In Venezuela, a 'sacrilegious' Lord's Prayer
The late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is the subject of a "sacrilegious" new prayer.
September 3rd, 2014
11:43 AM ET

In Venezuela, a 'sacrilegious' Lord's Prayer

By Rafael Romo, CNN

(CNN) - A member of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela and follower of Hugo Chavez is raising eyebrows for changing the words of the Lord's Prayer to honor the late president.

Speaking during an event at the Third Congress of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela in Caracas on Monday, María Estrella Uribe read the changed prayer in front of hundreds of delegates and current President Nicolás Maduro.

"Our Chávez who art in heaven, on Earth, in the sea and in us delegates," she read, "hallowed be thy name. Thy legacy come so that we can take it to people here and elsewhere."

The delegate from the border state of Táchira kept on reading. "Give us today your light to guide us every day. Lead us not into the temptation of capitalism, but deliver us from oligarchy."

Delegates cheered Uribe loudly, especially when she shouted "Viva Chávez!" at the end of her speech. Maduro raised no objections.

But Uribe's actions have offended many Christians in the South American country, Catholics and Protestants alike.

They say the words of a prayer found in the books of Matthew and Luke in the Bible should not be changed for political propaganda or any other purposes.

Carlos Caripa, head pastor at the Saint Jude Thaddeus Chiquinquirá Church in Caracas, said the changed prayer was, at best, disrespectful.

"It's an expression of people who had a deep affection for Hugo Chavez, who was our president, and that's how they're showing that love and affection. But that's not a feeling shared by all of our people. They're changing a prayer that is highly important to us, a prayer that begins by saying that our father is God," Caripa said.

The Rev. José Piñero, vice president of the Evangelical Council of Venezuela, went further.

"From a Christian perspective, we consider changing the words of the Lord's Prayer sacrilegious, an act of idolatry and desecration and a trivialization of the sacred," Piñero said.

He said the evangelical leadership is deeply concerned about acts by loyal followers of Hugo Chavez who, Piñero said, are worshiping the late leader as if he were a divinity.

"There was a movement that fortunately failed that wanted to establish a church and name Hugo Chavez a bishop," Piñero said.

The cult of Hugo Chavez is not necessarily new. It started well before he died of cancer in March 2013. There is an altar to worship Chávez at Cuartel de la Montaña, the military barracks in Caracas where Chavez is buried.

During the campaign that led to his election as Chavez's successor in April 2013, Maduro famously said Chávez appeared to him in the form of a little bird.

An animated video published weeks after the president's death showed Chávez entering heaven and joining other deceased Latin American leaders, such as his revered independence hero, Simón Bolivar.

The changed prayer also offended some Chavistas, such as Carmenchi Chavez (no relation), an attorney who said people should give Caesar what is Caesar's and God what's God's, paraphrasing Jesus' words in Matthew 22:21.

"I'm Chavista," Chávez said, "but I believe that you can't mix politics with other things. You can have your own political persuasion, but you need to respect the beliefs people have been raised with."

Osmary Hernandez contributed to this report. 

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Americas • Christianity • Church and state • Venezuela

soundoff (503 Responses)
  1. Flavorful Favorites

    I read today that 800,000 people a year commit suicide. All part of God's plan? He knew they would right? If I were him, I would ask myself what I could do to improve conditions for my humans.

    September 5, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
    • Alias

      You still don't understand the nature of the god created by the christians.

      September 5, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
      • Flavorful Favorites

        Because I love my humans so much, I want them to be happy and not kill themselves every 40 seconds.

        September 5, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
        • Alias

          You would make a really boring christian god.
          Just think of all the killing you would have never approved/commanded.
          YOUR bible would have been a one page book that everyone would have understood clearly.

          September 5, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
        • Flavorful Favorites

          lol, imagine.

          September 5, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
  2. Flavorful Favorites

    The only thing we seem to actually "know" is that we personally exist. Beyond that nothing is fully understood. This includes our sanity.

    September 5, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
    • Alias

      The only thing in this life that you truely have control over is your own actions.

      September 5, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
      • Flavorful Favorites

        Only if your brain cooperates. You can't be sure of anything.

        September 5, 2014 at 5:21 pm |
        • Alias

          Then how do you know 'you' exist?
          I could be just one of many personalities that share space in the supposed person.

          September 5, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          Occams razor, among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. Therefore we can conclude that both you and I exist as that is by far the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions.

          September 5, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
  3. Flavorful Favorites

    The grave digs a while, deep enough for you and your pet dog.
    The grave leans on his shovel and thinks for a moment.

    Being older and more knowledgeable, the dirt guru decided to just fill in the hole and quit for the day. The sun burned bright and the pebbles in the grave’s dirt sparkled.

    He found some shade and quietly hoped no one would try to bury themselves.

    September 5, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
  4. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Here we go round the prickly pear
    Prickly pear prickly pear
    Here we go round the prickly pear
    At five o'clock in the morning.

    Between the idea
    And the reality
    Between the motion
    And the act
    Falls the Shadow
    For Thine is the Kingdom

    Between the conception
    And the creation
    Between the emotion
    And the response
    Falls the Shadow
    Life is very long

    Between the desire
    And the spasm
    Between the potency
    And the existence
    Between the essence
    And the descent
    Falls the Shadow
    For Thine is the Kingdom

    For Thine is
    Life is
    For Thine is the

    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.

    T.S. Eliot – The Hollow Men (V)

    September 5, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The Second Coming

      Turning and turning in the widening gyre
      The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
      Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
      Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
      The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
      The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
      The best lack all conviction, while the worst
      Are full of passionate intensity.

      Surely some revelation is at hand;
      Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
      The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
      When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
      Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
      A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
      A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
      Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
      Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
      The darkness drops again; but now I know
      That twenty centuries of stony sleep
      Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
      And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
      Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

      – William Butler Yeats

      One of my favourites.
      Imagine how it would feel to be a European survivor of the 1st World War in the first couple of years of peace...

      September 5, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        I like the way Eliot weaves "For thine is..." and "Life is long" through the end. I imagine this part is what someone is thinking when hearing the Last Rites.

        September 5, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
  5. Flavorful Favorites

    Catholic Dinner in Prison

    The Pope drops a hand grenade into a sea of Catholics and then watches their dead bodies float to the surface. A sturdy net gathers in today’s catch and dinner is assured. Once we have the wine (both a red and a white) we can eat. A good chef can cook on a hot plate.

    The gravy is red and viscous with a sickening sweet aroma that arouses the Pope and his cronies. Mouths watering at the ready, the meal is prepared and the nightly feast of the masses can begin, but first a prayer.

    September 5, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      "Let us pray. This little piggy had roast beef. This little piggy had nun. This little piggy..."

      September 5, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
  6. bostontola

    It's unfortunate that there seems to be so much enmity between some religious and non-religious. I know many of both, and if you didn't know which camp they were in, you'd have a hard time guessing. A low percentage from each camp that occupy the extreme ends are loud and bias the perception of their camp (like people that want to deify Chavez).

    From the atheist camp, I appreciate religion overall. Many people just want to live without delving deeply into science (which is hard). The religious worldview works for them personally and in aggregate. Well functioning communities are formed. The vision of a society where almost all people understand science is probably just another utopian ideal. Who knows, someday maybe. But without that, religion works.

    So science works and religion works. Sometimes they even work for the same individual. A society with both has coverage for more of the total population. Like anything else, it is dysfunctional at the extremes, but overall it works well. The best results occur when tolerance is maximized.

    That doesn't mean individuals shouldn't fight the extremes, they should. It means don't fight the tolerant/moderates from other camps.

    September 5, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
    • Flavorful Favorites

      These are sensible arguments and I wish it was more in line with my experience. I find that atheists are discriminated against and vilified for their beliefs. Most atheists I know have to hide there belief system from Christians.

      September 5, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I agree. We should all be happy campers.

      I would like it if people of the religious group would either accept or stay clear of science if, for whatever reason, they can't operate within the constraints we put on science to make it rigorous and, hopefully, representative of the truth.

      September 5, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
      • Flavorful Favorites

        Science is too challenging for their delusions.

        September 5, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      Delusional atheists thinking they own science. LOL

      September 5, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Your delusions own you, scot.

        September 5, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        Correction: Delusional arrogant atheists thinking they own science. LOL

        September 5, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
        • Flavorful Favorites


          How does one "own" science? Science belongs to all mankind.

          September 5, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          It's the stupid and arrogant atheist assertion that faith and science are mutually exclusive.

          September 5, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
        • joey3467

          Faith and Science anre not mutually exclusive. However science and Young Earth Creationism certainly are.

          September 5, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          He just can't stand the conclusions that the established science leads a rational person to understand about our and our planets origins. He wants to submit his own competing origin hypothesis with absolutely zero evidence and whines and moans when he doesn't get any support for his idea that "it was all magic, man..."

          September 5, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          awwwwww.... you're cute when you're in scot-bot mode.
          Would you like a troll treat? Yes you would! Who is a cute widdle twolly wolly.
          Now, back under the bridge you go. No more treats today.

          September 5, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
        • kudlak

          Science doesn't accept anything on faith. When a creationist asks people to simply have faith the God created the universe, any real scientist would have to decline, as this is not proof. For a real scientist, it is far more noble and accurate to admit not knowing the answer to something than simply accepting some baseless claim just to have an "answer".

          September 5, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
        • bostontola

          scot, from the OP:

          "So science works and religion works. Sometimes they even work for the same individual."

          Your assertion is false, based on your bias. A bias so strong, it has reduced you to a robot that responds without thinking and recognizing.

          September 5, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Atheists and religionauts alike are more than capable of applying the scientific method.
        The systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses is not contingent on religion – but it is applicable only to the natural world.
        The moment something supernatural is invoked, it is no longer science.
        That's why creationism, reiki, cryptozoology etc. are not considered scientific disciplines.

        September 5, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          DOC, you forgot to mention the delusional myth of evolution.

          September 5, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
      • lunchbreaker

        Arrogant scot, thinking he has said something profound, when it is just more strawman BS.

        September 5, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
    • Alias

      Sometimes the religious need this emnity. Nothing pulls people together like a good dose of hate. It also gives them a tool to keep people from leaving. Who wants to abandon their friends and join the enemy?

      September 5, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
  7. Flavorful Favorites

    Three giants tower over their children;
    Tumbling rocks on an ancient river bed;
    Bright green moss connecting root and boulder;
    Branches reaching out in every direction to drink each drop of light;
    A spreading canopy over a pristine patch of forest.

    From the nothing sprang my universe;
    Thanking the Mother I sing out loud;
    God is not here and I am grateful;
    Wooden fingers gnarl and wind and snap;
    My world is sudden and breathtaking and lovely and hard;
    I will be swallowed by the texture.

    September 5, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
  8. Flavorful Favorites


    How do you know which book (bible for example) is the right book to believe in or which god(s) to follow?

    September 5, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
    • Peaceadvocate2014

      A human determination. What makes us unique.

      I think a better question is, what is the right, moral, teachings or advise? An eternal debate that separates the good from the bad.

      September 5, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
      • Flavorful Favorites

        You are failing to account for the brain and environment that make each person and animal unique. God has nothing to do with it.

        September 5, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014

          True. If God made everything perfect then we humans would not have to determine anything. Like spoiling a child. God left the moral determination to humans. Define who we are ourselves. Who are we? Who am i?

          September 5, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          I do believe the bible claims God did make mankind perfect and he blamed us and a snake for losing that perfection...

          September 5, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
      • Flavorful Favorites

        God didn't make anything.

        September 5, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014

          God created nothing.
          Nothing created the universe.
          Therefore,God created the universe.

          An illogical logic.

          September 5, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Some people say, flatly, there is no God. Then there is no question of how God might have created anything.

          September 5, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
        • Flavorful Favorites

          Silly. And if you are serious, it is just more guesses. No science.

          September 5, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
        • Flavorful Favorites

          The above response was intended for peace.

          September 5, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
  9. Flavorful Favorites

    Hey world reflection;
    Whipped misery gardener.

    Flowers; evil children.
    Cain disengaged.

    Murderers breaking ground;
    Disposable nobodies.

    God hard gun; dead dreams.
    Tainted dreams; dope dreams.

    Personal; beautiful God.

    September 5, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
  10. Flavorful Favorites

    If there is a god, it is in your brain. Add up the god brains and you will understand there are millions of gods.

    September 5, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
    • Peaceadvocate2014


      Somewhat true. Belief in a God means following the teachnings of a God not following a being for the sake of following. Questions is: Which Gods teachings do we follow? A human determination.

      For folks who does not believe in any God. Question is: What guidance do we follow? Our laws? Laws created by man. Then again, What laws of humans do we follow?

      September 5, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
      • Flavorful Favorites

        It is entirely true. Our behavior is a product of evolution and environment.

        September 5, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014


          I agree. However, human behavior does not necessary mean its moral. Evolution and environment should be to promote or advance morality. Gods teachings. There is hope for humanity, although at times, we have evil tendencies. Governing tendencies would be in the hands of humans like you and me. What we teach future generations.

          September 5, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
        • Alias

          I don't need your interpretation of thew bible to know how to treat people.
          Ever notice how all religions have the same basic moral code?

          September 5, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
        • Flavorful Favorites

          If god dictates morality it has failed miserably. Morals are a product of evolution. Simple fact.

          September 5, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014


          Independence, freedom is good but too much anything is bad. A little tyranny is good. I listen and try to follow my moms advise to quit smoking.

          Is that so wrong to have a moral code? A guidance. A parents advise. I think not.

          September 5, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
        • Flavorful Favorites

          There is certainly nothing wrong with advice, but we are discussing the existence of gods and magic books.

          September 5, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014


          God failed? There it is, blaming God coz its convenient. It is the fault of humans coz we are weak, easily tempted or corruptible. Not all and not all the time but we see it in our history.

          Facts used for own interest. A selfish manifestation.

          September 5, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
        • Flavorful Favorites

          God did NOT fail.

          September 5, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
        • LaBella

          Why do people deliberately misrepresent what one says? I find that's a most unattractive trait and debate style.

          September 5, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014


          That is the point im making, the advise or moral code we should follow came from the God as mentioned in the book.

          You will see how God guided early believers. Early believer use to sacrifice goats, humans, God clarified the meaning of sacrifice through JC. Sacrifice is for the sake of others not for Gods sake.

          Even the closest disciple of JC denied him 3 times. A follow isrealite who saw his miracles, examples and teachings. What more to us whose basis is a mere book. Denials are understandable.

          September 5, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
        • Flavorful Favorites

          There is no god(s). Your arguments are pointless.

          September 5, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014

          I rest my case.

          September 5, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
        • Alias

          You christians sure are a bunch of liars.

          September 5, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
        • joey3467

          Peaceadvocate, you didn't even make a case, how can you rest it? You made several assertions, but none of them appear to be true.

          September 5, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
        • LaBella

          Peaceadvocate, quick question: if you had never heard of the Bible, the Christian God, or Jesus, do you think you'd have no morals?

          September 5, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014


          I did not say you said its wrong to have a moral code. I pose a question, thats all. Like your statement saying most religion has moral code.

          T:t 4 tat.

          September 5, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014

          What is the truth joey?

          September 5, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
        • joey3467

          What is the truth? I would say that nobody knows, and if they claim to then you are probably being lied to.

          September 5, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014


          Absolumon NO. Read JC story of the cannanite woman and israelite disciple or the blind man who believes and was given sight. All stories, i know but a powerful message.

          September 5, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
        • LaBella

          I'm know the story, thanks.
          So you agree that morals are not necessarily derived Christianity?

          September 5, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014


          Nobody knows. Should we try and find out? I think we should.

          September 5, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014


          Clever girl. Yes, moral may not have been derived Christianity.

          At times humans get it right at times not. Like i said about governing tendencies.

          September 5, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
  11. Flavorful Favorites

    If you could calculate the exact number of people who believe in a god or gods, you would then know exactly how many gods there are.

    September 5, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
    • Peaceadvocate2014


      There is one true God which teachings were shown by JC.

      September 5, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
      • Flavorful Favorites

        You don't even know if there was one JC, much less one god.

        September 5, 2014 at 2:47 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014


          Does it matter? One or a million JC or God. Youre missing the point. What matters is the teachings.

          September 5, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
        • Flavorful Favorites

          The teachings? The bible is full of hideous and immoral commands. I don't think you have read it.

          September 5, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014


          Its not rocket science. Understand that God is morality and read the book. It all fit as they say.

          September 5, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
        • kudlak

          Yet, Jesus' teachings include his belief in one true God and, if you believe the theology which rose to prominence some centuries after his death, his belief that he was the actual son of this God.

          Besides, many Christians will be happy to tell you that you can follow all of Jesus' moral teachings and philosophy as well as humanly possible to no avail. It's as though Jesus were merely mumbling these things to himself, in their view, because all that's important is accepting him as your personal "saviour".

          Also, doesn't calling Jesus "JC" also imply that he is the Christian God?

          September 5, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
        • Peaceadvocate2014


          Jesus example made our faith stronger. He saved humanity from being in the dark. Clarified the teachings of God. A saviour. I think accepting Jesus as a saviour means following Gods teaching by Jesus example.

          JC is just a nickname i use. Nothing else. JC or God wont mind. They dont seek praises or offerings but love for all of humanity.

          September 5, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
  12. Flavorful Favorites

    Can you imagine the distance from here to the next galaxy? Not likely. Our minds are not equipped to fathom either the vastness of the universe nor the unimaginable smallness of the quantum world. It is in a similar way that we are quite unable to understand (so far) what reality is. What we do know is there is no evidence for any gods. We know a few other things too, but not how life began. Please don’t take your shoes off in the car.

    September 5, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      You might conclude that no one is equipped to recognize evidence of gods, not being able to fathom the scale of the Universe or understand how reality is put together. Further, that gods, should there be any, don't really care if we know anything about them.

      September 5, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
      • Flavorful Favorites

        If I were inclined to believe in gods, it would make more sense to me that there are many, perhaps an infinite number of gods.

        September 5, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          That would make sense. I heard that every god is smaller than another – or was that something else?

          September 5, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
        • Flavorful Favorites

          If I believed in god(s), I think they would be tiny and live in the quantum world. That is where reality is hidden so it makes more sense.

          September 5, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
        • Flavorful Favorites

          Some people are smarter about religion than other people. Smarter people will drive themselves crazy if they don't just learn to nod and smile at believers. It is just a fact of life.

          September 5, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
  13. Rick

    It's so nice to see Christians not huffing and puffing over this sacrilege. If it were some other religious believers they will be all up in arms and cussing and fuming and frothing in their mouth over a perceived insult to their religious belief. Christians, are a group very different unlike other militants whose belief's are shaky and has no depth. Good job, Christians, keep the peace.

    As to the person who changed the Lord's prayer, we as Christians hope that one day you will see the light and come to know Christ, just like the rest of us did.

    September 5, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
    • Flavorful Favorites

      Jesus is dead, how did you come to know him?

      September 5, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
    • Rick

      When posting in the blog, it's important to remember Proverbs 26:4. Scriptures are meant to be practiced. 😊

      September 5, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
      • Flavorful Favorites

        I disagree. Scriptures are nonsense. What does that have to with posting on the blog?

        September 5, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
      • new-man

        Amen, my brother.
        For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, ... and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

        September 5, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
      • kudlak

        Yet, not all scriptures are actually practiced by Christians, right? They cherry-pick just the ones they want to practice, or the ones they feel somehow justify something they want to get away with doing.

        September 5, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
  14. Robert Brown

    Emotions are very powerful. People can have emotional responses to things in a service. The speaker may tell an extremely sad story, not a dry eye in the place, or a happy or amusing story, everyone is smiling and laughing.
    Experiencing the Holy Spirit differs in that the whole crowd may be silent, the evangelist preaches the word of God by the power of the Holy Spirit, in other words, God is giving the preacher the words he is saying by the power of his Holy Spirit, you hear it, and a thought comes to your mind. This thought doesn’t line up with things you normally consider or think about. The realization that this is a thought from God can cause a physical or emotional response. The stimulus is the Holy Spirit; the reaction is what you consider emotion caused by the release of chemicals.

    September 5, 2014 at 11:42 am |
    • bostontola

      Or, it may be that the release of chemicals is interpreted as a spiritual experience.

      September 5, 2014 at 11:50 am |
      • Robert Brown

        Perhaps an experiment is in order.

        September 5, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
        • Science Works

          hey Robert and where did the traditions come from we have in the US today ?


          September 5, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          Studies and tests have been done and all confirm the release of these chemicals in the body during moments of devout prayer and supplecation to any God or gods regardless of religion. This is why so many people around the world swear by their religion and claim to have had "spiritual experiences" when at Church or temple or while praying earnestly. That would of course not only suggest but completely support the idea that none of them have any actual connection to the spiritual but in fact are tapping into a chemical response that has evolved in our species. We know that a simple spritz of a naturally occuring chemical in our brains called oxytocin up our nose can make a person act more moral and make more empathetic choices, why wouldn't other chemicals be responsible for what some consider spiritual connections? And doesn't the fact that a chemical can control our moral behavior mean that it has less to do with us believing we have an invisible being watching over our shoulder and more to do with what chemicals our bodies are or are not producing that effect our actions? Wouldn't that also mean that any sort of idea of in born "sin" is completely bogus and it is not a persons "spirit" that makes these choices but a combination of their environment and the chemicals in their brain?

          September 5, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      That's why I don't look for God in science books.

      September 5, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        Where do you look for God, lunch?

        September 5, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
        • lunchbreaker

          It has been a while since I went out hunting, so to speak, but generally I just meditate and listen, although most believers will tell me I must be doing it wrong. I also very crtically analyze "coincidences" that occur in my life.

          September 5, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Those are all good lunch. I don't think there is any such thing coincidences either. If you have some interest in the God of the bible, including some reading could be helpful. Also, some good old time preaching is highly recommended.

          September 5, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Beta blockers and benzodiazepines work well against the Holy Spirit. Except among Pentecostals, where neuroleptics or atypical antipsychotics may be called for.

      September 5, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        I don't think that is what it meant where it says, try the spirits.

        September 5, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          "Try the spirits"
          I don't drink hard liquor anymore and I find it takes too much beer for me to start speaking in tongues.

          September 5, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          No, still the wrong ones.

          September 5, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
    • kudlak

      You may listen to a song a thousand times over the radio and on your home stereo, but none of them may move you like hearing it live during a concert. In this way your preacher is like any other performer, right? No need to bring in any supernatural forces at all. If the preacher is having a bad night, has something else on her mind, or is otherwise not feeling the "groove", the sermon will fall flat. There are professional preachers who have followings, make bookings to appear at certain "shows" and otherwise have reputations that they have to live up to every night, and there are the amateurs who aren't so good, or sought after. It's the same for singers, comedians, musicians, and every other type of performer. Preaching is like show business.

      September 5, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
  15. Alias

    When I was a grade school student stuck in catholic school, I had dreams about people waking up to the reality of religion. Guess what? It is coming true! The younger generations are realizing what the church is really all about. The bible is losing popularity as the age of information progresses.
    Why we agree that my dreams are just as inspired as yours?

    September 5, 2014 at 11:26 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Were the nuns unkind?

      September 5, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
      • joey3467

        My Catholic school didn't have any nuns at all as it was run by an all male religious order.

        September 5, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        Not all of them...but they had some dirty habits

        September 5, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
        • LaBella

          Lol...badum tish.

          September 5, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
      • Alias

        In my experience, nun= nazi.
        I'm sure that isn't true of all nuns.

        September 5, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          It was about half and half in my school...some were great and some were awful.

          September 5, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
      • zhilla1980wasp

        brown: you know the funny thing about nuns?
        no one is wanting to be one, so they are a dieing species. lmao

        convents are complaining about record low turnouts of women wanting to be abused in the name of your god. lmao

        September 5, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
  16. Doc Vestibule

    A fine example of ignoring the Consti/tution:

    An atheist airman at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada was denied reenlistment last month for refusing to take an oath containing “so help me God".
    Reciting ‘So help me God’ in the reenlistment and commissioning oaths is a statutory requirement.


    September 5, 2014 at 11:03 am |
    • Alias

      This sounds like a radical extremist.
      Without knowing all the details I have to side with the USAF on this one.

      September 5, 2014 at 11:18 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        The old version of the oath included an exception: “Note: Airmen may omit the words ‘so help me God,’ if desired for personal reasons.”
        That language was dropped last year.
        The airman was told his only options were to sign the religious oath section of the contract without adjustment and recite an oath concluding with “so help me God,” or leave the Air Force.
        This is a clear violation of Article VI of the Const.itution that prohibits requiring religious tests to hold an office or public trust.

        September 5, 2014 at 11:23 am |
        • Alias

          "This is a clear violation of Article VI of the Const.itution ....."
          But is this really a battle worth losing your career over?
          Aren't there other ways to confront this?
          Unity in the armed forces is very, very important, and I really think supporting your fellow soldiers should be more important in this case.

          September 5, 2014 at 11:30 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          You cannot force unity by mandating a religious belief.

          September 5, 2014 at 11:35 am |
        • atlantic9

          Nor should a soldier be forced to lie in his/her oath.

          September 5, 2014 at 11:39 am |
        • Alias

          I don't like having "in god we trust" on money either. However, I'm not going to stop using money because of it.
          They are not mandating conversion to christianity, are they?
          Complain, criticize, ask for compromise, Yes.
          Refuse to say words that are meaningless to you and act like a victim, No.

          September 5, 2014 at 11:39 am |
        • atlantic9

          But they are mandating stating that you adhere one of the main tenets of the christian religion. Which is just flat out wrong. The Air Force should know that and get with the times. Even when I was in grade school I knew it was wrong to make the students say the lord's prayer.

          September 5, 2014 at 11:46 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          It goes further than just the oath, though.
          Of all the branches of the armed forces, the AF is the most overtly Christian.
          In the officer ranks, a lot of airmen say that there are unwritten rules for promotion – including being overtly Christian, conservation in political views, having a wife and kids – oh, and being white helps a lot too.
          Around 10 years ago, a report was released in response to dozens of complaints about religious discrimination in the Air Force Academy. The result was not good -the report concluded that both the specific violations and the promotion of a culture of official religious intolerance are pervasive, systematic and evident at the very highest levels of the academy's command structure.
          ( http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/05/03/airforce.religion/ )

          September 5, 2014 at 11:50 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          An old term for an overly religious person is "Sky Pilot". I wonder if there's a connection.

          September 5, 2014 at 11:59 am |
        • bostontola

          Ironic that the military wants people to seal an oath, committing that they are truthfully making the oath, with a lie if you don't believe in God.

          September 5, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
        • Science Works

          The higher ups need to get on the same page maybe ?


          And the cost of an F-35II fighter is over a billion dollars (US) for one.

          September 5, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
        • LaBella

          I don't get it...the AFI said it can't reinstate the choice without an act of Congress...did it take an act of Congress to drop it in the first place?

          September 5, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Science Works
          That's the point here – the amended the oath in 2013, then removed the non-religious addendum this year.
          So first you had to swear to God, then you didn't, but now you have to again.
          Flippity floppity

          September 5, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          They all like to think of themselves as Americas "Angels" flying high over our heads protecting us from the "great Satan" in the middle east.

          September 5, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Maybe I'm paranoid, but the thought of a theocratic military is very frightening to me. How many coups have been staged by armies with an influential leader? Religion is a great way to influence groups of people to do your bidding. Just ask the leaders of ISIS.

          I don't want a civil war just because some baptist general decides that the U.S. should be a "christian nation". Maybe it sounds crazy, but things are kind of crazy right now. When I was a kid watching Americans land on the moon, it seemed crazy that this country could devolve so far as to actually have court battles about allowing the fantasy of "creationism" taught in schools. I never thought we would fall this far. Now I worry about us falling even further.

          September 5, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          I don't know that we've fallen. The religious right became more sophisticated and gained a hold on the only viable conservative party in the US. One hopes they will split and there will be a conservative party that can participate in government of the United States rather than battle for its soul.

          September 5, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
        • Science Works

          Yeah Doc the old goats(like Scalia) got wind of it and flipped right off the carrier on this one.

          September 5, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
      • MidwestKen

        How can they expect one to uphold the costi.tution with an oath that directly violates that same costi.tution.

        I.e. the no religious test clause.

        September 5, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
        • Alias

          I already plainly stated that I do not agree with what the AF is doing. I just don't think this is the approprite response from somone who truely wants to serve. It kind of sounds like an extremist trying to get attention.

          September 5, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
        • tallulah131

          I disagree. This man is serving our country. He is ostensibly protecting our country, our Constitution and our rights. In this case it is especially important that his own rights are protected. We can't afford to turn a blind eye to this. The religious right does not get to take over the military. That would be a very dangerous road, indeed.

          September 5, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
        • Alias

          Now you are sounding paranoid. The christians are not taking control of the military. Puting 'in god we trust' on the money didn't give control of all banks to the christians either.

          September 5, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
        • tallulah131

          The removal of the opt-out for atheists was no accident. There are already issues with religious harassment in the Air Force.


          I would rather be paranoid now than lose the most powerful branch of the military to fundamentalists. I would rather be concerned about a non-existent problems than dismissive about a real problem.

          September 5, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "It kind of sounds like an extremist trying to get attention."

          Would you rather this continue to fly under the radar? Regardless of his motives this needs to be exposed and fixed.

          September 5, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
        • Alias

          So you all think each and every atheist needs to use this as a reason to leave the USAF?
          Would that really make you feel better about the christian influence of the organization?

          September 5, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "So you all think each and every atheist needs to use this as a reason to leave the USAF?"

          What part of "exposed and fixed" would suggest that?

          They are 100% in the wrong and the policy needs to be amended. My tax dollars are being spent to support the AF and I will demand with my vote at every chance I get to vote out the conservative religious morons who are hijacking our defense for their own partisan purposes.

          September 5, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
        • atlantic9

          The general in charge of the air force, or the secretary of defence if it is a political thing, should have this changed by next Wednesday or resign as being incapable of upholding the oath they swore to the consti/B/btution.

          September 5, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
        • tallulah131

          You said this, Alias:
          "So you all think each and every atheist needs to use this as a reason to leave the USAF?
          Would that really make you feel better about the christian influence of the organization?"

          This airman was trying to re-enlist, not trying to get out of it. The theists in the Air Force are trying to get rid of non-believers. That is why this issue needs to be addressed. Did you actually click on the link and read the story, or did you just read the initial comment and go from there?

          September 5, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
        • Alias

          "The theists in the Air Force are trying to get rid of non-believers."

          Seriously? If all you have to do is say 'so help me god' then they are obviously not trying very hard. It is ridiculous to go all conspiracy theory over this.
          For the fourth time, I agree this is wrong.
          I just think it is going to accomplish nothing to approach the problem like this.

          September 5, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
      • tallulah131

        Having clicked on the article and read the details, I'll side with the airman. This pledge is very much in violation of the Constitution and should not be tolerated. In fact, the people who changed this rule should be publicly censured and removed from their positions.. The concept of a theocratic military should be frightening to anyone who loves freedom.

        September 5, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Reciting ‘So help me God’ in the reenlistment and commissioning oaths is a statutory requirement.

      Perhaps they can work with "If there is a God that can help me with this I'm all for it".

      September 5, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
      • tallulah131

        Maybe he can change it to "So help me Dog." Because dogs actually exist.

        September 5, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
    • zhilla1980wasp

      if that is true, it's scary.

      when i joined the army, we had a choice. "so help me god" or "i affirm"......................
      i affirm that i didn't say so help me anyone. lmao

      September 5, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
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About this blog

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