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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. Charm Quark

    Southern Baptist Ethics...Oxymoron.

    December 16, 2013 at 7:53 am |
    • lol??

      lol??
      Your comment is awaiting moderation.
      Flannel works in this dark cold season of remembrance of bankruptcy by the fruitcakes.

      December 16, 2013 at 7:24 am

      December 16, 2013 at 8:17 am |
  2. Fred Evil

    How do you have a 'personal relationship' with a fictional character?!

    December 16, 2013 at 6:23 am |
    • One one

      Like a child with an imaginary friend.

      December 16, 2013 at 7:09 am |
  3. adibese

    Strange, I'd recommend something by Carl Sagan. Or at least an entertaining book.

    December 16, 2013 at 4:29 am |
    • André

      Very well said. Since god is imaginary.

      December 16, 2013 at 6:05 am |
    • saggyroy

      Well the bible is entertaining. It has everything a Stephen King novel has.

      December 16, 2013 at 6:31 am |
  4. Anonymous

    Dang, for once a pro-Christian article. I'm impressed CNN!

    December 16, 2013 at 3:49 am |
    • adibese

      There's a lot of Christianity from CNN. What are you talking about?

      December 16, 2013 at 4:28 am |
    • saggyroy

      merry xmas!

      December 16, 2013 at 6:23 am |
  5. Observer

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

    December 16, 2013 at 2:03 am |
    • lol??

      lol??
      Your comment is awaiting moderation.
      Observer lost his bearings and known existence.

      December 16, 2013 at 8:18 am |
  6. JLS639

    Most of high school literature was not worth remembering. I went out and found more Flannery O'Conner stories to read. She was one of America's most brilliant writers.

    December 16, 2013 at 12:47 am |
  7. worldcares

    Good article, Mr. Moore.

    December 16, 2013 at 12:30 am |
  8. tony

    Books about facts are the greatest gifts.

    December 16, 2013 at 12:26 am |
  9. QuoteCity

    “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

    Nelson Mandela

    December 16, 2013 at 12:04 am |
    • Answer?

      Delusional ramblings from a Christian freak?

      December 16, 2013 at 2:53 am |
  10. Jerad

    I have always wondered why are atheists such hateful tools?
    And why do they spend so much time in religious forums putting down others?
    It is as if they are working very hard to convince themselves.
    No other reason for them to be here than pure hate.
    Get a life, go find some happy.

    December 15, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
    • Answer

      Look at your own words "tools."

      You seem to have your own anger that you want to really project outwards. Trying really hard to make your enemies fit your label that – you, yourself- already believe. Your pastor did a great job on you.

      December 15, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
      • Yawn

        Pure hypocrisy, all right. He is doing everything he claims to hate in atheists.

        December 15, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
        • Hypocrite

          Why do you ignore Answer committing the same foul?

          December 15, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
      • Irony

        Answer, look at your words on this page. You sound just as angry.
        Love,
        A fellow atheist.

        December 15, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
      • Sandy

        And yet you just did the same thing in your 10:43 pist, below, Answer. Perhaps you are the hypocrite.

        December 15, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
    • Hope

      This is just me, but when I used to do that, I was actually searching for God. They might be on their path to God. I mean, we are on the religion.blogs.cnn.com in the message board of a Christian opinion piece. It is not like we are on the science and technology blog (where logical minded Christians and atheists usually read, post and discuss). So, what are they really looking for?

      December 15, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
      • doobzz

        I read and sometimes comment on pretty much all of the articles on several news sites, including articles about religion. I don't understand why you think that's so unusual or that I'm somehow "looking" for a god. I read about football but that doesn't mean I want to be a wide receiver.

        December 15, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
        • Hope

          Ok, you are an exception to my understanding and experience.

          December 15, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
      • Susan StoHelit

        I'm looking for hope.

        For signs that those who are religious are becoming more tolerant.
        To see what my kids are going to have to deal with.
        To learn about the intolerance and perspectives, because it is alien to me.
        To read about trends of more people becoming less religious.
        To read about trends of more religious people becoming less willing to follow the bigotry that has been a hallmark of so many religious people for so very, very, very, very long.

        I see a great deal of hope – and then stuff like this article, where the author encourages more self-loathing and more sadness.

        You do realize that most American atheists were raised Christian, in a country where the overwhelming majority is Christian? Not exactly like it's hard for anyone who is interested to find a religious website if they want to be converted.

        December 16, 2013 at 1:28 am |
      • G to the T

        Used to be christian, "knew" god. Not anymore. I come to these blogs because I've studied religion (in general) for the last 20 years and I never cease to be amazed and the wonderous variety in people's beliefs.

        December 16, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • dv8

      Because, non-religious people are told, to varying degrees, by religious people that their ways are evil / sinful and need to repent or they will burn. In essence, "If you don't believe as we do, you will suffer the consequences." It gets really old to hear that from people after a certain amount of time, and eventually the fight for logic and reason kicks in – which sometimes sounds hateful to religious people since it usually attacks the core of their belief system.

      December 15, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
    • doobzz

      I wonder why religious people are so thin skinned. Any time you disagree with them, they call you "hateful".

      December 15, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
      • Susan StoHelit

        And yet they can state outright that you'll be tortured in the most awful way possible, for eternity, without remorse, without pity, without seeing anything wrong with it.

        But let someone suggest that what they believe is a myth, and they're up in arms.

        December 16, 2013 at 1:29 am |
        • doobzz

          Oh, but they are doing it out of love, doncha know?

          December 16, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Max

      I guess I'm an evangelical atheist. I think there are many people who may be on the fence, to don't realize that there are any people who actively stand up and say that religion is a lie.

      Children go to bed at night in fear of an angry and vengeful god. We tell them stories of how he became angry and killed all life except the few he chose.

      That god takes claim for life itself and that is... offensive.

      There are just better choices for comfort and pretty. The Judeo-Islamic-Christian god is a violent monster who ethical people will speak against.

      December 15, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
      • wendyreames

        But the fruit if the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness. Galatians 5:22

        December 16, 2013 at 12:52 am |
        • Susan StoHelit

          So, the being in the Bible isn't god? To you?

          December 16, 2013 at 1:30 am |
    • SDCinNS

      Hate is as hate does.

      December 15, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
      • doobzz

        Run, Forrest, run!

        December 15, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
    • Thanks for not turning the other cheek, Jerod

      See ya soon!

      Pack for warm weather!

      Love,
      Satan

      December 16, 2013 at 1:05 am |
    • 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 16, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
  11. Answer

    What is praying for knowledge from your god?

    Take at look at the reasoning and logic of what you have made your excuse out to be...

    Gaining knowledge is a physical change in the chemistry of the brain. To construct new pathways between the synapses for information. What is that change if not ~ in fact ~ you are desiring something physical.

    You religious tools just don't know the garbage of your own excuses.

    December 15, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
    • Hope

      If life is more than just a chemical reaction... if things like love and honor and truth actually exist, and are not just a physical change of chemistry in our brain there might be more to this life than meets our eyes.

      I can pray to this God that has all knowledge of the universe. Or I can listen to someone like you that has a very limited, flawed, imperfect, illogical (basically human, like mine) understanding of the universe.

      It turns out God's will for me is to love others. To forgive, show tolerance, love and respect. And this is not just a chemical reaction. Love endures forever.

      December 15, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
      • Answer

        It's all chemical. You want your life to be god centric because your little christian bubble hasn't burst. Poor you.

        "I need my god. I want my god. I need my salvation and my heaven." Get a life you freak.

        December 15, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
      • Answer

        Let me ask you one little question you christian freak...

        How much of anything can you accomplish without your god?

        Can you walk properly without your god? Now figure out for yourself what other stuff you can do without your pathetic delusion. Maybe even progress to running right?

        "I can run without my god." or do you prefer to deceive yourself with .. "I can not run without my god."

        December 15, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
      • Hope

        I'm pretty happy and cool.

        Life is more than a chemical reaction. I've got love in my life.

        December 15, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
      • Answer

        Guess what.. so does everyone else who has a love in their life. They also have feelings and family, they also endear to take life and live it to the fullest without any gods.

        You poor little thing just want to re-inforce your own bubble by confronting an adversary. The need to come to another person to see if they will accept your little make believe world.

        December 15, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
      • Hope

        The acts of the flesh are obvious: s%xual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, or%ies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

        -

        But the fruit of the Spirit is
        love,
        joy,
        peace,
        patience,
        kindness,
        goodness,
        faithfulness,
        gentleness and
        self-control.

        Against such things there is no law.

        -

        I don't care if you use human secularism, Buddha, Jesus or Dr Phil, please try to get you brain chemicals to match up with the bottom list of desirable human traits.

        December 15, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
        • rh

          So s3x isn't an act of the flesh if the two people love each other? Oops, what if both are the same gender? Oops, what if they actually enjoy having s3x?

          You can have your "kingdom of God", I'm happy with the kingdom of Man. At least *I* am accountable for my own actions, not blaming some omnipotent guy for my mistakes or missteps.

          December 15, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
        • Hope

          I'm g.ay. What is your point about same gender s.ex?
          I'm accountable for my actions. I'm not blaming some omnipotent guy for my mistakes or missteps. How do you imagine I am?

          December 15, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
        • atheist myth

          ....atheists say: g.ays can't be christian.....
          .......and right wing fundies say that too .....
          (atheist, right wing fundies are basically the same...lol...lol...)

          December 16, 2013 at 12:10 am |
        • Observer

          Christians who use the Bible to put gays down are just HYPOCRITES. There are FAR FAR MORE Christian ADULTERERS (through divorce and remarriage) than there are total number of gays.

          December 16, 2013 at 12:17 am |
        • worldcares

          When my boys were age one and two, I started putting many educational posters on the walls. As they got older, I put the Fruit of the Spirit poster, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.
          Good poster.
          Sage words.

          December 16, 2013 at 1:42 am |
      • Susan StoHelit

        Just because it's chemical, doesn't make it meaningless, nor does it mean we don't have our own will – influenced by chemicals – but usually also influenced by who you choose to be.

        December 16, 2013 at 1:32 am |
  12. kebos

    The nonsense of religion makes one weary.

    December 15, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
  13. Reality

    Prayers are futile.

    Free Will and Future are inherent to all the thinking beings in the Universe. This being the case, it is not possible to alter life with prayers. Statistically, your request might come true but it is simply the result of the variability/randomness of Nature..

    So put down your rosaries and prayer beads and stop worshiping/revering cows or bowing to Mecca five times a day. Instead work hard at your job, take care of aging parents, volunteer at a soup kitchen, donate to charities and the poor and continue to follow the proper rulesof living as gracious and good human beings.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    December 15, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
    • kebos

      Agreed

      December 15, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
    • Jerad

      You obviously have never read the actual medical report studies on prayer and healing. Go look them up. They found it actually did help though they of course could not explain why.

      December 15, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
      • doobzz

        I have read the studies done on the efficacy of prayer, and you are wrong.

        December 15, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
  14. sybaris

    The difference between me and your god is if I saw a baby being ra.ped I would try to stop it

    December 15, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
    • Answer

      The other difference is that we, humanists and atheists, know that when you are praying ~ you're just pretending.

      Go ahead and demonstrate that your prayers really work. Make it work in this physical world.
      Volunteer one of your fellow christian as the "astronaut" and make your prayers heard to your god and levitate that person to outer space. Pray him upwards, to the skies, towards the emptiness of space. Pray that you can inject your power of protection onto that person from imploding in the vast vacuum of that space. Pray for your god's hand of deliverance to propel that person to beyond our galaxy.

      Do all of that ~ since your prayers are that powerful.

      December 15, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
      • cj

        The fool says in his heart that there is not God. The beginning of wisdom is fear of the Lord.
        You want to bring it??? Racca?????

        December 15, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
        • bostontola

          Are the majority of people who believe in false gods also fools?

          December 15, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
        • A Frayed Knot

          cj
          "The fool says in his heart that there is not God."

          A quite old and sometimes effective tactic – declaring that those who do not believe your story are 'fools'. Nobody wants to be considered 'dumb' for not seeing the Emperor's new clothes, or a 'bas.tard' for not seeing the Sultan's new turban, or a 'cuckold' for not being able to see the Miller's gold thumb.

          Even Joseph Smith used it when he gathered his 'witnesses' to his golden plates. He told them that only those with 'true faith' would be able to 'see' them.

          The ancient, primitive Hebrews who originated those Bible stories were quite adept at manipulative mind-games.

          December 15, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
        • Answer

          @A Frayed Knot

          It works on them, the sheep, but not so effective against a better educated person.

          The centuries of mind games have already been unraveled, and therefore are but useless and hollow threats.

          December 15, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
      • Hope

        Eh, you are talking about idolatry. Not God.

        We pray for knowledge of God's will and the power to carry that out.

        December 15, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
      • Answer

        Ya bring it.

        All you got is fear and stupidity.

        December 15, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
      • Answer

        Sure right 'Hope'.. the bs that you degenerates come up with. Make all the variations of words to fit your stupidity. Just go on.

        December 15, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
      • Hope

        I don't think we are supposed to use prayer to try and prove ourselves right to other people on message boards. Like God is some kind of genie that has to meet our demands.

        December 15, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
        • zenreaper

          Funny, because God demanded that his followers test the existence of Baal, and when they could not "prove" he existed, God order them ALL to be killed...then told people HE (God) was NOT to be tested. Does ANYONE see that as an ODD thing for a omnipotent being? Anyone see the irony of a God that claims to remain HIDDEN, to then PUNISH those who do not follow him?

          December 16, 2013 at 2:50 am |
  15. Hocking Hick

    Wow. Reading the comments section on what I thought was a really good article, is somewhat disheartening. There is so much misunderstanding and hate. The evidence is clear; just from the comments section; if there isn't a God, then we surely do need one. Why is there so much fear?

    December 15, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
    • doobzz

      Which of the thousands of gods do we "need" and why do we "need" it/them?

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

        Our cups runeth over with gods.

        December 15, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
      • Hope

        You found that offensive?

        December 15, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
        • bostontola

          Not offensive at all, why do you ask?

          December 15, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
      • doobzz

        @ Lisa

        Where did you get the idea that I was offended? I asked a simple question.

        December 15, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
        • doobzz

          Oops, that was meant for Hope.

          December 15, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
  16. SDCinNS

    You can be sure when CNN says, "here's what Christians need" – they don't. It's like Rush Limb saying, "my advice for liberals is...".

    December 15, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
    • Douglas

      Very perceptive.

      December 15, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
    • doobzz

      I agree, very perceptive.

      Sort of like when Christians say, "Here's what everyone who doesn't believe the same things we do needs...", we don't.

      December 15, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
  17. oo oo

    In the name of George Wallace and the democratic party, millions of Americans persecuted blacks

    December 15, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • ProudACLU

      The Democrats evolved while the right went back 100 years

      December 15, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
  18. Douglas

    Sin is what separates us from God.

    Today many people engage in sinful behavior then try to
    justify it by denying the authority of God to be the final arbiter of what is
    morally acceptable.

    The "feel good-do it in the road" folks of this generation are laden with angst brought on by unresolved moral dilemmas in their lives. Non-committal, unfaithful, multiple partner, gender bender relationships, no job security, rejection of family values, disdain for church morality and the mocking of God have brought them nothing but misery.

    In the end, they question God and argue he does not exist to justify the pathetic state of their lives
    as if it is God's fault that they have accepted sin and immorality as the guideposts for their existence.

    There IS power and salvation at the foot of the cross...but it comes with a price.

    You have to say no to SIN and accept the fact that there are moral absolutes that apply to everyone.

    December 15, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
    • Douglas

      Thanks for proving my point.

      Your arms are too short to box with God!

      I will pray for your deliverance from sin.

      December 15, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
      • Answer

        We will, in return, do the thinking for you.

        December 15, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
        • We?

          Who is we?

          December 15, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
        • Answer

          It's certainly not you.

          December 15, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
      • SDCinNS

        Well said Douglas

        December 15, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
      • Bob

        No, Douglas, what I said does not "prove" your "point". I asked you two questions, and you lacked the courage and/or the ability to respond to either of them directly. So, here are the questions and context again. This time, try to find the courage to respond directly. I doubt that you can; you are well known already on this blog for your hate and bigotry, and your cowardice:

        How is it again that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers? Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there.

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

        December 15, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
        • cj

          I'm your huckleberry,,,
          How is it again that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla?
          Because a Just God demands that sin requires ATONEMENT, OR PROPITIATION. God does not wink at sin, but requires justice, and Jesus bore the just punishment for your sin.
          And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers? Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there. He died for YOUR sins, what is pathetic about that. He only needs 1 son and 1 perfect atoning sacrifice, and He will return in power and glory. I hope you make peace with Him before He returns.

          December 15, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
        • Answer

          "End of times" .. oh so right. Not.

          The religious freaks fall back to their threats and fear tactics because they've lost. Just give it up and be the next Harold Camping and be the next tool of our society.

          Be that "Camping" so at least, you can, make some money.

          December 15, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
        • sam stone

          cj: if god is omniscient, and knows what we are going to do before we do it, there is no free will

          god's punishment of those who have no free will negates god's justice

          December 16, 2013 at 5:45 am |
      • Answer

        Religious people are all about the excuses.

        They can never admit to themselves that their precious god is a monster. They have to secure their precious "christian bubble" from being popped.

        December 15, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
    • sam stone

      Sin is an entirely man made concept, Doogie

      If you are so right with god, go meet him

      Do you have tall buildings where you live?

      December 16, 2013 at 5:35 am |
  19. Ron

    This all starts with God's forgiveness by grace through faith in Christ. "As many as received Him (Jesus), to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name." ....John 1:12 Recieve Christ as Savior and Lord if you have not done so, and you will know God's forgiveness, and His peace that passes all understanding. God Bless

    December 15, 2013 at 8:27 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 16, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
  20. Ron

    Prayers from the Bible: "Teach us to number our days." ...Psalm 90:12

    December 15, 2013 at 8:25 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.