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My Take: Cuban cars, Santeria, and the spirit of improvisation
A Santeria oricha, similar to a saint, in Trinidad, Cuba.
June 9th, 2012
04:00 AM ET

My Take: Cuban cars, Santeria, and the spirit of improvisation

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

(CNN) - On a recent trip to Cuba, I was surprised to see so many classic cars. I knew Havana was famous for its 1950s Fords, Chevrolets, and Oldsmobiles, but I had no idea how prevalent “cacharros” were in small towns and big cities alike.

When I asked a friend, the proud owner of a 1953 Ford, how Cubans kept all these cars running, he told me that they make things up as they go along. But this spirit of improvisation isn’t limited to adapting blender parts for your Mercedes-Benz engine. It’s evident in Cuban music, the Cuban economy and the Cuban-born religion of Santeria.

Santeria came to the attention of Americans through a landmark Supreme Court case, Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah (1993).

After Hialeah, Florida, passed ordinances banning animal sacrifice (a common practice in Santeria), church members sued, arguing that the law was intended to specifically target them. The Supreme Court found in the church’s favor, writing that “the ordinances had as their object the suppression of religion.”

Santeria is often described as a mix of Roman Catholicism and the religious traditions of the Yoruba people of West Africa. And in this religion, most of the “orichas” to whom Cubans give their devotion also have Catholic names.

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For example, Ochun, the patron oricha of Cuba, is also Our Lady of Charity.  And Yemalla, an oricha associated with water and fertility and the tides, has been syncretized into la Virgin de Regla.

While in Trinidad, a cobblestoned town in the Sancti Spiritus province in central Cuba, my daughter and I had a long conversation with a Santeria priest at a shrine devoted to Yemalla. He said that every oricha is associated with various numbers, foods, colors, etc. Yemalla’s colors are blue and white, in keeping with her association with the sea. Her favorite fruit is the watermelon. And her number is seven.

But what this santero (as Santeria priests are called) really wanted to tell us was that Santeria is not a cult. Many criticize Santeria for its use of animal sacrifice, he told us, but sacrifice is a part of every religion.

In the Bible, what do Mary and Joseph do after Jesus is born? They take him to the temple in Jerusalem and sacrifice two pigeons, he said. Even the Catholic Mass is a form of sacrifice, though in this case what is offered up are bread and wine.

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Cuba is supposed to be both secular and socialist. In reality, it is neither, at least not in pure form. Just about everyone I met was working some sort of angle for money in excess of the meager salaries they earned in their real jobs. And even when the Cuban government denounced religion as an enemy of its Marxist-Leninist state, Cubans found ways to practice their Catholicism or their Santeria (or both).

More than any other country I have visited, Cuba is a nation of improvisers.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Cuba • Virgin Mary

soundoff (254 Responses)
  1. mickey1313

    Both chad and rebel have absurd " proofs" possible. One cannot prove a negative. It is up to those who claim something improbable to demonstrate evidence. Absence of evidence is in fact strong evidence of absence

    June 10, 2012 at 1:39 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      absolutely.

      "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."
      - Carl Sagan

      otherwise, prove my left nut isn't God? you can't? by that dumb dumb logic, my left nut must be God. that's why it is up to the one making the claim to prove that claim and provide evidence.

      June 10, 2012 at 2:32 am |
    • Chad

      If you dont want the burden of proving the negative, why are you an atheist? Does it make any sense to adopt a belief that is impossible to prove by definition??

      atheism: The theory or belief that God does not exist.
      Definition of ATHEISM (merriam-webster)
      1 archaic : ungodliness, wickedness
      2 a : a disbelief in the existence of deity
      b : the doctrine that there is no deity

      a·the·ism (dictionary.com)
      1. the doctrine or belief that there is no God.
      2. disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.

      June 10, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Rachel

      Oooooh, Chad! Take me NOWWWWW!!!!!!!

      June 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Oh my...Chad dishonestly using selective copy&paste...again!

      Other definitions of atheism -"

      OED – "disbelief OR LACK OF BELIEF in the existence of God or gods."

      Wikipedia (Chad's favorite "reference") – "in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.

      ...and, based on the roots of the word "atheism":
      a: without
      theism: belief in the existence of a god or gods
      atheism = "without belief in the existence of a god or gods"

      More dishonest Chad B.S.

      June 10, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chard is a moron. Anyone who got through high school knows that the rules of debate are that the burden of proof is on the one making a claim for the existence of something. One cannot prove there are no unicorns or leprechauns. Chard is simply a troll who goes by Observer, Rachel, and other handles. I doubt it even believes most of what it posts.

      June 10, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Tom, Tom –

      Really? While I don't believe Chad really believes (as in "3am-deep-in-your-belly-torment" believes) what he claims (how could any thinking person), I think he really wants to believe. If Chad really is just a troll, I give him mad props...not only because he plays the part so well, but also because of his perseverance.

      June 10, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      My suspi cion is partially based on Chard's scr ew-up in posting under "Observer", whom I believe also posts as "Nah" and a few other trolls.

      June 10, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Chad

      Actually, the complete wiki definition goes into the strong/positive, weak/negative distinctions (which you somehow missed noting... you were saying something about honesty?)

      The unfortunate part of the wiki definition for you folks, is that that weak/negative atheism (the flavor of atheism characterized as "lack of belief" is noted as being indistinguishable from agnosticism.. Leading to the obvious question: "why do atheists want to be known as "atheists"?

      The complete definition:
      Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.[1] In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.[2][3] Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist.[3][4][5] Atheism is contrasted with theism,[6][7] which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists.[7][8]
      The term atheism originated from the Greek ἄθεος (atheos), meaning "without god", used as a pejorative term applied to those thought to reject the gods worshipped by the larger society. With the spread of freethought, skeptical inquiry, and subsequent increase in criticism of religion, application of the term narrowed in scope. The first individuals to identify themselves using the word "atheist" lived in the 18th century.[9]
      Atheists tend to be skeptical of supernatural claims, citing a lack of empirical evidence for deities.[10] Rationales for not believing in any deity include the problem of evil, the argument from inconsistent revelations, and the argument from nonbelief. Other arguments for atheism range from the philosophical to the social to the historical. Although some atheists have adopted secular philosophies,[11][12] there is no one ideology or set of behaviors to which all atheists adhere.[13] Many atheists hold that atheism is a more parsimonious worldview than theism, and therefore the burden of proof lies not on the atheist to disprove the existence of God, but on the theist to provide a rationale for theism.[14]
      Atheism is accepted within some religious and spiritual belief systems, including Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Neopagan movements[15] such as Wicca,[16] and nontheistic religions. Jainism and some forms of Buddhism do not advocate belief in gods,[17] whereas Hinduism holds atheism to be valid, but difficult to follow spiritually.[18]

      Explicit strong/positive/hard atheists assert that "at least one deity exists" is a false statement. Explicit weak/negative/soft atheists reject or eschew belief that any deities exist without actually asserting that "at least one deity exists" is a false statement. Implicit weak/negative atheists would include people (such as young children and some agnostics) who do not believe in a deity, but have not explicitly rejected such belief.

      June 10, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Tom, Tom –

      Interesting. I'll have to keep my eyes open. I assumed that the trite format of Chad's posts (emoticons, ===>, etc.) was a "signature" that would have betrayed him if he attempted to go incognito. Perhaps I was hasty.

      Cheers

      June 10, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      He's a troll. I'd bet on it. He doesn't even believe what he posts as Chad and he posts under other names arguing against "himself".

      He's outed himself more than once.

      June 10, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Really-O?

      The slightest bit of pressure and Chad's "intellect" deconstructs and he resorts to his blither-blather of copy&paste. What a tool!

      June 10, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Tom, Tom – "He doesn't even believe what he posts..."

      I think, perhaps, that makes sense; how, after all, could a thinking person not only believe, but defend, the nonsense Chad posts on this blog?

      June 10, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Chad

      Really-O: you crack me up.. your post says "chad didnt get the entire def", then you provide a cherry picked wiki, I give the entire wiki, and you accuse me of cut and pasting
      😉

      Identifying sock puppets, I can tell you I have never posted under a different handle, but you wouldnt believe it...

      So, check this out, there are several open source tools that can be used for this:
      http://www.philocomp.net/humanities/signature

      I'll download it and run Really-O and Rachel to see what kind of results we get 😉

      June 10, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Explain how it is you posted under "Observer", Chad. And "Rachel".

      Don't bother to lie.

      June 10, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Tom, Tom –

      Check out the frantic, panicked nonsense it Chad's last post. Leads me to believe that he may actually be serious...tragic.

      June 10, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I enjoy it-it's Schadenfreude at its best.

      June 10, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Really-O?

      By the way – I've never posted as Rachel...not my style [but I would like to know who the faux-Rachel is...funny stuff (of course Chad obviously is the original Rachel)]. I posted twice today as "Buckwheat", once as a joke in response to one of Tom, Tom's posts and once, inadvertently, because I forgot to change my screen name. I only use one handle – "Really-O?" (I originally started posting as "Really?", but had to change when someone usurped the name).

      June 10, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Know What

      mickey1313
      "Both chad and rebel have absurd " proofs" possible."

      Chad is an evangelical zealot (obvious) and Rebel is a 9th grader (self-admitted). Does that explain some of it?

      June 10, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  2. Theistville Dog

    The word "humanism" has a number of meanings. And because authors and speakers often don't clarify which meaning they intend, those trying to explain humanism can easily become a source of confusion. Fortunately, each meaning of the word const.i.tutes a different type of humanism—the different types being easily separated and defined by the use of appropriate adjectives. So it is relatively easy to summarize the varieties of humanism in this way.

    It's funny that humanism cannot be pinned down upon just one issue of humanism. One tends to play-the-field so-to-speak. Fred Edwords should be given an award for not laying down a single humanist position but a myriad of declarations as to what humanisms entail! Bravo, bravo King Edwards for not laying down the singularism of humanism but rather the diversities of multi-levels of psuedo-thoughts pertaining to "humanalism"! Hence your humanisms are but "pick-N-choose" idiocracies!

    Which of these 2 paragraphs are you Bootyfunk finding hard to fathom, the 1st or the 2nd?

    (I fixed my typos)

    June 10, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • Theistville Dog

      Bootyfunk, Your "acclaimed" humanism site is fluff-it-N-stuff-it reading material which few if any will read thoroughly let alone be able to fathom the unfathomable and quit strenuous reading of all out gibberish thoughts! I find it a bit humorous that the writer did include "Christian humanism" and also "religious humanism" in his ranting way(s)

      BTW, again which of the two paragraphs do you fine as being unfathomable?.

      June 10, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • Theistville Dog

      Bootyfunk, Your "acclaimed" humanism site is fluff-it-N-stuff-it reading material which few if any will read thoroughly let alone be able to fathom the unfathomable and quite strenuous reading of all out gibberish thoughts! I find it a bit humorous that the writer did include "Christian humanism" and also "religious humanism" in his ranting way(s)

      BTW, again which of the two paragraphs do you find as being unfathomable?.

      (found 2 typos and I am still waiting for a response to my question Bootyfunk.)

      June 10, 2012 at 1:17 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      "The word "humanism" has a number of meanings."
      **very few philosophies have one exact definition. not sure what your point is here.

      "the different types being easily separated and defined by the use of appropriate adjectives. So it is relatively easy to summarize the varieties of humanism in this way."
      ** example?

      "It's funny that humanism cannot be pinned down upon just one issue of humanism."
      ** sentences like this are difficult to comprehend because they are not well written.

      "Fred Edwords should be given an award for not laying down a single humanist position but a myriad of declarations as to what humanisms entail"
      ** that supposed to be an insult? philosophies, like religions, are complex. i agree, he should be given an award. humanists are a diverse lot with diverse views. we don't get hung up on dogma, like christians.

      "Bravo, bravo King Edwards for not laying down the singularism of humanism but rather the diversities of multi-levels of psuedo-thoughts pertaining to "humanalism"!"
      ** not sure if you were trying to sound intellectual here, but you failed badly. this sentence is bad in multiple ways.
      ** pro-tip: when there's a red line under the word, it's not a really a word.
      ** what do you mean by 'singularism'?
      ** also, you keep using 'diverse' as an insult. not sure why.
      ** "king"? what's that all about? lol.

      "Hence your humanisms are but "pick-N-choose" idiocracies!"
      again, not sure what you're saying. you seem to think you've come to some great conclusion, but again, you just sound confused.

      "Bootyfunk, Your "acclaimed" humanism site is fluff-it-N-stuff-it reading material which few if any will read thoroughly let alone be able to fathom the unfathomable and quit strenuous reading of all out gibberish thoughts"
      ** this part looks like you just threw up on the screen. you are starting to sound like a mental patient.

      please try to make a point. a solid point. what do you have against Humanism exactly? nothing you're saying is 'unfathomable'. but using that word to describe yourself does say a lot. you just sound confused and uneducated. again - make a point. it makes it much more interesting for the reader.

      June 10, 2012 at 2:30 am |
    • Theistville Dog

      Oh Bootyfunk,,,, You have failed to know that the 1st paragraph was a "QUOTE" from the humanist site you so gave one and all to venture to. Fail fail fail you do to not recognize that which you want others to read. WAFJYA

      June 10, 2012 at 11:41 am |
  3. Kindness

    For you.
    A thought to consider without an ego response

    Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Transcend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.

    The key is be present and transcend our own desire to physically see evidence. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.

    Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both christians and non are sinners.

    We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Follow me".
    It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .

    Try reading corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
    See the truth...
    do we do what it says in todays society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from som other person...which may have been full of arogance pride or vanity..

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancsend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find any truth you can take with you ....in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life..... You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf.... the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed..... your good deeds will be forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated..... your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over . This is truth .

    Trancsend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent.... Repent means knowing (to change) The Holy spirit (within) will convict you beyond what you think you can do by yourself. Grace is given to those who renounce the world. That are" in" the world but not "of " the world.

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible . Ask Jesus in faith for dicernment and start reading the new testament... You will be shocked when you lay down your preconceived notions and ....see and hear truth ... see how christ sets an example ... feel the truth....

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth in Christ.

    Sell all your cleverness and purchase true bewilderment. You don't get what you want ....you get what you are in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
    You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it

    You're all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.
    I'ts a personal free experience you can do it free anytime . Don't wait till you are about to die.. START PUTTING YOUR TREASURES WHERE THEY REALLY MATTER >
    Its awsome and It's just between you and Jesus

    my testimony

    June 9, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      there is no god. it is unlikely jesus ever existed - same as hercules. if you truly want to be a good person, you won't find out how by reading the bible.

      June 9, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
  4. Bootyfunk

    christians, realize you are in a cult. leave the cult. think for yourself. the pillars of christianity are guilt, fear and ignorance. if you are looking for an ethical system, try Humanism, an atheistic ethical philosophy. much superior to the bible for leading a good life.

    http://www.americanhumanist.org/

    June 9, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • Theistville Dog

      blueletterbible.com

      A much better site in which to spend some time doing reading up on almost any religious gospel known about Christ Jesus and God Almighty. I go there myself an hour or two each day. You should try it for a while.

      June 9, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      i've read the bible from cover to cover with historical, religious and skeptical study guides. humanist ethics are far superior to christian morals.

      June 9, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      As should be obvious to nearly everyone, Bootyfunk. Hopefully things are changing.

      June 9, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      yep, the light of education is pushing religion into the shadows where it belongs. it's going away, slowly but surely. sometimes not as fast as us non-believers would like, but america's a big ship; big ships take a long time to turn. but it'll get there.

      christianity had it's chance to rule - we call that era the "dark ages".

      June 9, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • Theistville Dog

      The word "humanism" has a number of meanings. And because authors and speakers often don't clarify which meaning they intend, those trying to explain humanism can easily become a source of confusion. Fortunately, each meaning of the word const.i.tutes a different type of humanism—the different types being easily separated and defined by the use of appropriate adjectives. So it is relatively easy to summarize the varieties of humanism in this way.

      The above scripture was taken from your self-touted site! It's funny that humanism cannot be pinned down upon just one issue of humanism. One tends to play-the-field so-to-speak. Fred Edwords should be given an award for not laying down a single humanist position but a myriad of declarations as to what humanisms entail! Bravo, bravo King Edwars for not laying down the singularism of humanism but rather the diversities of multi-leveles psuedo-thoughts pertaining to "humanalisms"! Hence you humanisms are but "pick-N-choose" idiocracies!

      June 10, 2012 at 12:01 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      what are you even blathering about? try to make an actual point. it makes it much more enjoyable for the reader.

      June 10, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • Theistville Dog

      Your "acclaimed" humanism" site is fluff-N-stuff-it reading material which few if any will read thoroughly let alone be able to fathom the unfathomable and quit strenuous reading of all out gibberish thoughts! I find it a bit humorous that the writer did include "Christian humanism" and also "religious humanism" in his ranting way(s).

      June 10, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • Theistville Dog

      Which of the 2 paragraphs are you Bootyfunk finding hard to fathom, the 1st or the 2nd?

      June 10, 2012 at 12:17 am |
  5. Alien Orifice

    I just prayed to Jesus and he told me to shut up. The NBA Eastern Finals game 7 is on.

    June 9, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
  6. Alien Orifice

    Human walks by worm and does not notice it. Even if human does notice it, the two have no way to communicate.

    Human walks by worm but worm but does not even recognize the human’s presence.

    Human and Worm share 98% DNA.

    In that 2% that is different, we are rendered completely alien to each other.

    Consider how this might affect other forms of life, aliens, even “God” relative to our meager faculties.

    June 9, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      And most of our dna is useless "junk" codes that are "switched off" so we don't grow gills and horns and such. Talk about intelligent design!

      June 9, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
  7. Alien Orifice

    I just spoke to God and he told me to shut up. The Stanley Cup Finals are on.

    June 9, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
  8. the flood

    larger and more dramatic than you could ever imagine. Not the floods we are familiar with or even a tidal wave, but a continental shattering event in the midst of an unbelievable torrent of water pouring down from above and bursting forth from beneath.

    June 9, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      the drip
      smaller and less dramatic than you wouldn’t bother to imagine. Not the drips we ignore or even a splash, but an irrelevant sink event in the midst of a highly believable trickle of water seeping down from above and leaking forth from beneath

      June 9, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      no evidence for a global flood. none.

      June 9, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      The flood never happened as science can prove. (Unless god got rid of all the evidence with magic spells, and really, who would trust such a deceiver?)

      June 9, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Chad

      Okay, then we're done. I don't care about trying to convince you of anything. It's obvious to me that belief in god is stupid. You think differently. Fine. Enjoy the rest of your evening.

      June 9, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And don't you just love how Rebel4Retards chimes in to praise him? Talk about a referendum!

      June 10, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  9. Rebel4Christ

    Not believing in God is like not believing in a good news! Imagine if someone said that they have found a solution to stop world hunger, would you look at that person and call them a fool? or would you be smart and take his word for it because for all you know he's could be right!!!

    June 9, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • OTOH

      Rebel4Christ,

      Imagine if someone said that he was a Nigerian Prince and that the government over there has confiscated his huge treasure of gold and jewels... and he will share it with you if you help him recover it. Would you "take his word for it because for all you know he's could be right!!!"

      June 9, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Know What

      Rebel,

      Do you know that a guy named George Parker sold the Brooklyn Bridge twice a week for years? He convinced people that he had valid papers and the authority to make the deal.

      He also sold l Madison Square Garden, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Grant's Tomb and the Statue of Liberty.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_C._Parker

      June 9, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • Rebel4Christ

      We don't have to do anything to get to God. In fact we can't do anything to get to God because we are a sinful people, but he loved us so much that he came to us, it's not that you find God it's that He finds you. John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that who ever believes in him will not die ,but live forever." So doesn't that verse above sound like a good news? So why Deny it?

      June 9, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • Chad

      Know What "Do you know that a guy named George Parker sold the Brooklyn Bridge twice a week for years? He convinced people that he had valid papers and the authority to make the deal."

      =>that's nothing compared to how many people have been convinced that God doesnt exist by the enemy.

      June 9, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Chad

      @OTOH "Imagine if someone said that he was a Nigerian Prince and that the government over there has confiscated his huge treasure of gold and jewels... and he will share it with you if you help him recover it. Would you "take his word for it because for all you know he's could be right!!!""

      =>well, it all depends. Is this guy really a Nigerian prince, or a con man?
      If he is authentic, you'll be rich.
      If he's a con man, you'll be broke.

      the critical thing then is to determine if this person is who he says he is.

      June 9, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • Rachel

      Oh Chad, your logic is so perfect, your arguments are so supreme. Oh, kudos to you Chad, kudos and more kudos. Maybe when we do it you can call me Mary Magdalene and I can call you Jesus.

      June 9, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Rebel4Christ

      Hey chad I just gotta say I really respect you

      June 9, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      not believing in god is thinking for yourself.

      June 9, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer really changes things

      June 9, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      The attractiveness of an idea has no relation to its degree of truth. Everyone would like to believe that no one dies, but that's not how belief works.

      June 9, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Chad

      You have no business being so arrogant unless your belief set has some way to be measured in a verifiable manner. Why believe something that can't be proved?

      June 9, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • Chad

      @Moby Schtick "...Why believe something that can't be proved?"

      =>a question I ask atheists a great deal, I dont know that I have ever heard a good answer..

      Rebel4Christ: Keep up the good work!!

      June 9, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Chad

      Atheists don't need to prove that god does not exist to believe that he doesn't. The same way that people who don't believe in unicorns don't need to prove that unicorns don't exist to believe that they don't. The person making the claim has to prove it in order to be taken seriously, not the skeptic of the claim.

      Look up "burden of proof," and "negative claim." Good luck.

      June 9, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • Chad

      @Moby Schtick "Atheists don't need to prove that god does not exist to believe that he doesn't.
      @Chad "This "belief" you have that God doesnt exist.. Is it pure faith, or do you have data to support that belief?

      June 9, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Chad

      This wont work if you're only interested in what you have to say and you won't listen to what I have to say. I don't believe in god for the same reason I don't believe in unicorns. There's the same amount of proof for both. None. My belief is based in criticism of your belief that you can't prove to me or anyone else. Prove your god exists, and I'll agree with you. I would say the same to a person who believes in unicorns. You have the burden of proof. Until you offer proof for YOUR claim, I am correct to disbelieve it. Exactly as you would be correct to disbelieve my claim that unicorns exist if I told you to offer proof that they don't exist.

      Work on your logical reasoning skills if you wish to be taken seriously.

      June 9, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • Rebel4Christ

      The thing is I have never met a non angry atheist, not once, and that includes real life and not just on CNN

      June 9, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • Chad

      Most atheists start with "I dont have a belief that God doesnt exist, I have a lack of a belief that he does"
      you however said something completely different, you said
      @Moby Schtick "Atheists don't need to prove that god does not exist to believe that he doesn't."

      Which was a big logical mistake, because in doing so you highlight a fundamental logical flaw in atheism. Namely that it pre-supposes the non-existence of God. That is precisely what under girds your statement.

      I rational person would not presuppose anything, rather they would investigate and have a basis for believing something, or if they were to lazy to investigate, would just acknowledge that they had no position on that.

      With respect to unicorns, I am agnostic. It's logically irrational to embrace a stance that is based on proving a negative (which is impossible).

      The "something doesnt exist until you can prove it does" is logically an extremely flawed/naive position, and what's so interesting about atheists is that in other areas they embrace the belief that things exist that cant be proven, here's a few things you believe that can't be proven:

      1-You can’t prove that logic or math work because the only way to do so would be to use logic or math. If all you follow is reason then how can you prove that reason works? This doesn’t mean we should never use logic or math it just means that it’s reasonable to believe in some things regardless if they can be proven.

      2-Many Metaphysical truths cannot be proven using science. For instance (and these questions have exist for a LONG time now) think about the Matrix how can I know that I’m not hooked up to a machine right now living in some virtual reality? How do you know you’re not dreaming right now? What if your mind is the only one that exists and your just imagining everyone else? None of these things can be proven but we’re not only reasonable for not believing them but believing one of them may land you in a mental ward.

      3- Science can’t prove any ethical truths. There will never be a sufficient scientific reason for why what the Nazi’s did was wrong. Yet I think we’re all reasonable to believe they’re wrong.

      4-Science can’t prove truths about beauty. Science, try as it might, can’t explain why I like one poem over another. Still we’re all reasonable to believe that some things are beautiful and that some things aren’t.

      5-Science can’t prove itself. Similar to number 1, for science to prove that it works it would have to use science. It’s impossible, yet we all are reasonable to believe in science. – William Lane Craig

      June 9, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      well said, chad.

      June 9, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Rebel4Christ

      You and I don't know the same atheists, I guess.

      @Chad

      You really have no idea how logic works, do you? The default stance on something that not yet proved is disbelief. If someone claims to own the Statue of Liberty, you disbelieve, and you are right to do so. I couldn't care less what you THINK about some god or other existing, or your misconceptions about how logic works or how science is used. I care what you or other believers can prove. Got it?

      June 9, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Chad

      @Moby Schtick "the default stance on something that not yet proved is disbelief."
      @CHad "not true at all, there are 5 things that you believe in that cant be proved in the last post, I notice you didnt say a word about that, cant say that I blame you.. 😉

      ========
      @Moby Schtick "If someone claims to own the Statue of Liberty, you disbelieve, and you are right to do so."
      @Chad "Ah, but only because you know that the Statue of Liberty is owned by the City of NY, so you presumption that their claim of ownership is false is a valid one, you have data to back that presumption up.

      however, In the case of your statement:
      @Moby Schtick "Atheists don't need to prove that god does not exist to believe that he doesn't."

      How are you justifying your presumption that God does not exist?

      So the question is once again, what data do you have to back up your belief?
      or is it just faith?

      June 9, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Chad

      This isn't about me convincing you of my "belief." It's about you convincing me. You're unconvincing. I'm trying to help you out and explain why you're unconvincing, but you don't understand logic enough to know why your efforts are noneffective.

      You don't see the sense in my position because you don't understand what is and isn't reasonable argumentation. It's what I expect of your type and why I don't care to attempt to explain my reasoning.

      It's your ball; you're the offense, but you keep running defensive plays against what you presume I will do once I get the ball. It's stupid. If you'd like to prove to me that your belief in god is reasonable, then go for it.

      June 9, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @ Chad

      In other words, the question is to you: How are you justifying your presumption that God exists?

      June 9, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Rebel4Christ

      If atheism is true then where all just random matter so why prove a point to somebody? In fact why do anything? after all we are just random matter that came from nothing. Without a God life has no point!!!

      June 9, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Chad

      @Moby Schtick "This isn't about me convincing you of my "belief." It's about you convincing me."
      @Chad "actually it is, right? You're the only one that has made a statement of belief on this thread... I havent.
      so, once again how are you justifying your presumption that God does not exist? You're the one that stated you dont believe God exists.

      @Moby Schtick "Atheists don't need to prove that god does not exist to believe that he doesn't."

      June 9, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Chad

      Okay, then we're done. I don't care about trying to convince you of anything. It's obvious to me that belief in god is stupid. You think differently. Fine. Enjoy the rest of your evening. .

      June 9, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Rebel4Christ

      Atheism isn't "true" or "false." It's merely a philosophical position in response to another philosophical position. It has no bearing on whether we should "do anything" or "our purpose" or anything like that. Such strawman/false dichotomies miss the entire point of the debate, and it proves just how damaging the "god virus" or "religion meme" can be within the human brain. In essence, you've bought into the lie that if the emperor has no clothes, there must be no cloth or dye in the entire world.

      June 9, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • Chad

      @Moby Schtick "...Atheism isn't "true" or "false.".."
      @Chad " that is not a true statement as you have defined atheism, because you defined it as a belief.

      @Moby Schtick "Atheists don't need to prove that god does not exist to believe that he doesn't."

      Your statement only works if you define atheism as a "lack of belief". The instant you acknowledge that you as an atheist have a belief, you have lost the ability to hide behind "athiesm is only a reaction to a claim"

      June 9, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Just for the fun of it:

      1- Logic or math don't need to be "proved" beyond the sense of their usefulness. We use logic and math because they are useful and because that usefulness translates into real-world results such as computers, internet, medical equipment, and on and on. That's plenty "proof."

      2- We can't know whether or not we're "living in the matrix," but who cares? If we are, it doesn't change anything in the current discussion. We don't believe such things because they don't help us to solve any problems. If believing that we were in the matrix or "brains in jars" would help us build better tools or get better results from experiments, we'd do it.

      3- Science doesn't care about proving "ethical truths." Science describes HOW are world operates and allows us to manipulate our world in predictable ways. Morality is about perspective. Our species is a social one, so we consider how we would feel in place of others–empathy. We would feel it was wrong if we were slaughtered and tortured, so we make laws that say it's wrong to slaughter and torture. It's pretty simple.

      4- Science doesn't care about "truths of beauty" .. whatever that is. The human brain evolved to seek out patterns because recognizing patterns helped our ancestors to survive in a harsh world. Thus, we find symmetry and certain patterns of color interesting and engaging.

      5- Science is useful, as your computer and modern technology and advances in genetics and medicine demonstrate. Who needs more proof than that, and what would that "proof" even look like?!

      June 9, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Chad

      Go play word games with someone who actually believes you're making the least bit of sense. That's not me. Good luck.

      June 9, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • Chad

      well, the one thing that never ceases to amaze me, is the irrationality of the atheist position.
      1) why embrace a position that has to prove a negative? It makes no sense..
      2) why do atheists take this irrational stance based on virtually zero understanding of the bible?

      Dawkins likes to say things like ""do you have to read up on leprechology before disbelieving in leprechauns?"
      but, that doesnt make sense, why take such an adamant stance that something doesnt exist, when you have know understanding of the data supporting the claim that it does?

      irrational.

      June 9, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Chad

      know/no

      June 9, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      well, the one thing that never ceases to amaze me, is the irrationality of the theist position.
      1) why embrace a position that can't prove its central claim? It makes no sense..
      2) why do theists take this irrational stance based on virtually zero understanding of the basic function of logic: that the burden of proof rests on the claimant, and skepticism to unproven claims is the correct and logical position?

      Christians like to say "Why do you presume there's no god," or "You can't prove a negative" as if that somehow negates who has the burden of proof and that somehow skepticism of an unproven claim somehow translates to needing to prove a negative.

      irrational, to say the least.

      June 9, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • mickey1313

      If someone had found a solution to world hunger, i would ask to see what they came up with. Show me the plan show minute the evidence. If the facts were their id say right on. If they said oh you just have to believe me, i can't demonstrate it, id call bs, just like i do with every argument that is for a god that is active in our reality

      June 10, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • Chad

      In summary:
      Can the position be proven:
      - atheism: no, by definition the negative can not be proven
      - theism: yes, by definition the positive can be proven

      Has the position been proven:
      - atheism: no, see above. It is impossible by definition to prove a negative
      - theism: a) to billions of people, over the past 4 thousand years the answer is irrefutably yes. It has been proven
      ----b) There is ample evidence (origin of the universe, origin of life, fine tuning for life,
      ---- resurrection of Jesus Christ) to warrant investigation into the claims.
      ----c) the vast majority of atheists have not done any serious investigation into these root issues, so remain
      ---- ignorant to reality.

      and, to re-iterate: when you're the one making the claim, you have the burden of proof: The fact that your claim is impossible to prove is irrelevant, you still have the burden. If you dont like the burden of an impossible position, dont adopt it 😉

      @Moby Schtick "Atheists don't need to prove that god does not exist to believe that he doesn't."

      June 10, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Rachel

      Ohhhhh! OOOOOOOHHHH. Do that AGAIN, Chad!!! Ahhhh! Ahhhh!

      June 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Moby Schtick –

      While the majority of Chad's last post is simply a re-spewing of his hackneyed, canard-laden, canned arguments, he does have you on one point – asserting that "god does not exist" does put you in the position of having to provide evidence for that assertion which, as we know, is not possible. The position is untenable...you may want to rethink it.

      June 10, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Know What

      Chad,

      I don't believe you. You want PROOF that I don't believe you? What?

      ----------------------------------------
      "the vast majority of atheists have not done any serious investigation into these root issues, so remain
      -- ignorant to reality."

      Listen, I am 68 years old. I was a believer for about 50 of those years.... BEFORE I did my due diligence investigation. I find no evidence of supernatural beings. After reading many posts from atheists here and elsewhere, I see that the vast majority of them have indeed done serious investigation.

      June 10, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Chad

      @Know What "I don't believe you. You want PROOF that I don't believe you? What?"
      @Chad " your statement is quite different than Mobey's, you arent making an assertion, he was
      @Moby Schtick "Atheists don't need to prove that god does not exist to believe that he doesn't."

      --------------
      @Know What "Listen, I am 68 years old. I was a believer for about 50 of those years.... BEFORE I did my due diligence investigation. I find no evidence of supernatural beings. "
      @Chad "how do you explain the origin of the unverse, fine tuning of the universe, origin of life, the empty tomb, the belief by the disciples that they had met a resurrected Christ?

      --------------
      @Know What "After reading many posts from atheists here and elsewhere, I see that the vast majority of them have indeed done serious investigation."
      @Chad "we must be reading different posts.. I have yet to meet more than 1 or 2 that understand the basics.

      June 10, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, Chard. The universe? How do you know Goddidit? Where's your proof?

      You keep pretending that simply because you believe it and don't have an answer as to how it began, it is therefore a miracle. Dunce!

      June 10, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Tom, Tom –

      Followup to the "Chad's just a troll" discussion. Isn't it comical how Chad get's whipped-into-a-lather when he's called out? It reminds me of a little kid taking swings at his brother when he's being held back by a hand on his head. Almost endearing...not.

      June 10, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Posted this in the wrong place: And don't you just love how Rebel4Retards chimes in to praise him? Talk about a referendum!

      June 10, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Jesus

      "Prayer really changes things"

      Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      June 11, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  10. Theistville Dog

    A Great 3-D graphics animation site,,,,,,,,,,,,

    http://www.activeworlds.com

    It's FREE for tourists and they can build things in certain worlds!

    June 9, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  11. Mr Chihuahua

    believe me when I say that I got something for your punk ass lol!

    June 9, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  12. Jesus was a homless bum

    Religion is stupid. Sacrifice animals, eat imaginary flesh and blood if a dead jew scam artist, kneel 5 times a day to a pillar, how fund can humanity get...oh kill each other over who's religion is right while at the same time professing you "god is love" and being directly contradicted by your own religions texts that are full of hate, bigotry, slavery, misogyny, lies and violence towards all. Sounds great, sign me up....

    June 9, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  13. Bootyfunk

    when a cult is accepted by society, it becomes a religion. when a religion has no more cult members, it becomes a mythology. ALL religions are cults when viewed from across the street. Christianity is just another cult that gained acceptance.

    drop religion. think for yourself.

    June 9, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • when i grow up

      i wanna be like bootyfunk and let some moron atheist type do all my thinking for me. That way i only have to learn a few phrases and everybody will think i'm ever so clever.

      June 9, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • mickey1313

      Agree 100%

      June 9, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • mickey1313

      Of you are a thiest you believe what leaders tell you to. Atheists read educate themselves and think for themselves. Poor brainwashed theists

      June 9, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      yay! my secret admirer is back! 🙂

      i love you, too. hahaha.

      June 9, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • A Serpent's Thought

      If, mickey1313, if athaists "think" for themselves then why do they "huddle" together and blaspheme away?

      June 9, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      serpent,

      once again, no one knows what you are talking about. please give a concrete example.

      June 9, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • A Serpent's Thought

      BootyFunk,

      My point is made! TYVM Booty for clearing up my thoughts!

      June 9, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      It's interesting how often christians project. They huddle together and repeat a few nonsense phrases o'er and o'er without critically engaging the material, so they claim that we atheists do the same thing.

      June 9, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • mickey1313

      Serpent, um read a dictionary man. You cannot blasphemy, if you know there is no god. Because de de dee their is not god to blaspheme against. Pull your head out of your as... i mean bible and try to think for your self.

      June 9, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Rebel4Christ

      At least Theists don't believe there just going to go to the grave when they die. Christians actually have hope, and even if it's a false hope I would rather believe in my false hope than no hope at all!!

      June 9, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If your life on earth has no meaning, no joy, no love, I guess you need to believe there'll be something better waiting for you after you die.

      You have my sympathies.

      June 9, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Rebel4Christ

      You make a fair point, I think. Christianity does offer a hope when there is no other reason to have it, and so its usefulness in such manner shouldn't be discounted. Personally, I don't see belief as a choice, so I could never "choose" to believe in christ or any other silly religious myth, but I do understand your perspective. I'm not sure I would advise other christians to research their faith as much as I did. An atheist must come to grips with the idea that there is no real "peace that passes understanding" and that sort of rubbish, so it is a trade off.

      June 9, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Rebel4Christ

      I am not saying that this life sucks but what I am saying is that without Jesus this life is foolishness because there is no hope, and I have seen the Peace that passes all understanding before, and Yes it does pass all understanding!

      June 9, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • mickey1313

      @reble, you'd rather believe in a lie that restricts you while alive, then live life worth no consequences, knowing there is no sky magic cloud god. Odd, but what ever. Just remember absence of evidence IS evidence of absence.

      June 9, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Rebel4Christ

      allright so if that is true and I do have a restrictive life why would I chose my restrictive life over what you would say a life that is free? Maybe it's because I have found something that is better than that life that you call free, Maybe I have found true freedom. That's the only thing that explains why I am still a Christian

      June 9, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Rebel4

      There are all sorts of mental processes that allow one to feel "peace" or "joy" or other emotions. Mental programming is fairly simple, and I highly recommend it as long as you know what your doing. That's all you've done, except you believe that its Truth, and not a mental program. Your program probably has more impact than a person who recognizes it as mental programming, but that's not necessarily a good thing. I'd rather be aware of my mental programming even if that means that it works slightly less than yours because you don't think it's mental programming.

      June 9, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Life without Jesus has no hope"? Says who? Hope of WHAT, exactly? What is it you think is hopeful about wishing for some eternal reward instead of making THIS life better?

      How pathetic.

      June 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  14. Nii

    REALITY
    He that is born of the Spirit is like the wind; from whence he cometh and whither he goest u know not- so is he born of the Spirit of the Most High God!
    You are confused cos u think along religious lines. If u were spiritual his message will help u more than his religion!

    June 9, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Reality

      The spirit has moved me and I respond with a prayer:

      The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.
      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
      and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen
      (references used are available upon request)

      June 9, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • .....

      All reality posts are repeat bull sh it and should never be considered worth reading. do not waste life moments on reality garbage

      June 9, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Reality, you should know this scripture by heart ...

      We have heard the pride of Moab, (he is exceeding proud) his loftiness, and his arrogancy, and his pride, and the haughtiness of his heart.

      Jeremiah 48:29

      Amen.

      June 9, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • OTOH

      @.....

      Hey Dotty, it's odd that you haven't taken the same stance against @Kindness's tripe/spam and the "Prayer changes things" parroting robot.

      June 9, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • OTOH

      We have heard the pride of @HeavenSent, (he is exceeding proud) his loftiness, and his arrogancy, and his pride, and the haughtiness of his heart.

      Ikyabwai 6:9

      June 9, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • .....

      Honest people know the difference between sh it and shinola

      June 9, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • A Serpent's Thought

      They who are born of the flesh will eat of the fleshiness, for the needs of the many outweighs the few who scorn the consumptions of fleshy things abundancies. Life's measurings will one day soon be compromised and choices will be upon the shoulders' communalisms. The great void of compromising generalists' agendashipped vanities will make suffrages bleed like never was! Dying will be wanted more than living yet the fears of death and decay will outweigh deathly wantings. Only thru warring ways might we thin the herds of humanism's growths and bluntly add but a few more meager years to civilizations' disparaging will! Let go! Let God for Christ's sake!

      June 9, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • A Serpents Dump

      Spirit of forged donkey meat redecorate the lords great love. Only after knowing the light rectum will it shine on your face. Voids of gaping flesh holes should be forced will gods true love stick. Praise him almighty banger of skin drums! For the devil wishes to fart in the face of god. Let not the lies of men rip your faith in zombies waver. Pit a funnel in your mouth and pour the blessed eels in the holy gullet. Then only then will you realize our gods true love through murder of men. His lesson of killing will teach fear of him. Only a true god would kill for love. Amen.
      Space pope.

      June 9, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Nii

      REALITY
      You are an example of those who seek knowledge but not understanding and intelligence but not wisdom. It is possible to have jnowledge with wisdom! I love u as myself!

      June 9, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  15. Kindness

    Kindness
    For you.
    A thought to consider without an ego response

    Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Transcend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.

    The key is be present and transcend our own desire to physically see evidence. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.

    Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both christians and non are sinners.

    We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Follow me".
    It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .

    Try reading corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
    See the truth...
    do we do what it says in todays society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from som other person...which may have been full of arogance pride or vanity..

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancsend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find any truth you can take with you ....in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life..... You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf.... the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed..... your good deeds will be forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated..... your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over . This is truth .

    Trancsend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent.... Repent means knowing (to change) The Holy spirit (within) will convict you beyond what you think you can do by yourself. Grace is given to those who renounce the world. That are" in" the world but not "of " the world.

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible . Ask Jesus in faith for dicernment and start reading the new testament... You will be shocked when you lay down your preconceived notions and ....see and hear truth ... see how christ sets an example ... feel the truth....

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth in Christ.

    Sell all your cleverness and purchase true bewilderment. You don't get what you want ....you get what you are in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
    You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it

    You're all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.
    I'ts a personal free experience you can do it free anytime . Don't wait till you are about to die.. START PUTTING YOUR TREASURES WHERE THEY REALLY MATTER >
    Its awsome and It's just between you and Jesus

    my testimony

    June 9, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  16. Hypatia

    So hypbrid devil-worshipping animal sacrifice nonsense is still valid in the 21st century? I guess that makes as much sense as anything else about religion.

    June 9, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Theistville Dog

      Animal sacrifice you permeate? Just exactly how many varied animals are sacrificed all for the human condition? All sacrificed without even a whimper of acknowledgement coming from most all our blameful egos. We are thise world's greatest consumers of life and still we show little to no forsakedness or remorse for our killing to survive agendas. Our life goes on and into tomorrow we will kill to survive, even our own kind and for resolving just exactly what? Righteousness? Remorsefulness? Forgiveness plays little the tunes of human dignities. Mankind sits upon the ledge dangling their feet of selfishness with both arms raised in the persuits of wanton eternal living despite our deadly consuming affairs. Shame, shame on us all!

      June 9, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  17. No proof for "No God" claim

    Case closed!

    June 9, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • No God

      No proof of god. No god, case closed.

      June 9, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Huebert

      that's not how it works

      June 9, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • tallulah13

      Why is it that people who have absolutely no proof for their claims have to finish their statements with something like "proven!" or "case closed!". They've proven nothing, nor closed any inquiry. They just make themselves sound like fools.

      June 9, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Prayer changes things

      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things
      Prayer changes things
      Proven

      June 9, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Jesus wrote about the non-believers in the following scriptures:

      Fool (66)
      Foolish (52)
      Foolishly (12)
      Foolishness (20)
      Fools (42)
      Fool's (7)

      I'll post one of my favorites about the non-believers of the world.

      The fool hath said in his heart, [There is] no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, [there is] none that doeth good.

      Psalms 14:1

      Amen.

      June 9, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      The bible is foolish.

      The bible says there was a world wide flood that never occurred. Jesus said it too. Therefore, christianity is stupid.

      June 9, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • No proof for "No God" claim

      Interesting enough,the cultures and people who wrote about the flood werent as detailed as the bible is.If that section of the bible is false,than explain how many ancient cultures said something about a flood?

      Talking snake.Of course snakes can't talk but most atheists don't realize who the snake actually was.Or how could a burning bush talk? It cannot be explained but since it cannot be explained doesn't mean anything.Its not that important..

      Believe what you want because that final breath everything depends on you.Not mankind

      June 9, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @No Proof

      Nothing you said refutes anything I said.

      We know there was not a world wide flood for about a million reasons or so. The bible says there was wrong; it's wrong. Jesus says there was one; he was wrong. If the bible is wrong on a purported fact, then it's not "God's word." If Jesus was wrong, he wasn't who the bible and christians claim. It's not my problem; it's yours. Enjoy.

      June 9, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • the flood

      Answer posted above

      June 9, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
  18. junior

    Prothero maybe wants to be the Andy Rooney of CNN

    June 9, 2012 at 8:54 am |
  19. Reality

    The musings of S. Prothero continue. Is he a Christian, an agnostic, an atheist, a Taoist, or a Santeraist or simply a book promoter of all things Prothero?

    June 9, 2012 at 6:58 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      lol.

      June 9, 2012 at 8:14 am |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    June 9, 2012 at 5:14 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      actions change things; prayer wastes time. get up off your knees, unclasp your hands, go outside and put them to use.

      June 9, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • action without a plan

      is the proof you are dealing with a moron. Prayer provides the plan.

      June 9, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      i think you are confusing 'planning' with 'talking to yourself'. if you are building a shed in the back yard, it is a good idea to sit down and plan it out, measurements, etc. but i guess you replace that step with prayer? that's your idea of planning? i guess if you worked as an architect, you'd pray up some blue prints for clients? lol.

      June 9, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • nope

      @bootyfunk
      nope

      June 9, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      "Prayer provides the plan" haha. mindless dribble. leave the christian cult and think for yourself.

      June 9, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • There is no right

      To impose bootyfunks stupidity on all mankind

      June 9, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      yes, "logic" is definitely stupid. i plan, you pray - see how that works out. haha.

      June 9, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • nope

      You couldn't plan a successful urination with a map and complete instructions tattooed on your unit

      June 9, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • mickey1313

      Prayer is the manifestation of schizophrenia. ( The talking to ones self)

      June 9, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • nope

      you either mickey

      June 9, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Jesus

      ~Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!~.

      June 11, 2012 at 10:27 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.