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My Take: Does Netanyahu's Bible gift to Obama mean war?
U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House this week.
March 8th, 2012
09:12 AM ET

My Take: Does Netanyahu's Bible gift to Obama mean war?

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

Being president is stressful. Even the presents you receive can turn your hair gray.

Take the gift Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bestowed upon President Obama on Monday: a copy of the Book of Esther. This book, which appears both in the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament tells a tale that Jews commemorate on Thursday with the holiday of Purim.

In this tale, set in the Persian Empire in the 5th century BCE, Persians plot to destroy the Jews. The villain of the story is Haman, whom Netanyahu described in his AIPAC speech on Monday as “a Persian anti-Semite [who] tried to annihilate the Jewish people.” The hero is Esther’s cousin Mordecai, who urges Esther, the queen to Persian king Ahasuerus, to prevail upon her husband on behalf of the Jews.

In the end, Ahasuerus, who initially supported the evildoers, flip-flops, allowing the Jews to go to war against their Persian enemies. The Jews are victorious and 75,000 Persians are killed in an orgy of “slaughter and destruction.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

It’s not hard to imagine how Netanyahu wants Obama to read this ancient story. Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is Haman, threatening Israel with destruction by a nuclear bomb. Netanyahu is Mordecai. And Obama is King Ahasuerus who needs to decide whose side he is really on.

But this isn’t the only way to read the story.

I was in Jerusalem on the eve of Purim a couple years ago. It's a raucous celebration that commemorates the events of the Book of Esther. I say raucous because it is actually a commandment during this joyous holiday to drink to excess. Jews are supposed to drink until they cannot distinguish between the evil Haman and the virtuous Mordecai.

In a Purim sermon I heard at the Wailing Wall, an Orthodox rabbi spoke of driving into the city every day through an Arab section, and greeting the Muslims he saw there not with fear and anxiety but with love and joy. He then urged his listeners to drink of wine and God until they could not tell the difference enemies and friends, Arabs and Israelis, the cursed Haman and the blessed Mordecai.

So perhaps the Book of Esther is telling Obama to play the king, to give the Jews a green light to destroy their Iranian enemies, and lay waste to 75,000 Iranians in the process.

But perhaps this Bible story is telling the president to see beyond the virtues of the Israelis and the vices of the Iranians to the common humanity in all of us — to drink until he cannot tell the difference between our enemies and our friends.

It is up to the president to decide how to read this story, and how to read the mixture of intelligence and nonsense that is emerging out of Iran and the Middle East in recent days. Will he listen to Republican presidential candidates who are beating the drums of war? To Netanyahu, who seems to be doing the same? To the Israeli public, which is wary of a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities?

In times like these, prior presidents have turned to God in prayer. But one curiosity of the Book of Esther is that it does not mention God. In extreme times, the story seems to be telling us, we cannot wait for God to act. We must act ourselves, or refuse to act. And in either case we and we alone bear the intended (and unintended) consequences.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

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- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Bible • Iran • Israel • Middle East • Obama • Politics • United States

soundoff (470 Responses)
  1. Lydia Adams

    Stephen Prothero SHOULD KNOW this;

    "when a male child born whos father is a muslim, he will ALWAYS be a muslim" (Please note; Mr. Obama's father from Kenya was a muslim.) This fate cannot be abandoned by a MALE child, othetwise they'll face penalty of death. (Bowing to the Saudi King-he actually kissed his hand, -it is a custom to do for someone of higher authority male-but somebody quickly stepped in front of him to shield it from TV cameras..., so you could not see the whole act"....How do I know this? I lived in the Middle East for 3 1/2 years, I have had a chance to learn some of their laws and observe their customs.
    By President Netanyahu giving Mr. Obama a copy of "The Book Of Esther" I think he put him on the spot; Hmm...perhaps this will show him just exactly who Mr. Obama is!?!? Let me put it simply; the interest of the muslim fate is: NOT to keep us a live....and I really don't care very much how you want to sugar- coat it...They have been killing each other for the past few thousand years, and no matter how much effort we put in to bring a sort of civilized era to their world, it will be fruitless.

    They like being the way they are and, we are only wasting thousands of precious human lives and untold ammount of resources to "change" anything !!!! They would not (and will not) hesitate for an instant to snap your neck if that's what their interest dictates! I am not saying any of this to be mean or unkind, but it'll take many generations for the arab countries to become civilized. They are now where we were a thousand years ago...

    March 17, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • mik

      stupid people like you turn this country into destruction. You lived in the middle east, but apperantly you learned nothing. Go educate yourself little bit.

      March 19, 2012 at 9:10 am |
  2. Muneef

    Imam dies in mosque arson attack in Belgian capital on Monday Evening 12 March.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17346927

    Belgian coach crash in Swiss tunnel kills 28 on Tuesday Evening 13 March  
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17362643

    Strange how things work out and how it is when you make people suffer the suffering comes back to you... Heavenly Justice...
    May GOD have mercy on all the deaths involved due to one sick mind..

    March 14, 2012 at 7:54 am |
    • Norm

      Which is sicker; the one who kills an inocent, or the one who sees justice in the death of innocents?

      March 19, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  3. Joshua

    The Lord thy GOD is with you! We pray for you.

    March 13, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Huh?

      "The Lord thy GOD is with you! We pray for you."

      Well then nothing will happen since your GOD doesn't exist.

      March 13, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  4. Iqbal Khan

    Mossad Spymaster On Israel's Threat To Attack Iran
    "Bombing Iran now is the stupidest idea I have ever heard"

    Video & Transcript – CBS 60 Minutes

    In a rare interview, ex-chief of Mossad Meir Dagan speaks out against a preemptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities anytime soon. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30785.htm

    March 13, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • Reality

      The UN/NATO should address the issue more forcefully if necessary. e.g. Libya. Why?

      Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud (e.g. Syria) and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      March 13, 2012 at 8:25 am |
  5. Luis Orense

    You are looking at the story of Esther in a negative perspective, by that i mean, you are looking at it and focusing on the war part, the deaths and so forth. The Book of Esther focuses on a woman being in the right place and at the right time, and because of her actions, her people were saved from calamity. This could also be the reason that Netanyahu has given this specific book to the President of the United States... he is in the right place and it is the right time to help save a people/nation from possible destruction.

    Not everything is negative Mr. Prothero

    March 12, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Amadea

      You have the correct reading, Mr. Orense. Mr. Prothero, I don't know which Bible you read, but there is nothing in any Scripture that would lead a Bible-believing person to think that he/she should/would act in anything without consulting the Will of God first.

      March 13, 2012 at 10:37 am |
  6. Jim

    Although God is not mentioned by name in the Book of Ester, the author is wrong to conclude that He did not act.

    March 12, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Bill P

      Jim – I am in total agreement. The author has previously demonstrated a dearth of understanding the Bible. "But one curiosity of the Book of Esther is that it does not mention God. In extreme times, the story seems to be telling us, we cannot wait for God to act." What?????

      The Book of Ester is all about God’s divine intervention and saving the Israelites – thus preserving the line of Christ. Had the Israelites been wiped-out, that would have been the end of salvation. The entire Book of Ester is replete with divine intervention: Ester, a Jew, becoming a Persian Queen; Mordecai overhearing the plot to harm the king, thus gaining his favor; the attempt, and with the initial approval of the King, to wipe out all of the Jews in one day over an immense and broad area of the then known world; the King’s dream reminding him to “reward” Mordecai; Ester’s banquet ruse to turn the table on the evil doers; etc. The Book of Ester thus has deep meaning for the Jews, for the Christians, and for the Muslims. The Jews being the chosen people, the Christians (i.e., everyone who will believe in Him) receiving the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, and the Muslims – a timeless warning to back off.

      March 18, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
  7. maloof

    You have left out the massacre of over 20 million Armenians and Slavs by the Turks, over 100000 Chinese by Indonesians........

    March 12, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • T workman

      Knothead the story line is about Obama and Israel's leader

      March 12, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
  8. eDwaRd

    Is Sthephen Prothero now a warmonger?

    March 12, 2012 at 12:45 am |
  9. Iqbal Khan

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZci_o8nzQs&w=640&h=360]

    March 12, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • Reality

      Our War on Terror and Aggression:

      An update (or how we are spending or how we have spent the USA taxpayers’ money to eliminate global terror and aggression)

      The terror and aggression via a Partial and Recent and Not So Recent Body Count

      As the koranic/mosque driven acts of terror and horror continue:

      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, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, 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 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. 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.

      23) "October 4, 2011, 100 die as a truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded Tuesday at the gate of compound housing several government ministries on a busy Mogadishu street. It was the deadliest single bombing carried out by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia since their insurgency began. "

      Continued below:

      Other 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, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles as of 09/15/2011/, 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed mostly 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

      – Ditto for Anwar al-Awlaki on September 30, 2011

      March 12, 2012 at 7:47 am |
  10. Iqbal Khan

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxSnjLJhJlQ&w=640&h=360]

    March 12, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • Reality

      o On the koranic passages and world domination:
      o
      "Mohammed could not have known the size of the world, but several passages in the Koran show that he envisioned Islam dominating all of it, however large it might be: “He it is who sent his messenger . . . that he may cause it [Islam] to prevail over all religions´(Koran 9:33, M.M. Ali; see also 48:28 and 61:9). M.M. Ali designates these three passages as “the prophecy of the ultimate triumph of Islam in the whole world.”

      Mohammed’s successors, the caliphs, quoted passages like these to inspire Muslim armies as they advanced out of Arabia, imposing Islam by the sword upon a peacefully unsuspecting Middle East and North Africa, as I described in the previous chapter.

      Islamic armies, imbued with what Mohammed claimed was divine authorization, imposed Islam by force over vast areas, all the while extorting wealth from subjugated Jews and Christians to fund their ongoing conquests. As I noted, major defeats at Tours, France, in A.D. 732, and again at Vienna, Austria, in A.D. 1683, halted Islam’s attempt to take all of Europe by force. Gradually Islamic forces were forced to retreat from Europe, except for part of the Balkans. But Islam has again set its sights on a conquest of Europe and of European civilization, wherever the latter has spread to North and South America and other regions. Muslim strategists ask their followers, Why do we find in these modern times that Allah has entrusted most of the world’s oil wealth primarily to Muslim nations?

      Their answer: Allah foresaw Islam’s need for funds to finance a final politico-religious victory over what Islam perceives as its ultimate enemy: Christianized Euro-American civilization. So, Islam follows Nazism, fascism and communism as the world’s latest hostile takeover aspirant.

      Nazis, fascists and communists failed. Does Islam have a better chance at success? I believe it will flounder if we awaken to its threat in time; yet, if there is not adequate planned resistance, Islam does have a better chance of succeeding. Communism’s world takeover attempt was guaranteed to fail because its economic policy was naively contrary to human nature. Advocating the rubric What is mine is thine, and what is thine is mine, communism failed to see that human nature will not keep those two balanced propositions in equilibrium. Like

      a female black widow spider consuming her mate, the latter part of the formula makes a meal of the former, leading to the collapse of any system based upon that formula.

      In contrast, political systems do well if they can persuade people to adhere to What’s mine is mine and What’s thine is thine maxims.

      Only if a strong religious incentive is added does such an idealistic formula have any long-term chance. Even then success will be spotty. But communism (and Nazism, for that matter) excluded religion. And that mistake was the final nail eventually clamping a lid on communism’s coffin. Communism, on a historical scale, perished while still in its childhood.

      Islam is not repeating communism’s mistake. Mating political cunning and incredible wealth with religious zeal, Islam does have a chance to succeed and will succeed unless major parts of the Western world unite to take appropriate countermeasures. But many Western leaders, unable to believe that a mere religion could possible be a serious political threat, keep proclaiming themselves as Islam-friendly, reasoning that all religions are good-aren’t they?

      A Muslim strategist in Beverly Hills, California, declared several years ago, as quoted by a friend of mine: “Now that the struggle between Western democracies and international communism is winding down, it is time for the real and final struggle to begin, and we are going to win!”

      Don Richardson

      March 12, 2012 at 7:49 am |
  11. Iqbal Khan

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dqUO5ApGm0&w=640&h=360]

    March 12, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, B.A., J.D., S.P.J.

      What the Middle east needs is a light and crispy "Latke" or potato pancake. Not more Persian "yellowcake" (enriched uranium). I'll give anyone 8 to 5 odds that Israel takes out the entire Iranian Air Force in the first 12 to 15 minutes of the conflict.

      March 12, 2012 at 1:37 am |
    • Reality

      Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The global Sunni-Shiite blood feud (e.g. Syria) and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      March 12, 2012 at 7:51 am |
  12. NT

    Israel-We pray for your peace! A Psalm for you, Psalm 83.

    March 11, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  13. Chips

    Soon the casinos will have those "flashy thingies" from "Men in Black" to use on the players after each hand.

    They only want folks in there who need to take off their shoes to add to 21 (doing so in your head is cheating).

    March 11, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Chips

      p.s. 6-toes on one foot is a real advantage

      March 11, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Chips

      OY! Wrong article - sorry!

      March 11, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  14. jmm

    Bibi is a true statesman and understands the Iranian threat for Israel and the entire world. President Obama looks like just another politician next to Bibi and he is clearly not pro-Israel, as the past threes years have indicated. Unfortunately, the majority of Jews will vote for him again as President and he will likely be reelected. That's why Israel must strike before the presidential election since Israel cannot rely on Obama to strike Iran after the election and it will be too late for Israel to strike and be effective. G-d forbid that Iran ever acquires nuclear weapons and uses them against Israel. But, if that ever happened, I can just hear the Jewish Obama supporters exclaim " Obama did everything that he could " or " We didn't think Iran would really act irrationally and really use them". After three years, I cannot understand how the majority of Jews can vote for Obama. I could not live with myself if Israel was destroyed and by supporting Obama, I contributed to the destruction. My hands will not be dripping with my fellow Jew's blood!!

    March 11, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • GodsPeople

      There IS no threat to Israel, except for the fact that the Iranians refuse to be brainwashed into being good Zionist slaves like most of Europe and the US have become. Other than that, Iran isn't bothering Israel at all. I hope Iran wins and wipes that scar off the earth.

      March 11, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Wilbur King

      GodsPeople-Which God are you referring to when you call yourself God's people?

      March 11, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      The only God, who sent His only Son to the cross to die for OUR sins. Boy were we unworthy.

      March 11, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Observer

      GP- in your words you 'hope Iran wins and wipes that scar off the earth'?Really?, your god is asking you to do that? Looks like you worship a deity that's got you worked up against what you call 'infidels'.

      March 11, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      Actually Observer, I'm against the Zionists and Zionist superiority. I'm also against Zionist aggression, which they've had plenty of since they use the US Military as a slave army.

      March 11, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      Besides, God Himself dissolved Israel centuries ago, and I certainly don't remember hearing Him tell the US and England to destroy the Palestinians and chase them off of THEIR land to give it to the Israeli Zionists.

      March 11, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Leo

      Zechariah promised us this 2500 years ago and look how accurate it is today!

      1 The burden of the word of the LORD concerning Israel. Thus declares the LORD who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him, 2 “Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah. 3 It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it. 4 In that day,” declares the LORD, “I will strike every horse with bewilderment and his rider with madness. But I will watch over the house of Judah, while I strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. 5 Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘A strong support for us are the inhabitants of Jerusalem through the LORD of hosts, their God.’

      Yes the Almighty God protects Israel from all its enemies!! Someday ALL the Nations will come against them and then we will see the Mighty Day of the Lord!!

      March 11, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • Arthur Harold Cooper

      My only question to you is: What parts of the Bible are you avoiding or why are you not reading it?

      March 12, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • Arthur Harold Cooper

      Sorry jmm, my last remark was for the idiot named godspeople. I say idiot because she has obviously never read the bible. If she had and actually understood what she read she would have not made the idiotic remarks she has made

      March 12, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • GodsPeople

      @Arthurthemoron: First of all, I'm a he, not a she. Second of all, you're one of the biggest idiots alive. Sounds to me like you're a pro-zionist. Get out of my country.

      March 12, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
  15. Dounto

    Men of God do not beg for death and destruction for 16 yrs. to a people who have not lifted a hand to harm them. Nor should we support it like we have since 1985.

    March 11, 2012 at 3:59 am |
    • AGuest9

      "Men of God do not beg for death and destruction". George W Bush claimed that "Atheists" didn't belong in America. It seems that he started two wars which were left to his successors to clean up. Mission Accomplished? So much for Georgie being a "Man of God".

      March 11, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • US Taxpayer

      You have to understand, G W Bush was a cokehead and an alcoholic who was later brainwashed by the "born again" crowd. When he first ran for President, the people that knew him claimed that he was as dumb as a box of rocks. I think he proved that beyond all doubt. If you haven't heard the Gog and Magog story, Google "Bush, Gog and Magog". It's an amazing and pretty scary story about a phone call he made to French President Chirac when he (Bush) was trying to drum up support for the coming invasion of Iraq.

      March 12, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  16. herblaub

    we are studying about the Book of Esther in our Old Testament class at StonyBrook University at the olli roundtable=herb laub Dr. of History 1996-the middle east peace process of the 1970's-Carter-Sadat and Began-three very outstanding statesmen-very definitely lacking today in 2012

    March 11, 2012 at 12:28 am |
  17. Johnt

    Netanyahu probably had to explain what it was that he gave to the President. Netanyahu is leagues above Obama in class and respectability. Maybe Obama will learn something from him.

    March 10, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • herblaub

      the Israeli leader with a very small l should stop listening to his 100 year odl father and take the example of Menachem Begin and his statesmen like conduct in 1978

      March 11, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • mickey1313

      he is a terroriest and obama would do good to ignore the vile speack of the head of the international zionist movement. It is time to send the dogs of zion to grass.

      March 11, 2012 at 12:56 am |
    • GodsPeople

      Not really. One's a Kenyan Muslim supremecist the other's an israeli zionist supremecist. sounds like they're pretty much the same to me...

      March 11, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Publius

      We have a President who makes light of Torah (which means "Instruction" in Hebrew. At the same time, our President tells the international community we support Israel cecause the modern state of Israel and the USA share "common values." Prime Minister Netanyahu is in the unfortunate position of having to "educate" our President concerning the "laws of history"that apply to the peoples that make up Israel. Judaism is the oldest, continuous religion in the history of the world. The persecution of those who practice Judaism is also the longest running hostility toward any people in the history of the world. I commend all of you to read Chapter 37 in Ezekiel in the Tanakh. Perhaps then, the world, and our President, will gain some understanding.

      March 11, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Literal

      Publius, Wrong. Hinduism is MUCH older than Judaism, even Shintoism predates Judaism.

      March 15, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 10, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • Jesus

      ~~~The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!~~~~~~

      March 12, 2012 at 11:00 am |
  19. GodsPeople

    No wars for Israel! Make them fight their own fights!

    March 10, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Johnt

      Umm... They do, where have you been? The 6 Day war, Yom Kippur War, they get attacked by Moozys constantly and defend themselves...

      March 10, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      Theft of Palestinian land, marching troops illegally through Lebanon, threatening the existence of Lebanon and the Lebanese people... Again, no more wars for Israel.

      March 11, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • mickey1313

      johnt without the US they (the isrealies) could never have won scermish one, let alone any wars. America made isreal, we need to let these evil d-bags go and let the peoples in that area decide there own fate.

      March 11, 2012 at 12:57 am |
  20. jon

    Netty gave Obama something better, he displays what a real leader looks like, too bad Obama can't learn from his mistakes.

    March 10, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • tallulah13

      Read the Koran for yourself along with the powerful stories that celebrate Ramadan and explains the five plliars of our faith.

      March 10, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Reality

      And again for the benefit of 1.5 billion lost Islamic souls (analogous benefits are available for Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and Pagans)

      And from the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi)

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:
      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      The First Five of the 77 Branches:

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)
      alone."
      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

      Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..
      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      March 10, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • GodsPeople

      "A real leader" looks like a Zionist Israeli Supremecy Warmonger?

      March 10, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • change in 2012

      well said. He is killing this country

      March 10, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • Johnt

      No need to read the Koran, I already have. It is vile. Islam is the only religion where you are commanded to kill followers of other faiths. Pure evil.

      March 10, 2012 at 11:27 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.