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With 'Monumental' Kirk Cameron emerges as Christian activist
Kirk Cameron released a documentary in theatres on Friday titled "Monumental."
April 13th, 2012
05:02 PM ET

With 'Monumental' Kirk Cameron emerges as Christian activist

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN)– Kirk Cameron could have joined the ranks of former TV heartthrobs who rode off into the sunset, reappearing only for the occasional reunion show or career-reviving role in a TV drama. Think Ricky Schroder or Scott Baio.

But Cameron, known to millions of Americans as Mike Seaver on the hit ‘80s-era show “Growing Pains,” is carving out a new niche for himself, as an unlikely voice of politically conservative American evangelicals.

Cameron has a new documentary on the faith of America’s founders that arrives in theaters on Friday. He is neither a historian nor theologian, but the film, “Monumental,” shows him consumed with Christianity - and with rage over what he says has been the systematic removal of religion’s role from American history.

The film opens with Cameron sitting on an Adirondack chair in his backyard. Looking straight and silently into the camera, a voice-over of his own voice alerts viewers that the world around him is going to hell.

“There is something seriously sick in the soul of our country,” the voice-over says.

“Don’t worry about the fact the world is going to hell in a hand basket - just get out of the hand basket,” his friends tell him. But Cameron explains that he refuses to listen and instead sets out to make “Monumental: In Search of America’s National Treasure,” which investigates the debate over America’s soul.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Over the last decade, Cameron has become the wholesome, boyish face of Christian cinema. He starred in “Left Behind,” the low-budget film based on the wildly popular Christian book series.

More recently, he played the lead role in “Fireproof,” a breakout film that shocked the Hollywood establishment when it debuted in the top 10 in its first week and wound up taking in an estimated $33 million. The film was made by Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia, for just over $500,000.

Cameron was one of the only professional actors in the film; the rest were congregants from the church.

Along with such popular movies as Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ,” ”Fireproof” showed the potential for a new market in explicitly Christian films. In the last two years, crossover movies like “Soul Surfer” and “Courageous” have had parallel advertising campaigns targeting churches.

The movement has propelled Cameron back into the spotlight.

“Monumental” is Cameron’s baby. He is its executive producer and its star.

“When I survey the landscape and turn on the news, all signs are saying panic,” Cameron recently said.

“Instead of listening to everyone play the blame game … maybe the best place to look for solutions was to talk to the men and women who built this country 400 years ago and laid the foundations that resulted in a nation that has experienced more blessing and prosperity and strength than any other nation in the world,” he said.

“That launched me on this journey to retrace the Pilgrims and find the sacred sauce.”

In the film, Cameron retraces the Pilgrims’ steps from England to Holland to the New World. He talked to scholars and historians, digging in on the faith of the Founding Fathers.

What he found, he said, is a forgotten historical narrative not taught in schools.

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Those first principles, as Cameron sees them, are spelled out in a scene depicting a large stone monument near Massachusetts’ Plymouth Rock, the spot memorialized as the place the Pilgrims landed.

“Faith in God … produces character, character will produce courage, courage to face the challenges of the day,” Cameron says in the movie, riffing off the Pilgrims’ story.

Cameron teamed with NCM Fathom, a company that streams live events to movie theaters nationwide, like live performances of the Metropolitan Opera and boxing matches, to offer a sneak peek at the film a couple of weekends ago. That debut was emceed by Cameron, featured live performances by Christian bands and was beamed out live on more than 600 screens, grossing $1.23 million, according to NCM and Cameron's publicist.

Kirk Cameron stares at an inscription at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington.

The new documentary has faced criticism for its inclusion of self-taught evangelical Christian historian David Barton.

A favorite among evangelicals for his Christian-centric views of the Founding Fathers and his vast collection of historical documents, Barton is heavily featured in the film.

“The reason I went to go see David Barton is because he owns the largest collection of original source documents from the founding era that I can get my hands on and that you can go and see,” Cameron said.

“When you look at those documents it becomes incredibly clear there has been a lot of cherry picking of the evidence done to support a very particular worldview, and that’s the worldview our children are learning in school and it’s not the full and complete historical record because it doesn’t reflect the faith of our Founding Fathers,” the actor said.

In a version of the film made available for screening and in clips posted online, Barton shows Cameron the “Thompson Hot Press Bible,” which Barton said was printed in 1798 and was funded by 12 signers of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, including John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

“They wanted the word of God out to every family,” Barton says in the clip. “If these guys happen to be Christians it makes a lot of sense.”

Barton then picks up a small rare Bible known as the “Aitken Bible.” “The Bible of the Revolution was printed by the Congress of the United States. So Congress printed the first English Language version of the Bible,” Barton said. He goes on to say the Congress said, “This was a neat edition of the Bible for use in our schools.”

Warren Throckmorton, an associate professor of psychology at Grove City College, a private Christian school in Pennsylvania, has criticized Barton’s version of history and Cameron’s films.

About much of the history featured in the film, Throckmorton said, “That’s just not what happened.”

After seeing clips of the documentary, Throckmorton fact-checked some parts.

He said he found that the “Thompson Hot Press Bible” was not funded in total by 12 Founders. Instead, he said, the Bible was funded by a subscription base of 1,200 customers that included 12 Founding Fathers. “The printers funded that Bible, the Founders didn’t fund it. It was a business venture for them.”

As for the quote Barton attributed to Congress about putting the Bible in schools, it actually came from Robert Aitken’s petition to Congress. Aitken was a colonial printer. The Journals of Congress from 1782 shows Aitken completed the Bible on his own and sought the blessing of Congress.

The record shows a report from two congressional chaplains who examined the work, which they praised.

Congress passed a resolution to recommend “this edition of the Bible to the inhabitants of the United States and hereby authorize him to publish this recommendation in the manner he shall think proper.” That resolution did not mention it being put in schools.

“David Barton gets the facts wrong when it comes to these two Bibles,” Throckmorton said. “The facts of the case are stretched and embellished to create a narrative that is misleading.”

Cameron defended Barton’s work. “No one is more guilty of cherry picking evidence than those who bow to the god of political correctness, especially historians,” Cameron said. “Everyone is going to select the information that is important to their thesis. If you’re bent on being politically correct, it’s very easy to fall into that trap.”

Throckmorton noted that he and other critics of Barton’s work hail from Christian colleges and universities.

Early controversy surrounding Cameron's comments on social issues have given the film more media coverage than Cameron could have imagined for a small-budget documentary.

Appearing on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight last month, Cameron fielded questions about abortion, gay marriage and what he would do if one of his six children came out to him as gay.

None of the topics appear in the film, but Cameron expressed views on same-sex marriage, abortion and homosexuality that are common among conservative evangelical Christians.

Cameron called homosexuality “unnatural,” adding, “I think that it's detrimental, and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization."

His comments sparked outrage from gay rights groups like GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. The group led a campaign to counter Cameron’s comments with other 1980s TV stars and evangelicals on the other side of the theological spectrum.

GLAAD spotlighted a bevy of celebrities who chided Cameron for his positions on homosexuality, including a tweet from Rosanne Barr, who suggested Cameron was “an accomplice to murder with his hate speech.”

Cameron said his support for traditional marriage is rooted in faith and thinks it should inform policy decisions: “You either believe marriage and human sexuality are sacred or you do not.”

Cameron jokingly described his faith as “high octane” but said he considers himself part of the evangelical Christian tradition. He said he goes to a small nondenominational community church near his home in California, though his publicist later clarified that he is not a member of the church, whose name he would not disclose because of privacy and security concerns.

Cameron said he was caught off guard by the controversy around his comments.

“It is my goal to love everyone. I hate no one,” he said. “Regardless of their race, religion, their proclivities, the desire of their heart and how they want to live their life and the decisions that they make. I can even respect people’s decisions and lifestyle choices just as I hope they have the courtesy to respect my decisions and my choices.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church and state • Religious liberty

soundoff (2,339 Responses)
  1. Rainer Braendlein

    @sam stone

    The best attested religion on earth is (genuine) Christianity.

    This is an objective statement, which could be confirmed by many honest theologians and historians.

    Catholicism, Mormonism, Anabaptism, Jehovah's Witnesses and the like are distortions of genuine Christianity. You may even regard Islam as distortion of Christianiy, whereby Islam is really the stop (Islam regards it as a sin to believe that Jesus is God too).

    Once God (Jesus) had a talk with the Pharisee Nikodemus and told him that only that one, who is reborn by Water and Spirit, will ever see God's kingdom.

    This rebirth by Water and Spirit is the sacramental baptism by immersion.

    The problem is that all the cults, sects, false religions, false churches don't understand correctly that single point and consequently they err in many other points of faith.

    True faith begins with sacramental baptism and its correct understanding and handling. This told us the Lord, the eternal God, Jesus, who has made heaven and earth.

    Just regard baptism as a gateway to a big castle. When you want to know, how the castle looks inside, you have to enter it through the gateway.

    Bonhoeffer was the greatest theologian of the last century and he was an adherent of genuine Christianity. Read his book "The Cost of Discipleship".

    April 16, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • sam stone

      "The best attested religion on earth is (genuine) Christianity.

      This is an objective statement, which could be confirmed by many honest theologians and historians."

      Yes, we are familiar with your opinion

      April 16, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Root post by 'Rainer Braendlein' is an instance of the No True Scotsmen fallacy.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      April 16, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Cq

      Rainer
      Only the people who feel that their brand of Christianity is the one and only "genuine" form share your opinion, and together you're just a drop in the ocean. Your brand of faith is popular within your own circles, but nobody else shares your opinion. You have to know that, right?

      April 16, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  2. Rainer Braendlein

    Reality (Reality is a good guy!)

    • The moderators of this blog have set up a secret forbidden word filter which unfortunately not only will delete or put your comment in the dreaded "waiting for moderation" category but also will do the same to words having fragments of these words. For example, "t-it" is in the set but the filter will also pick up words like Hitt-ite, t-itle, beati-tude, practi-tioner and const-tution. Then there are words like "an-al" thereby flagging words like an-alysis and "c-um" flagging acc-umulate or doc-ument. And there is also "r-a-pe", “a-pe” and “gra-pe”, "s-ex", and "hom-ose-xual". You would think that the moderators would have corrected this by now considering the number of times this has been commented on but they have not. To be safe, I typically add hyphens in any word that said filter might judge "of-fensive".

    • Make sure the web address does not have any forbidden word or fragment.

    Sum Dude routinely updates the list of forbidden words/fragments.

    Two of the most filtered words are those containing the fragments "t-it" and "c-um". To quickly check your comments for these fragments, click on "Edit" on the Tool Bar and then "Find" on the menu. Add a fragment (without hyphens) one at a time in the "Find" slot and the offending fragment will be highlighted in your comments before you hit the Post button. Hyphenate the fragment(s) and then hit Post. And remember more than one full web address will also gain a "Waiting for Moderation".

    And said moderators still have not solved the chronological placement of comments once the number of comments gets above about 100. They recently have taken to dividing the comments in batches of 50 or so, for some strange reason. Maybe they did this to solve the chronology problem only to make comment reviews beyond the tedious.
    Zeb’s alphabetical listing

    o “bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN "awaiting moderation" filter:
    Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
    You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
    ––
    ar-se.....as in Car-se, etc.
    ba-stard
    co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, lubco-ck, etc.
    co-on.....as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
    cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
    cu-nt.....as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
    do-uche
    ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
    ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, etc.
    fu-ck......!
    ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
    ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
    jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
    ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
    ji-sm
    koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
    nip-ple
    pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
    pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
    ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
    se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
    sh-@t.....but shat is okay – don't use the @ symbol there.
    sh-it
    sl-ut
    sn-atch
    sp-ic.....as in disp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
    ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
    tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
    va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
    who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
    wt-f....also!!!!!!!

    There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.
    -–
    Allowed words / not blocked at all:
    anal
    anus
    ass
    boob
    crap
    damn
    execute
    hell
    kill
    masturbation
    murder
    penis
    pubic
    raping (ra-pe is not ok)
    shat (sh-@t is not ok)
    sphincter
    testes
    testicles

    The CNN / WordPress filter also filters your EMAIL address and NAME as well – so you might want to check those

    April 16, 2012 at 11:03 am |
  3. D

    Sorry Kirk, but the correllation of religion in older cultures was not the same. It was a way of life, much like magic was a way of life prior to it. Shall we look at what was done AFTER Plymouth in the name of religion and/or by the religious? The slaughter of native americans, the burning of witches in Salem, the ownership of men and women as slaves, the treatment of women as sub-classed to men, and so on.

    I disagree with your sentiment of how things used to be versus what is wrong with America today. You claim, as many others also claim, that our ancestors founded this country on religion. It did not...it was founded by christians, diests, and at least one atheist who wanted to be free of religious oppression. The very thing you are trying to excuse with your claims. It seems you also view our origins through rose-colored glasses, ignoring the violence and oppression that was still a part of some of their faith.

    I am happy to see mankind moving away from the mystical and towards the realistic.

    April 16, 2012 at 10:39 am |
  4. Rainer Braendlein

    Bigotry (a real burden for the mankind)

    All false religions are bigoted. The members of false religions, at least those of them, which take seriously their religion, love only members of their own religion or people, which they want to convert.

    This nasty behaviour you find among Catholics, Muslims, Anabaptists, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, false Protestants, etc..

    The problem is that the false religions see Grace as their PROPERTY. As soon as you have joined their religion you participate in infinite Grace, which dispenses you from correct behaviour in daily life.

    Let us take the Islam as an example:

    Sura Al-Fatiha (Sura 1):

    1 In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
    2 Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds,
    3 The Beneficent, the Merciful.
    4 Master of the Day of Judgment,
    5 Thee (alone) we worship; Thee (alone) we ask for help.
    6 Show us the straight path,
    7 The path of those whom Thou hast favoured; Not the (path) of those who earn Thine anger nor of those who go astray.

    The first Sura sounds even Christian (Allah is called merciful), but let us consider that this is not the only Sura of the Koran.

    The whole context of the Koran makes it clear that the first Sura is related only to Muslim believers. Allah is merciful and gracious only towards Muslims or people, which want to convert to Islam.

    This bigotry could be endured, if Islam would mean love and righteousness in daily life (a true Christian shall be full of love and righteousness to everybody independent from belief, color, nationality, status, etc. in daily life). Regretably a good Muslim is yet a Muslim, which keeps the 5 pillars of Islam, independent from practical love and righteousness:

    – Faith or belief in the Oneness of God and the finality of the prophethood of Muhammad;
    – Establishment of the daily prayers;
    – Concern for and almsgiving to the needy;
    – Self-purification through fasting; and
    – The pilgrimage to Makkah for those who are able.

    The 5 pillars of Islam have not much to do with rightousness, excepted almsgiving (whereby, I would like to know, if a Muslim would give alms to a poor Christian, or if he would regard his poverty as a curse of Allah?).

    The mean trick of all these is that you become a participant of grace yet by keeping the 5 pillars, independent from your daily behaviour. You may think like this (if you are a Muslim): I have tried to convert my workmate to Islam, but he refuses. He is now under the wrath of Allah, who will throw him into hell finally. Why should I love this nasty disbeliever, which is not loved by Allah? Why should I give him any good hints and advices? Why should I talk with him? Why should I be concerned about his security? Why should I help him, if he is in need? Allah doesn't love this infidel individual, hence I am allowed to hate him too.

    The same att-itude have got Catholics, Anabaptist, Mormons, etc..

    They keep certain rituals of their believe and by that they are participants of infinite Grace, which allows them to treat their infidel fellow human beings, which they regard as disbelievers, very ill. They feel not obliged to show love and rightousness to their fellow human beings.

    How works a true Christian, in contrast:

    A Christian knows that at Judgement Day he will get judget according to his works. Only if he has lived a life of love and rightousness he will finally enter heaven. A Christian loves everybody, independent form belief, color, nationality, status, etc.. He loves people, even if they are no Christians and even if they don't want to become Christians. A true Christian doesn't regard God's Grace as his property, but shares it with his fellow human beings. The Christian sees always himself as that one, who is required by God to behave correctly. A Christian oversees the sins of his fellow human beings and behaves friendly and kindly despite their sins (of course, if people harm one another, the Christian has to intervene and to stop the wrongdoer).

    Yet a true Christians will hold on to the truth and confess it to everybody:

    The gospel: God, the Father, delivered God, the Son, for our sins and raised him from the dead for our justification.

    The man, who believes that and gets baptized (or remembers his infant baptism), will receive the power of the Holy Spirit to love his fellow human beings and to behave righteous.

    April 16, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Root post is an instance of the No True Scotsmen fallacy.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      April 16, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • Cq

      Rainer Braendlein
      "All false religions are bigoted."
      If we are left to assume that the religions that appear bigoted are the false ones, then Kirk is a member of such a false religion, right?

      April 16, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • sam stone

      Rainy: You are a bigot and a coward.

      April 16, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • sam stone

      Rainy: You love your fellow human being, but you want to deny some of them the same civil rights as you. Doesn't sound like love to me. Perhaps you should remove the bible from your a$$.

      April 16, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @sam stone

      What do you mean exactly?

      April 16, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • sam stone

      well, i tried to post my response twice and it has not posted.

      April 16, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • sam stone

      did you report my posts as abuse, rainy? is your faith that weak, or your bigotry that strong?

      April 16, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @sam stone

      No, I am mean, but not to that extent.

      CNN has a mean Wordfilter and this blocked you comment.

      April 16, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • sam stone

      okay. let's try this again.

      those religions that you call "false" are not false to their adherents. to claim to know what is false to god, you would have to be god.

      se- x-u-al orientation is not a choice. if it is not a choice, how can it be a sin?

      April 16, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • sam stone

      finally

      April 16, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @sam stone (are you an US American?)

      The best attested religion on earth is (genuine) Christianity.

      This is an objective statement, which could be confirmed by many honest theologians and historians.

      Catholicism, Mormonism, Anabaptism, Jehovah's Witnesses and the like are distortions of genuine Christianity. You may even regard Islam as distortion of Christianiy, whereby Islam is really the stop (Islam regards it as a sin to believe that Jesus is God too).

      April 16, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Mary

      Rainer Braendlein is a fat, frumpy german girl with short bandy legs. Her parents scrub her face regularly to make her cheeks look rosy.

      April 16, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • sam stone

      "The best attested religion on earth is (genuine) Christianity.

      This is an objective statement, which could be confirmed by many honest theologians and historians."

      So, they are only honest if they agree with you?

      How about the second part of my post? How can something not a choice be a sin? If you feel that orientation IS a choice, please tell me at what age you made this choice.

      And, yes, I am a US citizen

      April 16, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • sam stone

      Really, Mary? I am imagining Rainy as an old man who fears his mortality

      April 16, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • sam stone

      Rainy: Which is "genuine" Christianity? Baptists? Pentacostals? Episcopalians? Lutherans? Methodists? Orthodox? Presbyterian? Etc, etc, etc?

      April 16, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @sam stone

      According to the doctrine of the Christian Church, our biological body is totally debauched (incureable). Even after baptism the body of the Christian remains incureably debauched (outrageous, but true).

      I only can overcome my sinful flesh (body), if I daily remember that I have died and resurrected with Jesus by baptism. I am dead for the sin and in Christ since baptism. These two powerful facts of health are stronger than my sinful body and bottom line I am yet a Christian, despite my sinful body.

      I am able to commit every sin, you can imagine, if I don't remain in Christ.

      Christ is my only treasure.

      April 16, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @sam stone

      Basically Protestant Churches like Episcopalians, Lutherans, Methodist, Presbyteria and the like are the true Church, because they keep the sacramental baptism, which is not to be repeated. Also the Orthodox actually belong to the true Church.

      However, even these Protestant Churches have corrupted meanwhile by adopting heresies and it seems that the Christian Church has gone down and needs a resurrection like her Lord.

      I have no exact knowledge about the Orthodox. Maybe they are still in a good state.

      April 16, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • sam stone

      Rainy: Yet you do not provide a simple answer to a simple question. Is s-e-x-u-a-l orientation a choice? Yes or no?

      April 16, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • sam stone

      "According to the doctrine of the Christian Church, our biological body is totally debauched (incureable). Even after baptism the body of the Christian remains incureably debauched (outrageous, but true)."

      Fortunately, this dogma is only valid to those who accept it

      April 16, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • sam stone

      Some on, Rainy....speak up, answer the question. Yes or no?

      April 16, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • sam stone

      Come on, coward, speak up.

      April 16, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • sam stone

      You are too much of a coward to defend your own bigotry, Rainy.

      April 16, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  5. Primewonk

    David Barton? Seriously? The docu.mented liar and fraud David Barton?

    Using Barton as a source in a historical sense makes as much sense as using Narth as a source in discussing the science of se.xual orientation or AIG in a discussion on the science of evolution. Sure, you can, but it just shows the depths of your ignorance.

    April 16, 2012 at 9:35 am |
  6. False Dichotomy

    It's entertaining, but frustrating, to hear people like Cameron (or most anyone on Fox News) accuse OTHERS of cherry-picking and exaggeration in interpreting history. It is becoming a sad American norm for schmucks (Cameron) to brush off the studied opinions of professional experts (Historians) as trivial and biased. Only someone who knows absolutely nothing about scholarship would fail to realize that Historians agonize over bias and objectivity. Because they have no experience whatsoever, they assume that issues of bias (in the historical record itself, and in the interpretation of that record) have never occurred to anyone else. The schmucks are dragging us into a truly post-modern world, where we simply create our own realities as we wish them to be, and assert them to be true.

    April 16, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • Cq

      If the historians agreed with them they would have no problem with their using the exact same methods. They just don't like the results, and can't understand why the experts don't believe in their version of Christianity enough to cover up the hard truths like they do.

      April 16, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • False Dichotomy

      I agree. They have the same love/hate relationship with science – they criticize science as unreliable and biased, but then they loudly trumpet any finding that fits their ideas. It's not uncommon to to hear that science is bunk, and that science supports the bible 100% out of the same mouths.

      April 16, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
  7. Kebos

    Cameron is an idiot and delusional. He gives Evangelism a bad name and that's not easy to do!

    April 16, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • mikstov33

      Really? Have you read ANY of the posts on any subject in the Beleif Blog? Most here will go out of their way to slam and discredit faith of any sort.

      April 16, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • sam stone

      in some cases, it is faith being slammed, in others it is the arrogance of believers thinking theirs is the objectively CORRECT faith, or those issuing dire empty proxy threats

      April 16, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Cq

      mikstov33
      Don't evangelicals go out of their way to slam and discredit science and reason?

      We discredit faith because it's unevenly applied. Why have faith in religious claims unsupported by evidence, but shy away from claims to UFO aliens, lake monsters, garden fairies, and even other gods equally unsupported by evidence? It makes no sense, and reasonable people don't support things that don't make sense, right?

      April 16, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  8. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer really changes things!

    April 16, 2012 at 7:53 am |
    • Jesus

      *~Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

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

      April 16, 2012 at 8:35 am |
  9. Reality

    Dear Kirk,

    Apparently, your religious education needs some updating. See below:

    1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

    “New Torah For Modern Minds

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

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

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

    2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

    The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

    earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

    For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

    Current RCC problems:

    Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

    2 b., Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

    Current problems:
    Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

    April 16, 2012 at 6:44 am |
  10. The Vicar

    You have got to check this site out. It should settle the debate

    http://www.anthonyphillips.co.uk/

    April 16, 2012 at 5:47 am |
  11. truth

    John 15 >>
    Aramaic Bible in Plain English

    18“And if the world hates you, know that it hated me before you.” 19“And if you had been from the world, the world would have loved its own; but you are not from the world, but I have chosen you from the world; because of this the world hates you.” 20“Remember the word that I have spoken to you, that there is no servant greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you also; if they have kept my word, they will also keep yours.” 21“They will do all these things among you because of my name, because they do not know him who has sent me.” 22“If I did not come speaking with them, they would have no sin, but now there is no covering for their sin.” 23“Whoever hates me hates my Father also.” 24“If I had not done the works in their sight which no other man had done, they would not have sin, 25That the word which is written in their law maybe fulfilled: 'They hated me for nothing.' But now they have seen and hated me and my Father also.”

    April 16, 2012 at 4:18 am |
    • Bloke

      Putting "Quotes" around hearsay is quite comical, can you do it some more?

      April 16, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • sam stone

      Watching people dissecting the minutae of this hearsay is also amusing

      April 16, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Cq

      By the time John was written the Jewish Christian movement was kicked out of the synagogues, the temple had been destroyed and educated Greeks were tearing apart the soundness of Christian theology. So, is it any surprise that they write about these things?

      April 16, 2012 at 10:28 am |
  12. Ashrakay

    I don't know about Kirk Cameron, but as a professional photographer, I can say that photo is pretty gay.

    April 15, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • Ashrakay

      I'm just saying... who uses a soft filter on a man sitting solo, staring at his reflection in the window?

      April 15, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Thanks for saying so first. I had that thought but hesitated to post it. I mean, really...gazing off into the middle distance? Totally gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that-unless, like Kirky, you proselytize otherwise.

      April 15, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Ashrakay

      Maybe he's just staring at the boys playing basketball in the gym next door.

      April 15, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Or showering.

      April 15, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • sam stone

      maybe he is reaching out for vatican support

      April 16, 2012 at 1:41 am |
    • mikstov33

      The bible does say that if you lust after someone in your mind(thoughts)it is the same as actually "doin' it".....
      So if you guys are right, Mr. Cameron should take the beam out of his own eye before he trys to remove the speck from someone elses....
      I wonder why someone who professes to be so religious doesn't leave judgement to God,and instead try to spread the word of Christ?

      April 16, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • sam stone

      milkstov: i suspect it is because doing so does not generate the same publicity as what he is doing

      April 16, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • Nonimus

      @Ashrakay,
      While I agree that the photo is pretty lousy, if that's what you were getting at, I would also say that a professional photographer using the criticism of "that photo is pretty gay," is... well.. pretty gay.

      April 16, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
  13. Matteo

    Someone explain what happens to seperation of church and state once same s..e..x marriage is approved, as I believe it will be. If it is legal can a church prohibit it? If a church prohibits it what is their status?

    April 15, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • mikstov33

      nothing. gay marraiges will only be sanctioned and performed by the state.churches should not be forced to do things that are against their religion.they may lose their tax-exempt status as a charity,though.

      April 16, 2012 at 7:23 am |
    • sam stone

      milkstov: i think a reasonable solution would be to have the state get out of the marriage licensing business by issuing domestic partnership licenses for both straight and gay couples. that way, the state does n ot discriminate against it's citizens and the churches are free to discriminate to their heart's content. the churches will still be able to do their marriage ceremonies, but they will be totally ceremonial, and have no legal standing

      April 16, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • Bloke

      Keep in mind marriage was a civil matter until the church decided to get involved after 100 AD and seeing as all cultures/religions have or have had marriage in one form or another the catholic church has no claim to the word.

      April 16, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • sam stone

      milkstov: that being said, some churches will "bless" the gay marriages, too

      April 16, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Why is this even a question? Marriage is a civil matter these days. If you want a church ceremony that is between you and the church. Churches do not control marriage even slightly. Whether a church performs a ceremony for a gay couple should be up to the church. This is hardly controversial.

      April 16, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  14. JustIn

    Kirk Cameron and Rick Santorum share a certain frothiness with enthusiasm, so they should definitely get together. Ricky has lots of time on his hands now,, so they'll have plenty of time to play together and produce the expected result that you see at http://santorum.com

    April 15, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things_

    April 15, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes otherwise intelligent and rational people into believing they can talk to an imaginary super friend.

      April 15, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • just sayin

      As long as an atheist steals the name atheism is not healthy for children and other living things a wonderful Truth about atheism gets posted. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things.

      April 15, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Perhaps s/he should have used one of your 13 other names.

      April 16, 2012 at 7:28 am |
    • innocent bystander

      Lets just continue to think of AGuest 9 by one name... ass hole.

      April 16, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • AGuest9

      Thank you for confirming my susp.icions on so many levels.

      April 16, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

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

      April 16, 2012 at 11:53 am |
  16. Is Kirk Cameron Gay???

    My cousin went to Carmel high school at the same time as Kirk Cameron, and he said it was pretty widely suspected by the kids there that Kirk was gay! What's really the deal here, lol?

    April 15, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
  17. HeavenSent

    Heaven sent us tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, and famines, plus cancers, typhoid, meningitis, lupus, and other horrible diseases that cause horrid suffering and death to millions of people worldwide, even to many completely innocent children.

    And then he wants to torture you in hell forever if you suspect that he doesn't exist, even given that there is no specific evidence for his existence and that he apparently hasn't shown his face for at least 2000 years if ever.

    Wow, god must be quite the cruel, evil jerk. To be polite.

    April 15, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Tommie, Tom (cough Reality) are liars that steal my handle every time I uncover their lies that delude them in this world.

      Amen.

      April 15, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Poor paranoid HS. I haven't EVER used your handle, you simple-minded windbag.

      I would be too ashamed to do so. You're a complete nut-bag, and I wouldn't impersonate you if it meant I'd win the lottery.

      April 15, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Tommie Tom, every time you open your mouth a lie spews out. In this case, your fingers type your lies.

      April 15, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So you say, HS. Too bad you're insane and no one believes you have a clue. Seek counseling, loser.

      April 15, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      What's the matter Tommie, Tom? The husband went back to his wife?

      April 15, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Projecting again, you pitiful loser? My husband is the only one I've had and I'm the only wife he's had. Go cry in your Cheerios that you weren't a better spouse and didn't have a happy marriage, honey.

      April 15, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      So Tommie Tom gets hurt if anything is out of place? My, my, my. You are in touch with your hurt feelings but don't care if you hurt others. Interesting.

      P.S. I just had the 12th year mass for my beloved who is back with our Lord.

      April 16, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
  18. reason

    Funny video:

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32YwttEzck8&w=640&h=360]

    April 15, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  19. Alger Dave

    Good for Kirk. He should have tweeted Roseanne back and asked if he was more an accomplice to murder with his statements which could be misconstrued by gay-bashers, or if she was more an accomplice by supporting abortion rights, which have taken over 30 million lives since the 1972 Roe v. Wade decision. Looks like Roseanne is the one with blood on her hands.

    April 15, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • sam stone

      alger: i don't want to move too fast for you, but nowhere in this nation is abortion murder.

      April 15, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Alice

      Lots of people die needlessly because people don't donate blood and their organs too, but where's the outrage in that? Think of all the lives that could be spared in the third-world if Christians donated their money to actual charities instead of lining the wallets of celebrities like Kirk here.

      April 16, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Blastocysticide is not infanticide.

      April 16, 2012 at 8:31 am |
  20. Mitch

    Kurt says he used to be an atheist, as though now he sees the light and somehow being a Christian makes him better. Okay. I have the same argument. I used to be straight, until one day I stopped hating myself and everyone around me and accepted being gay. Now I live a happy life with people I love, and use what I learned through accepting myself to also accept and not judge others. It's disappointing that people like Kirk spread fear and hate about something they either know nothing about, or know more about than we all know and are ashamed to accept it themselves. I'm not saying he's gay, but I do recall having a huge hatred for gay people before I learned that what I really was afraid of was myself. Now I treat others as I want to be treated; except for maybe rapists and child molesters... I mean forgiveness is great, but come on people, not everyone deserves equal treatment 🙂

    Bottom line: Stop running a campaign of hateful words and insults. If a god exists, he/she/it will judge us on the level of decency we have with our fellow man/women/person/hateful bigot. (I have yet to believe hateful bigots are human).

    April 15, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Mitch

      wow, I said Kurt and not Kirk. Just forget the entire message I wrote as it's no longer valid to justify human decency.

      April 15, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.