America’s ‘angriest’ theologian faces lynching tree
A crowd gathers in Marion, Indiana, in 1930 to witness a lynching. This photograph inspired the poem and song “Strange Fruit.”
April 21st, 2012
10:00 PM ET

America’s ‘angriest’ theologian faces lynching tree

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - When he was boy growing up in rural Arkansas, James Cone would often stand at his window at night, looking for a sign that his father was still alive.

Cone had reason to worry. He lived in a small, segregated town in the age of Jim Crow. And his father, Charlie Cone, was a marked man.

Charlie Cone wouldn’t answer to any white man who called him “boy.” He only worked for himself, he told his sons, because a black man couldn’t work for a white man and keep his manhood at the same time.

Once, when he was warned that a lynch mob was coming to run him out of his home, he grabbed a shotgun and waited, saying, “Let them come, because some of them will die with me.”

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

James Cone knew the risks his father took. So when his father didn’t come home at his usual time in the evenings, he’d stand sentry, looking for the lights from his father’s pickup truck.

“I had heard too much about white people killing black people,” Cone recalled. “When my father would finally make it home safely, I would run and jump into his arms, happy as I could be.”

Cone takes on a theological giant

Cone left his hometown of Bearden, Arkansas, and became one of the world’s most influential theologians. But the memories of his father and lynch mobs never left him. Those memories shaped his controversial theology, and they saturate his recent memoir, “The Cross and the Lynching Tree.”

Cone, who once called himself “the angriest theologian in America,” is still angry. His book is not just a memoir of growing up in the Jim Crow era; it’s a blistering takedown of white churches, and one of America’s greatest theologians, Reinhold Niebuhr - a colossal figure often cited by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Today, Niebuhr’s importance is acknowledged by both liberal and conservative Christian leaders. President Obama once called him one of his favorite philosophers. Niebuhr, the author of classics such as “The Irony of American History,” died in 1971 after a lifetime of political activism.

Cone, however, said neither Niebuhr nor any other famous white pastor at the time spoke out against the most brutal manifestation of white racism in the 20th century America: lynching.

Between 1880 and 1940, Cone says, an estimated 5,000 black men and women were lynched. Their murders were often treated as festive affairs. Women and children cut off the ears of lynching victims as souvenirs. People mailed postcards of lynchings. One postcard of a charred lynching victim read, “This is the barbeque we had last night.”

But Niebuhr said nothing about lynching, little about segregation, and once turned down King’s request to sign a petition calling on the president to protect black children integrating Southern schools, Cone said.

Niebuhr’s decision not to speak out against lynching encouraged other white theologians and ministers to follow suit, Cone said, because Niebuhr was considered the nation’s greatest theologian.

“White theologians didn’t say anything about lynching,” Cone said from his office at Union Theological Seminary in New York, where he teaches a course on Niebuhr. “I tried to find a white theologian who addressed it in a sustained way. No one did it.”

Cone’s criticism of Niebuhr baffles at least one well-known Niebuhr scholar. Charles Lemert, author of “Why Niebuhr Matters,” said King often cited Niebuhr as an inspiration. He said he’d never heard that Niebuhr rejected a petition request from King. “It would be so remote from everything the man was.”

Lemert said Niebuhr had established a long record of speaking out against racism, beginning when he became a pastor in Detroit. Niebuhr may not have spoken out against lynching and other forms of racism later on because of another reason, Lemert said.

“He had a debilitating stroke in 1951,” Lemert said. “By the time the civil rights movement was full blown, he was retired and getting ill.”

Why Cone is angry

Cone has spent much of his career condemning the white church for saying little about slavery or racial justice. Yet his pugnacious reputation doesn’t jibe with his appearance. He is a slight man with a boyish face, cinnamon complexion and dimples. He has a high-pitched voice that drips with the Southern inflections of his native Arkansas.

Cone first gained attention in 1969 with the release of “Black Theology and Black Power,” a book he wrote after urban race riots and King’s assassination.

That book took theology out of academia and placed it on the still-smoldering streets. He became known as the father of “black liberation theology.” He said God was black (he meant it figuratively) because God was closest to those who were oppressed and despised - black people in America.

Cone said his passion for justice comes from growing up in the black church.

Cone blended the racial pride of the black power movement with an emphasis on social justice that had been a part of the black church since enslaved Africans first read the Bible. Jesus' primary message, he said, wasn't about getting people to heaven, but liberating people here and now from oppression - racial, economic and spiritual.

Cone said he was tired of white theologians writing about an otherworldly theology while cities burned and blacks were murdered by racists.

“I felt like I was the angriest black theologian in America,” he once wrote in his book “Risks of Faith.” “I had to speak out.”

Cone inspired some and angered others.

Critics say he developed a divisive, racist theology that describes God as black and whites as evil. They say he’s stuck in the '60s and never abandoned the bitterness of growing up in segregation.

Supporters say Cone exposed the hypocrisy of white churches and gave voice to helpless, poor and oppressed Christians in places as far away as China and Latin America.

The Rev. James Ellis III, an author who has been both critical and supportive of Cone, says before Cone, theology was interpreted through a white male perspective.

Cone has inspired not only blacks but also women and other racial minorities to enter seminaries and the pulpit, he says.

“Whether you agree with Cone or not, he’s definitely someone you need to deal with,” said Ellis, author of “OnThaGrindCuzin: The School Daze of Being ‘Incognegro’ in 1619.”

“He takes the gloves off and gets down to the nitty-gritty.”

Jonathan Walton, an assistant professor of African American Religious Studies at Harvard University, said listening to Cone is like “listening to a Hebrew prophet.”

For many people, Walton says, Cone “exposed that the God that they were worshiping was more consistent with the Pharaoh in Egypt than the Hebrew children.”

Cone said people still misunderstand his theology. He said he does not believe that whites are more sinful than others.

“God made us all as brothers and sisters,” he said. “I’m mad when people don’t treat others as brothers and sisters. I’m concerned about the suffering of all people, not just black people. If anybody is being treated unjustly, I’m with them.”

Singing about the ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’

Cone said his passion for justice comes from growing up in the black church. In his recent memoir, he describes how blacks relied on music and faith to deal with the cruelty of segregation.

On Saturday nights, he said, blacks in his hometown would go to juke joints with names like Sam’s Place to hear blues songs like “Hoochie Coochie Man.” On Sunday mornings, some of the same people would go to church to sing spirituals like “Lord, I Want to be a Christian in My Heart.”

Church comforted Cone, but it also made him ask questions.

“My thing was, if the white churches are Christian, how come they segregate us? And if God is God, why is He letting us suffer?”

The cross, he said, helped him find some answers. He said many white Christians “spiritualize” the cross, seeing it as a penalty Jesus had to pay for mankind’s sins.

But black Christians, starting with the slaves who took up the Bible, also viewed the cross as a way to cope with suffering.

Blacks looking at the images of lynching victims took heart from Jesus’ suffering on the cross and his resurrection, Cone said.

He writes:

“Black Christians believed that just knowing that Jesus went through an experience of suffering in a manner similar to theirs gave them faith that God was with them, even in suffering on lynching trees just as God was present with Jesus in suffering on the cross.”

Cone also talked about his personal suffering in his memoir.

He writes about his wife, Sandra, who died of cancer in 1983. He saw her on the night she died. He said they were joking and laughing as she chided him for not leaving her hospital room to get rest.

He finally did leave, but she died at 3 that morning. Thinking about the cross helped him grieve, he said.

“God talked me through that,” he said, his voice softening. “You look suffering right in you eye and say, ‘You may get me, but you’re not going to have the last word.’ ”

Cone also talks about his parents, Charlie and Lucy, who inspired him and his two brothers. Charlie was a woodcutter who encouraged his wife to return to school, where she eventually earned a college degree.

“I didn’t grow up with a lot of fear,” he said. “I just thought my mother and father would protect me.”

One of Cone’s fears today, though, is that the contemporary black church is losing its distinctive theology. He said there’s less talk about justice and more talk about prosperity.

“You go to almost any black church today, and you don’t hear spirituals anymore,” he said. “What you hear is this happy, ‘I’m prosperous’ kind of stuff. I’m not for that. You don’t come to church to be entertained. You come to wrestle with your spirit.”

Cone may still be angry, but he’s also mellowed. He’s tempered some of the voltage from the language he used in his earlier books. And he’s accepted criticism from some black women theologians who said he didn’t include the perspective of black women in his works.

Yet thoughts of his childhood and his parents never seem far off. In his books and lectures, he returns once again to them, especially when people compliment him for his boldness. In one essay, Cone wrote:

“At most, what I say and do are just dim reflections of what my parents taught and lived.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Bible • Black issues • Books • Christianity • Church • Crime • Culture wars • Persecution • Prejudice • Race

soundoff (2,563 Responses)
  1. gretchen

    ...and when is it going to be common knowledge that millions of "whites" were extremely poor when they landed in America on the ships from Europe? many were indentured servants, slaves to people in the colonies for years while trying to pay off their Atlantic passage tickets. And non-whites still coldly and brutally murder each other in Africa, Asia, and here, day after day, but there are almost never any articles covering that reality at all. Blacks people sometimes coldly murder "whites" with wom they have had absolutely no interaction with at all, such as the recent gunning down of a "white" mother in order to kidnap her small baby outside a pediatric clinic. The shooter was a black woman who said said she was an R.N. And a young "white" boy was set on fire a few months ago by a couple black kids. It was in the news once, maybe twice, and not in a prominent spot to read about.
    We had a Civil War where "whites" from all northern states took part, to keep the Union of this nation together, and to help abolish slavery. But the news media will continue to try to stir up strife, as if none of the above I just listed are facts,and will keep dishing out incenidary articles like this one to make sure we all feel horrible. Millions and millions of us who had nothing to do with the kinds of things that sometimes went on in states with lynchings. We are just trying to survive here in a constantly challenging world and difficult economy.
    I think all these articles are being posted right now to help keep America feeling as guilty as possible so that Obama wins easily in Nov. in spite of his poor record fighting this recession. Unfortunately, voters like me have no really good choice – I have to vote for Romney in spite of his Mormonism and the bad record regarding polygamy and racism in that religion. The reason is simply that I always vote, Romney seems to understand economics well, and I refuse to support Obama. BO has not been a unifying leader (on purpose.) He has been trying to foment strife in our nation, and he is way too much of a hypocrite. He and his wife want to seem like saints on camera and in print but they spend lavishly when they could be conserving our tax funds. Neither of them seem genuinely interested in the best interest of the US. Yes, the Romneys are wealthy, and it is from their own means, so they have as much right to live on their own income as anyone else.

    April 22, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • 7Pillars

      Interesting what you choose to focus on re: an article about "Lynching is Terrible"

      April 22, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  2. Chad

    Those of us that didnt grow up with the legacy of being hated, mistreated and enslaved need to soberly work with those that were.
    Merely giving handouts isnt the answer
    Neither is turning our backs on the situation that we ourselves created.

    We need to work together with those that we mistreated. We are all children of God.

    April 22, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  3. Thaufeer al-Deen

    There it is, ...again That Civils Rights mentality. Ask of the majority community what we should be doing for ourselves. Yes, Civil Rights is a great reactionary jeramaic resource. however, where is our proactivity in our own behalf. Have you no solutions to suggest to direct African Americans to solutions and not just lamentations? I do. We have to form tribes, coioperative groups which, based on the shared conceptJudaic and Islamic concept of the Unique, Teaching, G-d. Then build communities of the like-minded, sturggling ones oriented towards 'Traditions of Excellence' among it's men and women.
    Had Martin Luther King et al had the understanding to take the opportunity of the Montgomery city governments racist public transportation policy to start an African American Bus Line, or African American department stores with their own lunch counters , we would now be in a difference space and situation.

    April 22, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • J

      That generation had their part to play; your generation has its own part to play.

      Don't talk; do it.

      April 22, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • KeninTexas

      What you advocate is segregation. Isn't' that what so much of the struggle has been is to do away with that concept?

      April 22, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  4. hey you niggs!

    What up boyyeeee. Jig-abooo. Nig-abooo. Cooons beware! I gonna take you by da dreads and pump your plump rump!!


    April 22, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • snowdogg

      Wow... you exhausted all your multi-syllable words in one posting!

      April 22, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • ignorant and still live with my parents

      You said it. I couldn' t agree with you more.

      April 22, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  5. Guest

    As terrible as this event was, has anyone thought about why these 2 men were hung? Turns out, they had robbed and murdered a man the day before. There was a 3rd man who was almost hung as well before being freed. He later testified that these 2 guys had started the robbery when he realized what was happening and ran away. Yes, they shouldn't have been lynched. But no, they were not angels either. I hope I didn't offend anyone's sensibilities since i"m sure it will interfere with your personal agenda's of judging historical events from your own perspective,, but that is what happened.

    April 22, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • 7Pillars


      THAT IS A MYTH and has been debunked for years. Interesting you choose to even focus on that, given all the issues that come up looking at such an obscene picture.

      April 22, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Guest

      7Pillars,,, I guess I must have stepped on your aggenda. But if you weren't so ignorant, you would know what I said isn't a myth at all, but true. The 3rd guy, James Cameron has confirmed this fact in several interviews. Look it up, bozo, so next time you won't show your stupidity.

      April 22, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • Parnum Fohssah

      As long as there was no fair trial, they were innocent.

      Remember, that nasty ole legal stuff?

      We are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. You can't prove someone guilty with a bunch of whiskey sitting around a hanging tree with your hands just itchin to hang someone.

      They are innocent. If you want to think of them as guilty, that's your problem. I'm guessing you just want it to seem "justified" that they were murdered.
      That was murder – what they did in that picture. Lynch mob mentality is no substtute for a calm and fair trial in a real court of law using real facts and evidence.

      April 22, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
  6. Bob

    From the talk a few weeks ago by Spike Lee, the Black Panther, and others., this would have been George Zimmerman's fate without the rule of law. Sorry folks but nobody has the moral high ground anymore; including CNN. The country is becoming so polarized the best a ordinary peaceful working man can do is shutup (outside of the voting booth), go to work, and let everybody fight it out.

    April 22, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  7. Rodeo_Joe

    Right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) is a personality
    and ideological variable studied in political, social, and personality psychology.

    April 22, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  8. Rainer Braendlein

    There are conflicts between different religions, for example there is a tension between Islam and Christianity.

    Of course, the doctrines of Islam and Christianity are contradictory. Yet, nevertheless a true Christian should love his Muslim neighbour (workmate, classmate, next-door neighbour, etc.) independent from his Muslim belief, just because he is a human being.

    There is something in us, an ugly germ, which always seeks to stress the distinctions, in oder to have a reason to despise the neighbour: black/white; German/Jewish, Christian/Muslim; rich/poor; etc.. The same bad germ, which takes different religion as reason for hate, takes a different color, race, nationality or social status as reason for hate.

    Hence, the problem are not the distinctions between us, but our hateful nature, which is not ready to love the neighbour with his own personality.

    Why should we love our neighbour at all?

    God is love (regard the sweet animals, which he created). We are happy, if God's love flows through us. We can promote each others life by the gifts, which God has given us. If someone uses his gifts, in order to promote the health of his neighbour, God's love flows through him and he becomes happy. Our different characters are actually a big chance for us. We can complement each other.

    The problem is only that, even if we understand that love is good, we are slaves of our bad angry, hateful nature, which is connected with our body.

    Hence, we need deliverance. By sacramental baptism and faith we can receive Christ's nature of love, which overcomes our natural nature of hate. Get baptized or remember infant baptism.

    Faith is caused by the Holy Spirit and cannot be grasped by reason. The Spirit dwells in God's Temple, which is the Christian Church. The Christian Church preaches that baptism is a divine call for discipleship.

    April 22, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  9. fgdfgdfs

    Last I checked it was confirmed that no matter what colour you are we all have red blood and bleed the same way. Love from Canada.

    April 22, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  10. Don'tBelieveTheLiesOfReligion

    Religion has always been used to legitimize hate and prejudice, and it still is being used this way today. Cole has his flavor of hate, others have theirs. So what?

    April 22, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Plain Ol' Dreamer

      Don'tBelieveTheLiesOfReligion,,,,,, ,,,,,, ,.,.,.

      Hate scurries round the corners of every socialist construct! Hate's constructivists ever do rally the mobs in time's seasonalities! Hate will ever be the rotten concourse irregardless one's coloring! Hate is but a vileness in the hands of the embellished! Hate without scorn will ever be an attritional ember of crewlties' laments! Hate is one's alter of contentions!

      April 22, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  11. godly one

    Most missed Cones point. If you're a true christian you would not stand by while people were lynched and please stop with that criminal bull, it was a racist act through and through. yet no white pastors spoke out against it at all. wouldn't the mere fact that they loved jesus and followed his word cause evry christian to speak out against such a horrible act no matter what color they were ?? should have but it didn't , sadly enough.

    April 22, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • pntkl

      The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.
      The state of being whole and undivided: "territorial integrity".

      April 22, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  12. Samir

    I am a recent immigrant to this country and I know for a fact that blacks are the most racist people out there. I have been chased by groups of black people who shout racist slurs at me threatening to beat me up. White people on the other hand have been extremely kind and generous. Blacks are the reason this country is having so much problems.

    April 22, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Vic

      Samir it's pretty sad that a recent immigrant would come to that conclusion that all blacks are racists because he was chased down the street and called racist names. It's good to know that you do not have a problem insulting your " intelligence" or lack there of "intelligence" I will not tell you to go back to where you came from, because we are all from somewhere else, unless you're American Indian. But you might want to think about it if that's how you come to conclusion when something wrong is done to you. Just saying.

      April 22, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • J

      That is sad.

      Unfortunately, our country seems to just move from one racial group to another.

      Ignorance can be found in all racial groups.

      However, not all white people are racist; not all African-Americans are racist; not all Asians are racist, etc.

      We need to treat one another with respect.

      April 22, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • 7Pillars

      OH! You "KNOW IT FOR A FACT!", huh!?!

      April 22, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • 7Pillars

      You must be naive and completely ignorant to Judge millions and millions of American Citizens based on the actions of a group who chased you. Wow – I have been to your country and was treated in different ways by different groups – shall I conclude that EVERYONE there is as bad as the very worst I encountered!?!

      That kind of statement shows an obtuse mind and intellectual laziness – a willingness to not only give in to bigotry, but a kind of eagerness about it!

      April 22, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  13. Rainer Braendlein


    I fully understand you. For a long time I was an opponent of infant baptism too, but now I am an adherent of infant baptism.


    We have to realize that faith is not a matter of reason, but is caused by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can cause the faith independent from the age of the person (John the baptist became a believer in the womb of his mother Elisabeth, when he still was an embryo).

    It is only important that infant baptism gets only practised in a sphere of faith (pious pastor, parents and congregation).

    A church, which does not practice discipleship or pious life in Christ, mocks God by infant baptism. Infant baptism is not a magical or mechanical act. It only works, when the Spirit is present.

    April 22, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
  14. cosmotwo

    Get over it blacks, you now have more rights and priveleges than anyone. If you do not like this country go back to Africa, you are now the most racist people on Earth.

    April 22, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • faye_62

      Everyone, not just blacks came out of Africa. The human race started in Africa so why don't you and your people go back.

      April 22, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • snowdogg

      "If you do not like this country go back to Africa."

      And do what?

      April 22, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • 7Pillars

      COSMO – YOU LEAVE. Patriots like me do not care for you to be called 'American' – it gives us all a bad name. Bye!

      April 22, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  15. scary_part@sparty.com

    This is what the Stand Your Ground law was designed to bring back to America. This is why so many right wingers are up in arms about it being challenged. Many were salivating at the mouth at the opportunity of going on a human hunting spree, they those before them were allowed, then hiding behind the Stand Your Ground law. The scariest part in all this is, just like those who took part in these horrendous/inhumane acts in the past, they all considered themselves "good" "Christians."

    April 22, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Euporean-American

      I can only assume that your talking about Spike Lee and the people who posted a bounty on ZImmerman's head.

      April 22, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • 7Pillars

      Europe-Amer – I've read hundreds of comments on CNN and on the top 5 right wing web sites and there are more racist, dirty, obscene and incredibly UNAmerican comments than you can count. Spike and the group posting bounty are as bad, but that is TWO as opposed to HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS – calling Trevon a THUG who deserved to be killed in the street like an animal, saved us court costs and prison costs, good riddance, did us a favor, etc etc.

      If I read those statements once I read them 1000 times! And this "THEY DO IT TOO!" defense is weak and used when there is no other valid defense

      April 22, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  16. cosmotwo

    Get over blacks, you have more rights and priveleges than whites and some cases more. Blacks are now the most racist creatures on earth.

    April 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Vic

      Name of few of these rights that blacks have that you don't have?

      April 22, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • 7Pillars

      Funny, cHOsMO – er, cosmo – YOU are the one posting bigot garbage all day accusing others; that is the behavior of an insecure little armchair warrior with no life experience – and a lot of FEAR. What are you so afraid of? You reek of fear; fear and IMPOTENCE...

      April 22, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • 7Pillars


      "MORE RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES THAN ANYONE!" – the ignorant refrain of impotent armchair warriors who cannot even get their facts straight they have such limited experience, no imagination (totally Unoriginal comment) and are just plain AFRAID. Get out in the world! You might learn something if you can overcome your fear.

      It's clear you have not experienced much; and never been in the service or ever seen ugly violence your kind likes to stir up...

      April 22, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  17. Jimno

    Blacks have suffered tremendously in this country. It is only fair we provide them a free one way ticket to a African country of their choice. I am sure they will do better over there. I am sure Americans will have no problems giving them that free air ticket because it is the right thing to do.

    April 22, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Fred

      Load 'em up!!

      April 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Vic

      Jimno let's all get a ticket back to Africa. Because this is not you're country either. I bet your ancestors are from Africa but you'll never admit it.

      April 22, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • faye_62

      Any space on this earth belongs to God and God alone. You don't own any of it.. You sound exactly like the Palenstinians telling the Jews to get out of Israel. It's the same demonic spirit....

      April 22, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  18. Plain Ol' Dreamer

    Today's theologians as in what this blog writes about, are antiquations of historical fondness and are corrupted via their Times or Ages! Today's breed of theologians are no more adept in their eyesights' futures! We have need of theosophies deferring from their currencies' flow-rates ever to ease our ways toward Armagedon's Ending! Life subsides and ebbs and flows and still the clock does ever tick tock tick tock! The global stages are ripened and yet are growing rotten inch by inches as the wagons do draw ever closer toward cliffs edge! Our worldly journey will never be a completion and yet the people will complete their individual journeys irregardless Life's Ongoings!

    Judging a person's word(s) is left up to one's own judgmentations! Calling someone out on their word(s) becomes likened to daily feudalisms of the sociialized constructivisms' decore, leaving the victor overcoming the vanquished as ever the case(s) may be! I find writing to be a way of non-conformity and it is a useful tool for my mindset's hierarchies! Without much fanfare needed for me to write issues upon, doing so keeps me in syncronicities' dependencies without being an intentional idiot as many who post here truly are! As the Mindfields go, they are awashed in the brainyards' ever-shifting momentumns of many multi-angularisms! Life beckons to be understood as well it should be!

    April 22, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Really?

      What the hell are you smoking?

      April 22, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  19. Reality

    It is very disturbing that religious narrow- mindedness, intolerance, violence and hatred continues unabated due to randomness of birth. Maybe, just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of all religions.

    April 22, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  20. JG

    looks like 2 murderers hanging.Are africanamericans going to cry forever???

    April 22, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Fred

      Of course they are. It's a good excuse to do nothing productive. But how come whites are not called Euporean-Americans?

      April 22, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Vic

      I knew would you come to the conclusion that they are murders and would never think that 'white" people would never hang someone because their black. If the truth was known they were probably hanged because they looked at a "white" woman. Yes you are so much of a better person than I.

      April 22, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45
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.