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September 1st, 2011
10:24 AM ET

My Faith: Rep. Keith Ellison, from Catholic to Muslim

By Chris Welch, CNN

Minneapolis, Minnesota (CNN) -Prior to 2006, few people even knew that then-Minnesota state legislator Keith Ellison was a Muslim. Because of his English name, he said, no one thought to ask.

But five years ago, when he ran for a seat in the United States House of Representatives - a race he would go on to win - word of his religious affiliation began to spread.

“When I started running for Congress it actually took me by surprise that so many people were fascinated with me being the first Muslim in Congress,” said Ellison, a Democrat now serving his third term in the House.

“But someone said to me, ‘Look Keith, think of a person of Japanese origin running for Congress six years after Pearl Harbor–this might be a news story.’”

Though Ellison's status as the first Muslim elected to Congress is widely known, fewer are aware that he was born into a Catholic family in Detroit and was brought up attending Catholic schools.

But he said he was never comfortable with that faith.

“I just felt it was ritual and dogma,” Ellison said. “Of course, that’s not the reality of Catholicism, but it’s the reality I lived. So I just kind of lost interest and stopped going to Mass unless I was required to.”

It wasn’t until he was a student at Wayne State University in Detroit when Ellison began, “looking for other things.”

He doesn’t have an elaborate explanation of what led him to convert to Islam in college, though he said he was “drawn to the multi-national congregation.”

“I would really like to hear somebody who is really articulate about the elements of their faith conversion. I'm not,” he said. "I investigated it, it worked for me, and it made me have a sense of inspiration and wonder, and I became a Muslim. It's been working for me ever since.”

Ellison's political opponents have made his faith an issue in his congressional campaigns.

“I would caution [opponents] that it doesn't work. People are not hateful like that," he said. "If you come up saying, ‘Vote for me because Ellison is a Muslim and I’m not,’ nine out of ten voters are going to see that as the silliness that it is.”

“It doesn't hurt my feelings at all," he said. "In fact I actually feel sorry for these people.”

And he said he has never had a second thought about converting.

“My faith and my identity as a Muslim - I never saw it as something that made my job harder," he said. "It’s just an aspect of who I am. It's the time that we live in. We have to respond to the realities of the world we’re in.”

But Ellison acknowledges that his faith has given him something of a national profile, not always in ways that are welcome.

In March, he testified in nationally televised congressional hearings, called by Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican, to explore what King said was radicalization in American Muslim communities.

At the hearing, Ellison choked up as he described the sacrifices of Muslim Americans who tried to save others in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“Without any of my choosing or desire I became somewhat of a symbolic figure," Ellison said. "And I urge anyone to avoid becoming a symbolic figure if you can. But I ended up in that position, so I just figured why not talk about it? Why not help try to bring people together with it?”

“Faith really should be a bridge, not a wall," Ellison said. "Because at the end of the day we should be focusing on what you believe, not what your religion is.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Islam

soundoff (1,073 Responses)
  1. zero gods

    To many Atheists, his conversion probably seems akin to trading cancer for AIDS. Personally, I don't care about a candidate's religion unless it seems to be adversely affecting his or her ideas (e.g. Rick Perry). But Ellison seems like a nice enough fellow, with some good ideas. No reason we can't along 🙂

    September 1, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Lawlz

      zero: "Personally, I don't care about a candidate's religion unless it seems to be adversely affecting his or her ideas (e.g. Rick Perry)."

      So you're not bigoted against religion unless it's a religion you don't like. That's cute.

      Rather than disparaging Perry's religious beliefs, why not point to the merits of his arguments or beliefs and then say how and why they fail, or how or why they shouldn't become public policy?

      Or are you too partisan and dogmatic to successfully perform such an undertaking?

      September 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Martin T

      @Lawlz, where does one begin to deconstruct Perry? It's almost too easy to be honest, I actually hope his is the nominee for the Republicans, Obama's intellect will eat him alive... Go Obama!!!

      September 1, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      @ Lawlz:

      Seems to me he is being broadminded, but Perry leaves people with little room to conclude otherwise. His statements and policies (such as they are) are designed for short-term, tactical political moves than a strategic view that will change things over the long term.

      September 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Lawlz

      martin: "where does one begin to deconstruct Perry? It's almost too easy to be honest, I actually hope his is the nominee for the Republicans, Obama's intellect will eat him alive... Go Obama!!!"

      If it's so easy, then do it.

      Or can't you?

      "It's almost too easy"

      This is generally the fallback claim for someone who believes something strongly, but has no basis for the belief in the first place.

      Good job?

      September 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Lawlz

      thereal: "Seems to me he is being broadminded, but Perry leaves people with little room to conclude otherwise. His statements and policies (such as they are) are designed for short-term, tactical political moves than a strategic view that will change things over the long term."

      Ah, yes. Conclusory statements devoid of all facts and arguments.

      A true intellectual you must be.

      September 1, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • Lawlz

      I'm sorry, my first response sounded so pompous...what I really meant is that I understand, because it's so obvious that Perry is afraid of Teh Gheys.

      September 1, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Martin T

      @Lawlz, you keep shoot off at the "finger?" and add NOTHING to the conversation.. you aren't worth the time people spend to respond to you because you aren't adding anything valuable to the discussion... so I leave you be now.. ta ta..

      September 1, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Lawlz

      martin: "you keep shoot off at the "finger?" and add NOTHING to the conversation.. you aren't worth the time people spend to respond to you because you aren't adding anything valuable to the discussion... so I leave you be now.. ta ta.."

      I'll take this as an admission of your defeat.

      You claimed you could "easily" show how Perry was wrong, and then when invited to do so, you decided (admittedly) to run away.

      I hope you can't actually vote.

      September 1, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • Lawlz

      lawlz: "I'm sorry, my first response sounded so pompous...what I really meant is that I understand, because it's so obvious that Perry is afraid of Teh Gheys."

      Aw, I have an impersonator. How cute 🙂

      September 1, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • BJP

      People like you are dangerous. You're so stupid it hurts me! If you practice the true christian faith, you will never hurt anyone. But a fool like you can see the end result of Islam and be fooled to think these people are nice. People like you would be the first to die from ignorance...

      September 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  2. Michael, Chapel Hill

    I do not think any sincere person can really be converted to Islam. It is a religion of hate. You kill the unbeliever or some beliver who is not beliveing right; to enter heaven. It is a mixture of Judaism and Christianily blend to cater to the need of its originators with stringent rules. Its only aim is to rule the whole world. Bin Laden is a real Muslim who wanted to live every word of therir holy book. Every one else is an apostate.

    September 1, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • Bruce

      "You kill the unbeliever or some beliver who is not beliveing right; to enter heaven."

      Ummm... no. You don't.

      Fixed that for you.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      Well, based on what you have said, David Koresh and Warren Jeffs are better Christians than you. How does it feel to be lumped in with a pair of child molesters?

      September 1, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Sam

      I think you are ignorant with all respect. I think if an elelcted president in a nice suit kills thousands under whatever cause you say it is self defense and you convince yourself of it because you have no mind of yourself....but when someone looks different then it is BAD.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • James

      @Michael..."Bin Laden is a real Muslim who wanted to live every word of therir holy book"..Did he tell you when you were with him? An individual represents his/her faith- don't make anyone as representative of any faith.
      Intead of "killing' time commenting on CNN better take your med and go to bed. That will be good for you.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • DrDoITT

      Yes It is written in their holy book that its their duty to do jee-had against the infidel and convert/kill them.

      September 1, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • garc

      What, Bruce, you mean like the Crusades?

      September 1, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • Jacob

      By the way, Warren Jeffs is a Mormon, not a Christian, and David Karesh may have claimed he was Jesus Christ, but was certainly not a Christian. Bin Laden was following the fundamental teachings of Islam as were the 9-11 terrorists (to convert/kill infidels).

      September 4, 2011 at 12:12 am |
    • Joe

      True

      September 4, 2011 at 7:28 am |
  3. Reality

    Dear Rep. Ellison,

    Are you sure you shouldn't delete any religious affliation from your life?

    Why would you want to do that you ask?

    Some reasons are noted below:

    Koran/imam-driven acts of terror and horror:

    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, 3,483 and 925 in non combat roles. 99,901 – 109,143 Iraqi civilians killed as of 3/3/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, 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 1,141 killed in action, 242 killed in non-combat situations as of 03/03/2011. 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.

    September 1, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • Skegeeace

      Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot? Atheists...

      September 1, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      Do you actually work, or do you just spend your time compiling stats on abuses by Muslims? Do you also keep stats on Protestant Church scandals, abuse by pedophile priests, or are those abuses not as bad? Please explain.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • BG

      "...compiling stats on abuses by Muslims?"

      Well, there's only so many hours in the day. Compiling muslim abuse stats is a full-time job in itself.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • Reality

      The Twenty (or so) Worst Things People Have Done to Each Other:

      From: 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. Pagans)

      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

      *:" Is religion responsible for more violent deaths than any other cause?

      A: No, of course not – unless you define religion so broadly as to be meaningless. Just take the four deadliest events of the 20th Century – Two World Wars, Red China and the Soviet Union – no religious motivation there, unless you consider every belief system to be a religion."

      Q: So, what you're saying is that religion has never killed anyone.

      A: Arrgh... You all-or-nothing people drive me crazy. There are many doc-umented examples where members of one religion try to exterminate the members of another religion. Causation is always complex, but if the only difference between two warring groups is religion, then that certainly sounds like a religious conflict to me. Is it the number one cause of mass homicide in human history? No. Of the 22 worst episodes of mass killing, maybe four were primarily religious. Is that a lot? Well, it's more than the number of wars fought over soccer, or s-ex (The Trojan and Sabine Wars don't even make the list.), but less than the number fought over land, money, glory or prestige.

      In my Index, I list 41 religious conflicts compared with 27 oppressions under "Communism", 24 under Colonialism, 2 under "Railroads" and 2 under "Scapegoats". Make of that what you will."

      September 1, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • Sam

      and how many non muslims kill in America? 1 every minute! how many cars get stolen in america 1 every minute!
      Keep your information to yourself and stop spreading hatred. anyone can counter your list of hatred with any other list for any other people of other religions....why are you keeping track of this? religion and its values cannot be measured by its followers....read, think and respect yourself.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • sam

      dirty ugly stupid indian nauseating here!!!!!!

      September 1, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • Syed

      oops you missed 2 more points

      No..23 Terrorist attack by Anders Behring Breivik in Norway.He killed around 80 innocent people.
      No.24 Oklahoma city bomber Timothy Mcveigh.According to Wikipedia the deadliest act of terrorism within the United States prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks.
      I can list out lot of acts of terrorism by other religion.But I did not want to talk bad about Christianity or any other religion.But just want to let you know there are good and bad people in every religion.So before talking bad about Islam Try to get to know a good muslim,read quran with an open mind.Also find out who is Jesus according to Quran/Islam (By the way there is a chapter in Quran talking about trials Mary the mother of Jesus went through).So first understand Islam/Quran then talk about Islam and muslims.

      Praying for peace all over the world

      September 1, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • Reality

      Some elements of our War on Terror and Aggression:

      -Operation Iraqi Freedom- The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,481 and 924 died in non-combat, 99,901 – 109,143 Iraqi civilians killed as of 3/3/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,141 killed in action, 242 killed in non-combat situations as of 03/03/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror,

      – Sa-dd-am, his sons and major he-nchmen have been deleted. Sa-dd-am's bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. Kuwait was saved.

      – Iran is being been contained. (beside containing the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Baghdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes, essential oil continues to flow from the region.)

      – North Korea is still u-ncivil but is contained.

      – Northern Ireland is finally at peace.

      – The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. Unfortunately the Annapolis Peace Conference was not successful. And unfortunately the recent events in Gaza has put this situation back to “squ-are one”. And this significant stupidity is driven by the mythical foundations of both religions!!!

      – – Fa-na–tical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. Ditto for a wall between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      – Timothy McVeigh was exe-cuted. Terry Nichols escaped the death penalty twice because of deadlocked juries. He was sentenced to 161 consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole,[3][7] and is incarcerated in ADX Florence, a super maximum security prison near Florence, Colorado. He shares a cellblock that is commonly referred to as "Bombers Row" with Ramzi Yousef and Ted Kaczynski

      – Eric Ru-dolph is spending three life terms in pri-son with no par-ole.

      – Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, the "nuns" from Rwanda, and the KKK were all dealt with and either eliminated themselves or are being punished.

      – Islamic Sudan, Dar-fur and So-malia are still terror hot spots.

      – The terror and tor-ture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended by the proper application of the military forces of the USA and her freedom-loving friends. Ra-dovan Karadzic was finally captured on 7/23/08 and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war – charges related to the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina's secession from Yugoslavia.

      The capture of Ratko Mladić: (Serbian Cyrillic: Ратко Младић, pronounced [râtkɔ mlǎːditɕ], born 12 March 1943[1][2]) is an accused war criminal and a former Bosnian Serb military leader. On May 31, 2011, Mladić was extradited to The Hague, where he was processed at the detention center that holds suspects for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).[3] His trial began on 3 June 2011.

      – the bloody terror brought about by the Ja-panese, Na-zis and Co-mmunists was with great difficulty eliminated by the good guys.

      – Bin Laden was executed for crimes against humanity on May 1, 2011

      September 2, 2011 at 12:00 am |
    • AmericanPatroit

      I smell Indian rat here.....

      September 5, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • sam edwards

      1-crusaders killed over 1M non-christians after they crusified/killed LORD JESUS whom they worshiped him later and now !!!
      2-HITLER,a christian,grandson of a pastor-vienna, austria.. killed 50M worldwide.
      3-The British 'CROWN", church of england, killed 30M african slaves, american-RED indians and australian ABORIGINS to settle their PRISONERS !!!
      4-USA presidents,ALL christians, killed 3M koreans,vietnamise,iraqis and afghans..wars against COMMIES and ISLAM.
      5-general C. De GAULLE, a christian, killed 1M algerians/africans.
      NOW, PLS tell me which RELIGION is a TERRORIST ?

      September 7, 2011 at 5:48 am |
  4. Loren

    Interesting that he leaves the Cathollic Church because he thinks of it as "ritual and dogma" and joins Islam, where "ritual and dogma" are rampant. Makes a person want to become agnostic.

    September 1, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • James

      @Loren..Don't just read and pick words but read it in full with the proper context – Pampant amongst conservatives (“Of course, that’s not the reality of Catholicism, but it’s the reality I lived)

      September 1, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  5. American Citizen

    All religions are farces, and, "believing" in any of them is clearly a demonstration of that persons lack of intellect, integrity, and morality. Especially Islam, the religion of hatred, bigotry, and death.
    Those of you who ridiculously quote christian bible b.s. in retort to this man's foolishness are even bigger fools than he is.

    September 1, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Jenn

      OH my. I knew when I read the caption morons would be posting comments. Bring on the idiots. Doesn't matter what religion if any someone has. Can we just be left the hell alone to BREATHE and WALK without some jerk making a comment. Good grief people. This is the 21st century. Really? Are we really gonna go there?

      September 1, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      Finally, someone here with some sense. Bravo!

      September 1, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  6. Brian

    CNN making the USA one step closer to loving Muslims everyday....oh how the muslims suffer...and oh how they are misunderstood...quick donate to your local mosque and slap a hebrew that will make them happy.

    September 1, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      Can I slap you instead? That would make an atheist like me happy.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • Jenn

      I'd want to slap you even if I weren't Muslim. I'd want to pimp slap you even if I were PAGAN.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • BG

      Jenn is the perfect angry muslim woman.... I bet you can't slap you're muslim men without being whipped, beaten, run over or beheaded...

      So get to it, Jenn. Slap away.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  7. CPW

    I wish all religions didnt exsist. Wars would occur because someone wants your land not to kill you because of your ideals/beliefs. Religion is evil.

    September 1, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  8. BG

    Keith Ellison – your Sharia man in congress...

    https://creepingsharia.wordpress.com/?s=Keith+Ellison

    September 1, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      Oh yes, Sharia law.....the big new Boogeyman for the GOP. You don't need real proof, just heresay.

      Fascism is here, wrapped ina flag and carrying a cross.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • BG

      @ The Real Tom Paine

      Spouting all the company lines, are we? Flags, fascism, etc...

      You forgot to tell me that I'm a bigot. Oh, well, you'll have plenty of opportunities later, I'm sure.

      Facts are facts. Ellison is a plant.

      Notice I didn't call you any pejoratives? Imagine that. I'm been an Independent for probably longer than you've been alive.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Shak

      Have you ever actually met a Muslim BG or are you just following what the media tells you about Muslims?

      September 1, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • BG

      @ Shak

      "Have you ever actually met a Muslim BG..?"
      Thanks for asking. I've worked with many muslims over the years in professional, administrative and ancillary support positions. Apparently you're new here and aren't aware of my 9/11 experience...

      That morning we were all looking at the monitors watching the events unfold. Several (three that I can remember) were in the immediate vicinity. Two standing at the desk, one working a janitorial rig. Their eyes were glued as well. But their reactions were very different from ours. They were all discretely bouncing up and down on their toes and smiling.

      ".... are you just following what the media tells you about Muslims?"
      If I only did that I'd probably want to convert... Prince Waleed has a substantial interest in both CNN and Fox. The liberal media has gone waaaay out of it's way to gloss over the negative events and issues and sensationalize "the religion of peace."

      In reality, islam is actually the 'religion of pieces.' It is a nightmare of intolerance and deception.

      So there. Now off you go...

      September 1, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  9. Tom

    Ah, yes, the big whining crybaby--summoning up crocodile tears at the drop of a hat.

    September 1, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      And you are basing that on what, Tom? Please explain.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  10. John

    Nice article on Mr. Ellison. I for a moment wouldn't hesitate to vote for him. I also dont think its possible for the great majority of Muslims like this to be influenced by radicals because they are American first. Sure you might have a few odd balls out there with low IQs that can be turned but if it wasnt Islam it would be something.

    But its a different story with Muslims from the Middle East – particularly Arabs, many of whom do not like Americaa. Im not one of those people who believe all Arabs are a threat; in fact there are probably very very few that are a threat. But in mass – because they are anti-American they create a culture where a small number of radicals can actually raise money and act.

    So in this regard, Ellison does not represent the typical Muslim. Put another way look at Serbians, they are as Christian as they come but they hate America because we bombed them. You cant interview a couple of Serbian Christian politicians and hear all the hateful things they say about America and come to the conclusion – oh all Christians hate America!

    September 1, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Greg s

      I will never trust a religion that allows one to lie to other religions if it will in-power there own, How can we ever believe this man is telling us the truth when it comes to his faith, and his acceptance of other faiths, In my Opinion living amongst Muslims would be like swimming in a Shark tank after they have been fed, The chance of me being bitten is slim but there is still some danger there.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  11. BG

    The real Keith Ellison.

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/08/keith-ellison-for-dummies.php

    September 1, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  12. gigahut

    “Faith really should be a bridge, not a wall," Ellison said. "Because at the end of the day we should be focusing on what you believe, not what your religion is.”

    u believe in fairy tales then my friend. ur religion was founded based on a man hearing god's voice in a cave! Even Mormon sounds more appealing than this boat load of crap

    September 1, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Sam

      I'm muslim and proud. We are the only people that truely worship God. I see a lot of ignorance and poor souls around. Never make ignorant statements. Read and gain knowledge...... http://www.whyislam.org/

      Are you afraid to learn? or are you afraid to know the truth? I know people like that.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Steve

      LOL...mormonism more believable? Piunk bunnies and acid trips...ooookkaaay...

      Maybe your more the burning bush kinda guy, you know, the burning bush and the magic tablets?

      Lol, anyone who thinks any of these religious texts were actually sent here by a god, any god, is really and truly mindless and gullible.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Mark

      I love it when religious people claim "my religion is the One True Faith" and then supply "proofs" of that "truth" from literature out of their own faith... You realize, right, that every single adherent of every single faith in the world believes they are members of the "One True Faith". It is simply absurd...

      September 1, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Sam

      We have proof. so you are following a religion without proof? if you are a muslim you know. it is clear as crystal.

      September 1, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • Sam

      followers of other faiths truely have doubts ask yourself do you have doubt? it's not comfortable right? it does not make sense att all correct? worhsipping a human being? materials? no muslim has doubt. we are comfortable, proof is clear and real. you are just afraid to know the facts.

      September 1, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • Mark

      @ Sam. You apparently missed my point. This comment thread undoubtedly has plenty of Christians who also have "proof" that their failth is correct. But... whatever lets you sleep at nightl...

      September 1, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • Ronen

      @sam... oh please i am a jew and i also have as many proofs if not hundreds more about faith or religion, its funny how in your own quran and muslims beleive in Israel is the land of the jews but most muslims try to look away from that fact just for your own good, or how about Abraham that has an important image in the quaran you choose not to look at him as being in the land of Israel the for father of jews.. im not here to argue religion because anyone can argue for and against other religions its all a matter of faith and im not here to judge the atheist as well as to each his own but dont come here and insult people and tell them they are scared to learn about your religion and what not

      September 1, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • ThatOneDude

      @Sam
      Only a fool claims that he knows anything like the existence of a deity for certain, and only an infantile buffoon is uncomfortable with having doubt. What a brainwashed waste of a good human...

      September 1, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
  13. Pastafarian

    He traded one Imaginary Friend for a different Imaginary Friend. He's still delusional.

    September 1, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • ThatOneDude

      Yes, there is nothing laudable about trading delusions for delusions.

      September 1, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
  14. gigahut

    keith, go live in a muslim country....with ur wife.....see if ur wife loves it

    September 1, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      Maybe "ur" wife might like it better than being with you.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • Sam

      and you have lived in a muslim country? do you know how many muslim countries there are? 57. by the way the middle east is only 20% of the muslim population....read.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Steve

      LOL...the use of "ur" just tells me you cant be taken seriously, your post merely makes you look like one of the useless, ill-educated youth who cant spell, read, or write if their lives depended on it.

      Then again, maybe you are...or to help you comprehend...U R.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  15. Aezel

    Congratulations. You went from being delusional and believing in one pretend invisible man in the sky to believing in another pretend invisible man in the sky. 100% mental illness in tact, and accounted for.

    September 1, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Chris

      LOL

      September 1, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • gigahut

      best statement ever!

      September 1, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Lawlz

      aez: "Congratulations. You went from being delusional and believing in one pretend invisible man in the sky to believing in another pretend invisible man in the sky. 100% mental illness in tact, and accounted for."

      Not really. Islam and Christianity share the same god, as do both of them with Judaism.

      But good job at exposing your religious ignorance, eh?

      September 1, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • apostate

      right on the money

      September 1, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • Tony Bandini

      I can't wait to see that look on your face 3 seconds after you die , When you face the inevitable 6 feet under all by your self

      September 1, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • viva

      These two men in the sky are the same, according to Karan god has 100 names and the last of them is Allah. But yeah, it is the same imaginary person in the sky and it is does not matter which name you call it religion is just a scams!

      September 1, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Mark

      @ Toni Bandini

      HA! I can't wait to see the look on your face when you realize that the pagan Norse had it right all along! I can absolutely guarantee that you my friend, will not end up in Valhalla!

      September 1, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  16. gager

    Hate the haters are thick today.

    September 1, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  17. Bo

    ===========@Bruse=====================Just remember when Paul was writing to the Galations he was writing to those who had been indoctronated in the Christian belief Go back and read Gal 1:6 cf and you will see that Paul is repremending them, and he is repremending them as a perent would repremend an erring child that should know better. But, if you read enough you will see that Paul really loves these people. As you, if you are Christian, know that we need this kind of instruction because of our sinful natures and we are inclined to do wrong.

    September 1, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Martin T

      Sorry Bo, your argument falls way short of being valid, mainly because you infer than there was something called "original sin" and that man is naturally sinful. I do not believe that in any way, shape, or form. I believe that religion indoctinates men to sin, based on the definition of what a sin is. If you read the bible, and look at today's definitions of sin, you will find that they do not always match up; therefore, making sin a man made phenomenon.

      September 1, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • Bruce

      Bo, I know Paul's letter to the Galatians very well, indeed. It is perhaps the finest piece of theology found in the New Testament. It forges new ground with regards to moral freedom, and even shows us how to interpret stories from Genesis allegorically (see the 4th chapter).

      My point is that the language he chose was not nice and friendly. He used a very vivid image in his "loving" correction of certain people who were all up in arms about circu.mcision and who had an unyielding affinity for the Law (like those who would put a statue of the 10 commandments in a public lawn) in spite of the fact that this affinity for the Law meant that they did not trust (have faith in) the Spirit.

      Paul was not at all polite, here. His language was harsh. His language was judgmental.

      September 1, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Bruce

      Martin T: Where on earth did Bo say anything remotely resembling or intuiting the notion of original sin?

      September 1, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Martin T

      I took his comment on "man's sinful nature" to represent the church's view on orginal sin... perhaps I was mistaken, if so, then I stand corrected on that statement.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Bruce

      Martin T: Ah, I see now. You should be careful, however, the doctrine that bears that name is only loosely-affiliated with "sinful nature" language, and it names a specific dogma that comes from the Roman Catholic Church. I would be very surprised indeed if Bo subscribes to orthodox RC theology.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Bruce

      Bo, I know Paul's letter to the Galatians very well, indeed. It is perhaps the finest piece of theology found in the New Testament. It forges new ground with regards to moral freedom, and even shows us how to interpret stories from Genesis allegorically (see the 4th chapter).

      My point is that the language he chose was not nice and friendly. He used a very vivid image in his "loving" correction of certain people who were all up in arms about circu.mcision and who had an unyielding affinity for the Law (like those who would put a statue of the 10 commandments in a public lawn) in spite of the fact that this affinity for the Law meant that they did not trust (have faith in) the Spirit.

      Paul was not at all polite, here. His language was harsh. His language was judgmental.

      ------–
      But it was Paul's words, not gods. Correct?

      September 1, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • Martin T

      Yes Bruce, but there are Protestant groups that follow the "Original sin" thought as well. Such as the Southern Baptists, I know because I was married to a SB Preacher's daughter, for far too long...

      September 1, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Bruce

      Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics: "But it was Paul's words, not gods. Correct?"

      Ummm... yeah. Do you have a point?

      September 1, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Martin T

      and forgive the redundant use of mortality rate and death in the same sentence... LOL

      Further, look at the differences for a moment between lets say man and shark... Why, if man is so perfect a design, did god not give US the ability to regrow teeth or in the case of a starfish, a limb? Again, I go to the argument that evolution and how this wonderful planet came to be, was the result of billions of years and trillions of little tiny changes that resulted in who or what we have today. Evolution is STILL ongoing, look at man's own appendix, once thought to be useful is now not even showing up in many children, today.

      -------------–
      Another thing I found interesting is how the blood types are changing. Also, how are our bodies adapting to pollution and chemicals in the foods?

      September 1, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Lawlz

      bruce: "Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics: "But it was Paul's words, not gods. Correct?" ... Ummm... yeah. Do you have a point?"

      Dogmatic, militant atheists rarely have a point. They're no better than your run of the mill bigot.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Bruce

      Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics: "But it was Paul's words, not gods. Correct?"

      Ummm... yeah. Do you have a point?

      ----
      I wanted to clarify since some view the whole bible as The Word of God.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • Lawlz

      martin: "Further, look at the differences for a moment between lets say man and shark... Why, if man is so perfect a design, did god not give US the ability to regrow teeth or in the case of a starfish, a limb? Again, I go to the argument that evolution..."

      You do realize that the existence of a god and religion are not coextensive, right?

      Much less, you're assuming that "perfection" is something objective, or is based on your own personal desires (e.g., to regrow teeth), rather than based on the needs an animal has in its environment.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • Martin T

      "Much less, you're assuming that "perfection" is something objective, or is based on your own personal desires (e.g., to regrow teeth), rather than based on the needs an animal has in its environment."

      And THERE you make my argument for evolution, NOT Creation....

      September 1, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Bruce

      Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics:

      What you "Jesus never existed" folks often miss is the fact that even if Jesus WAS made up completely as a fictional venture, there is still a lot of very rich material–including the story itself–to discuss in a serious manner.

      I wish people would stop wasting time with this "proof" and "evidence" cr@p and start actually discussing the ideas we find in the text. It's all quite distracting, and really quite irrelevant.
      .
      -----------
      Don't assume I am part of that crowd. It is possible he existed. Considering who actually wrote the bible, I question whether jesus actually said those things.
      .
      As far as the prove or disprove crowds, you have to keep in mind there are people here part of that crowd here on both sides. There are also people such as yourself who want to discuss the content that might quote wisdom from jesus to gandhi. It doesn't mean you support them, believe in them etc.
      .
      In respect to wha ti simportant to you, I can agree wisdom can be found in quotes attributed to jesus.

      September 1, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
  18. Martin T

    I could care less what a man's religion is or if he has any religion at all, so long as he keeps it out of the public sector. This, of course, is more often than not, impossible. Religion is much like a virus, once it infects one organism, it is programmed to search out and infect as many others as possible. Also like a virus, religion is very difficult to stop from spreading, mainly because it (religion and viruses) has learned to adapt to the environmental changes around it.

    September 1, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • Alfonzo Muchanzo

      And hateful, ignorant, boneheaded comments like yours do wonders for humanity? Actually your hatred is what is the virus, how about you go volunteer or donate something to charity instead of sitting in your mom's house writing spiteful comments on a CNN message boards because you're insecure with yourself.

      September 1, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Martin Teabag

      Lol, Martin got owned.

      September 1, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Martin T

      Ah, Alphonso has just piped up and proven my point... FYI, my parents did not have a home with a basement, we lived in the South where the water table did not allow such a luxury; also, since my Mother has been dead for six years, your comment is quite disrespectful of her don't you think?

      Please please please understand that your words have no affect on me, you are a faceless, mindless, box on which I read and type, and little if anything else. Peace

      September 1, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Martin T

      "@BO – Very true words you speak. Unfortunately the majority of the atheists on these blogs don't look to real Christianity to compare their views to. They typically prefer to find a Christian acting in unchristian ways and then attack that person as being the spokesman for the whole religion, which they then deem is terrible for all of humankind."

      And you, Alphonso, represent this group VERY well...

      September 1, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Martin T

      @ Mr. Teabagger – and do you mean by "owned" I was personally attacked and proven correct in my statements earlier.. very well said then.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • Martin T

      Not true, Alphonso.. IF you had the intellect to understand Cosmology and Physics and a few other of the natural sciences, you would quite easily understand how something can come from nothing, as you put it. In the theory of the Big Bang, there is no such thing as something from nothing, the hypothesis is that all of the matter in the universe was condensed into an incredibily small point. Such a point would have had immense density and thus would have produced the universe; however, because most humans have a very limited ability to see "time" as more than just a few precious years of life, understanding billions upon billions of years is beyond their capability.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Alfonzo Muchanzo

      @Martin – Just stating a fact. Calling your comment ignorant, which it was. I'm terrible sorry about your mom and did not mean to bring any hurt if I have done so. The last part of the comment was immature and childish, and again, I'm sorry.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Martin T

      @ Alphonso, as I said no harm, no foul. I'm not hurt at all, as I also said, I'm not easily offended and I'll admit that my words are sometimes framed in such a way as to know that they will create a certain reaction in people. I'm actually at home on summer break before returning to my teaching job in Boston at a rather nice college.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Alfonzo Muchanzo

      @Martin – You however didn't answer the question. A small point expanding to create something larger is feasible. However that still doesn't explain how that small point got there or where it originated from.

      I look at this earth and see such harmony (on a large scale) and how each human is so complex, let alone this planet, and it shouts that something intelligent had to be behind this. As smart as humans are, we can't even begin to replicate even small parts of the body.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Martin T

      AS to the point of it being an ignorant comment, however, do you not agree that ALL religions seek to convert others to their faith? IF this were not so, then why are the Evangelicals trying to win the White House? Why do the Muslim Extremist even care about America, do they not in some way feel threatened or wish to convert us all? Would you not, as a Christian, want me to become a believer instead of an atheist?

      September 1, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Martin T

      @Alphonso, but your argument of a "first cause" is in itself the problem. IF there had to be something or someone who created the universe, did there not have to be someone or something who created the creator and so on??? The world is not as complex as it appears, nor is man.. Take the simple act of giving birth. This is a flaw in the "design" of a woman brought on by evolution, certainly not by god's creation, otherwise surely he would have seen that by giving man/woman the ability to walk upright, the position of the hips and thus the birth canal would make giving birth nearly impossible. Mankind has the HIGHEST mortality rate of death among ALL mamal species because of this.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Alfonzo Muchanzo

      @Martin – Yes, ofcourse religions like to convert people, however that is not their sole purpose. Wouldn't you also say that you want to convert people to being an atheist as opposed to a believer? In that case we are no different.

      The Bible states that if someone doesn't wish to believe, then you simply brush off your shoes and keep moving, you don't sit there and hound them and try to force them to believe. I personally don't go out and try to push my belief on anybody. I try to live a decent respectable life, and if anybody asks me what I believe in, I'm happy to share it.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Martin T

      and forgive the redundant use of mortality rate and death in the same sentence... LOL

      Further, look at the differences for a moment between lets say man and shark... Why, if man is so perfect a design, did god not give US the ability to regrow teeth or in the case of a starfish, a limb? Again, I go to the argument that evolution and how this wonderful planet came to be, was the result of billions of years and trillions of little tiny changes that resulted in who or what we have today. Evolution is STILL ongoing, look at man's own appendix, once thought to be useful is now not even showing up in many children, today.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Alfonzo Muchanzo

      @Martin – You however didn't answer the question. A small point expanding to create something larger is feasible. However that still doesn't explain how that small point got there or where it originated from.

      I look at this earth and see such harmony (on a large scale) and how each human is so complex, let alone this planet, and it shouts that something intelligent had to be behind this. As smart as humans are, we can't even begin to replicate even small parts of the body.

      ---------
      I am open to the possibility of intelligent design....is it a m,agical god? Highly unlikely and is not logical. What makes you think that it was your magical god that created us? Could it be because your faith is in men not a god?

      September 1, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • miller

      I think you have watched the matrix one too many times.
      In reality the virus lives in you and me,
      Its called original sin.

      My Christ love be found in you some day.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • Martin T

      "Wouldn't you also say that you want to convert people to being an atheist as opposed to a believer?"

      Actually, I have NO such desire at all, in fact I would be perfectly happy for their to be a coexistence of all of us, IF there were a way for religion to stay out of things like science, medicine, se – xuality, government, and so on...

      September 1, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • Martin T

      @Miller, I thank you for injecting your dogma into the conversation, it gives it so much validity – my point that is...

      September 1, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • Alfonzo Muchanzo

      @Martin – The time question is a good one, and by googling that, there are answers (i.e. God is outside of time, he created time and is therefore not bound by it, etc). I'll admit that it's quite a doozy to think about and It's hard for humans to wrap their mind around infinity.

      As far as the birth and humans go, evolution does not go against Christianity. Ofcourse you have those wacky preachers who say the earth is only 6k yrs old and all that, but they don't represent the majority, or mainstream, Christianity. You just hear about them a lot more because the nature of the media is to report stories that are sensationalist by nature.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • Lawlz

      martin: "I could care less what a man's religion is or if he has any religion at all, so long as he keeps it out of the public sector."

      Ah, right. People have a right to believe and practice their religion, so long as they do it where you, yourself, will never see it. And so by consequence, you've forced your own (non-)religion onto them.

      Brilliant.

      'religion is like a virus'

      Great ad hominem.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Lawlz

      martin: "Actually, I have NO such desire at all, in fact I would be perfectly happy for their to be a coexistence of all of us, IF there were a way for religion to stay out of things like science, medicine, se – xuality, government, and so on..."

      So, once again, people can be religious, but they can't be religious where you don't want them to be. So in practical effect, everyone must follow your beliefs and abandon their own.

      You're smart.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Martin T

      @Alphonso, but don't you see, your "understanding" of god and time, had to include a belief in god. I agree that time is the big question, as is the issue of where god came from in the beginning. I've certainly enjoyed this, but I have a call to make to my dean and then off to the library to read. Peace... thanks for the discussion... enjoyed it.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • Martin T

      @Lawlz, you comment without adding anything to the argument. What do you have to offer? Would your religion want me to impose taxes on them, perhaps to create a National Religion, Perhaps we'll allow Sharia law to become the "Norm" for us... don't you see, any religon that is in the public domain is dangerous.. period.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Martin T

      @Lawlz, I do not impose any restriction of "being religious" just on religions imposition of their beliefs on others. THAT is what America was founded on, and that alone... the religious right is seeking to change that...

      September 1, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • Martin T

      @Lawlz, what is wrong with asking religions to stay out of science and medicine. Do you even know how far we would be in terms of curing disease IF the religious Right stayed out of things like research and medicine??? Any idea?? Why should your religion be allowed in MY bedroom or the bedroom of a gay couple? Why should YOUR religious views be the only one allowed during Christmas, the winter solstice to me? Why MUST I endure your Christ, hanging from a cross in public, when you do not want a pagan to run naked through your street??

      September 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Alfonzo Muchanzo

      @Martin – Take care, good luck with school once it starts back. And although you probably don't want me saying this......God bless! hehe 🙂

      September 1, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  19. Bo

    ============= I'm not going to defend those who claim to be Christian and then use hateful, unloving, judgemental language. To me that is not Christian. So far as I'm concerned they need to study their Bibles more.

    September 1, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • Bruce

      Read Galatians 5:12 and tell me how unchristian using hateful, unloving, judgmental language is...

      Seriously, Paul pulled no punches.

      September 1, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Alfonzo Muchanzo

      @BO – Very true words you speak. Unfortunately the majority of the atheists on these blogs don't look to real Christianity to compare their views to. They typically prefer to find a Christian acting in unchristian ways and then attack that person as being the spokesman for the whole religion, which they then deem is terrible for all of humankind.

      September 1, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • Martin T

      @ Alphonso – for me, as an atheist, I try not to attack anyone as a person, but their dogma and irrational belief system. I am as much against any religion as I am against any ONE religion, they are all very dangerous, indeed. The central tenent of all of the Abrahamic religions is to COVERT others to one's belief system and therein lies the problem. I am also, in case you are interested, against people who argue against science and those who think that UFO's are kidnapping their kinfolk.

      September 1, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • Alfonzo Muchanzo

      @Martin – Unfortunately sir, God is neither proved nor disproved and therefore your belief (or lack thereof) is not proven either. We both have taken certain evidences into account and made our decision (or belief) based on what we deem is the most probably reason for our existence. I'm still waiting for atheists to explain how something can come from nothing because that goes completely against any laws of science. You realize you'd have a better chance of smashing your watch to the ground and having it magically put itself back together than you would for the creation of this beautiful life on earth?

      September 1, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Bruce

      Alfonzo: No atheist ever claims that something came from nothing. Order coming from disorder, as we find when we look at life on earth, came from enormous energy inputs from the sun. Thermodynamically-speaking, at least, the earth is not a closed system.

      Of course, the whole order/disorder thing and your analogy of smashing a watch on the ground and having it rebuild itself is the wrong way to think of thermodynamics in the first place.

      A watch betrays an intention in design in a way that isn't betrayed by a flock of birds or how a field of wildflowers is "arranged". It is noticeable and the distinct differences are easily seen. The whole intelligent design argument falls flat on its face with Paley's watch, because we all know the difference in what an "intentional" design looks like versus one that lacks intention.

      Besides, even if God DID design the world with intention, what makes you think any human would recognize the marks of His intention? Seriously, we are most-likely incapable of discerning something that came about without the guiding hand of a conscious intentioned designer from one that came about as as a result of the intentions of God.

      Besides, if Genesis is to be believed at all in this regard (though this entire discussion is silly), God is depicted there NOT as a micro-manager-of-every-subquantum-event, but rather as a big-picture-guy who speaks grand ideas into existence and lets them evolve-as-they-may. Later, how they evolve even surprises Him, and He expresses regret (Gen 6:6).

      But of course, nobody really believes in the Book of Genesis. Christians long-ago reinterpreted every verse in that book, except perhaps strings of "begats" which gave them numbers they could add up on their pocket calculators, to mean something completely different from the face-value of what is being depicted there...

      September 1, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Alfonzo Muchanzo

      @Martin – Unfortunately sir, God is neither proved nor disproved and therefore your belief (or lack thereof) is not proven either. We both have taken certain evidences into account and made our decision (or belief) based on what we deem is the most probably reason for our existence. I'm still waiting for atheists to explain how something can come from nothing because that goes completely against any laws of science. You realize you'd have a better chance of smashing your watch to the ground and having it magically put itself back together than you would for the creation of this beautiful life on earth?

      -----------

      They haven't proven or disproven the toothfairy so I guess you believe in those as well? If you do not believe in the toothfairy, what is your proof?
      .
      They have not proven or disproven that Zues exists. IF you do not believe in Zues please provide the proof.
      >>You see how this works.....lack of ANY direct evidence establishes there is no particular god. The one claiming that something exists has the burden. Your case of no one has proven vs disproven shows your defeat and we accept it. You make the claim...back it up.
      .
      I am curious, what does the creation of the universe have to do with your particular magical god?
      .
      Myself, I am waiting for christians to prove that their god wrote the bible and not the hand of man. Leave out all assumptions of course.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • HS

      Jesus said,
      I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

      John 15:1-6

      Amen.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Martin T

      @HS, quoting the bible does little to prove anything, that's the point, man.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      HS

      Jesus said,
      I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

      John 15:1-6

      Amen.

      ------–
      Actually there is no evidence that jesus said this. Shall I quote some marvel comics?

      September 1, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Who wrote John 15:1-6 ?

      September 1, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Alfonzo Muchanzo

      @Anti Christian Taliban – The tooth fairy doesn't exist because that's knowable and it was clearly a fable, same with santa claus, unicorns etc. Zeus doesn't exist because those were also fables, which we have discerned and there is no historical evidence for that.

      The Bible has tons of historical evidence and many archaelogical finds back up exactly what it says. Comparing the Bible or God to the tooth fairy is childesh to say the least. I've seen you on here a lot just posting comments that are troll-like in nature to get reactions out of people and I will no longer be responding to you (of which your above post was prob the least hateful I've seen from you).

      September 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Bruce

      "there is no evidence that jesus said this"

      Actually, there is some evidence that Jesus said what was quoted, or something like it. It may not be convincing evidence, but the fact that it was recorded as a saying of Jesus is some evidence, which is a far cry from no evidence.

      Perhaps you want to say there is little evidence that Jesus said this?

      And even if Jesus never existed in actual history and instead was a fictional creation of some Jesus cartoon committee, the quote is there to be read on its own, to be judged critically as-it-is, and on its own merits. Stop pretending that the historicity of the story of Jesus is at all relevant to judging the truth or untruth of what was quoted.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Alfonzo Muchanzo

      @Anti Christian Taliban – The tooth fairy doesn't exist because that's knowable and it was clearly a fable, same with santa claus, unicorns etc. Zeus doesn't exist because those were also fables, which we have discerned and there is no historical evidence for that.

      The Bible has tons of historical evidence and many archaelogical finds back up exactly what it says. Comparing the Bible or God to the tooth fairy is childesh to say the least. I've seen you on here a lot just posting comments that are troll-like in nature to get reactions out of people and I will no longer be responding to you (of which your above post was prob the least hateful I've seen from you).

      .
      No offense, I really don't care if you do not respond to me. You do realize we are talking about proof of your magical god not historical cities, tribes discussed in the bible which can be verified. The bible by itself is not evidence of your magical god. If there was "credible physical evidence" of your magical god, we would be most likely be taught in school. There is nothing objective, rather subjective when it comes to yours or any magical god. There is nothing outside of the bible to collabarate or be offered as physical evidence of your particular god.
      .
      To compare beings or things that are equally lacking evidence is not childish...it is what it is.
      .
      What is interesting is some believe certain events in the bible really happened and others view it more as parables. I find this interesting sinc eyou scoof some things off as fables.

      September 1, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Bruce

      "there is no evidence that jesus said this"

      Actually, there is some evidence that Jesus said what was quoted, or something like it. It may not be convincing evidence, but the fact that it was recorded as a saying of Jesus is some evidence, which is a far cry from no evidence.

      Perhaps you want to say there is little evidence that Jesus said this?

      And even if Jesus never existed in actual history and instead was a fictional creation of some Jesus cartoon committee, the quote is there to be read on its own, to be judged critically as-it-is, and on its own merits. Stop pretending that the historicity of the story of Jesus is at all relevant to judging the truth or untruth of what was quoted.
      ---------–
      I can agree with you to a certain degree.

      September 1, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Alfonzo Muchanzo

      've seen you on here a lot just posting comments that are troll-like in nature to get reactions out of people and I will no longer be responding to you (of which your above post was prob the least hateful I've seen from you).
      ------
      I find it interesting that the more sensative someone is the more they take adverse opinions as hate. I will admit there are a couple nutb@lls that I might come across strong...but they ask for it and frankly I think they enjoy the attention. Yes I think christians/muslims/jews are delusional. I think some christians are power hungry and a threat to our freedom. This does not mean I hate them.

      September 1, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Bruce

      Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics:

      What you "Jesus never existed" folks often miss is the fact that even if Jesus WAS made up completely as a fictional venture, there is still a lot of very rich material–including the story itself–to discuss in a serious manner.

      Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote a brilliant novel called Brothers Karamazov that, in spite of being fiction, has a wealth of spiritual claims and philosophically-inspired material that makes for great conversation. We don't need to distract ourselves with the fact that Alyosha never existed in actual history in order to clear the way to discuss the fictional story he's told by his brother, Ivan, involving a figure from the Spanish Inquisition. (A story, btw, that also includes Jesus as a character.)

      I wish people would stop wasting time with this "proof" and "evidence" cr@p and start actually discussing the ideas we find in the text. It's all quite distracting, and really quite irrelevant.

      September 1, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      oops wrong spot
      .
      Bruce

      Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics:

      What you "Jesus never existed" folks often miss is the fact that even if Jesus WAS made up completely as a fictional venture, there is still a lot of very rich material–including the story itself–to discuss in a serious manner.

      I wish people would stop wasting time with this "proof" and "evidence" cr@p and start actually discussing the ideas we find in the text. It's all quite distracting, and really quite irrelevant.
      .
      ---–
      Don't assume I am part of that crowd. It is possible he existed. Considering who actually wrote the bible, I question whether jesus actually said those things.
      .
      As far as the prove or disprove crowds, you have to keep in mind there are people here part of that crowd here on both sides. There are also people such as yourself who want to discuss the content that might quote wisdom from jesus to gandhi. It doesn't mean you support them, believe in them etc.
      .
      In respect to wha ti simportant to you, I can agree wisdom can be found in quotes attributed to jesus.

      September 1, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • Ted Wilson

      I am so sick and tired of people saying, in effect, don't be judgmental to the extent that we are supposedly to give just about everyone the benefit-of-the-doubt. We need to use our judgment to make decisions about how we lead our lives, that's what the brain is for. Hate, no. Prejudice, no. Racism, no. Using our judgment, absoulutely yes !!!

      September 6, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
  20. Bo

    ========@Demuth====================== I was writing my comment when you made your post so I didn't see it. I'll have to excuse your boorishness because you don't know any better.

    September 1, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
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About this blog

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.