March 18th, 2013
06:54 PM ET

Pope's openness to keep guards on their toes

By Dugald McConnell and Brian Todd, CNN<

(CNN)–Pope Francis got an enthusiastic reaction when he spontaneously engaged the crowd with handshakes and hugs on Sunday, but that style might conflict with security considerations, experts say.

"There he was, standing right in front of me reaching out his hand and smiling," said John Bingham, a reporter who got to shake the pope's hand. "It was incredibly different from any pope that I've ever seen at work before."

As the pontiff darted over to the barricades and even went out the gate that opens onto a public street, expressions of concern can be seen on the faces of security officers accompanying him.

"They really looked like they didn't quite know what to make of the situation," said Bingham, who covers religion for the Daily Telegraph in the UK. "I think we saw the car moved five times, just as they desperately tried to work out what he was thinking, what he was going to do."

One Italian newspaper quoted a member of the pope's security detail as saying, if the pope he carries on like this, it will "drive us all crazy."

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Andreas Widmer, who protected Pope John Paul II as a member of the Swiss Guard in the 1980s, says a pope has to balance security considerations against his mission of engaging the public and speaking to Catholic audiences around the world.

"The first priority of the papacy is not security. The first priority of the papacy is his ministry," he said. "Having the pope go in St. Peter's Square and things like that - that's never going to change. That's part and parcel of what he does."

But such openness can be difficult for the people guarding him, a former White House security official said.

"It has to be a nightmare for the security people," said Joe Hagin, who is now with Command Consulting. "Everyone has a different style, and it's security's job to adapt to that style. But I did feel sorry for them."

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Thomas Rosica on Monday expressed confidence in the pope's security team.

"This is something brand new, and they will adapt to that, because they are extremely competent and well-prepared," he said.

Widmer said that based on his experience, the guards are well-trained.

"They know exactly what they are doing," said Widmer. "It's just like a football team: you know what the moves are, where to go, and what to do."

For example, in describing the pope's interaction Sunday, he said, "I think you saw a few times in the video yesterday: as things get crazier, they actually get closer to the pope."

The security of the pope is hardly a new concern. The Swiss Guard began protecting the pope in the 1400s, and in the 1200s, a special passage was built from Vatican City to Castel Sant'Angelo, which served several times as an escape route for popes in danger.

But the near-assassination in 1981 of Pope John Paul II, who was shot four times, prompted security improvements such as bulletproof glass on the popemobile used for public appearances.
Still, John Paul reportedly declined to wear bulletproof vests in public, rejecting the idea as an improper way to avoid Christ's will, according to Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin. Morlino told the Madison Capital Times that John Paul said his reasoning was this: "I will not die one minute before Jesus Christ wills it, and I will not live one more minute after Jesus Christ wills it."

When the next pope, Benedict XVI, went to Turkey in 2006, there were conflicting reports over whether he would wear a protective vest. But he, too, had the occasional surprises. In 2011, a boy from the audience ran right up to him (he responded with a quick blessing), and on Christmas Eve in 2009, a woman in St. Peter's Basilica jumped over a barricade, eluded a man in a suit who tried to stop her and rushed at Benedict, causing him to fall.

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Hagin warns that if Pope Francis develops a predictable routine of meeting with the public, it could pose a security challenge.

"If those who would do him harm know that he is holding a Mass somewhere and know that every time he holds the Mass he goes to the crowd afterwards outside, that would be a problem," he said.

But Widmer says he approves of the new pope's style and says it is up to the guards to adapt to it. Pope Francis, he said, clearly wants to be out among the people.

"He doesn't just shake people's hand; he hugs them, he kisses them," he said. "And that is an expression of the papacy that is just amazing."

CNN's Ben Wedeman contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Francis

soundoff (183 Responses)
  1. Kindness

    This is my experience... Thank you.

    MY personal testimony.
    A thought to consider without an ego response

    I Accepted Jesus christ as my lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Transcend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.

    The key is be present and transcend our own desire to physically see evidence. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.

    Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both christians and non are sinners. Even once we are saved by christs merciful grace we will still experience adversity to mold us to adhering to the truth.
    We will slip... But not fall of the ship ...carrying us onward to perfection in christs grace.

    We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Follow me".
    It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .

    Try reading corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
    See the truth...
    do we do what it says in todays society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from some other person...which may have been full of arogance pride or vanity..

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancsend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find any truth you can take with you ....in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life..... You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf.... the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed..... your good deeds will be forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated..... your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over . This is truth .

    Trancsend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent.... Repent means knowing (to change) The Holy spirit (within) will convict you beyond what you think you can do by yourself. Grace is given to those who renounce the world. That are" in" the world but not "of " the world.

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith ....above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible . Ask Jesus in faith for dicernment and start reading the new testament... You will be shocked when you lay down your preconceived notions and ....see and hear truth ... see how christ sets an example ... feel the truth....

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read romans or corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth in Christ.

    Sell all your cleverness and purchase true bewilderment. You don't get what you want ....you get what you are by faith above reason in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
    You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it

    You're all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.
    I'ts a personal free experience you can do it free anytime . Don't wait till you are about to die.. START PUTTING YOUR TREASURES WHERE THEY REALLY MATTER >
    Its awsome and It's just between you and Jesus

    my testimony

    Romans 10:9

    "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved

    Last eve I passed beside a blacksmith’s door,
    And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime;
    The, looking in, I saw upon the floor
    Old hammers, worn with beating years of time.
    “How many anvils have you had,” said I,
    “To wear and batter all these hammers so?”
    “Just one,” said he, and then with twinkling eye,
    “The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.”
    And so, thought I, the anvil of God’s Word,
    For ages skeptic blows have beat upon;
    Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard,
    The anvil is unharmed – the hammers gone.

    Truth is..exclusive

    July 18, 2013 at 2:12 am |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    March 23, 2013 at 6:43 am |
  3. End Religion

    Morality: Using empathy as a guide for human interaction. AKA, "treat others the way you want to be treated" and "put yourself in my shoes". It has nothing inherently to do with the bible.

    When morality is based on religious text, its OK to:
    • behead one's daughter to restore a family's "honor"
    • deny emergency medical aid to a child
    • kill gays, children who misbehave, anyone who works on a particular day of the week, entire groups and races of peoples, and many others for equally capricious reasons
    • buy and sell humans as chattel, including one's own family members
    • kill anyone who visually depicts Muhammad

    Karen Wynn of Yale has a study showing even babies have an idea of wrong versus right. Neuroscientist Christian Keysers has done research to show that the brain of those who see others receiving pain themselves have similar neurological responses. There is a curve to empathy; some feel it more than others. But it certainly doesn't come from a hateful book about imaginary people.

    Humans and probably other animals exist on a spectrum of empathy.

    Frans de Waal shows that even monkeys employ "morality"...

    March 22, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
  4. Pat

    Pope Francis I can dart over barricades? Wow, he must be in great shape for a man who's 76 years old. Next thing you know, he'll be leaping over tall buildings at a single bound! 🙂

    But I do share the security people's concern about Francis happily wading out into crowds without a second thought for his safety. This is s very dangerous thing for him to do because it makes it easy for somebody to come right up to him and shoot or stab him. It also makes it very easy for him to catch an airbourne virus from someone in the crowd, so I hope Francis's immune system is working good at his age.

    March 20, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
  5. Laura

    @Sam Stone

    Yes everyone can follow their own moral system. They can also choose to write it down to share with other people. The twelve fishermen shared their moral system. Where is yours ? This is the crux of deciding whether one apple is better than the other. Let's compare apples to apples. Whether you hate christians is immaterial. We just need to stop with the insults and argumentative statements that do not really show that you have an apple to compare. So this is the challenge to you. Show us your comprehensive belief system so that we can compare with others. Perhaps thru that we can understand why you think you are better than christians.

    March 20, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
    • Answer

      Christians are complete idiots.

      March 20, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
    • The Demon Deacon

      So others chose not to write down their moral code, so what, bumping into god's supposed gift to mankind, freewill, and you want to take that away from everyone, butt out. I also think you have that backwards, BTW, non-believers do not feel superior to religious people (all religions, maybe we feel sorry for you all); I think the religious feel inferior to the reasoning and logical non-believer.

      March 21, 2013 at 5:32 am |
    • sam stone

      my moral system is reflected in my behavior. it is MY moral system, and I do not attribute it to a god. Do you have a problem with reading comprehension? Where did I say I was better than Christians? as far as comparing moral systems, that does not interest me in the least. i do not care about the origin of your moral system until you start bloviating about how yours is better than mine. i have a lot of christian friends and family,and i think they are fine people.

      March 21, 2013 at 6:49 am |
    • Shout-Out: logicked

      Laura enjoy


      March 21, 2013 at 7:01 am |
    • The real Tom

      What I wonder is why you think anyone is claiming that his "belief system" is better than yours. I haven't claimed that; I've simply stated that I don't see any evidence that there is a god. Your belief system seems fine for you. I simply don't share it. I can't. I can't make myself believe something exists when I don't.

      March 21, 2013 at 7:09 am |
    • The real Tom

      Like sam, I don't find it necessary to tell others about my moral code. Why do you feel you have to advertise yours, Laura/Chad?

      March 21, 2013 at 7:15 am |
    • MUST SEE Creatard Pwnage Par Excellence

      Enjoy Luara it will be good EDUCATION


      March 21, 2013 at 7:18 am |
    • Science


      Mind mapping NO GOD(S) REQUIRED!

      Gone but Not Forgotten: Yearning for Lost Loved Ones Linked to Altered Thinking About the Future

      Mar. 18, 2013 — People suffering from complicated grief may have difficulty recalling specific events from their past or imagining specific events in the future, but not when those events involve the partner they lost, according to a new study published in Clinical Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.


      Maybe the bible needs to be updated

      March 21, 2013 at 7:27 am |
    • what matters?

      I follow Gandhi and these are the moral principles of my religion

      vegetarianism and an ideology of harms reduction leading ultimately to nonviolence
      active creation of truth through courage and his 'satyagraha'
      rejection of cowardice and concern with pain or indeed bodily harm
      karma yoga and the principle of good acts, remember you may reincarnate as that person, so, remember to do good

      March 21, 2013 at 7:49 am |
    • The real Tom

      "Perhaps thru that we can understand why you think you are better than christians."

      Did sam say he was better than christians? Where? I don't think I'm better than christians.

      Do you have a point, or did you just want to post fallacies?

      March 21, 2013 at 8:22 am |
    • sam stone

      I think that Laura just wants to blather on.

      March 21, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I've a very simple moral tenet:
      Sin lies only in harming others unnecessarily.
      All other "sin" is invented nonsense.

      But dont' forget that there were effective ethical codices in place before the bible, like the code of Hammurabi.

      And be careful about conflating atheism with anarchy, nihilism, socialism, or any other "ism".
      Atheism is a negative statement that describes only what one does NOT believe.
      Would you refer to the vocalist in a band as an "a-instrumentalist"? It is an accurate label in that the singer doesn't play an instrument, but it gives no indication of what they actually do.

      Concepts such as ‘state’ and ‘society’ and ‘government’ have no existence save as physically exemplified in the acts of self-responsible individuals. It is impossible to shift, share, or distribute blame . . . as blame, guilt, responsibility etc. are matters taking place inside human beings singly and nowhere else. Therefore, we should be rational and realize that not everyone will share the same evaluations of good and evil. We must try to live perfectly in an imperfect world, aware that our efforts will be less than perfect while trying to remain undismayed by self knowledge of failure.
      To me, that concept is central to Christianity. Jesus taught that we are all imperfect and must struggle to better ourselves.
      A lot of Christians lose sight of this core principle and get lost in sectarian dogma, arguing mythological minutiae.
      In the end, the definition of Christian is to live your life in the image of Jesus Christ. Faith in miracles, divinity, resurrections, and other fantastical flourishes isn't required to live a life of pacifism, charity and humility.

      March 22, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • End Religion

      Laura, comparison is done and done. Christians are immoral heathens who support slavery, random killings of people depending on capricious whim, and violence beyond compare. If you're a good person you better jump on the atheist bandwagon before we close the books and stop accepting members.

      March 22, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
  6. The Demon Deacon

    Bill Deacon
    Is irrelevant. Billy is an obsequious papal apologist troll . There you go again, "Whenever those ism have raised their heads", denying the history of Christianity. Well we will not let you forget the crusades, inquisitions, slaughter of the aboriginals, greed of the church (especially the RCC) to get you to the moral high ground, what a laugh and hypocrite you are.

    March 20, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • The Demon Deacon

      Posted below, where it was supposed to go. Jees.

      March 20, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
  7. Laura

    The miracle of Christianity is the fact that twelve fishermen who hardly had any schooling go on to describe a very comprehensive moral system that endured the persecution of the Romans and atheists. There are now 1.2B Christians in the world. Atheists really hate this because no matter the education they had, they can’t seem to come up with a comprehensive moral system. Nothing. Not them. Not their mother. Not their grandmother. Not their great grandmother. All they do is hurl insults. But they can’t really point to a comprehensive moral system. Atheism does not even condemn murder or lying. That’s why I tend to believe more in Christian teaching than I do atheist teaching (which, as atheists prove time & again, does not exist). Yes, Christians are not perfect. We can say that because they have rules to which they can be held accountable. In contrast, atheism has no rules. No teachings.

    It’s simple. Just point to a comprehensive moral system that is better than the teachings of Christ. Look at it this way, if Christ does not exist, then atheists can’t even compete with a non-existent person. That’s pretty sad.

    March 20, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      You made me smile

      March 20, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Morality did not originate with, nor is the exclusive domain of, christianity.

      March 20, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • sam stone

      Gosh, Laura, you are soooo right. Morality did not exist before these twelve fishermen came along

      March 20, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • sam stone

      Atheism is not a "moral system", it is just a disbelief in god(s). Why is that so hard to understand?

      March 20, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • Laura


      Duly noted that you cannot point to the comprehensive moral system that you follow, if it even exists.
      Pls try to come up with something real next time.

      March 20, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • Hubert

      What would you say the "ethics of Jesus" are? Every christian I ask seems to give me a different answer.

      March 20, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • sam stone

      Laura: How does anyone compete with a non existant person? Can Christians compete with the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

      March 20, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • sam stone

      Perhaps we follow our own moral system, Laura. Can you not come up with one on your own? Are you that immoral that you need others to tell you what is right and what is wrong?

      March 20, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • The Demon Deacon

      Bill Deacon
      Is irrelevant. Billy is an obsequious papal apologist troll.

      March 20, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Laura, To be frank, your post makes little sense. It is full of unsubstantiated comments about atheists not having morals and uneducated fishermen invented moralaity.
      Do you really feel that only christians have morals? If so you are even more deluded than I thought. If that were true the majority of the world's population would not have morals. Do you have any evidence that only christians have morals or that the majority of the world's population do not?

      March 20, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • Geanette

      How nice that you believe. Many don't. I wish that those with that wonderful belief system could find away for their moral leaders to quit fucking little kids though. Wish those leaders would quit covering it up. Wish those moral leaders would stop it. I'd pray on it, but the Catholic God apparently doesn't listen to any prayers of those who have been abused. Does that make you smile? It shouldn't. Your morals are freaking repulsive.

      March 20, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • ME II

      Not sure what moral system you are talking about. "Love thy neighbor..." did not originate with Jesus, nor did the 10 Commandments.

      March 20, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • fred

      In Santa we Trust
      I have lost the previous thread. If you want to continue reply otherwise I will just pick up on the topic of orgin of species some other time. Thanks

      March 20, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • The Demon Deacon

      The tunnel vision of the Christian faith. You condemn the other 5 billion people as immoral because they do not believe as you do, so sad, so stupid. Your god and Christian religions have this in common dominance, jealousy and greed. Amen

      March 20, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Seems the responders here are having comprehension challenges. Laura isn't condemning anyone. She is simply stating what atheist often state. That atheism is not a belief system, therefore it proposes no values. When pressed for a moral system or a code of ethics, the best answer they can come up with is something along the lines of sam's answer "We make it up ourselves". That's all well and good until someone with a bigger stick comes along and enforces their "better" idea on you.

      March 20, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      You realize that you've just stated that it's all well and good for non-believers to have their own ideas on morality, but it doesn't give any protection against the believers from coming and forcing their beliefs on others in the name of their god. You have made our case for us for the separation of church and state.

      March 20, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • The Demon Deacon

      Bill Deacon
      Is irrelevant. Billy is an obsequious papal apologist troll. Even for you that statement is quite ridiculous. Every civilization makes up laws that the population has to conform too, oh but I forget your canon law is more important than the laws of the country you reside in, hypocrite, again.

      March 20, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Hawaii, I've also shown how the dynamic of subjective morality can lay the groundwork for imperialism, colonialism, totalitarianism, communism, naziism, Sharia law. Whenever those ism have reared their heads it has been the purpose of those who ascribe to objective morality to protect the weak from the strong.

      March 20, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • The Demon Deacon

      The real world. Countries that consider religion unimportant....
      United Kingdom
      where religion is very important.....
      Republic of the Congo
      Now, Laura, where would you rather live? As countries mature and the population becomes better educated the delusion of religion is no longer required. You may have noticed the countries with the lowest and non-violent crime rates are the countries that do not depend on religion for their moral code.

      March 20, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      As I've pointed out to Robert earlier, Christianity doesn't give you objective morality, and in fact some of the most imperialistic societies had very strong religion-like concepts. Also, what the hell do you think being under the thumb and rule of your supposed god is? Nothing happens against his will according to your bible, but you seem completely fine with that totalitarian rule.
      You're trying to tie non-belief to everything you see as bad once again, while at the same time ignoring the evil within your own belief system.

      March 20, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • The Demon Deacon

      Bill Deacon
      Is irrelevant. Billy is an obsequious papal apologist troll. There you again Bill, "When those ism have raised their heads", denying the history of Christianity. Well we will not let you forget the crusades, inquisitions, slaughter of the aboriginals, greed of the church (especially the RCC) to get you to the moral high ground, what a laugh and hypocrite you are.

      March 20, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • Laura

      This is the sad truth. NONE of you have come up with a comprehensive moral system. If you wish to prove that you have better morals than the twelve fishermen, first of all you have to show what you have. If you have it, then show it, point to it. That way, we can do a point by point analysis to show that you indeed have a better comprehensive moral system. Otherwise, if you cannot show anything, then you have NOTHING.

      My dear gentlemen, what other possible conclusion can one make.

      March 20, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
    • Larry of Nazareth

      Here is the morality of the apostles: In the episode of the fig tree, Jesus sends them into the next town, where they will find an unridden pony. They do, and what do they do? They steal it! They just take it and head out until the villagers stop them!

      Nice morality, not even bothering to find an owner and ask if it was okay.

      March 20, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      It's too bad that your religion doesn't give a comprehensive system, and isn't even a moral system at all. It is wholly immoral. Not to mention the lack of answer to your non-sensical challenge doesn't prove that your god even exists, let alone handed down some commands.

      March 20, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
    • Laura


      Where does it say that you condemn stealing ? Or murder ? There is no such thing. For all we know, you advocate those things.

      But that's the whole point. Pls show us your comprehensive moral system so that we can compare with other moral systems. You just gave us a one-liner argumentative statement. It does not tell us what you believe in.

      March 20, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Do you really feel that only christians have morals? If so you are even more deluded than I thought. If that were true the majority of the world's population would not have morals. Do you have any evidence that only christians have morals or that the majority of the world's population do not?

      March 20, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
    • Larry of Nazareth

      Nice try on changing the subject. Nothing on those apostles stealing the horse? They are Jesus' posse, and they have no idea that it might be good to find the owner and ask?

      I can easily discuss where secular morality comes from, but why? It's easier to state that truth, that study after study finds secular regions and countries have less crime than religious ones. And prisons have an average representation of Christians, but atheists are way under their percent of the population.

      The proof is in the pudding.

      March 20, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
    • Laura


      It is not Christians only that have a comprehensive moral system. There are other groups that do. The key is that they have their beliefs written down such that they can be all compared with each other. It's not just one statement that says "I believe in whatever I want". So the challenge to you is to show us what you have. Specially because you think you are better. Therefore we expect you to show us a comprehensive moral system that is indeed better.

      March 20, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      Do you even realize that you're just saying "I don't have to think, therefore my moral system is better"?

      March 20, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
    • Laura


      The thread is about a comprehensive moral system. I invited atheists to refer to the one that they follow, if indeed they do have one. And here you are talking about a pony ? Is the christian bible really just about one pony ? You could not even specify the book, chapter & verse. How are we to believe you ? I ask you to show us your comprehensive belief system and you wish to talk about a pony ? And you accuse me of changing the subject ? Is this the kind of person you are ? Does this represent the behavior of atheists ?

      I asked you nicely. Please show us your comprehensive moral system.

      March 20, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Awww how cute. Laura is just ignoring whoever she wants.
      Laura, what does your question have to do with anything? What morality did you use to make the determination that the moral system you follow is the right one?

      March 20, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
    • Laura


      On the contrary, I analyze all sorts of belief systems. Whether one is better than the other is best done when there is evidence. If you can show that you have one and it's better, then great. We can declare that all atheists should follow the book of hawaiiguest because it's the best. However, a basic requirement is that you show that you have one. Then we can compare.

      If you don't have one to compare, then it seems unscientific to declare that you're better than anybody else. And it would be just horrid to go around condemning people.

      March 20, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      That in no way addresses my question.

      March 20, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      If you can't even answer a simple question that takes a whole lot less thought than your non-sensical one, then why do you expect anyone to answer yours?

      March 20, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
    • The Demon Deacon

      The same argument, just replace god of Isreal with moral system and ignore the answers you do not like. Government consti-tutions, bill of rights, and laws are quite enough to have an orderly and moral society. You failed, of course, to even consider that the countries that find religion the least important to the populace are by far the best to live in as the bigotry of the religious is not tolerated. Here in the USA the Christian religious cults each think they are better than the next cult or non-believers, the sooner your beliefs are abandoned the better, they are all nothing but a scam.
      PS: @Chad...you should really try to change your style when posting under a different handle; I reject you and your belief system because I can, that is all, but you will never get it.

      March 21, 2013 at 4:01 am |
    • The real Tom

      Laura, dear, write down YOUR "comprehensive moral system." Don't just tell us that it's the bible.

      Write it down and post it here.

      March 21, 2013 at 7:04 am |
    • The real Tom

      "If you wish to prove that you have better morals than the twelve fishermen"

      Who said he wishes to do any such thing?

      March 21, 2013 at 7:18 am |
    • The real Tom

      "Atheists really hate this"

      You have posted so many straw man arguments that your post is a fire hazard. I don't hate it that there are billions of Christians in this world. I don't claim my morals are better than theirs, although since they don't all appear, judging from their behavior here and in real life, to adhere to any consistent system themselves, it's hard to know.

      Do you have a point?

      March 21, 2013 at 7:23 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      People do this all the time...they misconstrue the definitions of Atheism and Theism. They are both labels to define belief. They both branch out to encompass other things. A Theist can be Pagan, Christian, Jehovah, Muslim....anyone who believes in a god(s).
      The only thing I am guaranteed to share with my fellow Atheists is the fact that I do not see enough evidence to merit a belief in any god, that is not to say there can't possibly be one but presently there is not sufficient evidence for one.
      My personal morals are not based off of a book. My personal morals come from my devout belief that everyone deserves equal treatment as long as they are not causing harm to another human. Most people without a belief are good loving people who care about the world in which we reside. We don't require guidelines to tell us not to rape-we simply comprehend how immoral it is; we don't need guidelines to tell us not to kill-we know it is wrong; we don't need any of it to tell us how to treat another human...morals are common across the world regardless of belief or disbelief. Long before christianity came in to play in our world, people had morals.

      March 21, 2013 at 7:39 am |
    • An Awesome Message from P.W. Swivel

      Really you will enjoy Laura People are Poeple too.


      March 21, 2013 at 7:54 am |
    • The real Tom

      "Atheism does not even condemn murder or lying."

      This is another meaningless sentence in a string of them, Laura. Atheism isn't a system of belief. It is simply a lack of belief in a god or gods. "It" doesn't "condemn" something, because "it" has no tenets because "it" is not a system.

      Atheists, on the other hand, do indeed think murder and lying are harmful and do not condone them.

      Now go ahead and try to post more fallacies.

      March 21, 2013 at 8:03 am |
    • Laura

      When choosing between two restaurants X and Y, you can make a decision based on their menu, location, prices and reviews/recommendations. If “Y” has no such data then the person has no choice but to choose “X”. There is no reason to choose Y because there is nothing to compare against X. As atheists would say “If I can’t see it, it must not exist”.

      The same principle applies to two belief systems X and Y. If X has a belief system that can be reviewed and Y does not, then there is no reason to believe that Y is better or worse. All you can say is that Y does not exist. Therefore you have to go with X. Saying that Y is better, when in fact there is no data on it, is bad scientific process. As atheists would say “If I can’t see it, it must not exist”.

      Therefore, if you have a belief system that you assert is better than other belief systems, then pls provide links to sites where we can review your belief system. Otherwise, you forfeit. The only valid conclusion is that other belief system is better.

      As atheists would say “If I can’t see it, it must not exist”.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • The Demon Deacon

      If you were genuine in looking for an answer to your question you would search moral codes and find several that equate too or surpass the one in the bible. You do not want an answer you want to argue, grow up.

      March 21, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      This is truly sad. You don't care about responses or whether or not what you're saying is actually sound. You just want to go on and on. Why don't you go to your church and preach? Oh that's right, unless its a liberal Christian church who ignore parts of your bible, you're not allowed to.

      March 21, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Once upon a time

      Flawed analogy, Laura. Both restaurants exist.

      A more fitting one would be that an atheist and a Christian go to dinner, and find their choice between restaurants is Chili's on one side and a dirt lot on the other. The atheist wants to go to Chilis, but the Christian wants to go to McJesus's on the other side. The atheist says there is no McJesus's, that it's just a dirt lot. The Christian counters that you must have faith and give over to McJesus, and you will have an eternity of happy meals. The atheist asks the Christian if he can see McJesus's, or show in any way that McJesus's exists, but is told that only faith will make it visible, and that McSatan is deceiving him into not believing in the wonders of McJesus's.

      After some back and forth, the atheist grows frustrated and calls the Christian a fvcking idiot and goes into the Chili's for a wonderful meal of baby back ribs and a molten lava cake, while the Christian pities that arrogant atheistt and goes to sit in the dirt lot. His starved corpse will befound there weeks later, and while all the arrogant atheists will shake their heads at the stupidity of it all, fellow Christians will be happy as the deceased has gone off to the long-promised super McJesus's in the sky.

      The body of the Christian will be driven to the mortuary by Austin, with a few naked high speed diversions through churches and state capitals as he jabbers about dream-visions of armadillo corpses being proof of his status as prophet.

      March 21, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Laura

      Some of the atheists in the thread are hawaiiguest, real Tom, Santa, Larry. None of these have been able to point to their comprehensive moral system. None of these folks can point to the other’s moral system. All of them believe their own moral system is superior. All of them believe the other person’s moral system is inferior. Yet nobody has seen nor pointed to the other’s moral system. Without realizing it, each of these atheists are beating on each other because the fact is, nobody knows each other’s comprehensive set of beliefs. Who is the better atheist ? Which atheist has better morals or better teachings ? Amongst, themselves, they don’t know, and they don’t agree. For example, none of these folks point to hawaiiguests beliefs (nothing to point to) and agree that it’s superior to their own (which means it’s inferior). Compare this to the twelve fishermen who agree with each other and are fully capable of writing teachings down to share.

      This behavior is demonstrated here, and is typical behavior of atheists in this forum. What’s with the secrecy, gentlemen ? I would be happy to study your individual moral systems if you can post the link to it so we can all review them.

      March 21, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      Still ignoring the fact that your challenge is completely non-sensical. A position on a single subject (whether a god exists) does not say anything about a moral system. It's like me asking "disregarding your Christianity, based just on the position you take that a god exists, what is your moral system". You have also completely ignored the counter question of what moral system did you use to determine the moral system you currently follow is correct or good.
      You are merely showing, once again, that you're not actually interested in responses that try to correct you. You just want to preach your stupidity.

      March 21, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Doesn't YOUR moral system frown on lying, Laura? You lie. A lot.

      Here's just one example:"All of them believe their own moral system is superior. All of them believe the other person’s moral system is inferior."

      This statement is baseless. Unless I tell you, you don't know what I believe. I have never implied that my morals are superior to those of believers. If you can cite a post in which I did so, then do it. Otherwise, you are a liar.

      You're also a coward. You failed to answer the challenges to your original post. Instead, you ran away.

      Great job showing everyone how moral you are.

      March 21, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
    • The real Tom

      What atheist or agnostic is asking you or anyone else to subscribe to his or her system of morals, Laura? And if you're so hot for people to sample yours, then why haven't you posted it, as I requested? Scared? Afraid that it might not differ from those of most people, regardless of their religious beliefs? I think you must be.

      March 21, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • seabob

      Laura, dear. You have to understand something about us atheists. We just want to have an easy life. We don’t have to believe anything. We don’t have to follow anything. We can claim to be better than chris tians because we have no sin. Having no sin is a consequence of having no beliefs. We don’t have to prove that we are moral people. We don’t believe in God because we don’t see him. But we expect people to believe us even if they don’t see us. We hurl insults, yes, and have no desire to show any shred of goodness. We don't need to prove anything. This is just the way we are.

      March 21, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      Congrats. You have engaged in dishonest bullshit posing as an atheist throwing out Straw Men in a pathetic attempt to further religious goals. Isn't there something about false witnessing in your bible?

      March 21, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
    • The real Tom

      So the only way Laura and sea bob can make a "point" is to lie.

      Good to know.

      March 22, 2013 at 7:05 am |
    • Laura

      I have my own set of morals. But being interested in a fuller moral system, I became interested in fuller cohesive belief systems that go beyond self-defined, self-centered, feel-good beliefs. As it turns out, there are similar analogs that we use every day. Government officials legislate rules for us daily. Rules regarding money transactions, food safety, drug safety, property, labor practices are created everyday not by ordinary people, but by professionals (or bureaucrats). American atheists like to say they are fully capable of making their own rules, but the hordes of gov’t agencies that create rules for the country, state, and city prove that that is not the case. Back to the fuller moral system, I went and searched for materials on belief systems. Whereever there was something to read, I would go read it. If there’s none, then there was nothing to read.

      (having trouble posting)

      March 22, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Laura

      There is no goal to convert any of you. You are what you already are. If you give me something to read, then I am open to be impressed by your belief system and the good acts that result out of that belief system. After my readings, I consciously chose the one that impressed me most. It is cohesive, comprehensive, and produces hordes of people who leave their country to work in foreign impoverished places to help the sick, less fortunate, and abused. Your insults do nothing; it’s not a belief system. Where there is nothing to read and there is no information, then people cannot form a positive impression.

      The invitation is still open. Since you think your belief system is better than Christianity, then send pointers so that other people can be convinced in the same fashion.

      March 22, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
  8. ateyista

    There is no God.

    Man came to be due to an accident of nature. There is no creator. There is no soul. There is no soul mate. There is no meaning of life. Your life has no meaning. There is no fate. Nothing was ever “meant to be”. There is nothing sacred. Your body is not sacred. When you’re dead, your body has no value, no meaning, no significance. It’s just rotting meat. You are no different from the meat in a BigMac. Remember, you are just an accident. A freak accident.

    March 20, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      I would disagree with the part about 'life has no meaning"; I'm sure you can find something useful and positive to do with your life.

      March 20, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Your childish fantasies

      of what atheists are and how they experience life would be amusing if they weren't so pathetic

      March 20, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
    • ateyista

      That's definitely funny. You seem to think that atheists agree with each other. There is no universal atheist group. We all believe in whatever we want to believe. What credibility do you have to condemn another atheist ? Where is it written that you are not burger meat ? You are an accident. Or did you suddenly believe that you were created for a purpose ? Funny.

      March 20, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
  9. richunix

    @Ray B,

    No “miracle” have ever been proven outside the bible and to most scholars we classify any “miracle” as lest probable of occurrence. I doubt Reality is trying to deceive you, as I have followed his postings for a while. Like me, I very happy that you believe in what you believe in, however I do study the “Bible” and have for the past 5 years. You need to make yourself more familiar with it. Try reading the Codex Sinaiticus , or the Codex Vaticanus (Codex Bezae, 8th century) written in the 4th century. Both version have the most complete version of earlier Bible and some more, however they have MAJOR difference between your current version. Or you may take your hand (like the rest of us) and learn Konic Greek, so you can read the very early version of the Bible like, Papyrus P52,46 or P75. You listed historical names from the Bible, maybe you should try reading the Gnostic Gospel such as The Gospel of Mary, James, Peter…better yet the Gospel of Judas (published in 2006) or the Gospel of Solomon (or King Solomon), how about the Gospel of Jesus himself?. Do you even know the difference between the Gnosticism and Docetism? Take your current four Gospel and read the Crucifixion stories, which version is correct, when only one (unnamed Apostle was present) and yet they all have different words spoken by the dying Jesus, different way’s and times he died. The bible you see today is not the bible that was originally written 2000 years ago, in fact not even close. None of the Gospel are/were not written by any of eyewitness they are penned after, they are in fact written century’s later by trained Greek scribes, you need to read more about Teutullin and Irenaeus. We do not HAVE any surviving Gospel from the 1st century, it is not until the 3rd century we have a few incomplete Gospel (P46/75) and the most complete by the 4th century and even these do not match the earlier version.

    Bottom line Reality is posting what has been accepted amongst scholars, more so in the past 10 years. He is well versed on the subject.

    March 19, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
  10. Russell-OKC

    As far as comments go, it matters only what I believe and what my children are raised to believe. I think Pope Francis is someone the people have waited for a long time. I wish him nothing but the best..........

    March 19, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • richunix

      I'm not a believer in the '"Christ", but I do wish this Pope well and with his followers.

      March 19, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
  11. ed

    thank you to all and each one of you.....I read all the comments and you did too.......now put them all in a big bag...what do you have?.....we have comments colliding....for the good? for the bad?.. you decide.

    March 19, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
  12. maria


    March 19, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • sam stone

      that's all you know, maria?

      March 19, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      You believe in a "higher power " that no one can show exists...and you call others idiot....and try to calm down, yelling all the time isn't good for the blood pressure.

      March 19, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • richunix


      GOD is whatever you wish him to be, to some he is all powerful and to others he represent multiple beings. If you love your GOD, then be respectful of others, I believe this is what your GOD would want from you.

      March 19, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • clarity

      I was going to sing "Take a letter, maria . . .", but on second thought, go back to school first.

      March 19, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • End Religion

      maria, your prayer scares me too. A wise man keeps his distance from crazy people...

      March 19, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Ha ha ER quoting Proverbs LOL

      March 20, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • The Demon Deacon

      Bill Deacon
      Is irrelevant. Billy is an obsequious papal apologist troll.

      March 20, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Oooh a fan!

      March 20, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
  13. 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 19, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
  14. Reality

    Bottom line: Many of us are part Neanderthal and/or Denisovan and the human, pure or not, apocalypse will start between now and 3-5 billion CE. The universe apocalypse, 100 trillion years?

    And where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

    March 19, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • The Truth

      Do a little bit of research, every Christian knows were Christ's bones are.

      By the way the mass graves of the crucified only applied to those whose family did not collect the body or the Roman's did not want the body released for political reasons. Jesus was crucified to appease an angry crowd, the Romans had no real intrest in him or his body so it would be released to the family. Matter of fact they would release the body just to tick off the local leadership and remind them who is in charge.

      March 19, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • ME II

      @The Truth,
      "a little bit of research" seems to indicate that you have little evidence to support your case.

      March 19, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Reality

      Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con/

      From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15: 14, Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

      Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

      To wit;

      From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

      "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
      Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

      Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

      Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

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

      Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Ascension ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers.

      The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

      "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."

      The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

      With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

      An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,


      "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

      p.168. by Ted Peters:

      Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

      So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

      March 19, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • Reality

      See also Professor Gerd Ludemann's review on the resurrection in his book "Jesus After 2000 Years", Mark's account, pp. 111-116, "The historical yield is nil."

      March 19, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
  15. Alexia

    Why do people of other beleifs have to always rant about how bad the Catholic religion is. Just respect it like the Catholic religion respects you. If you go to a Catholic mass, the priest does not even waste their time talking about other religiions. They only read from the bible, analyze it and explain to parishioners. If you have nothing good to say, just don;t.

    March 19, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • SeattleCatholic

      I think it might be best if you stopped reading the comment section. I'm trying to do so myself. Sometimes we just have to turn the other cheek and move on. God Bless!!

      March 19, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • Reality

      The Apostles' Creed 2013: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
      and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      (references used are available upon request)

      March 19, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • sam stone

      The Catholic religion respects others?

      March 19, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • Chaos

      "Just respect it like the Catholic religion respects you."

      False premise. The church tries to get laws enacted that apply to everyone, not just its followers. This new Pope guy personally did that in Argentina. That's disrespect.

      March 19, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • Ray B

      Hey Reality,
      So, as part of your revisionist creed, can you explain how twelve men, all of who witnessed Christ and His miracles, were willing to die for so-called revisionist fiction? Can you explain the THOUSANDS who withnessed His miracles? No? Didn't think so. Oh, but wait, since you are clearly a secular anti-religious bigot, I'm sure you have no problem swallowing science's claim that all matter in the known universe once existed in a space smaller then an atomic nucleus. Talk about fairy tales?

      March 19, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • ME II

      "Just respect it like the Catholic religion respects you"

      They are aren't they. e.g. gay marriage – ban it, stem cell research (and potential cures) – ban it, safe se.x – ban it, contraceptives – ban it, etc.

      March 19, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Ray B

      Attempting to get laws passed that reflect proper human morality is the right of EVERY human being, including Catholics. Unless you are suggesting prohibiting us from the public debate?

      March 19, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Pam

      The Pope respects other religions, but there is a right and wrong in this world-and that is all the new Pope did was support laws that discouraged wrong doing.

      March 19, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • ME II

      @Ray B,
      "Attempting to get laws passed that reflect proper human morality is the right of EVERY human being, including Catholics."

      Just like attempting to block others from passing laws that claim to be "proper human morality" when they have no "proper" right to dictate what others do.

      March 19, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Pam, For centuries the RCC has never respected Jews and their religion. (I know Pope -2 started to heal that).

      March 19, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Attempting to get laws passed that reflect proper human morality "

      Proper human morality?

      According to whom?

      Iron Age sheep mounters?

      Pedophile enablers?

      Who has morality other than humans?

      March 19, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • sam stone

      "So, as part of your revisionist creed, can you explain how twelve men, all of who witnessed Christ and His miracles, were willing to die for so-called revisionist fiction?"

      Can you explain how the 39 people in the Heaven's Gate group were willing to die for their beliefs? Was Marshall Applewhite a prophet?

      March 19, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Reality

      What we do know: (from the fields of astrophysics, biology, biochemistry, archeology, nuclear physics, geology and the history of religion)

      1. The Sun will burn out in 3-5 billion years so we have a time frame.

      2. Asteroids continue to circle us in the nearby asteroid belt.

      3. One wayward rock and it is all over in a blast of permanent winter.

      4. There are enough nuclear weapons to do the same job.

      5. Most contemporary NT exegetes do not believe in the Second Coming so apparently there is no concern about JC coming back on an asteroid or cloud of raptors/rapture.

      6. All stars will eventually extinguish as there is a limit to the amount of hydrogen in the universe. When this happens (100 trillion years?), the universe will go dark. If it does not collapse and recycle, the universe will end.

      7. Super, dormant volcanoes off the coast of Africa and under Yellowstone Park could explode catalytically at any time ending life on Earth.

      8. Many of us are part Neanderthal and/or Denisovan.

      Bottom line: our apocalypse will start between now and 3-5 billion CE. The universe apocalypse, 100 trillion years?

      March 19, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
    • Reality

      Who is "Reality" ? Have you seen me ? Do you know who I am ? Do you know what I've done in my life ? Do you know if I ever actually did anything good ? Do you know if I even exist ? Of course not. But I expect you to believe me. Surely, you should have the faith to believe in what I say even though you have not seen me. You people should not believe in God because you have not seen him. But you should believe in me even though you have not seen me.

      Christians have a comprehensive moral system. It's written in the Bible. I am atheist and believe that I am better than Chris tians even though I cannot point to a comprehensive moral system. Other than a refusal to believe in God, I have to admit that I have not explained anything else that I believe. I am speechless as far as telling you the other things that I believe in. Nevertheless you should believe that I am a better person than chris tians.

      Trust me. Have faith in me. Believe what I say.

      March 20, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
  16. Blessed are the Cheesemakers

    Why would the Vicar of Christ on earth need body guards at all. If he was killed it would have to be gods will. Snake handlers may be more delusional....but they are more honest.

    March 19, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • SeattleCatholic

      But if he was protected from harm, that would be God's will too. : )

      March 19, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
  17. mzh



    March 19, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • .

      I ask that you turn your capslock off.

      March 19, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I ask that you provide evidence that what you say is true.

      (hint: the bible is not evidence)

      March 19, 2013 at 11:30 am |
  18. 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 19, 2013 at 10:12 am |
  19. endtimesurvivalguide.com

    Humility in a False Prophet = Endtime Deception. endtimesurvivalguide dought calm

    March 19, 2013 at 9:51 am |
  20. artbrokop2

    why do i even read the comments...such hateful people read and comment on CNN, sounds like they are ready to send us all to lions and they call Christians haters!

    March 19, 2013 at 8:48 am |
    • Colorado7

      artbrokop2: Exactly what I've been thinking for a long time. I've never posted nor responded to a post because I've seen the cruel, inhumane comments. I'm done. Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone in my thinking!

      March 19, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Chuckles

      .... and you both felt the need to a) still read multiple comments and then b) comment on how you shouldn't read or comment on this forum.....


      March 19, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • .

      Oh, bull. You'll be back under one of the multiple names you two probably post under. When some jerk says "I've never responded or posted before", what that usually means is "I lost a debate after having my ass handed to me." Nobody is fooled.

      March 19, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • End Religion

      artbrokop2 and Colorado7, I understand it is troubling that your religion is dying and that some are heaping derision upon you (just as chrisitans have done to atheists) but please don't go. We need more religious nutters to make fun of. Please stay and post your crazy ideas on your imaginary friends, and plead with us for respect for your imaginary friends, and try to convince us that 3 of your super special imaginary friends are actually one entîty.

      The most important thing is that you must routinely claim as fact a myriad of things you cannot actually know. Be sure to plead that you really DO know it in your heart. We'd need that because there's is no evidence for your delusion.

      March 19, 2013 at 2:28 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.