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What is Ramadan? (Thirsty is the Hardest Part)
August 12th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

What is Ramadan? (Thirsty is the Hardest Part)

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

In the religious literacy quiz I have given my Boston University students on the first day of the semester over the last few years, I always ask, “What is Ramadan?  And in what religion is it celebrated?”

Of the students who took this quiz, 61 percent knew this holiday, which began yesterday for Sunnis and today for Shias, was Islamic, but only 38 percent knew it was a fast.

During Ramadan, which falls during the ninth month of the Islamic year, observant Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex.  This holiday commemorates the period when Muhammad is said to have received the first recitations of the Quran from Allah via the angel Gabriel.

This year, Minnesota Vikings safety Husain Abdullah and his brother Hamza Abdullah of the Arizona Cardinals are observing Ramadan during a rough month of NFL training camp.

A significant minority of NBA basketball players are also observant Muslims, and the decisions of Hakeen Olajuwon, Shareef Abdur-Rahim and others to observe this fast have called public attention to Ramadan, just as Sandy Koufax’s decision, as a Jew, not to pitch in a 1965 World Series game on Yom Kippur called public attention to that Jewish Day of Atonement.

I spoke this week with Zeenat Rahman about common misconceptions about Ramadan. Rahman, a Muslim American who serves as Director of Policy at the Interfaith Youth Core in Chicago, says there are a few. First, Muslims do not fast for a whole month. If you did that, Rahman observes, “you would be dead.” Muslims fast instead from sunrise to sunset.

Second, the hardest part about the fast isn’t abstaining from eating but abstaining from drinking.  “My biggest fear is being thirsty,” Rahman says, “and the fact that you can’t drink water is really, really difficult.” Finally, fasting at Ramadan extends not only to food and water but to just about everything else you might put into your mouth, including gum and breath mints.

For Rahman, however, the “Ramadan mindset” isn’t really about food and drink prohibitions. A bit like Lent in the Christian calendar, this holiest month in the Islamic year provides an opportunity to “reset” yourself, to call yourself back to the things that really matter, including remembering and caring for the poor.

Ramadan is in some respects harder to practice in the United States, where restaurants do not stay open all night in most places and you might need to explain to your business associates why you aren’t eating anything at a lunch meeting.

According to Rahman, however, observing Ramadan in religiously plural America also offers unique benefits, including iftars (evening meals breaking the day's fast) hosted by a variety of different religious and civic groups.

For example, “Iftar in the Synagogue” brings together Jews and Muslims in Chicago for “an evening of what both traditions do best: eating, praying, discussing and schmoozing."

Ramadan ends with Eid ul Fitr, the feast of the breaking of the fast. It is now something of a tradition for U.S. presidents to send greetings to Muslims and to host dinners at the White House on Eid ul Fitr.

Last year at the conclusion of Ramadan, President Obama issued this holiday greeting and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton posted a video message on the State Department website wishing Muslims "Eid Mubarak."

“All faiths,” she said, “have a home here in the United States.”

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Holidays • Islam • Muslim

soundoff (123 Responses)
  1. Reality Check

    I have a good amount of time to wonder around CNN at work during down time, as this is the only website we have access to. So I tend to go through a good amount of articles and blogs. I decided to post this one time to say that Reality, you are the biggest Troll I have ever seen. Off all the articles that allow comments (Afgan War, of celebrity, or opinon articles) you ONLY post on the religious articles and 90% of the time you chime in with a non-sequitor denouncing someone else's religous beliefs. You find that your opinion is so important that you MUST give it on every article with a religious topic. You are a narcissist who states your opinions as facts and then force feeds it to people the internet gives trolls like you that freedom. And I'm sure other people do the same thing and use different names, and they are just as bad but since you are identifiable I'll say it to you, and for the rest. This won't stop your trolling, I feel better though.

    August 12, 2010 at 9:20 pm |
  2. bob

    As an atheist I would rather live in a judeo christian society than a murderous nutcase muslim one. Muslims are the terror kings of the world, congrats. I am sure all your karma will return to you x 10. Ramadan, who cares about what a stone age group of mental patients celibrate. When I see the "moderate" muslims (almost a joke term at this point) declare war on the "fanatic" muslims, I will believe there are actually 2 factions. Till then, there are just the ones who kill and the ones who raise money to help the killers do their dirty work.

    August 12, 2010 at 9:11 pm |
    • John

      As a pagan, I'd rather live in a secular/ecumenical society. Christians and Muslims both take a "suffer not the witch to live" approach to me and mine.

      August 13, 2010 at 7:57 am |
    • Ron

      An atheist that believes in Karma??? You, like Reality(?), are no atheist.

      August 13, 2010 at 11:01 am |
  3. sagebrush shorty

    God is coming soon . She is a Black single mother who is really upset.

    August 12, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
  4. Infidel

    I have lived in Saudi.The Muslims say the the fasting brings them closer to God and helps them relate to those less fortunate than them.But...at least in Saudi...they switch their days and nights and sleep all day and stay awake all night.And you cannot eat in front of them! Where is the sacrifice in that?

    August 12, 2010 at 7:05 pm |
    • kba

      You are so right! My child was three years old and I was not allowed to buy him an ice cream in a market in Saudi. Jordan is different. They don't mind if non- believers eat and drink as long as it's not in their faces. But my problem is this... if it's supposed to be a sacrifice then it should be so. You should suffer while others do not. That's what a sacrifice is. Not so in Islam. It's all about them.

      August 13, 2010 at 12:08 am |
  5. sagebrush shorty

    Another phony holiday, another phony religion.

    August 12, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
  6. SDFrankie

    Ramadan is, like Lent, that time of year when we make god happy by making ourself suffer. God really gets very happy when you're miserable. Also, misery is a sign of deep respect. You can honor the memory of a departed loved one by wearing shoes that are two sizes too small to a square dance. If they're in heaven, they will smile when they feel your suffering. If they're in hell they'll just scream and scream all day long.

    Suffering also works well as debt repayment as exemplified by Jesus. Let's say you owe someone $25,000 and you haven't got $25,000. You can just stab yourself in the eye and that will totally square the debt.

    August 12, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  7. abcdefg

    Its a copy cat of Easter! When you fast, that means that FASTING. All the ramadan is.. changing your bodily shift time. They go from 1st to 3rd shift. Where's the suffering in that? So they train ahead of time, to re-adjust the time that they eat and drink. Its like working a 3rd shift job. You sleep all day, and when you wake up you work all night. so right up to 430am in the morning, they eat and drink alot. If you did this, this would carry you to about 8pm also. GOD never said kill yourself, and obviously they knew that this could be a problem cause they know how to beat the system , therefore its not really a TRUE FAsTING. Its just so ironic, that during Christian Fasting, Jesus was in the garden for 40 days and 40 nights before he was died. In Ramadan, it was said that mohameed received a message from angel gabriel, (you know the same angel Gabriel that it is called the 'messenger of GOD' in the bible) about the Quran. IT iS A COPY CAT RELIGION..nothing original about it. All about control.

    August 12, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
    • that dude

      You should know Christianity is also a copy cat religion. Egyptians had the same philosophy of the Christian concept before Christians decided to use it. Learn before you speak.

      August 13, 2010 at 10:41 am |
  8. Bobbie

    So... there is ramadan, a 'reinforcing of faith', and then right after that we have 9/11!! What a wonderful religion!! NOT!!!

    August 12, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
    • Susan

      9/11 is no more a reflection on Muslims than the crusades are on Christians. Have you ever studied the crusades? Western European Christians slaughtered thousands of eastern Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Do not compare the actions of a few self proclaimed Muslim extremists with the 1.5 billion Muslims in the world. If all Muslims were were violent, I think they could do a lot more damage.

      August 12, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
    • Al

      Bobbie, this should tell you how perverse the 9-11 b@stards were. They carried out an act in the name of Islam, an act that was totally anti-Islam in values.

      August 13, 2010 at 2:49 am |
  9. bill

    I thought it was a dawn to dusk thing, not a total abstinence.

    August 12, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
    • Cleopaktra

      It is from sun up to sun down but one has to abstain from food, any kind of drink, sex etc. It is not just meant to abstain from all these things but also makes a normal person healthier. I always lose weight and feel healthier after Ramadan. Muslims all over the world also give charity-Zakat in this month the most because they actually can feel the pain and suffering of the poor and under nourished people.
      On another note, I have been in this country for almost 10 years now and people do ask about it and when explained, most politely nod and seem to understand the concept but the comments on this blog make me feel as if I am considered an enemy. I request that if people feel that 1.5 billion Muslims are the enemy they meet an actual Muslim and talk to him/her. People will be surprised to find that most Muslims are regular people who have families, goals, aspirations and desires just like them. If thousands of people died on 9/11 and other incidents than you must realize that innocent Muslims have paid for those crimes more than enough already. Thousands of people have died in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan because of the war on terror but no one considers those lost lives worthy enough to be mentioned.

      August 13, 2010 at 12:40 am |
    • Al

      You had it right.

      August 13, 2010 at 2:46 am |
  10. Acmed Shams

    It means peace and love and hope to some. And violent, hatred, and bigotry for others...
    We should be wary of overt islamophobia, and be careful to single out extremists, such as the Taliban.
    You absolutely MUST see this:

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9aw6Cnw0hY&w=640&h=360]

    August 12, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
    • Steve from AZ

      Thank you for showing that reality that people seem to easily forget.

      August 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  11. Grant

    There's been a major comment purge here...

    August 12, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  12. madmo

    Islam is a totalitarian religion!
    'The greatest threat to mankind and civilization is the spread of the totalitarian philosophy. Its best ally is not the devotion of its followers but the confusion of its enemies. To fight it, we must understand it.' – Ayn Rand

    So to understand it fully try faithfreedomDOTorg or jihadwatchDOTorg.

    August 12, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
    • Frogist

      It is one thing to want to understand a religion or philosophy. but it's a completely different thing to want to understand the people who follow any way of life. I suggest you might learn more by talking to an actual muslim person.

      August 12, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
  13. Ykcyc

    I can't say it is mine, though it did come through me. Who's to say what the source is, how, or why? My hand wrote it, but I can't claim the ownership – only an open mind. The problem with religious dogma that it does not allow an open mind. To think that we know something is to place a limit on ourselves. Truly, we don't know anything, we just think that we do. In the extreme case a different though justifies murder in order to proove being right and to protect from fear and threat of being wrong. People loose sight that all these thoughts and opinions mean absolutely nothing. They come for a moment and disapear in eternity. We are fighting an illusion.

    August 12, 2010 at 11:40 am |
  14. Woody

    If you don't believe in Evolution, maybe you should consider Devolution. The human race is obviously dumbing down. This is the 21st century and more and more people are buying into this nonsense. It's really getting scary out there. You're not allowed even a drink of water all day? Yeah, that's really smart. Especially in some of the climates these people live in. Can you say DEHYDRATED, loss of potassium? No wonder some of these people are wacky.

    August 12, 2010 at 10:35 am |
    • Gary

      Devoultion is happening more and more. medical advances,eye surgery,eye glasses,hearing aids,disease treatments,medicines for brain activiy ect. we are ruining the effects of NATURAL SELECTION by medical and technology advances. We are helping weak and destroying the enviroment for the strong and superior to flourish and reproduce.

      August 12, 2010 at 11:34 am |
    • Susan

      You mention the twenty first century, but fail to look at history. Islam has been around for more than 1400 years. The same fast has been undertaken since it's inception. Devolution has nothing to do with it. Imagine the number of people fasting in the deserts of Saudi arabia in the summer a thousand years ago before air conditioning and other modern conveiences. It couldn't have been easy, but you would be amazed what the body can endure when imbued with spiritual belief. Most religions have some form of fasting. None of them deserve ridicule for it. Perhaps you should try it yourself before criticizing others.

      August 12, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
    • sagebrush shorty

      You are correct! we now have a bunch of slack jawed, knuckle dragging, pants around the knees idiots who don't even know how to wear a baseball cap. These are our future leaders.

      August 12, 2010 at 7:12 pm |
    • Woody

      Susan writes "Perhaps you should try it (fasting) yourself before criticizing others." No thanks Susan. I believe I'll stick with common sense, logic and scientific knowledge. The rantings of a 7th century illiterate shepherd don't impress me in the least. I doubt if Mohammad was an expert in human physiology. To tell people not to drink water for extended periods of time, especially in very hot climates, is insanity. In the 21st Century, if Muslims want to let his ancient "rules" control every aspect of their lives from cradle to grave, even if they pose a potential hazard to their health, personally, I don't consider that a very intelligent thing to do. Tradition truly is the enemy of progress.

      August 12, 2010 at 10:06 pm |
  15. Reality

    Ykcyc,

    Great poem!! Is it yours? If not, then whose?

    August 12, 2010 at 10:05 am |
    • Ykcyc

      I guest there is a CNN fascist that did not like it as much as you did and decided that it would be best if no one else could see it. That is not being open minded, but selective of what reality should be, according to one’s opinion. Very closed minded.

      August 12, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
      • Reality

        The moderators may have pulled it because the poem had forbidden words in it. I did not see any of the typical words that get them into a bind but who knows. One very strange blog with even stranger moderators!!!!

        August 12, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  16. merv

    Ramadan is not a 24 hr, 30 day fast. It is only during sunrise to sunset. So they can eat breakfast and dinner and just have to skip lunch. I was stationed in Africa and the Middle East during Ramadan. They have huge dinner buffets every day during Ramadan (even the poorest countries). Most people eat heartily. Many actually gain weight. Please recognize that this is not a hard to follow fast. many people are excluded to include actively menstruating women, children, the sick and elderly.

    August 12, 2010 at 9:50 am |
    • M

      merv,
      let's not simplify things. it's not just about "skipping lunch". When sun up is at 4:35 and sun down is at 8:45, there's a much larger gap than what you imply. But luckily for us, we don't need your approval or validation. It is not an easy task, but I will also say that it is not horribly difficult either. It is just an adjustment, especially the way we are surrounded by food everyday. It's not a burden though, it's a choice. Thank you for belittling us, though. It speaks volumes.

      August 12, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
    • James

      Its actually a 16 hour gap, roughly. Besides not eating one can't drink anything either for 30 days. Plus, when the last prayer is at around 9:45pm and then you stay for extra prayer that last almost 2 hours (Taraweh) and then get home around midnight...and get up to do it again...and go to work for 8 hours...for 30 days...its not easy. There is nothing like the support you get from your fellow brothers and sisters!

      August 12, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
    • TammyB

      @ M...You need to learn to read, my friend. Merv was not belittling Ramadan, he was actually trying to explain it. I didn't get that it was belittling at all. Perhaps you are a little on the defensive but don't be. Not all of us would belittle your religion on this blog. Some are just interested, and some will ask questions. You need read the entire message and not take everything like we all hate Muslims or their holy days.

      August 12, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
    • Al

      Tammy, here's what Merv should have written if he was trying to explain:
      Ramadan is sunrise to sunset fast. No food between those two ends of the day. They can eat breakfast before sunrise and dinner after sunset. No water during this time either. I was stationed in Africa and the Middle East during Ramadan. They have huge dinner buffets every day during Ramadan (even the poorest countries), families who have food, invite the poor and the homeless to share the dinner with them. Most people eat heartily. Many actually gain weight due to abnormal eating schedules, human bodies tend to store food energy when stressed. Please recognize that this is not a hard to follow fast, except that the "no water" part that makes it hard in some hot, dessert countries of the middle east. Many people are exempt from the fast, such as actively menstruating women, children, the sick and elderly.

      August 13, 2010 at 2:43 am |
  17. Frogist

    I'm glad Stephen mentioned all those celebrity sports people who are Muslims. Its a nice reminder that Americans are Muslim too.

    August 12, 2010 at 9:21 am |
    • kba

      Who cares?

      August 13, 2010 at 12:19 am |
  18. Timothy

    NPR ran a story yesterday. Food consumption in Egypt increases 300% during Ramadan.

    August 12, 2010 at 8:59 am |
    • Grant

      I was in Egypt during Ramadan last year. My guide said the average person puts on 5-10 kilos during Ramadan because they eat so much at night. Still, not eating during the day must be tough, regardless of how much you eat at night.

      August 12, 2010 at 9:04 am |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      basically it depends on what kind of person you are! if you are deeply religious muslim, you suffer in Ramadan, lose weight. If you are a hedonistic pleasure seeking muslim, you gorge on food and put on weight. A Muslim is simply a person born in a Muslim household. How much he/she actually practices his/her religion day to day depends on themselves. From the outside, they all look the same, have the same bodies, the same names and the same label "Muslim".

      Practicing Muslims are a minority in the Muslim World, if you have ever been there, you would know that most people have pretty secular outlooks about life once they step outside their homes.

      August 12, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
    • kba

      Grant & Timothy, you are both so right! In Saudi they pork out (no pun intended) and gain weight during Ramadan.

      August 13, 2010 at 12:17 am |
    • Al

      It increases because food is served to the needy and underprivileged. Families share their meals with the poor and the homeless during this month. Food consumption goes up in all Muslim countries during this month.

      August 13, 2010 at 2:32 am |
    • SayWhaaa!!

      Thank you Mr. Al for thinking first before barking out BS like these people.

      August 18, 2010 at 7:45 pm |
  19. Reality

    What is Ramadan? One month of sleeping all day and partying and gorging all night.

    What is Easter? The myth of the bodily resurrection of a simple, preacher man celebrated with the gorging of hard boiled eggs, candy, and ham.

    August 12, 2010 at 7:53 am |
    • scylla

      I wont compare with Ramadan and Easter.. I will just try to explain Ramadan again. I thought, the article is not sufficent to understand for you. Ramadan is so spiritual and important month for all of muslims. And you can not say 'gorging all night' for this.
      Now, I am fasting. but i am not thirsty and hungery. God will give a patient to us. Muslims from the four corners of the earth eat at the same time.. it is gorgeous! – not gorging-
      And when you dont eat, you understand and remember the poor people in the world. You can think more about God..
      And i guess, you ve forgotten to read here.
      "Islamic year provides an opportunity to “reset” yourself, to call yourself back to the things that really matter, including remembering and caring for the poor."
      I respect to Easter. I never say something like you said against Ramadan to other holidays. Because, Islam teach me to be respectfull to other religions and people...

      August 12, 2010 at 10:51 am |
    • TammyB

      Sounds good to me! Sounds a little like college, except we didn't pray!

      August 12, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
    • Reality

      Apparently, the moderators do not know much about the tenets of Islam so one more time, the top five with commentary:

      o Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.
      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

      Mohammed "supposedly" spent thirty days fasting (Ramadan) in a hot cave (apparently waited on by all of his wives) before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      August 12, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
    • Ron

      I saw something that reminded me of you today Reality...It was a giant sign that said "Tool Sale"!

      August 12, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
    • Rick Barszcz

      I take it your not a Christian and have no respect for religion. Just a little friendly advise. Please try to get some "religion" i mean. Our days are getting shorter. Read the Bible especially the Boot of Matthew. I hope it helps.

      August 12, 2010 at 10:01 pm |
    • Grant

      A reading from the Boot of Matthew: Size 9, Made in India. Amen.

      August 13, 2010 at 8:31 am |
    • Navybat

      I th-ink that you are a mo-ron.

      August 13, 2010 at 9:46 am |
  20. Methusalem

    Persecutions, violent demonstrations and murderes against Christians commonly increase during Ramadan.  During this time of spiritual severity, however, many muslims have miraculous visions of Jesus and put their trust in Him by running away from the house of mohammed. This is why it is so urgent for Christians to be united in prayer throughout Ramadan. an entire month to focus on praying for those muslim individuals who sincerely search for the blessed spirit of the true God, Jesus Christ.

    August 12, 2010 at 7:05 am |
    • Grant

      Sorry, but as my faith has it, I believe in a God more powerful and awesome than yours. He told me the Christian God is actually much weaker than he is. Therefore you are wrong.

      August 12, 2010 at 8:33 am |
    • Luke

      This is basically the dumbest thing I have read on this site yet. Congratulations.

      August 12, 2010 at 10:54 am |
    • M

      Methusalem,
      Thank you, thank yuo very much for praying for us idiots. We need your prayers. We won't know what to do with ourselves without you. When will we wake up? Will we go to work? Will we have and raise our children according to the morals of the universe? No, no we won't unless you pray for us...

      August 12, 2010 at 11:57 am |
    • Dave

      Wanna make the world a much better place, then get rid of all religion. Superstition, beliving in some ghost power, fasting, flagulation is all a waste of time, energy and in most religions, money. My god is better than your god, if you don't believe in what I believe in then you are less then me and will burn in some imaginary hell with devils and demons....how anyone can believe this is beyond me. Yes, I was raised as a southern Baptist, born again, saved...I did it all until I became older, could think for myself and begin to question this hoax that no one yet can answer. Love our planet and our fellow man, treat them as an equal and we will all be better off. Ban religion, the bain of human existance!

      August 12, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
    • kba

      When I lived in Saudi Arabia I was accosted by the kids in our neighborhood. I was completely shocked and when the police chief spoke with me he told me I needed to file charges against them. I didn't want to do this because we had only arrived a few months before Ramadan and I didn't want to make waves. When I told him I didn't understand their behavior because, after all, this was the start of their Holy Month, he told me that the children ran amok during this time and that I needed to nip it in the bud or it would only get worse. This month is not about peace and love like Christmas is. It's about terrorizing anyone who is not muslim.

      August 13, 2010 at 12:04 am |
    • Ashraf

      What absolute nonsense....

      August 13, 2010 at 5:54 am |
    • Navybat

      You're an absolutely idiotic bigot. You have no idea what you're talking about, and the fact that you have shown this to be true on a NATIONAL forum proves what an ass you are. Go back to your shanty, you little sheep.

      August 13, 2010 at 9:48 am |
    • Grant

      Woah! We can say ass? Mudslinging will be taken to a new level...

      August 13, 2010 at 10:41 am |
    • rene

      I agree that we need to pray. Pray for protection for those that this religion harms and for them to see that they are destined for hell if they do not repent.

      August 13, 2010 at 11:03 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.