My Take: Santorum’s right, JFK wrong on separation of church and state
The author says that President John F. Kennedy got the separation of church and state wrong and that Rick Santorum gets it right.
February 29th, 2012
11:14 AM ET

My Take: Santorum’s right, JFK wrong on separation of church and state

Editor's Note: R. Albert Mohler Jr. is president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world.

By R. Albert Mohler Jr., Special to CNN

Even Rick Santorum’s most ardent detractors have to concede this much - the former senator speaks his mind. Recently, Santorum has been speaking his mind on questions of church and state, and the political left has responded with disbelief and horror.

Over the weekend, Santorum told ABC's "This Week" that reading the text of John F. Kennedy’s 1960 speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association made him physically sick: “I almost threw up.”

As it turns out, Santorum had made similar statements about Kennedy’s speech before. But, as Santorum quickly learned, he had dared to criticize a speech, and an argument, that the left has long considered the equivalent of settled law.

Kennedy addressed the Houston Baptist pastors at a crucial point in his campaign for the presidency. He was facing claims that a Catholic president would be unduly influenced by the Vatican and Catholic authorities, and Kennedy sought to calm those fears. In one sense, the speech was something of a political necessity. In an even greater sense, it established what amounts to a political orthodoxy on the political left.

Explaining what made him almost throw up, Santorum pointed to a statement Kennedy made early in the speech: “I believe in an America where separation of church and state is absolute.”

Santorum retorted, “I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute. The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country.”

Santorum should have avoided gastrointestinal references in his comments, and he clearly missed some of the careful nuances of Kennedy’s speech, but his criticism of Kennedy’s argument is both timely and essentially right. Furthermore, it is high time that Americans understand that the ideas Kennedy espoused in that speech have led us to an impasse in current debates.

There can be no “absolute” separation of church and state. Such an absolute separation would, in theory, prevent any conflict or controversy between religious bodies and government. As just about any edition of a major newspaper makes clear, these conflicts occur over and over again.

Much of Kennedy’s speech would be noncontroversial, including his plea for an end to religious intolerance and his assertion of religious liberty. But Kennedy framed his argument with assertions that simply cannot be sustained. The central problem was Kennedy’s insistence that religion is a purely private affair with no public consequences.

Kennedy argued the church he believed in should not be a matter of public concern “for that should be important only to me.” Later in the speech, he said: “I believe in a president whose views on religion are his own private affair, neither imposed upon him by the nation, nor imposed by the nation upon him as a condition to holding that office.”

Those two crucial assertions - Kennedy's insistence that his church “should be important only to me” and his description of a president’s religion as “his own private affair” - create the problem.

The moral and political battles of the last half-century demonstrate that religious convictions cannot be merely a “private affair.” The reason for this is simple: If religious beliefs mean anything, they will affect other beliefs. Human beings are composite creatures, and there is no way that authentic religious beliefs can be safely isolated from an individual’s total worldview.

The potential for cultural conflict increases when religious beliefs are held strongly and when they are deeply integrated into an individual’s thinking. This is why Kennedy sought to affirm that he could serve as president without his Catholicism carrying any real significance at all.

That argument worked for Kennedy in 1960 when he was running for president against anti-Catholic prejudice. It does not work when we have to engage in the hard process of establishing public policy.

Kennedy’s line of argument set the stage for the hugely influential effort of intellectuals such as John Rawls, Jurgen Habermas and Robert Audi. The secular left is deeply committed to their idea that public arguments must be limited to secular reason, with religious beliefs and arguments ruled out of bounds.

This approach has also led to the secularization of vast areas of public life, marginalizing citizens with deep religious convictions. The coercive power of the state has forced the secularization of charitable work, leading to such tragedies as the closing of religious charities that refuse to secularize their ministries.

Santorum is surely right when he spoke of these things as “absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country.”

The very fact that, in 2012, a presidential candidate from one party can create instant headlines by arguing against a speech made by a presidential candidate of the other party, more than 50 years ago, should be enough to convince any fair-minded American that we still have much work to do as we try to reason with each other about these questions.

As we get about that task, we need to speak to one another with care, courtesy and full conviction. Massively difficult issues loom before us, but this nation is sufficiently mature so that we can have this conversation without losing our lunch.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of R. Albert Mohler Jr.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Church and state • Opinion • Politics • Rick Santorum

soundoff (351 Responses)
  1. Rick

    Mr Mohler , you said:

    "Massively difficult issues loom before us, but this nation is sufficiently mature so that we can have this conversation without losing our lunch"

    I would make a slight modification to the above to say:

    "Massively difficult issues loom before us, but this nation is sufficiently mature so that we can have this conversation without losing our focus on God and lean on God for wisdom and understanding as we strive to find solution to those difficult issues

    February 29, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Seraphina

      Wisdom > lunch 😉

      February 29, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  2. Brad

    Mohler's point that there can be no absolute division of church and state refines down to "there can be no absolute division of opinions and judgments in the mind of one person". Anyone with a specific set of beliefs that inform moral choices will not always be able to recognize its use when a judgment is made or an action is chosen, so such a separation is not possible. Be that as it may, what can and must be avoided is the influence in government and public life of institutions that draw on peoples beliefs, develop their own agendas, and try to drive decision making: the churches, mosques, etc.

    February 29, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  3. William Demuth

    These posts bore me.

    Just the continuing posting of one extremist who wants to support another.

    A baptist seminary? A bastion of stone age beliefs designed to keep the vulnerable as ignorant as possible.

    Mr Santorum would approve!

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

      Come on William, you're smarter than that.

      February 29, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
  4. boocat

    Ths guy is as full of it as Santorum. I wish all of these religion headcases would leave this country and go to a place like Iran. Let them see what it's like in a country ruled by a bunch of loonie fanatics under the guise of "religion."

    February 29, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  5. AGuest9

    Just great. A whacko who thinks that this is a theocracy wants to be president.

    February 29, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  6. Reality

    Dear Mr. Mohler,

    Finally a prayer that really works but only for the newbies------>>>>>>>>>>>

    The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    (references used are available upon request)

    February 29, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • .....

      Hit report abuse on all reality posts

      February 29, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • sam

      The 'report abuse' link doesn't work anymore, so don't bother.

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

      Keep up the good work reality. New readers come and go all the time. There is no such thing as an old mesaage. (originally misposted below)

      February 29, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      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 3:38 pm |
    • lol

      Most importantly, what reality is saying has nothing to do with the article.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Colin

      Robert Brown. These witnesses on whom you rely, who are they? Taking the word (or what we today understand to be the word – after 2,000 years and an inordinate amount of editing and translating between languages) of unknown people on matters about which they felt passionately is crazy!. The chances of it being true are vanishingly small.

      This would stop me believing them if they wrote on benign issues, like the day's news, but when they claim "miracles" and other supernatural events and we know nothing of them. Forget it.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      The witnesses include the writers of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, & Paul. They also include the other disciples, all those who were healed and saved in the narrative, those who were present at Pentecost, every person who has been saved since, and me. If you have been saved, you have experienced Jesus, and you can testify to that experience.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • a person of the Name

      @ Robert Brown: Amen!

      We only have the Word and our testimony and I'm so thankful for both.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • tnfreethinker

      Robert Brown....you do realize that even the so-called prophets have very different accounts of the Jesus story. All of which were written many, many years after Jesus death and were NOT witnesses of the Jesus story. Mark, being the oldest of the gospels, was written a whole generation after Jesus death (about 70 years later). As we all know, stories grow with time, and nowhere is more evident than the fictional works called The Bible.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Really?

      "The witnesses include the writers of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, & Paul."

      They were not the original writers, it was written long after Jesus was dead, plus the scribes embellished a lot just like what happens when you play telephone. Everyone knows the story about Jesus and the woman about to be stoned by the mob. This account is only found in John 7:53-8:12. The mob asked Jesus whether they should stone the woman (the punishment required by the Old Testament) or show her mercy. Jesus doesn’t fall for this trap. Jesus allegedly states, let the one who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her. The crowd dissipates out of shame. That story was not originally in the Gospel of John or in any of the Gospels. It was added by later scribes. The story is not found in the oldest and best manuscripts of the Gospel of John. Nor does its writing style comport with the rest of John. Most serious textual critics state that this story should not be considered part of the Bible.

      After Jesus died, Mary Magdalene and two other women came back to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus, according to Mark 16:1-2). They were met by a man in a white robe who told them that Jesus had been raised and was no longer there. The women fled and said nothing more to anyone out of fear (16:4-8). Everyone knows the rest of Mark’s Gospel, of course. The problem with the remainder of the story is that none of it was originally in the Gospel of Mark. It was added by a later scribe.

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

      Was Pentecost an historical event or simply more myth concocted by Luke to gain members to the newest cult in town??

      e.g. Luke, the only gospel writer to mention the Pentecost, started this tale in Luke 24:49 i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically unreliable.

      See also Professor Gerd Ludemann's conclusions in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years i.e. Luke 24: 36-53 " The historical yield is hil, both in respect of the real historical event and in connections with the visions which were the catalyst for the rise of Christianity. "

      February 29, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • TR6

      @Robert Brown:” if you can accept the testimony of multiple witnesses we may be able to help.”

      There are a large number of witnesses to UFO existence and even abductions. Eye witnesses to big foot, ghosts, the Loch Ness monster and even Elvis still being alive. Your god fits perfectly in the list of all the preposterous things that have plenty of witnesses but no physical evidence

      February 29, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Reality

      Make that "nil". 🙂

      February 29, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      TR6, no comparison really. I am talking millions. How many you got for bigfoot?

      February 29, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      tnfreethinker, really, and reality. I wrote you all a reply but the filter got it. I must have typed something the filter didn't like. Let me try again. Anyway, I believe the Bible is the Word of God, written by humans filled with the Holy Spirit. You obviously have questions. May I suggest questioning the principle author. Seek and you will find. Thanks.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Really?

      "Anyway, I believe the Bible is the Word of God, written by humans filled with the Holy Spirit. You obviously have questions. May I suggest questioning the principle author. Seek and you will find. Thanks."

      That's part of the con because there is no proof of a holy spirit it's just a book written by men for brainwashing them, you belong to a cult, nothing more.

      February 29, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Chris

      @robertbrown, it's sad that you need that to be true to be able to accept the teachings of Jesus.

      February 29, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      The proof is available for those who seek it. You can experience it for yourself. Pray for God to show you and He will. When you pray you will feel convicted of your sin and realize your need for a Savior. When you realize your need He will satisfy your need by forgiving you and saving you. You only have to trust Him, to do what He has promised. Then you will experience the Holy Spirit.

      February 29, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • think for yourself

      Just take a step back and use your brain for a sec. Prayer = talking to yourself. Nothing more, nothing less. You can respond back to yourself however you want.

      February 29, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • Reality

      Free Will and Future are inherent to all the thinking beings in the Universe. This being the case, it is not possible to alter life with prayers. Statistically, your request might come true but it is simply the result of the variability/randomness of Nature..

      So put down your rosaries and prayer beads and stop worshiping/revering cows or bowing to Mecca five times a day.

      Instead work hard at your job, take care of aging parents, volunteer at a soup kitchen, donate to charities and the poor and continue to follow the proper rules of your religion or any good rules of living as gracious and good human beings.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
  7. Colin

    Religions like Christianity and Judaism, the only two in the USA with sufficient political clout to affect policy, have two components two them.

    The first is the supernatural element – that an all powerful being created the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies (each with billions of stars and planets) and is still alive 13,700,000,000 years later, because he is immortal; that this god reads minds and spies on us 24/7/365; that humans will live happily ever after in heaven or burn in the hell based on the results of this supervision; that Jesus rose from the dead and that the Red Sea parted etc. The silly, childish, uneducated stuff.

    The second is a sub-component of the above and is a series of admonitions about how we must live in order to please this all knowing god in order to live happily ever after and not fry in hell. They call this morality.

    The first component obviously must be kept out of government policy at all cost! It is no longer the Dark Ages. Just think of the attempts to teach creationism to school children if you have any qualms about it.

    The second component is harmless to the extent it is consistent with general societal norms – thou shalt not kill, for example. But to the extent it goes beyond this and wishes to impose its morality on us where it is inconsistent with general societal norms – Keeping holy the sabbath, for example – it must be rejected.

    In other words, societal norms can dictate government policy all by themselves. Religion adds nothing to this. Religion has no place in government, just like a voodoo healer with a dead chicken has no place in my doctor’s office.

    Jefferson, Adams, Paine and Franklin knew this and thank the Sky-Fairy they did.

    February 29, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Colin

      Keep up the good work reality......

      February 29, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • fred

      No idea or extended history of what a world without worship of God (real or not) would look like yet you continue to promote it. Unless you are a gambler why would any sane person promote such a thing?
      Since Neanderthal there has been evidence of mans worship of a higher source. You offer a godless existence with godless future.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Colin

      Fred, I "offer" nothing. the Universe and reality is what it is. I have no say in it. If I did, I would be a 22 year old super-athlete with millions of adoring female fans, the mind of a genius and the $exual capacity of a rutting rhino.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • fred

      Let me get this straight, for 6,000 to 210,000 years man has conducted his affairs as if there was accountability to some greater force. We know the results of that mindset. Your position that this is wrong assumes the alternative is better yet, the reality is we are exchanging a known for an unknown. If the process of our development is evolution based on survival of the fittest then you propose we toss out tens of thousands of years of refinement of what supposedly is to our good. Either the evolution of man has jumped the tracks and on a new course or you inherited a trait that cannot comprehend known risk. Both results are unacceptable thus a godless mindset is not a desirable human trait for the continuation of the species.

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

      fred, you've got it backwards, the elimination of God from our lives IS the product of evolution. The reason that people believed in a higher power for so many thousands of years, is because up until only recently in the timespan of human existance has science and a greater understanding of our world come into being. Of course people believed in a higher power, how else would one explain the bright lights, streaking down from the sky, or the earth opening up, spewing fire. It had to be the work of some higher power.

      Now, of course, we understand exactly what these phenomenon are and why they occur. We simply no longer have any need for the myth or deities to explain the natural world around us, because we can do it ourselves.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • fred

      “the elimination of God from our lives IS the product of evolution.”
      =>Well cutting off the branch you’re sitting on does not make much sense.
      “ The reason that people believed in a higher power…. is because… earth opening up, spewing fire. It had to be the work of some higher power.”
      =>Jesus knew all about natural events and that was not his reason for belief. Saul of Tarsus, a well educated Roman, debunked all the gods whose existence was based on explanation of natural events 1900 years ago. 40% of scientists (willing to admit it) know full well the scientific explanation of events yet cling to a higher power. 90% of successful drug recovery comes from discovery of a higher power.
      The decline of belief has come from the internet and media since 1950 introducing a new world view that is appealing to the senses, not scientific discovery. The crazy church and religious nonsense on full display makes faith look foolish.

      “we can do it ourselves.”
      =>only the physical has been explained to those that can only accept physical. The non physical is right where it has always been
      Next 911 will bring about another wave of temporary faith. We speak from a position of security and prosperity at the moment. The pendulum is still swinging.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Colin

      "Let me get this straight, for 6,000 to 210,000 years man has conducted his affairs as if there was accountability to some greater force. We know the results of that mindset."

      Starting to lose confidence in the talking snake theory of human development are you, Fred. Good for you. A baby step up out of your superst.ition! For the bulk of that time (the 210,000 is correct by the way, that is about the time h.omo sapiens branched off from ho.mo erec.tus) man also thought the world was flat, that there were five palnets, that the planets were gods, that disease was caused by evil spirits etc. Neither the time for which a belief is held, nor its popularity are german to the veracity of that belief.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Ozzy

      You say that as if religion or belief in God is necessity for life. Clearly it is not.

      Jesus knew all about natural events??? And you know this how? Because he told you? As Colin mentioned, they also believed, for a VERY long time, that the Earth was flat and the center of the universe...to suggest otherwise was heresy.

      I'm gonna have to call shenanigans on your assertion that 40% of scientists cling to a higher power. There have been many polls and surveys that show quite the opposite. You can't assert people are holding back what they truly believe, just because they haven't said what you want them to. Using your same argument, I could say 40% of scientists believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or Unicorns as their higher power.

      Drug Recovery is so dependent on discovering a higher power because you're dealing with people that have hit rock bottom, that have zero will power of their own left. They can't do it anymore on their own, because they don't trust themselves or believe in themselves (except the truth is, they can do it on their own). So they accept God, or faith. This allows them a crutch, a 3rd party that is able to act as their will power, that is not as fallible as they are, so of course they would turn to this. I ask you though, how many recovering addicts or alcoholics that accept God have relapses? Why would God/Christ do that to them?

      You're right about one thing, the decline in religion absolutely is a direct result of the internet, but you're wrong that it doesn't have to do with scientific discovery. With the internet, suddenly everyone, even your most cloistered, protected, brainwashed kid has an outlet to the outside world. They can see different cultures and beliefs, learn about science and the way the world actually works.

      Yes, the physical, by and large, has been explained. Therefore, God is not needed for that explanation. God is not involved in the creation of life, biology is. We all know this now, there is no question. As for what you say about the non-physical, that's complete drivel, there have been hundreds if not thousands of theologies or beliefs that have had their opinion on the non-physical...what makes yours right?

      One more point you're correct on, the next 911 will bring about a wave a temporary faith. The mega-churches and pastors like who wrote this article depend on it. This is point where their fear mongering begins and their new recruitment of those who are afraid starts.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • fred

      It is the talking serpent you mentioned that many including fundamentalists have climbed in bed with. The chatter about 6,000 years or 13.7 billion years verses 6 days of creation is music to the ears of a talking serpent. This keeps believers and non believers distracted from God who spoke the world into existence. And, the word was in the beginning and came and dwelt among us was the appeal to the Greeks 2,000 years ago as they knew Logos.
      The fact that just about everyone has the opportunity to hear the word and decides to accept or reject God speaks for itself. It is not just a large number. Everyone everywhere makes this decision. You would think it was a matter of life or death!
      As to time, that decision was being made as far back as we have records of intelligent beings. Let’s see every human for all time has been confronted with the same choice.
      But, you are right that does not prove God wants an answer we are just all compelled to give one.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Ozzy

      Ooooookay. I thought we had a pretty good back and forth going, addressing each others points, but you've gone and done it and jumped off the deep end. You addressed nothing that I said, but responded with rambling about talking snakes and other nonsense. This is why debates with believers are pointless (I've tried to swear off them), because no matter what, they can always reduce it to "God works in mysterious ways." Stick their fingers in their ears and go, "La la la la la la." It was fun while it lasted.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • fred

      A survey of scientists who are members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press in May and June 2009, finds that members of this group are, on the whole, much less religious than the general public.1 Indeed, the survey shows that scientists are roughly half as likely as the general public to believe in God or a higher power. According to the poll, just over half of scientists (51%) believe in some form of deity or higher power; specifically, 33% of scientists say they believe in God, while 18% believe in a universal spirit or higher power

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

      Relapse is not a function of the higher power but the nature of change. Our core personalities are formed by the time we are 8 years old. Change is not easy and relapse is actually expected in recovery which is part of the recovery process itself. As to Gods role in relapse there is no way to gauge that as it is not measurable and becomes a function of faith not science.
      How do I know which God is the right one? There can only one true God. Two or more perfect all knowing ent-ities cannot exist in the same space and time as they would be identical thus are one.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • GodPot

      "Two or more perfect all knowing ent-ities cannot exist in the same space and time as they would be identical thus are one." That is exactly what I would expect from the small minded religious zealot. You assume there can only be one "perfect" just on the basis of your own interpretation of perfect, which is not as the definition states "Adjective: Having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be.
      Verb; Make (something) completely free from faults or defects, or as close to such a condition as possible.
      Noun:The perfect tense."

      Nothing in that definition would imply that to be perfect something must be unique? Since your logic is flawed your whole argument that there can be only one breaks down into a plot for a new movie series "Highlander 5 – Unique Perfection" There can be only one!!"

      March 1, 2012 at 6:26 am |
    • Jeff

      It's not actually "thou shalt not kill," it's "thou shall not murder." Even then it only applies to people in your own tribe.

      God ordered plenty of killing, genocide and murder of innocents in the old testament when he wasn't wholesale killing people himself (Every baby and *gasp* unborn child during Noah's flood was guilty?). So even the ten commandments really fail as a guide to morality.

      March 1, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • fred

      Color me dumb but I don't get it. If you are perfect in everyway and I am perfect in everyway exactly what is the difference between us? You cannot argue the for a alternate perfection. To be a perfect rose or a perfect daisy is a different issue as there is only one perfect flower.

      March 1, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • fred

      Since you refer to the Bible then at least refer to what it says not what your opinion is. God did not kill or murder innocents in the Old Testament. The Bible clearly states these people were not innocent rather that God gave them many generations and was long suffering so that they may be redeemed. You were not there and do not believe the Bible or God so what you offer is an opinion that is not based on any fact of knowledge of those events whatsoever. I thought atheists were men of reason?
      You said:“Every baby and *gasp* unborn child during Noah's flood was guilty?”
      We are not told if it was genetic evil, cultural evil or a combination thereof. We only know they were the ungodly generation of Cain and the wickedness of all was of great continual evil. All were filled with never ending evil which the creator blotted out. The Bible further stipulates that God knows the heart of even unborn children so guilty or not guilty isn’t an issue.

      March 1, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Momof3

      @ fred: "A survey of scientists who are members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press in May and June 2009, finds that members of this group are, on the whole, much less religious than the general public.1 Indeed, the survey shows that scientists are roughly half as likely as the general public to believe in God or a higher power. According to the poll, just over half of scientists (51%) believe in some form of deity or higher power; specifically, 33% of scientists say they believe in God, while 18% believe in a universal spirit or higher power"

      So, who were the 'scientists' that were surveyed? Were the the greatest thinking minds of our times, or the guys that cleaned the beakers at night and turned off the bunsen burners? There is a difference, you know. And, there was a variance in the type of science – the natural sciences (ie biology, chemistry, physics) and the social sciences.

      The percentages of scientists who don't believe in god: Physics – 40.8%; Chemistry – 26.6%; Biology- 41.0%= Overall – 37.6%. Those scientists in the social sciences had higher percentages of belief – Sociology – 34.0%; Economics – 31.7%;
      Political Science – 27.0%; Psychology – 33.0%=Overall 31.2%.

      March 2, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • fred

      Thanks, I am thinking we could argue lots of reasons for that but we would just be guessing. If 3-4 times as many scientist are agnostic or atheist compared withn the general population it could be peer pressure, knowledge and/or an inquisitive / skeptical predisposition typical with high level scientists causing greater non belief. Demographics of scientists may also play a part. Our current education system is also slanted towards showing many competing religions being the same with a negative overall view of Christians does not help. 80% of kids that go to college stop attendening church when they graduate speaks volums of secular indoctranation.
      Our nation has never been non Christian as a majority so the future is a real gamble. We really do not know what positive impact fear of God has had over the last 200 years. I assume it good and non believers assume it bad yet no one knows. Is that a gamble worth taking? What is the goal and purpose of a godless America ?

      March 2, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  8. Nonimus

    Mr. Mohler,
    "The coercive power of the state has forced the secularization of charitable work, leading to such tragedies as the closing of religious charities that refuse to secularize their ministries."
    If I understand the situation correctly the state did NOT force any charities to close, the state simply said that if they wanted more federal money then they needed to treat all citizens equally and not discriminate against non-traditional families based on religious grounds. Charities are free to dispose of their funds as they see fit, just don't expect to get tax dollars to support religious agendas.

    February 29, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  9. Nonimus

    Mr. Mohler,
    "But, as Santorum quickly learned, he had dared to criticize a speech, and an argument, that the left has long considered the equivalent of settled law."
    I don't think the speech is considered "equivalent of settled law," but the concept is rooted in settled law and has been for over 200 years, in the form of Article VI, paragraph 3 of the Consti.tution, "...no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

    February 29, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  10. momoya


    February 29, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • sam

      Both Colbert and Stewart let him have it, and rightly so.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  11. Ari Thompson

    big surprise coming from a southern bapist – the very reason our country is stuck in the 1950's debating idiotic social issues that other western countries have long moved on from. the sphere of religious influence in this countries politics, is perhaps (with the exception of large enterprises) the most damaging single element to our democracy.

    religion has no place in politics, simply because its irrelevant. the right wing policy makers are simply using these low brow social issues as a platform for derisiveness, to turn the most uneducated and most vulnerable citizens against the party that has their better interests at heart. how else do you explain the nations poorest and least educated, (or as bill maher said – "the car with no wheels parked on my front lawn district") voting republican, a party that openly despises the poor, and the idea that they deserve equal education, health and opportunity?

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

      Clear to see that the secular position held by Ari is simply a crutch to prop up his pseudo-intellectual pride. There are many believers in Jesus Christ that are highly intelligent and do not possess the stereotypical "car with no wheels". There is little doubt that you would actually struggle to mentally process many of the writings of Dr. Mohler, as he writes from a very scholarly perspective. You may have many fooled into thinking you are intelligent, but many of us know your emperor has no clothes.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  12. tnfreethinker

    "there is no way that authentic religious beliefs can be safely isolated from an individual’s total worldview."

    There is no such thing as authentic religious beliefs.

    It is only possible to believe in magic sky fairies if you are unable to think for yourself and are capable of group mentality.

    February 29, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Russ

      @ tnfreethinker: you said "there is no such thing as authentic religious beliefs."
      that is a scientifically unverifiable statement.
      in other words – it is based upon your own pre-conceived metaphysical convictions.
      or better put: faith-based.

      so, you have a faith-based conviction that "there is no such thing as authentic [faith-based?] beliefs."
      sounds self-refuting.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • sam

      Russ...logic fail.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Russ

      @ sam: care to base that assessment upon logic?

      February 29, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • sam

      @Russ – care to base anything you say on anything but *circular* logic?

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

      @ sam: throwing around unsubstantiated labels is not an argument. i welcome your logic.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • sam

      There's nothing 'faith-based' about his conviction; you're being snide just to disagree with the assertion the OP made. It's boring.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Russ

      @ sam: the statement ("there is no such thing as authentic religious beliefs") is not scientifically verifiable. it is not based upon factual evidence. it is a metaphysical statement – which is to say based upon non-physical assumptions (i.e., faith).

      i'm not being snide. i'm pointing out that the statement ironically fails its own criteria. it's self-refuting.
      it is a faith-based statement claiming there are no legitimate faith-based statements.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • tnfreethinker

      Russ...victim of the group mentality, I see.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • tnfreethinker

      Russ...faith and religion are not the same thing. I have faith in humanity. I have faith that no religious belief is authentic. So while my statement may be faith-based, as you assert, it is also based on logic, whereas no religion is logical.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • Russ

      @ tnfreethinker: in admitting that you have made a faith-based assertion, you're admitting you appeal to the same metaphysical basis as those you mock. it's the pot calling the kettle black.

      and much more troubling for you: you have faith in humanity yet the vast majority of the planet claims faith in a divinity of some sort. you are caught between two rocks: you mock 'sky fairies' but put faith in the humanity that worships them.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
      • tnfreethinker

        Nice try, but your talking in circles, and that is not an argument. By your definition, all faith has a metaphysical basis. I have faith my son will graduate high school. That faith is based on logic & reason. He goes to school everyday and makes great grades, so reason & logic lead me to have faith (confidence or trust in a person or thing) that he will graduate high school. I have faith in humanity because I believe in people. I have faith in my 6 yr old even though she believes in santa.

        February 29, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • GodPot

      Well said tnfreethinker.

      February 29, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
      • tnfreethinker

        for the first time in my life, I can honestly say, THANK YOU GOD

        February 29, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Russ

      @ tnfreethinker: all faith does have a metaphysical basis – it makes certain non-scientific assumptions about the nature of our existence (because science in unable to address such questions). you've proven that by your examples – which were relatively trite.

      the problem with your faith in humanity is much bigger than (the only one you mentioned) that your daughter believes in Santa. this discussion normally runs quickly to the great evils of humanity. what do you do with those? that is what reveals your metaphysical convictions. if you truly "have faith in humanity," then what do you do with humanity's great evils? can you call them 'evil', or are they simply relative to the individual culture?

      or more directly put: does your "faith in humanity" give you a basis upon which you can call racism evil? or is it merely a function of a particular culture? if it is *always* evil, upon what do you base that?

      the major problem with your position is that you have either:
      a) have no objective moral basis upon which to call such things what they qualitatively are: evil...
      b) you are not being entirely forthcoming about your metaphysical convictions (because it would reveal you are doing the very thing you are criticizing)

      March 1, 2012 at 10:44 am |
      • tnfreethinker

        Russ....you still make no sense. You actually strengthen my argument. Thank you

        March 1, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Robert Brown

      If you rely on humans, you will be disappointed. If you rely on government, you will be disappointed. If you rely on God, you will never be disappointed.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:54 am |
      • tnfreethinker

        Robert, the only thing I have received from god is disappointment, because he doesn't exist. As a poor defenseless, tortured and starved child, it was humans who rescued me. All my pleas to god were ignored. Just like all pleas to god.

        March 1, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • wow

      "If you rely on humans, you will be disappointed. If you rely on government, you will be disappointed. If you rely on God, you will never be disappointed."

      That's why so many Christians are disappointed in their lives because your god doesn't exist and they wasted so much of their time.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Russ

      @ tnfreethinker: then one direct thought...

      you have faith in humanity. is racism evil? if so, why? on what basis?

      March 1, 2012 at 11:27 am |
      • tnfreethinker

        It hurts humanity, and the basis is common sense. Of course, that answer is based on the common definitions of racism & evil. But I'm not sure how you define those words based on your misinterpretation of the definition of faith.

        March 1, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Russ

      @ tnfreethinker: just read your comment to Robert Brown.
      why exclude the possibility that God answered your prayer by sending you those who rescued you?
      would you only have counted it as God's work if something seemingly miraculous happened?

      March 1, 2012 at 11:30 am |
      • tnfreethinker

        Because believing that would defy all reason and common sense. Something I am not capable of doing.

        March 1, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Russ

      @ tnfreethinker: you continue to dodge the central issue with your "faith."

      how can it be "common sense" that racism is wrong if you have "faith in humanity" and humanity continues to perpetrate such crimes (not just Nazis, Rwanda, Bosnia, but even in the US)? many of those you have faith in continue to do the very thing you say it is common sense they should not? on what basis do you (having faith in humanity) criticize them?

      or are you saying that your real faith is in 'common sense'?

      March 1, 2012 at 11:47 am |
      • tnfreethinker

        Russ, you are never going to understand faith based on common sense. It's an awful side-effect of your blind-faith, which you assume is the same as logical faith. It is not. If you didn't understand my very simple examples of faith based on logic & common sense, there is no chance for you. When you're mind is closed to enlightenment, you will remain in the dark.

        March 1, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Russ

      @ tnfreethinker: you are dodging my question.
      how does your 'faith in humanity' deal with racism?
      or worse yet: how does 'common sense' explain such evil actions of a 'good humanity?'

      March 1, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
      • tnfreethinker

        Just because you can't understand the answers doesn't mean I am dodging the question. They have been answered....very clearly.

        March 1, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • frespech

      You mean like the group mentallity that doesn't believe. Sort of a ridiculous point, don't you think?

      March 1, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
      • tnfreethinker

        Actually, it's a very good point. Non-believers tend to come to that conclusion all by themselves. I was a non-believer for about 10 years before I met another non-believer. My guide to non-belief was the bible and it's defiance of logic and reason.

        March 1, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Russ

      @ tnfreethinker: since you are clearly unwilling to answer the question, let me provide a few possibilities for you...
      (this is not an exhaustive list. i welcome your answer, should you be willing to provide one.)

      a) 'faith in humanity' is ruined by racism. it exposes a farce.

      b) 'faith in humanity' judges racism. racism is the product of external forces pressed in on humanity – forces like religion.
      PROBLEM: racism exists outside religion.

      c) 'faith in humanity' shows racism to be temporary. eventually we'll evolve past this.
      PROBLEM: the evolutionary dialectic demands the possibility that the next Hitler is our next great leap forward.

      d) 'faith in humanity' is a psychological construct that enables weak-minded folks to endure the evolutionary process (survive), which has no agenda for or against humanity per se.
      PROBLEM (for you): sounds a lot like your depiction of religion, doesn't it?

      again, 'faith in humanity' is not scientific – and *more importantly* for your position: it is illogical. just look at the things we have done.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
      • tnfreethinker

        No problem with my logic. If you were logical, you would not be requesting answers to questions I have clearly answered.

        March 1, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      The Bible does defy logic and reason of the natural man. The Bible is the written word of God. God is a spirit. The Bible has to be read and studied, spiritually, to understand.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
      • tnfreethinker

        The bible must be read and studied blindly to believe. It is the word of mere men (at least the ones that made the cut), who wanted the world to behave in a way that benefited them and their personal beliefs.

        March 1, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Russ

      @ tnfreethinker: you said "It hurts humanity, and the basis is common sense. Of course, that answer is based on the common definitions of racism & evil."

      I'm sorry. I guess you have answered the question.
      racism hurts humanity. you have faith in humanity. how do you deal with that? you don't. you ignore it.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
      • tnfreethinker

        No, you don't ignore it. You work on it. If I had no faith in humanity, then I would ignore it.

        March 1, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Russ

      @ tnfreethinker: so you "work on it." according to "common sense."
      but if the 'common' (universal?) senses of humanity lead to repeated, consistent racism throughout our history, isn't it our 'common sense' that is the cause of racism?

      and what is the goal? evolution in & of itself does not call for equality. it calls for excellence in the fittest who will survive. that inherently builds in stratification within the species – meaning that we should pour our resources into those with the best traits for future advancement & survival of our species.

      on those grounds, where exactly does your "common sense" lead you to object to racism?

      March 1, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
      • tnfreethinker

        Russ...you are exhausting with your circular, illogical arguments.

        "but if the ‘common’ (universal?) senses of humanity lead to repeated, consistent racism throughout our history, isn’t it our ‘common sense’ that is the cause of racism?"

        You lead the question by declaring that the common senses of humanity lead to repeated racism, and finish the question by asking me to agree with you. Makes no sense. It's basically an assertion in the form of a question. Common sense (or logic/reason) is not the cause of racism. Many factors contribute....religion & group mentality being the biggest factors.

        March 1, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Russ

      @ tnfreethinker: i continue to ask leading questions because you are not being forthcoming about your metaphysical basis.

      you can't simply say "it's common sense" as though everyone agrees on it (I'm assuming you're not appealing to Francis Bacon here). history proves they do not. and since you have "faith in humanity," that's a significant problem.

      your "common sense" has a greater grounding than an aggregate set of reasonable assumptions upon which all agree – because there are no such set of things, especially regard to racism.

      are you willing to be open about the real basis for your "faith" convictions?

      March 2, 2012 at 9:01 am |
      • tnfreethinker

        I already have. You just aren't capable of understanding.

        March 2, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • Russ

      @ tnfreethinker: it's getting harder for me to give you the benefit of the doubt.
      there is a difference between circular logic & a syllogism. so let me pose your problem to you in a syllogism:

      YOUR ASSERTION: you have "faith in humanity" (in particular, as you have said: in "common sense" & "logic/reason")

      a) you have "faith in humanity" to be logical
      b) you believe racism is wrong & illogical
      c) ergo, humanity should logically stop racism

      PROBLEM: that has not happened.

      to blame it on solely 'group think' & religion is simply not historically accurate. your faith has a serious problem – which you notably & repeatedly refuse to admit.

      CONTENTION: you logically should not have such faith in humanity and/or logic to fix the problem... unless there is more at work here than you are admitting. that's why I keep insisting that you admit your metaphysical basis.

      March 2, 2012 at 9:34 am |
      • tnfreethinker

        You can insist all you want. I'm not going to admit something that is not true. You have no point.

        March 2, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • Russ

      @ tnfreethinker: there's the final statement. refusal to engage logic on logic's own terms.

      i offer you a syllogism – the basic language of logic. you refuse to address it.

      you don't live by your own faith's rules.

      March 2, 2012 at 9:45 am |
      • tnfreethinker

        Yes, I do. You haven't posed a logical argument, therefore, there was no refusal to engage logic. That's your game.

        March 2, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • Russ

      @ tnfreethinker: considering the multiple, multifaceted approaches i've taken above in an attempt to actually engage you on your own terms, that's a pretty broad brush you're just painted yourself into a corner with. but if that's how you define logic, i guess we're done here.

      March 2, 2012 at 11:22 am |
      • tnfreethinker

        You are not capable of engaging anyone in logical terms, therefore, you never attempted to engage me on my own terms. Talking in circles to get someone to agree with you, puts you in the corner. I'm guessing you are comfortable with that.

        March 2, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Momof3

      @Russ –
      "YOUR ASSERTION: you have "faith in humanity" (in particular, as you have said: in "common sense" & "logic/reason")

      a) you have "faith in humanity" to be logical
      b) you believe racism is wrong & illogical
      c) ergo, humanity should logically stop racism"

      Your logic fails because you are arguing two separate thoughts. You can’t interpose the argument that tnfreethinker is the whole and sum of humanity, which he is not, with the argument that racism should be taken care of by a logical and ‘common sense’ society, which should be correct. You are also imposing logical and moral thought onto a society you are unfamiliar with and do not have realistic expectations for. You’re using the “fallacy of composition” by asserting the property (logic) shared by the parts of something must apply to the whole. You are asserting that since tnfreethinker has faith in humanity to be logical about racism, all of humanity must be logical about racism.

      Faith is also belief that is not based on proof (faith – 2nd definition at dictionary.com). No proof is needed from tnfreethinker to show you his ‘faith’ in humanity.

      March 2, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Momof3: welcome to the conversation. I hope you read all of the above posts. you are assigning positions to me that i do not hold. the quote you have given is a summation of things tnfreethinker believes to be true. for example:

      yes, "faith does not require proof." but that was not my assertion.

      i never claimed tnfreethinker represented the whole & sum of humanity – though tnfreethinker appears to have put his faith in just that.

      also, i am not imposing logic on society (which i think is often illogical in a philosophical sense). tnfreethinker asserts that common sense is the basis for dealing with racism. i find that notion shallow and overly simplistic (i.e., Middle East unrest is simply due to being illogical).

      i am not asserting that that the whole should reflect one component part. much to the contrary, it is tnfreethinker's assertion that "humanity" (as a whole) will find a solution to racism through logic.

      since humanity & logic have both existed alongside racism for millennia, that poses a problem for anyone who would build a faith on humanity & logic – much like the problem of evil in classical organized religion. however, organized religion tends to admit this problem & discuss it. in his/her "faith", tnfreethinker refuses to do so. it's an end run to dodge the similarity between what s/he mocks & what s/he believes.

      March 2, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Suryati

      I feel like you could probably teach a class on how to make a great blog. This is fanttsaic! I have to say, what really got me was your design. You certainly know how to make your blog more than just a rant about an issue. Youve made it possible for people to connect. Good for you, because not that many people know what theyre doing.

      September 9, 2012 at 3:32 am |
  13. Greg Shaffer

    Insanity. Jefferson's assertion of a "Wall of Separation" between church and state, and his explicit declarations that the United States was not and never was founded upon Christianity, are systemically and pathologically ignored by zealots who either lie, or drastically misunderstand, the stated intent of the founders. Even Reagan echoed the exact sentiment of JFK's speech. How far we've fallen in our understanding of our own Republic.

    February 29, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  14. EnjaySea

    Santorum, you're no Jack Kennedy.

    February 29, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  15. Sue

    The Santorum Exposed site actually has pretty good commentary on why to not vote for Santorum.

    However, it pretty much no longer matters. It looks like Santorum's POTUS aspirations are tanking big time after the recent results. Romney has his problems but he'll probably get the nomination in a lukewarm way. The serious Republican contenders for the future know enough to sit out this election.

    February 29, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      It's too bad Jon Huntsman was ignored so thouroghly. I would have actually voted for him over Obama based on what I heard while he was in the race.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • AGuest9

      I was pulling for Huntsman myself. It is too bad we are left with deep-pocketed fools in the race.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  16. Cold hard Facts

    Teh book of Revelation clearly defines in Revelation that ther is to be no fornication with the governments oif the world ...you'd think after 1700 years of errors which has led Christians into damnation due to this process that they woudl wake up... if you are deeply engaged with government you cannot be deeply engaged with the King of Kings ..the Lord of Lords.... Mr. Molers position is a matter of convience ...in 1960 it would be different... yet the dumb baptist can't even see that he is beign led by the Catholic church even now.... 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
    ah ...that's really not all that funny ...

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

      Could you spell check next time? That was a difficult read.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Cold hard Facts

      I have tried quite hard over the past few posts to grasp the intent or message in your writings, but I have failed.

      Is there one?

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

      The point seemed to be 'I know how to type smiley faces'.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  17. ex muslim

    you know most of the reason i left suadi arabia to come to the US is to get AWAY from the people who want to kill or imprison others that that they disagree with based on a book that says the sun is magic.

    ever seen a guy get both his legs broken by getting them kicked in? i did. and i dont want to see it here becuase a bunch of fanatics want to tell force others to do what they want since they cant convert them to there line of theology that not even they can prove.

    February 29, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Cold hard Facts

      God bless you ex Muslim I hope your perspective can be understood by Christians...but I have bad news for you...
      Christians of this kind woudl be called serpents by jesus and the apostles as in Marck 16 where Jesus says his believers woulfd take up serpents.... in his name but in this country theres too many ... serpents are religiou speople who cannot hear... Im sure you know exactly what I mean....coming form the kingodm of Saud...

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

      Ex-Muslim. It takes intellectual wherewithall and emotional courage to cast off supernatural beliefs you have been told your whole life you must keep. Well done!!

      February 29, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  18. The Central Srutinizer

    Ask Jesus to appear!

    Just about everyone knows the story of Jesus' death and resurrection. The story is summarized in the Apostles' Creed.

    There is only one way for Jesus to prove that he rose from the dead. He had to appear to people. Therefore, several different places in the Bible describe Jesus' appearances after his death:

    • Matthew chapter 28
    • Mark chapter 16
    • Luke chapter 24
    • John Chapter 20 and 21

    1 Corinthians 15:3-6 provides a nice summary of those passages, as written by Paul:

    For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

    As you can see in this passage, Jesus appeared to hundreds of people a number of different times.

    When we look at 1 Corinthians 15:3-6, there is a question that comes to mind - why did Jesus stop making these appearances? Why isn't Jesus appearing today?

    It really is odd. Obviously Paul benefitted from a personal meeting with the resurrected Christ. Because of the personal visit, Paul could see for himself the truth of the resurrection, and he could ask Jesus questions.

    So... Why doesn't Jesus appear to everyone and prove that he is resurrected, just like he appeared to Paul? There is nothing to stop Jesus from materializing in your kitchen tonight to have a personal chat with you. And if you think about it, Jesus really does need to appear to each of us.

    If Paul needed a personal visit from Jesus to know that Jesus was resurrected, then why wouldn't you?

    February 29, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • The Cold hard Facts

      Because he downloaded himself into me...now that would be todays imagery for you ....I'm sure yo uunderstand ...here is what happened , as Monk would say , I received the Holy Spirit according as Jesus mentioned in the bible in John chapter 4 addressign the woman at the well and john shapter 7 :37-39 .. where he defines the gift of the Holy Spirit as a river of living water... which is much more power than seeing him face to face ... I mean how would I kow what he looked like...Now when he appeared to Saul/ Paul , he could not see him for he was blinded .. Annias prayed for him to see later... he never actually saw Jesus... the Holy spirit dwells in me... but I suspect not in DR. Moler ..not on the level that I have...
      he is mental or carnal , less spiritual... These kind need the governmetn and other instrument to promote their religiousness

      February 29, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • The Central Srutinizer

      I can't understand a thing you are saying. Your posts read like someone talking with marbles in their mouth.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  19. The Central Srutinizer

    When you look at different religions, they usually contain "magic." For example:

    • The Mormon religion contains the magical golden plates, the magical angel, the magical seer stones, the magical ascension of the plates into heaven, etc.

    • The Muslim faith contains the magical angel, the magical flying horse, the magical voices, the magical prophet, etc.

    • The Christian faith contains the magical insemination, the magical star, the magical dreams, the magical miracles, the magical resurrection, the magical ascension and so on.

    The presence of "magic" is a clear marker for "imaginary."

    For example, how do we know that Santa is imaginary? Because (among other things) he has eight magical flying reindeer.

    How do we know that Jack and the Beanstalk is a fairy tale? Because (among other things) the story contains magical seeds.

    In the same way, how do we know that God is make believe? Because God is surrounded by magic.

    According to believers, God is an all-powerful being who has the divine, magical power to do anything. How do we know that this belief is a fairy tale? One way to know is to try to invoke God's magical power.

    For example the Bible tells us in many places that God answers prayers. However, whenever we try to pray, we notice that nothing happens. That tells us that God is completely imaginary. The magical powers ascribed to him are a fairy tale.

    Another way to know is to read the stories of magical events in the Bible. There is the magical flood, yet we know with certainty that the flood never happened. There are the magical miracles of Jesus, but (predictably) none of these miracles left behind any tangible evidence. There is the magical resurrection, yet there is zero evidence that it ever occurred and no reason to believe it.

    God is identical to Leprechauns, mermaids and Santa. God is a magical fairy tale creature. The magic surrounding God tells us that God is imaginary.

    February 29, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • The Cold hard Facts

      Well if you look in the bible at prayer you should notice that there are many times where the prayers took a long time to answwer..it's not over night sometimes it takes a life time or even many generations to come to pass..The Hebrews growned in Egypt 430 years... it took more than a thousand years and still the gospel has not been preached in every nation yetyet people were looking for the return of Jesus I suspect in every generation...

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

      Well said, CS.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  20. Tim

    Mr. Mohler is right. And so is Santorum...that is about the original idea behind separation of church and state. You guys need to do your research instead of just speaking from your bleeding hearts. Oh, and MissusPowell...just so you know the majority of Americans actually do believe in some way or the other in Mohler's and Santorum's beliefs...You may consider that you are minority. That's not a bad thing, you just don't need to live in a dream world either. And to answer BRAD – separation of church and state or not...do you really think that when a Muslim is running for office or in office that he will even care about separation of church and state? And as long as it's not Christianity, do you think that any of the liberals will even care? A person's belief, whether secular or religious, governs EVERYTHING they do. And is it really fair to say that one belief (secularism) is superior to the other("Christian")? Who gets to decide that? A judge or the people? After the Prop8 debacle I think you know the answer to that. Everyone wants tolerance until it crosses their beliefs, than they are surprisingly intolerant. People are not allowed to think and believe the way they want any more. The Government will make sure of that. It's ok for the church to be separate from the state but the state is definitely legislating the church, so what happens to the amendment in this case? It's just a double standard. Christians are not allowed to live out their convictions because it's deemed "discriminating." But how is that not discriminating to the Christians. At least be honest and just say that this kind of discrimination just doesn't matter.

    February 29, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • The Cold hard Facts

      Tim Christisns do not need the government to express their vies in this country... they do not need relligious laws to enfore on others.. they just need to bleeding obey the gospel of Christ themselves.. and not become the serpents we see so much of in this country righrt now.... can you even hear???? !!!

      February 29, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • sam

      No, Tim – the majority do not. YOU do some research.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
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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.