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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. Austin

    Austin

    staying with a sick friend Robert, his liver shut down two weeks ago,hes been though one tough turn after another, survived ARDS and yet his liver and kidneys wont budge. I had a dream that an eagle swooped down and grabbed a pair of running shoes. I woke up and googled "eagle shoes bible" and this verse came up
    Isaiah 40:31 ►

    but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

    ........so i wrote that down about 2am and at seven sharp when his dad showed up i was telling him about thits gift, and he said to me "we just got an amail from his sister last night that went out on a bulk mail to some family (not me) and that was the verse he had been studying last that last night!

    wow, we are waiting on Jehovah to deliver His will. We know that Dan has found favor even if he doesn not make it, and it is in the Lord's hands

    January 1, 2014 at 6:04 am |
    • Science Works

      Austin ARE you one of them ?

      Dysfunctional Republican Christians Vow To Destroy the First Amendment
      By: Rmuse more from Rmuse
      Tuesday, December, 31st, 2013, 10:13 am

      http://www.politicususa.com/2013/12/31/dysfunctional-republican-christians-vow-destroy-amendment.html

      January 1, 2014 at 8:47 am |
    • sam stone

      Yes, Austin. That is convincing. You have a special gift

      January 1, 2014 at 9:15 am |
    • Tired of false prophets

      Are you that dense that when you googled eagle and bible, google wouldn't find you a verse that has the word eagle in a bible verse? Do you know how google WORKS?

      January 1, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
      • boom boom

        Try this. Do you even no how to...

        January 1, 2014 at 5:12 pm |
    • Jerry

      That's really a monumental stretch, Austin. An eagle swooping down to grab running shoes is way way WAY off from your verse.

      You are applying very tortured interpretations of your dreams to fit them to the Bible. It was just a dream. The rest is your own personal invention. Just like all the rest of your "prophetic visions."

      It's sad that you actually believe God is giving you visions.

      January 1, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
      • sam stone

        austin is a very kind of special. too cowardly to subject his visions to scrutiy, and far too cowardly to take that next step to go meet jeebus himself. an ex con with delusions of grandeur.

        January 2, 2014 at 5:29 am |
    • Artie Aardvark

      I bet he googles his dreams daily, and about once every couple of months one will turn up some line of scripture that doesn't really fit but has a few of the words, and HALLELUJAH! It's a prophetic vision.

      January 1, 2014 at 6:12 pm |
  2. Observer

    Happy New Year !!

    December 31, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
    • JWT

      Happy New Year to you and all.

      January 1, 2014 at 12:01 am |
    • The Squirrel

      And to you too!

      Though it does seem a bit strange that the date picked is totally random. The year should start on a solstice. But hey, I'm never one to pass up even the lamest excuse for a party. Heck, even the Mexicans don't know what Cinco de Mayo is about, and I'm happy to pound down some Guiness in honor of the guy who drove the snakes that weren't in Ireland out of Ireland.

      January 1, 2014 at 12:02 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Happy New Year everybody.

      January 1, 2014 at 12:34 am |
  3. Austin

    praying to mary and having a graven image mounted on a crucifix breaks 8 out of 10 of the ten commandments.

    This is a satanic marvel.

    December 31, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
    • Austin

      lie, spiritual adultery, theft, idolatry, false god, graven image, dishonor The Father, taking the Lords name in vain.

      December 31, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
      • AtheistSteve

        All of which would only be applicable if blasphemy wasn't a victimless crime, which it is.

        December 31, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
        • Austin

          AtheistSteve,
          I was laying i the hospital and I was gifted with another vision, which i will share with Jesus Beloved later, but i want to inform you with authority that He is risen, and that the time is running short.

          you do not have to have proof to receive forgiveness and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It's a free gift.

          ok? and I do love you. May the love of God dwell richly in you.

          December 31, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
        • Austin's special ed teacher

          Just humor him. I know it makes no sense whatsoever, but he won't take his meds, so there is no reasoning with him.

          December 31, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Sorry to hear you were in the hospital. I hope it wasn't too serious. May I ask what happened?

          December 31, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
        • AtheistSteve

          Yes I'm sure nothing I say will change Austins mind about anything he believes. That's not the point. I'm sure Austin is convinced that Satan is deceiving me and anyone who isn't properly following Gods word. A God who curiously so hates being called names that its one of the major no no's.
          All I'm saying, all I ever say, is that as far as I'm concerned his beliefs don't map to anything real. Maybe it lets him sleep better believing such things and well whatever floats his boat I guess. I just fail to see the need. Or the reason. He might as well be trying to sell me pixie dust for all the good it will do.
          So rest easy friend Austin because the forfeiture of my soul isn't on you and no amount of your preaching will affect my position. I'm not worried about my soul because I don't believe I have one. And since you found it necessary to tell us all about the sins of Catholics I weighed in with my opinion that it just sounds ridiculous. That's all.

          January 1, 2014 at 12:27 am |
        • Austin

          staying with a sick friend Robert, his liver shut down two weeks ago,hes been though one tough turn after another, survived ARDS and yet his liver and kidneys wont budge. I had a dream that an eagle swooped down and grabbed a pair of running shoes. I woke up and googled "eagle shoes bible" and this verse came up
          Isaiah 40:31 ►

          but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

          ........so i wrote that down about 2am and at seven sharp when his dad showed up i was telling him about thits gift, and he said to me "we just got an amail from his sister last night that went out on a bulk mail to some family (not me) and that was the verse he had been studying last that last night!

          wow, we are waiting on Jehovah to deliver His will. We know that Dan has found favor even if he doesn not make it, and it is in the Lord's hands.

          January 1, 2014 at 6:01 am |
        • sam stone

          Austin: You remain deluded

          Your "authority" is nonsense

          January 1, 2014 at 9:19 am |
        • MLH

          Since you have admitted that you interpret your own dreams, you can say anything you like....get a qualified professional to do it, and I bet your scenario changes.

          JB may believe you, but s/ he is in the vast minority.

          And I'm CHRISTIAN.

          January 1, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
      • MLH

        Austin, bull chit. Stop being a bigot. You have NO authority to denounce and condemn millions of Christians.

        You are a charlatan.

        You will not achieve your goal: to persuade millions of people to ABANDON THEIR FAITH.

        Who is the deceived and the deceiver? Looks like you.

        January 1, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
      • sam stone

        Austin: Just think of how much of a hero you will be to your church when you donate the $1 million prize from the james randi foundation.

        oh, wait, you won't

        you use scripture to excuse your cowardice

        like every other christian coward

        January 1, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
  4. Universe

    Islamic scripture (Quran says)

    “The life of this world is no more than illusion and vanity, while the abode of the Hereafter is far better for the righteous. Do you not understand?! [6:32]

    “They do not value God as He should be valued. God is the Most Powerful, the Almighty.”[22:74]

    “If you obey the majority of people on earth, they will divert you from the path of God. They follow only conjecture; they only guess.” [Quran 6:116]

    “They say , "We live only this life; we will not be resurrected. If you could only see them when they stand before their Lord! He would say, "Is this not the truth?" They would say, "Yes, by our Lord." He would say, "You have incurred the retribution by your disbelief." [6:30]

    “Losers indeed are those who disbelieve in meeting God, until the Hour comes to them suddenly, then say, "We deeply regret wasting our lives in this world." They will carry loads of their sins on their backs; what a miserable load! [6:31]

    “Recall that your Lord said to the angels, "I am placing a representative on Earth." They said, "Will You place therein one who will spread evil therein and shed blood, while we sing Your praises, glorify You, and uphold Your absolute authority?" He said, "I know what you do not know." [2:30]

    “They even attribute to Him sons and daughters, without any knowledge. Be He glorified. He is the Most High, far above their claims.” Quran [6:100]

    “The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]

    It does not befit God that He begets a son, be He glorified. To have anything done, He simply says to it, "Be," and it is. [19:35]

    Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to visit whyIslam org website.

    December 31, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
  5. Dave

    Real reform is needed. If they just changed the rule about who could be priests, I think the s*x ab*se could be greatly reduced. Why can't women or married men become priests? It is my understanding that in the beginning priests could marry. However, the concern was with inheritance. It is all about the money with the current Catholic Church. They would rather smear victims of abuse and hire lawyers than help them. I am a victim of abuse (google Robert Poandl) and have said from day 1 that I don't want their blood money. The everyone-is-a-sinner mentality and the confessional help people justify the most egregious acts. If you truly believe, do as the New Testament tells you. I am no longer a Christian and understand it is much easier said than done. However, the everyone-is-a-sinner mentality is weak.

    December 31, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
  6. Dave

    Being a former Catholic and a victim of child s*x ab*se by a priest, I can tell you with absolute certainty that the Catholic Church is not trying to stop the child s*x abuse endemic in the church and still vilifies the victims. They did their best to smear me and got the case thrown out in West Virginia using dirty tactics and a former WV judge (wife of a congressman) with juice to get the case dismissed. Fortunately, my brother is a graduate of Northwestern Law School and we got the b*stard convicted in federal court. Google Robert Poandl

    December 31, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
  7. AtheistSteve

    Mutually assured destruction. Someone said that was the nasty and inevitable outcome of a non monitored blog such as this one. CNN should either actually get someone to monitor this blog or remove the report abuse button.
    If we all hit report abuse on everything we found distasteful this entire blog would disappear. And maybe such an action might just wake up CNN to the problem. Maybe we should all work together to wipe out all blog entries on every story here and make the comments section vanish completely. Do you think that will result in some positive action to quell the terrorist actions of a few cowardly idiots?

    December 31, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
  8. bostontola

    Happy New Year everyone.

    December 31, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
    • mzh

      Happy new year to you too bostontola.

      Peace!!!

      December 31, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
  9. mzh

    A question to my Atheist friends with due respect:

    What earthly benefit do you get by not believing in The Creator that I do not get as I do believe in The Creator who does not have any partner, son, daughter or any associates to run the universe?

    And you would not be disagreed about the death that it will come sooner or later to both of us…

    What happens if you find that you were wrong and I am correct or vise versa? I would not lose anything either ways but what if you become a great loser in hereafter?

    Peace be upon all of you my friends!!!

    December 31, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Pascal's Wager is stupid and has been refuted many times and in many different ways. It's just not any good, as any person familiar with critical reasoning would instantly recognize.

      The benefit to not believing in a god who is invisible, undetectable, and irrelevant is that you are not a hypocrite who requires all sorts of proof before making a large purchase (for a house or large gem) but believe in god based on nothing more than feelings–requiring none of the proof that they would for buying a house or precious stone.

      December 31, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • Jeffrey

      Well, if you chose wrong on which god, you are in deep trouble too. And if there is no god, then trying to run the world based on ancient rural superstitions is total madness.

      December 31, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
      • mzh

        That's a very good point Jef and I am glad that you asked this question and it is true that there are thousands of different religions.. even sometimes there are denominations within the same one...

        One should put an effort to know about the truth and I am not saying the best... because all thousands will say that they are the best but the truth can only be ONE... so its a home work for one who is interested to know or discover the TRUTH... it wouldn't come over night but it could take up to decades...

        I thank you for your reply on my posting... peace be upon you...

        December 31, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
        • Jeffrey

          Out of curiousity, just how many religions did you explore before you decided yours was right? And what evidence do you have that your choice is correct?

          December 31, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
        • mzh

          Its a great question Jeff...

          I have studied quite a few religions like Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Christianity (with different denominations), Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, also Christianity and Judaism from Quran as Quran addresses these 2 as 'people of the book' meaning they were given a book from the same source as the Quran which were Torah to Moses, Zabur (Psalm) to David and Injeel to Jesus... and little of the basic of Atheism...

          Peace be upon you Jeff...

          December 31, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
        • Jeffrey

          Were you already Muslim when you studied those? And again, what made you think you chose correctly?

          I think basing your research into Christianity and Judaism on the Quran is pretty dubious.

          December 31, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
    • mzh

      Okay the reason I said that is… I believe you are very intelligent and intellectual and having ability to listen and use your brain to make a sound decision…

      Here is one of the pictures given in the Quran if one is wrong:

      67:6 – And for those who disbelieved in their Lord is the punishment of Hell, and wretched is the destination.

      67:7 – When they are thrown into it, they hear from it a [dreadful] inhaling while it boils up.

      67:8 – It almost bursts with rage. Every time a group is thrown into it, its keepers ask them, "Did there not come to you a Warner?"

      67:9 – They will say," Yes, a Warner had come to us, but we denied and said, 'Allah has not sent down anything. You are not but in great error.' "

      67:10 – And they will say, "Had we but listened or used our intelligence, we would not be among the companions of the Blaze."

      67:11 – And they will admit their sin, so [it is] alienation for the companions of the Blaze.

      67:12 – Verily! Those who fear their Lord unseen (i.e. they do not see Him, nor His Punishment in the Hereafter, etc.), theirs will be forgiveness and a great reward (i.e. Paradise).

      On the other hand those who believed in Oneness of Almighty God and all the messengers and did righteous good deeds, the reward for them as below (this is one of the places but there are plenty of places which gives the clear picture of both life in heaven and hell):

      98:7 – Verily, those who believe [in the Oneness of Allah, and in His Messenger Muhammad, Jesus, Moses, Noah and all (Peace be upon all of them)) including all obligations ordered by Islam] and do righteous good deeds, they are the best of creatures.

      98:8 – Their reward with Allah will be gardens of perpetual residence beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever, Allah being pleased with them and they with Him. That is for whoever has feared his Lord.

      Also please know that I am not judging anyone as I am not sure who of us including myself would be ending up in heaven but I hope so… there are plenty of examples that people do wrong things in their entire life and right before the end they change, and on the other hand people do good things but starts doing wrong thing right before the death… so I am not the one to judge anyone… please do not get me wrong… I am here just to share and also not to force anyone to accept what I believe…

      Peace be upon all of you!!!

      December 31, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
      • Sure

        Try not to explode in Volgograd, okay?

        December 31, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
        • mzh

          Sure... Thanks...

          December 31, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
    • Damocles

      I can only speak for myself, but there aren't tangible 'benefits' for being skeptical. I'm not receiving a check in the mail or pushing a book deal.

      As a kid, I had no issues with religion, it wasn't forced upon me, I did go to church every now and then and things were fine. Growing older, no one tried to force me into a belief, I nodded and still nod politely to those who knock on my door from time to time. So, no religious scarring, no running away in the middle of the night from a cult or anything like that.

      For me, it has always been about what people do with their belief, not the belief itself. I'm honest enough with myself to understand that a belief in a deity helps some people, gives them the comfort they might be lacking, maybe the strength to overcome hardship. That's fine, I have absolutely no problem with that. When a belief in a deity, or science for that matter, gets twisted into something monstrous is when I have an issue.

      Case in point is your 'what if?' argument. A believer in a deity will try to use this argument and not apply it to themselves. 'What if I'm right'? Well, ok, but what if someone else is right about their deity? 'Oh, well, they can't be right because I have the exclusive truth on the matter'. Really? It becomes a tedious and downright child-like argument.

      So, let's play the game one more time. I die and what I think happens to me upon death takes place, i.e. I get buried, hopefully a few people shed a tear at my passing. Case closed, I lived the best life I could and had few regrets. Now let's say you are right and when I die there is a deity waiting for me. So? 'Oh, but it's going to punish you'. Why? I can't be anything else except me.

      Have your belief, life can be hard and difficult and I understand that, just try to mix it with some common sense.

      December 31, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
      • mzh

        Thank you Damocles... I appreciate your comments on my posting...

        There are lot of common grounds that we as a human being have where we can work together by helping each other when needed, and one can not live by him/herself, we need each other to live this earthly life, there is not a single community on the phase of earth who are all medical doctor or automobile engineer, or so on... so when I am in medical field, I would need help from Automobile field and other way around... other example could be human trafficking – we all are against this action that some evil minded human do and so on...

        The only place where we can not share each other is faith... and this is the God gifted freedom to the mankind... the quran also teaches 'there is no compulsion in accepting religion – 2:256' or 'you do your religion and I do mine – 109:6' and many more...

        Again I thank you for you being honest in your opinion...

        Happy New Year of 2014 to you and to your loved ones... 🙂

        December 31, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
  10. Sp.ank Your Imam

    Not here please thank you.

    December 31, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
  11. mzh

    This is one of the places which was revealed from the one who created the entire universe and anything between them which includes human being too… now imagine people at that time were not as smart as now in terms of technology but they were the best in their language…

    - what we see and what our scientists have discovered the black whole comes only the lower level of the sky and we do not know what is above, actually we know very little about what is in the lower level… and I appreciate our Scientists that they have been working hard and I believe The Creator The Almighty who is letting their ability to know these stuffs…

    [And] who created seven heavens in layers. You do not see in the creation of the Most Merciful any inconsistency. So return [your] vision [to the sky]; do you see any breaks? – 67:3

    Then look again and yet again, [Your] vision will return to you humbled while it is fatigued. – 67:4

    And indeed We have adorned the nearest heaven with stars, and We have made such stars (as) missiles to drive away the Shayatin (devils), and have prepared for them the torment of the blazing Fire. – 67:5

    - if you can’t create anything out of nothing then why don’t you believe in this my friends…

    O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created 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

    Say, "It is He who has produced you and made for you hearing and vision and hearts; little are you grateful." – 63:27

    - it is because the mankind is so much arrogant that they do not appreciate to their Creator…
    Indeed mankind, to his Lord, is ungrateful. – 100:6

    Peace be upon all of you and happy new year of 2014!!!

    December 31, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • Span.k Your Imam

      mzh, do not quote thusly as written without ripe imam blessings forthwith. Were you spanked forthrightly by an unripened imam?

      Do not be embarrassed as such with red posteriority. We have experienced vestal goats close quartered in Tehran if you need to be resanctified.

      Of this year, shall no imams be spanked without above goats. No more.

      Here it is written and must be so.
      Here it is written and must be so.

      December 31, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
      • MLH

        Unripened? Lmfao

        December 31, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
      • mzh

        laka assalam my friend... (may the peace and blessings be upon you my friend)... 🙂

        December 31, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
  12. TR

    Scoffers will scoff.

    December 31, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Guest

      Pshaw.

      December 31, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
  13. Topher

    I'm not a jailhouse convert, contrary to popular belief.

    December 31, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • sam stone

      Yes. We have figured that out. It's that you delusional folks are so much like each other, it's hard to tell you apart

      December 31, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • doobzz

      That was a mistake, Topher. No offense intended. Someone corrected it immediately.

      Happy New Year!

      December 31, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
  14. mzh

    Can Science create something out of nothing? show me one thing that science has created out of nothing, can anyone please?

    December 31, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • BRC

      Noone can create somehting out of nothing, you ask for the impossible.

      December 31, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
      • mzh

        Then why don't scientists believe that they not powerful but there is Someone Who is Powerful and in control of everything including whats going on inside of his/her body? why are they so arrogant to accept that they are doing nothing but reshaping something which already there?

        December 31, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Because it would be stupid to believe in something that is completely invisible, undetectable, and irrelevant to anything humans do...maybe?

          Just because we don't know how the universe came to be does not mean that we should jump to the conclusion that a special, big, invisible wizard chanted magic spells about things being "good" for six days did it all. That just raises another question about the exact mechanism of that invisible wizard's magic. It answers nothing.

          December 31, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
        • mzh

          To CO:

          That you would have to use your gift which is brain and intellectuals... and keep studying what is around you... and one day it will be cleared... how many times we say something like, 'ah how come I did not think of it/this way'... so keep yourself open and I am certain that one day you will discover something and you would say 'wow why it would take that long for me to discover it'....

          Peace!!!

          December 31, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • Duh

      Science is the study of the material world. It can't create or prove God. That would be an idol, not a deity if it could.

      December 31, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
      • mzh

        There is no doubt that it could or would....

        December 31, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • Charm Quark

      mzh
      Energy can transform into matter and anti matter, when they come in contact matter and anti matter annihilate each other in a burst of pure energy that can transform into matter and anti matter that when they come in contact.....perhaps in an infinite cycle. And that is just we can observe in our universe that could be one of many in our three dimensional observations that could be one of many dimensions. The answer is we do not know, not the religious certainty that god did it and stop asking questions.

      December 31, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
      • mzh

        🙂 haha...

        So the source is energy and without this energy you are nothing my friend... so you got afraid of questions?

        December 31, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
        • mzh

          I said it because what he said "and stop asking questions"... 🙂 it sounds like he does not like questions or he does not have answers... I would go with the second one... 🙂

          Peace my friends and happy new year of 2014!!!

          December 31, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      Just what do you think was ever created out of nothing?

      Seems I hit a nerve. Even posting an innocuous question brings out the cowardly report abuse censorship by some idiot.
      So I repeat the question. Just what exactly do you think was ever created from nothing mzh? I'm not aware of anything that fits such a description?

      December 31, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
      • bostontola

        Your comment is awaiting moderation.
        mzh,
        If any of scientific explanations of the natural world are correct, then something has to come from nothing, all the time. The most precise experiment ever conducted by scientists involves the measurement of the absorption spectrum of hydrogen. The quantum model of the hydrogen atom predicted a spectrum that was very close (to within a part in 10 million) but the measurement was good to a part in a billion. It showed a discrepancy. It took years for scientists to figure out what was going on. When you include virtual particles, ones that quantum mechanics predict will pop into existence from nothing, in the model, it predicts the spectrum found to the experimental accuracy (1 part in a billion). No other scientific measurement is that precise. If you don't believe in virtual particles popping into existence from nothing, you shouldn't trust gravity theory or anything else.

        You may think, well those particles don't matter, but you'd be wrong. Their finger print is on the cosmic background radiation pattern of the observable universe. Those virtual particles are responsible for the break in uniformity of the early universe, resulting in the stars, galaxies, and galactic superclusters that exist today. If not for stars, there would be no higher elements, planets, and ultimately us. All due to things that came from nothing.

        December 31, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
        • mzh

          wow!!!

          Thanks for the details B...

          The Quran teaches that when anything is to be created, He just says 'Be' and it is...

          Now I understand from human point of view we always look for clue and our vision is very little that we can't imagine or comprehend the creation of for example the black whole or even a human that has lots of systems that is being functioning every moment...

          Thanks again...

          Peace be upon you....

          December 31, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
      • mzh

        To Steve:

        I thought you are smart and intelligent but you not that smart…

        Just look at yourself… you have been created out of nothing… lets you are adult now, prior to that you were young, prior to that you were a baby could not even ask for help but cry if you get hungry, prior to that you were inside of your mother’s womb being constructed with bones and flesh and all other systems, prior to that you were a piece of meat which is mixing of a sperm and ovum, prior to the mixing of sperm and ovum you were not exist… and the sperm and the ovum were created and it was alive as they move, prior to that no one knows except the one who created…

        So everything you see around you that human can not created but reshape to make it useful have been created by The Creator of the heavens and the earth and anything between them…

        O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created 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

        January 1, 2014 at 9:06 am |
        • AtheistSteve

          Sorry mzh but you're wrong. I didn't come from nothing...I wasn't created from nothing. My existence is merely the continuation of already existent life. New life isn't created from nothing. The cells that grew and divided to become my adult parents combined to form a cell that grew and divided to become me. Life propagates. Even the first lifeform on the planet didn't come from nothing. It came from the assembly of non-living organic molecules.
          Again please tell me what you think was created from nothing, not from pre-existing matter.

          January 1, 2014 at 11:20 am |
        • fred

          Atheist Steve
          " I didn't come from nothing...I wasn't created from nothing. My existence is merely the continuation of already existent life.....Life propagates."
          =>So, you understand that every thing we see and know points to never ending life. This is in agreement with the Bible. It is unreasonable and baseless for an atheist to claim the "essence of Steve" ends or is somehow attached permanently to organic matter.
          =>God formed man out of the earth (created thing) so again you agree with the Bible. Amazing how you agree with what you deny as truth.

          January 1, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
        • AtheistSteve

          Wow fred...reading comprehension problems? All I said was that the cycle of life, not the life of individual members, is continuous, but nowhere did I say it was eternal. In fact I'm quite certain all life on Earth will perish when the sun enters its red giant phase if not sooner. Life emerged when the Earth cooled sufficiently to allow liquid water and it will most likely end when it again becomes too hot for liquid water to remain. Individuals get to experience only a tiny, temporary and finite portion of the life span of its parent species. Species persist only for so long as they can continually replace their dying members and as energy and food resources allow.
          No hope whatsoever of eternal life for individual members and not even for a species as a whole. Nope...that doesn't map to anything in your Bible at all.

          But again the root question I first asked goes unanswered. What has ever been created from nothing?

          January 1, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
        • fred

          Atheist Steve
          If everything has been created from something rather than nothing as you say then you validate the eternal. That same logic holds with space as well. At the boundary of space there is something or nothing yet it cannot be nothing otherwise there is no boundary. Thus something is and always has been since time faces the same problem. The end of time would end within that time thus there is no end of time.

          January 1, 2014 at 5:56 pm |
  15. WASP

    "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth."...................................YEAH ONLY AFTER I'M DONE WITH IT!
    then they are welcome to it. XD

    December 31, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • WASP

      work is sooooooooooooooooooooo boring, only a bit more so than the "religious" on this blog. 🙂

      December 31, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
      • lunchbreaker

        Unless you sell champagne, why even be open today?

        December 31, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
  16. bostontola

    “If you understand it, it is not God.”
    and
    “If you don't understand it, it is not God.”

    December 31, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • lol??

      If you have to ask, you can't afford it.

      December 31, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
      • Guest

        If you can't explain it, your proselytizing needs work.

        December 31, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
        • Herm

          It is not proselytizing when an athie follows you around begging for evidence.

          December 31, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
        • Guest

          Want to illustrate where I said anything about being an atheist?

          December 31, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
        • Herm

          I mean it is not proselytizing when an atheist asks for evidence of what you're as.serting.

          December 31, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
        • Herm2

          Oh, stealing my handle... how Christian of you athie.

          December 31, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
        • Guest

          Oh...I see....you just wanted to make a gratuitous slam against "athies".

          Carry on.

          December 31, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
  17. Quoter

    “You accept the historical Jesus?”

    “Unquestionably! No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life.”
    –Albert Einstein, from an interview with the Saturday Evening Post

    Holy crap, you can use Einstein to support anything now. We can all have a piece of him.

    December 31, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Observer

      "It was, of course, a LIE what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.”
      - Albert Einstein, letter to an atheist, 2/24/1954

      December 31, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
      • lol??

        He could see pwogwessive evil.

        December 31, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
        • lol??

          I lithp for attention.

          December 31, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
      • fred

        "science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be"
        – Einstein, Albert (1930). "Religion and Science" New York Times Magazine (Nov. 9): 1-4.

        December 31, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
        • nomadd

          'The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.'

          Letter to philosopher Eric Gutkind, January 3, 1954

          December 31, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Right, but what is could not have happened the way the bible says it did. Einstein consistently stated that he did not believe in personal gods.

          December 31, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
        • Quoter

          "science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

          Albert E.

          December 31, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
        • fred

          In Santa we trust
          Einstein a Jew would reject the personal God embraced by Christians and thought the Old Testament to contain childish legends. Interesting that Jesus said you must come to me as a child when the "wise" Jews of his day tried to trick him. The Bible is rooted in what looks like foolish childish legends. Eating the shinny thing hanging from a tree because the words of a serpent appeared more valid than the Word of God. Although God could do anything I doubt he expects us to actually base our faith in talking snakes, big boats, big fish, Jesus walking on water and Joe's golden plates as plausible in a purely natural physical world. The Bible is directing our attention to that which is NOT of this world and there we find the things of God. The things of God come into this world through creation which was designed to deliver man in the image of God to his destiny. Science is limited to created things while believers need not limit their view to the created but can incorporate the creator in their destiny.
          So, I agree with Einstein in the way he understood science vs. religion

          December 31, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
        • Saraswati

          fred,

          Einstein was a Spinozan.

          December 31, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
      • Quoter

        "In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views."

        Albert Einstein

        Way to go, genius. You would've angered Al.

        December 31, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          I don't know of anyone who quotes Einstein to support atheism or agnosticism, but I do know of many believers who quote Einstein as an appeal to authority even though the god he believed in had no dealings with human beings, did not judge any human beings, and does not grant eternal life to any human beings. Atheists and agnostics simply point out that Albert E. did not believe in any gods who do those three things as so many god believers believe.

          So who is being more disingenuous to Albert Einstein? The believers who want atheists to believe in a personal god that Albert did not believe in himself, or the atheists who simply want people to understand the sort of god Albert did believe in-one that did not interfere with human affairs, judge any humans, or grant any human eternal life?

          December 31, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
        • Saraswati

          Obvious, I also have often found it odd that so many Christians turn to Einstein's "god" as some sort of evidence. They clearly never bothered to figure out what he meant by that term.

          December 31, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Indeed. Perhaps you saw my question on the other page. I asked what the practical difference was between 1. Believing in a god (like E's) that does not interfere with humanity at all, does not judge any human, and does not grant any human eternal life: and 2. An invisible, undetectable, and irrelevant god that lines up perfectly with the view of any atheist or agnostic.

          I think the key to breaking god believers out of their bubble of delusion is to ask really pointed questions that they cannot possibly answer while maintaining their current doublethink/cognitive dissonance.

          December 31, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
  18. lol??

    The original nasty went after Eve. Why don't you nasties leave the bride alone?? See, you ain't fatherless!!

    December 31, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • Guest

      As you are the biggest misogynist here in the BB, even admitting you duct-tape women's mouths shut, you saying ANYTHING about women at all is laughably hypocritical.

      December 31, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
      • lol??

        That was a copykitty nasty. See how they will confuse you?? No shame.

        December 31, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
        • Guest

          Sure it was. Suuuurre it was.
          It is classic lol??.

          December 31, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • WASP

      @LOL: "See, you ain't fatherless!!"

      nope and we're not imbred like the bible saids either. XD

      December 31, 2013 at 1:16 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.