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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. Steve Aram

    James 3:13-18   Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. 15 Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. 16 For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.

    April 27, 2012 at 6:54 am |
    • Those used guys.

      You are many decades late with your post, Richard Nixon is long gone!

      April 27, 2012 at 7:15 am |
  2. martog

    Top Ten Signs You're a Christian
    10 – You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.
    9 – You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.
    8 – You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.
    7 – Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees!
    6 – You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.
    5 – You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.
    4 – You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs – though excluding those in all rival sects – will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."
    3 – While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christianity.
    2 – You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.
    1 – You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history – but still call yourself a Christian.

    April 27, 2012 at 5:58 am |
    • MsSueG

      Thank you!

      April 27, 2012 at 6:18 am |
    • LOLOLol

      Amen.

      April 27, 2012 at 6:39 am |
    • Wow ...

      This so needs to be on a shirt ...

      April 27, 2012 at 7:06 am |
    • gpforreal

      Sorry, not impressed. You list the standard atheist 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. Religion and science are NOT totally incompatible, though there are frictions; but you of the new "atheist activist religion" are always out there insisting they are. Yes, you are no less fanatical, one sided and polarizing in your opinions than our most closed-minded fundamentalists. Oh and since you are so scientific, state your credentials. Many of you don't know academic science any better than you claim you know the Bible.

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

      GP, you cannot refute With Facts one thing I posted. I guess that says volumes about your credentials, or at least your knowledge of reality

      April 27, 2012 at 9:02 am |
  3. Epidi

    As a Pagan I encounter this quite often and it is a reason many do not come out of "the broom closet". While on private property at dawn to observe Yule (Winter solstice) with fellow Pagans from the community, a crowd of Christians from a nearby church were standing on the roadside with signs, screaming and yelling that we worshipped Satan (which we don't believe in) and would burn in eternal hell. I wonder how they would have felt if we had gone to thier church doing the same thing at thier Christmas sermon? Not all Christians are like this by any means. The majority of my friends & family are Christian. Fortunately I get to choose the people I surround myself with who are tolerant and realize not everyone follws the same path. On the flip side I hear Pagans bashing Christians all the time – yes, Christians burned & killed Pagans – but the burning times are over. So build a bridge & get over I say. Why let hateful people have that kind of power over you and make you as negative as they wish to be?

    April 27, 2012 at 2:05 am |
    • I LOVE TOILET PAPER

      ARE YOU A WITCH?

      April 27, 2012 at 6:27 am |
  4. Flamespeak

    I disapprove of censorship of speech in any form. Even if it is foul, debasing, or vile speech, I still support the right to speak it. Just because someone speaks with a silver tongue doesn't mean their message cannot be one of terrible intent, in fact, I would say that a gifted speaker is capable of doing far more harm than good if they promote the most negative of ideals.

    Don't dress up your words, please. If you view me as something of a slight to the world, I would rather you state it than sugar coat your words while thinking ill of me. I will know where I stand with you that way and adjust my routines accordingly.

    April 27, 2012 at 2:02 am |
    • Epidi

      Well said! In every free society you will have debate and disagreement.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:26 am |
    • 2u

      You take the idea of freedom too far. We do not allow false advertising. You cannot lie about danger in a crowded theatre. You are not allowed to lie when under oath. There are common sense restrictions on free speech. Lies have done more damage than anything else in history. Lies should be mainly illegal if they are used to manipulate people into doing things they never would have done if the words had been honest. Like political speeches, advertising, and education.
      Are we allowed to teach children that it is okay to kill and that the law doesn't mean anything and that they should ignore any law they want? No, those would be lies and you would not be allowed to say them to unsuspecting children who are innocent and have no defense against abuse.
      You can't threaten people into believing your lies. That's just adding injury to insulting injury. Yet your threats are lies too. Nothing you say can be backed up or proven or shown to be anything but lies if it is based on other lies.
      You want the freedom to lie. When did you ever not have that right? Who would trust you? Not me. I'm not that stupid or gullible.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:38 am |
    • JarJar

      "The solution is not just "nicer" words, but a transformed perspective"

      "Don't dress up your words, please. If you view me as something of a slight to the world, I would rather you state it than sugar coat your words while thinking ill of me."

      These two statements seem at odds with each other.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:59 am |
    • Flamespeak

      @ 2u

      I never mentioned lying, in fact, I was proposing the exact opposite. The statement of what you believe to be the truth. If you feel people of a different s e xual orientation are degenerates, then you should be free to say so, just as I would be free to say I disagree with you, be free to ignore you, or pursue other actions. I never promoted the concept of lying, in fact, censoring your speech is, to me, a form of lying. People cover up their speech and mask their intentions behind colorful words to make them seem less damaging, but in fact, as I stated earlier, these silver tongued approaches can actually be far more harmful.

      Lying is technically a form of expression, so I would have to support its existence, but more to the point, if an action doesn't cause someone direct physical or financial harm, I support its right to exist and feel no law should be made against it.

      April 27, 2012 at 3:00 am |
    • miscreantsall

      So FLAMESPEAK, you would have no accountability? no truth (as close as we can get it)?, no respect?

      Then it's true…………we ARE just animals.

      April 27, 2012 at 3:30 am |
    • Flamespeak

      @ Miscreantall

      I do not understand how you came to the conclusion of no accountability. I never implied that anywhere. Just because I support the fact that lies should not be outlawed doesn't mean I support the act of lying, although that is a concept that many have trouble understanding. If I am having a bad day, but if someone asks how my day is and I tell them, 'Pretty good' and give them a smile, I just lied to them. Since I support its use in this scenario, I have to say I can't outright state that lying is a concept that should be smitten from the world.

      In regards to respect, I try to give it to everyone as a matter of course and only retract it if said person has proven that they are not worthy of my respect. A concept that many have had issue with over the years when I state that there are some people I can not respect, but it is true. If you were berate an elderly woman for moving too slow when she is going about her day in town, I would tell you I don't respect you and call you out on your actions. These are signs of speaking the truth about situation as I personally see it without causing phyical or financial harm to anyone.

      April 27, 2012 at 3:40 am |
    • 2u

      Flamespeak, I see, then, where I jumped from: You said "any" in your original post, yet your responses show that you do not agree with that phrasing, so I guess you were just being a teensy bit over the top with your hyperbole in that sentence.
      Most everything else you said I agree with.
      I was shooting with anti-religious-troll buckshot.
      Sorry if a pellet glanced off your goggles there, ace. I've got an itchy trigger-finger.
      At least I wasn't drunk like Cheney and shoot you in the neck. That would've been bad.

      April 27, 2012 at 3:54 am |
    • Flamespeak

      @ 2U

      It is quite alright, my choice of wording was rather misleading. I must try to learn to avoid using absolutes as it is a sure-fire way to make my statements null and void.

      April 27, 2012 at 3:58 am |
  5. Atheist

    Thank you for this article. Rare to hear calls for civility and decency. I, too, will reciprocate.

    April 27, 2012 at 1:48 am |
  6. michael

    Wow, so a member of one of the biggest hate organizations writes a paper about tolerance... Why does CNN and other news outlets insist on trying to legitimize these people. Focus on the Family is a certified hate group whose main purpose is to demonize the LGBT community.

    April 27, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • jmb2fly

      So you say michael. It's very convenient to be able to silence anyone you don't agree with.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:59 am |
    • michael

      Silence? Hardly. Groups like Focus on the Family are their own worst enemy when the average person hears them and can figure out the propaganda for what it is.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:03 am |
    • michael

      Btw, Focus on the Family is to the gay community what the KKK was to the black community. They're a certified hate group. CNN giving them free reign just makes CNN look pathetic.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:05 am |
    • jmb2fly

      michael, I strongly disagree with you, but you certainly have the right to express your opinion.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:15 am |
    • michael

      Which part? You're not honestly trying to infer Focus on the Family isn't a hate group? You can have your opinion all you want even one that isn't based in reality.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:22 am |
    • Jesus

      The FBI has listed them as an extremist hate group. The two other guys are just as bad or worse. I hate all three.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:29 am |
    • michael

      From huffpost...

      Mr. Daly claims gay activists have abandoned reasoned dialogue in favor of name-calling, primarily calling leaders like him hateful. He justifies his work to enshrine one-man-and-one-woman-equals-marriage policy as the result of a Biblical mandate. He conveniently forgets that David, one of God's favorites, had multiple wives and concubines and still had the time and energy to commit adultery. Solomon had 700 wives and concubines. One-man-plus-one-woman is not the only Biblical witness for marriage. Mr. Daly may claim that the Bible is the infallible, inspired Word, with no contradictions or mistakes, but he especially thinks that about the texts he likes,not the ones that might contradict what he already believes.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:29 am |
    • michael

      Thank you Jesus. FoF is definitely a hate group and its just obnoxious for CNN to completely ignore this.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:31 am |
    • Happy and Gay

      No non-LGBT group has "certified" Focus on the Family as a "hate group". I'm guessing Michael is all for the first amendment unless someone exercises it by disagreeing with his gay agenda.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:37 am |
    • miscreantsall

      So Michael, if the author's word are really inauthentic, his God has a very special hell waiting for him and his organization. Yes?

      April 27, 2012 at 3:33 am |
    • Andrew

      People apparently don't understand what the first amendment allows. Michael complaining about CNN posting this isn't saying he wants to restrict FotF's first amendment rights... he's saying "news media shouldn't air the material". There's nothing in the first amendment saying "you have the right to free speech, and that right implies the right to exposure for your speech in the form of the national media".

      The first amendment means that GOVERNMENT cannot infringe on your speech, so GOVERNMENT cannot go arresting someone like Kirk Cameron for spewing hateful rethoric or making ignorant remarks. They cannot step in and censor his speech just because they don't like what he says, if he wants to fund a campaign to get his point of view out, he's fully allowed to.

      That does NOT mean that the national media should however give the guy the time of day, let alone allow him to voice his bigotry on something like Piers Morgan, nor should they necessarily publish articles written by groups formed to restrict civil liberties of other individuals. The media *can*, it is legally allowed to, but that doesn't mean it's something they *should* be doing.

      If michael was arguing for government censorship or government intervention, you could argue he doesn't like the first amendment. But as it stands, all he is saying is that the MEDIA shouldn't be airing the material, and no, NOTHING in the first amendment says "you are guaranteed the right to have your speech projected to the national stage in the form of the media".

      April 27, 2012 at 6:25 am |
    • michael

      Yes, what I am saying is no news outlet would give the KKK a platform to discuss the treatment of the black community so why do they allow groups like FoF one? They claim to be Christian but their sole purpose is to make sure the LGBT is hated and do so by spreading lies about them.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:24 am |
  7. bejay

    This is 2012. Most people are aware that most religions are fiction. that is christianity, Islam, Budhism, etc. Science has come to the point that undestanding consciousness in every object, a grain of sand, a leef on a tree, a fish in the ocean and a bird on a limb; every one is conscious of his role and. destiny. Man will come to accepting that he knows what is alrealy known by him and start laughing.

    April 27, 2012 at 1:44 am |
    • Epidi

      "to the point that undestanding consciousness in every object, a grain of sand, a leef on a tree, a fish in the ocean and a bird on a limb; every one is conscious of his role and. destiny."

      Are you sure you aren't Pagan? 🙂 I embrace science in that it teaches facts about the nature of the universe. My "religion" is nature based.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:11 am |
  8. lilbluepill

    yep...these are the christian i run into all the time...very dismissive of me when i tell them im buddhist and tells me "they can go to china and dig up his bones but you will not find jesus's"..."youre following a false religion...only the true word of christ is the savior that can save your soul..." i especially like it when they dont follow those outragious "asian" religions (last i checked jesus was from asia?) yeah i determined long ago, that chrisianity is not a religion for me...i dont want to be like these so-called christians and be judgemental, arrogant, crude, close-minded, hateful, violent, self-rightous, vain, and profit driven...its not good for ones karma to be a christian...or any other conservative leaning religions...

    April 27, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • Mirosal

      Think about the words of another asian ... Gandhi. He said "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians." Pretty much sums it up, doesn't it?

      April 27, 2012 at 1:34 am |
  9. Truth

    It appears to me that the majority of the comments are from those who neither understand Christianity, nor have the emotional capacity to embrace faith in anything. It is easier to just call people names and lie than to dig deep down and really allow themselves to be open to a faith in the one true God. Just know this, all true Christians are praying for you and one day EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW FOR THE ONE TRUE GOD! THE GREAT 'I AM!'.

    April 27, 2012 at 1:06 am |
    • Observer

      Not exactly.

      A recent poll/test showed that the average atheist and average agnostic know more about the Bible than the average Christian.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:11 am |
    • Sir

      We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes

      April 27, 2012 at 1:12 am |
    • captnavenger

      It's even easier to simply say to your debate opponent that he "just doesn't understand," or just "doesn't get it." But when you do that, you have to cite references for your reasoning, and your reasoning must be that: provable and logical. Anybody can do what you just did, and tell everybody that they are wrong because they just don't understand why you are right. But it's the equivalent of calling out that the other guy is "IT to infinity" and then covering your ears and making nonsense noise to drown the other guy out.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:14 am |
    • jmb2fly

      Truth,
      I don't mean to jump on the bandwagon here or anything, but I feel that at least some of the people I have conversed with were very open and honest about their feeling, emotions and beliefs. It is fine for people to disagree with me. It doesn't have to make me angry or cause me to call down damnation on them. This article is about that very subject.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • fred

      Observer
      Actually, there is a big difference between head knowledge of the Bible and knowing God. Atheists cannot understand the word of God because they reject God. Even if an Atheist could understand what it means to have a personal relationship with God for a Christian it is not the same as experiencing it. What a shame to say talk about the wonders of a sunset but, never stepping out of a cave to see one. How sad to look up into the heavens awe yet never know the creator that spoke the world into existence. The difference like trying to compare holding a sympathy card to being held by someone you love when you're recovering.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:22 am |
    • fred

      sir
      What kind of story is that? The Dawkins bed time lullaby for the godless?

      April 27, 2012 at 1:23 am |
    • Observer

      fred,

      I don't mean this as an insult, but your statements could be almost identical to those advocating LSD or other drugs.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • Ting

      I believe in the invisible lead guitar goddess that lives on the dark side of the moon. I know, it sounds crazy, but if you dig down deep and really allow yourself to open up to the faith, then you will know that she is there and the one true god.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:32 am |
    • fred

      Captianavenger
      Let’s see atheists have no proof, no history and not even a theory coming up empty as to the origin of life. Out of their hip pocket the entire foundation rests on “we just don’t know” and all the other atheists applaud loudly and salute their intelligence. Christians have thousands of years of heritage surrounding the Glory of God and over 25,000 manuscripts attesting to the creator and the origin of life. They do not pat themselves on the back but humbly praise and love God who lives within their soul.
      Exactly how is one more foolish than the other?

      April 27, 2012 at 1:33 am |
    • michael

      Could you just stuff it? Many Christians are the biggest hate mongers around who strive to completely ignore 90% of the teachings of Christ.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:34 am |
    • Sir

      @Fred
      Its a sentence, not a story. And its a lot more intelligent than anything you have added to this thread...

      April 27, 2012 at 1:36 am |
    • tallulah13

      Fred, just because you believe in something, just because you feel emotional about something, doesn't make that something real. It's great that you found something that makes you happy, but please understand: There is no evidence for ANY god, not even yours.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • Observer

      Atheists admit "we just don't know" which is the truth for everyone.

      No one should be picked on for being honest.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:39 am |
    • Mirosal

      @ Fred ... you wrote "Christians have thousands of years of heritage surrounding the Glory of God and over 25,000 manuscripts attesting to the creator and the origin of life." I have a question about these manuscripts. How many were written by "god" and how many were written by man? You can attest all you want, but writing something down 25,000 times still does NOT make something true. All those men were doing was to rehash what was written before, like making a bad cover of an already bad song. And, your origin of life ... "god did it" ... I guess with that sentence, anyone can get a Ph.D in "intelligent design".

      April 27, 2012 at 1:43 am |
    • Sir

      Fred using your theory about manuscripts I could say "Harry Potter is real because there are several books written about his so it must be true."

      April 27, 2012 at 1:44 am |
    • fred

      Observer
      It could all well be nothing more than an elaborate trip where atheists are on a constant path set by Satan to destroy Zion. Christians prefer the red pill in order to experience real life outside the illusion of godlessness.
      Here, have a cookie.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:44 am |
    • fred

      Sir
      Over 6 Billion Bibles sold and an entire world view that continues to this day centered upon the word of God is the difference between what is Divine and what is fiction.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • Sir

      Fred Harry Potter is the second highest selling book in history thank you for proving that harry potter is real.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • Observer

      Fred,

      It also could be that Satan doesn't exist since there is less to substantiate the Devil than God.

      It also could be that God, who supposedly knows what is going on in your heart, is disgusted that people waste so much time trying to convince him of what he already knows and waste time they could have spent enjoying this amazing world.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:52 am |
    • Ting

      Over 6 Billion Bibles sold and an entire world view that continues to this day centered upon the word of God is the difference between what is Divine and what is fiction.

      I have a Bible plus two Bible apps on my IPhone. That doesn't prove anything.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:52 am |
    • fred

      Tallulah13
      If there is no God why is that since Neanderthal man has worshiped and struggled to please God? That is a fact which is known, observed and verifiable. Because atheists come up with baseless nonsense in an attempt to explain away this fact does not change what is known and validated. Next time you claim there is no proof of God examine please examine the complete lack of proof you have for tossing aside what is known.
      The same baseless nonsense is used to claim believers cannot possibly have experienced God when the effect of God in their lives is obvious and repeated millions of times a year in the exact same fashion.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:00 am |
    • Observer

      fred,

      Long after cavemen, the Greeks worshiped a load of gods.

      Please explain why you don't believe in Zeus.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:08 am |
    • fred

      Sir
      There are 66 books in the bible so that would be 396 billion books sold of the Christian God and 450 million for poor little Harry. Yet, no one is worshiping Harry. 40 days after Christ rose and presented himself to over 500 people they were ready to die rather than deny they saw Christ. What ever excuses you wish to make Jesus was the most profound figure in History of all time and the foundation of western world view to this day. The Roman executioner could not kill him, the Jews could not extinguish His Glory, skeptics could not bury His truth and atheists cannot get out from under the Glory of God.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:13 am |
    • fred

      Observer
      Thank you for making my point. Even the Greeks with all their great logic worshiped. They even worshiped the unknown god.
      Read Acts and see how Saul of Tarsus with a few simple truths revealed the difference between man made gods of the Greeks and the Living God we serve to this very day.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:16 am |
    • YoJimbo

      "When you understand why you dismiss all other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours". - Stephen F. Roberts

      April 27, 2012 at 2:18 am |
    • Observer

      fred,

      Sorry you missed my question.

      Why are you so atheistic when it comes to Zeus and all the other Greek gods?

      April 27, 2012 at 2:21 am |
    • Mirosal

      @ Fred ... you said Jesus is the most profound person in history. Why is it then that NO ONE chose to write a single word down when he was alive and preaching? If someone were to appear 40 days after he died, wouldn't you think that would be just a tad bit newsworthy? Why are there NO first-hand accounts of this appearance? No one wrote about him until at least 30 years after he died, and those writing did NOT set out to make a "holy book", they were simply letters from one person to a group. The authors had NO idea their letters were to be taken has anything akin to holy scripture. Jesus did not make history, history made Jesus.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:23 am |
    • YoJimbo

      Sorry, here's the more complete quote:

      "I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."...Stephen F Roberts

      April 27, 2012 at 2:30 am |
    • fred

      Ting
      That science book on your shelf doesn’t prove anything either. If you open it up and read it you could get some information then if you really want to know what it is about you would get some help from teacher. Now, if you approach the book with a negative att-itude you will get nowhere with the content. Even so it would be foolish to use the Bible to contradict what you cannot understand in that science book.
      Now, read that book the way it was intended and follow the formulas given then test it to see if the science if valid. If you produce the same results each time I would say you have your proof

      April 27, 2012 at 2:34 am |
    • fred

      Observer
      I did not miss the question I mentioned Paul in Acts set the Greeks straight on why their gods were man made and Christ was the Living God. That is the difference. God has been and always will be. Just as Paul proved the difference between a living God and gods that same proof holds. Believers today experience God and God lives within them through the Holy Spirit. Check out the changed lives as a result of a living God and ask them what they see that a personal relationship can be established. God is not made of wood, stone or jewels etc. but, surrounds life itself.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:41 am |
    • Observer

      fred,

      I'm not staying up any later to see if you'll reply. It's too bad. It could be a significant learning experience for you concerning atheists and agnostics.

      Read over the quote from YoJimbo again and then you might begin to understand what you have missed. Good night.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:44 am |
    • fred

      Mirosal
      Jesus referred to Scripture and said it is written. Yet, it is written also in the hearts and minds so when I say the Word of God I mean the truth as God gave it. It is written meaning what God says carries an eternal weight that transcends man. That is the Word of God. When you read the Bible from an inspired perspective it is Divine.
      As too little written at the time of Christ this was common for that day. Certainly the Jews kept accurate writings because that was their religious traditions. Don’t forget anyone that spoke of Jesus was chased down and persecuted by the local Jews and the Romans. All the apostles met a horrid death with the exception of John and there are writings about the torture of Christians the refused to recant the story of Jesus.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:56 am |
    • fred

      Observer
      It was the God of Abraham than came alive to me through Christ. I simply did what Jesus said to do and I was given another shot at life. After my conversion God answered some big prayers but, the biggest part was experiencing God and watching the Bible spring to life whereas before I thought it was nothing but old tales.
      I see where Islam came from and can follow the truths of the Bible through their Quran. Problem is much was added by Mohamad as with the Mormons and Catholics etc. all adding man made stuff. God can still be found within those religions and God can still sort out those with a heart inclined towards God and the rest. God can do that we can't

      April 27, 2012 at 3:04 am |
    • Mirosal

      @ Fred .. you said Jesus referred to Scripture. That was the old Testament. Who is to say THAT is real? Your dead guy Jesus was like any other at the time, and fell for commonly held myths of the time. "It is written in the hearts and minds..." .. That's a rather ambiguous and very subjective statement. All that says is that "We believe so YOU must also because we're right you're wrong and if you don't, you'll burn forever". I could read ANYTHING with inspiration and to me it would seem "divine". That's how self-help authors get rich. You said "Certainly Jews kept accurate writing as was their traditions." Where are these writings? To the Jewish hierarchy, Jesus wasn't important, he was fringe, and in their minds, heretical. His followers were Jewish, where are THEIR records? His followers were chased down ... even to this day, cultists are chased down. If someone TODAY said they were the "son of god", at most you'd demand he be hauled in for a psych exam, at the least you'd simply ignore him. Even YOU are guilty of cherry-picking the bible, and you don't live as it says you should. Where are your slaves? Oh, slavery is illegal now? So civil law trumps biblical law? That's not what your bible says. To whom did you sell your daughter? See, even you don't live by the bible. And don't tell me that it doesn't apply. Even your Jesus guy said that the Old Testament still applies.

      April 27, 2012 at 3:38 am |
    • fred

      Mirosal
      “old Testament. Who is to say THAT is real?”
      =>Clearly you are dead wrong on this point. All the atheist claimed this “there is no proof scripture existed” nonsense until the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. The current argument then moved to the Hebrews stole the stories from other gods and cultures once the 2,000 year old plus scrolls were found. I am certain some atheist cannot be convinced with any amount of fact.

      "Certainly Jews kept accurate writing as was their traditions." Where are these writings?
      =>you are lucky because parts of the Dead Sea Scrolls will be on tour in Ft. Worth Texas so you can go look for yourself in July this year. Don’t miss it, bring your atheist friends.

      “Where are your slaves? ……….That's not what your bible says. To whom did you sell your daughter?”
      =>Gads you love to go back thousands of years and suggest we live that way. These core laws were derived under nomadic tribal conditions and many were out of date 2,000 years ago. Can you not see the rediculas extent you are going to here. Please insist I have a woman water my camel. With regard to Jesus he blasted the religious leaders for all the stupid rules they added onto the Law of God. The Jews Jesus blasted knew exactly what he meant when Jesus said “I have come to fulfill the Law of the Prophets”. You are very mistaken about what laws apply after Jesus came. Jesus laid out the “laws” that apply. To the issue of salves we are free under Christ. Most atheists on this site think they are not slaves but, few are not under some form of bondage they just deny it.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  10. jmb2fly

    @jmb2fly,
    This is the Belief section of the Opinion section....... Anyway, that's fine. I don't have a choice but to share my faith. I am commanded to. But when someone simply tells me, I don't want to hear that, I leave them alone.

    If you want me to shut up right now, then why are you here?

    April 27, 2012 at 1:03 am |
  11. Phil

    Wow. I am amazed at how many people who say that they don't believe in Christianity, or even respect Christianity, took the time to read this blog. I think the guys who wrote this article are showing far more tolerance and compassion than most people on this discussion board who have nothing better to do than to throw stones in glass houses.

    April 27, 2012 at 12:34 am |
    • michael

      Are you serious? Tolerance? From Focus on the Family? They are a certified hate group that spreads well known lies about gays and lesbians.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:37 am |
    • sadlyperturbed

      Why does this surprise you? You talk as if atheists should ignore anything about Christianity, while regularly we are forced to listen to others who spend their time trying to tell us how wrong we are by name calling and hateful rhetoric. Of course we read this. We are interested in what others have to say, about us and about themselves. Not that these words written today on CNN by the Christian men will have any effect on the vast majority of Christians who choose hate over the love their supposed "son of God" taught. They will write this off just like they do the sermons they hear every Sunday and the passages they read in their Bible. The supposed word of God is ignored my the masses. Yet preached as if they follow it.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:58 am |
  12. jmb2fly

    Eduardo, to your other questions, God's Love is amazing. He sent Jesus to die for you. It is hard to believe. The Judge told me, "you are guilty and you must die". An innocent person stood up and said "no, I will die in his place, let him go free". That's what the Bible tells us God did thru Jesus for you and for me. It is incredible and hard to believe. But I believe it. If you don't believe, that's OK. God doesn't force anyone to believe, that's a choice that each person has to make, to believe or not.

    April 27, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • jmb2fly

      eduardo,
      My faith is my own. Yes, originally I went to church because my Moma made me. But my faith is built on my relationship with Jesus, not my mothers. I wrestled with my belief. I am far from perfect and can judge no one.

      April 27, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • edwardo

      Belief is not a choice. If it was, I would chose not believe that people die. I would chose to believe there is no cancer. Belief is a determination, based on evidence and reason. And no, I do not think it's wonderful that someone died in my place. If Jesus would have volunteered on my behalf, I would have thanked him and politely told him not to bother. Like I said, someone having to die, so I can be forgiven for being human, is repulsive. Faith is not a virtue. It has brought us crusades, wars, wiitch trials. Religion is the scurge of humanity.

      April 27, 2012 at 12:40 am |
    • jmb2fly

      eduardo, the Bible tells us that God is absolutely good, perfect, holy. That He can tolerate no sin at all. Most religions say you have to earn salvation. Some say your good has to outweigh your bad, others say your only good enough when we say your good enough! Eastern religions require reaching some sort of "enlightenment"(I'm not an expert on eastern religions, just a disclaimer). The Bible tells us that we have to be perfect to meet God's standard and no compromise is acceptable. God is perfect Love and that Love demands Justice. The end result, according to the Bible is that all sinners are condemned to death because of our actions. But God loves us so much that He sent someone to take our punishment. Jesus. Again, I can understand your difference of opinion, and respect it.

      April 27, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • jmb2fly

      Yes eduardo, many horrible things have been done in the name of religions. Religious people, even true followers of Christ, sometimes do horrible things. The problems is that we are all human beings. But you are absolutely correct.

      April 27, 2012 at 12:48 am |
    • edwardo

      "love demands justice" ?? Since when is eternal punishment justice for a finite crime? Since when is not believing something a crime? Who is the victim? Is a perfect being, being victimized? How can a loving father send his children to a fiery pit? I can honestly tell you that there isn't one thing my kids could do, that would even make me consider such a fate for them. Demanding perfection from imperfect beings is impossible. The Xtian god is impossible. Therefore, he cannot exist.

      April 27, 2012 at 12:50 am |
    • @jmb2fly

      It's good your faith is your own, but please don't shove it in our throats!

      Open your eyes and please please keep your religion to yourself!

      April 27, 2012 at 12:53 am |
    • jmb2fly

      eduardo,
      "love demands justice". Cain mu rdered his brother Abel. How can Love not demand justice? Even when you love both? Eduardo, you are spot on with many of the things you have said. Is it wonderful that someone had to die for me? Of course not, but the reason it happened was my sin, and God's love. My sin put Jesus on the Cross. Why eternal punishment? Honestly, I'm not sure what the correct answer is for that. Maybe because God is eternal and our souls are eternal. I don't know.

      April 27, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • Observer

      jmb2fly,

      Actually, the Bible says that all you have to do to have salvation is to believe in God.

      Of course, that's just picking and choosing what I want from the Bible like everyone else does.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • jmb2fly

      Observer, thanks for pointing that out. That's a big difference between most other religions and Christianity. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. As far as picking and choosing, your correct about that as well. Lot's of people/religions do.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:11 am |
    • YoJimbo

      I never understand this notion of Jesus's "great sacrifice". First of all, he's god, so he knows what's coming, right? He knows he'll die in an admittedly painful manner (just like the thieves next to him, by the way), and he also knows he'll be coming back in a couple of days. So.... what's the sacrifice, exactly? Oh, and his temporary death will benefit all mankind forever. That's nice, but I think any one of us would make that choice given that information ahead of time. I think the soldier who throws himself on a grenade to save his one buddy's life has made a much bigger sacrifice than that.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • jmb2fly

      Yojimbo, those are thoughts I have had myself at one time or another. I believe that it was a great sacrifice and that He was the only one who could make it for us. Jesus lowered Himself, from His place in heaven. The Trinity, Jesus is God, Jesus is the Son of God. Fully man and fully God at the same time. The physical suffering of the cross is hard to imagine. What Jesus went thru spiritually I don't pretend to know. Sometimes we try to limit God to what we can comprehend. God created space and time, He transcends both. God is not limited by our ability to comprehend Him.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:33 am |
    • YoJimbo

      jmb2fly – The idea of this all-knowing, all powerful, perfect being creating an imperfect world with imperfect creatures (us) which will eventually require himself to spend a blink of his eternal life as a human who must die violently in order to correct the result of his imperfect creation is just too symbolic and inelegant to me, I guess.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:54 am |
    • jmb2fly

      Yojimbo, fair enough.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:03 am |
  13. southside mike

    Freedom of religion means all religions, not just your own.

    April 27, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • keeeleee001

      Who said you cannot practice terrorism? go ahead.

      April 27, 2012 at 12:57 am |
  14. jmb2fly

    Good article! According to the Bible we are all in the same boat. If we have broken any part of the Law then we are guilty of the whole Law. I am no better than anyone else whether they are gay, straight, pink, purple, atheist, etc. Jesus died for us all. If you don't believe that's your choice. Our job as Christians is to live out the love of God to those around us. That doesn't mean compromising the Truth of what we believe; we have to balance that love and truth without compromising either one. God demonstrates His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

    April 27, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • Jesus

      No I didn't.

      April 27, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • jmb2fly

      You must be the Muslim version of Jesus! 🙂

      April 27, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • edwardo

      He died for you? Isn't he sitting beside god right now? Is he a zombie? What kind of a father would approve of having his only son slaughtered, just so he could "forgive" his own creations for doing the very things he knew they'd do, when he created them? Think about how ridiculous this notion truly is. Think.. think!

      April 27, 2012 at 12:21 am |
    • jmb2fly

      Eduardo, He was resurrected on the third day. (I suspect you know that already) He came back to life! This is backed up by eyewitness accounts. If Jesus had stayed dead He would be no different than you or I. I don't expect to convince you of anything. If you wish to call me stupid go ahead! I can even understand your opinion, but I stand by what I believe and I am not ashamed of the name of Jesus.

      April 27, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • edwardo

      @jmb2fly – The idea of someone dying for my sins is repulsive. I forgive all kinds of people, who offend me, and do not require any kind of a blood sacrifice. I do not think you're stupid. I think you were born into a country, who taught you this bizarre idea, and instilled it in you from birth. What better way to control you, than to convince you that someone sacrificed their very life, so you would submit to a following? To convince you your "obedience" is your way of "thankfulness" for this horrid act of crucifixion. You worship something in religion, a normal person would despise in humanity.

      April 27, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • keeeleee001

      To some of most vile commentators I've ever seen below: you are exactly the reason why Jesus died and resurrected.

      April 27, 2012 at 12:51 am |
    • Jesus

      jmb2fly, the problem we got here..is...a failure to communicate. You don't know what the hell you're talking about and I did not somehow change things by being executed for my crimes.
      I was guilty. I deserved what I got. I know that now. Before, I was just crazy about a bunch of stuff and ended up breaking the law knowing it would get me killed.
      It was a form of suicide. But now I know better. YOU however have no clue about so many things that all I can do is kill you to get you to stop being stupid. That's just how I roll.

      April 27, 2012 at 12:53 am |
    • jmb2fly

      Keeeleee001, both you and I are the reason Jesus died on the cross.

      "Jesus" You can say whatever you want, it's a free country.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:07 am |
    • michael

      The problem is when Christians feel they have the God given right to tell everyone how vile their sins are.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:40 am |
    • Jesus

      Nope. I died because those @#!! Levites did not like me calling them out on acting the way you are acting.
      They were like the Jerusalem Mob. I refused their offers and they took me out using the system instead of sending a "man of blood" after me. My brother, Judas, ratted me out for some money. My very own brother! I guess I really p1ssed him off a lot worse than I thought when we were 10. He never forgave me and decided to kill two birds with one stone by fingering me to the cops.
      He was obsessed with becoming a "landed" Roman Citizen and someday making it big enough to afford the kinds of parties I was having.
      That's why he bought some land with the money. It was that important to him. So typical of greedy people that they will sell out anyone at all to make a buck. Even me.
      And now all you so-called "followers" who love money more than doing what's right are going around saying stuff that is directly against all my teachings. At least all the ones that made it into the NT. I wrote tons of stuff and have no idea what happened to it after I died. You might try looking for my journals and stuff if you really are a follower of mine.
      Judas was all about doing stuff that made you wealthy. He tried to get me busted many times, but I wiggled out of those situations!
      If you love money more than helping other people, more than doing what you can to help everyone live together, then you are one of those people I absolutely fking hate to fking death!
      I taught thousands to SHARE what they had, to let go of the extra stuff they had that they really didn't need that day. I taught them first aid, showed how some herbs can really help a lot. I never raised anyone from the dead. That was a practical joke on me that got out of hand. Lazarus was so sorry afterwards I didn't have the heart to be mad. Just one of those things.

      But I didn't die for you. I never knew you. That was almost 2000 years ago. I only knew the people of those times. I died because I didn't know how to get out of the trap I was in. There were too many things going wrong all at once. It was horrible.
      And I hate Mel Gibson and every other person who has lied or made up what I did during my life. I didn't die for people like that. I died because I broke the law. I was out of control. A bad seed. An attention-seeking addict with a messiah complex.

      So, you see, I didn't die FOR anyone. I didn't have much choice about it at all. That's what mental illness is like. You get out of control and afterwards there can be consequences if you ignore the way the real world works and how crazy human beings can be towards each other.
      I never knew ye. And I don't have any desire to get to know evildoers, liars, lovers of tradition, lovers of wealth and power, or anyone who p1sses me off by being crappy to other people, so you can fck right off.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:13 am |
  15. Reality

    Only for the newcomers:

    True to character, at the end of the commentary, the authors thu-mp a passage from the NT i.e. Matt 12: 34 "You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks."

    But did the historical Jesus actually utter those words? After a thorough study of the NT and associated doc-ments by many contemporary NT scholars, the conclusion is he did not. See for example, http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?ti-tle=041_Trees_and_Hearts

    And there is this:

    JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")

    Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694.

    Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

    Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Many contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.

    Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

    So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher/magic man would do or say?

    April 27, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • Reality

      Said authors also thumped Matt 12: 36. Said passage also has been deemed to be nil historically since it is a single attestation found no where else in scripture. ( http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?ti-tle=Crossan_Inventory_Stratum3)

      April 27, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • Jesus

      Why should anyone listen to an old uptight busybody who refuses to let people live their own lives within reason?
      Sure, you're great at copypasta, great at figuring I'm just a dead loser cult leader who doesn't exist, but you totally suck at allowing other people to enjoy s3x, alcohol, drugs, or anything fun and non-damaging to other people.

      In short, you don't have a bloody clue about how to let people live their own lives. You want to live their lives for them and tell them what to do about every little thing. You're a Pharisee, Reality. You are a busybody, one of the worst sorts of people to live with.
      Get a puppy. Micromanage the puppy's life if you can't keep from the impulse to control everyone and everything around you.
      Cats will just ignore you. But you can lord it over a dog. Just don't abuse it. That is all I will say to you today. Peace.

      April 27, 2012 at 12:13 am |
    • jmb2fly

      Reality, you still need to get a grip on yourself man! 🙂

      April 27, 2012 at 1:55 am |
    • 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 8:12 am |
  16. Pope_Inquisitor

    I'm so sick of xtians; their righteousness, their hypocrisy, their hatred, their silly myths, the bureaucracy, their pretend god, all the BS, and for what? They hate others and cling to their fairytales.

    April 26, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • edwardo

      Feel sorry for them! They are sheep being lead to slaughter.

      April 26, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • John

      Repent!

      April 26, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • edwardo

      @John – Dear Lord. Please forgive me for being the imperfect human you created from your perfection. Please save me from the hell you created, and now threaten to throw me into, unless I gratify your narcissistic desire to be praised. Wow! Am I going to heaven now?

      April 26, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • Observer

      Repent!

      Unless you haven't pented yet.

      April 27, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • keeeleee001

      I think you've made a typo: "Xtian" should be atheist. What a typo.

      April 27, 2012 at 12:56 am |
  17. Bob

    Jim Daly, Russell D. Moore and Samuel Rodriguez are D-bags. How's that for name calling.

    April 26, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      All three are charlatans who should take their snake oil and fuck off.

      April 27, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • Jesus

      I agree wholeheartedly with both of you. This is a sht article written by frauds. I should know. I used to be like them.

      April 27, 2012 at 12:16 am |
  18. FakeEmpire

    Look Tom, i understand you think that you have a very intellect and what do i know you could have a law degree from Harvard. But as a christian, I ask you to please respect our beliefs. You don't have to like them and i'm not going to ask you to. But tolerance is what this whole article is about. Whether you be black, white, atheist or christian were all human and we needed to treated as such.

    April 26, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • edwardo

      A Xtian asking us to be tolerant? You've got some nerve! You're the most intolerant, judgmental group, of self-righteous bullies, ever to walk the face of this planet. I do not respect your beliefs. I would respect you if you faced reality. You are not going to have eternal bliss. You are not loved by the creator of all things. You do not have the truth. You are brain-washed. Got it?

      April 26, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • Observer

      FakeEmpire,

      Is there any chance a cease fire could be set up so that some atheists show more maturity and, in turn, Christians don't hypocritically trash gays or pretend that the Bible actually says anything about abortion?

      April 26, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      There is no reason to respect adult stupidity.

      April 27, 2012 at 12:01 am |
    • Raider

      It's hard to respect people who believe such ridiculous garbage. Especially when they try non-stop to convince you that this garbage is true.

      April 27, 2012 at 7:33 am |
  19. LouAZ

    The use of supernaturalism to manipulate and control people is the world's oldest confidence scheme, it relies on the ritual abuse of children at their most impressionable stage by adults who have themselves been made childish for life by artifacts of the primitive mind.- Your Mom on a CNN comment back around 4-12-12.

    April 26, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • danf

      "supernaturalism" – materialist utopianism in the last 100 years has been responsible for the murder of 100 million people. Its understandable, because if you can honestly embrace a materialist logic, you must conclude that life is completely and utterly meaningless. There is no basis for moral judgements apart from consensus enforced by force and violence. It is perhaps telling that suspension of judgement is the cardinal virtue of the secular state. Show me the love that overflows into the streets of the new post-modern, post-christian west. A civilization so sunken in self loathing that it cannot even muster the darwinian will to re-produce itself. Isn't that the ultimate judgement of nature ? To edit out it's mistakes by simply turning off the desire of God-haters to reproduce.

      April 27, 2012 at 12:23 am |
  20. Sick of Religions

    The worst people I've ever seen are the conservative religious people of all religions!

    Being raised in middle east, I have had enough of that dominant religion, islam! No need to explain...
    Being an American born, living in America, and married to a Christian wife with a very conservative family, I am sick of closed minded Christians. I have been judged many times by the so called Christians. Because of my skin color and middle eastern looks, all these lovely Christian brothers and sister assume that I am a muslim and when they hear that I am a Christian, then they say "Oh, we didn't know you are my brother?". This shows hypocrisy and racism and most importantly proves the fact that they are very closed-minded. Bible, talks about not judging one another and also says that we were all created in the image of God, and yet these conservative Christians forget what their Bible says. These conservative Christians are not true Christians! They use Jesus, Bible, and Christianity as a tool to justify what's in their crooked minds.

    All these conservative Christians in America became Christians by default because it is the dominant religion in America. If the same conservative Christian individuals were born in Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan, they would have become fanatic muslims by default (location). There is no difference between conservative Christians and fanatic muslims! Conservative religious individuals tend to be closed-minded and cannot think beyond the walls of their religion regardless of what religion they have.

    April 26, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • mary alice

      I completely agree. I think a lot of people are just using religion as an excuse to hate people and twisting what the bible says to justify it. It's insane.

      April 26, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • edwardo

      A huge round of applause for this comment !! Right on, and very very well said. I too am a victim of religious control and hatred. I know your story.

      April 26, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • iminim

      Agreed! Fundamentalism, especially in the Abrahamic religions, is dangerous. The associated sense of superiority and the need to restrict and/or condemn others, is incredibly destructive to the commuity even if it does not result in violence. On the flip side, liberalism in those same religions is associated with acceptance, generosity, and inclusiveness which can strengthen a community as a whole. It is easy to overlook the contributions of those who quietly do good instead of standing out while spewing hate.

      April 27, 2012 at 12:20 am |
    • MashaSobaka

      You are spot-on. Thanks for taking the time two write this.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:09 am |
    • Mirosal

      If anyone knows whose quote this is, please tell us .. "You do not need the bible to justify love for anyone, but no greater tool has been invented to justify someone's hate."

      April 27, 2012 at 2:38 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.