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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. Roman Woman

    This country has gone completely insane all in the name of not offending anyone. This is like allowing a bunch of rattle snakes into your backyard and thinking that the snakes will not bite.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Snakes are necessary for the balance of nature and they only bite when they are messed with.

      August 10, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Simran

      No, actually, we have invaded the space that belonged to rattle snakes. God put us all on this earth (as a particular religion states) – Noah saved us all. Now why did he save rattle snakes if god didn't want them here?

      Man just went ahead and put up boundaries around him, made brick walls and now we want to throw out rattle snakes from the great Mother Earth. We make them homeless and then wonder, why did that rattle snake bite us???

      August 11, 2012 at 8:35 am |
  2. Simsa

    I will be OK if they put a cross or Jesus/Virgin Mary statue at their mosque.... otherwise NO Way I will support any non-Christian places of worship, including synagogues. America is a Christian country and our founding fathers would have been mad!

    August 10, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • tekstep1

      You need to brush up on your history.

      August 10, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Simsa apparently needs to brush up on a lot of things. He's gonna need a bigger brush...

      August 10, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Shakira

      Why don't you check your history and get back to us on what kind of country America was founded as.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Um, Simsa? You should take a look at what happened to an author who made a similar claim.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • Simran

      Oh Simsa, up until now, I had only heard that many Americans are stupid, now you give me the evidence. Christian nation!!! Really!!! Thanks you, you just made my day. I am now going to write another dictionary where SECULAR means CHRISTIAN. Keep it up babe (well I am just assuming that).

      August 11, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Simsa: You're wrong and given that you're too lazy and gullible to do the research yourself, the following will correct you:

      "If the U.S. was founded on the Christian religion, the Constitution would clearly say so–but it does not. Nowhere does the Constitution say: "The United States is a Christian Nation", or anything even close to that. In fact, the words "Jesus Christ, Christianity, Bible, Creator, Divine, and God" are never mentioned in the Constitution– not even once. Nowhere in the Constitution is religion mentioned, except in exclusionary terms. When the Founders wrote the nation's Constitution, they specified that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." (Article 6, section 3) This provision was radical in its day– giving equal citizenship to believers and non-believers alike. They wanted to ensure that no religion could make the claim of being the official, national religion, such as England had.

      The Declaration of Independence gives us important insight into the opinions of the Founding Fathers. Thomas Jefferson wrote that the power of the government is derived from the governed. Up until that time, it was claimed that kings ruled nations by the authority of God. The Declaration was a radical departure from the idea that the power to rule over other people comes from god. It was a letter from the Colonies to the English King, stating their intentions to separate themselves. The Declaration is not a governing document. It mentions "Nature's God" and "Divine Providence"– but as you will soon see, that's the language of Deism, not Christianity.
      The 1796 Treaty with Tripoli states that the United States was "not in any sense founded on the Christian religion". This was not an idle statement meant to satisfy muslims– they believed it and meant it. This treaty was written under the presidency of George Washington and signed under the presidency of John Adams.

      None of the Founding Fathers were atheists. Most of the Founders were Deists, which is to say they thought the universe had a creator, but that he does not concern himself with the daily lives of humans, and does not directly communicate with humans, either by revelation or by sacred books. They spoke often of God, (Nature's God or the God of Nature), but this was not the God of the bible. They did not deny that there was a person called Jesus, and praised him for his benevolent teachings, but they flatly denied his divinity. Some people speculate that if Charles Darwin had lived a century earlier, the Founding Fathers would have had a basis for accepting naturalistic origins of life, and they would have been atheists. We'll never know; but by reading their own writings, it's clear that most of them were opposed to the bible, and the teachings of Christianity in particular."

      (http://freethought.mbdojo.com/foundingfathers.html)

      August 11, 2012 at 9:15 am |
  3. IzO

    I bet their Imam will blow himself off in their cult building

    August 10, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  4. MasAllah

    Islam..... 1.5 billion members
    Christianity..... 2.2 billion members
    Judaism.... 15 million members

    Nearly 4/7 billion people believe in Abrahamic God.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • truth be told

      allah is not the God of Abraham.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • gager

      And there is no god.

      August 10, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • truth be told

      There is a God allah is not God, allah is an idol.

      August 10, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • CG

      @truthbetold: Who do you think Arab Christians pray to?

      August 10, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • sam stone

      truth be told: allah is the arabic word for god. arab christians pray to allah.

      August 11, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  5. Robert Jean

    Freedom of religion is for everyone! Congradulations on your new location!!

    August 10, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • James

      Yeah, congratulations for having group of people supporting terrorism and blowing themselves and innocent people off.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Shakira

      @ James, have any proof other then what Fox News says that your claim is true? Have you met any of the members of the mosque, ever attended a Friday Kutbah. No you have not and are just an ignorant bigot.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
  6. sensible

    TN I read the bible....hated it ....it's not even worth wiping my ass with. Read your history books....Chrisitans have more blood on their hands than all religions combined in all of history

    August 10, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • St. Louis

      You will burn in hell your Anti-Christian bigot. I hope you will die in slow and painful death.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • truth be told

      Atheists have murdered more people in the last 100 years than were killed in all previous centuries.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  7. St. Louis

    I wish Christians were intolerant to other faiths just like the Muslims are in Islamic nations....

    August 10, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  8. Muhammed

    WE WILL TAKE OVER AMERICA AND TURN ALL CHURCHES/SYNAGOGUES INTO MOSQUES!!!!!

    The more islamophobia there is, the more fundamentalist we get!!!

    August 10, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  9. Forgot 9/11 already?

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNNTcHq5Tzk&w=640&h=360]

    August 10, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  10. SHARIA LAW!!

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

    August 10, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  11. Mark

    Building a mosque in Tennessee is like building a Jewish synagogue outside Adolf Hitler's house in Nazi Germany in the 1930's and 1940s. Why would any self-respecting Muslim want to live there and risk getting killed just because of who they are. They have a much better chance of surviving in front of a starving lion in the wild. LOL.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • TN

      No Muslims are strong and will spread their cancer throughout the country just like they have done in Europe

      August 10, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • Palicorp

      Righ on

      August 10, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • sam stone

      TN: You say muslims are spreading a cancer and have the gall to call other people bigots?

      August 10, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Kalessin

      Comparing Tenn with Nazi Germany? Can we say drama queen?

      August 10, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  12. sensible

    So that's why God sends killer tornadoes to places like Joplin Missouri.........to take out the Christian idiots

    August 10, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • TN

      Fvck you bigot..... If you read the holy bible you would have understand God´s point.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • sam stone

      TN: Lots of people have read the bible and come up with lots of different points. How many Christian denominations are out there in the United States?

      August 10, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • St. Louis

      Orthodox, Protestants, Catholics, Mormons, etc. are all Christians... doesn't matter what sect you belong to.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • Linsanity

      No matter what your religion is....burning or not letting a house of God be built is a path to hell for followers of any religion...

      August 10, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  13. European

    Muslims seeks to take over the U.S. just like they've done here in Europe.

    Americans you have a chance to STOP it!

    August 10, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • tekstep1

      As long as they stop you...

      August 10, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  14. Palicorp

    Let's not forget these muslim-animals are praying to cut our heads off because we are infidels. Do you want have these pigs in your backyard?

    August 10, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  15. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    Here’s my list of the top ten most irritatingly stupid ‘arguments’ that religionists make here. I need a number ten and want suggestions.

    1. Equating atheism with a belief in the non-existence of God:
    eg: “Atheism is a religion” Ummm, no, really, it’s not!

    2. Proselytizing, particularly of the hit and run kind:
    eg: “Believe or burn”
    A special case of this is copy/paste of trite, meaningless aphorisms
    eg: “Prayer changes things” Ummm, we all know it doesn’t.

    3. Christians preaching intolerance and hate …
    eg: “I’m glad the mosque burned down”
    “Muslims oppress Christians overseas, so we should oppress Muslims here”
    “If they wore turbans, they deserved to get shot”
    “Nuke the middle east to the stone age”

    Surely they need to go back and read some Matthew?
    7:1 ”Judge not, lest ye be judged”
    7: 5 “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
    5:39 “But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also”
    22:39 “And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’.”

    4. Incomprehension that morality is a societal consensus of conscience; changing and pluralistic:
    eg: “Morals are God-given” Ummm, no, really, they’re not!

    5. Inconsistency in their personal ‘orthodoxy’ – the chapter and verse cherry picking game:
    eg: “I’m a Christian, and don’t follow the OT, I only follow the NT, but then quote Mark 5:17, so now Leviticus is back on the table, except for the bits about shellfish, bacon, slaves, menstruating women etc, etc.
    Jesus on homosexuality versus Jesus on adultery
    Jesus on ‘an eye for an eye’ (Matthew 5:39)
    This inconsistency includes the “I am rubber you are glue.” argument. In context, this goes …
    “When I quote chapter and verse it strengthens my argument, but when you quote chapter and verse it weakens yours because you don’t believe the bible.”

    6. Attempts to justifying legislation of their values:
    “Because the bible tells me so” So what? That doesn’t apply to me. (See number 7.)

    7. Misrepresenting the United States as a Christian nation
    eg: “The founders were all Christians, ergo …” Ummm, no. Sorry, this argument doesn’t overrule the first amendment. Where is “God” in the Constitution again?

    8. Copy/paste of tracts of unfacts:
    eg: “† Atheism is …” The less said about these trolls the better.

    9. The ‘reductionem ad creationis’ argument, no matter what the topic of the day, let’s talk evolution … again and again!
    eg: ”science doesn’t explain what happened before the big bang, so God is real, ergo he created everything 6,000 years ago
    Yes Chad, this is you.

    I just need a good number 10. What are your ideas?

    August 10, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Palicorp

      Like you say "irritatingly stupid ‘arguments" are your stupid comments.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • What IF

      For most often repeated - Pascal's Wager.

      (followed closely by:
      - "I have a personal relationship" with "God/Jesus" and
      - "If you are a good parent, don't you discipline your children when they misbehave?" and
      - "Atheists hate (are mad at) "God" and
      - "Why do atheists visit this blog if they don't believe?"

      August 10, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @What if,

      "Pascal's wager" nice one!

      And the 'why are you here on the "belief blog"

      August 10, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Darn it!

      I forgot the "atheists killed more than 100,000,000 people in the 20th century" argument so relevant, so cogent!

      August 10, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • Chad

      @GOPer "Equating atheism with a belief in the non-existence of God:"
      @Chad "there are two forms of atheism'
      weak atheism: does not believe in the existence of God
      strong atheism: asserts that God does not exist

      =======
      @GOPer "Proselytizing, particularly of the hit and run kind:"
      @Chad "I agree, some Christians find it difficult to hold a rational discussion without reverting to ad hominem attacks.
      I have observed that virtually all atheists are unable to hold a rational discussion without reverting to ad hominem attacks

      =====
      @GOPer "Christians preaching intolerance and hate …"
      @Chad "that is actually quite rare from Christians, and quite clearly commonplace from atheists.. just scroll up and down for evidence of same.."

      ====
      @GOPer "Incomprehension that morality is a societal consensus of conscience; changing and pluralistic:"
      @Chad "there is no such thing as objective morality without God. This viewpoint is the basis of the naturalistic atheist world view of moral relativism."

      =====
      @GOPer "Inconsistency in their personal ‘orthodoxy’ – the chapter and verse cherry picking game:"
      @Chad "talk about cherry picking 🙂
      all of your supposedly "OT examples" are in the NT, which is the covenant we are now under

      =======
      @GOPer "Attempts to justifying legislation of their values:"
      @Chad "seriously,, you are still trying to say that having some kind of litmus test for what people can lobby their government for is a reasonable and good thing?
      Mao/Stalin thought the exact same thing.. it isnt a good idea.

      =====
      @GOPer "Misrepresenting the United States as a Christian nation"
      @Chad "USA has a Christian majority and was founded by men that were guided by their belief in the God of Abraham. It is certainly reasonable to have legislation that reflects the shared morality of the majority."

      @GOPer "Copy/paste of tracts of unfacts:"
      @Chad "trolls are bad, theist and atheist alike"

      ====
      @GOPer "The ‘reductionem ad creationis’ argument, no matter what the topic of the day, let’s talk evolution … again and again!"
      @Chad "actually, most of my posts are responses...
      there is an extraordinarily odd feature of atheists, to be completely and totally unaware of their own violation of their complaints..
      the WORST trolls on this blog are atheist, witness the root post here..

      August 10, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • tekstep1

      I can't speak to the other issues, Chad, but In can tell you that the founding father were predominately deists and did not believe in organized religion. Adams was actually an atheist and Jefferson rejected all instances of miracles in the Bible. He even published his own "Jeffersonian" Bible that negated any miracles. This country was not founded on Christian ideals, but Enlightenment principles. There is tons of proof to support this, and not from atheism dot com either.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Oh Chad, thank you. You brough a smile to my face.

      (Actually I can't help still smiling now that David Barton's book of "Lies" was just debunked by the publisher.)

      Actually I enjoy engaging with you when you make an effort to be genuine. When you keep going back to the big bang it really gets tiresome.

      August 10, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Chad

      @atheist: "Religion is responsible for war and the deaths of hundreds of millions of people!!"

      @theist "hmm.. not really, right? it has been documented that only 7% of all wars can be attributed to religious causes,
      as well, in this century alone more than 50million have been killed by atheists Mao/Stalin/Pol Pot"

      @atheist "Oh sure!!! bring up how many people atheists have killed, real relevant"..

      @theist.. "ahh.. ok, so just responding to your inaccurate statement"

      @atheist "see!! that's what I mean,, what a bunch of moron trolls you are!!!"

      August 10, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Oh Chad, you're so much better than that.

      You know that abuse is the last refuge of the inarticulate!

      August 10, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Chad

      not abuse at all, precisely what we see every day on this blog.

      right?

      August 10, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      I do agree with you. There is way too much ad hominem attack here.

      There's no need for it. I disagree with your response above that the atheists are the only ones who preach 'hate'. You must agree that there is a staggering amount of very un-Christlike hate towards Muslims expressed here in this thread.

      I also disagree that "virtually all atheists" use ad-hominem attacks. Clearly many do – it is usually deliberately provocative as I'm sure the ad-hominems from the religionists are.

      Singling out your name was not intended as an ad-hominem by the way. It was pointed yes, but it is what I see you doing all the time and meant objectively. It's not personal.

      August 10, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Chad seems unable to differentiate between the attacks he receives because of his faith (these seem quite rare) and those he receives because of his dispi'cable dishonesty. The former is bad form. The latter should be encouraged and more liberally applied, because Chad is one dishonest SOB.

      August 10, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Chad

      @Really-O?".. his dispi'cable dishonesty. .."

      =>ah.. I know how to put a stop to your posts on this particular thread..

      "example please"

      😉

      August 10, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV –

      Please do not confuse personal insults with argumentum ad hominem. Chad repeatedly confuses the two and obstinately refuses to be edified. I believe you are better than that.

      August 10, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Chad's asking for an example of his dishonesty is, in and of itself, dishonest as he has been called-out for being dishonest innumerable times on this blog. Just for giggles, here is an example, from today no less – didn't have to look too hard, in which Chad claims he obtained the definition of the nonsense term "evolutionism" from Francis Collins, which is utter stupidity.

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/10/controversial-mosque-opens-in-tennessee/comment-page-2
      @ August 10, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      Now, wait for Chad's blather as he tries to equivocate that away.

      What an asshat (that's a person insult, not argumentum ad hominem)

      August 10, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Really O,

      OK, yes there is a subtle distinction between argumentum ad hominem and pure personal insult. Though abusive ad hom. can certainly include insults. Some insults are wrapped in ad hom. but not all ad hom. are necessarily personal insults.

      Now my head is spinning.

      August 10, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV –

      An insult is simply that, an insult. Argumentum ad hominem is an attempt to refute an argument by pointing out flaws in the person delivering the argument, rather than pointing out flaws in the argument itself. Attacking the messenger instead of the message, if you will.

      Cheers

      August 10, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Really-O,

      Your "Chad is dishonest, so don't believe anything Chad says" is textbook argumentum ad hominem, no?

      Calling it disp'cable could be interpreted as insulting as well, no?

      August 10, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Chad

      @Really-O? "here is an example, from today no less – didn't have to look too hard, in which Chad claims he obtained the definition of the nonsense term "evolutionism" from Francis Collins, which is utter stupidity."

      @Chad "are you insane?
      do you just not read anything at all and just parrot back nonsense?
      You are indeed either remarkably ignorant, or purposefully dishonest.. astonishing that you essentially do nothing else here but accuse others of possessing your own demonstrated traits.

      Francis Collins FOUNDED Biologos, he left it to join the NIH, NOT because he in any way shape or form had become disaffected with them as you attempt to imply.

      Are you aware that Francis Collins wrote a book The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief
      within which he discusses the definition of evolutionism.

      seriously.
      are you just ignorant, lazy, or crazy?

      August 10, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      in case there is any confusion, only number 9 was directed at you.

      August 10, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Chad

      @Really-O "[I dont] Attack the messenger instead of the message"

      =>are you serious..?
      you are claiming you dont attack the person, rather you attack the argument?

      really?
      O

      oh, really?

      that's all you DO, you attack the messenger incessantly.

      just scroll up and down for crying out loud.

      are you insane?

      August 10, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV –

      Where did I say, "Chad is dishonest, so don't believe anything Chad says"? If I had said that, which I didn't, that might be argumentum ad hominem or it might just be cautionary. Argumentum ad hominem would be if I said, "Chad's wrong about punctuated equilibrium being evidence for god because he's just an inbred, backwoods, bible-thumpin' moron." See the difference? Argumentum ad hominem is used as refutation of a specific argument.

      August 10, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Really-O?

      And there's Chad's blather of diversion. He was asked in the thread I cited about "evolutionism" if he had a reference indicating that his definition was actually from Collins, however he simply walked away from that thread, because the reference doesn't exist. More of Chad's dishonesty. Keep racking 'em up, asshat.

      Hey Chad...how about citing the page and paragraph in The Language of God where Francis Collins defines "evolutionism". hahaha!

      August 10, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Here's another example of Chad's dishonest –
      'Chad
      @Really-O "[I dont] Attack the messenger instead of the message"
      '

      You see, those aren't my words. Chad, dishonestly, re-framed my statement by adding "I dont [sic]", which changed its meaning. Does he really think no one notices those things? Dishonest.

      I also find it interesting that Chad is so flustered by being busted for his dishonesty that he has resorted to the same "attacks" about which he claims to be so incensed
      "are you just ignorant, lazy, or crazy?"
      "are you insane?"

      You slay me Chad. Really you do!

      August 10, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Really-O,

      Apparently I misquoted you. My apologies. What you did say (abbreviated a bit) was:
      "Chad seems unable to differentiate between the attacks he receives because of his faith ... and those he receives because of his dispi'cable dishonesty. .... Chad is one dishonest SOB.

      Do you construe this as merely insulting or is the first part argumentum ad hominem?

      I don't think we have any argument with each other, other than perhaps a sematic difference of opinion.

      In my earlier response to Chad, I was using the term ad hominem to mean "ad hominem attack" (though I failed to clearly define it as such). I do see this as essentially indistinguishable from insult and is different to argumentum ad hominem.

      August 10, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...sorry, "Here's another example of Chad's dishonest" should, of course read, "Here's another example of Chad's dishonesty" (I need a new laptop).

      I also want to point out that Chad not only added "I dont [sic]" to my statement, he actually modified "Attacking the messenger instead of the message" to "[I dont] Attack the messenger instead of the message"'

      Now how dishonest is that?

      August 10, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Chad

      seriously.. are you under a doctors care?

      August 10, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV –

      Thanks for sticking with this thread. I'm impressed. You have my respect.
      With regard to my "Chad seems unable to differentiate" comment, that would simply be an observation, followed by an insult and then a judgement. No argumentum ad hominem as I'm not refuting one of his claims.

      I hope we have future give-and-take.

      Cheers, and have a great weekend.

      August 10, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Regarding Chad's "seriously.. are you under a doctors care?" post.

      I wonder if Chad thinks that is argumentum ad hominem or simply a rhetorical device intended to give offense.
      I also wonder when we'll see the reference to the definition of "evolutionism" from Collins' "The Language of God".

      Chad still slays me!

      August 10, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What a hoot! Chard asking some ELSE if he/she is "under a doctor's care."

      What a pea-brain.

      August 10, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
  16. Steve

    Right now the united states is at war wirh islam radicals. So what happens is the same government fighting it, allows this crap to come right in its backyard.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  17. Beverly

    Why are there so many negative comments about the muslim religion? Maybe because the men totally treat their women like dogs and have so many terroists evolving from the so called "religion". So, it's O.K. to "kill" for your so called "god"? You people are SICK and need to re-write some of your insane religious laws to fit the modern times and try to comprehend that your god is NOT the true god as there are other beliefs with their "gods" too. If your people would have respect for other coultures and religions then their would be no wars ,,, only PEACE. You need to change your barbaric coulture.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Joel

      Why are there so many negative comments about the christian religion? Maybe because the men totally treat their women like dogs and have so many terroists evolving from the so called "religion". So, it's O.K. to "kill" for your so called "god"? You people are SICK and need to re-write some of your insane religious laws to fit the modern times and try to comprehend that your god is NOT the true god as there are other beliefs with their "gods" too. If your people would have respect for other coultures and religions then their would be no wars ,,, only PEACE. You need to change your barbaric coulture

      There, I fixed it for you.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  18. Pig

    There are no evidence outside the Quran if Muhammad even existed or not.... get over yourself and stop blowing yourselves like animals

    August 10, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Judith

      Bigotry or prejudice in any form is more than a problem; it is a deep-seated evil within our society.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • gager

      Islam is a human cancer.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • gager

      Bigotry is survivable, Islam is not.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • tekstep1

      And the evidence of Jesus?

      August 10, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  19. Secular

    BURN IN DOWN! BURN IT DOWN!

    ISLAM = CANCER

    Quran says to kill those who don't believe in Allah and is not Muslim!

    August 10, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • Judith

      'sigh' -Bigotry or prejudice in any form is more than a problem; it is a deep-seated evil within our society.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  20. OMG

    What makes me annoyed is that Muslims worship a false prophet who slept with sooo many women.. what a fu.cking ugly retar.d. Muhammad was ugly that's why no images of him.

    August 10, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • tekstep1

      Jesus slept with no women at all. He must be gay.

      August 10, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
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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.