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May 20th, 2014
03:24 PM ET

U.S. to Sudan: release Christian woman

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Editor

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(CNN) - International pressure is mounting on Sudan to release a pregnant Christian woman sentenced to death for apostasy, with members of the U.S. Congress asking Secretary of State John Kerry to intervene on her behalf.

On Wednesday, a bi-partisan group of four senators introduced a resolution condemning the sentencing of Meriam Yahya Ibrahim by a court in Khartoum on May 15.

The proposed resolution encourages Sudan to respect religious rights if it wants the United States to normalize relations or lift economic sanctions on the African nation.

“I am disgusted and appalled by the inhumane verdict Ms. Ibrahim has received, simply for refusing to recant her Christian faith," said Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"I also commend Ms. Ibrahim’s courage in refusing to renounce her Christianity, and I encourage her to remain steadfast. The world condemns her verdict and will stand by her in her moment of need," said Rubio.

The resolution was co-sponsored by Sens. Jim Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma; Chris Coons, a Democrat from Delaware; and Bob Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey.

The proposed Senate resolution adds more voices to the international outcry over the situation of Ibrahim, a Christian wife and mother who is pregnant with her second child while shackled in a Sudanese jail. Ibrahim's husband, Daniel Wani, is a U.S. citizen.

In a public letter to Kerry last Friday, Sens. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Roy Blunt of Missouri, both Republicans, called the sentencing of Ibrahim "outrageous."

"We request your immediate action and full diplomatic engagement to offer Meriam political asylum and to secure her and her son's safe release," the senators told Kerry.

After State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Monday that the Department of Homeland Security would have to oversee any asylum application filed by Ibrahim or her family, Ayotte and Blunt followed up with a letter asking the two departments to coordinate on the matter.

"Due to the nature of this case, it is critical that there is clarity between your departments regarding the status of the family and their previous requests for assistance from the United States," the senators wrote on Wednesday.  "Any gaps in communication between the departments during this time are simply unacceptable."

The worst places in the world to be religious

Ibrahim, 27, faces a long and unpredictable legal journey, according to her lawyer and international experts.

On May 15, a court in Khartoum convicted Ibrahim of apostasy, or the renunciation of faith, and sentenced her to death.

But variety of factors - Sudan's legal system, differences between its constitution and Sharia law imposed by the sentencing judge, her pregnancy - ensure there will be no execution any time soon.

Ibrahim's lawyer argues the sentence should not stand, and an international outcry could pressure Sudan's government to intervene.

Sudan has not carried out an execution for apostasy for almost two decades, according to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

In 1985, a man was executed for apostasy and sedition, according to the commission, for criticizing Sudan's implementation of Shariah, or Islamic law.

Rep. Trent Franks, a Republican from Arizona and chair of the House's International Religious Freedom Caucus, echoed the U.S. senators' calls to free Ibrahim.

"Such blatant disregard for the value of human life - and religious freedom - is an indescribable disgrace," Franks said in a statement. The congressman also encouraged the State Department to get involved in Ibrahim's case.

Marie Harf, a spokeswoman for the State Department, has said the department is "deeply concerned" about the death sentence and called on Sudan to respect religious freedom and "approach this case with the compassion that is in keeping with the values of the Sudanese people."

Government officials in Canada, England the Netherlands have also condemned Ibrahim's sentencing. Andrew Bennett, Canada’s ambassador for religious freedom, said his country is "shocked and appalled" that Sudan would impose the death penalty on a pregnant woman merely for practicing her religion.

Ibrahim was born to a Sudanese Muslim father and an Ethiopian Orthodox mother. Her father left when she was 6, and she was raised by her mother as a Christian.

Her lawyer, Mohamed Jar Elnabi, said the case started after Ibrahim's brother filed a complaint against her.

The brother alleged Ibrahim had gone missing for several years and that her family was shocked to find she had married a Christian man.

Because her father was Muslim, the Sharia law court considered her to be the same. It refused to recognize her marriage to a Christian and also convicted her of adultery, with an additional sentence of 100 lashes.

Before imposing the sentence, the court gave her an opportunity to recant her Christian faith, but Elnabi said Ibrahim refused to do so, declaring: "I am a Christian, and I will remain a Christian."

Attempts by CNN to contact Sudan's justice minister and foreign affairs minister about the case have been unsuccessful.

(CNN's Tom Cohen and Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.

Why marrying for love should never mean death

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Belief • Christianity • Discrimination • Foreign policy • Interfaith issues • Islam • Islamic law • Prejudice • Religious liberty • Religious violence • Sharia

soundoff (1,194 Responses)
  1. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    (3+5+5+(6+5+8+3+7)

    May 21, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      The atomic number of molybdenum.
      The angle rounded to whole degrees for which a rainbow appears (the critical angle).
      The jersey number of Jackie Robinson, which is the only number retired by all Major League Baseball teams.
      The jersey number of basketball Hall of Famer and one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History James Worthy.#retired 1995
      The jersey number of American football Hall of Fame, Ronnie Lott, safety for the San Francisco 49ers, #retired 2003.
      The jersey number of Chicago Bears legend Sid Luckman, which was retired by the Bears.
      The jersey number of American football player Pat Tillman, which was retired on November 13, 2004 by AZ State University.
      The jersey number of baseball Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter, retired by the St. Louis Cardinals on September 17, 2006.
      The number of laws of cricket.

      May 21, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
  2. Salero21

    "It's all yours." ← Here and there you Lied and if you Lie you fail. I did not say neither mention anything about religion or in favor of religion here yet.

    The FACT that you cannot discern that, is yet again proof/evidence of your ignorance. Therefore your chose to Lie instead of understand. Therefore what I said remains the Truth. Atheists are Extremely hypocritical and Compulsive, pathetic and pathological LIARS. And you're a PRIME example/proof/evidence/paradigm. You fool!

    May 21, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
    • Salero21

      An answer to bostontola. Somehow wordpress missed the reply click. JAJAJA... oops... pardon me... I meant to say HAHAHA.

      May 21, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
    • Sheik Yerbouti

      Does baby troll want some num nums?

      May 21, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
      • Salero21

        Are you a troll?

        May 22, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
    • Doris

      Lame idiot troll must be talking to itself again.

      May 21, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
      • Salero21

        Speaking about yourself again huh!!

        May 22, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Oh dear, I see you're suffering from your typical delusions...go ask your nurse for your medication.

      May 21, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
      • Salero21

        You're using the wrong Medication!

        May 22, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
  3. Sheik Yerbouti

    Disco bloodbath boogie fever. Take one capsule by mouth every 8 hours until finished. If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him. Were gonna have a bash and we are glad you finally got here. We are dancing through the fire and it’s burning up our feet. Mysteries of the ancient Americas. My rabbit has the hiccups right now.

    May 21, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Pleased to meet you
      Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
      But what's puzzling you
      Is the nature of my game, oh yeah, get down, baby
      Pleased to meet you
      Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
      But what's confusing you
      Is just the nature of my game
      Just as every cop is a criminal
      And all the sinners saints
      As heads is tails
      Just call me Lucifer
      Cause I'm in need of some restraint
      So if you meet me
      Have some courtesy
      Have some sympathy, and some taste
      Use all your well-learned politesse
      Or I'll lay your soul to waste, um yeah

      May 21, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
  4. Doris

    According to Vic – the God of Abraham has blessed the U.S.A. I guess he did that right after the new settlers slaughtered thousands of native Americans. (This is one of those things where Theo, wandering, Salero and their ilk say that there was no sin involved because the new settlers were simply the right hand of their God. [huge eyeroll])

    May 21, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
  5. Vic

    ♰♰♰ Jesus Christ Is Lord ♰♰♰

    God Bless The USA

    As America goes, the world follows. When the Boss is not watching, matters get swept under the rug.

    Early on:
    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/05/20/will-sudan-really-execute-a-pregnant-christian-woman/comment-page-1/#comment-3013664

    May 21, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
    • Alias

      Vic,
      Are you aware that this country has a history of executing people with a heavy bias on religion and race?
      I'm not so sure your god's blessing worked.

      May 21, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
    • bostontola

      No God will bless America any more than a God would be interested in the Dallas Cowboys.

      Americans make the US great, or not. Separation of religion and state is a force in the greatness direction.

      May 21, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
    • Madtown

      Jesus Christ Is Lord
      --–
      "Who's that guy again?"

      – your jungle friend Bob

      May 21, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
  6. bostontola

    "members of the U.S. Congress asking Secretary of State John Kerry to intervene on her behalf."

    OK, I get that congressmen do things for purely image reasons, but this really blurs the separation of church and state. If the US intervened every time a foreign state killed a person unjustly (in our eyes), we would need a state department much larger than we have (and probably have even more wars than we have now). The only reason this case is getting attention is because the person sentenced is Christian. There are people on death row around the world for just saying the wrong thing and the politicians aren't asking for intervention. This makes the special pleading religious in nature and should not be acted on, preserving the honor and credibility of the US.

    I think this Sudanese judge is a bad person for doing this, I think the brother is a bad person, etc. But there are lots of bad people and unjust sentences. This one doesn't rise above the others to me.

    So many politicians make me sick.

    May 21, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
    • Sheik Yerbouti

      But can you admit that it is the worst wedding photo you have ever seen?

      May 21, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
    • Alias

      You do know the the death penalty in the USA is seen as barbaric in most developed countries, right?
      Foreign politicians get brownie points with their supporters by trying to stop us from executing people too.

      May 21, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
      • bostontola

        If your point is that politicians worldwide are bad, not just US politicians, then I agree.

        May 21, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
        • Alias

          That, and we may not have much credibility when trying to tell other countries when they should and shouldn't execute people.

          May 21, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
        • bostontola

          That is another good point, whether we have the moral ground to say anything. I'm concerned with politicians acting dishonorably for political gain in a way that hurts the US.

          May 21, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
    • Akira

      Other governments have condemned this action.

      May 21, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
      • bostontola

        Condemnation is appropriate, intervention is not.

        May 21, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
        • Akira

          I do not see where asking for diplomatic intervention is inappropriate.

          May 21, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
        • bostontola

          Do you think this is the most egregious case internationally? Do you think sovereignty should be respected? Do you want other counties intervening in the sentences in US cases?

          May 21, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
        • Akira

          "Do you think this is the most egregious case internationally?"
          No.
          "Do you think sovereignty should be respected?"
          Of course.
          "Do you want other counties intervening in the sentences in US cases?"
          What do you mean by intervening?
          Military? None has been suggested.
          A letter or a phone call hurts no one, and is likely to make little difference anyhow.
          Governments from our foreign prisoners do it, also.
          I fail to see why the mere thought of asking offends.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
        • bostontola

          No, I didn't mean military intervention. Based on your answers, why intervene here? I agree that this is far from the most egregious event we are not intervening in, so we should intervene in one of them before this, don't you think? (I don't really want to intervene in other bad events if it interferes with sovereignty).

          May 21, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
        • Akira

          I see no harm in writing a letter that will probably do nothing in the long run. It doesn't threaten the sovereignty of Sudan.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
        • bostontola

          Agree to disagree. We set precedents when we take action, even small actions. Others will want interventions for new issues in the future and say "you sent a letter for the Sudanese woman". I wouldn't want that in my organization. Like I said, it looks like special treatment for a Christian.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
        • Akira

          Yes. Agree to disagree.

          We actually have no way of knowing what intercession letters are written on behalf of foreign citizens; the media is all over this because of the hot-button topic.

          May 21, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
  7. Salero21

    WOW!! This really is one subject matter in which the Extreme hypocrisy and compulsive, pathetic and pathological Lying of atheists is on display for the WWW to see.

    May 21, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
    • bostontola

      This article demonstrates that religion can make people do horrible things. Brothers informing on their sisters, judges violating their const.itution. All motivated by religion. Then we have US congressmen taking advantage of the religious prejudices here for political gain, again, enabled by religion.

      It's all yours.

      May 21, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
      • Salero21

        "It's all yours." ← Here and there you Lied and if you Lie you fail. I did not say neither mention anything about religion or in favor of religion here yet.

        The FACT that you cannot discern that, is yet again proof/evidence of your ignorance. Therefore your chose to Lie instead of understand. Therefore what I said remains the Truth. Atheists are Extremely hypocritical and Compulsive, pathetic and pathological LIARS. And you're a PRIME example/proof/evidence/paradigm. You fool!

        May 21, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
        • Akira

          Where did he lie?

          May 21, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
        • bostontola

          "This really is one subject matter in which the Extreme hypocrisy and compulsive, pathetic and pathological Lying of atheists is on display for the WWW to see." Your words.

          The subject matter of this blog article has nothing to do with atheism. It has to do with what horrible things religion can do to people.

          How is "it's all yours" a lie?

          May 21, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
        • Salero21

          Oh oh here is Akira the PO*RN star answering again for bostontola junior.

          May 22, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
        • Salero21

          @ bostontola junior.

          There goes again your extreme hypocrisy on display again for the whole wide world and the www to see. See you don't have a very good memory, which is necessary for a Liar if he/she hopes to succeed in Lying. Which BTW seldom happens! Do you really think that I believe that you care about the horrible things that happen to people? Atheists are extreme hypocrites and compulsive Liars and you're a PRIME example.

          May 22, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
  8. Sheik Yerbouti

    I can remember when I was kid; my friends and I were always able to find a vacant lot. Vacant lots become countries, forts, war zones….I found my first nudie magazine there. It was damp and a little moldy but I took it home. To this day when I smell that moldy, damp odor I become aroused. So anyway, I was just thinking there aren’t any vacant lots around here and where do kids go to explore and have experiences?

    May 21, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      WoW

      May 21, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
    • colin31714

      Yeah, I kissed the girl next door in our unfinished basement and the moldy, wet smell from there still excites me. True. It's funny how the human mind works in its developmental stage.

      May 21, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
      • Sheik Yerbouti

        Yes, exactly.

        May 21, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
    • Alias

      When I was growing up the vacant lots were generally immobile.
      Once I found one, it was probably going to be there the next day too. That made finding vacant lots fairly simple.

      May 21, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
      • Sheik Yerbouti

        Mine were easy to find too. Both the day I found one and on subsequent days. Sounds like we have that in common. My concern is I just don't see any big, kid friendly vacant lots around anymore.

        May 21, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
        • Alias

          Blame the lawyers.
          If a kid gets hurt in your vacant lot today, you end up in court.

          May 21, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
        • Sheik Yerbouti

          True.

          May 21, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
  9. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    “The Great Zaganza said: "You are very fat and stupid and persistently wear a ridiculous hat which you should be ashamed of.”
    ― Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

    May 21, 2014 at 11:59 am |
    • Akira

      Benedict is kind of chunky...

      May 21, 2014 at 12:10 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        “Dirk was unused to making quite such a miniscule impact on anybody. He checked to be sure that he did have his huge leather coat and his absurd red hat on and that he was properly and dramatically silhouetted by the light on the doorway.

        He felt momentarily deflated and said, "Er..." by way of self-introduction, but it didn't get the boy's attention. He didn't like this. The kid was deliberately and maliciously watching television at him.”
        ― Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

        May 21, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Chairman: Item six on the agenda, the Meaning of Life. Now Harry, you’ve had some thoughts on this.
      Harry: That’s right, yeah. I’ve had a team working on this over the past few weeks, and what we’ve come up with can be reduced to two fundamental concepts. One, people are not wearing enough hats. Two, matter is energy. In the Universe there are many energy fields which we cannot normally perceive. Some energies have a spiritual source which act upon a person’s soul. However, this soul does not exist 'ab initio' as orthodox Christianity teaches; it has to be brought into existence by a process of guided self-observation. However, this is rarely achieved owing to man’s unique ability to be distracted from spiritual matters by everyday trivia.
      [Pause.]
      Max: What was that about hats again?

      May 21, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
  10. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Nuke them all... and let quantum physics sort out the particles

    May 21, 2014 at 11:51 am |
    • snuffleupagus

      LET, that's a great update on and old saying. Likey!

      May 21, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        I have my moments... My first incarnation in the Army was as a Pershing II operator/maintainer...

        May 21, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
  11. Sheik Yerbouti

    This seems cut and dry. She was raised a Christian. She did not inherit her father’s religion and was too young to even understand what “converting” meant. As ridiculous and barbaric as these people are, even they should be able to see this is not a good case for death under their own laws. So what gives? Politics? Is her wealth and property a consideration? It is difficult to fathom that this is really happening to this poor woman.

    May 21, 2014 at 11:47 am |
  12. Sheik Yerbouti

    What can one say about this kind of barbarism? A worthwhile war would be against radical Muslims, but they are too cowardly to face their opposition on the battle field. Also they should execute the photographer. That is the worst wedding photo I have ever seen.

    May 21, 2014 at 11:12 am |
    • igaftr

      It is a bad photo...she looks like a reptile about to consume her prey.

      May 21, 2014 at 11:28 am |
  13. Akira

    This poor woman is quite wealthy; she owns businesses and property in Sudan.
    As her brother is the one who brought up the charges against her, (nice) I have to wonder if he stands to gain her wealth if she is executed...
    This is just so damned stupid.

    May 21, 2014 at 10:54 am |
    • Sheik Yerbouti

      We are dealing with goons. Uneducated, ignorant goons who get there entertainment by torturing others. They hate the West, but have nothing to do or live for in their own country. They are the lowest of our species and should be taken to task by an international force of peace keepers. This is worth fighting for.

      May 21, 2014 at 11:22 am |
      • hotairace

        Military intervention is not warranted and not the answer. This is a terrible situation but not the most egregious one, worthy of physical intervention. The general problem of female rights in muslim countries and the specific one of the kidnapped girls are much greater issues. Economic sanctions might be viable if Sudan trades much. Arranging for persecuted persons to leave Sudan and build a live elsewhere would help. But why are many worked up about this particular case? Because she is a member of the christian cult? Do I smell hypocrisy here?

        May 21, 2014 at 11:33 am |
        • Sheik Yerbouti

          I agree, just venting.

          May 21, 2014 at 11:36 am |
    • tallulah131

      It certainly sounds suspicious. It wouldn't be the first time that religion was used to kill people for their property.

      May 21, 2014 at 11:23 am |
  14. Lee

    Thanks Daniel for the updated article, reads much better with a slight ray of hope for the wrongfully imprisoned.

    May 21, 2014 at 10:37 am |
  15. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    “From another direction he felt the sensation of being a sheep startled by a flying saucer, but it was virtually indistinguishable from the feeling of being a sheep startled by anything else it ever encountered, for they were creatures who learned very little on their journey through life, and would be startled to see the sun rising in the morning, and astonished by all the green stuff in the fields.”
    ― Douglas Adams, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

    May 21, 2014 at 10:25 am |
  16. Lee

    It's not lost on us that perhaps, there are many criminals walking free on the streets of Sudan, yet there is a pregnant women is behind bars, her only crime – her faith. Really? In this century is it a crime to choose your faith? Freedom to choose your faith is a basic human right!

    Where are all the human right activists and human right lawyers on this? It's time that the world takes a stand on this issue and establishes clearly across all governments and kingdoms that the choice of religion is a fundamental human right. Any person who violates this right should be tried in an international court of law for crimes against humanity.

    May 21, 2014 at 9:41 am |
    • Lee

      One more thing, people are not born into a religion.

      "Faith" is a choice a person makes for themselves and no other human being has the right to deny this right of choice of another.

      May 21, 2014 at 9:44 am |
      • Sot Disick

        Meriam Yeyha Ibrahim was raised in a Christian home.

        May 21, 2014 at 9:52 am |
        • Lee

          Whether or not she was raised Christian is not the question. The issue is with denying the freedom of choice. To choose a religion rests with each individual, that is a fundamental human right. Violating this right must be considered "criminal".

          May 21, 2014 at 9:59 am |
        • igaftr

          "To choose a religion rests with each individual, that is a fundamental human right."

          According to you, but not according to the ones making the laws in other countires.
          What do you think grants you this "fundamental right"?
          One cannot create laws on what one thinks, so you are free to think any way you want, but religion is more a matter of rituals and behavior, and they are a theocracy, and believe THEIR GOD commands obedience.

          How many "witches" were put to death by christians over the millenia? Christians, doing what they believed their god wanted...no different in this case.

          May 21, 2014 at 11:26 am |
        • Akira

          "Meriam Yeyha Ibrahim was raised in a Christian home."

          I would assume that includes her brother, who brought up these charges in the first place.

          May 21, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
      • igaftr

        "One more thing, people are not born into a religion."

        Yes they are according to many religions. One is not born into belief. It is common for many religions to claim offspring as their cult members.

        May 21, 2014 at 10:53 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so, and will follow it by suppressing opposition, subverting all education to seize early the minds of the young, and by killing, locking up, or driving underground all heretics.

      – Robert Heinlein

      May 21, 2014 at 9:46 am |
    • tallulah131

      A sovereign nation has the right to create and enforce it's own laws, whether the rest of the world approves or not. Certainly there can be sanctions and protests, but if meaningful change is to come, it must come from the people of Sudan.

      Perhaps international media attention will save this individual's life, but there are no guarantees.

      May 21, 2014 at 11:27 am |
  17. TruthPrevails1

    Great example of Christian craziness:

    "An Orange County elementary school teacher suspended for the second time over footage of him apparently attacking skateboarders defended his actions on Tuesday as being guided by a divine presence.

    “When I stepped in, I felt compelled by a higher power,” 58-year-old Thomas Hammer told the Orange County Register. “Honestly, have you ever been grabbed by the Lord in a way you never thought you would or you could? That’s exactly what I’m testifying to, and I’m not speaking in hyperbole. I’m speaking right from the heart.”

    Hammer, a second-grade teacher, was placed on administrative leave again after parents at Cielo Vista Elementary in Rancho Santa Margarita withdrew their children in response to his re-instatement in a non-classroom “support role.”

    KTLA-TV reported that Hammer had recently finished serving a two-month suspension stemming from his August 2013 arrest on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and taking property."
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/05/20/calif-man-says-the-lord-grabbed-him-and-compelled-him-to-attack-a-kid-on-a-skateboard/

    Remember people with open-minds keep your children away from nutcases like this and people like kermi (the psychologist who believes that being gay is a sin); Theo (who thinks owning slaves is okay); awanderingscot (who thinks the regular definition of theory and the scientific definition are the same).

    May 21, 2014 at 7:36 am |
    • Theo Phileo

      "Theo (who thinks owning slaves is okay); "
      ----------
      You sir, are a liar.
      For clarification, what I said was that slavery in the Bible, although not ideal, was not sinful in every case. In many cases, it was a system to keep people from being completely desti.tute. It was also a way for some to pay off debt, rather than to go to prison. In other cases, slavery was a completely voluntary way of life. Obviously, there were abuses, and that is why the writers of the law regulated the insti.tution.

      When you think of Biblical slavery, do not have in mind the slavery of 19th century America, or you will be starting from a wrong perspective, because that kind of servitude to which Jesus compares Christians to is not the same.

      May 21, 2014 at 8:36 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Not a liar and you just proved that by justifying it as being okay in the bible but not otherwise. Slavery has never been acceptable and never will be. You have zero way of knowing the reality of what the men who wrote the bible meant and to the rational minded person, the bible supports it but to expect rational thinking from you is akin to expecting a 5 year to be rational.

        May 21, 2014 at 8:48 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          If you cannot separate yourself from your western paradigm on slavery, then you will never be able to see the truth in the matter, for your own bias has blinded you.

          May 21, 2014 at 8:55 am |
        • igaftr

          theo
          "you will never be able to see the truth in the matter, for your own bias has blinded you"

          The same can be said for the entirety of your "faith". Just look at the way you twist things around to get them to fit your imaginings of what is. So sad when dogma takes over logic and reason.

          May 21, 2014 at 8:59 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          Oh? And how do I twist "things?"

          May 21, 2014 at 9:01 am |
        • observer

          Theo Phileo

          "It was also a way for some to pay off debt"

          That's your EXCUSE for a man selling his 6-year-old daughter to some man for his USE. Pathetic.

          May 21, 2014 at 10:06 am |
        • awanderingscot

          there he goes with his lie about pedophilia, his fixation on 6yr old girls, and offering no proof whatsoever.

          May 21, 2014 at 11:31 am |
        • observer

          awanderingscot,

          Thou shall not bear false witness. God must be ashamed of you.

          2,000 years later, churches were still trying to hide pedophilia.

          Grow up. Get an education. Quit LYING. God doesn't like it.

          May 21, 2014 at 11:37 am |
        • observer

          awanderingscot

          "his fixation on 6yr old girls"

          I care about protecting kids. Based on the Bible, you and God apparently DON'T.

          May 21, 2014 at 11:43 am |
        • awanderingscot

          where are the words "6 year old girl" found in scripture? put up or shut up with your stupid claims liar.

          May 21, 2014 at 11:48 am |
        • awanderingscot

          You have not answered the question. Where are the words "6 year old girl" found in the bible?

          May 21, 2014 at 11:53 am |
        • Doris

          Theo: "If you cannot separate yourself from your western paradigm on..."

          Theo can't seem to separate himself from a cave.

          May 21, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
        • observer

          awanderingscot,

          Are 6-year-old girls "daughters" that God supports being sold into slavery? Did God EVER impose ANY LIMITS on how young your daughter could be before you can SELL her to a stranger to be a slave? OOOOPS.

          Have you ever read a Bible? Is English a second language for you?

          May 21, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        @Theo
        You're talking about indentured servitude, which was only for fellow Hebrews.
        Foreigners were chattel to be used and abused in any way short of immediate death. Often they were spoils of war – young girls taken as s.ex slaves after their villages were razed and the men slaughtered.
        They were inheritable property, not temporary servants given a hand up when down on their luck.

        (see Lev. 22:44, Exodus 21)

        May 21, 2014 at 9:24 am |
        • awanderingscot

          prove it. where is that written in scripture?

          May 21, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
        • igaftr

          scot
          Anything that is written is scirpture. Also, references were provided.

          May 21, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          once again, prove it. Leviticus 22 deals with uncleaness and acceptable and unacceptable offerings to God. Exodus 21 deals with servitude and betrothal. nowhere does God give a law that it's ok to abuse foreigners or young girls, Hebrew or Gentile. You are a liar.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • Doris

          Yes, doc and sadly still that way in many parts of the world that book of nasty deeds known as the Bible.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Leviticus 25: 44-46

          44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Sorry – wrong leviticus chapter.
          25::44 says foreigners are property, Hebrews are indentured servants.
          Exodus 21:2 speaks of keeping Hebrew slaves.
          In Numbers 31:17, God tells the Hebrews to kill all the man and keep the virgin girls for themselves.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          once again where does it state that they were to be abused and where does it state the young women were to be used as s3x slaves? you are a liar too.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
        • Doris

          I get the feeling that if someone drew only three dots on a piece of paper and asked the wandering one to connect them, he would be confused (and may have to consult Gullible's Travels).

          May 21, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Making a person a slave for life is abuse. So is beating them to the point of almost dying.

          Exodus 21:20-21

          20 “Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, 21 but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          i think you don't know the difference between feelings and thinking Doruss. lol

          May 21, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          awanderingsnot,

          I will take it from your non response you admit abuse is sanctioned in the Bible.

          May 21, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          read it again and try to comprehend this time "if anyone beats.." is altogether different than "the slave owner SHOULD beat..." so in other words God is not telling the slave owner to beat the slave, and in no way sanctions this,but rather if it were to happen than this should be the consequence. So as an example IF Cheesebrain were to speed in his car and accidentally hit someone and cripple them then he should be punished, but if he is only speeding and does not hurt himself or maim anyone then he shall not be punished. get it? but don't let your hatred of God get in the way of you seeing His wisdom.

          May 21, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
        • QuestionsEverything

          wandering

          Are you really this dense or just plying the part? "So as an example IF Cheesebrain were to speed in his car and accidentally hit someone and cripple them then he should be punished, but if he is only speeding and does not hurt himself or maim anyone then he shall not be punished. get it? "

          In order for you "analogy" to work, Blessed would only be punished if he was speeding and hit someone (it does not matter if it was accidental or purposeful) and they died as a direct result; if the person did not die as a result of Blessed hitting them with a car, then he would not be punished at all.

          May 21, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          ? Everything, but is still clueless. Everyone with a morsel of intelligence got it; except for you. whoa! that's a big word you included in parentheses clueless, did daddy just teach you that? What i presented was a logical argument, back to uncle fester's workshop you unregenerate cad.

          May 21, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
        • observer

          awanderingscot is fascinating to read. This "supposed" Christian makes juvenile insult after insult and engages in constant name-calling.

          Has anyone who has ever read a Bible found that Jesus would do ANYTHING like that?

          Pure HYPOCRISY. Just another case of a Christian PREACHING, but not PRACTICING the Bible.

          May 21, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          You may think there is a big difference between telling someone they CAN beat a slave and they SHOULD beat a slave,
          but in all reality you are arguing semantics. Rather pathetic. Some "moral authority" ya got there.

          May 21, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "but rather if it were to happen than this should be the consequence."

          What consequence? It specifically says there is no consequence for beating a slave bloody as long as they don't die....they are nothing more than property. THAT IS A SANCTION OF THE ABUSE

          I love watching zealots defend slavery, and beatings, and genocide.

          May 21, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        "what I said was that slavery in the Bible, although not ideal, was not sinful in every case."

        The fact that owning other people is not sinful in every situation is all the proof needed that either

        The Bible is a work of man attributed to a god.

        Or in the very, very slim possibility that god does exist he is not a moral being.

        May 21, 2014 at 11:28 am |
    • Akira

      He obviously dislikes skateboarders.
      Claiming divine guidance in attacking them should net him a nice little trip to get his mental health scrutinized.

      May 21, 2014 at 11:20 am |
      • hotairace

        A question, not an attack on you, why is that doing something bad in the name of some alleged but never proven god warrants the attention of a mental health professional but merely claiming a belief in said alleged but never proven god is not worthy of a second thought? Are we just jollying people along until they fuck up?

        May 21, 2014 at 11:47 am |
        • Akira

          It isn't illegal to believe in a god.
          It is illegal to attack a person.

          May 21, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
        • hotairace

          But leaving the legality aspects aside, the person should be treated for the same mental problem, believing irrational things.

          May 21, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
        • Akira

          How would you compel treatment? With a law? Wouldn't that be just as heinous as what's being visited on this woman?

          May 21, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
        • hotairace

          I'm not sure that I would compel treatment. My point is that belief in supernatural beings is the same sickness whether one acts out violently or not, but we only get concerned after violence is done. Just as one cannot compel, but only encourage, one to get treatment after heart attack symptoms are noticed, one can encourage delusionals to seek help before they act out.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
        • Akira

          Ok.
          The guy still dislikes skateboarders, given his proclivity in attacking them.
          I doubt his belief in God is found in the DSM as an illness, although his underlying cause for acting out against skateboarders most likely is...in any case, not a guy I would want teaching my 2nd Grader.

          May 21, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
  18. colin31714

    Virtually every Christian you speak with will have a slightly different view of what Jesus was really like. Those who value strength over meekness will regard him as strong and those who value meekness over strength will regard him as one always willing to “turn the other cheek.” In general, the Jesus people see in their heads is a reflection of their own idealized human personality. This is best epitomized by the nauseating “what would Jesus do?” bracelets.

    So how do we get to the bottom of the various views and find the “real Jesus.” Well, we can’t. We can’t for the obvious reason that we don’t have sufficient historical records to go on. All we can do is get a “most likely” portrait which, due to how long ago he lived and the dearth of contemporaneous accounts of his life, will be general at best.

    The only quasi-reliable texts we have to go on are the 4 canonical gospels. There are no other books of the Bible that delve into his life (even the 7 legitimate and 6 questionable Pauline epistles say very little about him) and no other contemporaneous historians anywhere in the World recorded details of his life. So, we are left to get a portrait of him by sifting through the consistencies and inconsistencies of the 4 canonical gospels, taking into account when and where they were written, to come up with a “line of best fit” about his life.

    When serious historians perform this task, he emerges as a radical, apocalyptic Jew who espoused some beautiful, humbling philosophy, but was still a product of his times and had no issue with things we find abhorrent today, such as slavery and the many genocides and murders of the Torah. He had a small band of followers, and was executed due to his actions that threatened the Jewish establishment of the day and/or the local Roman authorities. It was only in the years following his death that he came to be immortalized and, ultimately, deified by his followers.

    Thus, one of my core issues with Christianity is that, at its very tap root, it is founded 100% upon the word of 1 to 4 people (depending on how many of the authors of the 4 canonical gospels chronicled the relevant event in his life) none of whom even met Jesus and none of whom, as far as we know, even spoke the same language of Jesus or even lived in the same generation as Jesus. They contradict each other in some pretty important areas, too.

    To say that Christianity is founded on very, very loose soil, is probably the mother of all understatements – and this is before we even get to the issue that they gospels claim supernatural/magic acts and must be taken with a historical grain of salt on that basis alone.

    May 21, 2014 at 7:22 am |
    • colin31714

      sorry all, I meant to post this in response to Dalahast's comment below..

      May 21, 2014 at 7:23 am |
    • Woody

      Here is a person (Jesus) who could allegedly walk on water, turn water into wine, cure lepers, restore vision to the blind, make lame people walk perfectly normal, and even raise the dead. I think that any of these feats would have been newsworthy stories that would have spread like wildfire. But raising the dead topped them all. I'm sure that the story of a person who could raise the dead would have gotten back to the powers that be in Rome. If I were the Roman Emperor, I think I'd want a person with this kind of talent living at the palace in Rome, for obvious reasons. Pontius Pilate would have been looking for a new job for executing a guy that could have given the Emperor immortality. The water into wine thing also would have come in very handy at the or.gies. Old Pontius really blew it. What's puzzling is why was there was nothing written all these amazing feats until several decades after the "fact". I guess people were a lot more blase about such things back in those days.

      May 21, 2014 at 8:27 am |
      • awanderingscot

        Woody. They didn't have CNN back then you know. But the Jewish historian Josephus gave us many details concerning the people and events surrounding our Lord Jesus Christ. Also, as you know by reading the bible carefully, Christ always told those He healed that they should not report these things but to give glory to God. He performed signs and miracles not for His own glory but for the Fathers' so that man would rightfully credit God in heaven for their being, their existence. Christ in His incarnation as a man came as a humble servant of the Father, he always gave glory to the Father, just as we should always give glory to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit and not pridefully accept it for ourselves.

        May 21, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
        • Akira

          Josephus wrote about Hercules, also.

          May 21, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
        • QuestionsEverything

          "But the Jewish historian Josephus gave us many details concerning the people and events surrounding our Lord Jesus Christ."

          But in all of his writings Josephus makes 2 mentions of the person you call Jesus Christ.

          May 21, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
    • Theo Phileo

      "So how do we get to the bottom of the various views and find the “real Jesus.”"
      ------------–
      Easy, read the Bible.
      But if you want a REALLY good place to start, get these two books: "The Knowledge of the Holy" by A.W. Tozer, and "The Holiness of God" by R.C. Sproul.

      Here's the Reader's Digest version: God is Holy, Holy, Holy...

      May 21, 2014 at 8:39 am |
      • hotairace

        God is *allegedly*. . .

        May 21, 2014 at 8:42 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          No, God is holy, and He is perfect in His holiness, because if He were not, then He would not be God. And we know that He is holy because there is good in this world. If God was perfect in wickedness, then there would not exist any goodness in the world. Evil exists simply because man is given the right to disobey, and to disobey God is to instigate unrighteousness. And because there is unrighteousness in the hearts of men, God is able to demonstrate His other attributes such as justice, wrath, mercy, and grace. So we know that God is holy, but He also allows evil to exist because He has a purpose for it.

          May 21, 2014 at 8:48 am |
        • G to the T

          "No, God is holy, and He is perfect in His holiness, because if He were not, then He would not be God."

          So says the book about him. But you say it as if it's a logical proof. It isn't. The universe could have been created by a non-omnipotent enity that has nothing else to do with our universe since. There are many more options available to explain reality as we see it today than what you provide.

          May 21, 2014 at 8:55 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "you say it as if it's a logical proof. It isn't."
          ---------------–
          I didn't intend to make a logical proof. I stated a fact.

          "The universe could have been created by a non-omnipotent enity that has nothing else to do with our universe since."
          --------------------
          Actually, no it couldn't. Only an omnipotent enti.ty can create ex nihilo.

          "There are many more options available to explain reality as we see it today than what you provide."
          ----------------
          Sure there are, but none that align with observable reality. It takes more faith to believe that our observably mutable universe can also, somehow be eternal (or have an infinite amount of causes – which is to say the same thing).

          May 21, 2014 at 9:00 am |
        • hotairace

          A perfect Theo Puffy Words reply. Lots of words, but no substance. Nothing about any god is proven. An honest believer would use "allegedly" when spewing their claims. Why won't you Puffy?

          May 21, 2014 at 9:00 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          hotair,
          Actually, everything I said is paraphrased scripture. And I do not use "allegedly" because to do so is to be doubtful of what is said. I know God exists, and He is Holy.

          May 21, 2014 at 9:04 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "I know God exists, and He is Holy."

          Replace 'know' with 'believe' if you wish to come across as being honest otherwise you are a liar.

          May 21, 2014 at 9:07 am |
        • hotairace

          As Dr. Peter Boghossian says, faith is pretending to know things you do not. You have faith but you don't actually *know* that any of your alleged god based beliefs are true or that your alleged god even exists. You are being dishonest by not using "allegedly."

          May 21, 2014 at 9:09 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          TruthPrevails,
          I know that God is real, and I believe that He is the judge of the living and the dead.

          May 21, 2014 at 9:10 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Theo
          You have a unique definition of "fact".
          The only "fact" one can assert regarding anything supernatural is that there are no proven facts.

          "Facts are sterile
          not vulgar nor sublime.
          And they're not religion
          They're for everyone
          And signify the times"

          – Dr. Greg Graffin

          May 21, 2014 at 9:15 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Theo: You are a liar! No-one knows, they merely believe and there is vast difference. Muslims think their god is real also; Pagans believe their gods/goddesses are real also...not many of you can differentiate between belief and knowledge. The cure would be an education but I'm guessing new information scares you based on the fact that you remain ignorant of what is happening in the world around you but feel you're an authority on what should and shouldn't be acceptable.

          May 21, 2014 at 9:21 am |
        • G to the T

          Theo – I'm not sure you intended to, but your statements are full of contradictions:
          Me – "you say it as if it's a logical proof. It isn't."
          You -"I didn't intend to make a logical proof. I stated a fact."

          A logical proof would be a fact.

          Me – "The universe could have been created by a non-omnipotent enity that has nothing else to do with our universe since."
          You – "Actually, no it couldn't. Only an omnipotent enti.ty can create ex nihilo."

          Supposition – you are assuming creation ex nihilo and then assuming that omnipotence is a requirement for doing so. Neither of these are ncessaryily true.

          Me – "There are many more options available to explain reality as we see it today than what you provide."
          You – "Sure there are, but none that align with observable reality."

          Again a contradiction. "Reality as we see it today" is the same as "observable reality". You say they are and then say they aren't with only a comma in between.

          You – "It takes more faith to believe that our observably mutable universe can also, somehow be eternal (or have an infinite amount of causes – which is to say the same thing)."

          I honestly don't see how. I don't assert that any of these things definitely happened, only that your assumptions appear flawed and there are alternative possibilities that still fit all of the evidence we see around us. You have taken a step of faith to say only one scenario is possible.

          May 21, 2014 at 9:44 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          A Creator God is a logical necessity based on the contingent nature of the physical universe

          The argument for a First Cause first looks at the reality of our physical universe being one finite and interconnected causal chain. That is, everything in this physical universe, and this physical universe itself had a beginning.

          Relative to the contingent nature of the physical world, it is logically necessary that something exists whose existence is not derived from something else, and through whom the existence of everything else is derived. The First Cause…

          May 21, 2014 at 11:07 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          Infinite causal chains do not exist, since an infinite causal chain could not explain how the causal chain began to be in the first place (think of a line of falling dominoes). Causal chains by definition are a series of causes and effects, and you cannot have an effect without a cause. Therefore the very existence of the causal chain (that is, our physical universe) demands the existence of a first cause. Since infinite causal chains do not exist, then that first cause must itself be eternal. Since the first cause stands outside of physical reality as its creator, and eternal, it must also be supernatural. That can be nothing other than God. Furthermore, it cannot be argued that the first cause itself had a cause, or you err in creating an infinite regress – an infinite causal chain cannot exist. Therefore to deny the existence of an eternal creator who is outside of our physical reality is to dip into an illogical fantasy designed to fictionalize reality so that man may ease into a death without fear of having any contact with a God to whom they will one day be accountable.

          May 21, 2014 at 11:09 am |
        • observer

          Theo Phileo

          "A Creator God is a logical necessity based on the contingent nature of the physical universe"

          False. There is no necessity for a God. If there was intelligent design, it could have been Zeus or a committee of zombies or an infinite number of other possibilities..

          May 21, 2014 at 11:14 am |
        • igaftr

          theo
          "A Creator God is a logical necessity based on the contingent nature of the physical universe"
          Incorrect agian. There are MANY other possibilities. Your bias blinds you.

          May 21, 2014 at 11:20 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "or an infinite number of other possibilities.."
          --------------
          That opinion exists merely as a corner of retreat to those who do not approve of the conclusions necessary in the contingent nature of all physical existence.

          May 21, 2014 at 11:20 am |
        • G to the T

          Theo – I think you may want to read up on modern quantum theory. Cause and effect are not so clear cut as you seem to think and the are even less so when we are talking at the quantum level (which the singularity would have been).

          May 21, 2014 at 11:21 am |
        • hotairace

          A creator god is only necessary to maintain your god delusions, for which there is no actual evidence, never mind proof. You are ignoring facts and pretending to know things you do not. Seek medical attention.

          May 21, 2014 at 11:25 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          Philosophy and science are not friendly toward the idea of God because they are dedicated to the task of accounting for things and are impatient with anything that refuses to give an account of itself. The Philosopher and the scientist will readily admit that there is much that they do not know, but that is quite another thing from admitting that there is something for which they can never know because they have no technique for its discovery.

          May 21, 2014 at 11:27 am |
        • observer

          Theo Phileo,

          lol. Open your CLOSED mind. You offered ZERO PROOF that any God was responsible. Why not a committee of zombies? Why not the Three Stooges? Why not that we are just avatars in a giant cosmic video game?

          You seem to only consider a 2,000-year-old book to do your thinking. It's the one that says the moon and sun suddenly stopped in orbit.

          May 21, 2014 at 11:34 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          Observer,
          Is your problem with the Bible using phenomenalogical language, or that it doc.uments miracles? If you believe in any scenario of cosmogony where the known physical laws break down, then you believe in "miracles." For indeed, all a miracle is, is an incursion into the natural order.

          May 21, 2014 at 11:40 am |
        • igaftr

          theo said "I know that God is real,"
          And there you have the proof of his delusion, for only the self-deluded would be so arrogant as to think they have been able to exclude all other possibilities.
          It is truly sad when someone says that...like saying my friends Harvey is real....you know, the 6 foot tall invisible rabbit?...same thing with theo, and isn't ist simply sad.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
        • observer

          Theo Phileo,

          Why didn't you answer my questions?

          May 21, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          ONLY stupid people deny God because they can't see Him.

          May 21, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
        • observer

          awanderingscot,

          Yes. Many people deny God because after seeing some good morals in the Bible, they see that it also contains errors, contradictions, HYPOCRISY and nonsense.

          May 21, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Jesus is who He is, regardless of what virtually every Christian you have ever spoke with says.

      I'm reading a book right now that starts with the same premise you are taking – except he doesn't conclude with your opinion we can't find the real Jesus. And there are scholars with greater credentials and understandings of the Bible the come to a different conclusion than you.

      Here is the thing: Jesus is still available to us. And you don't learn about Jesus by strictly reading something in a book. It is better and greater than that.

      It appears that God is after our hearts –

      "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

      Who displays those qualities? I don't. You don't. I know some people that do. I'm trying to follow one that did.

      That is my ideal. That is what I'm trying to live up to.

      Can you meet those ideals? How would you start?

      For me, I start by asking God for help. And He delivers.

      May 21, 2014 at 11:14 am |
      • doobzz

        "Jesus is who He is, regardless of what virtually every Christian you have ever spoke with says."

        LOL.

        May 21, 2014 at 11:29 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I follow Jesus, not all the Christians Colin has ever spoke with.

          May 21, 2014 at 11:31 am |
        • doobzz

          LOL. Sure you do.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          LOL. I do.

          Honest.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
        • doobzz

          Yep. Got it. LOL.

          May 21, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
      • hotairace

        Jesus is who he is alleged to be.

        May 21, 2014 at 11:35 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Jesus has revealed Himself to me to be something completely different than what some guy named hotairace who seeks out followers of Christ and some guy named Colin who also seeks out followers of Christ imagines he is.

          May 21, 2014 at 11:38 am |
      • snuffleupagus

        Dally say: "For me, I start by asking God for help. And He delivers." Nice to know he does. Have him drop off a large pizza with sausage and mushrooms for me. He knows my address, right? Oh, and if it isn't within 30minutes, it's free, yes?

        May 21, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I've been taught we should ask for power and strength to carry out God's will. Not snuffleupagus' will.

          If you want a pizza, you can order it yourself.

          If you want to change from being arrogant to being humble, you can ask for God's help. And He will help.

          May 21, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
        • snuffleupagus

          Dilly dally, your god is a weak thing. IT has no power and can do nothing. I have seen, all to often, the weakness of you god to help, to answer the cries of those who have fallen and cried out for relief of pain, from injuries that no human should be subjected too. Your fukking god never helped those men, even those I knew to be 'believers' and devout ones at that. Your god does not exist, and is just as real as all the other gods it claims you should not worship. See, Dally your god knows there are other gods, and it being a "jealous god," wants you to worship only it. A petty tyrant you have there, boyo, and an very insecure one at that. You really should get our master psychologist, Theo Phragmite to diagnose It's insecurities.

          May 21, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          That's not my God you are describing.

          May 21, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          "jealous god"

          He is jealous for our love. In a good way.

          "solicitous or vigilant in maintaining or guarding something: The American people are jealous of their freedom. "

          May 21, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
        • snuffleupagus

          BS response, Dally. and it is your god as it is the christian god of your holy book of mythology. Jealous god is a ealous god. Wiggle and squirm, worm your god is petty, and vindictive. He loves us until it finds our we don't love it, then wants to condemn. A petulant child of a god a god that really doesn not exist, except in your mind.

          May 21, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
      • colin31714

        Dalahast:

        You said, “Jesus is who He is, regardless of what virtually every Christian you have ever spoke with says.”

        I assume that also includes you. Jesus was who he was regardless of what you say.

        You said, “I'm reading a book right now that starts with the same premise you are taking – except he doesn't conclude with your opinion we can't find the real Jesus. And there are scholars with greater credentials and understandings of the Bible the come to a different conclusion than you.”

        I didn’t start with a premise, I laid out noncontroversial facts. Nor did I state an opinion, I stated a fact – we have no contemporary accounts of Jesus’ life written at any point during his life and very little (the 4 canonical gospels being the most worthwhile) from the first hundred years after his death. This is not even controversial. Many religious kooks pass themselves off as "scholars." Ever heard of Ken Hamm?

        You said, “Here is the thing: Jesus is still available to us. And you don't learn about Jesus by strictly reading something in a book. It is better and greater than that.”

        Well, it isn’t and he isn’t. He’s dead. Whatever voices or notions you have in your head exist only there, no matter how real, comforting or reassuring they may be to you.

        You said, “It appears that God is after our hearts – "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

        No. It might appear that way to you, but whatever a person feels in their heads or hearts is not evidence of external reality. If it were, the C.I.A. WOULD be reading the mail of every paranoid schizophrenic in the USA and all the Hindu and other gods would be real as well, because they have many people who honestly think they communicate with them, just like you seem to think Jesus communicates with you. Quite delusional, to be blunt.

        You said, “Who displays those qualities? I don't. You don't. I know some people that do. I'm trying to follow one that did. That is my ideal. That is what I'm trying to live up to. Can you meet those ideals? How would you start?.”

        Morality and religion, while often intertwine din the minds of many, are actually two separate things. One can be moral without believing in any god and doing so does not necessarily make on moral.

        You said, “For me, I start by asking God for help. And He delivers.”

        So the creator of the Universe is still reading your mind hey? You might like to consider sacking your current shrink and getting one that will help you stop having these silly fvcking delusions of grandeur. You’re a grown adult, for god’s sake.

        May 21, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          + I assume that also includes you. Jesus was who he was regardless of what you say.

          Yes! Exactly.

          + I didn’t start with a premise, I laid out noncontroversial facts. Nor did I state an opinion, I stated a fact – we have no contemporary accounts of Jesus’ life written at any point during his life and very little (the 4 canonical gospels being the most worthwhile) from the first hundred years after his death. This is not even controversial. Many religious kooks pass themselves off as “scholars.” Ever heard of Ken Hamm?

          No, that is beginning to sound arrogant on your part. You are sharing your opinions.

          You drew a different conclusion. We also have non-religious kooks who pass themselves off as "scholars". Ever heard of Richard Dawkins?

          + Well, it isn’t and he isn’t. He’s dead. Whatever voices or notions you have in your head exist only there, no matter how real, comforting or reassuring they may be to you.

          Jesus lives. Despite your opninion or personal belief of what that entails.

          You said, “It appears that God is after our hearts – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

          + No. It might appear that way to you, but whatever a person feels in their heads or hearts is not evidence of external reality. If it were, the C.I.A. WOULD be reading the mail of every paranoid schizophrenic in the USA and all the Hindu and other gods would be real as well, because they have many people who honestly think they communicate with them, just like you seem to think Jesus communicates with you. Quite delusional, to be blunt.

          Uh, what?

          You can be a hypocrite, closed-minded jerk and not even realize it if your heart is hardened.

          Jesus does communicate with me. And not in the way you imagine. Not at all.

          Sorry. I know you REALLY want it to be your way. But it isn't.

          + Morality and religion, while often intertwine din the minds of many, are actually two separate things. One can be moral without believing in any god and doing so does not necessarily make on moral.

          I don't give a sh.t about morality and religion. I'm talking about the results of what we do.

          Can you meet those ideals? How would you start?.

          You dont' start with morality and religion. No sh.t.

          + So the creator of the Universe is still reading your mind hey? You might like to consider sacking your current shrink and getting one that will help you stop having these silly fvcking delusions of grandeur. You’re a grown adult, for god’s sake.

          God knows the truth. You can't BS him like you do to yourself and others on this blog. Your attempt to rationalize and attempt to logically defend your personal opinions and bigotry won't work with Him.

          It is not about God reading MY MIND. He knows us all.

          And in your heart, if you are a hypocrite, hateful and bitter – He sees it. And He can help you.

          You can't fix yourself with your own mind. There is plenty of evidence that does not work.

          What are your ideals? And how do you live up to them? Bonus points if you can answer without making it about Christians! I know that is all you seem to care about – Christians. But make it about your self. Not others. You are a grown man, right? You should be able to do that. At least once.

          May 21, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
        • tallulah131

          It is no use using logic and reason to deal with "true believers". You might as well be speaking in Klingon.

          May 21, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      "serious historians" serious about what? and why would i take your word for it? because your 'expert' has 3 letters next to his name? those are sold for a dime a dozen you clown.

      May 21, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
  19. halfdime1

    Sorry this is way off topic, but I needed some input. My wife claims she is a christian who believes in reincarnation. Is their a christian sect that believes in this, she was raised catholic but now just says she is a christian, and kinda makes it up as she goes. Does reincarnation jive with any mainstream christianity?

    Thanks for any input yall, and again sorry for the off topic question, this is pretty much the only place I know of a gathering of people with opinions on these sorts of topics, and Im an introvert without many close friends who possess such opinions.

    May 21, 2014 at 4:52 am |
    • hotairace

      Gopher, is that you?

      May 21, 2014 at 5:14 am |
      • halfdime1

        Haha, no Im not gopher, I was just genuinely interested to know if reincarnation is a belief among some christians, I thought they held to a belief in an eternal afterlife not reincarnation. Like I said before I dont have many people to discuss such topics with, so I decided to hit up the belief blog.

        May 21, 2014 at 8:38 am |
        • hotairace

          So you know how to post here but not how to use Google?

          May 21, 2014 at 8:40 am |
      • halfdime1

        are you having a bad day Ace?

        May 21, 2014 at 8:52 am |
        • hotairace

          Nope. Why do you ask?

          May 21, 2014 at 8:57 am |
      • halfdime1

        I ask because of you asking me if im gopher, and then your snide remark about google, when all I wanted was some honest input to my question.

        May 21, 2014 at 8:59 am |
        • hotairace

          Sorry, the last line of your original post struck me as odd.

          May 21, 2014 at 9:05 am |
    • colin31714

      Well, you will often find Christians holding all sorts of supernatural beliefs inconsistent with the Christian faith -astrology, ghosts, reincarnation, etc. Once you start believing in supernatural nonsense, modern myths are just as easy to hitch your wagon to as late Bronze Age Jewish myths are.

      May 21, 2014 at 6:17 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      "she was raised catholic but now just says she is a christian, "

      One in the same...for all those uneducated fools: Catholic is simply another Christian denomination.

      May 21, 2014 at 7:09 am |
      • halfdime1

        Hey Truth, I realize that, I should have elaborated, I guess her stance is that she doesnt adhere to the catholic faith anymore.

        May 21, 2014 at 8:40 am |
        • hotairace

          I'm surprised that anyone chooses to be associated with an organization that openly protects child abusers and those that have covered up their crimes, thwarting the legal investigations of several countries. Not to mention the wacky supernatural beliefs for which there is no actual evidence. But why is she still clinging to christianity? The indoctrination must be great, or she needs the help of a mental health professional.

          May 21, 2014 at 8:54 am |
        • halfdime1

          Couldnt agree more on most of your points. I dont think she needs the help of a mental health professional as she keeps all the silly beliefs to herself, I was the one who asked her what she believed in, otherwise she keeps it to herself. But yea why cling to it i dont know, seems a bit strange to me.

          May 21, 2014 at 9:03 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          halfdime: Coolio :) I don't see how anyone in the 21st century adheres to Christianity when so much shows it to be so wrong but to each their own and as long as they don't try to use it to impose upon other people all is good. Out of curiosity though, you married her knowing she was Christian-right? Have you thought about how you will raise your children given the extreme differences in your beliefs?

          May 21, 2014 at 9:14 am |
      • awanderingscot

        President John F. Kennedy was a Catholic too, was he also an uneducated fool? Many educated men, inventors, philanthropists, leaders were also men of faith too. Man you don't know anything do you?

        May 21, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
        • observer

          awanderingscot,

          Speaking of not knowing anything, JFK put his faith in Marilyn Monroe and supposedly a lot of other women.

          May 21, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Does reincarnation jive with any mainstream christianity?
      -------------
      Not one that I have ever heard of.

      What you describe sounds more like Buddhism, with Jesus replacing the Buddha as the object of veneration.

      May 21, 2014 at 8:37 am |
      • halfdime1

        Exactly what I thought, but she seems rather taken back with identifying as christian for some reason.

        May 21, 2014 at 8:48 am |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        It is socially very acceptable to identify as "Christian" in the United States and depending on where you live, much more difficult to profess something else.

        Perhaps she wants to fit in to a social group?

        There are a lot of people in the 'spiritual but not religious' camp who essentially invent their own belief structure as they go along.

        May 21, 2014 at 10:25 am |
    • Theo Phileo

      Hebrews 9:27 – It is appointed unto man to die once, and then, the judgment.

      The Christian recognizes that the Bible teaches that reincarnation is but a fantasy.

      May 21, 2014 at 9:07 am |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        "The Christian recognizes that the Bible teaches that reincarnation is but a fantasy." That is one of the dumbest things I have ever read on here. The hypocrisy of a fantasy book claiming everything else is fantasy... awesome. This deserves a two-fer...

        LET's Religiosity Law #6 – If a bible verse furthers the cause, it is to be taken literally. If a bible verse is detrimental to the cause, it is either: taken out of context; is allegorical; refers to another verse somewhere else; is an ancient cultural anomaly; is a translation or copyist's error; means something other than what it actually says; Is a mystery of god or not discernible by humans; or is just plain magic.

        LET's Religiosity Law #7 – Circular "holy" book reasoning + sweaty fervor = mental retardation.

        May 21, 2014 at 10:19 am |
  20. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    "Will Sudan really execute a pregnant Christian woman?
    ---------------
    No, not until after her baby is born. Let's hope it doesn't happen then.

    May 21, 2014 at 2:20 am |
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About this blog

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