home
RSS
My Take: If you hear God speak audibly, you (usually) aren’t crazy
A woman prays in church. Many Christians say they can audibly hear the voice of God.
December 29th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Take: If you hear God speak audibly, you (usually) aren’t crazy

Editor's Note: Tanya Marie (“T.M.”) Luhrmann is a psychological anthropologist and the Watkins University professor in the department of anthropology at Stanford University in Stanford, California. She is the author of "When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God."

By T.M. Luhrmann, Special to CNN

(CNN)—In the Bible, God spoke directly to Abraham. He spoke directly to Moses. He spoke directly to Job. But to your neighbor down the street?

Most people reading the ancient scriptures understand these accounts of hearing God’s voice as miracles that really did happen but no longer take place today, or maybe as folkloric flourishes to ancient stories. Even Christians who believe that miracles can be an everyday affair can hesitate when someone tells them they heard God speak audibly. There’s an old joke: When you talk to God, we call it prayer, but when God talks to you, we call it schizophrenia.

Except that usually it’s not.

Hearing a voice when alone, or seeing something no one else can see, is pretty common. At least one in 10 people will say they’ve had such an experience if you ask them bluntly. About four in 10 say they have unusual perceptual experiences between sleep and awareness if you interview them about their sleeping habits.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

And if you ask them in a way that allows them to admit they made a mistake, the rate climbs even higher. By contrast, schizophrenia, the most debilitating of all mental disorders, is pretty rare. Only about one in 100 people can be diagnosed with the disorder.

Moreover, the patterns are quite distinct. People with schizophrenia who hear voices hear them frequently. They often hear them throughout the day, sometimes like a rain of sound, or a relentless hammer. They hear not only sentences, but paragraphs: words upon words upon words. What the voices say is horrid—insults, sneers and contemptuous jibes. “Dirty. You’re dirty.” “Stupid slut.” “You should’ve gone under the bus, not into it.”

That was not what Abraham, Moses and Job experienced, even when God was at his most fierce.

For the last 10 years, I have been doing anthropological and psychological research among experientially oriented evangelicals, the sort of people who seek a personal relationship with God and who expect that God will talk back. For most of them, most of the time, God talks back in a quiet voice they hear inside their minds, or through images that come to mind during prayer. But many of them also reported sensory experiences of God. They say God touched their shoulder, or that he spoke up from the back seat and said, in a way they heard with their ears, that he loved them. Indeed, in 1999, Gallup reported that 23% of all Americans had heard a voice or seen a vision in response to prayer.

These experiences were brief: at the most, a few words or short sentences. They were rare. Those who reported them reported no more than a few of them, if that. These experiences were not distressing, although they were often disconcerting and always startling. On the contrary, these experiences often made people feel more intimate with God, and more deeply loved.

In fact, my research has found that these unusual sensory experiences are more common among those who pray in a way that uses the imagination—for example, when prayer involves talking to God in your mind. The unusual sensory experiences were not, in general, associated with mental illness (we checked).

They were more common among those who felt comfortable getting caught up in their imaginations. They were also more common among those who prayed for longer periods. Prayer involves paying attention to words and images in the mind, and giving them significance. There is something about the skilled practice of paying attention to the mind in this way that shifts—just a little bit—the way we judge what is real.

Yet even many of these Christians, who wanted so badly to have a back-and-forth relationship with God, were a little hesitant to talk about hearing God speak with their ears. For all the biblical examples of hearing God speak audibly, they doubt. Augustine reports that when he was in extremis, sobbing at the foot of that fig tree, he heard a voice say, “Take it and read.” He picked up the scripture and converted. When the Christians I know heard God speak audibly, it often flitted across their minds that they were crazy.

In his new book, "Hallucinations," the noted neurologist Oliver Sacks tells his own story about a hallucinatory experience that changed his life. He took a hearty dose of methamphetamines as a young doctor, and settled down with a 19th century book on migraines. He loved the book, with its detailed observation and its humanity. He wanted more. As he was casting around in his mind for someone who could write more that he could read, a loud internal voice told him “You silly bugger” that it was he. So he began to write. He never took drugs again.

Now, Sacks does not recommend that anyone take drugs like that. He thinks that what he did was dangerous and he thinks he was lucky to have survived.

What interests me, however, is that he allowed himself to trust the voice because the voice was good. There’s a distinction between voices associated with psychiatric illness (often bad) and those (often good) that are found in the so-called normal population. There’s another distinction between those who choose to listen to a voice, if the advice it gives is good, and those who do not. When people like Sacks hear a voice that gives them good advice, the experience can transform them.

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

This is important, because often, when voices are discussed in the media or around the kitchen table, the voices are treated unequivocally as symptoms of madness. And of course, voice-hearing is associated with psychiatric illness.

But not all the time. In fact, not most of the time.

About a third of the people I interviewed carefully at the church where I did research reported an unusual sensory experience they associated with God. While they found these experiences startling, they also found them deeply reassuring.

Science cannot tell us whether God generated the voice that Abraham or Augustine heard. But it can tell us that many of these events are normal, part of the fabric of human perception. History tells us that those experiences enable people to choose paths they should choose, but for various reasons they hesitate to choose.

When the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. sat at his kitchen table, in the winter of 1956, terrified by the fear of what might happen to him and his family during the Montgomery bus boycott, he said he heard the voice of Jesus promising, “I will be with you.” He went forward.

Voices may form part of human suffering. They also may inspire human greatness.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of TM Luhrmann.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • God

soundoff (7,767 Responses)
  1. Buckley's angel

    I wonder just how many people have had a "buckley's angel" moment and kept the whole thing under their hats.

    January 27, 2013 at 11:32 am |
  2. steve

    Modern religion is the accepted psychosis of the day. If enough people think it is "Normal" to have a conversation with an imaginary "Being", society accepts this as normal behavior. As much as this gives many people comfort, it is also "Normal" to have a conversation with yourself to work out any conflicts or to answer any questions. This is called reason.

    January 27, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Buckley's angel

      There is a reason for everything and yet reason itself is not everything. Go joyfully forward, now and always, whether there is reason to or not.

      — Ralph Marston

      January 27, 2013 at 11:35 am |
  3. Bob

    Christian pastor Saeed Abedini, an American imprisoned in Iran on charges of evangelizing, was sentenced this morning to eight years in prison.

    January 27, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      He knowingly disobeyed the laws....should he expect anything less?

      January 27, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • End Religion

      Live by the sword, die by the sword.
      Religious Delusion: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_delusion

      January 27, 2013 at 10:57 am |
  4. Kathy

    I love Mithra, and serve Him, the original son of God. What a mighty God we serve!!!

    January 27, 2013 at 9:49 am |
  5. Bob

    Myrko
    6. “Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.”
    Answer if you can why should this be true??

    January 27, 2013 at 9:48 am |
    • End Religion

      Pistachio.

      January 27, 2013 at 10:58 am |
  6. Myrko

    The Buddha

    1. “All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.”

    You become what you think about or in other words: what you focus on grows in your life and from what you take your focus away from diminishes.

    It means that the mind is directing our life in the way we manifest the life around us by the thoughts and directions we take with our mind. Since everything we created around us is first created in the mind, it is the tool or the interface between our self and the material world.

    Another quote of Buddha with a similar message here is “He is able who thinks he is able”. This also shows the creative power of the mind and if we are able to consciously use it in that way – avoiding negative thoughts and utilizing empowering thoughts – we use it in a supportive manner.

    2. “All wrong-doing arises because of mind. If mind is transformed can wrong-doing remain?”

    This is the core of personal development. It points towards the need to train and develop the mind and to free it from limits and negativity.

    The other quote “The mind is the source of happiness and unhappiness.” makes the same point with the special notion of happiness. The mind used correctly – i.e. constructive, empowering, solution- and action-oriented, positive, truth-seeking – can create happiness. But used poorly – i.e. blaming, egocentric, negative, blinded by ambition or separation – it will create unhappiness for us. Training the mind is the key here.

    The quote may also point to a transformation by awakening directly, where the mind becomes the servant of the self and not the creator of a self-image (the concept of the ego) as a replacement for the true self.

    3. “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

    This points to the abundant nature of reality. The abundance mentality says there is enough for everyone, we only have to realize and live by it. It is the opposite of a scarcity mentality, where you have the belief that you always have to fight for your part in a limited world.

    4. “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”

    The essence of living in the present moment, the Now, is focusing the mind here and take attention away from thinking about past or future. The present moment is all there ever is to experience life directly. Past and future are only concepts of our mind and therefore are good for learning from the past or conceptual planning when it is useful, but after this there is no need for them. Especially not to dwell in them and get stuck there in the mind by constant thinking loops.

    5. “However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you If you do not act on upon them?”

    Action is what counts. It means to be action-oriented and to actually do what we think, to prove what we believe by applying it in reality. Only if we “walk our talk” we are authentic and truthful to ourselves.

    To apply yourself and your ideas in reality is like a proof-test for what we think is right and will work. If there is no action and therefore no testing in reality, the words or ideas themselves are of no real sustainable value.

    Another quote for this message is “A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker.”

    6. “Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.”

    This is the essence of Carpe Diem – to seize the day fully means living wisely. It means to live to the highest truth we know and to rise to our highest values and capabilities.

    Living wisely also means not to believe every thought that comes, but to live more from the space between thoughts, from our essence.
    7. “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”

    The so-called Inside-Out approach means to look within oneself to find the inspiration and power to act from this place. It means not to look to the outside world for liberation or happiness, but to take the responsibility for oneself and become that what we are seeking.

    His second quote here “No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” talks directly about this responsibility, response-ability we have inside.

    8. “In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.”

    Any perspective we have on anything is only a relative truth. There are always both (or more) sides of any story. An objective perspective or an absolute truth is very hard or maybe impossible to see. But to be aware of this and to be interested to see another perspective from another person can be very mind-opening and valuable.

    9. “If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.”

    This quote is perhaps the most difficult one to really understand. In the first place, it is not about the beautiful nature of the flower or beauty itself. What Buddha is talking about – in my humble opinion – is to see and get in touch with the life in a flower directly, without any interference by our mind by mental concepts and thoughts of the flower.

    10. “The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.”

    If we are not authentic and truthful to ourselves, we build a wall around us that eventually we have to tear down again. It is then literally a resistance to the reality and our own nature where we can hide some time, but life has a way to show us our own faults in the end.

    To be true to the best one knows means to come from our own best knowledge and not buy into something outside ourselves blindly, always asking: is this really true to what I know?

    In resonance with this quote also is the final one by The Buddha:

    “There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.”

    January 27, 2013 at 9:47 am |
  7. Bob

    I am constantly amazed at Christians who don't stand or even know the promises of God in the Bible for their own lives. Why accept only partially a gift that God has given us and still walk in darkness not expecting or knowing what God will do for you? It is a shame. The desire on Gods heart is to have a relationship with us, to this end He has set things up for this to be possible and those who don't explore it and see how this is possible are denying themselves a truly awesome experience and a better life.

    January 27, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • End Religion

      Cram a bible up your backside and see if that uplifts your spirits.

      January 27, 2013 at 11:00 am |
  8. Bob

    The words of the Bible are very clear seek me and you will find me when you seek me with all your heart and all your strength. The prophets are called by God to give clear decisive words to His people. They hear and relate to us what God said and while we have them today we also have the Holy Spirit which is a much better way.

    January 27, 2013 at 9:12 am |
  9. The human experience

    Sob.
    Giggle.
    Weee!
    Woah.
    What?
    Dammit!
    Ahhhhh
    Oh yeah!
    Heck yeah!
    Hooray!
    Uh-oh?
    What the??
    Aha!
    Oh yes yes YES!!
    Oh no!
    Oh well...
    (game over)

    January 27, 2013 at 8:50 am |
  10. thoughtfulthinker

    It's true- I have had such an experience – I would have doubted it beforehand but such things really occur. Pretty much the way the author describes them. I am not an evangelical, just sort of a garden variety christian. People who doubt the author's conclusions, I encourage you to think again.

    January 27, 2013 at 7:59 am |
    • End Religion

      There are explanations for every "weird" experience. Just because you, or we, don't understand those at the time doesn't mean: "Gawd dun it wiff magic spellz."

      January 27, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Buckley's angel

      Get on with the explaining...I've got a whole lot of "needs an explaination" in my back pocket just waiting.

      January 27, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • End Religion

      I don't understand any of what you need explained.

      January 27, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • thoughtfulthinker

      It isn't the kind of thing you can explain to someone else- sorry. Just keep an open mind.

      January 27, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
  11. New Age Hippie

    Speaking from personal experience anytime I've heard or seen something that "isn't there" has been, hands down, the BEST experience I've had in life.

    The "spiritual" hoakie stuff..that's been the fun stuff. If you are running around with your nose in a book, or looking down on people all the time it's no wonder you aren't having any fun with your journey.

    January 27, 2013 at 7:04 am |
  12. isis1moon

    So does god tend to speak english? spanish? Is it a female voice, a male voice?

    January 27, 2013 at 6:18 am |
    • isis1moon

      oh wait. what am i saying....it's definitely male and it's definitely english. duh.

      January 27, 2013 at 6:19 am |
  13. roman2819

    This book, "Understanding prayer, Faith and God's WiIl" is dedicated to All who believe, and to All who haven't.
    http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=9781620241431
    Chapters m:
    1. Inner Doubts
    2. What does the Bible mean?
    3. Prayer: What did Jesus Intend to tell us?
    4. "Why doesn't God answer more prayers?"
    5. To Pray Again
    6. Does Sin impede prayer?
    7. Faith in God
    8. How does God call people?
    9. Understanding God's Will
    10 Being in God's will
    11 Journey of the Bible
    12 Reading the Scripture Fruitfully

    January 27, 2013 at 12:50 am |
    • End Religion

      Understanding prayer doesn't take ANOTHER book to understand. It takes a sentence: Prayer does the same good as wishing on a four-leaf clover.

      January 27, 2013 at 11:05 am |
  14. Roger

    Atheists have done so well for humanity that they have to be the police on this board, that's a laugh.

    January 26, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Roger

      You said, "Atheists have done so well for humanity that they have to be the police on this board, that's a laugh."
      Unless you are willing to leave the policing to dimwits, atheists are pretty much your only choice.

      January 26, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • Nice

      LinCA...you've just managed to insult Agnostics, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Agnostics, The New Age, Native American Healers, Spiritualists, Occutlists, and pretty much everybody else who "isn't" an atheist.

      You know what atheism is, it's yet another opinion on the bible.

      January 27, 2013 at 5:35 am |
    • Roger

      Actually of all the human groups with beliefs atheists have the worst track record for helping humanity. They have also brought the most destruction on society. Atheism is a religion so we will continue to classify it as such especially with the fervency that its proponents are here policing, thinking they have the answer and ability to do this job which is also a laugh. Any religion such as atheism that teaches its proponents that ridicule, belligerence, false ability to monitor, and a one sided extreme mindset should be shown for what it is a curse and destructive. Just as Jihad is murder so is atheism in this form.

      January 27, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • the AnViL

      ha ha roger is fussy and frustrated because he has nothing substantial to base his delusional beliefs on.. and atheists politely point that fact out to him at every turn!
      ha ha ha ha ha!!!

      poor butthurt roger

      January 27, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • Roger

      Of all the atheists here I have seen very few are in polite discourse and nothing that would offer help to those in need. case closed

      January 27, 2013 at 9:44 am |
    • End Religion

      Roger, perhaps atheists aren't polite in discourse with you because they don't have time or energy to waste on arguing with someone who believes, praises and bases his life on the equivalent of Leprechauns. Your childish notions do not deserve respect, and when you attempt to have meaningful conversation but then invoke your imaginary sky buddy, neither do you.

      January 27, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Roger
      Atheism is a religion the same as abstinance is a se xual position.
      You are wrong about atheist in general. Look at countires that have more people identifying themselves as not religious and you will find some of the best education system, lower crime rates, and social services that actually work.

      Why don't you turn your efforts in on your religion. Why does the vatican need so much of the worlds wealth. They could sell all the crap they have and feed every hungry person for years. Why don't they...simple. they know that physical wealth and sumbols of power is all they really have. Even they know there are no gods, and their religion is more important than any god if he does exist.

      January 27, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • End Religion

      @Roger: you're confused about a few things. Let me help you.

      "Actually of all the human groups with beliefs atheists have the worst track record for helping humanity."

      • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Largest funded charity on the planet. Atheist.
      • Consider that atheist charities may prefer to be known as "secular" because they do not want to cause the divisiveness that religion does. United Way is one of the largest secular charities in the world, to which other atheist organizations drive funds.
      • Many atheists refer to themselves as humanist because that is their bent. You focus on pleasing your god; humanists focus on helping humans.

      ***
      "They have also brought the most destruction on society."

      The only thing you could be referring to here is the common errant belief that some totalitarian and authoritarian leaders massacred millions because they were atheist. Factually incorrect. When you look at these leaders biographies you will usually find religion; they simply understood that to rule a populace in toto they needed to get rid of any other authority, of which religion is included. This is in fact further evidence that religion is an authoritarian method of control as well.

      As for *actual* destruction based on religion, we needn't look further than Crusades or Witch Burning and on and on. If the user Reality is here I'm sure he'll post his list of the bajillions actually murdered, with no equivocation, in the name of religion.

      ***
      "Atheism is a religion so we will continue to classify it as such..."

      Repeating that it is religion does not make it so, and it certainly is not "classified" as such by anyone but the religious. Atheism is simply the answer "no" to "do you believe in any gods?"

      ***
      "Just as Jihad is murder so is atheism in this form."

      Hyperbole much? It'd be nice if an atheist could help bring you back from your delusion. Murder isn't going to achieve that. Anyway, we'd have countless millions to kill before we could catch up to religion. Too much hassle to try to break your record.

      January 27, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • Roger

      Why don't you ask Hitler and Stalin the same questions? Maybe you would you like to see the courts decisions affirming atheism as a religion? This is different from not believing in God but a active and fanatical belief that there is no God such as you all display here. Which most studies do not take into account because most atheists are to cowardly to admit and stand with the difference knowing their numbers would be far less. Atheists also have the false idea that you and your kind are the thought police able to patrol the boards of people trying to have a peaceful and enjoyable discussion about the attributes of their God and Jesus. In the showing here I say we should enact laws to jail atheists because they are definitely a threat to society, a bigoted and hateful group of people unable to allow others to enjoy the peace of friendly discussion and if I had a choice I would trust my life in the hands of a Christian rather than a atheist any day. With the hate crime laws that atheists help to pass I would love to see some of you here jailed under this provision.

      January 27, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Roger
      You are a lying troll.
      I do not belong in jail because I do not believe in myths.
      You make a lot of false assertions about atheists.
      If you are a christian, you are breaking your gods rules, and you should stop.
      If you aren't christian and are just a troll, you will continue with your posts....show me which one

      January 27, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Roger", but your repeated assertions regarding atheism are unfounded. There is no data indicating that populations under ruthless dictators of past regimes have committed atrocities in the name of atheism. There is data indicating that segments of populations under different religions have committed atrocities in the name of their respective religions. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your repeated unfounded assertions may represent truths is: "EPIC FAIL".

      January 27, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The courts did no such thing, Roger. The court said that atheism should not be subject to discrimination anymore than any religion should be.

      You don't comprehend what you read very well, do you?

      January 27, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • Roger

      A federal court of appeals ruled yesterday Wisconsin prison officials violated an inmate’s rights because they did not treat atheism as a religion.Atheism is religion, and the group that he wanted to start was religious in nature even though it expressly rejects a belief in a supreme being, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said The court decided the inmate’s First Amendment rights were violated because the prison refused to allow him to create a study group for atheists.

      January 27, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that inmates' religious liberties include allowing atheists to conduct study groups. So long as the atheists consider it a matter of religion and religious liberty, prison officials must respect their wishes as much as the wishes of Christians. The Christian Right is already spinning this and distorting it."

      The court doesn't consider atheism a religion, you numbskull. The INMATE did. He is being accorded the same right to have a study group as any person who wants to have one to study any religion.

      Why didn't your god give you an honest bone?

      January 27, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • Evelyn

      Well it's good they are being recognized as different from the rest. But that in no way means it's a religion just because the judicial system uses that for lack of a better name.

      January 27, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Roger

      The Supreme Court has said a religion need not be based on a belief in the existence of a supreme being. In the 1961 case of Torcaso v. Watkins, the court described "secular humanism" as a religion.

      January 27, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What cracks me up is Roger's hissy fit about his right to discuss religion being disrupted by atheists. Really, dear, if you don't like the fact that people don't believe what you do write about it, then don't come here. Go to another blog that restricts discussion only to those who are believers.

      You aren't the thread nanny or the owner of the blog, nor are you in charge of deciding who is more beneficial to society. I doubt you have much say in anything, even in your own home. That's why you get on here and stomp around declaring that anyone who doesn't have YOUR brand of faith should be jailed.

      January 27, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Secular humanism is not atheism, dipsh!t.

      January 27, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Roger, you are becoming a caricature of the religious wing-nuts."This as sertion is based on a reference, by Justice Black, in a footnote (number 11) to the court's finding, to court cases where organized groups of self-identified Humanists, or Ethicists, meeting on a regular basis to share and celebrate their beliefs, have been granted religious-based tax exemptions.

      January 27, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • End Religion

      Despite the "shock" headlines to the contrary, which apparently all Christians now deem as fact, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals didn't declare that atheism was a religion, they declared that atheism was afforded equal protection with religions under the Establishment Clause.

      http://www.atheist-community.org/library/articles/read.php?id=742

      January 27, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Nice

      You said, "you've just managed to insult Agnostics, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Agnostics, The New Age, Native American Healers, Spiritualists, Occutlists, and pretty much everybody else who "isn't" an atheist."
      Other than perhaps not poking fun at the mentally disadvantaged, I see very little reason to not insult the intelligence of adults who still believe in the Tooth Fairy or other imaginary beings.

      You said, "You know what atheism is, it's yet another opinion on the bible."
      While most atheists will recognize the bible for the fairy tale that it is, atheism is simply a lack of belief in gods. Quite a few atheists became atheists after reading the bible. When read critically and with an open mind, there are few texts that make a better case for atheism than the bible.

      January 27, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Why don't you ask Hitler and Stalin the same questions?"

      They're dead, Roger.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:54 am |
    • sam stone

      Roger Dodger: The supreme court also said that marriage was a civil right. I do not see the majority of Christians lining up to protest FOR gay marriage

      January 28, 2013 at 10:13 am |
  15. scotty501

    I cant get over how the Kokomo IN christian town treated Ryan White. More cruel people i have never heard of. What did that town do to redeem themselves for the unforgivable? Sick terrible people in my opinion

    January 25, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
    • Yep

      Sick, terrible people..all two billion of them. Heck we might as well include all of humanity in that statement, why not.

      January 26, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
  16. David8582

    Be thankful oh my brothers! Obama won. If this were not so, we could be being subjected to the Christian Right's beliefs. In 2014 the Dems will probably take back the House.

    Certainly, god is in Heaven and all is right with the world.

    Cheers!

    January 24, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • Romeo

      David another kool aid drinker as taxes go higher tax for health care a upfront fee for everyone, higher credit card rates, gun confiscation, exe orders bypassing Con giving our land in Alaska away to Russia and none not one of his first term promises kept, just to name a few yup I am so happy

      January 24, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • LC

      By Christian Beliefs I hope you're not referring to Romney....Last I checked, he was Mormon. I don't believe it's the same thing, because some Mormons came by my house once trying to "Share the good news" and "Convert" me.....AFTER I told them that I, too, was a Christian. That's like a Baptist or Methodist coming to my house trying to "convert" me to pick a denomination (I'm non-denominational). Awkward....

      January 25, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • End Religion

      Romeo, have you been probed by aliens yet?

      January 27, 2013 at 11:36 am |
  17. Banjo Ferret

    Hearing God in your head means you are crazy. But, hearing Tim the Destroyer of Worlds in your head means you are not. Ferretianism is the one true religion. Repent! (banjoferret d c)

    January 24, 2013 at 10:28 am |
  18. David8582

    Funny, how an all knowing, all powerful, all loving god speaks to a woman about helping her to get a spot out of a favorite blouse, but is silent when dealing with a mother watching her starving child die.

    Cheers!

    January 24, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • Catch 22

      If there is a God, then God lets people die. If there is no God, then death is all there is to look forward to after a lifetime of struggle.

      January 25, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
  19. Harsh dose of reality

    We spend a lot of time worried about trying to sneak a peek at what happens after we die. I'm personally concerned (white knuckle concerned) about what happens WHILE we die. I wish our society (globally) would put as much effort into ensuring a graceful and loving exit from earth as we do on making sure people have a kind and wonderful entrance.

    January 24, 2013 at 7:32 am |
    • David8582

      @Harsh dose of reality

      Dude! You sound like you are ready to embrace Secular Humanism. It is people's needs driven. We do what is best for mankind. We take the Golden Rule seriously, which did not originate with Jesus. Google it. Check out the books on Humanism at Amazon.

      Cheers!

      January 24, 2013 at 8:21 am |
  20. Spectrophiliac

    When you're in a relationship with someone who's two or three hundred years older than you are it helps to have an interpreter who can auditorily hallucinate on your behalf.

    January 23, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
    • Cthulhu

      GRMPRMPILMURPLMP!!

      January 23, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93
Advertisement
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.