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June 30th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

Despite fights about its merits, idea of American exceptionalism a powerful force through history

This is the first in a series exploring the concept of American exceptionalism. On Monday, we examine areas in which other countries lead the way.

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) – It’s safe to say the first European arrivals to New England wouldn’t recognize today’s debate over whether America is exceptional.

Though the United States wouldn’t be born for another century and a half, the Puritans arriving in the early 1600s on the shores of what would become Massachusetts firmly believed they were on a mission from God.

In other words, they had the exceptional part down pat.

Fleeing what they saw as the earthly and corrupt Church of England, the Puritans fancied themselves the world’s last, best hope for purifying Christianity - and for saving the world.

The Puritans never used the word “exceptionalism.” But they came to see Boston as the new Jerusalem, a divinely ordained “city upon a hill,” a phrase Massachusetts Bay Colony founder John Winthrop used in a sermon at sea en route from England in 1630.

“They were reinterpreting themselves as God’s new Israel,” Boston University religion professor Stephen Prothero said. “They were essentially playing out the biblical story.”

To modern ears, that literal exceptionalist thinking could sound at once both exotic and quaint, which makes the idea’s staying power and influence throughout American history all the more remarkable.

Photos: Faces of citizenship

Nearly four centuries after Winthrop uttered the words “city on a hill,” President Barack Obama finds himself responding to charges from Republican challenger Mitt Romney that he has insufficient faith in American exceptionalism.

“Our president doesn’t have the same feelings about American exceptionalism that we do,” Romney said at a campaign stop this year. “You have an opportunity to vote and take the next step in bringing back that special nature of being American.”

Obama has pushed back on that claim, saying in a recent speech that “the character of our country … has always made us exceptional.”

Though the particulars surrounding the idea have changed, the bedrock belief that America is exceptional when measured against the arc of history and against all other nations has helped forge the nation’s defining moments, from the American Revolution and the country’s dramatic expansion west to the Civil War and both World Wars.

More recently, arguments about American exceptionalism have helped elect and unseat presidents – and have fed a debate about whether the phrase still has any meaning.

'An asylum for mankind'

For New England’s Puritans, exceptionalism was a religious idea with big political repercussions.

They thought the Protestant Reformation, which had been set into motion a century before, hadn’t gone nearly far enough in rooting out the corruption of the Roman Catholic Church.

Puritans saw the pomp and hierarchy of the Protestant Church of England as too much like another papacy.

My Take: How I constructed 'The American Bible'

In New England, Winthrop and his fellow travelers established a theocracy that they hoped would be a model for English Christianity.

“They had to succeed to bring about this promised apocalyptic history that would culminate in the second coming of Christ, hopefully to New England,” said Deborah Madsen, an American studies professor at the University of Geneva.

“To fail would be to fail the world on this grand, transcendent scale,” said Madsen, who has studied the idea of American exceptionalism throughout U.S. history.

With the stakes thought to be so high, there was intense social pressure among Puritans to adhere to a strict moral code.

Everyone looked for signs that they were among the elect destined for heaven and kept a watchful eye out for neighbors who might be backsliding. The starkest example: the Salem witch trials of 1692, in which 19 people were hanged in Massachusetts for allegedly practicing witchcraft.

“If the members of the community fulfilled their part in the work of sacred history, not only would the individuals find salvation, but the whole community would be saved,” Madsen said, summarizing Puritan thinking. “But if any individual failed to live up to this grand destiny, the entire community would be denied salvation.”

Being God’s chosen people, it turned out, wasn’t all roses.

America exceptional? Not by the numbers

As new arrivals and subsequent generations enlarged colonial America, the Puritans’ faith-based ideas were gradually secularized.

By 1660, it had become clear to the Massachusetts theocrats that they wouldn’t be exporting their ideas abroad anytime soon. That was the year the British monarchy was restored after a decade of rule by the Cromwells, putting an end to Puritan rule in England and re-establishing the Church of England as a political power.

And with new Enlightenment ideas making their way from Europe about a rational universe knowable through reason, the Puritans’ quest for perfect religious institutions gave way to a colonial quest for perfect political institutions.

My Faith: Why I don’t sing the ‘Star Spangled Banner’

The democratic ideas that made up this new political exceptionalism owed plenty to Winthrop & Co.

“Puritans had mapped out the relationship between church and the community that included the seed of democratic participation,” said Madsen. “The idea was that everyone had rights but also responsibilities.

“By fulfilling their responsibilities and respecting the rights of others, they would achieve happiness through the social contract.”

That egalitarianism helped lay the groundwork for the American Revolution, though Madsen notes that “the terms of reference had changed from salvation to democracy.”

America’s revolutionaries were keenly aware that their calls for democratic government in the face of English rule were exceptional for their time.

“Every spot of the old world is overrun with oppression,” Thomas Paine wrote in 1776 in “Common Sense,” which helped galvanize colonists toward the Revolutionary War.

“Freedom hath been hunted round the globe,” Paine wrote. “Asia, and Africa, have long expelled her. Europe regards her like a stranger. … O! receive the fugitive, and prepare in time an asylum for mankind.”

The Puritan vision of America as world’s godly beacon had been replaced by the image of the nation as the world’s workshop for political and social progress. America’s founders wanted to break with what they saw as the corruption of European politics and society, where a person’s status was mostly a matter of inheritance.

By contrast, the founders proposed in the Declaration of Independence “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.”

While other republics had come and gone, many of the founders who signed the Declaration - and, later, the Constitution - wanted the American Republic to endure forever.

This was city on a hill 2.0.

Manifest destiny

Reading the founders’ paeans to American exceptionalism - about aspiring to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,” as the Constitution puts it - can put a lump in your throat.

But their vision excluded huge swaths of the population, like women and slaves. And other applications of the idea had their own dark sides.

Take Manifest Destiny.

As the nascent United States strove to expand westward in the 1800s, its leaders faced major problems, including how to justify taking land that belonged to Europe or that was occupied by Native Americans.

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Manifest Destiny – the idea that it was God’s will for the U.S. government to occupy North America or all of the Americas – offered a big part of the answer.

“A civilization that has the sanction of God is always the ultimate justification,” said the University of Geneva’s Madsen. “The idea was that God had made it manifest that the U.S. should expand. … It’s not much different than the idea of American exceptionalism.”

Like many facets of exceptionalism, the notion of Manifest Destiny wasn’t entirely new.

In the 1500s, Queen Elizabeth of England had established herself as a divinely ordained monarch whose reign had been presaged by the Bible. That mythology, which inspired Puritan exceptionalism, had helped English plantation owners justify forays into what is now Northern Ireland.

In the same way, Manifest Destiny helped justify the United States as it laid claim to European land and forcibly removed tens of thousands of American Indians. Many asserted that the campaign was meant to civilize or Christianize the natives, making good on America’s “chosenness.”

And the American image of a continent brimming with virgin land – which denied the presence of American Indians there – synched nicely with long-held exceptionalist visions of an unspoiled and utopian New World.

“Our manifest destiny (is) to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions,” American newspaper editor John S. O’Sullivan wrote in 1845, arguing for the annexation of Texas, in what is believed to be history’s first mention of Manifest Destiny.

It’s hard to know how much America’s leaders truly believed in the idea versus how much they employed it for purely political ends. Manifest Destiny certainly had high-profile critics, including Mark Twain, who declared himself an “anti-imperialist.”

“If you’re a cynical person and you see something like the Mexican-American War as a land grab, you can say this idea of Manifest Destiny was construed to create a moral tissue for a war of aggression,” Boston University international relations professor Andrew Bacevich said.

The westward expansion was driven largely by Southerners who wanted to farm the land and expand American slavery.

But abolitionists like Frederick Douglass also appropriated American exceptionalism, arguing that the nation’s “peculiar institution” was evidence that America was falling short of its Christian mandate.

That abolitionist line foreshadowed a key argument of 20th-century liberals: If America is exceptional, it’s because of the decisions we make around justice, not because of innate “chosenness.”

By Douglass’ time, American exceptionalism was so deeply entrenched in the American psyche that it transcended religion. Abraham Lincoln, often described as a deist - believing in a distant, uninvolved God - was nonetheless a hearty exceptionalist.

“He believed that America was leading the way in history toward democracy and equality,” said Dorothy Ross, a history professor emeritus at Johns Hopkins University. “At that time, Europe is still steeped in monarchs and failed revolutions, and America was still the only mass democracy in the Western world and believed that it was leading the historical way.”

Even the relatively unreligious Lincoln came to see the hand of God actively participating in American history through the Civil War.

“He gives to both North and South this terrible war,” Lincoln said in his second inaugural address, referring to God. “American slavery,” Lincoln said, was something that “He now wills to remove.”

The first president to say it

Despite its centuries-old influence, the term "American exceptionalism" didn’t emerge until sometime in the past 100 years.

Some historians say it’s unclear who coined the phrase, while others credit Joseph Stalin with doing so in 1929, when he admonished American communists for suggesting that the United States’ unique history could make it immune to Marxism.

In his reprimand, the Soviet leader decried “the heresy of American exceptionalism.”

Ironically, American intellectuals and eventually the broader public came to embrace the term, especially in the years following World War II, even after communists used the Great Depression as evidence of Stalin’s alleged "heresy.”

Just like President Woodrow Wilson had done in World War I, Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman justified American involvement in World War II largely on the basis that the country had been chosen to lead and transform the world.

After the Second World War, “the United States had emerged as the strongest country,” said Johns Hopkins’ Ross. “Social scientists began studying things like national character and what makes America unique.”

American affection for the idea grew during the Cold War, as the U.S. attempted to distinguish itself from the “godless” Soviet Union.

“Our governments, in every branch ... must be as a city upon a hill,” John F. Kennedy said in a Boston speech just before his inauguration in 1961, citing John Winthrop by name.

In the ’60s and ’70s, however, American scholars and others began challenging the idea of American exceptionalism, mostly from the left and especially after the Vietnam War, which liberals criticized as a costly exercise in American hubris.

Historians began to see exceptionalism as a scholarly construct, a way of interpreting American history rather than as accepted fact.

Ronald Reagan illustrated the partisan gap around the idea, speaking of America as a “city on a hill” and attacking President Jimmy Carter for allegedly showing weakness on the world stage, including in the Iran hostage crisis.

“We cannot escape our destiny, nor should we try to do so,” Reagan told the first annual Conservative Political Action Conference in 1974. “We are today the last best hope of man on Earth.”

President George W. Bush employed similar rhetoric in his global “freedom agenda,” even after initially pledging a “humble” foreign policy.

Despite greater Republican than Democratic support for the idea (91% vs. 70%) , a 2010 Gallup poll found that 80% of Americans subscribed to the notion that the U.S. has a “unique character that makes it the greatest country in the world.”

Boston University’s Prothero criticizes that definition of American exceptionalism, which he says is how most American politicians use the term today.

For John Winthrop, the shining city was an aspiration that depended on the righteous behavior of the Puritans, Prothero says, part of the social contract that laid the groundwork for democracy. Whether the city would in fact shine was an open question.

If the Puritans dealt falsely with their God, Winthrop had said in his 1630 sermon, there will be “curses upon us till we be consumed out of the good land whither we are going.”

In contemporary American politics, by contrast, Prothero says the idea of exceptionalism has been stripped of its conditionalism, becoming “a kind of brag.”

“Today, it’s ‘of course God blesses America,’ ” he said. “It’s presumptuous.”

Others have attacked the idea as little more than the kind of nationalism felt by citizens of countries all over the world.

“I believe in American exceptionalism,” President Obama said in France in 2009, “just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.”

But the president has since sounded a different tune. In his Air Force Academy commencement speech in May, Obama repeatedly expressed support for American exceptionalism.

“The United States has been, and will always be, the one indispensable nation in world affairs,” Obama said. “It's one of the many examples of why America is exceptional.”

In fact, Obama appears to be the first sitting president to publicly use those words, political experts say. Given their place in the modern American political lexicon, nearly 400 years after Winthrop first gave voice to the idea, he is unlikely to be the last.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Barack Obama • Catholic Church • Christianity • Europe • Mitt Romney • Politics • Protestant • Religious liberty • United Kingdom • United States

soundoff (3,068 Responses)
  1. Mali

    America is one of many countries in this planet of ours. Some things are exceptional about America, like its love for fire arms in the face of ever increasing social violence and America seems to be the only country where it's ok for cheese to come out of a can and the same goes for ham. America has unique landmarks like the Grand Canyon, and the empre state building. I wanted to mention Disneyland and the Statue of Liberty but those are also found elsewhere.
    Other countries have exceptional things about them too. In France if you are I'll, you don't need health insurance to see a doctor, But I guess many other countries share that too. Well, their old people retire at 55 with a full pension for life...wait, many other countries have that too. Education is free....again not exceptional, the divide between rich and poor is small....uhmmm, running out of ideas now. Lets see, clean water, clean streets, low crime rates ....no, when I think about it America is exceptional, the other countries are pretty much the same.

    September 12, 2013 at 11:08 am |
  2. Jon

    Obama and Putin are agreeing for once, they are just saying the same thing :
    the US are exceptional ... as much exceptional as the other 192 countries today, or the ten of thousands of countries which have existed since the birth of civilisation.

    September 12, 2013 at 10:42 am |
  3. Ole Mikkelsen

    I have lived and worked and in some cases owned property in 4 different countries: Denmark, Canada, UK and the US since 2001 and in my opinion the only thing exceptional about the US is its size (3rd only to Russia and Canada). The US is a great country – just like Denmark, or Canada, or the UK – but no more than that.

    September 12, 2013 at 10:28 am |
  4. lol??

    article:".......It’s safe to say the first European arrivals to New England wouldn’t recognize today’s debate over whether America is exceptional........".....I doubt there were any visions of a powerful nation that would start out with the wisdom to govern itself and so quickly fall into corruption by progressive "fixes". The morphing of a government upon the ground they were standing into the Pale Horse, AKA the diverse Beast, would have never crossed their minds.

    January 14, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • ed

      They wouldn't have had time, anyway. They were too busy slaughtering native Americans.

      January 14, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
  5. highplainsparson

    American exceptionalism is an important foundational tenet of the Mormon religion.

    October 8, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  6. highplainsparson

    The Puritans had the best idea.

    October 8, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  7. Damir

    I had to go watch the movie because it was my duty as a fienrd and, I confess as well, I was curious even though I knew about the liberal vibe the movie has. Half way in I am already ticked off. The only thing that kept me in the theatre was my boyfriend and common decency towards our fienrds who bought us the tickets. They were more than $10 (by the way, where did you find a cinema with $10 3D movies? ) By the time they bomb the tree, I tell my boyfriend (Marine with two tours in Iraq) that I want to leave. I was not whispering that into his ear.James Cameron, just like any other liberal ignoramus, chooses destruction to appeal to the basic and easiest to achieve emotion: sympathy. The guy next to me kept waiving his head in outrage over the actions of the military. People who go watch his movie should feel insulted that the director tells them how to feel and how to react rather than entice a thought from them. I felt like a dog who is getting trained: if you see this color, bark once if you see the other, bark twice. Even the glorious views of a magnificent world could not appease me in my deep anger.Has anyone seen Inglorious Basterds? In this piece of art (I think it's brilliant and I hate to disclose some snippets of it) they have the premier of a movie that was made possible by Joseph Goebbels, the man in charge of Nazi propaganda during WWII. If you buy the DVD, which I obviously did, you can actually watch the whole short movie. It's about a German soldier who manages to kill hundreds of Allied troops in a few days. The way Cameron separates good and evil in his Avatar is no different from the way the German soldier and the American troops are differentiated. There is a very clear line between those two: the good stays good without any effort and the bad has no chance to redeem itself. It's called propaganda and I am scared that many people cannot read into that. The applause at the end of the movie scared me even more.Why am I scared and is this normal or an overreaction on my part? I grew up in Eastern Europe. I had an extraordinary childhood surrounded by my books and a very vivid imagination. I was also raised by my grand-parents and great-grand-parents, survivors of the 1st , 2nd World Wars, sudden poverty imposed by Stalin and in 1947 the Great Famine. Sometimes I wish I had a more open ear to all those stories my great-grandpa used to tell me during those cold winter days. I was fascinated but could not fathom the extent of hardships they have endured. Then I went to school. This is when my utter confusion and separation from the society started. I was an outspoken little girl who was forced to shut up and do what she was told. I asked questions but was told not to. I wanted to be great but could not be greater than the other student. I spoke one language: direct communication. I managed to make most of my school teachers my enemies because of that. Sadly, I consider that an honor.After the USSR broke we had an influx of Western culture. I soon realized that is where I can feel free to be the way I am and not be afraid of getting in trouble because of my character.I will not elaborate on how long and what it took me to get here and how it felt to receive that letter from the immigration officials saying: Congratulations on becoming a Permanent Resident Alien.I want to hold on to what I've earned: my right to that freedom that I battled for. I could not vote last year but I got the chills when they announced the winner. It's scary to me to watch a bunch of ignorant and vicious people who under the mask of sainthood, declare themselves the protectors of the weak and even worse, people who actually follow them.Reply

    October 8, 2012 at 7:29 am |
  8. Susie

    I'm not saying the EPA is cometplely useless, but it does over regulate i.e. its own declaration that carbon dioxide is a poison. The Clean Air and Clear Water Acts in their purest/original forms can be argued in a positive light. However, really advances in the environment have came from increased awareness and concern by people, which has forced business to harm the environment less.[Some of us love our country and would like to preserve its beauty.]Don't play the same card that neo-cons played after Iraq, saying people don't love this country. We can be above that. Anyone who has ever met me knows I love this country will all my heart. Let's keep the conversation on the right track. Thanks, Ben. Always a pleasure.Dump Um Out

    October 8, 2012 at 12:28 am |
  9. Jesus is the most powerful figure known to mankind (Fact)

    Ok i challenge all atheist/non-believers to a simple small short mature intellectual debate. I claim that there is a GOD, Higher Power, Intelligent Designer/Engineer, and Creator. You claim that there isnt a Creator and everything is a coincidence. (If what i say about your claims are wrong please correct me) Here are the rules: No THEORIES and no BIBLE VERSES. Proven known facts ONLY, none requiring faith. I simply ask that you consider my facts as i will yours. I will provide 10 facts in defense to my claim and you can list as much as you will.

    1.The perfect unseen order of our solar system.
    2. The accurate and precise distance of our sun and it's perfect compatibility with our moon. Its unfailing rising and sustaining power.
    3. The engineering of the earth in every aspect.
    4. Nature, it's power, beauty, and contributions.
    5. Natural law.
    6. Creatures, all of their different abilities, bodies, and behaviors.
    7. The extraordinary and intelligently designed human body and mind.
    8. My user name. Jesus indeed had the most influence and biggest impact on this world than anyone in all of time.
    9. Due to how orderly and precise creation is, the chance of the big bang theory or coincidence happening is statistically 0. Scientists have come up with approximate numbers that far exceed the trillions, but these numbers are made up from their theories which is why i didnt paste the number. As of right now the chances of life forming from nothing is statistically 0.
    10. Time & Life (consciousness)

    Please be respectful and list your facts.

    October 7, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • MennoKnight

      Friend, the Big Bang Theory is a biblical principle. According to scripture God spoke everything into being, therefore it came from nothing.
      The Big Bang Theory was first proposed by Christian Theists such as Georges Lemaître. Today it is often rejected by atheists because it demands a creation event. If you have a creation event you must have a creator.
      The Big Bang Theory is the greatest gift from science of evidence that there is a creator.

      Just because Ken Ham from Answers in Genesis says so, please read actual good apologetic material written by men like Timothy Keller and Lee Strobel.

      September 12, 2013 at 11:59 am |
  10. frank

    it was when we first saw th

    September 9, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
  11. mark

    everytime this is seen wev

    September 8, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  12. ronald stone

    Normally I do not learn post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to check out and do it! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thank you, very nice post.

    September 3, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  13. teapartybubba

    Go USA! http://teapartybubba.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/the-10-commandments-and-american-exceptionalism/

    September 3, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  14. Tim

    http://www.indiegogo.com/hopeheal

    August 29, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  15. joel gold

    7

    August 22, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
  16. mark

    zzzz

    August 20, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
  17. BootstrapsFisher

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    August 15, 2012 at 8:27 am |
  18. myfamilyneedsamiracle

    God bless you all. Please read our story and help if you can. I have a medically needy daughter and I don't know where else to turn.

    http://www.myfamilyneedsamiracle.wordpress.com

    August 14, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Ahu

      My Dear, turn to Jesus Christ for a miracle. This works. I have experienced it myself. Then, testify after you have believed and experienced the hand of God!

      September 12, 2013 at 11:07 am |
  19. Kindness

    Kindness
    This is my experience... Thank you.

    MY personal testimony.
    A thought to consider without an ego response

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

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

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

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

    Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both christians and non are sinners. Even once we are saved by christs merciful grace we will still experience adversity to mold us to adhering to the truth.
    We will slip... But not fall of the ship ...carrying us onward to perfection in christs grace.

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

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

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

    Trancsend the temporal world.

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

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

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

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

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read romans or corinthians.

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

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

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

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

    Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

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

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

    my testimony

    Romans 10:9

    "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved

    July 28, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • NickZadick

      It's called brainwashing!

      August 2, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
      • Ahu

        You are brainwashed yourself, to ignore the truth of Jesus Christ... wake up before it gets too late for you to curse your stars!

        September 12, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • Gary

      ridiculous

      August 13, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • John J

      LOL

      September 13, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • MikebornagainBaptist

      God Bless you....Amen. This is the first truth I have seen on the internet in a LOOOOng time because what you say is the exact words of the Bible. AMEN!

      October 5, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
  20. UK Dave & my fellow scientists

    I give you ALL HOPE !!!! 🙂
    Ever heard of PRODIGAL?
    PRODIGAL = YOU ALL RETURN !!!! 🙂

    July 18, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
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About this blog

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