home
RSS
Would Jesus support health care reform?
Jesus depicted healing a sick child.
June 28th, 2012
08:45 AM ET

Would Jesus support health care reform?

Editor’s note: This piece ran earlier this year, but we’re spotlighting it now because of Thursday’s health care decision from the Supreme Court. The story generated more than 3,000 comments, including these two:

David Nelson
It is sad that Jesus has been demoted to being a politician. Jesus plainly said "My Kingdom is not of this world." Movements to use Him to promote their agendas, whether they be on the Left or Right, are extremely suspect in the eyes of this Christian.

kateslate
Jesus would SO have been a democrat. He taught us to care for the sick...not to profit off illness. I don't know how Republicans can live with themselves and call themselves Christian.

What’s your take?

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - He was a healer, a provider of universal health care, a man of compassion who treated those with preexisting medical conditions.

We don’t know what Jesus thought about the individual mandate or buying broccoli. But we do know how the New Testament describes him. The Gospels are filled with stories of Jesus physically healing the most vulnerable and despised people in his society.

References to Jesus, of course, didn’t make into the recent U.S. Supreme Court’s hearings on the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Yet there is a moral dimension to this epic legal debate:

How should the nation help its “least of these,” an estimated 50 million Americans who can’t afford health insurance, as well as those who could go broke or die because they can’t afford medical care?

Christians are as divided about this question as others. Many cite Jesus, but come up with completely different conclusions.

Trust God or government?

Tom Prichard, a Lutheran and president of the Minnesota Family Council, said it’s ultimately about faith.  Who do we trust – God or government?

He opposes “Obamacare” because he has more faith in the market and people, than government.

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

“Here Jesus’ words come to mind about not worrying and trusting God to meet our basic needs,” Prichard wrote in an online post warning about the dangers of “government run health care.” “Or if we believe it all depends on us, we’ll look to government.”

When reached at his Minnesota office,Prichard elaborated: He said the nation should empower families and individuals to make health-care decisions. If families can’t afford health insurance, private and public entities like churches and nonprofits should step in, he said.

“We all have the same goal,”Prichard said. “We want all people to have health care, even people who can’t afford it. I would argue that having the government be the primary vehicle for providing it is not going to get us to that goal. It’s going to make the situation worse.”

Carl Raschke, a religious studies professor at the University of Denver, evoked Jesus’ words about Rome and taxation.

Raschke cited the New Testament passage when Jesus, after being asked if Jews should pay taxes to Rome, said that people should "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's."

Jesus was against strictly political or economic solutions because he thought they were too easy when it comes to the real challenges of human life, Raschke said.

“Writing checks won’t solve social problems,” Raschke said. “One has to get involved. If we see someone in need, we just don’t throw a dollar at him or her. You get to know them, you offer yourself, and ask what you can do for them.”

Helping the Good Samaritans of our day

There are some Christians, though, who say that charity isn’t enough to solve the nation’s health care problems.

An estimated 32 million Americans could lose health insurance if “Obamacare” is struck down, including children who can stay on their parents’ insurance until they are 26 and seniors who get help paying for their drug prescriptions. Most observers say health care costs would continue to rise.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

Some people believe the health care situation in America would be scandalous to Jesus because he was a prophet concerned about social justice.

Steven Kraftchick, a religious scholar, said Jesus comes out of the tradition of Jewish prophets who preached that the health of a society could be measured by how well they took care of “its widows and orphans,” those who had the least power.

Kraftchick said there’s a famous story in the Gospel of Mark in which Jesus heals such a person. He was the man who called himself Legion. He might have been called homeless and mentally ill. The man roamed a graveyard, so tormented that even chains could not hold him and everyone feared him, Mark wrote.

Jesus healed the man not only physically, but socially as well, according to Mark. The man returned to his community with a sense of dignity, said Kraftchick, a professor at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology in Atlanta.

“A move toward universal health care would be fitting with the prophetic traditions,” Kraftchick said. “When you read the New Testament and look at the signs of the in-breaking of the Kingdom of God, it’s always connected to being physically healed.”

Yet Marcia Pally, an authority on evangelicals, said many evangelicals are wary of government doing the healing.  Their reasons go back centuries.

Many are the descendants of people who fled Europe because of religious persecution from countries and state churches. They fought a revolution against a government in England.  And they settled a frontier, where the virtue of self-reliance was critical, said Pally, author of “The New Evangelicals: Expanding the Vision of the Common Good.”

Suspicion of government is part of their historical and religious experience, said Pally, a professor at Fordham University and New York University.

Those attitudes, though, may be changing. Pally said she spent six years traveling across America to interview evangelicals. She discovered that a new generation of evangelists now believes that certain issues are too big and complex to be addressed by charity alone.

“Some note that charity is very good at the moment of emergency relief but it doesn’t change the underlying problem  unless structures that keep people poor, sick or deny their access to health insurance are changed,” she said.

No matter what the Supreme Court decides, the legal debate will continue. If more Americans go broke or die because they do not have health insurance, more Americans may ask, what would Jesus do?

But don’t expect any easy answers from the Bible, said Raschke, the religious studies professor at the University of Denver.

“People are always looking for support from the Bible for American political positions,” Rashke said. “Would Jesus be against abortion, or would he support a woman’s right to choose? It’s almost become a standard joke in the theological world that you quote Jesus in American politics to support your political views.

“The teachings of Jesus do not fit into the views of any political party."

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Christianity • Health care • Jesus • Politics

soundoff (5,234 Responses)
  1. us1776

    Jesus, would run all the banksters out of Wall Street.

    Would condemn all those that were stealing from our social network programs such as Medicare.

    And would chide the selfish for not helping the poor.

    .

    March 31, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • John

      true

      March 31, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Joe

      He probably wouldnt be hip to invading other countries for no reason.

      March 31, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
  2. DNEZ

    How about we halt all charities and other attempts in helping other countries for a period of time. Then use that money to help our own people? At the same time, the govt must be get the spending under control, and learn to budget with less money. It is amazing how much money is raised with different charities, only to see that we continue to increase in poverty here. Get George Clooney to focus on the country that made him wealthy as a starting point.....

    March 31, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Mason B

      Yes.....George Clooney is the problem. Wow. LOL

      March 31, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • John

      Our own people? Is this what you believe Jesus wants? Nationalism and racism, this is what he preached and died for?

      March 31, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • ken99

      How 'bout the government stop forcibly taking money from us all so we'll have money to be charitable. The forced charity through the government taking is not charity or compassion. In our country it is primarily a means to be re-elected.

      March 31, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
  3. Chris Williams

    So everyone out there knows there are a lot of programs available, all you have to do is take some time and look for them. For people who get turned down for insurance they can get highly subsided insurance. The cost starts out at $240 a month for someone young and for us over 50, $585. A month I know I am in it. Please don’t tell me about there are no programs, it is a lie, No job, no insurance go to a clinic, its cheap office visits from $15 dollars the one I go to is a full service clinic. They offer 12 different services for a very low price. Prescriptions most generics are very low cost, less than my co pays when I had insurance. I pay less now for my health care, than when I had insurance. So do some hunting and health care is available to everyone without going to the ER.

    March 31, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      LOUD APPLAUD!

      March 31, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • peggy

      Seriously, Chris,

      There are those out there who simply do not have the money.

      March 31, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • I

      Obviously you have a decent job and don't suffer from a serious condition that requires expensive copays on medicine and extra visits to the doctor.

      March 31, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • DrJStrangepork

      If you get taxpayer subsidy for your healthcare... then i hope you are arguing for gov't healthcare.

      March 31, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Joe

      You gota link or are you just pulling sh!t our your a$$.

      March 31, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • phenoy

      And those 'programs' are what? Subsidized by the GOVERNMENT, which means that the total cost is being eaten by who? The TAXPAYER.

      March 31, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Mary

      This is total balogny I have searched for years because of not having healthcare to find this kind of thing , it is not there ,

      It is also impossible to get govt help or medicaid unless you have young children, anyone else can just go off and die for all they care.
      The kicker is that any other kind of help requires that you are on medicare , which of course you cant get unless you have children.

      March 31, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • John

      What a joke. I have worked in healthcare for over 20 years and you do not find clinics like this all over the country. Tell me what would happen the minute you find out you have cancer. Will these clinics be able to treat you then? Is the church going to pay for your radiation therapy and chemotherapy? HAHA. No such luck. Maybe you can find a free clinic to take care of your headache, but not your brain tumor!

      March 31, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • olorinstaff

      hope;you never have a serious illness Chris. You would be left bankrupt and we would be footing your bill through our insurance.

      March 31, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • joe

      subsided insurance? LOL

      June 28, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  4. corpsman

    From the point of view of the gospels, it's hard to imagine that Jesus wouldn't absolutely support health care for all. Of course, the conservatives who claim to do so much in his name wouldn't have liked the Jesus of the gospels very much in person.

    March 31, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Aviate

      Absolutely right. They have way too much in common with the Pharisees & Saducees.

      March 31, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • whatthefeathers

      I totally agree!

      June 28, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • chaz8181

      This is correct. The Right wing Conservatives come closer to atheists because they believe in "objectivism" the atheist philosophy of Ayn Rand .In other words, all progress is by wealth and the wealthy. However, they forget that Jesus said to the wealthy man..who asked what must i do to enter the Kingdom of God and Jesus said "Give up all your possessions and follow me."
      if anything Jesus was a "socialist".

      July 1, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • chaz8181

      This is correct. The Right wing Conservatives come closer to atheists because they believe in "objectivism" the atheist philosophy of Ayn Rand .In other words, all progress is by wealth and the wealthy. However, they forget that Jesus said to the wealthy man..who asked what must i do to enter the Kingdom of God and Jesus said "Give up all your possessions and follow me."

      July 1, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • chaz8181

      This is correct. The Right wing Conservatives forget that Jesus said to the wealthy man..who asked what must i do to enter the Kingdom of God and Jesus said "Give up all your possessions and follow me."

      July 1, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
  5. Jonathan Michael Brouillette

    Wisdom 2:1 1 For they reasoned unsoundly, saying to themselves, "Short and sorrowful is our life, and there is no remedy when a man comes to his end, and no one has been known to return from Hades.

    Wisdom 2:12-24

    12 "Let us lie in wait for the righteous man, because he is inconvenient to us and opposes our actions; he reproaches us for sins against the law, and accuses us of sins against our training. 13 He professes to have knowledge of God, and calls himself a child of the Lord. 14 He became to us a reproof of our thoughts; 15 the very sight of him is a burden to us, because his manner of life is unlike that of others, and his ways are strange. 16 We are considered by him as something base, and he avoids our ways as unclean; he calls the last end of the righteous happy, and boasts that God is his father. 17 Let us see if his words are true, and let us test what will happen at the end of his life; 18 for if the righteous man is God's son, he will help him, and will deliver him from the hand of his adversaries. 19 Let us test him with insult and torture, that we may find out how gentle he is, and make trial of his forbearance. 20 Let us condemn him to a shameful death, for, according to what he says, he will be protected." 21 Thus they reasoned, but they were led astray, for their wickedness blinded them, 22 and they did not know the secret purposes of God, nor hope for the wages of holiness, nor discern the prize for blameless souls; 23 for God created man for incorruption, and made him in the image of his own eternity, 24 but through the devil's envy death entered the world, and those who belong to his party experience it.

    March 31, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • ruggles

      I actually did return from Hades, so there's that. Didn't like it though. A bit on the warm side.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Stan

      Yeah, let's quote the fine book:

      Numbers 31:17-18

      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • Jonathan Michael Brouillette

      John 3:19-21

      19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Bizarre

      ruggles
      "I actually did return from Hades, so there's that."

      Oooh, do you have still shots, video, a souvenir ash that can be verified... anything at all for evidence?

      You might as well say that you have visited Alderaan.

      (Or did you mean Haiti?)

      March 31, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • john canuck

      "ruggles -
      I actually did return from Hades, so there's that. Didn't like it though. A bit on the warm side."

      Kind of like Arizona, eh?.

      March 31, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • John

      1 Let us beware the self-righteous man, because he professes to have knowledge of God, and calls himself a Christian, but he has no concept of the Love of the Lord nor the compassion of Jesus. 2 He can only condemn and destroy and do everything in his power to ruin the lives of others, 3 all the while thinking himself superior to others because of his boundless faith in his straw god. 4 His heart is cold to the Lord and he will never see the face of God. 5 If you follow this man he will lead you into the arms of Satan, and you will suffer his fate on the Day of Judgement. 6 Turn your ears away from this man and your eyes to the Light of the Lord before it is too late, because only in the Light will you find understanding and Peace.

      March 31, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
  6. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    March 31, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Lisa

      Care to explain why and how atheism is unhealthy? A reliance on facts and reality indeed encourages healthy lifestyle choices and a concern for others.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • edwardo

      Same troll... some trolling line.

      March 31, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • John W

      Have you READ the Bible? God is a narcissistic baby killing, murdering machine! Open your eyes and your brain!

      March 31, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Bill55

      You must pray for rain. The US is headed for dangerous drought conditions this summer thanks to Global Atheism.

      March 31, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • John of Indiana

      I got a bumpersticker slogan, too:
      "Nothing FAILS like PRAYER"

      Atheism is very healthy for children, because it is the NATURAL STATE into which they were born. Don't think so? then why do you think Jewish parents raise Jewish kids and Muslim parents raise Muslim kids and Christian parents, etc. etc. etc...

      March 31, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • edwardo

      Everybody – don't respond to this idiotic post. It appears on every one of these types of articles. It's some sort of spamming device thing.

      March 31, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • dyslexic dog

      troll

      June 28, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • veggiedude

      I'm an atheist and I say eating animals is not good for children and other living things.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
  7. Rockgod

    Death.

    Will Universal Healthcare stave off death? Will healthcare insurance prevent heart attacks from being fatal or the next one? Will earthquakes end? Will the Earth fall into a better orbit? Can government or a king stop the tide?

    Earth is not a paradise. There is abuse, hunger, disease, and ultimately death. People die all the time and people abuse their fellow men too.

    Jesus Christ made a clear case of voluntary assistance. Voluntary change called repentance. There are many complainers about God or Jesus on this site. Why must people suffer? Why must people die?

    Whether Jesus was 'touched' by mental illness or really was the Son of God don't forget he died too.

    All die there is no escape. Even if there was no suffering or abuse or natrual disasters there would still be death to complain about.

    At the end of our mortal life the questions of abuse, mental illness, natual disasters, universal healthcare, fairness, and evil will all boil down to one question for each of us individually.

    "When I die will I live again?"

    March 31, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Lisa

      Support of health care reform is voluntary.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Tracy

      Actually, yes... Healthcare is there to save and improve lives.... engineering is there so buildings can survive earthquakes. Astronomy is there so we can gain a better understanding of how the world works.... Death is eventual...But If I have a bad infection, I'd rather have a doctor with an anti-biotic than a priest with a prayer. If an earthquake happens, I'd rather be in a solidly engineered building than when that's been infused with the blessings of the lord. (Why do tornadoes like to rip the roofs off churches? Could it by the A Frame roofs?)

      March 31, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Rockgod

      'When I die will I live again?'

      A building will not keep a person from death. Healthcare does not halt mortality. Storms continue to rage causing death.

      Death will come for Engineers, Astronomers, Doctors, and even Priests as death ended the lives of billions before them.

      All the miracles Jesus performed, healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, and even raising the dead like Lazurus still had eventually had an end to his mortal life.

      Universal Death is absolute. Statues crumble, knowledge fades, nations fall, and people die.

      Who will save us from death and the grave? Tyrants can give universal healthcare, Authoritarians can give jobs to everyone, Kings can build spectacularly engineered buildings and Emperors can send millions to their death.

      Yet none can save a person from death or keep a person from being laid to their final resting place.

      A universal healthcare plan is meaningless next to universal death.

      March 31, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • John

      Will PRAYER stave off death? Will PRAYER prevent heart attacks from being fatal or the next one? Will earthquakes end? Will the Earth fall into a better orbit? Can PRAYER or a PREACHER stop the tide?

      There have only been about 10 TRILLION PRAYERS said over the centuries, and the preachers want us to believe that we simply AREN'T PRAYING ENOUGH! If only you give more money to the Church and less to government. If only you trust in Prayer to heal you instead of doctors.... Prayers didn't work in the 1st century and they are not going to work in the 21st. Universal health insurance will save countless lives. It is already doing so all over the world. The only problem is that the Church doesn't want you to give money to the government...they want it all for themselves.

      March 31, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • Rockgod

      Both PRAYER and REASON do not stop Universal Death. The end of motal life comes to all people.

      It is inescapable, inevitable, and reminds us of our short brief existance.

      Life is fragile, precious and unfair. Life is not easy; challenges, tests and trials come to all in the form of adversity. In that adversity we will learn at times bitter lessons. The most bitter of all for the believer in prayer and those devoted to reason is that the day will come when we depart from this mortal life. Loved ones lost, families weep, lives cut short, or prolonged in agony to find relief only in Death.

      The most accomplished scientist, engineer, professional and artist will die. Their work may stand for many years however their work too will fade or be forgotten.

      Now healthcare can prolong life, science improve the quality of a person's life yet nothing will stop Universal Death.

      The question then comes to everyone that comprehend their mortal life will end, "If I die will I live again?"

      What is the answer that is the ABSOLUTE TRUTH as Univeral Death?

      March 31, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • Tom Paine

      No.

      June 28, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  8. McGuffin

    Jesus was, above all else, compassionate. He also held no attachment to money whatsoever and made it very clear that you should not resist paying taxes, and that you should in fact sell all of your possessions and give to the poor. He was also a healer. I don't think any arguments out of the Bible that Jesus would support your personal freedom over submitting to the government's plan to help the poor can possibly hold any water.

    However, he also made it pretty clear that he didn't care about political matters, so he probably would have laughed off all of this discussion as irrelevant, because to him, all that mattered was your relationship with God and that you were personally loving and giving of yourself.

    March 31, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • veggiedude

      Funny, because I don't recall him laughing at the sick people, especially the ones with leprocy, which was the AIDS of his day. He believed in healing the sick, and did not charge money for it.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
  9. ruggles

    Or the more important question, would the Council of Unicorns and Leprechauns support Obamacare?

    March 31, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • John W

      Yes, they will. Santa Clause, Horus, The Flying Spaghetti Monster and The Easter Bunny have also joined the cause.

      March 31, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  10. John

    Jesus would support Tort Reform and a "Loser Pays" system like in the UK. Malpractice insurance is too expensive for doctors because of frivolous law suits. We also should make fat people and smokers pay more for their health care.

    March 31, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Mason B

      That's right John......Jesus was always worried about Tort reform. Believe that was in the Book of Luke or something close. Wow. Idiot.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Kyle

      What you say is true, but is not the primary cause of high costs. A doctor might make a few hundred thousand dollars and pay a 1/3 of that in insurance. But how much does the CEO of the hospital make? How much do the insurance companies make? How expansive are the drugs?

      March 31, 2012 at 11:58 am |
  11. Dennis

    He also supported slavery.

    March 31, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • onesittingbill

      Only in the form of repayment.

      March 31, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
  12. Why Now

    A news publication of a certain ideological leaning headlines a question asking what Jesus would like. Isn't that a bit devious?

    March 31, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • veggiedude

      Not devious. Just Obvious.

      We all know the answer.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
  13. Mike Weston

    I love it when CNN and Liberals use the "What would Jesus Do" argument when they are the biggest proponent of the Separation of Church and State...talk about your hypocrites. You all have the Saul Alinsky tactic down really well!

    March 31, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • McGuffin

      They are pointing out that Republicans are hypocrites. They are not themselves basing their opinions on religion.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Bill55

      Socialsim for the rich, capitalism for the poor! Ask Dick Cheney. How much did this operation cost taxpayers? Enough to keep an entire elementary school in good health I bet!
      Yah right, hypocracy indeed!

      March 31, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • John

      Exactly right Bill55 Dick Cheney had the best insurance government could provide nearly all of his life. I bet his Medicare paid for the heart transplant and his US federal retirement benefit insurance covered the co-pays. He probably didn't have to pay a penny. And he has fought his whole life to keep this same benefit away from everyone else. Too bad for his organ doner that he is going to take that heart of his straight to hell.

      March 31, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
  14. DARRELL DORSEY

    LOL! Stan, you'er funny!!!!!

    March 31, 2012 at 11:38 am |
  15. David Fox

    Welcome to CNN, the Fox News of the left.

    March 31, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • McGuffin

      No, that's MSNBC... and so, by the way, does that mean you admit that Fox News is ridiculously biased?

      March 31, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • captcorajus

      Not even in the same league as the propaganda, faux news.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Mason B

      Oh Dave. I do enjoy the reasoning of saving the unborn and then telling the same, when they are born, good luck with that. Pretty sure Jesus had the same thoughts......although the guy coudn't have dreamed up a "round" world or airplanes.

      March 31, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
  16. Moses

    No, of course not. Only the Right Thinking True Believers deserve health care.

    March 31, 2012 at 11:36 am |
  17. Stan

    "Would Jesus support health care reform?"

    No, Jesus is long dead and gone, if he ever existed, so he can't now support anything at all. He's also not a divine being, and never was.

    March 31, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Stan

      Could you please give any evidence for your assertions?

      March 31, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Stan

      You are the one making the outrageous claims Whiner, so you present proof of yours. Or just crawl into a hole and die painfully and quietly somewhere please.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Stan

      Have you ever considered that yet in the third century after Christ the whole civilized world (Roman Empire) became Christian. 300 years is a very small period of time, historically seen. We can assume that the historians and theologians of Constantine the Great, who was Roman emperor at this time, had access to every important original docu-ment of the Church and the State. Constantine the Great was the most powerful man and ruler of this time. He had never established a new religion without examing its authenticity and historicity before.

      I see no reason not to trust Constantine the Great, who was one of the most important figures of history.

      I hope, you got me. Please consider that Constantine lived near-term to Jesus and people of Palestine and Greece and other countries were still aware of the events, which came to pass in Israel. Constantine did not depend only on docu-ments like we, but there were memories, holidays, inscriptions, etc., which he could regard. Constantine was much more able to examine the Christian faith than we, because it was quasi still fresh.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Lawrence Renyer

      Evidence? Careful you are on some shaky ground.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • JPJ3016

      @Rainer Braendlein- You want Stan to prove god doesn't exist when you don't have a single shred of supporting evidence outside of the bible to say he does exist? LOL, I needed a good laugh today, thanks!

      March 31, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Stan

      Whiner, p!ss off and die quietly somewhere please.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Chad

      so, what do you do with these four historical facts agreed upon by liberal and conservative scholars?
      1. Jesus was a real historical person that lived
      2. Jesus was crucified by Roman authorities for claiming to be the Jewish Messiah, he died and was buried
      3. After three days the tomb was found to be empty by some women followers
      4. Following that groups of people; followers and persecutors, reported meeting a resurrected Christ. This meeting so convinced them that they were then willing to go to their death proclaiming the truth of that.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • yl126623

      Stan, my family and I will be praying for you and your future salvation. Take care. Sincerely.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • Sean Dalrymple

      Stan the Fool. He makes a position with no proof or evidence to support it, then tells others to prove their counter arguments. Hilarious.

      "Frogs are conspiring to take over the world." – Stan

      "Care to give some evidence?" – Random intelligent person

      Show me your evidence, -wipe!"

      LOL@Stans brain. Good luck in life.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Stan

      Prayer has been proven not to work, you stupid twit.

      Sign outside a Christian church: "Check brain at door."

      March 31, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Stan

      Wow, Sean, you're such an intellectual. Care to debate the finer points of second quantization?

      March 31, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • wrong side of the bed

      Stan..I too am a non-believer and I would like to ask you to calm down.Jesus would not give a crap about the affordable healthcare act as he would most likely have his Dad create a cure for all disease.That is, if his Dad actually cared about humanity.Which doesn't seem to be the case.

      March 31, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Guest1m

      It's okay Stan. I agree with your point. Btw, to all you ppl presenting historical "evidence", bear in mind that pagans and tribal ppl believe in their crazy folklore too and often claim to have seen miracles. Why didn't those religions spread? Talk to an anthropolgist. They were likely just isolated and without written language.

      March 31, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • Joe

      Not sure about healthcare reform but I know a great plumber name Jesus.

      March 31, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • Joe

      Stan- I am a liberal-leaning Catholic and would invite you to take a virtual or actual tour of the Christian Catacombs in Rome, Italy. I personally have been there. After you descend 40 feet into the ground where this site has been excavated you will see the tombs of the early Christian martyrs, early latin etchings and artwork on the walls, along with the open tombs of the first Christians. It is alarming to also witness very small cutouts of tombs for little babies as they were slaughtered as well by the Romans. These catacombs date back to the original Christian martyrs (about 50-60 years after Jesus' death). I think this is pretty solid historical and archealogical proof that the early Christians KNEW something and their knowledge wasn't simply a belief. Very few would allow themselves to be willingly slaughtered for a belief and these tombs held hundereds of the original Christians. They had first-hand knowledge of the existence and works of Christ. Instead of simply telling people who have faith of something bigger to "p!ss off" it might benefit you to actually study and learn about history. Imagine the terror those early Christians experienced....but they wouldn't renounce their KNOWLEDGE of the risen Lord. They couldn't do it even though a painful death was right in front of them. I pray that you find the courage to be curious enough to simply educate yourself.

      July 1, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Know What

      Joe,

      Here is a list (23 pages long!) of Muslim martyrs. People die for mistaken beliefs.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Muslim_martyrs

      July 1, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  18. Rainer Braendlein

    In the name of the Lord, the eternal God, who has made heaven and earth

    Before Jesus Christ started to preach in Israel, John the Baptist had yet preached there.

    What did John the Baptist preach?

    In a way he preached the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    We make a mistake, when we assume that he merely preached repentance. No, he preached both, repentance and the coming "Anointed One", who was Jesus from Nazareth, the Word and eternal Son of God, who had incarnated.

    John the Baptist prepared the way for the Lord: He told the people the Old Testament law (for example the ten commandments) and the people should realize that they had broken the law an were sinful. However, he didn't tell them that they should keep the law by their natural power, but he told them that they would need a deliverer or redeemer, who would come and dwell in them (the Holy Spirit), in oder to be their spiritual power, which would help them to overcome sin and live a life of Christian love.

    In a word: By means of the law John the Baptist made the Jews realizing their deep sinfulness and at the same time he told them, that their was the Anointed One, Jesus Christ, who could give them the Holy Spirit, so that they might become able to live a life, which is not in conflict with the law, but fullfills it automatically. Love is the fulfillment of the law. Nobody can keep the law by natural power, but the blessed man, who is born from above and has got the Spirit, fulfills it by love.

    After a while Jesus Christ replaced John the Baptist as divine preacher of Israel. There was no more need that Jesus spoke a lot about the law, because John had already done that. Now, as the people felt their sinfulness and a high need for forgiveness and deliverance, Jesus Christ gave it to them.

    John the Baptist could only preach of THE LIFE and THE LIGHT and THE WORD.

    Jesus was the THE LIFE, THE LIGHT and the WORD. He said to the people: "YOUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN, MOVE ON AND DON'T SIN ANY LONGER!" or he said "COME ON, AND FOLLOW ME!"

    These words of Christ were supernatural and powerful and much more than the word of an ordinary human being. Christ was man and God at the same time and this God-man spoke these words. Thus, people really received forgiveness of their sins and deliverance.

    What the visible Jesus did, happens today by the sacramental baptism (also infant baptism). The sacramental baptism is insti-tuted by Christ himself and has the same power as if the visible Christ would speak a divine word of health to somebody.

    Ecclesiastical history proves that at baptism people often became healthy and were cured from physical diseases. The health of the Lord is holistic, indeed. The Lord cures the soul and the body.

    Everybody, who feels his sinfulness, shall ask a faithful Church for sacramental baptism or if he has yet received infant baptism, he just shall remember that by faith. The Lord will forgive, deliver and cure. Don't get baptized again, if you have yet received infant baptism. Infant baptism is valid!!! Just remember and receive the Spirit.

    Gospel of Jesus Christ, Amen!

    March 31, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Stan

      Hey, Whiner's back. Whiner, p!ss off with your long whiney posts already.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • ed

      There is no god and no proof Jesus ever existed. Not a shred of evidence for either one.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Chad

      @McGuffin "the policies the religious right try to push through government are in direct opposition to Jesus' teachings."

      =>example?
      I would definitely disagree with that statement.

      March 31, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • hopeprescott

      If non-believers are correct, this doesn't matter to them anyway. When they die they will become nothing forever. However, if they're wrong, ouch. They participate in these debates because they are afraid they may be wrong and are trying to find comfort in their non-belief. They mock Christians and Jesus. They'll most likely mock this post as well. Paul was once an non-believer. Please study and think. As Christians, we don't want to put you down, we want to help you study so you will believe. Please, think about it. If you'd like to discuss it, you can email me at jonkevinmck (at) gmail (dot) com. True Christians really care.

      March 31, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  19. Kim

    The followers of Jesus are the worst hypocrites on the planet. Banning religon from the public arena is the only solution.

    March 31, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      AMEN

      March 31, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Leo

      Actually Kim this once great nation was once built on a theistic foundation, and now as we have let secular humanism take over it has turned to trash.

      We live in a sick world with moral values slowely going away, and we wonder why it is so messed up?

      It must be the Christian's fault, right?

      March 31, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Bob

      Bullcr@p, Leo. We are living in better times than at pretty much any other in history, and seeing the decline of religion at the same time. It's great to be alive now. Too bad you're such a sore, deluded loser.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Leo

      As the Frog slowly boils in the water.....

      March 31, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Stan

      Leo, go boil your boils in tar sands somewhere.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Chad

      We are all hypocrites to some degree.

      Being Christian doesnt make you perfect, just forgiven.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Bob

      Not really "forgiven", Leo. It's just that you've offloaded personal responsibility to a fictional parent figure.

      Our jails are full of Christians. Check it out.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Bob

      That was for Chad, but they might as well be the same (small) mind.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • McGuffin

      Chad, yet the policies the religious right try to push through government are in direct opposition to Jesus' teachings. That's a rather large "imperfection" to have all agreed upon a course of action contradictory to God and throw all of your efforts into making it law. If works are the evidence of faith, then the religious right by and large have no evidence of their faith, so they must be neither Christians nor forgiven, sadly.

      March 31, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Chad

      McGuffin "Chad, yet the policies the religious right try to push through government are in direct opposition to Jesus' teachings"

      =>how so, what legislation do you feel is in direction opposition to what teaching?

      March 31, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • dyslexic dog

      well said Kim!

      June 28, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Tom Paine

      This country was not built on a theistic foundation. It is the product of The Enlightenment, which wrested governmental authority away from monarchs and the church and placed it in the hands of the governed. Just because the majority of people in this country profess to be Christian does not make this a Christian country. It is a secular nation whose laws protect your right to practice Christianity, or any other religion, or no religion at all.

      June 28, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  20. Voice of Reason

    The proponents of this very strange belief of the bible, jesus, god and religion are the people that have gotten us into a situation like this. If we have one loaf of bread to feed 10 people and you invite a million to dinner, guess what, there will not be enough to go around. We have too many people on this planet and not enough resources but the nonsensical, unreasonable, repulsively moral and illogical religious perpetuates the population explosion.
    Our earth's environment is being poisoned by over population. It's a no brainer! We need to stop producing humans to the point of manageability for optimum resource. That's right, I said it! Birth control and sterilization. You religious right people have your butt so far up god's ass for your future life that you overlook the reality of the now. Morally repulsive and pure evil at its best.
    TAX THE CHURCHES AND KEEP YOUR RELIGIONS AND GODS AWAY FROM OUR CHILDREN AND OUR GOVERNMENT! I wonder what jesus would say to that?

    March 31, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Stan

      You are so right.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Abba-Dabba-Du

      Pity your father didn't get sterilized before you poisoned this world. Do us all a favor and end your pathetic existence now.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • RocketJL

      Not to worry, under UN Agenda 21, the big environmental people plan to kill off 95% of the Earth's population. So you see, it does not matter who believes in Jesus and who does not. The people that think the planet is so sacred that people must be murdered to protect the grass, do not give me much hope. Let us use our knowledge and technology to start getting folks off this rock and colonizing places that will also help us protect Earth.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Stan

      Under UN agenda 8976533421 section a) part 3, RocketJL is a wanker.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • McGuffin

      "Voice of Reason," the religious right people are unbelievably stupid and have twisted their own religion into something that actually advocates against charity, promotes hatred, and ignores the reality of most issues, like gun control, birth control, and the environment. They've twisted their own greed and selfishness into a defense of "freedom" at the expense of the poor. However, do not be confused: Jesus would have supported *none* of this. No one with at least half a brain could possibly look at Jesus' teachings from the Bible and say "that's evil." He was utterly committed to loving your neighbor as yourself, selling all your possessions and giving to the poor, and loving your enemies. The religious right in this nation do exactly the opposite of all of those. They are unfathomably stupid. But don't call their religion itself morally repulsive and evil just because they have gotten it wrong; there can be no doubt that if everyone lived by Jesus' actual teachings, the world would be a more pleasant place.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      @RocketJL

      Typical answer from a non-thinker. Let us not address the problem here, let us go to another planet and perpetuate it there! You are a moron.

      March 31, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • tinysview

      What an emotional statement, where is the reason in taxing churches? Isn't it in trying to kill them? If an idea is good and has value it will last. If it is no good it ill die out on its own.

      March 31, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Aaron

      Please explain how one can have his butt up another's ass, o voice of reason.

      June 28, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101
Advertisement
About this blog

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