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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. ShawnDH

    Stephen King is a good liberal, just like Jesus was.

    June 4, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  2. Brad Snow the World's greatest horror writer

    One of Robert Bloch's better quotes ... Stolen??? by Mr. King???????

    June 4, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Brad Snow the World's greatest horror writer

      Stephen King a Christian? ... nah.

      June 4, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  3. Dangerkittie

    I'm absolutely shocked that no reference to his Opus Magnum, "The Gunslinger/Dark Tower" series was not mentioned. I have always thought that King had an eye for Christianity given the themes he uses. Love Stephen King, love him love him love him!!

    June 4, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  4. Jim in PA

    Anyone who has read Stephen King's work knows that he does have a fairly "liberal" Christian angle to many of his stories. But before Christians try to claim him as their own, they should also realize he is admantly against fundamentalists (read "The Mist") and is quite outspoken against the social conservatives in the Republican Party.

    June 4, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Dangerkittie

      That's a very broad statement there, when you claim that "Christians" need to think before they claim him as their own because King is an anti-fundie – you're making quite the claim there that sounds quite like all Christians are fundamentalists so King can't be one of "us." You may be as guilty of fundamentalist thinking as those you're denouncing (PS, we don't all look the same).

      June 4, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • dan

      As a christian "claiming him as their own" is the farthest thing from my mind. The man, via his writings, exudes gruesome, demonic depravity. He is about as polar opposite of Jesus as one can get.

      June 4, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  5. Nii

    to call the whole Bible a myth is to make a sad mistake. in fact only the first three chapters have been seen as definite myths by all scholars! As to the purity of its science it is undisputably the best Psychoanalytic text ever written and any good Psychologist or Psychitrist will confess this!

    June 4, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "to call the whole Bible a myth is to make a sad mistake. in fact only the first three chapters have been seen as definite myths by all scholars!"

      Name the scholars, cite your sources.

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

      DOES BIEBER KNOW ABOUT THIS

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

      Then name some. And some apologetic person that would agree with the bible on anything. I'm speaking about people who would agree with your assertion regardless of religion or anything like that.

      June 4, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Then name some. And NOT some apologetic person that would agree with the bible on anything. I'm speaking about people who would agree with your assertion regardless of religion or anything like that.

      June 4, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • fred

      HawiiGuest
      Ok, there is Dr. Luke a trained physician from Alexandria. Dr. Luke is best known for his Gospel of Luke and most likely the book of Acts.

      June 4, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      1) So you don't think a "supposed" writer of one of the gospels and some other books of the bible would just agree with things in there since it is his faith?
      2) Do you really think a physician from more than 1500 years ago has anything resembling the understanding of the human mind that we do now?

      June 4, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Dangerkittie

      That's a stupid comment. When the word "all" is used to modify a noun in these types of instances, the content is immediately – and rightly – suspect.

      June 4, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • fred

      Hawii Guest
      Direct answer to your post:
      => June 24, 2008 by Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D. in How of Happiness
      I begin with a bit of self-disclosure. I don’t have a religious or spiritual bone in my body. (Yes, maybe even less than Richard Dawkins
      “a growing body of psychological science is suggesting that religious folks are happier, healthier, and recover better after traumas than nonreligious ones.”

      June 4, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • fred

      Hawii Guest
      As to Luke I do not think we have much to go on except what is found In the Bible. Luke would be more than a little bias.
      Luke would need to go back to school if it has been 1500 years since he last practiced. “And there was a woman who for eighteen years had had a sickness caused by a spirit; and she was bent double, and could not straighten up at all.” Luke would have used prayer and fasting to drive out the cause (demon) which is not approved so much in today’s wards. On the other hand we do not use high voltage shock as much today either. Psychology has improved

      June 4, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • If horses had Gods ... their Gods would be horses

      Religious believers may very well be happier (ignorance is bliss comes to mind) but that still does not make religion any more real than human emotion.

      June 4, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • fred

      If Horses were Gods
      In your case it would be the mane point. What you hold onto the tightest is your reality. I hold onto Christ because of what God did for me and without that personal experience I would be riding your horse bareback. Is what you believe anymore real than what I believe? We both carry out our lives based on our true belief and how we conduct ourselves may or may not be that much different. Our belief will guide us on our journey much like a horse. You need a mane to hold onto I need Christ.

      Big difference is Christ feeds me and you feed your horse. When your horse dies the journey may be over or just beginning……………………………….either way destiny here we come !

      June 4, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      So you admit he would be biased to agree wholly with the bible and write accordingly if he even did write anything for it, as well as the fact that he was a "physician" way back when means absolutely nothing.

      June 4, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • fred

      Hawii Guest
      Luke’s non Jewish background gave him a different view. The Romans would not have thought him more than slaves while the Greeks a Philosopher perhaps. In his time and by his writings we see the historian side also. Not much specific medical advice.
      The Bible gives a road map on how to live your life and those that follow experience joy. Consider Paul thinking that a beating and such was pure Joy.

      June 4, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      And yet there are people, like me, who live lives full of joy without the bible, and not following many of its tenants. The bible has some good advice, but it also has a lot of bad advice, justified through divine edict. You don't need the bible to live well.

      June 4, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • fred

      Hawaii Guest
      That is one of the mysteries of the Bible. Certainly you can live well without the Bible. It is almost the reverse question of why God allows the good to die or suffer horrid fates. We can point to those occasions where great growth came from hardship yet this world does not run the way we think it should. The Bible points in the direction that people get it wrong and only God knows what is right.

      June 4, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • fred

      Hawaii Guest
      Just as you would not use Luke’s advice on how to treat appendicitis there is some advice that only applies to a certain peoples or time. What is a piece of advice from the Bible you would call bad advice?

      June 4, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      The sacking of cities for their non-belief, the stoning of multiple peoples because they do not conform to what you want, or what it is said that god wants. Slavery in any form, eating things cooked over burning human feces (Ezekiel 4:12), any form of healing that does not include trained medical professionals. Let me know if you want more.

      June 4, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • fred

      Hawaii Guest
      “The sacking of cities for their non-belief”
      =>That applied to cities that would have perverted the Chosen Ones of the Old Testament. This is about Israel remaining separate and holy before a Holy God. Jesus said allow the tares to grow with the wheat until the final harvest when the Angel of the Lord will separate the good from the bad.
      “the stoning of multiple peoples because they do not conform to what you want”
      =>Since Christ we are under the Holy Spirit that leads to all truth. When they went to stone the women caught in adultery Jesus stopped it and said to her “neither do I condemn you now go and sin no more”
      “Slavery in any form”
      =>Oh, so what the Hebrew were not slaves to Pharaoh? 90% of Americans are under economic slavery or servitude or worse yet under bondage as slaves to sin of various sorts. 26 million caught in $ex slavery today and the secular godless ones stand by. Would you be opposed to Christians taking a sword to these oppressors? You allow slavery today while Christians oppose it and actively push against today’s slavery.
      “ eating things cooked over burning human feces (Ezekiel 4:12)”
      =>symbolic to Israel to eating defiled food. This is prophecy regarding the The siege of Jerusalem nothing to do with us cooking our food.

      June 4, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • fred

      Hawaii Guest

      You continue to dodge the conclusion of the Bible. It does not matter if you believe it or not the question is are we talking about the same God and same Scripture. There is no way we can have a different ending if we read the same Scripture. In the end man and God are united eternally in Christ and that is Gods purpose for us and the reason why we exist. God does this because God wants to demonstrate perfect love and unity that is the image of God and the image God placed in us. We in Christ are like Him because we see all through Christ who is one with the Father. The reason why is that it is Gods nature to love and give out of the goodness and holiness that is God. Gods nature does not change because perfect goodness cannot improve upon itself.
      I am not asking if it makes sense or if it is a Fairy Tale or not. I am asking if this is how you see the conclusion of man according to the Bible.

      June 4, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      Ok so to you it's ok to annihilate entire cities if you don't like what they're doing? I noticed that you completely avoided the slavery thing by not so subtely pointing out other forms of modern day slavery (which I also don't agree with). Maybe you should try honesty instead of avoidance fred. You completely ignore the last part of my post, and you go with the whole "Christ, new covenant, blah blah blah" crap, but when it comes to things that you agree with in the old testament it's all well and good.

      June 4, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • fred

      Hawaii Guest
      Ok, Jesus did refer to the Old Text so we must address it. However, we need to be reading from the same page. Do you agree with the final destination where God is taking these "Chosen People"?

      June 4, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      I agree that it states in the bible that god will bring the people he chooses to paradise (i don't recall whether the word heaven was ever actually used). What's your point?

      June 4, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • fred

      Hawaii Guest
      My point is that according to the Bible Gods purpose is to bring a group of people to Paradise. If there is a God and this is Gods purpose then we must keep this theme / perspective /conclusion in mind when making assumptions about God and the Bible.
      Why does God bother to bring this group to Paradise? That same Bible says God does it because Gods core attribute is Love and unity. God wants us to be part of this ultimate culmination of existence.
      If this is the purpose and meaning of our existence the journey as shown through the Bible beginning with Adam can be seen in that light.
      So, Slavery: Slaves were the custom of the day when written and they were treated terribly by all of mankind that engaged in Slavery. The Hebrew were to separate themselves in many ways from the ways of the world. One of those ways was the proper treatment of others including slaves. The wording and rules regarding Hebrew treatment of slaves goes back 3,400 years. By today’s standards they sound harsh but back then it was bending over kindness……………..

      June 4, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      And yet, choosing merely a single portion of people as his "chosen ones" is not love and unity. Destroying other cultures is not "love and unity". Condemning his own creations is not "love and unity". You can attempt to spin the attrocities of your bible all you want, but the fact is that many horrible and evil acts are directly attributed to, or ordered, by that "loving" god. With the whole slaves thing, if slavery is wrong, as most people think today, then why didn't "god" tell his people not to own slaves?

      June 4, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • fred

      Hawaii Guest
      Your assertions and perceptions do not fit with the God whose purpose and nature we just established. On the slavery issue take careful note God does NOT put limits on goodness, kindness and all that which brings glory to God. I have already mentioned that the Hebrew treatment of slaves was the kindest for the day and time referred in the Bible. God puts no limits on this kindness but notice the warnings from God: ” For they are My servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold as slaves. You shall not rule over him with rigor, but you shall fear your God”
      Slavery 3,400 years ago was not the type we see in the African Slave trade to the U.S. Proper treatment was a must for a Holy people. God reminded them of the harsh treatment received in Egypt when they were slaves and that it was wrong to treat others / slaves in such a way. “Set my People Free” “I have taken you out of bondage………….etc. God condemns forced slavery: ““He who kidnaps a man and sells him, or if he is found in his hand, shall surely be put to death.”

      June 5, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • fred

      Hawaii Guest
      The rest of your arguments are based upon your plan of creation not Gods. Before you can go outside what the Bible says about God and Gods plan of creation we must agree on what God says. Again it does not matter if you believe it only that we agree on the plan as shown as being the plan. I believe we agree on Paradise and Gods end picture.
      Now, in the beginning God created ………………and saw it was very good and on the 7th day rested. As in the end we have the goodness of God reflected in creation at the beginning. It was very good and now God can rest in this goodness, we can rest in this goodness ………………..all good…..very good. Adam and Eve sitting fat and happy in unity with God where all is very good …………..can I hear a Kumba yawh !

      June 5, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      Jeez can you ever see anything beyond the happy little bubble you've put the bible in? When will you actually realize that it doesn't matter that slaves were treated somewhat better than we expect, they were still slaves! I find it completely amazing that you can rationalize away the divisive, and evil things in the bible with the ends justifying the means. You refuse to see that the "god" portrayed in the bible is not a loving just creature but a jealous, vengeful, vain, and evil being. And if you continue with that forced slavery thing, he's only talking about kidnapping other jews, he doesn't say anything about other people.
      You continually dodge the fact that the bible teaches hate and divisiveness, and rationalize anything that you don't like in the bible as the ends justify the means. I feel sorry for you fred, I really do.

      June 5, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • fred

      Hawaii Guest
      No, I am not rationalizing anything and will get to the hate, murder etc that is in the Bible. You can trust the Bible because it did not hold back the truth. This is the written view of the author that was closer to that time and place than you or I can ever be.
      So, back to the beginning, do you agree with the beginning as presented in my post?

      June 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      Why would I agree to a beginning that has no evidence?

      June 5, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • fred

      Hawaii Guest
      We are not agreeing or debating the truth, fiction or otherwise of the creation story just reaching an understanding as to what it states. From my previous post:
      “, in the beginning God created ………………and saw it was very good and on the 7th day rested. As in the end picture we have the goodness of God reflected in creation at the beginning. It was very good and now God can rest in this goodness, we can rest in this goodness ………………..all good…..very good. Adam and Eve sitting fat and happy in unity with God where all is very good”
      Ok?

      June 5, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      I would contest that all was not good, since there obviously was a serpent there to tempt Eve, unless of course the serpent came later, in which case other objections can be made, but either way in a literal biblical sense yes it was all good in the garden.

      June 5, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • fred

      Hawaii Guest
      Yes, before the serpent event. I ended with chapter 2 of Genesis before the fall “The man and his wife were both naked and they felt no shame.”
      So, we understand God created a very good place for unity between creator and creation in the beginning. We understand God has prepared a very good place for unity between creator and creation on an eternal time line (paradise). Regardless of what happens in the story God and purpose are the same from beginning to end. Gods goodness is reflected from beginning to end. The goodness does not get any better as the goodness and God never changes.

      June 5, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      But apparently it did change, and on that note, why would god not take steps to prevent the fall of man if he knew about it later, since that will be an objection of mine and you typically characterize god as an all-knowing being.

      June 5, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • fred

      Hawaii Guest
      “But apparently it did change”
      =>nothing changed about God. God is the same in the beginning as in Paradise, holy and eternal. In unity with God there is no evil as God is goodness (from beginning to end for all eternity). In the beginning God separated the light from the darkness. The creation turned away from the pureness of God (light) towards darkness (knowledge of good and evil). Evil was present man could not see it, be touched by it or have knowledge of it while in the presence of God.
      The Bible story beginning with the first kind of man is a repeti-tive journey of man choosing to be outside the presence of God against Gods warning and denying the consequence of this rejection. Over time the likes of Noah show up that follow God or find favor in the eyes of the Lord. We are as in the flood story given a strong symbolic picture of how God cares and protects Noah bringing his family to safety. We also see harsh judgment on those who reject God. This is the simple reality of man without God in full view for all to see.

      “why would god not take steps to prevent the fall of man”
      =>It is a pattern in the Bible for God to allow creation to reject Gods goodness. Since God is all knowing provision is made for the rejection prior to the rejection. In the beginning God separated the light from the darkness (death, existence without God). Note a place was already waiting in advance for creation that would reject goodness. In addition the tree of life was put in the Garden in the beginning. What ever choice creation made there was a provision for eternal life or death. An all knowing God provided all possible solutions regardless of the choice made by the creation.
      Choice was allowed to reveal and refine where we truly belong. Adam and Eve were fat dumb and happy until their nakedness was revealed.

      June 6, 2012 at 2:24 am |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      Wow you literally had the exact same non answer for both points that you decided to respond to. Congratulations, this is going to go absolutely nowhere, because you will not see that something being all knowing excludes any precept of free will, and that wrath is a mutually exclusive concept to something being all good or benevolent. Also you say there is no evil with unity with "god", yet rejection of god is supposedly evil, so by your own logic, man could not have chosen evil (in the form of eating a freaking fruit!) while in unity with god in the garden as you say. If rejection of god is not necessarily "evil", then why is it a hell worthy trespass? Everything that you propose has so many holes and logical inconsistencies, it amazes me that you can even believe what you say.

      June 6, 2012 at 3:08 am |
    • fred

      Hawaii Guest
      I was not adding logic to what is stated only responding according to what the Bible actually says. Our estimate of what God did or said is a different issue from what was supposedly stated in the Bible.
      “you will not see that something being all knowing excludes any precept of free will”
      =>So one parent buys a house in a quiet neighbor hood and warns the children not to cross the street or they will surly die. Another parent buys a house on a busy expressway and warns the children not to cross the street or they will surly die. Did we remove the free will of any children? If I was all knowing and knew the child would not get hit but warned the child anyway how has the free will of that child been affected? If I knew the child would get hit and die yet gave nothing more than a standard warning how has free will been changed by warning or lack thereof?

      “wrath is a mutually exclusive concept to something being all good or benevolent”
      =>no, that would go against the Righteous wrath of a loving God which is recorded in the Bible. A burning true love reacts out of love against that which would harm the object of love. Wrath is not a foundational attribute of God but love and goodness are the foundations of God. Goodness could not override justice or turn its head from evil without being unjust.
      Consider the long suffering of God (patient to wait for repentance) as he allows what seems forever that a sinner would turn so as to be saved.
      God so loved the world he gave his only begoten Son.

      June 6, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      You're just making special cases for your god, sorry but just because you believe in god doesn't change the action or the word. If a god can know what will happen beforehand, then free will to choose is an illusion because what you choose is already set. Vengence is not a loving act, it is an act of anger. Wrath is not a loving act, it is an act of anger. Nothing can be all loving and wrathful or vengeful.

      June 6, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • fred

      Hawaii Guest
      “free will to choose is an illusion because what you choose is already set”
      =>no, first of all we are speaking of the God as shown in the Bible. The Bible makes it clear it is our choice God can and will allow circu-mstances into our lives that help or hinder that choice. This does not impact free will. You seem to have some idea that free will means complete and total freedom of some kind that has never existed for man (God or no god). Just being confined to this planet limits your free will. A free range turkey has the illusion of being free range but it still survives inside a fence and gets eaten at thanksgiving. Second the Bible shows God in anyplace anytime at will “omnipresence”. This attribute allows God to claim I knew you before I knit your bones together in the womb and to say for those who are born again they were predestined. This predestination is from Gods perspective not ours.
      “ Vengence is not a loving act, it is an act of anger.”
      =>stick to the Bible as the Gods anger is not like our human anger and Gods vengeance is not like our human vengeance. Our anger and vengeance is of evil whereas God is from Righteousness and justice. Much of the vengeance is actually evil creating its own evil upon itself.

      “ Wrath is not a loving act, it is an act of anger. Nothing can be all loving and wrathful or vengeful.”
      =>in that case there is no justice, no right and no wrong. Perhaps you are confused with the Wrath of Kaun (spelling it was the star trek guy who was out to kill Kirk) That wrath is not loving. When God separates evil and darkness this is out of love for good and creation of Paradise. When a farmer clears a field to plan corn he is not doing it with wrath and anger.

      June 6, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      Again, special pleading after special pleading. When you come back with something logical, then I'll respond. Until then, there's no point, since you're commiting a logical fallacy constantly.

      June 6, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • fred

      Hawaii Guest
      Well it is back to school for you then because it is you that is guilty of special pleading by showing examples that God is wrathful, vengeful and angry. You are the one that cannot see the foundation of God is goodness and love. Taking a few verses regarding wrath, vengeance and anger out of context then using those exceptions in an attempt to redefine God to your liking is not only a logic error but intentional twisting.

      June 7, 2012 at 1:29 am |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      OMFG are you really so incapable of seeing that wrath and vengeance are not loving acts? Are you truly so incapable of even the slightest independent moral thought? Are you also so incapable of seeing your special pleading for your god? Do you condone vengeance or wrath in others? Would you think it just if someone took revenge on you for a wrong against them? You continually go against same se.x marriage, so would you think it is okay for them to take revenge on you for that? Isn't wrath one of the seven deadly sins? Your view on what is good and loving are horribly skewed, and I can only hope that you regain some sense of humanity, instead of rationalizing away deeds you would consider bad to make it okay for your "god" to do it. Situational ethics and special pleading at its finest in you.

      June 7, 2012 at 1:59 am |
    • fred

      Hawaii Guest
      In revelations Jesus is pictured on a great horse in a flowing white robe. That robe is dipped in blood and with the saints behind him justice is coming to the damned. Justice demands an accounting from evil or there is no justice. If you somehow wish to believe there is no justice that is your opinion but it is not what is presented.
      Jesus is the one with the blood stained robe that will render judgment. This is the same Jesus that was mocked, beaten and nailed to the cross. Mel Gibson did a good job reflecting the image of Christ on the cross. The Bible does a much better job “father forgive them for they know not what they do”. “For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
      What you see is a clear presentation of what man does to God yet you are drawn to the pending justice and put a cover over that to see only an angry horse coming your way. Think hard about your twisted vision of God because it reveals your heart. The judgment in the first paragraph is a picture of victory and victorious love of Christ who shed His blood that all may have victory over death.
      Luke 23:39-43 shows a clear simple picture where the criminal on the left mocks God while the other sees the goodness of God. Jesus says to one “Today you will be with me in Paradise” to the other only silence.
      What an angry God we serve !

      June 7, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      Vengeance is not justice, wrath is not justice! You are so far gone in your world of rationalizations. Why don't you answer my damn post directly instead of ireelevant drivel from your unholy book of immorality. Or are you incapable of that as well?

      June 7, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • fred

      Hawaii Guest
      We were addressing God as revealed in the Bible not as man would want God to be. Mans vengeance, anger and wrath are not Gods way. This has nothing to do was special pleading for God simply express representations from the Bible itself. You continue to draw conclusions and ideas that are not biblical and wish a dialogue that is rooted in darkness. That dialogue can only at best result in a godless conclusion.

      June 7, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      Obviously you don't what the hell special pleading is. Your making seperate rules and moralities for your god, and that's complete cr.ap. You've set up a little system for yourself where god can do whatever because he's god, well guess what that's totalitarian and an unjust system. I don't really give a sh.it what you say anymore fred, you will never regain the humanity that you've lost with this flawed and immoral way of thinking, and I can only hope that you never gain a position where you can influence others into this horrid system you'v built of faulty logic, fear based control, and totalitarianism.

      June 7, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • fred

      Hawii Guest
      “ Your making seperate rules and moralities for your god, and that's complete cr.ap.”
      =>spoken like a true atheist ! You actually think God should mold to your way of thinking rather than accept what God has expressly stated as being required of man. It is sad that you have fallen into the trap thinking that your own intelligence and thoughts are on par with God. If it helps you out any the detail design of dark matter is 10 to the power of 97 times greater than our best scientists today could achieve. I know you believe that in perhaps a billion years man will be intelligent enough to approach that level of precision but that requires a big assumption. It requires you to believe that given enough time you will be like God. Interesting you claim there is no God yet you believe you can achieve the likeness of God.

      “If you You've set up a little system for yourself where god can do whatever because he's god, well guess what that's totalitarian and an unjust system.”
      God can do anything and it is Gods plan Gods creation. If God wants to separate goodness from all else that is up to God. There is nothing unjust with Gods creation in the beginning and nothing unjust in Paradise. Your complaint is about what you think has happened in the middle. Gods purpose was very good in the beginning and very good in an eternal Paradise where is the injustice in that?
      In view of everything the Bible has to offer you chose to seek out something that was not very good. Worse yet you do not seem to like a plan that begins very good and ends very good. In addition you intentionally choose to reject that which is good in the face of explicite warnings of the consequences.

      “this horrid system you'v built of faulty logic, fear based control, and totalitarianism.”
      =>you cannot see the fine difference between totalitarianism and “giving your life to Christ”, “dying to self” ? I is only in Christ that we live. Based on your statement you confirm what your existence is absent of Christ “fear based control and totalitarianism.” Personally I have no fear in Christ and if you view unity with God where everything God desires is my desire as being totalitarianism that is what is sad.
      If you were to marry according to the Bible your body is no longer yours but belongs to your wife and your wife’s body belongs to you. Are you both totalitarian or one as God intended ?

      June 7, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      I guess you don't know what totalitarionism is either. I never claimed the "likeness of god" or knowledge on par with god because I don't think he even exists. So stop trying to twist my words around to fit your little bubble of a world.
      I reject a claim that is wholly unsupported through any kind of evidence, such as your constant assertions that the bible is true or that your god exists! And even if it was proven on both those things, I still wouldn't worship your god because the god you espouse is an immoral, controlling, vain piece of sh.it.

      "Based on your statement you confirm what your existence is absent of Christ “fear based control and totalitarianism.”"
      This is probably one of the most asinine statements you've given in this thread fred. How fu.cking dare you attempt this idiocy for your own self fullfilling peace of mind. You know NOTHING about my life, so don't even THINK about trying you ignorant little fool.

      June 7, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • fred

      fred

      Hawaii Guest
      “even if it was proven on both those things, I still wouldn't worship your god because the god you espouse is an immoral, controlling, vain piece of sh.it.”
      =>so you understand why God does not bother to show you the proof you demand as he refused the non believers 2,000 years ago (Sanhedrin demand proof but none is given but the sign of Jonah). Clearly if you look again you can see the contrast between the two types of people in this world (luke 23:39-43). Based on your statement you have confirmed that God is very just as he would never force you to worship or worse yet spend eternity in the presence of God (that would be hell yes?). You have also demonstrated how well Gods plan of making a way for souls inclined towards God actually works in real time.

      June 7, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      I posted a reply to the post you put on page 23.

      June 7, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
  6. Coolio

    God doesn't let things happen – he causes things to happen. Can you imagine God saying, "oh, I wasn't expecting that. But that's ok, I'll let it happen."

    June 4, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Everything that happens is part of God's plan. Everything from a innocent man being killed to a child being beat. They are tested with fire as we all are.

      Amen.

      June 4, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @HeavenSent

      Then you don't believe in free will then.

      June 4, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  7. pmmarion

    I've always said that the bible is a wonderful piece of historical fiction mixed in with a LOT of mythology.

    June 4, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Jim in PA

      I've always thought the New Testament is a fantastic moral guide. While aetheists obviously deride it, they often have great trouble finding much flaw with the teachnings of Jesus as they relate to the material world. Leviticus on the other hand....

      June 4, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • dan

      Let's hope your not as blatantly wrong in the other thing you always say.

      June 4, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Jim in PA,

      Atheists generally agree that many of the practical teachings attributed to Jesus are just ducky - thing is, though, they are not original nor unique to him. And it's the supernatural claims made by (or *said* to have been made by) him that are the problem, along with the unverified supernatural events purported in the NT.

      As for the OT - a bit of ancient Hebrew history, but a whole bunch of historical fiction, myth, legend, fantasy and superst.ition.

      June 4, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  8. AverageJoe76

    Also, why point King out? How many countless writers have infused religious themes and concepts into their material??

    June 4, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Because he has been one of the most compelling and successful novelists of the modern era.

      June 4, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Good point. If nothing else, the Bible is on the short list of the world's greatest literature. It's little doubt that numerous writers have either been influenced by or outright copied the themes therein

      June 4, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Actually, the Bible is quite poorly written. Judging from a literary standpoint, it isn't interesting at all. There are all sorts of continuity errors. There is way too much filler. The main characters aren't consistent in the way they behave. The style changes from book to book. It probably would never make the New York Times top 100 in any category.

      June 4, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Jay

      J. Strappe, World Famous Butt Sweat Rag, Your literary assesment of the Bible ignores that it has been translated through (not to mention written in) several languages, 19 centuries of opportunistic editing, more writers than can be reliably counted, vast political upheavals, and the Great Vowel Shift just to name a few of the influences that likely affected its 'continuity' and character behavioral consistency. And for someone who claims to fall asleep when reading, and not knowing anyone who reads Mr. King's work you have a lot of time to troll around a comments page on the subject. Strange way to show how unimportant this is, or is this more about how important you are?

      June 4, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      What are you talking about? I used to love reading Stephen King. I just don't have the time anymore. I was just pointing out I was not sure if there was still a huge fan base of Stephen King since I haven't heard anything about him in a while and people I know that used to read him, don't seem to read his work anymore. And yes, I do read CNN and the comment sections at work in my non-busy time at work. If I could bring books into work, I probably would.

      So you are saying the Bible is a flawed piece of literature? Good to know. I thought this was supposed to be the finished product, what God wanted people to live their lives based on and he couldn't be bothered to keep it as it originally was? Sounds like a great piece of literature.

      June 4, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      And for the record I'm kind of getting old so I tend to fall asleep whenever I sit for a long period of time no matter what it is I'm doing. I could be watching an action movie, reading a book, watching the news.

      June 4, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      I should actually rephrase that. I like to read while laying down because it hurts my neck if I try to do it sitting up. Any time I lay down, it's usually lights out.

      June 4, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  9. AverageJoe76

    Yeah, I see the horror in the Bible. So it wasn't a stretch for King.

    June 4, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Jay

      Yeah, you get it.

      June 4, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  10. Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

    I didn't know anybody still read Stephen King novels.

    June 4, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Interested48

      As often as possible. No one can develop a character like King.

      June 4, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      I can't even remember the last one I read, although I haven't had much time for reading lately. I really like reading but it seems like as soon as I sit down and get comfortable with a book, I fall asleep.

      June 4, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Jim in PA

      Maybe you confuse books with newspapers. One is discarded after the day it is published, the other is read for years and years.

      June 4, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      No Jim, I meant books. I also meant any of his new books. About 10-20 years ago people always talked about Stephne KIng. Now I never hear about anybody reading his new books.

      June 4, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  11. Fed Up

    I'm not sure if "gospel" and Stephen King belong in the same sentence – but, the man can write a horror novel. His views and politics are a bit off, but that's to be expected.

    June 4, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  12. dave harris

    1) Robert Bloch, author of 'Psycho', is the one who said 'I have the heart of a small boy and I keep it in a jar on my desk'. If King said it he is quoting Bloch.

    2) As for King's religious faith the article's writer needs to do a little more reading of King's books. While the old woman in 'The Stand' is not ridiculed King has written numerous characters whose religious people are protrayed as vile/crazy/naferioius(sp). The latest example (because it is the last book of his I bothered to read) was in The Cell, where a female character was written to appear unbalanced/crazy because she thought the end of the world was coming.

    No, King doesn't like religious people, nor conservatives nor Richard Nixon as his various cheap shots at them in his books proves.

    June 4, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Michele

      You are mistaken. Mr. King is a life long Christian and one of his children became a minister.

      June 4, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      @ Michele

      Anyone can label themselves Christians. The word itself originally means follower or imitator of Christ and it doesn't matter if that definition has morphed over time. Jesus Himself has said in Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."

      June 4, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  13. Michele

    Since when does writing genre fiction dictate your religion? There have been Christian horror writers, romance writers, mystery writers, etc. Mr. King has long been upfront in talking about the influence his Christian upbringing had on his work. And one of his kids is a minister. So exactly why should it be surprising to find he is a man of faith?

    June 4, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  14. just my 2 cents

    the TRUTH – Atheist – Theist
    By 2100 – when all of us in this forum die – we will know if God and devil exists or not so take your side.

    June 4, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Pascal's wager is a very flawed argument.

      June 4, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      @ Jacques

      Please explain thoroughly why or why not (not that I am a Pascal's Wager concept fan). Come on, give it your best shot.

      June 4, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      In order to take Pascal's wager, you have to be assuming you picked the correct god out of the thousands that have existed over the course of human history. Okay, so lets say you narrowed it down to Christianity, who says you picked the right denomination out of the thousands that have existed over the course of human history. Not only that, but when you take the wager, you are only serving god based on what he can win. Hopefully god looks kindly on that selfish kind of worship. If not, then oops. What if god is only going to save people based on their atti-tude toward life and how they treat other people? I think god would prefer a sincere person over a hypocritical servant. Mathematically you do not have a better chance at winning the wager than I do for not believing based on lack of evidence.

      June 4, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Sorry, that should read "based on what YOU can win".

      June 4, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      @ Jacques

      Thank you for the explanation, as most others would scoff and not reply. You are right in some respects, but there is one think we must consider, and it is that there is only ONE truth out there. There is no such thing as many truths, half-truths or my truth, your truth, his or her truth which boils down to relativism. There is only one truth and that one truth does not have many roads or else it would fall back to it being "many truths" again. The very term, concept and meaning of the word truth is exclusive and singular. Now, a BIG question emerges: What is Truth? The same question Pontius Pilate asked Jesus.

      YOU WROTE: "I think god would prefer a sincere person over a hypocritical servant."

      You are absolutely right. Don't just think this...believe it whole-heartedly. Jesus Himself put down religious hypocrites, who followed religious traditions and man-made laws and set them on a pedestal so to not obey God.

      June 4, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      But George, how can you know what the truth is? Your guess is as good as any other of the millions of different beliefs about god.

      June 4, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      @ Jacques – "how can you know what the truth is?"

      And that my friend is the zillion dollar question. Not to get too philosophical on you but there are a few prerequisites one MUST consider before looking for it (Truth that is). First, you must ask yourself or better yet, conclude if "Truth" and knowing it, matters or not(?). Second, you must also consider that Truth has its enemies, because if you conclude that there is Truth, you must inevitably conclude that there is such a thing as false. And thirdly, though Truth is also called 'reality', Does truth (for you) only require tangible evidence excluding all notion of faith(?).

      These points are certainly required to start somewhere when it comes to finding Truth.

      June 4, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  15. BoldGeorge

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

    This is the one very reason why Mr. King's novels and the Bible will never compare to each other. Novels are not reality but are works of fiction, unlike the Bible (doesn't matter if you believe this or not). To try to compare Mr. King's works and the works of God or to even try to hint that Mr. King was inspired by God's written revelation to mankind is just as absurd as the concept of theistic evolution.

    The Bible as a book may fall into these categories (but not limited to): History, Inspirational, Motivational, Moralistic, to some degree Scientific and of course Spiritual. But no other writing in the entire human history has ever influenced and transformed countless lives as the Bible has. The Bible has undoubtedly influenced cultures, traditions, behavior and given hope to so many.

    Though I agree that Mr. King is good at what he does and his work is proof of that, he does any christian accreditation, because he has not and will not ever lead anyone to Christ with his work....and that, my dear friends, is the point of the Bible.

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

      I meant to write "he CANNOT have any christian accreditation".

      June 4, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "The Bible as a book may fall into these categories (but not limited to): History,"

      The bible has been proven not to be an historical document.

      June 4, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "But no other writing in the entire human history has ever influenced and transformed countless lives as the Bible has. The Bible has undoubtedly influenced cultures, traditions, behavior and given hope to so many."

      Religious people find it very annoying that people don't need God to be good, as science has now incontestably proved.

      For millennia, we've been brainwashed into believing that we needed the Almighty to redeem us from an essentially corrupt nature. Left to our own devices, people would quickly devolve into beasts, more violent, tactless, aggressive, and selfish, than we already are.

      Today, we know that this isn't true. With the discovery of mirror neurons by Italian neuroscientist Giaccomo Rizzolatti in the 1990s, we now have physiological proof of why - and how - our species became hard-wired for goodness. Mirror neurons are miraculous cells in the brain whose sole purpose is to harmonize us with our environments. By reflecting the outside world inward, we actually become each other - a little bit; neurologically changed by what is happening around us. Mirror neurons are the reason that we have empathy and can feel each other's pain. It is because of mirror neurons that you blush when you see someone else humiliated, flinch when someone else is struck, and can't resist the urge to laugh when seeing a group struck with the giggles. (Indeed, people who test for "contagious yawning" tend to be more empathic.) These tiny mirrors are the key to most things noble and good inside us.

      It is through mirror neurons - not God - that we redeem ourselves, achieve salvation, and are "reborn" in virtuous ways once co-opted by religions. Evolution knew what she was doing. A group of successful cooperators has a much higher chance of thriving than a population of selfish liars. In spite of what we read in the headlines, the ratio of bad to good deeds done on any given day across our planet holds at close to zero any day of the year. Although we are ethical works-in-progress, the vast majority of us are naturally positive creatures - meaning not harmful to our environments - most of the time in most of the ways that matter. And God has nothing to do with it.

      Spirituality does but God doesn't. Evolutionary psychologists tell us that our brains are hard-wired with a five-toned moral organ that focuses on a quintet of ethical values - one of which is purity, or sacredness. In a world that can sometimes be disgusting, we evolved an upper tier of emotional longing - the aspiration for purity - to keep us balanced in this satyricon of carnal delights (where animality beckons and frequently wins). Our need for sacredness is part of our ancient survival apparatus, and manifests in what we call faith, the need to connect with that sacred dimension. This has been the primary purpose of religion, of course - to congregate people for the Greater Good - but God has been, in fact, the divine carrot. The important part was communion, a context in which to transcend ourselves, if only for an hour on Sundays. Without this ability "to turn off the Me and turn on the We," moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt tells us, our species would still be wandering around as groups of nomads, unable to create a civilization.

      Aside from mirror neurons, there's oxytocin, the molecule of connection (also known as the molecule of love). It's fascinating to learn that the vagus nerve produces more oxytocin when we witness virtuous behavior in others that makes us want to be better people ourselves. We are wired by nature to be elevated at the sight of other people's goodness, mirror neurons and oxytocin conspiring to improve the species. Miraculous though it is, this natural human phenomenon has nothing to do with theology.

      June 4, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      @ YeahWrong

      Who has proven this? I think you've said this more than once here. And it's interesting that most want proof for God and the Bible, but when it comes for you to provide proof, there is a hypocritical reply.

      June 4, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Asher

      Exodus never happened and the walls of Jericho did not come a-tumbling down.

      The Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land of Canaan in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the twelve tribes of Israel. Perhaps even harder to swallow is the fact that the united kingdom of David and Solomon, described in the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom.

      Jerusalem was essentially a cow town, not the glorious capital of an empire. These findings have been accepted by the majority of biblical scholars and archaeologists for years and even decades.

      The tales of the patriarchs – Abraham, Isaac and Joseph among others – were the first to go when biblical scholars found those passages rife with anachronisms and other inconsistencies. The story of Exodus, one of the most powerful epics of enslavement, courage and liberation in human history, also slipped from history to legend when archaeologists could no longer ignore the lack of corroborating contemporary Egyptian accounts and the absence of evidence of large encampments in the Sinai Peninsula ("the wilderness" where Moses brought the Israelites after leading them through the parted Red Sea).

      The famous battle of Jericho, with which the Israelites supposedly launched this campaign of conquest after wandering for decades in the desert, has been likewise debunked: The city of Jericho didn't exist at that time and had no walls to come tumbling down. These assertions are all pretty much accepted by mainstream archaeologists.

      Eventually as archaeological methods improved and biblical scholars analyzed the text itself for inconsistencies and anachronisms, the amount of the Bible regarded as historically verifiable eroded.

      June 4, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Who has proven this? I think you've said this more than once here. And it's interesting that most want proof for God and the Bible, but when it comes for you to provide proof, there is a hypocritical reply."

      Wow are you a LIAR – I have stated who proved it many times – The Smithsonian! Duh!

      June 4, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      @ YeahWrong

      "For millennia, we've been brainwashed into believing that we needed the Almighty to redeem us from an essentially corrupt nature."

      Two things regarding your above statement: 1) We are all brain-washed. We get all of our information from somewhere and someone. 2) I made a choice on which side to choose from being brain-washed by. I wasn't always a Christian. I came to know the God's Truth as an adult. The only worldview to offer hope I found in Scripture.

      Hope is what drives humanity to continue on and it most certainly doesn't evolve from anywhere nor is it found in any small compartment in your brain (don't let the docs fool you into thinking that). Hope is what determines how we will live our lives. That is why there are suicides, because some have lost or just have no hope...and some don't even know where to go to find it. Hope can only be found in the Bible.

      You also wrote: "Today, we know that this isn't true."

      Who is this "we"? Yes, there are many people 'today' that have no hope and don't believe in Scripture, but there are some who do. So don't think, talk and unbelieve for those who do think and believe in God, Christ His Son and His word....today. Besides, human history has always been the same in that respect of belief and unbelief. That's not something new.

      June 4, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Hope is what determines how we will live our lives. That is why there are suicides, because some have lost or just have no hope...and some don't even know where to go to find it. Hope can only be found in the Bible. "

      Now this is another lie. You can't even follow your own rule book. You don't need the bible to have hope. Duh! There are millions of people who have hope and don't believe in your bible. DUH!

      June 4, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      @ YeahWrong

      Smithsonian??? That is your proof? I thought you would've come up with something more prominent. Talk about brain-washing! They are basically the brain-washers of the world; not just 'a' brain-washer, but 'the' brain-washer. Hope you wake up buddy.

      June 4, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Smithsonian??? That is your proof? I thought you would've come up with something more prominent. Talk about brain-washing! They are basically the brain-washers of the world; not just 'a' brain-washer, but 'the' brain-washer. Hope you wake up buddy."

      LMAO Of course you offer no legitimate rebuttal with all your lies. LMAO! What a hypocrite.

      June 4, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • YeahRight

      ""Smithsonian??? That is your proof?"

      The world's largest museum and research complex, with 19 museums, 9 research centers and more than 140 affiliate museums around the world.

      June 4, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      @ Yeahwrong – "There are millions of people who have hope and don't believe in your bible. DUH!"

      Hope in what??? Buddy, I urge you to think about this very carefully. Don't let your pride, tradition, popular belief or your godly rebellion deter you from the hope of an everlasting life that can only be found in His word. That is the core message of Scripture, that we all fall short in reaching God's glory, but He loved us so much that He came to die for us so we will not have to carry that heavy burden which will eventually and undoubtedly condemn us. The very prideful way of thinking that you do not need anyone to save you because there is no reason to, is the very pride that keeps you and anyone from seeing God's message to us in the Bible.

      June 4, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Hope in what??? Buddy, I urge you to think about this very carefully. Don't let your pride, tradition, popular belief or your godly rebellion deter you from the hope of an everlasting life that can only be found in His word. That is the core message of Scripture, that we all fall short in reaching God's glory, but He loved us so much that He came to die for us so we will not have to carry that heavy burden which will eventually and undoubtedly condemn us. The very prideful way of thinking that you do not need anyone to save you because there is no reason to, is the very pride that keeps you and anyone from seeing God's message to us in the Bible."

      Dude your god doesn't exist, there is NO proof of your heaven or hell, the bible is just mythology stolen from other pagan religions of that time period and you've been brainwashed into a cult. If anyone needs to wake up it's YOU! Duh!

      June 4, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      @ Asher – "These assertions are all pretty much accepted by mainstream archaeologists."

      Popular belief is not that proof of anything and it doesn't get you anywhere but just more popularity, that's all. Look what popular belief did to Germany after WWII. Look what popular belief did to blacks when whole communities held them as slaves. Look what popular belief does to bullied kids in our schools. And the list goes on and on. And besides,the word 'mainstream' is sometimes used interchangeably with "selling-out" or "to compromise".

      June 4, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Popular belief is not that proof of anything and it doesn't get you anywhere but just more popularity, that's all. Look what popular belief did to Germany after WWII. Look what popular belief did to blacks when whole communities held them as slaves. Look what popular belief does to bullied kids in our schools. And the list goes on and on. And besides,the word 'mainstream' is sometimes used interchangeably with "selling-out" or "to compromise"."

      Yet YOU can't offer any proof that Asher was wrong in why the bible is NOT a historical book. LMAO! Nice twisting job no wonder you're a brainwashed xtian.

      June 4, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  16. Luke

    Mr. Blake, what the F? He's an admitted atheist and vehemently denounces organized religion. Please...do explain.

    June 4, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Know What

      Luke,

      It sounds like he's more of a Deist (an agnostic Deist):

      “I don't believe in any actual thinking God that marks the fall of every bird in Australia or every bug in India, a God that records all of our sins in a big golden book and judges us when we die – I don't want to believe in a God who would deliberately create bad people and then deliberately send them to roast in a hell He created-but I believe there has to be something”
      ― Stephen King, 2003

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

      King calls himself a Christian on his website, so you're wrong about him being an atheist. You're right that he doesn't like organized religion though.

      June 4, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Nii

      Deism is a Christian theology stupid! I don't believe in such a God either but it doesn't make me a Deist or Agnostic Xtian. Thomas Jefferson was a Deist Xtian and Einstein a Deist Jew. Worse off is the fct that in the 18th n 19th century Deism was the philosphy popular among educated Xtians!

      June 4, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Real Deal

      Chris,

      From his web site:

      Q. What is your religion?

      A. Answer: Stephen was raised as a Methodist and attended church regularly in his youth. He no longer attends church, but he does believe in God and reads the Bible. Tabitha, his wife, was raised as a Catholic.

      –http://www.stephenking.com/faq.html

      June 4, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • forwhateveritsworth

      This is the quote on his 'official' website: "Stephen was raised as a Methodist and attended church regularly in his youth. He no longer attends church, but he does believe in God and reads the Bible. Tabitha, his wife, was raised as a Catholic."

      June 4, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  17. Excitizen

    "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.”

    so very true! While most leaders of organized religion will tell you that the decline of family values is what is pulling down society today – most (and it appears SK is one of them) will tell you it is the divisiveness preached at countless churches every weekend, week in and week out (like in SC) that is contributing to our down fall. You don't have to be religious to have morals! That's a lie sold to you by organized religion. Also, the political party that holds itself up as representing "values voters" does the same thing. They sow division and hatred between people while offering no real solutions.

    Having said that, if you look at works of fiction and more specifically horror, you will find most are based on the good vs. evil model, including the bible.

    June 4, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  18. hecep

    Apparently Rev Zahl never got wind of King's comment: "“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 4, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  19. hecep

    It only shows how desperate these religious leaders are when they have to refer to horror fiction as some sort of affirmation. Fiction affirming fiction. Pathetic. I thought it was bad enough when they served up as proof of "God" the discovery of the so-called God Gene (especially when this discovery should have taken them in the opposite direction).

    June 4, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  20. Merlot

    The bible is fiction just like his books

    June 4, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I'm always amazed that so many rational, compassionate, intelligent people get on these faith blogs and completely vomit on Christianity. I must say, for something you all state you don't believe, you certainly invest a huge amount of negative energy into it. Perhaps some of you are more than a little curious, possibly even obsessed about what the Jesus is really all about. Godspeed in your search! For those who sincerely seek the destruction and elimination of the faith (and the faithful) well, good luck with that too! Hope to see everyone on the last day!

      June 4, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      "For those who sincerely seek the destruction and elimination of the faith (and the faithful) well, good luck with that too! " No, that's what you guys are up to. Each denomination wants to destroy the others, and they all want to kill me for thinking they are wasting time. Worship a god, a dog, or a flower for all I care, but stop coming around with policemen and ordering me to believe in the dog as well.

      June 4, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Excitizen

      To Bill Deacon,

      Good try there Bill – actually, I can only speak for myself, but suspect that many others feel the same; the reason why we do what we do is because we are sick to death of being judged by religious types (something that is forbidden by your religion, but completely ignored by it at the same time) and because of the absolute hypocrisy of so many of today's and yesterdays religious figures who preach divisiveness instead of the loving acceptance that the bible teaches. Forcing your religious beliefs into laws that govern all – that's called theocracy and has no place in a free country. The picking and choosing of certain parts of the bibles texts to support prejudices that fly in the face of what Jesus actually taught. It's the pompous hypocrisy, plain and simple.

      June 4, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Policemen? Forcing religion on you? Serious paranoia issues here. I merely suggest that the amount of energy you put into negating something indicates a strong fascination with it. The fact that you must so vigorously resist the religious "control" you see all around you kind of says to me that you are probably under some kind of conviction. I merely wish you good luck or Godspeed as you are chased by whatever angels or demons pursue you. When you get tired of arguing and fighting and name calling and criticizing, I hope you find yourself at the foot of the cross where the one true Son of God exercised His freedom and His choice to love us all, even unto death.

      June 4, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Howard

      But his books are great.

      June 4, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      To: Excitizen, Yes I'd say "sick to death" accurately describes a great many of the people I speak of. As to the errors and mistakes made under the guise of Christianity, no one can defend those. That is simply people failing to achieve the ideal. It doesn't mean the ideal is flawed, just the people. There is just as must hypocrisy from the other side which claims a moral and intelligent advantage simply because they have not had a genuine religious experience. It seems those who want to disbelieve will seize on the lowest common denominator in order to hold fast to their obstinence.

      June 4, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Excitizen

      You must be responding to me in error – I have not called you names, simply stated my answer to YOUR question honestly. On the otherhand, you have made many negitive assumptions about me in your other post regarding me being convicted of something? Such typical behavior and hypocricy!

      June 4, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
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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.