December 11th, 2013
08:15 AM ET

Pope Francis' greatest hits of 2013

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(CNN) - First he won the Internet. Then he won Facebook. Now, Pope Francis has won Time magazine's Person of the Year for 2013.

"He took the name of a humble saint and then called for a church of healing," Time said in announcing the award on Wednesday. "The septuagenarian superstar is poised to transform a place that measures change by the century."

Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said Time's announcement came as no surprise.

"It is a positive sign that one of the most prestigious acknowledgements in the field of the international press has been attributed to one who proclaims spiritual, religious and moral values in the world, and who speaks effectively in favor of peace and greater justice," Lombardi said.

"With regard to the Pope, for his part, he does not seek fame and success, since he carries out his service for the proclamation of the Gospel and the love of God for all. If this attracts men and women and gives them hope, the Pope is content. If this nomination as 'Person of the Year' means that many have understood this message, at least implicitly, he will certainly be glad," Lombardi continued.

In honor of Time's award, here are the year's top stories about Pope Francis:

Pope Francis won the Internet. Literally.

Even atheists love this Pope

Pope Francis' embrace of a severely disfigured man touches world

Why the Pope's embrace of the disfigured man is so powerful

Pope: I was once a bar bouncer

Pope Francis: No more business as usual

The Pope’s bold new vision

Pope Francis: Church can't 'interfere' with gays

Pope Francis on gays: 'Who am I to judge?'

The pope said what? Six stunners from Francis

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Francis

soundoff (210 Responses)
  1. Not so out of touch....

    Well if Time magazine "proclaims" Francis 'person of the year'....then it must mean something. Right?!

    I would like to add that Francis is overweight and clearly does not deny his old fat body any comfort....and that the words "humble" and "leader of billion dollar organization" should never be in the same sentence.

    IF Jesus was actually a real person he would be dismantling the current Catholic Church in Rome and giving all this money to support these overpriced golden churches out to the poor people who are dying the streets while Francis' double-chins smack together as he chortles and drinks wine.
    Christians know this (eye of the needle + rich man = dead end to heaven) but they ignore it and pretend the men they are paying weekly are using this money to help the ever-growing poor population, when they are using it to cover up molesting your sons. Christians are the true problem here.

    December 11, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • Your ego is overweight.

      Shill your bullshit elsewhere... You sound like a jealous kid. Grow up.

      December 11, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
      • Not so out of touch....

        Right....keeping drinking the Kool-Aid and giving these old men money.
        They need to pay court fines and hire lawyers to cover up molesting young me-oh excuse, it's ALL to help out the "poor".\

        Glad you're confident you're on the right side of history....hopefully you'll be dead before your religion is exposed as fraudulent and your leaders are exposed as just simple-minded gay men they take your money.

        December 11, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
        • Gol

          Talk about drinking kool-aid. Can't you whine with some originality?

          December 11, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • Alias

      Catholics really hate it when you remind them how immoral their church is.

      December 11, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
  2. Greatest Hits


    December 11, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Dum de dum dum

      This is stupid.

      December 11, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Misunderestimated

      The eighties are gone.

      December 19, 2013 at 7:36 am |
  3. tony

    Real gods don't need human church leaders. Even the stupidest believer realizes, they have the power to communicate directly.

    December 11, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
  4. Honey Badger Don't Care

    Hey, HitIer was Time's man of the year in 1938. Why not the pope?

    December 11, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
  5. CommonSensed

    CNN…let it go. We get it. You like the pope.

    Will you also post how much money they raked in from their flock? And how much they spent on disaster relief for the Philippines?

    December 11, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Sad but True...

      I don't know how much they have given to the victims of the hurricane but I know they have given nearly $7 billion to victims of their own priests.

      December 11, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
  6. Reality # 2

    Man of the Year Award? Not so fast as he has yet to address the following:

    (Only for the new members:)

    Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

    The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.


    For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

    Current RCC problems:

    Too many pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

    December 11, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
  7. Heroes of Faith

    Will be nice to see the Pope take on the anti-Christian persecution that has spiked in the Middle East and is spreading to other what was known to be religiously moderate countries such as India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

    December 11, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • igaftr

      Yes it is so terrible to see the christians being given a taste of their own medicine.

      December 11, 2013 at 11:34 am |
      • Gol

        Yes..because the vast majority of christians caused those atrocities. Idiot.

        No one deserves to be treated bad, let alone for religious reasons. But it's downright ignorant to imply that christians as a whole persecuted people. Like most groups..the loud annoying ones sadly paint the image that others outside their faith sees.

        December 11, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
        • igaftr

          "No one deserves to be treated bad"

          And iI suppose you calling someone names doesn't count?
          Get lost hypocrit.

          December 11, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
        • Gol

          Oh wha...quit your whining. You come in on this blog and you don't know that it's a forum for heated debate?

          Your whining and calls for hypocrisy doesn't negate ANYTHING I ALREADY STATED.

          December 11, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
        • igaftr

          not whining, hypocrit....just pointing out you call someone an idiot with one line, then say no one deserves to be treated bad(ly) (badly...it's called an adverb)

          December 11, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
        • Former Xtian

          They may not be as bad today, but all you have to do is look at the Crusades, the inquisition and the dark ages to show you the real roots of Christianity. It was originally spread by the sword and people believed it out of fear and taught their kids accordingly. That's the only reason it's still around today. The cycle of indoctrination. It's sad, but true. When you force something onto a kid at a young impressionable age, it has long term psychological effects.

          December 19, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • Martin

      It is heartbreaking to hear of such atrocities, it's time to stop the persecution of Christians worldwide!!!

      Take up the greater cause for the greater good, Pope Francis!

      December 11, 2013 at 11:36 am |
      • Ted

        Martin, read what igaftr said. Then read it again. It is right on. And also go read something other than your crazy holy book too, like maybe something about the Inquisitions.

        December 11, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • Ted

      There are no heroes of faith in religion. Faith in a big sky daddy is for cowards who can't face reality..

      December 11, 2013 at 11:58 am |
      • liqwidzero

        There's a big difference between faith and religion.

        With faith, we put our beliefs in something – anything. It doesn't necessarily have to be a form of supreme being, but every single person has faith in something. Whatever one puts his or her faith in is a different matter. You could believe in Jesus and God, the Devil, in mankind, in your car, your cat, Odin or Zeus, you could be a naturalist or druish in belief, or just have enough faith to know that you will go to bed and wake up alive in the morning. Whatever the case may be, you have faith.

        Religion, on the other hand, is a cultish idea. I don't have religion, whereas I have my faith.

        Where you place your opinion on what is "crazy" or "inane", someone else has the same thought on yourself. So there is no reason to put something down without acknowledging that your own ideals are equally scrutinized and just as equally possible.

        December 11, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Some examples of discrimination by the religious against non-believers:
      In Djibouti, citizens must register their religion to be married. "Atheist" is not recognized, ergo atheists cannot be legally married.
      Equatorial Guinea gives official preferential treatment to Catholics, such as exemptions from airport entry taxes.
      Eritrea recognized only 4 religions, Islam and 3 Christian denominations. To leave the country, citizens must get an exit Visa from the Office of Religious Affairs which arrests applicants on the spot for being non-religious (or for practicing an unrecognized faith).
      In Ethiopia, it is against the law to defame religion.
      In Sudan, uyou can get up to 6 months in jail and be flogged for blasphemy. Apostacy (abandoning Islam) is punishable by death.
      Zambia has mandatory Christian education in their public shcools for all students through grade 7.
      In Indonesia, persons who do not identify with one of the six official religions (Islam, Cathoilc, Protestant, Confucian, Buddhism, Hindu), including people with no religion, to experience official discrimination in the context ofcivil registration of marriages and births and other situation involving family law.
      Section 188 of the Austrian Criminal Code,called ‘Vilification of Religious Teachings’, criminalizes “Anyone who publicly disparages a person or thing that is the object of worship of a domestic church or religious society, or a doctrine".
      In Bavaria, Catholic bishops have the right to veto thenomination of a professor of theology, philosophy, pedagogy and sociology/political science at state universities if the candidate does not entertain the standpoint of the Catholic Church.
      Article 198 of the Greek Penal Code states that “1. One who publicly and maliciously and by any means blasphemes God shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than two years; 2. Anyone, except as described in par.1, who displays publicly with blasphemy a lack of respect for things divine, is punished with up to 3 months in prison. ” Article 199 states that “one who publicly and maliciously and by any means blasphemes the Greek Orthodox Church or any other religion tolerable in Greece shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than two years.”
      In Italy, blasphemy is considered as an "administrative offense" and punished with a fine. Administrative law requires that all classrooms in state schools display crucifixes.
      The Church of England (C of E) is granted privileged access to the British Parliament. The 26 most senior C of E Bishops are automatically granted membership in the House of Lords – the upper chamber of Parliament – where they have the right to speak and vote on all legislation. They are unaccountable to the public.
      When applying for a Pakistani passport, applicants must state their religion. “No Religion” is not accepted as an answer.
      At least seven states–Arkansas, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas–have in place const.itutional provisions that bar atheists from holding public office. One state (Arkansas) even has a law that bars an atheist from testifying as a witness at a trial.

      December 11, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        All listed of course in Fox's Book of Atheist Martyrs.... Oh, wait a minute...

        December 11, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          When Fox's book was written and published, Christians had outlawed atheists from the universities, or any teaching careers, besmirched their reputations, banned or burned their books or other writing of any kind, drove them into exile, humiliated them, seized their properties, and arrested them for blasphemy.

          December 11, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
  8. bostontola

    The head of PR at the Vatican has earned a raise. It seems like they are now running the Catholic church like an efficient modern business, not from a profit perspective (although they seem to be doing quite well thank you), but from a marketing perspective. The last CEO (pope) was removed for leading in the wrong direction. They convened a papal conclave to select a pope that will appeal globally in the big growth market (South America) and rich new markets (Asia, Africa). They are competing for souls with other evangelical sects and other religions. It seems to be working quite well. Congratulations to them, make a plan and execute it.

    December 11, 2013 at 11:18 am |
  9. Miracle of Christmas


    December 11, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • bostontola

      Pretty low bar for "Miracle".

      December 11, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Maddy

      This was cool. Bet the guy who asked for socks and underwear wishes he asked for the big screen tv, lol.

      December 11, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
  10. doobzz

    I don't see "Turned the names all accused pedophiles over to civil authorities" on the list.

    December 11, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Science Works

      or this one or the story about the UN !

      Vatican unveils commission to combat se-xual abuse

      By Hada Messia, CNN

      December 11, 2013 at 11:01 am |
      • doobzz

        Right. Another committee to figure out how to weasel out of this scandal. Didn't the last committee come up with Crimen Sollicitationis?

        December 11, 2013 at 11:09 am |
        • Science Works

          Yeah but that was way back in 1962 .

          Now there is two living popes that know about it .

          And they RCC/pope/god lost in a court of law and had to publish names of pedo priests and parishes.

          December 11, 2013 at 11:26 am |
  11. CNN Presents

    Part 20 in the 85 part series "How Catholic is the CNN Belief Blog Dept?"

    December 11, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • Sad but True...

      Every other day they get accused of either being too Catholic or atheist or jewish or not muslim hating enough. I'm thinking it has little to do with them and a lot to do with all of you.

      December 11, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Gol

      How athiest are the commentors on the blog?

      December 11, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
  12. Honey Badger Don't Care

    Instead of "Greatest Hits" the ti.tle should be "Attempt at rebranding the corrupt church so that less people will leave the church so that their revenue stream doesn’t dry up."

    Just a public relations ploy.

    December 11, 2013 at 9:40 am |
  13. Apple Bush

    So much attention for doing nothing useful. So much adoration for the abuse of children.

    December 11, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • oo oo

      U r silent about Sam stoned. Punk

      December 11, 2013 at 10:53 am |
  14. Dyslexic doG

    welcome everybody, to the continuation of the Vatican's cleverly crafted PR campaign to rescue their tainted organization.

    CNN are carrying the load with a pope story EVERY day for a year.

    December 11, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • Saraswati

      It might at least be interesting if there were a chance it would work. The minute bump this will give in church membership will be so fleeting it just makes the efforts sort of sad.

      December 11, 2013 at 9:42 am |
  15. Methane

    The smell of his sheep/bishops still smells like _____ just like all sheep do !

    December 11, 2013 at 9:20 am |
  16. Dominic

    Congratulations to the Pope!

    Wish him well as he continues to sow love where there is hatred, seek peace where there is strife, bring joy where there is misery and above all else share the gospel message of Christ with all mankind.

    December 11, 2013 at 8:43 am |
    • HotAirAce

      You left out "protect child abusers when civilian authorities want to prosecute them."

      December 11, 2013 at 9:38 am |
      • Gol

        Gnawing on that old bone are we?

        I guess the haters have their mantra now. It doesn't matter what good they ever will do. Heck, I bet that even if the Vatican would take every accused priest out of the church and throw them to the courts, the haters will still whine about it in some form.

        December 11, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
        • igaftr

          old bone? tell that to ALL of the CURRENT victims of the systimatic cover up that is still ongoing.
          Why not full disclosure, assistance in prosecuting both the offenders AND the ones who covered up the crimes, and then proper compensation for the victims.

          Until that is accompluished, it remains an open wound in the church and needs to be addressed.

          Why are you so quick to dismiss the DECADES of abuse and cover ups?

          December 11, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
        • Gol

          "tell that to ALL of the CURRENT victims of the systimatic cover up that is still ongoing."

          If it is current, then deal with it. I am not against the prosecution of such people. However, I am against the unfair labeling of the entire freakin religion because of what some priests did. Every single time CNN has a topic that revolves around the RCC or the Pope, some idiot out there has to bring it up. Lets face it....they don't care about the victims as much as they care about hurting the image of religion.

          "Why not full disclosure, assistance in prosecuting both the offenders AND the ones who covered up the crimes, and then proper compensation for the victims."

          See, you mentioned NOTHING about those priests and nuns who are being accused for not doing anything wrong. It's all about punishing and not about the truth. Would you trust a US national to get a fair trial in half of the nations in this world? If not, then why would you think a catholic priest would?

          "it remains an open wound in the church and needs to be addressed."

          From the BBC, "But current research and expert opinion suggest....that the prevalence of abuse by priests has fallen sharply in the last 20-30 years."

          Odd how the haters don't ever mention things like this.

          "Why are you so quick to dismiss the DECADES of abuse and cover ups?"

          I don't but I also live in the real world where you just are NOT going to be able to prosecute a person for r a p e 20 years after the alleged crime occurred. And in a world where many people (just look around this blog for examples) have already found them guilty just for being priests, how could they get a fair trial?

          December 11, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
  17. Lawrence of Arabia

    In picture #5, where the pope is saying that atheists will get to heaven by doing good works...
    That's NOT Biblical. So, my question is: does the word of the pope supercede that of the word of God?

    December 11, 2013 at 8:37 am |
    • Fitz

      He probably meant that he will meet him *there* as in meeting on the day of judgment.

      December 11, 2013 at 8:40 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        As in, they are both reprobate. One for refusing to repent, the other for teaching false doctrine.

        December 11, 2013 at 8:51 am |
        • Fitz

          Doesn't everybody face the day of judgment, that would include any Pastor, priest, Pope, John Mac Arthur, you, I and an atheist?

          December 11, 2013 at 8:55 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Not judgment in a sense of condemnation. Paul tells us in Romans 8:1: "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." The "judgment seat of Christ" that all believers will go before is referred to as the Bema. Reader's Digest version is that it is not for condemnation, but rather for rewards. (1 Corinthians 3:10-15 and others)

          December 11, 2013 at 9:00 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          The Great White Throne Judgment is for the condemnation of the reprobate, and it is described in Revelation 20:11-15.

          December 11, 2013 at 9:02 am |
        • Fitz

          What about Romans 14:10 or Matthew 12:36?

          December 11, 2013 at 9:03 am |
        • Fitz

          or Hebrews 9:27?

          December 11, 2013 at 9:05 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          You mentioned John MacArthur... This is from his website... (sorry for the extended quote)

          "Believers will not be judged for sin at the judgment seat of Christ. Every sin of every believer was judged at the Cross, when God “made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). At the cross “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13). As our subst.itute, “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24); “He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:12; cf. Ephesians 1:7; 4:32; 1 John 2:1–2). Because of His atoning sacrifice on our behalf, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.… Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us” (Romans 8:1, 34). But although salvation is not by works, works are the inevitable result of true salvation."

          The purpose of the bema is an exhaustive evaluation of our lives. 1 Corinthians 4:5 says the Lord will come and "bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one's praise will come from God." That passage reveals Paul's emphasis on the judgment seat of Christ. Notice that Paul says each man's praise will come to him from God. God gives rewards to the victors. We know that He won't condemn us for our sins at that point, because Romans 8:1 says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus."

          December 11, 2013 at 9:08 am |
        • Fitz

          I agree with your reference to Romans 8 :1, and you are probably right not for condemnation; but everyone goes before the throne of Christ for judgment.

          December 11, 2013 at 9:12 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "but everyone goes before the throne of Christ for judgment."
          That's true. But the judgment of the elect, and the judgment of the reprobate are two different things. In the one, God renders judgment for the dispensing of rewards, and in the other, God renders judgment for the dispensing of condemnation. Both the elect and the reprobate go under God's "judgment," but the text reveals what kind of judgment that is, be it positive or negative.

          December 11, 2013 at 9:18 am |
        • Charm Quark

          Of course your interpretation of the bible is the true and correct opinion, we have got that. Still it is fun watching the different Christian cults having hissy fits about what the BS means. Topher and JW are the cutest but you are right up there LofA, LOL.

          December 11, 2013 at 9:34 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "Of course your interpretation of the bible is the true and correct opinion, we have got that."
          Interesting take... Please explain how I have injected my opinion as to what the scripture means? All I have done is READ it.

          December 11, 2013 at 9:44 am |
        • sam stone

          your claiming it is the Word Of God (TM) is an interpretation, larry

          stick with the program

          December 11, 2013 at 10:26 am |
        • Madtown

          All I have done is READ it.
          To do that, you need to HAVE ACCESS TO IT. This means you've certainly got a leg up on many of your human brothers, if this scripture is indeed God's word. Why would God give you a leg up, I wonder?

          December 11, 2013 at 11:22 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "To do that, you need to HAVE ACCESS TO IT"
          You constantly repeat this complaint, and although it may be a comment on how poorly that Christians have conducted evangelism, it isn't a comment on truth itself. The validity of truth is not based on its availability.

          December 11, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
        • G to the T

          "The purpose of the bema is an exhaustive evaluation of our lives." Why? You're "already in" at that point and Heaven is a static state so I don't think there's any personal growth going on. What's the point?

          Even if you were the worst person in the world and repented just before you died, what would be the benefit of reviewing it all over again?

          December 11, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
        • Madtown

          The validity of truth is not based on its availability.
          I do constantly repeat this, because it's an important piece of simple logic that you(or any theist) have no rational answer for. In contrast to the example you've tried to make before, what we talk about here is not comparable to regional traffic laws, or the like. The topic is the salvation of human beings, and God's judgement of individual humans regarding their acceptance or rejection of a divine savior. FOR ETERNITY! Not as simple as a speeding ticket. If something so important for each individual is dependent upon accepting/rejecting a supposed scriptural "truth"(as you define it) then make the case for how it makes any sense at all that humans would be judged negatively for rejecting something they have no idea exists!! You can't make the case, there isn't one. It makes no sense. If you try to make the case, make it without citing scripture.

          December 11, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "Why? You're "already in" at that point and Heaven is a static state"
          The point is because heaven is not a static state. The Bible tells us that there are varrying degrees of rewards for the elect, just as there are varrying degrees of punishment for the reprobate. A man's deeds carry on after his death – for instance, Hugh Heffner (spell?) will continue corrupting people until he dies, then the evil empire that he has created will continue until the end of time – that is why there is a final reckoning. The same is true for men's righteous deeds – they carry on in one way or another until the end of time. Rewards and punishments are based on what his deeds are.

          "Even if you were the worst person in the world and repented just before you died, what would be the benefit of reviewing it all over again?"
          He would be in heaven, maybe with few rewards, but who knows? Maybe the salvation of a wicked man will inspire others, and be the beginning of a revival?

          December 11, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      You misunderstand the statement.
      The Catholic Catechism is quite explicit in stating that only those who have undergone the Catholic purification rituals (drowning, cannibalism, confession etc) go to Heaven.
      The Pope is saying that both the faithful and faithless can work together to help their fellow man.

      December 11, 2013 at 9:05 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Yes, the word of the pope supersedes the word of god because the pope is real and god is imaginary. Simple. 🙂

      December 11, 2013 at 9:37 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        I'm not feeding the trolls today.

        Everyone has a right to their own opinion. But no one has a right to make their opinion true. Truth is what truth is, and it is outside of us.

        December 11, 2013 at 9:45 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          “What are the facts? Again and again and again – what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history” – what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!”

          – Robert Heinlein

          December 11, 2013 at 9:55 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Facts... we went through this yesterday when I laid out the argument from contingency.


          December 11, 2013 at 10:01 am |
        • Ted

          You presented your argument yesterday, and it was full of holes. It remains a worthless argument today.

          December 11, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
        • Lawrence of Alabia

          My pleasure is contingent upon you licking me...

          December 11, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "and it was full of holes"
          Then show me one physical enti.ty that is non-contingent and immutable. If you can't, then the argument is logically valid.

          December 11, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
        • G to the T

          Some "truths" are outside of ourselves I guess, but the vast majority or matters of perception and then lies wholly in the mind. Indeed, there's a huge pile of concepts that have no objective reality.

          December 11, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • sam stone

      by what authority do you claim it to be the word of god? because you want it to be? because you spent so much time delving into it and you would feel foolish if it were just an iron age comic book?

      December 11, 2013 at 10:20 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        It's not difficult to research the origins of a doc.ument. In the case of the Bible, Textual Criticism, starting with the early church fathers who were students of the Apostles, the Bible could be pieced together just from their quotations. When they lived, the stories in the NT could be verified by cross examination of those involved, and they were. Then, by looking at the existing manuscripts today, and piecing together what we have and comparing it to a modern Bible such as the NASB, it is not hard at all to see that the Bible that we hold in our hands today is the same doc.ument quoted by the early church fathers who researched and verified all that they could.

        It is not just a book. It is the word of God told by His eye witnesses on earth. And I encourage anyone who differs with that statement to do the research for themselves.

        December 11, 2013 at 10:32 am |
        • HotAirAce

          How were the supernatural aspects verified?

          December 11, 2013 at 10:51 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          "the word of God told by His eye witnesses on earth"

          oh my. you really are delusional aren't you? or perhaps just a liar ... but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say delusional.

          December 11, 2013 at 11:50 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          L of A
          There are no original documents to compare with. Do you really believe that the testimony of people whose motivation is to establish a religion is objective? If so, you must also believe L Ron Hubbard and Joseph Smith.

          December 11, 2013 at 11:57 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "How were the supernatural aspects verified?"
          Easy, people actually were able to speak to Lazarus.

          December 11, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "oh my. you really are delusional aren't you? or perhaps just a liar ... but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say delusional."
          So what you're saying is that you personally have never studied Biblical Textual Criticism because you have pre-conceived notions of the validity of the Bible, so you are going to mock those who have studied, in an effort to discredit them. Sorry, that doesn't work.

          Anyone who has made an intensive study of Biblical Textual Criticism can attest to the truth of the scriptures. Those who say otherwise have an agenda, and have not looked at the material from a critical standpoint.

          December 11, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
        • G to the T

          Well I have studied textual criticism (though I cannot claim a good working knowledge of Greek to be sure) and oddly enough, have come to exactly the opposite conclusions as you.

          I wonder – how do you know the books we have were authored by who we say they are? And how is that claim more valid than the plethora of other christian faiths (each with their own books, claiming to have been written by the disciples/apostles themselves)?

          Have you ever considered that almost every time they do a new dig, they are finding "herectical" writings, not the canon. Seems the "canonical" view as you see it was not the majority in the time of the RCC's founding.

          December 11, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
        • simplyput

          Lawrence, several of the Pope's statements aren't biblical. Good to see someone else recognizes truth when they read it. To end any questions, get a Greek Interlinear NT and Greek Concordance; you have the gift of teaching, at the very least. Your knowledge of scripture speaks for itself, and that is truly refreshing and wonderful to read. If there is one thing the devil hates it's the word of God, but he hates prayer even more. Peace.

          December 12, 2013 at 1:05 am |
        • Former Xtian

          You have proof of Lazerus existing? Stop being dishonest. There is just as much validity in the bible as there is in the Egyptian myths of Horus. How do you know that those Egyptian myths weren't written by eye witness to become the world of Horus? You believe the bible is gods word, just because it says so in the book. What kind of poor logic is that?

          December 19, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • ME II

      @Lawrence of Arabia,
      I think he simply meant that all can do good things regardles of faith.. and that people of all faiths or non-faiths will meet each other while doing good deeds because they are often the exact same deeds which are considered good.

      He is trying to stress our commonalities and the inclination, in all of us to varying degrees, to do good. IMO

      December 11, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Former Xtian

      Considering that nothing in the bible can be verified other than a few city names, I'd say yes. His word is just as valid (basically meaning it's not valid at all and neither is the bible).

      December 19, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
  18. HotAirAce

    Time's Man of the Year is still protecting child abusers and those that covered up the abuse. It is quite likely that the current Pope-A-Dope is fully aware of the criminal activities within the RCC and may be guilty of actual abuse or crimes related to the cover up. Why else won't he order the RCC to cooperate fully with civilian authorities?

    December 11, 2013 at 8:35 am |
    • Gol

      Yeah and the President is fully aware of a dead alien in ajar at Area 41.

      Why doesn't many businesses and people of power ignore idiots? Because it takes down their prestige and gives nutjobs a podium to stand on.
      Don't get me wrong, if something happened and can be PROVEN...then everyone should deal with the problem. However, we should not abide and let a witch hunt happen either.

      Look at the real world. How many r a p e cases in the US actually end up in a guilty ruling?
      Why doesn't the prosecution go after r a p e cases more? Don't they care or is it that they know that the majority of them cannot be proven?

      December 11, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
      • ironic

        "Yeah and the President is fully aware of a dead alien in ajar at Area 41.

        Why doesn't many businesses and people of power ignore idiots"

        Allow me to correct that....a dead alien in A JAR...at area 51...why DON"T many businesses and people ignore idiots"

        You're right though, we should ignore you.

        December 11, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
        • Gol

          Thank you for that correction on pop culture. Pity you had nothing to add to the topic of importance. But keep stroking that ego of yours 😉

          December 11, 2013 at 8:11 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.