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November 18th, 2013
12:17 PM ET

Disfigured man embraced by Pope: 'I felt only love'

By Daniel Burke and Livia Borghese, CNN

Rome (CNN) - The photo roused emotions and sparked conversations around the world - but the man at the center of the image says the moment left him speechless.

"I tried to speak, to tell him something, but I couldn't: The emotion was too strong," says Vinicio Riva, the disfigured man embraced by Pope Francis in images that went viral earlier this month.

"It all lasted not more than a minute, but it seemed an eternity," Riva told the Italian magazine Panorama this weekend.

Riva, whose body is covered with tumors due to a rare disease, said his unusual appearance has led to a lifetime of living on the margins.

That is, until he showed up at St. Peter's Square on November 6.

Riva went to Rome on the advice of a friend with whom he travels to Lourdes, the Catholic shrine in France visited by thousands of ailing and infirm pilgrims each year.

After meeting Francis in St. Peter's Square, Riva said he kissed the Pope's hand. Francis then pulled Riva toward him, hugging the 53-year-old Italian and kissing his face.

MORE ON CNN: Why the Pope's embrace is so powerful

Riva, who lives in Vicenza in northern Italy, said he suffers from neurofibromatosis Type 1, which causes painful tumors to grow throughout his body. His younger sister and late mother also suffered from the rare disease, Riva told Panorama.

The first signs of the disease began when he was 15, Riva said, and since then, he has often felt ostracized because of his unusual appearance.

But the Pope showed no sign of discomfort as he approached, said Riva. Instead, the pontiff's face broke into a calm smile.

"But what most astonished me is that he didn’t think twice on embracing me," Riva said. "I’m not contagious, but he didn’t know. He just did it; he caressed all my face, and while he was doing that, I felt only love."

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Church • Faith • Health • Pope Francis

soundoff (829 Responses)
  1. Robert Brown

    Atheists reject the bible as the word of God. They are convinced that it was written by men without any divine inspiration in order to control people. They come to this conclusion for several reasons including; the creation narrative, evolution and the age of the earth, no evidence of a global flood, impossibility of miracles, contradictions, and evil acts committed by God.

    Believers accept the bible as the word of God. We believe God created everything. A being that has the power to create the universe can do things that we call miracles. We think God inspired men to write the bible because he wants us to know that he is the creator and wants his created beings to be reconciled to him. It is a love story.

    November 20, 2013 at 8:41 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Robert Brown
      Careful of those sweeping generalizations.
      I don't believe that the Bible was written in order to control people. The faith that it inspires in people has been misused by many over thousands of years and its various passages have been used to rationalize all manner of atrocities – but I don't think that was the intent of the authors.
      The Torah/Tanakh/Old Testament is a collection of ancient myths, together forming a sort of apocryphal history of the Jewish people. They are morality tales, no more meant to be taken literally than The Epic of Gilgamesh or Beowulf.
      The New Testament is likely the aggrandized, mythologized biography of a radical Rabbi who rebuked his religion's bureaucratic, petty hierarchy and sought to spread his God to everyone – Jew and Gentile alike.

      It is historical fiction, albeit with an astounding clarity and insight into the instincts, vices and virtues that drive human behaviour. To understand North American, European and Middle Eastern history, it is necessary to study the book that is inextricably linked to the cultural development of those regions – thus the Bible is important reading for everyone.
      There is absolutely nothing wrong with basing one's moral compass on the teachings of Christ. Pacifism, charity, humility and forgiveness are all characteristics that are sorely lacking in the world. But one need not engage in rituals or suspend rationality in order to accept supernatural dogma as immutable law just to emulate Christ's character.

      November 20, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • Doris

      " impossibility of miracles"?

      No. I think you'll find most non-believers don't say something is impossible. Highly unlikely to the point that allows them not to hold a belief? -yes.

      November 20, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • Ocean

      I think some atheists are jealous that miracles happen to other people but never happened to them. Only reason I can think of that most deny miracles with such great anger.

      November 20, 2013 at 10:18 am |
      • Appy-polly-loggies.

        😉

        November 20, 2013 at 10:23 am |
      • Doris

        Very silly troll. Why would atheists care about something they don't believe in? It's not the object of belief that is of concern, it's the tendency for the believer to only run in circles trying to justify and verify their belief that, from outside that circle, becomes tiresome. Of course, when such poor justification and verification attempt to change law, well that's quite a bit more disconcerting.

        November 20, 2013 at 10:30 am |
        • Ocean

          That wasn't "trolling" troll.

          November 20, 2013 at 11:02 am |
        • Boris

          Athies r in rare form today. Golly, I don't no y they don't care about something they don't believe in. I would hate to c what they're like when they do believe.

          November 20, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        Ocean, Do have evidence of miracles, i.e. evidence that you would find convincing in a court of law, evidence that can be verified.

        November 20, 2013 at 11:13 am |
        • Ocean

          Go to any hospital, ask any doctor/nurse about what they've witnessed and you'll be surprised.

          November 20, 2013 at 11:59 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        @Ocean
        Can I have the Lobster Thermidor a Crevette with a mornay sauce served in a Provencale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pate, brandy and with a fried egg on top and spam, but without the Spam?

        November 20, 2013 at 11:15 am |
        • Akira

          Ten points to your house for the Monty Python reference, Doc.

          November 20, 2013 at 11:38 am |
  2. prophet

    all those christians who believ in jsus etc we are trying to help you as you have been misled, Our Saviour's Name is and was not jsus, He would not of even heard this mentioned in His time, it was invented by antiisemtic greeks and romans. christianity is based on antisemitism and those who are chrstians are in an antisemtic religion and because Our Saviour is Jewish can you see how you contradict yourselves and its hypocrisy. Lsten to God and not to humans because the Truth shall set you free and then you wil be saved. christians turn to God, the God of Israel and not to the pagan version of the chritians. Your all welcome because Salvation comes from The Jews. This s a Fact.

    November 20, 2013 at 8:35 am |
  3. prophet

    the christians follow the bible and yet the Torah is all about the hypocrisy of chritians, old and New Torah warns us of hypocrites and antisemitism such as chrstains.

    November 20, 2013 at 2:42 am |
    • Reality # 2

      And now returning to the 21st century:

      The Apostles' Creed 2013: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
      and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen
      (references used are available upon request)

      November 20, 2013 at 8:09 am |
      • Tim Hill

        "Jesus did give them proof, on numerous occasions. He healed the sick, turned water into wine, and raised the dead. He showed how his coming fulfilled prophecy. But they still didn't believe.

        Consider the story of the blind man Jesus healed in John 9. When he was brought to the Pharisees, did they say, "Zounds, Jesus restored the sight of a blind man! He must be a great prophet if not God himself!" No, they didn't. They had the man right there, giving his eye-witness (no pun intended) testimony. And what was their response? They had his parents brought in and questioned if he had really been blind. When they said he was, they demanded that the man explain how Jesus did it. Of course he didn't know. They pressed and pressed, and when he wouldn't recant his story, they had him excommunicated.

        So when they asked for yet another sign, Jesus told them no, he had already given them all the proof they needed. If Jesus had come to some meeting of the priests and performed a miracle right in front of them, I'm sure they would have claimed it was an illusion or a magic trick.

        It's just like some of the demands people make today. Every now and then an atheist will say, "If there really is a God, let him strike me down with lightning right now." Why doesn't God respond by sending lighting? Because: suppose that an atheist said that, and at that very moment a bolt of lightning tore through the roof and knocked him to the ground. Would all the atheists say, "Wow, we were wrong. God did indeed prove his existence"? I really really doubt it. Much more likely they would say, "Wow, what an astounding coincidence! Just as Bob made that comment about God striking him with lightning, he actually was struck by lightning! You know it would be funny if it wasn't that poor Bob was so badly hurt ..." Right? Does anyone seriously think otherwise?

        At some point you have to say, he's done all these miracles, he's given you the Bible, you can believe it or not. In Luke 16:31, Jesus says, "If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead." I used to wonder what Jesus meant by this. For of course, if someone really came back from the dead, everyone would have to believe. How could they not? Then stories of near-death experiences came out, people who claimed to have died during surgery or in accidents and then been revived, and who talked about seeing a "being of light" and a heavenly - or sometimes hellish - place. Did this end the controversy, and everyone who heard became Christians? No. They said these people were making up stories or hallucinating. Maybe some people became convinced that there is life after death from such testimony, but I suspect it's few. I'm a Christian, I believed in life after death before I heard these stories, and they don't particularly convince me of anything. I don't know what to make of them.

        If someone doesn't want to believe, no amount of evidence will convince him. God's not going to waste his time giving a 127th proof to someone who wasn't convinced by the first 126".

        November 20, 2013 at 8:16 am |
        • tallulah13

          I am more than willing to believe in things which are supported by irrefutable proof. The problem with go

          November 20, 2013 at 11:00 am |
        • tallulah13

          Sorry. iPad malfunction. Anyway the problem with gods is that their existence is not supported by evidence. Provide evidence and I will believe. But it has to be real evidence, not anecdotal or emotional. Those types of evidence are easily refuted.

          November 20, 2013 at 11:04 am |
        • Reality # 2

          Let us start with John's gospel:

          John's Gospel is of questionable historic value.

          To wit:

          From Professor Bruce Chilton in his book, Rabbi Jesus,

          "Conventionally, scholarship has accorded priority to the first three gospels in historical work on Jesus, putting progressively less credence in works of late date. John's Gospel for example is routinely dismissed as a source......

          From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_John#Authorship

          "Since "the higher criticism" of the 19th century, some historians have largely rejected the gospel of John as a reliable source of information about the historical Jesus.[3][4] "[M]ost commentators regard the work as anonymous,"[5] and date it to 90-100."

          "The authorship has been disputed since at least the second century, with mainstream Christianity believing that the author is John the Apostle, son of Zebedee. Modern experts usually consider the author to be an unknown non-eyewitness, though many apologetic Christian scholars still hold to the conservative Johannine view that ascribes authorship to John the Apostle."

          And from Professor Gerd Ludemann, in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 416,

          "Anyone looking for the historical Jesus will not find him in the Gospel of John. "

          See also http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/john.html

          November 20, 2013 at 11:12 am |
        • Reality # 2

          And finish with Luke 16: 31:

          A few problems with this passage:

          1. Abraham and Moses from the best one can tell did not exist. (e.g.
          origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

          2. Said passage is a single attestation appearing no where else in the scriptures making it historically unreliable. See for example, Professor Gerd Ludemann's review in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 369-370.

          November 20, 2013 at 11:29 am |
  4. prophet

    it was the ill man who actually was the saint here because he was teaching the pope what God can do. When i am amongst the sic and the ill and the disabled i always tell those helping us that its the ill and the sick who will teach you what God is about.

    November 20, 2013 at 2:38 am |
  5. prophet

    the christians on here are very misled as when the truth is told to them they ignore it as Our Saviour Said they would and they will persecute you and think that they are serving God.

    This is is chritianity, people ignoring the truth because it suits them to live in wealth. the chritainas are hypocrites they don't even know what thye believ in because if they did then they would not be chritians but people who believe in Our Saviour.

    November 20, 2013 at 2:33 am |
  6. samuel

    Whats so big about this? Most likely the diseased person is a faithful follower of the church wich made him feel like that when the pope touched him. Also a whole bunch of ppl would touch that preson. And don't get me wrong I am not and atheist but I simply cant see what is so wonderfull about this...

    November 20, 2013 at 12:40 am |
  7. James

    I am an atheist. I only have love and respect to this Pope. Any atheist or agnostic who hates him just because he is the pope or a Christian is simply not right. He only showed, so far, good things to atheist and believers alike.

    November 19, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
    • Ocean

      You'll be surprised how many atheists spew their hatred here.

      November 19, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
      • doobzz

        Likewise, dude.

        November 19, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
    • Dominique W

      I am agnostic and feel the same way! This pope exemplifies what I believed the church should stand for back when I was Catholic, which is being a good, kind, and thoughtful human being. I just love him.

      November 19, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
  8. Shawn

    I have quite a bit of respect for this Pope's actions. And I am an Atheist.

    November 19, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
    • Crom

      So? Go slobber on his shoes if you think he's done anything special. We'll wait for you here. Take your time.

      November 20, 2013 at 12:47 am |
    • Rascal262

      Ditto, 'cept Agnostic

      November 20, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
  9. the mitten men

    Me being on the fence and all with religion, has even moved me!
    This is just beautiful!!! Love will always prevail.

    November 19, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
  10. Mike S

    And also I'd hate to point out anyone that compared "one group" vs another...or Atheist vs Christians or Hell Orthodox Jews vs This and that...I mean come on really are you guys REALLY that bored ?

    November 19, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • Crom

      Yes.

      November 19, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
  11. Mike S

    Listen to you garbage trolls argue over who said what "no no mommy you don't understand that boy over there" (short kid points finger in specific direction) "is the one who called me names, punish him mommy" honestly that is what ALL of you sound like right now.../crying over stupid facts/useless statistics, religion, and bickering over who said what about what "no HE said he wanted to destroy the EARTH no HE said he wanted" oh jesus just shut up, sin this . It was a good story nothing more...and (naturally) a dozen or so idiots spam the comments section with ridiculous b.s. lol

    November 19, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      So how do we discuss as adults how we should treat people in general?
      How do we influence people to see the inner human and empathize with them?
      We have all seen bigotry of some form in our everyday lives – so how do we deal with it?
      How do we tell someone that they shouldn't make fun of someone because they are overweight, or have a speech impediment, or any manner of thing that makes each of us each different?

      When you see a story about love and empathy for another human being like this one, and another about a state-wide exorcism over gay marriage, you can't help but question if this is really the same faith giving out contradictory messages about how we should treat each other.

      These are lessons that should be taught by parents, family, and our communities at all levels. We don't have much control over bad parents and family, but we should be trying to teach the lessons of tolerance and acceptance at all layers of our various overlapping communities. Half of the religious posters on this blog would call that state enforced political correctness, but is the underlying concept that we should all be treated with respect so "evil"?

      The problem that humans have is that of the "other" – well, I hate to break it to you all, but there are no "others". We are all the same, and we are all unique with our own unique experiences and knowledge. Embrace that concept, and you should be able to get along with any other human anywhere on the planet.

      November 19, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        We are neighbors.

        When we learn that all humans are our neighbors.

        29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

        30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

        31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

        32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

        33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

        34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

        35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

        36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

        37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

        November 19, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          So do you believe in full civil rights for your gay neighbors?

          November 19, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
        • Bob

          Robert, instructions from Christianity's horrid user manual AKA the bible hardly make for good neighbor relations:

          Leviticus 25
          44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
          45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
          46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

          Numbers 31:17-18
          17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
          18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

          Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

          Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

          Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

          Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

          And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

          So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          November 19, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          My Dog,

          Yes, I believe in full civil rights for all my neighbors.

          November 19, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Bob,

          Why do you post that stuff?

          November 19, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
        • Bob

          Robert, because it's an appropriate response to the "stuff" that you post. I just picked a few examples.

          Your bible is loaded with nasty shit like that. You should read it some time.

          November 19, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          Excellent!

          Here is one of the issues I have – The first commandment says to have no other god, and that makes the rest of humanity unrepentant sinners and almost by definition, "others", worthy only of conversion or pity. I know this doesn't apply to every religious belief (I attend a Unitarian church and they accept my atheism with respect), but there sure seems to be a lack of this kind of tolerance in churches in the US.

          November 19, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Bob,

          I read the bible most every day and I've explained the historical and biblical context of your favorite verses more than once. You evidently have problems with my explanation, the bible, God, or all three. Which brings us back to my question. What are you trying to accomplish?

          November 19, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Thanks Dog, some organized religion does more harm to the cause of Christ than most anything else. Jesus was tougher on the hypocritical religious rulers than any others.

          November 19, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
        • Bob

          No, Robert, to correct you again, you have failed to address the context issue each time I have posted that. So, again, and this time, actually read what I wrote about your context issues. You have so far been utterly unable to address them with any validity so far.

          Numbers 31:17-18
          17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
          18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

          Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

          Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

          Leviticus 25
          44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
          45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
          46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

          Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

          Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

          And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

          So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          November 19, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
        • Appy-polly-loggies.

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

          November 19, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          As cousin Charlie says, Oh brother.

          November 19, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
        • Dell

          Bob that is a pretty interesting list. Looking at those directions, I'd say it's actually a good thing that Christians generally don't follow their holy book. I wouldn't want to be near a true practising Christian.

          November 19, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
      • lngtrmthnkr

        well said!

        November 19, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
        • lngtrmthnkr

          this was a reply to dog.

          November 19, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          Thanks

          November 19, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
  12. Ocean

    An atheist here wants me to kill myself. Still believe you a atheists are more "moral" than Christians? Might want to rethink your logic.

    November 19, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • doobzz

      Why don't you tell the whole story and mention how you said you wanted "To destroy all these unsaliable bitternesses and all the people I identify them with!!!"

      Isn't bearing false witness a "sin"?

      November 19, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
      • Ocean

        Actually I didn't say that. Someone else did. Isn't lying against atheist moral code?

        November 19, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
        • Crom

          If you are not the one posting as Jon Meckes, then you are at least a follower of an ideology that states all non-believers must be killed.

          You don't have a leg to stand on, Ocean of Stupid.

          November 19, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
        • Ocean

          Wrong. I said it was a crime to want someone to kill themselves. A crime punishable by law. I wasn't defending the person who posted it. I simply stated its a CRIME to want someone to end their life. Learn to read troll.

          November 19, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
        • Crom

          No, it is not a crime to want something, no matter what it may be. You're quite wrong about that.

          Since this is an anonymous comment section, I cannot be sure that you are even a real person nor who you are, thus removing two reasonable predicates for showing criminal intent on my part.
          And wishing people like you would just kill yourselves and leave the rest of us to carry on without you is poetic and quite understandable under the circumstances. You should study the legal requirements before threatening people with legal harassment, as that IS illegal, yet I won't call the police as you seem rather clueless and probably under the age of 18 as well.

          November 19, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
        • Jude Maverick

          And what John Meckes wanted was wholesale murder of atheists. How does that jive with your moral code, Ocean?

          November 19, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
      • doobzz

        My apologies, you did not say that. I made a mistake, which is not a "sin" or against my moral code. My moral code has nothing to do with non belief in deities.

        You did threaten to call the police about that thread though. Actually even more ridiculous than your OP if that's possible.

        November 19, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
        • Ocean

          Your "morals" come from laws which tells you what you can or cannot do and you follow them. Still doesn't make you have better "morals" than Christians.

          November 19, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
        • Beth

          Wouldn't be hard for him to have better morals than Christians. All he has to do is reject slavery and he already is ahead of Christianity.

          November 19, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
        • doobzz

          I don't need laws to tell me that certain things are harmful to me and/or others. Is the only thing that keeps you from murdering another human being the commandment in your book?

          November 19, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Why would anyone conclude anything about a large group of people based on what one person said?

      November 19, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
      • Ocean

        Why do atheists do the same? Answer the question.

        November 19, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Are you refering to the question of "Still believe you a atheists are more "moral" than Christians?"

          Answer: No I don't think atheists are more moral than Christians....nor do I think Christians are more moral than atheists.
          Does that help?

          November 19, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
        • Crom

          I am more ethical and moral than any god, which is quite easy to do, since I am here and able to actually BE ethical and moral and they are not.

          November 19, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
      • Jude Maverick

        That's the sticking point that Ocean gets hung up on; generalizations.

        November 19, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
        • Ocean

          And that's what most a atheists do here. Take Texas for an example(that's typically the state atheists most complain about). They base on their "reasons" for disliking Christianity on the actions that people did around them. Care to refute this?

          November 19, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
        • Joey

          Until you join with atheists and tell Young Earth Creationists to sit down and shut up I will assume that you support them.

          November 19, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
        • Jude Maverick

          And that's the same behavior most believers display here.

          What about GHWBush's assertion that atheists are not deserving of citizenship. Care to refute this?

          November 19, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
        • Jude Maverick

          Christians believe that God killed our soldiers in Iraq because He hates gays. Care to refute this?

          November 19, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
        • Jude Maverick

          Christian women get more abortions then all other religions plus atheist put together at over 80% of abortions done in this country. Care to refute this, Ocean?

          November 19, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • Jude Maverick

      Is lying a part of your moral code? Where was your condemnation for John wanting to destroy a bunch of people? Did you tacitly agree with him?

      November 19, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
      • Ocean

        Crom wanted the person to kill themselves which is actually a crime because if that person did commit suicide, he is responsible for that death. I dealt with Crom first.

        November 19, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Your ignorance of law is vast.....much like an ocean.

          November 19, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
        • Crom

          Oh, yeah, I've been "dealt with"....*rolls eyes*

          November 19, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
        • doobzz

          Telling someone to kill themselves is a crime? LOL.

          November 19, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
    • Jude Maverick

      Ocean is a troll; defined as a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, either accidentally or with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response.

      Troll. It's as simple as that.

      November 19, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
  13. Jon Meckes

    A responsive love and receptivity can ease the hurt that isolates people. Rejection discards the whole person for one ugly part. My poor heart! To destroy all these unsaliable bitternesses and all the people I identify them with!!!

    November 19, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
  14. d

    So much negativity. This is crazy. This pope showed kindness to a horribly disfigured man. A simple act of kindness and compassion. Most people would cringe away if this man touched them. Or even tried to touch them. Some people might be afraid he is contagious, he's not. Some people might think he is gross, again he is not. In a nutshell, the gene responsible for NF is supposed to stop the growth of tumors. In people with NF that gene no longer does it's intended job. Those growths although not pretty is just bumpy skin.

    November 19, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Crom

      This is nothing but a publicity stunt. The catholic trolls at CNN are making sure you get their twisted message of stupidity.

      November 19, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
      • d

        So you'd go hug this man? You wouldn't be repulsed?
        Publicity stunt or not, that pope gave that poor man a moment of compassion. Something lacking in
        today's society. All the bickering back and forth prove that.

        November 19, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
        • Crom

          You think hugging someone is magical? LOL

          And despite all this nonsense, you think the problem is one of a lack of empathy or sympathy? LOL

          No, the problem is violent, vicious ideologies based upon lies, using lies and terrorism.
          Whatever sympathy and empathy a person has, it can be ignored or destroyed if the religion is against it.
          Religion twists and poisons everything and everyone's lives. You worship hate and do evil to your fellow humans.
          Who needs you? Not anyone who wants a safe and sane sort of day. Not me.

          November 19, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
        • Madtown

          You think hugging someone is magical? LOL
          ----
          Sometimes for the person being hugged, it is. When that person is used to being stared at and made fun of, a small gesture like this can go a long way.

          November 19, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
        • d

          @Crom, I never said hugging was magical. But who is being the cynic?
          All I stated is what I saw, People will think maybe this photo was staged, oh maybe the man was paid,
          I said I doubted it. I happen to know a thing or two about the disorder that man has, and a little something about the
          people that have it.
          There is a quite famous actor who has this disorder and he does everything to hide it, He is mildly affected, He denies having it despite having a sibling that has it. So if someone as famous and handsome as this actor will hide it, what makes you think someone so disfigured by it would come out and stage a photo? (I don't say the actors name there are 2 names you will likely find if you google it)

          November 19, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
        • Crom

          I think perhaps you fail to see my point, which is that nobody needs a religion to be compassionate towards fellow human beings, but religion is more likely to cause the death of compassion due to terroristic brainwashing.

          November 19, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
      • Kathleen Sessums

        I am not in favor of the Catholic ways but that is a good man that did not shun but embraced a lost soul that needed him. God Bless!

        November 19, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
        • d

          Kathleen, exactly what I was trying to get across. I had stated I am not a catholic, but I saw a good hearted man showing an act of kindness.

          November 19, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
        • Crom

          Nothing he did was caused by his religion, which is depraved and insane.
          You can also be sure that this guy's condition was researched long before the pope got the go-ahead that he could safely hug and kiss that guy without catching anything contagious.
          You think he just decided to hug and kiss this guy? Give me a break. This is a publicity stunt.
          If it wasn't, then why is so much being made of it when it is nothing worth mentioning at all?

          November 19, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      Was there anything special or remarkable about the Pope giving this man a hug versus all the other people throughout his life up to this point who no doubt had compassion and embraced him? The fact that he is the leader of a major Christian religion and has to set the example for his followers is almost sad and the only thing that is remarkable is how low a bar had been set for him by previous Popes.

      November 19, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
      • d

        Because he is a complete stranger who didn't think twice about it. It was obviously a big deal to the man being hugged.

        November 19, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
        • Lee

          didn't think twice about embracing a disfigured man in front of a photographer with a follow up quote.

          Nope, didn't think twice 😛

          November 19, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
        • Madtown

          Oh c'mon. Everything the Pope does is accompanied by a photographer. I'm not catholic, but this is a genuine gesture.

          November 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
        • d

          @Madtown I agree most popes have always been about the photo op. But as you said, I do believe this was a genuine gesture. And as I had stated I do not think it was staged as that man would have been a part of it..
          You either have to have the disorder or know someone very close to you to understand where I am coming from. It is a very difficult thing to live with emotionally.

          November 19, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
      • d

        I agree former popes have set the bar low, This pope is showing them all up. I am sure the man in the picture has been touched or hugged many many times. But to have a man with such a stature embrace and bless him had to be a big deal.
        I am not a catholic myself, although I was raised one. I do however under stand something about how that man must be feeling. I am nowhere near affected by NF the way he is, I am lucky.

        November 19, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      Just an opportunistically planned photographic ploy from a sociologically laddered hierarchal subject... Much ado towards being similar to the ring-like waves from dropping a stone into water... Just rinse and repeat all one wants... The waves will ever subside until the next stone plunges...

      November 19, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
      • d

        So The man was put there for the photograph, it was all planned? I suppose that is all make-up too? I can give a hoot what anyone's religion is or there for lack of it. I highly doubt someone with NF that has that kind of disfigurement would put themselves in that situation. Most people even with NF, even the ones mildly affected by it are way too self-conscious of it to put themselves in that position.

        November 19, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Sired 'd' ...

          Are not 'bad apples' still used for cider and vinegar..? Next witnessing please...

          November 19, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
      • Jon Meckes

        Only a responsive love and reception can heal the hurt that makes people feel isolated.

        November 19, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Sired J. Meckes...

          No amount of humane solace can distance one from their owned individual singularity and oneness...

          November 19, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
        • Crom

          Not true and no religion required in any case.

          November 19, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • tom

      sometimes I get a big bump on my skin below waist
      It just takes a couple minutes of rubbing it and then it goes away

      November 19, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
      • Crom

        lol

        November 19, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
  15. Ocean

    If only atheists acted like this and stopped thinking believing something is ridiculous and deserves ridicule. Just because you think it deserves ridicule doesn't mean it should.

    November 19, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • niknak

      I have not seen one post from an atheist ridiculing this common act of kindness.

      And why don't you believers stop trying to force your imaginary friend(s) on the rest of us who choose not be go along with it.

      November 19, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
      • Ocean

        That's your own delusion you created. It's very delusional and very paranoid to think everyone is out to force you to believe. That's boarder line crazy.

        November 19, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
        • niknak

          Of course you believers, from all religions, are trying to force their particular opinions of their imaginary creatures on the rest of us.
          You all have been doing it for years.
          I get visited every week by various myths trying to talk to me about god. When I am not home, they leave their literature on my stoop for me to have to clean up later.
          If I go to the middle east, which I have, I get subtle and not too subtle suggestions to convert to Islam.
          Here in the US, you xtians are trying to include your imaginary friend into our government, our courts, our medicine, our schools and our bedrooms.

          Look, you want to go out and howl at the moon, knock yourself out.
          But is it not too much to ask to not try to force us to go out and howl with you?

          November 19, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
        • Ocean

          And atheists are trying to force their atheism in our schools, gov't, and public place. I see no difference from you and them.

          November 19, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
        • niknak

          Please provide me any single instance where an atheist tried to get you, or anyone else in our gov or schools to NOT believe in god.
          I can guarantee that an atheist has NEVER come to your house and knock on your door and try to talk you out of Jeebus.

          What we want is freedom FROM religion in or secular society.
          You have every right to go to your house of myth, which is tax exempt and supported by non believer's tax dollars I might add, and get on your knees and recite your little magic spells.
          But you don't have the right to make us all go and do it to.

          You want your kids to recite magic spells in school, then enroll them in a religious school. I am sure they would be happy to take your money.

          November 19, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
        • autumn crisp

          Ocean: " force their atheism in our schools"

          You don't seem to understand the difference between application of the secular aspect of our law and atheistic influence, do you Ocean? niknak is correct. It is by their very nature or their religion that many believers do, in fact, attempt to force their beliefs into others.

          November 19, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
        • ME II

          @Ocean
          "And atheists are trying to force their atheism in our schools, gov't, and public place. I see no difference from you and them."

          Atheists are trying to force religion out of government, yes, because the government is not allowed to endorse a religion or lack thereof. It must remain neutral.

          November 19, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
        • Ocean

          No "rights" are being taken away from you. You think they are because you suffer from a delusion. Oh you want some examples? A few atheist trolls have made headlines over stupid childish things.

          November 19, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
        • autumn crisp

          (puddle doesn't seem to understand what brought about separation of church and state in the first place)

          November 19, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
        • niknak

          Your proof of atheists trying to promote the non belief in god comes from some obscure message board?
          Wow, that pretty much proves you have nothing but your desire to be right.

          I will play along.
          Let's include a god in our government.
          But not the xtian god, but the muslim god allah.
          How would you feel if you kid had to recite passages out of the Koran before every class?
          And was forced to get on a carpet 5 times a day while at school?
          Or when you went to court, you had to swear on the Koran?
          And was told at your doctor that some Imam said the procedure you need to save your wife's life was now against the law?

          I bet you would be more than livid.
          And you would be right to feel that way.

          Why can't you believers see that is how we non believers feel in the exact same instances I just wrote about?

          Keep your god out of my life, and our secular government.

          November 19, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
        • Ocean

          Real life atheist trolls have actually tried to force their non-belief onto another person. They even made headlines over how childish they were about something so simple to solve they HAD to make a big deal over nothing. Instead of acting rational, they just wanted to be trolls. There are plenty of atheist trolls that try and force their belief and views on the rest of us. Atheists do it as well so don't act like atheists aren't blameless.

          November 19, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
        • niknak

          How convenient of you Ocean to not respond to the question I asked you about how you would feel if we included allah into your life.

          Yeah, you are right, us atheists use these message boards to overthrow the government and force you NOT to believe in god.
          Man, are on to us Ocean, we will have to try another route as you sniffed this one out.

          November 19, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
        • Dan

          Ocean: atheism is not a belief. You keep on presented a false equivalence in that regard, and I think you know it. That makes you a LIAR.

          November 19, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
        • Ocean

          As babies we are all atheist but once we enter into adulthood, your atheism becomes your belief.

          November 19, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
        • Jude Maverick

          Ocean, you never answer direct questions, do you?

          Answer this. I'd like to know. Don't get sidetracked by what you think of atheists. Remove them from the equation.

          "Let's include a god in our government.
          But not the xtian god, but the muslim god allah.
          How would you feel if you kid had to recite passages out of the Koran before every class?
          And was forced to get on a carpet 5 times a day while at school?
          Or when you went to court, you had to swear on the Koran?
          And was told at your doctor that some Imam said the procedure you need to save your wife’s life was now against the law?"

          Answer, please?

          November 19, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
        • Miriam

          Indeed, Dan. To wit, some related good remarks by others:

          "Atheism is no more a religion than not collecting stamps is a hobby."

          "Atheism is no more a religion than bald is a hair colour."

          Ocean, atheism is a lack of belief. Claiming the opposite, as you are, is downright dishonest. As you are whining about acts of atheists that you dislike, well, look in the mirror. Your bald-faced lies are not going to be allowed to pass unnoticed here.

          November 19, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
        • Ocean

          Buddy, you aren't forced to say the pledge especially since atheist trolls have made since big deal over it. In high school, I was never forced to say the pledge if I didn't feel like it that day. Another example of atheists stupidity. I'm not "forced" to do anything atheists whine about. It's YOUR made up delusion.

          November 19, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
        • autumn crisp

          LOL – puddle is cycling. Hmm, I think AE has clenched the award for circular logic early today, but there needs to be another award for one guilty of the ignorance cycle:

          1. fuss
          2. squrim
          3. ignore
          (repeat)

          November 19, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
        • autumn crisp

          So puddle, even though we have ~23% non-Christian make-up of today's average public classroom, would you still rather see that we return to the time where Bible readings were mandated in classrooms?

          November 19, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
        • Ocean

          Believing is a personal matter between you and God. It's human nature to cause division but atheist trolls make it even worse with their constant complaining about little things. The pledge isn't a law that is required for every single child to recite every morning. Other counties you can be killed for not saying their pledge. Atheists complain because without complaining, they have no life.

          November 19, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
        • Jude Maverick

          Ocean evades again.
          Answer this:

          Let’s include a god in our government.
          But not the xtian god, but the muslim god allah.
          How would you feel if you kid had to recite passages out of the Koran before every class?
          And was forced to get on a carpet 5 times a day while at school?
          Or when you went to court, you had to swear on the Koran?
          And was told at your doctor that some Imam said the procedure you need to save your wife’s life was now against the law?

          I know you cannot be so disingenuous as to have the meaning escape you.

          Answer the questions and stop deflecting.

          November 19, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
        • niknak

          It is no use Jude, believers don't like to be called out when you reverse the tables on them.
          I can answer it for him.
          He would hate it.
          He would want to rise up and overthrow the government because it would be wrong to make him go along with something he did not believe in.
          Yet he would be all for making this a xtian version of Saudi Arabia and forcing us and anyone else who does not believe in his version of god.
          In fact, he would like to bring back blasphemy laws so he could hunt us down and kill us if we did not go along with his beliefs.

          How Christian of him.

          I bet he owns multiple guns too.
          Just like Jesus would have done had they been invented when he was creeping around.

          November 19, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
        • Ocean

          You know now how many people that believe a religion that has zero connection to the Christian faith that LIVE in America? See how delusional you atheists are about this whole "Christianity is being forced down our throats!! We must fight back!!!". What lies. America isn't a theocracy and can't be. Get over yourselves. Seek professional help to cure you of your delusion.

          November 19, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
        • autumn crisp

          Throughout the history of the U.S., the wall of separation has constantly been under attack. Mostly by Christians. It's their way – they can't help it.

          November 19, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • Ocean

          And that's the same tactics atheists are using today.

          November 19, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
        • autumn crisp

          Atheism obvious counters theism. Guess which one actually has as part of their doctrine to go out and convert? see where the source is yet, puddle?

          November 19, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
        • AE

          Ocean, is that me?

          November 19, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
        • Ocean

          Atheists make their own religions in which they have control over and want other people to follow their religion. Atheism is just like any cult.

          November 19, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
        • autumn crisp

          OK already, puddle, you get the new Ignorance Cycle Award – no need to twist my arm about it. If you run into AE, make sure to tell him he won that Fundy Circular Reasoning Award much earlier today.

          November 19, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
        • Ocean

          What I stated is a fact that generally isn't accepted by most atheists. So much of for logic and reason. Keep believing your fairy-tale but keep your atheism out of politics, our schools and only be atheist in your home(or church some atheist churches exist now). Don't like it if the same was done to you that you want done to Christians?

          November 19, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
        • autumn crisp

          Talk about "boarder line" crazy. Keep atheism out of schools? LOL. Do you know of a school system where mandated readings saying that God doesn't exist is or has ever taken place? Get real.

          November 19, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
        • Ocean

          And the same can be applied to atheists who think schools are forcing kids to believe in God. Get real.

          November 19, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
        • Jen

          Ocean, rather than tell others to get real, why don't you get honest, grow a spine, and stop dodging questions for a change. Your deceit sure doesn't represent your case well.

          November 19, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
        • autumn crisp

          BS, puddle and you know it. Notice I said "is or has ever" (regarding mandated reading regarding atheistic non-belief).
          What you seem to forget is that there WAS mandated Bible readings at one time in some places in the U.S. Why should atheists complain since that and prayer were address back in 1962 and 1963. What you will find is atheists reacting to the whining still going on today by fundies that those decisions should be reversed. You are anything but real and I don't see any facts yet, either.

          November 19, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
        • Ocean

          And atheists respond with behavior much like the Christian fundies behave. Strange. You guys aren't any different from any Christian fundie. I know, I smashed your little fantasy.

          November 19, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
        • autumn crisp

          I'm kind of smashed by your indifference over the issue of separation of church and state, puddle. You expressed that you don't want atheistic non-belief expressed in schools, but how it seems you're too lazy to hold up the wall of separation that keeps one view from taking over. Pretty pathetic.

          November 19, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
        • Ocean

          Atheists act the same way basically lying that you treat all religions as equals. The truth is, the religion you left is what you are more biased towards than religions that are non-popular.

          November 19, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
        • autumn crisp

          Keep flailing, puddle. Still too ignorant to recognize what was already pointed out to you? Atheists are more reactive to Christians (which yes, is quite often the religion they have the most affinity from their childhood and education) because Christian sects in the U.S. are the predominant ones and because they are the most vocal ones; the ones who proselyte the most; and the ones the most bent on converting everyone else. Of course there is going to be a reaction in that direction.

          November 19, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      So you are suggesting that all atheists ridicule this kindness from the pope. Brilliant.

      November 19, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
      • Ocean

        So you are suggesting that all Christians are alike? Brilliant.

        November 19, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          No I am not and did not say I was.

          November 19, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
        • Ocean

          Don't lie Apple Bush.

          November 19, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
        • Ocean

          Wrong again. Atheism is a religion someone will create once they reach adulthood. You create your own reality and you think that reality is "right". You are your own god. Seems like a religious cult to be.

          November 19, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
        • Miriam

          Ocean, you are a bald-faced liar. Again, atheism is a lack of belief. A lack of religion. Your attempted re-definition is deceitful. And to the point, 2 key quotes with good analogies in them:

          "Atheism is no more a religion than not collecting stamps is a hobby."

          "Atheism is no more a religion than bald is a hair colour."

          Ocean, atheism is a lack of belief. Claiming the opposite, as you are, is downright dishonest. You are plainly lying. As you are whining about acts of atheists that you dislike, well, look in the mirror. Your bald-faced lies and deceit are not going to be allowed to pass unnoticed here.

          November 19, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        Ocean, this is silly to have to respond to, but what did I lie about?

        November 19, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • God

      How is showing an act of love or kindness somthing atheists are against. I don't need the popes embrace to feel love i can find it though people I care about. Its like the pope touching you but I don't need it to be some fake man with power I find real people with power in my life. Its actually really cool for us atheists we can find love everywhere, not just from "holy" people who in the end are just the same as you.

      November 19, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
      • Ocean

        Ridiculing people for their faith isn't showing love. It's showing hatred.

        November 19, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
        • Crom

          Your religion is filled with hatred, violence, and insanity. Why shouldn't we ridicule it?
          Does it hurt your widdle feewings? Awww.

          November 19, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
        • Ocean

          And your atheism has lead millions of religious people to die a few decades ago. Stalin purged churches killing over 100,000 children, women, and priests. Awwww did I hurt your widdle feelings?

          November 19, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
        • Crom

          Every single one of your examples FAILS to be an example of anything caused by a lack of a belief in any gods.
          Most of those were personality cults, some religious, like the Nazis killed Jews because they were Christians.
          A lack of a belief does not shape a person's decision-making beyond having a lack of that type of delusion involved.

          More evil has been done by religious nuts than by any other motivating ideology.
          Atheism is not an ideology. They are not equivalent opposite ideologies. Religion is an ideology and atheism is a lack of any theistic ideological beliefs and not an ideology itself.

          Get it now? You sound like the biggest clueless fuck that ever tried to argue with me today. Congratulations.

          November 19, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
        • Ocean

          Stalin, an atheist, is considered to be the most vicious and cruel leader in history. Another example of atheism dark and bloody history.

          November 19, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
        • autumn crisp

          I could say HItler, a Christian – blah blah blah, but my, what a simple-minded tool you are to try to claim that any one of history's notorious rulers represented well any kind of belief or non-belief system. I supposed you claim to know their every thought as well as the thoughts of all of the people who had to live under such rule. Do you always mix apples and oranges?

          November 19, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
        • Ocean

          Nope but if atheists blame Christianity for the crusades, I blame atheism for Stalin's actions. Seems only fair.

          November 19, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
        • Crom

          You are about as wrong as it is possible to be and still breathe.

          Atheism is not an ideology.

          Atheism is a lack of any theistic ideology whatsoever.

          This lack of ideology is not an ideology in itself and your continued attempts to portray it falsely are starting to piss me off.

          Atheism has no rules, no list of anything, and does not in any way direct anyone to kill anyone else. Got it?

          You keep sounding like an idiot. I guess you are one, after all.

          November 19, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
        • Ocean

          Awww did the wittle baby's feelings get hurt? Awww. Poor baby.

          November 19, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
        • autumn crisp

          Crom is spot on, feelings or no feelings.

          November 19, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
        • Crom

          Ocean is just a baby. A puddle of piddle. A person with great diaper potential and no clue.

          November 19, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • doobzz

      I do act like this on a daily basis. No god is required to be a decent human being.

      Nice job with the broad brush, though.

      November 19, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
  16. Editor

    Reblogged this on Authors-choice and commented:
    Great!

    November 19, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      We are circumvented
      Invented
      Lost then found then lost
      Loud but silent

      November 19, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
      • Editor

        Very touching story, great, don't you think, Apple bush?

        November 19, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          No big deal to me but better then a poke in the eye.

          November 19, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          *than

          November 19, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
  17. Apple Bush

    The joyful myth and eager messenger;

    Stained glass soars to the rafters;

    Surely God is here, and yet this house is empty;

    No salesman can close;

    Lovely building full of lies, heard less prayers than cries;

    Sacred this and sacred that;

    Babies raped and priests zipping up their pants;

    No leads to follow;

    This is what Jesus witnesses from His lofty perch in that glass;

    Abuse the sheep and pay the tithe;

    Fill the tray and please don’t stay;

    Such a lovely cathedral, such a vile torture chamber.

    November 19, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • niknak

      That is really good.
      I said before, you could use your posts as lyrics for some killer songs.

      November 19, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        You are kind to say that niknak. Thanks.

        November 19, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          I think Dr. Donnel Johnson has a band...

          November 19, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
        • niknak

          Don't know who that is.
          Would be a good name for a band, Doc Donnel and the Johnsons.

          November 19, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
        • Akira

          Doc Johnson is a brilliant satirist. His work gets published regularly on the BB.

          November 19, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
        • Ocean

          You need some serious help apple bush. Seek professional help.

          November 19, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
        • Ocean

          But then so do I. Witness my inability to address questions and lie outrageously about people whose boots I am not fit to lick.

          November 19, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
        • Ocean

          Name stealing huh bush? Go back under your bridge troll.

          November 19, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
        • Ocean

          You're obviously the troll. Stop stealing my name and posting bullshit under it.

          November 19, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
        • Ocean

          Funny thing is, I don't curse. Fail troll. Try harder next time without failing if you can.

          November 19, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
  18. Apple Bush

    I fail to see the big deal.

    November 19, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Average Joe

      You must be a relative of George W .

      November 19, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        Why do you say that? I don't understand.

        November 19, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
        • Average Joe

          Same squinty eye, same intellect

          November 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Now you are creeping me out.

          November 19, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
        • Crom

          Maybe you should say "mission accomplished" and go back to whatever it is you think you are doing here.
          We could get you a banner to hang on the wall. Banners are chick-magnets, man.

          November 19, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      I see two delusional men embracing. One dressed like a queen and the other with a horrible disease. Not news.

      November 19, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
      • Average Joe

        We have a winner in the George W act alike contest !

        November 19, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
        • G to the T

          Lol... fail!

          November 20, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
      • d

        NF is not a disease, it's a disorder.

        November 19, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          dis·ease

          /diˈzēz/

          noun

          noun: disease; plural noun: diseases; noun: dis-ease; plural noun: dis-eases

          1.

          a disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, esp. one that produces specific signs or symptoms or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of physical injury.

          November 19, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
        • d

          I think I know a lot more about NF than you. It is a disorder. Yes NF can cause disease but it is not a disease itself. The author of this article is mistaken.

          November 19, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
        • d

          •Disease: a definite pathological process having a characteristic set of signs and symptoms. It may affect the whole body or any of its parts, and its etiology, pathology, and prognosis may be known or unknown. See also illness, mal, sickness, and syndrome.
          •Disorder: a derangement or abnormality of function; a morbid physical or mental state

          November 19, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          d, no offense but this is not interesting to me. Disorder....disease. Whatever.

          November 19, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
        • d

          It may not be interesting to you I was simply pointing out the difference.

          Neurofibromatosis type I (NF-1) is a tumor disorder that is caused by the mutation of a gene on chromosome 17 that is responsible for control of cell division. NF-1 ...

          November 19, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
      • Ocean

        I see an atheist troll spewing out hatred for a reason that isn't justified.

        November 19, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Rick

      When was the last time you gave a warm hug to another human being?

      November 19, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        This morning. Why do you ask?

        November 19, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • Rick

          The question has been reframed, read below.

          November 19, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      You are right about one thing. You are average.

      November 19, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        Meant for average joe.

        November 19, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Rick

      When was the last time you gave a warm hug to another human being in *your* eyes was not huggable?

      November 19, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        Why would someone be "not huggable"? Are you prejudiced against these people? Why wouldn't the pope hug this poor man? I don't follow you. To me it is not a big deal.

        November 19, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
        • Rick

          That answers the question, you are an equal opportunity hugger, eh! It's very heartening to know you are a good person and the homeless would've been blessed by some hugs from you.

          November 19, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          I am just saying if the man needs a hug, no problem. I don't run around hugging homeless people though, but I am not afraid of a hug or a donation.

          November 19, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
        • Rick

          You got the point. The homeless person could care less about a hug from you, but when it's the Pope who hugs it makes a world of difference to them.
          So, yes, it's a big deal for the one who was hugged in this case by the Pope.

          November 19, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
        • Rick

          'Hug' is the wrong term, replace the word 'hug' with 'embrace' in the posts above.

          November 19, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
  19. Higgiemagoo

    God bless this man, it must be such a heavy burden to have this disease. This Pope is wonderful, I'm so happy that he made this man feel loved.

    November 19, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • d

      This is rare that people get affected this badly. It is a burden to have this disorder. But most people with NF live happy normal lives. It is sad that he has likely been ostracized most of his life.

      November 19, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
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About this blog

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