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How King David predicted modern Judaism
Modern Jews are precisely the community King David envisioned, says scholar Joel Baden.
October 12th, 2013
09:05 AM ET

How King David predicted modern Judaism

Opinion by Joel Baden, special to CNN

(CNN) - Most American Jews consider Judaism to be mainly a matter of culture and ancestry, according to a recent poll. An even higher percentage describe themselves as emotionally attached to Israel. For this we have one person to thank: King David.

The Israel we know today is a nation that David created virtually out of thin air. Before David, there were two territories, Israel to the north, and Judah to the south.

By sheer force of personality—and, to be fair, substantial military strength—David combined these two lands under a single crown (his). Not only had this never happened before; no one had ever thought of it before.

Although the Bible makes it sound as if everyone loved David, and were desperate to follow him, this wasn’t really the case. David took power by force.

The people of Israel and Judah became part of David’s kingdom because he conquered them—they had no choice in the matter. Their only option was to abandon the land that they had held for centuries. And in a tight real estate market—every family believed that they had eternal rights to their property—moving was pretty much out of the question.

We tend to think of Israel in biblical terms: the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the land of the 12 tribes. These concepts were created in the wake of David’s reign.

Everywhere that the Bible speaks of Judah and Israel together—the stories of the patriarchs, the Exodus, the conquest—we encounter the ramifications of David’s actions.

The borders of the modern state of Israel today are, roughly, David’s borders, or at least those attributed to him by the biblical authors. (For the record: the West Bank was part of David’s kingdom; the Gaza Strip was not.)

And at the center of Israel, both ancient and modern, is the holy city of Jerusalem. This, too, is David’s doing. Before David, Jerusalem was a long-standing independent city-state, belonging to a long-lost people called the Jebusites.

MORE ON CNN: Why everyone fights over Jerusalem

Recognizing that its central location would be perfect for the capital of his newly united state—the ancient equivalent of Washington—David conquered it and wiped out its former inhabitants.

Because David is credited with founding the Temple in Jerusalem—although Solomon built the actual structure, David chose the site, set up an altar, and laid the conceptual groundwork—it’s natural enough to assume that there was some religious motivation at work.

But, in fact, David’s aim in inaugurating a site of worship in his capital was more economical than spiritual. Temples were sites of commerce—Jesus knew this—and having a culturally significant relic, in the form of the Ark of the Covenant, was sure to draw the people in.

Every lamb sacrificed in Jerusalem meant profit for the sanctuary, and for the king who controlled it. Every pilgrim meant a night’s stay in a local bed and breakfast (all fully taxable, of course).

David used belief as a lure to draw in the masses. But he didn’t care much what his people believed. The creation of the unified kingdom of Israel wasn’t based on shared religion.

The inhabitants of the north had very different practices from those in the south. And none of them was following Jewish law—the laws hadn’t been written yet, and wouldn’t be for centuries.

What united the people of David’s kingdom was, quite simply, that they lived there. It was a political state, not a religious one.

Israel then, like today, was primarily a political entity, and only secondarily a religious one. Those who considered themselves attached to Israel believed and practiced a whole range of things, or not; just like those who are attached to Israel today.

A Pew poll released earlier this month demonstrates the continuing pull of David’s Israel. Millions of American Jews financially support the modern state of Israel, either through donations or through tourism.

MORE ON CNN: Study: American Jews losing their religion

We feel the pull of the land, the sanctity of the ancient streets of Jerusalem. We fly El Al, we stay at the hotels, we eat at the restaurants, we pay to enter various sites.

That is: We’re still doing just what David wanted us to do. We are precisely the Jews who David envisioned—believing whatever we want, just so long as we spend our money in Israel.

Joel S. Baden is the author of “The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero,” and an associate professor of Old Testament at Yale Divinity School. The views expressed in this column belong to Baden.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Israel • Jerusalem • Judaism • Middle East

soundoff (869 Responses)
  1. Lionly Lamb

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ml8CZ2q2zrE&w=640&h=360]

    October 12, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
  2. Victor Maffei

    Already did by commenting on a previous comment.

    October 12, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
  3. Scott

    So, "an associate professor of Old Testament at Yale Divinity School" believes that the stories of the Old Testament are just that, stories. He doesn't trust his only available primary source materials and simply infers whatever he thinks makes a more interesting narrative and attempts to pass that off as fact. Sounds very scholarly to me.

    October 12, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • G to the T

      LOL... OF COURSE he doesn't trust it. He's studied history. One of the first things you learn in advanced history courses is historiagraphy – the history of writting history. If you had, you might not be questioning him on it.

      October 14, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
  4. Read It

    Mr. Burke, with all respect, you are wrong! You failed to read the account in the Bible about David and the formation of the kingdom of Israel. The bible is the oldest source of this information. Saul was the first king of Israel. Back then, the nation of Israel was comprised of 12 tribes all of which were under the kingship of Saul. After the death of King Saul at the hands of the Philistines, David became king and yes, he did conquer and claim Jerusalem as his capital. However, it wasn't until after the death of Solomon that the Kingdom split in 2 with Judah and it's capital Jerusalem and Israel with it's capital Samaria.

    You do a great diservice by spreading misinformation just to get your opinion across. Readers can prove for themselves the biblical account in the Bible starting with the books of Samuel and Kings as well as Chronicles.

    October 12, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • CNN Belief Blog Co-EditorCNN

      I didn't write this piece, Read It, but it's worth pointing out that the author, Joel Baden, is a specialist in biblical history, with a doctorate in the Hebrew Bible from Harvard Divinity School.

      That's to say, I think he's read the biblical account of the formation of Israel.

      You're certainly entitled to your opinion, but I would urge you not to cast aspersions on Baden without learning more about his scholarship.

      http://divinity.yale.edu/baden

      October 12, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
      • Ironicus

        LOL
        A classic argument from authority. Priceless.

        Any so-called "historical accounts" are rarely worth the paper they're printed on, thus they can only be taken as hearsay unless strongly corroborated independently.
        Religion is nothing but delusional brainwashing, period.
        It has no evidentiary value except to see what sort of lies they were promoting at the time.
        Yale gets taxpayer dollars, yet promotes religion through its "divinity school" and does so in violation of our Constitution. His "academic" credentials are null and void.
        Thanks for stopping by.

        October 12, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
      • Text 101

        Mr. Baden, as do many scholars, probably spent more time reading commentaries about the bible that actual reading it. As so often happens scholars end up as the last call after the games of telephone has finally reached them!

        Here is the proof stated earlier.

        Mr. Baden seems to have forgotten a lot about the Hebrew text and what it says about David and the nation of Israel. Out of the 20 paragraphs he wrote 11 promote ideas and statements that the Hebrew text does not support. A few examples are as follows.

        Mr. Baden says "The Israel we know today is a nation that David created virtually out of thin air. Before David, there were two territories, Israel to the north, and Judah to the south." The Hebrew text however relates a different view.

        Saul was the first King of Israel. Read 1 Samuel chap 8:19 through to chap 11. Before Saul the nation of Israel existed united under the judges and prophets, Samuel being the last prophet before Saul was chosen by God as King. Read 1 Samuel 9:15

        Mr. Baden also says "We tend to think of Israel in biblical terms: the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the land of the 12 tribes. These concepts were created in the wake of David’s reign." Mr. Baden is not correct here either.

        According to Exodus, the nation of Israel was considered by God a nation made up of 12 tribes as it left Egypt (and even before that as "my people" Ex. 3:7).

        (Exodus 24:4) Then he got up early in the morning and built at the foot of the mountain an altar and twelve pillars corresponding with the twelve tribes of Israel. Also, (Exodus 19:6) And YOU yourselves will become to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you are to say to the sons of Israel.”

        After the nation entered the land promised to Abraham the land was apportioned by lot to each tribe.

        Numbers 26:55 Only by the lot should the land be apportioned. According to the names of the tribes of their fathers they should get an inheritance.

        The Exodus was some 500 years before David became king so God considered Israel a nation long before before David. Again to emphasize, the concept of Israel as a nation existed at least 500 years before David.

        Mr. Baden attributes commercial motives to David for selecting Jerusalem ... but it was because God chose the site Read 2 Chronicles 6:1-6.

        Mr. Baden article is full of error when compared to the Hebrew text he is supposed to have studied and used as reference. I could go on and on but it would be tiresome .... Too bad there's no way to "vet" articles like these before they are posted.

        October 12, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
      • CNN Belief Blog Commentator

        So because this Yale author is confirmably incorrect Yale is therefore incorrect is what you're implying.

        Hey maybe you should do an article on the spiritual beliefs, rituals, and practices of the Skull and Bones since we are now talking about how Yale's word is infallible. Especially how these practices can be tied to the occult (spirit possession, unholy baptism in excrement, dessecration of the dead, and whacking it in a coffin.) How about the use of occult/satanic symbols, messages, and subliminal messages in hollywood/music industry? (examples: Rihanna's baphomet symbol, numerous interviews with celebrities admitting to selling their souls, the ever popular topic amoung the young people of Disney's fondness for putting the word s3x and other symbols in kid's movies, or good old fashioned music backmasking, or all of these in one ultimate article guranteed to get you a ton of internet hits.) This would be a valid topic as it is both current to this time, deals with the spiritual aspects from politics to entertainment, and tied with the effects of religion and beliefs in readers' lives as your mission statement implies.

        Or is CNN Belief Blog only meant to crap on Christianity and sometimes Judaism? Only beliefs this Belief Blog supports in its articles are atheism or the occult beliefs like "all gods are the same," "bling ministers" worshipping money, and falsifying the story of King David (a double whammy to both Jews and Christians.) Don't think that we can't see the face of your agenda, you all aren't exactly subtle. Either cover ALL the religions and beliefs fairly and accurately, or rewrite your mission statement. This is the challenge of the Commentator to the Co-Editor.

        October 12, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Daniel, you probably have a calling, but this probably isn't it.

        October 12, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
        • Boojum

          His post is pretty dumb, ain't it? He jumps in like a newbie and gets his ass handed to him. Good times.

          October 12, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • UberSomething

      10/10 on the troll. Now we know Dan Burke is easily enslaved by shiny BS and big words. Good qualities for a co-editor.

      October 12, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
      • UberSomething

        @Dan
        If you refrained from letting these religious trash writers get published here and stopped supporting them, their indefensible nonsense wouldn't be an issue. CNN has become quite the whore, selling to anyone with a buck the publicity they should never be given in the first place. Reprehensible policy issues is your problem, not mine, but it's been pretty obvious for some time now. What is Zucker thinking? Something shallow and open to the highest bidder.
        You guys are no better than a cheap whore. No integrity. Your ethics are barely better than that of Fox News.
        Comments are OPINION and should never be considered as a publication of facts. No libel can be construed when there is no expectation of someone's comments being given the same weight as a news article. What nonsense.
        And jumping to the defense of some slick-haired divinity sleazeball? You chose poorly, my son. Time to move on...

        October 12, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
      • Jacob

        Very well said, Daniel! Appreciate all that you do! Thank you!

        As J.R.R. Tolkien would say “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” , hope people will find peace in their hearts!

        October 13, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
  5. Matt

    After going through some past comments under different new articles, I see you are on all the time. What kind of work do you do? Do you have any hobbies? And why are you so passionate about your work? Shouldn't "indifference" rather than passion be the logical disposition of an atheist?

    October 12, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      So, someone that doesn't believe in god can not be passionate about anything?

      What kind of logic is that?

      October 12, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
  6. Tyler

    I suppose this author would also believe that the Psalms of David are also fictional and are simply a cover. One only needs to read the Psalms to understand King David's character and passion for his Holy God. This liberal atheistic portrayal of who David was truly displays an ignorance to historical fact. The Bible is the single-most reliable historical record of Israel. Any scholar will agree on this. You cannot ignore the fact that every road in the Old Testament (and new) leads to God's intended purpose for Israel; not some ruthless military dictator who uses religion as a means for personal gain.

    October 12, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
  7. Matt

    Ideology influences our conduct. We act on our beliefs. Dostoyevsky says that "if there is no God, then everything is permissible." Mao and Stalin were atheists and killed over 100 million. Richard Dawkins says that he wants to destroy religion and that it should be illegal for children to go to Church. Two questions: Why should I think atheism is benign and vote for an atheist? Second, How do you dialogue and reason with someone that is threatening your freedom?

    October 12, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • Jim, New Jersey

      Strangely, Matt, I often wonder the same thing about Christians. There are many Christians who want to deny me the freedom to marry the person of my choice, who want to deny me the freedom to not have to follow Christian rules, who want to deny me the freedom to not have to pay even nominal homage to their god. Christians also have been instrumental in starting some rather bloody wars throughout history. Christianity is certainly not benign in any sense of the word.

      October 12, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • Jim, New Jersey

      Also, Matt, it has been my observation that WITH God, anything is permissible. Once a person believes in God, and believes that God tells him what to do, there is no longer any reason to not do that thing. Look at how many murders and massacres have occurred because the perpetrator of those acts believed God told him to act.

      October 12, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
      • Ironicus

        Well said, Jim.

        To the person who does not understand how atheism is not an ideology of any sort, but a lack of one type, i.e. theistic.
        From that fact, you cannot assume anything else about that person, other than the fact they will not have any theistic delusions warping their lives. Other than that, they are rather more likely to have rational reasons for their actions.
        Not a bad way to go. Some atheists adopt some form of secular humanism, seeking good things for all humans, like me.
        If you want a war between ideologies, it would be between secular humanism and any religion.
        They are usually at loggerheads by definition. Please read up on secular humanism. It is more nice and honest than Christianity will ever be or can be. Or any religion. Delusional thinking is guaranteed to cause nasty problems somewhere.
        I prefer people live in peace, but no religion will allow anything like that, so I fight religion as it has no redeeming value for humanity.

        October 12, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
  8. Kebos

    Oh brother! If you really want to put us to sleep, throw in some New Testament too, why don't you.

    October 12, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
  9. Sid Stewart

    this article reduces the formation of Israel down to deception and material terms; everything David did to establish Israel and the temple was directed by God; David did not develop religion to lure people in for hotel taxes; how dumb a view is that; sounds like a liberal Dem wrote this article; God wanted to establish the Jews to have a human conduit for Christ to come; Jesus was the son of David or David; Jesus was in David's bloodline

    October 12, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Probably Jews feel that there is a reason for their existence beyond providing your God with a virgin with which to father itself.

      October 12, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • G to the T

      "God" cannot be a part of historical analysis as history is based on the probability that something happened a particular way and almost ANY explanation is more probable than "god did it" (from a historical point of view).

      October 14, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  10. Observer

    That means you, faith/hhharri/MAX.

    Decide if you want to continue on this blog or be banned.

    October 12, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • Observer

      Thats just it ... I'm telling.

      October 12, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • *

      He's not afraid of banning. He knows how to hack back in. It will all come out in the "lawsuit" – ahahahahahahaha!

      October 12, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
  11. Observer

    (Gen. 7:21) “And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, domestic animals, wild animals, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and ALL HUMAN BEINGS”

    Wow! The Bible says God killed ALL HUMAN BEINGS.

    Tough luck, kids.

    Tough luck to other living things, too.

    October 12, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • Observer

      Of course atheists have brutally tortured and murdered more innocent people in the last 100 years than were killed in all previous centuries. Dispatch the guilty or the innocent...decisions, decisions.

      October 12, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
      • John 8:44

        You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

        October 12, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
      • Tom

        Well said. Jut remember Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.

        October 12, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
      • Troll Police

        What are you basing that on? You can say many things about athiests, but that is quite a statement when you offer no facts to back it up.

        October 12, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • Observer

      Yep. The Bible says God torturously killed ALL HUMAN BEINGS.

      NO atheist ever came REMOTELY CLOSE.

      Oooops.

      October 12, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
      • Observer

        Oooops my bad ... the Bible doesn't say that but I do. It is OK because I freely admit to lying to make my point.

        October 12, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
      • Observer

        Another violation of the Terms of Service.

        Another report of your LYING about it.

        October 12, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
      • Observer

        When I say I'm telling I mean I'm telling!!!!!!!!!!!

        October 12, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
  12. AC

    Wait a minute, anyone whose actually read these books knows that the current state of Israel is NOT what David was talking about. It was the Messiah that was suppose to create the new Jerusalem, not the British and Americans.

    October 12, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • Victor Maffei

      Actually I see the whole article as an in-between-the-lines reality check on today's outlook on the West Bank.

      October 12, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
  13. lord Kubota

    The entire old testament and the torah are complete fairy tales. No evidence at all. And plenty of ridiculous claims. Yawn.

    October 12, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • lord Kubota

      Other than the proofs of science, geography, history and archaeology I mean.

      October 12, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
      • loki

        I concede that these places existed. Doesn't prove anything else. Doesn't prove the ravings of the old testament. If we want to hammer the new testament about its credibility we also must give the old testament its own cross examination.

        October 12, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
        • loki

          and accept the factual evidences for what they are

          October 12, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Tom

      You and everybody else of no faith. Please stay away and don't comment here. You arguments are boring and aren't the subject of a discussion on a belief site. If I want to hear mockery I can do that myself. Thanks!

      October 12, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        I want to explore your faith, Tom. I don't know that all faith is baseless – yet.

        October 12, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
      • Tom

        I also date myself. Come on hand we're leaving.

        October 12, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
      • myweightinwords

        Belief by nature must encompass un-belief. The two go hand in hand. Where one exists, the other will as well.

        And just because someone doesn't believe as you do, does not mean that they do not believe at all.

        October 12, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
        • Boojum

          Ridiculous. Don't bother trying to come up with clever sayings. You just don't have the knack and clearly don't have a clue on how stupid you sound. Can't have one without the other? HOGWASH

          October 12, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
        • myweightinwords

          I wasn't attempting to "come up with clever sayings" I was stating what I think about the subject.

          Obviously, you have some vested interest in the subject.

          October 12, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
    • Just a guy

      You dont have to read this you knwo

      October 12, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
  14. loki

    Ok let's encourage "Ultra Religious" Israel with this propaganda that was perpetuated by the Mythical King David "evidence". Perfect. Go away crazy fanatic fools.

    October 12, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • loki

      I'm not inclined to buy into anything based on a few artifacts with David on it. It doesn't prove anything other than David had a residence. And people even lied in writing 1000's of years ago.

      October 12, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
      • loki

        ...not quite as much as I've lied today but then again I've got a point to make and Truth is not relevant to my argument.

        October 12, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
  15. Haha

    Was this article written by the Israeli tourism bureau? I don't believe the David envisioned an Israel where the Jews didn't believe in God. Wasn't the law given to Moses and didn't he come way before David, or is that all made up according to this?

    And, most of all–why is there a picture of a Boy Scout at the top of the story?

    October 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • lord Yabu

      Good ole King David never thought Israel would be conquered by White European land grabbers.

      October 12, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • motorfirebox

      The evidence indicates that the exodus from Egypt never happened at all–that the Israeli people were never slaves there, never made a trek across the desert. So, no, given that the exodus is unlikely to have happened, it's also unlikely that Moses wrote (or, if you like, received) the law during that exodus.

      October 12, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
      • G to the T

        I'm willing to allow that the early hebrews might have absorbed a small band of escaped slaves at one point but the scale of Exodus is certainly not supported by anything outside of the bible.

        October 14, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
  16. Observer

    Once again someone is setting an example of a Christian who is a pathological liar.

    faith/hharri/MAX, you are just showing that you lack morals and integrity. Good job, "Christian".

    October 12, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • fyi

      The intent of fraud, deception and maligning another person is there @faith. You're toast.

      October 12, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
      • Observer

        An alias still doesn't amount to anything.

        October 12, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
      • fyi

        The screen name is a personal identifier (albeit temporary on here). Most people are respectful enough of that not to intentionally tread on another person's ident'ity. An almost infinite array of names for you to choose from in many languages and combinations and you take someone else's as a way to discredit and impugn them?

        There are a few @fyis on here, but I don't think anyone posts exclusively under that name (which is why I chose it for this). Go ahead and use it if you like - no skin off of my back.

        October 12, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
      • fyi

        p.s. If your "God" is all he's cracked up to be, he knows your intentions - and they are quite hate-filled, perverse and harmful. You darken the "soul" that you believe you possess with each and every caper.

        October 12, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • Observer

      Lady Gaga is an alias. Try to use that name.

      You are a proven PATHOLOGICAL LYING Christian. No morals. No integrity. No honesty. And you think God loves liars!!! lol.

      October 12, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Observer

      Lying about who you are is of no moral consequence to you because you lack morals.

      October 12, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
      • Observer

        I lack morals is a fact that goes without saying, ever time I oppose the Truth I display my lack of morals. Nothing new here.

        October 12, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • fyi

      Bite me !

      October 12, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
  17. jackson

    Jews were by money? Wow! Who could have guessed?!?

    October 12, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • pa jesseson

      'jews were by money" is quite a statement. I'd love someone to explain it to the writer so he can try again. maybe a comparative statement that will be close to home for him, like "the writer were by stupid" would be a good beginning.

      October 12, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
  18. Charles Darwin

    I predict that everyone will soon forget about this news? story....Yaaawn!

    October 12, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  19. gods are not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer is useless

    October 12, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Observer

      Since a god is an idol the term "god" amounts to about the same meaning as atheist. The ultimate atheist would be its own god as hitler was.

      October 12, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Observer

      The statement against prayer is of course totally wrong but in America you can be wrong if you choose to be.

      October 12, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
      • pa jesseson

        in america, if you'r wrong, you're right – far right. I rest my case.

        October 12, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • pa jesseson

      i pray you don't pray so there is less traffic on the internet highway to god. if you don't pray, then, my prayer has been answered. I thank you in advance.

      October 12, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
      • Observer

        If you prat to god you pray to an idol if you pray to God the only prayer available to you would be the sinners prayer of repentance.

        October 12, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • pa jesseson

      i pray you don't pray so there is less traffic on the internet highway to god. if you don't pray, then, my prayer has been answered. I thank you in advance.

      October 12, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
      • Observer

        You cannot pray until you are born again.

        October 12, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
  20. Pete

    If I were a fictional god, I wonder what I would covet?

    October 12, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Observer

      A "god" is an idol. Your average rock or block of wood is not known to covet much but at least the rock or block of wood display more intelligence than you have.

      October 12, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • pa jesseson

      a frictional goddess?

      October 12, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
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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.