June 14th, 2013
04:05 PM ET

Superman: Flying to a church near you

By Eric Marrapodi, Co-Editor CNN Belief Blog
[twitter-follow screen_name='EricCNNBelief']

Baltimore, Maryland (CNN) - As the new Superman movie takes flight this weekend, filmmakers are hoping the Man of Steel lands not only in theaters, but also in pulpits.

Warner Bros. Studios is aggressively marketing "Man of Steel" to Christian pastors, inviting them to early screenings, creating Father’s Day discussion guides and producing special film trailers that focus on the faith-friendly angles of the movie.

The movie studio even asked a theologian to provide sermon notes for pastors who want to preach about Superman on Sunday. Titled “Jesus: The Original Superhero,” the notes run nine pages.

“How might the story of Superman awaken our passion for the greatest hero who ever lived and died and rose again?” the sermon notes ask.

(Disclaimer: CNN, like Warner Bros., is owned by Time Warner.)

Similar campaigns to corral the country's large number of Christians into the movie theater have been used for "Les Miserables," "Soul Surfer" and "The Blind Side," all of which had at least some faith angle.

Baltimore pastor Quentin Scott is among dozens of ministers who received an e-mail invitation from Grace Hill Media, a Hollywood-based Christian marketing firm, to an early screening of “Man of Steel.”

“There was an actual push to say `We’re putting out something that speaks to your group,' ” said Scott, one of the pastors of Shiloh Christian Community Church in Baltimore.

At first, Scott said, he didn’t buy the religious pitch. Then he decided to attend a free midweek screening in Baltimore.

“When I sat and listened to the movie I actually saw it was the story of Christ, and the love of God was weaved into the story," said the pastor.

"It was something I was very excited about that with the consultation of our senior pastor, we could use in our congregation.”

CNN Entertainment: 'Man of Steel' director Zack Snyder on Superman's Christ-like parallels

Grace Hill’s sermon notes are specially designed for churches like Shiloh that integrate multimedia into their services.

“Let’s take a look at the trailer for `Man of Steel,’” the notes suggest after briefly introducing the movie’s history and themes.

The man behind the notes, Pepperdine University professor Craig Detweiler, has prepared similar material for films like 2009’s "The Blind Side" and "The Book of Eli" from 2010.

The spiritual themes in “Man of Steel” are abundant, Detweiler said, and his notes enable Christians to thoughtfully engage with pop culture instead of shunning it.

“All too often, religious communities have been defined by what they're against. With a movie like `Man of Steel,’ this is a chance to celebrate a movie that affirms faith, sacrifice and service,” Detweiler said.

It will be hard for even casual Christians to miss the messianic metaphors in "Man of Steel.”

The movie focuses on the origins of Superman, who was sent from the planet Krypton as an infant to save his species.

He is raised by surrogate parents who help him grapple with his special powers, even though they don’t fully understand the source of his extraordinary abilities.

When he turns 33, Superman must willingly sacrifice himself to save the human race.

Sound familiar?

If that’s not enough, as a boy Clark Kent is shown wrestling with his superpowers, and asks his earthly dad, Jonathan Kent, “Did God do this to me?”

“Somewhere out there you have another father and he sent you here for a reason,” says Jonathan Kent.

Even the visuals hammer home the messianic motifs.

During a fight with his archenemy, General Zod, Superman plunges down to Earth, his arms outstretched as if he were being crucified. Of course, he rises again.

Detweiler writes in the sermon notes, “What Jesus and Superman both give us, through their `hero’ actions but also their `human’ actions – is hope.”

“I think it’s a very good thing that Hollywood is paying attention to the Christian marketplace,” said Ted Baehr, who runs Movieguide, a website that reviews family friendly films from a Christian perspective.

“Where it gets sticky is when they try to manipulate the market and when Christians try to manipulate Hollywood. But here I think we have the right balance.”

But other Christians are heaving a supersized sigh at the movie marketing.

"Any pastor who thinks using `Man of Steel Ministry Resources' is a good Sunday morning strategy must have no concept of how high the stakes are, or very little confidence in the power of God’s word and God’s spirit," writes P.J. Wenzel, a deacon and Sunday School teacher at Dublin Baptist Church in Ohio.

"As they entertain their congregants with material pumped out from Hollywood’s sewers, lives are kept in bondage, and people’s souls are neglected," according to Wenzel, who said he was e-mailed information about the movie.

Scott, the Baltimore pastor, said he knows that Warner Bros. Studios has a financial incentive in pushing the film to pastors.

But he said that’s fine with him. “They’re using us but in fact we’re using them,” he said.

His church won't show clips from the movie this weekend because it had already planned out its service. But he plans to use them later, during meetings with the church’s men’s group.

“If you give me another opportunity to talk to someone about Jesus Christ, and I can do that because of your movie, that’s a win for me, because it is about spreading the Gospel.”

CNN's Erin McPike contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Celebrity • Christianity • Church • Entertainment • Media • Movies

soundoff (6,545 Responses)
  1. Daggerstab

    OMG! People can get ridiculous making correlations with the stories in the bible. You can take every aspect of life and find it in there, so take your religious beliefs, put them aside, and go see the secular movie. I found it to be a good, one that was very entertaining, and that is the only criteria needed to judge.

    June 16, 2013 at 8:02 am |
  2. huggylove

    Why does CNN continue to post articles that lead to Religious Debates? People that are Christian will always be Christian, and those that don't believe will probably never change, although there is alway hope that they may. The hatefull attiests will be takeing pot shots at Christian, calling us stupid, on drugs, and other vile crap. I think the first Amendment should include the media that just serves to incite anger and hurt feelings. Those that want to find our more about Jesus and Christianity will certainly seek after Him. He is the Way, the only way for eternal life. The alternitive is not pretty.

    June 16, 2013 at 8:01 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      "Hateful atheist"...why do you claim that someone who disagrees with you as "hateful"...You should not be bearing false witness against people that you do not know.
      But I must say it is exactly what I have come to expect from a christian.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:14 am |
    • huggylove

      OK Richard, I appoligize for call athiest hateful. But if you look at some of the posts, they describe Christians as stupid, ignorant brain-washed, etc. Maybe they are not hateful, but some of what they say certainly is. One more coment, please try it, you may find some truth to it. Eternal life!!!!

      June 16, 2013 at 8:28 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      some is correct, but don't judge a whole group of people by the actions of a few. I see it from everyone and do it myself sometimes.
      Given all of the evidence that shows the bible is wrong, even one part of the bible being wrong would indicate that it is not the word of any gods. We know it was written by men, and is just retellings of more ancient stories. To many, the belief in gods is delusional. Faith is the ability to ignore logic, reason and facts, and still jump to an unjustifyable conclusion. There would be no need to have faith if logic or reason could be applied. Since there is a 100% lack of real evidence of any gods, you can see why many hold believers in such low regard.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:36 am |
    • Mark

      This is exactly what atheists do. Don;t be a hypocrite.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:43 am |
    • a reasonable atheist

      Perhaps not generalizing would be beneficial to you. While there are indeed offensive posts made by people who claim to be atheists, there are also plenty made by people who claim to be religious. Address the individual rather than your imaginary vision of atheists as a group. I assure you, just as you don't believe identically to every other religious person, atheists tend to have disparate beliefs as well past the obvious lack of belief in the divine.

      Regarding your message of "trying religion," you should realize that most atheists became atheists that way. We started off being indoctrinated as children in our parents' religions (most often a form of christianity or judaism if we grew up in the US), had questions, did research with an open mind, and ended up at a point where believing in the divine was nonsensical to us.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:43 am |
    • Mark

      "some is correct, but don't judge a whole group of people by the actions of a few." Whoops forgot to paste.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:44 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      It is exactly what people do including christians...being atheistic does not change the huuman factor,

      June 16, 2013 at 8:51 am |
  3. dgg767

    i can't just imagine people trying to compare a fiction or someone's crazy imagination turned to movie to our Savior Jesus Christ just to make this movie saleable. Satan's another trick in deceiving people. Read your bible so you won't be deceived. Peace and God bless.

    June 16, 2013 at 8:01 am |
    • M

      No, there's not Satan, no devils, except the ones we choose to make and torture ourselves.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:04 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      "Read your bible so you won't be deceived"...Oh the irony.

      Do not believe the bible, and you won't be deceived. It is a story book, written by men...NOT the word of any of the thousands of gods.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:09 am |
  4. Austin

    I experienced supernatural revelation of God's word. before i ever read a few parts, i had a vivid dreams of what i hadnt read yet, getting to what i had dreamed, the next day i read it.

    The holy spirit led me in my dreams. This is hand of a prophetic God. or the devil.

    either way, there is a God and this spiritual realm is real. I have data as evidence, and for me proof of God. This is proof of God, and it came from the spirit of life.

    June 16, 2013 at 8:00 am |
    • midwest rail

      Anecdotal evidence is not data, nor is it proof.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:03 am |
    • Missy

      what? this is a word salad . you need help my dear. ill pray for you.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:04 am |
    • Austin

      Your comment is awaiting moderation.
      @ Mass D
      "By the way, there are many people who keep dream journals, but only psychopaths try to decipher them as divine inspiration."

      i am going through this again...
      all of the dreams I had, that I discern were visioins, were because I was having dreams that were LEADING what my reality and awake life was about to actually present to me. Did I know when i wrote them down, or expect, for these dreams to be doing such a thing? there were a few where I knew that I could expect something. and they did hit .

      two nights in a row, and a little space between the third dream,

      #1I dreamt about the tile patio , a huge and beautiful rock tile with wide grout and a beautiful pattern and color, ater i had entered a stone arch entrance. There was an arm reaching into a whole, a whole chizzeled out of the ground. and the arm pulled out a leather bag full of gems. wrote these down in the middle or the night half asleep. The next day....I kept reading my bible.......

      Jeremiah 43:8-13
      New American Standard Bible (NASB)
      8 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah in Tahpanhes, saying, 9 “Take some large stones in your [a]hands and hide them in the mortar in the brick terrace which is at the entrance of Pharaoh’s [c]palace in Tahpanhes, in the sight of [d]some of the J.ews; 10 and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Behold, I am going to send and get Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and I am going to set his throne right over these stones that I have hidden; and he will spread his canopy over them.

      #2 the next night I dreamed that i was being attacked by a motorcycle gang and that the leader of the gang had a huge animal horn, att.atched to his seat. he could not even sit on his bike. he was trying to run me over. they were a rebel gang.
      the next day, i had finished reading Jeremiah and gotten into Lament.ations

      ◄ Lament.ations 2:3 ►

      New International Version (©2011)
      In fierce anger he has cut off every horn of Israel. He has withdrawn his right hand at the approach of the enemy. He has burned in Jacob like a flaming fire that consumes everything around it.
      ◄ Lament.ations 2:17 ►

      New International Version (©2011)
      The LORD has done what he planned; he has fulfilled his word, which he decreed long ago. He has overthrown you without pity, he has let the enemy gloat over you, he has exalted the horn of your foes.


      #3 a few days later I had a dream that there was a huge pile of feathers underneath a bed. that day, I was reading in the book of daniel, ◄ Daniel 4:33 ►

      New International Version (©2011)
      Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like the ox. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.

      the kid who i had the dream about, got into trouble that day, which i had suspected the feather was a sign that he would be humiliated. he had his work pass suspended which was a major blow.

      #4 dreamed I was poisoned by mercury in alcohol. the next dream, didnt have a single dream for two weeks, this next dream I had just let two snakes out of a cage. one was a viper, the other was a rattler. but I had not thought even thought the word viper for a long time. when i woke up, i said to the kid next to me................."something is going to happen today, this one is a sign" i knew the snakes were a sign..

      two hours later i went down to bible study, the leader, on the second passage, said turn to proverbs 23:32

      29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
      Who has strife? Who has complaints?
      Who has needless bruises? Who has blo.odshot eyes?
      30 Those who linger over wine,
      who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.
      31 Do not gaze at wine when it is red,
      when it sparkles in the cup,
      when it goes down smoothly!
      32 In the end it bites like a snake
      and poisons like a viper.

      #5 Dreamed i was in a wh.ore house and I flooded it because i turned on a water spitot upstairs and just let it go and left it on. I had been praying about lust. I didnt catch this dream, until a few week later i did a study on water. I had no clue about this dream. i seemed like a random joke. but i got kicked out for letting the water run and flood.

      15 Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. 16 Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares? 17 Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. 18 May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19 A loving doe, a graceful deer– may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love. 20 Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man's wife? Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman? 21 For your ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all your paths. 22 The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast.

      # 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.

      #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.

      #8 had a dream that the kid who was ripping on me lost his money
      a month later i over heard him talking about how he lost his money, and i said watch this, and pulled out the dream i had that he had lost it.

      #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.

      I woke up and the cat was dead in the highway, 550 feet from my house.

      #10 I had a dream i was inside the st. louis arch and I was in there with my cousin, and she was pointing at a glass case , with a bust of someone. she said "look, its thomas Jefferson" and the place was very nice. very expensive and ritzy.

      I had no idea what the st. louis arch was about. but what i had been doing, was getting heavily into the rumors about masons, and this dream just came to me. and when I googled this and I started trembling . this is called "a word of knowledge" which is a type of spiritual gift.

      There have been numerous other ones that I believe were spiritual words of knowledge that i wont get in to .

      None of this stuff, is me trying to fit things together. everything i dreamed, and then experienced in real life as i have stated. Some of these, are totally obvious. others, I have complete faith that they were also spiritual revelations, because I know %100 that some were, so I can have faith that others probably were too. and 8 of the first ten there, all happened in jail.

      This is organized, and relevant information that is a dream, relating to reality that i was about to live.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:10 am |
  5. scrogs22us

    It just shows that people have no hope without someone externally saving them. Secular scientists push the agenda to find alien life, because they think they will have the answers that we are looking for. People have the knowledge of God written on their hearts, we were made in His image, and we have fallen short. This is why we can use logic, morality, our senses, our memory, and have value. Alternatively this is why people go to hell because we are sinful, which is an a front to the Image of God in us as well as to God – God gave His Christ, Jesus that whosoever shall believe in Him, shall not perish, sadly many will perish forever because of their pride

    June 16, 2013 at 7:58 am |
    • M

      No, what makes our morality make sense is our human compassion, which we have had for many thousands of years.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:03 am |
  6. Marcus

    A lot of superhero stories have themes similar to many popular religious stories, so I don't understand why a lot of atheists on here are so against the movie now. Anyone who has ever followed Superman should have seen the comparisons to the story of Christ. The comics have made those comparisons for years. Where was the atheist outrage when "Thor" came out?

    June 16, 2013 at 7:58 am |
    • a reasonable atheist

      I agree with your point wholeheartedly. Campbell's "The Hero With a Thousand Faces" makes the point rather nicely. The hero's story is rather formulaic, and has been used since before people could even write to craft tales to inspire others.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:50 am |
  7. jamesstreet

    this is front page news? No.

    June 16, 2013 at 7:58 am |
  8. Austin

    John 15:26-27 (New International Version)

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    John 15:26-27

    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.

    June 16, 2013 at 7:57 am |
  9. Carl

    Just like religion. It's made up hogwash. But in all honesty, the superman story is easier to buy than the bible story.

    June 16, 2013 at 7:57 am |
  10. Tombstone

    It's a freaking movie. Sheesh

    June 16, 2013 at 7:57 am |
  11. Pierre

    Neither one ever lived.

    June 16, 2013 at 7:56 am |
  12. 760 BC Messianic Prophecy the suffering servant

    just read it............its a messianic prophecy

    Isaiah 53

    New International Version (NIV)
    53 Who has believed our message
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
    2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
    and like a root out of dry ground.
    He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
    nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
    3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
    Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
    4 Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
    yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
    5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
    the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
    6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
    and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.
    7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
    he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
    8 By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
    For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
    9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
    though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.
    10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
    he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
    11 After he has suffered,
    he will see the light of life[d] and be satisfied[e];
    by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant will justify many,
    and he will bear their iniquities.
    12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[g]
    and he will divide the spoils with the strong,[h]
    because he poured out his life unto death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors.
    For he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.

    June 16, 2013 at 7:56 am |
  13. Mark A. Foster, Ph.D.

    According to the original comic magazine writers, the story of Superman was based on Nietzsche's Übermensch (literally, overman).

    June 16, 2013 at 7:56 am |
    • scrogs22us

      because writing PhD after your name creates credibility – couldn't resist

      June 16, 2013 at 8:01 am |
  14. joeinsarasota

    Is this really top story? lets talk about Eric Holder and Obama scandals!

    June 16, 2013 at 7:54 am |
    • M

      Yes, like the IRS and tea party inquisition that President Obama commanded ... oh, wait, that was a conservative who did that, maybe under the direction of Mr. Rove....that does need investigating.

      June 16, 2013 at 7:58 am |
  15. Samme

    I didn't see the film, but am interested in commenting. I see that people fear the unknown. What if commented on your father and talk about him like you talk about Jesus and the word of God? First, I have no right–I don't know your father. Why do you want to comment on someone you do not know? You must fear Him, that's why. You don't have to know HIm.

    June 16, 2013 at 7:54 am |
    • Mark

      JS....Your time is short.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:03 am |
    • Jesus SUCKS

      Fuck you Mark you piece of shit. I'd love to shorten the fuck out of your pathetic life right now.
      I shit on you, on your scummy Jesus, your empty and worthless so-called "holy" spirit, your filthy psychotic god and anything you say.
      You are asking for death. I'd love to give it to you.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:09 am |
    • Mark

      It won't be subtle, it will be quick though.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:14 am |
    • Mark

      I will pray for you JS You are apparently in need of the nurturing you missed as a child. Jesus still loves you but again your time is short. He won't hold your upbringing against you if you ask for his love to reign down on you.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:18 am |
  16. sick of christian phonies

    Well, I have to say I find the SUPERMAN mythos more believable than the hokum these well-paid religious sheep herders espouse.

    June 16, 2013 at 7:54 am |
    • scrogs22us

      Your judging Christians on a supposed standard that you possess, and one that you are not willing to live out yourself, how does that equate?

      June 16, 2013 at 8:04 am |
  17. nanners

    HAHAHA...Warner Bro. knows who throws their money away on stupid stuff.

    June 16, 2013 at 7:52 am |
  18. Speak the Truth

    Actually he's more like the Mormon Jesus because he has a girlfriend and screws around. They eventually get married. Come to think of it I think that's the Mooney god.

    June 16, 2013 at 7:52 am |
    • M

      Are you an angry atheist? Let the strength of your argument do your talking...

      June 16, 2013 at 7:56 am |
    • Speak the Truth

      Not angry at all. Just pointing out the truth. If you'd studied world religions you'd know I'm right. Sorry if your beliefs are so weak that you can only attack the messenger.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:00 am |
    • M

      Actually, I'm an atheist. Read what I wrote again.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:07 am |
    • scrogs22us

      There are many caricatures of Jesus – we have all seen the artists at theme parks, it looks like the person, but some part is exaggerated or skipped altogether. it would be closer to the Mormon's false diety in that "we can all one day join him in the sun"
      Sacrifice, Heroism, Saving, a Son, these are part of the truth of Christ – but there also is the sinfulness of man, the Holiness of God, the deception of Satan, and Faith in Christ's atonement for sin

      June 16, 2013 at 8:08 am |
    • Speak the Truth

      And sorry to keep belaboring the point, but Scrohs makes an interesting point. Stories of heroism, sacrifice, and love for others are certainly much older than the Christian myth...who borrowed this aspect from an older Egyptian myth. What's more important here is that we humans value devotion to humanity. This belief in helping others even at our own peril is older than religion, older than the gods. It's what defines us as humans. You don't need to believe in sky daddies to acknowledge that.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:20 am |
  19. a dose of reality

    A few questions should help shed light on the relationship between religion and rational thought.
    The completely absurd theory that all 7,000,000,000 human beings are simultaneously being supervised 24 hours a day, every day of their lives by an immortal, invisible being for the purposes of reward or punishment in the “afterlife” comes from the field of:
    (a) Astronomy;
    (b) Medicine;
    (c) Economics; or
    (d) Christianity
    You are about 70% likely to believe the entire Universe began less than 10,000 years ago with only one man, one woman and a talking snake if you are a:
    (a) historian;
    (b) geologist;
    (c) NASA astronomer; or
    (d) Christian
    I have convinced myself that gay $ex is a choice and not genetic, but then have no explanation as to why only gay people have ho.mo$exual urges. I am
    (a) A gifted psychologist
    (b) A well respected geneticist
    (c) A highly educated sociologist
    (d) A Christian with the remarkable ability to ignore inconvenient facts.
    I honestly believe that, when I think silent thoughts like, “please god, help me pass my exam tomorrow,” some invisible being is reading my mind and will intervene and alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to help me. I am
    (a) a delusional schizophrenic;
    (b) a naïve child, too young to know that that is silly
    (c) an ignorant farmer from Sudan who never had the benefit of even a fifth grade education; or
    (d) your average Christian
    Millions and millions of Catholics believe that bread and wine turns into the actual flesh and blood of a dead Jew from 2,000 years ago because:
    (a) there are obvious visible changes in the condiments after the Catholic priest does his hocus pocus;
    (b) tests have confirmed a divine presence in the bread and wine;
    (c) now and then their god shows up and confirms this story; or
    (d) their religious convictions tell them to blindly accept this completely fvcking absurd nonsense.
    I believe that an all powerful being, capable of creating the entire cosmos watches me have $ex to make sure I don't do anything "naughty". I am
    (a) A victim of child molestation
    (b) A r.ape victim trying to recover
    (c) A mental patient with paranoid delusions
    (d) A Christian
    The only discipline known to often cause people to kill others they have never met and/or to commit suicide in its furtherance is:
    (a) Architecture;
    (b) Philosophy;
    (c) Archeology; or
    (d) Religion
    What is it that most differentiates science and all other intellectual disciplines from religion:
    (a) Religion tells people not only what they should believe, but what they are morally obliged to believe on pain of divine retribution, whereas science, economics, medicine etc. has no “sacred cows” in terms of doctrine and go where the evidence leads them;
    (b) Religion can make a statement, such as “there is a composite god comprised of God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit”, and be totally immune from experimentation and challenge, whereas science can only make factual assertions when supported by considerable evidence;
    (c) Science and the scientific method is universal and consistent all over the World whereas religion is regional and a person’s religious conviction, no matter how deeply held, is clearly nothing more than an accident of birth; or
    (d) All of the above.
    If I am found wandering the streets flagellating myself, wading into a filth river, mutilating my child’s genitals or kneeling down in a church believing that a being is somehow reading my inner thoughts and prayers, I am likely driven by:
    (a) a deep psychiatric issue;
    (b) an irrational fear or phobia;
    (c) a severe mental degeneration caused by years of drug abuse; or
    (d) my religious belief.
    Who am I? I don’t pay any taxes. I never have. Any money my organization earns is tax free and my own salary is also tax free, at the federal, state and local level. Despite contributing nothing to society, but still enjoying all its benefits, I feel I have the right to tell others what to do. I am
    (a) A sleazy Wall Street banker
    (b) A mafia boss
    (c) A drug pusher; or
    (d) A Catholic Priest, Protestant Minister or Jewish Rabbi.
    What do the following authors all have in common – Jean Paul Sartre, Voltaire, Denis Diderot, Victor Hugo, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, David Hume, René Descartes, Francis Bacon, John Milton, John Locke, and Blaise Pascal:
    (a) They are among the most gifted writers the World has known;
    (b) They concentrated on opposing dogma and opening the human mind and spirit to the wonders of free thought and intellectual freedom;
    (c) They were intimidated by the Catholic Church and put on the Church’s list of prohibited authors; or
    (d) All of the above.
    The AIDS epidemic will kill tens of millions in poor African and South American countries before we defeat it. Condoms are an effective way to curtail its spread. As the Pope still has significant influence over the less educated masses in these parts of the World, he has exercised this power by:
    (a) Using some of the Vatican’s incomprehensible wealth to educate these vulnerable people on health family planning and condom use;
    (b) Supporting government programs that distribute condoms to high risk groups;
    (c) Using its myriad of churches in these regions to distribute condoms; or
    (d) Scaring people into NOT using condoms, based upon his disdainful and aloof view that it is better that a person die than go against the Vatican’s position on contraceptive use.

    June 16, 2013 at 7:50 am |
    • devin

      I guess on some level that makes you feel better.

      June 16, 2013 at 7:58 am |
    • bajadelmar

      @deven You just can't handle the truth.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:02 am |
  20. Roy

    I saw the movie last night and it was great. Not for one second did I consider it to be a sales pitch for Christianity, that's nonsense. Best special effects ever, great soundtrack, excellent cast. See it in 3D IMAX, you won't regret it. This article is BS.

    June 16, 2013 at 7:48 am |
    • M

      Agree – fantastic special effects.

      June 16, 2013 at 7:50 am |
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About this blog

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