When religious beliefs become evil: 4 signs
The Branch Davidians, a religious sect led by David Koresh, clashed with federal agents in 1993 in Waco, Texas.
April 28th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

When religious beliefs become evil: 4 signs

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - An angry outburst at a mosque. The posting of a suspicious YouTube video. A friendship with a shadowy imam.

Those were just some of the signs that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, accused of masterminding the Boston Marathon bombings, had adopted a virulent strain of Islam that led to the deaths of four people and injury of more than 260.

But how else can you tell that someone’s religious beliefs have crossed the line? The answer may not be as simple you think, according to scholars who study all brands of religious extremism. The line between good and evil religion is thin, they say, and it’s easy to make self-righteous assumptions.

“When it’s something we like, we say it’s commitment to an idea; when it’s something we don’t like, we say it’s blind obedience,” said Douglas Jacobsen, a theology professor at Messiah College in Pennsylvania.

Yet there are ways to tell that a person’s faith has drifted into fanaticism if you know what to look and listen for, say scholars who have studied some of history’s most horrific cases of religious violence.

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“There are a lot of warning signs all around us, but we usually learn about them after a Jim Jones or a David Koresh,” said Charles Kimball, author of “When Religion Becomes Evil.”

Here are four warning signs:

1. I know the truth, and you don’t.

On the morning of July 29, 1994, the Rev. Paul Hill walked up to John Britton outside an abortion clinic in Pensacola, Florida, and shot the doctor to death. Hill was part of a Christian extremist group called the Army of God, which taught that abortion was legalized murder.

Hill’s actions were motivated by a claim that virtually all religions espouse: We have the truth that others lack.

Those claims can turn deadly when they become absolute and there is no room for interpretation, Kimball says.

“Absolute claims can quickly move into a justification of violence against someone who rejects that claim,” Kimball said. “It’s often a short step.”

Healthy religions acknowledge that sincere people can disagree about even basic truths, Kimball says.

The history of religion is filled with examples of truths that were once considered beyond questioning but are no longer accepted by all followers: inerrancy of sacred scripture, for example, or the subjugation of women and sanctioning of slavery.

If someone like Hall believes that they know God’s truth and they cannot be wrong, watch out, Kimball says.

“Authentic religious truth claims are never as inflexible as zealous adherents insist,” he writes in “When Religion Becomes Evil.”

Yet there’s a flip side to warnings about claiming absolute truth: Much of religion couldn’t exist without them, scholars say.

Many of history’s greatest religious figures – Moses, Jesus, the Prophet Mohammed – all believed that they had discovered some truth, scholars say.

Ordinary people inflamed with a sense of self-righteousness have made the same claim and done good throughout history, says Carl Raschke, a theology professor at the University of Denver in Colorado.

The Protestant Reformation was sparked by an angry German monk who thought he had the truth, Raschke says.

“Martin Luther’s disgust at the worldliness of the papacy in the early 1500s inspired him to become a radical revolutionary whose ideas overturned the entire political structure in Europe,” Raschke said.

So how do you tell the difference between the healthy claims of absolute truth and the deadly? Scholars say to look at the results: When people start hurting others in the name of their religious truth, they’ve crossed the line.

2. Beware the charismatic leader.

It was one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in Japanese history. In March 1995, a religious sect called Aum Shinrikyo released a deadly nerve gas in a Tokyo subway station, leaving 12 people dead and 5,000 injured.

Two months later, Japanese police found Shoko Asahara, the sect’s founder, hiding in a room filled with cash and gold bars. Kimball, who tells the story of the sect in “When Religion Becomes Evil,” says Asahara had poisoned the minds of his followers years before.

Asahara demanded unquestioned devotion from members of his sect and isolated followers in communities where they were told that they no longer needed to think for themselves, Kimball says.

Any religion that limits the intellectual freedom of its followers, he says, has become dangerous. “When you start to get individuals who are the sole interpreters of truth, you get people who follow them blindly."

Charismatic leaders, though, often don’t start off being cruel. Jim Jones, who led the mass suicide of his followers in South America, was a gifted speaker who built an interracial church in San Francisco that did much good in the community. Few people at the beginning of his ministry could predict what he would become.

As time went on, though, his charisma turned cruel as he tolerated no questions to his authority and became delusional.

“Charismatic leadership is important, but in healthy religions, there’s always a process where questions are encouraged,” Kimball said.

Weaning followers away from corrupt charismatic leaders and bad religion can take years, but it can be done if one knows how to speak their language, says Ed Husain, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

Countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt will often deploy imams to reach out to young men in prison who have adopted “Islamism,” or extreme forms of Islam sanctioning violence against civilians, says Husain, who has written about Muslim extremism.

These Muslim clerics know the Quran better than the extremists and can use their knowledge to reach extremists in a place that logic and outsiders cannot penetrate, Husain said.

“The antidote to extremism is religion itself,” Husain said. “The problem is not to take Islam out of the debate but to use Islam to counter Islamism.”

3. The end is near.

In 1970, an unknown pastor from Texas wrote a book called “The Late, Great Planet Earth.” The book, which linked biblical prophecy with political events like Israel’s victory in the 1967 Six-Day War, predicted the imminent return of an antichrist and the end of the world.

Author Hal Lindsey’s book has sold an estimated 15 million copies and spawned a genre of books like the “Left Behind” series. Many people are fascinated by the idea that the heavens will open soon because the end is near.

That end-times theology can turn lethal, though, when a follower decides that he or she will speed up that end-time by conducting some dramatic or violent act, says John Alverson, chairman of the theology department at Carlow University in Pittsburgh.

“A religious terrorist mistakenly believes that God has ordained or called him or her to establish the will of God on Earth now, not gradually and not according to the slow and finicky free will of other humans,” Alverson said.

Yet this impulse to see God’s intervention in human affairs now and not in some distant future can also be good, he says.

There are vibrant religious communities that teach that political and economic injustice must be addressed now. Liberation theology, for example, was a movement among pastors and theologians in Latin America that called for justice for the poor now, not in some future apocalyptic event, Alverson says.

“Hope is a good breakfast but not much of a supper,” Alverson said. “We can’t just live on the hope that justice will happen; we have to actually experience justice from time to time so that our hope can continue.”

4. The end justifies the means.

It was one of the biggest scandals the Roman Catholic Church ever faced, and the repercussions are still being felt today.

In January 2002, the Boston Globe published a story about Father John Geoghan, a priest who had been moved around various parishes after Catholic leaders learned that he had abused children. It was later revealed that Catholic officials had quietly paid at least $10 million to settle lawsuits against Geoghan.

Kimball says the Catholic scandal revealed another sign that a faith has turned toxic: Religious figures start justifying doing something wrong for a higher good.

 “The common theme was trying to protect the integrity of the church,” Kimball said of some Catholic leaders who covered up the crimes. “You get all of these rationalizations that we can’t let this scandal bring the whole church down, so we have to pay off this family and send the priests off to rehab.”

Religion is supposed to be a force for good. Still, it’s common that everyone from suicide bombers to venal church figures finds ways to justify their behavior in the name of some higher good.

Those rationalizations are so pervasive that religious movements that avoid them stand out, scholars say.

Jacobsen, the theology professor from Messiah College, cited the civil rights movement. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and his fellow activists renounced violence, even as they were attacked and sometimes murdered.

“They were willing to lay down their lives for what they believed in, but what’s incredible is, they practiced not retaliating when they suffered violence,” he said. “Those people really believed that God created everyone equal, and they were committed to the point of death.”

In some ways, it’s easy to say we would never adopt a form of religion that’s evil. But when we use the word “evil” to describe those who kill in the name of their faith, we’re already mimicking what we condemn, Jacobsen says.

In his new book, “No Longer Invisible: Religion in University Education,” Jacobson writes that calling a religion evil is dangerous because “bad or wrong actions can be corrected, but typically evil needs to be destroyed.”

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“To label someone or something as evil is to demonize it, putting it in a category of otherness where the rules of normal life do not apply, where the end often justifies almost any means,” Jacobson writes.

And when we do that, we don’t have to read about radical imams or look at angry YouTube videos to see how easy it is for someone to drift toward religious extremism, he says.

We need only look at ourselves.

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Books • Catholic Church • Christianity • Courts • Culture wars • Egypt • Fundamentalism • History • Islam • Jesus • Leaders • Moses • Muslim • Quran

soundoff (3,810 Responses)
  1. Nathan

    @Godoflunaticscreation The video simply points out that you need to consider context. You would probably consider the context for any conversation or book that you read but you won't do it for the Bible because you probably don't want to believe or don't want to put in the work to actually read the context of the verses you discuss.

    April 28, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
  2. Henry


    The Living God, the Creator, Ruler, and Judge of the Universe commands you to repent and turn to His beloved Son Jesus Christ, otherwise you will agony in hell for ever and ever.

    April 28, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • UncleBenny

      Wow, I'm really feeling the love here.

      April 28, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Henry", but "The Living God", "the Creator", "Ruler", "Judge of the Universe", "His beloved Son" and "Jesus Christ" are all elements of mythology, therefore your assertions are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your unfounded assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      April 28, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
  3. MormonChristian

    Sadly, people have hijacked religion at various times to justify violence. However, the greatest genocides in our history have been perpetrated by Atheists (Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Lenin, Pol Pot, etc.). If you use the word "ideology" in place of "religion" in this article, all the same truths apply. This is a very popular Western theme in our time that religion is somehow to blame for all the world's ills and if you look at world history in all cultures, the common evil is man's quest for power and domination over others. Period.

    I'm getting a little bored with CNN's weekly posting of articles giving room to the view that belief in God automatically equates with hatred, murder, wack jobs, etc. Look at Western Europe where most people are not religious, or China or North Korea, Russia or many other countries where the majority are atheist. Crime rates and hatred are normally distributed there as they are in countries with religious minorities. There is more crime driven in Latin America by drugs than any other force. Let's be objective about this.

    April 28, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Chuck Seaver

      CNN's purpose is to raise the ire of everyone who watches, CNN; once done they've assured advertisement to continue buying time on, guess who...CNN. They're accomplishing just want they want to accomplish and point is, what they accomplish is generally against the best interest of mankind across the board. So go forth, CNN and prove we're all no better than the media who succeeds in controlling their patrons.

      April 28, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      Im sorry but I can't take a post that calls hitler an atheist, seriously. You lose all credibility. No atheistic society has existed and never could in the sense that you portray it, because it doesn't hold any dogma or tenants. So those "atheist" genocides were just as much "bearded guy" genocides. Not only that, but the individuals who actually did all the killing were NOT atheist. Sorry, but you lose yet again.

      April 28, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • ..

      Sadly, Hitler was a Christian. Thought you should know that. The difference between the other despots you named is sadly (for your point) it wasn’t atheism that killed these people, it was totalitarianism.

      April 28, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      MormonChristian equals double the cults, double the delusions. You're not "bored with CNN for. . ." – you don't want your wackiness questioned at all because you don't have single bit of evidence for your god or the divine jesus dead jew zombie myth, never mind any of your 20th century modern day con man silliness.

      April 28, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      No-one commits anything in the name of atheism ...to say that is to say all theists (christian, muslim, pagan...anyone who has a god) do vicious things in the name of their god and we know that's simply not true. Like theism, there are varying levels of what can be considered atheism...the only thing we are guaranteed of that we have in common is a disbelief in any god.

      As for the whole political crap...this explains a different view point-it's a tired argument and christians will be doing this until the last christian is standing and we will keep correcting:

      "Theists hold up Communism and Nazism, along with the regime of the Cambodian tyrant Pol Pot, as evidence of murderous "atheist" tyrannies that have caused the deaths of tens of millions. While it may be true that Communism portrayed itself as "godless," it did not wage war in the name of atheism, nor were its founders and leaders raised as atheists. They were, in fact, preponderantly Jewish and Christian. Communist Manifesto writer Karl Marx was born a Jew, the grandson of two rabbis, and was converted to Christianity at age 6. Leon Trotsky, whose real name was Lev Bronstein, was born and raised a Jew but later declared himself "an internationalist."

      joseph stalin svetlana daughterJosef Stalin's "very religious" mother named him after St. Joseph, and wanted him to become a priest. Stalin himself supposedly claimed that his father had been a priest, and he was purportedly "damaged by violence" while being "raised in a poor priest-ridden household." As a youth, Stalin spent five years in a Greek Orthodox seminary, after which he purportedly renounced his religion. In his later years, Stalin apparently embraced Christianity once more. As Stalin biographer Edvard Radinsky remarks, "During his mysterious retreat [of June 1941] the ex-seminarist had decided to involve the aid of the God he had rejected." Radinsky likewise chronicles a number of religious comrades in Stalin's immediate circle. It is evident that, whether for good or bad, religion played a significant role in Stalin's life.

      Adolf Hitler was raised a Catholic, and in a speech in 1922 he remarked, "My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Saviour as a fighter..." In his autobiography Mein Kampf (1.2), Hitler stated:

      Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.

      Throughout his life, Hitler invoked God and "the Lord," demonstrating his religious, not atheistic, nature. Pol Pot was raised a Buddhist and Catholic. In this regard, Dr. Ian Harris, a Reader in Religious Studies at the University College of St. Martin, relates: "In one of his early writings Pol Pot wrote approvingly that the 'democratic regime will bring back the Buddhist moralism because our great leader Buddha was the first to have taught [democracy].'" Although in comparison to the Abrahamic religions its history is far less violent, Buddhism has not been entirely devoid of atrocity in its spread and practice.

      If we are to insist—as many people have done, including numerous theists and atheists alike—that religious human abuse is the cause of atheistic reaction against religion, we need look no further, it would seem, than to Josef Stalin's religiously abusive childhood to discover from where much of his rage appeared to emanate. His atheistic reaction therefore would be caused by religion. Hitler, who was also fascinated by mysticism, could not be deemed an "atheist" by any scientific standard, and Pol Pot also was not raised an atheist in a vacuum devoid of religion but was obviously affected and motivated by it."

      April 28, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
  4. Nathan

    There are various translations of the Bible because there are different ways to say the same thing (e.g. "Thou shalt not" vs. "Do not". Both mean the same thing, they are just worded differently.

    April 28, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
  5. Chad

    "I know the truth and you dont"
    To take such an att itude is to seek truth from facts. "Facts" are all the things that exist objectively, "truth" means their internal relations, that is, the laws governing them, and "to seek," means to study. We should proceed from the actual conditions inside and outside the country, the province, county or district, and derive from them, as our guide to action, laws that are inherent in them and not imaginary, that is, we should find the internal relations of the events occurring around us. And in order to do that we must rely not on subjective imagination, not on momentary enthusiasm, not on lifeless books, but on facts that exist objectively; we must appropriate the material in detail and, guided by the general principles of Marxism-Leninism, draw correct conclusions from it.
    - Mao Tse Tung "Reform Our Study" (May 1941)

    "The end justifies the means"
    "The end may justify the means as long as there is something that justifies the end." Leon Trotsky

    "Beware the charismatic leader"
    ==>cult of personalities of state atheism, Joseph Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Kim Il-sung are unrivaled.


    Examples are predominately atheist/muslim

    April 28, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • Science

      The devil's cult chad................. how does it feel to part of that ?

      April 28, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • George T

      Sad but true. Sad that humanity suffers because of the misplaced ideals of evil doers.

      April 28, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
    • Chad

      @George T "Sad but true. Sad that humanity suffers because of the misplaced ideals of evil doers."

      =>how does one get rid of evil?

      April 28, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • George T

      How does one get rid of evil? Great question, I believe that life is precious and unless individuals recognize this right and value fellow human beings, evil continues to rear it's ugly head. It starts with compassion and love for fellow human beings, it cannot come from human effort, it requires a peace within. Every human needs that peace which passes all understanding. The source of that peace is creator God.

      April 28, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      A few quotes, especially without context, on a subject does not mean the subject or concepts originated or are supported by those persons or organizations, but this is how a liar arttempts to make his case.

      I would have thought all members of the dead jew zombie death cult aka christianity would have ecstatically agreed that the alleged divine jesus was the most charismatic person ever, but they prefer to mention others. Hhmm?

      April 28, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • Chad

      @ "George T How does one get rid of evil? Great question, I believe that life is precious and unless individuals recognize this right and value fellow human beings, evil continues to rear it's ugly head. It starts with compassion and love for fellow human beings, it cannot come from human effort, it requires a peace within. Every human needs that peace which passes all understanding. The source of that peace is creator God."


      completely agree!!

      April 28, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
  6. Nathan


    April 28, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      THis video doesn't prove what you think it proves. I fails to defeat any of the contradictions. It's just some guy reaching for excuses and even then he gives up and says that it can go either way. Thanks for wasting my time.

      April 28, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
  7. John P. Tarver

    Updating all the public school science books to reflect the geological fact that species occur rapidly following a mass extinction is not why our children are taught discredited racist nonsense in schools. There is an agenda of social darwinism to the entire thing. Evolution is a slow change over time that does not lead to species.

    April 28, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • AhhhYeah

      Prove it.

      April 28, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • Science

      From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life


      Does education work for you JTP ?

      April 28, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • Science

      Surprising New Function for Small RNAs in Evolution.........facts work well when teaching children.

      Apr. 19, 2013 — An international research team in including Christian Schlötterer and Alistair McGregor of the Vetmeduni Vienna has discovered a completely new mechanism by which evolution can change the appearance of an organism. The researchers found that the number of hairs on flies' legs varies according to the level of activity of a so-called microRNA.


      April 28, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
  8. The Non Believer

    Those 4 signposts describe all religion.

    April 28, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • MormonChristian

      ...and all other (including non religious) forms of extreme ideology. Has all crime, hatred and war ceased in Atheist societies (China, North Korea, Russia)? This is just a trendy Western POV that religion is the source of all evil. Some of the greatest murderers in history were Atheist.

      April 28, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • The Non Believer

      Sorry, it's hard to take a follower of Joseph Smith seriously.

      April 28, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      There is no such thing as an atheist society, in the way you are trying to portray it. You are grasping at straws in your quest of ignorance, denial and hate.

      April 28, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
  9. God

    KIds..kids shut up down there! I'm trying to sleep.

    April 28, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • AhhhYeah

      If you want to sleep god then why did you "create" noise and daylight?

      April 28, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
  10. Nathan


    April 28, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      There are too many bibles in conflict with one another for them to all be true.

      April 28, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      Your video is a joke even though its not meant to be. Instead of taking the word of the bible he interjects his own notions as to how it should be interpreted. We can play that game for eternity and never get anywhere.

      April 28, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
  11. Nathan

    In response to Godoflunaticscreation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyh39ddstS4

    April 28, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
  12. John P. Tarver

    So when your children bring home racist atheist religious tracts from school, help them to understand that species occur rapidly following a mass extinction; the opposite of evolution.

    April 28, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • oOo

      "racist atheist religious tracts " LOL

      Are the schools just cutting up parts of the football field and sending them home with students??

      April 28, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • oOo

      And you're living in the past when it comes to science. Please try to keep up.

      April 28, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • John P. Tarver


      April 28, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • oOo

      And what does that have to do with atheism or today's educational materials? Never mind, Tarver – you are hopelessly in the past, although I didn't realize quite how far; lol.

      April 28, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • AhhhYeah

      "racist atheist religious tracts " LOL X2
      You need medication.

      April 28, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      Punctuated evolution is an oxymoron that disproves Darwin's notional hypothesis of evolution as a means of species. Rapid evolution is the opposite of evolution and without the well known slow change over time as a basis, is just that, a baseless assertion. The ant study was never any more science than the ants.

      April 28, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • oOo

      You're only grabbing bits and pieces of what you wanted to hear anyway Tarver, so why pretend that you're up to date? Can you actually provide evidence for anything you've ever said on here? You have a habit of spouting off and not supporting what you say.

      April 28, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
  13. John P. Tarver

    The fertilizer plant explosion sort of eclipsed these two bombers. Next step is how to get a pressure cooker on an airliner.

    April 28, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      I have reported this post to the FBI.
      There is no joking when it comes to threats of bombs on airlines...expect the authorities.

      April 28, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      Setting your panties on fire will do you no good Richard.

      April 28, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • AhhhYeah

      Notice how religious bigots like John don't even follow the teachings of their own religion? Yeah me too.

      April 28, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
  14. John P. Tarver

    When Janet burned those children it made her feel the same way she did when she put people in jail as child molesters; on fake evidence.

    April 28, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
  15. Livilla

    Religion is a crutch and those who need it are cripples.

    April 28, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • lol??

      cripple triple bigot

      April 28, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
  16. AtheistsMorons

    I knew this would a new battle ground for atheists morons attacking religions again. Those low life with no jobs atheists will be spending the whole evening and night on this blog babbling their big mouth again. Time to bring in the popcorn and watch this blog.

    April 28, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • The real Tom

      And you're here lying about how little you come here to rail about them. Bite the big one, lying troll.

      April 28, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Jerry Springer

      ((((ducks a flying chair)))

      April 28, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • AtheistsMorons

      Come on atheists call me a troll or a bigot since this is the most common names you're using. Oh yeah and also words you are always using words starting with an F or an S, words like Fallacy or Secular and many more that sound like these two. If i were to listen to you atheists speaking in person, i would swear you would sound just like Daffy Duck.

      April 28, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • Science

      Sounds like sal is back ?

      April 28, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • AtheistsMorons

      BZzzzzzz wrong answer, i'm not Sal. While you're t it go ahead and hurry up and Click on Report As Abuse as you atheists always do. Bunch of hypocrites, when someone tells you exactly what kind of people you are, you hurry up and push report as abuse before too many people reads it. Afraid to lose your fake reputation losers?

      April 28, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • AhhhYeah

      Notice who folks that call themselves christian like AMoron don't even follow their own bible? AhhhYeah.....me too.

      April 28, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • AtheistsMorons

      Hit a nerve atheists losers?

      April 28, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      You start trolling here and then act as if an atheist pointing out your trolling is some sort of victory. It would be funny if it wasn't so sad.

      April 28, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
  17. lionlylamb

    The perplexities of humanities cannot be confused with God's. We are mere buildings for God and God's brethren to inhabit within our being's inner cosmological depths.

    Luke 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

    1Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.

    April 28, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • psych ward staff

      Oh and you were doing so well and now you've thrown up word salad again all over you nice new bib. Here, let me get that Luke puke off your chest for you....

      April 28, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
  18. 1word

    Really? Jesus is the truth, so does that mean I will kill in the name of God? Actually, the God I follow says I should not kill.

    April 28, 2013 at 4:30 pm |

      it is hindu atheism, self center ism of a hindu secular s, self centered, son of blessed Mary has nothing to do with it. he always mentioned Elohim, truth absolute as his GOD.

      April 28, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Holy cow

      Did somebody say MacDonalds?

      April 28, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • UncleBenny

      Except when He tells you to. Read the Book of Joshua for just a few examples.

      April 28, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • 1word

      John 14:6
      Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

      April 28, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
  19. John P. Tarver

    Including the atheist religion is schools and presenting it as science is what leads these Chechnyans astray. If only religion were out of our science curriculum.

    April 28, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • oOo

      That's dumb – even if you were to make it into a real sentence.

      April 28, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Come on troll...step up your game...this is just sad.

      April 28, 2013 at 4:26 pm |

      fabrication evolution by hindu secular ism, self center ism of crooks is cause of hindrance immortality among humanity.

      April 28, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • The real Tom

      That's so stupid I'm not even sure a human wrote it.

      April 28, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
  20. Chien

    It would be good if all religious leaders denounce violence, and courage others refrain from violent acts.

    April 28, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • lol??

      "Mat 23:8-10 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, [even] Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no [man] your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, [even] Christ."

      Leader, wrong religion.

      April 28, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
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About this blog

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