Thursday, December 14, 2006
Ohio pastor battles 'secular jihadists'
Posted By Gary Tuchman, CNN Correspondent: 4:49 PM ET
  42 Comments
This pastor claims that the ACLU is attempting to suppress the expression of Christianity in the public square, which is just a lie--the ACLU only comes into play against *governmental endorsement* of religion, and has regularly *defended* Christians' ability to express their views in the public square.

In short, this pastor is ignorant or dishonest, and I don't understand why the media continues to allow him to get away with expressing unrefuted falsehoods.
Posted By Anonymous Jim Lippard, Phoenix, Arizona : 5:06 PM ET
Gary,
Certainly enjoyed your time here with us. You, Claire and team were professional and pleasant. I hope that our contribution to your story is adding a dimension that sheds more light on these issues.

I did hear the openning jest from last night's Anderson Cooper. My sentence that was openned with something like "Amidst a world of Secularism, hedonism, intellectualism and materialism, the Christ of Christmas will still shine through!" The last phrase was cut off, including only a partial thought. While I understand that we cannot take entire paragraphs and you are quite limited... I did hope that the complete sentence and thought would be included.

Please note that we have 10's of 1,000's of folks in Ohio who have been notified today via e-mail that we are looking towards tonight instead of Friday night.

Again, you and Claire were a Royal treat. By the looks of the Utah footage, there was a little warmer reception in Ohio:-) We'll look forward to this discussion maturing in the future and hope that we added some light to the discussion.

Merry Christmas, Pastor Russell Johnson
Posted By Anonymous Russell Johnson : 5:14 PM ET
Gary I cannot fathom for the life of me how you were able to keep a straight face talking to this loony toon! "Secular Jihadist?!?!" This guy has a picture of George Bush on the wall of the preschool! Bush is the biggest Jihadist there is! IF this nutball even knew the meaning of the word Jihad he would know that it doesnt even apply to the propaganda he is trying to spread. It is idiots like this that breed demon children like bush and his ilk. Jihad means "the struggle" and is most closely associated with struggle that is faith based. So saying that those of us that do not practice his religion are Jihadists makes him sound less intelligent than he already did. And to top it off by likening the mid-term elections to a crucifiction?!? Has he never heard of the word "blasphemy"? I am still laughing! Gary, you would make a killing on the pro poker circuit you have the best poker face I have ever seen!
Posted By Anonymous nathan, junction city ks : 5:31 PM ET
Would CNN run a similar piece about a Muslim Iman who preached resistance to Western beliefs at Ramadan? I doubt it (imagine the outcry!). Funny how "tolerance" applies to all groups but Christians. The biased POV in this piece was thinly veiled, IMHO. Christians should extend love as well as stand true to biblical Truth. Jesus never said it would be easy to follow Him. Yet love can exist with righteousness. Merry Christmas America.
Posted By Anonymous Amy Redstone, Greeley, CO : 7:05 PM ET
I'm a Christian who won't be watching tonight as I am tired of the hatred and fear coming from the pulpits across this country. Today, I tried to think of all the 'good' people that I have known in my life. They came from a wide spectrum of belief systems and ethnic origins.

In fact, I am to the point that all the religious 'talk' should be 'bleeped' along with other no-no words from the public airways. We have come a long way from the Dark Ages in technology and added more deadly weapons, but we are still seeing Crusades and genocide and slavery as we watch history repeat itself.

Although, I pay for cable and have many channels, I do not have the right to delete the many religious channels. In fact, I feel forced to support preaching that I do not agree with. "Obsession" is not limited to Jihad.
Posted By Anonymous linda, bella vista,ar : 7:28 PM ET
The Easy Answer

A Christian is a person who believes that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Savior. The believe that Jesus Christ, hence Christian, is 'our' King.

The better question to ask would be; What is an American? But perhaps you will save that for the July 4th.
Posted By Anonymous Frank Greco,Toronto, Ontario : 7:41 PM ET
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Ramadan, Diwali, etc... to us all. Pastor Johnson doesn't speak for Jesus and certainly Jesus was more adept at spelling. I was just wondering if he has an actual degree in Theology.It seems like anyone can claim to be a preacher these days. A good theologian has at least a general understanding of different religions and cultures.
Posted By Anonymous Carol B., Frederick, MD : 7:52 PM ET
Christianity is at war with reality. Virgin birth? In the reality we live in virgin birth is impossible. If virgin birth happened 2000 years ago, then the biology we teach in schools today is exactly wrong, as is chemistry, as is physics. Whenever mature, rational adults stand up and discern reality from fantasy, hysterical anti-reality christians label us 'jihadists'.
Posted By Anonymous Chris Thomsen, Seattle, Washington : 8:17 PM ET
What Jihad is he talking about? No one has ever knocked on my door on a Saturday morning and asked me to stop believing in God. However, the two people who are at my door usually feel empowered to save my soul, or to pray for it if I send them away. All I can say is thank God for atheists...they could teach people like Pastor Johnson a lesson or two about minding their own business.
Posted By Anonymous Gordon Sell, Flemington, NJ : 8:49 PM ET
I regret, though I am unsurprised, that the only part of a 20-minute interview with me that CNN reproduced on this video is a cut in which I showed a flash of anger at Pastor Russell Johnson.

I attend a Columbus church that is "open an affirming"; that is, which welcomes gays and lesbians into full membership. Pastor Johnson, of course, regards that as appalling; he also opposes any public policy that would allow gays and lesbians to enjoy the same rights as heterosexuals. Nevertheless, while I profoundly disagree with Pastor Johnson�s political agenda, I am not blind to the many good aspects of the work that Pastor Johnson and Fairfield Christian Church performs.

As I told both the segment's producer and its reporter, I have attended services at FFC a couple of times and have been impressed with its congregation. A lot of good work goes on there.

I said this on camera. I also said I liked Pastor Johnson personally -- he is in many ways an appealing person who is authentic and courageous in his views, much as I disagree with some of them.

Only toward the end of the interview did I display some real anger at Pastor Johnson and really, it was not so much him as Christian fundamentalism. The reporter asked me about the danger I saw in the religious right. I said I thought it was dangerous because a lot of people looking on at the culture wars would be turned off to Christianity. I said that would be tragic.

As I recall, the cut of me that appears on the video was of a follow-on question to one the reporter had asked concerning fundamentalism�s stance toward gays and lesbians. That�s the point at which I felt angry. I recalled a fellow in the membership class I attended before joining my church. He told of experiencing such scorn and derision from other Christians simply because of his sexual orientation that he might well have asked, "Is there no place on earth for me?" He got to that part of the story and stopped. For a long moment he waited to get his emotions under control before continuing. I have never forgotten the pain in his face. I never will.
Posted By Anonymous Mark Grimley, Columbus, Ohio : 9:11 PM ET
Dear Gary,

I was going to respond to the earlier blog post "What is a Christian?" However, after listening to your video of Pastor Russell Johnson I think my comments would be more appropriate under your post.

Pastor Johnson is a perfect example of why I do not belong to any specific religion. I was raised a Catholic, but when I began to study history, in particular, art history, I began to realize the depth of corruption in the church and of many of the people who call themselves Christians. The lengths they will go through to force someone to accept their "faith" is astounding. Frighteningly, as Pastor Johnson demonstrated, that mindset still exists today and much of the time it is disguised as charity.

I always thought being a Christian meant that it was a sin to sit in judgment against others; that was supposed to be God's job. I thought it meant to respect all life, human, and non-human, and to respect the environment. It seems like Christians who feel the need to announce their religiosity to the world and insist on taking the Bible literally, commit the most hateful acts. Even some of the legislation introduced and passed in our Congress by "Christian" politicians reflects that mindset. It is troubling to know that our government holds evangelists like Billy and Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and others in such high esteem. These men have at times acted like their goal in life is to pass judgment on and harass anyone who does not agree with their beliefs. The word Christian must have an alternate meaning for them. Who died and made them God?

I don't pretend to think I am perfect, but I try my best to be a decent person by treating others the way I would like to be treated, however, I draw the line at religious hypocrisy. I even became a vegetarian because I could not bear to think that any creature had to die in order for me to live.

I feel more comfortable knowing that I am being a decent human being not because I think I will be punished, or that Jesus or anyone else told me to, but because it is my choice.

I don't have a problem with Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, or any other religious figure; I have a problem with the zealots that follow them.

I have to be honest Gary, listening to Pastor Johnson, and reading his comments in the blog somehow made my skin crawl!

As usual you did a wonderful job!
Merry Christmas!

Jo Ann
Posted By Anonymous Jo Ann Matese, North Royalton, Ohio : 9:32 PM ET
Its great, this pastor would take on the subject of Secular Jihad with his congregation. It would be better for him to invite someone from the Middle East, to talk to his people, and really clear up the topic, so we truely understand. We dont even know the difference between Sunni and Shite, and, its a big deal in Iraq. So I have to really wonder, if what this pastor has to say on this topic is really relavent.
Posted By Anonymous Claude Calgary AB Canada : 10:30 PM ET
A Born again person is one who accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

A Christian is a person who lives a lifestyle that shows others that are Born again.
Posted By Anonymous Kenneth Garrett, Corona California : 10:49 PM ET
Too many christians are just ill informed. The rapture for instance is not a biblical concept, rather an idea from the Rev Scoffield texts. There is no biblical basis for this idea.

But, finally there are many Christian Pastors questioning the mainstream interpretations of Revelations and christian scholars are taking a serious look at the issue of homosexuality.

Robin Scroggs, a professor of The New Testament, at Union Theological Seminary, and a happily married heterosexual who has been acclaimed in many Christian publications for his serious research about what the New Testament really says about homosexuality, has written a book on the issue.

The following is from Jay Bakkers book recommendations at revolutionchurch.com, written by Marc Brown, Revolution's business manager.

Conclusions:

1. The NT church was not very concerned about homosexuality as a problem, All three instances referring to homosexuality are from preformed traditions, either Greek or Jewish. No single NT author considers the issue important enough to write his own sentence about it! The argument "against nature" is the most common form of attack on pederasty in the Greco-Roman texts. Pederasty involved forced male rape even by heterosexuals and slave boy prostitutes. It says nothing about today's loving homosexual relationships. Even in Romans 1, where Paul integrates the illustration of homosexuality into his larger theological arguments, there is no advance beyond idolatry and pagan vices of 1 Cor 6:9.

2. Female homosexuality gets even less attention appearing only in Romans 1, and here with less emphasis than male homosexuality. This is doubtlessly because little was said in the Greco-Roman world about lesbianism, and because in OT law no penalties attached to such female practices. This again suggest pederasty was the vice, not homosexuality in general. In Romans 1 Paul's language "about male homosexuality, must have had, could only have had, pederasty in mind."

3.The two vice lists attack very specific forms of pederasty, not homosexuality in general.

Scroggs concludes: "The basic model of today's Christian homosexual community is so different from the model attacked by the New Testament that the criterion of reasonable similarity of context is not met. The conclusion I have to draw seems inevitable: Biblical judgements against homosexuality are not relevant to today's debate.. should in no way be a weapon to justify refusal of ordination, not because the Bible is not authoritative, but simply because it does not address the issues involved". He concludes with more discussion that pederasty was the issue of the biblical texts, not today's homosexual relationships. "


With God's help perhaps someday the so called christians will live as Christ and behave as Christ, rather than behaving like prejudiced, exclusionary, followers of a made up christ.
Posted By Anonymous Rich V, Charlotte, NC : 11:36 PM ET
Secular Jihadist? Sounds like a racist to me. Why call it Jihad especially in this day and age. Mixing secularism and muslim religion together. He is a hypocrite that should just stay in his pulpit rather than going out to society shoving his believe as the mighty and only one!
Posted By Anonymous J, Baltimore MD : 11:42 PM ET
to Jo Ann Matese, North Royalton, Ohio : you're one smart woman. Thank you for your on-point comments.
Posted By Anonymous Deb, Richmond VA : 11:54 PM ET
AC360:
The program tonight "What is a Christian?" was basically only a sociological and political report on the state of Christianity in America.

Even though a thorough report, only the last statement about the Gospel of Jesus Christ was a true answer to "What is a Christian?"

It was interesting to see the labels attached to the mainstream Christians such as The Seekers, Capitalist Christians, Going Green Christians, etc. but again I feel it isn't about the labels and the hype, it is about the teachings of Christ.

It did prove to be a worthy program to watch because it did show not all Christians are under the "pound the pulpit, hell and damnation" philosophy.

Good broadcast though disturbing to see one faith under so many hats.
Posted By Anonymous Sharon D., Indianapolis, IN : 12:21 AM ET
Since when did church pastors preach their own opinion and frustration on other people?! I thought that was sooo 1500s?! Raised Hindu, walking into our temple, the priest definitely did not pass out "anti abortion" flyers or "anti-gay rights" rhetoric - I must have really missed out!!!!

I agree with Carol B, "It seems like anyone can claim to be a preacher these days. A good theologian has at least a general understanding of different religions and cultures." Rock on Carol B!!

But, it shouldn't even be limited to a general understanding. Religious leaders should be actively invovled with eachother to set up forums, discussions, service activities, and so on. Religious leaders should WANT to learn more about others and should want to spread the knowlesge of unity (and compassion, love, peace, etc!)....and respect. These people influence lives, and personalities, so they should be trying their hardest to do the right thing and be positive about their messages!

....I'm a university student, and after reading NUMEROUS religious texts (including the Bible-Torah, Bhagavad Gita, Koran,etc) and religious conversations (pope, mohammad, saints, gurus) I feel much more knowledgeable than him....(sorry but it's true)

I don't understand why that pastor so loosely used the word "jihad"? Does he even know what it means? Has he read the Holy Koran? Has he even read the Holy Bible?! Does he talk to people who aren't in his form of "Christianity" but are of other faiths?!?

I miss Rev. Camden from the tv show: 7th Heaven!!

thanks gary! i hope this video, the show and other resources make people think and learn!!
Posted By Anonymous deepa, buffalo,ny : 12:21 AM ET
I find it interesting that the people that claim to be Christians do not follow the Bible very well when it comes to wealth after all Jesus himself lead a very simple life one thing he was rich in was sprituality
Posted By Anonymous Christina Bolton Roseville California : 12:59 AM ET
What is a Christian? A Christian is someone who believes that Jesus Christ is God's son who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. He was fully man and fully God and because of this He was able to live a sinless life. He was sentenced to death on the cross and because He had lived a life free of sin, He was able to pay for the sins of the entire world by dying for them. He rose from the dead three days later to defeat death, as no one else could. This last part is very important to the Christian faith, if that is left out, then Jesus died on that cross like many others did in that time and death was not defeated and the payment for the sins of the entire world had not been made.

A Christian also believes that one has to believe in the things said above and to repent (ask for forgiveness for those sins and turn from that life of sin) to be with God in Heaven for eternity and if they don't they will be with Satan in Hell for eternity. It is this last part that is what leads a Christian to want to share this news with others. It is not out of hate, it is not because we have to be right, it is because we have been forgiven of our sins by a loving God who made a way for us to be forgiven of those sins and we want everyone to know that and have a chance to repent of their sins before they die. It is that fact that there are hundreds of thousands of Christians that will travel all over the world to share this with people that have never had a chance to hear this and even risk their own lives telling people that could possibly want to kill them for sharing this with them.

I beg you to pick up the Bible and read it, do some investigating for yourself, don't just take my word that the Bible is true and don't just take someone else's word that the Bible is false. If you believe in God or even if you don't, pray and ask Him to show you if Jesus is really the only way to get to Heaven, what do you have to lose?

I don't usually like using verses from the Bible to make my point, because what is the point if the person I am talking to doesn't believe in the Bible, but I do want to share this one just to support what I have said in the paragrph above.

Isaiah 55:11 (New International Version)

so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

I pray that this message is received in love from those reading it because that is what it was written in.

Mike Penny
Posted By Anonymous Mike Penny, Atlanta, GA : 1:23 AM ET
In the report, Pastor Johnson spoke of Jesus' reference to some people as white-washed tombs. He neglected to mention that Jesus was not speaking about the run-of-the-mill sinner, but rather about religious hypocrites. And I seriously doubt Jesus spoke the words with as much glee on his face as Pastor Johnson seemed to have.
Posted By Anonymous Donna E., Sacramento, CA. : 2:28 AM ET
At nine years old, I was introduced to a Southern Baptist Church in a very small town in Texas. The "end times" sermon was preached with frequency, and anyone who didn't fall in line with the Gospel of the fundalmentalists were told that they would be left behind when Jesus came to rapture the righteous. I spent the next 20 years living in guilt because I had doubts about the preachers and preaching that I was exposed to, and in fear that the world would end any day and I would be left behind. Finally, I began to see the hypocrisy of those preaching this message, and instead realized that true Christianity is found in people such as Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul, and yes, even Oprah Winfrey - those who share their faith through love and generosity to others. Jesus said that on the day of judgement, many will say, Lord, Lord, I prophesied and preached in your name, and he will say to them, get away from me you workers of iniquity for I never knew you. On the other hand, others will come before him in humility and fear, and he will welcome them with open arms saying,I was hungry and you fed me, I was cold and you sheltered me; this you did unto the least of these my children, you did unto me. This sums up the Gospel of Jesus Christ: to love, forgive, and treat others as you would want to be treated.
Posted By Anonymous Susan, Hallettsville, Texas : 3:16 AM ET
I missed it. When will it air again? This sounds VERY intriguing.
Posted By Anonymous Lina, Long Beach, CA : 7:31 AM ET
His extreme beliefs bother me a little. I don't think I'd be at all comfortable in his church.
Posted By Anonymous Jess, Paris, KY : 7:34 AM ET
God, they say, works in mysterious ways. But these fundamentalist preachers do the Devil's work.

Pastor Johnson's (and others like him) support for George W. Bush has helped bring us the disaster in Iraq, the assault on the First Amendment, the unnecessary rise in worldwide terrorism, corruption and coverups.
Posted By Anonymous Debbie Palm Springs, CA : 8:37 AM ET
Very good, Jo ANN from Ohio and Susan from Texas.
Love is the key, in small gestures.Walk in somebody shoes attitude. Don't complicate God. Remember: "one hand not have to show what the other give."
Wash yors mouth zelots.Don't judge!
Posted By Anonymous Silvana from Ridgefield CT : 8:49 AM ET
The answers are in the bible, particularly the New Testament. They are not ambiguous at all. 1. Admit you are a sinner and have no way of saving yourself. 2. Accept Jesus as the son of God, and your personal lord and saviour and that only through the gift of grace through His death on the cross and resurrection can your sins be forgiven. 3. Ask God for forgiveness of those sins through the blood sacrifice of Jesus (and you really have to be sorry and want to change!). 4. You did it - that's it, that's all!

In all of this remember that it is your choice and that the change isn't immediate - it's a journey. Beginning the journey is real easy (see above, and you've done it!).

No organized religious group can grant you this. You can't work your way out. It is through faith in God and His son Jesus and His gift of grace alone. Christianity is not a religion - it is a faith. Believing is the key. What to believe is in the bible. The Holy Spirit changes us, if our heart desires it. We are incapable of changing by ourselves. As Christ said, "go forth and sin no more."
Posted By Anonymous Jim, Whitby, Ontario : 9:02 AM ET
Kudos to CNN for asking this question! I look forward to other stories such as "What is a Muslim?", "What is a Jew?", and "What is a Buddist?", etc. As for the fundamentalist Christians like this man on this video, they are just as dangerous as the fundamentalist Muslims who plotted 9/11. In their value systems someone always has to be eliminated in order for their God to be pleased.

I'm a Christian who believes God made all of us so that he could share Eden and then His world with all of us, not so that He could rejoice when some of us die. I'd be happy to quote Scripture to support my thesis, but this is not the place. Thanks again CNN for asking the provocative questions.
Posted By Anonymous Karoline, Los Angeles, CA : 9:24 AM ET
What a snarky hit job on Pastor Johnson and his church. And the scenes with both Tuchman and Johnson -- I laughed out loud at the dishonest, "that's a lovely dress you're wearing, Mrs. Cleaver" Eddie Haskelisms of Tuchman as he pretended to make nice to Johnson, all the time planning, of course, to malign a Christian pastor before the whole nation.

"We asked Pastor Johnson about Jesus' message of tolerance...." Yes, as you beat the Christians, you demand that they turn the other cheek!

The whole tone of the segment would have been unthinkable and outrageous a generation ago. There is a secular jihad, and your reporting is proof of it.
Posted By Anonymous Franklin Saige, Columbus, Ohio : 9:28 AM ET
The term "Christian" nowadays all too often and unfortunately seems to personify a large number of people who are judgmental, self-righteous, intolerant of other religions and differing lifestyles (often even bigoted), condescending, frequently deceitful... and, who's very behavior frequently belies their outspokenly professed "beliefs." Thus, they end up being utter and complete hypocrites.
Posted By Anonymous KC Martin, Barnaul, Russia (Altaisky Kray) : 9:28 AM ET
The term "Christian" nowadays all too often and unfortunately seems to personify a large number of people who are judgmental, self-righteous, intolerant of other religions and differing lifestyles (often even bigoted), condescending, frequently deceitful... and, who's very behavior frequently belies their outspokenly professed "beliefs." Thus, they end up being utter and complete hypocrites.
Posted By Anonymous K C Martin, Barnaul, Russia (Altaisky Kray) : 9:32 AM ET
I am a practicing bisexual man and not ashamed of it. I am also a practicing Catholic and not ashamed of that either. You truly can be both, regardless of what some (almost all conservative republicans) say. How? Love. Living in love, and I do mean a spiritual love, is the common core of love between humans and love of God. We Christians do this most fully through the strength of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In Christ there is no East or West, Jew nor Gentile, rich or poor--straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, hermaphrodite or neuter.
Just people loving each other and loving God. We all have eternal souls, and that is what counts with God: our intentions and how we use our time of earth to love God with all our hearts and minds and souls and to love our neighbors as ourselves.
Posted By Anonymous Todd, Terre Haute, Indiana : 10:32 AM ET
Thank you Gary for your excellent piece on �What is a Christian� , I think you nailed it right on the money, at least from a show mans respective. To bad truth was sacrificed on the alter of profits for the networks, but then in Christianity, Biblical truth is sacrificed on the alter of self. I was hoping for a more fair and balanced presentation of commonly held beliefs in Christianity, but then I realize I wasn�t watching Fox, but I forgive you Gary, and promise to keep watching 360.
Clifford L. Wells
Posted By Anonymous Cliff (Stray), Othello, WA : 10:55 AM ET
Dear Gary,

Thank you for your interview with the pastor. His stance on banning same-sex marraiges is real and strong and doesn't need validation. I believe above all on the nature of the human soul. I definitely DO NOT support same-sex marraiges, but I do empathize with the people who do have a tendency towards forming such relationships. Probably somewhere in their childhood, their orientations took a turn in the wrong direction, due to the wrong circumstances that were beyond their control. But at the same time I would say that there was somebody responsible present at the time, who simply forgot their responsibilities and allowed this wrong sense of orientation to progress unchecked. The roots of evil is elementary- it is better removed at the elementary stage, rather than allow it to fester on to a point of no return. I believe very strongly that a marraige is ordained by God between a man and a woman and they were destined to procreate to bear child. Love and compassion are primary to any relationship, but if the seeds of evil in disguise(Satan) uproots the very essence of love and compassion and translates the meaning of these two soul-saving words into something that is going to drastically affect the life of a child(Soul of God), then something much more stronger has to be reinforced to change this abomination. Does somebody have the power to change the nature of the soul?? The people who are deeply involved in a delusional relationship as as homosexualism are to be sympathized with rather than condemned and stoned and isolated. I would rather arrest this disease of the mind rather than allow its progress as if it was just another normal phase in the progressive evolution of man. Obviously we don't want the progressive involution of man do we?? I think God's word is final and anybody going against that because of their egoistic and egotistic insinuations might have to learn life the very hard way, and I suppose surrendering totally to God's will is the only way that these misdirected souls have a chance of any reprieve.
Everybody wants desperately to be loved and wanted and everybody is searching for compassion. Instant gratification is an easy way to open its doors to the dungeon of evil- lust, prostitution, homosexuality and what not. If only people would be a little more patient and have more faith in soul-searching to find out who they truly are, looking inward instead of a cul-de-sac, they will find out what God has stored in their destiny for them. Because for such people with patience- they might have to suffer a bit- GOd always leaves an enlightened destiny for them. Lightyears away from evil. True love and compassion that follows the house of God comes from the roots of the soul with its birth. Any form of love and compassion that chooses to teach our children -the future of our Earth-
the wrong messages, is like the metaphor of a "smile in a thin disguise", its only taking innocence deeper into the roots of evil, lightyears away from the domain of God! Thank you for the report Gary. Truly Emmy-winning material!

God Bless
Posted By Anonymous Rekha, Fremont, CA : 12:39 PM ET
How is it that people report on this about Christians, but they don't talk about the Muslim mosque in Michigan who is teaching against the American way.
Posted By Anonymous Marcus Honolulu, Hawaii : 12:56 PM ET
Christianity is all messed up because of tradition. God is not in tradition. Jesus himself told the Pharisees and Saducees what he thought about tradition. True christianity is all wrapped up in Jesus, the Messiah. Not church.
Posted By Anonymous Sharon Benson Woodstock, Georgia : 2:30 PM ET
Christian: a follower of, in word and deed, the teachings of Jesus Christ as found in the Four Gospels. Simple definition but tough to follow; requires help from the Father to make the journey.
Posted By Anonymous Alex D. Chapman,Jr. Ville Platte,La. : 3:04 PM ET
I think America would be far more pleasing to God and the pioneers who founded our country if more preachers would get in their pulpits and preach the truth instead of watering down righteousness. Jesus loved man, but he hated sin. Our country was founded by Christians, for Christians. If the rest of the world is so great, go there. The children of the loose society are filling our prisons and mothers are killing their babies.
Posted By Anonymous David Hawkins, Indiana : 3:45 PM ET
Mike Penny..you said it all! I think most people confuse Religion with Christianity. They also confuse God's laws with hate. True Christianity means loving everyone no matter what they've done. We are all sinners in God's eyes. Oh and by the way, who do you all think flew planes into the World Trade Center...
Posted By Anonymous Sharon T Tampa, FL : 4:11 PM ET
I would ask Pastor Johnson this, first of all if it's secular how can it be a jihad? Next, aren't you guys the ones telling the rest of if we don't believe like you do we are evil and have no morals? I put my post about being a Christian on the other blog, but let me say this, all of you guys have made me an agnostic. I still believe there is something out there, but certainly not what you preach. I don't need a pastor to tell me it's wrong to steal, kill, lie etc. Jesus was a loving man who cared for the sick and the poor. The very kind of man this pastor is not. Secular jihad indeed. Your kind has been waging war on us and our civil liberties for a long time. Religion has NO PLACE in gov't or laws. There is more than one religion in this country and I am tired of Christianity getting preferential treatment. I thought we were ALL supposed to be equal, or am I reading the Constitution wrong?

This guy makes me want to hurl.
Posted By Anonymous Melina - Mesa, AZ : 4:27 PM ET
With all this talk about homosexuality, what many Western Christians seem to forget is that even unsanctified (i.e., unmarried) heterosexual love is sinful according to the Bible. Today the sins of fornication and adultery have paled (remember the 10 commandments?) next to that of homosexuality. Only the Eastern religions seem to consider these as sins today. Yet they cause as much suffering (if not more) as any other sin.
Posted By Anonymous Ivy, Pondicherry, India : 11:12 AM ET
I am fascinated and disappointed by the actions of some religious leaders. Many Christian, religious lay-people and leaders spend much of their time doing deeds that will help others; however, in the most recent of times, many have spent most of their time �sending people to hell� for their actions or beliefs there is little time left to do anything else.
Posted By Anonymous Tyann, Weslaco, Texas : 12:09 AM ET
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