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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. montyross

    name calling? Jesus called the people in the temple that were cheating "thieves", john the baptist called those he baptized a "generation vipers"! Funny how those in power want to teach even God how to act......

    April 27, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • Bill the Cat

      Precisely!

      April 27, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • Mark

      Speaking truth is not naming calling. Pronouncing judgment on another through any means by one who is as wicked as anyone else is quite different.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • sybaris

      "Funny how those in power want to teach even God how to act"

      Well since any god is a creation of man then who better?

      April 27, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • sam stone

      sybaris: it is sort of like performance art. people create the god they want

      April 27, 2012 at 10:04 am |
  2. Mark

    I think if people just realized that they themselves are no better than anyone on this planet that would be a great start. We are all sinners in God's eyes and none of us deserve to be saved no matter how good we think we are. It is only because of GOD chose to love us in our corrupt state that we are offered His Gift of Salvation and eternal life.

    Just remember one thing folks, what does any of this stuff have to do with eternity. NOTHING!

    April 27, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • mandarax

      "what does any of this stuff have to do with eternity. NOTHING!"

      Well, Mark, you are at least right about that. All this God, sinners, and Jesus talk has absolutely nothing to do with eternity. The cosmos will continue right along long after your particular religious cult goes the way of the Greek pantheon. Probably long after humans and the earth have faded into nonexistence altogether.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Mark

      I will pray for you mandarax. For your comments illustrates only one thing to me. That is you are trapped in a dark room trying to find a black cat that isn't there. I pray that one day the light of Jesus Christ will illuminate to you the state you are in. If that doesn't happen by all means take it up with the Father in Heaven when you come before Him confessing with your mouth He is God and realizing that your next step is eternal damnation and suffering in the Lake of Fire.

      May God have mercy your soul!

      April 27, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • sam stone

      Mark: Many of us do not believe that the bible speaks for god, nor does any man. So, all the talk of what god likes or dislikes seems like so much fluff.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • sam stone

      Also, Mark, your (empty) proxy threats are absurd. Tell us how people can fear retaliation (or have any feelings toward) a being in which they do not believe.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • LinCA

      @Mark

      You said, "I will pray for you mandarax."
      ... and I'm sure mandarax will think for you.

      You said, "For your comments illustrates only one thing to me. That is you are trapped in a dark room trying to find a black cat that isn't there."

      You said, "I pray that one day the light of Jesus Christ will illuminate to you the state you are in. If that doesn't happen by all means take it up with the Father in Heaven when you come before Him confessing with your mouth He is God and realizing that your next step is eternal damnation and suffering in the Lake of Fire."
      Once someone sheds the silly beliefs in fairy tales it's really hard to return to the nonsense. The christian fairy tale is so ridiculously improbable, regardless of the interpretation, that it's almost impossible to suddenly start believing there is a creature like your god. And, not believing the nonsense takes the sting out of any threat made by it.

      In addition, the notion of an all-loving god that punishes the majority of his own creation for simply questioning his existence, makes him a monster beyond compare. Even if your god existed, he would be one of the vilest creatures ever to exist, and wouldn't be worthy of worship.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • mandarax

      Thanks for your prayers, Mark, but I let go of religion because while blindly groping around in that dark room, I managed to somehow turn on the light and find out that all those angels and demons weren't actually there. The dark room is a mind walled in by unexamined religious dogma, and a brain convinced not to turn on the light of reason.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Mark

      Well sam stone you can disbelieve in gravity just as easily as you can GOD. With that said, try jumping off a 1,000ft cliff see how your disbelief in gravity saves you from the fall.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Mark

      LinCA, let me ask you a question. If you are drowning in the sea and a boat comes by and the captain throws you a life preserver but you totally reject its existence and wind up dying was the captain punishing you? Or was it that your disbelief in the life saver actually amounted to you punishing yourself.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • Mark

      You are welcome mandarax for the prayers! Let ask you one question though. If I am wrong and all these things I believe in concerning God was nothing more than fantasy what would I have lost. In reality nothing really except some of my time here on earth was wasted. Now if I am right, what will you lose? Think on that question long and hard mandarax. I pray that someday you will come to realize what the answer is.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Mike D

      Mark, I am confident that if my own atheism proves false Lord Buddha will forgive me.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      @Mark,

      A life saver is a real tangible thing. You ana.logy only works if the life saver is invisible and I don't follow a complex and contradi.ctory set of rules to find it.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • mandarax

      Yeah, a lifesaver is a horrible analogy. A better one is that you are drowning and someone who is also drowning offers to throw you something invisible that you'll only be able to catch if you truly believe in it...and then you will still drown, but he promises it will protect you after you are dead from drowning.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Mike D

      Gonna chip this in: Mark's "Now if I am right, what will you lose?" argument is called Pascal's Wager. It is a deeply logically flawed argument. A simple Google search will turn up the various counterarguments people have used to destroy it.

      April 27, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Mark

      You said, "If you are drowning in the sea and a boat comes by and the captain throws you a life preserver but you totally reject its existence and wind up dying was the captain punishing you? Or was it that your disbelief in the life saver actually amounted to you punishing yourself."
      If I see a boat and a life preserver, I have infinitely more evidence of the existence of that captain than there is for all gods ever conceived by man.

      If your god amounted to anything more than a figment, it would be obvious that he/she existed. But without evidence to support the notion of gods, believing in them is unreasonable. Belief in your god is no more rational than belief in the Tooth Fairy.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
  3. Willie James

    Every now and then the christian leaders have to step up and remind the flock to behave. For the most part christians are the most biased, backwards, bigoted and ignorant of us. The fact their churches are havign trouble controlling the nuttiest of them is telling.

    April 27, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Bill the Cat

      I find that atheists are the most biased, backward, bigoted group I have ever talked to.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • tribecagal

      It is not just Christians who are biased, bigoted and backward. All zealots have the myopic view that their way is the only way.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • sam stone

      "I find that atheists are the most biased, backward, bigoted group I have ever talked to."

      I think that anyone who purports to speak for god is delusional and needs to be heavily medicated

      April 27, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • Amused

      Billy,
      I am curious to know exactly where and when you allegedly spoke with this imaginary "group of atheists"? Hmm? Was it at your local Atheist Church???? I think your story telling has revealed the TRUTH about you BILL! You who believes mythical fairy tales and then creates mythical tales of your own!

      April 27, 2012 at 11:11 am |
  4. Bill the Cat

    Mat 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

    Mat 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

    Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

    Jesus didn't mince words with his enemies. This article is an absolute farce and foists western individualistic culture on the biblical culture of honor/shame and challenge/riposte. Insults to another person's honor were common in that era when arguments happened, and Jesus used them frequently.

    April 27, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • D

      Welcome to America and the 21st century. The bible didn't address a lot of things in our current world, and in the USA we are free to believe however we feel like it. I personally don't care of you like it or not, your opinion doesn't matter. What does matter is your right to believe how you will, and my right to believe how I will. At no point does one outweigh the other. THAT is the disconnect with the "christians" in the USA.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • ModernSociety

      "Jesus didn't mince words", Jesus chastized his enemies (forget about the 'turn the other cheek thingie"), so therefore Christians (well, Muslims seem to do the same) have a right to speak out against their 'enemies'...

      Fine, fine, fine, a nice lil civil war has long been overdue. I just wonder why Christians constantly whine about being called names?? They seem to be pretty good at doing it themselves.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • Amused

      Billy,
      This IS INDEED a free country despite all of your fundamentalist's attempts to turn America into a theocracy. So, you DO have the freedom to follow and believe any silliness that you desire to pursue! But, if you are determined to lecture about and spew ancient ingnorance, don't be surprised nor offended when you fail to receive any honor or respect from modern people who follow the path of science, truth and knowledge.

      April 27, 2012 at 11:27 am |
  5. montyross

    How many liberals does it take to write an article bashing Christians?

    April 27, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • WhoCares

      re·li·gion noun \ri-'li-j?n\
      A mass human psychosis that usually results in participants believing in incredibly silly crap and acting like total retards.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Nii

      WHOCARES
      I didn't know that Christianity is the synonym of religion. Even if I'm deluded at least I am not confused!

      April 27, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • montyross

      billions of galaxies and the earth is the only planet with living creatures. time and chance and just the right dose of radiation to change one gene (but not the one next to it) to create eye color or toe nails or ears, all by chance....absurd!

      April 27, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Amused

      Why do you ASSUME that Earth is the only planet in the entire universe that contains life? Your bible doesn't say that. Have you ever bothered to read it?

      April 27, 2012 at 11:40 am |
  6. sybaris

    Religion is a disease that needs to be wiped out.

    April 27, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Bill the Cat

      No it isn't.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Mike D

      No joke. All of it has to go...top to bottom, nobody walks. The only way to do it, however, is by education. The less ignorant people are, the less likely they are to be religious.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • sam stone

      sybaris: all we can do is kill it one non-believer at a time. seems that the popularity of the internet will speed things along. good riddance. i got nothing against belief. i do feel that top down belief (someone ELSE telling you want god is or isn't) is toxic. all the blah, blah, blah threats of god's wrath are just verbal diarrhea

      April 27, 2012 at 10:22 am |
  7. Cinman

    Far too many Christians only play the part on Sunday. Intolerance has been a sad part of our religious history. We have used God to take lives, property and dignity. Today we continue to condemn anyone who is not a mirror reflection. The authors are right in calling it out and I hope more thought is given before speaking.

    April 27, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Joe

      To suggest that it is only christains who have committed those crimes is ignorant and very misleading. But of course an attack on religion would be nothing new for CNN or liberals.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Ozymandias71

      Of course, commentators like 'Joe' try to divert everyone's attention with this 'well you do it toooooo!' nonsense. Note that they never say anything about the actual issue – 'Christians' spewing non-Christian filth toward anyone they don't agree with.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:40 am |
  8. sick0fit

    Let me get this straight, this is the same Jim Daly that is president of the group that merged with Family Research Council (FRC) and the SPLC has listed as a HATE group? Oh, sorry if we hurt your feelings Jim. Now Jim, stop telling our children that they are broken, God does not love them and they are going to hell for whom they are attracted to. Stop killing our children by your hate filled words!

    April 27, 2012 at 9:15 am |
  9. Ozymandias71

    Ah, so the 'Christians' are toting out the 'oh we should be nicer' pablum? Far, FAR too late. People are taking note of the craziness that 'Christians' spew. It's now part of the permanent record, and trying to backtrack away isn't going to work.

    April 27, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • Mr. Sadman

      "People are taking note of the craziness that 'Christians' spew."

      How many of the people that are "spewing craziness" are actually practicing what the Bible says? Probably not too many. I live in the south, and a lot of people claim Christianity as their religion because it's the social thing to do or because it's the religion that they agree with the most (while not actually attending church or ever cracking open the Bible).

      If you've ever spent time with someone that follows the Bible's teachings, you would never associate Christianity with whatever these nutjobs are telling you.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:29 am |
  10. tkindsm

    "Liberals profess to be tolerant compared to their conservative counterparts. The truth is that liberals are only tolerant of people with whom they agree. Rather than using civil discourse to debate conservative thought, liberals seem to have an inherent tendency to demonize and demean the human value of their political opponents." ~by Gary R. Welsh

    April 27, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • Ryan

      Couldn't you just as easily flip-flop liberals and conservatives in this statement?

      April 27, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • Byron Anderson

      Liberals are supposed to be hypocrites and Christians are suppose to be the "salt" of the earth,the light of the world, if you can't handle your role, you need to stop professing to be what you really aren't. I'm a non-believer and proud of it, or maybe I do believe in something, you all have gotten me confused, I think I'm backsliding. Where's the savior when you need him?

      April 27, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • ModernSociety

      Who's gary whatshisname... that I should believe what he says..? eh?

      April 27, 2012 at 9:50 am |
  11. tkindsm

    Liberals are some of the biggest cry-baby hypocrites I have ever seen... Just Google: “Why Liberals Always Resort To Name-Calling?” and you will find an article that pretty much sums it up why Liberals are such hypocrites.

    April 27, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • Inglourious

      On the one hand, you say "Liberals Always Resort To Name-Calling", while on the other, you call liberals "cry-baby hypocrites". Is the irony lost on you?

      April 27, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • Ozymandias71

      And yet neo-con 'Christians' resort to these tactics all the time – just take a look at the comments section of any LBGT-related story on CNN.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • If horses had Gods ... their Gods would be horses

      You do realize that being liberal has nothing to do with being christian? Liberalism and conservatism are socio-political concepts religion is something else. Plenty of liberal chirstians out there.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • sam stone

      i don't think that liberals are any more hypocrites than conservatives

      April 27, 2012 at 10:33 am |
  12. jmkelly766

    Being judged and judging others seems to be an inherent trait in humans. Even Christians do it sometimes–some of us, way too much. It is not a trait God put in us. Yes, the Bible does differentiate between sinners and forgiven sinners, between saved and not. But that judgement is not our job. It is God's. And God loves EVERY ONE equally, amazingly, unendingly. God doesn't always love what we do or say, but God loves you. And me. And everyone who is different from me.

    April 27, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • Odin

      I do not love you! What a silly thing to say! I don't know you........- yet.........oh, but I will!

      April 27, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • Freyja

      @Odin – you do not know if you will get this one. Maybe I will.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • Odin

      Ok, jmkelly. What's it going to be? Valhalla or Freyja's dump?

      April 27, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • Freyja

      And by the way, Odin – I had a day named after me too.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • Hmmmm, Hmmmmm? ! ! !

      Are you saying God will gather all people to Himself and let them in Heaven, even those who deny Him? Are we not supposed to preach Christ's message about sin, righteousness and judgment, warning every person of judgment to come?
      Didn't He commission us to do that?

      April 27, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • Odin

      I didn't commission you to do anything!

      April 27, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Nii

      The main thing about the Xtian message is that humans make laws and break them all the time. Someway somehow loving God with all your life and loving your neighbor as yourself breaks this cycle of lawlessness. If you feel you can do it by yourself. THEN JUST TRY THE MOSAIC LAW!!!

      April 27, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • sam stone

      "loving your neighbor as yourself breaks this cycle of lawlessness."

      yet you want some of your neighbors to have fewer civil rights than you.

      doesn't sound like loving to me

      April 27, 2012 at 10:41 am |
  13. Freyja

    Oh Odin, stop trying to convince them of caring for one another. You know, I get half of those who die in battle and you get the other half. At least we will never want for company, still plenty of them coming.

    April 27, 2012 at 8:58 am |
  14. Floyd from Ilinois

    In some Buddhist sects, believers meditate while sitting, facing a blank wall.
    In other Buddhist sects, believers meditate with their backs to the wall.
    The beauty of Buddhism is that the two sects do not kill each other over the difference.

    Christians would immediately launch a holy war, wallbackers vs. wallfacers, and kill each other for a thousand years, all in the name of the Prince of Peace.

    April 27, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • If horses had Gods ... their Gods would be horses

      I agree, the Buddhist philosophy is wonderfully simple and affective. I'm not one to buy the religious aspects of Buddhism but the philosophy is sound. The difference I see in Abrahamic religions is that they're consumed with the religious dogma of the whole thing and the philosophy is contradictory as best.

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

      Christians are the only ones who would do that.
      And get over it. And if you would catch up with the times, it is not Christians doing most of the killing these days, that would be the muslims. It's so funny how "high fashion" it is to attack Christians while defending Muslims when Muslims/Islam are behind most of the current violence.
      Call out all sides. Or did the media not tell you to do that, so you can't?

      ~not affiliated with any religion, FYI

      April 27, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • bla

      Not just christians, just about every other religious sect in the world would too.

      Buddhism is more of a philosophy than a religion, so it's not as prone to violence because there's less of the "True believers vs heathens" mentality going around in it.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • If horses had Gods ... their Gods would be horses

      BFER .. Who was defending Muslims? Me thinks you don't know what Buddhism is.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • montyross

      atheist in china and russia have killed more people in 50 years than all of the religions combined in total!

      April 27, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • If horses had Gods ... their Gods would be horses

      Montyross ... that's just plain crazy. God itself killed off the entire planet with the exception of Noah and his family. And that's just ONE biblical example. Athiests don't kill for atheism, they kill same as christians .. christians just claim it in the name of their religion.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Joe

      If you haven't noticed there are lots of variations of christianity. Yet, we are all together on the fight of immorality in this country. When one variation is attacked we all rise up to defend it.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • MK

      @Joe: Why do you get to be the auhority on morality? Because your god says so?

      Religion has not worked in curbing morality issues for 2000+ years.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • sam stone

      "Yet, we are all together on the fight of immorality in this country"

      No, you are all together in pushing for cultural stagnation under the guise of piety

      April 27, 2012 at 10:45 am |
  15. Normal is a Dryer Setting

    AMEN.

    April 27, 2012 at 8:50 am |
  16. Jack

    Yep everything wrong in America is because of Christianity. It's not because of any of the people breaking immigration laws that get away with it. Its not liberals in CA deliberately and publicly attacking Christians to the point of legislating the religion away – can't say "God bless America" any more.
    Christianity is under attack because it is an easy target. It has a standard set of views for everyone to see.
    Aethiests stand for nothing. They have belief in nothing. They have nothing to defend or justify. They can provide you with no hope. So, as typical humans with nothing, they attack those they percieve as the all powerful enemy.
    And for all of you aethists that are going to start screaming about having morales without religion – all your morales are based on the 10 Commandments.

    April 27, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • Floyd from Ilinois

      Yer paranoia is showing.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • MK

      Atheist morals are based on common sense.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • If horses had Gods ... their Gods would be horses

      Jack .. you're in too deep to see or be shown the truth. You suffer from what's known as psychological conditioning.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • Inglourious

      "So, as typical humans with nothing, they attack those they percieve as the all powerful enemy."

      Aren't you attacking atheists and liberals? Does that mean you have nothing?

      April 27, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • Pete

      Jack, It seems you totally missed the point of the article. "God bless us, EVERYONE."

      April 27, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • montyross

      the whole point of the article was the fact that it told some truth but not the whole truth, much like cults and atheist and liberals...

      April 27, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      "They can provide you with no hope."

      Hope of what? An eternal existence after we die? Glorifying and supplicating to God or suffering in hell forever? The concepts you "hope" for are abysmal nightmares that at best reduce this one real lifetime we get to nothing more than a pathetic test session. It is you who fails at recognizing the amazing, yet finite gift that life presents.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • bla

      Well since you're part of a cult montyross, I guess that spares you no room to talk either.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • JesseClark

      And here we find the angry, bitter "Christian" in its natural habitat, roaming the internet forums looking for prey to complain about. We'll have to stay at a distance, as these creatures are VERY territorial and WILL attack you on site ( after which they will pretend to be the victim despite the fact that 80% of the country it lives in is Christian).

      This particular creature's brain has just vomited all over its keyboard. Watch as it tries to rearrange the heaping pile of bullsh.t laying in front of it into a readable paragraph ripe with hatred, fear, bitterness, hypocrisy, and probably something about how Obama wore a brown shirt this one time, just like the NAZIS.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Gaunt

      Jack, your delusions are just depressing.

      Firstly, half of the 10 commandments are irrelevant nonsense.

      Secondly, the other half make good sense however, and are reasonable rules still in place in modern society. Except that every one of those reasonable 'commandments' existed in multiple other codes of laws that LONG predated your bible. Sorry, you lose.

      ALL modern morality is secular humanist, and NONE comes from the Bible. After all, what percentage of the 'laws' of the bible do YOU obey? 3%? 5% maybe? Do you wear clothing of two fabrics? Do you execute your child in public if he disobeys you? THESE are the laws and morals of the Bible.

      If the bible = morality, why have we silly secularists banned slavery, and why do we treat women as equals? Both are the OPPOSITE of what is stated in your silly book. No, ALL morality is secular humanist, every single moral you have been taught and follow. Every one.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • TalkingSnake

      BWAHAHAHAHA – The 10 commandments? BWAHAHAHAHA

      The first 4 are all about not worshipping other gods! You god-botherers should try actually reading your magic book every now
      and then rather than regurgitating what your preacher spouts on Sundays.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • Oh really?

      @MK, that's right; common sense-the Ten Commandments. I heard a debate recently between an Athiest and a Christian. The Athiest said we should just treat others as we would want them to treat us... ummm... that is the Golden Rule and it comes from the Holy Bible.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Jolt

      Oh really? "the Golden Rule and it comes from the Holy Bible."

      The "Golden Rule" philosophy long predates the Bible, and appears in cultures around the world who never heard of your Middle Eastern desert Hebrew writings.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  17. Charlie

    CNN, stop baiting Christians.

    April 27, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • If horses had Gods ... their Gods would be horses

      Baiting is only effective if we bite .. don't like it, don't bite. A persons belief should be able to withstand all the baiting cnn can throw at it.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:02 am |
  18. mandarax

    I appreciate the message these guys trying to make (though really, the President of Focus on the Family talking about tolerance? Gimme a break), but what I don't hear is any of them taking any ownership of their teachings as the basis for the intolerance and name-calling. They continually peddle an agenda that encourages their followers to believe they are God's chosen people and that simultaneously dehumanizes anyone else (gays, lesbians, foreigners, non-Christians) as being worthy of only death and eternal torture.

    The prejudice they see and hear around them is just the logical extension of the crap they preach. They need to take some responsibility for it.

    April 27, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • Who's judging now?

      You have clearly never been to church. I love people like you who act like they know what they're talking about, yet have obviously never been a part of a church family.
      But YOUR judging is okay because you don't claim to be a Christian, right?
      Hahahaha.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • Christlyman

      Your ignorance of what is taught is why you do not understand us and if a christian is being taught any kind of hatred then he or she is being led astray. We are taught to love everyone no matter what. We are to embrace lost souls and try to show them the joy that is in the Lord by our lifestyle. God denounces any kind of hatred or discrimination. Jesus was called a drunkard and a thief because of the people he kept company with. The pharisees hated him because if he was the Son of God he would be with them, not the lost souls of the world. Why would he do that? He wanted to lead the lost to heaven not the believers whom had already found his fathers gift of eternal life. I will pray that you may find Christ someday in the right way and receive the true peace he can provide you. God and I both love you for being a child of God.

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

      It's amazing how easily the bits of scripture outright dehumanizing non-believers are just outright ignored isn't it? And then they yell, "Well Jesus said we didn't have to follow those anymore!" even though NO WHERE in the new testament he said anything like that. He even said the complete opposite.

      A passive-aggressive smug sense of superiority permeated by the belief you are better than a non-believer is just as bad as outright stoning them to death – which the scripture explicitly commands they do by the way.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • mandarax

      I never claimed to not be judging their message. I am judging it. Not judging ideas is the basis for accepting any old garbage that is handed to you. I am judging that their message leads to intolerance and that that is a bad thing. If not, why are they having to address this opinion piece to their Christian followers?

      You are absolutely wrong about me, I spent half my life going to church – and a relatively moderate one at that. I know what is taught. I also know that what is said in words from the pulpit is vastly different than what is implied and what is actually practiced by church members and leaders alike. I doubt it is a coincidence that evangelical Christianity and prejudice/racism both are at their peak in the same Bible belt states. (I'm from the South, too. So don't try to accuse me of not knowing anything about the Bible belt)

      April 27, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • Christlyman

      Bla...................I will pray for you. The old testament tells us to slay animals too, but we dont do that anymore either. That whole thing of of Jesus dying on the cross kind of changed the rules for us. I am sorry for your lost soul. I was in the same place you are a few months ago. God got my attention in a vivid and aggresive manner. I hope, for your sake, he does not do the same to you. God Bless you and all those who feel the same as you. God still loves you all.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • mandarax

      That was to Who's Judging Now. To Christlyman (nice humble name, by the way). What part of identifying people who are different from you as being "lost" and in need of you to tell them what to do ("show them the way") is not judgmental? Sounds both judgmental and condescending to me.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • Odin

      Mandarax – that was refreshing. A churchgoer who thinks for themself. And who has enough sense to look around at what actually goes on. You have my respect!

      April 27, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Christlyman

      Mandarax...............you are right. What is practiced by alot of church going people is complete and utter foolishness. They use Christ as a shield to defend their ignorance and stupidity. Especially in the Bible belt. I have lived there also. My recommendation for you is move. I did. I am sorry for that and whatever has happened to you to drive you away from God. I hope you may find God again in your life and a church that preaches the bible and encourages you to study it and not just accept what is said from the pulpit. We all have to remember that is a man on the pulpit, NOT CHRIST. Men can be corrupted, even preachers. Especially preachers. They are a top target for satan.

      April 27, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • Christlyman

      Your right. It is not my place to judge anyone. It is Gods. I dont plan on forcing my beliefs on anyone. I do plan on sharing them. If they make a person come to Christ then GREAT, if not Oh Well. I will pray for them no matter what. I love all men and do not consider any of them different from myself. We are just children of God trying to survive this existence called "life."

      April 27, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • Christlyman

      One other thing................the name................It was not meant to say I am Christ like only that I am a believer. Probably could have chosen something better. What do you suggest?

      April 27, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • bla

      Better save your prayers for yourself mandarax because you're going to need them, going off and blatantly disobeying god's direct orders to sacrifice animals, stone people to death, and never wear clothing made of more than one type of fabric.

      Jesus never said some of the laws didn't apply anymore, and he obeyed them himself. Good luck when you're up there trying to explain away your insubordination, I don't think any number of Hail Marrys will help!

      April 27, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • bla

      Ack, I mean Christlyman. But hell, good luck to all you guys trying to explain why you directly disobeyed your god's commands when he never told you stop. You'll need it a lot more than I will.

      April 27, 2012 at 11:39 am |
  19. mikeydon1969

    @bitorbite. Perhaps it is your MISS understanding of the Bible that leads you down the wrong path.

    April 27, 2012 at 8:43 am |
  20. Dl

    Christianity is based on getting judged & judging others, hence name calling is inherent to the religion.

    April 27, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • crazypete

      Actually it is based only on being Judged. No where does it say you get to judge others. Only God judges.

      April 27, 2012 at 8:59 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.