home
RSS
The Gospel of Stephen King
Is this a vampire from Stephen King’s “Salem’s Lot” movie or a character from one of the author’s "sermons"? Both, pastors say.
June 2nd, 2012
10:00 PM ET

The Gospel of Stephen King

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - When the horror novelist Stephen King was once asked why he wrote such gross stories, he said he did it because he had the heart of a small boy - which he kept in a jar on his desk.

With his beady eyes and I-just-killed-the-cat grin, King looks and sounds like a horror novelist. But when the Rev. Paul F.M. Zahl read several of King’s novels, he learned something new about the author: There’s a lot of faith behind his fright.

Zahl says some of the most stirring affirmations of Christian faith can be found in the chilling stories of King. The horror master has been preaching sermons to millions of readers for years, only most of King’s fans don’t know it, he says.

“People tend to think that Stephen King is anti-religious because he is a horror writer, but that’s completely mistaken,” says Zahl, a retired Episcopal priest who has written about King’s religious sensibility for Christianity Today magazine. “Several of his books are parables of grace in action.”

Want to read a powerful meditation on Jesus’ sacrificial love? Check out how King links the death of the mammoth death row inmate John Coffey (note the initials, J.C.) to Jesus’ crucifixion in “The Green Mile.” King’s “Storm of the Century” is a creepy retelling of Jesus’ eerie encounter with the demon called “Legion” in the  Gospel of Mark’s fifth chapter. And King’s epic apocalyptic novel, “The Stand,” reads like a contemporary retelling of the Book of Revelation, with a little Exodus thrown in, Zahl says.

Zahl’s claim about King's faith may sound ludicrous. King, who just released his latest novel, “The Wind Through the Keyhole,” has written at least 50 horror novels such as “Carrie” and “Misery.”

Yet there is an actual body of literature devoted to King’s religious sensibility. Several pastors and authors say King displays a sophisticated grasp of theology in his books, and his stories are stuffed with biblical references and story lines taken straight from the Bible.

“If God brought lawsuits, Stephen King would face a charge of plagiarism,” says J.M. Rawbone, an English horror novelist who has written an essay about the Christian themes in “The Stand.”

King, whose publicist did not answer a request for an interview, has talked about his faith before. He describes himself as a Christian on his website and elsewhere has said he was raised as a “hard-nosed” Methodist taught to believe in the Antichrist.

Some of his literary influences are Christian authors. In one interview, King said he was shaped by C.S. Lewis, author of “The Chronicles of Narnia,” and J.R.R. Tolkien, author of “The Lord of the Rings.” Both Lewis and Tolkien were devout Christians who layered their fiction with Christian themes.

“I’ve always tried to contrast that bright, white light of real goodness or Godliness against evil,” he said in a 1988 interview. “I’m not a proselytizer, and I hate organized religion. I think it’s one of the roots of real evil that’s in the world. If you really unmask Satan, you’ll probably find that he’s wearing a turnaround collar.”

The best way, though, to understand King’s faith is not through his words, but through his stories. There are at least three biblical themes that run through them.

A child shall lead them

Every horror writer seems to write a vampire story eventually, and King is no exception. “Salem’s Lot” is one of King’s most popular novels. It depicts a vampire’s attempt to colonize a modern-day New England town.

Traditional vampire stories are loaded with Christian symbolism, but King inserts another biblical theme into “Salem’s Lot” that would reoccur in many of his books.

It comes in a scene showing a standoff between a priest and vampire. Father Callahan tries to protect a teenage boy with him by brandishing a cross. The vampire dares the priest to toss the cross away and face him on faith alone.

Father Callahan hesitates, his faith long diluted by alcohol and skepticism. The vampire wrenches the cross from the priest’s hands, while the boy escapes and becomes one of the vampire’s most formidable enemies.

When the Rev. David Squyres read this passage from “Salem’s Lot,” one of Jesus’ most popular sayings flashed before him: “… Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

In the moral universe of King, children get God better than the adults, Squyres says.

“The vampire humiliates the priest because the priest doesn’t have real faith, but the kid has real faith,” says Squyres, pastor of the Palms Baptist Church near Palm Springs, California.

“The priest represents the Pharisees. They believe in relics. But the children, and the teenager, have a simple faith. They don’t put their trust in institutions. They trust in the Lord,” says Squyres, who has written about King’s Christian sensibility at his website, "talkstephenking."

Many of King’s most popular novels are filled with young heroines driven by faith. It’s a reflection of a famous passage from the Book of Isaiah in the Old Testament: “And a little child shall lead them.”

In “The Talisman” and “It,” King features adolescent heroes who risk their lives battling evil, according to Marylaine Block, who wrote about King’s religious sensibility in an essay called "Something Wicked This Way Comes."

“In both novels, the adults are incapable of understanding the evil that is about to envelop and destroy their world. They see the signs, but choose not to understand them. Only the children know what is happening, and know that it is up to them to save the people they care about,” she wrote.

God can be cruel

King’s most explicit Christian novel is “Desperation,” which features another adolescent hero driven by faith. The boy, David, is converted by a miracle and prays to God for help. King depicts his faith without irony and with reverence.

“Desperation,” though, contains an unusual description of God that reveals some heavy theology from King, several pastors say. During the bloody climax of the story, a character tells the boy that God is “cruel.”

That line caught the attention of Zahl, the Episcopal priest. It speaks to what he calls “the answerable sovereignty of God.”

Zahl says King is depicting a side of God that’s woven into the Bible. It is not the God whose eye is on the sparrow, but the Holy Other, incomprehensible, the one who allowed Job to suffer.

It’s the same side of God that the narrator in “The Green Mile” reflects on when he reminisces about the death of the innocent John Coffey, the Christ-like figure who never hurt anyone, but perished while a villainous guard lived on.

Zahl points to this passage from ”The Green Mile”:

“Yet this same God sacrificed John Coffey, who tried only to do good in his blind way, as savagely as an Old Testament prophet ever sacrificed a defenseless lamb. ...  If it happens, God lets it happen, and when we say, ‘I don’t understand,’ God replies, ‘I don’t care.’ ”

Zahl says King can say things about God in books that pastors can’t say in the pulpit. In King’s novels, people often suffer while doing good.

“Americans generally want to hear that everything is really terrific all the time,” Zahl says. “Americans want to control and manage everything, and they’re eager for anything that pumps them up. When you preach a message from the Bible that life is much more difficult, and there’s a huge amount of suffering, those messages don’t always go down well.”

'God chose the weak things'

As a teenager, King used to collect scrapbooks filled with newspaper clippings detailing the crimes of serial killers, says Stanley Wiater, co-author of “The Complete Stephen King Universe: A Guide to the Worlds of Stephen King.”

King's mother grew so concerned that one day she asked him why he kept the scrapbook.

Wiater says King answered with: “I think there’s evil out there. I want to know what it is, so when it comes, I can recognize it and get out of the way.”

In King’s books, characters can’t avoid evil. They have to confront it, but they often don’t fit the conventional definition of heroes.

“The Stand,” another explicitly Christian novel, illustrates this pattern. A plague has wiped out mankind, and a group of unarmed survivors are dispatched via a vision from God to confront a satanic figure called the Darkman.

The group seems to have no chance. One is an elderly, genial professor; another a deaf mute, and a third figure is a genial man with the mental capacity of a child. Against them: the Darkman’s ruthless army, which literally crucified its foes.

The makeup of the group underscores another popular religious theme in King’s work that’s reflected in this line from the apostle Paul in the first Book of Corinthians: “God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”

Zahl, the Episcopal priest, says so many heroes in King’s books are broken people: physically frail, alcoholic, disabled and lonely. Even the evil people are rendered with compassion.

“King understands grace at a deep level,” says Zahl, author of  "Grace in Practice." “He typically concentrates on the marginalized and the outsiders who ultimately carry the day. God often does his work where people are the most messed up.”

King may have converted Zahl, but the priest and others admit there’s a risk invoking the horror novelist in the pulpit.

When Zahl mentions King in church, he says many listeners think first of books they want to keep away from teenagers.

Still, there are secret converts.

“Half of the other people in the congregation have read Stephen King, though they may not want to shout it out to the world,” he says. “They know what I’m talking about. They come up later and they say I’m really thrilled that you know about him.”

The doubters shouldn’t be surprised that King’s stories contain religious themes, says Rawbone, the English horror novelist and author of "Bunker."

The Bible is filled with terror: demons, ghosts, floods wiping out mankind and the rising of the dead.

“Good horror examines the struggle between good and evil,” he says. “The Bible is the history of that struggle.

“The Bible is in many ways the ultimate horror novel.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Books • Celebrity • Christianity • Jesus • Movies

soundoff (1,461 Responses)
  1. Bb62

    Stephen King . . .so thirty years ago.

    June 3, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Yeah

      Bb62 – so never-was

      June 3, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  2. Rick James

    Hilarious, religious people can find meaning in anything. It's so sad....

    And someone on this blog said that we are free in the nation because it is Christian's tolerance that makes it so. May I present to you, Jon Stewart (Pay close attention at 1:39)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efwKgVRCtT4

    June 3, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  3. BrownSugarmama

    TO GET REAL: jUST GET THE BOOK SERIES CALLED " LEFT BEHIND" THERE WILL BE INTRUCTIONS FOR YOU AND THE REST. YOU GOING TO BE IN SUCH SHOCK THAT YOU WONT KNOW WHERE TO TURN BUT YOU KNOW WHAT? THIS SO CALLED FALSE GOD WITH HIS FALSE STORIES, HE WILL BE WAITING FOR YOU TO SAY "IM SORRY, FORGIVE ME LORD" WHEN YOU DO-THAT SAME GOD WILL RECIEVE EVEN YOU AND SAVE YOU FROM THE TERRIBLE HORRORS THAT YOU WILL SEE IF YOU ARE ALIVE WHEN IT HAPPENS. CHANCES ARE THAT OUR GENERATION JUST MIGHT BE ALIVE WHEN IT DOES HAPPEN BUT NO ONE REALLY KNOWS WHEN IT WILL OCCUR BUT I AM CERTAIN AND WITHOUT DOUBT THAT IT WILL AS ALL OTHER PREDICTICED EVENTS OF THE BIBLE. EVERYONE THOUGHT NOAH WAS A NUT TOO.

    June 3, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • the real JC

      Actually I don't believe that anyone thought Noah was a nut...mainly because he is a fictional character. Perhaps some thought that the character "Noah" was unbelievable, mainly because, duh, he never existed. I am wondering....you seem to spend a fair amount of time at church...do they have remedial reading/spelling classes there? Maybe you should look into those.

      June 3, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • the real JC

      "CHANCES ARE THAT OUR GENERATION JUST MIGHT BE ALIVE WHEN IT DOES HAPPEN BUT NO ONE REALLY KNOWS WHEN IT WILL OCCUR BUT I AM CERTAIN AND WITHOUT DOUBT THAT IT WILL AS ALL OTHER PREDICTICED EVENTS OF THE BIBLE"-
      Maybe you should start working for CNN. They need a good story. You might want to work on your delivery though. Nobody likes to hear that they "may or may not" get stricken by some freaky life-ending event without a due date. Come on, bible, give us a date!!!

      June 3, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Excuse me... I think your caps lock is stuck...

      June 3, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  4. the real JC

    I would find any Steven King novel more believable that any of the ridiculous fairy tales in the bible. Just sayin'

    June 3, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • BrownSugarmama

      I HOPE THAT THOSE OF US WHO ARE TAKEN WITH THE RAPTURE WILL BE ABLE TO SEE YOU FOOLS. BOY THE LOOKS ON YOUR POOR LITTLE FACES WILL BE PRICELESS. YOU WONT BE ABLE TO BLOG SO YOU BETTER REMEMBER WHERE TO FIND SOME OF THESE BOOKS AND MOVIES.

      June 3, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • johnfrichardson

      Christian love on display once again. In other contexts, it's called sadism.

      June 3, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  5. tony

    Religious folk here believe that the Egyptians were wrong to believe in Ra, the Romans wrong to believe in Zeus, the Hindus wrong to believe in Shiva, and so on, but they are right to believe in Jehova.

    Well that make such sense . . .

    June 3, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • i'm kidding

      You mean Ra is not god? But I believe in him. I have given over all of my sins to Ra and have been told that Ra will cleanse me. I live every day according to Ra. If Ra is not god, life is meaningless. Ra. Ra, Ra, RA!!!!

      June 3, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  6. Inquisition

    Save the world... kill a religious zealot.

    June 3, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Oh, because we care about your soul and that if you don't repent to Jesus for all your sins that you know of or are clueless that are even sins, ask Him that you can get closer to Him, and of course, sin no more ... we're the bad guys? Yes, makes perfect nonsense from a fool of this world.

      June 3, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • tony

      Hi Heaven. How's the justification for the mass slaughtering Tsunamis being the work of a loving god, coming?

      June 3, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  7. tony

    Just another cargo cult belief blog author who invents religious meaning in anything, especially where facts obviously say otherwise.

    June 3, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Actually, it's your team of non-believers that twist and contort truth. You believe others think and conduct themselves the same as you. If that were true, humanity would not exist ... even tho you fools are trying your best to destroy it. But, we know the truth, your best isn't good enough.

      June 3, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • tony

      Hi Heaven. How is the justification for the mass slaughtering Tsunamis being the work of a loving god, coming?

      June 3, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • the real JC

      Hi Heaven!
      I hear you know Jesus.
      Can you introduce us? He owes me some money and a would very much like to kick his ass.

      June 3, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  8. CHRIS

    REALLY, PEOPLE . WHY MUST YOU CONTINUE . FAIRY SHUOLD TALES STOP IN KINDRGARTEN. IF YOU FEAR AND DONT HAVE THE INTELLECT TO USE RATIONAL THINKING , JUST PLEASE READ A BOOK. ANY BOOK. ONE THAT WILL GET YOU OFF THAT -- DAMN PORTABLE DEVICE.

    June 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Oh Well . . .

      Well, I guess there eventually had to be an all-caps bad-spelling atheist to offset all the religious all-caps bad-spellers.

      June 3, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Alex

      Leave the overuse of caps lock to the web evangelists. Anyway, what portable device are you talking about exactly? I do most of my reading these days on a portable device due to the convenience of ebooks.

      June 3, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Chris, it's funny that you non-believers all use the same language when describing your hatred for Jesus, then claim that your the free thinkers of the world ... LOL. Jesus had it scribed that you are the fools of this world.

      June 3, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Blake Honeywell RibenBeans

      It is totally impossible to hate what you don't believe in. Do you hate Shiva? Of course not. Are you angry at Shiva? Pretty ridiculouos, isn't it?

      If it is so obvious in that case, how can you possibly believe that we hate or are angry at Jesus, who to us is every bit as implausable and non-existant as Shiva.

      June 3, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  9. tony

    Blissful ignorance may make you happy, at least for a short while. Willful ignorance may give you religious belief.

    June 3, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  10. Marie

    BURIED in the middle of the article:

    “I’m not a proselytizer, and I hate organized religion. I think it’s one of the roots of real evil that’s in the world. If you really unmask Satan, you’ll probably find that he’s wearing a turnaround collar.”

    June 3, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Frustratedtexan

      Yep and of course below that the author states "the best way, though, to understand King’s faith is not through his words, but through his stories. There are at least three biblical themes that run through them."

      In other words, don't pay any attention to what King actually says but what religious kooks tray and tell you what he means in his writings.

      June 3, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  11. WERZOMBIES Press

    Reblogged this on WERZOMBIES PRESS and commented:
    What a sweet article!

    June 3, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  12. NorthropP61

    The "themes" in the Bible are those that were common to mankind even before Christianity, so it's no surprise if authors continue to use them. Blake seems determined to force King's use of these themes to prove his [Blake's] own point.

    I agree with King. Organized religion has tortured, burned and otherwise slaughtered anyone who disagrees with doctrine. Nothing is more dangerous than a group of fanatics who think that they're doing the work of a vengeful diety. That the "disgusting thing standing in the holy place" is organized religion which detours people away from using their free will to either forge their own relationship with God, or choose not to, is obvious to anyone not blinded by the churchs' (artificial) light.

    June 3, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Abinadi

      The reason you have the liberty to express your fantastic views at all is because you live in a Christian nation and Christians are incredibly tolerant. You wouldn't get away with the things you say in a Moslem country, or an atheist one.

      June 3, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • tallulah13

      The founding fathers wisely separated church and state when they created the government of the United States. Religious groups in this country have tried to stifle free expression in music, literature and books, but the First Amendment of the Const/itution protects free speech, as well as the freedom to worship (or not worship) as you will. Until christians succeed in overthrowing our government and destroying the very freedom which made us strong, we are a secular nation.

      June 3, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Whoops. Literature and books are the same thing (sort of). What I meant to say was literature and the creative arts.

      June 3, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Abinadi

      The reason the founding fathers were so "wise" is because they were inspired.

      June 3, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • seancarey88

      @Abinadi I am so sorry you are very wrong the only reason is because we live in a secular nation that is tolerant of all beliefs. Also if you are going to make an ignorant comment please use the proper spelling its "Muslim".

      June 3, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • AK

      The only cultural paradigm that has tortured and killed more people in a short period of time than organized religion is organized atheism.

      June 3, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Sir Craig

      Abinadi:
      "The reason you have the liberty to express your fantastic views at all is because you live in a Christian nation and Christians are incredibly tolerant. You wouldn't get away with the things you say in a Moslem country, or an atheist one."

      #1, the United States is not a Christian nation. Its laws are secular in nature, and each time a law has been introduced that was based on purely religious principles it has been declared null and void in the courts, so wrong there. #2, I have seen all kinds of examples of Christian "tolerance," and there is little to no difference between Christians and Muslims in that regard. If you think Christians are tolerant, I suggest you look up the definition again.

      And #3: There is NO atheist country. If you are thinking of communist regimes, that is vastly different. You might want to look at northern European countries like Sweden, whose religiosity is greatly reduced, to see what a country approaching atheistic looks like. They are very open and tolerant of personal expression (but that might be what actually scares you).

      June 3, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • abinadi is all wrongy

      What America are you living in? I cringe when I hear you describe this country, MY country, as a Christian nation. I can imagine that your beliefs are of utmost importance in your bunker in Utah. Meanwhile the rest of us educated, free-thinking beings, have better things to do.

      June 3, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Jn

      "secular nation that is tolerant of all beliefs"

      ...then why do you exclude ("ignorant") Christians? Your argument only works when you actually do accept everyone... were now not dealing with ignorance but hypocrisy.

      June 3, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Alex

      @AK But I doubt very many people have actully been killed in the name of atheism.

      June 3, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • bobcat

      Secular religons have proved much more deadly than any organized religion. Rather it was Nazism, Facism or Communism, those who have put their faith whole heartidly into man and man made utopia manged to slaughter more innocents than all of the religions in history...and it only took them half a century to do it. Your logic is oversimplified and grasps ignorantly to cherry picked facts outside of a proper historical perspective. You are merely following the blind faith of hummanism and what is more tragic is your self perception of intelligence. I have read far more history books than I have read the bible... and those that point to the murderousness of religion lack the knowledge to back such a claim.

      June 3, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • johnfrichardson

      @Abinadi, Christians have been fairly effectively cowed into a sort of grudging tolerance by secular humanism and other enlightenment principles that are the true bedrock of modern civilization.

      June 3, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • johnfrichardson

      Communism is and was atheistic, but it shared with Christianity an unwavering faith in its own unique rightness, a right that justified all wrongs. Atheists overstate the case when they accuse organized religion of all or the bulk of humanity's true mass evils, but organized religion forms a natural class with other fanatical belief systems that demand unwavering faith in absolutes.

      I do believe that some "aggressive atheists" are indeed a threat to a truly secular society. But fear not. When you hear that the fastest growing segment of the population is non-believers, that does not refer to Dawkins acolytes. It refers to casual non-believers and people who believe in things outside the structure of organized religion and its doctrines. These people really are harbingers of a better future in a way that aggressive atheists are not.

      June 3, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Yeah

      Please explain how "aggressive atheists" are a threat to secular society? First describe what an "aggressive atheist" is, because all I have seen is people stating their opinions and occasionally ensuring the Constitution is obeyed . . . which is nothing I would consider aggressive.

      June 3, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  13. Mrs. Katz

    King should most emphatically pen a horror novel about the Royal Family.............

    June 3, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • NorthropP61

      Nah. He should take on those holier-than-thou Babptist preachers who loudly condemn all the things they're doing in private and all the while misleading the flock. Wolves in sheep's clothinng personified. Hired men. Millstones.

      June 3, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  14. ...a laurel and hardy handshake....

    ...all work and no play...........................

    June 3, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  15. Worship Poseidon

    Nearderthal never existed. The earth is only 10,000 years old. Out of the infinite number of planets in the solar system, the one true god, who happens to be white, is centered around earth. Dinosaurs lived alongside modern humans. If you don't believe what I say you will go to a designated place when you die to be tortured for eternity. Makes sense.

    June 3, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Mrs. Katz

      I truly believe that the evolutionists casted moulds of fossils and sprinkled them around the globe..............

      June 3, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • NorthropP61

      Don't laugh. The wife of a man my son worked with believed that stuff and taught it to her poor little children. Then (no lie) she ran off with a guy she met in church.

      June 3, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  16. AuntiChrist

    i'm glad that priest admits the Bible is a "novel". If you make outrageous claims, you better have outrageous evidence to back them up, or you're just another raving nutcase.

    June 3, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  17. Handy

    Silly article. King's daughter is actually a minister. The article should have been written about her instead.

    June 3, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • AuntiChrist

      LOL, I'll bet it's easy to believe in god when you're raised by a multi-millionaire!

      June 3, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Adam

      The Bible actually says explicitly that it is harder for the rich. Dont blame the Bible, blame wicked men.

      June 3, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • the real JC

      Yes! The rich are the real ones suffering! Thank you so much, Adam. I was seething in my heels just thinking about the wicked poor! Leave us out of it!!

      June 3, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  18. CNN_and_FoxNetwork_is_anti_God

    Don't fall into CNN or Fox Network lies, they don't care about God or your eternal salvation, just posting something so Ungodly like this is so Bad, (listen...Get close to Christ the redeemer of mankind) don't get into foolish arguments like this, Hollywood and all media is just the tipping point of the iceberg of something more evil happening, and to believers: get your doctrine straight and don't defend the works of this man (Stephen King) he is not giving glory to God with his live and work, there's many men of God that need your support that really give glory to God.

    June 3, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      (listen...Get close to an invisible spirit creature no one can prove exists that I claim is the redeemer of mankind) don't get into foolish arguments like this...

      June 3, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • AuntiChrist

      Here's the list:
      Jimmy Swaggart
      Jim and Tammy Fay Baker
      Robert Tilton
      Ted Haggard
      Eddie Long
      And every Catholic priest currently inside an altar boy

      June 3, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • NorthropP61

      I believe you're sincere - just sincerely wrong.

      June 3, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • CNN is biased and Christian bashers

      Here's an even longer list:
      Betty Greene
      George Muller
      David Livingstone
      Billy Graham
      Amy Carmichael
      Nate Saint
      Hudson Taylor
      Jim Eliott
      Eric Liddell
      Who is helping the poor today, Aunti? Are you?

      June 3, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • AuntiChrist

      Take a look at the private residences of the people on your list and I think you'll find that they're helping themselves.

      June 3, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • CNN is biased and Christian bashers

      Way to pass the buck, Aunti. lol
      Most of the people on that list died in a country not their own helping others. I suppose you must be speaking of Billy Graham. Do you have any idea how much time and money he has given to the poor in his lifetime? Or do you just pretend. The dude's 91, is he not allowed to live out his days in a comfortable house? Tell me how comfortable you are? Are you cool right now in you comfy house with a fridge full of food passing judgement on others to make you and your lack of hope seem better in your own head? Go do something useful, aunti.

      June 3, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • AuntiChrist

      All of those people helped others for selfish reasons. That is, to go to their imaginary heaven. Doing work for infinite reward isn't very altruistic, CNN_and_FoxNetwork_is_anti_God. I would think the Atheists that do good in the world for good's sake, with no hope of reward, are far more laudable and deserving of praise.

      June 3, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • CNN is biased and Christian bashers

      who are they? You??
      And I am not CNN_and_FoxNetwork_is_anti_God, although it seems like we hold the same view. I am not the one who started this thread nor the one who started throwing out lists. So go ahead, make you list of all those atheist givers of good for goodness sakes.....

      June 3, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • CNN is biased and Christian bashers

      And Christians are not doing good things to get to heaven. They are doing good things so that when someone asks, "Why do you want to help the poor and needy?", they can say that they do it to show that God loves everyone and has commanded His believers to help and give and sacrifice for the Glory of God. It is so arrogant of you to presume that all those on that list did it for selfish reasons. I hope you can see that.

      June 3, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • ?

      It is no longer okay to call people retarded, right?

      June 3, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  19. Mrs. Katz

    Oh look! Richard Dawson died.

    June 3, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      Survey says?!?!? Who???

      June 3, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Bob Crane

      I really wish Dawson hadn't intorduced me to John Carpenter.

      June 3, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Mrs. Katz

      I wish Karen Carpenter had eaten more.........

      June 3, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  20. KC

    I, myself, prefer Dean Koontz.

    June 3, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Bob Loblaw

      You said that on page one, and it meant nothing there either.

      June 3, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • KC

      Maybe not to you, Bob. Your remark means nothing, either.

      June 3, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • KC

      Oh, and Bob–thanks for reading my comment twice and commenting on it! Shows it means something to you!

      June 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Bascombe

      Bob made me laugh. 1 point to Bob

      June 3, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
Advertisement
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.