August 15th, 2013
03:48 PM ET

Egypt's Christians under pressure as churches are torched

By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

(CNN) - As violence again scars Egypt, Christians in the country believe they're being targeted amidst the chaos following a government crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood protest camps in Cairo.

There have been dozens of attacks on Christian churches, homes and businesses in the past 24 hours. Full details of the attacks are still emerging, as the country reels from its bloodiest day in recent history.

Bishop Angaelos, the Cairo-born head of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, said he was told by colleagues in Egypt that 52 churches had been attacked in the space of 24 hours beginning Wednesday, as well as numerous Christian homes and businesses across the country.

Ishak Ibrahim, a researcher with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, told CNN he had confirmed attacks on at least 30 churches so far, in addition to the targeting of church-related facilities, including schools and cultural centers.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Coptic Church • Egypt • Middle East

soundoff (706 Responses)
  1. His panic

    Under pressure? Anyone, anybody can be under pressure. What they are not is under a state of Panic. Those who really, really trust in God and in Jesus Christ God's Only Son WILL NOT Panic. All others will Panic. Panic leads to brawls stampedes and riots, as we can see.

    August 17, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • Pithy

      Got to love imbeciles who randomly capitalize words for no discernible reason.

      August 17, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • skytag

      Nothing makes Christians look more pathetic than the need to believe this kind of idiotic nonsense so they can think of themselves as better than other people. Sorry, but nothing you said it true.

      August 17, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • Athy

      Don't discourage him. He's doing atheism a favor with his posts.

      August 17, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
  2. Steve Finnell

    The Bible teaches that Jesus is the only way to heaven, the only way to have sins forgiven, the only way to be reconciled to God. Why do so many so-called Christian preachers deny this as the truth?

    T.D. Jakes

    Question to T. D. Jakes: "Do you feel only Christians could hope to enter Heaven?"

    Answer: "When it comes to Heaven, I try to leave that up to God. I certainly believe that Christianity is right, but when it comes to the final test–who goes and who doesn't go - Jesus said, Other sheep have I who are not of this fold. Them also must I bring. I'll let Him identify who those sheep are and I stay out of the conversation.

    John 14:6 Jesus said to him,"I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

    Jesus says He is the only way to Heaven. Preacher Jakes say he has no idea if that is correct. He cannot say for sure if Jesus is the only way to Heaven. How can a preacher of the gospel not know what Jesus said concerning who is going to Heaven?

    Who are the other sheep? (John10:1-16) The sheep Jesus was talking about were the Jews who were believing and confessing that He was the Son of God. The other sheep are all Gentiles who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

    The sheep of Jesus (Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor freeman, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.) The sheep of Jesus are all who accept Him as the Son of God, Lord and Savior. All converted Jews and Gentiles are the sheep of Jesus.

    Joel Osteen

    Larry King question: What if you're Jewish or Muslim, you don't accept Christ at all?

    Joel Osteen: You know I'm very careful about saying who would and wouldn't go to heaven. I don't know...

    Larry King: If you believe you have to believe in Christ? They're wrong aren't they?

    Joel Osteen: Well, I don't know if I believe they're wrong. I believe here's what the Bible teaches and from the Christian faith this is what I believe. But I just think that only God will judge a person's heart. I spent a lot of time in India with my father. I don't know about their religions. But I know they love God. And I don't know. I've seen their sincerity. So I don't know. I know for me, and what the Bible teaches, I want to a relationship with Jesus.

    John 3:18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    Jesus said those who do not believe have already been judged. Joel Osteen says He doesn't know if non-believers will go to heaven or not. Joel says he does not know if they wrong in their unbelief.

    Billy Graham

    Robert Schuller: Tell me, what do you think is the future of Christianity?

    Billy Graham: well, Christianity and being a true believer–you know, I think there's the Body of Christ. This comes from all the Christian groups around the world, outside the Christian groups. I think everybody that loves Christ, or knows Christ, whether they're conscious of it or not, they're members of the Body of Christ...I think James answered that, the Apostle James in the first council in Jerusalem, when he said that God's purpose for this age is to call out people for His name. And that's what God is doing today, He's calling people out of the world for His name, whether they they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world, or the non-believing world, they are members of the Body of Christ, because they've been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus, but they know in their hearts that they need something that they don't have, and they turn to the only light that they have, and I think they are saved, and that they're going to be with us in heaven."

    John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides in him"

    The Apostle John said that the that wrath of God abides in those who do not believe in Jesus and who do not obey Him. Billy Graham disagrees. Who are you going to trust?

    You will notice that preachers who deny that Jesus is the only way to heaven say. "I do not know if Jesus is the only way, but I think I know more of the truth than God."

    John 8:24 'Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins;for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."

    Jesus said men will die in theirs if they do not confess Him. Some preachers say, I don't think so.

    Mark 16:16 He who has believed and been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.

    A question remains, did those who proclaimed that Jesus is not the only way to heaven stop believing Jesus was the only way, first or did they declare that water baptism was not essential to be saved, first?

    The gospel should be based on what the Bible teaches, what Jesus said, what the apostles taught. The gospel of what MEN think is no gospel at all!

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY CHRISTIAN BLOG. Google search>>>steve finnell a christian view

    August 17, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • skytag

      Christians spend a considerable amount of time rationalizing and dodging hard questions. No one you quoted was willing to take a firm stand on the question posed to him.

      Get back to me when you learn to think for yourself and come up with some evidence that not only is there a God, but your understanding as a Christian of him is the most correct.

      August 17, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      It all depends on which bible believer you ask. To hear some of them, none of what you said is "biblical" is actually true. Perhaps you believers should all get on the same page, but maybe that's a bit much to ask of a religion with thousands of different denominations and ways to believe.

      August 17, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
  3. Arnold

    Muslim Terrorists!

    August 17, 2013 at 11:09 am |
  4. Prayer for peace

    Almighty God, from whom all thoughts of truth and peace proceed, kindle in the hearts of all men the true love of peace, and guide with Your pure and peaceable wisdom those who make decisions for the nations of the earth; that in tranquility Your kingdom may go forward, till the earth be filled with the knowledge of Your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
    –Catholic prayer for peace.

    August 17, 2013 at 8:39 am |
    • truthprevails1

      It's hard to not laugh at you when you support a cult of pedophiles. Any religious group that knowingly harbors people who harm children is not worthy of respect.
      You might wish to check bishopaccountability.org and make sure one of those listed is not your priest.

      August 17, 2013 at 9:00 am |
      • Grer

        Yes. Sixty year old Mohammed and 9 year old Aisha. Pedophilia is the founding principle of Islam. Thank you for highlighting that.

        August 17, 2013 at 11:15 am |
        • skytag

          Oh look, an anti-Muslim bigot. Jesus would be so proud.

          August 17, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • David Jeremiah

      Fabulous prayer, succinct!

      August 17, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
      • Hear This

        More Succinct:

        Hey God, get your sh!t together.

        (are you guys really counseling the almighty ruler of the Universe about what to do? I thought it was supposed to be a sort of "thy will be done [full stop]" kind of deal?)

        August 17, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
      • Reality

        Expansion of the theme:

        The Apostles' Creed 2013: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

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

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

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

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

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

        (references used are available upon request)

        August 17, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • skytag

      Yeah, that kindling "true love of peace" in the heart of Hitler worked great. I'm sure it will work great with these guys too.

      August 17, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • EX catholic

      Sorry but Idolatry is not Religion. IDOLATRY is a Very serious SIN.

      August 17, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
  5. hharri

    Even these perverts are venting their loneliness and twisted longings for intimacy.

    August 16, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      Just like you.

      August 16, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
    • Bat Guano

      It's preverts, not perverts. Deviated preverts.

      August 16, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
  6. Bootyfunk

    boy, sure is hard to steal handles, huh?

    August 16, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Funny that you can't steal handles on other parts of CNN but you can here.

      August 16, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
  7. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    i wonder if god is as big a sausage hound as i am? i'm pretty sure jesus was g.ay - great tan, long hair, six-pack abs, hung out with 12 dudes, never got with a woman...

    August 16, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
  8. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    my mom said my b.utthole won't bleed so much if i keep my finger out of it.

    August 16, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      My feelings got really hurt, now i'm going to steal your handle and i'm going to tell on you and everything, then you'll be sorry.

      August 16, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
      • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

        my breath always smells like p.e.n.i.s - can you guess why?

        August 16, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      Are you sorry now?

      August 16, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
      • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

        i have a crazy 3-some fantasy involving Jesus and Judas. zomg it would be so hawt to get skewered by those two!

        August 16, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      I pray all the time, mostly that mom and dad will get married

      August 16, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
      • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

        41 and my mom still has to change my diapers.

        August 16, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
        • Bootyfunk's mom

          I thought that was a secret dear. Now everyone knows.

          August 16, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
        • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

          it's no secret - i wear my diapers on the outside.

          August 16, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      Mom where did you put the butt hole cream?

      August 16, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
      • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

        it's taken a life time of yoga, but today i finally licked my own taint.

        August 16, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      many people have asked what kind of children i like having s.ex with the most. as long as they're under ten, age doesn't matter. what i like most is children that are special needs. is there a name for my fetish yet?

      August 16, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
    • Bootyfunk's mom

      We are put again dear you use too much too often. Dad might come home if you would just stop being qu eer for a little while.

      August 16, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
      • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

        i don't believe in god and jesus was a whack-job.

        August 16, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
    • Bootyfunk's mom

      Because you're a qu eer dear, that's why dad left you.

      August 16, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
      • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

        my daddy will never leave me. he comes into my room late at night when mommy is asleep and gives me 8 inches of daddy-sausage. mmmm.... so good.

        August 16, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
  9. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    August 16, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      actions cause change; prayer wastes valuable time.

      August 16, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
    • Colin

      Might you be the same battyfink who has been repeatedly proved to be useless as t its on a boar hog regarding all things?

      August 16, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        might you be the same t.u.r.d ferguson that lobotomized himself because thinking interfered with cult brainwashing?

        August 16, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
        • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

          i blew out my O ring trying to shove a pumpkin up my @ss. ouchies!

          August 16, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        and why are you stealing Colin's handle again? you know according to your bible you'll be burning in hell for stealing? you twit.

        August 16, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          I really know that no one born again goes to hell by stealing, i just like to be a pain in the ass.

          August 16, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
        • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

          my mom said my @sshole won't bleed so much if i would just keep my finger out of it.

          August 16, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
      • Bootyfunk's mom

        Put the cream on the list again dear and i'll get another case at the store for you. Have you outsmarted your little friend yet? Try being gross that might work.

        August 16, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
        • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

          i once had a guy punch me in the taint until it swelled up like a ripe tomato.

          August 16, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      Yes it is me but then someone has to be useless around here to provide some relief from intelligent truths.

      August 16, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        I pray all the time.

        August 16, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
      • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

        i know there's no such thing as god. that's a silly idea. i mostly repeat my religious spam garbage because i'm brain-damaged. my pregnant mom went to the circus and got trampled by an elephant while monkeys pelted her with feces. well that elephant must have stepped right on what would have been my brain - SQUASH! anyway, i no think so good no more.

        August 16, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        See how i used god instead of God. Everyone knows there are no gods, a god is an idol.

        August 16, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
      • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

        there is no such think as the Christian God. if there was, he'd be a giant D-Bag anyway....

        August 16, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
      • Wolf

        I prey all the time too. Especially in the singles bars.

        August 16, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
    • Rap with a capital C

      Wishful thinking

      August 16, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
  10. lwwgaw

    Sensitivities over Arabia go back almost 1,400 years to the beginnings of Islam. "The classical Arabic historians tell us that in the year 20 after the hijra (Muhammed's move from Mecca to Medina), corresponding to 641 of the Christian calendar, the Caliph Umar decreed that Jews and Christians should be removed from Arabia to fulfill an injunction the Prophet uttered on his deathbed: 'Let there not be two religions in Arabia.' The people in question were the Jews of the oasis of Khaybar in the north and the Christians of Najran in the south ...Bottom line is islam is a dangerous and backwards religion. Eventually we are going to have to do as several prominate politicians in Europe are suggesting. Abolish all mosques and ban islam in the US

    August 16, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      That would require a very significant change to the const!tution.

      August 16, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
    • Pole dancing for Jesus

      Another alternative would be get rid of christianity.

      August 16, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
  11. skytag

    @Bill Deacon: "Since at least two of you have replied, with affirmative statements about conditions after death, I am open to hearing your evidence for "nil" or "cease to exist".

    This is always a lame argument. My standard rule in all matters — and yours in almost all others I would venture to guess — is that lacking any reason or evidence to believe something exists I conclude it doesn't exist. This is true of God, life after death, leprechauns, vampires, Santa Claus, extraterrestrials living among us, monsters under my bed, elves, goblins and anything else people have concocted in their imaginations but for which there is no evidence whatsoever.

    In almost every case I suspect you would apply the same rule. It's only in religious matters that you choose to apply the opposite rule and insist on believing in something for which there is no evidence unless someone can force you to give up those beliefs by presenting you with conclusive evidence your beliefs have no basis in truth.

    Demanding proof of nonexistence in these matters is a desperate and disingenuous tactic. You know full well that even if you're wrong and we're right it would be impossible for us to present proof just as its impossible for you to present proof that vampires and leprechauns don't exist. So you know full well you're requiring something that can't be provided even if we're right, and that's disingenuous of you.

    The best we can do is offer logical inconsistencies that arise based on your belief in a God, but by creating a God with no limits, invisible, not bound by the laws of time, space or matter, beyond our understanding and comprehension, the authors of Christianity have ensured you can dismiss any such logical evidence (as well as any other kind of evidence for that matter) simply by making up any excuse your imagination can conjure to claim our argument isn't valid.

    If you needed to claim God is standing on every planet in the universe at this very moment to dismiss one of our arguments you could do so. Every question about the Noah's ark story is met with claims God could have done this or God could have done that. When asked about dinosaurs you can claim (and some have) that God just created those fossils to test our faith.

    You can claim anything and feel no need to support any of it whatsoever with any fact, reason, logic, or evidence. You insist on debating this from within a realm in which there are no rules of argumentation that apply to you. How could anyone prove anything to people who operate from inside such a bubble? So don't ask us for evidence, because you know full well you'd find a way to reject anything we came up with. Not because we're wrong, and not because our evidence wouldn't be compelling, but because you can just make up reasons to dismiss anything we offer.

    It is you, as the one positing the existence of something who bears the burden of proof and you know it, and you know you don't have any. We know it too.

    "Don't you really mean "We don't know and we reject your view"?"

    Isn't that your view? Or do you "know" your view is right, just like everyone in every religion "knows" his view of God is right?

    No, our view is that without any evidence or rational reason to believe your comforting narrative, as rational people we are left to conclude it has no basis in fact.

    August 16, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • Athy

      Well done, sky. Perfect response.

      August 16, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
    • bostontola

      I would go further. There is tons of evidence that our conscious and unconscious minds are totally the result of electrochemical reactions in our physical brains. Scientists can selectively turn off parts and they can see how thinking changes and capabilities are affected. When those electrochemical reactions cease, thinking ceases. There is no evidence for extra-physical elements in our consciousness. When we die, our minds die.

      August 16, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • .

      Wow. Skytag, that was a masterful and convincing piece of writing. I like it. Should shut the believers up, at least for a while.

      August 16, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • Colin

      Well said. Exceptionally well said, Skytag.

      August 16, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
    • Athy

      The religies seem to just throw their ridiculous arguments "over the transom" into some nether world where they're beyond rational questioning. They apparently just can't see the absurdity of such an approach. Common-sense arguments won't work, so trying to convince them otherwise is futile. Their minds are made up, facts are ignored.

      August 16, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
      • Mark from Middle River

        I wonder if this is a Religious battle and not just a political conflict. Christians and Jews have exisisted in Muslim countries for thousands of years. If you get a chance to talk to folks from the Middle East, you often find that the conflicts are just over the same grabs for power we see here in the states.

        If we take Iran, which states that they are against Israel, has the largest Jewish population in the Middle East second only to Israel. What we have in Egypt and in Syria are just the same Labour vs Torres, Democrat vs Republican splits we see around the globe.

        August 16, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
    • lngtrmthnkr

      Sky, Here's what I believe to be true, God exists,he is here among us. Some people see him .some don't for whatever reason. He created all that is including the dinosaurs. He exists on a different plane than us ,but he is aware of all we do and say. We are on this planet to experience life and to find our way back to our creator(LOVE),if we choose to. We were with god before we were sent to this place to grow spiritually. No ,I can't give you proof,you have to find your own proof one way or the other.

      August 16, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        invisible sky fairy. you're wasting your life in a cult. you sound like a nice person, but you are brainwashed. you don't apply the same rules of logic to religion that you apply to every other aspect of your life.

        August 16, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
      • skytag

        Nothing you said is supported by any facts or evidence. it's just stuff you believe. Every believer who has ever lived could state what he believes, whether he believed in the Christian God, the gods of the American Indians, Zeus, whatever. With all due respect, given how much people believe and have believed that isn't true, I couldn't care less what people believe unless they can produce some kind of objective evidence to support what they believe.

        Otherwise it's just a huge "he said, she said" situation with thousands of people all believing something different. In practice people who choose to believe pick a narrative from a very small set of narratives to which they are exposed, and that set is largely determined by where you live and the people around you.

        August 16, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
        • lngtrmthnkr

          I am neither influenced by religions or by your lack of insight. My journey took its' own path to God. It was very personal , what people believe is as important as your' non belief. I respect your lack of understanding as much as I do a small child.The information just isn't there yet so you go with what you know. The only thing holding you back is the fear of the unknown.It can be pretty scary venturing to new places.

          August 17, 2013 at 10:19 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          There would be no religions or gods if it wasn't for the fear of the unknown. Death is the great unknown and gods/religion is a coping mechanism to deal with this fear.

          August 17, 2013 at 10:25 am |
        • tallulah13


          You really aren't that unique. You experienced something and decided that the source of that thing must be supernatural. That historically is a very human response to the unknown. Creating gods allows you to appeal to and potentially control the unknown. Plus, if you think that a god is communicating directly to you, it makes you feel special.

          August 17, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
        • skytag

          @lngtrmthnkr: "I am neither influenced by religions or by your lack of insight. My journey took its' own path to God."

          Yes, you and billions of other people, and you end up all over the map. Blah, blah, blah.

          "It was very personal , what people believe is as important as your' non belief. I respect your lack of understanding as much as I do a small child."

          Spare me your condescension. I understand just fine. I understand you believe some things about God, other people believe other things about God and still others believe yet other things about God. You all took your own paths and think you have some keen understanding the rest of humanity doesn't have.

          "The information just isn't there yet so you go with what you know."

          As opposed to people who are delusional and go on what they imagine. I'm actually okay with my way.

          "The only thing holding you back is the fear of the unknown.It can be pretty scary venturing to new places."

          What a load of crap. How sad that you have to tell yourself this nonsense about other people to rationalize why they haven't embraced your delusions. What unbridled arrogance.

          August 17, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      well said, Sky.

      August 16, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Sky tag,

      Ok, I won't ask you for evidence.

      August 16, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
      • Don

        Don't make any claims then.

        August 16, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Do you mean something like, I believe God is real, that Jesus is his son who was crucified, buried, and was raised from the dead and sets at the right hand of the father making intercession for us?

          August 16, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
        • Austin

          I think he means, shut the fsck up, ass wipe. And he's right.

          August 16, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
        • Athy

          Well, religies, if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

          August 16, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
        • Robert Brown


          Could be Don meant something like that, but at least he was more polite about it.

          August 16, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
        • Robert Brown


          By heat do you mean sky tags long way of saying she can't prove God doesn't exist & Bill can't prove god exists?

          August 16, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
        • Colin

          No Robert Brown, he means the way that Skytag demolished the false equivalence between not proving God does exist and not proving god does't exist. I mean, look, to ask for evidence of non existence is absurd. Of course there is no evidence God does not exist. What "evidence" could there be? Think about it. What possible evidence of non-existence can there be? By definition, there is no evidence of a negative. What evidence is there that Santa Claus does not exist? What evidence is there that the Hindu god Shiva does not exist?

          That is the fundamental difference between there being no proof of a fact and there being "no evidence of a non-fact." The latter is meaningless.

          August 16, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
        • Mark from Middle River

          The latter is meaningless.

          It is interesting that every time a Atheist is cornered when proof of the non existance of God, so many whine that the same rules that they wish to apply to the Faithful can not be equally applied to the Atheist.

          Of course there is no evidence God does not exist. What "evidence" could there be? Think about it. What possible evidence of non-existence can there be?

          Then, if you can admit that you can not prove God or Gods exist, then really it is only the hurt feelings of some Atheist that does not allow them to see that they are in the same boat as those who state that God does exist.

          August 16, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
        • Colin

          Mark, you said, "Then, if you can admit that you can not prove God or Gods exist," No, I never said that at all. I said the opposite, that one cannot prove gode (or anything else for that matter) does NOT exist. That's the very point.

          August 16, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
        • skytag

          @Robert Brown: "Do you mean something like, I believe God is real"

          You are free to believe anything you wish. You can believe leprechauns are real for all I care, and you might as well, since there's the same amount of evidence for the existence of either one.

          You do realize, don't you, that only a third of the world's population is Christian, right? So not only do Christians agree on very little, most of the world doesn't agree with them on even that.

          You believe something. So what? I could give you pages of stuff people believe that's false. People believe things for a variety of reasons, and unfortunately, not all of those reasons rank truth as the highest priority. Politics is particularly bad for this. I've spent years discussing politics online and it's mind boggling how much stupid stuff people believe because it fits their ideology or world view.

          "Politics is war without weapons. It's very tribal. It has nothing to do with finding the truth; it has everything to do with beating the other side, and this is why politicians and partisans say such crazy, outrageous, and obviously false things. They're not concerned with the truth, they're concerned with the fight, with the rallying of their team." — Jonathan Haidt, social psychologist

          August 16, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
        • skytag

          @Colin: "What possible evidence of non-existence can there be? By definition, there is no evidence of a negative."

          Generally speaking sometimes it's possible to give a prove by contradiction. In this case you would start with the assumption God exists and logically deduce from that a conclusion we know to be false. Such arguments are offered from time to time, but believers always claim the arguments aren't valid for some reason.

          August 17, 2013 at 12:05 am |
        • Colin

          Indeed Skytag. I like the way Sagan satirizes the squirming Christians undertake when one reasonable expectation deriving from the existence of their god after another fails to materialize.

          The Dragon In My Garage (an excerpt from Sagan's A Demon Haunted World)
          by Carl Sagan

          "A fire-breathing dragon lives in my garage"

          Suppose I seriously make such a claim to you. Surely you'd want to check it out, see for yourself. There have been innumerable stories of dragons over the centuries, but no real evidence. What an opportunity!

          "Show me," you say. I lead you to my garage. You look inside and see a ladder, empty paint cans, an old tricycle - but no dragon.

          "Where's the dragon?" you ask.

          "Oh, she's right here," I reply, waving va.guely. "I neglected to mention that she's an invisible dragon."

          You propose spreading flour on the floor of the garage to capture the dragon's footprints.

          "Good idea," I say, "but this dragon floats in the air."

          Then you'll use an infrared sensor to detect the invisible fire.

          "Good idea, but the invisible fire is also heatless."

          You'll spray-paint the dragon and make her visible.

          "Good idea, but she's an incorporeal dragon and the paint won't stick."

          And so on. I counter every physical test you propose with a special explanation of why it won't work. Now, what's the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all?

          If there's no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists? Your inability to invalidate my hypothesis is not at all the same thing as proving it true. Claims that cannot be tested, claims immune to disproof are worthless, whatever value they may have in inspiring us or in exciting our sense of wonder.”

          And that, my friends, is the Christian god.

          August 17, 2013 at 7:39 am |
        • skytag

          @Mark from Middle River: "It is interesting that every time a Atheist is cornered when proof of the non existance of God, so many whine that the same rules that they wish to apply to the Faithful can not be equally applied to the Atheist."

          More of your intellectually dishonest malarkey. Asking for proof of something you claim exists is not equivalent to asking for proof of nonexistence.

          You are the people who want different rules. You want anything you claim to be accepted as valid, without any reason to believe it's true. You dismiss logic as having no value when it comes to God. You want special rules in this one area that exempt you from any of the requirements normally applied in supporting a position, rules you wouldn't accept for one second in non-religious areas. No area of science or medicine plays by the rules you want applied to you. We want no special rules for this, we want you to play by the same rules with respect to this as we ask would expect of anyone else if we were talking about something unrelated to God.

          But where you really shine at wanting different rules applied to you is when your beliefs are compared to those of other religions. With no evidence whatsoever any religious belief is true you expect people to accept that what you believe is true because you believe it. Your "personal experiences" are evidence of God but then you rationalize the "personal experiences" of a Muslim or a Buddhist or adherent of any of hundreds of other religions, including some variants of your own Christian aren't proof what they believe is true.

          I've known a fair number of Mormons. For the most part they sound exactly like you and other Christians. They "know" what they believe is true. They've had a "personal witness" confirming what they believe. They know God lives. They know Jesus is the Christ. But they also know Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true. Yet even though the reason they say they "know" the latter two is the exact same reason you and other Christians claim to know what you "know," other Christians dismiss Mormonism as a false religion and discount their experiences with no proof whatsoever they haven't experienced what they claim to they've experienced.

          So in point of fact your claim is crap. It's not atheists who want different rules applied to them, it's folks like you.

          August 17, 2013 at 8:13 am |
        • skytag

          @Mark from Middle River: "Then, if you can admit that you can not prove God or Gods exist, then really it is only the hurt feelings of some Atheist that does not allow them to see that they are in the same boat as those who state that God does exist."

          More hogwash. Asking for proof of something you claim exists is not equivalent to asking for proof of nonexistence. You want us to be in the same boat, but we are not. Your boat is full of people who make the most outlandish claims about a God who is all knowing, all seeing, all powerful, who created a universe with a trillion trillion stars, terraformed this planet, created life on it, used to perform all manner of miracles, but now, conveniently for you, does nothing that would even hint at his existence.

          The people in your boat believe in a god who destroyed the armies of Pharaoh to save the Israelites and struck Saul blind on the road to Damascus to persecute Christians, but didn't lift a finger to help anyone in WWII, and in fact no longer does anything that would result in any evidence of his existence.

          On the other hand, the people in my boat look around, see no evidence of any god and conclude it's because there isn't one. These boats are nothing alike.

          August 17, 2013 at 8:46 am |
        • Sara

          "On the other hand, the people in my boat look around, see no evidence of any god and conclude it's because there isn't one."

          The people in my boat have no idea whether or not there is a god, but are pretty sure if there are one or more it or they don't resemble the Christian god very closely.

          August 17, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • LIKE!


      August 16, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
    • .

      you want to see a contradiction from skytag?

      disparage Mormons in some way – call them dishonest. Skytag – defender of Mormonism will ride to the rescue.

      August 17, 2013 at 2:01 am |
      • skytag

        Hogwash. Mormons have their fictional narrative just like every other religion. As for your "test," I have defended pretty much all religions from blanket character assassination. If you called Baptists or Catholics dishonest I would challenge that as well. I have routinely disagreed with people who claim religion is just a scam to get people's money.

        If I defend Mormonism more than some religions it's because Mormonism is attacked more than most religions and I find those attacks extremely hypocritical. The same people who expect others to accept their claims of knowledge and personal experiences unequivocally dismiss the very same claims when it's a Mormon making them.

        The Mormons I've known have been good people, with good families, educated, honest, hard working, big on helping others and all that. I respect that they believe God expects his followers to make sacrifices, just as I respect the Amish for the same reason. I think all believers are deluded and their beliefs nothing more than a comforting narrative, and that includes Mormons.

        I just find it repugnant when another Christian disparages Mormons simply because they subscribe to a different set of myths their attackers don't accept. I find it highly hypocritical that Christians claim God can do anything and that man can't know the mind of God, but they can state unequivocally that God didn't do any of the things Joseph Smith claims he did. How can they know this without presuming to know the mind of God?

        Personally, I think it's all hogwash, but if one accepts the existence of an infinite God who is beyond our understanding then he cannot say with any authority that God wouldn't or didn't do what someone else claims he did. In other words, you can't have it both ways. You can't believe on one hand that God is all powerful and that man cannot know the mind of God, and then on the other hand claim you know God wouldn't or didn't do something. One of the things I like best about Mormonism is the opportunity it gives other Christians to show their hypocrisy and arrogance.

        August 17, 2013 at 9:26 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Hear, hear.

          August 17, 2013 at 9:35 am |
        • aldewacs

          Skytag: I'm gonna make it a point to look for your posts more often.
          Your points are obvious to me, (as an agreeing Atheists), but they make plain-English sense so much that even the deeply religiously deluded should understand the earthly logic.
          Well done, and thanks.

          August 17, 2013 at 10:48 am |
  12. Roger that

    Reblogged this on religionspreadshate.com and commented: Same crap, different day.

    August 16, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
  13. leilanihaywood

    Reblogged this on Keeping It Real from Leilani Haywood and commented:

    August 16, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • Douglas

      Spam. Don't click on her ads.

      August 16, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
  14. skytag

    @Vic: "It boils down to the "individual" "to investigate and discern the "Truth!" At least that's what I did."

    Yeah, because you were born and raised in a predominantly Christian country, probably by Christian parents. Let me see if I can guess how this "investigation" was conducted.

    At some point one or more people you respected told you their version of the Christian narrative. Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, probably not Mormon from the way you talk and obviously not Amish. Maybe it was one of those that believe in handling snakes and speaking in tongues. Whichever version you heard, you respected the people who shared it with you and it sounded appealing. And it's not remarkable that you heard the Christian narrative because you live in a predominantly Christian country.

    At this point you could either reject the narrative for one less appealing and conclude the people you respected are nut jobs, or you could look into their beliefs to see if there could be any truth to them, and you chose the latter.

    Far from undertaking an objective "investigation" of their claims, you set out to see if you could be convinced to believe them. You immersed yourself in Christian influences. You read the Bible, associated with nice Christian folk, got your information and answers when you had questions from Christians, and so on. You probably attended church with some friends. I'll bet you prayed a lot. On the other hand, I suspect you didn't read any atheist literature or the religious writings from other religions offering other narratives you could investigate. You probably didn't the history of the Bible, what we know about the authors, when the books were written, why some works were selected for inclusion while others were rejected, and so on.

    What you did was closer to submitting yourself to be brainwashed than conducting an investigation. You read their propaganda, listened to it preached from the pulpit, sang their songs, hung out with their nice people, and eventually, voilà, you were convinced it was all true. What a surprise. It works essentially the same way in every religion. It says far more about how the human mind works than any "Truth™" about God.

    August 16, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • JimK57

      Do me next. I was raised in a chistian home. I am agnostic-thiest. My brother is an athiest married to a christian woman.

      August 16, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
      • Phelix Unger

        Un uh, do me next, I was visited by aliens and they haven't left, one is a jabberwockey, another is a killer rabbit and then there are the knights that say nee.

        August 16, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
      • Real Tom

        Jim, if you can't spell it,you can't be it. Idiot.

        August 16, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
      • skytag

        You sound like you're not sure what you believe. Agnostic theist (note spelling) is an oxymoron. An agnostic isn't sure if there is a god or not. A theist believes there is some form of deity.

        I was raised in a Christian home myself and was a Christian for about four decades, until I got to the point I couldn't keep rationalizing why the things I believed doesn't match what I saw in the real world or knew from history.

        August 16, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Is it not more honest to admit to being an Agnostic Theist or Atheist than to say you're a Gnostic Theist or Atheist? Agnostic/Gnostic apply to knowledge, whereas Theist/Atheist apply to belief.
          I will never say with 100% certainty that there is no god but I don't see the evidence to support one, thus I don't believe.

          August 17, 2013 at 8:36 am |
    • Vic

      Whatever floats your boat, skytag.

      I can not tell you specifics about myself because I like to remain anonymous but I can tell you this: When I found Christ, I had no religion, I started with a clean slate. When I encountered the "Truth," the "Truth" resonated in my own "heart."

      August 16, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
      • skytag

        "Whatever floats your boat, skytag."

        Not much of a counter argument.

        "I can not tell you specifics about myself because I like to remain anonymous"

        What a load of malarkey. In a country with well over 100 million adults the chances of anything you could tell us about your conversion offering any insight into who you are would be pretty much zip.

        "When I found Christ, I had no religion, I started with a clean slate."

        That doesn't contradict anything in the scenario I posited.

        "When I encountered the "Truth," the "Truth" resonated in my own "heart.""

        More meaningless sound bites from the simpleton. Blah, blah, blah. You'd probably be hard pressed to find a religion anywhere in the world that didn't have adherents who could parrot the same meaningless claptrap.

        August 16, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Do me! Do me! I was raised in a secular home with loving parents. I became a complete hedonist until calamity overcame. I became a Catholic after a lot of searching because I think it's right.

      August 16, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
      • Sara

        If you have a personality which leads to hedonism without religious restraints, I agree they may be for the best. This is why I don't argue against religion. Some people really need it to function, but the religion needs to fit with modern science (which none that support free will do) and to acknowledge that many are better off without it.

        August 16, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
      • Athy

        When I first heard of heaven, hell and god as a youth, I rejected it immediately as totally absurd. I have neither seen nor heard anything since that would change my mind. No in-depth research was necessary.

        August 16, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
      • Madtown

        I became a Catholic after a lot of searching because I think it's right
        And it is right.....for you. Doesn't mean it's the right and only way for everyone.

        August 16, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
      • skytag

        "I became a Catholic after a lot of searching because I think it's right."

        The scenario I posited probably applies to you with little or no alteration. And you're smart enough to know that believing something doesn't guarantee its true. After all, I think it's safe to assume that in your searching you came across people in other religions who thought their religion was right too. Correct?

        Bill, if I had to list the Christian churches I thought had a chance of being right the Catholic church wouldn't be anywhere near the top of the list. This is the church responsible for the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the selling of indulgences, the persecution of Galileo, conducting masses in a language their parishioners couldn't understand, confessing sins to priests who could be deviants, and the church whose membership claimed one-third the population of Germany when the Nazis rose to power. If you've been fooled into seeing ritual, formality, and longevity as evidence of rightness, that's your problem. Sorry, Bill, but I'm not the least bit impressed by Catholicism.

        August 16, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        "I became a Catholic after a lot of searching because I think it's right."

        I left the Catholic church because its history of moral failure.

        August 16, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
  15. Alias

    This is just what happens when to religions about peace and love both try to gain control.
    Islamaphobis in christian America leads to violence here, the Muslim Brotherhood attacks other religions there, continual fighting in India .....
    I'm just glad more people are waking up to the outdated notion that a god exists.

    August 16, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
  16. hharri

    Come on jtfm. Is that the best you got? Let it rip, honey.

    August 16, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Athy

      Who are you talking to? Can't you figure out the reply function?

      August 16, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
  17. cromdubh

    When the leader (?Pope) of the Coptic Church joins with the new powers that be in proclaiming the coup that ousted the first democratically elected President of Egypt, what did he expect to happen?

    August 16, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Patriarch is the word you are looking for.

      The Copts would rather have a secular goverment than a system based on Sharia? Really? I'm astonished.

      August 16, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
      • aldewacs

        They assume they have a chance to eventually overcome secularism, but none to overcome sharia once installed.

        August 17, 2013 at 10:56 am |
  18. Bill Deacon

    Writing nearly 100 years ago Hillaire Belloc foretold these events:

    "Remember that our Christian civilization is in peril of complete breakdown. An enemy would say that it is living upon its past; and certainly those who steadfastly hold its ancient Catholic doctrine stand on guard as it were in a state of siege; they are a minority both in power and in numbers. Upon such a state of affairs a steadfast, permanent, convinced, simple philosophy and rule of life, intensely adhered to, and close at hand, may now that the various sections of the world are so much interpenetrating one and the other, be of effect."

    "We must remember that the subjection of the Mohammedan -a purely political subjection -was accomplished by nothing more subtle or enduring than a superiority in weapons and mechanical invention. We must further remember that this superiority dates from a very short time ago."

    "A little more and there will cease that which our time has taken for granted, the physical domination of Islam by the disintegrated Christendom we know. At present, the western world enjoys a material advantage by which we progress ahead of the Muslim world. But that material advantage is temporary. When the Muslim is ultimately afforded the material advantage, he may also posses the energy of his devotion to his faith. The combination will prove deadly to western man who has grown complacent in his prosperity and casual in his fervor."

    August 16, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "Remember that our Christian civilization is in peril of complete breakdown. " Yes, when only a third of the world claims to be Christian it is obviously the complete breakdown of Christian civilization. Obviously.

      August 16, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        For someone who likes facts, you don't seem to be aware of many.

        August 16, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
        • Athy

          At least he has some facts, Bill. You seem to have none.

          August 16, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "A comprehensive demographic study of more than 200 countries finds that there are 2.18 billion Christians of all ages around the world, representing nearly a third of the estimated 2010 global population of 6.9 billion."

          Which part of my comment was not fact based?

          August 16, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
        • Honey Badger Don't Care

          I've found that when a Christian uses the word "fact" or "Truth" (capitalized or not) what they are really saying is opinion.

          August 16, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          What does the raw number of vocally assenting members have to do with the ability to wage effective war and or cultural change?

          The answer is none unless you think we are fighting a war of personal attrition.

          August 16, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "Seven times more people have died in Christian wars: 113.8 million compared to the 16.4 million who died in Muslim wars. There are more Christians, but only about 50% more, nothing like seven times more. Western history is Eurocentric, so we know more about wars in Christian lands than in Muslim ones. But not for wars since 1900, and there the imbalance is even worse: 73.3 million compared to 4.4 millon – 17 times more dead in Christian wars." – abagond.wordpress.com

          So who are the ones we should fear again? The ones who kill more humans right?

          August 16, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          You are fighting a war of personal idiocy. When anyone, Christian or Muslim, picks up a weapon and threatens other humans regardless of their reasons, they should be arrested. End of story. I don't care whether either of your faiths says you must do so to defend your faith or God. You pick up a gun and threaten others with it you should be removed from society. Civilization has no need for those who believe it is okay to kill others when their invisible fairy tells them to.

          August 16, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          well, I see we're back to the "religion causes wars argument". You must have missed the part where that fallacy was shown.

          By the way, who's doing the arresting in Egypt? How about in Syria?

          August 16, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
        • Lawrence

          Just the Facts... I'm curious, what are you considering "Christian wars?" If we're talking about wars in scripture, understand that God did not sanction ALL of the wars recorded in the Old Testament. And all of the wars that were specifically commissioned after the time of Joshua were defensive in nature. Also, a number of battles that Israel fought on the way to and within Canaan were also defensive in nature (Exodus 17:8, Numbers 21:21-32, Deuteronomy 2:26-37, Joshua 10:4). Today, we have a New Covenant where the cross of Christ has put to an end the times where God used His people as a tool to exact God’s judgment. Now, we live under the grace of Christ, so if anyone claims that he is doing God's will to kill another, then he is in violation of the dictates of God, so I would hasten to call it a "Christian War..."
          And if a man wrongly murders another in the name of his deity, then what seperates that man from people like Hitler and Stalin?

          August 16, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          I am saying that it does not take a brain surgeon to see how much turmoil religion has caused humanity. It has been the catalyst for countless suffering all in the name of some groups invisible deity. I believe they are the worst of mankind bound up in doctrine to excuse those things we could never excuse ourselves of any other way. A way to deflect the reality of that part of human nature that preys upon others. When we rid ourselves of this obvious evil wrapped in the white robes of pious righteousness that every single religion on the planet wears, humanity will benefit and this world will be a better place. I look forward to the day when all humans work together and finally move out into our vast universe of discovery.

          August 16, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          The "religions cause wars" is an old argument that has been debunked so many times it's absolutely boring and insipid to rehash it again. It may serve you well though right up until the time a Muslim cleric orders your head cut off and you desperately wish there was a fine young Christian soldier with an M-16 at your side.

          August 16, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          You keep telling yourself that Bill. I'm sure every historian would agree that religion played no part in any of those wars regardless of what the people fighting them said. Can a person be generous without religion? Can a person be kind without religion? Can a person help their neighbors and community without religion? Can a person show compassion and empathy for other humans without religion? The answer to all these questions is yes. I accept that religions encourage their members to do these things, but if you can do all these things without religion, then what does religion bring to the table? Hope? I can invent a new false hope every day if you want, but what good is it if it's just another lie? We can invent much better placebos if that is the only purpose of religion. And not only can you be a good well balanced human without religion, you get to avoid religions bigoted snares that attempt to create class systems of humans where some people are effectively dehumanized. People of other faiths, colors and cultures have long been dehumanized by religion and you know it Bill. Try being good for once without the threat of heII or the promise of heaven, just do it for goodness sake.

          August 16, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
        • Athy

          Well said, Ma'am. I agree wholeheartedly.

          August 16, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Thank you, yes, I will keep telling myself that. When the population of Muslims reaches the critical mass in western society where they begin to impose Sharia or react violently at it's democratic ouster, I will gladly tell myself that. You can content yourself with the belief that Islam and Christianity are morally equivalent while your home is burning.

          August 16, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          You are moral equivilents, they are just a 100 years behind you guys. What does equating Christians with Muslims have to do with maintaining a civil government created for all? I will never vote for a theocracy, neither yours or theirs. There are less than 1% American Islamists but you seem to think they are on some verge of toppling our secular government. It's not going to happen Bill, EVER. Secularism is on the rise not only here in the States but in the middle east as well. All religion has much to answer for, not just yours.

          August 16, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Bill, You resist sharia law and yet are happy for your religious beliefs to be law. Can you see why atheists resist laws based upon religious belief?

          August 16, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Santa, I can see why anyone opposes political rule they find oppressive, regardless of the philosophy that informs their ideas. Have you noticed which society you live in? The right of dissent and separation of church and state exist in our society but do not in Islamic antions. For someone like just the made up facts to insist that the is equivalency is beyond moronic.

          August 16, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
        • He Spake Thusly

          "made up facts". yo.

          August 17, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


        let's start with the Thirty Years War (1618–1648).

        It left 8,000,000 Europeans dead. Yes, eight million in the 17th century. A staggering number. Over what exactly?

        Which German princes (and their subjects) would be Catholic and which German princes (and their subjects) would be Protestant. Throw in some Swedish expansionism, the usual disputes between England and one Catholic state or another and there you are.

        Of course the English were preoccupied with a civil war (also over religion) and later that century they would fight Calvinists too, with interesting consequences for New Yorkers.

        August 16, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
        • Lawrence

          As I said, you must seperate those who "claim" to be doing God's will from those who actually are doing God's will. And the only way to do that is to look at what the Bible says – it NOWHERE commands anyone to "spread the gospel by the sword" or to do any violence for that matter. I would challenge anyone to find a dictate to the church in the New Testament to commit violence of any kind.
          I do agree however, that many, MANY atrocities have been committed by those claiming to be servants of God, but let's not forget the deeds of godless men – Hitler, Stalin, and many, many more... The deeds of godless men would include those like you mentioned, who fought over Catholicism vs Protestantism... Reformation is always called for, but never violent reformation.

          August 16, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
        • Lawrence

          a popular saying during the reformation was "The Church Reformed, and always Reforming, according to the Word of God." The violence came from people who left out that last part.....

          August 16, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "The violence came from people who left out that last part....."

          If so, how come so many believers always seem to sign up and participate?

          August 16, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
        • Lawrence

          I don't know, call it sinful human nature? People do stupid things, and sometimes they don't even know why they do them. The root causes are always selfish, and rarely do they have any real merit. I cannot speak to any other faiths, but Christianity contains no dictates to violence, so if someone commits a crime like murder in God's name, the the only evident truth to be seen is that he is not a follower of Christ.

          August 16, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Apart from the 'true Scotsman' problems with your argument, it doesn't change the fact that throughout history, religion is perhaps the most commonly used tool when someone wants to subjugate someone else.

          Why is that?

          August 16, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
        • Lawrence

          I'm not a GOPer... Power hungry individuals will often employ trickery in their plans for domination, and unfortunately, the world is full of people who only have a casual understanding of the Bible – just look at this forum as an example. Evil men will then use that ignorance to their advantage and manipulate them according to their beliefs.
          It takes a strong mind, and a desire to gain understanding who will search out the Scriptures, see what it REALLY says in order to have the ability to call out these power hungry individuals. And as long as people remain willingly ignorant of the things of God, then religion will always be a tool of the evil to rule the weak minded.

          August 16, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          GOPER I'm usually open to your arguments but the two most frequently used mechanisms to subjugate people are weapons and money.

          August 16, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
        • Owen

          Lawrence, re "It takes a strong mind, and a desire to gain understanding who will search out the Scriptures, see what it REALLY says"

          -yeah, that and a Secret Decoder Ring too...

          Seriously, it has been pretty clearly shown that atheists overall know the bible better than Christians do. Blows your specious claim to smithereens.

          August 16, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
        • Douglas

          You forgot se.x, Bill.

          August 16, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
        • Madtown

          you must seperate those who "claim" to be doing God's will from those who actually are doing God's will
          So, we look to the bible to determine who is ACTUALLY doing God's will, and not just pretending? The immediate problem I see with that, is that God did not author the bible. Thus, people following the bible aren't necessarily following the will of God.

          August 16, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


          "the two most frequently used mechanisms to subjugate people are weapons and money.

          Weapons and money are but the means. Religion provides the motivation to sway armies to the will of those would manipulate them to subjugate others.

          It is not *always* so, but time and again this is the case.

          I find it ironic that a belief system that espouses peace and love can be used to wreak murder and even genocide.

          Why is this?

          August 16, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


          "Evil men will then use that ignorance to their advantage and manipulate them according to their beliefs.
          It takes a strong mind, and a desire to gain understanding who will search out the Scriptures, see what it REALLY says in order to have the ability to call out these power hungry individuals"

          And mindless acceptance of dogma and equally mindless obeisance to religion, particularly organized religion makes people's minds weak and easy prey for the manipulators.

          It is critical thinking that stops this kind of behavior and critical thinking leads to unbelief.

          August 16, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
        • skytag

          @Lawrence: "but let's not forget the deeds of godless men – Hitler, Stalin, and many, many more."

          To address just one of these, are you aware that the only person Hitler killed while the Nazis were in power was himself? All of the atrocities carried out by the Nazis were done by Nazi followers, and most of them were Christians. I'm not blaming Christianity for their actions, but I think it's fair to point out that despite all the Christian influence in their lives it only took a few good speakers and some well crafted propaganda to get those lifelong Christians to turn their backs on their Christian values.

          What do you think that says to me about Christianity, the power of God, the power of "the Spirit," and so on? In case you can't guess, it tells me it's all a fraud, something that can't even stand up to a good speaker feeding people's hate and bigotry with some angry rhetoric and good old human propaganda.

          August 16, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
        • skytag

          @Lawrence: "It takes a strong mind, and a desire to gain understanding who will search out the Scriptures, see what it REALLY says in order to have the ability to call out these power hungry individuals."

          What you call a strong mind I call a brainwashed mind. You touch upon possibly my biggest issue with religion, which is that teaches people to trust feelings over facts, evidence, reason, and logic.

          Religions do this because they know none of their claims are supported by facts, evidence, reason, or logic, but that a good preacher, an inspiring story, or good religious music can manipulate people's feelings. A good speaker, for example, can emotionally charge his audience, be he Billy Graham, Winston Churchill, or Adolf Hitler. When it's Billy Graham people call those emotions "feeling the Spirit." When it was Winston Churchill or Adolf Hitler it was described as patriotic fervor.

          Thus in point of fact religions set people up to be manipulated and led about like sheep by people who have the ability to manipulate their emotions.

          August 16, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Doug, yes I did. Thank you.

          August 16, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "but Christianity contains no dictates to violence"

          The god you worship is very violent.

          August 16, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
        • Mark from Middle River

          Same God you speak of also sent a guy that spoke of peace and forgiveness.

          August 16, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Ummm...I don't believe you Mark.

          Matthew 10:34-39

          34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’[e] 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

          August 16, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
        • Mark from Middle River

          Matthew:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

          The full text of Matthew 10, is Jesus instructing his twelve disciples that he was sending them out to preach the word and that for many it will not be a peaceful journey with a possible senerio of a Parent and Child being at odds over one becoming a Christian. Notice that you left out a few proceeding verses because, just like some Christians, some Atheist love to cherry pick the Bible.

          It is stated no where that Jesus was calling for open violence, in fact in Matthew 14 Jesus gives clearly his order when people did not choose to follow.

          14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

          So.... Ummm.... you are wrong. 🙂

          August 16, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Mark, The context you claim, and I actually agree with you, does nothing to change my point. I realize Jesus was not seriously talking about pulling out a sword. What he was saying is that his message was one of division. In essence he was saying you are either with us or against us with belief being the main factor in whither you are rewarded or punished for eternity, I don't find that message, nor that god, to be one of peace. I wouldn't treat my worst enemy the way your god says he is going to treat his "children". Belief or non-belief is not a basis for rewards or punishments.

          August 16, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
        • Mark from Middle River

          I don't find that message, nor that God, to be one of Peace

          Then it breaks down into a basic understanding of human philosophy. We choose and continue teams each and every day. The text just details Jesus educating his twelve of what they might face. As Atheist, I know you have seen post of young Atheist informing their families on their Atheism. There was a great article, a bunch of months ago about a Atheist that was trying to get more Atheist to "come out of the closet" with their Atheism. One of his messages or the writers message was that informing love ones of such might cause a division in the family but the fear of such a division should not hold back Atheist from proclaiming their Atheism.

          Jesus, it is written, was doing the same in Matthew 10. Just warning folks the same way that we still warn folks who are in the closet for various reasons.

          August 16, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          What the atheist was talking about was that it is OK to be an atheist and it is a fine idea to show who they are so that people understand that atheists are everyday, normal people.

          What Jesus was talking about was that without belief in him and his message, individuals will be denied god's kingdon and ostensibly deserving of hell. And that if you love your children more than you love him you aren't going to make it. It is not even close to the same thing. That is the message of an abuser in an abusive relationship. It is not moral in the least.

          August 17, 2013 at 12:07 am |
    • Alias

      Bill, if this wasn't from you I would think it was sarcasm.
      These are generalities, not facts. It proves nothing.
      Allow ME;
      War will start when rain falls in the desert.
      Future generations can now call me a god when the events I have fortold come true.
      You're welcome.

      August 16, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        I don't think I presented it as factual. I presented it as historical commentary. It seems surprisingly accurate though doesn't it?

        August 16, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


        or you could write it off as yet another example of a ~750 – 1400 year old predjudice and paranoia against Islam in Europe that continues today.

        Doubtless Pope Urban II said something similar.

        Just more of the usual "us against them" thinking.

        August 16, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          refer back to my original post GOPER. I agree with Belloc as well as any number of other historians, theologians, sociologists and military experts that there is a fundamental difference between the world views of Islam and Judeo-Christianity. The two views are not compatible and your reference to what seems ancient history is more relevant than you might wish it were. To the western mind the Crusades are old news. To the Muslim, it's rematch time.

          August 16, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "To the western mind the Crusades are old news. To the Muslim, it's rematch time."

          Bill I would argue that the same sentiments that fueled the Crusades in the west are indeed contemporary. I think that categorizing them as 'old news' is inaccurate. There is a continuum of this thought and the Hillarie Belloc quote is merely part of that, and not prophetic in any sense.

          And yes, the Muslim world does see it as 'rematch' time. As usual, and fortunately so, they are mostly focused on internecine rematches.

          August 16, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          It seems we may be in more agreement than first appearances, at least to the level of observation, if not outcomes. But I wanted to post this from the estimable George Bernard Shaw, certainly no allie to Belloc

          "If any religion had the chance of ruling over England, nay Europe within the next hundred years, it could be Islam."

          I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make itself appeal to every age. I have studied him – the wonderful man and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Savior of Humanity.

          I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today."

          August 16, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          The European mindet regarding Islam could be said to start with the battle of Tours/Poitier in 732 where Charles Martel defeated an army of the Umayyad Caliphate invading France from Spain.

          It runs through the centuries of the crusades and fall of Constantiople to the Ottomans in 1493. (As a detour the Latin Crusaders on the Fourth Crusade took it from the Byzantine Orthodox Christians first in 1204.)

          It is the mindset of the Reconquista (and its attendant the inquisition) and the subsequent Empire of Spain for 400 years where Spain did to Latin America (only much more brutally) what Islam did to them.

          It is present in the Ottoman-Venician wars for control of the Mediterranean which largely culminate with a victory by the Venician fleet under the banner of the "Holy League" in the Gulf of Corinth over the Ottoman fleet based at Lepanto in 1571.

          It continues through the battle of Sisak which marks the the end of the hundred-year long Ottoman-Croatian war in 1593. (The Balkans were fragmented by wars of religious conquest over centuries. Coincidentally, the trigger that ignited the first world war happened in Sarajevo a city pulled in so many religious directions – Orthodox, Muslim and Catholic – through the years and the area remains notoriously fragmented by religion.)

          Legendarily, we have croissants to remind us of the victory of the Poles over the Turks at The Battle of Vienna in 1683

          European fears of a Muslim invasion are nothing new.

          August 16, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Do you feel that christianity has special rights to be the dominant religion? Ignoring the question of which christian sect.

      August 16, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        "Special rights"? Not sure what you might mean there but I will answer in a way I believe will satisfy. The roots of classical liberal democracy are planted in Christianity. I believe that Christianity holds the ultimate answer to man's freedom. Freedom from the tyranny of Caesar as well as freedom from the tyranny of self. The tyranny of self is a subject each person must come to individually. But the subject of external tyranny Christianity has a duty to address corporately. Whether that external tyranny be the totalitarianism of a diictator or emperor or the totalitarianism of a false ideology such as socialism or Naziism. I believe Christian ideals will persevere even if a great nation like the United States abandons them. I am mostly unconcerned with an individuals personal religious persuasion but I believe all Christendom owes a debt to Catholicism as the Mother Church and I pray for the restoration of the universal faith. Spiritually, I believe that the gates of hell will not prevail against her, neither from the corruption of unchaste priests within, nor heretics without.

        August 16, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
        • Sara

          Western democracy started around 750 BC and was systematically crushed by the rise of the Christian church until it was essentially obliterated. It only returned over a thousand years later despite, not thanks to, Christianity. The fact that though the church destroyed the economy it siphoned off enough wealth from the people to support a very few literate monks who kept a scattering of ideas alive is a slim ray of light in a very dark intellectual period.

          August 16, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "The roots of classical liberal democracy are planted in Christianity."

          I have to pointedly disagree there. The roots of classical liberal democracy were planted in Athens perhaps around 550 BC.

          August 16, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
  19. niknak

    While we assassinate people with drones.
    Yeah, but we are the good guys in the white hats and they are the bad guys wearing the black ones.

    August 16, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • niknak

      that was meant as a reply to Allen333 below

      August 16, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Athy

      You can't always tell by the hats. What color are their horses?

      August 16, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
      • Athy

        Or camels?

        August 16, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
      • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

        white horse........limeys
        red horse............ruskies
        black horse........nazis
        pale horse..........americult

        August 16, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
        • Kaysi

          Well, yeah but anyway, this friend of mine claimed that he was just made a captain or something in the Irish Republican Army. It sounded like wrong to me and he said he’d prove it by sending me a box full of leprechauns. I went out to Coastal Farm and Ranch and bought a bag of Purina Rabbit Chow. The large bag; I thought the leprechauns would like that.

          August 16, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
  20. Reality

    Sisters and Brothers of Islam: Your situation is easily solved. See page one of the comments for details.

    August 16, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • Sisters and Brothers of Islam

      where is page one?

      August 16, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
      • Reality

        Click on the number 1 directly below and next to the word Previous

        August 16, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
        • Parents of Islam

          why should our kids click on number 1?

          August 16, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
        • tallulah13

          This sounds like the old "pull my finger" joke.

          August 17, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
      • Reality

        To save themselves and the world from anymore koranic-driven, Islamic terror and horror.

        August 17, 2013 at 12:21 am |
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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.