July 3rd, 2012
09:20 AM ET

My Take: Library of Congress's 'books that shaped America' list plays down religion

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

When I first saw the Library of Congress' new list of the 88 “Books That Shaped America,” it looked to me like it was drawn up by the professors who taught me American studies in the 1970s and 1980s.

Unlike E.D. Hirsch’s book "Cultural Literacy," which emphasized the work of dead white men, the Library of Congress' list is admirably inclusive. It includes books by or about various “outsider” groups, from native Americans to gays and lesbians. It attends to the problem of class via Jacob Riis’ "How the Other Half Lives" (not to mention F. Scott Fitzgerald’s "The Great Gatsby," which is also about class).

It also tips its cap to the environmental movement (Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring”), the feminist movement (“Our Bodies, Ourselves”) and the sexual revolution (Kinsey’s “Sexual Behavior in the American Male”).

Moreover, African-Americans are actually over-represented here. Of the 88 books, roughly a dozen are by African-Americans, and another half-dozen or so are about them.

The Library of Congress list also includes lowbrow literature alongside the serious novels you might find in the "Harvard Classics" anthology, most notably children’s books from “The Cat in the Hat” and “Goodnight Moon” to “Little Women” and “Where the Wild Things Are.”

But this list also seems to have the same blind spot that many of my American studies professors had: religion.

Of all the books that shaped the United States, the Bible surely had the most impact. No book has sold more copies here or influenced more Americans more profoundly. But perhaps this book lost out on a technicality: the desire of the Library of Congress to restrict itself to books by Americans.

If so, where are the words of America’s ministers and theologians? Time magazine, another mover and shaper of American culture, has featured dozens of Catholics on its cover, as well as Russian and Greek Orthodox clerics, Mormon and Jewish leaders, the Maharishi (of Transcendental Meditation fame), the Dalai Lama and preachers from Billy Graham and Reinhold Niebuhr to Martin Luther King Jr. and Jerry Falwell.

But these voices are curiously absent from the Library of Congress list, which devotes more space to scientists and science (Carl Sagan, anyone?) than to preachers and religion.

To be fair, the Library of Congress list is by no means absent of religious voices. Two of its autobiographical works, "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass" and "The Autobiography of Malcolm X," are shot through with religion, as is Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery novel, "Uncle Tom’s Cabin."

A slave spiritual starts each chapter in W.E.B. DuBois’ "Souls of Black Folk," which also includes a chapter on the history of the black church and appears on the new list. Two early schoolbooks, "A Curious Hieroglyphick Bible" and "The New England Primer," which do nearly as much preaching as educating, also make the cut. And "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau is the mother of today's “spiritual but not religious” bestsellers.

Nonetheless, to read the Library of Congress list is to be presented with an America that produces lots of great novels and good science but is largely indifferent even to bad religion. And that just isn’t the America in which we live. To put it another way, this list is providing more fodder for those on the religious right who believe that elites in the academy are tone-deaf to questions of faith and belief.

In my own effort at canon-making, "The American Bible," I included a number of books that also made the cut at the Library of Congress: Twain’s "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," Ayn Rand’s "Atlas Shrugged," Thomas Paine’s "Common Sense" and Noah Webster’s "Grammatical Institute of the English Language" (more popularly known as the "Blue-Backed Speller"), along with "Uncle Tom’s Cabin" and "The Autobiography of Malcolm X."

In my case, however, I made room not only for books but also for speeches, sermons, letters, essays, songs and even a memorial (the Vietnam Veterans Memorial by Maya Lin).

If I had restricted myself to books, I would have added at least two of the classics tapped by the Library of Congress: John Steinbeck’s Depression-era novel "The Grapes of Wrath" and Betty Freidan’s feminst classic "The Feminine Mystique." But I would have found a way to work in some ministers and theologians, too.

More than any other thinker, 20th-century Christian theologian Niebuhr has shaped the worldview of Barack Obama. Surely Niebuhr deserves a place here, as does King, who also had something to do with the election of America's first black president.

And while we are at it, how about the Book of Mormon? Surely that book, America’s most influential homegrown scripture, played a major role in shaping the man who would be America’s first Mormon president, Mitt Romney.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Bible • Books • History • Mormonism • Opinion • United States

soundoff (217 Responses)
  1. johnjstanton

    I have not yet looked at the list of books selected, but I wonder what Stephen Prothpero thinks of the following being added:

    The Age of Reason
    The Jefferson Bible
    Dianetics by LR Hubbard
    Stranger in a Strange Land by RA Heinlein

    July 6, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  2. booboot0805

    Playing down religion is just fine. How about playing up atheism? History doesn't report anything negative achieved by atheists. Time for people who thinks and reason to take over.

    July 6, 2012 at 12:20 am |
    • Marlin

      Good idea. Let's get rid of every known work of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Aurelius, Seneca, Augustine, Aquinas, and every other "irrational" believer in the transcendental!

      July 6, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Arvoasitis

      Not an entirely bad idea. One might consider Hypatia of Alexandria, the brilliant pagan astronomer who carried on the observations of her astronomer-astrologer father, and was working on an egg-shaped orbit for Earth around the Sun. But, she was murdered, allegedly by Christian monks, and all her works were burned, leaving only the criticism of her work by her Earth-centered contemporaries. Yet, these criticism may have impelled Copernicus nearly a thousand years later, to turn from trying to perfect the Earth-centered theory to work on a heliostatic planetary system. (By the way, the system of Copernicus was not "heliocentric;" according to the theory Earth revolved around a point in space near the surface of the Sun.)
      And who has ever heard of Rheticus, the assistant of Copernicus, without whose persistence, Copernicus might never have published and thereby popularized his conclusions. Instead, like the four Jesuit astronomers who had preceded him, Copernicus might simply have filed his observations at the Vatican where they might have gathered dust like the others. Why haven't we heard of Rheticus and his influence; is ti because he was openly gay?

      July 7, 2012 at 9:45 am |
  3. Reality

    Thank "god" that Stephen P' s books are not on the list and never will be. And as usual said Stephen P does not commit to anything bordering on his own beliefs. Strange fellow he is and even stranger that CNN pays him for writing comments on religion and no one knows what church he prays in or whether he prays at all.

    July 5, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  4. Who invited me?

    "Don't believe lies read the NT."
    Well which is it, you can't have both

    July 5, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Nii

      If u r religious the NT will not make sense! That is when religious Atheists give up and say its not true. Religious theists especially Xtians form their own teaching about the NT's teaching. Its like a Chemistry text. Its a model. Not the real thing but it works if you practise it!

      July 5, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      So that must be why there are some 38,000 denominations of "the truth".
      You can't all agree on your own book
      And maybe you can put down your bible long enough to take an english lesson

      July 5, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  5. pastmormon2

    People need to get a grip about labels. Just because someone doesn't believe in god doesn't mean they are atheists. That word is getting slung around like a bad sandwich. There are far more agnostic people that don't have to be drug into either side...Belief or absolute disbelief. Agnostics simply believe there is something out there, but they don't buy into the punishment reward system of Christianity and they don't agree with the total annihilation belief of Atheism. So you ought to be more afraid of agnostics than atheists because there are more of us and we're the ones that used to believe in organized religion and we're the ones leaving it in droves.

    July 5, 2012 at 7:40 am |
    • Milt

      Actually, not believing in God is exactly Atheism. Atheism being the antonym of Theism which means belief. So A-theism is non-belief.

      July 5, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Robert

      Theism is the belief in the premise that "a god or gods exist", atheism therefore is not 'non-belief' but a belief in the negative of the premise ("no gods exist"). Agnosticism is the negation of knowing – it is the belief in the premise that we cannot know if gods exist.

      July 5, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Scowl

      Actually, you couldn't be more wrong. Much like all Christians/atheists/Jews/Buddhists/Muslims etc, all people who label themselves "agnostic" are not in perfect agreement. You may label yourself an "agnostic" and you may believe there is "something out there" but I know people who label themselves "agnostic" who when you talk to them you find they are really atheists who for one reason or another do not want to label themselves as such.

      You can label yourself anything you want, but that doesn't make it true and it doesn't mean you can twist the English language and meanings of words to fit your wants. Gnosticism/Agnosticism deal with knowledge and the lack thereof while Theism/Atheism deal with belief and the lack thereof. Answering "do you believe in a higher power?" with "I am agnostic" is like answering "what is your favorite color?" with "macaroni and cheese"; it's illogical.

      You stated you "believe in something out there" that makes you a Theist.

      July 6, 2012 at 7:57 am |
  6. pastmormon2

    The book of mormon is nothing more than a collection of stolen books from the bible, some very violent chapters on genocide (by orders of God) and a fake history (that has since been proven wrong by archeology) about America's Native People. It does not deserve a place on any bookshelf let alone that of a person that actually THINKS.

    July 5, 2012 at 7:36 am |
    • Robert

      I'll accept that it's a work of fiction, or even an example of poor writing; however, it cannot be debated that it, like many other works of fiction, has shaped the lives of many Americans.

      July 5, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  7. Fuster

    Go F yourself, Stephen Prothero! You're a brainwashed theist who called a virtual unknown a "prominent atheist". You're such a joke.

    July 5, 2012 at 12:42 am |
  8. OOO

    It doesn't matter Stephen.
    Even if every aspect of our political system, our laws, our morals and our social interactions were shaped by religion, that would only make us closer to, for example, a state like Saudi Arabia. It would not add one iota of proof to the existance of god or the truthfulness of any religion!

    July 5, 2012 at 12:14 am |
  9. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    July 4, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • BilCat

      From the Book of Mormon concerning this land (America):

      9 Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a apromise, that binasmuch as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem shall keep his commandments, they shall prosper upon the face of this land; and they shall be kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land unto themselves. And if it so be that they shall dkeep his commandments they shall be blessed upon the face of this land, and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away the land of their einheritance; and they shall dwell safely forever.

      10 But behold, when the time cometh that they shall dwindle in unbelief, after they have received so great blessings from the hand of the Lord—having a knowledge of the creation of the earth, and all men, knowing the great and marvelous works of the Lord from the creation of the world; having power given them to do all things by faith; having all the commandments from the beginning, and having been brought by his infinite goodness into this precious land of promise—behold, I say, if the day shall come that they will reject the Holy One of Israel, the true bMessiah, their Redeemer and their God, behold, the judgments of him that is just shall rest upon them.

      11 Yea, he will bring other nations unto them, and he will give unto them power, and he will take away from them the lands of their possessions, and he will cause them to be scattered and smitten.

      12 Yea, as one generation passeth to another there shall be bloodsheds, and great visitations among them; wherefore, my sons, I would that ye would remember; yea, I would that ye would hearken unto my words.

      13 O that ye would awake; awake from a deep asleep, yea, even from the sleep of hell, and shake off the awful chains by which ye are bound, which are the chains which bind the children of men, that they are carried away captive down to the eternal dgulf of misery and woe.

      July 4, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Mormons are fine people

      Mormons are not Christians. The Mormon god is not God.

      July 5, 2012 at 4:27 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      From The Juvenile Instructor (Mormon brainwashing for kids) regarding black people:
      "We will first inquire into the results of the approbation or displeasure of God upon a people, starting with the belief that a black skin is a mark of the curse of Heaven placed upon some portions of mankind. Some, however, will argue that a black skin is not a curse, nor a white skin a blessing. In fact, some have been so foolish as to believe and say that a black skin is a blessing, and that the ne.gro is the finest type of a perfect man that exists on the earth; but to us such teachings are foolishness.
      We understand that when God made man in his own image and pronounced him very good, that he made him white. We have no record of any of God's favored servants being of a black race...every angel who ever brought a message of God's mercy to man was beautiful to look upon, clad in the purest white and with a countenance bright as the noonday sun."

      July 5, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does 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!

      July 5, 2012 at 10:39 am |
  10. Nii

    The Kazarite Jews are the Sadducees! So unfortunate that the 3 branches of Judaism don't see eye to eye today! However if u r the real HS then take back what u said as it is unworthy of Christian virtue and love!

    July 4, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  11. Nii

    Jefferson was a Christian. A Deist Christian. Deism was the most popular Christian philosophy among scholars of his day. Pietism was very much opposed to Deism since it represented Elitism. Pietism was very popular in America hence opposition to Jefferson! Different theology, same faith!

    July 4, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Jefferson was a Christian who rejected Christ's divinity.
      As I've always said – faith in the supernatural isn't required to live a life of charity, compassion and humility.

      I now await a pointlessly inflammatory comment from You Might Be Cap'n Sayin' Atheism Isn't An Angry Pervert Rangerfield.

      July 4, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Nii

      Christ's Divinity if u'll notice from the NT is not the primary pre-occupation of the Bible. It is not the most important tenet in Xtianity either! Orthodox Christians (including Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholics and Protestants) hold this belief. The rest hold different positions!

      July 4, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • nottolate

      @Nii and Doc Vestibule,

      Jefferson was not a Christian. He was Deist. You can't be a deist and at the same time a Christian. An authentic Christian is born again and in the family of God. A deist is not. Rejecting the divinity of Jesus by itself is proof positive that you are not a Christian. Living a life of charity, compassion, and humility is not going to get you into Heaven.

      July 4, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      " Living a life of charity, compassion, and humility is not going to get you into Heaven."


      Yeah, your 'perfect' god needs attention or he will burn all the unbelievers even though the only 'evidence' is shoddy bs. Your god is a pr.ick and does not deserve worship.

      July 4, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • open cinnamon shoe

      1. Jefferson was either A) A Christian who believed Jesus was Gods Son on earth OR B) Not a Christian. You cant be a Christian if you dont believe Jesus Christ was/is the Son of God.

      2. Jesus Christ being the Son of God was the ENTIRE point of the New Testament...not a minor theme as suggested above. Had he not been the Son of God none of the rest of the New Testament would be of any significance whatsoever.

      July 5, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Open Cinnamon Shoe
      And that's why when Jefferson removed all the patently absurd bits of the Bible, he was basically left with nothing but Christ's own words.

      July 5, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • Nii

      Telling people the truth about Christ's teaching will help them come to Him not the other way round! Parables like the Good Samaritan are clear u do not have to be Xtian to get to heaven. If u r compassionate, charitable and just u will get there! Don't believe lies read the NT.

      July 5, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  12. Phil the Love

    I used my god given brain to realize that there is no such thing.

    July 4, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • you might be an atheist if

      you haven't got a brain

      July 4, 2012 at 7:42 am |
    • Phil the Love

      Zombies won't attack christians. They have no brains.

      July 4, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  13. Answer

    To all the haters that spew about Canada..

    We still love you. You're jealous – we know. You can be p.r.i.c.k.s – it's okay – it's you.

    July 3, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Dodney Rangerfield

      No one opposes Canada, just those few Canadian ass holes that try to impose their self righteous qu eer bull sh it on other countries business.

      July 3, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • Answer

      There we have it.. the haters who denigrate because it's their faith.

      Glad to see that a level headed religious freak is able to come up and make excuses – once again. So when can we expect your kind to die? When was your freak zombie going to redeem you again?

      July 3, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Cq

      Canada had the good sense not to recognize Scientology as anything more than a cult, which is wisdom beyond what our lawmakers were capable.

      July 4, 2012 at 12:50 am |
    • Prayer for the country

      God keep our land ... phrase from the prayer that is the Canadian national anthem. The nation that recognizes the one true God will also recognize the idolatrous.

      July 4, 2012 at 7:26 am |
    • Dodney Rangerfield

      Those in the wrong like answer often project their failings on those who point out their inability to allow others the freedom to live as they choose.

      July 4, 2012 at 7:31 am |
    • derp

      "The nation that recognizes the one true God will also recognize the idolatrous"

      Isn't that part of the Iranian national anthem.

      July 5, 2012 at 10:14 am |
  14. Sam Yaza

    Oh no.. Jefferson is coming!!! quick hide your bible and cross,... i miss Jefferson,.....we need another anti-Christian president

    July 3, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • truth be told

      Jefferson was a Christian. His later years correspondence with John Adams confirms it. Sorry about you

      July 3, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Jefferson would not be considered a Christian by most of todays Christians. He did not believe in the 'Trinity' and re-wrote the bible to exclude supernatural bs.

      July 3, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • Cq

      You "miss" Jefferson? How old are you, man? 🙂

      July 4, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • you might be an atheist if

      you think the founding fathers weren't Christians

      July 4, 2012 at 7:42 am |
    • AGuest9

      Not all of the founding fathers were. Thanks to Cold War revisionist history, most people didn't learn that.

      July 4, 2012 at 8:12 am |
    • you might be an atheist if

      you bought into the lie that people do not change throughout their lifetimes, many becoming Christian in later life.

      July 4, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • AGuest9

      On your deathbed because you're afraid? Silly! I admire those who truly mature and stop believing the fairy tales that were told to them as children ALL of them.

      July 4, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • you might be an atheist if

      you do not recognize the power of God to hold those that are His

      July 4, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • I am proud to be an Atheist because...

      I have a brain and I am not afraid to use it! This is why I will never be one of the sheep.

      July 5, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    July 3, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does 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!.

      July 5, 2012 at 10:40 am |
  16. Jack

    Hello. Everyone is welcome to visit ... thestarofkaduri.com

    July 3, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • LinCA

      Fuck off troll

      July 3, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • you might be an atheist if

      you turn vulgar at the slightest occasion

      July 4, 2012 at 7:52 am |
  17. Answer

    Let's tear apart a christian today... and see what kind of new stuff they can make up to defend themselves.

    Here below is already an example.

    He did not create sin. He allowed it. Big difference.

    So if a god did not create everything that means something was always there in the first place. As in the case of what 'gerald' made up to defend himself and his rants.

    The point of a god (always been there since there was nothing existing) was to create everything. So here we have another fool making a claim to know that god did not create 'sin'. We can conclude effectively that if that is the case – then "sin" was always there. Placing "sin" in the same bracket of that equal to a god in status. So therefore that would match what 'gerald' has proposed.

    I really love you religious idiots who like to make up stuff and not give careful thought on them. Thanks for making everyday a sport in spotting your drivel makeup belief.

    July 3, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Really? That's your argument? When we as Christians talk about God creating everything–we're not talking about the actions and thoughts that we have–that would make us robots. We're responsible for our own decisions. If we were to take the extreme position you claim we have here, there would be no free will, no accountability. Your argument is absurd–no Christian has ever taken the position that you say we have. Non sequitur at its finest.

      July 3, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • Answer

      Ahh VanHagar.. the apologist.

      Can't find reason to stop your inanity right?

      July 3, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Dodney Rangerfield

      Did you hear the one about the Canadian that minded its own F'n business?

      July 3, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Dodney Rangerfield

      You won't.The ass holes can't help themselves from butting in to everyone else business !

      July 3, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Answer

      I was just playing, everyone knows I'm a moron.

      July 3, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Answer

      It's that castration that gets to me every time.

      July 3, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Answer...but I note that you don't respond here (and typically never do) to the point made. Instead, you proceed with the character assassination instead. Why is that?

      July 3, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Answer

      Oh look at the religious freaks try their routine. So sad.


      Why is that why? I know you freaks can never get over the laced verbal jibes and look at the actual contents of any comments. It is for that purpose that I do it. To denigrate you freaks into keeping your trash and perpetuating it. I want you idiots to keep practicing your garbage – to make me laugh.

      As common knowledge goes – I'll let you know one thing – don't use your silly emotional antics in the text world.

      July 3, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
  18. HeavenSent

    All you atheists believe Christians didn't watch Body Heat ... as Matty lives your lies ... she knows the bottom line ... never gives it up, she just keeps on coming.


    July 3, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Answer

      You're a long way from 100. Keep going.

      July 3, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  19. HeavenSent

    Judaism comes from the Scribes and Pharisees who were wolves in sheep's clothing in the synagogues. Atheists obviously never read about the Kenites, Son's of Cain, seed of satan who wrote that slop that you were conditioned to believe. It was never the spoken words of the Jews that were a tribe of Israel that was never written down. The devil's offsprings wrote that filth.

    The Devil walks this Earth, you have been warned.


    July 3, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Are you going for a record of useless babble in a single day HeavenSent?

      July 3, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • jwt

      t's ok Hawaii – HS was just wantring us that he is walking on the earth somewhere;

      July 3, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      jwtwit, Foolish Atheist can't even spell.

      July 3, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • jwt


      July 3, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Hey jwtwit Satan have your tongue?

      July 3, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • Cq

      Paul was a Pharisee, and very likely so was Jesus. You know why they get a bad rap in the Gospels, don't you?

      July 4, 2012 at 12:54 am |
    • Nii

      Kenites were the descendants of Abraham from his third wife Keturah! Nothing to do with Cain! They included Midian! Some Kenites were among the nation of Israel! Israel remember included several other nations not just the twelve tribes! This is all in Biblical history!

      July 4, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Nii

      In the life of Judaeo-Christianity definitions matter!
      Jews, Israelites, Judah, Judaea, Samaria and Ephraim as used prior to the NT have very different meaning to Jew as used as a member of the religious community in the NT! Rabbinical Judaism is Pharisaism, Messianic Judaism is Xtianity!

      July 4, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  20. john the guy not the baptist

    The family reunion introductions were not easy....Cain..Hey I would like you to meet my wife and mom and aunt, Eve, and this is Beth my sister and aunt and daughter and niece, I think, it all gets co confusing...

    July 3, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
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