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Internet intensifies Jewish squabbles over Israel, identity
Religious Jews at Jerusalem’s Western Wall earlier this month.
September 25th, 2012
02:30 PM ET

Internet intensifies Jewish squabbles over Israel, identity

By Dave Schechter, CNN

(CNN) - Forgive those who have sinned against you. Seek forgiveness for your sins against others. Forgive yourself.

In a nutshell, that is Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, which begins at sunset Tuesday.

There are many forms of sin, to be sure.

In their sermons some rabbis will no doubt voice concern about the way American Jews talk to each other about Israel, about politics and even what it means to be Jewish, lamenting an often divisive and sometimes caustic tone.

These rabbis may suggest that on Yom Kippur some among their congregants may wish to atone, at least symbolically, for the nasty language and name calling too frequently employed in discussions that turn to argument, whether in-person or online - notably in the comments sections after articles at Israel and on social media platforms such as Twitter.

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

Twitter provides abundant examples of caustic exchanges. Without naming the offenders and focusing instead on the type of language used, there was the Jewish organizational leader who suggested that a politically liberal Jewish commentator might be a registered lobbyist on behalf of Nazis, while that same liberal Jewish commentator referred to an organization well-known for its attention to hate crimes and anti-Semitism as “flatulent frauds” and to a well-known Jewish academic as “dementia-struck.”

Old-fashioned, face-to-face discussion also has become problematic. “When it comes to talking about Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian situation, that heat can burn up even the most well meaning friendships, community relationships, family connections,” observed Rachel Eryn Kalish, an organizer of the San Francisco-area Year of Civil Discourse Initiative that was “designed to elevate the level of discourse in the Jewish community when discussing Israel.”

Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles was asked by Rob Eshman, publisher and editor-in-chief of the Jewish Journal, why he would deliver a benediction at the Democratic National Convention earlier this month, given the polarized political climate. “I see this not as politics but as prayer,” Wolpe said. “It’s a chance to present Judaism on a national, if not international, stage. It’s a shame some see it otherwise.”

Eshman followed with a comment of his own: “Yes, a shame — but a predictable one. Hyper-partisanship has infected the Jewish community, as it has America. Too many of us have bought into the idea that our side has all the answers. But no party, like no person, is invested with perfect insight and far-seeing wisdom. Fixing Medicare? Boosting unemployment? Defanging Iran?

To quote Woody Allen, most of us don’t even know how a can opener works.”

The idea that argument is central to the Jewish experience is not new. Serious debate over the meaning of phrases within the holy books has existed almost since the beginning – and this is the year 5773 on the Jewish calendar. The old joke about “two Jews, three opinions” did not originate without some measure of truth behind it. But the most modern communications technology has brought a new intensity to disagreements.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

Ron Kampeas, the Washington bureau chief for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, a news service utilized by Jewish newspapers, online services and other media, offered CNN this perspective: “American Jews are eager to attach their Judaism to their broader ways of thinking - political, social mores, even what and how they eat. America's is the first society in which Jews, like other minorities, were encouraged to take pride in their difference from others.”

“It took decades for American Jews to figure it out,” he said. “But when they saw what ethnic pride did for the American Irish, the American German, the American Italian, they embraced it with a vengeance. By the 1960s, cultural refractions of Judaism through literature, movie, pop culture, song became de rigeur. And then, with the ascension of political figures like Bella Abzug, Ed Koch and Jacob Javits this was true of politics. So real differences in outlooks - from what's funny to what role government should play in out life - become enshrouded in Jewish rationales.”

And as these differences in outlook extend into discussions of politics or Israel, there is strain. “Because Jewish identity is so fraught - even as it has evolved into an outright pride, Jews are still acutely aware of the humiliations that once attached to being Jewish - these arguments are more prone to become bitter exchanges over self-definition,” Kampeas said.

That theme of a community tearing itself apart also was evident in a piece written last year in The Jewish Daily Forward by David Hazony, author of “The Ten Commandments: How Our Most Ancient Moral Text Can Renew Modern Life.”

“With so many Jewish ‘umbrella’ groups, Jewish community centers, federations and so on, it’s easy to believe that, at least on the face of things, Jewish peoplehood in America is thriving,” Hazony wrote. “Yet, something does seem to be dying in the American Jewish fire. The infighting among Jewish groups, the polarization on Israel and the willingness to demonize whole communities of fellow Jews have become so extreme that one begins to wonder what, exactly, is left of the Jewish family.”

Hazony went on to say that “the problem may be at its worst when it comes to politics. Here, American Jews are ferociously divided, with each side accusing the other of fraternizing with a perceived enemy. For Jews on the left, conservatives have joined forces with that most fearsome part of America, conservative Christians, to undermine the liberal, secular space that Jews have worked so hard to carve out for themselves as the real solution to the Jewish problem. For Jews on the right, liberals have joined forces with pro-Palestinian activists, universalists and others who threaten the Jewish state that we worked so hard to create and protect as the real solution to the Jewish problem.”

By most estimates, only 20-35% of American Jews have visited Israel, although a survey of more than 1,000 American Jews by the American Jewish Committee found that 41% said they had visited Israel. “That a majority of American Jews have never been to Israel, and that those who have are, for the most part, infrequent visitors, is an old and sad story,” the American Jewish Committee’s media director, Kenneth Bandler, wrote in The Jerusalem Post.

This could be interpreted as meaning that a significant percentage of the American Jewish community is getting hot under the collar and on their keyboards about a place that exists firmly in their hearts, without ever having been there.

Last month, author Daniel Gordis referenced the response he received to adding his name to a petition on an issue related to Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Gordis, who has written that “Fairly or not, I’m seen as slightly right of center on Israel,” did not foresee the response to his signature. What “genuinely shocked me has been the level of vitriol, blatant intellectual dishonesty, and expectations of conformity,” he wrote.

“As the Jewish world prepares to commemorate Tisha B’Av, the date of the destruction of both Temples, the second of which the Talmud claims was destroyed because of baseless hatred among Jews, I find myself despondent about the way we Jews talk to one another and what it means for our future. If the ugliness that the rabbis said led to the destruction of the Temple is now the tone we take for granted, why shouldn’t young Jews just walk away?” Gordis said.

Ambassador's killing shines light on Muslim sensitivities around Prophet Mohammed

“Comments sections are, of course, the province of those with too much time on their hands, and our culture of Web anonymity invites terrible excesses,” Gordis wrote, adding “Have we learned nothing at all about the dangers of language run amok from the horrors of Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination? Are we wholly unchastened by where we’ve been in the past as a people? Do we not believe that there should be limits on what we can and cannot say to one another?”

Scientific American recently published an article titled “Why Is Everyone on the Internet So Angry?”  in which Art Markman, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas characterized online comments as "extraordinarily aggressive, without resolving anything.”

"At the end of it you can't possibly feel like anybody heard you. Having a strong emotional experience that doesn't resolve itself in any healthy way can't be a good thing,” Markman wrote.

Among those who, depending on your viewpoint, inspire or provoke online is M.J. Rosenberg, who is active on Twitter, where, as in the writings on his website, he pulls no punches. Rosenberg’s resume ranges from working for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, widely regarded as among the most powerful advocacy organizations in Washington, to a stint as a foreign policy fellow at the Media Matters Action Network, a politically liberal organization.

Asked why American Jews have such difficulties with civil discourse over matters related to Israel, Rosenberg told CNN: “The answer is that both sides take this issue very seriously and, frankly, believe that the other is risking the survival and security of Israel and the Jewish people. I know I feel that way about the right and I know that people on the right feel that way about my side - the left. I think both sides feel that the other is jeopardizing a basic part of our selves, our Judaism and the Jewish state.

“And that produces anger and even fury,” he said. “Those on my side are particularly angry because the right tends to act as if it is speaking for all Jews. It isn't. We need to speak all the more forcefully to be heard. Additionally, they have resources we don’t have. We only have our voices.”

From what might be termed the other side of the political spectrum is this perspective from Noah Pollak, executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel, who told CNN: “There's a reason for the old adage that one should never discuss politics or religion in polite company. These topics often lead to impoliteness, and it's no less true of Jews discussing Israel and religion as anyone else.

“I spend a lot of time in my job arguing about Israel, and the fact is (as verified by polling) that American Jews are pretty unified on a range of Israel questions – they are firmly on Israel's side in matters of war and diplomacy,” Pollak said. “However, there is a small minority of left-wing American Jews who dissent from this consensus, and they have an unfortunate tendency to invoke their Jewishness in the course of denouncing Israel, as if their religious affiliation lends some higher credibility or insight on the question of what to do about Hamas or Iran or the peace process.”

“Me, I'm fine with heated arguments,” he continued. “Jews have been arguing for thousands of years - we privilege and enjoy debate, and as far as my side is concerned, I'm pretty sure we have the winning case.”

But if everyone believes they have the winning case  ...

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Holidays • Internet • Judaism

soundoff (495 Responses)
  1. Good News

    The Stone despised by the builders has become the CORNERSTONE!

    By the LORD has this been done, and it is Wonderful in our eyes!

    This is the Day the LORD has made, let us rejoice in it and be glad!

    O LORD, grant Salvation, O LORD, grant Good Fortune!

    Blessed is he (=the long awaited and anticipated Descendant of David) who comes in the Name of the LORD;
    we bless you from the House of the LORD!

    (Prophet David, Psalms 118/22-26)

    Here is that "CORNERSTONE" now here
    for the Atonement of all past Sins on this most critical and important Yom Kippur (=Day of Atonement)!

    http://www.holy-19-harvest.com
    UNIVERSAL MAGNIFICENT MIRACLES

    September 26, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Dump your load on a spammer today

      Do it! Do it! The stinkier, the better.

      Spam spam spam spam spam spam spam. You suck.

      September 26, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  2. AvdBerg

    Now make sure you check out the correct site http://www.gaychristian101.com/index.html ~ Thank you Jesus!!!

    September 26, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Dump your load on a spammer today

      Ha Lewd Lay Ya! You are saved!

      September 26, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  3. AvdBerg

    For a better understanding of the hatred and division that exists amongst the religions of this world and the history of Judaism, Islam and the Middle East we invite you to read the articles ‘World History and Developments in the Middle East’, ‘Clash of Civilizations’ and ‘CNN Belief Blog – Sign of the Times’, listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    All of the other pages and articles listed on our website explain how and by whom this whole world has been deceived as confirmed in Revelation 12:9.

    September 26, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • TROLL ALERT

      This poster is a troll on this site and a proven liar. Don't bother viewing their website it is full of lies to support their cult. Click the report abuse link instead.

      September 26, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  4. beall

    I think it is very narrow to think that "Why are those online so angry"Donot forget that those online are riding in the next lane-are ahead or behind you in the supermarket and standing alonside you at work.There is much to be angry about-Anger is the result of frustration-frustration the result of -of what ?Being told by Congress that money is legally a voice? So those of us(majority) without money-and I'm not just talking about groceries-we're talking serious money here-have little to no audible voice?I find like thinking on the internet-so I know I'm not going crazy-I hear other opinions and viewpoints that make me think and drive me to learn more-Anger is not an undesirable emotion at this point.What concerns me more is the empty heads and ignorance of history and world affairs that I am exposed to daily offline.

    September 26, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
  5. AvdBerg

    Now make sure you check out the correct site http://www.gaychristian101.com/index.html ~ Thank you Jesus!!

    September 26, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  6. AvdBerg

    For a better understanding of the division that exists amongst the religions of this world and the history of Judaism,Islam and the Middle East we invite you to read the articles ‘World History and Developments in the Middle East’, ‘Clash of Civilizations’ and ‘CNN Belief Blog – Sign of the Times’, listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    All of the other pages and articles listed on our website explain how and by whom this whole world has been deceived as confirmed in Revelation 12:9.

    September 26, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • TROLL ALERT

      This poster is a troll on this site. They are proven liars and are only trying to sell their cult. Don't bother viewing their lying website, click the report abuse link instead!

      September 26, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  7. Atheism is Great for Kids and Grown-Ups Too!

    It's really best for all people including children to have an agnostic approach to god, and an atheistic approach to all religion. It keeps things simple for kids, and lets them be all that they can be. They just need to be taught that some things, like all religion, were just made up by salesmen and politicians from long ago. (Yes, charlatan folklore and spam started long before the Bible; what would make you think they hadn't?) And they need to be taught that other things, like God, we really don't know a damn thing about.

    Atheists have strong minds and don't need a religion. Many religious folk have the best intentions. But too often, religious folk run and hide their misdeeds within their religion (and by doing so, they disserve society). And too often, religious folk are easily offended when someone mocks their make-believe characters – and, as we can see they can get really CRAZY!

    Although there are many religious folk with good intentions – some selflessly helping others, religions and religious organizations are, as a whole, just big old clubs – each trying to out do each other and inspiring hate and division (often disguised as love) along the way. The problem is that people too easily buy into religion and don't realize how unfounded it all is. And when they buy into it, they buy into a lot of really old, really weird tenets that are nothing but harmful for the human species.

    Take Christianity, for instance. Just look at all the things that Christians argue about amongst themselves today – abortion, men's and women's roles in the church, celibacy, contraception, acceptance of gays, etc. Most of these issues have their roots in the conflicted, unfounded tenets of early Christianity. Non-Mormons harp on Joseph Smith these days. But we really don't have any more proof at all to believe that Paul, the self-proclaimed "apostle" was anything more than an ordinary man who needed to make up religious "sales literature" to survive and spread his own personal beliefs. And yet a good chunk of the NT is attributed to Paul and accepted by many Christians. And a lot of what he wrote about has to do with many of the issues I mentioned above that have Christians fighting amongst themselves hundreds of years later. It's way too unfounded to argue over.

    Get a good cup of tea, and sit down and collect your thoughts. If you find it helpful to pray to a god, fine. But it is really healthier for the mind to leave behind all the characters that people over the centuries have invented or given powers to, for which there is little or no foundation. Because with those invented characters and powers – that's where division and hate join the little party in your mind. That's where, in your mind, you are inheriting the division and hate from ordinary politicians, lobbyists and salesmen from long ago. My goodness.

    mama kindless.

    September 26, 2012 at 8:37 am |
  8. Good News

    Sons and Daughters of Israel,
    the long awaited and anticipated Descendant of David has already come,
    so listen to his voice for your own eternal Salvation and Peace and Prosperity now and forever!
    Before it may be too late then. (Psalms 118/19-26)

    http://www.holy-19-harvest.com
    UNIVERSAL MAGNIFICENT MIRACLES

    September 26, 2012 at 7:13 am |
  9. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Proven
    Powerful

    September 26, 2012 at 5:35 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. The degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 26, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • 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 26, 2012 at 10:38 am |
  10. Leah

    Wishing you a peaceful Yom Kippur!

    September 25, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • End Religion

      Thank you. I hope you have a nice day as well.

      September 25, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • macsuirtain

      Man you get a load of these guys . I try and use the ' J ' word and it goes straight to the monitor. Sheeesh.
      I get it. Its me Irish blood. bigots. HAHAHA.

      September 26, 2012 at 1:30 am |
  11. 200 TON HAMMER

    What would king David do??????

    September 25, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • End Religion

      He would do whatever his authors wrote that he did. He's fictional.

      September 25, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • @EarlHigh

      he'd probably slaughter all non-Jews as the myths of him have him doing to all non-jews

      (before you call me names, simply google king david and youll get stories more merciless than the terrible and equally non-existent muhammid)

      September 26, 2012 at 4:29 am |
    • 200 TON HAMMER

      why did king david over 3000 years ago never talks about muslim man made religion????? He said pray for the peace of jerusalem he said it in psalms 122:6

      September 26, 2012 at 5:47 am |
  12. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Proven

    September 25, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. The degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 25, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs! *..

      September 26, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  13. sally

    I played squabbles with someone on my iphone. I didn't know it was a jewish game. what's up with that?

    September 25, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  14. hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

    Word Jew is based on Hebrew word Yehood, meaning self centered, a secular, criminal or word pig based on old Persia, language, meaning the same, self centered or secular, denier of truth absolute, Think twice before calling your self to be a Jew, secular or believing in hinduism, illegality of Judaism, self center ism, or pig ism.

    September 25, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Theen Allah Fat Mullah (the original hinduism source.....)

      the word "Yehudi" or Yehoodi means "Jew" in the Hebrew language, a West Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family truth absolute. Yehoodi, originated when violinist Yehudi Menuhin was a guest on the popular radio program of Bob Hope (PBUH), where sidekick Jerry Colonna, apparently finding the name itself humorous, repeatedly asked "Who's Yehudi?" Colonna continued the gag on later shows even though Menuhin himself was not a guest, turning "Yehudi" into a widely understood late 1930s slang reference for a mysteriously absent person. Think twice Paki turd before calling your self to be a Yahoodi hater, illegality of Islam ism, self center ism, corruption of Theen Allah or Fat Mullah, from gutter land called Paki pig ism. for more visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who's_Yehoodi%3F.

      September 25, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      hinduism, baurdity of a hindu, ID thief.

      September 25, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Theen Allah Fat Mullah (the original hinduism source.....)

      science be upon you Paki turd, corruption of Theen Allah, ID thief, crook.

      September 25, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Theen Allah Fat Mullah (the original hinduism source.....)

      science be upon you Paki turd, corruption of Theen Allah.

      September 25, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • I AM ALLAH THE RAPIST OF YOUNG GIRLS

      Why you muslims just once sit down and think and agree that you are filthy, your religion is filthy and because you are filthy your thoughts can never be pure and that your allah is a myth who was forced upon innocent to make them criminals and murders. Dont just criticise Hinduism, because you are a direct descendant of that. Only problem is that you have become a criminal but the Hindus live like normal civilized persons.

      September 26, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  15. Reality

    And now moving to the 21st century: (only for the new members of this blog)

    origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

    New Torah For Modern Minds

    “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob•a•bly
    Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

    The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

    The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

    September 25, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      hindusim, absurdity of a hindu, ignorant from hindered gutter of hinduism, illegality called india.

      September 25, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Cindy

      Reality, what type of Jew are you?

      September 25, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Reality

      Actually, I am a former Catholic, now an agnostic as per the following:

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Amen
      (References used are available upon request.)

      September 25, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • Jane

      Reality, being taught Catholicism by the Jewish popes? No wonder they're in trouble.

      September 25, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Theen Allah Fat Mullah (the original hinduism source.....)

      ism, absolute truth of a hindus, jews, christians, ignorant Theen Allah, Al, the, la, limit, h, height of corruption from paki turd ism gutter of Theen ism, illegality called M.A.D.E.I.N.M.E.C.C.A. visit theenallahintrouble.com/blog.html and click on FatMullah to open file.

      September 25, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
  16. Anwar uz Zaman

    Some how the Zionist agenda is missing in this article.

    September 24, 2012 at 2:06 am |
    • QuestionMark

      Why, it's loud and clear on this blog.

      September 25, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  17. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    September 23, 2012 at 6:28 am |
    • TROLL ALERT

      Please don't feed the prayer troll.

      September 25, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • HeavenSense

      Hi Prayerbot.

      September 25, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs! ,.

      September 25, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. The degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 25, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  18. Good News

    Sons and Daughters of Israel,
    the long awaited and anticipated Descendant of David,
    the Lion (because it has exactly "19" pairs of chromosomes) of Judah, (Genesis 49/9)
    has already come specifically with this number "19" now,
    with which the LORD has created all universe thus in a most superb "19" coded Mathematical Language;
    thus with real GOOD NEWS for all Sons and Daughters of Israel and to all Humanity who will hearken to his voice now! (Psalms 118/19-26)

    http://www.holy-19-harvest.com
    UNIVERSAL MAGNIFICENT MIRACLES

    September 23, 2012 at 6:26 am |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      hinduism, absurdity of a hindu, lair, Jew's, self centered, secular's, deniers of truth absolute are not Israelite but hindu's pagans of hindu, pagan Egypt and Persia pretending to be Israelite to hind, fool humanity. Israelite were follower's of truth absolute not hindu Judaism, filthy self center ism, pig ism. DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE BY FAITH. Visit limitisthetruth. com to learn more.

      September 25, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Theen Allah Fat Mullah (the original hinduism source.....)

      hinduism, absolute truth of a hindu, Theen Allah, lair, self centered, secular's, deniers of truth absolute are not Paki turds but Wahhabi's pigeons of Egypt and Persia pretending to be Islamee to hide, fool humanity. Israelite were follower's of truth absolute Judaism, Fat Mullah, filthy self center ism, pig ism. DENIAL OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE BY ALL FAITH. Visit TheenAllahFatMullah.com to learn more.

      September 25, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
  19. carolyn rose

    I can't believe my eyes at this writing calling christians Islamaphobes. Is this man living in an alternate reality? Islamist
    will kill him, his family, burn down his home and destroy any hint of lingering christian faith. I have lived amoung
    Islamist to know how deep their hatred runs of christianity. If this man calls himself a christian, God expects him
    to stand up and defend his name. As christians we are not 2nd class citizens and are never to bend or lower
    our standards of right and wrong in the onslaught against. How on earth can this " Christian" push tolerance
    in the face of madness and brutality. How many innocent people have to be slaughtered before he gets a spine.

    September 21, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • Anwar uz Zaman

      That is exactly what the muslims are doing. Standing up to the hate spewed by the Islamophobics.

      September 24, 2012 at 2:05 am |
    • Snow

      Your comment shows you are EXACTLY what you accuse the others of.. there is no difference between you and them!

      September 25, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Idiotstomper

      Snow, why would an atheist even bother writing an answer to this concern? Oh, that's right, it's all about arrogance with atheist.

      September 25, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • End Religion

      For those who must believe in a god, what if there is indeed a god but his true test, which hasn't been revealed in any faith/book, is whether or not you exercised your free will during your time on the planet to believe in any of the various faiths/books of hate and intolerance that man created? What if the true test were something like: "Here are many versions of false religions to believe in, all of which purport to be based in love yet are clearly awash in hate and violence. Will you blindly follow the men who've told you their religion/book is holy, or will you use your mind to determine that in reality none of them are good? Can you realize that real, virtuous good only comes from your personal decision to practice love without threat of pain? Everyone who is deceived by a "holy book" will be punished for eternity simply by not being allowed into the afterlife extravaganza."

      September 25, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
  20. Ostrich Fashion Briefcase with Daisy Cutout Design & Rhinestone Accents

    Just to let you know, this content looks a little bit weird from my android phone. Who knows maybe it really is just my phone. Great post by the way.
    http://www.fashlets.com/Briefcases-for-her/EM-35750A-TN-BG.html

    September 18, 2012 at 5:23 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.