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March 18th, 2013
10:39 AM ET

Pope Francis energizes world's Catholics

(CNN)–CNN's Ben Wedeman looks at how the personable character of Pope Francis is energizing Catholics around the world.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Pope Francis • Vatican

soundoff (389 Responses)
  1. repost from Mass D

    Are we allowed to test God? Elijah didn't have a problem with it apparently...

    20 So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. 21 Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people said nothing. 22 Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only one of the Lord’s prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets. 23 Get two bulls for us. Let Baal’s prophets choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. 24 Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire—he is God.”

    Then all the people said, “What you say is good.”

    25 Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one of the bulls and prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire.” 26 So they took the bull given them and prepared it. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. “Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made. 27 At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” 28 So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. 29 Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention. 30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here to me.” They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the Lord, which had been torn down. 31 Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Your name shall be Israel.” 32 With the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs of seed. 33 He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.” 34 “Do it again,” he said, and they did it again. “Do it a third time,” he ordered, and they did it the third time. 35 The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench. 36 At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37 Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” 38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. 39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!” 40 Then Elijah commanded them, “Seize the prophets of Baal. Don’t let anyone get away!” They seized them, and Elijah had them brought down to the Kishon Valley and slaughtered there." 1 Kings 18:20-40

    Why exactly did it work then but not today? Was God more concerned with proving himself to a relatively small tribe? Or was Elijah playing to the crowd and that wasn't really water that soaked the logs? We'll never know but one thing is for sure, the bible presents Elijah as a prophet of the true God and he was allowed to test God, but now we are told testing God is wrong, but I believe that's only because except for Elijah, he's never answered another request.
    ========================================

    March 18, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
  2. Over 40,000 denominations of insanity

    Some believe the Pope is the Anti-Christ.

    Some believe that celibacy is appropriate for certain people, or for certain positions. It's ridiculous. Celibacy is unnatural and will continue to cause problems for the religious institutions that employ it.

    Many of the people from these same institutions advocate against abortion, but don't understand the realistic benefit of the morning after pill or even basic contraception; their unrealistic wishful thinking is causing the death of many at the hands of disease. Realistically, many abortions could be avoided if a morning-after pill were not viewed as such an evil option. Many of these same people bring children into the world at a high pace, and then would prefer that the rest of society take over and educate their children in their particular brand of religion when they don't plan well.

    In the U.S. recently we learned of the head of Lutheran CMS chastising a minister of that church for participating in a joint service for the victims of the Newtown school shooting.

    One sect calls homosexuality an abomination while the next one in the same denomination is already performing gay marriage.

    One sect, the Westboro Baptist Church believes Americans are being killed at war because America is too kind to "fags".

    One sect believes that Jesus and Satan were brothers and that Christ will return to Jerusalem AND Jackson County, Missouri.

    One sect believes women to be subservient, while another sect in the same denomination promotes equality between the sexes.

    Conflicted right from the very beginning, Christianity continues to splinter and create divisions and more extremism as it goes.

    =================================================
    Has anything improved with Christianity since 200+ years ago?

    Thomas Jefferson, POTUS #3 (from Notes on the State of Virginia):

    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.

    James Madison, POTUS #4, chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & the Bill of Rights (from A Memorial and Remonstrance delivered to the Virginia General Assembly in 1785):

    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.

    John Adams, POTUS #2 (in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 09/03/1816):

    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.

    Ben Franklin (from a letter to The London Packet, 3 June 1772):

    If we look back into history for the character of present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practised it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England, blamed persecution in the Roman church, but practised it against the Puritans: these found it wrong in the Bishops, but fell into the same practice themselves both here and in New England.

    Thomas Paine (from The Age of Reason):

    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.
    =======================================================

    March 18, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
  3. clarity

    A poster yesterday asked what kind of evidence would be sufficient for proving the historical Jesus that is reflected as the Christ character in the Bible.

    Reasonable evidence would certainly have to be something beyond what has been demonstrated so far. Anonymously written gospels don't help. When the historical writings ABOUT the anonymously-written gospels appear to have been tampered with, THAT certainly doesn't help solidify anything about the Christian claim. When early Christian apologists themselves charged that the devil had disseminated earlier fake stories before the "real" gospels ('diabolical mimicry'), THAT doesn't help validate the Christian claim either. It just makes things smell very, very fishy.

    March 18, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Yes. That poster would have been Paul, who's now saying that he didn't REALLY mean that his explanation was "the best" but that it was "the most reasonable."

      Paul's posts bear a definite resemblance to Chard's. Just not as deft.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Akira

      Telling ya, if Live4Him and Chard had a kid, it'd be Paul, lol.

      March 18, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Damocles

      If l4h and chad had a child, it'd be fighting Sigourney Weaver in space.

      March 18, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • The real Tom

      *snerk*

      March 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Science

      Well i have seen L4H say he is a he so if Chad + he L4H = Adam maybe ?

      March 18, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
  4. Evidence

    @America. You have become obese, plagued with STDs, have performed over 60 million legalized abortions, and spend more on drugs than on national defense because you ignore your bible. Period.

    March 18, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Damocles

      What about the 26 billion abortions performed by a deity through miscarriages?

      March 18, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Don't you have an ap pointment thum ping your bible on a street corner somewhere?

      March 18, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Answer

      Fvcked up religious people are just better off dead.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Goodfella

      Are you the same nutter that posted as Mary and could not figure out the reply feature?

      March 18, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Over 40,000 denominations of insanity

      Some believe the Pope is the Anti-Christ.

      Some believe that celibacy is appropriate for certain people, or for certain positions. It's ridiculous. Celibacy is unnatural and will continue to cause problems for the religious institutions that employ it.

      Many of the people from these same institutions advocate against abortion, but don't understand the realistic benefit of the morning after pill or even basic contraception; their unrealistic wishful thinking is causing the death of many at the hands of disease. Realistically, many abortions could be avoided if a morning-after pill were not viewed as such an evil option. Many of these same people bring children into the world at a high pace, and then would prefer that the rest of society take over and educate their children in their particular brand of religion when they don't plan well.

      In the U.S. recently we learned of the head of Lutheran CMS chastising a minister of that church for participating in a joint service for the victims of the Newtown school shooting.

      One sect calls homosexuality an abomination while the next one in the same denomination is already performing gay marriage.

      One sect, the Westboro Baptist Church believes Americans are being killed at war because America is too kind to "fags".

      One sect believes that Jesus and Satan were brothers and that Christ will return to Jerusalem AND Jackson County, Missouri.

      One sect believes women to be subservient, while another sect in the same denomination promotes equality between the sexes.

      Conflicted right from the very beginning, Christianity continues to splinter and create divisions and more extremism as it goes.

      =================================================
      Has anything improved with Christianity since 200+ years ago?

      Thomas Jefferson, POTUS #3 (from Notes on the State of Virginia):

      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.

      James Madison, POTUS #4, chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & the Bill of Rights (from A Memorial and Remonstrance delivered to the Virginia General Assembly in 1785):

      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.

      John Adams, POTUS #2 (in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 09/03/1816):

      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.

      Ben Franklin (from a letter to The London Packet, 3 June 1772):

      If we look back into history for the character of present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practised it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England, blamed persecution in the Roman church, but practised it against the Puritans: these found it wrong in the Bishops, but fell into the same practice themselves both here and in New England.

      Thomas Paine (from The Age of Reason):

      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.
      ========================

      March 18, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Akira

      Goodfella: as On Mary? Yep.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Why are you so concerned with how people live?? Do you not have your own life? Lets pretend for one second that we have souls, why would you want to save mine when obviously I think you're a moron-why would you wish to spend an eternity with people who can't stand you?

      March 18, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
  5. Universe

    God in Quran says, (Islamic scripture)

    “Does the human being not see that we created him from a tiny drop, then he turns into an ardent enemy?” [36:77]

    “He raises a question to us – while forgetting his initial creation – "Who can resurrect the bones after they had rotted?" [36:78

    ‘Say, "The One who initiated them in the first place will resurrect them. He is fully aware of every creation." [36:79]

    “They even attribute to Him sons and daughters, without any knowledge. Be He glorified. He is the Most High, far above their claims.” Quran [6:100]

    “The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]

    ‘They said, "You have to be Jewish or Christian, to be guided." Say, "We follow the religion of Abraham – monotheism – he never was an idol worshiper." [2:135]

    “Proclaim, He is the One and only GOD. The Absolute GOD. Never did He beget. Nor was He begotten. None equals Him." [112:1]

    “The Messiah, son of Mary is no more than a messenger like the messengers before him, and his mother was a saint. Both of them used to eat the food. Note how we explain the revelations for them, and note how they still deviate!” [5:75]

    “It does not befit God that He begets a son, be He glorified. To have anything done, He simply says to it, "Be," and it is.” [19:35]

    “No soul can carry the sins of another soul. If a soul that is loaded with sins implores another to bear part of its load, no other soul can carry any part of it, even if they were related. ... [35:18]

    “They do not value God as He should be valued. God is the Most Powerful, the Almighty.”[22:74]

    “If you obey the majority of people on earth, they will divert you from the path of God. They follow only conjecture; they only guess.” [Quran 6:116]

    “There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces the devil and believes in God has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. God is Hearer, Omniscient.” [2:256]

    “O people, here is a parable that you must ponder carefully: the idols you set up beside God can never create a fly, even if they banded together to do so. Furthermore, if the fly steals anything from them, they cannot recover it; weak is the pursuer and the pursued.” [22:73]

    Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to clear your misconception by going to whyIslam org website.

    March 18, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      The koran was written by men. Your religion was invented by men...no evidence that any gods ever existed

      Why did mohamed choose the one god that he chose out of the 365 that he had to choose from anyway?

      March 18, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Reality

      o Islam gives women almost no rights and treats them like fodder for the male species as so bluntly noted by Aya-an Hi-rsi Ali in her autobiography, In-fidel.

      "Thus begins the extraordinary story of a woman born into a family of desert nomads, circu-mcised as a child, educated by radical imams in Kenya and Saudi Arabia, taught to believe that if she uncovered her hair, terrible tragedies would ensue. It's a story that, with a few different twists, really could have led to a wretched life and a lonely death, as her grandmother warned. But instead, Hi-rsi Ali escaped – and transformed herself into an internationally renowned spokeswoman for the rights of Muslim women."

      ref: Washington Post book review.

      some excerpts:

      "Some of the Saudi women in our neighborhood were regularly be-aten by their husbands. You could hear them at night. Their scre-ams resounded across the courtyards. "No! Please! By Allah!"
      "The Pakistanis were Muslims but they too had cas-tes. The Untou-chable girls, both Indian and Pakistani were darker skin. The others would not play with them because they were unt-ouchable. We thought that was funny because of course they were tou-chable: we to-uched them see? but also hor-rifying to think of yourself as un-touchable, des-picable to the human race."

      "Between October 2004 and May 2005, eleven Muslim girls were ki-lled by their families in just two regions (there are 20 regions in Holland). After that, people stopped telling me I was exa-ggerating."

      "The kind on thinking I saw in Saudi Arabia and among the Brotherhood of Kenya and Som-alia, is incompatible with human rights and liberal values. It preserves the feu-dal mind-set based on tr-ibal concepts of honor and shame. It rests on self-deception, hypro-cricy, and double standards. It relies on the technologial advances of the West while pretending to ignore their origin in Western thinking. This mind-set makes the transition to modernity very painful for all who practice Islam".

      More on the treatment of females in Islam:

      Islam’s widespread practice of amputating the cli-to-ris and sometimes part or even all of the vul-va from the ge-n-ita-lia of Muslim women, affirmed in a had-ith by Mohammed himself, most likely also traces back to the founder’s deliberate abuse of se-x to lure pagan males into his cu-lt. The more the male s-ex drive is purposefully aro-used, the more the female s-ex urge may have to be proportionately suppressed, lest org-iastic he-ll begin to spread.

      Consider then what frequently happens when even a modestly clothed young Western woman walks alone in broad daylight down a street in, for example, a non-Westernized area of a city in Pakistan. Muslim men around her can see her face, hair and neck—maybe even her ankles. Some of them perceive that much exposure as intent on her part to a-rouse them. The fact that she is not accompanied by a male relative confirms their susp-icions. Knowing that she, a Western woman, has not been subjected to that cruel amputation which Islam forces upon millions of Muslim women, some males may even imagine that she must feel s-exual desire for them.

      They tend also to perceive themselves as not responsible to exercise decent social restraint. Rather she is responsible not to tempt them! Whatever lewd thing Muslim men around her say, do or feel as a result is regarded as her fault alone. . . .
      During a major upheaval in Indonesia in the late 1990s, s-ex-crazed Muslim men gang-ra-ped dozens of Chinese women in shops, homes and even in the streets, shouting in Arabic, “Allahu Akbar!” (God is great!)*

      *http://www.colorq.org/humanrights/Indonesia/Jakarta.htm

      March 18, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
  6. Goodfella

    Chad
    Lazasus was dead for four days according to the myth, must have looked pretty gruesome and stunk up the hood when jesus called him forth. As a bible scholar, Chad, was he the first zombie to appear in the NT?

    March 18, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • Kee

      Be careful, you might pi.ss of some science fiction fans. Zombies are only partially restored to life. And they don't have their old human wills.

      Jesus Christ was not a zombie. He was actually brought back to life. Jesus Christ brought some people back to life, too. So he wasn't the first person mentioned in the bible to be resurrected.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Answer

      @Kee

      You're clearly fvcked in the head.

      March 18, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Damocles

      He can bring back the dead, yet can't grow a limb for an amputee. Strange.

      March 18, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Kee

      Do you think that amputees are inferior to you?

      March 18, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Keeping It Real

      Kee,
      " So he [Jesus] wasn't the first person mentioned in the bible to be resurrected."

      Nor was he the first one in ancient religious mythology to allegedly have that happen either...

      March 18, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Kee

      @Answer

      The Jesus zombie joke is an old joke (and I'm expecting to read a hundred Jesus zombie posts of Facebook this Easter), but really... he is not a zombie. It is wrong from the Christian point of view and from the science fiction point of view.

      March 18, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Kee

      @Nor was he the first one in ancient religious mythology to allegedly have that happen either...

      No sh!t.

      March 18, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Answer

      "he is not a zombie" <<-

      Sure. "My zombie isn't a zombie because I want my zombie to be a god."

      March 18, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Damocles

      Inferior? Not at all. Can they do the same things I do? Possibly. If an amputee prayed for a flesh and blood limb, would it happen? Nope.

      March 18, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Kee: You have firsthand knowledge about Zombie's?

      March 18, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Kee:
      Do you think that amputees are inferior to you?

      That is such a stupid question-ever for you, Kee.

      March 18, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • Answer

      Just say it like this Kee...

      "My zombie is all about love."

      That's it. Just recite it. The pitiful religious tards that are always out begging others to see that they're 'loved' by their own delusions.

      March 18, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • Kee

      @ If an amputee prayed for a flesh and blood limb, would it happen? Nope.

      I don't get your point... Do you think that if we pray for what we want (more limbs, more money, more fame) that God should grant us our wishes? Like God is just a magic genie? And if he doesn't grant our demands, he must not exists?

      I know people that have missing limbs and believe and trust in God. They would like to be healed... but understand that God may have a better plan for them. God's strength is perfected in our weakness.

      March 18, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Ron

      "Jesus Christ was not a zombie. He was actually brought back to life."

      Life events shared by Jesus and another god-man:

      There are numerous god-men in the ancient Mediterranean area and Middle East. There are many stories that appear both in Jesus' biography and in the legends of another god-man:

      – Mother's pregnancy: It was a common belief among early Christians that Mary was pregnant for only seven months. This legend is preserved in the Gospel of the Hebrews. Although this gospel was widely used by early Christians, it was never accepted into the official canon. Semele, mother of Dionysus, was also believed to have had a 7 month pregnancy.

      – Virgin birth: Author William Harwood has written that Jesus' "equation in Greek eyes with the resurrected savior-god Dionysos led an interpolator to insert a virgin-birth myth into the gospel now known as Matthew." 1

      – Birth Witnesses:

      – The gospel of Matthew records that Jesus was visited by an unknown number of wise men, called Magi.

      – Authors Freke & Gandy identify them as followers of the god man Mithras from Persia. 4

      – Most other sources believe that they were Zoroastrian priests from Persia who were experts in astrology. There is a Zoroastrian belief "that a son of Zoroaster will be born many years after his death by a virgin...This son will apparantly [sic] raise the dead and crush the forces of evil. Later Christians got rather excited about this apparant [sic] pagan prophecy of the coming of the Messiah..." 2

      – The gospel of Luke records that Jesus was visited by three shepherds. Mithra the god man from Persia was also visited shortly after birth by three shepherds.

      – The magi brought gold, frankincense and myrrh. A Pagan belief from the 6th century BCE states that these are the precise materials to use when worshiping God.

      – Healing: Jesus is recorded throughout the gospels as healing the sick and restoring the dead to life. So was Asclepius, a Greek god man. Pagans and early Christians debated who was the more effective healer.

      – Ministry: Jesus appeared as a wandering holy man who is later transfigured in the presence of some of his disciples. Dionysus was portrayed in the same manner in Euripides' play The Bacchae, written in 410 BCE.

      – Miracles:

      – Both Jesus and Empedocles were recorded as teaching spiritual truths, curing illness, foretelling the future, controlling the wind and rain, and raising people from the dead.

      – Both Mithra and Jesus performed many healings of the sick and mentally ill; both raised the dead. 3

      – Mark, chapter 5 describes Jesus driving demons from a man into a herd of about 2,000 pigs who rushed over a cliff and drowned. In Eleusis, about 2,000 initiates would bathe in the sea. Each had a young pig to which the believers' sins would be transferred. The pigs were then chased over a chasm and killed.

      – Fishing: John 21:11 records that Jesus performed a miracle which enabled Simon Peter to catch exactly 153 fish. The Pagan Pythagoras considered 153 a sacred number. The ratio of 153 to 265 was referred to by the Pagan Archimedes as "the measure of the fish." That ratio is used to generate a fish-like shape using two circles. The sign of the fish was used by the early Christians as their main symbol.

      – Arrest:

      – Both Dionysus and Jesus celebrated a Last Supper with his 12 disciples before his death.

      – Dionysus is described in Euripides' play The Bacchae as bringing a new religion to the people, being plotted against by the leaders, being arrested and appearing before the political ruler. Dionysus said to his captors "You know not what you are doing..," almost replicating Jesus' words at the cross. He was unjustly accused and executed. All of these themes are seen in the Gospels.

      – Crucifixion & resurrection:

      – Jesus' body was wrapped in linen and anointed with myrrh and aloe. Osiris was also said to have been wrapped in linen and anointed with myrrh.

      Again, the god men myths had been circulating well before Jesus birth. The Christians would have copied earlier Pagan material, not vice-versa.

      March 18, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Answer

      "God's strength is perfected in our weakness."

      ==Another fvcked in the head response by a christian.

      March 18, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Kee

      Man's will says healing an amputee is what is best. But God may know better. God is more interested in our immortal souls than our mortal bodies.

      Death is not the final outcome. Those who learn to overcome a setback, like an amputation, can become stronger spiritually.

      God's ways are not our ways.

      March 18, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • The real Tom

      EVERY SINGLE AMPUTEE? Not one of them has ever grown a new limb. Not one, Kee. You think your god has "a better plan" for ALL of them? That not one of the millions of amputees has lucked out with your god? I've got a nice bridge for sale....

      March 18, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Answer

      "God's ways are not our ways."

      ===Lovely. The spiel of the stupids. Where's your coloring book Kee? Are you using those bright colors too?

      March 18, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Damocles

      Well, you know, I figure as often as believers say 'oh, I prayed for my daughter to do well in the recital and glory be! it came true', I just naturally as-sumed that the deity could take a few moments to grow some lost limbs. *shrug* maybe those aced recitals take up a lot of its energy. Puts a damper on the all powerful spiel though.

      March 18, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

      Kee

      Man's will says healing an amputee is what is best. But God may know better. God is more interested in our immortal souls than our mortal bodies.

      Death is not the final outcome. Those who learn to overcome a setback, like an amputation, can become stronger spiritually.

      God's ways are not our ways.
      -

      Did god tell you this? Was it via landline or cell phone?

      March 18, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Recliner

      Wow! I guess they’ve finally got us! The fact that God does not make missing limbs grow back must absolutely prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that God does not exist! I guess its time to close down our churches, hospitals, clinics, homeless shelters, pregnancy centers, schools, charities, youth programs, drug rehabilitation programs, orphanages, and mission agencies!

      March 18, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Recliner

      If God actually caused amputated arms and legs to grow back on occasion would the atheist then be convinced of God’s existence, or would s/he just dismiss the evidence as a genetic anomaly and pose some other hoop for God to jump though?

      For example, the atheist might ask why God doesn’t enable people to walk on water today, or why doesn't He heal quadriplegics, or people whose heads have been removed by terrorists. The possible scenarios are limited only by the imagination of the atheist!

      And when God doesn’t jump through their hoops like some kind of trained dog, atheists can then puff out their arrogant little chests and imagine that they’ve positively disproved God’s existence.

      March 18, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

      Recliner, what is your faith based upon? If a man walked up to you and told you "believe in my god", would you?

      March 18, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
  7. Evidence

    The laws of God as found written by men in the bible ban overeating.
    America's nationwide obesity epidemic would never have occured if we all followed what our bibles clearly command.
    Only a foll could deny this fact.
    Not one unwanted baby would need be aborted if only we followed what our bibles say about fornication.
    How could AIDS have ever become pandemic if people followed the bible's word on sodomy and hom ose xuality? It simply could not spread as it did if we obeyed God as ruler.

    March 18, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Troll....throwing out ridiculous statements trying to bait argument.
      Why don't you just go back to deleting everyones posts?

      March 18, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • Hubert

      The laws of God also demand the execution of disobedient children. Are you sure we should follow all of God's laws?

      March 18, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Akira

      Liar. Silly, attention-seeking liar.

      Richard Cranium: he rarely answers anything. It is as thoigh he feels he is above reproach for any lie he posts.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
  8. Science is Fun

    Richard Feynman Experiment Recreated, 'Confirms Quantum Mechanics,' Physicist Says.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/17/physicist-richard-feynman-thought-experiment_n_2883913.html?utm_hp_ref=science

    March 18, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • Science is Fun

      Richard Feynman on God
      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YltEym9H0x4&w=640&h=360]

      March 18, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
  9. Evidence

    One thing is for certain, man's laws were written by men. Man's laws allow sodomy (execpt in the military), and allow fornication, overeating, and overdrinking, and the legalized doing of dangerous mind-altering pharmakeia. Those who obey mans laws over those found in the bible are the ones who are obese, get DUIs, have unwanted children or abort them, are addicted to drugs/pharmaceuticals, and by-far suffer from AIDS more than those who follow The Way of Jesus Christ.

    March 18, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Evidence, correctly center, bethenay etc, etc, etc, etc
      Troll
      Do not feed the trolls.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • JWT

      Pharmaceuticals that affect the mind are as necessary for some people as insulin is for others. The brain is an organ that can go wrong just like any other organ. To deny medications for the brain for the people that need them is beyond stupid.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Hubert

      With a name like "Evidence" I'm sure you can site a source for all of those claims.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Akira

      I see at least two questions asked of you that you have pointedly ignored. Therefore, I am guessing that you are not interested in doing anything but writing deliberate troll posts, with no evidence to back them up. We see that a lot here on the BB; I'm not at all surprised that you are too cowardly to answer questions.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "One thing is for certain, man's laws were written by men. Man's laws allow sodomy (execpt in the military), and allow fornication, overeating, and overdrinking, and the legalized doing of dangerous mind-altering pharmakeia. Those who obey mans laws over those found in the bible are the ones who are obese, get DUIs, have unwanted children or abort them, are addicted to drugs/pharmaceuticals, and by-far suffer from AIDS more than those who follow The Way of Jesus Christ."

      So you follow the buybull because otherwise you're afraid you'd be doing all these things you claim horrible without that book....right??? If that book is all that keeps you from harming another person, have at it....just keep it out of the public square. (You will find just as many believers who do all those things you mentioned regardless of the blind eye you turn.)
      I for one, do not require an imaginary friend (or a book) to tell me how to live and to treat other people with respect, love, dignity-as I'd wish them to treat me...I do that because I'm simply a moral person who is good without god.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

      Evidence

      One thing is for certain, man's laws were written by men
      .
      Another thing for certain is man's bibles were written by men.

      March 18, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  10. The real Tom

    Every time I read one of Gopher's posts, I am less inclined to have anything to do with religion or its adherents.

    March 18, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Kee

      I don't recall seeing him change a person's name into a slur. Or post hateful things towards others. Or post personal insults. He seems to act better than most people on this board.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Damocles

      Yeah, he just waxes all joyful about murder being justified as long as it's done by a deity. Pure love.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Kee

      I don't follow and keep close track of his every word, so I'll just have to trust you on that.

      March 18, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Damocles

      Yet you have delved deep enough into his posts to make your claim. Strange that you only see what you want.

      March 18, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Of course you think the Gopher is a-okay, Kee. Go talk to him about the age of the earth and whether dinosaurs co-existed with man and see what sort of reception you get. He'll tell you yer going to the lake of FIRE!

      March 18, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • sam stone

      Gopher blah, blah, fvcking blah's empty proxy threats....and bloviates on how he knows more aboiut god than other people. He is as coward who runs from direct questions.......

      March 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

      sam stone

      Gopher blah, blah, fvcking blah's empty proxy threats....and bloviates on how he knows more aboiut god than other people. He is as coward who runs from direct questions.......
      .
      At some point in a discussion all christians have to........all they have is their faith...nothing else. And one looks quite foolish when their ignorance and faith come to light.

      March 18, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
  11. Over 40,000 denominations of insanity

    Some believe the Pope is the Anti-Christ.

    Some believe that celibacy is appropriate for certain people, or for certain positions. It's ridiculous. Celibacy is unnatural and will continue to cause problems for the religious institutions that employ it.

    Many of the people from these same institutions advocate against abortion, but don't understand the realistic benefit of the morning after pill or even basic contraception; their unrealistic wishful thinking is causing the death of many at the hands of disease. Realistically, many abortions could be avoided if a morning-after pill were not viewed as such an evil option. Many of these same people bring children into the world at a high pace, and then would prefer that the rest of society take over and educate their children in their particular brand of religion when they don't plan well.

    In the U.S. recently we learned of the head of Lutheran CMS chastising a minister of that church for participating in a joint service for the victims of the Newtown school shooting.

    One sect calls homosexuality an abomination while the next one in the same denomination is already performing gay marriage.

    One sect, the Westboro Baptist Church believes Americans are being killed at war because America is too kind to "fags".

    One sect believes that Jesus and Satan were brothers and that Christ will return to Jerusalem AND Jackson County, Missouri.

    One sect believes women to be subservient, while another sect in the same denomination promotes equality between the sexes.

    Conflicted right from the very beginning, Christianity continues to splinter and create divisions and more extremism as it goes.

    =================================================
    Has anything improved with Christianity since 200+ years ago?

    Thomas Jefferson, POTUS #3 (from Notes on the State of Virginia):

    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.

    James Madison, POTUS #4, chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & the Bill of Rights (from A Memorial and Remonstrance delivered to the Virginia General Assembly in 1785):

    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.

    John Adams, POTUS #2 (in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 09/03/1816):

    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.

    Ben Franklin (from a letter to The London Packet, 3 June 1772):

    If we look back into history for the character of present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practised it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England, blamed persecution in the Roman church, but practised it against the Puritans: these found it wrong in the Bishops, but fell into the same practice themselves both here and in New England.

    Thomas Paine (from The Age of Reason):

    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.
    =======================================

    March 18, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
  12. Evidence

    @Democies. All the fat people in church have already been told by their own bibles. They simply refuse to listen and obey.

    March 18, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Why don't you post a photo of yourself in a swimsuit, honey?

      March 18, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Akira

      Some fat ass must have broken your heart. You spew nonsense, and call it fact, when it is really opinion.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Damocles

      @Avidence

      Clearly the perfect message is not so perfect then. Get off the comp immediately and spread the word!

      March 18, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Which God?

      There is considereable "Evidence" that you are a liar.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Akira

      Actually, I apologize for using the term "fat ass".

      March 18, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
  13. Evidence

    The citations are listed above, Akira. Plus, you have a brain. God's laws bannish overeating, over drinking booze, sodomy, fornication, and the use of mind-altering drugs.
    Those who ignore God's laws are why there are so many DUIs, a nationwide obesity epidemic, STDs, unwanted pregnancies, and a huge nationwide drug problem.
    It's a no-brainer: Americans would be better-off if they obeyed God's laws.

    March 18, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Damocles

      Great, tell all the fat people in church that their fat, diseased, coked-up, deity loving kids are going to hell.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • The real Tom

      If you've posted them before, you can easily post them again. Do so, or you're lying.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      You have to turn off your brain to follow "gods laws" as they were written by men, so no brainer is exactly what it would be to follow "gods laws'.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • meifumado

      Gods laws say we can have slaves, How many do you have? What's that you say? you have none?
      You are not following gods laws then.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Akira

      Evidence, you haven't listed any citations, only your assertions, which Saraswati has refuted.
      Like TRT said, you've produced nothing. Except your own opinion. Which means zero.
      Let me ask you this, what do you think a person who condemns another person, for example, a drinker, while doing it themselves should be called?

      March 18, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Which God?

      @ evidence.As soon as you said "god's laws," I knew you were lying. God is a mythological construct. Nothing more.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • fintastic

      Yes, that's right.... there is no god, so how can there be "gods laws"??...

      March 18, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
  14. Evidence

    The fact of the matter is, those who obey God's laws are happier, healthier, and have functional families filled with healthy members that aren't drunkards or dopers.
    Those who disobey God's laws suffer from all sorts of ailments...obesity, STDs, drug caused brain damage, etc etc etc.
    FACT: obeying God's laws leads to health and happiness.

    March 18, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Akira

      Citation, please. If your going to throw the word "fact" around, provide them.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Increased happiness for religious folk is only found in countries in which religiosity dominates. Take away the domination and both groups fare equally well. Some of the world's happiest countries, like the Netherland's and Denmark, have the lowest religiosity levels and populations in which the religious and non-religious are about equally happy. It seems that in the US what makes non-religious people marginally less happy (about 1% contribution to depression) is the trouble that religious folk make for them. In more secular democracies the religious folk to not apear to suffer the same persecution.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • .

      Evidence: what do you think of a person who steals? For example, one who steals supplies from a health club.
      Is this person breaking one of God's laws? Even if done by necessity, which I don't see, by mere fact that they belong to a health club in the first place?
      Eagerly awaiting your learned answer.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Saraswati has now produced evidence to refute every one of your moronic claims, Evidently No Brain.

      You have produced not a shred.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Which God?

      Pure, unadulterated bullschitt, spouted by evidence. Evidence of a sick delusional mind. They have meds for this.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
  15. Evidence

    There is overwhelming evidence that shows it are those who ignore God's laws banning the practice of 'pharmakeia' (druggery, in english) that have led America's overconsumption of drugs.
    AMERICANS SPEND MORE ON PHARMAKEIA THAN ON NATIONAL DEFENSE!
    Imagine an America full of people obeying God's laws on these matters. What a wonderful place that would be.

    March 18, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • Akira

      Told you pharmaceuticals would come up. Annswerman. Yawn.
      SSRI's will make its way into his convo soon.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Saraswati

      hmmm...1900 live expectancy of ~50 vs today's life expectancy of almost 80. What to choose...

      March 18, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Ah. So if you're diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, Answerman, you won't allow a doctor to treat it? How about diabetes? What if you have cancer?

      Why should depression be any different, you bozo?

      March 18, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
  16. clarity

    On local news today, a teen was killed by gunshot by accidentally walking into the wrong townhouse after being dropped off by some friends late at night. Interesting. Sounds like the person that shot the boy kept his gun ready for use in case of an intruder, but didn't bother to lock his front door. So much for this notion of responsible gun ownership. We hear about weird stuff like this way too much.

    March 18, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I think there certainly could be cases in which the benefit of keeping a gun in the home outweighs the dangers, but they are fairly rare. For starters you'd need to have exceptional security and mental health, live alone and live in a dangerous neighborhood. I once knew two people to have their entire locked gun collections stollen in one week. They really didn't see how this was a problem for society, so deep was their commitment to their guns.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • meifumado

      "accidentally walking into the wrong townhouse after being dropped off "

      and you believe everything the media says ya?

      there's more to this i'm sure.

      And of course they gonna say the kid went their by accident.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Do you have some facts about the story that counter those posted thus far?

      March 18, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I lived in a townhouse and one of my neighbors accidentally walked in (they all looked alike). It's a pretty easy mistake if you're tired (or drunk) and the door isn't locked. It was no big deal, he looked a bit stunned and apologized. Glad I didn't shoot him, and I certainly locked my door more carefully afterwards.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • clarity

      I have walked up to the wrong TH door and actually tried opening it with my key once. That the key didn't work was what made me look around more. TH's can be very similar. I've also had a person knock on my door at 3 in the morning more than once thinking they were at another unit.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • The real Tom

      It happened to a colleague of my husband's. He lived in a row house in Baltimore–all the houses were very similar and in the dark he tried to enter the wrong one.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
  17. Evidence

    God's laws command children be taught the way of Jesus Christ, NOT the way of the violent video game.
    It are those who disobey God's laws on raising children who suffer with disobedient and stupid children.

    March 18, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Trolling should never be this boring.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • clarity

      "It are those "

      I think we know who is stupid here.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Akira

      I know, right?

      March 18, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • meifumado

      Just say no to brainwashing children.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • fintastic

      No god = no god's law...

      Where's your "evidence"??

      March 18, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
  18. Evidence

    God's laws ban Christians not only from over-eating, but over-drinking and becoming drunk.
    It are those who ignore God's laws who drive drunk and spread obesity nationwide.

    March 18, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Damocles

      Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahahaha.... *big intake of breath* aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!

      March 18, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Biblical law bans divorce, too, dear. Do you contend that all those who divorce are non-believers?

      March 18, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • clarity

      "It are those who ignore God's laws who drive drunk and spread obesity nationwide."

      omg – LOL. He sees fat reckless drunkards everywhere. They don't even know they are fat reckless drunkards. LOL.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • The real Tom

      It cracks me up seeing the words "spread obesity." How, exactly, does one "spread obesity"?

      What an idjit.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • clarity

      I better be careful next time I go to the grocery store. I'll have to remember to use plenty of Purel so that I don't catch any obesity.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • Saraswati

      "It are those who ignore God's laws who drive drunk and spread obesity nationwide."

      We have evidence that going to church might make you fat:

      http://healthland.time.com/2011/03/24/why-going-to-church-can-make-you-fat/

      Is there evidence to the contrary that I've missed?

      March 18, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Damocles

      Ok, all sorts of bad replies crept into my mind about how one would go about spreading obesity. Stuff along the lines of crisco and the jaws of life, but I'll keep them to myself.

      March 18, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
  19. Evidence

    Those who follow God's laws that ban gluttony are a thousand times less likely to become obese.

    March 18, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • Billy

      I think you are lying. Cite sources.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • The real Tom

      So all believers maintain a healthy weight? You haven't been to the mid-West, have you?

      March 18, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • .

      Why aren't you answering anything posted to you, Evidence (and all of the other names you've used here today?) Because you can't see them? Uh huh. Now, who could this possibly be?

      March 18, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • meifumado

      Lots of fat christians in the south, Pulled pork is tasty I agree.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • fintastic

      Those who post mindless crap on a blog are most likely to be morons.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
  20. Evidence

    There is much evidence showing those who obey Jesus Christ are healthier than those who don't.
    Followers of God's laws banning sodomy are much-less likely to contract HIV than those who disobey, for one example.

    March 18, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • meifumado

      funny stuff.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • .

      Another who is WAY too interested in gay sex.
      Then DON'T indulge in it, gayaphobe.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • clarity

      Deluded, bigoted fool. My goodness.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Which God?

      @ dot. Gives new meaning to the term "check your six."

      March 18, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
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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.