Air Force makes 'God' optional in honor code
The Air Force Academy has made a big change to its honor code to reflect religious diversity.
October 25th, 2013
05:11 PM ET

Air Force makes 'God' optional in honor code

By Emily Smith, CNN

(CNN) - The U.S. Air Force Academy has decided to make phrase "so help me God" optional in its honor code after an activist group protested that requiring all cadets to recite it violates their rights.

The complete oath reads: "We will not lie, steal, or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does, so help me God."

Cadets are required to recite the oath when they complete basic training. It is also taken by the entire cadet wing each year as re-affirmation of their commitment to the honor code, said AFA spokesman Major Brus Vidal.

The Military for Religious Freedom Foundation, a watchdog group that has waged repeated battle with the armed services, took issue with the last clause of the sentence, saying that no cadets should be forced to make a promise to God.

After the complaint was filed by MRFF, the Air Force Academy Honor Review Committee met for an in-depth discussion regarding the oath.

On Friday, the AFA released a statement saying they had decided to make the final clause of the honor oath optional.

The AFA statement read, in part, “Here at the Academy, we world to build a culture of dignity and respect, and that respect includes the ability of our cadets, Airmen and civilian Airmen to freely practice and exercise their religious preference –- or not.”

"The fact that the oath is optional will be communicated in honor lessons, leadership lessons, and religious respect lessons during the summer (cadet basic military training) so all trainees will understand prior to taking the Cadet Honor Oath that the final clause will be completely optional," said Vidal.

"The person administering the oath, who is the cadet wing honor chair has the option to say or not say 'so help me god," so this might vary from year to year," Vidal continued.

MORE ON CNN: Air Force: Bible and nukes don't mix

Mikey Weinstein, MRFF's founder and president, said he would sue the academy on behalf of his clients if the words were still left at the end of the oath, even if repeating them was optional.

“If the words are still there and you don’t say [them] you turn yourself into a tarantula on a wedding cake,” he said.

MRFF has taken issue with the Air Force before. In 2011, the group complained about an Air Force training presentation that used religion to teach the ethics and morality of using nuclear weapons.

That same year, CNN learned that the Air Force was using religious tenets such as the Ten Commandments to teach core values to ROTC cadets.

MORE ON CNN: Air Force's use of Christian messages extends to ROTC

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Church and state • Culture wars • Discrimination • God • Military • Politics

soundoff (2,610 Responses)
  1. Apple Bush

    My thorns, now flies; buzzing around my gruesome head and face
    My wasted body finally brought down; breathe still in me just a whisper
    Nurtured and cleansed; bandaged and cared for
    Now I am risen to say my final farewell
    Do not worship me; do not mourn for me
    Do not build churches for me or profit from me
    I am a man, born of a woman from the seed of my father
    I am as you are; a man and a human being
    Learn from the sacrifices I have made; learn from the hypocrisy
    Remember me as a friend

    October 28, 2013 at 11:49 am |
  2. Apple Bush

    I saw a sunset and it was perfect.
    Why do you ask me to see another?
    For in waiting for the next sunset, I will endure much suffering!
    Perfection exists in the suffering too.
    Be thankful for the pain.
    Did I not thank you by loving you?

    October 28, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • Doris

      Grand View Park
      San Francisco
      what a view

      October 28, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        That is a good one!

        October 28, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
  3. Albert Einstein

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    October 28, 2013 at 11:48 am |
  4. Lamb of Dog

    What are you talking about?
    Atheist hate truth?
    I think you wanted to say atheist don't care for made up beliefs.

    October 28, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Lamb of Dog

      The first casualty of belief is truth.

      October 28, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
  5. Apple Bush

    If you can understand it, it has nothing to do with you.

    October 28, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Born2BModerated

      Right. Blame the reader for not understanding your riddles.
      The problem is it could be interpreted different ways if you start with a set of assumptions at to what it should mean.
      I see the bible inspires your poetry.

      October 28, 2013 at 11:55 am |
      • Apple Bush


        October 28, 2013 at 11:58 am |
  6. Live4Him

    @BRC : Matter very much is a thing, it has substance

    How much substance does energy have?

    @BRC : Decay is real, it's a thing, but nnone ahd to make that, it comes from there being matter and energy

    And yet, it originated out of the singularity like matter and energy. And if they needed to be created, it would seem reasonable that time would need to be created too.

    October 28, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Doris

      Again, we don't know what was beyond the boundary, so it's probably a good idea to keep an open mind about the possibilities.

      October 28, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @Doris : Again, we don't know what was beyond the boundary, so it's probably a good idea to keep an open mind about the possibilities.

        Including God?

        October 28, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
        • Doris

          The Abrahamic God? Of course that's a possibility, although I put it on the same level of likelihood as say Thor.

          October 28, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
        • Born2BModerated

          Nope. Thor lives without boundries.
          Isis maybe, poseiden possibly, or Hades even, but not Thor!

          October 28, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • BRC

      It doesn't need to be created because it's not a thing. If I want to sit down, I make a chair. The chair is a thing, it exists, it was made from matter using energy and is an actual construct. The seat of the chair is 3 feet off the ground; but that distance is just a measurement, it's not a thing. While I was creating the chair I wasn't simultaneously creating distance, I'm just describing it. Cesium isotopes are radioactive, and they break down at a natural and consistant rate. Noone had to create this decay process, it simply happens. The rate at which it happens, is what we call time (the SI unit of deffinition for a second is derived from the rate of decay of cesium ), but noone had to create it, and if we didn't call it time, it would still be happening. This relative definition is another thing that shows that it's not real but a concept. Matter is matter irrespective of anything else around it, but time has to be defined, because it's a concept (and rates of decay, or widely varied and different in each and every incidence). If we used plutonium istead a minute would be REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY long time.

      October 28, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • WASP

      "@BRC : Matter very much is a thing, it has substance
      How much substance does energy have?
      @BRC : Decay is real, it's a thing, but nnone ahd to make that, it comes from there being matter and energy"

      here is how the universe works....... i will keep it simple for your sake. 🙂

      energy is what makes up matter.
      ex. 1 proton, 1 neutron and 1 eletron make a single atom of hydrogen

      matter can be destroyed.
      ex. atomic bomb

      matter has substance due to higgs-boson particule.

      the universe has always been here due to a very simple elementary level science equation.
      the law of energy conservation; "energy CAN NOT be created NOR destroyed"
      thus energy is ETERNAL; only matter which is built from energy can be destroyed.

      einstein covers "matter to energy convertion and vise verse"

      when matter is "destroyed" we recieve 100% of the energy back out of that matter, in vaious forms of energy.
      ex. radiation,light,heat, etc etc etc.

      thank you for attending science class. 🙂

      October 28, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @WASP : a very simple elementary level science equation. the law of energy conservation; "energy CAN NOT be created NOR destroyed"

        You do realize that in higher levels of science, the experts acknowledge that energy was created via the singularity? However, science cannot duplicate the singularity event so it is untestable.

        October 28, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • WASP

          a "singularity" in scienctific terms means an "unknown event". we don't "know" what the event was that caused the universe to expand into what we see now, we can however see down to the micron-second what happened after the "big bang"

          seeing energy makes up 100% of everything we can and can not see; and adding in the fact that energy CAN NOT be created NOR destroyed, it would logically imply that the universe in one form or another has always been here, seeing if energy was added to the equation, it would violate the law and if energy was removed it would violate the law; thus the universe being energy has always been here.

          October 28, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
      • Barcs

        Just an FYI, matter = energy. Matter / energy cannot be created or destroyed. Atomic bombs do not destroy matter, they convert it to a different form. When you burn down a house it isn't destroyed. It is converted to smoke and ash.

        October 28, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
        • WASP

          energy makes up matter, it's not equal to it.
          i explained it very simply, may not simply enough for you. so i will attempt again.

          water (H2O) consists of 2 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom.
          the 2 hydrogen atoms consist of 1 proton, 1 neutron and 1 electron each; the oxygen atom consists of 8 protons,8 neutrons, and 8 electrons.

          energy; mind you i prefer to keep it at the atomic level to keep it simpler to explain in laymans terms; are protons, neutrons and electrons.

          thus ENERGY creates MATTER and MATTER can be destroyed and reverts back to ENERGY.
          if you detonate a nuclear device the MATTER; the casing, the radioactive isotope, the triggering mech and all matter in the near area; is vaporized. which means MATTER was just destroyed and converted into energy; it's orignal state.
          light, heat and radiation are forms of energy, when a nuclear bomb explodes those are what you get out of the potential stored inside those atoms.

          October 28, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
      • Kenrick Benjamin

        Good point WASP, however Energy is eternal not our Universe, our Universe had a beginning, where Energy was converted to Matter.

        October 28, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
        • WASP

          if our universe was created by energy, then it is eternal.
          just as einstein's equation states, energy can change from one form to another reguardless it always is energy.

          i will agree the "universe" we "know" will eventually stop "exsisting";however just how a supernova destroys one solar system leaving behind a nebula that given time evetually will create a new solar system.

          October 28, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
        • Kenrick Benjamin

          WASP- If our Universe will eventually stop existing how can it be eternal. Energy was converted to matter and light setting our Universe in motion.

          October 28, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • Charm Quark


      October 28, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
  7. Apple Bush

    You will try to take it away from me;
    You will change the way it feels and smells;

    You will change its size to confuse me;
    You will change its color.

    I will keep it...
    I will not be deceived or cheated.
    I will not lose my sense and be a victim.

    October 28, 2013 at 11:44 am |
  8. Apple Bush

    You, child
    Crossing the line without knowing
    Just for being who you are
    What confusion was hard wired?
    A developing brain, healthy and ready
    Sabotaged as a child
    Savage religion.

    October 28, 2013 at 11:41 am |
  9. Doris

    LOL – truth capitalized? What is that supposed to mean? Some kind of objective, absolute truth from above, perhaps? By all means, demonstrate any such truth without resorting to subjective means/consensus.

    October 28, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • Barcs

      Funny, he refers to it as "Truth" yet can't provide a single shred of evidence to back it up. Somebody needs to learn the meaning of "truth" and fact before criticizing others for not wanting to believe in HIS god.

      October 28, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
  10. Lamb of Dog

    Since we are doing poems today.

    One little word
    For all the answers
    One little word
    For all your needs
    One little word
    For all the answers
    One little word
    Get on your knees.

    We are God
    Ignorance of omnipotence
    We are God
    Ignorance of humanity

    We don't care about what we can't see.
    We don't mind the contradiction,
    We don't mind the hypocrisy.

    One little word
    For all the answers
    One little word
    For all your needs
    One little word
    For all the answers
    One little word
    Get on your knees.

    We are God
    Our creation, the deity
    We are God
    Bow down to humanity
    We are God
    Bow down to me

    October 28, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • Reality # 2

      "The Two Universal Sects

      They all err—Moslems, Jews,
      Christians, and Zoroastrians:

      Humanity follows two world-wide sects:
      One, man intelligent without religion,
      The second, religious without intellect. "

      , born AD 973 /, died AD 1058 / .

      Al-Ma’arri was a blind Arab philosopher, poet and writer.[1][2] He was a controversial rationalist of his time, attacking the dogmas of religion and rejecting the claim that Islam possessed any monopoly on truth."

      Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/resalat-al-ghufran#ixzz1lI6DuZmZ and http://www.humanistictexts.org/al_ma'arri.htm

      October 28, 2013 at 11:31 am |
  11. Live4Him

    What difference does it make if the 'so help me God' phrase optional? Either the person has integrity or not. Adding that phrase only works in a society that believes in a final judgment – which this nation is moving away from such. So, a person without integrity will say the words and never mean them.

    October 28, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • Lamb of Dog

      I agree. Its like swearing on the bible. It is quite a silly tradition.

      October 28, 2013 at 11:25 am |
      • Live4Him

        Agreed – Either you fear God or you don't. If you don't swearing on the Bible is meaningless to you. Of course, some day there will be a reckoning.

        October 28, 2013 at 11:27 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          Do you have any evidence of that?

          October 28, 2013 at 11:44 am |
        • Lamb of Dog

          Be afraid of the RECKONING.
          You guys are hilarious.

          October 28, 2013 at 11:49 am |
        • Born2BModerated

          I reckon you're wrong.

          October 28, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Fan2C

      Are you saying only believers in your God has any integrity? Know what, skip your answer. I'm familiar with your "work" and I know I won't get an honest, unbiased answer.

      October 28, 2013 at 11:27 am |
      • Live4Him

        @Fan2C : Are you saying only believers in your God has any integrity?

        Of course not! However, I would argue that when one believes that they face a final reckoning, they are more likely to hold true to their word. Accountability always improves one's integrity.

        October 28, 2013 at 11:35 am |
        • ME II

          That would be true if the main reason for integrity were fear of punishment, but many are honest simply because it is good behavior and works better in the long run, i.e. no threats needed.

          October 28, 2013 at 11:54 am |
        • Fan2C

          So you think that only people who believe in God are accountable for their actions. And that those who believe in other than the Christian God has no integrity or accountability for their actions?

          October 28, 2013 at 11:58 am |
        • Susan StoHelit

          That has not proven to be true.

          And since the Bible says that all you need to do is believe in Jesus to be saved, there's no threat related to a "so help me god" to improve accountability.

          October 28, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
      • Lamb of Dog

        I keep my word because I don't want other real people to doubt my integrity. And I don't want to question my own integrity. I could care less about a bogie man reckoning anything.

        October 28, 2013 at 11:52 am |
        • Dippy

          "could" or "couldn't" care less? Hmm.

          October 28, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
        • Fan2C


          While " I couldn't care less" is technically correct, people say "I could care less" with a sarcastic tone. It's sort of like saying, "Well, isn't that special!"

          October 28, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
  12. Apple Bush

    Robert Brown, you have a child-like mind. Are you mentally retarded? It's ok to be honest, just curious.

    October 28, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Live4Him

      Does this post demonstrate your intellectual capability?

      October 28, 2013 at 11:07 am |
      • Apple Bush

        Live4Him, are you in the same group sessions with Robert?

        October 28, 2013 at 11:11 am |
        • Live4Him

          What are you talking about?

          October 28, 2013 at 11:19 am |
        • Apple Bush

          Oh sorry Live4Him, thought you were in group therapy with Rob.

          October 28, 2013 at 11:28 am |
        • Live4Him

          @Apple Bush : Oh sorry Live4Him, thought you were in group therapy with Rob.

          Ahhh... you're demonstrating that you cannot follow a topic and thus cannot stay on topic. Got it.

          October 28, 2013 at 11:37 am |
        • Apple Bush

          My bunny loves grapes!

          For more bunny news, visit: www. wikipoops.com

          October 28, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Hey AB, how are you today?
      I don’t think I’m retarded. If you come to God, you will come as the little boy that you are deep down. Peace.

      October 28, 2013 at 11:10 am |
      • Apple Bush

        Robert, well I am glad to hear that. No more helmet for you buddy!!

        Have a good day for reals bro.

        October 28, 2013 at 11:12 am |
  13. Science Assistant

    Smart Neurons: Single Neuronal Dendrites Can Perform Computations

    Oct. 27, 2013 — When you look at the hands of a clock or the streets on a map, your brain is effortlessly performing computations that tell you about the orientation of these objects. New research by UCL scientists has shown that these computations can be carried out by the microscopic branches of neurons known as dendrites, which are the receiving elements of neurons.


    October 28, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Science

      Science Assistant

      I read that this morning too. The brain works the humans no god(s) required.

      October 28, 2013 at 11:05 am |
      • Live4Him

        So, how do you explain where matter. energy and time originate?

        October 28, 2013 at 11:09 am |
        • Doc Vestibule


          October 28, 2013 at 11:11 am |
        • Lamb of Dog

          It must have been created by someone right.
          And that someone must have been the Christian god.
          Because that just makes sense.

          October 28, 2013 at 11:13 am |
        • Doris

          Somewhere near the perimeter of ignorance.

          October 28, 2013 at 11:15 am |
        • lunchbreaker

          Well, we have 2 possobilities:

          1. The Universe has always existed.
          2. God always existed and created the universe.

          Occam's razor state's that the choice that makes the fewest assertions is more likely to be the correct choice.

          October 28, 2013 at 11:19 am |
        • BRC

          One point, time isn't a thing, it's a measurement. People created it because our brains need a way to quantify progress and record the passing of events. If you're looking to claim that certain things wouldn't exists unless an all powerful being was somehow able to exist first to create them, I wouldn't use a invented concept as an example.

          October 28, 2013 at 11:20 am |
        • Live4Him

          @lunchbreaker : Well, we have 2 possobilities: 1. The Universe has always existed.

          Well, this is contrary to the expanding universe (i.e. Big Bang) theory. After all, if it is expanding, then at one point it was all together. And if the latter, it means that matter, energy and time had a beginning (i.e. did not always exist).

          October 28, 2013 at 11:24 am |
        • Live4Him

          @BRC : One point, time isn't a thing, it's a measurement.

          Likewise, matter isn't a thing, it's a measurement. However, both are changed in a singularity – 'to infinity and beyond'. 🙂

          October 28, 2013 at 11:29 am |
        • Doris

          Matter, energy and time for this universe had a beginning. Vilenkin and pals, were careful to note that this was no indication of any absolute beginning pertaining to the mystery of what was beyond this universe.

          October 28, 2013 at 11:33 am |
        • BRC

          Not really. Matter very much is a thing, it has substance, and exists whether it's being described or not. Volume, density, mass, distance, those are all measurements that describe characteristics of actual physical things, and thereby do not exist unto themselves (just like time), but matter is real. It's one of the 2 things that unquestionably is. If you're looking for the analog of time, what it measure that actually exists, I would call it decay, the breakdown and change of chemicals, mass, and energy as they react to stimulus and their environment based on their pysical and chemical properties. Decay is real, it's a thing, but nnone ahd to make that, it comes from there being matter and energy, and the fact that matter and energy are tied together and have interactions.

          October 28, 2013 at 11:39 am |
        • Live4Him

          @Doris : Matter, energy and time for this universe had a beginning.

          Agreed. And thus one is left with the question – Where did they come from?

          @Doris : Vilenkin and pals, were careful to note that this was no indication of any absolute beginning pertaining to the mystery of what was beyond this universe.

          Of course – it is beyond science and is left in the realms of faith.

          October 28, 2013 at 11:41 am |
        • Doris

          @L4H – LOL – just because there are not yet explanations of what was beyond the boundary does not mean that it must fall into the "realms of faith". Are you kidding? I think you're just being silly – you used to have better non-answers than this.

          October 28, 2013 at 11:56 am |
      • Science

        If you look hard enough L4H there is a whitepaper with all the math too!

        llustration of Standard Model particles. (Credit: Image courtesy of DOE/Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory)


        October 28, 2013 at 11:14 am |
        • Live4Him

          @Science : If you look hard enough L4H there is a whitepaper with all the math too!

          Of course there are lots of theories that require faith to accept, but I was looking for solid evidence.

          October 28, 2013 at 11:25 am |
        • Science

          Hey L4H Good news for all/education .

          Texas Textbook Publishers Say No To Creationism: Watchdog Report

          The Huffington Post | By Rebecca Klein Posted: 10/18/2013 5:08 pm EDT


          October 28, 2013 at 11:36 am |
        • Science

          L4H so the Department of Energy's standard model is wrong ?

          October 28, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
  14. Robert Brown

    When you are lost and lonely, feeling downhearted and blue, Jesus will call to you. Come to me, all you who are weary. Take my hand and give me control. Come to me, all you who are lonely. Come to me, I will rest your soul.

    October 28, 2013 at 9:57 am |
    • tallulah13

      Or, you know, you could just pull yourself up by your bootstraps and deal with your problems yourself. You're going to have to, anyway. Imaginary friends only provide imaginary help.

      October 28, 2013 at 10:05 am |
      • Robert Brown

        God rejects pride. The att.itude of “I’ve got this,” won’t fly. If you accept his offer, you will come to the end of yourself first. You will surrender your will to his. Does this seem impossible?

        October 28, 2013 at 10:25 am |
        • Madtown

          To accept the offer, you first need to be aware of the offer's existence.

          October 28, 2013 at 10:37 am |
        • tallulah13

          Self-sufficiency isn't pride. It's accepting that you are responsible for your own existence. When I was a child my parents took care of me. Now I am an adult. It is my job to take care of myself and any other beings that I have chosen to bring into my house. I don't need a supernatural daddy. I had a real daddy and a real mommy who taught me how to be a real adult.

          October 28, 2013 at 10:42 am |
        • Robert Brown


          Yes, has God spoke to your heart and mind?

          October 28, 2013 at 11:03 am |
        • Robert Brown

          T, Accepting responsibility for your thoughts and actions isn’t prideful, those are good things. Assuming you are in control of things outside your thoughts or actions is prideful.

          October 28, 2013 at 11:07 am |
        • Madtown

          Robert, I'm only talking about specific religions, such as christianity. People all over the globe search for God, and believe they find him, yet have no knowledge of christianity. "God" is not synonymous with the God of christianity. Others define God differently, and are not incorrect.

          October 28, 2013 at 11:08 am |
        • tallulah13

          I know that there are things beyond my control. And if something beyond my control happens to me, I will pick myself up again as best I can, because I am an adult.

          You are the one who doesn't seem to understand that some things are beyond your control. You simply believe that you are protected from the unknown because you sold your accountability to an unsubstantiated supernatural father who will take care of you when the going gets rough.

          October 28, 2013 at 11:23 am |
        • Robert Brown

          T, yes thank God.

          October 28, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
        • sam stone.

          "Assuming you are in control of things outside your thoughts or actions is prideful."

          Said the person who claims to be god's spokesman

          You are such a sycophant, Robert

          October 28, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
        • tallulah13

          So you thank your imaginary friend for the illusion of control? You sad, delusional child.

          October 29, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I was once so downhearted
      Disappointment was my closest friend
      But then You came and he soon departed
      And now I've never seen his face again

      Oh Jesus, your love is lifting me higher
      Than I've ever been lifted before
      So keep it up, quench my desire
      And I'll be at your side forever more

      – – Saint Wilson of Jackie

      October 28, 2013 at 10:06 am |
      • Robert Brown


        October 28, 2013 at 10:27 am |
      • Robert Brown

        Mine was a quote too, but it was from memory and I probably scrambled some of the words. It is from a hymn.

        October 28, 2013 at 10:28 am |
        • Science

          Hey RB scrambled word fix = loony.

          October 28, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • WASP

      well i guess it's a good thing i was only born with a brain that functions based off of chemical reactions, instead of one of those useless souls.


      October 28, 2013 at 10:14 am |
      • Robert Brown

        Yes, you did kill it. Good news, it can be born again.

        October 28, 2013 at 10:26 am |
      • WASP

        @ FAKE WASP: XD



        October 28, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Ken

      Don't you mean "give my pastors and priests control" of your life? They're the ones telling you what to do, after all.

      October 28, 2013 at 10:19 am |
      • Robert Brown


        October 28, 2013 at 10:26 am |
      • Ken

        Just how many Christians do you imagine don't follow the teachings of their favorite celebrity preacher more faithfully than a pope? I personally don't know any Christian who doesn't have a collection of books by Billy Graham, Rick Warren and/or Joel Osteen. Even if they think that they're "just following the Bible" they're really following the interpretations of the Bible made popular by preachers like these.

        October 28, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Uh oh, stuff is disapearing again.

      October 28, 2013 at 10:30 am |
      • Charm Quark

        RB, not only is stuff disappearing again but the wrong stuff; the idiot troll is still here.

        October 28, 2013 at 10:52 am |
        • Robert Brown

          Surely, he or she has to sleep sometime.

          October 28, 2013 at 10:59 am |
      • Robert Brown

        Both Wasp and Ken had additional replies and comments just a few minutes ago.

        October 28, 2013 at 11:00 am |
      • Born2BModerated

        If your point is that stuff is not matter, then I would respectfuly ask you define dissapearing in scientific context.

        October 28, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • ME II

      @Robert Brown,
      "When you are lost and lonely, feeling downhearted and blue, Jesus will call to you. Come to me, all you who are weary. "

      ... or at least, someone will claim that when you are at your most vulnerable, but there won't be any objective way to verify it.

      October 28, 2013 at 10:33 am |
      • Robert Brown

        Is reality what you perceive?

        October 28, 2013 at 11:02 am |
        • ME II

          We "perceive" many things and in many ways. It is not a matter of either perception == reality or perception =/= reality.
          What's your point?

          October 28, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          The point is that you would know what is real, or not, regardless of whether you are vulnerable, or not.

          October 28, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
        • ME II

          @Robert Brown,
          "The point is that you would know what is real, or not, regardless of whether you are vulnerable, or not."

          People are more willing to "believe" hopeful things are real when they are vulnerable, regardless of whether they are actually real or not.
          For example, is a "call" from Jesus, as you indicated, real? or do you just "believe" it to be real? How do you know?

          October 28, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          It was real to me, ME II. I don't know how to explain how I know, other than to say that I experienced the presence of God and still do.

          October 28, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
        • ME II

          @Robert Brown,
          "...I experienced the presence of God and still do."

          What does that mean thought. Can you describe what you mean by "experience"?

          October 28, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
        • ME II

          <- though

          October 28, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
  15. Attention Daniel Burke

    You have allowed this blog to be completely taken over by a troll.
    He steals everyone elses names, posts annoying post after annoying post, posts things, then replies to itslef, and is filling the blog with so much garbage it's impossible to have any discussion.

    All normal vistiors to this blog...copy this and keep posting until they throw this troll out.

    October 28, 2013 at 8:37 am |
    • midwest rail

      You're kidding, right ? Burke is clueless about what really happens here, and if he ever got a clue, is most likely powerless to affect any change.

      October 28, 2013 at 10:02 am |
      • Attention Daniel Burke

        It is worth a try...he has already promised to remove the individual.

        October 28, 2013 at 10:07 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          All the

          October 28, 2013 at 10:43 am |
        • tallulah13

          Don't bother, Doc. If people ignore it, it will go away.

          October 28, 2013 at 11:06 am |
        • CNN Belief Blog Co-EditorCNN

          Who's stealing names? I'll take care of it but I need more information from you guys.


          October 28, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
        • tallulah13

          I'm a little late in the game, but this person posted in my name directly after I posted on this very comment. He's probably used the name of every nonbeliever who has posted on this blog in the past few days.

          October 29, 2013 at 9:13 am |
        • Sara

          Message 2689179 on page 16 is an example.

          October 29, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • Observer


      October 28, 2013 at 10:58 am |
      • Observer

        fake Observer,

        Seriously, please contact a mental health professional. Your enjoyment in efforts to sabotage this site show a sadistic mental illness that needs to be addressed. You and everyone else knows that your time on here is going to end soon. After that, please get the help you need..

        October 28, 2013 at 11:27 am |
      • Observer

        fake Observer,

        Mentally healthy people want others to like them. You, however, take sadistic pleasure in making people mad at you. After you are banned, you should have plenty of time to try to figure out what is motivating you to hate people. Professionals can help you.

        October 28, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
      • Observer

        fake Observer,

        Seek professional help after you are banned. Your view of yourself is purely delusional. Find out why you carry such hatred toward people. Find out why you really enjoy being hated. Professionals can help.

        Good luck.

        October 28, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
  16. sam stone

    I wouldn't want her roaming free anywhere near where I live

    October 28, 2013 at 8:09 am |
    • Doris

      The Dunwich Horror was just a movie, dear.

      October 28, 2013 at 8:59 am |
  17. sam stone

    Prison is a good, good thing for snake

    October 28, 2013 at 8:07 am |
    • Doris

      Prison – for snakes? Well you might have the best intentions regarding mice control, but I don't think the inmates would take too kindly to... well, you know, I did see the movie Ben – you might have a point there. Snakes as pets and for mice control – I wonder if they need water nearby..

      October 28, 2013 at 9:02 am |
  18. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Good morning.

    Jesus still has a few things to wrap up but will be coming "real soon."

    The domestication of the dog continues.

    October 28, 2013 at 7:54 am |
  19. Kimberlee

    Blessed are the Cheesemakers, I tried twice to post a response to your question: "When does religion change conclusions based on better religious information?" but the system was not responding. Not sure you will see this here but let me try again.

    We call the concept "progressive revelation." For example, by the time of Buddha, the Hindu faith was heavily focused on solving your problems by prayer and offerings to any number of gods and goddesses; Buddha brought the focus back to the internal struggle in each of us. By the time of Jesus' ministry, the Jewish/Mosaic faith was heavily focused on following the many laws; Jesus brought the focus back to the internal struggle in each of us. By the time of the Bab's/Baha'u'llah's ministries in the late 1800s, Islam was heavily under the control of the clergy; Baha'u'llah brought the focus back to the internal struggle in each of us. No clergy, Also, on a more universal level, he advocated principles which we have become accustomed to now but which were quite controversial in the 1800s: Equality of men and women; equal education for boys and girls, with girls receiving priority if a choice has to be made; no more veil; recognition that all the major world religions are from God; that there is only one God; that mankind is one; that prejudices of all sorts need to be removed; that the time for jihad is over, and international differences or disputes should be resolved by a world court of arbitration; elimination of the extremes of wealth and poverty, that science and religion are in harmony; that each person must be free to investigate religious and spiritual truth; etc etc etc. You can read more at baha'i.org

    October 28, 2013 at 2:45 am |
    • Phillip

      Hey, aren't you the chick that keeps farting in the grocery store? That's a sign of satanic possession, didn't you know?

      October 28, 2013 at 2:56 am |
      • Kimberlee

        Actually, I don't believe in the Devil, or in heaven and hell as physical places. Part of the problem I had with organized religions when I was going through my spiritual search stage as a teenager. Heaven and hell are spiritual states, reflecting nearness and remoteness from God.

        As for flatulence, I am a scientist. Well, technically, I am an engineer, but engineers are just scientists who apply what they study instead of studying what they study. So flatulence comes from what we eat and drink, and the health or lack of it of our stomach bugs. No satan there either, though if you've ever had a bad stomach flu, you might think so...:)))

        October 28, 2013 at 3:09 am |
        • Ken

          An engineer calling herself a scientist is debatable, at least to Sheldon Cooper of the Big Bang Theory. 🙂

          If you are rejecting the idea of a material heaven and hell why not reject the idea of a material God, if you haven't already? Seems like, if you're willing to draw a line between real and figurative, why would you draw it arbitrarily?

          October 28, 2013 at 9:03 am |
      • Kimberlee

        And I haven't been called a chick in 40 years...:)

        "Chicks rule" said the easter chick to the easter bunny.

        October 28, 2013 at 3:10 am |
      • Kimberlee

        Actually, this is to Ken, but there was no reply button for him! You wrote, "If you are rejecting the idea of a material heaven and hell why not reject the idea of a material God, if you haven't already? Seems like, if you're willing to draw a line between real and figurative, why would you draw it arbitrarily?"

        Ken, Baha'is do not believe that God is a material "person", some little old man in the sky! We are told that "God" is an "unknowable essence," and by the way, that we only use the terms "Father" and "He" out of convention; that "fatherhood" is only one of many attributes of God.

        We focus on what we term "divine attributes." When we say we are created in God's image, it is in the context of these attributes, not on any material form.

        October 28, 2013 at 11:13 am |
      • Kimberlee

        And Ken, if you think the issues between scientists and engineers are something, you ought to see what engineers and architects discuss!!!!

        October 28, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • Science

      Hey Kimberlee

      Biggest CON under the sun

      How shameless Christian con artists took over the GOP

      by Amanda Marcotte posted on October 28, 2013 01:15AM GMT

      Conservative politicians are exploiting their voters the same way some church leaders exploit believers

      October 28, 2013 at 6:56 am |
      • Reality # 2

        Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

        October 28, 2013 at 7:46 am |
      • Kimberlee

        Baha'is are not members of partisan political parties. We see them as divisive. While we are encouraged to be responsible citizens, to vote our conscience and to be active in seeking justice and fairness for all, we do not involve ourselves in partisan political activities. "I hope that each one of you will become just, and direct your thoughts towards the unity of mankind; that you will never harm your neighbors nor speak ill of any one; that you will respect the rights of all men, and be more concerned for the interests of others than for your own."

        I dread most the time of public elections, when all the mud slinging starts and issues are second to personalities.

        October 28, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • Reality # 2

      The "real" Bahaists? (a note published by a former Bahaist)

      10. No no–oky!! No way, no how!

      9: No booze! No, you might be having fun and you wouldn't
      want that.

      8: No politics. No, you wouldn't want to involve yourself
      in a good, healthy way that might actually improve the lives
      of the people in your community.

      7: Suffering. Yes, suffering. No Baha'i gathering is complete without the friends recounting how they have suffered for their faith.

      6: Silly Christians go to church. There, through outmoded
      'rituals' usually led by a 'clergymen' which Baha'is don't
      have, they often find themselves enriched and revitalized.
      Some even think they have communed with their God. If only
      they knew that if they were Baha'is they could go to a 19 day
      Feasts, a dreary, boring business meeting usually punctuated
      by some personal arguments. Some go on all night.

      5: Ridvan meetings: YES THEY DO GO ON ALL NIGHT. WE WILL

      4: You get to do all sorts of things you don't want to do,
      like be the treasurer and spend the next year haranging the
      friends for money.

      3: LSA Meetings. They are held at least once a week, they
      last for several hours.

      2: You get hit up for money, you get hit up for money. The
      new world order needs money, your money, it's an honor to
      bankrupt yourself for the Faith.

      1: You'll never have to bother your silly little brain by
      thinking again! All that hard brainwork had been done for you by the great "Babs".

      October 28, 2013 at 7:50 am |
      • Kimberlee

        Reality #2, thanks for sharing your experiences. Sorry they were so negative. It is true that since we have no paid clergy, the administrative duties fall to the believers, but this is not intended to be burdensome. LSAs decide when they meet and for how long; it is nor mandated; and haranguing anyone for funds is strictly forbidden. God only wants from us is what is freely given.

        By the way, we don't use the term "Bahaist." Maybe some folks outside our faith use that term, but anyone who has in truth actually been a Baha'i, would know it is not correct.

        I hope you are happy in whatever faith path you follow. God bless and take care!

        October 28, 2013 at 9:27 am |
        • Reality # 2

          Putting the kibosh on all religion including Baha'i in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

          • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

          • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

          • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

          • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

          • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

          • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

          • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

          • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

          Added details available upon written request.

          A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

          e.g. Taoism

          "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

          Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

          October 28, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I kind of feel bad for the B'hai.
      Anybody who tries to reconcile the thee major Abrahamics is going to have a bad time.
      The Jews simply dismiss them as another Johnny Come Lately.
      Muslims hate them because they don't declare Mohammad as the last and greatest prophet.
      Christians despite their heretical dismissal of the Holy Trinity.
      When a religion asks "can't we all just get along?" the answer is generally a resounding NO.

      October 28, 2013 at 8:13 am |
      • Kimberlee

        Greetings, Doc! Thanks for your concern...:)

        The Baha'i message is one of unity, love and accord between people of differing faiths, for the basis of those faiths is the same. It is true that many people don't want to accept this; after all, the Persian and Ottoman Empires thought this such a dangerous message that they held Baha'u'llah and his family as prisoners for 40 years, exiled him from one place to another often without adequate food, shelter or medicine in the hope he and his followers would simply die. And many of them did die from the harsh conditions. Yet the Baha'i Faith, though small in number, is today the second most widespread religion in the world. Similarly with Jesus: whether you want to believe him a historic person or a myth, look at the billions of folks around the world who today claim to follow his teachings. In our beliefs, religious revelation is not static, but progressive.

        October 28, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers


      You seemed to have missed part of my question. What "better religious information" was used to objectively come to the conclusion those were not only better directions, but more true? The changing of philosophy was just that....a change of philosophy, no religion needed for that. Also I am not as familiar with all the religious figures as you are, But Jesus was certainly not all that he was cracked up to be. In order to get his "positive" message you have to throw out a bunch of negative ones, something you seem very adept at (cherry picking). Just a few that you get rid of

      "take no thought for tomorrow" ....bad advice
      "you can only come to the father through me" ....devisive, not to metion directly contradicting you claim of "many paths to ttruth"
      "I have not come to change the law"....also contradicts your view.

      If you want to argue Jesus had some good things to say, fine, I can agree. But that isn't the religious calim, the claim is that he is "god" and if you don't accept that you are damned.

      B'hai seems to do nothing more than cherry pick all the best parts and claim to have found "truth". I really don't find that impressive....we don't need religion to do that.

      October 28, 2013 at 9:20 am |
      • Kimberlee

        Blessed are the Cheesemakers,
        Baha'is do not claim Jesus is God. We claim he is a prophet or "manifestation" of God. The issue of the nature of Christ was something the early christian church wrestled with for the first 4 centuries of its existence. At one point, the christian world was split almost equally on the issue. Even the Emperor Constantine, who went back and forth on the matter, was baptised by a non-trinitarian bishop, and the emperors after Constantine were largely non-trinitarian. For Baha'is, our understanding of the trinity is more similar to the Apostles Creed (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) rather than to the Nicene Creed, which added the confusion of One God, Three Persons, and relected the mistranslation of the word "begotten". (There is no "begotten" in the scriptures about Jesus; it was an intentional mistranslation by St Jerome when he producted the Latin Vulgate from the Greek texts. He may have had the best of intentions in making the mistranslation, but it caused a great deal of angst in the end. If you look at a modern translation, you won't find the word, but the KJV and the Nicene Creed still retain it. Jesus is described as God's "special or unique" son, not "begotten". This issue has been a doctrinal divide between Christians and Muslims, as Mohammad taught his followers that the Christian religious leaders had made this error.) By the way, I don't mean to be disrespectful of anyone's acceptance of the Nicene Creed. We each have to study religious history and come to our own conclusions. My point is, these doctrinal differences should not be the cause of animosity or hatred between people who claim to be followers of Christ, when he commanded they love one another.

        October 28, 2013 at 10:43 am |
      • Kimberlee

        Blessed, so sorry for these long posts! I cannot seem to keep postings short when it takes time to explain concepts and beliefs.

        October 28, 2013 at 10:45 am |
      • Kimberlee

        Blessed are the Cheesemakers,
        You raise what seem to be conflicting statements by Jesus. Let me just take one, not even on your list and toss this out for consideration: In places, Jesus makes clear he is not the father. In places, Jesus states he and the father are one. Baha'i belief: both can be true...:)))) Same for the other statements.

        And we don't cherry pick at all. But many scriptures have symbolic meanings and many have more than one meaning. All food for meditation... part of why we were given a brain to think with, rather than to be mere animals at the will of Nature.

        October 28, 2013 at 11:28 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers


          I am familiar with the Jesus wars of the early Christians. My point with the teachings of Jesus is they were not consistent, they were not always good advice and at face value they do not point to an all inclusive position concerning humanity.

          You said "In places, Jesus makes clear he is not the father. In places, Jesus states he and the father are one. Baha'i belief: both can be true...:)))) Same for the other statements."

          As I said before, if you define things broadly enough you can make anything fit, but that doesn't make it actually true. I would expect a "prophet from god" to do better, much better. I see no reason to think Jesus, (or any "prophet" for that matter) had any divine connection. You are still making claims claims that you can't verify, it is the same as making it up yourself, i.e. no god needed.

          October 28, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
  20. Bootyfunk

    saying god shouldn't be an option at all in the oath. it should be removed completely. want to swear to your god? do it outside a military building. do it at church. do it at home. do it in a park. no more holding christianity or any religion above other beliefs or non-belief. and it's not an attack on christianity - it's taking away it's special status, making things equal.

    October 28, 2013 at 2:11 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Right you are Booty.

      October 28, 2013 at 2:18 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Booty, can I invite you to learn more about bunnies?


      You're welcome.

      October 28, 2013 at 2:20 am |
    • Villager #34

      Burn the witch! BURN THE WITCH! (waves a small match furiously)

      October 28, 2013 at 2:39 am |
    • Kimberlee

      Bootyfunk, I am torn on this one, friend. I have always understood that the taking of an oath (def: a solemn usually formal calling upon God or a god to witness to the truth of what one says or to witness that one sincerely intends to do what one says) was meant to be as serious and, even, as "sacred" as it could be, or it was little more than words. For that reason, I say, let those who believe in God, whether they are Jewish, Christian, Muslim, or Hindu, etc) swear and say, "so help me God" if they wish. And those who don't can "affirm" (def: state as a fact; assert strongly and publicly), and if they want to somehow invoke Nature or the Universe as their witness, maybe they can say, "or lightning strike me dead"?

      It's late and I'm trying to be funny.

      But honestly, you know the Founding Fathers were NOT trying to make us an atheistic country. They were just totally opposed to any specific religion or denomination being a state religion, benefiting from tax money, having to join a church before they could hold public office, etc, as they had experienced under the Church of England. They certainly were not all Trinitarians and they differed greatly in their religious leanings, but they were all (as far as I know) Theists, Deists, or Theistic Rationalists; no true atheists in the bunch. separating church from state doesn't mean having to take spirituality out of our nation. Seeing kids picking up guns and shooting their math teachers, I say we need more spirituality in our country, not less. and atheists can be spiritual people too, right?.

      October 28, 2013 at 3:33 am |
    • krhodes

      I have a better idea...hows about Christians stop joining the military all together and make the secularist happy.

      October 28, 2013 at 3:48 am |
      • sam stone.

        good idea! maybe they can expand it and stop running for office

        October 28, 2013 at 4:36 am |
    • Larry

      To be fair, people ought to swear by whatever they put their trust in.

      Somehow, I doubt that most folks would want any swearing once people start saying "So help me Vishnu", or "So help me Satan".

      October 28, 2013 at 9:09 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.