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Religion is good for America, authors argue
December 17th, 2010
06:00 AM ET

Religion is good for America, authors argue

By Richard Greene and Eric Marrapodi, CNN

How can the United States be devout, diverse and tolerant?

David Campbell pondered this question at a lunchtime forum at the Pew Research Center on a blustery Thursday in Washington. How could a country that is more devout than Iran (at least in terms of worship service attendance) get along so well?

Campbell, a professor at Notre Dame, and Robert Putnam, a professor at Harvard, sought to find the answers to those questions through an exhaustive examination for their recent book, "American Grace: How faith Divides and Unites Us."

The authors conducted the Faith Matters survey of 3,000 people in 2006 and then came back to many of them again in 2007 to see how things may have changed. They combined that with snapshots of a dozen distinctly different congregations spread out across the country and just about every recent survey done on religion in America to try to get the fullest picture possible of religion in America.

"The U.S. actually does present a very unusual environment for religion," Campbell said while manning the Power Point presentation solo (his co-author was stuck on a runway in New York).

The fact that America is devout and diverse might lead to the conclusion (that) as a country it would be less tolerant. But their research showed the opposite.

In their book, Putnam and Campbell aim to rise above the recent decades of mistrust and even hostility that have marked relations between religious and nonreligious Americans - and, not coincidentally, the country's political right and left.

Relax, they say. Religion is good for America, and mostly, things are working out fine.

They're not the first to argue that church/state separation combined with an entrepreneurial spirit has produced a decidedly tolerant religious culture in the United States. John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge of The Economist magazine advanced much the same thesis in "God is Back" last year, going so far as to argue that other countries should decouple religious and state institutions in order to get similar results.

But Putnam and Campbell drill much deeper into the data to demonstrate their case, cramming charts, graphs and tables into the massive tome.

Putnam and Campbell argue that several specific factors contribute to what, in the book's closing line, they grandly call "America's Grace."

Campbell said on Thursday it is surprising, but "Americans are quite accepting of people of other faiths, which is a remarkable thing given that so many Americans themselves are not only religious in a nominal sense, that they have a religious affiliation, but they're also quite serious about their religion."

First, as is well documented, the United States is filled with people professing deep religious faith. Even given the rapid recent rise in those who say they have no religion - what students of religion call the "nones" - Americans are far more religious than people in just about any other industrialized country.

And the "nones," Putnam and Campbell remind readers, are not necessarily atheists or agnostics. In fact, most say they are not, and even those who disavow any belief in God know much more about religion than their counterparts in Europe.

Secondly, because Americans change their religion with relative ease, they have friends and even family members of different faiths.

Not quite one in five Americans had converted to a different religion at the beginning of the 20th century, they say - but by the end of the century it was more than one in four.

Marrying people of another faith became so commonly accepted that Gallup stopped polling how people felt about intermarriage in 1982.

In fact, it's partly the willingness of Americans to change religions that led to the alignment between faith and politics that seems such an ironclad fact of American life now. Younger readers may be surprised to find that it's only about a generation old.

Putnam and Campbell found, to their surprise, that when an American's religion and politics don't "match" - an evangelical votes Democratic, or a Republican hails from a family with no religion, for example - they're more likely to change their religion than their politics.

The result of this mixing and mingling is that Americans tend to have pretty positive feelings about people of other religions, the authors argue.

Nearly half of all Americans, for example, report they have never in their lives heard someone make a negative comment about their religion.

Conversely, those religions Americans feel least positively towards - Mormons, Buddhists and Muslims - may suffer at least partly because their communities are relatively insular, with less intermarriage and interfaith friendship, the authors speculate.

The third and final piece of the puzzle is that, by and large, Americans don't think their friends and family are damned if they belong to other religions - or none.

Putnam and Campbell call this the "Aunt Susan principle." In a country with so much religious mixing within families, many Americans have a relative who they are sure is going to heaven, even though they're of a different religion.

"Aunt Susan is that relative we all have. She is the sweetest, kindest, nicest person you know. She's the one who brings the casseroles to people when they're sick. She's the one you call when you're in trouble," Campbell explained at the forum.

"But your Aunt Susan is of another religion, and your religion you know teaches you theologically she's not supposed to go to heaven. But you know if there's anyone who is destined for heaven, it's Aunt Susan," he said.

Even among evangelical Christians, more than half believe that a good person of another faith can go to heaven - although even the most liberal Christian denominations officially say otherwise.

Putnam and Campbell summarize their theory in a not terribly catchy formula: devotion plus diversity, minus damnation, equals comity.

They also argue that religion itself produces many practical benefits for American society.

Religious people are more likely than nonreligious people to do good deeds in 10 out of 15 categories they surveyed, such as donate blood, help someone find a job or allow a stranger to cut in front of them in line. And they're no less likely than nonreligious people to help out in the other five categories, like giving directions to a stranger.

They volunteer more time and donate more money than nonreligious people - both to religious and to secular organizations.

And it doesn't seem to matter what religion they practice, the authors find, or even what they believe.

They found no correlation between what they call "good neighborliness" and belief that the Bible is literally true, for example. What matters is actually going to church and having lots of friends there, they say, concluding that religious networks "supercharge" neighborliness.

Putnam and Campbell are not simply cheerleaders for religion, though.

They find that religious people are less supportive of civil liberties than their nonreligious counterparts.

And religious and nonreligious people do not have positive feelings about one another. Each group tends to see the other as intolerant and selfish, while viewing their own kind as tolerant and selfless.

But overall, Americans see religion as a good influence on national life - and despite the apparent ambivalence of their subtitle, "How Religion Divides and Unites Us" - Putnam and Campbell clearly do, too.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Church and state • Interfaith issues • United States

soundoff (535 Responses)
  1. Puzzle Bobble - Bubble Shooter

    Wonderful story, I'll bookmark this.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:00 am |
  2. Speedy Bubbles - Bubble Shooter - Play Bubble Shooter Games

    This article has been stored as a favorite :), I like your site!

    January 25, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  3. Misotheism Fan

    To comment on all of the discussion about believers vs. nonbelievers, Atheists vs. Theists, I came across a really intriguing book, written by an author named Bernard Schweizer. The book, HATING GOD – THE UNTOLD STORY OF MISOTHEISM, explores the roots surrounding a deeper, more controversial form of religious rebellion, misotheism, or the hatred of God. Unlike atheists, misotheists do not question God’s existence, but deny that he is merciful, competent, or good.

    In response to the increasing attention being given to atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, this book seems to have found an emerging populace that have become increasingly more vocal about their feelings of discontent towards God. Schweizer explains how this sort of god hatred has been around for many years, and because of the fear associated with expressing such blasphemous beliefs, was expressed primarily through literature. The book illustrates how literary giants such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Mark Twain, Zora Neale Hurston, Rebecca West, Elie Wiesel, and Philip Pullman all felt profound hatred towards God.

    When I look at the world today, with increasing secularism, religiously motivated mass bloodshed, and considerable feelings of disillusionment in personal faith, this book seems to outline a lot of the sentiments that have apparently been around for a long time, but have not, until now, been openly discussed.

    Feel free to check it out. Pretty good stuff.
    Hatinggod.com

    January 5, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  4. John

    Seems that whenever there is any article about religion in general and Christianity or Islam in particular the self-proclaimed atheists come out in droves to scream and howl about "false beliefs" and "religion is evil" and so on and so forth. If the comments here are any measure, then they seem to be a really intolerant, angry lot, especially when some asks why they are so intolerant. Switch around a few words, and you have a Jerry Falwells sermon.

    Science as the sole arbiter of how to live your lives...well, science may tell you HOW things work, but I've never heard a good explanation as to the WHY. Secular humanism...try riding the New York subway on a Friday after midnight, then get back to me, or spend an hour stuck on I-95, then talk to me about the innate morality of the human condition. As for that almighty panacea Reason...you can pretty much rationalize anything., including mass-murder, theft and general obnoxiousness. After all, there is no rational reason WHY someone should be nice to someone else. In fact, its fairly easy to draw the opposite conclusion, if ones self-interest comes at another's expense.

    January 2, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      The majority of americans are religious so most of the criminals are likely to be believers and atheists are very under-represented in prisons. This suggests to me that crime will decrease as atheism increases.

      January 2, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
  5. Joe

    "Todd

    You haven't talked to many gay people. You'd be surprised (or not) at the number of churches that consider us abominations for the sin of existing.

    Christ eaters are so loving."

    LOL! My dog's body of christ are fritos!

    The church should check the NIH survey indicating a large percentage of the "gay" community were molested as a children. They seem to find very little sympathy wherever they go.

    December 22, 2010 at 11:49 am |
  6. NM

    http://www.islamicsolutions.com/you-must-read-this-book/

    December 20, 2010 at 10:23 am |
  7. Muneef

    Wasn't the Elephantman a live example?
    Wasn't the Treeman another live example from some where in the Golden Triangle countries ?

    December 20, 2010 at 7:09 am |
    • Muneef

      http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=treeman+disease&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&client=safari

      December 20, 2010 at 7:12 am |
  8. indiana5

    religion is good for america and for all other countries. religions are connected not only for morals and etics purpose, it also is good for economic progress and economic development, but religions for america should be based on the concept our founders established the governance of our country. foreign religions are welcome as long as they follow the concept of foundation of america. "while you are in, do as romans do" and as long as democracyand social equality and opportunities provided are adapted.

    December 19, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  9. Muneef

    @@Kelly Garrett.
    Surely group were fighting in belief while which we call hypocrites who work for the personal vast interest and those are found in every religion utilizing the faithful ones for fulfilling their purposes...

    In Islam starting from Mecca we have learnt that every idol was brought down to pieces as Abraham PBUH did to idols but we have not learnt that Muslims went on killing pagans forcing them in to Islam otherwise there would have found the whole of India Muslims at the time when it was ruled by Muslims...? All though have leant that many who were considered to be the lowest class referred to as the untouchables have converted in huge numbers to escape that slavery imposed upon them by the highest levels of the 3 levels of the Hindu Indian community... Islam was increased by people running from slavery,giving them the freedom and the equality in their new societies.

    December 19, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
    • Reality

      Saving Muslims is quite easy!!! (except for Muneef but we will continue hammering away)

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      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" (male or female) 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 spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave 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.

      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      December 19, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
    • Muneef

      Reality. The following verses from a sura named Al-Amran or El-Emran and they are a tribe of children of Israel the same tribe that derived from it Moses and Mariam mother of Jesus...
      Out of those verses I think verse 7 answers your 4 comment above...it is self explanatory;

      Al-E-Imran
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      Alif Lam Mim (1) Allah! There is no Allah but He―the Living, the Self-Subsisting Eternal. (2) It is He Who sent down to thee (step by step), in truth, the Book confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Torah (Of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus) (3) Before this as a guide to mankind, and He sent down the Criterion (of judgment between right and wrong). Then those who reject Faith in the Signs of Allah will suffer the severest chastisement and Allah is Exalted in Might, Lord of Retribution. (4) From Allah, verily nothing is hidden on earth or in the heavens. (5) He it is Who shapes you in the wombs as He pleases. There is no god but He, the Exalted in Might, the Wise. (6) He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: in it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are not of well-established meaning. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is not of well-established meaning. Seeking discord, and searching for its interpretation, but no one knows its true meanings except Allah, and those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: "We believe in it; the whole of it is from our Lord"; and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding. (7)..

      December 19, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
    • Muneef

      Reality.
      Thank you for your following comment and respects shown;
      "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."

      But let me comment that Quran came in bits and pieces of verses or small sura's that only started with one during Ramadan in the cave but after that came to him in different times and places..
      In addition to that time fasting was not followed since it only came with Islam ?? Well maybe after the verses of Ramadan came down.or inspired..?

      December 19, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
    • Muneef

      Veers 07: only says that if old books or scriptures were refined as told below it will become to tell as Quran told..

      Al-E-Imran verse 03:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: in it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are not of well-established meaning. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is not of well-established meaning. Seeking discord, and searching for its interpretation, but no one knows its true meanings except Allah, and those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: "We believe in it; the whole of it is from our Lord"; and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding. (7)..       

      December 19, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
    • Muneef

      This verse as if it speaks to those 3 religions of the Books and as well as it speaks to those who became branches among each of them...?

      December 19, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
    • Reality

      A few examples of koranic-driven bits and pieces of the true Islam:

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,481 and 924 died in non-combat98,691 – 107,707
      Iraqi civilians killed as of 11/9/2010, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and
      defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,116 killed in action, 902 killed in non-combat situations as of 08/10/2010. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15) Followed by the daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings every day in the terror world of Islam.

      16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

      17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

      December 19, 2010 at 11:55 pm |
  10. Randall Smith

    @ Reality
    "Joe Smith" did not found "Mormonism". JOSEPH Smith was the prophet of the restoration. Henry VIII was a coward who started the Anglican church so he could divorce his wife. He also killed his best friend and my ancestor Sir Thomas Moore who did not actively support his decisions. Joseph Smith was a poor, humble farm boy chosen to do God's work. Henry VIII was a murderer and a traitor, and any claims to his status as a "Renaissance man" are, frankly, a heinous insult to the memories of those whom he had beheaded in cold blood.

    December 19, 2010 at 11:25 am |
    • Reality

      Joe Smith aka Joseph Smith the founder of Mormonism and one of the great con artists.

      Added information from answers.com for those interested:

      "•Born: 23 December 1805
      •Birthplace: Sharon, Vermont
      •Died: 27 June 1844 (murder)
      •Best Known As: Founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

      Name at birth: Joseph Smith, Jr.

      Raised a Christian in Vermont and New York, Joseph Smith was the founding prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon church. According to Smith's own account, he had a vision from God when he was fourteen years old. A few years later he was visited by an angel, Moroni, who told him of the Book of Mormon and how to revive the gospel of Jesus. At the age of 21, Moroni directed Smith to a hillside in rural New York, where he uncovered metal plates ("Gold Plates") and two "seer stones," divination tools sometimes referred to as the Urim and Thummim (terms used infrequently in the Old Testament and whose precise meaning is clouded in mystery). Smith said the Urim and Thummim were from a prophet, Mormon, and revealed the record of ancient Israelites who had escaped to the Americas around 600 B.C. Smith, using the stones, translated the word of Mormon to form the new canon of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which was founded in 1830. With his followers, Smith settled in Ohio, Missouri and Illinois in search of the New Zion. A prophet to his followers and a fraud to his detractors, Smith was killed along with his brother by a mob in Carthage, Illinois in 1844. After his death, the Church was led by Brigham Young.

      The name of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is often shortened to simply LDS... The church's official website notes that while Mormon is an unofficial term for members of the faith, "members prefer to be referred to as Latter-day Saints."

      December 19, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
    • Susy

      Hi there.. I wont be unsubscribing to your blog.I was eiasrd Catholic then was Pagan for 6 years .now I'm a born again Christian. My cousin came over and told me about Jesus. I knew about him and everything there was a change in here. I couldnt explain it.. Long story short (I have been planning to tell my story on my blog) I too gave my life to Christ. There has been a change in me and it was the best thing I could have done since deep down I knew Jesus was the way. I have been Christian since Sep 7 2008 now. For those who say they want to unsubscribe that is just foolish. Did Jesus turn his back from the lady at the well? He KNEW her and HE talked first to her! So for you to be so ugly to Mel is just crazy. I pray that God will soften your heart. You know for years that's a reason why I didn't believe in Christians. A lot of them I knew were like that. They saw my life and me being Pagan and wanted to stand clear from me. They judged me! Why would I want to be something when they those type of people were judging, hateful and rude? I didn't. I know that whatever church you go to there are people that aren't saved and are like that .ugh I have so much more to say but I dont want to write a book. Thank you for your honesty and your post![]Melodie Reply:August 30th, 2010 at 4:23 pmThank you Glenda! I wouldn't have guessed you were once Pagan but I'm happy that you found Christ. Maybe one day I will. I don't think I will, which will lose me some listeners/readers, but the fact that the world is open to us and all possibilities exist is just one more reason, for me, to accept people for who they are.[] Reply:August 30th, 2010 at 4:49 pmI know people that know my now could have never guessed. And when I tell them they are very surprised. I used to say that I would never be a Christian or believe in what Christians believe too. If I was going to be something I wanted to be something with all my heart Strangers used to come by and tell me about Christ I would scare them away by telling them I was Pagan! I used to think oh well! I think what did it was seeing my cousin, the joy she had and the genuine change in her and her life. It was real and He was too! I had read the Bible on and off growing up and it didnt do anything for me then. When I gave my life to Christ. Believing in my heart that he was the son of God and that he came to die so that we can have eternal life and that my sins could be forgiven and I could have a new start, it was easier. I asked to be changed and for Him to mold me into the woman He wanted me to be and asked to show me with my Bible, it was desired to read my Bible. I started in the New Testament with John and believed ever word since it is the truth. It was amaing i didnt want to put it down. There are some books are are really good to read. The Case for Faith and the Case for Christ. If you get a chance you should read it. The author wasn't Christian and he was trying to prove against Christianity. Anyways I'm here if you have any questions about my faith or the Bible. I'm glad my cousin came and talked to me even though she knew I was a Pagan. She admits she did hesitate since she knew how I was, but I think since she was my cousin I chose to open my ears a little more. Some people will not like you cuz of it ( I know first hand) and they are the ones that need to look in their heart and find who they really are. They probably have issues with themselves and honestly shouldnt calll themselves Christians if they want to ignore, stand clear, judge, talk bad about, and stick their nose at you. You don't need those types of people subscribing to your blog anyways! ((hugs))Glenda s last [type] ..[] Reply:August 30th, 2010 at 9:47 pmGlenda! Thanks for sharing! I rejoice in your new salvation! I do believe we are all on a different journey and we shouldn't belittle another person in where they are at in the journey to find truth. We were once in their shoes too. It saddens me when Christians misrepresent. Our testimony is so important for those who need the Love of Christ!He is Lord!Katy s last [type] ..

      March 2, 2012 at 10:18 am |
  11. Muneef

    Think Deeper than Shallow Thinking; 
    If "Spirit" is "Energy" and "Body" is "Matter", then what could the "Soul" be?

    So since "Spirit" is "Energy" then the "Holy Spirit" is "Holy Energy"? 
    Energy produces Lighting and Lighting produces;
    – Light and Light is what the Angels Created of.
    – Fire and Fire is what Jinn are Created of.
    -Charged Water and Earth when Water and Earth is what Clay is made of, and it is Clay what First Mankind Male and Female were created of.

    http://www.rahul.net/raithel/otfw/hydrogens.html

    December 18, 2010 at 9:20 pm |
    • Reality

      o Once again we come to save Muneef and the other 1.5 billion lost Muslims from their Three B Syndrome, i.e. Bred, Born and Brainwashed in Islam but this time reducing to the Five Step Program for Deprogramming Islam to One Step in order to by-pass most of the language barrier:

      Gabriel never existed!!!!!! No Gabriel, no communiques from heaven and therefore Islam has no foundation!!!

      from Google Translate:

      غابرييل لم تكن موجودة!!!!!! لا غابرييل، لا بالبيانات من السماء، وبالتالي لا يوجد لديه أساس الإسلام

      December 19, 2010 at 12:41 am |
    • Muneef

      Nice try Reality but here you called Gabrael a female rather than him being a male ? Surely that would upset him,you are in trouble Reality..you should not be looking for enemies up there !?
      At-Tur sura 52:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      Or say they: He hath invented it? Nay, but they will not believe! (33) Then let them produce speech the like thereof, if they are truthful. (34) Or were they created out of naught? Or are they the creators? (35) Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Nay, but they are sure of nothing! (36) Or do they own the treasures of thy Lord? Or have they been given charge (thereof)? (37) Or have they any stairway (unto heaven) by means of which they overhear (decrees). Then let their listener produce some warrant manifest! (38) Or hath He daughters whereas ye have sons? (39) Or askest thou (Muhammad) a fee from them so that they are plunged in debt? (40) Or possess they the Unseen so that they can write (it) down? (41) Or seek they to ensnare (the messenger)? But those who disbelieve, they are the ensnared! (42) Or have they any god beside Allah? Glorified be Allah from all that they ascribe as partner (unto Him)! (43).

      December 19, 2010 at 9:25 am |
    • Muneef

      Nay, but they are sure of nothing! 

       Or have they any stairway (unto heaven) by means of which they overhear (decrees). Then let their listener produce some warrant manifest! (38)  

      December 19, 2010 at 9:35 am |
  12. Muneef

    Interview with Dr. Omar Khalidi, Author of Muslims in Indian Economy
    Great loss to Muslims and the Indian continent that the Author lost his life 30 Nov 2010 said to be in a car accident?!

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/644103/interview_with_dr_omar_khalidi_author.html?cat=38

    Al-Baqara
    Who say, when a misfortune striketh them: Lo! we are Allah's and lo! unto Him we are returning. (156)

    December 18, 2010 at 7:09 pm |
    • Muneef

      forced retirement of Helen Thomas (an interview)
      Watch Helen Thomas
      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2M1Qo83CoGU&w=640&h=390]

      December 18, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
    • Muneef

      http://johnkaminski.info/pages/the_next_chapter/identifying_our_enemy.htm

      December 18, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
    • Muneef

      An interview with The forced resignation of Helen Thomas !
      She says Prs.H.Truman was awakened at early morning hour and got forced to sign recognition of Israel as a state although same was under dispute at the UN that has now became as past and forgotten!.
      So as it seems Prs are not safe from being imposed upon the Agenda of those Z?
      Same has has been seen happening with Prs.B.Obama when he tried to stop the constructions projects at the occopied land, he was made to bow on his knee , just as Truman was made to do.
       
      If your country as great country you accepted to hold the scale of international justice for equality and to preserve peace then you shouldn't give one more on account of another there is no place for your national interests and allies interests because when that does happen you are no longer a judge but became more of persecutor with out any fair judgment hearing?
      No wonder your great country became to be made as totally untrusted and targeted by rebels what ever is the term used for such actions ?

      These unjustified acts while taking advantage of being the majority states to apply force and use the Veto rights to serve the Z agenda and propaganda in invading lands and countries wiping out nations and their national wealths.? Above all those wrongful and sinful acts against such nations that communities of which are living in your countries and expect them communities being as Americans to clap their hands in sheers when their own families,relatives and country being under attack or being invaded, no matter how silent and patients, but the date truth prevails and they realize that they were lied at all along then who would be in position to trust words and actions of the country state? Well it seems WikiLeaks has already started to raise doubts and integrity of the policies followed by their leaders..
       
      It is all about hiding, disguising the truth until it becomes of the past just as that as did that unlawful country was recognized by the USA with out the UN majority vote and UN members were to face the Reality that the USA is taking advantage of her majority states and voting power rather than the majority of  the UN member countries no matter how small or poor they are although at that time the majority of member countries were under occoupation or protection of USA and Allies and after the WW1&2 !

      As told by Helen Thomas Those group were able to pass on their agenda and propaganda by enforcing the belief that their nation is the only victemized nation on this planet earth and all through history old and new, and she added that they like it this way acting as victimized as it makes it easier for them to cross the boarders,blackmailing all those nations. 
      Again she said but if you ever try to defend self or point a finger at or suggest or demand any rights then you are called to be anti-Semitic even if you are Semitic your self but not of Jewish religion ? 

      Then she agrees with the interviewer that those in their acts abuse the whole Jewish nation that is on earth by talking,demanding or imposing acts on the name of Jews although all are opposed to by the majority of them even before it became in to reality. After all the recognition of the unlawful country has caused or forced by terror the wide immigrations of Jews from all over the world in to Israel and those stayed behind were and are still forced to pay an annual share in support of this country's illegal wars and who ever refuses to support will have to face unwanted bad business or accidents ?
       
      Just after all this time given in writing these comments I hope it would make some understand and would not go waste as we say trying to tickle a camel or as talking to a brick wall? You should understand that your enemy is as well our enemy as have used us both as nations men and resources, to achieve their agenda while using religion and the God given promised land !? While we hear other Jews say holy books mentioned it as being the forbidden land for the Jews and not being the God given promised land as those under the cloth claim?

      December 20, 2010 at 8:39 pm |
    • Muneef

      Just read some thing said about the scale holders in the our holy book verses;

      Al-Mutaffifin sura 83:
      Woe to those that deal in fr-aud― (1) Those who, when they have to receive by measure from men, exact full measure. (2) But when they have to give by measure or weight to men, give less than due. (3) Do they not think that they will be called to account?― (4) On a Mighty, Day, (5) A Day when (all) mankind will stand before the Lord of the Worlds? (6) Nay! Surely the Record of the Wi-cked is (preserved) in Sijjin (7) And what will explain to thee what Sijjin is? (8) (There is) a Register (fully) inscribed. (9) Woe, that Day, to those that deny― (10) Those that deny the Day of Judgment. (11) And none can deny it but the Tran-sgressor beyond bounds the Sin-ner! (12) When Our Signs are rehear-sed to him, he says "Tales of the Ancients!" (13).

      December 20, 2010 at 8:51 pm |
    • Muneef

      Have two questions here to ask;
      -Is it true that atheist is a term used for some people who want to hide their true religion or beliefs deep in heart from others? and that this makes their way easier to mix with others of faiths since all of those will be kind to them and keep on trying to persuade them to convert to their faiths. While it is harder for a religious persons who do not try to hide the same and it is even harder for them to get a job or maintain it and specially if tried to use their freedom of speech in saying or writing any word of comments or opinion that could be taken and considered as anti Israeli or anti Semitic !? Then when it does happen you used your freedom of speech as a direct result for that you might have to face a life or a living termi-nation.? 
      As a nation of Arabs and Muslims we are not given any of those rights as much as been given to those who force it up against others?
      Although not much difference between us and them since we have a God to worship as they have and a religion as they have beside being as Arabs we are as Semitic as they claim they are?
      There have been a lot of killing and forced immigration among Arabs and Muslims by WW1&2 up to this day by the USA, Allies and Israel that are maybe equal or exceed the claimed Jewish ho-lo-ca-ust which should have been called the Semitic and Islamic ho-lo-ca-ust ?

      December 20, 2010 at 9:02 pm |
    • Muneef

      It was mentioned that religions were behind most wars through out history? Well isn't now that Globalization is now responsible for the same type of wars since was heard of although could have started earlier than that? 
      Isn't such ideology is in the same scale weight of religion where men are driven to convert and those resisting get disposed of?

      December 20, 2010 at 9:23 pm |
    • cbolton

      in my copy of the Quranin the section called The Table (chaper 5), in verses 20 and 21, it states that Allah assigned the Jews to live in Israel. How can the Muslims claim it as their own when Allah assigned it to the Jews?

      December 20, 2010 at 9:36 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.