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Vatican downplays controversy over U.S. embassy move
November 27th, 2013
02:49 PM ET

Vatican downplays controversy over U.S. embassy move

By Dan Merica and Eric Marrapodi, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='danmericaCNN'][twitter-follow screen_name='EricCNNBelief']

Washington (CNN) – When the State Department announced it was moving its Vatican embassy to a compound shared with the U.S. Embassy in Italy, some former ambassadors and conservative American Catholics were outraged.

Former ambassadors to the Holy See said moving that embassy would diminish the stature of the mission and conservative Catholic activists seized on the issue.

Addressing the growing controversy in Rome, the State Department arranged a briefing for reporters on Monday with an unnamed senior official who said the purpose for the move was to save money and increase security.

A spokesman for the Vatican said the move was well within the Holy See's requirements for embassies and that relations with the United States are far from strained.

The Rev. Thomas Rosica, a Canadian priest who works with the Vatican's press office, said the Vatican requires foreign embassies to the Holy See be separate from the country's mission to Italy, have a separate address and have a separate entrance.

Both Rosica and the senior State Department official said the proposed U.S. move satisfies those requirements.

Rosica also praised Ken Hackett, the new U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, telling CNN that "at this critical time in history, he brings eminent credentials to represent the United States to the Vatican."

He added there "a very good feeling right now" between the two countries.

Another Vatican official, not authorized to speak on the record about diplomatic relations, told CNN the Holy See understands security concerns are an issue for some countries and this move is "an exception, not the ideal, but not the end of the world."

The State Department contends the move from a free-standing building to a more secure compound that currently includes the U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Mission to the United Nations is a must following attacks on other American embassies.

The State Department official dismissed complaints that the move was hurting the U.S. relationship with the Vatican, telling reporters the embassy to the Holy See will be much closer to the Vatican and there will be "no reduction in diplomatic staff. There’s no reduction in ambassadors, there’s no reduction in mission."

"The plan is to have the U.S. mission to the Holy See relocate to a building" inside the current U.S. government compound, said the official. "We figure that we will save about $1.4 million a year in lease and operating costs in moving them."

Additionally, the official said the security of the current U.S. Embassy to the Holy See is "not in a building that has the kind of physical security protection that we would like it to have" but that the new building affords diplomats with better security.

For Francis Rooney, the former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See under President George W. Bush, the proposed move is a slight to the Vatican.

Rooney told CNN that a freestanding, separate embassy shows more value to the relationship and that he worries the move will create "a perception among foreign governments and other missions that the United States does not value its relationship with the Holy See."

"It is going to depreciate the prestige of the mission to relocate" he said.

In response to the Vatican's statement that relations between it and the United States are fine, Rooney said the Holy See is "bending over backwards not to disagree with the Department of State’s decision" and that privately "they wouldn't want it to happen."

Not all former U.S. ambassadors to the Holy See agree with Rooney, however.

Ambassador Miguel H. Diaz, who served as Obama's first ambassador to the Holy See, said those who disagree are not basing their opinion on fact and information.

"I firmly believe that these issues have to be based on facts and not politicized in any way," he said. "It is absolutely, 100 percent incorrect, it is absolutely erroneous, to interpret this decision in any way as the intention of the Obama administration to undermine or diminish the relationship between the United States and the Holy See."

He continued: "This was done for security and financial reasons, not in any way to undermine and diminish the importance of the Holy See."

Just as quickly as ambassadors like Rooney and Diaz weighed in, a number of contrastive Catholics began to assail the Obama administration for the move.

"The public perception is going to be a downgrading of the importance of the Holy See," Bill Donohue, head of the conservative Catholic League. "It smacks of an animus."

Donohue and others contend that by moving the embassy into a compound with other embassies, the United States is distancing itself from the Vatican and harming relations. He also finds it hard to believe the Obama administration would make a decision based on security and cost.

"When you have a track record that is not exactly Catholic-friendly, the people like myself are going to ask what is going on here," he said. "This is the first time in six years this administration has ever been concerned with saving money. I am not surprised they found it at the Vatican."

Chris Hale, who helped run Catholic outreach for Obama's 2012 campaign, said the reaction of conservative Catholics is "another attempt to politicize another issue and create a fight that isn't there."

"This is in no way signaling the administration’s desire to not work with Pope Francis," he said. "I think (conservative Catholics) are concerned with the narrative of Pope Francis being a progressive and they are trying to push any narrative the creates a perceived divide between Pope Francis and President Obama."

In attempt to quell any controversy, earlier on Wednesday, the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See posted on its Facebook page that reports that claim the "embassy to the Holy See is closing, that our Ambassador’s position is being cut, and/or that his residence is moving … are untrue."

The embassy, according to the Facebook post, will make the move in "early 2015."

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Barack Obama • Catholic Church • Pope Francis • United States • Vatican

soundoff (841 Responses)
  1. Lionly Lamb

    Atheists or naught, Life is...

    November 29, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
  2. Meatwad

    Master Shake tried to boil me in Carl's pool for Thanksgiving ya'll. It felt pretty nice but I am still raw so we started dancin' to the mad note.

    November 29, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
  3. HeavenSent

    Dear Lord we thank you for your bounty. My 12-year-old daughter and her kids had turkey TV dinners last night. The kittens are still in the stove so I sat on them to warm them up. The cushions make a nice table. Walk with Jesus into the Truth.

    Amen.

    November 29, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
  4. Apple Bush

    I can just imagine being a god and experiencing Topher's foolishness and shaking my head in despair at my utter failure to produce intelligence in him.

    November 29, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
  5. Apple Bush

    Topher, once again you have not said one thing that makes the least bit of sense.

    You got offended the other day when I called your god a whore, arrogantly taking it personally as a sign of disrespect to YOU. I have no problem with you. I have lots of stupid friends.

    Now I will explain why your god is a whore:

    God is immoral, venal and unscrupulous. Secondly god takes peoples money to make them feel good.

    Whore.

    November 29, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • lol??

      The ghosts of Keynesian educratism past have found a new home. Stuck in a short term outlook.

      November 29, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
      • .

        You, as usual, put words together in a way that make sense only to yourself.

        November 29, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • Charm Quark

      Topher
      Have you had enough time to go to your apologist sites and find out what your definition of life is? Can it be single cells that replicate themselves? Please try and respond Topher, make a statement.

      November 29, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        Hey CQ, how was your Holiday?

        November 29, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Can't complain. Fun was had by all. Good food and good football. I fully irritated my step mother by not participating in her prayer before dinner so that is always a bonus too.

          November 29, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Meant for CQ, sorry.

          November 29, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          Very good, thanks AB. Picked all three NFL winners although two didn't cover the spread, hate that spread. Our Topher is just being himself, can't get him to define "life", should be quite simple even for himself. Hope you are doing well.

          November 29, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
        • .

          Nah, I think you just busted yourself, Apple. It's okay. I understand.

          Nice try at a save.

          November 29, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
        • AtheistSteve

          Life can be defined by listing its properties. Life is that which eats, excretes, breathes, grows, reproduces and dies. Anything living will exhibit all or most of those few criteria.
          Based on those criteria it is also impossible for something like a "god" to be considered a living thing.

          November 29, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Nope, I use a number of names but I am not CQ and can assure you. I always reveal what names I use if asked.

          November 29, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          Thanks Steve
          I am trying to pin our Topher down to what the young earth nutters define as life so they can't get away with, that is not what we meant, when alien life is discovered no matter how primitive.

          November 29, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
        • .

          Well, good. I like both of y'all and like the idea of you not being one and the same. Plus there's that whole schizophrenia thing.

          November 29, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
        • midwest rail

          The logical problem in the thread for A.B. is that Charm never asked him a question....so how could his reply be for C.Q. ? Yep, busted.

          November 29, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
  6. Mrs. Travis

    Leave him and the few friends he has to spew. They are great examples of lost souls and the space Satan fills when there's nothing left.

    Great Testament, imo.

    November 29, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Well, it is good to know my junk is safe from satan.

      November 29, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        And my brain cavity.

        November 29, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Ben

      Mrs. Travis is off-thread again. A little hung over from yesterday's binge, Missus?

      November 29, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
  7. Mrs. Travis

    What is this, a self inflicted exorcism? There must be truth to the phrase that hate consumes and devours. Amazing!

    November 29, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Lisa

      I'm still waiting for all the hate-filled Christians to disappear.

      November 29, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
      • Lisa

        Not only the Rapture, but this "consuming" of hate-filled people that Mrs. Travis mentioned above.

        November 29, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
        • .

          lol?? translation:

          "Here! A red herring! I don't understand what sane people are talking about, so I'll belch out some nonsense! Mustard for that herring?"

          November 29, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
  8. Apple Bush

    I am imagining Christians flocking to the Christian book store for their half price bibles, book marks, children's books and wall plaques with inspirational words to comfort them during the foreclosure.

    Many will be rolling up to the store because they are too obese to walk, even though they prayed to god to make potatoe chips and Mountain Dew less fattening.

    Others will concentrate on stocking stuffers like Christian pencils and miniature bible study books.

    Black Friday at the Christian book store is a mad house. Imagine the tug of war over this years selection of crosses.

    Get there early!

    November 29, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
  9. Apple Bush

    Last week two JW's came to my door. I did not answer in time but naturally they left some trash on my porch. I tracked them down as they were crossing the street to return their litter. I also told them to cram it up their ass. True story. You should have seen the look on their faces. Priceless.

    November 29, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Reminds me of when some Mormons approached my partner and I as we were pushing our kid in her stroller a few years back. She was only 6 months old or so and we were, like all new parents, seriously sleep deprived.
      "Wouldn't you want to spend eternity with your family?" asked the LDS boy.
      "What? You mean I won't even get any sleep when I'm dead? Pis.s off!"

      November 29, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        lol

        November 29, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
      • Ken

        Yes, as much as you love your kids it would be pretty sad if they never left your house. That's the way God supposedly treats his followers, as children who never grow up enough to make their own choices. Instead, they're all expected to just follow whatever their "father" says, forever! How is that supposed to be like a loving relationship between a parent and child?

        November 29, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • JW

      Apple- you represent the world we live In... No respect and lack of manners. You don't need to read our tract, throw it away if you want,.. But don't be an animal!

      November 29, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
      • HotAirAce

        If you don't want to hear vehement responses to your crap, don't be rude and disrespectful – stay off private property. Every one of your ilk that comes to my door gets told to "Get the fuck off my property with your sick shit!" regardless of age or gender. Works perfectly.

        November 29, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
        • JW

          Canada and the US gives liberty to express your beliefs... If you don't want tell them no to come back. This simple! Because you don't want doesn't mean that others would hear... Or are do you speak and take responsibility for others??!
          We have liberty of expression enough, if for you to post swear words in the blog...

          November 29, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Why do you think you have a right to initiate a conversation on private property?

          November 29, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
        • JW

          Who gives the right for any stranger, courier guy, sales man... Etc, to go step in your property??

          November 29, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Perhaps HAA's property is Posted Keep Out. That works except for official governmental business, police, tax assessors etc. or access by people like utility workers with whose companies he may have a contract that allows access.

          November 29, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          There are very few situations where someone has a right to enter private property. These are usually limited to those specifically allowed by law and to enforce the law. Everyone else does not have any right to enter private property and is potentially guilty of trespass. One example of trespass is entering private property, leaving something behind (such as religious crap) and not removing it promptly if requested. I love requesting religious cult members to return to pick up their crap.

          November 29, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
        • JW

          Tom, tom- is he has a sign like that at his property or door saying : no JWs", be sure that JWs will respect his decision.... No one is obligated.
          But in my opinion we as civilized people, would always like to avoid acting like farm animals. If your neighbour sees the other neighbour acting like that, he would be embarrassed.

          November 29, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          How is going door to door uninvited to promote your unproven myths not behaving like farm animals?

          Why can't you simply admit that you do not have a right to do what you do?

          November 29, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
        • JW

          Hotair- maybe in to your property... But not your neighbours. Don't worry will do all houses on your street but yours!

          November 29, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Its all good, JW. If you come to my house we'll have tea. I'll listen to what you have to say if you'll listen to what I have to say. We'll break out the Greek NT.

          November 29, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
  10. Apple Bush

    Christians, is your god responsible for the whole universe(s) or just our little planet?

    November 29, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • Topher

      Whole thing.

      November 29, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        What's up T? How was your Turkey Day?

        November 29, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
        • Topher

          Really good. You?

          Why are you asking about the universe?

          November 29, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        Why is there nothing in the bible about our brothers and sisters on other planets? Did he write separate bibles for every short lived civilizations in the universe?

        November 29, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
        • Topher

          Why do you think there's life on other planets?

          November 29, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Naturally. Only a fool would think otherwise. It is a statistical certainty that their is now, has been, and will be a wide variety of life scattered throughout our galaxy and the whole universe.

          November 29, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Topher, why do you always answer a question with a question?

          November 29, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
        • Topher

          I'd disagree with your statistics considering it's already deemed mathematically impossible for life to have come about on just this planet. But let's say there is other life out there. Do you think it will be other humanoids, or life like bacteria and things of that nature?

          November 29, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
        • Topher

          Apple Bush

          "Topher, why do you always answer a question with a question?"

          Just trying to make sure I understand what you're asking and to flush out as many details as I can before commenting.

          November 29, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          And if there are other universes the possibilities are endless. There might even be a whole "god" civilization in one of those realities. Nobody knows yet the truth around which we live our lives.

          November 29, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          I have no idea Topher. How could I? If I had to guess, I would say life on other planets or moons is every bit as exotic as life here. Perhaps so exotic it would not even be recognizable to us as we are evolved for our environment, not theirs.

          November 29, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
        • Topher

          I used to believe in aliens. When I was in high school I was obsessed with The X-Files. Read a lot of stuff on the occult, including supposedly true UFO encounters. Have you ever seen Fire In The Sky?

          November 29, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          No. I guess I don't / didn't share your obsession although I did like the X-files a lot.

          November 29, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
        • Topher

          Fire In The Sky was "based on a true story." Found it pretty scary. I haven't seen it in a LONG time, but I think it's on Netflix. I might need to rewatch it.

          Also remember doing a book report on "Childhood's End" which I always figured if there were aliens, that is how first contact would happen.

          Of course, I don't really believe that stuff anymore.

          November 29, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Topher, you never answered my question:

          "Why is there nothing in the bible about our brothers and sisters on other planets? Did he write separate bibles for every short lived civilization in the universe?"

          November 29, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
        • Topher

          Sorry. My answer would be that there ISN'T other life outside of Earth.

          November 29, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Strange.

          November 29, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          We haven't even discovered all the life on Earth and you are already dismissing life on other planets. That is crazy man.

          November 29, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          Topher
          I guess it is necessary for you define by life, do you mean that you include microbial life, any life? I need that definition from a young earth believer so they cannot revise what they mean when life is found on another planet or moon in our solar system. BTW that discovery will be made in your or your child's life time, just a matter of exploration. Please do not duck the question.

          November 29, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
        • ME II

          @Topher,
          "... it's already deemed mathematically impossible for life to have come about on just this planet."

          I think you are incorrect. Please explain your math or provide a citation.

          November 29, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Topher I believe that anything is possible. Anything.

      November 29, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
      • Topher

        I'd agree that with God anything is possible (within reason.)

        November 29, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          What falls within reason, Topher? If something is logically impossible, is it impossible for God?

          November 29, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          As Surak, the father of Vulcan logic opined:
          "Infinite diversiry in infinite combinations."

          (what can I say – I'm wearing a hoodie that looks like a Trek uniform right now)

          November 29, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
        • Topher

          Well, things that are logically impossible, God couldn't do ... for instance a square circle or one-ended stick. Also, God cannot lie because it would be against His nature. Stuff like that.

          November 29, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Topher, you have no way of know that. In a one-dimensional universe there could certainly be a one ended stick. Open up your mind man. There may be places in this or other universes that don't have any corners at all.

          November 29, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
        • Topher

          This is the only universe that exists.

          And you do realize that to have a one-ended stick, the other end must go on for eternity. And if that's the case, it would never end, say, at a tree trunk.

          November 29, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Topher
          Given that they would have to exist on a separate plane of existence, wouldn't Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, Limbo etc. be classified as different universes?

          November 29, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
        • Topher

          Doc

          Are you talking the difference between physical and spiritual?

          November 29, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Semantics, my fundamentalist friend.
          "Sprit realm", "physical realm", "aetheric plane" or what not – these dimensions do not interact with each other in any conventionally detectable way.
          If the postulate is that there is a place where one's "soul" goes – with your consciousness still fully intact, mind you – after death, then said afterlife could be classified as a different universe.
          The rules of physics and logic as we know them on Earth don't apply to Heaven, right?

          November 29, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Topher how can you be so arrogant to proclaim this is the only universe that exists. You know nothing!! And by the way, if YOU are one dimensional and you see a stick, your perception is what I am referring to. Your argument works in this world too. We are not able to perceive everything, only what we have evolved to comprehend.

          November 29, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
        • Topher

          Doc

          I suppose you could say heaven and hell are separate from our physical realm ... for now. But you realize that eventually they will be in the same realm, right? It will all be physical.

          Apple Bush

          We haven't evolved.

          November 29, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Well certainly we have evolved, what an ridiculous thing to say.

          November 29, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
        • Topher

          Apple Bush

          "Well certainly we have evolved, what an ridiculous thing to say."

          Nope. No evolution.

          November 29, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Topher, why do you take such pride in being ignorant?

          November 29, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
        • Topher

          What am I supposedly ignorant of?

          November 29, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          "Nope. No evolution."

          Pretty fucking ignorant.

          November 29, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
        • Topher

          Why do you believe in evolution when science rejects it?

          Also, please watch your language in case ladies are reading.

          November 29, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Topher, why are insulting woman. You think they can't handle the word "fuck" but men can? Talk about a double standard.

          Science supports evolution genius.

          November 29, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
        • Topher

          Apple Bush

          "Topher, why are insulting woman. You think they can't handle the word "--" but men can? Talk about a double standard."

          I'm not insulting anyone. It's not about whether they can handle it, but whether they should have to.

          "Science supports evolution genius."

          It does? How is something that happened billions of years ago and isn't seen today testable and repeatable? What is the proof in the change of kinds? Where is the additional biological information it would take when we only see losses in information? Science rejects evolution.

          November 29, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          What is wrong with the word fuck? It is a great word. Are you frightened of sounds Topher?

          As to your evolution arguments. LOL

          November 29, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
        • Topher

          Then please demonstrate them. I don't want to be wrong.

          November 29, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          So Topher, if science rejects evolution, it should be trivial for you to provide a reference to a scholarly article published in a reputable scientific journal that successfully debunks evolution. Put up or fuck off.

          November 29, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
        • Topher

          Apple?

          November 29, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Even Pope-A-Dope and the RCC dipsh!ts support evolution, but not Topher. . .

          November 29, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
        • ME II

          @Topher,

          – Evolution is seen today, e.g. Lenski’s long term e.coli experiment. (http://myxo.css.msu.edu/ecoli/overview.html)
          – “kind” is not a scientific term and evolution only happens within or between species.
          – We don’t only see loss, e.g see e.coli again, additional information occurs from duplication, transcription errors, fusions, etc.

          November 29, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
        • Topher

          ME II

          "- Evolution is seen today, e.g. Lenski’s long term e.coli experiment. (http://myxo.css.msu.edu/ecoli/overview.html)"

          That's not evolution. Ecoli evolving into ecoli is nothing more than natural selection.

          "- “kind” is not a scientific term and evolution only happens within or between species."

          Kind is what Darwin said. It's what Dawkins says. And again, if it's not changing into something else, it's not evolution. It's natural selection.

          "- We don’t only see loss, e.g see e.coli again, additional information occurs from duplication, transcription errors, fusions, etc."

          No. We've never seen addition. What you are talking about is mutation and doesn't continue on. Again, this isn't evolution.

          November 29, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
        • sam stone

          yet you don't see an omniscient god and free will to be logically imcompatible

          November 29, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
        • ME II

          @Topher,

          It is evolution. The genetic change allowed the new variant of e.coli to thrive in a citrate solution where it wasn't able to before. That is evolution. p.s. natural selection is a major part of evolution, not something different.

          “Evolution:
          Evolution consists of changes in the heritable traits of a population of organisms as successive generations replace one another. It is populations of organisms that evolve, not individual organisms.”

          (http://www.nas.edu/evolution/Definitions.html)

          “No. We've never seen addition. What you are talking about is mutation and doesn't continue on.”

          What do you mean “...is mutation and doesn't continue on.”? It is mutation, yes, but does continue on. That is one definition of evolution, see above.

          November 29, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Topher?

          November 29, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
        • doobzz

          "So… you think Adam and Eve were the first people on Earth, 6000 years ago and no-one has evolved since. Let me ask you, out of Adam and Eve, which one was black, which one was white, and which one was asian?"

          –Matt Searies

          November 29, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        Or without god anything is possible. Or with a trillion trillion gods anything is possible. Or with an infinite number of universes dominated by squirrels, anything is possible. If time is infinite then there is time for every possibility. Even as we speak the secrets are hidden from us all around us.

        November 29, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
      • Topher

        I'd say without God, NOTHING is possible. I can't get past the whole everything is an accident idea.

        November 29, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Well, if anything is possible, then that would include nothing. And that might very well be the reality we seek.

          November 29, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
        • Topher

          Except we see that things ARE possible, so that's not really an option.

          November 29, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          How would you know what the options are? I don't. You think very small.

          November 29, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Topher, what if everything is not an accident AND their is no god? That is a possibility like any other possibility.

          November 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
        • Topher

          On the contrary, I have a very big God.

          November 29, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Yes Topher, you have a big god but you don't think it is capable of doing anything. You have a big god but a very small mind to process it with. What are you missing? Your lack of imagination alienates from the actual possibilities of a god or gods. Ironic.

          November 29, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Every God is bigger than another, Topher.

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

          There is only one God.

          November 29, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
        • Topher

          Apple Bush

          "Yes Topher, you have a big god but you don't think it is capable of doing anything."

          Are you kidding me? He's Creator! Do you understand what that means?

          "You have a big god but a very small mind to process it with."

          Now THAT I agree with.

          "What are you missing? Your lack of imagination alienates from the actual possibilities of a god or gods. Ironic."

          Why would I need to image other gods?

          November 29, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          How were you ever able to count them, Topher?

          November 29, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Your god is the creator, but you don't think it can make a one ended stick. Can your god jump rope?

          If you can imagine one god, why not two or three or an infinite number of gods?

          November 29, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
        • Topher

          Apple Bush

          "If you can imagine one god, why not two or three or an infinite number of gods?"

          Because He's told us there is only one. And as I pointed out earlier, He can't lie.

          November 29, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Abraham's God says that He is jealous and doesn't want His people to put any other gods before him.
          The1st Commandment is a tacit acceptance of the existence of other gods.

          November 29, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
        • Topher

          Doc Vestibule

          No other gods means things you might put before God. For instance, you're a "Christian" but because the football game starts before the end of church, you don't go. Football is your god. Or if your kids are involved in some sport or other activity that takes them away from God ... that thing is your god.

          November 29, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Well Topher, there is the problem right? He has never told us anything. He has certainly never told me anything. And if he is capable of anything he can certainly lie just like his followers do.

          November 29, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
        • Topher

          Apple Bush

          "Well Topher, there is the problem right? He has never told us anything. He has certainly never told me anything."

          Read the Bible. And if you already have, then you know what He says. That's all you need.

          "And if he is capable of anything he can certainly lie just like his followers do."

          No. He's not fallible like man.

          November 29, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
        • Ken

          Topher
          In context, the other "gods" mentioned in the Commandment actually does refer to other, rival gods, like the golden calf and Baal, that the Hebrews and Jews occasionally also worshipped, yes?

          November 29, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
        • Topher

          Ken

          "In context, the other "gods" mentioned in the Commandment actually does refer to other, rival gods, like the golden calf and Baal, that the Hebrews and Jews occasionally also worshipped, yes?"

          You could read it that way, but there's some problems with that. One, He's not acknowledging that those gods exist, just that those people worshipped something else. Two, He says those other gods in fact DON'T exist. So the reading I discussed earlier is the better position.

          November 29, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Your Bible recognizes different kinds of gods, Topher. There are the ones people make from wood or gold or various things, and the one living God – which may be three depending on the version of Christianity you've taken on. Interestingly, Paul saw an altar in Athens to another sort of God – an Unknown God. Paul went on to argue in Athens for the Standard God. But that's a shame, because he may have had a chance to consider the true God, which if it exists is likely unknown.

          November 29, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
        • Topher

          Tom, Tom, the Other One

          "Your Bible recognizes different kinds of gods, Topher. There are the ones people make from wood or gold or various things, and the one living God – which may be three depending on the version of Christianity you've taken on."

          I've already made those points ... and there are not 3 gods, but one God.

          "Interestingly, Paul saw an altar in Athens to another sort of God – an Unknown God. Paul went on to argue in Athens for the Standard God. But that's a shame, because he may have had a chance to consider the true God, which if it exists is likely unknown."

          Paul makes the case the unknown god is the Christian God.

          November 29, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
        • Sue

          We can be absolutely certain that the god presented in the Christian bible does not exist.

          November 29, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          I'm curious about this, Topher: Why do you think Paul tried to appropriate the Unknown God as your Standard (Abrahamic) God? I think your interpretation is incorrect, so please support it if you can. Is a characteristic of your God that it is unknown?

          November 29, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
        • sam stone

          god can't lie?

          why not?

          does god not have other human weaknesses like jealousy and anger?

          perhaps it is that fallible man made god in his image

          the god you describe is a vindictive, petty pr1ck

          and you are a snivelling coward

          and you are going to infect your baby with your cowardice

          this is child abuse

          no doubt, your child will see you as a delusion twerp

          and learn to think for him or herself

          November 30, 2013 at 7:59 am |
  11. Apple Bush

    JW

    Watch Tower Society publications teach that God's kingdom is a literal government in heaven, ruled by Jesus Christ and 144,000 Christians drawn from the earth. KOO KOO!

    November 29, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I can't wrap my head around how the JoHos and 7th Day Adventists are still around given that they're based on prophecies that failed to come true – and fairly recently at that!

      November 29, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        Never underestimate a believer's ability to rationalize away any contradictions within the framework of his own belief set.

        November 29, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Or to arrogantly dismiss other's belief systems. . .

          November 29, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
  12. Apple Bush

    Crayons in a box

    Tilted, unarticulated, frightened, misaligned and beautiful.

    Worship it freedom of the freakish in the fashion fantasy; wrong door.

    Then why the bones? Why the mangled images and wealthy gamblers?

    Time to control and succeed; crayons in a box of pewter.

    November 29, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Oh freddled gruntbuggly,
      Thy micturitions are to me,
      As plurdled gabbleblotchits,
      On a lurgid bee,
      That mordiously hath bitled out,
      Its earted jurtles,
      Into a rancid festering confectious inner-sphincter. [drowned out by moaning and screaming]
      Now the jurpling slayjid agrocrustles,
      Are slurping hagrilly up the axlegrurts,
      And living glupules frart and slipulate,
      Like jowling meated liverslime,
      Groop, I implore thee, my foonting turling dromes,
      And hooptiously drangle me,
      With crinkly bindlewurdles,
      Or else I shall rend thee in the gobberwarts with my blurglecruncheon,
      See if I don't.

      November 29, 2013 at 11:30 am |
      • Apple Bush

        How is Vogsphere holding up?

        November 29, 2013 at 11:34 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Some guy in a housecoat and his two-headed cohort keep making trouble.

          November 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Akira

      My crayons are held in a tastefully decorated decoupage box.

      November 29, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
  13. palintwit

    Tea party patriots will never make make good dancers as long as they insist on inserting multiple buttplugs while wearing size 34 floppy clown shoes. Sarah Palin is one of a rare breed that can pull it off and still appear graceful on stage.

    November 29, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • Apple Bush

      I had know idea.

      November 29, 2013 at 11:57 am |
      • Apple Bush

        Nor can I spell...*no

        November 29, 2013 at 11:58 am |
  14. Apple Bush

    Does Jesus worship himself or his creator?

    November 29, 2013 at 11:15 am |
  15. Apple Bush

    Grave digger

    The grave digs a while, deep enough for you and your pet dog.
    The grave leans on his shovel and thinks for a moment.

    Being older and more knowledgeable, the dirt guru decided to just fill in the hole and quit for the day. The sun burned bright and the pebbles in the grave’s dirt sparkled.

    He found some shade and quietly hoped no one would try to bury themselves.

    November 29, 2013 at 11:12 am |
  16. bostontola

    Is there a God?
    Is the Abrahamic God the one true God?
    Is Christianity Truth? (I.e. Do you need to accept Jesus as your savior to be saved?)

    Many Christians don't see these as different questions based on their discussion and argument. They flat out as.sume they are are all yes answers and don't realize that others may have a mix of yes and no, or atheists with all no.

    They don't seem to be able to accept that some of these questions are addressable with objective evidence, some not (at this time). The various bibles and other dogmatic scriptures are objective evidence that can be examined and as.sessed with various standards (e.g. Beyond a reasonable doubt, preponderance of evidence, etc.). The first question is beyond proof, there is objective evidence that no supernatural power is required for the universe we can observe, no objective evidence for a supernatural being, but there is much that is unknown within our observational power, never mind outside it. The second and third question, while beyond proof, there is a lot of objective evidence that the answer is no. There is falsehoods in the scripture, the morality defined is primitive and unacceptable today, no standard of evidence would allow any other answer but no.

    Because these questions are beyond proof in a formal sense, the answers, yes or no, must be called beliefs. Not all beliefs have equal foundation. Beliefs in the yes answers must rest on blind faith since they not only have no objective evidence, they fly in the face of much objective evidence for a no answer. Beliefs in the no answers are founded on objective evidence. The no answers to questions 2 and 3 have similar basis to a no answer to the question "Is Pegasus real?". Rewards and penalties defined within the system being as.sessed, are not evidence.

    November 29, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • Apple Bush

      You are confusing the Christians. How was your Turkey Day?

      November 29, 2013 at 11:09 am |
      • bostontola

        Excellent AB, I hope yours was good as well.

        November 29, 2013 at 11:13 am |
        • Apple Bush

          It was outstanding, glad yours was too. Ready for leftovers now.

          November 29, 2013 at 11:16 am |
  17. Apple Bush

    Funny Man

    sweet smelling flowers roam the sidewalks
    while big bellied dandelions platoon;

    the spring rains are falling a funny tune at the expense
    of a funny man;

    stepping on and off the curb, looking a bit bored;
    eyes up and shoes flexed for the sprint

    suddenly bright sun elbows its way between two clouds;
    a funny man flaps his ready feat into a small puddle and smiles

    the sun was sweet;
    it tasted warm on his tongue and eye lids

    he looked to the heavens to say thank you
    thunder and a bolt of lightening

    a funny man was struck down
    umbrella at the ready; lips still smiling

    November 29, 2013 at 11:06 am |
  18. Apple Bush

    Jesus has been disabled since he rose from the dead carrying with him the burden of the sins of every human soul, past, present and future.

    Sins that He, indeed, created to begin with and must have been pondering the wisdom of that choice about the time the miserable world he created was becoming all he would ever know.

    For he had sacrificed himself and accepted this unfortunate fate. But who am I to be critical.

    November 29, 2013 at 11:01 am |
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About this blog

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