August 29th, 2013
01:24 PM ET

Former staffer: Measles church counseled faith, not shots

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(CNN) ­ When Amy Arden joined Eagle Mountain International Church in 1997, her 11­month­old daughter had received all the recommended vaccinations. But in the six years the young, single mother worked and worshipped at the evangelical megachurch, Arden didn’t take her child to get a single shot.

“There was a belief permeating throughout the church that there is only faith and fear,” Arden said. “If you were afraid of the illness enough to get vaccinated, it showed a lack of faith that God would protect and heal you.”

Members of Eagle Mountain International Church also believed that childhood vaccinations could lead to autism, said Arden, who is 35.

Arden said she was taught by a supervisor at the church's nursery how to opt out of a Texas law that requires most children to be immunized. She now regrets passing the same lesson on to other parents.

“I didn’t know a single mother who was vaccinating her children,” she said.

Eagle Mountains teachings on health, including disparaging remarks about vaccinations, have been called into question since an outbreak of measles in Texas – an outbreak that state officials tie to the church.

As a Word of Faith church, Eagle Mountain is part of the booming prosperity gospel movement, which holds that God wants to reward believers with riches, health and happiness, if they will just recite certain Scriptures, pray and trust in divine providence.

The church is part of Kenneth Copeland Ministries, a vast and profitable multimedia ministry led by its namesake, a longtime prosperity preacher and television evangelist.

In the prosperity gospel world, Copeland, 76, and his wife, Gloria, are considered royalty, said Kate Bowler, author of “Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel.”

“He is a major grandfather of the movement, starting to age out but still incredibly influential,”

Bowler said. “They’ve been on the air forever and stayed largely scandal­free. That’s partly why they are so trusted by lots of people.”

According to Kenneth Copeland Ministries, the Copelands' daily program on the Trinity Broadcasting Network reaches millions of viewers, their magazine more than 500,000 readers.

Based in Newark, Texas, a rural community 25 miles north of Fort Worth, Eagle Mountain is co­pastored by Copeland's daughter, Terri Copeland Pearsons, and son­in­law, George Pearsons.

Twenty­one people in Tarrant County and nearby Denton County have contracted measles during this outbreak, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The victims include nine children and range from 4 to 44 years old..

Tarrant County epidemiologist Russell Jones said the confirmed cases can be traced back to a person who attended Eagle Mountain International Church after visiting Asia, which has higher rates of measles infections than the United States.

Health officials are not releasing the name of that person or the particular country.

Jones said he doesn’t know exactly how many of the infected people are members of Eagle Mountain. At least 11 of the 21 did not have any measles vaccinations, he said. (Doctors usually recommend two shots.)

“Our concern would be that if you have a pocket of people who associate and think alike, if they don’t believe in immunization there’s going to be some other vulnerable people,” Jones said.

Neither Eagle Mountain International Church nor Kenneth Copeland Ministries responded to repeated requests for comment.

Eagle Mountain Pastor Terri Copeland Pearsons has said that “while some people may believe she is against immunizations, that is not true.”

“I believe it is wrong to be against vaccinations,” she said in a statement.

But the pastor hasn’t always preached a pro­immunization message.

In an August 15 statement, Copeland Pearsons drew a link between vaccinations and autism, saying, “The concerns we have had are primarily with very young children who have family history of autism and with bundling too many immunizations at one time.”

Likewise, in 2010, during a broadcast about health, Kenneth Copeland – whose followers consider him a prophet – voiced alarm about the number of shots given to his grandchild.

“All of this stuff they wanted to put into his body,” Copeland said. “Some of it is criminal!”

Copeland was particularly agitated about the Hepatitis B shot.

“In an infant? That’s crazy! That is a shot for sexually transmitted disease!” he said.

“We need to be a whole lot more serious about this and aware, and you don’t take the word of the guy who’s trying to give you the shot about what’s good and what isn’t.”

Dr. Don Colbert, a "divine health" expert who has appeared with Copeland in several broadcasts, then said the autism rate among children has increased with the number of childhood vaccinations.

"I have had so many patients bring their children in and they say, you know what, the week after I had that immunization, for MMR – measles, mumps and rubella – my child stopped talking, my child stopped giving me eye contact. He was not alert, he was not coherent. he quit speaking, he quit being the child I had," Colbert said on the webcast.

Colbert and the Copeland family are wrong about immunizations, said Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University.

“It's painful because these pastors are trusted spiritual leaders who are speaking to people not only in their congregations but also on television," he said. "They are putting people at risk.”

There is no link between vaccinations and autism, and hepatitis can be passed from mother to child, making the shot necessary and effective, Schaffner said.

Schaffner said that doctors call concerns about bundling immunizations the "pin cushion effect." It's a common but unfounded fear, he said.

Most health experts, including the American Pediatric Association and the Tarrant County Public Health Department, agree with Schaffner.

In a joint statement on Wednesday, the church and ministry said that they believe in, and advocate the use of, medical professionals.

"If an individual is faced with a situation that requires medical attention, that person should seek out the appropriate medical professional and follow their instructions using wisdom," the church leaders said.

After the measles outbreak, Kenneth Copeland said that he “inquired of the Lord as to what he would say regarding these vaccinations,” according to a statement posted on the church's website on August 15.

The pastor said that God told him to “pray over it,” and then to “take advantage of what I have provided for you in Jesus’ name.”

Since the measles outbreak, Eagle Mountain has held two free immunization clinics, where about 220 church members received vaccinations, according to Jones, who said the county assisted with the clinics. Jones said that he is working to ascertain how many of the church’s 1,500 members have still not been immunized.

Eagle Mountain and Kenneth Copeland Ministries also disinfected their shared 25­acre campus, including the nursery and day care center, Pearsons said at an August 14 church service titled “Taking Our Stand of Faith Over Measles.” The church runs schools for children through the sixth grade.

When Copeland announces a change in church policy, it's often after he has claimed to receive a new divine revelation, said former members of the church.

"Kenneth would always come up with a new prophecy to match what's going on," said one

former church member, who wished to remain anonymous in order to maintain business ties with the church.

In this case, Copeland’s new revelation – and the church's recent statements –represent a big shift, said the former members.

Amy Arden worshipped and worked at the church, including in its nursery, for six years, first as a volunteer, then as paid staff from 2000 to 2003.

Arden said she now deeply regrets teaching other parents how to access the Texas immunization exemption forms. But she and another former church employee described a closed spiritual world in which doubts are kept quiet and leaders' words are rarely questioned.

“This was Kenneth Copeland’s ministry, and we did nothing that he did not approve of,” Arden said.

“It’s hard to believe that hundreds of his children in his church were not getting vaccinated and he didn’t know about it. If he was pro­vaccination, we would have vaccinated our children."

Arden recalled a 2002 lecture to church employees in which they were told that every part of Eagle Mountain International Church and Kenneth Copeland Ministries must reflect the founder’s vision.

Arden said she was fired from KCM in 2003 for disagreeing with the church’s willingness to take donations from the mentally ill, including institutionalized patients.

She later cooperated with a U.S. Senate investigation into Copeland’s and other prosperity preachers’ finances. The church was not penalized, but Sen. Chuck Grassley's 2011 report raised questions about the pastors' use of church­owned luxury items like private jets. The Copelands and Eagle Mountain called the investigation an attack on Word of Faith pastors.

Another former church member and Kenneth Copeland Ministries employee who volunteered in the nursery corroborated Arden’s account.

“Being vaccinated was like working against your faith,” said the former church member. “You were trusting a disease's power to infect you over God's ability to protect you.”

Neither Arden nor the other former church member recalled hearing the Copelands or Pearsons preach specifically against vaccinations, however. Nor did the Copelands counsel their flock to reject medical treatment for serious ailments, they said.

More often, the prosperity pastors would preach that faith is the best preventive measure and that some ailments can and should be prayed away, the church members recalled.

That’s a common belief among Pentecostals, said Bowler, the historian and Duke Divinity School professor. According to a 2006 Pew Study, 62% of American Pentecostals say they have witnessed divine healings.

But many Christian traditions teach that God can heal believers. What separates preachers like the Copelands is that they believe Jesus died not only to save humanity from sin but also from sickness.

“When Jesus bore away our sins, he also bore away our diseases,” Gloria Copeland has said in sermons about spiritual healing.

The Copelands also teach that they have unlocked the formula – a combination of words and Scriptures – to guide believers from optimistic faith to tangible results.

“The places they look for those results are their bodies and their wallets,” Bowler said.

In many ways, the Copelands are the spiritual successors to last century's revival preachers, Bowler said, trading traveling tent meetings for lucrative television ministries.

Kenneth Copeland learned at the feet of prosperity gospel founders Kenneth Hagin and Oral Roberts. Copeland calls Roberts, who believed that God had anointed his right hand with healing power, his "spiritual father."

The Copelands have since created their own unique brand of theology, emphasizing that the

spoken word – a Word of Faith – can turn prayers into reality. Kenneth Copeland teaches that simply uttering the words “I’m sick” can lead to illness, and that proclaiming yourself well can likewise lead to health.

“Our health, our wealth and our place in eternity is in our mouths. Everything about us has been, and will be, determined by the words we speak,” Copeland has said.

Arden said that church members were taught to repeat certain Bible passages, almost like a magic spell, to ward off disease.

“There were healing Scriptures we had to recite over and over again, and eventually, whatever you say will come to pass.”

The Copelands don’t claim to be healers, though they teach that believers who sow “seeds of faith” – sometimes through donations – can see miraculous results.

One account on the ministry’s website says that a Dutch boy was cured of autism after his mother attended Gloria Copeland’s healing school and watched Eagle Mountain church services online.

Arden recalled donating $400 – all she had in her savings account at the time – to the church when her daughter had a serious ear malady.

“I was a broke, single mother earning $7.50 an hour, so that was a fortune to me.” Her daughter required four surgeries before she was healed, Arden said.

Now a financial analyst in New York City, Arden said she keeps her distance from organized religion, but understands what draws certain kinds of Christians to churches like Eagle Mountain.

“About 90% of the people were just like me,” she said. “They needed hope, and they needed to believe that there was something bigger than themselves that would guide and protect them and keep the whole crush of life from pressing down on them.”

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Bioethics • Church and state • Culture & Science • evangelicals • Faith • Faith & Health • Money & Faith • Pentecostal

soundoff (1,318 Responses)
  1. niknak

    The only reason that stupid church had the about face and offered shots was that their lawyer told them they would get sued and have charges brought against them.

    Funny how losing money makes "believers" change their tune.

    August 30, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Athy

      Yeah, agreed. It's sad that legal action has to replace common sense, though. But, I suppose those without common sense have to be helped by those that have it.

      August 30, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
      • Sara

        Sad but effective. I'd love to see the parents of an unvaccinated child who killed someone by passing on disease held responsible. Wipe out the financese of a few of these freeloaders and people will change their tune quick. Every unvaccinated person who enters a hospital or nursing home without a flu shot is risking killing – just in the US thousands die this way every year. If anew born or elderly or immune compromised relative of mine is killed by measles from the unvaccinated kid of one of these selfish people, I will spend whatever it takes to hold them accountable.

        August 31, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • a crackhead: atheist Figurehead/Leader

      im with you, nonbeliever brother. can you lend me some money/?

      August 30, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
  2. Susan StoHelit

    A funeral is for those left behind – but to insult the deceased by preaching at them, when they cannot respond, is unpleasant for any of those who truely loved Htichens, and thus accepted and respected his beliefs.

    To say a funeral is for the living, and thus it's OK to insult and attack the deceased's beliefs – that's some seriously twisted logic there.

    August 30, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
  3. niknak

    Just when I thought believers could not get any dumber, these mor ons show up.

    So try to defend these fools for us believers who post here.
    These people claim faith is all you need and science is for the weak.
    If you posters here go see a doctor, then you have weak faith.

    And if you have faith, god will hook you up with riches too.

    Maybe while you are not wasting time seeing doctors, you can handle some poisonous snakes too.

    People who believe in imaginary creatures are fools.
    But I guess the scammers need to eat too.

    August 30, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • AE

      I don't agree with them. When I am very sick I go to a doctor. Just like all the members of my church. Just like my pastor. The church I go to offers spiritual healing. My pastor visits sick and dying people in the hospital, I seriously doubt she spends any time trying to convince them to not listen to their doctor, and instead follow what this 'measles church' preaches.

      I'm a believer. I don't believe what the 'measles church' says that means. And I don't believe what you say what that means.

      August 30, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
      • niknak

        You are a hypocrite AE.
        You use science when it helps you, and you use all that science has developed to make you life so easy, yet you still cling onto your myth even though science has proved it completely false and you close your mind.

        Sorry to be blunt, but to me, you are a fool.

        August 30, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
        • AE

          You almost sound like you worship science? Science is just the study of the natural world, to me. I appreciate and support it. Really, I think human knowledge using science has barely scratched the surface of understanding about our universe (and our purpose in it).

          Science hasn't disproved God's existence to me. Honest.

          August 30, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
        • Ken

          When you can describe an experiment that would disprove God, then you'll probably get your proof that he doesn't exist.

          August 30, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
        • niknak

          But that is the point, to YOU it seems real and you believe in it.
          But to us non believers it doesn't seem real and we don't believe in it.

          Yet we have to endure you believers pushing your faith on us and making us go along with it as if it were fact, which it is not.
          I have to endure paying higher property taxes to support your deadbeat houses of worship that are in my tax township.
          I have to endure on a monthly basis various people coming to my house and wanting to talk to me about god.
          I have to endure religious congressmen trying to pass bills forcing religion into my life.
          I have to endure people flying airplanes into buildings because of their faith in an imaginary creature.
          I have to endure people trying to restrict science because of their faith in an imaginary creature.
          I have to endure tax payer funded nativity scenes around Christmas.
          I have to endure the constant "you are going to hell" from people who don't like the way I live my life.

          I could go on, but I can't endure it anymore.

          I am sick of you and your fellow believers trying to pass of your faith as fact.
          It isn't.
          It is nothing more then an unsubstantiated hypothesis.
          One that you seem to hold onto with both hands, even though it is backed up with nothing but belief.

          August 30, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
        • Athy

          Lack of any experiment that proves there is a god is enough proof for me that there isn't one. I'll take the far less preposterous option any day.

          August 30, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
        • AE

          "When you can describe an experiment that would disprove God, then you'll probably get your proof that he doesn't exist."

          Yea, but such a thing would not be a god. You are describing something more like an idol.

          Not all non-believer feel the way you do. And not all believers feel the way you claim.

          I've tried stereotyping people like that. It didn't work for me, so I try to stop doing that.

          August 30, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
        • AE


          "Lack of any experiment that proves there is a god is enough proof for me that there isn't one. I'll take the far less preposterous option any day."

          I'm glad that works for you. It doesn't for me.

          August 30, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
        • Athy

          Of course it doesn't work for you, AE. You're obviously bible-washed beyond common sense.

          August 30, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
        • niknak

          Fine AE, but the simple fact remains.
          Us non believers are forced to keep going along with the myth that you believers are clinging to.

          If believers would stop trying to force their belief on the rest of us, then we non believers would not have any issues with you.

          Right now, in many local and state governments, believers are trying to pass laws to make this a strictly Christian nation.
          Many places have laws that atheists can not hold political office.
          Other whacko believers are trying to make creationism the only thing taught in school.
          Stem cell research is STILL blocked because of you believers. (even though the bible clearly states a life forms at birth)

          I do not want to live in a religious theocracy like Saudi Arabia.
          And I am sick and tired of you believers trying to make that happen.

          August 30, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
        • AE


          If all people acted as you proclaim, I think you might have a point. But we have examples of people from Robert Boyle to Joseph H. Taylor, Jr. that demonstrate that science does not always lead to atheism.

          August 30, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
        • AE

          "If believers would stop trying to force their belief on the rest of us, then we non believers would not have any issues with you."

          I know and love non-believers that don't feel the way you do. They don't have issues with me.

          And they don't try to stereotype people they don't like as "believers". They are more open-minded than that.

          August 30, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
        • AE

          I don't want all those things you listed either. And I know plenty of "believers" that feel like me.

          And their actions demonstrate what they truly believe. And it is not what you insist. Sorry.

          August 30, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
        • Lycidas

          niknak- "You are a hypocrite AE."

          Hmm, are you familiar with the No True Scotsman fallacy? Seems like you are trying to tell people what makes a true christian.

          August 30, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
        • niknak

          The believers I work ALL want this to be a strict fundamentalist Christian nation, with a bit of military state thrown in too.

          Go to any tea party town hall meeting and you will see them and hear their rage and anger of how America needs to be taken back to Christian values and be a strictly xtian nation..

          August 30, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
        • niknak

          I could care less what makes a true Christian Lydia.
          Believing in imaginary beings, talking snakes, original sin and all the other made up bull in your book of magic spells is insane.
          Go ahead and waste your time with it.
          We want to be left out of your delusions and want your "faith", whichever it is, to be taken out of our secular nation.

          August 30, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
        • Athy

          Could care less, or couldn't care less. You've got me confused.

          August 30, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
        • AE

          I don't have any control over those people you work with. Thanks for telling me about them.

          August 30, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
        • niknak

          I guess Couldn't care less.

          Either way, the only thing that makes a good xtian is a dead one.
          There, now you believers can all scream "Christian bashing!" as you are all so found of doing.

          August 30, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
        • niknak

          You sound like a reasonable enough guy AE.
          But you are squarely in the minority when it comes to your outlook on your faith.

          The country is becoming less religious, but the ones who still cling to it are becoming more and more vocal about forcing the rest of us to go along with them.
          I just hope it does not result in violence, like over in the ME or like with the anti abortion crowd.

          August 30, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
        • AE

          There are millions of people like me. Don't be afraid, we will protect you.

          August 30, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
        • AE

          I'm just kidding, niknak. But thanks for the compliment.

          I know the reputation for "believers" can be bad and it is one that some of us have earned.

          But not all are bad. I hope.

          August 30, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
        • Lycidas

          @niknak- "The believers I work ALL want this to be a strict fundamentalist Christian nation, with a bit of military state thrown in too."

          Absolutism is a fallacy as well. Either that or your sample survey is very very minute.

          "Go to any tea party town hall meeting.."

          Tea Party is not synonymous with Christian.

          "I could care less what makes a true Christian Lydia."

          And yet, you seem to care enough to imply when someone isn't being a true Christian. You are an odd one.

          "your book of magic spells"

          I have no book of magic spells. Try again.

          "We want to be left out of your delusions"

          I have no more delusions than you do.

          "our secular nation."

          Define this group "our" if you will. Because last I checked, Christians, Jewish, Hindu...etc were all members of our nation.

          August 30, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
      • Honey Badger Don't Care

        Your pastor is a woman? You do know that the bible expressly forbids that right?

        August 30, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
        • AE

          No, I don't know that.

          One of our "sister" churches also has a woman pastor, and she labels herself as a lesbian. Do you think that is wrong, too?

          August 30, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
        • Honey Badger Don't Care

          I dont have a problem with women teaching men or with ho mo se xuals. The bible does. If you say that it doesnt then you are more delusional than you may think.

          August 30, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
        • AE

          Jesus never forbid ordaining women. In fact, some of the first people to proclaim Jesus as the Messiah were women (Mary, the Samaritan woman at the well).

          The resurrected Jesus revealed himself to women first. They were the first to know and preach the good news.

          Some Lutherans have been accepting females pastors since the early 1900's, way ahead of secular societies inclusion of equal rights for women.

          August 30, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          (I was just posting the anti-woman scripture in the Pope Selfie story)
          Perhaps your sect skips over Corinthiians?

          "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church."
          – 1 Corinthians 13:34

          And, of course, 1 Corinthians 6:9 is the passage most often cited by Christians as justification for the condemnation of gay people.

          August 30, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          You should have a chat with Bill Deacon about the ordination of women.

          August 30, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
        • niknak

          Must really suck AE, then the non believers know more about your magic book than you do.

          August 30, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
        • AE


          Nah, I don't know everything about the Bible. Of course I am familiar with the verses Doc brings up.

          I follow Jesus, not Paul. But there are reasonable explanations for that verse when put in proper context.

          August 30, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
        • AE

          If you want to keep g.ays out of church, you should read Peter Gomes:

          http://www.philosophy-religion.org/handouts/ho . mophobic.htm

          "Fortunately, those who speak for the religious right do not speak for all American Christians, and the Bible is not theirs alone to interpret. The same Bible that the advocates of slavery used to protect their wicked self-interests is the Bible that inspired slaves to revolt and their liberators to action.

          The same Bible that the predecessors of Mr. Falwell and Mr. Robertson used to keep white churches white is the source of the inspiration of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the social reformation of the 1960’s.

          The same Bible that anti-feminists use to keep women silent in the churches is the Bible that preaches liberation to captives and says that in Christ there is neither male nor female, slave nor free.

          And the same Bible that on the basis of an archaic social code of ancient Israel and a tortured reading of Paul is used to condemn all h.omose.xuals and ho.mos.exual behavior includes metaphors of redemption, renewal, inclusion and love – principles that invite hom.os.exuals to accept their freedom and responsibility in Christ and demands that their fellow Christians accept them as well.

          The political piety of the fundamentalist religious right must not be exercised at the expense of our precious freedoms. And in this summer of our discontent, one of the most precious freedoms for which we must all fight is freedom from this last prejudice."

          August 30, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          That bit in Corinthians is about how men should take turns prophesying in church and how everybody speaking in tongues is certain to convert a heathen who happens to pop by.
          The women have to sit down and shut up, though.

          August 30, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
        • AE

          He wrote that in a letter to the Corinthians.

          Look what he wrote to the Galatians:

          ‘For as many of you that have been baptized in Christ, have put on Christ. There is neither Jew or Greek; there is neither bond nor free; there is neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ.’(Gal 3,27.28),

          August 30, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
      • niknak

        I am going to hold you to that when they pass those blasphemy laws and come to stone me to death.
        You know, like back in the good old days of xtianity.

        August 30, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
      • Athy

        How are you going to "protect" us, AE? Mumble some bullshit prayers like some prehistoric shaman or medicine man? Thanks, but no thanks. I'll protect myself in my own, more logical, way.

        August 30, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
        • AE

          How do Christian police officers protect people? The same way as atheists police officers. They sacrifice their lives, use weapons and stand in harm's way.

          August 30, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • Ken

      I'd like to blame creationists for spreading mistrust of vaccines, due to their being made using evolutionary science, but most of them appear to be ignorant of that fact.

      August 30, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb


        Creationism is just a theology around which God established all mannerisms of each and every materially made manifestations from stars to planets and their moons and formed all the many variations of cellular life forms. It's cosmologies at their finest from the atomized cosmologies of the celestial variations and every variant of all cellular cosmologies which established all celestially terrestrial life forms... Nothingness is the spirit of God and the Nothingness that holds our atomized beings together is God's holy spirit...

        August 30, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "So try to defend these fools for us believers who post here."

      Why should any Christian do that? Do you defend people that seem to share some sort of connection to you when an outsider commands you to?

      I doubt it.

      August 30, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
      • niknak

        Look, Lydia is back.
        Here to share more of her imaginary friend with us.

        Did you ever find any of that pesky proof as to your friends existence?
        We are kinda sticklers for that, you know.

        August 30, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
        • Lycidas

          @niknak- I never went anywhere.

          "Here to share more of her imaginary friend with us."

          I have no imaginary friend. Have I ever claimed to? Please post where I ever did...I dare you.
          And after you fail, or more likely show off your intellectual laziness and not even look, you may apologize.

          In all your rant, I never saw where anyone should have to defend others who supposably share some kind of connections.
          But yet you think Christians have to defend other Christians if they do bad. In fact you demand it.

          Do you also demand german descent people to defend the nazi?

          Do you demand caucasions to defend Manifest Destiny?

          Just curious.

          August 30, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • hharri

      Reported together with your promises to end all Christians and Christianity, now. This is A DANGEROUS DISTURBED FANATIC

      August 31, 2013 at 12:26 am |
  4. hal 9001


    August 30, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule


      August 30, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
  5. bostontola

    One reason I object to religions is the political pressure they can exert on the rest of us. Faith and spiritual healing is not fair to children that aren't able to speak for themselves. The 1974 Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) required states to grant religious exemptions to child neglect and abuse laws in order to receive federal money. Thirty-one states have child-abuse religious exemptions. These are Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming.

    August 30, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • bo


      August 30, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • EA

      I'm against that act. I didn't know there was such a thing in my state. Yikes.

      August 30, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
  6. Ken

    Would all the religious folks here agree that the time for prayer is only after you have sought out and gotten actual medical treatment?

    August 30, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • Responding to the Pride

      Agree? Yes, and no. You seem to think prayer and seeking medical attention can't be done at the same time. By all means, seek medical attention. By all means pray. By all means, if prayer is going to get in the way of stopping the bleeding, shut up and put a band aid on it. If prayer is not going to get in the way (in any way), pray first if it suits you. There is no Biblically required injury treatment checklist.

      August 30, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
  7. Lucifer's Evil Twin


    August 30, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
  8. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    For the Master Gunner
    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyrAqNv1odM?feature=player_detailpage&w=640&h=360%5D

    August 30, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Hmmm... That should have embedded correctly

      August 30, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • John Sharp

      Not sure I get this video in the context of the article.

      But than again you are Lucifer's evil twin and confusion is really evil. LOL

      August 30, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
      • S-3B Viking

        Although I like your interp of Lucifer's motivation, just scroll down about half way to see the exchange between him and Honey Badger....

        August 30, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
        • John Sharp

          Awww, I am confused no longer. I wonder what his real evil powers are then?

          Thanks for pointing that out.

          August 30, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Is sarcasm an evil power? A truly evil power would be if I could convert people into vegetarian soccer players...

          August 30, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        It's from an earlier conversation with Badger...

        August 30, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      I cant view that here at work. Just another way that the gov is trying to keep a brotha down.

      August 30, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        You tube is allowed by DoD. I currently work for the AF. I'm on a NIPR system right now.

        August 30, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        Well, I'm going home early today. It's a training holiday here (remember those?) and the place is deserted. Auf Wiedersehen...

        August 30, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
  9. John Sharp

    I love this, just love it. I saw what they said on TV, they were very direct about these shots. I love when church people are so obviously dishonest.

    But more importantly I love the fact that they counseled them to speak with God first before consulting a medical professional.
    My hope is that all churches do the same. We like to refer to it as thinning the herd.
    The more they encourage faith and not medicine the less religious people we will have.
    And that is good for everyone.

    August 30, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      Sired John Sharp...

      Why should any parents' child pay with their Life for their parents' religious vanities..?

      August 30, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
      • John Sharp

        I agree with you, Religion is child abuse.

        Well said.

        August 30, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Sired John Sharp...

          Religions are not child abuse... The vanities of religious moralism is where child abuse factors into those churched with religious unrighteousness around their not seeking the aid of a physician for their children's welfares... Death should not beckon any child yet when it does all parents should seek a physician to help their children overcome death and sicknesses and diseases... what an adult does be it faithful vainness to their own sickening is theirs to deal with but all children should be given every option made by mankind to help any child overcome sickness and diseases...

          August 30, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
        • John Sharp

          @lionely lamb. I would disagree.
          Raising children to believe in something that obviously does not exist is cruel.

          So we differ on this one.

          August 30, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Johnny my lad...

          You have every right to be a disbeliever of Godly principalities and the religious purveyors need to be seeking help wherever it is obtainable... Today's religious hierarchies are yes, the bingo callers and their herds are as bingo cards giving prayers to be the bingo chips... I am religiously devoted yet I attend no manly made church(es) for I do humbly believe that one's body is God's church and we should do all means and ways possible to keep our bodies to stay alive and if one needs a physician to help in their plight to remain alive than so be it... That's why the vanities of the most religious moralists should humbly avail themselves to a physician's care be it their children's needs or be it for their own welfare...

          August 30, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb


      August 30, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
      • John Sharp

        Cute, so explain the vanity part. I am curious to see your logic.

        August 30, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
        • Ken

          Perhaps Carly should have sang

          You're so vane, you probably think the universe was created for you.

          August 30, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
        • Ken

          Oops "vain", not vane.

          August 30, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
        • John Sharp

          Because I believe in Scientific reasoning and don't believe in something that there is no evidence for? That is vanity?

          I don't see it. That is just rational thought.

          August 30, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Inquisitive John Sharp...

          The points of one's parental vainness upon their children's livelihoods based upon religious dogmas that might lead away from Life of any child forsaking them to death and dying without first seeking out a physician is Godly vanity... Did not God establish within our socialized ranks doctors..? Did not nature establish all mannerisms of herbs from which mankind could medicinally find uses for..? If marijuana were legalized worldwide, just exactly how many sicknesses and physical maladies would be relieved by its usage..?

          August 30, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
        • John Sharp

          Okay lionly sheep, you are being silly.

          god didn't invent anything. god doesn't exist but hey I am open minded. If he does send him to my house and we can have a thoughtful discussion.

          But just stating he did things is childish and void of intelligence. You must have evidence to support such claims. We no longer blindly believe in anything.
          Nor should we. Question everything.

          August 30, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Sired Johnny Sharp...

          What is it we know about atomized cosmologies..? Are not stars and planets and moons all made from atomized cosmologies therefore they are celestially cosmological in their natures..? Also, are not our physical embodiments made up from atomized cosmologies being cellular in natured fundamentalisms yet being vastly differentiated from celestial cosmologies..? Is not sicknesses and diseases within all mannerisms of cellular Life an atomized conditioning within divergent cellular cloisters gone astray thereby needing medicinal help via a doctor's prescribed formulary..?

          August 30, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • fred

      Given it was not a medical emergency the advice was correct. Whether you are a Christian or not any elective procedure requires thought and reflection before proceeding. To the Christian everything is brought before the Lord so it was correct advice. To the atheist one would not give that advice but even the atheist goes somewhere to collect his or her thoughts before proceeding.

      August 30, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
      • John Sharp

        talking to an imaginary medical professional in your head is not good advice.

        the only one they will be talking to is themselves.

        And yes I do consult someone about any medical non emergency, a physician. I would never put that trust in someone that doesn't have a clue.

        August 30, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          They call it one's conscience... Use it wisely...

          August 30, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
      • S-3B Viking

        I'll have to remember that the next time I'm offered kool aid at a revival meeting sponsored by followers of Jim Jones.

        August 30, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          I thought all of JJ's followers all died out..?

          August 30, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
      • ME II

        "requires thought and reflection before proceeding. "

        It's not the "thought and reflection" that is at issue; it is the 'pray the disease away' action, or non-action, that is the problem.

        August 30, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
        • fred

          I think we are dealing with a very small percentage of believers that take a ministers advice over a doctor. I recall praying for a woman with inoperable breast cancer. Three days after prayer the breasts returned to normal size and the doctors were amazed. They recommended a radical mastectomy immediately even though the tumors were no longer evident as it was now considered operable. We prayed about the decision after which she elected to follow the doctors advice. We "believe" she made the right decision but many thought otherwise because we all witnessed the "miracle"

          August 30, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
        • ME II

          Thanks for the "story", but try telling that to the infected in Texas and the 'at risk' community.

          August 30, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
        • Doobs

          @ fred

          You cured a woman of breast cancer with prayer? Wow, amazing!

          Unfortunately, I've been out of the US for a couple of weeks and must have missed the news coverage of the woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer and astonished the medical community by being cancer free three days after using prayer and only prayer as a cure.

          Why did she bother going back to the doctor after your prayer session? Wasn't her faith strong enough for her to just assume the prayers worked and go about her business as usual?


          August 30, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
      • ME II

        prayer in action is prayer inaction.

        August 30, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
        • fred

          The real power of prayer is without doubt from my perspective. I have seen to many "miracles" all of which fall into the unknown category as far as non believers and skeptics go.

          The biggest power of prayer is the unity it brings between the persons praying and God. This oneness or alignment of spirits (man and God) settles the soul where the abilities of man are exhausted. In other words when you hit a place where all the professional advice comes up empty and science hits the boundary of the unknown (or unknowable) hope and understanding do flood the soul when in deep prayer.

          Much of what Jesus and the Apostles and were speaking about when addressing answered prayer related to the spiritual miracles and spiritual healings that we often like to believe refer to physical miracles of healing instead. The warning was you receive not because you do not ask, and when you ask you ask with the wrong motive (or inclination of the soul).

          The ability to heal others by touch or thought is a dangerous power in human hands. I am very skeptical when faith healers take over groups. Even though I have witnessed some strange healings I warn against them.

          August 30, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          fred, You have no evidence to show that prayer works. No god has proven anything in a controlled way so any prayer that results in a good outcome is pure chance. There are many public examples where prayer clearly did not work – Perry praying for rain in Texas is a quite recent example – it didn't rain for months and nothing outside of normal weather patterns.

          August 30, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
        • fred

          In Santa We trust
          In the course of 10,000 years of Bible history there were only a few miracles such where climate responded to mans prayer. Why would rain in Texas for Perry compare to the reasons for biblical miracles? Miracles in the Bible had significant purpose behind them. Exactly how does a rain request for Perry even fit into Gods will for Texas? Based on the what the Bible says and what you have observed we would expect very few miraculous prayers answered before a public audience. Your argument supports the truth of the Bible, it does not reduce it.

          Prayer is not the same as sitting on Santa's lap and asking for stuff that you think you want. It is communication with God. Prayer typically is answered as God wills it not you or a scientific double blind study. Double blind studies do not and cannot be used to validate effectiveness of prayer.

          In case you did not notice prayer needs to be in line with Gods will if you expect the answer you are looking for. Otherwise God typically addresses the root of your prayer and answers that.

          August 30, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
        • ME II

          "I have seen to many 'miracles' all of which fall into the unknown category as far as non believers and skeptics go."

          Are you talking about "spritual miracles"?

          Just because something has not been explained, doesn't mean it can not be explained.

          Unless you have docu.mentation showing otherwise, I'd suggest your unknown's were in fact explainable, but perhaps just unknown to you. Most supposed miracles, upon investigation, are easily understood and mundane.

          "The ability to heal others by touch or thought is a dangerous power in human hands."

          The ability to convince others that you can heal them, is dangerous, but the ability to do so doesn't exist, as far as we know objectively.

          August 30, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
        • ME II

          "In case you did not notice prayer needs to be in line with Gods will if you expect the answer you are looking for."

          Classic selection bias.

          August 30, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
        • fred

          ME II
          Miracles were physical but mostly spiritual. I did not bother to investigate just went with the doctors explanation that they had never seen anything like it and there is no medical explanations. In summary most doctors I have met claim that many times they experience medical events that defy explanation.

          I think it is different than selection bias. If God is sovereign and not constrained by our lime line all things have already been put in place so that all things work to the good of those who believe.

          August 30, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
        • ME II

          I'm sure you are aware that "unexplained" does not mean "miracle".
          For example, cancer is abnormal cell growth, if tumors go into remission, wouldn't that mean that the body's cell are working where they hadn't been before? If doctor's can't explain why the cells suddenly stop function correctly, is it surprising that they may not be able to explain why they suddenly start working again?

          Your presumption of God wouldn't change the need for a relevant sample of cases, provided you want actual evidence. If it isbeneficial to your position to cloud the

          August 30, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
        • fred

          ME II
          I would agree non believers or skeptics are more comfortable with calling miracles yet to explained or unexplainable events. I am not aware of any miracles or answer to prayer that lend themselves to the rigors of scientific testing. That is the way it is set up.

          August 30, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
        • ME II

          ... or miracles don't exist.

          August 30, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
      • Ken

        Too often, "thought and reflection" becomes hoping that the problem simply goes away magically. Anyone rationally thinking such a problem through would not rely on that happening, correct?

        August 30, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
        • fred

          Unfortunately, I am guilty of irrational thought. I use professional advice where necessary but in the back of my mind believe God is in control and when my time is up it's up shots or no shots will not make the difference.

          August 30, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
        • Ken

          Just remember all the children who use to routinely die because of these diseases. Don't you think that their parents prayed for these medicines to end that heartache? It would be fully within a Christian mindset to appreciate this "miracle" of modern medicine, right?

          August 30, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
        • fred

          Certainly, as with other great life saving knowledge science brings us.

          I for one cannot take any of those immunizations mentioned in the post because I was fortunate to never having been exposed to certain common childhood disease or virus. My blood is in high demand for children with certain cancers and some AIDS patients that would die if they received blood from a donor who was exposed. I suspect it is just a coincidence that the people I have met when donating blood were all Christian.

          August 30, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
        • Skeptic Al

          They must not have been real Christians if they were donating blood. And I seriously doubt that blood went to a hospital named something silly like "St. Joseph Hospital" or "Providence Medical Center". And there is not way any surgeon at a hospital could be a Christian. 😉

          August 30, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        "it was not a medical emergency the advice was correct" The fact is that they should not have given any advice at all because they are not medical personel.

        If you are life guard and you see someone drowning your job is to jump in and try to rescue them and get them out of the water and start performing CPR as you would have been trained. Now if you decide you are going to save this person by attempting a trachiotomy because you saw it on TV and end up stabbing this person through the throat and cutting an artery and they die, who should be responsible for that persons death? The answer is YOU. As a life guard you are not trained to do anything beyond your field of getting them out of the water and performing CPR, that is it. To attempt to practice something outside your scope of knowledge is not only irresponsible, but also neglegent making you liable for damage that occurs based on your faulty advice or actions.

        This Church should be sued by the parents and taken for every penny they have guilted out of others.

        August 30, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
  10. laststonecarver

    There is a Big, ever-changing, brilliant hued Picture, which hangs in the Museum of the Wonders of Magic and Reality –
    That picture is ent-itled 'Life – your Environment' (English version) –
    Many have seen that Big Picture –
    Some of those, who have seen the Picture, decided to give their interpretation of what the Big Picture meant to them –
    Some were overcome by emotion, and some decided to rationalize their experience –
    Some perceived a blank picture in a frame –
    Some of those, who have seen the Picture, decided that only their interpretation is valid –
    Some of those who perceive the Big Picture are religious, and some are atheist –
    They have their opinions of how the Big Picture should be interpreted –
    Some decided to make money from those who have never seen the Big Picture, but were curious, as to the pictures' Magic and Reality obfuscations –
    The above story is a representation of a couple of those money makers –

    August 30, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • S-3B Viking

      One wonders why the need for stained glass windows on the cathedral/church...others have described as painting roses with red paint.

      August 30, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  11. Guest

    Its absence is way more likely than its presence, but there is still no evidence either way.

    August 30, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • John Sharp

      I always hear that, that there is no evidence that god doesn't exist so you can't prove it.

      That maybe true but there is overwhelming evidence that the god of Christianity, Islam and Judaism does not exist.
      There might be a god somewhere out there. Maybe on the other side of a Super Massive Black Hole.
      But you only have to listen carefully to what religious people say and then do some quick logic to see if it holds up. It doesn't.

      August 30, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
  12. Lionly Lamb

    Belief runs thru us all differently... The beliefs of the religiously devoted are found different than the beliefs of those not religiously devoted... It is very shameful that manmade churched socialisms would deny their flocks' children ways in which to overcome sickness and diseases thru manly physicians... Still, the herb of choice being called marijuana is reviled and persecuted nowadays less and less by more of the USA's citizenries and it is with "high" hopes that citizens will be freed from the laws phobias which nowadays permeates thru its citizens' mindfulness conscience...

    If I knew how to pray for this herb's legalization, I would beckon that God sends sensitivities of herbal rationalisms upon those who stand fixated and against marijuana legalization... After-all did not evolution bring about all manner of herbal plants for mankind to use as he sees fit...? Why should citizens be held phobic by such biased laws against a herb that is nowadays becoming ever more widely known to alleviate many physical pains and illnesses..? Isn't it Time for all of humanisms to be enlightened rather then denunciated by the fooleries of those few holdouts vulgar condemnations that ridicule marijuana despite the ever mounting positives..?

    August 30, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Ken

      All religious beliefs are man-made, correct?

      August 30, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb

        I would dare say that all religions are socially inspired within mankind's eras passing along ways...

        Like I wrote prior...

        One need not have religious moralism and Godly civilities within any nation or country... As long as people believe in righteous moralism and lawful civilities being the cornerstone of any nation's nationalistic governances then who are the religious to find discontinuity within any nation that religions are found being within..?

        August 30, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • John Sharp

      I do see your focus on the harm done to innocent children and that is commendable. Religious freedom, and glad we have it or we would all be Christian by legal decree, does have an ugly side.
      This is a good example.
      But are there viable solutions for making sure that the children are protected and someone's religious beliefs not trampled on? Not sure how that could be done without an intervention by the state. I know it has been done before but can you really mandate all children get vaccines? Or mandate that faith healing is only allowed after you have seen a medical professional?
      Not sure we could get away with doing that, but we should.

      August 30, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb

        John Sharp...

        I would dare surmise that... "After all options of doctoral decrees have been made accountable it is then and only then that faith healing should be used as a finalizing option while along this doctoral option trail, prayers can be said.."

        I am a religious person yet I can see mankind as doing much on our own without the need of Godly interventions... The legalization of marijuana's usage would most likely alleviate many of mankind's physical ailments and diseases... With the USA having 2 states allowing the recreational usage of marijuana and 13 or so states allowing its medicinal usage, I can foresee a day when the USA will follow along the footsteps of Canada which BTW allow the medicinal usage countrywide...

        August 30, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
  13. Cyle

    People are suffering because their religion told them not to get a simple vaccination... that's Darwinism at work.

    August 30, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
  14. bostontola

    According to the American Cancer Society:
    ... available scientific evidence does not support claims that faith healing can actually cure physical ailments... One review published in 1998 looked at 172 cases of deaths among children treated by faith healing instead of conventional methods. These researchers estimated that if conventional treatment had been given, the survival rate for most of these children would have been more than 90 percent, with the remainder of the children also having a good chance of survival. A more recent study found that more than 200 children had died of treatable illnesses in the United States over the past thirty years because their parents relied on spiritual healing rather than conventional medical treatment. In addition, at least one study has suggested that adult Christian Scientists, who generally use prayer rather than medical care, have a higher death rate than other people of the same age.

    August 30, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • S-3B Viking


      Your comment last night on a "salamander's deeper faith" left me on the floor in convulsions.

      If you had said that to me when I was a beliver I would have probably ran away in tears.

      Bravo! to you

      August 30, 2013 at 11:44 am |
      • bostontola

        Truth is I don't care if a person believes in god, I can't disprove that. It bothers me when people don't trust facts and science at other's peril. It is hard to understand a parent letting their child die to show their faith. That's kooky.

        Btw, are you a sailor?

        August 30, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
        • S-3B Viking

          10 years a squid :o)

          Don't know your past, but if you've ever been around a Ken Copeland type environment, the fear far outweighs the faith....despite what the article states about his ministry.

          And once the child suffers (and dies, if that is the case)...then "it was God's will" is the horrific answer.

          August 30, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Welcome aboard ISR squiddy... I believe Tallulah is retired Navy. I am retired Army.

          August 30, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          hmmm... I see they retired all of the Vikings in 2009... All Orions now

          August 30, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
        • S-3B Viking

          Lucifer...I have enjoyed "listening" to both you and Talullah here...you and many others have forced me to rethink many of my strong, preconceived notions...you've all been a pain in the a.ss, but a necessary pain like a penicillin shot!

          Thanks for your service, by the way.

          August 30, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
        • S-3B Viking

          my last flight was in 1994...So you know the P-3! Not many Americans have heard of either. What was your MOS?

          August 30, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
        • Honey Badger Don't Care

          Retired Army here. Almost 25 years Abrams tank commander/Master Gunner.

          August 30, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          'Silver Bullet' in the butt cheek... ah, don't you just love deployments to some of the world's greatest vacation spots?

          August 30, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
        • S-3B Viking

          Outstanding, Badger...did you participate in the first Sandstorm?

          August 30, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          My 1st MOS was 21G Pershing II Electronics Materials Specialist, in 1990 I became a 96B/35F Intelligence Analyst.

          1/64 AR (3 ID) was the best unit I every deployed with... You know I'm going to call you Master Gunner now, don't you Badger?

          August 30, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
        • Honey Badger Don't Care

          I was with 2nd Armored Division in the first one and 82nd Airborne Division for my last two deployments to Trashcanistan.

          August 30, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
        • S-3B Viking

          Yep! Lucifer...2 Med cruises and we took the Nimitz around South America in '87. I loved flying out over Norway as well...some beautiful real estate

          Didn't have to suffer like you boots on the ground, though.

          August 30, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
        • Honey Badger Don't Care

          Just as long as you dont call me a Distinguished Armor Technician.

          August 30, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
        • S-3B Viking

          Both you guys...thanks...my former brothers and sister's in Christ can never say "There ain't no atheists in foxholes"...I'll introduce them to you two!

          August 30, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          I lost a good buddy of mine in 2003. He was TC on one of the lead tanks entering Baghdad... took an RPG to the turret while he was out of the hatch. That was not a good day.

          August 30, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
        • S-3B Viking

          ...not good...

          August 30, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          LOL, I thought you guys changed that acronym to Computerized-DAT (C-DAT)?

          August 30, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
        • Honey Badger Don't Care

          I've lost a lot of friends thanks to Bush's war.

          Yes, you got me. I'm a C-DAT. But I've been on M551A1 Sherridans and M60A3 Tanks too that were barely computerized.

          August 30, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
        • bostontola

          Thanks to all you folks for your service, believer or not. Clear eyed realist is best for survival though.

          August 30, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
        • Which God?

          Hello, S-3B Viking, Ex Air Force here. I'm familiar with your bird, as well as the P-3. Yah, SEA was quite the vacation spot in '68-69.

          August 30, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
      • Honey Badger Don't Care

        I missed the salamander post. How about a repost?

        August 30, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
        • S-3B Viking

          Badger...they were discussing why God didn't heal amputees...B-tola responds that salamanders must have a deeper faith than Christians :o)

          Its somewhere a few pages back

          August 30, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
  15. Roger that


    August 30, 2013 at 11:31 am |
  16. Retards

    Retards is what Retards do. (or don't in this case)

    August 30, 2013 at 10:59 am |
  17. palintwit

    Sarah Palin supporters are the very definition of low information voters. They watch Fox, a proven source of misinformation. Studies show Fox watchers think they are well informed but are factually deficient.

    August 30, 2013 at 10:35 am |
  18. Dyslexic doG


    August 30, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Two brothers, two different destinies:

      Peter Hitchens was once an atheist like his late brother Christopher Hitchens[51], but he became a member of the Church of England and an advocate of moral virtues founded on Christian faith and instiitutions such as marriage, [52] which he argues have since the 1960s been undermined by social liberals and cultural Marxists.[a] Hitchens defends the use of the Church of England's 1662 Book of Common Prayer and King James Bible. Of the latter, he has written "it is not simply a translation, but a poetic translation, written to be read out loud... to lodge in the mind and to disturb the temporal with the haunting sound of the eternal".[53]

      Christopher Hitchens died in 2011 and at his funeral, his brother read from the Epi stle to the Philipians.

      August 30, 2013 at 10:27 am |
      • Honey Badger Don't Care

        So two brothers had two differing opinions. Big deal. One was rational while the other was not.

        August 30, 2013 at 10:36 am |
        • truthprevails1

          Exactly...I have 3 sister's and 4 brother's, I'm the only Atheist out of them all but then again I'm the only one with a college education also. Siblings are bound to hold different beliefs.

          August 30, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
        • S-3B Viking

          Father conservative Catholic
          Mother Methodist playing conservative Catholic

          1 sister Baptist
          1 sister Evangelical
          1 sister agnostic
          1 brother Evangelical (committed suicide)
          1 brother agnostic

          and me, former Evangelical and fast approaching atheism (though kicking and screaming along the way)

          August 30, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8 KJV

        August 30, 2013 at 10:41 am |
        • Frank

          Now get out and sacrifice a lamb and burn it. Or big god he gonna burn you hot in Hayyyyyllll.

          Stuff it, preacher man.

          August 30, 2013 at 10:43 am |
        • Honey Badger Don't Care

          I can quote nonsensical bible quotes too"

          “All right,” the Lord said. “You may bake your bread with cow dung instead of human dung.”
          –Ezekiel 4:12-15

          August 30, 2013 at 10:47 am |
        • Al

          Ezekiel 23
          19 Yet she increased her who ring, remembering the days of her youth, when she played the wh ore in the land of Egypt
          20 and lusted after her lovers there, whose members were like those of donkeys, and whose issue was like that of horses.

          August 30, 2013 at 11:09 am |
        • Doobs

          "Gatorade me, bitch." – Jesse Pinkman

          Quoting fictional characters is fun, isn't it Doof Deacon?

          August 30, 2013 at 11:50 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          Personally, I think you and those above in this thread are abhorrent. I posted a quote from the funeral of a man revered by one side and, at minimum respected on the other, from his loving brother and you've used it as an occasion for crudity. Yeah boy, that atheism is more appealing all the time.

          August 30, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
        • Ken

          Do you consider crudity to be more offensive than preaching that people are worthless without a certain belief, and born owing some moral dept due to the wrong doings of their ancestors? There are so many things to be found in religion not to respect that it's pretty unfair to demand that everyone ought to out of some kind of politeness. If you're concerned about your beliefs not being respected, then try to make your beliefs more respectable, OK?

          August 30, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
        • Doobs

          @ Boof Deacon

          Personally, I think you and those above in this thread are abhorrent. I posted a quote from the funeral of a man revered by one side and, at minimum respected on the other, from his loving brother and you've used it as an occasion for crudity. Yeah boy, that atheism is more appealing all the time.

          Spare us the pompous indignation and fake piety, Boof.

          You posted about a man who had so little respect for his brother that he used his funeral as an occasion to have the last word. What HE did was abhorrent. Now you're acting self righteous because you've been called out on it. You have no better defense for it than ad hominems.

          For the record, Boof, I was making fun of you, not Peter Hitchens.

          Poor Boof, running from addiction to addiction to addiction, sucking on the teat of Catholicism instead of a bottle or a crack pipe or whatever your prior monkey was.

          August 30, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
        • John Sharp

          There are so many quotes from this book about killing and raping, it is so shocking that you didn't reference them.


          Please stop referring to children's fairy tale books, we know.....

          August 30, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        The Anglican churches perform same gender marriages here in Canada (though I know the British C of E opposed it).
        But they're not exactly the most Christ-like insti/tution given that they played a very active role in the African slave trade, even routinely using branding irons on the people they owned.
        They didn't admit to any kind of wrong doing in that respect until 2006.
        And really, it is a religion that exists as an independent body primarily becuase of a monarch's annoyance with the Vatican's unwillingness to grant him marriage annulments.

        August 30, 2013 at 11:00 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          Doc, I'm a Catholic, I understand the origins of the Anglican Community, thanks. I just think it's obvious Peter has made better choices than Christopher and I think the verse he read at Christopher's funeral (which Christopher read at his father's), was a nice comment to make between brothers who publicly as well as privately differed on a number of issues.

          August 30, 2013 at 11:04 am |
        • ME II

          @Bill Deacon,
          "...I just think it's obvious Peter has made better choices..."

          Why better and why obvious? Or are you just saying that you think his choices were better for the obvious reason that you agree with him?

          August 30, 2013 at 11:18 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          You're the one who referenced "moral virtues founded on Christian faith and instiitutions such as marriage".
          I'm just saying that I find it odd to hear that from a Catholic since the Anglican Church exists largely becuase the King rejected the RCC's stance on marriage and today they are one of the few Christian denominations that perform same gender marriage ceremonies.

          August 30, 2013 at 11:25 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          I don't know that I agree with Peter on very much at all. Earlier Honey said, one was rational and one was not. When it comes to rationality who has more, the one who lives a conservative Biblical oriented life into old age or the one who smokes and drinks himself to death before his intellect can bear it's full fruit?

          August 30, 2013 at 11:25 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          Sorry to confuse you Doc. That was lifted from the Wiki page on Peter. While I don't necessarily concur with Peter's religious choices, I think it shows the contrast between him and his brother.

          August 30, 2013 at 11:27 am |
        • S-3B Viking

          Many, Bill, have lived a hard drinking, smoking, partying life and lived into their 90s. Many biblical Christians and Catholics have lived "sin free" and have died for various reasons in their 20s, 30s and 40s. (And shall we count the number of "sin free" kids of all faiths and no faith that have died long before they reached the pinnacle of their lives).

          It is quite random, as Hitchens describes in his final book "Mortality."

          August 30, 2013 at 11:32 am |
        • Ken

          Yet, had Hitchens actually made a deathbed conversion, as he feared zealots would rumour after his passing, all that smoking and drinking would not have counted against him being claimed as a Christian in the slightest. In fact, they would have only added to his credibility as a Prodigal Son. Life-long Christians who never smoked or drank aren't nearly as valued in the Christian community as life-long degenerates who get "saved" some time in their middle age, and have a good story to tell about it on Christian TV, especially if they have some kind of criminal record as well.

          Lucky for Peter, he was once an atheist like his brother, but adopted a more traditional Christian set of values when he converted from being a supporter of far left politics. That, and his brother's reputation, have made him more of a darling with British religious conservatives than his actual politics, which many find to be too extremely right wing. But that's politics, eh? Sometimes you have to cater to the middle a bit.

          August 30, 2013 at 11:46 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          I'm not conversant on British politics so I won't. But, I agree with your point about the value of the conversion of degenerates. I think the Bible even tells us "Which of you having 100 sheep and losing one, would not leave the 99 and search for the lost?" Something like that.

          August 30, 2013 at 11:54 am |
        • Ken

          That particular sentiment might not register with any shepherd who lost 10 sheep to wolves after leaving them unprotected to go after the one, yes? It also speaks to a certain level of greed, where the shepherd is willing to risk all just to have a little more. Plenty of people have lost all they had on the market holding onto a stock too long in a greedy attempt to squeeze just a little more value out before selling.

          August 30, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
        • Doobs

          Doof Deacon,

          "Doc, I'm a Catholic, I understand the origins of the Anglican Community, thanks."

          Well, la di frickin' da.

          "I just think it's obvious Peter has made better choices than Christopher"

          The only thing that is "obvious" is that the brothers made different choices. Which decision is "better" depends on which choice you agree with.

          "and I think the verse he read at Christopher's funeral (which Christopher read at his father's), was a nice comment to make between brothers who publicly as well as privately differed on a number of issues."

          A "nice comment" would have been for Peter to leave his personal viewpoint out of his brother's funeral. Instead, he used the occasion to one-up him. He's a weak, pathetic jerk and a grandstander.

          I read a bible verse at my mother's funeral because she was a staunch Catholic and I wanted to be respectful to her. For me to have read a passage from Crimen sollicitationis or to quote Richard Dawkins would have been obscene.

          August 30, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
      • tallulah13

        I have a catholic sister and a jewish sister. We get along quite well. Ain't freedom of religion a grand thing?

        August 30, 2013 at 11:03 am |
      • Ken

        Isn't it a shame that people can do whatever they want at your funeral, like read from books that you find repellant? Christopher's brother wouldn't have done that if he respected his wishes, and memory.

        August 30, 2013 at 11:16 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          Are you aware that Christopher read the same verse at their father's funeral?

          August 30, 2013 at 11:22 am |
        • Ken

          And his father would have appreciated it and people would have appreciated his sensitivity to his father's wishes, correct? Tell me, would you, or anyone who knows you, appreciate someone close to you reading from one of Christopher's books at your funeral?

          August 30, 2013 at 11:29 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          Personally, I belief funerals are for the living, not the dead. So, anything that brings comfort to those who grieve my loss, I would welcome.

          August 30, 2013 at 11:51 am |
        • Ken

          Would reading from a Hitchens book at your funeral bring comfort to everyone who knew you, or cause fights amongst them? I imagine that plenty of Christopher's friends were not comforted at all by that verse.

          August 30, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Because they reject the sentiment or the source?

          August 30, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
        • John Sharp

          Hitchens for all his vicious wit was a kind person and loved by those who knew him.

          Who knows, maybe this was a family tradition. and that is to be respected.

          August 30, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
        • Doobs

          @ Boof Deacon

          Because they reject the sentiment or the source?

          Again you post a question with only two choices for a response.

          It likely wasn't comforting because they recognized Peter Hitchens as a bombastic ass who just had to get in the last word. It's just as likely that a religious person at the service may have been sensitive enough to be uncomfortable as well. He was inappropriate and egotistical.

          August 30, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Well, at least I offered two options. You seem to be willing to jump to an extreme conclusion based solely on your bias. I considered John Sharp's scenario as equally plausible and several degrees more gracious than yours.

          August 30, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
        • Doobs

          @ Boof Deacon

          "Well, at least I offered two options. You seem to be willing to jump to an extreme conclusion based solely on your bias."

          What "conclusion" did I jump to? I said "likely". As in "It's LIKELY that some of the people who were present were uncomfortable with Peter Hitchens choice to quote the bible at his brother's funeral."

          I considered John Sharp's scenario as equally plausible and several degrees more gracious than yours."

          Of course it's equally plausible. Whether you think I'm "gracious" matters to me not at all. I couldn't care less what a pedophile apologist thinks of me.

          August 30, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
      • S-3B Viking

        "Two different destinies" says Bill....

        Nope...one died. The other one will as well.

        August 30, 2013 at 11:34 am |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          Very true, all have the same destiny, no human has ever escaped it. Energy cannot be created or destroyed, just moved from one form to another which happened to Christopher and will happen to his brother along with the rest of us. Anyone who claims some other destiny is lying to themselves because in all of human history, no one has ever avoided the hand of death.

          August 30, 2013 at 11:43 am |
        • S-3B Viking

          ...and those who are certain of what is on "the other side" are at best, wishful non-thinkers...at worse, televangelists.

          August 30, 2013 at 11:47 am |
      • truthprevails1

        S-3B Viking: If you can locate a copy of it, Sam Harris' book Letter To A Christian Nation is well worth the read.

        August 30, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
      • John Sharp

        Christopher Hitchen's, was absolutely brilliant.

        Every family has the lesser intelligent sibling. No crime there.

        August 30, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      did any of you listen to what Christopher Hitchens said or did Bill Deacon successfully change the subject with his "brother" thing. Typical Christian m.o.

      August 30, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        Why is what he said any more relevant than what anybody else says?

        August 30, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
        • John Sharp

          easy enough one to answer.

          Because he uses sound logic, intelligence and reasoning to point out the incredible foolhardy belief in a supernatural being.

          August 30, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
        • ME II

          I think in this context it's more about it being the root posting as much as anything.

          August 30, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
      • John Sharp

        Yep, the childish attempt at logic. Chris was an atheist. When he died his religious brother read something from a religious book. Thus Chris was wrong and atheism is wrong.
        It is easy to follow and easy to laugh at. Does he know he is that stupid.

        August 30, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
        • Doobs

          No, he doesn't. Boof Deacon is just another addict who is presently using Roman Catholicism instead of booze or drugs. This comment section is nothing more than his daily fix, as much as he'd like to believe he's discovered the secret of life and afterlife.

          Wait till he gets to his apologetics about the conspiracy to hide the pedophile scandal. You won't know whether to laugh or vomit.

          August 30, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          You both presume way to much. I don't make the connection between Hitchen's death and the validity of his belief's. I merely point out that his brother opposed his belief's, has equal expertise on the subject and enjoys a more productive and lengthy life. Peter certainly has equivalent standard to refute his brother.

          Secondly. I am not an addict. You leap from my comments about attending 12-step groups to assuming you know something about me which you do not. Obviously you aren't familiar with the wide range of 12-step groups that address a variety of subjects that may or may not include addiction.

          But hey never let lack of evidence keep you from drawing a conclusion. You'd earn demerits at the unbelievers club.

          August 30, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
        • sam stone

          billy boy......how was them old 12 steps?

          was it booze that lead you to the belief that you needed a savior?

          did jeebus dry you out?

          August 30, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
        • Doobs

          "I merely point out that his brother opposed his belief's, has equal expertise on the subject and enjoys a more productive and lengthy life."

          You claim his life has been more productive. Others would disagree.

          August 30, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
        • Doobs

          "Secondly. I am not an addict. You leap from my comments about attending 12-step groups to assuming you know something about me which you do not. Obviously you aren't familiar with the wide range of 12-step groups that address a variety of subjects that may or may not include addiction."

          Whatever you say, Boof.

          Why do you work so hard to defend the indefensible, then? Why do you lie and/or excuse what the RCC is does, like The Rat, your former infallible representative of god in matters of faith and morals, who wrote Crimen sollicitationis and ordered it to be kept in a safe at all times?

          August 30, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
  19. Rev. Rick

    There is an Arab proverb, "Trust in God, but tie up your camel."
    Stupidity is as stupidity does.

    August 30, 2013 at 9:46 am |
  20. Kebos

    @Dyslexic – Well done!

    August 30, 2013 at 9:42 am |
    • Dyslexic doG


      August 30, 2013 at 10:01 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.