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February 28th, 2012
04:14 PM ET

soundoff (253 Responses)
  1. bigot

    Luke 12:45-48: "The lord [owner] of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more."

    February 29, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • God's Child

      @ bigot: Do you understand what a parable is? It's not necessarily a true story. They are stories which illustrates one or more instructive principles, or lessons. Jesus used parables to help instruct the laymen, in terms and stories they understood, sometimes using th harsh realities of the times to explain God His father. It wasn't that He condoned slavery, he used this parable of the faithful steward, as it is called, to explain how when He returns to reclaim his people, there will be consequences if you have done nothing in preparation for His arrival. Many of the parables of Jesus are even used today in modern times, for example, The Prodigal Son, and The Good Samaritan. In fact, most states have a Good Samaritan law where you must help those who are in danger, like from a car accident, or a mugging. All biblical teachings of Jesus. For Christians, we are all servents of God.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • God's Child

      We are all bound by the laws of the land. The bible teaches that if you disobey the laws of the land, that you also disobey God, because he appointed the authorities who created those laws (see Romans 13:1-7). Unfortunately, slavery at the time was an accepted law of the land, and was so for much of our planet's history. Even in the U.S. until Lincoln sigend the Emancipation Proclamation. Unless the law of the land sought to override the laws of God, we were all subject to them, even Jesus the Son of Man.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  2. bigot

    This would have been a marvelous opportunity for Jesus to condemn the ins..ti..t..ution of slavery and its ab..use of sla..ves. But he is not recorded of having bothered to taken it. You can skew the words all you want, but there is not one passage in the bible that states Jesus condemned slavery, while there are plenty of passages showing slavery is condoned.

    February 29, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
  3. bigot

    Jesus is recorded as mentioning slaves in one of his parables. It is important to realize that the term "servant" or "maid" in the King James Version of the Bible refers to slaves, not employees like a butler, cook, or maid. Here, a slave which did not follow his owner's will would be be...aten with many lashes of a whip. A slave who was unaware of his owner's will, but who did not behave properly, would also be bea...ten, but with fewer stripes.

    February 29, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      it is important to study slavery of the middle east of the time of BC vs the Western/British slavery you are thinking of.

      February 29, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      docsouth.unc.edu/church/bourne/bourne.html
      medicolegal.tripod.com/pillsburypacts.htm#excommunicatemostclergy
      medicolegal.tripod.com/pillsburypacts.htm#47

      February 29, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Andy

      Isn't it funny that the Bible is supposed to be the perfect word of god, an all knowing deity, and yet we have to look at it in the context of the times? Why didn't he tell people slavery was an abomination? If the Bible needs to be interpreted for modern times that just proves it's nothing more than an ordinary book written by ordinary ancient people, and there's no more reason to base our laws or our lives off it than the Iliad or Beowulf.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      "Why didn't he tell people slavery was an abomination? "
      Why do you think that slavery in the early century in the middle east as an abomination?
      But God is very clear that Western/British slavery of exploration is evil, that is why you have various people like Wilberforce giving all of their possessions to end slavery.

      The Iliad and Beowulf were writing in the genre of fantasy... "Once upon a time inky, pinky and bod got into a boat"
      The bible contains poems, historical narrative, precise directions that is why you do not compare it to the Iliad.

      You don't read Harry Potter the same way you read the history books you are assigned in college? Now how is it that you know this but yet still willing fail to apply the same concept of the bible.

      Final note, Newton, and Galileo's work had to be explained and interpreted because many could not understand their genius on a common level. Why does it surprise you that the Word of God needs to be interpreted even when it clearly says that these words need to be interrupted. You and I failing to grasp something does not make the concept any less perfect.

      March 1, 2012 at 8:06 am |
    • derp

      "You don't read Harry Potter"

      The Harry Potter books are infinitely more believable than the bible.

      March 2, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  4. J.W

    Bill Maher has said bad things about faith in the past. It is good to see that he is considering it an option now.

    February 29, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  5. Ykcyc

    There is only one tiny teeny difference between a religious "nut job" and “atheist”.
    Other than their "conditioned opinion" (Pavlov), there is very little difference. Both claim to be in a possession of the Truth they cannot possess, arguing their subjective, arrogant, conceptual point of view (opinion), based on their extremely limited and bias perception of Reality. Both are trying to prove each other being wrong, in order to be right, not realizing (or fearing to admit) that neither really knows. In fact, no one really knows, we only "think" that we do. Making stuff up is a job for the Hollywood and our “esteemed” political leaders. A concept about "God" (a pretty story) is not what the word "God" points to. It is especially disturbing, when people argue about knowing what "their" (version of) “God” wants, plans, or is going to do. Some have talked themselves into going to heaven, come hell or high water. For some, “their” “all powerful version” of “God” is so impotent that it needs their feeble a$$ to do the work, it is obviously incapable of doing. The same applies to people arguing about the absence of "God", unless the argument is limited only to the falsehood of a concept (story) itself. It is rather comical, when you notice it.
    The point I am trying to make is that any “logic” is the root of the problem, because any “logic” can be justified by the mind and is based on a limited and bias perception. Just because we think something is true, does not make it so. Just watch the news tonight and notice the insanity in the world, based on human “logic”. Isn’t it funny that people can’t control their own bowels but are eager to proclaim, to be in control of their own destiny? In order for them to maintain their own flavor of their personalized delusion, they need to consistently come up with a more “sanitized” version of reality.
    I am not trying to prove anything to anybody – that is a completely useless exercise. I was sharin a personal experience of a one-time extreme ultra-orthodox and an arrogant atheist. I don’t believe in any fairy tales, why should I believe in yours?

    All is energy. According to the first law of thermodynamics, energy is neither created nor destroyed but merely changes from one form to another. Energy cannot be created from nothing. This law holds true for all systems, both living and nonliving.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • dizzi90

      Atheism does not mean 100% certainty that there is no god. Only very few people would take that position.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Ykcyc

      dizzi90:
      My post was meant to address those on either side that seem to expres 100% certainty and keep arguing their opinion (position) is the only Truth.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • momoya

      Your statement about what "atheists" say is false. Atheists do not claim what you say they do.

      For a person who claims to not like certainty, you sure seem pretty certain.

      Why do you use logic if you claim it is "the root of the problem?" (Of course, your post uses little logic, but it sure seems like you're trying).

      February 29, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Ykcyc

      @momoya
      Please pay close attention.
      I don't claim or proclaim anything.
      What specifically do you disagree with (in your opinion)?

      February 29, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • jimtanker

      The atheist position is that gods do not exist. It's as simple as that. Some may claim that they KNOW that a god does not exist and that is their opinion. I have never met anyone who thought like that though. MOST atheists say that there is insufficient evidence to believe in a god. Since the burden of proof is on the person making the god claim and there is NO evidence to support that claim then it is the only rational position to state that a god does not exist. If you have evidence to support your claim in a god then please present it.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Ykcyc

      @jimtanker
      I though I did:
      All is energy. According to the first law of thermodynamics, energy is neither created nor destroyed but merely changes from one form to another. Energy cannot be created from nothing. This law holds true for all systems, both living and nonliving.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • theGuy

      Sounds like your saying we don't know how the energy that started the universe came to be, therefore god did it. Did I misunderstand? How do you know "nothing" is even a possibility? I don't see any reason to assume that something had to be either created or come from nothing.

      March 1, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
  6. dilberth

    I have more faith in my mule, Dabney than I do in any invisible guy in the sky.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:30 am |
  7. Journeys Thru Storms

    god never existed except in the minds of people who do not face reality

    February 29, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • priestnking

      How about your great intellect explaints "reality" to all of us? Something tells me you can't explaint E=MC2. The fact is God's presence is in each and every particle of creation. What is your take?

      February 29, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • jimtanker

      @priestnking,

      What evidence do you have that your statement is true?

      February 29, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Ykcyc

      @jimtanker
      The same question was asked by the yeast, before the fermentation process reached 12% alcohol level.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • @youignantdotcom

      "The fact is God's presence is in each and every particle of creation. What is your take?"

      My take is there is no way you can prove this statement and you only work off of speculation. There are no "Facts" here, just opinions. #youignant

      February 29, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Unbeliever

      Fact? What fact? You make a positive statement as though it's true and ask for proof in a negative? Journeys says your god doesn't exist. Fine. You say it's a fact that he exists in every particle. Prove it. I can say pink elephants don't exist. I don't have to prove it. All you have to do is show that one exists and I would have to eat my words. So the task for you should be simple. Show me one particle that has "god's" presence. Show me ANY evidence of god. Pointing to the bible (a book written over 2,000 years ago by a bunch of goat-herders) is not proof. I want something tangible. I just love how condescending you were. Maybe Journeys has a degree in particle physics and does understand E=mc2. Maybe he doesn't. That's irrelevant. I understand the equation, but that doesn't have anything at all to do with the existence of a supreme being. The FACT is, there is no evidence to support your claims. If there is, produce it.

      February 29, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  8. thegadfly

    Believe responsibly.

    February 29, 2012 at 8:59 am |
  9. Mike

    Read...learn...WAKE UP!! http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/science/long.html

    February 29, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • Mike from CT

      I really like this site. They are objective enough to allow other people to give an answer to the questions

      http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/contra/by_name.html

      like
      http://www.lookinguntojesus.net/ata20050306.htm

      February 29, 2012 at 8:51 am |
  10. Stan

    Religion is like a bikini contest, you should never take it too seriously.

    February 29, 2012 at 8:33 am |
  11. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    February 29, 2012 at 6:37 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 29, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • just sayin

      Truth Wonderful Truth

      February 29, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Jesus

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

      February 29, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • @youignantdotcom

      speculation, wonderful speculation

      February 29, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Unbeliever

      Oh it changes things all right. It changes the amount of time people who pray could be spending actually doing something productive and helpful.

      February 29, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • just sayin

      Don't study studies, studies are misleading, study God

      February 29, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Proven

      February 29, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Jesus

      "Prayer changes things
      Proven"

      You've been proven wrong by the experts.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  12. yahmez the mad

    The bible is a nightmare of hatred and bad influence. Expressing faith in a religion is expressing an opinion. It does not make it true.

    February 29, 2012 at 4:10 am |
    • Gilchrist

      Have you read the Good News of the New Testament? No longer must we sacrafice lives, animals, ourselves, etc. to ammend our wrongdoings. Does this mean we can do whatever we want? No. "All things are lawful for me, but not all things edify." We have a guide and teacher who loves us, and a God who forgives us. We are emboldened to do good acts as a mere thank you for Jesus' death-sacrafice.

      February 29, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • bigot

      yet Slavery is condoned throughout both books.....hmmmmm

      February 29, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • Distinction with difference

      Slavery (along with polygamy) is certainly described in both OT and NT, but it is not prescribed. That is a significant difference. Is Huck Finn racist because it uses the "n-word?" No, Huck Finn describes the cultural setting and holds Jim up as a moral and good man. The Bible does not promote slavery or ever call it a good thing. There is a distinction between description and prescription–a distinction with a difference. If you're going to trot out old arguments, at least acknowledge the limitations of your own.

      February 29, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • Double R

      Well said, Distinction with Difference!

      February 29, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • MarcTTF

      @Distinction with difference

      The day Huck Finn is intended to be anything other than a fictional tale, its contents might matter when it comes to human behavior.

      The bible on the other hand is the self-proclaimed moral authority for all things good and evil that, according to christians, all humans need to live by. You are cherry picking the meaning that best fits your worldview.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • Ykcyc

      Agreed. When we pick and choose what to believe or not, we are expressing our own personal bias opinion. Ability to see that is a first step to freedm from all opinions.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • bigot

      People in debt (and their children) were still being sold into slavery in the first century CE: Matthew 18:25: "But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made."

      February 29, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • bigot

      Priests still owned slaves: Mark 14:66: "And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest:"

      February 29, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • bigot

      Jesus is recorded as mentioning slaves in one of his parables. It is important to realize that the term "servant" or "maid" in the King James Version of the Bible refers to slaves, not employees like a butler, cook, or maid. Here, a slave which did not follow his owner's will would be be...aten with many lashes of a whip. A slave who was unaware of his owner's will, but who did not behave properly, would also be bea...ten, but with fewer stripes.

      This would have been a marvelous opportunity for Jesus to condemn the ins...t...it....ution of slavery and its abuse of slaves. But he is not recorded of having bothered to taken it. You can skew the words all you want, but there is not one passage in the bible that states Jesus condemned slavery, while there are plenty of passages showing slavery is condoned.

      February 29, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  13. JFritz

    Well, I'll say it. I don't like Tebow. I don't like anyone who has to show off his hollier than thou faith. I can't believe that anyone who actually has read anything about Christ would have to posture like this. Flamer faith.

    February 29, 2012 at 2:59 am |
    • Mike from CT

      can you please provide an example of Tebow " show off his hollier than thou faith"?

      February 29, 2012 at 8:52 am |
  14. phenoy

    I have faith that I will win the lottery....damit only one number again....

    February 29, 2012 at 2:58 am |
  15. OrangeW3dge

    "...and my opinion is that you're nuts"
    Simple, straight to the point. I like it.

    February 29, 2012 at 1:46 am |
  16. Ezo

    Confusing faith with religion is a problem. The latter has been duly perverted across the globe, thanks to pedophile priests and money grubbing TV evangelists. Faith is a very powerful resource, for those who are in the know. If not, and you're comfortable with that personally, then fine. Move on and good luck. Religion has deteriorated, especially most recently, into nothing more than a tax-evasion scam for opportunists. Kids are not stupid. They can see clearer than most adults. Believe that!

    February 28, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      Isn't 'faith' just the believing in God part then? If it is, then is it OK to just believe that God exists without giving any additional thought to worshipping him as a god, or anything else that he wants you to do? Those beliefs are part of what we call the 'religion' behind believing in God, right? The what you do, and how you act once you have the faith that God exists. I can't see how you can get away then with saying that religion isn't necessary as long as you have faith.

      February 29, 2012 at 12:40 am |
    • bigot

      kids are stupid when you use fear mongering techniques to lure them into your religion. Don't believe, you will go to hell for eternity. They believe because you make them fear the unknown. #youignant

      February 29, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • Ykcyc

      RELIGION
      Religion is a sickness of the mind
      It twists, distorts reality and will
      Divide, sort, break, and label our kind
      Delusion that is truly evil, ill.
      Religion is a sickness of the world
      Opinions, positions, thoughts, beliefs
      Can only bring destruction, pain, and war
      Can only cause more bloodshed, grief, and tears
      Lies that are spread to keep the hate alive
      Contagious blindness, masked as real Truth
      To see, one only has to look with open mind
      And open heart, to break from prison of their views
      Blind faith, unconsciousness, fanatic make-believe
      Like wounded animal, tries to defend itself
      Imagined enemies and threats to its own myth
      Cause pain and suffering in its own hell
      Infects our minds with thoughts of right and wrong
      Pretends to be the Truth, to know what it is
      Based on reality that’s long been gone
      It lies of Love, true kindness, bliss, and peace
      Pretends, as if it’s possible in words
      Express the miracle, that is One Life, itself
      The depth of space, the “why?” of countless worlds
      Contained in dusty books, decaying on the shelf?
      Reality itself, Eternal, Infinite, Divine
      It’s purpose, plan, and reason “why?”
      It’s everywhere and all the time
      For “special me”, to grant me “mine”?
      For us to feel the joy, to simply be
      Exists reality beyond religion’s plan
      Beyond the ego’s, “mine”, and “me”
      Lies consciousness of Tao and Zen.
      To notice, all we have to do is listen, look
      Inside, One Truth, One Life is who we truly are
      But, we won’t get from “them” or “their books”
      The fact, God does exist, it’s only Love.

      February 29, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • truefaith

      If you don't believe than why read. I guess you think we came from monkeys of bang here we are. If we have to see something to believe it why do we believe in love? You can't see love but you feel it.

      February 29, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Ykcyc

      @truefaith
      I am comfortable in saying that I don’t know, because there is no way for me to know. In my opinion, “God” is not some kind of a “supreme being” or a concept (religious opinion) to believe in. In my opinion, “God” is only a three letter word that points to something. To me, it is Energy, which means, it is everything, both visible and not. You can use other words, if you like, such as Life, Nature, Love, or a Stump, because it is none of those things. “God” is not a concept about God. I can see that. Can you?

      February 29, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
  17. The Central Srutinizer

    Snore

    February 28, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
  18. The Central Srutinizer

    @A Candid Look
    Ok, look, you have been following me around trying to get my attention. You are just another idiot that I deal with every day. Believe what you want, I don't care.

    February 28, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
  19. Da King

    "Faith is just an opinion" That is amazing, how stupid people with out it can be. He is so far from God it is sad. He is so full of himself I don't think he can experience life. The Bible says, "to the man with out the spirit (of God in him) thinks of the Spirit seem foolish" I observe that the people with the Spirit have great vision.

    February 28, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • The Central Srutinizer

      The bible says Genocide, ra,pe, lies, s.e.xism, murder, killing babies, etc. is A-OK. NIce religion you support dum as.s.

      February 28, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • think for yourself

      Most religions have their version of the bible. What makes yours right and theirs wrong? All religions have the same amount of proof: an ancient collection of stories written by people. This amounts to zero proof.

      Think about this supposed relationship that you have with your god. Could it be possible that you are talking to yourself?

      February 28, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • mapleman

      Which God are you talking about? There have been dozens of Gods and Religions over thousands of years you would think by now that folks would realize that they can't all be right. Churches have no tolerance for anything other than their own beliefs. Churches and Bibles are run by and written by men. Ordinary men with no special powers. A fellow named David from Waco convinced people of his divinity. They don't call it a flock for nothing. Einstein was the closest to the truth, "Only 2 things are infinite, The universe and Human stupidity.

      February 28, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      You're quoting from the Bible, which is just a collection of people's opinions.

      February 28, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • LORD TOM CRUISE

      we are all exactly the same distance from god because god doesn't exist genius

      February 29, 2012 at 2:00 am |
    • truefaith

      I love all the comments negative and positive because the news media is posting these stories because they draw alot of attention. A true win for God because believe in Him or not we're still talking about Him. As a Christian the negativity only makes my faith stronger!

      February 29, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Ykcyc

      @truefaith
      So God has a gender now? People create God in their own image. "Their" God exists only in their heads and nowhere else. That is why it is an opinion.

      March 1, 2012 at 5:59 am |
  20. A Candid Look

    A thought... you all attack the Bible.... What book do you read..... I want to read it and find all those inconsistencies .... choose on line here or there to post...

    February 28, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • The Central Srutinizer

      @A Candid Look
      It is not random that we criticize the bible. We have read it. Apparently you have not or you would understand the criticisms. Please tell us what you do not agree with, based on your knowledge of the he Holy Scripture.

      February 28, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • Unbeliever

      I encourage you to read it. Read it with an open mind, critically.

      February 29, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • A Candid Look

      never said it was random, honeslty where do you go when reading these posts. I have read it many times and in several different languages. The differences that abound in the translations are a well known fact. But then those translations were done by HUMANS .... which is what I have been saying all along. Your belief in Humans is misplaced since they are inherently flawed... To take off on a Geico commercial .... Its so simple even an athiest can do it....

      I have just stated what I disagree with ... can you find it?

      February 29, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Bobby

      "What book do you read"? I don't mean to brag of anything, but I've actually read more than one book. You should try it?

      March 1, 2012 at 8:06 am |
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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.