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My Take: How evangelicals could grow to love Muslims
The Islamic Center of America, a mosque in Dearborn, Michigan.
August 18th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Take: How evangelicals could grow to love Muslims

Editor's Note: Eboo Patel is founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core. His new book is called "Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice and the Promise of America."

By Eboo Patel, Special to CNN

Paul Ryan has set off joyous cheers in the land of conservatives largely because of his fiscal views but also because of his Catholic faith.

He is just the most recent member of his church – think House Speaker John Boehner, Republican runner-ups Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, and Supreme Court justices Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia – to be viewed as a flag-bearer for the conservative cause, a movement whose foot soldiers are largely evangelical Protestants.

The dynamic of evangelicals cheering for Catholics is one of the most stunning shifts in American political history. Just 50 years ago, evangelicals were ringing the alarm about the rising prominence of Catholics in American politics, not falling in line behind them.

“Our freedom, our religious freedom, is at stake if we elect a member of the Roman Catholic order as president of the United States,” Norman Vincent Peale told a conference of evangelical leaders in September 1960.

Materials handed out at the Peale conference claimed ‘Universal Roman Catholicism’ was both a religion and a political force whose doctrines were ultimately incompatible with the American ideals of freedom, equality and democracy.

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And the conference's keynote address alleged that Catholics practiced “mental reservation,” which allowed them to lie about their intentions in order to gain power. And when they succeeded, they would make second-class citizens of everyone else.

Replace “Roman Catholic” with “Muslim” and “Church hierarchy” with “caliphate” in those pronouncements and today we are witnessing a similar energy directed against a different faith community using largely the same categories.

In today’s parlance, Kennedy was part of a stealth jihad meant to replace the U.S. Constitution with sharia law and practicing taqqiyya to mask this dawa offensive.

As they believed about Catholicism then, many evangelicals now view the very nature of Islam as incompatible with American values. Evangelicals rate Muslims lower on a "‘favoribility" scale than any other religious group, according to "American Grace," a book by scholars Robert Putnam and David Campbell.

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Evangelical churches are favorite venues for Islamophobic speakers and prominent evangelical leaders like Franklin Graham regularly call Islam a threat to America.

It is easy to draw a straight line between the evangelical anti-Catholic prejudice of previous generations and the Islamophobia of today, essentially saying that “evangelicals have to hate someone.”

But that’s too cynical a take for me. The more interesting - and certainly more hopeful - storyline is the one about change.

Evangelical attitudes changed markedly towards Catholics in the past generation, and they are changing towards Muslims now.

Without doubt, the evangelical shift on Catholics can be partially explained by the two religion traditions finding common cause on political issues like abortion. But in "American Grace," Putnam and Campbell point to what they believe is a more important reason.

Over the course of the past fifty years, more evangelicals got to meet Catholics and the warmth in those personal relationships became generalized towards the larger community. If your Pal Al is Catholic and a good guy, then by extension Catholics as a group and Catholicism as a religion have some good qualities.

This is precisely the dynamic taking place between evangelicals and Muslims, a story for me best illustrated by a Dallas-based pastor named Bob Roberts. Bob grew up in the 1960s in East Texas and remembers the Pope regularly being referred to as “the Great Whore of Babylon” in his father’s Southern Baptist church.

He absorbed the anti-Catholic prejudice along with everyone else. But when he went on service trips to Southeast Asia as an adult, he discovered that the people doing the most intense, committed development work were inevitably Catholic. At first he admired them from afar. Then he got to know some up close, and they turned out to be not so bad.

After September 11, 2001, the anti-Muslim feeling was open and intense in Bob’s community. Truth be told, Bob felt it himself.

But he was self-aware enough to recognize the similarity between the irrational prejudice he absorbed about Catholics growing up and what he saw happening toward Muslims now.

So he did the same thing with Muslims that he’d done with Catholics: get to know them personally through common projects. Bob has traveled everywhere from Afghanistan to Gaza to do interfaith service projects with Muslims.

And now he is bringing fellow evangelicals along and involving the members of his Dallas mega-church in local interfaith projects. He’s speaking to young evangelical leaders about the importance of building relationships with Muslims as a Christian practice.

I know because in the midst of the opposition to the so-called Ground Zero mosque a couple years ago, a young pastor came to my office and asked me to guest preach about Islam at his evangelical church. He told me that Bob had sent him.

This is how communities change. Evangelicals make up 40% of America – when they change, America changes.

Maybe in 50 years, there will be no surprise when the loudest cheerleaders for Muslim presidential candidates and Supreme Court justices are evangelical Christians.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Eboo Patel.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Islam • Opinion

soundoff (2,441 Responses)
  1. AverageJoe76

    There is nothing to prepare for before death (soul-stuff, not legal stuff). It's a recycling program, in the grand scheme of things. If you could understand how an ant's existence, is just as significant as your own, your mind is open. Our lives are like embers from a campfire. We burn bright, then fade out. So burn as bright as you can. Your strength will become contagious, and inspire others to burn brighter than you. My only faith is in the future of the human race. I believe we are going to do amazing things in the centuries to come.

    August 21, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  2. clubschadenfreude

    such delusion. Sorry, but all religion depends on being "right" and the other fellow "wrong". You know, that first commandment, that anyone who doesn't worship this god in the "right" way is damned? Nice that you would want to ignore that, but it shows that your religion is untenable and you are a hypocrite. You are only making up your own religion to avoid the hateful tribal ignorant nonsense that religion is based on.

    August 21, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • sam stone

      Shouldn't everyone "make up their own religion"?

      August 21, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  3. AverageJoe76

    Another day is here and the "God" concept runs through my thinking. We've honestly burdened ourselves with this since it's been introduced into human society. The fear associated with the concept has driven us to insane measures. Such a sad realism to be faced with. We want to be at peace with our mortality, so we reach out for an explanation. But sadly, we don't, or may never know, the true answer to what happens to us after death. Maybe the 'peace' is knowing that the answer is inescapable for now, and just accepting it. Stop driving yourselves crazy. Let go of invisible burdens.

    August 21, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  4. rajb

    Truth be told evangelicals are against everyone other than themselves and those who share the exact same ideas as theirs. You cannot be a Christian if you believe in Jesus and are saved – you need to be saved like, behave and think like an evangelical, in order to actually be a Christian. Their behavior and talk towards other people or groups (who dont share thier views) is not surprising or shocking. They do not want anyone to voice their opinions, only evangelicals can voice their opinion – and they are just correct about everything. There is no need to go looking for evidence of any statements made by evangelicals – once they spew their nonsense it is God's truth. Their views on the political situation, economic situation and just life in general is extremely weird and far from reality. But then the best part is that other than their respective religions (Christianity or Islam) they behave and operate exactly like the Islamic Fundamentalists.

    Like poles repel – that is exactly why Christian evangelicals and Islamic fundamentalists do not get along, deep down they are exactly the same.

    August 21, 2012 at 7:55 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I'm not sure if all evangelicals are fundamentalists, but fundamentalists have that kind of certitude. They may be indoctrinated into their faith but they stay with it because they are certain they are right.

      August 21, 2012 at 8:01 am |
    • Insider

      Sorry, never will happen as Muslims and their devotion to the Koran dictate our way or death!

      August 21, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • TUVIA

      IT IS TIME FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO MAKE THEIR DECISION ON THIS SPEECH
      WAKE UP AMERICAN PEOPLE, TIME TO STOP SLEEPING

      CLICK ON LINK FOR VIDEO BELOWl

      Barack Obama vs the People of Israel

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=947by3X6_RU&w=640&h=360]

      ----------------------------------------------–

      August 21, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  5. James

    Some might say that being aware of, and opposing, an organization's plans to completely dominate you religiously and politically is merely the sensible thing to do, not prejudice. I speak of course of Catholicism, though Islam, while not nearly as good at it, does seem to share some of the same aspirations.

    August 21, 2012 at 6:57 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Funny, I thought you were talking about liberalism

      August 21, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  6. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer really changes things ,

    August 21, 2012 at 5:53 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 21, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  7. Everett Wallace

    you mooslims can love moooslims, I hate mooooslims. read collossians in the Holy Bible (new international version) and see how to live Holy and what a christian is, it is a way of life not a group of people. All the religious folk know is DEATH.

    August 21, 2012 at 12:56 am |
    • sam stone

      You reference the bible, but don't consider yourself religious?

      August 21, 2012 at 3:51 am |
    • sam stone

      your "way of life" calls on you to hate people?

      August 21, 2012 at 6:19 am |
    • rajb

      Since you mention Paul's letter to the Colossians (Church at Colossus) – pardon me for implying that you are a Christian. It is interesting to see you say "you mooslims can love moooslims, I hate mooooslims". It is interesting to note that you got to Colossians (collossians – as you call it) without reading the rest of the Bible before it. Did you not come across Matthew 27:37-40 where Jesus talks about the two greatest commandments – ok! probably didnt. What about Luke 6:28 "Bless those who curse you".

      Would be great to see you practice some of what you preach. The least you can do is to show "love" in your words rather than state your opinions with "I hate". You "hate" but Jesus "loves".

      August 21, 2012 at 8:10 am |
  8. Chad

    Replace “Roman Catholic” with “Muslim” and “Church hierarchy” with “caliphate” in those pronouncements and today we are witnessing a similar energy directed against a different faith community using largely the same categories.

    apparently you have no idea at all the relative difference in belief systems protestant vs catholic and Christian vs muslim??

    clue: not all "differences" are created equal...

    August 20, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ooooh, a "clue"!

      Could you possibly be more condescending?

      August 20, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • Wrenn_NYC

      Okayyyy then.

      Go back another generation.

      Toss in – no different as to how Christians viewed Jews in the early part of the 20th century.

      All three religions share the same root.

      August 21, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • Bob

      Chad, here's a clue for you:

      You, Chad, are very stupid, and you generally are a laughingstock here since you so often make an ass of yourself.

      August 21, 2012 at 10:10 am |
  9. Reality

    Only for new members of this blog:

    What instigated the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon?

    And what drives today's global 24/7 mosque/imam-planned acts of terror and horror?

    The koran, Mohammed's book of death for all infidels and Muslim domination of the world by any means.

    Muslims must clean up this book removing said passages admitting that they are based on the Gabriel myth and therefore obviously the hallucinations and/or lies of Mohammed.

    Then we can talk about the safety and location of mosques and what is taught therein.

    Until then, no Muslim can be trusted anytime or anywhere..................................

    August 20, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • Rochelle

      I completely agree, Reality. It seems to me that the ONUS is always on Evangelicals to make concessions to nonconformist mohammedans. And for all the blubbering by the Atheists, they're very cowardly in addressing harsh criticisms they have for Christianity, than they do muslims & Islamic history & doctrine. Must be cowardice on their parts because they're very vocal about what they hate about one faith, while tucking tail from the one that actually will kill them if they spouted their ideology in Islamic countries.
      "
      I disagree that Christianity is the same as Islam, and that points to a real ignorance on Atheists part to make such a baseles comparison when Yeshua was peaceful and Mohammed was not.

      I disagree with Christians being told what to do as far as making peaceful efforts to "understand" Islam, when in fact a great many of them are taking their stance from the Holy BIble that says not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers and that is what Islam is. For all the we worship the same God, nothing could be further from the truth. CHristians and muslims do not worship, nor serve the same god. Never have and never did. The violent crimes of humanity agaiinst CHrisitans in Islamic countries is proof of that, so is the blasphemy laws.

      Yeshua is the Sof of Yah and muslims don't believe that, nor do they believe that ISAAC was the only son under the everlasting covenant between Yah and Abraham. Muslims believe that Ishmael has the covenant, and that is a lie that is blasphemous to all CHristians and Jews. SO no, I do not believe in the ridiculous premise that evangelicals could grow to love muslims because muslims want totaly submission, not reconciliation nor compromise. And i do not follow a pagan god who is hateful and commands death at the hands of the sword.

      Yeshua is the only way, the truth and the life. NO MAN comes to the Father except through HIM. John 14:6

      August 21, 2012 at 4:19 am |
    • sam stone

      blubbering by atheists?

      well, rochelle, if you had been following the blog, you would know that they criticize islam, too.

      but, that would have just been a speedbump to your tirade.

      blather on

      August 21, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • Reality

      Rochelle,

      True Christianity does have its theological and historical issues as noted below:

      The Apostles' Creed 2012 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
      ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen
      (References used are available upon request.)

      August 21, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • Wrenn_NYC

      I'm with you there.

      While we're at it, can we have the Jews and the Christians clean up their book too? Get rid of the admonishments to kill unbelievers in the old (hebrew bible) and new testaments. Remove the rules on how to treat your slaves. The ones that admonish women not to speak and treat them as second class citizens. The laws on stoning your disobedient children.

      Can ask for that too? It's only fair. We want them to remove the 'kill the heathens' from the Quran? we should also be willing to remove the 'kill the non believers' in the holy book of the Christian (and Jewish) religions.

      No? You can't change it because it's a 'Holy' book. thought so.

      Then why do you think that they will be any more amenable to cutting things out of THEIR 'Holy' book.

      August 21, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • Reality

      Conservative Jews in the USA have rewritten the Torah to reflect the myths therein basically making it a docu-ment of peace. (See below)

      Thomas Jefferson did an analogous rewrite of the NT. Ditto for the rewrite of the NT by the Jesus Seminarians and Professor JD Crossan in his over 20 books on the historical Jesus and related subjects and Professor Gerd Ludeman in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, e.g. pp. 694-695.

      See below for added information:

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

      New Torah For Modern Minds

      “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

      The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

      prob•a•bly

      Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

      August 21, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  10. AverageJoe76

    There are not many questions man can't answer eventually. The question of God, can only be answered by God. Mankind should admit this, and move to an agnostic approach.

    August 20, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      AverageJoe76: "There are not many questions man can't answer eventually. The question of God, can only be answered by God. Mankind should admit this, and move to an agnostic approach."

      Agreed, but with one caveat: Mankind should be agnostic (as the atheist statement is a fallacy), and then, as soon as possible each person should take the next step – obey the Gospel and place their trust in Jesus.

      August 20, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nonsense, b4. There is no reason to conclude any such thing.

      August 20, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      What tom? AverageJoe's original statement, my caveat or both?

      August 20, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Both, actually, but my post was directed toward yours initially. Why should anyone do any such thing?

      August 20, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @b4bigbang

      Atheism is not an assertion that no god/gods exist. I swear how many times do you need to be told this before you get it?

      August 20, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Tom, so you disagree that the statement "there is no God" is a fallacy?

      August 20, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      If atheists are actually thinking "I don't know if there is a God", then why don't they use the term 'agnostic'?

      August 20, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I never said there was no god, so don't even bother going there, b4. Answer my question. Why should anyone obey the Gospels or put their trust in Jesus when he/she doesn't believe there is evidence that a god exists or that Jesus was divine?

      August 20, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @b4big

      Because it's two different questions! Gnosticism deals with knowledge, theism deals with belief. That's the simplest way I can possibly put it.

      August 20, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Bang, that is a very silly caveat. Why should anyone believe in something for which there is no proof? Once you produce verifiable proof of your god, you should have no problem converting people.

      August 20, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      b4, if it makes you happy, you can call me agnostic. I simply see no evidence that a god exists. If that makes me an agnostic in your little glossary, fine by me.

      August 20, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Are you just being disingenuous b4? Seriously I could swear that we've gone over this before.

      August 20, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Yes, actually Tom, thanks, I made an error in my statement.
      What I meant to say instead of "obey" the Gospel, I should've said "believe" the Gospel.
      Of course it's a fine line between the two, seeing as how the Gospel tells us to believe, so if you're believing [the original Greek rendering of 'believe' being cling to, trust in and rely upon] the Gospel you're obeying by default.

      And the reason?
      Save your soul it will!

      August 20, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      I don't remember being in on your post re this Hawaii.
      If you don't mind, would you reiterate?

      August 20, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @b4bigbang

      Just look right above. I can't put it any simpler than that.

      August 20, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      My soul save it won't Yoda b4.

      Really, don't you get tired of being so ridiculous? People don't need to believe what you believe, b4, to be whole and complete.
      They don't need your faith to be happy in their lives. Your belief works for you; congratulations. That doesn't make it necessary for anyone else.

      August 20, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Actually tallulah, the only people that are a "problem" converting because of your stated reason are a minority of the population who demand that God re-define himself.

      August 20, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • tallulah13

      "God" has been defined and re-defined by humans ever since they created him. There are many emotional reasons to believe in a god, but if you look at the simple fact that there is (again) no proof of any god, belief is not a logical choice.

      August 20, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @b4bigbang

      Here's the crux though, since I really don't have time.
      The two questions:
      "Do you know X to be true?"
      and
      "Do you believe X is true?"
      are not the same question.
      Gnostic/agnostic would apply to the first question, since those terms deal with knowledge or claims of knowledge.
      Theist/atheist apply to the second question, since those terms deal with belief or lack of belief.

      August 20, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      tallulah13: "God" has been defined and re-defined by humans ever since they created him. There are many emotional reasons to believe in a god, but if you look at the simple fact that there is (again) no proof of any god, belief is not a logical choice."

      God is above defining and faith *transcends* mere human logic.
      As re the [false]gods humans have invented – their days are numbered....
      Also, once a person has Bible-type faith, physical proof does come indeed.

      August 20, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, it doesn't, b4. In fact, the more a person believes in a god, the more disappointed she/he will be by the results of that faith in a phantom.

      August 20, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      @Tom: Remember, I said belief will save your soul, not make your life 'full', happy, wealthy, etc.
      While some seem to need nothing from this life because they're full and satisfied, everyone should know that he/she needs God.

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

      This is precisely what I loathe about people like you, b4. You presume to know what others need, want, and "should" do.

      You don't have a clue what others' lives entail. Not even an inkling.

      One size doesn't fit all, contrary to your simplistic beliefs.

      August 20, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      No, it doesn't, b4. In fact, the more a person believes in a god, the more disappointed she/he will be by the results of that faith in a phantom.

      Tom, upon what authority do you refute my statement and say that God is a phantom?
      How is it that so many millions of Christians, myself included, have more faith now [because of things we've witnessed since conversion] than when we first believed?

      Should I lie to myself and others and claim that I *wasn't* healed?

      August 20, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Btw tom, don't go around loathing people – it's ignoble.

      August 20, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You can lie to yourself and everyone else, b4. Your belief is just that–belief, not fact. It doesn't bother me if you choose to believe; that's up to you. What bothers me is that you deem yourself qualified to decide what everyone else ought to do, and you can't manage to just allow others the rights you demand: to do as you wish, to believe as you will, and to live your life as you desire?

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

      Don't tell me what to do or not do, b4, you little twerp. I've managed to do quite well without your idiotic input thus far; I am certain I can manage to do without it for the foreseeable future. As for "ignoble", you can decide what's "ignoble" in your life, not in mine.

      August 20, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      @Hawaii: I see your point re the diff btw knowing and believing.

      The problem lies in the fact that so many atheists' rhetoric seems to declare that there is no God. In fact, the whole idea that, since God cannot be proven by physical detection, the possibility of his existence should be dismissed outright by rational people still seems to be a practical act-out of the argument from ignorance.

      August 20, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Reality

      Only for the new members of this blog:

      Summarizing:

      The Apostles'>/Agnistics' Creed 2012 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
      ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen
      (References used are available upon request.)

      August 20, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      b4, it might behoove you to avoid generalizing about what atheists say and believe and do, since their beliefs, words, and actions vary just as much as do those of believers.

      August 20, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      I think you're over-reacting and exagerating as to my methods tom.
      I merely write in order to convince, nobody's twisting your arm.

      August 20, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Reality: "...unproven,human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????"

      You see Reality just now did the very thing I'm talking about:
      heaven is unproven, therefore it is man-made.
      That is an argument from ignorance.

      August 20, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @b4bigbang

      How is it an argument out of ignorance? I think your argument is out of ignorance and intolerance.

      August 20, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Just leave it, b4. I don't wish to be convinced, browbeaten, or bullied into believing what you do just because it works for you. i don't proselytize to you and I'd appreciate if if you stopped doing it to me.

      August 20, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      @hawaii:
      X (in this case heaven) is unproven,
      therefore:
      X (heaven) is man-made [i.e., made-up fairy-tale, lie].

      Why is heaven a man-made lie?
      Because it is unproven!

      That is an example of the argument from ignorance isn't it?

      August 20, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Of course tom, i'll try to remember to refrain from witnessing to you in future.
      But don't get too angry if you read my [and others'] witnessing to others here.
      You are, after all, on a 'Belief' board by your own choice.
      Btw, does my agreeing to refrain from witnessing to you mean that you will refrain from challenging my posts that I make to others?

      August 20, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @b4bigbang

      I'm not getting your point. Where is the ignorance? There is no proof of a heaven or a God and both concepts were made by man. Again, what is your point and where is the ignorance? Just because you believe something to be real and true without providing any sort of actual evidence doesn't make it real and true, in fact, it makes it irrational and illogical.

      August 20, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      I'm surprised that you guys aren't aware of this fallacy, it's defined on the internet.
      The fallacy assumes that either there is a god which would require proof, and failing that proof, the conclusion is reached that there is, or probably is no god.
      The fallacy fails to take into consideration that there may be a third possibility, i.e., that we lack the tool(s) to properly detect god.
      And it is exactly this third option that believers have been stating since before the belief was even written down, for thousands of years.

      Example: An Air force officer lands on an island and tells the primitives there that a large spy plane is flying over their island very high up but they cant see it because of technical reasons. They laugh in disbelief because he cant prove it and they dont see anything.

      August 21, 2012 at 12:01 am |
    • manbearpig

      b4bigbang –
      It's not a fallacy to disbelieve fantastic, unproven claims. If you disagree, I can make you immortal if you provide me with your social security number, DOB and mother's maiden name.
      Furthermore, there are a lot of ridiculous things in the bible that fly in the face of all human knowledge. Expecting belief of all the craziness in that book without proof is unrealistic.

      August 21, 2012 at 12:15 am |
    • b4bigbang

      It's not fallacy to disbelieve, but it is fallacy to go around stating that due to lack of the proper type of evidence there is no spirit, god, soul, heaven afterlife, etc., or even to state that there 'probably' is no god [which Arthur C Clarke said was the correct statement].

      And using the analogy you provided isn't good argument, it is merely an argument based on ridicule, similar to using the Easter Bunny analogy.

      August 21, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • What IF

      b4,

      The Air Force guy CAN prove his claim. He could even take some natives up there to see the spy plane and show them the data command center.

      In the case of no proof one way or the other, the default/fall-back stance is non-belief.

      August 21, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • manbearpig

      b4 –
      Are you being deliberately disingenuous, or do you really not understand?
      Any atheist that tells you that he or she is certain that god does not exist is an idiot. Anyone who tells you such a thing is just as bad as the fundies who are certain that god does exist. Everyone is unsure. That being said, there are different degrees of being unsure of the existence or non-existence of something. Think of it as a scale of 0-100, (0 being god does not exists, 1 being god almost certainly does not exist, 99 being god almost certainly does exist, and 100 being god does exist). Almost all atheists are right there around a 1. They are also at one when it comes to the existence of beings like the easter bunny, flying spaghetti monster, leprechauns, etc. The reason for this is that there is no proof whatsoever to support the existence of any of these things, yet anything is possible.
      The easter bunny is an excellent analogy. You cannot prove the easter bunny does not exist, but there is no evidence he does. This is exactly the same as god. The fact that you are embarrassed by it does not make it a bad analogy.

      August 21, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • manbearpig

      b4 –
      I'd wager that you would reject any other fantastic claim a person made to you with no supporting evidence. If you were sick and I told you that drinking the water from a puddle in Calcutta would heal you, would you do it? How about if I said there was a mysterious half-man, half-sheep that had magical powers and controlled the world? Would you believe that? The thing is, you know those claims aren't true. You have a BS detector that tells you that. But you refuse to apply your own logical thought to your religion. That makes you blind.
      I'd bet you've had god's existence forced on your mind from a young age. Do you belong to the same religion as your parents?

      August 21, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • b4bigbang

      What IF: "b4,The Air Force guy CAN prove his claim. He could even take some natives up there to see the spy plane and show them the data command center. In the case of no proof one way or the other, the default/fall-back stance is non-belief."

      No he can't. It's not in the mission plan to take them up there. [ besides, even the officer lacks the means to take himself or anyone else up to U2 alt itude of approx 100,000 ft]. He's not even a pilot, just a USAF PR-man.
      Same goes for the command center. Off-limits to everyone except those with business in there.

      This is the way it is with God and the spiritual. Many of us 'primitives' scoff at the idea of such marvelous things that are outside of our detection.

      August 21, 2012 at 12:53 am |
    • b4bigbang

      manbearpig: "b4 –I'd wager that you would reject any other fantastic claim a person made to you with no supporting evidence. If you were sick and I told you that drinking the water from a puddle in Calcutta would heal you, would you do it? How about if I said there was a mysterious half-man, half-sheep that had magical powers and controlled the world? Would you believe that? The thing is, you know those claims aren't true. You have a BS detector that tells you that. But you refuse to apply your own logical thought to your religion. That makes you blind.
      I'd bet you've had god's existence forced on your mind from a young age. Do you belong to the same religion as your parents?"

      No, you're using bad analogies, like the Easter Bunny one.
      Many of you appear to be unable to differentiate btw known fables and religious belief. The atheists have decided that since God doesn't lend himself to physical scrutiny, then they'll simply throw all accounts of God into the same bin as known fairy-tales, along with ridiculing those who beg to differ.
      There are scientists who believe in the existence of strings [string-theory]. Several of them have said we may never be able to detect them, so they said string theory presently resides in the area of philosophy.
      Yet no ridicule. Interesting.

      And no, neither of my parents are believers. I was an agnostic scientific-materialist until the age of 24.
      Since my conversion I have witnessed things that can only be explained as supernatural.

      August 21, 2012 at 1:05 am |
    • manbearpig

      b4 –
      Let's be honest – you simply aren't willing to conduct an objective examination of your own beliefs. Let's go a little bit further too, and say that you are "faithful" and "believe" when it's convenient for you.
      Let's say you got cancer. If you had cancer, what would you do? Probably go to the hospital, right? You'd place yourself in the hands of the doctors who can help you – doctors who have trained for years and whose knowledge is the sum of generations of human medical knowledge and human scientific advancement. Now, if you truly believed in your god and his plan, why would you spend all that money in the hospital? If god meant for you to die, you'll die, right? If god wants you to live, you'll live. Why spend so much money and effort if whatever happens will happen anyways?
      The reality is that you place your faith in doctors – in HUMAN knowledge, not god. And before you give me some line your preacher told you about "god helping those that help themselves", consider that the same preacher told you that god rewards blind faith in him. Seems he would be thrilled if you offered yourself up to his judgment with your life on the line, no? The truth is that your faith has limits, and you know it. You should really start being honest with yourself.

      August 21, 2012 at 1:06 am |
    • tallulah13

      With your logic, bang, you must believe that every god ever worshiped actually exists. Aren't you afraid that you are worshiping the wrong one? After all, if there is no proof you have no way of knowing if your god is the most powerful, or indeed if he exists at all. So bang, how did you decide which god to worship without any proof?

      August 21, 2012 at 1:12 am |
    • manbearpig

      b4 –
      You are familiar with fallacies? Well, it's a fallacy to believe that an analogy is bad simply because it makes you feel embarrassed. You say using the easter bunny as an analogy is unfair because it is a "known fable". Well, how do you know it is a fable? Maybe it's based on fact. You just said atheists can't know that god is not real because you can't know anything. What if the easter bunny was similarly beyond our realm of knowing. It's an excellent analogy – in fact, point out where the problem lies.
      But, since you have a hard time accepting it, what would you prefer? How about a new one, one that embarrasses you less? Let's use a Flying Spaghetti Monster – one that "doesn't lend himself to physical scrutiny". How do you *know* the Flying Spaghetti Monster isn't real? You don't. Something like that could very well exist, and be outside our realm of detection, as you contend god is. But you don't believe in him, because all evidence points to his non-existence. The same is true of god. There is just as much evidence for the Flying Spaghetti Monster as there is for the existence of god. Why do you discount one and believe another?
      What don't you understand?

      August 21, 2012 at 1:14 am |
    • b4bigbang

      manbearpigb4 –Let's be honest – you simply aren't willing to conduct an objective examination of your own beliefs. Let's go a little bit further too, and say that you are "faithful" and "believe" when it's convenient for you.
      Let's say you got cancer. If you had cancer, what would you do? Probably go to the hospital, right? You'd place yourself in the hands of the doctors who can help you – doctors who have trained for years and whose knowledge is the sum of generations of human medical knowledge and human scientific advancement. Now, if you truly believed in your god and his plan, why would you spend all that money in the hospital? If god meant for you to die, you'll die, right? If god wants you to live, you'll live. Why spend so much money and effort if whatever happens will happen anyways?
      The reality is that you place your faith in doctors – in HUMAN knowledge, not god. And before you give me some line your preacher told you about "god helping those that help themselves", consider that the same preacher told you that god rewards blind faith in him. Seems he would be thrilled if you offered yourself up to his judgment with your life on the line, no? The truth is that your faith has limits, and you know it. You should really start being honest with yourself.

      "...doctors who have trained for years and whose knowledge is the sum of generations of human medical knowledge and human scientific advancement.
      The gift of human intellect is from God and we believers rejoice in it.

      "Now, if you truly believed in your god and his plan, why would you spend all that money in the hospital?"
      See above statement.

      If god meant for you to die, you'll die, right? If god wants you to live, you'll live. Why spend so much money and effort if whatever happens will happen anyways?

      That's not Bible faith, it's called 'Fatalism' and it is a sin. It is assuming that I know exactly [when i know nothing of the sort] that it is God's plan for me to be sick and not seek medical help. Next you'll be asking me why not jump off a cliff? The reason all this is sin is because it is 'tempting God'.

      "...your preacher told you about "god helping those that help themselves".
      My pastor wouldn't, because it's not in the Bible and is, in fact unscriptural.

      "Let's be honest – you simply aren't willing to conduct an objective examination of your own beliefs."

      Actually, I've investigated the main 'proofs' atheists posting here claim to have re that the Faith is somehow now disproven.
      The argument of Biblical fallibility – the atheist view is the minority
      Judeo-Christian stories are stolen from earlier religions – another minority view.
      The idea that science has somehow proven the Bible wrong – another minority view.

      It would be total dishonesty for me to reject what own eyes have seen and ears heard and adopt such sloppy minority views.

      August 21, 2012 at 1:37 am |
    • b4bigbang

      tallulah13:With your logic, bang, you must believe that every god ever worshiped actually exists.

      They do exist. Every false belief-system is a result of an unseen power or principality deluding the mind of the believer(s).

      Aren't you afraid that you are worshiping the wrong one?

      Not at all. The others are merely elementals [of creation] whereas God is the creator.

      After all, if there is no proof you have no way of knowing if your god is the most powerful, or indeed if he exists at all. So bang, how did you decide which god to worship without any proof?"
      See above answer re elementals.

      August 21, 2012 at 1:44 am |
    • tallulah13

      Wow, bang. I'm sure others will say this better, but popularity isn't proof. Every person on the planet could believe that the moon was made of cheese, but that wouldn't make it true. You can make all the excuses you want, but there is no logical reason to believe in your god. Unless you can provide real, verifiable evidence of your god you can't insist that others should believe.

      August 21, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • old ben

      b4 and others

      I am an agnostic regarding deities, but I am firmly atheist in regard to all religions. For all I know, god might be (or was) a physical alien, a non-spiritual ent'ity that had an affect on planet earth eons ago, but is gone and will never return.

      If some people are somehow able to convince other people that the easter bunny is real enough to start wars in "its" name, and similar lunacy, then suddenly the easter bunny is a big deal.

      Politicians, lobbyists, and salesmen (including those that sell spirituality) have been around since the beginning of mankind. To me then, as I look around the world, and down through the ages at the sloppiness, inconsistency and contradictions between and within religions, I feel firmly comfortable that all religions were all fabricated and embellished as necessary by men. (And that none of their characters actually had any contact with anyone other than ordinary human beings.) All a reasonable person need do is observer how much men hoodwink one another today over intangible things, and how much they did so back throughout history. If those clear signs are not ignored, then I think one would easily conclude an atheistic att'itude toward all religion.

      August 21, 2012 at 1:49 am |
    • tallulah13

      Wow again, bang. You appear to live in a fantasy world, where you have chosen one particular delusion to be king of the delusions. Again with no proof whatsoever.

      Well, I have no problem with you believing whatever you want. Just don't insist that others should believe what you do. Fantasy is fun, but it doesn't pay the rent. (Unless of course, you successfully write or make films in the genre).

      August 21, 2012 at 1:55 am |
    • manbearpig

      The gift of human intellect is from God and we believers rejoice in it.
      -No evidence supports this. A logical human being will reject this statement as unlikely, given the lack of proof. It is likely that this is a fantastic claim invented by some Jews in the Middle East a few thousand years ago to further their own power and control.

      "That's not Bible faith, it's called 'Fatalism' and it is a sin. It is assuming that I know exactly [when i know nothing of the sort] that it is God's plan for me to be sick and not seek medical help. Next you'll be asking me why not jump off a cliff? The reason all this is sin is because it is 'tempting God'."
      -Hahahaha! NO, it is not fatalism. True or false: god has a plan. True or false: if god has decided you will die, you will die. True or false: you having cancer is part of god's plan. This is the logical conclusion of your faith. What happens to you is part of god's plan. He has decided you will get cancer, and if he so chooses, that you will die. God is supposedly all powerful, right? If he wants you dead, those doctors can do nothing in the face of his power.
      Coincidentally, the church came up with a solution to stop christians from jumping off cliffs to meet jesus: calling suicide a mortal sin.
      Also, how do you "tempt" god? He's a supreme being. How arrogant of you to presume that you can tempt him.

      "My pastor wouldn't, because it's not in the Bible and is, in fact unscriptural."
      -So your definition of religion comes from a literal reading of the bible and is not subject to any interpretation. Good luck with all that nasty stuff in your bible then. How do you justify that?

      "Actually, I've investigated the main 'proofs' atheists posting here claim to have re that the Faith is somehow now disproven.
      The argument of Biblical fallibility – the atheist view is the minority
      Judeo-Christian stories are stolen from earlier religions – another minority view.
      The idea that science has somehow proven the Bible wrong – another minority view."
      -Minority views? The much of the world thinks the Christian Bible isn't the word of god. Furthermore, some of your crazy bible stories have their roots in mythology that predates the bible by far. And no one said that science has proven the bible wrong – it just cuts the places for your religion to hide. A few thousand years ago, thunderstorms were the sign of an angry god. The same was said of disease. Now we know better. Evolution has broadened our understanding of the world around us as well, and has cut back even further on the dark places for god to hide. That is all that's been said of science.

      "It would be total dishonesty for me to reject what own eyes have seen and ears heard and adopt such sloppy minority views."
      -I don't know what you claim to have seen, but I also don't care. The whole "believe me cause I have seen amazing things" argument is BS. No one buys it. If you are seeing visions or hearing voices, I think you should probably go seek some medical attention.

      But, since you reject the logic of atheism, justify your belief. The bible tells you to do that, right? Let's hear the case for god's existence.

      August 21, 2012 at 1:59 am |
    • Reality

      Also think about the logic (or lack thereof).

      “I believe the Bible is inspired.” “Why?” “Because it says so.” Would anyone let that logic pass if it came from the followers of any other book or person? “I believe x is inspired because x says so.” Fill in the blanks:

      x=Pat Robertson
      x=the ayatollah Sistani
      x=David Koresh
      x=the Koran”

      more “logic”?

      “I believe there is One God Jehovah because He is revealed in the infallible
      Bible. I believe the Bible is infallible because it is the Word of the One God Jehovah.”

      And around and around we go!!

      What we do know: (from the fields of astrophysics, nuclear physics, geology and the history of religion)

      1. The Sun will burn out in 3-5 billion years so we have a time frame.

      2. Asteroids continue to circle us in the nearby asteroid belt.

      3. One wayward rock and it is all over in a blast of permanent winter.

      4. There are enough nuclear weapons to do the same job.

      5. Most contemporary NT exegetes do not believe in the Second Coming so apparently there is no concern about JC coming back on an asteroid or cloud of raptors/rapture.

      6. All stars will eventually extinguish as there is a limit to the amount of hydrogen in the universe. When this happens (100 trillion years?), the universe will go dark. If it does not collapse and recycle, the universe will end.

      7. Super, dormant volcanoes off the coast of Africa and under Yellowstone Park could explode catalytically at any time ending life on Earth.

      Bottom line: our apocalypse will start between now and 3-5 billion CE. The universe apocalypse, 100 trillion years?

      August 21, 2012 at 9:16 am |
  11. Tex71

    The author cannot truly believe that Evangelicals are cheering a Catholic and a Mormon as much as they are voting for the pale guy who wants to keep women in the kitchen and "coloreds" in the ghetto with what used to be the middle class.

    August 20, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
  12. Stewie

    Well evangelicals and Muslims DO have something in common: both have fanatical, ignorant and frothing fundie extremists.

    August 20, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • manbearpig

      Also, both are equally sure (as is every other religion in the world) that their belief system is the "one truth" and everyone else is doomed / inferior. So there's that...

      August 20, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
  13. manbearpig

    If we assume that god is real, I think it's safe to assume he would not support "blind faith". The one attribute that humans have that sets us apart from all the other species on this planet is our brains. They allow us to build, to create, to reason – if god were real, why do you think he would be thrilled to see people turning away from this "gift"? Your religion talks about how terrible and corrupt humanity is – we all are born that way (ha!), stemming from some mythical fruit-eating incident that almost certainly never happened – yet when you get sick, do you go to the doctor? If you do, you are reaping the rewards of man's intellect to keep you alive. Do you live in a house with air conditioning in the hot summer months, or drive a car to get where you need to go? You owe that to the collective ingenuity of humanity. Let's give credit where credit is due – to man. Don't tell me that I'm turning away from my "creator" when you are so willing to disavow the progress that humanity has made while still taking advantage of it. You are turning your back on everything that makes man great by refusing to apply your own logical thought to the particular ancient text you were indoctrinated into following at a young age.

    August 20, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • AnIrishman

      Well said, even if you have not said enough.

      August 20, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      If the human brain is a biological computer, then the query of God can be considered spam, a virus, or a firmware updatedepending on the person.

      August 20, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      You're not making any sense manbear. Exactly how are we turning our backs, and exactly how are we not applying logical thought?

      August 20, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • manbearpig

      b4bigbang –
      Uhhhhh....
      -talking snakes
      -talking donkeys
      -all the creatures on earth fitting into a boat
      -one man and one woman being the progenitors of all humanity
      -angels
      -demons
      -zombie saviors
      -omniscient, omnipotent deities who have a plan that must be followed yet give people free will
      -morally perfect beings ordering infanticide

      I could go on, and on...

      August 21, 2012 at 12:11 am |
  14. eroteme

    Evangelicals could grow to love Muslims. I wonder if Muslims could grow to love Evangelicals. Before killing them one would hope.

    August 20, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • Mom of Three

      That's exactly what I thought. Why is the discussion never about it being the other way around? Because if they adhere to Islam, it's kill or convert. The Quran says so, period. This is the deal-breaker. And don't say "it's not all Muslims", of course it's not. But the penalty for leaving Islam under Sharia law can be death, so it's not like a lot of Muslims are going to be independent thinkers in terms of their religion. Changing Sharia law is not an option, because they feel it was given to them by Allah, and even though numerous centuries have passed, Sharia law makes no allowance for adapting to that. This is why Muslims are falling further and further behind the rest of the world, and this is why they will stay there. Something that threatens to kill you if you leave is a CULT.

      August 20, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Something that threatens to kill you if you leave is a CULT."

      Sort of like someone threatening your everlasting soul if you leave.....or if you don't believe in the first place. Right, Mom?

      August 20, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • manbearpig

      Mom of Three –
      Read the bible. It's chock full of threats for non-christians. Your religion and islam are just two different branches of the same hateful tree.

      August 20, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • ufadoof

      It's clear from both the above comments that neither have read the bible. A common problem here from "christians" in America.

      August 20, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • Rosstrex

      So if the bible says you are destined to be apart from God if you do not follow Jesus you say that the bible is hate.

      Welcome to the grim reality of the truth. The truth is Jesus came to save all mankind and if you do not know him you are not saved. No threat.... this simply is. just like you must eat and drink to stay alive. Is it hate for something to simply be and for a religious text to point it out?

      August 20, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      That's what YOU believe. Not fact. Just your personal belief.

      August 20, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • manbearpig

      Rosstrex –
      You're definition of "truth" is completely erroneous. Try a dictionary. What you are describing is your belief.

      August 20, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • sam stone

      gee, rosstex, all you got is your empty proxy threats. to claim to know the "truth" is arrogant beyond belief. to expect that people can fear retaliation from a being in which they do not believe just indicates that fear is your primary motivation. are you a slave, boy?

      August 20, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • manbearpig

      If you take an opinion and erroneously present it as fact, and that "fact" involves the vast majority of humanity being eternally tortured, you are making a proxy threat. You won't do it yourself, but your god will.

      August 20, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • sam stone

      rosstex is writing checks with his mouth when there is no god there to back up his blather.

      August 20, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • sam stone

      "...so it's not like a lot of Muslims are going to be independent thinkers in terms of their religion"

      funny that you used the terms "independent thinker" and "religion" in the same sentence.

      August 21, 2012 at 8:20 am |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    August 20, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • kindless

      As it turns out, Atheism is wonderful for everyone! It allows you to use your mind to its fullest potential. Atheism also discourages people from hiding their misdeeds within their religion which is a disservice to society. and you know, prayer is not all it's cracked up to be. one can meditate to rest the mind. And if you need to collect your thoughts or think about someone else (a real person), then get a good cup of tea and then sit down and collect your damn thoughts – you don't need prayer to people that lawyers and politicians made up long ago. keep a strong mind and be a do bee atheist like mama kindless.

      August 20, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
  16. Reality

    Eboo Patel, it is time to address yet another story of Islamic terror and horror.

    "An 11-year-old Christian girl has been arrested and detained on charges of blasphemy for allegedly desecrating pages from the Quran in the Pakistan capital Islamabad.

    Local media reports said the girl has Down syndrome. CNN was unable to confirm these reports, however Qasim Niazi, the police officer in charge of the police station near where the incident took place, said the girl did not have a mental disorder but was illiterate and had not attended school.

    The accused girl had told him she had no idea there were pages of the Quran inside the docu-ments she burnt, he added.

    Niazi said that 150 people had gathered on Friday where the neighborhood's Christian population lived and threatened to burn down their houses."

    "The mob wanted to burn the girl to give her a lesson," he told CNN.

    And CNN if Eboo Patel does not vehemently condemn this situation admitting that the koran has no magic and is simply a book written by humans for humans, he should be banned from further commentary on any CNN web pages.

    August 20, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Math

      In math there is the lowest common denominator. It is the simplest means of dividing an equation or set of equations. Without getting into the boring details, coming to terms with radical islam is dividing humanity by its lowest common denominator.

      August 20, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  17. Who invited me?

    ..........................................................................................................................
    ...............................666.................................................666...............................
    ......................666............666.............................666................666....................
    ....................666....o..........666........................666..............o......666.................
    .....................666..................666.....................666......................666.................
    ........................666..........666.............................666..............666......................
    .............................666............................................666.....666..........................
    ...........................................................................................................................

    August 20, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Huebert

      Those look like a mismatched pair of googlie eyes.

      August 20, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      That's not quite what I imagined...

      August 20, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Tubby Pr!ck

      So what have you imagined, Tom Tom? The bulky pair in front of your hubby's mistress? Too bad, yours are wrinkled and saggy already, LOL!

      August 20, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • Tubby Pr!ck

      No wonder why you're that pathetic and miserable.

      August 20, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Tubby, where are you from? Are you Chinese? Indian?

      Or are you from some Eastern bloc backwater?

      Really, your usage is truly odd.

      August 20, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • TOOL Tom

      And you, Tomi? Okay, let me guess...personality and character wise, you're stylish and focus (eye-on-target). AHHMMM...right, got it!. Obviously, you're and Afghan! Right, (chuckles) an AFGHAN HOUND! LOLLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!

      TONTO! BOBO!

      August 21, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'm "stylish and focus"? What is 'focus'? Do you mean "focused"?

      Did you have a concussion?

      August 21, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • TOOL Tom

      PagkaTONTO, JUD!

      August 21, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • lol

      LOL!

      August 21, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
  18. david duke

    NO WE CANNOT...
    JESUS HATES MUD PEOPLE AND SO DO WE...

    August 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • sam stone

      jesus was one of the "mud people"

      August 20, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  19. 2011cnn2011

    never trust islam

    August 20, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Huebert

      Don't discriminate. Never trust any religion.

      August 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • david duke

      That's right brother.
      Never trust any but Christians

      August 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • Huebert

      No I mean ANY religion.

      August 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  20. Who invited me?

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    August 20, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Why the fuck would you do this? It's really irritating.

      August 20, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      ...666
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      August 20, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Jake-413451

      @hawaiiguest
      Some Christian who needs to invoke a boogeyman.

      August 20, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • FYI...u'ren't invited

      @Jake

      This 666 freak is an atheist who seeks a little attention. Get a clue!

      August 20, 2012 at 11:14 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.