August 29th, 2014
04:47 PM ET

Italian paper: ISIS targeting Pope Francis

Italian newspaper Il Tempo reports that Pope Francis is a target ISIS has "in the crosshairs." CNN's John Allen reports.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Francis • Vatican

soundoff (1,729 Responses)
  1. Rynomite

    Many studies have shown that as IQ and education increase, religiosity decreases. Strange. If the Bible God actually exists, and believing in him is actually required for eternal life, why does he hate intelligent people so much?

    September 5, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
    • transframer

      Some of the most intelligent people I know are religious. God doesn't hate anybody.

      September 5, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
      • Reality

        And you know this how?

        September 5, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
        • transframer

          Because Jesus's only command is love your neighbor

          September 5, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
        • Reality

          Looking at the history of the Golden Rule i.e. not a Jesus original :

          As a concept, the Golden Rule has a history that long predates the term "Golden Rule", or "Golden law", as it was called from the 1670s.[1][6] As a concept of "the ethic of reciprocity," it has its roots in a wide range of world cultures, and is a standard way that different cultures use to resolve conflicts.[1][5] It has a long history, and a great number of prominent religious figures and philosophers have restated its reciprocal, "two-way" nature in various ways (not limited to the above forms).[1]

          Rushworth Kidder discusses the early contributions of Confucius (551–479 BCE) (See a version in Confucianism below). Kidder notes that this concept's framework appears prominently in many religions, including "Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, and the rest of the world's major religions".[7] According to Greg M. Epstein, " 'do unto others' ... is a concept that essentially no religion misses entirely."[8] Simon Blackburn also states that the Golden Rule can be "found in some form in almost every ethical tradition".[9] In his commentary to the Torah verse (Hebrew: "ואהבת לרעך כמוך" ca.1300 BCE):"

          You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your kinsfolk. Love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.

          —Leviticus 19:18[10], the "Great Commandment"

          Did the historical Jesus utter a version of the Golden Rule? Luke 6:31 = Matt 7:12- no he did not according to the findings of many contemporary NT scholars.

          e.g Professor Gerd Luedemann [Jesus, 151f] notes the ancient and diverse attestation of this saying in antiquity, including its earliest occurrence in Herodotus III 142, 3:

          "I will not do that for which I censure my neighbors."

          From Ludemann's book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 151-152, " In view of the widespread attestation of the Golden Rule in antiquity and its generality, it cannot be attributed to Jesus."

          See also: http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb033.html

          And because of the common sense nature of the Golden Rule, most humans to include myself follow said rule.

          September 5, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
      • Rynomite

        Congratulations to those people! They beat an unambiguous trend.

        Of course, the small sample size of people you know may actually have collective IQ's lower than the statistical norm; therefore, the most intelligent people you know, may actually be not all that intelligent.

        September 5, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
    • kudlak

      I was religious for a very long time, and I don't believe that I was less intelligent back then. Mistaken, yes, but not any less intelligent.

      September 5, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
      • Rynomite

        Ah but you were intelligent enough to finally work it out!

        September 5, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
  2. zhilla1980wasp

    i was going to write out yet another debating point; however i just feel sorry for all you theists.

    you throw away your lives waiting for something that isn't ever coming.

    you think that only if you buy into this one brand of faith, that when you die you will be rewarded for suffering in this life.

    you pick and choose what words to listen to in your "holy book", yet get angry when another human questions you on the rest of what is written.

    you neglect children, family and friends if your preacher-man tells you "being gay is sin"; how heartless can you folks be?

    the part that makes it the worst is several of you preach to people trying to go home from work, or protest civil rights that you demand, yet want to refuse from others.

    -you're nanny jesus isn't coming to clean up the mess you made here on earth; there is no reward waiting for you when you die.
    -you are not special nor choosen by any gods; ever.
    -there are no special "angels" or dead relatives watching over you.
    -saying a thousand hail mary's or praying until you go blind will not help you get youur lame little requests answered by something that doesn't exist.
    -you are just scared little children huddling in the light of life scared of the eternal night that follows.
    – you "god" can't protect you; proof i can shoot you and what would his disasocitive rear do about it? nothing.
    reason; either its part of his "all knowing" plan that i do it, or he isn't real.
    – morals are built by the social structure of everyone around you; ie laws aren't there to protect you, you are there to protect the laws.
    – more physical, emotional and mental abuse happens to children in religious households than in non-religious.

    i could go on and on about how ignorant and deluded you folsk choose to be, but what's the point. when you die that's it no more you and one less deluded idiot my desendants and myself will have to be annoyed by.

    have a nice weekend.

    September 5, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
    • transframer

      You may want to think at the possibility that you are wrong.

      September 5, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
      • kudlak

        And so may you, right?

        September 5, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
        • transframer

          The answer is yes

          September 5, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
  3. Dyslexic doG

    why scot is wandering ...

    Job 12:24
    "He deprives of intelligence the chiefs of the earth's people And makes them wander in a pathless waste.

    poor thing ... deprived of intelligence ...

    September 4, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
  4. Robert Brown

    God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son to be the propitiation for the sins of the world, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
    Sinners are justified by faith and saved by grace.
    The Gospel is the only means God has ordained by which sinners are brought to Christ.
    He that believeth in the Son of God hath the witness in himself.
    All the saints will persevere through grace and never fall away.
    Election according to the foreknowledge of God and the sanctification of the Spirit through the belief of the truth.

    September 4, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
    • igaftr

      Baseless belief RB. No evidence of any of that. Likely just another story.

      September 4, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Christianity hinges on a literal Adam and Eve and Garden of Eden for the Jesus sacrifice to make any sense whatsoever, and Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden never existed. So the house of cards has fallen ... what now Farmer Brown?

      September 4, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Robert, if all that is true, some of us, perhaps most, are just not among the elect and God foreknows that. Perhaps God should let you know who you should be talking to. If there is a God, I'd like to get to know it. Presumably it knows the Universes inside and out and can answer all questions I can conceive of about it. That would be grand. Still, as for eternity, I just don't think that's for me. There's nothing eternal, as far as I know.

      September 4, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        You said you would like to get to know God. There is a tried and true method to get to know God. Would you like to get to know him enough to follow his way?

        September 4, 2014 at 6:16 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          I am curious, Robert. Describe the tried and true way. Explain how it works.

          September 4, 2014 at 6:21 pm |
        • Science Works

          With a really big saddle maybe – right fred ?


          Gigantic – would it fit on the ark fred or Robert ?

          September 4, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Hear the word of God preached. The Holy Spirit does the rest. As you hear the word of God preached the Holy Spirit will begin to deal with your soul. You will become convicted of your sin and drawn to God for forgiveness by the Holy Spirit. If you call on God believing and trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ you will be born again.

          September 4, 2014 at 6:59 pm |
        • Science Works

          Urban Dictionary: born-again christian
          Urban Dictionary
          born again christians are the sect of christianty for people who fu-cked it up the first time around. They believe that redemption will come from fo.

          September 4, 2014 at 7:33 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Who is your first choice when it comes to preaching/reading, Robert?

          September 4, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
        • Robert Brown


          My first choice for preachers is my pastor but I probably should not post his name on here. My first choice for reading is J Ve.rnon Mc Gee. He did a radio br.oadcast, recordings are still played, or you can listen on line. I prefer to read and his com mentary is in print. He was also a really good preacher and some of his sermons are available on line.

          September 4, 2014 at 8:36 pm |
        • Robert Brown


          There are some good preachers on T v and they are probably also on line, many also have stuff in print. Bingham out M.i d d l e s b o r o k.y Charles Stanley Atlanta ga.

          September 4, 2014 at 8:42 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          David prince South Carolina Greg Laurie la CA billy graham nc.

          Check those out and see what you think.

          September 4, 2014 at 8:43 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Sorry that was such a mess who knew M i d d l e s b o r o was a bad word.

          September 4, 2014 at 8:50 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers


          September 4, 2014 at 8:55 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Good eye blessed

          September 4, 2014 at 9:32 pm |
        • kudlak

          To "Hear the word of God preached" effectively really means being sold the word of God through masterful persuasion, correct? Shouldn't the product, the word of God, not stand on it's own merits without being dressed up so? After all, good salesmanship is how used car salesmen offload junkers, and con men cheat people out of their life savings. So, why are you praising the necessity to be convinced that this is the truth?

          September 4, 2014 at 10:09 pm |
      • believerfred

        Tom, Tom, the Other One
        I agree that technically something eternal could not exist within our universe given current consensus of inflation. That could well be why the Bible says I will create a new heaven and a new earth that will not pass away. You must admit Moses has you cornered no matter which way you turn.

        September 4, 2014 at 7:11 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Why do you bring up Moses? There is a world outside your Bible. In it there are scholars of the history of ancient Israel that say the Moses you refer to is a myth. The content attributed to Moses is fairly standard material for the time and place in which it was written. As answers to modern day questions, it's not very useful. It's not correct. It's not even wrong.

          September 5, 2014 at 8:05 am |
    • kudlak

      I have a Star Trek tech manual which details exactly how warp drives work, and I wouldn't doubt that many genuine Trekkies out there can chime off it's points as easily as you just did your theology, but that doesn't mean that I find them any more convincing. Where their entire explanation dies for want of actual Dilithium crystals, yours dies for want of any good reason to believe God exists.

      September 4, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        I agree Kudlak, all anyone needs is a reason to believe. As I shared with Tom above, there is a way to obtain a reason to believe. Do you want a reason enough to follow his directions for getting it?

        September 4, 2014 at 6:19 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "all anyone needs is a reason to believe." Shouldn't that also work the other way around? As in "all anyone needs is a reason not to believe." such as the fact that nearly every religion has blood on their hands from forced conversions and religous wars fought in the last two thousand years or more? Isn't that good enough reason to chuck them all in the garbage and try something better?

          September 4, 2014 at 6:45 pm |
        • kudlak

          Robert Brown
          The way I see it the facts aren't going to change whether I wish them to, or not. So, let me see, do I want a "good" enough reason to delude myself into believing that Christianity actually makes some kind of sense?

          Hmmm ...

          September 4, 2014 at 9:57 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Well said, kudlak. No emotional appeals or special feelings will make me believe in things that are not supported by evidence. I was raised to be honest, with others and with myself.

          September 4, 2014 at 10:06 pm |
        • kudlak

          Yes, it's an appeal to become either emotionally attached or dependant upon to the idea of God and, once you do either, how objective can you ever hope to be regarding him thereafter?

          September 4, 2014 at 10:13 pm |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      begotten: past participle of beget

      beget: (typically of a man, sometimes of a man and a woman) bring (a child) into existence by the process of reproduction.

      So how exactly was Christ the "only begotten" or "reproduced child" while also being the one giving birth?

      September 4, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        I guess Dala isn't around anymore to tell me that the definition of begotten is mistranslated and his definition would include "part of something" so he can keep believing as he wants.

        September 4, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
      • Vic

        I believe "only begotten Son" means "only begotten Son in the flesh from God the Father" as opposed to from man.

        God the Son, the Second Hypostasis of the Godhead†, incarnated in the flesh from God the Father, the First Hypostasis of the Godhead, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the Third Hypostasis of the Godhead.

        † The Holy Trinity, One Godhead Three Hypostases, Father, Son (Lord Jesus Christ) and Holy Spirit.

        September 4, 2014 at 10:34 pm |
        • Science Works

          The holy ghost not spirit Vic.

          September 5, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
  5. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    THeo: "God exists because Jesus said He does."

    But Jesus' authoritative knowledge came from God.

    That's kind of a tight circle, isn't it?

    September 4, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
    • Vic

      For the sake of the Lord:

      I read the earlier exchange.

      I don't have the slightest problem with an axiomatic truth in the case of God. Belief in the existence of [a] God is intuitive to me, and the universe and life in it are "Prima Facie" evidence of [a] Creator God.

      I believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

      September 4, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
      • igaftr

        "the universe and life in it are "Prima Facie" evidence of [a] Creator God."

        And also that we are in the matrix, that the universe created itself, that the universe was written by a 5 handed, three legged gnome named Sam, and any of an infinite number of other possibilites, yet you settle on one....completely illogical.

        September 4, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
      • niknakk

        It was also intuitive to people who believed the earth to be flat Vic.
        How did their "intuit it ion" work out on that?

        Face it bro, you have been suckered into a great big hoax.

        Don't stop now though, the religious scammers depend on you for their livelihood.

        September 4, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
        • Vic

          I shared this before:

          I believe that just like we are programmed to detect and sense the physical world through our physical bodies, we are programmed to detect and sense the metaphysical through our metaphysical spirits. The "universal impulse" for God and religion (Faith/Belief)— a characterization by some int the Scientific Community— comes from the programmed spirit just like the "universal impulses" for food and sex come from the programmed body. That's how I believe my intuition for God works.

          I believe our spirits are tethered to our Creator.

          September 4, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
        • Vic

          "I believe that the "universal impulse" for God and religion (Faith/Belief) —a characterization by some in the Scientific Community— comes from the programmed spirit just like the "universal impulses" for food and sex come from the programmed body."

          September 4, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
        • kudlak

          There may be an impulse to make sense of the world, which would explain all the world's varied religions and mythologies, but only science seems to be impartially trying to discover the truth in this matter.

          September 5, 2014 at 10:33 am |
      • kudlak

        Belief that the Sun revolved around the Earth was also intuitive for most people, right?

        September 4, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
      • tallulah131

        You've convinced yourself thoroughly, Vic, but your reasoning does not hold water to people who make decisions using logic instead of emotion.

        September 4, 2014 at 10:08 pm |
        • kudlak

          What's more is that he'd likely reject similar claims, like reincarnation or alien abduction, on these exact same grounds. How far would Christianity have gotten without special pleading, I wonder?

          September 5, 2014 at 10:29 am |
    • transframer

      It's called Trinity

      September 5, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
      • kudlak

        Isn't that like saying "I know myself because I'm me"?

        September 5, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
    • kudlak

      Tight like a noose.

      The only reason why Theo trusts Jesus so emphatically is because he believes Jesus is God.

      September 5, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
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