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July 8th, 2011
10:23 AM ET

Contested Israeli settlements welcome evangelical Christian tourists

By Kevin Flower, CNN

West Bank (CNN) - Boarding a bulletproof bus to travel through one of the Middle East's perennial hot spots may not be most people's idea of a fun vacation activity, but for a growing number of Christians visiting West Bank settlements, it’s becoming an obligatory part of their visit to the Holy Land.

So it was that Marie Louise Weissenbock and a handful of other Austrian tourists came to tour the Israeli settlement of Shilo, where the Bible says the sanctuary for the tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written – a place known as the Tabernacle - resided for nearly four centuries.

"It's a very significant place in the Bible,” she said. “And it’s important for us to see where the roots lie and to be here ourselves."

Shiloh is just one of dozens of important biblical locations scattered throughout the West Bank, but the Austrians’ visit was about more than just getting in touch with spiritual roots. It was also about expressing support for the Jewish settlement of land Israel occupied since the Jewish state’s 1967 war with Arab neighbors.

Shilo is home to over 2,000 Israeli settlers who began moving to the area just over three decades ago.

Weissenbock and her fellow travellers are members of Christians for Israel International , a group dedicated to spreading understanding of what it calls “God's purposes for Israel and to promote comfort of Israel through prayer and action.”

The group’s recent tour of Shilo is part of a growing effort by some of Israel's 300,000 West Bank settlers to explain to the outside world why they choose to live on land claimed by Palestinians and continue to build houses that the international community views as illegal.

Shilat Kahalani, a tour organizer, says that last year some 30,000 tourists came through Shilo. This year, she expects that number to increase to 40,000.

"Some groups come out of their own interest,” she said. “They know this is a Bible land and they know that there are deep roots here and they come here to see it with their own eyes. Some come here to understand the politics better."

Kahalani said the decision to open up settlements to tours was necessary to counter what she says is an inaccurate public perception of settlers.

"We know that if people just opened their eyes and saw, then they would see the truth,” she said. “What we see in the media and the picture that is drawn of us abroad is not true and we decided the only way to really take out the story is to open up and say, ‘Just come and look.’ "

As the bus slowly drove past the red-tiled roofs of Shilo's homes, Kahalani explained to the Austrians that most of the world misunderstands the settlers’ relations with Palestinians.

"They enjoy a higher standard of living thanks to the Jewish population that lives here,” she said, referring to the Palestinians.

It's a narrative rejected by the 2.5 million Palestinians who live in the West Bank and who say that the scores of settlements like Shilo deny the viability of a future Palestinian state and constitute an Israeli land grab.

But for the pro-Israel Austrian tourists, the settlers’ message is resonating.

"I think that just in the European and American countries, they know too little about the real facts here," said Weissenbock.

"If you come here, you see how much space there is and you really ask the people and get a history of the place,” she said. “It’s really a different picture."

And while the organizers of the tours acknowledge that the majority of the visitors are Christian evangelicals, they argue they are doing more than preaching to the converted.

"I know it has changed many things and I know that people have changed their minds just walking around, without me saying anything," said Kahalani.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Israel

soundoff (152 Responses)
  1. sheela jawani

    @eric.....this blog is updated on daily and weekly basis. when i started going on this blog i thought it might be just another blog as usual but the posts really got me attracted and made me wait for their next posts....mmmuuaaahhhh.

    July 11, 2011 at 4:17 am |
  2. eric james

    @sheela, the blog http://www.delivermyticket.com is really interesting i have just gone through its one post and found interest in reading other post too. Is this updated daily with new post?

    July 11, 2011 at 4:14 am |
  3. sheela jawani

    Forget it guyz ....its a world and these issues happen every time in the world.....divert your mind from it......how about reading some useful tricks on http://www.delivermyticket.com blog itz really a cool blog you know....these people are different from the world like alliens mind 🙂

    July 11, 2011 at 4:08 am |
  4. Rational Thought

    Christians and Muslims have caused the vast majority of human suffering with their unholy, self-righteous zealousness to cram their ridiculous, implausibe religious beliefs upon everyone else. Jews do not try to convert others, but instead of being left alone while the two big converter religions duke it out, we end-up getting attacked by both. All you religious zealots are brainwashed lemmings. FYI to Xtians: Jesus was Jewish. He preached the principles of Judaism, not the perverted idol worship cult your predecessors invented in his name. Jesus would freak-out if he saw the crap you made up. Hell?? Jesus didn't believe in hell. He was also not a result of a "virgin birth." These additions to your religion were made hundreds of years after his death. Many say he didn't die on the cross, but instead was rescued after surviving into the sabbath (when the near-dead were thrown in a big sarcophagus to die). Rescues were fairly common. Popped around once, then layed low the rest of his mortal life. Some hero.

    July 10, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
    • Keith

      what a load of crap.

      July 11, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  5. DiamondSky

    All Israel will be saved at the end, trusting in Jesus their very own, the long-awaited Messiah.

    July 10, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
  6. William

    It's very , very, very nice in understanding that soon the land of Israel will belong to the Christians, and that it will be the home of Jesus.

    July 10, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  7. Drake

    If these Christian Zionists care for Christ, not only for Zion, let them learn what Jews and Moslems feel towards Christ. Rami Rozen expressed the Jewish tradition in a long feature in a major Israeli newspaper Haaretz[i]: “Jews feel towards Jesus today what they felt in 4 c or in the Middle Ages… It is not fear, it is hatred and despise”. “For centuries, Jews concealed from Christians their hate to Jesus, and this tradition continues even now”. “He is revolting and repulsive”, said an important modern religious Jewish thinker. Rozen writes that this “repulsion passed from the observant Jews to the general Israeli public”.

    On Christmas Eve, according to a report in the Jerusalem local paper, Kol Ha-Ir[ii], Hassids customarily do not read holy books, as it could save Jesus from eternal punishment (the Talmud teaches that Jesus boils in hell[iii]). This custom was dying out, but Hassids of Habad, the fervent nationalists, brought it back to life. I still remember old Jews spitting while passing by a church, and cursing the dead, while passing by a Christian cemetery. Last year in Jerusalem, a Jew decided to refresh the tradition. He spat at Holy Cross, carried in the procession along the city. Police saved him from further trouble, but the court fined him $50, despite his claim that he just fulfilled his religious duty.

    Last year, the biggest Israeli tabloid Yedioth Aharonoth reprinted in its library the Jewish anti-Gospel, Toledoth Eshu, compiled in the Middle Ages. It is the third recent reprint, including one in a newspaper. If the Gospel is the book of love, Toledoth is the book of hate for Christ. The hero of the book is Judas. He captures Jesus by polluting his purity. According to Toledoth, the conception of Christ was in sin, the miracles of Jesus were witchcraft, his resurrection but a trick.

    Joseph Dan, a Professor of Jewish mysticism in Hebrew University in Jerusalem, writing on the death of Jesus stated: “The modern Jewish apologists, hesitantly adopted by the church, preferred to put the blame on Romans. But the medieval Jew did not wish to pass the buck. He tried to prove that Jesus had to be killed, and he was proud of killing Him. The Jews hated and despised Christ and Christians”. Actually, adds Prof. Dan, there is little place to doubt that the Jewish enemies of Jesus caused his execution.

    Even today, Jews in Israel refer to Jesus by the demeaning word Yeshu (instead of Yeshua), meaning ‘Perish his name’. There is an ongoing argument, whether His name was turned into a swear word, or other way around. In a similar pun, the Gospel is called ‘Avon Gilaion’, the booklet of Sin. These are the endearing feeling of the friends of Christian Zionists towards Christ.

    What about Moslems? The Moslems venerate Christ. He is called ‘The Word of God”, “Logos”, Messiah, the Prophet and is considered “a Messenger of God”, along with Abraham, Moses and Muhammad. Many chapters of the Kor’an tell the story of Christ, his virgin birth and his persecution by Jews. His saintly mother is admired, and the Immaculate Conception is one of the tenets of Islam. The name of Christ glorifies the golden edifice of Haram a-Sharif. According to the Moslem faith, it was there that the founder of Islam met Jesus, and they prayed together. The Hadith, the Moslem tradition, says in the name of the prophet, ‘We do not forbid you to believe in Christ, we order you to”. Moslems identify their prophet with Paracletes, the Helper (Jn 14:16) whose coming was predicted by Jesus. They venerate places associated with the life of Jesus: the place of Ascension, the Tomb of Lazarus, the Holy Sepulchre are adjacent to a mosque and perfectly accessible by Christians.

    July 10, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  8. Kevin

    The "rapture" Prophets for PROFIT are ANTI-Christ DEATH CULTISTS. God/Jesus put you in this LIFE to learn "soul lessons", to increase your consciousness to the point of Redemption. Hagee and his Ilk REJECT the LIFE God gave you, and dangle a "shortcut" in front of people, just as SATAN dangled Temptation in front of Jesus. Do not follow the ANTI-Christ lies of FALSE prophets. Their "shortcut" of cheating God's lessons does NOT lead to Heaven, any more than cheating on school work teaches you the subject. Hagee, Robertson, the whole group, do NOT believe in anything except the MONEY they collect for leading their Flocks astray.
    These prophets for PROFIT are slaves to this, the material world. The Prince of PEACE told you his Kingdom IS NOT OF THIS EARTH, why do you refuse to LISTEN?!
    YOU "Zionist-christians" are being trained to REJECT Christ ..... and converted to Judaism.
    "As for the final result of the Messianic revolution it will always be the same...the nations will be converted to Judaism and will obey the law, or else they will be destroyed, and the Jews will be the masters of the world." (G. Batault, Le probleme juif, p. 135; The Secret Powers Behind Revolution, by Vicomte Leon de Poncins, pp. 203-204)

    "Judeo-Christian" is an OXYMORON. WAR-God vs PEACE-God. The Old Testament followers worship a WAR GOD and spend their lives hating, reliving every imagined slight, and dreaming of VENGENCE ..... "NEVER FORGIVE and NEVER FORGET" .... they still go on about Egypt and Babylon after MILLENIA. New Testament followers (are supposed to) worship a loving, forgiving God, and to CLOSE the Old Testament, as it has been FULLFILLED by the Crucifixion of Jesus. If you are following the OLD Testament you ARE NOT and CANNOT be a CHRISTian. Jesus TOLD you "NO man can serve TWO masters".

    July 10, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  9. Hans

    Who are the Israelis? They are East European Kazars and Asskenazis who had no historic roots in Palistine at all. They are not even Semites. The small number of sheperdic Jews in Palistine lived in peace with the Muslims and Christians. Until the East Europeans started comming illegally into the land and started building fortified settlements from where they began expelling the Palestinians by force and taking their lands.

    July 10, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  10. Big Man

    I find this sort of tourism offending. Israelis will do anything for money.
    This is like nazis offering tours of newly acquired lebensraum lands in Poland spotted with concentration camps.

    July 10, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • RoyBatty

      A thoroughly idiotic and immoral response as expected from Israel haters.No West Bank Palestinian is looking to escape from the "concentration camp" of the "occupied territories".
      Arguing with pin heads like Big Man is like shooting fish in a barrell but every now and then it has to be done.

      July 10, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  11. Hans

    Birds of a feather flock together. Extremists love end welcome eachother.

    July 10, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  12. DiamondSky

    Israel can count on the Evangelical Christians till the end of the world under any situation. Her only de-pen-dable non-Jewish friends in this world. Israel, your God(Jesus) has come for you in your midst. Trust Him.

    July 10, 2011 at 4:22 am |
    • hyperbola

      I wonder how many of our "evangelicals" know that Jerusalem had a CHRISTIAN majority until they were ethnic cleansed by zionists. It still would have if the zionists were required to give back to the real owners all of the land and property that they stole.

      I wonder if our "evangelicals" know that the Arabs had to rescue the christian population of Palestine when the jews destoyed most of the churches in the Holy Land and carried out massive genocides of christians in the 7th century?

      I wonder how many of our "evangelicals" know that jews ran the Gulag in the Soviet Union and were responsible for killing over 10 million people.

      Can someone who supports the robbing, killing and ethnic cleansing of other christians even be considered a christian?

      July 10, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • DiamondSky

      @Hyperbora, your statements are disportionate regarding the whole history; you are another meaningless Jew hater. Summary: the whole world oppressed the Jews and tried to annihilate them; ALL of us owe them to give them back their land.

      July 10, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
  13. JW

    i am a cool guy. All the women should date me.

    July 10, 2011 at 2:34 am |
  14. journeys

    Everyone is allowed to believe as they want or not believe and to worship or not as theyt want.

    July 10, 2011 at 1:44 am |
  15. Muneef

    The Bible, the Quran, and Science
    by Dr. Maurice Bucaille
    THE HOLY SCRIPTURES EXAMINED IN THE LIGHT
    OF MODERN KNOWLEDGE
    Translated from French
    by Alastair D. Pannell and The Author

    In his objective study of the texts, Maurice Bucaille clears' away many preconceived ideas about the Old Testament, the Gospels and the Quran. He tries, in this collection of Writings, to separate what belongs to Revelation from what is the product of error or human interpretation. His study sheds new light on the Holy Scriptures. At the end of a gripping account, he places the Believer before a point of cardinal importance: the continuity of a Revelation emanating from the same God, with modes of expression that differ in the course of time. It leads us to meditate upon those factors which, in our day, should spiritually unite rather than divide-Jews, Christians and Muslims.

    The results of his research into the Judeo-Christian Revelation and the Quran are set out in this book.
    http://www.islam-guide.com/bqs/
    -----

    The Bible,the Quran and Science .
    by
    Dr. Maurice Bucaille
    http://www.kalamullah.com/Books/BibleQuranScience.pdf
    ------

    July 9, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
    • Keith

      Muneef, Hello. Are you suggesting we all worship the same God? That Allah, Jehovah, YHWH, Jesus are the same? In other words, what is known as universalism or maybe Chrislam? Please clarify. Thanks.

      July 10, 2011 at 8:35 am |
    • Muneef

      Allah means God. The faith of Abraham was Monotheism "Being a Single God" to worship...God said he had all the beautiful names...so what ever name given to him be different nations or beliefs does not make him many but makes the paths of beliefs many,becoming into fighting each other for their paths although all end to the one God they all worship...
      But about the names you mentioned I know not what it represents but for Jesus can say he was a Holy spirit,word and powers of God but was not God but rather the miracle of God on Earth which man did not appreciate having and condemned to death just as many others after him accused with witchcrafts when if they were not prophets or messengers of God,they would be scientists or freethinkers or freemen...

      July 10, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • Keith

      John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and Word was with God, and the Word was God. Jesus is deity. He is God, not just a mere man. John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. Jesus is the only way to eternal life- all other roads lead to destruction. The Bible is quite clear on that fact. There is one Way to God and Jesus is it. Universalism is yet another way of deception put for by the father of lies- Satan.

      July 10, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
    • Muneef

      Keith.

      The message were the scriptures;

      Honoring Previous Scripture

      [5:44] We have sent down the Torah, containing guidance and light. Ruling in accordance with it were the Jewish prophets, as well as the rabbis and the priests, as dictated to them in GOD's scripture, and as witnessed by them. Therefore, do not reverence human beings; you shall reverence Me instead. And do not trade away My revelations for a cheap price. Those who do not rule in accordance with GOD's revelations are the disbelievers.

      The Law of Equivalence

      [5:45] And we decreed for them in it that: the life for the life, the eye for the eye, the nose for the nose, the ear for the ear, the tooth for the tooth, and an equivalent injury for any injury. If one forfeits what is due to him as a charity, it will atone for his sins. Those who do not rule in accordance with GOD's revelations are the unjust.

      The Gospel of Jesus: Guidance and Light

      [5:46] Subsequent to them, we sent Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming the previous scripture, the Torah. We gave him the Gospel, containing guidance and light, and confirming the previous scriptures, the Torah, and augmenting its guidance and light, and to enlighten the righteous.

      [5:47] The people of the Gospel shall rule in accordance with GOD's revelations therein. Those who do not rule in accordance with GOD's revelations are the wicked.

      Quran: The Ultimate Reference

      [5:48]** Then we revealed to you this scripture, truthfully, confirming previous scriptures, and superseding them. You shall rule among them in accordance with GOD's revelations, and do not follow their wishes if they differ from the truth that came to you. For each of you, we have decreed laws and different rites. Had GOD willed, He could have made you one congregation. But He thus puts you to the test through the revelations He has given each of you. You shall compete in righteousness. To GOD is your final destiny – all of you – then He will inform you of everything you had disputed.

      [5:49] You shall rule among them in accordance with GOD's revelations to you. Do not follow their wishes, and beware lest they divert you from some of GOD's revelations to you. If they turn away, then know that GOD wills to punish them for some of their sins. Indeed, many people are wicked.

      [5:50] Is it the law of the days of ignorance that they seek to uphold? Whose law is better than GOD's for those who have attained certainty?
      ___________
       
      Not sure what you mean by Universelisem but I know that we got to respect God's will for faiths and beliefs as the verse  48 says here;

      "You shall rule among them in accordance with GOD's revelations, and do not follow their wishes if they differ from the truth that came to you. For each of you, we have decreed laws and different rites. Had GOD willed, He could have made you one congregation. But He thus puts you to the test through the revelations He has given each of you. You shall compete in righteousness. To GOD is your final destiny – all of you – then He will inform you of everything you had disputed.".

      July 11, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  16. truth

    Truth is that the israeli jews stole all this land from the palestinians and continue to brain wash the masses into thinking that they did nothing wrong and are still doing nothing wrong. If this was any other group of people or "country", the world would not allow their crimes and hypocrisy to continue

    July 9, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • Keith

      the truth is this: there is no such thing as a "palestinian". And God gave the land to Israel. That must make you a liar.

      July 9, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • ironsheik

      @Keith, Israelis are snakes that crawl on their bellies and spit venomous lies. You don't have a clue about Palestine. I hope Israel is wiped off the map like wiping poop off my butt. It will do the world alot a good.

      July 9, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • Muneef

      Allies against Islam and Muslims....besides I know the the United Nations Founders were the ones who gave what they don't own to whom does not deserve...Christian think they are using Israeli Jews to build some thing that with out which Christ will not be able to return to earth....while Israelis buying time since building same meant for them that Jesus would return to massacre Jews...so who is fooling who here??!

      Read this Link might it clarify it in better wordings than mine at a larger picture;;

      [Divisions in our world – Not the Result of Religion-Karen Armstrong talks German journalist, Andrea Bistrich]  .
      Western people have a responsibility for everybody who is suffering in
      the world.
      The divisions in our world are not the result of religion or of
      culture, but are politically based.
      The three religions of Abraham - Judaism, Christianity and Islam -
      can and should be viewed as one religious tradition that went in three
      different directions.  

      The Arab Israeli conflict has also become pivotal to Christian fundamentalists in the United States. The Christian Right believes that unless the Jews are in their land, fulfilling the ancient prophecies, Christ cannot return in glory in the Second Coming. So they are passionate Zionists; but this ideology is also anti-Semitic, because in the Last Days they believe that the Antichrist will massacre the Jews in the Holy Land if they do not accept baptism.

      (http://www.just-international.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4081:divisions-in-our-world-are-not-the-result-of-religion&catid=45:recent-articles&Itemid=123)

      July 9, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • Thinker23

      The truth is that no one complaining about "stolen Palestinian lands" was able to answer two simple questions:

      1. WHO are Palestinians?

      2. WHERE the LEGAL DEED defining the exCt boundaries of the "Palestinian lands" and PROVING that these lands are LEGALLY OWNED by the "Palestinoans" defined in the answer to the first question.

      July 9, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
    • Muneef

      Palestinians are the result of the real inhabitants (The Gaints)  of the land who the King David had killed their leader(Goliath), they are as well the result of children of israel that had remained on land and did not immigrate...they are as well a result of a mixed up with other neighboring cultures and dominant religions therefore you find the Jewish,the Christian,the Muslim among Palestinians.
      http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Articles/Prophet/dawud.htm

      July 10, 2011 at 6:56 am |
    • Thinker23

      In this case, considering that the Jews are Palestinians how come some people complain that the Jews "stole Palestinian land"? Did they steal the land from themselves?

      July 10, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Muneef

      They are multiculture and religions and no longer what they were but rather natives, while those who came were imported Jews who been kicked out of Europe into the Mideast as temporary refugees due wars against Hitler System but suddenly after a while they started acting as rightful owners fighting British troops and using pressure on America and England as founders of the UN until they got the American president to sign the do-cu-ment of Founding of The Republic of Israel as heard the president was waken up after midnight to sign it while still wearing his sleeping pajama...? Imagine the power they had to do that to a president of a big great country as the US....?! Other countries been crying loud to be heard or looked up by the US or UN but still not heard nor justice was made for them...!? Is it because there was/is no personal or public benefit out of it for their state's/countries... Or because they were not having the same tools of pressure that were used by those (Zionests) in the name of all Jews although most Jews refute the allegation that the are represented by those nor that they wanted the holy land on account of kicking it's natives out of it...!?!
      The Jews,Christians,Muslims of the same natives used to live peacefully and as equal before co-loni-zing the Mideast and during same but this wa-v-es of separation bringing di-s-trust among each faiths and among all paths to end up fearing each other,growing more con-f-licts that could end up into con-front-ations....

      July 10, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Muneef

      Strange really now that this Palestinians in w/bank and G-a-za want to unite and make up a one land country and go-vern-ment....I see every body jumping against their wishes to establish them self a separate iden-t-ity and destiny ??! Honestly it is like seeing with One Eye only and not with Two....! If feels that already the One Eyed "Dijjal" is around corrupting life and environment on plant Earth....all we await now is the return of Jesus and Al Muhdi to clean the ty-ra-nny and the filth that has over grown on earth...Amen.

      July 10, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Keith

      ironsheik, little Haman twerps like you are addressed in Psalm 83.

      July 10, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Muneef

      Blind or Powerless or Wicked World Justice is,,,
      The W/bank lands are being taken from the natives although many go deeds of ownership that date to before and at the Ottoman, some date back to British Colonial rule.
      Today and every day more lands are being taken and it's natives kicked to outer lines for being Palestinians Arabs never mind being Muslims or Christians or Jews .!
      Read what they did to keep the Palestinians and Arabs warm from that Black Year onwards;

      “Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.”
       Terry Pratchett quotes (English Writer, b.1948).

      July 10, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • Muneef

      Keith.
      Thank you for that and am not sure what to reply with really but in fear of my Lord God Almighty I wouldn't want to be as Haman in his Power, tyranny and Hatred...

      All we want is justice on earth to find peace for us and our children but to be eaten or beaten piece by piece every day for games propagated overseas and brought to our lands full of hatred towards Arabs and Islam...
      Others were propagated overseas into becoming to us as extreme Muslims spreading and financing their movement into bringing separation and destruction to each land they pass or set as within their web net....

      July 10, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • Muneef

      Keith.

      Sorry terribly sorry did not notice that it was not addressed to me...peace

      July 10, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • Keith

      Muneef, No problem. Peace.

      July 10, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
  17. AvdBerg

    For a better understanding of the issues that confront the Middle East we invite you to read the articles "World History and Developments in the Middle East" and "Clash of Civilizations" listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    July 9, 2011 at 9:25 am |
    • Ron

      I went to your website. It's simply another conservative Christian website. Granted, it's your beliefs but it still isn't a fact for everyone.

      July 9, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      I also went to the website and asked the simple question "where did you receive your education' ?
      In reply I received a form letter which said it was NOT a form letter, and did NOT (or even attempt to) answer the question.
      So much for him.

      July 9, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • Ron

      @Bucky Ball,
      The whole process of their argument is based on their interpretation of the bible and because their belief says so.
      Beliefs and facts are not always the same thing. Things stated as facts without proof and be dismissed without proof.

      July 9, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • Ron

      My fault...it should read:
      Things stated as facts without proof can be dismissed without proof.

      July 9, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
    • Hazel

      "facts without proof" doesn't exactly make a lot of sense. How about assertions or statements without proof?

      July 10, 2011 at 2:03 am |
    • Hazel

      Nevermind. I forgot to proofread again.

      July 10, 2011 at 2:04 am |
  18. DiamondSky

    North Korea = a nation where all religions were eliminated. Atheists' insane utopia for all the world to see.

    July 9, 2011 at 8:56 am |
    • Keith

      I wonder if David Johnson is from North Korea?

      July 9, 2011 at 9:36 am |
    • David Johnson

      @DiamondSky

      You said: "North Korea = a nation where all religions were eliminated. Atheists' insane utopia for all the world to see."

      North Korea's economic failure, has nothing to do with atheism. An infusion of Capitalism and Six Sigma would bring the nation out of its misery.

      Why on earth would you wish to introduce a non-existent supreme being into a country with so many problems? False hope and broken promises, they have had enough of. LOL

      Cheers!

      July 9, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Keith

      You asked: "I wonder if David Johnson is from North Korea?"

      No, but I do have some personal days coming up...

      Cheers!

      July 9, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
    • DiamondSky

      N. Korea is a failure because of its godlessness although not severe as the American movies. David Johnson, I knew you were not from there, but I think Reality wants to immigrate to N. Korea real badly.

      July 10, 2011 at 4:16 am |
    • Keith

      David Johnson, Enjoy those personal days, or any day on this earth for that matter because I'm afraid this is the only "heaven" you'll ever see. Right now you are an enemy of God-walking over a lake of fire on 1" of ice. Repent before it's too late.

      July 10, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  19. Reality

    Historical reviews and rational thinking will eliminate religions all together.

    It has begun: an example-

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

    "New Torah For Modern Minds

    Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment."

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    July 9, 2011 at 7:15 am |
    • Big Man

      Finally someone who knows the truth. People should understand this before one is considered a criminal to question (ala holocaust). This is one of the world's greatest fib.

      July 10, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  20. DiamondSky

    Evangelicals are the only true Biblical Christians; the reason secular Americans are afraid of them or hate them.

    July 9, 2011 at 2:34 am |
    • News Flash

      Oh shut up.

      July 9, 2011 at 8:58 am |
    • ironsheik

      @DiamondSky...Yes stupidity is scary.

      July 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • Ron

      Fear based on what DiamondSky, your beliefs of such? I'm sorry but I disagree. It may make you feel all puffed up at how righteous you are or how persecuted you are but I seriously doubt that any American is afraid of your belief or claims.

      July 9, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @DiamondSky

      Why do you keep changing "handles"?

      Curious in Arizona

      July 9, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @DiamondSky

      You said: "Evangelicals are the only true Biblical Christians; the reason secular Americans are afraid of them or hate them."

      Evangelicalism is a Protestant Christian movement which began in Great Britain in the 1730s.

      So, the Evangelicals are actually late comers. God had to do without true biblical Christians for 1700 years. Hmm...

      Don't you think that is unlikely? LOL

      Cheers!

      July 9, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
    • DiamondSky

      David, you're to late. Christians were Evangelical since about 30 AD. By the way, your nation was created by the British so you should respect Britain. I always wondered why Americans speak English and not other languages such as French or German.

      July 10, 2011 at 4:13 am |
    • Keith

      Isn't an evangelical one who desires to seek and save the lost, presenting the Gospel that Jesus is the only Way to eternal salvation to a lost world? Why does that receive such a negative conotation? People in a lifeboat throwing life-preservers to drowning people, yet many of the drowning people push them away and curse the person who threw it or the preserver itself? Go figure.

      July 10, 2011 at 8:45 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.