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January 30th, 2013
05:25 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Wednesday, January 30, 2013

By Arielle Hawkins, CNN

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

From the Blog:

CNN: Poll: Quarter of Americans say God influences sporting events
With millions of Americans set to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday, a new survey finds more than a quarter of Americans believe that God "plays a role in determining which team wins" at sports events. The survey by the Public Religion Research Institute also found that more than half of Americans believe “God rewards athletes who have faith with good health and success.”

CNN: Netanyahu cartoon sparks anger, Murdoch says sorry
Rupert Murdoch has apologized for a "grotesque, offensive" cartoon of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu published in Britain's Sunday Times. The cartoon by Gerald Scarfe depicts Netanyahu atop an incomplete brick wall with screaming Palestinians and body parts in the mortar. Netanyahu is holding what appears to be a bloody builder's trowel and the wall's mortar is colored red. The wording beneath reads: "Israeli Elections, Will Cementing Peace Continue?" The cartoon was published on Holocaust Memorial Day on Sunday and prompted complaints that it was anti-Semitic and insensitive.

CNN: Transgender teacher sues Catholic prep school for alleged discrimination
Mark Krolikowski has shoulder-length brown hair. He likes to wear multiple earrings and French manicure his nails. Students call him Mr. K. Krolikowski, 59, taught for 32 years at St. Francis Preparatory School, a 150-year-old Catholic institution in Queens, New York. Until August. That's when the school laid him off. He alleges that he was discriminated against because he is transgender and that the school's attitude toward him changed in the eight months after he came out.

Tweet of the Day:

[tweet https://twitter.com/jbarooah/status/296488977396027394%5D

Photos of the Day:

Iranian Zoroastrian priests, Moubad Rashin Jahangir and Moubad Henghami (L) set firewood ablaze in celebration of the annual Zoroastrian Sadeh festival in a western suburb of Tehran on January 29, 2013. Sadeh, is an ancient Persian festival that is celebrated by setting a huge bonfire to honor fire and to defeat the forces of darkness, frost, and cold. Sadeh means 'hundred' and refers to one hundred days and nights past the end of summer.

A Belarus Orthodox believer plunges into icy waters as a priest blesses him on the eve of the Epiphany holiday in Pilnitsa some 30 km outside Minsk, on January 18, 2013. Thousands of believers jumped into holes cut in ice, braving freezing temperatures, on January 18 and early on January 19 to mark Epiphany, when they take part in a baptism ceremony.

An Indian Sadhu gives blessings as he sits outside the camp during the Maha Kumbh festival at Sangam, the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati in Allahabad on January 29, 2013. The Kumbh Mela in the Indian town of Allahabad will see up to 100 million worshippers gather over 55 days to take a ritual bath in the holy waters, believed to cleanse sins and bestow blessings.

Enlightening Reads:

Reuters: Radical Islamists fleeing Timbuktu leave legacy of destruction behind them
The burning of a library housing thousands of ancient manuscripts in Mali's desert city of Timbuktu is just the latest act of destruction by radical Islamist fighters who have spent months smashing graves and holy shrines in the World Heritage site. "It was one of the greatest libraries of Islamic manuscripts in the world," said Marie Rodet, an African history lecturer at London's School of Oriental and African Studies. "It's pure retaliation. They knew they were losing the battle and they hit where it really hurts," she told Reuters.

Reuters: Analysis – Sunni discontent and Syria fears feed Iraqi unrest
Across Iraq's western desert, thousands of Sunni Muslims block highways, chant and pray in protests against Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki that grow more defiant by the day. In Iraqi cities like Ramadi and Falluja, where tribal ties are strong, many Sunnis have harboured a sense of marginalisation ever since Saddam's fall and the Shi'ite majority's empowerment.

Religion News Service: Arkansas Senate OKs guns in churches
The Arkansas Senate has passed a bill that lifts a ban on carrying concealed weapons in church. The proposal, which goes to the Arkansas House for consideration, would allow churches to decide which, if any, worshippers with concealed carry permits can bring their firearms inside.

NBC: Thousand Oaks Christian School Files Religious Liberty Lawsuit Against Former Teachers
A Christian school in Thousand Oaks is suing two former teachers who threatened a lawsuit over the school’s requirement to provide proof of faith. When the Godspeak Church bought Little Oaks Elementary in 2009, it started requiring employees to fill out questionnaires which asked whether they attended church, which church they attended and what the pastor had to say about their beliefs. Coulson said Lynda Serrano and Mary Ellen Guevara received their questionnaires last summer. After they refused to fill out the form, they were not rehired.

Religion News Service: Pope Benedict XVI says lack of ‘faith’ could be used in marriage annulments
Pope Benedict XVI has asked the Vatican’s highest appeals court to consider reviewing church rules on marriage annulments — a statement that may signal a change in tone more than a change in substance. Speaking on Saturday (Jan. 26) to the members of the tribunal of the Roman Rota, Benedict said that “lack of faith” on the part of the spouses can affect the validity of a marriage.

Join the conversation…

CNN: Case fuels debate over when life begins
A Catholic Church-affiliated hospital used a surprising argument to defend itself in a lawsuit.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (405 Responses)
  1. truth be told

    All atheists are liars. I can't think of a use for one, I can't even think of a use for a dead one. I thought maybe doorstop but they are so foul then no one would ever want to use the door. If the entire 1% of the worlds population that thinks it is atheist all committed mass suicide no one would miss them.

    January 30, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • Tell Me

      @truth be told,

      Are you a Christian? A Muslim? Or what?

      I just want to know so that I can run as far in the other direction from whatever you are... and oppose it at every turn.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, there you are again, captain azzhole.

      There's your sign.

      January 30, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • truth be told

      Atheists and the jack kevorkian hospital of compassion, two compatible lifestyles. If atheist Joe Stalin had killed himself before he murdered think how many innocent peoples would be alive today.

      January 30, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      tbt, So provide an example of your claims. You really should change your handle or live up to it.

      January 30, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
  2. lionlylamb

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OM4talPKvtU&feature=player_embedded

    January 30, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kd-tWGWtYwU&feature=player_embedded

      January 30, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
  3. December

    You: "What I was merely showing you is that your actions, no matter how humble or good they are, when framed with religion always has a tinge of condecension and arrogance that comes with religion. You can't fight it."

    Me: "If you were free of 'condecension' and arrogance I may take what you say more seriously. But, you are just as bad as religious people you profess to be better than. "

    You: "Never said I was free of either of those things (condecension and arrogance)."

    Me:

    Even without religion we have "condecension" and arrogance. We can't fight it.

    Maybe this is a human problem, not a religion problem.

    January 30, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • December

      Me: (Head Slap)

      January 30, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • sam

      Repeat that slap about 100 more times.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Actually we can fight it, just not with religion. You can't just tell people to be humble, especially when the religion is based on one group being favored above the other. That's what I'm saying and that's what you still aren't getting.

      I agree with @sam. Hit yourself 100 more times.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Hitchens

      It is more entertaining to have sam and Chuckles slap each other! sam you go first.
      Let the slapping begin!

      January 30, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • December

      > especially when the religion is based on one group being favored above the other. That's what I'm saying and that's what you still aren't getting.

      That is not what my religion is based on. How do you get "Love others as yourself" from "a group being favored over another"?

      You don't know the gospel of Jesus Christ.

      January 30, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • End Religion

      "You don't know the gospel of Jesus Christ."

      Always funny to read that... We know it as well or better, we just don't gloss over the angry and divisive parts like you. In nearly every instance the bible says 2 opposing things about one topic so you may choose at any point what words best for you. You point to "love others" passage but gloss over the "kill gays" passage, or reinterpret it, or chalk it up to mysterious ways. What you don't do is rationally examine why it so convoluted.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • Answer

      "You don't know the gospel of Jesus Christ."

      ===Here I'll fix your sentence for you...

      –>>"You don't know the gospel of Jesus Christ like I do."

      January 30, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • Answer

      @December

      You may as well write this sentence out for yourself. Feel better about yourself like this..

      "Jesus loves me more than you."

      January 30, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • December

      ===Here I'll fix your sentence for you...

      Another atheist trying to fix me. Gee, thanks.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
  4. lionlylamb

    Can one but see only things wanted yet never to be gained? In words are we not found venting? Be it in writings are not one's wordage usages found to be different than when one speaks in spoken words? The timelines of the spoken versus the written wordage usages are held via differences of timed progressives giving the writer of words to be more selective and the speaker to be more honed in regarding timely framed issues. Forbid not the writers who seduce and berate yet ever are such maneuvered individualisms as dried up figs fallen asunder by their owned ideals of prophetic wisdoms heralding waywardness.

    January 30, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Gir

      Still brewing the alphabet soup, I see.

      January 30, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • K-switch

      @ LL, Oh shizzle gizzl gizzm garb. Bdagada gita pwong. SQUIBLEYDOOOOOOO!

      January 30, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • .

      LL is the belief blog pseudo intellect, don't bother reading, just laugh and move on.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
  5. Robert Brown

    Turn to the Lord!

    He can still be found.

    Call out to God!

    He is near.

    Give up your crooked ways and your evil thoughts.

    Return to the Lord our God.

    He will be merciful and forgive your sins.

    January 30, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • sam

      And your sports team will win!

      January 30, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • meifumado

      I guess my team is damned then.....

      January 30, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • amy

      The last time I tried to see what brown could do for me, I wound up having to drive almost thirty miles to pick up some important papers that were marked to be left at my door.

      January 30, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Sam,
      Maybe not, but you will be happy either way.

      January 30, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Meifumado,

      Join the winning team!

      January 30, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Amy,

      Brown can’t do much for you.

      God can give you peace, hope, and joy.

      January 30, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Which God?

      Found your lord, under a rock. It was a snake. jeebus christ, what a dirty god. Sticks in your craw, eh RB? I'm not afraid of you god, or your jeebus. You are. You are absolutely terrified.

      January 30, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • Science

      Robert we turned right in into the hotel room and found it where Robert? In the __________.

      January 30, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Which God?,

      You don’t believe. I am just trying to help. It is very important that you believe on this side. You will believe on the other, but it sounds like it will not be good.

      I am not afraid of God because I’m no longer under condemnation. I have been freed, pardoned. The same is available for you.

      January 30, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Science,

      Hotel?

      Science proves the bible is true!

      January 30, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Akira

      God apparently doesn't favor the Cubs, sam.

      January 30, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • Science

      Bull Robert. Take a blood test ok

      Have they swallowed the talking snake yet ? Bet ya they are still choking on the bone !
      Peace .

      January 30, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • sam

      God must hate the cubs.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Grammar

      -Science

      – Bull Robert. Take a blood test ok

      Attend a frickn' English class. Please.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • End Religion

      @BobbyB: I might consider taking up religion if you'd learn that sentences don't need to each be on separate lines divided by an empty line.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      End Religion,
      Ok, I find it easier to read if you double space, each to his own. By the way, I agree with your handle, organized religion has done a lot to harm the cause of Christ. Peace.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • Damocles

      @RB

      Your all everything deity was unaware it was going to create religion? Your all everything deity was unaware its words were going to be used by different factions to wage subtle and not so subtle war on other factions? Your all everything deity creates flawed things and then acts all shocked when they act flawed? Very strange.

      January 31, 2013 at 3:10 am |
    • End Religion

      @BobbyB: Rob, i believe we finally found something to agree on.

      January 31, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
  6. BRC

    I would be very interested in seeing how many people who are quite literally up in arms about any percieved restrictions to the Second Amendment yelling that it is a violation of their freedom that this country was founded on, are just as quickly upholding and calling for laws that prevent same gender marriages. I fear there is probably a very high, and painfully ironic, correlation.

    January 30, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Isn't it gross?

      I've never understood how a person can, in a single breath, say that the government needs to stay out of their living rooms and gun racks but the government also needs to then go into the bedroom and remove rights from other people. You would think republicans would be bigger advocates for same se.x marriage over anyone else, letting individuals decide, but NOOOO whoa be to the individual who doesn't want what they want, then the government is at perfect liberty to remove rights from a whole group of people because what they do is "icky"

      January 30, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Circular logistics in either encampment of preclusive relativities dare beguiles the slave within slavery. Chasing after one's own tales will fashion many yarns!

      January 30, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @lionly

      Now in english please

      January 30, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Chuckless,

      So sorry that my words cannot be fathomed by your mind. What should one do to instill thought gendered rationalisms bequeathing a sensualistic act of kindness? I am at a loss to assist you in your dilemma.

      January 30, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @lionly

      Ha ha, you even try to insult me in thesaurus speak, that's pretty funny. So did you get a new thesaurus for christmas or using the same old one from last year?

      January 30, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Akira

      I've never understood people who think it's perfectly all right to try and legislate someone's sex lives; I suppose I never will.
      Marginalizing a section of society is just flat-out wrong, no matter if it's the government or the Church.

      January 30, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Woodchuck,

      FYI, I have no use for a 'thesaurus' never did and never will. WYSIWYG

      January 30, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Akira

      Ll, your words cannot be fathomed by anyone except yourself, because you write incoherently.
      And you damn well know it.
      Ask yourself why people don't respond to you...but I doubt you truly will.

      January 30, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Lionly

      Why did you quote the word thesaurus? Are you saying you have no need for an imaginary thesaurus? Do you not know how to use quotations?

      January 30, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Akira,

      I'll be damned if I know and you'll be darned if you don't. It is a question of verbal semantics. While in written chains are a writer's sedimentary witticisms. Still though does one's eyebrows become raised whenever one's noose is gainfully tightened. Again, I'll be your damned and you'll be my darned!

      Woody Chuckles,

      My quote was in quoting your use of the word, 'thesaurus' and now I may find it easier to quell the consideration of consolidating your issuances. A groundhog is a woodchuck and the only goodness regarding a groundhog is for target practice. Eyes centered and aim straight!

      January 30, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • .

      LL is the belief blog pseudo intellect, don't bother reading, just laugh and move on.

      January 30, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      More of thesame from lionly. Pseduo-intellectual sounding nonsense where the only purpose is to let himself feel superior to others. Don't bother responding to anything he writes. It's all non-sensical once you translate it anyway.

      January 30, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      "."

      I'll get you my little "." and your little monkey too!

      January 30, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      hawaiiguest,

      You seem to be gestating more of the usual sameness when it comes toward my colloquialism of vented verbal articulations that you seem duly judgmental in dire negativity. Hell knows no otherness then the one's scorning ways.

      January 30, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Akira

      @hawaii guest:
      Sage words, succinctly put.

      January 30, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @lionly

      1) I wasn't even really addressing you.
      2) Calling you out on your idiocy is not negativity.
      3) Doing more of exactly what I was saying merely proves my point. So thanks.

      January 30, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • meifumado

      I think we need a Jill post to counter LL

      January 30, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      hawaiiguest,

      You are to be welcomed. I thank you for your being akin to the staged announcer giving credence toward an outlander whose only articulations are in verbalized contractual messaging statements. Kudos to you and your types!

      January 30, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • sam

      Lionly posts just fine on other blogs, but regales us with his own brand of theatrical crap as a hobby, or something.

      January 30, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Which God?

      @BRC Uh, not this guy. I'm for 2nd amendment rights, but not for jeebus or the buybull. What I don't see the need for is clips or mags needing more than 5 rounds for civilian use. Only the police and the military need the higher capacity ones. My opinion. And yes, I do own guns.

      January 30, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chuckles "I've never understood how a person can, in a single breath, say that the government needs to stay out of their living rooms and gun racks but the government also needs to then go into the bedroom and remove rights from other people"

      @Chad "by "go into the bedroom and remove rights from other people" I assume you are talking about protecting the life of the unborn child?

      January 30, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Akira

      Sam, where else does he post at?

      January 30, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • BRC

      @Which God,
      Ah, but you don't fit the original mold. I do not believe guns should be banned , and lets be honest NOONE is really saying they should be. I believe there are weapons that are inherently unsafe for public ownership that should be banned, and completely agree with magazine restrictions (I say six rounds so they don't have to modify every revolver ever), but Guns are an important right that people should have (yes, I own them as well). So basically, we seem to agree.

      January 30, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • BRC

      @Chad,
      Pretty sure he was talking about religiously generated laws that attempt to eliminate same gender marriage, and the encompassing sentament that seems to want to stop, ban, and if at all possible criminalize same gender relations as a whole.
      I say that because that was the topic of the original post, and Chuckles is generally pretty good at staying on topic.

      January 30, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @lionly

      Yes, keep proving my point over and over. Less work for me.

      @Chad

      You usually assume a lot of things, but you're usually wrong.

      January 30, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Chad

      "religiously generated laws"

      ah yes.. the never ending quest from liberals to paint anything they dont like as being "religiously motivated". As if:
      1. only Christians hold that view (that changing the law and have the state endorse same sex marriage is the wrong thing to do)
      2. all Christians hold the same view

      as both #1 and #2 are false, your claim is false..

      January 30, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @BRC

      Correct

      @Chad

      Your attempt to switch to abortion instead of gay marriage still doesn't make sense. On the subject, the government still wants to allow the individual to make the choice and follow what they believe whereas the opponents (you) are trying to legislate a law based on your belief that lfe begins at conception and remove an individuals rights, as long as that individual gets to keep their guns.

      And yes, laws like DOMA are religious generated and the rationale behind them is entirely christian. You are right that jews, muslims et al might agree, but the actually case going to the supreme court is all christian. Does that upset you?

      January 30, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chuckles "And yes, laws like DOMA are religious generated and the rationale behind them is entirely christian."

      LOL

      ah yes.. the never ending quest from liberals to paint anything they dont like as being "religiously motivated". As if:
      1. only Christians hold that view (that changing the law and have the state endorse same s ex marriage is the wrong thing to do)
      2. all Christians hold the same view

      as both #1 and #2 are false, your claim is false..

      January 30, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • sam

      @Akira – he's been over on the science blog, and occasionally the entertainment one, and constructs actual sentences.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Looks like Chad hasn't changed at all. Still can't address a point I see.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • BRC

      @Chad,
      When you take an argument to an illogical extreme, it doesn't disprove the original argument, it shows tha tthe extreme is wrong. I have never claimed that ONLY Christians are against same gender marriage (though I will say that only bigots are). And I don't need only Christians to be against it. Nor do I need ALL Christians to be agaist it, which I absolutley never said implied or even hinted at (and which would be an immeasurably stupid remark since there are plenty of LGBT Christians who want to marry). All that is required for my claim to be right is that the main driving force behind the laws be of Christian origin. I believe (because of the clearly and publicly expressed religious sentiments of the politicians in place when the laws are passed) that this is true. You want to refute it, work on disproving that.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • Chad

      @BRC "All that is required for my claim to be right is that the main driving force behind the laws be of Christian origin. I believe (because of the clearly and publicly expressed religious sentiments of the politicians in place when the laws are passed) that this is true. "

      @Chad "again,
      1. not all Christians believe same sex marriage is wrong
      2. not all people who believe it is wrong are Christian

      as demonstrated, your claim is a very transparent attempt (standard operating procedure for the liberal left) to characterize a position that you oppose as one held for purely "religious" grounds.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "standard operating procedure for the liberal left"

      ah yes.. the never ending quest from the religious to paint anything they dont like as being "liberally motivated",

      As if:
      1. only those on the "liberal left" use this tactic
      2. all people who use this tactic are on the "liberal left"

      "as both #1 and #2 are false, your claim is false.."

      January 30, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • Chad

      🙂

      touche'

      January 30, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • Chuckles

      I don't believe it.

      Chad actually saw ME II's post and agreed with it, or at least didn't argue.

      Hell hath frozen over.

      But seriously Chad, are you telling me DOMA is not based in religious grounds and that there is actually, secular proponents of DOMA based on something that isn't religious? If you are, please show me this elusive purple squirrels that I can't seem to find.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • Chad

      DOMA is based on people opposing changing the current definition of marriage as between a woman and a man.

      Many Christians support this, many dont.

      The correlation of proponents vs opponents being along the lines of conservative/liberal world views is vastly closer than religious/non-religious.

      after all, there are only ~5% non-religious people in the USA. 🙂

      January 30, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Prior to 1996, there was no definition of marriage within the constitution or the penal code that I'm aware of.

      January 30, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
    • Chad

      ah, well, that explains why they have to pass a law to make same sex marriage legal...

      January 30, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      "One third of the world's population (approximately 2.3 billion people) live in common law jurisdictions or in systems mixed with civil law. Particularly common law is in England where it originated in the Middle Ages..."
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_law

      "Under the common law marriage doctrine, you are considered legally married, despite not having a marriage license, a ceremony, or a marriage certificate, if you meet specific requirements listed in the statutes of the jurisdiction where you live. The benefits of common law marriage include the right to inherit upon the death of one spouse and the right to spousal support and an equitable division of property should the marriage terminate."
      http://family.findlaw.com/marriage/common-law-marriage-states.html

      Alabama. In this state, the parties must agree to be husband and wife, they must have the mental capacity to enter into and understand such an agreement, and they must consummate the marital relationship.

      Colorado. In order for a common law marriage to exist in Colorado, the relationship must be proven by the cohabitation of the common law spouses and their reputation for being married.

      District of Columbia. In the District, a common law marriage is established by the parties' explicit intent to be married and by their cohabitation.

      Iowa. A common law marriage is established in Iowa by the parties' intent and agreement to be married, their continuous cohabitation, and their public declarations that they are husband and wife.

      Kansas. In Kansas, the man and woman must have the mental capacity to marry, they must agree to be married at the present time, and they must represent to the public that they are married in order for a common law marriage to exist.

      New Hampshire. This state recognizes common law marriages only upon the death of one of the spouses. In other words, common law marriages are recognized in New Hampshire for inheritance purposes only.

      Montana. In Montana, the parties must have the capacity to consent to marriage, they must agree to be married, they must cohabitate, and they must have a reputation of being married.

      Oklahoma. The parties must be competent, agree to enter into a marriage relationship, and cohabitate in order to be considered as having a common law marriage.

      Pennsylvania. A common law marriage is established in Pennsylvania by the exchanging of words between a man and a woman indicating an intent to be married at the present time.

      Rhode Island. In Rhode Island, a common law marriage exists if a man and woman have a serious intent to be married and engage in conduct that leads to a reasonable belief by others in the community that they are married.

      South Carolina. In this state, if a man and woman intend for others to believe they are married, a common law marriage may be established.

      Texas. If a man and woman in Texas sign a form provided by the county clerk, agree to be married, cohabitate, and represent to others that they are married, a common law marriage exists.

      Utah. Utah does not recognize common law marriage, however courts can retroactively approve the marriage of couples without ceremony if the couple is of age and legally able to consent to marriage, have lived together, treated each other as spouses and hold themselves out as married.

      Interesting... we know that marriage is between two people who are designed to, without assistance from a 3rd party, create a new human life. We've known this since history has been recorded. We codified it in English common law. We've recognized that common law continuously. We know that without new human beings, the species goes extinct. We know that society is comprised of human beings. We know that society at large and individual members of the species are best served when a culture has a mechanism for rearing human children in families headed by their biological parents who are able to provide food, clothing and shelter. We, in the western world, provide tax breaks to married couples so there will be more strong families ABLE to, financially, provide for new members of the species. Now, out of the blue, we have a small group of very vocal people who do not qualify for these tax breaks and who are bent on turning the world on its ear to redefine everything imaginable... so they can get a tax break. I'd rather give up my tax break.

      January 31, 2013 at 2:25 am |
    • BRC

      @Chic-A-Dee,
      That is a very interesting and malformed conclusion you've put forward there. Your entire point is absurd, and you yourself provided the evidence. Not ONE of the common law marriage definitions you gave says anything about children. Procreation and the continutation of the species doesn't come up until you wrote it. So, what would make you think that that is what marriage is about? The first common law you were so quick to tout, shows purely that it is about the sharring and inheritence of means and resources between a closely associated coupel. IT doesn't even mention gender (many of the common law rules do not). Interestingly enough, the states that do list genders and say man and woman, are all pretty churchy. Marriage is a contractual agreement between two consenting adult people, their gender shouldn't matter, and a future third person isn't necessarily part of the negotiations.

      What's more, you talk about the importance of a family unit, why should to same gender people, who have the means to support a child who needs to be adopted, not be able to provide that child with a loving nurturing environment. Are you saying all adoptions aren't good enough? or only when it's an LGBT couple?

      January 31, 2013 at 9:57 am |
  7. Archibald Smythe-Pennington, III

    It's a pastel day outside here! If we consider lionly's notion of outer and inner cosmological connectedness while browsing artwork of the masters, an impressionistic piece demonstrating the pointillism technique might be the best subject for viewing. Likewise in music, the impressionist masters enabled us, via conventional instrumentation, to hear themes in a more connected, fluid manner. Enough words! Let Maurice Ravel's "Sonatine" (~1904) take you away for a bit.
    Pianist David Fung performs at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (?2008?)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L302PJFsQ-g
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonatine_%28Ravel%29
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Fung

    January 30, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • meifumado

      What a wonderful piece of music!
      Archibald Smythe-Pennington, III , I thank you

      Was wondering why you were late with today's selection, But it was worth the wait!

      January 30, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • Archibald Smythe-Pennington, III

      Glad you liked the selection, meifumado. I just had some errands to tend to. Impressionism meets samba meets jazz can yield bossa nova – perhaps tomorrow's selection.

      January 30, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • meifumado

      Sounds great!
      I will be here, work permitting of course! 😉

      January 30, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
  8. lionlylamb

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=92u23jejwcc

    January 30, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
  9. December

    Damocles

    >> perfect deity creating imperfect beings is self-defeating. Perfection wouldn't create, it would be a null enti-ty.

    That is the kind of God we have. One that doesn't make earthly sense. Love is not perfect, but that is what God created us for. He created perfect beings (angels) and imperfect beings (humans). Humans can choose to love or hate God.

    January 30, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • Science

      @December no reply needed tweet the Pope at the RCC he kicked out the angels last month no bull. And he is suppose to know.

      January 30, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • Damocles

      @december

      If a deity makes no earthly sense, then nothing on earth could understand it.

      Didn't a third of his supposedly perfect angels rebel? Again an impossibility because if one perfect things exists, it's done, no need to go any further. Something perfect certainly wouldn't want to make other perfect things and it in no way shape or form would want to create imperfect beings. Why? How? A perfect deity would know nothing of flaws, it couldn't comprehend them.

      January 30, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • December

      We can not completely understand God.

      If you think you completely understand God, that is not actually God.

      We do have some understandings of God. But he is still mysterious to us.

      January 30, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Damocles

      @december

      Ah, so now you are claiming to know enough about this deity to know how it chooses to reveal itself to people. Perhaps there is a more worthy worshipper that has received all of its blessings and does know everything about it? You can't know for sure, can you? And you can't really not believe a person if they said that they completely understood your deity. How would you test it? Why would you desire to test the representative of your deity?

      January 30, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • WASP

      @damocles: that is the hilarious thing if jesus did come back he would be locked in an insane asylum for truly believeing he was jesus. it's so funny it's hard not to laugh.

      January 30, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Damocles

      @WASP

      One of the many conundrums faced by believers. They want their deity to be real and come back to earth or whatever, yet are faced with having to believe anyone that makes the claim of being that deity. So belief in everything becomes belief in nothing.

      January 30, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • Gir

      So you cannot understand god..................yet you understand EVERYTHING about god, right down to his moral preferences, and you people feel have the authority to dictate morality to other people.

      This argument only makes sense in a religious context. Just another example of the craziness society tolerates just because some group of nuts says "God told me so!"

      January 30, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • December

      >>Ah, so now you are claiming to know enough about this deity to know how it chooses to reveal itself to people.

      No. You are saying that. I said we do have some understandings about God. They could be wrong. We are not perfect.

      >>Perhaps there is a more worthy worshipper that has received all of its blessings and does know everything about it?

      Sure.

      >>You can't know for sure, can you?

      No, but I have faith. Enough so that I dedicate my life to this deity.

      >>And you can't really not believe a person if they said that they completely understood your deity. How would you test it?

      I don't believe you, and you seem to think you know all about perfection. But I don't think you understand perfection.

      How can an imperfect being completely understand perfection?

      >>Why would you desire to test the representative of your deity?

      By what they say and do. Do they act in a loving manner?

      January 30, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • December

      "yet you understand EVERYTHING about god, right down to his moral preferences, and you people feel have the authority to dictate morality to other people."

      You are making that up.

      Where did I say that.

      January 30, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • December

      "you people"

      Oh, I'm one of those "you people".

      January 30, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Damocles

      @gir

      And that's the darker side of it. If a murderer says 'god made me do it', believers have no real choice but to believe him or her. How could they dare go against one of those mysterious ways they say their deity works through?

      January 30, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Angels really aren't perfect either as they can also choose to defy God. And they have actualy seen Him, seems worse.

      January 30, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • December

      Damocles
      >>If a murderer says 'god made me do it'
      I can't prove why the murdered. They can think continue to think it was God that told them to murder. But it is against the law to murder. They still will have to go to jail. Possibly be sentenced to death.

      >>believers have no real choice but to believe him or her
      Nope. They can believe the person was wrong. That it wasn't really God that told them to murder.

      lunchbreaker
      >>Angels really aren't perfect either as they can also choose to defy God.
      I thought about Satan being an angel after I posted. I was wrong about Angels being perfect.

      January 30, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Damocles

      @december

      If they 'could' be wrong, then that tosses perfection right out the window.

      So you are willing to go on faith that any jackwagon can come up to you and say 'hey, I'm your deity' and you are going to go along with that?

      I know perfection well enough to know there is no perfection. It requires a consensus, regardless of what we are talking about. Roses, paintings, athletic competi-tion, dogs, cats, deities, whatever. We have 7B people on this planet. If all but one say something is perfect, it isn't because the only vote that matters is the one that said 'no, it isn't'.

      January 30, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Damocles

      @december

      Mysterious ways, december, oh so mysterious ways. Believers like to harp on that, usually when they are backed into a corner, not saying you do or are, but more than a few do say that. So, if the deity works in mysterious ways, how can you argue? Note that when I say 'you', I am lumping you on with 'those people', much like when you used 'we' in an earlier post, you lumped yourself in with 'those people'.

      You don't have enough faith in your deity to believe in those mysterious ways. The deity may frown upon this.

      January 30, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • December

      >>Mysterious ways, december, oh so mysterious ways. Believers like to harp on that, usually when they are backed into a corner,

      We sing songs in Church about the mystery of God. We don't hide this fact. We aren't backed into any corners.

      >>You don't have enough faith in your deity to believe in those mysterious ways. The deity may frown upon this.

      May God have mercy on me when I have doubts. He may frown on this, but I believe he shows mercy with my imperfections. I'm just as he made me. Doubts and all.

      Have you ever read all the Psalms in the Bible? Most of the ones we hear about shout praises to God. But there are a lot that cast serious doubts about God.

      January 30, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • Science

      @december you said it the ohter day it is just a story the talking snake and the bone.

      Thats right it is just a story like god(S).

      January 30, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Damocles

      Sadly I have to stagger off to bed if I am to be of any worth at work tonight.

      It was interesting talking to you, december and vanhagar.

      January 30, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • December

      Damocles

      Adios. Thanks for the discussion.

      January 30, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
  10. December

    >> He seemed to think that everyone, jew, muslim, hindu, atheist, will all get into heaven either through jesus or some other way because god apparently lets everyone into heaven, no strings attached.

    Total BS. Chuckles was trying to imply that is what I mean. He kept trying to twist what I said into different meanings.

    I don't talk about heaven and the afterlife. So all that came from his big and smart brain.

    January 30, 2013 at 11:57 am |
  11. lionlylamb

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=1IAhDGYlpqY

    January 30, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • meifumado

      Blah! What crap!

      January 30, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
  12. Science

    Evolution won the Dover Trial in 2005 Creation lost and creationist are still trying to get it in public schools in the US today.

    Who is pushing ?.

    January 30, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • sam

      Slightly unbalanced people who can't handle not having their worldview at the forefront.

      January 30, 2013 at 11:56 am |
  13. boocat

    turth be told...."christian" huh? Nice "christian" comments from you.......

    January 30, 2013 at 11:03 am |
  14. Apple Bush

    Do Christians concern themselves with Atheists because:

    1. It is their sacred job to save their souls. or

    2.They are little miss busy-bodies?

    January 30, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • December

      It goes both ways.

      I had a lengthy discussion with an atheist that claimed he was trying to get me to see the errors in my ways.

      I think it is more of a human problem, then one that is exclusive to Christians.

      1. No.

      2. No. Or not more so than atheists I have met.

      January 30, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Apple Bush,

      Christians are called to spread the good news.

      Some people Christian or not, just enjoy debate and argument. They would be willing to take the opposing view just for the fun of it. Some may even just like to cast insults anonymously.

      January 30, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • Science

      @AB

      Thery can not swallow the talking snake and they choke on the bone maybe.

      January 30, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • Damocles

      So we have one believer (december) saying that, no, it isn't their sacred duty and another one (RB) kind of saying it is. So is it yes or no?

      January 30, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • Akira

      Hey, Apple!
      I don't find that Christians are overtly nosy, except when it comes to people's sex lives, and wanting to regulate every aspect of it.

      January 30, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • December

      >> Damocles
      I can only speak for me. I don't think I have a sacred job to save the souls of people who profess to be an atheist on the CNN Religious Message Board.

      I don't think we should stereotype all Christians, some may say yes and some may say no.

      January 30, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • Science

      @ Robert Brown

      Glad you think that is good news coming out of Ireland, becuase it is a catholic country. Get Real.

      January 30, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • tallulah13

      Robert Brown, your bible may say you should tell people, but please don't consider it universally welcome or wanted. Most of us have already heard the stories, considered them, looked for evidence that they were true, and finally rejected them for lack of proof.

      January 30, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Damocles

      @december

      See, this is one of my problems with religion, it's nothing against you or RB. How can an all powerful deity, or the message of that deity, be so misconstrued by its followers? On every topic you have believers telling other believers they are wrong, that the deity they both supposedly worship is not like this or not like that, hates certain people, loves certain people.

      January 30, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Science

      Only way to save a soul is to repair a shoe

      January 30, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • December

      damocles

      I worship the deity, not the imperfect followers of that deity.

      Again, I think that is just as much as a human problem, as a religious problem. People have different understanding of God. And what God would have them do.

      I don't belong to a community that claims God hates certain people. We actually preach and practice the opposite.

      January 30, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • Damocles

      @december

      Yes, but shouldn't the followers of a supposedly perfect, all everything deity get it right all the time? If a deity is putting messages in people's hearts, shouldn't it be the same message?

      January 30, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • VanHagar

      Damocles...why don't you decide for yourself: "Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'” Matthew 28: 18-20.

      January 30, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      Unless I'm very mistaken, that "atheist" you're talking about is me, neé?

      If not, then I apologize for the ensuing ramble.

      If so, then you clearly missed the whole idea of my posts to you, which is clear from your last post to me asking me if I was insulting you because you were christian. The first thing I want to get out of the way is that when I told you to smarten up, it had nothing to do with your christianity, can't a person just insult another person without it having to be religous?

      Second, I see no problem with you doing good deeds, whatever your motivations might be, or that you like going to church or whatever. I don't think I ever said "stop what you are doing! see the error in your actions! " What I was merely showing you is that your actions, no matter how humble or good they are, when framed with religion always has a tinge of condecension and arrogance that comes with religion. You can't fight it.

      That's all, keep doing what you are doing. If you are volunteering once a week, or if you like to pay it forward, then who cares whether its because you think an invisible spirit told you to or not. I just wanted you to take a closer look at the beliefs you perscribe to, take your head out of the sand and realize that religion, not you, is a problem.

      Understand the difference?

      January 30, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      Mark 16:15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation."

      Would that not indicate it is a Christian's duty to atleast attempt to save souls? What other purpose is there for spreading the gospel?

      January 30, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Damocles

      @van

      Yes and those passages can mean different things to different people. I see it as a less than subtle command to make believers out of everyone through fair means or foul. Others may see it that way too and have no problem with that take. Still others may see it as 'try, but if they say no, move on'. So again, the message is flawed because it allows you to put your own spin on it. The deity is surprisingly mum when it comes to interpretation of its words.

      January 30, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • Science

      Evolution won the Dover Trial in 2005 Creation lost and creationist are still trying to get it in public schools in the US today.

      Who is pushing ?.

      January 30, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • Robert Brown

      tallulah13,

      True, we can only give out the word, God does the work. We sow, another waters, God gives the increase. Only God can make you realize his word is true.

      There have been people who sat on a church pew for years, they heard the word of God, but God hadn’t dealt with their heart. Then one day something happened….

      Peace.

      January 30, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • VanHagar

      Damocles...you raise an interesting point that requires comment. You ask how a message of a deity be so misconstrued by its followers (with the obvious implication that that diety is either nonexistent or perhaps incompetent. As for the Christian faith–there are differences among believers–to evangelize or not as posted above, for example. What you WON'T find however, is much difference in the key and important issues–Jesus was/is God, Jesus died for our sins, Jesus rose again, salvation is a gift from God and not by our works, Jesus is the only way to God (i.e. salvation). One these points, there is little to no difference of opinion.

      January 30, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • VanHagar

      ...and sorry for the typos...

      January 30, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • December

      Chuckles:

      >> "I told you to smarten up"

      You didn't say it that way. You said it in an insulting way. And there you go, dictating what others should do.

      >> condecension and arrogance that comes with religion.

      If you were free of condecension and arrogance I may take what you say more seriously. But, you are just as bad as religious people you profess to be better than.

      >> take your head out of the sand and realize that religion, not you, is a problem.

      Speak for yourself. My religion helps me make sense of my life and my world. I know God exists. He has helped me and I now live my life in response to that help.

      >> Understand the difference?

      I didn't ask for your help. Or feel the need to be fixed. But thanks for offering.

      "Does Chuckles concern themselves with Christians because:

      1. It is his sacred job to save their minds. or

      2.He is a little miss busy-body?"

      January 30, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • Damocles

      @van

      Actually, I have seen believers have issues with one another over some of those topics.

      Here's my point: if the deity in question is 'perfect', the message should be 'perfect'. If the bible is the 'perfect' word of a deity, then there should be no breakdown of the message. In all honesty it should make believers out of anybody that reads it because of said perfection.

      January 30, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • December

      >> Yes, but shouldn't the followers of a supposedly perfect, all everything deity get it right all the time? If a deity is putting messages in people's hearts, shouldn't it be the same message?

      Love God with all your heart and mind. And love others as you would love yourself.

      A pretty simple message.

      And then human error and sin come in and mess it all up.

      January 30, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Van

      Actually, if you mosey on over to yesterdays speed read convo between December and I, he very much disagreed with the idea that salvation is only through Jesus. He seemed to think that everyone, jew, muslim, hindu, atheist, will all get into heaven either through jesus or some other way because god apparently lets everyone into heaven, no strings attached.

      January 30, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • Damocles

      @december

      Absolutely not. Do not try to take the backdoor out and try to put human frailty as the cause for the message being flawed. It is 'perfect', unable to be flawed, unable to be misconstrued, taken out of context, misinterpreted or anything else.

      January 30, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Apple Bush

      It is that whole sex life thing that grosses me out.

      January 30, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      Point of the insult (and yes, I meant it as such) had nothing to do with you being a christian and everything to do with your willful insistance on ignoring christian doctrine in favor of your own personal faith. It had nothing to do with your religious preference. Honestly though, are you really that hurt that an anonymous stranger told you, in an insulting way, to get smarter? Is that really the worst thing you've seen on this blog?

      "If you were free of condecension and arrogance I may take what you say more seriously. But, you are just as bad as religious people you profess to be better than. "
      –Never said I was free of either of those things, but it's tough to be neither when the person you are talking to believes in silly things. Honestly, I'm working on it myself and really honestly trying to take religion more seriously but it's tough. Would you not be a least a little tiny bit condencending or arrogant if you were to say, travel to Indonesia and talk to a Koko-bono tribesperson who believes that a someone who is sick is actually being attacked by witches in the invisible spirit world and the only way to cure him is by calling a witch doctor to travel to this world using some local drugs to fight the witch? Sounds silly no?

      "Does Chuckles concern themselves with Christians because:

      1. It is his sacred job to save their minds. or

      2.He is a little miss busy-body?""

      I would like to choose door number 3. I enjoy a fun debate on religion because it was minor in college and sanctioned sport in my house growing up. Go to a jewish household, anyone really, and just sit and watch as the family engages in debates in everything from "should we have dropped the second bomb in WWII" to "what sort of pasta sauce should we buy?". It's usually a big, heated debate that ends with someone crying.

      Also, your "high road" facade is slipping a little buddy, I didn't think you would break this easily.

      January 30, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • VanHagar

      @Chuckles...I don't know what Dec. believes, so I can't address it. Does he say he is a Christian? (And, although not a satisfactory answer, there's always the exception to the rule.)

      January 30, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • December

      > It is 'perfect', unable to be flawed, unable to be misconstrued, taken out of context, misinterpreted or anything else.

      We are imperfect creatures. We live in a fallen world. I don't really think about perfection that much, except for the verse about God's strength being perfected in our weaknesses. You certainly have given me something to think about.

      January 30, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • Science

      @RB agrreeThe bedroom is a one But the education it tries to prevernt is wrong.

      January 30, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • December

      >> He seemed to think that everyone, jew, muslim, hindu, atheist, will all get into heaven either through jesus or some other way because god apparently lets everyone into heaven, no strings attached.

      Total BS. Chuckles was trying to imply that is what I mean. He kept trying to twist what I said into different meanings.

      I don't talk about heaven and the afterlife. So all that came from his big and smart brain.

      January 30, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      Is having a big, smart brain an insult? Can we work on your insults?

      Also, then say it, say that the only way to get into heaven is through jesus. Just type it out.....

      January 30, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Damocles

      @december

      A perfect deity creating imperfect beings is self-defeating. Perfection wouldn't create, it would be a null enti-ty.

      January 30, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • December

      >>Point of the insult (and yes, I meant it as such) had....

      Jesus Christ is more important than your Christian doctrine you are telling me about. You understanding of my religion is inadequate.

      >>>...in the invisible spirit world and the only way to cure him is by calling a witch doctor to travel to this world using some local drugs to fight the witch? Sounds silly no?....

      I think not believing in God sounds silly. But I can show respect to people that believe that way.

      >>I enjoy a fun debate on religion because it was minor in college and sanctioned sport in my house gro....

      Great. I enjoy debating with people. But it is not just a subject one takes in school to me. I didn't learn this stuff from a book and taking tests.

      >> Also, your "high road" facade is slipping a little buddy, I didn't think you would break this easily.

      I just don't like your lies. We are told in the Bible that we will be ridiculed for our beliefs, but we don't have to take it.

      January 30, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • December

      Damocles

      >> perfect deity creating imperfect beings is self-defeating. Perfection wouldn't create, it would be a null enti-ty.

      That is the kind of God we have. One that doesn't make earthly sense. Love is not perfect, but that is what God created us for. He created perfect beings (angels) and imperfect beings (humans). Humans can choose to love or hate God..

      January 30, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • Damocles

      @december

      I responded to your post up top because that's where I saw it first.

      January 30, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • December

      Rev. and Dr. Peter Gomes said:

      “Thus, when Christians state categorically that Jews, or Muslims, or believers in other faith systems are outside the provisions of God, they utter arrogant nonsense. A respected agnosticism is called for when often there is offered in its place a self-interested certainty. If God is the God of all, and not just a tribal deity, then God has made provision, not necessarily known to us, for the healing and care of all his creation, and not simply our little part of it.”

      He also says:

      “It may be scandalous if we actually tried to apply it in our communities … to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, love our neighbors … those are dangerous things.”

      He has studied and taught this stuff at a very high level.

      I'm just an average Joe responding to God's love.

      "A respected agnosticism is called for when often there is offered in its place a self-interested certainty."

      "God has made provision, not necessarily known to us, for the healing and care of all his creation, and not simply our little part of it."

      ****Also, then say it, say that the only way to get into heaven is through jesus. Just type it out..... (copied and pasted)****

      "Thus, when Christians (OR *CHUCKLES*) state categorically that Jews, or Muslims, or believers in other faith systems are outside the provisions of God, they utter *arrogant nonsense*."

      Amen to that.

      January 30, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • Damocles

      @december

      So again we are back to square one: one believer (Peter Gomes) telling other believers (all those that don't agree with him) that they are wrong.

      January 30, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • December

      I think he is pointing out that acknowledging the mystery is better than trying to muster up your own certainty.

      January 30, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • VanHagar

      December...perhaps I need more coffee this a.m., but I'll repeat Damocles' question: Is Jesus the only way to salvation. In other words, do you accept that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to the father but through him?

      January 30, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      I'm confused here, are you saying that all of the courses I took, the reading I did and the discussions I've had with christians and nonchristians alike don't mean diddily because you've decided that, "But it is not just a subject one takes in school to me. I didn't learn this stuff from a book and taking tests." Are you saying that religion can't be learned from an outsider? That's pretty telling if that is what you are saying.

      "Jesus Christ is more important than your Christian doctrine you are telling me about. You understanding of my religion is inadequate."
      - No, my understanding of your specific, individual faith is inadequate, mostly because you refuse to discuss it, instead you rather keep saying I'm putting words in your mouth and then saying "jesus is love" or something but apparently can't answer a simple question like, how a nonbeliever gets into heaven, because of course you don't concern yourself with one of the cornerstones of the religion you profess to be.

      "I think not believing in God sounds silly. But I can show respect to people that believe that way."
      - Interesting, so you find people not believing in god silly, or just me? I think we're starting to edge closer to that arrogance or condencension I'm talking about. Showing respect to someone you think is silly for not believing in you do is still considered arrogant, or condescending, the same way that I could try and respect the Koko-bono people even though I know that anti-biotics will fight a fever better than a person getting really high all day and fighting a witch.

      "I just don't like your lies."
      - How have I lied so far? I discuss christian theology, you get huffy and say you don't believe it. I point out that it doesn't matter what your personal belief is, it doesn't change the very rigid christian theology. You call me a liar (without backing up how it is I'm actually lying mind you). And insofar as "ridiculing your belief", when I call your beliefs "silly" I guess that's ridicule, sort of. Where else have I ridiculed them? Is it not factually acurrate that you speak to an invisible man that you "know" to be real?

      Also, still haven't got the guts to say that the only way to heaven though is through christ huh? Come on buddy, just say it. You know you wanna......

      January 30, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Van

      That was actually my question, but THANK YOU! I think we would probably rarely agree, but when discussing christian doctrine, regardless of sect, shouldn;'t all christians agree on the fact that the only way to get a ticket to heaven is to accept jesus as your lord and savior?

      January 30, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Damocles

      @december

      Right, he's saying his way of believing is better than theirs. Which is fine, everyone does it, it just doesn't make sense in the context of a perfect message sent by a perfect deity.

      January 30, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • December

      VanHagar
      >> Is Jesus the only way to salvation. In other words, do you accept that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to the father but through him?

      That is a good question. That is verse John 14:6, right? What does it say right before this. Was he answring a specific queston? Was it a question about getting into heaven? Was it a question about other religions? Did somebody ask him if there is only one way for salvation? And what does he say after that. Did they ask him any other questions?

      I accept that when Thomas asked "“Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”"

      Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

      January 30, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • December

      >> Are you saying that religion can't be learned from an outsider? That's pretty telling if that is what you are saying.

      No, I was an atheist for 19 years. I didn't find Jesus by reading books, though. But I can see how it may work that way for some.

      >> How have I lied so far?

      "He seemed to think that everyone, jew, muslim, hindu, atheist, will all get into heaven either through jesus or some other way because god apparently lets everyone into heaven, no strings attached."

      I never said that. You implied I mean that. But I didn't.

      It is a lie.

      >> Also, still haven't got the guts to say that the only way to heaven though is through christ huh? Come on buddy, just say it. You know you wanna......

      Where does the Bible say that????

      I accept that when Thomas asked "“Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”"

      Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

      Where does he mention salvation or other religions?

      I HAVE THE GUTS. But maybe not the time to play this game anymore.

      January 30, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Chuckles

      What game? The game where I ask you to make one statement or another and then you pitter patter around the question without making a concrete answer for an unknown reason. I was unaware this was a game, should have brought my gaming keyboard..... We're getting closer now.

      Where did you say there was no strings attached? Hmmmm so I guess since you just quoted lewis carool and then wrote how awesome christianity was because people could receive and bask in gods grace with no strings attached, that wasn't you? I'm also getting tired of the game December where to keep getting all huffy and saying I'm puttting words in your mouth or you didn't say something simply because you refuse to answer a question or you do say it and then deny you say it and claim I am twisitng your words. That game is starting to get a little annoying. Wanna make a firm, concrete statement sometime that doesn't involve "accept jesus and he'll love you!"

      "No, I was an atheist for 19 years. I didn't find Jesus by reading books,"
      - Real question, without the snark no less, what was the religion in the household you grew up in? Was it atheist, secular, religious?

      Not sure why you've taken such an aversion to me December, I have only asked you question with not huge amounts of snark, only bits here or there and have simply asked you questions that you refuse to answer. Is it because you don't like the hard questions? Would you prefer the easier lobs that you get in church like, "how great are we"? or "isn't jesus awesome?"

      January 30, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • fred

      Chuckles
      “IAM the way the truth and the life” is the I AM of your fathers and your families understanding of God. There is only one God and Christ was the full representation of God. Jesus claimed to be God. God is perfect unity and cannot be divided. God is eternal, self existent, self sufficient and does not change (actually cannot change) ever. In the Old Testament and new we see that it is by faith in God that one is saved. At issue is what you put your faith in and is it faith in the wisdom of God or works of man (i.e. human effort and ability).
      How much longer do we need to hit your people over the head before they accept the grace and mercy of God as all encompassing? How much longer do Christians need to thrash about with their human efforts and abilities before they accept the grace and mercy of God as all encompassing?
      One thing about God is that the words “I AM” is as clear as it gets. God is period. God does not change. Man being the created thing changes so we can see the change from the blood sacrifice of goats to the final sacrifice of the lamb resurrected and sitting at the right hand of God in heaven. We see the change of God in the fire, in the ark to the temple made of man and now dwelling in the heart of man bringing all truth. It is the same God with us Immanuel regardless if carried in box thousands of years ago or carried in our hearts today.

      January 30, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • VanHagar

      December–you're not answering the question. The verse I cited is but one of a number of verses where the exclusivity of salvation through Christ is indicated. So, I'll repeat the questions...is Christ the only way to receive salvation? It really is a yes or no and Damocles is correct–we need to be in agreement on this most fundamental point.

      January 30, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      Does it upset you that VanHagar and fred are proving my point?

      January 30, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • December

      Chuckles

      "No, I was an atheist for 19 years. I didn't find Jesus by reading books,"
      >> Real question, without the snark no less, what was the religion in the household you grew up in? Was it atheist, secular, religious?

      Secular.

      >> "Not sure why you've taken such an aversion to me December, I"

      You attribute words to me that I didn't say. You try to dictate what Christianity means. I'm a Christian. You are like a man telling a pregnant woman what it is like to be pregnant.

      January 30, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • December

      >> Does it upset you that VanHagar and fred are proving my point?

      Nope . You guys are missing the point. Why are you taking one verse out of context?

      I'm trying to answer your questions.

      And I asked questions, and nobody answered them.

      Where does Jesus Christ say "he is the only way to receive salvation."

      Thomas asked “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

      Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

      Where does he mention salvation or other religions?

      January 30, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • sam

      I have to admit, December, you're the most dedicated Poe we've had in a long time.

      January 30, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • December

      >> instead you rather keep saying I'm putting words in your mouth and then saying "jesus is love" or something but apparently can't answer a simple question like, how a nonbeliever gets into heaven, because of course you don't concern yourself with one of the cornerstones of the religion you profess to be.

      I never said "Jesus is love". This is getting lame, you putting words to me I didn't say.

      >> how a nonbeliever gets into heaven, because of course you don't concern yourself with one of the cornerstones of the religion you profess to be.

      I don't know how we get into heaven. That is why I haven't been talking about the after life or heaven. You keep talking about it.

      But I'm not. That is your issue.

      NOT MINE.

      The cornerstone of my religion is Jesus Christ. And what he asks me to do: Love God with all my heart and mind. Love others as I would love myself.

      The cornerstone of my religion is NOT how believers and non-believes get into heaven.

      You are wrong about me. And wrong about my religion.

      Wrong.

      January 30, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @VanHagar or fred

      "Where does he mention salvation or other religions?"
      You wanna take this one?
      I keep trying to engage in discussion with December/Poe here and all he keeps grousing about is me dictating his own religion to him, because apparently when a nonchristian talks about christianity I'm not allowed to talk theology because it isn't mine, too much book learnin and not enough believin I think.

      December, are you a Poe? really? That would be a big help to know.

      January 30, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • December

      >> You wanna take this one?
      To Chuckles:

      No. Not a poe.

      Seriously, when Jesus makes the quote you keep bringing up, where does he mention salvation?

      “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

      Where does he mention other religions?

      Where do you get the notion that muslims, hindus, jews and atheists will burn in hell because of that statement?

      Can you put it into context? That statement wasn't meant to stand on its own. There are sentences before that and after for a reason. There are stories before that and after for a reason.

      Chuckles: I've answered so, so many, and you won't answer any of mine. And now you are asking others to answer for you?

      Pretty safe way to debate.

      January 30, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      Ok, not a problem, that seems fair. Lets see here:
      "“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”"
      - Lets dig in shall we? It says no one, repeat NO ONE comes to the Father except through [jesus], that statement seems pretty clear but I guess you have a mental block about it. The no one in that statement is referring to everyone who will not see the father because they don't go "through" jesus, or accept him. "Going" in this instance is what I'm referring to as salvation. If you really believe that this does not mean salvation, I would reccomend you also hash this out with VanHagar and fred, not just me.

      "Where do you get the notion that muslims, hindus, jews and atheists will burn in hell because of that statement?"
      –This notion comes in two parts. The quote above explains that no one goes to see god unless it's through jesus. Not going to see god is a considered a form of hell (that's what jews believe hell is). The christian concept of hell is then further defined as either purgatory, limbo or satans domain and then further refined to include that satans domain is full of demons, and fire and terror and what not. Since you are only willing to believe what is directly quoted from jesus and nothing else in the NT (please, if you don't believe this and feel I am putting words in your mouth, instead of getting huffy please make the af.fir.mative statement, "I believe everything in the NT" or something to that effect instead of grousing about me putting words in your mouth) then the eternal damnation of fiery hell does not necessarily apply to your specific, individual faith. If you believe in the quote you posted however, it still makes it very clear that if you do not "go through jesus" you will NOT "come toe father". Since Jews, Muslims, Atheists, Hindus, etc... are not going through jesus they will not come to the father.

      January 30, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • December

      >> It says no one, repeat NO ONE comes to the Father except through [jesus],
      that statement seems pretty clear but I guess you have a mental block about it.

      Ok, but who did he say that to? And what question was asked of him? That is important to put it into context. Looking at his intention and audience is very important. Or else someone might jump to a conclusion that is not accurate.

      Did somebody ask him a question about salvation for non-believers? Did somebody ask him a question about religion. Did somebody mention the word salvation to him?

      >> The quote above explains that no one goes to see god unless it's through jesus.

      We haven't established that yet. We know Jesus said that:

      “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

      But we don't know what was asked. Or who he was talking to.

      January 30, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • weinerinameatgrinder

      Says an atheist on a belief blog

      January 30, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      You are super duper focused on context, so why no frame it for me? You have yet to actually refute these statements, you just keep hinging your whole argument on the quote being out of context, as if the whole thing would change if jesus was only answering a question that was along the lines of, "Question jesus, how do you christians(keep in mind christians didn't exist yet) god?"

      January 30, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • December

      >> You are super duper focused on context, so why no frame it for me?

      I've been asking you to read the whole chapter that the quote came from. I would also suggest reading the whole book of John. I'm not going to frame it for you.

      >> You have yet to actually refute these statements...

      I can't refute a statement I didn't make. You claim I did, or intended to. But I didn't.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Decemeber

      1. Read it, I don't see how the context changes the quote. Do you?

      2. I asked you to refute MY statement, I know you didn't make, I did. Considering you disagree with it, then refute it. Don't just keep throwing your hands in the air and saying I'm putting words in your mouth or that you disagree. Show me, don't tell me.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • VanHagar

      December...respectfully, your understanding of the single most important aspect of Christianity (apart from love) is flawed. The New Testament also says, in order to solidify the point: "He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life." 1 John 5:12. Jesus is the ONLY path to salvation if you accept as true the fundamental truth of Christianity. Tell me I'm wrong.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • December

      >>>1. Read it, I don't see how the context changes the quote. Do you?

      Yes.

      Context is VERY VERY VERY important. Taking something out of context can change the meaning of a sentence.

      That quote was never intended to stand on its own.

      THAT STATMENT IS AN ANSWER TO A QUESTION.

      What was the question and why was it asked?

      Where does it say that hindus, muslims, atheists, jews go to hell?

      >>>2. I asked you to refute MY statement, I know you didn't make, I did. Considering you disagree with it, then refute it. Don't just keep throwing your hands in the air and saying I'm putting words in your mouth or that you disagree. Show me, don't tell me.

      I don't know what I'm supposed to do? How do I prove that I don't believe what you say?

      What am I supposed to do when you attribute something to me I didn't say?

      I throw my hands in the air and deny saying it.

      It is pretty simple: I don't agree with you.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • VanHagar

      And others...sorry for the cut and paste, just makes it quicker...

      John 3:36 – He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

      Acts 4:12 – Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

      1 Timothy 2:5 – For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

      January 30, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • Science

      No need to comment dec. and van are doing great.

      January 30, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      First I think I need to email my 7th grade english teacher and apologize everytime she wrote on my paper "Show, don't tell", I now understand her pain.

      Second, "Context is VERY VERY VERY important. Taking something out of context can change the meaning of a sentence."
      - I agree, but like I said again, the context of the answer to the question does not change the meaning, and as VanHagar has pointed out above, Jesus is pretty adament that you can't achieve salvation unless it's through him.

      "I don't know what I'm supposed to do? How do I prove that I don't believe what you say? What am I supposed to do when you attribute something to me I didn't say? I throw my hands in the air and deny saying it. It is pretty simple: I don't agree with you."
      –What are you supposed to do? Simple show me a bible quote that supports you reasoning WHY you don't agree with me. I've heard the point loud and clear, you don't agree with me because I'm not a christian and that somehow in your brain disqualifies me as understanding the doctrine (because like you pointed out it's like a man telling a pregnant woman what it's like to be pregnant, because male gynocologists don't exist right?). I also understand that evrytime I speak about christianity you somehow make it about you, and how I'm putting words in your mouth, I have continued on this thread to make sure I don;t get near the phrase "you say" or "you believe" or anything without quoting it directly from your post and yet you still persist that I'm putting words in your mouth. I understand you don't agree with me, now get past the 6th grade thinking and move to 7th grade where you have to qualify WHY you don't agree with me. Understand?

      January 30, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • December

      > VanHagar

      Are you a Christian?

      I'm not saying you are wrong. But it is weird to have somebody tell me what the single most important thing to my religion is.

      How can you know that if you aren't one?

      This whole debate started with this quote yesterday:

      "For those with faith, no evidence is necessary; for those without it, no evidence will suffice." – St. Thomas Aquinas

      Jesus' summary of the greatest commandments: Love God. And Love other as yourself.

      That is where I start.

      January 30, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
    • December

      I can't prove to you that God has answered my prayers. And it was in His ways, not mine. I haven't had a great life. I've been a victim of abuse. I should probably be dead today due to health problems. But I'm not. And I have felt God in my life. And I have strength to continue despite my weaknesses.

      I can't prove this to you or my skeptical friends. But through Jesus Christ I have been made aware of a loving God. It is not my salvation I am worried about, it is about God's salvation of His creation.

      I want to be a part of the salvation of His creation. Not the perish of His creation.

      This is my testimony. Believe it or reject.

      I am not a debate team member. I don't know how to put the whole Bible and the Gospel of Jesus Christ into context for you. And I don't have to.

      I tried to answer your questions. It was frustrating when you accuse me of things that I don't agree with. Or you try to stereotype me into your understanding of what it means to be Christian.

      January 30, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • VanHagar

      @December...Yes, I am a Christian. Now for the love of Pete, please answer the question!!!!!!

      January 30, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • December

      > VanHagar

      "..is Christ the only way to receive salvation?"

      I don't know. Do you know?

      I know people I trust and love that are satisfed with their Buddhist beliefs. And others with their Jewish beliefs.

      I am like one of Jesus disciples that ask him : "Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"

      I feel lost just like they did. Maybe a Jew, Mulsim or Hindu doesn't feel lost. Maybe they don't need Jesus' salvation.

      But I do. I'm lost.

      I'm not a preacher or a theologian. I'm a lowly servant of Jesus Christ. I invite God into my life each morning. I try to pray when I face difficulties in my life. I try to remain grateful. I try to treat others as I want to be treated.

      What I believe about salvation is not as important to me as to what I do with this life that God has granted me with.

      Do you know you will receive or have received salvation???

      January 30, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • VanHagar

      December...I have salvation because I have accepted Christ as my savior...so the answer to your question is yes...thank you for finally answering mine (even if it is an "I don't know.") As one Christian to another, I would strongly encourage you to take a hard look at your faith. If you are telling others they don't need Christ to obtain salvation,you are selling a lie–the Bible is unequivocally clear on this point. The Bible not only says Christ is the way to salvation, it just as often says that without him, there is no salvation. Don't lead others to believe they can earn or work their way into God's kingdom.

      January 30, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      I am not a debate team member. I don't know how to put the whole Bible and the Gospel of Jesus Christ into context for you. And I don't have to."
      - You don't have to be on the debate team or be a theolgian to know that if you make a claim, you should be able to back it up. It's honestly that simple. I say christian dogma says the only way to gain salvation is through jesus christ. You said you don't agree with me. I gave you a quote from John, you said to read it context, I the whole chapter and still the quote stands. You said I'm wrong because I'm not a christian. Not once did you show me why I'm wrong, or where I was flawed in my thinking, you just said you disagree and then told me to stop putting words in your mouth.

      "I tried to answer your questions. It was frustrating when you accuse me of things that I don't agree with. Or you try to stereotype me into your understanding of what it means to be Christian."
      . No you didn't, all you've done is to continue to sidestep the question. Even VanHagar, a christian, is having trouble getting a straight answer from you, so clearly you aren't trying hard enough to answer the question or are purposefully avoiding it.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      VanHagar,

      I am a Christian and I do believe that the only path gentiles including myself have to salvation is through Jesus Christ. However, I also believe that God has made provision for the children of Israel (Jews), especially those who died before Christ came the first time. On top of that God promised Abraham that he would bless the children of Ishmael (Muslims).

      January 30, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Robert, if you've accepted Christ as your savior, then you are saved. If you believe Jews and Muslims are saved (although, I don't know how that is possible in light of the exclusivity of NT teaching, and the fact that NT in now way distinguishes between jew and gentile for salvation purposes) more power to you. I will simply say this...if you want assurance of salvation, accept Christ. If you want to roll the dice, don't accept Christ.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • December

      > VanHager

      Good point. I don't tell people things I don't know.

      I know God has shown love to me, one who probably didn't deserve it.

      If God loved me – I'm sure he loves Hindus, Muslims, and atheists.

      I'm not a Bible thumper (obviously). I live in response to God's grace.

      May God have mercy on me if I don't get the theology or dogma right.

      As Chuckles likes to point out, I'm not very smart.

      > Chuckles

      >>I say christian dogma says the only way to gain salvation is through jesus christ.

      >>you make a claim, you should be able to back it up.

      I've been claiming I'm not sure about that.

      I am a Christian. And I can believe that God has a plan of salvation for his whole creation.

      Perhaps, after a muslim, atheist, jew, etc. die they can accept Jesus Christ as God's true son.

      Didn't Jesus go the hell when he died for 3 days? Did he not truly conquer death?

      I say God is greater and better than even the best dogma that tries to explain Jesus Christ.

      I worship Jesus Christ.

      Not Christian doctrine. Not verses from the Bible.

      I can make a false idol out of Christian doctrine or the Bible. I must be careful.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • fred

      “I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. Isaiah 42:16”
      It is God who will redeem and makes it possible so that you and I (Jews, Greeks etc.) can accomplish His purpose in creation. There is only one God but many religions some of which deviate greatly from the truth. Those who do not know God are not redeemed by Him even though they were part of the purpose in creation.
      In short; one God one way with lots of distractions where Satan sifts us as wheat. Religion is where you can find darkness masquerading about as an angel of light.
      What does this say to Muslims, Hindus etc. etc………..If God does not redeem you then you cannot be unified at the conclusion of time.
      Is December correct? Yes. This is why we are not to judge and allow the weeds to mature along with the wheat (believers and non believers of the Gospel of Christ) then Jesus will judge who will be thrown into the fire and who will escape the flames.
      Perhaps the debate is who does Jesus say he is and what is the way the truth and the life. The conclusion will be the same in that if God is who He claims to be then God can and will redeem all His children. Who are the children of God? They are not everyone and certainly not anyone who with their final breath denies Christ.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • Science

      Robert Brown and you said what makes the rain ? (little buggers) I think I can find it.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      "you make a claim, you should be able to back it up."
      -Uh...... how exactly do you expect me to do that? Should I show you in the bible where it says that (oops, already did that), should othre christians also back me up and agree with me (oops, that happened to). I guess I'm at a loss, what else can I do to back up that statement and how have you not understood that if you want to reject that claim, then show me why, not just reject because you feel it is so. That's a garbage answer.

      "Perhaps, after a muslim, atheist, jew, etc. die they can accept Jesus Christ as God's true son."
      - The perhaps shows that it's just an idea you came up with in order to bolster your own feeling that everyone should get into heaven. Look, if you're right and I die, I go up to heaven and St. Peter says in a booming voice, "Chuckles, you now see that god and jesus are real and so is heaven. Would you care to accept jesus now as your lord and savior or be booted down to hell?" I think I know my answer. However this idea is not what the bible teaches and I can pretty much guarantee you your own Lutheran church won't teach that either. Like VanHagar has pointed out, it's very important to accept jesus to acheive salvation, that's not up for grabs.

      @fred
      Do you think that if I go for the rest of my life like I have for the last 26 years (not accepting jesus) that when I go to Heaven he'll accept me into heaven based on merit alone or do think think that jesus will not because I didn't accept him as lord and savior.

      This is what Van and Robert have already pointed out and I as well. Christianity, all sects, specifically state that to get gods salvation, you must accept jesus. No if, ands, or buts about it. If you believe differently, go ahead, but you have nothing to support that other than a feeling or a yearning, which does not make it true. For instance, I feel or want to fly. No matter how much I believe or feel like I will be able to fly, without the aid of technology, I will always fall. Why do you think ignoring what the bible says and deciding that jesus will judge only when you die and that you still have a chance at heaven even if you aren't christian has any merit?

      January 30, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
    • December

      >> Chuckles

      People preach all kinds of things about the Bible.

      I have heard people preach your version. I'm not buying what you preach.

      I believe that God is bigger and better than what even the best religious and most dogmatic minds profess Him to be.

      At my Lutheran Church we are not worried about who goes to heaven and who goes to hell, nearly as much as you are.

      That is not our motivation.

      Love God. And love others as yourself.

      The after life is up to God. Not me. Not you. Not Christian doctrine.

      January 30, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      So you're going to ignore the rest of my post after making the outrageous claim that I have somehow yet to back up my claim, instead saying I'm the one concerned about the afterlife..... the best joke of all though: there is no afterlife HA!

      As for your Lutheran church. Next time you go, ask your pastor about the afterlife, ask him who gets in. Does everybody or only some? I bet you'll realize you are part of a church that is preaching exactly what I'm "preaching" here. Just because you don't talk about it doesn't mean that other congregants aren't worried about it.

      Seriously December, you still can't bring yourself to just affirmatively say it even after fred, vanhagar, and robert. three very christians voices on this blog, have shown you otherwise. Instead you elect to dilly dally around the topic, not answer it and get all huffy that I'm tlaking about a different christianity than you are because yours doesn't involve adhering to that crazy "bible" thing as much as others do. When christians see the bible is an instruction manual you are only using it as a suggestion box and then saying I don't know the gospel because you don't like the parts I'm telling you about.

      *facepalm*

      January 30, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • fred

      Chuckles
      “when I go to Heaven he'll accept me into heaven based on merit alone”
      =>there is no human effort or any effort of man that could make you presentable before a holy God. God is a burning holiness where even the seraphim cover their eyes while chanting holy holy holy is the Lord.

      “ do think think that jesus will not because I didn't accept him as lord and savior.”
      =>it is not Jesus the man but God you must accept or reject as Lord and Savior. This is more of a disposition of soul than it is deed or effort. When you see Christ in all His glory (Glory of God) that which is not of God will be burned like chaff by the intense holy nature of God. What is it that is holy before God but God (Christ).

      What was so righteous about Lot that he makes it in but all his works are burnt up. David in his murder and adultery makes the cut as does that one criminal on the cross with Christ. The last one saved while Jesus was alive was that criminal who only said “do you not fear God”, Jesus remember me when you get to Paradise
      .
      How complicated can it be. The picture of Able, Abraham down to that last criminal on the cross than makes the cut is clear. The picture of Cain, Esau down to that criminal on the cross (Luke 23 39-43) mocking Christ with his dying breath is clear as they are not in Paradise.
      Many people are praying for you yet you believe God does not answer prayer. What does the Bible say about Chuckles? God knew you before you were born and has placed you in the perfect position to accomplish His purpose in you. I think you will rise out of the darkness and see the light, but then again I am not to judge.

      January 30, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      Why did you run when I called you out on being an arrogant ass?

      January 30, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • fred

      hawaiiguest
      When I speak the truth it sometimes appears arrogant and I apologize if that is the way it was perceived. When I return I will go check that post out and reply but not on this thread as it a different issue.

      January 30, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      Assuming you know anything about my past experiences and assuming you know the depth of change when I deconverted is arrogant you stupid little fuck. Your dishonesty is truly astounding. I guess you take Luthers "Lie for Jesus" seriously don't you. Pathetic little troll that you are, I doubt you'll actually address anything I'm saying though. Oh well, people like you show the cost of religion to a persons mind. Your gleeful, willful, and proud ignorance is amazing. So go ahead fred. Run away, ignore me, or post some irrelevant moronic useless tangent.

      January 30, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
    • December

      @December

      >> So you're going to ignore the rest of my post after making the outrag...

      I've given you my answer. Jesus Christ. Dude, I don't agree with you.

      You are focusing on one little quote. Taken out of context.

      You still haven't answered who Jesus was answering, and why the question was asked.

      Here is a Christian that I trust: Peter Gomes

      “Thus, when Christians state categorically that Jews, or Muslims, or believers in other faith systems are outside the provisions of God, they utter arrogant nonsense. A respected agnosticism is called for when often there is offered in its place a self-interested certainty. If God is the God of all, and not just a tribal deity, then God has made provision, not necessarily known to us, for the healing and care of all his creation, and not simply our little part of it.”

      He explains my position very well.

      I doubt he would agree with your statement that Jesus condemns Hindus, Muslims, Jews and atheists to hell.

      He taught at Harvard. I'm going to trust him. Not you.

      You don't even believe in Jesus Christ. Your testimony is not very relevant to me.

      >> As for your Lutheran church...

      I have talked to my pastor about this. Maybe you should talk to a pastor.

      Jesus doesn't ask us to believe that Christians go to heaven and muslims, hindus, jews and atheist go to hell. This is what you claim. I don't see it.

      He asks us to help the poor and those in need.

      > fred, vanhagar, and robert

      They have not convinced me that Jesus only offers salvation to those who subscribe to the correct Christian doctrine.

      >>...I don't know the gospel because you don't like the parts I'm telling you about.

      I believe Jesus Christ rose from the dead 3 days after being crucified.

      Do you believe this?

      If you don't believe this, then what is the gospel? Something some wise man said? Or something some crazy man who claimed to be God said?

      I think you are uttering 'arrogant nonsense'.

      January 30, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
    • fred

      December

      Without faith one cannot please God. It is God who gives a measure of faith to each man and opens the heart of man to hear His voice. God can and does extend His grace and mercy as God see fit. Everything God does is for the perfect good according to His purpose. This includes placing man exactly where he (or she) should be resulting in the best possible perfect outcome for all.
      The Bible says many will be deceived by false teachers. Jesus says my sheep know my voice so there is no doubt that those who give their lives to Christ are chosen. As to those that have not or do not hear that voice we are not to judge and we are not told which if any are also chosen. That is a different conclusion than to say any and all beliefs are true or result in redemption / salvation.

      January 31, 2013 at 1:00 am |
    • December

      Thanks Fred. That is helpful.

      I've been looking into John 10:16 lately.

      "You need to know that I have other sheep in addition to those in this pen. I need to gather and bring them, too. They'll also recognize my voice. Then it will be one flock, one Shepherd."

      Wow.

      I think God asks that I acknowledge that there are other sheep and they also were made in the image of God.

      I am called to love. End of sentence.

      NOT to decide, as Chuckles insists, and NOT to figure out who does and who doesn't "go to heaven".

      January 31, 2013 at 1:18 am |
    • fred

      December
      Just so I do not lead you astray keep in mind that John 10:16 is Jesus speaking of this fold (αὐλή) which could be an inner court of a Jewish temple. These courts had a sign that read no uncircu-mcised shall enter. Based on that most would say Jesus was addressing those outside not accepted by the Jews, namely the gentiles. What is clear is that there is only one good shepherd and that is Christ. All will be with him that entered the gates. Christ gave his life to atone for the sin of all men.
      Without getting into the aspects of the trinity, Christ is God and we see a similar calling in the Old Testament from God as we do when Christ calls his chosen. Chuckles has been getting so many calls from God and Christ that he has tuned them out. Jesus said let those who have ears hear and those who have eyes see that Jesus Christ is Lord.

      January 31, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
  15. Good News

    “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
    He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
    to set the oppressed free,
    to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

    January 30, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • Eric G

      "Nine Rings were gifted to the race of Men, who above all else, desire power. For within these Rings was bound the strength and will to govern each race. But they were all of them deceived."

      January 30, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • boocat

      "I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam I Am."

      January 30, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • tallulah13

      Gabba gabba, we accept you, we accept you, one of us.

      January 30, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • sam

      'Hallowed are the Ori.'

      January 30, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • meifumado

      I am a high priest of the dread lord Yog-Sothoth.
      My master demands human blood and souls for sacrifice.
      You will soon know the exquisite suffering of his malevolence.

      Y'AI NG'NGAH,
      YOG-SOTHOTH
      H'EE-L'GEB
      F'AI THRODOG
      UAAAH!

      January 30, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Jesus freaks
      out in the streets
      handin' tickets out for god
      Elton 19:71

      January 30, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Joey

      I want to get down on my knees and start pleasing Jesus
      I want to feel his salvation all over my face
      -Faith Plus One

      January 30, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
  16. myweightinwords

    Morning everyone. Hope you are all well.

    Ever have one of those moments where you feel a complete disconnect with the people around you? Like they clearly must come from another planet? Recently some (younger, by about 15 years and female) friends were discussing a situation with a potential dating partner. They were disgusted and horrified at what they counted as flirtatious behavior from a man that they later discovered was in a serious relationship.

    How dare he flirt with them when he already had a girl? Shouldn't they tell this woman about his flirtation? It was as good as cheating on her.

    It didn't help that when they described this "flirtatious behavior" to me I didn't see flirting, I saw someone being friendly (but I'm told I have blinders in this area, and unless it is very overt I don't get flirting). I also acknowledge that my approach to sexuality and relationships is very different from most folks.

    So, my question to you is...is it cheating to be friendly/flirtatious?

    January 30, 2013 at 9:19 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Flirtation is construed as cheating only by those who are insecure in themselves and their relationships.
      It never ceases to amaze me how much my partner can get accomplished simply by batting her pretty eyelashes!
      I don't take it as a threat to our relationship – I see it as her leveraging her natrual as/sets 😉
      Plus, we can all use a little ego boost now and then.

      January 30, 2013 at 9:42 am |
      • myweightinwords

        Doc, that's true. It does feel good to flirt and be flirted with.

        I also suffer from the problem of being accused of flirting, when I'm not....at least in my own opinion I'm not. It sometimes makes me wonder if we're so unaccustomed to people being friendly that we don't understand it when it happens.

        January 30, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • Rick

      I think being friendly is laughing, smiling, joking and just having fun with someone. It becomes flirting when they try to touch you in some form while laughing, brush their hand against yours, basically when they invade your space. I have a friend who gets really flirty when she's had a few but she knows it and will be open about becoming flirty. She's even warned my wife, got her permission as well as with other friends about it so we know it's harmless.....and very funny most of the time.

      January 30, 2013 at 10:00 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Myweightinwords,

      I hope you are having a good morning and doing well too.

      I think cheating is cheating, flirting is flirting, and friendly is friendly. Some people are friendly and even flirtatious by nature, doesn’t mean they intend to cheat. That is the key what is the intention, only the one being friendly or flirtatious, possibly their friends or acquaintances, and God really know the answer.

      For example, I know this really friendly guy, the ladies all think he is really nice and is most cases means no harm by the compliments he gives and so on. But, talk to him when it is just the guys around and his intentions seem obvious, he is fishing. Most of the ladies don’t realize it, they just think he is nice. He isn’t cheating, but he is looking and wouldn’t turn down the opportunity. I think he intends to cheat.

      January 30, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • nobody in particular

      I wish you could have been a little more informative. Your post is too breif. What did your friends consider to be flirting? Just being frendly is not flirting. I like what Doc says. I too can be very friendly without flirting, at least in my oppinion.

      January 30, 2013 at 10:33 am |
      • myweightinwords

        I'm sorry if I didn't go into detail...I didn't think it was important since I wasn't asking about opinions on that specific scenario, I was just using it as a set up for the question.

        I'm more interested in conversation, and exploring the different ways different people look at the subject. Particularly because I know that the women I was talking to and I come from very different places with regard to religion and sexuality.

        January 30, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • Akira

      DV: "Flirtation is construed as cheating only by those who are insecure in themselves and their relationships."
      I know people like this; they are uncomfortable to be around because they also let jealousy cloud their perception.
      I even had one person tell me, "you have a husband, let me have this one!" because the man in question seemed to like to chat with me, (and he wasn't even remotely flirting with me!)

      MWIW:"I also suffer from the problem of being accused of flirting, when I’m not….at least in my own opinion I’m not. It sometimes makes me wonder if we’re so unaccustomed to people being friendly that we don’t understand it when it happens."

      Oh, yeah. I can relate. I used to get this a lot when I was younger. Not so much now, thankfully.

      Okay, do I feel flirting is cheating? Straight up: no; but it can be a problem when the person who thinks someone is flirting with them starts to reciprocate in a manner that can make things uncomfortable...that's happened in the past to me and my husband, as we're both outgoing, friendly people...
      Some people misconstrue friendliness for flirting, IMO.

      January 30, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • boocat

      First of all...you mention 15 year olds....maybe in their eyes it was flirting because they have little life experience. But to answer your question, no, I don't believe flirting is cheating.

      January 30, 2013 at 10:59 am |
      • myweightinwords

        No, I said they were 15 years younger than me...so around 30.

        January 30, 2013 at 11:11 am |
  17. Atheism is Healthy for Everyone - Kids Too!

    Different kinds of fundamentalist Christians now as much as ever are arguing with each other with as much sense and rationality as a flock of chickens. They can't support their beliefs by any reasonable means, yet they deem themselves fit to judge others from those beliefs or attempt to put others in the midst of their religious infighting. Their beliefs have a very weak foundation and are not consistent, ergo the over 30,000 different denominations.

    Thomas Jefferson

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

    John Adams

    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.

    James Madison

    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.

    Thomas Paine

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

    January 30, 2013 at 9:08 am |
  18. Robert Brown

    Good news guys! God wants you to know him.
    (Hos.6:6)

    January 30, 2013 at 9:05 am |
    • Science

      To Robert Brown Here is newer news and educational, still waiting for the answer on the rain issue (little buggers)

      Check your god(S) at the cave enterance before entering.. No god(s) required for studying humans..

      updated 1 hour 55 minutes ago
      Jan. 29 2013

      Scientists have unearthed and dated some of the oldest stone hand axes on Earth. The ancient tools, unearthed in Ethiopia in the last two decades, date to 1.75 million years ago.

      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/50620121/ns/technology_and_science-science/

      Ancient DNA reveals humans living 40,000 years ago in Beijing area related to present-day Asians, Native Americans January 21, 2013

      Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-ancient-dna-reveals-humans-years.html#jCp

      January 30, 2013 at 9:19 am |
    • Which God?

      @RB. So your god wants us to know him, huh? How does he propose to do this? Contact my cell phone? Hire an old-fashion sky writng plane? Put up billboards, or just make everyones tv come on with his message? Why can't he do that, he is god after all. Knows all, sees all, made all. Wait, you say I have to read an outdated book of stories, written by ignorant, power hungry men, some 1800yrs ago? RB, you are totaly deluded. Your buybull is bullschitt. Furthermore, deep down you know it, but just to scared to admit it. C.O.W.A.R.D.=RB

      January 30, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Which God?,

      If you were going to bake a cake, would you just throw the cookbook away, put a bunch of stuff in a bowl, mix it up, bake it, and hope for the best? Or, would you get out the proven, tried, and true cookbook and follow the step by step directions?

      Deep down I know God is real. I am in him and he in me. Don’t get me wrong, I have had doubts, but every time I have doubted, my faith has been reaffirmed.

      When I read a post like yours where there is vehement denial, I really can’t help but think, it is telling of how you really feel deep down.

      You can have peace, hope, and joy.

      January 30, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • December

      Thank you Robert. I have experienced this to be true for me.

      January 30, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • Damocles

      @RB

      You don't ever experiment when you cook?

      What if the instructions in the book are wrong, like say the book tells you to put 4 cups of flour in instead of two?

      What if, in my experimentation with baking a cake, I make a tastier cake than the one that would have been achieved by going by the book?

      January 30, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • Which God?

      @RB. Hmmm. What I really feel is i sorry for those who believe in a make believe sky-fairy that has everyones best interes at heart, yet if one doesn't want ot believe in it, through the freewill it gave us, it condemns us to a hell. RB I feel sad for you. Your time on earth is spent trying to be good because you fear you will screw up, ( well you are a screw up, according to your god, nay, a total loser, a sinner, gasp), and go to hell. Do you feel 'special" RB? Do you feel protected by your jeebus? If you were to be beaten by a gang of thugs, would you thank jeebus for the beating? You should. It's his will you know, you were a bad boy. You deserved it. God sent them to punish you. Isn't that how god works, in mysterious ways? How do you know if this isn't true? You are truly deluded. I don't believe because there is no reason to do so. None.

      January 30, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Damocles,

      I don’t experiment much when I have occasion to cook, just because I barely know how to turn the stove on.

      The instructions are tried and true, so no worries.

      You may make a tastier one and it will be your reward. You eat it, enjoy it, and it’s gone. Bake the one by the book and you will have it forever.

      January 30, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Which God?,

      Don’t feel sorry for me, I have peace, hope, and joy.

      I try to obey God out of appreciation, not fear of hell. I have already been redeemed from hell, my redemption is irrevocable.

      I do feel special and protected, but probably not in the way you think of those things, more like totally humbled and in awe at the grace of God, that he would love and bless little ole undeserving me.

      Anyone would question if something bad happened to them. If we live long enough we all suffer something. I have never endured the specific thing you wrote, but I would hope that God would help me through it.

      Maybe someday God will give you a reason.

      Peace.

      January 30, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • Damocles

      @RB

      So you are afraid to cook because of what might happen so you allow others to cook for you, you have a hard time believing that other people's cookbooks work just as well or better than yours and you are unaware that like all cakes, you either eat yours and it's gone or you let it sit on the countertop, let it rot and it's still gone.

      January 30, 2013 at 11:32 am |
  19. Science

    FOR TBT STICK IT azzwipe gets sent to the water treatment plant for final flush.

    Check your god(S) at the cave enterance before entering.. No god(s) required for studying humans..

    updated 1 hour 55 minutes ago
    Jan. 29 2013

    Scientists have unearthed and dated some of the oldest stone hand axes on Earth. The ancient tools, unearthed in Ethiopia in the last two decades, date to 1.75 million years ago.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/50620121/ns/technology_and_science-science/

    Ancient DNA reveals humans living 40,000 years ago in Beijing area related to present-day Asians, Native Americans January 21, 2013

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-ancient-dna-reveals-humans-years.html#jCp

    January 30, 2013 at 8:09 am |
    • truth be told

      God gave science to mankind, science belongs to God not you.

      January 30, 2013 at 8:55 am |
    • Science

      Hope you can swallow your talking snake aye TBT. Don't choke on the bone!!!

      January 30, 2013 at 9:02 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      TBT: Science is not compatible with your imaginary friend and you have the audacity to call us liar's. Isn't lying a sin? Burn freak burn!

      January 30, 2013 at 9:03 am |
    • truth be told

      I post the Truth that all atheists are liars and along come a couple bottom feeders to prove it. Truth spoken in love will never result in judgement.
      PS science – is the earth still flat? – how are you doing with eugenics?

      January 30, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • Science

      TBT why don't you tell us.

      January 30, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "I post the Truth that all atheists are liars"

      No, there is no truth in that. You might wish to go back to kindergarten and learn to use a dictionary (or did you fail kindergarten?).

      January 30, 2013 at 10:41 am |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Pray without ceasing in 2013
    Prayer changes things

    January 30, 2013 at 7:07 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "When somebody’s praying, they’re using their own psychological capacities. They’re using the human mind. And the human mind is human. " (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/30/prayer-science_n_1464622.html)

      As always you are wrong!

      January 30, 2013 at 7:28 am |
    • truth be told

      All atheists are liars, the best service an atheist can offer is to not comment but rather dispose of themselves and make the world that much better for normal folks.

      January 30, 2013 at 7:31 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      January 30, 2013 at 7:39 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      TBT: You keep that dream alive darlin', You are a pathetic excuse for representation of truly good christians...your hell you can burn there. Happy Hump Day Freak!

      January 30, 2013 at 7:40 am |
    • Pete

      "All atheists are liars"

      More lies from the xtians – 167!

      January 30, 2013 at 7:42 am |
    • Which God?

      tbt, you are about as "normal" as jeffery dalhmer, ted bundy and others who wish ill on others. You just haven't moved to the physical side of it yet. Your hatred is getting deeper. Go out into the real world , have a drink or two, get laid, go to the movies the library, an art museum. Get your nose out of jeebu's ass and live a litte. You are one angry and deluded person. You'll either push someones buttons the wrong way and get hurt, or killed, or your hate will kill someone. Either way, you need help, and your jeebus can't save you. BTW, has prayer helped you yet? Didn't think so.

      January 30, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • truth be told

      Mans science is often wrong, Gods science never is.

      January 30, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • tallulah13

      The beauty of science is that it's self-correcting. If a concept, even an accepted concept, is proven wrong, it is corrected or discarded. Science makes the effort to find the truth.

      Religion, on the other hand, simply tells you to believe what you are told, that it is infallible, even without proof. It's perfect, as long as you don't question it. The second you do question it, it all falls apart.

      January 30, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • boocat

      So does a hit from a bong....

      January 30, 2013 at 11:01 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.