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Take a listen: God is all over inauguration
President Barack Obama's go-to Bible when he takes the oath is the same one used by former President Abraham Lincoln.
January 18th, 2013
02:31 PM ET

Take a listen: God is all over inauguration

(CNN) – With President Barack Obama's second inauguration just days away, CNN Radio explores the one figure who has been omnipresent at these ceremonies: God.

From the oaths of office and speeches to invocations and Bibles used, religion has been woven into this day since President George Washington made his first address to a fledgling nation.

Join CNN's Lisa Desjardins on a journey into God's place in U.S. inaugural history.

Listen to the full story on CNN Radio's Soundwaves blog

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: History • Obama • Politics • Prayer • United States

soundoff (256 Responses)
  1. NorthVanCan

    Unbelievable America is still living in the dark ages when it comes to religion.
    So much progress could be made around the world if America led by freeing humanity from dogma.
    So much potential wasted by religion .
    It's really sad.

    January 19, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • Sabrina

      It's non believers who live in darkness. Christ is the light of the world who came to save us sinner.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:41 am |
  2. Dr E Lewis

    Well this country was founded on biblical principles so this is NOT a surprise. Everyone is so up in arms at the mention of God or religion these days. If God isn't real to u, WHY all this intense emotion and anger? I don't believe in the boogeyman, I am convinced he is NOT real, therefore, I don't get up in arms when someone mentions him. Just a thought...

    January 19, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • keplerfan

      The boogy man is not behind those who molest children, convince others that the world is ending, collect tax free revenue or have criteria for individuls who should be viciously tortured for all etenity!!!

      January 19, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
    • keplerfan

      How is freedom of religion a biblical principal, anyway? The first commandment makes it unambiguously clear that you CANNOT worship anyone but the Christian god! So, if this is a Christian nation then what is the first ammendment supposed mean? God gave us the free choice to worship whoever we want in hopes that we willl come to the realization that we don't have a choice? That's retarded!!!

      January 19, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
  3. Mohammad A Dar

    Ya Obama let's roll some bibles and don't forget to send white smoke from the chimney of the White House !!

    January 19, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
  4. Banjo Ferret

    This displeases Tim the Destroyer of Worlds, who should be mentioned in every third sentence followed by 10 seconds of uncontrolled screaming. Ferretianism is the one true religion. Repent! (banjoferret d c)

    January 19, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
  5. Reality

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection/NT Con

    From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15: 14, 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.

    January 19, 2013 at 8:02 am |
    • Logic

      @Reality
      "Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection/NT Con"
      And my rebuttal, Saving Christians from the Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection/NT Con Con.

      "From that famous pas.sage: In 1 Corinthians 15: 14, Paul reasoned, 'If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.'"
      Quite true, and makes perfect sense.

      "Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus."
      False premise. What a Catholic theology professor from a Catholic University thnks does not make it true.

      "Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and As.sumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place."
      Again, no basis for this. Plus, the Ascension would be Jesus Resurrected, not dead (corpse).

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

      "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."
      False. Mark 16:19 also talks of Jesus' ascension into Heaven.

      "The As.sumption 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."
      Correct. If Mary was immaculately conceived, then it would also be logical that her body would not suffer the corruption brought by original sin. Therefore, she would not be "derived by worms", her body would be incorruptable. Also, the Church has never said formally one way or the other whether Mary died before being As.sumed into Heaven, though it is almost universally agreed upon that she did.

      "Mary's as.sumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies."
      Why would God not have positive regard for a female body? All humans are created in His image. Are you trying to make an argument for female clergy here? Not the slightest bit of basis.

      "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"
      I'm not even sure what you're trying to prove with this, so maybe you could spell it out more clearly next time.

      "The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP."
      Sources and backup, please.

      As for the rest, theories do not "prove" that it did not happen.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Theories don't prove it didn't happen."

      You moron. If you can't prove it DID happen, you lose. No one has to try to prove a negative, you moronic dolt.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • Logic

      Pardon me, TT, but Reality posted first, with claims that he or she could not even remotely back up, based on false premises and faulty information. I need not prove anything in a rebuttal, that was his or her job.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
    • Logic

      And really, grow up. I could take you much more seriously if you weren't so bitter, angry and chock full of insults

      January 19, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The one who makes the more extraordinary claim is the one that bears the onus of proof, Logic. You'd know that if you weren't a complete and utter idiot.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, yeah, and "grow up"? You're the adolescent, Logic. You're the idiot who thinks you have some sort of proof for the existence of god. I haven't made a claim about the existence of a god; you have. Therefore, you're the one who needs to grow a set and provide evidence.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
    • Logic

      And you'll note that I did not go on to make any claims, only fact-check the claims he or she made. Did I say that Jesus was in fact resurrected? No. I merely pointed out the gigantic holes in the claims that He did not.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
    • Logic

      Show me EXACTLY where I made that claim, TT. You can't because I didn't. Not once.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Don't give a ripe fvck Load of Sh!t, what you did or didn't claim. No matter what you post, it's dreck.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @tom, tom,

      "The one who makes the more extraordinary claim is the one that bears the onus of proof, Logic. "

      i have to disagree with you here. The "Extraordinary Claims require extraordinary evidence" claim is problematic for several reasons, well summarized here:

      http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/201103/do-extraordinary-claims-require-extraordinary-evidence

      January 19, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then you can argue with your pal, Load of Sh!t, Sara. I have no interest in defending such a hypocrite. You go right ahead if you wish to do so.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
    • Reality

      Heaven is a spirit state as noted by both Pope John Paul II and Augustine– Jesus and Mary's bodies nor anyone else's bodys are in heaven i.e. there were no bodily resurrections, ascensions or assumptions and there never will be any.

      January 19, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
    • Logic

      @Reality
      Thank you for the clarification. What JPII said did not state that physical bodies were not capable of existing in the state of being that is "Heaven". What he, and Aquinas, were saying is that our words and concepts as humans here on Earth are not adequate to describe Heaven. Heaven is a place where glorified bodies exist, but as they must share this "place" with angels (spirit-only) and God, this "place" must be befitting of them, and since God is not contained by time or space, it would only be reasonable for a place like Heaven to be outside those confines (containers) as well.

      Regardless, the Pope's Wednesday audiences do not qualify as "ex-cathedra" teaching, and Aquinas was never a Pope, so neither of these can be used as infallible doctrine set by the Magisterium of the Church.

      January 20, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • Reality

      The angelic cons/dreams of JP II et al are addressed on p. 3.

      Regarding Mark 16: 19,

      The passage is part of the Late Markan endings and many contemporary NT scholars have concluded it is historically nil.

      (1) Shorter ending (after Mark 16:1-8)
      (2) Longer ending (=Mark 16:9-20)
      (3) Freer Logion (after Mark 16:14)

      e.g. from Professor John Dominic Crossan, http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb522.html

      Item: 522
      Stratum: IV (120-150 CE)
      Attestation: Single
      Historicity: negative

      And from Professor Gerd Ludemann in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 115-116:

      "The historical yield is nil. "

      Luke 24:50-53- has also been analyzed using rigorous historical methods by many contemporary NT scholars and found also to be historically nil. e.g. See Ludemann as above, pp. 413-415.

      January 20, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Sabrina

      "Reality"...you are merely regurgitating Gnostic heresies.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:42 am |
    • Sabrina

      Correction to my post: the non-whites were Native Americans who had their own diversity of belief systems, but many did convert to Christianity. It's one of the reasons why Harvard was founded to provide both white and native american males an education to prepare them for ministry. The whites were the Protestant Christians.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:49 am |
  6. truth be told

    We are one nation under God, founded by Christians for Christians there is no room in America for the so called atheist. There is no place for a bottom feeding atheist in this world or the next. Atheism provides the greatest proof of moral degeneration and shows how sick a nation is.

    January 19, 2013 at 7:54 am |
    • Akira

      So do trolls, but you're here, anyway.

      January 19, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • truth be told

      Thanks akira for adding proof to my statement.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How would anyone "add proof" to a statement that is a complete fabrication?

      Tube Top are you "GALLED" by the challenges to your asinine posts? You would be, but for the fact you think the word is "GAULED."

      Dumb fvck.

      January 19, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
    • keplerfan

      Hey man, don't EVER let anyone tell you that you are NOT a hater!!!! You sure know how to lack morals!!! Score one for team Jesus!!!!

      January 19, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
    • anniet

      our nation was NOT founded by christians. it was founded by HUMANISTS. if you have trouble with the word, go look it up and if you have trouble believing our founding fathers were humanists, go look in a history book. as for bottom feeders...i've seen some christians that would beat you there in a heartbeat and laugh at you while you drown.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • Sabrina

      To be fair, this nations first non-white inhabitants were Protestant Christians. However, as the nation grew, people from many religions eventually ended up here. There were Jews, Catholics, Orthodox Christians (in Alaska mainly but also Florida), there were even Musliims around. The Founding Fathers had varying degrees of belief, and they defined their Christianity differently than many do today. As for atheists 'not belonging', I disagree. America is for all, not just some. You don't win someone over by saying, you don't belong. Instead you PRAY for them, and live a life that is an example to others. Mind, I don't like it when atheists say mean things about Christians, but maybe we need to start heeding what Christ says "love your enemies, pray for those who persectute you?"

      January 23, 2013 at 9:46 am |
  7. AJ

    There are many things happening in the world every day and no one can justify all the things that are wrong in this world.It is simply not for us to try and put things in order. We the people should just put our lives in order and "Trust in God" just like it says on the US DOLLAR . so GOD BLESS AMERICA and GOD BLESS ITS LEADERS... GOD BLESS THE PRESIDENT OF THE USA. LETS KEEP THE DOLLAR STRONG SO EVERYONE WILL WANT TO PUT THEIR HAND ON " in God We Trust"... In the name of the Father The Son and the Holly Spirit.. may the Lord have mercy on your soul

    January 18, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
  8. John Stefanyszyn

    President Obama will place his hand on the bible BUT he confesses that it is right to be free to worship any god.

    January 18, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
  9. It is Called

    It is Called no god(s) required for principles

    It is Called Principles not theory

    Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (EEB 122)

    Geology and climate have shaped the development of life tremendously. This has occurred in the form of processes such as the oxygenation of the atmosphere, mass extinctions, tectonic drift, and disasters such as floods and volcanic eruptions. Life, particularly bacteria, has also been able to impact the geological makeup of the planet through metabolic processes.

    00:00 – Chapter 1. Introduction
    02:16 – Chapter 2. The Oxygenation of the Atmosphere
    09:08 – Chapter 3. Evidence of Climate Change
    17:36 – Chapter 4. Geological Impact on Life
    29:37 – Chapter 5. Mass Extinctions
    42:19 – Chapter 6. Earthquakes, Eruptions, and Floods
    46:38 – Chapter 7. Conclusion

    Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
    Category
    Education
    No repy needed take it up with YALE
    Peace

    January 18, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
  10. niknak

    You have wasted ENOUGH of my time Belief Blog!!

    Be gone with thee, you foul dog of god, and free me to to find salvation with the bass (and a pint of ale).

    Later all,

    NikNak out.

    January 18, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
  11. January

    We must be careful to not make an idol out of the Bible. What is important is what the Bible points to: God.

    I know politicians try to manipulate the book to fit their agendas. But they always fail.

    January 18, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      January,

      Yes, instead of just putting their hand on it, they should read it and apply its teachings to their lives.

      January 18, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • truth be told

      They should read the Word, and steep themselves in it as if they were teabags, and the Lord is the steaming hot water that cleanses them.

      January 18, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You're a steaming hot pile of something. Why aren't you a better person.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • End Religion

      tbt, I think it's uncalled for that you assert politicians should teabag Jesus. Have some respect for your Lord!

      January 18, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
    • truth be told

      That is a name thief showing what a lying sack of dung it is. As proved all atheists are liars and it appears thieves as well.

      January 18, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
  12. Robert Brown

    CNN Radio explores the one figure who has been omnipresent at these ceremonies: God

    Amen

    January 18, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • Tank

      Religion: because lobotomies are too painful.

      January 18, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      From the oaths of office and speeches to invocations and Bibles used, religion has been woven into this day

      This is what we need to weave the word of God into our lives everyday.

      January 18, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • truth be told

      We need the Word of God back in our schools, and then our children will stop dying.

      January 18, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • niknak

      You say Amen,
      I say Ramen....

      January 18, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • BeWare the FanFare

      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, 2nd POTUS, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 09/03/1816)

      January 18, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • niknak

      God is for the addleminded and the scammers who ply the addleminded to make a buck.
      The less of god the better.

      January 18, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      BeWare the FanFare,

      This was a true statement before everyone had access to the word of God. Now we can all read it for ourselves.

      January 18, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Niknak,

      This is partially true, there are con artists who use religion to get rich, they have their reward.

      January 18, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      truth be told,

      Someone should do the research and show how many school shootings there were when the word of God was taught in school. I bet they will have a hard time finding any.

      January 18, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Robert – the research HAS been done. And you are wrong.

      January 18, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    • BeWare the FanFare

      That's a cop-out Robert Brown. People were quite capable of reading the Bible in the late 1700's.

      January 18, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • truth be told

      Robert, this is a Truth the atheists refuse to acknowledge. When we took God from our schools, we took all morality as well and the fruits of these evil seeds is now being born.

      January 18, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • BeWare the FanFare

      (And in 1816, when the Adams quote above originated.)

      January 18, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      midwest rail,

      Alrighty then, I will have to go do a little reading.

      January 18, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • BeWare the FanFare

      Poor God was so weak that he was marginalized by a school day of reading, writing and arithmetic. boo hoo. Please.
      The favorite cry of fundies like TBT. (After spitting out children at record rate that they can't care for of course.)

      January 18, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      BeWare the FanFare,

      I would think his statement would be more applicable to say prior to the 1600’s.

      January 18, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Philip Douglas

      Robert, you don't think the proliferation of school shooting and mass shooting in general has nothing to do with the advances of weaponry icluding high capacity magazines?? Really?? You can pray in schools still. Many do. It's just not state sanctioned and droned over an intercom. Christ, you're dumb.

      January 18, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • BeWare the FanFare

      Perhaps James Madison, chief architect of the Constitution & Bill of Rights can date things a little more clearly to the late 1700's:

      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.

      (from A Memorial & Remonstrance – delivered to the Virginia General Assembly 1785)

      January 18, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • Chad

      @BeWare the FanFare "Perhaps James Madison, chief architect of the Constitution & Bill of Rights can date things a little more clearly to the late 1700's: During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. ...

      @chad "he was talking about the clergy, the institution of the church, the "legal establishment" of a state religion..

      Regarding his views on the God of Israel:
      The belief in a God All Powerful wise and good, is so essential to the moral order of the world and to the happiness of man, that arguments which enforce it cannot be drawn from too many sources nor adapted with too much solicitude to the different characters and capacities to be impressed with it.

      JAMES MADISON, letter to Frederick Beasley, Nov. 20, 1825

      January 18, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • Keeping It Real

      truth be told
      "We need the Word of God back in our schools, and then our children will stop dying."

      Do you think that the "Word of God" was in Our Lady of the Angels Catholic elementary school in 1958 when 92 children and 3 nuns died in a fire?
      http://www.olafire.com/

      January 18, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • BeWare the FanFare

      Why was Madison so upset?

      Could it be that he was fed up with feuding Christian sects in his home state? Of course so. And we know Paine was from a state where Quakers were being hung by Christians around the same time.

      January 18, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • BeWare the FanFare

      So just as they continue to push their agenda on everyone today in the U.S., the early fundamentalist Christians pushed the limits around the time of the founding of the government. Thankfully, the more moderate Christians such as Madison, Deistically influenced, decided government would work the best for all if religion was separate from it.

      January 18, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • BeWare the FanFare

      (James Madison reflects on government and religion in two letters)

      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.

      January 18, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
    • End Religion

      @beware: you mean to say Christians were being intolerant and even killing people over beliefs? Impossible!

      January 18, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      BeWare the FanFare,
      They were correct in not letting a certain group with a certain doctrine prevail in the forming of the government, but what we are talking about is the Word of God in school, which was much more recently outlawed.
      Don’t get me wrong, I see the problems with teaching the Word in public school, but what would be wrong with the denominations present in a particular school being allowed optional bible classes, with parental permission of course?

      January 18, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Philip Douglas,
      I think the capacity for evil has more to do with it than the availability of weapons. The word of God is a real evil eraser.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
    • Akira

      Robert,
      That is what private Christian schools and Sunday school is for.
      Not public schools.
      There are private Bible study groups in public schools; but theses are not taught, so to speak, and not funded by taxpayer money.
      Prayer has never left schools; state-sponsored prayer in school has been eliminated, however-i should think that is one wants the kind of prayer of yesterday to happen, one must allow all faiths to be included.
      Yes, that means the jewish ones, the Muslim ones, the Buddhist and Hindu ones, et al...not just the one you belong to.
      IMO, if one's faith is strong enough, they are already praying in school, and that's fine, as long as it isn't disruptive to the people who do not belong to that particular faith.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
    • BeWare the FanFare

      I agree with Akira.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Akira is dead on. I also have no issues with using school space after hours as long as normal fees apply and no tax dollars are used.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
    • BeWare the FanFare

      WOW! This is very interesting. An article by James Madison – December 20, 1792
      –from National Gazette. It sounds like he is trying to echo both sides of a typical argument here on the Belief Blog. It think it's pretty obvious his personal views go with the one who has the last word.

      ====================================
      Who are the Best Keepers of the People's Liberties?

      Republican-[answer to the title] The people themselves. The sacred trust can be no where so safe as in the hands most interested in preserving it.

      Anti-republican–The people are stupid, suspicious, licentious. They cannot safely trust themselves. When they have established government they should think of nothing but obedience, leaving the care of their liberties to their wiser rulers.

      Republican–Although all men are born free, and all nations might be so, yet too true it is, that slavery has been the general lot of the human race. Ignorant–they have been cheated; asleep–they have been surprised; divided–the yoke has been forced upon them. But what is the lesson? That because the people may betray themselves, they ought to give themselves up, blindfold, to those who have an interest in betraying them? Rather conclude that the people ought to be enlightened, to be awakened, to be united, that after establishing a government they should watch over it, as well as obey it.

      Anti-republican–You look at the surface only, where errors float, instead of fathoming the depths where truth lies hid. It is not the government that is disposed to fly off from the people; but the people that are ever ready to fly off from the government. Rather say then, enlighten the government, warn it to be vigilant, enrich it with influence, arm it with force, and to the people never pronounce but two words–Submission and Confidence.

      Republican–The centrifugal tendency then is in the people, not in the government, and the secret art lies in restraining the tendency, by augmenting the attractive principle of the government with all the weight that can be added to it. What a perversion of the natural order of things! To make power the primary and central object of the social system, and Liberty but its satellite.

      Anti-republican-The science of the stars can never instruct you in the mysteries of government. Wonderful as it may seem, the more you increase the attractive force of power, the more you enlarge the sphere of liberty; the more you make government independent and hostile towards the people, the better security you provide for their rights and interests. Hence the wisdom of the theory, which, after limiting the share of the people to a third of the government ... establishes two grand hereditary orders ... inveterately hostile to the rights and interests of the people, yet by a mysterious operation all combining to fortify the people in both.

      Republican–Mysterious indeed! But mysteries belong to religion, not to government; to the ways of the Almighty, not to the works of man. And in religion itself there is nothing mysterious to its author; the mystery lies in the dimness of the human sight. So in the institutions of man let there be no mystery, unless for those inferior beings endowed with a ray perhaps of the twilight vouchsafed to the first order of terrestrial creation.

      Anti-republican–You are destitute, I perceive, of every quality of a good citizen, or rather of a good subject. You have neither the light of faith nor the spirit of obedience. I denounce you to the government as an accomplice of atheism and anarchy.

      Republican–And I forbear to denounce you to the people, though a blasphemer of their rights and an idolater of tyranny. Liberty disdains to persecute.

      ======================================

      James Madison, 4th POTUS and chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & the Bill or Rights wrote that about a year after an initial ten of the twelve Amendments to the Constitution (that were primarily drawn from the Bill of Rights) were ratified.

      I think it does hint at the Deistic influence of the times.
      I had to look up "vouchsafed". lol.

      January 18, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
    • BeWare the FanFare

      correction at the end: Bill of Rights

      January 18, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
  13. PRAISE GOD FOR HIS MERCIES

    All you atheists are making Baby Jesus cry!

    January 18, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • niknak

      Poor baby jeebus.
      Maybe god will give him a glass of warm milk and read him a babble story....

      January 18, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • January

      Good news: Jesus died for the atheists, too.

      January 18, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • BigNutz

      If someone would kindly hold my nuts out of the way, I'd like to pi.ss all over the baby Jesus.

      January 18, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • Akira

      Wow, BigNutz, that was completely unnecessary...and gross.
      Make sure those boys of yours don't cause you to p!ss in your eye.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • Banjo Ferret

      All you false sky daddy worshipers are making Tim the Destroyer of Worlds wave his flaming paws of doom. Ferretianism is the one true religion. Repent! (banjoferret d c)

      January 19, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
  14. truth be told

    We Christians are arming ourselves righteously for the day when the athiests and other unholies try to rise up. The Truth shall prevail and the Lord will sort you out.

    January 18, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • truth be told

      Thanks for adding thievery to the qualities an atheist has, I had felt liar and murderer adequately described so called atheists and had neglected thief. Now everyone knows another of your kinds moral qualities.

      January 18, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • niknak

      Here is truth NOT be told's posts condensed to what they really mean;

      Blah blah blah, hate, blah blah blah god, blah blah blah more hate, blah blah blah threats.......

      Anytime you want to try to say something relevent just jump right in.

      And I am sure you can't wait to use your gun to kill another human being. I bet you just wish you could have been the guy to kill Travon Martin, or any other person you deem to be "unholy."

      January 18, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • truth be told

      successful troll is successful.

      January 18, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • truth be told

      Atheists are liars, murderers, thieves...and fornicators.

      January 18, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • truth be told

      But Christians poop rainbows.

      January 18, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • niknak

      Oh no, NOT fornacators!!!!
      I am deeply hurt....

      January 18, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • BeWare the FanFare

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

      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)

      January 18, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • Banjo Ferret

      What you should really be preparing for is the 2014 apocalypse brought forth by Tim the Destroyer of Worlds. Ferretianism is the one true religion. Repent! (banjoferret d c)

      January 19, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Another "unholy"

      Some of us other unholies are on the same page with you, TBT, that there *is* something larger at least.

      January 19, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
  15. truth be told

    America created by Christians for Christians. Atheism is a lie that fools only other atheists, we decent people already know the Truth so no atheist lie has any effect on us.

    January 18, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • truth be told

      so sayeth the shepherd, so sayeth the flock. you will all roast in the lake of fire.

      January 18, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • truth be told

      A desperate so called atheist resorts to name stealing, what a surprise move... That will not fool morally decent people but does add more proof to the Truth of my posts.

      January 18, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • niknak

      Truth be Sold, doesn't your babble have stuff in it where god says you are sinning by judging other people?
      I did not pay much attention in Sunday school, but I seem to remember one of the big 10 had words to that effect.

      God is not going to be happy with you.
      Maybe it will be you who ends up in the lake of fire, wherever that is located.

      January 18, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • truth be told

      And again thanks niknak for adding even more proof that my statements are Truth.

      January 18, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • snopes says

      truth be told is false

      January 18, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • BeWare the FanFare

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

      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)

      January 18, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • Banjo Ferret

      Historical revisionists displease Tim the Destroyer of Worlds. Looks like someone needs to re-read their history books and then apologize to almighty Tim. Ferretianism is the one true religion. Repent! (banjoferret d c)

      January 19, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
  16. BeWare of the FanFare

    Do ceremonies utilizing Bibles define who we are? Or, perhaps, are the words and ideals behind our Constitution more telling? Let's check in with its chief architect:

    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.

    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.

    (James Madison, 4th POTUS, chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & Bill of Rights; from A Memorial & Remonstrance, and 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.)

    January 18, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • End Religion

      mama k?

      January 18, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • Akira

      My thought as well, ER.

      January 18, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
  17. God's honest truth

    tbt has less brain cells than an amoeba

    January 18, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • niknak

      And amoebas are probably more fun to be around.

      January 18, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
  18. What role did "God" play in the establishment of the Const itution?

    Research Deism. Learn how the Deist God for some of our key founders was not the same Abrahamic God that most people think of today.

    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.

    (John Adams, 2nd POTUS, from A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America [1787-1788])

    January 18, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
  19. angel

    Politicians use the Bible and people's belief in God to get elected,and even swear on the Bible taking public office,and they lead many to believe they can kill evil in wars,let's look in the Bible and see what it really says: The Bible says,the source of all evil is Satan,the devil,a fallen angel,angels are spirit beings,and spirits are eternal,and so wars of guns and bombs can't kill evil spirits.The same is true of people's souls/spirits,evil or good,people's souls/spirits are eternal,the evil ones separated from God forever,and the good with God forever in His Kingdom.So wars of guns and bombs can't kill evil people's souls/spirits.This is why the Cross and Gospel of Jesus Christ is so necessary to change people's hearts and minds,to repent of practicing wars of guns and bombs,this is what the Bible really says and teaches,but not what many say or teach,even in Media,even the Religious or Political Right.

    January 18, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • niknak

      First of all, where is your proof that god exists?

      Secondly, why is your god the right one out of the thousands have been postulated to exist?

      Thirdly, why do you have to have some kind of a big brother to be a good person?
      Why can't you be a good person because you choose to be one instead of doing it because you are "told" to?

      January 18, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      angel sez:
      "The Bible says,the source of all evil is Satan ... "
      And how was this 'Satan' created?

      January 18, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      You started with a salient point; politicians do use religion and mentions of 'God' to get elected. Politicians see how useful exploiting peoples' idiocy can be. Then things got batpoop crazy

      January 18, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • niknak

      Hey, irrational libtard!
      Glad to see you are back!
      And that the hippies have not eaten you yet.

      Did you really think I am insulting you?
      I am just teasing you and making it fun around here with playing with your screen name.
      I do that to everyone, so you don't get your spe_rm all in a bunch.

      And if that does insult you, then I will try to refrain myself from using it.
      But I will find something else, cause that is what I do.

      January 18, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      No it's ok, I thought it was malicious. As long as it's good natured, libtard away. I really don't need any more enemies here anyway.

      I don't fear hippies. Whenever enough of them do get together to pose a serious threat to capitalism, doobies and Bob Dylan render them harmless.

      January 18, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • niknak

      Glad to hear it, as nothing I do is malicious.
      And I dig your posts.

      I take it Hair is not your favorite movie.

      January 18, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I've never seen it.

      January 18, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • niknak

      Great movie, Treat Williams in his big spotlight role.
      But there are heaps of hippies in it, which is why I brought it up.

      January 18, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • Philip Douglas

      Jesus was a hippy. South Park says so.

      January 18, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Another reason t hate them.

      January 18, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
  20. End Religion

    This story made me nauseous.

    January 18, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • niknak

      Hate to be the messenger of bad news, but we are in for much more then just these stories from the fundies.
      They are armed, and ready to kill to prove their god exists, and to stem the tide of the non xtian non white people that they perceive as the bad guys taking over this nation.

      As the rural white xians become an even smaller minority, they will start to fight back.
      The only way they know how, which is to use violence.

      Nothing scared me more then when I have to be around a person who claims to be "very religious."

      January 18, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      hehehe

      January 18, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • niknak

      How many guns do you own Deacon Blues?
      I bet more then one. And I bet most of them are not hunting guns either.
      Unless you consider guns designed to kill another human is hunting.

      January 18, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • End Religion

      The thought of religion's putrescence oozing through our government's official actions nearly causes vomiting.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:09 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.