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Five takeaways from Pew’s comprehensive study on Islam
April 30th, 2013
03:33 PM ET

Five takeaways from Pew’s comprehensive study on Islam

By Dan Merica, CNN
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Washington (CNN) – A Pew Research Center study released Tuesday takes an in-depth look at Islam, including how Muslims around the world view extremism, sharia law and the meeting of religion and politics.

The study is a four-year effort by Pew, which conducted 38,000 face-to-face interview in 80-plus languages for the survey. In total, 39 countries and territories were included, all of which had over 10 million Muslims living there.

Here are the report’s five major takeaways:

1.) Differences between U.S. and international Muslims are vast

While Muslims in the United States share a belief system with Muslims abroad, the Pew survey released Tuesday and a Pew survey on American Muslims from 2011 reveals wide differences between the two groups.

An overwhelming number of Muslims outside the United States told Pew that “Islam is the only religion that leads to eternal life in heaven.” Ninety-six percent of Egyptians and Jordanians, 95% of Iraqis and 94% of Moroccan Muslims responded that “Islam alone” leads to heaven.

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When all Muslims outside the United States were considered, only 18% said many religions can lead to heaven. In the United States, that number is 56%, according to the 2011 survey.

Additionally, U.S. Muslims were more likely to have friends who were not Muslim.

“About half of U.S. Muslims say that all (7%) or most (41%) of their close friends are followers of Islam, and half say that some (36%) or hardly any (14%) of their close friends are Muslim,” the survey reports.

By contrast, an average of 95% of Muslims outside the United States said “most or all of their friends are Muslims.”

2.) Sharia law favored, especially by more devout Muslims

A whopping 99% of Muslims in Afghanistan told Pew that they favor sharia law – a Muslim code that dictates everything from dietary laws to morals – as the official law of the land.

Though Afghanistan is by far the most supportive of sharia, majorities in countries like Iraq (91%), Palestinian territories (89%) and Malaysia (86%) favor applying sharia to everyone in their respective countries. Support for this viewpoint was particularly strong in Southeast Asia, South Asia, Middle East-North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Analysis of the survey results by Pew found “most Muslims believe sharia is the revealed word of God rather than a body of law developed by men based on the word of God.”

Those who approve sharia becoming the law of the land generally pray more than their Muslim brethren.

Muslims who pray several times a day in Russia, for example, are over twice as likely to favor implementing Islamic law as the law of the land. The same split between those who pray several times a day and those who pray less often can be seen in Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Tunisia and Turkey.

3.) Most Muslims believe religion, politics should be intertwined

A majority of Muslims surveyed in Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Middle East-North Africa told Pew that religious leaders in their respective countries should have political influence.

Much like favoring sharia law, religious devotion played an important role in these beliefs.

"Devout Muslims tend to be more supportive of religious leaders playing a role in politics,” the survey reads. “In a number of countries, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa but also in Southern and Eastern Europe, Muslims who pray several times a day are more likely than those who pray less frequently to say religious leaders should have at least some influence on political matters."

4.) Around the world, Muslims heralded religious freedom

Despite views that Islam should influence politics and law, an overwhelming number of Muslims told Pew that religious freedom was a good thing.

Ninety-seven percent of Muslims in South Asia, 95% in Eastern Europe, 94% in sub-Saharan Africa and 85% in the Middle East and North Africa responded positively to religious freedom, according to the poll.

“Overall, Muslims broadly support the idea of religious freedom,” the study states. “Among Muslims who say people of different religions are very free to practice their faith, three-quarters or more in each country say this is a good thing.”

5.) Islamic extremism widely rejected, but still a concern

Carrying out violent acts in the name of Islam is strongly rejected by Muslims around the world, according to the survey.

While a majority of Muslims, according to Pew, in all countries surveyed said “suicide bombing in defense of Islam” was rarely or never justified, “there are some countries in which substantial minorities think violence against civilians is at least sometimes justified.”

For example, in the Palestinian territories, 40% of Muslims said suicide bombing was often or sometime justified. In Afghanistan that number was 39% and in Egypt that number was 29%.

Despite most country’s disapproval of violence in the name of Islam, religious extremism – and in particular Muslim extremism – is a concern for a majority of Muslims in the world, according to the survey.

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“At least half of Muslims in 22 of the 36 countries where the question was asked say they are at least somewhat concerned about religious extremist groups in their country,” the report reads. “In most countries, Muslims are much more worried about Islamic extremists than Christian extremists.”

Concern over Muslims extremism was at it highest in Indonesia, Iraq and Guinea Bissau, where over 45% of Muslims said they were either very or somewhat concerned about violence in the name of Islam.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Islam • Islamic law • Polls

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soundoff (1,682 Responses)
  1. MagicPanties

    Who gets more presents from Santa Claus?
    Naughty or Nice?
    Kids are split.

    May 1, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • lol??

      SC has plenty of undercover highly paid ops that make big decisions. They can't be successfully sued very often either.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • DJR

      the wisdom of Solomon ?

      May 1, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
  2. Dyslexic doG

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=88GTUXvp-50

    May 1, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • dwight

      .., or whoever you are. Did I mention Leviticus or Duetoronomy or any OT Jewish Law? Hmmm. No I mentioned NT Christian law. Let's see more Chritians donate money to others than any other group, most social help organizations are Christian based (YMCA, Goodwill, etc), etc. Bigoted? Did I say anything rude or full of derision against anybody? Wait that was you.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • ..

      You mentioned Koran verses that are eerily similar to the OT, so yeah, it applies, if you think the OT is part of the Bible. Hmmmm. You cannot comprehend much. ".." or whoever you are? I'm .., that's who I am, just as you are dwight. Or whoever you are.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • ..

      And you expressed derision for a religion that isn't your own, hypocrite. Millions of Muslims would agree that you are derisive AND divisive.
      And who said anything about charities?? Look up the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, who contribute more that ALL Christian charities COMBINED.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • dwight

      TDM. Never said that not lying, cheating, stealing was purely a Christian concept, but they are listed in the NT bible as something not to do. The jail tells the tale or put it this way Christians are in church, while non-Christian are in jail. That is the difference. Very few fundamental Christians fill the cells of jails, while murderers, thieves, etc. do.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • dwight

      Actually, .., I just quoted two of the many verses from the Quran advocating violence. I challenge you to find one verse from the NT that talks of killing others, spreading the Gospel by the sword, etc. Just one. Facts and truth are not derisive.
      You seem to like derailing the conversation back to the OT, but again I am referring to the NT. Always have been.

      Bill and Belinda Gates are people who are indeed charitable, but again most of the support for even those flooded in Indonesia came from Christian charities. Most overseas and local support groups are Christian based.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • TDM

      They are listed in many different books of faith, dwight. And in many children's book, and other literature. As well as in the foundations of many civilizations that had never heard of Christianity, or existed before Christianity came to be. They are not unique to Christians, and implying that without the Bible, nobody would follow these basic SOCIETAL rules, is misleading, at best.

      If you want to believe that Christianity is the inventor of these societal rules, fine. But do not portray them as belonging to Christians alone. That simply would not be the case.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
  3. lol??

    The original copycat:

    "Isa 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High."

    Lucy pulls the ball every time Charlie Brown tries a kick.

    May 1, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • ..

      Oh, grow up. The whole bible is premised on earlier tales of gods, Lucy the Simp.

      May 1, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • lol??

      Thought Police ALERT!

      May 1, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • ..

      Why? Are you trying to police someone's thoughts again? Or just avoiding the truth of what I said? That's okay. Just don't think of it, then.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • lol??

      Slippery Thought Police ALERT!

      May 1, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
  4. dwight

    Those that are called radical Islamist are actually fundamental Islamist in that they actually follow closely the Book of the Quran. The Quran pits Muslims against the world and other religions in a violent, aggresive way. Fundamentalist also follow the examples of thier founder Mohammad who spread the religion by the sword and executed those who didn't convert. As opposed to Fundamental Christians who follow the NT closely are largely pacifist and advocate conversion by personal choice and free will acceptance.
    Most mainstream "Muslims" do not know the teachings of the Quran except for certain areas and this is true of mainstream "Christians" as well who do not know the Bible past what they have been told.

    May 1, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Ismail

      He know little of Islam or Christians, and what you do know, you translate out of context.

      May 1, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • John

      I would argue that fundamentalist Christians advocate conversion by personal choice and free will. I have seen many statements by fundamentalist Chrisitans that they want the laws of the US to be biblical and that you either become Christian or leave the US.
      Pacifist? Well, they don't often kill others at least not any where near as often as Muslim fundamentalists, but is advocating the above pacifist?

      May 1, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • dwight

      Actually I have studied both fairly extensively. So you are willing to tell me that Quran 2:191-193 "And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution [of Muslims] is worse than slaughter [of non-believers]... but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah." is non-violent an this is just th etip of the iceberg.
      Or Quran 9:30 "And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!"
      The Quran is replete with violence against all that are not of Islam. Most mainstream Muslims have selective readings or excuse these verses and know little of the history behind Mohammad and his push of Islam throughot Europe and Asia and the Middle East. The notorious Vlad the Impaler only went to such extremes to defend his country from the maruading Islamic Moors.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • ..

      Oh, shut up, dwight. Deuteronomy and Leviticus is full of such freaking "laws". The Koran is just the OT with a little NT thrown in. Get off your bigoted religious high horse.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • dwight

      John, really become Christian or leave the U.S.? Really? Can you name them by name? As far as wanting the laws to biblical, most are and were founded that way. Do you really want people to kill, steal, harm others, opress others, etc? There is no push to put Christian law into affect, because Christian law only extends into what happens in the local church and the hearts of man. Again Jesus and his apostles never countered or fought or sought to make the Roman government more like the church or under Christian rule, despite what the Jews wanted.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • ..

      Dwight=Poe.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • TDM

      "People without the basic Christian beliefs are more willing to steal, lie, cheat, etc. which the NT gospels tell not to do. And this is a bad thing?"

      Please provide the comprehensive study that proves this assertion is true.
      Please provide the study that any of the aforementioned "not cheating, lying,..." Is purely a Christian concept, and not a societal one.
      You cannot, because ther ARE not.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • dwight

      .., likes to sling mud at others, without saying anything useful or making an educated argument of any kind. Nice.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Tamsyn

      "The notorious Vlad the Impaler only went to such extremes to defend his country from the marauding Islamic Moors."
      This is true; remember though that vlad and his brother were kidnapped by the Moors, and part of his anger was purely revenge-based, and not necessarily defense-based. However, it is important to remember that the notorious Vlad the Impaler also used this technique on his unruly populace, and even lured the villagers of his domain, who were living in poverty, into a castle keep, locked the door, and set them on fire because he thought they were a drain on society and was tired of providing for them. It is important to remember that VtI was Christian, and his villagers were Christian. Using VtI as an example of Moorish invasion isn't the best example of the use of history.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
  5. snowboarder

    religion is just another imaginary division of humanity.

    May 1, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • dwight

      Snowboarder is just another imaginary division of humanity.

      May 1, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • sumday

      So is government. Religion came first and gave birth to government- in Latin government means to control the mind. The only difference bt religion and government is who you call “g-d”. In religion you take your orders from “G-d” and in government you take your orders from man, but either one is still going to tell you what to do, how to act, and what to think of course these days religion won’t punish you if you don’t follow it’s orders, the government will. Those who think there is a difference bt government and religion only fool themselves.

      May 1, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • thetruthforonce@all

      CNN works hard to create a divisive nation. If they are not lying on the president, spreading religious rumors, they are pushing the sale of their host and guest books. What a pathetic news organization CNN has become.

      May 1, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Then why are you even here posting?

      May 1, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • dwight

      Sumday, makes an intersting point. There is a Bob Dylan song that basically states that "everybody serves somebody". The OT Law was a mix of moral and judicial laws, but by the time of Christ the judicial laws were under Rome and Jesus emphasized moral laws that were under the church until they crossed over into the judicial realm. The second greatest law of Christ was to love your brother as yourself and Jesus put forth that we should serve our fellow man, that is after God.

      May 1, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • snowboarder

      @dwight, except it is not.

      @sumday, religion doesn't punish? religion coerces and threatens both expulsion from the collective and an unsubstantiated afterlife. religion broaches no discourse, only declaration. at least in modern government, there is avenue for the redress of grievances.

      May 1, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • Aleek DaTeep

      religion doesn't punish

      sum doo

      May 1, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • ..

      Thetruth, (coughs) bullshit. Don't come here if you feel that way, simpleton.

      May 1, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • dwight

      Snowboarding on ignorance. The Christian faith does have punishment in the form of expulsion from the collective, but it also requires more than one witness or proof to confirm the reason for expulsion. Would you have a murderer in your house around your family and children? I don't think so. If people commit a crime are they not locked away in prison away from the general populace? You want everything to point towards religion as the problem, when it is really people that are the problem. People without the basic Christian beliefs are more willing to steal, lie, cheat, etc. which the NT gospels tell not to do. And this is a bad thing?

      May 1, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • snowboarder

      @dwight, wrote "You want everything to point towards religion as the problem".

      nonsense. as i said "religion is just another imaginary division". neither the problem or the solution. as for suggesting that not stealing, lying or cheating is uniquely chirstian. thanks for the laugh.

      May 1, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • MagicPanties

      @dwight is just another imaginary human

      May 1, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • dwight

      Snowboarder do you actually read before you write. I never said that laws against stealing, cheating, etc. were uniquley Christian, but they are Christian staples and the Laws of the land are largely based on these Christian concepts, because they brought over by those that were Christians (pilgrims, etc). Hey, these laws are also in the Sharia, Jewish and other law systems, but the NT law doesn't require an eye-for-an -eye, like the Jewish and Sharia law does. It requires the giovernment, whatever government is in power, to seek justice.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • dwight

      A well though out argument there MagicPanties.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
  6. reasonablebe

    this is evidence of indoctrination for control in the guise of religious teaching and belief. this is scary.

    May 1, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • snowboarder

      you've never encountered religion before?

      May 1, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
  7. Maxwell

    "Most Muslims believe religion, politics should be intertwined" - Therein lies the problem!! Muslims try to solve the present day political issues using the religious doctrine of their old religious book. This is exactly why Muslims carry out acts of terrorism around the world.

    May 1, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • ..

      Lol. Like the Christians don't do the same with their OT mentality. Get real.

      May 1, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • trollintraining

      Please! Christians never try to make laws that conform to the bible.
      Just like the way that hobby store won't cover some medcations prescribed to their employees?

      May 1, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • dwight

      Most fundamental Muslims believe that Sharia Law is the law that must be followed by all, just like all must follow Islam. Christianity doesn't dictate the law structure, but does put all Christians under the law of Christ and the law of the land, which is why Jesus never countered and fought against the Roman law, but said to obey the present government.

      May 1, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • John

      Do you even pay attention to American politics and what the Christian Right has been doing for the last 200 years? Its not just Islam

      May 1, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • dwight

      This shows how very little people know of the the Christian "Right" or Fundamentalist, which shy away from the government and believe that the best way to change the nation is to change the people themselves. Jesus never talked of changing the government, but His was a grass roots effort. The Catholic church which has spread fear and control over the years doesn't represent the Christian Fundamentalist. Look instead towards the Amish as a good example.

      May 1, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
  8. Cy

    You guys are so funny, arguing about a place (Heaven) and who gets there which is wishful thinking, at best, fantasy and worst and how many people can you massacre to assure your place in Heaven? Oy vey!

    May 1, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • reasonablebe

      agreed. no one goes to heaven, it just makes some people feel better if they believe they do. magic.

      May 1, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
  9. Cruiser

    It is an eyeopener: 86% to 99% of Muslims favor implementation of Sharia Law. Why do Muslims want to come and live in the civilized countries in the West?

    May 1, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • snowboarder

      the same reason every immigrant in the past has come here. opportunity and religious freedom.

      May 1, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Finny

      Cruiser, since there is nothing that defines what Sharia Law is, outside of the typical broad, nebulous terms, it's fair to say most Muslims don't even understand the question.

      That's not a criticism. It's reality.

      May 1, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      Sharia law is va gue... as Islamic judges (who are also Imams) use the Quran and Sunnah ...they cherry pick from these to fit their opinion. and then use the Quran to outline punishment.

      very effective for keeping a population on their toes as you are never quite sure what will set the Imams off....gun to your head 24/7.... nice way to live.

      May 1, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
  10. snowboarder

    lydia, you may not see it as a problem, but there is a significant religious movement specifically against equal rights for their fellow citizens.

    May 1, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
  11. Person of Interest

    "[A] whopping 99% of Muslims in Afghanistan told Pew that they favor sharia law"

    No kidding, since it allows the men to subjugate women and other minorities. That's like asking white men in 1900 whether or not women and blacks should have the right to vote.

    May 1, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  12. Tea Party Patriot

    One time while vacationing in the middle east I saw a muslim by the side of the road with his arm all the way up a camel's butt. "Car trouble?" I asked.

    May 1, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • Finny

      Ah yes...the Tea Party Patriots...quite possibly the only subset of humanity than is collectively more stupid that the 3-person cast of Fox and Friends...

      May 1, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
  13. Steve

    They can continue their debate from hell.

    May 1, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • helicohunter

      Gee, that's funny, Steve. You sound just like a Muslim. Switch "Muslim" to "Christian" in the article and it largely rings true. Many Christians think that only Christians go to heaven. Many Christians think that religion should play a role in politics and that the Bible should be used as the primary basis for laws. Many American Christians embrace the idea of religious freedom, yet many also think that all Muslims should be killed. That suggests that violence in the name of religion is acceptable to them. Some Christians think it's okay to kill other Christians if they aren't following their particular brand of Christianity. Although the approval of violence is unacceptably high in some countries, there is otherwise little difference in the views of Christians and Muslims. I'm not Muslim, but the hypocrisy of Christians is abundantly clear.

      May 1, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
  14. Kelly

    there is no religion that will get anyone to heaven. Jesus is the ONLY way. "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

    May 1, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Finny

      Kelly, have you ever had an original thought? Or do the writings of others dictate EVERYTHING that comes out of that hole under your nose?

      Just wondering...

      May 1, 2013 at 1:35 pm |

    • (Kelly gone to look in mirror.... )

      May 1, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • snowboarder

      @kelly, i suppose if you overlook the fact that not a single word supposedly uttered by the fabled christ was written down within decades of his life, yet we have thousands of supposed direct quotes. every word attributed to jesus is at best grossly embellished by his followers and at worst complete fiction.

      May 1, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Mojonaamdi

      So Kelly, pray tell, how are you different from the Muslim or anyone from another faith who believes that only his/her religion or belief is the one and only way to heaven?

      May 1, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • Landru

      Kelly, Kelly..Those are words written in a book by human beings.....COME ON. I will not discount the possibility of there being a creator but Kelly...there is no heaven, there is no hell.

      May 1, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist

      Kelly

      there is no religion that will get anyone to heaven. Jesus is the ONLY way. "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6
      -
      Quoting writings of men does not certify a god or what the god my think or say. Quoting Harry Potter has equal bearing as quoting a guy named John

      May 1, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • sam stone

      kelly: jesus IS part of a religion

      May 1, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • David Adams

      Wait. I'm confused. Did Jesus say that or did John?

      May 1, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • tarheel6268

      Kelly. I am on your side. There are 2 ways to look at this. Either you believe or you dont. Plain and simple. No since in arguing over it. You cant convince either side that they may be wrong. But when I die and nothing happens... there is no Heaven or hell.. you know what.. who cares at this point. I lived my life for God.. I was happy. BUT if YOU wake up after dying and there IS a Heaven and a hell... can you afford to be wrong? I can. because if there no such place I am just turning to dust. You on the other hand (in my beliefs) are going to hell. So why the confusion. You live and believe the way you want I live the way I want. So Kelly.. keep living for the faith... all you can do is be happy here on earth. The rest of you... good luck.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
  15. trollintraining

    Lydia, get your head out of the sand!
    It is the christians who are fighting against gay rights.

    May 1, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Brad

      Some Christians are against Gay rights. Not all. And Christians aren't using violence to oppose Gay rights. Gays in Islamic societies fear for their lives, and with with good reason.

      May 1, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • trollintraining

      Brad,

      try dressing in drag in the midwest or south, go out into a public place, and see if any good christians use violence against you.

      May 1, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Finny

      Brad's point is valid–several Muslim nations make the U.S. look like a very tolerant nation. However, the nubile troll's point shouldn't be lost on us. There are still huge enclaves in this nation where would expect to find something less than understanding from many of its inhabitants...

      May 1, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Not a sterotype

      trollintraining,

      Speak for yourself, I live in midwest, have a co worker that dresses in drag everyday that works a few offices down from me, no one is attacking him or treating with ill will, dont try to sterotype an entire region becasue your bias or ignorance.

      May 1, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • lol??

      Is dragging troll copycattin? Wow! Copycattin' Copycats!

      May 1, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist

      Not a sterotype

      trollintraining,

      Speak for yourself, I live in midwest, have a co worker that dresses in drag everyday that works a few offices down from me, no one is attacking him or treating with ill will, dont try to sterotype an entire region becasue your bias or ignorance.
      -

      Thats cool, didnt realize the midwest as a whole was majority pro-gay rights etc.

      May 1, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist

      So No stereotype has a token gay friend.....golf clap....do you feel better?

      May 1, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
  16. Lydia

    DavidTX, "marriage" to a Christian IS a religious ceremony, therefore a non Christian would not want to participate. From a legal point of view, I could not care less who marries who. Your issue is political, not religious, blame politicians for making this a big deal. I went to public school my entire life and my children go to public school and religion was never addressed so not sure what your complaint is. October, November, December, I hate the advertisements also, but blame marketers, not Christians, we're bombarded because of greed, not the celebration of the birth of Christ.

    May 1, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • sybaris

      Weekday religious education in public schools is performed in Indiana, Kansas, Ohio and Virginia

      May 1, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Tamsyn

      Well, I agree with most of your post, except my husband and I are Christians, and we weren't married in a religious ceremony. And we are no less Christian, and no less married.

      I also know non-Christians who are married to Christians, and they are no less married, either...so I am not sure what your point is regarding marriage...

      May 1, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Tamsyn

      What scools in Indiana, sybaris? I have never heard of any.

      May 1, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • snowboarder

      there is no religious requirement for marriage. just because some religious organizations have incorporated it into their doctrine does not give them any actual right to regulate it for the remainder of the population.

      May 1, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • DavidTX

      "marriage" to a Christian IS a religious ceremony, therefore a non Christian would not want to participate."

      Right, which is why if you get married in a Church but do not go register with the court house your marriage is not recognized, but if you don't marry in a Church but go down to the court house and get married it is recognized. Also, even if your Church refuses to grant a divorce the State can.

      "Your issue is political, not religious, blame politicians for making this a big deal." Right, blame the politicians THAT WERE ELECTED BASED ON MORONIC RELIGIOUS LITMUS TESTS or are you that dense as to not see this? Get your stinking religion out of our civil government that was intended for all peoples of all faiths to live in peace under common sense laws, not under an effective theocracy.

      News flash, Christ was not born Dec 25th but you religious nut jobs gobble it up each year and try to out bigot each other each year. I'm glad you don't seem to like it much eaither, but if you are a Christian, try beig more vocal about it then. Try and get on Fox News to let them all know there is no war on Christmas, just a war on everyone eyes and ears for months each year.

      May 1, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Lydia

      My point is, marriage has two different meanings. One in which it is a union, by God, of a man and a woman. The second meaning is a political, in which "married" couples receive secular benefit from "marriage". The problem is we are using one word, "marriage", to mean two different things. I am a Christian, as a Christian I do not believe that gay marriage should be legalized, however on a political level I see no problem with two people, straight, gay, friends, mentor, etc making a legal commitment to each other to receive the secular benefits and protections currently offered to "married" people.

      May 1, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • DavidTX

      mar·riage /ˈmarij/Noun 1.The formal union of a man and a woman, typically recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife. 2.A relationship between married people or the period for which it lasts. – Merriam-Webster

      Neither of the actual meanings have anything to do with God. If you want to make up your own definitions thats fine, but don't expect the rest of us to adopt your perverse bigoted views.

      Why don't you invent a new word that has not been around for centuries and give it your own definition, like Christwined, or Godbound, then you guys get to feel like you're the sneetches that are back on top of the beaches with two stars on your bellies while all those just "married" sneetches won't get to toast at your Christwined sneetch marshmellow roast.

      May 1, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • Lydia

      First of all David, What on earth is a sneetch??? Second, if you read my post carefully, I wasn't stating actual definitions but trying to shed some light on why Christians do not support gay marriage. Third, which you might find amusing, as I get older, I have contemplated, divorcing my husband (legally), because there are actually secular benefits and protections for older citizens who are not "married", I would retain my religious marriage. And fourth, why the sudden anger on your part? I just quit smoking 2 weeks ago and even I don't do mood swings like yours. You have some very interesting thoughts, but you lose credibility when you resort to name calling.

      May 1, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Tamsyn

      A sneetch is a character from Dr. Seuss, that teaches the imprtantr lesson of tolerance.
      It is not meant to be a epithet. You took it the wrong way, Lydia.

      May 1, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • DavidTX

      Read some Dr. Seuss and you'll discover what a sneetch is. I am not suddenly angry, I am justifyibly upset at the nonchalance you and so many Christians take when discussing your bigotry and discriminatory practices. It's like listening to an 1800's plantation owner in the South saying "What do you mean evil slavery? We feed and clothe these 'boys' and give them a place to sleep, how is that discrimination? These son's of Cain would just be rabid animals if it weren't for us...!"

      Your religion has poisoned your heart so that you cannot see your own hubris.

      As for "retaining your religious marriage" if it doesn't matter to you that the state say's you are "no longer married" then why would it matter to you that the State says two gay people are married?

      May 1, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I think she already said it doesn't matter to here what the state says. She is making a clear delineation between the state run business of marriage license and taxation of social structure and the religious sacrament of Holy Matrimony. She's more on your side than you realize but you can't see it because of your righteous indignation.

      May 1, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • sumday

      At DavidTX- the marriage thing upsets me bc it is a religious word. It is word and ceremony that has existed long before this country was founded, exist in every culture of the world is dates back to the first civilization. It is not discriminatory bc marriages purpose and intent was for having kids- it protected society from becoming a welfare state. Why are so many now currently receiving welfare? Oh yeah bc they had kids with men they did not marry! Remember that notion separation of church and state- well marriage is existed before the state, is and always has been a religious word and tradition- this is why I don’t need a gov official to get married any “priest” can marry a man and women. I also oppose it bc gay marriage takes out all meaning/purpose of reproduction and reduces it to nothing but simply feelings for each other. If gay marriage is equal to straight marriage but gay relationships can’t reproduce then by logic (look up the word equal) reproduction must be equal to nothing. I find it strange that gays scream about separation of church and state but then want to have a religious word define their relationship. Tell me why do gays insist on calling it “marriage” when as far back as the first civilization marriage was about reproducing which gay relationships have no part of? Why do they refuse to have it called a domestic partner with all the same rights but insist on it being called marriage instead when they good and well that marriage has always been a religious tradition?

      May 1, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • DavidTX

      @sumday "I also oppose it bc gay marriage takes out all meaning/purpose of reproduction and reduces it to nothing but simply feelings for each other."

      So I take it you are for banning infertile people from getting married?

      " this is why I don’t need a gov official to get married any “priest” can marry a man and women." wrong, if you do not have a State official authorize your marriage, the priests marriage means diddly squat.

      The word "marriage" is no longer a religious term, it's a secular term, get used to it. Your grandchildren will remember you all for the religious bigots you are and will likely be ashamed as so many slave owners descendants eventually felt.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • snowboarder

      @sumday, there is no requirement for reproduction or a religious ceremony for marriage.

      marriage is a civil contract, which includes rights and responsibilities.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
  17. Rick Springfield

    People often quote the bad things that happened in the old testament and they forget the Jesus established a New Covenant with humanity and all the old testament ways were null and void. Think if it as a supreme court ruling striking down a law. The apostles asked Jesus if old testament law as valid. He said that the 10 commandments still stood but most old testament tradition was void. He also said that love of God, you neighbor,. and your parents was paramount. So don't quote old testament law if you want to quote modern day Christian interpretation of the holy codes.
    But who does go to Heaven? Its my belief that Heaven will be quite a small place. That's because very few from organized religions will actually be there. I would put it that less than 1 percent of today's Baptists, Methodists, etc will be there. Especially the Southern Baptists from the SBC and especially the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. Anthony Jordan has lead the BGCO right to the depths of hell with his arrogant, conceited ways. I believe Jesus came to this world to spread peace and love of all life and that there is no room for hate, arrogance, and conceit, which are all things that Anthony Jordan preaches and teaches. So I firmly believe God has places in Heaven for people who love Jesus, spread the good news, and treat their fellow man with compassion and love, not the hate, deceit, and vulgar uglyniess that Jordan does to his fellow man.

    May 1, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Does that mean that the rest of the OT is to be discounted? Creation, original sin, Noah, etc

      May 1, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • trollintraining

      RIck,

      jesus said what he was bringing and it was not peace. Look it up sometime?

      May 1, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • SImran

      No Santa, that just means you can cherry pick whatever supports your argument and push the rest under the rug. Too much carnage under the rug there is!

      May 1, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • SImran

      But whoever publicly disowns me I will disown before my Father in heaven. Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
      “For I have come to turn
      ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter–in–law against her mother–in–law— your enemies will be the members of your own household.’

      “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves a son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”

      May 1, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • lol??

      Jesus cherry picks the human race. You wanna be blessed? Don't beat up the bride. It's unhealthy.

      May 1, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Finny

      What "Rick Springfield" said is alone a reason to reject God...

      Less than 1% ? What kind of barbaric, unfeeling, uncaring God is this? I wouldn't want to be in the same room as any individual with those qualities, so why in the hell would I want to be associated with such a God?

      That's the "God of love"?

      I don't think any of us would want to see the God of hate...

      May 1, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • lol??

      So Funny Finny, why hang out on a CNN belief blog? You practice nutsoism?

      May 1, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • Finny

      Actually, I was being deadly serious. Anybody who would want to be associate with a God who let 1% of people into His supposed heaven should have their head examined...

      May 1, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
  18. Frank

    I love these religious articles.

    May 1, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Scott

      I know, all this debate over what happens when you die is funny. Hint: you die, end of story.

      May 1, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • DavidTX

      I'm often amused at how even though we know that nothing in our known universe is eternal, not even the stars themselves which will one day burn out and die, many people believe they get to have an eternal soul. Talk about hubris.

      May 1, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
  19. Steven CaboWabo

    The most common theme when it comes to religion is: My belief is the right belief everyone else is wrong.

    May 1, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • lol??

      When Jesus takes over you will know it.

      May 1, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • DavidTX

      "When Jesus takes over you will know it."

      Yeah, every religion has a big brother that's gonna come beat you up...

      May 1, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • lol??

      Put you in a spot, DT?

      May 1, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • DavidTX

      So far no religions big brother has ever shown up, so it's pretty apparent that all are just the bitter only child of their family.

      May 1, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
  20. Forward

    The former administration used the lie of WMD as a reason to go to war in Iraq-sacrificing American lives to advance their agenda. What makes you think the current regime wouldn't sacrifice 20 school kids to advance theirs?

    May 1, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • ..

      LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL reaching a bit aren't you, Alex Jones?

      May 1, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • trollintraining

      Cynical little boy, aren't you?
      We invaded Iraq for several reasons, and George W was not lying about the WMDs. It was only rational to think that someone who had used them before would have some.
      And exactly what agenda is Obama trying to advace at the cost of chldren's lives?

      May 1, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Dan

      What a disgusting notion. Please go flog yourself Forward.

      May 1, 2013 at 1:36 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.