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December 23rd, 2013
03:29 PM ET

A Christmas apology, and the seeds of hope

Opinion by Rachel Held Evans, Special to CNN

(CNN) - This week we celebrate Christmas, and as a Christian, I want to say I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that this season has become about fights over manger scenes on public property, about complaining when clerks say, “Happy Holidays,” instead of “Merry Christmas,” about rampant commercialism and faux persecution.

I’m sorry that Christians in the United States can be so entitled when we’ve long enjoyed majority status, when we can be so blind to our own privilege.

It is ironic, really, because in the church calendar, the seasons of Advent and Christmas call us to reflect upon and celebrate what Christians believe was the most radical act of humility of all time - the incarnation.

The doctrine of the incarnation holds that the God of the universe, in his love for humanity, emptied himself of his power and became human, like us, in the form of Jesus.

The word incarnation literally means “to make into flesh” and refers to the apostle John’s teaching that “(t)he Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14).

“No one has ever seen God,” John explains, but Jesus “has made him known.”

In other words, if you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus -

Jesus, who was born as an oppressed minority in an occupied land,

Jesus who was an immigrant,

Jesus, who surrounded himself with the poor, the sick, the marginalized and the “untouchables,”

Jesus who was criticized by the religious for hanging out with sinners,

Jesus who treated women with dignity and respect,

Jesus who taught his disciples to love their enemies, to give without expecting anything in return, to overcome evil with love,

Jesus who suffered,

Jesus who wept,

Jesus who - while hanging on a Roman cross - said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Quaker theologian Elton Trueblood put it this way: “The historic Christian doctrine of the divinity of Christ does not simply mean that Jesus is like God. It is far more radical than that. It means that God is like Jesus.”

It means that God suffers, God forgives, God fellowships with the poor, God cares for the sick, God loves His enemies.

Even as a lifelong Christian, I struggle with doubts about God. I struggle to make sense of the violence in the world, the violence in the Bible, the violence in my own heart. I don’t have all the answers.

But even when there’s nothing left to my faith but a little seed of hope, that hope is in the incarnation, in the radical teaching that God loved us enough to become like us, and that when God wanted to show us what he was like, God showed us Jesus.

Rachel Held Evans is the author of "A Year of Biblical Womanhood" and "Evolving in Monkey Town." Evans blogs at rachelheldevans.com, and the views expressed in this column belong to her.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Christmas • Faith • Holidays • Opinion

soundoff (2,872 Responses)
  1. lol??

    Only carne asada not ground beef.

    December 24, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
    • Austin

      I'm really hungry!

      December 24, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
      • lol??

        Best tacos I ever ate was at a truck stop in AZ.

        December 24, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
        • Austin

          i wonder where the beef grew?

          December 24, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
        • lol??

          At a socie ranch in TX.

          December 24, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
  2. Reality

    ----–
    ......................................................

    Atheists are best ...

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

    ..... http://www.Looney.Atheist.Website.com ...

    ... yes that looks like a poorly designed cheap webpage ...

    ............. because it emanates from a .............

    ...................... http://www.internet.atheist.com

    -----–
    .............................................................

    December 24, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
  3. austin

    2 Corinthians 4:6

    King James Version (KJV)

    6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

    December 24, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
    • tony

      I'd like to apologize for CNN running a faith blog and not an educational blog.

      December 24, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
  4. lol??

    Tradition calls for me to eat tamales tonight. I prefer green corn.

    December 24, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
  5. 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 24, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • austin

      The Holy Spirit is a sanctifying spirit that bears the truth of God's word upon a person heart. A heart goes through the process of preparation.

      in the case of the apostle paul, God could use him despite his killing of Christians, because he was truly zealous for God and the real truth. and if you are an atheist , but compassionate and zealous, open to God as well, He can use you if you approach Him through His world. Let Him do the work within you. its a supernatural seal.

      December 24, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
      • austin

        0 But although he made the world, the world didn’t recognize him when he came. 11-12 Even in his own land and among his own people, the Jews, he was not accepted. Only a few would welcome and receive him. But to all who received him, he gave the right to become children of God. All they needed to do was to trust him to save them.[b] 13 All those who believe this are reborn!—not a physical rebirth[c] resulting from human passion or plan—but from the will of God.

        December 24, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
        • Ron

          Austin, indeed. "who were born NOT of the will of man, but of the will of God." amen

          December 24, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
        • Be Saved Today, Right Now

          1 Thess 5
          17 Pray without ceasing.

          18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

          19 Quench not the Spirit.

          20 Despise not prophesyings.

          21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

          22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

          23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

          24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
        • doobzz

          " The glory of Israel will fly away like a bird, for your children will die at birth or perish in the womb or never even be conceived. Even if your children do survive to grow up, I will take them from you. It will be a terrible day when I turn away and leave you alone. I have watched Israel become as beautiful and pleasant as Tyre. But now Israel will bring out her children to be slaughtered." O LORD, what should I request for your people? I will ask for wombs that don't give birth and breasts that give no milk. The LORD says, "All their wickedness began at Gilgal; there I began to hate them. I will drive them from my land because of their evil actions. I will love them no more because all their leaders are rebels. The people of Israel are stricken. Their roots are dried up; they will bear no more fruit. And if they give birth, I will slaughter their beloved children." Hosea 9:11-16"

          December 24, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
        • Austin

          apparently God takes the condition of the heart, and our service, our choices seriously. well, He has given us instructions, and the New Testament, the better covenant, delivers supernatural sanctification grace and mercy, that we are not under the cures of sin.

          Thank you Jehovah Jireh, The Lord our Provider. For your mercy.

          December 24, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
    • TruthPrevailing

      It is in really bad form to promote your website like that.

      December 24, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
  6. kenny

    iif only xtians were more like jesus... they wouldn't be so miserable and try to impose that misery on others.

    December 24, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • Angie

      iif only atheists were more like humanists... they wouldn't be so miserable and try to impose that misery on others.

      December 24, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
      • truthprevails1

        Atheist by no means implies anything more than a disbelief in god, it doesn't speak of other beliefs. Christian is dependent on the bible, thus jesus..the christian god...the whole creation myth, etc but they are still labelled theists. Dictionaries are useful tools.

        December 24, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
        • Angie

          Any idiot can be an atheist. Any idiot can be a Christian.

          Look at the evidence.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Once again definitions fail you.
          You're either Atheist or Theist...one defines disbelief in a god or gods; the other defines a belief in a god or gods. Christian falls under Theist but not all theists are christians, just like not all atheists are humanists.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
        • Angie

          Do all atheists spend ridiculous amounts of time on faith and belief blogs?

          December 24, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Why does that matter to you? Beliefs are wide ranged and not only pertinent to believers.

          December 24, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
        • TothP.R.

          Lets watch her rationalize her way out of this...hehehe
          Dance!

          December 24, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
        • TKO

          The positions on religion and spiritual paths are far more complex than "you either believe in god or you don't." Look at Tibetan Buddhism, as a single example of a spiritual path that doesnt believe in a creator god, but also embraces spirit and deity.

          The black and white thinking of both atheists and fundamentalist Christian is very often of a single type.

          December 24, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Perhaps truthprevails1 didn't want to get into this, but of course there can be atheist religions, that should surprise no one.

          December 24, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Thank you Tom...I should have clarified.
          Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful Christmas.

          December 25, 2013 at 6:25 am |
      • sam stone

        same could be said of christians, angie

        December 25, 2013 at 7:02 am |
  7. austin

    The Gospel According to Luke (Greek: Τὸ κατὰ Λουκᾶν εὐαγγέλιον, to kata Loukan euangelion), commonly shortened to the Gospel of Luke or simply Luke, is the third and longest of the four Gospels. This synoptic gospel is an account of the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. It details his story from the events of his birth to his Ascension.

    According to the preface,[1] the purpose of Luke is to write a historical account,[2] while bringing out the theological significance of the history.[3] The writer divides history into three stages: The first ends with John the Baptist, the second consists of Jesus' earthly ministry, and the third is the life of the church after Jesus' resurrection.[4] The author attests that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. This is consistent with all the authors of the New Testament writings. Here, Jesus' compassion extends to all mankind. The Gospel of Luke is written as a historical narrative. Certain popular stories, such as the Prodigal Son and the Good Samaritan, are found only in this gospel. This account also has a special emphasis on prayer, the activity of the Holy Spirit, women, and joyfulness.[5] Jesus is presented as the Son of God, but attention is especially paid to the humanity of Jesus, featuring his compassion for the weak, the suffering, and the outcast.

    The author is traditionally identified as Luke the Evangelist.

    December 24, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • austin

      wikipedia

      December 24, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
  8. R.M. Goodswell

    Jesus did this....God did this.... God suffers.....

    To take any action of any kind you have to, oh I don't know..maybe EXIST first....

    December 24, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • Hosty.the.Atheist

      That proves nothing.

      December 24, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
      • R.M. Goodswell

        besides pointing out the absurdity that God did this , Jesus did that... as the article above claims without a shred of actual proof that a guy named Jesus cruised through the ME tossing out miracles right and left actually existed?

        you re right.

        December 24, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
  9. Planetalker

    Thank you Rachel,
    I am going to share this at church Sunday.

    December 24, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • Hosty.the.Atheist

      Don't you mean your pagan building on pagan day. Hrmph!

      December 24, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
  10. Jmac

    Because you can quote line and verse from a book means nothing. The Bible was written by human beings for human beings and not by "god". It s just one of many books written by human beings for human beings with all sorts of religious beliefs and "gods". Might as well quote "Green Eggs and Ham" by Dr. Seuss.

    December 24, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • Yea

      Might as well quote an atheist who knows nothing about science trying to talk about science.

      December 24, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • Ron

      Jmac, "those who are of God hear God's words".....Jesus (John 8) If you do not receive God's Words as from God, then what does that say about you?

      December 24, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
      • romnesia

        He's not gullible.

        December 24, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
      • truthprevails1

        That proves nothing.

        December 24, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
        • austin

          the Holy Spirit does prove things to individuals. He teaches.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Austin: Sorry but you are silly to say that to me...I could never take you seriously, you come across as delusional and crazed as Andrea Yates.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
        • Ron

          Autsin, indeed He does. Lord, we thank You for your blessed Holy Spirit that leads and guides us into all truth.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • lol??

      Are you tossing egg bombs, egg shells, or just goin' for the tried and true egg salad on pumperknickel??

      December 24, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
  11. herzel

    there is no way anybody can rise to heaven only in spirit, as the speed of light is 186,000 miles per second
    they would be disintegrated, approaching earth or traveling at that speed, it has never happened and will never happen.
    A God that has to die for his people is mere nonsense. This is why Jesus asked from God to save him from this accursed death
    on the cross God did not ask Jesus to save him, it was Jesus who asked, to be saved, after that the stories are twisted into the now day Christianity..Did Jesus really die or did God save him, our hero could not die.

    December 24, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • lol??

      Must be a different impedance, Hz.

      December 24, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      If Jesus said anything on the cross, it is lost in the mists of time. Anything attributed to him is ghost-written.

      December 24, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
  12. Ron

    "As many as received Him (Jesus), to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who belive in His name." ...John 1:12

    December 24, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • Pam

      Please stop. Not helpful. Copy and paste all in one post and try an make it relevant.

      Love,
      a fellow Christian.

      December 24, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
      • Ron

        sorry Pam, I don't get my directives from you or any other PERSON. Do what you believe you should do.

        December 24, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
        • Pam

          Be kind to others. Don't spam the message boards. Post messages in a loving manner.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
        • romnesia

          Ron can't think for himself

          December 24, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      Ron: You can quote the bible all you wish, for those of us who don't accept it as anything more than a book of fiction, those quotes mean nothing. Using the bible to defend your god when it is all you have to say your god exists is circular reasoning. Maybe you should attempt real debate instead of giving us what we can get easily by simply using Google and searching 'bible'. What is your point in all of this, outside of willful ignorance?

      December 24, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
      • Ron

        Truth, the answer is in your sreen name. When the truth is put forth, then those who are of the truth respond. The elect will hear and receive, the others will continue to harden their hearts. You under estimate the Word of God, and the power of God.

        December 24, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          You have no evidence that there is a god, so the bible cannot be the word of a god. We do know that the Genesis account is not truth.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          You underestimate reality! I asked you a very simple question...what do you think you accomplish here by quoting a book most of us have read and have investigated and in turn have dismissed? You don't know thew truth any more than I do, your book can be proven fallacious...I'm just more honest than you in that sense-not knowing is fine with me but you, you have to plug in god and I'm sorry without being able to prove that your god exists outside of that book, your book fails. That book is the mere word of man...that we know for fact. The men who wrote that book were primitive con-men.
          So again, what is your point in quoting the book?

          December 24, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
        • santy translated

          if you can't prove god to me, that means god doesn't exist.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
        • Get.a.GRip

          The idea that they were primitive con man is an opinion. Not all educated and intelligent people come to that conclusion.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
        • Ron

          santa, you mean other than the heavens and the earth you find no evidence?

          December 24, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
        • Ron

          "truth" prevails. I answered your question. You are a bit spiritually challenged to understand it. Sorry amigo

          December 24, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
        • TruthPrevailing

          Santa likes to play the game "If you can't prove it to me, it doesn't exist." In the game he pretends he is the source of all knowledge and understanding of the universe. It is his way or now way.
          Yea, he plays God. And fails miserably at it. But we let him do it. He doesn't harm anyone. And most think it is kind of cute.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          santy translator, You're the ones making extraordinary claims, you should be providing the extraordinary evidence. Modern knowledge shows that the Genesis account is untrue, so the god of the bible either doesn't exist or is being misrepresented. But of course you have no evidence, you just expect to parade your delusion publicly.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Ron, I mean I find no evidence. The universe was created by the Big Bang and once life formed the species were created by evolution. Any god would be pre-Big Bang and if such a creature exists, it is not the personal god of any religion.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
        • Ron

          santa, "the universe was CREATED by the big bang" Do you really say that? lol You are happily delusional

          December 24, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          TruthPrevailing, You might want to get a new handle as you don't seem to grasp what truth is.
          I'm not claiming to be the source of all knowledge and understanding of the universe; I am however pointing out that our modern knowledge shows that your creation myth is untrue. If you want to cling to ancient superst>/i>itions that doesn't make me a liar. If you had evidence, you'd be able to present it then there'd be no atheists and all would believe in the one true god.

          "It is his way or no way".
          That's more of a theist position.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
        • TruthPrevailing

          Santa

          You act exactly like the theist you profess to be better than.

          Scratch an atheist, find a fundamentalist.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Ron, Read a book other than the bible. There are plenty of science books; Big Bang is accepted by scientists as the way that the universe was created. Science can be verified by observation and we can track back to within a few nanoseconds of the Big Bang. Strangely enough you accept technology built on scientific method in the rest of your life – computers, internet, GPS, satellite TV, vaccines, flight, cars, etc., but when it challenges your ancient superstitions you scoff.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          TruthPrevailing, You might want to get a new handle as you don't seem to grasp what truth is.
          I'm not claiming to be better than a theist; I'm saying that there is no evidence for your position and that you should have some before you push your delusion on to the rest of society.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
        • TruthPrevailing

          Yea. And Christians rationalize their bad behavior the same way you do.
          It is ok. Lots of atheists act just like right-wing fundie xtians.
          It has more to do about their humanity, than the label of xtian or atheist.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          TP, Do you have anything to support your position? Or is it that you feel that by insulting me I will change my mind?

          December 24, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
        • TothP.R.

          I'm just yanking your chain, you cranky ol' trolll.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
      • SkyTag

        tuthpevails

        Most of what you offer can be found on any looney atheist web page. What is the difference?

        December 24, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Skytag: Science itself proves the bible wrong. The major difference is that christians all rely on that book for their answers; Atheists use various resources and our resources don't rely on studying one book for answers.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
        • SkyTag

          Complete BS. Not all Christians do what you say. Not all atheists do what you say. Some atheists are horrible people and do horrible things. The label of atheism or Christian you attach is just a stereotype that is small-minded and ignorant. Smart atheists do smart things. Dumb atheists do dumb things. Smart Christians do smart things. Dumb Christians do dumb things.
          Quit acting like atheism is some kind of religion that implies you are better than others.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
        • R.M. Goodswell

          well buddy ...id say atheists are at least one step ahead in the game....we believe in one less line of horsehockey.....

          December 24, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
        • SkyTag

          I know atheists who are addicted to drugs who think one more hit of heroin will make them feel better.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
        • R.M. Goodswell

          And because you know a heroin addict I cant call BS on Christianity...really? ..... get a grip.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
        • SkyTag

          You say "we (Atheists) believe in one less line of horsehockey....."

          While millionis of atheists still believe in lots of horsehockey. I know Christians who are paid very well to teach science, logic and mathematics to other people. Yes, even atheists learn from them. And yes, I've known very logically minded atheists who were outspoken against religion who failed at living in a logical way. They talked a big talk. But their actions were so hypocritical. They were silly for pointing at religious people for being illogical.

          They failed to look at themselves honestly.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          I'm not saying Atheists are perfect...I'm not quite that naive. I am saying that science and the facts we have prove the bible wrong. Christians rely on that book to prove their god exists and most rely on it for their answers as to the beginning of the universe, how man came to exist. Not all christians are alike and not all accept the same stuff and honestly that is part of where it starts to fail-not one of the way too many sects can seem to agree on the proper interpretation of the book.
          I'd rather say I don't know all the answers and rely on science to provide them then to take one 2000 year old book that was written by primitive man, as being fact.

          Don't think for a second that I believe I'm better than you, that simply is wrong. I believe we have different viewpoints. I've stated mine, obviously you disagree and that's life.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
        • R.M. Goodswell

          No doubt we ALL believe in some crazy sheet in one form or another.... the difference is that whatever delusions I may have do not affect those around me....hasn't twisted up a third of the world and altered its history radically....Christianity has done exactly that.

          Imaginary BS...and EVERYONE has the right to pass judgment on a lie...

          December 24, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
        • Paul the Pal

          How do science and facts prove analogies and parables wrong? Sure, a literal interpretation may not be wise. But not all Christians believe in a literal interpretation or say the Bible is without error.
          Christians make really good scientists. A Catholic priest fathered the Big Bang Theory.
          Maybe you should stop and see where religious people may be right.

          December 24, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
        • R.M. Goodswell

          yes ...and Newton believed in astrology and that alchemy was possible.....because he was a mathematic god I should assume he was right about everything..yes?

          that priest...his understanding of mathematics and physics was excellent....but like many of the great scientists through the ages once he reach the limits of his understand, in comes god...god of the gaps.

          also Paul.... the parables ....you could spin those very same tales of excess and consequences ..or assign other names to them...we do it all the time ... some of the 'moral' lessons taught in the bible are simple basic common sense...anyone in any age will come up with the golden rule if they want to live in peace.

          December 24, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
      • Hosty.the.Atheist

        That proves nothing.

        December 24, 2013 at 6:10 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 24, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
  13. Ron

    "For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." ...John 1:17

    December 24, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • doobzz

      " Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword. Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes. Their homes will be sacked and their wives raped by the attacking hordes. For I will stir up the Medes against Babylon, and no amount of silver or gold will buy them off. The attacking armies will shoot down the young people with arrows. They will have no mercy on helpless babies and will show no compassion for the children." Isaiah 13:15-18

      December 24, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
  14. Ron

    "And the Word (Jesus) became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." ...John 1:14

    December 24, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • doobzz

      " And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death." Lev. 20:10

      December 24, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
  15. rvwrb

    Never say you are sorry – it is a sign of weakness

    December 24, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • rvwrb

      meant to add:

      Leroy Jethro Gibbs

      December 24, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
      • Maddy

        Love that show and his character. Mark Harmon does a great job.

        December 24, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • Scales of Justice

      Apologies are a weakness ONLY if you are a Republican. Democrats who err rarely have problems apologizing. People who cannot apologize are usually very proud. We know what we will happen to prideful people.

      December 24, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
      • lol??

        That's because they're lyin' when they do it, judge. You sound like the judge praising Bundy.

        December 24, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
        • lol??

          I like pepperoni pizza and gop tea.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
  16. Ron

    "All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being." ...John 1:3

    December 24, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • doobzz

      " If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her." Deuteronomy 22:28-29

      December 24, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
      • lol??

        That's some mighty fine rehab. Great example for the OTHER youngins too, doobie.

        December 24, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
      • Ron

        doob, we all have our favorite verses. Thanks for sharing yours.

        December 24, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
      • The.More.You.Know

        There are two points to note here. First, even though the verse may seem to be instructing the rapist to marry the victim the passage nowhere sanctions, condones or even approves of r&pe. This is simply a gross misreading of the text. The injunction is intended to instruct the Israelites on how to deal with and address a r&pe situation if and when it occurs.

        Second, by taking a careful look at the context and consulting the original languages of the Scriptures a strong case can be made that this citation isn’t even addressing a r&pe case at all. We must remember that the Holy Bible was not written in English. The OT was written in Hebrew, with parts of it being written in Aramaic. The NT was written in Koine or common Greek. This means that if we want to know whether an English translation has faithfully and accurately translated the inspired author’s intended meaning we must turn to the original language of the sacred text. Once this is done, it will become quite apparent that the Holy Bible does not sanction that a r&pist marry his victim.

        December 24, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
        • The.More.You.Know

          Similarly, in the context of Deuteronomy 22:28-29 anah is being used to convey the idea that the man has brought humiliation to the maiden because he slept with her without marrying her first, something which would have been considered shameful to do.

          December 24, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
        • Ron

          More, good points, but the godless don't care. Many of the godless in here don't care about the truth. They have their agenda. They are here to advance it, nothing more.

          December 24, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
        • The.More.You.Know

          You mean they just cherry pick quotes and post them completely out of context and with no real understanding?

          December 24, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
        • doobzz

          "If a bible verse furthers the cause, it is to be taken literally. If a bible verse is detrimental to the cause, it is either: taken out of context; is allegorical; refers to another verse somewhere else; is an ancient cultural anomaly; is a translation or copyist's error; means something other than what it actually says; Is a mystery of god or not discernible by humans; or is just plain magic." Author unknown

          By the way, nice job assuming that I don't know what languages the bible was written in. And for the record, I have studied it in all the languages you mentioned. It's an accurate translation the way it stands.

          I know you have to rationalize your way around this verse to relieve the cognitive dissonance, though.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
        • or

          "If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they are found: Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days."

          December 24, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
        • right

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCxNSU4y49E

          December 24, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
        • Ron

          doob, and what is "the cause"?

          December 24, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
        • doobzz

          "Similarly, in the context of Deuteronomy 22:28-29 anah is being used to convey the idea that the man has brought humiliation to the maiden because he slept with her without marrying her first, something which would have been considered shameful to do."

          Yes, rape is humiliating, to say the least. I'm surprised your loving deity didn't bother with a commandment against it. Of course, it's only a woman, chattel, so who cares about her? As long as daddy gets his fifty shekels, it's all good.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
        • Well

          Not all say it is r&ping we are talking about.

          This verse also sounds like, If a Man and a woman who arent married have , (As in what happens alot now adays with sleeping around) and they are found out, The man has to pay and then he has to marry the , Could be protection for the if she get pregnant, because back then a woman to get pregnant out side of Marriage, they got Outcast or stoned, or Mocked. I would see it as God writing a law for the protection of people, if they choose to do what is right after a mistake. That could just be me though...

          doobzz, I'm sure you know better than I and will tell me so. And then tell me how better you are than your misunderstanding of an ancient text that you poorly tranlsate...

          December 24, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
        • doobzz

          @ Ron

          "doob, and what is "the cause"?"

          Explaining away the violence, misogyny, slavery, hatred, genocide, contradictions and impossibilities stated as fact in the bible. . "Rape" isn't rape, it's the "seduction of an unbetrothed girl". The genocide of all life on earth is "cleansing of evil". A mud and spit man and his genetic male partner populate the entire earth. The sun goes around the earth. Stuff like that. Apologetics, if you will.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
        • doobzz

          @ Well

          "And then tell me how better you are than your misunderstanding of an ancient text that you poorly tranlsate..."

          I didn't translate it. I copied it from the bible word for word. The bible says "rape". Although I can see why you'd interpret the word "rape" as a nice little scenario with star struck lovers being caught in a clandestine affair. I'm sure that's what the bible meant by the word "rape".

          December 24, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
        • Ron

          doob, "explaining away", what does that mean? Some set themselves up as more righteous that God, imagine that. You sound like one of them. Can a man judge God? doob, are you more righteous that God? Tell me true?

          December 24, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
        • Well

          Direct quote from my Bible:

          "If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they are found: Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days."

          Not all Bibles say it the same way.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
        • Reality

          ----–
          ...................................................
          Hey Guyys ...

          ................ what does ....................

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

          ... or my other bible ...

          ............. that all smart bible teachers learned from .............

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

          -----–
          ....................tell us about this subject.........................................

          December 24, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
        • Shameus

          So how I can rely on the rest of the book? Any section of it could then be mistranslated or out of context.

          December 24, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
        • doobzz

          @ Ron

          "doob, "explaining away", what does that mean?"

          It means that "rape" isn't rape, but seduction or a clandestine affair. It means ignoring that the rape of a woman is not considered a crime against the woman, but against her father, who wouldn't be able to get the going price for virgin chattel. It means changing the meaning of words to better suit your narrative when it's convenient, but claiming them literally when that suits you. But you know that, you're just being disingenuous.

          "Some set themselves up as more righteous that God, imagine that. You sound like one of them. Can a man judge God? doob, are you more righteous that God? Tell me true?"

          I am real and your god isn't, but I have no idea what you mean by righteous. I can judge your god based on your book that describes it, and I do find it to be an asshole.

          December 25, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
        • doobzz

          @ Well

          "Not all Bibles say it the same way."

          So how do you know which one to follow if they all say different things? Can't your omnipotent god make its wishes known without so much confusion about what it's trying to say?

          "Lay hold of her and lie with her", "seize her and lie with her" and "rape" are all the same thing. Sugar coating it by not actually saying "rape" doesn't change the fact that rape isn't considered a crime against the female victim, but against either her father, her fiancé, or her husband. She is just a possession, compensation for the rape goes to the male.

          December 25, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
      • Lerner

        These two versus relate to a situation of the seduction of an unbetrothed girl. In this case the man was forced to pay the normal [bride-price] and marry the girl, if her father consented.

        1611 KJV Deuteronomy 22:28-29
        "If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they are found: Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days."

        December 24, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
        • doobzz

          So? We're still talking about rape. How about a commandment that says "Thou shalt not rape." instead of instructions on how to make your rape of a young girl all better with daddy?

          Nice try turning it into a romantic seduction with candlelight, flowers and champagne. But "lay hold on her" isn't consensual. It's rape. A rape victim is required to marry her rapist, but the father gets his fifty shekels, so it's all good.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
        • News Flash

          One of the 10 Commandments covers that.
          We are reading about civil laws on how to deal with those who break moral laws.
          And those laws were not made for us Christians or you atheists. They are historical.
          Atheists know r**e is wrong, but some of them do it. So we have laws against it. Nothing new.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
        • doobzz

          @ News Flash

          I am not talking about civil laws that cover crimes of this nature. I'm talking about how rape in the bible it only concerned with compensating the male owner of the woman.

          Which commandment says "Thou shalt not rape another human"? Adultery isn't rape, neither is coveting.

          There is no law or command from your god not to rape, in fact, it commands its conquering armies to publicly rape wives in front of their families and to take all the vigins for themselves to rape at their leisure. There is no compensation to female rape victims, they are only chattel. The compensation goes to the female's father, husband or fiancé, due to her now being damaged goods.

          December 25, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
      • lol??

        I like chicken tacos at truck stops. So good.

        December 24, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
        • austin

          what about the beef?

          December 24, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
      • lol??

        Shotgun weddings work just swell. The socie way is to bring statutory r*ape charges and ruin the lad forever. It helps to keep his family in poverty, too. So why would socies push educratism and sleeping around?? The ivory tower princes need to eat, too. So the lass gets educated in the ways of the commies and is ruined forever.
        The lass gets her starter marriage over with and remarries. Dad#1 must pay for the "college education" of the youngins and the poverty cycle continues. Sweet deal for those joined at the hip to the Beast.

        December 24, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
      • lol??

        Deu 22:28 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found;

        December 24, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
  17. Ron

    "In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." ...John 1:1

    December 24, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • doobzz

      "Whoever strikes his father or mother shall be put to death." Exodus 21:15

      December 24, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
      • Ron

        dooby, another one of your favorites?

        December 24, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
        • doobzz

          Sure is. I love this one. The bible says to kill bratty kids, now who's gonna oppose that?

          December 24, 2013 at 6:13 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 24, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
  18. Caveman

    Pagan steal our holiday. Call it Solstice and Jule. Give caveman back our holiday.

    December 24, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • Bern

      Caveman,

      The pagans became Christians. Many of them held onto their same customs and practices. It didn't interfere with their new religion.

      December 24, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
      • Joe

        Not all pagans became Christians, just the ones that didn't want to be murdered.

        December 27, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
  19. god is nothing like Jesus

    god is nothing like Jesus. Jesus seemed to help those in need, to feed and cure sick and starving people. God, however, loves signing off on new evolved forms of plague and genetic mutations that he is more than capable of preventing. Jesus would have cured a child born with Leukaemia and making a real holiday miracle. God is content with suffering where Jesus seemed to have real desire to prevent it.

    December 24, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • lol??

      Sounds like newfangled doctrines from the pwogwessive camp with the big tent.

      December 24, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
  20. Shorn

    I wish more Christians were like Jesus. I am not a Christian, but sometimes I feel like I know and love Jesus better than most of his followers.

    December 24, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • lol??

      Mom always LUVed you better.

      December 24, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
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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.