home
RSS
September 28th, 2010
12:01 AM ET

My Take: Why American public schools need religion courses

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

Who knows more about religion - the arch-atheist Christopher Hitchens or Islam basher Rev. Franklin Graham?  Most likely the unbeliever, according to a U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey released today by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

In this, the first major study of religious literacy among American adults, Americans as a whole flunked, answering correctly 16 of 32 questions about Christianity, the Bible and the world’s religions - for an embarrassing score of only 50 percent.

Atheists and agnostics, however, got 21 right, better than both Jews and Mormons, who rounded out the top three groups of scorers. Although this result (67 percent right, or a D by my calculations) was nothing to write home about, it was 5 correct questions above the national average.

If nonbelievers were the thoroughbreds in this race for religious knowledge, Roman Catholics, with fewer than 15 right answers on average, were the mules. In results that will surely prove to be a thorn in the side of Catholic educators, fewer than half (42 percent) of the Catholics surveyed were able to name Genesis as the first book in the Bible. Ouch!

Still, the big story here will likely be that those who think religion is a con know more about it than those who think it is God's gift to humanity.

As the author of the 2007 book "Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know–and Doesn't" and as an adviser to this Pew study, I wasn’t surprised by these results. I do hope, however, that this dismal data will serve as a spur to action.

In "Religious Literacy," I described our collective religious ignorance as a civic problem of the first order. How to hold politicians who pin their public policies to the Bible without knowing something about that text?  And how to make sense of religious conflict in the Middle East without knowing something about Judaism, Christianity and Islam?

Believers and nonbelievers obviously disagree on the virtues and vices of religion. But all careful observers of the world should be able to agree on this: From time immemorial, and for better or for worse, human beings have been motivated to act politically, economically and militarily by their gods, scriptures and priests. Without making sense of those motivations, we cannot make sense of the world.

It is time to address our national epidemic of religious illiteracy. I have called in the past for mandatory public school courses on the Bible and the world's religions to remedy this problem. The time for such courses is now.

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

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Bible • Catholic Church • Christianity • Culture & Science • Education • Islam • Judaism • Middle East • Opinion

soundoff (546 Responses)
  1. Rwhatever

    Listen-

    I'm so tired of religion, really. Religion just needs to disappear as a topic of any type of discussion. Why the hell is it so important to have religion studied? Who the hell cares if anyone can answer any question about religion. It's not important. People not being able to read or write or answer MATH questions is a problem. Not if someone knows about the damn bible or not. If someone wants to study religion, then fine...they can study it on their own time. In private.

    October 12, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  2. table

    Wisdom is a wonderful gift from the creator but most you lack the knowledge to understand simple wisdom or knowledge about this subject.

    October 11, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  3. Iqbal khan

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIPhUY8kIBo&w=640&h=360]

    October 9, 2010 at 9:57 pm |
  4. Jennifer

    Religious literacy is critical in education as long as equal time is spent studying atheism. Education is critical to combat religious extremist, let the dialog begin.

    October 8, 2010 at 11:16 pm |
    • table

      Wisdom is a wonderful gift from the creator but you the knowledge to understand simple wisdom or knowledge about this subject.

      October 11, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  5. Iqbal khan

    Hello check this please
    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poiUCIHpt1k&w=640&h=360]

    October 8, 2010 at 9:08 pm |
  6. LeslieJ1

    I completely agree with the article. I am a believer, but that doesn't keep me from being close minded. I am a huge advocate for the education in all religions. My main reason being religion, or lack there of, has fueled the vass majorities of wars and advancements throughout this whole world's history. In my opinion, we study the whole world with science, and learn math from European mathematicians, so why can't we look at every religious scholar and take something from them as well. Not only would that help us understand where we are today, but it gives us a better knowledge and more tolerant of more people. Knowledge is the key, and not selective knowledge. Just as the history books are important to education, so should religious books because they are history as well.

    October 6, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
  7. recreative

    This is my own take, an article submitted to Sightings at the Martin Marty Center of the University of Chicago. Stephen, you and I agree on so many points. Thank you for being out there in the fray, taking a stand for religious education.

    http://ubuntuspirit.wordpress.com

    October 4, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
  8. Iqbal khan

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEpDNqfjmu4&w=640&h=360]

    October 2, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
    • deepak

      Sura Imran asks Muslims not to befriend Christians & Jews because only Allah knows what is intheir hearts...Islam is the most divisive & hate inducing religion.

      October 19, 2010 at 11:25 pm |
  9. Muneef

    Wise words said:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/19/opinion/19kristof.html?_r=2&scp=1&sq=message%20to%20muslims:%20i%92m%20sorry&st=cse

    October 1, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  10. Iqbal khan

    The table of contents of the Book" What Did Jesus Really Say"
    if intrested in any, I can paste it here.

    Table of Contents
    Preface .......................................................................................................................................................... 8
    Goal of this book........................................................................................................................................ 14
    Follow this chart from Christianity to Islam............................................................................................ 21
    Table of Definitions and Abbreviations......................................................................... 23
    Chapter 1 Christian-Muslim Dialogue...........................................................24
    1.1 Christian Perspective ....................................................................................................... 28
    1.2 Muslim Perspective .......................................................................................................... 33
    1.2.1 'Blind faith' or 'Prove all things'? ...................................................................................................... 37
    1.2.2 The 'Trinity', or 1+1+1=1 ................................................................................................................. 38
    1.2.2.1 From the Bible's standpoint ............................................................................................................ 38
    1.2.2.2 From the Qur'an's standpoint .......................................................................................................... 44
    1.2.2.3 From a logical standpoint ............................................................................................................... 45
    1.2.3 The 'Son of God'.............................................................................................................................. 48
    1.2.4 'Worship Me! '................................................................................................................................. 61
    1.2.5 Historical origin of the 'Trinity' myth ............................................................................................... 64
    1.2.6 The systematic destruction of the law of Jesus ................................................................................. 73
    1.2.7 Christianity’s True Founder, Paul, Admits Fabrication .................................................................... 76
    1.2.8 What is a 'Trinity'?........................................................................................................................... 89
    1.2.9 Conclusion....................................................................................................................................... 91
    Chapter 2 Contradictions in the Bible...........................................................93
    2.1 Christian scholars recognize contradictions................................................................. 93
    2.2 A small sampling of these contradictions.................................................................... 102
    2.3 Did mankind tamper with the Old Testament? ......................................................... 122
    2.4 When is a book an ‘inspired’ book? ............................................................................ 130
    Chapter 3 Ancient Pagan parallels to Christianity.................................................135
    Chapter 4 Jesus' second coming and the myth of 'Grace' .....................................144
    Chapter 5 Various Miscellanea .....................................................................147
    5.1 A Biblical Picture of God.............................................................................................. 147
    5.2 My grandfather did it (or: Is King David Going to Hell?)........................................ 150
    5.3 Poison yourself or be damned ...................................................................................... 151
    5.4 Who's will is stronger? ................................................................................................. 151
    5.5 Who bears the sin? ........................................................................................................ 152
    5.6 Like Jesus prayed.......................................................................................................... 156
    5.7 Like Jesus' greeting....................................................................................................... 156
    5.8 Black slaves and Christian misinterpretation of the Bible........................................ 157
    5.9 Melchizedek, A god greater than Jesus?..................................................................... 158
    5.10 The Ultimate Test of Jesus ........................................................................................... 161
    7 What Did Jesus Really Say?
    5.11 Who Was ‘Immanuel’?................................................................................................. 163
    5.12 Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani........................................................................................... 165
    5.13 Hiding the Miracles....................................................................................................... 166
    5.14 Was ‘Christ’ a ‘Christian’?.......................................................................................... 167
    Chapter 6 Mohammad in the Bible ...............................................................169
    Error! Not a valid heading level in TOC entry on page 171
    6.2 Grave warnings for all who do not follow him............................................................ 174
    6.3 Three distinct prophesies............................................................................................... 174
    6.4 Foretells the story of the chapter of 'Al-Alak'............................................................. 175
    6.5 The emigration................................................................................................................ 179
    6.6 Truthfulness of Mohammad (pbuh) ............................................................................. 179
    6.7 Isaiah's vision.................................................................................................................. 180
    6.8 Legitimacy of Hagar and Ishmael ................................................................................ 183
    6.9 Reference to Moses, Jesus, & Muhammad in that order ........................................... 191
    6.10 Jesus predicts the coming of Muhammad.................................................................... 193
    6.11 God did not kill Muhammad for speaking in His name............................................. 197
    6.12 Glorifies Jesus (pbuh) .................................................................................................... 198
    6.13 A Paraclete like Jesus..................................................................................................... 198
    Chapter 7 Jesus in the Qur'an ........................................................................210
    Chapter 8 What is Islam...........................................................................................221
    Chapter 9 Islamic faith: Some details......................................................................233
    Chapter 10 Scientific Statements in the Holy Qur'an................................252
    Chapter 11 ‘We’ an Arabic plural of respect .............................................................264
    Chapter 12 Women in Christianity and Islam..........................................................266
    Chapter 13 1992:The Dead Sea Scrolls confirm the Qur’an...................................274
    Chapter 14 Additional references..............................................................................288
    Self-Test Section....................................................................................................................................... 290

    What did Jesus really say?

    8 What did Jesus really say?

    Preface
    Verily! the likeness of Jesus with Allah/God is as the likeness of Adam.
    He created him of dust, then He said unto him: Be! and he was. (This is)
    the truth from your Lord (O Muhammad), so be not you of those who
    waver. And whosoever disputes with you concerning him, after the knowledge which
    has come unto you, say (unto him): Come! We will summon our sons and your sons,
    and our women and your women, and ourselves and yourselves, then we will pray
    humbly (to our Lord) and (solemnly) invoke the curse of Allah upon those who lie.
    Verily! This is the true narrative. There is no god save Allah, and verily! Allah is the
    Mighty, the Wise. And if they turn away, then Verily! Allah is Aware of the corrupters.
    Say: O People of the Scripture. Come to a word that is just between us and you: that we
    shall worship none but Allah, and that we shall ascribe no partners unto Him, and that
    we shall not take each other for lords beside Allah. And if they turn away, then say:
    Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered (unto Him)(literally: “we are
    Muslims”).” The Qur’an, A’al-Umran(3)59-64.
    “I have read in Moslem writings such deep and tender expressions of respect and
    reverence for Jesus that for the time I almost forgot, I was not reading the words of a
    Christian writer. How different, it is sad to say, has been the way in which Christians
    have spoken and written of Muhammad. Let us put it down to it’s true cause, ignorance”
    Reverend R. Maxwell King

    October 1, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  11. A Christian

    @Iqbal khan
    You do not believe Jesus is the son of God?
    Sorry. That is not the God of Abraham you worship.

    October 1, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
    • Tell_Me

      The god of Abraham was most likely the product of the hallucinations of a primitive man of the Middle East.

      Today, when we hear about people who are commanded by "God" to kill their children, we consider them to be mentally ill.

      October 1, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
    • Iqbal khan

      One and only One God Al-Mighty to all of his creations and Jesus was his creation also,please check..

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ej-uUxB0nM8&w=640&h=360]

      October 1, 2010 at 10:12 pm |
  12. Iqbal khan

    Peace to all Sura Ibraheem (Abraham) http://www.quranexplorer.com

    Ibrahim
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

    Alif-Lâm-Râ. [These letters are one of the miracles of the Qur'ân, and none but Allâh (Alone) knows their meanings]. (This is) a Book which We have revealed unto you (O Muhammad SAW) in order that you might lead mankind out of darkness (of disbelief and polytheism) into light (of belief in the Oneness of Allâh and Islâmic Monotheism) by their Lord's Leave to the Path of the All-Mighty, the Owner of all Praise. (1) Allâh to Whom belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth! And woe unto the disbelievers from a severe torment. (2) Those who prefer the life of this world to of the Hereafter, and hinder (men) from the Path of Allâh (i.e.Islâm) and seek crookedness therein – they are far astray. (3) And We sent not a Messenger except with the language of his people, in order that he might make (the Message) clear for them. Then Allâh misleads whom He wills and guides whom He wills. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. (4) And indeed We sent Mûsa (Moses) with Our Ayât (signs, proofs, and evidences) (saying): "Bring out your people from darkness into light, and remind them of the annals of Allâh. Truly, therein are Ayat (evidences, proofs and signs) for every patient, thankful (person)." (5) And (remember) when Mûsa (Moses) said to his people: "Call to mind Allâh's Favour to you, when He delivered you from Fir'aun's (Pharaoh) people who were afflicting you with horrible torment, and were slaughtering your sons and letting your women alive, and in it was a tremendous trial from your Lord." (6) And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: "If you give thanks (by accepting Faith and worshipping none but Allâh), I will give you more (of My Blessings), but if you are thankless (i.e. disbelievers), verily! My Punishment is indeed severe." (7) And Mûsa (Moses) said: "If you disbelieve, you and all on earth together, then verily! Allâh is Rich (Free of all needs), Owner of all Praise." (8) Has not the news reached you, of those before you, the people of Nûh (Noah), and 'Ad, and Thamud? And those after them? None knows them but Allâh. To them came their Messengers with clear proofs, but they put their hands in their mouths (biting them from anger) and said: "Verily, we disbelieve in that with which you have been sent, and we are really in grave doubt as to that to which you invite us (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism)." (9) Their Messengers said: "What! Can there be a doubt about Allâh, the Creator of the heavens and the earth? He calls you (to Monotheism and to be obedient to Allâh) that He may forgive you of your sins and give you respite for a term appointed." They said: "You are no more than human beings like us! You wish to turn us away from what our fathers used to worship. Then bring us a clear authority (i.e. a clear proof of what you say)." (10) Their Messengers said to them: "We are no more than human beings like you, but Allâh bestows His Grace to whom He wills of His slaves. It is not ours to bring you an authority (proof) except by the Permission of Allâh. And in Allâh (Alone) let the believers put their trust. (11) "And why should we not put our trust in Allâh while He indeed has guided us our ways? And we shall certainly bear with patience all the hurt you may cause us, and in Allâh (Alone) let those who trust, put their trust." (12) And those who disbelieved, said to their Messengers: "Surely, we shall drive you out of our land, or you shall return to our religion." So their Lord revealed to them: "Truly, We shall destroy the Zâlimûn (polytheists, disbelievers and wrong-doers.). (13) "And indeed, We shall make you dwell in the land after them. This is for him who fears standing before Me (on the Day of Resurrection or fears My Punishment) and also fears My threat." (14) And they (the Messengers) sought victory and help [from their Lord (Allâh)], and every obstinate, arrogant dictator (who refuses to believe in the Oneness of Allâh) was brought to a complete loss and destruction. (15) In front of him (every obstinate, arrogant dictator) is Hell, and he will be made to drink boiling, festering water. (16) He will sip it unwillingly, and he will find a great difficulty to swallow it down his throat[], and death will come to him from every side, yet he will not die and in front of him, will be a great torment. (17) The parable of those who disbelieve in their Lord is that their works are as ashes, on which the wind blows furiously on a stormy day, they shall not be able to get aught of what they have earned. That is the straying, far away (from the Right Path). (18) Do you not see that Allâh has created the heavens and the earth with truth? If He will, He can remove you and bring (in your place) a new creation! (19) And for Allâh that is not hard or difficult. (20) And they all shall appear before Allâh (on the Day of Resurrection) then the weak will say to those who were arrogant (chiefs): "Verily, we were following you; can you avail us anything against Allâh's Torment?" They will say: "Had Allâh guided us, we would have guided you. It makes no difference to us (now) whether we rage, or bear (these torments) with patience, there is no place of refuge for us." (21) And Shaitân (Satan) will say when the matter has been decided: "Verily, Allâh promised you a promise of truth. And I too promised you, but I betrayed you. I had no authority over you except that I called you, so you responded to me. So blame me not, but blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can you help me. I deny your former act in associating me (Satan) as a partner with Allâh (by obeying me in the life of the world). Verily, there is a painful torment for the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers)." (22) And those who believed (in the Oneness of Allâh and His Messengers and whatever they brought) and did righteous deeds, will be made to enter Gardens under which rivers flow, – to dwell therein forever (i.e.in Paradise), with the permission of their Lord. Their greeting therein will be: Salâm (peace!)[] (23) See you not how Allâh sets forth a parable? – A goodly word as a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches (reach) to the sky (i.e. very high). (24) Giving its fruit at all times, by the Leave of its Lord and Allâh sets forth parables for mankind in order that they may remember. (25) And the parable of an evil word is that of an evil tree uprooted from the surface of earth having no stability. (26) Allâh will keep firm those who believe, with the word that stands firm in this world (i.e. they will keep on worshipping Allâh Alone and none else), and in the Hereafter.[] And Allâh will cause to go astray those who are Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.), and Allâh does what He wills.[] (27) Have you not seen those who have changed the Blessings of Allâh into disbelief (by denying Prophet Muhammad SAW and his Message of Islâm), and caused their people to dwell in the house of destruction? (28) Hell, in which they will burn, – and what an evil place to settle in! (29) And they set up rivals to Allâh, to mislead (men) from His Path! Say: "Enjoy (your brief life)! But certainly, your destination is the (Hell) Fire!" (30) Say (O Muhammad SAW) to 'Ibâdî (My slaves) who have believed, that they should perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât), and spend in charity out of the sustenance We have given them, secretly and openly, before the coming of a Day on which there will be neither mutual bargaining nor befriending. (31) Allâh is He Who has created the heavens and the earth and sends down water (rain) from the sky, and thereby brought forth fruits as provision for you; and He has made the ships to be of service to you, that they may sail through the sea by His Command; and He has made rivers (also) to be of service to you. (32) And He has made the sun and the moon, both constantly pursuing their courses, to be of service to you; and He has made the night and the day, to be of service to you. (33) And He gave you of all that you asked for, and if you count the Blessings of Allâh, never will you be able to count them. Verily! man is indeed an extreme wrong-doer, – a disbeliever (an extreme ingrate, denies Allâh's Blessings by disbelief, and by worshipping others besides Allâh, and by disobeying Allâh and His Prophet Muhammad SAW). (34) And (remember) when Ibrâhim (Abraham) said: "O my Lord! Make this city (Makkah) one of peace and security, and keep me and my sons away from worshipping idols. (35) "O my Lord! They have indeed led astray many among mankind. But whoso follows me, he verily is of me. And whoso disobeys me, – still You are indeed Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (36) "O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in an uncultivable valley by Your Sacred House (the Ka'bah at Makkah); in order, O our Lord, that they may perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât), so fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and (O Allâh) provide them with fruits so that they may give thanks.[] (37) "O our Lord! Certainly, You know what we conceal and what we reveal. Nothing on the earth or in the heaven is hidden from Allâh (38) "All the praises and thanks are to Allâh, Who has given me in old age Ismâ'il (Ishmael) and Ishâq (Isaac). Verily! My Lord is indeed the All-Hearer of invocations. (39) "O my Lord! Make me one who performs As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât), and (also) from my offspring, our Lord! And accept my invocation. (40) "Our Lord! Forgive me and my parents, and (all) the believers on the Day when the reckoning will be established." (41) Consider not that Allâh is unaware of that which the Zâlimûn (polytheists, wrong-doers) do, but He gives them respite up to a Day when the eyes will stare in horror. (42) (They will be) hastening forward with necks outstretched, their heads raised up (towards the sky), their gaze returning not towards them and their hearts empty (from thinking because of extreme fear). (43) And warn (O Muhammad SAW) mankind of the Day when the torment will come unto them; then the wrong-doers will say: "Our Lord! Respite us for a little while, we will answer Your Call and follow the Messengers!" (It will be said): "Had you not sworn aforetime that you would not leave (the world for the Hereafter). (44) "And you dwelt in the dwellings of men who wronged themselves, and it was clear to you how We had dealt with them. And We put forth (many) parables for you." (45) Indeed, they planned their plot, and their plot was with Allâh, though their plot was not such as to remove the mountains (real mountains or the Islâmic law) from their places (as it is of no importance) (Tafsir Ibn Kathir). (46) So think not that Allâh will fail to keep His Promise to His Messengers. Certainly, Allâh is All-Mighty, – All-Able of Retribution. (47) On the Day when the earth will be changed to another earth and so will be the heavens, and they (all creatures) will appear before Allâh, the One, the Irresistible. (48) And you will see the Mujrimûn (criminals, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh — Islâmic Monotheism, polytheists) that Day Muqarranûn (bound together) in fetters. (49) Their garments will be of pitch, and fire will cover their faces. (50) That Allâh may requite each person according to what he has earned. Truly, Allâh is Swift at reckoning. (51) This (Qur'ân) is a Message for mankind (and a clear proof against them), in order that they may be warned thereby, and that they may know that He is the only One Ilâh (God – Allâh) – (none has the right to be worshipped but Allâh),— and that men of understanding may take heed. (52)

    October 1, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  13. @DAVID JOHNSON

    My response (from A Christian) posted up above the troll poster,lol)

    October 1, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
  14. A Christian

    David Johnson
    @David Johnson....I will address under your responses each
    @A Christian

    I defined faith for you, "as accepting something for which there is no proof."

    I have fairies living in my left shoe.

    Do you accept that, on faith? Are you willing to believe there really are fairies in my shoe, without seeing them, or having some evidence for them? I bet, you would want some proof.

    What if I then said to you. No, just have faith. Suspend your critical thinking. Take a leap of faith!

    I bet you would say, "No, I don't think fairies exist. I can't just believe in them."

    I would be willing to accept that Fairies, although not proven, make exist! Yes, I could take a leap of faith, what would it hurt?

    Do you believe in Allah? What about genesh? What about Zeus? What about Isis?

    Can't you just use your faith to embrace these gods?

    Sure I can, I can believe they may exist. I will NOT believe they are MY god as My God is Jesus.

    If not, why is your god more real than these? They have holy texts that say their gods are real. They have "that god feeling" in their hearts about their gods.

    Because what thier texts teach, is different about the God that they believe in. Mine said "Have no other Gods before me" My God also died on the cross for me, so I will have eternal life. Yes, it is by Faith I will believe it. If I die, and I was wrong about my faith in this God, then I am no worse off then you or anyone else..there will just be nothing. But, My life was lived in a peaceful way.

    Hmmm.....

    To say we put ourselves in hell is silly.
    No, it really is not.. Not if your told there is a penalty for living in sin, when you have the grace extended to escape that place, and YOU refuse.

    If I tell you, "I am going to hit you on the head, with a ruler, if you break any of my rules and you do break a rule and I whack your head, would you say you whacked your own head? Of course not.

    I would say because I failed to obey your rule, I brought the Whack of your ruler down upon my own head.

    I could have forgiven you and spared the ruler and spoiled the Christian.

    Yes, and thats what God did, when he humbled himself to come in the form of a man, and died in my place. He spared the rod, and gave me eternal life with him..should I choose to accept it by his grace.

    Make no mistake. God is sending people to hell, where they will burn forever. Can you think of anyone who deserves to burn forever? A trillion, trillion years is like starting day one.

    No, God wants to keep people OUT of HELL! Yes, I think all of us deserve Hell, we are rotten people at heart, there is no good in us, save that which comes thru God.

    Consider, god could just blast us out of existence. We would be no more. Instead he tortures...for an eternity. That is an evil god. Your puppy pees on the floor. Do you stick him over the burner on the stove? Is a human not worth more than a puppy?

    Actually, there are some that believe that you will not suffer eternity in hell, but be just done away with. Whatever, it is, we don't even have to go there. Its OUR choice.
    No, God is not evil, not at all. That is why he loves you, DavidJohnson, and wants you to be in Heaven someday with him. Just like the thief on the cross, who lived a life of sin. All he did was ask God to remember him, and God did. Said he would be with him in Paradise. Does that sound like an evil God?

    Why do you call your god good?
    I call my God Wonderful, Almighty, I call my God Love, Prince of Peace. My Savior.

    If I told you I had those fairies in my shoe, it would be my responsibility to give you proof that I really do have the fairies. Why is it my responsibility? Because I am making the claim.
    No, I disagree. If you are sure of your shoe fairies, who am I to tell you you have to prove it to me?
    You make the claim, I simply choose to take your word for it or not. I do not need proof.

    You would be perfectly in your rights to demand I give you proof of the fairies, before you believed.

    . But, if you said this is how to know the fairies exist, but you have to lay aside your critical thinking, and exercise faith, then you will know for sure,,and I refuse, I cannot accuse you of failing to provide proof to me. It is I who REFUSED your way to prove these fairies.

    If I could not produce any proof, then it would be perfectly fine for you to ignore my claim. In fact, it would be expected.

    Again, if you refuse to do what I tell you so you have the proof you want, that is your reasoning to accuse me of ignoring your claim...when in reality, you did not do what was needed.

    You say, "I don't have to prove my god to you."

    If I tell you that the way to prove the fairies is to do a thing, that I cannot do it for you, and you refuse, then I don't have to prove it, cause its somethig you MUST do
    MOre like I cannot prove it to you, but there is proof if you really want it

    Well, if you want me to believe, you do.
    Then do what I told you.

    If you have no proof, it is okay for me to ignore your claim, that there is a god.
    I rpovided a way, yes, you can ignore it and not do it, yes, then you will believe there is no God without even ever having tried to find out for yourself.

    Proving your god is real, is Job #1. If He doesn't exist, then I don't think He said a lot about anything.
    God is within each man David.

    You sound like a good woman. Try thinking. Cheers!

    You sound like a good man, Try Faith! Cheers to you too!

    October 1, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
    • Iqbal khan

      What do you think about reciting this every morning...
      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUZxx0czuCA&w=640&h=360]

      October 4, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
  15. Iqbal khan

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNZ1wLq65Og&w=640&h=360]

    September 30, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  16. Muneef

    If has a Quran in English read the sura 3:1 to 12 and maybe you will understand.

    September 30, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
    • Muneef

      Sorry mistaken should have said, If has a Quran in English read the sura 6:1 to 12 and maybe you will understand.

      September 30, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
    • Muneef

      Follow this link http://quran.com/6

      September 30, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
    • David Johnson

      This does not explain who created your god.?

      [6:1] Praise be to GOD, who created the heavens and the earth, and made the darkness and the light. Yet, those who disbelieve in their Lord continue to deviate.

      [6:2] He is the One who created you from mud, then predetermined your life span, a life span that is known only to Him. Yet, you continue to doubt.

      [6:3] He is the one GOD in the heavens and the earth. He knows your secrets and your declarations, and He knows everything you earn.

      [6:4] No matter what kind of proof comes to them from their Lord, they turn away from it, in aversion.

      [6:5] Since they rejected the truth when it came to them, they have incurred the consequences of their heedlessness.

      [6:6] Have they not seen how many generations before them we have annihilated? We established them on earth more than we did for you, and we showered them with blessings, generously, and we provided them with flowing streams. We then annihilated them because of their sins, and we subst ituted another generation in their place.

      [6:7] Even if we sent down to them a physical book, written on paper, and they touched it with their hands, those who disbelieved would have said, "This is no more than clever magic."

      [6:8] They also said, "If only an angel could come down with him!" Had we sent an angel, the whole matter would have been terminated, and they would no longer be respited.

      [6:9] Had we sent an angel, we would have sent him in the form of a man, and we would have kept them just as confused as they are confused now.

      [6:10] Messengers before you have been ridiculed. It is those who mocked them who suffered the consequences of their ridiculing.

      [6:11] Say, "Roam the earth and note the consequences for the rejectors."

      [6:12] Say, "To whom belongs everything in the heavens and the earth?" Say, "To GOD." He has decreed that mercy is His attribute. He will surely summon you all on the Day of Resurrection, which is inevitable. The ones who lose their souls are those who disbelieve.

      September 30, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
    • Muneef

      @DJ. Well try to find that in sura 112 and you want to know how he looks like check sura 24:35 hope that will suffice ...

      October 1, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
  17. A Christian

    @ David Johnson

    Ok what part do you fail to understand?
    You said, again:

    So the bottom line is, if I don't have faith, if I don't suspend my critical thinking, you can't prove your god is real? Sounds like you can't prove your god is real. I am a freethink

    First off, you do have Faith,you just refuse to use it.
    Suspending your "critical thinking" is a choice you , you can keep it and still exercise faith..

    Again, lol, you can't get this strait... I DON"T NEED to PROVE my God to you , I KNOW he is real. I personally don't care if you choose to endanger your soul

    How do I know my God is right? He is the only one that died for my sins, and arose again on the 3rd day, thats how.

    You said:The Old Testament god was a cold blooded murderer. Is he not the same god of the New Testament?

    No he was not a cold blooded murderer. Even if he was, he made everything, does he not have the right to destroy it? WHO ARE YOU DAVID JOHNSON, to question your maker?
    Yes, he is the same God, but there is a NEW Covenant (I think you don't understand)

    The first verse you quoyed, has to do with putting God first, even before family.

    The rest, are all about what will happen to people like you who refuse the love of God.

    How can you worship a god who would torture humans for all eternity?

    God is not doing it, you are doing it to yourself! You turn your back on him, even though he tells you what will hapen, you don't care

    Your god is an evil god. Cheers!

    No, my God is a good God, YOU are evil, and so is most of mankind

    Your rebuttal is mute, and without any merit whatsoever. You base this all on some evolutionay theory. How Pathetic

    September 30, 2010 at 12:52 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @A Christian

      I defined faith for you, "as accepting something for which there is no proof."

      I have fairies living in my left shoe.

      Do you accept that, on faith? Are you willing to believe there really are fairies in my shoe, without seeing them, or having some evidence for them? I bet, you would want some proof.

      What if I then said to you. No, just have faith. Suspend your critical thinking. Take a leap of faith!

      I bet you would say, "No, I don't think fairies exist. I can't just believe in them."

      Do you believe in Allah? What about genesh? What about Zeus? What about Isis?

      Can't you just use your faith to embrace these gods?

      If not, why is your god more real than these? They have holy texts that say their gods are real. They have "that god feeling" in their hearts about their gods.

      Hmmm.....

      To say we put ourselves in hell is silly.

      If I tell you, "I am going to hit you on the head, with a ruler, if you break any of my rules and you do break a rule and I whack your head, would you say you whacked your own head? Of course not.

      I could have forgiven you and spared the ruler and spoiled the Christian.

      Make no mistake. God is sending people to hell, where they will burn forever. Can you think of anyone who deserves to burn forever? A trillion, trillion years is like starting day one.

      Consider, god could just blast us out of existence. We would be no more. Instead he tortures...for an eternity. That is an evil god. Your puppy pees on the floor. Do you stick him over the burner on the stove? Is a human not worth more than a puppy?

      Why do you call your god good?

      If I told you I had those fairies in my shoe, it would be my responsibility to give you proof that I really do have the fairies. Why is it my responsibility? Because I am making the claim.

      You would be perfectly in your rights to demand I give you proof of the fairies, before you believed.

      If I could not produce any proof, then it would be perfectly fine for you to ignore my claim. In fact, it would be expected.

      You say, "I don't have to prove my god to you."

      Well, if you want me to believe, you do. If you have no proof, it is okay for me to ignore your claim, that there is a god. Proving your god is real, is Job #1. If He doesn't exist, then I don't think He said a lot about anything.

      You sound like a good woman. Try thinking. Cheers!

      September 30, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
  18. Muneef
    September 30, 2010 at 2:10 am |
  19. Muneef

    @Real_Deal. Wish I had an English translation of Quran Sura 112. Explains it all in three lines or less.. Glad to help

    September 30, 2010 at 2:02 am |
    • Iqbal khan

      Dear Muneef, for Surah Ikhlas 112 posting from: http://www.Quranexplorer.com

      Al-Ikhlas
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

      Say: He is Allah the One and Only; (1) Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; (2) He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; (3) And there is none like unto Him. (4)

      October 1, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
    • Tell_Me

      Can't you see that Mohammad just made this stuff up... drawing from previous god myths, going well back in history, and adding a few things from his imagination? There was no "angel" and no "revelations".

      October 1, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  20. Muneef

    To explain further why logic free. Have you ever seen a creation with out a creator? Have you ever seen a car or a plane or spaceship made by chance? All that precise movement of plants,sun and moon in space became by chance? No it is like Rolex watch had a creator then this universal watch has a creator! And that is called logic which was the base belief of Prophet Abraham that there is some creator above all creations....

    September 30, 2010 at 1:38 am |
    • Real_Deal

      Muneef,

      If that were true, then who created the creator?

      September 30, 2010 at 1:50 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Advertisement
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.