July 18th, 2012
03:24 PM ET

Olympian counts God as coach

By Alicia Tarancon, CNN

Ryan Hall is the fastest American distance runner competing in the London Olympics and he says he owes it all to his omnipresent coach who has been there with him every step of the way.

“I’ll just be straight forward, my coach is God,” the 29-year-old Hall told CNN.

Last year, after finishing second in the 2011 United States half-marathon Championship, Hall was told to do a routine drug test. The form with the test had a space to fill in the name of the runner's coach.

"I saw the line, it said coach, it was blank, and I said, 'Well you know I have to be honest,' " Hall said, "So I put 'God' down and it turned into a big controversial thing."

"Now whenever I see that line I just leave it blank. I'll just let it slide by," he added.

Hall calls his method of training “faith-based coaching.”  In London, he'll be putting his training to the test in the men's marathon.

Instead of running with a trainer, he runs alone. While he runs, he prays. On some days Hall says he will ask God, “How far do you want me to run today?”

CNN's Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the big stories

“I’m still figuring this thing out myself,” Hall told CNN's Kyra Phillips.

Hall counts himself a Christian and attends Bethel Church in Redding, California, a non-denominational evangelical church with roots in the Assemblies of God denomination.

For now Hall's faith based coaching seems to be working. Hall is the No. 1 ranked distance runner in the United States and says he doesn't see the need to add a professional running coach.

“I’m just doing what I feel like God’s telling me to do," he said.

The 2011 Boston Marathon was his personal best with a soaring time of 2 hours 4 minutes and 58 seconds. Hall said with God on his side, he is hoping to to take home the gold in the London Olympics.

He knows with just nine days until the start of the Olympics, he may run into skeptics of his "faith based coaching" on his way to the competition.

“I love the skeptic and God loves the skeptics-– it's OK for people to disagree,” Hall said.

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He doesn’t  pay  much attention to the reactions from his peers. He says he is able to stay focused and motivated on what he’s doing.

For Hall, running is more about the experience of peace and joy he gets from training. At times he says he does feel down and in said in the past he blamed God  for not doing his best in a race, but now he said that has changed.

“I don’t think God causes me to fail in races," he said.

If he doesn’t get the results he hopes in the 2012 Olympics, Hall said he won't blame God this time around.

“Medals are things I would love to achieve, but it's all icing on the cake,” says Hall.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief

soundoff (262 Responses)
  1. Nietodarwin

    He should have put "Evolution" or "Natural Selection" then he might have been "the fittest" and won the race. Finally, proof there is no god. Tee hee hee

    July 19, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  2. Hollyrobyn

    I have only read a few of the comments but, I know God does exist he has always answered my prayers they might have not been in my time but they have been answered. I know when I die that I will live again in his eternal kingdom.

    July 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • just sayin

      Thats nice but you believe in a made up God. Kind of sad.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  3. Jim Ryan

    The difference between science and religion is that science doesn’t mandate the universe to be what we (you) want it to be – rather it forces our beliefs to conform to the evidence of reality. It’s far better to accept the universe as it truly is than to persist in delusion however satisfying or reassuring. Our grand universe, perhaps one of an infinite number, is only 13.7 billion years in its infancy; where no organic life will be able to exist in its next trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion years remaining before heat death, maximum entropy. Very sorry but it doesn’t have you in mind. Those that maintain religious beliefs belong to the infancy of our species.

    July 19, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • @jimryan

      Problem with your comment is that, it is all based on presuppositions and assumed science. Even Stephen Hawking said that the universe(s) created themselves out of nothing. That is NOT science. I can't help but chuckle at your comment about the religious belong to the 'infancy of our species.' Yet, there are so many Christians who are so much more advanced morally, physically, and intellectually than atheist. Perhaps those atheist are those that represent the infancy of our species? Maybe those who continue to insist on 'science has proven' this and that, while only offering up 'predictions' rather than empirical evidence are those who are infantile in their thought. Maybe those who understand that there is more to life are actually more advanced. The harsh reality is, you will disagree, but you won't be able to argue out of it-there is no way to do so aside from personal opinion.

      Atheist crack me up with their, 'this is a fact' nonsense-while at the same time mocking Christians-which they themselves call out Christians on when they do it!

      Sorry Jim, but simply because you said the word 'science' in your post, doesn't make you right.

      In all these years of alleged evolution, people still believe in God. One has to wonder, if this belief is so detrimental to the species, why this 'meme' evolved in the human species in the first place. My understand is that the weak are eliminated and it is all survival of the fittest. So, why did we evolve into something that apparently makes us weaker when in reality we are supposed to be evolving in a way that gets rid of everything that hinders us?

      Ah, all hail science! We make stuff up based on presuppositions we take into reading alleged 'empirical evidence!' We rule the world.


      July 19, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls


      It will interesting to watch you successfully explain to a group SH's peers that he does not engage in science. Anything written or said by SH is more believable than The Babble, similar so-called "holy books" and religious charlatans.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      @jimryan: "...we are supposed to be evolving in a way that gets rid of everything that hinders us?"

      Who ever said that?

      July 19, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  4. tony

    You more you learn about religion, the dafter it gets. There's a trend there.

    July 19, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  5. Mark

    One word....Mormon

    July 19, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  6. Brooklyn Boy

    In a world wracked with wars, serious economic problems and a collapsing ecosystem, it's so nice to know that the invisible man in the sky has his priorities straight – he's PERSONALLY coaching a runner! How this man can make such a preposterous claim with a straight face is beyond me.

    July 19, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • NeutralMind

      Hahahahaha good one!

      July 19, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  7. Concerned Believer

    Wake up poeple!!!!! Jesus is coming and coming soon. Please believe on the lord jesus christ and ask him in to your heart and forgive you of all your sins. The rapture is near. When millions goes missing, don't be surprised becuase if your left behind, there will great tribulations and testing. The mark of the beast is coming. Please don't ever take the mark (COULD be the RFID computer chip). You don't want your worst enemy to take the mark. In Jesus name, amen.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      Confounded Believer, I'm really looking forward to millions going missing. I don't want to miss it. I plan to loot their homes once they're gone.

      July 19, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Concerned Believer,

      I am concerned about the state of your mental health. I just hope that you don't do anything crazy or destructive.

      The book of Revelation was written by a raving maniac... an early example of sci-fi/fantasy/horror. There is not a whit of verified evidence for supernatural beings or events... past nor future.

      July 19, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      Are you sure you didn't mean to write "The rupture is near" Sounds like you might be having a slow aneurism.

      Don't be so concerned about us. To quote Billy Joel, "I;d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints, the sinners are much more fun."

      July 19, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  8. Madtown

    Interesting. Certainly God blessed him with the talent to run very fast, but personal coaching? I mean, does God outline his weekly training plan, including the details of intervals for track sessions or speed work? How many x400's does God ask Ryan to do on average, I wonder?

    July 19, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  9. mema

    It really does not matter if orth€ rs believe in God, as long as he does. Whatever helps Ryan perform at his optimum level, its all good. Go team USA!!

    July 19, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • Madame Laveau

      Yes, I have a few acolytes in the games too... they stick pins in the legs of dolls representing the other runners 🙂

      July 19, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      Really? Whatever he wants? If robbing liquor stores helps, is that OK?

      July 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  10. Colin

    Well, God must REALLY love Kenyans and Ethiopians.....

    July 19, 2012 at 8:06 am |
    • Chad

      Where in the bible does it say that the physical gifts God gives to some people can be equated to the degree of "love" that He has for that person?

      July 19, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Hopper

      But maybe only as runners(?)

      July 19, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  11. doctore0

    Thousands of kids dying everyday.. christian kids. And Gawd is helping this man run, his personal trainer.

    July 19, 2012 at 4:54 am |
    • WASP

      @doctor: yeah i agree the guy is conceded. maybe this is why tbow started losing; was god busy with this athlete and stepped out on tbow?

      July 19, 2012 at 7:21 am |
    • *


      July 19, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  12. Shelley

    This is so awesome!!! I just started running a year ago and I count God as my coach too, he keeps me going every step of the way. I pray the whole time too when I run, it is amazing what He speaks to me during those times. I just ran a 10k a few days ago and I credit God entirely for getting me to the finish without stopping. 🙂 this article made my day!!

    July 19, 2012 at 2:54 am |
    • Qwerty Elemeno

      I guess that is why atheists are totally incapable of running.

      July 19, 2012 at 3:50 am |
    • Nietodarwin

      Very good your staying in shape there Shelley. Now get your intellect in shape and get some education. Millions of years of human evolution is what allows you to run so well. Maybe drugs made you feel so good on your run, (a real biological reason) or maybe just your god delusion (great book for you by the way) Either way, it's a delusion.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • drinker75

      That's mental illness. Voices in your head and all that business...

      July 19, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Raymond

      Shelley, I've been running all of my life (67 years old now) and two years after I found Christ, fifteen years ago, I decided to worship, praise God and pray as I run. Well, as I made that decision, a quiet voice (not the Holy Spirit) said to me "You will get very tired if you think about God during your run". I laughed this off because it was ridiculous! I have kept up the habit of worship, praise and prayer on my every run and it has bee fantastic to be able to commune with God. It is true that God directs and talks back to us as we seek Him. Keep at at it and see God's power and wonders. Praise be to the Lord Jesus!

      July 20, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
  13. Bootyfunk

    don't think God should be anyone's coach. he's terrible at sports. God loses a wrestling match with Jacob (Genesis 32). looks like Yahweh didn't make varsity...

    July 19, 2012 at 1:11 am |
    • Answer

      Don't forget that god also always sides with the other team, or other player. XD

      July 19, 2012 at 1:12 am |
    • Al

      He's also a terrible driver. I used to use God as my copilot, but he could never keep the car on the road when I tried to take a nap.

      July 19, 2012 at 7:15 am |
  14. Mr. Middle Ground

    Aw come on everyone, let the poor man believe what he wants, and don't judge him for it! We are all human, and we shouldn't insult other people's beliefs/ dibeliefs because in the end it only amounts to more religious/atheist radicalism that seperates us from working together

    July 18, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Depending on the circu.mstances, everyone is ent.itled to believe what they want. However, doctors are not allows to believe your cancer will be cured by prayer, and pilots are not allowed to believe that the plane will land itself, etc.

      Not atheist out here is going to attempt to deny someone their personal belief. We just believe that we have the right to mock, ridicule, question and yes, even laugh at other people's beliefs if they fall outside of the bounds of reason. We open ourselves to the same potential for ridicule with our own beliefs. Which is why atheists are often the most well-read, well-educated people you will encounter. We want to make sure we have evidence backing our beliefs rather than gut feelings.

      This is the great thing about having an open forum. People can share ideas and be met with resistance. Then they have a chance to grow or improve their argument. This is better for everyone.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • VanHagar

      "We want to make sure we have evidence backing our beliefs rather than gut feelings. "

      O.k. Godfreenow, I'll take the bait. What is your proof God does not exist.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      any reasoning person knows that there is no proof of the non-existence of anything.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • GodFreeNow

      @VanHagar, Easy enough. You can't prove a negative. This is reasoning 101. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. It's not the other way around.

      The reason for this is follows something like this... Can you prove there are no elves? Can you prove there are no fairies? Can you prove that the universe wasn't created when a magical bunny broke wind and released a rainbow-torrent of life?

      Does it then follow that all of these things must therefore exist?

      July 19, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      can't prove a negative. if YOU make a claim, YOU must provide evidence. if YOU say god exists, YOU provide evidence. it is not on the listener to prove or disprove a claim - it is on the one making the claim. otherwise, prove my left nut isn't god. can't? then by that terrible 'logic', my left nut must be god, since you can't prove otherwise. see how bad that is?

      prove there's a god.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • Answer

      "What is your proof God does not exist."

      Religious idiots posting this never learn. Never will.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:07 am |
    • Jim Bob Quibble

      Actually, GodFree, airline pilots are allowed to believe the plane can land itself: Autoland has been around for decades. Every large airliner you ride in has it now. Engineers actually could have removed the pilots from the plane entirely about 15-20 years ago, and wanted to, as the large majority of accidents are pilot error, the belief is that there would be less crashes. Surveys proved that passengers were strongly against it, though.

      Don't worry – pilots prefer to land themselves instead of letting a computer do it. It's for specialized situations only.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:10 am |
    • mema

      @bootyfunk...God has always existed, not so for y© ur nut. God never dies, one day y©u will die and y© ur nut with you. God can see, hear, love, have empathy etc. Y© ur nut pretty much just hangs around. No pun intended. 😉

      July 19, 2012 at 7:44 am |
    • I once was lost, but now I have a GPS

      specialized situations only.

      = low visibility.

      July 19, 2012 at 7:50 am |
    • I once was lost, but now I have a GPS

      God can see, hear, love, have empathy etc.

      You left out murder.

      July 19, 2012 at 7:53 am |
    • VanHagar

      Classic–the atheist says he has proof. I ask him to show it. The other atheists jump on and say its my job. Total denial.

      July 19, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • A Frayed Knot


      Can you read? Read GodFreeNow's and Bootyfunk's posts again. Don't be dense.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      p.s. VanHagar,

      Also reread:

      @I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "any reasoning person knows that there is no proof of the non-existence of anything."

      July 19, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • VanHagar

      I'm not being dense. The Godfreenow said he had "evidence." I'm must asking for his evidence. Thus far, I have received nothing but argument (i.e. opinion). You can't possible deny that!

      July 19, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • VanHagar

      I also reject out of hand the argument that says you can't prove a negative–I reject it because you have to first prove the "negative". You can't simply conclude there is a negative and then be done with it...that's simply dishonest.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      you say "the atheist says he has proof".

      What are you smoking? Atheists don't have any *proof* of anything.

      Atheists don't have proof of, and nor do they believe in, the non-existence of God. They simply D.O.N'.T B.E.L.I.E.V.E I.N G.O.D

      July 19, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Van Hagar,

      I don't have to prove the negative when I don't accept that there is *ANY* substantive evidence for the positive.

      You are welcome to your faith. I respect that. Don't tell me what I should believe.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot


      If there is no proof one way or the other, the default stance is to withhold belief until proven.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • VanHagar

      @I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV: You're not reading my very specific posts. Godfreenow said he had evidence. I've asked him to show it to me. That's it–quite simple. As for your second post, I too respect your position. We don't agree, but that doesn't mean we have to be at ends with each other. If you can find a post I wrote in which I demanded that you believe, or can be interpreted as shoving my faith down your throat, then that was a mistake (but you won't find it).

      July 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Athiests For Freedom Of and From Religion

      VanHagar, you are being dense. GodFreeNow made a general statement about wanting to have evidence to support his beliefs. In the more specific case of believing in (any) god, there is no evidence for (any) god, so not believing in (any) god is the natural position to take. In all subject areas I am aware of, the absence of proof, especially after a long period of searching, causes the unsupported claim to be discounted if not discarded. Only religion gets a free pass on providing proof. So, where is your proof of (any) god? No proof, fuck off!

      July 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • VanHagar

      @frayed...I actually agree with your last post...I'm just responding to Mr Godfreenow and his claim to have evidence (which is different than argument).

      July 19, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      there are three answers to the question:

      1. I believe in God
      2. I believe in the non-existence of God
      3. I don't believe in God.

      Alternative 2 is different from alternative 3. Atheists ahere to alternative 3. Anyone can call themselves an atheist and adhere to alternative 2, but it is not the literal definition of athesim.

      Unlike thesists, atheists can pretty much believe anything they want to, happily there's no dogma, just not God.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      VanHagar, take a class in reading. You obviously don't know how to do it.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      you said: "As for your second post, I too respect your position. We don't agree, but that doesn't mean we have to be at ends with each other."

      I quite agree. Thank you for your comment. We don't have to be at odds.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Athiests For Freedom Of and From Religion

      Jim Bob Quibble, you are of course taking GodFreeNow's statement about pilots and autolanding compelely out of context. A plane landing on autolanding is not "landing itself" – it is being landed by man-made electronic control systems. GodFreeNow's context of landing itself was "under the control of someone's unproven imaginary friend."

      How many believers are fully prepared to fly with a pilot who turns all electronics off and relies solely on the religious object around his neck or The Babble clutched to his bosom? Anyone that says "yes" is a liar or delusional, which unfortunately does not rule many, if any, believers out.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • VanHagar

      @Tom: respectfully, you don't have to go there. But since you did, I'll remind you what Godfreenow stated: " We want to make sure we have evidence backing our beliefs rather than gut feelings." That implies (and if it wasn't with intent, it allows for a fair inference) that Godfreenow believed he had "evidence" that God does not exist. All I asked for was evidence and not argument. Do you understand the difference between the two?

      July 19, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Van, respectfully, you are dumb as a bag of hammers if you can't figure out what that sentence means. Go sit on the Stupid Bench with brony and Keith.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Athiests For Freedom Of and From Religion

      Let's try one more time...

      I want to have evidence for my beliefs.

      I want to have evidence if I'm going to belief in god.

      There is no evidence for any god.

      Therefore I do not believe in god.

      At no time did I claim I had evidence for there being not god(s).

      Compare that to:

      I believe in god.

      There is no evidence for the existence of god.

      I believe in god.

      Both conclusions are based on the same lack of evidence. Which view is more rational?

      July 19, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot


      I can't speak for @GodFreeNow, but I think you have misconstrued his statement:

      "Which is why atheists are often the most well-read, well-educated people you will encounter. We want to make sure we have evidence backing our beliefs rather than gut feelings."

      I think that he means that atheists have looked (and continue to look) for evidence for a god, especially the "God" of the Bible, and have found that evidence lacking.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • VanHagar

      O.k. then. To conclude...an atheist suggests he has evidence. No evidence is produced. Most of the other atheists suggest he doesn't need to produce the evidence–I do. (I agree–just asking what evidence the atheist suggested he had–he has none). Some of the other atheists resort to name calling (unable to articulate anything more productive I suppose). The end.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, bozo, he didn't "suggest" he had evidence. You inferred something that wasn't there. When this was pointed out to you, you refused to acknowledge your error. The end.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • VanHagar

      @Frayed...reasonable interpretation too I suppose, but I don't necessarily buy into the notion that lack of evidence of one thing necessarily results in proof of the opposite.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Reponse

      @Tom–why do you have to be such a d!ck?

      July 19, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Not to anyone in particular.

      Why is there so much obsession here over point scoring on a "lack of proof"? Intrinsically, nobody has a proof.

      – Theists have faith. Faith only exists in the absense of proof otherwise we would call it reason. (And yes some people really can't tell the difference.)
      – Athesists refuse to accept a concept that is based on faith.

      – People believe because having faith gives them meaning, belonging etc.
      – People don't believe because it is willfully delusional.

      I understand butting heads with people who are willfully ignorant but what's the purpose of point-scoring, on either side of this argument?

      July 19, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Reponse, what is a "reponse"?

      As to why I 'have to be such a dick': I don't "have to be". I just enjoy it.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Jeez, VH, he didn't say it was! Why is this such a stumbling block for you?

      July 19, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @VanHagar is either a troll or below the standard medium of intelligence because he seems to be ignoring the many posts and the contents they contain. His whole argument which he has repeated is based on me supposedly saying I have proof that there is no god... which I never said anywhere, ever. About 4 people including myself responded with something to the effect of "can't prove a negative" which he ignored. I recommend we treat his posts with the same respect with which he treats ours—ignore them.

      July 19, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Agreed. He's been around here before this and exhibited the same level of idiocy. Nothing new. Just reinforcement of previous impressions.

      July 19, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
  15. Bootyfunk

    so he's saying his coach doesn't exist?

    July 18, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
  16. Reality

    Dear Ryan,

    A prayer for the 21st century:

    The Apostles' Creed 2012 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    (References used are available upon request.)

    July 18, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
  17. ___-___

    As if this guy knows anything about the Universe or applying skepticism to his religion....

    July 18, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
  18. Brad

    God's American? That's a little unfair to the other countries. I wonder if he wears red white and blue clothes with a stop watch around his neck? Wait. He's God. He IS a stopwatch. Wait. Doesn't God know everything? He already knows who's going to win EVERY event. It's part of his divine plan. I'm confused. If he's coaching Ryan Hall then surely he's definitely going to win. Otherwise, Jesus is just wasting his time or playing a cruel joke on the guy. I don't know. God works in mysterious ways, huh?

    July 18, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      I don't know. Let's ask the experts!

      If you have an infinite amount of time, and you spend a small, finite amount of time coaching Ryan, even when you know you will give the Kenyans the medals, what is a finite amount of time divided by an infinite amount of time? Zero! Can a relative zero amount of time be wasted?

      July 18, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • Chad

      @Brad "I'm confused. If he's coaching Ryan Hall then surely he's definitely going to win. Otherwise, Jesus is just wasting his time or playing a cruel joke on the guy. I don't know. God works in mysterious ways, huh?"

      =>perhaps this will help.. IF you believe that God is indeed "coaching" Ryan Hall, consider that it is very common for a coach to have multiple students competing against each other in the same event. The coach simply wants each student to do the best they can.

      now.. if you are just trying to be cute and mocking without considering what you are saying.. I cant help you there..

      July 18, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • Chad

      @GOPer "If you have an infinite amount of time, and you spend a small, finite amount of time coaching Ryan, even when you know you will give the Kenyans the medals, what is a finite amount of time divided by an infinite amount of time? Zero! Can a relative zero amount of time be wasted?"

      so, coaching a person when you know they arent going to win is a waste of time?

      July 18, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      not to Ryan apparently. Good for him.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • bcarpe

      God doesn't coach to win the Olympics, just as Ryan doesn't run to win the Olympics (self-stated "Medals are things I would love to achieve, but it's all icing on the cake"). God's coaching is all about building the relationship of love between God and Ryan. As such, God can coach both Ryan and the Kenyans and really anybody else who will let Him and everyone will win (not necessarily win the Olympics, mind you, but at life).

      July 19, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Dedeg

      Appreciating different P.O.V's is woufrednl! Including investigation of other approaches and ideas into my practice of Christianity will hopefully always be part of what I do. I think that as soon as we allow ourselves to get caught up in thinking this interpretation is the ultimate interpretation and start to push that pretension onto others in some way, well, then our faith is stuck. All of this is a driving force from deep within my guts somewhere calling me to remain open to other ideas and, at the very least, be compassionate even to those who are themselves obstinately stagnant. I don't want to be unduly distracted by the ways of the world when God may be trying to move me differently!

      August 1, 2012 at 12:52 am |
  19. The Four Fluffy Kittens of the Apocalypse Wanna PARTY ! ! ! !

    Has anyone noticed that the religious side is down to HeavenSent, Nii, Chad and CapiTrollist?

    I think we've won! I think we have sent the cockroaches of religion skittering back into the woodwork. They must be hiding out in their soundproof coccoons, jabbering to each other about how the Second Law of Thermodynamics must mean something because it has a lot of syllables and stuff.

    I guess that attempting to argue positions without any evidence gets discouraging after a while, and fantasies are better maintained in isolation.

    So, do we throw a party?

    July 18, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      While I agree that the religious people have become the intellectual low-hanging fruit, I still believe that Chad and Nii are at heart, really good people. I think they are just misguided by a desire to make something that makes them feel good be the truth in the face of reality. HeavenSent: no comment, and I don't know the other one at all. However, Nii is not from America and is actually from Africa, where religion is a logical escape from oppression. I think it's relevant to put religion in that context. I understand the attraction and I find it far more excusable than a American with a cozy suburban upbringing.

      July 18, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • Nii

      I am not an African! I am a Ghanaian. If u check my age u will find that I was born in the latter stages of military rule n have enjoyed democracy most of my life! I come from a Middle class family and live in the suburbs of my capital city. Religion is for u. I prefer spirituality!

      July 18, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Nii

      I appreciate that spirituality is not as easy to understand as religion is. I usually try not to defend religiosity even among Xtians. If u wish to profile me it will be very hard to do!
      My background should have led me away rather than to God!
      Guess there is grace after all!

      July 18, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Nii

      I don't see what sort of glory u r enjoying now! I am pretty sure that most "religious"(I guess u mean Xtians) will not debate the points u raise since most are past them and it gets tedious aarguing out the same points day in day out. Besides, controversy is not typical Xtian forte!

      July 18, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Nii, I never said you were African, but thank you for clarifying. I said you were from Africa. The last time I checked Ghana is in Africa. Am I wrong?

      July 19, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Nii, Most atheists I know are very spiritual people. This is probably very confusing to you. Even Sam Harris recently wrote a long article "In Defense of Spirituality." This probably seems paradoxical to you, but atheists can actually believe that not all exists in the physical world without attributing that to a deity. Through meditation, I have personally experienced transcendent states where all identi.ty of self disappeared and I felt the oneness with all. I just don't take the reductive leap that is a trap of the mind than needs to explain this with deification. In fact what I experience is closer to "nothing" than it is "something." This experience is available to any individual who has the discipline of mind and dedication to let go of their ego.

      My attempt was not to profile you in any way. It was merely to defend you and present a perspective that maybe @Four hadn't considered.

      July 19, 2012 at 12:15 am |
    • Nii

      I appreciate that u tried to present ur understanding of me! However I and my fellow Africans live on a continent about 6 times the size of US with different geopolitical conditions so its more like Europe than N.A. Hope u understand that though Ghana is small we r different from say Togo

      July 19, 2012 at 2:33 am |
    • Nii

      Spirituality is good for the human soul. I do not fault anyone for his version. If it helps you to love your neighbor as yourself then go for it. Xtian spirituality does it for me! So enjoy yours!

      July 19, 2012 at 2:38 am |
  20. Athena AKA Sam yaza

    Fact the the other gods are stronger then Jesus,.. look no further then pats vs broncos

    also Belichick soled his soul to the devil and still won,... how many people in the Olympics do you think sold their souls,.. you don't stand a chance

    July 18, 2012 at 7:44 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.