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Christian college student's idea leads to rally for burned mosque
Surveying the destroyed Joplin mosque.
August 8th, 2012
01:39 PM ET

Christian college student's idea leads to rally for burned mosque

By Josh Levs, CNN

(CNN) - When 20-year-old Ashley Carter heard about a mosque burned to the ground in her town this week, she was shocked.

"I was very saddened," she told CNN on Wednesday. "I thought it was very evil."

So Carter, a student at Ozark Christian College in Joplin, Missouri, texted a friend, suggesting they organize an event "promoting acts of love."

But quickly, the idea changed: They would organize a "rally of people coming together, from all walks of life, all religions, a really diverse group of people trying to promote this radical love."

She called Kimberly Kester, spokeswoman for the Islamic Society of Joplin, whose worship house serving about 50 families in the southwest Missouri city burned down Monday. Investigators have not determined the cause, but the mosque has been attacked in the past.

My Faith: After my mosque was torched

Kester supported the idea. So Carter and some of her friends created the plan for the rally and announced it on a Facebook page. The next day, Tuesday, word began to spread. By Wednesday morning, more than 400 people had posted that they would attend the event, scheduled for Saturday, August 25.

Carter said she was inspired by "my love for Jesus. And I know that Jesus calls us to love people."

"With everything that's been happening in the news this week" - which includes a shooting Sunday at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin that left six worshipers and the gunman dead - "I was pretty discouraged," Carter said. "Regardless of what you believe, I think everybody's entitled to loving whoever."

Kester told CNN she and other members of the mosque plan to attend the rally.

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The response to the burning from people throughout the community has been "outstanding," she said. "There were representatives from different churches, different organizations at the site that afternoon speaking to the Imam. People have been calling anyone that they know that has been involved with the mosque, offering to help."

St. Philip's Episcopal Church in Joplin is hosting an iftar - a meal eaten by Muslims after dark during Ramadan - on Wednesday evening. The Council on American-Islamic Relations announced that speakers will include members of the interfaith community. Sponsoring groups include the South Joplin Christian Church, the United Hebrew Congregation, the First Community Church and Peace Lutheran Church, CAIR said.

Representatives of various Islamic groups will attend, Kester said. They will discuss the future and what provisions are needed to continue Sunday school and prayers.

The mosque is holding daily prayers at someone's house now, and expects to rent a new place as soon as this week, although numerous religious institutions have offered their facilities, Kester said.

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

"We're hoping for security and that type of support from our community," she added.

Members say this is an opportunity to kind of start over and improve on things that we've always wanted to improve upon, like our security system or Sunday school facilities," she said. "It's a time for us to unite and focus on supporting each other. And yes, it's a tragedy ... but we want to focus on coming together and building a stronger community."

No final decision has been made on whether the mosque will move to a new location, but there is a consensus to move inside the city limits, Kester said. "We feel that the response time for fire employees would be less if were in the city limits and it would offer us a little bit more protection and security."

No definite plans will be made before an investigation is completed into the burning, said the mosque's treasurer, Navid Zaidi. "We need to get this crime solved, before we do anything."

He said he hopes the rally is safe and that authorities keep everyone protected. Assuming the fire was arson, the perpetrator "is out there - he is loose," Zaidi said.

Zaidi described the support coming from the community as "tremendous."

A fundraising effort to help rebuild the mosque is off to an auspicious start.

The website of the official campaign shows a goal of $250,000, with more than $40,000 pledged by Wednesday afternoon.

A video for the campaign refers to the mosque as "our refuge in a crazy and hectic world." It shows what the mosque looked like, followed by images of the charred wreckage.

Arsalan Iftikhar, an international human rights lawyer and founder of TheMuslimGuy.com, tweeted that he will donate a dollar for every retweet of his message. He quickly got hundreds of retweets.

Iftikhar is a frequent contributor to CNN.com.

Carter says she expects donations to be taken at the rally. And anyone who wants to donate money to cover the costs of staging the rally can through the Facebook page.

Different kinds of bands will play, including religious bands, she said. And speakers will talk about "promoting love."

"When there's an act of hate, you have a choice to make it something beautiful. So that's what this is all about: making things beautiful from things that aren't."

–CNN's Anna-Lysa Gayle contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Islam • Missouri

soundoff (1,091 Responses)
  1. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    Outstanding! It's nice to see truly Christian actions in the wake of this harm.

    I congratulate Ms. Carter. I hope her rally is a big success. I think it will do Joplin proud.

    August 8, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  2. ME II

    "Different kinds of bands will play, including religious bands, she said."

    I'm as.suming she means Christian bands. Is it just me or does it seem incredibly arrogant, and possibly offensive, to have Christian bands at a fund-raiser for a Mosque?

    August 8, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • ME II.o

      It would....but you are assuming a lot on your part. Don't give in to your own ignorance.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • ME II

      @ME II.o,
      Enlighten my ignorance, what am I missing, here?

      August 8, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      If the purpose is to attract area Christians to the event to donate to rebuilding the mosque, no, I don't see it as arrogant.

      I think the local Muslim community will see it as pragmatic more than offensive.

      If there are speakers railing about the purported evils of other faiths (besides the 'one true faith' of Christianity) then this would indeed be arrogant and offensive.

      I don't see why a 'peace and love' event would necessarily include divisive preaching.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • ME II

      @GOPer,
      I hope that is the case.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • fred

      I hear about Islam the religion of peace and know the Christ preached from the position of love your neighbor. If those are the believers that show up to the rally then there is no offense.
      If the Christians are helping to build a temple to a god that denies Christ is Lord then I agree it is offensive to God, Christians and Allah. A perfect storm in the making.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Mary

      You're assuming christian bands???? She did not SAY christian bands.
      And what difference does it make?
      She, and many other people are willing to step up and help them.
      Do you think they're going to argue that, while they'll accept the help from the community, they don't want any christian bands? I doubt it.
      Why do you want to be so cynical? Just let anyone that wants to help help.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • ME II

      @Mary,
      She specifically mentioned "religious" bands, and I haven't heard of too many Islamic bands.

      That being said, I'm more than willing to admit that I may be over-reacting.

      Hope it goes well.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • SPA Knight

      As a point of clarification, Sikhs are not Muslim.

      August 9, 2012 at 10:39 am |
  3. don

    level the ground and make a parking lot

    August 8, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  4. Jordan Starkweather

    I attend Ozark Christian College and am a Christian pastor in the Joplin area. I am so proud of my school and community in the way that they have handled this tragedy. It is so beautiful. My heart aches for the ways that these amazing, hospitable people are and were persecuted, but I am glad to see love shining through it all. I can't wait to attend this event.

    August 8, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • ME II

      I think it is great that the community is coming together to support its members.
      I think it would be less than neighborly if it became a Christian event.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Dan Still

      Sir Jordan, people like you makes me believe in humanity and makes me a proud american. I am teary eyed writing this message. Good bless you and protect our country from evil within.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  5. Honey Badger Dont Care

    Shes not a very good xtian. The bible is very clear that anyone of another religion, or teaching people about another religion, should be put to death.

    August 8, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Kalessin

      Guess you are not familiar with Samaritans in the NT.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Mary

      Don't understand the Bible much, do you?

      August 8, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • jer

      the bible also says to love others as you would yourself and not to judge others, and it doesnt list anything that is excluded from that, yet christians tend to forget the bible says that too

      August 8, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rywVlfTtlMY

      August 8, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      It's always fun to see the religious stamp around cherrypicking the bible.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • J.W

      Wasn't the original post cherrypicking the Bible?

      August 8, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Jason

      Islam is not a blasphemous religion. It is a monotheistic religion that teaches a lot of the same principles that Christianity does. I would even argue that Islam is closer to the original and purer form of Chritianity that what today's Christians practice. Educate yourself.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Kalessin

      J.W- "Wasn't the original post cherrypicking the Bible?"

      Shhhhh...don't say that. Don't you know that atheists are allowed to do that and accuse everyone else about doing that?

      August 8, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      There are very expicit instructions in the bible to do just what the original post said, and passed off as the will of god. And if you want to appeal to the new testament, you also need to remember that jesus supposedly said that not everyone who labels themselves a christian will go to heaven, and the only way is to do the will of god, which is contained within . . . that's right the old testament. All that any cherrypicking, or appealing to different verses does, is show the contradictory stances of the bible.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Jason

      You're right. Islam hasn't had the benefit of a reformation, so it retains its barbaric teachings.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Kalessin

      @hawaiiguest- "All that any cherrypicking, or appealing to different verses does, is show the contradictory stances of the bible."

      Or a lack of understanding context and too much reliance that atheists have to being literalists.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • jer

      I guess the christians for got about this also "let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers for therby some have entertained angels unawares

      August 8, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Oh how cute, the magical word context once again. Tell me, why would context matter when it comes to what is supposed to be the infallible edicts of an unchanging diety. Then again, the unchanging thing is contradictory within the bible as well.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      So in other words, even though the OT says to do it and the NT DOES NOT prohibit it you say that kiIIing in the name of your god is wrong? You don’t see anything wrong with your line of reasoning?

      August 8, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Kalessin

      @hawaiiguest- "Tell me, why would context matter when it comes to what is supposed to be the infallible edicts of an unchanging diety."

      Who said that what is in the Torah, Tanakh or NT was infallible?
      Back on context...you don't think such things as time, place and author matter to a written subject matter?

      August 8, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Kalessin

      Honey Badger Dont Care- "...you say that kiIIing in the name of your god is wrong?"

      I have yet to know anyone that says killing in the name of God is correct yet. It seems you are arguing certain points that no one have made yet.

      August 8, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Kalessin

      Oh how fun. Take a look at
      http://www.gospelway.com/bible/bible_inspiration.php

      Scriptures continue to claim that it is the "true word of god", or direct commands from god. Can god be wrong?

      August 8, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • J.W

      God never commanded me to kill anyone.

      August 8, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Then you obviously don't take the bible as the word of god, unless it would suit what you already believe of course.

      August 8, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • J.W

      One of the ten commandments is thou shall not kill.

      August 8, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • Kalessin

      hawaiiguest- "Oh how fun. Take a look at http://www.gospelway.com/bible/bible_inspiration.php"

      Yep..very much fun and...

      "Scriptures continue to claim that it is the "true word of god", or direct commands from god. Can god be wrong?"

      Good for those people if they feel that way. Of course I am not any of those people so I cannot answer for them.
      What do you mean by "wrong"?
      Wrong as in a mistake or wrong as in you do not agree with God's decision?
      This is fun isn't it?

      August 8, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Kalessin

      J.W "One of the ten commandments is thou shall not kill."

      The proper translation of the hebrew for "kill" in that passage actually is murder.
      Most rational people understand the difference between murder and killing out of a need.

      August 8, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Kalessin

      Are non-answers the only thing you can do?

      August 8, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • Kalessin

      hawaiiguest- "Are non-answers the only thing you can do?"

      Do you always expect ppl to defend positions they do not agree with?

      I am not a literalist (unlike most atheists on here).

      August 8, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Kalessin

      Then why bother with anything in the bible at all. If you don't take it literally, all you're doing is using it as a Big Book of Multiple Choice.

      August 8, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Kalessin

      You never answered , "Wrong as in a mistake or wrong as in you do not agree with God's decision?"

      Based on your use of th word "wrong" I hope you know what you meant by it.

      August 8, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Kalessin

      Why should I bother? If you're just goingg to pick which parts shouldn't be literal and which are, you can justify anything. It's just plain pointless with a dishonest stance of being non-literal.

      August 8, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Kalessin

      hawaiiguest- "Then why bother with anything in the bible at all. If you don't take it literally, all you're doing is using it as a Big Book of Multiple Choice."

      That might be how you see it but that wouldn't be correct. For those of faith, the books of the Bible are used as examples to live a more productive life within their faith. Those that just cherrypick are not doing themselves any favors as far as the discipline of the faith goes.
      The text does not have to be absolute to be important.

      August 8, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Kalessin

      If you don't think everything in there is the absolute word of god, then you are merely cherrypicking what you like, and justifying everything else any way you can.

      August 8, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Kalessin

      "Why should I bother?"

      I thought you would bother because this is suppose to be an exercise in examining what the Truth is.

      "If you're just goingg to pick which parts shouldn't be literal and which are, you can justify anything."

      That's where you are wrong. If a group of people decide to squash a town in middle america just because Joshua did it to Ai...then I would call it what it is...wrong. Why? Because of the cotext involved. The Bible doesn't exist in a bubble. The reasons for such events as Ai do not exist now. The reasons for the 613 mitzvot do not exist the same now as they did then. You are wanting Christians to treat the Bible as Tea Party people treat the Consti tution and that's just not right.

      "It's just plain pointless with a dishonest stance of being non-literal."

      No...it's not easy for you since you expect everyone to be a literalist. There is nothing dishonest in being honest with you.

      August 8, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Kalessin

      Again the magical word of context. The lovely word where you can dismiss any atrocity within the bible without a second thought.

      August 8, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • Kalessin

      "If you don't think everything in there is the absolute word of god, then you are merely cherrypicking what you like, and justifying everything else any way you can."

      You just don't get it....the morality and discipline of a Christian does not start and end with the Bible. It's silly to think it does. Logic dictates that it has to be more than that because most people of faith never had a "Bible" to begin with.

      August 8, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • Kalessin

      "Again the magical word of context. The lovely word where you can dismiss any atrocity within the bible without a second thought."

      Nothing magical about a very important word. I am sorry...did I dismiss something (nice loaded word that atrocity is) without a second thought? I don't believe I did.

      August 8, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Kalessin

      "most people of faith never had a "Bible" to begin with."

      LOL Oh right the most printed book in history, the book in almost every hotel room, given out free by missionaries to convert third world starving people in exchange for aid. That's just hilarious! Not to mention study bibles, childrens bibles, picture bibles, the multiple different English translations, then all the other languages it's printed in.

      August 8, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • Kalessin

      "LOL Oh right the most printed book in history, the book in almost every hotel room, given out free by missionaries to convert third world starving people in exchange for aid. That's just hilarious! Not to mention study bibles, childrens bibles, picture bibles, the multiple different English translations, then all the other languages it's printed in."

      Yep..very funny. Funny that the "Bible" never existed prior to around the 3rd century AD so any Christian before that date had nothing.
      Funny that the vast majority of Christians prior to maybe around the 1700's couldn't read a Bible even if they had one.
      Funny that for the most of Christian history there was no printing press.
      Funny that prior to the beginning of the 2nd century, the vast majority of the "Bible" wasn't even written down anywhere. Wonder how there could have been Christians without the Bible? Oh please...don't think on that...it might hurt you.

      August 8, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Kalessin

      "Nothing magical about a very important word. I am sorry...did I dismiss something (nice loaded word that atrocity is) without a second thought? I don't believe I did."

      "If a group of people decide to squash a town in middle america just because Joshua did it to Ai...then I would call it what it is...wrong. Why? Because of the cotext involved."

      Brushing off the elimination of a place with the word context. In any other place other than in the "good book", it's wholly wrong, or an atrocity, and yes I find there to be many atrocities within the bible. Congrats, you've dismissed slaughter using context without a second thought.

      August 8, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Kalessin

      Hmm..no doubt now you are thinking about that magical word context aren't you. You wouldn't dare say that you meant the here and now instead of the past would you?

      Context...it is funny 🙂

      August 8, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Kalessin

      Awww did I insult your wittle pride? Your attempts at condescension went up a lot in your last post, but then again, it's not like I expected anything else. So are you saying that most there have been less christians in the past 300 years worldwide, than there has been before that?

      August 8, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Kalessin

      "Brushing off the elimination of a place with the word context. In any other place other than in the "good book", it's wholly wrong, or an atrocity, and yes I find there to be many atrocities within the bible. Congrats, you've dismissed slaughter using context without a second thought."

      Hold back your congrats because I didn't brush anything off. Your interpretation of my writing is wrong.
      Brushing off implies no emotional connection to what happened to those people. I am quite certain I have as much emotional connection to that event as you do with the Samaritan woman that Jesus talked to in the NT.

      August 8, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Kalessin

      "Awww did I insult your wittle pride?"

      Is that your "belief"?

      "Your attempts at condescension went up a lot in your last post, but then again, it's not like I expected anything else."

      Eh...there is that claiming advantage where there is none. You shouldn't try that strategy. What I brought up was quite valid and accurate. The only options you really have is to agree with me or tell me that is not what you meant when you wrote it. Alas, context is important is it not?

      "So are you saying that most there have been less christians in the past 300 years worldwide, than there has been before that?"

      Actually no....however if one reads the whole post and considers how many Christians should have existed prior to the 1700's....I believe it is a safe bet that more Christians existed between 30AD to the 1700's than from the 1800's to now.

      But you ignore the point...if the Bible is absolute to the life of a Christian...how could there be any Christians if they did not have access to the Bible? There is something more to being a person of the Christian faith than the Bible.

      August 8, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Kalessin

      Implications have nothing to do with it. You just accepted that elimination of a people for no other reason than you thought the context made it ok, which is exactly what I said you did.
      As for the other post, when did I ever say the the bible is needed for the christian? All I said was that if you don't take it literally, it's a dishonest position that serves the purpose of justifying anything you want it to, and is essentially useless as a guide to anything.

      August 8, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • Kalessin

      You just accepted that elimination of a people for no other reason than you thought the context made it ok, which is exactly what I said you did."

      It seems that for you the ends never, under any circu mstance, justify the means. If that is your outlook on life..then I hope it works for you. But to imply that I must think the killing is good...you are very much wrong.

      "All I said was that if you don't take it literally,"

      I'm sorry...you are quite confusing on this matter. If to be a Christian you must take the Bible liiterally...then how can one be a Christian if they do not have the Bible?

      You keep bringing up this notion of me justifying something because the Bible says it. I am afriad you are wrong on this simply because I haven't done that at all.

      August 8, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Kalessin

      Do you think the destruction of the Amalakites was ok in the bible? Do you think the stoning of gays, unruly children, rapists and their victims if caught within the city, or any of the other death sentences passed down supposedly from god were ok? Do you think it was an ok thing to do? A straight yes or no will be fine, although I'm expecting another long-winded pile of crap that goes with "ITS THE CONTEXT ITS THE CONTEXT", without actually answering.

      August 8, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • Kalessin

      "Do you think the destruction of the Amalakites was ok in the bible?"

      "Ok" What the heck do you mean by that? Do you think that the Israelites should have just died out in the desert?

      "Do you think the stoning of gays, unruly children, rapists and their victims if caught within the city, or any of the other death sentences passed down supposedly from god were ok?"

      As an absolute? No..of course not. But of course the Israelites did not treat the laws as absolutes. You got to stop thinking that everyone are literalists.

      "A straight yes or no will be fine, although I'm expecting another long-winded pile of crap that goes with "ITS THE CONTEXT ITS THE CONTEXT", without actually answering."

      Of course you want a yes or no...it's easier on your mind and no doubt you already have your debate plan figured in for either answer. Sorry that life doesn't always work that way.

      The truth of the matter is that YOU want all people of faith to rely on the literal translation of the text. You want people of the faith to follow the text blindly even though there is NOTHING to support that mindset at all.

      August 8, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Kalessin

      You're doing a fairly good job at not comitting to anything at all so you won't need to defend anything. This is why I said bringing up anything with you is just plain useless. No comittment, no honesty, no consistency.
      I actually have more respect for Fred Phelps than you right now. At least he's not afraid to state his stance, and be consistent with it.

      August 8, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • Kalessin

      "You're doing a fairly good job at not comitting to anything at all so you won't need to defend anything."

      You're doing a good job in asking me to defend actions I was neither a part of or know all the details of. Would you call your line of questioning fair? Answer...it's not really honest.

      "This is why I said bringing up anything with you is just plain useless. No comittment, no honesty, no consistency."

      Wrong. I have been committed to what I have said. I have been quite honest and I am very consistent with my position. You however do not agree with it and keep coming back to a topic you have deemed "useless". I would say your honesty should be questioned under the circ umstances.

      "I actually have more respect for Fred Phelps than you right now. At least he's not afraid to state his stance, and be consistent with it."

      Your opinion of Fred Phelps is irrelevant. I could say that the opinions of Hitler were more consistent than yours but that hardly has anything to do with anything now does it?

      You want me to make my moral decisions soley on the Bible. You want all Christians to do the same. It doesn't work that way. It never really ever worked that way. For some reason you don't like that.

      August 8, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Kalessin

      To conclude for the night....I do not believe the Bible should be taken literally. I have been consistent in that and quite honest. Even if some do not agree.
      That does not mean that the Bible is obsolete to a Christian, just that it's not absolute in all moral decision making of the faithful. Nowhere is it even implied that a follower of Christ be a non-thinking person.
      Context matters. The Bible does not exist in a moral vacuum. Events and people within the Bible should be looked at within the context of the where, whens, hows and whys. That also means that people should not just throw out context within the Bible when it suits them. THAT is dishonest.

      Be well and have a good night.

      August 8, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Kalessin

      If you can't see the inconsistency in your own views, then there's nothing to be done. I had a feeling beforehand that this conversation would be useless, and it looks like I was right.

      August 8, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Kalessin

      "If you can't see the inconsistency in your own views, then there's nothing to be done. I had a feeling beforehand that this conversation would be useless, and it looks like I was right."

      My views are not inconsistent in any way. If they were...you should have had no problem in showing it. Yet you have failed to do that simple task.

      Odd that you felt this conversation was useless yet keep coming back. Guess "useless" gets trumped by "ego" everytime with you.

      August 9, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  6. jer

    ya kno there are 2700 gods and christians dont believe in 2699 of them... that makes them almost as athiest as I am

    August 8, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Mary

      Jer, Stop telling us about the bible and christians. If you're an atheist, you don't know much about either.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • jer

      mary, I gre up in the church for 15 years of my life and I still read the bible daily, you can have fun being a moron and believeing that because someone doesnt believe means that they are not informed but toots it is all the contrary. it took me years to be ok with the fact that there was no god and that I had to do a lot of research and reading to gain that relization. I can argue bible with any bible thumperand win any day any subject.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Huebert

      What's wrong Mary you don't like the fact that you are an atheist towards over 2000 gods?

      August 8, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • ME II

      @Mary,

      http://blog.beliefnet.com/beliefbeat/2010/09/survey-atheists-jews-mormons-know-more-about-religion-than-protestants-catholics.html/

      August 8, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • jer

      also mary, the book of Hebrews says "let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers for therby some have entertained angels unawares"
      it means to be kind to strangers because you never know who is an angel sent by God to test you. I may be athiest but some of the teachings are great and need to be followed, especially by those that pretend to believe

      August 8, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Mary: Sorry to ruin your delusion but most Atheists were christian. Check out http://clergyproject.org...that is a list of Clergy who either have come out as Atheists or are still stuck in the church due to the risks involved in leaving but are still non-believers. They say the greatest way to make a person an Atheist is for said person to read the buybull cover-to-cover. Don't make assumptions and judge when you only know what is spewed to you from the pulpit, it doesn't help your case. In fact it makes you sound quite ignorant.

      August 8, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • fred

      TruthPrevails
      I read the Bible cover to cover and found the Word of God revealed Gods plan for all creation. Those in the clergy that you refer to lost faith for many reasons as did you. Where you choose to be at this point in your life does not change the truth it just changes your position relative to the plan as God created it.
      I do not recall you ever coming up with a better plan to bring a people to the highest level of existence without taking away free will. Actually, I have never had an atheist even come close because when they try the foolishness of their blind denials are revealed.

      August 8, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      No evidence of a higher level of existence than this. Useless speculation.

      August 8, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
  7. Mark39

    Traitors like this student should be rounded up and shot. Someone did something good for the country and this Christian student is against that.

    August 8, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Huebert

      Do you actually believe all the crazy that you're spewing?

      August 8, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • James

      Shooting you would be waste of a bullet. You're either a troll or a racist or both. Either way, I'm shocked you know how to use a computer.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Osama

      Troll: idiot who posts comments just to get responses

      August 8, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • just sayin

      Spoken like a true Christian

      August 8, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Mary

      You should be investigated.
      Hatred like that is likely to lead to violence.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Investigating hatred is as un American as burning down religious buildings.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • beer

      ...err...turn in your guns, buddy, before you hurt someone...

      August 8, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • J.W

      I bet Mark is just being silly. I hope he is.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Huebert,

      from his handle, I assume he'd rather they were nuked. (The last chapter of Mark is 16.)

      http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=1039

      August 8, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Huebert

      @GOP

      I as.sumed that 39 was either his age or the year he was born. Your information makes his entire post far more sinister.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • J Talhouk

      Where in your Bible did you read that your fellow christians should be rounded up and shot?? You make a good ambasador for Christianity. Keep it up!!!

      August 8, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  8. Jodie

    AmeriKKKa.

    August 8, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  9. Shane

    Glad, people still think like that, why dont you donate this money to church burned or bulldozed in Pakistan. Is that any way different compare to burned down Mosque, If it happened to Muslim every one start showing sympathy but when they kill one person per minute anywhere in the world, no one talks about. I have a mosque in my area and kind of noise they make, I wish Joplin repeat in my area too.

    August 8, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      First amendment. Don't like it, move to Iran.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Huebert

      Good to see all of that Christian love.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • brothersulayman

      Don't blame what Pakistanis do on Muslims in Joplin. American Muslims like us condemn what goes on overseas.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • James

      The guy who shot up a movie theater in Aurora. The guy who shot up a Sikh temple. They were christians. A muslim temple in our country is filled with Americans. That's why we should care and help out. If you can't accept that an American can be a Muslim, than it"s you at fault, and I feel sorry for you.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Holmes was agnostic (I think).

      August 8, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Mary

      What is with all you haters?

      And what is with you people that think these haters are christians?????

      August 8, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • ME II

      What does Pakistan have to do with events in Joplin?

      August 8, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Dan Still

      Shane, i am not sure why you singled out Pakistan, but to damper your comment, a lot more churches are destroyed in India than Pakistan.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  10. William Demuth

    Hey, it says they are gonna have some bands playing at the benifit!

    I hope they can get them "End Apathy" boys, cause their album is really shooting up the Christian charts.

    Them boys gots tons of rhyming lyrics. Let see they use chigger, bigger, and whats that other one?

    August 8, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Osama

      Tigger: They're (Frosted Flakes) greeeaaaaat!

      August 8, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  11. Chris R

    Things like this make me proud to be a christian. The 'christians' who spew hate and intolerance make me ashamed. It's sad that I'm ashamed far more often than I am proud.

    August 8, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  12. Bill Deacon

    Still waiting for the report on how atheists groups around the country are going to do something. tick.. tock... tick... tock

    August 8, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Why should we? Also, how many atheist groups are there? Very few I'd imagine.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Kalessin

      Rational Libertarian- "Why should we? Also, how many atheist groups are there? Very few I'd imagine."

      Shoot...to listen to the atheists on here, you are the fastest growing group there is and your morality is far superior than anyone else's. We should be seeing CNN covering stories about atheists helping out instead of any other group.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • William Demuth

      We didn't shoot em, YOU did.

      Clean up your own filth.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Bill Deacon

      Unfortunately, atheist groups don't have that automatic tax exempt status and weekly tithing from millions of guillible people that have been indoctrinated from places like Jesus Camp.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Atheists only share one common feature, the disbelief in god. It would make as much sense starting an atheist group as it would be to start an a-santaist group.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      So in other words we shouldn't expect any help from any of you. Got it!

      August 8, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Good. I'll be busy spending my money and time on whiskey and w.hores.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Bill Deacon

      I'm not surprised that you have completely ignored the point.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • J.W

      Atheists groups actually do have a tax exempt status

      August 8, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Not all.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @J.W.

      Also, don't forget the weekly tithing thing.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Kalessin

      William Demuth- "We didn't shoot em, YOU did."

      I'm sorry...was bullets used in the burning of the Mosque?

      Also..am I more responsible for what another American may or may not have done than you?

      August 8, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • J.W

      Atheists can donate as much money as they want to their organizations, just like Christians donate to their church. There is nothing keeping them from giving money.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @J.W.

      And how many people do they have in comparison? I'm not sure why you're questioning this point so much. Are you trying to say that atheist groups should have as much money as mega churches or the vatican? Seems like you're just being ridiculous.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • J.W

      It seemed like your original point was not that they have more people but that they are able to donate. I was just saying that atheists have the same opportunities. According to some statistics I see on here Christians don't have that much advantage even as far as numbers. I am not disputing that there are generous atheists I am just disputing that the Christians have unfair advantages.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • blaqb0x

      I donate to the RedCross and local food bank, thank you very much.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Bill Deacon,

      Three Hail Marys as an act of penance for your uncharitable thoughts to your fellow man.

      Go and sin no more my son.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @J.W.

      I stated millions in a post August 8, 2012 at 3:29 pm. Right above in this same thread. Although I'll need to change millions to at the least 200 million in the U.S. alone.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Danny

      As a born again atheist, I am really proud of this girls actions. I don't believe in god or any sky daddy for that matter. I do believe that good and evil lies in each one of us. And it is ultimately up to us as to which we choose to do. She is an incredibly caring human and most "good christians" could stand to follow her lead.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      HG Since I am the Op I guess that means I made the original point. Point being, some Christians are coming together to help people who need it without demanding they believe anything at all. Meanwhile you are waiting on your tax break before you decide to pitch in.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Bill

      Again, if you're either to blind or stupid to get the point, then don't bother responding, you only make yourself look bad.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  13. William Demuth

    It is the parable of the bread.

    First the Christians steal a man’s loaf of bread, then they give him back a slice and call it Christian charity.

    Far better they find the sociopath arsonist, and lock him in a cell with a buggery addicted priest.

    For Christians with good intent (perhaps a few worldwide) the key to your role is not to mourn for the Muslims, but identify, disown and prosecute the guilty parties.

    Real justice requires not your lip service in public while you privately shield the guilty, but an honest assessment of your culture.

    Offer us a sign, and begin holding accountable of the lunatics within your midst's

    Turn the dirt bag in.

    August 8, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Kalessin

      Do you think Ashley Carter knows where he is Billy? If not...give it a rest would ya?

      Why is it that some atheists just can't call what a person a faith has done good and leave it at that?

      August 8, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Perhaps because your "faith" has proven that giving them the benifit of the doubt has cost live's and money, not to mention the virginity of several thousand little boys.

      Your cult shall be judged by its ACTIONS, not its well worn rhetoric

      August 8, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Kalessin

      @William Demuth- your this and your that...way to go...trying to spin this in my direction is a total fail.

      Judging by actions is hardly a new concept Billy. It's one that all people (regardless of their belief) are judged by at some level. Like you...your actions on here make you out to be a religious bigot that can't stand it when people of faith do soemthing that is genuinely good.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Kalessin

      You take your own rhetoric too seriously! Christianity as a force of good? HAHAHAHHA. Your cut has it's boot on the throats of millions!

      And I am not a religious bigot, I hate all religions equally.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Kalessin

      William Demuth- "You take your own rhetoric too seriously!"

      And what rhetoric are you talking about?

      "Christianity as a force of good? HAHAHAHHA."

      I am glad you are amused so easily. Considering I never mentioned Christianity yet in our little talk...I find you quite amusing.

      "Your cut has it's boot on the throats of millions!"

      I have no cut..or cult 😉

      "And I am not a religious bigot, I hate all religions equally."

      And therefor you are a religious bigot. I never said you were a bigot of any specific religion. Try to keep up.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Hating everyone is a vestige of my Christian upbringing

      Hating equally is from my enlightenment.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Kalessin

      William Demuth- "Hating everyone is a vestige of my Christian upbringing"

      Sounds like the problem lies mostly with your upbringing than anything to do with religion.

      "Hating equally is from my enlightenment."

      But you don't hate equally...you don't seem to hate the non-religious.

      August 8, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  14. William Demuth

    Her butts a bit flat, but I will gladly throw her an act of love if she dumps baldie.

    August 8, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Are you sure that's not a skinny emo dude?

      August 8, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Skinny emo dude? Skinny emo chick? There's really so little difference so you might as well bang both.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  15. therealpeace2all

    Very glad to see that the community is organizing to help others. To see Christians acting through their faith, about love, acceptance and helping others, is sooooooo much better than the Christians, or anyone else of another faith/no-faith that sit back with hate towards Muslim's.

    I'm all for the Christians, and anyone else that behave in loving and kind ways.

    Peace...

    August 8, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • J.W

      Peace I was gonna say if you were close to me we should have a drink together, but California may be too far to drive lol

      August 8, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @J.W.

      Where are ye' livin' -J.W. ?

      Peace...

      August 8, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • J.W

      I live in Dallas.

      August 8, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @J.W.

      So... what's the problem ? It would be a nice swim out to L.A. ! 😀

      Or... you can hop on a plane... your choice.

      Kidding aside... if you are ever coming out to L.A., let me know, and I'd be happy to get together with you, if it could be arranged.

      Peace...

      August 8, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • fred

      J.W
      There are 4 classes in Dallas starting next month with Bible Study Fellowship. We are studying Genesis and you can get a great overview of exactly what the beginning was all about. Check it out :http://bsfinternational.org/Default.aspx?tabid=81&PageID=1
      What I like about BSF is that it is non denominational just the facts jack.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @J.W.

      When you come out to L.A., you can bring -Fred too 😀

      Peace...

      August 8, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      It would have been too obvious if they called the classes Apologetics 101.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • J.W

      You live in Dallas fred?

      August 8, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • just sayin

      fred

      J.W
      There are 4 classes in Dallas starting next month with Bible Study Fellowship. We are studying Genesis and you can get a great overview of exactly what the beginning was all about. Check it out :http://bsfinternational.org/Default.aspx?tabid=81&PageID=1
      What I like about BSF is that it is non denominational just the facts jack.

      -–

      Any classes on Harry Potter? Alice in Wonderland?

      August 8, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • fred

      Hawaiiguest
      Good call ! That is why I started going to BSF. Lots of different thoughts and opinions of what the Bible says. BSF is the traditional core Bible teachings based only on what is contained in the Bible. We do not get hung up on stuff like say gay marriage because the Bible does not mention anything about it directly. We don’t get hung up Catholics vs. LDS just the fundamentals. Ask a question like did the Serpent really speak and the answer would be Genesis was a symbolic picture language typical of oral traditions of the Hebrew in that day and time. Do you believe Adam and Eve were made by God 6,000 years ago? The Bible does not give a time certain and Hebrew style was to include important (often male) family names in the recorded genealogies so we cannot necessarily simply count back in time based on typical family life spans. Etc. etc

      August 8, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • fred

      J.W
      no, I dont live in Dallas but I watch it on Friday nights. Warning don't trust the Euwings and stay clear of South Fork.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      If you're going for biblical accuracy, I'll expect you comin out and joining WBC.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • fred

      Just sayin
      Our entire civilization has at its core a Western World View or at a minimum must deal with it. If Harry Potter or Alice had the same impact on the known world around me I would recommend the study of same. If Harry Potter or Alice had the power to transform lives I would study same. If Harry Potter or Alice belief were a requirement to become President of the United States I would study same. If Harry Potter or Alice were the reason gays are not given civil rights I would study same. If Harry Potter or Alice were at the foundation of current belief for 51% plus of the entire world population today I would study same. If the name of Harry Potter or Alice evoked emotional response in 82% of the world’s population I would study same. If Harry Potter or Alice provided the key to knowing that which cannot be seen and defies understanding by man I would study same.
      Harry Potter and Alice in Wonderland are known fictional characters created by man and thus can be proven fictional characters using standard scientific method. The God of Abraham and Christ cannot be proven or disproven using standard scientific method because they were not created by man.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • fred

      Hawaiiguest
      Wrong Fred………..Fred Phelps not only has serious personal issues he is behaving in the most non Christ like manner imaginable.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      LOL sorry but you are dead wrong there. In a purely biblical sense, he has waaaay more legs to stand on than you do.

      August 8, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  16. J.W

    If a tragedy like this happened where I lived I would love to see something like this happen. The world would be a much better place if everyone did something every day to help someone in their community.

    August 8, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  17. zohor

    Our deepest thanks to carter and everybody else who showed that their hearts and souls are full of kindness and tolerance.

    August 8, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  18. Thor

    But it doesn't end there. It wasn't enough for the Zionist leaders to have aroused the wrath of G-d. They made a point of displaying abysmal contempt for their Jewish brothers and sisters by actively participating in their extermination. Just the idea alone of Zionism, which the rabbis had informed them would cause havoc, was not enough for them. They made an effort to pour fuel on an already burning flame. They had to incite the Angel of Death, Adolf Hitler. They took the liberty of telling the world that they represented World Jewry. Who appointed these individuals as leaders of the Jewish People?? It is no secret that these so-called "leaders" were ignoramuses when it came to Judaism. Atheists and racists too. These are the "statesmen" who organized the irresponsible boycott against Germany in 1933. This boycott hurt Germany like a fly attacking an elephant – but it brought calamity upon the Jews of Europe. At a time when America and England were at peace with the mad-dog Hitler, the Zionist "statesmen" forsook the only plausible method of political amenability; and with their boycott incensed the leader of Germany to a frenzy. Genocide began, but these people, if they can really be classified as members of the human race, sat back.

    "No Shame"

    President Roosevelt convened the Evian conference July 6-15 1938, to deal with the Jewish refugee problem. The Jewish Agency delegation headed by Golda Meir (Meirson) ignored a German offer to allow Jews to emigrate to other countries for $250 a head, and the Zionists made no effort to influence the United States and the 32 other countries attending the conference to allow immigration of German and Austrian Jews. [Source]

    On Feb 1, 1940 Henry Montor executive vice-President of the United Jewish Appeal refused to intervene for a shipload of Jewish refugees stranded on the Danube river, stating that "Palestine cannot be flooded with... old people or with undesirables." [Source]

    It is an historical fact that in 1941 and again in 1942, the German Gestapo offered all European Jews transit to Spain, if they would relinquish all their property in Germany and Occupied France; on condition that: a) none of the deportees travel from Spain to Palestine; and b) all the deportees be transported from Spain to the USA or British colonies, and there to remain; with entry visas to be arranged by the Jews living there; and c) $1000.00 ransom for each family to be furnished by the Agency, payable upon the arrival of the family at the Spanish border at the rate of 1000 families daily.

    The Zionist leaders in Switzerland and Turkey received this offer with the clear understanding that the exclusion of Palestine as a destination for the deportees was based on an agreement between the Gestapo and the Mufti.

    The answer of the Zionist leaders was negative, with the following comments: a) ONLY Palestine would be considered as a destination for the deportees. b) The European Jews must accede to suffering and death greater in measure than the other nations, in order that the victorious allies agree to a "Jewish State" at the end of the war. c) No ransom will be paid This response to the Gestapo's offer was made with the full knowledge that the alternative to this offer was the gas chamber.

    These treacherous Zionist leaders betrayed their own flesh and blood. Zionism was never an option for Jewish salvation. Quite the opposite, it was a formula for human beings to be used as pawns for the power trip of several desperadoes. A perfidy! A betrayal beyond description!

    August 8, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Kalessin

      What the heck are you babbling about that has anything to do with this topic?

      August 8, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  19. just sayin

    The student is delusional but kudos for her caring and helping

    August 8, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • J.W

      Maybe she will not be able to change the world, but she could still make a difference in her own community.

      August 8, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Kalessin

      @just sayin- you say that as if you are delusional in anything in your life.

      August 8, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  20. just sayin

    Redneck says, "Why are you helping those terrrroooo istsssss"

    August 8, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      any doubt it was christians that burned it down in the first place?

      August 8, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • The Cohen

      Firs tof all Christians do ont burn down peoples houses of worship or their residences for that matter...Jesus in the parable of the sower defined what is real Christian.. one in four... good ground...but there is wayside which cannot partake of the word of God as their heart is hardened so that they cannot grasp it's meaning...then there is the stony ground... this kind has a lot of solid rock and cannot bear the word for long ... because temptations persecutions and other things make it hard for such a one to be fruitful...Jesus says this kind is offended... the next kind is that among thorns which cannot bear righteousness because of sinful behaviors .. while we have an abundance of those still there is the good ground where Christians do those things that please the Father in heaven.. but the most vocal and visible today are those who are stony ground.... they are the offended ones and they lash back at their opposition because they are still natural brute beasts a the bible says of them... STONY GROUND Christians are the political polarized characters who think they serve God with their votes.. 🙂 LOL The only way to serve God is on your knees 🙂 🙂

      August 8, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Blowing him?

      August 8, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • just sayin

      Bootyfunk

      any doubt it was christians that burned it down in the first place?

      ----

      Christians would never do this because they support freedom, liberty and civil rights of non-christians

      August 8, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.