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Our Take: Name-calling is ‘rhetorical pornography’
Protesters from both sides of the immigration issue fill a sidewalk in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on Wednesday.
April 26th, 2012
12:12 PM ET

Our Take: Name-calling is ‘rhetorical pornography’

Editor’s note: Jim Daly is president of Focus on the Family, Dr. Russell Moore is dean of the School of Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.

By Jim Daly, Russell D. Moore and Samuel Rodriguez, Special to CNN

(CNN) – We've all heard it, since we were schoolkids knocking about on the playground: "Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me." A saying with good intent, to be sure, designed to steel young minds, and hearts, against the inevitable bruises that come with sharing childhood and adolescence with other children and adolescents.

But did any of us ever believe it was true? Even today – now that we're older, hopefully wiser, having experienced the heartaches of everyday life more fully than we may have as kids – is it a statement we can stand behind?

We don't think so.

Just about every day, a quick scan of the news headlines or a couple of keystrokes for a Google search serve up stories proving this old adage false. The evidence can come from picket signs, talk-show sound bites or something as short and simple as a 140-character tweet.

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

Clashes in Arizona over immigration policy. Public arguments over homosexuality in California. Christians and atheists lobbing verbal firebombs at each other in Washington, D.C. Sometimes, those at the center of the name-calling are famous. Most of the time, they aren’t. Well-known or not, their actions prove a singular truth: Names do hurt – and not just those on the receiving end of them.

To borrow the point of another, more accurate old aphorism: What we say about others reveals more about ourselves than the people we're talking about. This is especially true for Christians, who encounter any number of verses in the Bible that point to how "sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness," as the English Standard Version translation of Proverbs 16:21 puts it.

Jesus, as tended to be his way, was a bit more direct: "But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken," he said in Matthew 12:36, adding: "For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."

So, no, it is not news to any of us that we live in an electrocharged public square.

But it should be convicting to all Christians when we find ourselves contributing to this maelstrom. Derogatory terms for other human beings – regardless of how widely their views differ from ours or, more importantly, from the truths of Scripture – should never pass our lips. To call it rhetorical pornography, for the debasement it engenders, is not an overstatement.

To get into the terms specifically here would be to attach to them a dignity they don't deserve. But we know them when we hear them: Epithets and cutting adjectives directed at gays and lesbians that go far beyond reasoned articulation of our biblical views about God's design for human sexuality.

Cruel, dismissive descriptions of those who do not share our faith – whether they be of a different religion or none at all – serving to drive people further from the heart of Christ, the exact opposite of our calling as his modern-day disciples.

And, perhaps most distressingly, ethnic slurs against noncitizens in our country, people who, in many cases, are families just like our own, seeking the best quality of life they can achieve. How do those hurtful words address the deeper and quite nuanced issues of legality and border integrity?

What each of these instances has in common is that the words are being used to deny the innate humanity and dignity owed every individual. The Jesus we follow did not just die for those who believe in him; his father created each one of us in his own image.

That means that as Christ breathed his last on the cross, there was as much love in his heart for the homosexual activist, the Mexican national who is not a citizen and the atheist as there was for us.

It is out of the "overflow of the heart," Jesus says in Matthew 12, that "the mouth speaks." That means it is far more than a failure of "tone" when we marginalize or malign those with whom we disagree. The solution is not just "nicer" words, but a transformed perspective, one that sees all human beings, including “opponents,” through the eyes of our proponent, Jesus.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (1,241 Responses)
  1. stevie68a

    The reason why so many christians love to hate, is that the religion is a "wolf in sheep's clothing".
    It's pretense is "love", but in fact, it's about a MURDER.

    April 27, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • LeeCMH

      Yes. People use Christianity as a thin veneer covering their burning cauldron of hatred. I've spent a lifetime listening to Christians shouting who we should hate and how much.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • Idol Girl

      It's not the religion that's bad, it's the few bad apples in the bunch. Following the Golden Rule is being a good Christian.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • LeeCMH

      A "few bad apples"? Well, those "bad apples" have spent 10s of millions of dollars trying to use government to enforce their beliefs on us all. Christo-Sharia!

      April 27, 2012 at 9:03 am |
  2. joecool16280

    I just want to apologize to all the non-christians out there. Those claiming to be a true Christian do not speak hate, we love all and respect everyone's opinion even if we don't agree. Please do not take them serious, they have hijacked the "label" and turned off a lot of people.

    April 27, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • Odin

      Apology accepted!

      April 27, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • If horses had Gods ... their Gods would be horses

      Mr. Cool ... I appreciate your sentiment. I believe that being a christian is simply believing in it (at least saying one does) and that being filled with love and compassion for your fellow man comes from human nature and human morality. No need to apologize since most of us know not to take the rantings on either side seriously. We all share one thing, we're all humans and have the same natural capacity to either love or hate to any degree we choose.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • LeeCMH

      Hijacked? Christians are by nature hateful mean-spirited people. Jerry Falwell, 25 years ago, said, "People with AIDS should be shot and buried like cattle with anthrax." Along with all the Christian leaders, he said AIDS was God's punishment for being gay. Why don't YOU talk directly to your hateful brethren. What am I going to say when a hateful Christian points their bony finger at me and shout, "Your going straight to hell."?

      April 27, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      @joe: Our closest neighbors are christian and are not hate filled or bigoted or anything negative. In fact they are some of the most wonderful people one could ever wish to meet. We do understand that not all are alike.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • LeeCMH

      What about the hateful Christians trying to use the power of government and law to crush our freedoms?

      April 27, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • MK

      @LeeCMH: Don't forget when Pat Robertson said that then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had a stroke in 2006 because he was “dividing God’s land” and claimed that God sent Hurricane Katrina as punishment for the country’s sins, such as legalized abortion. And this is what he said caused the earthquake in Haiti:

      "[S]omething happened a long time ago in Haiti and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French. Napoleon the Third and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, “We will serve you if you get us free from the prince.” True story. And so the devil said, “OK, it’s a deal.” They kicked the French out, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free."

      April 27, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • Rob

      Funny Lee how you know all Christians are by nature hateful mean-spirited people. I am a Christian and we have never met, so how do you know my nature?
      Generilzation is a short cut to thinking. Don't take short cuts.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:19 am |
  3. MK

    It's all well and good for christians to say "Let's not judge others, no matter what they do." But when christians exclude people from their own rituals and practices because they're gay or divorced or, heaven forbid, have gone through IVF, this is judgement all the same. Until Christian organizations say that they truly accept everyone and that no one is better than another, this happy thought means nothing. But then again, if that happened, it would be the end of the christians ,and religions, for that matter.

    April 27, 2012 at 8:30 am |
  4. jay

    CNN loves tearing down christianity. This faith goes against what they believe in. Because they can't control it means they are against it. Here's how socialism works. The bottom feeders of society are stuck in a rut, instead of building them up socialism tears down the top and bring them to a level more conducive to help those that can't help themselves. Obama as a community organizer saw how people couldn't take care of themselves. Instead of programs to help them, he decided instead that if they can't get better let's tear down those who have everything so people at the bottom don't feel so bad.

    April 27, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • AGuest9

      They bring it on themselves. They preach love, but these blogs are just one example of their hate for all groups not like them. Telling others that they are wrong and are going to "burn in hell for all eternity" doesn't sound positive at all to me.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • Marie

      This is an article from a Christian minister. How is what he said "tearing down Christianity?" I think you are just looking for a rant space, but did not really read the article

      April 27, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • Odin

      Socialism is christianity – at least as it is preached, but not as it is practiced. Sharing and caring is supposedly christian values and – oh wait – also, what socialism is all about......hmmmm, I guess you have been a bad christian. Oh well, you can always fix that by running of to church and ask for forgiveness!

      April 27, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • Ed

      Even the most devout Christian can only turn the other cheek so many times before they've had enough. Not many of us have the faith of Job these days.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • heresy

      if that is true why is it that: "Jim Daly is president of Focus on the Family, Dr. Russell Moore is dean of the School of Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference." <–those people wrote it

      April 27, 2012 at 8:49 am |
  5. lord vader

    Atheists have killed more people in the name of power than Christians but yet followers of Jesus are the ones to blame for world problems? Some people need to stop adding too much sugar to their kool aid.

    April 27, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • Odin

      I have no idea why you keep bringing up Jesus.....I am the Allfather – I even had a day named for me. More than you can say for that other bloke!

      April 27, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • AGuest9

      Crusades, Inquisitions, West Bank, Northern Ireland... You were saying?

      April 27, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • Primewonk

      Cretins like Stalin, Pol Pot, etc., didn't kill because they were atheists. The killed because because they were power-mad despots. You might as well claim that they killed because they were right-handed, so all right-handed peoplle are cold-blodded murderers.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • cheann

      I am not atheist but your comment it not true. More people have died because of religious wars and differences. There is that old argument that Hitler was atheist and he killed millions. The German Christians actually backed Hitler and he also referenced God in a lot in public and private. The Nazi party endorsed Christianity as one of the party platforms. That is just one example of how people get things turned around and state wrong facts. Now, personally I think violence is up to the individual because there are religious people and atheist people who are not violent and do not promote violence.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • mikeydon1969

      Prime example of ignorance.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • bitorbite

      Do you not understand – you said it! atheists have killed more in the name of power (their own power). That is the difference between a Christian and an atheist – or should be the difference. Christians should do all in the name of Jesus and for God Almighty, leaving out personal reasons, agendas. Todays Christians are too heavily armoured with their own selfish intents that even the most dedicated person of faith today, would almost be better having an atheist as their next door neighbor when it comes to morals and intents and even practices. That Christian neighbor might be the one that gets you a life sentence in prison, while the atheist stays out of your way in the name of peace. Funny thing, isnt ?!?!

      April 27, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Please enlighten us as to what atrocities Atheists have committed in the name of our disbelief? Christards have had the crusades, the Scopes Monkey Trial, the Salem Witch Trials, The Holocaust-all done in the name of god....the whole 'because the buybull says you're wrong deal' and 'you are possessed'. If anything is done by a non-believer, it is not due to the disbelief but instead due to other beliefs. Being an Atheist is not attune to believing in nothing, it is attune to no believing in any god.
      When you understand why you dismiss all other gods, you'll understand why we dismiss yours.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • Mirosal

      Aguest9, let us never forget what the Christards from Spain did to the Aztecs, Incans ansd Mayans. Now you can add several million to your tally... all in the name of their "god".

      April 27, 2012 at 8:41 am |
  6. LeeCMH

    I've listened to hateful Christians spewing hateful foul venom for 50 years. During the Anita Bryant, Save our Children, campaign a murder occurred and the assailants could be heard screaming, "Here's another one for you Anita." Focus on the Family is merely trying to put a veneer of respectability over their extreme raw hatred. Don't be fooled, they still hate the ground we walk on and would not hesitate to hurt us when given a chance.

    April 27, 2012 at 8:20 am |
  7. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    In the 1800's, the Evangelical church said God sanctioned slavery and they proclaimed that the bible said it was OK to own slaves! Its amazing how slave owners were not afraid of African-American slaves who raised their kids, grew their crops and did just about all the slave master's household chores for four hundred years, literally making these plantation owners wealthy! But yet, a century following the emancipation proclamation their offsprings were so terrorified by a diminutive African-American woman who sat harmlessly on a bus in Montgomery Alabama in 1954 and even more terrorified by an African-American pastor who campaigned for racial justice and equality through non violent means! I wish christianity could really heal man's hate and dislike for one another because of race and skin color! Perhaps the world would be a much better place to live and raise our kids!

    April 27, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • brad

      Christianity will never heal anything. The problem with religion is it takes responsability out of mans hands. We can't help it, we are sinners. Or, I'm doing it in gods name. The very core of the bible insures that non-christians will be treated differently, shunned. The bible is no healer, it is a devider.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • Odin

      Unfortunately lots of christians choose to do lots of evil things, since they can just be forgiven for their sins afterwards. Easy out. Others think before they do and try to live their lives taking responsibility for their actions!

      April 27, 2012 at 8:28 am |
  8. Reality

    Glen Beck, $32 million in 2010, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/08/glenn-beck-earned-32-mill_n_529903.html

    and from guidestar.org

    Rev. Franklin Graham $800,000+/yr.
    Rev. Billy Graham, $400,000/yr
    Rabbi Bradley Hirschfield $331,708/yr
    Rev. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, $200,000/yr
    Erica Brown $134,221/yr
    Eboo Patel $120,000/yr and his “non-profit’s” investment portfolio of $1.2 million
    Dr. Herb Silverman $100,000/yr. ?
    Imam Rauf and his wife Daisy, $400,000/yr/ea estimated
    Samuel Rodriguez $145,000.
    James Daley $252,000

    Now that is easy money considering all these guys and gals do is open one flawed-filled book and thump a passage of probable myth every Sunday or Saturday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 27, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • john316

      what do mean "flaw filled book" can you explain please thanks.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • Primewonk

      He means your bible. It is filled with lies and contradictions..

      April 27, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • Reality

      Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con/Flaw:

      From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

      Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

      To wit;

      From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

      "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
      Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

      Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

      Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

      The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

      Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Ascension ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers.

      The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

      "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
      http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

      The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

      With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

      An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

      p.4

      "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

      p.168. by Ted Peters:

      Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

      So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

      April 27, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  9. Odin

    It took 3 wise men to write this? Yeez.......

    April 27, 2012 at 8:04 am |
  10. JJ

    Don't bother. We all know that khristians consider all of their deity's rules, including the ones that came directly from the deity, are all "negotiable".

    April 27, 2012 at 7:59 am |
  11. GenericMan

    I think Rodney King said it best "Can't we all just get along?" I admit that I know nothing. Can you?

    April 27, 2012 at 7:56 am |
    • bitorbite

      Actually God does not want us to "get along". It warns us constantly that we are in the presence of enemies and that enemies will "come". We are either too ignorant, too perverted, too scared, too personally involved, too greedy or too agendaed to know an enemy when you see one. God advices us to live in peace as much as possible – does that not say to you that most likely we are going to be at "war" most likely the majority of the time. People are too passive and conditioned and easily brainwashed. They get excited over the "wrong" issues, with none of the excitement being for God and his will. God also tells us that it is better to rebuke (hate or condemn) someone openly, than love/lust in secrecy. It does not take a rocket science or a professor to understand the bible – it just take a will and faith the size of a mustardseed.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • Alyssa

      Too easily brainwashed indeed.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:35 am |
  12. trav

    I see we have some God-haters here. My moral standard is God"s Word. What is yours...your intellect or you opinion..doesnt count?

    April 27, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • GenericMan

      I don't hate God. My moral standard is developed by the reactions I receive from other people. If what I do hurts someones feelings, then I alter myself. If I do something to make someone smile, I try to do it often. If if I enjoy being combative with others, I ask myself, is it because I don't like those persons? If so, I ask myself am I afraid of those persons? If so, I question why.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:05 am |
    • Lilith

      Rather comical to name call people as "God haters", non belief is not hate. Everyone gets their morals from societal norms, even you. I have to ask, at what point did God give you morals? I believe your God is just a metaphor for social order.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The 10 Commandments contain some good advice.
      Respect your parents, take a day off once a week, don't steal, dissemble or kill.
      The ones that demand obsequious submission to the God of Abraham, not so much.
      We are selfish creatures by nature, yet our survival depends on cooperation. In order to balance these two conflicting instincts, mankind has had to develop rules that allow room for both.
      These rules are not the same for all communities – hence we've had so many different types of religion and government throughout history.
      Religion binds communities together by giving a common frame of reference. Shared fears (like divine retribution), hopes (like going to heaven) and rituals allow the instinct for self preservation to extend beyond one's self and immediate family.
      This is why the great majority of evolutionary biologists find no conflict between religion and science – as long as religion is recognized solely as a social adaptation.
      I am a naturalist who believes that there is no existence save that which we experience directly (ie: no spiritual realm). I am also a rational anarchist who knows that concepts such as ‘state’ and ‘society’ and ‘government’ have no existence save as physically exemplified in the acts of self-responsible individuals.
      I hold that it is impossible to shift, share, or distribute blame . . . as blame, guilt, responsibility etc. are matters taking place inside human beings singly and nowhere else. Therefore, we should be rational and realize that not everyone will share the same evaluations of good and evil. We must try to live perfectly in an imperfect world, aware that our efforts will be less than perfect while trying to remain undismayed by self knowledge of failure.
      In the end, the definition of Christian is to live your life in the image of Jesus Christ. Faith in miracles, divinity, resurrections, and other fantastical flourishes isn't required to live a life of pacifism, charity and humility.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:11 am |
    • Odin

      Actually I am a god and none of my words seem to be reflected in your moral standards, trav! So there, proved you wrong.....

      April 27, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • Alyssa

      You can't hate something that you don't believe is real. That'd be like hating Santa Claus. What I hate is the assumption that my atheism is not real, and that I'm truly only angry at a god for some disservice that I perceive to have been done to me. Please don't assume that because you can't come to the conclusions that I have that they are anything less than real.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • Marie

      To paraphrase Ghandi, "I have no problems with your Christ. I like your Christ. It is your Christians that I do not like for they are nothing like your Christ."

      April 27, 2012 at 8:42 am |
  13. Montessa

    This was well written, and I agree with it. I am a Christian...former Sunday School teacher...Iowan, and I feel the same way. I hate to see the negative comments ABOUT Christians. Because I feel like that's clearly not the intention of this article. The article seems to be pointing out the true MEANING behind Christianity...which is love. Christians should speak with love about others, and people who have been hurt by cutting words of Christians should also lead by example with words of love. I thought it was a great article. I agree. Well written.

    April 27, 2012 at 7:50 am |
  14. Bob

    Kinda ironic how the author is calling for christians to have peace for his fellow "non citizens", they are illegal aliens.....notice how much the Christians loved the Indians when they got here, they burned them alive and killed them by the millions...Christians are hypocrites, nothing more

    April 27, 2012 at 7:41 am |
    • trav

      Are U?

      April 27, 2012 at 7:44 am |
    • GetReal

      Humans are hypocrites. Just so happens Christians are made up of humans. Also, never think that just because somebody claims to be a Christian that they indeed are a Christian.

      April 27, 2012 at 7:54 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      just ignore trav...he is coming across as a gullible uneducated child...brainwashed by his parents to believe in fiction. He's quite apparently to lazy to think for himself.

      April 27, 2012 at 7:54 am |
    • bitorbite

      I always interpreted the bible to say that we should be kind to foreigners as they are "passing through" the land in non-violation of a countrys laws. God wants things done for HIS reason/will/kingdom, to include illegal immigration, which is being tolerated for political and other ungodly get rich quick schemes. It goes against a Christians inner soul to not see through all this.

      April 27, 2012 at 7:59 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      God doesn't think much of foreigners.
      "However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance." (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)

      April 27, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • lord vader

      Get over it.... That was 200 years ago. Grow up!

      April 27, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      But in God's eyes, the ones you people refer to as illegal immigrants or foreigners are citizens of the world!! We're all citizens of one universe and one world created by God! Have you ever notice when the blood bank asks for blood donations, they don't ask for black blood, yellow, red or white? We may look different on the outside but on the inside, we're just about the same if you care to believe it! We share the same emotions, get happy for the same things and sad for the things that make us sad! And we all have aspirations and desires all the same! At least that is the way God sees it! But the worst trait we all share unfortunately is hate!

      April 27, 2012 at 8:31 am |
  15. Mattski

    if only Christians focused on living Christ's message. It certainly doesn't happen in politics. "I got mine, get yours" is not exactly Christ's message.

    April 27, 2012 at 7:40 am |
  16. mikem

    My previous osted was censured by GNN. I used some unkind words about Christians loving gays, but hating their sin: hogwash.

    April 27, 2012 at 7:34 am |
    • trav

      what do you know?

      April 27, 2012 at 7:41 am |
  17. mayr

    why do people insist on lumping together ALL Christians because of the actions of a few? Not all are guilty of this particular offense. Some Christians actually behave like Christians, accepting and loving one another as Christ taught. Yes. it's true, most people have biases and prejudices, but to lump any one group together and blame all is just wrong.

    April 27, 2012 at 7:21 am |
    • Alyssa

      Because it is easier to lump. Just as we lump all 1 billion Muslims into the same box. A fraction of a percent want to hurt us, so that means that all of them do. It's an unfortunate human trait.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:53 am |
  18. gpforreal

    Agreed that closed-minded, conservative religious followers are dangerous. But don't paint all Christians with this same brush. BOTH sides of this debate need to respect the other (and all others). The atheist bloggers love to cite their reasons, all over-generalized, for disrespecting Christianity. Most Christians respect science, but the atheist community generalizes our beliefs to be those of the most rigid fundamentalists only. Those of the new "atheist activist religion" are no less fanatical, one sided and polarizing in their opinions than our most closed-minded fundamentalists. And many of them don't know academic science any better than they claim to know the Bible.

    April 27, 2012 at 7:15 am |
  19. Nii

    THE TRUE SIGNS THAT YOU ARE CHRISTIAN
    Your daily thoughts are
    1)I love God with all my life
    2)I love my neighbor as myself
    3)And my neighbor loves me as himself
    4)Because God loves us all as himself with all His Life just as we are just the way we are no matter what.

    April 27, 2012 at 7:11 am |
    • Mirosal

      The true sign is that you belive something written 2000 years ago, about a man who cannot be proven to have ever existed, had supernatural abilities, and who claimed that a being not of this Earth was his father.

      April 27, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      @Mirosal: The gullibility factor, the lazy factor, the arrogance factor, the fear mongering factor, the bigot factor, the ho.mo.phobia factor, the racist factor (although not true in Nii's case)=True Christard values.

      April 27, 2012 at 7:40 am |
    • trav

      Mirosal

      He existed and history proves it. Just cuz you are closed in your thinking and reject righteousness. You disbelief dos not change the truth

      April 27, 2012 at 7:43 am |
    • trav

      TruthPrevails 🙂

      the truth does prevail and u are missing it. Your post is rediculous

      April 27, 2012 at 7:46 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      @Trav: WRONG!!! There is no verifiable evidence for jesus or god. The burden of proof lies on the one making the claim, so please feel free to do so. If we were to say that unicorns exist you'd demand proof, so we're asking the same of you and without that evidence remain a liar. Maybe you need to look outside your buybull for answers and get a reality check.

      April 27, 2012 at 7:50 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      @trav: The fact that you can't spell speaks to how uneducated you are. Your belief system is ridiculous, not our disbelief. We have nothing to prove...time to step up to the plate and prove us wrong.

      April 27, 2012 at 7:52 am |
    • trav

      TP:)
      I dont have to prove anyting! you reject it...not my problem. Step up to the plate and believe God!

      April 27, 2012 at 7:53 am |
    • Mirosal

      M'lady Truth... looks you were right about that gullibility factor lol
      @ TRAV ... You said history proves there is a "god" and that Jesus did in fact exist. ok, what sources do you have that YOUR "god" is real, and the thousands upon thousands of other gods worshipped throughout history are not, and as far as Jesus, you'll need something written DURING his lifetime, not something 40 years later, as your New Testament is. Time for YOU to step up to the plate... batter up!!

      April 27, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • I'm actually Candian LiarPrevails-but I give you the impression I'm an American-unless of course I get called out on it

      trav, I'm what the Bible calls a "fool" and I'm busy storing up for myself wrath for the day of wrath. Got work to do. Bye.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • J

      @TruthPrevails 🙂
      The teacher Jesus most certainly existed. No serious historical scholar would doubt this and those who do are on the fringes of their field, not in the consensus. There is more than enough evidence to support his existence from extra-biblical accounts and the Bible itself (remember that the Bible is an anthology of old historical texts that was complied centuries later. Therefore we have several accounts that claim that Jesus existed.) The question of his divinity is up for grabs and THAT is what you seem to have a problem with. But one shouldn't make the claim that a man didn't exist simply because he (or others) callled him divine. Did the Caesars not exist because some thought them divine rulers? No.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • Mirosal

      we actually have writings and seals from the Caesars themselves, what docu'mentation do you have that is extra-biblical? Sources, scrolls, first-hand accounts? Anything from WITHIN Jesus's lifetime? Or is everything 30-40 years AFTER the fact, when not a single author of any letter in your New Testament ever knew the guy personally, but instead, relied upon 4th and 5th hand passed-down oral stories?

      April 27, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • bitorbite

      You know – that #2 and 3 is a huge risk with that #3. Simply because "love" is a matter of your neighbors opinion or interpretation. Most people do not understand what "love" is. From what I have seen of my "neighbors", I want nothing to do with their opinion of "love"...and they most likely do not want anything to do with mine. We all have it wrong...and until we do, #3 is truly risky business. Personally, most people need "tough" love, but you wont find a lot of Christians dishing it out, because it is not what preferable to them..which only means that that Christian has not learned to love themselves enough to understand that tough love is what is best for them. Not knowing what is best for you in the form of love, means that you do not understand what is best for your neighbor. Everybody want to play "nice" and sometimes that does not work. They dont have the criminal and legal system for nothing.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • Nii

      MIROSAL
      The so called non-existence of a historical Jesus with supposed factual historical theories based on textual criticism is greatly hampered by one fact. He had brothers and sisters. I also think that someone who is agnostic is ok but an atheist shows the signs that TRUTHPREVAILS lists.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Nii: Even if jesus could be proven to have existed, it does not mean there is evidence for god. What I accept is stuff that can be verified with testable evidence. What most christards accept are things that can't be proven. What I described fits most theists not atheists. Atheists don't tend to be bigots or racist or child abusers or rapists. The biggest prisoner population is christards, not atheists.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • Mirosal

      So... "god" has siblings? Interesting. That kinda blows away your little "Trinity" doesn't it? Do you have names? So again I ask, what historical texts do you have to prove he even existed? Did anyone write down ANY "miracle" as it was seen first-hand? How about just a sentence or two written from ANYONE who saw him 40 days after he supposedly died? Surely THAT would be newsworthy, wouldn't it?

      April 27, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      The existence of a historical Jesus will ever remain ambiguous. Christ literally means messiah. All sources outside the Bible refer to Christ or Christus...not Jesus by his proper first name. It is in any case a moot argument. There were many teachers of this new religion spreading their message. The physical existence of a man is not noteworthy...the claims of divinity and the performance of miracles certainly is. Of those NO contemporary or extra-biblical accounts exist. This is a glaring inconsistency. Textual accounts of supernatural phenomena are not evidence...just stories. It is just like saying that since New York is a real place then stories of Spiderman's superhuman exploits are real. Toby Maguire wore the suit so there is no disputing that Spiderman was in fact a real person. But his powers were of course merely theatrical.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      @Mirosal: Arguing with Nii or someone like trav is attune to arguing with a wall. Both think they know everything because they have a 2000 year old book that provides them with satisfaction. They fail to understand that the book has never been updated to match the info we have today. Being a christard is simply an easy, lazy way out for these foolish children. It allows them to shut down their minds and develop a great arrogance. Atheists don't claim to be perfect or have all the answers. We don't threaten people with eternal torture for not believing in the unknown supernatural. We usually want peace and happiness for all regardless of se.xual orientation, belief, color (once again Nii does not get included in that factor). I'd rather go to my grave knowing I lead the best possible life here on this wonderful planet then go worrying about whether I chose the right god and not being sure if I did.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • panger

      @ TRAV, i think what's most ridiculous is that you couldn't spell ridiculous when calling someone's very intelligent statement "rediculous."

      April 27, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  20. Richie R.

    As an atheist, this is great to hear.

    April 27, 2012 at 7:08 am |
    • Mike

      It should read "For an atheist, this is great to hear."

      And nobody cares about you.

      April 27, 2012 at 7:33 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      @Mike: WRONG!!! His fellow open-minded, non-gullible Atheists care. Science provides answers with verifiable, testable evidence. Christardation can't provide evidence that is verifiable. The fact that you are gullible and lazy is not our issue. Only children believe in fairy tales...grow up little boy!

      April 27, 2012 at 7:45 am |
    • Nodummyheads

      @Mike. "And nobody cares about you." Thank you for winning the argument for us atheists.

      April 27, 2012 at 7:56 am |
    • Keith

      TP, What is your back-up plan?

      April 27, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      @Keith: No need for a back up plan when there is no evidence to support needing one. When have you ever met a person who died and came back from to tell yo of the existence of heaven or hell?

      April 27, 2012 at 8:26 am |
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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.