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My Take: What real persecution looks like
Saeed Abedini, an Iranian-American citizen imprisoned in Iran, is seen with his family.
April 3rd, 2013
06:00 AM ET

My Take: What real persecution looks like

Editor's Note: Nina Shea is the director of the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute and one of the authors of "Persecuted: the Global Assault on Christians."

By Nina Shea, Special to CNN

(CNN)–In September 2005, a middle-aged woman was taken by state security officials from her home in North Korea’s North Pyongan Province. She was put under arrest and taken to a local farm, where government officials had assembled in the threshing area to carry out her punishment. The sole civilian witness eventually fled to South Korea and reported what unfolded next to the Database Center for North Korean Human Rights. As he told the private human rights group, “Guards tied her head, her chest, and her legs to a post, and shot her dead.” He added, “I was curious why she was to be shot. Somebody told me she had kept a Bible at her home.”

Merely having the Christian Scriptures, which likely were smuggled across the border from China, put the unknown woman under suspicion of converting to Christianity, and perhaps even sharing her new faith with others. Our research, drawn from United Nations studies, U.S. governmental sources, newspaper accounts and documentation from churches, think tanks and human rights groups, found that in North Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, Christian conversion is treated as a capital crime or otherwise severely punished.

The right of conversion, as long as it is not forced, is an integral part of the fundamental human right to religious freedom. Yet, as we document in our new book, "Persecuted," in many countries, in various parts of the world, and stemming from various motives, religious conversion draws horrific reprisals.

In his report to the United Nations General Assembly last year, the U.N. special rapporteur on religious freedom, Heiner Bielefeldt, found that “[c]ountless reports of grave violations of the right to freedom of religion or belief relate to converts and those who try to convert others by means of noncoercive persuasion.”

Persecution for conversion to Christianity – a faith with the “Great Commission” to share the Gospel - is rising globally, along with persecution of some very long-established, even 2000-year-old, Christian communities. Persecution typically happens in places where Christians are a minority, where communist ideology still holds sway, in the Muslim world, or where conversion is seen as a threat to national identity.

Iran is a prime example of the growing number of states that harshly punish converts for apostasy from Islam. In January, the Rev. Saeed Abedini, an Iranian-American citizen, was sentenced to eight years imprisonment in Tehran’s brutal Evin Prison for his own conversion, as well as for his ministry with Iran’s burgeoning underground evangelical churches. Another Christian pastor, Yousef Nadarkhani, who was first jailed in 2009 and sentenced to death, was released from prison earlier this year after international pressure.

In September 2012, the U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, said “scores of other Christians appear to remain in detention for freely practicing their religion,” and that over the past two years more than 300 Christians have been arrested and detained arbitrarily in Iran. These arrests result from accusations of proselytizing.

In Egypt, perceived apostates face many difficulties. In January, an Egyptian court sentenced Nadia Mohamed Ali and her seven children to 15 years imprisonment for reconverting to Christianity. Born a Christian, Nadia converted to Islam in order to marry a Muslim man; after his death, she returned to Christianity and ran into trouble when she had the family's official identity cards changed to reflect this.

Saudi Arabia requires all its nationals be Muslims and can punish apostasy with beheading. Christian converts also risk honor killings, being murdered by their relatives. In 2008, Gulf News reported that Fatima Al-Mutairi was “burned to death and her tongue had been cut out” by her Saudi father, a religious policeman, after her brother discovered a photo of a cross on her computer screen.

A 2012 study by the Washington based Pew Research Center found that proselytism, or talking about one’s faith to others, was specifically restricted by central or local governments in 66 countries.

An example occurred on March 10, 2013, in Libya, where Ezzat Hakim Atallah, a 45-year-old Coptic Christian from Egypt, was reported tortured to death with electric shocks by security police in order to exact a confession of proselytizing. Five other Copts detained with him remain jailed.

Though India is renowned for its religious pluralism, various states in India, influenced by Hindu nationalists, have anti-conversion laws. Ostensibly to protect against coerced conversion from Hinduism, some are so vaguely worded that even spiritual benefits or charity work could be deemed illegal inducements. The worst abuses occur when, stirred by their local political and religious leaders, Hindu mobs riot against entire Christian families or villages. In fact, around the world, the Pew Research study finds generally that social hostilities are 2.5 times higher when governments limit conversion.

Vietnam’s leaders seem to view converting to Christianity in northwest provinces among the Hmong and in the Central Highlands among various ethnic tribes to be a security threat. In addition to suffering beatings and imprisonment and having their homes torn down and property confiscated, some converts there have been forced to “reconvert” to traditional practices of ancestor worship.

Converts to various other faiths are persecuted as well, usually by the same forces that punish Christian conversion. Members of the Bahai faith, a religion that acknowledges a prophet after Islam’s Prophet Mohammed, are deprived of all constitutional rights in Iran and their entire leadership is serving a 20-year sentence. Similarly, the Ahmadi Muslim community is targeted under blasphemy laws in Pakistan. Converting others to Islam is punished in parts of India by Hindu nationalists. Koranists in Egypt and outspoken moderate Muslims in Saudi Arabia are persecuted for their unorthodox beliefs.

The U.N.’s Bielefeldt concludes that persecution for conversion has become a “human rights problem of great concern.”

Couched in U.N. diplomatic language, this is a sound of alarm. Recent decades have seen the rapid global spread of Christianity and many thousands of Asians and Africans who are choosing to become Christians are paying a very steep price.

It is time that the West, including Western Christians, end their indifference and recognize this for what it is: an egregious human rights violation.

We must raise our voices for those facing the executioner’s sword, detention camps or other atrocities for their beliefs just as we do for other human rights victims. As the Rev. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in opposing Nazi persecution, had once reminded his fellow Germans: “Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Nina Shea.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (583 Responses)
  1. Is There A Conflict Between Faith And Origins Science?

    When it comes to evolution and Big Bang cosmology, what positions do different faith communities take? There's actually less conflict between the faith and science communities than you might think. And while there has been no shortage of controversies between the two camps—with disputes about the science curriculum in US public schools a relatively current one—only 11% of Americans belong to religions that openly reject evolution or Big Bang Cosmology. Take a look at the graph below and hover over any religion to see its position on the matter or click to see more details.

    A must read for all atheists!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/max-tegmark/angry-atheists_b_2716134.html

    April 3, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • Dear William B!

      "Just as it would be unfair to blame all religious people for what some fundamentalists do, I'm obviously not implying that all anti-religious people are mean-spirited or intolerant. However, I can't help being struck by how some people on both the religious and anti-religious extremes of the spectrum share disturbing similarities in debating style."

      Wake up – evolve!

      April 3, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      And yet 47% of the population in America reject evolution when you look at the polls. Whether a religious group "openly" opposes science says nothing about the congregants themselves.
      The biggest divide in faith and science, is that faith doesn't actually test what they think with independent verification. All assertions, and no substance.

      April 3, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • Puppies and Kittens Taste Delicious When Cooked Properly

      The conflict exists because they do not belong together. Religious texts outline myths, and science is attempting to solve the puzzle of fact. Thus far, science has already discounted the myth by time alone, as the observable Universe is billions of years older than the mythological claims. The percentage of people that believe or don't believe in the myth have no bearing on whether or not the myth is reality.

      I hope this helps alleviate any pressure you feel by your community to somehow inseminate reality with fiction.

      April 3, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I may be reading this chart wrong, but it looks like it isn't about science in general but the question of evolution and the big bang only? A much bigger issue in most religions is their understanding of human psychology.

      In addition, it looks like this is based on self-reporting, so when an organization like the Catholic church says it isn't in conflict, isn't it in it's best interest to interpret the science the way they want it rather than as most scientists agree to?

      April 3, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • Is There A Conflict Between Faith And Origins Science?

      It was put together by an atheist physicist: it is talking about origins science only.

      April 3, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • @ Puppies and Kittens Taste Delicious When Cooked Properly

      You proved this right:

      "Yet after we posted our survey report, ad hominem attacks abounded, and most of the caustic comments I got (including one from a fellow physics professor) revealed that their authors hadn't even bothered reading the report they were criticizing. "

      April 3, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Anyone that lives and has access to the oceans of the world know the power. Anyone that can't see through Darwin's theory, never saw or swam in the oceans majestic strength.

      April 3, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
  2. Hey Hindus

    Where is that Hindu when you need it?What's with all the persecution in India?

    April 3, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • William Demuth

      I believe Harimi's has all you can eat curry tonight.

      April 3, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Gandi

      shhhh.. go away. We are busy arguing the Christian away in the west.

      April 3, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
  3. HotAirAce

    You know there is a basic problem when there are laws about converting to or from irrational, unfounded myths. . .

    April 3, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
  4. William Demuth

    Within a generation or two, membership in Christian churches will be looked upon like membership in the Manson Family or the Nazi Party!

    Just remember your grand children may someday ask why you gave money to a group of child buggering liars!

    With the never ending exposure of the corruption and deviance, even the hard core zealots are hiding.

    We are watching the end of the RCC, the slow death of a thousand cuts!

    April 3, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Wes5

      Or not.

      It may be responsible for more hospitals, universities, food banks. shelters for the homeless and aid to impoverished countries.

      Your kids may ask... why did you spend all day criticizing others on a message board... and not actually do anything yourself.

      April 3, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Wes, how do you know that William is doing nothing for others? Are you one of those small-minded people who think you need religion in order to help others?

      April 3, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I [am] the LORD your God.

      Leviticus 23:22

      Amen.

      April 3, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • HeavenSent Translator

      "Only throw scraps to the poor."

      April 3, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • A Conversation

      That's rich...you have the audacity to compare Christians to nazis and the manson family while you routinely share your sick fantasies of murdering them. And, still, God loves you.

      April 3, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • William Demuth

      It seems I have struck a Fundie nerve.

      Another cult being discredited the world over

      Another nail in the coffin of Christianity

      Oh and lets remember, what goes around comes around, All those you kicked on the way up are waiting for your trip back down. Just as yours tried to do to the Jews, so shall be done unto you.

      A payback of Biblical proportions await!

      April 3, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Wes5

      William – you and what army? Your 3 loonie atheist friends that post on here?

      April 3, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • the AnViL™

      why not compare xians to nazis??

      most good national socialists are xians.

      in germany during the 30's and 40's – mostly all national socialists were xians.

      it's a flat fact that xianity was the predominant religious ideology among nazis – why is this such a shock to so many delicate xians???

      the holocaust is a superb example of religious bigotry run amok – and definitely one nobody wants to ever see repeated.

      there's really only one way to prevent something like that from ever happening again.

      ---

      tolerance of religious idiocy has to cease....

      and it will.

      April 3, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @A conversation
      The overwhelming majority of Germans during the Third Reich were Catholic.
      Hitler used religious arguments to bolster Naziism.
      Nazi belt buckles were emblazoned with the slogan "Gott mit uns" – God is With Us.

      April 3, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @wes

      "It may be responsible for more hospitals, universities, food banks. shelters for the homeless and aid to impoverished countries."

      1. When you are responsible for adding millions of people to an overpopulated world, ruining both developing economies and the environment, there's not a lot you can do to make up for it. 2. Just because an organization is large doesn't mean it does more than smaller organization and governments that combine to make a very large contribution.

      "Your kids may ask... why did you spend all day criticizing others on a message board... and not actually do anything yourself."

      I don't know about you, but I volunteer about 5 hours a week while paying far more than the average citizen in taxes and making a large number of donations. Because I have no kids, most of my estate will go to charity when I die. Also because I have no kids, I have put far less strain on the environment than most on this planet. I don't feel the slightest bit bad about what I do.

      April 3, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • Wes5

      @ tallulah13

      I have a very scientific method about William Demuth.

      I log on at various times of the day.

      Whenever I look at the "Recent Comments" section – William Demuth is posting. A lot. It appears he does nothing else but post on here.

      He talks a lot – does nothing.

      April 3, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Wes5:

      "I have a very scientific method about William Demuth.

      I log on at various times of the day.

      Whenever I look at the "Recent Comments" section – William Demuth is posting. A lot. It appears he does nothing else but post on here."

      I really, really hope you don't work in the sciences because you seem pretty confused as to what counts as a "scientific method".

      April 3, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Wes5

      Perhaps the BILLION plus Chi Coms might want a bit of that action?

      They loathe your faith, your culture, your country and you even more than I do.

      We could kill a million a day for a year, and they would still out number us 2 to 1.

      They will make that choice, not you or I.

      April 3, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Wes5

      @ Saraswati

      Observation.

      April 3, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Wes5

      I stand up to that kind of evil.

      April 3, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Wes5,

      Do you mean you were making an observation rather than using a "scientific method"?

      April 3, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • A Conversation

      Doc...I'm not going to even begin to defend those who claimed Christ in their lives and then aligned themselves with Hitler. Are you going to defend Willie D's Christian death fantasies?

      April 3, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • SkepticAl

      Non-believer here. William – you can't see any good that Christians have done? You don't know any decent Christians? Why the need to scapegoat all the problems on one group?
      Why are you acting just as bad as those you say you despise?

      April 3, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Wes5

      Observation is step 2 of my very scientific method to prove that William Demuth just sits around posting, does very little else.

      April 3, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • Afraid of Clowns

      It only takes getting r a p e d at a circus once for a lifetime of trauma...

      April 3, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • Afraid of Clowns

      Now I know it wasn't any of these other clowns that did it, but that doesn't make my backside stop aching everytime i hear a horn or see red curly hair...

      April 3, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • Afraid of Clowns

      I know I know, you are going to say "Hey, clowns do some great things like put out fake fires and catch baby clowns that get thrown from the top of the fake burning building!" and you are right, they do a lot of good stuff, but for me it just doesn't outweight the r a p i n g. Call me crazy, but it doesn't...

      April 3, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • William Demuth

      SkepticAl

      Huh? I hate everyone equally!!

      Throw me some simple minded Wiccans or a dim witted Buddist and I will club them as well.

      This is just the digital version of pulling the wings off flies, and the Fundies are just the fly of the day.

      You see, while all faiths are nonesense, most are a passive nonesense. Christians are aggresive so they get ho slapped.

      April 3, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • SkepticAl

      Ok, you suffer from a mental illness. My apologies.

      April 3, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • SkepticAl

      I'll put you on my 'ignore' list with "lol??"

      April 3, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • SkepticAl

      @ Afraid of Clowns

      I know some pretty cool clowns – they have hip haircuts and listen to techno music. One of them I know wears a shark tooth necklace! How cool is that? Would you like to meet them?

      April 3, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • A Conversation

      Clown boy...so you lump all clowns in with the one clown that r a p e d you? O.k. All atheists want to murder Christians–courtesy of your logic and Willie D's blood lust.

      April 3, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • William Dummouth

      Duh, I'll kill those clowns. Just tell me they are Jewish or something. Duh.

      April 3, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Wes said this:

      "I have a very scientific method about William Demuth.

      I log on at various times of the day.

      Whenever I look at the "Recent Comments" section – William Demuth is posting. A lot. It appears he does nothing else but post on here.

      He talks a lot – does nothing."

      So Wes, what you are saying is that you would rather keep tabs on William Demuth than do things for others. How exactly does that make you superior, again?

      April 3, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • Wes5

      You think I'm trying to claim I am superior?

      Have you actually read anything William has written? And you don't have a problem with it... you have a problem with me?

      April 3, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • Wes5

      I'm also joking about the scientific method thing 🙂

      April 3, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • tallulah13

      So claiming that someone doesn't help others, then lying about why you condemn this person is a joke? Is this christian humor?

      April 3, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      HeavenSent Translator, you posted ""Only throw scraps to the poor."

      Answer: Jesus said, don;t be greedy when you have more than enough, share your bounty. Reminder, have you donated to the victims of Hurricane Sandy yet?

      April 3, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • TheQuietAtheist

      @heavensent, I haven't donated to Hurricane Sandy victims yet, but I have donated to a group in working in Nigeria who is helping children being persecuted as witches by Christians. Just search on Google or Youtube for Nigeria Child Witches. There you'll see an atrocity beyond your imagining being carried out in the name of Christianity.

      April 6, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
  5. frank

    From cnn world news, Uruguay's senate approves same-sex marriage bill – looks like soon the country will become the second in South America to legalize same-sex marriages. As of March 2013, eleven countries (Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Sweden), and several sub-national jurisdictions (parts of Brazil, Mexico, and the United States), allow same-sex couples to marry.

    I'm sure many of the same-sex couples that have already married in those countries are Christian. So the Christian case for gay marriage was a done a while ago now. Many of the fundy nutters in the U.S. are in denial of course.

    April 3, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Why do you think they won’t let priests marry?

      Because they will marry men.

      It is so strange to me that the most vocal against the issue are predominately self-loathing gays themselves

      April 3, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      As a Canadian who was living in Toronto's Gay Village when same se/x marriage was legalized, I can tell you that after the initial celebration by the rainbow triangle crowd, people rapidly stop giving any sh1ts about the matter.
      No churches are forced to perform ceremonies that run counter to their religious tenets.
      Nobody has started campaigns to legalize pedophilia, polygamy, beastiality or any other "slippery slope" nonsense.
      Nobody straight marriage has suddenly become invalidated.
      No gods have rained down any wrath or vengeance.

      April 3, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Doc

      Just a Devils advocate question

      Remind me why Polygamy should be banned? I mean consenting adults, personal freedoms?

      Government needs to be out of marriage, and leave it to contrat law

      Having divorced and married several times, I can attest that NO ONE could handle it any worse than the government

      April 3, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • frank

      Polygamy though, has a dark past – even in the U.S. when it comes to the brain-washing of underage girls under the guise of "consensual" – really not on the same level at all, WD, as what is being proposed for same-sex couples.

      April 3, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • frank

      "Government needs to be out of marriage"

      WD – what would you do with financial advantages currently granted to couples under the term marriage?

      April 3, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Frank

      While I don't care for it, the freedom to make bad choices is a great American tradition

      Consenting adults have the right to engage in their perfered forms of expression..

      It is not now, and never has been the buisness of the government. To permit large special interest group to have their way, without offering the same freedoms to ALL, seems highly un-Ameican.

      In truth, it will come before the Supremes some day (or something like it) and legal logic will prevail.

      At a minimum, Bi oriented individuals should be permitted both a husband and a wife.

      I know that is sort of nasty by todays standards, but it is a logical extension of the law.

      April 3, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Remove it Frank

      It is a religious concept, obsolete in many ways

      Non Married couples who contract would recieve the same terms, regardless of how the body parts are joined.

      April 3, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • frank

      Ah – well for, as you said, consenting adults, I am good with those ideas, WD.

      April 3, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @William

      Hi!

      In my opinion the only reason why polygamy should stay banned is purely a legality issue. Think about how divorces would go down if a wife or husband divorced, would you split the estate 50/50 even though 1 person would get 50% and the other 2,3,4, ect... would get the other? What about claiming dependents?

      On a personal level, if a man wants to marry 4 women and all 4 consent and are of legal age and have no qualms being 1 of 4 wives, go nuts. Vice versa as well btw, if a woman wants 2+ husbands, it would sure make for an interesting reality show.

      April 3, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @William Demuth
      On a personal level, I've got no issues whatsoever with polyamoury.
      I agree that whatever kind of relationship consenting adults chose it nobody's business but their own.
      I'm just saying that the whole poly, slippery slope nonsense is a common cry from the anti-gay marriage crowd.

      In my opinion, an ideal marriage provides happiness and stability for both adults and children. The number of family members is not what is important. If the adults are happy and the kids loved and cared for, what the grown ups do with their naughty bits behind closed doors is nobody's business but their own.

      Personally, I'm attracted to strong, assertive (and sometimes volatile) women and as such, one partner keeps me on my toes. I'd probably lose my mind trying to handle two at the same time.

      April 3, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • Agnes of Dog

      @Chuckles. Yes – they would have to wipe out all the morning and afternoon talk, game and cooking shows. Judge Judy would probably be on from 1 till 4; lol.

      April 3, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Rick

      Marriage is seen as a partnership contract. With couples, it's easy to outline the obligations and rights each partner has, but in polygamy, with one person representing one of the "parties" and numerous people representing the other, the legal implications are just too difficult to standardize with any fairness.

      April 3, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • Saraswati

      "Government needs to be out of marriage, and leave it to contrat law"

      How are you planning on handling things when two people from different countries want to be together?

      When a spouse dies and the couple owned a shared business?

      The legal protections given to spouses in the courts?

      April 3, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • Naturally

      Mr. Demuth says: "Having divorced and married several times * * * *" Didn't see that one coming 😉

      April 3, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
  6. Reality

    How to end all the stupidity :

    Putting the kibosh/on all religions in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    April 3, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
  7. Christian

    I'M SO PERSECUTED!!!!!!!

    April 3, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Thoth

      Try living in the bible belt and not attending church – then you'll know real persecution.

      April 3, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
  8. William Demuth

    The Australian Government just announced a MASSIVE investigation into Child buggery by the clergy

    They have recieved calls fom 1700 people who want to testify

    This will DESTROY the cult in another nation!!

    The Pope better start burying money whereever he has buried the truth, otherwise they will be wiped out!

    More Pedo priests being dragged before the courts on MEN, not their imaginary God

    I hope they are crucified

    April 3, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Lenn

      "But this is all just persecution of the Catholic Church"

      Some still say this, even now.

      April 3, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      The RCC has over 7.6 Billion in assets counting property alone...it is going to take a lot more than that to bring down the evil empire.

      April 3, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Richard Cranium

      Actually, one man with a well placed bullet, or an angry mob with torches could tip the church into civil war.

      I would LOVE to see a socialist Italian government annex the Vatican and imprison the Pope

      THAT would be some news worth watching

      April 3, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • lol??

      deMouth sayz, "..................well placed bullet..............." Silly socies. They shoot their own. Kennedy was a socie.

      April 3, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
  9. Hints

    Archaeologists, William F. Albright and Nelson Glueck, both indicate that Bible as being the single most accurate source doc ument from history(even though they were non-Christian and secular in their training and personal beliefs)

    April 3, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • Paul

      Accurate copies of a made up story, are still a made up story.

      April 3, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • Alias

      People really do interpret things based on what they want to see.
      Just because there are some accurate historical references, that doesn't mean the rest of the book is accurate.

      April 3, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Puppies and Kittens Taste Delicious When Cooked Properly

      Authors such as Stephen King have often used real people, places and things as reference points in their works. But, nearly everything he wrote is fiction. And more believable at that.

      April 3, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

      Sorry but the tale is still fake regardless of some landmarks mentioned in the babble

      April 3, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      accurate historical doc.ument? are you fvcking joking? the bible mentions unicorns, dragons and satyrs. the bible has people walking on water and turning water into wine. the bible has zombie jesus rising from the dead. accurate? LOL!

      April 3, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      “Jesus saith unto him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me’.”

      John 14:6

      Amen.

      April 3, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • Al

      Some of it is verifiable; therefore, all of it is true. What's that? Why yes, I would love some Kool-Aid.

      April 3, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Thoth

      @HeavenSent – "jesus sayeth".....to whom? There are no accounts accepted as eyewitness. You have no idea what 'jesus' may, or may not have said. You have a book transferred across 5 different languages, manually by scribes. There was no printing press, and most people of that era were illiterate.

      April 3, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Thoth,

      Whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand [is] a right hand of falsehood.

      Psalms 144:8

      Amen.

      April 3, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @HeavenSent,

      If you are quoting the bible to non-believers you are either:

      1. So ignorant you don't realize that this is meaningless gibberish to a non-believer and so has no impact or
      2. Aren't really trying to communicate but are just showing off bible knowledge for yourself and/or your buddies.

      Just curious, which is it? Or is there a #3 you can add?

      April 3, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Thoth and Saraswati, Jesus' messages is to all of us. As for Saraswati, you need to understand His message of love. I'm sorry you haven't taken the time out of your life to learn His truth for ALL yet.

      April 3, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
  10. bostontola

    Persecution of Christians is going on today. That is wrong and should be fought.

    Persecution of just about any religion and atheists is going on somewhere in the world today as well. I don't see evidence that persecution of Christians is more prevalent than many of the others, and hence a higher priority than fighting religious persecution in general.

    April 3, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
  11. The Bible = TRUTH

    Thank you Helpful Hints!

    Bill...and anyone else that has joined the conversation...please respond to this for me:

    Josephus’s first-century doc.ument The Jewish War survives in only nine complete manu.scripts dating from the fifth century AD — four centuries after they were written.1 Tacitus’s Annals of Imperial Rome is one of the chief sources for the history of the Roman world, and yet it survives in partial form in only two manu.scripts dating from the Middle Ages.2 Thucydides’s History survives in eight copies. There are ten copies of Caesar’s Gallic Wars and seven copies of Plato’s works. Homer’s Iliad has the most impressive manu.script evidence for any secular work with 647 existing copies.3

    Note that for most doc.uments of antiquity only a handful of manu.scripts exist, some facing a time gap of 800–2,000 years or more. Scholars, nevertheless, are confident they have accurately reconstructed the text of the originals. In fact, virtually all of our knowledge of ancient history depends on doc.uments like these.

    April 3, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Indeed we know a great deal about Anglo-Saxon culture, beliefs and att/itudes because of Beowulf than we would otherwise, but that doesn't mean that Grendel was real.

      We've a better understanding of ancient Sumerian beliefs thanks to the stone tablets containing the Epic of Gilgamesh – but that doesn't mean the King of Uruk was a demi-god who ruled for 125 years and took the occasional trip to The Underworld.

      And don't forget that Josephus talks about Hercules as if he were real.

      April 3, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Hints

      Archaeologists, William F. Albright and Nelson Glueck, both indicate that Bible as being the single most accurate source doc ument from history(even though they were non-Christian and secular in their training and personal beliefs)..

      April 3, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • ME II

      @"The Bible = TRUTH",
      Respond to what, exactly?

      April 3, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Reasonably

      Gaea is real. Ancient celtic manuscripts say so.

      Historical texts also say the earth is flat, the sun is the center of the universe and sasquatch is real.

      Zzzzz.

      April 3, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • The Bible = TRUTH

      Hints...exactly!

      The method for authenticating ANY ancient manu.script should be universal.

      April 3, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • The Bible = TRUTH

      ME II...there was a conversation started below. This thread was meant to continue in that thread. I posted a new topic in error. Apologies for the confusion...

      April 3, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Paul

      Well since there are 647 copies of the Illiad, that must mean that the Greek gods were real because they are mentioned quite a few times.

      April 3, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • ME II

      @"The Bible = TRUTH",
      "The method for authenticating ANY ancient manu.script should be universal."

      Agreed, but one of the criteria for secular texts is whether or not the event is even remotely believable, which would discount much of the Bible.

      "Do his statements seem inherently improbable: e.g., contrary to human nature, or in conflict with what we know?"
      (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_method)

      April 3, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • The Bible = TRUTH

      Paul...I fail to see your point. I am not talking about content at present, I am talking about the authenticity of the New Testament.

      Before we can look at WHAT the New Testament says, we must first decide if it is authentic...do you agree?

      April 3, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Rick

      Josephus, that would be the guy who also thought that Hercules was a real, historical figure and that Vespatian was the actual Jewish Messiah, right?

      April 3, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @The Bible = Truth

      The accuracy of reconstruction from originals does not mean that it is true. It needs to be backed by external evidence as well, be it archaeological, or other contemporary writings of the time.

      April 3, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • JMEF

      Authentic...Of undisputed origin. So The Bible = Truth please provide the undisputed origin, even the Christian apologists can not agree on that.

      April 3, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • The Bible = TRUTH

      Perhaps there is a misunderstanding taking place.

      I am trying to accurately answer ONE point at this time. I continue to read comments regarding the content of the books I have referenced. That is not the point at this time. My point is simply to authenticate the New Testament as genuine text.

      One of the biggest arguments I hear from atheists is that the Bible was written by too many people over too much time and in no way can today's version of the Bible be the same as the one written so long ago. This is the topic I am trying to clear up right now. The content conversation can come later.

      April 3, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

      Before we can look at WHAT the New Testament says, we must first decide if it is authentic...do you agree?
      .
      Was it written...of course. Is it a physical book with words...of course. However authenticating the "claims" within the pages is another story. The OT lacks incredible integrity from scientific findings to archaeoloical evidence that predates Adam & Eve thousands upon thousands of years. Also we know the babble was written around 1400 B.C. to 700 B.C. ....this translates to your messiah and NT are false and actually a cult that has grown quite large. The offshoot Christian cult is no different than the offshoot Mormon Cult.

      April 3, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @The Bible = TRUTH

      And whether it's the same as the original texts (of which we actually don't have as far as we know) is completely and utterly irrelevant.

      April 3, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • JMEF

      The Bible = Truth
      So is it not up to you to state your case for the authenticity of the NT? Carry on, we wait in breathless anticipation of what you come up with and will refute what we do not agree with.

      April 3, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • Robert

      The Bible = TRUTH,

      Looks like you are new here, one common tactic used here is take the topic under discussion in different directions.
      Do not be swayed by those arguments that are not relevant to the root post in the thread.
      Stick to the topic you want discussed.
      God Bless!

      April 3, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • The Bible = TRUTH

      It sounds as though you are willing to agree with my statement that the Bible is authentic...is this correct?

      I am not trying to change your mind as to what the Bible claims, I am simply asking if you believe the text to be authentic.

      April 3, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • ME II

      @"The Bible = TRUTH",
      "It sounds as though you are willing to agree with my statement that the Bible is authentic...is this correct?"

      Not all of it, no. There are parts that are in dispute as to whether they were in the "original", but much of it is probably authentic.

      April 3, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @The Bible = TRUTH

      If you're talking to me, then my answer is I don't give a shit whether the words are the same as the earliest copies that we have that were written in somewhat dead languages. It is completely irrelevant to anything. End of story, so what's your point?

      April 3, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • JMEF

      The Bible = Truth
      No, state YOUR case why you have evidence the NT is authentic then we will let you know if we agree with your opinion, see how that works?

      April 3, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • JMEF

      The Bible = Truth
      Where did you go? You come on here saying that something is authentic, the NT, provide nothing to justify your claim and think people are supposed to agree with you? State your case or move along.

      April 3, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Bible = Truth

      I think you need to define what you mean by "authentic".
      Do I believe that the Bible is a very old manuscript? Sure.

      But unless you read ancient greek and/or hebrew, you're not reading the "authentic", unadulterated text.
      Translation is important – just look at all teh different way the greek terms "malakoi" and "ars.enkotai" have been translated in various iterations of the Bible. Since Christian condemnation of gays relies primarily on the interpretation of these words, it is a very important point!

      But the age of a given doc/ument has no bearing on the veracity of its contents.

      April 3, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • The Bible = TRUTH

      Ok...here is my case for the New Testament being authentic using the same methods to authenticate any other ancient text:

      The New Testament shows 5,366 separate Greek manu.scripts. These are represented by early fragments, uncial codices (manu.scripts written in all uppercase Greek letters and bound together in book form), and minuscules (manu.scripts written in lowercase Greek letters).

      Among the nearly 3,000 minuscule fragments are 34 complete New Testaments dating from the ninth to the fifteenth centuries AD. Uncial manu.scripts providing virtually complete New Testaments date back to the fourth century and earlier. Codex Sinaiticus is dated c. AD 340. The nearly complete Codex Vaticanus is the oldest, dated c. AD 325–50. Codex Alexandrinus contains the whole Old Testament and a nearly complete New Testament and dates from the late fourth century to the early fifth century.

      The most fascinating evidence comes from the fragments. The Chester Beatty Papyri (papyri are manu.scripts written on paperlike material made from papyrus reeds) contain most of the New Testament and are dated mid-third century. The Bodmer Papyri II collection includes the first fourteen chapters of the Gospel of John and much of the last seven chapters. It dates from AD 200 or earlier.

      The most amazing find of all, however, is a small portion of John 18:31–33, discovered in Egypt. Known as the John Rylands Papyri and barely three inches square, it represents the earliest known copy of any part of the New Testament. The papyri is dated on paleographical grounds at AD 117–38 (though it may be even earlier).

      Keep in mind that most papyri are fragmentary and only about 50 manu.scripts contain the entire New Testament. The manu.script evidence is nevertheless exceedingly rich, especially when compared to other works of antiquity.

      The accuracy of the manu.scripts can also be checked by comparing them with two other groups of texts known as the ancient versions and the patristic quotations. By the third and fourth centuries the New Testament had been translated into several languages, including Latin, Coptic, Syriac, Armenian, and Georgian. Translations of the Greek manu.scripts (called versions) help modern-day scholars answer questions about the underlying Greek manu.scripts.

      In addition, there are ancient extrabiblical sources — catechisms, lectionaries, and quotes from the church Fathers — that contain large portions of Scripture.

      What can we conclude from this evidence? Professor Daniel Wallace notes that although there are about 300,000 individual variations of the New Testament text in the manu.scripts, this number is very misleading. Most of the differences are completely inconsequential — spelling errors, inverted phrases, and the like. Of the remaining differences, virtually all can be sorted out using vigorous textual criticism. In the entire 20,000 lines of text, only 40 lines are in doubt (about 400 words), and none affects any significant doctrine. This means that the Greek text from which we derive our New Testament translations is 99.5 percent pure.

      If we reject the authenticity of the New Testament on textual grounds, we’d also have to reject every work of antiquity prior to AD 1000, since there is less manu.script evidence for their authenticity than for the New Testament.

      Has the New Testament been changed? Critical, academic analysis says it has not.

      April 3, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • The Bible = TRUTH

      The above was cut and pasted from a Christian website for the sake of time. While the website is Christian and may come under fire, I challenge anyone to dismiss the data provided.

      Again, we are not talking about content, simply authenticity. If...like hawaiiguest...you do not care about the Bible's authenticity, this part of the conversation is not for you. My purpose of discussing the Bible as reliable text was started by an attack made by atheists questioning the translations from year to year as unreliable.

      April 3, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • JMEF

      The Bible = Truth
      You may want to read your post again and still come to the conclusion that is authentic-of UNDISPUTED origin, you failed to point out who wrote the fragments, do you not know?

      April 3, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • The Bible = TRUTH

      JMEF...I do not follow your point. Does it matter who wrote it if it is in line with the same text written by anyone else? It could be Steve the Monk for all I know. The point is the text is reliable and considered authentic...even by secular scholars as has already been pointed out.

      April 3, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • JMEF

      The Bible = Truth
      Let me try and give you an example. If you were a wealthy collector and wanted to buy a Chippendale Hi-boy for $100,000, you would what to make sure it was authentic made by artisan that gives the piece its value. The fragments you speak of are for sure ancient but if you do not know the author they are not authentic could have been written by any scribe of the time. It is like finding a copy of the Magna Carta in a book shop, chances are it is not authentic, that must be proved that it was written by the authors. Get it yet.

      April 3, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • Paul

      I argue there is no way to know if the bible is authentic. Technically each book of the bible is a book in and of itself, and we would have to compare each book individually to determine if it is indeed authentic. We know, for example, that in the Gospel of John that chapter 7 verse 53 through chapter 8 verse 12 are not in the earliest known manuscript.

      April 3, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • JMEF

      The Bible = Truth
      The same could be said about the Greek Gods probably has more ancient writings statues and temples than the Christian lot in antiquity. From Homer to Josephus there is more authenticity than the NT story.

      April 3, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Paul

      My bad, didn't mean to post yet.

      We also know that Mark chapter 16 verses 9-20 are not in the earliest known manuscript. So it seems evident that between the time they were originally written, and the time that the bible was put together in the 300's that many of the books now included in the bible were changed.

      April 3, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @The Bible

      *sigh*
      Since it seems you are hell bent "pun definitely intended" on continuing to talk about something completely irrelevant, I may as well answer.

      1) Scraps, and fragments spanning over hundreds of years in different languages would not all translate similarly.
      2) Finding complete copies from after the Council of Nicea is almost to be expected, but that's 300+ years after these events supposedly took place, and not at all near the time that it would need to be for the writings to be "the originals".
      3) We do not know what may have been different in the rest of the books where we only have the scraps. We cannot assume that because a scrap is similar or identical to the same area in a later, and more complete work that therefore the rest that we don't have was similar or identical as well.

      April 3, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • ME II

      @The Bible = TRUTH,
      "Does it matter who wrote it if it is in line with the same text written by anyone else?"

      If you are claiming, or will claim it is eye witness accounts, then yes it matters.

      "The point is the text is reliable and considered authentic...even by secular scholars as has already been pointed out."

      Textually reliable and authentic? (historically reliable is a different question)
      Only from around 200 – 400 CE on, 200 being earliest complete book, 400 being earliest complete NT.

      April 3, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • ME II

      Correction, "4th century being earliest complete NT." i.e. 300s

      April 3, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Bible = Truth

      I feel as though I must reiterate that:
      Unless you can read ancient Greek, you are relying on imprecise translations for what is supposed to be the innerrant Word of God.

      In the original Greek, the terms used that are sometimes translated as "hom.ose.xual" are 'malakoi' and 'ar.senkoitai'.

      'Ar.senokoitai' referred to male prosti.tutes for Paul and Christians until the 4th century.
      It has variously been translated as "abusers of themselves with mankind" (KJV), "se.xual per.verts" (RSV), "sodo.mites" (NKJV, NAB, JB, NRSV), those "who are guilty of hom.ose.xual per.version" (NEB), "men who lie with males" (Lamsa), "behaves like a hom.ose.xual" (CEV), "men who have se.xual relations with other men" (NCV), and "ho.mose.xual offenders" (NIV). The New American Bible (Roman Catholic) translated ar.senokoitai as "practicing hom.ose.xuals". After much protest, the editors agreed to delete this term and replace it with "sodo.mites" in subsequent editions.

      Malakoi meant "masturbators" until the Reformation in the 16th century and in Roman Catholicism until the 20th century.
      Literally, it means "soft" or "males who are soft", but has been translated as "effeminate" (KJV), "hom.ose.xuals" (NKJV), "corrupt" (Lamsa), "perverts" (CEV), "catamites" which means call boys (JB), "those who are male prosti.tutes" (NCV), and "male prost.itutes." (NIV, NRSV).

      So one's belief of whether or not God condemns all gay people can depend on which translation of your "authentic" manuscript is being read.

      April 3, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • The Bible = TRUTH

      The Bible has become a significant source book for secular archaeology, helping to identify such ancient figures as Sargon (Isaiah 20:1); Sennacherib (Isaiah 37:37); Horam of Gazer (Joshua 10:33); Hazar (Joshua 15:27); and the nation of the Hitt.ites (Genesis 15:20). The biblical record, unlike other “scriptures,” is historically set, opening itself up for testing and verification.

      Mentioned above, but bears repeating...two of the greatest 20th-century archaeologists, William F. Albright and Nelson Glueck, both lauded the Bible (even though they were non-Christian and secular in their training and personal beliefs as being the single most accurate source doc.ument from history. Over and over again, the Bible has been found to be accurate in its places, dates, and records of events. No other “religious” doc.ument comes even close.

      The 19th-century critics used to deny the historicity of the Hiti.tes, the Horites, the Edomites, and various other peoples, nations, and cities mentioned in the Bible. Those critics have long been silenced by the archaeologist’s spade, and few critics dare to question the geographical and ethnological reliability of the Bible.

      The names of over 40 different kings of various countries mentioned in the Bible have all been found in contemporary doc.uments and inscriptions outside of the Old Testament, and are always consistent with the times and places associated with them in the Bible. Nothing exists in ancient literature that has been even remotely as well-confirmed in accuracy as has the Bible.

      April 3, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • The Bible = TRUTH

      DOC...how many ancient texts exist in Greek, Hebrew, or Latin has anyone (outside of scholars in those languages) really considered?

      My point is, I trust the people tasked with translation to do just that. That is not my stance on just the Bible, but any translated texts. Could I be setting myself up? I suppose so, but no more so than taking any ancient text's translation as accurate.

      April 3, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • JMEF

      The Bible = Truth
      Every time you get stuck you have to run away to some apologist site to try and find an answer, you do not even do that well. My earlier example, well before the time of the new testament, is Homer as the undisputed author that is the basis of the Greek Gods myth (Iliad and Odyssey). The Christians do not even know the authors of the tall tales of jesus, the NT is not authentic just passed down stories written up a couple of hundered years later. If you use Josephus, you also acknowledge Hercules.

      April 3, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • The Bible = TRUTH

      Passed down stories, huh? Sure. I'm sure those wouldn't change over the course of 2000+ years, right? Don't let the facts of what I've posted get in your way.

      Did you personally see any of the people write the text of what you base anything in your life on? It verifiable because it was witnessed and recorded. Why do you question the Bible more than you do ANY text out there?

      April 3, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @The Bible

      So even when I talk about what you want to talk about, you still ignore it. How fun.

      April 3, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • The Bible = TRUTH

      hawaiiguest...here you are:

      1) Scraps, and fragments spanning over hundreds of years in different languages would not all translate similarly.

      I have not claimed to have the ability to translate anything on here. I simply trust the job that has been done. For the Bible and for any other applicable text.

      2) Finding complete copies from after the Council of Nicea is almost to be expected, but that's 300+ years after these events supposedly took place, and not at all near the time that it would need to be for the writings to be "the originals".

      Let's say "the originals" were 300+ years later, that still beats the texts you cite with 800-2000 years between them...oh yeah, the Bible still boasts an over 99% accuracy rating. Like I said to JMEF...don't let facts get in your way here.

      3) We do not know what may have been different in the rest of the books where we only have the scraps. We cannot assume that because a scrap is similar or identical to the same area in a later, and more complete work that therefore the rest that we don't have was similar or identical as well.

      ...but you're willing to use fewer copies and more incomplete data to authenticate other historical texts? This is where I cannot follow a typical atheist poster on here. Rules are only good when they serve your argument...smh...

      April 3, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @The Bible

      And this is where the religious person falls apart. You talked about the specifics of what you wanted to talk about, yet when I level criticisms against what you've posted, instead of defending the actual thing, you start pointing to all kinds of other irrelevant things thinking that you will be correct by default.
      Your tactics here remind me of Bill Deacon, who responds to criticisms of the RCC's cover ups of the molestation scandals by constantly saying "well this group has a higher percentage of people" and yet only posting self-admitted numbers from the RCC.
      You in no way address the actual points leveled against your claims. Why is that?

      April 3, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • JMEF

      The Bible = Truth
      I think I understand you now. The only book important in your life the babble, author unknown. You are missing so much, take a course in literature or history you are missing so much.

      April 3, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      None of the numerous alleged miracles in The Babble have been proven to have actually taken place so I strongly doubt The Babble is 99% accurate. And how was that number arrived at anyway? How can a work of fiction be declared 99% accurate?

      April 3, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • The Bible = TRUTH

      hawaiiguest and JMEF...this just is sad really. How can we have a conversation if you are unwilling to authenticate what I believe in? I am not using special claims or a different method to verify the Bible's accuracy. I have already stated multiple times that I am not speaking to content, just whether or not we can agree that the text is as original as it possibly could be...same as any other text we would talk about when conversing about ancient times.

      Now you want to talk about origins JMEF, right? Who wrote The Origin of Man? Can you prove it...or are you taking the word of people that knew and recorded Darwin? What about the Iliad? Did you witness the writings or are you taking the word that has been passed down for generations? By all means, let's hold the Bible to different standards because you want to dismiss Moses or Samuel, Peter, Luke, or Paul, right?

      hawaiiguest, I don't even know what your question is. I didn't point to anything else. All I've done in here today is talk about the authenticity of the Bible...nothing more. I have responded to every question you have asked.

      HotAir...appropriate handle...why don't you read the thread prior to commenting on it? I can at least respect hawaiiguest or JMEF...you just throw out a witty 'babble' reference and then move on. Predictable...

      April 3, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Using clues from the Epic of Gilgamesh, archaeologists unearthed the ancient city of Uruk. They even found remnants ofthe great city's wall as described in those ancient stone tablets.
      If that part of the story is true, I guess that means he really was 3/4 divine, ruled for more than a century and took a trip to the underworld.

      April 3, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • Rick

      There is also no evidence for people living for hundreds of years, as the Bible claims. Even recognized ancient historians sometimes reported things that we now discount. Vespatian apparently performed healing miracles like Jesus, but nobody argues that they must have occurred because a historian said that they did. Our own American histories were flavored with the stuff of legends that nobody really takes seriously any more. It's only recently that we've wanted to learn what actually happened in history. The ancients were not at all interested in that.

      April 3, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • The Bible = TRUTH

      What I don't follow is why we can't just agree that the Bible is authentic. This doesn't mean you support a word that's written in it...just that you use a tested method of authenticity to validate the text.

      Why can we not agree on that?

      April 3, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @The Bible

      You haven't actually responded to anything. You've merely responded to every criticism by pointing to other ancient writings that you actually have no idea what my position is, and just going "well what about this what about this".
      Then there's the problem that content would actually play a huge part, because all claims are not created equally.
      As the saying goes, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

      April 3, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • The Bible = TRUTH

      DOC and Rick...content arguments...I have not mentioned the Bible's content one time in this thread.

      April 3, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @bible truth
      Given the examples provided, does god condemn all gay people, only male prosti.tutes, any man with effeminate mannerisms, sodomites of any orientation or what?

      April 3, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • The Bible = TRUTH

      hawaiiguest...what claims have I made? I am not talking about the content at all...I am talking about the authenticity of the text. I agree with your statement that extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence...we're not there yet...

      DOC...why do you continue to ask about this? I do not have an answer for you and would not claim to as I am not a Greek, Latin, or Hebrew scholar. I am not qualified to answer what you are asking.

      April 3, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • The Bible = TRUTH

      DOC...I didn't follow your question...you're asking my opinion based on provided examples...sorry for the misunderstanding...

      My personal thought is that God does not condemn any of these people any more than He condemns ALL sin. The only redemption is Christ. Those sins...along with every other sin...sentences man to death. The only saving grace is Christ. There is no point value to sin. Once you repent...the sin is wiped clean.

      I hope that answers your question from my perspective.

      April 3, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @The Bible

      Ok, from the very beginning. When you're talking about authenticity, are you talking about authorship, or about the content being the same over the years?
      And I still see no relevance either way.

      April 3, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • JMEF

      The Bible = Truth
      You have yet to state the origin of all the bits and pieces that made up the NT some hundreds of years of years later and the authors of the bits and pieces, until then it is unproven apologist nonsense, you are running around in circles, so predictable.

      April 3, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • The Bible = TRUTH

      hawaiiguest...content throughout translations.

      The relevance...to me anyways...is that a lot of atheists dismiss the Bible and claim it is completely unreliable because of the translations. I emphatically disagree with that statement as we've discussed in here.

      April 3, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • The Bible = TRUTH

      JMEF...I really don't even know how to respond to you at this point. The origin of all the bits and pieces matters why? If they are matched up with other manuscripts and validated as authentic, what is the issue? There are 34 complete New Testament manuscripts with over 3000 pieces to be matched up with those complete translations.

      April 3, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • The Bible = TRUTH

      It's been a little maddening in here with this conversation, but I appreciate the conversation just the same.

      I'm off to work but will check in later...

      April 3, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • JMEF

      Oh, sh1t, it looks like I got sucked into a fruitless discussion with Topher under a different handle. I should have known better. The bible is authentic is such an unprovable claim and yet I fell for the nonsense.

      April 3, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @The Bible

      Then that brings me back to my three points earlier, to which the only response you gave was "look over her look over this way don't look at what I'm trying to support".

      April 3, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

      Topher has to go to work when the convo reaches the end to the part he has to explain or back up his position.
      .
      Authentic- Of undisputed origin; genuine
      .
      We have scraps starting around 200 years after the fact. We have unknown authors and origins of the scraps. We then have a council that went over the scraps and decided what would be accepted and not be accepted. Ever played the game where you start a sentence and another person continues it, then another...and another? As said many times....the NT lacks credibility. We are not even talking about the content yet....lol

      April 3, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • Just saying

      "We have scraps starting around 200 years after the fact."

      The Rylands Library Papyrus P52 that contains some verses from the Gospel of John was written around a 100-150 years after the time of Jesus. Considering that the Christian religion literally began around 30CE, that's kind of amazing when you figure in the early Christian population numbers, literacy wthin that group and the longivity of the material used to write the texts down on. To expect original drafts of early NT texts is a bit foolish. It would be like expecting to have the original texts of Plato when talking about Socrates.

      April 3, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Ok, The Babble appears to be a nearly authentic copy of numerous fairy tales that sometimes mention actual locations, tribes and persons. So what? The most significant things about The Babble are the claims that it is the inerrant word of some god and that some dude named jesus was divine and performed several miracles. There is absolutely no evidence for any of these claims! In other words, you can go on all you like about the "authenticity" (only as you define it) of The Babble, but compared to the truth of the content, as has been said numerous times above, it is irrelevant.

      April 3, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Doc, read Romans 1:18-28.

      Amen.

      April 3, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Looks like The Babble = TRUTHnot has given up on his attempt to get agreement that The Babble is an authentic copy of crap, with the obvious intent to springboard from that to the content of The Babble is true.

      April 4, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

      Just saying

      "We have scraps starting around 200 years after the fact."

      The Rylands Library Papyrus P52 that contains some verses from the Gospel of John was written around a 100-150 years after the time of Jesus. Considering that the Christian religion literally began around 30CE, that's kind of amazing when you figure in the early Christian population numbers, literacy wthin that group and the longivity of the material used to write the texts down on. To expect original drafts of early NT texts is a bit foolish. It would be like expecting to have the original texts of Plato when talking about Socrates.
      .
      Amazing??????????????? Its a book written on heresay.
      .
      Hearsay is information gathered by one person from another person concerning some event, condition, or thing of which the first person had no direct experience. What was the average life span of somebody back then. How many mouths do you think it passed before written down as QUOTES. This is where FAITH comes in...lack of CREDIBLE evidence requires faith. As Christianity was being created around 150-200 A.D...... by stories passed through 3-4 mouths.....do yaaaaaaa think the stories could have been altered to fit with the OT? Do yaaaaaa think after passing thorugh 3-4 mouths...they are true quotes....lol When Jesus was praying and the apostles fell asleep, who was watching Jesus pray and noting his convo with himself? Besides the OT being fantasy with some landmarks of the time noted, the NT is a complete book of crap and Christianity is a true cult.

      April 4, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

      Topher/ Bible Truth,
      .
      Helped establish that the babble is authentic hearsay starting aroudn the 200 AD mark.

      April 4, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Paul

      I see he ignored entirely the post where I pointed out that there are several instances of things being added to the gospels between the time they were written, and the time the bible was compiled. Whether the bible is an accurate copy of the bible is irrelevant, if the books of the bible are not accurate copies of the original manuscripts then the bible is not authentic. Since we don't have the originals we will never know if the bible is authentic.

      April 4, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

      Paul

      I see he ignored entirely the post where I pointed out that there are several instances of things being added to the gospels between the time they were written, and the time the bible was compiled. Whether the bible is an accurate copy of the bible is irrelevant, if the books of the bible are not accurate copies of the original manuscripts then the bible is not authentic. Since we don't have the originals we will never know if the bible is authentic.
      .
      He does that. Right now he is posting the same crap and will ride the thread until it reaches a point he can no longer wiggle, distract etc.

      The NT was pieced together from various unk authors who never walked nor knew Jesus. Man invented and declared the word of god.

      April 4, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
  12. Reasonably

    Persecution for believing in your god is bad.

    But it's OK to persecute gay folks in the name of your god.

    Huh.

    April 3, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • Jeff

      Certainly not...but I believe you are painting with a wide brush there. Just because there are 'Christians' in the news slamming the entire hom.ose.xual community, please do not label all of us like that. My church reaches out to that community and we welcome them in our church. Do I agree with their choice? I do not. Do I respect their right to choose it? Yes I do.

      April 3, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Reasonably

      So your church is breaking from canon? Are you all heretics or just exercising personal choice over what's written in your textual law?

      April 3, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Jeff

      LOL...I'm not sure if we're heretics! Perhaps!

      I said this a page back, but it bears repeating...there are three things I try to do in my life...Love God, Love People, and Serve the World. Most people I know try and do the same things...though my atheist friends would only have two items on this list! The truth is, these boards bring out the extreme on both sides. Reality lives somewhere in the middle with most everyone getting along just fine.

      ...to the textual law you refer to, nowhere am I called to persecute someone else or to judge another person's sin. That is strictly between that individual and God.

      April 3, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Jess, What do you mean your church "reaches out to that community and we welcome them in our church" but you do not agree with their choice? Do you mean your church accepts the gay community but you do not or that neither you nor the church do, but the church invites the gay community in to be saved? Something else?

      April 3, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • Jeff

      Saraswati

      We actually spend time serving the hom.ose.xual community though partnerships with local groups. As an example, our church has a service day where we go out and serve the community. This includes things like picking up trash, painting fences, light landscaping. We have a director that has partnered with leaders in the gay community to reach out to those with needs in that community to make sure we can send teams their way. In fact, this director has coffee with these leaders regularly.

      I can't really answer your question about whether or not we 'accept' the gay community...of course we do. That said, yes, I do view their lifestyle as a sin. What does that mean though? We have several members of our church that are struggling with a mult.itude of sins. We don't turn our back on them at all. We want them in church, not to fix them, but to get them to focus on their relationship with God. The sin is between each person and God. It has absolutely nothing to do with me.

      April 3, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Reasonably, how are Christians persecuting g-ays, when we tell them His truth to save their souls. Hatred would be if we did not warn folks.

      Romans 1:18-28

      Amen.

      April 3, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
  13. Bootyfunk

    these christians go to these countries and try to spread christianity - and are rebuffed. as is anyone of any other faith that goes there. please stop thinking you're special. also, go to Iran as an atheist and start saying there is no Allah and watch as you are very quickly persecuted. christians get persecuted for trying to recruit more people into their mindless cult.

    April 3, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Larry

      They go to these places, make people into Christians and put their lives into danger in the process, that's what they do. There are far fewer indigenous Christian populations out there getting persecuted than Christians would like for you to believe.

      April 3, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
  14. Alias

    If the bible is truth, then slavery is ethical as long as it is done correctly.

    April 3, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      the bible gives instructions for buying and beating slaves. even rules for selling your own daughter into slavery. pretty disgusting.

      April 3, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Reasonably

      Torture and killing in the name of their god – if done ethically – is cool too.

      Smiting is fun so long as you're the smiter. The smite-ee has other thoughts on that.

      April 3, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      here's the loving and compassionate instructions for dealing with your enemies, according to Numbers 31

      17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.
      18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

      April 3, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Truth.

      God didnt command it. Moses did.

      The same Moses that wasn't allowed into the Promised Land.

      April 3, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Gesse

      You need to read before and after. Some very disobedient Jewish men went and disobeyed God, with lots of selfish & s#xual desires included! Hoping to have slaves and new wives. God ordered the most sinful of them put to death. Not wanting to accept that God already knew IF they had stayed alive – Israel, history as it is today, would never have happened!
      Try and imagine that if Hitler had not killed himself when he did and all his generals just set free instead or arrested and put away or sentenced to death after WW2; what would We being exasperating today! !

      April 3, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • sam

      "Some very disobedient Jewish men went and disobeyed God, "

      So what?

      April 3, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • lol??

      amerikans are slaves to Keynes. His brother was a Christian. You chose a biguy.

      April 3, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
  15. Bible = Truth

    Bible = Truth?
    (1) Is earth flat?
    (2) Does the Sun go around the earth?
    (3) Jesus arise after being dead?
    (4) Jesus is the only savior.
    Bible would have you believe that the answer is "yes" to all of the above questions.
    If you do not believe that answer to (1) and (2) is "yes", then you need to think twice before answering (3) and (4).

    April 3, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      “Jesus saith unto him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me’.” ― John 14:6

      (1)Isaiah 40:22: "It is he that sitteth upon the CIRCLE OF THE EARTH."  How did Isaiah know in 700 B.C. the earth is round? Nonbelievers of Isaiah's day thought the earth was flat. They didn't discover the earth is round until the early 1500s when Magellan sailed around the world. How did Isaiah know something over 2000 years ahead of nonbelievers?
      (2)Job 38:19: "Where is THE WAY where light dwelleth?"  How come Job didn't say where is THE PLACE where light dwelleth? Because light is always moving. How did Job know something in 1500 B.C. that nonbelievers didn't find out until Einstein?
      (3)Mark 16:4-6
      4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.
      5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.
      6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. (KJV)
      (4)Exodus 20:2   I [am] the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

      Exodus 20:3   Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

      2 Timothy 3:16
      16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. (KJV)

      Amen

      April 3, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  16. The Bible = TRUTH

    Dispute if you can. I would love to hear your response:

    April 3, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • sam

      Yeah, boring.

      April 3, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Well first, which Bible?

      Be specific, version and edition, publisher, the whole lot.

      April 3, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • The Bible = TRUTH

      You pick Bill...if you're asking me, I would imagine the NIV would be just fine...

      April 3, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • sam stone

      Unfounded claim

      April 3, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • Amen!

      The Bible=TRUTH

      April 3, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • The Bible = TRUTH

      sam stone...how so?

      April 3, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Why would that be?

      Do you believe the others to be wrong, or merely less accurate than your prefered cult manual?

      If only one can be the true word, and there are more than one version around, logic insists that some, and possibly many are false.

      I merely extend that supposition to the conclussion they are ALL wrong.

      April 3, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • Shout-Out: TheBibleReloaded

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSKAGA7AwLQ

      April 3, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • The Bible = TRUTH

      Bill...before I can answer that question, we need to come to an agreement. Please consider the following:

      Confidence that the original text has successfully been reconstructed depends on two factors: how many copies exist and how old they are. If the numbers are few and the time gap wide between the original manuscript (called the autograph) and the oldest copy, then the original text is harder to reconstruct. If, however, many copies exist and the oldest are close in time to the original, the scholar can be more confident that the exact wording of the original can be pinpointed.

      ...do you agree with this? For the sake of time, I have cut and pasted this text from another source...

      April 3, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • William Demuth

      The Bible = TRUTH

      Obviously no.

      This assumes no ill intent. The majority of your "scriptures" were fabricated by your cult over many centuries.

      If you religion can not even agree, what foool might I be to accept that your rag has any more merit than the others?

      They were all written by liars with an agenda, with many different books actually indicating a single author writing undar a false name.

      For example, Luke was most certainley NOT written by Luke.

      In fact few if any were written by those they were attributed to.

      April 3, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Okay

      Chad by any other name....The bible = truth is no different than....what investigation have you done.....

      April 3, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Mr. Know It All

      You've got to get it from your head to your heart – otherwise the gospel will not make sense.

      We are human beings – much, much more than just logical beings. Much more beautiful than just that.

      April 3, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Mr.know what?
      So what you are saying is, turn of your brain (logic and reason) and the bible will make sense. Sounds about right.

      April 3, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • The Bible = TRUTH

      Bill...I am unable to post what I am trying to...I do not understand what is blocking the post. I will have to try later.

      April 3, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • JMEF

      Depends who you ask? Two thirds or the people on earth really couldn't give a sh1t one way or the other. Among the 41,000 different Christian cults it is also depends on what nonsense they interpret from the many different versions of the bible. To many discrepancies to be anywhere near true.

      April 3, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Mr. Know It All

      Logic and reason are great. I use it in the exact same way you do. Neither of us has some kind of exclusive access to it.

      But God (eternal, unlimited) is hard for us (mortal, limited) to grasp.

      That is why a lot of the Bible is poetry, stories and music.

      We are spirits in a body. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

      April 3, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      =, try looking for these in your post:

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN Belief Blog/WordPress automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters or some html tricks to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      -
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
      co-on.....as in racc-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      crac-ker…
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, sopho-more, etc.
      ho-oters…as in sho-oters
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      inf-orms us…
      hu-mp… as in th-ump, th-umper, th-umping
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      nip-ple
      o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-oon… as in sp-oon, lamp-oon, harp-oon
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      que-er
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sl-ut
      sm-ut…..as in transm-utation
      sn-atch
      sp-ank
      sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
      strip-per
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, t-itle, ent-ity, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, salt-water, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      wt-f....also!!!!!!!
      x.xx…
      There's another phrase that someone found, "wo-nderful us" (have no idea what sets that one off).

      April 3, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • sam stone

      By what authority is it supposedly the truth?

      April 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Mr. know?
      That is all delusion unless there is some verifyable evidence to support it, which there isn't.
      You have made an a$$umption, and have no reason to jump to conclusions based on that a$$umption.

      You do not use logic and reason the same as I. If you did, you would not believe in myths. You said in your earlier post you have to take it into your heart and get it out of your brain ( paraphrased), so you are saying you have to turn off your brain, which I cannot do.

      April 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Alias

      NIV: Revelation 22:16 I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.
      Isaiah 14:12 How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!

      You're welcome.

      April 3, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • sam stone

      "But God (eternal, unlimited) is hard for us (mortal, limited) to grasp."

      Isn't that what everyone who claims the bible is the word of this eternal being is doing?

      April 3, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Mr. Know It All

      @Richard

      Do you love anyone? Is there anyone you would give up your life for? Do you just love them because it seems reasonable and logical to do so.

      There is so much more to human beings than just being striving to appear logical. There is more to life than just proving a bunch of anonymous posters that you are a man of logic and reason, while not showing any kind of love.

      We are both emotional and logical. That is what makes us beautiful.

      Be more than a robot. Love a person. Love somebody even if that seems illogical to do so.

      April 3, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Mr. Know It All

      "Isn't that what everyone who claims the bible is the word of this eternal being is doing?"

      No. Not everyone. Maybe a majority. Maybe all the people you have met. But not all.

      Some admit the mysteriousness of God.

      April 3, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Mr know very little.
      Love is an emotion, and even though it is abstract, it triggers biological reactions complete with chemical interaction, and can be seen in brainwaves.

      Nothing to confirm any gods, though not for lack of trying for the past at least 2000years.

      Trying to compare love, which exists, to a god, which the complete and total lack of evidence suggests that there are none of the thousands of gods men have created ever actually existed.

      You have tried that ridiculous love angle many times and it gets destroyed as an argument because it is comparing an apple to a volkswagon.

      You'll have to try better than that.

      April 3, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Mr. Know It All

      That is the most dismal explanation of love I have ever heard.

      April 3, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Mr. know very little
      Many animals display love and all of the other emotions that humans have. Animals do help each other and work together towards common goals, animals have language and societies.
      And they do the same things we do when it comes to social behavior. We are no different.

      The animals do this without gods...and so do we.

      April 3, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Mr. Know It All

      You are a bummer.

      April 3, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      the bible has more holes than swiss cheese. besides from saying the earth is flat and a ton of other obvious errors, the bible gets it wrong ethically too. there are rules for selling your own daughter into slavery in the bible. also for how to buy slaves and how to beat them. the bible says all non-virgin brides must be stoned to death on their father's doorstep. really think about that one. 99% of all american women would be killed. the bible is atrocious and just plain wrong.

      April 3, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • ME II

      @Mr Know It All,
      Having a rational explanation of the cause of emotions doesn't lessen the experience.
      Love is still love.

      April 3, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • sam stone

      "No. Not everyone. Maybe a majority. Maybe all the people you have met. But not all."

      Fair enough

      "Some admit the mysteriousness of God"

      True, and some try to lessen this mysteriousness by claiming to know the words of this god

      April 3, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      To all the nonbelievers ....

      O ye sons of men, how long [will ye turn] my glory into shame? [how long] will ye love vanity, [and] seek after leasing? Selah.

      Psalms 4:2

      Amen.

      April 3, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Actually, to call something the "truth" you need supporting evidence. So what I think you are trying to say is "The Bible = Hearsay."

      April 3, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
  17. Chuckles

    So as far as I see it, the author is asking us to not persecute the christians who try to convert as long as it's not forced?

    Seriously?

    If I'm minding my own business, reading a book, worshiping satan and thinking about what I want for dinner tonight (you know, the usualy stuff) I have to allow a christian to come and knock on my door and teach me about jesus because if I don't I'm persecuting them?

    The christian persecution complex knows no bounds, they need to understand that "spreading the good word" is code for "annoy the fuc.k out of everyone until they try and kill you".

    April 3, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • William Demuth

      What's up Chuckles!

      So true. Knock on my door with Jeebus puke, and don't be surprised by my boot up your hind quarters.

      Creepy degenerates! Many towns are now criminalizing that type of behavior!!

      April 3, 2013 at 11:56 am |
  18. Take action

    Nina has written a great article on persecution. It is now uptown every Christian that has read this
    to support the persecuted with their prayers and act!

    April 3, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • Take action

      /up to
      Thanks safari for the spell check. Not!

      April 3, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • William Demuth

      Support the persecutors!

      We need more of them here! Can we send some folks over for training?

      If it culls the Fundi population, even better!

      We could give merit badges to the kids who beat up the most Fundies!

      April 3, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • Bob1god

      Don't want to get arrested or persecuted, then don't try to convert other's.

      April 3, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • Read

      From the post above
      As he told the private human rights group, “Guards tied her head, her chest, and her legs to a post, and shot her dead.” He added,

      “I was curious why she was to be shot. Somebody told me she had kept a Bible at her home.”

      April 3, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • Conviction not conversion

      You become a Christian not by compulsion but conviction
      No one can convert anyone, it is the Lord that works
      in convincing the soul into accepting His grace.

      April 3, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • William Demuth

      You support Christian conviction and I support the conviction of Christians!

      We are SOOO close to agreement

      All we need now is to agree on a penalty?

      How about crucifiction, seems fitting don't you think?

      April 3, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • sam stone

      "You become a Christian not by compulsion but conviction"

      That explains why lots of convicts become christians

      April 3, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • JMEF

      Sam is right, conversion can impress the parole board.

      April 3, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • Reasonably

      Conversion by torture. Inquisition anyone? Spanish invasion of Central America anyone? Manifest Destiny anyone? Crusades anyone?

      Anyone?

      Bueller?

      April 3, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Larry

      Read
      Somebody told her that she had kept a Bible at her home. Isn't that just hearsay? So, this is just a rumour that somebody was shot just because they had a Bible, right?

      April 3, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • sam stone

      NO ONE EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION

      April 3, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
  19. Zoop

    Lost me as soon as she linked persecution in the DPRK wih communism. North Korean persecution is due to Juche and the personality cult around the dictatorship, not communism.

    April 3, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • William Demuth

      Actually, the most common form of communisim today is the Central / South American Christian variety.

      Casto, and Chavez are prime examples. Devout Christians and Militant communists

      Why do you think the Vatican is now led by an Argentine?

      Soon enough the Holy Trinity will become the Three Amigo's

      April 3, 2013 at 11:31 am |
  20. William Demuth

    Teaching other peoples children about your religion without parental consent is clearly abusive

    In fact, I have seem MANY examples of people teching their own children religion in such a way that it was abusive.

    Espousing nonesense is protected speech, BUT protected speech is limited.

    We non believers tolerated invasive Christians long enough. Now we plan to eradicate them as the destructive invaders they are.

    April 3, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • A Conversation

      William...God loves you.

      April 3, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • William Demuth

      Do you mean the kind of love you clean up with a mop and bucket?

      Tell him no thanks. Trans-Gendered Palestinians are not my type, but if his mom really is a blonde haired blued eyed virgin, I would entertain a relationship with her.

      But she would have to convert first.

      April 3, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • A Conversation

      You mock what you don't understand...and God still loves you.

      April 3, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • Truth.

      I've seen non-religious people be abusive toward children.

      April 3, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • William Demuth

      I understand your cult better than you do.

      And God exists only in your obviously limited intellect

      A salve for your broken psyche, a desperate attempt to avoid your fears!

      But fear not, you will still die, you will still rot, and you will still be forgotten, regardless of how much you protest and invoke your imaginary savior.

      April 3, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • Mr. Know It All

      "I understand your cult better than you do."

      I have superior understanding! Hahahaha!

      That is like a man telling a woman what being pregnant is like. You just read about it, great!

      April 3, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • A Conversation

      "Now we plan to eradicate them as the destructive invaders they are." That's it! Now we know who you are! You are a North Korean news anchor!

      April 3, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • William Demuth

      Mr. Know It All

      Half a century of study

      A lifetime of debunking charlatans

      One need not be a fool to understand fools, all that is required is simple observation.

      You are programmed. You are already lost to reality.

      Alas,we never needed or wanted you anyhow.

      April 3, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • Mr. Know It All

      You don't know Jesus.

      April 3, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Mr. Know It All

      "Alas,we never needed or wanted you anyhow."

      Who is "we"? Are you in some kind of cult? Like a superior knowledge cult or something?

      Are you un-debunkable?

      For me, nobody has been able to debunk God. He gives me EVERYTHING I need. Can you disprove that?

      April 3, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • William Demuth

      You don't know Spiderman

      We are at an equivalence.

      April 3, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "You don't know Jesus."

      Nor do you! What you know is what you have read and been told about, and all of that comes from a 2000 year old story book that has been proven to be inaccurate.

      April 3, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Mr. Know It All

      Obviously.

      He has failed to give you common sense, nor a compelling argument

      I have oft times wonder why Jeebus inflicts his most devout with the burdens of ignorance.

      Christianity truly breeds stupidity. I believe once one sacrifices his intellect to fear, a downward spiral commences.

      I believe you are barely living proof.

      April 3, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Mr. Know It All

      "Nor do you! What you know is what you have read and been told about, and all of that comes from a 2000 year old story book that has been proven to be inaccurate."

      How do you know that? Did you know there are other ways to know Jesus?

      April 3, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • Mr. Know It All

      "William Demuth"

      –>He has failed to give you common sense, nor a compelling argument

      That is an opinion. Anybody can say that about anyone they disagree. That is not debunking. God gives me EVERYTHING I need. 🙂

      –> I have oft times wonder why Jeebus inflicts his most devout with the burdens of ignorance.
      Like Martin Luther King, Jr?

      –> Christianity truly breeds stupidity. I believe once one sacrifices his intellect to fear, a downward spiral commences.
      Opinion, with no proof.

      –> I believe you are barely living proof.
      You don't know me. To think you do is small minded.

      April 3, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      What??? That's no different than saying you know your Great-Great-Great-Great Grandmother. You can't possibly know a dead person, you might know of them but you don't know them. There is no other way to know someone, unless you know them when they are alive.

      April 3, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Mr. Know It All

      I have less fear – now that I have a God that gives me everything I need. My fear is less. You are wrong about fear, William.

      April 3, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Mr. Know It All

      @Truth Prevails 🙂

      Jesus lives. As a spirit he can do more than as a human being. I can know him better now than his disciples did.

      His disciples didn't believe in him, they ran away after he died. They didn't understand.

      April 3, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • William Demuth

      For a Mr. Know it all you seem disoriented, and female

      Perhaps a female adopting a male persona because Christian woman have been left to feel so powerless?

      Or perhaps just an emasculated old man who uses Jeebus the same way teenagers use Justin Bieber?

      April 3, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • tallulah13

      So god has made you less afraid of death? If you didn't fear death to begin with, you wouldn't need god.

      April 3, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Mr. Know It All

      @ because Christian woman have been left to feel so powerless?

      Jesus Christ revealed himself to females, first. They were the first to preach his good news. In a time when most people didn't touch or associate with women – he loved them.

      Can you debunk this?: God gives me everything I need.

      @ So god has made you less afraid of death? If you didn't fear death to begin with, you wouldn't need god.

      No. No.

      April 3, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Jesus Christ revealed himself to females, first."

      Good thing he was well connected, to beat that rap

      April 3, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Mr. Know It All: Now just provide substantial peer-reviewed scientific evidence supporting spirits.

      April 3, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • Mr. Know It All

      @ Truth

      You are soul, a spirit. You have a body, for this temporary material world.

      April 3, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Oh joy, another useless religious moron that only likes to spew whatever he wants to instead of backing any claim he will make.

      April 3, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

      Mr. Know It All = Chad tard
      Sorry bro but your cult lacks integrity. Your faith rides on as sumption.

      April 3, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • Mr. Know It All

      Hey, another arrogant and smug atheist using slurs and harsh language to inadequately prove his point.
      (I know, I know it is the same 5 atheists posting on here ALL DAY LONG).

      April 3, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • A Conversation

      @Truth...you want "substantial peer-reviewed scientific evidence supporting spirits" – Why? Its akin to asking someone to prove that something tastes good using all of the senses other than taste–you're requesting proof via a process that was never designed to prove the point MKIA is making.

      April 3, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • Damocles

      Hmmm... so your deity gives you EVERYTHING? You have no friends then because your deity provides all companionship? You have no job because you just ask the deity for a house, clothes, food? Are we talking everything everything or just everything good that happens in your life?

      April 3, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Mr. Know It All: That is your opinion, that is not what I asked for. I did not say 'what do you think a spirit is?', I specifically requested the peer-reviewed scientific evidence for spirits. We're not the ones being arrogant by asking for evidence. You're making a claim that suggests something exterior to this world exists, we're simply saying that we don't see the peer-reviewed scientific data and evidence to support your claim. Arrogance is thinking you have all the answers when in reality you have little. We happen to care that what we believe is true, you quite apparently don't (thus the need for faith in your life).

      April 3, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Mr. Know It All

      @ Damocles

      Everything. Good and bad.

      April 3, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Damocles

      So as long as your deity is having a good day, everything is golden in your life, but if it woke up on the wrong side of the bed or is just feeling a bit peevish, your day could get rather interesting?

      April 3, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • Damocles

      @a conversation

      Unless you can convince me that you take everyday issues such as buying a house on faith, then I don't see where you can ask anyone to take your deity on faith.

      April 3, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • Mr. Know It All

      I don't have peer-reviewed scientific data on the spiritual aspect of our being.

      I do know there is a lot of good info on spirituality and medical healing:

      A prominent integrative practetioner, Andrew Weil, M.D., states, "You are body, mind, and spirit. Health necessarily involves all of these components and any program intended to improve health must address all of them." Dr. Weil further states, "Many people consider spirit to be in the province of religion, but I insist on making a clear distinction between spirituality and religion. Spirituality has to do with the nonphysical aspects of your being – the part of you that existed before and will exist after the disintegration of your body."

      http://ahha.org/articles.asp?Id=66

      April 3, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Mr. Know It All

      This guy has great credentials – I'll trust his belief in a 'spirit' over an anonymous poster on the internet's disbelief.

      http://www.innerself.com/Spirituality/Healing_Power_Of_Faith.htm

      Healing can include dramatic, sudden physical cures, but is not confined to the 'miraculous' or the spectacular. Perhaps for most people, the healing power of faith involves a healing of the mind and emotions, the intangible spirit, and of relationships with others.

      Harold Koenig, M.D.

      April 3, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Mr. Know It All

      There are actually a lot of great scientific minds that believe in the 'spirit'.

      April 3, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • Damocles

      @mr know

      Ummm... exactly what type of experiments did Dr. Weil perform to know for sure there is a spirit within us? Did he kill a whole bunch of people looking to see if a spirit floated away?

      As to the second person you mentioned, again, what experiments were done to prove that faith was healing people? Were unnecessary wounds inflicted to see the power in action? What about all those prayers for healing that went unanswered? No mention of those?

      April 3, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Mr. Know It All

      What is your real name?

      What studies have you done on the spirit?

      Are any of them published? Does anybody pay you to educate at a university?

      Post a link, please. I'd love to see your insight on this.

      April 3, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Mr. Know It All

      Oh that's right, I forgot. Not blindly accepting the assertions and dodges of a religious person is tantamount to being smug, arrogant, and persecuting them. How could I forget such a thing. Shame on me for not being as much of a gullible little stooge as you are.

      April 3, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Mr. Know It All

      What about all those prayers for healing that went unanswered?

      "No" is an answer. Not all prayers are answered how we want.

      April 3, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • Mr. Know It All

      http://www.jfponline.com/pages.asp?aid=1762

      In general, research shows the impact of religion and spirituality is positive. Although a person’s spirituality sometimes is pathological, and spiritual beliefs can create health issues, an overwhelming number of studies show a positive benefit. Of those studies reviewed by Koenig et al,11 where the impact of spirituality could be classified as positive, negative, no association, complex, or mixed, 70% showed a positive impact (68% a strong positive with P<.05) while only 5% showed a negative impact. The studies show spirituality and religion benefit patients by helping prevent illness, increasing the ability to cope, and improving outcomes.

      April 3, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Mr. Know It All

      You're spirit is craving something more... that is why you are on a 'belief blog'.

      Welcome!

      April 3, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Damocles

      Lots of bad teaches get paid to teach, so that point is irrelevant.

      How would one go about doing research on 'the spirit?' Saying 'I think there is a spirit' is not research.

      So if 10,000 prayers are prayed and 9,999 of them are 'no', what does this tell us? Let's say I pray for my wife to recover from cancer at the same time some person is praying for their child to do well at the school recital. My wife dies and the kid does great, brings the house down. I'm to as-sume that recitals are higher on the deity's list than cancer?

      April 3, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Mr. Know It All

      Anybody can post on this belief blog message board. Not anybody can teach at Duke University.

      Research the spirit? Go help some poor people.

      Do you think God is a magical genie? Pray for God's will, not yours.

      April 3, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • Damocles

      I do help poor people. Would you like to make any more wrong as-sumptions about me?

      I'd think if you claim that your deity is everything, nagical genieness would fall in there somewhere. Unless it's not everything, of course.

      So there are no bad teachers at DU?

      April 3, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Mr. Know It All

      Only God knows.

      April 3, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • tallulah13

      You really don't know much for someone who claims to "Know It All." Was the name supposed to be ironic?

      April 3, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • Damocles

      Right, you have no case to argue so you slip onto the catatonic 'only the deity knows' drivel. You claim only the deity knows, yet you use your particular handle. Strange.

      April 4, 2013 at 4:36 am |
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About this blog

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