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December 24th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

CNN Poll: Pope's approval rating sky-high

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

(CNN) - As Pope Francis prepares to celebrate his first Christmas at the Vatican, Americans' opinions of the pontiff appear to be as high as the dome on St. Peter's Basilica, according to a new survey.

A CNN/ORC International poll released Tuesday found that 88% of American Catholics approve of how Francis is handling his role as head of the 1.2 billion-member church.

The popular pontiff has also made a positive impression among Americans in general: Nearly three in four view Francis favorably.  The new survey suggests that the Pope is arguably the most well-regarded religious figure among the American public today, said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

Nine months into his papacy, the Argentine-born Francis has captured attention with crowd-pleasing acts of compassion, from embracing a severely disfigured man, to washing the feet of juvenile delinquents, to hosting homeless men at his birthday Mass this month.

The Pope has also shown a common touch rare for such a lofty religious leader. He has eschewed the trappings of the papacy in favor of humbler digs, simpler vestments and a cheaper car. He worked as a bar bouncer and a janitor before he was a priest, and is not shy about telling people.

Pope: I was once a bar bouncer

According to one study, Pope Francis was the most talked about person on the Internet this year, and even atheists have professed appreciation for the 77-year-old pontiff.

The breadth of Francis' popularity was on display at American newsstands this month: he was named person of the year by both Time magazine and The Advocate, a gay and lesbian publication.

"While 2013 will be remembered for the work of hundreds in advancing marriage equality, it will also be remembered for the example of one man," The Advocate said. In remarks that rippled across the globe, Pope Francis said in July, "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?

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

While the Pope has not changed church doctrine, he has urged Catholics to shift their focus from culture war issues to caring for people on society's margins, especially the poor.

"I see the church as a field hospital after battle," Francis said in September.

American Catholics appear to like the new course the Pope has set for their church. Nearly two-thirds agree with him about the amount of attention that should be paid to issues such as abortion and homosexuality, according to the CNN/ORC poll.

More than 85% of American Catholics say Francis is neither too liberal nor too conservative, and 86% say he's in touch with the modern world. By comparison, more than half of American Catholics said Pope John Paul II was out of step with the times in 2003, near the end of his 26-year-long papacy.

But Francis has been a fierce critic of the status quo, especially what calls the "idolatry of money" present in modern-day capitalism. In a papal statement last month, for example, the Pope blasted the theory of trickle-down economics, calling it "crude and naïve."

Conservative critics such as Rush Limbaugh pounced on the Pope's remarks, calling him a closet Marxist. But nearly two in three American Catholics agree with the Pope about capitalism and the free market's effects on the poor, according to the CNN/ORC poll.

Pope: Marxist ideology is 'wrong'

On other key issues for Catholics - the role of women in the church and the sexual abuse crises - Francis gets similarly high ratings from his American flock.

More than six in 10 American Catholics agree with Francis' comments about women in the church, according to the CNN/ORC poll. The Pope has said that women should have a larger role in church governance but cannot be ordained as priests.

Similarly, more than six in 10 American Catholics say Francis is doing a good job handling fallout from the church's sexual abuse scandal, even as most (64%) also say the church overall has done a poor job on the issue.

This month, the Vatican announced the creation of a new commission to care for victims of clergy sexual abuse and to prevent future crimes.

American Catholics had given especially low marks on the sexual abuse scandal to Francis' predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, with just 36% saying in 2010 that he had handled the issue well.

CNN's Holland said it's difficult to ascertain exactly how Francis' popularity stacks up against his predecessors, however. "It's a tough question since polling on Popes is pretty sparse," he said.

What's more, like political polling, approval ratings shift depending on the public mood and perception of a Pope's performance.

For example, three-quarters of American Catholics approved of how John Paul was leading the church in 1994; that number rose to 84% in 1999 and dipped to 64% in 2003, at the height of the church's sexual abuse crisis.

It remains to be seen how long the honeymoon will last for Francis, and how long he can continue to build goodwill among American Catholics.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International on December 16 through Thursday, with 1,035 adults nationwide, including 191 Catholics, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

Pope Francis' greatest hits of 2013

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Culture wars • Leaders • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope Francis • Pope John Paul II • Sex abuse • Vatican

soundoff (3,274 Responses)
  1. jhhgjgjgjg5656654

    TERRORISMO DE POLICÍAS INTERNACIONALES.

    DENUNCIA A LOS GERENTES DEL FBI INTERPOL Y EUROPOL.

    ROBERT MUELLER SEPTEMBER 4, 2001 SEPTEMBER 4, 2013 12 YEARS JAMES COMEY, QUIENES TUBIERON PERIODOS DE GERENCIA SOSPECHOSAMENTE LARGOS.

    MIREILLE BALESTRAZZI NOV 2012–ACTUALIDAD SOSPECHOSAMENTE ITALIANO.

    ROB WAINWRIGHT EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER FOR HOME AFFAIRS CECILIA MALMSTRÖM JÜRGEN STORBECK COMPLICES DE ESTUDIOS DE LA RAZA HUMANA AGENCIAS MERKEL.
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    IGUAL QUE LA MAYORÍAS DE LOS POLÍTICOS LATINO AMERICANOS.
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    PARA ACTIVIDADES CRIMINALES.
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    TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

    December 27, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
  2. jsdrt0616

    Read this:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/27/us/conviction-overturned-for-church-official-accused-of-covering-up-abuse.html?_r=0

    December 27, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Alias

      I bet if I start with te assumption that all priests are servants of god and good people at heart I will reach different conclusions than if I assume they are all guilty.

      December 27, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
  3. jsdrt0616

    Why the Roman Church is trying to make you accept the POPE Francis as a DEMIGOD ?

    (.... Don´t tell me that this is not the case, because the proof is that almost every newspaper is telling almost every day that "the POPE Francis is awesome"... and this is to worship this Pope... think.)

    Answer:

    Because it loves the power that gets from being the MASTER of one billion people in poverty in the world and it loves the riches that receives from being the master of 300 million rich people.

    The governments pay in some way or other to this Church because they are afraid of its power over the ignorant people.

    The Pope has not gone to visit any president or King in the last centuries, it have been the rulers that have visited the Pope in some catholic property.

    -------

    If you can not help to be a Catholic, at least don´t give a cent to your local church, for the next decades. You will see that the priest would menace to excommunicate you.

    -------

    google: brief clear proof

    December 27, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
  4. jhhgjgjgjg5656654

    TERRORISMO DE POLICÍAS INTERNACIONALES.

    DENUNCIA A LOS GERENTES DEL FBI INTERPOL Y EUROPOL.

    ROBERT MUELLER SEPTEMBER 4, 2001 SEPTEMBER 4, 2013 12 YEARS JAMES COMEY, QUIENES TUBIERON PERIODOS DE GERENCIA SOSPECHOSAMENTE LARGOS.

    MIREILLE BALESTRAZZI NOV 2012–ACTUALIDAD SOSPECHOSAMENTE ITALIANO.

    ROB WAINWRIGHT EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER FOR HOME AFFAIRS CECILIA MALMSTRÖM JÜRGEN STORBECK COMPLICES DE ESTUDIOS DE LA RAZA HUMANA AGENCIAS MERKEL.
    QQQQQQQQQQpgiorg.blog.comQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ

    December 27, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
  5. Logical Default

    I like this pope because his focus is on uniting people with common interests, rather than literal scriptures and descriptions of god. He understands that all religions are different pathways to the same ultimate goal and that what matters is your good deeds for others. If most Christians adopted this same philosophy there wouldn't be so much fighting over religion.

    December 27, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
  6. Dyslexic doG

    Goodbye everyone. I'm feeling a bit cross so I'm off for a lay down behind my big rock. I forgive you, for you know not what you say.

    If you look for me in 3 days and I am not in my cave then I must have been resurrected and become part of the quadrune god. I mean, what other explanation could there possibly be?!?!

    December 27, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • Hypocrite

      c/p
      not funny the first time you said it.
      Why do you think it would work a 2nd time?

      December 27, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
      • kettle pot

        same reason fundies post from the buy bull

        December 27, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Alias

      It was sort of funny then, and still made me smile this time.

      December 27, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
  7. Bootyfunk

    just reading about the Opus Bono Sacerdotii, a Detroit based group that helps get molester priests off the hook.

    Philadelphia priest to be released from prison after appeals court reversal
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/26/justice/philadelphia-monsignor-conviction-reversed/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

    the pope says the church is really gonna go after those molesters in their ranks this time. funny how they're still protecting child molesters instead of helping to identify and prosecute them. it's business as usual at the vatican. seriously, how is the pope Time's person of the year? he's done and is doing as much as the other pope's before him about the issue - nothing. disgusting.

    December 27, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
  8. Alias

    Religions were made up in every par tof the ancient world.
    Christianity is no different from all the rest.
    Christians need to read the entire bible with an open mind to see just how ungodly it all is.

    December 27, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • mzh

      Can you show me a country or a community runs without a set of laws? if not then why wouldn't you think that the human will be given laws to be abiding with by The One Who created the men and women from Adam and Adam is created from dust and The Creator created different tribes, nationalities, languages, colors and so on and gave them ability to obey or disobey the laws that have been given to mankind...

      Religion is nothing but a set of DO vs DONT like USA has fed laws which all citizen has to be abiding with or they will prosecuted...

      The difference between disobeying the laws of the land and laws of The Creator is that breaking the laws of the land punishes you and breaking the laws of The Creator is not punishing the individual in this earthly life...

      Peace!!!

      December 27, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
      • Alias

        "The Creator" does not exist.
        'A Creator' was made up as a part of all religions that I've ever seen.
        None of them are real.

        December 27, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
        • mzh

          Alias:

          Believe what you would like to believe... you have been privileged with a gift 'FREE WILL' which gives you access whether to believe or not to believe... there will be nothing happening to make you believe... and this is the great test for mankind that every single human will be held accountable for on that day...

          O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it, its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you. – 4:1

          62:8 – Say, "Indeed, the death from which you flee – indeed, it will meet you. Then you will be returned to the Knower of the unseen and the witnessed, and He will inform you about what you used to do."

          88:21 – So remind, [O Muhammad]; you are only a reminder.
          88:22 – You are not over them a controller.

          Peace!!!

          December 27, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          you don't need a god to be a good person. look to your brothers and sisters of this world, not an imaginary sky fairy that once drowned every human being on earth but one family. he drowned babies. read that again: BABIES. how can you worship such a monster?

          December 27, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
        • Alias

          mzh
          I dissagree. I did not choose to not believe. It simple makes no sense, so I can't believe it.

          December 27, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
        • mzh

          @B

          2:284 – To Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. Whether you show what is within yourselves or conceal it, Allah will bring you to account for it. Then He will forgive whom He wills and punish whom He wills, and Allah is over all things competent.

          2:285 – The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and [so have] the believers. All of them have believed in Allah and His angels and His books (The Quran, The Injeel, The Torah, The Jabur) and His messengers, [saying], "We make no distinction between any of His messengers." And they say, "We hear and we obey. [We seek] Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the [final] destination."

          Peace be upon you B and all...

          December 27, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
        • mzh

          To A:

          There is answer for you A from The Quran: 🙂

          2:256 – There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong. So whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.

          109:1 – Say, "O disbelievers,
          109:2 – I do not worship what you worship.
          109:3 – Nor are you worshippers of what I worship.
          109:4 – Nor will I be a worshipper of what you worship.
          109:5 – Nor will you be worshippers of what I worship.
          109:6 – For you is your religion, and for me is my religion."

          fyi... the word 'disbelievers' here is the one who disbelieves in the message of the quran...

          Peace be upon you...

          December 27, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
        • Alias

          mzh
          That answers nothing.

          December 27, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
        • mzh

          To B:

          Every human has following responsibilities (there are not in order but just numbered):
          1. Me vs Myself
          2. Me vs Rest of the creation
          3. Me vs My Creator

          Most of the human are very good in first two (1 and 2) but majority of the human are being failed in three… the laws that I have referred to are most the applies in number three…

          Here is what I meant: when it comes to me vs my Creator, my Creator says I am One and I do not have any partner or association or son or daughters etc but human says, No God has a son or daughter or saints or any sort of partners either any animals or any objects and the other group of human says that there are no Creator…

          To your point: a human can be a good and if the human follows the laws of the land will go be good to others but when it comes to the law of the Creator, most of the human will fail…

          Peace be upon you…

          December 27, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          mzh,
          you can't 'choose' to believe something - you either do or don't.
          for example, i can 'choose' to believe i'm the king of siam
          but that doesn't make it so.
          can you 'choose' to believe in bigfoot or faries?
          then an hour later 'choose' not to?
          no, you can't because you can't 'choose' to believe anything
          you either do or you don't.

          god doesn't make sense to atheists
          that's why we don't believe.
          it has nothing to do with choice.

          December 27, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        "Can you show me a country or a community runs without a set of laws?"
        +++ nope. all countries and communities have them. but they're made by man, no need to invoke supersti.tions, ghost or deities. but it's a good point. long before christianity reared it's head (or islam or hinduism or buddhism), laws and rules existed. there has never been a village where people could just walk up and kill someone without repercussions. basically, no god necessary, not then, not now.

        December 27, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
  9. Keith

    Good Man

    December 27, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
  10. Austin

    Austin

    I have THE NEW STRONG'S EXPANDED EXHAUSTIVE CONCORDANCE OF THE BIBLE , right here with me, and there are about 600 references to prayer and prayers, and , NONE of them are prayers to Mary, OR ANY OTHER PERSON THAN GOD

    December 27, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • Doctor Monroe

      Austin we let you be released from the inst!tute on the proviso that you continue to take your medications that were prescribed. You have obviously reneged on that promise. I will give you until the first weekend in the new year to find your way back or I will have to report you to the police yet again. I am very disappointed in you Austin.

      December 27, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
      • Austin

        hey man , spiritual as.sas.sins are really pretty evil.

        December 27, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
        • Sharon Falconer

          Why, as I live and breathe! It's BB's own Elmer Gantry!

          December 27, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • mzh

      5:116 – And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, "O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, 'Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah?'" He will say, "Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen.

      5:117 – I said not to them except what You commanded me – to worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. And I was a witness over them as long as I was among them; but when You took me up, You were the Observer over them, and You are, over all things, Witness.

      5:118 – If You should punish them – indeed they are Your servants; but if You forgive them – indeed it is You who is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.

      5:119 – Allah will say, "This is the Day when the truthful will benefit from their truthfulness." For them are gardens [in Paradise] beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever, Allah being pleased with them, and they with Him. That is the great attainment.

      5:120 – To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and whatever is within them. And He is over all things competent.

      Peace!!!

      December 27, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Alias

      It does not matter who you pray to, or how you pray.
      There is no one listening.

      December 27, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
      • jenholm25

        Very true Alias. No one is listening. People spouting off religious passages are ridiculous.

        December 27, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
        • Alias

          Just for fun – start quoting Cunfucius when they get carried away.
          They almost alway ttry to find where jesus said that and correct you on the quote – as if it started with him.

          Or am I just sick and twisted?

          December 27, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  11. Prior

    "...then did Tilius say to the people of the low plains: seek not the wickedness amongst your neighbors, lest it find purchase in your own house."

    "Hallowed are the children of the Ori."

    December 27, 2013 at 1:25 pm |

    • Spread not thy seed, nor allow thy children's seed to be spread among anyone who is not of thy seed. Thy family shall always be thy family.

      December 27, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • Austin

      Austin

      I have THE NEW STRONG'S EXPANDED EXHAUSTIVE CONCORDANCE OF THE BIBLE , right here with me, and there are about 600 references to prayer and prayers, and , NONE of them are prayers to Mary, OR ANY OTHER PERSON THAN GOD

      if you read the book of enoch, which predates your little story, or mimicry, you will get the correct version of these false deceptions, who fell from the creation and subdue us with false religion.

      2 Corinthians 11:14

      14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

      December 27, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
      • G to the T

        Always quoting Paul eh Austin?

        December 27, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
  12. Dont Pray to Mary

    Do you think that the Holy Spirit is going to relay your prayer to Mary, who will take it to God the father? What do you think you are doing?

    I can not think of anything more ignorant and offensive than what the Catholic Church has invented on top of the finished work of Jesus Christ, who has given us His Holy Spirit.

    December 27, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

      so talking in your head to an imaginary woman in the sky is crazy but talking in your head to an imaginary man in the sky is sane.

      how do you come up with this stuff? It's comedy gold!!!

      December 27, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
      • Austin

        Dislexic Dog, come on man. is there a problem with Jesus being a man? do you need a hermaphrodite? the trinity is real, I hate to even joke around. Its not funny. I am not looking to be a bigot or s.exist, I am well read at this point in the bible, and I see an idolatrous church with people who need help and to be steered in the correct direction. There is probably more potential helping those who are a bit astray, as apposed to people who are atheist. They are seeking God with prepared hearts.

        December 27, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          Austin, the problem is not jesus being a man.

          the problem is that the bible is obviously a story book written by primitive men and you treat it as if it is factual.

          If your god was powerful enough to create the universe, don't you think he'd have a more foolproof way of getting his exact message across to future generations than this endlessly translated, edited, confused, modified, twisted, corrupted book of bronze age stories that has been changed by religious power brokers to suit each generation?

          Wouldn't god's word be carved on the moon, unchangeable and for all to see? Wouldn't it be spoken unchanged by a species of animal? Wouldn't it be written microscopically on every stone or every tree? Wouldn't there be some space age material that had god's voice recorded, uncorrupted over the centuries and there for everyone to hear.

          Wouldn't there be parts of God's word that reflect computers or artificial intelligence or DNA or modern medicine or future medicine or electricity or space travel to other parts of this amazing universe he created? Wouldn't there be talk of gender and race equality? Wouldn't there be talk of Asia and Australia and the Americas and Europe and Africa?

          Instead the bible is limited to horses and carts and herbs and grain and swords and shields and misogyny and racism and slavery all set in the deserts of the middle east. The Bible is so obviously a product of bronze age man, you must be in denial to even argue that it is the word of god. There may or may not be a god or gods, but this book of bronze age voodoo and oppression has nothing to do with him, her or them.

          And stop it with this "not the word of god but words inspired by god" cop out. That just means it was written by greedy, evil men who got their way by claiming that god told them to do something. That's a self serving scam that should be scorned, especially by anyone claiming to love an omnipotent god. That scam is an abomination and an insult to your god ... as is the bible!

          December 27, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
        • Austin

          the truth is that you hate God/s word.
          here is an example i can give you. on night in jail, this kid racked me with a tp roll while i was sleeping. i was sick as a dog and when it hit me i sat up and threw my earphones and they broke. I just laid back down, and 3 or 4 guys over in the corner of the dorm, were taunting me. one of them who i had shared the gospel with, said "oh poor austin is trying to sleep". ok so I stared judging them and i said in my own mind "i wonder if they have the light in their eye"

          this is based on this teaching
          22“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,c your whole body will be full of light. 23But if your eyes are unhealthy,d your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

          I went back to sleep, i woke up and the kid who was taunting me, who cant hear my thoughts, came up to me and said, " i had this dream last night that I was going around the room looking into peoples eyes, to see if they had a special ight in them to see who was possessed or not"

          this is the synchronicity of the spirit. Spiritual revelations are real, and you need to search God's word and pray for understanding, accept the Holy Spirit, and the truth will be revealed within you, dispite all of you ill conceived emotional nonsense. He is faithful to forgive and lift you up out of the bondage we are born in to. It truly is, being born again and calls for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

          December 27, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
        • G to the T

          In my studies it appears that the concept of the "Trinity" was a later theological addition to counter those who taught that Jesus was "only man" or those that said he "only appeared to be a man". "Trinity" does not appear anywhere in bible and is only through some fairly serious theological gymnastics (and possibly a line in the bible that was added later) that you can say the trinity is a "bibilical" belief. Much like "Free Will", "Age of accountability", etc.

          December 30, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Don't Listen To Austin

      He's a religious bigot.

      December 27, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
      • Austin

        do you have any scripture that tells us "pray to the saints", like enoch, or elijah? and why is mary any different?

        December 27, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
        • Don't Listen to Austin

          You are a religious bigot. Period.
          It was explained to you yesterday. You chose to ignore it, as usual, so you can keep going with your bigotry and divisiveness.

          December 27, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
        • Maddy

          http://www.catholicdoors.com/faq/qu67.htm

          I don't expect this will satisfy you. You seem very fire and brimstone; a true literalist.

          Fine. Just stop bashing other Christians. Take the log out of your own eye.

          Your style of ministry helps no one, and indeed, serves to divide.

          December 27, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
        • Austin

          Maddy, you are wrong about my intentions. How do you feel about Muslims? Or Jews. Answer this question, if you read through the New Testament, what does it say about praying to Mary? or the saints?

          December 27, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
        • Maddy

          I am not wrong about your intentions. You make them abundantly clear.

          Your derision for a large group of Christians is no better than the derision that you are treated to by atheists.

          You are a religious bigot.

          December 27, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
        • mzh

          5:116 – And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, "O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, 'Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah ?'" He will say, "Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen.

          5:117 – I said not to them except what You commanded me – to worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. And I was a witness over them as long as I was among them; but when You took me up, You were the Observer over them, and You are, over all things, Witness.

          5:118 – If You should punish them – indeed they are Your servants; but if You forgive them – indeed it is You who is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.

          5:119 – Allah will say, "This is the Day when the truthful will benefit from their truthfulness." For them are gardens [in Paradise] beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever, Allah being pleased with them, and they with Him. That is the great attainment.

          5:120 – To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and whatever is within them. And He is over all things competent.

          Peace be upon all of you!!!

          December 27, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
      • K-switch

        But he claims to have prophetic dreams, so his God must be real.

        December 27, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
        • Austin

          you are exactly right, and so He MUST be real.

          December 27, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
        • Maddy

          And Catholics believe in Him, also, yet you still condemn them.

          December 27, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
        • mzh

          31:33 – O mankind, fear your Lord and fear a Day when no father will avail his son, nor will a son avail his father at all. Indeed, the promise of Allah is truth, so let not the worldly life delude you and be not deceived about Allah by the Deceiver.

          31:34 – Indeed, Allah [alone] has knowledge of the Hour and sends down the rain and knows what is in the wombs. And no soul perceives what it will earn tomorrow, and no soul perceives in what land it will die. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.

          112:1 – Say, He is Allah, [who is] One
          112:2 – Allah, the Eternal Refuge
          112:3 – He neither begets nor is born
          112:4 – Nor is there to Him any equivalent.

          Peace!!!

          December 27, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
  13. Dont Pray to Mary

    @Keith who stated

    "As you read your Bible remember the Catholic Church created it. As you listen to your Fundamentalist preachers or Evangelicals remember that uneducated men thought they could understand the bible without any knowledge of history or how Christianity developed. Keep in mind that you are promoting an ignorant hatred of "the church" because of your lack of knowledge."

    Look Keith, I can name the 66 books of the bible off the top of my head. I realize that catholics have a few more, but when I read the bible , it is clear that other humans, were NEVER SUPPOSED TO BE OBJECTS OF PRAYER AND WORSHIP.

    Taking the definition of "prayer" and "worship", it becomes clear that Mary has become a false God. Only the omnipresent triune God, can receive prayers. your prayer does not float to heaven. It is reveived within you by the Holy Spirit. The trinity is not waiting in heaven for your prayer to arrive, and Mary, IS NOT OMNIPRESENT. SHE HAS NO WAY TO RECEIVE YOUR PRAYER.

    December 27, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Dont Pray to Mary

      If you can back up what you are doing, with scripture, and try to avoid your "hope" that I am ignorant of the finished work of the Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, please advise me biblically.

      anyone?

      December 27, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      The King James version of the new testament was completed in 1611 by 8 members of the church of England. There were (and still are) NO original texts to translate. The oldest manuscripts we have were written down 100's of years after the last apostle died. There are over 8,000 of these old manuscripts with no two alike. The king james translators used none of these anyway. Instead they edited previous translations to create a version their king and parliament would approve. So.... 21st century christians believe the "word of god" is a book edited in the 17th century from the 16th century translations of 8,000 contradictory copies of 4th century scrolls that claim to be copies of lost letters written in the 1st century.

      December 27, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Don't Listen To Austin

      He's a religious bigot.

      December 27, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Don't pray to Jesus

      Because only I, Austin, may be the only one who is qualified to tell anyone who to pray to.

      The squish kitty told me so. I am the victim of spiritual revelation. I got the HS in JAIL.

      December 27, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • mzh

      THE CONCEPT OF TRINITY IN THE QURAN:

      4:170 – O Mankind, the Messenger (Muhammad pbuh) has come to you with the truth from your Lord, so believe; it is better for you. But if you disbelieve – then indeed, to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and earth. And ever is Allah Knowing and Wise.

      4:171 – O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion or say about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say, "Three"; desist – it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but one God. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs.

      4:174 – O mankind, there has come to you a conclusive proof from your Lord, and We have sent down to you a clear light (The Quran).

      4:175 – So those who believe in Allah and hold fast to Him – He will admit them to mercy from Himself and bounty and guide them to Himself on a straight path.

      Peace be upon all of you!!!

      December 27, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
      • Austin

        if would be scary to me if i thought Jesus was a "had son" rather than the essence of God in human flesh, God in his expression of love. He and the father and the spirit are one.

        John 1

        The Word Became Flesh

        1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

        Jesus was not born when He was born. He just went through the process of becoming fully man to die for your sins.

        December 27, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
  14. 00 00

    I AM COME THAT THEY MIGHT HAVE LIFE

    December 27, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • Sea Otter (Leader Allied Atheist Alliance)

      Cartman: [singing]

      I wanna get down on my knees and start pleasing Jesus
      I wanna feel his salvation all over my face

      December 27, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      an old man sitting by himself wrote that on parchment thousands of years ago as part of his story book.

      why do you give it any more meaning than a line out of any other old story book?

      December 27, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Nope

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7ZIpVKZaI4

      December 27, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
  15. Dyslexic doG

    definition: "faith" - believing something without a single shred of proof.

    it amazes me that religious folk see this word as a badge of honor while any logical thinking person sees it as a mark of foolishness or insanity.

    quite a disconnect.

    December 27, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Nope

      That is a common misunderstanding of the term faith, at least as it is used in the Bible.

      December 27, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        so please give me your definition ...

        December 27, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
        • Nope

          There are no dictionaries that define faith exactly as you phrased it.
          Read this if you want to learn about Buddhist faith: http://www.sgi.org/buddhism/buddhist-concepts/faith-and-reason.html

          December 27, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
        • G to the T

          There are 2 common definitions I'm aware of.

          1 – "Faith" in a proposition – i.e. belief in the factualness of a proposition. Though usually associated with belief "in things unseen". Thus the need for a "leap of faith" to attain this belief.

          2 – "The Faith" – i.e. the set of beliefs and propositions that make up a religion.

          That work?

          December 27, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
  16. Dyslexic doG

    In the 4th century CE, Christianity imported the pagan Saturnalia festival hoping to recruit the pagan masses in with it. Christian leaders succeeded in converting to Christianity large numbers of pagans by promising them that they could continue to celebrate the Saturnalia as Christians.

    The problem was that there was nothing intrinsically Christian about Saturnalia. To remedy this, these Christian leaders named Saturnalia’s concluding day, December 25th, to be Jesus’ birthday.

    The New Testament gives no date or year for Jesus’ birth. The earliest gospel – St. Mark’s, written about 65 CE – begins with the baptism of an adult Jesus. This suggests that the earliest Christians lacked interest in or knowledge of Jesus’ birthdate.

    Christianity: centuries of shameless fraud on a grand scale.

    December 27, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • UH

      n the 4th century CE, ROMAN CATHOLICS Imported the pagan Saturnalia...

      December 27, 2013 at 11:49 am |
      • John

        Roman Catholics ARE Christian.

        December 27, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
        • UH

          But not all Christians are or were Roman Catholics.

          December 27, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
        • John

          Doesn't make RC's any less Christian.

          December 27, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        oh my.

        December 27, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
  17. Dyslexic doG

    If you could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people!

    – House

    December 27, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • Bob

      House: angry & bitter at a God he professes not to believe in....
      ...no wonder you love him.

      December 27, 2013 at 11:34 am |
      • doobzz

        and just as fictional.

        December 27, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
      • G to the T

        Awesome Bob, except it didn't say anything about "god". It is specifically talking about RELIGIOUS PEOPLE.

        Thanks so much for helping to prove his point...

        December 31, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Har

      What's the difference between God and a doctor?

      God doesn't think he's a doctor.

      December 27, 2013 at 11:35 am |
      • John

        Lol

        December 27, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • Atheist Logic

      Criticizes other for quoting from fiction.

      Quotes from fiction. OH MY.

      December 27, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        George Takei is NOT amused...

        December 27, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
      • Keith

        haha

        December 27, 2013 at 1:01 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.