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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. Jack

    Good evening everyone. All are cordially invited to visit ... thestarofkaduri.com

    June 29, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
  2. UK Dave

    Since many confessions are needed;
    Are you prepared to confess that Obamacare is utter crap?
    I need your many confessions!

    June 29, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • The Corrector

      I confess;
      Obamacare is utter crap!

      June 29, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's not utter crap at all. It's nothing more than what other countries have and what our citizens need and deserve. Knock off the Chicken Little act, you morons.

      June 29, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
  3. Steve

    2 Thess. 3:10, “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”

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

      Yay more useless rantings from your un-holy book. Does it make you feel all pious?

      June 29, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Go play with your kids Hawaii, you have spent too much time on the blogs.

      June 29, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      *Yawn*
      Oh my how original of you, do you expect me to take you seriously?

      June 29, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Get it together grouch. You are insulting world war II survivors on another page, how arrogant can you be I honestly think you are a sociopath. You have no human empathy, you are only concerned about yourself its wired.

      June 29, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How do you know it's a WWII survivor, VoR? Got any proof? Evidence? Or do you just believe any post that suits your fancy and discount any that don't?

      June 29, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      If someone is wrong they are wrong. Besides, do you know for a fact that they are a WW 2 survivor? The religiosity of the Wehrmacht is pretty much common knowledge, and someones past is no reason for me to excuse willful ignorance.
      Besides, if you want to see sociopathy, take a look at the posts HeavenSent puts out. Talk about reveling in suffering.

      June 29, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      You have no proof that he isn't so why would you purposely go out of your way to hurt someone especially someone who suffered so much? Why? I actually think you know you are wrong but you are so proud you cannot even fathom admitting it. And your religion is blogging to prove your are right all the time.

      June 29, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Who's "going out of" their way? You post here, you can expect to be challenged as to your veracity.

      June 29, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      I ask for the proof of claims of a god, and I respond to posts that I see are factually incorrect. And there you go with trying to tack people with a religion, and making up your own definition of it. I posted historical fact, and sorry if someone doesn't like it, but it doesn't change that it is fact. If the person is a WW 2 survivor, then they put themselves out there with incorrect information. They made the choice to get involved in the conversation.

      June 29, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
  4. Steve

    "And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee."

    Matthew 17:24-27

    June 29, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
  5. Steve

    "Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, There came unto him a woman having an alabaster flask of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat to eat. But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. When Jesus knew it, he said unto them, Why trouble you the woman? for she has worked a good work unto me. For you have the poor always with you; but me you have not always. For in that she has poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. Verily I say unto you, Wherever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, which this woman has done, be told for a memorial of her."

    Matthew 26:6-13

    June 29, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
  6. Sadie

    Anyone else think ElmerGantry, GodFreeNow and HawaiiGuest are actually the same person?

    June 29, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No.

      June 29, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      I can assure you that I am not, though I would very much like to meet HawaiiGuest. I don't know much about ElmerGantry's posts.

      June 30, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • ElmerGantry

      Absolutely not,

      I agree about it being interesting to meet HawaiiGuest, Tom Tom, and GodFreeNow.

      Could be some interesting and enlightening conversations.

      June 30, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • ElmerGantry

      @Sadie,

      Well there you have it, another conspiracy-theory-ish claim bites the dust.

      I know some people post under multiple names, ostensibly to make it look like there are more supporters of their view than there really are.

      I state unequivocally that I do not do that.
      From GodFreeNow's comment, it is a fair assumption that he/she does not either.

      Comment busted!

      BTW: I now have a Sean Hannity simple minded leading yes or no question.

      When you were asking if the three of us (ElmerGantry, HawaiiGuest, and GodFreeNow) were one and the same; could it e that were you false mirroring?

      PS I wonder if you are aware of this technique of "the Hannitizer"?

      June 30, 2012 at 12:56 am |
  7. prophet

    an athiest, did you know that statistically athiests make up the majority of and the best converted believers. They tend to be better people than those relgious bigots that we see.

    June 29, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Brynn

      Are you talking about atheist converts in Nazi Germany or converts under Chairman Mao, Premier Stalin or under Pol Pot?

      June 29, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Since you decided to double post on this blog and the other CNN page on religion, I'll repost my response.

      Aside from the last part of the comment, the statement is probably factually true as we are ALL born atheists. Then at some point in our childhood, while our minds are pliable and impressionable (usually) we are converted.

      June 29, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Brynn

      You can't prove people were born atheist.

      June 29, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • ElmerGantry

      @brynn,

      Then what religion are people born with? Christianity, Islam, Scientology, FSM, Buddaism, Taoism?

      June 29, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @ElmerGantry, Well said... @Brynn provides us with the typical kind of unreasoned reply one comes to expect from religious people.

      June 29, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Brynn

      Post your proof that people are born atheist? its that simple dude. Back up your claim. If you have all the answers share it with the world, man, share it.

      June 29, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Brynn

      @ElmerGantry, Well said... @Brynn provides us with the typical kind of unreasoned reply one comes to expect from religious people
      --
      And this is an ad hominem argument.

      June 29, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      The lack of brain development in newborns does not allow for complex thought or reasoning, such as holding a belief or even understanding the meaning of speech. Without the ability to hold a belief, it is non-belief, and falls under the heading of atheism.

      June 29, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Brynn, Ad hominem does not make the statement false. There's plenty of evidence that supports that religious people make unreasoned posts like you did, AND that children are born atheist.

      I'm happy to provide scientific evidence of the latter, but I would like to get you on the record first. Are you saying that newborn babies are capable of belief in a god?

      June 29, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • just sayin

      All children come directly from the throne of God and are acutely aware of Gods place in their lives. They are given the opportunity to choose God in love and so return to God to enjoy the wonderful eternity God has prepared for them. Only the extremely foolish go the other way. God bless

      June 29, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Looks like the old just sayin is back with random assertions with no basis in reality. I was hoping that he was gone for good.

      June 29, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • just sayin

      The Truth would escape anyone who devotes their life to lies. The proof is in the desire for God that resides in every human soul. sorry about you. God bless

      June 29, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @HawaiiGuest, I guess you beat me to it yet again... I swear... did christians just learn the expression "ad hominem"? I'm seeing this pop up as a response to criticism a lot these past weeks. To quote The Princess Bride... "I do not think it means what you think it means"

      June 29, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Yup he's back how lovely. Oh well, it's not like he's going to say anything that isn't merely preaching to the choir, and irrelevant to everyone else. Continue with your idiocy just sayin, and those who don't already agree with you will continue to laugh.

      June 29, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • just sayin

      Every society ever known on the planet have formed a type of worship to attempt to honor the presence of God they felt within. Only the laziness of modern times has allowed the foolish the time to rebel against their better knowledge and deny God. sorry about you. God bless

      June 29, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @just sayin, So you're saying the greeks had it right? Or maybe islam got it right.... Seriously man. Grow up.

      June 29, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      You're still as predictable as ever just sayin.

      June 29, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • fred

      GodFreeNow
      Sorry but the Greeks had a monument to the unknown God so it is hard to take them serious. Islam was contrived in 600 AD based mostly off old Jewish scripture by a man that didn’t like the Jews or the threat of Christians. Much like Joseph Smith we see man adding his bit to the truth of scripture. One has magic pants and the other magic carpets. Truth is not found in the things of man but that which springs from the Word of God.

      June 29, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @fred, word of god = thing of man. I've yet to see god's handwriting in any of the manuscripts out there.

      June 29, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • ElmerGantry

      I made no distinction as to any persuasion that children were born with.
      I asked the question as to what religion children were born with.
      Then we have this lovely statement,

      just sayin
      All children come directly from the throne of God and are acutely aware of Gods place in their lives. They are given the opportunity to choose God in love and so return to God to enjoy the wonderful eternity God has prepared for them. Only the extremely foolish go the other way. God bless

      June 29, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |

      OK just sayin, you made the claim that children are born with the knowledge of god here in an open forum for all to see, so you can not deny you made said claim.
      OK that makes you the claimant and now the burden of proof resides squarely with you to prove that children are born with the knowledge of god. What peer reviewed scientific journal articles are you using to support your claim? No religiobabble, double talk, platïtudes, specious reasoning allowed. Just real verifiable and reproducible evidence.

      But also since you claim that children are born with the knowledge of god, my question as to which god are they born with all the more relevant. You opened the door to cross examination and now my question is completely valid and you as the claimant have the burden of proof.

      I await your answer that does not use name calling, ad Hominem attacks, straw man fallacy, religiobabble, specious reasoning, redirection of the conversation, or any of the other other techniques of disinformation.

      Your "proof" is required to be verifiable, reproducible, and peer reviewed for soundness of investigative techniques.

      June 30, 2012 at 12:26 am |
  8. One one

    Hellow everyone, Jesus here.

    Worship me or I will torture You forever.

    Have a nice day.

    June 29, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  9. prophet

    jesus is an invented name and Our Saviour never even heard of this name that they now have built many deceiving religions on this name with false doctrines that were never given, such is the scale of the deception. the name began to be used about 135 years later and the greek orthodox invented it and this was an act of antisemtism of the time as they tried to de-judaise Our Saviour. So even the question is misleading.

    June 29, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
  10. GodFreeNow

    I love how jesus is seen as a moral authority and the highest that man can aspire to. First of all, has anyone in america ever heard of the buddha? He was far more moral and compassionate than jesus ever was and he taught this hundreds of years before jesus' time. He certainly never demanded that people leave their families like jesus did.

    Still, can't we even do better than the buddha? There is an old buddhist saying that goes something like, If you meet the buddha on the road, kill him. This is said to remind us that the greatest source of truth and morality exists in our own conscience and not some external super idol. When you stop letting people tell you what is right for you, turn off the lizard brain and listen to your own reasoned conscience, morality ceases to be a system of rules and becomes a way of life.

    June 29, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Arvoasitis

      Through the work of Sigmund Freud, we now understand that when people make moral judgments, they go through a process that goes something like this:
      First they look at self-interest. How does this affect me? I will be opposed to any course of action that puts my liberty or security are at great risk. (Yet, it is an observation that the more dim-witted an individual is, the more likely he or she is to rush to the polling station to vote against his or her self-interest.)
      Then they look at the effect on the public interest. This is especially important in a democracy.
      Finally they consider the universal principles and values; you know, that inner voice that says something is right or wrong even if everyone seems to be trying to convince you otherwise.
      The importance of the great religious and moral teachers of the past is that they tried to clarify the universal values and principles. Sometimes they succeeded, but sometimes they failed. None of them were perfect, but whyknock them for their effort?

      June 29, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Arvoasitis, "why knock them for their effort?"

      Of course I do not. The words about killing the buddha were not my own. They were the words of other spiritual teachers. As humans, it is our responsibility to transcend our previous teachers and leaders. This is part of our genetic programming. If we can learn from our past then that is great, but it should only serve as an example of what can be done and not what "should" be done.

      What I "knock" is people's growing dependence on servitude to religion and other philosophies. It's a characteristic of moral escapism and intellectual laziness.

      Buddha and jesus both point to this danger in their teachings, but do the religious followers hear it? Most do not. Jesus said, "you are light of the world," yet christian continue to expect salvation from an external source. Buddha said, "the finger pointing at the moon is not the moon," yet most of his followers continue to deify "the finger."

      Jesus, if he did exist was a man, just like any other man. Buddha was a man, just like any other man. Anyone alive today is capable of seeing the truth that they were pointing to. You don't need a religion to enforce it, or spread it. You don't need deities to find morality. This was the point I failed to successfully make.

      June 29, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Arvoasitis

      I get your point, I think, and have little, if any, dispute with it. Perhaps a clarification of my point is also in order. What I want to say is that if Freud is right, and I think he is, morality isn't a simple matter of right and wrong. In fact, a person might at any time have three distinct, perhaps even conflicting, views of right and wrong in a particular situation. In such cases, it may be helpful to turn to an acknowledged authority, or even several of them, to try to sort things out.

      June 29, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Arvoasitis, Agree. If it ended there, I think you'd hear very little complaints from atheists.

      June 29, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      I have no problem with that.

      June 29, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
  11. Jack

    Hello everyone. Each of you is welcome to visit ... thestarofkaduri.com

    June 29, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • daoud

      Really awesome site...like...I had an ephiphany, dude.

      June 29, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  12. Brother Maynard

    hmm ... seems to me that there is no greater proof that believers really do NOT believe by them having health insurance / seeing a doctor
    Is not going to the doctor's to cure some ailment in direct contradition to god's will? God created you specifically to acquire this disease and what do you do ? Go to the Doctor to get cured. Additionally, by god giving you this affliction ... he is saying "I want you to come live with me for eternity here in heaven" and what does the believer do? Deny this request by having man cure the disease... which in itself is stupid for the believer. The believer should jump for joy when he/ she finds out they have a disease, BECAUSE they soon will be with their god in bliss of eternal heaven.
    ONLY non-believers should want / receive medical as.sistance.

    June 29, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      whoop.. sorry 'bout the double post ... screen locked up ... I thought because of the word
      as.sistance ... guess not

      June 29, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  13. Brother Maynard

    hmm ... seems to me that there is no greater proof that believers reall do NOT believe by them having health insurance / seeing a doctor
    Isn't going to the doctor's to cure some ailment in direct contradition to god's will? God created you specifically to acquire this disease and what do you do ? Go to the Doctor to get cured. Additionally, by god giving you this affliction ... he is saying "I want you to come live with me for eternity here in heaven" and what does the believer do? Deny this request by having man cure the disease... which in itself is stupid for the believer. The believer should jump for joy when he/ she finds out they have a disease, BECAUSE they soon will be with their god in bliss of eternal heaven.
    ONLY non-believers should want / receive medical assistance.

    June 29, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  14. Major

    Jesus would have opposed anything that involved a leviathan bureaucracy like the US Government's "Obamacare" or the Roman Empire's efforts to rule mankind, both ultimately just efforts to "lord over" people by creating artificial dependency (social welfare dependency in the US, military and societal dependency in Rome's case). Given that He specifically took actions that eventually led to the conquering of Rome by Christians and the destruction of that Empire, I suspect He would have done something to dismantle the current American bureaucracy too, freeing people from the tyranny of bureaucratic dehumanizaiton. He would probably have started a movement of people doing for themselves, which Washington would view as a threat because it undermines the dependency that government welfare programs need to justify their existence. So Washington would have crucified Him to save the welfare state that allows them to make us all into cattle. But His heath would have started a movement of self-help and Christian charity that would have made the welfare state die from the atrophy of disuse.

    June 29, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Kidoairaku

      Ok, even if this were true, where are all of these charities that we need to help the sick? Could we really depend on potential funds from private charities to help keep our nation healthy? Maybe if all those thieves running the mega churches would forgo their mansions and luxury vehicles to use as many funds as possible to help Americans in need, we could start something that might turn into something like what you mention in your post. I don't see that happening anytime soon my friend; I don't see them wanting to live like Christ at all.

      June 29, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • The Bird Is The Word

      And you got all that in such detail from the Bible? It's more than amazing. It's a MIRACLE! I envy you for having such a direct and insightful connection to THE MIND OF THE SON OF GOD! You need to get back on your meds, guy.

      June 29, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Fact

      You clearly do not know the history of the First Christians at all.
      Read about them.

      June 29, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
  15. Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Prayer has been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for.
    Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just go to http://santorum.com to find out more.
    Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
    Prayer makes you fat, pale, weak, and sedentary.
    Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Prayer fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
    Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
    Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
    Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
    Prayer makes you think doilies are exciting.
    Prayer makes you secretively flatulent and embarrassed about it.
    Prayer makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
    Prayer gives you knobbly knees.
    Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just google him to find out.
    Prayer dulls your senses.
    Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
    Prayer makes you hoard cats.
    Prayer makes you smell like shitty kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
    Prayer wastes time.

    June 29, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  16. shwmin

    tommy said ...... Why are you people so stupid?....I have wondered that about atheism for years

    June 29, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • C'mon

      shwmin: "I have wondered that about atheism for years"

      What... all 14 of them?

      June 29, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • shwmin

      a WHOLE LOT more than that........

      June 29, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Flippy1124

      Why would you wonder that about people that dont believe in something that has no evidence in existing?

      June 29, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • C'mon

      If you are over 14 then there is some other reason why you are so lacking in knowledge of basic high school subjects.

      June 29, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Flippy1124

      HUH? I was asking a serious question.

      June 29, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • C'mon

      Flippy1124,

      I was addressing shwmin... in case that wasn't clear.

      June 29, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Flippy1124

      Roger that... My apologies.

      June 29, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You're older than 14 and still can't figure out how to write a sentence that doesn't reveal your stupidity?

      June 29, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  17. Reality

    The real "Obamacare" i.e. getting re-elected on the backs of 39 million aborted womb babies by using the votes of the 78 million voters involved in said abortions.

    June 29, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • One one

      How many unborn babies did Jesus kill when he flooded the whole world to kill everyone except one family ?

      June 29, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Reality

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

      New Torah For Modern Minds

      “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

      The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

      prob•a•bly

      Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

      "These essays, perused during uninspired sermons or Torah readings at Sabbath services, will no doubt surprise many congregants. For instance, an essay on Ancient Near Eastern Mythology," by Robert Wexler, president of the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, states that on the basis of modern scholarship, it seems unlikely that the story of Genesis originated in Palestine. More likely, Mr. Wexler says, it arose in Mesopotamia, the influence of which is most apparent in the story of the Flood, which probably grew out of the periodic overflowing of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The story of Noah, Mr. Wexler adds, was probably borrowed from the Mesopotamian epic Gilgamesh. "

      June 30, 2012 at 12:05 am |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    June 29, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Jesus

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

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

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

      June 29, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
      Prayer has been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for.
      Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just go to http://santorum.com to find out more.
      Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
      Prayer makes you fat, pale, weak, and sedentary.
      Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
      Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
      Prayer fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
      Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
      Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
      Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
      Prayer makes you think doilies are exciting.
      Prayer makes you secretively flatulent and embarrassed about it.
      Prayer makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
      Prayer gives you knobbly knees.
      Prayer dulls your senses.
      Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
      Prayer makes you hoard cats.
      Prayer makes you smell like shitty kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
      Prayer wastes time.

      June 29, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • ElmerGantry

      "Atheism is not..." has not been praying. How can I tell you ask. Because we still have the scourge of massive human sëx trafficking/human abuse world wide. It has not ended and "Atheism is not..." being the sincere believer that he has it in his power to put an end to this horrible practice thru prayer.

      I see your prayers to stop the estimated 800,000 people who are forced into sëx traficking across international borders have not worked.
      Wait since prayer changes things that means you have not been praying to stop this scourge on humanity.

      Why won't you pray to stop this repulsive human abuse?

      Matthew 21:21:
      I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.
      _______________________________________________________________________
      [A true believer can ask a mountain to throw itself into the sea, and it will be done. LOL!]
      _______________________________________________________________________

      Mark 9:23
      All things are possible to him who believes.

      Luke 1:37:
      For with God nothing will be impossible.

      John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

      John 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

      John 14:14 If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.

      Nothing could be simpler or clearer than Jesus' promises about prayer in the Bible.

      So there you have it, straight from Jesus in the New Testament in clear, simple, and unequivocal terms.

      You are a sincere believer are you not?

      Time to put up or shut up.

      June 29, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • daoud

      Can it change the fact my farts smell like rotten eggs after a hard night of drinking?

      June 29, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Prayer changes things

      Prayer can change you from the rotten filth you now are.

      June 29, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
  19. Bootyfunk

    not sure jesus would have healed just anyone. here's jesus making a woman beg and call herself a dog before he will heal her demon-possessed daughter, because she is not a jew - and jesus says he was sent only to heal jews. not only cruel, but also racist.

    Mathew 15:21-28
    21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
    22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”
    23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”
    24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
    25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.
    26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
    27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
    28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

    June 29, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Samuel

      Wow Jesus was a dick. Good quote!

      June 29, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • shwmin

      In speaking of bread, he refers to himself, the bread of life. In speaking of dogs, using the greek word for a pet dog, he is refering to the Gentiles. In other words he is saying, I have come first for the Jews. Jesus words do not contradict the truth that God's message is for all people (psalms 22:57, Isaiah 56:7) after all, when Jesus said these words he was in gentile territory on a mission to gentile people. He ministered to gentiles on many other occasions also. Jesus was simply telling the woman that Jews were to have the first opportunity to accept him as the Messiah because God wanted them to present the message of salvation to the rest of the world (see Genesis 12:3).

      June 29, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      @shwmin
      that is one of the greatest excuses i've heard yet. lol.

      you're making excuses for cruelty. read that passage again, without the rose-colored glasses. you're trying to make his insult somehow into praise? come on. be honest with yourself as you read this. jesus is calling her people dogs, and not in a nice way.

      June 29, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • shwmin

      once again booty....YOUR WRONG..... ! ha ha ha ha ha

      June 29, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • shwmin

      The truth is the truth weather you like it or not.....

      June 29, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "YOUR WRONG".

      Why are you people so stupid?

      June 29, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • shwmin

      OH MY tommys back....Welcome back Tommy.....Did you get your mommy change your diaper before you got on the computer....

      June 29, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Flippy1124

      dude, YOUR wrong??? and WEATHER you like it or not??? what's the weather have to do with it?

      June 29, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • The Bird Is The Word

      @shwmin: So Jesus plays favorites? I thought we were all equal in his sight? The Bible is more confusing and contradictory than...than...than something really confusing and contradictory! LOL

      June 29, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Mark Twain:

      It ain't those parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand

      June 29, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • ElmerGantry

      @Bill Deacon,

      You are using Mark Twain to bolster you case on religion??????

      You are obviously clueless as they come, aren't you?

      You should read "letters from the earth", "The War Prayer", and "The Diaries of Adam and Eve" by Mark Twain.

      You make statements like that and expect no one will realize just how dumb really or what a con man you really are.
      Your statements only work if people are uneducated or well read. Hence that is why the creationists keep trying to insert creationism in science class, practice revisionist history, and keep women subservient.

      Nice try but using Mark Twain to bolster your view of religion is an utter FAILURE

      I recommend every one to read these books of Mark Twain.

      June 29, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Poor little schw. I'll bet it doesn't even have a clue what it did wrong.

      June 29, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      @Elmer Let me see if I understand your rules; No Biblical quotes and no extra Biblical quotes. Any other sources you refuse to entertain? I know Mark Twain's position on religion. How condescending of you to think I wouldn't before posting his statement. I just think he makes a great point and I had hoped it would give the "open minded" crowd some food for thought, not further cause to insult. I guess i was wrong

      June 29, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • ElmerGantry

      @Bil Deacon,

      Stop trying to spin things. I never said not to quote the bible or Mark Twain or any one else. Go ahead and use whatever you want.

      It's just that using a bronze age tribal culture writing does not speak well, and using Mark Twain to bolster your religion really shows you to be either very credulous or a very clever con artist.

      By all means quote Mark Twain.

      Perhaps you want to quote Mark Twain's comment on Noah having to turn the ark around to save the Tse-Tse fly as written in "Letters from the earth", you know one of those things that carries some form of "plague" that god created for humanity's suffering.

      June 29, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  20. Larry

    I would say that in general, Jesus would have supported "Obamacare" because he told us specifically to pay taxes and obey those in authority over us. However, I also think that Jesus would have been disappointed that Christians have spent more time becoming involved in political arguments than actually feeding the hungry, caring for the poor, and visiting those who were sick and in prison. I believe that we Christians find it much easier to blame "the government", "big business", or just about anybody else than to actually take responsibility for our own lack of involvement.

    June 29, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Kidoairaku

      Amen to that. That is what is precisely wrong with America.

      June 29, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • The Bird Is The Word

      You sound like a press secretary: "What the Saviour really meant to say is..."

      June 29, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Prarie

      well said

      June 29, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Brynn

      Wait hold on, where do you have proof that Christians are not feeding the poor, visiting the sick and people in prison? Show me your proof because I have proof that they do.

      June 29, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
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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.