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October 31st, 2012
07:28 AM ET

Sistine Chapel ceiling turns 500 years old

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='EricCNNBelief']

(CNN)– Michelangelo's fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, one of the world's most iconic pieces of art, celebrated its 500th anniversary on Wednesday in Vatican City. Pope Benedict XVI marked the occasion with the celebration of Vespers in the chapel on Wednesday evening.

Nine centered panels in the ceiling fresco show stories from the book of Genesis, fanning out from the center of the ceiling with the iconic "Creation of Adam" that shows God reaching down from heaven and touching the finger of Adam. The vaulted ceiling also features images of biblical prophets and ancestors of Jesus.

Work on the ceiling began in 1508 when Pope Julius II della Rovere decided to make some changes to the room including the ceiling alteration. He commissioned Michelangelo Buonarroti to paint the ceiling and the lunettes, which are the upper parts of the room. According to the Vatican, Julius dedicated the newly decorated space with a Mass on the Feast of All Saints Day, which falls on November 1.

Michelangelo painted over a starry sky scene put on the ceiling between 1477 and 1480 according to Vatican records.

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British Art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon writes in his book "Michelanglo and the Sistine Chapel," that the artist did not want to paint the 12,000-square-foot ceiling, which is 68 feet high, because he thought it was a ruse by his enemies to get him to fail on a grand stage. "As they well knew he was a sculptor, not a painter, and would be bound to make a fool of himself," Graham-Dixon wrote.

“He kept turning it down saying 'I’m not a painter; I’m a sculptor,'” said Diane Apostolos-Cappadona, a Georgetown University professor who has studied the work extensively. She said Michelangelo had come to Rome to sculpt the tomb of Julius II, which he thought would be his masterpiece.

Originally the idea from the papal commission was to have Michelangelo paint the 12 apostles on the ceiling, but somewhere along the way the plans changed. “He was up on the ceiling, and the concept just was not working for him," Apostolos-Cappadona said.

Apostolos-Cappadona said correspondence at the time suggest the subject shifted to Genesis after conversations related to the writings of Saint Augustine between the artist and a prominent theologian, Egidio da Viterbo.

It took a full four years to complete the sweeping painting which stretches out above the chapel's 40.23 meters in length by 13.40 meters in width footprint, dimensions which are thought to mirror Solomon's Temple as described in the book of Kings.

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“He created paintings, that in many ways, the figures seem three dimensional. That’s something he does that other painters of the day did not do. From the ceiling you need the mass and volume,” Apostolos-Cappadona said.

Pope John Paul II called the Sistine chapel, "the shrine of the theology of the human body," in a homily following restorations for the space in 1994.

"This is a priceless cultural and universal heritage," the late Pope John Paul II said at the time. "This is confirmed by the countless pilgrims from every nation in the world who come to admire the work of the supreme masters and to recognize in this Chapel a sort of wonderful synthesis of painting."

Visitors today can still see the Michelangelo's fresco as the crown jewel of the Vatican Museum tour. The chapel space is still used by the Vatican for worship services, which museum staff loudly remind chatty patrons to keep quiet and not take pictures.

The chapel is also used for the secret conclave to elect the new pope. The College Cardinals, whose job it is to elect the new pope, gather there to cast ballots for the man who would become the next pope.

As cardinals cast their secret ballots they walk under the painted ceiling through the steps of the creation story and put their ballot in an urn on the altar. Above the altar is another gigantic Michelangelo fresco, "The Last Judgement," which takes up the entire wall and was finished in 1541.

"The ceiling is almost a background for that extraordinary picture of "The Last Judgement," Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the archbishop emeritus of Washington, told CNN. McCarrick was a member of the conclave that elected Pope Bennedict the XVI in April 2005.

"The ceiling sort of prepares you for that with the creation of man and all that. When you come to the altar, and you look right behind the altar is this extraordinary painting of "The Last Judgement," he said.

Standing in front of the painting and casting a ballot for the next pope he said, "ceases to become an election and becomes more of a discernment, a discernment of what God wants you to do. A discernment of what you think God wants you to do, to pick the man God needs for the church today."

"All those things go through your head when you're in that extraordinary building, that extraordinary chapel. You are about to do an extraordinary thing," he said.

The Vatican Museum director Antonio Paolucci, writing in L'Osservatore Romano, noted in the Wednesday edition, "five million visitors a year inside the Sistine Chapel, 20,000 per day at peak periods, certainly bring about a difficult problem."

"The anthropic pressure with dust, the humidity which bodies bring with them inside, the carbon dioxide produced by perspiration involves discomfort for visitors and damages to the painting in the long run," he added.

Paolucci said there are no plans to limit access to the work in the short term or medium term, rather he said, "we have been graced with technology which allows us, if used correctly, to preserve Michelangelo's work which history has given us under the best conditions, for the longest possible time."

For those who cannot get to Rome to see it, the Vatican website has a virtual model that lets you move through the room and see all the artwork, including the ceiling and "The Last Judgement."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Art • Belief • Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope John Paul II • Vatican

soundoff (127 Responses)
  1. bp

    When the crime against humanity known as the Catholic Church is finally buried in history's unmarked grave of discarded lies, the one positive it will leave behind is some great art. The other major legacies (pedophilia, genocide, bigotry, etc.) won't be remembered quite so favorably.

    November 1, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Proven

    November 1, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Huebert

      Pray all you like, you will still be wrong.

      November 1, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • bp

      “I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.” – Adolf Hitler

      November 1, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • bp

      “Even today I am not ashamed to say that, overpowered by stormy enthusiasm, I fell down on my knees and thanked Heaven from an overflowing heart for granting me the good fortune of being permitted to live at this time.” – Adolf Hitler

      November 1, 2012 at 7:35 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. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book can help you:

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

      November 1, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • TrollAlert

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "Salvatore" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "Thinker23" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
      "Kindness" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian.`

      November 2, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • Jesus

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

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

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

      November 2, 2012 at 9:05 am |
  3. logicalgirl

    Well, for a guy who claimed to be a 'sculpter, not a painter', he did an awfully good job. We think you might be a painter too, Mike. And it's still there are 500 years! Wow! Hope to see it one day, even though I am not a Christian.

    November 1, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  4. Neerav

    "The Sixteenth Chapel turned 500 today" – Justin Bieber

    I had to post that up, just for fun. 😀

    November 1, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  5. Bill D.

    Picture #2 talks about the creation of Adam. Back then it was Adam & Eve. Today sadly, it's all about Adam & Steve.

    November 1, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • itsallaloadofbollocks

      Great idea. You should request that the Vatican update it.

      November 1, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Uniblob

      Sadly? Not hardly.

      November 1, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Josh

      That's only because straights screwed up marriage.

      And even Eve and Adam had a horribly screwed up marriage, once Eve got into those apples. I mean, you never read about Steve playing with Eve's apples, have you?

      November 1, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  6. Wayfaring Stranger

    A Word for All of Us.

    It has been drawn to my attention that the path of Hurricane Sandy made the shape of the Hebrew Letter LAMED, ל I find that most interesting as this letter in Hebrew means to learn, it also speaks of the King of Kings. This very strongly indicates to me that the King of Kings is not only telling us something but He is teaching us how He feels about what is happening in the United States of America.

    When I first noticed the path of the storm Sandy looked like Lamed, I stopped and begin to pray over this, and during prayer and asking God what did this mean, I heard in my spirit that small still voice that speaks to those who know His Voice.

    "This is the beginning of Great Sorrows for the Churches have fornicated with other gods and have offered up prayers that are a stench to my nostrils. Those who have called themselves people of God have deceived the people and fed their own bellies with unclean foods of greed and spiritual pride. No man can save them now, for those who know me and I them must know My Word is the Beginning and the End of all things, now it must rain on the just and the unjust alike. There is still time for repentance for those who have sinned against Me, but Judgment now will fall on the Nations who have come against Jerusalem and My people.

    As for Jerusalem I say to you, I will cleanse my house first, fall on your faces and repent before it is too late. You have invited horrible sins into My House and the time for cleansing has come near.

    END of MESSAGE

    Shalom, JG

    November 1, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • niknak

      The sooner we stop funding Isreal the better.

      November 1, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Evenstar13

      The great Tribulation will soon be upon those who will not heed the word of God and repent. They lust after their selfish and Godless ways.
      "And there shall be, like people, like priest: and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings." Hosea 4:9
      "According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence." Hosea 58:18
      Repent ye sinners for the Lords vengeance is coming and that right soon !

      November 1, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • niknak

      OK, then prove to the rest of us how much you believe that by quiting your job and giving away all your money and possesions.
      Bet you won't.
      Your tribulation and your god only exist in your head, and deep down inside you know it.
      Phuck god.

      November 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • niknak

      Yeah, just like I thought Unevenstar, you post your drivel about your sky fairy and then run away.
      How typical of a fundie.
      Maybe you might want to try a different site, like someting to do with Fix news, so you can preach to the choir and not get any negative feedback on your stone age myth.

      November 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • niknak

      What happened Unevenstar, did that mean ol' atheist make fun of your imaginary friend?
      Quick, read a few passages from the babble and that will make it all better.

      November 1, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • MrGreenjeans

      Forget your meds this morning?

      November 1, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • niknak

      If that is to me, then mabye I was a bit over the top.
      But I hate when the fundies come on here with their "tribulation, rapture" bull and have nothing to back that up and then post and run.
      If you truely believe in the end of the world, then prove it by giving away all your stuff. At least you are putting your faith where your mouth is.
      And give it away to a good cause. The Salvation Army will take ANYTHING you have to give.

      November 1, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • niknak

      Part of the reason I get so roiled up is I have a personal connection to this end of the world scam.
      My cousin, who I was close to back in the day, got caught up in that whole Harold Camping Family Radio end of the world b ull that happened last year.
      She quit her job, gave away her stuff and used what little money she had left to help fund one of those busses and then to live on some commune in AZ with other whack job fundies to await the "rupture."
      We all know how that turned out. Just like all the thousands of end of the world predictions from untold thousands of religions before. (and we have the Mayan one comming up, yet another one fundie whackos will fear)
      And guess what? Old Harold did not give any of his millions away. Just the poor fools who gave him money over the years so he could have those millions, like my cousin.
      So it really bothers me when people come on here to spout their insane ranting about the end of the world, yet unlike my cousin, won't go out and give their stuff away.
      I don't know who is worse, my cousin for being a fool, or people like Harold Camping and the posters on here who spout it so others will follow and face finanial and pshychological ruin.
      (my cousin has been destroyed by that, don't know if she will ever recover)
      Religion is the worst scurge that has ever been visited on the human race.

      November 1, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  7. History Bear

    For all of you morons who just have to ride your pet gripes, Shut Up. regardless of your beliefs or non beliefs, political agenda or what ever, this is one of the Seminal works of the Western civilizatiion and deserves respect and appreciation, and that is what the article is about. If your only art appreciation is Andy and his soup can, then I pity you. Watch the video, appreciate the work and rest assured that regardless of who or what commissioned it, it exist.

    November 1, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Huebert

      I have been to the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel. They are staggeringly beautiful. Being inside these places filled me with a sense of awe. I am an atheist.

      November 1, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • lindaluttrell

      Well said! It is the unrivaled beauty of this art and what the artist went through to create it that is important.

      November 1, 2012 at 11:23 am |
  8. betterdays

    "Why not try to stay on topic and talk about this work of art rather than arguing about which group of people killed more throughout history?"

    ...Or which group of people molested more?

    Most people posting here are remarkably ignorant, and I find them quite entertaining. The feeble attempts to "get back at" the Catholic church with supposedly "morally superior" and "enlightened" pronouncements make me giggle.

    November 1, 2012 at 10:48 am |
  9. rad666

    I wonder how many boys were molested there?

    November 1, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • History Bear

      hey buttbrain, how many boys and sheep have your islamic brothers buggered. Stick to the topic. this is one of the seminal works of art in western civilization. Don't care for the people who did it- don't look.

      November 1, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Paul

      Fantasizing again?

      November 1, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  10. Religion is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes nothing.

    November 1, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • The One Who Knows

      Then praying harms nothing...whilst your ignorance harms only you.

      Arguing will only emphasize my point.

      November 1, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  11. DontSayIt

    Dont say that! The muslims will target it now!

    November 1, 2012 at 9:10 am |
  12. Reality

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con/

    From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

    Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

    To wit;

    From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

    "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
    Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

    Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

    Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

    The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

    Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Ascension ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers.

    The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

    "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
    http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

    The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

    With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

    An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

    p.4

    "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

    p.168. by Ted Peters:

    Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

    So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

    November 1, 2012 at 7:33 am |
    • ....

      BULL SH IT ALERT

      November 1, 2012 at 7:34 am |
    • Dave

      Now if this guy spent more time doing things then writing books for cnn.

      November 1, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Jeff

      Whatever trips your trigger.

      November 1, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Reality

      Only for the reading challenged:

      SAVING 2 BILLION LOST CHRISTIANS:
      THERE WERE NEVER ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS AND THERE WILL NEVER BE ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS I.E. NO EASTER, NO CHRISTIANITY.

      SAVING 1.5 BILLION LOST MUSLIMS:
      THERE NEVER WERE AND NEVER WILL BE ANY ANGELS I.E. NO GABRIEL, NO ISLAM AND THEREFORE NO MORE KORANIC-DRIVEN ACTS OF HORROR AND TERROR LIKE 9/11.

      SAVING 15.5 MILLION FOLLOWERS OF JUDAISM:
      ABRAHAM AND MOSES PROBABLY NEVER EXISTED.

      Added details upon request.

      November 1, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  13. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    November 1, 2012 at 7:29 am |
    • bob

      Wheres jesus trollalert and hal replies

      November 1, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • JESUS

      Co Gots da beat

      November 1, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • TrollAlert

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "Salvatore" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "Thinker23" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
      "Kindness" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian.

      November 1, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • TROLLALERT

      Id like to point out im pretending to be intelectual

      November 1, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • HAL9000

      Good Morning Dave

      November 1, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • Dave

      My God Its Full of Stars

      November 1, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • Jesus

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

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

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

      November 1, 2012 at 10:30 am |
  14. augustghost

    I have visited the Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basillca several times in my life. Even if you are not religious, it is an overwhelming experience

    November 1, 2012 at 7:20 am |
  15. saggyroy

    80% of the admission goes to legal funds for the offending priests.

    November 1, 2012 at 6:32 am |
  16. Doug

    You know it was the Romans ( Catholics) who killed Christ ? This is true.. This is one evil church !

    November 1, 2012 at 5:01 am |
    • Chris

      Uhh...either a failed attempt at sarcasm, or a person horribly failed by your education system. Romans, yes. Your timing is a bit off however.

      November 1, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • John

      The Romans were pagans until the 4th century AD. Get your facts straight. The Romans agreed to do what the unruly crowd of Jews wanted. Jesus was the first Christian.

      November 1, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
  17. Doug

    As the Catholic Church denounces gays, they fail to recognize that Michael Angelo was gay.. I'm sure they knew then, I bet that's way he got the job.. Boy, that is one church that makes the word hypocrite come to life..

    November 1, 2012 at 4:58 am |
    • John

      No, Leonardo Da Vinci was gay, not Michaelangelo.

      November 1, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
  18. Captain Knuckles

    Was there about fifteen years ago, the restoration was ongoing & there were men up on scaffolding's removing the grime on the ceiling.
    The grime & dullness was due to many years of candles burning inside the chapel.
    It's an awesome work of art, the before & after restoration is unbelievable.
    They are truly very talented, as was Michelangelo.
    Touring Italy is really something to add to your bucket list, especially if you're a Christian.

    November 1, 2012 at 4:49 am |
  19. carollo

    Our family had the wonderful opportunity to visit Rome, The Vatican Musem and the Sistine Chapel three years ago. Awestruck at the site, I pointed up to the ceiling and said to my son (then age 7): "Look, it's the creation of Adam!". My son replies: "Adam WHO?"

    November 1, 2012 at 3:21 am |
  20. Epidi

    Beautiful work of art. I've seen it. The story behind the creation of the art is worth learning about too. One does not have to be a Christian to appreciate it. All this back biting over religion, or lack of, is it really necessary? Live & let live.

    November 1, 2012 at 1:30 am |
    • saggyroy

      It seems the religious are the ones that need lessons in live and let live.

      November 1, 2012 at 6:21 am |
    • truth be told

      It seems atheists have brutally tortured and murdered more people in the last 100 years than were killed in all previous centuries. Live and let live?

      November 1, 2012 at 7:31 am |
    • Sane Person

      Truth be trolled, I already explain to you why that is an invalid argument. Get some new trolling material.

      November 1, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      "It seems atheists have brutally tortured and murdered more people in the last 100 years than were killed in all previous centuries."

      Why not try to stay on topic and talk about this work of art rather than arguing about which group of people killed more throughout history? Quit trying to legitimize your beliefs that way.

      November 1, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • truth be told

      A simple reply to the live and let live portion of the discussion showing that atheists have no desire to see the innocent live and if you closely examine history you will find that the perpetrators of histories crimes were never Christian and for the most part atheists.

      November 1, 2012 at 1:33 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.