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December 4th, 2012
04:59 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Tuesday, December 04

By Arielle Hawkins, CNN

Here's the Belief Blog’s morning rundown of the top faith-angle stories from around the United States and around the world. Click the headlines for the full stories.

From the Blog:

CNN: WWJD...about taxes?
Dig under the rhetoric over taxes in Washington now, and you’ll find one question: should the wealthy pay more in taxes than other people? It’s a question that goes back to the Bible. Geoffrey Miller is a law professor at New York University who’s written about taxation in the Bible. He writes about the Temple Tax, the one God told Moses to impose in Exodus 30. It’s the one where each person, rich and poor, pays half a shekel – for the Temple – and God.

Photos of the Day:


Photo credit: Sanjay Kanojia/AFP/Getty Images

Hindu holy men or sadhus arrive at Sangam to participate in the upcoming Maha Kumbh Festival, in Allahabad on December 2, 2012. The Kumbh Mela is the largest gathering of people for a religious purpose in the world and millions of people gather for this auspicious occasion.


Photo credit: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

In this combination of two images with a multiple long exposure the interior of Salisbury Cathedral is illuminated by trails of candles carried by choristers during the annual 'darkness to light' advent procession on December 1, 2012 in Salisbury, England. The annual advent service, which takes place over three nights and is seen by several thousand people, is a mix of music and readings during which two great candlelit processions move around the different spaces in the 750-year-old building which, by the end, is illuminated by almost 1300 candles and is a spectacular start to the Christmas season.

Enlightening Reads:

Religion News Service: Poll: Most Americans say employers should cover contraception
Most Americans say that employers - even religious ones - should provide birth control coverage to their employees, according to a survey released on Monday (Dec. 3). The poll by LifeWay Research also showed that almost two-thirds of Americans (63 percent) believe businesses should be required to provide the coverage for free, even if contraception conflicts with the owner’s religious ethics.

Huffington Post: Catholic Priest Calls 'Fox & Friends' Anger Over 'War On Christmas' Just 'Silly'
Fox News' overemphasis on America's "War on Christmas" is just getting "silly," according to one Catholic priest. Father Jonathan Morris, who has been a contributor on Fox News since 2005, recently visited the set of "Fox & Friends" to discuss "The War on Christmas," Mediaite reports. Although the show's co-hosts might have assumed Morris would unleash wrath upon those battling against the holiday's religious connotation, he did not. In fact, he called the whole "War on Christmas" plain old "silly."

Reuters: More than 100 graves robbed in Benin for skulls and organs for voodoo rituals
Tomb raiders have dug up more than 100 graves at a cemetery in Benin in the last two weeks for what authorities suspect is a black-market trade in human organs and skulls for voodoo ritual fetishes. The incident is the most serious case of grave-robbing in the West African state, the world capital of voodoo where most of the country’s 9 million residents practice a benign form of the official religion.

Catholic News Agency: LA Guadalupe procession draws thousands in celebration of faith
An outdoor procession for Our Lady of Guadalupe held Sunday in Los Angeles attracted 25,000 participants to venerate the Virgin and to express their Catholic faith. “We want to learn from the example of faith of our Blessed Mother, as Jesus did. Jesus learned his prayers and the practice of his faith from his Mother and from Saint Joseph,” Archbishop Jose H. Gomez told the crowd assembled for Mass following the Dec. 2 procession.

The Jewish Daily Forward: Deck The Halls With Boughs of Challah
A Jewish music preservation group sets out to make the definitive Hanukkah compilation and ends up with an album dripping with Christmas cheer. That’s not just a humdrum holiday punch line — it’s also an accurate description of the genesis of the Idelsohn Society’s December release, “‘Twas the Night Before Hanukkah: The Musical Battle Between Christmas and the Festival of Lights,” a catalog of efforts by a century’s worth of Jewish musicians to head off the yuletide blues.

The Guardian: Scouts and guides consider adopting atheist oaths
Since 1908, when Robert Baden-Powell laid down the rules for his nascent movement in Scouting for Boys, new Scouts and Guides have made the traditional three-finger salute and promised to not just help others but remain loyal to a deity or higher power. Now, for the first time, the self-professed godless could also be welcome.

Huffington Post: Shariah Law: The Five Things Every Non-Muslim (and Muslim) Should Know
Shariah is the law of the Qur'an and literally means "A path to life giving water." In fact, the word Yarrah (i.e. the root of the Hebrew word Torah) means precisely the same thing. Therefore, Shariah is actually ingrained in Abrahamic tradition. Shariah is comprised of five main branches: adab (behavior, morals and manners), ibadah (ritual worship), i'tiqadat (beliefs), mu'amalat (transactions and contracts) and 'uqubat (punishments). These branches combine to create a society based on justice, pluralism and equity for every member of that society. Furthermore, Shariah forbids that it be imposed on any unwilling person.

Join the conversation…

Christian’s year of living 'gay' leads to dramatic change, sparks controversy
Timothy Kurek’s motivation to spend a year pretending to be gay can be boiled down to a simple conviction: it takes drastic change to alter deeply held religious beliefs. The experiment began after a lesbian friend opened up to Kurek about being excommunicated by her family. All Kurek, an avowed evangelical Christian, could think about, he says, “was trying to convert her.”He was quickly disgusted by his own feelings, more pious than humane. In fact, Kurek was so disgusted by his response to his friend that he decided to do something drastic. Living in Nashville, Tennessee, he would pretend to be gay for a year. The experiment began on the first day of 2009; Kurek came out to his family, got a job as a barista at a gay café and enlisted the help of a friend to act as his boyfriend in public.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Uncategorized

« Previous entry
soundoff (174 Responses)
  1. Apple Bush

    Topher you don’t understand how hell works at all.

    When you are living, god pays you $2.98 a day or about 39 pesos.

    When you die, you go to heaven and god makes you pay for your sins. Some sins are more expensive than others of course. Masturbation not so much, but murder is expensive. Of course the masturbation can add up!

    If you have enough money to pay for all of your sins, you go to heaven. If you don’t, you have to go to debtor’s prison (hell).

    See, that is all. It is not so complicated!

    December 4, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      G.C. RIP

      December 4, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Athy

      And they have accountants that keep track of your debits and credits. They're called CPAs, Certified Purgatory Accountants.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  2. Afghanistan Bananastan

    There is no god. It's really as simple as that.

    December 4, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Athy

      Some people don"t like the simplest answer.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  3. Joey

    Apparently Lionlylamb knows what sarcasm is, but does not recognize it when he sees it.

    December 4, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      The eyes do see and yet the mind dares unwillingness to seek such tatter of smatter leavening rather for and towards the nuptials of truncated deployments arranged in verifications upon stout and stable, recognizable constraints of endless fomentations meant wisely to render the unwitty ablaze in tenures of fruited precognitions of emotional blissfulness.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Joseph

      Better question, W.T.F was that jumble of words?

      December 4, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Athy

      Let me translate for you, Joe: "Truncated unwillingnesses deploy and seek mind dares. Recognizable bullshit leavens the nuptials of odorless fermentations, both stout and stable. These, of course, render a blissful tenure of endless fruit." Makes sense now, doesn't it?

      December 4, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  4. You are doomed Tom, Tom, the Other One

    W.T.F. is sarcasm?

    December 4, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      http://www.thefreedictionary.com/sarcasm
      A cutting, often ironic remark intended to wound. 2. A form of wit that is marked by the use of sarcastic language and is intended to make its victim the butt of ...

      December 4, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Akira

      Are you being sarcastic?

      December 4, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Mr.Lamb is most astute.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  5. Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

    (1) Hallucinations – the person has invisible friends who (s)he insists are real, and to whom (s)he speaks daily, even though nobody can actually see or hear
    these friends.

    (2) Delusions – the patient believes that the invisible friends have magical powers to make them rich, cure cancer, bring about world peace, and will do so eventually if asked.

    (3) Denial/Inability to learn – though the requests for world peace remain unanswered, even after hundreds of years, the patients persist with the praying behaviour, each time expecting different results.

    (4) Inability to distinguish fantasy from reality – the beliefs are contingent upon ancient mythology being accepted as historical fact.

    (5) Paranoia – the belief that anyone who does not share their supernatural concept of reality is "evil," "the devil," "an agent of Satan".

    December 4, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      FACT,

      Christianity is a storied relationship and while many of Christendom are emotionally unworthy within this worldly challenged, the facts remain frugally indentured that physical impureness is so tempered by one's faiths being narrowed away from life's indemnities preclusions within self similar haberdasheries of overflowed momentums. There is only one God I have so found as being truly worthy of honoring. That one God is the Holy Spirit of Absolute Nothingness!

      December 4, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      How do you know this Mr. Lamb? (P.S. I can't believe I understood your post kind of!)

      December 4, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Apple B Sea,

      I have spent many so many years of contemplations and considerations trying to come to terms and reasoned rationalism regarding one God and the Cosmos of immeasurable universes of untold of abundances.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Mr. Lamb, I am sorry to hear you wasted so much time. Your mind is unreliable as is mine, to say othing of the fact that you have no foundation on which to base your contemplations.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      A.B. now Fs

      Why do you endure to willingly want to push me off the cliff so to say? If one cannot write anything of pleasurable stances then why write at all? I am a humane human being and I treat others the ways that they treat me! I am not without feelings A.B.! Think my writing thru before you take treasures of written sarcasms of untenable essays. I try my dandiest to tell others my perceptions of faithfulness in words meant to give others an insight of my soul laid bare and open for all to so see! I know many will criticize my writings and even still I am trying to wean myself away from sarcastic rebuttals meant to infuriate as many so do toward my wordage venues. Think thru and don't just blink at things I tediously pondered.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Bring'em Young

      lionly
      You probably should have spent more time working with the english language.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Akira

      Thinking about something should never be tedious.
      Neither should reading.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  6. lionlylamb

    We are all born upon sinfulness natures. We breathed our first breath and did so commit sin. We drank our first milk and did so sin. We ate of our first food and likewise did sin. Only the Holy Spirit is found to be sinless. For the Holy Spirit is the Absolution of Nothingness and does hold together everything in its bosom.

    Without Nothingness there would not be the stars up above! Without Nothingness hemming together all of the celestial pageantries' clusters of galaxies in nebulas forming solar system;, life as we know would never have been able to be and therefore become. Nothingness is a great emptiness yet this emptiness does so love its creations allness! Our true God of all creation and creations manifestations is the Holy Spirit of Absolutely Nothing!

    December 4, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Mr. Lamb, you are incorrect.

      December 4, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Primewonk

      More batshit crazy dumbfuckery. Sorry.

      December 4, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      (1) Hallucinations – the person has invisible friends who (s)he insists are real, and to whom (s)he speaks daily, even though nobody can actually see or hear
      these friends.

      (2) Delusions – the patient believes that the invisible friends have magical powers to make them rich, cure cancer, bring about world peace, and will do so eventually if asked.

      (3) Denial/Inability to learn – though the requests for world peace remain unanswered, even after hundreds of years, the patients persist with the praying behaviour, each time expecting different results.

      (4) Inability to distinguish fantasy from reality – the beliefs are contingent upon ancient mythology being accepted as historical fact.

      (5) Paranoia – the belief that anyone who does not share their supernatural concept of reality is "evil," "the devil," "an agent of Satan".

      December 4, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      A.B. c,

      If I am said to be incorrect then tell me of my fallacies for being incorrect.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      High fluted are the cronies ever to gather wherever the lights of reasons does shine out. The lusts of the beguiled do ever make embers from which falls their scorn and ill wills. The naysayers and the leery-eyed peasants of pompous proclivities will always surround the cupboard laid and made bare!

      December 4, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Soooooo, is God somthing or nothing? Exactly how do you define nothing L.L.?

      December 4, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      lunchbreaker,

      Nothingness
      1.) The Holy Spirit
      2.) The great Seas that holds all things in its bosom
      3.) The meandering rivers and creeks ever flowing inward from the Seas of its abundance measure.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Everything you said is merely an assertion and not shown to be true. Not to mention your completely made up definition of "nothingness".

      December 4, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      You are incorrect that you know anything beyond what science has thus far discovered. You don't know anything, neither do I or anyone else. That's all.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Technically I asked for your definition or nothing, but I suppose that's as good as I'm going to get.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      lunchbreaker,

      Nothing is also the absence of matter an in the absence of matter is where and how all materialized essences did come about and become the forms of all celestial mechanics of stardoms pleasantries. Our will within us if made of nothing which does encompass all our bodies atomic physical measuring. Ask any science person and they will tell you that there is great distances between the atom's nucleus and its electrons and if an atom were to be enlarged to viewable recognition the distance between its nucleus and electron would be on par with our solar system's manifested way.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      hawaiiguest,

      If your assertions levy me to be my assertiveness meanings then are not scientific theories merely assertions themselves?

      December 4, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Akira

      I do assure you that when a baby is born, draws his/her first breath, or suckles their mother for the first time is not committing a sin in any way, shape, or form, and that such an assertion is wholly absurd.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      And here comes the pseudo-intellectual irrelevancies. You make statements of sin, the holy, spirit, and the very nature of humanity (while simultaneously dehumanizing everyone who lives, has lived, or ever will live), all without justification. Guess what that makes it you wordy little poetry nut. It makes it an unjustified assertion. So why don't you stop being a dishonest fucktard?

      December 4, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      I contend that the absence of matter is a poor definition of "nothing". I see space as a thing and time as a thing. And it is quite plausable that there are "things" not consisting of space, time or matter. I would debate that there was never, no "thing."

      December 4, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  7. lionlylamb

    Just exactly how far is the length, height, depths, breadths and width of Nothingness? Where does nothingness so end and something therefore declaratively truly begin? Is it too much to say that, "The Nothingness Seas of outward regions are spatially immature regions where stellar constellations are forever being formed, raised and developed in randomized particulates in concentrated organizations of the atoms' cosmos. It is furthermore a contention that these Seas of Nothingness became as rivers, lakes and creeks within or inside all concentrated organizations of said atomic matter." Are you still with me?

    We or for that matter, all of "celestialized" life is merely conglomerate clusters of cellular organizations of inner cosmological rifts of atomic matter being held together by an order of conjunctive reasoned abilities far beyond one's mental complexities' aspirations!

    It seems as if Nothingness itself may well be holding together all mannerisms of life that we know of! At least that's my understanding regarding a Nothingness that goes way beyond all celestial things held by Nothingness and Nothingness does traverse ever inwards to hold together all atoms. Is such wordage plausible?

    December 4, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • ZeusDeusMaximus

      Spuming fumarole of inanity....

      December 4, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  8. lionlylamb

    People tend to dispute and become riled up and write sarcasms of ill will towards one and others who write their yearning’s desires to be so heard in hoping’s way. Others may find fond clement weather in the wordage of one’s domiciled fruition. The gingered bred saliencies do ever make revealing the melding of conditioned duplicities. Love seems no more the conquered or even for conquests except for the young of heart’s treasuring needs. Be ever so kind to others’ words if one so can do this season of rent and Lent homages bargaining days. Love, Peace and make fondness farewells one and all wherever one is to be found here or even over there and make friendships rather than showing unfriendly ways and means under one’s belts. Peace is seldom the fondness yet is always wantonness and Love is the treasures for all to take umbrages of!

    December 4, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Mr. Lamb, you know what I enjoy about your writing the most? It is your economical use of words and succinct writing style. I only wish you would consider elaborating more.

      December 4, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Berief Brog Ninja

      rionryramb teacha me super good engrish, NUMBER ONE!

      December 4, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Toshi

      Goddamn mongorien you leave mr. lamb alone goddamn penis hat wearing chinese is sushi mongorien!

      December 4, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Now now Toshi! Berief Brog Ninja means well even if the words are misspelled yet they are found as a fondness in meant meanings!

      December 4, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      goddamn mongorien

      December 4, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Akira

      *giggle*

      December 4, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Hi Akira! Did you have any nightmares of Japanese guys running around with penis heads? I think I may have.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Berief Brog Ninja

      TOSHI, we meet agian! We battle! NINJA STAR!

      December 4, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • ZeusDeusMaximus

      Spuming fumarole of inanity.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • ChinleeMeanBrogInMongorian

      @ BeriefBrogNinja

      You light on, watch out fol mongorians, dam mongorians! Berief show mongorians light way to brog!

      December 4, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Oh God the deviltry of it all! LoL 🙂 🙂 🙂

      December 4, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Akira

      Hi, Apple!
      No, I didn't dream of that, but I had a craving for freshly-caught tuna sashimi when I woke up...

      I know enough penis-heads in my waking hours, thanks.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Akira LOL!

      December 4, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  9. Apple Bush

    Apple’s Morning Speed Answer for Tuesday, December 04

    Jesus is dead.
    Hindu filthy don’t believe in absolute GAWD.
    Prevent pregnancy, increase productivity.
    Gay marriage rocks.

    December 4, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
  10. Apple Bush

    Morning T, you ready to save some souls today?

    December 4, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Topher

      Ready and willing to talk. I'd particularly like to see you saved, though.

      December 4, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      But Topher, I don't believe in this bizarre ritual that you call being saved. I find it absurd. Did you get your chores done?

      December 4, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Topher

      Apple

      I know you don't believe in it. But I'd still like you to be saved. I want you to go to Heaven.

      December 4, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      (1) Hallucinations – the person has invisible friends who (s)he insists are real, and to whom (s)he speaks daily, even though nobody can actually see or hear
      these friends.

      (2) Delusions – the patient believes that the invisible friends have magical powers to make them rich, cure cancer, bring about world peace, and will do so eventually if asked.

      (3) Denial/Inability to learn – though the requests for world peace remain unanswered, even after hundreds of years, the patients persist with the praying behaviour, each time expecting different results.

      (4) Inability to distinguish fantasy from reality – the beliefs are contingent upon ancient mythology being accepted as historical fact.

      (5) Paranoia – the belief that anyone who does not share their supernatural concept of reality is "evil," "the devil," "an agent of Satan".

      December 4, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Well Topher, if there were such a thing as heaven, I would go there I think. I am an alright dude. I am kind to children and animals. I give generously to charities. I recycle. I have never cheated on my wife or been arrested or any of that stuff. If there were a god, he would say, he's cool, let him in. Why would he not?

      December 4, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Topher

      Because that's not what the Bible says.

      Have you ever told a lie?

      December 4, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Look everyone it's Ray Comfort.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Tell me Topher, why is your god such a vain douche that he doesn't care if you make reparations from the person you lied to, and instead demands, on pain of eternal torture, that you beg forgiveness from only him? What a ridiculous, immoral system you believe in.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Sure T, I have told a lie. Sometime that is the most moral thing to do. Morality is not black and white and the bible is of no concern to me. If I am a good person, but have never even heard of the bible, why would I be denied heaven? That is not logical.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Topher

      Apple

      Thank you for being honest. If you would just humor me for just a few more ...

      Have you stolen anything?
      Have you taken the Lord's name in vain?

      December 4, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • You are doomed Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Topher, what happens to a tribe living in the Amazon in Brazil, who has never heard of Jesus or the Bible, and never will hear of them. Does god just send them to hell since he never bothered to let them in on the secret?

      December 4, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Topher

      Here's a hint. Ray Comfort arguments have no point, and merely demonstrates the immorality of the god you're trying to defend.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Topher

      Apple

      I know you're probably busy and that's why you haven't gotten back to me yet. So I'll keep going since I'm sure you'll read this later.

      You said earlier that you've never cheated on your wife. That's good. But Jesus said in Matthew chapter 5 that if you even look at someone with lust, you've committed adultery with that person in your heart.

      Now as you haven't as of this writing answered my last three questions, I'll just go by your answer to the first one. You admitted to being a liar. Did you know that the Bible says that ALL liars (emphasis mine) "their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death."

      So dude, you've broken one of the laws and justly deserve to be punished for it. What about those other questions I asked? Have you broken those, too?

      December 4, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Topher, sure I made some childhood indescretions. I apologized, end of story. As for the taking the lord's name in vain, sometime times I take that goddamn lord's name in vain, jesus H christ. Fuck T!

      December 4, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      You knowTopher, if I were god, the biggest sin that would concern me would be stupidity. I gave you a mind, and you chose not to use it. How dare you!!

      December 4, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • What IF

      Topher,

      - If you eat cow meat, you will be punished for eternity, Hindu style.
      - If you eat pork or do not complete the 5 Pillars, you will go to Muslim hell.
      - If you have not sacrificed a child on the altar to Quetzalcoatl, you will go to Aztec hell.
      - If your heart is heavier than a feather, you will go to Egyptian hell.
      - If you are not quiet, you will be reincarnated as a magpie.

      There is every bit as much verified evidence (zero) that these fates await you as there is for your biblical threats (zero).

      December 4, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Topher

      Apple

      So you've admitted now to being a lying, thieving blasphemer. You're like the rest of us. You're not a good person. And when God judges you, based on the 10 Commandments, you'd be guilty. Where do you think He will send you, Heaven or Hell?

      December 4, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Topher your new name is Ray. So Ray, you still begin with the unjustified premise that your god even exists, not to mention your concept of him paints him as a psychopathic prick.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      But you see Topher, what you call sin, I call growing up and learning. Additionally words don't have magical powers. Fortunately for me, the bible is old and stupid and there is no sin so it's all good! Goddamn it it is so good!

      December 4, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Topher

      Apple

      Just because you did something out of youthful ignorance doesn't mean you didn't commit a crime. God is just and He must punish lawbreakers. God doesn't see you as a good person like you think. He sees you as someone who has a debt to pay and so you'll be in big trouble when you die. Doesn't that concern you? Dude, I don't want you to go to Hell.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Awww apparently little Topher doesn't like his new name. Well that's what happens when you take a bad argument from a moron like Ray Comfort verbatum.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Topher, no I do not want to go to hell.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Joseph

      So Topher has to be saved by god, from god, so that he can spend eternity with god? It makes perfect sense if you don't think about it.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Topher

      Apple

      Then do you know what God did so that you wouldn't have to go there?

      December 4, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Topher, it is not possible to know what god did.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Topher

      Apple

      What He did was send His Son to suffer and die on the cross ... taking the punishment you deserve.

      Do you realize the legal transaction this represents? It's like this. God is just and must punish lawbreakers. But He's also kind. You are in the courtroom and found guilty and must be sent away to pay your debt. He doesn't want that for you and so paid your fine for you. Now that justice has been met, you're allowed to go free! Isn't that wonderful news? His torture was for YOU! He died so YOU could live! And three days later He rose from the grave defeating death and proving He could give what He promised.

      Now, dude, in order receive this wonderful gift, what you and I have to do is repent (that's not just saying "sorry" but also turning from sin) and trusting in Him who loves you so much that He paid your penalty.

      When you do that, you will be "born again," meaning you'll have a new heart and new desires for God.

      But you need to get right with him by admitting you're not good and that you need Him to pay your fine. When are you going to do that?

      December 4, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      WOw I think Topher might actually be Ray Comfort.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • nope

      "What He did was send His Son to suffer and die on the cross "

      Nope, Jesus is a fraud. All hail Mithra!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Mithra
      Was born of a virgin on December 25th, in a cave, attended by shepherds
      Was considered a great traveling teacher and master
      Had 12 companions or disciples
      Promised his followers immortality
      Performed miracles
      Sacrificed himself for world peace
      Was buried in a tomb and after three days rose again
      Was celebrated each year at the time of His resurrection (later to become Easter)
      Was called "the Good Shepherd"
      Was identified with both the Lamb and the Lion
      Was considered to be the "Way, the Truth and the Light," and the "Logos," "Redeemer," "Savior" and "Messiah."
      Celebrated Sunday as His sacred day (also known as the "Lord's Day,")
      Celebrated a Eucharist or "Lord's Supper"

      December 4, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Topher you don’t understand how hell works at all.

      When you are living, god pays you $2.98 a day or about 39 pesos.

      When you die, you go to heaven and god makes you pay for your sins. Some sins are more expensive than others of course. Masturbation not so much, but murder is expensive. Of course the masturbation can add up!

      If you have enough money to pay for all of your sins, you go to heaven. If you don’t, you have to go to debtor’s prison (hell).

      See, that is all. It is not so complicated.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Topher

      Apple

      I know you are being silly, but what you are describing is called works-righteousness. It's a heresy. It says that you can do something to earn your way to Heaven. The Bible is clear that we all have earned for ourselves Hell but that we are saved by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ. Only He has the power to forgive us our sins. He has paid your debt because you cannot. Dude, this is serious stuff. I know you don't believe it, but please give it some thought. None of us are promised another day and tomorrow might be too late. If you question what I'm saying, talk to your parents or read it for yourself in the Bible. Hell is a terrible place and God is offering you a way into Heaven. Take it!

      December 4, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Topher, moving to next article. This thread is too long.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Amazonians are A-OK...as long as they haven't come out of the jungle and made contact with the western world and are following their own religious practices. 😉

      Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.337

      848 "Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men."

      December 4, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
  11. lionlylamb

    Good afternoon all you 'bloggees" ! One more day to be alive and among the living! May the season show forth in ones righteous meanderings upon the 'net-O-sphere' of the logistically orientated folks who climb always the trellis of CNN's Belief Blogs! Is it not better to shine forth than to keep hidden ones light of earnest seasonal repeats? Merry be ye all and may your festivities be as dunking for apples in the wines of plenty! Drink up all who do imbibe yet remember always to have a sober driver should you need to venture away from your lofty home! Love. Peace and Kindness to all!

    lionlylamb

    December 4, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Good morning you crazy old fuck. Carry on.

      December 4, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      A.B. Seer,

      Good day to you too you gadfly of goodness cheering! May the seasons this month grant you solace and well tenured meanings for being joyous and compassionate upon the two-way streets of life's living ways!

      December 4, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      I bring you internet blog for happy enjoyment.

      December 4, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  12. hippypoet

    at what point does the number of people believing in seriously stupid shi.t mean you should pay attention...when the cult becomes a religion!

    at what point does religion become tryanny...when the numbers of said believers becomes so great that they think that they have the right to make laws affecting all but only matter to a few.

    at what point can we call the failure of society...when such things are accepted and allowed to continue.

    December 4, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Good morning HP, quit bogarting the GF and pass the dutchie.

      December 4, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  13. Sane Person

    Have a Christy Christy good ol' Christmas and Yahweh bless!

    December 4, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      My secular sense is tingling!
      Somebody must be publically promoting their religion...
      To the Moral Relativistmobile!

      December 4, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Pete

      The Louisville Slugger Museum is pretty cool.

      December 4, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
  14. myweightinwords

    Happy Tuesday, folks. I'm a little under the weather today. Seems I've finally caught this cold that's been chasing me for a week or so.

    So, no deep questions today. How about something easy?

    Tell me something about you.

    December 4, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Huebert

      I'm a cat person. How about you?

      December 4, 2012 at 11:15 am |
      • myweightinwords

        Indeed, Huebert. I have two kitties.

        I'm also a dog person, a horse person, a bunny person, etc...I love animals in general....I just live in a place where I can not be owned by more than my kitties.

        December 4, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Topher

      Feel better.

      My second anniversary is one week from today.

      December 4, 2012 at 11:17 am |
      • myweightinwords

        Happy Anniversary, in case I forget next week.

        Today is my brother's 40th birthday.

        December 4, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      HAPPY CATURDAY! For cats everyday is Saturday. As my wife would say.

      December 4, 2012 at 11:17 am |
      • myweightinwords

        My two kitties would agree. If I were home in my bed where I belong, they'd be cuddled up with me.

        December 4, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I created a corporate rock/rap song subtly mocking my company's "vision statement" in the first verse and then by googling the "corporate buzzwords" for the second verse.
      I won an award for it.
      It can be found on myspace – just search "Doc Vestibule ADP"

      December 4, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Topher
      Belief Blog anniversary or marriage anniversary? 😉
      Either way, the honeymoon period is officially over now...

      December 4, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Topher

      Doc

      Marriage. 🙂

      December 4, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      My partner and I aren't married, but we passed our 8th un-niversary in September.
      Any kids yet? Most of my Christian friends are unrelentingly pestered by their parents to start squirting out crot/ch critters as soon as they say "I do".

      December 4, 2012 at 11:36 am |
      • myweightinwords

        I'll be the first to say that I can't imagine ever being with just one person for 8 years, but it always impresses me when any couple manages to ride out the ups and downs.

        Congrats.

        December 4, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Topher

      Nope, no kids yet.

      Speaking of honeymoons, we went on a cool one. We went to the Creation Museum, then drove over to Cincinnati and visited the aquarium there and spent an afternoon lounging at a bookstore. Then drove up to Louisville and went to the Louisville Slugger Museum. It wasn't your traditional "romantic" honeymoon, but it incorporated a lot of things we both love.

      December 4, 2012 at 11:40 am |
      • myweightinwords

        A honeymoon doesn't have to be "traditional" to be special. It sounds like you both enjoyed yourself. That's what matters, I think.

        December 4, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Pete

      Creation Museum? Did you enjoy being lied to?

      December 4, 2012 at 11:42 am |
      • myweightinwords

        Really? Aren't there plenty of other places to be argumentative?

        December 4, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      When my family has our "what did you learn today" conversation at dinner, I'm gonna tell 'em that I learned there's a Baseball Bat Museum in Kentucky.

      December 4, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      I have a stamp collection

      December 4, 2012 at 11:46 am |
      • myweightinwords

        The things people collect always intrigues me.

        How did you get started?

        I collect keychains. And apparently musicians. At least a third of the people I'm friends with play an instrument. At least half of those play professionally.

        December 4, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Way to spoil the mood Pete! I was going to write something like Topher and The Wife went to the museum, then he dragged her by the hair to Louisville to pick up the latest in caveman clubs. . . but decided not to so as not to spoil this kumbaya moment. And picking on Topher is just too easy.

      December 4, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Christianity is a form of mental illness
      "Philately" has always sounded like a dirty word to me.

      December 4, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      I just learned that pagans have powerful magic that allows them to post responses out of order!

      December 4, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
      • myweightinwords

        I promise, I only use my powers for good! LOL.

        Actually, it's a perk of using my wordpress login. When someone responds to a post I made, I get a notice in a bar across the top of the page. It lets me reply directly to the comment.

        December 4, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Thanks for the education. Might have to look into WordPress but I already spend too much time here.

      December 4, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
      • myweightinwords

        Always happy to pass on knowledge!

        December 4, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Akira

      Mwiw:
      I've been married to the same person for nearly 20 years.
      It's not as hard as you think!

      Topher:
      Happy anniversary!
      Mine is December 17th.

      December 4, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
      • myweightinwords

        Akira,

        I'm not a monogamous sort of person by nature. I am, however, a very solitary creature.

        I'm more apt to get jealous over time someone I love gets to spend alone, than the time they spend with someone else that they love...and I'm more apt to want numerous people in my life to share the many facets of who I am.

        I know, I'm a bit of an anomaly, but I'm okay with that.

        December 4, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Akira

      Mwiw:
      Absolutely nothing wrong with the way you are at all.
      I was single, then married, single again for years before meeting and marrying my hubs.
      I thought I would remain single for the rest of my life, and I was okay with it; I'm okay with being married, too.
      I can't imagine my life without my hubs; he's just that kind of guy.
      I'm content to be alone; I'm not lonely.
      I'm also content to be with people.
      Guess I'm just content, lol

      December 4, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • ZeusDeusMaximus

      @ Topher.............I'm sad that you are an American as, even if you are nice, and you seem to be, you are dragging our great nation down with your willful ignorance....

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qym-ZE5XQzw&w=640&h=360]

      December 4, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Happy anniversary Topher to you and the Mrs.

      December 4, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      @ Weight: I collect ex-husbands. It's so much easier than digging those deep holes.

      December 5, 2012 at 12:01 am |
  15. Doc Vestibule

    A joyous Chrismahannukwanzisticeturnalia to all!

    December 4, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • VanHagar

      No Festivus?

      December 4, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Akira

      For the rest of us?

      December 4, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  16. Akira

    IMO, people who have a cow at someone saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" are the same type who bristle at someone saying "Have a nice day"...pick you battles, people.
    This is trivial.

    December 4, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      I always say Happy Thormas. The looks are priceless.

      December 4, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Akira

      Now that is hilarious!!
      I can imagine!!

      December 4, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  17. PaulB

    Funny, the network that boasts of having Ann Coulter wage an all-out war to destroy Kwanzaa as a holiday is upset that people aren't interested in lumping all the winter holidays under the banner of "Christmas" anymore. There isn't enough black in this world to paint that pot.

    December 4, 2012 at 10:43 am |
  18. myweightinwords

    I've always thought the "war on Christmas" idea was seriously silly. Not to mention horrifically myopic.

    I'm Pagan, and my holiday of choice this time of year is Yule or Winter Solstice. I don't get bent out of shape when someone who isn't aware of that tells me "Merry Christmas" I just take the greeting in the manner it was intended. Now, I have a few Christian relatives who take a perverse pleasure in sending me religious cards and/or greeting me in an overly religious manner, even though they know I celebrate a different holiday.

    They use it like a weapon. I find that annoying as all get out.

    For my part, if I know what holiday you celebrate, I'll wish you a happy one. If I don't, I'm going to say "Happy Holidays"...I'm not declaring war. In fact, I'm opting for peace. I hope others will do the same

    December 4, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • Topher

      Happy Winter Solstice, dude!

      December 4, 2012 at 10:55 am |
      • myweightinwords

        Topher, and may your Christmas be blessed.

        December 4, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Akira

      Not to mention, by Fox making this a central theme for the third year running, who's really declaring it a war?
      Silly Fox.

      December 4, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      How many "wars" has Fox reported on and won / lost? War on Christmas? Women? Obama? Drugs? Healthcare? Taxes? Does Fox ever get it right?

      December 4, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Akira

      0G: no, they don't.

      December 4, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  19. 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

    Jogn Gibson's "War on Christmas" can be purchased (new) for less than $2.00. I guess he wasn't able to make his case.

    December 4, 2012 at 8:34 am |
  20. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Listen, if we all pull together we can totally bring this Christmas thing down. Wait – you don't think FOX is reading this?

    December 4, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • You are doomed Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I suspect that you are one of those that breaks up with your love interest before Christmas then after New Years go out of your way to bring them back into your life ... that until their birthday of course.

      December 4, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Akira

      Doomed: unclear on the concept of 'sarcasm'.

      December 4, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • ZeusDeusMaximus

      @ YouAreDoomed

      Wow, never thought of that!

      Hey Hera- get yer fat asz outta my cloudly kingdom!!!

      Tee heee........

      December 4, 2012 at 2:24 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.