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My Take: Iranian leader’s statement that nukes are sinful deserves a close look
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has issued a fatwa against nuclear weapons.
March 13th, 2012
02:25 PM ET

My Take: Iranian leader’s statement that nukes are sinful deserves a close look

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

(CNN) - As politicians in Israel and the United States beat the drums for war on Iran, it is worth remembering that Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, is on record against nuclear weapons.

In fact, according to a statement read on August 9, 2005, at a meeting of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, he issued a fatwa declaring that “the production, stockpiling, and use of nuclear weapons are forbidden under Islam and that the Islamic Republic of Iran shall never acquire these weapons.”

Last month, Khamenei met personally with nuclear scientists and repeated what he said earlier in this religious decree:

We are not seeking nuclear weapons because the Islamic Republic of Iran considers possession of nuclear weapons a sin ... and believes that holding such weapons is useless, harmful and dangerous.

The Islamic Republic of Iran wants to prove to the world that possessing nuclear weapons does not bring power and that might doesn't come from atomic weapons.

There are, of course, a variety of possibilities here.

One is that Khamenei, whose title is supreme leader of Iran, does not have the authority most believe he does in his country. So even if he opposes nukes in the name of Islam, he cannot make Iran forswear them.

Another is that he is lying to buy Iran more time to build a bomb.

But it is also possible that he means what he says and has the power to make it happen.

Not so long ago, American leaders came to believe, wrongly, that a Middle Eastern nation possessed weapons of mass destruction. And that falsehood mired us in Iraq in one of our longest and costliest wars. Today, many are worried that history is repeating itself in Iran.

Is it?

I do not know. I do know, however, that there are good reasons to believe that using and even possessing nuclear weapons are contrary to Islamic law. In other words, Khamenei’s fatwa makes Islamic sense.

I also know that here in the United States, we are not talking about it enough.

Many are quick to seize on belligerent statements by Muslim extremists worldwide. Here, we have a statement of a very different sort. But we as a nation seem to be ignoring it.

On Sunday, the public editor at The New York Times, Arthur Brisbane, devoted his weekly column to criticism that his paper’s coverage has been biased toward bombing Iran. He defended the coverage, yet admitted that the Times has not done enough “to reach across the cultural divide to fully understand significant statements from the Iranian leadership, like the fatwa against nuclear weapons by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.”

But the Times is not alone here. We the American people have been ignoring it too. Perhaps it is time, at a minimum, to read Khamenei's words.

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

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Fatwa • Iran • Iran • Iraq • Islam • Israel • Middle East • Opinion

soundoff (212 Responses)
  1. Iqbal Khan

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBMT7iawdj4&feature=related

    March 13, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
  2. Iqbal Khan

    It's all in the organized and controlled media, Iran has never attacked any country,read the history!
    More over Israel have all the Atomic power and all sorts of weapons and can destroy Iran thousand times!

    March 13, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Yes, but Iran WANTS to be that feared nation. Real or imaginary. It is like a little boy with a toy gun. If it looks real enough, you might get shot between the eyes by the big boys with the real guns.

      March 13, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • 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 Sunni-Shiite blood feud (e.g. Syria, Iraq) and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
  3. just sayin

    Whether by evil intent, the stealing of the name or by good intent, the encouragement to prayer the fact that Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things is being proclaimed. Glory to God.

    March 13, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • momoya

      Glory to all of them, apparently.

      March 13, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • just sayin

      There is but one God in three persons and He has revealed Himself to man through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

      March 13, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      just sayin, let me help you out on this. Some of these brainless Christians might not understand the Holy Trinity like you and me.

      Ok, there is a god who, while he created the entire universe and everything in it and who knows how many billions of civilizations past and present on how many planets in how many galaxies, etc, etc. is intimately concerned about your math test, football game or war.

      Now, god, picking a time in human history that was apparently convenient for him, knocked up some broad in order to create a physical self. Since he is timeless, he had plenty of time (and things to do I am sure, what with all those unanswered prayers) to what for this manifestation of himself to grow to manhood.

      Then he overlooked himself preaching the way of the lord, only he was watching himself. Well, he's god. Then he conspired to have himself, er...Jesus....er themselves executed for the sins of man that have not happened yet.

      Then Jesus, er....god......Jesus whatever, went to hell (to play poker with satan I guess) and then rose up as a ghost who is also Jesus who is also God.

      So now, thanks to God being the father of himself and killing himself (sin?) and becoming a ghost, all is well in the kingdom of heaven. See? It makes perfect sense.

      March 13, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • Fleeced Navidad

      Actually just saying has it backwards. It's three persons, in one god..."eternally begotten of the father"...oops, that was before physics figured out "eternal" was a goof. Oh well. So much for that.

      March 13, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • a person of the Name

      Wow, UD! Your so close to the truth but you missed a few points. For one we are all born in sin. Our first sin(all of humanity) is rebellion. Started with Adam and Eve.
      Next God came as Jesus for many reasons. I can think of three off hand.
      1. To fulfill the spoken word of God from the OT.
      2.to pay the blood price for our sin.
      3.to show us that we can live a life without sin.

      March 13, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Wow, a person of name! You are so completely ignorant. For one we are all born innocent. There is no “first” sin because Adam and Eve is a silly children’s story. Are you a little child person of name?

      Next there is no god, but if there was:
      1. [To fulfill the spoken word of God from the OT. ] If that is true you better get out there and start doing god’s will. You need to kill about half of everyone who lives in the U.S. Why don't you follow the word of god?

      2. [to pay the blood price for our sin.] Please explain what sin you refer to??

      3.[to show us that we can live a life without sin] Again, what is sin? What did I do? I don't get it!!

      March 13, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Fleeced Navidad

      There's no "blood price" unless you have an angry "bloody" ancient, grudge-holding god.
      "Born in sin" is an ancient attempt to explain the "human condition".
      Do YOU live "a life without sin" ? If not, It IS impossible, (according to you).
      Your metaphors need updating, for the scientific age.

      March 13, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
  4. Ungodly Discipline

    If you consult the dictionary, here is the first definition of God that you will find:

    "A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions.

    Most believers would agree with this definition because they share a remarkably clear and consistent view of God. Yes, there are thousands of minor (and some major) quibbles about religion. Believers express those quibbles in dozens of denominations - Presbyterians, Lutherans, Catholics, Baptists, Episcopalians, Methodists and also faths. But at the heart of it all, the belief in God aligns on a set of core ideas that everyone accepts.

    What if you were to simply think about what it would mean if there were a perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe? Is it possible for such a being to exist?

    Epicures thought about it in 300 BCE, and he came up with this:

    "The gods can either take away evil from the world and will not, or, being willing to do so, cannot; or they neither can nor will, or lastly, they are both able and willing. If they have the will to remove evil and cannot, then they are not omnipotent. If they can, but will not, than they are not benevolent. If they are neither able nor willing, then they are neither omnipotent nor benevolent. Lastly, if they are both able and willing to annihilate evil, how does it exist?"

    In other words, if you sit and think about who God is supposed to be, you realize that such a being is impossible. Ridiculous, in fact.

    March 13, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Brad

      Belief in God has persisted over all this time in spite of debate over the problem of evil.

      March 13, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Brad, I know. Amazing. How can people stay so stupid for so long?

      March 13, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • momoya

      That's because any theory of any god MUST include a "pass" for evil since it so clearly exists and persists.. Liquid always conforms to the geometry of the hole involved, but that doesn't mean that the hole was designed expressly for liquid to take on that shape.

      March 13, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Brad

      You might enjoy the arguments of Alvin(?) Plantinga.

      March 13, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      I enjoy my own arguments. YOU prove me wrong.

      March 13, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Fleeced Navidad

      Brad,
      People believed that world was flat.
      Until they didn't.

      March 13, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • Nii

      By your own volition UNGODLY Epicurus was not talking about YHWH but the gods of the Greek Pantheon. How u correlated that to mean YHWH is a mystery to me. However YHWH's attributes are shared by guess who? Man. OK so now sing on. Man can stop evil. Is he ready to? I think not. Shud God destroy man?

      March 13, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • Fleeced Navidad

      Wow, Nii is getting there. Now just turn it around. Why does god NOT have ANY non-human qualities, or exaggertions of same ? Hmm? No digital qualities, no other unknown cosmic qualities...conclusion : man made it up !

      March 13, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Nii
      Thank you for the reply, let me explain. Pig entrails monday but school is buena on dare weekend. So you see, Tuesday philips grouchy santa hat and sleeves for drooling dusters.

      March 13, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • Brad

      OK.

      1) Drawing from Plantinga, it is not inconsistent for God, perfectly good, omniscient and omnipotent, to allow evil in the world if he has a morally sufficient reason for doing so. We are allowed free will and are capable of making moral choices and of being good or evil independent of God's attribute of perfect goodness. If any good is done by us, then there is good in addition to what, without us, would only be an attribute of God. Bringing about the potential for greater good in the universe is a morally sufficient reason to allow the potential for evil.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
  5. Nonimus

    Mr Prothero,
    First, I'm not sure why analyzing the fatwa would do any good. Just like analyzing someone's opinion on whether the Bible allows for nuclear weapons is irrelevant.

    Second, I don't see the Ayatollah's words, anyway. You link to the words of Iran's diplomat, which only says:
    "The Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has issued the fatwa that the production, stockpiling, and use of nuclear weapons are forbidden under Islam and that the Islamic Republic of Iran shall never acquire these weapons. "

    March 13, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • Thinker23

      I'm not sure why would ANYONE pay attention to such declarations. After all, MURDER is considered to be a sin in Islam as well. SO?????

      March 13, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Fleeced Navidad

      The fact that intelligent, (supposedly), people are talking about "fatwas" in the 21st Century is beyond ludicrous.

      March 13, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • John

      Here is a speech by Khamenei.
      http://www.raceforiran.com/ayatollah-khamenei-on-the-islamic-republic-and-the-%E2%80%9Cbig-sin%E2%80%9D-of-nuclear-weapons

      March 13, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
  6. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    persistent – as a fart in a phone box

    March 13, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  7. Keith

    Why would ANYONE trust cnn and the likes of Prothero? Or any of the American "media", for that matter? All it is is propaganda garbage. Left wing, centerist, or right wing-but it's all propaganda.

    March 13, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Fleeced Navidad

      just like your bible

      March 13, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Keith

      Then why even come to these sites? Why waste your time when you think it's all propoganda?

      March 13, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • CBW

      Keith-Watchout! you might be talking to Abdul and his family!

      March 13, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  8. Keith

    Prothero(once again) proves that he must be the stupidest son of a b-itch on the planet. Israel can't afford the advice of such a Neville Chamberlin. And just what was Iran testing in North Korea in April and May of 2010-medical isotopes?

    March 13, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • James

      I guess you buy every story that Fox news sells you.

      March 13, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • Keith

      James, I refer you to my above post.

      March 13, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
  9. EP

    I tell you one thing. During Iran-Iraq war Iraq used chemical weapons (WMD's) provided by the west extensively and killed many Iranian soldiers and civilians and ofcourse the Kurdish people in Iraq. Iran had the means to do the same but that crazy khomeini guy said its not right to use WMD's because it kills so many innocent people and they didn't. They used United Nation to condemn the attacks and U.N turned their backs on them. Also, as everyone knows the Iranian program has been around since the 70's and to this day the news is that Iran's about to reach the point of no return. Ask yourself why is it that every year Iran's about to reach that point and they never do. why is it that every year they are going to build a weapon then they are not then they are then they are not. Please sit there and think about all the things I just said and realize that you have not been thinking for yourself. Thanks for reading.

    March 13, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • James

      Actually the two countries that stopped the condemnation of Iraq in the 80s in the UN for using chemical weapons against Iranian soldiers and Kurdish civilians were US and Britain. At the time they were allies of Saddam and were providing him with whatever weapons he needed, hence Rumsfeld's visit to Baghdad in 1983.

      March 13, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  10. Nii

    I have heard the conspiracy theories before. I saw the build-up to the first Gulf war, then the embargoes then the second Gulf War. Kuwait and Saudi were more for it than Israel. Also Saddam had been a US ally till he attacked Kuwait not Israel. He was cross with them for destroying his reactor.

    March 13, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  11. Ken in Texas

    The muslims also think it's okay to lie if it advances their Islamic religion. So is Ali Khamenei lying about nuclear weapons?

    March 13, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Troy

      There are a number of Muslims posting here pretending to be christians and one or two even as atheists.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • James

      Troy is actually alien and is from Mars.

      March 13, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • CBW

      Look Abdul posting here as James. Troy is from Mars and Abdul(James) is from the Mid E.

      March 13, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • James

      The logic is breath taking 🙂

      March 14, 2012 at 7:17 am |
  12. Nii

    YR-I believe what makes most of u so vulnerable to praise n opposition is that u believe in the selfish theory that for u to be happy u must love yourself. However to be happy u must give love n not be worried about who returns it. That is loving ur neighbor as yourself n loving God with all ur life

    March 13, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Nii

      Loving yourself makes u elated with your head in the clouds n if someone gives you love then he can do anything with you. It is romantic love. Charitable love(loving someone as yourself) is more rational. It makes u accept them and u see yourself in them. In essence u become one with them.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Nii

      Pride is not self-esteem. If u see others as valuable u will value yourself. If u see only yourself as valuable you devalue others which devalues you. That is why most atheists know the Bible but do not understand it. If u use Romance it does not make sense. Charity is different.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Pass Thru

      Are you writing loves notes to urself or to Prothero?
      If ur writing to Prothero did you take a good look at the profile pic doesn't it scare u?

      March 13, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • What, what, what ???

      Nii,
      Please get off the love kick. We're sick of it.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • Nii

      Lol! Bye! bye PASSTHROUGH!

      March 13, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  13. Nii

    MOMOYA it is sad that as a former "Christian evangelist and minister for 50 years", you never got to know the difference between loving someone and loving someone as yourself. God loves us as Himself with all His Life. You want Him to love us with all His Life. Never 2o late to learn de difference.

    March 13, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "you never got to know the difference between loving someone and loving someone as yourself."

      Your posts reflect who you are as a person and from what we can read on this blog – you don't love yourself very well, too bad you don't know the difference. What a hypocrite.

      March 13, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      "God loves us as Himself with all His Life" sure he does.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  14. Noah

    It's also worth noting that this fella is on record describing the manner in which children, under 9 down to toddlers, may be married and engage in reproductive acts with grown men.

    So I'm thinking his opinions on nuclear weapons are about as valid as his opinions on family values.

    March 13, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • SPA Knight

      Obama sponsored a bill in Congress that babies born from botched abortions should be terminated. It seems like they went to the same school.

      March 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Obama sponsored a bill in Congress that babies born from botched abortions should be terminated. It seems like they went to the same school."

      Please cite your source on that.

      March 13, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Harris

      Is there not a scientific way of proving or disproving if any country is in possesion of nuclear weapons?

      March 13, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Harris

      Yes.

      Nuke their capital, and wait.

      You will find out soon enough.

      March 13, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Harris

      Will D-That is not scientific. Honestly , isn't there a scientific way to detect nuclear weapons?

      March 13, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      @Harris – Yes. Get within a few feet of the radioactive source with a geiger counter. Oh, and hope it isn't leaking.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Pimp's Sin

      Is there a way to detect nuclear weapons? I guess you mean at long range. No. Remember the shell game strategy? It would not work if there were such a method.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Harris

      Lots of rumours about orbital detection, but if it does work, it is black.

      We would never tip our hand if we could do it.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Keith

      It was determined that the weapons tested in North Korea in 2010 were uranium-not plutonium like the NK bombs.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Ken in Texas

      YeahRight- Washington Times columnist Jeffrey Kuhner reported on 2/24/12: Mr. Obama is a radical leftist. ….. He supported partial-birth abortion – infanticide. As a state senator, he voted for legislation allowing doctors to kill viable babies born during botched abortions.

      March 13, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Ken

      Educate yourself

      Then-state Sen. Obama opposed the legislation because he said it would undermine the legal protections given to abortions under Roe v. Wade.

      "On the state Senate floor, Obama said he believed courts would eventually overturn the legislation since it would "essentially bar abortions, because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child." He added that Illinois already had a 1975 state law that protected the life of an infant that survived a botched abortion, if doctors determined the infant could survive. When the legislation came up for a vote in 2001 and 2002, Obama once voted "present" - essentially a non-vote - and once voted against it.

      In 2002, Congress was also writing a "Born Alive" bill. Obama said several times he would support that version of the bill because it contained a clause that would protect the legal standing of Roe v. Wade. "

      Illinois already had a law that protected viable infants, and the Senate was going to put forth a similar bill that protected the legal standing of Roe v. Wade (which he supported). The Illinois law was a badly diguised attempt to illegalize abortion.

      March 13, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Keith

      Yeah, watch out Ken! HawaiiGuest might send you to a re-education camp, you know-so you can educate yourself. Where do these pompous asses get off?!

      March 13, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • KeninTexas

      HawaiiGuest – On March 30, 2001, Obama was the only senator to speak in opposition to a bill that would have banned the practice of leaving premature abortion survivors to die. The bill, SB 1095, was carefully limited, its language unambiguous. It applied only to premature babies, already born alive. Under this bill, SB 1095, babies born alive during an abortion would have to be treated just like every other baby that is born alive and prematurely — not left to die, but given treatment according to an acting physician’s medical judgment as to what is necessary and what is possible — the same standard that applies to any other human being.

      March 13, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ken, you are such a liar. It wouldn't matter what the specifics were, you'd be opposed to abortion under ANY conditions. Nobody gives a crap about your opinion on this matter because you are an anti-choice zealot who wouldn't permit women to have any rights to their own bodies once they were pregnant.

      Get bent.

      March 13, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Ken

      So the bill had nothing to do with abortion? Only premature birth? Which is it?

      March 13, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Ken

      Ah i misread. Thing is Illinois already had a law like this since 1975. The law would have effectively put harder restrictions on abortion. If it was as you stated then there would be no point, since a law stating exactly what you said was already on the books.

      March 13, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • KeninTexas

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son cried " Ken, you are such a liar. It wouldn't matter what the specifics were, you'd be opposed to abortion under ANY conditions. Nobody gives a crap about your opinion on this matter because you are an anti-choice zealot who wouldn't permit women to have any rights to their own bodies once they were pregnant. Get bent."

      Damn little girl, if you'd read my comment, you'd see it concerns saving the life of a baby from a botched abortion. It doesn't take a stand on abortion one way or the other. Only about saving a life of a baby who may otherwise live. But you're such a mo.ron you can't see past your own aggenda. You have no idea what my opinion is about abortion do you? So how can you rant like you do? Only because you're an id.iot and jerk.

      March 13, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Keith

      Your paranoid rants contibute nothing to any conversation. I would recommend going and ranting at your church, or wherever where people will agree with you all the time.

      March 13, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • KeninTexas

      HawaiiGuest said "Thing is Illinois already had a law like this since 1975. The law would have effectively put harder restrictions on abortion. If it was as you stated then there would be no point, since a law stating exactly what you said was already on the books." ,,,, If there were already a law to protect babies that may have survived a botched abortion, then it certainly was not being enforced. The catalyst of those laws at the time was the testimony of nurses who had witnessed several babies who were left to die after botched abortions who may have survived if they had received proper medical care. Look it up, you're see for yourself what I'm talking about.

      March 13, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Ken

      The testimony of a single person without records or any type of physical evidence doesnt amount to a lot. If she did have physical evidence I can't find mention of it anywhere. If you have a source for her evidence let me know.

      March 13, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • SPA Knight

      HawaiiGuest – Eyewitness testimony of a nurse that cares for new born babies isn't adequate evidence? Is there no physical scientific proof in that kind of truth? You're state of denial for the truth is so evident because it is blinded by your support of a death culture as opposed to one that preserves life. Would testimony of 3 be enough or 4 perhaps? Modern medicine is available to preserve life and not to destroy it correct?

      March 14, 2012 at 10:00 am |
  15. GodsPeople

    No more Israeli wars. Period. Let them fight their own fights. Keep OUR people out of it.

    March 13, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Nii

      Iraq was fought on behalf of Saudi and Kuwait and of course Turkey not Israel. Israel destroyed the Iraqui nuclear reactors on their own. They fought Iran in Lebanon without American help.

      March 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Nii

      We left over 200 good men, including one of the greatest guys to ever live, Lance Corporal Sam Cherman, in the hell hole of Lebanon over a quarter of a century ago to be killed by religious extremists.

      Let the zealots kill each other and leave the next generation of American boys at home.

      March 13, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Nii

      On behalf of the Lebanese Christian govt or the Israelis? Your troops r expeditionary not territorial n that is why they lose wars. It is ok when the ally can hold territory like WWII Europe but if it is weak u back off or lose troops. Look at how Britain held Basra?

      March 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Nii

      Israel's armed forces is built on the British model and can hold territory. In S. Lebanon it took the UN, US n a peace agreement between the Lebanese to get them out. I hate to say this but military bases are not territorial forte. As a former British colony we know what a territorial army can do.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      @Nii: Actually, Iraq was almost totally because of Israel. AIPAC, to be exact. Our politicians are basically directed BY Israel. go look it up, it's true.

      Let Israel always fight their own fights. Remove their US funding and US arms assistance, and let's see how well they can bully the middle east.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Nii

      ????? The soldiers (Marines) were ambushed while they slept.

      They were unarmed (No ammunition) and on a peace keeping mission.

      No attempt was ever made to seize any land at all

      March 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Nii

      You used ur most typical force, the Marine Expeditionary Forces whose territorial holding experience is virtually nil. My army has been on peacekeeping duties in Lebanon since the 80s n we r still there but we have not lost that many troops. A British style army knows in war the referee suffers.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Nii

      OBSERVER it is unfortunate that because my FB page was hacked into by TruthPrevails n co because then u will see my profile. For security reasons I have blocked access to my website from this blogspot. I am however a male human so cease from using the inanimate pronoun on me.

      March 13, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Aww. Did someone steal your crown, Nii?

      March 13, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    March 13, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Maybe. I'm not sure anymore.

      March 13, 2012 at 3:23 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 13, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      I mainly just like the attention and it helps my OCD

      March 13, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Proven

      March 13, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Jesus

      "Prayer changes things
      Proven"

      You've been proven a LIAR over and over again on this blog.

      March 13, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      but only on every second Tuesday after a full moon. Proven.

      March 13, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Proven
      Powerful

      March 13, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Reality

      Free Will and Future are inherent to all the thinking beings in the Universe. This being the case, it is not possible to alter life with prayers. Statistically, your request might come true but it is simply the result of the variability/randomness of Nature..

      So put down your rosaries and prayer beads and stop worshiping/revering cows or bowing to Mecca five times a day.

      Instead work hard at your job, take care of aging parents, volunteer at a soup kitchen, donate to charities and the poor and continue to follow the proper rules of your religion or any good rules of living as gracious and good human beings.

      March 13, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer does not help
      Proven

      March 13, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Proven
      Powerful
      Pervasive

      March 13, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Maybe some other words that begin with P, too...I have to go get my thesaurus first though

      March 13, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Jesus

      "Prayer changes things
      Proven
      Powerful
      Pervasive"

      All you need is PROVEN LIAR.

      March 13, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
  17. Reality

    What instigated the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon?

    And what drives today's 24/7 mosque/imam-planned acts of terror and horror?

    The koran, Mohammed's book of death for all infidels and Muslim domination of the world by any means.

    Muslims must clean up this book removing said passages admitting that they are based on the Gabriel myth and therefore obviously the hallucinations and/or lies of Mohammed.

    Until then, no Muslim can be trusted anytime or anywhere..................................

    March 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  18. HotAirAce

    I trust this charlatan as much as I trust Pope-a-Dope, or any other cult leader.

    March 13, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  19. momoya

    Calling religious people hypocrites is most often accurate but does little more than annoy them.. Just talk to the average christian in america who believes that god commands love for one's enemies despite the existence of hell.

    March 13, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Chad

      I really do wish you would read the bible a little.

      Hell is the permanent estrangement from God, that is our choice if we want to make it, and God honors it. God loves us enough to let us make our own decisions,

      but, there is good news if you choose to take advantage of it:
      "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal" – John 3-16

      "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5

      "For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live" Ezekiel 18

      With even a fairly rudimentary understanding of the bible, it is clear to see that God's love for humanity and the existence of hell are absolutely coherent.

      March 13, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • momoya

      Way to miss the point, Chad.. Bbilegod is inconsistent and stupid all over the bible, regardless of your interpretation of what hell is.. The reason that neither you nor any other christian can be sure of her/his interpretation (hell, or what have you) is that there's no method by which to prove one interpretation is any more correct than another interpretation.. That's why god believers the world over can disagree on anything and everything about god's nature, but they all use the same math and chemistry.. You're left with "faith," which is exactly what every god believer has, and it does each of you as much good as it does the other because it's not a method for knowing truth, but rather a method for continuing to believe what you believe without any reason at all.. Either god is the premier author of confusion or he doesn't much care about belief in him one way or the other.

      March 13, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Chad

      @momoya "Way to miss the point, Chad.. Bbilegod is inconsistent and stupid all over the bible, regardless of your interpretation of what hell is. ... is that there's no method by which to prove one interpretation is any more correct than another interpretation...."

      =>again, you are just dramatically unfamiliar with both the bible, and the nature of the theological differences between different Christian denominations.
      All Christian denominations view hell as permanent estrangement
      All Christian denominations view God as providing the only remedy for an otherwise permanent estrangement in the person of Jesus Christ.
      All Christian denominations view God as loving us so much, that He provided His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

      You just need to do some investigation, you arent going to get an accurate picture of Christianity if you start with infidels.org

      March 13, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • momoya

      Thanks for proving my original statement, Chad. 🙂

      March 13, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Nii

      @CHAD-ur assailant MOMOYA is an old man who claims to be a former man of the cloth. However the basics of charitable love which makes you go beyond ritualism and dogmatism to spirituality are lost on him. He needs help but I doubt if u can. The sick who believe in their health are not nice patients.

      March 13, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Chad

      There is simply no way that momoya is a former pastor/priest. No disrespect intended, but he/she lacks even a rudimentary understanding of the bible and Christian theology.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • sam

      Chad, is that how you generally feel about folks who disagree with you?

      March 13, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Observer

      sam-You seem to have lofty ideals for yourself, care to explain those ideals and belief?

      Chad-On another note , you may want to take a closer look before responding to 'NII' ,its theological understanding is not any different from that of momoya.

      March 13, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • Nii

      Forgive me for anything u feel I have done to U Mr Observer but do not use the inanimate pronoun it for me. U may know very well I am human a male in fact.

      March 13, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chard is a dolt.

      March 13, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What really gripes Chad's azz is that momoya has more brains in her little finger than Chad has...anywhere.

      March 13, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
  20. STruth

    Radioactivity is a perversion of nature that was brought about by Satan. Of course nuclear weapons are sinful. So is your smoke detector.

    March 13, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Fleeced Navidad

      Unless you bless it. Then the electrons go around the opposite way.

      March 13, 2012 at 8:38 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.