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May 23rd, 2011
10:09 AM ET

My Take: This just in, Tennessee court says Islam is a religion

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

A few months ago I spoke at an interfaith forum at the University of North Alabama. One of the speakers on my panel was Ossama Bahloul, imam of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro.

Bahloul began his talk by observing that God must have a sense of humor to have given him a name as problematic as Ossama. But the heart of his talk concerned the compatibility of Islam with American values.

What surprised me about Bahloul, in both his public talk and our private conversations, was his deep and abiding faith in America. Signs at the construction site for his planned mosque had been vandalized twice and federal investigators had determined that a fire at the site was intentionally set. Efforts to build that mosque, appropriate for a growing congregation that had been active in the area for roughly two decades, were met not only with protests but also with a lawsuit.

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Yet Bahloul continued to believe that what was right would win out in the end.

In the lawsuit, opponents of the mosque argued, among other things, that Islam was not a religion and therefore was not entitled to the free exercise protections and special zoning treatment given to religious organizations. But last week, a Murfreesboro court ruled for the Islamic center.

In his ruling, judge Robert Corlew announced "that Islam is a religion." The fact that a court of law in the United States would actually have to make such a finding is a sad commentary on where we are today in the United States in terms of religious literacy.

Tennessee imam: My mosque was torched

Islam is not just a religion. It is the second largest religion in the world, with over 1 billion adherents. And as the Murfreesboro case demonstrates, some of these Muslims are our neighbors.

There is still one legal issue unsettled in this case—a technical matter concerning whether a prior proceeding allowing the mosque construction had followed the rules of a local open meetings ordinance. But, as the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro noted on its web page yesterday, the building permit is now in hand.

And, at least for now, the First Amendment is still the law of the land in Tennessee.

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

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Church and state • Courts • Islam • Opinion • Tennessee • United States

soundoff (708 Responses)
  1. Donald

    Can someone PLEASE explain to me – WITHOUT changing the subject OR just plain lying, why Islmaic nations, in the name of Islam:
    1. Legalize the killing of converts from Islam to other faiths
    2. Forbid the proselytizing of other religions
    3. Refuse the education and freedom of wives to drive
    4. Allow the beating of wives

    O peaceful wonderful Islamists, just explain this to me without changing the subject or lying.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • Lycidas

      I know it's not a definite answer, but some of what your asked has to do more with the cultural views that religious ones.

      May 23, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • CHRISTIANHATERS

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-ewjEz0osc&w=640&h=360]

      May 23, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • CHRISTIANHATERS

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dWZFcW-8ag&w=640&h=360]

      May 23, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Please answer the question:
      When did you stop beating your wife?

      May 23, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • CHRISTIANHATERSssss

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dWZFcW-8ag&w=640&h=360]

      May 23, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  2. Fidei Coticula Crux

    HOW TO CORRECT THE MISUNDERSTANDINGS BETWEEN CHRISTIANS AND MUSLIMS

    THE MISUNDERRSTANDINGS. Religious history between Christians and Muslims is covered with blood and war, MUCH LIKE ALL OF HUMAN HISTORY. God’s name has been used by both sides to justify murder and mayhem. Several key events in history continue to effect the perceptions of Christians and Muslims. These events include the Islamic expansion (AD 600 to 800’s), the Crusades (AD 1000 to 1200’s), the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, the attack on the World Trade Center, the Gulf Wars of 1991 and 2003, and many other events.

    CORRECTING THE MISUNDERSTANDINGS. Historians have pointed out that these “holy wars” of history were more about economics than faith. Yet economic struggle cannot explain the intense hatred, cruelty and malicious evil of a Crusader, Nazi, or suicide bomber. Behind these horrors is a deeper spiritual war and a vindictive enemy, namely Satan. Christian and Muslims should not lose sight of Satan, the “enemy of souls.” By recognizing the common enemy, Christians and Muslims can create a context in which we can build a relationship.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • unknown

      Misunderstandings? Islam tries to kill off other religions and is the only one to this day that still has armed groups killing those of a diffrent faith.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  3. Judith

    Islam is not a religion? Even Jesus appears in the Koran. Duh... if Americans get any more stupid they'll elect Palin as President.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Mycology

      Wait so

      I can go create a religion and claim God speaks directly to me – as long as I piggyback off the biggest and most followed religions of the region in which I live?

      You are a sheep, Judith.

      May I recommend Scientology, Mr. Hubbard knew exactly how to play people like you like a fiddle.

      He was the Mohammed of our day.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • CHRISTIANHATER

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-ewjEz0osc&w=640&h=360]

      May 23, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • CHRISTIANHATER

      note:
      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-ewjEz0osc&w=640&h=360]

      May 23, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • Brandon

      and krishna appeared in the Bible. The fact that names appear in a text does not make it a religion. Islam IS a religion. What makes a religion is groups of able minded individuals giving up their will of free thought and flocking to a fairy tale for comfort.

      May 23, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  4. Philip McCleary

    Of course it is a religion! A religion that is evil to the core. Not one time did the Muslims in this country or even a majority of them stand up and say that the 911 attacks were evil. They have come to this country and are now demanding we respect their laws and customs. Demanding we adapt to them. They all need to go back to where ever they came from and change that place to fit their needs. We do not want you here, we do not need you here and end the end we will not tolerate you here.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Mo

      So you're saying we have to speak out against everything that every single Muslim does? A Muslim robs a store, I have to apologize for it? Give me a break man. Also, I can't go back to where I came from because I don't know where that is. My ancestors came here on a slave ship. Can you tell me where to go?

      May 23, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Philip McCleary: Try this link for info about muslims who condemned 9/11.
      http://groups.colgate.edu/aarislam/response.htm
      I have to say, everyone who says where are the muslim voices condemning violence, never take the time to look for them. Yet they spout the same ridiculous falsehood wherever they go. You have let your hate overwhelm your reason. Maybe it's time to let it go.

      May 23, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  5. ALLAH LOVER

    I love Allah, and Allah Loves me. I am proud to be a Muslim and I worship only one true GOD(ALLAH) and I dont worship statues and Idols. I respect Prophet Mohammad because he taught me live like a true human ( Live like Jesus, Moses, Noah, Abraham, etc). I love all humans as Allah created all humans from Adam and eve, and all Humans are my relatives. Allah is the creator of all things and all humans. Allah is most loving, most merciful, beneficent. Allah Loves you. You LOVE HIM

    May 23, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • CHRISTIAN LOVER

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dWZFcW-8ag&w=640&h=360]

      May 23, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • CHRISTIAN HATER

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-ewjEz0osc&w=640&h=360]

      May 23, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • Mycology

      "I love Allah, YOU LOVE HIM" Or you'll KILL ME with all that love.

      May 23, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  6. Elite

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5L-KrOoz_mg&w=640&h=390]

    May 23, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  7. Frankly Speaking..

    Look I am a frikkin hermit who has nothing better to do. So I sit behind this box call The laptop with the wi-fi's and the 3G's and talk s-htt as usual. I know nothing about anything but like most of my kind here i pretend i do. Apart from a US passport this is all i can boast of!! and i am not letting it go no matter how much stupid people think i am..Ah! i need a shower

    May 23, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  8. Mark

    islam is evil personified. I simply do not trust muslims of any type because of their actions AND innactions. They deserve nothing but death.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Johnathan

      I don't trust Christians with kids either.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • Frankly Speaking..

      hahaha

      May 23, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Mycology

      Mark – every day they reap what they sow.

      When you teach children a culture of hate, death worship, genocide, and intolerance – well, as they say,

      the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Mark,
      Unbelievably dim.
      How can a religion be the personification of anything, it's not a freaking person!
      Not to mention that the closest thing to evil personified here appears to be Mark spreading hate and death threats.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Mike

      Agreed. islam is a backward, hateful, intolerant, racist, violent and bigoted ideology and its so called prophet called for the killing of Jews and Christians, beating of wives, abuse of slaves, killing, torturing etc. Yet there are still liberals who think islam deserves the same rights as other religions. Eventually they will have no choice but to understand that islam must be dealt with as it is and not as we wish it were.

      May 23, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Mo

      Wow Mark, you sound like what your idea of a Muslim is.

      May 23, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  9. Colin

    We atheists can only sit back in wonder as you Muslims and christians fight over whose sky-fairy can beat up whose sky-fairy. You are both as silly and superst-itious as each other.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • tommas

      There is nothing better than a christian who obviously knows nothing of the immoral atrocities in the bible judge someone else's religious text.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Johnathan

      Amen

      May 23, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Kerry Berger

      Amen2.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • Stevie7

      RAmen.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Nonimus

      RAmen

      May 23, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Colin- I can only sit back and wonder why anyone should care about what you say. Considering that you use terms like "sky-fairy" as if you are being clever.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  10. Maloof

    12He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. 13And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. 14Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. 16He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, 17so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  11. Maryam

    I love Islam. All of this hate only makes me stronger in my faith.
    Why are non-Muslims so hateful and intolerant? I see only curses and hateful language from them. Many of my non-Muslim friends accepted Islam because they were disgusted by the hate of the non-Muslims.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • SconnieGuz

      Nice try Mary....why is everyone so hateful and intolerant? Gee....maybe it's because we've all grown to be that way because of your dumb a$$ religious muslim friends that can't go a day without killing someone that isn't islamic. Islam has forced the free world to be this way because it's obvious islam is nothing but a death cult and it's followers are brainwashed fools. Everywhere Islam goes there is religious nonsense and murder on a ridiculous scale. You can continue to worship your pedophile, war-mongering man-made hero just do it over in the middle east with all the other lunatics.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Mycology

      Amen sconnie – every day we see examples of the "religion of peace" at work

      They reap what they sow – and we become a little more informed every day of what their "religion" (see: CULT) is all about.

      It is not a fluke,

      EVERY DAY – Muslims kill, in the name of allah, with the quran as their blueprint for destruction. Reapin' what they sow. Amen.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • GnomicGarthe

      Really, Maryam, your joking with your comment about non-Muslims being hateful and intolerant? Or practicing a little taqiyya for the ignorant kuffars? You and Abuy Yusuf make quite a pair. He complains about people mocking and cursing and ridiculing islam and uses the derogatory term "kuffar" to describe them. You love islam? No doubt, but you are apparently quite ignorant of the ideology you profess or else you are pretending not to know about the hateful and violent language in its central texts just as you apparently ignore or remain ignorant of the violent, hateful, and intolerant words and actions occurring everyday in muslim countries. You applaud those converting to islam. Okay, what about a muslim converting to Christianity or Buddhism. Do you know islam says about apostasy? Sorry, Maryam, you're either ignorant or a liar.

      May 23, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Leo

      "followers are brainwashed fools". Luckily that does not happen in Christianity, right? pfff

      May 23, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  12. Johnathan

    To all you Christians, God is clearly on your side. I mean, look at the bible belt of this country! They haven't been destroyed by a storm have they? Oh..wait..

    May 23, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Guess you shouldn't read that Book of Job, it would ruin your views.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Yup, and "all-loving" god likes to send death and destruction upon his followers so that he can win a bet with the devil. Some god you got yourself there.

      May 23, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Yeah Stevie....knowing God trusts in his followers is soo bad.

      May 23, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Mike

      Yeah, right! Because god is on the side of muslims. But uhhm, don't they live all in filth and mud huts, blow each other up, marry their cousins, hate verything non-muslims and didn't contribute anything to the modern world? Yeah, you're right , god must love muslims!

      May 23, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Stevie7

      If god is all knowing, wouldn't he know this without having to kill a significant portion of them? Why does he make them prove their love by killing and hurting them? Sounds more like an abusive parent to me than someone with unconditional love. So, in your mind, does fear = love?

      May 23, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Leo

      @ Mike, That place sounds like Alabama to me mate.

      May 23, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Mike- They did give us such wonders as the Dome of the Rock and the Taj Mahal.

      May 23, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Stevie7- Hmm, since we are going with the parental anology...if a parent tells a kid he can do something, he believes in his kid. Does he still want the kid to see that he can? Isn't experience vital to one's growth?

      May 23, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Ok – parental analogy: a parent asks his kid – do you love me unconditionally? kid: yes. Parent slaps the kid. Parent: do you still love me unconditionally? kid: yes.

      I don't ask my kid to prove their love. That's abusive. If god needs anyone to prove anything, he is both not all powerful and not all-knowning. god shouldn't require anyone to prove anything, since he should already know.

      May 23, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Stevie7-
      1) God never did what you implied with your analogy. If you are thinking of Job, reread it.

      2) Again, it's not that God wants you to prove it to him...but that you need to see it for yourself. Unless you sanction the idea of "I am great simply because I think I am" mentality.

      May 23, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Stevie7

      So the only way that Christians can see their own devotion to god is through death and destruction? So god kills people so that other people can see just how great they are? That's pretty twisted. Some "gift"

      May 23, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Actually...it's not a gift because it is given to the just and the unjust equally, At least...last I saw no evil person lived forever while only the good die young.

      May 23, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Lycidas

      I think you are having a problem with the concept of good and evil and how they relate to God. Good and evil does not effect God, God effects good and evil since he made them. He is beyond the concept of good and evil.

      May 23, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • huh

      "evil since he made them"

      Wow what a cruel god!

      May 23, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Wha

      @Huh- You are making the same mistake others make. Being "cruel" implies evil....God is above evil because he created it. Therefor he is not cruel.

      May 23, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Why would an all-loving god create evil unless he was not all-loving? And by this reasoning, god is also not good because god is above good.

      May 24, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Where are you getting this "all-loving" aspect from? Have you not read about the wrath of God? God's compassion? God is more than just being love, unless we are to ignore all of the prophets.

      May 24, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Stevie7

      John 4:8
      John 4:18

      your god exposes repression, murder, genocide, and violence. That is no god I would ever worship. Fear does not equal love.

      May 24, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "John 4:8, John 4:18"

      You got the verses wrong btw. I think you meant I John and not the Gospel of John. Regardless....the verses does not refer to God as all-loving. It refers to God as equaling love, but that does not make him only "love". You would have to ignore a huge swath of the scriptures.

      "your god exposes repression, murder, genocide, and violence. That is no god I would ever worship. Fear does not equal love."

      We already been through this and I think you didn't mean exposes did you? No one requires you to worship God now do they? I agree that fear does not equal love...did you even read I John 4:18?

      May 24, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  13. Martin

    Islam is no religion. It is a system used by evil people to keep millions subjugated to their desires. To keep half the worlds population in slavery as that's what women are in islamic countries. The vast majority of the world's muslims are extremists....Pakistan, Indonesia, the entire miid East, and the moderates elsewhere are simply the first encroachment upon America and other parts of the world.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • TheTRUTH

      NO Martin, your taking about the KKK.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • Howard

      Your ignorance is dictated by your bigotry. It is hateful people, like you and Osama bin Laden, who cause much of the grief in the world.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • Ram

      You speak the truth that no one want's to hear.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • tommas

      If you follow the bible word for word , there is no difference.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • dc

      Yeah they keep women in their place with evil teachings like:

      "For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man."
      "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church."
      "Let the women learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression."

      wait actually that is the bible, whoops.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Donald

      SO true Tommas. Especially where Jesus says "love your enemies and bless those who curse you and do good to those who persecute you." You are a brilliant Bible Scholar.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • Mr.Dawkins

      An system used to subjugate millions you say? Sounds like every religion on this planet.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • tommas

      You prove my point exactly donald... It is nothing but hypocritical nonsense, same as the koran (there are many passages in the koran that promote peace too)

      May 23, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  14. Abu Yusuf

    @ Mycology

    The kuffar today are using freedom of speech to spit hate and mischief ONLY. When you make fun, mock, curse etc. it only incites more hatred. If you were truly sincere in your criticism, you would debate, bring proofs, evidence, critisize in a respectful way. But you kuffar always resort to curses..is that really your best shot? Do you realize that mocking, cursing actually makes the Muslims stronger and the sincere non-Muslims convert to Islam...so you are making it easy for Islam.
    If you had the balls...you would debate and argue with an open mind. Why are you so afraid of the truth? Trust me being torched for eternity will be a painful and sad ending to your miserable kafir lives...

    May 23, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      There is no heaven, there is no hell, there is no god. Sorry.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • Donodron

      Sean, I'd ask you to provide evidence to back up your statement, but I'm guessing you'll just say that you can't prove a negative assertion...how convenient

      May 23, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Donodron: While your statement is true, I don't even feel the need to try. I see no evidence, or even compelling arguments, for the existence of a god so I don't see any reason to give the idea any credence at all.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • Stevie7

      @Donodron,

      If I said "there is no flying spaghetti monster", would you also find it convenient that I could not prove my statement?

      May 23, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Abu Yusuf,
      I know little about Islam, but a quick search on Kafir brought up several categories of unbelief, like "Kufrul-Istihzaa: Disbelief due to mockery and derision." Is there a category for disbelief due to reason or rational thought?

      May 23, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Mycology

      LOL @ your face Abu Yusuf, you are pathetic.

      Instead of defending your cult from any aspect of my attack on it (and make no doubt, I eagerly and amibitiously attack your cult for all its barbarism and the threat it poses to freedom, liberty, secularism, and life)

      you claim again and again I should essentially re-state my argument.

      You, like most islamists, have no argument of your own – your argument is a non-argument. The lack of anything substantial other than calling me a Kaffir btw – for the people

      Kafir is an Arabic word literally meaning "ingrate." In the Islamic doctrinal sense the term refers to a person who does not recognize Allah or the finality of the prophethood of Muhammad and hides, denies, or covers the truth. In cultural terms, it is a derogatory term used to describe an unbeliever or an apostate from Islam. It is usually translated into English as "infidel" or "unbeliever."

      your -CULT- will be given respect when it GIVES respect first, in the mean time, you burn your own countries while threatening to burn ours and has the nerve to call us inferior.

      You're lucky though – Americans are gleefully ignorant. They dont know about your

      Taqiyya,

      Dar al Harb

      Dhimmi

      Jizya

      But I do know. And I educate -every person i come across- that will give me their ear. If I were you, i'd be afraid. You can only attact the weakminded (see: the white muslim woman in the video), the incompetent, the uneducated, the criminal (see: moHAMmed).

      May 23, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Donodron

      @Sean: Then ignore it, why fight something you don't think exists? I believe that God exists and that there's evidence to support that, and you don't believe that. But you can't back up negative statements, so it doesn't make sense to present them in the first place.

      @Stevie: Not necessarily, but I'd wonder why you felt the need to bring it up.

      May 23, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Roger

      Reading comments like youre always cracks me up! Once again, a muslims portrays muslims as the poor victims, while muslims abuse non-muslims in pretty much every muslim country. We all know the same would happen here in the US if muslims were the majority. Muslims should and eventually will be prosecuted in the West because islam is an ideology similar to fascism.

      May 23, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Donodron: I'll throw it back in your court then. If you don't believe my statements and I have no evidence, why bother with my claims? Just ignore it.

      May 23, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  15. John Doe

    The muslims got a permit to build a temple for their hateful, intolerant, racist, backward and violent ideology?? And a judge said islam is a religion even though it is clearly not? This is a sad day for America.Islam needs to banned in the West.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • stan

      dont you have some altarboys you should be busy molesting?

      May 23, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • Ram

      @stan
      Hey Stan, you're being a bit racist aren'y you? Implying that all white priests molest. Gee wiz.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • Stevie7

      That would kind of be like implying that all muslims have "hateful, intolerant, racist, backward and violent ideology"

      May 23, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Mycology

      Amen John Doe –

      Its only a matter of time unti lthey demand the right to kill the muslims who choose to convert out of Islam.

      that -IS- a part of their cult, after all. (lets see the muslims / muslim apologists try to cover that one up)

      May 23, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @John Doe,
      "And a judge said islam is a religion even though it is clearly not?"
      What exactly is clear about it not being a religion?

      @Ram,
      Who said anything about "white" priests?

      May 23, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  16. Maloof

    A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, 10he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. 11And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.” 12This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  17. palintwit

    I was vacationing in the Middle East one time when I saw a muslim by the side of the road with his arm up a camel's butt. "Car trouble? " I asked.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  18. Britney Spears Loses a Debate with a Chicken

    You can always count on Southerners to provide the best news.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • palintwit

      And Sarah Palin loses a debate with Britney Spears.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  19. Splovengates

    Can two walk together unless they agree?

    May 23, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
  20. hawaiiduude

    the bible is full of murder and ethnic cleansing or indigenous peoples eye for an eye is ok in the bible but not for iranian laws?

    May 23, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • unknown

      Where in the New Testament does it say that?

      May 23, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • Donodron

      You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • Jeff B

      The Old Testament is a record of God's treatment and relationship to a rebellious and violent people of the time. Islam is still living in that violence. The New Testament makes no statements about waging war and killing unbelievers. It says talk to people and if they don't want to listen, walk away, not chop their heads off. Investigate Sharia Law. Ask a Western women if she want's to live under it. It's strange not a peep is heard out of NOW on this. Islam's goal is to place all the nations under Sharia. This is incompatible with the Western world.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • Stevie7

      There certainly isn't a whole lotta lovin' for one's enemies on these boards today.

      I'm still waiting for someone to point out where in the NT it says to ignore everything in the OT. It's one book – you can't just cherry-pick the convenient parts.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • ScottK

      @hawaiiduude – You are correct, and the reason no one is fr e a king out about it is that Christians have calmed down over the last hundred years and stopped taking the bible literally. They claim their God has not changed but apparently he wants a completely different fealty now then he did a few hundred years ago. No more burnt sacrafices, no more killing and conquering for God, no more giving a full 10% in t i the. That or he he doesn't exist or care and people change their rules as it fit's them.

      @unknown – Where in the above comment does he say "In the New Testement"? Also, try reading Revelation, lots of bad things happen to the unbelievers, and even though its at the hands of horsemen & wild beasts, it's still violent and full of murder.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Mr. Wolf

      The Bible was written over a period of time around 2,000 yrs ago. Tell me what country uses the Bible today to justify the things you've mentioned? None. I'm an athiest, but even I recognize that the excesses of any religion are found with a minority of it's followers, yet only Islam is used by NATIONS (such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc.) as the foundation for barbaric behavior in these times. Yes, "good Christian men and women" use the Bible to justify their nasty and mean actions and words, but that is a far cry from a government codifying those actions. There is a big difference between current Christian and Islamic actions being done on a large scale by countries and individuals. A lone gunman or small group of Christian fanatics killing abortionists or harrassing women is a FAR cry from Islamic fundamentalists blowing up buildings and people on a ROUTINE basis. And let's not forget beating and raping women just because they dare to step outside of their assigned roles in Islam. Spare me your sophistry.

      May 23, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • ScottK

      "The New Testament makes no statements about waging war and killing unbelievers."

      Try reading Revelation, lot's of war, lot's of killing of the unbelievers. It may not be his followers he commands to do the killing, but the intent is apparent, worship me or die.

      "7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. 8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. 9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone" Rev 14:7-10

      May 23, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "where in the NT it says to ignore everything in the OT."

      It doesn't. But of course one needs to actually study the whole thing. That goes for atheists as well who like to cherry pick there own verses.

      May 23, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • Stevie7

      @Lycidas,

      Great, so while I've never said that the bible is pure evil, at least you can recognize that there's many parts of the bible that encourage violent, repressive, genocidal, and misogynistic actions. I don't really see many atheists cherry-picking verses. Rather, I see people pointing out the hypocritical notion that the bible does not contain such passages.

      May 23, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • Lycidas

      I do not deny anything in the Torah/Bible. Like Prego....It's in there.

      However, you imply terms such as "violent, repressive, genocidal, and misogynistic actions."

      Violent...yes. Though I don't see a problem with it.

      Repressive...yes. When you are going to be a culture that stands the test of time, you would need to repress other faiths and doctrines. Repression is not always a bad thing.

      Genocidal....yes. I usually think of Ai and Jericho in this case. Though genocide usually tends to be aimed at eliminating a group due to ethnic, racial, religious, or nationality. The motives of Joshua was not any of these. His motive was simply to get them and their culture out. Joshua didn't pursue these varied groups beyond the goals of their conquest.

      Misogynistic....no. I don't see this as a steady action in the Torah/Bible. There are too many examples ranging from Deborah, Esther and Jael that shows strong forceful women.

      May 23, 2011 at 3:32 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.