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Your take: Comments on Jesus deniers
Jesus depicted healing a sick child.
April 8th, 2012
09:37 PM ET

Your take: Comments on Jesus deniers

Our story on a small cadre of authors challenging the existence of Jesus Christ drew almost 5,000 comments on Easter Sunday, with some upset that we did the story, others objecting to its publication on Easter, and plenty of others defending the article and the run date and debating the merits and implications of the debate.

Of course, most comments had nothing to do with our story, revolving instead around the debate about legitimacy of religion itself.

A sampling of the criticism:

Easter on CNN

You've gone too far.

While I am an advocate of spiritual exploration – by atheists to disprove or by the faithful to validate – running an article questioning the very core of a religious belief system on a holy day is indelicate, to say the least. Will you question that Muhammad received the word of God, running similar articles during Ramadan? Or on Yom Kippur, draw on conjecture to argue that the Book of Life is for fools?

This is not journalism. This sensationalist pander.

edeveryday

I would like to see if CNN would dare run a story saying that Muhammad was a "myth" on the Muslim' s holiest holidays and that Abraham was a "myth" on the Jewish holidays. Go ahead CNN and give it a try and see what happens.

rbsrs

Every Easter?...I mean why a negative story every Easter?? It has become a running joke.

ANGRY AT CNN!!!

CNN: IF YOU READ THIS GO TO HELL FOR YOUR ANTI-CHRISTIAN BIGOTRY THIS EASTER SUNDAY!!!!

Many other readers took aim at the critics:

JHC

To those who are insulted by this article,

If your faith is so weak that it cannot stand up to being looked at from an objective, historical, evidence based perspective, then this article is the least of your problems.

nomdefaitour

It is ironic that so many christians are "offended" at a dialogue about religion sponsored by CNN instead of greeting the opportunity to express their views. Perhaps they are shamed that we all know they are surfing the web when they should be worshipping on Easter Sunday.

Others weighed in on the merits and upshot of the debate over Jesus' existence:

JBOO

I do not doubt that a man named Jesus existed, and that he probably did preach about God. But I believe he was no different than any cult leader today that preaches about their own religious beliefs and gains a small number of followers. The difference with Jesus is that Christianity was already more wide spread, and the general population was very uneducated and easily influenced by a great orator. Do I actually believe their is a God, and Jesus is his son? No. But I'm sure the man existed.

Keith

It is actually more reasonable than not to conclude that Jesus was an actual living person. Whether or not he was "the Christ" is the only worthwhile point of debate. Regardless, many of the teachings of Jesus are worthy of people to take to heart whether they are Christians or not. As an agnostic, I take those things that are wise from any and all religions, and leave behind those things that are destructive.

gimmeslack12

I don't care whether he really existed or not. It's his story that never happened, at least the son of god part and dieing and coming back to life stuff. What matters to Christians is that he is a support system that is able to take the blame for all the bad stuff in your life so that you can move past them and continue living.

I was thinking about it the other day, and I think Jesus really is a great thing, because it allows people to psychologically take pressure, grief or guilt and remove the effects of anxiety and pressure that those feelings create. On the flipside it possible allows someone to conjure up Love by themselves.

I think Jesus is a psychological whipping boy for all things that people don't have or can't (don't want to?) deal with. So I think atheists and non-Christians (heck, maybe Christians themselves) are missing the point about the importance of Jesus to some people.

The Twitter conversation over the article was mostly complimentary:

@JoshTheLink

Interesting debate from CNN's site about whether or not Jesus was a real person: https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/07/the-jesus-debate-man-vs-myth/?hpt=hp_c1

@CommonDescent

CNN asks: Did Jesus exist? https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/07/the-jesus-debate-man-vs-myth/?hpt=hp_c2 Honestly, this is a topic I don't know much about. I'd like to learn more.

@TTCNews

CNN interviews two Thoughtful Christian authors for this intriguing question–Craig A. Evans... http://fb.me/1idvhPxXD

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Easter • Jesus

soundoff (2,443 Responses)
  1. Shannon

    Faith is the core to every religion. Were all different, but we are also human beings. Unfortunately, we don't often act like it. I'm a Christian. I believe in the Bible and Jesus Christ. I try to live my life using these values. Regardless of your belief in His teaching and ability, he treated people with kindness and gave hope to the hopeless. He chose to help the sick and the poor without expecting payment of any kind. I never bash anyone else's beliefs, even if I don't agree with them. I don't understand how one doesn't believe in God, but I won't try to change what you believe and you won't change mine. That's ok. We need a little more cooperation amongst ourselves. Our country is going through a very tough time. People are hurting and we should be concerned about our families, friends, and communities. No, I'm not one that believes love conquers all.... I do care about humanity. I want to help others in times of trouble. My beliefs and faith drive me to do so. There are good Christians out there. Really. I hope someday that all responding who have issues with us will get to experience that someday.

    April 9, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • Jon

      Essentially, the only difference between Christians and Atheists is that Christians are comforted by blind faith, where Atheists are comforted by facts. If your faith comforts you, feel free to believe whatever you like, whether it be Zeus or Allah or God. No one can take that away from you no matter how illogical it is.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • † In God We Trust †

      Jon..

      The diffrence is that you will go to hell, while good Christians will go to heaven and paradise

      April 9, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • Ashrakay

      @† In God We Trust †, when you have proof of your delusion, present it.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Jon

      Haha I'm willing to take that chance. Then again, I can't imagine I would enjoy Heaven very much if people like you were there.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Shannon

      Jon... Wanted you to know that I I'm an A&P major working on a nursing degree. Very interested in science. I am comfortable with faith, facts, and all that lies between. I'm sure there are atheists out there that have studied religion. Maybe their studies led them to their view that God is not real, maybe for other reasons. I don't know. I do know that not all Chrisitans don't believe in medical care or scientic research. In my opinion, it would be illogical to refuse or refute either. My faith does comfort me. Does your lack of faith comfort you? I don't mock you. I don't want to be mocked either.

      April 9, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • Snow

      Besides, why do you care? if you want to go to that so called heaven by blindly believing the 2000 yr old goat herders book, go ahead, knock yourself out.. why do you want to get all judgmental (somethign you shouldn't be according to that handbook) with others and shove it down the throats of people who do not want it and do not matter to you?

      April 9, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
  2. † In God We Trust †

    Thank God America is a religious country and we have presidents that are religious to save us from atheistic satanic views like some of them here on CNN.... communism does not belong to america

    April 9, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • Ashrakay

      Actually atheists don't believe in satan either....

      April 9, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • Freethinker Seeking Reason

      You seem quite confused. Atheism does not necessitate communism. Some of America's greatest capitalists and philanthropists, such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, are atheists. Perhaps your brain is falling out from listening to the lies on Faux News too often?

      April 9, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
  3. Donna

    Yes, I was insulted..however I simply considered the source and let it be. For me to resort to name calling and foot stomping would only make me as bad as CNN, or at the very least, just as insensitive. I've lived long enough to realize that there are people of all faiths who are intolerant of others, people in power who think they should be allowed to do or say anything if it helps sell papers, and that my religion is something dear, sweet, and highly personal that no one can shake.

    April 9, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • Andrew

      I don't see how it's intolerant, any Christian who truly believes should ask the same questions themselves. They'll fall on different sides of the argument, but any rational adult should take a moment on days like Easter to think 'do I truly believe the story, or does it not hold up to my level of scrutiny".

      Yes, the same should be done for Muslims on Ramadan, or Jews on Yom Kippor. These are valid ideas for debate, and no person should keep participating in a ritual without truly thinking about the meaning. Skeptical inquiry shouldn't be seen as a threat.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
  4. Not Deniers

    Also, CNNs lame attempt to throw up this smoke screen article to try to explain, why they did it – is a fraud. It's an attempt to divert attention from they're mistake. CNN should come clean, and apologize and admit, they shortsightedness, in trying to attract attention and viewers- by slandering christianity.

    April 9, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • Theism is not healthy for your sanity and other reasonable things

      Your poor grammar and persecution complex tells me everything I need to know about you, lol.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Not Deniers

      Yes I tend to type to fast when im upset. The wild obsession, to discredit Jesus Christ – has always to been known to exist, but the degree of it! is startling. And as far as persecution complex, I don't need to run around, attacking other people's religion, to make my self feel adequate- at least I can say that much.

      April 9, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
  5. Religion is Social Evolution

    Religion is just the social tool used by mankind as we evolve towards better understanding of our universe. You can see it if anyone bothers to look at ancient religions and how virtually every religion today has similar roots, some even claim the same root, i.e. Abraham. Soon we will no longer need them as the moral training wheels they have been to the ignorant masses as we become slowed down by their drag on our progress as a species. Someday soon people will truly understand that praying to Jesus is as fruitful as praying to Zeus or any one of the invented deities through history. May it become extinct as soon as possible.

    April 9, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
  6. Joe

    Look people how long was the bible written after jesus's death? Enough said. People want to hate on other people's beliefs because they sound wacky...well how about a book that was written so far after someones death. ANgels and demons and a god. Now being pagan is crazy or being atheist is just crazy right?

    April 9, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • Twyme

      Gospel of Mark was written ~40 years after Jesus' death. Which means that when it was written there were people other than the writer who were alive when Jesus was.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Jon

      @Twyme. You do realize how ridiculously long 40 years is right? There no physical way people can possibly remember full conversations, exact details and events that happened 40+ years ago.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • Adam

      @Joe The writings about Jesus (especially the Gospels) were written by eyewitnesses within their lifetimes following Jesus' death. Contrast this with writings of Alexander the Great (whom no one denies existed) that did not come until at least 300 years following his death.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  7. Twyme

    I'm not mad that CNN ran this article. People question the existence of Christ everyday. What does bother me is that they don't run other articles questioning the validity of islam, mormonism, or atheism. Why is it that CNN thinks christianity is making the one claim that can be challenged?

    April 9, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • netanyahu

      you conveniently forgot talmudic judaism

      April 9, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • QS

      The answer to your question lies within another question – why do Christians believe that theirs is the only claim that should be considered in this country?

      Answer that, and you'll probably answer your own question.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • netanyahu

      @qs. They don't. Cnn just wants us to perceive that notion.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Twyme

      If you read my post you'll see that I said I wasn't mad about the article. I was mad about the lack of other articles. You can consider all other options all you want. Obviously, I believe that Christianity is the correct one and that means that there are people that disagree. Thats fine, just because you disagree doesn't mean you have to hate each other.

      I just don't understand why CNN isn't considering all the other options too? If CNN is trying to explore faith then its gonna need to explore OTHER faiths too.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Freethinker Seeking Reason

      Atheism is not a religion, just the truth based on evidence.

      April 9, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
  8. f. carter

    Look if you don't believe you don't -why would CNN tear us apart with each other...they are nothing but Sadistic SOB...I really don't have to prove my believes to anyone...a negative is a negative and I don't like talking to the wall

    End of story! my believe in God is my business

    April 9, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Godfrey

      Now THERE'S a brilliant comment.

      How much for the balloon?

      April 9, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
  9. netanyahu

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPcit2_Dq20&w=640&h=360]

    April 9, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
  10. netanyahu

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Lq2eNtp2bA&w=640&h=360]

    April 9, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
  11. David

    God made man in his image and then man returned the favor. Why are we still debating 2000 year old iron age myths?

    April 9, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • LinCA

      @David

      You said, "God made man in his image and then man returned the favor."
      I'm pretty sure it was the other way around.

      You said, "Why are we still debating 2000 year old iron age myths?"
      Because a lot of people are still having a hard time letting go of their security blanket.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • BG

      And it seems that a lot of insensitive horses – ass atheists are either insisting that they can change intrinsic human behavior, or at least have fun trying.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • LinCA

      @BG

      You said, "And it seems that a lot of insensitive horses – ass atheists are either insisting that they can change intrinsic human behavior, or at least have fun trying."
      Oh, did I hurt your feelings? Are you suggesting that believing in fairy tales is an "intrinsic human behavior"?

      April 9, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • BG

      @ LinCA

      My feelings? Don't be so trite. Who cares about something as mundane as feelings..

      " Are you suggesting that believing in fairy tales is an "intrinsic human behavior"?"

      Demonstrably, yes. For millennium. You're spitting in the wind, my friend.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      BG....no ...we are hoping to make you think so that that you can save yourself from delusion destruction. are you going to give proof of your god perhaps...

      April 9, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • BG

      @EvolvedDNA

      "no ...we are hoping to make you think..."

      We've had this conversation before, Evolved. Engaging in conversation requires respect. Aggressive atheism is devoid of respect. It is sport. You need to acknowledge this, otherwise you're just another troll using atheism as a weapon.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • LinCA

      @BG

      You said, "Demonstrably, yes. For millennium. You're spitting in the wind, my friend."
      If it were intrinsic, everyone would suffer from it. I guess I'd call it an affliction. One that is curable.

      You said, "Engaging in conversation requires respect."
      I respect your right to believe as you see fit. If you choose to use that right to believe in fairy tales, that's entirely your choice. When it comes to adults, I have trouble respecting that.

      You said, "Aggressive atheism is devoid of respect. It is sport. You need to acknowledge this, otherwise you're just another troll using atheism as a weapon."
      Atheism isn't a weapon, or "devoid of respect". It's simply a absence of silly beliefs.

      In this discussion, evidence, rational thought and reason are the weapons. If you consider this a fight, it is entirely your problem for walking into it unarmed.

      April 10, 2012 at 11:34 am |
  12. jerry5555

    All this article is trying to do is make light of all the anger that was displayed in the comments yesterday regarding the timing of the article. I want CNN to run a Holocaust "myth or truth" article on the Holocaust anniversary, or run a "myth or truth" article on Muhammad at the beginning of Ramadan.... But NO, CNN would never do that!

    Just typical Christian bashing from CNN.

    April 9, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • netanyahu

      this guy gets it!

      April 9, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • lazyace

      Agreed, but they don't have the courage.

      Make fun of Muslims, and they keel you.

      CNN has no taste or compassion for Christians whatsoever.

      Ratings, ratings, ratings!!

      April 9, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
  13. netanyahu

    satan made up zionists to be the antichryst

    April 9, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
  14. Not Deniers

    Anyone has the right to be a Jesus denier, it's they're own business, but why CNN feels it necessary to smear Jesus Christ and on Easter is beyond me. I am a christian, and I have no desire whatsoever to smear other's religion- it's the last thing I would ever want to do. CNN has proven they are jaded, fowl people- that all they're article proved.

    April 9, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • netanyahu

      cnn is owned

      April 9, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • Theism is not healthy for your sanity and other reasonable things

      Why do take anything that is the least bit critical of your faith to be a 'smear'? You're an adult, I presume, you don't get to hold your beliefs in a vacuum, unchallenged.

      The persecution complex some US Christians have is hilarious. It must be soooo tough being the 80% majority and occasionally have to put up with an opinion you don't agree with, lol.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Not Deniers

      You said, "Anyone has the right to be a Jesus denier, it's they're own business, but why CNN feels it necessary to smear Jesus Christ and on Easter is beyond me. I am a christian, and I have no desire whatsoever to smear other's religion- it's the last thing I would ever want to do. CNN has proven they are jaded, fowl people- that all they're article proved."
      Reading for comprehension isn't your strong suit, is it? CNN presented two sides of an argument. They took no position on whether the dude was real or fake.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • Theism is not healthy for your sanity and other reasonable things

      "fowl people"

      LOL, everybody run, CNN is run by giant monster birds!

      April 9, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • Godfrey

      Yes, how dare they write a story representing two sides of a timely argument.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • QS

      Uh oh, CNN has been exposed for the bird-people they are! LMAO!

      April 9, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • netanyahu

      linca but cnn will never question the holocaust or talmudic judaism...

      April 9, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • LinCA

      @netanyahu

      You said, "but cnn will never question the holocaust or talmudic judaism..."
      They are free to publish what they feel will provide the highest ad revenue. There is no requirement for them to be balanced (if that were a requirement, FOX news would be off the air, you know) and there is no requirement for them to appease anyone, including you.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • netanyahu

      @linca "They are free to publish what they feel will provide the highest ad revenue" youre right most christians turn the other cheek while aipac and the israeli lobby will shut anyone down for questioning the holocaust so yes, it has to do with money all right.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Not Deniers

      Dear Responders, thanks for the response. But – as you are well aware- but inference of the premise they are smearing the belief. Your all so smart- and above Christianity, you don't need to believe- that's your decision. How about an article whether your family are criminals or not? Just both side of the story- no reason to be offended- right?

      April 9, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Ashrakay

      How does one smear a supposed deity?

      April 9, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls.

      How does one smear a non-existent being?

      April 9, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • Nancy

      We atheists don't smear individuals. We respect the right that individuals worship as they please. What we don't respect is religion. We don't have to. That doesn't make us immoral people. We don't believe in the sacred because we don't believe it exists. We don't believe in a world of the supernatural because there is no proof as to its existence as well. We do however believe in ourselves, our families, our friends, our community, our country and living by the golden rule. Simple. Don't blow things out of proportion. CNN good article and continue to ask critical questions any day of the year. Think I will go eat a choc bunny now.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • LinCA

      @netanyahu

      You said, "youre right most christians turn the other cheek"
      Nobody is forcing you to be here. If you feel that CNN has done you wrong, you could sue them. Good luck with that.

      You said, "while aipac and the israeli lobby will shut anyone down for questioning the holocaust so yes, it has to do with money all right."
      Anyone who seriously denies the holocaust should have his head examined. Anyone who does it in jest should work on his sense of humor.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • Not Deniers

      Wonderful Nanacy – whatever it is you do believe in- I wish you good luck.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
  15. netanyahu

    the jewishh talmud says its ok to kill and steal from christians

    April 9, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
  16. netanyahu

    the jewish talmud says jesus is the devil

    April 9, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  17. TwinBotXenu

    God mocks man.

    April 9, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  18. JLS639

    Why are people comparing skepticism of Jesus' existence to skepticism of Muhammad's?

    Jesus had no notoriety in the early 1st century AD, while Muhammad drove the Eastern Roman Empire out of Arabia in the 7th century AD. How do you compare questioning the existence of a street preacher in a backwater town to questioning the existence of an emperor (in a backwater region, but still an emperor)? Muhammad ruled the region encompassing all or nearly all of present-day Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. Questioning his existence would not be as extreme as questioning Genghis Khan's, but it would be similar.

    I guess it is stereotypical American historical illiteracy that causes this insane comparison to look legitimate.

    April 9, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • lazyace

      And your educational degree on the subject is what?

      April 9, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
  19. greg

    CNN Mocks God, Thats it in a nutshell!

    April 9, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • netanyahu

      correction, they mock jesus

      April 9, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • BG

      No, CNN 'mocks' Christianity in an attempt to marginalize and modify the activities, behaviors and, most importantly, the voting trends of the conservative Christian electorate. It probably has something to do with Saudi prince Waleed's large investment in Time-Warner Communications and the continued Sunni attempt to advance a Sharia agenda in the U.S. by mitigating any objections by creating the appearance of the social unacceptability of Christian views.

      Simple.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • netanyahu

      Christianity is belief in jesus fool

      April 9, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • lazyace

      Amen!

      April 9, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • QS

      The average Christian gives all of us so much to mock....in a nutshell. 🙂

      April 9, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • BG

      ...and average Christians feels sorry for you. All in all, it's probably a fair trade off.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
  20. † In God We Trust †

    AMERICA IS A CHRISTIAN COUNTRY!!

    AMERICA IS A CHRISTIAN COUNTRY!!

    http://rightremedy.org/tracts/7

    Read Read Read!

    April 9, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Put a sock in it, you boob.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • Godfrey

      All these problems, I think its them atheist forefathers, forgetting to put God all over the Constertution. Them dad-burn sinners, Jefferson and whatnot, didn't even mention God once in the whole dern Constertution!

      They all burnin' in Hell now, like as not. Forgettin' to put God front and center.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • QS

      Thanks for reminding me that I need to donate to the effort to remove "In God We Trust" from our currency.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:25 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.