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North Carolina getting a state religion? No.
North Carolina legistators are fighting over a church and state issue.
April 4th, 2013
02:06 PM ET

North Carolina getting a state religion? No.

By Eric Marrapodi and John Blake, CNN

(CNN)– Politicians often declare that the U.S. is a Christian nation, but a group of representatives in North Carolina wants to add a new wrinkle to that argument.

They want North Carolina to be able to make its own laws establishing religion.

Two Republican representatives in North Carolina filed a resolution Monday that would permit the state to declare Christianity its official religion and reject any federal laws or court rulings regarding how the state addresses the establishment of religion.

Critics say the resolution violates the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment guarantee that government will not prefer one religion over another. But a supporter of the resolution said it is about protecting another freedom.

The resolution reads in part, "The North Carolina General Assembly does not recognize Federal court rulings which prevent the state, its public schools, or any political subdivisions in the state from making laws respecting the establishment of religion."

Rep. Carl Ford, the resolution’s co-sponsor, told the Salisbury Post the resolution's intent is to support county commissioners in Rowan, North Carolina, who routinely end their invocations at public meetings with "In Jesus' name, amen."

A Rowan County resident filed a lawsuit against the county in March saying that she was not a Christian and that evoking Jesus in a public meeting sends the message that county commissioners favor Christians.

“We’re not starting a church. We’re not starting a religion. We’re supporting the county commissioners in their freedom of speech,” Ford told the Post.

Ford did not respond to interview requests.

By Thursday afternoon, the resolution was dead.

Jordan Shaw, a spokesman for North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis, said, "the bill that is getting so much attention is not going to move. It's dead."

Shaw said it would probably be referred to committee but would not come before the legislative body for a vote.

When asked why it was not moving forward, Shaw said the legislation did not accomplish what the legislators who had submitted the resolution had hoped for it.

Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a Washington-based organization that aims to protect religious liberty, said Ford's argument is “phony.”

“That’s quite a bizarre argument,” Lynn said. “They’re trying to say that the state of North Carolina has the right to trump the U.S. Constitution, that we have the right to decide what religion gets preferential religion in our state.”

David Graham, an associate editor for The Atlantic Monthly, said the North Carolina resolution signals the revival of the states' rights “nullification” theory: a legal argument invoked as far back as the 19th century that claims states have the right to void, or nullify, federal laws they oppose.

During President Obama’s presidency, conservatives have claimed that states could ignore duly passed federal laws dealing with health care and gun control, Graham wrote in a blog post for The Atlantic.

Courts don’t buy the nullification theory, Graham said.

“Nullification has repeatedly been ruled to be incorrect,” he said. “States don’t have the right to invalidate federal laws.”

The nullification theory won’t die, though, because it serves a purpose, Graham said.

“It’s good politics for the people proposing it,” he said. “If people are upset that the federal government is keeping them from praying at a City Council meeting or changing the way they get health insurance, a politician can say, 'This is wrong and I’m going to take a stand.' ”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church and state • Courts

« Previous entry
soundoff (2,110 Responses)
  1. PRISM Sharpener

    test.

    April 5, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
  2. faith

    Akira
    And why should I be ashamed of myself? I had family who died in those chambers. Those prayers were not answered.
    Some asshat bringing up that prayer ended WWII prompted my post....and I am unashamed that I have to remind people what an absolutely absurd statement that is.
    Kiss my ass." LOL

    me too

    April 5, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • faith

      Akira
      And why should I be ashamed of myself? I had family who died in those chambers. Those prayers were not answered.
      Some asshat bringing up that prayer ended WWII prompted my post....and I am unashamed that I have to remind people what an absolutely absurd statement that is.
      Kiss my ass." LOL

      me too

      i had family throwin my family in

      April 5, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
    • Akira

      Did you? I'm sorry.
      Why are you LOL about it?
      It isn't remotely funny.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
  3. faith

    "sam stone
    Pompous pious fvck

    Marriage equality is coming. If it bothers you, you can either put on your big boy pants and accept it, or you get get on your knees with your sidearm and go meet jeebus. Either way works for me"

    thanks sambo. what a sweet, sweet guy.

    austin, keep up the good work. god-hating fools are fascinated with you.

    April 5, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
    • faith

      "sam stone
      Pompous pious fvck

      Marriage equality is coming. If it bothers you, you can either put on your big boy pants and accept it, or you get get on your knees with your sidearm and go meet jeebus. Either way works for me"

      aww. u don't like sambo?

      April 5, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
    • faith

      Atheists have had to deal with hatred from the religious for thousands of years, Its your turn now to feel the hate.

      sam stone
      Well, we know for certain that no one speaks for god more than iron age sheep molesters, eh?
      sam stone
      nicetry: oooh, proxy threats of hell. pretty scary, for those who believe such tripe. interesting that you wish to spend eternity with a being from whom you have to be "saved". sort of like a spiritual stockholm syndrome. anyway, get back on your knees, b1tch
      sam stone
      we are just attacking the pompous fvcks who purport to speak for god, doogie.
      sam stone
      Amen?

      Pompous pious fvck

      Marriage equality is coming. If it bothers you, you can either put on your big boy pants and accept it, or you get get on your knees with your sidearm and go meet jeebus. Either way works for me
      sam stone
      More proxy threats from Gopher about hell. Blah, blah, fvcking blah, Gopher
      sam stone
      Gopher just wants to preach. He will not answer questions directly. He is an intellectual coward, and he gets his jollies by issuing empty proxy threats....."i am just trying to save you from hell". He thinks that because he believes it, other people should believe it. Gopher.....go fvck yourself
      sam stone
      How can someone hate something in which they do not believe? Are you that fvcking illogical?
      sam stone
      Aesops....threatening people who do not believe in eternal damnation with eternal damnation is logical cancer.

      But, by all means, bloviate some more

      sam stone
      I see you are still blathering on like a snivelling sycophant.

      Fvck you and your eternal damnation
      sam stone
      And, for the record, d-bag, you can be both an agnostic and a christian
      sam stone
      Aesops: Your god is a vindictive, petty pr1ck, and so are you.
      sam stone
      Bold faced lies?

      You are a moron.

      Fvck you and your empty proxy threats
      sam stone
      AvdBerg: Go fvck yourself, troll
      sam stone
      moron atheist: go fvck yourself, punk
      sam stone
      AH.....go fvck yourself. you're welcome
      sam stone
      AH: If she hadn't died 30 years ago, i might. You are a punk. YOur god is a punk. Go fvck yourself

      April 5, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
    • The real Tom

      My god, you're lame. Just shoot yourself already.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
    • faith

      "sam stone
      another pompous fvck who claims to know the mind of god"

      sam stone
      A warm "fvck off" to your petty, vindictive pr1ck god for setting up a system for his own glorification.

      but sambo, i worship thee dumbfvck

      April 5, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
    • faith

      I am breaking about 37 Biblical rules right now.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Good. I hit a nerve.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
    • skytag

      I've never known anyone who hates God. People seem to love him if they believe he exists, and if they don't believe he exists they have no feelings about him whatsoever.

      April 6, 2013 at 6:00 am |
  4. Austin

    Well that response certainly was the product of a rational mind – not! Austin, your responses are increasingly erratic – you need the help of a mental health professional.

    April 5, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
    • Austin

      ok,............in your opinion what, in detail , is a mental health professional. what do they believe is real. what do they believe is not real?

      what is a mental health professional. are there ANY, atheist, mental health professionals?
      No there are none. Zero. zilch.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      And now you are talking to yourself! Or you are so agitated you can't form an even somewhat coherent response. . .

      April 5, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
    • Austin

      with zero spiritual insight, if you are a mental health teacher you are a pi.mp for the devil and a wh.ore for hell.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
    • Austin

      if i forgot to "TYPE" a word i dont get worked up about some stuck up little detail. do you pat your buddies on the but for good punctuation? I worked a twelve hour hard labor day allready. I can be lazy .

      April 5, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Austin, surely you have heard of psychiatrists and psychologists? There are probably specialists within these professional designations that are expert in assisting people with getting out of religious cults.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      12 hours of hard labour? I didn't think inmates were made to do hard labour anymore. Sounds like another lie.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Don't feed the troll. This isn't Austin.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      How can you tell? He seems pretty crazy to me.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Sorry. The style ain't Austin, no matter how crazy.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      ok, I'll defer to your better ability to discern craziness and will stop intentionally winding up the mentally deficient.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
    • Hmmmmmmmmmm

      The first post isn't Austin, but the whole "psychiatrists are satan spawn" thing is classic Austin.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
    • The real Tom

      I haven't seen anything of that ilk from Austin.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
    • Hmmmmmmmmmm

      He did that one a few weeks ago when his mental health was being challenged. He is hermetically sealed from all help: his psychosis is supported by biblical passages, and he dismisses all medical help as satanic. Perfect example of religious psychosis.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
    • Austin

      @Hot air ace

      I own my own landscape company. Grading, irrigation, sod, seed drilling, arborist, chemical applicator.full service lawn care.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
    • taco belle

      I think I see Hmmm. So now he has close the triangle and locked in the freshness.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
    • taco belle

      I suppose once Austin in under proper medical care, his story would be great on the big screen. Ever since I first heard about this, I keep seeing Nicholas Cage in bad need of a haircut trying desperately to keep control of a truck where the tires have all but peeled off as he speeds from the churches down to the state capitol. I suppose you could call that a vision of sorts.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
  5. hal 9001

    I believe that is the best advice for all humankind, if you don't mind me saying, "HotAirAce".

    April 5, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
    • hal 9001

      ( replying to "HotAirAce"'s post on April 5, 2013 at 9:44 pm )

      April 5, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
  6. I am Splat-Kitty! I am the voice in Austin's head!

    I see Austin is having another "episode" today. As we speak, the clothes are flying off as he runs for his pick-up, because it's amateur drive-in installation night!!!

    April 5, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
    • Austin

      #9 the cat dream. I had a cat at my house, that night i dreamed that a demonic voice sang to me which inverted my body and then presented the same cat, covered in blood. The demon showed me the cat with blood all over it. I woke up, and it was out on the highway ran over.

      You make up things about voices in my head? thats because you are a dogmatic hater. You have to make up extra b.s. and apply it to a serious situation. That is called "mocking." And that is what you all do. you are mockers.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • Huebert

      Austin

      Your dreams are nothing more than the random firing of neurons in your sleep. Your brain, which is a pattern seeking engine, takes these random firings and attempts to weave some semblance of a story from them.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
    • Damocles

      So, according to your whacky vision, shouldn't you be worshipping that demon? I mean, afterall, it was the demon that gave you a bit of piece of mind by showing you what had happened to your cat so you could have some closure.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Austin

      We mock because your position is we should:
      1) Believe these dreams actually happened.
      2) That you are able to properly discern the meaning.
      3) Out of the thousands of god concepts, yours is the one that sent those "visions" to you.
      4) Accept all of this based on nothing but you constantly saying that that's the case over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.

      Replace your crap with alien abductions. Would you accept it?

      April 5, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • Austin

      Hawaii Guest.
      1) Believe these dreams actually happened.

      what are you saying here?

      April 5, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
    • I am Splat-Kitty! I am the voice in Austin's head!

      We're saying the Looney Tunes theme plays constantly around you.

      We're saying you are cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs

      We're saying you are at risk of going trucky-postal again if one of your "visions" tells you to do that.

      We're saying that even the Christians know you are nuttier than a almond orchard.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
    • Austin

      well most christians can't relate to my experience. And the reaction of the church is many times dogmatic also, they like their experience to remain in their head, in a pew, in a song, something they have under control mentally.

      It is no different than hearing about a true spirutal supernatural miracle and not being able to accept it because of a selfish and corrupted flesh that is not spirit. the flesh is not the spirit.

      Jesus took people to a secluded place to perform a miracle because the unbelief of the crowd was hostile and demonic, it prevented Him from doing the miracle in public.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
    • taco belle

      Since Austin said "and then i rebuked my judgment of his spiritual condition", I feel he may need to know that an almond is an edible nut that grows on trees in an orchard.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
    • I am Splat-Kitty! I am the voice in Austin's head!

      I still love Austin's assertion that Jesus' power could be nullified by a small group of disbelievers.

      Jesus: "I'm all-powerful . . . OH NO! A small group of peasants has formed! My powers wane! I'm melting! MELTING!"

      April 5, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
    • Austin

      The crowd wanted to kill Jesus. There is ample text concerning the pessimism of the crowd.

      By the way,He is all powerful and was murdered, which He went through to pay the ultimate price t hat the innocent God in flesh could.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
    • Rick

      Austin
      The "crowd" would have been feeling particularly religious during Passover, so wouldn't it be understandable if they had been eager to punish a blasphemer claiming to be God's son?

      According to Josephus, Pilate would not have been they type to be even one bit concerned over the likelihood of executing an innocent man. The Gospel accounts of his being conflicted over Jesus would be the historical equivalent of stories of Hitler supporting Jewish orphanages. Highly out of character.

      April 6, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
  7. .

    the abolition of slavery, oops sorry that's more than one example.

    April 5, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • The real Tom

      What about it? Are you too lazy to post anything substantive, or just too stupid?

      April 5, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
    • taco belle

      Ooops what a dufus.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
    • taco belle

      It needs to figure out how to reply first, Tom.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Not much chance of that happening, is there?

      April 5, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
    • Akira

      I think dot is talking about what prayer has changed. Considering it was good Christians that were the buyers, perhaps the point is that the slaves prayers were finally answered...after hundreds of years.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
    • .

      yuck fou

      April 5, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
    • Akira

      Was I wrong in my assesment of your intent?

      April 5, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
  8. Austin

    Anvil,

    You, tempt me to understand Islaam with your remarks. God is the most important thing in life, and living a God centered life.

    You are tolerated by Christianity because we are commanded to, but if you cross the line, we will be the ones to put a stop to you. You can go to hell and you can start a war on your way down there. He is on His way back. Im personally standing guard against you .

    April 5, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Ahahahhahhhhha! With what? Your truck? Your signs?

      You azzhole.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
    • Lil p00py

      You tell 'em Austin. OK, I gotta get back to my women now.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
    • skytag

      If God is so important, and if it's so important for us to believe in him, why does his #1 priority seem to be ensuring there is no reason to believe he exists? There is no evidence whatsoever that any god or gods and exist, nothing against which to test claims and beliefs about him, which is why when you examine the thousands of religions men have come up with over the millennia there is absolutely nothing they all have in common.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
    • Austin

      I said for the big mouth who sits here and grand stands with pompous threats that he can gripe his way to hell, some atheist will never do anything about religion, because that freedom is given by God. You are free to worship Satan like you do and call it "education" and you are free to do that. but who are you to talk about someones "religions idiocy" ending.

      You are a natural born freak Anvil. You get yourself off with some power trip here....you are dumb pri.ck.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Austin", but "God" and "Satan" are elements of mythology, therefore your assertions are unfounded.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Wow, Austin. I guess the mental illness is becoming more severe.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
    • Damocles

      Aww, is the wittle fella cranky? Need a warm bottle of milk and a swift kick in the soft bits?

      April 5, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • Mike

      This dude, Anvil, is calling out for the "end of tolerance". Which of you Americans agrees with Anvil?

      Does this have to do with the ho/mo s/exual agenda?

      April 5, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
    • .

      Jeesh, condescending jack@sses on both sides tonight.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
    • Austin

      This is the demonic manifestation right here! Do you all enjoy your satanic circle, your temple of hell?

      April 5, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
    • The real Tom

      What's your problem, dot?

      April 5, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
    • The real Tom

      First of all, you aren't Austin. After that, who gives a ripe fvck?

      April 5, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
    • Megadeth

      Cool – a party – can we supply the music, dude?
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyWJCd1GYhw

      April 5, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
    • Lil P00py

      Yo, Mega – get outta here. My bro Austin need some women a Lil P00py and my big cross representin'
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DirerjVBSs

      April 5, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • Austin

      this reminds me the vision I had where a group of Ho-mo se[xual demons sat around and mentally tormented people, tearing at their minds with vicious attacks.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • Damocles

      Great song!

      April 5, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • Damocles

      This reminds me of that time that austin was 5 seconds away from climbing a bell tower.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
    • taco belle

      "Tearing at their minds", Austin? Were they on bath salts??

      April 5, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Austin

      " but if you cross the line, we will be the ones to put a stop to you."
      This comment is exactly what I was talking about. This is why I call you insane. This is why I say I hope you don't decide to interpret one of your dreams as an order to kill people. Because I think you would do it.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
    • Damocles

      So, amongst all the demon butt secks, they still had time to torment people? Multi-tasking at its finest. I think you just felt left out.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
    • taco belle

      "Ho-mo se[xual demons" I wish they really would spice up that Supernatural show a bit.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
    • Austin

      Hawaii Guest, thats an interesting thing to assume about someone. Why would it not apply to the one calling for the end of tolerance of the mental freedom and free will that we are not given by any person place or thing other than God.

      This Anvil character is a hellish personality.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      And once that would even become a possibility, I would care. As of now, the more pressing threat is from the religious attempting to legislate their specific religion onto everyone else, and your constant insane babbling about "visions" and "revelation" that boils down to you interpreting them however you want.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
    • Austin

      There you go Damocles, now you share in common the exact mentality of the demons. You enjoy handing out the torment?

      April 5, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
    • Damocles

      Ummm, austin, you claim to drive through churches, naked, have visions with demons and angels and whatever your drug-addled brain sees fit to cook up and you think there is a problem with people pointing out that you aren't quite right?

      April 5, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Austin

      " You enjoy handing out the torment?"
      This coming from a person who, by all accounts, revels in the fact that you believe anyone who doesn't agree with you will be tortured for eternity.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
    • Austin

      The fact that I had a vision, does not give you the reason to take it and run a wild freaky assumption along with it , when there have never been any content at all pertaining to any instruction anything pertaining to a directive in relation to ANYONE. You turn it in to something mentally ill because you have no faith to understand the reality of it. you bark like a dog Hawaii guest.

      you are faithlessly dogmatic and ignorant. and you enjoy it.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
    • Damocles

      I don't see it as torment so much as poking fun at a goofy mofo.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      "this reminds me the vision I had where a group of Ho-mo se[xual demons sat around and mentally tormented people, tearing at their minds with vicious attacks."

      Seek psychiatric help.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
    • Austin

      If this was about intolerance of religion at one point Damocles, you werent able to leave it at a rational understanding of Anvils evil nature. You had to bite and tear mentally just like demons do to people. Is called demonic oppression..

      And you are working for them. and this lilttle circle you have is a tribute and work just for your leader. The devil. and it only suits you not to believe in what you are really up to.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
    • Damocles

      The one thing that semi-impresses me about you, austin, is your ability to form words by banging your head repeatedly against your keyboard. Kudos! I mean, they don't make any sense, but the fact that you make them *clap clap* well done.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
    • taco belle

      "this reminds me the vision I had where a group of Ho-mo se[xual demons sat around and mentally tormented people, tearing at their minds with vicious attacks."

      The full weight of this sentence is finally getting to me. This guy is fvcking nuts.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
    • Damocles

      Whatever anvil posts has no bearing on what I say or do or feel or think or have for breakfast on any given morning. That you get so worked up over mere words says much about you.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Austin

      I'm dogmatic? Damn right! I'm dogmatic when it comes to needing EVIDENCE before I believe something. Especially when that something is from a person who believes they're being given messages from an all-powerful being because they're sooooo special. Then add in that the very book you believe in gives many orders to kill. My conclusion is based on actual evidence and reasoning based on YOUR OWN BELIEFS. And you have the fucking gall to say that I don't see the evidence because I won't accept the belief just as a given. Pathetic, insane little shit that you are, I doubt you'd actually respond to anything within the post, and continue with some irrelevant bullshit "vision" or worthless, inane bible verse crap.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • Austin

      Oh really nuts?

      so you dont know that the Ho.mo s.exual oppression is a demonic agenda? Well i was given that insight. so now someone is telling you who knows the reality of what demons are up to . that is one thing some of them are. perverts. and mental tormenters.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • taco belle

      ah huh. Interesting, Austin. And can you get one of your inside advisers on this matter to say call into a radio station and leave us a message perhaps?

      April 5, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
    • Austin

      "Especially when that something is from a person who believes they're being given messages from an all-powerful being because they're sooooo special."

      your hatred for spiritual things is dogmatic. The things that come out of your heart defile you, not what goes in to you.
      I speak according to what I have truly experienced. You hate it. It bothers you and you just hate it. fine.

      Thats who you are.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
    • Damocles

      Is that going to be the defense that you demand that your lawyers use when your stupidity takes its final, sad step? 'I seen me some visions! Demon butt secks! I had to kill 'em!'

      April 5, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
    • Damocles

      So if it's not the things that go in you that defile you, why are you so hung up on gay people?

      April 5, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Austin

      That's right. Don't address the entire post. Just go on with soundbite little bullshit thinking it makes some kind of point. You're pathetic. You can't even provide any evidence for anything you're saying, and expect everyone to just accept your ramblings as truth just because you say so.
      Tell me Austin, are you just physically incapable of responding with relevancy, or is it the choice of a fucking coward?

      April 5, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
    • taco belle

      I hope that Austin doesn't have a bunch of groupies living with him that he's hypnotized as his army. Do you live in the canyon, Austin?

      April 5, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
    • The real Tom

      No groupies. Just dead cats. And pools with decks.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
    • Damocles

      Oh, hell, a zombie-cat army? Can you imagine the yowling?

      April 5, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
    • Austin

      Hawaii Guest,...... here is some evidence.

      # 6 dreamed i was touring a house and went out back and there was an ABOVE ground pool with an flush deck and a privacy fence right around the deck.

      two days later the kid sleeping next to me pulled out a piece of paper , sheldon clay was his name, and he showed me his blue print he drew, of a new house, with an above ground swimming pool , with a flush deck around the pool, and a privacy fence on the deck.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
    • Austin

      #7 this kid on night threw a roll a tp and racked me. I was furious and said to myself, I wonder if he has the light in his eye. and then i rebuked my judgment of his spiritual condition. THE NEXT MORNING he woke up and came up to me and said, "i had a dream last night that i was going around to see who had a special light in their eye to see if they were possessed or not"
      this kid was not a bible verse type of guy.

      this happened maybe 2 weeks from the previous spiritual synchronicity.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • Austin

      dont you understand EXACTLY WHAT IS NOT A COINCIDENCE?

      April 5, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Austin

      Are you fucking kidding me? Your evidence to back up your claims of "visions" is to post more of the same shit again? Are you confused as to what the word "evidence" means, or do you really think you claiming something should be enough to believe it. If that's the case, I have a bridge to sell you.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • Damocles

      And did you punish this mr. clay for using witchcraft to pull the image from your mind?

      April 5, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • taco belle

      Why were you sleeping with a kid, Austin?

      April 5, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Austin, how many times do you have to be told – that is not evidence. It's a story, possibly pure coincidence, more likely a product of your delusional mentally ill brain. Nothing you say has any credibility..

      April 5, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
    • Damocles

      And so you and this other whack job went around with a flashlight, shining it in homeless people's faces and saw a light in their eyes, meaning they were possessed. Then what'd you do?

      April 5, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
    • taco belle

      Have you ever seen LA from the air, Austin. When you look down when you are close to the airport there are hundreds and hundreds of back yards that all look the same – with pools and decks.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • taco belle

      OK – after reading #7, I am absolutely certain Austin is nuts.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
    • Austin

      Damocles
      And did you punish this mr. clay for using witchcraft to pull the image from your mind?

      FINALLY !!!!!!!!!!!!! SOMEONE GETS IT.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
    • Austin

      hOT aIR aCE
      possibly pure coincidence, more likely a product of your delusional mentally ill brain. Nothing you say has any credibility..

      YES......YES......YES.......YOU UNDERSTAND. (if must be coincodence, "pure" coincodence) NO it was not are you that stubborn? How many times can this happen as coincodence in one month, and have it still hoped as coincodence. and this is exactly why you default to delusional mentality, because YOU KNOW THAT IT ADDS UP, AND SO YOU NOW HOPE AND INSIST ON DELUSION.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • Austin

      No Damocles, I was and I wondered if they had the spiritual light in their eyes because they were taunting me just like you all are. and then in the morning Shean came up to me and spoke of the dream he had of the thoughts I shunned in my own mind.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Well that response certainly was the product of a rational mind – not! Austin, your responses are increasingly erratic – you need the help of a mental health professional.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
    • Damocles

      Well, I can only hope that you are in a nice secure hospital or behind bars.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Austin, you claim to believe 100% in the divine jesus myth despite there being no evidence for such a dude. If you sincerely believe in that load of crap, it is easy for me to believe you can conjure up in your own mind your alleged revelations and the (imaginary) persons you claim are part of them. What objective, independent, factual and verifiable evidence do you have for your stories? The same evidence you don't have for your imaginary god and the alleged divine jesus?

      April 5, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
    • Austin

      My God is mighty to save. and I have given you evidence as it was given to me.

      and if need be, God can produce more evidence. if He wants to.

      Do you want some more?

      April 5, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
    • Austin

      Damocles
      Well, I can only hope that you are in a nice secure hospital or behind bars

      why Damocles? explain why if you are going to say that. why did you suggest that , as a response to my honesty?

      April 5, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Austin, you have provided absolutely nothing and your alleged god is absolutely silent, but go ahead, give it your best shot. Maybe your god will inspire you to write something as compelling as The Babble. . .

      April 5, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Whoever is using the name Austin is either certifiably insane or a troll rolling on the ground laughing at the replies.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
    • The real Tom

      tally: Yup. It isn't Austin. It's a troll.

      April 5, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
    • Austin

      <<

      >>

      Show resourcesAdd parallel
      Acts 2:17
      New International Version (NIV)
      17 “‘In the last days, God says,
          I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
      Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
          your young men will see visions,
          your old men will dream dreams.

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

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

      April 5, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
    • Austin

      The holy spirit will write the truth on your heart.

      Romans 9:19 (NKJV) You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?"

      April 5, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Nothing like a coupe of seemingly random bits from The Babble to clearly make a point. . .

      April 5, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
  9. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    April 5, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • skytag

      Christians claim this all the time, but can't produce a single example of any outcome that has been affected by prayer.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
    • .

      The second world war.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
    • The real Tom

      You think that the outcome of WWII was affected by prayer?

      Well, color you stupid.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
    • Damocles

      WWII?? Ahahahahaha... you'd think the prayers would have worked before all those brave troops died. Ah, well, deities need sacrifices, I guess.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Hey, Damo! How you doing?

      April 5, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
    • Damocles

      I am doing pretty freakin awesome! Spent a hella good week with the kids, tried to make rock candy, had a blast! Shame my life has no meaning.... ahahahahahahaha.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
    • Akira

      Just an observation, but there was plenty of praying going on when people were getting thrown in the gas chambers...didn't affect the outcome of those poor people any.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
    • .

      It did go a long way towards founding the reestablished nation of Israel answering 2000 years of prayer.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
    • .

      Presidents kings and generals prayed for short and long term results, entire nations prayed . evil is not defeated as one orders from McDonalds. It took years to create the problem, less to resolve it. shame on you idiots that expect instant gratification with no faith.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Lovely back-pedal. Do you always flail so desperately?

      April 5, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Oh, Damo, I am so sorry you are rock-candy challenged! I hope the failures were edible anyway.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • .

      can't stand truth can you ass hole.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Gee, I don't know if I can stand it or not. Why don't you post some?

      April 5, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
    • Damocles

      So, dot's deity needed a certain bodycount before it stepped in. 1,000 dead? Meh. 10,000? Yawn. 100,000? Mildly amusing. 1,000,000? Hey, I've got, you know, important recital prayers to answer.

      And again dot makes the claim for the weakest all powerful deity ever. 'It can't just wave its hand, you know, it's all powerful... wait... I mean, it's all powerful when I need it to be, yet weak as fvck when something needs to be done. Mysterious ways! Mysterious ways!'

      April 5, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • Damocles

      We'll see, the last batch we did may turn out ok. It was fun just trying though.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:17 pm |

    • Dot's a splendid example of borderline personality disorder, but it's great that The real Tom's willing to call it out on some of its bullshiit.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
    • .

      Real tom ain't worth the powder... and you still can't handle the truth loser nor can your butt kissed guru.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Oh, please. You don't have the balls.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      And who did the really hard yards winning the second world war?

      The Soviets. They pinned down the Nazis during the toughest years of the war. The sacrifices made by the Soviet Union exceeded any other country in world war two.

      Even the victory over Ja.pan was at least as much due to the Soviets as the use of atomic weapons. It was not until the Soviets declared war on Ja.pan that Ja.pan surrendered – to the US (and not the Soviets).

      Sadly the present North Korea situation is a legacy of Soviet engagement in the waning days of the war.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • The real Tom

      It just slays me when idiots try to revise history. Prayer didn't do squat to win the war. Only morons would think so.

      April 5, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      This one has a nasty streak.

      It curious that it responded to a 'prayer changes things' thread. That is what tbt visibly did. ('tbt' = "atheism is" troll).

      April 5, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
    • tallulah13

      So "." thinks that the atomic bomb is god. Wasn't that from one of the Planet of the Apes movies?

      April 5, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
  10. max

    Good,we have a STATE bird,why not CHRISTIANITY!

    April 5, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • taco belle

      The bird is the Word??

      April 5, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
    • Akira

      I thought Grease was the Word.
      I know...the bird came first.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
  11. Lil P00py

    No charges on my pops. See dis big cross I'm wearin – still representin'.

    April 5, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
    • Lil p00py

      Now me and my big cross can get back to me and my big mamas. hmm 🙂

      April 5, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
  12. Thomas Jefferson

    At the founding it was understood that Christianity was to be the model, the ideal and the faith of these United States, the cults and false religions were problems to be dealt with in old Europe or the heathen nations of Islam. When these apostates and charlatans invade these sacred shores it becomes the right of the Christian majority to reaffirm their faith and drive the godless out, if that means affirmation as a Christian state, so be it.

    April 5, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • His panic

      I think you're a WASP!

      Well, WASP's, hillbillies and rednicks will soon be in a State of total Panic when nobody picks-up the produce in the farms. Then there will be no food on the table and WASP's will be Panicking with nothing to eat. Because most WASP's are obese. At least the ones I know.

      April 5, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Thomas Jefferson thought Christian dogma was garbage....LOL

      April 5, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • Thomas Jefferson

      Was a dedicated and devout Christian.

      April 5, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • sam

      Nice try. Sad, but still a nice try.

      April 5, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      The Jefferson Bible, or The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth as it is formally ti.tled, was a book constructed by Thomas Jefferson in the latter years of his life by cutting and pasting numerous sections from the New Testament as extractions of the doctrine of Jesus. Jefferson's condensed composition is especially notable for its exclusion of all miracles by Jesus and most mentions of the supernatural, including sections of the four gospels which contain the Resurrection and most other miracles, and passages indicating Jesus was divine.

      ...Does that sound like someone who believes the myth?

      April 5, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • Thomas Jefferson

      Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

      (from Notes on the State of Virginia)

      April 5, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
    • Thomas Jefferson

      Not quite more people have been tortured and murdered by atheists throughout history than by any other group. Atheists calling themselves Christian are still atheists.

      April 5, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • Taco Belle

      Actually last fake TJ – you can't prove that. You're trying to transfer from the few to the many. Show us all their thoughts and beliefs if you dare.

      April 5, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
  13. Bob

    "Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leads to destruction...for small is the gate, and narrow is the way, that leads to life, and there are few that find it". ....Jesus Mathew 7:14 Only one way to God and heaven-that is through Jesus Christ. Receive Him as Lord and Savior. God bless.

    April 5, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • WhenCowsAttack

      That is so very sad for the untold millions of people all over the globe who have already lived their adult lives and perished without ever hearing about Jesus- in fact, worshipping whatever religion they were taught from birth is the right one.

      I guess what they say is true- God really does delight in creating people just to send them to Hell.

      All those poor native Americans...Christianity didn't come to the Americas until about 500 years ago. Oh well, they all deserved to burn, right?

      April 5, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      You are a filthy liar. Only total submission to the will of Cthulhu will save you from his impending wrath.

      April 5, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Thinking for yourself is the narrow gate. The wide gate is allowing a system of unjustifiable beliefs to tell you what to think.

      April 5, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      The Catholic Catechism states that people who, through no fault of their own do not know about Jesus, can possibly go to heaven. They simply need to live a moral life to the best of their understanding.

      God is the one who decides who goes to heaven and who does not, whether one has heard the word or not. Baptism and other sacraments are not contracts. They are expressions of devotion. God's devotion to us in giving them and our devotion to him in acceptance thereof.

      Catholics believe we are indelibly marked when we are Baptized and therefore commissioned to evangelize. But, those not Baptized may be inheritors of the Kingdom through grace.

      It's like the scene in the movie "Life of Pi" where his atheist father is is extolling the virtues of autonomous thinking and little Pi says "I think I'd like to be Baptized"

      April 5, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • Madtown

      whether one has heard the word or not
      ---–
      Bill, it's just all too convenient. An omnipotent God, who created this unimaginably vast and complex universe, couldn't be bothered to disseminate a divine message to all regions of his creation? Only a small demographic in the middle east was privy to this message? C'mon. It just sounds like adherents to a particular religion justifying why theirs is correct, by trying to wiggle out of a logical problem.

      April 5, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "The Catholic Catechism states that people who, through no fault of their own do not know about Jesus, can possibly go to heaven. They simply need to live a moral life to the best of their understanding."

      Bill,

      How about someone like me who has rejected Christianity and Catholocism because I think they are immoral and cannot rationally justify accepting their claims at their foundation, but I otherwise live a good life. What does the Catechism say about that?

      April 5, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • WhenCowsAttack

      Bill, that is nothing more than a convenient attempt to rationalize away this simple fact: That if Christianity were the one true religion, the god of Abraham the one true god, and Jesus the actual son of the one true god, the message would have been made available to all people, regardless of where they lived.

      The bible clearly states that nobody who doesn't know and accept Jesus will get into heaven. That in itself nullifies the whole premise of christianity- as we know, billions of people since its inception have lived and died having never even heard of the bible. It is virtually impossible that a true loving god would create billions of souls, knowing they would never get the chance to hear his word, essentially creating them just to torture them for all of eternity.

      April 5, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • The Demon Deacon

      Bill Deacon
      Is irrelevant. Billy is an obsequious papal apologist troll. You probably already know that, just a friendly reminder.

      April 5, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • skytag

      Gladly, just as soon as your produce some evidence supporting what you say about him.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
    • skytag

      Tom, Tom is right. The widest gate of all is a belief system unconstrained by any facts, reason, or logic.

      April 5, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
    • Burt

      There is no excuse to reject His message. "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, HIs eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse" ...Romans 1:20 Those who seek Him will find HIm. He will reveal His plan of salvation to all who seek. Do not try to justify your own rebellion of the gospel by some kind of greater righteousness before God. Don't worry about the eternal fate of others, concern yourself with your own eternal destiny. Be assured, you will certainly give an account to God for rejecting His plan of salvation.

      April 6, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
  14. sweenbass

    You could even say:

    "Love is like oxyegen. You get too much, you get too high. Not enough & you're gonna die"

    April 5, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
  15. sweenbass

    I no more "believe in" love than i "Belive in" oxyegen. it is there it can be measured (at least the brain waves can be the feelings derived from it can be described & named as best as we can)

    April 5, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
  16. Russ

    @ ..
    no, the story is from April 4th (yesterday). just look above.
    also, click on p.1 of the comments below. notice: comments begin yesterday afternoon.

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

      sorry, posted in wrong place

      April 5, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • ..

      Posted at 2:06 pm. Is that not afternoon?

      April 5, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • ..

      As in April 4th @ 2:06 pm.

      April 5, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • Russ

      @ ..
      *yesterday* afternoon. and notably, my comment (which was conveniently & susp.iciously deleted below just after i made this response there) made that clear. your objection before was to the date (today vs. yesterday), not the time of day. nothing in my comment talked about the morning.

      i find your insistence on that point (knowing your own mistake) – along with the suspi.cious deletion below – suspect. are you the deleter?

      April 5, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Saraswati

      OK, here's the conversation. My experience is that this will just get moderated again within an hour or two so I'm not going to bother fixing the format but to clarify the times and dates I am posting what I, as the original and now moderated poster, can still see.

      ===================================

      Saraswati
      Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      I lived in NC for a few years, in one of the most educated areas. The college students were dumb as dirt and couldn’t tell you where major countries like Iran or Brazil were located. People on both the right and left used the terms “liberal” and “Marxist” interchangeably. Truly one of the scariest, most backwards places I’ve lived and travelled…and that includes several developing countries.

      April 4, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply

      Russ

      @ Saraswati: interesting... so Duke, North Carolina & Wake Forest (all in the top 30 academic colleges nationally) are hick schools to you? as someone NOT from North Carolina, I can't help but notice that not many other states can claim three top 30 academic schools.

      somehow, I don't think US News & World Report's analysis here is quite as anecdotal as yours.

      April 4, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |

      Saraswati

      @Russ,

      Have you actually looked at how US News does it's calculations? Hint: It's not based on the measured intellectual abilities of the graduates. Btw, I did graduate work at one of the universities you listed ... none of them are what they are cracked up to be.

      April 4, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |

      Alias

      The most educated part of NC?
      Did i mention that i used to like in the cultural center of Kentucky?

      April 4, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |

      Saraswati

      Alias, lol, yeah, that does sound funny, but for a long time the triangle area actually had the highest per capita number of PhDs in the country. It didn't help. The only ones who knew about anything outside their own field were imports from out of state or abroad and they all locked themselves in about 3 towns away from the general religious idiocy of the masses. The few normal natives around stuck "I'm from NC and I didn't vote for Jesse Helms" stickers on their cars to avoid the humiliation of being from that backwards hell hole.

      April 4, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |

      Russ

      @ Saraswati: are you prepared to be consistent in that argument?
      seems to me that Harvard, Princeton & Yale have not quibbled with remaining atop those rankings for years based on that same criteria. are you going to argue that all the others school also have an inflated scale?

      April 4, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |

      sam

      Russ, did you not read anything from her posts? Have you lived and/or worked there? What is your problem?

      April 4, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |

      Saraswati

      Wow, Russ, you're telling me the colleges at the top of the rankings haven't complained about it? Now there's a shocker.

      (Btw, I don't oppose rankings on specific areas but don't believe the US News aggregate rankings which include relatively unrelated arbitrary items are very meaningful)

      April 4, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |

      Russ

      @ sam: *my* problem? my problem is her anecdotal assessment.

      yes, i have lived there. i also have lived in an ivy town. i could give many of the same criticisms about both... and i recognize it is anecdotal.

      what do the statistics tell you? is it really so hard to concede that North Carolina as a state is only behind California and Massachusetts in number of academic insti.tutions in the top 30? i recognize that is an inconvenient fact in the way of popular opinion among the comments here, but it is a fact nonetheless.

      April 4, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |

      sam

      She never called any of them hick schools – you did. And she wasn't talking statistics, she was talking about direct contact with students who came off as dumb. So again, what is your problem?

      April 4, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |

      Russ

      @ Saraswati: you can't have it both ways.

      yes, of course, Harvard, Yale & Princeton haven't complained. they've bragged about it. but therein lies your problem...

      if the same criteria is used to assess ALL the colleges and rank them, are Harvard, Yale & Princeton not truly the best academic insti.tutions in the US? if the criteria is faulty, there should be other problems on the list. for instance, would you say the same about California & Massachusetts? their insti.tutions hold a similar array of places in these rankings.

      point being – again – your assessment is selective and anecdotal. it's convenient for you here – but it's not based upon the facts.

      April 4, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |

      .

      russ is offended by the possibility that fundies have been proven to be dumb yet again.

      April 4, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |

      Chuckles

      @Russ

      You have a point but you don't seem to be digging too much into what the stats are actually saying. Sure, the schools are accredited and have a very high status in part because of the rankings, but there have already been scandals about grade inflation, Harvard's lack of push once the student is admitted, the ease in which to get a degree and the generalness of the degrees themselves. If someone has a doctorate in english for instance, that in no way means they have the knowledge of where Iran is on a map, or who the current prime minister of France is or what type of government Jordan is. Furthermore, having grown up very close to Boulder, CO which I think knocked out the place that Saraswati lived for most concetrated PHD's in a single place, my purely anecodotal evidence aligns with Sara's as well. It's not uncommon to have a waiter in Boulder with a PHD and there are fair amount of people who still think that there are places in the US still waiting to get electricity.

      April 4, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |

      Russ

      @ sam: so your problem is that i substi.tuted "hick" for "dumb"? that i misrepresented her argument? i don't hear that complaint from her.

      @ saraswati: have i misrepresented your contention that NC is full of dumb college students by changing the term to "hick"? or does that accurately portray your depiction of North Carolinians as stereotypical, uneducated southerners (i.e., the definition of "hick")?

      April 4, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |

      Russ

      @ .
      no, my problem is that – by this argument – all the other insti.tutions ranked highly are full of idiots.
      your logic doesn't hold. it is self-defeating.

      April 4, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |

      Dyslexic doG

      @Russ. As the old saying goes, it is better to be quiet and have people suspect you are a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

      April 4, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |

      sam

      Russ, since when do care about logic?

      You're bent out of shape because someone has personal experience with a place. We get it. Stop trying to make it into more than it is.

      April 4, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |

      Russ

      @ Chuckles: thank you for demonstrating my point.

      my argument is not so much in defense of North Carolina as it is that Saraswati's argument is *too* effective. ALL regions are susceptible to the same anecdotal argument.

      but again – that doesn't go along with the popular sentiment on this page... and we still are left to deal with the *fact* that North Carolina has as much to offer in the way of high level academia as any other state in the union.

      which brings the underlying point to a head: these people aren't 'uneducated.' but their opinion differs drastically from yours. it cannot be so easily dismissed out of hand by falsely labeling them.

      April 4, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |

      Russ

      @ DD: yes, you're right. it does say that.
      but don't you comment on this blog as much (if not more) than i do?

      April 4, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |

      Bill Deacon

      The fundamental tenet you are missing is that if a liberal atheist states something, it is a fact whether the data supports it or not. Geez you really must be dumb to think they would argue with integrity.

      April 4, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |

      Saraswati

      Oh, for goodness sake Russ, there is a ton of literature out there questioning these rankings. Sure you get a general trend where Harvard is better than Never Heard of Third Tier State College. The fact that there is a correlation between quality and ranking doesn't make it a strong or particularly useful correlation.

      If you want to really look at quality try comparing the real SAT or GRE scores at, say, Chapel Hill, to those at any lower ranked major university in the Northeast. Notice anything? Look at the graduates going on to grad school in the fields that matter. And certainly, on separate non-aggregated surveys look at success in the chosen field, income, actual satisfaction (not a proxy) and graduate school performance by students...again by field and not aggregated.

      If you really think that graduation rates and alumni giving reflect the quality of education fine, go for US News. But take a look at what these schools do to keep their ranking...they refuse to fail kids out who should fail (keeps up your graduation rate), make SATs optional (so their scores look better)...all kinds of crap to play the game. Do you really think alumni giving is a measure of school quality? I would prefer to go to a school where graduates donated a chunk of their money to medical care in developing countries than selfishly buffing up the reputation of their college. And sure, financial aid for students is great, but does it really speak to the quality of education? What about acceptance rate? Some schools get more applicants simply because they are cheap or have good sports teams, and that should bump them up in the rankings?

      April 4, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |

      Russ

      @ sam: no, that's not why i'm bent out of shape. so saraswati hates living in NC. fine. that's sara's opinion.

      but to project that experience across an entire region and group of people is anecdotal and dangerous. for example, if this discussion was about race or se.xual orientation, such a move would be (rightly) incendiary.

      the tendency of many on this blog is to be *as bigoted* toward theological conservatives as they complain theological conservatives are toward them – but seemingly unaware of their own hypocrisy. this discussion is yet another example.

      April 4, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |

      sam

      Bill, are you sure you can take time out from your busy schedule of playing Super Catholic Apologist to come on here and make pithy, bitter comments? You sound more and more like a whiny old man.

      April 4, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |

      Russ

      @ Saraswati: again, your objections actually serve my arguments.

      Harvard has the single largest endowment & alumni giving, with Princeton & Yale not far behind. so yes, there *is* a correlation between alumni giving and the quality of the insti.tution. and those schools themselves are wrestling with the exact same problems. wasn't Harvard one of the first schools to declare the SAT optional?

      again, your criticisms are *too effective* in that they equally undermine EVERY college. and we're not talking about third tier no names. all of the top 50, even the top 100 schools care about these rankings – and self-assess on that basis.

      which brings us back to the point: your objection is anecdotal. you don't like NC or the opinion of the religious there. but it's not due to lack of education. it's due to your opinion and perspective.

      April 4, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |

      .

      the only reason russ cares is because religious folks might be getting slighted. other wise slandering an area wouldn't be 'dangerous' to him.

      April 4, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |

      Russ

      @ .
      while i must admit that there always is more passion for an area that is personal to you, my goal is to be consistent. while i may disagree with your opinions, i want you to have the freedom to express them. i want to be able to have an honest dialogue in which we deal with the *substance* of our disagreement. at no point does name calling or stereotyping serve that discussion well.

      April 4, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |

      Saraswati

      @Russ,

      "Harvard has the single largest endowment & alumni giving, with Princeton & Yale not far behind. so yes, there *is* a correlation between alumni giving and the quality of the insti.tution. and those schools themselves are wrestling with the exact same problems"

      Of course there's a broad correlation – in this case Harvard graduates make more money so they can certainly afford to give more. For this to be meaningful you'd have to take a selection of schools that you have independently evaluated for quality and evaluate giving relative to income and then compare to that independent evaluation. If you read their literature, however, they're just using this as a proxy for "satisfaction" and are not looking at anything like that fine level of detail. It's giving us no additional information.

      April 4, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |

      Russ

      @ Saraswati: again, your point is self-defeating. *Harvard* uses this ranking, loves this ranking, announces this ranking... and *not* others. yes, they are tied with Princeton for #1. I've sat at the football game and listened to them chant back & forth mocking one another based on who slips in front of the other *for a singular year.*

      is it perfect? no. is it the ultimate authority? no. but it IS what they themselves use and recognize on an annual basis... as well as ALL of the other top 100 schools (and beyond). it *functions* nationally as *the* definitive ranking system.

      even if it's is off by a few places, the point holds: NC has several top tier insti.tutions – as many as almost any other state. your criticism is anecdotal, and if we were talking about race or se.xual orientation, everyone here would be up in arms about your remarks.

      April 4, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |

      Saraswati

      @Russ,

      Are you suggesting that no one can make a cultural observation, because if you are you might as well ban the whole field of anthropology.

      If you want numbers I suggested you compared standardized test scores at Chapel Hill against lower ranked northeastern schools. You'll find they are lower in NC. It depends what you value, but as I've pointed out many of the items included by US News are not, in fact, what most of us are referring to when we talk about a quality education. I have no issues with rankings on specific topics. The more the better and let applicants use them and decide. My issue is with rankings that aggregate many unrelated numbers to produce a final "all around score". You can tweak any set of numbers until you get a few of the agreed upon "top" places up high to confirm your numbers. That's not good science; it's just screwing with data to sell your product.

      April 4, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |

      monkeysender

      @ Russ,

      Shut up.

      April 4, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |

      Russ

      @ saraswati:

      1) i'm not objecting to a cultural observation, but rather propagating unfounded stereotypes.

      2) again, your objection to the system fails to recognize it unanimous usage by the parties involved.

      it's not just those at the top. all the colleges are using these rankings. sure, there is some debate regarding the criteria, but no one is arguing that one of these colleges is somehow obscenely overrated. for your argument to hold, Duke, UNC & Wake would all need to be substantially overrated – as in outside the top 50, if not the top 100 entirely.

      as it stands, with the current rankings (which all major schools nationally, high school students & guidance counselors, as well as various forms of media use *authoritatively*), North Carolina ranks only behind California & Massachusetts for top 30 academic insti.tutions. that's not 50th, or even 25th. it's 3rd. are you claiming the margin of error is 90% or more? in order to think of North Carolina as worse than some "developing countries" as you claimed above, the *facts* would have to support something on the order of a 90% error for US News. that is not anthropological observation; that is merely preposterous.

      again, your argument does not hold with the facts. it is merely unsubstantiated, anecdotal claims. with just about any other topic, it would be labeled 'bigotry.' but on this blog, it's the kind of bigotry everyone seems to love & so overlooks – against theological conservatives.

      April 4, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |

      Saraswati

      You really still want to harp on these colleges Russ? Only 14% of the students at Duke are from North Carolina. Even given that they have lower average SAT scores than any of the schools to which they like to compare themselves. They are a rich school which in a number of sectors (as previously discussed) buys them points, but they sure as heck don't say anything about North Carolina. Wake Forest is only about 25 or 26% in state student. These are regional schools for people who want to stay in or try out the south without getting their feet to wet (though the ban on same-se.x marriages in the Duke Chapel a few years back was a nice local touch). North Carolina and Virginia are the "least horrible" of the southern states, which, since you brought it up, generally lag many developing countries in basic areas like literacy and infant mortality. Sure, they attract a few of the better folk to the area. End story. Heck, it's the 10th largest state in the country – it would be pretty pathetic if it didn't have at least one good state university.

      April 4, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |

      Saraswati

      @Russ,

      What's really funny is that I used to say the exact same kind of things you're saying – until I moved there. I went to NC to see a part of the country I assumed had been unfairly maligned. What I found was a bunch of lot of backwards thinking people who thought they were "Marxists" if they spouted moderate liberalism (yes, they really used that term and no, none of them had ever read Marx). I found on the other side college kids using racist language I thought had gone out 20 or 30 years earlier. I found people driving around in pickups waving confederate flags who argued they weren't hurting anyone. I found idiots with enormous gun collections that kept getting stolen so more guns flooded the already high crime state. I found people who made up lies to trick me into going to their churches (yes, really). And I was in the best, most educated parts of NC. Talk all you want but the only people I've me who believe it's the same as the developed US either haven't been their or grew up there and never left.

      April 4, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |

      Russ

      @ saraswati: no, i'm not focused on the colleges. i'm focused on what's underneath your contention. the colleges are simply an strong counter to your assertion that North Carolina is full of dumb, backward people.

      and yet again, you can't have it both ways. either North Carolina both *has* and *draws* (an even stronger point) the educated (and commensurate insti.tutions) or it doesn't.

      you yourself noted that until very recently RTP had more PhDs per capita than any other metropolitan area in the US. you simply attribute that to "out of state" folks – but they had to actually *draw* them to their state, horrible as you think it is. and what of the "out of state" students – as if Harvard doesn't have them? all the higher level schools *want* such diversity and strive for it. it's what distinguishes them from merely being 'in state' schools. but again, that's a sign of an elite educational school... three of which happen to be located in NC. and notably, UNC claims the distinctive of being the *first* public university. but i guess that's just another sign that they're uneducated?

      point being: you say they're dumb. you want to believe that. it's convenient for you to believe that to support your argument that religious are dumb. but it simply doesn't match the facts.

      April 4, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |

      Saraswati

      @Russ, read my posts. I called the NC "Marxists" ignorant, too, so rethink your assumptions about why I say what I say.

      The US has more top rated universities that most European countries, even per capita. We draw a lot of people to our universities from abroad. But over all the populations in those same countries are still more outward looking and educated than the US. It's just not that strong a measure, even it we were to accept those rankings.

      April 4, 2013 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |

      Russ

      @ saraswati: but as i said above, i've lived there, too. i've lived up & down the east coast. your argument is anecdotal.

      i lived in NJ for 6 years and found many people to be incredibly rude and racist (despite much greater diversity), caring much less about individuals. but i also found others who broke the stereotype. for me to project such stereotypes onto the whole of NJ is simply unfounded and inaccurate.

      the bigger problem i have with you here is that you are using an anecdotal argument (NC is full of dumb people) to support a mistaken conclusion (religious people are dumb) which is both a logical fallacy and supports what certainly appears to be your prejudiced opinion.

      listen, i'm sorry people like me (theological conservatives) lied to you. it's horrible. by our own beliefs, it's horrible. it lacks integrity. but it doesn't mean we are all dumb and always lie any more than if I claimed that reciprocally about your positions. and if we're ever going to have decent, honest discussions about our wide ranging differences, we've got to be able to talk about substantive differences in accurate, mutually identifiable ways – and not merely dismiss one another based on unfounded stereotypes.

      April 4, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |

      Saraswati

      "the bigger problem i have with you here is that you are using an anecdotal argument (NC is full of dumb people) to support a mistaken conclusion (religious people are dumb) which is both a logical fallacy and supports what certainly appears to be your prejudiced opinion. "

      Please show me where you think I made this argument, because I can find you several places on this very site where I've argued exactly the opposite.

      April 4, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |

      Saraswati

      Start by reading my arguments here:

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/18/godless-mom-strikes-a-chord-with-parents/comment-page-50/

      Example:

      "@Cheese. I agree with you that many of Chad's conclusions are incorrect. However, the foundational point he is making here is relevant and something that many atheists posting here don't appear to understand. What I'm not comfortable with is the assumption many seem to make that everything Chad says is wrong. While it doesn't impact the validity of anyone's arguments, it speaks to the credibility and is something on a practice level people might want to consider.

      Chad certainly has a number of blinders on about what he'll accept as evidence or argument. I'm pretty sure most of those blinders will stay firmly in place. However, he's not an idiot and, contrary to what a lot of atheist will want to admit, presents a better than average argument for this site. Same goes for Bill Deacon. Of course same goes for yourself, Akira, SImran and a few other atheists. But everyone we all have some blinders on and its valid for him to make that point. Not everything he says has to be wrong. Really read what some ... probably most ... of the atheist here are saying and I think you can get the idea as to why he might think he has to say these things."

      April 4, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |

      Saraswati

      Or here...

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/11/15/survey-religiously-unaffiliated-minority-christians-propel-obamas-victory/comment-page-3/

      "If you look at the stats in Europe belief in god has largely been replaced in a belief in a "life force" or belief in things like homeopathy and other crackpot ideas. Unfortunately, I haven't seen any real progress towards humans becoming more rational, only marginally better at having their irrationality meet the needs of the modern era. Not to knock that; I'd rather have the crackpot thinking that fits than the 2000 yr old crackpot thinking."

      April 4, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |

      Russ

      @ Saraswati: i appreciate your comments regarding Chad as an example of measured pursuit of mutual understanding – even if not agreement. i think we need a lot more of that here.

      per your other question (why I think you're arguing that in this instance): i was only reading you in light of this immediate thread (and certainly you can see how your initial remark – which you notably have not retracted – appears to make such claims). i don't recall having encountered such a measured response in the past from you – but readily admit i have not had that much interaction with you.

      April 4, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |

      Saraswati

      Heck, you get the point. I have many, many times here argued that despite the studies showing a few IQ points extra for atheists on average there really isn't much between atheists and theists and that these figures could, at least in part, be accounted for in other ways. I have discussed often that I don't think Dawkins is particularly brilliant (or even an interesting philosopher) and that my aunt, a nun, is one of the best educated and intelligent debaters I know when it comes to the topic of god.

      So I think perhaps it is you who want to examine closely the assumptions you jump to with other people.

      April 4, 2013 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |

      Russ

      @ Saraswati: i did not consider it a jump to take the obvious meaning of your initial remark at face value. but i'm glad to know your aunt gives you a run for your money.

      April 4, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |

      Saraswati

      There's nothing I retract in my original statement. Sure, the students did well in their subject of choice. No, they did not often have interests outside that required core curriculum. They were not on average generally interested in learning. My original post made no reference to religion and stated "People on both the right and left used the terms “liberal” and “Marxist” interchangeably." It's just not a learning oriented culture. Studying to get a diploma in your field and learning about the broader world and diverse people aren't the same thing.

      April 4, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |

      Russ

      @ saraswati: and that's true of virtually *every* city as well as virtually every insti.tution of higher learning in America – a point made earlier in the comment about Boulder, CO. that's a human problem, not a NC one.

      your assessment was anecdotal (though I was wrong to conclude you meant solely religious, when instead your brush was even broader) – and then it was paired with your *opinion* that NC was one of the most backward places you've ever been... sounding like the stereotypical American in London. cultural differences do not equate with inferiority. and as we've gone round & round about today: education is clearly not the basis for your argument here.

      that's the logical leap i'm talking about – even if it was not the religious but merely the entirety of the South you had in your sights.

      April 4, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |

      April 5, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Russ

      @ saraswati: thanks for restoring the thread and some sanity. still interested in your response.

      @ ..
      again, your objection has no basis. why talk about the afternoon at all when my original comment made no such reference: morning or afternoon? it's a non sequitur.

      April 5, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Russ, You seem to have two objections: First that people shouldn't make cultural generalizations and second that differences don't equal inferiority. On the first, as I mentioned before, if we didn't make generalizations there would be no anthropology and no ethnographies. On the second I don't think differences equal inferiority or superiority, but in certain areas there are superior and inferior achievements. For instance, both the South Koreans and Finns have different approaches and atti tudes to education than the US and both are superior to the US in the scale of achieving academic success. In the same way there are real differences between north and south with regard to the atti tudes and approaches taken to make students broadly educated people who understand the differences and diversity of humans and the culture of the south is inferior in that regard. I will give that compared to the northeast they are superior with regard to friendliness (though the west is fairly comparable).

      Anyway, this will all get moderated shortly. I have several pages of moderated stuff on the Be Nice story that no one but me can see...if the CNN folks don't fix this with a limit on how many posts a user can moderate a day or something then this site is going to be pretty useless.

      April 5, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Saraswati:

      1) slanderous, anecdotal generalizations are not the same as sociological, statistically-based insights. certainly your initial comments do not fall under that latter category (dumb as dirt, don't know where major countries are on a map, scary & backward). let's not call that anthropology.

      2) i'm not against quantifiable statements of inferiority or superiority. test scores are test scores. those are facts. (but as I repeatedly noted yesterday, so are the number of high level insti.tutions you have in state.) again, it's the unsubstantiated claims being used to support conclusions of inferiority that i find troubling.

      3) yes, CNN needs to take care of this. hard to have a worthwhile conversation when you can't be confident it will be there to continue the next moment.

      April 5, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Yes Russ, I combined opinion and observation. This is no different than saying Columbia has a high crime rate and that is scary. Is that an issue for you? And the map scenario is one that I observed personally on multiple occasions with college students. Take a look at the standardized test scores and literacy rates by state. Take a look at the opinions about hom.ose.xuality by state (yes, that is basic psychological knowledge, not some it's-all-equal business of personal opinion). Dumb as dirt, sure, an exaggeration but I don't think anyone actually believes anyone who can speak is as dumb as an inanimate object so I wasn't too worried about this being interpreted literally.

      April 5, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      In Texas they say "crawfish". I think in N.C. it's "crayfish"

      April 5, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • The Demon Deacon

      Bill Deacon
      Is irrelevant. Billy is an obsequious papal apologist troll. Down to just one pope story in ten.

      April 5, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
  17. Really-O?

    Come on, Chad...I know it's uncomfortable trying to create posts with the supervisor of helpdesk support popping in-and-out of your cube all day long, but you're getting your ass kicked here...you should be able to cobble together some copy & paste nonsense. Hahahaha!

    April 5, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
  18. sweenbass

    Does anyone notice that people ask "do you believe in love?" but they never aske Do you believe in hate?"

    April 5, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      The opposite of love is not hate. It is indifference

      April 5, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I don't really think you can talk about the opposites of emotions. It's like talking about the opposite of salty.

      April 5, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      The disparity comes between those who perceive love as an emotion and those who practice love as a choice. If I have a feeling of love towards you and that becomes thwarted, it may turn into hate. If I fail to practice the action of love, that is indifference

      April 5, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Well in psychology love is an emotion not an action so you are using some definition specific to a particular Christian subculture. That's fine, just not very interesting to me.

      April 5, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • The Demon Deacon

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

      April 5, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
  19. Really-O?

    ...and, once again, more copy & paste from Chad. Does anyone think Chad is capable of reasoned argument without using the words of another?

    April 5, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • .

      I'm not sure why anyone keeps trying to battle wits with an unarmed person.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      seeking equilibrium?

      April 5, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • The Demon Deacon

      Bill Deacon
      Is irrelevant. Billy is an obsequious papal apologist troll. No one can be wrong all the time even Billy.

      April 5, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things,

    April 5, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!.

      April 5, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Really?

      "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things"

      That's why the data: has shown that atheists have happier and healthier lives than conservative Christians. Your post is built on a lie!

      April 5, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • .

      Two responses one self appointed ass hole to make it.

      April 5, 2013 at 1:58 pm |

    • The dot with borderline personality disorder is back.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • LOL!

      "The dot with borderline personality disorder is back."

      They just don't like the that actual facts where posted to the original posters lie.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      The LORD [is] far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.

      Proverbs 15:29

      Amen.

      April 5, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

      HeavenSent

      Quoting scripture has power in it...like casting a spell

      April 5, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • skytag

      Posting this over and over won't make it true. There is no evidence of any kind that prayer has ever affected the outcome of any event.

      April 6, 2013 at 4:26 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.