't understand. If you do your research you will find the answer. God Bless us all....

    February 27, 2012 at 3:26 am |
  5. Jeff

    We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! Abraham Lincoln

    1st Corinthians 1-18 through 28
    18For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

    19For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

    20Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

    21For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

    22For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

    23But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

    24But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

    25Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

    26For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

    27But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

    28And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
    Please Goggle SirLionel luckhoo former non Christian and the worlds most succesful Attorny also look at Lee Strobel's video on The Bethlehem Star

    February 27, 2012 at 3:09 am |
  6. Scott Allen

    Amazing article! Way to go!

    February 27, 2012 at 2:45 am |
  7. blogwriter

    What I know is that men wrote many books or gospels which were their accounts of what was happening during certain periods of time before, during and after the time of Jesus Christ. It was afterwards that Emperor Constantine at the Council of Nicaea along with other men selected from these gospels those that would be bound into the "Bible" and discarded the other gospels which have since become known as the Gnostic Gospels including the one written by Mary Magdalene. What made the gospels selected any more or less important than those not selected? The Bible has been skewed many times for the benefit of whichever "power" is using it. e.g. Catholic Church, King James, Jimmy Jones, Jim Baker etc... Is it divine? Who knows? What matters is the overall message that it conveys.....right from wrong.....good from evil and if you cannot get that point then there is no hope for you and you're probably one of the causes of suffering in the world. Take a good look in the mirror and "let he who is without sin cast the first stone".

    February 27, 2012 at 2:22 am |
  8. kate

    The fool in his heart says there is no God. Well, there is a God just as VOLTAIRE and TOM PAINE has found out.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:17 am |
    • Observer


      February 27, 2012 at 2:20 am |
    • The Wizard of Oz

      Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:50 am |
    • O.S. Bird

      Voltaire and Paine called and told you, eh?

      February 27, 2012 at 3:42 am |
  9. ron

    There is still debate about who killed JFK, even though it occurred in front of hundreds of witnesses and was recorded on film, just about 40 years ago, yet Christians claim to know, as absolute factual truth – that JC rose from the dead 2000 years ago. That's pretty arrogant. How do you guys know this? Did God or JC appear to you personally and tell you? If so, cool and I hope to someday be as special as you. Or maybe another human being told you? Or you read it in the bible? Guess what – all such info – including the bible – came from other humans. Oh I know – those humans were guided by God. And how do you know that? I know – you just believe it. Great! Believe whatever you want. Pick and choose from any of the thousands of religions and cults that have existed over time. But do not so obnoxiously arrogant and hateful of others to claim that among all those cultures and beliefs yours is the absolute truth. Try practicing just a tiny bit of what JC allegedly preached. Like love, forgiveness, compassion, freedom, supporting the poor, etc. and stop promulgating your beliefs on others, which is disrespectful, insulting, and downright hateful.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:56 am |
    • HispanicMan

      From your own words, the bible is not real. Its a book that has no relevance to todays way of life and it didnt come from God because there is no visual proof of this. And yet, for some reason, the bible is the most published or printed book in the world and the ONLY book to be challenged as to it authenticity for many hundreds of years. Now why is that if according to your own words, the bible is not real nor from God?

      February 27, 2012 at 2:03 am |
    • burnz

      Because people are stupid and can`t get over their childhood indoctrination.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:07 am |
    • Teacher

      I did not read anywere in Ron statement that he wrote the Bible wasn't real. Did you know the Bible may have survived all these years, yet it is the one book that has been interpreted into ones own belives. You earlier wrote 'intact after all these years for generations to benefit from?' Then how come I have yet to find a Bible that was not rewritten by one religion or another. Where is the original script?

      February 27, 2012 at 2:14 am |
    • /sigh

      @ hispanicman – It is by far not the only book to be challenged, in fact all religious books are challenged because they are claimed to be non-fiction and historical despite them containing no factual nor historical writings.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:05 am |
    • ronmo


      were you there when JFK was killied?

      February 27, 2012 at 4:06 am |
  10. bobo

    @Observer, you are correct. God is perfect, perfectly just. Furthermore, the punishment called "hell" would not be necessary had man not rebelled.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • Observer


      Most people would consider it perfect if someone ANTICIPATED the results of their actions so that things didn't turn out so bad.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:51 am |
    • /sigh

      If god was perfet how did he not know what adam and eve would do, how did he not see the result of his own creation satan, the biblical god is more man than anything.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:07 am |
  11. mdamone

    The author doesn't even mention the most ludicrous part – that the "Bible" we know today is only a scrubbed-down version with parts hand-picked by Christian religious leaders a long time ago. There are many books of the Bible long since judged to be heresy (a.k.a. – not convenient to the Roman Catholic Church's agenda at any particular time) and not only left out, but mostly destroyed.
    So today's Bible is like a story thousands of years old, translated through multiple languages from its original version, which was just hearsay written long after Christ's death, which one authority scrubbed into a commercial a long, long time ago, with different versions still being used by different groups.
    And to think: there are people who follow every word of the version of the "Bible" we have today like it is the direct and LITERAL word of god.
    Just goes to show. There isn't one born every minute. There are thousands of longing souls born every minute – just begging to be shown a way. Doesn't matter how manufactured that way is.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:44 am |
    • brass


      pass it on


      February 27, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • HispanicMan

      The Bible is Gods inspired word written by men who were directed by Gods holy spirit to have it in written word. The complete book of the bible has 66 books in them and that is exactly what we have today. Many religions and governments have tried their best to destroy the bible or to change the words or meaning through the ages, but God has seen to it that it has survived in its completed form as when it was first written. If God is capable of creating the entire heavens and our earth and our bodies (think of the human brain and its complexity) dont you think he is capable of keeping his holy word, the bible, intact after all these years for generations to benefit from? People are just too far into their own perspective of life and how to live it that the idea of having to follow Gods clear commands and directions is disgusting to them.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:52 am |
    • Observer

      It would be better to blame man for the Bible and that would explain the errors, contradictions, hypocrisy and nonsense that appears along with some good morals.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:22 am |
    • /sigh

      @hispanicman – please tell us where to find the first completed bible in its entirety because I bet you cant, furthermore please explain the dead sea scrolls if evverything was included. You are yet another fool who cant except reality.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:10 am |
  12. HispanicMan

    @Observer.... Once again, God created the angel who later became Satan out of his own will to become wicked. Satan is an angel who chose to go against God himself. Please dont make silly statements like the one you just made because it only insults what little intellect you have regarding creation and God the Almighty.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:43 am |
    • Observer


      What "silly commnent"? I told the truth according to Christians.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • HispanicMan

      @Observer.... Name one time or place in the bible that God created Satan if you are indeed speaking truth.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:54 am |
    • Observer

      Here is the comment from a Christian that started this conversation:

      "It actually starts out "In the beginning God" and that tells us all we really need to know. God is eternal without beginning or end. Then it goes on to say "created the heavens and the earth. This shows God is the force behind all things that are known and unknown."

      Your comments on "silly" and "intellect" apply to him.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:07 am |
    • HispanicMan

      @Observer.... Wow! You gleaned that rationale from that one persons statement? Ok. You win.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:12 am |
    • Observer


      If God isn't responsible for creating EVERYTHING, who did?

      February 27, 2012 at 2:15 am |
  13. Wesley Bryan

    I found this a very enjoyable article. Mr. Stephen James, I appreciate your God inspired thoughts. Bless you- through the Son.

    Wesley Bryan

    February 27, 2012 at 1:40 am |
  14. alanjay1

    Great article! I'm doing one of those Bible-in-a-year plans, and I find that it is challenging my views of Biblical figures as saints. I agree with you–these figures weren't meant to be put on pedestals, except perhaps for their faith. I don't think the Bible can be distilled into simple ideas It is full of apparent contradictions. Some might take that as evidence against the Bible, but I think it's supposed to be that way. It's supposed to be challenging to find the meaning behind it, and to think critically about what is historical versus metaphorical. The compete truth isn't in the words, but in the process, in your heart, and in your faith.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:39 am |
    • moebar

      if you can find a clear contradition in a religious book then its probably not truly from god....that is if you believe in god

      February 27, 2012 at 1:41 am |
      • alanjay1

        Contradiction only exists if you believe 100% in your understanding of one fact and another fact challenges that understanding. What I'm saying is that I don't believe there was meant to be a simple, literal truth. You're not supposed to be able to read the Bible and immediately understand all of it, like a technical manual or a timeline. Rather, the process of reading and trying to learn that yields more over time than simple math-like truths would.

        I'll put it this way, I don't know everything there is to know about being a Christian. But I don't believe that my or our existence is random. I think that physics, math, biology, and intelligence are entirely too beautiful to have "just happened" of their own accord. I can't tell you that I know the Bible is right but the Buddhists are wrong–I can just say that I feel deeply that I'm meant to be a Christian. Maybe there are supposed to be multiple paths for multiple people. Or maybe not. I'm not meant to know, I'm meant to follow my own heart and faith.

        I think that faith is at the root of most of the best minor and major decisions that I have made in my life. Therefore I am willing to forgo an easy understanding of my faith in favor of the idea that learning what it means to be a Christian will be a lifelong process.

        February 27, 2012 at 10:02 am |
  15. Nii Croffie

    Eating kosher is part of the ritual law which has no punishment but ritual purification. Ho.mose.xuality is part of the moral law and has the penalty of death attached. However for Christians our moral justice must apply to Christians only. The penalty is excommunication for moral bre.aches from JC.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:30 am |
    • Observer

      Adultery is "part of the moral law and has the penalty of death attached".

      Can you explain why one "moral law" is still in effect and the other is IGNORED for Christians who commit it by remarrying?

      The answer: HYPOCRISY.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:35 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      The Golden Rule is also not the most important rule in x'tianity. The most important is de second Greatest Commandment of de Mosaic Law which asks us 2 love our neighbors as ourselves. De Golden Rule is a philosophy but de other is a Law. Remarrying also has a condition attached u failed to mention.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:44 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      Also the X'tian standard for adultery among the 3 largest Communion is high. Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and Anglicans do not recognise civil divorces and so will not celebrate a remarriage unless one spouse is dead.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:49 am |
    • Observer

      – Matthew 7:12 “Treat others as you want them to treat you. This is what the Law and the Prophets are all about.”

      The Bible didn't invent the Golden Rule, but copied it like a lot of other ideas.

      The Bible quotes Jesus as saying "let not man separate". In other words, NO DIVORCES.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:55 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      About adultery in de Law it is only a married woman cud commit adultery 4 which she must die together with her partner. The charge is proffered by her husband alone. If the man says I won't prosecute there is nothing you can do unless they did it in public view. Mary cudn't b killed cos Joseph wont

      February 27, 2012 at 1:59 am |
    • Observer


      You still didn't answer the question.

      (hint: the answer is HYPOCRISY)

      February 27, 2012 at 2:19 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      OBSERVER your prejudice is blinding you. The Law is superior 2 philosophy even Christ's in defining sin. When Christ talked about divorce he was talking about one of the Adamic Covenant's Laws being superior to de Mosaic Covenants Laws on divorce not making up his own. Look @ de passage not 1 verse

      February 27, 2012 at 3:24 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      The Mosaic Law in force at Jesus time allowed divorce though the Adamic Law did not. The Christian Church applies laws on adultery to even men because of monogamy however in the Mosaic law you were to marry someone you fornicated with unless you were a bethroted woman for which you wud b killed.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:30 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      The six days of creation r more tradition than biblical truth. The God of the Bible is immaterial and since even the so-called empty areas of space is now being considered as material it is totally possible that He caused it. Note also that finite time started when daylight was created not b4.

      February 27, 2012 at 4:10 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      The six days of creation r more tradition than biblical truth. The Go.d of the Bible is immaterial and since even the so-called empty areas of space is now being considered as material it is totally pos.sible that He caused it. Note also that fin.ite time started when daylight was cre.ated not b4.

      February 27, 2012 at 4:19 am |
  16. moebar

    any views on the supposed 1,500 year old bible found in turkey? Also some people say its the gospel of Barnabas which contradicts the accepted gospels by rejecting Jesus as god and also holding that there will be another prophet after him (Muhammad for Muslims). Some Muslims have cited this gospel as proof that Christianity has changed....

    February 27, 2012 at 1:25 am |
    • miscreantsall

      Jesus was NEVER God………………originally he was the SON of God.

      Jehovah is God…………..but some ass hole Rabbi decided to delete the name of God (Jehovah).

      February 27, 2012 at 1:55 am |
  17. Denverdriver

    Personally, I find it very hard to believe in a god that is claimed to exist in a book written by the Jews over two thousand years ago, and which contains such patently absurd stories as that of Noah and the ark. Consider: Noah supposedly goes around and collects two, just two, one male and one female, of every species of animal on the earth, because the whole earth, even to the top of Mount Everest is to be flooded, gee, that must have taken a long time, and by the time he got to the zebra, it seems like that pair of lions that he caught months or maybe years ago, must have gotten hungry enough to eat the aardvarks, so he would have to go back and get two more of those, and then there's the trip to Siberia to catch a couple of Siberian tigers, and maybe a couple of snow leopards, boy that must have been a tough pair to catch, and then there's the trip across the previously unknown Pacific Ocean and a climb up the Andes Mountains to catch some of the previously unknown species of hummingbirds, and of course bring along the flowers that the hummingbirds feed on, because hummingbirds will die if they don't feed at least every twenty minutes or so, and then while keeping all those other species of animals alive with their own specific foods, a trip by Hawaii to catch all of the hundreds of species of birds and animals found only there, and then, oops, the Siberian tigers by now would have eaten the sheep and goats, and he still has to go by Australia to pick up a pair of each kind of kangaroo, and all of the other species that are found there, and then off to India to get a pair of Indian elephants, and let's hope they get along with the Siberian tigers and then when the whole trip is over, he's got to put each pair of animals back on the continent where he picked them up, because that's where they are found now, and otherwise evolution would have occurred, and, ........................

    February 27, 2012 at 1:22 am |
    • Moi

      You have too much time on your hands.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • brass

      ALL of the bible & Mans need to be special is a fallacy, nothing more than reasoning of us being Creatures of habit.

      The idea of a GOD is the silliest thing I've ever heard, I don't feel bad, Albert Einstein & many intelligent & educated men through our ENTIRE history felt the same.

      just for kicks, Google the link between Religion & Intelligence... shouldn't be a surprise.
      For bonus points Google Political Views & intelligence.... no surprise there either....

      February 27, 2012 at 1:40 am |
    • mdamone

      Moi – they might have too much time on their hands...but you read the entire post, huh? Hmmm...

      February 27, 2012 at 1:46 am |
    • wandering-pilgrim

      Denverdriver: The Bible states that God "brought" the animals TO the ark. Check it out in Genesis! 🙂 Noah had nothing to do with it, apart from obeying God's instruction to go and build a boat. God did the rest....it's one of the miracles that people often fail to consider as a miracle. The rainbow was God's promise He'd never flood the world again. God always keeps His promises....

      February 27, 2012 at 1:54 am |
    • Denverdriver

      Okay, Pilgrim, what did the snow leopards, the Siberian tigers, the jackals, the hyenas, the lions, the leopards, the elephants, the rhinos, the hippos and the hummingbirds EAT for forty days and forty nights? More miracles, eh? If proponents of evolution (which has been proved by DNA, by the way) claimed MIRACLES to support that theory, you Bible thumpers would be howling!

      February 27, 2012 at 2:05 am |
    • Random Reader

      I agree...My question about the ark is who would be responsable for the clean up of all the fecal matter?

      February 27, 2012 at 2:26 am |
    • dko

      It doesn't even matter how the animals got TO the ark (were they teleported or flown?). Unless the bible left out the part about God shrinking all the animals down to the size of peas and removing their need for food, there's no way they could all fit....the food stores would take up more space than the animals themselves...the largest ship in existence today couldn't even fit all the species found in Australia alone...then there's the whole question of why God would erase all evidence of the flood after it occurred...mysterious ways and whatnot....

      February 27, 2012 at 3:19 am |
    • Denverdriver

      Well, Random Reader, I wouldn't be surprised if the explanation was yet another miracle, maybe God having them go to the side of the boat and dump over the rail.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  18. Sodapophead

    God is a myth.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:13 am |
    • Levi

      It's mostly all cosmology sugar-coated with stories to explain the events.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • brass

      I think the Catholic's did it, so they would be allowed to touch little boys on


      Then cries about UNFAIRNESS

      February 27, 2012 at 1:42 am |
  19. Observer

    No one believes every word of the Bible. They just “pick and choose” whatever they like and ignor the rest.

    That's why there are so many Christian HYPOCRITES on here who pick on gays for an "abomination" (like eating lobster) and ignor the FAR FAR GREATER number of Christians who commit the Ten Commandment "sin" of adultery by remarrying (unless their previous spouse already committed adultery). If you’re going to “pick and choose”, then pick the Golden Rule.

    It’s also why people pretend that the Bible condemns abortion and child molesters.

    If your religion makes your life better, then don’t use it to make someone’s life worse.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • R christian

      I am a Christian... and I totally agree with you. We are all God's children and all deserve God's love. Too many Christians continue to tell us that the Bible was written by mortal men, but pick and chose those few passages as though God himself wrote them down, happily ignoring those points that apply to them. Point well taken!

      February 27, 2012 at 2:42 am |
  20. joe jones

    in he first book of the bible ... genesses i ;1 and god created the world ...and ive always wondered .... if god created the world.... who was gods mom an dad?

    February 27, 2012 at 1:00 am |
    • fred

      Joe, It actually starts out "In the beginning God" and that tells us all we really need to know. God is eternal without beginning or end. Then it goes on to say "created the heavens and the earth. This shows God is the force behind all things that are known and unknown.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:16 am |
    • HispanicMan

      Fred is 100% correct. Because we were created and were given the power and privilege to procreate, we do not have the ability of understanding fully what it means to never have had a beginning. And yet, that is exactly how it is with God. He never had a beginning and he will never have an end.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:22 am |
    • Observer

      This also apparently says that God created Satan and Hell.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:22 am |
    • HispanicMan

      @Observer... The angel who is now known as Satan, was indeed created by God himself. This angel held a very high station and purpose in heaven as one of Gods spirit creatures, but this angel chose to challenge Gods right to rule over his creation by questioning the reasons why man serves God. Because of his turning away from righteousness and wanting to have the same equality as God, this angel became Satan, Gods adversary. For that reason, we have what we have here to today because God is allowing Satan to rule so that it is proven once and for all that Satan is a liar and the reason for all wickedness.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:33 am |
    • Observer


      So God created Satan and, as a result, Hell. Good thing that God is perfect, or that could have been bad.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • bobo

      @Observer, you are correct about Satan, but the Bible actually never articulates a place called Hell. Hell is the product of creative translation for an effect.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:42 am |
    • brass

      At least were close to proving the Big Bang... still wont satisfy religious loons, NO PROOF in the World can fix stupid.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:50 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.