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Dolan, Colbert reflect on humor, joy and faith
Comedian Stephen Colbert and Cardinal Timothy Dolan matched wits on faith and humour on Friday at Fordham University.
September 17th, 2012
06:32 PM ET

Dolan, Colbert reflect on humor, joy and faith

By Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN)– What do you get when you mix the highest profile American Catholic bishop, an icon of American comedy, a priest who regularly writes about comedy and a media blackout?

The answer: a unique look at the cross-sections of faith, humor and joy.

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the highest ranking Catholic in the United States, and comedian Stephen Colbert, the host of the popular late night comedy show “The Colbert Report,” put their views of faith and humor on display for a private audience of 3,000 at Fordham University on Friday night.

The event was closed to the press, save a few invited journalists who came as guests. But despite the embargo, some attendees shared the play-by-play over social media, turning what was supposed to a private event into a free-for-all. A number of reporters in attendance also wrote about the conversation on faith, some suggesting that any embargo on the information had been shattered by social media.

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“My assignment was to share with you for a few moments what you might call the theological reasons for laughter,” Dolan said in his opening remarks he later posted on his blog. “Why would a person of faith be cheerful? Why is a crabby believer a contradiction?”

“Here’s my reason for joy: the cross,” Dolan said, who went on to argue that the reason for happiness is the fact that even after Jesus was crucified, he rose three days later.

“ ‘He who laughs last, laughs best…’ and we believers have never stopped smiling since that Resurrection of Jesus from the dead,” Dolan said. “So, Good Friday did not have the last word…Easter did! That’s why I can laugh.”

The event, moderated by the Rev. James Martin, took place in front of 3,000 cheering students in Fordham’s gymnasium.

Colbert is the youngest child in a family of 11 kids and was raised by Catholic parents. The comedian is also raising his child Catholic and he even teaches Sunday school in New Jersey. Dolan, while also being a cardinal in the Catholic church, is the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the church’s U.S. arm.

In an interview after the event, Martin said the response they received “exceeded anyone's wildest expectations.”

“Spiritual conversations like that are one important way to draw people to the faith,” Martin said. “And listening to people speak honestly and openly about not only the joys of their faith, but also the struggles they have with the church, is naturally attractive.”

In a side conversation with Dolan, Martin told CNN that the high-profile Catholic said that this sort of event is “the new evangelization.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Due to the desired media blackout, much of what is known about the event came from Twitter via Grant Gallicho – the associated editor of Commonweal, a lay Catholic journal, and others using the hashtag #Dolbert and #DolanColbert.

During the event, Martin took questions from the crowd and via Twitter. At times, the questions took a serious look at deeply-held issues of faith. According to Gallicho’s tweets, a question from the audience included, “How to maintain joy when religious leaders spread hate, esp. with respect to homosexuality?”

Gallicho later tweeted that Colbert said: “If someone spreads hate, he's not your religious leader. Keep your own joy.”

According to a New York Time story, Dolan gave a “meandering” answer to the question.

A Public Religion Research Institute poll earlier this year found that almost 60% of Catholics supported allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry, despite church teaching to the contrary.

One of the best received jokes of the night was in response to a question about joining the priesthood and it’s requirement of celibacy. Dolan encouraged men thinking about the priesthood to date. Colbert chimed in and quipped it would be a great chance to use the pick up line, "I'm considering the priesthood, but maybe you can change my mind,” Gallicho tweeted.

Another zinger came in exchange between the cardinal and the comedian. Dolan asked, "Do you feel pressure to be funny all the time?" Colbert fired back: "Do you feel pressure to be holy all the time?” according to a news release by Fordham.

The event was the idea of Michael Peppard and Charles Camosy, two Fordham professors who came to Martin with the idea. They wanted to tie it to his recent book, “Between Heaven and Mirth."

In Martin’s opening remarks, he touched upon the way that Dolan and Colbert use humor.

“They are my favorite humorist and Catholic leader, though, from time to time, I’m not sure who is who,” Martin said.

CNN had been in negotiations with event organizers, with the hopes of live streaming the event and broadcasting a taped special after the event. Negotiations broke off abruptly when the organizers decided to close the event to the media.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity

soundoff (236 Responses)
  1. Sivick

    Stewart/Colbert 2012!

    September 19, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Stephen C

      Colbert/Stewart 2012

      September 19, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  2. clubschadenfreude

    "Here’s my reason for joy: the cross,” Dolan said, who went on to argue that the reason for happiness is the fact that even after Jesus was crucified, he rose three days later."
    And can't do a damn thing about those priests raping chidlren. What a "great" God!

    September 19, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      What I don't get it is that if jesus really was an immortal god, then he couldn't have died. And if he is supposedly omnipotent, then he can't make a sacrifice, which renders the entire basis of xtianity moot. So, either xtianity is bogus, or god has only limited powers.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Zeke2112

      I've always asked what Jesus gave up as a part of his "sacrifice." He was leaving this craphole to go into heaven as the #2/#1 in charge, and that's a sacrifice?

      It's like me saying, "Honey, I'm going to sacrifice my job as an entry-level engineer and go run Apple as its CEO." Some sacrifice.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  3. emmertdusky

    Fred, Have I got something for you...

    September 19, 2012 at 10:13 am |
  4. Tim

    I found the described event very contradicting. “Why would a person of faith be cheerful? Why is a crabby believer a contradiction?” I found this to be the exact opposite. Most people of faith are crabby and believe experiencing pleasure and joy is a sin. Many religious establishments still ban dancing because they see it as a sin. Also, religious people tend to be very immoral as long as their faith justifies it. A study was done on whether it was morally wrong to blind a newborn baby. Pretty much everyone surveyed agreed that it was morally wrong to blind a newborn baby. Then the same question was asked if they believed it to be morally wrong if their religion required it. Over half surveyed didn't think it was morally wrong if it were a part of their religion. The act of blinding a newborn baby is clearly wrong and immoral. I believe non-religious people are more moral than religious people because we do not let religion dictate what we consider right and wrong. We trust our own judgement and what our conscience tells us is moral and immoral. Some of the most horrific acts in history, as well as today, are committed in the name of religion.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • Pat

      Tim, you obviously know nothing about the Catholic faith. All of the rituals and traditions are hundreds if not thousands of years old and rarely change (because they don't need to). The church requires everyone to think on their own and to question what is being taught and preached. While I am no longer a practicing Catholic (due to reasons I won't expond on here), I find that of all the Christian faiths, the Catholic faith is the most pure. (Leave out the unfathomable pedophilia a minority of the priests have been punished for, and rightly so.) Some day you will find that your hate and evil has left you and you are searching for answers. Start by reading a standard bible cover to cover, then do it again. Then go talk to a Catholic priest with some years under his belt. Good Luck.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • mama kindless

      Pat is deluded. Catholicism is one of the most twisted forms of Christianity. True that it is the first Xtian church and hasn't changed much. But, that is not to its credit. Rather, other forms of Xianity have at least somewhat evolved and done away with some of Catholicism's ridiculous tenets that are harmful to society. I don't buy into the gospels either, but what is clear is that as you move from those to the earliest Xtian churches via, well mostly Paul, you see all kinds of crazy tenets come into play that had little to do with Jesus' simple teachings.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Lewis Keseberg

      Catholics eat human flesh and drink human blood on a weekly basis. 'nuf said.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • AL

      MOST people of faith? Well, some. Obviously neither of us have any evidence in front of us. From what I've seen crabbiness or happiness isn't limited to believers or non-believers.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Miriam

      Lewis Keseberg is either grossly negligent or libelous in his post. Utterly untrue. And THINK – if it were true wouldn't there be a lot of missing persons reported? C'mon.

      Pat is accurate and I think Colbert is a wonderful example of the Catholic faith, which has it 's failings in living up to its ideals at times, but which also has a strong passion for life AND social justice, as well as a sense of humor! As for all the anti-science stuff, one of the great astronomical observatories is run by the Vatican.

      Going to buy Fr. Martin's book – the preview on my Kindle looked great! We all need a good laugh!

      September 19, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Lewis Keseberg

      @Miriam,

      Please tell me how you think my understanding of transubstantiation is incorrect.

      Perhaps you need to go back and read your catechism.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Lewis Keseberg

      Not that it's suprising, though, that Miriam doesn't understand what the RCC actually teaches about the Eucharist – nearly half of all Catholics don't comprehend his central part of their faith. Sad, really.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • MDAT

      What observatory?We disprove of your beliefs on creationism.

      September 19, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @MDAT,

      actually the Catholics are OK with evolution. The Catholic church does not endorse what the Protestant Evangelicals call "young earth creationism".

      September 19, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      ... and the big bang theory was first proposed by a Catholic priest.

      September 19, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Oldster

      I'm not a GOPer,

      Correct. I went to Catholic schools waaaaay back in the 1950s and 60s and they taught evolution even then - with a magical imparting of a "soul" to the special pet human species somewhere along the way.

      September 19, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • MDAT

      Oh.Did not know that.

      September 19, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      While most Catholic schools teach evolution (mine did), the actual catechism is inconsistent with the theory. The RCC teaches that we all descend from one man who was actually named Adam and one woman who was actually named Eve. But this is inconsistent with the ToE and represents only a limited and flawed understanding of how evolution works. So, while the RCC teaches that evolution is a valid theory, it apparently wants to make exceptions for humans – it wants to have its cake and eat it, too.

      September 20, 2012 at 1:14 am |
  5. Helpful Hints

    Brian:
    "How do I post something so it shows up on top?"

    As near as I know, putting a post in the "Post a comment" box at the bottom of the page makes it show up at the top - temporarily... it might drop down later. I have no idea how the page system works or how some things seem to stay at the top.
    (I don't work for CNN - I'm just a reader/occasional poster)

    September 19, 2012 at 4:24 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Unlike Brian, most people seem to have a problem finding the 'reply' button.

      September 19, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • HH

      I hear ya', @I'm not. I did that one on purpose... just to see how long it would remain on top - looks like a few hours in this case.

      September 19, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
  6. Phazon

    If God didnt exist you would never half to question it unless you think mankind is so smart and that over 55 people over a period of 1,500 years all had the same idea and they all agreed with each other to make something up to control mankind for all eternity like I said if he didnt exist you wouldnt have to question it.

    September 19, 2012 at 4:20 am |
    • Faith is blind

      I half to question everything. I just half to.

      September 19, 2012 at 5:20 am |
    • Sirhc

      Nice @FaithisBlind. Lol. More time on your grammar please, Phazon; less time with your nose in the bible. I 'half' to ask you to do that.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • One with Questions

      Simply becuase a group of poeple of many thousands of years invented slightly similar stories appealing to an authority does not mean anything.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:42 am |
  7. DiedrichKyrian

    "Nah

    aj: "You do not have to be religious to have morals."

    Nah, no one ever said you had to be religious to be moral or to have morals. The contention is that you have no reason to be moral.

    Why? Because if there are no consequences for acting wrongly or in your own self interest, why shouldn't you act as you please? The only thing holding you back is your weak conscience.

    It isn't enough to appeal to the "rightness" of doing good because no right or wrong can exist outside of your own mind or human society. After all, where else do moral laws come from?"

    Nah: This comment makes me severely question how good of a person you are.

    If you *NEED* someone else to tell you how to treat another human being, then you need to look at yourself.

    Seriously, it shouldnt be rocket science to know how to treat another human being without relying on religion.

    "Do what you please, for there are no consequences" really comes from a sociopathic mind.

    Food to think about.

    September 19, 2012 at 4:12 am |
    • Wrenn_NYC

      SO, it's your contention that the only reason to be moral is fear of punishment for not?

      That's what you mean when you state it as 'consequences for acting wrong'. You only see the cannot be proven punishment in an afterlife. What you are also saying is that if a religious person loses their faith, and then that fear is gone, there is no reason in your mind for not acting immorally. This scares me, you scare me, because you are in effect saying that if YOU lose your faith, you will turn bad.

      There are always negative consequences for acting immorally. A thinking person knows this. Socially, there are repercussions. Far ranging ones.

      If you need an invisible bogeyman on your shoulder to keep you on the straight and narrow, I am sorry for you. You cannot see that acting morally, acting in society's best interests, promoting and supporting it, taking care of others, not lying, not stealing... all have effects that improve others lives, improve society, and improve your own life. Replace 'I can't do that because God will punish me' with 'I WILL not do that because it harms others, which in turn harms society and harms me and my loved ones.'

      September 19, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • Wrenn_NYC

      What scares me the most is the fact that there are literal fundimentalist Christians out there that have internalized the concept that they cannot be moral without the bible, without their religion. What happens if they lose it? What happens if their church throws them out? Will they think about it? Or will they decide that if God doesn't exist, or if God turned his back on them (in the form of their church) then it did not matter what they did?

      I know that this is a hypothetical. I know of one situation where the above did happen to a calvinist fundamentalist elder in his church. He thought about it and decided he was still the same person, even though he no longer believed the hard line literal teachings of the church he left. And he continued to live a moral – do not harm others – life. But what of some one who is less introspective? or more angry at the situation?

      I think I have a right to be scared of such a teaching. of what kind of person it could make someone.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      I think what many people overlook who claim to have an innate sense of right and wrong is just how deeply steeped western civilization is in Biblical morals. You have a sense of right and wrong that has been given to you by 2000 years of Christian impact on every facet of your life to the degree you don't even recognize it PLUS century after century of Talmudic law which forms the foundation for Christianity. It's akin to people who don't know anything about the U.S. Constiitution but still have an idea when they law is being broken.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  8. demichae

    "....it’s requirement of celibacy....." "its" not "it's".

    September 19, 2012 at 1:28 am |
  9. Linda123

    Stephen Colbert is a national treasure.

    September 19, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • Zeke2112

      Colbert is a comedian, and a mediocre one at that. Maybe your admiration should be for the fleet of writers who make him seem funny.

      September 19, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  10. aj

    My wife wants our baby to be baptized a Catholic when he's born. I'm an atheist, so you can wonder how silly I think it all is, but she's my wife and I love her. So if she feels better about having an old man splashing water on the kids face then whatever. I know deep down religion is all about control, money, and power.

    You do not have to be religious to have morals.

    September 18, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • Nah

      aj: "You do not have to be religious to have morals."

      Nah, no one ever said you had to be religious to be moral or to have morals. The contention is that you have no reason to be moral.

      Why? Because if there are no consequences for acting wrongly or in your own self interest, why shouldn't you act as you please? The only thing holding you back is your weak conscience.

      It isn't enough to appeal to the "rightness" of doing good because no right or wrong can exist outside of your own mind or human society. After all, where else do moral laws come from?

      September 19, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • yossarian

      Nah - There are consequences to actions that keep me moral despite my lack of belief. If I steal from someone, they are hurt in a real way. Just because I don't believe in an afterlife doesn't mean I have no motivation to be moral.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • byst1nder

      But as they say, better safe than sorry.

      But seriously, its better to give the child a choice when he grows up – allow him first to grow up in a religious faith and then decide himself or herself...

      September 19, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • Michael John Anthony

      byst1nder, it's not really given a person a fair choice if, for the first 15 years of their life, they're taught that disregarding their religion leads to eternal damnation.

      September 19, 2012 at 1:53 am |
    • RC

      Nah stated, "It isn't enough to appeal to the 'rightness' of doing good because no right or wrong can exist outside of your own mind or human society."

      Actually, many sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists and various others would agree that an appeal to "rightness" is influenced, or even caused, by one's own mind or "human society," or as I believe, the symbolic interaction between the two. "Historicism" seems largely accepted to some degree by today's social theorists. Many thinkers as diverse as Derrida and Blumer, or even Foucault and Kitsuse, would question if "anything" could exist outside of one's mind or culture/social forces, and if so, how we could ever know. So, actually, it may be just enough to appeal to society's norms (as the Skeptics taught when all else failed epistemic certainty) or one's own mind (certainly as some solipsistic philosophies and certain psychologies would suggest). When we add the seemingly extraneous ideal of divine authority and its sanctioning of certain behaviors, beliefs, and even emotions, then what we get may simply be too much.

      September 19, 2012 at 4:08 am |
    • Jeffision

      Just don't let your wife send the kid to Catholic school. Just don't.

      September 19, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      aj, You are doing the right thing. So is your wife. I will pray for you and your family. God Bless.

      Personally I've come full circle from being a disinterested believer who wanted to keep my kids out of parochial school to a committed Catholic. I can tell you that a Catholic education is hard to beat in secular terms and the foundation of a faith community will give your child an immeasurably important sense of connection, well being and identiity.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  11. End Religion

    Does Conservatism Have to Be Synonymous With Ignorance?
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lawrence-m-krauss/santorum-science_b_1346111.html

    September 18, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • Brian

      HMM Helpful Hints, thanks for replying to my comment before! How do I post something so it shows up on top?

      September 18, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • Brian

      after I posted thatmessage asking how i can post on top, I got an error message that my comment was rejected because I already posted that before... umm no i didn't. But it posted anyway. 1st, fire that java developer, then tell me how. I didn't sign in or anything, i just saw that first comment and replied... 😎 I love CNN by the way. Sorry for these other folks who like to listen to things they dont like...

      September 18, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • magnum

      I know... since 5% of people are atheists, lets do that. We'll call the other 95% ignorant and pretend we know what we're talking about. We're so cool, we don't need ANYBODY! We'll never die and we'll be strong forever! Like sparkly vamipres!

      September 19, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  12. The Dude

    Colbert is proof that even an intelligent person can have their mind poisoned by religion.

    September 18, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • SoundFuture

      Religious poison happens all the time, but this isn't an example of it.

      September 18, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • merlinfire

      Ah yes, the ever-present militant atheist, trying to evangelize others. How religious of you. Almost thou persuadest me to be an atheist. Perhaps in a more convenient season I'll consider believing in Richard Dawkins

      September 18, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • Dan Halen

      Yes, that's why Colbert teaches Sunday School in the Catholic Church and is raising his child as an active Catholic.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:50 am |
  13. Religion is not healthy for children and ALL LIVING THINGS

    Proven.

    September 18, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
  14. Just call me Lucifer

    Love that Stephen Colbert. Whip smart he is... but unfortunately since he's not a muslim he must die. Go figure.

    September 18, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
  15. cnnsucks

    CNN lowest ratings in HISTORY!!! Keep up the liberal spin for your cesspool of an audience, it's WORKING AWESOME!!

    Obama is OUT in 2 months, so sick of garbage media like CNNBC. Keep up the Romney coverage tho, you dummies don't realize it as you moderate and skew your comments that the majority of Americans AGREE, even those who don't pay taxes. Only the denial libs don't. Ya, keep it up!

    CNN lowest ratings in HISTORY!!! Keep up the liberal spin for your cesspool of an audience, it's WORKING AWESOME!!

    Obama is OUT in 2 months, so sick of garbage media like CNNBC. Keep up the Romney coverage tho, you dummies don't realize it as you moderate and skew your comments that the majority of Americans AGREE, even those who don't pay taxes. Only the denial libs don't. Ya, keep it up!

    CNN lowest ratings in HISTORY!!! Keep up the liberal spin for your cesspool of an audience, it's WORKING AWESOME!!

    Obama is OUT in 2 months, so sick of garbage media like CNNBC. Keep up the Romney coverage tho, you dummies don't realize it as you moderate and skew your comments that the majority of Americans AGREE, even those who don't pay taxes. Only the denial libs don't. Ya, keep it up!

    CNN lowest ratings in HISTORY!!! Keep up the liberal spin for your cesspool of an audience, it's WORKING AWESOME!!

    Obama is OUT in 2 months, so sick of garbage media like CNNBC. Keep up the Romney coverage tho, you dummies don't realize it as you moderate and skew your comments that the majority of Americans AGREE, even those who don't pay taxes. Only the denial libs don't. Ya, keep it up!

    CNN lowest ratings in HISTORY!!! Keep up the liberal spin for your cesspool of an audience, it's WORKING AWESOME!!

    Obama is OUT in 2 months, so sick of garbage media like CNNBC. Keep up the Romney coverage tho, you dummies don't realize it as you moderate and skew your comments that the majority of Americans AGREE, even those who don't pay taxes. Only the denial libs don't. Ya, keep it up!

    CNN lowest ratings in HISTORY!!! Keep up the liberal spin for your cesspool of an audience, it's WORKING AWESOME!!

    Obama is OUT in 2 months, so sick of garbage media like CNNBC. Keep up the Romney coverage tho, you dummies don't realize it as you moderate and skew your comments that the majority of Americans AGREE, even those who don't pay taxes. Only the denial libs don't. Ya, keep it up!

    CNN lowest ratings in HISTORY!!! Keep up the liberal spin for your cesspool of an audience, it's WORKING AWESOME!!

    Obama is OUT in 2 months, so sick of garbage media like CNNBC. Keep up the Romney coverage tho, you dummies don't realize it as you moderate and skew your comments that the majority of Americans AGREE, even those who don't pay taxes. Only the denial libs don't. Ya, keep it up!

    CNN lowest ratings in HISTORY!!! Keep up the liberal spin for your cesspool of an audience, it's WORKING AWESOME!!

    Obama is OUT in 2 months, so sick of garbage media like CNNBC. Keep up the Romney coverage tho, you dummies don't realize it as you moderate and skew your comments that the majority of Americans AGREE, even those who don't pay taxes. Only the denial libs don't. Ya, keep it up!

    CNN lowest ratings in HISTORY!!! Keep up the liberal spin for your cesspool of an audience, it's WORKING AWESOME!!

    Obama is OUT in 2 months, so sick of garbage media like CNNBC. Keep up the Romney coverage tho, you dummies don't realize it as you moderate and skew your comments that the majority of Americans AGREE, even those who don't pay taxes. Only the denial libs don't. Ya, keep it up!

    CNN lowest ratings in HISTORY!!! Keep up the liberal spin for your cesspool of an audience, it's WORKING AWESOME!!

    Obama is OUT in 2 months, so sick of garbage media like CNNBC. Keep up the Romney coverage tho, you dummies don't realize it as you moderate and skew your comments that the majority of Americans AGREE, even those who don't pay taxes. Only the denial libs don't. Ya, keep it up!

    CNN lowest ratings in HISTORY!!! Keep up the liberal spin for your cesspool of an audience, it's WORKING AWESOME!!

    Obama is OUT in 2 months, so sick of garbage media like CNNBC. Keep up the Romney coverage tho, you dummies don't realize it as you moderate and skew your comments that the majority of Americans AGREE, even those who don't pay taxes. Only the denial libs don't. Ya, keep it up!

    CNN lowest ratings in HISTORY!!! Keep up the liberal spin for your cesspool of an audience, it's WORKING AWESOME!!

    Obama is OUT in 2 months, so sick of garbage media like CNNBC. Keep up the Romney coverage tho, you dummies don't realize it as you moderate and skew your comments that the majority of Americans AGREE, even those who don't pay taxes. Only the denial libs don't. Ya, keep it up!

    CNN lowest ratings in HISTORY!!! Keep up the liberal spin for your cesspool of an audience, it's WORKING AWESOME!!

    Obama is OUT in 2 months, so sick of garbage media like CNNBC. Keep up the Romney coverage tho, you dummies don't realize it as you moderate and skew your comments that the majority of Americans AGREE, even those who don't pay taxes. Only the denial libs don't. Ya, keep it up!

    CNN lowest ratings in HISTORY!!! Keep up the liberal spin for your cesspool of an audience, it's WORKING AWESOME!!

    Obama is OUT in 2 months, so sick of garbage media like CNNBC. Keep up the Romney coverage tho, you dummies don't realize it as you moderate and skew your comments that the majority of Americans AGREE, even those who don't pay taxes. Only the denial libs don't. Ya, keep it up!

    CNN lowest ratings in HISTORY!!! Keep up the liberal spin for your cesspool of an audience, it's WORKING AWESOME!!

    Obama is OUT in 2 months, so sick of garbage media like CNNBC. Keep up the Romney coverage tho, you dummies don't realize it as you moderate and skew your comments that the majority of Americans AGREE, even those who don't pay taxes. Only the denial libs don't. Ya, keep it up!

    CNN lowest ratings in HISTORY!!! Keep up the liberal spin for your cesspool of an audience, it's WORKING AWESOME!!

    Obama is OUT in 2 months, so sick of garbage media like CNNBC. Keep up the Romney coverage tho, you dummies don't realize it as you moderate and skew your comments that the majority of Americans AGREE, even those who don't pay taxes. Only the denial libs don't. Ya, keep it up!

    CNN lowest ratings in HISTORY!!! Keep up the liberal spin for your cesspool of an audience, it's WORKING AWESOME!!

    Obama is OUT in 2 months, so sick of garbage media like CNNBC. Keep up the Romney coverage tho, you dummies don't realize it as you moderate and skew your comments that the majority of Americans AGREE, even those who don't pay taxes. Only the denial libs don't. Ya, keep it up!

    CNN lowest ratings in HISTORY!!! Keep up the liberal spin for your cesspool of an audience, it's WORKING AWESOME!!

    Obama is OUT in 2 months, so sick of garbage media like CNNBC. Keep up the Romney coverage tho, you dummies don't realize it as you moderate and skew your comments that the majority of Americans AGREE, even those who don't pay taxes. Only the denial libs don't. Ya, keep it up!

    CNN lowest ratings in HISTORY!!! Keep up the liberal spin for your cesspool of an audience, it's WORKING AWESOME!!

    Obama is OUT in 2 months, so sick of garbage media like CNNBC. Keep up the Romney coverage tho, you dummies don't realize it as you moderate and skew your comments that the majority of Americans AGREE, even those who don't pay taxes. Only the denial libs don't. Ya, keep it up!

    CNN lowest ratings in HISTORY!!! Keep up the liberal spin for your cesspool of an audience, it's WORKING AWESOME!!

    Obama is OUT in 2 months, so sick of garbage media like CNNBC. Keep up the Romney coverage tho, you dummies don't realize it as you moderate and skew your comments that the majority of Americans AGREE, even those who don't pay taxes. Only the denial libs don't. Ya, keep it up!

    CNN lowest ratings in HISTORY!!! Keep up the liberal spin for your cesspool of an audience, it's WORKING AWESOME!!

    Obama is OUT in 2 months, so sick of garbage media like CNNBC. Keep up the Romney coverage tho, you dummies don't realize it as you moderate and skew your comments that the majority of Americans AGREE, even those who don't pay taxes. Only the denial libs don't. Ya, keep it up!

    CNN lowest ratings in HISTORY!!! Keep up the liberal spin for your cesspool of an audience, it's WORKING AWESOME!!

    Obama is OUT in 2 months, so sick of garbage media like CNNBC. Keep up the Romney coverage tho, you dummies don't realize it as you moderate and skew your comments that the majority of Americans AGREE, even those who don't pay taxes. Only the denial libs don't. Ya, keep it up!

    CNN lowest ratings in HISTORY!!! Keep up the liberal spin for your cesspool of an audience, it's WORKING AWESOME!!

    Obama is OUT in 2 months, so sick of garbage media like CNNBC. Keep up the Romney coverage tho, you dummies don't realize it as you moderate and skew your comments that the majority of Americans AGREE, even those who don't pay taxes. Only the denial libs don't. Ya, keep it up!

    CNN lowest ratings in HISTORY!!! Keep up the liberal spin for your cesspool of an audience, it's WORKING AWESOME!!

    Obama is OUT in 2 months, so sick of garbage media like CNNBC. Keep up the Romney coverage tho, you dummies don't realize it as you moderate and skew your comments that the majority of Americans AGREE, even those who don't pay taxes. Only the denial libs don't. Ya, keep it up!

    CNN lowest ratings in HISTORY!!! Keep up the liberal spin for your cesspool of an audience, it's WORKING AWESOME!!

    Obama is OUT in 2 months, so sick of garbage media like CNNBC. Keep up the Romney coverage tho, you dummies don't realize it as you moderate and skew your comments that the majority of Americans AGREE, even those who don't pay taxes. Only the denial libs don't. Ya, keep it up!

    CNN lowest ratings in HISTORY!!! Keep up the liberal spin for your cesspool of an audience, it's WORKING AWESOME!!

    Obama is OUT in 2 months, so sick of garbage media like CNNBC. Keep up the Romney coverage tho, you dummies don't realize it as you moderate and skew your comments that the majority of Americans AGREE, even those who don't pay taxes. Only the denial libs don't. Ya, keep it up!

    September 18, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Just call me Lucifer

      You must be heartbroken Fox News no longer has a blog. My guess is that your wife beats you and this is the place you've chosen to vent your frustration. Or you have a small dick. Both.

      September 18, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • D.Smithee

      If this comment isn't abuse to report, I don't know what is.

      September 18, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • bozobub

      So, CNN reporting on a 3 Catholics speaking about humor in CHristianity is "liberal spin"..?

      LOL

      I love the terrified antics of the Romnites.

      September 18, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • syllegrrl

      As a fox news cheerleader chant, it is a bit of a mouthful. Thought a fox officianando would have come up with something a bit more clever.

      September 18, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • Brian

      hmm, I'm looking for my simple comment to show up, and you get away with this... I heard you the first time. Why worry, things will be the same now, as when you were born, and after you die. I'm voting for BO (not the smell) because I work in govy healthcare biatch... I have a job because of that, and i spend money because of that. I hate taxes, so I guess I love Romney a little bit too. I suppose I'm not even going to vote. There is no good answer. We, the people are Fk'd any way we go bro... So why worry...

      September 18, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      Brian,

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters or some html tricks to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ---
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
      co-on.....as in racc-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, sopho-more, etc.
      ho-oters…as in sho-oters
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      hu-mp… as in th-ump, th-umper, th-umping
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      nip-ple
      o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-oon… as in sp-oon, lamp-oon, harp-oon
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      que-er
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sl-ut
      sm-ut…..as in transm-utation
      sn-atch
      sp-ank
      sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
      strip-per
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, t-itle, ent-ity, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, salt-water, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      wt-f....also!!!!!!!
      There's another phrase that someone found, "wo-nderful us" (have no idea what sets that one off).

      September 18, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • connieb

      what a rediculous post. What was the point in all that work? As soon as I noticed it was that long I just skipped it. Jeez, get a life.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • connieb

      why did my reply to cnnsucks go under helpful hints? I don't get it.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • Dan Halen

      I think his wife does more than just beat him. She probably wears the strap-on.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • bxgrrl

      Are there any moderators for this blog? cnnsucks at 10:38 and HelpfulHints could use some reviewing and blocking.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Helpful Hints

      bxgrrl,

      Excuse me. What do you mean - reviewed and blocked? I, in fact, do not include on my list the no-brainer nasty words that everyone should know about already. These are flat-out hidden word fragments within words which set off the automatic filter.

      September 19, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • magnum

      What you guys dont know is that he typed that all in manually because he has no control.

      September 19, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  16. DontBeAfraid

    funny how no mention of Obama's "redistribution" comment made it to CNN.
    wha ta bunch of crap that this news outlet is so afraid....america is dead in part because of cnn.

    September 18, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • cnnsucks

      Yes CNN is garbage and loves to blow their liberal audience as good as they can.

      But people are wising up, and that's why CNN has the worst ratings in history. Only the true denial idiots watch CNNBC.

      September 18, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Just call me Lucifer

      ... and now you're talking to yourself. I guess the thorazine hasn't kicked in yet.

      September 18, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • Brian

      Then tell people not to watch CNN. We all have a brain of our own.

      September 18, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • tnfreethinker

      You mean the redistribution of the working class wages to the top that's been going on since the late 70's? That redistribution?

      September 19, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • LastDinosaur

      This comment should not be controversial to anyone who understands that taxation is redistribution. It's another example of the Romney campaign trying to save face by taking advantage of right-wing ignorance and invoking the image of the Kenyan, anti-Christmas communist.

      September 19, 2012 at 1:49 am |
  17. Justin

    I love the fact that an article about joy and humor devolves into a bloodbath of bile and hate in the comment sections. Oh internet, you never change.

    September 18, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • cnnsucks

      because CNN is moderating and skewing their "happy joyjoy" Romney blasting as they see it.

      F CNN, they stopped being worthy of serious news years ago, hence their worst ratings in history.

      September 18, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • D.Smithee

      People will write amazingly vile things behind the cloak of anonymity.

      September 18, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • peridot2

      Fox News closed down their comments sections. All their twisted trolls have moved elsewhere. Look how pathetic they are. One must almost feel sorry for them. Almost.

      September 18, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • Sissy

      Exactly, Justin. This is what's wrong with our country. How did Obama or Romney even get brought into this? Why do we have to be so hateful?

      September 19, 2012 at 2:17 am |
  18. tong

    "One of the best received jokes of the night was in response to a question about joining the priesthood and it’s requirement ... "

    I don't come to a site like CNN and expect basic grammar fails...

    September 18, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Evidently you don't come here often.

      September 18, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • Brian

      Umm, It's 11:30PM sorry if you're in Australia Expect grammar fails at this time of night. All the people posting here are insane to start with. Being high or drunk would be a welcome excuse for the stuff that comes out of their mouths... A bunch of hate is what I see... Try making things better, in your own life... An election, or who wins will change nothing. If you were smart enough, you would see that..

      September 18, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
  19. truth be told

    I prefer the sticky sauce on my butthole.

    September 18, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • truth be told

      You can always tell when Tom the atheist comes around names are stolen and conversation turns to filth.

      September 18, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Not me, darling. Guess more than one person can't stand you and your lies.

      September 18, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • truth be told

      Me thinks thou dost protest too much. Truth be told I do not care what stupid games you play.

      September 18, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hey, I don't care if you believe me or not. I don't believe anything you post, so we're even.

      September 18, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Proven

    September 18, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • ytman

      So does the scientific method. Yay science and observation.

      To claim that any belief is not healthy is a bit narrow minded. As an agnostic I think people of faith are good people I also think people who have no belief in something more are also good people. To judge others by their beliefs is a bit unchristian.

      September 18, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Jesus

      You're a proven liar. 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!

      September 18, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • truth be told

      Science and observation are just two of the many gifts God has given mankind

      September 18, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • truth be told

      Atheists have tortured more people in the last 100 years than were killed in all previous centuries. I don't know about agnostics but real people think torture and murder is unhealthy.

      September 18, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      TuBeTop, you've been proven wrong every time you've posted this tripe.

      Nobody here believes your crap.

      September 18, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • MDAT

      Then why does the church oppose science.If you think we toture and kill people then you are wrong.

      September 18, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      MDAT, ignore the moron. It lies like a rug.

      September 18, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • truth be told

      Describing yourself as nobody is the most accurate thing you have ever posted Tom, now be a nasty little troll and crawl back under your bridge.

      September 18, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why, TuBeTop? If you're bothered, then YOU leave. You're the lying azzhole. Beat it.

      September 18, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • truth be told

      Joseph Stalin atheist, Chairman Mao atheist, tortured and murder total estimates as high as 800 million tortured and killed and that only accounts for two atheists. Science is under Gods Lordship, the true church compliments science and always has. The amazing scientific discoveries that has brought mankind to today are there because someone asked God for them.

      September 18, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      TuBeTop, you can blather all the statistics you want. The fact is that atheists are no less moral than those who believe. You can attempt to pretend that Mao and Stalin killed because they were atheists or that because they murdered and were atheists that you have some sort of point, but it won't impress anyone. I doubt that anyone reading here hasn't seen your spew before, ad nauseam, and it's already been discounted as irrelevant. Just like you.

      September 18, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How does the true church "compliment science"? Does it say "My goodness, Science, you look swell today"?

      TuBeTop, dumb as ever.

      September 18, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Like a broken record @tbt, yet again trots out nonsense "factoids" that are grossly exaggerated.

      800 million people represents almost one in three of the 2.55 billion people alive in 1950.

      While Stalin and Mao did cause the deaths of millions of people (mostly through famine) in the 20th century, the preposterous number of 800 million is WRONG by about factor of 10.

      September 18, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So the dolt is incompetent at math AND English. I'm shocked! Shocked, I tell you!

      September 18, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      What amazes me is just how obviously and unsupportably wrong his assertions are.

      At one point some months ago he claimed something almost plausible, that the communists and fascists combined to cause 100 million non-war, excess deaths in the 20th century. Sadly this estimate is not too far off. I've seen a reasoned estimate for non-war, excess 'deaths by Communism' of 87 million* in the 20th century.

      800 million is so laughably wrong, yet he persists. I'm sure his pastor told him and he believes everything his pastor tells him.

      * mostly famine.

      September 18, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      He makes a good piñata, though.

      It's interesting that famine was the primary cause of death in Communist nations. I doubt very much that's what TuBeTop was thinking about when he mentioned "torture."

      Oh, wait. That would imply he was thinking at all. My bad.

      September 18, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • NoLongerCrazy

      Yup! It makes you delusional!!

      September 18, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • fred

      Then are always babies that a killed by abortionists to the tune of 1.2 million per year. Given that the vast majority of abortionists are non-Christian I would say this speaks volumes.
      Oh, I know someone will ask for proff:
      Thoughts from an abortion doctor: “Most of us are Jews, atheists, and other non-Christians.”
      -Morgan Matthew on August 6, 2009 at 3:47pm in Ethics & Morals

      September 18, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • Bruce

      Placebos change things. Proven.

      September 18, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Religion is not healthy for children and ALL LIVING THINGS

      @ Fred

      Babies breathe air. A fetus is not a baby. Don't worry... no one is going to ask you for proff.

      September 18, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • fred

      Religion is not
      So, life does not begin until the first breath is drawn? Thanks, that helps me understand why only non christians perform abortions.

      September 18, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • End Religion

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUspLVStPbk&w=640&h=360]

      September 18, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • truth be told

      Amazing some atheist accepts a number of murdered by Stalin and Mao at under a hundred million so it is ok.There's rational thought in action, its not 800 tortured and murdered its only 80 million so no big deal any atheist can kill that many and not even be worth a misdemeanor charge. Note the phrase estimates range as high as...

      September 19, 2012 at 5:31 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @tbt

      by your logic then its OK to say "estimates for global population range as high as 70 billion" when your agenda is overpopulation, when we know all the reasoned estimates are 7 billion?

      Absurd!

      September 19, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @tbt,

      Oh and by the way, this little trollism:
      "Amazing some atheist accepts a number of murdered by Stalin and Mao at under a hundred million so it is ok"
      is utter nonsense.

      Atrocities committed in the name of Communism are so bad that they don't need to be blown out of all proportion by such exaggerated (and factually WRONG) claims as "800 million" or "more people than were killed in all previous centuries".

      Mostly the communists were grossly incompetent, but they were certainly immoral as well. Nobody condones this.

      September 19, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      fred, you're an idiot. Do you really think that the majority of abortions are had by atheists? Look at the stats, moron.

      Nobody said that life doesn't begin until the first breath. Can't you read? A fetus is not born. An infant is. A fetus is not an infant. A fetus does not have rights equal to those of a baby OR the woman carrying said fetus.

      Let me know when you get pregnant. Then I might give a crap about your opinion on the matter.

      September 19, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • Dick46

      Show me in a controlled experiment.

      September 23, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
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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.