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Riding the 'white train' in search of a miracle
The journey gives disabled pilgrims a rare opportunity to take a religious vacation.
August 14th, 2013
09:12 AM ET

Riding the 'white train' in search of a miracle

Photographers Jean-Marc Caimi and Valentina Piccinni rode with 600 pilgrims and volunteers as they took the “white train” from Reggio Calabria in southern Italy to the French town of Lourdes. Disabled believers make the journey annually in hopes of a miracle.

Read the story and see their images at CNN Photos

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Faith & Health • Health care • Italy

soundoff (944 Responses)
  1. bostontola

    Can something exist that we can't see?

    Yes. A century ago many good scientists claimed atoms couldn't be real because in principle, they couldn't be seen (they turned out wrong). Einstein's famous Brownian motion calculations showed that motion consistent with atoms (evidence, not proof).

    So what about your god? The problem there, is that there is no evidence (not asking for proof). In fact, there is a lot of evidence that your god doesn't exist (if your god is the basis of any established religion). Not proof your god doesn't exist, but no evidence for, lots of evidence against, not a case even Johnnie L Cochran could win.

    August 15, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • JimK57

      I do not understand this post. What are you trying to achieve?

      August 15, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
      • bostontola

        Clearly I didn't achieve making my point, that the invisible gods created by man don't really exist.

        August 15, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
        • JimK57

          Everything humans do is to achieve one of two outcomes.
          Avoid pain or gain pleasure. Again I ask what is the purpose of your post?

          August 15, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
        • bostontola

          Gain the pleasure of making my point.

          August 15, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
        • JimK57

          You are still not answering the question. What are you trying to achieve?

          August 15, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • lamelionheart

      bostontola...

      The atomized realms of all cellular cosmologies is where my perceptions place God and God's treed family generations to be living out their (yes) mortal Life upon a scale of such minutia we will never be able to rightly prove it to be truth... All cellular cosmologies from the singular celled organisms to multi-cellular Life formations are where the treed family generations of God do abound upon living within the atomic realms of all living cellular cosmologies...

      Though my views are shear conjecture, they cannot be disproved...

      August 15, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
      • bostontola

        lionly,
        Your statement is not inconsistent with mine. I said the gods created by man (all the gods of the well known religions) are false.

        August 15, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
        • lamelionheart

          Tron the Legacy along with the Matrix may well be what Life is like upon many of the atomized cellular chasms of cosmological orders meandering about... I find much favor towards humanity's conceptualizations regarding their socialized gardening of God from which was born all God's sons and perhaps even daughters... Still, we live today where many beliefs upon Godliness revelations are being cast asunder due our growing fields of technical wonders enamoring many folks and their thoughts... Is there not room enough for there to be a place for all our godly perspectives to be reasoned and found as a truthful concept..? To my views there is plenty of room to be had upon the atomized cellular realms for all our viewable precepts of all godly considerations and even all celestially terrestrial atomized cellular Life forms and formations that has died and is dying and will ever die upon this scalar dimension of a celestial cosmology...

          August 15, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
  2. hharri

    If one doesn't know the definition of murder, why would she claim god was guilty of it? No contradictions and no errors.

    August 15, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • hharri

      For the individuals seeking the truth, not a single argument has refuted the reality of Jesus Christ, ever, anywhere. The efforts to deny god is real based on biblical error or god's character, etc., which are repeated here continuously, always fail. They are old, defeated ideas. The fact that many people cannot comprehend truth has nothing to do with truth. And, even though their attempts to ignore truth deep down fail, they are stuck, unable to sense their voracious hatred for god

      August 15, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
      • Athy

        How can someone hate something that doesn't exist?

        August 15, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        If there were a god we couldn't know its character.
        Biblical errors abound – the most glaring are the creation myths which aer disproven by evolution, Big Bang, and more.

        August 15, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
      • JimK57

        I agree. Every blog always breaks down to:

        Believer: I have faith there is a god.
        Athiest: You believe in fairy tales.

        I have yet to see comments develop into a good debate. It always turns to insults.

        August 15, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          Most of the atheists here are ready for a good debate – unfortunately most of the believers on this blog do not understand what a debate is. They would prefer to preach rather than debate.

          August 15, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
        • JimK57

          My Dog is a jealous Dog, There is no way you can read all of the comments and really believe that.

          August 15, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          I have been following the Belief Blog for a couple years now, and in my opinion, yes most of the atheists here are more than willing to provide answers to potentially ignorant (not stupid) questions and engage in actual discussion. On the other hand, it appears that most of the believers here are simply offended by the mere existence of atheists and are unwilling to do anything other than preach or condemn. Yes, I am making generalizations, and there are a few on both sides that don't fit that mold, but I am sticking to the opinion I stated previously.

          August 15, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          I believe that the majority of atheists here would rather debate cogently and maturely and that the majority of believers here find themselves unable to meet the challenge and resort to logical fallacies such as ad hominem and red herring. Then, the atheist, who has usually seen this behavior before, unleashes his/her standard, stinging replies which is interpreted as "being mean" "hating god" and etcetera.

          August 15, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
        • JimK57

          My dog & Capt. Do your self a favor and read all of the posts with an open mind. It is so obvious who is bringing the hate. Also, just because someone starts slinging insults it does not mean you have to. Sometimes it is best to be the bigger man.

          August 15, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
        • Al

          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRG1ObQJLK4&w=640&h=360]

          August 30, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
      • hharri

        You are proving he exists, aren't you? You hate god, therefore according to you, he must exist. If you are unable to admit your hatred for god, when it consumes you, why pretend the object of your fury and rage isn't real?

        August 15, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
        • Athy

          Nobody said we hate god. Where did you read that? Atheists don't believe there is a god in the first place. Your reading-comprehension skills are questionable.

          August 15, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Just because I can describe Santa and have an opinion of his character does not mean that I believe in him. Think, people.

          August 15, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
        • Observer

          hharri

          "You hate god,"

          The ONLY people who could hate God are believers like you. It really shouldn't be all that difficult for Christians to understand that, but many can't.

          August 15, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Don't be silly. You deny the other thousands of gods, do you hate them? Of course not, you just don't think they are accurate representations of what actually is true, which is something we do not know.

      Jesus was either a Buddhist, or the people who created the stories of him, used much of the Buddha's teachings. The whole non-violence, doing for others, Fixing self before criticizing others, not giving into desires, on and on and on.. Followers of Christ are actually Buddha-lites.

      August 15, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        Almost correct. Only missed it by a resurrection.

        August 15, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
        • Athy

          There was no resurrection. Let's get real.

          August 15, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          no Bill I got it correct. The difference is, the writers of the bible, those who followed the original testament, saw the beliefs and philosophies of the east infiltrating their culture. They did not want the atheistic parts of Buddhism, so modified the teachinigs to include a god element.
          There are mystic elements of the Buddha that were not included in the story. As with all christians, they took what parts of the stories they wanted to use, and discarded the rest.

          August 15, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          I used to thinks so too. Even followed the eightfold path. Turns out you're wrong.

          August 15, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
        • Tarzan of The Arctic

          No, Bill is wrong.

          August 15, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          No Bill, you just believe I'm wrong, I believe , and have volumes of history , and wirings that back it up, that I am not wrong, not exactly right yet either, still more evidence to locate, but most likely will never be found. It is a theory, but a strong theory. I do not have the time nor inclination to explain the bulk of it, but studying the histories of the region, one starts to develop a clear understanding of the evolution of philosophy, much like the evolution of technology, with each new element showing up in one area and spreading from there, sparking wars, creating new religions and beliefs.

          August 15, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
  3. Dyslexic doG

    According to the bible, can god be seen?

    God CAN be seen:
    "And I will take away my hand, and thou shalt see my backparts." (EXO 33:23)
    "And the Lord spake to Moses face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend." (EXO 33:11)
    "For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." (GEN 32:30)

    God CANNOT be seen:
    "No man hath seen God at any time." (JOH 1:18)
    "And he said, Thou canst not see my face; for there shall no man see me and live." (EXO 33:20)
    "Whom no man hath seen nor can see." (1TIM 6:16)

    August 15, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      I just love EXO 33:23 ... LOLOLOL

      August 15, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
      • Lawrence

        And the actual Hebrew isn't "back parts" it's "afterglow." What was trying to be conveyed is that when God showed up, His radiance was reflected... Scripture describes Moses' face glowing after this encounter, and he had to wrap a handkerchief around his face for a time until it faded. Similar to the Seraphim in heaven who are described as the "burning ones" because they reflect the radiance of the holiness of God... It is this radiance that not even the angels can see directly: "...angels... had six wings, with two they covered their feet, with two they covered their face, and with two they flew..."

        August 15, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
        • Maddy

          Then the translation should say that. Whatever version or flavor you're using. Biggest Christian excuse: "it was translated incorrectly". I suspect it STAYS that way for a reason.

          August 15, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Lawrence

      Google the term: Theophany

      August 15, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        domo origato sensei

        August 15, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Lawrence

      The idea is that if one were to view God in His full radiance and see His righteousness, the one seeing, being a mere creation, and sinful to boot, would be undone.

      August 15, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
      • EnjaySea

        Christians always have "ideas" to explain away any inconsistencies or logical fallacies regarding their dogma. Since they know for certain that their beliefs are correct and infallible, any challenge to those beliefs must be in error. So out come the justifications, the explanations, the exceptions, and the alibis.

        Of course your god can't show himself. We'd melt into a pile of goo, or turn into a pillar of salt, or be "undone". Doubters: 0 points, deity from outer space: 1 point.

        August 15, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
        • Lawrence

          If I was having difficulty understanding Shakespear, would you attempt to explain what he meant to me? Then what's the difference?

          August 15, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
        • Maddy

          The inerrant word of Shakespeare? Wanna try that analogy again?

          August 15, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
        • Converse

          Lawrence, you've just been PWNED. Just thought I'd tell ya...

          August 15, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
  4. Dyslexic doG

    Dear Christians posting in this forum. God Here:

    First, I do not exist. If I did, I would hate you for being so fvcking stupid. I would probably smite you. The concept of a 13,700,00,000 year old being, capable of creating the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, monitoring simultaneously the thoughts and actions of the 7 billion human beings on this planet is ludicrous.

    Second, if I did, I would have left you a book a little more consistent, timeless and independently verifiable than the collection of Iron Age Middle Eastern mythology you call the Bible. Hell, I bet you cannot tell me one thing about any of its authors or how and why it was compiled with certain writings included and others excluded, nor how it has been edited over the centuries, yet you cite it for the most extraordinary of supernatural claims.

    Thirdly, when I sent my “son” (whatever that means, given that I am god and do not mate) to Earth, he would have visited the Chinese, Ja.panese, Europeans, Russians, sub-Saharan Africans, Australian Aboriginals, Mongolians, Polynesians, Micronesians, Indonesians and native Americans, not just a few Jews. He would also have exhibited a knowledge of something outside of the Iron Age Middle East.

    Fourthly, I would not spend my time hiding, refusing to give any tangible evidence of my existence, and then punish those who are smart enough to draw the natural conclusion that I do not exist by burning them forever. That would make no sense to me, given that I am the one who elected to withhold all evidence of my existence in the first place.

    Fifthly, in the same vein, I would not make about 5% of the human population gay, then punish them for being that way. In fact, I wouldn’t care about how humans have $ex at all, given that I created all of the millions of millions of species on the planet, all of whom are furiously reproducing all the time. Human $ex would be of no interest to me, given that I can create Universes. Has it ever occurred to you that your obsession with making rules around human $ex is an entirely human affair?

    Sixth, I would have smited all you Christian activists, and all evangelicals and fundamentalists long before this. You people drive me nuts. You are so small minded and speak with such false authority. Many of you still believe in the talking snake nonsense from Genesis. I would kill all of you for that alone and burn you for an afternoon (burning forever is way too barbaric for me to even contemplate).

    Seventh, the whole idea of members of one species on one planet surviving their own physical deaths to “be with me” is utter, mind-numbing nonsense. Grow up. You will die. Get over it. I did. Hell, at least you had a life. I never even existed in the first place.

    Eighth, I do not read your minds, or “hear your prayers” as you euphemistically call it. There are 7 billion of you. Even if only 10% prayed once a day, that is 700,000,000 prayers. This works out at 8,000 prayers a second – every second of every day. Meanwhile I have to process the 100,000 of you who die every day between heaven and hell. Dwell on the sheer absurdity of that for a moment.

    Finally, the only reason you even consider believing in me is because of where you were born. Had you been born in India, you would likely believe in the Hindu gods, if born in Tibet, you would be a Buddhist. Every culture that has ever existed has had its own god(s) and they always seem to favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams and prejudices. What, do you think we all exist? If not, why only yours?

    Look, let’s be honest with ourselves. There is no god. Believing in me was fine when you thought the World was young, flat and simple. Now we know how enormous, old and complex the Universe is.

    Move on – get over me. I did.

    God

    August 15, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Troll Spotter

      Found one.

      August 15, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
      • Johnny

        What did you do, look in the mirror or something.

        August 15, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
        • Troll Spotter

          wow johnny. your comeback has silenced me. I have no words for you. just sitting here shocked at the insightfulness of your words.

          August 15, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          Spotty is being witty again. he's so clever. 🙂

          August 15, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        thanks again Spotty, for adding to the dialogue

        you must be very pleased with yourself to be so witty. congratulations. 🙂

        August 15, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
      • Mellow out

        Look a little further my friend, they are all over the place. Trust me you will find SEVERAL.

        August 15, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          I am glad we are friends little man. how very like Jesus of you.

          August 15, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
      • lamelionheart

        Trolley trolling the trails are we Troll Spotter..?

        Me..? I troll... I trail... I trail the trolling trolls... Seems we are trailing the same trolls... My mirror is long ago broken...

        August 15, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • mzh

      All of your questions can be answered from The Quran and there is no doubt about it.

      But you have do few thing as part of ur research – you would need a lot of patience, have to honest with urself, do not look to the people who do wrong with the banner of Islam

      I am definitely absolutely positing about it that you will have ur answers for all these from quran but it will take time... it will not come over the night...

      i could give yousome clue but i like u to take a home work for rest of ur life...

      Peace!!!

      August 15, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
      • Sue

        So remind us again, mzh, what the Quran says you should do to infidels. And then, tell us more about what you did yourself to protest against the 9/11 terrorism and the ongoing terrorism since then by adherents of your religion.

        August 15, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
        • mzh

          I am not interested in politics Sue.

          August 15, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
        • Sue

          No, mzh, you so far lack the courage to respond with any substance.

          Come on, buck up and summon some guts. My requests are very clear, and they are not simply political. What is your response?

          August 15, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
        • mzh

          Sue:

          Here is my response to your question based on my little knowladge:

          Let them know about Islam and the Message and let them decide. Pretty simple. As Quran says ‘there is no compulsion in religion – 2:256’ also quran commands that you are just an informer / warner, so just do let others know about ‘oneness of the almighty’.

          I do not support any kind of violence, I have been involved with interfaith communities against any violence.
          The teaching of prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is those are not part of my ummah (faith/community) for whom his neighbour lives in fear.

          Unfortunately there are lots of Muslims around the earth having very limited knowledge about Islam and being controlled by some uneducated leaders and it impacts the entire Muslim community. But I also strongly believe as it is mentioned in the quran that ‘if you do atom amount of good deeds, you will be rewarded and if you do atom amount of evil, you will be punished’ and Allah is the most High and most Just.

          Peace...

          August 15, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          mzh
          I am an atheist. Your quran tells you specifically to kill me.
          Quran (8:12) – "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them"

          There are over a hundred refernces commanding you to use violence, including murder, yet you claim to be non-violent. How can you read such commands and disobey, why haven't you tried to kill me?

          August 15, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
        • ME II

          @Richard Cranium,
          To be fair, doesn't that verse actually indicate Allah was talking to angels:

          [Remember] when your Lord inspired to the angels, "I am with you, so strengthen those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieved, so strike [them] upon the necks and strike from them every fingertip."
          ( http://quran.com/8/12 )

          August 15, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          Me II
          That one, sparks much debate, but only becasue there are many others. Some it is clear he means atheists, some it is clear he means anyone who is not muslim, some are the direct orders from Mohamed, some not.
          One thing that is certain, islam is not a peaceful religion, unless you are muslim.

          August 15, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
        • ME II

          @Richard Cranium,
          Similar to the Bible, the Quran can be interpreted in so many ways that it is practically useless, true.

          August 15, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
      • Maddy

        Sure, if the questions are "how can I justify killing people for no bloody reason at all?" And "can I post making myself look as uneducated as possible by the ridiculous use of text speak and have anyone possibly take me seriously?"

        Don't use "u" or "ur". You look massively ignorant when you do.

        August 15, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
        • Athy

          There is a simple explanation as to why he looks look massively ignorant. He is.

          August 15, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
        • mzh

          Dear Maddy:

          I want you to know that none of the prophets or messengers have been sent to guide mankind from the darkness(s) to the light taught his people/community to engage in fighting or killing. I would like you to research it.
          It does not make any sense if a prophet or messenger sent to save people would not kill people then what is his mission and whom he would go to?

          I feel huge responsible as a practicing Muslim for what is going on around the earth with the name of Islam. Hitler was responsible for the killing does not make entire Christians are like him, does it? Or few among the Jew started worshipping a cow right after they were saved from pherroh and saw 9 miracles on their own eyes while Moses was gone for few days, not all the Jew were cow worshippers?

          So my humble request to you, please do not point to the one who does wrong but point to the book what it says to do.
          Quran says ‘saving a soul as you are saving the mankind and harming a soul as you are harming the mankind’, then how could Quran Encourage to take others life where human life so especially created and the best among the entire creation?

          I hope it will help…

          Peace

          August 15, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
        • Tarzan of The Arctic

          Just like the 9-11 perpetrators did, mzh...you are beating a dead horse with that one...

          August 15, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
  5. Dyslexic doG

    "The most ridiculous concept ever perpetrated by H.Sapiens is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of his creations, that he can be persuaded by their prayers, and becomes petulant if he does not receive this flattery. Yet this ridiculous notion, without one real shred of evidence to bolster it, has gone on to found one of the oldest, largest and least productive industries in history."
    - Robert Heinlein

    August 15, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • Athy

      Heinlein was a genius.

      August 15, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • Niknak

      He was insane.

      August 15, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
      • flying spaghetti monster

        He was both. Great author, turned into a bit of a dirty ol' coot in his later years.

        August 15, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Heinlein was a genius... Already been said, but worth saying again...

      August 15, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      "Man is a marvelous curiosity ... he thinks he is the Creator's pet ... he even believes the Creator loves him; has a passion for him; sits up nights to admire him; yes and watch over him and keep him out of trouble. He prays to him and thinks He listens. Isn't it a quaint idea." -Samuel Clemens

      August 15, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        love it!

        August 15, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
  6. CommonSensed

    Who here among us believes the story of Icarus was about a real occurrence?

    I mean the proof is there in the story.

    August 15, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • Typical Christian

      I believe everything I read, unless of course it was written by a Muslim.

      August 15, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • mzh

      @ Typical Christian

      You know, one of the teaching of the Quran is that the Christians and Jews are most closest one to Muslims than any other idolaters. There are plenty of reasons as Quran teaches us, some of them as below:

      – Moses was a Muslim and was given a book (i.e. Torah) from the same source the Quran came
      – King and messenger David was a Muslim and was given a book of Zabur (i.e Psalm)
      – Jesus the son of Marry was a Muslim and was given a book (i.e. Injeel)
      – Gives permission to eat from the people of the book (Jew and Christian)
      – Gives permission to marry their daughters (Jew and Christian)
      – And many more

      How could you not believe in the Quran which was sent from where Jesus was sent and taken up to purify him from the people who plot to kill him and disbelieved in him (Jesus the son of Marry)? The good and bad in every religions and I am not referring to the one who does wrong with the name of Islam fyi…

      I am hopping one day you will change sooner or later...

      Peace!!!

      August 15, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
      • Typical Christian

        I don't care one bit what the Koran has to say about anything.

        August 15, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
      • Sara

        "How could you not believe in the Quran"

        Because I read it and it was the most boring and repetative book I've ever had the displeasure to read. OK, Ethan Frome was worse. And a few other books I put down after a couple of pages.

        August 15, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
        • Sue

          My thoughts too, Sara. Incredible that anyone puts any stock in a book as flawed as the Quran.

          The repetitive part is perhaps there though to dull the senses of the few gullible folk that it does suck in. Chanting and repetii>tion are a big part of keeping the religious herds in line (as you likely already know).

          August 15, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
      • mzh

        Dear Typical Christian

        There is no compulsion on religion – 2:256

        So you make your own choice... i am here just a warner or conveyer to convey the message... thats all...

        But my humble request to you is do not limit yourself... keep learning and you never know one day you will be able to discover something new.. and you have time till you end ur life time given meaning till u end ur life time and this is not known to anyone except who gave it to you while you were inside of ur mothers' womb with three layers (placanta, ovary and belly – i may have misspelled them :() as quran states.

        So i am glad that you have acknowladged it...

        August 15, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
        • Helen

          Too funny, to see mzh, a deluded believer in stone age myths, telling someone else to "keep learning". Oh, the irony....

          mzh, you are the one who needs to start learning, and fast. Help your Arab culture get out of being one of the most backward places in the world, (or just go on like you are now, mired in mud and backward beliefs). Your choice.

          August 15, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
        • Converse

          Phew, Helen at least you didn't call mzh a sand...

          August 15, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          mzh
          You tell others to keep learning....let me ask you. If I become a Silmarillion scholar, study it, believe it, and know it cover to cover, have I really learned anything of any real importance?

          August 15, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
  7. flying spaghetti monster

    Deuteronomy 25:11-12 NASB
    If two men, a man and his countryman, are struggling together, and the wife of one comes near to deliver her husband from the hand of the one who is striking him, and puts out her hand and seizes his genitals, then you shall cut off her hand; you shall not show pity.

    August 15, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • marine1

      WOW !!!! A walking encyclopedia of useless information.

      August 15, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
      • Johnny

        Yes, the bible is full of useless information.

        August 15, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
        • marine1

          So are a lot of posters on here. Sound like a bunch of 8 year olds calling each other names. " Your stupid" no " your stupid" no ' your stupid" I know you are but what am I? Grow up. Both sides need to agree to disagree. Stop all the BS name calling and hate spewing.

          August 15, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          @Marine

          Atheists believe Christians are stupid because they believe in an imaginary father figure in the sky that impregnated a virgin with himself, to give birth to himself, so he could sacrifice himself to himself to forgive the "original sin" of a couple we now all know never existed. And there is no proof for any of this ever occurring except a bronze age book.

          Christians believe that atheists are stupid because atheists believe facts and provable science rather than believing the myriad imaginings of the Christian "faith".

          do you think one side has a little more reason to be throwing the "stupid" tag at the other?

          August 15, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
        • Mellow out

          @ dog
          My answer is NO.

          August 15, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
        • marine1

          Not really. I see no sense in putting someone down because of what ever they believe or don't believe. I can also tell by your response that you do not agree with me.

          August 15, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          fair enough.

          August 15, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
      • flying spaghetti monster

        Marine: "Stop all the BS name calling and hate spewing."

        Interesting that this was your comment in response to me just pasting a passage from the bible. Where did i "hate spew" or call people names?

        August 15, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
        • marine1

          fsm- If you take the time to look below your post at Johnny's comment maybe you will understand more clearly.

          August 15, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
        • Johnny

          I didn't spew any hate, all I did was state a fact.

          August 15, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Ezekiel 23:20
      There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.

      August 15, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
      • Mellow out

        Can you translate the true meaning of this verse?

        August 15, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
        • Maddy

          Yeah, the OT is full of the fantasies of dirty old fucks. You're the one defending it, asshole. It seems pretty self-explanatory to me.

          August 15, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
        • Sara

          He was asking for clarification maddy, grow up.

          August 15, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
        • Maddy

          No, he wasn't. He did this same crap yesterday. He's a troll. Kiss off, lady.

          August 15, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
        • Sara(swati)

          Hmmm...maybe just "Sara" is too common. That wasn't me...

          August 15, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
        • Mellow out

          @ MAD DY,
          I was asking if he knew what the verse meant? Nice response tho. How old are you? 13 maybe?

          August 16, 2013 at 10:16 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        welcome back little man. 🙂

        August 15, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
        • Mellow out

          I see you are still trolling and spewing your hate. What's up with all the scripture verses? Why delve so deep into something you don't believe in? You see that is why you are a troll, you are miserable, thus you want everyone to be miserable with you.

          August 15, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
        • Troll Spotter

          He's at it again! Dd – google internet troll. then accept your miserable pathetic life as one who can never fully satisfy your need to put others down. you and the other atheist trolls on here who offer no substance are nothing more than bullies. Most atheists here claim they are the voices of reason, that they are here to stop the injustice brought on by religion. However, I just see a bunch of trolls. what is more foolish than arguing with a fool? Just think, this is what you do for fun? Your pathetic. go cry-bate some more and move on.

          August 15, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          ladies, ladies. calm down. you'll pop a vein.

          August 15, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
  8. R.M. Goodswell

    If you ever wanted proof of the repugnance of religion, here it is.....

    All these pilgrims are likely to do get catch some kind of bacterial infection from these 'healing waters'

    I know what its like to have a disease that will likely completely cripple me and end my life prematurely, I spend much of my time on drugs to try and control the effects of this and it has forever destroyed my finances as well.

    Their (and mine) only hope is for medical science to advance – most of these people are like me in that they are freaking broke...and they are spending what little they have to get to a place that will offer nothing but dashed hopes....and the Church stays silent, indeed inducts them on.

    freaking parasites....

    August 15, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
  9. Jake

    How many amputees have been healed this way?

    August 15, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      god doesn't heal amputees. he only heals ailments that can be faked.

      August 15, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
      • bostontola

        god'll heal your amputation if you're a salamander.

        August 15, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        "But God healed my cooties!"

        "I seen it!!"

        August 15, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
  10. Dyslexic doG

    Man is an animal with a vivid imagination when it does not understand the facts.

    I am sure the ancients also gathered wanting miracles from Horus from Egypt in 3000 BC (Jesus is a copy of Horus), or from Attis from Greece in 1500 BC (Jesus is a copy of Attis), or from Mithra from Persia in 1200BC (Jesus is a copy of Mithra), or from Krishna from India in 900BC (Jesus is a copy of Krishna), or from Dionysus from Greece in 500 BC (Jesus is a copy of Dionysus) .... or from any of the DOZENS of other gods predating the bronze age book character Jesus who were born of a virgin on Dec 25, traveled as a teacher, had 12 disciples, performed miracles, was killed and lay dead for 3 days and was resurrected.

    man has always written fanciful stories about miracles and invented the gods to give them an origin. most miraculous events never happened and are works of fiction. the few that have actually happened can be easily explained by medical science, physics, chemistry or other facts that we know today.

    there are no miracles. there are no gods!

    August 15, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Here we go again...

      ...same ol crap again.

      "(Jesus is a copy of Horus)"

      No we wasn't.

      "(Jesus is a copy of Attis)"

      No he wasn't.

      "(Jesus is a copy of Mithra), (Jesus is a copy of Krishna), (Jesus is a copy of Dionysus)"

      Nope, nope and nope. Saying it over and over again is not evidence.

      August 15, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
      • bostontola

        Not a copy, you're right. Many parts from the Christ story plot predated Jesus. Just like many Old Testament plot themes came from earlier stories.

        August 15, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
        • Here we go again...

          Evidence?

          August 15, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
        • bostontola

          You doubt that the Dionysus story predates Jesus?

          August 15, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
        • Typical Christian

          Who needs evidence?

          August 15, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
        • Here we go again...

          tola, no I don't.
          I doubt those who wrote about Jesus took from Dionysus. Unless you have evidence to show they did.

          August 15, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
        • bostontola

          Here we go again...,
          I asked did Dionysus predate Jesus and you said no? I didn't say what was borrowed, just that very similar myths predated the Christ and bible stories. If they weren't borrowed, then the earlier stories foretold yours.

          August 15, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        the stories are too similar. it's obvious the story of jesus was plagiarized from other myths. jesus was likely a fairy tale character.

        August 15, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
        • Here we go again...

          It's obviously not.

          August 15, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          Man 1: I came here for an argument!

          Man 2: No you didn't

          Man 1 : This isn't an argument – you're just contradicting me.

          Man 2 : No I'm not.

          Here we go again.... does this sound familiar?

          August 15, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
        • bostontola

          My dog,
          MP, way to go.

          August 15, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
        • Here we go again...

          No, because you are under a delusion that you have offered up some for of evidence when you haven't. Long winded responses are not needed when you have failed to even begin to initiate a point.

          August 15, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
      • Maddy

        Great rebuttal, Lycidas/Uncouth Swain. "Nope nope nope." Stamp you wee widdle foot for emphasis, while you're at it.
        Shove it, Bible Boy. Your crap evidence is just as valid as theirs.

        August 15, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
        • Here we go again...

          Oh Mad one...what more does a factless bit of fluff need than "nope". You wouldn't be implying I should prove a negative would you?
          What evidence of mine are you referring to exactly? Sounds like you are talking out your @ss again.

          August 15, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        There is evidence of similarities: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Christ_in_comparative_mythology
        Other biblical characters are found in the texts of other societies, e.g. Balaam is mentioned in texts from modern-day Jordan that are older than the OT texts and some details are different.

        August 15, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
        • Here we go again...

          Oddly enough, that's not really evidence. It's some really smart dumb people saying a lot with no real evidnece. Similarity does not breed connection.

          August 15, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
        • Johnny

          There were enough similarities that early Christians invented excuses to try and explain them away, so there has to be some truth to it.

          August 15, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
        • Here we go again...

          Explaining things are not excuses. And you should not rely on ignorance to make deductions.

          August 15, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
        • Johnny

          When the explanations include things like the devil they become excuses. The Jesus character contains all of the traits that were common for the mythical heroes of that time.

          August 15, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
        • Here we go again...

          That still isn't evidence of a connection as others have tried to imply.

          August 15, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          here we go, Clearly you have evidence for a god. Please share.

          August 15, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
        • Here we go again...

          "Clearly"?
          What bandwagon are you trying to ride on?

          August 15, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
      • bostontola

        Here we go again...,
        I asked did Dionysus predate Jesus and you said no? I didn't say what was borrowed, just that very similar myths predated the Christ and bible stories. If they weren't borrowed, then the earlier stories foretold yours.

        August 15, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
        • Here we go again...

          Or they have no connection at all. That is another possibility.

          August 15, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
        • bostontola

          Flood stories abound in that region, stories of resurrection, hybrid god/human births abound, unrelated is not a credible explanation.

          August 15, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
        • Here we go again...

          But saying that they seem similar with no evidence showing a connection is credible? That is no scientific.

          August 15, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
        • bostontola

          The evidence is the proliferation of very similar stories. The connection is the trading network between cultures of that time, they were extensive. Why is that not evidence. There is a difference between evidence and proof.

          August 15, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
        • Here we go again...

          Fine, then all of the surrounding cultures took from the people that wrote the Torah.

          August 15, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
        • bostontola

          The torah was in the mix, I wouldn't be surprised if there was sharing all ways. But the Jesus story was absolutely later.

          August 15, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
        • R.M. Goodswell

          @ HWGA,

          The tribes of Israel were late arrivals to the region. Babylon (Assyria) and Egypt predate Israel by a good ways. And its from these two that the Israelite Pantheon (yes pantheon, multiple gods) was lifted, sometimes with a simple change of the name. Eventually the tribes disagreed which God should take preeminence and a power struggle resulted....the priests of Yahweh (the war god – go figure) won, and he became the One God...with all the powers of any of the regional gods.

          the first commandment: do not have any other gods before me....

          Now ask yourself why such a commandment would even be necessary to the One true creator......

          August 15, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
        • Here we go again...

          What I ask for is proof and not supposition.

          August 15, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
        • R.M. Goodswell

          anything I type here you will call 'supposition'.

          So ... Google: Ancient civilizations timeline and Google: Yahweh and also Canaanite Gods (the Canaanites were a tribe that were wiped out on the orders of Yahweh, stamping out the supporters of a rival god – and that 'supposition' is in your book of fairy tales) . And just for kicks Google : epic of Gilgamesh and see if you recognize the story there....

          The old testament is a collection of plagiarized stories – a game of one-upmanship.

          August 15, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
        • bostontola

          Asking for proof is unreasonable and silly.

          August 15, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • bostontola

      doG,
      When there was no science, almost anything could be interpreted as a miracle. Men that harnessed observation and arithmetic could predict solar eclipses, river flooding patterns, etc. They appeared to others as having mysterious powers. They exploited that right from the beginning.

      August 15, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        well said!

        August 15, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
  11. bostontola

    Selling false hope is a terrible scam. There is a rational basis to hope to win a lottery (it's not a good investment usually but there is hope). There is no basis to hope for a medical miracle by riding a train to Lourdes. IMO, there is questionable morals associated with a state enticing mostly poor to invest even a small amount in such a random long shot as the lottery. It is also questionable for the church to let this false hope perpetuate. As the lottery shows, hope sells and sellers of hope will take advantage of that.

    August 15, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      I totally agree.
      IMO the Pope / Vatican should make an official statement saying that they no longer sanction / approve / support / uphold any miraculous power associated what-so-ever with Lourdes.
      Then apologize for any previous notion that Lourdes had such power.
      Do the right thing RCC

      August 15, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        Here is the official statement:

        O blessed Virgin, Mother of God, Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church, look upon us mercifully at this hour. Virgin faithful, pray for us. Teach us to believe as you believed. Make our faith in God, in Christ, in the Church, always to be serene, courageous, strong, and generous. Mother worthy of love. Mother of faithful love, pray for us. Teach us to love God and our brothers and sisters as you loved them: make our love for others to be always patient, kindly, and respectful. Cause of our joy, pray for us. Teach us to be able to grasp, in faith, the paradox of Christian joy, which springs up and blooms from sorrow, renunciation, and union with your sacrificed Son. Make our joy to be always genuine and full, in order to be able to communicate it to all.
        Amen.

        August 15, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
        • bostontola

          Bill, do those rose colored glasses let any other light in?

          August 15, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
        • Athy

          Wow. Unbelievable. Does that really make you feel better, Bill Deacon?

          August 15, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
  12. lamelionheart

    All tribunal séances of conjuring amusements be they the mustard sauces will ever become the ketchup's rival...

    August 15, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      will arm job happy barnacle why juice the white servitude Bob ask hoot peculiar fast be coop sand

      August 15, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
      • Ed

        Where's Jill when we need her elephant-Mozart spiel?

        August 15, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
  13. mzh

    2:28 – How can you disbelieve in Allah when you were lifeless and He brought you to life; then He will cause you to die, then He will bring you [back] to life, and then to Him you will be returned.

    ON THE DAY OF RESURRECTION – PEOPLE WILL SAY:
    78:38 – The Day that Ar-Ruh [Jibrael (Gabriel) or another angel] and the angels will stand forth in rows, none shall speak except him whom the Most Beneficent (Allah) allows, and he will speak what is right.

    78:39 – That is the True Day; so he who wills may take to his Lord a [way of] return.

    78:40 – Indeed, We have warned you of a near punishment on the Day when a man will observe what his hands have put forth and the disbeliever will say, "Oh, I wish that I were dust!"

    AFTER THE JUDGEMENT IS OVER – THEY WILL ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THEY WERE WARNED ABOUT THIS:
    67:6 – And for those who disbelieved in their Lord is the punishment of Hell, and wretched is the destination.

    67:7 – When they are thrown into it, they hear from it a [dreadful] inhaling while it boils up.

    67:8 – It almost bursts with rage. Every time a company is thrown into it, its keepers ask them, "Did there not come to you a Warner?"

    67:9 – They will say," Yes, a Warner had come to us, but we denied and said, ' Allah has not sent down anything. You are not but in great error.' "

    67:10 – And they will say, "If only we had been listening or reasoning, we would not be among the companions of the Blaze."

    67:11 – And they will admit their sin, so [it is] alienation for the companions of the Blaze.

    67:12 – Indeed, those who fear their Lord unseen will have forgiveness and great reward.

    Peace!!!

    August 15, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Have you any proof of this Allah character (Hadith and Quran are not proof)?

      August 15, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
      • Segoy

        They are evidence, you just don't like them though.

        August 15, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          That's almost coherent.

          August 15, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          no, they are not evidence. Using them as evidence is circular logic, which does not work. Just as the bible is not evidence of the claims of the bible, so too is the Quran not evidence of the claims of the Quran.

          August 15, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
        • Segoy

          Sorry but they are evidence. I didn't say they were the best kind or they were absolute and beyond question. But they are evidence.
          You should keep in mind as well that the "Bible" isn't singular but a collection of individual books. Each book could be considered evidence. Again, not saying they are the best evidence, just saying they are evidence.

          August 15, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
        • Sara

          Segoy, I agree they are evidence. But so is the homeless guy's rant about aliens talking to him in his sleep. As you said, not great evidence. The trick is in knowing how to pick and choose.

          August 15, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
        • OTOH

          Segoy,
          "Each book could be considered evidence."

          They are only evidence of what the ancient Israelites believed and fantasized about. That's all.

          August 15, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          So, by your logic, Gandalf is real?

          August 15, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "Sorry but they are evidence."

          Ev·i·dence: /ˈevədəns/ noun: The available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid."

          Sorry, but they are not evidence. They are opinion pieces written by ancient people who believed all kinds of bizzare and untrue things. They do not contain a single scrap of evidence for Allah much like the bible does not contain a single scrap of evidence for the Hebrew God or his son. If they did then we would consider them fact based instead of supposedly divinely inspired opinion.

          August 15, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
        • Segoy

          "Evidence, broadly construed, is anything presented in support of an assertion."

          Sorry, they are evidence. And as I said before, I'm not saying they are strong evidence just that they are evidence.

          August 15, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
      • mzh

        The Quran itself is the proof and only miracle exists in the face of the earth till now and will be till the end, it has been preserved since it was revealed to the mankind and it will be as it is till the end.

        There has been no human intervention in it. The Quran itself challenges human to come up with one small chapter or even a single verse if you can (referring to the Arabs who were master in their language (i.e Arabic in which the Quran was revealed) when Quran was being revealed on them for the mankind).

        As a matter of fact it is still a challenge to the mankind to come up with lets say a law like law of inheritance or law of divorce. No human no matter how smart he or she is can come up with these laws.

        Now the other miracles that took place prior to the Quran was during the time of Jesus, David, Moses and so on, and none of these miracles are exist now, there were shown to the people that time and then it is gone, like the stick Moses used, the blind man cured by Jesus (all these were done by the will of The Almighty and not by the power of human).

        I hope it will help a little…

        August 15, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
        • Tarzan of The Arctic

          mzh, nice circular reasoning you've got there. In case you don't understand what that is, my book is true because it says that it's true because it's true because it says that it's true...

          Have fun chasing your tail, while the rest of the world advances and leaves you behind...

          August 15, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
      • mzh

        4:174 – O mankind, there has come to you a conclusive proof from your Lord, and We have sent down to you a clear light.

        4:175 – So those who believe in Allah and hold fast to Him – He will admit them to mercy from Himself and bounty and guide them to Himself on a straight path.

        August 15, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
        • Tarzan of The Arctic

          Right, and then kill all the ones who don't believe... Islam is the most violent religion now, and no wonder.

          August 15, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
  14. Dyslexic doG

    God. The one who loves you so much, that he created hell in case you don't love him back... LOLOLOL

    August 15, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • :(

      You've created the hell you live in now. And God can save you from that. Or you can continue to suffer and harm others. 😦

      August 15, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        Which god? Odin?

        August 15, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
        • Segoy

          Hmm, let's see...it's a story about Christianity and the guy used a capital "G". Take a guess which one he is referring to. Duh.

          August 15, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
        • lamelionheart

          Out of the One did come the many... From One came out the all... The coming out from the many came all things which were made from the One in all likenesses to be made in wholesomeness... Humanism is the human conditionings of mostly humane underpinnings... Out from the first pair came the pairings of the all toward everything to be believed and revealed in due timeliness...

          August 15, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
        • Johnny

          Gandalf?

          August 15, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Segoy

          If somebody says "God", it could refer to thousands of different fictional characters. It would help if people specify.

          August 15, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
        • Obe Wanna Kanape

          May the Farce be with you.

          August 15, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Maybe if he/she goes to godchecker.com they can elaborate further on their claim.

          August 15, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        Johnny

        There probably wouldn't be a Gandalf without Odin.

        August 15, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
        • Obe Wanna Kanape

          But there were turtles beneath Odin. He did have to stand on something, didn't he?

          August 15, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
      • Sara

        Some non-Abrahamic religions use the word God with a capital G, including a number of more monotheistic/pantheistic Hindus and pantheists. That said, I would guess in context, but it still helps to clarify.

        August 15, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
        • Lynn

          Then take note about what the article topic is about. If the article is about a Christian topic, rational people will realize that "God" is the christian one.
          Only numbnuts like irrational atheists would think they mean Hindu or whatnot.

          August 15, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
        • Sara

          As I said in my comment, I would guess from context. However, these comment sections are used for a lot of general religious discussions that include many people who believe in gods (and Gods) who are not the Christian god. It's not a big deal to me, but I don't think it hurts to clarify.

          August 15, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
        • OTOH

          Lynn,

          I don't think that anyone is confused about which god we're talking about here.

          "Which god?" is a rhetorical device to bring people up short regarding their supersti'tious claims.

          August 15, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
        • Sara

          I think that unless it's unclear, using that as a rhetorical device is a little presumptuous and condescending. I doubt there are many people who are unaware that the world is inhabited by people who believe in many different gods. Sometimes the reminder is appropriate, as when the discussion isn't specific to a particular religion, but I see this overused. That said, I still think that it doesn't hurt to be as clear as possible.

          August 15, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
        • OTOH

          You are probably right, Sara, about some of the levels of debate that go on here; but this is a casual discussion forum and there are all sorts of atti.tudes and tones-of-voice going on. Different folks speak to different folks in different ways. One size does not fit all. A lot of times the formal rules of debate do go out the window. I just hope that everyone is coming away just a little bit smarter and more informed after visiting here.

          August 15, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
  15. Bill Deacon

    “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
    my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
    for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
    From this day all generations will call me blessed:
    the Almighty has done great things for me
    and holy is his Name.
    He has mercy on those who fear him
    in every generation.
    He has shown the strength of his arm,
    and has scattered the proud in their conceit.
    He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
    and has lifted up the lowly.
    He has filled the hungry with good things,
    and the rich he has sent away empty.
    He has come to the help of his servant Israel
    for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
    the promise he made to our fathers,
    to Abraham and his children forever.”

    August 15, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      O Zeus, Father Zeus, King of Gods and Mortals,
      Thou who ruleth from Your Throne on high Olympus,
      Together with the Olympians, of which Thou art the Most High,
      Govern the Entire Cosmos benevolently.
      You, O Zeus, give life to this Earth,
      With Your many gifts,
      You make our existence possible,
      Feeding us and providing for our needs.
      For it is You, O Zeus,
      Who gathers the clouds, heavy with moisture,
      And make them go to the dry land,
      With the whirling Winds under your command.
      When they have arrived according to Your wish,
      You give them Your new commands, O Zeus, Father Zeus,
      And they cast themselves empty, moisturizing the Earth with life-giving rain,
      Sometimes accompanied and heralded by Your lightningbolts and thunderstrikes.
      Thus You feed and nourish humans and animals and plants and all that lives,
      O Most High, Most Great Zeus, Cloud-gatherer,
      With Your life-giving rains, Thundering, Lightninging,
      The Earth fertilized, moisturized, nourished.
      May Your rains ever feed the dry land,
      By which all that lives can provide in its sustenance,
      May we Mortals ever bathe in Your favor and gifts,
      En in return honor You with fit sacrifices, O Zeus, Father Zeus.

      August 15, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      Abraham was a schizophrenic P O S.

      August 15, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
      • OTOH

        Agree. But more likely, that story is just ancient Hebrew melodrama.

        August 15, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Very likely. There's very little evidence of any Abraham like figure in early Judaism. Archaeological evidence suggests Judaism developed out of the Canaanite religion.

          August 15, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
        • Segoy

          Probably just as much as Socrates has.

          August 15, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          What?

          August 15, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
        • Sara

          Lol, Dave, I thought about asking when I saw that and thought, eh, why bother?

          August 15, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I'm assuming it has something to do with the lack of evidence supporting the existence of Socrates. I just want clarification.

          August 15, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
        • Lynn

          You wouldn't have understood it anyway.

          August 15, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
        • Johnny

          If someone claims that Socrates is the son of god, and that I should live my life according to what he says, then I will probably ask for some proof. Until then I don't really care if he was a real person or not.

          August 15, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Well, I'd have a better chance of understanding if it was structured coherently instead of appearing as a pointless non sequitur.

          August 15, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • Father Abraham

      Amen!

      August 15, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      God: "Hey Abe, why don't you kill your son to prove your love for me?"

      Abe: "Really? Do I have to? Is there any other way?"

      God: "Nope. If you love me you will lay your son on an alter and plunge a dagger in his chest."

      Abe: "OK, if you say so..."

      God: "Just kidding...! "

      Isaac: "What the hell...?"

      August 15, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Sara

      @Cheese, yeah, the Judeo-Christian-Islamic god is pretty much a jerk. That said, given evidence I'd worship him over eternal hell. Glad I haven't seen any.

      August 15, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      @Sara, I agree but I don't think a god like that would let us get by with just 'going through the motions'...I think we would still be SOL.

      August 15, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
      • Sara

        I don't know, if they've already anthropomorphized him this much, it seems likely enough he just likes grovelling.

        August 15, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Who doesn't?

          August 15, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
        • Sara

          I promise to be kind to anyone who brings offerings of gold and a few good restaurant gift cards to my door. I don't really care how sincere they are. And chocolate. Oh, and a temple or two with some flattering sculptures.

          August 15, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
        • laststonecarver

          @Sara,
          I'm out of gold and temples, but could provide the sculptures, are hummingbirds good, cause i'm kind of partial to them...

          August 15, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
        • Sara

          Hummingbirds are magnificent. I might consider them as evidence of my existence.

          August 15, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
        • laststonecarver

          @Sara,
          Hummingbirds are magnificent –
          I will carve a stone, and leave it in a field, to soak up sunshine, to brighten your dullest day –

          August 15, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
  16. mzh

    Dear Friends / Brothers and Sisters in Mankind,

    What miracles are you looking for?

    This earthly life is to end no matter how strong and healthy we are, no one can escape from death which will come to all of us when time comes for each one of us, shoot for hereafter which is never ending if YOU want to of course…

    Please do not be fooled by some false preaching OR something which has never happened and will never happen. Please take a look into following one of the verses in the Quran talks about human earthly life cycle and see which # you are in:

    It is He who created you
    1. from dust, then
    2. from a sperm-drop, then
    3. from a clinging clot; then He brings you out as
    4. a child; then
    5. [He develops you] that you reach your [time of] maturity, then
    6. [further] that you become Elders (old age)
    7. And among you is he who is taken in death before [that], so that you reach a specified term; and perhaps you will think. – 40:67

    3:185 – Every soul will taste death (NO EXCEPTION), and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion.

    2:21 – O mankind, worship your Lord, who created you and those before you, that you may become righteous

    2:22 – [He] who made for you the earth a bed [spread out] and the sky a ceiling and sent down from the sky, rain and brought forth thereby fruits as provision for you. So do not attribute to Allah equals while you know [that there is nothing similar to Him].

    2:42 – And do not mix the truth with falsehood or conceal the truth while you know [it].

    2:83 – And [recall] when We took the covenant from the Children of Israel, [enjoining upon them], "Do not worship except Allah ; and to parents do good and to relatives, orphans, and the needy. And speak to people good [words] and establish prayer and give zakah." Then you turned away, except a few of you, and you were refusing.

    2:133 – Or were you witnesses when death approached Jacob, when he said to his sons, "What will you worship after me?" They said, "We will worship your God and the God of your fathers, Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac – one God. And we are Muslims [in submission] to Him."

    2:152 – So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me.

    2:186 – And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.

    3:69 – A faction of the people of the Scripture wish they could mislead you. But they do not mislead except themselves, and they perceive [it] not.

    3:102 – O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims [in submission to Him].

    MY SUPPLICATIONS FOR MYSELF AND OTHER FELLAS:
    Our Lord, Allah, The Exalted, The Almighty guide us to the straight path and do not let us die except in the state of Islam (submission to you only you without any associations).

    Peace be upon all of you!!!

    August 15, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Then find part C-3, it is dowel rod that slips into the hole in the corner of piece B.

      August 15, 2013 at 11:58 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        LOLOL

        August 15, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      NIce bunch of carp that is supported buy fairy tales.

      August 15, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
      • marine1

        Carp are real.

        August 15, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
        • Akira

          And a nuisance.

          August 15, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Eastern Europeans eat carp at Christmas.

          August 15, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • Akira

          They can come over to Lake Michigan and catch the Asian version that is threatening the indigenous species of fish here.

          August 15, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
        • laststonecarver

          Gefilte fish sounds so much more palatable –

          August 15, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
      • lamelionheart

        It's a carp-shoot then..? Oh carp..!

        August 15, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      -Please do not be fooled by some false preaching OR something which has never happened and will never happen.-

      Oh the irony....

      August 15, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Reality

      Only for the eyes of our sister and brother Muslims:

      From the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi----–

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      The First Five of the 77 Branches:

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings
      be upon him) alone."

      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

      Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

      August 15, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • CommonSensed

      "Please do not be fooled by some false preaching OR something which has never happened and will never happen."

      OK – we're not fooled by you or your religion.

      Thanks!

      August 15, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
      • mzh

        Thats your choice... there is no one force here...

        Peace!!!

        August 15, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
  17. Apple Bush

    Sure I was melted by the sun. So what? I need the heat. I need the scarring and near-death experience. I need to be seen as myself. Now I can take off my old mask. Now I am dancing in the snow on a bride in Tulsa.

    August 15, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Apple Bush

      I meant "a bridge in Tulsa" but I think I like "bride" better.

      August 15, 2013 at 11:53 am |
  18. lamelionheart

    Give the atheists their due considerations of their being doubting Thomas rivalries... Give the religious likewise their beliefs due considerations which atheists claim not any beliefs yet they howl away and stammer seemingly forever their lacking beliefs as if it were believable... Oh the ironies of belief-less-ness...

    August 15, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Good morning Mr. Lamb, you crazy old fuck. Your post is completely senseless by the way.

      August 15, 2013 at 11:55 am |
      • lamelionheart

        Sired Apple...

        I resemble your connotations... Yet, I still am not viewed with much appeal or zeal within the vernaculars around your wordage roots that are plagued with stunted growth rings...

        August 15, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      See the difference is that Thomas was actually GIVEN the evidence that he requested, and then became a believer.
      I am willing to bet that every atheist in the world would do the same if their request of evidence was fulfilled.
      If you're going to compare atheists to Doubting Thomas ... take the comparison all the way to the same conclusion.

      August 15, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
      • lamelionheart

        Sired Bro Maynard...

        Then my statement thusly declaring that the atomized cellular cosmologies are the true kingdom domains of God is a plausible relevancy within reasonable rationalism to be of considerable consequences..?

        August 15, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
      • Sara

        Yep, I would. I publicly now ask that evidence be delivered to me now in the same timely and clear manner that it was delivered to Thomas. I promise to report back any voices from the sky.

        August 15, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
        • Sara

          Nope, nothing...oh well.

          August 15, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
        • lamelionheart

          Oh carp... It's just a carp-shoot then isn't it..?

          August 15, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
  19. Dyslexic doG

    god stopped doing miracles when cameras were invented.

    what a load of hooey religion is!

    August 15, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Miracles are real

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EZxVvz3Jcw&w=640&h=360]

      August 15, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • ME II

      Seems He also stopped handing out revelations once the printing press arrived (although the LDS would disagree).

      August 15, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • mzh

      What miracle are you talking about dear D?

      You should be able to see in within yourself or when u see a human being is being created inside of womb and being delivered from it if you use your thinking abilities... there are lot more to mention but lets just take one at a time...

      Peace

      August 15, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
      • ME II

        Not sure I see the miracle in biological reproduction. Is there something physically impossible happening?

        August 15, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
      • Akira

        I'll think birth is a miracle when I see men getting pregnant and giving birth...otherwise, not so much. It's not a miracle. Like ME II says, it's a biological function.

        August 15, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Have you seen Junior? Obviously, the miracle is that Yahweh came down and forcefully impregnated Schwarzenegger. The Virgin Mary Schwarzenegger.

          August 15, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
        • lamelionheart

          Millions of sperm and only needed is but One in a million for impregnation to occur... What are the odds,,?

          August 15, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
        • Brother Maynard

          Not sure if this is a hoax but ...
          http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4124499/Man-becomes-the-first-ever-in-the-UK-to-give-birth-to-baby.html
          also maybe classified as a medical miracle

          🙂

          August 15, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
  20. Ginger

    Wow reading these posts makes me feel like im taking crazy pills.

    biblethump1: God is real becuase i can post quotes from a book
    atheist2: that dont make any sense
    biblethump1: but i can feel jesus's love
    atheist2: he dead how is that possible
    biblethump1: i can talk to the god in the sly by wearing robes, lighting candles and singing
    atheist2: alll righty then

    August 15, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      nice. 🙂

      August 15, 2013 at 10:57 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.