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My Take: It’s time for Islamophobic evangelicals to choose
September 15th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Take: It’s time for Islamophobic evangelicals to choose

Editor's Note: Brian D. McLaren  is author of "Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World" (Jericho Books/Hachette Book Group). 

By Brian McLaren, Special to CNN

I was raised as an evangelical Christian in America, and any discussion of Christian-Jewish-Muslim relations around the world must include the phenomenon of American Islamophobia, for which large sectors of evangelical Christianity in America serve as a greenhouse.

At a time when U.S. embassies are being attacked and when people are getting killed over an offensive, adolescent and puerile film targeting Islam - beyond pathetic in its tawdriness – we must begin to own up to the reality of evangelical Islamaphobia.

Many of my own relatives receive and forward pious-sounding and alarm-bell-ringing e-mails that trumpet (IN LOTS OF CAPITAL LETTERS WITH EXCLAMATION POINTS!) the evils of Islam, that call their fellow evangelicals and charismatics to prayer and “spiritual warfare” against those alleged evils, and that often - truth be told - contain lots of downright lies.

For example, one recent e-mail claimed “Egyptian Christians in Grave Danger as Muslim Brotherhood Crucifies Opponents."  Of course, that claim has been thoroughly debunked, but the sender’s website still (as of Friday) claims that the Muslim Brotherhood has “crucified those opposing" Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy "naked on trees in front of the presidential palace while abusing others.”

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

Many sincere and good-hearted evangelicals have never yet had a real Muslim friend, and now they probably never will because their minds have been so prejudiced by Islamophobic broadcasts on so-called Christian television and radio.

Janet Parshall, for example, a popular talk show host on the Moody Radio Network, frequently hosts Walid Shoebat, a Muslim-evangelical convert whose anti-Muslim claims, along with claims about his own biography, are frequently questioned.  John Hagee, a popular televangelist, also hosts Shoebat as an expert on Islam, as does the 700 Club.

Many Christian bookstores that (used to) sell my books, still sell books such as Paul Sperry’s "Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington" (Thomas Nelson, 2008). In so doing, they fuel conspiracy theories such as the ones U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, promoted earlier this year.

In recent days, we’ve seen how irresponsible Muslim media outlets used the tawdry 13-minute video created by a tiny handful of fringe Christian extremists to create a disgusting caricature of all Christians - and all Americans - in Muslim minds. But too few Americans realize how frequently American Christian media personalities in the U.S. similarly prejudice their hearers’ minds with mirror-image stereotypes of Muslims.

Ambassador's killing shines light on Muslim sensitivities around Prophet Mohammed

Meanwhile, many who are pastors and leaders in evangelicalism hide their heads in the current issue of Christianity Today or World Magazine, acting as if the kinds of people who host Islamophobic sentiments swim in a tiny sidestream, not in the mainstream, of our common heritage. I wish that were true.

The events of this past week, if we let them, could mark a turning point - a hitting bottom, if you will - in the complicity of evangelicalism in Islamophobia. If enough evangelicals watch or try to watch the film trailer that has sparked such outrage in the Middle East, they may move beyond the tipping point.

I tried to watch it, but I couldn’t make it halfway to the 13-minute mark. Everything about it was tawdry, pathetic, even pornographic. All but the most fundamentalist believers from my evangelical Christian tribe who watch that video will be appalled and ashamed to be associated with it.

It is hate speech. It is no different from the anti-Semitic garbage that has been all too common in Western Christian history. It is sub-Christian - beneath the dignity of anyone with a functioning moral compass.

Islamophobic evangelical Christians - and the neo-conservative Catholics and even some Jewish folks who are their unlikely political bedfellows of late - must choose.

Will they press on in their current path, letting Islamophobia spread even further amongst them? Or will they stop, rethink and seek to a more charitable approach to our Muslim neighbors? Will they realize that evangelical religious identity is under assault, not by Shariah law, not by the liberal media, not by secular humanism from the outside, but by forces within the evangelical community that infect that religious identity with hostility?

If I could get one message through to my evangelical friends, it would be this: The greatest threat to evangelicalism is evangelicals who tolerate hate and who promote hate camouflaged as piety.

No one can serve two masters. You can’t serve God and greed, nor can you serve God and fear, nor God and hate.

The broad highway of us-them thinking and the offense-outrage-revenge reaction cycle leads to self-destruction. There is a better way, the way of Christ who, when reviled, did not revile in return, who when insulted, did not insult in return, and who taught his followers to love even those who define themselves as enemies.

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Yes, “they” – the tiny minority of Muslims who turn piety into violence – have big problems of their own. But the way of Christ requires all who claim to be Christians to examine our own eyes for planks before trying to perform first aid on the eyes of others. We must admit that we have our own tiny minority whose message and methods we have not firmly, unitedly and publicly repudiated and rejected.

To choose the way of Christ is not appeasement. It is not being a “sympathizer.”

The way of Christ is a gentle strength that transcends the vicious cycles of offense-outrage-revenge.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Brian D. McLaren.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Islam • Opinion

soundoff (8,500 Responses)
  1. R. Jackson

    Brian, the objectionable film that you speak of was made by a Coptic Christian. I'm not sure why this prompted your remarks again evangelical Christians.

    September 20, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Mephibosheth

      Being Coptic as he is , I'm sure he had his reasons for attacking the mad prophet Muhammad..who (is in hell) :(
      The movie is an epic success...I will never see it, yet it must be considered one of the most moving movies which was never seen to be so effective to enrage people who never saw it to go on a rampage like Indians in a Western, killing a US Ambassador who had absolutely nothing to do with it... a telling and true image of the Muslim religion .. from my perspective.. :) :) I do9 not accuse all Muslim's of acting this way, just the permission of other Muslims to do so.. says enough ... :)

      September 20, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  2. BRUCE RUBIN

    Brian McLaren is confused. Virtually every Government controlled Television station from Saudi Arabia to Lebanon commonly broadcast programming derogatory and offensive to Jews, Christians, and Hindu's protraying them as evil. These dictators are using mass media to create this mentality.They are the problem. I suggest Brian takes a trip to Saudi Arabia and tries to set up a Christmas Tree. I suspect we will not be hearing from Brian again. Almost all of these countries have laws on the book subjecting people to torture and death for defaming the prophet.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • Paul

      Absolutely! School children are taught songs about killing Jews and hating America. Our government is so naive to think that a public service announcement in Pakistan will somehow help!-" Pakistani TV channels are airing an advert showing news clips of US President Barack Obama condemning an anti-Islam film made in the US. The advert also features a statement from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a press conference rejecting the amateur film's message." (BBC coverage). We didn't make it, the government didn't pay for it- apologizing for it just makes it worse. And those that had no idea about what's going on sure know now!

      September 20, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  3. Dan

    Dear Brian, did you actually think before you wrote this?
    On both sides of the dialogue there are extremes both for Islam and Christianity, it is the classic struggle of an unstoppable force meets an immoveable force.
    I will waste my precious words no more on this.
    I bid you all farewell and safe travels.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:09 am |
    • Mephibosheth

      Dan nice of you to post and run ... your words were a waste... :) :) :)

      September 20, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  4. faithnotdoubt

    You don't need fantasy "conspiracy theories" to be a Christian who opposes Islam. You just have to read a couple of lines of the Qur'an. Sura 19:88-89 where they say that the idea of God having a Son is "gross blasphemy" or "a thing most monstrous" (depending on the translation). This is either a gross insult against Christ OR it shows that whatever it is that Muslims worship, it is certainly NOT the same being that Christians worship.

    September 20, 2012 at 4:39 am |
    • Mephibosheth

      touche' :) :) :)

      September 20, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  5. Max

    Does this man actually believe people are afraid of Islam? Please, anyone can come to this country peacefully and practice what they want, what conservatives are afraid of are the people behind Islam, the extremists who would kill you simply for not accepting their beliefs. There are plenty of Muslims in Libya who want these extremists kicked out of their country, and the Republicans sure do a better job at protecting that influence than the Democrats who seem to appease our enemies over aid our allies.

    September 20, 2012 at 2:16 am |
    • Mephibosheth

      you could have saved your self the time..to many idiots have already posted the sentiments like yours' and for what??? :) :) :)

      September 20, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  6. Tryon in Canada

    "Islamophobic"? No need to read another biased word. I'm gone!

    September 20, 2012 at 1:34 am |
  7. im42n8

    Ali is giving a "sanitized" version of the stuff in the quran. He says that the quran is words directly from god/allah. He also says that Islam is an extension of other prophets. He goes on to say that the Christian bible said another prophet would come after Jesus. That's a bald faced lie ... it's found in no version of the bible in the entire world. Islam is touted by the imams and such as the final and concluding word from God/allah. However, the muslims destroy torahs and bibles routinely so their followers can't read them, if when their arabic versions of their holy book give credence to the validity of the content in the Holy Bible and the Torah. Qur’an 5:75 “The Messiah, Christ, the son of Mary, was no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had to eat their food. See how Allah does make His signs clear to them; yet see in what ways they are deluded!” The Quran goes on, however to say that the Christians and Jews had corrupted the message in their holy books but don't ever say where or what those changes are. The problem with that is that copies of each holy book has been discovered during archaeology and that the content is exactly the same as current books. The quran lied. The quran tells the faithful (muslims) to kill unbelievers if they fail to convert to islam. "If those unbelievers are Christian or Jew, they have the additional option of paying an extortion tax and accepting 2nd class citizenship. Fight those people of the Book (Jews and Christians) who do not believe in Allah and the Last Day, do not refrain from what has been prohibited by Allah and His Messenger and do not embrace the religion of truth (Al-Islam), until they pay Jizya (protection tax) with their own hands and feel themselves subdued." Surah 9:29. The Jews say: "Uzair (Azra) is the son of Allah," and the Christians say: " Messiah (Christ) is the son of Allah." That is what they say with their mouths, imitating the sayings of the former unbelievers. May Allah destroy them! How perverted they are! Surah 9:30.... Here's an interesting one: Qur’an 5:112 “Behold! The disciples, said: ‘O Jesus, can your Lord send down to us a table well laid out from heaven?’ Said Jesus: ‘Fear Allah, if you have faith.’ When the disciples said: ‘O Jesus, son of Mary, is your Lord able to send down for us a table spread with food from heaven?’ He said: “Observe your duty to Allah, if you are true believers.’” Qur’an 5:113. Islam wasn't even thought of for another 700 years after the birth of Jesus! Another lie from islam. How about this, the Quran says that 2 suns was created and then one made smaller (the moon) ... it says that the moon shines with its own light (see Surah 10:5)! It says the earth is flat except for the mountains (which are used to give the land stability!): Surahs 79:30. That's just a few of the errors in the Quran. Had this information come directly from God/Allah, you'd think it would be error free. But, science directly contradicts what the Quran calls fact. The Quran is full of errors and non-sensical stuff ... and it's contradictory. If it's shown to be full of errors, it directly implies that Islam is a sham!

    September 19, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • thankyou

      it eventually wears on your nerves, don't you think, that people are actually offended because you do not want to actually be as ill informed as them. And then to have a whole nation of these religious persons guided by the mandated (by abuse of one kind or another obviously) acceptance, belief, and direction of this ignorance magnified unto a grand display of various intellects, under various stresses, and multiple layers of understanding – is mind boggling to say the least.
      I never truly understood these three religions to begin with, since it always went against the grain of my intelligence. I always have to cringe and wonder when a kid will be old enough to understand that santa claus is not real. I mean, how many little kids actually torture their own brain trying to figure out how and why santa would go down every chimney in the world, and what pray tell, will happen when there's no chimneys to heat the house? Will these children be bypassed in the great santa ride.
      religion in it's deluded, manipulative form freaks me out – from here on out
      no more wondering for me
      i KNOW santa is not real

      September 20, 2012 at 5:57 am |
    • takawalk

      "He goes on to say that the Christian bible said another prophet would come after Jesus." If I understand it correctly Muslims interpret verses that predict the coming of the spirit to mean the coming of a new prophet " greater than I "

      September 29, 2012 at 4:04 am |
  8. Juan

    I'm an evangelical and I'm not Islamophobic. I go to an evangelical church and know hundreds of evangelicals. None of them have ever said anything to me that would imply that they are Islamophobic. Brian Mclaren is no longer an evangelical and perhaps he doesn't realize how evangelicals think about Muslims. Since he has left the evangelical camp for another I don't think he's aware of what we believe anymore. I first met Brian in the late 1980's at a seminar he led when he was an evangelical but today he is not. Therefore, he should not be considered an expert on present day evangelical thought.

    September 19, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Ali

      I dont know why are christain brothers have all these years always been involve in killing s , mass killings and bashing of other religions publicly , firslty Christains fought within themselves during Church Rule ( Protestants and Catholics) , then they used to mock Jews earlier and finally mass murdered Jews in germany and now their focus is on Muslims , they are bombing muslim countries , invading muslim countries by lie , Weapons of mass destruction lie , while in truth , the only atomic bomb used by a state was a christian government state of America . I dont know why but i surely know that our beloved Jesus christ would hate all this killings and mocking other religoins in the name of free speech . one thing which i am afraid of that this american way of killings and bashing would continue untill God helps us . USA destroyed pakistan by involving them in their battle with soviet union and creating army of fighters in pak afghan border which Hillary clinton admitted in his speech , now usa is naming same fighters that fought for american cuase to dismantle soviet union as terrorists , USA Governments used all these poor countries resources and instead of helping Americans better improve their lives , the american government keeps investing on Foriegn fightings and killings , while many americans are financially disturbed due to these wars and are losing even their homes ... On the other side it really hurts when even normal public keeps silent and takes sides of these evil poeple who mock Islam or any religoin .. it really hurts ... A Muslim believes in Jesus Christ as anyone else does , it is part of thier religion to belive in Christ and his teachings ( tubeislam dot com ) ... God Guide us all Human Beings ... May Peaceful Co existence ............

      September 19, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Mephibosheth

      I disagree with you Ali about your religion and our government is separate in it's dealing with other nation it is not Christian and our founders would be trolling over in their graves if they;re work was perceived as Christian..They fled England and most of Europe to eventually form a new nation ... dedicated to the propitiation that all men are created equal .. This is that nation where if you are living here , your thoughts are accepted without censure.. but in absolutely every other Muslim nation such freedom of ideas are not acceptable except maybe Turkey and Syria where religious freedom was at least allowed under Assad..
      our nation is divided into two or three camps presently.. That is, fer, ... not,... and maybe.. :) with maybe being either way :)

      Christians in Muslim nations do not have their say, and are persecuted and murdered..This is why the Coptic from Egypt made the ugly movie about Muhammad.. one of the most successful movies without ever being seen by many... the rave of it is it's power to speak to people who have not even seen it... all over the Middle East, is this being talked about... blood has been spilled without excuse...Murder, for the love of a false prophet in these modern times.. :) :)
      What kind of Muslims are they..to many times Muslim come here to defend their religion but do not even notice the asinine actions of their own adherents..... to actually come to our face with your crap is an insult .. yet we take it out of the sense of freedom of expression .. and most importantly, decent... see we can take decent... through freedom which we truly enjoy..

      we can agree to dis agree.... :) :) :) Is decent anywhere in any Islamic nation.???? any Muslim nation?

      September 20, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  9. ArthurP

    It is time for Islam to stop going medieval and calling for peoples deaths every time someone criticizes their religion.

    September 19, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Mephibosheth

      No it will take longer than that..remember after Martin Luther in the 1500's how it took chrisians centuries to arrive at this place where we in 200 years are become more intolerant of each other today.. :)

      September 20, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
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    September 19, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  11. myway

    Islamophopia has been around for a millenium. It just received new updraft due to certain events of the past 50 years. It has it's roots in terrirorial expansion of both religions, Christian and Islam, butting heads in the middle east and south eastern Europe. Those are the regions that have spawned some of the worst kind of violence in centuries. Where does that leave us? We either get smarter and more tolerant, and learn to live together, or the troubles will continue. Everyone has to chose on which side they belong. One hint: If you chose to be a hater, don't be surprised when you see escalating violence.

    September 19, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • somethingiwatched

      I watched a video clip today that showed a muslim/islam person who espoused these thoughts:
      1. if 10,000 muslim/islams sent condolence emails to the ambassadors family it would some how make up for the 10,000 muslim/islams rioting ambassies about some other stupid video clip. seriously? I am sure they will be thrilled, but hey, try it if you must.
      2. this person then ended his plea for harassing emails as condolence, to say that this would atone for the 10,000 taking violence into their own hands.
      NOTE: the term is taking justice into one's own hands, not taking violence into one's own hands
      culture misunderstanding?
      what does hatred have to do with this ideology in this context, since he probably meant just what he said – that to them violence was justice

      September 19, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • K. Harrare

      Anyone who uses the word "Islamophobia" has mental problems or is a jihadi.

      Sorry, but we will NEVER submit to this sick cult of death, no matter how many pretend words you make up to insult us.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Mephibosheth

      We cannot allow Islam to spread any further... but must contract it i to the point of it's death ... this will take many more assaults on the religion of peace .. :) :) :) And you can Thank God for the Atlantic :)

      September 20, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  12. Jim Kalenian

    No you can serve two master, including: God and Islam... there is the truth, (the way and the life, found in Jesus), and all other anti-christs... Islam the largest of these

    September 19, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • AmericanHIjabi

      LOL. I dont know if you ever read the Quran or anything about Islam, but the whole point of the religion is to submit to God. Thats actually what Islam means "submission" and a muslim is one who submits to the will of God. As with all religions, some people dont follow them as they are intended and we end up with bigoted, hateful liars, and neither Christianity nor Islam are exceptions. Look at the crusades, American slavery, the Spanish Inquisition....

      September 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Ali

      My Dear Brother , as Christains , Jews and Muslims we should realize that we all believe in Adam ( A.S. ) and as such we are one big family . Our Jewish brothers dont believe in Jesus Christ but hardly anyone can be seen criticize them , whether they kill innocent palestinians , and Muslims who never say bad words about Christain Religion still are always the target , i really cant understand educated christains doing all this , its hard to believe that Believer of Our Beloved JESUS Christ can torture and bash other religions openly in the name of free speech , surely todays christains are far away from true christainity . A muslim believes in JESUS CHRIST more than anyone , Do you know that ? If not Then better learn first about what Islam is before bashing a particular community my dear . Islam is the same religion Of Christ and purest form of what Christ taught us . No muslim ever can say bad words about any Prophet , Moses , Jesus or anyone , for a muslim they are respectful same way as Muhammad ( peace be upon them all ) . But Our christian brothers still mock and ridicule and torture Muslims who believe in Jesus Christ and believe he will come back to this world again which many christians even dont truly believe now . Kinldy learn about islam from http://www.tubeislam.com or The Holy book , QURAN , so that you and other christians brothers understand islam better . May God Guide us all .

      September 19, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • scienceissoothing

      dear Ali,
      those are kind words you say about your religion ... good for you
      is this why this religion wears robes – or is it for other reasons – I've always wondered about the robes.
      Also, well not to offend in any way, but i have watched scientific discovery films that tell of the same story of Jesus Christ being born on December 25th as a reference to the winter sun renewing itself into longer days and shorter nights versus the opposite shorter days and longer nights. It was a sign I suppose of the new sun year – thus the celebration of the new year at the same time one would assume. This same Jesus Christ story can be found in many different cultures, from many different ages, including in ancient Egypt.
      Does the Koran make mention of this analogy?

      September 19, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Ali

      To Brother ( scienceissoothing ) ,

      robes ? i didnt understand mate , maybe if you can explain what you meant by robes ? secondly i am not offended if you ask any question infact it s an honour to be able to describe about what any brother wants to know about islam . i m sure their are thousand misconceptions as my own christain Family members and we knew the wrong information about islam spread acroos the country . First of all dont judge islam or any religion from its followers , becuase followers might or might not be following the religion . I would recommend you to read the holy Quran completely which is source of the religion , especially at such a time in our world when poeple are talking about wrongly about islam it is duty of every person to study islam before following others views on islam . One thing to note is that islam is not any new religion , it is extension of the same message of Jesus Christ and Prophets ( Moses , Jacobs , Ibrahim ) , Jesus clearly said in the holy bible that their would be a messenger who would guide human beings after Jesus departs . After 9/11 their were many poeple who wanted to know about islam and after reading they learned that lot said about islam was not JUST . In Youtube , fox news , cnn and others have lot of material regarding this and i can send exact links if you want mate . The Holy Quran is written as direct words of God , i mean you ll see God talking directly to Human beings , In the Holy Bible we have sections where direct words of God Appear but also many sections where disciples of Holy Jesus Christ were presenting their views and knowledge about God . Quran has said much about science which makes it important book even for poeple from other religions , and main focus in Quran is on Human beings mission on this Planet . If their is a mobile phone and suppose i say that it created itself , no one would believe because their should be a creator , like samsung , Nokia etc. Even though if i say that it took thousands of years slowly slowly that human being were automatically created , that also doesnt makes sense , so it means that their is GOD , now the second question should be What God Wants from us ? Why he created us ? What are we ? In The Holy Quran God direclty talks about what he wants and why he created us . Just Pray " God , if you are their , Guide us " .. i strongly believe this prayer would increase our knowledge by the help of Almighty God .

      September 19, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Peter Grenader

      Ali: Dear brother? my dear?

      Condescend much?

      September 19, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • K. Harrare

      The Quran is FULL of evil – and here are its fruits. Just quit with your lies. They only make us hate your sick cult of death more.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Mephibosheth

      @American hijib the only way to submit to God is by the one and only Jesus Christ who came saying I am the first and the last , and no man can come to God except by me...it is also written that there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby you must be saved.. :) :) :)

      September 20, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  13. turban1

    really – the problem is about a material state – our current historical predicament – a material situation – that will
    change with peak oil – you are already seeing its dawn with the GFC and the Euro crisis – a transformation –
    often happens when "the Empire" gets too big to maintain

    September 19, 2012 at 9:49 am |
  14. notreligious

    this is article seems the same of all religious peices
    spreading fear and misinformation
    expecting people to believe in things based upon faith and not facts
    like jesus taught his followers to love their enemies
    what bunk
    cuz if you've ever really thought about emotions
    you only really hate that which you could have loved
    otherwise you have no real emotion, maybe apathy or compassion, or empathy
    but not love
    nor hate
    I think i dislike religion the most because it expects me to remain not just ignorant, but actually stupid in order to even be able to go along with it in the first place. Which, I suspect then is the main goal of religion – manipulation and not teaching people to think for themselves, but to follow and be ignorant.
    Also, how can muslims expect people to know to respect their prophet if they are infidels and therefore probably know nothing about their religion to begin with cuz they would be more interested in eliminating me than providing education and similar respect. Sounds rather foolish to me.

    September 19, 2012 at 7:53 am |
    • Ali

      I dont know why are christain brothers have all these years always been involve in killing s , mass killings and bashing of other religions publicly , firslty Christains fought within themselves during Church Rule ( Protestants and Catholics) , then they used to mock Jews earlier and finally mass murdered Jews in germany and now their focus is on Muslims , they are bombing muslim countries , invading muslim countries by lie , Weapons of mass destruction lie , while in truth , the only atomic bomb used by a state was a christian government state of America . I dont know why but i surely know that our beloved Jesus christ would hate all this killings and mocking other religoins in the name of free speech . one thing which i am afraid of that this american way of killings and bashing would continue untill God helps us . USA destroyed pakistan by involving them in their battle with soviet union and creating army of fighters in pak afghan border which Hillary clinton admitted in his speech , now usa is naming same fighters that fought for american cuase to dismantle soviet union as terrorists , USA Governments used all these poor countries resources and instead of helping Americans better improve their lives , the american government keeps investing on Foriegn fightings and killings , while many americans are financially disturbed due to these wars and are losing even their homes ... On the other side it really hurts when even normal public keeps silent and takes sides of these evil poeple who mock Islam or any religoin .. it really hurts ... A Muslim believes in Jesus Christ as anyone else does , it is part of thier religion to belive in Christ and his teachings http://www.tubeislam.com ... God Guide us all HumanBeings .......

      September 19, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • CKEN

      One should not confuse organized religion with spirituality. There are universal spiritual truths posited in all religions. They are often in the form of allegory shrouded in enigma, and must be ferreted out. On the other hand, many of the worlds organized religions were developed and encouraged by various governments as a means of keeping the masses "in line". One must also recognize that none of the organized religions started with the intent of controlling the masses. Their initial intent was to promulgate well known spiritual truths in such a manner the intended culture could comprehend and remember them.
      Regarding Islam, I worry about any religious based sociopolitical movement based on a holy book which commands the killing of infidels. I don't know if that makes me Islamaphobic or not.

      September 20, 2012 at 1:32 am |
  15. Scott Elliott

    So Brian –

    Judging from the huge number of the comments, and the tenor and "elegance" (to use Romney's word) of the majority of them, you seem to be entirely and exactly right. Good for you, and keep 'em coming!

    September 19, 2012 at 7:04 am |
    • Peacenik

      I couldn’t agree more Scott. Did the people who have been spewing their hate message replies even read Brian’s piece and take a moment to ponder and wonder is Brian talking to me? What can I do to stop the hating?

      September 20, 2012 at 6:56 am |
  16. ideastoachievepiece

    Here's my first idea for world peace:

    1. Create a reality show called "Lets ALL Vote for a Council of Prophets to Lead us to true world peace"
    (note: USA has a run on the market of these it seems of late, so this will have to be USA has to play fair and share the peacemaking type deal – to achieve peace).

    2. EVERY and I mean EVERY religion or whatever nominate their most accomplished prophets to compete for entry into this council of reality tv based super prophets council to achieve world piece.

    3. Create a call in line and record all ideas, complaints, suggestions, etc. doesn't matter, someone will listen and take you into consideration for this ultimate world peace.

    4. Actually, this could create quite an industry, cuz first everyone would have to have runoffs for best prophets – and the prophets have to be alive – no holy ghosts have actual chairs – but they can have a seat in the thrones of the minds of whomever wishes to set them there – or not.

    5. Everyone gets to vote, not just a panel of judges, for the most worthy prophets alive ... and everyone will be able to vote on all their plans, and ideas, and dictates ... cuz it will all be based on the future vision of world peace.

    6. Everyone gets to vote on how to peacefully implement this reality tv based interactive inclusive debate and planning in the making by the envisioning of world peace. if there are complaints, call them in ... so to speak

    September 19, 2012 at 2:09 am |
  17. Bruce

    Here's a question for all you hate-America-first zombies: What part of our "tiny minority" rioted, burned embassies, and murdered people of the other faiths???

    September 19, 2012 at 1:26 am |
    • r

      Off the top of my head? There was that guy who shot up the Sikh temple a few weeks ago... Murdering vile atheist abortion doctors... Racist church bombings (the klan purports to be supporting Christian values) It's really not hard to find examples.

      September 19, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Ali

      I dont know why are christain brothers have all these years always been involve in killing s , mass killings and bashing of other religions publicly , firslty Christains fought within themselves during Church Rule ( Protestants and Catholics) , then they used to mock Jews earlier and finally mass murdered Jews in germany and now their focus is on Muslims , they are bombing muslim countries , invading muslim countries by lie , Weapons of mass destruction lie , while in truth , the only atomic bomb used by a state was a christian government state of America . I dont know why but i surely know that our beloved Jesus christ would hate all this killings and mocking other religoins in the name of free speech . one thing which i am afraid of that this american way of killings and bashing would continue untill God helps us . USA destroyed pakistan by involving them in their battle with soviet union and creating army of fighters in pak afghan border which Hillary clinton admitted in his speech , now usa is naming same fighters that fought for american cuase to dismantle soviet union as terrorists , USA Governments used all these poor countries resources and instead of helping Americans better improve their lives , the american government keeps investing on Foriegn fightings and killings , while many americans are financially disturbed due to these wars and are losing even their homes ... On the other side it really hurts when even normal public keeps silent and takes sides of these evil poeple who mock Islam or any religoin .. it really hurts ... A Muslim believes in Jesus Christ as anyone else does , it is part of thier religion to belive in Christ and his teachings http://www.tubeislam.com ... God Guide us all HumanBeings ..

      September 19, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • truth be trolled

      " hate-America-first zombies"

      I think I smell a disgruntled ex Evangelical Fortune Cookie Co. "writer".

      September 19, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
  18. Ray

    to Humanity 101: your words are gold (or worth gold). I am glad we still have fine people like you in this world. When I hear or read writtings from people like you, it gives more hope for humanity and this world. Thank you for your wonderful words. your parents did a great job and you turned out a fine human being.

    September 19, 2012 at 12:23 am |
  19. Ray

    BullyGoat: well said. I totally agree with you. I am glad there are still churches like yours and there are fine people like you and the people you interact with.

    September 19, 2012 at 12:18 am |
  20. totallyoffthesubject

    ok
    so i think we've established a few things recently, although the authenticity of the espounded following facts may be questioned, in theory, i will continue:
    1.
    a. the torah told the isrealies not to go back to the holy land to build their home
    b. the koran says that if someone comes on your land and makes war, they are not your friends

    .....this one seems self explanatory

    2. this one is up for grabs in understanding USA democracy
    a. romney seems to be trying to lose the election
    b. the same thing happened during the last election between the repubs and dems

    3. this one is likewise
    a. all these religions are violent by nature because they reflect human nature and history, which is violent by nature
    b. everyone wants peace, but no one Knows hows to achieve it, so they resort to violence or the like to achieve it

    September 19, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • sowhatyoursaying

      is:
      the war could already be won and we don't want to acknowledge it
      cuz there's always more wars to be won
      so there can ultimately be peace with the one
      cuz we all gotta meet our maker
      at
      sometime
      so we could be millionaires and you could be paupers
      but we'll give you your wars
      if that will keep you at peace
      or we will make you go along with the game
      because you know we are going to win

      September 19, 2012 at 1:22 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.