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Islamic community center developer seeks federal funding
November 22nd, 2010
02:40 PM ET

Islamic community center developer seeks federal funding

Editor's Note: By CNN Senior Correspondent Allan Chernoff in New York.

The developer behind the controversial Islamic community center and mosque planned for Lower Manhattan has requested federal funding through the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to support the project known as Park51.

The funding would come from money the Department of Housing and Urban Development allocated to help rebuild the neighborhood after the 9/11 attacks.  "Park51 has applied for a Lower Manhattan Development Corporation grant," said Sharif El-Gamal, CEO of SOHO Properties, the developer behind the Islamic center.

In a statement, El-Gamal said the money would "in part fund social service programs such as domestic violence programs, Arabic and other foreign language classes, programs and services for homeless veterans, two multi-cultural art exhibits and immigration services."

The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation received more than 265 applications seeking more than $175 million for community and cultural programs, though the LMDC has only $17 million of federal funding to allocate.

"We are now turning to the challenging but important task of sorting through the applications to identify those that address long-standing community and cultural needs," said Avi Schick, chairman of LMDC.

The grants will range from $100,000 to $1 million, according to Julie Menin, chair of Community Board 1 and a member of the LMDC board. Among the criteria used to judge applications, Menin said, are financial viability, job creation, revitalizing the community and a track record of service in Lower Manhattan.

"We have funded museums, public schools, programs to help small businesses hurt after 9/11," said Menin. An online report said Park51 had requested $5 million, but neither the developer nor LMDC board members would confirm that amount.

The LMDC plans to decide how to allocate the $17 million "towards the end of the first quarter of next year," said Menin.

Park51 has yet to raise significant funds for the community center located two blocks north of Ground Zero, a project that could cost $100-million.

"Park51 has not launched a formal fundraising program and is currently in the process of expanding its Board of Directors to plan, manage and oversee such efforts," said El-Gamal, adding that the project has not yet applied for federal tax-exempt status, but plans to do so "in the coming weeks."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • 9/11 • Houses of worship • Islam • Mosque • Muslim • New York • United States

soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. PAGANGRL69

    To Build a Mosque at/or even near 9/11 & to have the nerve to even take in reguards the use of taxpayer's money is the most "Immoral and Insensitive" disgusting objective someone/and or group could even consider...Ya- I know...I'am currently reminded by the media it's all for "Peace" what a "Bigrated Lying Piece of Crap"...You want America -The American People to Believe You- then show some "Class- Responsibility-& Respect" to "Our Great Nation" and DON'T build the Mosque at/or near 9/11 at "ALL" let alone with "OUR TAXPAYER'S MONEY"!!!...If you cannot understand how we feel and why...Maybe- The best thing for many of you to do is to truly take in consideration to "Just Leave Our Country"...Yes...- that would be America!!!...Go back to Your "OWN" Country where You came...They already have Mosques' built and Sheria Law implemented...Stop!!!-Just stop trying to implicate all your Beliefs-Religion-& Customs upon Our Nation...(THIS IS AMERICA)...REMEMBER THIS- DON'T FORGET IT– "AMERICA"!!!...AMERICA IS NOT- some Desert- Blow- Yourself -Up- War Torn- Violence Everywhere Country/ and or Countries(Middle East-etc.)...NO!!!- WE (AMERICAN'S) ARE NOT LIKE THIS IN OUR COUNTRY...WE DO NOT TERRORIZE OTHERS OR OUR COUNTRY OR OTHER COUNTRIES EITHER...WHY?...Cause- American's "Truly" Respect and Love Our Nation...This is why...What does it truly mean then to be an American in America?...I will tell You...It Is The Land of the "Free"...The Home of the "Brave"..."Freedom" of "Liberties & Justice" "For All"...THE "AMERICAN" WAY!!!..."Attainable" "FOR" and "GIVEN to ALL" "Who RESPECT"- "Our Great & Beautiful Nation"!!!-This is NOT JUST A GIVEN to the One's of the Many People's meaning "ANYONE" that wish to "Destroy/and or Harm Us &/or America"...If One Does Not stand UP with/and for their (Country) "America" & "Us" (The People of America) as a Whole Nation...-Then one can only come to the conclusion to assume...One is of being against their Country (America) & Us (The People of America)!!!...Very easy theory- common sense...

    November 23, 2010 at 5:24 am |
  2. CNN "awaiting moderation" filter tips for Monday, Nov. 22, 2010

    bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN "awaiting moderation" filter:

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    wt-f.....also!!!!!!!

    There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.
    -----
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    ---
    The CNN / WordPress filter also filters your EMAIL address and NAME as well – so you might want to check those.

    I have found the best way to re-submit is to hit the back button, look for and fix the problem, delete your cookies, and then hit "post".

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    p.s. All "Smilies" supported by this blog can be found at: en.support.wordpress.com/smilies/

    November 22, 2010 at 9:00 pm |
    • B(iraq) Hussein Osama

      i doubt 99% of americans know what or how to spell spinster, never mind "sphincter"!!

      November 22, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
    • Shppingter

      HEY!

      November 23, 2010 at 12:10 am |
  3. Iqbal khan

    http://www.realzionistnews.com/?p=238

    November 22, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
    • somedoody

      dood- iqbal- find the i like turtles kid video too and post it- it's really funny!

      November 22, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
  4. Iqbal khan

    Go and Read the History....

    http://www.flagrancy.net/timeline.html

    November 22, 2010 at 8:32 pm |
    • somedoody

      i like turtles.

      November 22, 2010 at 8:34 pm |
  5. Iqbal khan

    Your actions have power!

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khNlD_Zl974&w=640&h=360]

    November 22, 2010 at 8:30 pm |
    • somedoody

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMNry4PE93Y&w=640&h=360]

      November 22, 2010 at 9:04 pm |
  6. Sum Dude

    The problem is the State Dept. and their special relationship with Rauf.
    He doesn't need any money, so asking for fed money is dishonest.
    If he gets the money, no one will ever believe it was done honestly, especially me.

    He is already stretching things a bit. Is he hoping someone will snap? Like that guy who stabbed that NYC cabdriver?
    Good grief!

    November 22, 2010 at 8:14 pm |
  7. .50 CAL

    "non no non no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no non nononnononon"- mohammy; i agree!

    November 22, 2010 at 7:59 pm |
    • Shppingter

      what part of "nononnononon" don't you understand?

      November 23, 2010 at 12:07 am |
  8. .50 CAL

    "no no non no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no non nononnononon"- mohammy; i agree!

    November 22, 2010 at 7:58 pm |
  9. .50 CAL

    um... the word NO

    November 22, 2010 at 7:43 pm |
  10. MicheleG

    unmitigated gall....how more brazen, cheeky, and insolent can they get? And how many times should I repeat the word "NO" here and what part of NO don't hey get....???!!?!? (or more precisely what part of NO do they deliberately want to NOT "get?)

    November 22, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
  11. .50 CAL

    The Trend Today Is Toward More And More Control Of The Economy By Government That Goes Directly Against Our Traditions, Against The Ideas Of Freedom And Individual Initiative That Made Us Great

    "How many more Muslim legislators do you want elected?
    Time for the two-faces to choose a side and act accordingly.
    Or are you depending upon the 'moderate Muslims ' to counter the 'threat'?"

    The whole of your arguments are that our laws are OK because they are based on OUR ancient book, and their laws are bad because they are based on their ancient book. See? makes so much sense it hurts.

    November 22, 2010 at 7:40 pm |
  12. Muneef"786"

    "There is no compulsion in religion" (sura 2, verse 256) 
    "(God) has not laid upon you in religion any hardship" (sura 22, verse 78)  

    http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Books/MB_BQS/14quran.htm

    November 22, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
    • Yin and Yang

      You really belief your religion do not compulsion?
      Why don't don't you read surah 4:89 that stated
      They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks.

      Oh don't forget surah 9;23 that stated
      O you who believe, do not ally yourselves even with your parents and your siblings, if they prefer disbelieving over believing. Those among you who ally themselves with them are transgressing

      So lets just say, as in if your parent or your sibling reject Islam, you don't have problem with them being put to death by the decree of the law of Allah. Right/

      November 25, 2010 at 10:19 am |
  13. GSA

    @fed-up
    I don't think they want your money, they are residents so they have paid into the taxes themselves along with all Americans.
    Personally I say let them build it but do not give them any funding for a building that has anything to do at all with religion.

    November 22, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  14. fed-up

    ok so they want our money now..hmm...and exactly who's "homeless vets" are they gona be helping..THIERS?
    i have served on 2 tours in iraq and have seen first hand how these islamic believers can really be.." if you dont believe in what i believe..simple..i blow up your mosque"..and everyone around it..!!!
    Leave ground zero alone i say...if you dont like it..go back home..!!!!

    November 22, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  15. NM

    please check out http://www.islamicsolutions.com/whither-american-muslims/

    November 22, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
    • mohammy

      no no non no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no non nononnononono

      November 22, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  16. Tyler V

    I thought if a religious organization went "tax exempt" (which apparently they plan on doing) that they cant get federal aid. So not only are they building inconsiderately close to the 9/11 site, but now they are applying to for federal funds in the narrow window before they go tax exempt? I mean, that just seems very dishonest...

    November 22, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Tyler V

      You may be correct. And, I would like to see -0- State or Federal dollars, not a 'dime' go to 'any' Religious organizations.

      November 22, 2010 at 7:48 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @Peace2All – You said it, bro. Those tax exemptions have got to go, though, as they amount to a preferential subsidy...!

      November 22, 2010 at 8:05 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Tyler V: Actually that's not true. You can get federal aid if you are a religious organization if you plan not to proselytize with that money. That has been the rule for years. Also new guidelines of funding through GWB's faith-based initiative office has given out funding to religious chritable organizations since his presidency and has been updated by President Obama as recently as a couple weeks ago.

      November 23, 2010 at 11:18 am |
    • GodisaTrojan

      They can apply for federal funding for the community center programs, but not for funding of anything that occurs with the intent of spreading religious beliefs. Providing services to a community is something many religious organizations receive funding for. And what ever happened to For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.' Galatians 5:14 ? This includes all people. Should we not also love our enemy and show them compassion? Americans could benefit from learning Arabic or participating in other culture's traditions. The way some of the people are speaking on this forum, I'd think they were channeling the words of Hitler, not Jesus.

      November 23, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
  17. GSA

    Seems like everyone that comments against this building is against the Mosque. So then should they remove the Mosque but keep the rest of the community center along with the church that will be in that building and all of the other educational rooms and physical fitness center? Just asking if this would make this building acceptable to the majority in NY and across America or does is have to go entirely for the ppl against it to be satisfied?

    November 22, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  18. KeninTexas

    Sounds like these people are trying to blend in. Stick you have out and get the government to pay for whatever you can regardless of how dumb it may be. And the sad part is, they could very well get a government grant too.

    November 22, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  19. Chase Dorway

    I think that we shouldn't put it at THAT LOCATION. I respect the Muslims and their beliefs, but the 9/11 attacks were because of the passage in the Koran. If they want to build a huge Islamic center, go ahead, by all means. But don't use taxpayer money from the country you hurt so much to build it. Also, the three most important words in realty: location, location, location. Don't put it half a mile away from Ground Zero. Put it somewhere across the city, where it can't be seen from Ground Zero. Build it, but not at that location. Religious freedom is what this country was founded on. And I pray to God that it will stay that way.

    November 22, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
    • mohammy

      i dont understand your last 2 sentences chase. how they go together i mean.

      November 22, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
    • ScottK

      You state that you are against the center being built "there" but never define how far away from the towers is acceptable (im sure this would be a different number for every person in the debate). You state you are for religous freedom and "pray" our country stays that way while at the same time denying a religous group from freedom of assembly because of the location and their guilt by association with extremeist muslims. Calling someone racist or even predjudiced seems impolite so I will merely point out that most of the people who are taking your same position are lying to themselves to make themselves feel less irrational.

      November 22, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
    • B(iraq) Hussein Osama

      Your example is akin to saying that we should not import Mercedes into the USA, because the Nazis used Mercedes to transport jews are town to their camps and such. Is that the fault of the Mercedes Benz Corporation? Similarly, the terrorists who use the Koran for their own inhuman purposes does not make the Koran guilty of their crimes. And as such anybody who uses the Koran in their day to day life s not automatically a terrorist.

      November 22, 2010 at 10:08 pm |
  20. Reality

    What instigated the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon? The koran, Mohammed's book of death for all infidels and Muslim domination of the world by any means. Muslims must clean up this book removing said passages admitting that they are based on the Gabriel myth and therefore obviously the hallucinations and/or lies of Mohammed. Having the followers of this insane book request US taxpayer's money to construct a mosque/center where Islamic idiocy is preached is beyond absurd. 9/11 WE WILL NEVER FORGET!!!!

    November 22, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
    • .308

      This is called "pushing the envelope" to see how much they can get away with. I'm calling & writing my legislators to tell them my votes are directly contingent upon their reaction to this nonsense.

      Demand – In Person, or in a handwritten letter to your legislators, or both:

      To stop ALL muslim immigration – Now.
      To stop Federal funding of all religious projects and organizations, i.e., this project and CAIR. – Now.
      Enforce sharia practices as being against Federal law – Now, by affirmative legislation, and not by judicial decision.
      And get the damned US Treasury out of sharia financing – Now.

      The time to rise up is nearing, folks. Tell your family and friends. Educate & Inform.
      Or do you want to be another Britain, France, Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, or France?
      How many more muslim legislators do you want elected?
      Time for the two-faces to choose a side and act accordingly.

      Or are you depending upon the 'moderate muslims' to counter the 'threat'?

      November 22, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
    • ScottK

      Can go both ways, and I'm all for the ban if it includes Christian doctrine as well.

      "Christians must clean up this book removing said passages admitting that they are based on the Jesus myth and therefore obviously the hallucinations and/or lies of Christians."

      "How many more Christian legislators do you want elected?
      Time for the two-faces to choose a side and act accordingly.
      Or are you depending upon the 'moderate Christians' to counter the 'threat'?"

      The whole of your arguments are that our laws are OK because they are based on OUR ancient book, and their laws are bad because they are based on their ancient book. See? makes so much sense it hurts.

      November 22, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
    • B(iraq) Hussein Osama

      What instigated the attack on the twin towers and the Pentagon? Saudi citizens, not the Koran, nor Muhammad. Saudi Arabia is ruled by a brutal undemocratic regime that is there solely because the Americans keep them in power at the expense of democracy. The citizens in this puppet state attacked America. Co-incidence?

      November 22, 2010 at 10:05 pm |
    • Reality

      "Islam’s Koran and World Domination

      Mohammed could not have known the size of the world, but several passages in the Koran show that he envisioned Islam dominating all of it, however large it might be: “He it is who sent his messenger . . . that he may cause it [Islam] to prevail over all religions´(Koran 9:33, M.M. Ali; see also 48:28 and 61:9). M.M. Ali designates these three passages as “the prophecy of the ultimate triumph of Islam in the whole world.”

      Mohammed’s successors, the caliphs, quoted passages like these to inspire Muslim armies as they advanced out of Arabia, imposing Islam by the sword upon a peacefully unsuspecting Middle East and North Africa, as I described in the previous chapter.

      Islamic armies, imbued with what Mohammed claimed was divine authorization, imposed Islam by force over vast areas, all the while extorting wealth from subjugated Jews and Christians to fund their ongoing conquests. As I noted, major defeats at Tours, France, in A.D. 732, and again at Vienna, Austria, in A.D. 1683, halted Islam’s attempt to take all of Europe by force. Gradually Islamic forces were forced to retreat from Europe, except for part of the Balkans. But Islam has again set its sights on a conquest of Europe and of European civilization, wherever the latter has spread to North and South America and other regions. Muslim strategists ask their followers, Why do we find in these modern times that Allah has entrusted most of the world’s oil wealth primarily to Muslim nations?

      Their answer: Allah foresaw Islam’s need for funds to finance a final politico-religious victory over what Islam perceives as its ultimate enemy: Christianized Euro-American civilization. So, Islam follows Nazism, fascism and communism as the world’s latest hostile takeover aspirant.

      Nazis, fascists and communists failed. Does Islam have a better chance at success? I believe it will flounder if we awaken to its threat in time; yet, if there is not adequate planned resistance, Islam does have a better chance of succeeding. Communism’s world takeover attempt was guaranteed to fail because its economic policy was naively contrary to human nature. Advocating the rubric What is mine is thine, and what is thine is mine, communism failed to see that human nature will not keep those two balanced propositions in equilibrium. Like a female black widow spider consuming her mate, the latter part of the formula makes a meal of the former, leading to the collapse of any system based upon that formula.

      In contrast, political systems do well if they can persuade people to adhere to What’s mine is mine and What’s thine is thine maxims.

      Only if a strong religious incentive is added does such an idealistic formula have any long-term chance. Even then success will be spotty. But communism (and Nazism, for that matter) excluded religion. And that mistake was the final nail eventually clamping a lid on communism’s coffin. Communism, on a historical scale, perished while still in its childhood.

      Islam is not repeating communism’s mistake. Mating political cunning and incredible wealth with religious zeal, Islam does have a chance to succeed and will succeed unless major parts of the Western world unite to take appropriate countermeasures. But many Western leaders, unable to believe that a mere religion could possible be a serious political threat, keep proclaiming themselves as Islam-friendly, reasoning that all religions are good-aren’t they?

      A Muslim strategist in Beverly Hills, California, declared several years ago, as quoted by a friend of mine: “Now that the struggle between Western democracies and international communism is winding down, it is time for the real and final struggle to begin, and we are going to win!”

      When will people realize that just as there are good doctors and quacks, good cops and rogue cops, there can also be good religions and bad religions?" –

      November 22, 2010 at 11:33 pm |
    • Reality

      Only for the those interested in a religious update:

      1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482
      New Torah For Modern Minds

      Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. "

      2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan se-cts.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hit-ti-tes, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.
      earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

      For added "pizz-azz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "fil-icider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedo-ph-iliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      3. Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:

      Adu-lterous preachers, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      4. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.
      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      5. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

      The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

      Current crises:

      The caste system and cow worship/reverence.

      6. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."
      "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

      Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

      Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

      Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

      November 22, 2010 at 11:36 pm |
    • .308

      @ ScottK

      No, Scott... the "whole of my argument" is that adolescent, fantasy-land atheists who use vapid excuses to mitigate and marginalize serious issues are headed for a world of grief.

      Someday soon someone is going to approach you and ask you to march in a demonstration against all this nonsense. You may be asked to hold an appropriate sign, or lay down in the street in passive resistance. Maybe the situation will be more... desperate, and you might be asked to be 'less' passive. Or maybe the world will go completely to hell and someone will hand you a gun.

      What are you going to do? Offer fluffy arguments against 'christian doctrine' and 'ancient books?' Or blather on about 'Jesus myths' and 'hallucinations?' I'm sorry, my friend. I truly admire rebellion against organized religion. I do. (Personal religion... that's different) But in reality, establishing atheism among the masses is nothing more than an effort in futility; simply an exercise in mental... gymnastics. Bravo if it floats your boat. Good for you. Unfortunately we live in this world. In this country. With laws designed by an experimental government with no guidelines other than what a few well-intentioned men thought was fair. It's worked pretty well to date.

      You don't have the luxury of hiding behind a personal position; at least not right now. I hope our kids have the luxury of sitting around in Socratic dialectics about religion. But you and I? We have other things to worry about. So put your feet on the ground and start thinking, not about what you think 'should be', but about 'what is.' And what you'll commit to. Then think about what you're going to do when someone comes up to you and hands you... .

      November 22, 2010 at 11:54 pm |
    • Terry

      libtards just want to be all PC and let these people take over our country. they have nothing but hate for hard-warking Americans.

      November 23, 2010 at 4:29 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Terry

      You Said:------------"libtards just want to be all PC and let these people take over our country. they have nothing but hate for hard-warking Americans." 😯

      I'm certainly not a 'libtard' and I don't want the Christians to take over our country either. "they" have nothing but hate... who is the they (all) of them...? for hard-working Americans... Really...? I have some friends that are 'libtards' that are Doctors, Firemen, Police, etc... And, I'm going to throw out a guess.... You are *not* one of those hard-working life-saving professionals.

      Can't believe you said something so asinine. Oh well, freedom of speech. Maybe there are exceptions...?

      November 23, 2010 at 2:38 pm |
    • ScottK

      @.308 – you say you "hope our kids have the luxury of sitting around in Socratic dialectics about religion. But you and I? We have other things to worry about." What other things are more important than discussing religous differences when those differences are setting current US policy in the Middle East, being read aloud in our halls of congress to support criminalizing a womans right to choose, being used to force our publicly funded schools to teach creation as a science, making arbitrary rules about s3xual education and against the use of protection. I think it is about time we dropped the "war on islam" in favor of the "war on organized religion" which of course would solve our problem with the mosque.

      November 23, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
    • .308

      @ ScottK

      You said: "What other things are more important than discussing religous (sic) differences..."

      Unfortunately that question is going to be answered for you. Whether your choose to listen to or believe that answer, well, that's up to you. But your response to me clearly showed that my point went flying over your head. Maybe you should stop looking down at your feet and start taking in what's happening in the world around you.... Good luck, Scott.

      And just for the record, for the benefit of you and your short-sighted goombas – 'religious difference' has nothing to do with what's happening in the ME. I think that we're more concerned with killing terrorists, running pipelines, securing oil wells, building strategic bases, developing democratic governments, building infrastructure and stabilizing social structures. (of course that last one's never going to happen.. they're all just simply nuts.) But I'm not aware that we've airdropped in a brigade of christian military pastors and rabbis to convert the ME masses. I must have missed that press release. Maybe we can just load-up a couple of C-17's with big boxes of snakes and bibles and just push 'em out the door – yeah – that will do the trick.

      November 23, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
    • ScottK

      @.308 – Your posts have not flown over my head, even though I can see you enjoy looking up big words to sound like an intelectual. I just happen to disagree with you and others like you who for some reason believe the scary brown people are coming to take away your freedoms. I was merely pointing out that fearmongers like yourself who are calling for "stoping all Muslim Immigration" are part of the problem. Sharia law will NEVER take hold in this country so go spout your rhetoric elsewhere. Personaly I do agree with the part about stoping federal funding for all religous projects, and think that our "Christian" nation is a far bigger threat to this country in their attempt to turn the US into a theocracy.

      November 23, 2010 at 7:59 pm |
    • .308

      @ ScottK

      Sorry for the "big words; " once I saw that you were a remedial reader I should have stepped it down a few grades. Here's today's spelling lesson:

      religous = religious * intelectual = intellectual * stoping = stopping * Personaly = Personally

      The first rule of written communication is that you have to use it properly in order to be taken seriously. I can forgive a typo, but your spelling and comprehension skills are very weak. I'll peg you for a 15 year-old 10th grader who is wasting my time. You need to concentrate on your spelling and syntax; the ability to maintain a coherent discussion will come, in time. But for now please try to avoid topics that are beyond your grade level; especially the ones where people might use those dreaded "big words." BTW, your snide presumption is entertaining but meaningless, and serves only to reveal your immaturity.

      So, in the future, let's just avoid each, ok? Goodnight, Peanut – It's past your bedtime.
      And remember – " Stay in School ! "

      November 23, 2010 at 10:07 pm |
    • ScottK

      @.308 – Ah yes, dodge my point of you being a fearmonger by hiding behind my quickly typed misspellings. You know i'm right that Sharia law will never be enacted in the US, but you obviously enjoy trolling these boards throwing out hate and lies anyway. I'll go back to school for my spelling if you see a psychologist to help you deal with your hallucinations of muslims trying to take over our country.

      November 24, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
    • sEmPeR FI

      I agree. The Islamic people have gone way to far. 9/11 WE SHALL NEVER FORGET!

      December 3, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
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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.