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'Recovering Catholics' reveal spiritual journeys
According to a 2008 poll, 31% of Americans were raised Catholic, but only 24% describe themselves as Catholic.
June 19th, 2012
09:36 AM ET

'Recovering Catholics' reveal spiritual journeys

By Jim Spellman, CNN

Denver (CNN) - Kristen Kelly was raised Roman Catholic, attended Catholic elementary school and considered herself a good Catholic, but when she was 21-years-old that changed.

“A coworker asked me if I believe in Jesus Christ,” she says.

Despite spending her entire life in the Roman Catholic Church she couldn’t answer the question.

“I never really got exposed to Christ," she says. "It was more about Mary and the Church and a condemnation of everything I was doing wrong.”

She looked at her coworker and saw someone who appeared to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and decided that was what she wanted. She said this prayer:

“Jesus I accept that you are my lord and savior, and I ask you to come into my life.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

And from that moment Kelly, now 41 and living in Florida, considered herself born-again, and an ex-Catholic.

“I like to call us recovering Catholics,” she says with a laugh.

According to a 2008 study by the Pew Forum on Religious Life and Public Life, 31% of Americans were raised Catholic, but only 24% now describe themselves as Catholic. Read the study (PDF).

That means about 1 in 10 Americans is an ex-Catholic. If they were a denomination they would be bigger than Methodists, Baptists, Lutherans and Presbyterians.

The total U.S. Catholic population has remained at about 24%, as immigrants have filled the pews the ex-Catholics have left behind.

Video: Why do some Catholic outsiders remain inside the flock?  

Kathleen Cummings , associate director at the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at Notre Dame, says that some people leave the Catholic Church after a defining event like the priest abuse scandals or because of a disagreement with the Church over social issues, but most leave because they feel their needs are not being met.

“They are not experiencing something that fulfills them spiritually,” Cummings says.

Church supporters are urging wayward Catholics to return to the fold. For example, Catholics Come Home, a nonprofit lay organization formed in 1997, has been putting out the welcome mat via the media.

The group has an interactive website www.Catholicscomehome.org and airs what it calls “evangomercials” on radio and television. The group says that since 2008 more than 350,000 people have “come home” to the Catholic Church through their campaign.

Tom Peterson, president of Catholics Come Home, says some worshipers who've returned to the Catholic Church report leaving because they had disagreements with church officials or had divorced and feared they wouldn’t be welcome. But, he says, the majority never really gave up on the Church.

“They just drifted away and life got too busy," Peterson says. "Most say they didn’t dislike the Church, nor were they opposed to the Church teachings.

“An overwhelming majority of returnees tell our diocesan partners that they came home to the Catholic Church, 'because you invited me,'" he says.

But it may not be so simple to lure back ex-Catholics like Matt Rowe, a 35-year-old married father of two living in Denver. Rowe attended 16 years of Catholic School in Illinois and attended a Catholic university.

But by the end of college, Rowe was adrift. He found himself disagreeing with the Church on everything from the role of women to the concept of original sin and what he saw as the Catholic Church’s dependence on guilt as a motivating factor.

Rowe gave up on religion for most of his 20s but never stopped believing in God. When he got married and had kids, he started feeling a void in his life.

“I wanted my kids to grow up in a religion, but not Catholicism,” he says.

After “church-hopping” for a few years, Rowe ended up at Pathways Wash Park, a multidenominational Christian church in Denver.

After years of feeling disconnected in the Catholic Church where he says sermons rarely connected to his life, he has finally found the connection he has been looking for at Pathways.

“I wanted spirituality. I wanted God. I wanted all those points to go back to what I’m dealing with today,” Rowe says.

Fred Viarrial, 59, grew up as an altar boy at St. Leo’s in Denver. Six days a week he donned his cassock and worked the 6 a.m. Mass.

“Books or bells. You are ringing the bells or moving the books for the priests,” Viarrial says.

But as he grew up he began questioning elements of Catholicism. One day, when Viarrial was somewhere between age 10 and 12, he had something especially embarrassing to confess, so he trekked over to a Spanish language parish where he was unknown.

“The priest pulled me out and spanked me on the spot,” Viarrial says with a laugh. “That got me to question this whole thing of confession.”

When he was just 14 the precocious teenager went so far as to schedule an appointment with Denver ‘s then-Archbishop James Casey to discuss his doubts.

“I took a two-page list of questions starting with the Hail Mary. I wanted to find them in the Bible, their origin … where is that in the Bible?”

Viarrial says the archbishop humored him but ultimately did not answer his questions.

He still believed in God, but was losing faith in the Church.

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By his 20s he was searching for a new church and ended up at Arvada Covenant Church, an evangelical congregation in a Denver suburb.

At Arvada Covenant he says the focus is on a personal relationship with Jesus and that his questions about his faith and the Bible are not met with derision, but with a search for answers through Bible study.

He has found a home at Arvada Covenant, but says he holds no grudge against the Catholic Church and still feels echoes of his Catholic upbringing in his faith today.

“It’s like a spiritual tattoo that you receive as a kid," Viarrial says. "Those roots don’t ever disappear, you just better try to understand them.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Colorado • Faith

soundoff (2,511 Responses)
  1. Denny

    Derek, PLEASE open your eyes. No, the catholic church may not be on the airwaves a la Benny Hinn, Robert Tilton, etc., but they sure as hell keep their flock in a constant state of fear and intimidation with threats of eternal damnation and hellfire should they dare disagree with the church's teachings, all the while claiming man's word to be the word of god. The catholics are NO different than protestants in this respect. Any god who would eternally condemn a soul to eternal fire and damnation is not worthy of worship from anyone!

    June 19, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • Doorman

      Denny,

      If a Teenage child runs away because they don't like the just rules laid down by their parents for the house, and this same teen finds themselves hungry, homeless and alone, is it the parents fault, or could you say the parents 'condemned' that teen to hunger and homelessness? The same is true with God. Being that he is the author of life, he has set down guidelines for our happiness, so that we can be free of our selfish, self absorbed ways, and become true lovers by putting others first. If we decide to completely ignore those guidelines and live a self absorbed, self serving life, we condemn ourselves to separation from God. This the Church calls Hell. The opposite of being with the one who loves you and can give you all that makes you truly happy, is to be with one who hates you and on,y desires to give you torment. It's our choice where we want to go based on which path we follow. Just like the teen, we can obey the 'rules of the house' or we can turn our backs on those, and live our own self serving way.

      If you truly reflect on what the church teaches, in morality, it's basically that which is in accordance with Natural Law. Obviously it makes sense to abide with that which is in our 'nature' as intended by the one who made us.

      Peace,

      June 19, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • Ting

      Doorman: 'The same is true with God'

      Well there is one really big difference between the two. You can actually see and talk to your parents.

      June 19, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      Church teaching = do as we say, not as we do.

      June 19, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Atheist teaching – I can do whatever I want

      June 20, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • JWT

      That is an absolutely wrong thing Bill. Totally clueless.

      June 20, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • JWT

      Doorman – that would depend on the teen and th eparents – not all commonly thought good rules can be applied to all teens.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  2. joseph

    Christianity is not a denomination. Neither is a denomination Christianity. As Christians we would do well to remember Paul's admonition:

    10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

    11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.

    12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

    13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

    14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;

    15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.

    16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.

    17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

    18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

    19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

    20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

    21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

    22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

    23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

    24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

    25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

    26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

    27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

    28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

    29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

    30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

    31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

    (1 Corinthians 1:10-31)

    June 19, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • Answer

      Sure sign of desperation in using scripture.

      June 19, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
  3. HeavenSent

    All these non believers will surely regret their rejection of God, for the rapture is near and your repentance will be at hand. True Christians know that all the answers about end time can be found at prolapsed.net. Truth in god!

    Amen.

    June 19, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • Snake Oil Rep

      Step right up folks and get your rapture tickets.

      June 19, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • Answer

      Just provide a date.

      You'll prove yourself wrong time and time again.

      June 19, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • Berk

      Ah, the Rapture! And here, in an article discussing how out of touch with reality the Catholic Church has become. My irony meter just broke!

      June 20, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • sam stone

      HS spends his days dreaming of eternity on his knees, doing the Lewinski thing to Jesus. Amen

      June 20, 2012 at 12:41 am |
  4. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    It is curious how CNN manages these 'controversial' belief blogs.

    This thread was up at 9:30am EST on 6/19/12. Around 12:30pm the rate of postings exploded (presumably when this was put on the front page). All afternoon people posted heavily until about 6:00pm when presumably it was taken off the front page and posting effectively dried up.

    I wonder how they choose when to relegate these posts to the Belief Blog on the Living page. There were other recent posts where they kept a text link (no picture) visible from the front page for days.

    June 19, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
  5. Jeff from Columbus

    If someone has a problem with the Catholic Church, that's fine. Don't believe in the Catholic faith. But, look at the number of people who come on here to bash the Catholic Church. Why?

    Because they think the Catholic Church is wrong? Ok. But, again, how about simply not being Catholic? Why the need to bash other people simply for having beliefs other than your own?

    Is it because the Catholic Church is anti-abortion? They've been anti-abortion forever and, obviously, that hasn't swayed anyone in politics regarding that issue. Heck, look at the number of pro-abortion Catholic politicians. If they can't sway even Catholics to vote their way, is their position really all that threatening?

    Is it because the Catholic Church is opposed to gay marriage? Well, again, that's obviously not having a great deal of affect in the laws of the land. Plus, just like with abortion, about 50% of Americans share the views of Catholic Church. Over 50% identify themselves as pro-life and about the same % are opposed to Gay Marriage. So, its not like the Catholic Church is taking some radical position.

    I'm just trying to figure the hatred towards Catholics. And I do mean HATRED. Look at the comments on this board. Really nasty, vile comments about Catholics and the Catholic Church.

    If I choose to be Catholic, why do so many people have a problem with that? Shouldn't that be my choice? Why the need to constantly tell me (and other Catholics) we're idiots and our Church is so horrible?

    June 19, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Jeff, you raise some fair questions.

      I think there are two categories of posters who fit your description.

      1. There are a ton of anti-religion posters who like to respond here. They profess to be atheists and like to bait people of faith, for the heck of it.

      I think this is due to the fact that atheists are a small minority in the US and they are responding to the marginalization of their beliefs in what is supposed to be a country that supports freedom of (and therefore from) religious expression by lashing out. They should be more respectful and recognize that proselytizing – either by theists or atheists, is unwelcome.

      A respectful conversation on beliefs is fine, but many people cross the line.

      2. The traditional anti-Catholic protestant rhetoric that dates back to colonial times, when practicing Catholicism was illegal in England and many of the 13 colonies. Adherents of this tradition historically hated the Irish immigrants in the 19th century and it continues as the (subconscious?) engine behind the fear of Latino immigration in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

      The "WASP" ideal continues to this day. History shows how Catholics turned the home of the GOP (the northeast) into a liberal stronghold centered around Boston. People are very afraid of the same thing happening in the south west.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      We live in a country with its origins during the Protestant reformation. We tend not to think about how virulently anti-Catholic those times were. The English Civil war was fought (in part) over this and Charles I was executed (1649) largely because he had Catholic sympathies. Many of the early colonies were founded on religious grounds:
      Virginia: Anglican
      Massachusetts: Puritan
      Rhode Island: religious tolerance
      Connecticut, New York, New Jersey: Dutch Reformed Calvinists
      Maryland: Catholics
      Pennsylvania: religious tolerance (managed by Quakers)

      The Battle of the Severn (1655) was a battle of the English Civil war fought between Puritans and Catholics in Providence (later Annapolis, MD).

      In a remarkable turn of events, the founders of the US (who could not appease the various religious sects in the former Colonies by choosing a state religion) elected to create a const.tution without religious underpinnings – a truly remarkable achievement for that age.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Anti-Catholic sentiment lies under the surface of the whole history of the United States. It is not new.

      Consider one of the objections listed in the Declaration of Independence:
      "For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:"
      ... indirectly refers to the rights granted to Catholics after the British capture of Canada from France (expediently to stop them from revolting) and expresses colonial fears that a Catholic army would be raised in Canada to invade the lower 13 colonies.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      Jeff,

      I can't speak for others but as an ex-catholic I don't hate catholics. The catholic church however has some major PR issues with the way it handles current affairs. The church has a habit of worrying more about its dogma and its image than it does about its members. Examples are abuse by clergy, how it handles divorce issues, birth control specifically teaching in African countries that use of condoms spreads aids, ect. ect.

      June 19, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • Patrick

      Learn your church history. The Catholic church was NOT always anti-abortion. The current RC position on abortion dates back only to the 1860s. The RC ban on abortion has been on-again off-again for centuries.

      June 19, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Notice the current article on child abuse in some Jewish communities. Estimates are that 20% of Hasidic children are victims of pedophilia, a ratio that totally swamps Catholic rates The last time I looked there were 74 comments. So is it really only Catholic pedophiles that we are worried about? Or is it that Jewish children are less valuable?

      June 20, 2012 at 9:42 am |
  6. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    @Doorman,

    I checked the link you gave me on limbus infantium, thank you. It leads to the following:

    Q. 632. Where will persons go who - such as infants - have not committed actual sin and who, through no fault of theirs, die without baptism?

    A. Persons, such as infants, who have not committed actual sin and who, through no fault of theirs, die without baptism, cannot enter heaven; but it is the common belief they will go to some place similar to Limbo, where they will be free from suffering, though deprived of the happiness of heaven.

    This sounds exactly like the limbo I was taught in my formative years. It really is a difference without a distinction – "a rose by any other name" etc.

    June 19, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Oops – reply to thread below ...

      June 19, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
  7. apostate

    I hope most ex-Catholics and ex-Christians in of any flavor have found a personal relationship with reality.

    June 19, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • Evangelical

      I hope you find a personal relationship with God.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • apostate

      Thor? Vishnu? Asherah?

      June 19, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      If I was capable of having "faith" in a god, I'd worship Thor. Norse gods are badas.ses. Although Anubis would be a close second.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • Bet

      Eva, I hope you find a personal relationship. Period.

      June 19, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Addendum: I hope it finds a personal relationship with a working brain cell...

      June 19, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • Bet

      Addendum II: Without "Made in China" stamped on it.

      June 19, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • Cq

      HawaiiGuest
      Klingons are the most kick a$$. They killed their gods! 🙂

      June 20, 2012 at 12:10 am |
  8. M

    Lifelong Catholic here. Still Catholic. Will always be Catholic. There is no other "Christian Church" on the planet, only social centers copying the mass to a greater or lesser degree.

    The church IS facing a major crisis. Church leadership AND the old guard laity looks down on the rest of the congregation. That is the biggest problem facing the church now. To get anything done you need the permission of the out of touch priests and the old people. Neither seem to care much about young families, kids, teens. Their focus is on abortion, venerating Mary, and whatever hot political issue is in the press. In sum, they are not GROOMING the next generation of Catholics. Case in point: the youth programs at most parishes are PITIFUL. Even when they do exist, they cut the teens loose after their senior year of HS and leave them to their own devices... and inevitably they fall away.

    The church is in crisis and will continue bleeding members until it starts prioritizing young families, youth, college kids, and of course getting priests that speak english back on the pulpit. You can't understand 80% of the prists now because they can barely speak english. NOT GOOD.

    June 19, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • Eric G

      "English" should be capitalized.

      June 19, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • First Aid

      "The church is in crisis and will continue bleeding members..."

      Do they need a turny cut?

      June 19, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • kendallpeak

      M. All the reason to get as involved as much as possible in your local parish. We are the Church.

      June 19, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • sam

      THAT didn't sound nutty or cultish, at all.

      June 19, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Berk

      First Aid
      "The church is in crisis and will continue bleeding members..."

      And the fundies are right there to lick the blood up off the floor!

      June 20, 2012 at 12:13 am |
    • JWT

      Thunk of all the gods on stargate.

      June 20, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  9. Reality

    Only for new members of this blog:

    Added reasons why Christianity/Catholicism is going extinct-

    Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

    The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

    earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

    For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

    Current RCC problems:

    Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

    Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

    Current problems:
    Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

    June 19, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • kendallpeak

      And yet they rocked the world. You can add your name to others who predicted the Church's demise. Stalin, Mao, Fidel, all good atheists. Time magazine also, in I believe 1968.

      June 19, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Eric G

      Kendalpeak, you must be new here. Please do some reading on the people you reference as atheits. For example, Stalin was a seminary student for years.......

      Read a book, Son.

      June 19, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • kendallpeak

      So Eric, Since Stalin was once a seminary student he never became an atheists? Do more than read a book, take some classes in logic, boy.

      June 19, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @kendal

      So should we hold you responsible and say you're evil for things that church leaders have done?

      June 19, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Eric G

      Alright, it's a slow day, so I will play along.

      Using your understanding of logic, please provide verifiable evidence that the horrific actions of Stalin were based in his lack of belief in your god.

      I really think you should stay in the shallow end of the pool while the adults talk.........

      June 19, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • kendallpeak

      Eric, please try to think logically. I simply pointed out that Stalin was an atheist, I didn't say that caused him to murder. I leave that illogic to those who blame religion for bad priests. Perhaps you would find courses in logical argument helpful, I'm sure there are community colleges with relaxed entrance requirements in your area.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      Kendall,

      The church is not responsible for bad priests, it is responsible for allowing pedophiles to continue raping children by playing 3 card monte with the pedophile priests. If a non-religious organization acted in similar fashion that organization would probably cease to exist.

      June 19, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Reality

      Like Penn State?

      June 20, 2012 at 12:37 am |
  10. sn0wb0arder

    a persons "choice" of religion is almost entirely dictated by the location and time of their life. at most, the overwhelming majority of people have no more choice other than which particular sect to adhere.

    June 19, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  11. sn0wb0arder

    i expect that for the majority of the population religion is little more than a footnote and held to be true simply because it is what they have been taught and their daily lives never bring a reason to challenge the belief. along with that, the communal aspect of religion works to hold people in check with the fear of being ostracized.

    June 19, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  12. Word of Caution

    Again, the Devil is at play.

    June 19, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • sam

      By all means, blame something imaginary rather than remember it's humanity that's the problem, here.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Jesus Loves A N A L

      Wrong. Christians are at play. They represent majority of the crimes. They divorce, kill, cheat etc the most.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Yes the Devil is @ play with Catholics. Burn burn burn.

      Amen.

      June 19, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Satan

      You jerks all leave me out of this. I want nothing to do with it.

      June 19, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Berk

      HeavenSent
      I can totally imagine you waving a pitchfork and laughing maniacally while saying that. You're twisted, dude!

      June 20, 2012 at 12:18 am |
  13. A dose of reality

    1. You believe that the pope has personal conversations with God (that nobody else ever hears) and is infallible when speaking on matters of Church doctrine. You then wistfully ignore the fact that Church doctrine changes and that former popes therefore could not possibly have been “infallible”. Limbo, for example, was touted by pope after pope as a place where un-baptized babies who die go, until Pope Benedict XVI just eradicated it (or, more accurately, so watered it down as effectively eradicate it in a face saving way). Seems all those earlier “infallible” Popes were wrong – as they were on Adam and Eve v. evolution, heliocentricity v. egocentricity, and a host of other issues that required an amendment of official Church doctrine. You also ignore the innumerable murders, rampant corruption and other crimes committed over the centuries by your “infallible”, god-conversing popes.
    2. You reject the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours. You are blissfully (or intentionally) blind to the fact, that had you been born in another part of the World, you would be defending the local god(s) and disdaining the incorrectness of Catholic beliefs.
    3. You begrudgingly accept evolution (about a century after Darwin proved it and after accepting Genesis as literally true for about 2,000 years) and that Adam and Eve was totally made up, but then conveniently ignore that fact that your justification for Jesus dying on the cross (to save us from Original Sin) has therefore been eviscerated. Official Church literature still dictates a belief in this nonsense.
    4. You disdain native beliefs as “polytheist” and somehow “inferior” but cannot explain (i) why being polytheistic is any sillier than being monotheistic. Once you make the quantum leap into Wonderland by believing in sky-fairies, what difference does if make if you believe in one or many?; nor (ii) why Christians believe they are monotheistic, given that they believe in god, the devil, guardian angels, the holy spirit, Jesus, many demons in hell, the Virgin Mary, the angel Gabriel, thousands of saints, all of whom apparently make Earthly appearances periodically, and all of whom inhabit their life-after-death lands with magic-sacred powers of some kind.
    5. You bemoan the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don`t even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees or the 3,000 Israelites killed by Moses for worshipping the golden calf (or the dozen or so other slaughters condoned by the bible). You also like to look to god to for guidance in raising your children, ignoring the fact that he drowned his own – according to your Bible.
    6. You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that God impregnated Mary with himself, to give birth to himself, so he could sacrifice himself to himself to “forgive” an ”Original Sin” that we now all know never happened.
    7. You disdain gays as sinners, but have no problem when Lot got drunk and committed father-daughter in.cest (twice) or offered his daughters to a mob to be gang ra.ped, or when Moses, time and again, offered his wife up for the “pleasures” of the Egyptians to save his own skin.
    8. You believe that your god will cause anyone who does not accept your Bronze Age stories to suffer a penalty an infinite times worse than the death penalty (burning forever in excruciating torture) simply because of their healthy skepticism, yet maintain that god “loves them”.
    9. You will totally reject any scientific breakthrough that is inconsistent with your established doctrine, unless and until it is so generally accepted as to back you into a corner. While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you of the deep inanity of your silly faith, some priest doing magic hand signals over bread and wine is enough to convince you it is thereby transformed into the flesh and blood of Jesus because of the priest’s magic powers (or “sacred powers” to the extent you see a difference).
    10. You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to Lourdes, Fátima and other magic places and prayers in general. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. The remaining 99.99% failure was simply “god moving in mysterious ways”. The fact that, if you ask for something repeatedly, over and over, year after year, sooner or later that thing is bound to happen anyway, has not even occurred to you. A stopped clock is right twice a day.
    11. You accept the stories in the Bible without question, despite not having the slightest idea of who actually wrote them, how credible these people were or how long the stories were written after the alleged events they record occurred. For example, it is impossible for Moses to have written the first five books of the Old Testament, as Catholics believe. For one, they record his death and events after his death. In fact, the chance of the Bible being historically accurate in any but the broadest terms is vanishingly small.
    Heavens, I could not fit them into ten. Maybe, if they pray hard enough to their sky-fairy, the Catholics can turn them into 10

    June 19, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • kendallpeak

      And yet, you approve of me killing a steer for dinner, but claim to find it bad for me to kill my neighbor for $100. Why is this morally different?

      June 19, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • Madtown

      kendallpeak
      And yet, you approve of me killing a steer for dinner, but claim to find it bad for me to kill my neighbor for $100. Why is this morally different?
      ----
      LOL!! Do you actually think that's a good analogy?

      June 19, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • kendallpeak

      Madtown, yes I do, and I'll tell you why. Atheist are like spoiled children in that we usually allow them their rants without truly calling them to the carpet. According to atheist belief we are all simply evolving animals on a meaningless ball in a meaningless universe. Yet we allow them to hold on to deeply ingrained religious cultural norms without calling them on it. We allow them to basically say "everyone knows that" in justifing their silliness. So yes, atheist should have to answer obvious questions. If it's ok to kill rabbits, why not man, you say we are the same. If it's ok for a wolf to steel his brothers food, why not man? If the US can invade Canada for it's oil sands, why not? Atheist want their cake and to eat it too. In short, if you and everyone else is of no importance, how is the concept of right and wrong even possible. It's not. Atheist are like people at a PETA meeting eating a ham sandwich. Their full of it.

      June 19, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Eric G

      @kendallpeak: Interesting, but I think a better question would be do you think it is morally acceptable to kill someone for $100.00 or kill someone because of your interpretation of your holy book?

      As an atheist, the answer is simple. Neither is morally acceptable. People who disagree with the treatment of animals do not do so becuase of their atheism.

      By the way, atheism is a lack of belief in a god, not a "belief system". You would do well to understand the difference before attempting to "call others out" on this blog. Perhaps you should concentrate on demonstrating that your world view is based in fact before you begin attacking others?

      June 19, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • kendallpeak

      Eric, I am not attacking others, I am only asking the still unanswered question. If man and rabbit are the same, both meaningless life forms in a meaningless world, why is it ok to kill a rabbit, but not a man? The only answer I've ever gotten from atheist is that our society punishes us for murder, so it is self destructive to murder. But this boils down to "I might get caught", which hardly qualifies as morality.

      June 19, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @kendallpeak

      on that premise there is an increasing number of people who question "dominion over all the beasts" on 'moral' grounds, and I'm not just talking about vegans.

      Already on the do not eat list:
      – dogs, cats, horses, primates*, dolphins

      * Eating primates is bad. Their DNA is too close and their diseases are too close to us. Eating them can make people really dangerously ill.

      On the bubble (and not just vegans):
      – Calves (veal)
      – Duck/goose liver (gav-age)
      – Battery hens
      – Bambi

      What's next? Piglets and lambs?

      Anyone who has owned a dog knows that they dream. This indicates a consciousness that one would associate with animistic rather than animalistic 'instinct'.

      Yes, I eat hamburgers, but I want to think less and less about where they come from.

      June 19, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Doorman

      Hello 'A dose of reality',

      That is an interesting Strawman you've constructed... If the Catholic Church believed and taught all the rubish you put up, I wouldn't be Catholic either.

      Why don't you do yourself a favor, and go to http://www.catholic.com and search for your questions/claims to see how they square with actual church teaching. As some wise Saint once said 'A few people hate the Church and what She teachers, but millions hate what they THINK the Church teaches.'

      Just to cover a few of your misconceptions:

      1. The Church never taught Limbo as settled teaching, but as a possibility for innocent unbabtized souls. It still considers it as one of the possibilities. The Church in her humility leaves this as an open question, as this question has not been resolved by Holy Scripture or Sacred Tradition.

      2. The Church or the Faithful are not Outraged or angered by others believing in multiple God's or No God. Certainly outraged when she cannot enter into public discourse on this topic with other people or faiths. Our Calling as Catholics is to share the faith, but we understand that what we have received in the faith is an undeserved Grace, and only want to share it with others. We hold no disdain towards those who disagree, but only battle against the trend or reality in area's of the Globe where sharing the Gospel, or living out our Faith publicly is being restricted, or is currently very restricted or illegal. But we also support those of other Faiths to have the same right! The Church in Italy has fought against certain trends to severely restrict Islamic worship or practice. There is a large Mosque about 1 mile from the Vatican (if not closer), there is no Catholic Church allowed in all of Saudi Arabia. Look at history and see who has persecuted who. You might be surprised.

      3. The Church accepts scientific Knowledge as is. She accepts that Evolution seams to have strong merit with regards to the archeological record. Adam and Eve are recognized as the first parents of humanity. See here for more detailed covering: http://www.catholic.com/tracts/adam-eve-and-evolution
      http://www.catholic.com/quickquestions/did-science-prove-we-were-all-descended-from-a-single-woman

      Though you may never agree with the Catholic Church, at least you can educate yourself and stop mis-stating your own misconceptions as actual Church teaching.

      Peace,

      Doorman

      June 19, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @kendallpeak, you said: "why is it ok to kill a rabbit, but not a man?"

      This is a fair question. I would argue that the direction we are headed, it is not OK to 'kill the wabbit'. (Sorry, couldn't help the Elmer Fudd reference.)

      June 19, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Eric G

      @kendallpeak: Saying that a man and a rabbit are the same is an argument from as-sumption. Why do you think that atheists claim that they are the same?

      As far as the "fear of getting caught" issue. Based on your position and belief system, you are only acting in what you think is a moral manner because you fear eternal punishment. (infinite punishment for a finite crime is immoral)

      June 19, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Either way, this is a question of 'morals'.

      Morality is a curious thing. It is not handed down in graven tablets, but is fluid and a uniquely 'democratic' (for want of a better word) thing. This notion of right and wrong is rarely absolute and shifts over time with perception.

      Currently, conventional morality says 'it's OK to eat certain animals'. Not much different to Leviticus, except in the particulars. And it changes.

      June 19, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Doorman,

      I'm pretty sure that "limbo" for the unbaptized was in the catechism (and as such WAS official church teaching), back in the day. No surprise to see them back off from that one.

      June 19, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • kendallpeak

      Eric, you refuse to answer the question of why it's ok to kill a beast but not a man.

      June 19, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Eric G

      I am waiting for you to clarify your question. You are making an assumption that, as an atheist, I consider a man and a rabbit as the same. This is not the case. You are inaccurate in your definition of this atheists position, and thus, your question is illogical.

      Please clarify your position and I will be happy to answer your question.

      June 19, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Well said Eric. kendall, you're question makes an assumption about something of which you have not even taken the time to realize how flawed it is. You're talking about a specific philosophical view, and sticking it onto a stance (non-belief) on a claim (that god exists).

      June 19, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Doorman

      Hello 'I'm not a GOPer..',

      Regarding Limbo, please refer to this discussion: http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=133529

      Limbo of unbaptized Infants was never taught officially by the Catholic Church. Your confusing this with the current teaching of 'Limbo of the Fathers', which refers to those just men who died before Christ.

      Peace,

      June 19, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @doorman,

      no, actually I'm talking about what my parents (still devout Catholics) were taught and what they (and the nuns in my elementary school) taught me.

      June 19, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • Eric G

      @Doorman: So the RCC should get a pass on the limbo issue because of a technicallity? Catholic Churches taught their followers about limbo for centuries. To deny this weakens your credibility.

      Are you going to attempt to explain away the inquisitions as well?

      Denial is paramount to fraud.

      June 19, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      [Accidentally posted at top of page as well]
      @Doorman,

      I checked the link you gave me on limbus infantium, thank you. It leads to the following:

      Q. 632. Where will persons go who – such as infants – have not committed actual sin and who, through no fault of theirs, die without baptism?

      A. Persons, such as infants, who have not committed actual sin and who, through no fault of theirs, die without baptism, cannot enter heaven; but it is the common belief they will go to some place similar to Limbo, where they will be free from suffering, though deprived of the happiness of heaven.

      This sounds exactly like the limbo I was taught in my formative years. It really is a difference without a distinction – "a rose by any other name" etc.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Doorman – regarding Limbo, infants, and the Catholic Church.

      Sorry, no. It took until 2007 for the Church’s International Theological Commission to refute (weakly) the belief –

      “The conclusion of this study is that there are theological and liturgical reasons to hope that infants who die without baptism may be saved and brought into eternal happiness even if there is not an explicit teaching on this question found in revelation."

      Once again, centuries behind modernity and decency.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • kendallpeak

      Eric, I will try to make my question as clear as possible. Do you, as an atheist, consider a man's life of more value than a beast's life? If so why?

      June 19, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @kendall

      You're question has nothing to do with atheism, so injecting "as an atheist" is non-sensical.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • kendallpeak

      Well then Hawaii, another go. Do you consider a man's life of more value than a beasts? Why? (I've never seen people avoid answering a question so much since dealing with my teenage nephews.)

      June 19, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @kendallpeak –

      Red herring? False dilemma? Isn't it possible it depends on both the man and the beast? And, no, I'm not talking about an "evil" man, I'm bringing suffering into the equation.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @kendall

      I'm not avoiding answering, I'm just making sure that you're asking the right question. Of course I put a man's life before another animals life. The reason for this is because I am part of the species of man, and value my own survival and my species survival more than something not of my species. I'm not really sure how else to put it, while looking from inside of a species. If I were an intelligent wolf, I would value a wolfs life more than I would a mans life.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • Madtown

      kendallpeak
      if you and everyone else is of no importance,
      -----
      Well, I'm not an atheist.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @HawaiiGuest –

      Actually, I can easily think of a case in which the moral choice is to choose the life of the beast over the man. I'm sure you can, too.

      June 19, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @kendallpeak,

      I was happy to answer your question. I thought it was a fair question.

      The value judgement on one species versus another is a moral issue. And in our society it is changing.

      Jainism is very clear on this subject. A Jainist often wears a mask to avoid inadvertently swallowing bugs. They try to avoid stepping on bugs. They do not eat any living things. Their lives are 'live and let live' taken to its fullest.

      June 19, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Really-O

      Not off the top of my head. What situation are you thinking about?

      June 19, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • Delusions 3:15

      You're confusing Limbo with the perfectly logical Purgatory. Aquinas said it lasts for centuries. Of course how you "go" from one "place" to another is a GREAT mystery. Hahaha. 😦

      June 19, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @HawaiiGuest –

      Of course these are hypothetical and simply for the sake of illustration, but that doesn't mean they are facetious or trivial.

      Imagine an elderly human with brain death and cardiac arrest (mitigated only by mechanical ventilation and pacemaker) with no hope of recovery, death imminent, and no known family. Weigh that life against any one of the following:
      -a nursing mountain gorilla
      -a nursing bottlenose dolphin
      -a service animal for a severely disabled child (or adult)
      -or, even, a healthy dog beloved by its family, including young children

      I realize I'm putting myself out on the limb as a "heartless bas'tard", but I think it's actually the opposite – viewed in terms of aggregate suffering, the choice seems clear, at least to me. I'm sincerely interested in your opinion.

      June 19, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Really-O

      I can see that, and the thing that does it for me is the brain death. There's no coming back from that, and once the brain goes, consciousness goes with it. Add into that the imminent cardiac arrest and death despite the best efforts of modern medicine.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  14. The Dog Delusion

    Only a fool would believe that the historical Jesus did not exist. From there, the consensus is among NT scholars is that he was executed for blasphemy, he was buried, then his tomb was found empty and his followers had visions of seeing Jesus alive. Then his followers spread the message giving birth to Christianity. These facts are not denied by mainstream historians and scholars.

    From there different hypotheses exist to explain this (stolen body, apparent death, hallucinations, and resurrection).

    So, obviously, the tooth fairy analogy is as intellectually dishonest as it is absurd.

    June 19, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • The Dog Delusion

      meant for this to be a reply to Pliny below.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Eric G

      Please google "logical fallicies, argument from authority". What is intellectually dishonest is making claims of "fact" in your post without verifiable supporting evidence.

      Another interesting point is that you make no mention of the divinity of the subject of your post. Without the divinity, the story is the same as that of Horus.

      Please try harder next time.

      June 19, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • Berk

      Sure, Jesus could have existed, but Christ ... that's waaaay out there! That guy's just another version of Hercules!

      June 20, 2012 at 12:24 am |
  15. matter-of-fact

    @Clinton: people are moral animals due to a chemical in the brain called oxytocin. That is what gives people their morals and civility, not god. Atheists are just as moral as religious people as a result, because we are all people and function the same way. The civility doesn't come from god, but from oxytocin, as that is what ionfluences our brain.

    June 19, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • kendallpeak

      If all people agreed that killing other races was good, would it be good, or would it still be bad?

      June 19, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Robert

      Why pay any attention whatsoever to morality if it only has a chemical significance?

      June 19, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  16. b0bc4t

    For all you on either side, we can agree on this statement about trying to convince someone with a closed mind about the presence or absence of God, in any form .....

    I would Love to Agree with you, but then we'd BOTH be WRONG!

    Religion depends upon faith, that is, believing something without actual facts to prove it. Therefore, unless and until we can have an indisputable, universally accepted sign from a Supreme Being, which satisfies ALL of our questions, we must agree to disagree.

    Maybe it will actually come from scientists, and we can examine, test, investigate and evaluate it in terms that we can accept as factual and true. Until that day, proven right or wrong, I'll stick to my beliefs and try to accept you for yours.

    June 19, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • Darw1n

      .... way to take all the fun out of it

      June 19, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I think we can agree that you will now what you know when you know that you know.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  17. Dan Mulcahy

    Why does CNN always run stories that always take a negative stance on the Catholic Church. Oddly the article mentions hundreds of thousands of Catholics that have returned to the Church, but it failed to cite or quote one individual. Rather it focused on three individuals that left the Church. Article is far from balanced.

    June 19, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • LOL Religion

      If the RCC would stop doing horrible things, people would stop reporting about the RCC doing horrible things.

      And in the case of this story, if the RCC hadn't spent the last several decades inst.itutionalizing se.xual abuse and conspiring to cover it up and protect the offenders, or alienating folks with their stance on reproductive rights and birth control which is decidedly misogynistic and has contributed to the spread of HIV and other STDs, or if agents of the Church hadn't kidnapped and effectively sold thousands of Spanish, Irish, Australian and American children from the 1940s to as recently as 1987 – then folks wouldn't be leaving the Church in droves and you wouldn't be seeing stories like this one either.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  18. A Catholic

    I hope the church sues for slander and libel.

    June 19, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • Darw1n

      They have no grounds to do so. I hope you come to your senses one day.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Jesus Loves A N A L

      Child r a p e supporter, get over your delusion. The Pope rides the backsides of boys while protecting his crew.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      You do realize that when stories like this are published, the writers have made damn sure they have their facts straight to avoid petty lawsuits...right? Does it break your poor heart that the church is being exposed for what it truly is-a cult of pedophiles protected by the fact that they all share a similar imaginary friend and a church that constantly rages war on women? If you're supporting this then you're not a moral person!!! No person in their right mind thinks that harming a child is good and no person in their right mind still believes in oppression of women...that's crap from 60 years ago, not today and like your god, it belongs in the past.
      I do understand that pedophilia happens all over and throughout numerous cultures, however the major difference here is that the only peds seeming to get away with this are the Catholic Priests.

      June 19, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      You should sue the church for running a 3 card monte scam with pedophile priests.

      June 19, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • sam stone

      Sure, more money to pay out for the pedophiles

      June 20, 2012 at 12:46 am |
    • sam stone

      Both slander (oral) and libel (printed) involve untruths. This is merely an opinion.

      Try to keep up

      June 20, 2012 at 12:53 am |
  19. Answer

    Imagine yourself being able to go back in time. Let's go back 3000 years. Bringing along with you a bar of soap, some sugar and a balloon.

    To the less educated people, which is basically all of them, they will bow down to you when you show them this trick of using static electricity to control some mere soap bubbles. Their level of education will not be able to deny your education. Hence you are a god. Superior.

    Now step forward in time. You will realize that as more of society advances in understanding they will be able to discount and deny your magic trick for mere trickery. Ask yourself what would the people of the late 1600's would be able to discount?

    Obviously the soap. What about the effects of static electricity? Have they knowledge of it. Do some research – you will find out. Now go up to the 1700's. What else is deniable?

    Come back to present day. Youtube it and you're less than amazed.

    This is the fact of cir.c.u.mstantial evidence. The circu.m.stances of your environment and education are the factors that help you to deny magic.

    June 19, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Answer

      Now let me honor your nationalism and patriotic side with this one.

      Americans value their products that are "American". Take with you your best ace pilot in an F-15. Back to those primitive times.
      Reach and breach the sound barrier to crumble their ear drums and then have the pilot land down in front of the,

      Proclaim your god status. How is your thinking now?

      June 19, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Darw1n

      I like Ancient Aliens too.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
      19For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
      20Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 22For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 25Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

      --------------------------–

      June 19, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Darw1n

      @athiest hunter – people don't talk like that anymore dippy

      June 19, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • Jesus Loves A N A L

      Christians represent majority of our immoral acts and criminal activity in our country. It does not appear Christianity is the answer to our woes. In fact the evidence shows Christianity perpetuates ill behavior and criminal activity in our country. Christ is clearly not the answer

      June 19, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Berk

      Atheist Hunter
      At least they knew that it was foolishness back then.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • Answer

      The bible thumpers will continue with their useless bible cut and paste.. I've witnessed it countless times.

      When your faith is shattered you have nothing left. You'll crawl further back in the pit of ignorance because you've invested so much of your life with it. You'll wonder and agonize about being all alone again.. and it is the most natural thing in the world.

      You crave company – to be loved and to love. But you reject other humans for a delusion and decry that humans are going to be their own gods. You see power as evil.. even when it is coursing through you in electrical form. I love laughing at the various methods you religious people keep those mental blocks in place.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  20. Pliny

    I have no problem with people establishing their own beliefs, or lack thereof. But comparing belief in Jesus to the Tooth Fairy emphasizes the ignorance of the one making that comparison. While you may not believe in God, the man named Jesus, or any other deity, there is in fact, historical evidence pointing at least to the possibility of the existence of the man named Jesus and that many, many people were willing to change their lives, risk their lives and even be persecuted and executed in the name of this man named Jesus. We're only talking a few decades after the death of this man named Jesus, many people were giving their lives for Him. Believe he was the son of God or not, most educated historians believe that a human being named Jesus walked this planet at one time, and clearly his teachings had a profound effect on the rest of humankind. Maybe we'll know in 2016 with the digitizing of the Dead Sea Scrolls is completed, but I'm pretty sure that the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny weren't mentioned in them. So yeah, there's a tiny little bit of a difference between fairies and the man named Jesus.

    June 19, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      It seems a reasonable assertion that based on the first century impact attributed to a man named Jesus, he almost certainly lived. No less than Mohammed, Confucius, Lao Tsu and the Buddha.

      The Roman world was clearly ready for a monotheistic message.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Darw1n

      I agree with your statement, but the possibility that jesus lived is not proof of god, or justification for religion, and neither is repeating the same lie over and over again for thousands of years.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I meant to add "of love and forgiveness".

      June 19, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • OOO

      There is more evidence that John F. Kennedy existed than Jesus. There is probably equal evidence that John F. Kennedy was a god as there is for Jesus. But this does not mean John F. Kennedy was a god. In that respect, we could substi-tute John F. Kennedy (or David Koresh for that matter) for the tooth fairy and get the same reaction.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Jesus Loves A N A L

      Christians represent majority of our immoral acts and criminal activity in our country. It does not appear Christianity is the answer to our woes. In fact the evidence shows Christianity perpetuates ill behavior and criminal activity in our country. Christ is clearly not the answer......

      June 19, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Dexter

      For the record Jesus had more than just a profound effect on mankind. His ransom sacrifice replace the old Mosiac Law where it became the LAW. He poured his blood and flesh for our sins when executed on the stake. Just for the record not on the cross. The orginal text in Greek and a common form of execution was the stake or tree like pole. In greek it is called Stauros.

      Jesus Christ sacrifice represented 4 very important points: (A) channel for us when praying in forgiving our sins (B) The opportunity to learn the truth about Jehovah God's Universal Soverign Government and the role Jesus would play as King of the government along side his Father Jehovah God. (C) The resurrection of billions to return back here on earth to learn about Jehovahs promises, his paradise restored earth and the perfection of mankind. (D) Everlasting life as recorded in John 17:3 and Isa 65th chapter.

      I appreciated your comments, just wanted to include some additonal points of understanding to those who disregard the significance of Jesus Christ and for that matter persistently want to avoid the real truth in Gods word the Holy Bible.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • OOO

      Dexter,
      I believe Jesus Christ, if he lived, was just a figure head USED by various people throughout the times to create what has evolved into modern christianity. It is human nature to do this. Most lies start with a kernal of truth.
      As someone famously quoted:
      What is more likely... Jesus was born of a virgin or a teenager told a lie.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • The Dog Delusion

      Only fringe groups doubt the existence of the historical Jesus.

      June 19, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • apostate

      People keep saying that, but then they don't have a shred of evidence for one ever existing.

      June 19, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      Lots of guys were named Jesus, but were any of them god? There is no reason to think so.

      June 19, 2012 at 11:03 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.