First on CNN: Who’s delivering prayers at the DNC
New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who closed out the GOP convention, is also giving the final prayer at the Democratic convention.
September 3rd, 2012
11:01 PM ET

First on CNN: Who’s delivering prayers at the DNC

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

President Barack Obama has a penchant for using high-profile prayer givers to send messages to the nation.

At his 2009 White House inauguration, Obama called on Pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation, signaling an attempt to tamp down on the culture wars (Warren is a theologically conservative evangelical who was close to George W. Bush).

Closing out the inauguration of the first black president was a prayer from The Rev. Joseph Lowery, a civil rights leader who worked alongside Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Obama campaign sent us a list of who will be delivering the opening and closing prayers each day at this week’s Democratic National Convention.

“The important role faith has played in President Obama’s own life and the lives of many Americans will be reflected in Charlotte," said Clo Ewing, a spokesperson with the campaign. "The Convention will include diverse religious leaders who are committed to the common good and understand that America needs a president who leads with values.”

Here’s a cheat sheet of who the prayer givers are – and why they matter:

Tuesday’s invocation (opening prayer): Metropolitan Nicholas, bishop of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Detroit

Why he matters: Nicholas is a leader in a giant global movement that has a tiny U.S. presence, with the Greek Orthodox representing a fraction of 1% of the U.S. population. But Nicholas is a symbol of the country’s rich religious diversity, opening the convention with a nod to minority religions.

Tuesday’s benediction (closing prayer): Jena Lee Nardella, executive director of Blood: Water Mission

Why she matters: Nardella represents the young evangelical demographic that the Obama campaign is targeting in this election, knowing that older evangelicals are largely locked up for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Nardella started Blood: Water Mission, which focuses on combating the HIV/AIDs and water crises in Africa, at age 22 with the Christian music group Jars of Clay.

Wednesday’s invocation: Vashti Murphy McKenzie, presiding bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church

Why she matters: McKenzie is the first woman elected bishop in the AME Church, the country’s oldest black religious denomination. She offered opening prayer at the 1996 Democratic National Convention and is an Obama campaign co-chair. Earlier this summer, first lady Michelle Obama addressed a big AME conference, saying: “To anyone who says that church is no place to talk about these issues, you tell them there is no place better.”

Wednesday’s Benediction: David Wolpe, rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles

Why he matters: Hailed as the most influential rabbi in America by Newsweek, Wolpe is a prolific author and media personality who's recognizable to many American Jews, who constitute an important voting bloc in some swing states and whose whose ranks include many big political donors. Though Obama won 78% of the Jewish vote in 2008, Romney is claiming that Obama has mistreated Israel and Republicans say they see an opening, especially among Orthodox Jews.

Thursday invocation: The Rev. Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition

Why he matters: Salguero is cutting an increasingly high profile in America’s Hispanic community, a crucial Democratic bloc whose evangelical ranks are swelling and who tend to be socially conservative but liberal on immigration reform, education and economic matters. Getting those voters is a top priority for Obama in swing states like Colorado, Nevada and Florida.

Thursday benediction: Timothy Dolan, Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York

Why he matters: As the nation’s highest-visibility Catholic official in a year when the Catholic vote may tip the election, Cardinal Dolan is in high demand by the political parties. Just last week, he was in Tampa, delivering the benediction for the Republican National Convention. Dolan has blasted the Obama administration for compelling insurance companies to provide free contraception coverage to nearly all American employees, but having the cardinal follow Obama on Thursday is a way for the president to show he isn’t at war with the Catholic Church.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Barack Obama • Politics

soundoff (427 Responses)
  1. ScottCA

    this is what Sanity sounds like.

    September 4, 2012 at 3:18 am |
    • John3:16

      More Like What The Wages Of Alcoholism Smoking And ATHEISM Looks Like! Namely DEATH!

      September 4, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • Fred Evil

      Oh JOhn? Does DEATH not come to the uber-religious?
      Of course it does, so your post is silliness in toto.

      September 4, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • John3:16

      Oh Fred My Brother, Death Comes Not To Me And All Who Beleive Unto Him Which Is God's Only Son For We Have Chosen the Path Of Eternal Life Through Christ Our Lord. Plus I Dont Smoke.

      September 4, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Monster Under John3:16's Bed

      John3:16 – "I don't smoke"

      Of course you don't. You are too busy sucking your thumb and snuggling up with your fluffy security blanket.


      September 4, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  2. NanH

    Who cares?? Religion has no place in politics, I am a democrat, but does no one remember separation of church and state??? Hello??? What about those of us who do not believe in church???

    September 4, 2012 at 3:06 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      i'm with you, brother.

      September 4, 2012 at 3:17 am |
    • Shane

      I'm an Athiest too, but having a prayer at this is purely ceremonial in nature and has nothing to do with actual laws. It is to help identify with people. Right now, a majority of votes are religious, or at least claim to believe in God. This simply is a way to help show that he can identify with some of them.

      It has no bearing at all on who I will vote for this November, but at the same time this has nothing to do with the seperation of church and sate.

      September 4, 2012 at 3:19 am |
    • J Walk

      when you sell your soul to the devil......he now needs God to get re elected.

      September 4, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
  3. IslandAtheist

    I think they should pull out all the stops and offer up a goat this election.

    September 4, 2012 at 2:14 am |
    • Recovering Catholic

      I thought that's what the Republicans were doing with Romney. Their chances are better with Romney the goat than they would have been with the other jackas$es that were contending.

      But for the good of the country, let's hope that the Republicans don't win the White House again until they have restored some sanity to the party.

      September 4, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • J Walk

      Pass the collection plate...to all.

      September 4, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
  4. Bootyfunk

    hopefully in the future there will be no need for mumbo jumbo at any political meeting. if you have to practice cult rituals, keep them at home or in church on sunday. the political arena is not the place for the promotion of any religion.

    September 4, 2012 at 2:12 am |
    • sheshie

      "Man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship him anymore than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ' darkness' on the walls of his cell."

      – C.S. Lewis,The problem of Pain

      September 4, 2012 at 2:30 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      "“A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.”"
      - F. Nietzsche

      “The whole religious complexion of the modern world is due to the absence from Jerusalem of a lunatic asylum.”
      - T. Paine

      September 4, 2012 at 3:16 am |
  5. scott

    Topher will you be my friend I enjoy your posts my number us 5013175042

    September 4, 2012 at 1:56 am |
    • ScottCA


      September 4, 2012 at 3:15 am |
  6. ScottCA

    This lady has always impressed me.

    September 4, 2012 at 1:32 am |
  7. ClaudiaL

    Thank you President Obama for picking two women to deliver prayers. WOMEN FOR OBAMA is real!

    September 4, 2012 at 1:32 am |
  8. bill


    September 4, 2012 at 12:49 am |
    • bill

      The important role that faith has played in President Obama’s own life is nothing more than a political tool. Between making sure that CNN knew about his selection of prayer deliverers and this revealing video about how obama slanders “his own faith”should make that obvious.

      September 4, 2012 at 12:50 am |
    • ScottCA

      I suspected Obama had to be at least an agnostic at heart if not full blown atheist. He seems too intelligent to fall for religious lies completely. Too bad he is forced to fake belief in order to get elected. This is a terrible condition for America to be in.

      September 4, 2012 at 12:57 am |
    • ScottCA

      This reassures me that Obama is intelligent enough to lead and he is not a delusional like most republicans, who cannot deduce reality with reason and logic.

      September 4, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • MikeyM

      Bill seriously....seriously. Your Youtube video embarrasses me as a Christian. As what Obama says is completely accurate. If Christians truly knew and believed the Bible the sermon on the mount would be there guide, and that would mean no need for defense spending as JC has your back. Where in the Bible does it say attack those that attack you, or build up a really good defense so people will be scared to attack you? Even if you can infer it I would like to know where. Reading your Bible, so you know it, would be key.

      September 4, 2012 at 1:14 am |
    • Topher


      "If Christians truly knew and believed the Bible the sermon on the mount would be there guide, and that would mean no need for defense spending as JC has your back."

      First, are you claiming to be a Christian but that you don't believe what Jesus said? Second, anyone who thinks being a Christian is a bed of roses has never read the New Testament. All but one of the apostles was killed. Christians even today are persecuted even to death. Jesus has our back, oh yes, but not in the prosperity gospel sort of way. Jesus said we will be hated by the world and will be persecuted.

      "Where in the Bible does it say attack those that attack you, or build up a really good defense so people will be scared to attack you? Even if you can infer it I would like to know where. Reading your Bible, so you know it, would be key."

      Have you read the Old Testament? Did Israel not march around the land killing all their opponents? Did David not make raids? The Bible does not speak against all war.

      September 4, 2012 at 1:26 am |
    • MikeyM

      Sorry Topher, I meant New Testament (Jesus or apostles) as if we were using Old Testament Christians should not wear clothes made of 2 kinds of material, lots of stonings, feasts should be celebrated, Chik-fil-A it on Sundays, and the complete genocide of races.
      Where in the Bible does it talk about disciples or apostles deaths? I know Jesus predicted Peter's and Judas died a few times, Stephen was stoned- not a disciple. Bible is stronger than commentaries and 'Christian Books' and sermons.

      September 4, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • mama kindless

      I agree with ScottCA and MikeM. Of course I'd rather he not even reference the stupid thing at all.

      September 4, 2012 at 1:42 am |
    • Topher

      "About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword, and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also." Acts 12:1-3.

      September 4, 2012 at 1:53 am |
    • Jesus freaker

      Hey Bill,

      Guess what? Most politicians are fake when it comes to religion. Jimmy Carter and Bush Jr. are probably the only ones in recent history that are actually religious. Bush was probably the country's worst president so religion didn't do much for him. Obama is correct. Most people don't know what's in the Bible.

      "The Sermon on the Mount, the most spiritually inspiring words uttered from Jesus Christ". Give me a break. Who knows what Jesus really said? Nothing, not one word spoken by him was written down during his lifetime. God didn't think that writing was important for his only son? Seriously. You might as well be worshipping David Koresh. At least he was literate.

      September 4, 2012 at 2:16 am |
  9. Sallyhen

    Dang. The people on this comment board are absolutely the most horrible, hateful, unkind that I have ever seen. No doubt, you vote democrat. That's the type of people democrats attract. It's like a bunch of demons chewing you up.

    September 4, 2012 at 12:46 am |
    • cedar rapids

      you moan about hate and being unkind and then spout a sweeping statement about dems. is the hypocrisy lost on you?

      September 4, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  10. elbon55

    I think the Dems should bring in the Rev.Jeremiah Wright to say a prayer.

    September 4, 2012 at 12:42 am |
    • ScottCA

      Oh the moral wisdom granted by Faith, we can see it at work once again.
      ****Warning Viewer Discretion Strongly Advised!!! This news networks report does contain graphic.content.

      September 4, 2012 at 12:53 am |
    • ScottCA

      just one more reason that no matter how nice the builds in Dubai are, I will not be going there. The United Arab emirates are just too close to Saudi Arabia and this type of insanity.

      September 4, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • Topher


      September 4, 2012 at 1:56 am |
    • krb728

      You act as if "Prayer" is a joke, there is a time and a place for everything. And this is not the time for jokes really it's praying time America. Peace

      September 4, 2012 at 3:18 am |
  11. batjones

    I do not understand why there are so many people who want to deny and despise the concept of prayer. Be it prayer to a god or a prayer for simply good luck, the practice is way of summoning individual and collective energy and focus to fulfill a goal. Meditation and introspection seem to be good starting points before taking on any task.

    September 4, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • Chuckles

      Um..... prayer helps no one, it's that simple. I don't care if something thinks to themselves "god help me, I hope I pass this test", then they study hard, they learn the facts and then they do. However, the prayer that everyone here, including myself, dismisses is the prayer of a person asking to pass a test, then declines to study and hopes god will lead his/her pencil across the paper to the right answers. In the case of "praying" someone gets better from an illness, if you are like me, that "prayer" is just simple hope, however I know full well the only way someone gets better is by doctors, antibiotics, surgery, etc... I can hope all I want, but if I really want to take action, my prayer isn't going to cut it.

      September 4, 2012 at 12:30 am |
  12. Geoff

    Atheists are a scared people who are lashing out in frustration because they cannot refute what is in The Bible. It's kind of sad, but maybe they will open their eyes and their minds and allow that there just might be a Supreme Being (God) who sent his Son (Jesus) to us and remains here on earth in the presence of a spirtual state (Holy Ghost).

    September 4, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • Chuckles

      Actually Geoff

      The true tragedy here is that people who have already refuted the bible must still teach basic logic to adults. You dismiss the evidence against the bible, but that doesn't make it go away.

      September 4, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • ScottCA

      Faith requires one to believe in something even in the absence of evidence and in the presence of evidence to the contrary. This suppression of the minds ability to logically reason leads to belief in untruths, that send ripples of distortion into every area of examination and study. This in turn leads to political and social decisions based in misinformation. The end result is the suffering of people.

      Examples are 9/11 bombings, The holding back of stem cell research that could save countless human lives, Christians legally fighting this year to teach over 1 million young girls in America that they must always be obedient to men, the eroding of child protection laws in America by Christians, for so called faith based healing alternatives that place children's health and safety at risk, burning of witches, the crusades, Nazi's thinking the Aryans were gods chosen to rule the world, etc etc, But who cares about history or facts in the real world when we have our imaginations and delusions about gods with no evidence of them existing.

      September 4, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • ScottCA

      Chuckles yes it is a failing of the education system to properly teach rational examination and deduction skills, otherwise known as science.

      September 4, 2012 at 12:34 am |
    • ScottCA

      Let's not forget J@pan where they believed the emperor was god so they fought to the death even committing suicide rather than being taken prisoner, all to please god on earth. But why bother thinking, when we can let the pope or our local priest tell us what to think and do.

      September 4, 2012 at 12:41 am |
    • ScottCA

      LOL CNN bot thinks J@panese is bad because it contains J@p in it.

      September 4, 2012 at 12:42 am |
    • cedar rapids

      "Atheists are a scared people who are lashing out in frustration because they cannot refute what is in The Bible."

      ok, your take on reality is too funny. when someone claims that someone walked on water then we really dont need to refute anything, its up to you to prove it.

      September 4, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  13. ScottCA

    And now for something completely different!

    September 4, 2012 at 12:13 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Gosh, I miss Monty Python! Thanks, Scott.

      September 4, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • ScottCA

      It is completely horrifying that there are still people really being stoned to death in the name of religion.

      September 4, 2012 at 12:24 am |
  14. Coven

    Doesn't matter, because prayer is only wasted words to gods that don't exist. You can have 100,000 people pray for rain, but it will only rain if the atmospheric patterns have already been set up for that. Unless, of course, you are "Doctor" Pat Robertson.

    September 4, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • ihearya

      I could not agree more.

      September 4, 2012 at 12:29 am |
  15. ScottCA

    I am an atheist in the sense of a tooth fairy agnostic. There could be a god, but it is as likely as the tooth fairy existing or the 6ft tall green monster in my closet existing, neither have any facts to support them. But yes, I am not afraid to say that based on current evidence I do not believe there is a god. I am an atheist.

    September 4, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • Topher

      Acknowledging there might be a god is a good thing, even if you don't believe there really is. At least the possibility exists in your mind. But let's say for the sake of the argument there is a God, a Heaven and a Hell. When you die, do you think you are good enough to go there? Are you a good person?

      September 4, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Golly, Gopher! I believe I'm a good person!

      Cue Topher to tell me it doesn't matter HOW "good" I am; that unless I accept HIS religious belief, I am going straight into the LAKE OF FIRE!!!

      (can you tell how terrified I am that this is going to happen?)

      September 4, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • thes33k3r

      Right on. I look forward to the day when the question ("who's giving the prayer?") is irrelavant.

      September 4, 2012 at 12:13 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      I'm looking forward to the day to when that question is not asked or is responded to with derision. I think it would be just as effective and far more entertaining to have an astrologist or physic do a reading.

      September 4, 2012 at 12:21 am |
    • mama kindless

      I think we naturally take too many big steps once we get crazy ideas in our heads as humans. I'm sure ancient man had the same problem – that is – thinking about something you don't know for sure, like a supreme being, and then without knowing the first thing about it, you start imagining attributes about that thing as if you already had some base ideas wrapped up (when you don't really have anything yet). So Topher, for many people to go from just being agnostic about a supreme being to any next thing, like heaven, hell, whatever, is a HUGE leap. Sure it might be based on something someone wrote down or told someone else they witnesses, but for many it's like imagining what the end of a symphony might sound like before you've even understood how the movements were laid out and what their main themes were.

      September 4, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      LIke very much. ^^^

      September 4, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • Topher

      mama kindless

      I'd agree with you if that what the Bible was supposed to be, but it claims to be the Word of God. It's not just written down by a man, like the Qu'ran, but was inspired by God. 2 Timothy 3:16 says "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" ... Did you know that the Bible is a historically reliable collection of doc.uments written down by eyewitnesses during the lifetimes of other eyewitnesses? And do you understand what that means? If the writer wrote something down that didn't happen or was stretching the truth, the other witnesses would have called them on it and the work would have been thrown out. It's pretty good evidence that what you read there is trustworthy.

      September 4, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • Chuckles


      If that is really the only legs your bible stands on, consider this. Why wouldn't the eyewitnesses themselves write down the bible instead of scribes.... Because they were illiterate. These "eyewitnesses" that you speak of couldn't read or write so had no way of calling someone stretching the truth.

      It's all besides the point though, because your original statement of fact is false. The books in the bible were written after the deaths of the generation that "saw" Jesus. Try playing a game of telephone. Try playing a game of telephone over 1 year, try after 50 years. Guess how much the message, the stories, the "miracles" could change during that time, and that's just by accident. Add in people with a clear agenda to change the story and all of sudden you have a story that doesn't even remotely resemble the truth other than some names of people and places.

      September 4, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • Topher

      "It's all besides the point though, because your original statement of fact is false. The books in the bible were written after the deaths of the generation that "saw" Jesus"

      That's not true at all. Both Matthew and John were written by apostles. Paul saw Jesus. Both James and Jude were brothers of Jesus. Obviously they knew Him. And as far as the dates of the books ... James was written between 45-49 AD. Matthew between 50-60 AD, John ... 80-90 and the last book written, Revelation ... 94-96. So every book in the New Testament was not only written by eyewitnesses (or their seconds, i.e. Luke), but within the lifetimes of other witnesses.

      September 4, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • What IF


      The Quran says the same "inspired by god" thing about itself:

      Surah An-Najm:

      وَالنَّجْمِ إِذَا هَوَى

      {1} By the star when it sets!

      مَا ضَلَّ صَاحِبُكُمْ وَمَا غَوَى

      {2} Your companion has not strayed; he is not deluded;

      وَمَا يَنْطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَى

      {3} he does not speak from his own desire.

      إِنْ هُوَ إِلا وَحْيٌ يُوحَى

      {4} It is nothing less than a inspiration that is inspired to him

      عَلَّمَهُ شَدِيدُ الْقُوَى

      {5} It was taught to him by one with mighty powers,

      ذُو مِرَّةٍ فَاسْتَوَى

      {6} great strength, who stood

      وَهُوَ بِالأُفُقِ الأَعْلَى

      {7} on the highest horizon

      ثُمَّ دَنَا فَتَدَلَّى

      {8} and then approached––coming down

      فَكَانَ قَابَ قَوْسَيْنِ أَوْ أَدْنَى

      {9} until he was two bow-lengths away or even closer

      فَأَوْحَى إِلَى عَبْدِهِ مَا أَوْحَى

      {10} and revealed to God’s servant what He revealed.

      مَا كَذَبَ الْفُؤَادُ مَا رَأَى

      {11} [The Prophet’s] own heart did not distort what he saw.

      أَفَتُمَارُونَهُ عَلَى مَا يَرَى

      {12} Are you going to dispute with him what he saw?

      September 4, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • Topher

      I'd say he was a false prophet, so ... YES!

      September 4, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • Chuckles


      Sweet, naive Topher, do a little more reading of accepted hypothesis on the authorship of the books and when they were written. Again though, you completely disregarded the first point which is that these people who wanted their story written down were illiterate themselves and could not have read of any truth stretching because they couldn't read. Ya dig?

      September 4, 2012 at 12:56 am |
    • mama kindless

      A lot of people seem to think the Bible stories were just a single version right from the writer or what he was reading, but we know that is just not true. Those stories were modified as time went by to meet whatever fit the current political situation. and speaking of politics, it's best you try not to convince mama kindless anything on that self-proclaimed "apostle" Paul. He paid off his secretary to be a witness to this supposed vision of his – I don't buy it – not for an instant. Now I'll try not to judge Paul – maybe he ate some bad food or something and had a bad dream, but whatever it was, he had a political need to have that story in place – it might have even meant his survival. And if I can't trust Paul, well guess what – there goes a huge portion of the NT, right? But I've studied it all in depth in my earlier years and there are some interesting stories in there, but I would not base any personal belief on any of it.

      I have to laugh when it gets to Revelation – my goodness the writer of that was on a trip that would make the 1960's look like the 1950's. I remember clear as day my daddy telling me the christians got caught with their pants down when Luther pushed the issue and it was suddenly available to lots of plain folk.

      September 4, 2012 at 12:58 am |
    • Topher


      Why would I read a hypothesis (meaning a guess) written by a man when I have the truth straight from God?

      "Again though, you completely disregarded the first point which is that these people who wanted their story written down were illiterate themselves and could not have read of any truth stretching because they couldn't read. Ya dig?"

      No, I don't dig. Even if most of them were illiterate, not all of them were. Obviously Timothy did a lot of writing for Paul. Matthew was a tax collector. Do you think he couldn't read? Or Luke, who was a physician? You've been misled, friend. Do you remember who the Pharisees were hanging out with? They were called "scribes." These would have been witnesses and they could have refuted these things, too. All the books after Acts was a letter written either to a specific individual or to a church body. Would they have wasted their time writing letters if no one could read?

      September 4, 2012 at 1:04 am |
    • Topher

      mama kindless

      "A lot of people seem to think the Bible stories were just a single version right from the writer or what he was reading, but we know that is just not true."

      Those people would be wrong. The Bible is comprised of 66 books written by something like 30-40 different authors over about 1500 years or so. Which just makes the whole thing that much more amazing that in the end it all adds up to one story that nobody messed up.

      "He paid off his secretary to be a witness to this supposed vision of his – I don't buy it – not for an instant."

      Why do you think that?

      "Now I'll try not to judge Paul – maybe he ate some bad food or something and had a bad dream, but whatever it was, he had a political need to have that story in place – it might have even meant his survival."

      Actually, it caused his repeated beatings, stonings and eventually his death. That's right, if it was all a lie, he died for it. I don't know of any lie I'd be willing to die for.

      September 4, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • What IF

      "I'd say he was a false prophet,"

      But not your guys, eh? They were BOWNIFFIED inspired, eh? Because they said so themselves.

      September 4, 2012 at 1:11 am |
    • Topher

      Nah. There've been studies done where he's been given the prophet test talked about in the Bible. He fails. But I don't even need to go that far. Jesus said in the final chapter of the final book of the Bible that the canon is closed. So then how does new scripture get to come about a few hundred years later?

      September 4, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • Simran


      " Did you know that the Bible is a historically reliable collection of doc.uments written down by eyewitnesses during the lifetimes of other eyewitnesses? "

      Wow, that sure is a lot of eyewitnesses you got there!

      How do you know that other scriptures were not inspired by God?

      September 4, 2012 at 1:28 am |
    • Topher

      "How do you know that other scriptures were not inspired by God?"

      Which one?

      September 4, 2012 at 1:32 am |
    • Simran


      Which one?
      For starters, your neighbouring Abrahamic religion – Islam – Quran! And then Torah.

      Of course, you must have heard of the Vedas of Hindus – in fact, they are not even supposed to be inspired (not human composition) but directly revealed.

      I was amused to find that even the author of Conversations with God says his work was inspired by God.

      September 4, 2012 at 5:42 am |
    • Howie

      Topher – you are one funny guy. To believe any of that hogwash is silly enough, but to try and dress it up with supposed historic 'facts' along with names and dates. Really? Any historian can tell you that there were a great many quasi-religious tracts being circulated in the time frame starting roughly 100 years after the supposed death of jesus. As the nascent church was growing and trying to consolidate power, authorship was variously attributed to some the the 'apostles'. Not one word of what is now known as the bible was actually written during the lifetime of anyone who could possibly have know jesus, if such a person ever existed. Additionally, there are literally thousands of other tracts that were originally included in the 'bible' and later deemed not politically correct by the church leaders of the time and were suppressed. These turn up from time to time, and many more are alluded to but have never been found. The idea of attaching any historical significance or factual reality to anything in the bible is simple ignorance.

      September 4, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  16. 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

    It really is sad that political parties have to suck up to the delusional by starting and ending gatherings with voodoo-like chants.

    September 4, 2012 at 12:01 am |
  17. Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

    I bet Dolan gets booo'd. I heard the "nuns on the bus" are going to be there too. I bet they get more attention than the guy in the pointy helmet.

    September 3, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • d


      September 4, 2012 at 12:18 am |
  18. ScottCA

    Obama, how can a man of intellect such as yourself fall so far as to seek assistance from faith based religious con artists.
    Even the intelligent can be trapped within the clutches of faith based religious abuse.

    September 3, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Topher

      What abuse?

      September 3, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "What abuse?"

      Good grief, but you're thick.

      September 3, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • ScottCA

      to indoctrinate a child to believe out of fear of a fiery burning hell full of torture for any disbelief of what is being taught Is the most horrific type of mental and emotional child abuse.

      September 3, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • Topher

      Which religion teaches that?

      September 3, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yours, Gopher. Your pals here post so all the time. Why is it you don't contradict them? Why is it you remain mute, you wuss?

      September 3, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • ScottCA

      How about we ask this girl what abuse? Oh that's right we can't because she's dead due to faith, just like so many people before her.

      September 3, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • Topher

      I can't comment on what others SAY Christianity teaches, especially when I don't see/hear them. I can only comment on what the Bible says, and the Bible doesn't teach that at all.

      September 3, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • ScottCA

      All faith based religions teach that without belief you will suffer in one version of hell or another. Christianity especially, its right there in the bible for you to read.

      September 3, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Atheists are threatened with the additional punishment of a special type of hell or oblivion. Oblivion not being much of a threat since its the only thing we have evidence for existing after death for everyone.

      September 3, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Topher, you are a fvcking liar. You can see for yourself what your pals say. That you sit in silence when they post falsehoods speaks volumes about you and your morals.

      September 3, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • Topher

      Ah, well, I'm glad you know for a fact I've seen Christians on here teaching falsehoods. Whatever. I have better things to do with my life than be on this message board all day every day. They may have been, but not when I'm around.

      September 3, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then fvck off, Topher. Don't bother to come back. I can guarantee not a single person here will miss you or give a god-damn sh!t what happens to your or your wife.

      September 3, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • Topher

      What does my wife have to do with this? All you can do is swear like a naughty child and call names. Thusly, I will no longer respond to your comments as you are obviously a little kid.

      I'm happy to talk to anyone else who has a question about Christian theology.

      September 3, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Wow I just tried to post a quote from the bible about what happens to atheists after death and the quote was so filthy and foul in its threats that the CNN bot censored the post out.

      September 3, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Topher

      Scott, are you an atheist?

      September 3, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Why in the world would anyone want to hear about theology? it exists only in your head and makes no accurate predictions about the natural world. I might as well listen to someone explain the 6ft tall green monster in my closet that also has no evidence for existing.

      Theology is the act of reinforcing one delusion with additional delusions. It is not a field of study, but an act of self deception..

      September 4, 2012 at 12:01 am |
    • Coven

      Couldn't agree more. That goes double for the GOP: The Good Ol' Protestant party, where Jews and other religions are scrned, and women are considered insignificant. I wish I could vote for Hillary.

      September 4, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oww, oooh, owww, oww, ouch, oo, the Gopher won't EVER respond to me EVER again!!! However WILL I cope with such a terrible event as my ouster from the Gopher's good graces???

      Oh woe is me!!! Boo hoo, hoo, hoo! Wahhhahhhahha! Wailing and gnashing of teeth!

      Jesus Fvcking Christ, Gopher. Do you really think anyone would give a ripe fvck if you declined to respond to his or her posts?

      What a dweeb.

      September 4, 2012 at 12:18 am |
  19. ScottCA


    September 3, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      From the Egyptian Book of the Dead

      I have not reviled the God.
      I have not laid violent hands on an orphan.
      I have not done what the God abominates . . .
      I have not killed; I have not turned anyone over to a killer.
      I have not caused anyone's suffering . . . I have not copulated (illicitly); I have not been unchaste.
      I have not increased nor diminished the measure, I have not diminished the palm; I have not encroached upon the fields.
      I have not added to the balance weights; I have not tempered with the plumb bob of the balance.
      I have not taken milk from a child's mouth; I have not driven small cattle from their herbage . . .
      I have not stopped (the flow of) water in its seasons; I have not built a dam against flowing water.
      I have not quenched a fire in its time . . .
      I have not kept cattle away from the God's property. I have not blocked the God at his processions.

      September 3, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
  20. ScottCA


    September 3, 2012 at 11:15 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.