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November 23rd, 2012
10:56 AM ET

Explaining the Pope's Christmas debunking book

(CNN)–CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor Eric Marrapodi explains how the Pope's new book challenges long held Christmas traditions.

Read the full story on the Pope's new book here.

Watch CNN Newsroom weekdays 9am to 3pm ET and weekends. For the latest from the CNN Newsroom click here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Catholic Church • Christianity • Jesus • Pope Benedict XVI • TV-CNN Newsroom

soundoff (751 Responses)
  1. Bill Utrup

    Weird Thought, you would enjoy Wingmakers.com Blessings...

    December 15, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  2. Bill Utrup

    Jesus know God was beyond the human comprehension, human consciousness. The father and I are one, means, God is pure consciousness. The kingdom of God is within, means, God is pure consciousness. Anything I can do you can do and more, means, we are all God living in polarity conscious world across and time, as living vibrant members of ALL THAT IS...

    December 15, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  3. Bill Utrup

    The reality is that we were never created by God, but were seeded over time, by several extraterrestrial civilizations. The human concept of God has been distorted by humans, because humanity as always created God in "its" image and likeness, and still tries to this day. The reality is that God is and all pervasive consciousness that parades the multiverse as the sum of all things. Simply said, everything is God experiencing "itself".... in totality. Everything that happens positively and negatively happens, to awaken us to this realization...

    December 15, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  4. LH

    I received 12 years of catholic education. When the teachers talked about the cruades and the inquisition, oh wait, they didn't talk about them. 700 years of church evil. They make this latest pedophile scandal look like a walk in the park.
    For writting this opinion I could have been LEGALLY arrested and burned at the stake!!!!!!!!

    December 15, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • LH

      God or Great Spirit or Supreme being are OK. RELIGION is the PROBLEM. The Native Americans had it right all along !!!

      December 15, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Think Again

      No the Native American stories are just as lame. Nice stories, but just stories.

      December 16, 2012 at 1:58 am |
  5. Joe

    Cynicism & sacrilegious, sure that's the way to go~ until you see a phenomenal disaster and start praying. LOL

    December 15, 2012 at 10:20 am |
  6. Sparky

    Xmas was how the church co-opted from the Pagans in order to FORCE them to convert.

    December 15, 2012 at 3:09 am |
    • hammer

      Bingo you hit the jackpot.Everything about christmas is pagan.God said don't worship me like you do your pagan gods and what do we do we incorporate the pagan holiday and call it christmas.

      December 17, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  7. Ditzmore

    Let me save you the read... Xmas .... basically it is all BS..

    December 15, 2012 at 1:23 am |
  8. alexis

    all this religus talk when most pedifiles are found in church. mostly catholics and now we are soppost to listen to there child abuse cover up leader the "pope'.

    December 11, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • defamation

      Dude I'm not even catholic and I wonder if CNN belief blog and its posters exists exclusively for defaming the Catholic church. You guys don't even try to be subtle about it either.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      I absolutely do not exist just to defame the Catholic church. I resent that.

      I defame all churches equally.

      December 11, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • defamation.

      The FHA prohibits discrimination in residential real estate–related transactions based on...
      •Race or color
      •National origin
      •Religion
      •Gender
      •Familial status
      •Physical challenges

      Defamation isn't cute, and its nothing to play around with. Why do you suppose the above law became necessary? What can happen to a society when defamation runs unchecked?

      December 12, 2012 at 4:20 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Genocide? Slavery? Anarchy?

      December 12, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • ali

      No December 25, no Christmas.
      Now they will call Pope Benedict XVI a Muslim.
      But I suspect that he is Muslim. He must be a Jew. Because the only people who tried to destroy Christianity is the Jews by killing Jesus as claimed by more than 1 billion Christian. There fore it is time to create doubts amongst the Christians faith.

      Or this is a Jew conspiracy to kill American Economy at Christmas. Why now?. He can wait until January and tell his findings. This guy is more than 70 years. when did he get the findings.?

      December 13, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      ali,

      If Christianity were proven to be false tomorrow, there would still be a Christmas here, and a Christmas season for the Economy... just like today is called Thursday (as are 51 other days each year) even though Thor is long-since disregarded.

      December 13, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
  9. JD

    The Pope went on to say that God doesn't get women pregnant and people don't come back from the dead.

    December 11, 2012 at 8:55 am |
  10. Wierd thought

    What is God?

    December 11, 2012 at 7:15 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Ask him yourself

      December 12, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Now Bill, you know that's not possible as god is an imagined supernatural being that explains to primitive people what they did not understand: floods, drought, earthquakes, thunder, lightning, etc. We understand those things now so we don't need the imaginings of primitive peoples to guide us.

      December 12, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • sam stone

      god is whatever you want it to be.

      December 12, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I recommend reading anything by Bede Griffiths who does a remarkable job of cataloging the expansion of God's revelation to man over time.

      December 12, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      You mean a remarkable way of making assertions of what an unjustified premise of "god said this, god told me to do this, god wants this war".

      December 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Fragrance of Zion

      God is...

      ...mercy,
      ...sacrifice,
      ...eternal,
      ...love,
      ...Christ Ahnsahnghong and God the Mother!

      God bless you!

      December 12, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Bill Utrup

      God is everything, all pervasive, but that and what a limited humanity can't seem to understand...

      December 15, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Think Again

      In the absence of proof, god is what you make it.

      December 16, 2012 at 1:59 am |
    • Sly

      Barry Bonds is God. Took over from Joe Montana. Only 2 God's I've ever admired.

      December 17, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  11. USDude

    This post is for the person out there that is struggling with something or has questions about God.

    Step 1 – Take the Roman road outlined below in order. If you don't own a Bible, google the verses.
    It will be the most important "road" you have ever traveled.

    1. Romans 3:10
    2. Romans 3:23
    3. Romans 5:8
    4. Romans 5:12
    5. Romans 6:23
    6. Romans 10:9-11
    7. Romans 10:13

    Step 2 – Say the following prayer, "Lord, I know I am an sinner and I'm sorry for all the bad things I have done.
    I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins. Lord Jesus, come into my heart and be the Lord of my life."

    Step 3 – Did you say the prayer in step 2 and believe with all your heart? If so, welcome to the family of God!
    If not, that's ok, please cut and paste these steps into a file on your computer for a later time when you are ready.

    Step 4 – Now it's time to start reading the Word of God. Purchase a Bible if you can, if not, search the web for
    free online Bibles – there are many! Start reading the New Testament – I recommend starting with 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John
    then Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John. Make reading the Bible something you do each and every day! This is a
    very important step!

    Step 5 – Find a church and start attending as often as you can. Volunteer your to help out when you are able.
    It's important to worship with other people. Begin to seek out Christian friends.

    December 11, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • Gavin Ford

      Or just choose to live in reality. Secular life is better when you aren't spending time being afraid of things that aren't even real.

      December 11, 2012 at 3:10 am |
    • Bob O

      Who came up with this "Roman Road"? How do we know your road is the right one?

      What does Jesus mean when he says in John 3:5, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit." What part of the road is that?

      Why does Paul say in Philippians 2:12 "...work out your salvation with fear and trembling." Why fear? Why tremble?

      December 11, 2012 at 3:17 am |
    • EnjaySea

      I agree with Gavin. Read the ancient wisdom if you like, but live your own life, and live in peace. No other man's writings should take precedence over your own sense of morality, or stand as a guide for how you should conduct your life.

      December 11, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Therein are our choices. Either submit yourself to a loving God or make it up as you go.

      December 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Diogenes

      That's what sociopaths usually say...

      December 12, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Either submit yourself to a loving God or make it up as you go."

      I would say making it up as you go is a better alternative

      December 13, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • Bill Utrup

      The Bible is a limited kindergarden book, that cannot convey the totality of ALL THAT IS...

      December 15, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Bill Utrup

      Sorry, but sounds like your are the one that struggling....

      December 15, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  12. Kweso

    So is the pope going to set a new birthday for Jesus? Let us know soon, because this Christmas is fast approaching.

    December 10, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • kirk

      do atheists celebrate christmas?

      December 10, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Laura

      How is that the pope can declare or change Christ's Birthday?!?!?! No pope, church, or man has such authority to do so!!! Only God has authority!!!! If God ALMIGHTY wanted us to celebrate His Birthday, He would have told us to in the scriptures. Christ tells us to remember Him by eating His Flesh and Blood through bread and wine, of the NEW COVENANT PASSOVER on the night before He was crucified!!!

      December 11, 2012 at 4:23 am |
    • sam stone

      kirk: i do

      December 12, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Fragrance of Zion

      Amen! Laura is right! Believe in Christ Ahnsahnghong and God the Mother! God bless you!

      December 12, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Bill Utrup

      July 4th, because Jesus was born in the summer time...

      December 15, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Think Again

      So Jesus was born.. they "knew" he was a prophet. So what did they do until he grew up. How were jesus' terrible 2's. We don't hear much of his rebellious teenage years. All we hear was he was born, then crucified. Seems to be missing a lot.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:03 am |
    • Sly

      Christmas has nothing to do with 'god' – it is the day Santa Claus lands on your roof with 12 reindeer and comes down the chimney. I love Christmas – as a kid I loved the presents and the tree and Santa Claus.

      Even as a 3rd grader I quietly chuckled to myself about people that thought there is some Big Fat Black Woman (or is a White Man, or is it a creature kinda lookin like Jaba the Hut) sitting up in heaven.

      December 17, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  13. YAHYA SUILAMAN

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/12/07/276747/zionism-and-nazism-work-hand-in-hand/

    December 9, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
  14. Jennifer 3

    Hope you feel better dude...and don't worry about the "unholier than thou" crowd who feels disparaged at your not being able to "keep the doubt" during a crisis.

    December 9, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
  15. Spent yesetrday in the E.R.

    There is a God. I begged him to get released from the ER and not die yesterday and I didn't. And no thanks to the docs who didn't do much but observation tests. Atheists, I realize you object to my trying to survive, lets see how cool you are when its your turn to have your heart suddenly quit working the way it should.

    December 9, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      That's it! One medical emergency and you become a believer? One selfish prayer for survival and you are convinced? No checking the hospital's and doctor's success rate for your condition? I'm sure Fallacy Spotter will jump all over me, but you couldn't have been much of an atheist.

      December 9, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • Spent yesterday in the ER

      Being logical is such a petty thing when compared with survival.

      December 9, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Damocles

      Yeah, so I spent a day in surgery because my stomach was actually twisted, cutting off the flow of blood, I could have died. I didn't pray to any deity and made it out just fine. Should I condemn a deity for having made me with a twisted stomach or am I only allowed to offer praises to it for things it doesn't do?

      December 9, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Ann Ecdotal

      I have been to the ER with heart-related scares at least a half-dozen times over the past 20 years. Never once did I call upon a deity, but gee, somehow I survived too.

      December 9, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Damocles

      @ann

      Guess we were just darn lucky.

      December 9, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Saraswati

      1. I don't begrudge your choice to believe in a god, even a personal one, nor do I claim I can disprove it.
      2. Your experience in the ER, however, does not count as "evidence" unless you can find a way to construct it as an experiment with appropriate controls. Many of us have been to the ER and survived without praying, so this really tells us nothing.

      December 9, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Hokey Pokey

      @Spent...

      Why would you want to survive in this 'vale of tears' anyway? You should have prayed to die and be taken to 'heaven'... that's what it's all about!

      December 9, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      No one objects to you trying to survive, but a god had nothing to do with your survival, In fact wouldn't you meet it sooner if you didn't survive? If you have that much faith why didn't you go to a church instead of the ER?

      December 9, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • G8R

      Sorry but if your were pleading to god for your life then you were never an atheist to begin with. Did you give a shout out to Tinkerbell as well or did silly stop with the myth most familiar to you?

      December 10, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Bob O

      What is that saying.."There are no atheist in a fox hole.?

      December 11, 2012 at 3:21 am |
    • Ditzmore

      If you were a true Christian you would have refused medical care and put yourself in Gods hands.... and let him do as he wanted with you. But noooo... you didn't trust that God would have saved you.. did you. Too bad as we would have one less M or on telling us about how God saved them (while the docs worked on them) What silliness..

      December 15, 2012 at 1:30 am |
  16. Wierd thought

    The definition of "God" to me means the concept that existance itself is conscious. I am a part of existance and I am conscious therefore it makes more sense to me that God would exist.

    December 7, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • ed galbraith

      WHAT? Does this make ANY sense to anyone? I read it three times and if you were in my class you'd get a "c" for utter confusion.

      December 8, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Wierdthough

      That is also ironic, Ed. A random stranger juding my contemplations via letters of the alphabet. Should I try for a gold star? We go to classes in order to use someone else's ideas. If we assimiliate our own ideas to theirs then we are rewarded with stars and alphabetical shapes. If we instead choose to maintain our own ideas we are punished.
      You are another brick in the wall Ed. Open your eyes and try some new viewpoints.

      December 9, 2012 at 6:48 am |
    • Wierdthough

      Let me try this again for you Ed...and see if you can keep up. If parts of a whole exibit a particular trend, there is always the possibility that the larger whole exibits the same trend? You with me yet or still in the elementary school lecture hall?

      December 9, 2012 at 6:52 am |
    • Philosopher

      Sometimes the philosopher thinks more freely than the "free" thinker. If one insists there is a God they are limited, if one insists not they are limited by the other set of possiblities. In order to think freely we must even quesition atheism. We must even question our own existance. Free your mind and the rest will follow.

      December 9, 2012 at 6:55 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Wierdthough, I think you're getting at the beginnings of Spinoza's thought. If you're not familiar with him you might want to ahve a look.

      December 9, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Wierd thought

      Spinoza...never read him but thank you. The main point I was getting at is if one defines "God" as a particular personified character then the idea can be disproven. If "God" is defined as existance itself, then "God" exists because existance exists. The question is, wether or not existance is conscious.

      December 11, 2012 at 6:58 am |
    • Ditzmore

      Well now.... that is a wierd thought... take this pill and call me in the morning. Hopefully by then you will be thinking correctly!

      December 15, 2012 at 1:31 am |
    • Bill Utrup

      Philosopher.... is right on...

      December 15, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Bill Utrup

      Existence is fully conscious, because all reality is energy, and energy is fully conscious, just like every cell in your body...

      December 15, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  17. Please Read with Open Mind..

    God in Quran says, (holy Islamic scripture)

    “Proclaim, He is the One and only GOD. The Absolute GOD. Never did He beget. Nor was He begotten. None equals Him." [112:1]

    “They even attribute to Him sons and daughters, without any knowledge. Be He glorified. He is the Most High, far above their claims.” Quran [6:100]

    “The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]

    ‘They said, "You have to be Jewish or Christian, to be guided." Say, "We follow the religion of Abraham – monotheism – he never was an idol worshiper." [2:135]

    God will say, "O Jesus, son of Mary did you say to the people, `Make me and my mother idols beside God?' " He will say, "Be You glorified. I could not utter what was not right. Had I said it, You already would have known it. You know my thoughts, and I do not know Your thoughts. You know all the secrets.[5:116]

    The Messiah, son of Mary is no more than a messenger like the messengers before him, and his mother was a saint. Both of them used to eat the food. Note how we explain the revelations for them, and note how they still deviate! [5:75]

    “No soul can carry the sins of another soul. If a soul that is loaded with sins implores another to bear part of its load, no other soul can carry any part of it, even if they were related. ... [35:18]

    It does not befit God that He begets a son, be He glorified. To have anything done, He simply says to it, "Be," and it is. [19:35]

    When My servants ask you about Me, I am always near. I answer their prayers when they pray to Me. The people shall respond to Me and believe in Me, in order to be guided. Quran [2:186]

    'Say, "We believe in God, and in what was sent down to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Patriarchs; and in what was given to Moses and Jesus, and all the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction among any of them. To Him alone we are submitters." [2:136]

    Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to clear your misconception by going to whyIslam org website.

    December 7, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • was blind but now I see

      I know that Muslims believe the Old Testament, so here's a passage for you:

      "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

      -Isaiah 9:6

      December 7, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Rinsewind

      I do understand that Muslims respect Jesus/Isa as a prophet in the line of prophets, and that they have great respect for Mary, mother of Jesus. I appreciate that you took the time to point of relevant passages in the Holy Qu'ran, but I'm afraid that they probably won't change the minds of any Christians. Still, most Christians don't understand that Muslims have great respect for Jesus and Mary–that may be the more useful thing to point out. I am a Christian myself, but I respect Islam as a beautiful and peaceful religion and recognize that we both worship the same God.

      December 8, 2012 at 6:54 am |
    • Logical

      If God never " begot" how did we get hear ? Gods first spirit son was created directly by him hence "his only begotton son" after that his only begotton son came to be beside his heavenly father as the master worker.( Proverbs 8:22-31) God himself produced me as the begining of his way, the earliest of his achievments of long ago. From time indefinite I was installed, from times earlier than the earth...then I came to beside him as a master worker, and I came to be the one he was specially fond ofday by day, I being glad before him all the time. (Genesis 1:26) And God went on to say: let US make man in OUR image...

      December 9, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • Think Again

      You better pray to the god that does not exist that the freaking Muslims don't take over the earth. What hell that would be.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:08 am |
  18. Regarding ESP and ghosts

    There are two types in psychatric hospitals. There are the ones who have legitimte neurochemical imbalances, and then there are those who just didn't know when to keep their mouth shut.

    December 7, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  19. Bob

    F*&k God!

    December 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Joanna

      Well you could try I suppose, but I think the devil would probably be better at it.

      December 7, 2012 at 5:58 am |
  20. tony

    As part of the myth of pedophelia debunking, the pedophiles will merely have to attend the new "Latin University".

    December 5, 2012 at 12:49 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.