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When religious beliefs become evil: 4 signs
The Branch Davidians, a religious sect led by David Koresh, clashed with federal agents in 1993 in Waco, Texas.
April 28th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

When religious beliefs become evil: 4 signs

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - An angry outburst at a mosque. The posting of a suspicious YouTube video. A friendship with a shadowy imam.

Those were just some of the signs that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, accused of masterminding the Boston Marathon bombings, had adopted a virulent strain of Islam that led to the deaths of four people and injury of more than 260.

But how else can you tell that someone’s religious beliefs have crossed the line? The answer may not be as simple you think, according to scholars who study all brands of religious extremism. The line between good and evil religion is thin, they say, and it’s easy to make self-righteous assumptions.

“When it’s something we like, we say it’s commitment to an idea; when it’s something we don’t like, we say it’s blind obedience,” said Douglas Jacobsen, a theology professor at Messiah College in Pennsylvania.

Yet there are ways to tell that a person’s faith has drifted into fanaticism if you know what to look and listen for, say scholars who have studied some of history’s most horrific cases of religious violence.

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“There are a lot of warning signs all around us, but we usually learn about them after a Jim Jones or a David Koresh,” said Charles Kimball, author of “When Religion Becomes Evil.”

Here are four warning signs:

1. I know the truth, and you don’t.

On the morning of July 29, 1994, the Rev. Paul Hill walked up to John Britton outside an abortion clinic in Pensacola, Florida, and shot the doctor to death. Hill was part of a Christian extremist group called the Army of God, which taught that abortion was legalized murder.

Hill’s actions were motivated by a claim that virtually all religions espouse: We have the truth that others lack.

Those claims can turn deadly when they become absolute and there is no room for interpretation, Kimball says.

“Absolute claims can quickly move into a justification of violence against someone who rejects that claim,” Kimball said. “It’s often a short step.”

Healthy religions acknowledge that sincere people can disagree about even basic truths, Kimball says.

The history of religion is filled with examples of truths that were once considered beyond questioning but are no longer accepted by all followers: inerrancy of sacred scripture, for example, or the subjugation of women and sanctioning of slavery.

If someone like Hall believes that they know God’s truth and they cannot be wrong, watch out, Kimball says.

“Authentic religious truth claims are never as inflexible as zealous adherents insist,” he writes in “When Religion Becomes Evil.”

Yet there’s a flip side to warnings about claiming absolute truth: Much of religion couldn’t exist without them, scholars say.

Many of history’s greatest religious figures – Moses, Jesus, the Prophet Mohammed – all believed that they had discovered some truth, scholars say.

Ordinary people inflamed with a sense of self-righteousness have made the same claim and done good throughout history, says Carl Raschke, a theology professor at the University of Denver in Colorado.

The Protestant Reformation was sparked by an angry German monk who thought he had the truth, Raschke says.

“Martin Luther’s disgust at the worldliness of the papacy in the early 1500s inspired him to become a radical revolutionary whose ideas overturned the entire political structure in Europe,” Raschke said.

So how do you tell the difference between the healthy claims of absolute truth and the deadly? Scholars say to look at the results: When people start hurting others in the name of their religious truth, they’ve crossed the line.

2. Beware the charismatic leader.

It was one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in Japanese history. In March 1995, a religious sect called Aum Shinrikyo released a deadly nerve gas in a Tokyo subway station, leaving 12 people dead and 5,000 injured.

Two months later, Japanese police found Shoko Asahara, the sect’s founder, hiding in a room filled with cash and gold bars. Kimball, who tells the story of the sect in “When Religion Becomes Evil,” says Asahara had poisoned the minds of his followers years before.

Asahara demanded unquestioned devotion from members of his sect and isolated followers in communities where they were told that they no longer needed to think for themselves, Kimball says.

Any religion that limits the intellectual freedom of its followers, he says, has become dangerous. “When you start to get individuals who are the sole interpreters of truth, you get people who follow them blindly."

Charismatic leaders, though, often don’t start off being cruel. Jim Jones, who led the mass suicide of his followers in South America, was a gifted speaker who built an interracial church in San Francisco that did much good in the community. Few people at the beginning of his ministry could predict what he would become.

As time went on, though, his charisma turned cruel as he tolerated no questions to his authority and became delusional.

“Charismatic leadership is important, but in healthy religions, there’s always a process where questions are encouraged,” Kimball said.

Weaning followers away from corrupt charismatic leaders and bad religion can take years, but it can be done if one knows how to speak their language, says Ed Husain, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

Countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt will often deploy imams to reach out to young men in prison who have adopted “Islamism,” or extreme forms of Islam sanctioning violence against civilians, says Husain, who has written about Muslim extremism.

These Muslim clerics know the Quran better than the extremists and can use their knowledge to reach extremists in a place that logic and outsiders cannot penetrate, Husain said.

“The antidote to extremism is religion itself,” Husain said. “The problem is not to take Islam out of the debate but to use Islam to counter Islamism.”

3. The end is near.

In 1970, an unknown pastor from Texas wrote a book called “The Late, Great Planet Earth.” The book, which linked biblical prophecy with political events like Israel’s victory in the 1967 Six-Day War, predicted the imminent return of an antichrist and the end of the world.

Author Hal Lindsey’s book has sold an estimated 15 million copies and spawned a genre of books like the “Left Behind” series. Many people are fascinated by the idea that the heavens will open soon because the end is near.

That end-times theology can turn lethal, though, when a follower decides that he or she will speed up that end-time by conducting some dramatic or violent act, says John Alverson, chairman of the theology department at Carlow University in Pittsburgh.

“A religious terrorist mistakenly believes that God has ordained or called him or her to establish the will of God on Earth now, not gradually and not according to the slow and finicky free will of other humans,” Alverson said.

Yet this impulse to see God’s intervention in human affairs now and not in some distant future can also be good, he says.

There are vibrant religious communities that teach that political and economic injustice must be addressed now. Liberation theology, for example, was a movement among pastors and theologians in Latin America that called for justice for the poor now, not in some future apocalyptic event, Alverson says.

“Hope is a good breakfast but not much of a supper,” Alverson said. “We can’t just live on the hope that justice will happen; we have to actually experience justice from time to time so that our hope can continue.”

4. The end justifies the means.

It was one of the biggest scandals the Roman Catholic Church ever faced, and the repercussions are still being felt today.

In January 2002, the Boston Globe published a story about Father John Geoghan, a priest who had been moved around various parishes after Catholic leaders learned that he had abused children. It was later revealed that Catholic officials had quietly paid at least $10 million to settle lawsuits against Geoghan.

Kimball says the Catholic scandal revealed another sign that a faith has turned toxic: Religious figures start justifying doing something wrong for a higher good.

 “The common theme was trying to protect the integrity of the church,” Kimball said of some Catholic leaders who covered up the crimes. “You get all of these rationalizations that we can’t let this scandal bring the whole church down, so we have to pay off this family and send the priests off to rehab.”

Religion is supposed to be a force for good. Still, it’s common that everyone from suicide bombers to venal church figures finds ways to justify their behavior in the name of some higher good.

Those rationalizations are so pervasive that religious movements that avoid them stand out, scholars say.

Jacobsen, the theology professor from Messiah College, cited the civil rights movement. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and his fellow activists renounced violence, even as they were attacked and sometimes murdered.

“They were willing to lay down their lives for what they believed in, but what’s incredible is, they practiced not retaliating when they suffered violence,” he said. “Those people really believed that God created everyone equal, and they were committed to the point of death.”

In some ways, it’s easy to say we would never adopt a form of religion that’s evil. But when we use the word “evil” to describe those who kill in the name of their faith, we’re already mimicking what we condemn, Jacobsen says.

In his new book, “No Longer Invisible: Religion in University Education,” Jacobson writes that calling a religion evil is dangerous because “bad or wrong actions can be corrected, but typically evil needs to be destroyed.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

“To label someone or something as evil is to demonize it, putting it in a category of otherness where the rules of normal life do not apply, where the end often justifies almost any means,” Jacobson writes.

And when we do that, we don’t have to read about radical imams or look at angry YouTube videos to see how easy it is for someone to drift toward religious extremism, he says.

We need only look at ourselves.

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Books • Catholic Church • Christianity • Courts • Culture wars • Egypt • Fundamentalism • History • Islam • Jesus • Leaders • Moses • Muslim • Quran

soundoff (3,810 Responses)
  1. lol??

    americult sure has a bunch of bullies from Sodomocracy.
    lol??
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Daniel
    "Taking on citizens with TANKS?? " The armored Bradley fighting vehicles were used to protect the lives of those sent to prevent another Jones town. The tanks NEVER FIRED on Waco you idiot. They were used to breach a wall where some experts now say that may have allowed more air into the already started fire causing a backdraft as the vehicle created a hole in the wall.

    Besides being a total dumb a s s, what else do you do for fun?

    April 30, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    lol??
    Cato says,
    ".....The federal Posse Comitatus Act forbids the use of the military for civilian law enforcement. Yet the Dallas Morning News reports that the U.S. Army’s Delta Force was “present, up front and close” on April 19, 1993. That revelation undermines earlier claims that only three Delta Force soldiers were at Waco in an “advisory” capacity."

    April 30, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Observer

      What's wrong with sodomy since millions of heteros apparently do it?

      April 30, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
  2. Fun to watch the loon go berserk

    I know the truth you don't.

    - Every time John Blake writes he believes he knows the truth

    Beware a charismatic leader

    -John Blake has a great fan base in this blog. Beware!! and most of these sound militant.

    The end is near

    -John Blake' 'end is near' drumbeat only attracts non-believers to evil

    The end justifies the means

    -John Blake continues to write poorly researched articles, hoping that the end justifies his fiendish agenda

    April 30, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Observer

      So it takes a "loon" to claim "I know the truth you don't."? So do you claim to know the truth when others don't (making you a loon) or are you passing on comments when you know you don't know the truth?

      Classic! Well done. lol.

      April 30, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Akira

      You do realize that this is not John Blake's list, but one that is addressed by Charles Kimball in his book “When Religion Becomes Evil”, right?
      And that several other scholars and authors comprise the rest of the article, right?

      My goodness.

      April 30, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
  3. Stater of the Obvious

    Sign #5 that your religion is evil

    Your pastor's name is Fred Phelps.

    April 30, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Akira

      lol??, you don't think what Fred Phelps preaches is good, do you?

      April 30, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      To my knowledge, the Phelps clan has never advocated violent action on the part of people. This puts them above the likes of Army of God, or other militant groups that will actually advocate violence to "take back the country from the godless evils".
      The Phelps clan is, at most, a very loud mosquito buzzing around.

      April 30, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
  4. Observer

    Grow up, everyone. We are fortunate enough to have this international forum to discuss topics. Turning this into a shouting match for profane mental children is jeopardizing this privilege. Anyone want to be left with what FOX News offers for discussions?

    How about at least pretending everyone is mature and showing at least a little respect for fellow human beings? Don't ruin this for everyone.

    (Ok. Let the juvenile insults of my comments begin. Some people lack the maturity to being able to offer thoughts without them)

    April 30, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • DavidTX

      I respect all of my conservative counterparts, I just happen to know they are wrong on almost every single stance they take from gay marriage to abortion. Once this becomes abundantly clear you can watch Fox news and think of it like a mix of SNL and Days of Our Lives, it's an outrageous comedy soap opera played out by a bunch of actors who read teleprompters and have to fake outrage and tears as well as smiles and smirks. Sadly this is not a soap opera sane people can watch for too long without either getting sick to their stomachs or start laughing as they assume the moronic pundit must be making a joke.

      April 30, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • trollintraining

      @Observer
      Okay poopie head. You think you are open minded, but you have been taken in by CNN as if it were fair and balanced. Fox is off the deep end conservative, but that does not make a liberal leaning network right about everything. So Naaaaaah!
      Secondly, the right to have something inherantly gives the right to be stupid with it, ala this blog.

      April 30, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Observer

      trollintraining,

      We have a very open format here. It is a privilege that we can use it when there aren't really any comparable formats available. Those are facts. Claiming that this makes me "taken in by CNN" shows as much about you being "fair and balanced" as FOX News.

      I certainly never said CNN was "right about everything". You might need to work on reading comprehension, poopie head. 🙂

      April 30, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
  5. dontbow

    sign 5: liberals heard like sheep around obama and agree with all he has to say. (

    April 30, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Pole dancing for Jesus

      Get an education. Moron

      April 30, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • sam stone

      "herd", not "heard"....

      April 30, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Observer

      Liberals herd like sheep around a man who graduated with honors from Harvard Law School while conservatives herd like sheep around college flunk-outs like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity.

      April 30, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • allenwoll

      .
      Yes, we should look for political guidance to a person who cannot handle 4 or 5 letters properly ! !
      .

      April 30, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • science

      And Rubio...............the age of the earth is ?

      April 30, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • Daniel

      "conservatives herd like sheep around college flunk-outs like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity."

      If they had stayed in school they might have had to listen to too much logic and reason which would have invalidated their already firmly held ideology, and that just wasn't going to work for those puffed up posers.

      April 30, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Johnny Zoidberg

      Science,

      To Rubio’s credit he did backtrack and gave the following statement:

      "Science says (the Earth) is about 4.5 billion years old. My faith teaches that's not inconsistent," Rubio said at a Politico Playbook Breakfast in Washington. "God created the heavens and the Earth, and science has given us insight into when he did it and how he did it."
      http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/12/05/rubio-clarifies-age-of-the-earth-answer/

      At least he can now state that science says the earth is 4.5 billion years old, as oppose to guys like Jindal who essentially said intelligent design should be taught in the schools or Santorum who says he only agrees with mico-evolution.

      April 30, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Bob Lewis

      In fact, the sheep all "heard" that you're an idiot.

      April 30, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Science

      Hey John

      Was the bible around back then ?

      Human Y Chromosome Much Older Than Previously Thought

      Mar. 4, 2013 — The discovery and analysis of an extremely rare African American Y chromosome pushes back the time of the most recent common ancestor for the Y chromosome lineage tree to 338,000 years ago. This time predates the age of the oldest known anatomically modern human fossils.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305145821.htm

      No god(s) needed or required to graduate from public schools in the US

      Remember : Adam had to POKE himself hard with his OWN BONE to create Eve.

      No god(s) needed................... Old. DNA works..................also catches crooks !

      Ancient DNA Reveals Europe's Dynamic Genetic History

      Apr. 23, 2013 — Ancient DNA recovered from a series of skeletons in central Germany up to 7,500 years old has been used to reconstruct the first detailed genetic history of modern Europe.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130423134037.htm

      Peace

      April 30, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Science

      Come on John was the bible around back then ?

      April 30, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
  6. Talking to yourself is not a good sign
    April 30, 2013 at 11:05 am |
  7. ..

    This is an example of faith's delusion, and why she is getting everyone else's posts deleted.
    It appears she has confirmed that she is indeed biggles, since she is the one that answered.

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    April 29, 2013 at 10:32 pm
    biggles: “Is one child getting her brain removed so she can more easily be evacuated from the womb okay when mom’s health is OK?”

    This isn’t done unless the fetus will not be viable outside of the womb or the mother’s life is in imminent danger, so you’re asking a “what if” question.

    faith says:
    April 29, 2013 at 11:10 pm
    problem dodo?

    on your knees with your sidearm and go meet jeebus. Either way works for me
    sam stone
    we are just attacking the pompous fvcks who purport to speak for god, doogie
    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

    faith says:
    April 29, 2013 at 11:15 pm
    dodo, these words are yours and your followers. wats up?

    When is this stupid watch faith going to learn how to read comprehensively? Tom was quoting the OP, zzshat. In case you’re too stupid to know what that means, it means Original Poster. That’s why she put the quotes (” “) aound the phrase, because she was QUOTING SOMEONE ELSE.
    Stop lying, cu < nt. You look stupider with every post. You are flvking dim!
    .
    Faith has the advantage since she's mentally challenged, and it's not good sport to make fun of the retarded. Of course, I have no such qualms about making fun of the little addled sh…..it deserves all it gets for being the festering boil on the azz on the BB.

    ALL religous beliefs are either evil or stupid – take your choice. And the people who believe in them are also either one or the other.
    .
    Better get your paranoia checked out, faith…….you seem to think everyone is named dorothy and sam……and calling sam "sambo" makes you sound racist as hell……which is wherew you're gonna end up with your lying for Jesus!

    __________________________________

    She has mixed me up with several people....SMH.
    Seek therapy, faith. You desperately need it.

    April 30, 2013 at 11:01 am |
  8. Chad

    Why is Jim Jones listed as a "charasmatic religious leader" when in fact he was an atheist?

    Many people think that Jonestown was some kind of religious eschatological thing, but nothing could be farther from the truth.
    Those people thought they were committing suicide in the name of marxism (atheism).

    "how can I demonstrate my Marxism? The thought was, infiltrate the church." - Jim Jones

    Jones began deriding traditional Christianity as "fly away religion," rejecting the Bible as being white men’s justification to subordinate women and subjugate people of color and stating that it spoke of a "Sky God" who was no God at all.[16] ." - Jim Jones

    April 30, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • derp

      "Those people thought they were committing suicide in the name of marxism (atheism)."

      In what alternate universe does Marxism equal Atheism?

      Marxism was directly related to "modes of production" and had almost nothing to do with religion. Marx was raised protestant and although he ultimately became atheist, he nearly never addressed religion. His theories were all economic and socially driven.

      April 30, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • tallulah13

      For those who wish to know the source of Chad's obvious quote, it comes from the wikipedia page on Jim Jones. It would be polite of Chad to name his sources (there was an obvious mark that indicated a footnote).

      April 30, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • Tamsyn

      Does Chad think that JJ WASN'T charismatic? One would think that getting 900 people to drink poisoned Kool-Aid would take a little charisma, at least.

      Chad misrepresents Jim Jones' role in religion, and what drove him. Although in the latter part of his life he became atheistic, he used Christianity as a tool to garner and keep his followers. Most of them were FAR from atheists.
      Chad misrepresents Jim Jones' role in religion, and what drove him. Although in the latter part of his life he became atheistic, he used Christianity as a tool to garner and keep his followers. Most of them were FAR from atheists.

      For a brief overview, see http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Jones

      April 30, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • Jim Jones

      Chad
      We have more in common than you think, I like my fellow fanatics. Come join us Chad, eat the nightshade berries.

      April 30, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • Chad

      @derp

      Marxist–Leninist atheism is a part of the wider Marxist-Leninist philosophy (the type of Marxist philosophy found in the Soviet Union), which rejects religion[1][2] and advocates a materialist understanding of nature.[3] Marxism-Leninism holds that religion is the opium of the people – in a negative sense – and it therefore promotes the abolition of religion and the acceptance of atheism

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marxist%E2%80%92Leninist_atheism

      April 30, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • Pete

      Asked, and answered yesterday. The fact that you didn't like the answers doesn't change anything.

      April 30, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Chad
      Jim Jones was absolutely NOT an athesit. He did reject christianity, but maintained a faith.

      Quit Lying

      April 30, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • Chad

      @Tamsyn,

      from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_jones:

      Religion: Atheist

      By the spring of 1976, Jones began openly admitting even to outsiders that he was an atheist.[42] Despite the Temple's fear that the U.S. Internal Revenue Service was investigating its religious tax exemption, by 1977 Marceline Jones admitted to the New York Times that, as early as age 18 when he watched his then idol Mao Zedong overthrow the Chinese government, Jim Jones realized that the way to achieve social change through Marxism in the United States was to mobilize people through religion.[38] She stated that "Jim used religion to try to get some people out of the opiate of religion," and had slammed the Bible on the table yelling "I've got to destroy this paper idol!"[38] In one sermon, Jones said that, "You're gonna help yourself, or you'll get no help! There's only one hope of glory; that's within you! Nobody's gonna come out of the sky! There's no heaven up there! We'll have to make heaven down here!"[ - Jim Jones

      If you consider Jim Jones "religious", then you ALSO consider Joseph Stalin, Mao, Kim Il Sun religious.

      April 30, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • Chad

      @Richard Cranium

      The Temple openly preached to established members that "religion is an opiate to the people." (Jones, Jim. "Transcript of Recovered FBI tape Q 1053." Alternative Considerations of Jonestown and Peoples Temple. Jonestown Project: San Diego State University.)

      Accordingly, "those who remained drugged with the opiate of religion had to be brought to enlightenment – socialism." (Layton 1999, page 53).

      In that regard, Jones also openly stated that he "took the church and used the church to bring people to atheism." (Jones, Jim. "Transcript of Recovered FBI tape Q 757." Alternative Considerations of Jonestown and Peoples Temple.

      April 30, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • Tamsyn

      A definition of Marxist-Leninism in no way encompasses what Jim Jones was about. It is just an exercise on how to cut/paste.
      Denying Jim Jones role in how he used religion to brainwash his followers because one doesn't feel comfy at the though of religion being used in such a unsavory way is just plain denial.

      April 30, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • Chad

      @Tamsyn "A definition of Marxist-Leninism in no way encompasses what Jim Jones was about. "
      @Chad "actually, it does! That is exactly what Jim Jones was all about.

      @Tamsyn "Denying Jim Jones role in how he used religion to brainwash his followers because one doesn't feel comfy at the though of religion being used in such a unsavory way is just plain denial."
      @Chad "nonsense
      what is your definition of "using religion"?
      He never said "If you dont do such and such, God will be upset", or "God wants you to do such and such".
      He "used religion" in the same way that Mao "used religion", he tried to convert people OUT of their faith into Marxist-Leninist atheism.

      those are just the facts, see the citations above.

      April 30, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • Observer

      JIm Jones wasn't close to the mass-killer that the Bible says God is.

      April 30, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Tamsyn

      Chad, I am aware of the link, as I gave it also.
      However, you are overlooking the fact the JJ's ministry started far earlier than 1976; Wiki is for an overview, as I stated.
      He was much more complex than that.
      As most atheists that leave Christianity didn't start out being atheists, so did Jim Jones.

      You may start off quoting Wiki, but that is not the be all to end all. Delve deeper.

      And, actually, Chad, the definition of Marxism doesn't.
      It would be useful to look aqt other sources other than Wiki as sources. It would also be useful for you to investigate the BEGINNINGS of hgis ministry, instead of what the FBI said after the END result was revealed.

      April 30, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • Tamsyn

      When you start looking into other sources than Wiki for understanding the beginnings of Jim Jones's ministry, Chad, then, hopefully, you will stop making such patently absurd logical fallacies such as "if you consider Jim Jones “religious”, then you ALSO consider Joseph Stalin, Mao, Kim Il Sun religious."

      Which I never stated, so you arew presenting facts that I've never entered in to evidence.

      I am done with you. Later today or tommorow, when you repost this because you didn't get the answer you seek, I will merely post "asked and answered." I now understand what people are saying when they mention you.

      April 30, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Chad

      Tamsyn

      You seem to be under the mistaken impression that Jones started out a Christian and later converted to atheism.
      That simply is wildly inaccurate, by 20 he was an atheist.

      In 1951 at the age of 20 years old, Jones began attending Communist Party meetings and rallies in Indianapolis.[16] He became flustered with harassment he received during the McCarthy Hearings,[16] particularly regarding an event he attended with his mother focusing on Paul Robeson, after which she was harassed by the FBI in front of her co-workers for attending.[17] He also became frustrated with ostracism of open communists in the United States, especially during the trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.[18] This frustration, among other things, provoked a seminal moment for Jones in which he asked himself "how can I demonstrate my Marxism? The thought was, infiltrate the church.

      as early as age 18 when he watched his then idol Mao Zedong overthrow the Chinese government, Jim Jones realized that the way to achieve social change through Marxism in the United States was to mobilize people through religion.[38] She stated that "Jim used religion to try to get some people out of the opiate of religion," and had slammed the Bible on the table yelling "I've got to destroy this paper idol!"[38] In one sermon, Jones said that, "You're gonna help yourself, or you'll get no help! There's only one hope of glory; that's within you! Nobody's gonna come out of the sky! There's no heaven up there! We'll have to make heaven down here!"

      April 30, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • JMEF

      Chad
      One by one every person you engage with comes to the conclusion that you are a lying delusional fanatic, bring out the ad hominem fallacy again, you are a liar that is the simple truth.

      April 30, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Paul

      Why would you put the quote of someone saying Jim Jones used religion to do whatever as proof that Jim Jones didn't use religion?

      April 30, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Chad

      I think that the frustration people have is that they just didnt really realize what the facts are.

      @Tamsyn for example seemed to believe that Jones was some late convert to atheism, that converting people to atheism was somehow a secondary, or very late in the game motivation and that perhaps somehow Jonestown could be cast as some kind of religiously motivated horror..

      Then, I start posting actual facts knocking all of that down, and people get extremely frustrated and angry. That's when they start calling me a liar, etc..

      April 30, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Daniel

      Not sure what you whole point here is Chad, that an atheist could be insane just like a Christian religious zealot who ends up killing their members like David Koresh? Whats your point?

      April 30, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Tamsyn

      Chad, you are under the mistaken delusion that Wiki is the only source for any information on JJ, and you are severely trying to undermine my intelligence.

      *I* have been posting the Wiki link for 2 days now; I even stated that it's a brief overview, and there are other sources; delve deeper. I did not mean delve deeper in Wiki.

      Posting more Wiki quotes to support your arguments, and then tell ME I don't understand what the hell I'm talking about, shows the level of dishonest you tend to descend into.

      I gave the Wiki link in the first place as a response to you in the first place. Not the other way around.

      You have shown that Sarwswati's #28 is correct; "If someone points out to you that citing Wikipedia is not an adequate source for the discussion at hand you can always find a good undergraduate philosophy paper to cite instead."

      Except you haven't even gotten past Wiki yet.

      If it makes you feel better to think that Jim Jones didn't employ religious techniques to accomplish his monstrous goals, have at it.

      I'm done with you. Have a pleasant afternoon.

      April 30, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • Chad

      @Daniel "Not sure what you whole point here is Chad, that an atheist could be insane just like a Christian religious zealot who ends up killing their members like David Koresh? Whats your point?"

      @Chad "I agree, Jones is a loon.
      What I object to is CNN using Jim Jones as an example of a charismatic religious leader. He wasnt, he was a charismatic atheist.

      April 30, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • lol??

      The mediums loved jones.

      April 30, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Chad

      with the original citations

      what I observe is that when people dont like data being presented, they start the ad-hominems. I notice for example that you didnt attempt to refute any of the quotes I provided demonstrating my contention that Jones was an atheist from (at least) 20 years old onward.

      In 1951 at the age of 20 years old, Jones began attending Communist Party meetings and rallies in Indianapolis.[2] He became flustered with harassment he received during the McCarthy Hearings,[1] particularly regarding an event he attended with his mother focusing on Paul Robeson, after which she was harassed by the FBI in front of her co-workers for attending.[3] He also became frustrated with ostracism of open communists in the United States, especially during the trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.[4] This frustration, among other things, provoked a seminal moment for Jones in which he asked himself "how can I demonstrate my Marxism? The thought was, infiltrate the church.[5]

      as early as age 18 when he watched his then idol Mao Zedong overthrow the Chinese government, Jim Jones realized that the way to achieve social change through Marxism in the United States was to mobilize people through religion.[6] She stated that "Jim used religion to try to get some people out of the opiate of religion," and had slammed the Bible on the table yelling "I've got to destroy this paper idol!"[7] In one sermon, Jones said that, "You're gonna help yourself, or you'll get no help! There's only one hope of glory; that's within you! Nobody's gonna come out of the sky! There's no heaven up there! We'll have to make heaven down here!"

      [1] Wessinger, Catherine (2000), How the Millennium Comes Violently: From Jonestown to Heaven's Gate, Seven Bridges Press, ISBN 978-1-889119-24-3

      [2] Jones, Jim. "Transcript of Recovered FBI tape Q 134." Alternative Considerations of Jonestown and Peoples Temple. Jonestown Project: San Diego State University.]

      [3]Horrock, Nicholas M., "Communist in 1950s", New York Times, December 17, 1978

      [4]Wessinger, Catherine (2000), How the Millennium Comes Violently: From Jonestown to Heaven's Gate, Seven Bridges Press, ISBN 978-1-889119-24-3

      [5,6]New York Times, "How Rev. Jim Jones Gained His Power Over Followers," Robert Lindsay, November 26, 1978

      [7] Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple. American Experience, PBS.org

      April 30, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Daniel

      @Chad – "What I object to is CNN using Jim Jones as an example of a charismatic religious leader. He wasnt, he was a charismatic atheist."

      Jim Jones was a charismatic religious leader, as he decided to turn his communist views (which you claim as atheism which they are not) into a religion, the Peoples Temple.

      Atheism is a disbelief in God or gods. Communism is an ideology with a set of principles and guide lines for living just like a religion. The fact that many communist also deny the existence of God does not make every atheist a communist and most certainly does not make atheism a religion.

      "Jones carefully wove in that the Temple's home for senior citizens was established on the basis "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need", quoting Karl Marx's "Critique of the Gotha Program". He did so knowing that his Christian audience would recognize the similarities with text from the Acts of the Apostles (4:34–35) which stated "distribution was made to each as any had need." Jones would repeatedly cite that passage to paint Jesus Christ as a communist, while at the same time attacking much of the text of the Bible." – Reiterman 1982

      April 30, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • Akira

      Why would Tamsyn refute what was clearly in the Wiki link she posted, Chad?
      You invite name calling. You debate dishonestly. I don't blame anyone for not wanting to debate with you.

      Oh, and ad hominems that are true isn't really an ad hominem, and you telling people they don't understand something is snarky. Allow me to post a smiley. 🙂

      April 30, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • SnapinTurtle

      Chad, despite your penchant for citing Wikipedia as a source, something my history profs would find amusing, you did manage to inadvertently address the Atheism-Marxist issue. Notice that the disputing party said "Marxism" your rebuttal references "Marxist-Leninism” the two are not the same thing; certainly not with regard to religion or internationalism.

      April 30, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Chad

      – Jones was an atheist from an early age
      – Jones did not attempt to influence his followers using "God wants you to do this" or "If you dont do such and such, God will be upset"
      – As such, characterizing Jones as a "charismatic religious leader" is in error.

      Now, if you dispute anything there, be sure to let me know.

      April 30, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Ted Jones

      Chad

      – Jones was an atheist from an early age
      – Jones did not attempt to influence his followers using "God wants you to do this" or "If you dont do such and such, God will be upset"
      – As such, characterizing Jones as a "charismatic religious leader" is in error.

      Now, if you dispute anything there, be sure to let me know.
      ----–
      Sorry Chad your misconception doesnt change reality. lol

      April 30, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Akira

      "- Jones did not attempt to influence his followers using “God wants you to do this” or “If you dont do such and such, God will be upset” "

      I believe this is your assertion, Chad. Using religion to achieve his goals, as stated here by you, [38] She stated that “Jim used religion to try to get some people out of the opiate of religion..." is still using religion.

      How do you keep missing this point?
      I understand you don't like the technicality of people thinking he was a religious leader. But his beliefs, outside of him being an atheist, was communism, and he used religion to achieve that, because he saw that using the same techniques religions use was useful to his agenda.

      April 30, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Chad

      "Jim used religion"

      describe exactly how he used religion, and you'll see your answer.

      you won't, because you dont want to see the answer, you like the sound bite..

      April 30, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Akira

      @Chad: the citations you quoted were Wiki citations, no?
      Then those are Wiki citations, not your own research. I think this is what others were trying to tell you.

      April 30, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • Chad

      you won't, because you dont want to see the answer, you like the sound bite..

      right on cue...

      April 30, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • The real Tom

      He had a congregation. They met at a church. He used religion, whether he was religious or not. Disagree all you want, Chard. Throw a temper tantrum, why don't you? Write to CNN and tell them how incensed you are at their lack of journalistic integrity. And then find yourself some other free forum to post your dishonesty. Really, for somebody who has no problem stretching the truth until it's unrecognizable, you have some balls telling CNN they're being inaccurate, dude.

      April 30, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Chad doesn't believe you can be religious and an atheist. In the Gospel of Chad I previously noted that he also wouldn't accept those such as atheistic Buddhists, who were not strict determinist materialists. He likes to use really simple definitions of everything from "atheist" to "Christian" to "religion" and generally works with very simplistic assumptions about semantics and the origin of language (I'd be blown away to learn he knew any non-Indo-European languages...these ideas are usually only common among the mono-lingual). I'd be willing to bet, too, that he doesn't think Unitarians (largely, though not entirely, atheist), for instance, classify as a religion.

      The fact is Jones considered his system "religious" in design and was known to use the term "religious communalism" to describe it. He didn't believe in the type of god that Christians believe in, but he made claims to be a reincarnation of both Jesus and Lenin. In the real world, the one more complex than Chad lives in, there are plenty of people most of the world would consider "religious" who are atheists – including many of the Buddhists who set themselves on fire (many are also not atheists, by the way) and many atheist wiccans.

      The world just isn't as simple as Chad and his ilk want it to be and that's why he's going to continue to jump from overly simplistic visions of the free will debate to overly simplistic discussions of Christianity to overly simplistic discussions of atheism and religion. And he's just not going to get it – I guarantee it. In particular since, as we see above, Chad, like so many Christians here, can't (or more likely won't) tell an atheist from a communist these distinction is lost on him. And since he needs to blur this line to buffer his shaky world view, he's not likely to come around to seeing the distinctions that are obvious to everyone else.

      April 30, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
    • Chad

      @Saraswati "doesn't believe you can be religious and an atheist"

      =>the interesting thing is, you just made a case that atheism is a religion...

      I wonder if you realized that when you thought you saw some opportunity to attack me..

      April 30, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
    • Chad

      religious
      1. relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity
      2: of, relating to, or devoted to religious beliefs or observances
      3a : scrupulously and conscientiously faithful

      Personally, I never viewed atheism as any kind of "religion", which to me always meant worship of a deity.
      But, perhaps one can make a case that "religion" is any devotion to an ideal (like atheism for example) with "religious fervor".

      Interesting..

      April 30, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
    • The real Tom

      The Green Giant says: "I wonder if you realized that when you thought you saw some opportunity to attack me."

      Oh, my goodness! Call out the National Guard! Chad is being "attacked." Goodness, what HAS the world come to? He's such an innocent! HOW could anyone possibly have any reason to attack him??

      You tool. Get over yourself, you big wuss.

      April 30, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I wrote: "doesn't believe you can be religious and an atheist"

      And Chad wrote: "the interesting thing is, you just made a case that atheism is a religion..."

      Right...because the fact one can be both Irish and a doctor means that doctors are Irish. His dishonest little mental leaps are actually almost identical to HeavenSent's.

      April 30, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
    • Chad

      actually, you were the one making the case, not I. I never bought into that "atheism is a religion" stuff..

      What I see you and so many others here doing is desperately trying to cast an atheist who infiltrates a Christian church with the express stated desire of deconverting all Christians to atheism as a "religious leader".

      now.. why would someone want to do such a crazy nonsensical thing?

      April 30, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Chardo, if you don't agree, take it up with CNN. I'm sure they'll be thrilled to hear from such an august debater. Otherwise, tough toenails. Your interminable whining is unbecoming.

      April 30, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
    • The real Tom

      "of, relating to, or devoted to religious beliefs or observances"

      You apparently missed the "or" there, Chardo. Jones might not have believed, but he was certainly devoted to the rituals, wasn't he? That fits the definition you posted. He used religion.

      April 30, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • Saraswati

      No matter how much time one might spend explaining to Chad the difference between "some atheists are religious" and "atheism is a religion" he would likely continue to post over and over again "Saraswati said atheism is a religion". In fact, I'm going to guess right now that if it suits his purposes he will do that at regular intervals over the next week.

      April 30, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
    • Chad

      Personally, I dont feel atheism is a religion

      But, using your definition of "religious", the atheists on this board do indeed demonstrate an extreme religious fervor 🙂

      April 30, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Chad wrote: "But, using your definition of "religious", the atheists on this board do indeed demonstrate an extreme religious fervor 🙂 "

      Using some definitions of religious, certainly some atheists do. But if you think that's the definition I was using you once again have either overwhelmingly poor reading comprehension or are being actively dishonest. I would recommend you go back and reread what I wrote, but we all know that's pretty pointless. Keep on living in your little world of make-believe, Chad. You don't have to deal with any real people or real ideas when you just make them up as you go along to suit your little agenda.

      April 30, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
    • fred

      Saraswati
      federal court of appeals ruled Wisconsin prison officials violated an inmate’s rights because they did not treat atheism as a religion.
      “Atheism is [the inmate's] religion, and the group that he wanted to start was religious in nature even though it expressly rejects a belief in a supreme being,” the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said.

      Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2005/08/31895/#Fquis4bYBFYMlo8R.99

      April 30, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • Chad

      @saraswati

      actually, I think the biggest problem you face is that your definitions of words are extremely fluid to say the least.
      For example, I'm sure you disagree with the entire worlds (except you) breakdown of people into "religious" vs "Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist"

      The way you seem to abhor dictionary definitions for example,, odd..

      @saraswati "Most objects in the world don’t have rigid definitions. To use the old example of a chair, we do not have to have a uniform definition to make it a functional word in most conversation. For some conversations such as “How many chairs in the warehouse” we do have to have a working definition that excludes couches and decides a stool from a chair, but this will not always be the same. Likewise with ‘Christianity’. For demographic purposes we use a definition that is usually something like “anyone who labels his or herself a Christian”. For other purposes you might use another definition.
      January 6, 2013 at 5:44 pm

      May 1, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • .

      Saraswati

      Gospel of Chad:
      (Updated list derived from history of Chad conversations.)

      Atheism:
      1. All atheists agree with everything Stephen Hawking or Richard Dawkins say, even if it is unrelated to atheism. Hawking and Dawkins disagree on free will, however, but you should ignore this conflict or any atheist who says they disagree.
      2. All atheists agree with one another on everything even if it has nothing to do with atheism. See #1 for models from which you can derive all their beliefs.
      3. The definition of atheist includes anything that any atheist I disagree with believes or anything I feel like tossing in there. Ignore any definitions in pesky places like dictionaries and philosophical encyclopedias.
      4. If one atheist somewhere on the internet said something, then, since all atheists agree with him/her, I can use that randomly selected example as an argument to address all other atheists.
      5. The definition of atheism includes not just materialism but strict deterministic materialism. Non-believers who might be Buddhists, believe in probabilistic physics, see consciousness as prior to the physical world, believe in, say, witchcraft aren’t really atheists.
      6. No atheist has ever read the bible. I mean, obviously, they’d be Christians if they had, right? OK, so a few have proven to me – OK, multiple times – that they have read the bible. See #11 (just lie).

      Free will:
      7. All people who use the term “free will” really mean the same exact thing by that term, which matches my personal use of the term “free will” (unless backed into a corner, then I just declare all other meanings irrelevant)
      8. Fatalism and determinism are the same thing. It has been pointed out to me that historically these terms have been used with different meanings, but I find it more convenient to make up my own definitions, as with atheism and free will.

      In fact, I brilliantly argued “If a person is a determinist, how in the world does deterrence even come into the picture? Determinists believe in an ever marching set of deterministic outcomes based on an existing set of antecedent conditions. Those conditions march back to the origin of the universe, no way to change the past, so no way to change the future. (On April 17, 2013 at 6:20 pm)

      After reading a bit more about fatalism and determinism I decided to change my tune to a claim that determinism leads to fatalism (and to pretend this was what I was saying all along). I’m sticking to reading easy pop philosophers, though, and selective websites on the topic as anything more complex makes my head hurt. I have read snippets from a couple of websites now so that ought to put me on par with people who’ve read dozens of books on the topic, understand neurobiology and have written on both the philosophical and cultural aspects of free will and people’s belief in the topic. Oh, yeah, I know what I’m talking about!

      9. A determinist cannot believe that humans can change. This would, of course, mean that nothing can change. Which would mean…oh…crud…better put my head back up my ass.
      10. A determinist cannot believe in punishing people for crimes. This is because…well…it doesn’t matter. Just keep repeating it.

      Telling lies:
      11. It is ethical to lie so long as it promotes Christian beliefs.
      12. Speaking of telling lies, a really good way to do this is to rephrase what your opponent says and then keep repeating the misquote in hopes that he or she will get bored and leave your lie as the last statement. Then you win. You can do this either by rewording as a supposed paraphrase or pulling lines out of context and reordering them. God really loves this and gives you extra endurance to sit at the computer all day and keep repeating it.
      13. One way to use this super endurance to your advantage is to keep posting the same questions over and over again even after they’ve been answered 50 times. Just pretend they haven’t been answered and act self-righteous about it. It’s really cool if you can ask this same thing on multiple threads and then claim it was never answered forcing people to waste time on the same thing over and over and over.
      14. In particular don’t forget that whatever someone says you can respond with “What investigation have you done into…”. Especially good is to ask what investigation was done into the truth of the God of Israel. When the non-Christian comes back to ask how much research you did to prove other gods aren’t real answer “I don’t need to do any because I proved the God of Israel is real and that negates all other gods”. When asked how you proved that repeat the words “empty tomb” over and over until divine light shines on the souls of the heathens.
      15. When they refuse to play your game or you don’t like the answer add some sarcasm, but use an emoticon to soften it so they’ll know your snide remarks are all in good fun.
      16. Consider asking completely nonsensical questions that can’t even be understood, let alone answered. Best yet include something the person didn’t say as a premise. For example, you might ask an atheist opponent “You say you like murdering small children on Wednesdays, could you explain how this fits with your beliefs about string theory?” Then when your question is ignored accuse the person of avoidance and make up wild hypotheses as to why they are avoiding you.
      17. Above all else keep asking questions while avoiding answering any yourself.

      Science, math and psychology:
      18. If one scientist says something that backs me, then I can assume all scientists agree with that statement.
      19. If atheist scientists say something, even if it is the view of the majority of people in that science, it should be ignored. See #11.
      20. Atheists are ruled by confirmation bias. I am free of it – it’s just great luck that everything I read and all the “data” around me confirm my strong religious convictions. See #19 on ignoring anything else.
      21. Infinity = all finite numbers according to the Chad. Thirty or forty years of constraint is the same as eternal torment.
      22. Rehabilitation and deterrence are the same thing. Yep…convincing a drug addict not to use drugs in case they are shot dead and getting them off the addiction would be the same by my wondrous Chad logic.

      General truths about the CNN belief blog:
      23. All non-believers are, by definition, idiots so you can use illogical arguments and they’ll just fall for it.
      24. If I post a quote that has a few key words in it from our discussion I can claim it backs my point even if it actually says the exact opposite thing from what I’m claiming. Atheists, as mentioned above, are too dumb to notice. Best yet is to post a link or reference a book which actually says the opposite of what I’m saying and just assume no one will look at it.
      25. There is a huge mass of fence sitters out there who are eagerly reading CNN blog comments in order to decide whether or not to believe in God.
      26. I will personally save all those mentioned in # 25 because I, Chad, am super smart. I know this because I get away with all the above mentioned lies and manipulations. Sometimes people think they are pointing these things out but they really aren’t. Or the stupid atheist masses aren’t reading them anyway.
      27. Phrase everything as if it’s a lecture so you look like you know what you’re talking about. See #23 about atheists being idiots and #24 about people not reading anything you post you’ll see that the silly atheists will fall for it every time. In particular they won’t look back to the earlier part of the discussion to see how I’m contradicting myself. This is very well aided by another tactic:
      28. As soon as you make an ass of yourself break the conversation into a new thread. That way all the newcomers (see #25 on how they are waiting to have their souls saved) will not bother to read back and see how ignorant you are.
      29. If someone points out to you that citing Wikipedia is not an adequate source for the discussion at hand you can always find a good undergraduate philosophy paper to cite instead.
      30. Never question another Christian no matter how incorrect or offensive their position.
      31. Just remember that you can define a term any way you want and you are always right!

      May 1, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • Chad

      I guess the irony that your massive list of supposed disingenuous behaviors is incorrect is lost on you 🙂

      I had no idea that you viewed my clarification of determinism and fatalism for you as so embarrassing.

      May 1, 2013 at 11:44 am |
  9. John Blake

    Hi, this is John Blake. I appreciate any response to anything I or any of my colleagues write. But I can assure you I have no "fiendish agenda." In fact, I've never had the word "fiendish" used to describe me. Fiendish, to me, sounds like a master plot hatched by a James Bond villain. You may be me giving me too much credit. Also you say I have "militant friends." I wish I did. A lot of my friends care very little about politics or religion. I actually wish they were more militant because it seems like the only thing we talk about is sports. But I do like it when people get to talk back and forth about religion and I hope anything I write or my colleagues write continue to attract responses from people like yourself. Thanks again for caring enough to comment.

    April 30, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • Roth

      A guy younger than me didn't show up for work one week, he had died... just gone like that. So if you ask me if the end is near, oh ya, it is, absolutely.

      April 30, 2013 at 10:43 am |
  10. WASP

    everyone please welcome back the FAITH TROLL.......................................
    (souns of crickets.) XD

    April 30, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • WASP

      (sounds of crickets)

      one missed keystroke and it messes up everything. XD

      April 30, 2013 at 10:12 am |
  11. Science

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XTCRdC8Dlo&w=640&h=360]

    April 30, 2013 at 9:57 am |
    • Science

      To honest for you faith ?

      April 30, 2013 at 10:20 am |
  12. It's time to deal with the poster using the alias "faith". click "report abuse" for every one of their posts.

    DO THIS FTW!!!!!!

    April 30, 2013 at 3:54 am |
    • Timothy

      i'd rather let all the other Christians keep seeing what a moron they associate themselves with.

      April 30, 2013 at 3:58 am |
    • Rev. Tim Lovejoy

      I'd like you to remember Matthew 7:26. "The foolish man who built his house upon the sand."

      April 30, 2013 at 4:05 am |
    • Rev. Tim Lovejoy

      Matthew 21:17: And he left them and went out of the city, into Bethany, and he lodged there.

      April 30, 2013 at 5:25 am |
    • Science

      Hey .Rev...... up that steam shovel......the pillars fell around you !

      News Release

      3-D structure of the evolved enzyme (an RNA ligase), using 10 overlaid snapshots. In the top region, the overlays show the range of bending and folding flexibility in the amino acid chain that forms the molecule. The two gray balls are zinc ions. (University of Minnesota)

      University of Minnesota researchers unveil first artificial enzyme created by evolution in a test tube

      Media Note: To request high resolution images of Dr. Seelig and/or of a 3D structure of the evolved enzyme, please contact Matt Hodson at mjhodson@umn.edu.

      Contacts:Matt Hodson, University News Service, mjhodson@umn.edu, (612) 625-0552
      Peggy Rinard, College of Biological Sciences, rinar001@umn.edu, (612) 624-0774

      http://www1.umn.edu/news/news-releases/2013/UR_CONTENT_429344.html

      April 30, 2013 at 10:02 am |
    • faith

      amen

      April 30, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • faith

      me too timmy. faith is the worst!

      April 30, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
  13. Answer

    CNN moderator nuked the crazy freak. Once again.

    What an absolute delight.

    April 30, 2013 at 12:38 am |
  14. Reality

    Only for the "newbies":

    AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY AND VIOLENCE UPON THE WORLD

    Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)

    "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

    Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

    Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

    Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As does BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan)

    The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

    Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

    April 30, 2013 at 12:12 am |
  15. keith a dewey, Chairman

    over three thousands comments and this will be heard, ya right. The evangelicals have this rapture thing, tell you they are the truth, crazy leaders, and will murder for a better means. Does HomeLand know about them?

    April 29, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
    • Pete

      If someone charismatic enough got a lot of them to expect the end, better than Harold Camping did last year, got them to really expect it, then lots would likely take their lives with the disappointment. Convince them that they could do something to help the end come quicker, like kill someone, and I wouldn't be surprised that there would be volunteers to make that happen. Many of the Rapture Ready are zealous enough to consider any "means" justifiable to bring about the End.

      Why any freedom-loving, patriotic American would ever want to hail in a totalitarian monarch, thus ending democracy and liberty in this country forever, is beyond me.

      April 30, 2013 at 12:09 am |
    • WASP

      you know the scary part of that whole topic?

      imagine that kind of person in charge of our military launch codes. they truly believe the end is near, why not kick it off with launching against our "enemies" as a pre-emptive strike.

      terrifying thought.

      April 30, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      No need to construct a straw man to fear wasp. The Catechism provides us with a general order of events at the End [CCC 673-677]. Chronologically they are,

      1. the full number of the Gentiles come into the Church

      2. the "full inclusion of the Jews in the Messiah's salvation, in the wake of the full number of the Gentiles" (#2 will follow quickly on, in the wake of, #1)

      3. a final trial of the Church "in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth." The supreme deception is that of the Antichrist.

      4. Christ's victory over this final unleashing of evil through a cosmic upheaval of this passing world and the Last Judgment.

      As Cardinal Ratzinger recently pointed out (in the context of the message of Fátima), we are not at the end of the world. In fact, the Second Coming (understood as the physical return of Christ) cannot occur until the full number of the Gentiles are converted, followed by "all Israel."

      So a mad Christian general pushing launch codes is more of a Hollywood scenario than an actual probability. Also useful for perpetuating irrational fear of Christians, but perhaps you knew that.

      April 30, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      Bill, So the non-Jews become Jews, then the Jews become Christians? Correct? Which type of Christian – Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, other?

      April 30, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • The Demon Deacon

      Bill Deacon
      Is an irrelevant. Billy is an obsequious papal apologist troll...and
      Stated...A criminal might subvert this sacrament but that would make him a criminal, not a priest and would result in immediate and automatic ex-communication.
      Bill's wisdom...The truth is the truth whether everyone believes it or no one believes it. Billy knows the truth?
      Billy is a self confessed murderer.
      Only the truly deluded give a good god damn what your catechism says, Billy. Redemption is not the same as rehabilitation,. You may have repented but have you stopped your criminal behaviour, Billy?

      April 30, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • Science

      Your deal sucks Bill...............but you knew that !

      April 30, 2013 at 11:15 am |
  16. Science

    Gravity wins lfaith.............

    Einstein's Gravity Theory Passes Toughest Test Yet

    Apr. 25, 2013 — A strange stellar pair nearly 7,000 light-years from Earth has provided physicists with a unique cosmic laboratory for studying the nature of gravity. The extremely strong gravity of a massive neutron star in orbit with a companion white dwarf star puts competing theories of gravity to a test more stringent than any available before.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130425142250.htm

    April 29, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • faith

      "Observer
      biggles,
      Yes, no child should have its brain removed. You know what a child is, right? It breathes air and doesn't live swimming in a liquid like a fetus."

      u mean what deep sea divers call an aqua lung?

      April 29, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
    • ..

      "Sitting on a park bench
      Eyeing little girls with bad intent
      Hey Aqualung
      Snot is running down his nose
      Greasy fingers smearing shabby cloths
      Hey Aqualung"

      April 29, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
    • faith doesn't know what a child is

      Child[ chahyld ]
      noun plural chil·dren.
      1. a person between birth and full growth; a boy or girl: books for children. 2. a son or daughter: All my children are married. 3. a baby or infant.

      After they're born, fakey faith. That's what Observer meant. How dumb are you?????

      April 29, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
    • Observer

      faith

      "Observer
      biggles,
      Yes, no child should have its brain removed. You know what a child is, right? It breathes air and doesn't live swimming in a liquid like a fetus."

      u mean what deep sea divers call an aqua lung?"

      lol. Is that the best you can do? Pathetic. Try again.

      April 29, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
  17. One one

    Is making kids perform ritualistic cannibalism good or evil ?

    April 29, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Ben

      Eating chocolate santas is ritualistic cannibalism too. I think you're taking the eucharist far more seriously than most Christians actually do.

      April 29, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • Edward

      It was the blood I drank at Church that turned me into a shimmering golden God of a Vampire, and the wafers were pretty good too...

      April 29, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • One one

      @ben, do Catholics regard the Eucharist comparable to eating chocolate santas ?

      April 29, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • Bella

      That's how it happened?? Jacob, come to Bella.......

      April 29, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • Ben

      One one
      You might be surprised how many do, especially here.

      April 29, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
  18. ezra

    This blog is close for discussion!

    April 29, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Answer

      So we add another comment. Haha.

      April 29, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
  19. Atheist, me?

    Tom Tom is a sad sad girl!

    April 29, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Oh, no. Posts like yours cheer me up immensely, AM. When an idiot gets his panties in a wad because I hurt his little feelings, it just makes my day.

      April 29, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Answer

      That's a happy face turned upside down? A special face that all believers want to imagine. Gives them so much pleasure to see it in their mind's eye.

      April 29, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
  20. ezra

    Who waves their religion in your face? Atheists? I can believer it.

    April 29, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • The real Tom

      You can believer it?

      April 29, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • Answer

      " I can believer it."

      –Yup you're a pathetic believer. We know.

      April 29, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • Dippy

      Well, i don't believer it.

      April 29, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • faith

      "Saraswati
      I'm curious as to why you guys talk to this faith person who is so obviously just some high school kid looking for attention? I understand we all find different types of discussions interesting, but I really can't imagine what people get out of talking with this whiny, annoying kid."

      pregnant high school kid?

      April 29, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • ..

      You're pregnant, faith?? Congratulations! I know you won't be considering abortion, so we can look forward to you and your kid sucking more welfare out of the system! Couldn't you just have said no to sex? You're supposed to be a good Christian girl...how do your parents feel about it? Have you told them yet?

      April 29, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
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About this blog

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