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Your Take: Comments on a congressman's conversion to Islam
U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison was raised Catholic but converted to Islam in college.
September 2nd, 2011
11:11 AM ET

Your Take: Comments on a congressman's conversion to Islam

It's no surprise that our Thursday post on U.S. Rep Keith Ellison's conversion from Catholicism to Islam fetched loads of comments.

Some commenters discerned a pattern of CNN conspiring against Christianity (have they noticed all our thoughtful stories about Christianity?):

RonnieReagan

Anyone notice this pattern?

Again the SHAMEFUL cnn promoting Islam and atheism at the expense of Christianity. I wonder what the schmucks at CNN will do when they realize the hammer is about to be dropped on their daughters by all the MOOSLIMS.

Lots of commenters vented anti-Muslim sentiments:

jamal
I am an Ex-Muslim. I am free, I am happy and I am now a proud Infidel......Islam is the religion of hate and suffocation. Islam is the religion of wife beating and polygamy. Islam is the anti-women religion and it hates free thinking. Islam is a crime against humanity.

Sara
First Muslim member of Congress? Let's hope he's the last.

Some came to the defense of Muslims. The first one in this list is a response to Sara's comment from above:

Knucklehead
You're quite an American. The founding fathers would be proud.

Judge NOT...
As a Christian, I read the Quran after 9/11 because I couldn't believe the news that a Book of God could incite people in such a negative way. I was right, the Holy Quran confirms the Bible and vice versa if you read them both with an open mind. I am very happy that I read both because both teach the right lessons. For those of you nay sayers that say religion is a way to manipulate the weak-minded, how little you know about life and how little you know about your own potential. Read both as books, then study both as a life lesson. By doing this you will find your place in the World and after. God reigns, God is great and God gives peace to those that seek it. Instead of criticizing others, look inward at your emptiness and know that there is an answer, ONE answer. If you can't understand it, I truly pity you.

sofas
Many of the people who post on this website seem to never met or befriended a Muslim person and therefore put the face of terrorism on every Muslim they never met. This is why it is important to expose people such as these, people who have never left their little oyster shells, to one of millions of peaceful, law-abiding Muslims in America and one of billions of law abiding Muslims in the world. That is the significance of this story. Otherwise, we run the risk of becoming a developed, civilized nation, super power that is a breeding ground for haters and paranoid nut cases such as the terrorist Anders Behring Breivik (the Norwegian terrorist) in this ever shrinking, increasingly global world.

Lots of commenters expressed alarm about what they said are Islamic threats to American culture and law:

Parkerman
I am not going to say that one religion is better than another, but the lifestyle of Islam is not the lifestyle of the western civilization. I am concerned simply that our lifestyle and the laws and culture that made this country great will be lost. Look how made Muslim run countries are. I do not want any impact Muslim law just because we have Muslim congressman. It does not mix.

And as always, droves of atheists lampooned religion, Muslim and otherwise:

McJesus
I believe in Leprechauns. Can you write a story about me too?

cleareye1
All religions are the same. They are fantasy based and would not survive a generation if they didn't brainwash children before they learn how to think. Maybe Scientology differs, but what is Scientology?

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Comments • Islam • Politics

soundoff (493 Responses)
  1. pseudobliss

    Religious intolerance is everywhere. Ever stop to think why Jewish people do not accept Christians or Muslims into marriage without the "outsider" converting? Why dont Jewish people accept "outsiders" into their grave yards? These are all old tricks from yesteryear designed to overtake one religion and empower another and it is working. Marriages are littered with women (and some men) who were not accepted as Christian or Muslim in marriage by the Jewish community. For all those Christians out there complaining about CNN and Muslims, look right under your nose and stop blaming only Muslims. Youve been discriminated against for decades. Good job to CNN for posting honestly and not censoring respectful posts that point out the obvious...

    September 2, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
    • Kevin

      The only thing in your post that is obvious is that you don't like Jews.

      September 2, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
  2. Gman

    I just converted to dontgivea7uckism

    September 2, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
    • LinCA

      Is that the radical branch of dontgiveashitism?

      September 2, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
  3. NightOwl

    I just stopped believing in Flaying Spaghetti Monster and started believing in Zeus. I feel so at peace right now. My life finally makes sense!

    September 2, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
    • Kevin

      Come back to the FSM! Remember... He boiled for your sins!

      September 2, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
  4. timbuktu

    I'm just tired of these winners. Go ahead ya Americans and use your weapons of mass destruction and annihilate all places in the world inhabited by Muslims so that you no longer fear of those terrorists blowing up your imperialistic greedy asses. Go ahead shot 'em up!!

    September 2, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
    • Gman

      Now thats what im waiting for!

      September 2, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
  5. b4big bang

    @sergio saavedra
    The Bible has its "dark side" – it's called the Old Testament. The New Testament has no "dark side" (ie, telling its followers to do violence).

    September 2, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
    • Vandalii

      Umm, the two go together, even if we don't like it. The Old Testament, or "dark side" as you call it, is part and parcel of understanding the history of God's interaction with mankind. Those that call themselves "New Testament" Christians miss the entire point of Christ's sacrifice as demonstrated in the "dark side" as God began His mission to restore His relationship to us, starting in Genesis 3 with the fall and ending in Revelation 22. Only took two chapters before we messed it up so bad that it took the entire rest of the Bible for God to explain to us how He gets us back to Himself.

      September 2, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
  6. Zeno

    911 was an inside job, Islam is the fastest growing religion in usa it dont metter what evil people say about Islam the number keeps growing fast so keep barking like dogs

    September 2, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
    • Vandalii

      Woof, woof. See, we can be obedient 😉

      September 2, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
  7. stanton

    Most America's knew better than to go to war with Iraq,But we had a moron in the white house don't you Republican's understand that fact????? DUBYUH IS AND WAS AN IDIOT AND CHENEY IS WAS NO BETTER!!!!!!

    September 2, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
  8. saulright

    Does anyone else think this dude looks like Ice Cube!!?

    September 2, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
    • jackjones

      Looks a hell of a lot more like Ice T than Ice Cube.

      September 2, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
  9. stanton

    The Unholy Roman Catholic Church is a fine example of religion run a muck during the dark ages!!!!! if you did not agree with them you where tortured then burned or roasted at the stake what ever they felt like doing to you!!!!!

    September 2, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
    • Gman

      can we finally move on with life ?

      September 2, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
  10. sergio saavedra

    Does anybody care about truth anymore ??! Any person who approaches both the Bible and the Koran objectively will see that No, they are not the same, and while on the surface the Koran may appear to teach peace and love, there is a dark side to Islam that is just nonexistant in the Bible. There are peace-loving Muslims, I agree. They're trapped, however, in a system that promotes hate towards jews and christians and whose only mission is to convert everybody- by the sword if necessary. Really ? They're the same ? Truth seems to always be offered on the alter of tolerance political correctness. Why shouldn't it, though? We no longer have any use for it !

    September 2, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  11. stanton

    Islam is as artificial as the republican party saying they want to help the country all they want to do is help themselves to everything that is not nailed down!!!!!!

    September 2, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
    • CT

      Now take your statement and replace "Islam" with every other religion out there.

      September 2, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
  12. Trent

    Religion is inherently dangerous. People swear allegience to a diety whose existence has never been confirmed. The will of this alleged diety is translated by various individuals (often crazy people) who claim to have the sole correct translation and all other translations are false. "There is no god but [fill in the blank]."

    September 2, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
    • Vandalii

      In response to Trent, it is not religion that is dangerous, it ignorance and willful blindness that is dangerous. People that swear there cannot be a deity, that some as-yet undiscovered pixie dust bridges the archaeological gaps in evolution or that maybe it all started with bacteria carried on crystals that hit the earth (seriously?), or better yet, aliens got evolution started that somehow (see lack of archeological evidence of bridges between stages of evolution. Or maybe we should discuss the belief that we are significant enough of a force to push natural weather cycles off their axis (as compared to, say, a volcano that pumps out thousands of times the amount of stuff into the atmosphere as we produce in a year).

      No, everywhere we turn, everyone believes in something. As for me, I believe I'll go have a beer 😉

      September 2, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
  13. thetruth

    Three things: Christianity has set back human progress thousands of years due to the exponential rates of technological advancement and the constant societal suppression of intellectual pursuits Christians adhere to. Second thing, If I say that Aardvarks are holy creatures that indirectly judge Mankind to eternal suffering or eternal happiness, then I have as much proof towards my faith (aardvarks) being true as Christian's have for their faith being true. Third, If Satan is in charge of Hell, and he is hedonistic as is implied and spelled out in the bible and Christian culture, then wouldn't he make Hell a place of self indulgence and pleasure? And if Jesus is against pleasure, wouldn't heaven be a pretty boring place?

    sorry Christians, but I find that while your Moral teachings may be sound, everything else about your religion is corrupt and contradictory.

    September 2, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
    • StupidWhinyLiberal

      I gotta hand it to ya, "thetruth". It's difficult for me to recall anyone exhibiting such a shallow thought process. I'm curious if you've ever experienced or witnessed the results of a hedonistic lifestyle.

      September 2, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
    • i wonder

      StupidWhinyLiberal: "I'm curious if you've ever experienced or witnessed the results of a hedonistic lifestyle."

      Into eternity? Nope... and neither have you nor anyone else.

      September 2, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
    • Vandalii

      "Christianity has set back human progress thousands of years due to the exponential rates of technological advancement and the constant societal suppression of intellectual pursuits Christians adhere to"

      What a strange sentence that really doesn't make any sense. Care to have another go at that one? I can't quite make out whether Christians' intellectual pursuits (normally considered a good thing) are being suppressed, or somehow exponential rates of technological advancement are suppressing something or another? I think I know what you were trying to say, but might want to proof-read (and clarify) before hitting the "Post" button. Just sayin'...

      September 2, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • fdfsd

      You mispelled "Aardvarks". You will burn in hell forever!

      September 2, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
    • Kevin

      @Vandalii – I think what he's trying to say is that mankind's progress has been in spite of religion, not because of it and if we had never had religion to slow us down in the first place, we'd be much more advanced technologically than we are now. At least that is what I gather from the posting.

      September 2, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
  14. cindy lo who

    shame on ellison....i never knew he was a Catholic.....Jesus said no one comes to the father but through me.....Jesus always welcomes the astray back home....come back to Jesus keith

    September 2, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
    • James Carnegie

      Please do your research before you make assumptions. The people of Islam believe in Jesus as they believe in ALL the prophets (Moses, etc). They just don't believe that Jesus is God's son, that he is one of his messengers.

      September 2, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
  15. Dennis Nispel

    From one false religion to another. What's the big deal?

    September 2, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
  16. JimD

    It sure would be nice if there were a god that took care of everything. Show me the proof. It would be great.

    September 2, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • Believer

      I've just seen my baby in the womb on an ultrasound visit, if there was no GOD how in the baby which measures less than 5 inches knows how to swallow food around it and how to excrete. if you have an open mind, this one example alone should be enough to make you feel the presence of GOD, there are millions of other signs just around you but only if you are in the right frame of mind

      September 2, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
    • CT

      @Believer, if you believe that your unborn baby is swallowing food and excreting it than you failed basic physiology AND your OB/GYN sucks. You may want to Google "umbilical cord".

      September 2, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
    • Real Deal

      Believer: "there are millions of other signs just around you but only if you are in the right frame of mind"

      ...which would be the delusional 'frame of mind'. Oh, how I hope that you don't teach your child that these myths and fantasies are reality!... not to mention passing along your shocking ignorance of biology and physiology.

      September 2, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
  17. Reza123

    What's with it with these Blacks who're either lost or bored or idiots turning to Islam???

    September 2, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
  18. Carl

    I am not an antheist. I believe in one GOD, but I hate RELIGION!

    September 2, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
    • Vandalii

      A good distinction to make. Religion is the attempt by man to reach up to God to attain His pleasure, hence always doomed to failure. We'll never measure up.

      Christianity is having a relationship with God, initiated by God, Him reaching down to me, not me reaching up to Him. Many "religious" folks are very busy following rules and strictures, but, as Christ said of the Pharisees, miss the weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy and faithfulness.

      September 2, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
  19. Chaz

    I don't understand what the issue you. This nation was built upon diversity and multi-cultural religious beliefs. Questioning is one thing, but blatant disrespect to a group is wrong, and in fact racist. To the FELLOW white american out there; we were once immigrants. We also came to this country as foreigners. Who are we to say that one idea is wrong. And the notion that Islam does not bode with our government is ludicrous. Any religion can be seen that way – but it all depends on how one perceives the religion on their own. All faiths have their fanatics. The sad fact is that today Muslims are the more prevalent extremist group – HOWEVER this does not say anything about other Muslims nor the religion itself. The polluted and past ideas of Islam are constantly perpetuated in media and the fact of the matter is that they are not practiced anymore.
    Before you begin saying anything about Islam; please go out and EDUCATE yourselves.

    September 2, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
    • fiskenmann

      "Before you begin saying anything about Islam; please go out and EDUCATE yourselves."

      Obviously you were educated at the school of the deaf, dumb and blind!

      September 2, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
    • cekuhnen

      Hey fiskenmann,

      do you think all those radical christians in the USA who wanted to go to war in Iraq are that much better? What is worse? 11 guys crashing 4 planes or a nation being ok with starting a war and invasion of a country which had nothing todo with 9/11?

      You stupid American really need to educate yourself first before calling out others.
      This is what your country is known for worldwide and you are the stereotypical proof of it.

      September 2, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
    • StupidWhinyLiberal

      Chaz, please explain how our nation was built upon diversity and multi-cultural religious beliefs. Using your current understanding, please define "diversity" and "multi-cultural religious beliefs". Also, to which "polluted and past ideas of Islam" are you referring". I'm just trying to understand your meanings.

      September 2, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
  20. hammer

    Man Made religion is the root ofEvil!

    September 2, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
    • George

      That's why true religion is of God, not of man. And true religion is the hope of mankind.

      September 2, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
    • cekuhnen

      You fail in seeing the difference between man made tradition and true religion.

      What about the evangelicals who pushed for war against terrorism and used the fear of 9/11 to get this country ready to invade a different country (Iraq) based on faked evidence and in the name of god.

      I am sorry but this is not what god wants, this is what those stupid uneducated hillbillies wanted in their selfish uneducated lifestyle.

      Dont blame religion when humans abuse it and fellow humans follow that wrong call.

      September 2, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.