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December 24th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

CNN Poll: Pope's approval rating sky-high

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) – As Pope Francis prepares to celebrate his first Christmas at the Vatican, Americans' opinions of the pontiff appear to be as high as the dome on St. Peter's Basilica, according to a new survey.

A CNN/ORC International poll released Tuesday found that 88% of American Catholics approve of how Francis is handling his role as head of the 1.2 billion-member church.

The popular pontiff has also made a positive impression among Americans in general: Nearly three in four view Francis favorably.  The new survey suggests that the Pope is arguably the most well-regarded religious figure among the American public today, said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

Nine months into his papacy, the Argentine-born Francis has captured attention with crowd-pleasing acts of compassion, from embracing a severely disfigured man, to washing the feet of juvenile delinquents, to hosting homeless men at his birthday Mass this month.

The Pope has also shown a common touch rare for such a lofty religious leader. He has eschewed the trappings of the papacy in favor of humbler digs, simpler vestments and a cheaper car. He worked as a bar bouncer and a janitor before he was a priest, and is not shy about telling people.

Pope: I was once a bar bouncer

According to one study, Pope Francis was the most talked about person on the Internet this year, and even atheists have professed appreciation for the 77-year-old pontiff.

The breadth of Francis' popularity was on display at American newsstands this month: he was named person of the year by both Time magazine and The Advocate, a gay and lesbian publication.

"While 2013 will be remembered for the work of hundreds in advancing marriage equality, it will also be remembered for the example of one man," The Advocate said. In remarks that rippled across the globe, Pope Francis said in July, "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?

Pope Francis on gays: 'Who am I to judge?'

While the Pope has not changed church doctrine, he has urged Catholics to shift their focus from culture war issues to caring for people on society's margins, especially the poor.

"I see the church as a field hospital after battle," Francis said in September.

American Catholics appear to like the new course the Pope has set for their church. Nearly two-thirds agree with him about the amount of attention that should be paid to issues such as abortion and homosexuality, according to the CNN/ORC poll.

More than 85% of American Catholics say Francis is neither too liberal nor too conservative, and 86% say he's in touch with the modern world. By comparison, more than half of American Catholics said Pope John Paul II was out of step with the times in 2003, near the end of his 26-year-long papacy.

But Francis has been a fierce critic of the status quo, especially what calls the "idolatry of money" present in modern-day capitalism. In a papal statement last month, for example, the Pope blasted the theory of trickle-down economics, calling it "crude and naïve."

Conservative critics such as Rush Limbaugh pounced on the Pope's remarks, calling him a closet Marxist. But nearly two in three American Catholics agree with the Pope about capitalism and the free market's effects on the poor, according to the CNN/ORC poll.

Pope: Marxist ideology is 'wrong'

On other key issues for Catholics the role of women in the church and the sexual abuse crises Francis gets similarly high ratings from his American flock.

More than six in 10 American Catholics agree with Francis' comments about women in the church, according to the CNN/ORC poll. The Pope has said that women should have a larger role in church governance but cannot be ordained as priests.

Similarly, more than six in 10 American Catholics say Francis is doing a good job handling fallout from the church's sexual abuse scandal, even as most (64%) also say the church overall has done a poor job on the issue.

This month, the Vatican announced the creation of a new commission to care for victims of clergy sexual abuse and to prevent future crimes.

American Catholics had given especially low marks on the sexual abuse scandal to Francis' predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, with just 36% saying in 2010 that he had handled the issue well.

CNN's Holland said it's difficult to ascertain exactly how Francis' popularity stacks up against his predecessors, however. "It's a tough question since polling on Popes is pretty sparse," he said.

What's more, like political polling, approval ratings shift depending on the public mood and perception of a Pope's performance.

For example, three-quarters of American Catholics approved of how John Paul was leading the church in 1994; that number rose to 84% in 1999 and dipped to 64% in 2003, at the height of the church's sexual abuse crisis.

It remains to be seen how long the honeymoon will last for Francis, and how long he can continue to build goodwill among American Catholics.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International on December 16 through Thursday, with 1,035 adults nationwide, including 191 Catholics, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

Pope Francis' greatest hits of 2013

- CNN Belief Blog Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Culture wars • Leaders • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope Francis • Pope John Paul II • Sex abuse • Vatican

soundoff (3,270 Responses)
  1. hotairace

    I've been "on the road" for few weeks so may have missed Pope-A-Dope's announcement that the RCC is going to fully cooperate with all investigations into priestly pedophilia and its systemic, criminal cover up. Or is he actually just another ordinary charlatan, possibly hiding his own criminal behavior?

    May 14, 2014 at 2:51 am |
  2. Kaylin

    I don't understand why everyone, including the people commenting on here, only want to fight. Why can't we just live and let live? Is it fair to say that everyone just wants to be happy? So why spread hate, discouragement, greed, and anger? It's a viscous circle and infects everyone who makes contact. As inhabitants of this world, we should just be happy and appreciative that someone is moving to help the greater good, whether it be God or the good of humanity. Most of all we should instill values of hope, love, and caring to our children, friends, and family so that everyone can do good and feel good- not spread messages of hate that fuel the horrific acts of other "humans." It's very simple.

    January 16, 2014 at 9:11 am |
    • conkal1

      Amen! Most hate is spread by hate groups that have an agenda.

      January 23, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
    • Johan

      Yes too I would like to say live and let live and hold everyone's hand and form a circle to sing kumbaya with everyone. Unfortunately this is not possible when there are limited resources. So let's make more resources, lets build more energy power plants? Ok I want a fusion power plant, you want wind. So starteth the fighting.

      January 23, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
  3. 00 00

    though invisible, we no that god's effects r observable and measurable: the universe! therefore pharisees no he doesn't exist. (brilliant crowd. u c the problem drowning them) perfect, judgmental, better than everyone, bitter, self-pitying pharisees love to claim that hi t ler was a christian, which is true and they r nazis.

    January 13, 2014 at 8:17 am |
    • 00 00

      remember, all that is important and real must b provable scientifically. if u blieve in love, u r delusional and should be destroyed along with xtians, enough is enough. by all means necessary.

      January 13, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
  4. sinsarakris

    I'm not reading any comments because religious people are stupid but I just wanted to say on a humanity level, this Pope rocks. I'm not Catholic.

    January 7, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
    • 00 00

      y did pharisees murder him?

      January 13, 2014 at 10:38 am |
  5. Alvina Forlani

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    January 5, 2014 at 11:41 pm |
  6. Fallacy Spotting 101

    Lengthy post by 'Opposing View' below largely consists of multiple instances of the ad hominem fallacy and strawman arguments.

    http://fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

    January 5, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
    • Opposing View

      Fallacy Spotting… If you truly believe that nonsense, then you should also hope that fallacy.fiies.org has a plan for getting you out of hell should it turn out their info is wrong (and it is)…

      You shouldn't believe everything you read. There is only one truth. And that is the truth which cometh from God. And you can only get that truth by listening to the true sent preacher….

      January 6, 2014 at 10:13 am |
      • Logical default

        Don't believe everything you read??? You mean like.... THE BIBLE? LOL

        January 6, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
      • Fallacy Spotting 101

        Post by 'Opposing View' is essentially a form of the flawed argument known as Pascal's Wager, accompanied by other basic fallacies.

        http://fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

        January 12, 2014 at 10:40 am |
  7. End Times

    You won't live forever. When death cometh for you, sam stone, we shall then see who is the liar and who is a speaker of truth…

    January 5, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
    • Ben

      End Times, google "Pascal's Wager", you stupid, ignorant moron.

      January 5, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
      • Charming Dork

        They don't no what it means

        January 5, 2014 at 10:03 pm |
        • Opposing View

          What is Pascal's Wager? Answer: Pascal's Wager is an argument created by Lucifer to prevent simple-minded people like you from believing in the truth. And all who do not believe in the truth, will end up in hell…

          There is only one truth, and that is the truth which cometh from God. All other info is of the devil. And you can only get that truth by listening to the true sent preacher….

          January 6, 2014 at 9:46 am |
        • Piccolo

          Nope. Pascal's wager is a argument based on FEAR. Believe religion X or burn forever in hell. The only problem is that the same wager can be made for almost every religion. How do you know which one is right and which ones are wrong? They all have equal evidence (zero). Believing something out of fear is not truly believing and if god exists he will see right through those types of phonies.

          January 6, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
    • End Times

      Ben… Google is of the devil and so is Pascal's Wager. So what does that say about your argument?…

      Charming Dork… I know that both you and poster Ben is not saved and that you're on your way to hell. Imagine that...

      January 6, 2014 at 9:21 am |
      • Paul

        End Times, well done at proving Ben right about you. You are a detriment to your team.

        January 7, 2014 at 9:59 am |
  8. Opposing View

    The Five Lies of An Atheist…

    Lie #1 – Atheists love to say, "There is no evidence that God exists." They are liars. There always has been evidence that God exists. Only it's not the kind of evidence the atheists are willing to accept. For there is no greater evidence than Jesus Christ himself. And he is all the evidence you need to believe in God and be saved. If you can believe in Jesus Christ, then you can be saved. If you cannot believe in him, then you shall continue on to the lake…

    Lie #2 – Atheists love to say, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof." If such proof is required, then there is no greater extraordinary proof than Jesus Christ himself, who was the only begotten of the Father, prophesied about for thousands of years before his arrival, born of a virgin, healed the sick, caused the blind to see, made the lame to walk, turned water into wine, fed thousands with a few fish and loaves, walked on water, commanded the wind, died on the cross, rose from the dead, stepped on a cloud, and ascended up into heaven. I'd call those things pretty extraordinary. In fact, Jesus Christ was the most extraordinary man in history, bar none. And if you can't believe in Jesus Christ then something is wrong with your mind…

    Lie #3- Atheists love to say "You can't prove a negative". It's their favorite line and is totally hogwash. You can indeed prove a negative. People do it all the time. Every single time you prove that a positive is untrue, you're proving a negative. For example, people once thought the earth was flat. That is, until someone came along and proved it was round. That is proving a negative. People once thought the sound barrier could not be broken. That is, until someone came along and broke it. People once thought the speed of light could not be calculated. That is, until someone came along and calculated it. All of those things are proving a negative. So the atheists are liars. We say God exists. They say he doesn't. We say prove that he doesn't – and don't even talk about you can't prove a negative…

    Worse, some atheists will still lie about it and say that's not proving a negative. They are liars. As proof of this, we say God exists, the atheists say he doesn't, we say prove that he doesn't (in other words, prove that our positive statement is untrue). In every case, the first words an atheist will say is "You can't prove a negative". So by their own admission, they're admitting that proving our statement untrue would indeed be proving a negative. So they are liars. Atheists love to claim that statement when it works for them, but then try to deny it when it works against them. Which only illustrates that atheists are the biggest of liars who cannot be trusted. Even worse, if they have the gall to say that proving our statement untrue would NOT be proving a negative – okay, then prove God doesn't exist then, and stop giving us an excuse…

    Lie #4 – Atheists love to say "they can't believe unless we show them absolute proof that God exists, unless we can convince them of that fact". They are liars. The atheist request for proof is both immaterial and irrelevant. It's immaterial because it's nothing but a smokescreen. They're intentionally asking you for something they feel you can't provide. And when you can't provide it, they feel they'll then have an excuse to continue being an atheist. Which is their motive. They're not searching for truth at all, and nor are they being honest. Because no matter what proof you show them, they'll only say it's not good enough. Which is their intent. To make you think there's not enough evidence to convince them to change. When the reality is, they have no intention of changing, no matter what proof you show them. Their request is irrelevant because the system of God has never required anyone to have proof to believe in God and be saved. Instead, all that is required is faith. That you have faith in the preacher. The system also doesn't require you to have faith in some invisible spirit you've never seen. Instead, all it requires is you have faith in him whom you have seen: the preacher. If you can believe in the sent preacher, then you can be saved. If you can't believe in the preacher, then you shall continue on to the lake…

    Lie #5 – Atheists love to say "they can't believe in something unless it can be scientifically proven, verified, and confirmed." Hogwash. Atheists don't even follow their own rules. Then why do atheists believe God doesn't exist then? They have no proof of that. So why do they believe it then? Answer: It's because that is what they want to believe, and it has nothing to do with proof. Those same atheists will get on a plane and never even see the pilot. They don't know if he's drunk or high on cocaine. Yet they trust and believe he's able to fly the plane. They'll buy food from the supermarket, and have no idea if the food is contaminated or not. When have you ever seen an atheist rush home and do scientific tests on food before eating it, to verify it is safe? Atheists don't do that. They simply trust and believe the food is safe. So why can't they have the same trust in God? Why can't they have the same belief in the preacher? Answer: It is because they don't want to. There is no other reason…

    It is easy to understand why atheists are such big liars. In fact, every atheist I've ever met has been a pathological liar. They lie so much because they have no God to keep them moral, and they have nothing to constrain them to keep them honest. Therefore, most will lie in a heartbeat and will lie whenever it suits them and think nothing of it. In fact, most will lie until their dying breath. Why? It is because they are atheists. And it is because they are without God…

    January 5, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Lengthy post by 'Opposing View' above largely consists of multiple instances of the ad hominem fallacy and strawman arguments.

      http://fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      January 5, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
    • Piccolo

      I know I've read this nonsense somewhere else. It's hilarious that you refer to atheists as liars, simply because they don't believe your ridiculous world view. Nothing you mentioned is actually a lie. This should be called the 5 lies of Opposing View. Easily debunked and what's even funnier is I don't have to call all Christians liars or make some other generalizing insults to do it.

      1. Atheists say that there is no OBJECTIVE evidence for god. That means, tangible, scientific, verifiable, observable evidence. It's funny how you refer to something else that is completely unverifiable such as the gospels of Jesus. That is circular reasoning and your evidence is completely subjective. There is also subjective evidence that wizards existed in the ancient past. The story of Frodo Baggins is all the evidence you need!

      2. Same argument rehashed into another. Jesus cannot be verified. God cannot be verified. The supernatural events in the bible cannot be verified. If you could show evidence that Jesus actually did ANY of those things written in ancient texts you'd have a point, but you can't. In fact the texts all contradict each other and were written decades after the alleged crucifixion. Again, the same standard of proof can be applied to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Frodo could turn invisible from a magic ring. That's all the evidence you need!!

      3. You are once again wrong. Proving something wrong isn't the same thing as proving a negative. It has to do with existence, not hypotheses about things in the world. You cannot logically assume something exists with no evidence. Christians constantly say to prove god wrong, which is on equal footing to asking to prove Frodo Baggins wrong. And BTW, flat earth was an assumption that a large portion of the world did not believe. It was never a scientific viewpoint, it was a guess because the earth "looked flat" and we didn't have the science to fully test that. You have a very warped view of atheism and logic. If you suggest something exists, the burden of proof is on YOU, not the person who says you are wrong. Can you prove Frodo Baggins wrong? Can you prove invisible unicorns don't exist? Can you prove FSM doesn't exist? If you honestly think that "but you can't prove god wrong" is a logical argument for god, you need a course in logic. There are millions of things you can't prove wrong, but that doesn't mean they are right.

      4. That isn't a lie, it's simple logic. No evidence = I don't believe in it. It's a very simple philosophy, and it is 100% honest. If I'm going to believe something of that magnitude, I'm not going to do it blindly because some ancient texts say so. YOU are lying when you claim that atheists wouldn't believe if you showed them the physical proof. So basically religion requires you to put your faith in MAN, not god and you just admitted it! Hilarious!

      5. The same exact argument as #4. When somebody gets on a plane, they know there is a pilot because he routinely speaks with them and planes cannot yet fly themselves. Pilots are proven to exist and are necessary to flying a plane. God has not been shown to be required for ANY function of nature. NOT ONE. I have never once heard god speak and nobody else in the world has either. Of course you can blindly believe ancient outdated texts to be the word of god, but again, that's similar to believing the story of Frodo Baggins as fact. Atheists don't perform tests on their food because there are companies and organizations that already do it and there is verifiable proof that they do. Your idea of faith is comical. Atheists don't believe in god because there's no evidence. Sorry but that's the truth and to claim that YOU KNOW the answer as to whether or not he exists would be a LIE, because nobody knows.

      Funny that you call all atheists liars every 2-3 sentences, but don't even know what a lie is. You need to take a logic course because none of what you said is logical in the least. It sounds like ramblings of a 3rd grader.

      January 6, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
  9. christiansteve

    Pharisees have failed to offer a single argument to defend their faith. The best they can do is to ask questions and run.

    January 5, 2014 at 9:47 am |
    • Opposing View

      That is all they ever do. Which is precisely why I won't waste my time debating with them. I'll say what I have to say and they can take it or leave it. It's true what they say that "fools hate knowledge"…

      Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction…

      Proverbs 1:22 – the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge…

      January 5, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
      • 00 00

        dodo, i mean ov, y do u love jesus?

        January 7, 2014 at 7:22 pm |
  10. Opposing View

    The question was asked… "if god knows what i am going to do before i do it, and god cannot be wrong, how does free will exist?… I normally don't respond to such rubbish but in this case I'll provide the answer...

    (Excerpt from my post "Every Person Born on Earth Existed Once Before.)…

    …Every person born on earth existed prior to that moment. Your soul existed. And in that place where you existed, God tested your soul to see if you'd choose good or evil. To see if you'd choose the ways of God or choose the ways of the devil. For those who chose "good", God labeled your soul as a sheep. For those who chose "evil", he labeled your soul as a goat. He then erased your memory and he placed you on earth where you were born. Have you ever wondered where that feeling of deja vu comes from, the felling you've done certain things before? That is where. It is because you really have done certain things before, only you don't remember it. All souls went through that testing stage, the stage where God tested your soul to find out if you were a sheep or a goat. Therefore, God already knows if you're a sheep or not. And he also knows if you're a goat. That is why Jesus said, "I know my sheep, and I shall loose not a one of them". Thus, God already knows what you're going to do before you do it, and he knows what you're going to think before you think it. How? It's because you made those same choices once before. And you'll make those same choices again…

    Disclaimer: The above is all I will say on the topic, and I'm not trying to convince you of anything. Nor do I expect many to believe it. I'm only telling you the truth. You can take it or leave it…

    January 4, 2014 at 11:13 am |
    • doobzz

      " I'm only telling you the truth."

      Hilarious.

      January 4, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
    • midwest rail

      When A.B. is bored....

      January 4, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
      • doobzz

        Yeah, I suppose.

        January 4, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
      • Trez

        If this is AB, he needs to scrap this character. Obnoxious is what comes to mind with this one.

        What an ass

        January 4, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
    • nullcodes

      Do you have any evidence, even biblical, for any of that? For example take each sentence in the following paragraph of yours:

      "Every person born on earth existed prior to that moment. Your soul existed. And in that place where you existed, God tested your soul to see if you'd choose good or evil. To see if you'd choose the ways of God or choose the ways of the devil. For those who chose "good", God labeled your soul as a sheep. For those who chose "evil", he labeled your soul as a goat. He then erased your memory and he placed you on earth where you were born"

      Now, do you have ANY evidence or proof that even one of those sentences is true, let alone all of them? Each sentence has a high probability of being untrue, and when you add more and more dubious assertions that you take as "fact" .. it only weakens your argument even more. Basically, your premises are not based on any evidence therefore your argument is based on fantasy and very likely to be false.

      January 4, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      So......No one has free will any more because they're already labeled according to the free will they expressed in some spiritual realm before we were born? LOL!!

      Great job, OV, according to your view, it doesn't matter what any does, ever. God's already "labeled" them.

      January 4, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
    • l33ter

      Not sure where you get your truth. Have you ever met or even seen a shepherd? There are many in the Middle East. The to "know your sheep" is to know which ones belong to you. A shepherd can ID his sheep, if any strange ones come amongst them, and if any are missing. Is this from the bible? Doubt it.

      January 4, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
    • mzh

      To OV:

      “Your soul existed” – no one knows about the soul except the one who created…

      Here is one of the places in the Quran that talks about the soul when Muhammad was asked about soul and than the answer came from the one who created the universe:

      January 4, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
    • mzh

      17:85 – And they ask you (O Muhammad SAW) concerning the Ruh (the Soul); Say: "The Ruh (the Soul): it is one of the things, the knowledge of which is only with my Lord. And of knowledge, you (mankind) have been given only a little."

      January 4, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
    • Piccolo

      Thanks for defining the exact problem with many theists today. They claim that their viewpoint is fact and truth, but when asked to prove it they say it's based on faith. That directly contradicts itself. We know you believe it, but don't say your beliefs are truth, because they aren't. They are BELIEFS. Please try just a LITTLE bit of honesty, please. You just went into a tirade about atheists being liars (which was all lies by you), and now you are claiming that you know the absolute truth about something that nobody could possibly know. Atheists wouldn't speak out against religious folk as often if they would simply admit that their religion is based on faith and stop trying to peddle it off as truth or fact. It's not either.

      January 6, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
  11. MrBlohm

    "In Germany, we have experience with two totalitarian systems–with the Nazi system and with the Communist system–and we do not want this to happen again."
    –Thomas Gandow, protestant minister and open critic of atheism

    January 3, 2014 at 7:02 pm |
    • ?

      How freaking strange that you would conflate totalitarian dictators with atheism. Especially because Nazis WERENT.

      January 3, 2014 at 7:58 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Totalitarian: God's system: King/servant
      Communism: The early church in Acts and the "best functioning" system according to every authority on the New Testament and the church

      Atheism: a disbelief in gods that are invisible, undetectable, and--as far as we can tell--irrelevant.

      January 3, 2014 at 11:06 pm |
      • l33ter

        Karl Marx was the inventor of communism and was not around in biblical times. Communism provides that private property exists only after surplus is achieved. What attributes of this "early church" lend you credit to label it as communist?

        Where do you learn about the "early church"?

        January 4, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Communism is living as a communal body sharing wealth and goods. Have you read your own bible???? In the book of Acts??? The description is a perfect fit.

          But I can understand why you'd want to argue this point instead of my point about god being a tyrant who breaks his own rules and tortures people and uses the fear of torture to get what he wants.

          January 4, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
  12. Walker

    "It's only science if I want it to be"

    —Richard Dawkins, Inventor of Science

    January 3, 2014 at 11:29 am |
    • mzh

      Sounds arrogant....

      He it is Who has created you from clay, and then has decreed a stated term (for you to die). And there is with Him another determined term (for you to be resurrected), yet you doubt (in the Resurrection). – 6:2

      Have they not seen how many a generation before them We have destroyed whom We had established on the earth such as We have not established you? And We poured out on them rain from the sky in abundance, and made the rivers flow under them. Yet We destroyed them for their sins, and created after them other generations. – 6:6

      O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you. – 4:1

      Peace!!!

      January 3, 2014 at 11:58 am |
      • Saraswati

        Yes, we get that god was a murderous jerk in all forms of the Abrahamic religion.

        January 3, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
        • mzh

          Sara:

          The Almighty God is soooo much merciful to the mankind that we would not be able to imagine... if there is One Who is in control of everything then there will be only ONE truth... its human who brings the misfortune upon them and not The Almighty God....

          AS FOR THE ABRAHAMIC RELIGION – Abraham (pbuh) was way before these religions and how could one say that a grandfather was a follower of his grand grand grand child? Would you be agreed that your grandfather was what you are following? But human makes stories whatever pleases them... and actually this is also another example of The Almighty is being merciful to them who accuses incorrectly either to The Almighty God (by saying that He has a son or daughter or any sort of associations) or to human (by saying that the human is son of God and so on)... have you seen anyone being punished? nope i have not seen and I do not hope for it either but i hope The Almighty God will open and guide their hearts towards the Truth...

          3:65 – O People of the Scripture, why do you argue about Abraham while the Torah and the Gospel were not revealed until after him? Then will you not reason?

          3:67 – Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was one inclining toward truth, a Muslim [submitting to Allah ]. And he was not of the polytheists.

          3:68 – Indeed, the most worthy of Abraham among the people are those who followed him [in submission to Allah ] and this prophet, and those who believe [in his message]. And Allah is the ally of the believers.

          Laki assalam!!!

          January 3, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
        • sam stone

          mzh: the monotheistic gods the middle east are vindictive, petty pr1cks.

          January 3, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
        • Austin

          Sam Stone
          John 3:17 ►

          Parallel Verses
          For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

          The "Son of God", is Gods full expression of Love.
          Philippians 2:5-11

          5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,[a] 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[b] being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

          January 3, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
        • mzh

          Sam: The monotheistic and gods – two different thing… if it is monotheistic, it has to be God (the word God is both pluralistic and can be both male and female, but Allah word in Arabic has no plural or different gender) and if you gods then it has to be polytheistic…

          And God The Almighty is One… whether you go to mid east, farther east or as far west as you can go… or up or underneath of the earth… where would you go? And also if you see human being cant stay an inch above the ground as we have been created to be on the ground… but unfortunately we human being are so ungrateful to our The Creator…

          Peace to you my friend…

          January 3, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
        • Austin

          mzh
          Father Son and Holy Spirit, are one. They are not 3 different God's. He is one God with 3 forms, and He can transfigure into anything He wants. God is not limited to human perception.

          January 3, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
        • sam stone

          Wow, Austin, you can quote a book!!!

          I can only speak for myself, but i find that very impressive indeed.

          So, what were you in the stripey hole for? Boink a little girl? A little boy? Rob a bank? Kill someone?

          Come on, Austin, confession is good for the soul

          Tell me, I promise it won't go any further

          January 3, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • Austin

          sam stone, i got behind the wheel impaired. it was a misdemeanor.

          January 3, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
        • mzh

          Sam:
          Here is a great example of the use of ‘Free Will’…

          Here is one faith – claims monotheistic by make three as one
          Here is another faith – totally against it and pure monotheistic and if you explain these both to a kindergarten student and I pretty sure would be able to separate it…

          Now, both can not be Truth but either one has to be truth but we have followers all over the world practicing either one of these two…

          If you want to go further… we take the examples of Hindus who believes thousands of Gods/Goddesses OR Atheists…

          Have you seen anyone is not being blessed with the common bounties to the mankind which are the sun, the wind, the oxygen, the moon and water and anything, you name it? The answer is NO… everyone is being well taken care regardless of they believe… this is one of the definition of The Creator The Almighty is being merciful to the entire mankind and the other definition is the use of ‘free will’…

          Just a thought that I wanted to share with you my friend but not asking you buy it… :)

          Peace!!!

          January 3, 2014 at 10:16 pm |
        • sam stone

          mzh: i am not buying it. your example has nothing to do with free will.

          please answer this direct question directly.....if god knows what i am going to do before i do it, and god cannot be wrong, how does free will exist?

          none of the christian posters to this blog have even approached a rational answer to this, and i am not optimistic that you will either.

          but, give it a try

          January 4, 2014 at 8:20 am |
        • mzh

          Good Morning Sam:

          I think we are looking into the concept of ‘Free Will’ from 2 different ways…

          I was saying the ‘Free Will’ to choose what you want to believe or you don’t want to believe at all… as we have humans around the earth choose any deities they want, whether in a human form or in an object or in any animals or making three etc etc… this is because of human has the free will otherwise you would find entire mankind worshipping One True God The Creator of the heavens, earth and anything between them…

          Peace!!!

          January 4, 2014 at 9:37 am |
        • mzh

          @Austin

          I think if we take a kinder garden student and explain this – he/she will say that how can three be one... its three... the entire egg is one but when you break it, its not one any more... it has three visible substances... anyways, I only hope the best for you and i ask Allah The Almighty our Lord and The Lord of the entire creation so that your hearts will open to see the truth...

          112:1 – Say, "He is Allah , [who is] One,
          112:2 – Allah-us-Samad (The Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, He neither eats nor drinks).
          112:3 – He begets not, nor was He begotten;
          112:4 – And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.
          20:8 – Allah! La ilahla illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He)! To Him belong the Best Names.

          3:85 – Say, "We have believed in Allah and in what was revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Descendants, and in what was given to Moses and Jesus and to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [submitting] to Him."

          2:285 – The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and [so have] the believers. All of them have believed in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers, [saying], "We make no distinction between any of His messengers." And they say, "We hear and we obey. [We seek] Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the [final] destination."

          Peace my friend...

          January 4, 2014 at 9:47 am |
        • Bagel Mode

          mzh, why would an omnipotent being, this "god" that you claim, require "worship" (or anything else) from us, such as your holy book instructs you? For that and many other reasons, we can reject the god depicted in the Quran as complete nonsense. To be fair, we can do that with the Christian "god" also.

          January 4, 2014 at 9:49 am |
        • sam stone

          Amazing. You, like other theists, dance around the DIRECT question, not giving a DIRECT answer. I will try to make it as simple as possible for you.

          if i apparently have two choices, A or B, and god KNOWS i am going to choose B, and god cannot be wrong,what are the chances that I am going to choose A and prove god wrong?

          Try to answer that directly.

          Secondly, if belief is a choice, I have an intellectual exercise for you.

          Try very, very hard to believe that there is a tiny, invisible squirrel driving a tiny, invisible 1954 buick around saturn. contemplate it, pray on it for days and days. can you believe it? if not, why not? do you find it impossible to believe what you think is unbelievable? if that is the case, why do you think others can do the same?

          January 4, 2014 at 10:24 am |
        • sam stone

          "this is because of human has the free will otherwise you would find entire mankind worshipping One True God The Creator of the heavens, earth and anything between them…"

          only if that "One True God The Creater of the heavens, earth and anything else between them" wanted everyone to worshp him. you totally dismiss the possibility that the god does not want everyone to worship him. after all, several of our most delusional christian posters claim that god uses both mercy and judgement for his own glory. would that not include setting aside some (in this case way more than half the world) to torture forever to glorify himself?

          January 4, 2014 at 10:35 am |
        • sam stone

          i am not saying that free will is impossible. i AM

          January 4, 2014 at 10:37 am |
        • sam stone

          ...saying that free will is incompatible with a god that knows our choices before we make them.

          January 4, 2014 at 10:39 am |
        • mzh

          To BM:

          First of all I am not the one to answer your question as I am just a human being like you...

          Second, let me ask you something... at your work, don't you try to do things to please your manager or are you try to please your parents through whom you saw the world? now wouldn't you be humble yourself to The One Who created you and taking care of you and your systems running inside / outside of your body?

          Peace be upon you my friend...

          January 4, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
      • Reality # 2

        Once again for the brainwashed- from- birth mzh and his fellow sisters and brothers of Islam:

        From the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi----–

        The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

        ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

        Are you ready?

        Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

        The First Five of the 77 Branches:

        "1. Belief in Allah"

        aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons.

        "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

        Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

        "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

        A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

        "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

        Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

        Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

        Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

        "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings
        be upon him) alone."

        Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

        Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

        Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

        Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

        January 3, 2014 at 5:14 pm |
        • Bagel Mode

          Great stuff, Reality. Keep up the good work.

          January 4, 2014 at 9:51 am |
      • mzh

        Reality2:

        Have you considered knowing about the crusade? These people ate the flesh of human...

        I said it before and I am saying it again my friend that Islam does not allow violence but people with the name of Islam do that and we do not know what is the reason behind... mostly it would be for some earthly benefit or political issues or something but not for Islam...

        [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLidFSx47-o&w=640&h=390]

        Peace my friend and keep up the good work as BM said... :)

        January 4, 2014 at 10:28 am |
        • Fallacy Spotting 101

          Post by mzh incorporates an instance of the Two Wrongs Make a Right fallacy.

          http://fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

          January 4, 2014 at 10:40 am |
        • Reality # 2

          And once again to show the violence and horror that is Islam :

          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. Iraqi civilians killed as of 05/10/2013/, 113,249-123,978 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
          o
          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

          27) Boston Marathon horror – April 2013, four dead, hundreds injured and maimed for life.

          January 5, 2014 at 8:34 am |
        • Piccolo

          ^I just hope you're not a Christian, because just as much, if not more can be attributed to that religion.

          January 6, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          Freedom of Information:

          The Twenty (or so) Worst Things GOD'S CREATURES 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

          January 7, 2014 at 12:52 am |
    • Saraswati

      Citation?

      January 3, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
      • mzh

        I am sorry... I am not sure what did you mean by that?

        January 3, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
        • Saraswati

          That message was for Walker, the OP.

          January 3, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
      • mzh

        ah okay...

        January 3, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Please site the source of your quote. I can't seem to find it anywhere else. Are you just another liar for Jesus, Walker?

      January 4, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
      • Piccolo

        No way! Christians NEVER bear false witness!

        January 6, 2014 at 3:39 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.