home
RSS
November 9th, 2013
08:00 AM ET

How Billy Graham became an American icon

Opinion by Molly Worthen, special to CNN

(CNN) - Under ordinary circumstances, Donald Trump and Rupert Murdoch are probably not in the habit of attending the birthday parties of elderly Christian preachers in the North Carolina mountains.

But they were both among the hundreds of well-wishers at the party on Thursday marking Billy Graham’s 95th birthday.

Graham spent his career leading revivals around the globe, following a long tradition of evangelists who have traveled far and wide to urge sinners to accept Christ. But his birthday guest list shows that he is no ordinary preacher. He is a cultural icon, the most famous face of traditional Protestant Christianity.

“We need Billy Graham's message to be heard, I think, today more than ever," former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin told the crowd.

MORE ON CNN: Billy Graham turns 95 at star-studded birthday

What, exactly, is that message—and what accounts for its mass appeal? Now that Billy is 95, I wonder: is there anyone who can fill his shoes?

Graham rose to success in the God-fearing years of the early Cold War. In 1949, the year of Graham’s first big revival in Los Angeles, President Harry Truman told Americans that “the basic source of our strength as a nation is spiritual. ... Religious faith and religious work must be our reliance as we strive to fulfill our destiny in the world.”

Five years later, Congress added the words “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance. By the end of the decade, 65% of Americans belonged to a religious institution, and 90% told pollsters they believed in God and the power of prayer: they were ready to hearken to Graham’s call.

Tall, handsome, “like Gabriel in a gabardine suit” according to Time magazine, Graham appealed to Americans’ hunger for spiritual direction.

His sermons contained just the right mix of patriotism and reproof. He urged Americans to stand strong against “godless communism” but also criticized American hubris.

“We have an idea that we Americans are God's chosen people, that God loves us more than any other people, and that we are God's blessed,” he told an audience in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1958. “I tell you that God doesn't love us any more than He does the Russians.”

Graham urged his listeners to acknowledge their sins and embrace Christ; to quit making excuses and go to church. But he abandoned the strict fundamentalism of his youth for a less doctrinaire theology.

His crusades mobilized hundreds of volunteers from local churches—not just evangelical churches, but liberal Protestant and Roman Catholic parishes as well.

Graham had plenty of theological quarrels with these collaborators.

He accepted the assistance of New York Catholics during his crusade there in 1957, but three years later he helped organize Protestant ministers to oppose John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign.

However, when it came to evangelism, he was a broad-minded pragmatist - outraging hard-line fundamentalists, who demanded strict separation from other Christians.

He replied to his critics: “The one badge of Christian discipleship is not orthodoxy but love. Christians are not limited to any church. The only question is: are you committed to Christ?"

One member of Graham’s circle coined the term “neo-evangelical” to describe this attitude. They were all conservative evangelicals who had left fundamentalism to lead a revival of both the soul and the mind. They formed the National Association of Evangelicals to unite conservative Protestants. In 1956 they founded the magazine Christianity Today, an “evangelical, theologically oriented” alternative to liberal periodicals, Graham wrote.

Secular journalists quoted Graham as a capable spokesman for the evangelical point of view. Graham’s visits to the White House gave the impression that he was a Protestant pope, possessing Christian wisdom and a valuable imprimatur. Graham seemed to represent an American evangelical consensus.

But from the beginning, this consensus was more apparent than real.

Far more conservative Protestants stayed out of the National Association of Evangelicals than joined up. They thought of themselves as Baptists or Mennonites first, and “evangelical” second, if at all.

Some evangelicals rejected the idea that Christians must experience the radical “born-again experience” at the heart of Graham’s crusades: they believed that conversion is sometimes slow and incremental. Others objected to the conservative politics of Graham and his colleagues.

I have spent the past few years researching the stories of these different evangelical communities, ranging from pacifist Mennonites to tongues-speaking Pentecostals. I found that even if they disagreed with Billy Graham, they had no choice but to take him seriously.

They often defined their own beliefs against his ministry. Graham and other neo-evangelicals helped other Christians understand themselves more clearly. As a result, the fissures and tensions that have always divided the evangelical world are deeper than ever.

Billy Graham has no successor.

In today’s age of fragmented evangelicalism and social media-savvy churches, there is no individual who can represent American evangelicalism to the world. Every believer has his own favorite Christian blog, her own like-minded Twitter network. And evangelicalism’s golden age seems to be ending. The biggest denominations, booming during the height of Graham’s career, are now stagnating or losing members.

Graham’s career ranged well beyond American shores, and conservative Protestantism is flourishing in the Global South. Some evangelists there command crowds that rival or exceed Graham’s biggest crusades. For more than 50 years, the German evangelist Reinhard Bonnke has preached throughout Africa to audiences that range in the hundreds of thousands.

But evangelists making their careers in non-Western societies face different challenges than Graham did. They are trying to reach people who worry not about the threat of secular liberalism, but the fate of their unbaptized ancestors or witchcraft in their villages. In the Global South, the label “evangelical” implies similarities to American religion that don’t exist.

Billy Graham may be an icon of an era that has passed, a Christian coalition that was never as harmonious as it seemed.

His own message, however, remains the same. In his message on Thursday —perhaps his final sermon — he warned that “our country is in great need of a spiritual awakening.”

Molly Worthen is an assistant professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the author of "Apostles of Reason: The Crisis of Authority in American Evangelicalism."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Billy Graham • Christianity • evangelicals • Leaders • Opinion

soundoff (749 Responses)
  1. Robert Brown

    Tom, Tom the other one

    Just wanted to let you know that agree with what you said last night. People are not always selfish.

    November 10, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Good evening, Robert. What is you opinion on why this is so?

      November 10, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        Someone recommended a video, may have been you, about the empathy chemical.

        November 10, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
        • Jeff Roem

          I don't no how I do it, booby. I really don't. I am absolutely one of the great minds of all time

          November 11, 2013 at 3:19 am |
      • Robert Brown

        I think the presenter was named Ted. It was very interesting, they identified the chemical and did experiments to see what situations would cause it to be released and how people behaved under its influence.

        November 10, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
        • lincoln

          hi robert,
          as a christian, u need to boycott cnn advertisers. right?

          November 11, 2013 at 12:42 am |
        • boobs brown

          Robert, how do I do it? Seriously.

          Observer, I told u what u do. I told u to change your style. U don't listen.

          Bye bye booby! Lol

          November 11, 2013 at 4:30 am |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Not I, but oxytocin has be touted as such. I would tend to focus on evolution of group behaviour and not on individual neuorpeptides.

        November 10, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
        • o u mean

          like ur pal Schicklgruber?

          he loved group activities

          November 11, 2013 at 12:45 am |
    • YouTube Bart Ehrman...YouTube Neil deGrasse Tyson... YouTube Dan Dennett

      Very true.

      November 10, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
    • Sara

      People are definitely not always selfish, otherwise there would be no explanation for a mother dying for her children, as most would do even if told they could have all memories erased and live happily with another choice. What keeps our genes going survives, and often that is helping other humans, an act supported by the brain structures and chemicals for empathy.

      November 11, 2013 at 6:39 am |
      • lol??

        Ewizzbutt Taylor and Kinsey prove yer theory. Kinsey had a lot of donated babies for his experiments.

        November 11, 2013 at 7:02 am |
  2. i beeleeeve

    All yew haters out there should realize that everything that happens, gawwwwd lets happen. If Billy & Son both have to accept the lords wishes to take millions of dollars out of church donations and keep it for themselves, well it is obviously what gawwwd intended. We don't actually need any laws or policemen or firemen or doctors or paramedics because gawwwwd never lets accidents happen. Jerky Foul-Wells told me this on the holy TV set. When natural disasters happen, the people who die obviously had it coming. If they didn't wanna die, they'uns shouldn't have seeee-yunnned. Amen. Life is so simple when yew drink the fundamentalist koolaide. Oh, and my IQ is 85. Higher than Dubya's

    November 10, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
    • amen

      amen dodo

      November 11, 2013 at 12:12 am |
    • amen

      no DM Murdoch, dorothy? what's u all scared of, her breath?

      November 11, 2013 at 12:16 am |
  3. Josh

    Billy Graham was an honorable man. However, his successors and the Billy Graham Foundation board of directors are NOT Christians. They are involved deeply in politics. They removed the name of Mormons from the list of cults, which the Evangelicals had for ever, just to oppose Obama and support Romney. Their decision had nothing to do with religion, rather, it was in conflict with their religion. The current Billy Graham organization IS a CULT, not a Christian church. If YOU believe in Christ stay away from them.

    November 10, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
    • honor the truth

      Honorable ??? as in having a high rank within his cult (as unofficial pope of the most pope-hating cult in the land) or honorable as in being highly ethical (which doesn't square with taking millions from church donations) ? I think he failed to do the honorable thing (resign) after his antisemitic remarks were revealed on tape with Nixon. When your beliefs are refuted by facts, you need to accept the truth and change your beliefs.

      November 10, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        Preacher Graham is a great evangelist.

        November 10, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
        • Wade

          "Preacher Graham" was a highly successful extractor of money from stupid sheeple.

          November 10, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
        • there is that

          You bring up a great point. Thanks for that. Some question how a cult that loses members as fast as it hauls in replacements (like the after-Thanksgiving sales at Big Box stores that likewise draw in huge mobs stores... and their number look great until all the gift-returns a few months later) can even claim to be drawing people to god. This religious spectacle that Graham perfected is phony showbusiness which feeds on itself. The mob appeal certainly attract others who get caught up in the rush... but in no way are many of those drawn to the message that Christ intended to get across. Hypocrisy from the church that is best known for it across the south. Southern Blabtists should trademark hypocrisy.

          November 11, 2013 at 12:35 am |
        • say that again

          I hear that as soon as Billy G kicks the bucket and Franklin takes over, he plans to change the name of Grahams multi-million dollar cult business to the Franklin Mint. It sure has been lucrative for those pirates of the innocent, needy and desparate.

          November 11, 2013 at 12:43 am |
        • sam stone

          he is very good at reinforcing what people already believe

          November 11, 2013 at 9:16 am |
  4. y

    good for jesus, a loudmouth who got whacked by the romans. neither the first, nor the last
    Palin's butthole is ripe for the pounding. I would donkey punch her until she passed out in front of her ret@rd son. trig
    boycott every cnn advertizer
    tell everyone about your unwillingness to buy anything from them
    Papa John’s, Vanguard, and Huggies, thanks for taking a stand

    November 10, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
  5. lol??

    John's baptism or Jesus' baptism??

    November 10, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
  6. Phil

    Evangelicals rapidly realized that their religion is a big money maker. Sooner then later many within the church have preferred to form their own church and use God for their own interests... Today we all realize the scheme it became!
    Like Christ said:" a house that's divided against itself will eventually "...

    November 10, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • Phil

      *fall.

      November 10, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
    • lol??

      Sooooooooo, in the spirit realm, who's divided??

      November 10, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
      • foo wee

        Evangelists are divided and their influence is rapidly dwindling... thank Zeus... we can't afford another trillion dollar war for Cheney's business partners under the guise of being The Mountain of Israel or any other OT misinterpretations. How eagerly you fools support middle-east wars.

        November 10, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
        • lol??

          You sayin' Cheney, the former phone co repairman was an evangelist??

          November 10, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
    • lorenzo6

      want in? i have 4 franchises for sale

      November 10, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
  7. lol??

    HERE COME DA MOB.................................hERE COME DA MOB

    lol??
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Fully leavened churches morph into false prophets.
    Fully leavened gubmints morph into Beasts.

    Gotta have sumpin' to do while waiting judgment!!

    Crips states, Bloods states.

    November 10, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Still moderating your own posts to remove the replies you don't like, I see. Is there no end to your disingenuous nonsense ?

      November 10, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • Ruby

      Lol?? lives in the United State Of Cray-Cray.

      November 10, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
      • lol??

        Yup, except the US ain't united, after the 17th was passed. The state gubmints have NO REPRESENTATION now that the killer commie mommies and her children, the gang bangers elect da Senators. Thanky you, pwogwessives. Sodom RULES!!

        November 11, 2013 at 7:23 am |
  8. Bootyfunk

    "His own message, however, remains the same. In his message on Thursday —perhaps his final sermon — he warned that “our country is in great need of a spiritual awakening.”"
    +++ it's always doom and gloom from christian leaders. this is the safest, most comfortable and ethical time in our history. things can and will get better, but is there any doubt things are getting better? 100 years ago an infection meant death or loss of limb - antibiotics have saved more people than died in both World Wars put together. countless medicines and medical treatments have saved literally millions of lives. 100 years ago women and people of color couldn't vote nor intermarry. christian leaders thrive on preaching "the end is near."

    try to live a good life, be a good person. care for and protect the environment. help your brothers and sisters when you can. you don't need belief in a deity for that.

    November 10, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • lol??

      Where have you seen that, cutsie bootsie?? DREAMER of yer fadder.

      November 10, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • Live4Him

      Care to define 'a good life'?

      November 10, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
      • Ruby

        Looks like he did.

        November 10, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • Ruby

      Looks like he did.

      November 10, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
  9. Judith M

    I can't wait to go hear Bart Ehrman talk about forgery. He's coming to Baltimore around Thanksgiving, and we have a large group from our very progressive Christian church that are going.

    November 10, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      If you go to see an expert on forgery, when checking his credentials, how do you know his credentials are valid?

      November 10, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
      • Judith M

        Credentials? He has a B.A. and Ph D both magna c. laud, the latter from Princeton Theological Seminary. He teaches at UNC Chapel Hill. I guess that says something. I've turned agnostic and I am hoping attending this together will make it easier for my church friends to discuss their agnosticism more openly.

        November 10, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          If he is an expert in forgery, he may have forged his credentials. Just wondering how you could be sure ? Facetiously posted.

          November 10, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
        • Judith M

          His talk is called "Forgery and Counterforgery" and will be sponsored by the Society of Biblical Literature. Have you really never heard of Bart Ehrman?

          November 10, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          No, and I am certain he has never heard of me.

          It was a facetious question. How do you know the credentials an expert on forgery are real....he could have forged them, and if he was an expert, you wouyld never know. For all you know, he is sitting at home, and there are 6 guys out there posing as him, with credentials he forged.

          Just wondering.

          Would you accept money from a REALLY good conterfeiter? If he was that good, you would never know.

          November 10, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
        • Judith M

          I see what you are saying, Richard. Yes, I suppose that could be true. I have heard his speak before about the compilation of the Bible and textual flaws in the New Testament. He give quite a compelling argument. I have not heard him speak on forgery before.

          November 10, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
        • OTOH

          Richard Cranium,
          "No, and I am certain he has never heard of me."

          You should really look up Bart Ehrman. I think you might really like his research.

          "Ehrman became an Evangelical Christian as a teen. In his books, he recounts his youthful enthusiasm as a born-again, fundamentalist Christian, certain that God had inspired the wording of the Bible and protected its texts from all error.[3] His desire to understand the original words of the Bible led him to the study of ancient languages and to textual criticism. During his graduate studies, however, he became convinced that there are contradictions and discrepancies in the biblical manuscripts that could not be harmonized or reconciled. He remained a liberal Christian for fifteen years but later became an agnostic after struggling with the philosophical problems of evil and suffering." - wikipedia

          There are quite a few of his lectures on video online.

          November 10, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
        • says whom

          I hear his is a closet muslim and that he was born in Africa. Let's see that birth certificate!!!!!

          November 10, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
        • counterww

          Now there is an oxymoron. Agnosticism and being in a church in the same breath. Don't even bother. You are driving toward an abyss, just a bit slower than the atheist.

          November 16, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
      • Akira

        I got the joke.

        November 10, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          You always do Akira...hope you are well.

          November 10, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
        • Akira

          I am, thanks for asking.
          Hope you are, also.
          Just enjoying the spirited debates here.

          November 10, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • lol??

      Black Bart hates sufferin', 'specially his own.

      November 10, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
      • Judith M

        Is he African American? I didn't get that impression.

        November 10, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
  10. Lionly Lamb

    Sanctimonies mesmerizing practicalities of the permissive social varieties are vacationing mental summations rooted within individualistic sentimentalities ever to be lying around many vicarious and broad spectral subsidies of sired humanisms...

    All things believed will ever be as social rationalisms within the quagmires of the mentally apprehensive and even the morally obscured... I love sometimes more and sometimes less... I see and sometimes am not seen... I hear and sometimes I am not heard... I feel and am seldom felt... Like you, I am giving rise to we are even though sometimes we are not raised up rightly... Real eyes realize real lies...

    November 10, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Jeff Roem

      What?

      November 10, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • sam stone

      just think how little sense you would make if you WERE smoking weed

      November 10, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb

        Ya think sammie stoner..?

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7H8Cz9woC2A&feature=player_detailpage

        November 10, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
        • sam stone

          you are preaching to the choir on pot, but your posts are inane. it is almost like you are trying to impress yourself with big words, but you say nothing

          November 11, 2013 at 9:24 am |
    • psych ward staff

      uh oh, he threw up his word salad once again – clean-up on page 4, stat!

      November 10, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • interesting notion

      So Lionly, are you saying that human beliefs are always going to be rationalizations that reinforce social expectations? Did I get that right? Or is it more like: people want to explain something they don't understand but since they can't they'll just make up some shizzle?

      November 11, 2013 at 12:13 am |
  11. L

    I find it highly immoral knowing that atheists keep blaming every believer for acts they didn't commit all because they belong to the same faith as the person or group who caused the action to occur. I'm not responsible for the Crusades just because I'm part of the same "faith" as the soldiers were that killed the "enemy" because they couldn't share the land equally. I'm also not responsible for what some Christian "fundie" does in the Bible Belt of America. Stop blaming every believer for your problems that you won't and can't face in real life.

    November 10, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • lol??

      Actually, the trail of responsibility for the Crusades leads to the pagan Vikings.

      November 10, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
      • bostontola

        The trail goes back to cave men and beyond. You love diversions.

        November 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
        • lol??

          You like united vikings and the tower of babel.

          November 10, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
        • bostontola

          You're right, I do like and admire the Vikings, not everything but they were industrious and adventurist. Their conquests were not out of family with how people behaved back then.

          November 10, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
      • UncleBenny

        The Vikings? You mean they were playing football way back then?

        November 11, 2013 at 6:06 am |
        • lol??

          Yup, Vikings are real. Cave men are a theory.

          November 11, 2013 at 6:17 am |
    • lol??

      They're still at it. Look how they walked all over Tiger Wooods, the poor Buddhist.

      November 10, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • bostontola

      Show 1 example where an atheist blames a present Christian for any past crime, just 1. If you can't then you can add fraud to your resume.

      November 10, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • ME II

      I don't think Atheist are blaming Christians who are not responsible, but they often are saying that Christianity is complicit in acts committed in its name.

      November 10, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
      • ME II

        *Atheists

        November 10, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
      • L

        Incorrect. You can't blame Christianity when it was actually about humans not wanting to share land together peacefully. That's basically it but of course those types of atheists want to blame Christianity because if they blame humans for it, they see faults within themselves and everyone else.

        November 10, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
        • bostontola

          That was closest thing you've written to an actual argument, congratulations. The problem is the final sentence is false, humans are deeply flawed, limited, and often commit antisocial behavior. A difference between atheists and Christians is, atheist bad behavior is random, Christian bad behavior is at the behest of an imaginary God.

          November 10, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
      • ME II

        @L,
        Technically, Atheists would always believe that humans are ultimately to blame for human actions, as opposed to god(s) anyway.
        However, Christianity, and most other religions too, provide a way for humans to *rationalization* action they might otherwise view as wrong. Therefore, the religion, or religious ideology, is complicit in those atrocities.

        November 10, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
        • ME II

          *rationalize

          November 10, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
      • L

        So in other words, you believe their "justification"? What if they did it for another reason you don't wish to see because of what they claim? I find it strange you believe them even when they mostly do it for reasons they won't admit publicly.

        November 10, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
        • ME II

          Is this directed at me? I don't understand your point.

          November 10, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
        • L

          You would have to believe their "justification". If a person is full of hate and revenge towards another person but claims God told him to kill that person, would you believe he killed because God told him to or believe he killed the man for revenge purposes due how much hate he had towards that person? So there's more to every story atheists are willing to admit and see.

          November 10, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
        • ME II

          @L,
          By definition, an Atheist is unlikely to believe that God told anyone to do anything.

          November 10, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
        • L

          Then religion can't be blamed. The person that DID the action should be blamed. If a man really did want revenge but claimed God told him to kill, his actual reason is for revenge not because God told him to. See where atheists arguments are flawed?

          November 10, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          People who do things in the name of God are of two kinds. One is sufficiently delusional to actually hear God and attempt to obey. The other takes on the authority of God dishonestly.

          November 10, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
        • ME II

          However, an Atheist would believe that a believer believes that God told them to do some things... even atrocious things.

          November 10, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
        • ME II

          @L,
          The complicity of religion comes in the rationalization it provides for the believer. While I don't anyone has ever been told by God to do anything, indoctrination into a religion may in fact convince the believer that a supposed God wants them to do something.

          November 10, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          An atheist would say that religion is either an anchor for delusional thinking and action, or something like a duck-blind from which someone can act and not be recognized as accountable.

          November 10, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
        • L

          I'm saying there's more to every news story than atheists are willing to admit or see. Revenge, hate etc are common in every single case involving a "religious person" killing "in the name of God". They really don't unless they suffer from an actual mental illness which I don't understand why atheists make fun of people who suffer from it. It's not laughing matter.

          November 10, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
        • ME II

          P.s
          I'm not absolving anyone of blame. The person committing the act still to blame but in many cases religion is complicit as well.

          November 10, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
        • ME II

          @L,
          Are you claiming that your supposed God never tells anyone to kill? Because I think your Bible would disagree.

          November 10, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
        • L

          You can't blame both. THEIR actions were caused by THEM not their religious belief. The belief didn't force them to do anything. They did it willingly. Blaming their belief is just another scapegoat.

          November 10, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
        • L

          There's many reasons why people kill. Revenge, hate, money, a baby died and a believer wants everyone to suffer(happens more than you think) and the list goes on. If you ignore these reasons, you are just another blinded fool.

          November 10, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
        • ME II

          @L,
          Are you saying, for example, that Islam had absolutely no part in 9/11?

          November 10, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
        • L

          Technically speaking, no. They hated Americans for being Americans including members of their OWN religion in America. They kill more of their own than those who don't believe. Their elders brainwash the adults with adult who teach the kids hate. It all comes back to the elders and adults who are so full of anger and rage because it's what they are taught not by Islam but by others. They teach little kids how to use a gun. Tell me, how does that relate to Islam? It doesn't. It's what they are taught by other people while it's masqueraded behind Islam. They passionately hate us because they are taught to do so.

          November 10, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
        • ME II

          Again, I have to ask, are you claiming that your supposed God never tells anyone to kill?

          November 10, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
        • L

          who was he speaking to? Just that one person, Jews or Christians? I bet you never asked yourself these questions.

          November 10, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          L
          What you are saying is flat out false.

          In many cultures of Islam, Including the terrorists on 9/11, America is the great Satan, and Isreal is the little satan.
          Their hatred does not stem only from politics, it mainly comes from their particular set of myths, which includes the myth of satan, which directly ties Islam into 9/11.

          Similar to what the christians did in this country.... After WWII, the cold war started, and America got whipped into a frenzy over "godless communists", making it OK to hijack the const!tution in the name of christianity, and black ball anyone who is an atheists (thinking that atheists equalled communist)
          Whithout the religious ferver, it is unlikely the events on 9/11 would have happened.

          November 10, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
        • ME II

          I don't follow. How is who he supposedly spoke to relevant?

          November 10, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
        • L

          Hate was their god not Allah. Hate was what they lusted after not Allah.

          November 10, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
        • ME II

          @L,
          And how exactly do you know that Allah did not command them to do what they did?

          November 10, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
        • L

          Humans commanded them. There's a difference.

          November 10, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
        • ME II

          @L,
          Again, how do you know that Allah did not also command them?

          November 10, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "I find it highly immoral knowing that atheists keep blaming every believer for acts they didn't commit all because they belong to the same faith as the person or group who caused the action to occur."

      I find it highly immoral knowing that the Christian god keeps blaming every human for acts they didn't commit all because they belong to the human race as the person or group who caused the action to occur.

      You should then easily understand why your mythology of your god is immoral.

      November 10, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
      • bostontola

        It's strange to me that Christians can't see things right in front of them. The bible is rife with flaws. Flaws in their model of the universe, flaws in the moral precepts. It was state of the art 2000 years ago.

        November 10, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I agree. If a person acted and treated people the way their god treats "his children" ....they would call that person "evil" and a "monster". It would be considered nothing short of mental and physical abuse.

          November 10, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
        • lol??

          Well cheesie, while all that moolah was spent in the east-west cold war, you were being trained to be a gud little socie by Bloom and the Frankfurt School. Bwainwashing at its most devious!!

          November 10, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I have no problem stating you sound completely mentally unstable lol??. Is there anyone in the world you don't accuse of being a "socie" and a "marxist" because you don't agree with them on some unrelated point? You must be stuck in a cold war vortex. When I think of you I have a mental picture of an old curmudgeon xenophobe. It wouldn't surprise me if you are a descendent of McCarthy....scared of the boogey man behind every door.

          November 10, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
        • lol??

          Well cheesy, what's new?? How's yer agenda panning out??

          November 10, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I noticed you didn't comment once on what an immoral monster of a god you have there lol??. I take it you realize I am right and you are complicit in your worship a spiritual dictator.

          November 10, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
        • lol??

          That's your judgment, cheesie. Kinda dusty.

          November 10, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Yep biblical morality is dusty...old....outdated...should be tossed.

          November 10, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
      • lol??

        Cheese, what fraternity were you in?? Greek or Hindu??

        November 10, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Do you walk to school or carry your lunch?

          November 11, 2013 at 12:45 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Deus Vult!

      Look it up.

      November 10, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
      • Akira

        Good point.

        November 10, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • Alias

      So how do you feel about original sin?
      Remember that sin Adam commotted that your god holds against all of us?

      November 10, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
      • good enuf fer me

        Me, I'm fairly conservative so I prefer the standard sins... don't need to try no wild new stuff. Necrophelia, beastiality and such were good enough fer mah diddy an' thar good enuf fer me.

        November 10, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • its up to us

      acting morally is the same as acting ethically except for one thing: the idea of morality is attributed to an imaginary friend that schizophrenics claimed to hear long ago. Religions have been stealing ideas from earlier religions long before Christianity arose. I especially enjoy knowing that the commandment "Don't steal" was actually stolen from an earlier religion. The gawwwd responsible for this theft, naturally not being above The Law, is either hiding in shame or he had to kill himself for his own offense. That also explains why he is no longer around. It's not that he doesn't care about us.
      '

      November 11, 2013 at 12:24 am |
    • sam stone

      really? how moral is the concept of original sin?

      how moral is it to allow someone else to take the punishment you feel you deserve?

      how moral is eternal punishment for finite "sins"?

      November 11, 2013 at 9:27 am |
  12. lol??

    1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

    Oh oooooh. Chronos is here and now. Wiki,,,,,,,"...........Chronos was confused with, or perhaps consciously identified with, due to the similarity in name, the Ti*tan Cronus already in antiquity,[1] the identification becoming more widespread during the Renaissance, giving rise to the allegory of "Father Time" wielding the harvesting scythe......................."
    Enuff Cronus and ya got evolution.

    November 10, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
  13. bostontola

    Exodus 20:2-6 reads: "For I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishment for their fathers' wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation"

    This kind of morality is not something I want any part of. You can make an argument that a parent can have some responsibility for crimes of their child in some circu mstances, not the other way around. You can see this perverse Christian morality at play right on this comment string.

    November 10, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • lol??

      That's YOUR string theory??

      November 10, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
  14. A bannana

    You might think it's crazy or kookie or nuts
    But a third of all angels once fell on their butts
    The first one was Satan, the head of the line
    Soon after three more of them hit their behinds
    You might think it's fake or you think it's not real
    But they all slipped on me
    Coz I got such a peel

    November 10, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Shill elsewhere

      You spelled banana wrong in your name, but otherwise a cute little poem.

      November 10, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
  15. Lionly Lamb

    All things believed will ever be as social rationalisms within the quagmires of the mentally apprehensive and even the morally obscured... I love sometimes more and sometimes less... I see and sometimes don't... I hear and sometimes am not heard... I feel and am seldom felt... Like you, I am giving rise to we are and sometimes we are not... Real eyes realize real lies...

    November 10, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
  16. Soooo

    Who else is just bored out of their mind right now?

    November 10, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
  17. Colin

    They did an experiment with sick people in Australia in the 80s. 5 groups of 500 people with different ailments of different severities were isolated. The 5 groups were split as follows

    A. For the first group of 500 sick people, Christian volunteers prayed to God that their condition would improve.
    B. For the second group of 500 sick people, Muslim volunteers prayed to Allah that their condition would improve.
    C. For the second group of 500 sick people, Australian Aboriginals performed traditional ceremonies to their ancestral spirits that their condition would improve.
    D. For the fourth group, Hindu volunteers prayed for their recovery.
    E. The fifth group was a control group for whom no prayers, chants or other supernatural imploring occurred.

    Similarly, researchers in the USA traced the social development of three major issues in recent history for which millions and millions of Christians have prayed in an effort to affect the outcome:

    A. Abortion
    B. Gay rights and gay marriage
    C. School prayer

    In the first experiment, none of the five groups did any better than the other four. Improvements were randomly distributed across all groups. In other words, Christian prayers work no better than doing nothing, or to praying to Allah, Brahma or some Aboriginal ancestor spirits.

    In the second, the Christians continued to lose and continue to lose to this day. Despite millions and millions of prayers, the anti-Christian position continues to make strides.

    Then we have the famous Benson study from Harvard University. Dr. Herbert Benson of Harvard Medical School tested the effect of having three Christian groups pray for particular patients, starting the night before surgery and continuing for two weeks. The volunteers prayed for "a successful surgery with a quick, healthy recovery and no complications" for specific patients, for whom they were given the first name and first initial of the last name.

    The patients, meanwhile, were split into three groups of about 600 apiece: those who knew they were being prayed for, those who were prayed for but only knew it was a possibility, and those who weren't prayed for but were told it was a possibility.

    The study looked for any complications within 30 days of the surgery. Results showed no effect of prayer on complication-free recovery. Zero. No connection whatsoever. In other words, yet another scientifically rigorous study found prayer to be useless. There has NEVER been one that found that it worked.

    Finally, the horrors of the terrorist attacks of 9-11 are probably still very familiar to most people. The first plane hit the North Tower, entering the building on the 91st -98th floor. There were approximately 1300 people at or above the impact zone. You may recall the horrific sights of people jumping to their deaths. Indeed, one of the first firefighter casualties is believed to have been struck and killed by a jumping victim.

    Recordings reveal how virtually all of these 1300 odd victims prayed for help. Film shows jumpers blessing themselves before plunging to their deaths. And yet every single person on or above the 91st floor died. Many died horrific, painful, burning deaths as their prayers (and those of their loved ones on the ground) were ignored. Below the 90th floor, virtually everybody survived, whether they prayed or not.

    It is clear that prayers were, once again, shown to be utterly impotent and useless. A person’s chances of survival were dictated by something as random as their location in the building when the plane hit, not by whether they prayed.

    I would invite any Christian who still, despite ALL evidence to the contrary, believes that when they pray, a being that created the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, reads their minds and will intervene to alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to answer them, to consider the following.

    Line up every amputee in the World. There must be a few million. Pray to the Christian god that just one of them grows a new arm or leg and see what happens. We know the result. You could line up millions of Christians to pray their heart out for decades and not one limb would re-grow.

    Prayer will fail. It will fail 100% of the time – always and forever, for the simple and obvious reason that there is no (Hindu, Christian, Muslim or other) god there listening to you. It only ever “works” when the outcome was going to occur anyway, like a cancer going into remission, a person recovering from a serious, but curable illness, or a person below the 90th floor of the North Tower escaping the 9-11 disaster. It reminds me of the gambler who went to Vegas for the weekend. He decided to pray to God that a 4 would come up every time he rolled a die.

    Apparently God answered his prayer about once every six times -:)

    November 10, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • ME II

      FYI: link to the Benson study:
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16569567

      November 10, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • Maria

      Fascinating. There is no proof at all that prayer works. Given that, and given that all gods are always invisible, what is possibly more interesting is why just about every society I'm aware of developed some form of religion. You can talk about the fear of death, but then you have to deal with the fact that not all religions have an afterlife. Some, like the Norse, believed in gods who would die and disappear. You can talk about the lack of scientific understanding of the world, but then you must deal with the fact that Zeus as an explanation for lightning is very different from Plato's allegory of the cave. You can talk about tribal survival, but then you must deal with the fact that religion is not the only tribal unifier/identifier. The Romans did not conquer in the name of a religion. You also must deal with the way some sense of spirituality has always been tied into the arts.

      I'm almost tempted to believe that something in our physiology leads us to believe that we are perceiving a world beyond the replicable/objective results of science.

      November 10, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb

        Sired Maria...

        Just on record, the ends do justify its lengths and sometimes some things are endless... Real eyes realize real lies...

        November 10, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • counterww

      That is your POV. Prayer changes things. Sometimes the answer is NO, and sometimes the answer is later, and sometimes the answer is yes, and soon.

      November 16, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
  18. Rainer Braendlein

    I am not a fan of Billy Graham because I cannot share his sight of baptism. I could ignore this conflict of opinion if it would be about a minor matter but the doctrine of baptism is one of the core doctrines or tenets of Christianity. Somebody who errs concerning baptism will dash against the whole Christian faith.

    Mr. Graham beliefs that baptism is an act of obedience, and a witness to the world that we are Christ's. Yet, this opinion is not according to the Bible. According to the Bible, and I share the opinion of Jesus and St. Paul, baptism is a sacral or sacramental act where the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is made present. At baptism we die and resurrect together with Jesus in a spiritual way. All barriers of space and time disappear, and we experience the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in a perfect way (though Christ has died and resurrected 2000 years ago). By our reason we can only grasp the atonement character of Jesus' sacrifice but by baptism we also "grasp" the releasing power of Christ's sacrifice: we die for the sin, and resurrect together with Jesus for a new life in Him, or we enter Christ. In Christ, and having died for the sin, we can overcome our natural selfishness, and live a life of love of neighbour. Of course, baptism is no magical or no mechanical act – faith is necessary. But what is faith? Any discription available? Here is it: After sacramental baptism we belief when we are obedient. Or in other words: After sacramental baptism we can no longer argue we would lack faith in order to justifiy our misbehaviour but God tells us: You are baptized, now follow my Son Jesus in the power of his death and resurrection. Do certains steps, and you will be happy.

    http://confessingchurch.wordpress.com

    Gospel: God, the Father, delivered God, the Son, Jesus, for our sins, and raised him from the dead for our justification. This Gospel becomes effective for us through faith AND baptism.

    Let me furthermore remark that this doctrine is according to Luther, Bonhoeffer, Augustine, and all other significant Fathers of the Church.

    The reason for the great doom of our world today is that we no longer realize the sacral character of Christianity. Yet, we should be aware that Anglo-Saxon materialism and sacral Christianity are not compatible (Jesus said that we cannot serve God and the idol Mammon at the same time). Hence, today we have to choose between a boring world of things and a highly interesting world of wonder. Who is wonderland Narnia's Aslan in our world? It is Jesus.

    November 10, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Wow rainman... a personal best for you

      Not only do you think there is a "great doom" in our world, but then you actually think you know what caused it.

      If you want to find what the biggest problem facing the world, It just might be religious people like yourself claiming everyone one else is wrong and thqat everyone needs to listen to you.

      I really hope people read some of what you have written... if they have any intelligence at all, they will see layers of mental illness. Get help rainman, seriously, get some NON-religious help.

      November 10, 2013 at 11:55 am |
      • Rainer Braendlein

        You got me wrong. I am not an opponent of science or reasonable thinking. I like Frederic the Great, King of Pruzzia, who was a great promoter of science against the resistance of the backward Roman Catholic Church.

        At the dark age people focused too much on mystical things whereby it was too a large extent a spirituality which was highly distored by the Roman Catholic Church.

        Through Enlightenment and other societal developments we have overcome the dark rule of the Roman Catholic Church. Yet, we have gone too far, and have even expeled true Christianity, and have achieved a nasty rule of materialism. In a way we should go some steps back in order to find a balance between visible and invisble things.

        November 10, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          What is really needed is not a balance between visible and invisible...what is needed is to find the divide between reality and belief. Until you can identify something as reality, do not try to force it out of the belief catagory.

          All religion is belief.

          November 10, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
        • Rainer Braendlein

          Is there a transition from the invisible world to the visible one, from the world of faith to the real world? Yes, there is such a transition. If a Christian loves his neighbour independent from belief, color, nationality, race, social status, rank, etc., then the faith becomes visible.

          November 10, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          no gods needed for that.
          I am an atheist, yet I practice random acts of kindness, volunteer at a local chemical dependancy clinic, and help my neighbors whenever I can...all without gods.

          Can you tell me something that is possibleONLY through your faith? ( and i mean in the secular....there is no evidence of anything else so any talk of a "spirit" or "soul" or "afterlife" is moot.

          November 10, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
        • Rainer Braendlein

          When I look around I only see people which flock together, and their "love" towards each other depends on something which is mostly any nasty idol. There are very few people which practice an unbiased love towards everybody but that would be Christianity.

          How do I mean that?

          At the company where I work, for instance, there are some workmates which work extremly much, and I assume that they destroy themselves through too much work. They are the leading "workers" of the company where I work, and when I would like to join their flock I had to work as much as they work, and consequently to destroy my body. I am not ready to pay thís price, and refrain from their community. I hope to meet kind people which simply love me as a human being, created by God.

          Christian love is unconditional. Jesus always was a friend of the sick and the poor people, even of the outrageous sinners.

          November 10, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
        • Shill elsewhere

          Christians, for the most part, never practice what they preach.

          November 10, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          Again... nothing that any non-christian can do.
          I treat all people the same, and I have no gods, and know the whole christianity thing is myth.
          wther or not there are gods or not, the christian god is myth.
          The bible is far too flawed, and it requires you to do something to join that is in itself immoral in our society. You have to be willing to allow someone else to take YOUR punishment.
          Do not bring up veterans fighting and dying for me... That is their choice and I did not get one....with your christ it is different...you have the choice...allow another to take your punishment, or not.
          I choose not because the former is immoral. I would not allow another to take my punishment, yet all of christianity is made up around that central immorality, so don't try to take a moral road with me, christians are immoral as soon as they accept their jesus.

          November 10, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
        • tallulah13

          The only thing that belief can do that non-belief can't is cause damage in the name of god.

          November 10, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
        • counterww

          actually our righteousness comes from Christ. try reading the letters of paul, he says it all. We cannot be righteous without Jesus Christ.

          November 16, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      Sired Rain...

      Sanctimonies practicalities of the permissive social varieties are vacationing mental summations rooted with individualistic sentimentalities laying around many vicarious broad spectral subsidies...

      November 10, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • lol??

      One baptism. Paul was glad he got away from the water. Now the living water is a whole nuther story.

      November 10, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
      • €:^)

        It is impossible for you to make any sense, isn't it??

        November 10, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
        • lol??

          You must be an outsider,

          "Eph 4:5-6 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

          Y'all get smart now ya heah??

          November 10, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
  19. Colin

    Hey L, I believe in Leprechauns.

    I believe that the Leprechaun King created the entire Universe about 6,000 years ago. I know there is a substantial amount of evidence suggesting that the Universe is significantly older than this, but I think a lot of that evidence comes from bad science, or from a worldwide conspiracy of scientists who want to deny Leprechauns. I know this because it is written in the Leprechaun Chronicles, a book cobbled together from various authors, most unknown, by our church during the Dark Ages.

    The Leprechaun King lives in Leprechaun Heaven, where he where he busies himself answering prayers, running the Universe and recording the lives of humans for their final judgment before him. He is surrounded by an entire society of magical beings – his son Merlin who rose from the dead, the Holy Leprechaun Spirit, the good fairy Mary, thousands of Leprechaun saints, fairies, pixies and the souls of many millions of dead people.

    Each Leprechaun saint and pixie has a special task. For example, Saint Christopher is the patron-pixie of travelers and it is his job to intercede with the Leprechaun king on behalf of travelers to keep them safe. Most countries and professions similarly have a special Leprechaun who pays them special attention – even lawyers. There are strict rules governing the roles, responsibilities of the various Leprechauns, elves, pixies and other heavenly beings.

    I believe that the Leprechaun King loves me and hears my prayers. He intervenes in my life periodically by saving me from various ills. All I have to do is think to myself and he reads my mind and answers my prayers. He loves me and when I die, provided I have lived a good life, I will go to Leprechaun Heaven, where I will live happily ever after with all other humans who have ever led good lives.

    I know there is not a lot of evidence to support my beliefs, but that is just the point. The Leprechaun King wants us to have “faith,” so he never reveals himself. To make an unambiguous appearance and settle once and for all the question of his existence would deprive us of free will and, even though he is all-knowing, he would not know who his true believers were.

    In fact, I believe that the Leprechaun King is “beyond understanding”. He is “outside the Universe” and any time I am faced with something about my Leprechaun belief that makes no sense, I don’t dare question it, I just close my mind and tell myself that my mind is too small to understand the greatness of the Leprechaun King. These answers are satisfying to me.

    Some people are called “atheists,” and they are skeptical of my belief in the Leprechaun King. They point out many inherent contradictions and unsupported assumptions that underwrite my belief in Leprechauns. But, they can’t prove he doesn’t exist, so he must exist. And so what! Even if I am wrong, and go my whole life believing in Leprechauns and it turns out I am wrong, I have lost nothing. However, if they are wrong, the Leprechaun King will send them to hell to burn forever in the presence of the Evil Ground Troll.

    Am I convincing you to believe in Leprechauns yet, L? Perhaps if you reflect on why I failed to convince you of my faith in leprechauns, pixies and elves, you will understand why I do not believe in gods, angels and saints.

    November 10, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • Freedom

      I like leprechauns

      November 10, 2013 at 11:36 am |
      • L

        Awe, did I smash your little fantasy? How typical.

        November 10, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
        • Dippy's Aide

          It's "aw", not "awe".

          November 10, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • L

      The bible never stated how old the earth is. And here I thought "rational" atheists knew more about the bible than Christians. Ha! What a joke!

      November 10, 2013 at 11:37 am |
      • Colin

        Hmm, never heard of the genealogoy of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke, that traces his ancestors all the way back to Adam, hey?

        Never hearsd of how the Pentatuch traces the history of the JEws from Adam all the way down to pose the Babylonian exile, hey?

        NEver heard of how MAtthew traces JEsus ancestors back to David, who is himself traced back to Adam and Eve in earlier Tanakh writinbgs in the Old Testament, hey?

        I do wish you Christians would at least read your own silly book.

        November 10, 2013 at 11:43 am |
        • L

          That's how old PEOPLE were NOT the age of THIS PLANET. Silly atheists don't know more than Christians.

          November 10, 2013 at 11:45 am |
        • Colin

          OK L , let me join the dots for you. Luke traces Jesus ancestry back to Adam. If you add up the generations and ages you get to about 4,000 BC. Fifth grade math. Hence the age creationists give for the Earth – about 6,000 years old.

          November 10, 2013 at 11:53 am |
        • L

          That's the ages of people not the age of THIS planet. Seriously is this hard for you to understand?

          November 10, 2013 at 11:56 am |
        • Doris

          What is silly is that someone would put any stock at all in fables coming from an oral tradition and then were copied over and over and over and over and over and over, with mistakes and obvious intentional additions and modifications along the way, sometimes with regard to translation from another language. Very, very silly IMHO.

          November 10, 2013 at 11:56 am |
        • Colin

          L, so hang on., God creates the Earth in seven days, including Adam and Eve, and the Bible then traces the entire history, generation by generation, down to Jesus – 2,000 years ago. Game over.

          November 10, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
        • L

          Still has nothing to do with the age of earth. Provide an actual verse that states how old the earth literally is. I know no such verse exists. Boom. Game over.

          November 10, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          Colin
          Don't you love it when you give the information they asked for, straight out of their bible, yet they reject it because it doesn't state it clearly.
          Can you imagine if they did that for all of the bible, do you know what you would have.... a whole bunch more atheists, since all of the bible is subjective and much of it does not say things specifically.

          And then dropping a dud firecrac ker and saying boom, over.....hilariuos.

          November 10, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
      • Colin

        Ok, I'm out. Debate requires intellectual honesty and/or basic common sense. You lack one of them, or perhaps both.

        November 10, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
        • L

          Still won't provide the verse I see. Typical.

          November 10, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
      • ME II

        @L,
        The Bible didn't state the age of the Earth, but it did imply the age of the Earth.
        It did however state that the Earth and all living things were created in 6 six days, which is demonstrably false.

        November 10, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
        • L

          For us humans it would be 6 literal days but for God, earthly time doesn't exist.

          November 10, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Even if we accept that the six days are not literal, the order of events in genesis is all messed up. What's your excuse for that?

          November 10, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
        • L

          It takes time to understand it. Your childhood or how many times you read it(typically atheists claim to have read it 1-4 times) doesn't mean you understand it all. Looking at a verse and assuming how you translated it is correct, doesn't mean you are smarter and more educated than Christians.

          November 10, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
        • ME II

          @L,
          "For us humans it would be 6 literal days but for God, earthly time doesn't exist"

          That is immaterial. The evidence disputes only 6 days from the Big Bang to existence of humans. It did not happen, much less in the order described.

          November 10, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
        • L

          It would feel LIKE 6 actual earthly days for US humans but for God, it's impossible for anyone to know what a minute could feel like to God. The interpretations of experts or a preacher doesn't mean their right. Wow, and to think atheists claim to more than Christians. What a load of cr.ap.

          November 10, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
        • ME II

          @L
          "It would feel LIKE 6 actual earthly days for US humans but for God,..."

          How is what it *felt* like to your supposed God relevant to the discussion? The claim is that it took 6 days; the evidence refutes that claim.

          November 10, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
  20. bostontola

    Does it take blind faith to believe that:
    There are no unicorns.
    Zeus does not exist.
    Santa doesn't exist.
    People never turned into salt.
    Tinker Bell doesn't exist.
    Jesus wasnt resurrected.
    Mermaids don't exist.
    There was no ark that had the only surviving animals on it.
    Pegasus never existed.
    No man has been risen from the dead.
    Etc. etc. etc.

    Answer: No.
    Why? Because there is no objective evidence FOR these things, and ALL objective evidence conflicts with these things.

    Are people who believe that there are no unicorns part of an A-Unicorn, or Anti-Unicorn religion? No.

    Fact: there is no difference between Zeus and The Abrahamic God in terms of objective evidence. There is exactly the same amount of objective evidence for both, zero. To disbelieve in the Abrahamic God is just the same as disbelief in Zeus. No faith required, no religion required.

    November 10, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • L

      Did your parents ruin your childhood or something?

      November 10, 2013 at 11:26 am |
      • Jeff Roem

        Yours did.

        November 10, 2013 at 11:27 am |
      • Colin

        L – I see you adroitly dodged his question with a personal attack.

        November 10, 2013 at 11:28 am |
      • ME II

        @L,
        That's not an argument.

        November 10, 2013 at 11:29 am |
      • bostontola

        Your only response is to attack a stranger's parents? You should check your moral compass, you must be too close to a strong magnetic source.

        Btw, I had over a decade of Sunday school.

        November 10, 2013 at 11:29 am |
      • L

        Atheists have this weird obsession with childhood fairy-tales and they typically bring those up in everything. In fact, Santa was based on an actual person who did help children get presents but the story got twisted to what it is now. Now why would rational adults always bring up Santa or the Easter bunny if your parents didn't ruin it for you? They must've if you have a reason to always bring those stories up. Face your problems in real life. Nobody here is responsible.

        November 10, 2013 at 11:33 am |
        • bostontola

          Because there is the same amount of objective evidence for the Easter bunny as there is for Jesus being a God.

          November 10, 2013 at 11:35 am |
        • Colin

          "Santa was based on an actual person who did help children get presents but the story got twisted to what it is now."

          that is what makes the analogy to Jesus so alluring, because that is exactly hwat happened there !!

          November 10, 2013 at 11:36 am |
        • tallulah13

          Wow, L. That's silly. And thank you for pointing out that there is actually more evidence for the existence of Santa Claus than there is for your god.

          November 10, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • Freedom

      I can't speak for you guys but I happen to love stuff that doesn't exist

      November 10, 2013 at 11:34 am |
      • bostontola

        I do too, but I don't try to proselytize or try to make laws based on unfounded beliefs, or change history and science texts to sway our youth to believe in my fantasies.

        November 10, 2013 at 11:38 am |
        • L

          Atheism isn't so blameless. Look at ww2 and what atheistic leaders caused.

          November 10, 2013 at 11:40 am |
        • Colin

          Hey L –

          "We were convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out." Adolf Hitler, Speech in Berlin, October 24, 1933

          "Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith ...we need believing people." Adolf Hitler, April 26, 1933

          And on Feburary 1, 1933 Hitler delivered a speech in which he promised to restore "family...honor and loyalty, Volk and Vaterland, culture and economy" and recover "the eternal foundation of our morality and our faith." Hitler further declares a "merciless war against spiritual, political, and cultural nihilism."

          But, my favorite of all : – "My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice... And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.
          Adolf Hitler April, 12th 1922

          November 10, 2013 at 11:45 am |
        • bostontola

          L,
          Your argument is flawed in multiple aspects. 1. Your premise is false, atheism is not an actor/agent, therefore it did nothing, an individual atheist did. 2. Stalin did his thing after WWII. 3. What an individual atheist does is not valid evidence against other atheists.

          Please don't reference Hitler, he wasn't an atheist. He is reported to have become a vegetarian, does that mean all vegetarians are evil?

          November 10, 2013 at 11:46 am |
        • L

          What some Christians do doesn't reflect what everyone else thinks or does. But wait! Atheists love to think like that. They do it all the time with acting like today Christians were responsible for the Crusades! Well, atheists today are responsible for Stalin's actions if Christians today are responsible for something that happened before they were born.

          November 10, 2013 at 11:51 am |
        • bostontola

          L,
          You are very slippery, you never answer a question, you change the point. Are you a professional politician?

          Btw, I don't blame any Christian today for acts made in history, that would be crazy. Kind of crazy like your God that penalizes 4 later generations of a transgressor. Your God's morals don't fit in our world today.

          November 10, 2013 at 11:56 am |
        • L

          Where have you been? Many atheists today blame today's Christians for every evil act committed by someone else. Take about shoving fake guilt down someone's throat.

          November 10, 2013 at 11:59 am |
        • L

          I also didn't mention Hitler. You did. My "atheistic leaders" I was referring to Stalin and Mao. Stalin purged churches killing over 100,000 religious believers. That's how atheistic communism deals with religion.

          November 10, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
        • bostontola

          Your unsubstantiated assertion has no weight. Provide a source and we can discuss. I've seen no case of atheists blaming today's Christians for past atrocities.

          November 10, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
        • Colin

          L what the fvck did Mao have to do with WWII? He was fighting a civil war the whole time.

          November 10, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
        • L

          Go to any forum that deals with religious articles and you will find many atheists blaming today's Christians for all sorts of acts they didn't commit.

          November 10, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
        • bostontola

          As I said, Mao and Stalin did their major atrocities after WWII.

          November 10, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
        • L

          So even atheism has a dark murderous past. In fact, those leaders racked up the most deaths in the past century yet atheists won't be able to see it because their focus is on "religion" while ignoring what atheism has caused.

          November 10, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
        • bostontola

          L,
          You are immoral.

          You indict an entire general group for the crimes of a few specific individuals with no direct relationship to the others. You get that immoral behavior from your bible. I realize it is in there and you were taught that, but it is still immoral and YOU are responsible for your own behavior.

          November 10, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
        • L

          Atheists do the same, buddy. Generalize all Christians based on the actions of their parents, friends, ex-church, from the media news outlets, or history. Seems unfair to me. I did it to prove how easy it is to generalize a group based on the actions of another. It's easy to hate all based on the actions of a few without facing YOUR problem head on.

          November 10, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
        • Shill elsewhere

          We get it, L. You like painting things with a gigantic brush, to tar as many as possible. You dig generalizations and logic fallacies. You're not into conversation, but confrontation.

          Don't like atheists? So?

          November 10, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
      • Freedom

        Don't both sides make laws based on unfounded opinions?

        November 10, 2013 at 11:44 am |
        • bostontola

          I can point directly to laws Christians are trying to pass, please point out Atheist laws based on opinion.

          November 10, 2013 at 11:50 am |
        • L

          Restricting people's faiths to only their homes and churches? Yep, atheists have been trying for a while now and are failing so bad many cling to online forums thinking it will solve their problems. Isn't that living in a fantasy world?!

          November 10, 2013 at 11:55 am |
        • bostontola

          L,
          Once again a flawed argument. Atheists are not pushing the restrictions you defined, just trying to follow the US Const tution.

          November 10, 2013 at 11:59 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          L
          No one is restricting your faith in the slightest.... and you forgot in your head...None of these are being curtailed.

          What is being curtailed is people using OUR time to practice THEIR religion...in OUR schools, in OUR government.
          Why do you think it is appropriate to start a government business meeting with a religious demonstration? Do you think it would be appropriate in any other business or do you think you would be fired if at the start of every business meeting you attend you stop them for a prayer...you would be rightly fired.
          Just as inappropriate for the government to bring up a zoning issue in front of your congregation.

          Your faith is fiine, in your head, in your home, in your church, and many other places. It is not approprite in many others.

          All you are feeling now from the atheists in this regard is the blow back that happened when the christians forced their religion into everyones lives. We refuse to be silent anymore.

          November 10, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
        • L

          The same should be applied to you which means you can't openly attack, discuss, question, and attack any person that is religious. Pretty much atheists wouldn't have a life anymore if that happens.

          November 10, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          L
          Now you are really being ridiculous.
          This forum is a good example of an appropriate venue.
          If I got up in school and forced others to listen...inapproprite time and place.
          If I start a government business meeting with my telling you why I don't believe in gods...inappropriate time and place.
          Same thing for prayer...no one is stopping you from praying in your head whenever you want, just as no one is stopping me from the amusement I get from watching religious ceremonies and laughing in my head.

          November 10, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
      • L

        Atheists do the same, buddy. Generalize an entire group based on actions of another. I did it to prove how easy it is without realizing the group you belong to also has a dark murderous past.

        November 10, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
        • bostontola

          1. Your premise is not substantiated, show me where atheists indicted a Christian for another Christians crime.
          2. If it were true that atheists did that, how would that relieve your moral transgression? It wouldn't. Fact is your behavior is immoral. In history there have been reprehensible people from just about every group. There have also been great people in most of those groups. No rational person disputes that. Your behavior is immoral and sadly is allowed and modeled in your bible.

          November 10, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
      • L

        It's not my fault what happened in history nor is it my fault what happened in another state or country. If atheists are indeed more logical than of all humanity, wouldn't it be logical to not think everyone is out to force you to believe? Or wants you dead for not believing? Talk about living in a delusional paranoid world.

        November 10, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
        • bostontola

          You respond continually with diversions. You are on record with immoral behavior and then you defend that immoral behavior. You need to check on yourself.

          November 10, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
        • L

          It's immoral to destroy atheist fantasies? Hmm.

          November 10, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
        • bostontola

          More diversion. It's immoral to indict people of a group for the crimes of others from that group. Your bible not only allows it, the God in your bible models that immoral behavior. In that context, i guess you are a good Christian.

          November 10, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
        • L

          Atheists do it all the time. Have you been living under a rock? I've been blamed for causing the Crusades or the Spanish Inquisition. Or the killing of the Native American Indians. And so on by atheists before. So it's moral for them to blame an entire diverse group of Christians based on actions of someone else? I see you are highly biased. Goodbye, troll.

          November 10, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
        • bostontola

          You divert and go in circles. Even if atheists were immoral, how does that excuse your immoral behavior?

          November 10, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
        • Shill elsewhere

          It’s immoral to destroy Christian fantasies? Hmm.

          November 10, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6
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.