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Pope Francis: Church could support civil unions
Pope Francis speaks at St Peter's square on December 11, 2013.
March 5th, 2014
10:04 AM ET

Pope Francis: Church could support civil unions

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - Pope Francis reaffirmed the Catholic Church's opposition to gay marriage on Wednesday, but suggested in a newspaper interview that it could support some types of civil unions.

The Pope reiterated the church's longstanding teaching that "marriage is between a man and a woman." However, he said, "We have to look at different cases and evaluate them in their variety."

States, for instance, justify civil unions as a way to provide economic security to cohabitating couples, the Pope said in a wide-ranging interview published Wednesday in Corriere della Seraan Italian daily. State-sanctioned unions are thus driven by the need to ensure rights like access to health care, Francis added.

A number of Catholic bishops have supported civil unions for same-sex couples as an alternative to marriage, including Pope Francis when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 2010, according to reports in National Catholic Reporter and The New York Times.

Behind closed doors, pope supported civil unions in Argentina, activist says

But Wednesday's comments are "the first time a Pope has indicated even tentative acceptance of civil unions," according to Catholic News Service.

Later on Wednesday, a Vatican spokesman sought to clarify the Pope's remarks.

"The Pope did not choose to enter into debates about the delicate matter of gay civil unions," said the Rev. Thomas Rosica, a consultant to the Vatican press office.

"In his response to the interviewer, he emphasized the natural characteristic of marriage between one man and one woman, and on the other hand, he also spoke about the obligation of the state to fulfill its responsibilities towards its citizens."

"We should not try to read more into the Pope’s words than what has been stated in very general terms," Rosica added.

Pope Francis, who marks his first year in office on March 13, has sought to set a more tolerant tone for his 1 billion-member church and suggested that a broad range of topics are at least open for discussion.

In January, the Pope recalled a little girl in Buenos Aires who told her teacher that she was sad because "my mother's girlfriend doesn't like me."

"The situation in which we live now provides us with new challenges which sometimes are difficult for us to understand," the Pope told leaders of religious orders, adding that the church "must be careful not to administer a vaccine against faith to them."

The Vatican later denied that those comments signaled an opening toward same-sex unions.

Last June, Francis famously refused to judge gay priests in comments that ricocheted around the world. He has also said that the church should not "interfere" in the spiritual lives of gays and lesbians.

Pope Francis' greatest hits of 2013

Support of same-sex unions of any type is fiercely contested by many Catholic church leaders.

In Wednesday's interview, Francis also addressed several other controversial issues, including the Catholic Church's ban on contraception, the role of women and the devastating clergy sexual abuse scandal.

On contraception, the Pope praised Pope Paul VI for having the "courage" to "go against the majority" when restating the ban in 1968. But, Francis said, the church must also be "merciful" and "attentive to concrete situations."

Contraception and church's ban on divorced Catholics receiving holy communion, will likely be addressed at major meetings of Catholic bishops in Rome in 2014 and 2015.

“We must give a response. But to do so, we must reflect much in depth,” the Pope said Wednesday.

On the role of women in the church, an issue of particular concern to Catholics in the United States, the Pope hinted that changes could be in the works.

"Women must be present in all of the places where decisions are taken," Francis said in the newspaper interview, but the church must consider more than "functional" roles for women. To that end, Catholic leaders are engaged in "deep reflection" on women's role in the church, he said.

On the sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy, a scandal that has rocked the church in the United States, the Pope said the abuse has left "very deep wounds" on victims.

In response, the church has done more than other institutions to be open and transparent about sexual abuse by its employees, Francis said. “But the Church is the only one to be attacked."

A United Nations panel criticized Catholic leaders last month in a hard-hitting report on clergy sexual abuse.

The report said the Vatican "has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, has not taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by and the impunity of the perpetrators.”

The Vatican said it would study the U.N. report.

Kick out those who sexually abuse children, U.N. panel tells Vatican

On Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who has surprised church-watchers with public appearances after saying he would live a cloistered life in retirement, Francis said he considers his predecessor a "wise grandfather."

"The Pope Emeritus is not a statue in a museum," Pope Francis said. Rather, the two men have decided that Benedict should participate in the church's public life rather than live a shuttered life.

"I thought about grandparents who with their wisdom, their advice, strengthen families and don't deserve to end up in an old folks home," Francis said.

Finally, he may sometimes wear a cape, but don't call Pope Francis a Superman, the popular pontiff said.

"To paint the Pope as a sort of Superman, a kind of star, seems offensive to me," Francis told Corriere della Sera. "The Pope is a man who laughs, cries, sleeps soundly and has friends like everyone else. A normal person."

Earlier this year, graffiti depicting a muscle-bound and flying Francis appeared on walls near Vatican City, but the Pope said Wednesday that he doesn't like the "mythology" surrounding his papacy, which marks its first anniversary on March 13.

For instance, Francis debunked the idea that he sneaks out of the Vatican at night to feed the homeless.

"It never occurred to me," he said.

(CNN's Delia Gallagher assisted in translating Pope Francis' remarks from the Italian.) 

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Culture wars • Discrimination • Gay marriage • Gay rights • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope Francis • Vatican

soundoff (3,591 Responses)
  1. Austin

    Awnser to prayer

    There was a couple who got married and they planned out their kids names. They agreed on a boys name. And they both had a different opinion on a girls name. One wanted april and one wanted autumn.

    Ten years passed andnthey couldntn conceive. So after praying and seeking adoption the day came when they got two girls from another continent.

    The girls names that they received were april and autumn.

    Told by allestair begg. Onaplace.com

    March 7, 2014 at 8:50 pm |
    • Akira

      What did they name their boy?

      March 7, 2014 at 8:55 pm |
      • Austin

        Im not sure if they got one but those girls were allready named they arent the ones who named them. They were random selection pre named girls with the same names they picked ten years before as.newly weds.

        March 7, 2014 at 9:03 pm |
        • the0g0to0the0t

          Yup. People when the lottery every day.

          March 7, 2014 at 9:38 pm |
        • Akira

          What a lucky coincidence! Those girls won't have to re-learn a brand new name.

          March 7, 2014 at 9:57 pm |
  2. observernow

    Austin,

    You've been on here putting down gays and gay marriage.

    So are you going to answer my question? Do you BELIEVE and SUPPORT ALL of the Bible's positions on marriage including FORCED marriages and no possible divorces for some or do you just HYPOCRITICALLY pick and choose from the Bible?

    March 7, 2014 at 8:05 pm |
    • Austin

      Which blog is this?

      .read the whole new testamentt and stop playing manipulative games

      Abide in the word .

      March 7, 2014 at 8:11 pm |
      • observernow

        Austin,

        "What blog is this?" Don't you know? it's all about the Pope, religion and gay marriage.

        Why won't you answer? Are you AFRAID to or just ASHAMED?

        Is God going to be impressed with a so-called Christian who refuses to affirm his belief in the Bible?

        March 7, 2014 at 8:22 pm |
        • Austin

          The second part of the most important commandment love, cant be cimpleted with out the gospel.

          Furthermore christ fulfills moses and quotes moses. This shows us the value of word of God.

          The commandment is found in the book of matthew that you discard.

          I surrender to 66 books. You not even one.

          Why you think you can use the word to manipulate me?

          March 7, 2014 at 8:31 pm |
        • observernow

          Austin,

          You are just continuing to make yourself look like a hypocritical fool.

          The question is DO YOU BELIEVE and SUPPORT EVERYTHING IN THE BIBLE CONCERNING MARRIAGE or just pick and choose?

          You REFUSE to affirm whether you believe the ENTIRE Bible. Is God going to be impressed that you don't believe all of his Bible?

          March 7, 2014 at 8:36 pm |
        • Austin

          Yes. Pick any verse its true.

          But dont pick one and.reject others.

          March 7, 2014 at 8:43 pm |
      • Akira

        I assume observer is talking about this blog, where you said that atheists and gays do not deserve to use the word 'marriage'.

        March 7, 2014 at 8:53 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      That post demonstrates a logical fallacy: the loaded question. Beware everyone.

      March 7, 2014 at 8:14 pm |
      • observernow

        Dalahäst,

        No fallacy. FACT. Try again.

        This demonstrates the level of HONESTY and INTEGRITY of someone who is claiming he follows the Bible. Asking him whether he believes EVERYTHING in it is a FAIR QUESTION. It's rather pathetic that you are making excuses for him.

        March 7, 2014 at 8:19 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No, those really were loaded questions. I'm not making excuses for him. Relax.

          March 7, 2014 at 8:57 pm |
  3. Austin

    If you dont worship random mutation ......is there proof that we are here randomly?

    Is there random proof?

    March 7, 2014 at 8:00 pm |
    • bostontola

      Austin,
      No proof, science isn't focused on proving things. There is an enormous amount of evidence that randomness plays a big part in how we got to being here.

      March 7, 2014 at 8:05 pm |
      • Austin

        Out of 7 billion people.atleast 2 billion are christian. You think you can speak for 2 billion that God doesnt answer prayer?

        There are supernatural miracles all over the world.

        Your lack of proof and refusal to hear testimony of christians outs science in a category of organized selective data and special selection.

        That fits definition of cult. And since. You obsess over dead materials that lack message and intelligence.......the choice to run such a blatant scam is like spiritual racism.

        Your propoganda machine is wicked.

        March 7, 2014 at 8:22 pm |
        • bostontola

          Austin,
          I never tried to speak for Christians, just for me.

          March 7, 2014 at 8:31 pm |
        • Akira

          There is not one thing that Boston said that is remotely wicked or propaganda-like.

          You appear to have the Woozle effect. Look it up.

          March 7, 2014 at 8:35 pm |
        • Austin

          Boston.

          Im not mad or riled up but rejecting God is a decision that lacks quality. Its more stubborn wishfulness as you agree that you dont have sxientific proof of random mutation origin or proo there never was a god.

          When i listen to sermoms.preachers tell stories of tear jerking answers to prayers all the time.

          Keep searching for a good church.

          March 7, 2014 at 8:39 pm |
    • Austin

      Do you worship , or are you blindly dedicated to the idea that life is a ramdom mutation accident?

      Is there poof there was never God?

      March 7, 2014 at 8:05 pm |
      • bostontola

        Do you worship , or are you blindly dedicated to the idea that life is a ramdom mutation accident? I don't worship, and I am not blindly dedicated to the idea that life is a random mutation accident. Most random mutations result in death.

        Is there poof there was never God? No.

        March 7, 2014 at 8:15 pm |
      • In Santa We Trust

        Equally there's no evidence (outside of religious texts) of a god. What's more likely – something for which there is no evidence does not exist or something for which there is no evidence does exist?

        March 7, 2014 at 9:21 pm |
        • Austin

          Wrong. You are a selective observer.

          I have evidence and so do many other Christians world wide.

          March 7, 2014 at 9:41 pm |
  4. joeyy1

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_F9nIps46w&w=640&h=360]
    ]

    March 7, 2014 at 7:22 pm |
  5. derado8

    Another thought experiment..

    I have an object on the desk in front of me.
    I know no one who reads this "knows" what it is, what do you "believe" it is?

    March 7, 2014 at 7:13 pm |
    • meatheist

      I know. I know. It's an invisible pink unicorn. Prove me wrong!

      March 7, 2014 at 7:17 pm |
      • meatheist

        And it created everything in the universe....

        March 7, 2014 at 7:19 pm |
        • meatheist

          After saying "oink."

          March 7, 2014 at 7:20 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          And it is a logical fallacy.

          March 7, 2014 at 7:20 pm |
      • derado8

        If there is a unicorn on my desk it's not only invisible but intangible, weightless, silent and free of scent. I have no idea what it did if it did anything or if it's there.

        There is an orange lighter on my desk. I have no way to prove it.

        March 7, 2014 at 7:24 pm |
        • meatheist

          But the invisible pink unicorn is there and it just made a poo. And its an invisible green color,-foul smelling if the smell weren't invisible too.

          March 7, 2014 at 9:29 pm |
        • meatheist

          It just made a poo. And its an invisible green color,-foul smelling if the smell weren't invisible too.

          March 7, 2014 at 9:30 pm |
    • derado8

      Dala with the logical fallacy post I assume you were referencing the combination of invisible and pink. If my thoughts are a fallacy on the subject of beliefs please explain.

      March 7, 2014 at 7:48 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        Yes (it was to Meatheist, not you).

        March 7, 2014 at 7:59 pm |
    • sealchan

      Your mind is on that desk. 😉

      March 7, 2014 at 7:51 pm |
      • derado8

        For all I know my mind could be in a jar somewhere on an alien ship and this whole conversation is just a weird dream.

        March 7, 2014 at 7:54 pm |
    • Akira

      A computer?

      March 7, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
      • derado8

        Good guess, and quite able to be deducted from the available evidence.

        March 7, 2014 at 7:55 pm |
  6. bostontola

    This atheist's thought experiment:
    I wake up tomorrow exactly the same as today with 1 change, I experience God's presence unambiguously and without doubt.

    Of all the potential Gods I am aware of, Jesus would be at the bottom of my list. I would never adopt Jesus as my God. The whole hell proposition is anathema to a loving God, and eternal pain is an immoral sentence for any crime in this world. The bible is full of contradiction, falsehoods, and has immorality as well as morality mixed together. Christianity would be last on my list.

    Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and most others would be ruled out due to the ridiculous premises, and the sacred texts are full of falsehoods, contradictions, etc.

    I would have to search for some obscure religion that made sense, or just relate to God in my own way.

    March 7, 2014 at 7:04 pm |
    • derado8

      Step 1: Create an imaginary friend. Vividly imagine his appearance, in great detail by use of meditation.

      Step 2: Imagine a few Jungian symbols associated with him or her.

      Step 3: Now you are ready to search diligently through every possible religion to find the closest match.

      March 7, 2014 at 7:09 pm |
      • sealchan

        Start a dream journal then sincerely ask the question "Why did I have that dream?" by reflecting on how your life influenced your dream. Eventually your dreams will show you certain themes and those themes will be the most creative, personal reflection on the nature of your psychology (or soul).

        March 7, 2014 at 7:46 pm |
        • derado8

          Are you a Jung fan too?

          March 7, 2014 at 7:57 pm |
        • sealchan

          Yep. Jung helps me to bring my faith into the 21st century though it be kicking and screaming its medievalness on its way there...signing out...

          March 7, 2014 at 8:02 pm |
        • derado8

          Always nice to meet a Jungian. Have a good night.

          March 7, 2014 at 8:17 pm |
    • lngtrmthnkr

      Boston, Or just relate to God in my own way. That's it Boston.

      March 7, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        That's what I do. And today Jesus helps me understand God better.

        March 7, 2014 at 7:12 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          Do you believe that a person goes to eternal pain if they don't accept Jesus as their savior before they die?

          March 7, 2014 at 7:16 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No.

          March 7, 2014 at 7:17 pm |
        • bostontola

          So I agree, you relate to your God in your own way and you have named him Jesus.

          March 7, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No. I relate to God in my own way. But I didn't name Him Jesus.

          March 7, 2014 at 7:23 pm |
    • sealchan

      I don't see any problem with relating to that "God" in your own way.

      March 7, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
      • bostontola

        So to you, worshiping any benevolent God is ok, just not worshiping a God is bad?

        March 7, 2014 at 7:53 pm |
    • MadeFromDirt

      Your experiment is doomed. Man-centered gods and self-centered truth expire when you find yourself outside of your flesh and outside of this created physical universe. Looking for a man-centered god, or looking for truth that applies only to you, is certain to lead you to confusion and utter misery. In fact you are already confused, because you felt a need to make these comments here, totally off the topic of the Pope and civil unions. Could it be your cry for help?

      If so, allow me to give you some things to think about. The existence of hell is perfectly consistent with a loving God. God is pure love, and therefore He cannot tolerate unrighteousness in His presence. Hell actually confirms God's purity. God has given you life, but you reject Him as its source. Should God not punish such insulting rejection and expel it from His presence? And if you don't want to be with God, eternal separation from Him is exactly what you want, isn't it? Is that not pefect justice, and even perfect love?

      Precisely because Christianity seems so naturally unattractive to mankind is proof that it comes from our Holy Creator, not from man. And it comes from Him because of His overflowing love for us. So what greater purpose could we have than to seek God and His perfect knowledge and righteousness, love Him, serve Him, and enjoy Him forever?

      March 7, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
  7. Austin

    If we didnt get he from random mutation then how did we get here?

    Do you worship (excessive devotion) random mutation?

    March 7, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
    • bostontola

      If we didnt get he from random mutation then how did we get here? Random mutation, replication errors like replicating multiple times, environment changes, among other things.

      Do you worship (excessive devotion) random mutation? No, I accept good science. I don't worship gravity either.

      March 7, 2014 at 7:08 pm |
    • sealchan

      To the theory of evolution I think should be added the science of complexity.

      See Stuart Kaufmann's "Reinventing the Sacred"

      March 7, 2014 at 7:53 pm |
      • bostontola

        Very interesting book.

        March 7, 2014 at 7:56 pm |
  8. Dalahäst

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlaoR5m4L80&w=640&h=360]

    March 7, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
    • sam stone

      love that song

      March 7, 2014 at 7:46 pm |
  9. guidedans

    I understand why some people would not want to be Christians, but I don't understand the logic of being an Atheist.

    No one here is ever going to know the truth until they are dead and then it is too late to change your mind.

    I would honestly like to know what the benefit of Atheism is over Christianity. That is to say, why is your Earthly life so much better not believing in God that it warrants the risk of Hell?

    Even if you think that the risk of Hell is very, very low, you can't count it out completely. In order for Atheism to be a rational belief, the benefit you gain from being an Atheist must be so great that it outweighs the negative potential of an eternity of pain.

    March 7, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
    • otoh2

      guidans,

      This is another tired repeti.tion of Pascal's Wager - thoroughly refuted since the 17th century, when it was first proposed.

      - What if the real "God" is Allah, or Vishnu, or Zeus, or Quetzalcoatl, or any of the other of thousands which have been dreamed up over the centuries? Some of them are very jealous and vengeful and will relegate you to nasty places for not worshiping them. You'd better cover your butt by believing in ALL of them and fulfill their wishes and demands.

      - What if the real "God" prefers those who use logic and reason and punishes you as a silly sycophant?

      - What if the real "God" detests those who believe something just to cover their butts in eternity?

      March 7, 2014 at 6:30 pm |
      • believerfred

        Nonsense
        What if you simply followed Jesus teaching or as he called it "the way". It is a win win situation unless there happened to god who hates what is good. If that is the case then the best bad guy of all known history did good according to god and he is in the same boat as the Christian. That would make for a very un god like god. Such a god would need to create a universe that rewards those who are incapable of accomplishing even the worst possible which eliminates natural selection and results in no intelligent life. The best such a god could do was create intelligent life that followed the teaching of Jesus.
        In short the best an evil god could do would be to create the most loving world ever known.

        March 7, 2014 at 7:06 pm |
        • otoh2

          believerfred,
          "unless there happened to god who hates what is good."

          That sounds just like your guy, according to that book of yours. The good Muslim, the good Hindu, the good non-believer – no paradise for them.

          March 7, 2014 at 7:23 pm |
        • believerfred

          But, Jesus said who is good but God alone. No one gets in by being good. The Christian, Atheist and all others are treated equally. Everyone is given an opportunity that would benefit from such opportunity to accept redemption. God is an equal opportunity provider. How does one top that offer of perfect goodness?

          March 7, 2014 at 7:39 pm |
      • guidedans

        otoh2,

        I am not asking "Why don't you believe in Christianity?" I am asking, why do you believe in Atheism, A belief with a smaller benefit than other religions, (like the ones you listed).

        If you are an Atheist, then the best outcome you could hope for is that you are wrong and God just gives you a free pass into Heaven.

        Why believe something where the best case scenario is that you are wrong?

        March 7, 2014 at 7:11 pm |
        • otoh2

          "Why believe something where the best case scenario is that you are wrong?"

          So, just pick some being and pretend to believe in it, eh?

          Perhaps when you understand why you dismiss all other gods / beliefs, you might understand why yours is dismissed.

          March 7, 2014 at 7:29 pm |
        • otoh2

          Btw, guidedans, atheism is simply the *lack* of belief in a god or gods.

          March 7, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          "Perhaps when you understand why you dismiss all other gods / beliefs, you might understand why yours is dismissed."

          Ugh. You probably should quote the guy you learned that from.

          March 7, 2014 at 7:35 pm |
        • otoh2

          Dalahast,

          Well, Ugh to you too.

          It's a paraphrase of a quote by Stephen Roberts, btw, what do you care?

          March 7, 2014 at 9:39 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Nothing. I just hear it referenced a lot. I see it used on a lot of atheist websites, that is for sure.

          March 7, 2014 at 10:00 pm |
    • bostontola

      guidedans,

      I understand why some people would not want to be Christians, but I don't understand the logic of being an Atheist.
      Atheism is the lack of belief in God, no logic is required.

      No one here is ever going to know the truth until they are dead and then it is too late to change your mind.
      True for you too. You could be believing in a false God, and the real God will punish you for it.

      I would honestly like to know what the benefit of Atheism is over Christianity.
      No benefit other than seeing the world with less bias.

      That is to say, why is your Earthly life so much better not believing in God that it warrants the risk of Hell?
      I don't think an individual's atheism makes for a better life, blissful ignorance is, well, blissful.

      Even if you think that the risk of Hell is very, very low, you can't count it out completely.
      Which God should I worship so there is no chance that I am wrong and go to the real God's hell?

      In order for Atheism to be a rational belief, the benefit you gain from being an Atheist must be so great that it outweighs the negative potential of an eternity of pain.
      No. Same as above, unless you can prove that your God is real, I still face the same odds of eternal pain (just like you do, but you don't recognize it).

      The whole hell thing is the strongest reason to reject Jesus. The entire proposition is immoral. I want no part of any God with that proposition.

      March 7, 2014 at 6:34 pm |
      • guidedans

        Hey Boston,

        I understand your argument for not selecting Christianity, and I understand that, if I am wrong, I will go to the same Hell that the atheist does. BUT, if I am RIGHT, I go to Heaven. If the atheist is right, we both get nothing.

        There is no one belief that eliminates the risk of Hell, but the Atheist is choosing a belief that doesn't offer the possibility of Heaven (unless God let's everyone into Heaven, in which case the Atheist is still wrong).

        It would be better to commit to one faith with the opportunity of being correct and rewarded for it than committing to a faith (Atheism) where your best option is you are wrong.

        I am not making an Argument for Christianity here, I am looking for an argument FOR Atheism.

        March 7, 2014 at 7:20 pm |
        • bostontola

          guidedans,
          There is no argument for atheism. There is arguments against Christianity, Judaism, etc. so atheism wins. I can't say that for Deism, it is pretty much in a tie with atheism.

          March 7, 2014 at 7:25 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I hear lots of arguments for atheism, but I don't agree with them.

          March 7, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          Not to me. Atheism and Deism are the surviving explanations is all. Religions have been weeded out.

          March 7, 2014 at 8:00 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          You have only weeded religion out for yourself. And perhaps in your humble opinion only deism and atheism will work for you.

          Basically you are sharing your opinion.

          March 7, 2014 at 8:11 pm |
        • bostontola

          True, but not all opinions are equal. Some are supported by objective evidence, others are not.

          March 7, 2014 at 8:18 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          That religion has been weeded out, and all that stands is atheism and deism is a personal statement that you are only qualified to make for yourself. Claiming that objective evidence proves your opinion is greater than others seems arrogant, in my opinion. That is one valid reason to question atheism and deism.

          March 7, 2014 at 9:03 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          I recommend you read my comments again. I repeatedly say there is no proof. Just objective evidence. There is no objective evidence for Jesus being God, and there is lots of objective evidence that the bibles are not from any God, but created by men.

          March 8, 2014 at 12:16 am |
    • observernow

      I'm an agnostic, but I think I can offer a couple of thoughts.

      It does seem that believers often don't make the most out of what we have. They seem to complain far more about the world that they think God created for them. We often hear how awful things are and that the end of the world is coming. We hear about dying being good because they are "going to a better place".

      Believers often use their religion as an excuse for not treating people equally. Look at all the Christian re-married adulterers who pick on gays. Look at all the time and money Christians have spent on trying to deny equal rights to gays while PRETENDING they believe in the Golden Rule.

      There's often a lot of hypocrisy in claiming you follow the Bible.

      March 7, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        Believers sound a lot like non-believers.

        March 7, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
        • bostontola

          Really?
          Do non-believers complain far more about the world that they think God created for them. Do they say that the end of the world is coming. Do they say dying is good because they are "going to a better place"?

          March 7, 2014 at 6:43 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No, but I find that they can be just as hypocritical and have a very pessimistic outlook on life.

          March 7, 2014 at 6:47 pm |
        • observernow

          Dalahäst,

          What do atheists do that compares to the hypocrisy of believers who tell other people that they deserve to spend eternity burning in hell for not believing all of a book that they themselves don't believe all of?

          March 7, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Why are you painting with such broad strokes?

          Not all atheists are giant hypocrites. But some are. The same is true for believers.

          When I was an atheist, I often pointed out flaws in religious people while ignoring my own. I still do that today. That makes me a hypocrite.

          March 7, 2014 at 6:58 pm |
        • observernow

          Dalahäst,

          There are plenty of hypocrites everywhere. My statement applied to the level of hypocrisy.

          Do you have a good counterexample to that of those using the Bible as an excuse to pick on others when then don't believe it?

          March 7, 2014 at 7:26 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I have seen religious hating atheists criticize Christians for not following the "golden rule", that turn around and not follow the "golden rule" by resorting to name calling and using derogatory language.

          Do some religious people fail to live up to their own ideals? Yes. Just like everyone else.

          I also know some Christians that are a good example of how to live right. I can't deny that fact. Just like I know people that aren't Christians that provide a good example, too.

          March 7, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
      • guidedans

        Thanks for providing some honest thoughts, observer.

        I see the hypocrisy of the church and I am saddened by it too. But you should understand that Christians are not better than anyone else. They are human beings and they are sinners just like everyone in the world. The Christian stands apart from the rest of the world by admitting that they are bad and asking for God to redeem them and purify them through Jesus.

        I know that Christian behavior is sometimes bad and sometimes it is even worse than the behavior of non-believers. It pains me to see that as I am sure it is pushing people away from God. I agree with you that Christians should work to follow the Golden Rule more, but Christians should also be very clear in what sin is and its ramifications.

        I believe that Christians target certain popular sins as especially bad and that that clouds the issue. All sin is bad and all sin should be avoided. No one sin should treated as worse than all others. For that, I believe the church has made a mistake and has ostracized a portion of society. I apologize for that, but I think that you should really read the Bible with an open heart and see for yourself what it has to say.

        Looking at members of any faith is always going to let you down because those members are, after all, human beings.

        March 7, 2014 at 7:29 pm |
    • derado8

      As a former "non Christian" it wasn't that I don't miss my god, he just wasn't there and no amount of wishing for him would make him real.

      March 7, 2014 at 6:41 pm |
    • meatheist

      Wouldn't this world be a better place if we all took responsibility for ourselves? Wouldn't it be better if people didn't use religion to separate themselves from each other and use religion as an excuse or justification for war? Do you really think an all knowing god is going to punish innocent atheista for not believing in him, her, or what, given the pitiful evidence he has provided for his, her, or whats existence. Think...The ability to think is your god given blessing....tee hee.

      March 7, 2014 at 6:42 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        + Wouldn't this world be a better place if we all took responsibility for ourselves?

        Agreed. And I do a better job as that as a believer than I did as an atheist. I take complete responsibility for my actions. I reap what I sow.

        + Wouldn't it be better if people didn't use religion to separate themselves from each other and use religion as an excuse or justification for war?

        Agreed. I dont' use religion to separate my self from others and have never used it as a justification for war.

        + Do you really think an all knowing god is going to punish innocent atheista for not believing in him, her, or what, given the pitiful evidence he has provided for his, her, or whats existence.

        No.

        + Think...The ability to think is your god given blessing....tee hee.

        Reason and logic are gifts from God, so I use them.

        March 7, 2014 at 6:51 pm |
        • Reality

          Reason and logic are the result of evolution. I highly recommend that everyone study http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/0_0_0/evo_02. Bill Bryson's book, A Short History of Nearly Everything also is very enlightening.

          March 7, 2014 at 7:02 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Evolution = God's work

          March 7, 2014 at 7:05 pm |
    • Reality

      And then there is the question as to who created the Christian god since Abrahamics believe that everything was created by something.

      March 7, 2014 at 6:56 pm |
    • sealchan

      Why believe in a God that you cannot tell exists until you die? I wouldn't expect that kind of God to show up when I did.

      March 7, 2014 at 6:58 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        I can tell God exists. And I'm not dead.

        March 7, 2014 at 7:16 pm |
        • derado8

          The thought that got me Dala was the knowledge that I have no way to prove my experience(s) were a result of anything other than my own neurology.

          March 7, 2014 at 7:35 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yep.

          March 7, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
        • derado8

          Thank you. 🙂

          March 7, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
        • sealchan

          derado8, why dismiss the experiences that are only a result of your neurology? In what else would lie your mind and all that is unique to it?

          March 7, 2014 at 7:55 pm |
        • derado8

          Which is more plausible...

          Alien abduction
          Visit with an obscure god
          hypoxic temporal lobe seizure

          March 7, 2014 at 8:00 pm |
      • guidedans

        Hi Seal,

        Why not believe in God while you are alive? The worst thing that could happen is that you are wrong and you are in the same situation you were in as an Atheist. The Best thing that could happen is that you are right, you live in harmony with that God, and you are blessed for it. Then... Bonus time! You get heaven too.

        March 7, 2014 at 7:35 pm |
        • derado8

          Once I've researched a subject based on my own doubt, how do I forget the new knowledge I've acquired?

          March 7, 2014 at 7:39 pm |
        • observernow

          guidedans

          "The worst thing that could happen is that you are wrong and you are in the same situation you were in as an Atheist."

          Wrong. You might have wasted a lot of time when you could be enjoying and appreciating the world. You might also have used your religion hypocritically to make other people's lives worse. You might have used it to deny others their rights. You might have an overall negative effect on the world. Note: I repeatedly said "MIGHT".

          March 7, 2014 at 7:44 pm |
        • guidedans

          Hey Derado,

          I thought the same thing about my beliefs before I was a Christian. But then I realized that I still had hundreds if not thousands of questions about the beliefs that I so firmly held.

          Like what keeps atoms together? Why is the speed of light the fastest anything can travel? Why, when an object speeds up, does its inertial mass increase?

          Maybe, one day, all of these questions will be answered, but guess what, more questions will be created out of them.

          You are never going to have all the facts and you are never going to have all the answers, but what I did is I began to place my faith in the Bible. The Bible's facts haven't changed for thousands of years. You can put your faith in that book and be sure that, with the next discovery, nothing will change about it.

          I know that, to the non-believer, that might sound like I am ignoring the facts of life, but in reality, I am just focusing my energy on the facts that I believe I can trust. I believe I can trust in God, and I believe that the Bible is God's word.

          March 7, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
        • derado8

          I can understand it to an extent as a philosophy, and an idea. I do not consider an idea to be the same thing as a fact

          March 7, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
        • sealchan

          The logical reason is as has been stated...which God and which rules am I to follow to prove I am properly believing. My point was that believing in God should be useful while you are alive, not just for after you die. There should be an active, working relationship while you are living. I don't know of any religion that would accept belief for anything less.

          March 7, 2014 at 7:58 pm |
    • lngtrmthnkr

      Guide, I came to God, not because I was afraid of hell or even worried about it. But because I was totally unhappy and felt empty. Atheists seem to be mostly put off by how we perform as Christians and the hypocracy some of us show. They don't want that God, and in some instances who can blame them.. If we don't show Christ to them, then we failed.

      March 7, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
      • guidedans

        Hey Ingtr,

        I didn't come to God for fear of Hell either. In reality, my wife wanted me to be a Christian and I wasn't very committed to my beliefs as an Atheist/Agnostic so I gave it a shot. Since then, God has really opened up my eyes to the shallowness of my former beliefs and the track that they were taking me down. I am so much more satisfied now than I was as an Atheist/Agnostic.

        I know that fear of Hell is never the only reason why someone should come to Christ, but I fear Hell for these folks and I don't want them to commit to a life that is leading them to a very bad place.

        I think you are right about our behavior as Christians. We need to be lights in this world and genuinely concerned for the welfare of others. That is the best way to show non-believers the way.

        March 7, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
        • bostontola

          It is the notion of hell that repels me from your religion.

          March 7, 2014 at 7:51 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          To some people, being responsible for their own actions is like hell. They are totally repelled by such a notion.

          March 7, 2014 at 8:13 pm |
        • lngtrmthnkr

          Boston, the absence of God is described by some as hell. If you reject him, you remove yourself farther from him and the love he emits. Into a void that is Godless .

          March 7, 2014 at 9:47 pm |
    • sam stone

      believing what i find to be believable

      March 7, 2014 at 7:48 pm |
  10. Dalahäst

    AM I A PROUD OR A BROKEN PERSON?
    (by Nancy DeMoss)

    1. Proud people focus on the failures of others.
    Broken people are overwhelmed with a sense of their own spiritual need.

    2. Proud people have a critical, fault-finding spirit; they look at everyone else’s faults with a microscope but their own with a telescope.
    Broken people are compassionate; they can forgive much because they know how much they have been forgiven.

    3. Proud people are self-righteous; they look down on others.
    Broken people esteem all others better than themselves.

    4. Proud people have an independent, self-sufficient spirit.
    Broken people have a dependent spirit; they recognize their need for others.

    5. Proud people have to prove that they are right.
    Broken people are willing to yield the right to be right.

    6. Proud people claim rights; they have a demanding spirit.
    Broken people yield their rights; they have a meek spirit.

    7. Proud people are self-protective of their time, their rights, and their reputation.
    Broken people are self-denying.

    8. Proud people desire to be served.
    Broken people are motivated to serve others.

    9. Proud people desire to be a success.
    Broken people are motivated to be faithful and to make others a success.

    10. Proud people desire self-advancement.
    Broken people desire to promote others.

    11. Proud people have a drive to be recognized and appreciated.
    Broken people have a sense of their own unworthiness; they are thrilled that God would use them at all.

    12. Proud people are wounded when others are promoted and they are overlooked.
    Broken people are eager for others to get the credit; they rejoice when others are lifted up.

    13. Proud people feel confident in how much they know.
    Broken people are humbled by how very much they have to learn.

    14. Proud people are quick to blame others.
    Broken people accept personal responsibility and can see where they are wrong in a situation.

    15. Proud people are unapproachable or defensive when criticized.
    Broken people receive criticism with a humble, open spirit.

    March 7, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
    • Austin

      Help.

      March 7, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        12. Proud people are wounded when others are promoted and they are overlooked.
        Broken people are eager for others to get the credit; they rejoice when others are lifted up.

        – Doh! I'm guilty of this one this week. Big time.

        March 7, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
        • guidedans

          We're all guilty of some of these trespasses sometimes. These are great snippets of advice and reminders that it is not bad to admit that you are broken. When we deny we are broken, we are deceiving ourselves.

          March 7, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
      • ausphor

        Austin
        If you cannot find help in your congregation, you may want to go to an outreach clinic.

        March 7, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
    • Austin

      Hey.a guy in christian radio is reading that exact list right now.

      He is talking about nebuchadnezzar.

      Where did you get the list?

      Chuck kolsten?

      March 7, 2014 at 5:46 pm |
      • Austin

        Ron moore?

        March 7, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        Yep, he is quoting Nancy DeMoss.

        March 7, 2014 at 5:49 pm |
    • bostontola

      Dalahast,
      While this is an interesting breakdown, I think it contains many false dichotomies. Obviously, we all exhibit some of most sides of each category. Just for fun, my self assessment below.

      1. Proud people focus on the failures of others. Rarely
      Broken people are overwhelmed with a sense of their own spiritual need. No

      2. Proud people have a critical, fault-finding spirit; they look at everyone else’s faults with a microscope but their own with a telescope. No
      Broken people are compassionate; they can forgive much because they know how much they have been forgiven. Yes

      3. Proud people are self-righteous; they look down on others. Sometimes
      Broken people esteem all others better than themselves. No

      4. Proud people have an independent, self-sufficient spirit. Yes
      Broken people have a dependent spirit; they recognize their need for others. Yes

      5. Proud people have to prove that they are right. Sometimes
      Broken people are willing to yield the right to be right. Rarely

      6. Proud people claim rights; they have a demanding spirit. Yes
      Broken people yield their rights Sometimes ;they have a meek spirit. No

      7. Proud people are self-protective of their time, their rights, and their reputation. Yes
      Broken people are self-denying. No

      8. Proud people desire to be served. No
      Broken people are motivated to serve others. Yes

      9. Proud people desire to be a success. Yes
      Broken people are motivated to be faithful and to make others a success. Yes

      10. Proud people desire self-advancement. Yes
      Broken people desire to promote others. Yes

      11. Proud people have a drive to be recognized and appreciated. Yes
      Broken people have a sense of their own unworthiness; they are thrilled that God would use them at all. No

      12. Proud people are wounded when others are promoted and they are overlooked. Sometimes
      Broken people are eager for others to get the credit; they rejoice when others are lifted up. Usually

      13. Proud people feel confident in how much they know. Depends on the subject
      Broken people are humbled by how very much they have to learn. Yes

      14. Proud people are quick to blame others. No
      Broken people accept personal responsibility and can see where they are wrong in a situation. Yes

      15. Proud people are unapproachable or defensive when criticized. Sometimes
      Broken people receive criticism with a humble, open spirit. Sometimes

      March 7, 2014 at 5:47 pm |
  11. Alias

    Am I really supposed to feel stupid because I didn't remember a character from a book written about 30 years ago?

    March 7, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Nope. Once you'd read one of these feel-good psycho babble "books", there was never a reason to indulge further.

      March 7, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
      • midwest rail

        To each their own.

        March 7, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Jonathan Livingston Seagull...a book got me through the summer after my Mom passed...thanks for the memory. 🙂

        March 7, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
  12. Donald Shimoda

    Don't be dismayed at good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again.

    And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.

    March 7, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
    • Austin

      And you stayed out until the middle of the night Donald.

      What a little trick you have become.

      March 7, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
      • Akira

        Tsk.

        March 7, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
  13. Alias

    “Ever notice how 'What the hell' is always the right answer?”
    ― Marilyn Monroe

    What a great and wise philosopher. If you don't see the truth in this, you are asking the wrong questions.

    March 7, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
  14. Donald Shimoda

    It is completely up to you what is or is not real in your world. There are no limitations.

    March 7, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      http://www.barefootsworld.net/illusions.html

      March 7, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
    • Donald Shimoda

      Finally!!
      AB

      March 7, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
      • Akira

        You've had them going for a good long time, Apple.

        I was nice enough to shut up and let you play. Is the check in the mail?

        March 7, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
        • Austin

          Is bush using robert brown?

          March 7, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
        • Akira

          Robert Brown busted AB. How is that using him?

          March 7, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
    • Alias

      Bullshit.

      March 7, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
      • Akira

        Blame Richard Bach. He started it.

        March 7, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
    • bostontola

      I don't care what anyone thinks about anything. I care about actions. When someone acts on a belief and it negatively affects others, then I care.

      March 7, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        So "logic" and "reason" tells you to believe what comes out of a criminal's mouth? That's comedy gold!!!!! Most atheists don't follow logic or reason. It's all for show.

        March 7, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
        • bostontola

          Ummm, speaking/lying is an action.

          March 7, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
  15. Doc Vestibule

    “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.”
    —1 John 2:18
    Christians have been waiting on tenterhooks for the Second Coming since the Bible itself was written.
    Many have prophesied the exact time of date of His return and ALL have been wrong.
    Back in the mid 2nd century, Montanus convinced his followers that the 2nd coming would be during their lifetimes. Despite Christ's no show and the continuation of civilization, somehow the cult lasted for centuries.
    A couple of hundred years later, a North African Christian tribe known as the Donatists tried the same scam, saying everything would collapse in 380CE.
    Around the same time, St. Martin of Tours declared that the anti-Christ had already been born and was on His way to gaining power over the world.
    A mathematical Christian group called the Lotharingians were quite certain The End would be in 970CE becuase in that year, the Annunciation and Good Friday were on the same day.
    Pope Innocent III prophesied the 2nd Coming for 666 years after the rise of Islam., the year 1284.
    Archdeacon Militz of Kromeriz and an ascetic monk named Jean de Roquetaillade both said it would be around 1365CE.
    Melchior Hoffman, an Anabaptist prophet, predicted that the world would burn in 1533CE.
    The Fifth Monarchy Men, a guano insane English terrorist group, said the apocalyptic battle between Christ and Satan would happen in 1666CE.
    George Rapp said it would be September 15th, 1829.
    William Miller predicted October 22, 1844. Jesus’ failure to arrive is known as “The Great Disappointment”. Many of his disillusioned followers went on the found the 7th Day Adventist Church, who are still patiently awaiting His return.
    Charles Russell, 1st President of the Watchtower Society told his fellow Jehovah’s Witnesses that Jesus would be back in 1874.
    Rudolf Steiner maintained that from 1930 onwards, Jesus would grant certain people psychic powers to enable them to witness his presence in the “etheric plane”.
    Herbert Armstrong, Pastor General of the Worldwide Church of God said 1975.
    Bill Maupin managed to convince his followers to sell all of their worldly goods in preparation for Jesus’ return on June 28th, 1981.
    Benjamin Crème stated that on June 21st, 1982 Christ would make a worldwide television announcement.
    Mark Blitz, Pastor of El Shaddai Ministries says it would be September 30th, 2008
    Jerry Falwell said it’d happen between 1999 and 2009.
    Harold Camping told everyone that the Rapture would happen May 21, 2011 after failing in his first predicted date of 1994.

    Conversely, many believe He’s all ready come in the form of Sun Myung Moon, Emanuel Swedenborg, Baha u llah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, David Koresh, Hailie Selassie, John Thom, Arnold Potter, William Davies, George roux, Ernest Norman, Krishna Venta, Ahn Sahng-Hong, Jim Jones, Mashall Applewhite, Hulon Mitchell, Wayne Bent, Ariffin Mohammed, Mitsuo Matayoshi, Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda, Inri Cristo, Thomas Provenzano, David Icke, Shoko Asahara, Hogan Fukinaga, Marina Tsvigun or Sergei Troop.

    It would appear that the much lauded Jewish carpenter has been thoroughly dead for 2000 years and will remain so.

    March 7, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
    • Austin

      I have the new.testament gift of prophecy. Word.of knowledge spiritual revelation.

      It startred with a shepherd.

      March 7, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Doc, you would think they would know better.

      Mark 13:32
      But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

      March 7, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Doomsday prophets always manage to find a following.
        The End is Nigh! So max out your credit cards and give me the money.

        March 7, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
    • sealchan

      If I were a writer I would work on a story that recasts the prophecy in the Book of Revelations into modern or slightly into the future times and have the destruction of the Earth take place due to a war with the story of the war modeled after the Mahabharata. The ending would involve first contact with intergalactic civilization. I would read that and watch the HBO series many, many times.

      March 7, 2014 at 7:09 pm |
  16. Peaceadvocate2014

    Must be friday, posts not worth replying to.

    Mostly ridicule.... 🙂

    March 7, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
    • Alias

      I must dissagree.
      If a post is so bad that it is not worth a reply, it deserves ridicule.
      That is justice, and we all know the internet is a fair and just god.

      March 7, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
      • Austin

        So sassy.

        March 7, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
      • Peaceadvocate2014

        Ok ok I'll join the fun. Happy friday to all you all.

        March 7, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
        • Akira

          Happy Friday!

          March 7, 2014 at 6:02 pm |
      • Peaceadvocate2014

        Alas, i forgotten to smile and enjoy little pleasures of life.

        The internet gets censored too. Those who are naughty will get a dual up comnection and the do gooders get the highspeed. Amazing 🙂

        March 7, 2014 at 8:14 pm |
    • Donald Shimoda

      They see the wall and know it has been removed, but insist it is still there.

      March 7, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
      • Alias

        Psycho babble at its best.
        Zen loves to put things in a very specific context, and then spout it as if it applied to every situation.
        All the while the spouter of said 'truth' thinks they are wise because the listener never wasted enough time to learn the Zen context and doesn't know what they are talking about..

        March 7, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014

          I just need to convert one of you mofo 🙂

          Million bucks?

          March 7, 2014 at 8:01 pm |
      • derado8

        •Our empirical experience of existence, as of right now, the act of perceiving itself (in the present tense only).
        •Axioms, from which we could derive and conclude whatever we like about the reality presumed to underlie our ongoing instantaneous consciousness depending on what axioms we choose9.6.

        http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/Philosophy/axioms/axioms/node34.html

        March 7, 2014 at 6:58 pm |
  17. Austin

    The words for the biblical terms of bride and bridegroom are habraic and they came way before the 1200 CE definition of marriage which was earlier pasted.

    March 7, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
  18. Alias

    Donald is striving to embrace nothing. He sees life as he wants it to be and acts as if that is they way it was.
    Austin strives to embrace jesus. He sees the world as jesus said it should be.

    You teo are way more alike than either of you realize. You're both out of touch with reality, but your faiths will make you happier as long as never think too hard or question it too much.

    March 7, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
    • Donald Shimoda

      Alias, you speak with authority yet are blind to most of the very reality you impose on yourself.

      March 7, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        Donald, you speak with authority but what you say makes very little sense ...

        March 7, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
      • Alias

        There you go again, transfering your own confusoin on to me.
        I see the world differently than you because I am sane.

        March 7, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
        • Donald Shimoda

          It is good that you are sane. Now use your mind to see the truth. Maybe there are changes to make.

          March 7, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
        • Alias

          What truth do you think is hidden from me?

          March 7, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
    • Akira

      We all live with Illusions.

      March 7, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        But as Saint Thomas Aquinas taught, you must USE your Illusion.
        Or maybe that was Axl Rose. I always get those two confused.

        March 7, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
        • Akira

          Use your illusion.

          March 7, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
        • Akira

          I and II.

          March 7, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
  19. Rynomite

    Bill was a cruel and sadistic geneticist who had 5 children. His children freqently disobeyed him and behaved wickedly (according to his mind). Bill, vastly disspointed and possessing little patience, slew 4 of his children for their transgressions. He spared only his son Ned who had obeyed him out of fear. Bill promised Ned that he would never again slay all of his future descendants.

    Ned grew up and had many children of his own, and he and his family continued to live in Bill's house under Bill's rules. Unfortunately for Bill, in his mind, his grandchildren were not much better than his children had been. Bill felt obligated to deliver harsh punishments to them for their transgressions. While he never again destroyed all of them at once, Bill did indeed slay random grandchildren when he felt that such a punishment was called for.

    After many years, Bill once again began to despair of his unruly grandchildren. He wanted to destroy them all! Unfortunately he was bound by his promise. Bill decided he knew how to fix the problem. The root of the problem was generational. His grand children just could not understand someone as old as he! As a brilliant geneticist he decided to clone himself and have this younger version of himself go amongst his grandchildren to show them proper behavior.

    So clone himself he did. His clone (named Will) went amongst his grandchildren and taught them many things. Strangley even though Will was made of the excact same stuff as Bill, Will was patient, loving, and kind (not at all like Bill). Bill's grandchildren responded positively to Will and many of them began to follow him.

    One day Will was playing with 3 of Bill's grandchildren: Kate, Bob and Dan. Kate and Bob were teasing Dan mercilessly. They jumped on him, beat him, up and took his lunch money. They stepped across the playground and continued to mock Dan. Will came over to Dan and helped him up. He also helped him clean his clothes and he comforted him. Bill, having observed the entire episode, strode purposfully acress the playground and smote Will dead where he stood. He looked over to the shocked Kate and Bob and said, "You are forgiven for all you have done to Dan."

    Dan exclaimed ,"Whhhaaaattt??!"

    Christianity 101

    March 7, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
    • Alias

      I really wish there was an option on this site to list others as 'favorites'. So according to Donald – there is!

      March 7, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
    • sealchan

      How about...

      Bill had children. They proved to him that they could think for themselves, so he kicked them out of the nursery and stood back to let them do their thing.

      Later as the children grew, some few of them got what it took to live in the world as it was made and not turn on others to gain for themselves a slightly better view. But even those who got it were overwhelmed at the suffering and misery all around them. They started to talk to Bill whom they had barely remembered hearing about. Somehow it gave them motivation to create more than what they could expect. Even though they knew Bill to be responsible, in the end, for all the misery they also understood that the world was composed of greater things, greater powers than any human could master.

      So these few tried their best to do what was right even if it didn't seem the optimal thing to do. Somehow they lived lives worth living and their lives became worth remembering to many others.

      Eventually another powerful group of people conquered those people who knew the tales of Bill. They fought against the tyranny of the powerful group to no avail. The more powerful group destroyed the people's greatest building. But some of those people found a belief, a reconciliation. They believed Bill had come down as Will and suffered with them. As Will he allowed himself to fall into the mercy of the worst of both the conquered and the conquerer. But some few of the people saw what happened. They saw a way out for both peoples. Eventually they succeeded in conquering the conquerer.

      Now that most of the world know's the story of Bill and Will and they have come into a kind of final power, nothing really has changed, there is still evil now in Bill's and Will's name, but also of every other kind. But some few there may be to see anew the true nature of the world that Bill created and they will have the humility and audacity to patiently win again some advance in the happiness of the people.

      March 7, 2014 at 7:35 pm |
  20. Austin

    Fred. I know man. Things are falling apart around me. Things are so dark.

    Give God you heart and seek him in prayer. We can release our faith and hopes to God.

    He will find you brother and lift you up with special glory.

    March 7, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
    • Donald Shimoda

      One need only imagine an alternative reality to change directions. You must actually want the change however.

      March 7, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
      • Alias

        When reality is too much for you, go for a good fantasy.

        March 7, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
        • Donald Shimoda

          Indeed who among us is not deluded, seeking clarity?

          March 7, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
        • Alias

          Just because you are that far gone, it is not valid to assume everyone else is too.
          I know it make you feel better to think we are all equally insecure and lost, but that doesn't necesarily make it true.

          March 7, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
        • Donald Shimoda

          Then you are the one Alias.

          March 7, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Seek professional help Austin. You're delusional!

      March 7, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
    • Peaceadvocate2014

      Keep it up. God is with you.

      March 7, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        If you're agreeing with him, maybe you should join him in seeking help. This boy is clearly delusional...he has admitted to fantasizing about blowing liquor stores...he's clearly not normal.

        March 7, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
    • believerfred

      Austin
      Thank you, I always need prayer.
      I was reading 2 Timothy and noted warnings about spending too much time in godless chatter that only serves to cause strife. Consider what your motive is for being on this site and the strength of your faith. Jesus generally remained silent before the likes of Herod and said nothing to the criminal who mocked him at the cross.

      Jesus also had 70 disciples and 12 close friends with two being significantly close. Hopefully you have a close group that you can receive encouragement from as that is necessity. If not check out BSF international to see if there is a study group close by. There are only 8 weeks left but this is a good time to join in.

      March 7, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.