Four ways 9/11 changed America's attitude toward religion
Construction workers move steel beam pulled from ground zero rubble into its permanent home at the 9/11 Memorial Museum.
September 3rd, 2011
10:00 PM ET

Four ways 9/11 changed America's attitude toward religion

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - David O'Brien couldn't help himself. After the September 11 terrorist attacks, he became obsessed.

O'Brien read the stories of 9/11 victims over and over, stunned by what he was discovering.

He read about the firefighters who marched up the smoke-choked stairwells of the World Trade Center, though many knew they could die; the beloved priest killed while giving last rites as the twin towers collapsed; the passengers on hijacked planes who called their families one last time to say, "I love you."

"I was obsessed with these stories," says O'Brien, a Catholic historian at the University of Dayton in Ohio. "There were so many stories of self-sacrifice, not just by the first responders, but by people fleeing the building. There was this revelation of goodness."

O'Brien saw an Easter message in 9/11 - good rising out of the ashes of evil. Yet there were other religious messages sent that day, and afterward, that are more troubling, religious leaders and scholars say.

September 11 didn't just change America, they say. It changed the nation's attitude toward religion. Here are four ways:

1: A chosen nation becomes a humbled one.

One man died because he arrived early to work. A woman died because she decided to take a later flight. The arbitrary nature of some of the deaths on 9/11 still sticks with many Americans today.

Yet this is what life is like for billions of people on the planet today, some religious leaders say. A random event - a car bomb, a stray bullet - can end their lives at any minute.

Most Americans had not lived with this vulnerability until 9/11, says Mathew Schmalz, a religion professor at the College of the Holy Cross  in Massachusetts, who once lived in Karachi, Pakistan.

"We had this sense of specialness and invulnerability that 9/11 shattered," he says. "Given that a large section of the world's population deals with random violence every day, one of the outcomes of 9/11 should be a greater feeling of solidarity with people who live in cities like Karachi in which violence is a part of everyday life."

Recognizing that vulnerability, though, is difficult for some Americans because of how they see their country, Schmalz and others say.

They say Americans have long had a triumphalist view of their place in history. Certain beliefs have been engrained: Tomorrow will always be better; we're number one. The term "American" even reflects a certain arrogance. It casually discounts millions of people living in Central and Latin America.

The 9/11 attacks, though, forced many Americans to confront their limitations, says Rev. Thomas Long, a nationally known pastor who has been active in post 9/11 interfaith efforts.

"We're losing the power of the American empire and becoming more a nation among nations," says Long, a religion professor at Emory University in Atlanta. "The world is a much more dangerous and fragile place economically."

How Americans cope with their loss of power is ultimately a theological question, Long says. It's the same question the ancient Hebrews confronted in the Old and New Testaments when they faced national calamities.

The chosen people had to learn how to be humble people, Long says. Americans face the same test today.

"The challenge for every faith tradition is going to be helping people grieve the loss of an image of America that they once had," he says, "and acquire a modern understanding of ourselves on the world's stage."

2: The re-emergence of "Christo-Americanism."

Before 9/11, if you asked the average American about Ramadan or sharia law, they probably would have given you a blank look.

Not anymore. The 9/11 attacks prompted more Americans to learn about Islam. Books on the subject became best-sellers. Colleges started offering more courses on Islam. Every cable news show suddenly had their stable of "Muslim experts."

More Americans know about Islam than ever before, but that hasn't stopped the post-9/11 Muslim backlash. The outrage over plans to build an Islamic prayer and community center near ground zero; the pastor who threatened to burn the Quran; conservative Christian leaders who called Islam evil - all occurred as knowledge of Islam spread throughout America, scholars says.

"One of the sobering lessons of the decade since 9/11 is that religious prejudice is not always rooted in raw ignorance," says Thomas Kidd, author of "American Christians and Islam."

"Some of America's most vociferous anti-Muslim critics know quite a lot about Muslim beliefs, but they often use their knowledge to construe Islam in the worst possible light."

Many of these public attacks against Islam were encouraged by conservative Christian leaders such as Rev. Franklin Graham, the son of Rev. Billy Graham, who called Islam "wicked," and Pat Robertson, the Christian broadcaster who declared that "Islam is not a religion," says Charles Kammer, a religion professor at the College of Wooster in Ohio.

Kammer says Graham and Robertson helped fuel the rise of "Christo-Americanism," a distorted form of Christianity that blends nationalism, conservative paranoia and Christian rhetoric.

"A segment of the religious community in the United States has been at the forefront of an anti-Islamic crusade that has helped to generate a climate of hatred and distrust toward all Muslims," says Kammer.

Other strains of Christo-Americanism have swept through America before.

After 9/11, some political leaders said terrorists hated the U.S. because of "our freedoms." But America's record on granting those freedoms to its citizens is mixed, says Lynn Neal, co-editor of the book, "Religious Intolerance in America."

In the 19th century, the U.S government passed numerous laws preventing Native American tribes from practicing their religion. Mormons were persecuted. Roman Catholics were once described as disloyal, sexual deviants, Neal says.

"Religious intolerance is not a new feature of the American landscape. Despite being the most religiously diverse nation on earth, despite having a first amendment that protects religious rights...we as a nation and as citizens have often failed to live up to those ideas."

3: Interfaith becomes cool.

Interfaith dialogue - it's not the type of term that makes the heart beat faster.

Before 9/11, interfaith efforts were dismissed as feel-good affairs that rarely got media coverage. The 9/11 attacks changed that.

Interfaith events spread across the country. Mosques and temples held joint worship services. Every college campus seemed to have an interfaith dialogue. The Obama White House launched a college interfaith program.

Becoming an interfaith leader is now hip, some say.

"A generation of students is saying that they want to be interfaith leaders, just like previous generations said they wanted to be human rights activists or environmentalists," says Eboo Patel, who founded the Interfaith Youth Core in 2002.

Patel says at least 250 colleges have signed up for the White House interfaith program, which he helped design. The program encourages students of different faiths to work together on service projects.

"These young leaders will make interfaith cooperation a social norm in America, similar to multiculturalism and volunteerism," Patel says.

These new leaders include people like Sarrah Shahawy, a Muslim-American medical student at Harvard University and the daughter of Egyptian immigrants.

After 9/11, Shahawy says she felt the responsibility to educate people about Islam. She became an interfaith leader at the University of Southern California,  where she noticed a steady increase in student participation in the years after the attacks.

Shahawy says her generation is drawn to interfaith efforts because 9/11 showed the destructive potential of any exclusive claims to religious truth. The 9/11 hijackers carried out their attacks in the name of Islam, but Muslim religious leaders and scholars said that the terrorists' actions did not reflect Islamic teachings.

"For one religious group to claim a monopoly on truth should be obsolete," she says. The interfaith movement doesn't teach people that all religions are the same, she says.

Shahawy calls herself a proud Muslim. "But for me, there's beauty and truth to be found in many different religions."

4: Atheists come out of the closet.

There's one group, however, that sees little beauty in any religion.

Before 9/11, many atheists kept a low profile. Something changed, though, after 9/11. They got loud.

Atheist leaders such as Richard Dawkins, author of "The God Delusion," and Sam Harris, author of "The End of Faith," wrote best-selling books. Atheist groups launched national media campaigns with bold billboard messages such as "Christmas is a myth."

The pugnacious journalist Christopher Hitchens became the public face of a more combative form of atheism as he went on talk shows and lectures to defend not believing in God.

Criticism of all religion, not just fanatical cults, was no longer taboo after 9/11, says Daniel Dennett, a philosophy professor with Tufts University in Massachusetts.

"Atheist-bashing is now, like gay-bashing, no longer an activity that can be indulged in with impunity by politicians or commentators," Dennett says.

Atheists were driven to become more vocal because of the 9/11 attacks and America's reaction, says David Silverman, president of American Atheists. He says many atheists were disgusted when President George W. Bush and leaders in the religious right reacted to the attack by invoking "God is on our side" rhetoric while launching a "war on terror."

They adopted one form of religious extremism while condemning another, he says.

"It really showed atheists why religion should not be in power. Religion is dangerous, even our own religion," Silverman says.

Atheists are still the most disparaged group in America, but there's less stigma attached to being one, he says.

"The more noise that we make, the easier it us to accept us," Silverman says. "Most people know atheists now. They knew them before, but didn't know they were atheists."

Many Americans knew the people who perished on 9/11 as well, but they didn't know they were heroes until later, says David O'Brien, the Catholic historian who compulsively read the 9/11 obituaries.

O'Brien was so moved by the stories he read that he decided to write an essay for America magazine, a national Catholic weekly, entitled, "9/11 Then and Now."

He wrote: On 9/11, "Our people, my people, were tested and, for a shining moment ... they were found worthy."

He said many 9/11 victims didn't panic as their end drew near. They "thought not of themselves, but others ... when the chips were down." They saw themselves not as individuals, but as members of a "single human family."

So should we, he says, as we face new challenges 10 years later. The 9/11 victims aren't just heroes; they're our guides for the future, he says.

"The story is not over, not by a long shot," O'Brien wrote. "Look at all the love that day. Love can still write another chapter and keep hope alive for a better future. The meaning of 9/11 lies ahead, and it's in our hands, and maybe in our hearts.'

- CNN Writer

Filed under: 9/11 • Atheism • Christianity • Faith • Interfaith issues

soundoff (2,180 Responses)
  1. hassan

    to me reliogion has a limited importence in intera country relations.such as muslims in india are as good as hindues for the countribution for there country.and muslims in usa uk are all loyal to their countries.the main couse for conflicts is unfairness /unjustice with the communities in diffrent areas.any one who is doing favour to illegal occupations and unjustice in the world that is likey to become a target of extreamists.it happenes in every day activities in communites .the frestration wearther is indivisual act or in shape of groups.where ever there is injustice the frustration exists such as in east tamour,sudan,kasmir,and flestine.if the matter is resolved with justuce the frustration eases off like in east tamour and sudaan.but if the matter is not addressed with justice the frustration increases and grups like alquida and other terrists become active and it leads to occurrences such as 9/11 we as a global world must address the route causes of frustration and do the justice in international affairs.why usa should veto the membership of plestine in the united nationd organization?

    September 8, 2011 at 4:48 am |
  2. kate

    My response to Hasa Dega Whateverhisnameis – Pick and twist the Bible to 'Support' your inane and crass opinion about God. You are free. Sure, you don't believe He exists but let me tell you this- HE BELIEVES IN YOU AND LOVES YOU. May you and your ilk not end up as Voltaire who discovered too late on his deathbed that the God he mocked existed.
    Julie, thumbs up to you. Keep up spreading the Word. Remember that the Holy Spirit is the One to convict and there is the issue of freewill on the part of those you talk to.CHIKENA!

    September 8, 2011 at 4:45 am |
    • Joxer the Mighty

      Why do you bother preaching to people who don't want to know God? They have made their choice and they will have to live with it. You should always pray for them, but don't shove it down their throats. Jesus told the disciples to leave a town that didn't want to hear their message.

      September 8, 2011 at 10:26 am |
  3. Craig Burns

    Ok listen up atheists God is real. Heaven is real. Hell is real. Without God we are nothing. We were created in God's image. God esteems you more than Himself. Seek Him and repent of your sin, before it is too late. If you read in Revelation- Jesus wins in the end! I pray that you come to know God, because He will change your life. He loves you and so do I.

    September 8, 2011 at 12:17 am |
    • Jessica

      I am truly happy without god. I have what I need what I want and lovely people to share it all with. I achieved all received all and enjoy all without god but instead can thank my caring friends family and myself for my life and it's joys. I know you mean well though so.....{{{hugssss}}} and peace:)

      September 8, 2011 at 12:26 am |
    • Joxer the Mighty

      I am truly thankful that there is a nice atheist out there. I keep trying to tell my fellow Christians not to try and witness to atheists but it mostly falls on deaf ears. I realize you have chosen not to believe in God so I'm not going to bother you. I would prefer to witness to someone who is non-religious just because they have never really thought about God. Also I try and make my life an example for Jesus so if atheists ever start believing in God they will see how God works through me.

      September 8, 2011 at 10:41 am |
  4. Jessica

    I was raised catholic but I'm atheist now and raise my kids atheist. I think religion does no good and only serves itself in gaining financial and material gains while teaching hate and intolerance with ignorant minds

    September 8, 2011 at 12:00 am |
    • LinCA

      Will you encourage them to learn about religion and make up their own minds when they are adults?

      September 8, 2011 at 12:02 am |
    • Jessica

      I do encourage them but once you start from atheist trying to understand religion it paints religion in the light of children's story books. Not so interesting to older children

      September 8, 2011 at 12:08 am |
    • Joxer the Mighty

      The fallacy that I see is that you assume miracles can't happen because it is not normal and you haven't experienced them. Members of my family have been recipients of miracles so I have proof in my own mind of God. While I don't expect them to convince you because they are just stories, I don't think anyone should shut their minds to anything that seems impossible. 1000 years ago it seemed impossible for man to fly thousands of feet in the air yet today, thousands fly every day. Telling people that God doesn't exist is in my opinion just as childish as saying all non-believers will go to Hell.

      September 8, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • apostate

      Encouraging them to study other religions and the Bible thoroughly is the quickest path to Atheism.

      September 11, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Joxer the Mighty

      You said, "The fallacy that I see is that you assume miracles can't happen because it is not normal and you haven't experienced them. Members of my family have been recipients of miracles so I have proof in my own mind of God."
      Unless these "miracles" have been shown to have no rational explanation, there is no reason to assume that they are miracles.

      Claiming a "miracle", by necessity, dismisses all rational explanations.

      You said, "While I don't expect them to convince you because they are just stories"
      Correct, they are mere stories. Fairy tales, to be exact. They have no evidentiary value.

      You said, "I don't think anyone should shut their minds to anything that seems impossible."
      True. But keeping an open mind and evaluating the available evidence critically is a much preferred method over claiming divine intervention.

      You said, "Telling people that God doesn't exist is in my opinion just as childish as saying all non-believers will go to Hell."
      Telling people, especially children, that gods exist, without providing any evidence in support, is dishonest. There isn't a shred of scientific evidence to support the notion of any god. While we can't dismiss the remote possibility that there is one, the odds are infinitesimally small. For all intents and purposes, there are no gods (including yours).


      You said, "Encouraging them to study other religions and the Bible thoroughly is the quickest path to Atheism."
      I doubt it's the quickest, but it is most certainly one of the surest. 😉

      September 11, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  5. Jessica


    September 7, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • J.W

      Brilliant!!!! I could not have said it better!!!

      September 8, 2011 at 12:01 am |
  6. Casey

    I am no longer religious enough to even be considered athiest. If sitting in your driveway, in a diaper, rubbing motor oil into your belly button makes you feel better about the world and treat others with dignity and respect, go to it! Just don't try to get me to join in.

    September 7, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • pProf

      maybe your just athier then, or just athy.

      it's atheist, in case that wasn't a typo. 😉

      September 7, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  7. Zaina

    As a proud Muslim I will recommend you to read the Qur'an and get to know the great religion of Islam and what Islam really teaches before making a hasty moral judgment based on bias and emotions. Islam teaches peace, love, hostility and tolerance toward other religions, Islam respects Christianity and Judaism, there is no oppression on religions in Islam and if There is extremist among the Muslims every religion has extremists in them so dont just focus on Islam. Its like saying that all Christians are terrorists because Nazi's were christians who murdered millions of innocent people also the crusades and current christian extremists!!! Take a minute and rethink and if you want the truth about Islam learn about it so you can make the right judgement 🙂

    September 7, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • Joxer the Mighty

      Can you recommend a good english translation of the Koran? I read AJ Arberry's translation and it made me want to bang my head against a wall. It was as frustrating as trying to read the King James Version of the Bible.

      September 8, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • 4islam

      Zaina,,,,you said it well....i also recommend Joxer to speak with someone who is very knowledgeful about islam< that way if you have any questions or need help with the TRUE meanings in each surah, they can properly explain it to you. That is what I did...I learned a lot, it was logical and I converted. I will say a lot of good things have happened in my life after converting.

      September 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
  8. Joey

    surely we are not ignorant of the devices of the evil one...JESUS IS LORD.. and let his enemies and there head the Devil go to hell...

    September 7, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  9. Zak Zarti

    As a Muslim i believe what happened on 9/11 was a horrible crime a cowardly non humane act and has nothing to do with any religion or believe it was inspired by madness and fueled by hate and carried out by desperate men ,
    may all the victims R.I.P

    September 7, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • Zaina

      Zak! I feel the same way. It was absolutely a horrible crime against humanity.... R.I.P 9/11 victims.

      September 7, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  10. Boo

    What kind of God COMMANDS his people to stone thier own children to death? Thats the same God, "Christians" worship. No, Thanks!

    Deuteronomy 21:18-21

    King James Version (KJV)

    18If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:

    19Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;
    21And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

    September 7, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • pProf

      What you fail to understand is that Israel was a theocracy, and was living under God's strict law. What you likely understand even less is the righteous judgement of a holy God against those who break his law. He demonstrated his wrath against sin most clearly when he poured that wrath upon his Son when Jesus took upon himself the sins of his people. If you ever really understand this, you too will bow in repentance before God, and will heartily embrace in faith his substi.tute for sinners, the Lord Jesus.

      September 7, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
    • Johanna

      @Boo: the verse you quote from the Old Testament (OT) is bizarre & scary. But the Bible is a book, meant to be read in its entirety. Just like other books, taking random sentences out of it won't necessarily give you the actual message.
      So in answer to your question "What kind of God...?": It's the same God who "Loved the world so much that he sent his OWN SON (to be tortured and die, taking the punishment for our imperfections onto himself), so that everyone who believes in him would not perish, but have everlasting life."

      How this God dealt in the OT with his small group of people living out in the desert, is a unique interaction between him and them. As someone else wrote – a theocracy. As the NT says repeatedly, much of it was a demonstration of Himself and his holiness (as well as his love and mercy, in other OT Laws that people conveniently ignore), and a foreshadowing of his purpose for the whole word, in the future (killing sons…?). Nowhere in the NT will you find instructions to violence. In both Hasa Diga Eebowai’s quotes, it is GOD not man, who makes that judgment. Christians are explicitly told: "Judge not...". The standard in Christianity is to follow Christ's example of self-sacrificial love, mercy and humility.
      It bothers me to see my Lord defamed on public forums 🙂 I hope at least some of you will be prompted to look past what others tell you about Christianity, and to look into it honestly for yourselves. The Jesus you meet there may be very different to the blond, blue-eyed fairy tale you imagine!

      September 8, 2011 at 2:57 am |
  11. Remy

    As science continues to progress in the ways we understand the universe. Religion is becoming more and more obsolete in the ways it deals with people and explaining the world around us. It is only a matter of time until Religion is pointless.

    September 7, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • Boo

      That will be the day the world finally has peace.

      September 7, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      ....and century after century the faithful are not just still here but growing. What is also growing sadly are the one on both sides that only see peace exisiting when the opposition is no more.

      We will just have to keep a watchful eye and continue to stand against those of you who are opposed to co-exisitance.

      September 7, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  12. Nostradamus

    The disturbing trend towards dominionism is confusing for me. We hate the Islamists who attacked America on 9/11. However, our response is to foster a religion based government. Does no one see the irony?

    September 7, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  13. Charles

    I deffinitley believe in Jesus Christ, but I also believe in the temporary power of his ennemies. Hatred, discension, chaos fear, confusion; etc. It’s a principle of power; the more Satan and his minions can manipulate people into those states of minds, and the less they will have the ability to think. There minds and emotions too busy being scared, woried or confused, hating, deviding and fighting. Under those types of situations people are always easier to manipulate.I realy do believe in Christ but I also believe in satan’s wish to destroy him (if he could); and religious intolerance being a forme of hate I think is deffinatley a part of his plan. So I don’t buy it, in the name of freedom I don’t buy it !

    September 7, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • Hasa Diga Eebowai

      "Satan and his minions" the fact that you actually believe in this is just amazing. Reminds me when someone from the catholic church actually said it makes sense that their priests are hurting children because they are the ones satan is most likely to tempt.

      September 7, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  14. chan

    islam = devils cult

    September 7, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • Dash

      All Religions = Cults

      September 10, 2011 at 12:15 am |
  15. Rev. Rick

    Quoting Lynn Neal from the article... "Religious intolerance is not a new feature of the American landscape. Despite being the most religiously diverse nation on earth, despite having a first amendment that protects religious rights...we as a nation and as citizens have often failed to live up to those ideas."

    I'm a *recovering* conservative Christian, and I have no problem with friends, family or neighbors who don't share my religious beliefs. But let's take a look at history. Christianity exited the Middle East and has thrived in the West and in Europe along side democracy. Christianity is a minority religion in the Middle East, especially in Muslim-dominated countries. But just how stable are the politics, and how "freely" are other religions (like Christianity) accepted and tolerated in Muslim countries? Iran is a prime example.

    I am proud to be an American, and I'm proud to live in a country that is relatively open to other faiths and other denominations. However, the religion of Islam does not have a very good socio-political track record in coutries where that religion is dominate. Until Muslims can prove that they can keep their own house in order, I certainly don't want them running my country.

    September 7, 2011 at 9:18 am |
    • pProf

      @Rick: If I were you, I wouldn't describe myself with the flattering "recovering conservative Christian." Depending on how you mean it, it is quite possible that the more accurate New Testament term would be "apostate" or, the descriptive "dog returned to its vomit."

      September 7, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • 4islam

      Rev. Rick I wanted comment on how you islamic countries don't have a very good track record and you made Iran as an example of not tolerating christians??? Umm.... Did you just see what happened on January 25th? I guess not.... what Egypt did??? Mobarak is sitting in jail right now, the president of Egypt whom stole money from his own country given by the west and from America bc of of the suez canal agreement and didn't give to his own starving country! Yes,, the leaders are criminals. The people (christians and muslims) said no more! They want democracy. Egypt,Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Syria are in a revolution....so you want to say who doesn't have a good track record, the islamic nations?,,, these islamic nations proved they are strong by fighting their own corrupt governments bc they were sick of the same old man sitting in office for 30yrs. Their nation proved this not their government. So these brave islamic countries set an example, to stick up for what you believe in.. take back their country, keep thier country or "house" in order. That took courage of these ppl. Hey,,,no government is perfect, not even ours! Our country as a nation would hide before doing what Egypt did,,, rallying in the streets may happen but i doubt it, we're weak,,, we would close our doors and turn our heads. It would be civil before anything else...also,,,,egypt with the christians and muslims protected each other as a nation together. Example: standing around one another during prayers...on friday's the christians stood around the muslims while they prayed and the muslims did while the christians prayed on Sunday during the Revolution.....we, france and england can't even compare! We have a bad track record for being racist....i believe it! We are not religiously diverse! There is no tolerance by many ppl in this country for muslims. I am muslim (white),, I was nearly hit by a fat man in a car while 9 mths pregnant bc I wasn't walking fast enough for him to park in his handicap spot at wal-mart...He called me a f'in arab and told me to move or he would run me over! Everyone in the parking lot turned their heads or laughed at me! I was brave enought to say " I am not arab fyi, I am american just like u". If that were to happen in Egypt, 50 men,,,that I don't even know would have pulled him out of the car & laid his a** flat in the handicap parking spot! That is how respectful these ppl are! Did anybody stand up for me???? NOPE>> So you think we are diverse and openly understanding to other faiths and denominations? I would say 30 percent of this country is understanding,,you maybe one of the 30% the other 70% are not! We are hardly have our "house" in order!

      September 7, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
  16. Reality

    Bottom line on the major religions in short form:

    • There probably was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • There probably was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas/Buddhists everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    More details upon request or simply scroll back to p. 22.-----–

    September 7, 2011 at 12:00 am |
  17. Ney

    It's always funny to see atheists trying to impose their religion.

    September 6, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • Hasa Diga Eebowai

      Atheism is a religion just as much as not collecting stamps is a hobby.

      September 7, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  18. Julie

    It is very sad to read these posts dishonoring the Word of God. I pray for those who cannot believe. Jesus Christ still reigns.

    September 6, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • Hasa Diga Eebowai

      Google my name

      September 7, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • 2718

      It is very sad to see that adults still believe in magic friends in the sky.

      September 8, 2011 at 12:39 am |
    • Steve O

      Lil Wayne still makes it rain.

      September 8, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  19. Julie

    9/11 was a terrible tragedy caused by muslim extremists right? If I say Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven, I believe it with all my heart. I do not however, believe in murdering an innocent person and the bible does not teach that. There is no one on earth that could ever change my mind about this one unchangeable statement, nothing. If that makes me an oddball, I guess I am an oddball and that is ok with me. I love all humanity but it would be wrong to lead anyone astray by not telling them the truth. God bless us all and help us to love one another and especially bless and comfort the families and friends of the 9/11 tragedy that we will never ever forget.

    September 6, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • nada33

      @ Julie you shouldn't judge all muslims bc of "extremists" that created 9/11. Something you may have not known,,,we do believe in jesus...we love jesus and believe he will return in the end of times.....just an fyi.

      September 6, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • Hasa Diga Eebowai

      "I do not however, believe in murdering an innocent person and the bible does not teach that."

      Exodus 12:29
      And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.

      Acts 5:10
      Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.

      September 7, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Reid

      Jule, you stated that no one can ever change your mind, right? Well, there is the problem! You're inability to look at Religion or maybe many different things with an open mind and then make a formed decision based upon what is presented. But, to believe something so blindly and so surely is very careless. We as human beings are curious creatures. We ask question for which there aren't always answers. It is okay to question things, even RELIGION. So, I don't understand this self assured stance people take when they talk about their religious views. Your beliefs about God, where do you think you stemmed them from? Undoubtedly, your parents and the people that surrounded you when you were young. Now, I'm not knocking your beliefs, you believe what you want, that's fine with me. However, if you don't have an open mind to a different view, than you're no better than the people that don't believe.

      September 7, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • 2718

      Here is some truth Julie. It will ensure that you don't stray.

      PS God spent a lot of his time in the Old Testament murdering innocent people.

      September 8, 2011 at 12:30 am |
    • 2718

      I hope you realize that your heart is a muscle which pumps blood through the circulatory system and does not have the capacity for belief.

      September 8, 2011 at 12:36 am |
  20. onemoreatheist

    Those who compare the simple realization by any modern human being tha religion is pointless, on the grounds that other atheists may have done X in the past, forget that most people today are totally ignorant of those facts, so a longing for a world of perfection, without the supidity of religion and the utter evel of mutual domination, are just jerks.

    September 6, 2011 at 4:55 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.