Overheard on CNN.com: 'It's time America takes a stand against evil'
Alex Teves, 24, was beloved, even inspiring an "Alex Teves Day" at school. He died in the Aurora, Colorado, theater shooting.
July 30th, 2012
07:14 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: 'It's time America takes a stand against evil'

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Family and faith got readers talking over the weekend. Here are five of the conversations we noticed on Monday as we wandered in to work.

1. The Alex Teves challenge

Alex Teves died shielding his girlfriend from the rain of bullets during the Aurora, Colorado, theater shooting. His father, Tom Teves, wants the media to stop naming and showing images of the gunmen in mass murders. His "Alex Teves challenge" has gotten a powerful response from readers.

Look to the good in humankind - look to heroes, says grieving father

One reader compared the image above to a powerful painting.

lxNay: "That image above, with Alex gazing at the ocean, is exactly like work by the German artist Caspar David Friedrich. In particular, 'Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog.' That is quite a profound image, breathtaking actually. When I think of Friedrich's work, I imagine a solitary man contemplating his destiny and future. I wonder if that is what Alex was doing? What a loss. My thoughts are with the family and families."

Many people shared condolences and said they wanted to take the challenge.

null: "Mr. And Mrs. Teves, As the parent of a young man who, like Alex, is also a bright light in what often appears to be a dim world, I cannot comprehend your loss. While it may be only a small consolation, I want you to know that I have accepted the Alex Teves Challenge. As a film producer, I have, ashamedly, played my role in glorifying villainy during my career. I have known for some time that the age-old story of good vs.evil can be told in a manner that raises the consciousness of the viewer to the role of the hero, rather than degenerate it to the level of the villain. It is my vow to use this litmus test on every project I green light in the future. May you find peace in your heart during these difficult days ..."

Zanmarie: "The people of Ahwatukee, and Alex's parents knew they had an exceptional son. They were wise enough to notice Alex and begin to truly value him when he was alive. I, as an ordinary citizen and media watcher, will take up my part of the challenge. To spread the word about the good people, the kind people, the nice people, in our midst, rather than focus any more of my attention on the negative persons who DO dominate our news coverage. It is not just a challenge for the media, it is a challenge for us, the public. Can we, collectively, turn our heads and hearts away from the 'bad' influences that will always be around in our world ... or can we turn our collective attention toward the good and wonderful people whom we usually overlook. Long remember a real hero ... Alex Teves."

Dinka: "What a good person. His family should always be proud of this person who they gave to the world and the message they are inspiring because of him. They are absolutely right that, as a society, we need to stop giving so much attention to the murderer and start crediting the good people who deserve that their memory be honored."

2. Condolences

O.J. Murdock, who signed with the NFL's Tennessee Titans last year, killed himself Monday morning in front of the Tampa, Florida, high school where he was a track and football star, police said. Our readers shared many experiences and said they, too, could relate.

NFL player kills himself at his former high school, police say

Sir Toom: "He was my age and attended USC while I was there (two years he was there). I'm sorry to hear this. I could not imagine ever reaching this point. But you never know what someone has been through unless you have walked through their shoes and have those experiences and feelings. RIP."

Ken Smith: "Godspeed this young man. I have lost friends to depression and suicide. If you know someone is depressed, do your best to see they get help. Talk to them. Sometimes only one world from someone who cares can make the difference. All respect to family and friends. Sending prayers for strength."

Glades2: "As a hospital volunteer I once knew a teen who could no longer play high school football due to a spinal injury received during a game, and after a few months in the hospital he related some of his despair to me one evening, so this does happen, especially to someone who's physically fit and suddenly finds their body can no longer perform the way it once did. I'm very sorry to hear of this ..."

3. Childlessness

Amitai Etzioni wrote an article asking if having children makes couples less happy, or if there is something else at work.

Does having kids make you less happy?

The story led to an interesting thread about people who opt not to have children.

Jenandjoan Jonsson: "I would never presume to tell anyone else what to do. For myself, though, I just don't want children. Ever. At all."

Alejandro Arango: "The difference between people who have kids and people who don’t is that the people who do know what it’s like not to have kids and understand what they gained or lost be having them. They understand both sides. People with no kids will never understand what it’s like to have kids so they will never understand how it feels and what they gained or lost. My wife and I use to think the same way, no way did we want kids. Then an accident happened and we decided to go for it. Then we decided to have another kid. Yes, we have lost some of our freedom and at times it has been stressful but all that goes away when my daughter wraps her arms around me and tells me she loves me. That is something people with no kids will never understand."

SZeidler: "Alejandro Arango brings up an interesting point. Can people without children ever understand where parents are coming from? Or is the experience too unique?"

tattooo: "SZeidler, the point is that I don't WANT to experience what it is that parents go through. I don't like kids. I have this feeling that most parents who want me to 'experience' what it is they're going through have the kids I like the LEAST. I don't see a point as to why we who do not have kids need to support your kids via taxes, deal with them in public situations when they're losing their minds, or have to censor ourselves because you decided to bring your genetic xerox out in public. I don't want kids. I don't need to share in your experience of having them. I'll take the $250,000 Porsche and all the 'meaningless' fun I can have in it over having a kid any day of the week."

4. Race and religion

Many readers wanted to talk about religion. One of the involved stories was about a couple who wanted to get married, but had to move their plans because of their race. Charles and Te'Andrea Wilson had planned to marry this month at the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs in Mississippi, but were asked at the last minute to change the venue of their wedding.

Church refuses to marry black couple in Mississippi

Readers were almost universally outraged by this story.

Katherine Licari Venturoso: "My question is, why didn't the pastor ignore these racist people? They were not invited to the wedding anyway. He wasn't very courageous and is not a good role model. He should resign. He didn't do his job."

tipsana: "I am surprised this couple would still wish to be married by a pastor who did not have the integrity to tell the racist members 'No!' in a thundering voice. Really, everything about this situation stuns me."

Mitzy1991: "The sad truth is churches can do whatevertheheck they want to do. Why are you surprised about a church excluding people? Churches exclude people all the time! You think this is the only racist church on the planet??? Churches are racist, sexist, homophobic and everything in between. It's horrible what people do to each other in this country in the name of God."

5. Noah's Ark, revisited

Johan Huibers, a wealthy businessman, has built a replica of the biblical vessel known as Noah's Ark to the dimensions specified in the book of Genesis. The finished craft has just been opened to the public on the Merwede River in the Dutch town of Dordrecht. This certainly got readers talking.

Dutchman builds replica Noah's Ark after flood dream

Readers differed in their opinions.

kylepr: "Because Christ would have wanted him to waste millions of dollars building a boat from a story that is scientifically impossible to have happened, instead of using that money to feed and clothe the poor. Love how Christians completely miss the teachings of Jesus.

adinfinitum7: "It is a shame that so many people criticize this guy. It was a neat project no matter what your position on the Bible. Being human is about doing different things."

ReHorakhty: "Why is it amazing? He deserves to be criticized. He is profiteering, not being charitable. See it for what it is."

Malfean: "I've often thought that while the ark was probably very real, the context in which it was built could have been misconstrued over the centuries. Keep in mind that the story of Noah predates all religious text, and is spoken of in the Epic of Gilgamesh. That spoke of a man who survived the mother of all floods and from the north. Perhaps Noah was a man who had farm animals and stuff near to the Black Sea, in Northern Turkey. Perhaps, one day, thousands of years ago either God or someone spoke to him about a flood coming, (perhaps he just noticed the shoreline changing over a few days or months, etc.). The collapse of the Bosphorus, which resulted in a net loss of 5 feet across the entire Mediterranean Sea, went into the Black Sea and that had been until that point, a fresh water sea. It could be possible that this is where the story came from. Perhaps the two of every animal simply meant two of every animal HE owned, along with family and provisions to ride out what would have looked at that time to be a global flood? Just a thought. ..."

What do you think? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

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Filed under: Colorado • Justice • Media • Overheard on CNN.com • U.S.
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Mr Dalloway

    I almost think maybe kinda nearly the cuff I hereby distantly when the crow flies every blue moon hereby due proclaim under the conviction of perjury it is a near certainty that it could be in the near future possible that it would surely happen. I guess so.

    July 31, 2012 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Mr Dalloway


      July 31, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  2. drap™

    @ The Art... .agreed,guilty pleasure assessment is just a click away here... .

    July 31, 2012 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
    • The Art of Conversation

      Drap, I don't believe I had the pleasure of connecting with you. Good Evening Sir.

      July 31, 2012 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  3. Hamsta

    I see the trolls are back, have a good evening everyone. I'm going to bed, let the trolls have fun. It's not like their mommies make them go to work or anything. I have rent to pay so I have a job that is more important than arguing with the trolls in mommy's basement.

    July 31, 2012 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
  4. Mr Dalloway

    Be well Americas.

    July 31, 2012 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  5. Lobo

    Evil floursh when good men and women stand by and do nothing. but if you beat the hell out of someone who is robing the corner store you are the one in the jail. maybe it is time to rethink things.

    July 31, 2012 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  6. fernace

    So what if I care too much and it makes me emotional. We are 4 very different people.

    July 31, 2012 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |

    The choice of parenting or not is probably just about the only individual choice. that some yahoo has no decided that our government should make that decision for you.
    That is not to say that the government. and the neo liberal social engineers, do not interfere with parenting after the fact. for they most asurely do in multiple ways.
    Parenting is not just a biological experience for those who have and want to share lifes rewards, although sometimes lifes rewards are mere material things that do damn little lasting familial bonding.
    It takes two to create. at least for a little while yet, and with that creation comes the responability to have a hand in creation of as a fine a person as you can.
    As to those who do not desire to parent, all one can do is hope they find an outlet to aid in creating a better world.
    For no matter what, all humans that come after us are all of our decendents. and they will need the same opportunity to decide their own fates.

    July 31, 2012 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
  8. banasy©

    Please refrain from commenting on people you do not know.
    It is apparent that you lack the understanding of what "the art of conversation" really means.
    Thank you.

    July 31, 2012 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
  9. Selfish IsADisease

    The heroism of many of the Colorado horror is truly wonderful. God Bless all the victims and their families and friends.

    As for America – Your country has systematically mutilated and murdered 53 MILLION babies! You welcome any – and every – opportunity to encourage all forms of unnatural behaviour. You knowingly destroy family values. And your war against anybody who openly believes in God is almost Satanic in its malice.

    I ask in all seriousness – How can you possibly "Take a stand against EVIL" when you wallow in it? The few incredible acts of heroism and selflessness are few and far between. I can only hope and pray that they change a few hardened hearts.

    July 31, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Meredith

      You are completely naive if you think that on only abortions in the world are only in America. I see you are one of those who cannot care less about humans after they leave the womb, otherwise you wouldn't be posting your agenda on this particular thread Selfish IS A Disease and you suffer from it.

      July 31, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Whisky Tango Foxtrot, Over??? State your sources of the numbers: 53 Million?? Wars against anyone that supports or defends a superluminal being? The US may not be perfect, not by a LONG shot ... but I'd rather live here than any other spot of sod on the planet. But that's just my opinion, yours may vary, however wrong it may be ...

      August 4, 2012 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
  10. Chris

    As long as there are two people left in this world there will be a difference of opinions. Let the man do what he wants and respect his views.

    August 1, 2012 at 1:27 am | Report abuse |
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