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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. Tom

    This author is missing the large picture. If Muslims across the world are going to go to such extremes as to kill innocent Americans due to some nobody film producer making a crude movie about Muhammad, then they have some true underlying hate for us and it's no movie causing it. This author is defending their actions based off anti Semitic mass emailings and other minority views in the US that are not represented by the majority. Go to these countries and see if they are as tolerant as we are of various other religions. Take all the aid we provide these countries away tomorrow. And why are we borrowing money to give to others when we have 16T in debt? That blows my mind.

    September 16, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Old Sailor

      It didn't take much, so there musn't have been much to blow.

      September 16, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Tom

      Move on troll

      September 16, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Tired Of This CRP

      This is typical liberal garbage, blame the victims!!! Liberalism and Islam are a blight on society, and it's hard to tell which is worse, both violently condemn people that don't agree with them!!!

      September 16, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Old Marine

      You tell him, you old squid! Semper Fi!

      September 16, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • takawalk

      Nah Old Sailor it didn't take much just a measly 16 trillion dollars.

      September 27, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  2. BFOTO

    There is no reasoning with fundamentalists on any side of this. They are guided by emotion and, in some cases, ignorance as well. So called "smart diplomacy" will not work with them. You can only talk with those that want to listen...and are willing to consider you point of view. That approach is viewed as weakness and they will keep on doing what they have been because they do not fear any reprocussions. .

    September 16, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  3. Martin

    Tribalism is bad in so many ways. Everyone should question their tribalist instincts and the actions of their tribe, and try to look for the bigger picture.

    September 16, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  4. brad

    we give common American Christians too much credit for their importance in the grand scheme of things. while many Christian churches teach a wierd survivalist anti Muslim/anti Gay/anti whatever is popular at the moment theology they do not matter in the slightest in any of our daily lives. just like these impoverished Muslim men who get paid/fed or just have nothing better to do than riot against an idealized American scapegoat don't matter. Christians and Muslims are the very good at condemnation. If anything it gives me greater respect for Judaism. They tend to keep the religion in religion and politics in politics much better.Perhaps because they have learned to temper their rhetoric due to Israel's close proximity with their foes.

    September 16, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  5. Abby

    I couldn't go beyond half way beyond reading this article
    It was vile, self hating, nothing to do with Muslim craziness but all about christian islamophobia rubbish article

    September 16, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Christian

      I agree.

      September 16, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Presian

      Christianity "craziness" is just as bad, if not worse.

      September 16, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • Alan

      Then why did you parody the "half-way through" line which is more than half way through the article?

      September 16, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Truth Hurts

      Try finishing the article, then comment.

      September 16, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Old Marine

      I take it you see youself in that article.

      September 16, 2012 at 11:34 am |
  6. SK

    Many here are commenting without any knowledge of either religions. Please search Google for "The Religion of Peace Jesus and Muhammad" and educate yourself.

    September 16, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Reality

      Only for the those interested in a religious update:

      1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      “New Torah For Modern Minds

      Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob•a•bly
      Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell)

      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 docu-ment. “

      .
      2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

      earlychristianwritings.com/

      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      2 b., Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      4. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

      The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

      Current problems:

      The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.

      5. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

      "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

      Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

      Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

      Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

      September 16, 2012 at 11:21 am |
  7. Christian

    Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

    To say that Christianity is not the only true religion is to call Jesus a liar. Hint: Jesus never lies.

    September 16, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Truth Hurts

      How convenient for you

      September 16, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • TheMendicantBias

      Who's to say that Islam is not going to the "Father" (Muslims occasionally refer to God as the Father as well) considering Muslims believe that Jesus and Muhummad taught essentially the same things?

      September 16, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • lance corporal

      the people who wrote the bible (not jesus) are liars

      if your all hung up on Jesus tho welll F -ck him too

      zealots ARE the problem
      those like you who think there is only ONE answer are the problem

      September 16, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • brad

      people tell the lies for Jesus. always have, always will.

      September 16, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • grumpymedic

      How does someone who never existed never lie?

      September 16, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Christian

      "Truth Hurts", It could be convenient for you too. Anything else is very inconvenient. Now is the time to convert to Christianity. There are some very dark days ahead for non-Christians.

      September 16, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Layman

      @TruthHurts: it can be just as convenient for you to. You probably know how so.

      September 16, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Yoda

      Maybe he was a liar.

      September 16, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Alan

      Well, that settles it then.

      September 16, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • Christian

      The Bible argues against lying. The Qur'an allows it. Atheist swim in lies all day long.

      September 16, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • Old Sailor

      Maybe Jesus never lied (he is dead after all, so the past tense is appropriate), but the people who make up what he might have said surely do !!

      September 16, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Doubting Thomas

      Blind faith.

      September 16, 2012 at 11:36 am |
  8. Layman

    So this author decides to just forget about all the violence toward Christians and any other "infidels", and instead decides to focus on the need for Christian tolerance to Islam!?? Honestly, it's predictable given the track record of this "news outlet" we are on right now. What a fool to say the least. Missing the big picture anyone? Who CARES how many Evangelicals have a distaste for Islam in general, much less a distaste toward the terrorist animals actually responsible for these murders? People are free in this country to think and speak as they please. It doesn't mean they're right, doesn't mean they're tolerant, but they have a right. To attack that right in front of attacking those who are murdering those they disagree with, is utterly abominable. Yet many rubes continue to take the path that radical Islam is just like any other religion, we just need to accept their views as we do other peaceful religions. How naive can one get? Well the author of this article is just one example, and the Obama administration and its weak foreign policy is another. Prog-liberals, you'd better get your head out of the sand and see the enemy you're stupidly appeasing, day after day. You continue to make fools of yourselves. Thank God a larger portion of America is awakening to the threats that you are all but welcoming to our doorstep through your wishy-washy naiveties.

    September 16, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  9. Sean

    If a stupid movie on the Internet excites Muslims world wide and make them destroy lives and properties there is something profoundly wrong with the Islamic teaching that makes people so full of hate and resentment. There are hundreds of movies on the Internet criticizing Christianity and Jesus Chris you don’t see anyone reacting in violence do you?

    September 16, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Layman

      Quite correct.

      September 16, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • zach

      You must have absolutely no knowledge of history to make that claim.

      September 16, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
  10. Steve

    Isn't it kind of funny that religion comes from the same region. Wars come with it. It was all created about 2000 years ago. People still follow it with their own twisted justified version of bull s hit. More people die in the name of religion than anything.

    Could you imagine maybe it's about power, women, money. And plenty of time on their hands to write stuff in books with no TV or internet to watch? hmmmmmm. simple minds sure are easy to twist. People are even easy to twist today. Everyone will say well if there is no God how are you here? YOu can't be created from nothing right? Well how did a God come to exist to begin with from nothing also? Something so power it could create everything from nothing? Hmmmm. lol.

    September 16, 2012 at 11:16 am |
  11. Aristotle 120

    What a silly article. Evangelicals are not burning down mosques, or leading attacks on the embassies of Muslim countries, or stoning women to death, or executing people for converting to other faiths. Islam has some very deep pathologies. Islam needs to reform, modernize, and recast itself or it will continue to be the totalitarian and murderous ideology it is today.

    September 16, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Sean

      Well-said

      September 16, 2012 at 11:22 am |
  12. swohio

    Brian, I'm going to quote a small part of what you said in your article:

    QUOTE – "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." – END QUOTE

    Let me point you to 2 Corinthians 6:14-15. The general message of those verses indicates we, as believers, are NOT to be connected to, or have fellowship with, unbelievers. We are NOT to be connected to those who reject the truth of Jesus. Surely you're aware that Muslims reject the divinity, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, are you not? Why would I want to have a "real Muslim friend"? That does not mean I hate Muslims. I don't – because as Christ commanded, we are to love them...but that means treating them as we ourselves would want to be treated, and doing good to them – even if they harm us. And we are to share the gospel with them in hopes they will become believers. THAT is the love we are to have for them. But how can we be "real friends" with people who reject the very truth upon which we base our faith?

    September 16, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Doubting Thomas

      Wow, what religion are you to have that load of nonsense drummed in your skull? That is completely against what the bible teaches!

      September 16, 2012 at 11:39 am |
  13. 11a.m.

    Brian wake up! Not buying your propaganda......no sheep here.

    September 16, 2012 at 11:16 am |
  14. enp90

    Islamaphobia? When you have a bunch of nuts whose own religious text calls for force obedience to Allah and death for non-believers, It's hardly a phobia to be extremely wary of their violence. It's called self preservation, not a make believe liberal phobia.

    September 16, 2012 at 11:16 am |
  15. lance corporal

    F -ck mohamed and F -ck Jesus too!!!!

    your BOTH a group of wacko's

    ZEALOTRY is the problem...... if you want to believe your silly fairy tales, no prob, more power to ya, but your tearing the world apart because you DEMAND that every one caters to your BELIEF......(as in it's just something you THINK...... )

    believe what you want but leave the rest of us alone!!!
    I am sick of WAR over childish concepts of a creator!!!

    this is just plain STOOOPID

    GROW UP

    ALL of you

    September 16, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  16. Reality

    Added reasons for Islamophobia:

    Only for the newcomers:

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

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

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

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

    and more recently

    1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

    1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

    2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

    3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

    4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

    5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

    6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

    7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

    8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

    9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

    10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

    11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

    12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

    13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

    14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

    15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

    16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

    17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

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

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

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

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

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

    23) "October 4, 2011, 100 die as a truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded Tuesday at the gate of compound housing several government ministries on a busy Mogadishu street. It was the deadliest single bombing carried out by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia since their insurgency began. "

    o 24) Mon Jun 4, 2012 10:18am EDT

    BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A suicide bomber detonated an explosive-packed car outside a Shi'ite Muslim office in central Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 26 people and wounding more than 190 in an attack bearing the hallmarks of Iraq's al Qaeda affiliate.

    The bombing on a Shi'ite religious office comes at a sensitive time, with the country's fractious Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs locked in a crisis that threatens to unravel their power-sharing deal and spill into sectarian tensions."

    25) BURGAS, Bulgaria | Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:27am EDT

    (Reuters) – A suicide bomber carried out an attack that killed seven people in a bus transporting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, the interior minister said on Thursday, and Israel said Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants were to blame.

    26 ) September 12, 2012

    U.S. AMBASSADOR KILLED
    Envoy to Libya dies in rocket blast

    September 16, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Old Sailor

      Yes, but my god can beat your god and his son at the same time – nah nah nah

      September 16, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • lance corporal

      the internet is not large enough to hold a list of christian transgressions............

      what was the 1st line of what is commonly called the "lords prayer"

      are you sure your counting transgressions and spreading hate and UNforgiveness is in line with your supposed christian faith??????

      September 16, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Reality

      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.)

      September 16, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Reality

      The Twenty (or so) Worst Things People Have Done to Each Other:

      M. White, http://necrometrics.com/warstatz.htm#u (required reading)

      The Muslim Conquest of India

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

      Rank …..Death Toll ..Cause …..Centuries……..(Religions/Groups involved)*

      1. 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists/atheists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

      2. 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

      3. 40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

      4. 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

      5. 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

      6. 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

      7. 20 million Joseph Stalin 20C (Communism)

      8. 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

      9. 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

      10. 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

      11. 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)

      12. 15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians vs. Pagans)

      13. 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C

      14. 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

      15. 10 million Xin Dynasty 1C

      16. 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)

      17. 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans vs. Christians)

      18. 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)

      19. 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)

      20. 7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

      *:" Is religion responsible for more violent deaths than any other cause?

      A: No, of course not – unless you define religion so broadly as to be meaningless. Just take the four deadliest events of the 20th Century – Two World Wars, Red China and the Soviet Union – no religious motivation there, unless you consider every belief system to be a religion."

      Q: So, what you're saying is that religion has never killed anyone.

      A: Arrgh... You all-or-nothing people drive me crazy. There are many doc-umented examples where members of one religion try to exterminate the members of another religion. Causation is always complex, but if the only difference between two warring groups is religion, then that certainly sounds like a religious conflict to me. Is it the number one cause of mass homicide in human history? No. Of the 22 worst episodes of mass killing, maybe four were primarily religious. Is that a lot? Well, it's more than the number of wars fought over soccer, or s-ex (The Trojan and Sabine Wars don't even make the list.), but less than the number fought over land, money, glory or prestige.

      In my Index, I list 41 religious conflicts compared with 27 oppressions under "Communism", 24 under Colonialism, 2 under "Railroads" and 2 under "Scapegoats". Make of that what you will."

      September 16, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Chiz Dippler

      Lance Corporal, get your head out. Just look at the last 10-11 years alone if you want to compare "transgressions." I realize this is difficult for you because you decided to play the role of ignorant contrarian.

      September 16, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Michael

      now make a list of all of the atrocities committed by Christians throughout history....

      September 16, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Reality

      Michael,

      Apparently, you missed this reference which reviews mankind's atrocities in great detail.

      M. White, http://necrometrics.com/warstatz.htm#u

      September 16, 2012 at 11:43 am |
  17. Billy Bin Larden

    Why do they dress like satan?

    September 16, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  18. us_1776

    Religion: is the worst thing that ever happened to the human race.

    .

    September 16, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • takawalk

      wow finally something I totally agree with. Jesus pretty much said the same thing.

      September 27, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  19. RS, CA

    I suggest the writer do a piece about the utter intolerance by atheists towards the Mormon religion - or ANY religion, for that matter. Just read some of these blogs with disgusting comments and lies about Romney, simply because he is Mormon. Reading these is scarier than anything I've read in a long, long time - there is absolutely NO tolerance or morality in what they spew - and I daresay most of these people represent our younger generation. What have we done to rear such monsters!

    September 16, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Reality

      : Romney is Mormon because he was born Mormon. Should we hold this against him?

      After all, Obama also believes in "pretty/ugly wingie thingies, bodily resurrections and atonement mumbo jumbo.

      One should be voting based on rational thinking. Believing in angels, satans, bodily resurrections, atonement, and heavens of all kinds is irrational.

      Apparently, BO and MR have been severely brainwashed in their theologically and historically flawed Christianity and they are too weak to escape its felonious grip.

      September 16, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Old Sailor

      we have created these monsters by worshiping at the alter of the almighty dollar. Romney hid from the draft, saving the French (as if that were possible). He hid his money from the IRS, by moving it offshore. He pays tax at half the rate of the middle class – ad thinks that he is fit to govern. What a bad joke.

      September 16, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Reality

      "Regarding the military draft, Romney had initially received two 2-S student deferments, then, like most Mormon missionaries, a 4-D ministerial deferment while in France, and then two more student deferments.[31][54] When those ran out, his high number in the December 1969 draft lottery (300) ensured that he would not be selected.[31][54][55]"

      Please supply references to his paying half the tax rate of the middle class. Don't forget he ti-thes i.e. gives 10% of his income to the Mormon church, all of which is tax-deductible.

      And if rich presidents bother you, you might want to think about JFK and his family's fortune.

      September 16, 2012 at 11:50 am |
  20. wolfgang

    "Many sincere and good-hearted evangelicals have never yet had a real Muslim friend"

    There have been numerous instances in the arab countries where neighbor (and friend) has turned on neighbor (friend) [muslim turning on christian, sunni turning on shiite] when the landscape changed. Anyone who is not muslim is an infidel, an unbeliever, and therefore according to the Quran, is not worthy of living. Even more amazing, the brand of islam itself is a dividing point and I'm sure that if the day were to come when all the other religions were rooted out and there was nothing islam left, the next phase would be to kill each other over the nuances on which these two sides differ.

    September 16, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • up1652

      Oh that happens now. Witness the daily bombings in Iraq and Pakistan where sunnis target the shia ,suffi, and others. Not to mention Christians.

      September 16, 2012 at 11:22 am |
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About this blog

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