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Do Christians, Muslims and Jews worship the same God?
September 1st, 2013
03:26 AM ET

Do Christians, Muslims and Jews worship the same God?

Opinion by Jeffrey Weiss, Special to CNN
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(CNN) - Pope Francis surprised Israeli and Palestinian leaders last month when he invited them to a special prayer ceremony at the Vatican this Sunday - not least because religion has often been the source, not the salve, of the region's conflicts.

Still, Pope Francis offered his "home" - the Vatican - as the perfect place to plea for some divine assistance, and Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas dutifully agreed to attend.

"The Pope has placed it in this perspective: Prayer is like a force for peace,” Vatican Secretary of State Archbishop Pietro Parolin told Vatican Radio.

"We hope that there, where human efforts have so far failed, the Lord offers to all the wisdom and fortitude to carry out a real peace plan."

But Sunday's special ceremony at the Vatican raises an interesting question: When Francis, Peres and Abbas bow their heads in prayer, will they be talking to the same God?

After all, Jews, Christians and Muslims all trace their faiths back to a fellow named Abraham, whom they all claim was chosen for special treatment by the Almighty.

Not academic

The “same God” question is one theologians have hammered at for as long as there have been enough religions for the query to make sense.

The question is hardly academic, though. In fact, a number of politicians, religious leaders and scholars have expressed hope in recent years that a convincing answer on the God question might dampen the violence committed in His name.

Yale Divinity School theologian Miroslav Volf recently edited a book titled “Do We Worship the Same God? Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Dialogue.”

In the introduction, Volf explained why the title question matters:

"To ask: ‘Do we have a common God?’ is, among other things, to worry: ‘Can we live together?’ That’s why whether or not a given community worships the same god as does another community has always been a crucial cultural and political question and not just a theological one."

On the other hand, there’s CNN Belief Blog contributor and Boston University religion professor Stephen Prothero.

His book on this subject is titled “God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run The World.”

Prothero writes:

“For more than a generation we have followed scholars and sages down the rabbit hole into a fantasy world where all gods are one … In fact this naive theological groupthink – call it Godthink – has made the world more dangerous by blinding us to the clash of religions that threaten us worldwide.”

In the world of politics, President George W. Bush asserted the unity side of the argument more than once in the years after the 9/11 attacks - often as a way to deflect accusations that America was at war with Islam.

Bush told Al Arabiya television, “I believe there is a universal God. I believe the God that the Muslim prays to is the same God that I pray to. After all, we all came from Abraham. I believe in that universality.”

Pope Francis invites Israeli, Palestinian leaders to Vatican peace talks

Pope John Paul II drew from the same rhetorical well several times.

“We believe in the same God, the one God, the living God, the God who created the world and brings his creatures to their perfection,” he first said in a speech to Muslims in Morocco in 1985.

Looking for a more recent example? Consider the plight of Vatican envoy to Malaysia.

Shortly after he arrived there last year, Archbishop Joseph Marino said that is was fine by him that Christian translations of the Bible into Malay use the word “Allah” for “God.”

“Allah” is, of course, the Arabic word for God and is found in the Quran. The Christian translators explained that since most Malaysians are Muslim, it’s the word they’re most comfortable with and therefore the best choice for the translation.

But many Muslim authorities in Malaysia were furious. They say Christians are slipping in the familiar word as a way to convert Muslims. And conversion of Muslims is all but illegal in Malaysia.

There’s a lawsuit ongoing about the translations. Marino had to apologize for pushing into Malaysian politics.

Points of disagreement

So what do the “Abrahamic” religions disagree about?

Among other things: the purpose of humanity, the relationship of God and humanity, sin, forgiveness, salvation, the afterlife, Jesus, Muhammad, the calendar, and the religious importance of Abraham himself.

Plus the nature of God.

Any summary will leave out enormous nuance. Internal divisions within religions have fueled some of the worst examples of human violence. Consider the long and frequently bloody history of troubles between Catholics and Protestants or the growing death toll of Muslim-on-Muslim attacks.

But there are common elements about God widely accepted in each tradition.

Judaism

Start with Judaism, since it came first and established roots that carried into the other two.

Jewish tradition teaches that there is one and only one God, creator of everything, and He established physical and moral laws. As Judaism’s preeminent prayer says: “The Lord our God, the Lord is one.”

This God walks and talks directly with His creations – for a while.

Eventually, He chooses one particular nomad (Abraham) to father a mighty nation that God sets up as an example to other nations.

This God likes the smell of burning meat and demands other extremely specific physical offerings as evidence of obedience and repentance. And He gives His chosen people a particular set of laws – but doesn’t mind discussion and even argument about those laws.

A famous rabbinic saying implies that every word in Judaism’s sacred texts can be understood in 70 correct (but related) ways. And human reasoning can even trump divine intention. (No kidding. It’s in the Talmud)

This God judges His people every year. Tradition says he’s willing to accept imperfection, as long as it comes with repentance.

He’s big on obedience, not so much on faith. He’s not nearly as attentive to the behaviors of non-Jews. (There’s a famous Jewish joke with the punch line “Would you mind choosing somebody else once in a while?”)

Tradition holds that there’s a World To Come after death where moral accounts will somehow be settled. But this God is vague on details.

Christianity

The most obvious differences in the Christian God are the traditional teachings about the Trinity and Jesus. God is three separate persons who are also one. How? Christianity says the Trinity is a “mystery” of faith.

According to Christian tradition, God begets a son who is somehow also Him but not Him to atone for Original Sin. He sacrifices that son though a brutal death and thus achieves humanity's salvation.

But the son, who also is God, rises from the dead. And that sacrifice redeems eternally all who accept and believe in it. Faith, not behavior, is the essential measure of salvation.

This God is willing to vastly expand what it means to be among His “chosen people.” He’s also willing to cancel many of the laws that had applied to that chosen group for this expanded membership.

Orthodox Jews say that God prohibits them from eating a cheeseburger; Christians say God has no problem with them wolfing down Big Macs.

Unlike the Jewish God, whose instructions are almost all about this world, the Christian God is focused more on eternal salvation: heaven and hell.

Finally, for this God, much of the Jewish scriptures (which are all God’s word) are actually about foreshadowing Jesus. Including Abraham.

Islam

The Muslim God is a bit more like the Jewish God.

There is no Trinity in Muslim tradition. Jesus was a prophet, but no more divine than other prophets.

God has never has had anything like physical attributes and has no gender. (Some Muslim commentators say that the noun “Allah” is masculine, but only in the way that all nouns in some languages include gender.)

Muslim tradition holds that God wants one thing from humans: Submission. The word “Islam” is defined as “submission to the will of God.”

For Muslims, all true prophets in Jewish and Christian traditions were actually Muslim because they knew to submit correctly to God. Differences between Muslim, Jewish and Christian interpretations of God are due to errors that crept into the other two faiths, Islam teaches.

The Muslim God, like the other two, initially demanded that Abraham sacrifice a son. But the Muslim God wanted Abraham’s son Ishmael, not Isaac, who Jewish tradition holds was offered as a the sacrifice.

The Muslim God also designated, from before the world began, a perfect man to be his final prophet: Muhammad. God’s perfect truths are found only in the Quran and in the sayings of Muhammad, the hadiths.

And the Muslim God, like the Christian God but unlike the Jewish God, will welcome believers to paradise and condemn many non-Muslims - exactly which ones is a matter of much discussion - to eternal torment.

Final answer

So do Christians Muslims, and Jews, really all worship the same God?

In two major volumes on the subject recently published by scholars from various faiths and traditions, including Volf’s, the most inclusive response from these scholars is basically: Yes, and it’s our God.

This is not a new way of answering the question.

In 1076, Pope Gregory VII wrote this to a Muslim leader: “We believe in and confess one God, admittedly, in a different way…”

But like many other religious leaders on all sides of the argument, Gregory insisted that his version of the Almighty is the one whom the others are unknowingly and incompletely worshiping.

A less exclusivist set of religions might shrug off the differences. But all three claim to have the only “True Faith.”

So do all three faiths actually worship the same deity, whether they call him God or Allah or Adonai?

God only knows.

Jeffrey Weiss is an award-winning religion reporter in Dallas.The views expressed in this column belong to Weiss. A version of this story first ran in September 2013. 

CNN's Daniel Burke contributed to this article. 

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • History • Islam • Judaism • Muslim • Religious violence • Torah • Vatican

soundoff (7,438 Responses)
  1. Steven Brown

    The nature of God varies according to the religion. While one religion may emphasize the qualities of peace, love, and mercy, another religion emphasizes the attributes of power, vengeance, and the thirst for blood. The true nature of God can only be revealed through contemplation and meditation.

    September 1, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • Akira

      It appears to me as if they nature of God remains the same; it's man's interpretation of God's word that is the problem.

      September 1, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
      • snowboarder

        assuming there is even such a thing as a "god's word"

        September 1, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
  2. Nina

    Allha is NOT the God Christian's worship. Never will and never will be. Allah is Not God anyway.

    September 1, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • Pastor Carlton C. Evans Jr.

      Amen!!!

      September 1, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • gith

      hi nina the translation of the english word god in arabic is allah idiot there is one god but alot of names through history languages

      September 1, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
      • Nina

        According to Muslims allah is the same God Christians serve and its not. Don't care if that's how you say God in Arabic it doesn't mean the same thing. Its their God not mine.

        September 1, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • Samantha

      The true definition of a "god" is a supreme being. Allah himself is referred to as a supreme being. So therefore, by definition, Allah is a "God".

      September 1, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
      • hello

        I consider myself as a supreme being.. therefore I am a god... pray to me...

        September 1, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
      • Nina

        Allah is a False "God"

        September 1, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
  3. sativa619

    Religion is a mental disability. There are thousands of religions in the world, and each one thinks it is the one true religion, from a tribe living in the Amazon, to the billionaire evangelist wh0r3s, they spread the mental disability that is 'faith' and pollute everyone's brains. Therefore you will always have theocratic wars, while the sane people look on in dismay over this barbaric child-race.

    September 1, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
  4. Pravda

    Fight against such as those to whom the Scriptures were given [Jews and Christians]...until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued." (Surah 9:27-)

    "Slay them wherever you find them...Idolatry is worse than carnage...Fight against them until idolatry is no more and God's religion reigns supreme." (Surah 2:190-)

    "Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it." (Surah 2:216)

    "If you should die or be slain in the cause of God, His forgiveness and His mercy would surely be better than all the riches..." (Surah 3:156-)

    "Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends." (Surah 5:51)

    "Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God's religion shall reign supreme." (Surah 8:36-)

    September 1, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Muhammad made up a cruel heresy but that should not hinder us to love the ordinary Muslim which we should regard us people which have gone astray (mislead by Muhammad), and which we should lead back to the Love which is in Jesus Christ.

      September 1, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • Pravda

      If they don't Jihad them first. Look at what the Muslims are doing to churches in Egypt and Syria...

      September 1, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Before St. Paul became a Christian, he was Jewish Taliban maybe you could call him an ancient Osama bin Laden, only that he was on the Jewish side. Yet, when Saul saw Stephanus dieing who was stoned he got extremly touched by the death of this saint, and maybe he started to ask God if not Christianity could be true. Some days later the heavenly Christ revealed himself to Saul, and he became the leading Christian leader of all times.

      I guess that also a Muslim fanatic can become a Christian through a divine miracle. It is up to the Christian Church to follow Jesus, his life of unselfish love and forgiveness.

      September 1, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
  5. Mike

    Not sure why jews are mentioned in a discussion of major religions? In terms of adherents, judaism is ranked 11th. Considering judaism a major religion is a falsehood and exaggeration perpetuated by hollywood and jewish controlled media outlets.

    September 1, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Colin

      It is the roots of Christianity and Islam. They budded off from it in the Fist and Sixth Centuries respectively.

      September 1, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Curwen

      Hate Jews much?

      September 1, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
      • Mike

        Hate the truth much?

        September 1, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
        • Rebbe Bupkis

          You do realize that Jesus was a Jew, right?

          September 1, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
  6. Colin

    There are two theories that are totally accepted by people that really irk me. The first is the theory of evolution and the second is the va.ginal birth of human beings. I’m pleased, Elena, that you pointed out the flaws in the former, so allow me to address the latter.

    It is OBVOIUS to me that storks bring babies! I have never seen a woman giving birth, but I have seen a lot of storks. If you ever go to the beach, you will lots of storks carrying babies. They look just like pelicans because they carry the babies in their mouths. If women gave birth to babies, there would be no need for a navel, but that is how the stork picks the babies up from HEAVEN.

    There is no REAL evidence that women give birth to babies. It is just a THEORY. If they did, why is it that men never give birth to babies? Why just women? Where do boys come from? It makes no sense. There is also the problem of the missing link, because there are only ever midwives and never “mid-husbands.”

    If women gave birth to babies, why are there still women and babies? And why is it you never see a half-woman, half-baby!! Explain that evolutionists and va.ginal birth believers! Bet you CAN’T.

    If you look at a stork, it is INTELLIGENTLY designed to carry babies. Why would that be if it didn’t deliver babies? And what about twins and triplets? What, do some women have 2, or even 3 uteruses? That is stupid. A stork can EASILLY carry two or three babies, but a woman couldn’t.

    Why is it that for every 50 boys born, there are 50 girls. What, can a va.gina count? Ha, how stupid. But a stork could. And, what about all the GAPS in the birth record. One time I took a peek at my mother’s va.gina, and it was so small and babies are SO BIG.

    You evolutionists are so dumb. Your think babies JUST HAPPENED in their mother’s womb. What, do you think they just appeared out of yucky, slimy blood and stuff ? Fred Hoyle once calculated that the chance of a baby spontaneously appearing in a woman’s uterus was the same as a storm blowing through a junkyard and creating a Boing-747. That’s harder to believe than that the stork brought them!

    You might like to think you came from a mere zygote, but I KNOW I came from a glorious stork.

    My father insists that I was born because he slept with my mother. I derisively call this the Big Bang theory, because he cannot tell me what happened BEFORE the Big bang. And what caused the Big Bang? It must have been a stork.

    You might ask, ok “what caused the stork?” Well the stork was always there.

    September 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • clash sitings

      Stay off of the crack pipe my friend, you are delusional.

      September 1, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • Hobo Banana

      Ah, Poe, I love you so....

      September 1, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
  7. Rainer Braendlein

    I would rather ask: "How can we worship God?"

    A simple consideration:

    Everybody of us wants to be treated kindly independent from his color, nationality, social status, belief, race, gender, etc.. To put it briefly: We require our fellow human beings to love us at any rate, on every condition, at least we would consider love and kindness as the most favourable behaviour of our neighbour. This consideration is independent from any divine revelation and according to our current conditions or reality.

    Our usual experience is that we are not loved by everybody or only by a few people. Some people condemn us because they regard our performance as to low. Some do not like our color, some do not like our belief, etc..

    Yet, objectively seen these things are no valid reason to condemn somebody. I am not responsible for my color, my perfomance, maybe my belief, etc.. Yet, though people know this, they condemn, and hate nevertheless.

    What is the reason why we always seek a reason for hating our neighbour instead of loving him?

    We bear in us an evil germ which makes us hating other people.

    Has ever somebody acted against that law of hate?

    Yes, it was Jesus Christ. Once he met a woman at a well, a Samariatarian woman, and she gave him no water because he was a Jew. Jesus forgave her immediately, and offered to her Water of Eternal Live.

    The same Jesus Christ can give us the Spirit of Love today. Aint that the most favourable religion?

    We worship God when we give our bodies as a living sacrifice that means when we overcome the selfishness of our body, and love God and our neighbour in Jesus releasing power.

    September 1, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • snowboarder

      you might have had a reasonable comment until you got to the jesus mumbo jumbo.

      September 1, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • Curwen

      Is releasing power the same as blowing a load?

      September 1, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Colin

      Men meeting women at wells is one of the mosty common motifs of the Old Testament. Bar pick ups in the ancient Near East.

      September 1, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
  8. lumberjesus

    Don't forget that all religions began when some guy said either i am god, or god spoke to me. If that happened today people would call said person a nutter. Sorry if i burst your magical everlasting dream.

    September 1, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
  9. Lionly Lamb

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=dNOjs6NBgOM

    September 1, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
  10. sammy

    all atheists are going to hell

    September 1, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • Time For You To Grow Up...

      The Pope disagrees with you... LOL

      September 1, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • sammy

      they want their children to go to hell, as well. that is how sick they really

      September 1, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
      • jayh

        No – they simply don't believe in it.. Simple.

        September 1, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • sammy

      they want their children to go to hell, as well. that is how sick they really are. they choose hell. they refuse to see truth

      September 1, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
      • sativa619

        You do realize Atheists do not believe in Hell, we require a little thing called PROOF which for 2,000 years religion has failed to provide. In the meantime science cures diseases, invents better technology and discovers planets outside our solar system, which quite possibly have life on them. How does that fit into your little brain?

        September 1, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
        • richard miller

          where do you think all those things came from? The Christian culture that draws from all over the world

          September 1, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
      • lumberjesus

        Don't forget that all religions began when some guy said either i am god, or god spoke to me. If that happened today people would call said person a nutter. Sorry if i burst your magical everlasting dream.

        September 1, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • snowboarder

      hell is an imaginary place with which to frighten the children.

      September 1, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • sativa619

      Jokes on you. There is no hell. I can judge you though, right here and right now, no need to wait for an imaginary afterlife.

      September 1, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
      • jayh

        Right on! And nice username btw...

        September 1, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
      • Dan W

        This is what all of Atheism springs from, the hope that the believers got it wrong because they want to do all the stuff we say is bad.

        September 1, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
        • Damocles

          Seriously? C'mon, man.

          September 1, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
        • Dan W

          Yeah, I am serious. Atheism is a culture of defiance.

          September 1, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Curwen

      Jesus was a jew and had no hell beliefs, Why do you?

      September 1, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
      • Dan W

        That's because Hell is called gehinnom, it's discussed at length in the Talmud.

        September 1, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • clash sitings

      People like you who blindly follow are quick to judge, slow to open their minds; all because someone told you what to believe so you blindly follow the sheep into reckless abandon as you defend the invisible God.

      September 1, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
      • Dan W

        If believers are sheep then why are there so many different brands of belief but only 1 brand of disbelief which uses all the same terms and arguments? If anyone is drinking the Kool-Aid it's you guys. "Delusions, schizophrenia, sky fairy, myths, 'where's the evidence?' ". I have yet to see an Atheist reason outside this line of logic, it's dogma, the same as believers who follow blindly. I am a believer, but my eyes are open. If you want a debate, we can debate, otherwise no believer is going to listen as you dictate.

        September 1, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • Michael

      Maybe we are all in hell.

      September 1, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • sammy

      they want their children to go to hell, as well. that is how sick they really are. they choose hell. they refuse to see truth. o godf, they know not what they do. satan blinded their eyes. loosen the cords of bondage strangling their souls. have mercy on them father for they are too ill to grasp what is in store for them

      September 1, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • sammy

      agreed.

      humble them and turn their hearts to thee, o righteous father. may they find you as they seek your face through your eternal words, through the magnificence of nature and the universe you set before us. help them to learn from your anointed children

      September 1, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • tammy

      o god, help their children to find you despite their parents best efforts to hide you from them. don't let their little ones be lost forever. as awful as they are, their kids deserve a chance to find and love you. don't let them burn in hell forever because their parents are filled with demons, sin, darkness and hate.

      September 1, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • hello

      how about taking some time and learn about mythology .. you will see the evolution of myth as it evolves into the religions.
      religion is nothing but tales created to become political tools ...

      September 1, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • hello

      belief in the supernatural requires a very primitive and ignorant mind.

      September 1, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
  11. billsf

    It's all mythology!

    September 1, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • hello

      all religions were created as political tools. Read Caesar's Messiah by Joseph Atwill to learn now the Christian myth was created as a Roman political tool.

      September 1, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
  12. richard miller

    While it is not PC,remember the religion[s] that made the greatest culture ever are Christian.YOU'RE WELCOME

    September 1, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • ME II

      Ancient Greece and Rome were Christian?

      September 1, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Dan W

      Since Christianity and Islam stem from Judaism, wouldn't you say that Judaism is responsible for the greatest cultures in the world? After all Jesus was a Jew, so was his Mom and Anne his Grandmother.

      September 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
      • hello

        Read Caesar's Messiah by Joseph Atwill in the Roman creation of the Christian myth from the Jewish one.
        They Jewish myth came from the Egyptian myth.. also as a political tool

        September 1, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • richard miller

      all cultures stand on the shoulders of those who came before,of course.The USA is the greatest force ever.It has changed the world forever.Unlike previous cultures,freedom for ALL and equality for women and others make it uniquely different and better than those others.Oh yeah,and its' utopia and all inequalities are gone

      September 1, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
      • Hobo Banana

        yeah, and religion was used to fight secular humanistic progress by some folks EVERY step of the way: Slavery, women's rights, civil rights, etc.

        September 1, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
    • TKO

      God doesn't care about culture.

      September 1, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
      • Dan W

        God is the author of everything in existence, if he didn't care we wouldnt exist.

        September 1, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
  13. Time For You To Grow Up...

    "You can't convince a believer of anything. Because their belief isn't based on evidence, but on a deep-seated need to believe."

    Carl Sagan

    September 1, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      Thank you...another one to add to the list of quotes. Carl Sagan was a brilliant man.

      September 1, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • carroll poovey

      And as Mark Twain wrote, "Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company!"

      September 1, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Dan W

      Quoting an atheist to prove a point about religion is like religion quoting a prophet to make a point about atheism. What's good for the goose isn't enough for the gander.

      September 1, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
  14. Pravda

    The Islamic god demands that Muslims destroy or subdue Jews and Christians. Pretty sure it is not the same god...

    September 1, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Time For You To Grow Up...

      That's not their god, it's their followers justifying genocide with religion...

      September 1, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • killar7v2

      i am a muslim and thats not the truth -_-

      September 1, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • Pravda

      If it is in their "holy book" and their prophet said it, pretty sure they treat it the same way...

      September 1, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
      • Moe

        Not in the holy book or the prophets words, get your disinformation outta here

        September 1, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
        • Pravda

          "Fight against such as those to whom the Scriptures were given [Jews and Christians]...until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued." (Surah 9:27-)

          "Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends." (Surah 5:51)

          "Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God's religion shall reign supreme." (Surah 8:36-)

          September 1, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
      • Hobo Banana

        Hmmmm, then what about the bible's take on genocide, just for one example: http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/says_about/genocide.html

        does this invalidate the entire bible and christianity, or is that *different*?

        September 1, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • ME II

      My understanding is that Muslims are directed to respect the "people of the book".

      September 1, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • hello

      religions are political tools...read Caesar's Messiah by Joseph Atwill.

      September 1, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • hello

      that is just more proof that islam like Christianity are just political tools.. for their myth masters.

      September 1, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
  15. Watch...and ASK!

    http://esoriano.wordpress.com/

    September 1, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
  16. lumberjesus

    Don't forget that all religions began when some guy said either i am god, or god spoke to me. If that happened today people would call said person a nutter. Sorry if i burst your magical everlasting dream.

    September 1, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • Pravda

      And you evolved from mokeys and pond sewage, sorry if I burst your bubble...

      September 1, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
      • ME II

        No one evolved from monkeys (nor mokeys) nor pond sewage; we have a common ancestor with monkeys and sewage would require biological waste which wouldn't exist without life.

        September 1, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
      • Dan W

        Who is to say that God wasnt the one to evolve us down a very specific path? Just because you call a process over time evolution, doesn't mean you dispel God.

        September 1, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
        • lumberjesus

          Don't forget that all religions began when some guy said either i am god, or god spoke to me.

          September 1, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
        • ME II

          @Dan W,
          Evolution does not disprove God, agreed, however it also does not require any god(s).

          September 1, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
        • hello

          there are no gods.. just people who invented them so they could live like gods to the fools who believe in them.

          September 1, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
        • Dan W

          @Me 2 – Of course not, nothing in science requires God or it's not science. But just because something seemingly isn't required does not mean that it's not absolutely required. In fact, everything can remain as it is and we full understand 99% of everything, and still not need a God. It's not until the very end where God is required to figure the final pieces of the puzzle out. We just aren't very far along in science yet, its still a baby with a lot of unanswered questions.

          September 1, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
        • tallulah13

          "God" is a placeholder for real answers. The more that is learned about natural science, the less room there is for "god. Given how many places "god's" services are no longer required, it seems very logical to believe that eventually "god" will find himself unemployed.

          September 1, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
        • ME II

          @Dan W,
          God of the gaps, eh?

          Keep holding out for that, good luck.

          September 1, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • richard miller

      Stay on the UK interwebz plz

      September 1, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
      • Dan W

        CNN is an international news outlet.

        September 1, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
  17. Loathstheright

    If they mean the same completely made up faerie tale god that never existed...then, yeah, they all worship something that doesn't exist.

    September 1, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • Dan W

      Where's your evidence?

      September 1, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
      • Curwen

        The onus of proof is with the believer.

        September 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
      • snowboarder

        the total lack of evidence for their existence supports my lack of belief in any gods.

        September 1, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
        • Anonymous

          This whole conversation is evidence to God's existence. I mean, do you actually think there are millions upon millions of people out there THAT brainwashed into believing a hoax? That would be tantamount to me saying, "I believe hogwarts is real, mommy!" People would laugh and say, "That's a book, you knucklehead, it's not real." Right. But really, millions of people around the world believing a hoax? I find that hard to believe. Either Jesus is who he said he was or Christianity is the greatest lie of the world. There's plenty of evidence to back up Christianity: everything from archaeological finds to eye witness accounts. The whole Bible was written by eye witnesses...okay, not every author was a direct eye witness, but they spoke with eye witnesses.

          We immediately accept Homer's Illiad as accurate and a classic and a masterpiece and original...um...how many original manuscripts was our version compiled from? Yikes...a couple? If that? How many manuscripts support the validity of the Bible over time? Thousands? Hundreds?

          September 1, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
        • Rebbe Bupkis

          So, Anonymous, "The whole Bible was written by eye witnesses...okay, not every author was a direct eye witness, but they spoke with eye witnesses." Welcome to the game of telephone, where he said that she said that they said...

          "We immediately accept Homer's Illiad as accurate and a classic and a masterpiece and original...um...how many original manuscripts was our version compiled from?" Who is this "we" you speak of? I think it may be time to read your own post and reconsider some of these statements, Joseph Campbell.

          September 1, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
  18. Danny

    No one can prove God does not exist anymore than I can prove he does. That is why true scientists are agnostic, not athiest. You athiests need to accept that sociology is not science even if you call it one of the social sciences. There is a thin line between education and indoctrination. A famous guy said that once, I think you all know his name.
    Peace out, I am gonna enjoy the real world.

    September 1, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Mike

      "That is why true scientists are agnostic, not athiest." – Do you have any proof to back this other than just being a CNN commenter stating everything you believe as fact?

      September 1, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
      • Elena

        Newton die looking for the philosopher stone! and Einstein was a freemason! if you didn't know this then do a better research

        September 1, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
        • snowboarder

          how is that even remotely relevant?

          September 1, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Time For You To Grow Up...

      You don't even know what 'atheism' is... It's the belief that there's no god, not a certainty.

      September 1, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
      • Danny

        That is exactly my point Einstein, that is why you being so sure there is no God is just as dumb as me being sure there is one. Thus, my point about scientists being agnostic. Good grief your life must be miserable. Enjoy nature, get out once in a while, whether you think it is created or just evolved, enjoy it! You need some sun.

        September 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
        • Time For You To Grow Up...

          LOL... Sorry to confuse you with such a simple concept... Maybe you should stick to Legos and Dr. Seuss.

          September 1, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • snowboarder

      hence the reason prominent religions are perpetuated by indoctrination and coercion.

      September 1, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      I am a true scientist, an atheist and agnostic, you can be both. I do not believe in any of the thousands of gods men have created and worshipped. I do believe that if there is any god, that ANY definition that man has is inaccurate.

      Simply, we do not know. Believing in something as if it were truth, when we do not know is illogical.

      September 1, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
      • Elena

        You are a true scientist? then I have news fro you! the scientific community have never said that they have the prove a creator doesn't exist! and also please remind me of the name of the true great scientist who said some thing like "At the gate of scientific knowledge there are written the words, ye may have faith"
        hey faith is believing in something we don't have evidence of!

        September 1, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
      • Richard Cranium

        That is correct. No one has ever shown that any of the thousands of gods men have worshipped exist or don't exist.
        There has been a large amount of information that much of the bible is false, but definitive proof one way or another about ANY of the thousands of gods, does not yet exist.

        September 1, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
  19. Gene

    My gawd comed in a can with "Bud Light" printed on it. I'm good.

    September 1, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
  20. TIMM

    Maybe the last line should read...

    Gods only know.

    September 1, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
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About this blog

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