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January 27th, 2014
12:40 PM ET

Angry birds! Pope's peace doves attacked

By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) Talk about your angry birds.

A crow and a seagull attacked two white doves released by children standing next to Pope Francis on Sunday at St. Peter's Square. The birds of prey swooped down after the "peace" doves flew from the open window in the Apostolic Palace.

One dove broke free from the gull, after losing a few feathers in the fray. A crow pecked the other before both doves escaped and flew away. Their ultimate fate is unknown.

Thankfully, the Pope and children had walked away before the fly-by birding.

Doves as Judeo-Christian symbols of peace date back to biblical times. In the Book of Genesis, a dove returns to the ark-maker Noah with an olive branch, letting him know that the flood had receded.

In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit descends "like a dove" on Jesus after his baptism, according to the Gospel of Matthew. Centuries of Christian art thereafter have use doves to symbolize the third member of the Holy Trinity, along with God and Jesus.

Just before releasing the doves, the Pope had offered prayers for Ukraine, the site of pitched civil strife, and some say the dove-attack portends poorly for Eastern European nation.

Others took a more humorous approach.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Francis

soundoff (986 Responses)
  1. Sunflower

    Wow!! coincidence or Satan does exist?

    January 28, 2014 at 11:55 am |
    • snowboarder

      wild animals doing what they do naturally or satan? i'm not going with the supernatural explanation.

      January 28, 2014 at 12:10 pm |
      • richunix

        Don’t you remember the Omen II when the crow would show up and that person would die?

        January 28, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
  2. snowboarder

    i am sure all kinds of loony superst itious people will try to ascribe some meaning to the incident.

    January 28, 2014 at 11:49 am |
  3. Erasmus

    This incident is funny, just hope no one is scarred for life watching a bird attacking another bird.

    January 28, 2014 at 11:27 am |
    • Sunflower

      Ya, but Christians don't that way; they think they are being attacked by Satan.

      January 28, 2014 at 11:57 am |
      • Erasmus

        I don't think that! .........(i'm implying something subtly)

        January 28, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
  4. Not to be outdone, Obama releases spy drones on the US.

    #######$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ 🙂 🙂 🙂 $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    January 28, 2014 at 11:03 am |
  5. rad666

    God works in mysterious ways.

    January 28, 2014 at 10:29 am |
    • igaftr

      so does propoganda

      January 28, 2014 at 10:33 am |
    • deg360

      My boss doesn't buy that from me. Why should I, from God?

      January 28, 2014 at 10:35 am |
      • Topher

        Is your boss God?

        January 28, 2014 at 10:39 am |
        • deg360

          Oy Vey!

          January 28, 2014 at 10:41 am |
  6. richunix

    For those who believe who believe and believe in miracles, Jesus could have performed the most simplest miracle of all. Tell his followers to boil your water, during his time mortality rate was at 51% and this was attribute to the lack of fresh clean water. We would have to wait another 1600 years before it was discovered how bacteria infects and travels.

    January 28, 2014 at 10:18 am |
    • You

      Or they could have looked it up on Wikipedia, but no... God waited another 2000 years before he gave us the internet. Why is it that God always waits until man invents something before he gives it to us?

      January 28, 2014 at 10:25 am |
      • richunix

        Is God willing to prevent evil, but is not able?
        Then he is not omnipotent.

        Is he able, but not willing?
        Then he is malevolent.

        Is he both able and willing?
        Then whence cometh evil?

        Is he neither able nor willing?
        Then why is he called GOD?

        -Epicurus 33 CE

        January 28, 2014 at 10:34 am |
        • Live4Him

          @richunix : Epicurus 33 CE

          This is pretty interesting. How could Epicurus write this when he died hundreds of years prior to this date? (i.e. Epicurus 341–270 BC). I guess this is another falsehood.

             <><

          January 28, 2014 at 10:47 am |
        • RB

          God is willing and able to do whatever he wills, so if he doesn’t prevent some tragedy, some believe he wasn’t able to do it. Others would decide he wanted to harm people.
          We can’t know the big picture; he could have allowed something we consider bad to happen, to achieve some greater good that we are unable to comprehend. It could have been judgment for sin. There are those who would say, if God allows harmful things to happen as judgment of sin, he is malevolent. Some would also insist that an all-powerful God could achieve his greater good without allowing harm.
          We just can’t know and it doesn’t help those affected to speculate. When we start saying we know why something bad happened to someone, especially someone we perceive as good or innocent, we become like Job’s three friends.
          I think what Epicurus didn’t consider is perfect justice and how you achieve it, without consequence to the offender. Also, without the possibility of doing bad things, we wouldn’t really have free will.

          January 28, 2014 at 10:54 am |
        • Science Works

          RB and L4Hm this might help (but i doubt it ) – we are social animals – primates

          Social evolution: The ritual animal

          http://www.nature.com/news/social-evolution-the-ritual-animal-1.12256

          January 28, 2014 at 11:22 am |
        • ME II

          @richunix,
          For once, @Live4Him is correct. Epicurus died around 270 BCE. I think you might be referencing a common theme, which is captioned as "winning since 33CE" which references the supposed crucifixion of Jesus, not the date of the quote.

          January 28, 2014 at 11:24 am |
      • ME II

        "Why is it that God always waits until man invents something before he gives it to us?"

        Well said. I may borrow that sometime.

        January 28, 2014 at 10:40 am |
      • Erasmus

        in reference to : "Why is it that God always waits until man invents something before he gives it to us?"

        Just wanted to say, glad to see you believe in God, and that we agree that evolution creates nothing.....simply man invents!

        January 28, 2014 at 11:22 am |
        • ME II

          Way to spin it Erasmus! You have to practice to keep up your twisting skills to maintain such beliefs. Good work!

          January 28, 2014 at 11:27 am |
        • Boomerang

          That's why I usually try to remember to say, "your "God" character" or something like that. Believers are so easily confused.

          January 28, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
      • SnakePlissken

        For the fun of it. What Man has invented is far from perfection. God gives us 'a perfect world' (i.e., Heaven) to live in – after we deserve it. Guess you didn't grasp that concept.

        January 28, 2014 at 11:33 am |
        • G to the T

          Define "a perfect world".

          January 28, 2014 at 11:55 am |
        • Topher

          proof? (or just another fairy tale like Valhalla or the Elysium Fields?)

          January 28, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @richunix : during his time mortality rate was at 51%

      Mortality rates are usually expressed as the number of deaths per 1000 individuals per year. Given than birth rates are typically about 20 births per 1000 individual, that would indicate that all human life would cease to exist in about 11 years. Since this didn't happen, it shows that your mortality rate is a fictitious number.

         <><

      January 28, 2014 at 10:42 am |
    • Erasmus

      so, just so i'm clear, evolution, survival of the fittest seems to be the humane explanation for this?

      January 28, 2014 at 10:59 am |
      • G to the T

        "seems to be the humane explanation" I'm not sure that makes any sense in this context.

        January 28, 2014 at 11:56 am |
      • ME II

        1) Evolution is not "survival of the fittest", but more survival of the best adapted.
        2) No one ever said that evolution was humane.

        January 28, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
  7. pointyView

    This seems extremely odd. Crows and seagulls are opportunistic omnivores they rarely attack other birds in flight being more inclined to eat nestlings or eggs when they have a taste for bird. Both are more inclined to be seen eating trash or carrion. To have both of these species present and inclined to attack fairly good sized birds in flight at the same moment should make an interesting project for the laws of probability.

    January 28, 2014 at 10:15 am |
  8. Des

    Everyone, be careful of JW. He is back out here on recruiting missions for his deadly cult. He must get cult brownie points for his doorknocking efforts here. Keep pressing him on points like this:

    So, JW, are you opposed to blood transfusion in the case of an accident victim who has lost a lot of blood and will die without transfused blood? Yes or no answer please; none of your usual dodging will get you by. We are watching for you and your deadly ilk.

    January 28, 2014 at 10:03 am |
    • insightinsite@gmail.com

      To Des: No, we are not opposed. Our position is personal and based on our own faith. Each and everyone will be held accountable to God.

      January 28, 2014 at 10:19 am |
      • igaftr

        maybe...but not if no gods exist...so far, no evidence.

        January 28, 2014 at 10:22 am |
        • insightinsite@gmail.com

          Every effect has its cause.

          January 28, 2014 at 10:58 am |
        • igaftr

          and every dog has his day...still no evidence of "gods'

          January 28, 2014 at 11:48 am |
        • G to the T

          "insightinsite@gmail.com – Every effect has its cause."

          Assumption. Quantam mechanics says otherwise.

          January 28, 2014 at 11:58 am |
      • Alias

        Nice dodge.
        You are opposed to anyone in your church receiving blood, and you would rather they die.

        January 28, 2014 at 10:24 am |
        • insightinsite@gmail.com

          Well that's the way YOU see the situation. We don't rather see dying anybody.
          Probably, first century Christians were told the same when they preferred to dye in the Circus due to their faith.

          "For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Really, what good will it do man if he gains the whole world but loses his life?" (Matthew 16:25,26).

          The Bible calls death an enemy, we see it that way. But our faith is that God will bring death to an end. (Isaiah 25:8).

          We appreciate what doctors can do, that includes showing respect for our faith.

          You won't save my life, Jesus does. I will obey his words.

          January 28, 2014 at 10:56 am |
      • Alias

        Nice dodge.
        You are opposed to anyone in your church receiving blood, even if their life depended on it.

        January 28, 2014 at 10:26 am |
  9. Jake

    Good job, Belief Blog, another pope article with hundreds of comments. Never mind the trolls that complain, they have nowhere else to go, they will come back to fill your comments section! 😉

    January 28, 2014 at 9:56 am |
    • richunix

      Blog Trolls!, that sound like the pot calling the kettle black.

      January 28, 2014 at 9:59 am |
      • Trollier than thou

        Last I checked pot was green.

        January 28, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Regular readers know where the ads are on the page and so they are essentially invisible We are not an important market.

      January 28, 2014 at 10:00 am |
    • Trollier than thou

      **tears up

      You know me so well, man. You know me so well.

      January 28, 2014 at 7:22 pm |
  10. richunix

    For all the good and bad religion brings to this world, I do like this Pope. It is sad for the two girls to see their birds being killed. But it is not an omen foreboding end of the world according to your religious beliefs. It is an example on how nature works, nothing more.

    January 28, 2014 at 9:45 am |
  11. I AM

    Punxsutawney Phil heard about this incident, and now he is even more reluctant to emerge to predict the weather. Something Global is about to happen.

    January 28, 2014 at 9:35 am |
  12. Dyslexic doG

    Dear Belief Blog

    I know it'll get in the way of the next Pope story, like the riveting story where he smiles at a crowd, or the other story where he holds a bible, but apparently an ancient blueprint for Noah's Ark has been found.

    January 28, 2014 at 9:13 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      and Benny Hinn is still worth an article on religious circus acts

      January 28, 2014 at 9:18 am |
      • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

        Hinn is a pioneer of modern times. A true American hero. Being such an obvious fraud yet still making millions speaks to his ability.

        January 28, 2014 at 9:23 am |
        • Charm Quark

          But shouldn't Obama round up up Hinn and his fellow faith healers and place them in strategic locations across the country to eliminate all those nasty health care expenses? Obama care on a shoe string of faith.

          January 28, 2014 at 9:37 am |
        • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

          I'd rather he did that than take any more out of my pocket.

          January 28, 2014 at 9:39 am |
    • Saraswati

      Interesting. Round, and about an acre in area:
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/10574119/Noahs-Ark-the-facts-behind-the-Flood.html

      Animals loaded two-by-two at Enkl's command.

      January 28, 2014 at 9:53 am |
      • Saraswati

        Coiled rope, stretched and shaped by wooden ribs and waterproofed with bitumen.

        January 28, 2014 at 9:58 am |
        • igaftr

          also guaranteed to sink.

          January 28, 2014 at 10:32 am |
        • Saraswati

          It would be fun to see an effort to recreate such a giant basket.

          January 28, 2014 at 10:52 am |
        • RC

          Remember Thor Heyerdahl and Kon-Tiki?

          January 29, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      LOL

      And so the story appears an hour later.

      Am I an omnipotent goD or am I just lucky?

      January 28, 2014 at 10:40 am |
      • ME II

        lol
        hail Dyslexic doG!

        (Austin should be taking notes : )

        January 28, 2014 at 10:44 am |
      • Dave

        It's CNN. They're not exactly known for breaking a story. Too weak and timid, afraid if Fox News. CNN follows the popular headlines.

        January 28, 2014 at 10:58 am |
  13. Agnostickids

    Bad omen – remember that Noah supposedly sent out a crow (raven) before the dove, but it didn't come back. Now it has returned...with it's girlfriend, THE SEAGULL! Oh NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It's also a sign that there are few white doves hanging out around the Vatican, probably because there are other more predatorily birds nearby.

    And, just for fun, it could be a bad sign that portends poorly for the Ukraine. Who knows. Truth is stranger than fiction...

    January 28, 2014 at 8:59 am |
    • Agnostickids

      oops – predatory, not predatorily.

      January 28, 2014 at 9:00 am |
  14. A.Bundy

    contemplate whatever biblical stories you want, but what isnt a story is that only the fit survive. that's something the church will never be able to control.

    January 28, 2014 at 8:58 am |
    • Saraswati

      With modern medicine an increasing number ofunfit survive. Insofar as the Catholic church runs a number of hospitals they contribute to that change.

      January 28, 2014 at 9:00 am |
      • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

        Ever the literalist.

        January 28, 2014 at 9:02 am |
    • Cal

      One only need be fit to survive long enough to reproduce.

      January 28, 2014 at 9:55 am |
  15. scientificpoetry

    Does anyone really care abou this...? Doves don't represent anything but doves to any rational person. There is no "peace" in nature. Animals attack each other. Animals kill each other. "Thankfully, the Pope and children had walked away before the fly-by birding." What... we can't let children witness what happens in nature all the time...? I'd rather they witness the reality of nature than get filled with ridiculous religious dogma.

    January 28, 2014 at 8:58 am |
    • Agnostickids

      Symbology is important in sociology. Have you heard of Semiotics? There are entire studies, based in science that are based on symbols and how they have affected us, since we crawled out of the ocean.

      January 28, 2014 at 9:06 am |
      • Saraswati

        Insofar as words, written and spoken, are symbols it is very important, as are rallying symbols of political or religious movements. Most of the rest is just a way for people to fill time. Anything that can be symbolized by an image can be better explained in words by people with the commitment and skill to do so.

        January 28, 2014 at 10:04 am |
      • G to the T

        To me at least, most symbolic language is too open to different interpretations. Symbols are the the symbol-minded I always say...

        January 28, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
    • That's What Jesus Would Do

      I find it odd that I agree with you but at the same time I can't help but feel like a total a hole.

      January 28, 2014 at 9:09 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        you just may be ...

        January 28, 2014 at 9:15 am |
    • Life is just that

      They are just birds. Who cares.!!!!!!!

      January 28, 2014 at 10:23 am |
      • doobzz

        Only people who need to find divine messages in ordinary, natural events.

        January 28, 2014 at 11:34 am |
  16. Saraswati

    Nine of ten of the top stories contain either the word "pope" or "abortion" in the ti.tle and/ or body.At this point,dear editors, your resumes will have a nice bullet point reading:

    * Enhanced advertising revenue at CNN by writing quick, often fluff, stories containing key internet search terms.

    As.suming you'd like to say a little bit more than that, is there a way you can vary the content while still getting your revenue? Could you toss the name "Justin Bieber" into a story on Kali sects, Presbyterian determinism or mysticism in the western tradition? Maybe find creative ways to use the word "olympics" in a discussion of people's beliefs about the driving forces behind their accomplishments?

    Think, folks....you don't have to offer up stories we don't want to see, in some cases no one wants to see, just to give your advertisers another click count before the "reader" moves on.

    January 28, 2014 at 8:54 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      The doves were kind of cute.

      January 28, 2014 at 9:00 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      well said Saraswati

      January 28, 2014 at 9:16 am |
  17. JW

    Is hell a place of torment?

    Some Bible translations use the word “hell” for the Hebrew word “Sheol” and the matching Greek word “Hades,” both of which refer to the common grave of mankind. (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:27) Many people believe in a fiery hell, as shown in the religious artwork accompanying this article. However, the Bible teaches otherwise.

    Those in hell are unconscious and so cannot feel pain. “There is no work nor devising nor knowledge nor wisdom in Sheol.”—⁠Ecclesiastes 9:10.

    Good people go to hell. The faithful men Jacob and Job expected to go there.—Genesis 37:35; Job 14:13.

    Death, not torment in a fiery hell, is the penalty for sin. “He who has died has been acquitted from his sin.”—⁠Romans 6:7.

    Eternal torment would violate God’s justice. (Deuteronomy 32:4) When the first man, Adam, sinned, God told him that his punishment would simply be to pass out of existence: “Dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:19) God would have been lying if he were actually sending Adam to a fiery hell.

    God does not even contemplate eternal torment. The idea that he would punish people in hellfire is contrary to the Bible’s teaching that “God is love.”—⁠1 John 4:8; Jeremiah 7:31.

    January 28, 2014 at 8:52 am |
    • Science Works

      JW no torment – HELL really is frozen over.

      January 28, 2014 at 8:56 am |
    • truthprevails1

      Repeating the fictional stories of the bible does nothing to make them true. Have you ever heard of the 21st century?? Try living according to the information we have and not some out-dated crap written by primitive man who had no concept of the world.

      January 28, 2014 at 8:56 am |
    • igaftr

      "Is hell a place of torment?"

      No since it likely doesn't exist..

      .on the other hand, the Jehovah Witness religious zealots that disturb my peace and quiet with their unfounded nonsense is absolutely a source of torment.

      January 28, 2014 at 9:02 am |
      • JW

        Why we go preaching door to door?

        Jesus told his followers to “make disciples of people of all the nations.” (Matthew 28:19, 20) When he sent out his early disciples, Jesus directed them to go to the homes of the people. (Matthew 10:7, 11-13) After Jesus’ death, first-century Christians continued to spread their message both “publicly and from house to house.” (Acts 5:42; 20:20) We follow the example of those early Christians and find that the door-to-door ministry is a good way to reach people.

        January 28, 2014 at 9:09 am |
        • igaftr

          JW
          it isn't a question of why...it is VERY annoying to your neighbors. No one cares why you do it...it is religious zealotry and disturbs my peace. I know they don't want me going to their house explaining why belief in things that no one can show is real, is a symptokm of mental illness, or show how the bible is flat out wrong in many places, right?

          So stop wasting paper with that ridiculous circular, and stop bothering your neighbors with you unfounded nonsense.

          January 28, 2014 at 9:14 am |
        • truthprevails1

          People don't want you at their door. If we want preached at we know how to locate you. In the real world it is harassment and is a criminal offense but I'm guessing you don't care about that.

          January 28, 2014 at 9:17 am |
        • JW

          The fact that you or your neiboughoors don't want to listen now doesn't mean you might listen in the future, life changes...as well jehovah witness keep on growing in number not only in the US but around the world, showing that there are still people interested in studying the bible.

          The message we bring is a message of peace and hope for a bright future... Who could be quite with that message?

          January 28, 2014 at 9:20 am |
        • Science Works

          JW peace and you start with hell and torment ?

          Another question what is the age of children/teenagers that go door to door ?

          January 28, 2014 at 9:25 am |
        • JW

          Truth- are you a Christian?

          It's a criminal offence? Well, according to our government is not! Unless your ubove the law?!

          If you don't want to listen to the preaching simply just tell the JW that goes to your door not to visit you anymore. That should be enough!

          January 28, 2014 at 9:29 am |
        • JW

          Science- read the hell article carefully please?!

          There is no age, it's up to the parents. Just like any parent that decides what's the best for the family. In the adulthood the "child" makes his own decision!

          January 28, 2014 at 9:43 am |
        • igaftr

          JW
          "The message we bring is a message of peace and hope for a bright future... Who could be quite with that message?"

          Oh the presumption and arrogance.

          My message is of logic and reason...who can be quiet with that message...so you have no problem with me knocking on your door, explaining why your belief has no basis in reality, and that you really need to put these myths behind you...right?

          The presumption and arrogance of a door to door zealot thinking he is doing right by spreading your unfounded nonsense...if you can't prove what you say, all you are doing is spreading propoganda, and you have CHOSEN to be propogators.

          And by the way, I have told the JW's to stay off my property...they always come back...next one gets arrested for trespassing.

          January 28, 2014 at 9:46 am |
        • Science Works

          Well JW – the teenagers that come to the house on bikes in the summer look young maybe 16 ?

          I look forward to it IF I am outside – facts make their heads spin !

          January 28, 2014 at 9:51 am |
        • JW

          Igaf- I invite you or other religions to come to my door, no problem. If I'm not busy we can talk. Though you will have to find me as we do with all people we find.

          January 28, 2014 at 9:52 am |
        • JW

          Science- teen in bikes?? I think those are the Mormons...

          January 28, 2014 at 9:55 am |
        • Science Works

          And the best fact to have lying around when they show up is a chondrite !

          January 28, 2014 at 9:55 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          I like the little comic books that get left in my mailbox.
          Oh, you think you're a good person just because you do good things and have accepted Christ as your saviour?
          WRONG! Enjoy armageddon, you heathen.
          The last time I invited the elderly Jehovah's Witness ladies into my home, they spent a few minutes examining the library of religious tomes in my living room, but zeroed in on the Dawkins and Hitchens. It wasn't long after that they told me I need to "think for myself" and not follow such people.
          They seemed to have a blind spot for all the various other books about spiriturality and mythology.
          I found it rather ironic.

          January 28, 2014 at 10:03 am |
        • Saraswati

          JW, Witnesses may grow in number, but only because they have a large very temporary membership. With a two-thirds attrition rate the organization has to keep recuiting very agressively just to stay stable. What the church itself does is keep all these temporary members in its count, feeding you an unrealistic image of the siZe of the church.

          January 28, 2014 at 10:09 am |
        • JW

          Sure sarasw... JWs don't know about the real size of the cong... You know it better, lol!

          JWs are the only religion with the most accurate number of members.

          January 28, 2014 at 10:17 am |
        • Science Works

          Saraswati

          And that is what helps the RCC keep the numbers high – you have to request to be taken off the books.

          January 28, 2014 at 10:22 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @JW
          According to Pew research from 2008, 66% of those raised as Jehovah's Witnesses no longer follow the faith.
          This is far higher than the average attrition rate for all other religions at 28%.
          It seems that members of your sect are far more likely to become disillusioned with the Church than members of other faiths....

          January 28, 2014 at 10:42 am |
        • JW

          Doc- I'm not sure about that statistic. You should investigate that study!
          But even if it's true, I doesn't matter. Globally JWs keep on growing.
          Jehovah doesn't obligate nobody to be his servants.

          January 28, 2014 at 11:04 am |
        • JW

          Why other religion haven't lost many members, " which I don't believe", is for the fact that according to them, you just need to accept the "lord" and your saved... Doesnt matter if you keep on being a criminal, or a fornicators. When the bible says that you should disfellowship the unrepented sinner ( Ephesians chapter 5).

          January 28, 2014 at 11:17 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I like how you'll haul out the sweet Jehovah's Witness bait of no Hell, but haven't addressed the beliefs that make your church a fringe group, often labelled heretical by mainstream Christians.

      Who was Jesus Christ? Was He the fleshly incarnation of the One True God?
      "While he was not THE God, Jehovah, he was A god."
      – Watchtower, July 15, 1898

      Is anyone from any other sect of Christianity on the right path?
      "We all need help to understand the Bible, and we cannot find the Scriptural guidance we need outside the 'faithful and discreet slave' organization"
      – Watchtower, Feb 15, 1981

      "A."Only this organization functions for Jehovah's purpose and to his praise."
      – Watchtower, July 1, 1973

      The Watchtower Society, as the self-declared sole interpreters of "The Truth", is a paragon of arrogance.
      The "you can't understand the Bible except when it is taught by our Church – so don't bother to try understanding it on your own" message is pretty insulting, if you ask me (though I know you didn't)

      January 28, 2014 at 9:26 am |
      • JW

        Doc- a have studied much how other religion work in interpret the bible... There is no other religion that can understand and practice the bible as the Witnesses.

        January 28, 2014 at 9:48 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @JW
          That's just what Baptists, 7th Day Adventists, and the Vatican say (along with others).
          At least some sects, like Unitarians and Anglicans, don't exalt themselves as the Sole Arbiters of God's Truth.
          It is odd that God waited some 1800 years before allowing His "faithful and discreet slave" to come into existence and guide the World to the REAL interpretation of the Bible.

          If the One True Deity, shaper of The Universe, wishes their words to be transmitted and adhered to, they should have been a bit less ambiguous. Expecting people to select The Truth out of limitless possibilities on faith alone seems like a sloppy way to run things.

          January 28, 2014 at 9:55 am |
        • JW

          The bible prophecy said that a big period of spiritual darkness would be ruling humanity for a big period of time. Though some where sincere worshipers of God, but many where killed by trying to preach or translate the bible...

          January 28, 2014 at 9:59 am |
        • Des

          Great work, Doc, in rebutting JW's nonsense.. It's awful that JW is still out here on recruiting missions for his death cult. We'll be watching for him. Keep pressing him on points like this:

          So, JW, are you opposed to blood transfusion in the case of an accident victim who has lost a lot of blood and will die without transfused blood? Yes or no answer please; none of your usual dodging will get you by.

          January 28, 2014 at 10:01 am |
        • igaftr

          JW
          "There is no other religion that can understand and practice the bible as the Witnesses."
          No true scotman once again.

          "There is no other religion that can understand and practice the bible as the "

          is the same thing..

          January 28, 2014 at 10:02 am |
        • igaftr

          JW
          last one didn't display correctly
          "There is no other religion that can understand and practice the bible as the Witnesses."
          No true scotman once again.

          "There is no other religion that can understand and practice the bible as the (insert one of over 40,000 denominations here)"

          is the same thing..

          January 28, 2014 at 10:05 am |
        • JW

          Des- no I don't accept blood. Read Acts 15:28,29!

          But I accept better treatments, alternatives to blood. You and the people your misleading showed get to know these medical strategies!

          January 28, 2014 at 10:23 am |
        • Des

          Everyone, be careful of JW. He is back out here on recruiting missions for his deadly cult. He must get cult brownie points for his doorknocking efforts here. Keep pressing him on points like this:

          So, JW, are you opposed to blood transfusion in the case of an accident victim who has lost a lot of blood and will die without transfused blood? Yes or no answer please; none of your usual dodging will get you by. We are watching for you and your deadly ilk.

          January 28, 2014 at 8:22 pm |
    • jonathanL

      The Hell myth has its origins in Greek mythology as you refer to Hades, and that is where according to the ancient Greeks, a great serpent dwelled. In the garden of Eden the serpent was above ground, but we all know of many snakes that live underground, so this was typical of a snake except that he spoke in whatever ancient language the myth was written in initially. Also sometimes we alternately personify the devil as Pan the Greek god of the shepherds who played his flute and helped the Greek farmers herd their sheep (who nonetheless was part animal with his hooves, horns and furry legs). This is what most people believe he looks like.

      January 28, 2014 at 9:35 am |
  18. George

    It's a sign that the crow and the seagull were hungry.

    January 28, 2014 at 8:43 am |
  19. richunix

    @Lawrence of Arabia

    Interesting, that same feeling is not held in the Biblical scholar world where I reside. I ‘m glad you believe it make you feel happy, but NO ONE BAR NONE has ever walked across a luke warm water, in all your Gospel NO ONE WITNESS THE resurrection and which two of the four Gospel were actual Apostle and the other two are scribes? In short your ONLY requirement is you believe, no proof is required.

    Repost:
    For those who quote the Bible as “Truth”

    I have read the Bible numerous times, in fact I spent the last 10 years study it, so part of the Bible does contain some historical entries, but sadly the majority contains what we refer as “lest probable events”. The main question that arises during our discussion is “Did Jesus exists”. The answer amongst the majority of scholars (me included) is “YES” as a man, not what is painted so many years after his death. Modern Christianity has more to do with the Christian religion and less to do with the historical Jesus. Take the Gospel, Mark, Luke and Matthew make no mention that Jesus is divine, but the Gospel of John has no less than 11 entries and goes out of the way to state that Jesus is the Son of God and part of God (The Johannine Comma) which are extra entries that were added in the late 5th CE (Latin) but is absent from every known Greek manuscript prior to the 4th CE, or the Pericope of Adultery is not found in any early Gospel associated with John prior the remarks of Pope Gregory the Great 6th century CE (Homilies) and was added in the 10th century C.E.

    So the question is, of the 5700 known manuscripts (New Testament Bible in Konic Greek which are the earliest known versions) making up the books of the Bible which one would you say is the most correct? In short before you jump up on your band-wagon and declare it is the approved King James version, or the New World edited addition and was inspired by GOD. Remember if GOD meant for his word to be extant, then why didn’t he go to great lengths to preserve his word, this has puzzled theologian and scholar’s for centuries.

    You can try reading the Codex Sinaiticus , or the Codex Vaticanus (Codex Bezae, 8th century) both written in the 5th century. Both version have the most complete version of earlier Bible and some more books, however they have MAJOR difference between your current version. Or you may take your hand (like the rest of us) and learn Konic Greek, so you can read the very early version of the Bible like, Papyrus P52,46 or P75. You listed historical names from the Bible, maybe you should try reading the Gnostic Gospel such as The Gospel of Mary, James, Peter…better yet the Gospel of Judas (published in 2006) or the Gospel of Solomon (or King Solomon), how about the Gospel of Jesus himself?. Do you even know the difference between the Gnosticism and Docetism? Take your current four Gospel and read the Crucifixion stories, which version is correct, when only one (unnamed Apostle was present) and yet they all have different words spoken by the dying Jesus, different way’s and times he died. To make matters worse none of the Gospel state ANYONE saw the resurrection (read your Bible Matthew Chap 27, Mark Chap 16, Luke Chap 24, John Chap 20)). They all differ in the account who saw who and who spoke to whom. The bible you see today is not the bible that was originally written 2000 years ago, in fact not even close. None of the Gospel are/were not written by any of eyewitness they are penned after, they are in fact written century’s later by trained Greek scribes, you need to read more about Teutullin and Irenaeus. We do not HAVE any surviving Gospel from the 1st century, it is not until the 3rd century we have a few incomplete Gospel (P46/75) and the most complete by the 4th century and even these do not match the earlier version, let alone the prolific number of versions that were created in the 7/8/9th century.

    Stephen F Roberts: “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

    January 28, 2014 at 8:24 am |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      Your whole post sounds like you actually take the "Jesus Seminar" folks seriously...

      January 28, 2014 at 8:34 am |
      • Hmmmmm

        It appears you take the talking snakes and donkeys and the bible seriously, lol.

        January 28, 2014 at 8:40 am |
        • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

          Why would one not take donkeys seriously?

          January 28, 2014 at 8:47 am |
      • Charm Quark

        LofA
        Pope Francis, "Catholics should not be arrogant in insisting that they alone posses the TRUTH."
        That is left up to you isn't it, LofA? Are you not the possessor of the only TRUTH known to mankind, at least in your own mind? Please do not hesitate to share with us, as if anyone could stop you.

        January 28, 2014 at 8:48 am |
        • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

          People aren't wearing enough hats. That's the one, single truth.

          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2QJvc_SxFQ&w=640&h=360]

          January 28, 2014 at 8:50 am |
        • Science Works

          LoA likes deception better it looks like ?

          January 28, 2014 at 8:53 am |
        • Science Works

          Charm Quark – yeah and that quote was not included in the story that showed up about the internet being a gift from god –
          more deception ?

          Pope Francis, "Catholics should not be arrogant in insisting that they alone posses the TRUTH."

          January 28, 2014 at 9:39 am |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Do you take all of your Bible seriously? As fact? You should realise that only Christians of a certain stripe do so. Jews recognize their own foundation myths as just that – myths. Not that some of it isn't history, but it was written with several purposes in mind and even when it is based on historical events it is shaded toward those purposes – justification for an act of genocide in 1 Samuel 15, for example. You should understand that the way religion is running on you makes you ignore obvious aspects of your Bible and compels you to see it all as literal truth.

        January 28, 2014 at 8:49 am |
    • Joe S

      The good news for you is that no matter how much nonsense you or anyone types here is pales in comparison to the vast amount of foolishness that was written in the past that you just listed.

      January 28, 2014 at 8:56 am |
    • jonathanL

      I also studied this religion but I can see you went further than I did.ay School. You went further than I did, but I reached virtually the same conclusions as you. St. Justin edited out many of the books of the Bible in the 3rd or 4th century in order to persent Jesus in a better light, and to remove the books that were seen as not credible (too fantastical). There are an incredible number of gods, even in the Bible, and of course Jehova, the God of the Jews, is apparently the only one the Jews are allowed to worship (he warned them of how jealous he can be and probably then as today they knew jealousy was one of the top motives for murder – and if you remember the story of Noah where their God murdered all the children, babies, mommies and daddies, sisters, brothers in the world by drowning them in a great flood (and allegedly because they were all liars). So no doubt they worshiped him out of fear. Then he sent Jesus, according to the Bible, to save only the Jews. That is why through the first century you were required to become a Jew before you could become a Christian. There are several other gods not only in the old testament, but if you step outside Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, into the rest of the world, there are tens of thousands of other gods and needless to say, religions who by their own beliefs are the only legitimate ones. So in studying the varieties of religion, I found many inspired and interesting, however most scriptures are chock full of unsubstantiable stories, many deriving from the earliest mythologies. So which of the gods do you chose. I ask why do I really have to choose one? I could find no evidence beyond hearsay that any of these deities exist, or even that miracles ever happened. I do see evidence that what we know as the 'laws of physics' govern how events unfold, that all life forms evolved from chemical soup in the last 3.5 billion years from single celled animals (there is overwhelming evidence from various scientific fields, such as anatomy, genetics, biology, geology, and paleantology). I find it astounding that so many people today actually read these ancient stories accept them without question. There was evidence in Ancient Libya according to Heroditus the great historan from 600 BC, of a huge god, which was a footprint that was over two meters in length! It was at the time a mecca which I seem remember people had to pay to see. But then how does anyone know whether the footprint was carved out of the ground by the people selling the tickets?

      January 28, 2014 at 9:27 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.