home
RSS
September 21st, 2013
11:41 AM ET

Can Pope Francis make his vision a reality?

By John L. Allen Jr., CNN

ROME (CNN) - Pope Francis has sketched a vision of a Catholic Church that’s more welcoming – to women, to homosexuals, to divorced and remarried believers, to pretty much everybody –- and less invested in the culture wars.

In a now famous interview published Thursday, the pope said he knows some militants want him to toss around more fire and brimstone. But he insists that Catholic positions on hot-button issues such as abortion and gay marriage are already well known, and anyway, “Ministers of the church must be ministers of mercy above all.”

None of that implies a change in church teaching, but it does suggest a fairly serious shift in tone. The question now becomes, is this just the pope talking? Or is he capable of bringing the rest of the church along with him?

Despite the mythology of Roman Catholicism as a top-down monolith, the truth is that it’s actually one of the most decentralized institutions on Earth.

There are only about 3,000 personnel in the Vatican directing the affairs of a church that counts 1.2 billion members, which means that Rome doesn’t have the manpower to micromanage anything but exceptional cases.

Probably 90% of the decisions that matter – what pastor will be assigned to which parish, or what tithes will be used for –- are made at the local level.

Popes trying to steer this colossus in a new direction, therefore, need middle managers as well as the rank and file to pull in the same direction, and experience suggests they don’t always fall in line.

MORE ON CNN: Pope Francis: Church can't 'interfere' with gays

Pope John Paul II, nearly 27 years, exhorted the church to be more evangelical, more daring about taking its message to the streets, and while he unleashed powerful new energies – think about World Youth Days, for instance – that missionary aspiration still remains a work in progress.

Similarly, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI desired a church more appreciative of tradition and more focused on its core identity, and again most observers would say the end result over eight difficult years was a mixed bag.

If Francis is to bring the Catholic Church into line with his more pastoral and compassionate vision, two fronts seem especially critical.

First is personnel. Nothing a pope does to shape culture in the church is more important than naming the roughly 5,100 bishops of the world, who set the tone in their own backyards.

A new papal direction may be invigorating, but if people don’t pick up the same vibe from their local bishops and pastors, over time it will only seem like sound and fury signifying little.

To date Francis hasn’t made many flagship picks except for his own successor in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but he’ll have to do so soon, since archbishops in critical locales such as Madrid, Cologne and Chicago are all older than 75, the normal retirement age.

Popes typically rely on their nuncios, or ambassadors, around the world to recommend new bishops.

In June, Francis gave his nuncios their marching orders, saying he wants bishops who are “close to the people, fathers and brothers” as well as “gentle, patient and merciful.” He also said they shouldn’t have “the psychology of princes.”

How well he spots talent to fit that profile will help determine whether his dream of moving past what he called “a church of small-minded rules” becomes reality.

MORE ON CNN: The pope said what? Six stunners from Francis

The other key test is structural reform, beginning in the Vatican and radiating outward, perhaps especially on financial transparency and the fight against child sexual abuse.

Scandals in those areas have plagued the Vatican and the wider church in recent years, making it difficult for many people to see Catholicism as a vehicle for compassion.

Francis has set up three commissions to ponder reform, including a body of eight cardinals from around the world set to hold its first meeting in Rome from October 1-3.

If those groups don’t deliver significant recommendations, which are embraced and implemented by the pope, once again his rhetoric about reforming the church may ring hollow.

Popes play many roles, including prophet and CEO. Francis has delivered a stunning debut as the church’s voice of conscience and spiritual guide; now he has to get down to the brass tacks of management to make sure it doesn’t go to waste.

John L. Allen Jr. is CNN’s senior Vatican analyst and senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter. 

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Leaders • Pope Francis

soundoff (2,596 Responses)
  1. Apple Bush

    Why was science left out of the Bible, even rudimentary science, in favor of mythology?

    September 23, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Maybe because it isn't a collection of science books but a collection of larger substance

      September 23, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        FAIL!

        September 23, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Bill, my question was rhetorical (for most). Naturally one cannot write about that of which they know not. This is partial proof that the books are fake.

      September 23, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
      • m murdoch

        good point dodo. them books on horus r true, though.

        and the biographies of abe lincoln are hogwash too cause ain't no science in them

        dear god, haVE MERCY ON DOROTHY

        September 23, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Topher

      Well, dude, it's not a science textbook, for one. That's not its message. But what science IS in there is correct.

      September 23, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
      • Observer

        Unicorns, talking serpents, dragons, flat earth, moon stops still, people turn into salt and all the science fiction in Noah's ark.

        Get real.

        September 23, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
        • Topher

          Observer

          "Unicorns, talking serpents, dragons, flat earth, moon stops still, people turn into salt and all the science fiction in Noah's ark."

          Of these things that you mention that are ACTUALLY in the Bible, they're miracles, so they wouldn't be science, thus making your point moot. Of the things that you mention that AREN'T there ... that just shows you haven't read it.

          September 23, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
        • Topher

          Oh, and a third category ... that some of those things are easily understandable with a little research and thus were not miracles.

          September 23, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
        • Observer

          Topher

          September 23, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
        • Observer

          Topher,

          EVERYTHING I mentioned is from the Bible. Why not read one someday?

          September 23, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
        • Topher

          Observer

          "EVERYTHING I mentioned is from the Bible. Why not read one someday?"

          I read one every day. And no, they're not.

          September 23, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
        • Observer

          Topher,

          Get serious.

          – Deuteronomy 33:17 “His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.”

          – Isaiah 34:7 “And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.”

          Read the whole Bible so you won't be so clueless about what you are saying.

          September 23, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
        • Topher

          And the scientific name for a rhinoceros is ...

          September 23, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Unicorns: (Isaiah 34:7)
          seven headed dragons (Revelation 12:3)
          The Earth is a flat circle (Isaiah 40:22)
          People turned to salt (Genesis 19:26)
          Talking snakes (Genesis 3:1-24)
          The moon stops (Joshua 10:13)

          September 23, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
        • Topher

          Doc Vestibule

          Unicorns: (Isaiah 34:7) — see above
          seven headed dragons (Revelation 12:3) — spiritual realm
          The Earth is a flat circle (Isaiah 40:22) — It doesn't say "flat", so please don't misrepresent. Second, circle is an applicable term for sphere. In fact, the Hebrew word use originally here can be translated/used both ways ... as if we don't do this in modern English.
          People turned to salt (Genesis 19:26) — miracle ... outside of natural realm
          Talking snakes (Genesis 3:1-24) — not a snake.
          The moon stops (Joshua 10:13) — LOT of possible explanations here from the simple (basic perception problem or eclipse) to the complex (God actually did it making it a miracle.)

          September 23, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          So your counter-arguments basically consist of:

          Unicorns: (Isaiah 34:7) — MISTRANSLATION
          seven headed dragons (Revelation 12:3) — MAGIC
          The Earth is a flat circle (Isaiah 40:22) —MISTRANSLATION
          People turned to salt (Genesis 19:26) — MAGIC
          Talking snakes (Genesis 3:1-24) — MISTRANSLATION
          The moon stops (Joshua 10:13) — EITHER MISTRANSLATION OR MAGIC

          September 23, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
        • Observer

          Topher,

          Basic Mathematics 101 class: a CIRCLE is a flat 2-dimensional object.

          The only one who could see earth from space was God. So you are saying that God doesn't know any more about math than you do and he supposedly created the sphere called earth..

          September 23, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
        • Topher

          Observer

          The word is INTERCHANGEABLE. It has nothing to do with math and everything to do with language.

          September 23, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
        • Observer

          Topher,

          So 2-dimensional figures and 3-dimensional figures are "interchangeable". No math teacher in the world would accept that. You need to take a remedial math class or use a dictionary. Your statement is 100% FALSE and ignorant.

          We've basically gone from "none of them are in the Bible" to "all of them are in the Bible, but they shouldn't be".

          Well done. Please get a better education and read the entire Bible. You're just embarassing yourself now.

          September 23, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
        • Topher

          Observer

          "So 2-dimensional figures and 3-dimensional figures are "interchangeable". No math teacher in the world would accept that. You need to take a remedial math class or use a dictionary. Your statement is 100% FALSE and ignorant."

          Ad hominem. And besides that, no one is talking about math here. You're excuses are getting silly now, dude. You and I both know words can have different meanings and even in some case mean two opposite things.

          "We've basically gone from "none of them are in the Bible" to "all of them are in the Bible, but they shouldn't be"."

          Nope. The Bible STILL doesn't say the Earth is flat. Just because you repeat it often enough doesn't make it true.

          September 23, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
        • Alias

          Let me oint out that the church had a problem with a scientist named Galileo for discoveries in astronomy.
          Clearly, the pope used to interpret the bible as saying the Earth is flat and not moving around the sun.
          Or was the pope wrong that one time?

          September 23, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
        • Topher

          Alias

          "Or was the pope wrong that one time?"

          I couldn't care less about what the pope thinks.

          September 23, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
      • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Alliance)

        "But what science IS in there is correct." – well, this should be hilarious...

        September 23, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
      • Bag Boy

        The Bible is fake. Clearly, based on the LACK of information that would be of obvious interest and concern to humans throughout generations, those writing the book were FAR from inspired. It is just stupid to have to actually explain this to adults.

        September 23, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
      • UD

        It was dry and dusty and stuff, they some of that stuff right.

        September 23, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
      • Richard Cranium

        Topher
        So the science behind the drink in numbers that is supposed to tell if a woman has been unfaithful is correct.

        Please, by all means, show how this is scientifically correct.

        September 23, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          If she weighs the same as a duck, she's made of wood and therefore a witch.

          September 23, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
        • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Alliance)

          My favorite is "a bat is a bird" and the bible cure for leprosy...

          September 23, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
        • Knights Who Say...

          CROWD: A witch! A witch! A witch! We've got a witch! A witch!
          VILLAGER #1: We have found a witch, might we burn her?
          CROWD: Burn her! Burn!
          BEDEMIR: How do you know she is a witch?
          VILLAGER #2: She looks like one.
          BEDEMIR: Bring her forward.
          WITCH: I'm not a witch. I'm not a witch.
          BEDEMIR: But you are dressed as one.
          WITCH: They dressed me up like this.
          CROWD: No, we didn't... no.
          WITCH: And this isn't my nose, it's a false one.
          BEDEMIR: Well?
          VILLAGER #1: Well, we did do the nose.
          BEDEMIR: The nose?
          VILLAGER #1: And the hat - but she is a witch!
          CROWD: Burn her! Witch! Witch! Burn her!
          BEDEMIR: Did you dress her up like this?
          CROWD: No, no... no ... yes. Yes, yes, a bit, a bit.
          VILLAGER #1: She has got a wart.
          BEDEMIR: What makes you think she is a witch?
          VILLAGER #3: Well, she turned me into a newt.
          BEDEMIR: A newt?
          VILLAGER #3: I got better.
          VILLAGER #2: Burn her anyway!
          CROWD: Burn! Burn her!
          BEDEMIR: Quiet, quiet. Quiet! There are ways of telling whether
          she is a witch.
          CROWD: Are there? What are they?
          BEDEMIR: Tell me, what do you do with witches?
          VILLAGER #2: Burn!
          CROWD: Burn, burn them up!
          BEDEMIR: And what do you burn apart from witches?
          VILLAGER #1: More witches!
          VILLAGER #2: Wood!
          BEDEMIR: So, why do witches burn?
          [pause]
          VILLAGER #3: B–... 'cause they're made of wood...?
          BEDEMIR: Good!
          CROWD: Oh yeah, yeah...
          BEDEMIR: So, how do we tell whether she is made of wood?
          VILLAGER #1: Build a bridge out of her.
          BEDEMIR: Aah, but can you not also build bridges out of stone?
          VILLAGER #2: Oh, yeah.
          BEDEMIR: Does wood sink in water?
          VILLAGER #1: No, no.
          VILLAGER #2: It floats! It floats!
          VILLAGER #1: Throw her into the pond!
          CROWD: The pond!
          BEDEMIR: What also floats in water?
          VILLAGER #1: Bread!
          VILLAGER #2: Apples!
          VILLAGER #3: Very small rocks!
          VILLAGER #1: Cider!
          VILLAGER #2: Great gravy!
          VILLAGER #1: Cherries!
          VILLAGER #2: Mud!
          VILLAGER #3: Churches - churches!
          VILLAGER #2: Lead - lead!
          ARTHUR: A duck.
          CROWD: Oooh.
          BEDEMIR: Exactly! So, logically...,
          VILLAGER #1: If... she.. weighs the same as a duck, she's made of wood.
          BEDEMIR: And therefore–?
          VILLAGER #1: A witch!
          CROWD: A witch!

          September 23, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
        • Topher

          Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Alliance)

          "My favorite is "a bat is a bird" ..."

          Then I have good news for you, dude! The Bible never says bats are birds. So now you can drop the excuses and become a Christian.

          September 23, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Topher
          "These, moreover, you shall detest among the BIRDS; they are abhorrent, not to be eaten: the eagle and the vulture and the buzzard, and the kite and the falcon in its kind, every raven in its kind, and the ostrich and the owl and the sea gull and the hawk in its kind, and the little owl and the cormorant and the great owl, and the white owl and the pelican and the carrion vulture, and the stork, the heron in its kinds, and the hoopoe, and THE BAT."

          (Leviticus 11:13-19)

          September 23, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
        • Topher

          Doc Vestibule

          As far as the Bats thing. Two problems. One, understand all those things being listed include an "after their kind" so bats is after its kind (different from the others in the list). Second, the Hebrew "owph" is used here and means winged creatures, not necessarily "birds" or "fowls."

          September 23, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          And so we fall back on "mistranslation" as the explanation.
          How is your ancient Hebrew, by the way?

          September 23, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
        • Topher

          Doc Vestibule

          "And so we fall back on "mistranslation" as the explanation."

          And? I'm not sure I'd call it a mistranslation. I'd call it a problem with presuppositions.

          "How is your ancient Hebrew, by the way?"

          I know very little. But if you don't believe what I've said, you can always google it.

          Are you telling me you're rejecting God because you don't like that that it lumps all winged creatures together? Dude, you're going to be without excuse on Judgment Day.

          September 23, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
      • Topher

        Doc Vestibule

        So your counter-arguments basically consist of:

        Unicorns: (Isaiah 34:7) — MISTRANSLATION ... NO. It isn't a mistranslation at all. That's what it is.
        seven headed dragons (Revelation 12:3) — MAGIC. ... NO. No such thing as magic.
        The Earth is a flat circle (Isaiah 40:22) —MISTRANSLATION. ... NO. You're the one adding meaning.
        People turned to salt (Genesis 19:26) — MAGIC. ... See above.
        Talking snakes (Genesis 3:1-24) — MISTRANSLATION. ... NO. Again, you're adding to what it says to make it seem wrong. No mistranslation here.
        The moon stops (Joshua 10:13) — EITHER MISTRANSLATION OR MAGIC. ... NO.

        So basically your argument is "I don't like the answer, so I'm going to reject it."

        September 23, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          The books says "unicorn". You argue that was the word for "rhinocerous" – therefore, mistranslation.
          "Spirit realm" = Supernatural. Semantically equivalent to magic.
          It does say flat circle. The Hebrew word used in the original text is "Chug", which means a flat circle, like a coin.
          The word for orb/ball is "Dur".
          "Miracle" = Supernatural. Smenatically equivalent to magic.
          You say "not a snake" and yet Genesis clearly calls it a "serpent". If the word "serpent" is incorrect, that is a mistranslation, is it not?
          You say "a lot of simple explanations" – like mistranslation? "God actually did it making ti a miracle" – Miracle = supernatural (magic).

          September 23, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
  2. Alias

    The voices in my head are telling me that there will be healthy children born into rich families. There will also be children born with AIDS in war zones in Africa.
    But don't worry, god is each life and the souls he places in each baby has a fair and equal chance of reaching heaven.

    September 23, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      remove the sarcasm and you're getting closer

      September 23, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
  3. Live4Him

    @Bob : If your god is so loving, then why does he create so much pain and suffering

    This is known as the "Problem of Evil". While God didn't create evil, He does allow evil to exist. Why? There are many answers to this, but I believe that the actual answer is a combination of all of them.

    1) To punish for misdeeds.
    2) As a learning tool – If all of our needs were met, then we would never change our behavior.
    3) To allow us to recognize our need for a savior.

    September 23, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • EnjaySea

      4) "He" doesn't exist.

      September 23, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Alliance)

      Only a fool would believe any of that childish nonsense... "as a learning tool", LOL

      September 23, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      mind numbing foolishness!

      September 23, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Leigh Anne

      How about "evil" exists because we were given free will and make bad choices?

      September 23, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
      • Fan2C

        Leigh Anne,

        Is your god all-knowing?

        September 23, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @Leigh Anne : How about "evil" exists because we were given free will and make bad choices?

        This is valid. However, I would include this one as part of the learning experience – when we make bad choices, negative consequences usually occur – encouraging us to change our behavior.

        September 23, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
        • Fan2C

          Live4Him,
          "when we make bad choices, negative consequences usually occur – encouraging us to change our behavior."

          Sure, Gravity *punishes* us for jumping from real high places without mechanical assistance; and it shows its *love* for us by not having us fall continuously as we traverse the floor. Just what is your verified evidence for any kind of eternal repercussions for, let's say, not keeping holy the "Lord's Day"?

          September 23, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I form the light and create darkness,
      I make peace and create calamity;
      I, the Lord, do all these things.’

      Isaiah 45:7

      I love how your god says is is responsible for everything. And then when that becomes a problem, Christians claim he isn't responsible for everything.

      September 23, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
  4. Bag Boy

    Coming strictly from a Christian point of view, is it not likely that four civilizations, in four related points I the universe, each of their own version of the Bible and heaven is a planet? I mean when you die you gotta go somewhere and there are some big 'ol planets out there. Maybe there are four Gods. Possible I suppose. Well, carry on.

    It would explain a lot, like why all the science was left out of our version of the Bible. Interesting.

    September 23, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      That's not even close to a Christian point of view

      September 23, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
      • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Alliance)

        It sounds dumb enough to be a christian point of view...

        September 23, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • Bag Boy

      Bill, who are YOU to tell ME what the Christian point of view is. You think you're better than me?

      September 23, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Bob : It would explain a lot, like why all the science was left out of our version of the Bible.

      The science is there, if you bother to read it.

      The earth is a sphere (Job 26:10)
      Plate Tectonics / the earth was one continent (Gen 10:25)
      Gravity (Job 26:7)
      Universe composed of matter, energy and time (Gen 1:1-4)
      The sun has an orbit (Psa 19:6)

      September 23, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        1) The Earth is a flat circle. – Isaiah 40:22
        2) The Earth doesn't move. – Psalm 104:5
        3) The Sun moves up and down, not in an arobit – Ecclesiastes 1:5
        4) Men are made of dirt and clay, women are clones. (Genesis 1)

        September 23, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
      • Richard Cranium

        Lie4him

        The earth is a sphere (Job 26:10)

        What it says is "He marks out the horizon on the face of the waters for a boundary between light and darkness."
        Does not say the earth is a sphere. Lie #1

        Plate Tectonics / the earth was one continent (Gen 10:25)
        What it says "
        Two sons were born to Eber: One was named Peleg, because in his time the earth was divided; his brother was named Joktan."
        Does not mention tectonics at all. lie #2

        Gravity (Job 26:7)
        "He spreads out the northern skies over empty space;
        he suspends the earth over nothing"
        Never a mention of gravity. Lie #3

        Universe composed of matter, energy and time (Gen 1:1-4)
        "1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth 2By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
        4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens."
        Never a mention of what the universe is composed of. Lie #4

        The sun has an orbit (Psa 19:6)
        "The sun rises at one end of the heavens and follows its course to the other end. Nothing can hide from its heat."
        It says the sun rises, it does not mention that its rising and fallinig is because the EARTH spins. It does not mention that the sun is on an orbit. Lie#5

        Why are you trying (unsuccessfully) to lie for your god?
        Do you not think that others can read? None of your claims are correct. Not even close.

        September 23, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
  5. uh oh

    that is y wordpress and dodo are being sued!

    god created love, so he must exist

    duh

    September 23, 2013 at 11:40 am |
  6. uh oh

    that is y wordpress and dodo are being sued!

    god created love, so he must exist

    September 23, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "god created love, so he must exist"

      god created non-sequiturs

      September 23, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
  7. uh oh

    that is y wordpress and dodo are being sued!

    September 23, 2013 at 11:39 am |
  8. uh oh

    that is y wordpress and dodo are being sued

    September 23, 2013 at 11:38 am |
  9. Alias

    Bill Deacon has once again convinced me that insecure people will find a way to convince themselves that their god is in control. It seems to be the easiest way for them to live in the real world.
    Please understand that some of us can deal with the fact that there is pain and suffering in the world. Life is not fair. Delusions about gods will only make it seem that way.

    September 23, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Alias has just convinced me that arrogant people will delude themselves into thinking God is not in control.

      September 23, 2013 at 11:36 am |
      • Alias

        Bill,
        you admitted that there is no way of being sure that you worship the correct god!
        You go right ahead and listen to the voices you hear in your time of need, and I will go on working to make things better.

        September 23, 2013 at 11:52 am |
      • Al

        If God is in control, then he ust be wasted. Since time supposedly moves faster for God than it does for us humans, maybe he shot himself up with heroin 3,000 years ago and is still feeling the effects today? That's would certainly explain some things and make it easier to accept his existence.

        September 23, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      "I have a dogmatic certainty: God is in every person’s life. God is in everyone’s life. Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed by vices, drugs or anything else—God is in this person’s life. You can, you must try to seek God in every human life. Although the life of a person is a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust God.” Pope Francis pg 13 A big heart open to God.

      September 23, 2013 at 11:38 am |
      • Bob

        Yeah, that loving Christian god. Thanks for the cancers, ass hole...

        September 23, 2013 at 11:43 am |
        • m murdoch

          u bet sam. any time my love

          September 23, 2013 at 11:44 am |
      • doobzz

        " Although the life of a person is a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust God.” Pope Francis pg 13 A big heart open to God.

        Translation: Although a priest has you bent over in the sacristy, don't tell. It's our little secret, and god has a plan. Trust me.

        September 23, 2013 at 11:47 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        Bill, how about this for God being in a tragedy...
        Luke 13:1-5 – Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

        From this passage, Jesus teaches us that horrible things happen to otherwise “good” people that are perpetrated by others who are very wicked, and in just the same way, natural disasters also come and kill many “innocent” people.

        What we can gleam from this is twofold:

        1) That there was not a single person who was killed who was not going to die anyway

        2) Since God is sovereignly in control and works all things according to the council of His own will, and He works all things for good to those who love God – as tragic as those deaths were, if they loved God, then they were immediately put into the presence of God.

        Furthermore, Jesus tells us that unless we repent, we will all likewise perish – in other words, no one knows the day nor the hour that they will die, so they must always be prepared to do so – therefore repent and trust in Christ. Therefore, whenever tragedies happen anywhere on this earth, Jesus tells us that it is a call to repent!

        September 23, 2013 at 11:55 am |
        • Madtown

          How can a person trust in Christ, if they've never heard of Christ and don't know the first thing about christianity?

          September 23, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        madtown, you answered this for yourself already today. People who strive to know God but haven't heard the Gospel are in less danger than those who have heard and turn away.

        September 23, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
        • Madtown

          It's not a question that I have Bill, I'm trying to get this person to introduce a bit of logic in their thought process. I don't see it as being in different levels of "danger". If someone strives to "know" God, they will develop thoughts regarding spirituality. If they have no access to christianity, they won't follow Jesus. It's really pretty simple. Don't be like Topher, and assume that the only legit definition of God is the christian one.

          September 23, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
        • Alias

          That sounds great bill, but where does the bible say that?

          September 23, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • doobzz

      Boof Deacon is just another addict looking for a fix. He found it in the RCC.

      September 23, 2013 at 11:49 am |
      • Bill Deacon

        Prove it.

        September 23, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          there is more evidence for your addiction than there is for your god Bill ...

          September 23, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
  10. Bag Boy

    It is my feeling today that each human should worship something they really care about, thus paying intense attention to it and satisfying the need for worship through transference.

    September 23, 2013 at 11:07 am |
  11. SDFGS345234

    CASOS DE TORTURAS ELECTRONIC HARASSMENT Y VOICE TO SKULL VENEZUELA.

    ESTIMADOS POLÍTICOS SECRETARIA DE ESTADO.

    SR OBAMA, MUCHAS DE LAS VICTIMAS DE TORTURAS MENTALES EN VENEZUELA LAS CUALES ESCUCHAN VOCES EN EL CEREBRO SOBRE TODO CON CONEXIONES A MEDIOS DE COMUNICACIÓN COMO CNN EN VENEZOLANOS DICEN CONSTANTEMENTE QUE LAS AGENCIAS LAS AGENCIAS Y ORGANIZACIONES DE ESTUDIOS DE LA RAZA HUMANA A LAS QUE USTEDES ESTÁN PAGANDO MILLONES DE DOLARES POR MINUTOS DE TRANSMISIÓN, IRRADIACIÓN Y MANIPULACIÓN EN HABITANTES DE VENEZUELA. NOS DICEN QUE LAS AGENCIAS QUE TRABAJAN PARA USTEDES; NORTE AMERICANAS, EUROPEAS Y ASIÁTICAS COMO PARE DE LAS TORTURAS, LES GRITAN TODA CLASE DE GROCERIAS PARA IDENTIFICAR ACTIVIDAD DE GRUPOS CELULARES REFERIDOS A ALMACENAMIENTO DE MEMORIA PARA SER DESTRUIDOS O CAUTERIZADOS COMO PARTE DE TÉCNICAS PARA PRODUCIR DETERIORO GENÉTICO O PATOLOGÍAS GENÉTICAS, DURANTE AÑOS DE VENTA DE INFORMACIÓN EN PATRONES NEURALES A OTRAS AGENCIAS EN NEGOCIOS.

    MUY SERIAMENTE LES PEDIMOS A USTEDES PRESIDENTES NO CONTINÚEN PAGANDO DINERO AUMENTANDO LOS GASTOS DE BANCOS DE LOS ESTADOS ENTRE ELLOS DEL NORTE AMERICANOS PARA ESTE TIPO DE ESTUDIOS GENOCIDAS.

    LES PEDIMOS YA QUE ES PUBLICO QUE ESTÁN UTILIZANDO ESTE TIPO DE TECNOLOGÍAS PARA REALIZAR CRÍMENES EN DIFERENTES LUGARES DEL MUNDO.

    LES PEDIMOS YA QUE ES PUBLICO QUE ESTÁN UTILIZANDO ESTE TIPO DE TECNOLOGÍAS PARA REALIZAR CRÍMENES EN DIFERENTES LUGARES DEL MUNDO INCLUSO PERMITIENDO QUE SE CONECTEN DESDE PAÍSES ASIÁTICOS CON LOS QUE TIENEN CONFLICTOS SOLO CON LA INTECION DE ROBAR Y TRAFICAR DIFERENTES PRODUCTOS.

    TAMBIÉN LES PEDIMOS NO CONTINÚEN ESPERANDO TIEMPO TRATANDO QUE LAS VICTIMA MUERAN POR ESTA RAZÓN;

    SABEMOS QUE LA MEJOR PARTE DE ESTOS ESTUDIOS PARA ORGANIZACIONES DE ESTUDIOS DE LA RAZA HUMANA POLÍTICOS Y ORGANIZACIONES DESDE EL PUNTO DE VISTA DE INGRESOS EN ESTUDIOS DE LA RAZA HUMANA ES EN HUMANOS MUERTOS YA QUE DISUELVEN SUS TEJIDOS.

    SABEMOS QUE ALGUNAS CÉLULAS NERVIOSAS SON MANTENIDAS CON VIDA EN BASES A INTERCAMBIO DE OXIGENO Y FLUIDOS, POR SEMANAS, PARA DIFERENTES DATOS NECESARIOS SOBRE ESTUDIOS POSTERIORES.

    EN CASO NEGADO QUE ALGUNOS DE ESTOS CRÍMENES SUCEDAN CULPABILIZAMOS DIRECTAMENTE A LOS POLÍTICOS, ORGANIZACIONES Y POLICÍAS INTERNACIONALES DENUNCIADAS.

    PREGUNTAMOS ¿POR QUE CUANDO SE TRATA DE ASESINATOS MASIVOS USTEDES NO INVESTIGAN ESTE TIPO DE CRÍMENES?.

    PROYECTO GENOCIDIO DE INVESTIGACIÓN.

    September 23, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Alliance)

      Usted todavía chupa culo. Sin importar el idioma.

      September 23, 2013 at 11:11 am |
  12. Bag Boy

    guest, God is like a wicked step father that demands love and then punishes you.

    Dictatorships are immoral in my opinion. And in my opinion the god legends are based on evil dictators killing people. That is your God.

    September 23, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      You have a lot of opinions and feelings.

      September 23, 2013 at 11:12 am |
      • doobzz

        Bad weekend, Boof? You seem especially weak today.

        September 23, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • Bag Boy

      Indeed Bill Deacon. Do you?

      September 23, 2013 at 11:15 am |
      • Bill Deacon

        Sure, but I try to base my life on something more substantial. Opinions and feelings are fleeting.

        September 23, 2013 at 11:31 am |
        • doobzz

          Like the voices in your head, Boof?

          September 23, 2013 at 11:44 am |
        • WhatintheWorld

          If by substantial you mean belief in a sky fairy who is everywhere but nowhere; in total control but gives free will; who is only responsible for the "good" side of the ledger sheet and allows the "bad" to occur despite having total control, then I prefer the opposite.

          Only the opposite is really the substantial and you have deluded yourself into thinking, arrogantly by the way, that your belief is not unsubstantial.

          September 23, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • Topher

      Bag Boy

      "guest, God is like a wicked step father that demands love and then punishes you. Dictatorships are immoral in my opinion. And in my opinion the god legends are based on evil dictators killing people. That is your God."

      The analogy of God as a dictator is not only tired, but it's fallacious. God doesn't demand love. You're free to continue hating Him if you want to.

      September 23, 2013 at 11:16 am |
      • Bob

        If your god is so loving, then why does he create so much pain and suffering, in many cases to millions of innocent children? So much disease too? As the omnipotent creature he is described as, that has to be his responsibility.

        The answer is simple. The god of your idiotic and pathetic Christian fables obviously does not exist.

        September 23, 2013 at 11:23 am |
        • Topher

          Bob

          "If your god is so loving, then why does he create so much pain and suffering, in many cases to millions of innocent children? So much disease too? As the omnipotent creature he is described as, that has to be his responsibility."

          God did not create pain and suffering. Nor disease. Those things are OUR fault. God created a perfect place where those things did not exist. It was man who sinned causing the entire world to be cursed. But there's good news, dude. God is coming again, and when He does, there will be no more pain, suffering, disease, death or even tears. Amen!

          September 23, 2013 at 11:27 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          Topher, How do you justify the disconnect? If your god created the universe and all in it, then clearly it created all the bad as well as the good.

          September 23, 2013 at 11:31 am |
        • Topher

          In Santa we trust

          "Topher, How do you justify the disconnect? If your god created the universe and all in it, then clearly it created all the bad as well as the good."

          Good question. Here's the answer. God only created good. It would not be in His nature to create something bad or evil. So what you have is when there's an absence of good, you've got evil.

          September 23, 2013 at 11:34 am |
        • Austin

          Topher, is that me?

          September 23, 2013 at 11:44 am |
      • Bag Boy

        Topher, I do not believe in God. You have missed my point completely. Are you the village idiot?

        September 23, 2013 at 11:24 am |
        • Topher

          Bag Boy

          "Topher, I do not believe in God."

          I don't believe that you don't believe in God.

          September 23, 2013 at 11:30 am |
        • JWT

          Not all people believe in god. A simple fact.

          September 23, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        God doesn't demand love?
        How do you interpret the first 3 Commandments?

        September 23, 2013 at 11:24 am |
        • Topher

          Doc Vestibule

          You know what? You're absolutely right. Bad wording on my part. I should have said He doesn't FORCE you to love Him.

          September 23, 2013 at 11:35 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          That's right. You don't HAVE to love Him. You can choose an afterlife of eternal torment if you want.
          People hating God for sending sinners to Hell are like people who hate on Stalin for sending folk to the Gulag.
          They don't understand that Stalin does not send anyone to the Gulag.
          It is those who have hardened their hearts against him who send themselves to the Gulag through their bourgoise atti/tudes and counter-revolutionary actions.
          This was not Stalin's plan at all. He truly wants everyone to go to the Worker's Paradise and it grieves him that so many harden their hearts against him.
          But he will not force anyone into the Worker's Paradise against their wishes. He respects their free will.
          If you don't want to go to the Gulag, just open your heart to the love of Stalin.

          September 23, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • Leigh Anne

      I don't see God as someone who wants love and punishes in return...that is a creation of men and religion.....

      Spiritual but not religious

      September 23, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • guest

      @bag boy, apparently the ‘reply’ button wasn’t clicked and you answered: “God is like a wicked step father that demands love and then punishes you.
      Dictatorships are immoral in my opinion. And in my opinion the god legends are based on evil dictators killing people. That is your God."
      My only answer to that statement is: You are reading the Bible for what you want to read it, so you see an evil god who is a dictator. Yes, God does have laws, and he does require obedience, what else would you expect? If you are a father, don’t you expect your kids to obey you? Do you want them to destroy themselves with unhealthy and evil things? Would you use some kind of punishment for disobedience? Why, in your opinion, do you think God is evil? What do you disagree with Him about?

      September 23, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
  13. guest

    Besides the laws of state, on what basis do unbelievers base immoral acts, i.e., wickedness? Most, if not all, morals have their base in religious beliefs (Someone said earlier, I think, nicnak, there is no such thing as sin.)

    September 23, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • Bag Boy

      guest, what you just said is a lie and you therefore have no proof. It is also very immoral.

      September 23, 2013 at 10:45 am |
      • guest

        How is a question a lie?

        September 23, 2013 at 10:48 am |
      • guest

        If my statement is a lie, answer the question.

        September 23, 2013 at 10:55 am |
        • Bag Boy

          "morals have their base in religious beliefs " is a lie. It is dishonest. You have no proof.

          September 23, 2013 at 11:01 am |
        • OKfine

          Your statement is far to general, depends on the state and the religion. The Taliban think it is OKfine to behead a woman for cheating on her husband. Please be more specific or as Bag Boy indicates your statement is false.

          September 23, 2013 at 11:03 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          guest
          We get our morals from our animal ancestors.

          Many of these morals have been written into religions and into laws governing the people, but the core morals come from our animal ancestors.

          Why do you keep recycling this question? What trap do you think you will catch people in?
          I have answered your question, no you answer mine.

          September 23, 2013 at 11:04 am |
        • guest

          @ Bag Boy, you still didn’t answer the question, however Richard C. has made an attempt by saying morals came from our animal ancestors, but that only begs the question: why is there so much immorality?
          @Richard, are you seeing something I don’t, what do you mean by “recycling” the question?

          September 23, 2013 at 11:22 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          guest
          You have asked this trite question before. You may say you didn't, but someone with your name has.

          You did not answer my questions.

          September 23, 2013 at 11:31 am |
        • guest

          @Richard C. Unfortunately, yes I have noticed there are others that have used the “handle” guest. So if you have asked those persons questions and you didn’t get answers, I apologize for them. Maybe I can.
          I don’t post every day, I don’t even come on this forum every day. For the past 6 months or so, I’ve been very busy with wedding plans. (Married the 8th of this month. My bride likes to sleep in ‘til about 8 or 9 so I have some time to post.)

          September 23, 2013 at 11:49 am |
        • guest

          @Richard, I took time to thoughtfully reply to ‘bag boy’ you haven’t responded for a while and my wife has woke up, so I’ll talk some other time. I will try to answer.

          September 23, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • OKfine

      Interesting that an uncivilized (in our view) previously undiscovered aboriginal tribe in the Amazon rain forest has better moral values without religious interference.

      September 23, 2013 at 10:48 am |
      • Bill Deacon

        "better"? based on what standard?

        September 23, 2013 at 11:01 am |
      • Topher

        Just which "previously undiscovered aboriginal tribe in the Amazon rain forest" was found to have no religion?

        September 23, 2013 at 11:05 am |
        • Apple Bush

          Topher, I found some more gods.

          September 23, 2013 at 11:09 am |
        • Madtown

          I'd say they very likely do have religious/spiritual notions. They will be different than the ones we're aquainted with, but that doesn't make them incorrect. They are reaching out to God.

          September 23, 2013 at 11:12 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          I think you are right madtown and that answers the question I see you post from time to time about how people are saved who never hear the Gospel.

          September 23, 2013 at 11:13 am |
        • Topher

          Apple

          You did? Where were they?

          September 23, 2013 at 11:17 am |
        • Madtown

          Hi Bill, my bottom line is just that I think God considers us all equal, the same. Therefore, any requirement for us to follow a particular religious notion would mean that the notion need be equally shared by every human on the planet, now and forever. This just isn't the case.

          September 23, 2013 at 11:25 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          I agree with the first part. God sees us all the same. i think you make a non sequitor with the second part though which I can't follow.

          September 23, 2013 at 11:33 am |
        • Austin

          Topher, is that me?

          September 23, 2013 at 11:42 am |
        • Madtown

          God sees us all the same.
          --–
          Apologize if I didn't explain well enough. If God sees us all equal, then his "demands" for us would be equal. If part of what he demanded, would be for us to follow a particular line of religious thinking, or to follow a particular religion, then that specific religion would have to be available for everyone to follow. Humans cannot "accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior", if they have no idea who Jesus Christ is. It's NOT the fault of the humans described above, who live in a remote jungle tribe, with no access to christianity. God put them there. If God required christianity of everyone, it would be available to everyone without going to extraordiary lengths. It would be written on the moon, or scroll non-stop across the sky for ALL TO SEE.

          September 23, 2013 at 11:50 am |
        • Apple Bush

          Never mind Topher, turns out they were just regular evil people.

          September 23, 2013 at 11:59 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Until around the mid-20th century, the Inuit were some of the happiest people on earth despite the hard living conditions and lack of resources.
        Their communities were closely knit to the point where there was virtually no concept of individual ownership – even spouses were shared!
        Then came the missionaries and other assorted white men bringing with them the "right way" of thinking and doing.
        Now the Inuit are infected with jealousy, alcoholism, violence, theft and all other types of bad stuff that were largely absent prior to their westernization.

        September 23, 2013 at 11:17 am |
        • Bob

          The evil cult known as Christianity strikes again. They'll actually claim to be "helping" with their missionary work, but it always comes with strings attached and that is part of how their evil meme propagates and survives, despite its content being mostly fiction and its three-headed nasty deity not existing with characteristics as claimed.

          September 23, 2013 at 11:41 am |
        • OKfine

          Bob. Exactly the Christians love to run off at the mouth about how much good they have done in the world but it always comes with proselytization. The foundation run by Gates, Buffett and now Bloomberg will do more good in their lifetimes than the Christian's have done in 2000 years with no strings attached.

          September 23, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Alliance)

      That isn't an anti-atheist troll question at all... it surely won't be construed as antagonistic...

      September 23, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      My standard response:
      People instinctively do that which is least painful. Children do that which is least painful to themselves. Maturity comes when we are able to put aside our own immediate comfort and do that which is least painful for the group. Were it not for our ability to reason this out and cooperate, our species would not survive.
      In order to balance these two conflicting instincts, mankind has had to develop rules that allow room for both.
      These rules are not the same for all communities – hence we've had so many different types of religion and government throughout history.
      Effective cooperation is a learned skill and the successful religions recognize this. Christianity reveals this truth about ourselves most poignantly in the character of Jesus Christ. His message is one of peace, charity, modesty and forgiveness – the traits most important to develop when living in a society.
      Religion binds communities by giving a common frame of reference. Shared fears (like divine retribution), hopes (like going to heaven) and rituals allow the instinct for self preservation to extend beyond one's self and immediate family.
      A fine example of the realities of moral relativism is cannibalism.
      Our culture has a very strong cannibalism taboo, but it cannot be "human nature" to feel repulsed by it as virtually every branch of the human species has praticed it at some point in their development.
      The Aztecs believed in transubstantiation. They consumed their human sacrifices in the belief that the dead literally became a part of the God to whom they were given.
      Binerwurs in India ate the sick amongst them to please Kali.
      The Karankawa, an indigenous Texan tribe, ritualistically consumed their enemies to gain their strength.
      The Wari, The Kuru, Fore, Caribs, Fijians, Popayans, Serengipeans, are all fairly modern examples (within the last 500 years).
      This is why the great majority of evolutionary biologists find no conflict between religion and science – as long as religion is recognized solely as a sociological adaptation.

      September 23, 2013 at 11:05 am |
      • Bill Deacon

        When you post your "standard response", you're not really in dialogue. You're just regurgitating your PR.

        September 23, 2013 at 11:15 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          And what about the religionists who spout scripture? Catholics who quote the Catechism?
          The same kinds of arguments come up all the time when it comes to the irreligious world view.
          How does it feel to live without hope? How do you know right from wrong? Aren't you all depressed without God? etc. ad nauseum.
          Having composed what I believe to be a valid response that articulates my views on certain subjects, I don't feel the need to constantly re-phrase the same points – so I do a copy and paste job.
          Thanks for the derision, though.

          September 23, 2013 at 11:23 am |
        • doobzz

          Your standard posts are lies, delusions, and apologetics for your god and your religion.

          September 23, 2013 at 11:26 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        So your reasoning is that since people have morals, they must have developed them out of a necessity to cooperatively survive in a hostile world full of animals who have no morals who are intent to kill them. But, if there is no God, then there is nothing special about humans – they are animals too. So why did we as a species begin to say that it is wrong to murder one another in order to survive, but dolphins eat their young. Aren't they the same as us? "A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy," right?

        Here's the problem. If you keep telling kids that they are nothing but animals, then don't be suprised when they start acting like one.

        September 23, 2013 at 11:28 am |
        • doobzz

          Why would I be "suprised" to see humans acting normally?

          September 23, 2013 at 11:34 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Lawrence
          We are animals.
          A Candid Conversation between Two Species

          The Man: I am the predilect object of Creation, the centre of all that exists…
          The Tapeworm: You are exalting yourself a little. If you consider yourself the lord of Creation, what can I be, who feed upon you and am ruler in your entrails?
          The Man: You lack reason and an immortal soul.
          The Tapeworm: And since it is an established fact that the concentration and complexity of the nervous system appear in the animal scale as an uninterrupted series of graduations, where are we cut off? How many neurons must be possessed in order to have a soul and a little rationality?
          – Santiago Ramon y Cajal, Recollections of My Life

          Religion was born, in part, to serve the same purpose as science; it answered questions about the world and how it worked.
          Religion was the first symptom of our sentience, of our consciousness and of our acknowledgement of our own subjectivity.
          Now, religion is an artefact. We've managed to describe, well, almost everything, in physical terms. We've even managed to explain a great deal, too.
          Religion is now the safe haven of people who don't take their reality straight up, who don't like to think about some things while thinking about other things at the same time. Religion is an impossiblity our mind allows because it makes us feel safe, the ultimate goal of earlyman survival; religion is the ability, honed by our parents in our youth by the impatient hushing of our incessant "why?"s, to completely fail to learn how to reconcile some parts of one's knowledge with other parts into a coherent worldview.
          Religion happens when people aren't paying attention.
          Religion is the cave-man instinct that comes upon us when we're confronted by something we don't understand.
          Religion is the emotion that precedes thought.

          September 23, 2013 at 11:37 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          doobz, to tell a child that morals are a construct of society without any norm to keep them in check, that is the very essence of postmodern thinking. He can go out and do what is right in his own eyes because there is no moral absolute to tell him that he is not a society unto himself. The worst sin that you can commit these days it seems it to tell someone they are wrong about anything. The usual response is "based on what?"

          September 23, 2013 at 11:39 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Doc, you may continue to post your opinions masquerading as facts if you wish to, but it is only yourself that you are fooling.

          Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.

          September 23, 2013 at 11:46 am |
        • Irony

          LoA
          "you may continue to post your opinions masquerading as facts if you wish to, but it is only yourself that you are fooling."

          True irony.

          September 23, 2013 at 11:51 am |
        • doobzz

          @ LofA

          Nice attempted diversion. Now answer my question.

          September 23, 2013 at 11:56 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Lawrence

          “If every trace of any single religion were wiped out and nothing were passed on, it would never be created exactly that way again. There might be some other nonsense in its place, but not that exact nonsense. If all of science were wiped out, it would still be true and someone would find a way to figure it all out again.”

          – Penn Jillette

          September 23, 2013 at 11:56 am |
        • Fan2C

          Lawrence of Arabia,
          "Professing to be wise, they became fools,..."

          You seem to think yourself to be wise to believe what you believe...

          You worship a fantasy creature.

          September 23, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Morals are not the domain of religion.

      September 23, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  14. palintwit

    Nowhere did I read this morning that Sarah Palin was run over by a bus, hit by a train or crushed by a grand piano. I can only assume that she continues to waste oxygen. *sigh*

    September 23, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • guest

      Is that to say you are conserving oxygen in some way? P.S. Don’t mistake this as support for Palin, just that she has the same right as you to breathe.

      September 23, 2013 at 10:46 am |
  15. Children with Cancer

    😦

    September 23, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • Children that God lets drown in pools

      😦 .

      September 23, 2013 at 10:25 am |
      • Children molested by adults

        . 🙂

        September 23, 2013 at 10:29 am |
        • Father, step away from the keyboard.

          😦 ..

          September 23, 2013 at 10:37 am |
  16. Joy Kitty

    Did I turn off the stove?

    September 23, 2013 at 9:40 am |
  17. Joy Kitty

    Good morning! Love your body and love God, that is what He wants us to do. Life is a miracle!

    September 23, 2013 at 8:58 am |
    • Joy Kitty

      Praise God to start your day, Everyday!

      September 23, 2013 at 9:08 am |
      • niknak

        Good morning to you too Hello Kitty.

        It is just another beautiful day, without god(s).

        September 23, 2013 at 9:11 am |
        • Joy Kitty

          Enjoy God's gifts. I am sure He will forgive you.

          September 23, 2013 at 9:32 am |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        Which god?

        September 23, 2013 at 9:24 am |
        • Joy Kitty

          The blessed and eternal one god of us all. Call Him what you wish!

          September 23, 2013 at 9:33 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          Answer the question joy

          September 23, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Don't love your body.
      Onanism is a sin.

      September 23, 2013 at 9:12 am |
      • Conanism is also a sin

        [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1iJZIMddpM&w=640&h=360]

        September 23, 2013 at 9:25 am |
        • a reasonable atheist

          Not if one is adherent to Crom's principles.

          September 23, 2013 at 9:32 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          By Crom, what could be sinful about crushing your enemies, seeing them driven before you, and to hearing the lamentation of their women?

          September 23, 2013 at 9:32 am |
      • Joy Kitty

        God wants us to feel pleasure. Why else would He make it?

        September 23, 2013 at 9:37 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          I take it you're not a Catholic.
          A lot of them see self-denial as a path to righteousness.
          "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."
          – Matthew 16:24
          Pushing the point even further, prominent Catholics like Mother Theresa have espoused the idea that "pain, sorrow, suffering are but the kiss of Jesus". The more agony you're in, the closer to God you are.

          September 23, 2013 at 9:44 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          I have a friend who is 38 and a double lung transplant patient. His body is rejecting the lungs and his only hope for survival is another transplant. He spends weeks at a time in the hospital when his pulmonary function drops to the point he can't breathe without aid. He has had extensive medical intervention for over 15 years and he is a man of deep Catholic conviction. One evening we were visiting in his room. Several of us had taken communion with him and as we talked, he lapsed into a pain spasm. He signed himself with the cross and entered a silent prayer and those of us there did likewise. I began to ask for God to intervene in my friends pain and help him. A silent voice entered my thoughts. It was Christ who said to me "Child, your brother is closer to me than you are and I am closer to him." I've seldom experience such a mystical visitation and never one so bold. I was startled out of my prayer and a few seconds later my friends emerged from theirs.

          September 23, 2013 at 9:56 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          I had a friend who died of Huntington's disease at the age of 26.
          Jesus was conspi.cuously absent during her physical and mental decline.

          September 23, 2013 at 10:06 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          That's sad

          September 23, 2013 at 10:12 am |
        • OKfine

          Silent voices speak to BD. He is very special but is no longer dangerous to himself or others, even the unborn. He has been rehabilitated by the dogma of the RCC.

          September 23, 2013 at 10:32 am |
        • Joy Kitty

          I believe in feeling stimulation as much as possible.

          September 23, 2013 at 10:41 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          @OKFine. I get the sarcasm and derision in your comment. I suppose people like you will always be with us. But I am an example of the "vision " of Pope Francis so I would say that it is, in fact, a reality. I was drawn in by the love and compassion of I received from people in the church and led to her truths.

          September 23, 2013 at 11:00 am |
        • OKfine

          Good BD, I find you to be the most desp.icable hypocrite on this blog and I fear people like you will always be around. Actually the church only wanted your money probably why they put up with you.

          September 23, 2013 at 11:14 am |
        • Alias

          @Bill Deacon
          How do you know it was your god talking to you?
          People of all faiths have similar stories. Most christians claim all other gods are just Satan in disguise.
          What I want to know is how you can be so sure you are right and everyone else is wrong.

          September 23, 2013 at 11:17 am |
        • doobzz

          @ Boof Deacon

          Did Jesus tell you that your friend's pain was his kisses, like he told "Blessed" Teresa, the Future Patron Saint of Unnecessary Suffering Money Laundering.

          You are so special, Boof. What with all the voices in your head and such. The RCC Austin.

          September 23, 2013 at 11:21 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          OKfine. Actually, I don't have any money. But you're right about the rest. I'm deeply sorry for all my sins and not just because of the judgment I receive from you and the punishment I deserve but because I transgressed what is right and good for what was selfish and wicked. I've been redeemed by a loving Savior though and I firmly resolve, by His grace to sin no more. Thus, I am able to hold my head up, look you and others in the eye and proclaim the grace and mercy of God.

          Alias,

          That is actually a very good question. The best way I know to tell the difference between what God might be saying and what the devil might be saying is this: The devil will never lead you towards righteousness, but always towards sin. I can also compare what I am hearing with the catechism and Scripture to see if it aligns with the Word of God. As Doc already, accurately, told you Catholics believe that our suffering is united with that of Christ for the redemption of sin in the world. So, when I see my brother suffering, I can work to alleviate it, at the same time knowing that each of us is a child of God and that my intentions may not be what is best and there may be a purpose I cannot see for what someone is going through.

          I try not to get into right and wrong too much. If I have led you to believe so, I apologize. I think there are choices and there are consequences but "right and wrong" are subjective constructs.

          September 23, 2013 at 11:28 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          God wants us to have cancer; why else would he create it?

          September 23, 2013 at 11:35 am |
        • OKfine

          Well BD you do tend to stick you foot in your mouth so often. "I try not to get into right or wrong too much." That is what you do all the time whether it be a woman's right to choose, contraception, defending the cover up of the clergy and church crimes, etc. You have fallen for the pomp and pageantry of the RCC. I remember how you stated that just being around the eucharist ceremony turned you on, like you were some junky getting your fix.

          September 23, 2013 at 11:44 am |
        • doobzz

          @ OKfine

          Boof Deacon IS an addict looking for a fix. The RCC provides just the thing, lots of ceremony, lots of bling, tradition, all kinds of saints to read about, thousands of tiny factoids, rules and loopholes to memorize. Perfect for someone who has to fixate on minutiae to keep from falling back into old habits.

          It makes him feel like he's doing something.

          September 23, 2013 at 11:54 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          Great examples of non-judgmental liberal atheism. Too bad we can't have a decent dialogue about the topic of whether Pope Francis can bring a change of perception to the world and the Church. I guess character assassination of Catholcs is more important.

          September 23, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
        • doobzz

          @ Boof Deacon

          LOL! Right on cue, Boof Deacon cranks up the pious outrage.

          Boof, no one can assassinate your character, because you have none. You're a liar and a pedophile apologist.

          September 23, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Do you think liars and pedophiles should go to hell?

          September 23, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          What about tax cheaters and abortionists?

          Fornicators? Gays?

          anybody else you want to put on the list?

          the rich? those who won't work? Murderers? Arabs? Hindus?

          White people or black?

          Whatever shall we do? The list is getting a little long don't you think?

          September 23, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
        • Alias

          You are actually starting to catch on Bill.
          Your religion tries to tell everyone they are going to hell so tey must convert to be saved.
          Study Marketing some time. You'll see the same thing used to seel all kinds of stuff.

          September 23, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
  18. 5 things about Pope Francis

    1. He wants to emulate his Lord and Savior in being the good shepherd.

    2. He believes he is a sinner like anybody else and needs forgiveness from the Lord.

    3. He is not afraid of changes if they are carried out with the message of God's love.

    4. He believes self love is loathsome, love for another is what the pope is expected as his call of duty.

    5. He believes God is the ultimate judge and he is not.

    September 23, 2013 at 8:24 am |
    • Another Christian

      That is a great testament to the only true God he worships!

      September 23, 2013 at 8:27 am |
    • Sara

      Probably all true, but not enough to save a dying, outdated belief system from an increasingly educated population and a growing body of scientific knowledge.

      September 23, 2013 at 8:27 am |
    • niknak

      Why can't he just be a good person without having some big brother that he thinks he is pleasing?
      And what is this bull about sin?
      You believers have some really creepy ideas about life.

      September 23, 2013 at 8:41 am |
    • doobzz

      If he believes #4 on your list, he's not following scripture.

      'And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.' Mark 12:31

      September 24, 2013 at 11:02 am |
  19. The "Church" has been promoting lawlessness for over 1,700 years

    2Th 2:9

    The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,

    Is anyone really surprised at these statements by the pope? Let's look at the "Jesus" they present to the masses:
    Okay to eat pork and abominable and unclean things.
    Worship on pagan Sunday-and completely ignore the YHWH-ordained Sabbath.
    Observe pagan holidays such as Christmas and Easter and ignore YHWH's Feasts(appointed times).
    Has somehow abolished or changed YHWH's instructions(torah)(translated as "law").
    Is is any wonder no one respects the Greek "Jesus"?
    The Hebrew Yeshua, however, kept Torah completely-as our example, not our excuse.
    Yeshua kept the Feasts.
    Yeshua kept Sabbath.
    Yeshua did not and will NEVER eat pork, shrimp, catfish, etc.
    Just some thoughts....

    September 23, 2013 at 8:05 am |
    • Oh dear

      Gullible's Travels, Part 1.

      September 23, 2013 at 8:43 am |
    • niknak

      A bunch of whacko thoughts from someone who still clings to an imaginary friend.
      Satan does not exist, neither does your imaginary friend.

      September 23, 2013 at 8:44 am |
  20. Watoto

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtj97Spgc_s&w=640&h=360]

    September 23, 2013 at 7:55 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      That is terrible.

      September 23, 2013 at 8:57 am |
      • niknak

        I did not bother watching it Cheesy guy, but I am sure it some indoctrinated child who has no idea what they are doing/saying.
        That is how the religious scams perpetuate, brain wash them early and you have them for life.
        Kinda like what the cigarette makers do.

        September 23, 2013 at 9:16 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I am just talking about the music and singing...yech.

          September 23, 2013 at 9:23 am |
        • niknak

          I can only imagine how bad that must be.

          September 23, 2013 at 9:26 am |
        • truthprevails1

          Watch Jesus Camp...brainwashing at its best.

          September 23, 2013 at 9:49 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
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.