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My Take: No pressure, Mr. President
Author Eric Metaxas speaks alongside President Barack Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington in February.
December 10th, 2012
05:00 AM ET

My Take: No pressure, Mr. President

Editor's Note: Eric Metaxas is the author of "No Pressure, Mr. President! The Power Of True Belief In A Time Of Crisis: The National Prayer Breakfast Speech."

By Eric Metaxas, Special to CNN

(CNN)–Imagine that the president of the United States had to sit and listen to you for 30 minutes in a public setting. Imagine that he couldn't escape and had to endure whatever you said. If you disagreed with him politically, would you try to embarrass him? What would you say?

Well, this actually happened to me. A year ago I was invited to be the keynote speaker at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, an event attended by the president, first lady, vice president, and 3,500 other dignitaries. No one was more shocked at the invitation than I. Previous speakers include Mother Teresa, Tony Blair and Bono. No pressure.

By the way, I disagree with the president in some important ways. But as a Christian, God commands me to love those with whom I disagree, to treat them with civility and respect, as creatures made in God's image. That's a command, not a request or a suggestion. Again, no pressure.

In my speech I spoke about my heroes, William Wilberforce and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Wilberforce's faith led him to fight for the Africans being enslaved by the British; Bonhoeffer's faith led him to fight for the Jews being persecuted by the Nazis. I used them as examples of people who passionately lived out their faith by standing up for their fellow human beings when most around them merely gave it lip service.

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I also joked around a lot, because as any of my friends will tell you, one of the ways I show love is by joking and teasing people.  Who said prayer breakfasts had to be boring?  At one point I said that George W. Bush had read my Bonhoeffer book, and then I glanced at President Obama and said "No pressure."  I'm glad he laughed!

Later in my speech, I talked specifically about the idea of loving our enemies. I said this was the test of real faith. Speaking to my fellow pro-lifers, I said that those of us who believe the unborn to be human beings must love those on the other side of that issue. I also said that those of us with a traditionally biblical view of sexuality are sometimes demonized as bigots, but we must love even those who call us bigots. I cited Wilberforce and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as two men who took seriously God's command to love their enemies in the midst of the most serious political battles of their day.  They honored God in how they fought, and he honored them.

At the end of the breakfast the president told me he would read my book on Bonhoeffer, and Vice President Biden took my picture with the president. No kidding. It was an extraordinary day and I'm not telling the half of it.

President Barack Obama holds up a book given to him by author Eric Metaxas

But the reason I'm writing now is that during the past election I was disappointed to see the president's campaign utterly abandoning these ideals of treating your opponents as you yourself would wish to be treated. Good people with principled and profound convictions about when life begins were cynically demonized as "enemies of women."  Americans who had worked hard to build businesses, and who had given millions to charity and to the government, were denounced as fat-cats who weren't "paying their fair share" and whose wealth was ill-gotten gain.

These scorched-earth tactics were not presidential, much less Christian, and because the president openly professes a Christian faith, I feel I must speak about this.

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

Of course many will dismiss campaign hardball rhetoric as "what works." This is to miss the point. What we say matters deeply, and how we say it matters deeply.  All of it has serious long-term consequences.  For all of us.

For one thing, our children are watching and listening. We tell them it's less important who wins or loses than how we play the game. Is there no truth to this at all? Do we not see that this behavior erodes faith in the very political process and in democracy itself? Do we not see that by doing this we encourage our opponents to do the same - and worse - the next time around?  Shouldn't we care about that?

Any victory won in an ugly way is somehow a tainted victory. In this case, the president has "won" a deeply divided nation, one that he - alas - has had a hand in dividing. Now what?

If he is to succeed in the tremendous challenges that lay ahead, he must repent of these tactics and must make amends with his opponents, if it's not too late.  Or else he will face gridlock and more gridlock.  He also must show the door to those who cynically encouraged this "winning is the only thing" behavior.

His legacy and America's future depend upon it. Many will be praying for him.

No pressure.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Eric Metaxas.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Barack Obama • Belief • Christianity • Church and state • Politics

soundoff (2,208 Responses)
  1. John Diomitron

    So what would Elijah say? He would say, "You have done evil in the sight of the LORD!"

    December 10, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • mama k

      Elijah probably says "get me out of New Zealand and stop making these damn troll movies.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      What would Santa say? He would say "Ho Ho Ho"

      December 10, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • TK

      The writer speaks only of his view of Christianity. If Romney had won, would he make the same assertions? Should the President impose Christian values on non-christians? I, like the writer would rather abortion be a thing of the past but the central point is lazy Christianity expecting the government or President to legislate Christianity. Shame on us. I love and honor our President. Where is the outrage over your half of the country that demonized him? I have plenty more to say about quickly forgetting what you have seen in the mirror.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      What would Fred Flintsone Say? He would say "Yabba Dabba Doo!"

      December 10, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • sam

      @mama k – LOL!

      December 10, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
  2. JW33

    Just do the best you possibly can toward your fellow man. Your personal judgement will be just that, "Your personal Judgement", and you will take that to your grave, or hereafter, or whatever.

    December 10, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • sam

      Yep.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
  3. Reality

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    Putting the kibosh/”google” on Mr. Metaxas and also all religions in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    December 10, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • lol??

      Reality, if you were serious..................You'd prove it with science.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • Reality

      From the science of archeology and rigorous historical reviews:

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

      New Torah For Modern Minds

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

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

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

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

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

      December 11, 2012 at 6:54 am |
    • Reality

      More from the science of archeology and rigorous, statistical-an-alysis reviews of history:

      Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con/

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

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

      To wit;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

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

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

      p.4

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

      p.168. by Ted Peters:

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

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

      December 11, 2012 at 6:58 am |
  4. Sam

    I honestly don't understand the point of his article.

    He has two complaints –

    1) Good people with principled and profound convictions about when life begins were cynically demonized as "enemies of women."

    2) Americans who had worked hard to build businesses, and who had given millions to charity and to the government, were denounced as fat-cats who weren't "paying their fair share" and whose wealth was ill-gotten gain.

    But if you are in favor of access to abortion then someone who wants to take that access away...while not necessarily your enemy...they certainly don't care what YOU think about the matter. Indeed, if they were in the majority they would (even more loudly than now) be demonizing those who believe in the individual choice.

    Secondly, this fellow seems to think that the very act of calling for a tax increase is a form of belittlement and an attack.

    At the end he asks for new rhetoric. Right back at you brother.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Sam, I agree with you on #2. Saying that someone isn't "paying their share" is really the exact same thing as saying you think the tax code needs to be adjusted. People say this all the time, and it can't be taken as a personal affront.

      I disagree, however, on #1. You might be able to argue that what they are doing is a "war on some women" or a "war on women who want abortions" but to call it a "war on women" is going too far (noting, of course, Obama himself never said this). A lot of women actually support both the social and economic policies at issue (wrongly I believe, just as the men who support them are) and I don't think those women are at war with themselves or we're stretched the meaning of war well beyond it's usefulness.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • falina

      Well you sure hit the nail dead on when you said you didn;t get the point. That much is clear!

      December 10, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Sam,

      “So then, you believe in wanton s e x u a l pleasures without the foreseeable consequences? Someone's standing upon r a p e & I n c e s t principles or a mother's potential healthiness due a child possibly being conceived is noteworthy. Should the governing bodies allow all s e x u a l activities no matter what? Is the shame for having s e x outside wedlock for pleasure's sake something to be overlooked and judgmentally weighed out-of-bounds due that everyone needs a little 'action'?

      December 10, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Saraswati, I think you underestimate how much some women hate women who don't adhere to the belief that the fetus is sacred and women are lesser beings only meant to serve as vessels.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son wrote on December 10, 2012 at 11:08 pm to Saraswati, “I think you underestimate how much some women hate women who don't adhere to the belief that the fetus is sacred and women are lesser beings only meant to serve as vessels.”

      Lionlylamb replies, A fetus is a sacred e n t I t y being built by those Godly beings that are harbored inside a woman’s body which are but God’s buildings. 1Corinthians 3:9 “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.” Your emotionally unbalanced understanding declaring that “some women hate women who don't adhere to the belief that the fetus is sacred and women are lesser beings only meant to serve as vessels” does show your insecure intentions in a negative aspect. Miscarriages occur naturally therefore an unnatural miscarriage should be thought thru fully before such a procedure is done.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
  5. silentcount

    Obama treats half of Americans as the enemy. He doesn't have a clue. Shame on those who voted for him. They delayed economic recovery another 4 years.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Observer

      lol. Mitt Romney doesn't care about 47% of our nation.

      Oooops.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • Sam

      You treat those who voted for Obama ...over half the country ...as the enemy.

      Stop acting the victim and make a positive contribution.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • MikeO

      I totally agree that Obama doesn't have a clue. I voted for him in 2008, and they watched him accomplish very little. Abortion is wrong. Murdering innocent babies in wrong, no matter what pretty words you use include "woman's right to choose," which is absurd.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • sam

      A sphincter says what?

      December 10, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • sam

      @MikeO – bad douchie, no cookie.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • leadercraft

      i agree.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @mikeO.......................What Obama accomplished

      1) Killed Bin Laden
      2) Saved the auto industry
      3) Saved the banking industry
      4) Ended the war in Iraq
      5) will end the war in Afghanistan next year (should end it sooner)
      6) Two supreme court justices
      7) Doubled the Dow (6500 to over 13000)
      8) Nuclear reduction treaty with Russia
      9) Over 32 months of job growth
      10) Lowered unemployment from over 10% to 7.7%

      I could go on but I have other things to do.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • james moore

      To both you and the writer of this obnoxious writer. First God want us to come to him as a child without prejudice but seeking wisdom from his word.. He is silent on abortion, though abortion occurred during his time in Egypt, God condemns murder, "thou shalt not kill", but David killed for the Jewish nation, Moses murdered an Egyptian , Jacob killed all the inhabitants of Jericho, And they sit on the right hand of God. How do you explain this? You can't. You are an hypocrite. Bound by man's values and not Gods.
      Have you read that 'that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than a rich man to enter the gates of heaven'. The bible says hard for the rich but not impossible. It is wonderful that God hates the sin, but loves the sinner. If you want to know what a christian should do with his GAIN, read Mathew 25: verses 34 thru. 41, and ask yourself was this a suggestion or commandment? first, DOUBTING THOMAS, you tide and then you give as instructed to do in Matthew and Isaiah 58 Be more like Bill Gates and other deserving rich That give to all that need and covet nothing.
      Now how does that instruction fit with you analysis? It does not, because you are just plain WRONG!!
      DO NOT CALL YOURSELF A CHRISTIAN, AND NEITHER DECLARE OTHERS A CHRISTIAN UNLESS YOU ARE CHRIST LIKE!!
      From your letter that is full of misleading and twisted doctrine. Tell the people the truth. You will feel better and the people will feel better Knowing the truth. A conservative said after he raised taxes for the 17th time, "Trust but verify". You have trusted evil. Those that deny the will of GOD!!!

      December 11, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • james moore

      OK already! How many times will you say it?

      December 11, 2012 at 1:31 am |
  6. silentcount

    Even Bush respected the other party and worked well with them. Obama doesn't have a clue. He treats half of Americans as the enemy. Shame on the people who voted for him. They delayed economic recovery another 4 years.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Observer

      Bush didn't care what people said. He bragged that he didn't pay any attention to polls. That's how he started a war for false reasons.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • captnavenger

      Bush never listened to the other side. Never admitted mistakes or failure on any level. His administration showed contempt and disrespect for everybody who didn't agree with them, and he publicly stated that he was the president only of the people who voted for him.

      Obama is the complete opposite. The VERY REASON he is having such a hard time getting anything done is because he is – as he has all along – trying so hard to work with the other side, but the other side is interested in nothing but making him a failure, and they don't care if they destroy the country in the process.

      Silentcount, what kind of fantasy land do you live in that you cannot see these truths playing out right in front of you? Obama won because the MAJORITY of us SEE THOSE TRUTHS YOU DENY TO YOURSELF.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • sam

      This alternate universe you've seen – how did you get there? Meditation? Bongo drums? Big bag of weed?

      December 10, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • leadercraft

      sam needs to be given his meds and tucked in for the night.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • sam

      Hey leadercraft – you're not my type. Back off, bro. Stance is a little wide, there.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • leadercraft

      watch out you'll go to prison for hate speech.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • sam

      I'm still not your type.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @mikeO.......................What Obama accomplished

      1) Killed Bin Laden
      2) Saved the auto industry
      3) Saved the banking industry
      4) Ended the war in Iraq
      5) will end the war in Afghanistan next year (should end it sooner)
      6) Two supreme court justices
      7) Doubled the Dow (6500 to over 13000)
      8) Nuclear reduction treaty with Russia
      9) Over 32 months of job growth
      10) Lowered unemployment from over 10% to 7.7%
      11) Led the charge that killed Khadafy (Not one soldier was killed)
      12 Healthcare reform

      This bears repeating. I added a couple more things.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
  7. gman

    CNN AGAIN ANTI-SEMITIC EDITING OF CHRISTIAN RESPONSES.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • LinCA

      @gman

      You said, "CNN AGAIN ANTI-SEMITIC EDITING OF CHRISTIAN RESPONSES."
      I think we've covered this before.

      The following words or word fragments will get your post censored (list is incomplete):
            arse             as in Arsenal
            bastard
            bitch
            clit
            cock           as in cockatiel
            coon           as in cocoon
            cracker
            cum             as in circumstance
            cunt
            douche
            effing
            fag
            ftw
            fuck
            goddamn
            homo         as in homosexual
            hooters
            horny
            hump
            jackass
            jap
            jism
            kinky
            kooch
            necrophilia
            nipple
            nigger
            orgy
            pis
            poon           as in spooked
            porn
            prick
            queer
            rape         as in grape
            sex           as in homosexual
            shit
            slut
            smut
            snatch
            spic         as in despicable
            tit               as in constitution or title
            twat
            vag           as in vague
            whore
            wonderful us
            wop
            wtf

      To circumvent the filters you can break up the words by putting an extra character in, like: consti.tution (breaking the oh so naughty "tit").

      December 10, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • gman

      @ lynca , none of those words were used or any profanity. only words concerning the jews, apostles and
      pharisees from the bible text. direct quote from scripture. still wouldn't go through.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • Denial

      CNN HATES Christians. Anything even remotely pro-Christian is censured. What a bunch of bigots.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • sam

      THERE ARE NO MODS, YOU TINFOIL HAT WEARING HORSE FUCKER

      December 10, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • gman

      @ denial, thanks and amen !!!!!!!!!!!1

      December 10, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • Reality

      Look for the "ti-t" fragment. Ditto for "c-um" or "h-omo". Use Find on your edit menu to find the offending fragment.

      Added details:

      The moderators of this blog have set up a secret forbidden word filter which unfortunately not only will delete or put your comment in the dreaded "waiting for moderation" category but also will do the same to words having fragments of these words. For example, "t-it" is in the set but the filter will also pick up words like Hitt-ite, t-itle, beati-tude, practi-tioner and const-tution. Then there are words like "an-al" thereby flagging words like an-alysis and "c-um" flagging acc-umulate or doc-ument. And there is also "r-a-pe", “a-pe” and “gra-pe”, "s-ex", and "hom-ose-xual". You would think that the moderators would have corrected this by now considering the number of times this has been commented on but they have not. To be safe, I typically add hyphens in any word that said filter might judge "of-fensive".

      • Make sure the web address does not have any forbidden word or fragment.

      Sum Dude routinely updates the list of forbidden words/fragments.

      Two of the most filtered words are those containing the fragments "t-it" and "c-um". To quickly check your comments for these fragments, click on "Edit" on the Tool Bar and then "Find" on the menu. Add a fragment (without hyphens) one at a time in the "Find" slot and the offending fragment will be highlighted in your comments before you hit the Post button. Hyphenate the fragment(s) and then hit Post. And remember more than one full web address will also gain a "Waiting for Moderation".
      Zeb’s alphabetical listing

      o “bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN "awaiting moderation" filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      --–
      ar-se.....as in Car-se, etc.
      ba-stard
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, lubco-ck, etc.
      co-on.....as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      cu-nt.....as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
      do-uche
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, etc.
      fu-ck......!
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      ji-sm
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      nip-ple
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sh-@t.....but shat is okay – don't use the @ symbol there.
      sh-it
      sl-ut
      sn-atch
      sp-ic.....as in disp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      wt-f....also!!!!!!!

      There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.
      -–
      Allowed words / not blocked at all:
      anal
      anus
      ass
      boob
      crap
      damn
      execute
      hell
      kill
      masturbation
      murder
      penis
      pubic
      raping (ra-pe is not ok)
      shat (sh-@t is not ok)
      sphincter
      testes
      testicles

      The CNN / WordPress filter also filters your EMAIL address and NAME as well – so you might want to check those.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • FYI

      gman,

      Type in the Book:Chapter:Verse# then, and we will look for the flagged word for you, if you are unable to see it in the text.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • sam

      Sweet buttery Jesus on an isosceles triangle-shaped surrey with a fringe on top – did you fools not read the article? Would this shit have been posted if this place was anti christian? I'm sorry you're not smart enough to get past the filter. It's God trying to tell you to GET OUT.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • james moore

      gman,
      What the heck are you talking about? This has nothing to do with the Jewish people, But everything to do with all of Gods people. By the by, stop being a victim and be the great people you are!!

      December 11, 2012 at 12:28 am |
  8. Warmer

    God is dead. The put faith in him/her just places your problems and the world's problems on a back burner. When will the masses wake up and realize this is all up to us, this is all our doing, and the damage done can only be reconciled by us. GOD HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ANY OF THIS. People believe in god out of fear that they have to make their life meaningful on their own. People believe in god because the real answers are to hard or depressing or scary to accept. WAKE UP TO THE REALITY THAT WE ARE THE MASTERS OF OUR OWN DESTINY!!! only then will we start to accept the fact that the worlds problems are all our making.

    Ps. Nice photoshop. The pic to click for the link. The seal of the president around his head to make him look like Jesus. 😉

    December 10, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • chad

      The foundation of irreligious criticism is: Man makes religion, religion does not make man. Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. Karl Marx

      you keep lousy company @Warmer

      December 10, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Not that lousy, unless he's hangin' out with you, Vegetable.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Denial

      You sir, are an idiot. God is more alive that you are.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • sam

      Denial picked the most perfect ironic screen name.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • james moore

      Warmer,
      How do you know there's not a god when man is full of atrocious deeds? You say it's up to us, well we haven't performed well enough to deserve that responsibility. Man is weak and arrogant, and too stupid to know that when you think you are wise you are a fool. Explain to me how the brain converts impulses to thought and creates a thought in the mind. explain to me oh great philosopher and man of understanding, how do you know how the big bang came together and how did the elements come together at the right time. Where did these elements come from? Just appeared at the right time? We can agree that man had nothing to do with this.
      How long is time to God? Not this man made measurement that we use to lie about the history of the world, but the linfinity of time that Einstein talked about? Is 1 million years equal to one hour in our time? Well using that theory how old is our planet? We are kids using the building blocks of life to construct our own reality. actually the recessive comes from the dominate. That all that nature and science has taught us. Be willing to believe in something besides your own devices or you will remain the fool you are.

      December 11, 2012 at 12:52 am |
  9. Scowl

    The author is just your average Bible Banger who wants an American Theocracy. It's people like you who do the most damage. Do us sane, rational people a favor and keep your stupid religion where it belongs: your home, your church and related functions, etc. It's does not belong in the Public Square, i.e. the political arena. Pushy little dullard.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • chad

      @scowl "Do us sane, rational people a favor and keep your stupid religion where it belongs: your home, your church and related functions, etc. It's does not belong in the Public Square, i.e. the political arena. Pushy little dullard.

      "

      =>constitution expressly forbids your notion of an atheist state.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chard, you idiot, secular doesn't equal atheist. How fvckin' stupid are you?

      December 10, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • leadercraft

      you have good ideas .....not.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • james moore

      God hates the sin but loves the sinner. You don't sound like you're very tolerant. GOD BLESS YOU!

      December 11, 2012 at 12:56 am |
  10. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Actually, the game is long since over. Religion is thoroughly discredited. Some of us come here to try to remediate people who claim to live by faith alone, and to spread the good news that nothing eternal awaits any of us.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      BEAT THAT DRUM TOM TOM Keep spreading the news. We are growing in number, the tide is turning. We are at the beginning of the end of centuries of abuse of humanity by religion.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • lol??

      ndarwin, the abuser.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • Mitch

      Entire armies tried to destroy the Bible and failed, fool. You can't win. Redirect your engeries into getting out of your mother's basement and making something of yourself.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • John Diomitron

      Wait until I am done with you. YOU WILL BOW TO HIM! All will bow to Him. You will realize that it was your wicked world that was a fairy tale and that your father the devil lied to you and deceived you!

      REPENT!

      December 10, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • Athy

      Oh, blow it out your ass, John. Religion is just bullshit. Besides, how can I repent when I haven't even pented yet?

      December 11, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • A Frayed Knot

      John Diomitron

      \"Wait until I am done with you. YOU WILL BOW TO HIM! All will bow to Him."

      Well, if that doesn't sound like your "Satan" character speaking, nothing does!

      December 11, 2012 at 12:05 am |
  11. lol??

    Here's a job for some of ya. Over at Christianity Today an article was written about Ted Haggard and how wunnerful he is. Sick em. The posting method is not as much "fun" but a little smash and grab will work.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • sam

      Low hanging fruit!

      December 10, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Mitch

      Ted made mistakes and changed his life for the better... which is very commendable. If you have a problem with that, and are in a position to judge others, then have at it.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • lol??

      mitch, "1Cr 6:4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church." They have any "least" in the megachurches?

      December 10, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
  12. waitasec

    "But as a Christian, God commands me to love those with whom I disagree, to treat them with civility and respect, as creatures made in God's image"
    interesting...so without god you wouldn't be able to behave like that?

    December 10, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • J. David

      exactly what i was thinking!

      December 10, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Sec 8

      I wouldnt I know that much. I dont really care about people anyways and I do believe in God. Sometimes I think that if I didnt feel any consequences for my actions I would do just about anything to get what I want and so would you.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • james moore

      YOU HAVEN"T YET. Your idea of civility is to shot your enemy while "making a leg"

      December 11, 2012 at 1:03 am |
  13. Edward Cantu

    Sounds like you choked because you feared man when you should fear God..

    December 10, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Edward Cantu

      I think repent would have been a good speech.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Observer

      Do you mean the God who "loves" us?

      December 10, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • sybaris

      So this allegedly omnipotent, omniscient thing can't figure out how to keep it's followers other than through fear.

      Stupid god

      Sounds like the typical wife beater.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
  14. smc

    Yet another right wingnut fake "Christian" who totally missed the boat when Jesus spoke over and over about how his kingdom was not of this Earth and to judge not lest ye be judged.

    A gay person is your "enemy", yet you're somehow surprised they might think of you as a bigot? Go buy yourself a clue with that book money.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
  15. Steven B

    Don't care – this is not a Christian country, and some of us tire of playing nice with those who mistakenly believe it so.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      Well put. (We ARE still "playing nice" compared to the lies, hypocrisy, and violence that religion has used for centuries)
      Visit FFRF.org they are doing wonderful work (within the law, and within the bounds of reason.......once again "playing nice" (and legal) compared to the religious behavior even today.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • Martha

      This is a Christian country. God says if only one is left, He is with us. Only takes one person in God's eyes, so you will never win, no matter how many co-bigots you try to convince. Loser.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • sam

      Martha,

      1)This is not, and will never be, a christian country

      2) Not very christian to call people losers

      3) Suck it.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
  16. John Diomitron

    @Tom Tom, Sam Sam, Bam Bam, or whatever you call yourselves. It makes no difference what your name is because you are still children of Jezebel and her husband the devil! You are reaping your judgment on your own heads with your vile and wicked tongues! Leave my brothers and sisters in Christ alone! You are dealing with the Big Brother now, and I don't speak as they do nor act as they do. I was sent to do something different. REPENT!!!

    December 10, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I don't suppose you have an opinion on Creation – whether the Universe of space and time had a beginning, that sort of thing?

      December 10, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • mama k

      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. "

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

      December 10, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yah, I'm terrified. Some ninny on a board is telling me I'm going to hell. Gee.

      I'm sure I'll give that all the consideration it merits.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • sybaris

      Big Brother? Is he related to the Big Bopper and Chubby Checker?

      December 10, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • Akira

      You sound a little angry, John.
      Do you need a hug?

      December 10, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • sam

      That's hot.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
  17. Konadreamer

    This is a clear example of why religion is on the wane in this country–hypocrisy. As is typical of Xians, everything is black and white: friend/foe, ally/enemy, black/white, Romney/Obama. To people like Mr. Metaxas, there are only agonist and antagonist relationships in the world. If you don't fall in his "friends" column, then you are definitely in the "foe" column. This makes the world much simpler to manage for them by boiling all issues into just two alternatives. Thus, he has applied this paradigm to just about everything under the sun, including politics. So someone who disagrees with them or offers a different perspective than they do is cast as an enemy. Would abortion clinic bombers and doctor killers be then considered good Christian soldiers?

    Mr. Romney also considers himself a Christian, but perhaps Mr. Metaxas does not. Is that why he is being exempted from such scrutiny? This, of course, comes as no surprise.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • John Diomitron

      A true Christian (BTW, I saw the "x" on your post) will speak the Word for he/she is to spread the Gospel. If you hear the Word and you feel condemned, it is not the messenger that condemns your heart and calling you to repent, it is the Word.

      Concerning your abortion comment, read this: Jeremiah 32:35 – "And they built the high places of Baal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.’ "

      They sacrificed their children in the fire, and the LORD was not happy. He called it an abomination! Do you know what happened to the kingdoms of Israel and Judah because they sinned and turned away from God's wise counsel? He punished them by bringing their enemies the Assyrians and Babylonians against them, their kingdoms fell, and the Jews were scattered across the face of the earth. (NOTE: Don't misunderstand concerning Israel. A time is coming soon when the Father will gather Israel again for He loves His chosen and firstborn!) You should SERIOUSLY wonder what He thinks about America. The LORD God is holy, righteous, and just...AND HE DOES NOT CHANGE!

      Now it is clear to see from the Word that sacrificing children (abortion) is an abomination! As for you...REPENT!!!

      December 10, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • Akira

      And yet God killed all the firstborn in Egypt, and flooded the world, killing all the children, and destryed Soddom and Gommorah, with all the kids in it...GOD IS AGAINST LITTLE KIDS! REPENT!

      December 10, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • sam

      ABORT EVERYTHING

      December 10, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
  18. krhodes

    I hope there are a lot of pictures in that Bonhoeffer book. Obama surely won't understand very much of it.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Akira

      Pfft.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Observer

      krhodes,

      President Obama graduated with HONORS from Harvard Law School.

      Please list your educational background so we can decide between the two of you who would need the pictures.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Steven B

      Derp!

      December 10, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Athy

      Would you?

      December 10, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • sam

      Ooh, I finally figure out who krhodes really is: ANN COULTER.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
  19. Nietodarwin

    President Obama does not need more votes, ever again. WRITE AN EMAIL TO THE WHITE HOUSE and ask him to NEVER attend another "prayer breakfast" (I also asked him to do what he could to eliminate this practice FOREVER in this, our great SECULAR, (very much NOT xstian) nation.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • krhodes

      You are right...a Christian nation would never be as immoral and wicked as this one is becoming.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Saraswati

      They won't eliminate the prayer breakfast anytime in the next 5-10 years. They might rename it into something less annoying and more inclussive...definitely more worth the struggle at this point.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Akira

      KR:
      LOL.
      And that's the behavior OF the Christians.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Observer

      krhodes,

      "Our nation is becoming immoral and wicked."

      Wow, Are you just starting to read the Bible about THOUSANDS of years AGO?

      December 10, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • krhodes

      Akira

      KR:
      "LOL.
      And that's the behavior OF the Christians."

      Really...i think liberals support abortion. g ay marriage, euthenasia, infanticide and on and on...sounds pretty barbaric to me.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Observer

      krhodes,

      Still waiting for your educational background for comparison to a Harvard graduate with honors who you say needs books with pictures. How did you do? Do you need coloring books, by comparison?

      December 10, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If you're going to lie, Khruddy, why not go big? Accuse us of head-shrinking and cannibalism, while you're at it. It's just as credible as your current asinine swill.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • sam

      krhodes, you should lock yourself in a bunker with some Spam to avoid the evil.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • Akira

      Krhodes:
      "Really…i think liberals support abortion. g ay marriage, euthenasia, infanticide and on and on…sounds pretty barbaric to me."

      Liberals support choice.
      Liberals support equal rights for all citizens regarding marriage.
      Liberals support the right to die with dignity.
      As for your assertion of infanticide, you're completely full of sh!t.
      There is not one liberal that would support killing an infant.
      But your fvcking Bible does, if they're disobedient.
      Your Bible supports killing women.
      Your Bible supports slavery.
      And don't give me that line that the OT is irelevent; it's in your Bible, which you swear is the word of God.

      Sounds pretty barbaric to ME.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
  20. Nietodarwin

    This author writes "In my speech I spoke about my heroes, William Wilberforce and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. "........"examples of people who passionately lived out their faith by standing up for their fellow human beings when most around them merely gave it lip service." How LAME. Who does he think they were standing up against? Xstians of "faith" of course. This author is not just mentally ill with religion and his comments on the President, HE IS IGNORANT OF HISTORY.

    “I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so [Adolph Hitler, to Gen. Gerhard Engel, 1941]

    “The greatness of every mighty organization embodying an idea in this_world lies in the religious fanaticism and intolerance with which,_fanatically convinced of its own right, it intolerantly imposes its_will against all others.” [Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf" Vol. 1 Chapter 12]

    "When a slave owner strikes a male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies immediately, the owner shall be punished. But if the slave survives a day or two, there is no punishment; for the slave is the owner's property." - Exodus 21:20-21.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Akira

      Ah, but Nie, don't forget that the OT is to be disregarded, unless it is used for their own agenda.
      Always loved that part.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Akira, I wish I could remember who it was about 3 days ago that wrote three lines on how the OT wasn't relevant and then ended with an OT quote. Priceless.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Akira

      Sara:
      There's a lot of that going around...cracks me up every time!

      December 10, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Andy Christensen

      Hitler was about as Christian as Daffy Duck. Bonhoeffer died for his convictions because he was standing up to bloodthirsty murderers whose only god was power. When was the last time you did that?

      December 10, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Akira

      Andy,
      There is not one person who has said anything about Bonhoeffer; what is being pointed out is that Hitler
      claimed to be Christian, and his actions proved otherwise; if you cannot see the parallels to some of the Christians today, you've missed the boat completely.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Observer

      Andy,

      “I believe today that I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator. By warding off the Jews I am fighting for the Lords work.”
      - Adolph Hitler, 1936, Reichstag, Berlin

      December 10, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      SO SORRY AKIRA You want some New Testament chapter and verse, instead of "OT'??? Read your bible, then put it down and go to a library and get an education. Here's some "Jesus" talk from 'NT' smarty.
      According to Jesus, how should servants/slaves be treated?
      They should be beaten for disobedience, but not more severely than they deserve (Luke 12:47-48) LOOK IT UP

      December 10, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      AKIRA Here's the whole thing (for your education)"And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes." (Luke 12:47-48) The entire context (Luke 12:41-48) shows that this is not part of a parable–it is the explanation of a parable, after Peter asked a question. But even if it were a parable, it would carry the same weight as a teaching of Jesus.

      The word "servant" above is doulos, which means "slave" in Greek, and is correctly rendered "slave" by the NRSV, NAS, Scholar's Version, and others. "Shall" meant "should," as Jesus adds: "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required." (Luke 12:48)

      December 10, 2012 at 10:50 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.