August 3rd, 2011
07:50 PM ET

Air Force: Bible and nukes don't mix

By, Barbara Starr and Jennifer Rizzo, CNN

Washington (CNN)–The Air Force has suspended an ethics briefing for new missile launch officers after concerns were raised about the briefing's heavy focus on religion.

The briefing, taught for nearly 20 years by military chaplains at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, is intended to train Air Force personnel to consider the ethics and morality of launching nuclear weapons - the ultimate doomsday machine.

Many of the slides in the 43 page presentation use a Christian justification for war, displaying pictures of saints like Saint Augustine and using biblical references.

"Abraham organized an Army to rescue Lot," one slide read, referring to the story of the Hebrew patriarch and his nephew found in the book of Genesis.

"Revelation 19:11 Jesus Christ is the mighty warrior," another slide read.

The Air Force halted the class last week after 31 missile launch officers reported the religious nature of the briefing to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a watchdog group which tries to ensure religious freedom among the troops.

"There were several things that they found disgusting," Mikey Weinstein founder of the foundation said. "The first was the fact that there is actually a slide that makes it clear that they're trying to teach that, under fundamentalist Christian doctrine, war is a good thing."

Weinstein said his group had to act.

"We were literally blown away by what we saw on the slide presentation. And one of the first things I did was to contact some of the most senior leadership for the Air Force in the Pentagon and made it very clear that this has to stop immediately," Weinstein said.

The Air Force said headquarters officials were not aware of the religious component of the ethics course, despite it being taught for nearly two decades by chaplains.  The matter came to their attention they said when they received an inquiry by Truthout.org, an online publication which initially reported the story.

Here is a link to the story and associated slides CNN obtained from Truthout.org.

"That is when we became aware of concerns about the course and our commander here reviewed the course and decided immediately that it was not appropriate for what we want to do and suspended using that briefing," David Smith, an Air Education Training Command spokesman said.

The briefing was meant to mimic an academic setting where concerns could be voiced, according to Smith who claims chaplains were used to oversee the briefing for that reason.

"A chaplain is not required to take action if concerns are voiced," Smith said.

A review is underway at the base to see if an ethics briefing is needed at all.

"Ethics discussions are an important part of professional military development and it is especially important for our airmen who are training to work with nuclear weapons because they have to make hard decisions," Smith said.  "We are looking to see if we need a briefing like this... but it will not be a religion based briefing."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church and state • Military • United States

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soundoff (1,189 Responses)
  1. TCD

    As someone who has received a Catholic education, but is sympathetic to atheists and others who resist any Christian indoctrination, I think this whole thing is overblown. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine were were the main theorists of what is called the "Just War Theory", and they appealed to reason and logic as much as they did religion. They have every right to be considered philosophers, and anyone who actually knows something about it will acknowledge their influence on examining the ethics of war.

    August 6, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  2. prophet

    what I have to say to those who crticise and insult The Goodness of Our Saviour, is that they seem to think that they are able tro insult what they believe to be wrong but no one is allowed to say anything about their opinions. It is something that they need to ask themselves

    August 6, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  3. prophet

    the chaplins that make an attempt to bless military hardware shouldn't be what they say they are, they are very misguided misinformed people and really are hypocrites as thye should be Talikng about Peace not supporting war.

    But thos is the same with most clergy, they join these religions to be more of what they really are they don't have the courage to follow what Our Saviour really has told us.

    Most people make remarks here about jesus christ, but this again shows up their ignorance on this, as Our Saviours Name was and is not jesus christ or isous kristous etc and never was. So misinformed athiests are misinformed and they are too afraid to really find out, so too most chrsitians as they are antisemtic and even the quakers are antisemtic, I was surrised to find this out and yet they say they believe in Our Saviour, what hypocrisy. We are sorry for them that they mislead others to belive the same as them. Same play different actors, whatever the religion based in christianity. All christian based religions began with the greek orthodox and catholics so if they were misleading then the misleading is even more misleading as other christian religions are showing us. Let us pray for all these that mislead the innocent.

    August 6, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  4. Karin

    Morality from the bible? Your joking right? Please read (the book in which is your **only source** of your belief system). If you are incapable of rational thought than throw in the towel now!

    August 6, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • prophet

      it seems that you have already thrown the towel in as you obviously don't know what is written in The Bible and this is obviously a low intelligence remark you made and you have given yourself anotrher opporetunity to make a fool of yourself. If you want to insuly yourself, thats your freedom to do it, but to insult The Good that has come to help you, that is what is wrong. We are praying for you because you need it.

      August 6, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • LinCA


      May I recommend that you critically evaluate the morality espoused by your bible? I mean, actually think about it and rationally evaluate what it says.

      Here is a video that might help you get started:


      August 6, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  5. Rainer Braendlein

    Pope Gregory VII. was one of the first men, mixing politics with religion. Like Muhammad he filled the world with blood, in order to increase his earthly power, honour and riches. Muhammad and the pope used religion as smoke screen for their malice:

    August 6, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Dictatus Papae (by Pope Gregory VII., the Antichrist)


      8.That the pope alone may use the imperial insignia.

      9.That of the pope alone all princes shall kiss the feet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      10.That his name alone shall be spoken in the churches.

      11.That this is the only name in the world.

      12.That it may be permitted to him to depose emperors.

      19.That he himself may be judged by no one.

      August 6, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      That is without limit: That papal laws are still valid! It’s only that the secular powers are too strong at the moment and the pope cannot behave like he wishes to behave. I hope the US will recover economically, othewise the papal monster will seize rule again.

      Joke: “I believe in God, the Pope, the Allmighty!”

      August 6, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • prophet

      this person is correct in what he says about the popes

      August 6, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  6. The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

    It seems apparent to me that Atheisms do abound. Who will such follow in their brainyards of conjured empathy and apathy? Does any Parent(s) worldwide truly treat their own children like friends and speak with them openly and without dispensations of ridicule? How many times have such parents read a book to the kids? How many times have the same parents listened to their child read a book? How many times do the religious devotees of Christendom to the sameness?

    Truth be told, "Parentally disregarding one's child/children by not being "fully enveloped" in their ongoing affairs of childhood and the teen years and even into adolecence is sinfulness in its' highest degree! 🙁

    August 6, 2011 at 10:02 am |
  7. prophet

    The Goverenmets of the world need to be what they are, they are doing a very difficult job and they have to keep nonbelievers in order because without Belief in Our Saviour there is no peace or order and all of us must observe the Laws given to us by The Major Governments that do want peace. You either live by the laws of the world or Believe in Our Saviour, but we must do both. There is a practical side to Belief as well that must be observed to keep society in a reasonable manner.

    August 6, 2011 at 9:58 am |
    • mike c

      Your savior, not mine. Jesus was a practicing Jew, not a god. The gospels were written to increase the reach and power of the early church, not to honor God.

      August 6, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  8. prophet

    At least when the Romans were in power they allowed the people their beliefs and they didn't mix it in with theirs, but of course later they then realised what power over peoiple could be had with this belief system that the catholics i.e christains took it over for their own greed and power and this is what we have now in christianity with politics, its a power thing and is not based on The Truth of what Our Saviour really Came to Tell Us.

    August 6, 2011 at 9:48 am |
  9. prophet

    Those who Truly Believe in Our Saviour of not only The Jewish people but also The Non Jewish are a minority.

    August 6, 2011 at 9:43 am |
  10. prophet

    The Americans and this christianity thing is so sad because in the old Testament their were wars etc that were done but in The New Testament Our Saviour is Specific that we do not engage in war at all as Those who Follow Our Saviour are Forgiving and Compassionate and tolerant and anyone who isn't, isn't following Our Saviour. They are waterles rivers.

    August 6, 2011 at 9:39 am |
  11. Allocer

    CNN should had just disable the comments soundoffs, so many trolls that I can't put up with now.

    August 6, 2011 at 9:33 am |
  12. Paula

    Immoral nations cannot have a strong military. Read Genesis and how Sodomites did in war. Totally pathetic.

    August 6, 2011 at 3:15 am |
    • Reality

      And the "red-neck" lady of many names continues with her words of inanity!!!

      August 6, 2011 at 7:19 am |
    • Keith

      The military will be openly sodomized on Sept. 20.

      August 6, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  13. Paula

    America became weak and poor by abandoning Christianity. People choose what they want with the natural con-se-quen-ces. We live in a structured world.

    August 6, 2011 at 3:14 am |
    • mike c

      Paula......huh? your statement makes no sense. Have you read history at all. The US is not and has never been a "Christian" country. Neither is it weak or poor.

      August 6, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
  14. David Johnson


    You said: "Are you ignorant or what? lol Obvioulsy you are not educated on these matters."

    You may be right, Jim. Please educate me.


    August 5, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
  15. Stevie7

    "Men without proper theology become beasts."
    The only thing stopping you from being a beast is because a 2000+ year old book tells you otherwise? Some of us are decent human beings because we choose to be, not because someone else tells us to be.

    @Keith – what's your point? There's as much evidence that god exists as their is for mermaids.

    August 5, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • Jim

      You are living an illusion Stevie7. There is no such thing as "decency" without a God to tell you what it is. Otherwise, the concept is just a human creation that is NO MORE VALID than cannibal's justification for eating another human. Who said you're right and he is wrong? You?
      Sad empty illusion you live in.

      August 5, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • UncelM

      Atheists deal in reality and truth. The religious rely on illusion and lies.

      August 5, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • Keith

      What's your % of knowledge Stevie7?

      August 5, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • Martin T

      So Jim, what you are saying is that without God you would have no morals, and no decency? Wow, that's sad. I am a decent man, always have been, and I don't need god or a 2000 year old book to tell me what is right or wrong. It's kind of scary the number of men and women in the world who are only good or kind or decent because of fear.

      August 5, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • Keith

      Martin T, I wish I had a dime for every atheist I've heard that claims to be a decent moral man, blah, blah, blah. Morality based on what benchmark? Yours? Mine? Charlie Manson? Bashar Asad? Someday you will stand in judgement of a Holy God and you will sadly realize your error. It is His high and Holy standard with which you will be measured. For the wages of sin is death.

      August 5, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
    • Clint

      I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard a religious person quote the bible or other religious balogna as though it were proven fact, and think that anyone believes them(or that they are goign to change anything...).

      In my personal experience, the people doing the most trash talking about something are usually the ones most guilty of doing it, and the ones bragging about doing something are the ones the do it (or get it) the least.

      The reallity is, by common sense standards (and in some cases "religious standards") I am as decent and moral (if not more so) than any religious person. In fact, from the things I have seen in my life, I'd say most religous persons have some serious skeletons in the closet, and some not in the closet......

      That's not to say that I'm perfect, more to say that most of the "holier than thou" types aren't all that decent or moral themselves. (IE that whole "practice what you preach thing....)

      Oh, and I'm not an atheist, or any other word you can make up to "group" me....I'm just me, a human being, living my life.

      August 6, 2011 at 12:30 am |
    • JF


      Follow the Bible to the 'T' as your moral guide and you may find yourself behind bars. Possibly for the rest of your life. That would be a real shame when you find out that this is all there is. What a waste.

      August 6, 2011 at 12:59 am |
    • Martin T

      Keith, I wish I had a dime for every immoral act that has been done by a so called christian; I assure you I would be very wealthy indeed. Your posts continue to give strength to ALL atheists' claims that religion is nothing more than man's desire for power. But, I ask you the same as all others, PLEASE educate me. I want you to debate me using rational and empirical evidences, not hocus pocus, same old, junk science and reason that you continue to spout.

      August 6, 2011 at 7:39 am |
    • Martin T

      Oh and Keith, you asked by what standards do I apply my morality – the standard based on humanity, a standard that has been around for much longer than your god. But, again, I ask, are you ONLY moral because of fear? IF so, then your morality is a sham, because you are claiming that without religion you would be a murderer, a thief, and I guess for that I am thankful you are religious.

      August 6, 2011 at 7:43 am |
    • What the hell!!!

      Why are liberals always angry? Why do atheist always fight those that believe in God? I think that a true Liberal and their atheist friends would take the standard position of peace...love...let it be mentality. My liberal friends/atheists always feel the need to "educate the ignorant" people who have a different view than they do. Liberals are the most judgmental, angry, unhappy and the down right meanest group on the planet. Let's face it, the answer to these questions is that liberals fundamentally want to be Communists. So, bring on all of your Liberal/atheist rant, I've heard it all before. Sticks and stones may break....oh he'll you know the rest.

      August 6, 2011 at 8:02 am |
    • Keith

      -Martin T, First, I don't consider the Holy Word of God "junk science". You must understand that the Law was given to show you moral decent types that you may measure up in your eyes, but God's standard is much different. The Law was given to stop your mouth. If you have broken the Law in one part, you have broken all of it. There is only one man who has ever walked this earth and kept the Law, leading a sinless life, Jesus. God requires atonement for sin. That atonement was the sinless Son of God who died for all who will accept it. He paid the penalty that I could never pay. That's good news for me, because unlike you, I wasn't a moral man. I've never killed anyone but I've done things that were just WRONG(maybe not illegal by man's law but definetly immoral). I was going to stand before Jesus at the Great White Throne judgement for unbelievers and have eternal punishment meted out to me. As it is now, I've crossed over from eternal condemnation to eternal life. I will now stand at the judgement seat of Christ and be judged by my works since being saved. I will suffer gain/loss there. Probably more loss than gain in my case, but I'm working on that. I was just a miserable lost soul who accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and stepped from eternal death into eternal life, a change of address so to speak. I'm grateful to my Savior for that. I just don't show it enough. I've since repented from the wrong things I used to do. That doesn't mean I don't sin anymore, because I do. But when I do sin, I have an Intecessor between myself and the Father. Unbelievers don't have an intercessor and the wrath of God continues to accu-mulate against them. You can change your eternal address too, Martin.

      August 6, 2011 at 8:52 am |
    • LinCA

      @What the hell!!!

      You said "So, bring on all of your Liberal/atheist rant, I've heard it all before. Sticks and stones may break....oh he'll you know the rest."
      Here you go. Ask and you shall receive. Well, actually, no. You asked for a rant, but this isn't.

      You said "Why are liberals always angry?"
      Nice and ignorant generalization. Do you feel better now?

      I'm a liberal and not always angry. With that your point has been refuted.

      You said "Why do atheist always fight those that believe in God?"
      I don't fight all believers. You are free to believe whatever nonsense you want. I will fight only those that attempt to force their beliefs on society, and with that me.

      If you keep your superstitions to yourself, you won't hear from me.

      You said "I think that a true Liberal and their atheist friends would take the standard position of peace...love...let it be mentality."
      It most often is. But there is a big difference between having a position of peace, and one of letting bigots walk all over you.

      You said "My liberal friends/atheists always feel the need to "educate the ignorant" people who have a different view than they do."
      It's a public service, actually. If believers were to open their minds and honestly evaluated their faith, it wouldn't be necessary.

      You said "Liberals are the most judgmental, angry, unhappy and the down right meanest group on the planet. Let's face it, the answer to these questions is that liberals fundamentally want to be Communists."
      More incorrect generalizations that show that you could benefit from opening your mind and some education.

      August 6, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • What the hell!!!


      Just what I wanted and expected. To be called ignorant is a compliment. Just to know that you reacted as expected proved my point. Have happy life, I'll enjoy the after life!

      August 6, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Ummm

      What the hell – you reacted as expected for a Christians, you are pointing the finger at atheist yet you did the same thing. You ranted and insulted others why don't you practice what you're preaching them maybe Christians would be credible about their lifestyles and their god. Time to see the log in your eye.

      August 6, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • LinCA

      @What the hell!!!

      You said "To be called ignorant is a compliment."
      Wow, aspiring to be ignorant. Are you saying that is a step up for you?

      You said "Just to know that you reacted as expected proved my point."
      You mean proving that no matter how much I disagree with people, I am always willing to help them see the error of their ways? I realize that you are probably so set in your views that there is little hope of making you open your mind, but one can hope to have readers see the stark contrast between the "reasoning" put forth by believers and the counter arguments by atheists.

      You said "Have happy life"
      Thanks, I will.

      You said "I'll enjoy the after life!"
      Don't forget to enjoy the one you are currently living. Odds are, it's the only one you'll get.

      August 6, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • What the hell!!!

      Thanks LinCa, I'll enjoy both. You may be correct in what you say, Obama was support to be the Savior and that sure as he'll hasn't proven true. I'll keep waiting for the hope and change.

      August 6, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • J.W

      Liberal and atheist are not the same thing. I personally consider myself both Christian and liberal.

      August 6, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  16. Reality

    For the next Power Point AF presentation about the ethics of war:




    Added details upon request

    August 5, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  17. Civiloutside

    "but history proves that Muhammad just made the Islam up, in order to unite the Arabic tribes (gangs) for a war against the Christian Empire."

    It makes equal sense to say "history proves that Moses just made Judaism up in order to unite the Israelite tribes for a war against the Canaanites."

    August 5, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • planck brandt

      You are putting your finger right on it. That religion worked so well that Constantine purloined it to keep the Roman Empire alive, and Mohammad used it to create the Arab nation. There is absolutely no archeological evidence of any Abraham or Moses. Even Israeli archeologists say so. That is why the UN cannot recognize Abraham and Sarah's "tombs" as heritage sites. It is a shame this deception waged on Billions of Human Beings over so many thousands of years. These religions have only served empire builders. At least Islam bans usury which the Prophet noticed was so destructive to families in economies. Neither Judaism, nor Christianity ban it because the Rulers have always benefited from it. Just like they are now with this sell off in the markets. They will be buying up cheap next week! Their Boehner delivered!

      August 5, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Jim

      Civiloutside....you live in an illusion.
      Why would a God provide YOU with proof of his existence? What if there is a plan beyond our comprehension? We were given the Bible.
      Your existence seems empty and without validation.

      August 5, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • Martin T

      Jim, you are the one that is sad. It's sad that you can't open your mind enough to see the truth. Do you read anything other than the bible? Have you ever read a scientific journal? I'm betting you are one of those who think that the earth is only 7000 years old and that Barney Rubble rode a dinosaur. Sad.

      August 5, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
    • Keith

      Martin T, Ever heard of the "Gap" theory?

      August 5, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
    • Peace2All


      You Said to @Civiloutside...."you live in an illusion."

      How would you know the difference, Jim...? How do you know that you aren't living in an illusion, Jim...?

      You Said: "Why would a God provide YOU with proof of his existence?"

      Why wouldn't God...? What makes you think that you would even know what might go on in a deity's mind, should one even exist...?

      Who are YOU, to act as if you think you know what God would or would not do...?

      You Said: " What if there is a plan beyond our comprehension? "

      Hmmm... O.K... what if...? And, that is a very big speculative what if, by the way...? We can all 'what if' until the cow's come home.

      You Said: " Your existence seems empty and without validation. "

      What the heck are ya' talking about -Jim...? How would you know...?

      Yikes !!!


      August 5, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • Peace2All


      Hey there -Keith... I hope that you are doing well.

      I'm familiar with theology's "Gap" creationism thinking... What about it...?



      August 5, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
    • JF


      Seriously, the Gap theory? We don't know the answer yet so it must be God. Brilliant.

      August 6, 2011 at 1:11 am |
    • Keith

      Peace2All, Hi there. Things are good here. Hopefully good for my favorite agnostic, too? I've only scratched the surface of the Gap Theory, but it does appear to make things fit, so to speak. I don't think people like Ken Ham accept it, but I'm taking a serious look at it. In short, Satan was the cherub that covereth, he was in charge. But he decided he wanted to be like the Most High. God judged the earth and basically the earth sat in darkness or thousands, millions, billions? of years. The new earth in which we are on was re-formed, re-shaped 5 or 6 thousand years ago. Makes sense to me. Jeremiah 4:23-26; Job 9:5-7; Psalm 18: 7-15; Psalm 114:4; Isaiah 45:18; Job 38; Ezekiel 28. To me this stuff is facinating. It was first brought to my attention by Dr. Chuck Missler, who by the way was a general in the Air Force in charge of guided missiles for North America(perfect for this article I suppose). Anyway, he covers this in his commentary on Genesis, a 24-hour detailed study of the book on DVD. Good stuff, especially if you're a physics buff (which I'm not). Since then, I've studied a book called "Dispensational Truth" by Clarence Larkin also on the subject. Come to find out this "theory" was widely accepted throughout the early church. As for me, the jury is still out on this one. Regardless of the details I still believe that God created/re-created it all. It's like a huge jigsaw puzzle(as you can see from the verses I gave which I believe I got from Missler). That's why the entire Bible is relevent. It takes the O.T. and N.T. combined to put the puzzle together.

      August 6, 2011 at 9:31 am |
    • Peace2All


      Thanks for asking... Yes, your favorite agnostic is doing well, thank you.

      As for "Gap" creationism thinking, as stated I am familiar with it, and it seems that it is not so much a 'theory' as to make it to theory, there usually has been wide spread acceptance with repeatable and testable verification by a variety of sources, but to my knowledge there are few if any reputable scientists from a spectrum of disciplines: Geology, Biology, Cosmology, Astro-Physics, etc... that give any credence to the "Gap" thinking.

      I, being an agnostic, certainly can't say that it isn't at all 'possible,' however it seems to be merely a theolological musing attempting to try to 'fit' it's premises and conclusions within the context of the 'literal biblical' interpretations.

      I do like to read and hear about all models of thinking as they can often be fascinating.

      Again, hope that you are well, -Keith.



      August 6, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • Eric G

      @Keith: "Gap Theory" is intellectually dishonest. You cannot take verifiable evidence and make as-sumptions as to the meaning or intention of testing results.

      Gap theory is a hypothesis at best. The fact that it supports your world view is irrelevant. It is still subject to the same scrutiny and burden of proof through verifiable evidence that all other theories are bound to.

      August 6, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Eric G.

      Hello my friend ! 😀 Good to hear from you, as I haven't seen you here on the blogs much recently...?

      Anyway, good post... and I hope that you are doing well.



      August 6, 2011 at 11:24 am |
  18. Rainer Braendlein

    A story (fiction):

    I suppose, Mexico has merely a weak military and is no threat for the US. Instead of that, Mexico has a lot of seperated drug gangs. Skilled warriors, but evil ones.

    Imagine a man, walking around in the hot jungle of Mexico and suddenly getting hallucinations: The archangle Gabriel appears and tells him, the Mexicans had to turn back to the faith of their ancestors. Gabriel tells him, all that Christianity, Judaism, etc.. just had weakened the Mexicans and he should lead them back to the true ancient belief. Gabriel tells him to summon all drug gangs and to convert them to the old Aztec faith. They would be allowed and obliged to attack countries, with mostly Christian population.

    Assumed, that would really happen, Mexico would get a highly motivated and strong army for a war against the US within months.

    Of course, this story is a nightmare and pure fiction.

    But I will tell you something: The story really took place, merely at another place.

    Imagine Muhammad, sitting in a hot Arabic carve, and suddenly getting hallucinations: ...

    Before Muhammad emerged, no general of the Roman Empire (Byzantium) could imagine that the Arabs could ever become a threat. But by the beast-like religion of Muhammad the Arabic gangs were united to a monster-army.

    Muhammad was an evil genius.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      I meant "cave", not "carve".

      August 5, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      Ramble ramble ramble.

      It's clear you don't know how to present a compelling argument. Probably because you don't have the reasoning required to understand what a good argument is. That probably explains your faith problem.

      August 5, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @The Bobinator

      I just wanted to explain that Islam has nothing to do with righteousness. To the contrary, Islam means solely aggressive war.

      The Islam seems to be a belief like Christianity, but history proves that Muhammad just made the Islam up, in order to unite the Arabic tribes (gangs) for a war against the Christian Empire.

      Muhammad's strategy was it to deceive the Christians. They should assume: "Oh, there in Arabia a harmless religion has emerged, they even believe Jesus is a prophet, they pray, they fast, they give alms, etc.." Yet in fact Muhammad united the Arabic tribes for a war against the naive Christians. It is a historical fact that the Islamic assault was unexpected.

      Islam is a real wolf in sheep's clothing.

      August 5, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • planck brandt

      HA! There is a reason to demonize Prophet Mohammad! He banned usury and was onto the dangers of money lending! Money lending the Popes made sure only Jews could do in Europe so they would get the blame for the bubble busts and families in streets! It worked for 1000 years and made sure the people in the last great national meltdown in Germany would finger Jews instead of their own leaders controlling all the money, profiting from war (just like US today), and manipulating markets then hiding out in castles and Swiss Chalets once the War hit!!! Wall Street and City of London certainly don't want his ideas spreading around...HA! Wise up folks!

      August 5, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  19. TruthMatters

    The Bible-illiterate America has a military in vain. Man needs something greater than himself to live for – the glory of God. Men without proper theology become beasts.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • David Johnson


      There is no evidence that there is anything better than man. Did man not create the gods? Men do not need a god to fear in order to behave. We have laws that are enforced by society.

      God has no purpose in modern society. There is no evidence that He exists. Lots of evidence that He does not.


      August 5, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • TESLAvision


      August 5, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • Nonimus

      That's odd, didn't man evolve from "beasts" long before theology came along? Yes.

      August 5, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Keith

      David Johnson, I'm curious...approximately what % of all the knowledge in the entire universe do you think you possess?

      August 5, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • Jim

      @ David Johnson

      Are you ignorant or what? lol
      Obvioulsy you are not educated on these matters.

      August 5, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • Martin T

      Keith, by asking what percentage of the amount of knowledge we have, plays PERFECTLY into the hands of atheists. We keep saying that we do NOT know it all, we don't even want people to think that we know it all. What we do know is that the information that is provided by churches NEVER changes even in light of evidences. We also know that scientists will alter their understanding of the universe as we learn more; what we have NEVER been able to learn or measure or find empirical evidence of, is a god. Why, because there simply is no such evidence, period.

      August 5, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
    • Keith

      Martin T, I'm not trying to play into anyone's hands. If atheists admit to not knowing it all or even 1/10 of 1% of it "all", then it is absurd to claim "there is no God". It's a stubborn, pre-determined, ridiculous statement to make.

      August 5, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
    • David Johnson


      Martin T is correct.

      Theists like to defend god's existence by declaring that man would need to have total knowledge, in order to determine there is no god. I say Pfui!

      No one can prove a negative. I can't prove that god does not exist. I also can't prove Santa Claus does not exist. But in life, we decide what is real and not real, based on what we see in the real-world.

      In the real world, any object that provides no evidence for its existence is classified as imaginary.

      I think we can rule out god, in the same way we rule out any other mythological creature. I can't prove vampires or werewolves or fairies don't exist. But, I bet you would agree, that they are not real. They just don't fit in with the reality we see all around us.

      So, we can look for attributes of god, that should provide evidence that He exists.
      If positive evidence is found, we should conclude that god probably exists.
      If positive evidence is not found, then we should conclude that the Christian God, beyond a reasonable doubt, does not exist. Just like Santa. Just like fairies. Just like vampires.

      One of the most compelling reasons for rejecting god, is the fact that there are so many versions of god(s). Some, not even human (The elephant-faced god – Ganesha etc.). Each religion, each denomination of each religion, defines god's wants differently. All of these religions cannot be right. But they can all be wrong.
      Perhaps man has not yet found the one true god, or perhaps He does not exist.

      Christians claim their god is Omnipotent ( all powerful), Omniscient (all knowing) and Omnibenevolent (all good).

      1). If god is Omnibenevolent, He would WANT every human to believe in Him.

      The bible says He does:

      2 Peter 3:9
      9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. King James Version (KJV)

      1 Timothy 2:4
      4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. King James Version (KJV)

      2.) If god is Omniscient, then He would KNOW exactly how to convince anyone and everyone that He exists.

      3.) If god is Omnipotent, then He would be ABLE to convince anybody and everybody that He exists.

      Yet, ~ 67% of the world's population are not Christians.

      Therefore, the Christian god is very unlikely to exist.

      In the same vein as the above, notice how many denominations of Christianity there are (~ 34,000). Each denomination can show you scripture, that "proves" they understand the wants of Jesus/god.
      All of the denominations could not be correctly interpreting the bible. Many are contradictory.
      Many of these denominations believe only their members will be saved.

      If the Christian god exists, and He is all knowing and all powerful and all good, why didn't He provide a bible that could not be misinterpreted? That everyone's comprehension of His wants would be the same?

      Christians believe god's purpose in creating the Bible is to guide human beings towards a knowledge of God, and to help them lead moral lives, Christians must be certain of the meaning of the Bible.

      ambiguity – a word or expression that can be understood in two or more possible ways : an ambiguous word or expression.

      "There are in excess of 1,000 Christian faith groups in North America. They teach diverse beliefs about the nature of Jesus, God, the second coming, Heaven, Hell, the rapture, criteria for salvation, speaking in tongues, the atonement, what happens to persons after death, and dozens of other topics.

      On social controversies, faith groups teach a variety of conflicting beliefs about abortion access, equal rights for ho_mo$exuals and bi$exuals, who should be eligible for marriage, the death penalty, physician assisted suicide, human $exuality topics, origins of the universe, and dozens of other topics.

      The groups all base their theological teachings on the Bible. Generally speaking, the theologians in each of these faith groups are sincere, intelligent, devout, thoughtful and careful in their interpretation of the Bible. But, they come to mutually exclusive conclusions about what it teaches. Further, most are absolutely certain that their particular interpretations are correct, and that the many hundreds of faith groups which teach opposing beliefs are in error." Source: Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance

      If the bible is ambiguous, then it cannot be said to be inerrant. If the bible is not without error, then how do we know which parts to accept as truth and which to reject as fiction? The bible is confusing, pure and simple.

      The bible has this to say:

      "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints." – 1 Corinthians 14:33 (KJV)

      If this is so, how can god's inspired word be confusing? *sigh*

      The Christian god is very unlikely to exist.

      Another reason to reject the idea of a god, is because there appears to be no need for one. Each hour of each day, science fills another gap in man's knowledge, that god once filled. So far, science has found no need for a god.
      Belief without a reason or evidence, is called "delusional".

      Christians often quote:

      John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

      If the Christian god so loves the world, why does he allow / cause so much suffering? Disease, famine, floods, earthquakes etc. ad nauseum. ?

      I can explain the existence of these horrors as being due to natural causes and evolution, but my explanation fails when I include an all loving Creator in the equation. I keep getting a "Can't divide by zero" error.

      Christians say their god is omnibenevolent (all good); omnipotent (all powerful); omniscient ( all knowing)

      1. If the Christian god is all knowing, He would be AWARE of all the suffering on earth.

      2. If the Christian god is all good, He would WANT to rid the world of suffering / evil.

      3. If the Christian god is all powerful, He would be ABLE to rid the world of suffering / evil.

      4. Yet, evil persists.

      Therefore, The Christian god is very unlikely to exist.

      The Christian god is said to be omniscient and omnipotent. But these attributes are not compatible.

      If the Christian god is all knowing, if the future can be known, then even god would be bound by events in the future. Everything would be predetermined.

      1. If the Christian god, knows what will happen in the future, and does something else...then, He is not all knowing.

      2. If the Christian god knows the future and cannot change it, then He is not all powerful.

      3. The attributes attributed to the Christian god conflict with one another.

      The Christian god with these attributes cannot exist. No being can have these attributes at the same time.

      Evolution, with its evidence of transitional fossils, geological column, DNA evidence, vestigial organs etc., is very damning to the biblical Creation Story.

      If god created all the organisms on the planet, then He must have created even the diseases that have caused and are causing so much death and misery for humans and animals. He would have had to fashion the tick and the flea. The mosquito and blood flukes. And worms that bore into a child's eye.

      How could an all good god do such a thing? Why would He spend His time creating gruesome things to cause human suffering? Yet, these horrors exist. And if god didn't create them, who did?

      Evolution explains the diversity of the planet's organisms, including the pathogens and the parasites that have caused so much human death and misery.

      If the Creation Story is a fable, then Adam and Eve did not exist.

      If Adam and Eve did not exist, then there was no original sin.
      If there was no original sin, then it cannot be the reason god allows so much suffering in the world. We can dump the guilt trip.

      If there was no original sin, then there was no need for a redeemer.

      If there was no redeemer, then Christianity is a based on a false premise.

      "If we cannot believe in the First Adam, why believe in the Last [Christ]?" 1 Corinthians15:45

      If the Creation story is a myth, then there is no reason to believe any of the bible.

      If we evolved, there is no soul –> no afterlife –> no need of a heaven or hell.

      LOL, which is why the Evangelicals fight so hard against evolution.

      Evolution is the Christian god's Achilles' heel.

      Absolute knowledge is not needed, Keith. We have two tools that we apply to all things to determine their existence: Empirical knowledge and Logic.

      The Christian god is no more likely to exist than unicorns, satyrs, fiery serpents, or talking snakes or Santa. And you don't believe in any of those, Right? You don't demand "absolute knowledge" before calling these false. You know there is no evidence for them and logic suggests they are highly unlikely.


      August 5, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
    • David Johnson


      My response to Keith would be a good place to begin my education. Please school me.

      Love and Prayers!

      August 5, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
    • JF

      Bible illiterate America? You must be referring to the Christians.

      August 6, 2011 at 1:14 am |
    • What the hell!!!

      As your God's "The Beatles" once sang..." Let it be.". Give it a break, live and let live. And I happen to be a Christian. Shock!

      August 6, 2011 at 9:20 am |
    • Keith

      David Johnson, You base what is real and what isn't based on what you can see? Really? Perhaps you in your infinite wisdom can explain ufo phenomenom? Like those over Washington D.C. for three days-visible on both military and civilian radar. Each time interceptors were scrambled and they disappeared going over 30,000 mph but not breaking the sound barrier? Explain away, Einstein. I'll give you my theory as to what they are: they are from a spiritual dimension, a dimension unknown to modern man. A dimension we all will enter someday. A dimension in which eternity will begin for you in a place called the lake of fire. You may think you know it all, DJ. But you will find out otherwise someday. Repent before it's too late.

      August 6, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • Keith

      David Johnson, Sorry, perhaps you need a more current example. How about the ufo seen at night over the Temple Mount this year? Several different views from different individuals with camcorders. My guess is there would be Israeli gov't and media cameras focused on the Temple Mount 24/7, too. So tell me David, what exactly are we seeing here? Use all your empirical evidence and test your hypotheses, but in the end you don't know what that is do you? So doesn't that leave wiggle room that you may be dead wrong in your thinking? Like eternal punishment dead wrong? Choose wisely grasshopper-eternity is a looooooong time.

      August 7, 2011 at 8:28 am |
    • Keith

      David Johnson, Why don't you 'gird up your loins' like a man and read Job 38 and 39.

      August 8, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • David Johnson


      You said in reference to UFOs: "I'll give you my theory as to what they are: they are from a spiritual dimension, a dimension unknown to modern man. A dimension we all will enter someday. A dimension in which eternity will begin for you in a place called the lake of fire. You may think you know it all, DJ. But you will find out otherwise someday. Repent before it's too late."

      Hmm... I'm not a believer in the supernatural, so I obviously would disagree with your explanation. I also will point out, that "people of faith" often answer every unknown with, "God did it". And then offer up their "explanation" as evidence that god exists. LOL

      "Whatever we cannot easily understand we call God; this saves much wear and tear on the brain tissue." – Edward Abbey

      I do not know what UFOs are. It's okay to say you don't know something. Concerning UFOs, there is no evidence to suggest they are supernatural or alien, or from another dimension or humans from the future. These are all opinions, I have read or heard. Opinions are like anuses. Everybody has one.

      Your argument is really just a rehash of: "If you don't believe what I do, my all loving god is going to torture you, for all eternity."

      In this case however, your god may not be responsible for these spiritual visitors. They may be from Allah or Ra or Zeus. If this is so, you and I may be roomies in Hell.



      August 14, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
  20. Falcon78 in Northern Virginia

    On Air Force Times.com, that newspaper has the slides being used in the course. Given that Christian Just War theory is really the only fully developed philosophy and thinking on the subject of "just war." (Have you read any Islamic philosphers and academics explaining "just war" theory?) And, given that the U.S. is of the Western and Judeo-Christian tradition, it would seem only common sense that a course on a just war, and the considerations thereof (particularly when you are working with Air Force officers expected to carry out their assigned duties with nuclear weapons in the case of conflict), that we are prepared. These knuckleheads who mistakenly don't understand a lick of what the supposed separation of church and state is, are making fools of themselves, and any judge should throw their suit out and tell them to get lost and "don't let the door hit you on the way out."

    August 5, 2011 at 11:42 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.