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August 20th, 2014
08:31 PM ET

James Foley’s prayers and the dark side of faith

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog editor

[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(CNN) – We don’t know if James Foley, the American journalist beheaded by Islamic extremists, prayed in the hours and days before his death. We probably never will.

But Foley said faith sustained him during another ordeal in 2011, when he was held captive for 44 days by forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi in Libya.

In a gut-wrenching article he wrote for Marquette University’s alumni magazine, Foley said he prayed while imprisoned that his family, many miles away, would somehow know that he was safe.

“Haven’t you felt my prayers?” Foley asked his mother, Diane, when he was finally allowed to call home.

Diane Foley told her son that his friends and family had been praying, too, holding vigils filled with former professors, priests and Marquette students. She echoed his question back: Have you felt ours?

He had, the journalist said. “Maybe it was others’ prayers strengthening me, keeping me afloat,” Foley wrote.

The 40-year-old Catholic, who reported for the GlobalPost among other publications, was abducted again in 2012, captured this time by the extremist group ISIS, which calls itself the Islamic State.

On Tuesday, ISIS released a video showing a Muslim militant clad in black beheading Foley, who was wearing an orange jumpsuit and kneeling in the sand.

The ISIS militant, a man with an apparent British accent, said that Foley’s murder was payback for U.S. airstrikes against the group in Iraq. On Monday, President Barack Obama said the American operation has helped drive ISIS from strategic cities and infrastructure in northern Iraq, which apparently angered the Muslim militants.

“Any attempt by you, Obama, to deny Muslims liberty and safety under the Islamic caliphate will result in the bloodshed of your people,” the ISIS militant said in the video.

The man in orange, kneeling. The man in black, wielding a knife. One asked God to cross the “cosmic reach of the universe” and soothe his family. The other claimed to kill in the "name of Allah, the most gracious, the most merciful."

Admittedly, we know relatively little about Foley's faith and even less about the ISIS militant in black. But the contrast between the two religious paths - one led a journalist to cover conflicts, the other a jihadist to create them - is jarring.

"It's story versus story," said Martin Marty, an emeritus professor of religious history at the University of Chicago, "and the more you are threatened, the more dramatic and deep the story is going to be."

It should be said, and repeated often, that the contrast is not between Christianity and Islam.

“ISIL speaks for no religion,” Obama said on Monday, using an alternate name for ISIS. “Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday, and for what they do every single day.”

Muslims were among the first to lament Foley’s killing and have repeatedly condemned ISIS’ reign of terror in Iraq and Syria. They are victims, too, of the crimes committed in the name of Islam. Many have worked tirelessly to combat them.

But even as most Muslims reject ISIS, it cannot be denied that the extremists use faith to justify their brutal acts of war.

“Do jihad in the cause of God, incite the believers and be patient in the face of this hardship,” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, said in a video released in June.

“If you knew about the reward and dignity in this world and the hereafter through jihad, then none of you would delay in doing it.”

Under that call to arms, ISIS militants have rampaged through Iraq, forcing Muslims, Christians and Yazidis to convert to their brand of Islam, pay a protection tax or be killed.

ISIS has bombed revered religious sites, murdered hundreds and tortured and enslaved many others - all in the name of building an Islamic state.

Foley's friends and family say his faith inspired a very different moral course.

He organized fundraisers for slain journalists, taught convicts in Chicago to read, and risked his life to tell the stories of people living under the brutal rule of dictators.

He was the kind of guy who always offered half his sandwich or cigarette, one friend recalled.  He was mensch, if such can be said of a Catholic from New Hampshire.

The source of his unselfishness was clear, said Foley’s friends.

"Jim's faith was something we all agreed not to discuss publicly while he was held in Syria,” said Max Fisher, a journalist at Vox.com, “but it was the wellspring of his generosity."

It’s a paradox of modern life - most of human history, actually – that saints and sinners alike draw from the same religious waters. Christian crusaders, Sufi pacifists. Sharp knives, soft prayers.

Religion isn’t ever quite so black and white. Most of us live in the vast gray space between. But at moments like this, it's hard to miss the contrast.

"It's story versus story," as Marty put it, "and you get rid of the bad ones by telling good ones."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Discrimination • Faith • Iraq • Islam • Middle East • Muslim • Religious violence

soundoff (995 Responses)
  1. bostontola

    "But even as most Muslims reject ISIS, it cannot be denied that the extremists use faith to justify their brutal acts of war."

    Sadly, that is a recurrent pattern in history. I'm not saying it's the only reason for wars, that is silly. But religious belief seems to be too easy to commandeer to justify brutality.

    August 21, 2014 at 7:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      What else is religion for but to fill in gaps – in our knowledge of how the world should work, in our justifications for our actions, in our responsibility for things we ought to do something about but don't?

      August 21, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
      • bostontola

        Tom,
        I think religion was key to our development. I believe it had a first order impact on enabling large societies. It may have even been fundamental to humans self-domesticating. These speculations are getting studied scientifically. I wouldn't be surprised if our genome (and epigenome) has been materially affected through se.xual selection religious pressures. God may be imaginary, but religions aren't. They gave had big impacts on who we are.

        August 21, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          I think you're right. Having answers, based in reality or no, to frightening questions may have been necessary throughout our evolution. Still, the answers religion provides give way to answers based in reason only with difficulty.

          August 21, 2014 at 8:27 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        Tom,
        I don't know about religion, but a personal relationship with Jesus Christ has provided me peace, hope, and joy.

        August 21, 2014 at 7:46 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I've experienced brutality from those with religion. And I've experienced brutality from those with no religion. I can see it in history and today. And I've seen people use all kinds of excuses to justify that brutality – including scientific studies, believe it or not.

          That relationship with Christ helps me through this brutal world.

          August 21, 2014 at 8:06 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          Hitler used pseudo-science to justify brutality with his Arian race crap. Where today have you experienced science impressing brutality?

          August 21, 2014 at 8:17 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          People can still twist scientific findings to suit their agendas today.

          August 21, 2014 at 9:12 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          science is used for all sorts of good and evil ... but the science itself is pure and true and factual. Science isn't good or evil. It's a tool used by good or evil people ... people motivated by things like religion or ideology or mental illness.

          August 25, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
    • khidir619

      What's even more sad and pathetic is that people continue to believe that the actions of these heathens is actually part of the religious faith that they falsely claim.

      August 21, 2014 at 7:36 pm |
      • bostontola

        Yes, it is amazing how contingent people's beliefs, affiliations, and loyalties are.

        August 21, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      People do all sorts of things in the name of religion.

      August 21, 2014 at 7:43 pm |
      • bostontola

        Robert,
        Fortunately, many of those things are helpful.

        August 21, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Yes, loving your neighbor shouldn't include stealing, killing, and etc.

          August 21, 2014 at 7:59 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        I feel like the farther I get away from what most people define as religion, the better understanding of God I get.

        The description in James puts it best, and is far from what some online message board posters try to tell me what and why I believe: "Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you."

        August 21, 2014 at 7:56 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Amen, what you have done to the least of these....

          August 21, 2014 at 8:02 pm |
  2. gruphy

    Faith is believing that someone loves you.
    When someone expresses faith in God he does not just believe unflincingly in God without evidence. He believes God loves Him because of the evidence because believing you are loved by God makes you love people.
    If you believe you love God or you did but he disappointed u then off course u will have a self righteous atti.tude to life. Which allows u to hurt people easily.

    August 21, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Imagine trying to tell Martin Luther King, JR he doesn't have any evidence for God.

      ~~The phone rang out in the midnight silence, and when King lifted the receiver, a drawl released a torrent of obscene words and then the death threat: "Listen, n--r, we've taken all we want from you; before next week you'll be sorry you ever came to Montgomery."

      King hung up without comment, as had become his custom. Threatening phone calls had become a daily routine in the weeks of the protests, and King had tried to brush them off at first. In recent days, however, the threatening phone calls had started to take a toll, increasing in number to thirty or forty a day and growing in their menacing intent.

      Unwelcome thoughts prey on the mind in the late hours, and King was overcome with fear. "I got out of bed and began to walk the floor. I had heard these things before, but for some reason that night it got to me.

      Stirred into wakefulness, King made a pot of coffee and sat down at the kitchen table. "I felt myself faltering," he said. It was as though the violent undercurrents of the protest rushed in upon him with heightened force, and he surveyed the turbulent waters for a way of escape, searching for an exit point between courage and convenience-"a way to move out of the picture without appearing a coward"-and he found none. "I was ready to give up," he said.

      King thought of baby Yoki sleeping in her crib, of her "little gentle smile," and of Coretta, who had sacrificed her music career, according to the milieu of the Baptist pastor's wife, to follow her husband south. For the first time, he grasped the seriousness of his situation and with it the inescapable fact that his family could be taken away from him any minute, or more likely he from them. He felt himself reeling within, as the Psalmist had said, his soul "melted because of trouble, at wit's end." "I felt myself . . . growing in fear," said King.

      Sitting at his kitchen table sipping the coffee, King's thoughts were interrupted by a sudden notion that at once intensified his desperation and clarified his options. "Something said to me, 'You can't call on Daddy now, you can't call on Mama. You've got to call on that something in that person that your daddy used to tell you about, that power that can make a way out of no way.'" With his head now buried in his hands, King bowed over the kitchen table and prayed aloud. He said:

      Lord, I'm down here trying to do what's right. I still think I'm right. I am here taking a stand for what I believe is right. But Lord, I must confess that I'm weak now, I'm faltering. I'm losing my courage. Now, I am afraid. And I can't let the people see me like this because if they see me weak and losing my courage, they will begin to get weak. The people are looking to me for leadership, and if I stand before them without strength and courage, they too will falter. I am at the end of my powers. I have nothing left. I've come to the point where I can't face it alone.

      As he prayed alone in the silent kitchen, King heard a voice saying, "Martin Luther, stand up for righteousness. Stand up for justice. Stand up for truth. And lo, I will be with you. Even until the end of the world." Then King heard the voice of Jesus. "I heard the voice of Jesus saying still to fight on. He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone. No never alone. No never alone. He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone."

      And as the voice washed over the stains of the wretched caller, King reached a spiritual shore beyond fear and apprehension. "I experienced the presence of the Divine as I had never experienced Him before," he said. "Almost at once my fears began to go," King said of the midnight flash of illumination and resolve. "My uncertainty disappeared. I was ready to face anything."~~

      http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Christianity/2005/01/Receiving-The-Call.aspx?p=4

      August 21, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
      • rogerthat2014

        MLK was a great man. Perhaps he needed the make-believe god to help him persevere, but unfortunately the make-believe god couldn't protect him in the end.

        August 21, 2014 at 6:40 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          "Like anybody, I would like to live – a long life; longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. So I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord." – MLK Jr

          Death doesn't have the final say.

          August 21, 2014 at 6:56 pm |
        • rogerthat2014

          I agree. His legend will live on, but he never made it to the land of make-believe.

          August 21, 2014 at 8:35 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I find his testimony and understandings more credible than yours. And I used to believe in a way very similar to you.

          August 21, 2014 at 9:07 pm |
      • new-man

        Dalahast,
        this is such a powerful read, especially paragraphs 7&8. It brought me back to the point the other day that if you can do it on your own, then it's not God. This is a classic example of what happens when one is totally surrendered/has placed all their trust/is totally dependent upon God.
        And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

        God is a God of pure love, and equally important, relationship. In any human relationship, the love is questionable when there is no trust and that's all God requires of us – total trust and dependence on Him. [I'm speaking/preaching to myself].

        This is all it comes down to folks. When you believe/trust God completely and take Him at His word your relationship with Him has entered into the realm of friendship where we can approach Him with boldness as Abraham, Moses did.

        August 21, 2014 at 6:44 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It is a compelling testimony.

          August 21, 2014 at 6:49 pm |
        • new-man

          It absolutely is!

          August 21, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      What?
      So we can't know love without your god? I'm sorry you feel that way but you're quite wrong. Love is an emotion that even animals show and they certainly don't know your god. How one defines love has little bearing on whether they believe in a god or not...if you can't feel love without god, then you're lacking empathy not god. I feel for you...I have great love in this world-a mostly amazing family; amazing friends; a terrific spouse and a great love of the planet we are fortunate enough to be on-for without it, we cease to exist. So please don't think you have it all figured out for everyone.
      Why is it you think we'd be angry at your god? Stating disbelief does not equate to anger, it merely means we are not seeing the evidence to support your claims. It's difficult to be angry with something you don't believe exists. To make that clear for you...Are you angry at Santa or Zeus or Unicorns?

      August 21, 2014 at 6:34 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        yOU cant know REAL love..all I sen is shallow love with you...let women kill their babies in the womb..shallow view on value and worth of a human..etc etc.....that's a selfish love to me

        August 22, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          kermi: WOW!! You ignorant ASS. Who the hell do you THINK you are to judge anyone?
          Lets get this straight: I support a woman's right to choose.
          You have ZERO right to say what love is when you don't know it yourself-you after all don't give a rats ass about what happens to those children after they are born-THAT IS FAR MORE SELFISH!

          August 22, 2014 at 8:20 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          YESIWORK.. my damn butt off day in and day out...over time..weekends, holidays to help children..I don't give a rats bum about children..whos the ignorant butt head here now???? If you read my posts..I already been saying I DO MY share..I cannot do ALL the work you idiot! so stop trying to put all the work on me..and if Yo cared YOUd work with us..rather than tell OTHERS to do the work.....again who is the butt head now??

          August 25, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          and btw kermi, what an immature attack!!
          In this case hell better exist because you are the POOREST rep for a good Christian and have no right EVER pretending to be better than ANYONE when you treat other humans so poorly...not that you really care about the living!

          August 22, 2014 at 8:32 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          pot calling kettle..as least I don't spend all my time on these posts belittling and name calling..at least I spend more time giving evidence to back up my claims.....

          August 25, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          the only response your immaturity merits is being ignored...please seek help for your anger.

          August 25, 2014 at 4:02 pm |
    • rogerthat2014

      "He believes God loves Him because of the evidence"

      Give your best example of evidence.

      August 21, 2014 at 6:43 pm |
      • new-man

        Christ Jesus.

        August 21, 2014 at 6:47 pm |
        • rogerthat2014

          Jeez...

          August 21, 2014 at 7:24 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Okay and your proof for this is?

          August 21, 2014 at 7:53 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          comedy gold!

          August 25, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
  3. Charles Ray

    What is a difference between a person that beheads another and a person that gets rids of the unborn child? No difference, both are evil

    - Agree, both are evil and wished neither were ever born on this beautiful planet earth.
    Neither deserve to live and share this beautiful world with the thousands of beautiful people who live on planet earth.

    August 21, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
    • Charles Ray

      Beautiful people like Dr. Kent Brantly and others like him.

      August 21, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        Kent Brantly is a hypocrite. AFTER he makes use the best that SCIENCE has to offer, then he says it was a "miracle" and thanks his god. The ability of the delusional to lie to themselves and the world is astounding.

        August 21, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
        • new-man

          Do you know the miraculous circ.umstances that took place, one after another to get Dr. Brantly and Ms. W. to where they are today.
          As a physician, Dr. B. rightly knows that medicine doesn't heal or cure anyone... the body heals itself. The medication does its part by providing an environment within the body, so the body can heal itself.
          Who endowed mankind with the capacity for curiosity and discovery? because it is the glory of God to conceal a thing; but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.

          August 21, 2014 at 6:26 pm |
        • midwest rail

          And your medical training is what, new-man ?

          August 21, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
        • evolveddna

          New man.. your glorious god has allowed others he obviously does not care about to languish and die in Africa. This has nothing to do with any supernatural power but the luck of a few folks living in a technologically advanced location on planet earth.

          August 21, 2014 at 6:33 pm |
        • midwest rail

          " rightly knows that medicine doesn't heal or cure anyone... "
          It is exactly this kind of thinking that gave us Herb and Catherine Schaible.

          August 21, 2014 at 7:03 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          If it helps any Bucky he also thanked God for the experimental medicine and the doctors.

          August 21, 2014 at 8:05 pm |
      • fascinatedspectator

        I presume you include your own self-righteous, egotist self in that small circle of so-called "beautiful" people who use imagination and delusion to justify their own personal self-serving agendas! Keep patting yourself on the back and just maybe, that will magically propel you forward, right?
        Good luck with that...

        August 21, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
    • new-man

      The Problem of Evil – B. Bennett CBC
      “Christians famously have the problem of pain: how can a benevolent and omnipotent god permit evil to exist?” - Stephen Marche

      Such a question infers that the author believes himself to be free of evil. He has never had an evil thought, never spoken an evil word, never lied, cheated or stolen anything, never been angry or rude. Evil is a realm that others live in, not him. “Why does God allow evil?” Or, “why can’t everyone be like me?”

      This simplistic, atheistic thinking represents the height of hypocrisy and egomania for those who choose to deny the existence of God. They are blind to the fact that God has given them life and the ability to choose their path, their words, thoughts and actions. They enjoy that liberty and do not want it infringed upon. They want the freedom to take drugs ‘recreationally,’ to sleep around and to lie about their taxes. But if God exists, ‘why doesn’t He stop evil?’

      Many are anxious for the god they don’t believe in to stop evil, but they want the freedom to live any lifestyle they choose. ‘Evil’ is always somewhere else, perpetrated by someone else. It is the mass murderer, the cruel dictator or the terrible earthquake that should be stopped. But the ability to yell at your wife, kick the dog and drive over the speed limit is not called into question. Why is that?

      “….light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” (Jn. 3:19-20)

      “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:” (Mt 15:19)

      Sadly, we live in a day in which “evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse…” (2 Tim. 3:13). It is easier to blame God than to repent of the evil in their own hearts.

      August 21, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
      • austin929

        and what is the purpose and reason that the fallen angels were given dominion here on earth...........and what does that mean? Does the devil let people get away with stuff?

        August 21, 2014 at 5:14 pm |
        • new-man

          Austin,
          before I answer your question, my point in re-posting the piece is – if God got rid of all the evil people on earth there'd be no one left. [there'd be no babies since babies grow up... and there'd be no adults to repopulate the earth].

          To your question – well, satan and his angels were given dominion here on earth because A&E ceded their authority when they knowingly submitted to the devil instead of their creator.

          I don't believe the devil lets people get away with stuff, I think the ones who are cooperative he uses to accomplish as much death or chaos as possible, but even they eventually are killed. All the devil does is rob, destroy and kill.

          August 21, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        "Such a question infers that the author believes himself to be free of evil. He has never had an evil thought, never spoken an evil word, never lied, cheated or stolen anything, never been angry or rude. Evil is a realm that others live in, not him. “Why does God allow evil?” Or, “why can’t everyone be like me?” "

        -It "infers" (actually the correct term would have been "presumes", not "infers"), nothing of the sort. It simply asks a simple question which the author of that garbage is trying to dishonestly and unsuccessfully, evade.

        August 21, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
      • evolveddna

        New man .There is almost complete agreement throughout the world, and even between the normally squabbling religions that ISIS are the most deranged group of humans as-sembled in one spot for a generation. With this almost universal condemnation and I imagine many prayers for their demise in short order have been sent forth., do you think that god will do anything or figure its not bad enough yet? After all we are lead to believe by some religious "leaders" that earth quakes and tsunamis are sent and kill thousands for just a simple thing as embracing gay folks.

        August 21, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
        • new-man

          you should listen and give heed to the word of God instead of the doctrine of men.

          Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

          In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

          Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
          Blessings.

          August 21, 2014 at 6:59 pm |
        • evolveddna

          New man.. what has that got to do with my question? There are lots of sayings in the bible. as there are in many other self help books..But if your god remains inert and hidden what use is it to humanity when, in its time of need ,all he starts to do is philosophize. Personally, I think most atheists here would love a very sudden and violent "proof of god "in the form of total elimination of ISIS . all humanity is at risk with these degenerates. But some how we know it will not happen.. which is a shame.

          August 21, 2014 at 8:47 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      So people who kill are evil and should be killed.
      People who would deny the unborn the right to live should never have been born.
      Nope – no hypocrisy there.

      August 21, 2014 at 5:29 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Wow! Who made you judge and jury? What a horrible thing to think of your fellow man...so narrow minded!
      People like you scare me...your the ones that shouldn't be roaming the streets freely, who knows what you'd be capable of if you got the wrong thought in that small mind. There is help for you, please seek it before you have a breakdown and harm someone.

      August 21, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
  4. Dyslexic doG

    Christianity hinges on a literal Adam and Eve and Garden of Eden for the Jesus sacrifice to make any sense whatsoever, and we all know that Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden never existed.

    August 21, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
    • tallulah131

      I honestly don't understand how anyone who has heard the facts can continue being a christian. I can understand why people continue to believe in gods and the supernatural despite the lack of evidence, but adherence to a religion so patently man-made is beyond me.

      August 21, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        what evidence?

        August 21, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
        • tallulah131

          What evidence indeed. There is not a single shred of evidence to support the existence of any gods.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
        • Alias

          Kermit
          here is my recnt list of reasons to NOT belive in the bible:
          Noah's boat,
          The Garden of Eden,
          am man iving in a fish for 3 days,
          Satan existing,
          The slavery,
          The changing morals,
          The contradictions,
          The need to kill jesus,
          The fact that bible scholars cannot agree to what it says

          August 21, 2014 at 4:36 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          so YOU depend more on MAN than God to prove it? lol....so what many scholars don't agree on what it says..you have MANY disagreements on science among scholars..and many disagreements on history...might as well chuck out science andhistory while your at it

          August 21, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          God doesn't say much, k. Much less prove anything for anyone.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
        • Alias

          kermit
          If your bible was divinely inspired it would make sense.
          The fact that different experts can disagree about some of the most fundamental parts of the book means it is a flawed piece of literature.
          I do not believe an all-powerful god would give us a fundamentally flawed bible and condemn everyone who failed to guess the right answers.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          now YOU are seeming to imply that man does not make mistakes.....your argument is rather silly.....MAN have differences of opinions and man MAKEs mistakes..no matter how "perfect" a Bible, MAN will STILL mess up......the argument then is really irrelevant

          August 21, 2014 at 5:00 pm |
        • Alias

          Your point would be valid if the vast majority of men agreed.
          However, there are thousands of divisions within the christian faith. Scientist agree that gravity exists. They agree on what composes water. They agree that F=M*V. Of course there are things we do not fully understand and we are going to have dissagreements until we do. Your bible does not allow experts to agree on some of the most basic things, like was the garden of edne literally true, and is baptism necessary for salvation.
          Your book was written by men to control the population. A roman emperor is responsible for the modern bible, not any god.

          August 21, 2014 at 5:10 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          However, there are thousands of divisions within the christian faith.<-that point I snot valid..for it is an ignorant statement..to think ll the divisions caused by that is ignorance....again the problem is NOT the Bible..but man...you cannot blame an inanimate object for "not allowing experts to agree" I hate and find it rather childish to blamer something else..I mean you are doing exactly what I see in my line of work...the children always blame the other "He MADE me do it" thus saying the other peer had control over the client and he had noway to control himself....he gave his power away to the peer..and you sound as if doing the same....

          August 21, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          and to say a roman emporer is responsible for the modern Bible shows you have no idea of the history of the Bible....we have a list of almost ALL the NT that was ALREADY accepted widely by the church in 150 AD! CENTURIES before COnstatine! and there are other things too in that to disprove your theory...read Brian H Edwards book "Why 27" and get more facts as to how we got the Bible we have today

          August 21, 2014 at 5:18 pm |
        • fascinatedspectator

          When you consider the undeniable FACT that every single word in the bible was written by human beings, you realize WHY the bible is NOT "clear" and contradicts itself in so many ways that it is pointless to even list those GLARING inconsistencies!
          DUH!

          August 21, 2014 at 5:14 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          The Bible IS clear! if it is not clear to YOU..then YOU have the problem...maybe you are the one forgetting it was written by people of a different culture, a different time and language from where you are at. I admit this was MY problem when I first started reading the Bible..it didn't make a lot of sense, cause unknowingly, I was reading it as if it were originally written in the last 100 years by AMericans in the English language

          August 21, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
        • Alias

          Kermit
          if the bible were clear then it would be obvious what it was saying.
          The fact that there are different opinions about what it is trying to say show that it is not clear.
          There are dissagreements between the baptists and catholics that have major implication – i.e. they both think the others are largely going to hell.

          August 21, 2014 at 5:28 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          so the Baptists/Catholics are not making mistakes themselves? Like perhaps they don't get the context? or making up contest to fit THEIR doctrine? come on..youre smarter than that

          August 21, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
        • Alias

          The bible is like bad art. Even though the artist understand what they were trying to say, it is not clear to anyone else who looks at it.

          August 21, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          in a way that CAN be true..IF the reader des NOT take into consideration rules of literature...(context etc) The Bible for most part is very clear to me....

          August 21, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
        • Alias

          kermit
          Or, if the bible is so clear, then experts like you, topher, new-man, austin, and bellieverfred should agree on everything it says, right?
          At least the major points?

          August 21, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          as far as I know..we pretty much agreeon major things...we have not really taled together on other things..and again....we are coming from different perspective...(not saying they don't come from this perspective, but this is just an example) I come from perspective the Bible was written within a 1600 year span, by Jewish people in the Jewish/Aramaic?Greek language, and that this was in another place. Thus I will not read the Bible as if it were originally written by AMericans in the 1800s, using the English language....

          August 21, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
        • Alias

          So you all agree that the Garden of Eden was not literal.
          Noted

          August 21, 2014 at 6:55 pm |
      • Alias

        Don't underestimate the power of insecurity, and denial.

        August 21, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Or the power of mob mentality.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
      • believerfred

        tallulah13
        Something tells me your religion is man made. Something tells me you believe we evolved out an accidental change in state of matter or energy. I cannot imagine how anyone could believe that without evidence.

        August 21, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
      • ragansteve1

        Absolutely correct, Tal. It is beyond you as an individual.

        August 21, 2014 at 10:01 pm |
      • ragansteve1

        Abs olutely correct, Tal. It is beyond you as an individual.

        August 21, 2014 at 10:09 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Ooops. Disqus strikes again.

          August 21, 2014 at 10:11 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Now in the right place:

          Yes, steve. I did say it's beyond me. I don't understand how any adult could look at the bible and think for a second that it is anything other than a human construct. There is certainly no evidence to indicate that it's anything more than that. It is beyond me how adults in this age of information can choose to believe a myth. I guess some people fear their own mortality enough, they'd believe anything. That's why cults succeed, and what is christianity, other than a very large, well-established cult?

          August 21, 2014 at 10:16 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          In case you missed it, see above.

          August 21, 2014 at 10:33 pm |
    • believerfred

      You got me, why must Adam and Eve be literal?

      August 21, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
      • LaBella

        Good question, Fred.
        Perhaps Kermit would care to share his knowledge as to why A&E must be literal instead of allegorical.

        August 21, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
        • believerfred

          It is both or either and regardless of which path you take the truth is what remains.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
        • LaBella

          I take it allegorical. Many, many, many people do.
          The song remains the sane, regardless.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
        • LaBella

          *same.

          August 21, 2014 at 5:01 pm |
      • G to the T

        Original sin is the reply I usually hear.

        August 21, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
        • ausphor

          G to the T
          I always wonder about those that say jesus was perfect. According to the myth god knocked up a virgin woman to produce jesus, so why does jesus not have original sin like all the rest of those in the story? Born from a descendant of the rather dumb Eve and Adam if you believe the nonsense. Jesus should have as much original sin as the rest of the delusional, right?

          August 21, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
        • joey3467

          The story goes that Mary was born without original sin thus Jesus didn't have it. They made this up once they realized that half of a persons genes came from a woman. Before then it was thought that the genes came only from the male.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
        • believerfred

          A little study of cause and effect reveals that capacity must be present otherwise there could be no effect. Man cannot evolve from an elephant because the cause lacks capacity. This capacity to sin must have been present before Eve went for the tree. Take careful note the tree of life was alongside the tree of knowledge thus the source of forgiveness preexisted the sin as did the source of sin. There is nothing new under the sun as Solomon said and every man (Adam) and every woman (Eve) have the same choice today. We chose death (tree of knowledge of good and evil i.e. the physical delusion) or forgiveness for sin (tree of life i.e. Christ).
          Nothing original here it has gone on since the beginning.

          August 21, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Are you sure they made up that story about Mary after learning more about human genetics? What year was this?

          August 21, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        Because he says so?

        That is usually the anti-theist explanation on this blog I get.

        August 21, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Sacrifice appears without much explanation. It's a strange thought that destroying something valuable would impress God in some favorable way. Once it got started, it became necessary, apparently. Like a drug habit.

      August 21, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
      • believerfred

        There is no explanation as to why God needs to be holy. Holiness came before sacrifice. Our issue should be with the burning holiness of God. God is absolute purity and everything that is not pure is burned away. In the beginning God created and said it is very good. It only takes one spot to ruin very good. Being eternally purged or burned away is how purity is restored.
        If you are inclined towards social evolution then it was observed the life of an animal was in its blood. When the blood was shed life ended. The shedding of blood puts an end to it. When Adam sinned he noticed he was naked (saw what he looked like before a holy God) so God took skins and covered him. It is assumed God killed an animal to get the skin. So, there it is in Genesis, sacrifice by shedding of blood to cover sinful man. Christ covers our sin.

        August 21, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          The end of cellular respiration seems more like the end of life Fred, perhaps accompanied by fragmentation of genomicDNA (just to be sure). Blood is just a tissue. Not as important as some. You seem well-primed to see symbols everywhere in scripture. Does that serve to fill in the gaps in your Bible. Help you make it consistent with what you believe?

          August 21, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      It does if you're a Fundie ... otherwise maybe not so much.
      A couple years ago, there was a conference break-out at the American Conference of Women Religious (nuns) enti'tled "Moving beyond Jesus". There are some interesting (very) liberal things going on under the radar in some religions.

      August 21, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
  5. Charles Ray

    If there was one wish one could make, it will be,

    Wish all evil people in this world would disappear and an evil person would never be born ever again.

    August 21, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
    • Archie

      What is a difference between a person that beheads another and a person that gets rids of the unborn child? No difference, both are evil.

      August 21, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        Totally agree with you archie

        August 21, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        and yet the Christian god kills millions of unborn children every year via miscarriage. He is the master abortioner!

        August 21, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          so what? He has right to take the life..HE is the ultimate giver of life...yeah...we think we give life..but yo don't give that person a soul..and worth...GOd does..you are not judge of life..God is....IMnot judgeof life and no one else but God...so HE has right to take the ertahly life..not us.....most of abortions done here are done out of convenience...terrible judgment...

          August 21, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          kermit,
          provide us peer-reviewed statistics for why and at what stage abortions are done.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
        • Alias

          your god doesn't exist.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
        • tallulah131

          It's very easy to judge women when you deny them their humanity. Kermit will never be forced to make the terrible choice of whether to have an abortion or not. He will never deal with the consequences of that choice. He does not comprehend that the poverty, health problems, emotional problems and the safety considerations don't go away once a child is born and indeed are magnified. So he can judge and feel smug. Because it's not his problem.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          uhh..thing is..health poverty and what YOU mentioned are NOT why the majority of abortions are DONE! so do not misrepresent me I had mentioned it before..MOST are done out of "convenience" has nothing to do with poveety or health....women just don't give a darn about another one's life..they care more for their own life (that ius..those who do it for convenience) so don't tell me about denying humanity.....

          August 21, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          ouwannago that route anywy...lets abort EVERY baby now and get it done and over with..then we don't have to worry about it anymore eh?

          August 21, 2014 at 4:36 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          And BTW, Kermy, god is not a "he". God had it's testosterone checked. Turns out he is a she.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          stopbeingsi l ly...I know God isn't a "he" God is neither a he or she in human terms..God is personal....but he is Spirit..he is neither identified biological as male or female...I only refer to He since God is represented as my Father...He is LIKE a Father to me

          August 21, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Sorry kermi, A soul is pertinent to your religion/religion in general and no evidence exists for it, so your point is moot. Not to mention the fact that Roe v Wade set precedent and trumped your ilk on this. Your ilk can cry all they want but as you may be noticing those cries are no longer being heeded....this is a good thing.
          Don't want an abortion, don't have one but don't think your personal belief trumps the laws that you must bide by in this world and please don't think they deserve respect when obviously they are being use to step on other peoples rights to freedom over their own body.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          so what happens if tomorrow the government pases laws saying cannibalism is ok.....after all....you agreed to a previous post that evilness is relative.....so youre not going to try to fight to get rid of laws saying cannibalism is ok if it happened?

          August 21, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Now's there's quite the leap! Wow! One involves a clump of cells that couldn't survive outside the human body, the other involves actual living beings.
          How's that fund coming along? You know, the one you've started to enable all those children born to properly be taken care of from birth to 18 and then college?
          Not your business what a woman does with her body.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          wow..and that shows your true perception of value of life.....its al a mater where the baby is..inside the woman or outside...that's sure anice way to put value and worth on something.......pathetic..Im sorry..but pathetic.....it shows you truly do have a shallow view on worth and value of a human....

          August 21, 2014 at 5:03 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          My true perception on life is that people have the right to control over their own bodies.
          If a woman gets pregnant, it is her choice and in most case, a difficult one at that to either carry through or not to. Now if the baby could survive outside of the womb, then feel free to scream murder but if it can't then so be it.
          You don't show any care for the life that child will endure because if a woman wants an abortion and isn't allowed one, chances are that poor innocent child is going to suffer for it. Is that fair?
          Is it fair to force the woman who is the victim of rape to carry through a pregnancy she had no say in or the person who gets pregnant via incest?
          You sadly put more care on what you THINK your imaginary friend god wants than you do human life...very sad.

          August 21, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I suggest you read ALL my post.....first of all.. conception due to ra pe and in cest are relatively small as are the reasons for the abortion for these reasons.....so youre sidestepping the issue and again show me how selfish women are to say "my body My body My Body" and f*** the body inside me, my body counts only.....

          August 21, 2014 at 5:12 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          It still comes down to this...it is not your business!!
          Step up to the plate and support those children or shut your mouth...quite simple!

          August 21, 2014 at 5:21 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Not your business what a woman does with her body.<-and there is another selfish argument...you totally ignore the baby inside the woman...its ONLY her..my body my body..who gives a f*** about the body inside me..allI care is my body....yep.....

          August 21, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Not at all selfish...you're not paying her way or supporting that child, so what she does is not of your business. How about you go and get a vasectomy? After all we know you'd raise a child in the Christian faith and we know that can be damaging (look in the mirror if you if you wish to see proof of that). If you can step on women's rights, we can step on yours...right? Makes sense to me.
          It's a clump of cells...grow up and get an education and learn about the subject before you attempt to invoke your belief system in to it.
          I'm sorry you think you have a voice on this matter but much like the LGBT issue, you don't...Secular law over-rides your bible always.

          August 21, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          youre making ad homs cause you got nothing to back you up....you still truly avoid the "My body" thing.....you mentioned it..but ddint realy address it.....just followed it with ad homs..does not mater if IM supporting the woman or not..thats beside the point

          August 21, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          What??? I stand by what I said! It is not your business...when are you going to clue in? You don't want people stepping in to your personal life, then have some respect and stay out of others lives. What they do, how they live, who they love, who they worship or don't, what they teach their children is none of your business unless you are paying their way and given that you're not, you might wish to learn to focus on your own life and not that of others.

          August 21, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          and again more proof....yuodont give a f## of the body insde the woman..I do....I care about that body..and yet the women sidestep the issue and only answer "My body" its almost practically an ad hom to say such.....Imsoryr..but the baby happens to be in your body..I know you don't like it...but I care for the baby ..and Im sorry you don't like that

          August 21, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Here's the difference between you and I...I care about the life people like you are attempting to force in to this world, you care about what appeases your god-big difference when you really don't care or consider the child only what your imaginary friend god wants and yet your god cause abortions all the time...you care about a clump of cells, not the actual life of the child and that's much worse than me supporting the rights of a woman to have control over her body, especially if the clump of cells couldn't survive outside of the host.
          Sorry you're no educated on human rights or women's rights...the world move past ignorant people like you thankfully and your voice does get silenced.
          Doesn't matter, it's still not your business and it is settled by the only laws anyone REALLY has to follow...sorry your ilk lost but get used to it, you're about to lose on many more grounds.

          August 21, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          and herein you LIE again! IT does NOT appease my God! I was all for banning abortons BEFORE I was Christian yiuidiot! You are such a pathetic thinker and I don't believe you in when you say you go for facts..if facts are such a BIG DEAL to you..WHY cant you get your FACTS about me straight??????? YOU assume too much..assuming does not get facts well..its when you QUESTION...answers come when one questions

          August 21, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Not lying...you're a Christian, you do care about appeasing your god.
          You fail to care about what happens with that child after it is born, I happen to care...sorry if you fail to comprehend that.
          I'm not making false assumptions, you merely are hateful and like to twist things to make it seem like you're being persecuted when in fact all it is you being told why it is your voice on this matter has little pertinence-it won't change a damn thing.
          You say answers come when one questions yet your own religion starts out with an answer and builds questions to fit that answer.
          Calling someone an idiot doesn't show the good Christian side of you...if there is a hell, I hope you enjoy it.
          Before calling someone out because you don't agree with their position, you best look in a mirror-your own position is not a very pleasant one

          August 21, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          you ARE Lying..I TOLDyou I DO care and I told you what I DO about those kids..I TOLD yu othat I am NOT able to do all this myself! and YOu ARE Lying again..you said "You are Christian you do care about appeasing your god" IGNORANTLY lumping all us Christians together in your misguided argument!!! again ASK me before yo umake the stupid and ignorant remarks...BY THE WAY..ILL model it for you....here si a question..BEFORE I was a Christian, who was I appeasing then????

          August 21, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          "Personal" refutes "infinite". Persons have personalities, and not other personalities. Oops.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          how does personal refutes infinite?

          August 21, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Just goes to show "If horses had gods, their gods would be horses".

          August 21, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          how does personal refutes infinite?

          I just told you. I think we see your problem. No thinking skills.
          A "person" is not "another person". It's LIMITED. An "infinite person" is meaningless". An in finite person would mean there is only one infinite person. Are YOU god ? If the answer is "no", your deity's person-hood is limited, and not infinite.

          August 21, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          NO....its because I NEVER SAID a person is another person.....so don't ask me if I couldn't read.....that's why I ASK..to CLARIFY..and maybe YOU should do same thing next time ok? I do NOT know WHERE you get this "person is another person" thing..as I said I never said that or implied it

          August 21, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
        • LaBella

          "youre making ad homs cause you got nothing to back you up...."

          Irony alert.

          August 21, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          UNLIKE TP, I DO make attempts to back my arguments for the most part TP for the most part resorts to ad homs and rarely even attempts to back her arguments

          August 21, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
        • LaBella

          The majority of your posts are riddled with as hominem attacks, Kermit. That you would call out someone when you do it on a nearly every post basis is, indeed, ironic.

          August 21, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
        • tallulah131

          BS, kermit. You are not privy to the personal decision process made by women who decide to have an abortion. You are just another arrogant toad, pretending to have authority, when in truth all you have is an emotional attachment to a bronze age belief system.

          August 21, 2014 at 10:19 pm |
      • rusty2115

        The total ignorance in your post proves you pro lifers are no different that the TALIBAN.

        The Christian God killed the first born of Egypt – it called home this poor mother's son by beheading. WHY would you worship such a thing?

        August 21, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          comparing apples to oranges rusty.....talking of humans..not God..and we ALL die..none of us escapes it...it will happen sooner or later...

          August 21, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        A 3 week old fetus is no more an "unborn child" than it is an "unborn old man". It's a POTENTIAL baby, and a potential person. Stop talking yourself into your delusions.

        August 21, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          so sad you people are so shallow on value and worth of human life...potential? lol....all it is is excuses so people can justify murder for convenience

          August 21, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          You have no idea why anyone here supports a woman's right to choose. So you self-righteously declare yourself on the moral high-ground on the basis of a lie. Lying for the very Jebus who told you not to judge. I just bet you actually think despite that, you think you are a good Christian.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          then tellm e..why do YOU support womens right to murder a baby? as for the Jesus thing..I saw it was wrong LONG before I was a Christian..in fact it does NOT take religion to see it wrong..there are ACTUALLY a few atheists groups out there who are against abortions as well!!!!!!

          August 21, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          A clump of cells with no brain, and no neural tube is no more "a human life" than cells from your skin layer, or a sperm cell with no change of fertilizing an egg.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Rather selective, aren't you kermi? You care more about a clump of cells then you do about the future of that child you are attempting to use your belief to force born in to this world.
          Why only that egg? Why not all 400 and all the sperm? Shall we disallow for vasectomies also? After all, all sperm and all eggs equate to the potential of life...yet we don't see you fighting to protect them.
          Maybe you have failed to comprehend this, what a person does with their body is not your business nor the business of your imaginary friend god. Neither of you are being left to raise that child.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          I do not support "a women's right to murder a baby".
          Abortion is not "murder". Murder is a legal term, and abortion is legal, thus the emotionally intended (intellectually dishonest) use of the word "murder" is not only incorrect, but also proves your bad faith here. A zygote is not a baby. Your dishonest attempt to garner emotional points from a dishonest purposeful misuse of language just belies your desperation, and basic lack of honesty and ethics.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          you still haven't told me why you support women to do this

          August 21, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          you still haven't told me why you support women to do this

          Do you have the right to have some itchy skin cells removed from your arm ? They are just as much "human life" as a zygote.

          August 21, 2014 at 5:03 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          apples to oranges..the zygote contains all the chromosome and DNA of a human..the cells on the arm does NOT....thought you knew biology......better get back and study it again..the cells from the skin on your arm do not have the cells that are in your brain...nor do they have the same cells as the ones in your teeth....all are didferent cells...

          August 21, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
        • LaBella

          I am reminded of this quote:

          “I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life.
          In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed.
          And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there.
          That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth.
          We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.”

          –Sister Joan Chittister

          Remember, the government that can force births can also force abortions.
          It is a horrendous choice that a woman contemplates, but the government has no role in that choice.
          Be careful what you ask for, people.

          August 21, 2014 at 5:56 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          kermit
          In addition to the comment above, there is more to pro-life than anti-abortion. The (generally) religious are very vocal and active on abortion, but almost completely silent on ways that those born can die: road safety, gun safety, food safety, drug safety, water safety, disease control, workplace safety, healthcare, etc. etc.
          If you're pro-life you should be campaigning to save all life.

          August 21, 2014 at 6:13 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          listen..I am only ONE person..I do what I do ok? ONE person is NOT going to take ALL this on and change it...it takes a number of people..granted, many are nOT doing anything..but you seem so focused on that you don't look to see those who ARE doing something...you seem to lump all of us together.....this is the point ok? I do MY part in helping where I can..I work with kids who have special needs, I am NOT able to provide financial assistance myself but OTHERS can.

          August 22, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          I was pointing out the very narrow and hypocritical usage of the term "pro-life".

          August 22, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        So you're going to support all those children? What is your great solution here?

        August 21, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Evil is relative. A person you consider evil may be a hero to another person. If I had a wish, I would wish that people had compassion for every other living thing, not just those who agree with them.

      August 21, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
      • LaBella

        Word.

        August 21, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
      • rusty2115

        a/k/a one mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter

        August 21, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Yep. I bet the British thought that the rebelling Colonists were very evil indeed.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Absolutely!

        August 21, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
      • ragansteve1

        I might suggest that you wish for something less than fantasy. If you all think Christians live in a fantasy world, just look at what you just asked. One of the great problems with liberals, and apparently with some on this site as well II don't know for sure whether you are liberal or not) is a failure to identify something as truly evil.

        Beheading someone for no reason other than to make a political point is evil in any civilized society. using women and children as shield to protect weapons of war is evil in any civilized society. Both, by the way, are considered war crimes if not crimes against humanity by the UN. Let's get a grip on our thinking.

        August 21, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
        • LaBella

          There is absolutely nothing wrong with the sentiment "If I had a wish, I would wish that people had compassion for every other living thing, not just those who agree with them." I do not know where any sort of political partisanship should even enter in such a wish.

          August 21, 2014 at 9:00 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Apparently "compassion" is a dirty word to conservatives. No wonder you continue to lose at election time.

          August 21, 2014 at 9:10 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          You believe in an absolute moral standard, Steve. You know many of us don't. But (conjecture on my part) any moral standard acceptable to almost anyone would call such acts evil.

          August 21, 2014 at 9:13 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          LaBella, there is nothing wrong with the sentiment. I certainly feel compassion for the family, for James, and for the other hostages now in harms way because this liberal president can't keep his mouth shut. If there is nothing wrong with the sentiment as an actionable wish though, you all should stop criticizing people of faith. The reason is that without a willingness to go to war, rather than treat this like a Chicago homicide is complete fantasy.

          August 21, 2014 at 9:43 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Tal, you certainly judge without any information. I am very compassionate regarding the family, James and others in captivity. I am not compassionate toward wishful thinking in a crisis.

          August 21, 2014 at 9:44 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Tom, you are correct as far as it goes. But when even a inco mpetent group like the UN condemns certain behavior, that must form some level of absolute. And that absolute is absolute e vil. There may be individuals within the ISIL ranks who, for whatever reasons are not sav ages. But don't ask me to feel any co mpassion for them unless, given the opportunity, they quickly disavow any allegiance and move quickly to the other side.

          The bigger problem, in terms of philosophy, is that which you have also identified. I believe that there is an absolute evil. There are standards of depr avity that are totally without resolution without exter mination. Liberals clearly do not believe that. And therefore, we will lose until we get a president who will respond appropriately.

          August 21, 2014 at 9:56 pm |
        • LaBella

          I'm not an atheist, Steve.
          Perhaps you should look into the mirror and figure out exactly why you think you're above being criticized, especially with your ham-handed attempt to take a perfectly lovely sentiment like Tal's and crapping all over it in your hurry to take Mr. Foley's death and spin it into some absurd political rant.

          August 21, 2014 at 9:57 pm |
        • LaBella

          And Tal's OP was in answer to this one:

          Charles Ray
          If there was one wish one could make, it will be,

          Wish all evil people in this world would disappear and an evil person would never be born ever again.

          Just for a little context, Steve.

          August 21, 2014 at 10:04 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Labella, Your objection noted. I did not go into a political rant. I was simply giving my opinion of the efficacy of wishful thinking. But thanks for the critique. I do consider it valid.

          August 21, 2014 at 10:21 pm |
        • tallulah131

          I generally do not wish for things. I'm a rather pragmatic individual. But I was answering another post because I found their wish to be very short-sighted, and your post was extremely off topic.

          August 21, 2014 at 10:25 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          "you all should stop criticizing people of faith" If this is where you are getting the idea that I think you're an atheist, then I can apologize. I was certainly not classifying people, simply reflecting on the tone of criticism in general regarding people of faith on this blog. I cannot even begin to count the number of times I have heard Christians accused of living a fantasy.

          Otherwise, I am not sure where you get the idea I was talking about you being an atheist. For the most part, I was talking about liberals' approach to this crisis. I am not even sure all atheists are liberals.

          Thanks,

          August 21, 2014 at 10:27 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Noted. I think not, but then we often disagree.

          Thanks,

          August 21, 2014 at 10:28 pm |
        • LaBella

          Yes, Steve, that's exactly where I got the idea you thought I was an atheist, because you addressed that remark to me.

          August 21, 2014 at 10:34 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          My apologies. I intended that as a general statement for people on this site, not for you specifically. That's why I said "you all." But I can see that it looked very directed toward you.

          August 22, 2014 at 4:07 am |
    • Charles Ray

      "Heal the world, make it a better place
      For you and for me and the entire human race
      There are people dying,
      if you care enough for the living,
      make it a better place for you and for me"

      ~MJ

      August 21, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
  6. Dalahäst

    "Jesus is an example of one who committed no sin at all, yet He was persecuted and killed by wicked men. So we may follow His example and suffer, not for our faults, but when we do good." 1 Peter 2:19-23

    August 21, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
    • Reality

      Not according to the Romans who executed him for being a temple rabble rouser. And being god, he obviously knew what would happen to him by committing such acts. Or did he? But if he did not, then what?

      August 21, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
      • ragansteve1

        Even if He were not God, He probably could have figured out what would have happened. The Romans were no little wimps when it came to stomping out any kind of dissent. And that would be particularly true if someone were dissenting AND getting in the way of collecting taxes and other tributes through the Temple at the willing compliance of the corrupt Temple leadership.

        August 21, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        I think he knew his life in the hands of those in power would face an unjust and wicked treatment.

        August 21, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
        • ausphor

          Dalecarlian Horse/Dalahast (Swedish)
          1Peter 2:19-23 was the little mothers (Theresa's) favorite verse and she lived it in real life, Christians, sheesh.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
        • G to the T

          Was it unjust if he was causing public unrest? From the Roman's point of view I mean.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          The Romans in charge were crooked. The people running the Temple were crooked. What would be just from their point of view? Admitting they are corrupt, for starters.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
        • G to the T

          "The Romans in charge were crooked."

          And on what evidence do you base that assertion?

          August 21, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          History tells me that they were brutal.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          IMHO, I don't think the Romans worried too much about justice unless one were a Roman citizen. Then perhaps they worried just a little bit. Jesus was not a Roman citizen.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
        • G to the T

          "History tells me that they were brutal."

          Brutal perhaps, but no more corrupt than any other government in history I'm willing to bet. They had laws, Jesus appears to have violated some of them and he was executed. Were the Priests guilty of falsely accusing him? Perhaps, but that's not really the issue.

          August 22, 2014 at 9:42 am |
        • Dalahäst

          The Priests were just as corrupt, if not even more, than the Romans with power. They certainly appeared to be more hypocritical than the Romans with power.

          August 22, 2014 at 9:44 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        People called Romanes they go the house!

        August 21, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Is that like The Ramones spelled sideways?

          August 21, 2014 at 10:22 pm |
      • ausphor

        Reality
        So the jesus character knew he was going to be crucified if he challenged authority, nowadays they call that suicide by police. Jesus committed suicide if he existed at all. Making up ridiculous propositions is fun, no wonder there are so many apologists.

        August 21, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          wow..apparently you don't even know what suicide is! suicide is a Selfish taking of ones own life....He does it for NO other person...Jesus death was a Sacrifice...a death for OTHERS to benefit from.....a soldier in a fox hole who jumps on a grenade to save his friends has not committed suicide...but sacrificed his life for others

          August 21, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Kermit
          Such a death as you describe may be noble, but it is still suicide.
          To knowingly perform actions that will result in your own death is suicide.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
        • ausphor

          kermi
          Chill out, I was making a ridiculous proposition but I guess if you believe in the book of silly you would be unable to tell the difference.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Kermit
          Some years ago, a friend of mine took her own life rather than have her family and friends endure her degeneration from Huntington's disease.
          Does that count as suicide in your book?

          August 21, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          sacrifice is taking life to save another life...she didn't save their lives...maybe she saved them the pain of them having to care for her and watch...butdid she do this so they can live and not die? MAY have been a sacrifice in some way....but that's beside the point of Jesus dying..apples to oranges....

          August 21, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          andimsorryt o H ear of your friends death.....In no way was my last post meant to be disrespectful..hopefully I put it in abest way possible

          August 21, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
    • colin31714

      As a god who is, according to your belief, immortal and powerful enough to have created the Universe, the whole Jesus sacrifice thing makes absolutely no sense. None. A god demanding a sacrifice of itself? To itself? To forgive the Original Sin of a couple who we now all know never existed?

      If it is god, it is no sacrifice, as he would rise in 3 days anyway, so his "death" is not a real death. The whole silly story is completely marbled with logical inconsistencies.

      The only explanation that makes sense is that Jesus was an ordinary man executed in about 30 AD and that his followers came up with the "lamb of God/sacrifice" nonsense to explain how the Messiah could be killed as a common criminal. Heck, Jesus isn't even divine until we get to John's Gospel.

      August 21, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Human sacrifice was always waiting in the wings for Judaism – itself based on animal sacrifice. Christianity was conceived to satisfy the Judaic need for sacrifice.

        August 21, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        NOwhere in the BIble is Jesus' divinity/deity denied. but everywhere it is claimed and proven to be...as for the sacrifice thing..youre thinking in a finite perspective and so of course it makes no sense to you...youre thinking of God only as in human terms (God is only a human) now IF you were talking of a mere human..you would be correct..it makes no sense and cannot happen

        August 21, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Did Jesus claim to be divine?

          August 21, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Certainly..a number of times...He calls Himself SOn of man (The divine in Daniel chapter 7) He says he has no beginning when he responded to the Jews _Before Abraham was I am" and only God is one who has no beginning...Jesus showed he was God by forgiving them of their sins..only God can forgive sins...He made many other claims of deity, proving them and accepting worship!

          August 21, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
        • colin31714

          Kermit, "before Abraham was, I am" quote is in John. Mark doesn't claim Jesus is God, nor do Matthew or Luke. they claim he is the Messiah sent by God. It was only after Christianity developed as a separate religion to Judaism that we get the claims that Jesus was God. That idea was anathema to Greco-Roman Jews.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Mark DOES>.I JUST gavce a passage from Mark 2! GOD alone forgives sins...Jesus forgave sins...and Jesus reference to Himself as Son of Man goes back to Daniel 7! which is a deity..divine! you are arguing out of ignorance..plus..in ALL 4 Gospels, Jesus accepted Worship

          August 21, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          You mean no?

          August 21, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I mean nowhere

          August 21, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
        • colin31714

          as to your finite mind/infinite mind nonsense, a retreat to mysticism is the first refuge of the cornered fool

          August 21, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          not a reatreat.....and its 1st place I go to..why not?

          August 21, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
        • colin31714

          Because, once you invoke magic, any absurdity can be explained away by an exercise of magic powers or by things being "beyond our understanding." All this does is try to make logical inconsistencies immune to criticism.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
        • G to the T

          I think you are incorrect in Jesus' belief re: the Son of Man. Did Jesus think he was the Son of Man? Probably. Did he believe that meant he WAS God? Probably not.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          MOre ignorance..Jesus quoted from Daniel 7 in his trial...calling Himself the Son of Man.....thus we KNOW what he is saying..he is saying He is God! read the whole Bible...especially the 4 Gospels and Daniel 7

          August 21, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
        • G to the T

          Where I think we disagree on who the "Son of Man" was supposed to be. A Jewish view vs a Christian one I believe.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          IWO uld think youre not quite like the Jews of the Bible times....they clearly understood it and wanted Jesus to die for blasphemy.....certainly, the history of Jews has changed dramatically...the world's Jews are for the most part majorly Rabbinical.....which has its roots in the 70s AD after the Temple was destroyed....read from Jonathan Berniss for more info on this

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

        In the 'survival of the fittest' mentality of this world, sacrifice doesn't really make sense. But that is why we are here.

        August 21, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          well put dal.....better than how I said it

          August 21, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
        • G to the T

          "In the 'survival of the fittest' mentality of this world, sacrifice doesn't really make sense."

          In what sense? "Fittest" just means best fit to its environment. A mother sacrificing herself for the sake of her children absolutely makes sense.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          What if the children are not fit for this environment? And probably never will be? And the mother is fitter? Or if she has another child and it is fitter? Should she care for that one more?

          August 21, 2014 at 4:36 pm |
        • G to the T

          "What if the children are not fit for this environment? And probably never will be? And the mother is fitter? Or if she has another child and it is fitter? Should she care for that one more?"

          In nature, there are certainly examples of mothers consuming and/or shunning "runts". But at the species level, on the average, more offspring will survive from those parents that take steps to ensure their survival. There are many strategies that can be employed to ensure this, and preferential treatment of close blood relatives appears to be one that we employ.

          August 22, 2014 at 9:47 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Some human beings do eat their young. And do shun, abuse and harm their children. There are a lot of aspects to human nature that run counter to the idea of a species trying to survive.

          August 22, 2014 at 9:53 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          "Survival of the fittest" doesn't fit reality very well. It should be "survival of the good enough, mostly". On average, a population will survive if it has what it needs to survive and a little bit more than its competitors have. The competitors may survive too, just not doing quite as well.

          August 22, 2014 at 9:54 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      well of course the bible said that Jesus never sinned. The bible is a story book with jesus as its main character. A story book written by men to enable their scam for money and power. A story book created 40 to 80 years after the man named jesus was said to have existed. The writers of the book would have insured there were no stories about him sinning, lest they lose their scam.

      August 21, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        the writers gained NO money and power from writing it...sorry...your argument is weak and baseless...and the 4 Gospels were written from about 15 to 30 years after Jesus....pretty ignorant to think it was 40 to 80..otherwise how can early church fathers quote from something that did not exist yet??????

        August 21, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        Who do you imagine is scamming me? Or getting power from me?

        I know some people try to run a scam using the Bible. You can run a scam with anything. The opposite of scamming is probably what is happening – charity.

        While it does take a lot of money to help those in need – I really don't think they are scamming us. Some of the people we are helping are really a victim to circ.umstances and just need a little help.

        That book shows a good way to live. And one that is helpful to those that are actually being scammed and the victim to the power-mongers in this world.

        August 21, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          From your descriptions your church is an exception to the rule. The RCC, the Anglican church, the Mormon church, the various Orthodox christian churches, the churches of the "prosperity gospel", et al are all exceptionally wealthy and although they do some good works, they clearly put wealth and power ahead of Jesus' teachings on the subject.

          August 21, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I know you are referring to some churches, but I would advise to take each church (even to the point of an individual church within the same denomination) as individuals...and not lump all together

          August 21, 2014 at 6:06 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I mean, I am agreeing, that unfortunately there are some churches out there who put wealth ahead of charity or such

          August 21, 2014 at 6:07 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yea, that was an intentional choice on my part.

          It is tough to find any group that isn't primarily motivated by profit these days. It is a breath of fresh air to find some that have greater ideals than the status quo holds.

          August 21, 2014 at 6:11 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Good for you.

          August 21, 2014 at 6:13 pm |
  7. zhilla1980wasp

    let's take two examples of prayer:

    1) a person is dying of ebola.

    2) a guy is fixing to lose his head.
    -----–

    now the lovely thing about religion is you can come up with scripture that will sooth and console both families in the event both men die..........or in the strange instant that one or both men survive.

    isn't playing with god fun? either way it goes god is always covered from any responicibilty of anything.....ever.
    god floods the earth killing everyone, it's not his fault. lmao

    August 21, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
  8. rusty2115

    The dark side of ALL religion:

    'Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities – Voltaire

    There is not a religion on this Earth with clean hands currently or in history.

    August 21, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
    • gruphy

      Atheism is a religion too my friends.

      August 21, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        re·li·gion
        noun \ri-ˈli-jən\

        : the belief in a god or in a group of gods
        : an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods

        – Merriam Webster Dictionary

        "A" = Lack of
        "Theism" = Belief in gods.
        "A' + "Theism" = Lack of belief in gods.

        Atheism is a negative statement that describes only one thing in which a person does not believe.

        How is that a religion?

        August 21, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          I think we can safely say that atheism is not a religion in and of itself. Like theism is not a religion in and of itself, so is atheism, not. However, if there are groups of atheists, and I am not saying there are, with organizing principles like, elevating humanity, belief in evolution, belief in the big bang theory absent God, or other such beliefs consistent with atheism as a belief, AND they organize to promote those beliefs and theories, or educate people regarding their belief that there is no God, then those groups consti tute a religious organization. Fair?

          August 21, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          That does sound fair. Nicely put.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          This is like saying that a barbershop quartet is a religious group because they are organized a-instrumentalists.
          Are the NAACP a religious group? They are a group of people dedicated to promoting and disseminating a particular view – they have tenets to which they adhere and seek to influence the opinions of others in order to effect changes in society.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Barbershop quartets and the NAACP books aren't located in the religion section of book stores. But atheist books are.

          On my tv – the atheist channel is located in the religion tier. If there were Barbershop quartets and a NAACP channel, I doubt they would be in the religion tier.

          I've never had member of Barbershop quartets or the NAACP try to convince me their views were better or superior on a religion blog like this. I've had many atheists do so.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Doc, the NAACP is not organized to promote beliefs in the same way that atheist groups or faith-based groups are or would be. They are a political group pure and simple. And they are VERY political.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
      • rusty2115

        No it's not – where's it's church where's it's God and more importantly where's its tax exempt status as a "religion"?

        August 21, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          There are atheist groups that have organizations that are very similar to the religious ones. In fact, they even take the same tax exempt status. Look at the American Humanist Association, for example. Or the Sunday Assembly.

          August 21, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Dala
          You'd get more traction trying to argue that humanism is a religion since it can be shown to have core tenets and beliefs.
          But not all atheists are humanists – some atheists are downright misanthropic.
          Once again, atheism is a negative statement that describes only what someone DOESN'T believe.

          August 21, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
        • rusty2115

          Dalahäst

          There are atheist groups that have organizations that are very similar to the religious ones. In fact, they even take the same tax exempt status
          ______________________
          "Similar" is NOT the same as a religion with a specific GOD and rules. Many organizations like the Cancer Society have tax exempt status doesn't make them a religion.

          your stretching is just that – they are NOT a religion and they have no GOD.

          August 21, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Doc Vestibule

          I know. But I've seen atheists that treat their atheism as if it were a religion, as bizarre as that sounds. As much as it doesn't make sense. It is rare, but it happens.

          August 21, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          you sure are stretching on this point ...

          August 21, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Was Einstein stretching?

          "I was barked at by numerous dogs who are earning their food guarding ignorance and superst.ition for the benefit of those who profit from it. Then there are the fanatical atheists whose intolerance is of the same kind as the intolerance of the religious fanatics and comes from the same source. They are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who—in their grudge against the traditional "opium of the people"—cannot bear the music of the spheres. The Wonder of nature does not become smaller because one cannot measure it by the standards of human moral and human aims."

          August 21, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
      • lunchbreaker

        Comparing atheism to religion is as dumb as Pepsi's failed campaign to sell Pepsi 1 by claiing it tasted just like Diet Coke.

        What's the point of a religious person attempting to create equivalence with atheism? Are you saying atheists are as dumb as you are?

        August 21, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
    • ragansteve1

      Or an atheistic government.

      August 21, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
      • LaBella

        True. A theocratic one, either.

        August 21, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Absolutely, I would never want to be a part of a theocracy in this world. We've seen that before and it is ugly.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Steve, people can be vile with or without religion. But religion, just as it is used to explain the unexplainable, can be used to justify acts so heinous that those who would carry them out can't come up with a justification for them.

        August 21, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Sure, and so could an atheistic government. All you have to do is invoke the "motherland" (or fatherland to be fair) as some nations have already done, and you have an excuse for vile and heinous acts. My point in this and similar discussions in the past is that evil people will find a way to justify their actions. Religion is one way. What did Pol Pot use? How about Mao and Stalin? And Hitler was no real Christian.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:02 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Would you kill someone you knew nothing about if you were absolutely convinced that that is what God wanted you to do, Steve?

          August 21, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          That all depends upon the context. If you are talking about decapitating someone as in this instance, absolutely not. The God I serve would not ask that. In a war, however, in battle, absolutely. The other civil instance I would say yes to has nothing to do with God. That would be if someone came into my home and threatened me or my family. That person, were it in my power, would be looking to take his or her last breath.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          I didn't offer a context, steve. Only that you are absolutely convinced that God wants you to kill someone you know nothing about.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Tom, let me say it again with perhaps a little more conviction. I am absolutely convinced that my God would not ask me to kill someone like James Foley or anyone in the manner he was killed. That is simply not possible. If I were to begin thinking that I should do something like that I would immediately think that either I was becoming insane, or that the other spirit you don't believe in was attempting to hijack my mind.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Some people with no religion have been very vile to me. And I've seen some commit atrocities. How do you explain that? Do you have blood on your hands? How do I have blood on my hands for being in a religion?

      What group is there on this Earth with clean hands currently or in history?

      Why are there groups in my community that do positive things that help my community? They haven't committed any atrocities, but have come to the aid of those who have been harmed by others. And they are religious. I would struggle to find any atrocities they have committed. Even if I look at their history – they left a corrupt nation to practice their religion in peace. And they seem to be accomplishing that.

      August 21, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
  9. polybius7

    Daniel Burke, this is a very weak effort on your part. The darkness has nothing to do with James Foley's faith. Your article ignores the essential fact in this story: this beheading is a murder, plain and simple. It isn't a "story" as unfortunate Dr. Marty thinks. It was a bloody act, and any person who doesn't start and end with that fact is a fool.

    Here is a simple test that I suspect Daniel Burke and Martin Marty will fail: tell me that you would have written the article the same way if the person committing the beheading had not been a sympathetic Muslim. Say, a "right wing zealot" or some other person whose views are not politically desirable.

    August 21, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
    • bostontola

      Kidnapping and murder, plain and simple.

      August 21, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
  10. rusty2115

    Gods are fragile things they can be killed by a whiff of science and a dose of common sense. Chapman Cohen

    August 21, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
    • sanddudian

      and they can just simply be made up, after all, that's where they all came from...man made them up. All the evidence available to us should leave no other conclusion. 100% made up and with human personalities to boot.

      August 21, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
      • rusty2115

        Nobody would care if they would just stay in their churches, mosques and synogogues and stop FORCING their religion on people through violence or ignorance – I gues that's the only way to sell a fairy tale.

        Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one-half the world fools and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.
        – Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781-82

        August 21, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
        • workingcopy12

          When making an important point about morality, does it really make sense to quote a man who ra.ped his slaves?

          August 21, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
        • sanddudian

          Christianity came up with great way to sell their fairy tale and probably why it has lasted so long and their god has outlived most of the others...they invented Hell.

          August 21, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          “Religion. It's given people hope in a world torn apart by religion.”
          ― Jon Stewart

          August 21, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
        • rusty2115

          workingcopy12
          I'm glad the hypocrisy of those claiming the founding fathers wanted a Christian nation isn't lost on you '-) What would that look like especially for women and those of color?? kinda like in Uganda or as with the Ebola doctors the whites get "saved" the browns – not so much.

          August 21, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Easy to call someone a hypocrite. Just be sure you're not standing in a glass house.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
        • rusty2115

          ragansteve1
          EXACTLY!!! you can see from my posts ALL religions have murder and mayhem to answer for – they ALL live in a glass house and they seem to be throwing stones to boot!

          August 21, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          True, a lot of that happens. But I would suggest from what I have read that your house is none too sturdy and you lobbed a few rocks as well.

          August 21, 2014 at 7:55 pm |
  11. Vic

    Vic

    Here is a bit of advice:

    A rule of thumb, whatever group you belong to, if they imply, directly or indirectly, hurting anyone, RUN!

    August 21, 2014 at 9:02 am | Reply

    August 21, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
    • rogerthat2014

      Deuteronomy 13:12-18.

      Start running.

      August 21, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
      • joey3467

        Isn't Jesus supposed to come back and wipe out most of the world? Sounds fairly violent to me.

        August 21, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Jesus would be doing that..not us

          August 21, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
        • joey3467

          It would still be violence so I suggest that Vic take his own advice and run.

          August 21, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          uhh..as far as I read from Vic...its referring to asking US to do the violence..apples to oranges

          August 21, 2014 at 5:47 pm |
  12. chanhol

    "It should be said, and repeated often, that the contrast is not between Christianity and Islam."

    No? What, then is the contrast? Non-Islam ("infidels") versus Islam? If you have read the Qur'an, that is the contrast; 60% of the Qur'an is about violence against non-believers.

    Jihadists are not the radicals here; they are merely following their religious teachings. The radicals are those who still insist that Islam is a peaceful religion. It is past time for everyone to stop being so affraid to offend Muslims and to be honest about the problem; the problem from the point of view of those who don't want to participate in beheadings of infidels, that is. True followers don't have a problem. Fourteen years post-9/11 is more than enough time for the non-violent followers of Islam to have rebranded their faith. Mohammed's teachings are clear. Believe him or don't. But don't pretend that he wanted his followers to turn the other cheek.

    August 21, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
    • rusty2115

      You should read what Christian extremists are doing in Uganda after Christians went there proselytizing. Also, don't forget Clinton had to bomb Christians in the Balkans for genocide.

      Let's not even go there on how much blood the Jews have on their hands.

      “You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”
      ― Anne Lamott

      August 21, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Whatever Islam teaches, it is apparent that the extremists are, by definition, the minority. Implications? You can NOT predict human behavior based on a doctrine. Have fun attacking the doctrine, which is an inanimate object, a book. I'll judge people based on thier actions. If someone calls themselves Muslim, fine. I'll judge them based on how they treat their fellow human beings, not by what book they read.

      August 21, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
    • tallulah131

      It should be said and repeated often that good people do good things and bad people do bad. Religion of any sort really doesn't change this fact, but it can be, and often is, used as an excuse.

      August 21, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
  13. No Wake Zone

    If I worshipped a god, I would expect a little more action and less talk.

    August 21, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
    • rusty2115

      Exactly – being the "chosen people" didn't fare so well for Jews during WWII now did it??

      August 21, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
  14. prefixthx

    As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods.

    Considering the worldwide daily slaughter of innocents, does anyone really believe there's some higher power looking out for us? (some of us, that is) The evidence is overwhelmingly against it.

    August 21, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
  15. noagch

    Faith is trust in God. There is no dark side to faith. The dark side is only the madness of the imaginations, misgivings, and assumptions of humans, fueled by the deceiving lies of the demonic adversary.

    August 21, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
    • Alias

      There is no god.
      Evil acts are no one's fault except the people who commit them.

      August 21, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
    • rusty2115

      Looks like Foley's God either doesn't care or is imaginary

      pick your poison

      August 21, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        typical view of a worldly person ....you had only two options.....which goes to show you are not using all that's available....ALL of us will die, God is NOT a magic genie in a lamp.....thus there IS another option..GOd has ANOTHER thing in mind..it was Foley's time to go. WE don't know when it is time for us to go...that is why there are prayer requests for people like foley....God DID answer their prayers....it was "no, it is time for foley to come home" Its sad when people limit themselves to only a few options about other people

        August 21, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          It's not that easy being green;
          Having to spend each day the color of the leaves.
          When I think it could be nicer being red, or yellow or gold-
          or something much more colorful like that.

          It's not easy being green.
          It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things.
          And people tend to pass you over 'cause you're not standing out like flashy sparkles in the water-
          or stars in the sky.

          But green's the color of Spring.
          And green can be cool and friendly-like.
          And green can be big like an ocean,
          or important like a mountain, or tall like a tree.

          When green is all there is to be
          It could make you wonder why, but why wonder?
          Why Wonder, I am green and it'll do fine, it's beautiful!
          And I think it's what I want to be.

          August 21, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
        • halero 9001

          I'm sorry, kermit4jc, but <begin Idiomatic Expression Equivalency Module> LOL! <end Idiomatic Expression Equivalency Module>

          August 21, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          There must be nicer ways to be called home to Jesus.

          August 21, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          NOT in an evil world....sin is here...cant avoid it...mu rder, ra pe, etc etc....people do evil things..a reality....so there really is no "nicer way" physical death isn't nice...it isn't all good stuff....with the exception it is the vehicle for thos of us who believe in Gods Promises to eternal life..and unfortunate for those who dont

          August 21, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Christians gave this world sin...it is an imaginary disease created by the men who wrote the bible to make you feel unworthy without the god they are trying to convince you of....they weren't complete buffoons, they knew how to play mind games and con the weak...so they included some fear factoring in the book and boom, you have a bunch of gullible people falling for it. We can prove the bible was written by man, what we can't do is prove it was divinely inspired. So your rant about sin is moot....it's non-existent.

          August 21, 2014 at 7:38 pm |
    • sanddudian

      Faith is pretending to know what you don't know. Nothing virtuous about that. It's intellectually dishonest.

      August 21, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Faith is indeed trust in a "god". However, faith does not guarantee that a "god" exists, except in the minds of believers. A "god" can be whatever believers want that "god" to be, so acts of violence from violent people can be directly attributed to faith.

      August 21, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      The dark side to faith is that's trust in a nothing. As such it falsely relieves human of responsibilty for their own actions.

      August 21, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
    • G to the T

      Tell that to Torquemada...

      August 21, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
  16. Johnson

    That article reads better as follows:

    Jim Foley's faith amidst the dark side of evil.

    August 21, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
    • Johnson

      Sadly, people like Jim are remembered only because of the manner of death they faced. Courageous people like Jim and Steven Sotloff ought to be celebrated for their courage.

      Hopefully Steven will be freed soon – this world is in need of more good people who care about others!

      August 21, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
    • rusty2115

      or Jim Foley's faith doesn't save him from evil

      It wasn't faith that saved those two doctors from Ebola either

      August 21, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        he is NOW safe from evil! and about the two doctors..saved from what..death? Nowhere does ou faith say we will never die a physical death...

        August 21, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
        • rusty2115

          Funny how the "faithful" turn to science to save them though. Your belief that this young man cut down in the prime of his life by religious zealots is somehow "safe from evil" is just silly. You don't know anything about the beyond except what you were taught from a book of folklore from the bronze age. You're no different that ISIS or the taliban – he's sitting at the right hand of God – with what?? 40 virgins?? or maybe he was bad and you didn't know and he's now a cricket and has to start over.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        again God does NOT ALWAYS do things directly..he will use people and sciene..nothing debunking our faith in doing that...I trust that God says we will be in heaven....that's my faith...That what He says and reveals to us is true I don't tke this merely from some "bronze age" stuff or any other that you mentioned (more ignorance from one who doesn't bother to ask about my faith)

        August 21, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
        • evolveddna

          Kermit.. are there clothes in heaven or do you go there with what you die in? or are you all naked.. perhaps I should start working out.. what you think?

          August 21, 2014 at 7:05 pm |
  17. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    I wonder if religious Americans are prepared for dealing with destructive religious extremists like ISIS. They say everyone can be forgiven and obtain mercy. My inclination would be to simply seek them out and kill them to the last one.

    August 21, 2014 at 11:59 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Amen

      August 21, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
    • Alias

      Pass judgement and kill them all.
      Yep, that is what jesus taught us to do.

      August 21, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
    • bostontola

      We should act strongly to stop them and show others like them that they will fail using these gang tactics. I bet some of these fighters were kidnapped and pressed into service. Some probably were threatened with having their families killed. If they want to surrender, I would accept them.

      August 21, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
    • Russ

      @ TTTOO:
      "...if God were not angry at injustice and deception and did not make the final end to violence God would not be worthy of our worship. ...in a world of violence we are faced with an inescapable alternative: either God’s violence or human violence. Most people who insist on God’s “nonviolence” cannot resist using violence themselves (or tacitly sanctioning its use by others). They deem the talk of God’s judgment irreverent, but think nothing of entrusting judgment into human hands... And so violence thrives, secretly nourished by belief in a God who refuses to wield the sword.

      My thesis that the practice of nonviolence requires a belief in divine vengeance will be unpopular with many Christians, especially theologians in the West. To the person who is inclined to dismiss it, I suggest imagining that you are delivering a lecture in a war zone (which is where a paper that underlies this chapter was originally delivered). Among your listeners are people whose cities and villages have been first plundered, then burned and leveled to the ground, whose daughters and sisters have been ra.ped, whose fathers and brothers have had their throats slit. The topic of the lecture: a Christian atti.tude toward violence. The thesis: we should not retaliate since God is perfect noncoercive love. Soon you would discover that it takes the quiet of a suburban home for the birth of the thesis that human nonviolence corresponds to God’s refusal to judge. In a scorched land, soaked in the blood of the innocent, it will invariably die. And as one watches it die, one will do well to reflect about many other pleasant captivities of the liberal mind."

      -Miroslav Volf, "Exclusion and Embrace," pgs. 303-304

      August 21, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Indeed, Russ. I'd suggest that most of us would not wait on the vengeance of a God that is likely imaginary.

        August 21, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
  18. rusty2115

    Religious extremism must be stopped regardless if it's in the form of uterus legislation here or genocide. The international community thorugh the courts should start charging religious organizations for the cost of having to intervene in their holy wars, jihads and crusades.

    August 21, 2014 at 11:39 am |
    • James XCIX

      "Religious extremism must be stopped regardless if it's in the form of uterus legislation..."

      Plenty of people oppose unrestricted abortion for reasons that are not based in any religion.

      August 21, 2014 at 11:43 am |
      • rusty2115

        Roe has restrictions and they're still trying to overturn it.... extremism never starts big – give an inch and eventually it's a mile. Look at what happened in TX with the dead woman kept on life support even while she was decaying and in Ireland recently with the forced birth via Cesarean

        August 21, 2014 at 11:48 am |
        • James XCIX

          It seems you agree there should be some restrictions. The difference of opinion is often where the restrictions should begin and end. I agree that arguments based solely on religious beliefs are not useful or persuasive to those with different beliefs and should be kept out of the debate.

          August 21, 2014 at 11:52 am |
      • rusty2115

        Where did I post I agreed with restrictions?? Just posted there are. I was merely pointing out your post that abortions are "unrestricted" as incorrect.

        August 21, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
        • James XCIX

          And you passed up an opportunity to clarify your position–do I now correctly understand that it is your position that there should be no restrictions whatsoever?

          August 21, 2014 at 12:10 pm |
        • rusty2115

          Right to privacy = just that. There are restrictions they're working fine because they're medical (patient/doctor decision) and privacy based.

          August 21, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
        • James XCIX

          "There are restrictions they're working fine..."

          So... you do agree with some restrictions after all?

          August 21, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
        • rusty2115

          Read Roe – your honing in on the word "restrictions" just proves my original post – give extremists an inch they'll take a mile. You keep harping "restrictions" – it's just like the recent ruling by a Judge – one cannot place so many restrictions as to eliminate the choice or access.

          Geez read it yourself – it only states that the doctor/patient make the choice

          August 21, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
        • James XCIX

          "...give extremists an inch they'll take a mile. You keep harping "restrictions""

          I consider those who advocate unrestricted availability to abortion to be just as extreme as those who advocate no availability at all. You are against religious extremism–so am I. I was simply trying to determine if you considered yourself part of a different extremist camp.

          August 21, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
        • Alias

          Guys,
          IMHO, no restrictions would mean an underage girl could get an abortion, free of charge, on demand, without parental involvement or identificatio/notification of the father. Very few people support this.
          The other end of discussion would be to ban all abortions.
          I would expect 99% of us to think the proper solution would be somewhere between those points.

          August 21, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
        • rusty2115

          "...give extremists an inch they'll take a mile. You keep harping "restrictions""

          I consider those who advocate unrestricted availability to abortion to be just as extreme
          ____________________________
          Again with the "unrestricted and "restrictions" rhetoric. What scientific basis do you have to "restrict" medical decisions a woman decides in the privacy of her doctors office? What about right to privacy and you wanting to "restrict" someone based on personal opinions don't you get?

          August 21, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
        • rusty2115

          Alias
          no restrictions would mean an underage girl could get an abortion, free of charge, on demand, without parental involvement or identificatio/notification of the father. Very few people support this.
          _______________________________
          Forcing an "underage" girl to give birth is barbaric – someone should have taught the father about watching where they spill their seed

          August 21, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
        • James XCIX

          "Again with the "unrestricted and "restrictions" rhetoric."

          And yet your position is still unclear to me, so let me ask clearly–do you think abortion should be available with no legal restrictions, or should it be available with some legal restrictions?

          "What scientific basis do you have to "restrict" medical decisions a woman decides in the privacy of her doctors office? "

          You seem to frame the issue as a strictly medical issue–others frame it with more social issues involved.

          August 21, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
        • James XCIX

          Alias – "IMHO, no restrictions would mean an underage girl could get an abortion..."

          Along with other issues such as very late term, but I do agree with your post.

          August 21, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
        • Alias

          Rusty
          I gave two conflicting extreme points of view and suggested that a rational person would reject both.
          You replied as if I had endorsed one of the two points of view.
          Your reading comprehension is lacking.

          August 22, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        The fact is abortions are done in the real world for a very limited number of reasons. Clumps of cells with no brains and no neural tubes are not human persons. They are potential humans. Get over your obsession with a non-issue.

        August 21, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
        • rusty2115

          Not to mention performed in one way or another since recorded history.

          August 21, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
        • James XCIX

          Not sure how I'm exhibiting an obsession... seems to have struck a nerve with you, though.

          August 21, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
    • rusty2115

      You claim it's a social issue now?? When one is "restricting" it becomes a legal issue and it's been decided already.

      Why is "social" because you cannot give a sound medical scientific reason to restrict it? So what's your "social" reason and how does that trump the Right to Privacy? social = personal = whims of the majority and we the people have "minority rights" protected especially the Right to Privacy. Society a/k/a "social" operates via Laws and the law is clear Right to Privacy.

      Someone could then claim people have two eyes so they should be "social" and be forced to give one to those who don't. People have two kidneys so they should be forced to give one to those suffering from kidney disease. The "social" arguments a very slippery one and has no legal basis.

      August 21, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
      • James XCIX

        It seems that for some reason you're unwilling to answer the simple question, so I'll stop asking it.

        August 22, 2014 at 11:28 am |
  19. bostontola

    On the bright side, Dr. Brantley was released from the hospital today (the other Ebola patient was released earlier). I am thankful to the medical researchers who developed the treatment and the doctors who took care of him. I am also proud of America for having the courage to bring them home for care..

    August 21, 2014 at 11:20 am |
    • bostontola

      Oops.

      August 21, 2014 at 11:20 am |
      • Alias

        Of all the things that get posted repeatedly here, we may as well post some good news more than once.

        August 21, 2014 at 11:27 am |
    • rusty2115

      Just wish these people would at least acknowledge it was SCIENCE that saved them and not their imaginary friends who stood by apparently while they got infected.

      August 21, 2014 at 11:40 am |
      • tallulah131

        The arrogance of the faithful is staggering.

        August 21, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        again..flawed thinking by the ignorant.....God is not a genie in a lamp who does ALL the work directly..God uses tools...he uses humans to save..He gave the doctors wisdom (whether anyone acknowledges it or not) God is a social God..He doesn't have us live here alone with no help from others....God made us social animals to help one another..to show love..in way s we cannot see otherwise

        August 21, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
        • tallulah131

          There is no evidence that any god exists. There is ample evidence that science works. Human effort saved that doctor from Ebola, but you wretched believers refuse to give credit where it is due. Shame on you.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          try to stick with the argument here...we are arguing for sake that God does exist..in other words....the other blogger is making a statement that if a God did exist...and IM answering in that context..as for science..I do give science where it is due..shameful you accuse me and other falsely

          August 21, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
        • tallulah131

          "Just wish these people would at least acknowledge it was SCIENCE that saved them and not their imaginary friends who stood by apparently while they got infected."

          This was the post I was responding to, kermit. Did you miss the part about "imaginary friends"? There was nobody arguing that god exists. Do try to be honest.

          August 21, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      He also thanked God for his recovery. Sadly he forgot to mention those 1300 or so people who had died that his God doesn't apparently give a rats ass about.

      August 21, 2014 at 11:57 am |
      • rusty2115

        wrong color

        August 21, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
      • rogerthat2014

        People, that are special, thank a god everyday for their meals while thousands die of starvation.

        August 21, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        another ignorant statement....even that guy that was cured///he will STILL die later on in life.....and PHYSICAL death does not mean God doesn't give a rats bum.....THIS life was NEVER meant to be permanent here!

        August 21, 2014 at 4:02 pm |
        • Alias

          So why does your god save some people and not others?

          August 22, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          save from what? hell? or physical death?

          August 22, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
      • Russ

        @ neverbeen:
        you said: "Sadly he forgot to mention those 1300 or so people who had died that his God doesn't apparently give a rats ass about."

        interesting take. consider your own logic:
        so here's a doctor who chooses not simply to make piles of cash in the US, but goes to the poorest continent not the planet... risking his life to work with people dying from an incredibly dangerous virus...
        openly admitting he is motivated by his faith in a God who didn't just risk his life, but gave it for others...

        yet you conclude:
        a) his God doesn't care
        b) he's more self-absorbed than you are.

        so... what have your beliefs led you to do that would justify such a conclusion?

        August 21, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          If his God could cure him with the power of prayer, how can that God sit by while innocent women and children suffer and die just because they don't have a white protestant christian praying for them?

          August 22, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          the one who is cured will STILL die..NO ONE escapes death..and the one cured will STILL suffer at some point in his life!

          August 22, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
        • Russ

          @ neverbeen:
          1) you didn't answer my question. what have your beliefs led you to do for those suffering from ebola?

          a) something tells me he has done much more than you have – yet you continue to want to make *him* out to be the self-absorbed one here.

          b) you also seem to want to make this a race issue. have you purposefully moved to a culture unlike your place of birth where your race is drastically a minority in order to care for the highly contagious sick & dying of that other race & culture? and yet you are implying *he* is somehow more of a racist than you are...

          c) i wonder if you can even claim to have done such things for members of your *own* culture & race

          2) why do you think God only uses miraculous means? the Bible explicitly teaches otherwise (God often uses people/secondary means to accomplish things).

          3) you seem to forget that the entire message of Christianity is that the only truly innocent person in history died to save broken, sinful people like us. God has already done the thing that is most important – and (note well) has called his followers to love people who are suffering like this just as he has loved us. again, why were these missionaries there?

          SUM: you really want to castigate them as racist & somehow uncaring, yet – not only do their actions obviously clear them of your accusations – you yourself fail to match the level of concern shown by those you want to mock as uncaring. whose beliefs are really in question here?

          August 22, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Go science!

      August 21, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Sure – the sorcerers that call themselves "pharmaceutical bio-chemists" drone on and on about meaningless, nonsensical things like "monoclonal antibodies" but we all know that prayer is what healed him.
      They want you to think that they're locked away in laboratories doing sciencey, atheistic things – but in reality, they're on their knees imploring Jesus to turn their sugar pills into medicines.

      August 21, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
  20. bostontola

    On the bright side, Dr. Brantley was released from the hospital today (the other Ebola patient was released earlier). I am thankful to the medical researchers who developed the treatment and the doctors who took care of him. I am also proud of America for having the courage to bring them home for care.

    August 21, 2014 at 11:19 am |
    • mjplatt2014

      This article has nothing to do with the Ebola disease. It is about the use of faith to justify murder.

      August 21, 2014 at 11:37 am |
      • rusty2115

        Men never commit evil so joyfully as with religious conviction – Pascal

        August 21, 2014 at 11:42 am |
      • bostontola

        I was never very good at following silly rules.

        August 21, 2014 at 11:45 am |
        • tallulah131

          Rules, schmools.

          August 21, 2014 at 1:29 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.