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My Take: Don’t blame college for young people leaving Christianity
The author says the politicization of Christianity is responsible for young people leaving church.
February 28th, 2012
12:39 PM ET

My Take: Don’t blame college for young people leaving Christianity

Editor's note: Tim King, the communications director at Sojourners, blogs at sojo.net. Follow him at @tmking.

By Tim King, Special to CNN

(CNN) - Christianity in America is in danger. As former Senator Rick Santorum recently pointed out, young people are leaving the church in droves.

In the mid-1980s, evangelical 20-somethings outnumbered those with no religious affiliation – the so-called “nones” – by a ratio of more than 2 to 1. By 2008, those proportions were almost flipped, with young “nones” outnumbering evangelicals by more than 1.5 to 1.

An entire generation, my generation, is leaving the church. What’s the cause? Santorum blames higher education, telling Glenn Beck last week that "62% of kids who go into college with a faith commitment leave without it."

The “war on religion” has become a frequent bogeyman among Christian and political leaders. But the reason church leaders have failed to stem the tide of a generation heading for the exit door is that they keep looking for an outside enemy to blame when the biggest problems are inside the church.

The years young adults spend in college aren’t causing them to leave their faith; those college years are exposing the problems with the faith they grew up with.

The exodus has little to do with liberal college professors, which insurance plans should cover contraception, where mosques are being built, or whether or not the Ten Commandments are hanging in courtrooms, even if many religious leaders act as if these are the greatest Christian “battles” of our lifetime.

In doing so, they are actively pushing young people away from religion.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think young people are leaving the church in record numbers just because some Christians are Republicans. There are a lot of wonderful Christians who happen to be conservative and who are great witnesses for the faith. Many of them are in my family.

Rather, the exodus is about hypocrisy.

Last year, we saw Christian leaders raising the alarm about the encroachment of “radical Islamists.” They call for the restriction of Muslims religious liberties to practice their faith and build houses of worship. But this year, when it comes to contraception, the rallying cry is religious freedom.

Last week, Franklin Graham was asked whether or not he believed President Obama was a Christian. He gave a fair answer when he said it wasn’t his place to judge.

But when asked the same question about the faith of Santorum and Newt Gingrich, Graham’s standards changed. He answered that yes, he did think those men were Christian because of “political interests” and “spiritual interests.” Graham later backtracked, but the message was already out.

What did a lot of young people hear? To be a Christian you need to look like, talk like and vote like Franklin Graham… Oh, and something about sinners and grace.

Such political spectacles are driving a generation away from faith. It almost did for me, an evangelical Christian in my 20s who attends church on an almost weekly basis.

Most of my life I went to private Christian schools or was homeschooled. I had some wonderful examples of faith that inspired me. But as soon as I heard Christians on the radio or saw them on TV, I was ashamed to call myself a Christian.

The Jesus I read about in Scriptures taught love, acceptance, peace and concern for the poor, but the Christian leaders on TV and radio always seemed to be pro-rich, pro-white, pro-America and anti-gay.

By college I was getting ready to leave it all behind.

Thankfully, I had found meaning in work with the homeless and tutoring refugees. I heard Jim Wallis, for whom I now work, speak about God’s heart for the poor and oppressed. I sat in Scot McKnight’s North Park University classes in Chicago and learned about a Jesus who didn’t think like me, talk like me or live like me but who presented a radical challenge to be a disciple of this one they call Christ.

By 2004, I realized that the highest Christian calling in my life might not be to vote Republican. I still casted my ballot, but what was most significant to me that November was inviting 15 homeless men and women into my campus apartment to celebrate Thanksgiving with some other students and spend the night indoors.

I like politics. I think it’s important. Public policy matters because it affects people’s lives every day in ways we often don’t realize. But my primary concern for it comes because it affects the people Jesus called me to love and that the Bible tells me to be a voice for. This is why the use and abuse of religion during this election season is so troubling.

When Franklin Graham sets up double standards of faith for Republicans and Democrats, when Pat Robertson intones about a coming “secular atheist dictatorship,” when the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins goes off about the dangers of repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and other “anti-family, anti-religious, anti-Christian policies,” when the great test for the next President of our country is who has “real” theology and who has “phony” theology, it might make for good sound bites.

But it’s bad faith.

Blaming colleges, like Santorum did, is a lot easier than reforming the church. Finding an enemy outside of your religious faith might keep some young people in line for a little while and is probably great for fundraising. Heck, it might even mobilize an important voting bloc and win a few elections.

But it’s hastening the decline of Christianity for an entire generation.

I have a simple request for our nation’s religious leaders who keep finding “enemies of the faith” at every turn without ever looking inward. For Christ’s sake, stop talking.

Spend some time in prayer and think about what you say before you say it. Ask yourself, is the political gain, the next spot on cable news or the notoriety I can achieve really worth the damage to the church?

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Tim King.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Politics • Rick Santorum

soundoff (1,729 Responses)
  1. jknbt

    this is a warning to go out to all of you readers who went to college as a Christian and later graduated as an atheist/agnostic/amoral unbeliever....YOU HAVE BEEN SPEWED OUT according to Rev. 3:16. You need to get yourself turned around, or the terrible condition mentioned in Heb. 6:4-9 will apply to you. So BEWARE. You people really are playing with fire.
    Rev. 3:16........So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
    Heb. 6:4-9........4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6I f they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. 7 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: 8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. 9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      zzzZZZZZzzzzz
      zzzZZZZZzzzzz

      February 29, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Adam C

      If someone was religious and then left that faith, its highly unlikely that fear of things they no longer believe in will bring them back to that faith.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • momoya

      And I am proof of that, AdamC.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
  2. Reality

    origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

    Once again, reiteration is a major component of a good education as demonstrated by the number of times the OT has been reiterated over the last 3000 years and the NT over the last 2000 years. Rational Thinking and Truth are simply catching up. Deal with it and learn.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  3. Megadave

    I may be atheist, but I think the reason for christianitys downfall is the authoritarian nature of some christians, those who say you go to hell for disagreeing with their beliefs. There is nowhere in my mind of how I can comprehend a god being as hating as most christians say him to be. A true christian hates noone, and loves everyone except muderers, rapist, and theives.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • ken

      The good news of the gospel is we choose ... those who choose to spend eternity with Christ will & those who choose to spend eternity apart from God will. choose ye this day whom you will serve.

      February 29, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
  4. Hypatia

    Only terrified autocrats suffering from failing faith worry that education will 'ruin' their kids. Education is not, and has never been the enemy of faith.

    February 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Hypatia

      You said, "Education is not, and has never been the enemy of faith."
      True. Education is not the enemy of faith, but because it is, at least in part, an eradicator of it, it is seen as such by those that still cling to their faith.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Leo

      Really? Where does he say what you claim?

      February 29, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • Leo

      Wrong reply.....

      February 29, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  5. momoya

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIezni-FyfA&feature=related

    February 29, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Leo

      Romans 1

      18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,

      February 29, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • momoya

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKYN-oDxFQ4

      February 29, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      Leo
      Paul even admitted that much of what he said was just his opinion. Why should his opinion in this count for a hill of beans?

      February 29, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • ISAI

      follow me on twitter @onlyisai

      February 29, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Leo

      Oh Yeah... Really? Where does he say what you claim?

      February 29, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      Leo
      He admits to giving his own opinion in 1 Corinthians 7:12, and we can only guess how much more of his writings are like this.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Leo

      Guess all you want... but that is all you are doing... Paul made it clear in that single instance, assuming everwhere else is simply an assumption without foundation.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  6. Leo

    You all have a chance to learn a little more on what the scriptures actually teach in Hebrew and Greek.

    http://www.blueletterbible.org

    28If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found;

    29Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.

    The word that you use in your example as ra-pe is Taphas. By understanding the words real meaning

    Strong's H8610 – taphas

    1) to catch, handle, lay hold, take hold of, seize, wield

    a) (Qal)

    1) to lay hold of, seize, arrest, catch

    2) to grasp (in order to) wield, wield, use skilfully

    b) (Niphal) to be seized, be arrested, be caught, be taken, captured

    c) (Piel) to catch, grasp (with the hands)

    By truly digging deeper into the Hebrew meanings you find that this is not as it may seem in your english translation. It is much more relevant to today for when a young man gets his girlfriend pregnant or in this case just lies with her he should marry her.

    February 29, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Thanks I knew the two laws were different but they just caught me out. Thanks.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Leo

      The sad thing is modern times the men don't even marry the woman they sleep with... that ancient old testament had better values than what we have today. This is even clearer when you see "and they be found", in context this is in no way the picture that is portrayed earlier.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Reality

      More information from the college ranks:

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

      New Torah For Modern Minds

      “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

      The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

      February 29, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Leo

      Do you just cut and paste that same thing everytime the Atheist are proven wrong??

      February 29, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Ah.... So the bible means what it says it means, except when you need to make it say something different in order to make your god not seem like a tool.

      Right. Got it. I guess god breathed doesn't mean what it used to mean.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Leo

      So do you know what the original language was? do you understand you are using a translation? I showed you clearly what the words mean in the original language Hebrew. If you wish to not learn the truth that is your problem.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Reality

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

      Once again, reiteration is a major component of a good education as demonstrated by the number of times the OT has been reiterated over the last 3000 years and the NT over the last 2000 years. Rational Thinking and Truth are simply catching up. Deal with it and learn.
      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      February 29, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Leo

      Reality, Look into the studies at Ben-Gurion University and you will find they found 284 different sites that included pottery.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Reality

      Leo,

      Your issue is with the 1.5 million Conservative Jews and their rabbis who are very familiar with the Ben-Gurion U. analyses.

      March 1, 2012 at 8:03 am |
  7. jknbt

    hey CNN, why don't you start an ATHEIST'S BLOG so the god-less humanists who rant everytime someone expresses any sort of belief will have a place to call their own? This is, after all, the "Belief Blog". 90% of the screaming done on your belief blog is by atheists who ha-te God and anyone who believes in God.

    This cr-ap is unbelievably Anti-Christian.

    February 29, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Really?

      "90% of the screaming done on your belief blog is by atheists who ha-te God and anyone who believes in God. "

      Oh please, there's a troll on here posting several times a day on every blog against Atheism. Then there are the posts telling telling those that don't believe as you to go to hell . We are here to show the world what a bunch of delusional idiots you are believing in your cult.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • sam stone

      jk: athiests cannot hate a being in which they do not believe. as to the believers, atheists do not hate them. we find them amusing. this is a belief blog, and it is not limited to any particular belief. if that bothers you, stay away

      February 29, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • CT

      Your reading comprehension needs work. This guy is a devout Christian. Atheists aren't the only ones who think religion and politics shouldn't mix.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Michael

      Atheists do not hate "god" or anyone who believes.... They simply would like you to keep your beliefs in your church and out of their government ...... You have a belief you are not "right" they are not "right" anyone who truly thinks they "know" anything for a fact is simply exercising arrogance. If you truly are a believer then you should be able to calming defend that belief. If your argument is lacking , don't hate... Research your argument.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • jknbt

      all laws have a moral basis. Religion teaches morality. Religion and morality are always linked even if the religion is godless humanistic philosophy. So how about you humanists keeping your laws off the backs of Christians for a change? The latest example of humanism based law interfering with the free practice of religion is Obama basically telling the Catholics that they have to provide abortion coverage to their employees. So who made Obama the Pope?

      February 29, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, all laws do NOT have a "moral base" no matter how many times you lie about it. Our laws are not based on morality alone; they are based on the protection of our freedoms as individuals.

      Go back to night school, dumb bunny.

      February 29, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
  8. TAK

    So let me get this straight. Christian kids go to college... gain knowledge... and graduate more secular.
    I'm shocked! Shocked, I say.

    February 29, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  9. Primewonk

    Nii Croffie apparently has an issue with women.

    Deuteronony 22:28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and ra.pes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.

    And you have the gall to try and justify this? Seriously? On what planet do you spend the most of your time?

    Your god commands that young girls who are ra.ped have to marry their ra.pist – and never get divorced!

    This only goes to show how little your god cares about women. It's just sick.

    February 29, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Poqui

      At a time when women were commodities which could bring the family wealth by either marrying into the right family or providing the family with more workers, this law made some sense. A woman who was violated was damaged goods and would never marry thus causing the family an irreplaceable loss of this commodity. By forcing the man to marry her then the family could accomplish a few things: 1) redeem the daughters reputation, 2) receive compensation for some of the financial loss, 3) have some of the commodity value restored by them having children.

      I know this makes no sense in today's society but in their world this made total sense and it was actually considered to be a pro-woman law back then since she would now have a husband and not starve to death. Go figure...

      February 29, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Very funny! Most Christian women feel happy with their God just the way it is. I find jail a worse punishment than the death pe.nalty. Our culture was virtually free of gays before the prisons, monasteries and boarding schools. Prison is inhuman. I wud prefer death for stealing to Pe.nn State.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      This article is about Christianity. While we accept the whole Bible as the word of God we have moved on quite a bit from the Old Testament Law that you are quoting. Under the law (Old Testament covenant), the consequences for sin or payment for sin required a blood sacrifice. Either a designated animal or the sinner, as the case may be. Under the new covenant brought about by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, his blood paid it all. It pays for the sin today, yesterday, and forever for the believer. For example, adultery was a sin punishable by death, but Jesus told the people if you look at a woman with lust in your heart you have committed adultery. The point is that the flesh is sinful by nature whether in thought or deed. No one is good. We all need forgiveness.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Really?

      "Under the new covenant brought about by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, his blood paid it all."

      No, Jesus even said he was not here to abolish the old testament. Do you even read your bible.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Primewonk

      All too often we see theists try and justify cr.ap like this and slavery by claiming it's a reflection of the times, and a reflection of what other tribes in the area were doing.

      Well la-ti-freaking-da. Cry me a freaking river.

      You would have thought that an omnipotent and omniscient god would have had the balls to tell his creation that women were just as equal as men and that gays were just as equal as straights. You'd have thought he'd have the balls to add an 11th commandment that says, "Thou shalt not own another human being"

      February 29, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Yes, I have and do read it. Jesus was letting the folks know that he didn’t come to do away with the law (Old Covenant). He came to fulfill it. In other words, he became the sacrifice for sin. Sin is still sin. The new covenant (Jesus) provided for the forgiveness of sin detailed so well in the Old Testament.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • sam stone

      Robert: We all need forgiveness? For violating the morality of Iron Age man? Why do you feel their morality is applicable to modern man?

      February 29, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      God identified the sin not man. He has provided the forgiveness. We need only accept it.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Robert Brown

      You said, "While we accept the whole Bible as the word of God we have moved on quite a bit from the Old Testament Law that you are quoting."
      So, in effect you are saying that your god was full of shit. If you accept the whole bible as the word of your god, how can you move on and not go against his word.

      You said, "Under the law (Old Testament covenant), the consequences for sin or payment for sin required a blood sacrifice."
      If that was the law laid down by your god, you better still do that.

      You said, "Under the new covenant brought about by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, his blood paid it all."
      So your god said, "Oops, sorry. I fucked up. Forget what I said before, but listen to me now."? How can you believe anything from a god that is obviously so flawed?

      You said, "It pays for the sin today, yesterday, and forever for the believer."
      So you can now rape, murder, steal and not have to worry about a thing. Come to think of it, that does explain a thing or two.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Jesus

      "God identified the sin not man. He has provided the forgiveness. We need only accept it."

      No we don't because there is no proof of your god. There is proof that the story of Jesus was stolen from other pagan rituals of that time period. Your cult should not be part of our society.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      I was writing about the consequences of sin mentioned in the Old Testament and apologize if you misunderstood my post. Sin is still sin. For example, Thou shalt not commit adultery, is the Law. The consequence or penalty for breaking that law was the death of the guilty party. Fortunatley for believers instead of being subject to the death sentence for breaking Gods law Jesus has taken the punishment.

      No, Jesus does not give us a license to sin. We are thankful for forgiveness. We obey and serve Him the best we can.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      I have posted this before but it seems to fit. We can’t prove to you the existence of God by use of physical evidence. The witnesses of the events recorded them in the Bible and those who have been saved can give witness or testimony of their personal spiritual experience. So, if you require physical evidence of the existence of God you are not going to get it, but if you can accept the testimony of multiple witnesses we may be able to help.

      References and or witnesses supplied upon request.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Adam C

      Robert, I totally disagree with you on your religion, however I would like to thank you for your very civil tone in discussing it. It is difficult to speak with others when they are bashing you and retain your demeanor, but you have managed to do so. Have a great day.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  10. EnjaySea

    I lost my faith in college, for just the reason that the religious right is worried about. Knowledge is antithetical to faith. And that's a good thing.

    February 29, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Poqui

      Interesting tidbit – Faith in most Christian faiths is inversely proportional to their educational level. The only religion which bucks the trend is Mormonism: faith and educational level are tied.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • TAK

      Poqui – It depends what the education is in. I don't see too many mormon physicists.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  11. Nii Croffie

    Jiimtanker as I said you r dealing with the wrong type of Christian. The "Truth" is not my pursuit. I exercise a childlike faith rather like the Scientific Method. I explore spirituality rather than hold unto "Truth" which is the small word for Dogma of all kinds including atheist ones.

    February 29, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Primewonk

      The fact that you use the word faith in the same sentence as "scientific method" only serves to strengthen the notion that you are a fundiot troll.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Lemaitre n Einstein are my fundiot heroes too. You sing ur creeds about science and faith being hostile. I will be as happy as I can be and maybe happier in the after-life who knows?

      February 29, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Lemaitre and Einstein were NOT fundiots – fundamentalist ldiots

      Are you really this dense?

      February 29, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      I love it when an atheist cannot read in between the lines. Who is the fundiot now? Fundamentalist atheist idiot? Hope not.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  12. Dave Bühler

    Time to re-read Hofstadter's great ANTI-INTELLECTUALISM in AMERICAN LIFE ?!?!?!????!!!!

    February 29, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • BobbyJoe17

      You only get one life, so you better make it worthwhile.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  13. Nii Croffie

    Godpot a woman who is seduced was slept with. A woman who was ra.ped was abused. A fine is just as good as a jail term for punishment. When u sue for wrongful death or take out a life insurance payment r u devaluing life. How can paying a fine or a jail term devalue a woman n her dad?

    February 29, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      You are kidding, right?

      A fine? Seriously?

      February 29, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      A life in jail for a s e x crime is a far better punishment than a financial loss. Otherwise, if you are rich, you could afford to do a lot of rapppin. Maybe those who passed those laws (written by men because there is no God) wanted it that way because lawmakers tend to have money yet are as mortal as the rest of us. Tell me, is there a financial fee for rapping a man? I suppose your infallible god would have both rapppist and rappper stoned to death for being immoral.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  14. chief

    those that do leave college with some faith in tact will have it forever.. real faith... those that lost it never had it... they lost hope in what they were told to believe in fact didnt know why .............

    February 29, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  15. Nii Croffie

    Jackdaw u r setting urself traps here. What has marriage got to do with a woman's loins? You have wounded a woman. Probably made her afraid of men. Destroyed her prospects of marriage. Maybe even impregnated her. Shud u go free because punishing you will make the woman worthless?

    February 29, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      If your genius God was concerned about the possible child product of that rapppe, then his infallible bible would have stated that the rapppist must pay the costs of the raising of that child. That is not what it says. What is says is that you have to pay the father of that girl because he can no longer get a brideprice for her. He can’t get that price because she is not a virgin. Therefore, her value is reliant on the “purity” of her loins, making them worthless once a crime has been committed upon her. It is a draconian view and you are trying to propagate it.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • chief

      like a dog returns to its own vomit, so does a fool to his folly

      February 29, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      See why u r not a credible debater? You think a Christian won't know the Law, right? Look go back n read the Law if u care. While at it look up marriage and women passages. If u can't because of religious preferences ,don't lie. Everybody can read not just u. I'm Messianic Jewish so I grew up on it

      February 29, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      You are putting a monetary value on women!! If that is the will of your God he is a worthless and irrelevant God!

      February 29, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Nii Croffie

      "Messianic Jewish"? What happened to "spiritual christian"? Whatever that means.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  16. friendlyneighborhood"none"

    Tim, It sounds like you are christian because you were raised that in order to be good, you must love god. I'm here to tell you that the hypocrisy only gets worse. If you have your doubts, explore them. You will find a large population of loving caring atheists, who are able to do good without god. I'm glad to see that even in the fundamentalist evangelicals, the true reason for the exodus is apparent. Kids arent leaving because they're being indoctrinated. They are learning the truth about evolution and the big bang and history and realizing they were already indoctrinated.

    February 29, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Vegas C

      I operate a religious theology site, have studied every religion in the world and have to say athiests are by far the most closed minded group I've come across. It's like their whole belief system is founded on putting down others as we see here yet again. Everyone that believes in something are "hypocrits" or "uneducated" about alot of scientific theories (which I've also studied) that have holes in them big enough to drive a ford through. Do your research but don't think that your only options are being a hypocrit or believing in a bunch of theories that it takes more faith to believe in than in God.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Really?

      I'm sorry to have to tell you this but your logic here is just as flawed as many members of faith. You mention that there are "a large population of loving caring atheists, who are able to do good without god," which is true, but the same is true of faith. Not all Islamists are inherently bad because they're Islamic, just as not all Christians are bad because they're Christian, its the radicals that smear the faith not the faith itself. And you also mention a disconnect between Science and Religion which is entirely uninformed. Plenty of educated individuals realize it is entirely possible to believe in God and still respect findings of science. For example, "Pope Pius XII declared, at the November 22, 1951 opening meeting of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, that the Big Bang theory does not conflict with the Catholic concept of creation." (and yes, before anyone mentions it, I realize I pulled this from Wikipedia but the Google translation of the website was not as friendly for pasting here.) Also, if you knew your history you would know that early Muslims were some of the most insightful scientists in Late Antiquity (After the dissolution of Rome).

      No Christian I know believes that you can only do good works through God, but that through him all things work together for good, which are two very different concepts. Of course people do good, in, out of or in spite of religion, but doing good is not the debate in question here. And Atheists themselves are not free of guilt. Communism is founded on the principles of abolishing all religion and Stalin sought to fulfill that killing more people of religion than Hitler while not done in the name of Atheism itself it was a means to an end and sought "equality" by destroying religion becoming a tyrant itself. Other examples are Jim Jones, Napoleon, Kim Jong Il, etc. Humans themselves are inherently flawed and will seek power wherever it can be found due to religious reasons or not.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      So Vegas, are you suggesting that dogmas based on faith are theories that don't have holes in them large enough to drive a truck through? Because I've been driving trucks back and forth through those holes for decades.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Adam C

      Vegas, non-believers tend to be come off as very closed-minded as our view point is not a belief, but rather a rejection of other beliefs. In order for us to discuss how we see the world, we have to explain why we don't see it the way the believers see it. So by its very nature, non-belief tends to be very negative and dismissive. This doesn't mean that we are negative and dismissive, its just the way we come across when we describe our viewpoint.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
  17. Nii Croffie

    I got involved with Evangelicals who used me as their example of a sinner cos I was Anglican n won't convert. All sorts of rumours circulated around me. I almost lost my faith n my grades fell badly. I became a spiritual Xtian after seeing Pharisaism firsthand. U n ur friends can form a house church

    February 29, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      If you need a fictional character to act as a moral guide I would sooner see you follow Gandolf or Yoda.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • jimtanker

      Yoda rocks!

      February 29, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      My "fictional" Jesus is better at knowing me than you are. I will take His sayings over you and Jiimtanker's everyday. Jiim's Bible lessons are poor and his history terrible. Jackdaw u behave in ways I won't expect from a mature adult. Why insult me because you do not understand me?

      February 29, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      I insult you because you tried to sell me something. Jesus dosen't know you because he died 2000 years ago.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Jackdaw u r either christo.ph.obic which is a disease or u r emotionally immature. Either ways I am not selling anything. You said u read de Bible n Xtian theology. I dont see why a no thank you cudn't suffice if u weren't interested. Do u think Sunday Morning Sermons and memory verses r Theology ?

      February 29, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      You take religion too literally. If I knew what you meant by your last sentence I would love to debate it with logic, but I can’t make sense of it. Your shorthand is as incomprehensible as your views at large.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • jimtanker

      @Nii,

      You can dislike my bible lessons and my history all you want. That is all that a xtian can do when faced with the real truth of live over their delusional "Truth".

      February 29, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Oh and a Christian friend told me I read the Bible like a story book! Guess u will know. I am not a Fundamentalist neither am I a Literalist. I find meaning in religion and science and learning in general but u may not. That's your problem not mine. I enjoy reading and obeying the Bible.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      I suppose where your views land on the scale of literal – metaphorical is all about perspective. I would not argue that the bible is completely without value, as it is not, but touting its righteousness by spouting arcane statements like a woman’s virginity is worth $XX is something you need to revisit.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      You also refuse to acknowledge that a woman has the right of summary divorce which is denied this man on these grounds-se.xual dissatisfaction, physical abuse,and material disadvantage.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      You also refuse to ac.kno.wle.dge that a woman has the right of su.mm.ary div.or.ce which is denied this man on these grounds-se.xual dissa.tis.fac.tion, physical ab.use,and mat.erial di.sa.dva.nt.age.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      Yes, I’m sure being forced to spend the rest of your life with your rapppist could never lead to a life of domestic violence and emotional abuse. Mr. Wonderful surely gets better when he has to look at you for the rest of his life…….or yours…..how long will it take him to realize the best way out of the situation is to crack your skull open? A week maybe?

      February 29, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Most Christians from Christ's days have been women. I wonder how they feel about such a god. My mother loved him to bits and so do my sisters. Keep doing the Temptation again. Bible verses twisted! I almost can believe there is Satan now! Your interpretation is woeful!

      February 29, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      Dad – “You were rapppped. I’m selling you to your rapppist.”
      Daughter – “No daddy, no!”
      Dad – “Tough. God says to do it.”
      4 days later, headline reads: “Convicted Rapppist Kills live-in Victum!”
      Dad – “Well, at least I got my 30 Shekels of silver!”

      Yes, my interpretation is pure evil. Get a clue buddy. There is more man in God than God in man and it is men alone that it is designed to serve.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Which part of building a jail interests you so much? Why is it that prison officers try to prevent suicide so much? In this case the rapist is seen as a human and so is his victim. Fine him. If she wants she can marry him. He can't divorce her. That they r evil jail them is why your culture is fails

      February 29, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      “That they r evil jail them is why your culture is fails”…….???

      And the choices between putting a dollar value on women and putting a man in jail?

      Are you sure it is my culture that is failing? I wish I could sit around and argue with you all day, you are an endless source of entertainment. Alas, I must go. When you put your head back in the sand, try to keep it out of your ears.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      The rest of that reply didn't come. Your culture fails to place the proper value on a human life. Lets go n bomb Iraq cos of Saddam forgetting that wars are costly. Running up huge deficits. REDUCING INTEREST RATES SO MUCH THAT CORPORATIONS INVEST IN CHINA OR DIE. Life is valuable when u r merciful.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  18. The Jackdaw

    Yes, because once a woman has been rappped she is valueless in the eyes of God.

    February 29, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      That was for Nii Croffie, the Carpet Bagger.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      We dont marry women 2 make them valueless. Rather paying her brideprice makes her as honorable as any married woman is. Your wife will b cross if she saw this if u r a married man. It was to counter pagan Semitic culture. If u were paying to wed a woman u will never sleep with u will think twice.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      Women have no value until you grace them with a wedding ring? How 21st century of you.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • jimtanker

      No, not valueless in the eyes of god. Valuless to the father. He could no longer make any money by selling her off to get married. Get it right.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      Yes, but this is validated by the immortal and immutable words of your "lord god". A woman's value is inexorably tied to her loins. Does that seem right to you?

      February 29, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      You pay a fine worth the bride price not have a wedding! You people are telling me that sending a rapist to jail is the value of the woman to her parents..??? How sick is that? A punishment for a crime is not about value of the victim but damage incurred to that victim. Her father was her avenger.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      You are demanding a financial reward from a rapppist so clearly you are putting a value on a woman, specifically her loins. If I crash into your car I have to pay you for the damage. If I off your dad I go to jail. Your dad does not have a monitory value and neither does a woman.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • GodPot

      "You people are telling me that sending a r a p ist to jail is the value of the woman to her parents..??? How sick is that?"

      Nii, anyone who buys and sells their own children in any way, even the taking of a dowrys or bride price, makes them worse than w h ores, they are the p i mps and abusers of their own family. I do not care what you say about culture or traditions, it's a sick practice much like female g e n ital mutilation and must be exposed for what it is and stopped. I would agree that prison is too lite a sentance for a r a p i s t and personally believe in capital punishment for r a p i s t s and child abusers, not charging them a fee as if you are a p i mp after the fact "Hey, you slept with my daughter and she is really pretty so you better have plenty of cash..." Disgusting. It's sad that most of the world still holds womens value far below males and sometimes even below animals and it won't stop until it's brought out in the open and more moral people take a stand against it.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      Thank you GodPot, exactly.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      If she is non-white, yes she has no value. Non-whites were put on this Earth to serve the whites.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  19. Nii Croffie

    God commanded that a seduced virgin must be married off. A ra.pis.t marrying is not the same as paying the bride-price to the tune of any amount that the father demanded as a fine. De woman didn't have to go with him but stayed in her home. It just warned suitors to not make demands for virginity.

    February 29, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  20. l-mac

    Excellent article with excellent points. Our generation's Christian faith is indeed dying because of the politicization of religion. Santorum etc. need not fear college courses, as they do not dissuade faith; rather, they merely serve to group together young individuals who suddenly realize "I am not the only dying inside during sermons." I remember the day I stopped going to church, after my pastor, a man I dearly loved, said passionately during a sermon; "You can not be a Christian and a Democrat, it is one or the other. If you vote Democrat in November, you are not a Christian." I remember feeling like crying on the inside, as a wonderful couple sitting in front of me, who were very active Democrats, bowed their heads in disbelief. They were wonderful, good people who believed that their party best exhibited Christ as did the pastor believe in his. However, they sat quietly, and he spewed from the pulpit. I left the Church mentally that day, and have not been back since, as his was by no means the only example. I know people are emotional, I know they are passionate, but it is the Church that is the Church's enemy no. 1, and once they figure that out, we can begin to build again. Thank you Tim King for an excellent take on the subject...it is good to know that I and my circle of "Recovering Baptists" are not the only ones.

    February 29, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • TexasTexasTexas

      Recovering Baptists = funny. I was raised by pretenders and I've been in recovery for several years now. I was pondering this article and comments all day. The exact people who try to guilt and shame me into being Jesus Freaks are the people I would NOT want to spend eternity with.

      February 29, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.