July 10th, 2012
12:01 PM ET

8 religious wonders to see in the U.S.

By Marina Csomor, Special to CNN

(CNN) - People visit Jerusalem for the rich history, interwoven religious narratives and crumbling holy walls. They visit Europe for ornate churches with painted ceilings and golden trim. They visit India for peace of mind, finding serenity in its carved and colorful temples scattered along the sacred Ganges River.

But people rarely travel the U.S. in search of such sanctuaries. After all, what religious wisdom could America, a country still in its youth at 236 years old, have to offer?

Although the country may not have a reputation for religious landmarks, America is home to more than just secular city halls and strip malls. Whether or not you practice a faith, visiting these beautiful and historic U.S. religious spots may provide inspiration.

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soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Jonathan

    What beutiful buildings!

    July 13, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    July 12, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      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:!

      July 13, 2012 at 10:57 am |
  3. Reprinted With Permission ©


    A recent report by United Press trust of India (UPI) stated that during the past three years more than 2,500 young boys and girls were sacrificed to goddess Kali in India. Another of AFP's recent reports say: hundreds of young boys and virgin girls are sacrificed every month for the deity Kali. In one case Rama Sewak hacked his eight year old son to death in broad daylight in Delhi because goddess Kali had told him he would come back to life and bring him good fortune. Bloodthirsty Kali is worshipped openly the length and breadth of India. Kali's statue stands naked astride the inanimate body of the Hindu deity Shiva, tongue stuck out with blood dripping from fang-like teeth. She holds a noose, a skull-topped staff, a blood-encrusted sword and a severed head. She is also known as Durga, Devi, Shaktima, Uma and Parvathi in other manifestations. The priest of Delhi, Kali Bari, says that a child sacrificed to Kali ensures a man the birth of a son. Human sacrifices are also made to these gods or goddesses, either to appease them or to ask favours of them.

    July 12, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Praveen

      What do you want to prove now??

      July 13, 2012 at 1:44 am |
  4. Cq

    I think that any of the very powerful telescopes in the USA outdo any amount of awe that these buildings can generate, and have certainly helped us understand the universe better as well.

    July 12, 2012 at 12:26 am |
  5. catholic engineer

    We've heard that the Religious Right is mean, bigotted, and violent. Yet they endure me (a catholic), and we're still waiting for the mass persecutions of Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Christian Scientists, Mormons, etc. Even after 9/11 there were no Mosque burnings in this country. I'm not close to Evangelicals. But the charge that they are the worst of all people has not been shown, and it's beginning to ring hollow. Amazing how shrill people can get in working up a mob psychology against the Evangelicals.

    July 11, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Steve

      Their constant and viscious attacks against Christians is proof in-and-of-itself that the Anti-Christ (spirit) is real.

      July 11, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Lux

      Actually there have been attacks on mosques and on sites where mosques are being constructed.

      July 11, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • just sayin

      Steve you amazing. I guess because Jews are attacked the Anti Jew (spirit) is real. I guess because Muslims are attacked the Anit Muslim (spirit) is real. I guess because Mormons are attacked the Anti Mormon (spirit) is real. Jesus how do you delusional people function?????????????

      July 11, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Steve

      @Just sayin:

      There are clearly exceptions to every "rule", but just do the math.

      For example, when you have a LARGE GROUP of people (secular liberals in this example) who are staunchly for women's rights, gay rights, freedom of speech, etc; taking the side of Islamists over Christians; a lightbulb should be going off in your head saying, "hey, something ain't right here!"

      July 11, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • just sayin

      Steve, you are a danger to those around you. Your mental process is lacking. I hope you don't solve problems for a living.

      July 11, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • Steve

      @just sayin

      From what I have seen posted by you, I will take your assessment of me as a complement.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Steve

      @just sayin (appropriate handle you chose, btw)

      Here ya go. Put this into a google search and have at it:

      "why do liberals support muslims"

      Read a few of the links that come up and then tell me how logical it is that the very group who claims to be so liberal, and so against conservatives, will favour a far more conservative group (Muslims) over a not nearly as conservative group (Christians).

      Then please do me a huge favour and tell me why this is as it is obviously way over my head.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Mick

      The only thing that seems to keep the religious right from making good on their threats is the threat of being sued, it seems. Given the choice between pleasing their Lord by burning the Koran, or avoiding a lawsuit by chickening out, they'll obey their true Lord and Master every time: MONEY!

      July 12, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • Donna

      The Mormons have endured mass persecution since day one. They still are hated today.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:48 am |
  6. ytyty

    YA GUEY Callate La Boca!!!!

    July 11, 2012 at 9:58 am |
  7. religion; a way to control the weak minded

    Heavensent said: "Reality, Christians don't care what foolish men say. Jesus' truth is all that matters. "

    Yet the "truth" you have was all written by foolish men looking to control populations, then edited by other men to make money and control people. Too bad god had nothing to do with writing that book.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:05 am |
    • Steve

      Guess we'll all just have to take YOUR word for that then

      July 11, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Lux

      @Steve. They may or may not have been foolish people. However there are historical facts that the bible has been edited over time and that religion has been used to control populations.

      July 11, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • catholic engineer

      @religion I feel sure that mass population control was not on the agenda of the early embattled Christians.
      Something else to consider: Merely rejecting religon is not enough to qualify as strong minded.

      July 11, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Steve


      @Steve. They may or may not have been foolish people. However there are historical facts that the bible has been edited over time and that religion has been used to control populations.

      You may be surprised to hear that I agree with you. That is precisely why I use an interlinear bible with a concordance, and avoid the newer translations like the plague 🙂

      Certainly there have been problems ever since the Nethinim took over the scribal duties for the Levites. That is why you need the Holy Spirit to help teach you and guide you.

      July 11, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  8. Kebos

    There is no wonder in religion except for "I wonder why mankind was so stupid and gullible to believe in such ridiculousness?"

    Now, there is awe in the architecture of the buildings. Impressive! And no, not divinely inspired!

    July 11, 2012 at 6:46 am |
    • Cq

      But inspired by the idea of the divine, or are they like the great stadiums and concert halls, designed also for their appeal to a paying clientele?

      July 12, 2012 at 12:05 am |
  9. thespectatorssport.wordpress.com/

    Why does no one comment about the buildings? That's what this post was about: showing the most beautiful of all religious buildings.

    July 10, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
  10. Sam Yaza


    and make sure you buy some things at the gift shop

    July 10, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
  11. llɐq ʎʞɔnq

    I'm suprised the Jews actually use the name of "El". Someone might actually look into where that came from, and debunk all the rest of the "Abrahamics".


    July 10, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • steve

      I don't believe that they do. Not by itself anyway. It is only used as a sort of "adjective" to describe a particular attribute of YHVH. Then again, anything is possiible since the Nethinims took over the scribe duties from the Levites 🙁

      July 10, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      death to the tyrant king Yahweh murderer of Baal his brother/father, and rapper in-slaver of his mother Asherah, el shaddai be mourned his house is divided and nation razed,... funny how his son Jesus does the same things

      July 10, 2012 at 9:19 pm |




      July 10, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • Mick

      Wow! Yet another fundie with a sticky keyboard. Try getting one of those plastic guards the next time you surf the X X X sites, hey pal?

      July 12, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  12. Bill Deacon

    I recommend the Basilica at St Louis. It is extraordinary

    July 10, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  13. HeavenSent

    And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great erections? there shall not be left one limp upon another, that shall not be gone down on.

    Mark 13:2


    July 10, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Peace2All


      Hey Heaven...How have you been ?

      Ahhh... gotta' say that there is a joke somewhere inside that post that you wrote that has me chucklin' ! 😀


      July 10, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • **


      That's the fake HeavenSent.... t'was meant to be comical.
      (it's gettin' old, tho')

      July 10, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • HeavenSent



      (it's gettin' old, tho')

      Speak for yourself. More to c u m each day.

      July 10, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Peace2all, Tommie Tom is on the war path hijacking my handle to post her perversion all over these articles. She wants to silence true Christians.

      Peace to you also.

      July 10, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • L

      Atheists don't have logic anymore.

      Its all a lie

      July 10, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      L a useless troll like you talking about how you think someone else doesn't have logic is just way to funny. Please, continue your irrelevant idiocy, it's quite amusing.

      July 10, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      hahahaahhha some one just bought a new thesaurus

      July 10, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • Cq

      I assume that you can make a logical argument supporting why you believe that atheists don't have a logical argument? I'd love to hear it if you do.

      July 12, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • Sim34

      The real HeavenSent's comments are gettin' old too.

      July 12, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  14. just sayin

    Dang, the Mormon temple is ugly!

    July 10, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • hehe

      You're ugly

      July 12, 2012 at 12:31 am |
  15. Reality

    Recognizing the flaws, follies and frauds in the foundations of Islam, Judaism, Baha'ism, Christianity et al, the "bowers", kneelers" and "pew peasants" are converging these religions into some simple rules of life (e.g. "Do no Harm").

    No koran, bible, clerics, nuns, monks, imams, evangelicals, ayatollahs, rabbis, professors of religion or priests needed or desired.

    Ditto for houses of "worthless worship" aka mosques, churches, basilicas, cathedrals, temples and synagogues.

    July 10, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      End times Reality, end times ...

      And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

      Mark 13:2


      July 10, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Reality

      Mark 13:2 is reviewed by Professor Gerd Ludemann in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 87-88, pp. 694-695. Said passage was judged to be historically nil. See also http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb064.html

      July 10, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Reality, Christians don't care what foolish men say. Jesus' truth is all that matters. Not some stuffed shirt that makes his living off of not comprehending Jesus' truth.

      July 10, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Lux

      As opposed to some stuffed shirt that makes his living off of the man-made myths of the bible?

      July 10, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Reality

      Then there is this:

      The Apostles' Creed 2012: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
      and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      (references used are available upon request)

      July 10, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Sim34

      Why do you always automatically assume that your handle on "Jesus' Truth" is so much better than that of the professional academics'? Your ego must be through the roof!

      July 12, 2012 at 12:13 am |
  16. derp

    "Dearly beloved, touch not yourselves"

    This is funny coming from a feminine cleansing liquid who constantly verbally mas turb 8s.

    July 10, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  17. HeavenSent

    This is a religious wonder.

    Dearly beloved, touch not yourselves, but [rather] give your body to another: for it is written, oragasim is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

    Romans 12:19

    July 10, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Sue

      Do you come here just to offend someone with your sick comments?

      July 10, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Blow me

      July 10, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Cybil's on the war path using my handle. LOL. Always stalking, no life of her own.

      July 10, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Another wonder is my greatness because of God. Atheist remain dumb dumb dumb and foolish.


      July 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Tommie Tom is a coward hijacking my handle to spew her wrath.

      July 10, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
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.