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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. Bob

    One person's film does make all islamphobics. This is irrational thinking.

    September 16, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  2. BJJCA

    If one calls themselves Christian, but does not follow Christ's example, are they Christian? Seriously, if one judges, advocates hate, believes in "holy war," cannot turn the other cheek, cannot love one's enemies, cannot forgive those who trespass against them, and cannot give up their own egoism to instead take up their cross and follow Christ's ostensible path... then what part of them is Christian? What part of Christ's teachings are they following?

    To adhere to the bible without following Christ is not Christian. It is old testament Israelite. Which is your prerogative to identify yourselves as, but how can you call yourselves Christians?

    September 16, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  3. Tim in SD

    Thank you, Brian. At last a Christian essayist with ears to listen.

    September 16, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  4. Steve

    I thought slanderous speech wasn't a right. That's why we people can be charged with libel and other charges and can get court ordered to stop.

    September 16, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  5. Sami

    Find it really funny how some of you are saying that "all Muslims should leave" "they're all violent" etc

    My dad is a MUSLIM anesthesiologist. He works in a Catholic hospital; he has no problem with them and vice versa. Everyday, this Muslim, apparently hell bent on imposing Sharia Law and destroying the non-Islamic world, works to help save the lives of people of all faiths, the vast majority being Christian. This totally insane man works with Christians, Jews, and atheists to accomplish this. He even worked in response to the Murrah Building bombing, which was carried out by a man who was NOT raised as a crazy Muslim.

    For all the people with such vitriolic comments, do you make as much of a difference every single day as my Muslim dad? Please. We're not here to convert you to Sharia Islam or any of that garbage. We're here for a better quality of life, as you all can evidently see, as that whole region is insanity right now.

    Just don't act like all Muslims are cracked out. A very small percentage of them are. So don't say ridiculous stuff.

    September 16, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • LOL

      Do Muslims ever think of denouncing the Islamic stupidity going on these days in the form of creative killing? Or do they just make excuses about how there are only 49% of Muslims who are violent murderers?

      September 16, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Sami

      http://www.aboutjihad.com/terrorism/imams_condemn_terrorism.php

      Here is a link with hundreds and hundreds of Muslim organizations and Imams in the United States denouncing terrorism.

      Yay research.

      September 16, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • LOL

      Try MEMRI for a bit of research you might not like. Nothing like many prominant Islamic teachers calling for westerners' deaths among other horrible things. Perhaps your leaders need to shout a little louder than one website and aim their shouts at the middle east.

      September 16, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Sami

      I never denied that there are leaders that "leaders" that declare they want Westerners dead.

      However, your question was "Why are there no denunciations of the Islamic terrorist activities?". That link was your answer. There are denunciations.

      Also, those leaders have shouted their denunciations both at those leaders and at the Middle East. Most people actually heed that denunciation and agree. Unfortunately, as with all religions and lines of thought, there is a group that doesn't agree with that message, and they shout very loudly too. And more often. The religious leaders here have other important tasks on their agendas. so they can't spend 24/7 shouting at those leaders.

      Those who shout radical ideas will always be louder and more covered than those who don't. Look at the Terry Jones, that Kansas Church. Americans here hear of the 1% of Muslims that are crazy, and unfortunately in the Middle East they hear of the 1% of others that are crazy. Crazy ones always will attract more media attention.

      The point is that just because some Muslims are splattered over the news doesn't represent who were are. I know that point has been made infinite times, but its frustrating to see that people say we should be eradicated off the face of the Earth when people like my dad help save the lives of the very people who say that stuff.

      A lot of us just want to get along. Unfortunately, a small group of people are not helping us out.

      September 16, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Naseer

      It is not a war of religions. If you count the people, more people were killed in the two world wars. Were the killers Muslim?
      When Hitler killed millions of Jews, nobody blamed Christian. Spreading hate is not the solution, it is actually the problem.

      September 16, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • LOL

      Sami and Naseer, do you even see why others are angry at your religion? For that matter, do you see that it is about your religion and the many idiots who kill in its name? Instead of being so concerned about getting the message out that you're so fine, how about joining in the denunciations of those idiots? I will never know what you see in Islam, as I've read it, and it seems to justify the violence we see in the majority of Islamic countries. It specificallly tells you not to be friends with anyone but your own. How are people expected to react to this?

      September 16, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • LOL

      By the way, Naseer, the WW thing is not a good comparison. All sorts of religions fought in those wars including Muslims. In fact, Many Muslims chose the axis and lost the war because they sided with Hitler. Why do you think Israel got divided up? And if Hitler was a Christian, which I don't think any sane person believes, then there were plenty of Christians who fought to take him down.

      September 16, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Naseer

      The problem is that extremists and terrorists are not stupid. They are clever and know how to manipulate human feelings. 99.99% Muslims denounce terrorism and terrorists. The word Islam means "Religion of Peace"..

      September 16, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • LOL

      Naseer, you can't be serious. 99.99%?! Realitically, I'd say at least 5-15% of Islamic adherents are violent extremists. That's pretty large when we talk about the kind of violence they commit.

      And Islam means "submission", don't forget.

      September 16, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Sami

      I do see why people are angry at my religions. I'M angry at my religion, mainly the people who represent it, because we are not helping ourselves in any way, shape or form. I try to denounce as much as possible, but I'm limited. I'm one person, and I'm also a university student. I can't just drop everything and run around at convince everyone. The most I can do is try to convince those around me.

      That bit about Islam saying not to make friends with others. My best friends are 2 Jews, a Catholic, and an Atheist. My parents, who are fairly religious, applaud me for expanding my horizons. The only time we say to rebuff them is if anyone makes a VERY EXPLICIT remark against on the the very explicit basis of our religion. That's the problem with the "leaders" over there. They take unrelated issues and make it all religious.

      If you would like me to make more of an effort to denounce their actions, I'd like you to make more of an effort to go meet actual Muslims. Go to a local mosque. Local mosques love receiving outsiders, not to convert them, but to show them that we are not all monsters. We make a great effort to denounce them, but not all people are so willing to change their narrative, and the actions of some of our brethren don't help at all.

      September 16, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Naseer

      No, thats not right. Word Islam generates from the world "Selamat" meaning safe. This is also the word used in Tegalu language to say "thanks". Another part of history is that Prophet Mohammed never ever fought in any of the wars. Another fact is that during the life of Prophet Mohammed, Muslims never ever attacked Christians.

      September 16, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Sami

      There are a few typoes in there, so sorry about that.

      *The bit about Islam not making friends with others is not true* is what I meant to say

      September 16, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • LOL

      Sami, I actually thank you for your responses. This is the type of dialogue I would like to see more often in public. I have Muslim friends and know nice Muslim people, but the are still extremists in local mosques, 2 or 3 of whom tried to blow up buildings downtown over the past few years. Now where do,they get these ideas if they aren't being taught in their mosques or by Muslims? And about the friends verses in the Quran, you said your parents told you to be friends and expand your horizons. Does that mean you do not follow a strict adherence? If not, do you see who literalists could take the Quran and do these things in its name?

      September 16, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • LOL

      Naseer, Islam comes from Al silm, meaning to submit or surrender, as many Islamic scholars teach. They teach submission to God.

      September 16, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Sami

      Thanks, LOL, despite thinking your name might indicate otherwise, this has turned into a good dialogue. The problem with a lot of these problems is interpretation. Look at the analysis of a random poem. Despite the authors' intentions, there are infinite interpretations, and then there are even more issues when that piece is translated to a completely different, unrelated language. My response to you is that I doubt that those extremists were taught of those ideas by the mosque or other Muslims; I'd say that they misinterpreted the information, and/or received guidance from someone who misinterpreted the information. It is possible the mosque taught them that, however that chance is very slim.

      In the eyes of myself and my parents, my friendship with people of others faiths is not in literal or direct violation of the Qu'ran. Certainly there might be people, people who are less educated than my parents, who will read the same passage and get a different meaning. Also, I'd like to emphasize that the Qu'ran in English is not the same as in Arabic. There are a lot of little nuances that can't really be directly translated.

      September 16, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • Naseer

      I appreciate your comments. This is a meaningful dialogue. Here are few google searches about the meaning. You are right, Islam also means submission, but also peace.
      http://www.barghouti.com/islam/meaning.html =Islam is derived from the Arabic root "Salema": peace, purity, submission and obedience. In the religious sense, Islam means submission to the will of God and obedience to His law.

      http://muslimvoices.org/word-islam-meaning/ = In Arabic, the word “Islam” means submission or surrender – however, it was derived from the root word “salam”. From this root word, you can also derive the words peace and safety. Many people feel that Islam implies some sort of enslavement to Allah, but others find it more helpful to define the word “Islam” as surrender.

      The reason i say, it means peace is because before Prophet Muhammed came, there were lots of tribal wars among Arabs. If a person from one clan is killed, his relatives will fight the other clan for years. Prophet Muhammed said that all the past murders are forgiven, henceforth, no one will fight to take avenge. This is why the religion was called the religion of peace.

      I also feel very sad to see some people using the name of religion for their benefits. They have nothing to do with Islam or Muslims. They find their followers in illiterate people. Same people burn schools and tell people not to get modern education. Together we can defeat these people.

      September 16, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • LOL

      Sami, I can read Some Arabic. Tell me, how would translate the following?

      5:51: Believers, Take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends.

      Do you feel they translated this incorrectly? If so, please tell me what word(s), and I will research what you say. My impression is that it is translated correctly. If so, I am glad you don't follow it, but that makes me wonder how a Muslim with an uneducated teacher can come to any other conclusion.

      I have been to a synagogue, and I plan to visit a mosque to understand views better. I am just wary of asking questions that intimidate and anger people and put them on the defensive. I am genuinely interested, however.

      September 16, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • LOL

      Naseer, I thank you for your views as well and appreciate them. I am curious about Islam as a peaceful religion. Obviously I do not see it that way. From the Quran, raids and killings are obvious. You say Mohammad was not involved in these, on what basis I don't know, but are his followers not guilty for their acts, then, and he for allowing them?

      September 16, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • Sami

      Well, first, the context is extremely important. The multiple preceding pages before and after that line are critical. Maybe the line before says, "In case of personal attack" or something along those lines. I'll admit I've never read the Qu'ran, so I rely on what my parents tell you. Also, I read some Arabic as well, but reading the Qu'ran is a whole different deal, as I'm sure you well know. It's much more complicated.

      When I say things are lost in translation, I don't necessarily mean literally. For example, there are a lot of adages in Arabic along the lines of "don't beat around the bush" etc. If you translate those adages into English, technically, it will make sense, but it will sound clunky. Sometimes the intended meaning will not even come across, which is what I mean by my translation comment. Technically, that translation can be correct 100% in terms of individual words. However, the intended meaning might be different. I realize that as you read that explanation, it probably sounds like I'm just trying to chicken out of admitting it, but it honestly is true. You can't take a direct translation and treat it as its written in Arabic.

      I understand and appreciate your genuine interest in the subject. My final answer is this: My parents, especially my father, have read the Qu'ran many times over. They have never said that I was disobeying Islam by befriending people of other religions. Even though two of them are Jewish, which many Muslims admittedly detest (and vice versa), my parents have never objected.

      September 16, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • Sami

      I have to go for a few hours, but thank you Naseer and LOL. LOL, I respect you, because even though you don't necessarily agree with Islam, you treat me with respect and dignity. Thats what I ask for.

      September 16, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Sami: I suspect not all christians hate muslims. It's just that the evangelicals are very vocal about their hatred of anyone who doesn't fit in their particular little shoebox. Evangelicals are probably the least christ-like of any christians, but they are the ones most likely to think they know what their "god" wants. Amazingly enough, their god wants exactly what they want him to. Sort of makes you wonder exactly what they are worshiping.

      September 16, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • LOL

      Tallulah, you're flat wrong and don't understand evangelicals. I would define myself as an evangelical, and all the evangelicals I know are well educated, intelligent folks who use as much reason as faith. I would say the majority of Christians do not hate Muslims, as Jesus told us to love. Love of a person, however, does not mean love of their religion or a toleration of sin.

      September 16, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
  6. Truth is Here

    I'm a militant atheist yet I oppose islam even more firmly than christianity- why? Unlike christians who have (mostly) simmered down and prefer peaceful (if distasteful) protests when riled up, muslims seem unable to protest without burning a few cars and throwing rocks.

    Why wouldn't we ALL be upset? This is the single and only religion on earth barbarous enough to spawn this type of utter chaotic violence, you don't have to be a christian to see islam for what it is- violent and oppressive.

    September 16, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • angrybabykitty

      @ Truth- this kind of moronic behavior and others is why I have come to be an atheist. Religion is a poison.

      September 16, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  7. brucejc

    Why can"t you see that there are at least two different kinds of Muslims. Those who are rational and live their religion like others, who respect the beliefs of others and live together in peace, as opposed to the irrational muslims, the terrorists who kill christians and even other muslim sects .

    These extremists are not real muslims. There is no islamophobia, there is only terroristophobia.

    Get it?

    September 16, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Conan

      A phobia by any other name is the same. What is the difference between the two phobia's you've mentioned ? that is exactly the point mclaren is trying to make. Terroristphobia by any other name is equally bad.

      September 16, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • LOL

      Why can't you see that most people know this, but the ratio of good v bad in Islam these days is in favor of killing. Is their a Christian country you wouldn't visit if you were a Muslim? Is there a Muslim country you wouldn't visit if you were a Christian or better yet a Jew? Just a little food for thought.

      September 16, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • klamerus@pobox.com

      Actions speak louder than words and outside of Muslims in the U.S. it is the extremists that are in control.

      September 16, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • GetEd

      Let me use your words and make it simple. You are a "terroristophobe". Fine. The author of the movie is an "Islamophobe". The author of the article is talking about people like the author of the movie.

      Get it?

      September 16, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  8. Kile

    Maybe if muslims would quit killing innocent people our opinion of them may change. Until then, they are just cavedwellers.

    September 16, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  9. Colin

    Two religions fighting, hey? A few questions should help shed light on the relationship between religion and rational thought.

    The completely absurd theory that all 7,000,000,000 human beings are simultaneously being supervised 24 hours a day, every day of their lives by an immortal, invisible being for the purposes of reward or punishment in the “afterlife” comes from the field of:

    (a) Children’s fairytales;

    (b) Medieval mythology;

    (c) New age pseudo science; or

    (d) Christianity

    I honestly believe that, when I think silent thoughts like, “please god, help me pass my exam tomorrow,” some invisible being is reading my mind and will intervene and alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to help me. I am

    (a) a delusional schizophrenic;

    (b) a naïve child, too young to know that that is silly

    (c) an ignorant farmer from Sudan who never had the benefit of even a fifth grade education; or

    (d) your average Christian

    Millions and millions of Catholics believe that bread and wine turns into the actual flesh and blood of a dead Jew from 2,000 years ago because:

    (a) there are obvious visible changes in the condiments after the Catholic priest does his hocus pocus;

    (b) tests have confirmed a divine presence in the bread and wine;

    (c) now and then their god shows up and confirms this story; or

    (d) their religious convictions tell them to blindly accept this completely fvcking absurd nonsense.

    I believe that an all powerful being, capable of creating the entire cosmos watches me have $ex to make sure I don't do anything "naughty". I am

    (a) A victim of child molestation

    (b) A r.ape victim trying to recover

    (c) A mental patient with paranoid delusions

    (d) A Christian

    You are about 70% likely to believe the entire Universe began less than 10,000 years ago with only one man, one woman and a talking snake if you are a:

    (a) historian;

    (b) geologist;

    (c) NASA astronomer; or

    (d) Christian

    I have convinced myself that gay $ex is a choice and not genetic, but then have no explanation as to why only gay people have ho.mo$exual urges. I am

    (a) A failed psychologist

    (b) A fraudulent geneticist

    (c) A sociologist who never went to college; or

    (d) A Christian with the remarkable ability to ignore inconvenient facts.

    The only discipline known to often cause people to kill others they have never met and/or to commit suicide in its furtherance is:

    (a) Architecture;

    (b) Philosophy;

    (c) Archeology; or

    (d) Religion

    What is it that most differentiates science and all other intellectual disciplines from religion:

    (a) Religion tells people not only what they should believe, but what they must believe under threat of divine retribution, whereas science, economics, medicine etc. has no “sacred cows” in terms of doctrine and go where the evidence leads them;

    (b) Religion can make a statement, such as “there is one god comprised of God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit”, and be totally immune from experimentation and challenge, whereas science can only make factual assertions when supported by considerable evidence;

    (c) Science and the scientific method is universal and consistent all over the World whereas religion is regional and a person’s religious conviction, no matter how deeply held, is clearly nothing more than an accident of birth; or

    (d) All of the above.

    If I am found wandering the streets flagellating myself, wading into a filth river, mutilating my child’s genitals or kneeling down in a church believing that a being is somehow reading my inner thoughts and prayers, I am likely driven by:

    (a) a deep psychiatric issue;

    (b) an irrational fear or phobia;

    (c) a severe mental degeneration caused by years of drug abuse; or

    (d) my religious belief.

    September 16, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      great post, colin. how's it going? time to teach the fundies about logic and reason vs. mindless belief.

      September 16, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • lisa

      Wow – well said! Unfortunately, in this country you are better off being a child molester than an atheist.

      September 16, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • HAVE MUD WILL TRAVEL

      lisa, are you one of those 1/3 egg bearers that kill your own children in their womb? You can live without a womb. The child can't. It was made for him. Islam gives how much to Planned Parenthood? 911 everyday!

      September 16, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • Colin

      Hey BF, well, and you?

      September 16, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  10. Colin

    Evangelicals v. Muslims hey? A bit like the dumbest kid in class insulting the most dysfunctional and violent. As an atheist, one can only sit back and watch in amazement as the simple people squabble over who has the "one true" pre-Dark Ages sky-fairy.

    September 16, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      it's the Crusades all over again...

      September 16, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  11. Paul Willson

    There are nut cases in all religions . So ease off the idea that religion X is worse than our oh saintly crowd.Cause when you look within there are nut jobs there who would say anyone who doesn't believe exactly as I do is doomed.
    Oh politicans ease off blaming the government for not for seeing these events . No one has a source that says look out here comes trouble.
    To the families of those killed in Libya & Afghanistan my condolenes and thanks for your loved ones service.

    September 16, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  12. aao

    "At a time when U.S. embassies are being attacked and when people are getting killed ..." " ...we must begin to own up to the reality of evangelical Islamaphobia. .." It is not phobia if it is a real threat , stupid

    September 16, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • Quest

      Switch off that fox in front of you and go take some fresh air. So will feel so much better...stupid.

      September 16, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  13. Liberty

    A majority of these comments are a sort of "case-in-point" for the author's subject here. I'm always surprised to see this. Surprised to see people argue about the biblical tenants of peace, tolerance, and love. If you're not a "person of faith" then I would at least think that the principals of liberty on which America was founded would lead you to the conclusion that segregation, intolerance, and hate are NOT the best way forward, and that preemptive warfare is not a justifiable self-defense.

    September 16, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  14. Naseer

    Vast majority of Muslims do not have any problem with Christians, Jews, Hindus or people of any belief. It is a very tiny minority who want to spread hate. Writer rightfully pointed out that even in Christians you find people who spread hate. In every religion, race and people, you will find some who are extremists. Their objective is to convince the common man that they are right. If someone starts believing that hate will solve the problem, the extremist wins. Unfortunately they find a lot of recruits in illiterate minds and unfortunately literacy rate among Muslims is the lowest. Hence, they are easy targets for this extremist ideology.

    Question is, "Do we want the extremists and terrorists to win". I am sure all sane minds will say "No". Solution in my opinion is what the writer is attempting. Spread a message of love and peace in line with the teachings of Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ, Krishna, Gotum Budh and Mohammed. One more important thing is to spread knowledge and literacy. That is how we can fight ignorance and extremism.

    September 16, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • LOL

      This line of argumentation seems geared only to make Muslims feel good about themselves.

      Try doing a bit of math on the number of adherents of Christianity and Islam around the world, then do add up the number of people involved in acts of violence in each religion. I think you'll find Islam has the higher percentage of violence around the world by far. I'd like to be able to step foot in a Muslim country without thinking someone might try to kill me because of my ethnicity and faith. Yet Muslims live in and visit Christian countries around the world without fear of being killed. Can we stop being politically correct and actually address the real world problem for a change? That problem is violence in Islam around the world.

      September 16, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Naseer

      Spreading hate is not the solution and I will not fall for that trap no matter how hard you try.

      September 16, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • LOL

      It's not a trap, it's simple math without the political correctness. Instead of blaming Islamic violence on an
      Hone and everything else, try taking some responsibility for it.

      September 16, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • Naseer

      It is not a war of religions. If you count the people, more people were killed in the two world wars. Were the killers Muslim?
      Hitler was a christian, but nobody blamed Christians for killing Jews. Believe me spreading hate is not the solution, it is actually the problem.

      September 16, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • LOL

      What you see as hate, I see as reason and simple analysis of facts.

      September 16, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  15. ug

    Deport all the moslems from this country...

    September 16, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  16. Jesus Christ

    Since my death, I've yet to meet a true, "gentle" Christian. Lately, most of them seem to be as violent as Muslims.

    September 16, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      jesus, can i ask you a few questions?

      the first is, with those crazy washboard abs, do you do P90X? what's your secret?

      September 16, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Mohammad

      Yes, prophet, have you seen the movies they make? Kill them all, that's what I say.

      September 16, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      second question, since you're the messiah and all, shouldn't you know that slavery is bad? why do you tell slaves to obey their masters? that seems unbelievably inhumane. shouldn't you have told masters to release their slaves and for slaves NOT to obey?

      Luke 12:37-38
      37 "Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them.
      38 "Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.”

      September 16, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • Greta

      Maybe you should try going to church.

      September 16, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
  17. Jimbo

    The writer presents a very good view point how different religions should co-exist. No religion is pure and free of flaws. No need to offend other religions because you think yours is better. I am pretty sure the majority of believers in Muslim share the same principal of any religion – love, compassion and be a good person. Besides, Muslim is an evolved religion from Judaism and Christinity, and the religion can not be so bad when 1.4 billion people are believers. In fairness, how can we live in the US and bash Islam countries that are so far away from us.

    September 16, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • Jesus Christ

      How about growing up and saying NO to all religions? Be spiritual, but don't let mankind define your spirituality with a God or Goddess or whatever...

      September 16, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  18. gary

    evangelicals are nut cases ... we'd be better off without them

    September 16, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      ^bump^

      September 16, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • bob

      Agreed. What's the difference between an evangelical christian and a muslim extremist? Nothing.

      September 16, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  19. Beetlejuice

    "Islamophobia"?

    It's a "phobia" when there REALLY ARE a VERY LARGE NUMBER of Muslims who would happily murder us to make their Allah happy?

    Somebody's been taking teh stoopid pills.

    September 16, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Quest

      Exactly. What you just said is Phobia and you are not alone in it. Have you taken time to do some fact checking and actually learning about what Islam really says. I mean you can get a copy of their holy book easily and just read through it. Don't mix up everything in one bowl and then recite fox, claiming to be all-aware.

      September 16, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • moas786

      come on now, did you get anything from this article? please read slowly because the point of this article is that christians, jews and muslims are behaving like ignorant faithfuls. Adam,Abrahim,Moses,Jesus and Muhammed ALL HAD ONE THING IN COMMON, MERCY...in the name of ONE GOD. by the way for the Billion time, ALLAH means God in the arabic language, it is NOT a separate GOD that muslims worship. go and ask a christian arab and he will verify this for you, Jesus was the Prince of PEACE, ARE YOU as christians. the moment we all can admit that their is only ONE GOD and HE Is for ALLL OF US we can then start the HEALING process. GOD BLESS.

      September 16, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • bob

      ...like there are no christians who would like to kill muslims? Or kill whomever is handy if he or she thinks they support muslims? Who's taking the stupid pills?

      September 16, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  20. RustyHinges8

    I can’t believe the Crusades might be back! We could repeat the 11th and 12th centuries, where columns and units of Catholics and other Christians, fought against the dreaded Muslims. The outcome was not a good one. It’s hard to believe the Christian side could be beaten by “moon worshipers”. Men who first looked up and feared the moon……so they threw rocks at it. Later, they worshiped it, and Islam was born…a pagan belief. The author of this article says “Christ is a gentle strength that transcends the vicious cycles of offense-outrage-revenge.” I’d like to think we’ve come a long way from the 11th century, but I don’t think so. We’re crazier than we were back then….after all….we have Scientology now, plus 133 other inane religions in this country. HOLY SMOKE!!!! Can we really ignore pagans?

    September 16, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • LOL

      Islam started the Crusades by taking Jerusalem by sword and trying to impose their beliefs. Looks like they're trying to start another one.

      September 16, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
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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.