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September 17th, 2013
09:59 PM ET

Rick Warren on guns, God and son's tragic death

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Lake Forest, California (CNN) — In his first interview since his son's suicide in April, famed pastor Rick Warren told CNN that he knew his son, Matthew, had bought a gun, dismissed rumors that Matthew was gay and said he doesn't blame God for the tragedy.

"I have cried every single day since Matthew died," Warren said Tuesday in an exclusive interview with CNN.

"But that - that's actually a good thing. Grief is a good thing. It's the way we get through the transitions of life."

Rick Warren and his wife, Kay, founded Saddleback Church in Southern California in 1980, growing it from a small congregation to a multisite megachurch with some 20,000 weekly worshippers.

Warren is also author of the spiritual self-help guide “The Purpose Driven Life,” one of the best-selling books of all time, with more 36 million copies sold.

But even as the Warrens grew in prominence - attending conferences with presidents and prime ministers - their son Matthew struggled with borderline personality disorder and deep depression, they said during an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan.

The Warrens said they are opening up about their son’s tragic death because they hope to end the stigma of mental illness and save another family from the pain they suffer.

They have slowly returned to the spotlight since grieving in private for five months.

MORE ON CNN: The five things you need to know about Rick Warren

The gun

Matthew Warren visited his parents on the night of April 5, just like so many nights before.

“I had made him dinner,” Kay Warren told CNN. “He laid his head down on the kitchen table and he just said ‘I'm so tired.’ He just said ‘I'm so tired.’”

After a hug from his dad, Matthew left his parents' house and went back to his own. He and his mom began texting, and the conversation veered toward suicide, Kay Warren said.

“I knew it was very desperate. And I also knew he – I knew he had a gun.”

Earlier, Matthew had told his parents he had illegally obtained a gun online - but if they called the police about the gun he would kill himself instantly.

Matthew Warren had tried to legally purchase a gun many times, his family said. Each time he was rebuffed because he had been forcibly admitted to a mental institution, a red flag on a California background check.

“We're grateful that the laws kept Matthew from getting the gun for as long as it did,” Rick Warren said.

When Matthew hit a roadblock buying a gun, he turned to other options.

"He was so desperate to end the pain,” Kay Warren said.

Ten days earlier, Matthew had tried to end his life by overdosing on pills, the Warrens said, one of several suicide attempts in his young life.

Matthew had begged his mother to help him die, Kay Warren said.

“I will do anything to help you live,” she recalls telling him, “but I will not help you take your life.”

The texting between Matthew and Kay Warren went on for hours on the night of April 5.

Then it stopped.

The Warrens headed to Matthew’s house. He did not come to the door. The lights were on, and they decided to leave, worried if they called the police Matthew would make good on his fatal promise.

The next morning they went back to his house. The lights were still on.

This time they called the police.

Rick and Kay Warren stood outside their son’s home sobbing in each others’ arms.

They knew.

A nod from a police officer who inspected Matthew's house confirmed the worst.

“I just hit the ground," Kay Warren said.

God's plan

Matthew had access to mental health care and all the love in the world but not even that could spare him, Rick Warren said.

“If love could have kept my child alive, he'd be alive today, because he was incredibly loved,” the pastor said.

The evangelical Christian said he doesn’t blame God for his son’s death.

“I never questioned my faith in God; I questioned God’s plan,” Rick Warren said. “God isn’t the blame for my son’s death. My son took his life. It was his choice.”

Kay Warren said the family’s faith and community support got them through the past five months. Condolence cards poured in from around the world; 30,000 by Saddleback Church’s count.

In their grief, Rick and Kay Warren said they turned to a familiar source, the Bible.

For Kay Warren, a verse from the New Testament brings comfort, she said. “It says our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory.”

She recites the verse when visiting her son’s grave.

"Matthew's body was broken. That gun broke his body and he was buried in brokenness. But he's going to be raised in glory.”

GALLERY: Rick Warren over the years

Forgiveness

The Warrens said they struggle with anger that their son died using an illegally obtained firearm.

Before his death, Matthew told his parents he bought the gun online, but wouldn’t tell them from whom.

Investigators said the serial number was filed off when they recovered it from the scene. So far police have not been able to determine who sold Matthew Warren the gun.

“One of the hard things was forgiving the person who sold him the gun,” Rick Warren said. “Because I didn't want to forgive him.”

But the Warrens said their Christian faith, rooted in the belief that their own sins had been forgiven by Jesus, enabled them to forgive the person who sold the gun to their son.

“I don't want to be tied to that person emotionally for the rest of my life,” Kay Warren said.

Slightly more than half of Americans - 53% - think churches should do more to prevent suicide in America, according to a new poll by LifeWay Research, a Christian company based in Nashville.

Nearly half of evangelicals (48%) say people with serious mental illnesses like depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia can be cured by Bible study and prayer alone. Sixty percent of Americans overall disagree.

The Warrens said Matthew had access to good health care, but the system sometimes puts obstacles between families and their mentally ill loved ones.

Kay Warren pointed to difficulty families have in getting mentally ill family members help because of laws on patient privacy.

“The right to privacy and that right to autonomy, it's a dance,” she said.
 “I don't have good answers. It's a dance. So we've got to do a better job with that.”

Because the Warrens are conservative Christians who oppose same-sex marriage, rumors circulated about Matthew's sexuality in the days after his death.

The Warrens dismissed those rumors in the CNN interview.

“Well, first, Matthew wasn't gay, " Rick Warren said, "but if he was, we would have loved him unconditionally anyway. It wouldn't have made one difference at all.”

The Warrens said they have tried to stay away from online criticism and the rumors surrounding Matthew’s death so they can focus on his legacy: raising awareness about mental illness.

Hope

Asked why they had not prioritized mental illness earlier, the Warrens said that they did not want to thrust their troubled son into the limelight.

“It was his story to tell,” Rick Warren said.

Now telling Matthew’s story falls to his parents.

They want the world to remember a young man who was “funny, quirky, ridiculously silly.”

On his headstone the family put “compassionate warrior.”

They have established the Matthew Warren Fund to honor his memory. Rick Warren said they will wait a year and then hope to use the funds to help those struggling with mental illness and their families.

The Warrens want to spread the word that even though their story had a tragic ending, “There’s hope,” Kay Warren said. “It’s so important that people know, no matter how desperate their despair, there is hope, and not to give up.”

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Death • Faith • Guns • Leaders • Violence

soundoff (1,411 Responses)
  1. Apple Bush

    I believe what defines the “believer” is their inability to contemplate the actual size of this universe and all of its potentialities. Some brains fully contemplate, while other brains, like Christian brains, under contemplate.

    September 18, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Hell and destruction are never full

      Don't be late deliverin' yer plate full of contempt. Whatever you deliver, do it quickly.

      September 18, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        That is actually (accidentally) funny but I won't tell you why.

        September 18, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
        • AE

          Your initial post is funny, too.

          Like, if you consider the irony that if you decide to get a degree in astronomy, there is a good chance a believer would be teaching you about the universe. 🙂

          September 18, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
        • nope.

          @AE
          nope.

          September 18, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
        • AE

          I bet there is some truth to my post.

          September 18, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
      • My Dog is a jealous Dog

        Do you type with a yokel accent because you disdain education? It is apparently not laziness since deliverin' and delivering have the exact same number of keystrokes.

        September 18, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
        • Hell and destruction are never full

          Saves ink.

          September 18, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
    • AE

      What about astronomers that happen to be Christians?

      You should read about Sir Martin Rees. He is a believer. He is a recipient of the Crafoord Prize (the most prestigious award in astronomy).

      He could probably actually teach you a thing or two about the actual size of this universe and all of its potentialities.

      September 18, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        AE, you have a habit of comparing two completely unrelated things to "prove" your case. Your argument lacks logic. Same as yesterday. You did not get any smarter.

        September 18, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
        • AE

          I tried to show you there is a believer that might actually know more about the universe than you.

          It is completely related and relevant.

          September 18, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • AE

      “Let me say that I don’t see any conflict between science and religion. I go to church as many other scientists do. I share with most religious people a sense of mystery and wonder at the universe and I want to participate in religious ritual and practices because they’re something that all humans can share.”

      –Sir Martin Rees

      September 18, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
  2. Someone who cares...

    What a weird blog!
    People comparing Rick Warren to Jesus....ha! Nobody really "knows" anything about either figure, other than they are getting a lot of attention because of religion.

    Also the Warrens are in severe denial. Their son never ever had a girlfriend. He was feminine in his speak and mannerisms. He suffered from borderline personality disorder, a disorder almost exclusively seen in emotional females. None of this necessarily makes him gay....but come on.
    A straight boy with an obviously corrupt alpha male dad with access to money, influence over females, and crazy religious rhetoric usually takes advantage of his standing and either emulates daddy or blazes his own violent path. Instead he got "the blues" for "no reason", frequently tried to commit suicide and finally violently ended his life.
    It's obvious his parent's anti-gay stance and obsession with a "sinless" afterlife led to this.

    September 18, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Hell and destruction are never full

      All that yoga stretching has stretched yer mind. Lay off the mantra when ya start seein' colors.

      September 18, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
      • nope.

        @Hell and destruction are never full
        nope.

        September 18, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
        • Hell and destruction are never full

          It's a matter of perspective. I would say Hell is most likely full when it gets tossed into the lake.

          September 18, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • doobzz

      "He suffered from borderline personality disorder, a disorder almost exclusively seen in emotional females."

      Citation, please. Otherwise, you're just another uneducated jerk spewing nonsense with no evidence that it's even remotely accurate.

      September 18, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        Since 1980, the year of the initial standardization of the criteria for personality disorders, all versions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders have indiicated that BPD is unequivocally more common in women than men. For example, according to the most recent edition, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR),1 there is a 3:1 female to male gender ratio. Yet, a recent and well-executed study by Grant et al2 (i.e., the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions) found that BPD is equally prevalent among men and women, which is our current impression.

        September 18, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
        • doobzz

          @ Boof

          "More common" "3:1 ratio" and "BPD is equally prevalent among men and women, which is our current impression" is not the same as 'almost exclusively in emotional females".

          September 18, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
      • Someone who cares...

        "Citation, please. Otherwise, you're just another uneducated jerk spewing nonsense with no evidence that it's even remotely accurate."
        Excuse me? Why do I have to include a citation? Because you don't know anything? Because you heard something, that just "doesn't sound right" to you, so instantly it must be wrong?
        And If I was wrong (which I'm not if you had actually bothered to research the prevalent rate of BPD) suddenly I'm an uneducated jerk spewing out nonsense with no "evidence it's even remotely accurate"? I mean how stupid/crazy are you? You must think your poop don't smell or your IQ is 200+ points...sorry to inform you of your egregious errors.

        September 18, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
        • doobzz

          "Excuse me? Why do I have to include a citation?"

          You made a statement that BPD sufferers are almost exclusively emotional females and this somehow indicates that Matthew Warren was gay. When you make statements like that, you need to have evidence to back it up. That's how the real world works.

          "Because you don't know anything? Because you heard something, that just "doesn't sound right" to you, so instantly it must be wrong?"

          Of course not. I'm a scientist, I don't go on "what sounds right". I go on verifiable evidence.

          "And If I was wrong (which I'm not if you had actually bothered to research the prevalent rate of BPD) suddenly I'm an uneducated jerk spewing out nonsense with no "evidence it's even remotely accurate"?"

          If you present incorrect information as correct information, you are either a liar or an uneducated jerk spewing out nonsense, yes.

          " mean how stupid/crazy are you? You must think your poop don't smell or your IQ is 200+ points...sorry to inform you of your egregious errors."

          My IQ isn't relevant. Your ability to prove that what you said is correct using verifiable evidence IS relevant. And for the record, my poop smells just like poop.

          September 18, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
  3. Live4Him

    @Just the Facts Ma'am... : I do not sin.

    Could you give your definitions of sin?

    September 18, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      sin: A transgression of a religious or moral law, especially when deliberate.

      While I do not believe in religion I do believe in morality.

      moral: 1. Of or concerned with the judgment of the goodness or badness of human action and character.

      I believe that we can define morality without God and we do so every day. Morality is that which refrains from harming our fellow humans and can be related directly to humanism.

      humanism: 1. A system of thought that rejects religious beliefs and centers on humans and their values, capacities, and worth.

      In that sense I do not sin. I am generous with my time and money and work hard to better the lives of those around me. If the simple fact that I do not believe in your brand of invisible fairy condemns me to an eternity of torment at the hands of your jealous God then so be it, I wouldn't serve that kind of vindictive p rick even if you had some evidence of his existence, which you don't.

      September 18, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @Just the Facts Ma'am...: sin: A transgression of a religious or moral law

        Lets work with this.

        @Just the Facts Ma'am...: I believe that we can define morality without God and we do so every day. Morality is that which refrains from harming our fellow humans

        I agree with this.

        @Just the Facts Ma'am...: In that sense I do not sin.

        So, you're claiming that you've NEVER harmed another fellow human being? How old are you? 1-day old? Maybe you're still in your mother's womb? After all, you caused your mother morning sickness, subsequently pain in child birth, forced her awake in the middle of the night to feed you, etc, etc, etc – ALL of which "harmed" her. What about lying / misrepresenting the truth to others? Getting angry with others? Ever ended a relationship? Did your significant other have a broken heart? If so, wouldn't that "harm" them?

        Me thinks you are ignoring your sins. Me thinks you're lying to yourself. Me thinks you desire to think better of yourself than you should. Me thinks you want to pretend that you're without sin. Now, why don't you step into the adult world? You have sinned and treated others wrong, sometimes accidentally and sometimes deliberately.

        @Just the Facts Ma'am...: I am generous with my time and money and work hard to better the lives of those around me.

        Which means absolutely nothing since this statement has nothing to do with our agreed upon definition. You either transgressed a moral law or you didn't. There is no going back in time to alleviate prior wrong doings.

        @Just the Facts Ma'am...: If the simple fact that I do not believe in [God] condemns me to an eternity of torment ... then so be it

        Well, then you won't complain when it happens since you knew to expect – right?

        September 18, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
        • JWT

          Your god would not have any say over people that do not believe in it. No danger of your version of hell.

          September 18, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
        • Doris

          Me thinks it's idiotic to bring childbirth into your discussion about "sin". Where's the willful intent, the decision made on the part of the child to harm the mother?

          September 18, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "So, you're claiming that you've NEVER harmed another fellow human being? How old are you? 1-day old? Maybe you're still in your mother's womb? After all, you caused your mother morning sickness, subsequently pain in child birth, forced her awake in the middle of the night to feed you, etc, etc, etc – ALL of which "harmed" her. What about lying / misrepresenting the truth to others? Getting angry with others? Ever ended a relationship? Did your significant other have a broken heart? If so, wouldn't that "harm" them?" I notice you left off "especially when intentional" which for me goes even further as I do not believe anyone can sin unintentionally. To say causing your mother harm while in the womb or during birth is a sin is just stupid. Maybe we ought to lay that blame where the bible says it lies "16 To the woman he said, I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children." Genesis 3:16

          "Me thinks you are ignoring your sins. Me thinks you're lying to yourself. Me thinks you desire to think better of yourself than you should. Me thinks you want to pretend that you're without sin. Now, why don't you step into the adult world? You have sinned and treated others wrong, sometimes accidentally and sometimes deliberately." I think you are an uneducated child who wants to redefine sin for those around you. Did I hurt your feeling? Doh! I must have just sinned, right? I don't think so. You can fantasies about your version of sin all you want. I have never consciously physically harmed another human. I do understand that something in my life, either through inaction or unconscious action has caused some harm to someone somewhere, but I do not consider this sin. I do consciously try to help my fellow humans. I do not own a gun and never have and never will, i don't care about what imagined situation you want to invent, I know the fact that owning a gun makes me and my family twice as likely to die by gun violence in our life time. I do think the current conservative Christian mantra of God & Guns is anti-human and the fact that millions of Christians have basically said "I believe in God and I have my guns and if God tells me to shoot you I will." is far more a sin against humanity than anything I might have done as a 5 year old.

          September 18, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      sin: disobedience toward the imagined will of your imaginary God.

      September 18, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
      • fred

        Ah, so the atheist is free from sin by denying Christ (God) and Christians are free from sin by believing Christ. If there is no sin why do you find the need to free yourself from the bondage of sin?

        September 18, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
        • Doris

          Disbelief, fred. Not denial. If it were universally agreed that Christ existed (with bonus powers), then we could say there is a denial. But it's not agreed, is it?

          September 18, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
        • ME II

          Who's doing that? if there is no "sin", then there is no bondage to it.

          I don't think Atheists claim to have never caused harm, but one cannot disobey or transgress a being that likely does not exist.

          September 18, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
        • fred

          Doris
          Disbelief in Christ is rejecting a free gift. You can reject that free gift for various reasons including denial.
          An atheist is in denial that sin exists because sin is self evident. Most religions make provision for sin thus sin exists for believers. The existence or non existence of God does not erase what is factually happening in our real world. When I burn a Quran that is sin with real consequence depending on location not the disbelief of an atheist. To claim there is no sin is denial in such a case.
          Many are in denial because their way of life is sin according to most religions. Like the addict that claims its my life I am not hurting anyone.

          September 18, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
        • ME II

          @fred,
          What is your definition of "sin" exactly?

          September 18, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
        • fred

          ME II
          "one cannot disobey or transgress a being that likely does not exist."
          =>"for all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God"
          Given that atheists and believers cannot even begin to comprehend that which is beyond our understanding you cannot simply claim God is a being or that God likely does not exist. Based on this alone your argument falls flat. With our without knowing you can disobey or transgress that which is beyond the known. Thus your argument falls flat on that basis also.

          September 18, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
        • ME II

          @fred,
          There is much that we do not know. It is "possible" that simply breathing is a transgression against some deity; is that reason enough to stop? I don't think so.

          September 18, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
        • fred

          MEII
          The Abrahamic version of sin is the basic root for Islam, Judaism and Christianity. Hinduism and Buddhist equivalent of sin (wrongdoing) has a negative effect on karma. All regardless of hair splitting definition relate to that which falls short of the Glory of God.
          If there is no God all still have fallen short of the Glory of God.

          September 18, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
        • ME II

          @fred,
          "If there is no God all still have fallen short of the Glory of God."

          How is that possible? If there is no God, then there would be no "Glory" of God to fall short of.

          September 18, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
        • Inquiry and verification in the fundy mindset

          Let's take a peek into fred's head to see how it works:

          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YIj4rLYo0c&w=640&h=360]

          September 18, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
        • fred

          ME II
          " It is "possible" that simply breathing is a transgression against some deity;"
          =>hence the need for worship which is what man has done since recorded history. If indeed it is possible to offend some deity it is reasonable and logical eliminate that possibility. Denying existence of God is not reasonable or logical

          September 18, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          fred
          " Denying existence of God is not reasonable or logical"
          That is true fred
          and it works both ways. Saying god exists is not reasonable or logical.

          And keep your Pascals wager out of it.

          If there is a god, maybe he is angry at all of you puny humans that are keeping him awake with all your prayers, or perhaps Ra has a special place set aside for you because you worship the wrong one.

          September 18, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
        • ME II

          @fred,
          "hence the need for worship"

          But what if worship is the worst transgression against a supposed God, what then?

          September 18, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
        • fred

          ME II
          "How is that possible? If there is no God, then there would be no "Glory" of God to fall short of."
          =>you assume God can be separated from the Glory of God. Big assumption when we are dealing with what man cannot comprehend. Non belief is not a reasonable or logical position so man always has a belief.
          The Hebrew then the Christian put together a belief in God drawing upon thousands of years of personal relationship and experiences with God. Out of all that we get a vision of God. That vision was Christ. Scripture holds that Jesus was the full representation of the Glory of God. That radiance was one of love, mercy, purity and understanding which was far beyond the ways of this world. This perfect burning holiness is not separable from God because it is God.
          You can see these attributes if you look and if there is no God as you suggest then the Glory that we see and have experienced and read about remains an ideal or bar if you wish that no man can attain.
          Thus you can sin against the Glory of God even if you choose to believe God does not exist.

          September 18, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
        • fred

          Richard Cranium
          "Saying god exists is not reasonable or logical"
          =>The more science discovers the more reasonable and logical God becomes. The reasons to believe are greater now than they were 200 years ago. The simple scope of the unknown and complexity outside of our scientific boundaries of knowledge is more than enough to erase any thought that man could someday know the unknowable. It is a crushing blow to the intellectual pride that keeps some from accepting truth.
          Simply consider our space and time which has no possible end or limit. You cannot say you comprehend such a thing. There is no possible end to time because such an end of time would fall within our time thus time has no end or something to bind it. Same with space which would require something or nothing at end point to bind it. Something is not nothing thus it has not end while nothing would be the continuation of space. In short you cannot grasp the something or nothingness regarding a boundary to space thus any thought you have regarding afterlife is a contradiction.
          God answers such contradictions which man is not capable of.

          "If there is a god, maybe he is angry at all of you puny humans that are keeping him awake with all your prayers, or perhaps Ra has a special place set aside for you because you worship the wrong one."
          =>That is not reasonable or logical to you is it? If there is a God name a few attributes that are reasonable and logical to you and you will find yourself running the path of Christ.

          September 18, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
        • ME II

          @fred,
          "If there is no God all still have fallen short of the Glory of God."

          "This [Glory} is not separable from God because it is God."

          You are getting contradicted by your own double-speak.

          September 18, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
        • fred

          ME II
          "But what if worship is the worst transgression against a supposed God, what then?"
          =>the worship against a supposed God is the worst transgression which is why you are to love the Lord your God with all your heart and have other god before you. The flood story makes a clear statement about who finds favor in the eyes of the Lord and what happens to everyone else (or did you think the flood story was lesson in geology/ hydrology and meteorology?
          =>If there is God with capacity to create all we know and cannot know is it not reasonable and logical that if God created existence for you that God would have capacity to point out the way for you?

          September 18, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
        • ME II

          @fred,
          "the worship against a supposed God is the worst transgression which is why you are to love the Lord your God with all your heart and have other god before you. "

          What?

          September 18, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
        • fred

          MEII
          There is only one God not a "supposed God". The worship of any other is the worst transgression.
          Perhaps you are asking; what if the worship of God is the worst transgression. That would mean God as revealed is a liar which is a contradiction of attributes of God. Islam, Judaism and Christianity all got it wrong if such is the Case.

          If the worship and love of God is a transgression then the deity setting the standard has attributes opposite of Christ which spells trouble for everyone except a few Satan worshipers here and there.

          September 18, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
      • fred

        There is vast difference between imaginary and reality. You exist in the reality formed by a belief in God. Some get it wrong yet have established the world you know based upon the foundation of God as they know God (sometimes they are off target and form man made gods out of need but, there is that basic belief in something out there greater than our existence).
        Sorry the affect of a belief in God (gods or creator) throughout recorded history has formed our reality regardless of an atheists opinion of the physical properties of God.

        September 18, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      An act considered to be a transgression of divine law. So as there no evidence of a god it's impossible to sin.

      September 18, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Sin lies only in harming others unnecessarily.
      All other "sin" is invented nonsense with "blasphemy" and "heresy" fighting it out for the ti/tile of most absurd.

      September 18, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
  4. Native Americans

    😦

    September 18, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • Whales

      😦

      September 18, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
      • The Homeless

        😦

        September 18, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
        • Overfishing

          ;(

          September 18, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
        • The Homeless

          Stupid fish! 🙂

          September 18, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
        • Antidisestablishmentarianism

          😦

          September 18, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Give a man a fish and he eats for a day.
        Teach a man religion and he'll starve to death praying for fish.

        September 18, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          😦

          September 18, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
      • Anti-Antidisestablishmentarianism

        😦

        September 18, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
        • Pro-Anti-Antidisestablishmentarianism

          😦

          September 18, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
  5. The Central Scrutinizer

    Atheists, quit gripping about God. Who cares that it is fake? What would all those people do with their pea brains if they didn’t have a “God”??

    I have heard all the arguments about legislation and equal rights, etc. I am just saying. If you take their God away, they will find something else to replace it and it might be worse.

    September 18, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • doobzz

      How does one "grip" about god? Is that like a divine reach around?

      September 18, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        gripping is slang for holding on to something too long, complaining, etc.

        September 18, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
      • Hell and destruction are never full

        You'll find a way. learn more at

        grippingbeast.com

        September 18, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I am not sure that is possible.

      September 18, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
      • doobzz

        With god, anything is possible. Might even be part of the "plan".

        September 18, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I was refering to the original post.....but it is much funnier as a response to yours....lol

          September 18, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Perhaps long walks and contemplation, along with improved diet, would serve.

      September 18, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "What would all those people do with their pea brains if they didn’t have a “God”??"

      I don't have a problem with people who flagellate themselves, I just don't believe they have the right to do that to their children. If they want to abuse themselves that is their right but they do not have the right to abuse their children.

      September 18, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
      • The Central Scrutinizer

        The kids are fast and can duck and dive. Good little survivors.

        September 18, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • CNN Bleief Blog Editors@Central Scruitinizer

      Congrats!
      You have won today's "Stupid Post of the Day" contest!
      Please email us at Editors@cnn.com to find out how to claim your prize, or call us at 404-827-1500

      September 18, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
      • Anti-delusional Antediluvian...

        What exactly is a Bleief?

        September 18, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
      • The Central Scrutinizer

        I am always watching.

        September 18, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        Whats a "Scruitinizer"?

        September 18, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          It's an old Frank Zappa reference, I think it's from Joe's Garage.

          September 18, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
      • The Central Scrutinizer

        Perhaps they were replying to someone else. Sorry.

        September 18, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • Nate

      What's up with all the hostility and hate? I believe in God and I respect the fact that you have come to a different conclusion. I'm not going to call you names or make constant jabs at you for being an atheist. Why do you feel the need to get mean instead of having civil discussion?

      September 18, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
      • UD

        Who are you even talking to you stupid moron?

        September 18, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
      • Richard Cranium

        Not a conclusion. To reach a conclusion properly, one would need conclusive evidence, where in this case, none exists.

        Probably just a poor choice of words, since I understand what you mean. I've caught myself in that trap more than once.

        September 18, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
        • Nate

          Thanks, I'll keep that in mind

          September 18, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
  6. HeavenSent

    How about that hot seat? It just keeps getting hotter and hotter for atheists. Sin no more and ask Jesus for more flea shampoo. The Bible is 100% accurate which is true.

    Amen.

    September 18, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      I do not sin. I do not believe in God. Is that a sin? Is disbelief sin enough to earn me an eternity of torment by your God? Is he that thin skinned as to torture me for eternity simply for not believing in him for a handful of years? Really?

      September 18, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
      • HeavenSent

        I hope you like worms because you will have your own personal worm to feed off your fat drippings in hell for all eternity. My 12-year-old daughter still smokes in front of her kids. Jesus is holding out his mighty member to you.

        Amen.

        September 18, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
        • Billy-joe JimBob

          Your 12 year old daughter? She said you were her sister...oh wait, she just said yer both.

          September 18, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Threats of eternal punishment betrays a weak arguement.

      September 18, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
      • HeavenSent

        The Lord said He would send unto us teachers, having itchy ears. When the rash cleared up the kittens could go back in. Jesus sent us His gift to us, the Holy Bible.

        Amen.

        September 18, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          The tears of Jesus come from afid sphinters...he cries for you.

          September 18, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
        • HeavenSent

          The tears of Jesus come from aphid sphincter...yuk.

          September 18, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
  7. Overcoming challenges

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yT7I5H6u1w&w=640&h=360]

    September 18, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • Bill

      John 3:14-15

      September 18, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
      • Zo

        Jennifer 10:24

        September 18, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
        • Casanova

          The Jen we know is 38:22:38 😉

          September 18, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
        • doobzz

          I hear she's a brick house.

          September 18, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
  8. Alien Orifices

    If God showed Himself to you and took the form of a cockroach and demanded a kiss, would you do it? (That actually happened to me.)

    September 18, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Ed? Is that you?

      September 18, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
      • ME II

        Nice catch!

        September 18, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Thanks. took me second.

          September 18, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      LET's Religiosity Law #1 – If Jesus came back today he would be shot in the head. That's what you do to put down zombies; otherwise they eat your brains.

      September 18, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
      • Hell and destruction are never full

        Do you find that next to the headcheese?? I always wondered what Planned Parenthood did with the remains of the brains they sucked out.

        September 18, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Chris Farley

      Alrighty.

      September 18, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • doobzz

      When did you visit the Vatican, Alien O? Are the popes eyes as vacant as they look in pictures?

      September 18, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
      • doobzz

        "pope's", before that dippy stalker comes out.

        September 18, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
        • Dippy

          I let missing apostrophes slide as typos, doobzz. But when people put them in where they don't belong they get called on it.

          September 18, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
        • doobzz

          Good to know, dippy.

          😉

          September 18, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
        • .

          popes eyes

          September 18, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
  9. TG

    In comparing Rick Warren with Jesus Christ, there is a wide divergency. Whereas Rick Warren "grew in prominence – attending conferences with presidents and prime ministers", Jesus had no direct dealing with political leaders, except when charged with sedition and met Pontius Pilate as well as Herod Antipas.(Luke 23:1-7)

    In fact, Jesus told his disciples, even after Peter told Jesus that "you are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matt 16:16), to not make him known, for a few verses over, it says that "he (Jesus) sternly charged the disciples not to say to anybody that he was the Christ" (Matt 16:20), even as he had "sternly charged" two blind men that he healed earlier: "See that nobody gets to know it."(Matt 9:27-30)

    Jesus had already said in the Sermon on the Mount: "Take good care not to practice your righteousness in front of men in order to be observed by them; otherwise you will have no reward with your Father who is in the heavens. Hence when you go making gifts of mercy, do not blow a trumpet ahead of you, just as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be glorified by men. Truly I say to you, They are having their reward in full."(Matt 6:1, 2)

    For these ones who seek social "prominence", or who allow it to gain a foothold, Jesus said that their only reward would be the ' glory from men ' and not from our Creator, Jehovah God.

    And in the area of mental illness, it is very distressing to deal with individuals who have trouble distinguishing reality from imaginations. My wife has been mentally ill for just about all out married life of almost 35 years (having been in four mental hospitals over a 6 year period in the mid to late 90's), now completely bed-ridden and with me as her 24/7 caregiver. She saw things and heard voices that did not exist, even imagining that she was Ted Kennedy and that our oldest daughter was a demon that looked like a human and tried to commit suicide once by overdosing on pills.

    However, Rick Warren, had he done a more thorough study of the Bible, he could have seen God's promise to remove mental illness (Isa 33:24, as well as how to handle it on a day by day basis) at Revelation 21:3-5, whereby Jehovah says concerning "meek" ones that are to live on an earthly paradise forever (Ps 37:11, 29; Matt 5:5), that he "will wipe every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither mourning nor outcry nor pain (of heart, like loosing a loved one in death or having mental illness). The former things have passed away. And the One seated on the throne said: "Look ! I am making all things new (just as he purposed in the Garden of Eden)." Write, because these words are faithful and true."

    September 18, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      It is easy to compare the two.

      Warren: Real Person and Alive
      Jesus: If He existed he is dead.

      September 18, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
  10. Apple Bush

    God exists because a Grandma said so in 1952.

    God exists because kings covet great wealth and power.

    God exists because evangelists say so.

    God exists because you have a feeling.

    Evidence is not needed to establish the reality of God, only tradition.

    September 18, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Apple Bush : I can tell you the exact reason why you should not believe in God.

      We're still waiting...

      September 18, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
      • HeavenSent

        Oh Sorry, it's because there are no gods.

        September 18, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Sorry, that HS was me AB.

          September 18, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @HeavenSent : it's because there are no gods.

          How do you know this?

          September 18, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          I don't know with 100% certainty that there are not gods, but the lack of evidence would suggest that gods are mythological.

          September 18, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Ah a mystery is revealed.

          September 18, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Bill, You cannot disprove Zeus but quite reasonably as you have no evidence you do not believe and consider it a myth; there is no evidence for any god, so it is reasonable to not believe in them and to consider them myths.

          September 18, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Maybe, maybe not but I do have reasonable evidence that HS and AB are the same user.

          September 18, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Bill, I am Fake HeavenSent, not the real HeavenSent.

          September 18, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
        • doobzz

          @ Boof Deacon

          LOL, seriously? You thought AB and HS were the same poster? Ahahahaha! Ask Teresa of Avila to ask god for some reading comprehension skills next time you pray.

          September 18, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          There never is enough evidence for those who don't want to believe

          September 18, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
        • sam

          LOL!!

          September 18, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
        • doobzz

          @ Boof Deacon

          "There never is enough evidence for those who don't want to believe"

          Good grief. You must be having an especially shakey shakey day to resort to this old saw.

          September 18, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Quit while you're behind doobz. I don't think you're even in this conversation lol.

          September 18, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
        • Prose

          Bill Deacon never quits when he gets behind. He just keeps on coming.

          September 18, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
        • doobzz

          @ Boof Deacon,

          Cute. Something one of my lil first graders would have thought was a sick burn.

          September 19, 2013 at 12:01 am |
        • HotAirAce

          Billy D wrote "There never is enough evidence for those who don't want to believe." That's pretty funny given that no real (factual, objective, independent and verifiable) evidence has ever been presented.

          September 19, 2013 at 12:07 am |
      • In Santa we trust

        Because there's no evidence for a god.

        September 18, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
  11. Bootyfunk

    so rick warren thinks all g.ays go to hell for going against the bible, but of course he doesn't believe his son will go to hell for committing suicide. why doesn't he condemn his own family with that same fiery hand?

    hard not to believe being the son of an egomaniac religious nutjob didn't have something to do with his son's suicide.

    September 18, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • UD

      If God is not real, how does he know me?

      September 18, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Nate

      When did Warren say gays were going to hell?

      September 18, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
      • AE

        I can't find any mention of that.

        September 18, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
      • Richard Cranium

        I haven't found anything other than him saying things like, there may be a gay gene, it wouldn't surprise him, and he isn't sure if being gay is a sin, but it is a sin to act on those feelinigs...nothing substantial, a practiced tap dancers answer, but nothing to indicate he was anything less than tolerant.

        September 18, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
  12. UD

    How do you match up against God?

    Can you kick his behind?

    Can you spell better than Him?

    What makes you think you are so smart like God?

    September 18, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      it's easy to beat an invisible sky fairy in a spelling contest. and god lost a wrestling match in the bible, so he's obviously not the best at hand-to-hand combat. all humans are better than god - he's not real.

      September 18, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
      • Hell and destruction are never full

        If you have to win every game of H O R S E, bootsie, yer kid wouldn't play very long.

        September 18, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          I believe what defines the “believer” is their inability to contemplate the actual size of this universe and all of its potentialities.

          September 18, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • UD

      That is what I was thinking too.

      September 18, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
  13. Apple Bush

    Can Warren go away now? I'm good on that story.

    September 18, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      seriously, is this the warren blog or the religion blog? no other stories in the world? just story after story about this t.u.r.d?

      September 18, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
  14. Apple Bush

    I can tell you the exact reason why you should not believe in God.

    September 18, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
  15. Hell and destruction are never full

    An interesting take On Marx's hate:

    http://www.americandailyherald.com/pundits/christopher-c-m-warren/item/karl-marx-and-the-communist-religion-of-hate

    September 18, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Doris

      "2013 to Pithhead! 2013 to Pithhead! Come in Pithhead! Over.."

      September 18, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
      • Hell and destruction are never full

        Christopher C.M. Warren was born in Singapore to British parents and grew up in Malaysia. A graduate from Oxford University, England with a Masters Degree in Biochemistry.

        Biochemistry up to date enuff fer ya??

        September 18, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
        • Doris

          Guns, hell, Rick Warren, Marxism, and now biochem? Wow – what else would you like to try to relate?

          September 18, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
        • Hell and destruction are never full

          Ok Doris, I see the picture now. Ask yer hubby to explain it to you. OUT.

          September 18, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
        • doobzz

          lol??, in 1965, that statement might have been a teeny little bit provocative. Women today just laugh at grandpa's foolish ideas about gender roles.

          September 18, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          So do their kids once they get their own AR-15

          September 18, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
        • doobzz

          Well, hello, Boof Deacon?

          That one was pretty weak, even for you. But going for the low hanging fruit fixes the shakeys, too, I suppose.

          September 18, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
        • Hell and destruction are never full

          Laugh while the laughin's gud. I have seen women laugh about abortion. BTW, Sarah had a gud laugh and then got serious and tried to "help" God with the slave girl incident. The rest is history. Beware of dogooderism.

          September 18, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "gud" just go away faith, lol?? etc...

          Your trolling isn't even thought provoking.

          September 18, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
        • doobzz

          "BTW, Sarah had a gud laugh and then got serious and tried to "help" God with the slave girl incident."

          And Abraham was more than happy to obey his sister/wife and rape her slave, cause he was such a faithful man of god. He whoredhis sister/wife out to save his own neck a couple of times too. Then there's that whole voices in his head thing where he almost killed his other son.

          "I have seen women laugh about abortion."

          They were actually laughing at you, witless wonder.

          September 18, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
  16. Hell and destruction are never full

    Too bad the dudes at the Alamo didn't come out sooner before their suicide.

    September 18, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • doobzz

      Too bad you weren't there too.

      September 18, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
  17. ProdicalSon

    "... the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out ..." John 5:28-29

    September 18, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Prodigal is the correct spelling... "the hour is coming..." Yes, 2000 years and counting. That's a long time to hold your breath...

      September 18, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      ProdicalSon, I'll see you in the Rapture Capsule with the unicorns. Don't forget to wear your nose ring – the big steel one that I padlocked the chain onto when we were practising for the Uplifting.

      This time, though, close your mouth when the swirling starts and your head goes down, so the floaters don't get in like they did in our last practice.

      September 18, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
      • Ted

        Love it. ROFL.

        September 18, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • snowboarder

      people have been telling that lie for a very long time.

      September 18, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      Yes, i'm sure someday this planet may experience a Zombie apocalypse, likely from all the botox and fake shlt people pump into their bodies, but what exactly does that have to do with Rick Warren guilting his gay son into suicide?

      September 18, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
      • ProdicalSon

        "but what exactly does that have to do with Rick Warren guilting his gay son into suicide?'

        My post had to do with his son's death and future resurrection according to God's provision for those who die according to what His Son said while on earth.

        September 18, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
  18. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    More Rick Warren-apalooza.

    Four posts now. He's not the Pope.

    How many belief blog posts does one get for appearing on Piers Morgan's show?

    September 18, 2013 at 11:44 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.