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August 10th, 2012
10:56 AM ET

Tennessee mosque opens after 2 years of controversy

Editor's note: CNN's Soledad O'Brien chronicles the dramatic fight over a mosque in the heart of the Bible Belt. "Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door" airs on CNN at 8 ET/PT Sunday night.

By Moni Basu, CNN

(CNN)–Saleh Sbenaty was asked more than once Friday how he slept the night before. He didn't.

How could he when a longtime dream was about to be fulfilled?

Friday afternoon, Sbenaty and other Muslims in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, entered a brand new mosque, Tennessee, and fell in prayer to their knees.

They'd waited more than two years for the opening of their new Islamic center, delayed by legal wrangling and anti-Muslim sentiment that surfaced through protests, arson and vandalism.

Friday, Sbenaty, a mosque board member, struggled for words that adequately captured his excitement. So did his daughter, Lema.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

"Oh my goodness it's gorgeous. It's gorgeous," she said entering the prayer room for the first time Friday.

It was sanctuary.

She bowed her head to the red carpet in prayer pose, tears filling her eyes, her voice quivering.

"We've come such a long way from where we were to where we are now," she told CNN. "And I mean this is the fruits of our labor. It's emotional because we never thought we'd be here this fast. It's absolutely overwhelming."

Others streamed in at 1 p.m. for afternoon prayers.

A sign says the maximum capacity is 636. Saleh Sbenaty expected between 400 and 500 on the first day.

No more were they crammed into one room of a small building. They took off their shoes and placed them in rows and rows of racks and entered the prayer room. Among them were non-Muslim visitors who came to show their support. One wore a T-shirt sporting a slogan saying as much.

Saleh Sbenaty sat among the men on the front row as the imam began the prayers by recalling all that has happened. He reminded his congregation that no challenge in life was too great to overcome.

Not once in the long and stressful process to build the center had Sbenaty given up hope, though sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel seemed woefully dim.

"We never had doubt," he said. "We are citizens of this great country. We are believers of the constitution."

The 12,000 square-foot center next to Grace Baptist Church on Veals Road is still not fully furnished and is lacking an audio system. But it was important, Sbenaty said, to have Friday prayers inside the new facility during Ramadan, Islam's holy month, which ends August 19.

The center plans a grand opening in a few weeks when everything is in place.

Murfreesboro's Muslims had outgrown their older and much smaller space tucked away from a road in the southwest part of town. In 2009, they purchased 15 acres of land for a new Islamic center a few miles to the east. Construction began the following year.

The plans were to eventually grow the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro to 52,000 square feet and will include the mosque, school, gym and a swimming pool.

But from the start, the new center divided this small city 35 miles southeast of Nashville that has 104,000 people, more than 140 churches and one mosque.

Opponents of the mosque protested, citing zoning concerns and worries about radical Islam.

Proponents cried religious intolerance.

Early on, Kevin Fisher, who led the protests, said opponents are going to contest "every brick that's laid."

Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey didn't mince words, either.

"You could even argue whether being a Muslim is actually a religion, or is it a nationality, way of life, a cult, whatever you want to call it," he said during his failed run for governor.

A fire at the construction site destroyed an earth mover and damaged three other vehicles. Authorities determined it was arson.

A sign announcing the new center was vandalized. The message said: "Not welcome."

Some residents filed a lawsuit to stop the new mosque. Later, a local judge stopped the permitting process. Then, a federal judge stepped in and ordered the construction to continue.

The Muslim community in Murfreesboro was in shock. Some had lived in the area for 30 years. Their kids were born there, raised there.

"The last two years were exceptional, as the sentiment of anti-Islam and anti-Muslim in this country was growing," Sbenaty said.

But he said that sentiment was not shared by the majority of people in Murfreesboro.

The excitement about Friday's prayers was palpable in the Muslim community - after being under the microscope for so long.

And there was a collective sigh of relief, although Sbenaty said security concerns remain high after everything they have been through and after a mosque in Joplin, Missouri, was burned to the ground earlier this week.

"Yes, we are very concerned because we have been also the subject of vandalism, arson, bomb threats, intimidation, bullying," Sbenaty said. "You call it. Every single act of intimidation, you know, was actually inflicted upon us."

Lema Sbenaty said she had heard about plans to build a mosque since she was a little girl. She hoped that now that it was finally open, the house of worship could serve as a place to heal.

"Certainly there are lot of issues to be dealt with in our community," she said. "Perhaps we can start to build bridges."

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And yet another member of the Muslim community, Essam Fathy, said he was proud to be living in America.

"Of course, you question your beliefs, you question your faith when the opposition becomes so vocal," he said. "No matter what happened, God had his way."

He went on to talk about the power of the U.S. constitution. It was the freedoms afforded to people in this country that allowed the mosque to rise.

It was not just words, he said. It was real. As was the domed building where he said his prayers Friday.

CNN's George Howell and John Murgatroyd contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Islam • Mosque

soundoff (657 Responses)
  1. Typical Chistian

    Yeah, there is absolutely no proof for evolution.

    August 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • William Demuth

      It's funny.

      Dying religions draw lines in the sand.

      If Christianity would simply evolve, it might endure, but it refuses.

      They should capitulate on evolution and incorporate it with a reference to "Gods Will" and move forward.

      Somehow, someone somewhere has decided they are Napoleon and this issue is their Waterloo. They are going to stand and fight to the bitter end.

      Alas they shall not face Elba this time and limited sovereignty.

      Now the Church faces banishment on Saint Helena, and a slow descent to madness and death

      August 10, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Certainly not in Tennessee.....

      OK, it was just a stupid quip. I know some reasonable people haven't escaped yet.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      You notice the Catholics largely reconciled with science some time ago.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • hinduism, denial of truth

      See, See they not, hear, hear they not, they just do no understand, Methew 13:13, They are dumb, blind and ignorant, they can never come to truth absolute, hindu's, ignorant s, hind, sunk, in their hindu Judaism, criminal secularism, self center ism, in defiance of truth absolute.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Markin

      They have made progress. They are in about the 17th century about now.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      William,
      Now now. Though they are a strange superst.itious cult, they have realized that they are far better off reconciling their beliefs with the proven reality around them than to continue to deny it. Of course the mental gymnastics required to reconcile the two would destroy a rational mind.

      August 10, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Which God??

      @Typical. Wow, what a strong argument you put up there! Just loaded with 'facts, aren't you? You ARE a 'typical christian'...goofy.. Actually you folks are "atypical.,' as in abnormal.

      August 10, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • truth be told

      Evolution remains an unproven theory.

      August 10, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
  2. hinduism, denial of truth

    Evolution is hinduism absurdity of a hindu ignorant in his hindu Judaism, ignorant self center ism, secularism, hinduism absurdity of evolution is dead in its foundation, Have they heard of Quantum physics and their hinduism, absurdity, labeled as dark mater, but spirit, The program, foundation of existence and to be, Some has to create a program for a computer to give it a shape or to work, Take your hindu, stupidity of evolution and shove it in to hinduism ignorance of hindu, ignorant Darwin. Cause of mayhem is not truth absolute, hindu, criminal deny in their hindu Judasim, filthy secular is but their hinduism, denial of truth absolute.

    August 10, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Which God??

      @ hinduism. Did you get some bad weed, or something?

      August 10, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • hinduism, denial of truth

      Truth absolute 360*, proven by quantum physics.

      August 10, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  3. Shakira

    Nice to see Freedom of Religion is still somewhat alive in this country. Glad they got to finally open the Mosque despite what the rednecks down there would have liked.

    August 10, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Huebert

      Not all of us down here are red necks, some of us supported building the mosque.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Huebert I feel your pain

      Your like one of the Germans after WW2. They were all abused due to the actions of a few really messed up members of their group.

      I suggest you emigrate to New York, and maybe change your name to Tony or Ralph

      August 10, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • correctlycenter

      What happened to the "freedom" of the victims and families affected by 9/11? I'm a city boy but I'm pretty sure that you won't see "rednecks" blowing up, terrorizing innocent people today for their "beliefs"...

      August 10, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Did you conveniently forget about Eric Rudolph?

      August 10, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      ""rednecks" blowing up, terrorizing innocent people today for their "beliefs""

      So a christian guy walks into a sikh temple ....




      Moron

      August 10, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Tom, tom you and CNN forget but I know. You walk, I run. Jesus Truth outpaces you.

      Amen.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      "What happened to the "freedom" of the victims and families affected by 9/11?"

      I don't know. What happened?

      August 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Huebert

      No thanks. I love my home I don't want to leave it. I want to change it for the better, hopefully by dragging it, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century.

      Also I was in New York one winter. I could not get warm. A thermometer should never be in the single digits much less below zero.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Colin, I hope you won't mind if I copy and paste your response to HS. I can't come close to your level of eloquence. With my apologies to you in advance:
      Colin
      HeavenSent – for two years now, I have been ignoring every reponse you have ever made to any of my posts becuase, quite honestly, you are too fvcking stupid to bother with.

      I fully intend to continue with this policy and am only responding now so as to reaffim the contempt with which I treat you and your moronic posts. I hope you are an old lady with a withered brain, because only that can explain the breathtaking stupididty and simplicity of what you post. Please die very soon.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • hinduism, denial of truth

      I agree with you, South is not as bad, as has been portrayed by some hindu's, ignorant s, South is full of good people and only one percent are inclined to commit hinduism, crime around the globe.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • ME II

      @correctlycenter,
      "... but I'm pretty sure that you won't see "rednecks" blowing up, terrorizing innocent people today for their "beliefs"..."
      Are you new here?
      The Sikh temple shooting
      The Mosque burning

      August 10, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Damned hemorrhoids. I can't stop my ass from itching, and it's really turning me into an intolerable fvck. Sorry, everyone. I'm just a little out of sorts today.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Looks like I posted my Colin complement in the wrong thread anyway, ao whatev.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      First a yeast infection and now my ass is bleeding. I'm a fvcking mess. But I'm still desirable. Call me, Colin. Oh, that's right. I don't play for Colin's team. Sorry Colin. You don't know what you're missing.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Right about now is the time that I tell my little daemon that I've handed him his ass and he's lost.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Maybe if I wasn't such an abusive trollish cvnt I wouldn't have annoying little daemons.

      August 10, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Awwww, isn't it cute? My herbies are here again!

      Their shift at Mickey D's must be over now.

      Hi, dears. Diddums earn that minimum wage today?

      August 10, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Jasmin

      Shakira do you think they would allow any Church / Temples to be built in Saudi or maybe close to Mekka? Do you think Salam Rushdi would be allowed to travel to middle east? We muslims expect and force our believes on everyone but we never even give anyone the chance to say anything other than our belief in our lands? This my dear is HYPOCRACY

      August 13, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
  4. William Demuth

    HeavenSent

    I would sooner fill the Grand Canyon with Christian corpses before I would leave this land.

    It is far better we simply reeducate your children, and wash the filth of your cult from this nation.

    August 10, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      William, I expected nothing less than the filthy perversion you wrote. The rest of my post is blocked.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      sociopath William is what you are

      August 10, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @HeavenSent

      I blocked your post HS.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Christiams seem to have a blocking issue.

      Last I heard your savior was blocked by immigration, and sent back to Palestine, where his death sentence is scheduled to be performed for a second time.

      You just go right ahead and wait another 2000 years for him to show up, but the rest of us are embracing both modernity and reality.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Big mouth atheist. I believe it Scott. Traitor to his German heritage.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      William Demuth, you are so demented, you just may be a Kenite.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • just sayin

      HeavenSent

      William Demuth, you are so demented, you just may be a Kenite.

      ----

      Ah yes the Kenites who were able to swim for 40 days and 40 nights. Sorry HS but the God of the OT was copied from an older ancient religion prior to Adam and Eve

      August 10, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • William Demuth

      I believe a Demuth once pierced your saviors side with a spear.

      A disdain for revolutionary Palestinians runs in my family 🙂

      And this time, he gets FOUR nails. One in the forehead so he stays down. (Cudos to Mr Romero for the tip)

      We don't want any twitching Jeebus' wandering around.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • American7786

      Bill,
      I can reply only the way Jesus replied" Oh God forgive them, as they know not what they are saying". It is sad to see a believer of Jesus using such hateful tone. May God give you the wisdom and show you the right path to HIM. My message to all is "Love for all, Hatred for none".

      August 10, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • William Demuth

      American7786

      Love is a byproduct of truth.

      Religion is a byproduct of lies

      They are mutually exclusive of each other.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  5. Honey Badger Dont Care

    This mosque is only controversial because of bigoted and scared xtians.

    August 10, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Kalessin

      And because cnn is covering it.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • correctlycenter

      What freedom does a Christian have in Saudi Arabia?

      August 10, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      @correctly,

      So because people are denied freedom elsewhere in the world, you want to deny people freedom in this country?

      Wow.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      What does Saudi Arabia have to do with Tennessee. Are you geographically challenged?

      August 10, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      And people doubt the existence of the Christian Taliban. Hah!

      August 10, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "What freedom does a Christian have in Saudi Arabia?"

      Why? Are you moving there? Soon? Need help packing your torches and swastikas?

      August 10, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Jasmin

      I think what many are trying to ask is that if Muslims are asking non muslims in US & Europe to be tolerant of their religion are they going to be tolerant of other religions in their countries such as Saudi, Iran, Afghanistan,.. Well I lived in two of these countries and muslims are not tolerant of other religions. When you live in those countries you are forced to abide.
      So is this Hypocracy?

      August 13, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
  6. hinduism, denial of truth

    Have a hinduism corruption of truth absolute, called religion, handy work of hindu Jew's, criminal self centered of Egyptian and Persian origin and expect peace among humanity, it is the way of hindu's, ignorant s, commanded was Theen Allah, way of truth absolute in life by all messenger's, obey truth absolute in life in totality and see the difference your self. Give it a chance people, it your your life and hear after, not of some one else pretending to be hindu sanatan, filthy goon man god. BOW NOT TO ANOTHER MAN JUST LIKE YOU, BUT TRUTH ABSOLUTE, FOUNDATION OF EXISTENCE PROVEN BY QUANTUM PHYSICS.

    August 10, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Huebert

      Calm down and take the Haldol.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
  7. Colin

    Topher:

    Every species is a transitional species between its ancestor and the next species along a temporal continuim. As Dawkins notes, if we filled every so called "gap" in the fossil record with an intermediate species, the "Talking Snake" crowd would just claim that the number of gaps had just doubled.

    Look, you don't even need to look at a fossil. Proof of evolution is all around you. Now, before you declare me “stupid,” “evil” or part of a worldwide conspiracy to deny the truth of your talking snake theory of life on Earth, please take five minutes to read this.

    The classic definition of a species is that two members of the same species can breed and produce fertile offspring, but cannot mate with members of a different species. A human of any race can mate with a human of any other race, but none of us can mate with a chimpanzee, for example. So, all humans are in the same species, but we are all a different species to chimpanzees. Easy stuff.

    Indeed, it is often easy to tell that two organisms are of different species just by looking at them. Compare, for example, a dog to a horse. Where it gets a little complex, however, is where you have two organisms that look very similar, but are of different species, or two different species that look very similar. Dogs are a great example of both. Compare a lighter-coated German Shepherd to the wolf. They look very similar, but are of a different species. Likewise, a Great Dane looks very different to a Corgi, but they are of the same species, Canis lupis familiaris, the domestic dog.

    Why are Great Danes and Corgis considered to be the same sub-species (along with German Shepherds) but wolves and German Shepherds not? Same reason as humans. Great Danes, German Shepherds and Corgis can and will mate and produce fertile offspring, but virtually none of them will mate with a wolf, absent human intervention.

    However, and this is where evolution kicks in, all breeds of dog alive today descended from wolves. In fact, it is likely that they all descended, ultimately, from a small pack of wolves that were domesticated in the Middle East some 10,000 years ago. Some research suggests Manchuria as the location, but I digress.

    What happened was that humans noticed that certain, less aggressive wolves were handy to have around. They ate pests and garbage and alerted the camp when predators lurked nearby. So, humans began to intentionally feed and try to tame them. The tamer, less aggressive wolves were less afraid of human interaction and less likely to harm their human hosts. They, therefore received more food and protection, which gave them a breeding advantage, and they passed on this favorable trait, call it “tameness,” to their offspring.

    The tamer offspring were constantly chosen (probably unknowingly) for care and support and the wilder, more aggressive members of the litter discarded, perhaps for biting or avoiding humans. After hundreds or thousands of years of inadvertent selection for “tameness” the camp wolves started to become dependent on their human hosts and to even look different to their still wild ancestors. They lost the extreme aggressiveness that helped them in the wild, became less streamlined and tooled for the kill and had less adrenaline that causes aggression. In other words, they slowly became, in a sense, fat, dumb and happy. Doggie dough-boys. Girlie-men compared to their wild cousins, still red of fang and claw.

    These first domestic dogs were so popular with humans that their “use” spread and humans all over the globe – from Australian Aboriginals, New Zealand Maoris and other Polynesians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans all began to use dogs. Then something else happened. Humans actually noticed that, if there was a specific trait you liked about your, say male dog, you could breed it with a female with the same trait and the offspring would inherit that trait. If, for example, a hunter-gatherer only ever allows the fastest male dogs to breed with the fastest female dogs, after many years of such selective breeding the resultant dogs would differ so much in body shape, leg length and, perhaps, lung capacity from their ancestor as to be considered a separate breed.

    No one set of offspring would differ greatly from its parents, but it will differ a little more from its grandparents, and even a little more from its great-grandparents etc., until we go all the way back to the original dog, which will be quite different in appearance.

    Bang – dog breeding was born. Humans selected for speed, resulting in the Greyhound, smelling and tracking ability (Bloodhounds) ability to herd sheep (Collies and Australian Shepherds) appearance (Dalmatians and Pomeranians) size (Chihuahuas and Great Danes) and a host of other traits.

    As with most human activities, as our knowledge increased, dog breeding improved and exploded in the 1900s, with the current 600 or so breeds of dogs all descendent from the original wolf. Many breeds of dog alive today evolved over the past few decades and did not even exist as late as 1900. But, every last domestic dog, from the Teacup Chihuahua in Paris Hilton’s purse to the Great Danes of European car advertisements, are the end result of selective breeding down different paths from the original wolf.

    Most breeds of dog do not (and likely cannot) breed with wolves for a variety of reasons, including allopatric and/or human induced separation and mating rituals. Not only that, but put almost any domestic dog in the wild and it would not survive a month. A wolf is much more likely to eat a Shih Tzu than bonk it. They are separate sub-species. In the struggle for life, the domestic dog species originated through means of selection as a favored race from the original wolf. If this last sentence sounds familiar, that is because it is. It is essentially the full ti.tle of Charles Darwin’s seminal work: “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life”.

    So there you have it, my Bible-cuddling friend. Evolution in motion. Undeniable, living in every suburb, licking ours face, fetching our sticks and messing on our sidewalks. Macro-evolution. A well recorded, understood, DNA mapped and uncontroversial case of evolution of one sub-species – Canis lupus lupus, the Eurasian wolf, into another, Canis lupus familiaris, the domestic dog.

    There are many, many others examples of evolution all around us by the way. Even the most cursory of research into any branch of horticulture or animal husbandry quickly reveals that the size, variety, health, longevity and resistance to disease of most of our domesticated plants and animals were the thing of dreams as recently as 100 years ago. Indeed, biotech companies like Monsanto would quickly fall behind the market if they did not spend millions each year on Darwinian selective breeding programs. Why do you think horse breeders spend thousands of dollars to have a fast racehorse mate with their mare?

    Wheat is another great example, as are gra.pes. The species of wheat that we in the West use for bread only developed in the last few thousand years as a result of two episodes of sympatric speciation (different to selective breeding, but an agent of evolution none the less) and the various Shiraz, Char.donnay and Pinot Noir gra.pes we enjoy today, in the form of wine, were all developed and perfected in the last 100 years or so.

    So, my fundamentalist friends, the next time you kneel down in your church and take your weekly dose of the body and blood of your dead Jew, you might like to reflect on the fact that you are actually eating proof of evolution and washing it down with proof of evolution.

    “Body of Darwin?”

    Amen!

    August 10, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Collin

      I once believed humans could not breed with primates, but now I am not so sure.

      Have you ever seen Patrick Ewing? His resemblance to General Ursis can NOT be coincidence

      August 10, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Colin

      William, I had to google both General Ursis and Patrick Ewing. ha, you're tough. Did you ever see the foto series the guy (forget his name) with himself naked and some chimps, postured to highlighted the resenblences. Very cool.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Huebert

      I wonder how Topher will rationalize this away?

      August 10, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Topher

      Micro and macro. I don't disagree with what you've got here as far as the dogs. A dog is a dog is a dog. But none of that proves an ape became a man. Or any other animal became something totally different.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Darwin had a Christian funeral and burial. LOL atheists.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Huebert

      Ah yes...the old fingers in the ears I'm right, you're wrong" tactic.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Colin

      Topher, that's because apes did not "become" man. Look, how can you accept what I just wrote, but still have a hard time with ho.mo sapiens sapiens (human beings) sharing a common ancestor with, for example hom.o sapiens neandethalis (Neanderthal man). Do you deny the existence of Neandethal man? Of H.omo Er.ectus? Of H.omo Habilius?
      Of australopithicus robustus? What lineage of human ancestory do you accept and what do you reject and how do you make the distinction?

      I cannot understand how a creationist can accept evoution of wolves to po.odles but think there is some magic stop sign that prevents it from applying to human beings. Let's be honest, your objection is not science based, it is based entirely on your religion. If the Bible did not contain Genesis, you would likely have no issues with evolution.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Huebert

      @HS

      Darwin was a christian. Most Christians believe in evolution, because they realize the bible was written over 2000 years ago and thus contains no scientific authority.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      Chad: "I will acknowledge (yet not comprehend) your in depth information on evolutionary relationships among dogs, but will immediately attempt to jump track and insert a ridiculous strawman oversimplification."

      August 10, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Topher
      What you dub "macro" evolution (a distinction that has no meaning to evolutionary biologists, btw) has been observed and replicated in laboratory environments.
      I invite you to read http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/105/23/7899 for details.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Pete

      If a wolf can become a dog (two different species), then why can't an ape become a human?

      August 10, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Apes did not become man because men are apes !!!

      August 10, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Colin

      HeavenSent – for two years now, I have been ignoring every reponse you have ever made to any of my posts becuase, quite honestly, you are too fvcking stupid to bother with.

      I fully intend to continue with this policy and am only responding now so as to reaffim the contempt with which I treat you and your moronic posts. I hope you are an old lady with a withered brain, because only that can explain the breathtaking stupididty and simplicity of what you post. Please die very soon.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      Even we at Chadwatch are interesting in hearing Chad's response to Colin's most recent questions....

      If all Pleistocene Hominins are either apes or humans (which Chad will have to argue) where does he draw the line and why?

      (Warning: this is often the point at which he simply ducks the question by disappearing)

      August 10, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      LOL@Colin

      I concur.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And the best post of the day thus far is Colin's response to HS!

      Excellent, Colin!

      A good policy to follow as well and I believe I shall adopt it.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • just sayin

      Colin, she is clearly losing her mind. She will be dead soon because of her age or she will slip further into insanity and at some point wont even recognize her God.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • just sayin

      I am almsot to the point of ignoring her because she is slipping further into non-reality. She can't hold a clear thought it seems.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Colin

      BTW, how is it we know "Heavensent" is female. I have always assumed it, but, come to think of it, I don't know why. I always picture a middle aged white lady. Once again, I don't know why.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Wow, Collin tears up HS!

      See, My fellow athiests. We can get angry and stomp these folks.

      If Collin can get in a postal mood, we might start a movement

      August 10, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Topher

      Colin

      "Topher, that's because apes did not "become" man. Look, how can you accept what I just wrote, but still have a hard time with ho.mo sapiens sapiens (human beings) sharing a common ancestor with, for example hom.o sapiens neandethalis (Neanderthal man). Do you deny the existence of Neandethal man? Of H.omo Er.ectus? Of H.omo Habilius?"

      It's hard to keep track of which of these are real and which were proved to be hoaxes like Piltdown Man and others with false claims like Lucy. Could some of them have existed? Sure. But I don't believe they are our ancestors.

      "What lineage of human ancestory do you accept and what do you reject and how do you make the distinction?"

      I know you won't like the answer, but the human ancestry I accept is the one that starts with Adam in the garden. He was created by God and did not "evolve" from anything.

      "I cannot understand how a creationist can accept evoution of wolves to po.odles but think there is some magic stop sign that prevents it from applying to human beings."

      But as you point out, humans got involved and messed with breeding. Not that we need to. There's plenty of mutts running around that happened naturally. A poodle is still a canine and thus not Darwinian evolution.

      "Let's be honest, your objection is not science based, it is based entirely on your religion. If the Bible did not contain Genesis, you would likely have no issues with evolution."

      I agree that I have a presupposition that the Bible is true, so do you that it is not. This goes into both of our reasonings. But I'm not against science. I rather like it, actually. I actually spent a summer in college on an archeological dig and even took anthropology. But I think science only confirms the Bible and so I continue to stand on it.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So funny. And who the HE LL is "Scott"?

      August 10, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Thus suggesteth the Mighty Atheist Colin

      From this day forward and forever more No person of sane and rational mind shall stoop to acknowledge in any fashion the lowly destroyer of reason HeavenSent.

      So say we all.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      @Topher,

      If we didn't evolve, then why did your oh-so-brilliant creator endow us with an organ that has little-to-no benefit, is entirely unnecessary, but occassionally kills? Is he just that sadistic.

      And a wolf is not a breed of dog, genius.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Colin

      Problem is, William, I always feel guilty straight afterwards.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      "It's hard to keep track of which of these are real and which were proved to be hoaxes like Piltdown Man and others with false claims like Lucy."

      Chad took a third route, and chose to respond with utter bullshit. Basically, because there was this one hoax half a century ago (that was exposed by scientists), I just can't keep track of what's real and what's not.

      Way to fall back on the weakest of weak.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Awesome...I think we all need to take your stance about HS...the sooner we ignore her drivel the sooner she withers away. For some people it wouldn't matter what you said or the amount of verifiable evidence you hand them, they simply will never change cause they simply don't care. They fail to see reality.
      Now as for how we know it is as 'she', if I recall correctly she admitted it awhile ago. Either way I'm willing to wager the poor old bitty is close to 70 or 80 and only owns a computer because her kids needed a way to stay in contact with her without having to suffer through a visit face to face.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Gra pe ape you Big Mouth Atheists believe. Ta pe of Jesus sh uts the ap es . No ban a na for filt hy Atheists. No skit tl es.

      Amen

      August 10, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      AtheistSteve:
      Thus suggesteth the Mighty Atheist Colin

      From this day forward and forever more No person of sane and rational mind shall stoop to acknowledge in any fashion the lowly destroyer of reason HeavenSent.

      So say we all.
      ---

      I'm in.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Topher
      "I agree that I have a presupposition that the Bible is true, so do you that it is not."

      Not so. Our disbelief doesn't occur in a vacuum. The initial presupposition is yours and it is in addressing that where we find your detrmination lacking. Your argument simply isn't compelling. Our position is one of supending belief, not declaring one. We are in the default position....the claims are yours so it really isn't our chore to need defend our unacceptance. We might defend science when it is ignorantly attacked but by no means are we required to do so. Our understanding of nature, however limited is still based on facts and evidence....you have none.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Shall we all take the Oath of Avoidance? I hereby swear that HeavenSent exists only in the past.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Simran

      Hi guys, Topher obviously believes in the right of the child to live. So from now on, all Christian women, if you cannot raise your child and want an abortion, please dont. Bcoz Topher here is going to personally adopt all these children and raise them to be good Christians. He will shortly post his mailing address – please keep checking.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      It is interesting to me to think about evolution, where things change over long periods of time and where there may only be theories about the catalysts, in contrast to those that we have put on the fast-track ourselves, such as those you have exemplified. I was thinking of the Boysenberry while I was reading about the gr.apes in your post.

      Thinking more of the latter, I cannot help thinking of the theories we have heard over the years that human intelligence was somehow farmed into us long ago by some extraterrestial ent.ity.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Hank Hall

      "by some extraterrestial ent.ity."

      That would be an extratemporal ent.ty.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Chad

      @Colin "Every species is a transitional species between its ancestor and the next species along a temporal continuim..,"

      =>as explained so many times, that is an EXTREMELY misleading statement, which of course is why you make it so often...

      DEFINITIONS
      1. Evolution: is any change across successive generations in the inherited characteristics of biological populations.

      2. Evolutionism (atheist): is the atheistic worldview that says life developed without God and without purpose, namely that purely random genetic mutations preserved by natural selection is the process by which we have arrived at the current complexity of life from the first proto-cell.

      3. Theistic evolution:: the theistic worldview that says life developed at the direction of God, either through direct intervention or by supernatural orchestration of natural processes.

      ============
      CONCLUSIONS
      A. #1 is an accepted scientific fact, by theists and atheists, importantly: it does not in and of itself describe how we got from initial proto-cell to current complexity
      B. #2 has a severe flaw, as phyletic gradualism is dead, and punctuated equilibrium (the fossil record being characterized by new species appearing fully formed) is an accepted fact
      C. #3 is the ONLY theory that has support from the fossil record

      August 10, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Topher
      "I agree that I have a presupposition that the Bible is true, so do you that it is not."

      Not so. Our disbelief doesn't occur in a vacuum. The initial presupposition is yours and it is in addressing that where we find your determination lacking. Your argument simply isn't compelling. Our position is one of suspending belief, not declaring one. We are in the default position....the claims are yours so it really isn't our chore to need defend our unacceptance. We might defend science when it is ignorantly attacked but by no means are we required to do so. Our understanding of nature and reality, however limited, is still based on facts and evidence....you have none.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      oops..repost

      August 10, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      Wha-wha-what?!? Chad is answering Colin on behalf of Topher? What a coincidence that they happen to be here at the same time!

      Just wait until the get into a fake conversation with themselves to prop up each other's comments. Maybe Rachel, Rebel4Christ, b4bigbang, and the others will join in praising them, too!

      August 10, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Chad

      If wolves became dogs, then why do we still have wolves fools?

      August 10, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      Hank Hall wrote:

      "That would be an extratemporal ent.ty."

      No, as crazy as it may sound, I meant extraterrestrial enti.ty. (even though I slightly misspelled it).

      August 10, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      That argument would only hold water if the fossil record was the only source of data on evolution...it's not. And further it isn't the most detailed. DNA alone confirms evolution with far more fidelity.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • ME II

      @Topher,
      "But none of that proves an ape became a man. "
      No ape ever became a man, however apes and man have a common ancestor, the combination of two primate chromosomes into Human Chromosome- 2 supports this.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      Chad wrote:

      "2. Evolutionism (atheist): is the atheistic worldview that says life developed without God and without purpose, namely that purely random genetic mutations preserved by natural selection is the process by which we have arrived at the current complexity of life from the first proto-cell."

      Too many characteristics in that definition to say that real atheists would be likely to think this way ("the atheistic worldview"). I'm sure there are atheists that believe life was created with purpose outside of a spiritual force; some might think genetics plays its part but not randomly. I'm not arguing with the definition of the term. It just seems to open to much of a definition to say that it reflects the kinds of atheistic rationalization I have experienced.

      August 10, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Chad

      @save the world "I'm sure there are atheists that believe life was created with purpose outside of a spiritual force
      @Chad "what purpose? that's essentially impossible, right? not sure what you could possibly be talking about.. in the atheistic view, the universe was created by chance, from nothing, life originated from random collections of molecules, etc.. there is nothing outside the system.."

      ==========
      @save the world "some might think genetics plays its part but not randomly."
      @Chad "are you saying genetic mutation isnt random?

      if you are, see: berkely.edu: Evolution 101: Mutation Is Not "Directed"
      The mechanisms of evolution—like natural selection and genetic drift—work with the random variation generated by mutation.
      Factors in the environment are thought to influence the rate of mutation but are not generally thought to influence the direction of mutation. For example, exposure to harmful chemicals may increase the mutation rate, but will not cause more mutations that make the organism resistant to those chemicals. In this respect, mutations are random—whether a particular mutation happens or not is generally unrelated to how useful that mutation would be.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  8. ME II

    Glad to see this center finally open.
    Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, Congratulations!

    August 10, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
  9. WASP

    ok so another large useless building to the masses. as long as they are peaceful and keep their religion of the streets and in their mosque, i don't mind where they build a house of worship. it's when i have to listen to trainvanglists, walk past them trying to shove pamplets in my hand about "the end is near" or coming to my place of work and trying to preach at me, that i start to care because then they are attempting to push their BS off on me and i've had my fill of religion, it tasted sour and full of hate.

    August 10, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>>”ok so another large useless building to the masses”

      You know they say the same every time stadiums and arenas are built. Its amazing how folks who do not attend or are interested always think that those inside care.

      >>>”as long as they are peaceful and keep their religion off the streets and in their mosque, i don't mind where they build a house of worship.”

      Is that the same as when the extremist of Faith or anti Gay say that they should keep their lifestyle where anyone can see them.

      >>>”that i start to care because then they are attempting to push their BS off on me and i've had my fill of religion,”

      And....again the words of the extreme are the same on all sides. The decry that this group or that is attempting to “push” their lifestyles or beliefs on them.

      Try to control your own hatred before you whine about another's.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Rundvelt

      > Try to control your own hatred before you whine about another's.

      His hatred is based off of other people's hatred. What you're asking is akin to "Don't be upset by a racist. You should deal with your anger before being angry at someone who hates people because of race."

      Try thinking about the content of your reply before posting. That way you don't make foolish mistakes like the above.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  10. AverageJoe76

    Downside to phasing out religion; unemployment will rise. So many people have jobs based on the invisibles. Zero overhead. You never have to pay those ancient dudes for writing the book. Whatta business! Build a house of worship, have a book club meeting every Sunday (but offer the meeting on other nights), put a spin on the biblical stories and be theatrical, send around the collection plate...... and BAM! Eeeeeeasy money. I should've been a pastor.

    August 10, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      It's not so much reduced employment but reduced scamming.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • William Demuth

      The key to ALL of these types of issue is simple.

      Freedon of ANYTHING, does not require that the freedom not be taxed.

      If you simply tax the undesirable behaviors they reduce in frequency.

      Remove the deduction for religious donations. Problem reduces quickly.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "The profession of shaman has many advantages. It offers high status with a safe livelihood free of work in the dreary, sweaty sense. In most societies it offers legal privileges and immunities not granted to other men. But it is hard to see how a man who has been given a mandate from on High to spread tidings of joy to all mankind can be seriously interested in taking up a collection to pay his salary; it causes one to suspect that the shaman is on the moral level of any other con man. But it is a lovely work if you can stomach it."

      "The most ridiculous concept ever perpetrated by H.Sapiens is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of the Universes, wants the sacharrine adoration of his creations, that he can be persuaded by their prayers, and becomes petulant if he does not recieve this flattery. Yet this ridiculous notion, without one real shred of evidence to bolster it, has gone on to found one of the oldest, largest and least productive industries in history." [Robert Heinlein]

      August 10, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Agreed William. Freedom does not equal preference. Obviously, as a libertarian, I'm not too fond of Capital Gains Tax, but if ordinary businesses have to pay it, religious organizations shouldn'y be exempt.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      Williiam, you're correct! And Doc V, the last part of that quote is golden, "Yet this ridiculous notion, without one real shred of evidence to bolster it, has gone on to found one of the oldest, largest and least productive industries in history." [Robert Heinlein]

      August 10, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      I think in order to be tax exempt for religious purposes they should have to prove there god is real and can be proven. Other than that, no tax exempt status.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      their god not there god.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • J.W

      You probably have never been to church before.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      AverageJoe, you will never phase out Jesus Christ. He's the cornerstone of our country and if you don't like it, there's an island in Dubai waiting for you. Within a few years it should sink back into the ocean. Pay no attention to that warning, you and all the other atheists can go ahead and purchase it.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • just sayin

      HeavenSent

      AverageJoe, you will never phase out Jesus Christ. He's the cornerstone of our country and if you don't like it,
      -----
      Jesus is not relevant to our government and has no authority over our matters. If people wish to involve him in their personal lives they are free to of course.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      @Heaven Sent – You fail at stretching beyond today. Jesus will be sent to the island of misfit religions once future generations begin to understand where they come from. The story of Genesis has passed it's expiration date. It's time to clean out the fridge.

      August 10, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      @J.W – I've been there. Church, that is. Wickedly boring. No place to stretch out and take a nap. Too much standing up, singing, and then sitting down. Then I pay them for my performance and torture.

      August 10, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  11. William Demuth

    Topher

    Christian Sharia law dictates what people can do with their own bodies.

    Pregnancy, marriage, intimacy, what language one can speak and even requires teaching our children lies.

    It also seeks to exclude non-believers, deny the state its rightful resources and dictate foreign policy.

    I can continue if you like, but I want to give you a few minutes to catch up.

    August 10, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You'd better spot him an hour or two.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Topher

      William Demuth

      "Pregnancy, marriage, intimacy, what language one can speak and even requires teaching our children lies."

      Language? You might be able to blame that on far-right Republicans, but not on Christianity ... unless you know of something I don't. Lies? What lies?

      "It also seeks to exclude non-believers, deny the state its rightful resources and dictate foreign policy."

      I don't know exactly what you mean by these, though I'm guessing you mean exclusion of non-believers to heaven. Well, of course. Jesus said "I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me." Exclusivist? Yes. But since He's God He gets to set the standards and is saying the other "gods" are false but that you can get to heaven through Him. And as far as dictating policies, yes, we have a univeral moral standard.

      I can continue if you like, but I want to give you a few minutes to catch up.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What lies? Creationism.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Topher
      A universal moral standard?
      Then why is there debate regarding capital punishment amongst Christians?
      Are Anglicans Christian? Why do they allow gay marriage while other denominations don't?

      August 10, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Topher

      Creationism wasn't taught in any of the public schools I went to. But evolution was, though there isn't a shred of evidence for it. So we should stop with that, too.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      @Topher – Oh c'mon Topher........ "not a shred of evidence" to support evolution? Not a shred?!?

      Which science books are you reading Topher?

      August 10, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Are you denying that Christians have forced some public school systems to include creationism in their science curricula?

      And yes, Gopher, there's plenty of scientific evidence for evolution.

      Thanks for proving my point.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I knew he'd get caught by that one.

      He'll also deny that the Christian fundies are doing everything in their power to remove rights from women by outlawing abortion.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Topher
      Not a shred of evidence if favour of it??
      You sound like Professor Behe on the witness stand when his examples of "irreducible complexity" were torn apart.
      He was given expert testimony, dozens of peer reviewed scientific studies, textbook chapters regarding immunology, etc etc. In the end, he summarily dismissed reams of docu.mented evidence in favour of evolution as being "not good enough".

      August 10, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Jack Deth

      Topher missed the evidence parts due to having his fingers in his ears while chanting "Nah nah nah nah nah nah can't hear you, nah nah nah nah".

      August 10, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Topher

      Conservative Christians try to legislate all kinds of things, Making certain words or images illegal on television or in cinema. They attempt to ban classic literature and repress expression of any secular variety.

      They have attempted to legislate the requirement that their disproven beliefs be mandatory in schools thru creationism and similar absurdities.

      Their exclusionary practices include creating, promoting and financing legislation that would ban or criminalize multiple forms of expression and lifestyles. They use their bully pulpits to indoctrinate undereducated children into in structurally reinforced bigotries including racism, social intolerance and orientation suppression. They have attempted on hundreds of occasion that lack of subservience to US sovereignty by repeatedly harbor known criminals in an attempt to avid the scandal of their prosecution, They also engage in ongoing financial fraud denying Americans their rightful revenues, and exploiting their own members.

      Your “faith” is in fact no more than a racket, and should be prosecuted as such.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Topher, how does it feel to use lies to support lies?

      How does lying make you feel? Or is it really just ignorance. I hope so, because I know what your religion says about lying.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Topher

      I'd like to ask what evidence there is, but that's getting way off topic, but we can go there if you want to. There are zero fossils of transitional forms. Zero. It's still a theory with nothing to back it up.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Wrong. As usual.

      You don't know the meaning of the word "theory" as it's used in science, do you, Gopher?

      August 10, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Topher

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "He'll also deny that the Christian fundies are doing everything in their power to remove rights from women by outlawing abortion."

      No, I'm in full agreement on this one. I hate abortion and am completely against the murder of innocent humans. You say it's a woman's right, but what about the right of the child to live?

      August 10, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • ME II

      Transitional fossils (all fossils are tecnnically transitional but these are exceptional examples)
      Ambulocetus
      Tiktaalik
      Archaeopteryx

      August 10, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yup. There you have it. Gopher thinks women should lose their rights when they become pregnant. He thinks the fetus should have rights, even though nothing in the Const itution or the Bill or Rights recognizes the fetus as a person with rights. He says this even though abortion was legal and publicly advertised when the country was founded, and our forefathers were well aware of it.

      So Gopher advocates teaching creationism and applauds having women's rights removed.

      Do you want to keep digging yourself a deeper hole, Gopher?

      August 10, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Colin

      Topher, Topher, Topher, please. You really think that a Chihauhua is indistinguishable from the Eurasian Wolf?

      August 10, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Glinda

      Topher,
      "but what about the right of the child to live?"

      What's so good about living? All you guys want to do is to get on over the rainbow to fairyland. That "child" gets a fast pass there, right?

      August 10, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      William, the lies being taught to children in public schools are evolution and the big bang. Ever since you atheists twisted and contorted a private letter of Thomas Jefferson's which supported the bible, you lied to get the Bible banned from public schools and buildings and forced your lies into public schools in place of Jesus' truth. Look what those lies have done to our country since 1962? You atheists have done the most damage to our country and Christians are repairing your damage as we type. If you'd like to move to a communist country, feel free. I'm sure you can all be miserable together.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Tom, do you ever shut those lies up?

      Bush Signs 'Laci and Conner's Law'

      Published April 02, 2004

      FoxNews.com

      Email
      Share

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      President Bush on Thursday signed into law a bill that would make it a separate crime to kill or harm an unborn child during an assault on the mother.

      "As of today, the law of our nation will acknowledge the plain fact that crimes of violence against a pregnant woman often have two victims," Bush said before the signing of the measure.

      "The death of an innocent unborn child has too often been treated as a detail in one crime but not a crime in itself," the president said.

      The Unborn Victims of Violence Act (search) makes it a crime to harm a fetus during an assault on a pregnant woman. Bush signed the bill, which took five years to get through Congress, in an elaborate Rose Garden ceremony.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Topher

      I'll have to look up your other examples, but Archaeopteryx is a problem ...

      "Archaeopteryx, a True Bird, Is Older than the “Feathered” Dinosaurs.

      One of the biggest dilemmas for those who want to believe that dinosaurs evolved into birds is that the so-called feathered dinosaurs found thus far are dated to be about 20 million years more recent than Archaeopteryx. This is a problem for evolution because Archaeopteryx is now generally recognized to be a true bird.13 Some specimens of this bird are so perfectly fossilized that even the microscopic detail of its feathers is clearly visible. So, having alleged missing links of dinosaurs changing into birds when birds already exist doesn’t help the case for evolution.

      For many years Archaeopteryx has been touted in biology textbooks and museums as the perfect transitional fossil, presumably being precisely intermediate between reptiles and birds. Much has been made over the fact that Archaeopteryx had teeth, fingers on its wings, and a long tail—all supposedly proving its reptilian ancestry. While there are no living birds with teeth, other fossilized birds such as Hesperornis also had teeth. Some modern birds, such as the ostrich, have fingers on their wings, and the juvenile hoatzin (a South American bird) has well-developed fingers and toes with which it can climb trees."

      August 10, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      Warning from Chadwatch: Topher appears to be one of the many sock puppets a.ssociated with Chad. Be advised of the danger of being sucked into tedious and circular debate with a dishonest player.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Topher

      Colin

      "Topher, Topher, Topher, please. You really think that a Chihauhua is indistinguishable from the Eurasian Wolf?"

      I think they are both canines and you can interbreed dogs. Humans can't interbreed with apes. This is where we must differentiate between micro and macro evolution.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Aaaaand here comes HS to further prove the point that right-wing-nuts and fundies fully intend to remove rights that are guaranteed to us by law.

      Thanks you, HS. I knew I could count on you.

      PS: you might want to read up on those laws you described. Every one of them exempts abortion.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      "I'll have to look up your other examples..."

      Translation, "I will have to consult the Christian apologetics websites to see what they tell me to say for your other examples. I"ll be right back with a cut and paste answer."

      If all else fails I will simply claim that everything is either a bird or a reptile, a fish or an amphibian, a human or an ape with nothing in between." By the way, HAVE YOU NEVER HEARD OF PUNCTUATED EQUILIBRIUM?!? IT PROVES JESUS!

      August 10, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Tom, you're delusional if you believe there are no Christians in the Democratic party?

      August 10, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why didn't Jesus give you a brain, you moronic twit? Of course there are Christians in the Democratic party, dumb sh!t. That doesn't make them centrists or leftists or liberals. They're still right-wing conservatives, no matter what their party affiliation. You're one of them. And it's almost certainly because you're so old that when you registered to vote, the Democrats were considered the more conservative party.

      Did you look up those laws, HS? Or are you too busy trying to contact "Scott", your imaginary enemy, who's blocking your posts, silly bat?

      August 10, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Tom, you own your insults. Take your broom and fly away. I know who Reinhardt is.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Simran

      Topher, my first issue is about your interpretation – Jesus says the only way to God is through Him, other Gods are false! Now I am not a Christian, neither an atheist. So even though I seriously doubt that a man of such enlightment will make such a statement (it may be just some dumbheads drawing up this conclusion), for now I will go by what you state. And my question is, if Jesus is so loving, how can He suggest that His is THE ONLLY WAY???? Cant He even see that there have been others before and after Him in various parts of the World, who have been sane enough to understand that theirs is not the only way!!! Like Lord Rama, Lord Krishna, Allah, Gautam Buddha etc etc.... How can He claim that 78% of the world who doesnot follow Him is going to be deprived of union with God??? You know, it is exactly this interpretation of your own religion that has sadly made it the punching bag for all here.

      But then why should I care about your problems? I am happy in HELL.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • ME II

      @Toper,
      On Archaeopteryx, it appears that your quote is from the AIG website, which is a biased source, i.e. they essentially will disregard any evidence that contradicts the Bible, or their interpretation of it.

      In addition, "Unlike all living birds, Archaeopteryx had a full set of teeth, a rather flat sternum ("breastbone"), a long, bony tail, gastralia ("belly ribs"), and three claws on the wing which could have still been used to grasp prey (or maybe trees). However, its feathers, wings, furcula ("wishbone") and reduced fingers are all characteristics of modern birds."
      (http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/diapsids/birds/archaeopteryx.html)

      "Analysis of fossil traits suggests that Archaeopteryx is not a bird at all. "
      (http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110727/full/news.2011.443.html)

      Additionally, the very fact that there is some controversy over whether it is more bird or more reptile only reinforces its transitional nature.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Simran

      Topher, while everyone is bashing you, I too decided to join the party. I can give you links to PLENTY OF EVIDENCE of EVOLUTION, and the uproar about Creationism being taught at public schools, but I am pretty certain, you wont bother to check them. Still making an effort here –
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/law-allows-creationism-to-be-taught-in-tenn-public-schools/2012/04/11/gIQAAjqxAT_story.html

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/feb/12/new-anti-science-assault-us-schools

      https://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence

      http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/lines_01

      August 10, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Topher

      Simran

      "And my question is, if Jesus is so loving, how can He suggest that His is THE ONLLY WAY???? Cant He even see that there have been others before and after Him in various parts of the World, who have been sane enough to understand that theirs is not the only way!!!"

      Good questions. First, let's remember that Jesus claimed to be God, not just a good teacher of ways we should live. And it was loving to tell us He is the only way. That way we know how to get to Heaven. As God, He gets to set the standard and the rules. One of His first rules is you shall love the Lord your God with your heart, mind, soul and strength. Do you? If you are worshipping a false god (other religions) then you aren't worshipping and loving Him.

      "How can He claim that 78% of the world who doesnot follow Him is going to be deprived of union with God???"

      I don't know what the numbers are, but I can tell you NONE of us deserve to be saved. We have not only not kept the first of the Commandments, but we haven't kept any of them. For instance, how many times in your life have you told a lie? Or stolen something? Used God's name in place of a swear word? Did you know Jesus said that if you look at someone with lust you've committed adultery in the heart and that hatred is murder in the heart? We're all bad people who want to proclaim our goodness. And when you compare yourself to the guy next door, maybe you are a really good person. But we have to compare ourselves to God's standard, of which we all fall short and deserve to be punished in Hell. But don't worry. There's good news. Jesus Christ, God Himself, became a man and took the punishment you and I deserve on the cross. If you will, our fine has been paid. So when we die and face God on Judgment Day we'll be able to enter Heaven because our sins have been paid for. But there's something you must do to receive this gift from God. First, you must repent. That means don't just say you are sorry for sinning against Him, but you must also turn away from those sins. Second, you must trust in the Savior. When you do this you will see the fruit of it by being "born again." That means God will give you a new heart with new desires and you won't want to sin against God anymore and only live for Him. Have you ever read the Gospels? Check out the beating and torture Jesus took. Now realize He took them ... voluntarily ... for you because He loves you. What a wonderful God!

      "You know, it is exactly this interpretation of your own religion that has sadly made it the punching bag for all here."

      Well, I'm sorry people don't like God and would rather shake their fist at Him, but does my above statement make sense? That none of us can get to Heaven on our own, but God has provided a way?

      August 10, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Topher

      Simran

      I notice you still haven't responded to my post. Maybe you haven't read it yet. Maybe you're not online anymore, I don't know. But I would make a deal with you. I'll happily read some of your sources if you will agree to either read some of mine or actually go and talk to a Christian pastor about your issues with Christianity.

      August 10, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Simran

      Topher,
      Fine, Jesus claimed to be God??? Or was he the Lord's son??? Again confused there!!! You see the only part about Christianity I know is what I learnt in elementary school. Well fine. Okay He is God. Now my problem again bottles down to the same thing – how is Jesus (if it was really him and not your stupid interpretation) so certain that other religions are false. Oh yes, he was the only God. God bless the other religions, for Jesus didnot come in their dreams to help them see the truth!
      The Commandments??? Come on, why should I care about your Commandments? I have my own religion to take me to spiritual salvation. And I WILL NOT SAY MINE IS THE ONLY WAY, you can choose your way. Have you ever bothered to read the core beliefs of other religions – there is nothing different than what you write about yours,

      EXCEPT THAT THEY DONOT SAY THEIRS IS THE ONLY WAY!!! Every religion tells you to be good, to be true, to care for your neighbour, not to lie, etc etc... Lord Rama walked this earth in 5000 BC and he essentially taught the same things dear.

      Wake up from your dream. Not saying I find fault with Christianity, but I surely find fault with how it has been hammered into some brains, so deep that they cant even see that there is a whole wide Universe outside. But then, we still need people to help us use the FROG IN THE WELL phrase.

      August 10, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Topher

      Simran

      "Fine, Jesus claimed to be God??? Or was he the Lord's son??? Again confused there!!!"

      Jesus IS God. When you see references to "The Son" that is the descriptor to what His role in the Trinity is ... in the Trinity you have God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. There's just one God, but three persons existing at the same time. I know, that is a tough concept.

      "Okay He is God. Now my problem again bottles down to the same thing – how is Jesus (if it was really him and not your stupid interpretation) so certain that other religions are false. Oh yes, he was the only God. God bless the other religions, for Jesus didnot come in their dreams to help them see the truth!"

      Well, since He's God He certainly knows that there are no other Gods and whether other religions are false or not. After all, He is the creator or the universe. I'm not so concerned with other religions as I'm concerned with you at the moment. You've heard the truth of the Gospel today. What do you think about it? What are you going to do with this new information?

      "The Commandments??? Come on, why should I care about your Commandments? I have my own religion to take me to spiritual salvation."

      You have spiritual salvation in another religion? Which one is that? Does that religion have forgiveness of sins? A Savior? A God who took the punishment for you?

      "And I WILL NOT SAY MINE IS THE ONLY WAY, you can choose your way. Have you ever bothered to read the core beliefs of other religions – there is nothing different than what you write about yours"

      I have looked into other religions, actually. And no, other religions are not saying the same things as Christianity. Ours is the only one with forgiveness of sins. Even modern Judaism isn't even close.

      " Every religion tells you to be good, to be true, to care for your neighbour, not to lie, etc etc... Lord Rama walked this earth in 5000 BC and he essentially taught the same things dear."

      Christianity says you aren't good. The Bible even says there are none who are good, no not one. Being good will not get you into Heaven. You must have forgiveness for those times you did tell a lie, steal, look with lust ... If you are in a court of law and found guilty, you can't say, "Judge, yeah, I murdered that woman and did terrible things to her body, but you should let me go. I give lots of money to charity and help out my neighbors." That won't work. You must still pay for the things you did wrong. It works the same way with God who calls Himself the just judge. The Bible says 'It is appointed unto a man once to die and after this the judgment.' If you die without Christ and stand before God on Judgment Day, how will you justify yourself?

      August 10, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Simran

      Topher, I do know quite a few Christians around me. In fact, the best teacher I ever had was a Christian, formerly a priest and then he started a school with his wife in my city. And he was a great man. He made many friends in our city comprising largely of Sikhs and Hindus. And there was a whole sea of people at his funeral. Christians are a minority in my part, so you can understand how tall this man stood.

      And he took our classes on moral science. Nowhere did he try to influence his beliefs, his religion upon us. So you see why I feel your interpretation of your own religion is flawed.

      Our SIkh family always went to wish him on Christmas, and he returned the same gesture by coming to our house on Diwali (you see even though Diwali is a Hindu festival, in India, even Sikhs join to celebrate it with great enthusiasm!)

      I had absolutely no issues with Christianity up until I read such bigoted statements as made by the likes of you saying yours is the only way. Then, I want to kick you – please go back to your Bible and read it for yourself. Dont just say what your pastor says.

      While we all seek salvation, we are free to choose our own ways. And there are more than one way...

      August 10, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Simran

      "If you die without Christ and stand before God on Judgment Day, how will you justify yourself?" – Really now you seem to be some one whose only agenda on earth is to convert all people to Christianity. Modern day proselytism. Thank Jesus, people like you are unable to actually conduct CRUSADES now. Or maybe, I should just thank science which helped people wake up and recognize your shallowness.

      August 10, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Simran

      "Stand before God on Judgement Day" – I stand before God every day (and unlike you, we donot refer to God as man or woman, God is OMNIPRESCENT, OMNIPOTENT, WITHOUT FORM, FEARLESS, WITHOUT HATRED, TIMELESS) – every morning we pray to God to bless all (not just me bcoz hello God I am the one praying), and every night we thank God for everything. And God helps me overcome my evils every moment of my life. God is not judgemental for me.

      Keep your Gospel to your self.

      August 10, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Topher

      Simran

      I am glad you knew such a great man. I wish I knew more of them myself. Perhaps he was hoping that by his being friendly you would ask him about his religion. Maybe others did. No way for me to know that.

      "I had absolutely no issues with Christianity up until I read such bigoted statements as made by the likes of you saying yours is the only way. Then, I want to kick you – please go back to your Bible and read it for yourself. Dont just say what your pastor says."

      These are the words of Jesus Christ Himself. I'll even quote it for you ... from John 14:6 ... "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." If you reject this saying (that there are other ways to the Father) then you are calling Christ a liar. I'd be very careful with that if I were you. This has nothing to do with my pastor. It is what the Word of God says. I'm not trying to offend you, I'm just trying to tell you what God has said. Consider my reasons for telling you this. I'm not after your money and you obviously can't attend my church. I just want you to repent and be saved.

      August 10, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Simran

      There's good news. Jesus Christ, God Himself, became a man and took the punishment you and I deserve on the cross. If you will, our fine has been paid

      Wow, all Wade had to do was to go and tell Jesus "I am sorry", and Jesus wouldsay, dont worry son, I have already paid your fine. How convenient?

      You realize, it is you I am mocking and not Christianity!!!

      August 10, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Topher

      Simran

      "Wow, all Wade had to do was to go and tell Jesus "I am sorry", and Jesus wouldsay, dont worry son, I have already paid your fine. How convenient?"

      It's more than saying you are sorry. You must repent (not just say sorry but STOP doing those sins) and trust in the Savior. I mentioned earlier about being "born again." Jesus said we MUST be born again. And if we are living for anything other than God then we need to ask ourselves if we are indeed saved.

      "You realize, it is you I am mocking and not Christianity!!!"

      Mock me all you want. But you do realize what a little thing it is to me considering all the persecution of Christians going on in the world. And look what happened to Jesus' followers. Again, reject the truth if you want to. That's your business. But know that I care about you whether you mock me or not.

      August 10, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Simran

      Well, thank you Topher. I hope Jesus awards you for your oh so considerate nature. Too bad, you can't sell Christianity though! Well, he will forgive you for that. I will put in my prayer to him for you for sure.
      And as for me, I LIKE MY HELL. HAPPY TO BE WHERE I AM.

      August 10, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  12. Colin

    On Easter Island, the Rapa Nui people committed cultural and environmental suicide by wasting the island's trees and other recourses on building the now famous Moai, the giant stone statues that were supposedly going to please the gods and protect the islanders from harm.

    Whenever I see a new church, synagogue, mosque, gurdwara or other place of worship open here, I cannot help but think of how they do nothing but contribute to our own deforestation of the USA. I acknowledge that they are only a small part of a much larger issue, but at least with other buildings there is some return on investment. Given that all gods are make believe, or place of worship return nothing for the harm they do. They are the very definition of wasted space.

    Can you imagine the good we could do if all the money, land, time and other recourses we waste worshiping the non-existent were instead funneled into doing something real, tangible and beneficial?

    August 10, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • common sense needed

      The statues are stone not wood you moron.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Colin

      At common sense – read how they transported them.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Places of worship are scams for tax dodgers and investors. I had the same thought yesterday while driving, I saw a new church being constructed, a very large church. Imagine what could have been built or established in its place to better humanity, like a medical facility. I'm on board with the tree thing but if we are going to build do it with some fore thought and good reason.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      no sense, I rest my case. You can't even comprehend what's written.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Colin
      The transportation of the statues continues to be a mystery! There are numerous theories, but nothing definitive.
      Oddly enough, before the Christians came a-knockin, Easter Islanders considered cannibalism to be terribly rude.
      Not a mortal, stomach churning sin, mind you – just awfully insulting the the person being eaten.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      They are pretty sure that they deforested that island and used the trees in some way to move the stones. The most acceptable theory to date. So why don't you stop nit-picking that point and start addressing Colin's more general concern?

      August 10, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Colin

      Hey Doc, understood. I read Jarod Diamond's "Collapse" on this issue. Obviously a little tilted as he was trying to make a broader point, but I think it is widely accepted that (i) deforestation devastated the island; and (ii) the mining, transport and erection of the Moais contributed greately to this.

      Nat Geo just did a piece on it a month or two ago, too.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Colin
      I have a subsription to Nat Geo and I read that article – the current theory seems logical for sure...
      I'm not debating that the limited natrual resources of the island were squandered by the inhabitants – just mentioning some trivia.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
  13. Topher

    I have no problems with other faiths having a place to worship. But my concern with mosques is whether anyone (government or otherwise) is watching them to make sure they aren't enacting Sharia whether in the community or among their members.

    August 10, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • Pax

      Good question!

      August 10, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Bachmann paranoia syndrome.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • MarkinFL

      I worry that the government is not watching Christian churches close enough to ensure that they are not engaging in political activities in contradiction to the laws that give them tax exemption. Especially since so many of them seem hell-bent on imposing the Christian equivalent of sharia on all of us.
      Also, pray tell, how are Muslims going to be able to secretly impose Sharia on a community that includes non-Muslims?

      August 10, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      Yes, yes, yes, Topher. They'll watch them, you can bet your bottom and top dollar on that. Don't you worry your paranoid lil' heart out.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Topher

      MarkinFL

      "I worry that the government is not watching Christian churches close enough to ensure that they are not engaging in political activities in contradiction to the laws that give them tax exemption."

      Seriously? You are more worried about a Christian pastor talking politics in the pulpit than whether an Muslim church is working on Sharia? You might want to look up Anjem Choudary. Scary stuff from this man, but at least he is honest about what Islam's goals are.

      "Especially since so many of them seem hell-bent on imposing the Christian equivalent of sharia on all of us."

      Which is what, exactly?

      August 10, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • MarkinFL

      I am not even slightly concerned with the Muslims in this country. Especially with regard to Sharia. However, Some Christians try to push anti-science into school science classes and they try to force biblically based laws involving private behavior, etc.
      Muslims have a zero chance of being able to enact and enforce ANY Sharia based law since they would not be Consti.tutional AND they do not have the historical upper hand as the Christians here do.
      The only real threat to civil liberty comes from Christians.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • MarkinFL

      ... see William's post above.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Topher

      MarkinFL

      "However, Some Christians try to push anti-science into school science classes and they try to force biblically based laws involving private behavior, etc."

      Like? For the most part we homeschool our kids when we don't like the public school's teachings.

      "Muslims have a zero chance of being able to enact and enforce ANY Sharia based law since they would not be Consti.tutional AND they do not have the historical upper hand as the Christians here do."

      Again, go look up Anjem Choudary ... he lays out the plans very clearly. Look what is going on all over Europe. If you think they aren't being successful you're just fooling yourself.

      "The only real threat to civil liberty comes from Christians."

      Which civil liberties are Christians denying you?

      August 10, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • ME II

      @Topher,

      In response to, "...Some Christians try to push anti-science into school..."

      You said, "Like? For the most part we homeschool our kids when we don't like the public school's teachings."

      Like, Dover, PA. Like, Kansas Science standards. Like Mr. Freshwater. Like Georgia's science textbook disclaimer. etc., etc., etc.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Like? For the most part we homeschool our kids when we don't like the public school's teachings.
      –SOME homeschool, the rest agitate to include religious teachings (sometimes successfully) in public school science classes. So yes this a real ongoing problem.

      Again, go look up Anjem Choudary ... he lays out the plans very clearly. Look what is going on all over Europe. If you think they aren't being successful you're just fooling yourself.

      We are not Europe. Our Consti.tution is truly unique. I can say I love God or Hitler or Satan. All quite legal. Not in much of Europe. We're different. People can plan all they want. Oral Roberts once declared that the Bible is the REAL Consti.tution of the United States. Guess what, still isn't. But his ilk sure are trying hard. Haven't heard of many Muslims doing anything to push their religion on top of the Consti.tution.

      "The only real threat to civil liberty comes from Christians."

      Which civil liberties are Christians denying you?

      These days, luckily, its mostly just trying to, with some notable exceptions.
      Areas of battle include: Self-determination for my body and personal relationships. My and my children's legal right not to be subjected to a local dominant religion's practices or beliefs.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Topher

      And what specifically are they teaching that is anti-science?

      August 10, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Creationism.

      Intelligent Design.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Topher
      the leading rabble rousers in the Creationist world – The Center for Science and Culture (sponsored by the Discovery Inst.itute) openly admit that their goal isn't to teach what they think is fact. An internal doc.ument leaked in 1999 described the Discovery group's objective in pushing for creationism to be taught in schools as "to defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies". They want to use Intelligent Design as a "wedge" to separate science from its allegiance to "atheistic naturalism".
      In other words, they fear that teaching FACTS to children will drive them away from religion

      August 10, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • ME II

      @Topher,
      Surely you've heard of the Dover Area School board attempting to introduce ID into the science class. It caused the Kitzmiller v Dover trial in 2005.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      " Kitzmiller v Dover trial in 2005."

      You have to love the 1st amendment.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Colin

      Topher, in addition to them wanting to teach the "Talking Snake" theory of galactic and terrestrial formation to kids, I take issue with the following areas where Bible-cuddlers want to tell all people (atheists, agnostics, Muslims etc.) what they must do:

      (i) the perennial issue of a woman’s right to an abortion;
      (iii) medical immunization of teen girls (and boys) against HPV;
      (iv) assisted suicide;
      (v) accepting the reality of global warming and reacting to mitigate its effects;
      (vi) gay marriage;
      (vii) the right to view art and theatre deemed “offensive,” “blasphemous” or “obs.cene” by Christians;
      (viii) basic se.x education for older school children;
      (ix) treating drug abuse as principally a medical issue;
      (x) population control;
      (xi) buying alcohol on a Sunday in many places;
      (xii) use of co.ndoms and other contraceptives;
      (xiii) embryonic stem cell research;
      (xiv) little 10 year-old boys joining organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, regardless of the religious views of their parents

      August 10, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Topher

      ME II

      "Surely you've heard of the Dover Area School board attempting to introduce ID into the science class. It caused the Kitzmiller v Dover trial in 2005."

      Actually, if I did hear about it I've forgotten it. What happened? But let me also say that the ID movement isn't necessarily Christianity, just that there's a supernatural force involved. That doesn't mean it agrees with the Bible. So I'm not fully on board with the ID movement.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Topher

      Colin

      "I take issue with the following areas where Bible-cuddlers want to tell all people (atheists, agnostics, Muslims etc.) what they must do:"

      I can appreciate your concerns, but let me address some of these on your list very briefly ...

      "(i) the perennial issue of a woman’s right to an abortion;"

      Yes. It's murder.

      "(iii) medical immunization of teen girls (and boys) against HPV;"

      Why should I assume my 12-yr-old little girl is going to be se.xually active? It's basically promotion to say it's OK to be se.xually active before marriage.

      "(iv) assisted suicide;"

      Murder.

      "(v) accepting the reality of global warming and reacting to mitigate its effects;"

      Actually, I don't disagree we are harming the environment and we need to do something about it. I just disagree on the level of damage done and how those scientists come to their conclusions.

      "(vi) gay marriage;"

      Marriage is a covenant with God and is laid out in the Bible to be so and second it would be a sin. Sorry, but I can't condone sinning.

      "(vii) the right to view art and theatre deemed “offensive,” “blasphemous” or “obs.cene” by Christians;"

      Way too deep an issue to get into here. But the one comment I'll make is that if something is blasphemous, of course it is an insult to not only God but to me.

      "(viii) basic se.x education for older school children;"

      Well, it's partially once again saying it's OK to be se.xually active. But it's also our laziness as a society. Why should a teacher be telling my kids about se.x? That's a parent's responsibility.

      "(xii) use of co.ndoms and other contraceptives;"

      I think this is really only an issue to the Catholics and I'm not Catholic but Protestant.

      "(xiii) embryonic stem cell research;"

      Depends on how they get the stem cells. Some of this requires the death of a child. There are other ways.

      I know a bunch of you disagree with me on these issues. I'm just trying to explain to you my viewpoint and why I believe these things.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • ME II

      @Topher,
      Kitzmiller v Dover was a lawsuit in federal court where the parents sued the school district from violating the separation of church and state by introduction ID (aka Creationism) into the science class.

      Here's an excerpt of the Judge's decision:
      "A significant aspect of the IDM [intelligent design movement] is that despite Defendants' protestations to the contrary, it describes ID as a religious argument. In that vein, the writings of leading ID proponents reveal that the designer postulated by their argument is the God of Christianity. " emphasis added. (as quoted on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitzmiller_v._Dover_Area_School_District, but the full decision is widely available as well.)

      August 10, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      "Actually, if I did hear about it I've forgotten it. What happened?"

      It would be really convenient for you to forget something like that. If I remember correctly it cost the school board over a million dollars for the case.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • ME II

      "...from violating the separation of church and state "
      Sorry, technically it was for violating the Establishment Clause of the Consti.tution, I think.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • Colin

      Ineed Topher, and thanks for taking the time. Your points of view on all of them are valid. I disagree with them, but they are valid. However, as the wording of your responses themselves note, many of your objections are biblical. You should not get to impose these views on other who do not share your religion. That is the key point of the discussion.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Topher

      Colin

      "Ineed Topher, and thanks for taking the time. Your points of view on all of them are valid. I disagree with them, but they are valid. However, as the wording of your responses themselves note, many of your objections are biblical. You should not get to impose these views on other who do not share your religion. That is the key point of the discussion."

      I'm not trying to impose anything on you (though I bet our definitions of "impose" are slightly different.) For instance, I don't need to quote from the Bible to argue against some of these things. For instance, murder. I bet you'd agree with me that murder is wrong. I just take it a bit farther than you to say that killing a baby is murder. Just because it isn't outside of the womb yet doesn't make it any less of a human. Isn't it interesting that you can take the 10 Commandments and see that all societies use them as common standards even if they don't know the Bible. Murder and lying and stealing, etc., are always wrong. That's because God's laws are written on your heart, thusly, as the Bible says, none of us have any excuses when we break them.

      August 10, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Gopher, how many times does it have to be pointed out to you that:

      1)Our laws are not based on the Ten Commandments, but on the preservation of individual rights and ethics

      and

      2) The Ten Commandments are predated by many other codes. They aren't original to the Bible.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Topher

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "1)Our laws are not based on the Ten Commandments, but on the preservation of individual rights and ethics"

      Good. Then why aren't you trying to get laws for the preservation and right to life for unborn babies? Are you telling me it isn't ethic to support life?

      August 10, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Topher

      So then, why should the rights of an unborn fetus trump the bodily autonomy of the mother, if she doesn't want to have her body used in that way. Are we forced, in any other aspect of our lives, to give up autonomy of our body because someone else wants to use it?

      August 10, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Topher

      hawaiiguest

      So basically your complaint is that you don't like the way nature works. How am I supposed to have a discussion with you about that?

      August 10, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Topher

      What a lovely way to avoid answering the question. Then again, it's not like I expect anything else from you.

      August 10, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Hawaii just laid the first argument from medical ethics papers being composed in Europe right now. The premise is that post birth abortions (yes, post birth) have an ethical argument in the event that the new born is determined to have either dim chances at a "quality life" or pose undo burden on society. So, to me the argument comes down to whether we are willing to take the gift of life into our own hands via abortion (post or pre-birth), euthenasia and the death penalty or whether we are willing to allow the right to life to remain in God's hands. My guess is most Christians will fall on one side of the argument and most secularist on the other.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Bill Deacon

      Actually, I just brought up a question of bodily autonomy, and how it would be applied in a very uneven way if abortion were made illegal on the premise that a fetus dependent on the body of anther to survive has that right.

      August 10, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Gopher, there's little point in bothering, but I'll respond to your idiocy anyway. At no time in this country was abortion ever considered murder. EVER.

      It still isn't. A woman has the right to terminate a pregnancy she does not want to continue. That is true now and it's been true since the beginning of the human race. If you can figure out a way to transplant an unwanted fetus into your body then you can have a say in what happens to you and the fetus. You have no say in what anyone else who is pregnant chooses to do.

      The fetus, as long as it cannot live outside the uterus, is dependent on the body of another. It therefore has not 'rights' other than those given it by the woman who is carrying and sustaining it.

      Argue about it all you want. It won't matter.

      It's not even an issue in politics-the politicians just use it as a means of getting votes. They will do nothing to attempt to overturn R v W, anymore than they have for the past 4 decades.

      As I said before, if you consider abortion morally wrong, don't ever have one. You can't insist anyone else abide by your views.

      August 10, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Topher –

      Why not noodle the following quote for a while?

      "Abolition of a woman's right to abortion, when and if she wants it, amounts to compulsory maternity: a form of ra'pe by the State."
      Edward Abbey

      August 10, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
  14. AverageJoe76

    They're going to need giant robot-guns mounted on the roof, a cloaking shield, a plasma shield, guard dogs roaming the premises and ones to sniff out terminators, rogue mercenary ninja and samuri, Voltron, the sword of Omens, a gaitlin-style rail gun, and Merlin to keep this place from being targeted from some idiot(s).

    Or... they can deny that it's a Mosque, and say it's a science museum. That'll keep 'em out.

    August 10, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • the stench

      alone will keep most folks away.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      They would burn down the science museum unless it displayed creationism.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • common sense needed

      Better a smoking crater than an idolatrous mosque.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • William Demuth

      I wonder what the Hill Billes positions on gun control will be when this cult buys 200 AK-47's and 100,000 rounds of tracer ammo?

      Maybe some up armored Hum Vees? They should all statrt wearing camouflage turbans.

      Complete militarization. Terrify the pants off the Jeebus freaks

      August 10, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      no sense, are you threatening arson? I believe you are. I wonder how CNN will view your participation on a board it owns.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      @TheVocalAtheist – We can do that! Just put a picture of Fred Flintstone on the sign.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      @the stench – OYE!!! You almost flew under the radar!

      And you can testify that Christians smell any better?

      August 10, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • common sense needed

      Also please appraise me of my "religion"

      August 10, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Appraise"? Dude, you're out of your league.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:35 am |
  15. William Demuth

    I find great joy in this.

    Both cults are absurd, but I do think breaking the monopoly of the Jeebus freaks will shake up the politics in the south.

    I hope these people get involved in politics, and stir up more hornets nests!

    Frankly if Romney selects a non prtestant as a VP partner, it may really be a milestone.

    The good old boy Protestants must be having a meltdown.

    Next we go after their guns and eliminate home schooling

    We may actually drag these rednecks into the 21st century yet!

    August 10, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Wouldn't that be like putting lipstick on a pig?

      August 10, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Karl Marx

      I tried a little Maybelline once. Revolutionary Red. My friends said that it was a little obnoxious and overbearing. But pantyhose fit me just fine.

      August 10, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  16. common sense needed

    Better ash and rubble than a wicked idolatrous mosque.

    August 10, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      common sense-get some.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • common sense needed

      When travelling by air try to sit by the rag head wearing a vest tom and do the whole world a favor.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • K-switch

      Forget what article you are on CSN? This one is standing. Or are you dumb enough to threaten domestic terrorism on a public message board?

      August 10, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Yes, you do need some common sense. Take some advice, go and try to set-up a relationship with a group of alligators while wearing a fish suit.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ooh, so you're a Christian, no sense? Good to know what sort of people you associate with.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • common sense needed

      No threat just wishful thinking.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • MarkinFL

      CSN, you voting for Romney?

      August 10, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • common sense needed

      you first,i don't need to outrun the alligator i only need to outrun you.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • common sense needed

      @MarkinFL
      The handle is common sense needed.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      @common sense needed – You sound like the type of villian that would squeeze the life out of a small child. Simply because of their differences. Or is that just wishful thinking on your part?

      August 10, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nope. It's a threat. If you could, you'd burn a mosque.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • common sense needed

      Is everyone who disagrees with you, a villain in your mind?

      August 10, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • common sense needed

      Nope, just what would be better, long term, for mankind.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Honey, you're not smart enough to figure out commas. Hardly Snidely Whiplash.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • MarkinFL

      CSN, not sure what your answer implies. I was just curious since Romney is a Mormon which is not exactly compatible with your particular religion.
      I am simply thrilled that the far right in this country has to choose between a black moderate or a Mormon moderate..
      LMFAO

      August 10, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • common sense needed

      What does far right have to do with this?

      August 10, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  17. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    August 10, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs! ,

      August 10, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • kindless

      Actually, atheism is wonderful for children and all people!

      Atheists have strong minds and are good at helping weak-minded people work through their struggles with other people or the imaginary forces or obstacles that men have made up. Atheists encourage people to take responsibility for their actions within society instead of having their misdeeds excused and often hidden within their religion (comforting their weak minds, but simultaneously disserving society).

      Break the matrix of deception by all religions.

      If the thought leaving your imaginary friends behind is just too much, or makes you want to go p00py, then try Atheism Lite™ (agnosticism) for a period of time to ease your way into a much more rewarding, peaceful life.

      It is written. RIF

      heavenSnot

      August 10, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • exlonghorn

      He just posts this same thing wherever he goes. He never gets into a conversation about the merits of his claim...he just tosses it on the floor and runs away.

      August 10, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Which God??

      You're still stupid, so it's not working very well.

      August 10, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Dr. Gary Hurd

      Prayer, meditation, yoga, chanting etc.. can lower stress (measured as serum cortisol levels), it can lower blood pressure, and some people just say it makes them feel better. So does calisthenics, for some people.

      It does not do much else.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  18. Free Pastor Youcef!

    Sadly you enjoy freedom of religion whervever you go but do not extend that same freedom to people of other faith.

    Free Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani who has been unjustly imprisoned for years.

    August 10, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • Medallion

      They are so vocal when it comes to their rights but are very intolerant of other faiths. Why?

      August 10, 2012 at 11:08 am |
  19. Shiblee

    Zionist propaganda machine has created Islamophobia to protect their illegal state .

    August 10, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • common sense needed

      Islam is idolatrous crap.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:05 am |
  20. K-switch

    Religious freedom 1, bigoted redneck Judges 0.

    August 10, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • common sense needed

      There is no freedom in Islam.

      August 10, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      @common sense needed – There's an illusion of freedom in the Bible. Free will is a shame. How can it be free will when one decision is eternal life, and the other death?

      August 10, 2012 at 11:16 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.