Picking up a bagel instead of a partisan fight
President Barack Obama speaks during the National Prayer Breakfast at the Washington Hilton Thursday.
February 7th, 2013
12:24 PM ET

Picking up a bagel instead of a partisan fight

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Editor

Washington (CNN) -
Translation headsets squawked in four languages at the early morning breakfast in Washington, mixing in with the sounds of stirred coffee and clinking china in the immense ballroom at the Washington Hilton.

The sound reverberated over the quiet of a momentary political cease-fire in Washington.

For the 61st time, the president came to pray with the U.S. Senate and House prayer groups at the National Prayer Breakfast.  It is an event that is equal parts prayer and politics, where members of both parties laud one another about a temporary political truce, lay down their partisan ammunition, and pause to pray together.

Members of Congress mixed in across the ballroom with the 3,000 diplomats, dignitaries, clergy, veterans and many more from 140 countries who bought a ticket to join in the ecumenical prayer event.

All told there were four short prayers, delivered by a senator, an admiral, a Cabinet secretary and an Olympic gold medalist, Gabrielle “the Flying Squirrel” Douglas.

The remainder of the 90 minutes was filled with speeches, songs, coffee, mini-quiches, and bagels.

Sen. Mark Pryor, R-Arkansas, greeted the crowd from the podium with a crisp, “Good morning sinners.”   He then turned it over to fellow emcee Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, who opened the event in prayer.

Dr. Benjamin Carson, the director of pediatric neurosurgery for The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, delivered a keynote address that covered a broad range of topics.  As he touched on taxes, deficit, education and health care, he received applause first from half of the crowd and then from the other half, in a way that was reminiscent of a State of the Union speech.

He reminded the crowd of Washington power brokers that the American bald eagle needs both its left wing and its right wing to soar.

President Barack Obama spoke at the annual breakfast for the fifth time since taking office, keeping the streak of presidential attendance of the event unbroken.

The president began by announcing that his head of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Joshua DuBois, will be leaving his post on Friday.  DuBois has been working with the president since his days in the Senate and has reached out to religious leaders across the spectrum on a range of issues.  He has also been a key player in Obama’s personal faith life.

“Joshua has been at my side at work and in prayer for years now,” the president said.

“Every morning he sends me in an e-mail a daily meditation.  A snippet of Scripture for me to reflect on, and it has meant the world to me.  And despite my pleas, tomorrow will be his last day at the White House.”  The president thanked DuBois, who was standing off stage to his right, and wished him well.

The president used his speech, as he has in years past, to illuminate pieces of his own Christian faith and a faith in God and country.

“We come together as a people of faith.  We know faith is something that must be cultivated.  Faith is not a possession.  Faith is a process,” he said speaking from notes and without a teleprompter.

“As Christians we place our faith in the nail-scarred hands of Jesus Christ,” the president said, emphasizing his personal belief as a Christian before turning toward an interfaith tone: “So many other Americans know the embrace of faith Muslims and Jews, Hindus and Sihks, and all Americans, whether religious or secular, have a deep abiding faith in this nation.”

The president spoke of the two men whose Bibles he used during his recent presidential inauguration ceremonies, President Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr.

He spoke of the trials they each faced and compared them, in part, to the current struggles facing the United States - the deficit, taxes and education - picking up on the major themes from Carson’s keynote.

“In the midst of all these debates, we must keep that same humility that Dr. King and Lincoln and Washington and all our great leaders understood is at the core of true leadership,” the president said.

“I do worry sometimes that as soon as we leave the prayer breakfast, everything we've been talking about the whole time at the prayer breakfast seems to be forgotten - on the same day of the prayer breakfast,” he said, drawing a laugh from the crowd as he turned toward Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, a loud critic of the president’s policies who was seated at the head table.

“I mean, you'd like to think that the shelf life wasn't so short.  But I go back to the Oval Office and I start watching the cable news networks and it's like we didn’t pray,” the president said as he then turned to Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, who was seated next to him at the head table.

“Sometimes I search Scripture to determine how best to balance life as a president and as a husband and as a father.  I often search for Scripture to figure out how I can be a better man as well as a better president,” he said.

The president added he thinks the country is united in fighting common struggles, “but I also believe that we are united in the knowledge of a redeeming savior, whose grace is sufficient for the multitude of our sins, and whose love is never failing.

“And most of all, I know that all Americans - men and women of different faiths and, yes, those of no faith that they can name - are, nevertheless, joined together in common purpose, believing in something that is bigger than ourselves, and the ideals that lie at the heart of our nation’s founding - that as a people we are bound together.”

After the conclusion of the president’s remarks Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli sang Ave Maria to close the event.

As he finished singing he motioned that he wanted to add a few words.

In Italy, he said, “left and right can’t speak together.”  He lamented his poor English but added that when he returns to Italy he will do so with a new lesson. “I received a big teaching.  I will transmit this: the will to pray together.”

After the event Pryor, in a brief interview with CNN, said he didn’t see the president’s remarks as a partisan dig from his standpoint and echoed the president’s sentiments that leaders in the United States need to remain humble. He added he hopes they will continue to pray together.  “By praying together and trying to find unity in prayer, hopefully we can take the day-to-day stuff to a higher plain.”

“It’s tough to pray with someone and then go on the Senate floor and beat the tar out of someone.  It’s tough, but not impossible,” he said with a wide grin.

“The challenge for all of us is to connect Sunday to Monday and keep that in our minds and make a difference," he said. "Washington is an interesting place.  I think the National Prayer Breakfast makes it better.”

And with that he and the other members of Congress headed back to Capitol Hill and the president returned to the White House.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Church and state

soundoff (117 Responses)
  1. Science

    Free speech helps educate the masses................POLITICIANS too !

    Where do morals come from?

    By Kelly Murray, CNN

    Gravity is not up for debate !

    BY the way ...................Splat goes a fairy in the sky !...............bye bye tinker bell !

    Einstein's Gravity Theory Passes Toughest Test Yet..............................E = mc2..........(U–Pb).................two math formulas.

    Apr. 25, 2013 — A strange stellar pair nearly 7,000 light-years from Earth has provided physicists with a unique cosmic laboratory for studying the nature of gravity. The extremely strong gravity of a massive neutron star in orbit with a companion white dwarf star puts competing theories of gravity to a test more stringent than any available before


    Hey James Madison................religion has none it looks like.............with the comments on this blog.

    The Big question is ETHICS ! does religion have any ?

    The Ethics of Resurrecting Extinct Species

    Apr. 8, 2013 — At some point, scientists may be able to bring back extinct animals, and perhaps early humans, raising questions of ethics and environmental disruption.


    April 30, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |

    May 1, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |

    Dinosaur Egg Study Supports Evolutionary Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs: How Troodon Likely Hatched Its Young


    And NO ANGELS the pope KICKED them OFF the TEAM last year !

    From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life


    the wrong path is Adam and Eve !

    Human Y Chromosome Much Older Than Previously Thought

    Mar. 4, 2013 — The discovery and analysis of an extremely rare African American Y chromosome pushes back the time of the most recent common ancestor for the Y chromosome lineage tree to 338,000 years ago. This time predates the age of the oldest known anatomically modern human fossils.


    No god(s) needed or required to graduate from public schools in the US

    Remember : Adam had to POKE himself hard with his OWN BONE to create Eve.

    No god(s) needed................... Old. DNA works..................also catches crooks !

    Ancient DNA Reveals Europe's Dynamic Genetic History

    Apr. 23, 2013 — Ancient DNA recovered from a series of skeletons in central Germany up to 7,500 years old has been used to reconstruct the first detailed genetic history of modern Europe.


    Ca-nabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ®) – National Cancer Insti-tute


    Mar 21, 2013 – [1,2] These plant-derived compounds may be referred to as phytocannabinoids. ... have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumors. ... In lung cancer cell lines, CBD upregulated ICAM-1, leading to ...

    Good stuff !

    The fact...............the earth is to old for this nonsemse ! Time to EVOLVE !

    Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle

    Apr. 24, 2013 — Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth's crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.


    For what...................... ? Make sure to read what the pope said !

    Where do morals come from?

    By Kelly Murray, CNN


    Learning is fun with facts.......................... and facts work when teaching children.

    Atheist Prof. Peter Higgs: Stop calling Higgs boson the ‘God particle’

    Professor Peter Higgs said recently that there is no God and so people should stop referring to the theoretical partial that
    bears his name as the “God particle.”


    Pope praises science, but insists God created world updated Thur October 28, 2010
    Stephen Hawking is wrong, Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday – God did create the universe. The pope didn't actually mention the world-famous scientist, who argues in a book published last month that the laws of physics show there is no need for a supreme... \



    Heaven is 'a fairy story,' scientist Stephen Hawking says updated Tue May 17, 2011
    By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor The concept of heaven or any kind of afterlife is a "fairy story," famed British scientist Stephen Hawking said in a newspaper interview this week. "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when...


    April 7th, 2012

    08:32 PM ET

    The Jesus debate: Man vs. myth


    Make sure to read comments

    April 18, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |

    Breaking News

    NASA: Three planets found are some of best candidates so far for habitable worlds outside our solar system.


    NASA: Mars could have supported life

    Star Dust we are


    Holy Hallucinations 35


    The ORIGIN story is bullsh-it...............so is the bible............... nasty !

    From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life


    Scientists have unearthed the first direct signs of cheesemaking, at a site in Poland that dates back 7,500 years.

    Human Evolution


    BBC. Planet of the Apemen. Battle for Earth 1. Ho-mo Erectus


    BACKFILL on E =mc2.....

    Einstein letter, set for auction, shows scientist challenging idea of God, being 'chosen'

    By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

    Decades before atheist scientist and author Richard Dawkins called God a "delusion," one world-renowned physicist – Albert Einstein – was weighing in on faith matters with his own strong words.

    “The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends,” Einstein wrote in German in a 1954 letter that will be auctioned on eBay later this month. "No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”


    May 4, 2013 at 6:47 am | Report abuse |

    Cheech & Chong's History of 420


    All cults...........creationists, ID believers and devil cults.................

    The fact...............the earth is to old ...........time to EVOLVE !.

    Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle

    Apr. 24, 2013 — Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth's crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.


    Dover Trial Transcripts............................................. FACTS.

    Below are the complete transcripts from the Dover Trial. Thanks to our friends at the National Center for Science Education for helping us fill in the missing transcripts.


    Education works for children

    Earth From Space

    Detailed satellite images reveal the web of connections that sustain life on Earth. Aired February 13, 2013 on PBS

    Program Description

    "Earth From Space" is a groundbreaking two-hour special that reveals a spectacular new space-based vision of our planet. Produced in extensive consultation with NASA scientists, NOVA takes data from earth-observing satellites and transforms it into dazzling visual sequences, each one exposing the intricate and surprising web of forces that sustains life on earth. Viewers witness how dust blown from the Sahara fertilizes the Amazon; how a vast submarine "waterfall" off Antarctica helps drive ocean currents around the world; and how the sun's heating up of the southern Atlantic gives birth to a colossally powerful hurricane. From the microscopic world of water molecules vaporizing over the ocean to the magnetic field that is bigger than Earth itself, the show reveals the astonishing beauty and complexity of our dynamic planet.


    February 16, 2013 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |


    May 5, 2013 at 6:05 am |
  2. Morgan Garmon

    Bocelli was born in 1958 to Alessandro and Edi Bocelli, even though they were advised to abort him.He has stated that his mother's decision to give birth to him and overrule the doctor's advice was the inspiration for him to hold a pro-life view toward abortion.[33] They lived on the family farm, selling farm machinery and making wine in the small village of La Sterza, a frazione of Lajatico, Tuscany, Italy, which is about 40 km (25 mi) south of Pisa. Bocelli's mother and younger brother Alberto still live in the family home. Bocelli's father died in 2000.`

    Newly released short article provided by our very own internet site

    April 18, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
  3. stoobydoo

    Amazing speech by keynote speaker, Dr. Carson – it's a shame CNN won't tell you anything about it because it doesn't fit the narrative.

    February 19, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Cindy Gutierrez

      Agree! CNN cowards!

      February 20, 2013 at 1:12 am |
    • HotAirAce

      What did you find so amazing about it? It was a better than average speech making points that others have made, marred by references to imaginary beings. There was nothing revolutionary in it.

      February 20, 2013 at 1:19 am |
  4. Ronald Robles

    CNN stop being an Obama tool report all not just a select news. Freedom comes from the ability to hear and speak the truth. Stop with the political correctness and publicly the truth.

    February 17, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
  5. Chris

    Why didn't they give more attention to the key note speaker on CNN. That was the best speech I have seen in decades. It is non partisan and full of common sense solutions to our nations problems. I am a big fan of CNN over the years, why did the drop the ball on something so important to America?

    February 10, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • annademo01

      Dr. Carson doesn't toe the "Black Victimology" line. He eloquently spoke truth to power and made Obama appear very small (see his facial expressions). Democrats will never invite him to anything again.

      February 12, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
  6. llatpoh

    Google Dr. Benjamin Carson's prayer breakfast speech. Truly inspirational and much needed. His story about the fight against victimhood is the Left's worst nightmare. It is no wonder that CNN and the rest of the MSM are trying to bury it.
    Thank you Dr Carson, for telling your story, for putting yourself out there, and for providing much needed light in the current darkness of PC-driven-to-a-fault, bully-the-opposition-into-silence media culture.

    February 9, 2013 at 10:10 am |
  7. Nietodarwin

    “Shake off all fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God, because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.”
    _ Thomas Jefferson

    February 8, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • annademo01

      Men like Dr. Carson prove that science and faith are NOT mutually exclusive.

      February 12, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
  8. Nietodarwin

    Come on Mr. President, STOP ATTENDING THIS EVENT!!

    “Countries with a high percentage of nonbelievers are among the freest, most stable, best-educated, and healthiest nations on earth. When nations are ranked according to a human-development index, which measures such factors as life expectancy, literacy rates, and educational attainment, the five highest-ranked countries - Norway, Sweden, Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands - all have high degrees of nonbelief. Of the fifty countires at the bottom of the index, all are intensly religious. The nations with the highest homicide rates tend to be more religious; those with the greatest levels of gender equality are the least religious. These associations say nothing about whether atheism leads to positive social indicators or the other way around. But the idea that atheists are somehow less moral, honest, or trustworthy have been disproven by study after study.”
    _ Greg Graffin

    February 8, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Salero21

      Funny if not a phony thing is, that we don't hear, know or read about millions of people who wish to live or are trying to get into the countries you mentioned. Funny if not a Phony, none of them are or have been the major Commercial, Cultural, Economical, Industrial, Intellectual, Military, Political and Social Power the US of A still is and will still be for awhile. Phony thing is you fail to mention countries like the Former and Extinct USSR and North Korea as examples of no belief utopias. Phony you also so conveniently failed to mention that others in the hey days of their unbelief, were the show case examples for a Failed State, like Cambodia, Vietnam and Romania. Phony you failed to mention that in those countries people of Faith, Christians and religious still have freedom to congregate though they are in the minority. Phony you wouldn’t even consider Russia as an example of some atheistic utopia. But in the religious USA you have so much comfort. Funny isn't it!

      February 9, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • Wrathbrow

      People are confusing atheism and faith as descriptions of countries that are good, bad, strong, weak, etc.
      It is all of the individual intents of governments, leaders and people that make up all of those things.
      We have seen Islamic, Christian, atheist, and all others do good and bad things.
      All that does is blanket categorize things and pushing out any real conversation.

      February 10, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
  9. Salero21

    So... prayer breakfast, prayer brunch, prayer lunch, prayer snack, prayer dinner, prayer barbecue, prayer potluck; no wonder there are so many church goers that are overweight and even morbidly obese.

    Whatever happened to fasting and prayer?

    February 8, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      Very funny ..................because it's very true!!!!!

      February 8, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
  10. NClaw441

    You'd think Mr. Hawking would recognize that the simplest explanation is not always the true one. But I would still posit that having faith that God created the universe is much simpler than that out of nothing came a big bang, resulting in life, and eventually human life and order out of disorder, contrary to the concept of entropy.

    February 8, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • Wrathbrow

      If your looking for simple, yes.
      Some of us enjoy the rich tapestry of striving to obtain an every better understanding of all that exists.

      February 10, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • annademo01

      There are many brilliant scientists who also are deeply religious. They prove that science and faith are not mutually exclusive.

      February 12, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
  11. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Pray without ceasing
    Prayer changes things

    February 8, 2013 at 7:11 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!.

      February 8, 2013 at 8:10 am |
    • Wrathbrow

      Wish without ceasing
      Wishing changes things

      February 10, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
  12. Cody

    Mark Pryor is a Democrat, where did they get that he was a Republican from?

    February 8, 2013 at 6:58 am |
  13. Scott


    February 8, 2013 at 1:22 am |
  14. Reality

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    Free Will and Future are inherent to all the thinking beings in the Universe. This being the case, it is not possible to alter life with prayers. Statistically, your request might come true but it is simply the result of the variability/randomness of Nature..

    So put down your rosaries and prayer beads and stop worshiping/revering cows or bowing to Mecca five times a day and stop going to useless prayer breakfasts. Instead work hard at your job, take care of aging parents, volunteer at a soup kitchen, donate to charities and the poor and continue to follow the proper rules of your religion or any good rules of living as gracious and good human beings.

    February 7, 2013 at 11:59 pm |
  15. pat thompson

    Where is the story on Dr. Carson's speech at the prayer breakfast, CNN?

    February 7, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
    • Scott Everwood

      Three words Pat: Liberal Media Suck-ups. It's even worse on NBC's news website. Do a search for "Dr. Benjamin Carson" on their site and you'll find nothing about him on their entire website. Disgusting. Damn liberal racists!!!!

      February 8, 2013 at 12:16 am |
    • HotAirAce

      It was an ok speech, somewhat humouress, but marred by unnecessary mentions of non-existent imaginary beings and silly references to The Babble.

      February 8, 2013 at 12:25 am |
    • Scott Everwood

      But, if he were a Muslim, we wouldn't want to say anything negative like this about his faith now would we?..

      February 8, 2013 at 12:31 am |
    • HotAirAce

      I am equally critical of all religious cults. They are all based on unsupported myths allegedly believed by mentally ill delusional people or liars. Satisfied now?.

      February 8, 2013 at 12:34 am |
    • Scott Everwood

      Not really... I seriously doubt you'd actually have the nerve to say it to a Muslim's face... Get a life. Believe what you believe in and keep it amongst others like yourself. Stop trying to force your progressive liberal Atheist beliefs on everyone else.

      February 8, 2013 at 12:45 am |
    • HotAirAce

      You should take your own advice. Practice your insanity in your own home, "house of stupidity", or beside astrologists in 'Vegas, your predecessors on the evolutionary tree of stupidity.

      February 8, 2013 at 12:49 am |
    • Scott Everwoodd

      Not really... I seriously doubt you'd actually have the nerve to say it to a Muslim's face... Get a life. Believe what you believe in and keep it amongst others like yourself. Stop trying to force your progressive liberal Atheist beliefs on everyone else...

      February 9, 2013 at 4:34 am |
    • Wrathbrow

      I have no problem telling a Muslim to their face I don't believe in their god or faith. Same for any Christian. However I support the right to have such beliefs, so I don't normally go seeking them out. It is only when someone starts that conversation in public and makes statements that I engage back.

      February 10, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
  16. pat thompson

    If you want to hear a good speech from the prayer breakfast this morning, google Dr. Benjamin Carson. He is a pediatric neurologist from Johns Hopkins. It is definitely worth it!!

    February 7, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
  17. Okey Dokey

    So it was National Talk To Your Invisible Friend Breakfast again?

    February 7, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
    • NClaw441

      Okey, I know you intend it as an insult, but to call someone/something invisible doesn't not suggest that it doesn't exist. Lots of things are invisible that nearly everyone agrees exist: the wind, the smell of fresh-baked bread, love and, yes, God (but I repeat myself).

      February 8, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • NClaw441

      oops, sorry for the double negative: "doesn't not" should "does not"

      February 8, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • Wrathbrow

      Your confusing invisible with non-existent or magical.
      From what I understand, people pay to attend the event which is the majority of the funding.
      I'm an atheist, but I'm accepting of other people wanting to believe in religion as long as they don't carry that in to making laws that effect others with different ideas/belief.

      February 10, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • annademo01

      Such a lack of civility.....

      February 12, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
  18. John Stefanyszyn

    President Obama, leader of the free world, talks of Christ...but the Christ that he speaks of is one who is made in the image of man...one who is made to represent freedom of all religions...saying that it is right to be free to worship any god.
    Hypocrite...for it is written that we are to worship the Lord our God and HIM ALONE TO SERVE.
    It is Only Christ that will rule.

    February 7, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • End Religion

      hey nut, your god never existed and neither did miracle baby jesus. Grow up and become a human who contributes to the well being and furtherance of mankind. You do not need an invisible buddy for this.

      February 7, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      In that comment, you've stated that

      1) You don't like freedom of religion.
      2) Your true allegiance is to the mythical sky kingdom of jeebus the desert zombie, and not to these United States.

      You are no American. Renounce your citizenship and go join jeebus in his sky kingdom immediately.

      February 7, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • annademo01

      It seems most of the non-religious people on this blog are rude and lack civility. Pity.

      February 12, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
    • End Religion

      anna, we've tried civility. Didn't work. Now that we're more aggressive religious numbers are dropping. Don't expect that to change.

      February 12, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
  19. bostontola

    I am amazed that the people within the various sects of christianity (or any other religion) can't see that the claim to have the unique correct set of dogma is nuts. They even kill members of their religion who have miniscule differences. Catholics vs protestants, shiite vs sunni, crazy stuff.

    February 7, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
    • Over 30,000 denominations of insanity

      The Quakers sure took a hit early on in the U.S. for example.

      Thomas Jefferson (POTUS #3, principle author of the Declaration of Independence)

      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 (POTUS #2, Patriot of the American Revolution)

      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 (POTUS #4, chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & the Bill of Rights)

      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 (Patriot of the American Revolution)

      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.

      February 7, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
    • NClaw441

      Boston– good luck in the snow, by the way. To your statement– everyone believes that what he believes is true, else why believe it?

      February 8, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • annademo01

      I would love to see you face a Muslim audience and tell them they are crazy. Say what you want; Muslims are the only "religious" people who will slit your throat if you criticize their belief system (one invented by a pedophilic warlord so he could persuade young, ignorant men to die for his craving for power).

      February 12, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
  20. Nietodarwin

    “I believe the simplest explanation is, there is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization that there probably is no heaven and no afterlife either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe and for that, I am extremely grateful.”
    _ Stephen Hawking

    February 7, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
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About this blog

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