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Survey: Most religious Americans support a pathway to citizenship
The strongest support for a pathway to citizenship came from Hispanic Catholics, Hispanics Protestants and black Protestants.
March 21st, 2013
12:01 AM ET

Survey: Most religious Americans support a pathway to citizenship

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – A majority of all major religious groups in the United States, according to a survey released Thursday, support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants currently living in the country.

From American Jews to Mormons, from Catholics to white evangelical Christians, Robert P. Jones, the CEO of Public Religion Research Institute, said the overwhelming support for a pathway to citizenship has been growing in the last few years and is a noticeable reason many in Congress are warming to the idea.

The strongest support for a pathway to citizenship came from Hispanic Catholics, Hispanics Protestants and black Protestants, according to the poll. More than 70 percent of people who identified with those groups supported the immigration change.

Additionally, more than half of all Jewish Americans (67%), Mormons (63%), white Catholics (62%), white mainline Protestants (61%) and white evangelical Protestants (56%) supported the inclusive immigration policy.

“Having all of the groups on one side of this debate is pretty remarkable,” said Jones.

While Congress’ schedule has been jam packed in 2013, immigration reform has remained a top priority. A group of eight senators has attempted to forge a compromise on the contentious issue and a number of high-profile Republicans who once were tepid about a pathway to citizenship have announced their support.

Just this week Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Republican Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho came out in support of the policy.

“What I think should happen is anyone who is here illegally can come out of the shadows, become legalized in some way, have some legal status, and that status could lead to legal permanent residency and citizenship eventually, but just the same as anybody else who falls into that category,” Labrador told reporters on Wednesday.

Many Republicans have pegged their support of a pathway to citizenship to first securing the nation’s borders.

"I think the conversation needs to start by acknowledging that we aren't going to deport 12 million illegal immigrants," Paul said in an interview with CNN on Tuesday.

Religious Americans, more than most groups, have been supportive of immigration reform in the past. Though some movement has been experienced in the last year, Jones said the support that is now being seen for immigration reform on Capitol Hill is primarily because lawmakers are beginning to realize most Americans support an immigration fix.

“Members of Congress, who rely on elections, are paying more attention to the politics of this issue,” Jones said. “What we have here is political reality meeting public support.”

Overall, the poll found that more than 6-in-10 (63%) of Americans said the immigration system should allow a conditional pathway to citizenship for immigrants who came hear illegally.

Although more Democrats (71%) were more supportive, a majority of both Independents (64%) and Republicans (53%) favored Congress initiating a pathway to citizenship.

According to Jones, morals and values are generally the reason that religious Americans were in favor of immigration reform before a great deal of the country.

“We really see strong support for any plan that keeps families together,” Jones said. “Family values shows up very strong here. You have 84% of the country saying this is a very important value.”

Five values in particular, according to the poll, were important among all religious groups when considering immigration reform: "promoting national security (84%), keeping families together (84%), protecting the dignity of every person (82%), ensuring fairness to taxpayers (77%) and enforcing the rule of law (77%).”

Jones said in interviews for the poll the idea of the Golden Rule, of treating others how you would like to be treated, was an idea that was brought up regularly.

“Most world religions have what we tend to call the Golden Rule,” Jones said. “Immigration policy that is fair, that provides reasonable opportunities, that resonates with religious values all the way across the religious spectrum.”

Treating immigration as a moral issue, instead of solely a policy issue, is an argument that religious organizations have long used while lobbying congress for reform. In January, members of the Evangelical Immigration Table told CNN that a primary argument they are making to the White House and Congress is immigration form needs to be a priority because it is a moral imperative.

In addition, religious leaders, particularly Christians, saw the 2012 election, where Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney struggled mightily among Hispanic voters, as the tipping point for reform.

Richard Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission who has long counseled Republican presidents on religious issues, told CNN in January that the 2012 election showed the Republican Party that without the Latino vote, the future was bleak.

According to the poll, most Americans agree with Land. Forty-five percent of all respondents said the Republican Party’s stance on immigration hurt them in the 2012 election.

The telephone poll of 4,500 adults was conducted from March 6, 2013 to March 10, 2013. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Immigration • Politics • Polls

soundoff (492 Responses)
  1. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Russ:
    @ TTTOO: I'm not asking you to suspend your skepticism. I'm asking you to be consistent with it.
    The classic problem of the skeptic is how selectively skeptical he is... namely when it comes to applying that lens to his own metaphysical convictions.

    Or to be blunt: as a skeptic, do you recognize that IF these claims were true, it is not simply entertaining the novelty of a potential historical event, but rather has life-altering ramifications for you personally. In other words, do you see that you necessarily have a bias against them? If they are true, it would compel radical changes in your life – in virtually every arena.

    in short, are you equally skeptical of your skepticism? or is it a convenient veneer for setting your own agenda in life?

    I doubt if your God would find anything in my life that it doesn't find in the lives of most believers. Of course I know that means I fall short of the standards of that God and must, it is said, face its judgment one day.

    The alternative to reacting to extraordinary claims with skepticism is to entertain them, or perhaps accept them, uncritically. That is not reliable. I have argued that one's skepticism should match the the degree to which a claim is extraordinary and the implications it has for the one who would believe. The alternative to that, for a skeptic, is to be even-handed with skepticism. Again, not reliable: A tiger trainer tells me I am completely safe in putting my head in his tiger's mouth while I'm also told that I can play with my Yorkie without fear of being killed.

    "do you recognize that IF these claims were true, it is not simply entertaining the novelty of a potential historical event, but rather has life-altering ramifications for you personally" – the basis of Pascal's wager. A lot of claims can be posed that would have life-altering ramifications for me personally if true. As a skeptic, I want to use the large bore guns to dispose of those reliably, I admit.

    March 22, 2013 at 8:55 am |
  2. Reality

    Automation and robotics will soon eliminate human cheap labor in any form so why add to the unemployment burdens?

    And be smart, buy stocks and bonds in companies who automate their factories and offices. You can then play golf while the machines work for you.

    March 22, 2013 at 8:11 am |
    • .

      What the hell does this have to do with anything?

      March 22, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Alias

      FYI – this fear mongering has been around more than 100 years.
      There were anit-technology movies made way back when all movies were still silent.

      March 22, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • Reality

      Obviously, the cheap labor pool is currently filled with illegal aliens. Soon it will be filled with robots and computer-controlled machines.

      March 22, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
  3. Zimor Myrlande

    Those that support a pathway are the ones contributing to society, the opinions of the rest here, that spend an entire work day on this blog spewing nonsense , does not matter. Of what worth is the opinion of one that is not a productive member of the society?

    March 22, 2013 at 5:59 am |
    • Darwin

      Entire work day? Nah, more accurate representation would be an entire work week, what a drain on the economy!

      March 22, 2013 at 6:08 am |
    • End Religion

      There is nothing productive about practicing religion. There is no greater waste of time than praying.

      March 22, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • HarryGP

      I love praying to God. Thanks for the reminder. Nothing better someone can do, than to ask God for help in day to day life. He is the creator, he knows best how to handle things.

      March 24, 2013 at 2:33 am |
  4. felipe

    After creating heaven and earth, God created Adam and Eve.
    The first thing he said was, "Don't."

    "Don't what?" Adam replied.

    "Don't eat the forbidden fruit," God said.

    "Forbidden fruit? We have forbidden fruit?
    Hey, Eve...we have forbidden fruit!"

    "No way!"

    "Yes, way!"

    "Do NOT eat the fruit!" said God.

    "Why?"

    "Because I am your Father and I said so!" God replied, wondering why he didn't
    stop creation after making the elephants.

    A few minutes later, God saw his children having an apple break
    and he was ticked! "Didn't I tell you not to eat the fruit?"
    God, as our first parent, asked.

    "Uh huh," Adam replied.

    "Then why did you?" said the Father.

    "I don't know," said Eve.

    "She started it!" Adam said.

    "Did not!"

    "Did too!"

    "DID NOT!"

    Having had it with the two of them, God's punishment was that
    Adam and Eve should have children of their own.

    March 22, 2013 at 1:39 am |
    • Atheists Anonymous

      Stupid Atheist

      March 22, 2013 at 4:01 am |
    • Atheist, me?

      Yeah really needs help. More stupid than atheist.

      March 22, 2013 at 4:09 am |
    • .

      Relax! It was a joke about wishing your childre had childre JUST. LIKE. THEM.
      My goodness, you teo have very little sense of humor...

      March 22, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • .

      •children. •two.

      March 22, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      Ok, that was pretty funny! Haha!

      March 22, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      That was fantastic! Well done.

      March 22, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • breathe deep

      Well that's brain damage!! Mt parents never smiled, because I had brain damage. My wife and I don't smile because our children are loaded with it!!.

      March 24, 2013 at 1:57 am |
  5. felipe

    In The Beginning

    In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth. And the Earth
    was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

    And Satan said, "It doesn't get any better than this."

    And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.

    And God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed,
    and the fruit tree yielding fruit," and God saw that it was good.

    And Satan said, "There goes the neighborhood."

    And God said, "Let us make Man in our image, after our likeness, and let
    them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the
    air and over the cattle, and over all the Earth, and over every creeping
    thing that creepeth upon the Earth." And so God created Man in his own
    image; male and female created he them. And God looked upon Man and
    Woman and saw that they were lean and fit.

    And Satan said, "I know how I can get back in this game."

    And God populated the earth with broccoli and cauliflower and spinach,
    green and yellow vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live
    long and healthy lives.

    And Satan created McDonald's. And McDonald's brought forth the 99-cent
    double cheeseburger.

    And Satan said to Man, "You want fries with that?"

    And Man said, "Supersize them." And Man gained 5 pounds.

    And God created the healthful yoghurt, that woman might keep her
    figure that man found so fair.

    And Satan brought forth chocolate. And Woman gained 5 pounds.

    And God said, "Try my crispy fresh salad."

    And Satan brought forth Ben and Jerry's. And Woman gained 10 pounds.

    And God said, "I have sent thee heart-healthy vegetables and olive oil
    with which to cook them."

    And Satan brought forth chicken-fried steak so big it needed its own
    platter.

    And Man gained 10 pounds and his bad cholesterol went through the roof.

    And God brought forth running shoes and Man resolved to lose those extra
    pounds.

    And Satan brought forth cable TV with remote control so Man would not
    have to toil to change channels between ESPN and ESPN2.

    And Man gained another 20 pounds.

    And God said, "You're running up the score, Devil." And God brought
    forth the potato, a vegetable naturally low in fat and brimming with
    nutrition.

    And Satan peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy center
    into chips and deep-fat fried them. And he created sour cream dip also.

    And Man clutched his remote control and ate the potato chips swaddled in
    cholesterol. And Satan saw and said, "It is good."

    And Man went into cardiac arrest.

    And God sighed and created quadruple bypass surgery.

    And Satan created HMO's.

    March 22, 2013 at 1:34 am |
    • Alias

      +1

      March 22, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

      March 22, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • breathe deep

      HAHAHAHAHHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      And with such acts did the satan win over the hearts of mankind, because he knew yoga would not be invented for another 3000 years or so.

      March 24, 2013 at 2:01 am |
  6. Answer

    Hey Russ..

    I have one final question.. this is a poke and ridicule post to you. Take it in jest. XD

    ->> If the current year (looking at your calendar) is 2013. Doesn't it mean that somewhere in time 2000+ years have passed? Then why are you afraid to correct someone who believes that only 500 or less years have passed?

    You decide what position to take and who to correct. Do the right thing.

    March 22, 2013 at 1:17 am |
  7. Alien Orifice

    Life clocks are a lie! Carousel is a lie! THERE IS NO RENEWAL!

    March 21, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
    • Box

      I am more than machine. More than man. More than a fusion of the two. Don't you agree? Wait for the winds. Then my birds sing. And the deep grottos whisper my name.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
    • .

      Therapy time.

      March 22, 2013 at 12:19 am |
    • Mirosal

      More than machine and more than man? Well golly gee, domo arigato, Mister Roboto!! 🙂

      March 22, 2013 at 6:20 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Box
      Did they rebuild you? They have the technology.
      Better... stronger... faster....

      March 22, 2013 at 9:24 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Adjusting for inflation, Steve Austin would be worth $28,255,496.96 today.

      March 22, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • ME II

      @Doc Vestibule,
      lol, but due to Moore's law, wouldn't it be about the cost of an iPad?

      March 22, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • breathe deep

      Carousel cannot be a lie, we have to give up one of us to John Elway every 3rd night, or else.

      March 24, 2013 at 2:03 am |
  8. End Religion

    "i have a postgraduate degree in this field. i study those with whom i disagree for a career as well as personal faith."

    How does one not laugh when accepting a degree for the study of imaginary creatures? I guess if you pay enough tuition one can get a degree in anything apparently.

    March 21, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      I received my Certificate of Ordination in Dudeism. Free of Charge and worth every Goddamn penny.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
    • Logan 5

      This place is a link to Sanctuary, isn't it?

      March 21, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • End Religion

      Not on the rug, man...

      March 21, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
    • Wally

      Dudeism?!?!?! Has the Great One finally attained his rightful place as the one true deity, White Russian in hand?

      I must check that out. Might be better than the $50 I spent becoming a minister from the Universal Life Church. (18,000,000 of us and growing).

      I do need to check out the Church of the SubGenius to round out my reasonably-priced theological credentials.

      March 22, 2013 at 1:16 am |
    • NASA: Mars could have supported life

      Star dust we are ?

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWdU_px9ApE&w=640&h=360]

      March 22, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • The Bible is obvious fiction to anyone with half a brain.

      J.R.R. Tolkien: Myth and Middle-earth in Context: accredited MA level course offered by UWIC (University of Wales Instltute, Cardiff). 10 Units, taught during 10 consecutive weeks. Written, audio and video lectures. Access to an up-to-date Electronic Library. 20 credits at MA level on completion of the course assessment.

      Here is a list of accredited Harry Potter college courtse:

      THE COURSE: 'Christian Theology and Harry Potter'
      THE COLLEGE: Yale (New Haven, CT)

      THE COURSE: 'Finding Your Patronus'
      THE COLLEGE: Oregon State (Corvallis, OR)

      THE COURSE: 'Battling Against Voldemort'
      THE COLLEGE: Swarthmore (Swarthmore, PA)

      THE COURSE: 'Harry Potter's Library'
      THE COLLEGE: Kansas State (Manhattan, KS)

      THE COURSE: 'The Science of Harry Potter'
      THE COLLEGE: Frostburg State (Frostburg, MD)

      THE COURSE: 'Harry Potter and the Age of Illusion'
      THE COLLEGE: Durham (Durham, England)

      The bible may be fiction, but you can learn a lot from fiction, just don't go jumping off the top of your school with a broom trying to take fiction too seriously...

      March 22, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • breathe deep

      As the great man "draws" used to say:

      That's the beauty of college these days Tom, you can major in Gameboy if you know how to b*$lsh^t".

      March 24, 2013 at 2:07 am |
  9. Saraswati

    Ken,

    You wrote:

    "One size does not fit all. The real reason for all this anti immigration is simple. BIGOTRY. It's not about the jobs. It's not about security. These people cant speak English. They do the jobs no one wants. Unless you adapt a strategy for each situation. you'll have what we have now, over 11million illegals. We have uniformed rules now and they don't work."

    If you make an immigration policy based on national origin that in itself is bias. I don't believe one size fits all for each type of applicant (skill set, education etc), but one size must fit all across countries except when asylum is granted. There is no reason to treat someone from Mexico differently than someone with the same skillset who came up through Mexico from Guatemala.

    And don’t talk to me about bigotry. I’m for limiting immigration and I’m an immigrant married to an immigrant from a non-English speaking country. We’re a non-Christian mixed race lesbian couple. I know bigotry, and supporting limited immigration is not bigotry so watch where you throw that kind of language around because it’s insulting to those of us who actually know what it feels like. It’s like a man talking about how he felt “rap.ed” because his idea was stolen by a coworker.

    March 21, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
    • Saraswati

      reposted in correct location.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
  10. Alien Orifice

    All are welcome. Fish, and plankton. And sea greens, and protein from the sea. It's all here, ready. Fresh as harvest day. Fish and sea greens, plankton and protein from the sea. And then it stopped coming. And they came instead. So I store them here. I'm ready. And you're ready. It's my job. To freeze you. Protein, plankton...

    March 21, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
  11. Answer

    ===quote===

    Gerry from Bayonne

    I wonder where non-religoius americans think their rights come from?
    March 21, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    ===end===

    The stupid religious trolls want to make everyone think that our "rights" are given onto us, humans, by a divine being. Pathetic.

    What kind of s-c-u-m are you to be an "enabler" of this tragic twist of folly?

    The rights of mankind are bestowed by the generations of other in mankind. That is how it really is. No freakzoid god is needed. To give yourself over to an imaginary friend as bestowing this to "you" is utterly pathetic.

    These are in no doubts – a tragic conclusion. They would be defined as "permissions" by the plain gutless religious freaks because it doesn't fly in the direction of "being special". These are called "rights" because humankind wanted this word to have an impact on what we humans (ourselves) have decided. That is why they are called "rights" and not called "permissions".

    People all over have depended on other kindreds to see that we as a species enable ourselves to give onto ourselves for our own betterment. So s-c-r-e-w your fairy tales of having these rights given onto us by a god.

    March 21, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      As George Carlin said, "You don't have any rights."

      There is no such thing as a "right" other than to think and believe. Because if something is a right, it can't be taken away. Governments take away rights all of the time. And different governments have different rights. Rights are merely privileges that your government extends to you until it becomes inconvenient (ahem, Patriot Act).

      March 22, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
  12. Steve

    >>The real conflict is with the pro lifers who claim ALL LIFE is precious. Well if that is the case, then you are obligated to help them. <<

    Ok, so let's make abortion illegal first, and then we'll talk. Otherwise, your analogy fails, as they most often do.

    March 21, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
    • .relativism rules

      Additionally, more than half of all Jewish Americans (67%), Mormons (63%), white Catholics (62%), white mainline Protestants (61%) and white evangelical Protestants (56%) supported the inclusive immigration policy.
      –that does not look like a representative sample, where are the minorities? Those are the ones that are most likely to object.

      March 21, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Are you one those phony crooked Christians?

      March 21, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
    • breathe deep

      I say let's make divorce illegal first, then we'll talk.

      March 24, 2013 at 2:10 am |
  13. Steve

    It's amazing how much stupid there is in this thread. And talk about the irony, lol. Even heaven itself has a gate and rules for entry.

    March 21, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • End Religion

      Evidence for heaven please. And no, the bible is not evidence of anything...

      March 21, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Gotta love when the christians call us stupid....the arrogance is sad.

      March 22, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • breathe deep

      apparently so does hell...

      March 24, 2013 at 2:19 am |
  14. DrBayattheMoon

    The only path the illegals should see is the one they came in on....in the opposite direction.
    Without the Rule of Law, there is no stable society.

    March 21, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Because there is a law, that doesn't make it right. Slavery was the law, was slavery right? The real conflict is with the pro lifers who claim ALL LIFE is precious. Well if that is the case, then you are obligated to help them. You cant watch them suffer. Give them a path to citizenship, to bring them out of the shadows. Then we can assimilate them to our society in a productive way. Face it we don't have the money to prosecute them. (it would cost billions) So lets deal with reality.

      March 21, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Ken, Are you recommending open borders? If so, do you understand that 96% of the population lives outside the US and a large portion of that population would move here given the opportunity, essentially flooding the US until the economy broke?

      If you don't believe in open borders, how do you think giving people who entered illegally citizenship plays out in influencing future actions.

      I am, btw, an immigrant married to an immigrant (legal in both cases). I know the rules and all the hoops, and I do think a lot of changes need to be made. But rewarding people for breaking the law has a pretty well established result.

      March 21, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @sara................We could set up a system. Have several checkpoints at the US Mexico Border. Have Mexicans produce govt ID. Have Mexicans give DNA sample (Saliva) and create a picture id card w/fingerprint that the Mexican govt pays for. Then let them in. every 6 months The Mexican "checks in" at a govt office to keep track of them. If they want to leave, let them. If they want to come back. let them. If the Mexican gets hurt while in the US. Make the Mexican govt reimburse us for the cost. The Mexican CANNOT get the benefits an American citizen gets UNTIL said Mexican becomes a US citizen

      March 21, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Ken, I think any system set up should apply to all workers from all countries the same way. A guestworker system is certainly onegood idea, but we also need to remove the outdated birthright citizenship clause which will be very hard to do.

      March 21, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @sara..........Not all workers can get here the same way. We should have something unique to Mexico.

      March 21, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Ken, There are plenty of people who get here illegally from different countries. Sometimes they come through Mexico, sometimes not. Why could you treat someone from differently who was from Mexico vs who came up through Mexico from Central America (for instance)?

      March 21, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @sara......look at Cuba. If they make it to shore they can stay. If intercepted in the water, they get sent back. Those that fly here, have visas. Then they overstay and disappear. Mexicans crossing the border are invisible from the start because we have no record of them ever getting here. I'm not treating them different. I'm realizing the circu'mstances.

      March 21, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Ken, you are treating them different. In another thread you recommended a whole policy for Mexicans only. Cuba, in my opinion, should not have it's own special policy either. That was done for political reasons.

      March 21, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @sara.............One size does not fit all. The real reason for all this anti immigration is simple. BIGOTRY. It's not about the jobs. It's not about security. These people cant speak English. They do the jobs no one wants. Unless you adapt a strategy for each situation. you'll have what we have now, over 11million illegals. We have uniformed rules now and they don't work.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Ken,

      You wrote:

      "One size does not fit all. The real reason for all this anti immigration is simple. BIGOTRY. It's not about the jobs. It's not about security. These people cant speak English. They do the jobs no one wants. Unless you adapt a strategy for each situation. you'll have what we have now, over 11million illegals. We have uniformed rules now and they don't work."

      If you make an immigration policy based on national origin that in itself is bias. I don't believe one size fits all for each type of applicant (skill set, education etc), but one size must fit all across countries except when asylum is granted. There is no reason to treat someone from Mexico differently than someone with the same skillset who came up through Mexico from Guatemala.

      And don’t talk to me about bigotry. I’m for limiting immigration and I’m an immigrant married to an immigrant from a non-English speaking country. We’re a non-Christian mixed race lesbian couple. I know bigotry, and supporting limited immigration is not bigotry so watch where you throw that kind of language around because it’s insulting to those of us who actually know what it feels like. It’s like a man talking about how he felt “rap.ed” because a coworker used his idea.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @sara................I wasn't referring you when I wrote bigotry. I was thinking about Mutt Romney and the rest of the repub. party policies toward everything not like them. My mistake sorry. I want a system that doesn't bankrupt the country trying to keep them out since it's not working. We need to keep people from disappearing. We need to encourage them to come out. Also we need to put the screws to countries that let them leave because they don't care. I'm open to what works.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @sara.....................You know my posts. I'm for gay rights, marriage. the works. I'm a black man in NYC. I'm sure you've read about the NYPD's policies. So yes I know bigotry too.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Ken, I'm practicle, too, and if I thought that this would work I'd be all for it. I just don't see this system working without some very serious border controls and the elimination of birthright citizenship.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @sara.............one final point. The border between Gaza and Egypt. That border is just a couple of miles long and even the Israeli army cant control it. That's why I think a "working relationship" is need for border crossings not policing.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Ken, I agree in the value of border crossings though I don't think our geographic and economic situations are not the same as theirs. Austalia is a much more similar scenario.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @sara.........I enjoyed our spirited conversation. I learned a lot. Time for my AZZ to go home. Have a good night.

      March 22, 2013 at 12:00 am |
    • Saraswati

      Thanks for helping toss around the ideas – I don't know the answer but I hope we'll find one. I suppose it's even possible that the international standard of living will raise enough in other countries to make this irrelevant before we have a solution…though at that point we may be more worried about wealthier countries buying us out. 🙂

      March 22, 2013 at 12:26 am |
  15. The need of the hour

    Some more Asians to pluralize society.

    March 21, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • Logical

      That makes perfect sense!

      March 21, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
  16. Age of Reason

    ...if this "jesus christ" existed, then why are there absolutely no physical descriptions of him?

    March 21, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Oh there are plenty of descriptions, just no proof.

      March 21, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • Age of Reason

      ...well.......then, what did this "jesus" really look like? A Nebraska linebacker or Frito Bandito? So many pictures of him, and not conclusive evidence of his existence!

      March 21, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      That's why it's called "belief" my friend. As Tug McGraw used to day about the mets "Ya gotta believe" I would say gullible, tricked, fooled, brainwashed, hoodwinked etc...etc...

      March 21, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Ken & Age: here's the introduction to Bart Ehrman's new book "Did Jesus Exist?"
      Note: Ehrman is widely regarded as one of the most liberal NT scholars on the planet (i.e., if you had an ally in this discussion, it'd be him)...

      ************

      Every week I receive two or three e-mails asking me whether Jesus existed as a human being. When I started getting these e-mails, some years ago now, I thought the question was rather peculiar and I did not take it seriously. Of course Jesus existed. Everyone knows he existed. Don’t they?

      But the questions kept coming, and soon I began to wonder: Why are so many people asking? My wonder only increased when I learned that I myself was being quoted in some circles—misquoted rather—as saying that Jesus never existed. I decided to look into the matter. I discovered, to my surprise, an entire body of literature devoted to the question of whether or not there ever was a real man, Jesus.

      I was surprised because I am trained as a scholar of the New Testament and early Christianity, and for thirty years I have written extensively on the historical Jesus, the Gospels, the early Christian movement, and the history of the church’s first three hundred years. Like all New Testament scholars, I have read thousands of books and articles in English and other European languages on Jesus, the New Testament, and early Christianity. But I was almost completely unaware—as are most of my colleagues in the field—of this body of skeptical literature.

      I should say at the outset that none of this literature is written by scholars trained in New Testament or early Christian studies teaching at the major, or even the minor, accredited theological seminaries, divinity schools, universities, or colleges of North America or Europe (or anywhere else in the world). Of the thousands of scholars of early Christianity who do teach at such schools, none of them, to my knowledge, has any doubts that Jesus existed. But a whole body of literature out there, some of it highly intelligent and well informed, makes this case.

      These sundry books and articles (not to mention websites) are of varying quality. Some of them rival The Da Vinci Code in their passion for conspiracy and the shallowness of their historical knowledge, not just of the New Testament and early Christianity, but of ancient religions generally and, even more broadly, the ancient world. But a couple of bona fide scholars—not professors teaching religious studies in universities but scholars nonetheless, and at least one of them with a Ph.D. in the field of New Testament—have taken this position and written about it. Their books may not be known to most of the general public interested in questions related to Jesus, the Gospels, or the early Christian church, but they do occupy a noteworthy niche as a (very) small but (often) loud minority voice. Once you tune in to this voice, you quickly learn just how persistent and vociferous it can be.

      Those who do not think Jesus existed are frequently militant in their views and remarkably adept at countering evidence that to the rest of the civilized world seems compelling and even unanswerable. But these writers have answers, and the smart ones among them need to be taken seriously, if for no other reason than to show why they cannot be right about their major contention. The reality is that whatever else you may think about Jesus, he certainly did exist.

      Serious historians of the early Christian movement—all of them—have spent many years preparing to be experts in their field. Just to read the ancient sources requires expertise in a range of ancient languages: Greek, Hebrew, Latin, and often Aramaic, Syriac, and Coptic, not to mention the modern languages of scholarship (for example, German and French). And that is just for starters. Expertise requires years of patiently examining ancient texts and a thorough grounding in the history and culture of Greek and Roman antiquity, the religions of the ancient Mediterranean world, both pagan and Jewish, knowledge of the history of the Christian church and the development of its social life and theology, and, well, lots of other things. It is striking that virtually everyone who has spent all the years needed to attain these qualifications is convinced that Jesus of Nazareth was a real historical figure. This is not a piece of evidence, but if nothing else, it should give one pause. In the field of biology, evolution may be “just” a theory (as some politicians painfully point out), but it is the theory subscribed to, for good reason, by every real scientist in every established university in the Western world.

      Still, as is clear from the avalanche of sometimes outraged postings on all the relevant Internet sites, there is simply no way to convince conspiracy theorists that the evidence for their position is too thin to be convincing and that the evidence for a traditional view is thoroughly persuasive. Anyone who chooses to believe something contrary to evidence that an overwhelming majority of people find overwhelmingly convincing—whether it involves the fact of the Holocaust, the landing on the moon, the assassination of presidents, or even a presidential place of birth—will not be convinced. Simply will not be convinced.

      And so, with Did Jesus Exist?, I do not expect to convince anyone in that boat. What I do hope is to convince genuine seekers who really want to know how we know that Jesus did exist, as virtually every scholar of antiquity, of biblical studies, of classics, and of Christian origins in this country and, in fact, in the Western world agrees. Many of these scholars have no vested interest in the matter. As it turns out, I myself do not either. I am not a Christian, and I have no interest in promoting a Christian cause or a Christian agenda. I am an agnostic with atheist leanings, and my life and views of the world would be approximately the same whether or not Jesus existed. My beliefs would vary little. The answer to the question of Jesus’s historical existence will not make me more or less happy, content, hopeful, likable, rich, famous, or immortal.

      But as a historian I think evidence matters. And the past matters. And for anyone to whom both evidence and the past matter, a dispassionate consideration of the case makes it quite plain: Jesus did exist. He may not have been the Jesus that your mother believes in or the Jesus of the stained-glass window or the Jesus of your least favorite televangelist or the Jesus proclaimed by the Vatican, the Southern Baptist Convention, the local megachurch, or the California Gnostic. But he did exist, and we can say a few things, with relative certainty, about him.

      March 21, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
    • Age of Reason

      ...if "jesus" did not perform those "miracles" as described in the NT, then he did not exist!

      March 21, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Age:
      1) I disagree with Bart Ehrman's final analysis (as do many other scholars). But the point remains: if there was an historically proven figure known as Jesus of Nazareth – what do you do with him & his claims?

      2) you are right in this much: if the miracles didn't happen, we're not talking about the Jesus of the Bible (which is the only functional Jesus we can know as those are the oldest records we have).

      a worthwhile essay on the matter... "Fern Seed & Elephants" by CS Lewis (presented to biblical scholars on some of these exact sort of questions)
      http://orthodox-web.tripod.com/papers/fern_seed.html

      March 21, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Russ..................I actually heard a brain cell die while reading a little of it. I do know a Jesus. But he's Latin and pronounces it he' soos. No matter who speaks on religion, it still comes down on believing. Based on what I see. God, Jesus, Allah or any other super hero for that matter doesn't exist.

      March 21, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
    • Ken

      Russ
      Did Jesus exist?

      The problem is that there is a huge difference between the historical Jesus and the Christ of Faith. Historical Jesus, the mortal rabbi who had a few wise sayings, got himself nailed upon a cross like thousands of other Jews, and who probably served as the root for the Christian faith, very likely did exist. The Christ of Faith, the miracle-working son of God who actually redeems humanity through his self-sacrifice and who will come again to end all democracy on Earth? Well, there simply is no evidence that he exists at all, is there?

      Problem is, many Christians cannot see one without the other, so admitting that the historical Jesus probably existed actually means that you're also admitting that he was this Christ character, with all that this implies. This is analogous to saying that, if there was an actual person at the root of the King Authur legend, then ALL of that legend simply MUST be true, including Merlin, Excalibur, the Holy Grail and the Lady of the Lake.

      March 21, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Ken Margo (not "ken"?): Ehrman (as a self-avowed agnostic with atheistic tendencies) is dealing with evidences, historical facts, not merely 'faith" (as if such a thing were opposite...).

      note: ALL that you believe historically is taken on such "faith" in the evidences that we have.

      March 21, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Ken (again, not "Ken Margo"?): the problem for your position is constructing a historically possible reason for Jesus' execution if NOT the claims that he made.

      It is not so much that simply 'people of faith' see the need to hold the two together – but rather Jesus was executed precisely BECAUSE he made such claims. His Kingship/Lordship was a threat to Rome (NOTE: Caesar's ALSO historically demonstrated claim to divinity) and obviously blasphemy for the rabbinical scholars of the 1st century.

      you are left with a greater burden of proof: coming up with an alternate explanation for his execution... notably, an explanation NOT attested by the most ancient resources. in other words, you've got to do what you claim your opponents are doing (making it up) – but unlike them, WITHOUT the backing of the sources themselves.

      March 21, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
    • Ken

      Russ
      "if there was an historically proven figure known as Jesus of Nazareth – what do you do with him & his claims?"

      But they're not his claims, strictly speaking, are they? Jesus never wrote any of the books found within the Bible, other people did. The Emperor Vespasian is in the same boat. He most likely existed, but he never personally wrote anything about himself. The people who did, like Josephus, record him doing some things pretty typical of human rulers, but they also make claims that he (and not Jesus) was the Messiah and performed miracles too.

      Do many historical scholars actually believe that he did these things as well just because they appear together with the reports of more typical doings? It appears rather par for the course that people attached legendary tales to important figures up until very recently. Not everyone seriously believes the stories of Davy Crockett wrestling bears, shots from the grassy knoll, or Elvis faking his own death, for example.

      March 21, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Ken: unlike Vespasian & Davy Crockett, you do not have a major religion today based upon the historical claims which are so astounding that – as you note – would otherwise be readily cast aside.

      And that's your main problem: unlike 'myths' (which develop 100s of years later and completely apart from the historical figure), here you have claims WITHIN the lifetime of the eyewitnesses. Not only that, those claims are openly offered with an appeal to the eyewitnesses. And beyond that, said eyewitnesses all died for what they saw firsthand – making it all the more unlikely that they fabricated it (because you don't die for a lie you yourself made up when you have an option to recant & live).

      Read 1 Cor.15. Paul wrote it within 20 (if not merely 15 years) of Jesus' death. He names names – eyewitnesses. He even says Christ appeared to over 500 people at once. Certainly many (if not most) of those folks are still alive. Correspondence & travel were a given in the Roman Empire, especially among the tightly knit Jewish communities (thru which Christianity initially spread). He's inviting them to check his sources.

      Christianity does not get off the ground if there was not such corroboration... exactly why Vespasian & Davy Crockett are not worshipped today.

      March 21, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      "because you don't die for a lie you yourself made up when you have an option to recant & live)."

      If you are under sufficient misapprehension, you do.

      March 21, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
    • Russ

      @ TANK: so you are claiming that over 500 people had a "group hallucination" of the risen Christ, and others had similar experiences throughout the region for over 40 days?

      a) corroborated 'group hallucinations'?
      b) lasting over 40 days?
      c) across various societal barriers (race, gender, socio-economic groups, etc.)?
      d) willingness to die for that hallucination afterward?

      that argument becomes thinner & thinner. what *plausible, historical* basis can you construct for the rise of Christianity if not the claims that permeate the source texts?

      NOTE: historians themselves recognize this problem...
      "The more one examines the various factors which seem to account for the extraordinary victory of Christianity the more one is driven to search for a cause underlying them all. It is clear that at the very beginning of Christianity there must have occurred a vast release of energy virtually unequaled in history. Without it, the future course of the religion is inexplicable."
      – Kenneth Scott Latourette (Yale historian & scholar)

      March 21, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Russ

      Yet you have no evidence that even happened. The bible says it does. So what? Unless you can actually demonstrate it happened, it's irrelevant. Do you have any contemporary extra-biblical accounts to support it? Do you have a letter from each of those people all saying the exact same thing happened?
      You can talk to thousands of living people today who claim to be abducted by aliens, and their stories do not conflict in major ways. Do you believe them?

      March 21, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • End Religion

      Russ, faith is belief without evidence, so yeah, an opposite of "fact". Where is your empirical evidence for your god? Why can't anyone show proof of your god's existence?

      March 21, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
    • End Religion

      Eyewitness testimony is about the worst kind of evidence still accepted today. It is being challenged as to whether it should even be allowed in court any more.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eyewitness_testimony

      I think you're confusing "eyewitness" with "fanatics who later wrote lies and wild stories about things they heard concerning somebody they heard might have been a Christ-like figure."

      March 21, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
    • Russ

      @ hawaiiguest: no evidence? where did Christianity come from?
      hear it again: WITHIN the lifetime of eyewitnesses, these claims were made... and it took off. why?

      you could claim people were more gullible back then – but not only is that incredibly ethnocentric, it's also simply historically inaccurate.

      so let's go w/ your alien example: why do so many people NOT believe the alien abduction stories? aside from being far-fetched, how has it changed the lives of those making the supposed claims? have they written details accounts of the particular events, shared by many & corroborated? let's grant *maybe* in some cases they have (which to my limited knowledge in that particular arena is NOT the case). again, WHY doesn't it get off the ground? why no real impact?

      and that's when the hallmark of early Christianity comes to bear: the willingness of eyewitnesses to die for what they saw, to give their lives away telling anyone & everyone about what they saw. and it wasn't just a crazy story to them, it became their way of existing. from the earliest believers (and distinct from almost EVERY major religion in history), the spread of the faith was not at the edge of the sword or through social/political maneuvering, but rather through giving their own lives away.

      Rodney Stark's book "the Rise of Christianity" demonstrates this. Long before Constantine, Christianity exploded from being an obscure, unknown, marginal group to dominating the urban centers (40% of Rome's cities by the time of Constantine). How? two major plagues came through, killing large swaths of the population. once infection was detected, families cast out their own family members in order to preserve the rest of the family. Christians came & took those folks in – often sacrificing their own lives. Sometimes the patient lived, sometimes he didn't. Sometimes the Christian died, sometimes she didn't. Regardless, the result was a group with an identi.ty closer than a family after the fact.

      and where did they get this idea? it was the one that had been there from the outset, from the first witnesses – that Jesus had not just said but had lived out this teaching: "greater love has no man than this: that he lay down his life for his friends" (Jn.15:13). and why would they so willingly lay their lives down? because they didn't just *believe* in the resurrection – they had seen it.

      and that's why the timeline is so important. from the outset, there isn't time for this 'legend' to arise. it's too close to the facts. either it happened, or it was blatant lies. but again, who dies for a lie they themselves made up?

      March 21, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
    • Russ

      @ End Religion: just about everything we know in history is from eyewitness accounts. are you equally dismissive of virtually all of history?

      March 21, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
    • Answer

      @Russ
      ===quote===
      hear it again: WITHIN the lifetime of eyewitnesses, these claims were made... and it took off. why?

      you could claim people were more gullible back then – but not only is that incredibly ethnocentric, it's also simply historically inaccurate.

      ===end===

      One word for you: "SCIENTOLOGY".

      Please refer to that. Find the words to validate your own religion.

      March 21, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      I am equally dismissive of equally ludicrous claims regardless of eye witness testimony. Eye witness testimony is notoriously faulty even within minutes of an event. Besides, we have no idea if there were "eye witnesses" or if the writer of the book just made that part up too, or greatly embellished it. It's not like we can interview them, now.

      March 21, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Russ

      And there you go still just assuming that the biblical account is even accurate. Unless you can demonstrate that what happened is even accurate, there's nothing to talk about. As for the alien abductions, there are many books and video interviews that have highly similar details and descriptions of the supposed aliens. It's not that hard to find those things, this is the age of information after all.

      March 21, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
    • Edward The Only

      A real god would never have needed a son sacrificed on a cross to fix his earlier design flaws, nor for any other reason.

      The Christian "god" simply isn't.

      March 21, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
    • Answer

      Look at the rise of scientology. They've been granted the "religion" brand name by the government. They have followers. Look at them take off.

      Can you dispute scientology as having credible validity? Please go talk to their lawyers if you're having problems with them being more valid than your pathetic catholism.

      March 21, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
    • Russ

      @ answer:
      1) I'm not Catholic.
      2) Scientology makes claims that have zero historical evidence. zero.
      though you may consider Christianity's widely attested historical references circ.umstantial, they certainly are historically verified from many other sources. failing to see that difference is not an issue with Christianity. That's not understanding historicity.

      March 21, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
    • Russ

      @ moby schtick: so you dismiss MOST of the known historical record? Not just the ancient record (like Herodotus & Josephus), but even more modern accounts of things such as civil war battles, etc.?

      March 21, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Russ

      You can spout out that "many other sources" crap all day long. But you still haven't actually given those sources.

      March 21, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
    • Russ

      @ hawaiiguest: as I keep saying here, what standards do you have? are you equally dismissive of most of history – especially most of ancient history?

      here's an article on the 'embarrassing wealth of resources' available with the New Testament sources (in comparison with virtually every other ancient text from that general time frame). simply glance down at the charts & notice the numbers. they are *exponentially* greater...
      http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2012/03/21/an-interview-with-daniel-b-wallace-on-the-new-testament-manuscripts/

      March 21, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Of course not, Russ. You're not paying attention, are you?

      March 21, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Edward the Only: the god you are rejecting is not the God of the Bible.
      God didn't *need* to do anything. That's to miss the whole point. Creation was voluntary – and demonstrates his character. we rendered ourselves broken – we did this to ourselves. and then – WHILE maintaining his own character (justice) he willingly dies in our place (what we deserve for what we've done to ourselves).

      if you're going to reject the faith, i'd hope you would at least have an accurate understanding.

      March 21, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
    • End Religion

      Russ, Moby answered your question to me.

      Scientology certainly has an edge over Christianity when it comes to realism. After all we do know L. Ron Hubbard existed and Christianity is rife with crazy stuff like talking snakes, zombies and virgin births.

      March 21, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @End, while I agree there's some crazy stuff in most forms of Christianity, I've got to say the whole alien spirits, space ships, brain washing, volcanoes and clingy spirit leaches thing in Scientology is probably at least as nutty.

      March 21, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
    • Russ

      @ moby schtick: "not paying attention"? is that what you call pointing out your inconsistencies?

      your word "ludicrous" bears examination? do you find chaos theory 'ludicrous'? the idea that something is improbable makes it impossible simply has been discarded in the last 20 years of scientific study. as i've said to hawaiiguest before, that's David Hume's view (only what is probable is historical) – a theory which has been repeatedly debunked.

      March 21, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
    • Answer

      @Russ

      ==quote==
      though you may consider Christianity's widely attested historical references circ.umstantial, they certainly are historically verified from many other sources. failing to see that difference is not an issue with Christianity. That's not understanding historicity.

      ==end==

      So in essence, your drivel is about the amount of time (history) that the religion spent in existence. And to what is already mentioned of the "many other sources". Go ahead and list them.

      March 21, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Russ, you've only claimed to have "pointed out inconsistencies" which is not the same as having done it. What a moron.

      March 21, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
    • Russ

      @ End Religion:
      on the contrary: L Ron Hubbard was claiming he had unique knowledge of the past. and he brought 'techniques' whereby you can (for lack of a better way of saying it) 'save yourself.'

      Jesus did not merely claim unique knowledge of the past or to give teachings which, if followed, would save you. he claimed to be God Himself & by his own actions (not ours) we are saved.

      again, there is zero evidence of any of Hubbard's historical claims about Xenu/etc., but Jesus was making claims about himself – AT THAT TIME – which were demonstrable to those around him. Hence the greater importance of the eyewitnesses.

      March 21, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
    • Answer

      Oh Russ.. please state the methodology that is employed by the retarded religious person to go on about "verifying" any evidence.

      Do they just spout off "look at what I believe I've found"?

      Or maybe "I believe this is IT. I know this thingy (I have this fabulous) "FEELING" that I'm touching something from a god!"

      March 21, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Answer: NO. I'm not saying "just b/c it's been around a long time." That's not it at all.

      the sources themselves attest to a person who did, said, accomplished something unparalleled in history. either they are accurate or they are lies.

      if you are sincere in wanting to examine the evidences, here are two scholarly works:
      Richard Bauckham, "Jesus & the Eyewitnesses"
      NT Wright, "The Resurrection of the Son of God"

      If you don't have the patience to wade through the 1500 pages of scholarship listed there, then at least check out some good book reviews & summaries on it to get an idea of the content. The evidence is there if you're willing to actually examine it.

      March 21, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
    • Answer

      @Russ

      "but Jesus was making claims about himself – AT THAT TIME – which were demonstrable to those around him."

      ===Take a look at your sentence. Ask yourself in today's modern world. Would this fly in today's society of proof?

      A fool comes up to you and makes a claim about his own godship. LOL

      You have the word "CRANK". You'd use it.

      March 21, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Schtick: do you or do you not accept the vast majority of the historical records which are eyewitness accounts?

      if you claim "only what's probable," do you equally reject modern scientific findings such as chaos theory & quantum physics?

      March 21, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Russ

      Do you not even realize what we're talking about, or are you being intentionally dishonest? You're not citing multiple sources, you're citing a single source, written by those who believe generally the same thing, over a long period of time, some of which are just copies of earlier works with embellishments. This is truly pathetic, I'm out for the day anyway. Maybe if I'm lucky Russ will be able to actually address a point by tomorrow.

      March 21, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Answer: i'm not inventing or even re-inventing a wheel here. there is a widely regarded (by Christians and secular thinkers alike) discipline known as biblical studies. almost every insti.tution of higher learning in the country recognizes it.

      did you read Bart Ehrman's introduction above? again, there's an secular agnostic scholar making several of the points painfully clear to which you are objecting.

      March 21, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
    • Answer

      Russ, I also challenge you.

      ==>> You go and find sources that dispute your own position. How about it? You want to come to an understanding that you're not spouting off? What you really have is a FERVENT wish to make this delusion real. So challenge yourself.

      Go find the sources that challenge your position. I won't even give you any link or any sources, because I am that confident about my position.

      March 21, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Russ, How are the reports of Jesus's miracle's more convincing than those of Sai Baba's miracles – or do you think they are equal?

      March 21, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
    • Answer

      Russ,

      I dare you to go find out the other side.

      March 21, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Russ, I accept what seems reasonable to me, exactly as you do. No, I do not accept eye witness accounts that Mohammed flew to heaven on a winged horse or similar stories. I think that most history is greatly distorted because history is recorded by the winners and the winners like to make themselves look good. I'm not going to discuss chaos theory because I find some aspects reasonable and some not so much. I don't believe things wholesale but am always seeking more clarification to help my continuing evaluation. As I seek more clarification on christianity and its beliefs (that I firmly believed for almost five decades) I find my evaluation becomes more and more solid that it is ridiculous mythology.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
    • Russ

      @ hawaiiguest: unless you are conceding that the Bible has one primary author (God), which clearly you are not, don't you know that the Gospels themselves (and that's ignoring Scripture as a whole) have multiple different authors? they are a gathering of sources (as Luke makes plain in Lk.1:1-4), eyewitness accounts (1 Jn.1:1-4), groups of eyewtinesses (1 Cor.15:1-5), etc.

      Even if you want to argue that the Synoptics have a singular source in Mark (which is increasingly pressed noting the variety among them), you also have John & Paul. They all demonstrate knowledge unique to the region that could not be known by later generations (Jn.5: pool of Bethesda; statistical use of names & clarifiers, etc.).

      March 21, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Exacty! Sai Baba had thousands of eye witnesses. So did Don Juan. So do hundreds of mystics today. Why aren't you believing all of those accounts if you really believe the testimony of eye witnesses, Russ? You are the hypocrite, here, believing some eye witnesses accounts and not more recent, living ones.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Answer: i have a postgraduate degree in this field. i study those with whom i disagree for a career as well as personal faith.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Russ, even if something we have long accepted as history begins to point to extraordinary things, especially the supernatural, we should revisit it with skepticism. Extraordinary claims about Jesus Christ certainly deserve to be taken with a grain of salt even if we accept that there was a person behind the myth that he was saddled with. It really doesn't matter to most people that Jesus Christ existed once. The claim of Christians that he exists now and eternally and is the Son of God are rejected, or held in suspension, by skeptics for want of sufficient evidence – which would have to be extraordinary and compelling evidence.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
    • Answer

      A failure goes back to quoting his bible. Hilarious.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I have a doctorate myself, Russ. I suspect we're kind of awash on this blog with people who have post-graduate degrees. It's a shame that there are people who've been trying to shut it down recently.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
    • Answer

      Your post graduate degree means squat. Do you what you have just posted towards myself?

      " I hearby claim a higher education, as a better authority over you." << You should just post that to me.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
    • Answer

      I wouldn't care if you personally knew all the popes that have crossed into death.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Russ, all the degrees in the world don't enable you to know that Jesus was divine or that god exists.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Sara & Schtick: the reason Sai Baba, etc. are rejected today is precisely because their eyewitness testimony is contested. others who were there claim otherwise.

      and secondly, it is not simply that Jesus was teaching an ethical path to follow, but rather that what he accomplished is what saved. in other words, these are not miracles for miracles sake (it doesn't really matter if Mohammed flew on a horse, all that matters if you follow 5 pillars, etc.), but Jesus' miracles are intrinsic to salvation. he's not just saying "see how powerful i am," but "see how i save you."

      which again, goes back to the centerpiece of Christianity: it was in laying down their lives (and to the degree that Christians follow Christ today, they do the same) that they lived out the faith and it grew so rapidly.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
    • Answer

      @Russ

      Your whole life is one revolving door of employing ignorance.

      You came to use the logical fallacy based on ignorance and it kept up with you. You wouldn't abandon that ignorance because it's so secure for you. And you wouldn't be able to deal with it.

      Why don't you find out "why" your point is based out from ignorance? I know that position so well.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • End Religion

      unfortunately your jesus didn't exist, so he couldn't have demonstrated anything. However, Hubbard did exist and surely knew what he was talking about. Sometimes I think I can see the Thetans attached to your posts, screaming to be released. Don't be swayed by the false Iron age prophet for which there is no good evidence.

      Better yet, I am a prophet of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and I can confirm for you that I have witnessed His Noodly Appendage pushing down on His Chosen People. Don't be fooled, gravity is simply proof of FSM pushing down on us.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
    • Russ

      @ TTTOO: I'm not asking you to suspend your skepticism. I'm asking you to be consistent with it.
      The classic problem of the skeptic is how selectively skeptical he is... namely when it comes to applying that lens to his own metaphysical convictions.

      Or to be blunt: as a skeptic, do you recognize that IF these claims were true, it is not simply entertaining the novelty of a potential historical event, but rather has life-altering ramifications for you personally. In other words, do you see that you necessarily have a bias against them? If they are true, it would compel radical changes in your life – in virtually every arena.

      in short, are you equally skeptical of your skepticism? or is it a convenient veneer for setting your own agenda in life?

      March 21, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Answer: no. it was not an authoritarian appeal to cite my degree. that was not my agenda.
      you were challenging me to study others. i was giving you evidence that i already do & am continuing to do so.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Russ, So you immagine that if there were people contesting the claims of these miracles the paperwork would have been carefully collected and maintained by the followers and governments? No one else cared and there was no huge mass of digital data at the time. It's just harder to dup people today because we have cameras everywhere and everything on record – why do you think there are so many fewer miracles reported?

      The problem is those of you who want to believe just ignore this and assume that the records saved are the only opinions and that they were all telling the truth. You've lost the perspective and objectivity to see what an enormous leap this is and to compare it to the mythical stories we have from around the world of other supernatural feats and events.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
    • Russ

      @ End Religion: as I cited above, read Bart Ehrman's introduction to his new book "Did Jesus Exist?"
      once you concede what virtually every scholar in the field knows (namely, that there is clearly sufficient evidence to know Jesus existed), then we will return to a discussion of said evidences. but the fact that there is evidence is not in question.

      and worthy of note: Ehrman is considered part of the fringe left on this. if you have an ally in the field, it'd be him.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
    • Answer

      @Russ

      This is a laugh.. -> "his own metaphysical convictions."

      You're pleading the afterlife. That's rich.

      Define the metaphysical that you know that exists.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
    • Answer

      Why is it when the religious person who is losing his grasp on the physical reality has to come up to defend his metaphysical relevance?

      Simple.. it translates to "this life is but death waiting, and I wish there would be something in the next 'life' to stabilize my mind"

      Translates to comfort of the fear of death. Poor suckers.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
    • Russ

      @ saraswati: quite the contrary, it is historically demonstrated that there were many others at the time who claimed to be messiahs. and once they were dead, so was their followership/faith/religion.

      again, if there were no eyewitnesses, Christianity doesn't get off the ground. either there were or there weren't.

      furthermore, the sources themselves do not comport with any known genre of the time frame. 'myths' never had such peculiar detail. if this is realistic fiction, it has no known predecessors or copycats for 1700 years. if it was an effective rouse, why not have others like it?

      as one of the leading experts on myth in the last century put it:
      "I have been reading poems, romances, vision-literature, legends, myths all my life. I know what they are like. I know that not one of them is like this. Of this text there are only two possible views. Either this is reportage – though it may no doubt contain errors – pretty close up to the facts; nearly as close as Boswell. Or else, some unknown writer in the second century, without known predecessors, or successors, suddenly anticipated the whole technique of modern, novelistic, realistic narrative. If it is untrue, it must be narrative of that kind. The reader who doesn't see this has simply not learned to read."
      – CS Lewis
      http://orthodox-web.tripod.com/papers/fern_seed.html

      March 21, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
    • Answer

      " C S Lewis" <<-

      Do love it. Religious people who adore the trivial contributions to their ignorance.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Russ, I wasn't talking about other claimed messiahs; I was referring to reports from those who might have disagreed with claimed observations about the miracles of the Christian messiah.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Answer: speaking of reading those with whom you disagree...

      "It is STILL a metaphysical faith that underlies our faith in science." – Nietzsche (my emphasis)

      And check out this review of Thomas Nagel's new book in the Weekly Standard: an atheist philosopher slamming such radical materialism as you advocate...

      here's an excerpt of Andrew Ferguson's review of Nagel's new book...

      ****

      You can sympathize with Leiter and Weisberg for fudging on materialism. As a philosophy of everything it is an undeniable drag. As a way of life it would be even worse. Fortunately, materialism is never translated into life as it’s lived. As colleagues and friends, husbands and mothers, wives and fathers, sons and daughters, materialists never put their money where their mouth is. Nobody thinks his daughter is just molecules in motion and nothing but; nobody thinks the Holocaust was evil, but only in a relative, provisional sense. A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency at all, seeing his friends and enemies and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath. Say what you will about Leiter and Weisberg and the workshoppers in the Berkshires. From what I can tell, none of them is a psychopath. Not even close.

      Applied beyond its own usefulness as a scientific methodology, materialism is, as Nagel suggests, self-evidently absurd. Mind and Cosmos can be read as an extended paraphrase of Orwell’s famous insult: “One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool.” Materialism can only be taken seriously as a philosophy through a heroic feat of cognitive dissonance; pretending, in our abstract, intellectual life, that values like truth and goodness have no objective content even as, in our private life, we try to learn what’s really true and behave in a way we know to be good. Nagel has sealed his ostracism from the intelligentsia by idly speculating why his fellow intellectuals would undertake such a feat.
      http://www.weeklystandard.com/author/andrew-ferguson#biography

      March 21, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
    • Answer

      Here Russ.. let's start off with the basics.

      Please state what your opinion is on the age of this planet. The earth is how many years old?

      Let's see you make a statement. Between ___________ and __________ years old?

      March 21, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
    • Russ

      @ saraswati: it's hard to have it both ways.
      EITHER Christianity was so "backwater" at its inception (as if often advanced in critique) that no one else saw it (which is not what it claims)
      OR there were those who pushed against it (as it does state in the source material) but the eyewitness accounts overcame that objection.

      If the latter is true, it must be noted that the eyewitness accounts in question were not advanced by those in power, and had no place of privilege for those who would want to quell them.

      so at what point must you ask: what (other than the fact that it was true) would make these accounts so compelling as to overcome NOT having the place of privilege AND leading its followers increasingly into a persecuted life?

      March 21, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
    • Answer

      The second question is always...

      Then "why" do you have this statement of affirmation to yourself? What line of evidence was passed to you (for you to evaluate) this basis? To come to an understanding of WHAT YOU HAVE ACCEPTED.

      I want to know what line of questions that you have already accepted. If you have accepted the number of years that is beyond 10,000 years. Then please explain why or how you explain the bible's genesis?

      Do you then pass over that genesis is to be "INTERPRETED"? Not literal? Please explain what notions you have ACCEPTED.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:43 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Answer: much to your surprise, obviously, I'm not a young earth creationist. I'm open to that possibility, but I don't think Gen.1-2 close the door to a much older universe & earth.

      So, I guess the earth might be 4.5 billion with the broader universe being 13 billion (as so many scientists say), and yet if in 100 years they suddenly discover that's not the case (as science so often is forced to reassess), again, I don't think the biblical account requires that.

      Here's a brief essay closer to my position...

      March 21, 2013 at 11:43 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Russ

      “EITHER Christianity was so "backwater" at its inception (as if often advanced in critique) that no one else saw it (which is not what it claims)
      OR there were those who pushed against it (as it does state in the source material) but the eyewitness accounts overcame that objection.”

      There are plenty of other possibilities:

      1. Plenty of other people saw these events but they thought they were silly magic tricks like many others not interesting enough to bother to record.
      2. The events never actually occurred as described which is why there are no objections.
      3. Objections were recorded but no one was interested enough to compile them into a book – why would you at that time for a minor messiah?
      4. Objections were recorded by they were suppressed.

      It took about 30 seconds to come up with those. Ask yourself, sincerely, why you didn’t.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Answer: so what do you do with Nagel & Nietzsche's critique of your position?

      March 21, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
    • Answer

      i don't care for the links.

      A statement is sufficient. So then going by the general line of thinking...you're a "theistic evolution" type of person.

      Then please state what percentage (%) that you find the bible as truth.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • End Religion

      again, if there were no eyewitnesses, Scientology doesn't get off the ground. either there were or there weren't.

      again, if there were no eyewitnesses, Mormonism doesn't get off the ground. either there were or there weren't.

      again, if there were no eyewitnesses, Flying Spaghetti Monster doesn't get off the ground. either there were or there weren't.

      again, if there were no eyewitnesses, Islam doesn't get off the ground. either there were or there weren't.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • Answer

      What their critique of me? What of it?

      What do you think of my critique of your position? That is more important. You have no basis but to say "there is an authority over you". You really think that's relevant?

      March 21, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
    • Russ

      @ saraswati: considering ALL that's been written above, the first three are moot. the 4th one is the only real legitimate possibility, but again, that falls under the "OR" here.

      sure, you could come up with more possibilities, but I'm pressing Ockham's razor here.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
    • Answer

      @Russ

      Understand this basic premise about today's society.

      Today as we live and go on to draw breathe, we are getting more and more closer to being less 'wrong' than all our previous generations. So all your "C S Lewis and Nietzs" – they're dead. I'm not, I 'm better off than they.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Russ,

      "sure, you could come up with more possibilities, but I'm pressing Ockham's razor here."

      Occam's razor is a cop out little better than declaring you win by "common sense". I've called out atheists here on this a dozen times. Unless you are looking at a mathematical formula or laboratory experiment what counts as an assumption and how you draw the lines around it is subjective. Based on my assumptions all four of those possibilities require fewer and less bizarre assumptions than I would have to take on to think the Christian god did it.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
    • Answer

      @Russ

      I have a curious side question.. care to answer it?

      Here it is. If your view IS theistic evolution? Then do you ever go out of your way to put the "young earth creationists" in their place?

      Why or why not?

      I know from this blog after interrogating Chad that he is morally bankrupt. He doesn't not bother to debate YECs simply because he and them share a connection with "jesus". Are that kind of coward. Rather looking at overlooking a religious connection to real truth?

      March 21, 2013 at 11:59 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Answer: the entire Bible is true. again, the link will help you.

      It's reductionism to think being literal or literary is the same as literalism. The Bible has many different genres. A big part of reading it accurately and for authorial intent is understanding that.

      For example, ever notice the similarities between the format of Gen.1-2 & Judges 4-5 or Exodus 14-15? songs alongside a narrative. the songs have accurate historical information, but they are not necessarily given in chronological order. so, either a biblical scholar believes the redactor who compiled these resources was an idiot (and couldn't see plain contradictions) or the genre begins to help you understand not only how it was heard by the original audience, but how it has been rightly understood in the community of faith within which it is regarded as authoritative.

      in short: Gen.1 is a song (or at least elevated prose – notice the repeti.tion, the use of the term 'day' before a literal day is possible, etc.). Gen.2 is the narrative account. BOTH are historically accurate, but it is not the intent of the song to be chronological – just like you'll find in the song of Miriam or of Deborah in the accounts I gave above.

      Understanding the genre of the text is incredibly important for *rightly* understanding what it's claiming.

      March 22, 2013 at 12:10 am |
    • Russ

      @ End Religion: no, even in a comparative religions class one is required to know the distinctives of individual religions.

      Scientology as currently represented is not contingent on historical eyewitness accounts. You follow a method according to its creator, who himself did not (as best I understand) claim to be God, etc.

      Mormonism – DOES have historical records which NOTABLY are not open to the public. also, there is ZERO archeological evidence that a 13th tribe of Judah ever existed in America, or many other of their historical claims (and that's not even to address the miraculous ones such as the reverse Egyptian hieroglyphs).

      The Flying Spaghetti Monster falls prey to the same criticism as Russell's teapot...
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell's_teapot#Objections

      Virtually every other major religion was founded by someone who was pointing TO some other way or method to attain heaven, nirvana, etc.
      Jesus did not claim to point to a way; he claimed to be the way.

      Almost every other religion says some form of this: here are the rules. follow them & you get in.
      Christianity says: we failed the rules. Christ did what we couldn't. put your hope in what he did & not yourself.

      again, the importance of Christ's historical work & claims (life, death, resurrection) are paramount due to the doctrinal uniqueness of Christianity. You don't have to believe Christianity to see that.

      March 22, 2013 at 12:18 am |
    • Russ

      @ Answer: it is rather hypocritical to demand answers to your questions without returning the favor.
      i'm glad to share my faith. after all, Jesus commanded it. but it's hard to have a dialogue so entirely one sided.

      per your question on YEC: as I said before – my position does not rule EITHER out.
      however, more to your point: even a cursory reading of the Gospels shows that the object of Jesus' ire is most often the religious right. as a member of that group myself, I have noticed (and pointed out to others) that he is incredibly patient with outsiders, "sinners," etc., and more often upset with people like me for not living into what I claim to believe.

      March 22, 2013 at 12:23 am |
    • Larry of Nazareth

      "Understanding the genre of the text is incredibly important for *rightly* understanding what it's claiming."

      No. Not true at all. The Odyssey is a song as well. You are effectively claiming Zeus and Athena true by that line of logic

      March 22, 2013 at 12:24 am |
    • Russ

      @ saraswati: and yet now all of your assumptions require disregarding the best & earliest available sources in favor of a presupposition without evidence – or 'leap of faith'... the very thing you are criticizing.

      March 22, 2013 at 12:25 am |
    • Ken

      Russ
      No, not Ken Margo, though flattered. 🙂

      What we take on "faith" historically most of us acknowledge could be turned on it's head with the discovery of evidence that suggests strongly enough otherwise, so we are not invested in believing the recognized order of the Roman Emperors, for example. Certainly this is not the same kind of faith that most Christians have. Should a similar docu.ment surface that suggests that Jesus was not God how many would willingly abandon that belief in favor of this news?

      "the problem for your position is constructing a historically possible reason for Jesus' execution if NOT the claims that he made."
      Do you have any idea just how many Jews the Romans crucified around that time? It didn't take much of an excuse for them to crucify masses of people. Josephus (Antiquities 13: Chapter 14) reports that Alexander Jannaeus, the Maccabean king (103-76 B.C.E.), turned against the Pharisees and had hundreds crucified. Crassus is reported as having crucified 6,000 of Spartacus' men along the Appian Way from Capua to Rome. Jesus' death was certainly not unique.

      Just stirring up the people with causing a scene with the money changers in the temple would have been enough to get him executed. All that stuff about Pilate wanting to deal with him compassionately is just ridiculous if you trust Josephus's accounts on the man. The Romans didn't keep their Empire peaceful by treating non-citizens like Jesus fairly. They'd have had him killed for much less than claiming to be a rival king.

      March 22, 2013 at 12:27 am |
    • Larry of Nazareth

      The usual way stories were told in the ancient word was through song, as it supports the accurate repetition of the tale. That something was song in no way makes it factual, especially since so many cultures in so many places passed down their religious tales that way.

      But their religions are false to you too, yet the method of the story is the same as yours. Why are all the others false and yours true?

      March 22, 2013 at 12:30 am |
    • Russ

      @ Larry: no, directly on the contrary. having a song within a text doesn't make the texts exactly the same.

      The Odyssey has no such superfluous detail – that was an innovation not found until the 1700s. For example, you never hear Homer saying, "Odysseus left the Cyclops cave around 3:30pm and rowed out 3 or 3.5 miles into the sea." And yet that's exactly what you get in the Gospel accounts. We only fail to see it because we've gotten used to modern, realistic fiction. There is NO SUCH GENRE for millennia around these accounts. Either they are eyewitness reports or they are lies – but they can't be myths.

      again, Lewis' essay on myth is incredibly incisive here. as i quoted above (though the entire essay is worth the read):
      "I have been reading poems, romances, vision-literature, legends, myths all my life. I know what they are like. I know that not one of them is like this. Of this text there are only two possible views. Either this is reportage – though it may no doubt contain errors – pretty close up to the facts; nearly as close as Boswell. Or else, some unknown writer in the second century, without known predecessors, or successors, suddenly anticipated the whole technique of modern, novelistic, realistic narrative. If it is untrue, it must be narrative of that kind. The reader who doesn't see this has simply not learned to read."
      – CS Lewis
      http://orthodox-web.tripod.com/papers/fern_seed.html

      March 22, 2013 at 12:30 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Russ,

      "all of your assumptions require disregarding the best & earliest available sources in favor of a presupposition without evidence – or 'leap of faith'... the very thing you are criticizing"

      It is a "best" source in the same way that a report from someone about their middle-of-the-night alien abduction is the "best" source of what happened that night (and yest we have alien abductions with multiple people).

      Anyway, we aren't going to agree on this. You think because I have some unfair bias against Christianity and I think because you have an unfair bias for it. One (or both) of us are deluded...I'm pretty confident it isn't me. 🙂

      March 22, 2013 at 12:33 am |
    • TANK!!!!

      "so you are claiming that over 500 people had a "group hallucination" of the risen Christ,"

      500 people, a number obtained from the same (and only) source whose validity is supposed to be supported by the 500.

      March 22, 2013 at 12:38 am |
    • Larry of Nazareth

      You repeatedly quote an apologist. Lewis was not an impartial observer, and I just don't accept his opinion.

      You are being a bit oily on the time and distance ultra-trivia. That does not convince me in the least. That is nothing but a stylistic difference, and I can throw that right back at you and say the characters in Homer are massively better developed than any biblical character. You understand them in great depth and complexity, whereas the Bible's characters are strangely flat. All you get is what they do, not what they feel or think. They are one note songs. Noah? Uh, he builds a boat. Did he tell his neighbors what was happening? No. He builds a boat. Is he saddend that almost everyone he knows dies? The Bible is too shallow to say.

      In other words, the stories are so flat that they appear the inventions of lousy writers.

      Homer was far better in giving us credible characters.

      So much for that.

      March 22, 2013 at 12:38 am |
    • Larry of Nazareth

      How can you say there is no such genre when the example I used is exactly that? The vast majority of places in the Iliad and the Odyssey existed, including Troy, Mycenae, and many others. They've even found that at the expected time, Troy was suddenly destroyed, including by fire. The encampment and fighting techniques were accurate, the ships and sailing information accurate, etcetera etcetera.

      A historical framework has always been used in storytelling, and not just in Greece.

      March 22, 2013 at 12:47 am |
    • Answer

      @Russ

      ==quote==
      Understanding the genre of the text is incredibly important for *rightly* understanding what it's claiming.
      ==end==

      So that means you can read whatever you want something to read. If you made a claim one specific way then that is the claim, it means it can't be something else. This is just your way of saying.. "look it says this OTHER way of saying what I'm claiming."

      We call that "WISHY WASHY".

      ==quote==
      your question on YEC: as I said before – my position does not rule EITHER out.
      ==end==

      And so is this position. You DO realize what you have just said right?

      Let me express it to you to highlight what you really would like to have said.. instead of the truth.

      Here is a mathematical evaluation.

      If the earth is less than 10,000 years old. The YEC are correct.
      If the earth is more than 10,000 years old. The science and your adopted apologist position "theistic evolution" are proven correct.

      So I'll showcase your ignorance and the way all religious people duck the absolute methodology of CHOICE.
      You are letting yourself CHOOSE BOTH. How simple.

      What you are saying is in ESSENCE = "If either numbers are one way wrong – I still have the other position to fall back on. See I get to be RIGHT if both sides of the coins show up."

      Does it explain it to you Russ. Religious people are all like this. Have it all.

      Isn't it nice how you are protective of your position from failure. Have your cake and eat it too. What is reality then to you.. is it the age of the earth a specific length of time old? Nope .. to you – you swing both ways.

      March 22, 2013 at 12:54 am |
    • TANK!!!!

      "So that means you can read whatever you want something to read."

      You've just passed Apologetics 101 with flying colors.

      March 22, 2013 at 12:57 am |
    • Answer

      Choose the words that best describe the age of the earth..

      1) young
      2) old

      or would you like the other choice?

      3) middle age

      LOL

      March 22, 2013 at 1:00 am |
    • Ken

      Russ
      "unlike Vespasian & Davy Crockett, you do not have a major religion today based upon the historical claims which are so astounding that – as you note – would otherwise be readily cast aside."
      Did Muhammad really ride a winged horse up to heaven? Did Joseph Smith really get those golden plates from an angel? Did the Buddha really speak just after being born? Face it, people expect astounding claims within religion. Claims about the special feats of the son of a god were a speciality within the Greek-educated world. They had numerous stories of the sons of gods working wonders, entering the land of the dead, returning, and so on. These were all very familiar themes.

      Stories of Davy Crockett wrestling bears and such were within his lifetime. If you look at the standard ordering of the Gospels by date, Jesus starts out needing a few tries sometimes to work a miracle and doesn't make any claims to being God in Mark, but gradually gets more powerful until he's raising the dead and openly claiming to be God in John, written many decades later. Clearly, the claims got bigger and bolder with time, and fewer surviving eyewitnesses. Then there are those things like Jesus' temptation by the Devil in the desert, where it's specific that no eyewitness was present. How did such stories get into the Gospels when they are specific that Jesus was alone in the wilderness? Did someone interview Satan?

      Paul names "eyewitnesses" that he's been told about. He wasn't there for anybody else's sighting, so this is hearsay. He himself does not recount his own "experience" with Jesus specifically. That's in Acts, recorded 3 times, with different details each time, so again hearsay. Besides, these are not legal depositions of eyewitnesses like we're use to. These are stories saying that there were eyewitnesses, which holds as much water as John Grisham stories featuring them.

      Many early Christian figures died for their beliefs, but so did kamikazes, jihadis, and various doomsday cultists. Conviction does not mean correctness.

      Vespatian may not be as popular these days, but there is still interest in folklore about Crockett; and the Buddha, Smith and Muhammad are still believed to have been subject to miraculous events with their religions remaining strong to this day.

      March 22, 2013 at 1:03 am |
    • Larry of Nazareth

      I've got to go, which is a shame as I think we could have a very interesting conversation Russ, the kind of interesting conversation that would bore everyone else into a coma. It would be your postgraduate degree versus mine (literature, esp. ancient and medeival).

      Also a shame it couldn't be face to face so that the harshness of online forums is not at play . . . though I would still browbeat you for quote mining Nietzsche like that, and share with you his real views on the prison of religious belief. Of course neither of us would change our beliefs, but it would be a good conversation.

      Sorry for the hit and run.

      March 22, 2013 at 1:06 am |
    • Ken

      Russ
      C.S. Lewis saw the Bible as containing myth. He said, for example

      "The Book of Job appears to me unhistorical because it begins about a man quite unconnected with all history or even legend, with no genealogy, living in a country of which the Bible elsewhere has hardly anything to say..." and

      "I have therefore no difficulty in accepting, say, the view of those scholars who tell us that the account of Creation in Genesis is derived from earlier Semitic stories which were Pagan and mythical."

      As a young man he once wrote "“You ask me my religious views: you know, I think I believe in no religion. There is absolutely no proof for any of them, and from a philosophical standpoint Christianity is not even the best. All religions, that is, all mythologies to give them their proper name, are merely man’s invention. ... Often too, great men we regarded as gods after their death – such as Hercules or Odin: thus after the death of a Hebrew philosopher Yeshua (whose name we have corrupted into Jesus) he became regarded as a god, a cult sprang up, which was afterward connected with the ancient Hebrew Yahweh worship, and so Christianity came into being – one mythology among many, but one that we happened to be brought up in.”

      He developed an idea that myth contains philosophical truths. Later, when be returned to Christianity, he rationalized that the stories in the Gospels were still myth, but they simply also had to be true. He could offer no proof of this, just literary argument, the kind that he's famous for. Not exactly convincing.

      March 22, 2013 at 1:26 am |
    • Austin

      I experienced the living sovereign Gods ability to communicate . Because He is risen.

      <<

      >>

      Show resourcesAdd parallel
      John 15:26-27
      New International Version (NIV)
      The Work of the Holy Spirit

      26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

      March 22, 2013 at 1:53 am |
    • Ken

      Austin
      Thoughts on experiencing God talking to you. These guys broadcast from Austin, Texas. 🙂

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jPdKdIm55s&w=640&h=360]

      Also, by the time John was written there was a lot of backlash against Christianity, right? Wouldn't it have been easy for the author to put these words in Jesus' mouth as a way of reassuring his audience not to listen to the naysayers?

      March 22, 2013 at 10:03 am |
  17. DamianKnight

    I don't get it. There is a path to citizenship. Go to your home country, file the paperwork and wait your turn.

    That may take awhile, but just because it's a long process, doesn't mean you get to "line jump" by doing something illegal.

    March 21, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
    • Chuckles

      It's not that easy in most countries though, especially to become a citizen of the US. I'm not saying we just open up the boarders and let any jack and jill in, but I had a friend who literally just got his american citizenship. This guy has a doctorate at age 24, has been really helping the american economy and yet he did not have a say in any of the elections that would decide his fate. We need to make the path to citizenship easier in this country.

      March 21, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      It's tough to wait "your turn" When you're hungry and have a family to support. When John McCain said "we are a christian nation" I know that's a load of bull. Where's your sympathy to those less fortunate? As Christians like to say "There go I except for the grace of god" You should be thankful you're not in their position.

      March 21, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Chuckles, I agree we need to have a PR system more in line with what Canada or Australia use. File the paperwork and get direct PR...none of this playing around on long term H1Bs and J1 waivers etc. I'm for tight borders and would eliminate the birthright citizenship clause, but for admitting the workers we need it should be easier.

      March 21, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
    • End Religion

      "It's tough to wait "your turn" When you're hungry and have a family to support."

      It's tough not to rob homes in my area when I'm having trouble coming up with food money for my family. Is that OK with you? If so, please send your address.

      March 21, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Ken,

      "It's tough to wait "your turn" When you're hungry and have a family to support. When John McCain said "we are a christian nation" I know that's a load of bull. Where's your sympathy to those less fortunate? As Christians like to say "There go I except for the grace of god" You should be thankful you're not in their position."

      I am very sympathetic and support government aid to foreign nations. I just got home from 4 hours of volunteer work at a nursing home. I am a (legal) immigrant married to a (legal) immigrant from a developing country. But uncontrolled immigration to the US will bring this country to its knees. In short time educated people and businesses will be fleeing this country for the nations that controlled their immigration when they had the chance and the US will be in a nose dive. Who do you think we'll be helping then? What kind of money and attention do you think we'll be putting toward environmental issues? This is a real, practical issue that has to be handled with practical answers, not by short term answers that feel good.

      March 21, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @End...............A person entering a country for the sole purpose of getting a job to feed his family is not the same as someone breaking into your home to rob you. If you are so against these workers, stop buying things created by their labor.

      @Sara...........Keep in mind, these people cant read or speak the language. I stated earlier if we raise the minimum wage Americans would do the jobs illegals do now. If we invested in our education system, we would have the skilled workers needed for the technical jobs and wouldn't need technical workers from other countries. But what do we do. Suppress salaries and make the jobs unattractive to American workers allowing the illegals to get them. Starve our education system of resources so we need technical workers from other countries. We can control immigration if we raise our standards so that people that cant speak the language cant get the jobs and therefore wont show up in uncontrollable numbers.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
    • Saraswati

      “@Sara...........Keep in mind, these people cant read or speak the language.”

      Some can, some can’t. I know plenty of illegal immigrants who speak very good English.

      “I stated earlier if we raise the minimum wage Americans would do the jobs illegals do now.”

      Not if you can get away with hiring someone illegally for less.

      “If we invested in our education system, we would have the skilled workers needed for the technical jobs and wouldn't need technical workers from other countries.”

      You also have to have citizens willing to study those fields at a high level. People don’t study certain scientific and technical fields for a simple reason – it’s relatively hard and it’s not fun for most people. Life here is pretty cushy and people don’t want to do anything not fun. You need to do more than just increasing the quality of education – for which, by the way, we already pay more per person than almost any other country. The quality of public schools is decreased everywhere that large scale illegal immigration has occurred.

      “But what do we do. Suppress salaries and make the jobs unattractive to American workers allowing the illegals to get them.

      “Starve our education system of resources so we need technical workers from other countries.”

      No, we don’t. Look at investment across countries. The difference is that we support students with grants to study any field they want where most countries have only a limited number of spaces for less productive fields like literature, sociology or a generic undergrad “business” degree.

      “We can control immigration if we raise our standards so that people that cant speak the language cant get the jobs and therefore wont show up in uncontrollable numbers.”

      Most people in India speak English (it’s a national language) and that country is several times the size of the US. I’m not sure what you mean to raise standards on, but I hope there’s more than the ability to speak English which is pretty easy to acquire.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @sara......If a farm job paid decent money people would find out what the farmer is paying illegals and make a stink of it.

      As far as investing in education, It depends on the neighborhood. As you know poor neighborhoods get the crap end of the stick.

      Yes English is well known. i was referring to the poor Mexicans. Sometimes people with Spanish accents have that held against them

      March 21, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Ken, Back in the 90s I taught at a university in China that had a single photocopier for a population of 20,000. The toilets smelled so bad you had to open the classroom windows. Most courses had no textbooks. The pimary and middle schools had less.

      During grad school I had a job teaching computer skills to at-risk kids in the US. Most of them had computers at home. In china the few computers were locked in a special room you had to enter wearing protective clothing and booties.

      Who do you think was doing better?

      We have a lot bigger problems than money in education. I agree it needs to be distributed better, but money is not the main issue, at least not in the education system directly. We need to focus much earlier in childhood and on parents, and we need to reduce the immigration inflow in order to have the resources to do this.

      March 22, 2013 at 12:05 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Ken,

      "If a farm job paid decent money people would find out what the farmer is paying illegals and make a stink of it."

      Agreed, to some extent. We have some pretty well paying jobs in the US in the skilled trades fields that go unfilled simply because people don't want to do them. Farm labor is hard – I did it very briefly when I was about 19. I would personally work a lot of other jobs for half the pay, and people aren't likely to move from big cities to rural Kansas for this kind of work without a pretty big reason to do so. I don't know the answer, but it's going to have to be pretty radical.

      March 22, 2013 at 12:09 am |
    • DamianKnight

      Well unfortunately, the United States does not have the resources to support everyone who wants to come here. The same way Space Mountain can't support everyone who wants to ride it at the same time. That's why there is a line.

      As for the Christian quip, I agree, we should do what we can, which is why I support sending aid to foreign countries and charities that help impoverished nations. But what we're essentially doing is being like a person who has a soft spot for children in foster care, so we are bringing ALL of them in, and then realizing that you can't feed, clothe and nurture all of them. And then you have the impoverished here, who are legally here, who can't get benefits because they are being taken up. This also puts a strain on the taxpayers, who have to see their taxes go up so that the government can continue to feed, house, clothe, provide medical care and all sorts of other things. Not to mention, the rampant crime that comes with illegal immigrants.

      I'm not against immigration. I'm for lawful immigration. Illegal immigration is a federal felony and should receive no more consideration than any other crime in this country.

      March 22, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Buckeye Jim

      "I don't get it. There is a path to citizenship. Go to your home country, file the paperwork and wait your turn. That may take awhile, but just because it's a long process, doesn't mean you get to "line jump" by doing something illegal."

      When I was a child my family was so poor we had to go behind grocery stores and dig through their dumpsters for food. Now many of those stores started posting signs that said this was illegal, but i'm sorry, my stomach never learned how to read. Sometimes people do things out of desperation, there is no pathway to citizenship when that pathway means waiting to die as it does for many, so get off your high horse and open the borders to all and stop playing thses stupid games of trying to separate the light skinned "deserving people" who just so happened to be born a mile this side of an imaginary line.

      March 22, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      While I sympathize with your level of poverty, and certainly understand the desperation, that doesn't make it any more legal. It doesn't make it "right." The fact is, laws are there and if going through a dumpster was illegal, however understandable your family's actions were, doesn't change the fact that it is illegal.

      It's time people stop trying to justify breaking the law, because it's a slippery slope argument. You want to live in this country? Part of that is obeying the law.

      As for this attempt to make me sound like a racist by choosing to enforce the border, unfortunately, that argument falls flat on its face. Why? Because I don't care if they are from Mexico, Norway, Sweden, China, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria or wherever. Everyone needs to follow the laws. Everyone needs to apply legally and wait their turn, because that's the only fair way to do it.

      I am married to an immigrant to this country and we did it the right way. My wife has a green card and has to carry it with her *everywhere* in case the authorities stop her. To this day, any time ICE (Immigration Citizenship Enforcement) wants to show up, knock on our door and search our house to ensure we are in fact still legally married, they can do so. It's the law. Do I like that? No, but it's the price I pay for being able to have my wife in this country, because I understand that's the law.

      I'm sorry it takes a long time. If you would prefer to move to a country where it doesn't take quite so long (i.e. Canada or Australlia), by all means. But if you want to come to the U.S., you have to go by its restrictions.

      March 22, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian

      Sure, there's a reason we have immigration laws and there's obviously a reason we can't just open up all the boarders and let everyone on. Aside from the obvious security issues, we just don't have enough resources to support the amount of people who would come in, or at least not enough resources that everyone would want to live the American Dream.

      However, the path to citizenship now is absurd. Sara pointed this out with the amount of bureaucracy that goes into it. That's a real issue and it's creating a self-inflicted brain drain by exluding people who might really benefit America but don't have the time, money or resources to wait out the crazy amount of different things you have to do in order to obrain citizenship. As for the illegal immigrants that are already here, instead of mass deportations, we need to deal with them as a separate issue. If they do make it beyond the boarders, obtain a job that Americans generally don't want and still want full citizenship rights, it's worth taking a look at their case and understanding the value they bring but punishing them without full deportation.

      March 22, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      I agree, but citizenship is not the only way into this country. There are tons of amounts of visas available. Student visas, work visas, fiancee visas.

      I am fully against any form of illegal immigration. I don't agree with immigration reform until our borders are secure and until we bring to heel any person who is illegally here. I disagree fundamentally with "sanctuary cities." That's like saying, "Well, we are going to tell our police not to chase after a bank robber (also a federal felony) because we don't believe in chasing bank robbers." That's ludicrous! It should be the responsibility of all peace officers to determine (within reason and without racial profiling) someone's legal status.

      Personally, I believe it should be illegal to rent, lease or sell a home to an illegal immigrant. It should be unlawful for them to drive. They should be banned from having driver's licenses. The key to making it work is the concept of "self-deportation." Look at Arizona. They are having illegal immigrants leave by the hundreds because the laws are too restrictive for them to operate from the shadows. You make it impossible or highly uncomfortable to live here and they will leave.

      March 22, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian

      Visas only do so much. I can't say I've ever had to go through the process, but my friend I alluded to in a previous post had so many issues each time he needed to renew his visa because it was still an annoying process in of itself. How ridiculous is it that while working a job at a biology lab where he was working 55+ hours a week, he also had to go through the brain damage of renewing a visa AND doing citizenship classes?

      Secondly, the idea of "self-deportation" is ludacris (spelled intentionally so), Who knows how many illegal immigrants are actually leaving and still moving in? We have no way of tracking them? Not to mention, the laws enacted there are so incredibly rac.ist and prejudiced against a certain type of immigrant that the model can't be applied to any states in the north where identi.fying illegal canadian immigrants, or english immigrants, etc... is not as easy.

      I agree, illegal immigration should be dealt with, with more than a slap on the wrist. It's illegal and should be treated as so, but we can't lose sight at the human cost and the human side to why there are illegal immigrants in the first place and some of our founding principals of taking in precisely these types of people.

      Self-deportation is the worst way going about targeting illegal immigrants. Making a place so unbearable to live even illegal immigrants don't want to be there will help no one.

      March 22, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      While I agree that racism is wrong, the fact of the matter is, the vast majority of illegal immigrants are Hispanic. Therefore, they are the most likely targets. It's sad, but if the Hispanic community actually spoke out about this and fought the illegal immigration instead of endorsing it and trying to excuse it, we wouldn't have nearly as many problems with it.

      I think hospitals, police officers, universities, anyone who works for the government or receives federal as.sistance has an obligation to report illegal immigration. Like when San Francisco declared itself a "sanctuary city." As the federal government I would have said, "Fine. Then we are not sending any federal as.sistance to the city." That would quickly change the stance of the city and bring them in line with the law.

      I'm not saying the immigration system is perfect. I am saying that we need to be doing more and part of that is not cow-towing to it. The fact is, we have catered to and ignored this problem so long is the reason we have this problem to the levels we do. I feel that we now have to somewhat "over-react" now and then cut back while making a more reformed system once we have things more under control.

      March 22, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Damian

      Before anyone jumps on this.
      I'm assuming you don't intend to mean that hospitals and police should refuse to service illegal immigrants, just that if it's actually discovered they have an obligation to report it.

      March 22, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Hawaii,

      That is correct. I believe they should treat them, but they have an obligation to report it to federal authorities.

      March 22, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Damian

      But isn't that flying directly in the face of our values?

      Actually let me back up. I think securing our boarders is important, but I also firmly believe that making the path to citizenship easier would decrease illegal immigration because many of the illegal immigrants don't want to be legal, they want to officially immigrate and making it easier for them would encourage them to actually use the proper channels instead of trying to skip the line.

      I also think you are right that the vast amount of illegal immigration comes through the mexican boarder, but to make sweeping laws that only cover a certain skin color is wrong regardless of how pragmatic it may seem. We are also very aware that immigration isn't what it should be because of the illegal work we rely on to do the jobs we don't want to. I agree with you that if someone is caught as an illegal immigrant, the catcher is obligated to report them, but that's a far cry from creating squads to go hunt these people down and the reverse idea of self-deportation only hurts Americans in the long run. if we make it so horrible for immigrants to come to America, we miss out on so many things they bring to the table.

      On the SF thing, yeah, it's kind of stupid for SF to be a sanctuary city and SF can get away with it more than say, San Diego, because we're up north, but I'm very hesitant to allow the federal government to start controlling things on a city level through extortion of funds. I'm a democrat and I even think that would be the fed stepping way over the line.

      So back to what I said initially, we're a nation of immigrants and for us to become isolationist and xenophobic enough that we would rather shut our boarders so tight against illegal immigration instead of figuring out a way to absorb some illegal immigrants and make the path easier for others makes this country go from a nation of immigrants to a nation of scared white people.

      I'm not saying illegal immigrants should be granted amnesty or given a free pass and we do need to better tighten our boarders, but policies that focus on the human aspect can help us better understand illegal immigration and stop it at its bud rather than harsh measures like say 2 walls or an electric fence (both republican ideas....).

      Also, there is a portion of hispanic people who are making a big stink about immigration, but the republican party is such a mess right now they haven't been able to highlight that part about them and the democrats are paying attention to it but approaching it from a human (albeit very calculated) direction and trying to solve it without sending in deportation squads or hoping illegal immigration will solve itself with self-deportation.

      March 22, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Oops! the one part that says, "Many illegal immigrants don't want to be legal" was meant to be "many illegal immigrants DO want to be legal" haha

      March 22, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Damian
      "Look at Arizona. They are having illegal immigrants leave by the hundreds because the laws are too restrictive for them to operate from the shadows. You make it impossible or highly uncomfortable to live here and they will leave."

      Look at Alabama and Georgia (and I think) Arizona – the farmers couldn't get their crops picked. Americans don't want to work all day in the hot sun. I agree it is a complex problem, but all but the very poorest US citizens are better off than the majority of people outside the First World. All the time employers go unpunished, little will change because the migrant would probably prefer to be in his/her own country with his/her family and comes here from financial need.

      March 22, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Chuckles,

      See, I disagree with your premise. If we were trying to become "isolationist" and "xenophobic" we would be keeping all immigrants out. No one is suggesting that. Because, as you said, most people in the United States have immigrated. What I am suggesting is enforcing the laws we already have.

      Perhaps we do need immigration reform to make it easier, but I'm not so sure that will necessarily work. And what kind of message does that send? When a law becomes too difficult for us to enforce, we stop enforcing it and make things easier for the criminal? I mean, sure, you could get rid of all of the people being arrested for drug related offenses by just making all drugs legal, but is that really what we want to do?

      I think we can work on the immigration process reform. However, I think we need to secure our borders first, deal with the issue we have right now, rather than adding to our problems by having the dems and the GOP argue for another God-knows-how-many year on what the right course of action to take. We should treat them with dignity and respect, but at the same time, make them face consequences for illegal actions.

      March 25, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  18. Sarah S.

    Please.....who did they survey???? CNN wonders why they have no credibility....then they run crap like this!!!!

    March 21, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
  19. Ken Margo

    @Born American...........The reason illegals come here is the same reason you stay here "The American Dream" . We promote it, and brag about it. Wouldn't you want to be able to support your family? They really are no different than you. As far as a country allowing illegals, we're the only country people want to come to. How many people do you see lining up to go to !Iraq, Iran, Columbia, Cuba and other 3rd world countries? We're the best. Period.

    March 21, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I agrewe people come here for the dream and don't blam them for that, but the demographic and economic realities still dictate that we tighten our borders.

      I'm not sure what you mean by the "best" btw. We have a pretty good standard of living for most people, but I haven't seen many things we come out "best" on. Many, many countries, from Australia to Norway are equally flooded with immigration applications.

      March 21, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @sara ..................you named the nice ones. i was referring to the ones that make the most news.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Sara................"Best" A little USA pride is all.

      March 21, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
    • Saraswati

      OK, I'll go as far as "We do pretty darn well considering!" 🙂

      March 22, 2013 at 12:13 am |
  20. Reality

    Giving a free ride to citizenship for people who are here illegally would mean most of the countries listed below would descend upon our borders and/or shores. Not good at all !!! Time we cut our own grass and cook our own food !!!

    Country of origin
    Raw numbers Percent

    Mexico
    6,650,000 62%

    El Salvador
    530,000 5%

    Guatemala
    480,000 4%

    Honduras
    320,000 3%

    Philippines
    270,000 2%

    India
    200,000 2%

    Korea
    200,000 2%

    Ecuador
    170,000 2%

    Brazil
    150,000 1%

    China
    120,000 1%

    Other 1,650,000 15%

    March 21, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Outside of Mexico, how are the rest going to get here? If you have to fly here, it's easier to control then.

      March 21, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • clarity

      See my response on the previous page. It would also be about *growing* our own food (and all that entails) to achieve what you are suggesting.

      March 21, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Ken,

      A lot of people in the US illegally are overstaying a legal vistor's or student visa. This is common with many countries, including Brazil. Others come in through Canada or up through Mexico from countries further south. A few arrive by boat. There's no reason not to have a single policy that applies to all people from all countries.

      March 21, 2013 at 10:52 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.