home
RSS
August 29th, 2013
01:24 PM ET

Former staffer: Measles church counseled faith, not shots

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(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. Lawrence of Arabia

    When comments on the unbiblical nature of the Charismatic movement turns into a hate-filled bashing of all things related to God by atheists who think they know everything, it's time for me to bow out of the conversation, since it's impossible to flesh out any discussion the way that it should be on a forum that's designed to communicate by sound bites.

    August 30, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      Dont let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya.

      August 30, 2013 at 9:42 am |
    • tallulah13

      Larry, you don't actually
      converse. You preach. And that just doesn't fly on a discussion blog. We all get to state our opinions. It's that darned First Amendment again.

      August 30, 2013 at 9:49 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Be comforted that when I bash you or your religion (same thing really), it is not 'hate-filled'... I usually have a smile on my face...

      August 30, 2013 at 9:51 am |
      • Johnny

        Yes, love the believer but hate the belief.

        August 30, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "since it's impossible to flesh out any discussion the way that it should be" aka "I can never just make a baseless statement about the truth of my religion without being challenged..."

      August 30, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Doobs

      Translation:

      My sound bites aren't working, so it's time to cry persecution and run away.

      August 30, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
  2. Kebos

    Copeland Ministries continues to amass wealth on the backs of fools gullible to their perverse mind control.

    August 30, 2013 at 9:37 am |
  3. Dyslexic doG

    Christians

    stop complaining that my comments are rude or that they upset you. They are words on a screen. What a whine-fest I had to endure yesterday! Get some perspective please.

    You worry about words. I have to live in a country where your religion uses its madness to write laws and oppress many groups of people and harm many others. I have to live in a country where your religion tries to teach my children outright lies in school rather than scientifically proven facts. I have to live in a country where science is suppressed by your bronze age beliefs.

    Am I complaining and whining about the rudeness of everything you write about your imaginary man in the sky? No, I just point out your foolishness and argue a point.

    grow up. stop whining. sheesh.

    August 30, 2013 at 9:34 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      As an atheist I presume you ascribe to the belief that morality is something that we should just know intuitively and that enforcing that morality is something the larger body politic is capable of doing without any interference from God. Yet here we are, your community, your peers, advising and correcting you, coaxing you into appropriate behavior and you want the rules not to apply to you yet again. Often I think atheists aren't really atheist, they are just contrary.

      August 30, 2013 at 9:39 am |
      • Honey Badger Don't Care

        I disagree with that.

        August 30, 2013 at 9:50 am |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        "your community, your peers, advising and correcting you, coaxing you into appropriate behavior" hahahahahaha... that's one of the funniest damn things you have ever said on here...

        August 30, 2013 at 9:54 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        oh puhlease!

        August 30, 2013 at 10:00 am |
      • Ken

        Bill
        We're social animals, so it's completely within evolution theory for us to learn proper behavior from our peers. It's also completely within the theory that we intuitively know that cooperating with each other is advantageous and that messing with people isolates us, which isn't advantageous. It breaks down once you start imposing cultural morals from another time, like the various kosher laws that Christians choose to ignore.

        August 30, 2013 at 10:24 am |
      • S-3B Viking

        How odd that Bill says: "...without God's interference..."

        Wondering why his God didn't interfere in the inumerable lives affected by the se.xual abuse perpetrated by these "mediators between God and man."

        (Not to mention the inumerable times his God should have intervened...or his Church, at the very least, since its inception...in the endless opportunities to stop so many horrific historical events)

        Yet, we are expected to accept that only God can be the basis for human morality?

        August 30, 2013 at 11:14 am |
      • ME II

        @Bill Deacon,
        Although I don't always agree with @Dyslexic doGs word choice, what makes you think that Atheist think that morality is intuitive?
        In addition, perhaps you should consider @Dyslexic doG as your peer attempting to correct your position on social customs. Just a thought.

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

        @ Boof Deacon

        As an atheist I presume you ascribe to the belief that morality is something that we should just know intuitively

        Your presumption is wrong. That is as ridiculous as the religious claim that "you know god exists in your heart, you are just being deceived by satan, have hardened your heart to god, are rebellious, are proud", or any of the other ridiculous statements some believers make about non believers. Morality is something that is taught and learned. One of the most common methods is to use the threat of punishment. Verbal, emotional and physical abuse are very successful ways to "teach" a child to behave the way you want them to. So is telling them that a psychotic bogey man in the sky is constantly stalking them, just waiting to catch them being "sinful".

        Another way is to help the child see that cooperation, compassion, and empathy for their fellow human beings is far more advantageous to everyone than disrespect, hurtfulness, bigotry and violation of their rights.

        "and that enforcing that morality is something the larger body politic is capable of doing without any interference from God."

        Our secular government has managed to come up with laws to prevent people from harming others or violating their human rights. Laws by themselves won't stop some people, so they also came up with a justice system to remove people who have been proved to have harmed others from the general population. It's not a perfect system. No one claims it is.

        "Yet here we are, your community, your peers, advising and correcting you, coaxing you into appropriate behavior and you want the rules not to apply to you yet again."

        Laughable. As far as I can see, no one is asking you, Boof Deacon, for advice, correction, or to decide what is and isn't appropriate behavior for others. Your rules apply only to you.

        Often I think atheists aren't really atheist, they are just contrary.

        Often I think that you're a pompous ass, and then you prove me right.

        August 30, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
  4. Dyslexic doG

    Yesterday morning there was a knock at my door. A pleasant and enthusiastic young couple were there.

    John: "Hi! I'm John, and this is Mary."

    Mary: "Hi! We're here to invite you to come kiss Hank's ass with us."

    Me: "Pardon me?! What are you talking about? Who's Hank, and why would I want to kiss His ass?"

    John: "If you kiss Hank's ass, He'll give you a million dollars; and if you don't, He'll kick the guts out of you."

    Me: "What? Is this some sort of bizarre mob shake-down?"

    John: "Hank is a billionaire philanthropist. Hank built this town. Hank owns this town. He can do whatever He wants, and what He wants is to give you a million dollars, but He can't until you kiss His ass."

    Me: "That doesn't make any sense. Why..."

    Mary: "Who are you to question Hank's gift? Don't you want a million dollars? Isn't it worth a little kiss on the ass?"

    Me: "Well maybe, if it's legit, but..."

    John: "Then come kiss Hank's ass with us."

    Me: "Do you kiss Hank's ass often?"

    Mary: "Oh yes, all the time..."

    Me: "And has He given you a million dollars?"

    John: "Well no. You don't actually get the money until you leave town."

    Me: "So why don't you just leave town now?"

    Mary: "You can't leave until Hank tells you to, or you don't get the money, and He kicks the guts out of you."

    Me: "Do you know anyone who kissed Hank's ass, left town, and got the million dollars?"

    John: "My mother kissed Hank's ass for years. She left town last year, and I'm sure she got the money."

    Me: "Haven't you talked to her since then?"

    John: "Of course not, Hank doesn't allow it."

    Me: "So what makes you think He'll actually give you the money if you've never talked to anyone who got the money?"

    Mary: "Well, maybe you'll get a raise, maybe you'll win a small lotto, maybe you'll just find a twenty-dollar bill on the street."

    Me: "What's that got to do with Hank?"

    John: "In this town, Hank is the same as good luck. All good things are attributed to Hank'"

    Me: "I'm sorry, but this sounds like some sort of bizarre con game."

    John: "But it's a million dollars, can you really take the chance? And remember, if you don't kiss Hank's ass He'll kick the guts out of you."

    Me: "Maybe if I could see Hank, talk to Him, get the details straight from Him..."

    Mary: "No one sees Hank, no one talks to Hank."

    Me: "Then how do you kiss His ass?"

    John: "Sometimes we just blow Him a kiss, and think of His ass. Other times we kiss Karl's ass, and he passes it on."

    Me: "Who's Karl?"

    Mary: "A friend of ours. He's the one who taught us all about kissing Hank's ass. All we had to do was take him out to dinner a few times."

    Me: "And you just took his word for it when he said there was a Hank, that Hank wanted you to kiss His ass, and that Hank would reward you?"

    John: "Oh no! Karl has a letter he got from Hank years ago explaining the whole thing. Here's a copy; see for yourself."

    From the Desk of Karl
    1. Kiss Hank's ass and He'll give you a million dollars when you leave town.
    2. Use alcohol in moderation.
    3. Kick the guts out of people who aren't like you.
    4. Eat right.
    5. Hank dictated this list Himself.
    6. The moon is made of green cheese.
    7. Everything Hank says is right.
    8. Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.
    9. Don't use alcohol.
    10. Eat your wieners on buns, no condiments.
    11. Kiss Hank's ass or He'll kick the guts out of you.

    Me: "This appears to be written on Karl's letterhead."

    Mary: "Hank didn't have any paper."

    Me: "I have a hunch that if we checked we'd find this is Karl's handwriting."

    John: "Of course, Hank dictated it."

    Me: "I thought you said no one gets to see Hank?"

    Mary: "Not now, but years ago He would talk to some people."

    Me: "I thought you said He was a philanthropist. What sort of philanthropist kicks the guts out of people just because they're different?"

    Mary: "It's what Hank wants, and Hank's always right."

    Me: "How do you figure that?"

    Mary: "Item 7 says 'Everything Hank says is right.' That's good enough for me!"

    Me: "Maybe your friend Karl just made the whole thing up."

    John: "No way! Item 5 says 'Hank dictated this list himself.' Besides, item 2 says 'Use alcohol in moderation,' Item 4 says 'Eat right,' and item 8 says 'Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.' Everyone knows those things are right, so the rest must be true, too."

    Me: "But 9 says 'Don't use alcohol.' which doesn't quite go with item 2, and 6 says 'The moon is made of green cheese,' which is just plain wrong."

    John: "There's no contradiction between 9 and 2, 9 just clarifies 2. As far as 6 goes, you've never been to the moon, so you can't say for sure."

    Me: "Scientists have pretty firmly established that the moon is made of rock..."

    Mary: "But they don't know if the rock came from the Earth, or from out of space, so it could just as easily be green cheese."

    Me: "I'm not really an expert, but not knowing where the rock came from doesn't make it plausible that it might be made of cheese."

    John: "Ha! You just admitted that scientists don’t know everything, but we know Hank is always right!"

    Me: "We do?"

    Mary: "Of course we do, Item 7 says so."

    Me: "You're saying Hank's always right because the list says so, the list is right because Hank dictated it, and we know that Hank dictated it because the list says so. That's circular logic, no different than saying 'Hank's right because He says He's right.'"

    John: "Now you're getting it! It's so rewarding to see someone come around to Hank's way of thinking."

    Me: "But...oh, never mind.

    from Jhuger.com

    August 30, 2013 at 9:02 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Really? this is your opener today after that heartfelt apology yesterday for insulting people?

      August 30, 2013 at 9:15 am |
      • Honey Badger Don't Care

        Idiots need to be told that they are idiots, otherwise they wont know how stupid they are.

        Keep it going Dog!

        August 30, 2013 at 9:25 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          Well, based on that Honey, I've read a lot of your posts and I think I can say unequivocally, you're an idiot.

          August 30, 2013 at 9:34 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          oh brilliant comeback Bill

          August 30, 2013 at 9:37 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          I like to meet people where they are DD

          August 30, 2013 at 9:41 am |
        • Honey Badger Don't Care

          Nice ad hominem Bill, now how about you try to refute some of the things that I’ve said? Azzhole!

          August 30, 2013 at 9:41 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          I think you just proved my point, Honey. Anyone who closes a begins a conversation by calling their opponent an idiot, then rails when the comment is reflected back to them as an inappropriate attack and closes with a derogatory name, is, well, I can't think of any other word to use but idiot.

          August 30, 2013 at 9:44 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        Bill. Really? You're being so sensitive that this very humorous look at just how foolish you religion is is upsetting you?

        I have to live in a country where your religion uses its madness to write laws and oppress many people and harm many others. Am I complaining at everything you write about your imaginary man in the sky?

        sheesh.

        August 30, 2013 at 9:25 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          Oh I'm not upset at the joke. I found it kind of humorous the first forty or fifty times someone posted it. I'm mostly disappointed because, despite the presence of sarcasm in your apology yesterday, I took it at face value. It saddens me to recognize you were disingenuous.

          Incidentally, no one uses religion to write laws in America. Over dramatize much?

          August 30, 2013 at 9:33 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          no-one uses religion to write laws in America?!?! now who's being disingenuous.

          August 30, 2013 at 9:35 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          point out the legislative body that writes these laws.

          August 30, 2013 at 9:42 am |
        • Honey Badger Don't Care

          How about the Texas state legislature hamstringing abortion which is completely legal for no other reason because it supposedly goes against their religious teaching? Which it does not.

          August 30, 2013 at 9:45 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @BIll
          Do you know how many religiously motivated "blue laws" there are in the United States?

          August 30, 2013 at 9:45 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          Since you're the intelligent one, I'm sure you understand the difference between individual people operating from their personal convictions, whatever the source, and instiitutionalized theocracy. Why do you persist in attempting to marginalize the democratic process just because more people have a value system that contradiicts yours and conflating that with this religious oppression conspiracy fantasy you've constructed?

          August 30, 2013 at 10:21 am |
        • Frank

          Bill, please don't share your fantasies with us. You're pretty odd.

          August 30, 2013 at 10:31 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Bill
          Your statement was that nobody uses religion to write laws in America.
          If that is true, why can't I get a beer on Sunday in Alabama, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, or West Virginia?
          Furthermore, religious courts operate daily in the US, largely under the radar.
          The SCOTUS ruled that judges and other government officials may not interpret religious doctrine or rule on theological matters.5 In such cases, civil courts must either defer to the decisions of religious bodies
          Islamic sharia and Jewish halakha laws cover many aspects of individual, family and community life, from marriage and divorce to death and inheritance. Other religious legal traditions focus largely on internal church governance, including the expulsion of members and disciplining of wayward clergy.
          The Roman Catholic Church alone has nearly 200 diocesan tribunals that handle a variety of cases, including something like 20,000 marriage annulments each year.

          August 30, 2013 at 10:35 am |
        • Johnny

          Since you're the intelligent one, I'm sure you understand the difference between individual people operating from their personal convictions, whatever the source, and instiitutionalized theocracy. Why do you persist in attempting to marginalize the democratic process just because more people have a value system that contradiicts yours and conflating that with this religious oppression conspiracy fantasy you've constructed?

          This post by Bill Deacon pretty much sums up my problem with most religious people. Why can't you just not do something if you think it is bad, or immoral? For example I think religion is fairly evil so I don't go to church. However, I would never in a million years try to ban it just because I don't like it. Why can't religious people do that?

          August 30, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
      • Vern

        Bill
        It wouldn't bother you so much if it weren't ringing of truth, I'll bet!

        August 30, 2013 at 9:31 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Oh my Hank...

      August 30, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      I translate insults like this into Latin... It makes them sound more noble.

      August 30, 2013 at 9:20 am |
  5. Red

    I still can't believe these people. I have complete faith in God and I also have complete faith that we have to use his resources. Not giving your kids vaccinations is absolutely insane. It's like not eating because you believe God will give you sustenance while you sit stagnant. I really hope there's not a lot of people like these people in this country, it's dangerous.

    August 30, 2013 at 8:13 am |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      Unfortunately, the people in the article are just a small sampling of the many people who have fallen victim to the claims of the Charismatic movement. That's why it is so important to have a proper understanding of Scripture, so that when they see leaders like Creflo Dollar, T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen, and Oral Roberts, they will see them for what they are: wolves in sheep's clothing.

      August 30, 2013 at 8:18 am |
    • Just Sayin

      If you had complete faith in god, you'd believe as these fools do.

      August 30, 2013 at 8:59 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        No, because these people's definition of "faith" doesn't align with Scripture. The Charismatics see faith as a determining factor in whether or not they get what they want in this life. Their faith is placed not in Christ for their salvation, but in God to grant them their desires. They see God like many people see the president – they voted for him because they can get free stuff from him.

        August 30, 2013 at 9:02 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          As opposed to others who see faith as the determining factor in whether or not they get what they want in the afterlife?

          August 30, 2013 at 9:18 am |
        • Honey Badger Don't Care

          Lawrence,

          You're treading on the No True Scotsman fallacy. There are over 30,000 different flavors of xtianity, many of which are mutually exclusive. Each one of them are convinced that they are right. Guess what? Most likely none of them are.

          August 30, 2013 at 9:23 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          What? You have no faith in anything? Do you chemically test your food at a restaurant before you eat it to make sure it hasn't been poisoned? Before you get into an elevator, do you inspect it yourself to make sure it's not going to drop you 35 stories? Do you check the joints of all wooden chairs before you sit down? Face it, we all exercise faith in our daily lives. For the Christian, we see that the answers that we all look for (why are we here, how did we get here, why is there so much evil in the world, why is there so much evil in my own heart, and others) cannot be discerned by the tools of science.

          We have faith in things that we have NOT seen because they are supported by the things which we HAVE seen.

          Those who take the science only route have faith in things that they have NOT seen, because they are supported by mathematics that are unprovable.

          August 30, 2013 at 9:27 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          Many parts, one body. Is the arm any less because it isn't a foot? Or the hand diminished because it isn't an eye? As a Catholic, I believe in the unity of the mystical body of Christ. While it's unfortunate that some have wandered into heresy, I trust in the Holy Spirit to guide us all into that ultimate unity by His revelation.

          August 30, 2013 at 9:29 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @lawrence
          Faith in your partner, your friends, your co-workers etc. is necessary becuase without it, there is no mutual component to your relationships – and relationships are important.
          Confidence in the skill of craftsmen, engineers, or cooks is not the same thing as faith in the supernatural.

          August 30, 2013 at 9:36 am |
        • tallulah13

          Might have guessed your political leanings from your religious ones, Larry. You lie just as happily about those who don't share you pollitical beliefs as you do about those who do not share your religion. You do get one thing right: You are not a good person. Sadly, all the praying in the world won't change that.

          For the record, I voted for President Obama because he was the best candidate. I've been working for over 30 years and don't get anything from the government, beyond the basic services we all receive. Your political rhetoric is borrowed from talk-show pundits, indicating
          that you truly are a sheep, borrowing opinion from whoever tells you what you want to hear.

          August 30, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Ain't faith a strange animal?
      Accepting a proposition that runs counter to common sense despite a lack of evidence, or even in the fact of evidence to the contrary, doesn't seem very smart, does it?
      And for the record, there ARE people who believe in their hearts that humans can subsist solely on "prana" – no food or water required.
      They're called "Breatharians" and their prophet, Jasmuheen (nee Ellen Greve) claims to have lived for years without food.
      Faith in the Prana Program has cost a number of people their lives, including that of Lani Morris, a mother of 9 children. Under the supervision of a couple of Breatharians, she went for weeks with no sustenance other than a single glass of orange juice. Though she was dying a slow, painful, horrible death – her unwavering faith means she kept starving herself even after she coughed up black fluid, became paralyzed from the waist down, suffered renal failure, and had a stroke.

      August 30, 2013 at 9:12 am |
    • BlahBlah2112

      Nobody has complete faith in a god. In the end they always find a way to use man's science, because deep down they know there is no god.

      August 30, 2013 at 9:23 am |
      • Frank

        Blah: bingo. We have a winner.

        So true. And it's enough to put every religiotard into a guilt trip.

        August 30, 2013 at 10:33 am |
  6. Colin

    Before Jesus, Horus was a mythological figure from Egypt who was said to be born on December 25 to a virgin. A star in the East heralded his arrival and three kings came to worship the baby. At age 12, Horus was a prodigal child teacher and at age 30 he was baptized and began his ministry. He had 12 disciples, travelled about performing miracles such as healing the sick and walking on water and was known by terms such as “the good shepherd.” After he died, he was buried, but three days later he rose from the dead.

    Similarly, two centuries before the appearance of Jesus, the myth of Mithra held that Mithra was the son of the sun sent to save mankind. He was born of a virgin in a cave on December 25, and his birth was attended by shepherds. Mithra sacrificed himself and, on the last day of his life, had supper with twelve of his followers. At that supper, Mithra invited his followers to eat his body and drink his blood. He was buried in a tomb and after three days he rose again. The cult of Mithraism, which evolved out of the earlier Persian religion of Zoroastrism, was popular in Rome at the same time that Christianity was spreading.

    Similarly, before Jesus, Attis of Phrygia was said to be born of the virgin Nana on December 25, was crucified to save mankind and rose from the dead after three days, as did the Indian god, Krishna. So, for that matter, did the Greek god Dionysus. Dionysus was hailed as ‘The Savior of Mankind’ and ‘The Son of God.’ Dionysus was born on December 25 after Zeus “visited” the mortal virgin Persephone. Announced by a star, he was born in a cowshed and was visited by three Magis. He turned water into wine, raised people from the dead and was followed by twelve apostles. His resurrection was a popular myth throughout the Roman Empire, although his name was different in each country. The rituals in honor of Dionysus included a meal of bread and wine, symbolizing his body and blood. Other figures from the Mediterranean who died and were resurrected include Baal, Melqart, Adonis, Eshmun, Tammuz, Asclepius and Orpheus.

    Such myths and legends were not restricted to philosophical and religious figures. Emperors and prominent politicians were also often assigned supernatural traits. The first Roman emperor, Augustus Caesar, who was emperor when Jesus was born, had the ti.tle of “the savior of the human race.” Roman legend held that Augustus had been born nine months after his mother was visited at night by the god Apollo. The poet, Virgil, reputedly foretold in 40BC that a king would be born of a virgin and it was believed that Augustus’ birth fulfilled this prophesy. It was widely (and falsely) rumored among ordinary Romans that, in the year of Augustus’ birth, the Roman Senate ordered the murder of all other children born that year.

    The peaceful, miracle-performing, manger-born, hippy-philosopher Jesus that simple people today believe in is very clearly a collage of the above figures with our modern notions of morality the icing on the cake.

    August 30, 2013 at 8:01 am |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      You need to do some research on the Tower of Babel, Nimrod, Semiramus, and Tammuz, and how the beginnings of false worship there spread throughout the world... They knew enough of the true faith then to begin to encorporate it into their own false worship systems which then spread throughout the world. It's not difficult then to see why there are so many false religions in existence that reflect the true.

      August 30, 2013 at 8:07 am |
      • a reasonable atheist

        Wall of data meets wall of subjective denial.

        August 30, 2013 at 9:13 am |
      • Honey Badger Don't Care

        "Research" on the tower of bable? What research? It's a story in an old book, nothing more.

        Lets talk about how an all powerful being can be threatened by some Iron Age people putting up a building.

        August 30, 2013 at 9:21 am |
        • Frank

          Excellent point, Badger.

          August 30, 2013 at 10:34 am |
      • Johnny

        Lawrence, do you know how insane that sounds?

        August 30, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
  7. children of Israel

    The God of Jacob and the Star of Jacob is Jesus Christ. The most high God wants his people to read and write (Revelation 1:3 & 1:11) The word Christian is written only in the book of Acts. Satan desires his kingdom to do math and learn science to exalt above the stars of God (Isaiah 14:13-14)

    August 30, 2013 at 7:47 am |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      What are you talking about? First off, the word Christian is not just in Acts, it's in 1 Peter also... But what difference does that make? The word just means "Christ's Ones." Second, you really need to take a course in Biblical hermaneutics. What are you driving at with the reading/writing, and math statements? Those scriptures you referenced have nothing to do with the meanings that you ascribe to them.

      August 30, 2013 at 7:56 am |
      • Children of Isreal

        You have been blinded by satan. I have read your posts. You know nothing of the true god of Isreal. I hope you die.

        August 30, 2013 at 8:02 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Well, the good news for you is that one day, I will die. But before you go claiming that I've been blinded, compare anything that I have said with what the scriptures say. If I'm wrong, show me plainly with scripture. For, unless I am convinced with scripture and plain reason, my conscience is held captive by the Word of God.

          August 30, 2013 at 8:15 am |
        • Mirosal

          Gee what a lovely "chrisitian" att'itude you have. I bet you're a big hit at the book burning parties. Are you going to pray for his ruination and utter demise at the hands of your god as well?

          August 30, 2013 at 8:19 am |
        • Mirosal

          Oh, and you coiuld at least learn to spell "Israel" correctly, ok? When you finish that 3rd year of 6th grade, please let us know.

          August 30, 2013 at 8:20 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          I call poe

          August 30, 2013 at 8:52 am |
        • tallulah13

          Totally agree, Bill. Has to be a Poe.

          August 30, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      "Religion, the word of man trying to convince other men that it is the word of God" LOL

      August 30, 2013 at 8:22 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        Not so much... I think that if "religion" were entirely up to man, they would have never invented something like Christianity. After all, it is a faith that tells us that we are all sinners. It is a faith that tells us that we are not good by nature, and we can never be good enough to earn favor with God. The Bible doesn't guarentee anything in this life except trials and tribulations. So who would invent that?

        August 30, 2013 at 8:27 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          "So who would invent that?" People who wanted to exert control over the gullible. What a horrible religion. I have never sinned, I am not inherently bad, and I have no need nor desire to please your god...

          August 30, 2013 at 8:38 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          You've never sinned? Can I ask you a few questions to see for sure?
          Have you ever told a lie?
          Have you ever stolen anything, regardless of the value?
          Have you ever taken the name of God and used it as a swear word?
          Have you ever looked at someone with lu.st?
          If you've done these things (and I know I have), then God sees you as a lying, theiving, blasphemous, ad.ulterer at heart, and you've got to face God on judgment day...

          Paraphrased from Exodus 20 in case you're curious.

          The point is, we have all willingly done things that we inherantly know were wrong, so I don't know who you're trying to fool when you say that you are sinless, me, or yourself.

          August 30, 2013 at 8:44 am |
        • Mark

          Excellent point!

          August 30, 2013 at 8:45 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Your god is irrelevant, your book is irrelevant, your 'sins' and proxy threats are irrelevant... So regardless if I committed any of the things on your arbitrary 'bad boy' list, I do not fear your imaginary super-ghost 'judging' me...

          August 30, 2013 at 8:59 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          Funny, you claim you don't fear the judgement of God yet you seem to fear being controlled by men. I prefer not to fear men and subject myself to God's wrath instead. Men are capricious but the Lord is just and kind.

          August 30, 2013 at 9:05 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Evil Twin, of course you don't fear God, that much is evident. I'm just trying to say, don't fool yourself into thinking that you're a good person... Because none of us are. And neither should you dismiss the idea of the existence of God so easily. After all, if there is evil in this world, then there must be good – otherwise, how would we know evil if we did not have good to compare it against. And if we have good and evil, then there must be a standard to judge good and evil. And if there is a standard, then there must be a standard giver. And I'm not talking about man, because there are certain things that are inherantly known to be "evil" no matter where you are, and since those moral absolutes are seen in all humanity, there must be a moral law giver who is outside of us. A bit philosophical maybe, but true nontheless.

          If there is good and evil, there must be a moral law. If there is a moral law, then there must be a moral law giver. These truths cannot exist universally unless there is a moral law giver who is universal, and works on each one of us.

          August 30, 2013 at 9:10 am |
        • Honey Badger Don't Care

          Lawrence,

          I've broken every one of the commandments in Exodus 20 (I won’t get into the debate that those are NOT the 10 commandments) many times over yet I have never sinned. Since I don’t believe in the silly religion then I don’t believe in the precepts of it. I have never sinned.

          August 30, 2013 at 9:16 am |
        • Honey Badger Don't Care

          Lawrence,

          The moral laws are those that we, as a society, make for the betterment of the society. There is NO objective morality.

          August 30, 2013 at 9:17 am |
        • tallulah13

          Larry, your religion is a reflection of the morals of a specific middle eastern culture as filtered through the ego of one Saul of Tarsus, then edited by subsequent generations of men with their own ambitions.

          You may be yourself a bad person, but you judgement of others has no merit to those of us who use the criterion of reality (instead of a book of myths) as the standard of behavior. Perhaps you are indeed a bad person. There is no virtue in accusing good people of wrongdoing, as you do, in an effort to build yourself up.

          August 30, 2013 at 9:29 am |
    • BlahBlah2112

      Trying to prove god is real by using the bible is like trying to prove batman is real by using a comic book.

      August 30, 2013 at 9:33 am |
      • Bill Deacon

        Someone said yesterday that the key to understanding the Bible is to use it as a key to understanding yourself.

        August 30, 2013 at 9:36 am |
        • Frank

          The bible is pretty easy to understand. And much of it is just silly fables. Contributions by many writers, then edited by n individuals each with his own axe to grind. Toss it.

          August 30, 2013 at 10:38 am |
  8. Lawrence of Arabia

    The "Word of Faith" movement, for those who may not be familiar, is a cultic belief tied to the heresies of gnosticism that basically use the scriptures as encantations to try to get what they want – most of the time its money, but it can be anything that the follower is greedy for. It's really sad... These are exactly the kinds of things that true Christianity teaches against. We have faith, but that faith is not defined as God acting like a personal genie.

    August 30, 2013 at 7:33 am |
    • hharri

      You want to follow Christ? Take up your cross, daily, and press on. Nothing is more difficult.

      August 30, 2013 at 7:39 am |
      • hharri

        He didn't end up a rich man, clothed in the finest trends or living in luxury with slaves and beautiful chicks flashing their goods before him.

        He slowly drown in his own blood as his lungs gradually gave way, bursting blood vessels with each agonizing gulp of air.

        That's why athies refer to him as jeeeeeeeebus. Like the crowd that shouted, come on down king of the Jews. Where's your god now? And they had a good laugh. He saved others, let him save himself! Aha ha ha ha! Same thing athies do just two thousand years later. As his mom watched and his faithful disciples bolted. Except john. All the big shot supporters of this red hot of preacher man took off, leaving him alone to die a criminal's death.

        What a riot, huh SAM stone. Pretty funny Kate. Good for a few laughs, right doc? Some iron age illiterate boobs crafted the whole thing, a farce, a fairy tale, another Horus or Zeus. Just like the hecklers in an anonymous crowd of faces.

        Don't forget his winnowing fork, girlfriends

        August 30, 2013 at 7:54 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          FYI: They call him Jeebus because that's what Homer Simpson calls him... and because it's funny...

          August 30, 2013 at 8:06 am |
    • Colin

      "Lawrence of Arabia, you said, "We have faith, but that faith is not defined as God acting like a personal genie." I love that rational. It is perfect to explain why prayers are not answered. Which is exactly what we would expect if there were no god at all. Great apologist reasoning.

      August 30, 2013 at 8:08 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        No, certain prayers are not answered because most people pray for selfish reasons, that they may consume it upon their lusts. What the scriptures tell us is that we must "pray in the name of God." What that means is that we must pray according to His will, NOT ours... Then we learn that prayer is not some encantation so that we can "get what we want," but rather it is to align our wills with His, so that we want what HE wants. And those things that God desires, God fulfills.

        August 30, 2013 at 8:31 am |
        • Honey Badger Don't Care

          NO prayers are answered. NONE. You would get the same statistical response to prayer if you were to pray to a jug of milk in the fridge.

          Yes, no, maybe. Funny stuff. Why not just get a Magic 8 Ball and use that?

          August 30, 2013 at 9:11 am |
      • Just Sayin

        so that we want what HE wants

        Why does god want so many children to die of starvation or some form of preventable disease? While I was a christian, I, and many others prayed for and end to that suffering daily, but nothing has changed.

        August 30, 2013 at 9:38 am |
        • Frank

          What Just Sayin said. Well said, and obviously true.

          August 30, 2013 at 10:40 am |
      • hharri

        you draw incorrect conclusions like you are sam stone describing her intentions for the former v.p.

        August 30, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
      • hharri

        Hundreds of millions can attest to the opposite. Go run along. Find horusites who claim the same things, idiot. No, lying idiot!

        August 31, 2013 at 12:19 am |
  9. Sara

    If you aren't willing to participate in important public health campaigns by vaccinating your kids, your kids should not be allowed to enter the medical facilities where the very young, immune compromised and elderly might come in contact with them. Either take on your share of the responsibility for public health, or keep your family right out of the healthcare syste, schools and other public places.

    August 30, 2013 at 7:31 am |
  10. Greg693

    Same mind set as the Taliban...

    August 30, 2013 at 7:26 am |
  11. elliott carlin

    4.5, or was it 4.7 billion years ago...that little cell crawled out of the muck-did it ever have an idea we'd be tapping out comments on a laptop? Probably not. Well, I'll be emphatic, it didnt'. So in another 4.7 billion years, would it not be possible for that cell, now a man, or perhaps a hybrid, come to understand there is a God?

    At least allow for that possibility, if you want to be intellectually honest.

    August 30, 2013 at 7:19 am |
    • Guest

      Since there has never been a single shred of hard evidence either way, fine, I can accept the possibility that there may or may not be a god. Can you?

      August 30, 2013 at 7:31 am |
      • Josh

        In a nearly infinite universe I can accept there might be superior alien races to humans. I cannot accept there being some omnipresent being telling humans to act like idiots.

        August 30, 2013 at 7:45 am |
      • hharri

        lol

        August 30, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      I'm an atheist, and I've always allowed for the possibility – if you don't get that, you don't understand the definition of the word "atheist" – it does not mean, as some claim, a belief that you know, absolutely, there is no god. It means simply a lack of belief in any god. Show me proof, evidence, anything that doesn't make sense without a god, and there we go. Not a lack of evidence though – some thousands of years ago, people worshipped thunder, because they didn't understand it.

      But the opposite question remains – do you do what you prescribe to others? Do you seriously consider the option that this is all a myth?

      August 30, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
  12. Guest

    Natural Selection in-progress. Nothing to see here, people.

    August 30, 2013 at 7:17 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      LOL – I thought the same thing when I read the article. 'Survival of the fittest' (and immunized)...

      August 30, 2013 at 8:17 am |
  13. children of Israel

    God is east. Satan is west. God is south. Satan is north. God is he. Satan is him. God is odd one. Satan is even strange. God is the I as in I am. Satan is the eye. God is the true vine. Satan is divine. (Isaiah 45:7) *1st Corinthians 8:6*

    August 30, 2013 at 7:03 am |
    • sam stone

      wow, another opinion on god.

      August 30, 2013 at 7:08 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      "God is south" – no wonder that place is fucked up...

      August 30, 2013 at 8:16 am |
    • tallulah13

      One went east, one went west, one went over the cuckoo's nest.

      August 30, 2013 at 9:32 am |
  14. children of Israel

    The most high God is always watching and heaven will be on earth. The wicked will be destroyed (Ezekiel 13:9) *Matthew 15:24* Athesists are nothing but a bargining chip for the satanists who love doing rituals. Feed Satan the truth about the 13th tribe, and watch him turn against his own kingdom. Dan shall be a serpent by the way.

    August 30, 2013 at 6:45 am |
    • Thinker...

      No not Dan! How can Dan be a serpent?! Wait, who is Dan again?

      August 30, 2013 at 8:04 am |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        I always knew that Dan was the evil one...

        August 30, 2013 at 8:14 am |
        • tallulah13

          Maybe Dan was Snake Plissken's real name.

          August 30, 2013 at 9:34 am |
  15. saggyroy

    “All of this stuff they wanted to put into his body,” Copeland said. “Some of it is criminal!” – So they don't want people telling them what to do with their bodies?

    August 30, 2013 at 5:56 am |
  16. SixDegrees

    At least religion is getting rid of itself.

    Too bad they're doing it by killing children. But that's how they roll.

    August 30, 2013 at 4:48 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      the internet and fact-checking are killing religion.

      August 30, 2013 at 5:13 am |
    • Sara

      In most places the religios reproduce at higher rates sufficient to morebthan make up for the times they kill themselves.

      August 30, 2013 at 6:02 am |
      • Misty Lynn

        The Muslim religion is growing the fastest due to reproduction followed by the Catholics. Those religions that do not believe in birth control and populating the fastest.

        August 30, 2013 at 7:38 am |
  17. children of Israel

    For those who reject the Word of God and the words of the Lord. What will they say when death comes to the door? The God of Jacob is our salvation. Do you believe Jesus Christ is the black messiah a Hebrew Israelite from the tribe of Judah. Do you keep his commandments (John 14:14-15) *Romans 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; *Exodus 15:26 for I am the Lord that healeth thee.

    August 30, 2013 at 4:14 am |
    • Mirosal

      You said ... "Exodus 15:26 for I am the Lord that healeth thee" ... tell that to a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine wounded in any conflict over the past 12 years. Were they not prayng hard enough? Or maybe not the right prayers? You'd get the exact same results with the Oracle at Delphi

      August 30, 2013 at 4:17 am |
    • Frank

      How do you know the garbage you spew is the truth? Why base your entire life of nonsense worrying about an afterlife that is nothing more than an urban myth? Let me ask you this. What if Islam is the correct religion. What will you say to Mohammad when you see him in Heaven? Will you apologize and kiss his feet?

      August 30, 2013 at 4:19 am |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        " What if Islam is the correct religion?" Well, he's only studied the bible so Islam can't be right...right? Doesn't that prove the truth of the bible? You know, it was the book that people in the area where he was born said was the right one, so that must make it true. Also his Mom and Dad believe it so again, it must be true, right? I mean, his parents wouldn't believe something that wasn't true, could they?

        August 30, 2013 at 4:25 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      if god was real, he would be the worst serial killer/mass murderers ever to have existed. he drowned everyone but a single family in his great flood. that means he drowned the elderly, the infirm, physically and mentally challenged, and babies. read that again: god drowned BABIES. if your invisible sky fairy exists, he's a monster unworthy of worship. only a black-hearted tyrant could drown children and call it divine justice.

      guilt, fear and ignorance are the pillars of religion
      you don't need god to be a good person
      modern ethics > biblical morals

      August 30, 2013 at 5:11 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      "For those who reject the Word of God and the words of the Lord. What will they say when death comes to the door?"

      "Well it's been a slice. Farewell."

      See...that was easy.

      August 30, 2013 at 5:19 am |
    • truthprevails1

      "What will they say when death comes to the door?"

      I'm not too worried about it. With any luck I will not be conscious to realize that my only guaranteed life is coming to an end. (we only get one shot, nothing after that can be verified with evidence) I wasn't aware of anything before I was born, I won't be aware of anything after I'm dead.
      Your belief teaches you that there is something better after this, so why live this life if it is not as good as the next?? To me it seems like you're wasting your only guaranteed existence for something that isn't guaranteed and in turn you're not living life to its fullest.

      August 30, 2013 at 5:34 am |
    • sam stone

      some of us do not accept the existence of god

      if you want to blather empty proxy threats, go fvck yourself

      better yet, take that big step and go see jeebus now

      August 30, 2013 at 6:25 am |
      • hharri

        Mirosal
        You said ... "Exodus 15:26 for I am the Lord that healeth thee" ... tell that to a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine wounded in any conflict over the past 12 years. Were they not prayng hard enough? Or maybe not the right prayers? You'd get the exact same results with the Oracle at Delphi

        soldier man, tis the LORD GOD ALMGHTY who heals you. visit joni eareckson tada

        August 30, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
    • sam stone

      salvation? black messiah?

      oh, now i get it. you appear to be the descendents of slaves who has cheerfully signed up for your ancestor's slavemaster's religion. sort of a spiritual stockholm syndrome.

      free people do not need to be salvation

      slaves do.

      ironic that you not only choose your own sllavery, you fvcking brag about it and try to bring others into it....

      August 30, 2013 at 6:30 am |
      • sam stone

        that was meant to read "free people do not need salvation"

        August 30, 2013 at 6:32 am |
      • hharri

        Jesus replied, "Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.

        little -the filthy perverted loud mouth- sam stoned answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, 'You will become free '?" Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin."

        August 30, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          I too enjoy fairytales about invisible, magical diseases in invisible, magical body parts. (sin,soul)

          August 30, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
        • hharri

          Cpt. Obvious
          I too enjoy fairytales about invisible, magical diseases in invisible, magical body parts. (sin,soul)

          just ask horus

          August 30, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • Hilikus

      I just wanna make sure you realize, to an atheist, that is about as threatening as saying Santa is gonna leave a lump of coal in your stocking.

      Get over yourself.

      August 30, 2013 at 7:31 am |
      • hharri

        agreed. to a blithering idiot, it is bologna. bible agrees, too

        August 30, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
  18. Frank

    God is filth.

    August 30, 2013 at 4:10 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      It's faith. God is faith.
      Oh crap...I fell for that again. Boy I need to drink some coffee...shake the cobwebs out.
      Yeah you're right again of course.

      August 30, 2013 at 5:25 am |
  19. Tara Waraes

    Simply the Copelands want your money and your mind and when things do not work out then you learn the hard way .... kENNETH COPEAND DAUGHTER HAS BEEN MARRIED THREE TIMES IN THE BIBLE THEY CALL THAT ADULTERY BUT HE CALLS THAT DOING IT UNTIL YOU GET IT RIGHT ...

    August 30, 2013 at 4:07 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      I'm sure that's how he taught his daughter about the birds and the bees as well... Lot would be proud...

      August 30, 2013 at 4:27 am |
  20. Dick Wiggler

    Religion: not even once

    August 30, 2013 at 3:58 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Advertisement
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.