Why Christians need Flannery O'Connor
In her "Prayer Journal," Flannery O'Connor says of sin, "You can never finish eating it nor ever digest it. It has to be vomited," but, she immediately concludes, "perhaps that is too literary a statement; this mustn't get insincere."
December 15th, 2013
06:53 AM ET

Why Christians need Flannery O'Connor

Opinion by Russell D. Moore, special to CNN

(CNN) - On my Christmas list of gifts to buy my evangelical friends, there's a little book of prayers.

This is less predictable than it may seem, since the prayers aren't from a celebrity evangelical preacher, but from a morbid, quirky Catholic who spent her short life with pet peacocks and wooden-leg-stealing Bible salesman stories.

But I think Flannery O'Connor's newly published "Prayer Journal" is exactly what Christians need, maybe especially at Christmas.

The book, recently discovered in the writer's papers in Georgia and now published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, reproduces the handwritten notebook prayers scribbled down by O'Connor during her years as a student at the University of Iowa.

The prayers are jarring because they are so personal and raw, clearly not written to "edify the saints" in a published manuscript. They are, well, just prayers.

Part of the rawness and authenticity of the prayers come with the way O'Connor refuses to sentimentalize her personal relationship with Jesus (thought it's clear she has one). She is here constantly aware of her own fallenness and of the seeming silence of the God to whom she pours out these little notes.

O'Connor notes that her attention is "fugitive" in prayer. She confesses that hell seems more "feasible" in her mind than heaven because, "I can fancy the tortures of the damned but I cannot imagine the disembodied souls hanging in a crystal for all eternity praising God."

She is constantly second-guessing whether her prayers for success as a writer are egocentric, or a genuine striving to use the gifts God has given her.

Moreover, O'Connor is constantly aware that she is a sinner, and she can't get around that. Perhaps the most widely publicized sentence in the book is her confession that she "proved myself a glutton, for Scotch oatmeal cookies and erotic thought. There's nothing left to say of me."

Even when she's confessing sin, she seems aware of her sinfulness in doing that. She says of sin, "You can never finish eating it nor ever digest it. It has to be vomited," but, she immediately concludes, "perhaps that is too literary a statement; this mustn't get insincere."

O'Connor's prayers are hardly "inspirational," in the sense that many American Christians want: a model of the "victorious Christian life" where "prayer changes things" and we've got "joy, joy, joy, down in our hearts, to stay." That's why we need them.

American evangelicalism, my own tradition, rightly emphasizes the biblical truth that the gospel is good news, that our sins are forgiven in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. We rightly emphasize that the believer now has a personal connection to God, accessible in prayer through the priesthood of Jesus himself.

But sometimes we forget how hard that is in this time between the times.

Some of our worship services are so clean and antiseptic, led by grinning preachers and praise bands, talking about how happy Jesus makes us, that we forget that the Spirit prompts us to "groan" at our sin and the suffering all around us (Romans 8:22-23). This is especially true at Christmas, with so many evangelicals forgoing the dark longing of Advent to go straight to the tinsel-decked rejoicing of Christmas.

Some Christians, then, can wonder if something's wrong with them when they feel as though God seems distant, or when, despite all the smiles at church, they still feel guilty for the way their hearts don't seem to match up with their hymns.

But the good news isn't that we are all put together. The good news is that though we're wrecked and fallen and freakish, Jesus loves us anyway and has made peace for us with God and with each other. That's not something we always feel. We see it by faith.

O'Connor, elsewhere in her letters, writes of what it means to agonize over one's sin, to wonder "if your confessions have been adequate and if you are compounding sin on sin." She concludes that this agony "drives some folks nuts and some folks to the Baptists," while noting, "I feel sure that it will drive me nuts and not to the Baptists."

Those of us who were "driven to the Baptists" can benefit from a book of prayers that remind us that the Christian life is exactly what Jesus promised it would be - the carrying of a cross.

We can be reminded in prayers such as these to remind ourselves that between now and resurrection we will never be, in ourselves, anything other than sinners. That's why we need a Christ.

It's only when we grapple with the darkness of a fallen cosmos, only when we're honest about the fact that all our efforts look more like Herod's throne than Bethlehem's stable, that we can sing "Joy to the World." Flannery O'Connor wasn't an evangelical Protestant, but we need her.

We need her, especially perhaps, as we pray for peace on earth, goodwill to men, for Christmas in a Christ-haunted world.

Russell D. Moore is President of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the Southern Baptist Convention’s official entity assigned to address social, moral, and ethical concerns. The views expressed in this column belong to Moore alone. 

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Art • Baptist • Belief • Bible • Books • Catholic Church • Christianity • Christmas • evangelicals • Faith • Holidays • Prayer

soundoff (1,505 Responses)
  1. Ron

    Prayers from the Bible: "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me." ...Psalm 51:6

    December 15, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
  2. Ron

    Prayers for the Bible: "Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleans me from my sin." ...Psalm 51:2

    December 15, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
  3. Graeme from Ottawa

    Love how Christians celebrate on a pagan holiday, priceless.

    December 15, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • Bob

      I love how Christians freely recognize they kept some of their pagan customs and traditions. They even teach about this fact. Not try to hide it.

      December 15, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
      • "Internet Christian"

        I love Christians because there on my team and I usally lose but my big god gonna whup them atheist bad boyz my buybull says so so it must be true what the buybull says woohoo.

        December 15, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
        • "Internet Atheist"

          I love atheists because there on my team and I usally lose but my big god gonna whup them Christard bad boyz my godisimagnary.com website says so so it must be true what the godisimaginary.com says woohoo.

          (Ever noticed how the internet atheists and internet Christians almost sound EXACTLY alike???)

          December 15, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
  4. Autumn

    I've never even heard of her until now. I don't need anyone but Jesus.

    December 15, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
  5. Missy q

    Why have all the Christians taken all the torture and persecution if they weren't 100% sure of Jesus? Would atheists die in the same manner for their beliefs in science?

    December 15, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
    • Lady Madonna

      What an ignorant question. You must be a child.

      December 15, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
      • Guest

        An ill-mannered, vicious little snot of a child, me thinks!!!

        December 15, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
        • KanneMe

          Pot, meet Kettle.

          ( I'm going to bemoan religionists for their irrationality, I have to call out free thinkers on their lack of compassion. And, when I am impatient or dismissive, I hope others will do the same for me. )

          I may be naive, but for the record, I think she was asking a sincere question, one that does not deserve such vitriol. She was musing about whether reason can sustain the way faith has been said to when facing extreme duress or even death. There are many who think the nature of each to be so opposite that the question is legitimate: can dispassion comfort the way immersion can?

          December 15, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
    • Damocles

      There are more than a few people I would die for and should a more militant version of you come knocking on my door in the middle of the night, some day in the future, then yes, I would be willing to die to remain true to myself.

      Please do not even attempt to think that people of your particular brand of belief are the only ones that sacrifice or are persecuted.

      December 15, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • doobzz

      Which persecution are you talking about? Protestants persecuting Catholics? Catholics persecuting Protestants? Amish persecuting Mennonites? Anglicans persecuting Quakers?

      December 15, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
      • Guest

        Well said.

        December 15, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
      • Herm

        USSR. North Korea. Iran. Iraq. Pakistan. Saudia Arabia.


        December 15, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
        • Damocles

          Yeah, again, not winning any points for your team. Those countries tend to come down hard on anyone that doesn't go along with them.

          December 15, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
        • doobzz

          North Korea is a dictatorship where everyone who practices a religion is persecuted, not just xtians.

          Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are theocracies where everyone who doesn't practiece their particular flavor of Islam is persecuted, including other Muslims, not just xtians.

          December 15, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
        • Herm

          United States of America is a predominately Christian nation that allow a remarkable amount of religious freedom. So much it even allows voices to oppose it.

          December 15, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
        • doobzz

          Yes, and that freedom needs to be diligently protected, lest the tyranny of the majority creep in more than it already has.

          December 15, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
    • sam stone

      lots of people died in the Heaven's Gate fiasco. it doesn't mean Marshall Applewhite was a messiah

      December 15, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
    • Moxin

      Maybe because we're smarter?

      December 15, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
      • Herm

        No, that is not true. Any idiot can say he doesn't believe in God and be an atheist.

        December 15, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
        • Sue

          On average, atheists are much smarter than Christians, and actually even know the bible better than Christians do, typically. Several studies support those conclusions.

          Where Christians excel, though, and it is not mere stupidity behind this, is in deceiving themselves -sort of a willful ignorance to avoid facing up to the fact that their belief set is unsupportable in the modern realities.

          December 15, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
        • Herm

          Have you investigated how those studies were measuring intelligence?

          December 15, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
        • Sue

          Yes. What is your point? And do you dispute the conclusions of those studies? If so, for what reason?

          December 15, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      Oh you poor poor delusional child. Stop with the persecution complex, it's very unbecoming.
      Christians have killed millions in the name of their god. Just because a huge group of people gathered around the posse of shepherds and snake oil salesmen and listened to their silly tales, doesn't make those tales any more true. See way back in the day man had to travel by foot and a long the way they should share stories...we all know that stories tend to lose pieces here and there and at other times have pieces added. Things moved at a much slower pace...tribal communities existed. Technology wasn't what it is today nor was our ability to explore and find the evidence that helps explain our universe. The human brain is rather cool in the way that when it needs to fulfill a need or have an answer, it will imagine the craziest of things. It's no wonder people imagined so many gods. The reason christianity took off in force is because people bought it and still do, hook-line-and sinker. It's the greatest con game ever.
      You need to stop whining though. Chrisitans still have their say in far too many ways.

      I wouldn't kill in the name of science...killing is immoral and I'm a better person than that.

      December 15, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
      • Z

        "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." – Mahatma Gandhi

        How many people was killed in the name of Atheism? Marxism, Maoism, etc? Killing is evil, I agree with that statement. But if you believe in the survival of the fittest and we are just an organism CREATED by chance? Then wouldnt life be meaningless? When you find a watch on a beach, do u say, this watch was created by some force of nature? Or do u say, hmmm, wonder who may this watch? Oh, it's Movado, nice.... : ) God created us in His image, His signature...

        December 15, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
        • Check

          Except Gandhi didn't actually say that.

          December 15, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
        • Damocles

          Yeah, ok, I would say that there was probably a watchmaker that made the watch, not a watchmaker that made everything.

          December 15, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
        • "Yawn"

          I think you confuse totalitarian regimes with atheism. None of those deaths were done "in the name of atheism."

          December 15, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
        • doobzz

          Why would you say that anyone's life is meaningless just because they don't believe in deities?

          December 15, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
        • sam stone

          how many were killed in the name of atheism?

          i doubt that many were

          mao, stalin, pol pot, etc, the ones that are always dragged out when this absurd argument is made, were totalitarians. they got rid of anything that threated their power. they were more like self-theists than a-thiests

          December 16, 2013 at 5:51 am |
    • Graeme from Ottawa

      We do all the time.

      December 15, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • Jesus Knocks on Your Hearts Door

      No... Atheists would not die for their beliefs because they have No God, no higher power to die for. They just believe in supporting and stating the fact that they don't believe there's a God that created all of Heaven and Earth and everything in it. Therefore they don't have a God to die for. They believe after they die that they just cease to exist and will not go to an Eternal Hell for not believing in Jesus as their Savior. Even people who live and worship false gods will die for their beliefs but that doesn't make their god a real god. God gave His Son, JESUS CHRIST, to us, the world, as a Gift of Love and as a Sacrifice for our sins so that "Whoever believes in Him (JESUS/YAHWEH) inherits eternal life in Heaven". Heaven is a peaceful, beautiful, and eternal place where JESUS CHRIST is King forever and ever. It's a place where Glorious things are such as Angels that praise GOD day and night continually. That's worth dying for. Believing in rejecting God's Son, His Love, His Grace, His Forgiveness... is not worth dying for. Atheism is a man made false religion. Not worth dying for.

      December 15, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
      • Damocles

        So, if you knew for a fact that you were going to some supposed hell, your willingness to sacrfice your life for another would be decidedly dampened.

        December 15, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        I suspect atheists have died at the hands of believers but that doesn't make atheism a religion.

        December 15, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
        • CNN Belief Blog Staff

          We categorize all our stories about atheism under "religion". Not science. Not logic. Belief. Faith. Religion. Because that is exactly what it is. Welcome!

          December 15, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
        • doobzz

          And they categorize all their stories about religion in the "Opinion" section. Not science. Not logic. Not fact. Not truth. Opinion. Because that's exactly what it is. Welcome!

          December 15, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
        • CNN Belief Blog Staff

          We also categorize sports and science & technology under opinion. And, also, atheism is just an opinion.

          December 15, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
      • luvUamerica

        You got to have faith to cross that boundary. Unfortunately for a lot of these people who think they truly believe in God, they don't. That is why they have such a difficult time with Atheists. So whether or not, I believe in God or not, it nobody's business. That's why I think these right wing Tea party freaks are nothing but nut jobs. They are all, half a bubble of plumb!

        December 15, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
      • sam stone

        all religions are man made

        atheism is no more a religion than not believing in santa claus or the tooth fairy is a religion

        December 16, 2013 at 5:55 am |
  6. Missy q

    Look at how many peoples lives have changed after accepting Jesus. The proof is there. There are many lukewarm false Christians and they make us all look bad but there are many true Christians and I'm one who wouldn't be here today without Him. I love you Jesus. Forgive the unbelievers for they don't know no better. Open their hearts so they won't perish.

    December 15, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
    • Damocles

      '...they don't know no better....'

      Yes, some people's lives are changed when they start believing, not necessarily for the good.

      December 15, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • sybaris

      Your claims can be made by all religions

      December 15, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
      • 116

        false, protestant Christianity is one of the only religions that tells us that once we have accepted Christ Jesus that we will go to heaven, not if we are good enough or not kill anyone, we are saved. for most of the other religions (Catholic, Islam, Hinduism) say you must do good things and be good enough to gain the next level of heavenly status or whatever,

        Christ is the answer.

        December 16, 2013 at 11:48 am |
        • G to the T

          false equivication – she was referring to how Christianity changes lives. The counter argument was that other religions change the lives of their believers as well. So proof for one would be proof for all.

          December 16, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
        • Saraswati

          It sounds like an ideal religion for the lazy and selfish seeker. No work at all, just make one change in belief. Can't get much better than that. I think Falun Gong might be even a tad lazier though, in recommending against most charity. You might want to look into that one.

          December 16, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
        • H.S.

          (1) Catholics are Christians, too.

          (2) Certain forms of Protestantism are an aberation of Christianity.

          December 17, 2013 at 11:42 am |
  7. karek40

    Nowhere does it say there will be disembodied spirits for eternity. When the dead are raised they will receive a new body and God will write his word in our hearts so that we do not sin against him.

    December 15, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
    • G to the T

      So no free will in Heaven then?

      December 16, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
  8. Abby

    There isn't anything in existence today that was around during the time of the so called Big Bang so I guess it takes faith to believe that too.

    December 15, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
    • Jon

      If you didn't see it happen with your own eyes, you have to use faith to believe. You can back your faith with scientific study and theories. But it is still faith.

      Human beings are all people of faith.

      December 15, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
    • Cathryn

      I am a Christian, and I have this to say:

      Christians need to act more like Christ. Stop the judging and hate. Love & acceptance is what my Jesus taught.

      What did yours teach?

      December 15, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
      • H.S.

        Yes, yes and yes. Christ came for sinners, not those who are already "perfect". He taught love, not hate. Love is what He does.

        December 17, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • karek40

      God was in existence when he created it. He did not tell us exactly how he did it other than he spoke it into existence. It would seem inefficient for him to create each piece of mass independently, I suspect he created all the mass in the universe at one time (the big bang) and then ordered the pieces of the explosion.

      December 15, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • Damocles

      That series of loud tthumps you just heard was my head hitting my desk in abject frustration.

      Wizard's First Rule

      December 15, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
  9. Abby

    There is much evidence for the existence of Ghosts and demons. It's been caught on tape, & witnessed by several so it can be measured, researched, and proves that there is life after death. Wake up folks there's an afterlife indeed.

    December 15, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • doobzz

      Sorry, you're wrong. None of the "ghost" sightings have stood up to rigorous scientific testing.

      December 15, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
  10. Stacy

    Christianity is fast becoming the new counter culture....exactly as it should be. Christ made that abundantly clear.

    December 15, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • Jon

      It should question, not support, the status quo.

      December 15, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
  11. cwcollins06

    Reblogged this on Humbly through Him and commented:
    Today I'm taking a break, but check out this insightful reminder from CNN's Belief Blog.

    December 15, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
  12. Tre

    Another otherwise intelligent and talented person who spent a lifetime anguishing over the various permutations of the number of angels dancing on the head of a pin. None of them ever follow their own nagging aknowlegement of God's "seeming silence" to its clear conclusion: it is silent; there's nothing to listen to.

    December 15, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
  13. KLA

    What Christians need is a real religion.

    December 15, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • doobzz

      You spelled "education" wrong.

      December 15, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
  14. Jane

    God sure has given us a fine day in California. He did a great job creating the birds I hear singing.

    December 15, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • Hostile_Joe

      'God' didn't give as anything; 'God' doesn't exist. And the birds are a product of years of evolution and natural selection.

      December 15, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • Hey There

      " He did a great job creating the birds I hear singing."

      Oh yeah, and those lovely, sweet mosquitoes that hum a merry tune as they carry malaria... and ooh, the cute trichina worms, and salmonella and just oodles of adorable creatures like that! Ah, but no, THOSE are OUR fault, right?!

      Good thing that your old Hebrew "God" character doesn't even exist.

      December 15, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
      • Flargen

        I want to know how hundreds of different species of termite didn't eat through the ark.

        December 15, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • archimedes109

      He did a fine job creating cancer and malaria, too!

      December 15, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • Realist


      Christianity is built upon a LIE ...

      ................ because ....................

      ..... http://www.GodIsImaginary.com ...

      ... and thank goodness because he ...

      ............. emanates from the .............

      ...................... http://www.EvilBible.com


      December 15, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
  15. jdl

    attn: editors –
    "O'Connor refuses to sentimentalize her personal relationship with Jesus (thought it's clear she has one)."

    thought should be though

    December 15, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
  16. Max

    There is no god. Not a Thor. Not a Jesus.
    The universe is a beautiful and amazing place.
    Life is beautiful.
    Sin is a strange concept.

    December 15, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • Sharen

      There is no god (prove it). Not a Thor (character). Not a Jesus (historical figure).
      The universe is a beautiful (opinion) and amazing (opinion) place.
      Life is beautiful (opinion).
      Sin is a strange (opinion) concept.

      December 15, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
      • doobzz

        Jesus is a historical figure? Why don't any contemporary Roman or Jewish historical texts mention him? You'd think someone would have noticed a guy who could cater picnics for thousands on a budget of five loaves and two fishes, turn water to wine and raise a dead man, not to mention coming back to life himself. I mean, he had guards outside his tomb, but they weren't questioned and nobody followed up on this executed criminal who supposedly walked out of his grave?

        December 15, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
        • Herm

          Bart Ehrman (a secular agnostic) wrote: "He certainly existed, as virtually every competent scholar of antiquity, Christian or non-Christian, agrees"

          December 15, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
        • doobzz


          December 15, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
        • Herm

          Bart Ehrman probably know more about the subject than you, an internet atheist who is just doing the "search and refute" thing with Christian posts.


          There are varying understandings about the historical accuracy of Jesus. I'm sure godisimaginary.com disagrees. But only internet atheist believe what that site tells them to believe.

          December 15, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
        • doobzz

          That's quite a buttload of assumptions about me, Hermy. You don't know what I believe, what sites I visit, what my past experience is, or what I've studied.

          Instead of trying to discredit me with things you know nothing about, why don't you address my original post?

          December 15, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
        • Max

          A long time ago, many people thought the world was flat too. They'd lost the work of Eratosthenes in the 3rd century. Just because they thought the Earth was flat, didn't mean it was. Just because historians in 400 ce or so thought that Jesus was real, doesn't mean he was. I should also point out that disagreeing with his reality at that time and pretty much up until the near present would result in a person's death, so one can't actually say that they believed everything they said either.

          Christian folk have a history of killing off those that disagree with them.

          December 15, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
        • Jon

          In 100 years our best understanding of the universe and science will probably look just as foolish as the idea of the Earth being flat.

          December 15, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
        • Stargazer

          Why do people look down their snotty patrician noses at who they perceive as internet atheists?

          Shut up, Herm. You know NOTHING.

          December 15, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
        • Herm

          All folk have a history of killing off those that disagree with them. It is not just a Christian thing. And it certainly isn't something that goes away with atheism.

          December 15, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
        • "Internet Atheist"

          "Not to be mistaken for an atheist who merely uses the internet, an internet atheist is someone who is ubiquitous when it comes to websites or forum threads related to religion. They will often poke fun at religion and religious people, especially Christians and Muslims, but they have a sort of "search and refute" thing going on with Christians, whereas the Muslims usually only fall prey to internet atheists when they happen to come across them. Of course many internet atheists have the habit of searching for Muslims, too."

          Be an atheist. They are cool. Don't be an internet atheist troll. They suck.

          December 15, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
        • doobzz

          Not sure who you're talking to.

          December 15, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
        • "Internet Atheist"

          "They usually lack any sense of humor if jokes are made about them, but they find nothing wrong with being incredibly offensive to the point of being disgusting when making jokes about religious people. They also love to show off their knowledge about any subject they might know something about."

          December 15, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
        • doobzz

          @ Internet Atheist

          Yes, we've seen the Urban Dictionary definition of internet atheist. Whatever is your point?

          December 15, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
        • "Internet Atheist"

          Internet Atheists are basically an embarr@ssing p!ss stain to intelligent atheists.

          December 15, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
        • doobzz

          @ Internet Atheist

          Again, what is your point? How does that apply here?

          December 15, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
        • "Internet Atheist"

          There are examples of people ignoring nonsensical atheist statements, but attacking nonsensical Christian statements.

          December 15, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
        • doobzz

          Again, how does that apply here? What is your point?

          December 15, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
        • "Internet Atheism"

          Max and doobz are acting like internet atheists. You seem to love to point out the flaws in other people, yet ignore your own flaws.
          Basically you are acting just like the religie fundies.

          "This intolerant brand of atheism is similar to the intolerant politics of today’s Tea Party-influenced Republican Party in the United States. The GOP has pretty much been taken over by a fanatical wing that insists on ideological purity, and it’s killing them. The mature adults left in the Republican party know this. But they are powerless to stop the madness."


          December 15, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
        • doobzz

          Could you show me where I've pointed out someone else's flaws while ignoring my own?

          I asked how Jesus can be a historical figure when there's no historical record of his existence. That's a valid question.

          December 15, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
      • truthprevails1

        There is no god that can be verified with anything more than faith (belief without evidence). Thor is a mythical god, not just a character from a story. If anything it might be possible a man named jesus walked this earth but there is zero evidence to support that said person performed miracles or walked on water or was born of a virgin or died and magically came back to life after 3 days. Sin is strictly a biblical concept and has no pertinence to anyone other than believers. To sin is to go against the christian god and if one see's no reason to believe in that god, then sin is nothing more than a meaningless word.

        December 15, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
        • Sharin

          Thanks for sharing your opinion on the matter.

          December 15, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          What of that was not fact? Is there verifiable evidence for god or that jesus was more than a man? Where else outside of the bible can we find sin? What makes you think that Thor wasn't considered a god...you did call him a character which is only partially true? Thor is as much a character as the christian god...there is no evidence that either existed or had magical powers.
          So while partially my opinion, there are facts there also. 🙂

          December 15, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
        • Arrogant

          People disagree on the internet ALL THE TIME. When one starts to say their knowledge is FACT and the other is FALSE that is arrogance, not fact.

          December 15, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Yes it is a fact that no god can be verified to exist...that is not arrogance to make that statement, unless of course you can show me it is wrong.

          December 15, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
        • Max

          I wish there was a like button here. 🙂

          December 15, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
        • Arrogant

          Just because YOU can't see or accept the evidence doesn't mean God doesn't exist. You don't know it all.

          December 15, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Arrogant: I said there is no verifiable evidence for a god, I did not state that it is impossible for a god to exist. Christians claim a god exists, I happen to disagree due to the complete lack of verifiable evidence for said god...they are making the claim, now it is up to them to prove this god....why should I believe a christian over a pagan or a sun worshiper or a Buddhist? How are christians so certain they have the right god?? What evidence do you propose exists for this god?

          December 15, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
      • Max

        *arches eyebrow*
        We agree that Thor is a character.
        Please provide historical references for Jesus. The New Testament was written at least 70 years after his supposed life and there is very good motive for the writers that does not require a physical Jesus.

        Josephus was a Roman collaborator and the Romans had plenty of reason to sponsor Christianity at the time. It was very embarrassing for their enemies, the Jews (ever wonder why the New Testament is anti-Semitic even if they are the chosen people?).

        Your supposition that Jesus was an historical figure is an opinion that you can not substantiate.

        December 15, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
        • Albert Einstein

          For crying out loud, even I knew Jesus was a real person.

          December 15, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
  17. gstlab3

    what we "need" is a handfull of brave men to overthrow the criminals in washington d.c. and up there on wall street a good many a flag pole will have to suit us for the tallest tree!

    December 15, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • Cosmicc

      I'm sorry, but your rant, while sincere and well meaning, is misplaced. This is a religious blog, not some place for polemic political rants. This blog is exclusively for polemic religious rants.

      December 15, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
  18. Jon

    American Evangelical and evangelical (lower e) are 2 different things.
    Flannery O'Connor probably considered herself evangelical by its standard definition.

    December 15, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
  19. amy

    I think a ball gag would be a great gift. 😉

    December 15, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
  20. Scott

    Dear Mr. Moore,

    I'll take one. In fact, I'll add it to my Christmas list right now.

    December 15, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • doobzz


      December 15, 2013 at 6:13 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.