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February 11th, 2013
05:33 AM ET

Can religion prevent violence?

By Jim Roope, CNN

(CNN) – When tragedies happen like the shooting at Newtown, Connecticut, the question of faith often comes up. How can horrible events like that be allowed to happen?

Rabbi Marvin Heir with the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, said he’s not surprised that people question religion, and, God in tragedies.

“Remember we live in a very scientific age and so the man of faith is getting smaller and smaller because he can’t bring any proof to the horizon; where is this so-called God. So that’s why religion; it’s very difficult to compete, you know, in a world where there are new discoveries and they ask you as a man of faith, ‘Where’s your new discovery?’

How does religion compete with today’s world? Would more religious influence in our society and the inherent moral ethics that comes with it increase humans’ choosing good over evil?

Salam Al-Marayati, President of the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles said religious doctrine must be separate from religious ethics. In religious ethics we find common threads.

Justice, mercy, compassion, doing good work believing we’re all part of one human family. That’s basically what every religion talks about when you look at the core and essence of each religion.

Hear more perspectives on the role of religion in our world from religious thought leaders in the player above.

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. And listen to CNN Soundwaves on our SoundCloud page.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Violence

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soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. Ken Margo

    More crap from eyesopened! This guy is full of it on multiple posts. Now that's talent! I'm not frustrated at all with god. He/she has never done anything to me/for me. I'm more frustrated with republicans gumming up the works, not passing laws etc etc. Can you get god to straighten these guys out. They should listen to god after all they are crooked christian conservatives like you are.

    February 14, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
  2. eyesopened

    Once again your words reveal how frustrated you are. As you are stranded in your life with nothing but solutions that are and will never be good enough even for your standards. As our standards come with our own insignificant alterior motives. Hence our lovely world as we know it. See ken even though this is real enough in both your life and mine,for me its not about feelings, been there feelings are unreliable,they change constantly the only thing that is consistant about them is that they are lead by our sinful nature, and all I need to know is that be being human guilty as charged. My life my feelings up and down 2nd marriage 2 grown kids im 49 and im thru blaming and making excuses. even comprimse is not in my vocabulary, why would I settle for anything less than what Jesus died for me to have starting with a fresh start, starting with accountability and all I have to do is believe His word or the truth. I dont blame you for being angry at God and actually neither does He. true faith is rare to find let alone see religion by way of man getting a hold of Gods word and setting up a church and rules that they themselves are not capable of keeping. faith is a very private ordeal very personal thats whats so cool about it, its not up for debate,unless you want to question your faith for yourself thats up to you its your Hope who do you want to trust for the truth? surely not in this world thats a no brainer. look at this answer man for instants couldnt answer my question when I asked him about when the last time he was rebuked, its a simple question im not perfect but the way he comes across in his comments it seems like he is doing some harsh pointing and blaming vs like you said speaking forth the answer or solution as you call it. I call it the Truth or Hope and that certainly is not me,9 years ago on the other hand I was one frustrated dude, and that came from self rightousness constantly having to be mr know it all, till I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown from over dosing on selfishness it almost killed me, forgive God ken you pegged Him wrong, Hes the real thing, its when weak minded people fall for 2nd hand truth they go with a churches view on life vs a direct faithful relationship with the word, remember justification on Gods part is flawless, thats where the peace comes in, not in keeping the rules that just sets you up for condemnation. simply believe on Him who not only kept all the rules but is the keeper of the rules, and He will make your path straight if you will have Him to

    February 14, 2013 at 1:28 am |
    • Lazarus

      What's wrong with simply believing in being kind to your fellow man, when possible, and keeping your beliefs to yourself? Why even focus on these big talks and other BS when the solution is so simple?

      Oh yeah. Because logic has no place in mainstream religion. Remember, fear the devil!

      February 14, 2013 at 8:25 am |
  3. eyesopened

    See ken you proved the point of topic to this blog. its your anger and your lack of self control that reveals is in all of us,religion is a false sorce that we as people turn to for self help, and it not religion that sets a man free,but the truth. One either excepts it over their own strength for life or they reject it and well? your comments sum that up perfectly well. In Gods eyes ken He looks at us all equally, and died once for all that all could know His unconditional love to share, why would you want to shoot that down and choose anger and hatred instead? You got Him all wrong as do alot of people when you think of Jesus ken just think of complete forgiveness and let it go, its not about constantly having to justify yourself but instead knowing that if God is for you who can be against you. thats where confidence is found,is knowing in your heart your justified, peace be with you brother

    February 13, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • Ken Margo

      What a total load of crap! Why don't you answer the question? Because you know as well as I do. Religion cant prevent violence. If it did there would be no Newtown, Aurora, Virgina Tech etc etc.. Throughout the religious blogs phoney crooked christian conservatives like you have zero solutions to problems. All you you do is quote the fictional book, AKA the bible as fact. I have no problems with you praying. Pray if it makes you feel better. But when it comes time to deal with the issues, leave god at home and bring some solutions.

      February 13, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
  4. Ken Margo

    Hey Azzhole Answerman. You and your version of god suck. Please use birth control. We don't need any cretins from your sack roaming around the earth.

    February 12, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Same to eyesopened below.

      February 12, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
  5. eyesopened

    I think it is awesome answer man that you are boldly bringing this revelation to the media, but please be assured that even as Jesus spoke to Peter as to who is it that you say that i am? Mankind CANNOT see the truth untill they !st agree with Gods word or be honest with themself. meaning that if their life is absent of joy,unconditional graditude,kindness,patience,wisdom that surrpasses all understanding,if they cant see Grace,compassion,hope and Love. That it is because one chose instead to deny Gods Gift of Salvation and choose ones own way to do Faith for their life even to the point of being led by the Physical church vs the CHURCH HIMSELF. Gods Speed answer man you have definitely studied to show yourself a workman in Christ

    February 12, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
  6. www.drugawareness.org

    ...Dr. Tracy and 450 other physicians have written much on these matters. Please visit the above website and hear them out. ty

    February 12, 2013 at 8:55 am |
  7. Answerman

    Sorry, my further remarks and reply to won't post. bbl

    February 12, 2013 at 8:13 am |
  8. Answerman

    @eye...Thanks for the "favorable response". :) And I believe that Jesus died ona stauros, not a cross, and here's why...When Jews rebelled against Roman authority and holed themselves up behind the walls of Jerusalem, Roman troops built a siege fence around the entire city. That fence was built using the same thongs Jesus died on, thousands of what bible wrurers called 'stauros' which is a koine' greek word. Ask any greek student; a stauros is not a cross.
    Also, a dear fruend of mine recently lost her son to REM sleep disorder...a condition that can be caused by either not getting to sleep on time for extended periods of time, and also by taking mind-altering drugs for extended periods of time. The end result is the addict's dreams and nightmares happen during waking hours and are acted-out. What would of been a bad dream becomes a daytime walking nightmare such as the drug addicts who carried out the Columbine and Aurora theater shootings.
    Much has been written on this subject by Dr. Ann Blake Tracy and..

    February 12, 2013 at 7:54 am |
  9. Cat Holic

    You kidding me ? Religions are the Sources of major violences in history !

    February 12, 2013 at 1:50 am |
    • HotAirAce

      To what extent do you think christians are involved?

      February 12, 2013 at 2:05 am |
    • truth be told

      Real Christians involved ? Not at all. Search the root cause of violent events in history and you will often find atheism at work.
      So called atheists have brutally tortured and murdered more innocent people in the last 100 years than were killed in all previous centuries.

      February 12, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
  10. eyesopened

    While I am waiting are you serious about the not owning a TV? You know when one has recieved Christ as Lord and Savior Due to the finished work of the cross,we no longer are slaves to sin, its not about what we could ever do to get saved or to remain saved, but solely on what Christ accomplished. There for it the true threat is our flesh 1st an foremost not satan or the rest of the world. power is given onto whom God witnesses the spirit is leading by way of the cross, nothing less and nothing more. God will exalt those whom humble themself to this truth and God will humble those who reject it

    February 12, 2013 at 1:04 am |
  11. eyesopened

    To the answer man did you catch my previous post? did not see a Faithful response

    February 12, 2013 at 12:50 am |
  12. GodFreeNow

    Didn't we already cover this? Prisons and militaries are full of violent religious people.

    February 12, 2013 at 12:07 am |
  13. Answerman

    *24 Department of Defense officials who learned of the FBIs congressionally mandated investigation tracking the money trail as they do for banl robberies and the woman who blew the whistle remain under federal gaga orders in spite of two US senators writing letters requesting those gags be lifted, rather.
    Time for me to clear my mind and prepare myself for another restful night featuring REM sleep denied to those who break God's laws regarding mind-altering drug use of any kind. Good night all. Thanks for being here. :)

    February 11, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
    • Robin

      Holy fuck, Batman! Get the Bat-Euthanizer and use it on answer-nut now!

      February 11, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
    • Akira

      The bottle of Dewar's that you drink every night doesn't hurt your chances of getting to sleep, either.

      Has he broken out the story of the UFO's in the mountains near his house in Colorado Springs yet? That's a favorite story of his.
      That and the Nazi UFO's.

      Buy a diary, would you?

      February 11, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
    • Akira

      Oh, yeah, we're up to Sibel Edmonds now. Soon he will start talking about Ann Tracey and SSRI stories. Next he'll prime you for the Sandy Hook "hoax".
      This Just In's greatest hits, brought to the BB. Yay.
      You thought his 'Douglas' character was, um, nuts? Wait.
      BB, you've been forewarned...lol.

      February 11, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
    • Akira

      Oh, and by the way...there is no Book of Revelations. It's REVELATION. No 'S'. See that you correct yourself. If you read anyone else's posts besides your own.

      February 11, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
    • Gotcha

      Are you sure that's Douglas? Dougy always ejaculates about gay sex.

      February 11, 2013 at 11:44 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.