December 8th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

Winning, by God. Joe Gibbs' third act: Evangelist

By Tom Foreman and Eric Marrapodi, CNN

Charlotte, North Carolina (CNN)—Joe Gibbs moves through pit row at Dover International Speedway with purpose. On this clear day he has three NASCAR teams competing under the banner of Joe Gibbs Racing. The NFL coach and Hall of Fame legend barks encouragement as his teams gather in their fire suits in front of racks of tools.

“We’re due one today! Let’s go!”

Then the team members put their hands together at the center of a circle, Gibbs slaps his on top with the sun catching his Super Bowl ring, and bows his head in a sudden moment of calm before the high-octane storm. “Father thank you for this day,” he begins to pray.

The white hair under his logo covered ball cap is an oddity here. The pits of NASCAR are a young man’s world. Top speed, quick reflexes and raw power are prized.

The drivers are the captains of the cars, but speed and precision of their pit crews – leaping over walls, changing tires and filling gas tanks – is often the difference between winning and loosing.

So what is the 72-year-old Gibbs, well past retirement age, doing amid the chaos and thundering noise?

The same thing Gibbs has always done: He's calling the shots.

“To me, life is so exciting. To me, life is always trying to beat someone in something competitive. It's kinda been my whole life," Gibbs explains while sitting in the sprawling Joe Gibbs Racing Complex in Charlotte, North Carolina, after a recent race.

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He sips on a large green tea, nursing a sore throat he claims is from allergies but is more likely from all the hollering over the racing weekend. Dressed in a polo shirt tucked into khakis, he is fit and trim, likely in better shape than most men half his age. He says he’s as excited now about all he is doing as he was when he was young.

"I really think I am,” he says with a wide, convincing grin.

The rise of Joe Gibbs

Gibbs' rise to sports superstardom began in the 1980s, when he took the struggling Washington Redskins, a team with few stars and even fewer playoff hopes, to not one but three Super Bowl championships, earning the respect of the league and the adoration of fans.

As the cold February rain poured down on fans who came out for the team parade after the 1983 Super Bowl, Gibbs praised their dedication with the enthusiasm that has long made them love him. "There's no other fans in the world who would come out in weather like this except in Washington, D.C.!"

A young mustachioed CNN sports reporter, Keith Olbermann, reported a half-million fans braved the weather for a glimpse of the team, Gibbs and the gleaming Lombardi trophy that day.

“Each one of you has a small piece of this trophy today,” Gibbs yelled into the microphone, pumping the Super Bowl prize for the roaring crowd.

Less than a decade later, he stunned those same fans by turning from football to auto racing, setting up shop in his native North Carolina with admittedly little knowledge of what he was getting into. "I was kind of a novice,” Gibbs said while touring the floor of the JGR workshop. “I was scared to death, you know, 'Can we do this?' "

But Gibbs applied his formula: He worked around the clock, hired great people and relentlessly pushed for perfection. Soon enough the championships started rolling in for his racing teams, too.

Gibbs addresses the media after returning to coach the Redskins

In 2004, Redskins owner Dan Snyder lured Gibbs out of the pits and back to the sidelines. He coached the 'Skins for a four-year stint, helping them get back to the playoffs. But by 2008, Gibbs was ready to go back to racing and he walked away from football for good.

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

As an owner, Gibbs' teams have won three NASCAR Cup Series Championships. He talks a lot now about being a small business owner. His racing enterprise employs 450 people and includes the 250,000 square foot facility complete with state of the art garages, offices and gym.

That success in racing makes his latest career turn so unusual, because now he is talking perhaps more than ever before about losing.

When winners are losing

"When people look from the outside, they see you've won Super Bowls, NASCAR championships,” he said. “But what people miss when they look from the outside is, they miss the heartaches and the defeats and the mistakes you've made. And my life is full of them."

In a new edition of the New International Version of the Bible, “Game Plan for Life Bible, NIV: Notes by Joe Gibbs,” and a book of biblical devotions, “Game Plan for Life: Chalk Talks,” Gibbs writes frankly about many of his failures, about how just as his coaching career was soaring he was facing private calamities including a bad real estate deal that had him losing $35,000 a month and spiraling into bankruptcy.

"Bad, bad decisions. Really bad," he explains. “I was broke.”

Gibbs on the sidelines during the height of his coaching career, when he says he was facing personal woes.

Years of neglecting his health were followed by the startling news that he had developed diabetes, which he's now had for two decades; years of choosing work over family led to strained relations. Asked if he would do it all again and sacrifice his relationships with his family, he frankly and quickly says, “No. I look at that as probably one of the biggest mistakes I made in life."

A few years ago he said he took his sons out to out dinner and told them, “Don’t do what I did.”

“I could have organized that a different way. I could have found a way to spend more time with them and I think that’ll be one of the things I really second guess … at the end of my life.”

Finding his faith again

Gibbs says he found comfort amid the turmoil in a renewal of his faith. A life-long Baptist, Gibbs says he’s not fond of denominational distinctions and says he and his wife have always gravitated toward, “Bible-believing churches.”

He became a Christian at a young age, “I made that decision when I was 9 but I spent a part of my life drifting, you know, I was on God’s team but I wasn’t playing for him.”

Church of NASCAR ministers to drivers in a 'life-or-death sport'

He says spiritual mentors like a Sunday school teacher in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and some of his Redskins players helped him get back on track with a deeper, more meaningful Christian faith even while the struggles were at their worst.

“Part of playing the game of life is you’re going to have some losses,” he is fond of saying.

That is why he is sharing his private trials in this public way: so others can understand his belief that even winners lose when they lose their way. He regularly tours the country speaking about his faith at Game Plan for Life Outreach Breakfasts, designed so he can present his faith and help men by “getting off the sidelines and into the game,” the organization says.

"I really want to spend the rest of my life getting out this word, you know, 'What is the right way to play the game of life?' You and I are the players, God's our head coach and we're all playing the biggest game of all."

Those struggles have all made him more introspective, more humble and more inclined to leave the office a little earlier for family time. He now has eight grandchildren.

"If I keep God first in my life, if I keep my family and friends as second, and then I keep my occupation third,” he said, “that's when I've found success."

But make no mistake: Joe Gibbs still preaches the gospel of winning and he still thinks that's part of God's plan for him, too.

Ask him how long he’ll keep coming to the office, stomping through the pits and sharing his testimony, "I think you're asking the wrong guy on that one. I think you need to ask the Lord on that one. I think you know at some point I'll probably run out of gas, but man, right now I feel like I've still got a full tank. I'm still going."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity

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soundoff (978 Responses)
  1. Patricksday

    Materialism and Greed seems to be the foundation of Evangelists flashy cars and mansions, as they build their Kingdom up here on Earth, and call that "a Blessing". As the Fanatical Christians are quick to point out to others when they see them doing healing work like Reiki its the work of Satan, how can Satan create Peace?? Yet they call their Materialism and Greed "a Blessing". Religion has destroyed more lives that it has helped. Regardless of the Faith. I hope Jesus comes and wipes the cheats and the liars off the face of the Earth, so we can begin Healing all the destruction.

    December 9, 2012 at 9:09 am |
  2. Befree

    It never fails to amaze me how athiests simply cannot tolerate the faith of believers especially Christians. They arrogontly deny, without evidence, without facts, without understanding, the personal relationship that billions of people have had with God and Jesus Christ. Who are you to tell billions of people that this life transforming relationship dosnt exist when you know nothing of it. The fact is that it does exist it is therefore reality whether you accept or not.

    December 9, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • niknak

      It never ceases to amaze me that believers will continue to believe in the sky fairy with no facts or proof to confirm it's existence.
      And the more facts that disprove the fairy tale, the more the believers still cling onto the myth.

      We non believers don't give a rip if you believers want to believe in magic and a magic man(men).
      Waste as much time as you would like with it.
      What we can not tolerate is you believers pushing it on us in our government, our schools, our hospitals and our bedrooms.

      Go out and howl at the moon all you want, but stop trying to force us to go howl with you.

      December 9, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • BM

      "If I keep God first in my life, if I keep my family and friends as second, and then I keep my occupation third,” he said, “that's when I've found success."

      Bill Gates doesn't keep god in his life at all and he seems to have no problem being successful.

      December 9, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • Sisyphus

      Perhaps some of us have taken our own personal journeys into faith and religion and found it wanting. Just because I have abandoned Christianity does not make me an athiest.

      December 9, 2012 at 9:21 am |
  3. Reptillian

    I love how this is on the front page of the United States version of CNN, but the International version has an article on how global warming is causing worldwide food shortages.

    December 9, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • niknak

      Because the rest of the Western world has more important things to talk about then a 2000 year old myth.
      Plus, Gibbs used to be associated with football, and anything to do with football is front page news here.
      Had he been a soccor football guy, then this might make news internationally, and not here.
      Either way, welcome to America, home of the sheep.

      December 9, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Porkins lives!

      And we wonder why the US is falling behind in STEM subjects

      December 9, 2012 at 9:17 am |
  4. gooddoggoodmanners

    Dear God, spare me!!
    A crappy football team and a sport which consists of steering left in circles...

    December 9, 2012 at 9:04 am |
  5. OvernOut

    There's all that pesky "rich guy and the eye of the needle stuff" from the Good Book, and here's another real-life example. I've got more respect for the people running the rescue missions than millionaires stepping into the spotlight. He's not an evangelist, he's just another paid public speaker if he keeps any money for himself.

    December 9, 2012 at 8:58 am |
  6. mama k

    The poster below says "Our country was built on faith and a belief in God."

    That's just nonsense. If one listens to the words of our key founders reflecting on our newly-established nation and government, we more and more hear a call for moderation for Christians. We hear more and more the influence of Deism on the key founders, who were fed up with the persecution between various fundamental Christians sects that was going on at the time.

    Listen to James Madison, POTUS #4, and the chief architect of the U.S. Constitution:

    During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

    (A Remonstrance . . to the Virginia General Assembly in 1785.)

    Listen to John Adams, POTUS #2:

    I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved – the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! With the rational respect that is due to it, knavish priests have added prostitutions of it, that fill or might fill the blackest and bloodiest pages of human history. "

    (in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 09/03/1816)

    The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.

    Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.

    (from A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America [1787-1788])

    Listen to Ben Franklin:

    Some books against Deism fell into my hands; they were said to be the substance of the sermons which had been preached at Boyle’s Lectures. It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them. For the arguments of the Deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to be much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a thorough Deist.

    (from his Autobiography)

    Thomas Paine was very Deistic. He witness Quakers being hung in Massachusetts by other Christians:

    I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

    Thomas Jefferson had his own Deistic version of the Bible.

    Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

    (from Notes on the State of Virginia)

    Of course Deism holds to the belief of God as the creator of the universe. But many Deists also believed that God did not interfere with the lives of his creation. And many Deists disbelieved in all of the "magic" in the Bible – some of them refuting the Bible and Christianity completely.

    Jefferson, Washington, Adams, Paine, Mason & Madison all witnessed the violent persecution between Christian sects in their home states around the time the government was being established. So it is of no surprise that they needed a secular government and they knew the only way to enforce freedom of religion was to keep religion out of the government as much as possible.

    Listen to James Madison speak about the need for the need to keep religion out of government (Jefferson wasn't the only one to explicitly speak of the separation of church and state):

    Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt. will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.

    The Civil Govt, tho' bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability and performs its functions with complete success, Whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the Priesthood, & the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the Church from the State.

    (from letters to Edward Livingston and Robert Walsh)

    Madison as president vetoed two bills that he believed would violate the separation of church and state. He also came to oppose the long-established practice of employing chaplains at public expense in the House of Representatives and Senate on the grounds that it violated the separation of church and state and the principles of religious freedom. (Library of Congress – James Madison Papers – Detached memorandum, ca. 1823.)

    President John Adams and the U.S. Senate on behalf of the U.S.

    As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion;

    (from Article 11 of the U.S. treaty ratified with Tripoli in 1797)

    Senator John F Kennedy said on Sept. 12, 1960, just prior to his winning the Presidential election:

    I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute.

    December 9, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • Sisyphus

      I only wish they created a separation of Commerce and State

      December 9, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • I feel sorry for you

      Mama K – What you are posting is Pure Progressivism and false. I feel sorry for you

      December 9, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • I feel sorry for you

      This article has nothing to do with separation of Church and State.... You clearly are not informed. I invite you to take a history lesson and it is called reality.

      December 9, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • mama k

      You're wrong – "I feel sorry for you" – and my post was as much a reply to what you posted earlier.

      December 9, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • mama k

      (, as an original post)

      December 9, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • Mac

      FACTS. Thanks

      December 9, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • mama k

      @"I feel sorry" – I will gladly correct your skewed uneducated view of our nation's founding at every opportunity.

      December 9, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • I feel sorry for you

      I know that your post was about what I responded to earlier, but you are simply spreading lies about our founding fathers. I looked up your quotes and they are all lies.
      This is the greatest country in the world because we were founded with God as the foundation and political correctness has destroyed us.

      December 9, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • mama k

      @I feel sorry. You looked up the quotes. Tell me which one is not what one of them actually said or wrote or if the source document is incorrect. I'll wait. Idiot.

      December 9, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • mama k

      @I feel sorry.

      LOL. So what James Madison, Father of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights said is a lie? Wow. I feel sorry for you.

      December 9, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Jen

      When was the US destroyed? When slavery was made illegal? When women were given the right to vote? The civil rights movement? Without religion none of these things would have existed.

      I don't really care either way what religions the founding fathers were. They allowed the religious populace to use their bible to enforce slavery and consider women and minorities as less than human.

      December 9, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • mama k

      True Jen, they did promote freedom of religion. But at least they had the foresight, from looking at all the different Christian sects around them fighting, to give us a strong, secular Constitution and Amendments to prevent the U.S. from becoming a theocracy.

      December 9, 2012 at 9:45 am |
  7. Shawn Kelley

    Not your average Joe for sure. Great article! Even if I am a Cowboys fan.

    December 9, 2012 at 8:49 am |
  8. Maximus

    The idea of "Invisible Sky Daddies" makes me giggle....

    December 9, 2012 at 8:48 am |
  9. Jt_flyer

    He found faith again after years of fun. THAT'S how this religion-thing it should be done.

    December 9, 2012 at 8:47 am |
  10. fortruth47

    The true prupose of Christianity is preparing for eternal life, not winnng by this worlds way of measuring of success.
    Sin is our greatest problem and the bible teaches how we are to deal with our sin.

    December 9, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • JJ

      You're delusional.

      December 9, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • Sisyphus

      By sin you mean an ethical system determined by an intangible higher being vs one where you take full responsibility of your choices using logic and reason?

      December 9, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • sam stone

      perhaps modern man does not think of "sin" the same way iron age man did

      December 9, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • sqeptiq

      Masturbation is a deadly sin but polluting the oceans and rivers and air of our planet is just peachy? Hiring illegal workers and paying them substandard wages in cash under the table is illegal but not sinful while sleeping with the wrong person will get you sent to eternal fiery torment, but it's perfectly legal. Is that right? Weird.

      December 9, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  11. The Courts

    Aug. 30, 2012: The genome of a recently discovered branch of extinct humans known as the Denisovans that once interbred with us has been sequenced
    Anyone find fossils of Adam and Eve yet ?

    December 9, 2012 at 8:44 am |
  12. carl Guyer

    Football, NASCAR and now religion.... How funny. I would bet 2 to 1 this guy is from south of the Mason-Dixon line.

    December 9, 2012 at 8:42 am |
  13. Karl Marx

    Tax the rich. Look how well it's working in California.

    ha ha ha

    December 9, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • Bob

      Another original thought!!

      December 9, 2012 at 10:06 am |
  14. Jim T

    Nothing like the CNN belief blog to attract the faithless.

    December 9, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • rdeleys

      They just throw this crap up so all the lonely hate-theists sitting in their one bedroom flats can express their bitterness at being such personal failures.

      It's actually quite fun to read.

      December 9, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • a dose of reality

      @ rdeleys....we don't Hate Theists. We HATE religion. BTW, I don't live in a one bedroom flat. Generalize much do ya? Please try to understand this if you can get out from under your bronze age nonsense:Faith that could stand up to any form of reason is long gone. Our knowledge of the world from 2000 years ago to what we now know about the world has irrevocably changed the need for religion. We do not need God to explain things; and religion becomes obsolete as an explanation when it becomes optional or one among many different beliefs. We now see that the leap of faith is not just one leap; it is a leap repeatedly made, and a leap that becomes more difficult to take the more it is taken, reaching its pinnacle in blind allegiance and active denial and rejection of any other possibilities. At that point, the credibility of the faithful is entirely lost.

      December 9, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • Sisyphus

      perhaps we would prefer not to have faith in fairy tales

      December 9, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • I feel sorry for you

      Hey – A dose of Reality – You posted to my comment that you DID live in a one bedroom flat. And I am sure it is paid for by my hard work and tax dollars....

      December 9, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • a dose of reality

      @ i feel sorry for you. You misread somewhere. I never posted I live in a 1 bedroom flat. But then, obviously your reading comprehension and logic skills are minimal at best since you believe the buybull.

      December 9, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • sam stone

      jim...perhaps we have faith, and are just tired of those who claim to know THE TRUTH.

      December 9, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • sam stone

      rd....evangelists are fun to make fun of. if this bothers, you can choose not to read the comments, or you can go f yourself. your choice, d-bag

      December 9, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      An atheist living in a one bedroom flat is progress over a believer living in a trailer. . .

      December 9, 2012 at 9:49 am |
  15. red

    love you Gibbs

    December 9, 2012 at 8:32 am |
  16. a dose of reality

    A few questions should help shed light on the relationship between religion and rational thought.
    The completely absurd theory that all 7,000,000,000 human beings are simultaneously being supervised 24 hours a day, every day of their lives by an immortal, invisible being for the purposes of reward or punishment in the “afterlife” comes from the field of:
    (a) Astronomy;
    (b) Medicine;
    (c) Economics; or
    (d) Christianity
    You are about 70% likely to believe the entire Universe began less than 10,000 years ago with only one man, one woman and a talking snake if you are a:
    (a) historian;
    (b) geologist;
    (c) NASA astronomer; or
    (d) Christian
    I have convinced myself that gay $ex is a choice and not genetic, but then have no explanation as to why only gay people have ho.mo$exual urges. I am
    (a) A gifted psychologist
    (b) A well respected geneticist
    (c) A highly educated sociologist
    (d) A Christian with the remarkable ability to ignore inconvenient facts.
    I honestly believe that, when I think silent thoughts like, “please god, help me pass my exam tomorrow,” some invisible being is reading my mind and will intervene and alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to help me. I am
    (a) a delusional schizophrenic;
    (b) a naïve child, too young to know that that is silly
    (c) an ignorant farmer from Sudan who never had the benefit of even a fifth grade education; or
    (d) your average Christian
    Millions and millions of Catholics believe that bread and wine turns into the actual flesh and blood of a dead Jew from 2,000 years ago because:
    (a) there are obvious visible changes in the condiments after the Catholic priest does his hocus pocus;
    (b) tests have confirmed a divine presence in the bread and wine;
    (c) now and then their god shows up and confirms this story; or
    (d) their religious convictions tell them to blindly accept this completely fvcking absurd nonsense.
    I believe that an all powerful being, capable of creating the entire cosmos watches me have $ex to make sure I don't do anything "naughty". I am
    (a) A victim of child molestation
    (b) A r.ape victim trying to recover
    (c) A mental patient with paranoid delusions
    (d) A Christian
    The only discipline known to often cause people to kill others they have never met and/or to commit suicide in its furtherance is:
    (a) Architecture;
    (b) Philosophy;
    (c) Archeology; or
    (d) Religion
    What is it that most differentiates science and all other intellectual disciplines from religion:
    (a) Religion tells people not only what they should believe, but what they are morally obliged to believe on pain of divine retribution, whereas science, economics, medicine etc. has no “sacred cows” in terms of doctrine and go where the evidence leads them;
    (b) Religion can make a statement, such as “there is a composite god comprised of God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit”, and be totally immune from experimentation and challenge, whereas science can only make factual assertions when supported by considerable evidence;
    (c) Science and the scientific method is universal and consistent all over the World whereas religion is regional and a person’s religious conviction, no matter how deeply held, is clearly nothing more than an accident of birth; or
    (d) All of the above.
    If I am found wandering the streets flagellating myself, wading into a filth river, mutilating my child’s genitals or kneeling down in a church believing that a being is somehow reading my inner thoughts and prayers, I am likely driven by:
    (a) a deep psychiatric issue;
    (b) an irrational fear or phobia;
    (c) a severe mental degeneration caused by years of drug abuse; or
    (d) my religious belief.
    Who am I? I don’t pay any taxes. I never have. Any money my organization earns is tax free and my own salary is also tax free, at the federal, state and local level. Despite contributing nothing to society, but still enjoying all its benefits, I feel I have the right to tell others what to do. I am
    (a) A sleazy Wall Street banker
    (b) A mafia boss
    (c) A drug pusher; or
    (d) A Catholic Priest, Protestant Minister or Jewish Rabbi.
    What do the following authors all have in common – Jean Paul Sartre, Voltaire, Denis Diderot, Victor Hugo, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, David Hume, René Descartes, Francis Bacon, John Milton, John Locke, and Blaise Pascal:
    (a) They are among the most gifted writers the World has known;
    (b) They concentrated on opposing dogma and opening the human mind and spirit to the wonders of free thought and intellectual freedom;
    (c) They were intimidated by the Catholic Church and put on the Church’s list of prohibited authors; or
    (d) All of the above.
    The AIDS epidemic will kill tens of millions in poor African and South American countries before we defeat it. Condoms are an effective way to curtail its spread. As the Pope still has significant influence over the less educated masses in these parts of the World, he has exercised this power by:
    (a) Using some of the Vatican’s incomprehensible wealth to educate these vulnerable people on health family planning and condom use;
    (b) Supporting government programs that distribute condoms to high risk groups;
    (c) Using its myriad of churches in these regions to distribute condoms; or
    (d) Scaring people into NOT using condoms, based upon his disdainful and aloof view that it is better that a person die than go against the Vatican’s position on contraceptive use.

    December 9, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • Jim

      Another long dose of silliness from "a dose of trip"....

      December 9, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • ldavid69

      Fantastic. The only regret I have is that I can not share your wonderful post on my FB page.

      December 9, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • a dose of reality

      hi JIM,,,afraid to read anything full of facts instead of BuyBull nonsense?

      December 9, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • Sisyphus

      "Man cannot make a worm, yet he will make gods by the dozen." ~ Michel de Montaigne

      December 9, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • Jim T

      a dose of reality, you seem to have a very low view of religion. Furthermore, you seem to have a very low view of people placing their faith in God, or any god. I think you would be better served if you showed some more respect to the people you're treating like morons. I am a rational human being, and I am a Christian. If you want to convert people to your worldview, it is better to make it attractive to them. Right now, Jesus and most of the sincere Christians I know are looking better.

      December 9, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • imajan

      Brilliant! Thank you.

      December 9, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • a dose of reality

      Jim T...ever stop to think that maybe us people that use logic and reason are sick and tried of YOU and YOURS trying to push and force you beliefs onto us. YOU do a MUCH better job of looking bad than any Atheist could ever do!

      December 9, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Sean

      Very well said! You started out just describing Christianity as a silly remnant but I'm glad you moved onto the unavoidable ways on which it is actually corrosive and harmful. Looking forward to seeing whether anyone will have anything substantive to say in response.

      December 9, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • Sisyphus

      Jim T. , I respect your right to believe what you want, do you respect mine? The problem with religion is that it serves as a platform from which people can look down upon others.

      December 9, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • ldavid69

      Religion was created by the elitists to control the masses based on fear. Thus the reason why GOP and religion are tied to the hip. The fact is that religion is societal brainwashing. I have proof. How come people of one region overwhelmingly believe in the same god? If religion were not societal brainwashing , the religions would be evenly dispersed. Sorry but Dose of Reality is spot on. I think many of you people that are believers are in denial. You would hate to think you wasted all your money and time on an ideology that is false. You continually go down the same road , rather than cut your losses. Faith is a fancy way of saying wishful thinking.

      December 9, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • Jim T

      a dose of reality, I suppose one of the problems here is that my beliefs carry with them the baggage of 2000 years. And a lot of that baggage comes from the time that we live in. I'm sorry if Christians are forcing you to do things you don't want to do, or trying to brainwash you somehow. I am only accountable for my own actions, not the actions of everyone else under the Christian banner. I put my faith in Jesus because he is good, and the kind of person I would like to be. I haven't placed my faith in people, who do many terrible things in the name of God. Please show me a little respect as an individual.

      Sean, how could someone respond substantively to that? Many of those things are written from the perspective that scientific observations are the truest form of understanding reality. I believe in the truth of scientific observations (how could I not?) but I also believe in less quantifiable truths. We all agree, hopefully, that 2+2=4 but what if they were 4 people? Who are they, and why do they exist? What makes them happy, and what fills them with anger? What do they think of love and where do they turn when they're cold and alone? The world is more than we know.

      December 9, 2012 at 9:40 am |
  17. are122

    Good guy. He's a winner.

    December 9, 2012 at 8:24 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Bad guy. He's a wiener.

      December 9, 2012 at 9:48 am |
  18. RichardSRussell

    The guy is a show-biz natural. Not surprising that he'd end up in the place where the show-biz bux are the biggest.

    December 9, 2012 at 8:15 am |
  19. zometimer

    Nothing fails like prayer.

    December 9, 2012 at 8:12 am |
  20. Chiniquy

    Good for you Joe Gibbs. Your life will always be a beacon for those who believe in their Guardian-Lord Creator.

    December 9, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • Reliigion

      Is it any surprise religious wackos messed up their life and then "find God"? Weak minded.

      December 9, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • zometimer

      "Guardian-Lord Creator" Some great examples would be Auschwitz, 9-11, Rwanda.... Winning footbal games and owning cars that drive in circles around a track does not equal a beacon for much. Let alone the some imaginary diety is handing out favors to people that already have more than they need. Get out from under your rock.

      December 9, 2012 at 8:20 am |
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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.