August 17th, 2012
05:31 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Friday, August 17

By Arielle Hawkins, CNN

Here's the Belief Blog’s morning rundown of the top faith-angle stories from around the United States and around the world. Click the headlines for the full stories.

From the Blog:

CNN: Spokesman: Unification Church founder hospitalized with pneumonia
The founder of the Unification Church is unconscious and undergoing treatment for pneumonia at a hospital in South Korea, a spokesman said Thursday. Doctors put the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, 92, in intensive care Tuesday, where he is breathing through a respirator, the church spokesman said. Moon felt ill suddenly and was hospitalized in Seoul in "grave condition." His doctor has given him only a 50% chance of survival, spokesman Ahn Ho-yeol said.

CNN: Virginia man charged in shooting at Family Research Council
A 28-year-old Virginia man was held late Wednesday on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon after a security guard was wounded in the lobby of the Family Research Council, a conservative policy organization, authorities said. Police and federal agents were investigating what prompted the suspect, identified by the FBI as Floyd Lee Corkins II, to walk into the group's headquarters about 10:45 a.m. and open fire.

Enlightening Reads:

Huffington Post: Dalbir Singh Murdered: Another Sikh Killed in Oak Creek, Wisconsin
Another Sikh has been murdered in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. 56-year old Dalbir Singh regularly attended the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, the same gurdwara where white supremacist Wade Michael Page opened fire and killed six members of the congregation.
According to a press release issued by the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF), the Milwaukee Police Department has been treating the case as a robbery, has not yet determined a motive, and has taken people of interest in custody.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Margaret Mitchell's nephew leaves estate to Atlanta Archdiocese
The Archdiocese of Atlanta announced Thursday a major gift that includes a 50 percent stake in the trademark and literary rights to the international bestseller "Gone With the Wind" and personal items of its author. The multi-million dollar bequest was made by Joseph Mitchell, nephew of GWTW author Margaret Mitchell. Joseph Mitchell, who died last October, was one of the two sons of Margaret Mitchell's brother, Stephens, and a longtime member of the Cathedral of Christ the King.

The Los Angeles Times: Israel sperm banks find quality is plummeting
Sperm quality is down everywhere, but Israel is worse off than other developed countries. Simply put, the quality of Israeli sperm is falling at an alarming rate, and no one's sure exactly why. Fertility is a major issue in Israel, where memories of the Holocaust genocide are fresh, and having children is an entrenched part of Judaism. There's also a political aspect, because birthrates among Arabs in Israel have at times been as much as double those of Jews, triggering a population race that some believe could one day affect who controls the land.

Religion News Service: Petition fails in support of Indonesian atheist
What was supposed to be a slam dunk for nontheists has become a slap in the face after a petition on behalf of a jailed Indonesian atheist failed to attract even one-third of the signatures it needed to gain White House attention. The petition called for the Obama Administration to pressure the Indonesian government to free Alexander Aan, who was arrested for the criminal offense of expressing his unbelief online. The petition garnered about 8,000 signatures when it expired Thursday (Aug 16).

EWTN Global Catholic Network News: Panama statue of Virgin Mary to rise taller than Statue of Liberty
In a public ceremony on Aug. 14, President Ricardo Martinelli of Panama said the statue of the Virgin Mary will be erected on the coast in Panama City and will rise 100 meters – seven more than the Statue of Liberty in New York. “It will be an icon of this city for the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the South Sea and for the first Catholic church on land,” President Martinelli said.

Quote of the Day:

Respectfully, I call on you to remove the racist and hate-filled application from the Apple app store…Just as Apple should not tolerate pornography or violence, it should not support selling an incitement to anti-Semitism.

Yaakov Hagoel, the head of the World Zionist Organization’s departments for Activities in Israel and Countering anti- Semitism, implores Apple to remove the new phone application of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Opinion of the Day:

CNN: My Take: GOP's non-Protestant ticket changes meaning of 'values'
Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," discusses why it’s harder to understand the role of religion in politics as “more religious perspectives make their way into our public space.”

Join the conversation…

CNN: My Take: Christianity and Ayn Rand's philosophy are 2 distinct religions
Now that one of the Republican Party’s least ideological men (Mitt Romney) has christened one of the GOP’s most ideological men (Paul Ryan) as his running mate, Ayn Rand is back in the news. Ryan, who used to give away Rand’s novel "Atlas Shrugged" for Christmas, once described this Russian-born preacher of heroic individualism as "the reason I got into public service.”

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (121 Responses)
  1. hippypoet

    Do you want a president who believes in god and who prays for "guidence" to instead of asking others? Do you want one who prays for help when in crisis situations? Praying is not taking time to think over the decision you are about to make but to simple ask if what you are going to do is right/wrong or for the outcome to be in your favor and then ultimately bribes in the form of "if you do this for me" i will blah blah blah... i for one do not want that extra time taken in crisis situations...i want one who can act on principles and ethics which they learned not from an ancient book but thru the actions of others as well as themselves like that of the hom.o sapiens we are. But since these religious people put aside thinking when it comes to a life philosophy i say that they are not yet evolved to said creature but actually still just Erectus and so we "atheists" have actually gone beyond them and perhaps this also explains why logic and reasoning skills are lacking in believers. If history has taught us anything is that the unadaptable die off. Enough said. Where those who are willing to think, ask why, and be wrong live there will be progress in the species.

    August 19, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    August 18, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • kindless

      As it turns out, Atheism is wonderful for everyone! It allows you to use your mind to its fullest potential. Atheism also discourages people from hiding their misdeeds within their religion which is a disservice to society. and you know, prayer is not all it's cracked up to be. one can meditate to rest the mind. And if you need to collect your thoughts or think about someone else (a real person), then get a good cup of tea and then sit down and collect your damn thoughts – you don't need to pray to people that lawyers and politicians made up long ago. my goodness. keep a strong mind and be a do bee atheist like mama kindless.

      August 20, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
  3. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Topher, let's make a new thread about this if you have time:

    It's interesting that you're wrestling with the issue that the anthropic principle addresses – unexplained order in the universe. Are you familiar with the weak anthropic principle?

    August 17, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • realbuckyball

      The Anthropic Principle is debunked. Here are 10 references to the debunkings.

      August 17, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Topher

      I'd love to discuss the anthropic principle more. Very interesting subject.

      Bucky ... no offense, but you really expect me to go ready an atheist blog about why the anthropic priniciple isn't real? I expect an atheist to not like it because it goes against his worldview. Well ... would you go read a Christian one on why it's true?

      August 17, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Topher

      Tom. Just so you don't think I'm running away, in about 45 minutes I'm going to take off and go enjoy some gorgeous weather we are having today.

      Now, let's talk about the anthropic constant of the oxygen level. What a wonderful accident this is for us. Do you realize how perfect it is here on Earth for us humans and other life to live? Oxygen is 21 percent of the atmosphere. If it were 25 percent, fires would erupt. If it were 15, we would suffocate.

      August 17, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Absolutley. Show me one, I'll destroy it. BTW, the one I posted, I assembled. Just saving time. They don't bite. They even have some Christians there.

      August 17, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      It's all backwards. If things in THIS usiverse did not happen to be correct, life would not have arisen in the first place, and YOU would not be here to marvel at things. So the question is, the chicken or the egg ? You are assuming the universe, and THIS planet were "designed". You would not be here to look at it, if things were NOT right. That does not imply it was "designed". That's why it's called the Anthropic Principle.

      August 17, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Topher


      Dude, I thought you had a class to get to. Shame on you for skipping. 🙂

      Right. If things were not perfect, we wouldn't be here. When you look at all the things the anthropic principle encompasses, it takes too much faith for me to think an accident could have set every one of these things to perfect tuning for us to exist. To me, and yeah I acknowledge my presupposition, that this all points to an intelligent designer who set this up for us. If the universe is an accident, perhaps you'd get one of those things, but all of them?

      It's all backwards. If things in THIS usiverse did not happen to be correct, life would not have arisen in the first place, and YOU would not be here to marvel at things. So the question is, the chicken or the egg ? You are assuming the universe, and THIS planet were "designed". You would not be here to look at it, if things were NOT right. That does not imply it was "designed". That's why it's called the Anthropic Principle.

      August 17, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      I took my laptop to class. 👿

      August 17, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      1. In your religion faith is a "virtue" (capriciously) granted by your Holy Spirit. So "evidence" in your Theological system has nothing to do with anything. f you DO require "evidence", then you do not have faith, according to your religion. Evel Craig admits he believes because he believes, and not because of "evidence".
      2. If the way the universe arose, (a virtually infinite number of quantum fluctuation events), then yes, rarely, once ina great while, one will pop into existence with the right properties, and all te others will not have life, or not have the properties to continue long enough for life. There is evidence, (see Hawking), that Inflation theory will produce a universe consistent with one while allows life. There are no dobt countless planets, (and maybe universes), which do not have life.
      None of which leads to a "personal", and "Yahweh" god, either way.

      August 17, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Topher


      1. True, I don't need evidence to believe, but once you do, you see how science and creation all point to God. Even the Bible says the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.

      2. That's taking a lot of faith on your part. If we were playing poker and I came up with the highest hand possible 3 times in a row, you'd think I was cheating because the statistics don't lean my way. But if you are consistant, all you can say is that it just happened to be the luck of the draw. And that's after only 3 hands. When you take all the possible variables of the universe and add the ones we need to have life, mathematically it's pretty impossible. Unbelievable, even, that we got the perfect planet by an accident. Yet you are willing to believe that and not in God.

      Anyway, dude, thanks for the conversation. I'm heading outside for awhile before I have to go to work. It feels like fall out there so I'm going to go enjoy God's creation. Have a good day. And God bless.

      August 17, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      No, realbuckyball, not the "debunked" Anthropic Principle. I mean The Weak Anthropic Principle (WAP). We are privileged by necessity, but being privileged does not mean that the Universe in any way came into being with us in mind. We are privileged only in the sense that we can exist and be observers of the Universe we emerged in. The Universe is not compelled, and was not "arranged", to have us in it.

      August 17, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Topher wrote, " Now, let's talk about the anthropic constant of the oxygen level. What a wonderful accident this is for us. Do you realize how perfect it is here on Earth for us humans and other life to live? Oxygen is 21 percent of the atmosphere. If it were 25 percent, fires would erupt. If it were 15, we would suffocate."

      Really? Are you sure this is who you want to role? The oxygen level was below 5% until about 600,000,000 million years ago. Yet there has been "life on earth for about 3,000,000,000 years.

      300,000,000 years ago the oxygen level was 35%. Yet the earth did not burst into flame. And yet, life flourished. 200,000,000 years ago the oxygen level was 14%. Yet life did not die off.

      What we frequently see is that folks who purposefully choose to be ignorant about science – most often, religious fundiot nutters – make really ridiculous claims – kinda like you!

      August 17, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Not to mention if the Oxygen level were different, life would have just evolved differently.

      August 17, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      The WAP is really a useless statement. We are here, therefore the universe is so that we can be here. The universe is what it is.

      August 17, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One


      The Universe is a special place to us – it appears designed for us. That is illusory. Even if there are infinitely many universes and only one supports observers, those observers would believe themselves privileged and they would be privileged in that they can be observers, but that's the only sense in which they would be privileged. They could not conclude that they are the raison d'être for their universe. Is this useless? Some people are claiming that universes compel observers. I fall back on the WAP.

      August 17, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      I'm not making any claims about who is priveledged or not. I've seen a lot of diferrent versions wap, the definition of wap I was using was "conditions that are observed in the universe must allow the observer to exist", that is nothing but a truism. To me that statement is useless. Are we priveledged to be here? I'm certainly glad to be here 🙂

      August 17, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I'm not always sure, but I think privileged in this weird context means that we are the special observers for whom the world goes round. The ones the Universe has to have. I don't feel that privileged, but I agree it's nice to be here.

      August 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Topher: Without getting in to this, I just want to point something out...you said something to the effect of 'you really want me to check (insert whatever it was) on an Atheist site? Do you by chance see the hypocrisy there? We are asked all the time to check out those sites run by Christians and every single one of them quotes your bible-one resource base for all their information...the only thing is that the base never changes and each theologian interprets it in his own way...we can give you numerous sites that don't touch upon a base of one book but yet point to the same topic and conclusion.

      Tom Tom or Somebody else trusted to give an honest non-repulitard response...Not being the the USA (your wonderful neighbors to the North), I just read something about Voter ID...can someone explain it in maybe another post?

      August 17, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      What Topher is saying is " I see the universe, and I want an explanation".
      In Topher's case, he has prematurely accepted the one he has, as his education does not permit a conclusion to be drawn at that level of education. If the reason you believe in gods is that you accept gods as the explanation for the universe, that is an Argument from Ignorance, (the absence of any other explanation). His belief also runs the risk of being displaced by any other good explanation. There are good explanations for order, and complexity. He is not aware of them, which is tragic. But the point is, if the ONLY reason you have for accepting your particular god, is that you don't (yet), have a better explanation, you are in a VERY risky position.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One


      You mean the efforts to make state-issued photo ID mandatory for voters? It is interesting. In the past a birth certificate and some proof of address like a utility bill would suffice. Now that won't work, but a Concealed Handgun License will work fine. Apart from absurdities like that, the major concern is that a lot of potential voters don't have the means to acquire adequate ID. Surprise, they tend to be people Republicans feel are less likely to vote their way.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Tom Tom: Thank you. Now is that not in a way a violation of rights somehow? I know here that everyone, even those in our prison system are eligible to vote providing they've reached that age of majority, of course. I just thought that as a citizen everyone had the right to vote...doesn't this scream racism (maybe that's not the term)?

      August 17, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Tom Tom; One other thing– it was passed here 3-4 years ago is that if a person is not willing to show their whole face due to wearing their religious gear, they are not allowed to vote. Here they require proof of registration to vote, proof of address and one other piece of id.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • no one gives a sh it

      how third world flunkies vote.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One


      In fact opponents of such law do see it as racism at work. It is being challenged on the basis of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. But I think it is broader than that. I'd call it classism.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • .

      realbuckyball, Christians know the chicken came first. God created them complete. The atheists will say they evolved. Evolved from what? Just evolved will be the stupid answer that fools give.

      August 18, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • .

      realbuckyball, atheists have no answers except that it's the proverbial still evolving cop out. Get off that fence you atheist sit on because with the weight of boneheads, it's sure to break.

      August 18, 2012 at 9:54 am |
  4. realluckyballs

    I have a phallu.s....

    August 17, 2012 at 11:37 am |
  5. realluckyball

    the gentle piano concerto will continue as the cup is suddenly and ironically filled with a steaming shot of fecal matter from the anus of the primary character.

    August 17, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Hey quit makin fun of me! I'll have .s...e.x. with your mom!

      August 17, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Any reference to Bucky, upside-down Bucky, or any other use, except this BLUE Word Press, password protected account, is a sorry fraud.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Comment

      realbuckyball is either a precocious youngster or a bright adult with mild Asperger's. Don't tease him about his handle.

      August 17, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      You may have nailed it, and maybe Bucky is a smart young person, with mild Asperger's. Either way, leave his fvcking name alone.

      August 17, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  6. God Bless You

    The Lord is the Light and He giveth his flesh for us. Please stop in and read a message of Love and Forgiveness at http://www.fleshlight.com

    August 17, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • realbuckyball

      He would not have to give anything, if his dad were not an eons long pi.ssed off jerk. The eons long po'd dad is no role model for my little brother.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • William Demuth

      This posting above was brought to you by Jerry Sandusky .

      Fleshlight indeed.

      Even the name oozes it's deviance

      August 17, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      If I want to read horror, I'll stick with more realistic authors or the news!

      August 17, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • K-switch

      For anyone who didn't already know, the fleshlight is a device that looks like a flashlight, but where a bulb would be is a synthetic oriface, so I've heard.

      August 17, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      TruthPrevails, LOL. What media would that be?

      August 17, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  7. Topher

    So Mirosal, what do you believe happens after you die?

    August 17, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I have had quite a few near-death experiences: I was anesthetized for several procedures when I was young. I think death may be like that. I remember absolutely nothing from the hours I was unconscious. Imagine that just goes on forever.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • Huebert


      I know for a fact what happens after you die. You rot, unless you are buried in a particularly arid climate in which case you mummify.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Your brain chemistry is the complex machine from which consciousness emerges. Neuroscience is studying it, and has a number of models. None of them include the old outdated concept of "soul". Ascribing ultimate significance to individuals existence is understandable for a culture which does not see, or does not wish to acknowledge, the non-importance of one species on a backwater planet, on an average star, out on the arm of a very average galaxy, among many billions of galaxies.

      “I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”

      ― Mark Twain

      August 17, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Topher

      "Your brain chemistry is the complex machine from which consciousness emerges. Neuroscience is studying it, and has a number of models. None of them include the old outdated concept of "soul"."

      This is getting way off topic, but doesn't this show those scientists' bias and presuppositions that there is no God? Of course you won't find evidence of a thing if you already believe it isn't true.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      Topher, you might enjoy this story. I was listening to a late night am call in radio show on cosmology and they had a physicist discussing 2 possible theories of something or another, it's been a while. But what I remember is that one caller asked which theory the physicist "believed" was true. The physicist replied that both theories were equally plausible. The caller could not wrap his head around the fact that the physicist would not arbitrarily pick a theory. If there are multiple possibilites, you don't have to choose to "believe" in any one of them.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • William Demuth

      Well Topher, your question probably needs LOTS of clarification

      First, do you mean when YOU die, or when I die?

      It is plausible that when I die, or even when these tabs wear off, that everything you percieve as reality, indeed that which you call yourself, may ceases to exist.

      You see, everything around me is merely a byproduct of several hits of Windowpane I consumed at an all you can eat breakfast buffet I walked into somewhere back around the Bicentenial.

      As Dickens had Scrooge tell Marley, “You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. There's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!”

      August 17, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • realbuckyball

      No. It is not off topic. When you die, your brain chemistry stops. You die. Your consciousness dies. Your existence is ended.
      And no, it's not biased. There is not a shred of evidence for a god. If there was any, they would be delighted to look into it. What IS biased, is "belief" in a continuing absent being, for which there is not a shred of evidence.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • realbuckyball

      So the question is, .... what do you consider evidence. If you agree to accept, BEFORE-hand, that the SAME or better evidence exists for another event, as exists for your "resurrection event", will you accept that event also ?

      August 17, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • realbuckyball

      I challenge YOU, to be unbiased.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Topher

      There's plenty of evidence, it just depends on your presuppositions whether you believe that evidence or not. Just like there are things you probably believe in that I don't. We both have the exact same bits of evidence. It's a matter of perspective as to what you or I believe.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • ME II

      hmm... evidencial relativism ?

      August 17, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • realbuckyball

      I asked you a specific question. Do you accept the challenge ?

      August 17, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Topher


      Not sure I understand your question. Not trying to avoid it, so can you maybe refraze it?

      August 17, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • realbuckyball

      What evidence are you talking about ? Certainly not the old debunked Kalam Cosmological crap, or the Intelligent Design sh1t ? The Anthropic Principle has been debunked.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • realbuckyball

      I said, if I can give you the same or better evidence for an "event", than there actually exists for the "resurrection of Jesus", will you accept that "event" also ?

      August 17, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      The resurrection event, Bishop Spong's "something happened", do the contestants agree that something happened?

      August 17, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Topher


      Well, first the Anthropic Principle has NOT been debunked. I don't know what Kalam Cosmological is (I'll be googling in a minute) and I'm not a fan of the ID movement, though I do believe there's an intelligent designer. But just for starters at a very basic level, I'm talking about looking all around us. At creation. Because I have a presupposition that the Bible is true, then I can't dismiss that the very fact you and I are here having a civil discussion is evidence for God. I can't believe the universe happened by accident. There's too much order for an accident.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • Topher

      Tom, Tom, the Other One

      "do the contestants agree that something happened?"

      As far as the resurrection? Obviously I agree that Christ rose from the dead after 3 days. Yes.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • realbuckyball

      While he's deciding .. let's talk about what they called the "resurrection".
      a. Matthew, just before the death on the cross, also said many other "saints" were raised from "sleep", and were seen in the holy city, and "rocks were split", and the veil of the temple was rent, and there was a great earthquake.
      b. so we have a zombie invasion,. Why were none of those other zombies ever doc'umented as having been seen, the earthquake never recorded, the split rocks never found ?
      c. Why did the followers on the Road to Emmaus not recognize him ?
      d. Why did the "physical" body go through walls in the gospels ?
      Clearly, what they were talking about was not really a "physical" body, in the SAME way, that word is used in the English language, before or since. It did not eat, or drink, or sleep. They did not intend to say "mean" it was a physical body.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • realbuckyball

      How many courses in Choas Theory have you taken ? Order arises spontaneously. How much Math do you know ?
      The Mandelbrot Set does not require a deity. What YOU perceive to be "order" is not really "order". Please provide an example of what you perceive to be "created order".

      August 17, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Topher

      Dude, help me out. What are you talking about with the "physical bodies" stuff? I want to go read about it so I can comment.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Topher


      "How many courses in Choas Theory have you taken ?"

      Zero. I would have bored me to tears and I'm way too simple. And for full disclosure, how many theology courses have you taken?

      "Please provide an example of what you perceive to be "created order"."

      Well, since I believe God created EVERYTHING, you can take anything. Man. Trees. Whatever you like.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Christians assert that Jesus rose "physically" from the dead. I just proved he did not, and that they did not mean that.

      So do you accept the challenge or not ?

      August 17, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • realbuckyball

      That is clearly part of your problem. If you had an adequate science education, you would not be a believer. I am working on my M. Div. at an Ivy League Clooege, and when I am done, (while my main degree will not be in Theology), I will be one of the few atheists with a PhD in Scripture/Theology. I know more about Theology than you do. I guarantee it. Ask me anything.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Topher


      "Christians assert that Jesus rose "physically" from the dead. I just proved he did not, and that they did not mean that. "

      Sorry, dude, but you didn't prove anything. You might prove that you or I could not do those things. I'd agree with that. But you're talking about God here. He performed miracles all the time. He walked on water. We can't do that. After 40 days, his followers watched Him rise up to the heavens. We can't do that. I know atheists don't like it when I say "because He was God", but what else am I supposed to say? God can do anything that is logically possible.

      "So do you accept the challenge or not ?"

      Tell you what, you tell me what you've got and I'll comment on it.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • realbuckyball

      The organic chemistry, which evolved from single cells to complex organisms required no deity. That includes man and trees.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Topher

      OK. Do you acknowledge that when the NT talks about "the Law" it is talking about the 10 Commandments and that those OT rules for people like stonings, food and clothes and laws for the priests are no longer in play because of the new covenant?

      August 17, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • realbuckyball

      So, you agree you are afraid to be shown up and YOU ARE biased. You called me biased, and yet proved YOU are the biased one, here.
      If you are actually UN-biased, then you have to agree there is more, and better evidence that the Salem Mass. witches actually were witches, than there is for the resurrection. YOU told me I was biased. I challenged YOU to prove you were not. You failed.
      Here is the evidence. I have to go to class. I am always interested to find out/uncover that "believers" really have no real background, in either science or theology.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One


      It's interesting that you're wrestling with the issue that the anthropic principle addresses – unexplained order in the universe. Are you familiar with the weak anthropic principle?

      August 17, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • realbuckyball

      I do not. The 10 Commandments, (which came from the Egyptian Book of the Dead), are actually what was as'serted to be the OLD Covenant. The New Covenant is the one which was part of the "salvation" paradigm, which was a concept, grafted onto the emerging cult of the "Way", (Christianity), by Paul. Jesus did not preach "salvation". He was an apocalyptic. Actually the OLD Covenant was made with Yahweh Sabaoth, (the Sumerian god of the armies), that they would only worship one of the many gods they believed in, (they were NOT monotheists), if he would help them in their battles.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Topher


      "So, you agree you are afraid to be shown up and YOU ARE biased. You called me biased, and yet proved YOU are the biased one, here."

      Oh, I agree I am biased. I said so earlier. We both have presuppositions.

      "If you are actually UN-biased, then you have to agree there is more, and better evidence that the Salem Mass. witches actually were witches, than there is for the resurrection."

      You failed to disprove the resurrection. That's not my fault. You have given me nothing.

      "I am always interested to find out/uncover that "believers" really have no real background, in either science or theology."

      I can give you just as many YouTube videos in support of Christianity and science books in support of Christianity as you can to the contrary. It doesn't solve anything.

      And you never answered my theology question.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Topher


      Wow, that's a lot of heresy. If you cannot acknowledge it, then you cannot tell me you know more about theology. If this stuff is what they are teaching you, it's a waste of your money. All this stuff is liberal excuses and not only not true, but not what the Bible teaches. If you are going to put time and effort into learning theology, at least learn it from someone who knows what it says.

      August 17, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Topher

      I'm familiar with the anthropic principle. I don't think it's weak at all. But even if you do, that doesn't mean it isn't true. If you are claiming all this happened by accident, you've got way too much explaining to do to for all the constants in the world. And not only that they are constant, but if things were only a hair off we wouldn't exist.

      August 17, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      NO Topher. It's called Ancient History. It's not "heresy". Dispute the historical FACTS, if you can.

      August 17, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Topher

      I do dispute them. Wholeheartedly. And if you can't acknowledge that that is what the Bible teaches about the new covenant, you don't have a leg to stand on theologically.

      August 17, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Of course I did not disprove the resurrection. No one can prove a negative. I proved however that there is as much or better evidence for the Salem witches, being witches, and that you are biased, and did not accept the challenge.

      August 17, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      What "facts" are you disputing ? What YOU assert "the Bible teaches" are your opinions, and hardly facts.
      First you say that the Old Covenant is outdated with Jesus, then you as'sert parts of it are still valid. So make up your mind. Which is it ? In fact all of the "covenant" thing is based on a misinterpretation of the Genesis myth, (the "fall"). In fact the Garden story was about Chaos and Order, and taken from the Sumerian creation myths, which were about Chaos and Order, and NOT about "sin" at all. All of Paulianity, (the religion you practice, not Christianity), is built on a falacious reading of the Chaos myths.

      August 17, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Topher


      What evidence did you give for witches? You didn't prove that either.

      August 17, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      The "evidence" is in the Case Against Christ video. It's all laid out. I see you didn't watch it. Where is your "evidence" ?

      August 17, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Topher

      Of course I'm not going to watch something that blasphemes God.

      August 17, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      It does not "blaspheme" anyone. You are afraid the search for truth will lead you away from your belief system. Too bad you are a wuss. I biased wuss. Oh well.

      August 17, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  8. HeavenSent

    So what the hell is Cardinal Dolan doing consorting with the evil bigots at the Family Research Council. New Yorkers, start writing to your Pope. These people are supposed to stay OUT of politics. IRS ... take note. Tax these idiots.

    August 17, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I detect a glimmer of reason in this post.
      Can't be the real HeavenSent.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Not my post. That's the phony (have a drink of OJ) heavensent writing this nonsense.

      August 17, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  9. 1 Peter 3:13-17

    Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

    August 17, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • Mirosal

      You don't need any "holy text" to do good deeds. It's called common human courtesy. Here's the difference.... religion is doing what you're told, no matter if it's right. Morality is doing what's right, no matter what you're told. And before you keep spouting your big book of nyths, you need to know that "do unto others" and "help your fellow man" were established morals LONG LONG before your dead zombie jesus guy was ever born, IF he ever existed in the first place. and was also in societies that had NEVER heard of YOUR particular "god".

      August 17, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • William Demuth

      Good behavior in Christ?

      Moral relativisim at its finest.

      Christ has been used to justify slavery, genocide, bigotry, murder, sedition, child abuse and war.

      Please dear God, spare us any further "good behavior" in your name!!

      August 17, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I can't fault anyone for wanting to do good. Your motives are unimportant, but your definition of "good" is something I will always be wary of.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • William Demuth


      So often we do things that we rationalize as good.

      Foreclosing on little old ladies comes to mind. I wonder how ANYONE can do it for ANY reason. Alas there is always someone who will. We draw from a root stock of slave masters, concentration camp guards, and religious zealots.

      We have among us the offspring’s of those who put the torch at the "witches" feet or "closed the oven door" on an eight year old child.

      Faith and religion are supposed to give us the innate ability to know right from wrong, and thus its failure is self-evident.

      We have become something shameful in many ways, because we are far too willing to suspend our humanity in the service of what we perceive to be a greater good.

      There are far too many of us fighting over far too little, and as the years pass I cannot escape the growing dread that this world we have made, that we as a race of beings are collectively headed towards an unpleasant demise.

      We refuse to learn the lessons of history, and I fear it shall be the death of us.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I apologize William. I was criticizing the root post. Your response is well stated.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • Primewonk

      Thhank you for the random, inane, meaningless verses from your holy book. In the spirit of fairness, here are some random verses from the Primewonk bible. I happen to think that these verses make a hell of lot more sense than yours –

      ADVISORY: There is an Extremely Small but Nonzero Chance That, Through a Process Know as "Tunneling," This Post May Spontaneously Disappear from Its Present Location and Reappear at Any Random Place in the Universe, Including Your Neighbor's Domicile. God Will Not Be Responsible for Any Damages or Inconvenience That May Result.

      PUBLIC NOTICE AS REQUIRED BY LAW: Any Use of This Post, in Any Manner Whatsoever, Will Increase the Amount of Disorder in the Universe. Although No Liability Is Implied Herein, the Believer Is Warned That This Process Will Ultimately Lead to the Heat Death of the Universe.

      Einstein 16:24 Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

      Gould 1:15-16 Human consciousness arose but a minute before midnight on the geological clock. Yet we mayflies try to bend an ancient world to our purposes, ignorant perhaps of the messages buried in its long history. Let us hope that we are still in the early morning of our April day.

      Bohr 2:11 Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it.

      Szilard 88:16 I'm all in favor of the democratic principle that one idiot is as good as one genius, but I draw the line when someone takes the next step and concludes that two idiots are better than one genius.

      Sagan 22:1 For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reàssuring.

      Feynman 110:55 …it doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are - if it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.

      Hawking 41:61 A machine that was powerful enough to accelerate particles to the grand unification energy would have to be as big as the Solar System-and would be unlikely to be funded in the present economic climate.

      Hippocrates 14:5 Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance.

      Galileo 12:16 It is surely harmful to souls to make it a heresy to believe what is proved

      Carlyle 2:2 It is a mathematical fact that the casting of this pebble from my hand alters the centre of gravity of the universe.

      Fermi 1:1 The weak nuclear force does not change over time.

      Oliver Heaviside 62:3 Shall I refuse my dinner because I do not fully understand the process of digestion?

      C. P. Snow 5:3 Innocence about Science is the worst crime today.

      Paul Valéry 3:6 One had to be a Newton to notice that the moon is falling, when everyone sees that it doesn't fall.

      A.C. Doyle 14:8 It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts.

      Clark 19:17 Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

      Roddenberry 68:12 We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.

      deGràsse Tyson 1:1 God is an ever receeding pocket of scientific ignorance.

      August 17, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Good post 1 Peter.

      Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

      Romans 12:19


      August 17, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  10. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    August 17, 2012 at 5:51 am |
    • Mirosal

      Somebody tape a penny to his stylus, or give the needle a shove. He's stuck in the same groove again.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:30 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Give the needle a shove? You mean the one that injects the anti-psychotic meds??

      August 17, 2012 at 6:46 am |
    • Groovin' with God

      It's good to be in the groove.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:48 am |
    • Mirosal

      Hey "Groovin' " .. grooving went out of style 40 years ago, get with the times. We're in a NEW century, and a new millenium now. It's time to put away your tie-dye and atart thinking for yourself.
      @ Truth .. m'lady, THAT needle was broken long ago, that would explain a lot about him wouldn't it? lol

      August 17, 2012 at 6:56 am |
    • Groovin' with God

      It still works for me, but thanks for your unsolicited critique anyways.

      August 17, 2012 at 7:04 am |
    • Mirosal

      If it works for you, then I guess you really are a sheep who needs to be told what to think what to believe where to go and what to do. Do you enjoy being sheared and fleeced by someone who says they know what's best for you, because you are told that you don't know what's best for you?

      August 17, 2012 at 7:11 am |
    • Andrew

      "Thinking for yourself" is not a new concept. It's the catastrophe that took place when fools built the Tower of Babel, Genesis 11:5-8

      August 17, 2012 at 7:13 am |
    • Mirosal

      and you think that's REALLY how languages were developed? You REALLY think that actually happened??? You aren't drinking the Kool-Aid, you're bathing in it.

      August 17, 2012 at 7:16 am |
    • Groovin' with God

      Insults are easy on an anonymous blog. I think you'd behave differently in person. At least I hope you wouldn't be as free with your insults and at least have some respect for individual choice. I guess a blog brings out the worst in some people, or at least you. I hope you;re not typical of the people on here.

      August 17, 2012 at 7:21 am |
    • Mirosal

      To take Genesis literally is foolish, EVERY society has had its myths about the "creation". You would readily dismiss all those other myths, why would you think that Genesis would be any more real?

      August 17, 2012 at 7:25 am |
    • Andrew

      The Tower was built after Noah's flood. Foolish men built the tower to protect them from future floods and also to create their own salvation. That's the same things atheists do, assume they are their own salvation. God created the multiple languages and scattered man throughout the world as punishment for being foolish and arrogant.

      The reason you don't believe is because you are a foolish atheists that believes the Devil's lies.

      August 17, 2012 at 7:28 am |
    • Groovin' with God

      Why would you presume to know what someone else would or would not dismiss or believe? Why would you insult someone else's belief and call it foolish? Of course you may disagree, but why the insult?

      August 17, 2012 at 7:29 am |
    • Groovin' with God

      I've inadvertently intruded on anothers conversation. Just for the record, I don't condone calling anyone foolish for their beliefs or lack thereof.

      August 17, 2012 at 7:31 am |
    • Mirosal

      How can I believe the lies of a "devil", when there is no such thing as a devil? You'd better read the babel story again. It wasn't built for flood insurance. It was built so they could get "close to god". And your god didn't want them that close. Given the engineering skills of the time, building anything larger that a small temple was out of the question. Hey, don't bring up the Pyramids. You said it was after Noah's flood, which in itself violates the laws of nature and physics. The Pyramids were much later than that.
      @ Grovvin' ... how many of the "creation" stories from other civilizations and societies do YOU believe? Which do you consider myth? Which are real? And why?

      August 17, 2012 at 7:35 am |
    • Primewonk

      Andrew – there was no Tower of Babel. Likewise, there was no global flood. Sorry.

      August 17, 2012 at 7:38 am |
    • 1 Philippians 1:18

      But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • Mirosal

      The whole thing is false. Your "god" is no more real that ANY of the other thousands of "gods" worshiped throughout history. And, there really is NO empirical evidence to show "jesus" ever existed in the first place.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Ah the Tower of Babel – one of my favourite examples of how God doesn't want people to think for themselves.
      Once upon a time, all manking spoke the same language and lived together in harmony.
      Together, Mankind endeavoured to build a great monument to keep themselves safe and to discover what truly lay in the heavens.
      But God didn't like this.
      Offended by man's hurbris in seeking safety and knowledge, God struck down the tower like a petulant child and sowed division amongst men. He separated man into tribes that could no longer communicate with each other effectively, thus ensuring misunderstanding, strife and conflict forever more.
      Babel and Eden are the great examples of how God fears man's quest for knowledge. Theough He created us with an inborn, insatiable curiosity about the universe in which we find ourselves, He demands obsequious submission.
      The first characteristic attributed to the God of Abraham is jealousy, after all. Seems a bit of a petty primary trait for an Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient being, don't you think?

      August 17, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      The empiricist says in his heart "there really is NO empirical evidence to show "jesus" ever existed in the first place." Religious people blissfully leap to certitude without evidence. They both make me queasy. Maybe it's the coffee.

      August 17, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • niknak

      @ Andrew.

      First of all, atheist don't believe in any gods or any devils, demons, ghosts or other fairy tale monsters.

      Second, what lies would those be?
      I can only assume you are refering to science and all the other tools rational thinking people have used to understand our environment. Which by the way, has given us our current high level of lifestyle and comfort.
      You know, things like electronics, medicine, transportation etc, that you use everyday.

      Dump religion in the trashbin as fast as possible.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • jefe

      Good to see that the Lord has drawn Tom, Tom, the Other One, Doc Vestibule, William Demuth and others back to the religion blogs for yet another day. Have a blessed one!

      August 17, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Topher

      So wait, because we have electronics, medicine and transportation, God doesn't exist?

      August 17, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One


      In order for God to exist in the sense that you mean it has to extend into our universe somehow. We can require evidence that it does if you claim that it does. I want you to come up with it.

      August 17, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      The reason you don't believe is because you are a foolish atheists that believes the Devil's lies.

      If we don't believe in your imaginary friend god then we also don't believe in its imaginary arch enemy satan. How hard is that for you to comprehend??

      August 17, 2012 at 11:31 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!-

      August 17, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Doc Vestibule, God doesn't fear man's search for knowledge. God gave us the wisdom to explore all venues. God's wrath comes when man disrespects Him for what He provided. Same what you would do. Oh, I suppose you'll continue to lie and say it wouldn't bother you if you gave someone the skills to do something, they turned around, rejected you, and ran with the abilities you provided.

      August 17, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
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.