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My Take: Congressional hearings on Islam betray American values
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King at Wednesday's hearing on Muslim radicalization in U.S. prisons.
June 15th, 2011
04:01 PM ET

My Take: Congressional hearings on Islam betray American values

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

The anti-Muslims are at it again.

It is commonplace to think of the United States as a tolerant nation, an asylum for immigrants from all nations and religions. But throughout U.S. history there are moments that remind us of our collective depravity—our inability as a nation to live up consistently to the values articulated in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Today is one of those moments, because Representative Peter King (R-NY) held a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on Muslim “radicalization" in U.S. prisons.

Some who watched the hearings this morning might be experiencing a sense of deja vu, since this is Round Two in King's hearings on the "radicalization" of Muslim Americans. But watching King's bigotry on display brought me back to a much earlier moment in U.S. history: the burning of a Catholic convent by Protestant protesters in Charlestown, Massachusetts, in 1834.

Surprisingly, this mob action was done in the name of American values. The good Protestants of Charlestown burned down this nunnery in the name of the sacred cause of liberty. Catholics were opposed to liberty (or so went the rioters' logic), so the Catholics had to go.

And in this case they did go. Although many of the good citizens of Boston denounced the arson as criminal, the Massachusetts legislature refused to indemnify the Ursuline nuns who ran the school for their loss. So after a brief sojourn in Roxbury, Massachusetts, where they were repeatedly threatened and harassed, the Ursulines decamped to Canada in 1838.

As an Irish American Catholic who is on record supporting the terrorist group the IRA, Rep. King should be familiar with the history of anti-Irish and anti-Catholic bigotry worldwide. He should also know that bigotry at home has repeatedly sparked violence against Irish Americans and American Catholics—the burning of churches, the tarring and feathering of priests, and the murders of innocent laypeople.

After Representative Laura Richardson (D-CA) said at today's hearing that King's obsession with Islamic radicalization "can be deemed racist and discriminatory," King said that "the purpose of this Committee is to combat Islamic terrorism because that is the terrorist threat to this country."

I disagree. I think the purpose of King's hearings is to call into question the Americanness of U.S. Muslims by branding their religion a threat to the nation. And once again I observe that we have been here before, including in 1855 when Protestants circulated an image of Pope Pius IX crumbling the Constitution in his right hand while plunging a sceptre into an American eagle with his left.

King has said that the threat of Islamic radicalization is a "real issue.” I agree.

But the “real issue” here is not the radicalization of Islam in U.S. prisons. It is the sacrifice of American values of liberty and tolerance on the altar of anti-Islamic prejudice. More specifically, it is the abuse of the coercive power of the federal government (something conservatives used to care about) to attack one religion and one religion only.

His last hearing, held in March, on "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response" was an embarrassment to the House and its Homeland Security Committee. But King apparently has no shame. Like the anti-Muslim comments that will doubtless accompany this post, he continues to give voice to the fears and hatred of Americans rather than to what Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature.”

So it looks like these hearings will continue (King has announced a third installment for late July) until either the American public makes it clear that it will not tolerate federal attacks on particular religions or the voters of King’s Long Island district make it clear at the ballot box that they want a representative dedicated to conserving American values rather than undermining them.

In my view, neither outcome could come too soon.

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

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Church and state • Islam • Politics • Religious liberty • Religious violence • United States

soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. Mike

    King looks demented, and is.

    His contemptible antics in the Congress are pure hate-mongering, and are a shameful disgrace to our great country.

    August 15, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
  2. EvolveAmerica

    Who's leading the fight against the conservative Christian terrorists like the Christian Coalition, the American Family Association, the Family Research Council, and the National Organization for marriage? They too are trying to take away the rights of all Americans. What of their "radicalization" of the American brain?

    Worship me or go to Hell.
    -Love, Jesus

    June 26, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
  3. Marie Kidman

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGSvqMBj-ig&w=640&h=390]
    `

    June 23, 2011 at 10:44 am |
  4. amir

    this bigot (king) is simply wasting American tax dollars for no clear objective except harassing a group of people who'd obviously fight back using the same "system" through which he, himself was elected.

    June 22, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  5. Muneef

    [43:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

    [43:1] H. M.

    [43:2] And the enlightening scripture.

    [43:3] We have rendered it an Arabic Quran, that you may understand.

    [43:4] It is preserved with us in the original master, honorable and full of wisdom.

    [43:5] Should we just ignore the fact that you have transgressed the limits?
    -----

    Inherited Traditions Condemned

    [43:22] The fact is that: they said, "We found our parents carrying on certain practices, and we are following in their footsteps."

    [43:23] Invariably, when we sent a warner to any community, the leaders of that community would say, "We found our parents following certain practices, and we will continue in their footsteps."

    [43:24] (The messenger) would say, "What if I brought to you better guidance than what you inherited from your parents?" They would say, "We are disbelievers in the message you brought."

    [43:25] Consequently, we requited them. Note the consequences for the rejectors.
    ------–

    Invisible, Devilish Companions*

    [43:36] Anyone who disregards the message of the Most Gracious, we appoint a devil to be his constant companion.

    [43:37] Such companions will divert them from the path, yet make them believe that they are guided.

    [43:38] When he comes before us he will say, "Oh I wish you were as far from me as the two easts. What a miserable companion!"

    [43:39] It will not console you on that day, as transgressors, that both of you will share in the retribution.
    ------

    God's Messenger of the Covenant

    [43:40] Can you make the deaf hear; can you make the blind see, or those who are far astray?

    [43:41] Whether we let you die before it or not, we will surely requite them.

    [43:42] Or, we may show you (the retribution) we promised for them. We are in full control over them.

    [43:43] You shall steadfastly preach what is revealed to you; you are in the right path.

    [43:44] This is a message for you and your people; all of you will be questioned.

    [43:45] Check the messengers we sent before you: "Have we ever appointed any other gods – beside the Most Gracious – to be worshipped?"
    -------

    Jesus: Another Example

    [43:57] When the son of Mary was cited as an example, your people disregarded it.

    [43:58] They said, "Is it better to worship our gods, or to worship him?" They said this only to argue with you. Indeed, they are people who have joined the opposition.

    [43:59] He was no more than a servant whom we blessed, and we sent him as an example for the Children of Israel.

    [43:60] If we willed, we could have made you angels who colonize and reproduce on earth.

    Jesus and the End of the World*

    [43:61] He is to serve as a marker for knowing the end of the world, so you can no longer harbor any doubt about it. You shall follow Me; this is the right path.

    [43:62] Let not the devil repel you; he is your most ardent enemy.

    [43:63] When Jesus went with the proofs, he said, "I bring to you wisdom, and to clarify some of the matters in which you dispute. You shall reverence GOD and obey me.

    [43:64] "GOD is my Lord and your Lord, you shall worship Him alone. This is the right path."

    [43:65] The opponents disputed among themselves. Woe to those who transgress from the retribution of a painful day.

    [43:66] Are they waiting for the Hour (Day of Judgment) to come to them suddenly when they least expect it?

    [43:67] The close friends on that day will become enemies of one another, except for the righteous.
    -------

    They Hate The Truth

    [43:78] "We have given you the truth, but most of you hate the truth."

    [43:79] Have they schemed some scheme? We too are scheming.

    [43:80] Do they think that we do not hear their secrets and conspiracies? Yes indeed; our messengers are with them, recording.

    [43:81] Proclaim: "If the Most Gracious did have a son, I would still be the foremost worshiper."

    [43:82] Be He glorified; He is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, the Lord with the great dominion, far above their claims.

    [43:83] Let them blunder and play until they meet their day that is awaiting them.

    [43:84] He is the only One who is a deity in the heaven and a deity on earth. He is the Most Wise, the Omniscient.

    [43:85] Most Exalted is the One who possesses all sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, and everything between them. With Him is the knowledge about the Hour (end of the world), and to Him you will be returned.

    [43:86] None of those whom they idolize beside Him possess any power to intercede, unless their intercession coincides with the truth, and they fully know.

    [43:87] If you asked them who created them, they would say, "GOD." Why then did they deviate?

    [43:88] It will be proclaimed: "O my Lord, these people do not believe."

    [43:89] You shall disregard them and say, "Peace;" they will surely find out.

    http://www.submission.org/suras/sura43.html

    June 22, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
  6. Muneef

    Now been confused about these American Values,do not know which they mean are these values;
    The white American brought values? Or The Native American Red Indian Values? Or The Black American brought values or these new world values? Any way what ever values surely they will be mixed with their native country values....the values are is how to bring on respect between your Americans to each other are the base of all values...

    June 20, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
  7. Muneef

     

    The sharia myth sweeps America

    USA today

    http://www.islamdaily.org/en/world-issues/america/9789.article.htm

     

    June 19, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
  8. Muneef

    [7:94] Whenever we sent a prophet to any com-m-unity, we afflicted its people with adversity and hardship, that they may implore.

    [7:95] Then we sub-sti-tuted peace and prosperity in place of that hardship. But alas, they turned heedless and said, "It was our parents who experienced that hardship before prosperity." Consequently, we punished them suddenly when they least expected.

    [7:96] Had the people of those com-m-unities believed and turned righteous, we would have showered them with blessings from the heaven and the earth. Since they decided to disbelieve, we punished them for what they earned.

    [7:97] Did the people of the present com-m-unities guarantee that our retribution will not come to them in the night as they sleep?

    [7:98] Did the people of today's com-m-unities guarantee that our retribution will not come to them in the daytime while they play?

    [7:99] Have they taken GOD's plans for granted? None takes GOD's plans for granted except the losers.

    [7:100] Does it ever occur to those who inherit the earth after previous generations that, if we will, we can punish them for their sins, and seal their hearts, causing them to turn deaf?

    [7:101] We narrate to you the history of those com-m-unities: their messengers went to them with clear proofs, but they were not to believe in what they had rejected before. GOD thus seals the hearts of the disbelievers.

    [7:102] We found that most of them disregard their covenant; we found most of them wicked.
    -------

    [7:142] We summoned Moses for thirty* nights, and completed them by adding ten. Thus, the audience with his Lord lasted forty * nights. Moses said to his brother Aaron, "Stay here with my people, maintain righteousness, and do not follow the ways of the corrupters."

    [7:143] When Moses came at our appointed time, and his Lord spoke with him, he said, "My Lord, let me look and see You." He said, "You cannot see Me. Look at that mountain; if it stays in its place, then you can see Me." Then, his Lord manifested Himself to the mountain, and this caused it to crumble. Moses fell unconscious. When he came to, he said, "Be You glorified. I repent to You, and I am the most convinced believer."

    [7:144] He said, "O Moses, I have chosen you, out of all the people, with My messages and by speaking to you. Therefore, take what I have given you and be appreciative."

    [7:145] We wrote for him on the tablets all kinds of enlightenments and details of everything: "You shall uphold these teachings strongly, and exhort your people to uphold them – these are the best teachings. I will point out for you the fate of the wicked."

    [7:146] I will divert from My revelations those who are arrogant on earth, without justification. Consequently, when they see every kind of proof they will not believe. And when they see the path of guidance they will not adopt it as their path, but when they see the path of straying they will adopt it as their path. This is the consequence of their rejecting our proofs, and being totally heedless thereof.

    [7:147] Those who reject our revelations and the meeting of the Hereafter, their works are nullified. Are they requited only for what they committed?
    -------

    [7:156] "And decree for us righteousness in this world, and in the Hereafter. We have repented to You." He said, "My retribution befalls whomever I will. But My mercy encompasses all things. However, I will specify it for those who (1) lead a righteous life, (2) give the obligatory charity (Zakat), (3) believe in our revelations, and

    [7:157] "(4) follow the messenger, the gentile prophet (Muhammad), whom they find written in their Torah and Gospel. He exhorts them to be righteous, enjoins them from evil, allows for them all good food, and prohibits that which is bad, and unloads the burdens and the shackles imposed upon them. Those who believe in him, respect him, support him, and follow the light that came with him are the successful ones."

    [7:158] Say, "O people, I am GOD's messenger to all of you. To Him belongs the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth. There is no god except He. He controls life and death." Therefore, you shall believe in GOD and His messenger, the gentile prophet, who believes in GOD and His words. Follow him, that you may be guided.

    [7:159] Among the followers of Moses there are those who guide in accordance with the truth, and the truth renders them righteous.

    June 19, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
  9. Muneef

    Prof. Wagner: I believe that the Holy God speaks to us in the Quran

    Professor Walter Wagner, a professor of theology, shared his vision of the Quran with Sunday’s Zaman readers.
    After carefully reading the Quran and examining it based on his many years of study, a leading American theologian has concluded that via the holy book God is speaking to all human beings around the world, a voice that, in his astonishing book, he said he tried to transmit to readers and students, as well to himself, to deepen his understanding.

    Professor Walter Wagner’s fascinating book “Opening the Qur’an: Introducing Islam’s Holy Book” is definitely a bewildering and inspiring book, not only for the non-Muslim and English-speaking readers, but also Muslim readers. Wagner “opens” the Quran by offering a comprehensive and extraordinarily readable, step-by-step introduction to the text, making it accessible to everyone who is interested in Islam and Islam’s holy book.

    Watch: http://www.ebru.tv/en/genres/TalkShow/footnote/episodes/4/402-walter-h-wagner 

    http://www.todayszaman.com/news-246986-prof-wagner-i-believe-that-the-holy-god-speaks-to-us-in-the-quran.html

    June 18, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
    • Dr J

      Muneef,

      Why you citing AKP agitprop from the Zaman?

      As you know it's a paper owned and operated by the Islamist,
      girl-crushing, jew-hating, armenian-killing,
      nursi-sniffing, gulen-licking, ergenekon-forgers,
      occupiers of Cyprus, to wit,
      the unspeakable pan-Turko neo-Ottoman AKP.

      Stop supporting the advocates and proponents of genocide!
      You know they're capable of doing it again.
      You know they are.
      Once a grey wolf has tasted innocent blood, they always thirst for more.

      Turks are the owners and operators of the single most illegal occupation state in the entire world.
      No one in the UN except for the unspeakable Turks recognizes the legitimacy of the Cyprus occupation.

      If you're a Turk, why are you not ashamed to appear in public?
      How can you even work up the nerve to speak to others?
      You won't even admit: "Yeah, we did a couple genocides. We're sorry."
      No, the best you manage: "There were never any Armenians in Turkey. But if there were, they deserved it."

      The world's getting tired of you Turks and your defense of genocide,
      and your continued threats "to finish the job,"
      if not with the sword, than by your continual embargo of Armenia.

      Your country has no moral standing in the civilized world.
      None. Go play with your remaining friends in Uzbekistan.
      You got lots of shared values there.

      Unspeakable neo-Ottoman Turks, you seem to forget the facts:
      For the last 500 years, whenever a European mother wanted to scare a child into obedience,
      she'd say: "There's a Turk under the bed."

      Given the brutality of Turkish occupation or invasions,
      kids would rather cut off their own heads,
      rather than risk falling into the hands of Turkoman slave traders,
      the handsome boys, especially.

      You should be ashamed of yourself and your people.
      Everyone in Europe hates your country.
      Even many of your fellow citizens don't want to be part of a country run by Turks.

      Ask the Alawis, Kurds, remaining Armenians, Suriani, Arabs, Laz, and the rest.
      They all want and will always want: freedom from the Turko yoke.

      Next year in Constantinople!

      June 26, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  10. Muneef

    [18:27] You shall recite what is revealed to you of your Lord's scripture. Nothing shall abrogate His words, and you shall not find any other source beside it.

    [18:28] You shall force yourself to be with those who worship their Lord day and night, seeking Him alone. Do not turn your eyes away from them, seeking the vanities of this world. Nor shall you obey one whose heart we rendered obl-ivi-ous to our message; one who pursues his own desires, and whose priorities are confused.

    [18:29] Proclaim: "This is the truth from your Lord," then whoever wills let him believe, and whoever wills let him disbelieve. We have prepared for the transgressors a fire that will completely surround them. When they scream for help, they will be given a liquid like concent-rated a-cid that sca-lds the faces. What a miserable drink! What a miserable destiny!

    [18:30] As for those who believe and lead a righteous life, we never fail to recompense those who work righteousness.

    [18:31] They have deserved gardens of Eden wherein rivers flow. They will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold, and will wear clothes of green silk and velvet, and will rest on comfortable furnishings. What a wonderful reward; what a wonderful abode!
    ----–

    June 17, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • Muneef

      [18:43] No force on earth could have helped him against GOD, nor was it possible for him to receive any help.

      [18:44] That is because the only true Lord and master is GOD; He provides the best recompense, and with Him is the best destiny.

      [18:45] Cite for them the example of this life as water that we send down from the sky to produce plants of the earth, then they turn into hay that is blown away by the wind. GOD is able to do all things.

      [18:46] Money and children are the joys of this life, but the righteous works provide an eternal recompense from your Lord, and a far better hope.

      [18:47] The day will come when we wipe out the mountains, and you will see the earth barren. We will summon them all, not leaving out a single one of them.

      [18:48] They will be presented before your Lord in a row. You have come to us as individuals, just as we created you initially. Indeed, this is what you claimed will never happen.

      [18:49] The record will be shown, and you will see the guilty fearful of its contents. They will say, "Woe to us. How come this book leaves nothing, small or large, without counting it?" They will find everything they had done brought forth. Your Lord is never unjust towards anyone.
      ------

      June 17, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Muneef

      [18:54] We have cited in this Quran every kind of example, but the human being is the most argumentative creature.

      [18:55] Nothing prevented the people from believing, when the guidance came to them, and from seeking the forgiveness of their Lord, except that they demanded to see the same (kind of miracles) as the previous generations, or challenged to see the retribution beforehand.

      [18:56] We only send the messengers as simply deliverers of good news, as well as warners. Those who disbelieve argue with falsehood to defeat the truth, and they take My proofs and warnings in vain.

      [18:57] Who are more evil than those who are reminded of their Lord's proofs, then disregard them, without realizing what they are doing. Consequently, we place shields on their hearts to prevent them from understanding it (the Quran), and deafness in their ears. Thus, no matter what you do to guide them, they can never ever be guided.

      [18:58] Yet, your Lord is the Forgiver, full of mercy. If He called them to account for their deeds, He would annihilate them right there and then. Instead, He gives them a respite until a specific, predetermined time; then they can never escape.

      [18:59] Many a com-m-unity we annihilated because of their transgressions; we designated a specific time for their annihilation.
      ------

      June 17, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • Muneef

      [18:100] We will present Hell, on that day, to the disbelievers.

      [18:101] They are the ones whose eyes were too veiled to see My message. Nor could they hear.

      [18:102] Do those who disbelieve think that they can get away with setting up My servants as gods beside Me? We have prepared for the disbelievers Hell as an eternal abode.

      [18:103] Say, "Shall I tell you who the worst losers are?

      [18:104] "They are the ones whose works in this life are totally astray, but they think that they are doing good."

      [18:105] Such are the ones who disbelieved in the revelations of their Lord and in meeting Him. Therefore, their works are in vain; on the Day of Resurrection, they have no weight.

      [18:106] Their just requital is Hell, in return for their disbelief, and for mocking My revelations and My messengers.

      [18:107] As for those who believe and lead a righteous life, they have deserved a blissful Paradise as their abode.

      [18:108] Forever they abide therein; they will never want any other sub-sti-tute.

      [18:109] Say, "If the ocean were ink for the words of my Lord, the ocean would run out, before the words of my Lord run out, even if we double the ink supply."

      [18:110] Say, "I am no more than a human like you, being inspired that your god is one god. Those who hope to meet their Lord shall work righteousness, and never worship any other god beside his Lord."

      June 17, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  11. Rev. Rick

    I am more concerned about Christian conservatives and their current influnce on American politics. They want separation of church and state, as long as it's not separation of "their" church from "their" state.

    June 17, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Spencer

      Im glad you care more about your stupid politics than actual violence and murder occurring.

      June 17, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Rev. Rick

      @ Spencer – you have the floor, please explain my politics to me.

      June 17, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • Spencer

      I dont know Rev., other than you sound just like Sheila Jackson Lee barking about "Christian Militants" in the midst of today's reality. Laughable try at moral equivalence. Yours was just as bad.

      June 17, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • Spencer

      Are you a fan of Rep. Lee? You guys have that 'defend Islam by pointing the finger at Christians' thing in common. Did you also think that Pepsi's Super Bowl ad was racist? She did and she let everybody know it, too.

      June 17, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Dr J

      Muneef, bro,

      You're suffering under the delusion that we care about what your invisible friend looks like.
      We don't. Americans have always been funny that way.
      We're more interested in sports and politics,
      and keeping our religious beliefs to the privacy of family, friends, and churches.

      It's not Islam's beliefs about jinn or al-jannah to which we object.
      We've really no interest, none, in hadath or janab.

      We're determined, though, that Muslims live by the laws.
      At present there are lots who don't.

      Fact: The majority of American Muslims continue to support terrorism.
      Fact: They must stop.

      Muslims have got to stop killing in their name of their religion,
      or providing financial and moral support to those killing.
      Instead, US Muslims like most of the terror organizations.
      They'll not even call them terrorists,
      and hardly ever fight against them,
      or even tell the police about them.
      Not even the ones that kill Americans.
      We don't much like that.
      In fact, we sometimes wonder if a person who could do that is even able to be an American.

      Muslims have got to stop killing us, at home and abroad -
      as they've been doing with some regularity since the mid-1970s.

      Also, they've got to stop killing our allies, including:
      The sovereign nation states of India and Israel.

      Our laws, our rules, our definitions of terrorism.
      Citizens must obey or be punished.
      Don't like it. Change it. You can try.
      Convince the majority of Americans that Hamas is right in its desire to destroy all the Jews in Israel.
      Change the law. Until then, don't break it.

      Together with most other civilized countries,
      we say that Laskar-e-Tayba, Hamas, and Hizbullah are terror organizations.
      If you support them, you support terrorism.
      Here we put you in jail. There we put you down.

      You need to understand, and well:
      Lots of Muslims have been behaving like petulant children for the last 40 years.
      Instead of building countries or making something to sell,
      they've cultivated hate for non-Muslims and vast conspiracy theories.

      We're tired of Mumbai, 9/11, London, Madrid,
      and the many thousands of less spectacular ops.

      We understand that your civilization has failed, and we're even a little sad.
      We don't enjoy seeing Pakistan a failed state,
      or any of the other dozens of failed Muslim states.
      Heck, if Muslim nations were prosperous, we'd all benefit.

      Till now, though, and here's the kicker...
      the _only_ accomplishment of the modern Muslim world is spectacular and theatrical terrorism.
      You've got a good product, world-class, even.
      It's astounding, really:

      Sunnis terrorist alone average 40,000 terror casualties per year, year after year.

      Good product.
      No buyers.
      Bad business model.

      If you really want folks to like Islam,
      best thing you can do is convince your fellow Muslims
      to stop hating and killing non-Muslims.

      If you don't do it, we'll have to.
      And while the Marines are fair, they're seldom gentle.
      Best fix the problem yourselves.

      So stop your denial and your terror apologetics,
      and go clean up the fetid hate-mosques in Pakistan or Saudi.

      It's not the victims of terror that are the problem.
      It's their killers and their supporters.

      June 26, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  12. James Black

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGSvqMBj-ig&w=640&h=390]
    ^^

    June 17, 2011 at 9:55 am |
  13. donna Noll

    I once doubted God was good. I had called on him for help in a terrible situation and help didn't come. I wanted God to be like the fairy God mother in Cinderella and for him to come when called because I was a good person who believed in him. I felt rejected and hurt/angry so I spent 10 years looking for God in the alternative religions. NO luck there. They are just psychology repackaged-(how to manage our internal space to avoid pain) . Life became intolerable without God around 30. and I slowly inch by inch have accepted God for who he is. He will communicate with those who commit to spreading the word about him. He is better than a fairy God mother we can summon. God is still working Miracles and He is a supernatural God who wants a relationship with you, but only if you get serious about seeking him with all your heart. soul and mind. That's the eye of the needle. He is really worth seeking, so holy, so big. Surrender to the new testament guidelines, preach the gospel and you will know God in a very real way. I lived the wild sorority life, the Buddhist life and this beats them both. Carl Jung once said you must make peace with the God of your childhood. Jesus loves us all and wants us all to come home.

    June 17, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • Rev. Rick

      @ donna Noll – It's interesting that you cite Jung in your post. Jung considered all religions as myths, not necessarily bad ones, but myths nonetheless.

      June 17, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  14. Muneef

    Fuel of Hell some will have no mercy what's so ever for their language towards beliefs and holy icons...

    June 17, 2011 at 8:41 am |
  15. skytag

    @Reality: "The following suffices:"

    It suffices for ignorant bigots. Thinking people who are familiar our actions in that region of the world for the past 60 understand that the attacks on 9/11 were the acts of people who were fed up with our interference in the internal affairs of Muslim countries.

    People like you are a huge part of the problem. By refusing to recognize the real causes of Islamic terrorism you guarantee we'll never be able address them. We have meddled in internal affairs of Muslim countries, and in the affairs in the Middle East in general for decades, supporting dictatorial regimes and influencing internal politics. We've invaded Iraq without cause. We supported Iraq in its war with Iran. We kill innocent Muslim civilians on a regular basis. We've shown open disrespect for their religion.

    I wouldn't kill you to study some history.

    June 17, 2011 at 6:08 am |
    • Reality

      Our War on Terror and Aggression:

      An update (or how we are spending or how we have spent the USA taxpayers’ money to eliminate global terror and aggression)

      The terror and aggression via a Partial and Recent Body Count

      as the koranic/mosque driven acts of terror and horror continue:

      The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

      ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

      and more recently

      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, 3,483 and 925 in non combat roles. 99,901 – 109,143 Iraqi civilians killed as of 3/3/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.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 1,141 killed in action, 242 killed in non-combat situations as of 03/03/2011. 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 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings 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.

      18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

      19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

      20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

      21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

      22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

      Other elements of our War on Terror and Aggression:

      -Operation Iraqi Freedom- 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-combat, 99,901 – 109,143 Iraqi civilians killed as of 3/3/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,141 killed in action, 242 killed in non-combat situations as of 03/03/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror,

      – Sa-dd-am, his sons and major he-nchmen have been deleted. Sa-dd-am's bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. Kuwait was saved.

      – Iran is being been contained. (beside containing the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Baghdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes, essential oil continues to flow from the region.)

      – North Korea is still u-ncivil but is contained.

      – Northern Ireland is finally at peace.

      – The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. Unfortunately the Annapolis Peace Conference was not successful. And unfortunately the recent events in Gaza has put this situation back to “squ-are one”. And this significant stupidity is driven by the mythical foundations of both religions!!!

      – – Fa-na–tical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. Ditto for a wall between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      – Timothy McVeigh was exe-cuted. Terry Nichols will follow soon.

      – Eric Ru-dolph is spending three life terms in pri-son with no par-ole.

      – Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, the "nuns" from Rwanda, and the KKK were all dealt with and either eliminated themselves or are being punished.

      – Islamic Sudan, Dar-fur and So-malia are still terror hot spots.

      – The terror and tor-ture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended by the proper application of the military forces of the USA and her freedom-loving friends. Ra-dovan Karadzic was finally captured on 7/23/08 and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war – charges related to the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina's secession from Yugoslavia.

      The capture of Ratko Mladić: (Serbian Cyrillic: Ратко Младић, pronounced [râtkɔ mlǎːditɕ], born 12 March 1943[1][2]) is an accused war criminal and a former Bosnian Serb military leader. On May 31, 2011, Mladić was extradited to The Hague, where he was processed at the detention center that holds suspects for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).[3] His trial began on 3 June 2011.

      – the bloody terror brought about by the Ja-panese, Na-zis and Co-mmunists was with great difficulty eliminated by the good guys.

      – Bin Laden was executed for crimes against humanity on May 1, 2011

      June 17, 2011 at 9:20 am |
    • Muneef

      No it is not that rather the truth be your war are for;

      INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT LIBYA

      Did you know this about Libya? If not read the following  details.
      Some other facts (that mainstream media will never disclose) about
      "Gaddafi and Libya:
       
      Loans to Libyan citizens are given with NO interest.
      Students would get paid the average salary for the profession they  are
      studying for.
      If you are unable to get employment the state would pay the full salary
      as if you were employed until you find employment.
       
      When you get married the couple gets an apartment or house for free  from
      the Government.
      You could go to college anywhere in the world. The state pays 2,500
      euros   plus accommodation and car allowance.
      The cars are sold at factory cost.
      Libya does not owe money, (not a cent) to anyone. No creditors.
      Free education and health care for all citizens.
      25% of the population with a university degree.
      No beggers on the streets and nobody is homeless (until the  recent bombing).
      Bread costs only $0.15 per loaf.
      No wonder the US and other capitalist countries do not like Libya.  Gaddafi
      would not consent to taking loans from IMF or World Bank at high interest
      rates. In other words Libya was INDEPENDENT! That is the real reason for
      the  war in Libya! He may be a dictator, but that is not the US problem. Also
      Gaddafi called on all Oil producing countries NOT to accept payment for
      oil in USD or Euros. He recommended that oil get paid for in GOLD and  that
      would have bankrupted just about every Western Country as most of them do
      not have gold reserves to match the rate at which they print their  useless
      currencies.
      Remember the last time someone had the "NERVE" to make a similar  statement
      was when Saddam Hussein advised all OPEC countries not to accept payment
      for oil in US Dollars.

      Well, we all know what happened to him
      Yes, they Hanged HIM.
               

      June 18, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
    • Dr J

      Nice post, reality. There are even another few dozen 'conflicts' to add to the list.

      As for Iraq, Saddam Hussein's refusal voluntarily to comply with the U.N. resolutions
      meant that his country was forcibly and comprehensively inspected.

      Wasn't so much an invasion as a friendly visit from honest inspectors.

      An added bonus: he was a murdering, thuggish, psychopath, with a history of supporting terrorism
      all over the Middle East.

      Saddam was nasty, no question. But his collection of hats wasn't near as rich as the little Libyan Colonel's,
      That name has been blowing other people and their citizens up for over 40 years.
      He should have been introduced to the business end of a warthog decades ago.

      On which subject...
      Muneef, bro...
      you work for the pasdaran? You do, don't you.
      Which branch? Lebanese or Persian?
      Paid corp or volunteer.

      June 26, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  16. Zelda

    Muslims can get saved by believing in Jesus as the Divine Savior who died for humanity's sin and rose again from the dead.

    June 16, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
    • skytag

      The Jesus myth will no more save Muslims than the myth they have now. No believer of any religious bent has any evidence anything we can reasonably call God exists, yet all suffer from the arrogance of being certain *their* narrative about a God they can't even prove exists is the correct one and all the others are false.

      “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” — Stephen Roberts

      June 17, 2011 at 6:17 am |
    • Muneef

      Only your Rightous works save you nothing else does ;

      [18:102] Do those who disbelieve think that they can get away with setting up My servants as gods beside Me? We have prepared for the disbelievers Hell as an eternal abode.

      [18:103] Say, "Shall I tell you who the worst losers are?

      [18:104] "They are the ones whose works in this life are totally astray, but they think that they are doing good."

      [18:105] Such are the ones who disbelieved in the revelations of their Lord and in meeting Him. Therefore, their works are in vain; on the Day of Resurrection, they have no weight.

      June 17, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
  17. Muneef

    MANNERS AND MORALS OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD 
    http://elazhar.com/prophetstories_u/Chapter1.asp

    EISA 'Jesus'
    http://elazhar.com/prophetstories_u/Chapter2.asp

    June 16, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
    • Reality

      The real manners and morals of Mohammed and his followers:

      . 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.

      June 17, 2011 at 12:38 am |
  18. Muneef

    Maybe you should read this very interesting text book which I came to by considance;

    http://www.hudson.org/files/pdf_upload/saudi_textbooks_final.pdf

    June 16, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • Reality

      Save your book money. The following suffices:

      What instigated the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon? And what drives today's 24/7 mosque/imam-driven acts of terror and horror? 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.

      Then we can talk about the safety and location of mosques and what is taught therein. Until then, no Muslim can be trusted anytime or anywhere..................................

      June 17, 2011 at 12:41 am |
    • Muneef

      Reality.
      Come on gave you the lead to under your nose but still insist Muhammed this Muhammed that when you do not know the difference between Muhammed the son of Abdullah who established Islam in the Arabian Penisular from Muhammed the Conquerer who was of the Ottoman empire invading and conquering Europe in the name of Islam....!? Although time gap between both is not that small....?!

      June 17, 2011 at 7:32 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.