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June 19th, 2012
02:47 PM ET

Southern Baptists elect first black president

By Becky Perlow, CNN

(CNN) - More than 160 years after its founding as a pro-slavery church, the Southern Baptist Convention on Tuesday elected a black pastor for the first time to lead the denomination.

The election of the Rev. Fred Luter Jr. of New Orleans comes 17 years after Southern Baptist leaders apologized for the denomination's onetime support of white supremacist and segregationist policies.

It also cements years of effort by the church to overcome that divisive heritage.

"Just as some have said that in America race is the original sin, that certainly has been the case among the Southern Baptists," said Curtis Freeman, the director of Duke University's Baptist House of Studies. "It's something that the convention has never been quite able to [get] beyond."

Luter, 55, was unopposed in the election, which occurred Tuesday afternoon at the denomination's annual meeting in New Orleans.

He comes to the presidency after serving one term as vice president of the 16 million member organization, the second-largest denomination in the United States - behind only the Catholic Church. He will replace the Rev. Bryant Wright, the senior pastor at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Georgia.

In February, Luter told the Baptist Press that he felt called to help solve the church's divisive racial heritage.

"It was not on my bucket list, so to speak, but I think God ordained this because of the fact that what we're dealing with right now through the convention is trying to make the convention diverse," Luter said. "I think this will speak not only to our convention but to our country and throughout the world that this convention is serious about reaching all people."

The Southern Baptist Convention was founded by Southern slaveholders in 1845 after Northern Baptists opposed their desire to serve as missionaries. In recent years, the church has tried to shed that racist imprint, reaching out to minorities as both members and members of its clergy.

In a watershed moment in 1995, during its 150th anniversary, the church issued a formal apology for its onetime support of slavery.

Along with Luter's long journey to tear down the racial walls that plague his denomination, blacks have taken over the reigns of some state Baptist organizations while the church has encouraged racially diverse congregations to reach out to one another through missionary work.

In May, Luter told PBS that it is time to close the books on what the church once represented.

"I have a past, you have a past, everybody has a past," he told PBS. "This convention, unfortunately, has a past that we're trying to move forward from, and that's how I look at it. There was apology made, and so it's now time to move on."

Anthea Butler, an associate professor of religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania and a contributing editor at the online magazine Religion Dispatches said Luter's election was "inevitable."

"I mean, it's historic in one sense, but in another sense, it's pretty much par for the course because they were going after this all this time. They knew they had to come into the 20th, 21st century," said Butler.

Luter began as a street preacher in New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward who later built the struggling Franklin Avenue Baptist Church from 65 members to more than 8,000 congregants.

He is known for delivering sermons at breakneck speed, said Franklin Avenue church administrator Larry Johnson.

"When you're preaching on the street, you have to be quick to get the attention of the people that are passing by 'cause if you talk slow, then the people just don't get the message," Johnson said.

He has refused to build barriers between himself and parishioners as have some pastors of large churches, and that has endeared him to members, Johnson said.

"He gives of himself to his congregation, and we love him for that. There's no fake about him. He's totally genuine."

Freeman said that Luter's first moves as president will likely be to find ways to bring the racially divided church together in hopes of increasing member loyalty, although this has proved difficult in recent months.

Following the February killing of African-American teen-ager Trayvon Martin by a Hispanic neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida, and the racial debates that followed, the president of the SBC's ethnic and religious liberty commission chastised President Barack Obama for taking advantage of the situation.

"The president's aides claim he was showing compassion for the victim's family. In reality, he poured gasoline on the racialist fires," Richard Land said at the time.

Critics were outraged at Land's comments, which he later retracted and apologized for to the community.

Luter's election could help change the entire ethos of the denomination, including a potential increase in minority members, Freeman said.

"Anybody who thinks this is just a kind of a show to try to say, 'Well, it's time. We have a black president of the United States, we might as well have a black president of the Southern Baptists [will be] in for a surprise because Fred Luter is a man of conviction, a man who's not just going do what other people are suggesting," he said.

Among other powers, Luter will hold authority to appoint the nominating committee that will choose the denomination's governing board, Freeman said.

"If Fred Luter's leadership in the Southern Baptist could bring at least a step toward better relations between black and white Baptists in the South, then we would all be deeply in his debt," Freeman said.

The church's membership has declined in recent years, according to an annual profile gathered by LifeWay, a resource arm of SBC.

From 2010 to 2011, although the church gained additional churches, it lost almost 160,000, or about 1%, of its members.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Baptist • Belief • United States

soundoff (379 Responses)
  1. HeavenSkunt

    That guy even looks like a doosh.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      To be fair, he was competing against a turd sandwich.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:09 am |
  2. jtspargo

    I do hope this will help the congregation at Arab First Baptist Church in Arab, AL put away a century of bigotry and hate and help them practice what Jesus taught.

    June 20, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • Josh

      Hopefully, but If they have been proponents of bigotry for such a long time it will indeed be a hard thing to overcome. The best anyone can do is examine themselves on matter such as prejudice and racisim, then champion equality. The SBC is an autonomous body wherein its members are free to disagree on a great number of things, and there is no real discipline that the SBC can give to any of its members.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:02 am |
  3. Josh

    So why is it necessary that you come to an article merely discussing the election of a black man as president of the SBC solely to bash christianity? Obviously with no deity and no man being infallible you are the source of your own morality and your purpose is defined only by you. Why waste so much time and effort to tediously argue against and bad mouth people who believe in something that doesn't exist? What great pleasure do you derive from bating "uneducated and foolish" men and women into reacting in a manner you deem as inferior? And what in the world does the election of a black man as the SBC president have to do with Mitt Romney? What a foolish and unfounded assertion. Why can't the even be what it simply seems to be, a group that in the past was a proponet of something horrible not only lamenting that, but moving past it? Sunday morning is the most segregated block of time in the U.S. by why isn't this an effort to get past that? You assert that the believer is arrogant and ignorant for not further investigating your view point, yet you have no clue of the theology or philosophy that drives these men to do what they are doing. I mean is there not one out here that can admit that there is ignorance and foolishness on both sides of this argument?

    June 20, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      You give this long winded post criticizing the criticizers because of assertions we make yet you make a fairly huge assertion yourself by saying that we have no clue of the philosophy and theology which have shaped his delusions. Well, I'm pretty knowledgeable of Christian theology but more than not I have an interest in how religions have developed and the rise of the Abrahamic religions can be traced back to Saul unifying Israel. It doesn't make the delusions any more real.

      June 20, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • Josh

      @Rational Libetarian I concede that I did make an unfounded generalization, though it wasn't my goal. I merely meant to point out that a vast majority of the negative commentary against this article A. Has nothing to do with the article B. is pseudo-intellectual at best and filled with bigotry against those who hold to a faith. My goal and my aim isn't to start an argument because I feel that it is mostly vain, I just wanted everyone to take a more honest look at themselves. I suport any mutually respectful discussion and intellectual skepticism. It is just frustrating reading an article discussing the simple facts of an event and finding the commentary to be....oddly out of place. That being said respect for calling me out.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I agree that a glance at the comments section of any religious article can be a strange experience as it usually boils down to an atheism vs Yahweh fight but I find it fun as ridiculing stupidity is thoroughly enjoyable.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:30 am |
  4. Rational Libertarian

    I know absolutely nothing about Fred Luter junior but I can from the picture alone that he's probably like almost every other Baptist preacher; a self-righteous ass-hole.

    June 20, 2012 at 7:36 am |
  5. The Corrector

    We always knew that many good Blacks would pull through this mess.
    Are you pulling through this mess?
    Rev. Fred Luter Jr. is definitely pulling through this mess.
    Never let your ego get in the way of true happiness & I will be with you forever.

    June 20, 2012 at 7:32 am |
    • vulpecula

      "after its founding as a pro-slavery church, the Southern Baptist Convention on Tuesday elected a black pastor for the first time "

      Atheist here to congratulate the Southern Baptists Convention in overcoming the pro-slavery thing and willingness to elect a Black Leader.

      June 20, 2012 at 8:51 am |
  6. Topher

    Hi. If anyone has questions about Christianity, feel free to ask ...

    June 20, 2012 at 1:07 am |
    • Bob Loblaw

      Here are some simple questions for you:

      How can you believe it when there is absolutely no evidence that it is true?

      Why do you think that other religions are wrong when they have every bit as much evidence as you do that their religion is correct?

      How come you haven't sold all your possessions and given the procedes to the poor, like Jesus ordered on numerous occasions?

      June 20, 2012 at 3:25 am |
    • A dose of reality

      No matter how you dress it up, there are some fundamental difficulties with Christianity that are pretty hard to overcome.
      1. At its most fundamental level, Christianity requires a belief that an all-knowing, all-powerful, immortal being created the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies 13,720,000,000 years ago (the age of the Universe) sat back and waited 10,000,000,000 years for the Earth to form, then waited another 3,720,000,000 years for human beings to gradually evolve, then, at some point gave them eternal life and sent its son to Earth to talk about sheep and goats in the Middle East.
      While here, this divine visitor exhibits no knowledge of ANYTHING outside of the Iron Age Middle East, including the other continents, 99% of the human race, and the aforementioned galaxies.
      Either that, or it all started 6,000 years ago with one man, one woman and a talking snake. Either way “oh come on” just doesn’t quite capture it.
      2. This ‘all loving’ god spends his time running the Universe and spying on the approximately 7 billion human beings on planet Earth 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He even reads their minds (or “hears their prayers”, if you see any difference) using some kind of magic telepathic powers. He also keeps his telepathic eye on them when they are not praying, so as to know if they think bad thoughts (such as coveting their neighbor) so he knows whether to reward or punish them after they die.
      3. Having withheld any evidence of his existence, this god will then punish those who doubt him with an eternity burning in hell. I don’t have to kill, I don’t have to steal, I don’t even have to litter. All I have to do is harbor an honest, reasonable and rational disbelieve in the Christian god and he will inflict a grotesque penalty on me a billion times worse than the death penalty – and he loves me.
      4. The above beliefs are based on nothing more than a collection of Bronze and Iron Age Middle Eastern mythology, much of it discredited, that was cobbled together into a book called the “Bible” by people we know virtually nothing about, before the Dark Ages.
      5. The stories of Christianity are not even original. They are borrowed directly from earlier mythology from the Middle East. Genesis and Exodus, for example, are clearly based on earlier Babylonian myths such as The Epic of Gilgamesh, and the Jesus story itself is straight from the stories about Apollonius of Tyana, Ho.rus and Dionysus (including virgin birth, the three wise men, the star in the East, birth at the Winter solstice, a baptism by another prophet, turning water into wine, crucifixion and rising from the dead).
      6. The Bible is also literally infested with contradictions, outdated morality, and open support for the most barbarous acts of cruelty – including, genocide, murder, slavery, r.ape and the complete subjugation of women. All of this is due to when and where it was written, the morality of the times and the motives of its authors and compilers. While this may be exculpatory from a literary point of view, it also screams out the fact that it is a pure product of man, bereft of any divine inspiration.
      7. A rejection of the supernatural elements of Christianity does not require a rejection of its morality. Most atheists and secular humanists share a large amount of the morality taught today by mainstream Christianity. To the extent we reject Christian morality, it is where it is outdated or mean spirited – such as in the way it seeks to curtail freedoms or oppose the rights of $exual minorities. In most other respects, our basic moral outlook is indistinguishable from that of the liberal Christian – we just don’t need the mother of all carrots and sticks hanging over our head in order to act in a manner that we consider moral.
      Falsely linking morality to a belief in the supernatural is a time-tested “three card trick” religion uses to stop its adherents from asking the hard questions. So is telling them it is “wrong to doubt.” This is probably why there is not one passage in the Bible in support of intelligence and healthy skepticism, but literally hundreds in support of blind acceptance and blatant gullibility.
      8. We have no idea of who wrote the four Gospels, how credible or trustworthy they were, what ulterior motives they had (other than to promote their religion) or what they based their views on. We know that the traditional story of it being Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is almost certainly wrong. For example, the Gospel of Matthew includes a scene in which Jesus meets Matthew, recounted entirely in the third person!! Nevertheless, we are called upon to accept the most extraordinary claims by these unknown people, who wrote between 35 to 65 years after Christ died and do not even claim to have been witnesses. It is like taking the word of an unknown Branch Davidian about what happened to David Koresh at Waco – who wrote 35 years after the fact and wasn’t there.
      9. When backed into a corner, Christianity admits it requires a “leap of faith” to believe it. However, once one accepts that pure faith is a legitimate reason to believe in something (which it most certainly is not, any more than “faith” that pixies exist is) one has to accept all other gods based on exactly the same reasoning. One cannot be a Christian based on the “leap of faith” – and then turn around and say those who believe in, for example, the Hindu gods, based on the same leap, got it wrong. In a dark room without features, any guess by a blind man at the direction of the door is as valid as the other 359 degrees.
      Geography and birthplace dictates what god(s) one believes in. Every culture that has ever existed has had its own gods and they all seem to favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams, and prejudices. Do you think they all exist? If not, why only yours?
      Faith is not belief in a god. It is a mere hope for a god, a wish for a god, no more substantial than the hope for a good future and no more universal than the language you speak or the baseball team you support.

      ReplyReply AllMove...mls

      June 20, 2012 at 6:42 am |
    • Topher

      Hi, Bob

      Not sure if you'll see this since you posted a long time ago. Sorry about that, but I had to get some sleep. These are broad, and even tough questions, but they're fair ones. I'll try to answer them the best I can.

      "How can you believe it when there is absolutely no evidence that it is true?"

      I think there's plenty of evidence, though most of that evidence is thrown away by atheists. For instance, prophecy fulfillment, scientific and historical evidence agreeing with the Bible and Creation proving there's a Creator.

      "Why do you think that other religions are wrong when they have every bit as much evidence as you do that their religion is correct?"

      Well, IF Christianity is true, the others can't be. Jesus said "I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the father but by me." So if He's the way to Heaven and the truth, then other gods must be false. Also, Christianity is the only "religion" that has an answer for the sin problem. It teaches that we've all sinned and deserve Hell, but that despite our willful transgressions against God, He came to earth and died taking the punishment we deserve for those sins so that we can still go to Heaven. Isn't that wonderful?

      "How come you haven't sold all your possessions and given the procedes to the poor, like Jesus ordered on numerous occasions?"

      When Jesus was saying this to the rich young ruler He wasn't teaching salvation by philanthropy, He was revealing the man's heart. You see, he'd already failed a test a few verses earlier when he claimed to have never broken the Commandments when indeed we all have. What He was doing was asking to be first in the man's heart. Obviously money was first.

      June 20, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • Hey Zeus!

      @Topher

      The reason your evidence is “thrown out” is because it is not evidence. You misunderstand the meaning of the word if you think otherwise.

      What prophecy fulfilment are you referring to as evidence of anything, and what proof do you have that it was a) prophesied in the first place, and b) fulfilled?

      There is all kinds of scientific and historical “evidence” in Star Trek, but that doesn’t make the events in the novels, tv series or movies factual.

      If ‘Creation’ proves there is a ‘Creator’ then following that same logic, the ‘Creator’ would also have to have a ‘Creator’ ad infinitum. If the ‘Creator’ can exist without having been ‘Created’ then so can other stuff. ‘Because the bible says so’ is not a valid response to this conundrum.

      You assume christianity to be true because it says so in its own scripture. Other religions make the same claim. Quoting scripture is not evidence that your belief is any more valid than any other theist, nor is evidence of anything.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • mandarax

      "scientific and historical evidence agreeing with the Bible and Creation"

      Speaking as a scientist (and specifically one from the historical sciences), that's simply ridiculous. Please, just stop.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • Topher

      Hey Zeus!

      "The reason your evidence is “thrown out” is because it is not evidence. You misunderstand the meaning of the word if you think otherwise."

      I said there's evidence, I didn't say it was proof.

      "What prophecy fulfilment are you referring to as evidence of anything, and what proof do you have that it was a) prophesied in the first place, and b) fulfilled?"

      I'd tell you but you don't want to hear anything from the Bible.

      "There is all kinds of scientific and historical “evidence” in Star Trek, but that doesn’t make the events in the novels, tv series or movies factual."

      Right. But no one is claiming that James T. Kirk was a real person.

      "If ‘Creation’ proves there is a ‘Creator’ then following that same logic, the ‘Creator’ would also have to have a ‘Creator’ ad infinitum. If the ‘Creator’ can exist without having been ‘Created’ then so can other stuff. ‘Because the bible says so’ is not a valid response to this conundrum."

      OK, then how about this ... "So why then doesn't God need a cause? Because the atheist's contention misunderstands the Law of Causality. The Law of Causality does not say that everything needs a cause. It says that everything that comes to be needs a cause. God did not come to be. No one made God. He is unmade. As an eternal being, God did not have a beginning, so he didn't need a cause." ... Frank Turek

      You assume christianity to be true because it says so in its own scripture. Other religions make the same claim. Quoting scripture is not evidence that your belief is any more valid than any other theist, nor is evidence of anything.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • Hey Zeus!

      “I said there's evidence, I didn't say it was proof.”
      WTF!!!

      “Right. But no one is claiming that James T. Kirk was a real person.”
      NO, but you are claiming that because there are real places and real history in the bible, then the rest of it must be true.

      “OK, then how about this ... "So why then doesn't God need a cause? Because the atheist's contention misunderstands the Law of Causality. The Law of Causality does not say that everything needs a cause. It says that everything that comes to be needs a cause. God did not come to be. No one made God. He is unmade. As an eternal being, God did not have a beginning, so he didn't need a cause." ... Frank Turek”
      Who said anything about causality? The bible itself says god created us in his image, so if the bible is true then we know that god has form and that form looks like us. If god never 'came to be', then how did Abraham meet him? Was it all a figment of his imagination? Is your whole ideology based on someone’s hallucination?

      June 20, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  7. Faye

    This is a political move to undermine the re-election of President Obama. The Sunday morning hour is the most segregated time in this country. African-Americans passing through my town in Arkansas, who stopped in at the local First Baptist Church, have been promptely directed to the nearest "Black Baptist Church". This election has nothing to do with "Christianity", and everything to do with getting Romney elected. Don't be fooled again. Remember the promise to our fore-parents ("slaves") of forty acres and a mule....how Black sharecroppers could never work hard and long enough to pay off thier debts? Don't be fooled by this deceitful move. They used the Bible to justify slavery and most of them still do. Pay close attention to the leaders of this organization when they speak of social policies, etc. My guess is that this move will alienate more whites than anticipated. White supremacy is their legacy....and this preacher will do nothing to aleviate that legacy.

    June 19, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Truth

      Don't worry; obama will not be re-elected. Americans are clearly seeing what a horrible job he has done.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:21 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Truth

      As bad as Obama has been, the Republicans have once again completely undermined their bid for the Oval Office by putting forward a candidate like Romney. Ron Paul was their only reasonable candidate. I'll probably vote Gary Johnson or (begrudgingly) Obama, just to make sure that clown Romney doesn't get in.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:33 am |
    • JellyBean@Faye

      "This is a political move to undermine the re-election of President Obama."

      How? Seems to me you would elect a white dude to rally a bunch of white folks to try and vote him out.

      June 20, 2012 at 9:07 am |
  8. Rebel4Christ

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abVdgbV6f14&w=640&h=360]

    June 19, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • Rebel4Christ

      Ya know i am going to stand up for Jesus and be a rebel to the ways of this world!!

      June 19, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • Bet

      If Jesus is god, why does he need you to stand up for him? Seems sorta weak.

      June 19, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Rebel4Christ

      Yea! Learn more about being a rebel for god at prolapsed.net! God is great!

      June 19, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Rebel4Christ

      Thats pretty immature to pretend to be me. But a better term than stand up for would be represent Jesus.

      June 19, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • rudyardK

      You forgot to add a couple of "Verily's" to your "Yea's".

      June 20, 2012 at 12:25 am |
    • sam stone

      So, now you represent Jesus? Nothing arrogant about that, eh?

      June 20, 2012 at 1:39 am |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Rebel, there are 2.30 billion Christians in the world and 1.6 billion muslims. That's 35% and 23%. What exactly are you rebelling from? When you count all of the other religions on the planet it comes up to about 90% in total. Are you a rebel against the other 65% of the planet? Being 1 in 3 isn't really what I think about when I think about being a rebel.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:44 am |
  9. Chad

    More than 160 years after its founding as a pro-slavery church, the Southern Baptist Convention on Tuesday elected a black pastor for the first time to lead the denomination

    Great!
    about time, hard to believe it actually took this long.

    June 19, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Truth

      This is the beginning of the end for them, putting a black in charge. They cannot legitimately run anything, except into the ground.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:24 am |
  10. Kweso

    He's going to wait in vain for that phone call from the Pope to congratulate him.

    June 19, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
  11. Zephenia

    Church membership has greatly dwindled, lost its control over the masses, failed in he U.S. Be it a companyy, religion, WARS or the U.S.A itself, blacks have always been used in America to take the fall. No one person can undo what it took centuries to build. Slavery in America lasted for centuries. Jim Crow and Segregation lasted pretty much throughout the entire 20TH century, and remnants of it remain to this day. Once a foundation is built, no matter how wacky and tacky, the foundation has to be torn down to the last splinter and reconstructed. Even then the lasting effect will always be there. The SBC hiring of a black person isn't going to change that. That die was cast too many hundreds of years ago. If they're passing the torch on to blacks now, it's because they have no more use for it and are about to move on to something else.

    June 19, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
  12. MuyGuapo

    Lots of bigoted atheists on this blog that want to spread their venom about Christians. So sad.

    June 19, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • Evangelical

      Exactly. I don't know why they won't stop the hate.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      It is not hate. We promote intellectual progress. Prove there is a God. Prove Jesus. Then you can have your say. Stay out of politics. We MUST keep this nation secular and therefore we must battle the stupid. You believe in magic tricks and the supernatural. It is delusional and dangerous and you MUST be stopped!

      June 19, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Perhaps you should respond to your assertions below, or is it that you can't back it up with anything other than more assertions?

      June 19, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • Truth

      Oh it's only just another black guy, who cares! lol

      June 19, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • Evangelical

      @Alien

      It is hate, pure and simple. And as for this being a secular nation, we are a nation that is majority Christian. Also we are a democratic republic. Now who do you really think that people of faith will not vote for what is in their best interests and in the best interests of the nation? The secularists want to take us down into the moral sewer. That is something we Christians must struggle against to the end. We are, after all, one nation UNDER GOD.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Evangelical

      Your idiocy is matched only by your determination to show your idiocy.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • Evangelical

      @Hawaii

      And your hate is matched only by your determination to show your hatred for all things Christian.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • chubby rain

      @Evangelical - Exactly, we are a democratic republic. Not a democracy. If you don't understand the difference, go back to school.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Evangelical

      I've spoken out against doctrines, and I've spoken out against your hatred of those that don't think like you, and I've spoken out against your complete lack of compassion or empathy. When, precisely, have I expressed hatred? Your persecution complex is showing.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • Zephenia

      Mygaupo, so-called ***Christians*** have done their own fair share of spreading the *hate* and *bigotry*. If it's coming back to haunt them it's their own fault. That goes even for the ones who remained silent when they should have been speaking up and out. This is nothing more than a sly means to control blacks, the same way the *Christian* religion was used to justify and control blacks throughout slavery, Jim Crow and segregation

      June 19, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Evangelical

      @chubby

      What are you talking about? I know exactly what a democratic republic is. And it is because of the Christian majority that you will always have candidates talking about God. Then know they would not be elected otherwise. Once elected if they slap their const.ituency in the face (as Obama has), they will be removed. In all cases, they must answer to Christians one way or another.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Evangelical

      @Hawaii

      Your last post when you called me an idiot.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • chubby rain

      Evangelical, in a democratic republic, the minority is protected from the tyranny of the majority. It is the obligation of elected officials, NOT to pander to their consttuents. The founding fathers distrusted the then white protestant majority and they created lengthy terms for senators and the presidents so they could make the morally right choices, and created the electoral college as a buffer against the majority. They never envisioned career politicians as we have now nor the political parties that dominate our government.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Evangelical

      And yet, you don't even know the proper use of the words hypothesis and theory when it comes to science. You show narrow-minded bigotry to those who do not think as you do, and you revel in condemning others to hell. Without any kind of evidence to back up any of your assertions, and willfully ignoring that, I would not only call you idiotic, I would also say that you have given up your humanity and your empathy, as I tell HeavenSent whenever she feels like reveling in the thought of eternal torture.
      If you want to view that as hate, sure why not, by your definition I've shown hate, but any objective and reasonable person would probably disagree with you.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • Bet

      Evang,

      You don't know what the consti'tution says, but you think you speak for the founding fathers. You love to spread your bigotry and intolerance disguised as patriotism. You don't even know what the bible says half of the time, but you think you're god's personal agent. You love to yammer about condemnation and punishment, but you pretend it's concern for your fellow man. The reality is that it's all about you, you, you. Arrogance personified.

      June 19, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • A dose of reality

      I’m sorry if my Atheism offends you. But guess what – your religious wars, j*hads, cr*sades, inq*isitions, censoring of free speech, brainwashing of children, murdering of albinos, forcing girls into underage marriages, female ge*ital m*tilation, stoning, ped*rasty, hom*phobia, and rejection of science and reason offends me. So, I guess we’re even.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:47 am |
    • Jeremy H

      I can't believe there are so many all-knowing human beings in one place! They know for sure that no God exists. Man, to have that brain power to be able to understand everything in the universe...incredible.

      By the way, I thin I'll write-in Jesus in the election. One day he'll come back and establish his kingdom and I'll win. Nailed it.

      June 20, 2012 at 7:37 am |
    • Which God??

      Muy nuto. The venom is yours budd. We don't hate or condemn like you xtians do. What you percieve as venom is merly the falsehoods we point out to you, and you react with cries of 'hate,' venom,' and other things whne you cannot or will not give rational answeres to questions we pose. You fall back on scripture, and we know that that is more than fallible, it is down ight contradictory.. The hate and venom is in you. Deal with it, your god won't

      June 20, 2012 at 10:14 am |
  13. HeavenSent

    Say it again, howling monkey making a mockery of Jesus.

    Amen.

    June 19, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I am logging off phony heavensent. Have a good time being a lying, cheating, pathetic, cowardly pervert that has to steal my handle to post your lies.

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

      Enjoy your pea soup, HeavyStench.

      June 19, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • Truth

      That's not nice....monkeys have amazing potential! Stop comparing them to blacks!

      June 20, 2012 at 2:26 am |
  14. Michael

    My point exactly Hawaii- all religious are meaningless based on fictional stories, not empirically based. Science is the only real truth: fact based. Good ole George Carlin is laughing somewhere!

    June 19, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • Bobber

      Based on your worldview...George Carlin isn't laughing anywhere. He's dead

      June 19, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • Evangelical

      Go worship on the altar of science.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Unless he's still alive.
      WooooOOOOOoooooooo (meant to be a spo.oky noise).

      @Evangelical

      Have you still not educated yourself on what a scientific theory is?

      June 19, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • MuyGuapo

      Wake up and look at the intelligent design in the creation. Science tells us that there is a creator, period.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • i12bphil

      Again, one of the self proclaimed geniuses announces their ignorance to the entire world. Science is not the only method the world by which we gain truth. Not even in the slightest. There are things that science will never be able to tell us, ever. The human mind is not capable of grasping everything in the universe and the belief we have that capacity is unfounded and laughably arrogant. And would you buffoons try to get it through those neanderthal skulls of yours that science and religion are NOT opposites! They're not even mutually exclusive.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Bob Loblaw

      Support your statement that "Science tells us that there is a creator, period." Give me evidenceor admit you are a liar.

      Now for the predictable response:

      A. Cannot support her wild phony assertion, so she vanishes.

      B. Cannot support her wild phony assertion, so she changes the subject.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • chubby rain

      "Wake up and look at the intelligent design in the creation. Science tells us that there is a creator, period"

      Science can't tell us there is a creator, that is outside the realm of science, and evidence of your narrow worldview. Personally, given that innocent children inherit horrible diseases, that 99% of the species ever created are now extinct, and just the overall amorality of nature, it there is a God, he is either really bad at creating universes or he is nothing like what you say he is.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Pat

      Is love factual? No. Is your doubt measurable? No. Is your intelligence factual? No. So I guess in your life none of the above exist.

      June 19, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • Bob Loblaw

      And MuyGuapo goes for A. Cannot support her wild phony assertion, so she vanishes.

      And as for Pat, Love is indeed factual. Where did you ever get the idea that it is not, and when did we ever say that? Doubt is an intellectual process, factual, and it can be measured by the individual crudely on a relative basis. Intelligence? Of course it is factual, and is even more measurable that doubt.

      You are creating a lame straw man fallacy. The existence of love in no way proves the existence of an all-powerful all-knowing invisible man in the sky.

      June 19, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • Bet

      @Hawaii Guest

      Eva doesn't even know the bible very well, much less anything about scientific theory.

      June 19, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @12bphil
      "There are things that science won't ever be able to tell us. Ever."

      You and I are of such diametrically opposed faiths that we may never be able to communicate effectively.
      I have faith in my species' insatiable curiosity.
      I have faith that there will always be people who will help answer questions that will not be answered in their own lifetime.
      I have faith that while some things are unknown, nothing is unknowable.

      June 19, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
  15. blessedgeek

    Who is Richard Land?

    I find reporters who abruptly introduce a name right in the middle of an article, without any introduction over who the person is, rather unprofessional.

    June 19, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
  16. Michael

    Religion is a mentall illness designed to soothe guilt. nothing more.

    June 19, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      But doesn't the christian religion hinge on a person feeling guilty for even existing?

      June 19, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      CNN and other try to block me and I have to post as Evangelical.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • MuyGuapo

      Really! I thought it was a recognition of the amazing creation we are part of and the fact that we know that God exists and we long to spend eternity with him.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • i12bphil

      Conversely, one could then argue that atheism is a mental condition one uses to avoid the feelings of guilt.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Give it a rest phony heavensent. You're the only one that needs to post under other handles and steals mine and other Christians handles to post your nonsense. Evangelical is her own person. I'm not a coward that needs to post using another's handle. I don't have the time to post under my own handle, never mind posting under someone else's.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      A feeling of guilt about what? Existing in the first place? Sorry but I don't think that's something to be guilty about. You may think so, but that's your own problem not mine.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • Truth

      Religion was created by men, to keep people in check, to have them live in fear. An attempt to keep the masses docile.
      The government realizes this really isn't working anymore, so they now use economics to keep us down.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Bet

      HeavyStench says:
      " I don't have the time to post under my own handle, never mind posting under someone else's."

      You could have fooled me, pea soup. I thought you had all day to spend soaking up the sun in your spa. In between curing cancer, saving orphaned puppies and dating Heath Ledger. He's dead, just how you like 'em.

      June 19, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
  17. duckforcover

    You can almost feel the heat as Strom Thurmond and George Wallace spin inside their graves

    June 19, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
  18. Evangelical

    The Southern Baptists have got to be admired for taking this step and for taking a strong stand against ho-mos-exuality.

    June 19, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Evan-g
      You are a bigot and a very bad person.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • Evangelical

      I'm standing up for traditional morality. If that makes me a bigot then so be it. I'm also a bigot against pedophiles, murders, and thieves.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Evangelical loves and follow Jesus' truth to produce righteous outcomes.

      Amen and God Bless you.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I am certain my wisdom could make Evangelical even wiser and better in the Lord.

      Amen.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Get lost phony heavensent with your cowardly, lying, conning ways.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      You do see my name correct? It posts, it cannot be phoney. If you truly owned it or it was "registered" then I could not have this name. I think we know you are the phoney. I think we discussed this before and it appears you do not graps the concept. I am wiser and smarter than you phoney because God is in me.

      Amen.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • just sayin

      HeavenSent IS Evangelical. And a whole lot of others.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      CNN and other try to block me and I have to post as Evangelical..

      June 19, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • just sayin

      You are very very stupid if you think CNN is trying to block you. If they did, you would not be here. Idiot.

      I remember the many times you have raged at others for using multiple names, and now you admit to it. What a surprise.

      You are just another sleazy lying Christian, living proof of why religion should vanish.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      just saying, it's your side that's perverted. Phony heavensent is having her/his cowardly way posting tonight under my handle. I noticed that she/he is prejudice too. I notice all you phonies loved answering her/his posts. Talk about desperate for needing to win when you know you're on the loosing team that loves and follow satan's lies.

      Good night.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I am gay. God made me the way I am. Same se'x imteractions are observed in all of nature. Evangelikals hate the matural order. and God's works.

      June 19, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Which God??

      Are you by chance a 'closet queen?' Your hatred, yes hatred, of others is showing. Hiding something,hmmmm?

      June 20, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  19. Alien Orifice

    The Bible is a lie. The Koran is a lie.

    This is NOT my work, but I can't honestly remember who to credit for it, but here it is :

    Comparative Mythology 101-

    Horus: Egyptian, 6000 BC
    Dionysus: Greek, 1500 BC
    Attis: Greek, 1200 BC
    Mithra: Zoroastrian, 600 BC
    Krishna: Hindu, 400 BC
    Jesus: Christian, 30 AD
    A) Born on Dec. 25 – Horus, Attis, Krishna, Dionysus, Mithra, Jesus
    B) Virgin Birth – Horus, Attis, Krishna, Dionysus, Mithra, Jesus
    C) Sign of Star in the East – Horus, Krishna, Jesus
    D) Adorned by 3 Kings – Horus, Jesus
    E) Teacher at age 12 – Horus, Mithra, Jesus
    F) Ministry started at 30 – Horus, Jesus
    G) 12 Disciples – Horus, Mithra, Jesus
    H) Traveled with Disciples Performing Miracles – Horus, Krishna, Dionysus, Mithra, Jesus
    I) AKA The Truth, the Light, God’s Shepherd – Horus, Dionysus, Mithra, Jesus
    J) Betrayed – Horus, Jesus
    K) Crucified – Horus, Attis, Jesus
    L) Buried 3 days – Horus, Attis, Mithra, Jesus
    M) Resurrected – Horus, Attis, Krishna, Dionysus, Mithra, Jesus

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

      So since such diverse cultures have similar accounts, it must be true then.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Evan-g,
      You are so dumb I can't even bring myself to explain the obvious to you. If you really can't figure out my post....welll.....just wow.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Oh, oh, Alien,

      Ye are of your father the devil , and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

      John 8:44

      Amen.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      HS/EVAN-G
      What exactly are you arguing? My post is clear that a common thread runs through many religious mythologies. What is your argument? That my father is the Devil? I don't get it.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • Why Care?

      Yo AO...you might challenge that crap you just posted. Only a fool cites stuff as evidence but says it's not theirs. Most of it is wrong information.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • Why Care?

      Take the whole Dec 25th thing. Jesus was not born on Dec 25th. The Bible never says he was and in fact implies that he was born in the spring. Even Mithra in his story wasn't born on the 25th. Do some research.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • MuyGuapo

      So where's the body of Jesus then?

      June 19, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      @why care
      You are incorrect. Prove otherwise. And besides, Jesus most likely never existed so he was never really born at all!

      June 19, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Alien Orifice, if you don't believe Jesus' truth, the only option left is loving and following satan's lies. No sitting on the fence ... you don't choose, then, satan decides for you.

      Stop with the lies that I'm Evangelical. She/he is a person all to themself. I don't play games on this site. I say what I mean and mean what I say, using my own handle or the HS, when my handle gets hijacked or I'm on an older computer that isn't compatible with the Net today. Other than that ... it's your side hijacking handles to post nonsense.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Yup, HeavenSent means what she says, which is why it is easy to see a complete lack of empathy and strong signs of psychotic and sociopathic thoughts flow freely from her keyboard.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Bet

      Why Care? says:
      "Yo AO...you might challenge that crap you just posted. Only a fool cites stuff as evidence but says it's not theirs. Most of it is wrong information."

      You mean like when christians post stuff like bible verses and says it's Paul, or Matthew or someone, and cites it as evidence that god exists and Jebus came back from the dead?

      June 20, 2012 at 2:27 am |
  20. Scott

    So these are people that heal the sick, speak with the creator, and do other miracles? I have a question for all baptist. How does being a liar help you get to heaven?

    June 19, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Since the lying Christians know there is not really a heaven, they can lie all they want. It is about money. All churches should pay taxes. They are not a public service. They are cults.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • Evangelical

      You should educate yourself on the denominations of Christianity.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Evan-g
      I am well educated, but thank you for your concern. You should crack open a science book and quit wasting your time at church.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Evangelical

      Have you educated yourself on what a scientific theory is yet?

      June 19, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Evangelical

      @Hawaii

      Any child in first grade can tell you what a theory is – something unproven and speculative.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      @Hawaii
      Nope Evan-g still doesn't know what a theory is. Even a first grader can look up a word in the dictionary for Christ's sake.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Evangelical thinks the word "fact" exists in science.

      Amen

      June 19, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Bet

      Evangelical says:
      "You should educate yourself on the denominations of Christianity."

      You should educate yourself, period.

      June 19, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • vulpecula

      Theory of gravity. Anyone have any doubts?

      June 20, 2012 at 8:43 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.