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What the Pope's choice of new cardinals means
Pope Francis has named 19 new cardinals and shifted the balance of power in the church.
January 13th, 2014
09:19 AM ET

What the Pope's choice of new cardinals means

Opinion by the Rev. James Martin, special to CNN

(CNN) - Pope Francis' selection on Sunday of 19 new cardinals, the men who will select the next pope, seems aimed to help rebalance the church in important ways, passing over at least three influential American archbishops and naming several from the Southern Hemisphere.

First, there is a decided emphasis on Africa and Latin America, including poorer countries like Haiti and Burkina Faso.

Remember that the cardinals' most important duty is to elect the next pope. Francis is making sure that all parts of the world are adequately represented - and today the majority of Catholics are in the Southern Hemisphere.

Sixteen of the 19 new cardinals named by Francis on Sunday are younger than 80, which means they would be eligible to vote to the next pope. Of those 16, four are from the curia, or Vatican bureaucracy; two are from Europe; three are from North and Central America; three are from South America, including the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis' position before his papal election; two are from Africa and two from Asia.

The Pope's picks show that he wants the voice of the poor represented in the next conclave. Archbishop Chibly Langlois, 55, for example, will be the first-ever cardinal from Haiti. The Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, echoed this: “The choice of Cardinals of Burkina Faso and Haiti shows concern for people struck by poverty.”

Second, some selections were foregone conclusions. That is, the heads of two of the biggest Vatican offices: Archbishop Pietro Parolin, the secretary of state, and Archbishop Gerhard Mueller, head of the church's chief doctrinal office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It would have been almost unthinkable not to have the heads of those two offices named.

Third, the naming of Loris Capovilla, age 98, the kind and gentle former secretary to Pope John XXIII, is a lovely nod to Good Pope John and to the Second Vatican Council. (Naming a man over 80 as cardinal is purely honorific; he cannot vote in a conclave.)

And to those who may downplay this, remember that there were many elderly priests, bishops, archbishops and theologians he could have chosen for this honor: the pope chose Capovilla, one of only three over-80 prelates so honored.

Fourth, no Americans were named. (The most obvious candidates would have been Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia and Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles; all head archdioceses where a “red hat” is traditionally given.) This probably indicates the Pope thinks the United States already has enough cardinals - at least for now.

Finally, there were no dramatic surprises. There were no women cardinals (the possibility of which the Pope himself set aside in a recent comment about not wanting to "clericalize" women); there were no theologians known for a particular body of work, like the Rev. Gustavo Gutierrez, one of the founding fathers of Liberation Theology; and there was no passing over of top church officials like Mueller or Parolin.

But this is only Francis' first consistory; he may have wanted to avoid giving people heart attacks on his first batch of selections.

The Rev. James Martin is editor at large of America magazine and author of the forthcoming book "Jesus: A Pilgrimage."

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Bishops • Catholic Church • Pope Francis • Vatican

soundoff (383 Responses)
  1. 00 00

    observer, i mean live4him, u don't have to b someone else. my questions haunt u. address them when u find the courage. u have never fooled me. never will

    u r not going to stop me by blocking posts

    January 13, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
    • Anonymous

      You have to be really dim is you think Observer and Live4Him are the same person.

      You haven't asked anything of substance, either. Your "questions" are nonsensical.

      January 13, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
      • 00 00

        thanks 4 reading them

        January 13, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
        • Anonymous

          You're welcome.

          January 13, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
  2. 00 00

    observer, i mean live4him, u don't have to b someone else. my questions haunt u. address them when u find the courage. u have never fooled me. never will

    January 13, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
  3. Live4Him

    Notice: I will only respond to those to whom my post is addressed.

    @myweightinwords : L4H, good morning. I hope you and yours are all well.

    And good afternoon to you. It's 12:50 my time 🙂

    @myweightinwords : Nothing I had ever done up to 14 was worthy of the guilt and shame and fear that was created in me by that experience. NOTHING

    You may have been subjected to some manipulation, but lets move past that stuff. If you were to be condemned to death for the 'crime' of selfishness prior to your 14th birthday, would you go skipping to your execution? Or would you be crying and pleading for mercy? Most likely, the latter. And I'd guarantee that you would feel guilt and shame. It is self that separates us from God. Some act promiscuously, others lie and still others murder. At the other end of the spectrum, some will appear very polite, which they try to take advantage of you. But it is still the same selfishness that condemns us to eternal separation from God.

    @myweightinwords : And at 14 I was still a child. Of course I did stuff wrong.

    And how have you lived differently in the last 30 or so years since then? Still acting selfishly? You bet. So this is like saying that a fetus won't grow into the infant, who won't grow into the child, who won't grow into the 14 year-old, who won't grow into the self-centered adult. Once we give into self, we can NEVER become unselfish. The most we can do is hope to keep the selfishness from growing.

    @myweightinwords : That alone gives life to the lie that we need forgiveness for merely being alive

    In it's rawest nature, selfishness is an insatiable monster – it NEVER stops demanding. And selfishness can never be joined with unselfishness – as it will always corrupt the latter. So, yes, we need forgiveness and cleansing – to wash away the self.

    @myweightinwords : That love is not freely given.

    This is where your church failed. They either failed to explain it to you properly or they failed by giving into the desire for control.

    @myweightinwords : Because I am loved without threat, without condition, without need to prove myself.

    By whom? And for how long?

    <><

    January 13, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
    • Steve

      How about an intense sense of unfairness?

      January 13, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
      • Steve

        For got to include the quote I was responding to:
        " And I'd guarantee that you would feel guilt and shame."

        January 13, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
      • 00 00

        observer, i mean live4him, u don't have to b someone else. my questions haunt u. address them when u find the courage. u have never fooled me.

        January 13, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      @Live4Him. You really are the most un-Christian Christian I have ever heard. The jesus character in the bible, (based on what the authors said he said) would be ashamed of you.

      January 13, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      @myweightinwords : L4H, good morning. I hope you and yours are all well.

      And good afternoon to you. It's 12:50 my time 🙂

      Ah, I'm on the west coast. It's a gorgeous, sunshine filled day here. Wish I could be out in it with my camera, but alas, there is work to be done.

      @myweightinwords : Nothing I had ever done up to 14 was worthy of the guilt and shame and fear that was created in me by that experience. NOTHING

      You may have been subjected to some manipulation, but lets move past that stuff.

      Why? Why move past it? It is the entire point of the conversation.

      If you were to be condemned to death for the 'crime' of selfishness prior to your 14th birthday, would you go skipping to your execution? Or would you be crying and pleading for mercy?

      Likely neither. Death penalty for wanting something for yourself? As a child? If I were condemned for selfishness before I was old enough to understand that it was selfishness, and the penalty was death, I would be fighting a very corrupt system to ensure that no one else suffered the same fate.

      Beyond that, you would need to define selfishness. Is it selfish to expect your parents to care for you before you are old enough to care for yourself? Or to expect to be protected from the evils of the world? Is it selfish to care about those around you to your own detriment (I was notorious for giving away my lunches to kids who didn't have any/enough)?

      No, it isn't selfish. It's human. It's normal (well, I'm not sure how normal it was for me to give away my lunches....except my Zingers. I never gave those away. Loved those things).

      Most likely, the latter. And I'd guarantee that you would feel guilt and shame.

      Why? Why should I feel shame for being who I am? For being as I was born to be? That makes no sense to me. Do you know what causes me shame? The way I acted when I was a Christian, the way I condemned others, the way I treated homosexuals and drug addicts, the way I spoke to them, thinking it was love and realizing now it was only hate. That causes me shame and guilt.

      Being human? No. I will never feel guilty for that again.

      It is self that separates us from God.

      If your god created us to have a concept of self, this makes no sense.

      Some act promiscuously, others lie and still others murder. At the other end of the spectrum, some will appear very polite, which they try to take advantage of you. But it is still the same selfishness that condemns us to eternal separation from God.

      You sound just like the people who took me down that dark hole. You can't even see the manipulation because you believe the lie so completely. You equate murder and fraud and theft with self-awareness and self-preservation. You see all human life as dirty, all human beings as evil.

      This is what separates you from God, this lie, this manipulation of your emotional state.

      @myweightinwords : And at 14 I was still a child. Of course I did stuff wrong.

      And how have you lived differently in the last 30 or so years since then?

      I grew up, for one thing. I learned. A lot. I came to understand that I was a beautiful, strong, vibrant being with a deep, abiding love. That while I may be broken in a lot of ways, I am not evil or dirty or wrong. I am who I have been made to be, as I was born, as my life experience has crafted me. And who I am is a pretty darn awesome person.

      Still acting selfishly? You bet. So this is like saying that a fetus won't grow into the infant, who won't grow into the child, who won't grow into the 14 year-old, who won't grow into the self-centered adult. Once we give into self, we can NEVER become unselfish. The most we can do is hope to keep the selfishness from growing.

      On occasion, I will admit to a bit of selfishness. I am from time to time in need of some quiet personal time away from the world. I sometimes spend money on things I don't necessarily need. But to say that I am selfish by nature? No. I can't say that I am. My first thought is always of others. Often to my own detriment (I'm still giving away my lunch to those who don't have any/enough).

      @myweightinwords : That alone gives life to the lie that we need forgiveness for merely being alive

      In it's rawest nature, selfishness is an insatiable monster – it NEVER stops demanding. And selfishness can never be joined with unselfishness – as it will always corrupt the latter. So, yes, we need forgiveness and cleansing – to wash away the self.

      Again, further proof that you believe the lie so completely that you can not begin to see the truth. When I started studying with one of my mentors he taught me that in order to take care of others, one must first take care of oneself. That was such a foreign concept to me. It's taken me years to fully understand...and to this day I have trouble following it.

      One can not be selfless without first being self aware, without first taking care of self.

      @myweightinwords : That love is not freely given.

      This is where your church failed. They either failed to explain it to you properly or they failed by giving into the desire for control.

      And yet, you exhibit the same behavior, the same thought process. You fully believe that what you are being sold is unconditional love. It isn't.

      @myweightinwords : Because I am loved without threat, without condition, without need to prove myself.

      By whom? And for how long?

      By those who matter. True, unconditional love has no boundaries, even time...because boundaries are conditions.

      January 13, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @myweightinwords : Why? Why move past it? It is the entire point of the conversation.

        Do you want to get stuck on someone else's sin that has harmed you, instead of growing beyond it? Lets assume that your father molested you as a child, but is now dead. Who gets harmed if you hold a grudge against him (and subsequently all men)?

        @myweightinwords : I would be fighting a very corrupt system to ensure that no one else suffered the same fate.

        What you were as a child, you are as an adult.

        @myweightinwords : Is it selfish to care about those around you to your own detriment

        What was your motivation? But, lets move past this chaff and focus on that which you will admit that you acted in a selfish manner. Now that you have become selfish, do you think that you could EVER be able to act unselfishly for eternity (without help)?

        @myweightinwords : Why should I feel shame for being who I am?

        Because in your heart, you KNOW when you've done right and wrong. And if you were to judge another person for similar actions, would you condemn them?

        @myweightinwords : The way I acted when I was a Christian, the way I condemned others

        And nobody forced you to act this way. You did it on your own to feel better about yourself. It is not the Christian way.

        @myweightinwords : Being human? No. I will never feel guilty for that again.

        There is two ways to interpret this statement – 1) That you will never consider yourself guilty for selfishness but will condemn others for acting selfishly toward you, or 2) You won't hold it against others for treating you badly (i.e. selfishly).

        @myweightinwords : By those who matter.

        Sidestepping the issue, I see. Okay.

        <><

        January 13, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
        • Orlando

          "What you were as a child, you are as an adult."

          I'm sorry, but that is simply an idiotic statement.

          January 13, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
        • myweightinwords

          Do you want to get stuck on someone else’s sin that has harmed you, instead of growing beyond it? Lets assume that your father molested you as a child, but is now dead. Who gets harmed if you hold a grudge against him (and subsequently all men)?

          Are you saying that harm was not done and that healing is not needed? I am not "stuck" on anything. I was asked a question and I answered as truthfully and honestly as I know how. You are the one who seems to be stuck on this point.

          And at the same time you are missing the point. This manipulation, this deception is at the very heart of what Christianity is (not just Christianity, mind you, but that is our topic of conversation).

          @myweightinwords : I would be fighting a very corrupt system to ensure that no one else suffered the same fate.

          What you were as a child, you are as an adult.

          No. Very much not.

          @myweightinwords : Is it selfish to care about those around you to your own detriment

          What was your motivation?

          Someone was hungry. I had food. What motivation could I have? Seriously? Do you NEED motivation to feed a hungry child?

          But, lets move past this chaff and focus on that which you will admit that you acted in a selfish manner.

          What? When? When did I admit to acting selfishly beyond my own self preservation? I think you are reading into what I do say and coming to your own conclusions.

          Now that you have become selfish, do you think that you could EVER be able to act unselfishly for eternity (without help)?

          I need no help to be selfless, L4H. It is part of who I am. It comes from inside of me and I am free to let it out.

          @myweightinwords : Why should I feel shame for being who I am?

          Because in your heart, you KNOW when you’ve done right and wrong. And if you were to judge another person for similar actions, would you condemn them?

          I do know right from wrong, and no, I do not judge others for the things I do myself. I judge only my own heart, my own actions. Each and every day I take stock of the things I have said and done, and even the things I've thought and I consider any that have not led to a better life, to love. I seek out the motivations for that thought or word or action and I seek to correct the cause in myself.

          I don't condemn myself for a minor infraction, for acting from a place of fear or hurt. And when others do the same, I forgive them.

          @myweightinwords : The way I acted when I was a Christian, the way I condemned others

          And nobody forced you to act this way. You did it on your own to feel better about yourself. It is not the Christian way.

          Oh, but it is. Even scripture tells you so. Jesus said that above all his followers should love god with all their heart and love their neighbor as themselves. If you are taught that you are dirty, evil, sinful and unworthy of love, it stands to reason that you will see your neighbor in the same way.

          @myweightinwords : Being human? No. I will never feel guilty for that again.

          There is two ways to interpret this statement

          It's pretty simple really. I have accepted who and what I am...and I love myself anyway.

          – 1) That you will never consider yourself guilty for selfishness but will condemn others for acting selfishly toward you

          Where have I condemned anyone?

          or 2) You won’t hold it against others for treating you badly (i.e. selfishly).

          Generally I don't. I realize that actions that hurt others usually come out of your own pain or fear. I won't say my initial reaction isn't one of hurt or surprise or even anger, but I seldom act in that initial moment. I step back and consider, realize that this person is going through their own life, with its own pain and anger. Compassion and unconditional love. Changes everything.

          @myweightinwords : By those who matter.

          Sidestepping the issue, I see. Okay.

          I'm not sidestepping anything. And what issue? Does it matter to you who loves me?

          When I learned to give myself that gift, to love myself unconditionally (and trust me, it wasn't an easy gift to give or receive), and I learned how to give it to others, it changed my entire experience of love.

          I know you want me to tie this back to god, but your understanding of god is so limited, so finite that you will never see beyond it.

          January 13, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
        • Orlando

          " Even scripture tells you so. Jesus said that above all his followers should love god with all their heart and love their neighbor as themselves. If you are taught that you are dirty, evil, sinful and unworthy of love, it stands to reason that you will see your neighbor in the same way."

          Well said!

          January 13, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @myweightinwords : Are you saying that harm was not done and that healing is not needed?

          I'm saying that harm shouldn't take a lifetime to heal. If you're unwilling to let it go (i.e. move beyond it) then it has become the chains to your slavery. Only by forgiveness can those chains be broken.

          @myweightinwords : this deception is at the very heart of what Christianity is

          And I saying this is YOUR misconception.

          @myweightinwords : No. Very much not.

          According to what I understand from you wrote on your early years expericence, when you became a so-called christian, you did so to make yourself feel better (by putting others down). Now you still do the same – (i.e. Christianity is deceptive).

          @myweightinwords : When did I admit to acting selfishly beyond my own self preservation?

          You haven't – and that's the problem. Its always someone else's fault, never yours.

          @myweightinwords : I need no help to be selfless, L4H. It is part of who I am.

          I call BS. You've either deceived yourself or you want to deceive others. Did you sleep with someone for 'self preservation'? Did you become a Christian for 'self preservation'? Did you change your behaviors while in elementary school for 'self preservation'? Your excuse of 'self preservation' is for self-preservation of your sinful nature. Why change if everything you did or will do is for 'self preservation'?

          @myweightinwords : I do not judge others for the things I do myself.

          Again, do you condemn others for 'mistreating' you?

          @myweightinwords : Even scripture tells you so.

          But, it is a standard you yourself reject – so why claim this is why you do it?

          @myweightinwords : I'm not sidestepping anything. And what issue? Does it matter to you who loves me?

          Saying that you feel loved while avoiding who, says more than you realize. You're hurting and you don't want anyone picking at the scab. You want to sweep the elephant in the room under the rug and pretend it isn't there. Until it is treated properly, it will never heal.

          <><

          January 13, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
        • myweightinwords

          @myweightinwords : Are you saying that harm was not done and that healing is not needed?

          I'm saying that harm shouldn't take a lifetime to heal. If you're unwilling to let it go (i.e. move beyond it) then it has become the chains to your slavery. Only by forgiveness can those chains be broken.

          I have healed. I'm not the one harping here, you are. I answered a simple question. You keep dragging us back through the same territory because you can't accept how I answered.

          @myweightinwords : No. Very much not.

          According to what I understand from you wrote on your early years expericence, when you became a so-called christian, you did so to make yourself feel better (by putting others down). Now you still do the same – (i.e. Christianity is deceptive).

          Then you haven't read or understood a single word I said. It is difficult to continue conversing with someone who seems to show no interest in anything but his own understanding.

          @myweightinwords : When did I admit to acting selfishly beyond my own self preservation?

          You haven't – and that's the problem. Its always someone else's fault, never yours.

          Where have I blamed anyone else for anything?

          @myweightinwords : I need no help to be selfless, L4H. It is part of who I am.

          I call BS. You've either deceived yourself or you want to deceive others.

          You don't know me. You can't call BS until you've lived in my life.

          Did you sleep with someone for 'self preservation'?

          No. I've never slept with someone for self-preservation (nor for money or other means). But then, my sex life isn't a part of this conversation. I don't know you well enough to include you in that part of my life.

          Did you become a Christian for 'self preservation'?

          I guess that depends on how you look at it. I was convinced of my own evil nature, and taught the only escape was this belief, so in a way it was about self-preservation. But I also deeply wanted to be a better person....it's always been a driving factor of who I am. I thought Christianity was a path that would take me there. I was wrong.

          Did you change your behaviors while in elementary school for 'self preservation'?

          What behavior?

          Your excuse of 'self preservation' is for self-preservation of your sinful nature. Why change if everything you did or will do is for 'self preservation'?

          I have no idea what you are talking about. Why change? I was a hateful, spiteful person who couldn't stand to look in the mirror because I was so convinced I was dirty and evil. Why change? Because I hated the way I sounded, the way I behaved. I hated what I was taught about my fellow man. Sure, it was self-preservation, because the way I was going I was headed directly into a deep, dark hole that had only one end.

          Today, my life is fueled by love and compassion. How to be the best me for the betterment of the world around me. How to give to those around me to afford them the same privilege. I still take care of me first, because if I don't I have nothing left to give.

          @myweightinwords : I do not judge others for the things I do myself.

          Again, do you condemn others for 'mistreating' you?

          Generally, no. Like I said, I have the momentary reaction of hurt or anger, and sometimes those moments last longer than others. But ultimately, no. I don't. I offer forgiveness and if I can help them in some way I will.

          @myweightinwords : Even scripture tells you so.

          But, it is a standard you yourself reject – so why claim this is why you do it?

          I don't claim anything. I was merely pointing out that your own scripture upholds my experience. You say it was not Christian behavior, and yet, if you take the theology down to it's core, it is the very epitome of Christian behavior.

          It also further illustrates my point. Until I learned to love myself without condition, I could never, ever love anyone else the same way. Just because I don't believe the bible is the infallible word of god any more, doesn't mean that it doesn't have the occasional nugget of wisdom in its pages.

          @myweightinwords : I'm not sidestepping anything. And what issue? Does it matter to you who loves me?

          Saying that you feel loved while avoiding who, says more than you realize. You're hurting and you don't want anyone picking at the scab.

          No, it just means I still keep part of my private life private. I haven't hurt in years and the scabs are all healed up. The scar's still there, sure. But scars give us character, and stories to tell along the way.

          You want to sweep the elephant in the room under the rug and pretend it isn't there. Until it is treated properly, it will never heal.

          The elephant is off playing with her mother and the rug is off being cleaned. What you see here is what you get. Nothing more. Nothing less.

          January 13, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
      • Dandintac

        Myweightinwords,

        I advise you to not engage with L4H on his level. Here’s a summation of some of the highlights of his conversation with you:

        “…would you go skipping to your execution? Or would you be crying and pleading for mercy?” “I’d guarantee that you would feel guilt and shame. It is self that separates us from God.” “Still acting selfishly? You bet.” “Let’s assume that your father molested you…” “What you were as a child, you are as an adult.” “You did it on your own to feel better about yourself.” “There is two ways to interpret this statement – 1) That you will never consider yourself guilty for selfishness but will condemn others for acting selfishly toward you, or 2) You won't hold it against others for treating you badly (i.e. selfishly).” “… it has become the chains to your slavery. Only by forgiveness can those chains be broken.” “Now you still do the same…” “You've either deceived yourself or you want to deceive others. Did you sleep with someone for 'self preservation?” “You're hurting and you don't want anyone picking at the scab.”

        Everyone please look at these quotes from L4H. Would YOU talk to someone this way? About anything? Would you talk to someone this way if you were trying to persuade them openly and honestly in a way that respects their integrity as an equal and intelligent human being?

        I note several things myself.
        1) He does not engage you on an intellectual level as an equal. He infantilizes and tries to slip under your skin in spots where he senses emotional vulnerability.
        2) He repeatedly calls you selfish, and assumes a great deal, as if he knows all about you. He also assumes dishonesty on your part and even claims you are “deceiving” yourself and/or others.
        3) He talks to you in a way that is inappropriate personal given this sort of public forum and his lack of knowledge about you–the remark about “Did you sleep with someone..” is the best example of this.
        4) He never once offers a single shred of evidence for his God or Jesus beliefs.

        This is how Christians convert non-Christians. It’s not about evidence or facts. They attack people where they are emotionally vulnerable. It’s an aspect of Christianity, as practiced by it’s most determined zealots, that I find particularly vile. They find people who are lonely, have had a bad break in life, who are grief-stricken, broke up with a lover or are recently divorced. People who are suffering from an addiction, people who are sick or dying. Then they slither in under the skin, taking advantage of their weakness.

        They tell people they are deceiving themselves and others, that they are sick and weak, that they are evil, and they are sinners, unworthy of God, that they have no goodness in their lives.

        Christianity chains people by beating them down with fear, guilt, shame, and appeals to ignorance. They hack away at the very legs of your self esteem, then offer their religion as a prosthetic to hold you back up again.

        After conversion, you are love-bombed, but reminded that you are nothing without God and Jesus.

        Myweightinwords, let me offering a positive affirming message instead. You are a good person as far as I can tell–and you are perfectly good as you are, without God. Be strong and brave, and have confidence in your intellect. You’re a smart lady from what I’ve read from you. Keep on thinking for yourself.

        January 13, 2014 at 9:00 pm |
        • myweightinwords

          I thank you for the concern, Dandintac. Trust me when I say that I know exactly who Live4Him is and I engage with that knowledge firmly in mind.

          I have no emotional vulnerability for him to exploit. I save emotional vulnerability for those I am intimate with.

          And, you identify and illuminate my point about the way Christianity works.

          Thank you,

          January 13, 2014 at 9:31 pm |
        • Dandintac

          myweightinwords,

          Glad to hear it. I was appalled reading his comments to you. Just to clear things up–I never perceived the same emotional vulnerabilities that L4H apparently did, but the truth is that we are all human, and therefore are vulnerable at some point in our lives. It's part of being human and living. It is particularly insidious how religion attacks us this way. I doubt if anyone is ever converted through rational discussion of the evidence. L4H shows how it is done. It is psychologically abusive to at least some extent, and akin to what they do when they "brainwash" people.
          Thanks

          January 13, 2014 at 10:58 pm |
        • myweightinwords

          I have engaged Live4Him on several occasions in the past as well. I may never get through to him, but that isn't why I engage.

          You are not wrong about the abusive nature of conversion tactics, particularly the kind used by Live4Him. But, I hold that it comes from the abusive nature of the religion itself. It is not a religion that, if believed literally, lends itself to healthy relationships, with oneself or with others.

          Which is not to say that there is nothing of value in it, or that people will not find what they are looking for in it. Just that taking it literally, trying to rationalize all of the mythology as real will never be anything less than unhealthy and even dangerous.

          January 14, 2014 at 9:46 am |
  4. Live4Him

    @Tony : Christians say that they have only one god, who is the composition of three gods in one, but one of those partial gods ... That about right? Where's the sacrifice involved?

    You have a distorted view on this issue. Lets take a gallon of water and split it into three parts. One part we freeze into ice, while another part we boil into steam. Now, we have 1/3 gallon of ice, 1/3 gallon of water and 1/3 gallon of steam. The first third is the judge who casts a sinner's judgment. The second third sacrifices his perfect position to walk on earth to mingle with the fallen sinners. He was tested / tempted by the selfish induced nature (i.e. sin) and COULD have succumbed. However, he did not and he yielded his temporal will to his father's will in heaven. Upon doing so, he was yet again tempted, again triumphed over self and became the atonement (i.e. payment for sin) for all people willing to accept his leadership. Thus, he became qualified to be our advocate before the judgment seat of God and returned to heaven. The final part stayed behind to subtlety guide the second third's followers.

    <><

    January 13, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
    • ntmntm

      Your conflating God with water? And THAT'S not distortion?

      January 13, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
    • Tony

      Sorry, but the water analogy contributed nothing. And it doesn't explain why one third is subservient to one or both of the other thirds and has to do their bidding–doesn't sound like thirds, more like half, third, sixth or something like that.

      " he became qualified to be our advocate before the judgment seat of God and returned to heaven."
      He was already a god (supposedly omniscient, omnipotent, etc) but wasn't already quallified?

      January 13, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
      • Live4Him

        Notice: I will only respond to those to whom my post is addressed.

        @Tony : And it doesn't explain why one third is subservient to one or both of the other thirds

        You must not be married. If you were, you would realize that there are two people in a marriage and neither is superior to the other. However, there are different roles for each in that marriage. The same is true of the Trinity.

        @Tony : He was already a god ... but wasn't already quallified?

        Correct. He was perfect, but he had not atoned for our failures at that point. Until he did so, he wasn't qualified to act as our advocate.

        <><

        January 13, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
        • igaftr

          L4H
          "Notice: I will only respond to those to whom my post is addressed."

          Child....come to a public blog and say something like that.

          January 13, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
        • Tony

          "16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."

          Surely you recognize those verses from John. Can you explain how the one being "sent" is not subservient to the sender? Not to mention the whole father/son relationship implies a superior father and subservient son.

          January 13, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
        • Tony

          " He was perfect, but he had not atoned for our failures at that point. Until he did so, he wasn't qualified to act as our advocate.

          He's supposed to have contributed to our creation as imperfect creatures–that doesn't qualify him?

          January 13, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Tony : Can you explain how the one being "sent" is not subservient to the sender?

          Sent implies leaving a place to go to another place. If I SENT a letter to my father, does that make the letter subservient to me? No. It just implies that it left my place to go to my father's place.

          @Tony : Not to mention the whole father/son relationship implies a superior father and subservient son.

          How many sons have been superior to their father? Was Albert Einstein inferior to his father? Thus, this posit has been falsified.

          <><

          January 13, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
        • OTOH

          Live4Him
          "Notice: I will only respond to those to whom my post is addressed."

          What a pedantic and dictatorial thing to say!

          How about a more humble, "I'm more comfortable speaking with one person at a time" type of statement?

          (I shouldn't really give you any tips, since maybe your true colors should blare; but I believe in being fair.)

          January 13, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
        • Joey

          If you SENT a person somewhere that person would be subservient to you. Sending a person somewhere is very different than mailing a letter. You need to come up with better analogies because the ones you use never make any sense.

          January 13, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
        • Tony

          You're dodging the point. One PERSON being SENT (i.e., directed) by another PERSON to perform a task establishes a superior position to the sender and a subservient position to the one being sent.

          And most people would consider that in the father/son RELATIONSHIP, the father has the superior position.

          January 13, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
        • Orlando

          Tony –

          "And most people would consider that in the father/son RELATIONSHIP, the father has the superior position."

          Yes, and in fact the Bible demands it: "Honor thy father...".

          January 13, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Tony : You're dodging the point. One PERSON being SENT (i.e., directed) by another PERSON to perform a task establishes a superior position to the sender and a subservient position to the one being sent.

          I addressed your misconception head on. The term SENT could imply subservience, but doesn't always.

          @Tony : And most people would consider that in the father/son RELATIONSHIP, the father has the superior position.

          Why? Because you WANT it to? Or is it just because the father is older? Superiority implies a difference between the two on something (strength, political power, intelligence, wealth, etc.), but not age. Yet, such differences are never associated with birth order. So, upon what do you base your postulate that the father is ALWAYS superior to the son?

          <><

          January 13, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
        • ME II

          @Live4Him (feel free to not answer),

          " If I SENT a letter to my father, does that make the letter subservient to me? No. It just implies that it left my place to go to my father's place."

          To send something implies control over that thing, since it would not "send" itself. So, yes, it implies subservience.

          January 13, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
        • Joey

          I'm am shocked to see that Live4HIm doesn't consider Jesus to be any more important than a letter someone might send in the mail.

          January 13, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
        • Tony

          Live4Him –

          "Why? Because you WANT it to? Or is it just because the father is older? "

          See Orlando's post above referencing the fifth commandment–that should be clear enough for you.

          January 13, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
        • JB

          Tony, gotta say, looks like you won that round–nicely done. Live4Him, you'll need to come better prepared next time.

          January 13, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Tony : See Orlando's post above referencing the fifth commandment–that should be clear enough for you.

          Honor (i.e. respect) does not equate to subservience, as we must respect all people, not just one's father.

          <><

          January 13, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
        • Tony

          Then why bother with a specific commandment concerning parents instead of a commandment that says honor all people? Going to the point of denying the obvious in order to try to make your point is not benefiting your case.

          January 13, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Tony : Then why bother with a specific commandment concerning parents instead of a commandment that says honor all people?

          It is because the commandments came before the broader command given by Jesus.

          @Tony : Going to the point of denying the obvious in order to try to make your point is not benefiting your case.

          Whatever you want to believe. No amount of evidence will change a biased mind. Please note, I noticed that you ignored my request for evidence: So, upon what do you base your postulate that the father is ALWAYS superior to the son? So, your posit is based upon conjecture, but you claim to have all the evidence you need. No problem. Believe as you will.

          <><

          January 13, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
        • Tony

          "It is because the commandments came before the broader command given by Jesus."

          It's a specific and clear command regarding a particular relationship. Doesn't have anything to do with how you treat anyone else. Are you saying the original commandment wasn't clear and Jesus clarified it to include everyone? Are you saying Jesus meant we don't have to honor our parents above others any more?

          It's hard to understand just what you are saying, because it's pretty much universal culturally (and religiously, I'd imagine) that children should honor and respect their parents wishes in a manner above how they treat others in general. And, as pointed out, there is the Biblical commandment to do so, despite your attempt to make it seem otherwise. I don't know why you keep arguing against something that's so universally acknowledged.

          "No amount of evidence will change a biased mind"

          So it seems.

          January 13, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      There are a number of Scotsmen who have non-triniatrian tartans like Rastafarians, 7th Day Adventists, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc.

      Anyone who can worship a trinity and still insist that their religion is monotheistic is capable of believing anything – just give them the time to rationalize it.

      January 13, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      how do you come up with this stuff?! The mental gymnastics and contortionism you have to perform to somehow link all these things to an imaginary sky fairy without a shred of proof or logic just amazes me.

      January 13, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
    • RB

      Genesis 1:2, “….And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
      The second verse introduces the holy spirit.

      Genesis 1:26, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:…”
      Note the “us” and “our” in the above portion of scripture. It seems to indicate plural.

      John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

      The Word = Jesus.

      1 John 5:7, “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”

      January 13, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
      • Joey

        Jesus = the word? That is quite a stretch. The people who wrote Genesis didn't believe that someone like Jesus was coming. The Jewish Messiah was supposed to be human, and not a god. So I doubt that is what they meant.

        January 13, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
      • Orlando

        "The Word = Jesus"

        Just because someone made that connection in the New Testament doesn't mean that's what it meant to the people of the Old Testament.

        January 13, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
        • RB

          http://answering-islam.org/authors/rogers/ot_trinity.html

          January 13, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
        • Orlando

          RB – I'm guessing today's Jews would beg to differ with many points presented at that link.

          January 13, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
  5. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    On this page of 135 posts, I can only find one post (with a handful of responses) that actually refers to the article.

    January 13, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
    • Sungrazer

      One problem is that we have a resident troll who has reported many threads as "abuse" and they have been deleted. But my experience is that the comment section is used as a general forum. Some comments may be related to the article, but actual usage is that of a general formum discussing various religious topics.

      January 13, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
      • bostontola

        For me, the whole Pope topic is over done recently. Maybe if they give it a break for a while, something of interest will come up regarding the Pope.

        January 13, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      People are free to write whatever they want (so long as it does not offend the sensibilities of moderators).

      What we see here today seem to be retreads/continuation of existing tiresome 'discussion' that really has absolutely nothing to do with the topic. It's merely an observation, not a judgment.

      January 13, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
      • Sungrazer

        Yes, I read it as being just an observation. The funny thing is that I thought I was commenting on the article where the guy was doing his athiest "experiment" for a year. That's where all the threads disappeared.

        January 13, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
  6. Bell

    I was once a Christian 😉

    It's kind of like a label, somehow to make a claim that I was once Christian makes me feel a little more confident on blogs.

    January 13, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
    • Bell

      Also claims that family members are Christian makes that claim look more convincing. Also, learn to use the terms such 'born again' & 'baptized'.

      My identity will forever be a former Christian, makes me feel a little more valuable to make that claim. 😉

      January 13, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
      • myweightinwords

        (I realize the sarcasm here, but...)

        It is a sad thing indeed to only identify yourself as something you used to be. Learn to let go and be who you are. It's so much more fulfilling.

        January 13, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          amen!

          January 13, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
      • RB

        No offense, but if I understand the bible, I don't think there is any such thing as a "former christian."

        January 13, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
        • G to the T

          Well I would have to guess that you don't understand the bible because I (and many on here) used be a christian, but now I'm not. If you like I can blaspheme the holy spirit if it would make you feel better...

          January 13, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
        • RB

          The bible says you can believe and lose faith, but if you have been saved by the grace of God, it is irrevocable. There is a difference between believing in God, or having religion and being saved, or born again, spiritually. The good news is that you can be saved, you can be born again.
          This of course is just my opinion, but those that claim to be former Christians are either lost, or saved and out of the will of God. If you are lost you were never saved, you may have been associated with religion, been a member of a church, but you were not born again. If you are saved and out of the will of God, you are like the prodigal son, you are spiritually in the far country, far away from the love and will of your loving heavenly father. Either way, the father is anxiously waiting for you to come home.

          January 13, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
    • Observer

      Interesting! You never observe a "former" Muslim/Buddhist or Hindu that posts here.

      January 13, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
      • Naive

        Coz, people from those former religions never post here.

        January 13, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
  7. 00 00

    fearing someone is not loving someone

    January 13, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
    • 00 00

      "No, adults lied to me when I was a child and told me I loved Jesus and I believed them, for a very short period of time. Then I realized how stupid it was." liar

      so, like i said, u never loved him

      January 13, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
      • ntmntm

        Okay. So what? Got some sort of point?

        January 13, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
  8. 00 00

    u can't love someone because u r told to

    January 13, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
  9. bostontola

    I was born again at the age of 20. Prior to that, I made a good living painting houses and believed in God. After a long stretch of hard days, I decided to go back to school to get a college degree. I studied science and discovered I was good at math. I ended up with multiple graduate degrees acquired while I was working. During that time I was exposed to people from around the world with many religions and beliefs (but only 1 universal science). I took some comparative religion courses, philosophy courses, and history courses. There was no religion that made any sense to me after those studies.

    Some kind of God stayed in the picture until I got through advanced science courses. I still couldn't prove there is no God(s) (and no one else can either), but I concluded that if there is a God it doesn't need/want a relationship with humans. The highest likelihood though is there is no God(s).

    I've never been happier, had more fulfilling relationships, etc. The real beauty in the universe is in the natural emergence of form, complexity, intelligence, and self awareness. Much more beautiful than "snap".

    Now you might say, there is your bias, you prefer a natural explanation. That is true, I freely admit that. But all the objective evidence mankind has amassed supports that, with no solid objective evidence for "snap". It is an open and shut case. It is quite pleasing that the beautiful explanation of the universe is also the true explanation. Nature did it all on it's own, and we emerged to appreciate it.

    January 13, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
    • lngtrmthnkr

      boston,the more you discount the spiritual side the more the physical makes sense. But if you are strong into the spiritual side of your being ,all things come together and the full picture emerges.

      January 13, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
      • bostontola

        I am spiritual, I'm not a believer in the supernatural.

        January 13, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
      • Fan2C

        Ing,

        "Spiritual side"? Do you really think that there are "spirits" wandering around here? Or do you mean human feelings, emotions, thoughts, personalities and personas?

        January 13, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
        • lngtrmthnkr

          fan, yes I think there are spirits all arround,but I was speaking of the one that lives in all of us,some awake and some asleep

          January 13, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
    • 00 00

      so, u never loved him either

      January 13, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
    • 00 00

      so, u never loved him either.

      January 13, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
    • 00 00

      so, u never loved him either.

      no one loved him?

      January 13, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
    • Sungrazer

      "I still couldn't prove there is no God(s) (and no one else can either),"

      It depends on how you define "God". There are certain gods that can be disproven with logic. Such as a god who is both omnipotent and omnibenevolent. These two properties are incompatible.

      January 13, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
      • bostontola

        That's true Sungrazer, man has inadvertently created many self-inconsistent Gods. I was talking about any possible God.

        January 13, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
    • RB

      bostontola

      “I was born again at the age of 20.”

      I realize it is kind of personal, but would you mind sharing this experience? Mostly, I’m curious about what you think this means. Thanks.

      January 13, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
      • bostontola

        RB,
        I meant that my life took a dramatic turn of direction and my understanding of the universe and my purpose in it changed.

        January 13, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
        • RB

          Bostontola,

          That sounds like a good thing. Repenting is changing direction and so is turning over a new leaf. Did you feel drawn to God? Were you convicted of your sin?

          January 13, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
        • bostontola

          RB,
          The answers to your questions are in the OP, but the short answers are no and no.

          January 13, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
        • RB

          Ok, thanks. Whenever I encounter the terms born again, I think of what Jesus described to Nicodemus. The good news is that you can still be born again, born of the spirit, born from above.

          January 13, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
        • bostontola

          Have a great day RB.

          January 13, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
        • Austin

          got a vision for ya on "$19,000" blog

          January 13, 2014 at 2:32 pm |
    • Jeff

      Still do not know the definition of 'atheism' or 'religion', huh?

      January 13, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
    • ME II

      Shouting about shouting doesn't do anything either.

      January 13, 2014 at 12:10 pm |
    • bostontola

      Statement 1: Atheism is a religion.
      Statement 2: Atheism is not a religion.

      Statement 3: All religions based on belief in God(s) was created by man and are false.

      Statement 3 is true regardless of whether statement 1 or 2 is true. Statements 1 and 2 are semantic and based on how you define terms and have no import to big questions.

      January 13, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
      • Kev

        So, how is statement three proven to be true despite the relevancy of either statements one or two?

        January 13, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
        • bostontola

          Statement 3 is true due to the factual errors in all creation myths. For Christianity, there are also many inconsistencies in the bibles that are not in line with an omniscient being.

          January 13, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
        • Kev

          Considering various ways of interpretation just what are the proven factual errors?

          January 13, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
        • bostontola

          Kev,
          You believe in an omniscient God. It could have gotten Genesis right. Genesis is not right. The earth is created before the sun and the stars. That is as correct as the sun orbits the earth. It says God created whales before land animals. There is many things wrong with the bible. Interpretation is the most extreme form of rationalization. An omniscient being that intended the bible to be truth would be able to have it be unambiguous and consistent, it is not. When the bible was written, there was no issue with God wanting us to have to choose Him, He was right in our faces according to the stories, directly manipulating battles, etc. No, there really isn't any way to regard the bibles as truth.

          January 13, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
        • Kev

          So, you automatically dismiss the possibility of the earth or the earth as we consider it to be was created from materials from previous worlds that also once contained life, or that when the earth started it's beginnings was not in the same pocket of space where it eventually came to be in our current solar system?

          January 13, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
        • bostontola

          Kev,
          The earth may have come from left over stuff, I dismiss the possibility that any earth, any planet was created before stars. That is in conflict with highly validated science. If that science were wrong, much of our technology we use every day would not work.

          January 13, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
        • Kev

          15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

          16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

          Where does it say that God at that time created the stars as opposed creating to LET the light the star light through on the earth?

          January 13, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
        • bostontola

          Kev,
          Genesis is quite explicit. Earth on Day1, the things you reference were on days 3 and 4.

          January 13, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
        • Johnny

          For starters the moon doesn't put off any light, so it got that wrong.

          January 13, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
        • Kev

          1 IN the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

          2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

          3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

          4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

          5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

          It talks about the stages of when the earth was created, not when the universe was created. The only thing mentioned regarding heaven was that it was created along with Earth, and since heaven was mentioned before earth then that can includes those things in the heavens such as the stars. There is no mention that the earth was created specifically before the stars. In fact, all there is in reference to the sun, stars, and the moon is regarding God making the light available to reaching the earth that was in the process of creation. There is no specific reference that the earth was created before the stars.

          January 13, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @bostontola : Statement 3: All religions based on belief in God(s) was created by man and are false. Statement 3 is true regardless of whether statement 1 or 2 is true.

        Wiccan is a religion, but it doesn't hold to a deity. Thus, statement 3 has been falsified.

        <><

        January 13, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
        • myweightinwords

          Incorrect. Wicca (without the N at the end) is a religion with dual deities. It has a god and a goddess.

          A Wiccan, on the other hand, is someone who practices Wicca.

          January 13, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
        • bostontola

          L4H,
          All religions based on belief in God(s), not all religions are based on belief in God(s). Statement 3 refers only to religions based on belief in God(s). Otherwise, statement 3 would be false if you regard atheism as a religion.

          January 13, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
    • Heads Up

      Beware of responding to this poster. It is common for all of his/her threads w/replies to disappear.

      January 13, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
  10. Dyslexic doG

    christians claim that the bible is THE WORD of their omnipotent, perfect god.

    So based on the contradictory, ambiguous, brutal, misogynistic, scientifically historically and factually incorrect content of the bible, it amazes me that christians would actually worship such an incoherent, raving, nasty, petulant, sad.istic, confused, lying deity.

    If it was the word of a perfect god then the whole book would be PERFECT! Flawless. There would be absolutely no errors! There would be absolutely no contradictions. There would be absolutely no lines that could be ignored by christians or taken as optional and not command. There would be no need for translation or interpretation or explanation or apology because it would be perfect.

    Instead, you have a book that either is not the word of an omnipotent perfect god, or if these ARE his words, he is far from omnipotent and perfect.

    So why would you follow this book, and/or why would you worship this god?

    January 13, 2014 at 11:33 am |
    • Really?

      So why do you so fear that which you do not understand?
      Who damaged you?

      January 13, 2014 at 11:35 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        Is the bible THE WORD of your omnipotent, perfect god?

        January 13, 2014 at 11:37 am |
        • guest

          Dyslexic doG, I've read some of your other posts and seems you are full of hate–why?

          January 13, 2014 at 11:52 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          yet another dodge.

          Is the bible THE WORD of your omnipotent, perfect god?

          January 13, 2014 at 11:54 am |
        • ME II

          @Really? and @guest,

          What arrogance to assume that the only reason someone might disagree is because of fear. The question was pretty simple why would you follow such a God or religion? If you don't agree with the portrayal, then present your version and back it up.

          January 13, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
        • guest

          No, Dyslexic doG, I wasn't dodging, I was making an observation, but yes, the Bible is the inspired word of God, understood by those who believe, I think in many cases unbelievers have a hard time understanding because they are judging it on the human level of thinking

          January 13, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
        • ME II

          @guest,
          "...they are judging it on the human level of thinking"

          You have another level of thinking? How's that work? Give us an example of non-human level thinking, please.

          January 13, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
      • doobzz

        If I'm reading Better Homes and Gardens, and an article in it says on one page that a medium rare steak is 135 degrees and on another page it says a medium rare steak is 160 degrees, and I point this out in their comment section, does that mean I fear Better Homes and Gardens? Or that I fear steak? Or that I am somehow damaged?

        LOL!

        January 13, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
      • guest

        @ Me II: Sorry I’ve been gone so long. I see I did not word my reply to Dyslexic doG very well. What I mean to say is that some people judge what is written in the Bible on a more spiritual level but without the Holy Sprit’s help the Bible is too often misunderstood, or cannot be understood at all.

        January 13, 2014 at 8:22 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      I agree doG, If the bible were actually inspired by God it would dazzle us with its clarity.

      January 13, 2014 at 11:46 am |
      • Tony

        Yes, agreed.

        January 13, 2014 at 12:03 pm |
    • Russell

      Remember that the RCC does not encourage people to read the entire bible.
      they have 'selections' that they talk about every week, and they want you to go to the priest if you are confused by the bible.

      January 13, 2014 at 11:47 am |
      • Celie

        Hmmm...is that why I got a Bible fir my confirmation?

        January 13, 2014 at 11:53 am |
        • Russell

          Was it, by chance, the one written in old english that is very difficult to understand?

          January 13, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
        • Celie

          Nope. It was an oridinary Bible. And we were never told not to read it.

          January 13, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
        • doobzz

          There is a difference between "getting" something and "studying" something. I was raised Catholic and taught in RCC parochial school. Most Catholic families have bibles, but they aren't encouraged to read them, and the bible is not read or taught in Catholic schools. I taught the "main" stories, Adam and Eve, Noah, Job, Jesus and his life, etc., but mostly Catholic prayers, Catholic doctrine, stories about Catholic saints, about the pope and the Vatican and how to be a good Catholic.

          Before I left the RCC, I had been going to a non Catholic, literal bible believing church for a couple of years. I had several discussions with my Catholic pastor, in which he brought up bible references incorrectly and out of context. It was obvious to me that in just two years I had learned more about the bible than he knew in his lifetime of being a priest.

          After I left the RCC and became a fundie, I taught in a fundie school where the teachers all met for an hour every morning before school for bible study, and each child had a bible in his/her desk, which was studied daily as part of the ongoing curriculum.

          January 13, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
        • Celie

          I guess we had different experiences, then.
          I was never told not to read/study the Bible.
          Obviously, YMMV.

          Russell: the Bible I received wasn't full of thous and thees. Again, this is only my experience, and what I received when I was confirmed. Obviously, your experience was different.
          Okay.

          January 13, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
        • Fan2C

          Yes, doobs, you do know the facts.

          Here's a summary that even the RCC published:

          "Over a three-year cycle Sunday Masses include 3.7% of the Old Testament (plus Psalms)
          and 40.8% of the New Testament.
          If you add weekday Masses you'll hear 13.5% of the Old Testament (plus Psalms)
          and 71.5% of the New Testament."
          –http://catholic-resources.org/Lectionary/Statistics.htm

          The RCC relies heavily on churchmen-authored doctrine and dogma (The Magisterium) and churchmen-designated Tradition.

          Protestants go on seat-of-the-pants interpretations, which is why there are so many denominations.

          January 13, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
        • doobzz

          No one here has said that Catholics are told not to read the bible. That's something you're drawing out of the conversation that hasn't been stated.

          Catholics in general are not encouraged to do daily, or weekly regular bible study, both on their own and in services, the way that other Christian denominations do. They don't have bible study groups that read and discuss passages outside of mass. That's not the same as "Don't read the bible on your own" and I didn't say or even imply that.

          January 13, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
      • ME II

        @Russell,
        I'm not a fan of the RCC, but I think this criticism is misplaced. If one considers such things to be complex and nuanced then it would make sense to recommend talking to an "expert", such as a priest. I don't know that the RCC "discourages" reading the Bible, but they do encourage members to lean on the centuries of understanding that the church has accu.mulated in its "traditions".

        January 13, 2014 at 12:08 pm |
        • Russell

          I obviously dissagree.
          I attended catholic school. We were told we would not understand some parts of the bible and we should go to our priest when we had questions instead of trying to figure it out for ourselves.
          The 'regular' bible is full of 'thou' and 'thee' and can be very difficult to translate into modern english.

          January 13, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Russell, Catholics do not use the King James Bible.

          January 13, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          The New American Bible appears to be the one used for liturgical purposes:

          (from Google)
          http://www.americancatholic.org/Newsletters/CU/ac0704.asp

          January 13, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
        • Russell

          WHen did they switch?
          And to what?

          January 13, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
        • ME II

          @Russelll,
          King James, as in the King of England, as in the head of the Church of England?

          ...probably never used by the Catholic Church.

          January 13, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Dyslexic doG : If it was the word of a perfect god then the whole book would be PERFECT!

      Why would a history book about human beings be perfect? Don't you know that all humans have flaws?

      <><

      January 13, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
      • Tony

        He's saying it would be written in a perfectly amazing crystal clear manner, not that its subjects would be perfect.

        January 13, 2014 at 12:07 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Tony : He's saying it would be written in a perfectly amazing crystal clear manner, not that its subjects would be perfect.

          Since any written material is ALWAYS subject to interpretation, then the only way something could be written in a 'perfectly amazing crystal clear manner' would be for perfect beings to read it. Otherwise, an imperfect being would desire to distort it to satisfy the being's apriori viewpoint.

          <><

          January 13, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
        • Tony

          "Since any written material is ALWAYS subject to interpretation"

          Are you intentionally missing the point? You're talking about things originated by humans, while we're talking about something that's supposed to have been originated by a perfect god.

          January 13, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
        • ME II

          Would a "perfect" book be susceptible to misinterpretation? I don't know.

          January 13, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          thanks Tony! You get it.

          January 13, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
        • G to the T

          L4H – So you are saying that your god isn't powerful enough to overcome imperfect vessels in the creation of the ONLY book that lays out his will in it? I would think if he was all powerful, then it should be easy to have ALL the manuscripts be exactly the same throughout history and regardless of translation.

          Now THAT would be miraculous tome.

          January 13, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
        • Joey

          Or perhaps his idea of love includes torturing people for eternity?

          January 13, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
    • Tony

      "christians claim that the bible is THE WORD of their omnipotent, perfect god. "

      Yes, they do say that, but when pressed to show where in the Bible their god actually claims to be omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent all they can do is provide verses that fit into those characteristics but do not actually establish them.

      January 13, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
      • Orlando

        Yeah, I think you're probably right.

        January 13, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
  11. 00 00

    dear any former christians, y did u love jesus?

    January 13, 2014 at 11:32 am |
    • Russell

      We were told to, any largely convinced that he loved us enough to save us from hell.

      January 13, 2014 at 11:43 am |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Because adults lied to me and said I would go to hell if I didn't. Bad people.

      January 13, 2014 at 11:47 am |
      • 00 00

        so, u loved him cause u feared hell

        January 13, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      00 00, what is your point with this? Get on with it.

      January 13, 2014 at 11:48 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      There is nothing wrong with following the teachings of Jesus. If more Christians would actually do that, it would be a good thing.

      There is nothing wrong with following the teachings of the Buddha either.

      January 13, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
      • 00 00

        former christians, y did u love jesus? so, no former christian loved him

        January 13, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
    • G to the T

      Yes – with all my heart.

      That help?

      January 13, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
  12. Live4Him

    @myweightinwords : I had never done anything in my life that should have me weeping and wailing at that altar.

    So, you never acted selfishly prior to your 14th birthday? I SERIOUSLY doubt that claim.

    @myweightinwords : play on that fear that they are inadequate, that they are unloved

    This is contrary to scripture. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. So, people are dearly loved by God.

    So, how do you know that you are loved today? Do you have anyone who will unconditionally accept you for who you are?

    <><

    January 13, 2014 at 11:23 am |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      God loves no one unconditionally. It's his way or fry. He is a prick.

      January 13, 2014 at 11:26 am |
      • Live4Him

        @Ungodly Discipline : God loves no one unconditionally. It's his way or fry.

        Why would God send his son to pay for your sins if he didn't love you unconditionally?

        <><

        January 13, 2014 at 11:57 am |
        • Tony

          Copying this from Martin's post below, because it's relevant and hilarious.

          Let me get this straight: Christians say that they have only one god, who is the composition of three gods in one, but one of those partial gods had this big plan that requires one of the other partial gods to become human and get tortured to death (apparently that partial god is subservient to the first and so had no say in the matter), and the third partial god just sits around and waits for directions from the other two. That about right?

          Where's the sacrifice involved?

          January 13, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
        • Madtown

          Why would God send only 1 son to a small area, when many other humans that God created lived all over the earth that God created? Why only 1?

          January 13, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
        • ME II

          @Live4Him,
          Because He didn't, since He does not exist most likely.
          OR
          Because He likes torture and wanted He son to experience it, but only temporarily. Humans get the full eternity though.

          ...just some options

          January 13, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
        • Joey

          Unconditionally would mean that everyone goes to heaven no matter what they believe or what they do. Since god will torture you forever if you don't believe that Jesus died for the sins of mankind, he doesn't love everyone unconditionally.

          January 13, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
        • G to the T

          "Why would God send his son to pay for your sins if he didn't love you unconditionally?" So I don't need to believe in God or the salvation of Jesus' death? Great!

          Maybe you need to look up what exactly "Unconditional" actually means...

          January 13, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Live4Him

      you know nothing of this man so don't presume to judge him from your imagination!

      I admire your passion in this forum but you saying "I SERIOUSLY doubt that claim" reveals you as a fool, and a conceited one at that.

      January 13, 2014 at 11:28 am |
      • Live4Him

        @Dyslexic doG : you know nothing of this man so don't presume to judge him from your imagination!

        I know enough to know that myweightinwords is a woman!

        <><

        January 13, 2014 at 11:38 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          that's a dodge on a technicality.

          aren't you ashamed to presume to know of this person's life before the age of 14? How could you possibly know? And why would you insult a stranger like that when they were opening up in this forum with personal experiences.

          personal experiences mean much more than robotic regurgitations from a bronze age book of voodoo.

          January 13, 2014 at 11:50 am |
        • Live4Him

          @Dyslexic doG : aren't you ashamed to presume to know of this person's life before the age of 14? How could you possibly know?

          It is because of human nature – self, self, self.

          <><

          January 13, 2014 at 11:54 am |
        • myweightinwords

          Not the first time I've been mistaken for a man. It's all good.

          If you heard me talk before the first cup of coffee in the morning, you'd probably think I was a man too.

          January 13, 2014 at 11:56 am |
        • Madtown

          It is because of human nature
          ---
          A human nature crafted by God, right?

          January 13, 2014 at 11:58 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          @Live4Him ... you say "It is because of human nature – self, self, self. "

          so basically it was a guess. you should be ashamed.

          January 13, 2014 at 11:59 am |
        • Russell

          The self, self , self is proof of evolution, not of any god.

          January 13, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
        • Jeff

          I have seen it posited (although I am unsure if it was here) that a baby is selfish because it cries; thus confirming its stain of original sin and worthy of divine punishment.

          January 13, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
    • igaftr

      L4H
      "I had never done anything in my life that should have me weeping and wailing at that altar.

      So, you never acted selfishly prior to your 14th birthday? I SERIOUSLY doubt that claim."

      Are you suggesting that someone should weep and wail for acting selfishly? Ridiculous...EVERYTHING that anyone does is ultimately for their own benefit. It is impossible to not be selfish, since sefl is the only perspective you have...you can attempt to deny it, but that too would be to defend your self, therefore would be selfish.

      January 13, 2014 at 11:30 am |
      • Live4Him

        @igaftr : Are you suggesting that someone should weep and wail for acting selfishly? Ridiculous

        One should recognize that selfishness is what separates us from God. However, through a redeemer, we can be reconciled to him.

        @igaftr : EVERYTHING that anyone does is ultimately for their own benefit.

        This is YOUR opinion, but you cannot prove it (unless you claim to be God). It may be that everything that YOU do is ultimately for your own benefit, but you cannot judge the motiviations of others.

        <><

        January 13, 2014 at 11:39 am |
        • igaftr

          LoA
          "One should recognize that selfishness is what separates us from God. However, through a redeemer, we can be reconciled to him."

          That is YOUR opinion...a belief with nothing to back it up, nothing to verifiy it, so not a valid argument. Especially a redeemer, as if god has to pass out tickets and then have someone redeem them. Since no one can show any god exists, there is no reason or logic that involves any so called gods...unless YOU want to accept the word of the noncorporeal housepainter that lives in the back of my closet.

          As far as people being selfish.... that needs no proof, as it has been proven countless times in various studies, philosophies, and psychiatry, and is obvious if you are honest with yourself. Even when someone sacrifices their life, for another, ultimately the person doing the sacrificing does it because they want the other to live...they do it because of their wants...even then it is for selfish reasons...every breath is selfish, and no matter how much you give of yourself, it is because YOU gain from it, whether it is material or mentally YOU gain...it is foolish to think otherwise.

          January 13, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        everything Christians do is to ultimately get to heaven = for their own benefit.

        January 13, 2014 at 11:52 am |
        • Live4Him

          @Dyslexic doG : everything Christians do is to ultimately get to heaven = for their own benefit.

          Again, this is your religious belief. How could you prove my motivations?

          <><

          January 13, 2014 at 11:56 am |
        • Jeff

          You seem to do a dandy job judging myweightinword's motivations.

          January 13, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      L4H, good morning. I hope you and yours are all well.

      @myweightinwords : I had never done anything in my life that should have me weeping and wailing at that altar.

      So, you never acted selfishly prior to your 14th birthday? I SERIOUSLY doubt that claim.

      Nothing I had ever done up to 14 was worthy of the guilt and shame and fear that was created in me by that experience. NOTHING.

      And at 14 I was still a child. Of course I did stuff wrong. That wasn't the point of what I said. The point is that the emotional manipulation of a service like that one is wrong. It plays on the darkest part of who we are as human beings and sells us on an idea that we are somehow less than, that we are damaged, broken, unworthy.

      @myweightinwords : play on that fear that they are inadequate, that they are unloved

      This is contrary to scripture. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. So, people are dearly loved by God.

      That alone gives life to the lie that we need forgiveness for merely being alive. This is the manipulation. That love is not freely given. It is not unconditional. And it is only needed once they convince you that you are inadequate, that you are unworthy of it, that you are dirty.

      So, how do you know that you are loved today? Do you have anyone who will unconditionally accept you for who you are?

      How do I know? Because I am loved without threat, without condition, without need to prove myself. I am loved in my weakness and in my strength. I am loved for who I am, not in spite of who I am.

      It started with learning to love myself unconditionally, something I could never do while I believed the lies that I was taught within Christianity. And learning to extend that love to others. To accept that love from others.

      That love transformed my life.

      January 13, 2014 at 11:51 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        well said!

        January 13, 2014 at 11:53 am |
  13. Reality # 2

    1. There was no physical resurrection (i.e. Heaven is a Spirit State If there is one)

    2. And it therefore follows there was no ascension and no assumption.

    3. There is/was no original sin. A&E were fictional characters living in mythical land.

    4. And it therefore follows, baptism does not erase original sin since there is no sin to erase. Limbo therefore is a non-issue.

    5. Jesus was crucified but details of the deed have little historic verification.

    Added details available upon request.

    January 13, 2014 at 11:18 am |
  14. Dyslexic doG

    Why doesn't your god appear to the world and show us all that he is the one?

    He seems to be narcissistic enough and vain enough and insecure enough to want more adoration and more worship. Your book which you keep bleating is the "word of god", certainly sees god commanding you endlessly to adore him and worship him and bow before him and idolize him and praise him.

    It would be effortless for him to show himself, like he seemed to do pretty regularly back in the bronze age, and he wouldn't have to send so many people to eternal fire and pain and torment. Surely, if he is the loving god that you claim, he would be anxious to save all these people rather than damn them?

    I am shaking my head as I write this, in amazement at the pure infantile foolishness that enables you to believe in something so patently false.

    It's amazing. Simply amazing.

    January 13, 2014 at 11:04 am |
    • RB

      Dyslexic doG

      “Why doesn't your god appear to the world and show us all that he is the one? “

      I think part of the reason that he doesn’t reveal himself completely, visibly to everyone, is because he knows our nature, and knew all along that the ultimate plan was to send his holy and perfect son to redeem us. He revealed himself to the children of Israel and they disobeyed, they repented and he revealed himself again, they rebelled, and so on, over and over again. At some point, his glory left the earth and you will notice the people started referring to him as the God of heaven.
      Of course, his son walked the earth and revealed himself to thousands of people. He made a way that we can all be reconciled to God and went back to heaven. Then he sent his holy spirit as a witness on the earth from that time till now.

      January 13, 2014 at 11:10 am |
      • Bob

        RB, that "sent his son to redeem us" bit is complete nonsense. It is one of the supposed pillars of the Christian religion, and yet it does not stand up to scrutiny. How is it again that an omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers? Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there, Christians.

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

        January 13, 2014 at 11:16 am |
        • Reality # 2

          (from Professor Crossan's book, "Who is Jesus" co-authored with Richard Watts)

          "Moreover, an atonement theology that says God sacrifices his own son in place of humans who needed to be punished for their sins might make some Christians love Jesus, but it is an obscene picture of God. It is almost heavenly child abuse, and may infect our imagination at more earthly levels as well. I do not want to express my faith through a theology that pictures God demanding blood sacrifices in order to be reconciled to us."

          "Traditionally, Christians have said, 'See how Christ's passion was foretold by the prophets." Actually, it was the other way around. The Hebrew prophets did not predict the events of Jesus' last week; rather, many of those Christian stories were created to fit the ancient prophecies in order to show that Jesus, despite his execution, was still and always held in the hands of God."

          "In terms of divine consistency, I do not think that anyone, anywhere, at any time, including Jesus, brings dead people back to life."

          January 13, 2014 at 11:22 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        Thanks RB. I appreciate your thoughts.

        But what of the billions of people in non Christian regions that are now doomed to an eternity of fire and anguish just because of where they were born? Surely a loving god would show himself to the world and give these billions of souls a chance. Surely he is not so petulant as to refuse to appear because some people did not believe when he last showed himself? As a god who created the universe, surely it would be effortless for him to show himself to the world?

        January 13, 2014 at 11:21 am |
        • lngtrmthnkr

          dog they're not doomed. He reveals himself to all people and they can accept or reject as they wish.The native Americans believed in the Great White spirit as their spiritual guide.He talks to all peoples in their way and languages . The story of Jesus had'nt yet come to them but they had the father.The modern day Jews are still waiting for the messiah to come,yet they are the chosen people.Are they all doomed to hell?Of course not,they have God of the old testement and the promisses and the covenents with Abraham.

          January 13, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
      • Madtown

        Of course, his son walked the earth
        ---–
        Well, not the entire earth, just a very small part of it in the middle east. I wonder why God didn't send another son/daughter to the people living in North America at the time? They didn't deserve to hear the message?

        January 13, 2014 at 11:23 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          ask Joseph Smith

          January 13, 2014 at 11:29 am |
      • Martin

        "knew all along that the ultimate plan was to send his holy and perfect son to redeem us"

        Let me get this straight: Christians say that they have only one god, who is the composition of three gods in one, but one of those partial gods had this big plan that requires one of the other gods to become human and get tortured to death (apparently that partial god is subservient to the first and so had no say in the matter), and the third partial god just sits around and waits for directions from the other two. That about right?

        January 13, 2014 at 11:28 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          You mean to tell me,
          that a Jewish zombie can make me live forever,
          if I telepathically accept him as my master…
          all because a talking snake convinced a woman created by one rib
          to eat from a magical tree?
          Really???

          - Rainer Braendlein

          January 13, 2014 at 11:34 am |
        • Tony

          Ha! You hit the nail on the head–how is it that one of the partial gods gets to decide one of the others has to get tortured to death? And how is that a sacrifice? Hilarious!

          January 13, 2014 at 11:57 am |
    • Russell

      I think you caould also ask why so many adults read comic books and go to the movie versions. I work with some hard core geeks, and one in particular knows WAY too much about Superman. The books let them dream about saving the earth and being important. It gives them an escape from reality where they can be powerful and important.
      The bible is used the same way. I won't go into a comparison of conventions and church, but I could type way too much for this forum on the support and justification available in each.

      January 13, 2014 at 11:19 am |
      • Science Works

        Come on now you are getting into Sheldon territory with the comic books.

        January 13, 2014 at 11:25 am |
        • Russell

          It would be a lot closer to Amy explaining why Sheldon's brain abandoned his mother's bible in favor of the comic books.

          January 13, 2014 at 11:40 am |
        • Science Works

          Or like teaching evolution to creationists ?

          January 13, 2014 at 11:51 am |
        • Russell

          Exactly.

          January 13, 2014 at 11:59 am |
        • Science Works

          Yeah and Texas creationists lost the text book issue for 2014's new text books.

          January 13, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
    • guest

      Dyslexic doG, there is so much hate in the way you state things that it makes me wonder what may have happened to you that was so distressing. I can only guess, but I’ll restrain from saying so.
      None the less, it seems to me that you have your own idea what God should be like which is on the order of a fairy god-mother who would fulfill all your whims and wishes while at the same time you want to live your life as you well please. It just doesn’t work that way.
      It also seems to me that at the same time you place the wisdom of God on the same level as humanity. I’m sorry, but your level of wisdom (as well as all humanity’s) is so far below the wisdom of God. I know, firsthand, that not everything we desire is the best, even if we can’t understand it now.

      January 13, 2014 at 11:46 am |
      • Russell

        Hungry people should not desire food. that is not for the best. It is also selfish and god will punish us for being selfish.
        I think he hates the sound of the word too, which explains why eating shellfish is such an abomination in his eyes.
        It wasn't in English when he wrote it, but he saw it coming.

        January 13, 2014 at 11:54 am |
      • RC@guest

        On the contrary. I think doG's are some of the most thoughtful, insightful and least offensive comments on this blog. Not really sure you should be judging him.

        January 13, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
    • lngtrmthnkr

      no dog ,he dos'nt damn you to anything or any where.He dosnt punish you for not believing or for denying his existence.he wont cause you to suffer in hell for all eternity. You are responsible for your own future. its the ying and yang of what we see and do that causes us to reach a certain point or place determined by our personal growth . The God you describe is a terrible diety ,who would even consider him an option?

      January 13, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
  15. Live4Him

    @JB : once the Bible was collated God decided he didn't need to reveal anything else to anyone

    So, what is your take on this?

    <><

    January 13, 2014 at 10:56 am |
    • JB

      I find it to be an unsupportable notion.

      January 13, 2014 at 11:01 am |
      • Live4Him

        Why? Second, if someone purportedly had a revelation from God, how would you prove/disprove it?

        January 13, 2014 at 11:12 am |
        • JB

          Care to provide some support for it? And how do you prove any of the revelations that are in the Bible?

          January 13, 2014 at 11:14 am |
        • Live4Him

          @JB : Care to provide some support for it?

          What is 'it'? I'm not claiming that God provides revelations in this day and age. You are.

          @JB : And how do you prove any of the revelations that are in the Bible?

          Scientifically, of course.

          <><

          January 13, 2014 at 11:16 am |
        • JB

          "What is 'it'?" The idea that God decided not to continue revealing anything or provide clarifying guidance once the Bible was collated (and somehow let us know about that decision–which in itself would be another revelation, when you think about it).

          Care to provide any Biblical revelations that have been proven scientifically?

          January 13, 2014 at 11:20 am |
        • Live4Him

          @JB : The idea that God decided not to continue revealing anything or provide clarifying guidance once the Bible was collated

          I don't know of anyone who advances such a that God WON'T provided revelations in this day and age. However, I think most of us would reject the notion that such a claim should be blindly accepted.

          @JB : Care to provide any Biblical revelations that have been proven scientifically?

          Ezekiel 37:1-14 is a prophecy that the nation of Israel would cease to exist for so long that 'its bones were dried up'. Subsequently, God would restore His people to the Promised Land. Israel now exists in the promised land after a very long sojourn away from the land.

          Ezekiel 37

          3&11 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” ... Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel.

          14I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land.

          <><

          January 13, 2014 at 11:33 am |
        • Johnny

          Since Ezekiel didn't give a date as to when that it would happen it is in fact not a prophecy, but more like hopeful thinking that happened to come true several thousand years later. Also, that had nothing to do with scientific evidence.

          January 13, 2014 at 11:38 am |
        • Madtown

          God would restore His people to the Promised Land.
          ----
          Does God play favorites? If only Israelites are "God's people", why does God continue to make other human beings that occupy other areas?

          January 13, 2014 at 11:43 am |
        • JB

          "I think most of us would reject the notion that such a claim should be blindly accepted."

          Yes, of course. But the topic originated below with a poster seeming to scoff at the ideas Catholics have from thinkers, saints, etc that augment (my word, not theirs) what is found in the Bible, ideas they would say were inspired, or revealed, by God.

          "I think most of us would reject the notion that such a claim should be blindly accepted.

          Ezekiel 37:1-14 is a prophecy that the nation of Israel would cease to exist for so long that 'its bones were dried up'.

          How long is that, exactly? Anyway, lots of ancient nations ceased to exist after being taken over by another and then came back by eventually kicking out the invaders. Easy to predict Israel might do the same, although it didn't happen in the anticipated manner. A bit of a stretch, I'd say. Anything else?

          January 13, 2014 at 11:44 am |
        • Johnny

          I guess in the end I am just not brainwashed enough to take Ezekiel as prophecy. I mean is it really that amazing that a Jew living in exile in Babylon would write things about how the Jews would be returned to their homeland in the future?

          January 13, 2014 at 11:47 am |
        • G to the T

          "once the Bible was collated God decided he didn't need to reveal anything else to anyone"
          Awesome – so God decided ONCE the bible was coallated. Thought God was unchanging? He sure does seem to change his mind alot...

          January 13, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
  16. 00 00

    dear former christians, y did u love jesus?

    January 13, 2014 at 10:44 am |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Because Jesus loved me.

      January 13, 2014 at 10:56 am |
      • 00 00

        how do u no?

        January 13, 2014 at 10:57 am |
        • Ungodly Discipline

          The Bible told me so.

          January 13, 2014 at 10:59 am |
        • 00 00

          u never new his love? just book knowledge?

          January 13, 2014 at 11:21 am |
        • Ungodly Discipline

          No, I never knew his love. I never actually knew him it was a long time ago that he might have been around.

          January 13, 2014 at 11:24 am |
        • 00 00

          so, u never really loved him. u never were a christian

          January 13, 2014 at 11:26 am |
        • Ungodly Discipline

          I never met him so no, I never had a chance to get that close. Besides, he was Jewish so it would have been hard to be a Christian when no such thing existed. You do know it is 2014 right?

          January 13, 2014 at 11:28 am |
        • 00 00

          i c. u were lying.

          January 13, 2014 at 11:30 am |
        • Ungodly Discipline

          No, adults lied to me when I was a child and told me I loved Jesus and I believed them, for a very short period of time. Then I realized how stupid it was.

          January 13, 2014 at 11:33 am |
      • 00 00

        describe the love u had 4 him

        January 13, 2014 at 11:24 am |
        • igaftr

          The image of the scene in the Exorcist with Linda Blair and the crucifix comes to mind......

          January 13, 2014 at 11:26 am |
        • RC@igaftr

          Classic! Love it.

          January 13, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      as a child getting indoctrinated at church and at sunday school I kept looking around puzzled, wondering if all the other children actually believed this nonsense they were telling us. I figured it was something we pretended to believe to keep the adults happy. Sort of an inverse santa claus.

      The more I have studied the bible, and believe me I have spent years studying it and other religious books, the more I see this as a hangover from primitive days when our ancestors had no scientific knowledge and had to imagine gods to explain things. The human mind and its weakness for cognitive dissonance are all that keeps religion alive.

      In the words of Isaac Asimov: "Properly read, the bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived."

      January 13, 2014 at 11:00 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Fear.

      I was born again at 14. I had been nominally Christian before then, was confirmed at 13 at a Reformed Presbyterian church and all. But at 14 I had the whole tent revival, altar call, convicted of my sin experience.

      It didn't occur to me then how ridiculous that was. I was 14. I had never done anything in my life that should have me weeping and wailing at that altar. It was a giant emotional manipulation, something I saw later in my life as I moved into the ministry and learned exactly how that manipulation worked. Fear and guilt, work them into the darkest place inside themselves, play on that fear that they are inadequate, that they are unloved, that they are bad people because they have some fault and wrench that guilt until they are sobbing in agony....then kiss them with forgiveness, shower them with something that resembles love (and in their emotional state they'll accept as such) and they will pour all of that emotion into loving the one that forgives them.

      So, ultimately? Fear.

      January 13, 2014 at 11:14 am |
      • Bob

        yep.

        January 13, 2014 at 11:17 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        an amazing story and a great insight!

        Please elaborate on "I saw later in my life as I moved into the ministry and learned exactly how that manipulation worked"

        many thanks!

        January 13, 2014 at 11:26 am |
        • myweightinwords

          One of my first ministry jobs was coordinating song service. I would talk to the pastor about what kind of sermon he was going to give, what kind of emotional state he wanted the congregation in when I was "done with them"...I then mingled with the congregation as they were coming in for the service, getting a reading on the overall emotional state.

          I then crafted a song service that would manipulate that emotional state to leave them open and ready for the sermon.

          There is also the art of the sermon itself. It's an amazing thing to watch a master at work...there's a bit of the theatrical and a bit of a really good criminal prosecutor in there.

          January 13, 2014 at 11:34 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          sincerely, thank you.

          January 13, 2014 at 11:46 am |
      • 00 00

        u never loved him?

        January 13, 2014 at 11:37 am |
        • myweightinwords

          I suppose some might see it that way.

          I don't. There was a time when I loved him with everything I have...at least as far as I knew of love. For many years, that was all I understood love to be.

          However, looking back now I understand that it was love under false pretenses. I didn't understand love until I came away from Christianity and learned to love myself.

          January 13, 2014 at 11:40 am |
        • 00 00

          "There was a time when I loved him with everything I have...at least as far as I knew of love. For many years, that was all I understood love to be."
          what was all u understood?

          "However, looking back now I understand that it was love under false pretenses."
          what false pretense made u love him?

          "I didn't understand love until I came away from Christianity and learned to love myself."

          January 13, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
        • 00 00

          "There was a time when I loved him with everything I have...at least as far as I knew of love. For many years, that was all I understood love to be."
          what was all u understood?

          "However, looking back now I understand that it was love under false pretenses."
          what false pretense made u love him?

          January 13, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
        • myweightinwords

          00 00,

          I thought I was pretty clear about that. False fear, false guilt...emotions manipulated into believing I was dirty, sinful, unworthy and then told that this one perfect being loved me anyway and forgave me for everything.

          It's rather like an abused child who is told he is unworthy of love, that he is evil and dirty and wrong, who gets beaten and berated daily, but when the beating is over, when the storm has passed there is a gift and hugs and love and the child is taught that it's for his own good, that he must be disciplined, taught, that the parent wouldn't do these things if he didn't love the child.

          Does the child love the abusive parent? Yes he does. At least as long as he believes that it IS for his own good, that he deserves the punishment. When the day comes that he realizes he has done nothing to earn the punishment, he will begin to question. One day, he will realize that what he knows isn't real love. It's a pale facsimile of love.

          January 13, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
        • 00 00

          o. i c. u never loved him

          January 13, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
      • 00 00

        u never loved him??

        January 13, 2014 at 11:38 am |
      • 00 00

        y did u love him?

        January 13, 2014 at 11:39 am |
      • 00 00

        ?

        January 13, 2014 at 11:39 am |
      • RB

        Myweightinwords,
        ” But at 14 I had the whole tent revival, altar call, convicted of my sin experience.”

        This is sounding really good, so far. Then what happened? Was your burden lifted at that altar or did you get up with the same burden you went up there with?

        January 13, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
        • myweightinwords

          What burden? I was 14. My biggest burden was making good grades at school before that experience.

          After it? I was a changed person. And not for the better.

          January 13, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
        • RB

          Myweightinwords,
          Sorry, I didn’t explain that question very well. You said you were convicted of sin, which I take to mean you felt guilty for sin. This guilt can be termed as a burden. So, when you went to the altar, did you feel guilty? Was your guilt gone when you got up from the altar?

          January 13, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
        • myweightinwords

          Sorry, I didn’t explain that question very well. You said you were convicted of sin, which I take to mean you felt guilty for sin. This guilt can be termed as a burden. So, when you went to the altar, did you feel guilty? Was your guilt gone when you got up from the altar?

          First off, it was 30 some years ago. What I remember was I was a pretty happy kid, aside from my parent's divorce, with a heart for others before I walked into that revival. I was made to feel as though I were dirty, sinful, evil creature and because of that I felt guilty. I remember a sense of euphoria afterword that lasted a few weeks and I remember chasing that euphoria for a long time after.

          The whole thing was false, both the conviction and guilt and the release and euphoria after.

          January 13, 2014 at 5:00 pm |
        • RB

          I don't know myweightinwords, guilt, release, euphoria all sound genuine to me. What sounded false and deceitful is where you described being involved manipulating emotions of others above. I think you may have very well been saved in that revival and then fell in with some false teachers that turned you against religion. Your relationship with God is truly between you and God. I hope you will seek God on this, if you are one of his he will take you right back to that moment and give you all the confidence you will ever need. Peace.

          January 13, 2014 at 8:06 pm |
        • myweightinwords

          RB, thank you for your concern, but I made my peace with god a very long time ago. I am in no way concerned about being "saved".

          January 13, 2014 at 9:44 pm |
    • 00 00

      u cannot hate what doesn't exist

      u can't love what isn't there

      January 13, 2014 at 11:28 am |
      • Celie

        Which is exactly the atheist position. Thank you for finally getting the point.

        January 13, 2014 at 12:07 pm |
        • 00 00

          alleluia! exactly. at wast, at wast!

          he is real

          January 13, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
  17. trigtwit palin... America's favorite tard baby

    *drool* pppffftttttt !! slobber

    January 13, 2014 at 10:27 am |
  18. Alfred

    Stackin' the Vatican to ensure continuation of South American domination. Not surprising, but a little disappointing.

    January 13, 2014 at 9:39 am |
    • Russell

      Considering te current inballance, I Wouldn't call it 'stackin"

      January 13, 2014 at 10:10 am |
      • Alfred

        That would be fine if someone who wasn't South American recognized an "imbalance" and corrected it. Otherwise, it's like when a president decides the supreme court isn't "balanced" with enough people who are like him.

        January 13, 2014 at 10:20 am |
        • Russell

          Are you suggesting that until someone from Europe notices that the vast majority of cardinals are from Europe, that the balance is correct?

          January 13, 2014 at 10:23 am |
        • Alfred

          No, I'm saying it's not surprising that the person in power making the "correction" happens to be from the same group he feels is underrepresented. Whether or not it's accurate, it gives the appearance of favoritism and of stacking the deck for things to go his way. Political, in other words.

          January 13, 2014 at 10:32 am |
      • Orlando

        Italy skews the European count considerably–I'd say it's more of an Italian imbalance than a European imbalance.

        January 13, 2014 at 10:43 am |
  19. Christopher

    This article needs more cow bell.

    January 13, 2014 at 9:38 am |
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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.