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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. G Dog

    Although all worship the same god (as do hindus, buddhist and nudist) it is a different type of god. The god of the Jews and Muslims are more similar – he is a vengeful god and very picky (hence, Kosher, halal, prohibitions, etc) the Christian god is more loving – you can really see the influence of women in Christianity vs Islam and Judaism – in part because of the virgin Mary. For the most part, in Judaism (as anyone living in Brooklyn can attest) and in Islam (as anyone living in the Muslim world can attest) is very repressive towards women and very harsh on them – Christianity open the door for equality and freedom (as anyone living in the Christian west can attest) so that the end result is that more Jews prefer the west than living in Israel and most educated wealthy muslim who have an option head west. You will know them by the fruit they bear.

    September 1, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • DB

      The text of the Gospels might be supportive of equality, but to suggest that's true of Christianity as it's been practiced throughout history is preposterous.

      September 1, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
  2. Colin

    Life on Earth was present a little over 3,400,000,000 years ago. The first eukaryotic cells appeard somewhere between 2,000,000,000 and 3,000,000,000 years ago. The earliest multi-cellular organisms we have are the Ediacaran biota from about 600,000,000 years ago. Mammals appeared less than 100,000,000 years ago and the first humans about 140,000 years ago.

    Christianity is the theory that an all knowing being created the Universe, waited for 9,000,000,000 years, created the Earth, waited through all the above and then sent his "son" to Earth to talk to a few Jews in Greco-Roman Palestine.

    What utter nonsense.

    September 1, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • bostontola

      It was state of the art 2000 years ago, it seems very small minded now.

      September 1, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Leo

      For someone named after a poo chute, it's hard to take you seriously.

      September 1, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
      • truthprevails1

        Now there's maturity at it's best...wow, what are you 10??

        September 1, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
        • Dippy

          Its,not it's.

          September 2, 2013 at 2:29 am |
      • Damocles

        I think the word you were thinking about is colon.

        September 1, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Darren Thompson

      Next you're going to tell us that Kris Kringle doesn't ride around in a magic sleigh. Get with it buddy or I'll'll tell the Easter Bunny to not leave you any candy.
      Don't be a Kill Joy.

      September 1, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Anthony Hebert

      So, you were there and you know this for a fact? Because you say these numbers like they are facts not theory.

      September 1, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
  3. Rosstrex

    Don't you just love how the Author of this article ignored the elephant in the room. He focused on the Christians that were extending their hands to Muslims in friendship but not the Muslims that cut off the heads and hands of Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, other Muslims and every other group on the planet. Articles like this are written to make Muslims feel like Islam is a religion like all of the other major religions.... Sadly one has to simply read the Koran to see what Islam is... it is a religion created by a 7th century warlord masquerading as a prophet in order to get his followers to kill.

    September 1, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • Missy Pyle

      Only a Christ follower would look at Islam and see something different from Christianity or Judaism. For the non-believer, all three are equally fictional, equally delusional, and equally dangerous to the Human condition. Ego filled lies fed to the intellectually poor...

      September 1, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
  4. Allen

    There is only one God; however, the world likes to promote different religion because of the confusion Satan has created. He tries to turn any God loving religion against each other divide and conquer is his theory. One thing for sure is God will come back so those who do not believe will see him face to face. We all have sinned and fell short of God's honor; however, the God people who keep the faith no matter what religion they are in will be with the creator in the end. We all are created by God, but we all are given the right to follow him or Satan. If you need real true understanding I suggest read the bible about the love of God that will never chance.

    September 1, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • What is going on? FREEDOM

      I follow neither. I will take my own path through the forest instead of following others.

      September 1, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
      • Rett

        I appreciate your sentiment but taking your own path does not make it a better or superior path than that followed by others before us.

        September 1, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
        • What is going on? FREEDOM

          Never said it did, but it will make be independent and will allow me to take on my own destiny as I see fit

          September 1, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • Sejones

      Do you even realize how absurd you sound? A big horned demon name Satan makes a bunch of evil, while God does his best to combat it? This is a Bronze Age fairy tale, which at best holds some metaphorical significance and at worst is completely irrelevant in the modern world. And you blather on as if it's obviously fact. You are delusional.

      September 1, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
      • drew

        who said satan had horns?

        and why do you say that God is fighting it? What if he's just letting things happen for now..

        September 1, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
        • Sejones

          So your argument for why this nonsense is not ridiculous is that Satan doesn't necessarily have horns.

          Wow.

          September 1, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
        • Sejones

          Let me get this straight .. Your argument is that talking about Satan isn't ridiculous because he doesn't necessarily have horns.

          Wow.

          September 1, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • bostontola

      Elvis and Hitler were the master minds. JFK knew about it and was going to spill the beans so they had to assassinate him. Hitler was the trigger man and Elvis signaled the all clear with his umbrella.

      September 1, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
      • EuphoriCrest

        Is it true Jimmy Hoffa drove the get a way car?

        September 1, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
        • bostontola

          I heard that too, it must be true.

          September 1, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Satan? Really? Are you talking about that evil, evil man in the red lizard suit?

      My! How Christianity dulls the intellect.

      September 1, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Helena

      It would be easier to accept the truth that we are in the Matrix, than it would be to worship your little Satan monster. Look deep within yourself son, perhaps you are not filled with the Love of Jesus after all, maybe you truly are a minion of Satan. Think about it. Oh and when you die, its game over, you have no soul, SORRY! Have a Great Day! 🙂 There are no gods, man is weak and egocentric...

      September 1, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • Seems to me the "love" of god

      Changed quite a bit between the old and new testaments

      September 1, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
  5. Charles

    We are in the Matrix and each religion is just another form of control.

    September 1, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
  6. God has a name

    First and foremost is worship in truth. Without it, worship is in vain. For the record, not all Christians believe in the trinity, nor is it a defining feature of the Christian belief (in fact it is borrowed and not Christian teaching at all). The God of the Jewish and Christian bibles has a name JHWH (sometimes called Jehovah, Yaweh, etc, as Hebrew has no vowels. We are instructed to use this name. All of the "Abrahamic faiths" will agree there are many gods (note the small g). This is backed up by the scriptures of all Abrahamic faiths. There are many gods, but one almighty, one creator. This article attempts to simplify that which is complex and must be studied and taken in proper context. In short, not all worship the same God. Even some who believe they do, do not.

    "Every good tree produces fine fruit." Matthew 7:16-7

    September 1, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      Hebrews are instructed not to use his name.

      September 1, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
      • God has a name

        Yes, I know this is true, but they are instructed repeatedly to "call on his name".

        September 1, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Sejones

      *You're* attempting to make something simple into something complex in order to make it much more difficult to question. There is no god, there is no Trinity, there is no Jesus (and there is no historical evidence that such a person ever existed).

      September 1, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
      • God has a name

        Not at all. People should always question, otherwise they will believe anything they are told.

        September 1, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
      • Morgan King

        To be fair, there is ample historical evidence of Jewish claimants to the mantle of messiah who fomented rebellion against the Roman occupation of Jerusalem and were ultimately killed for it.

        September 1, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
        • Sejones

          Sure, but there's no evidence that any of them were called Jesus or that any of the quotes or actions attributed to Jesus actually happened.

          September 1, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
      • Rett

        Come on, Jesus never existed? There are extra-biblical sources from the period that attest to his existence. You can deny other things about him but to deny he ever lived is way out there.

        September 1, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
        • Sejones

          Are there, really? Show me. I know you've been told that these extra-Biblical sources exist, but the fact is that they do not.

          September 1, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • God has a name

      Correction: "JHWH" – the Tetragrammaton, should read YHWH. Typo* correction.

      September 1, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
  7. OldSchool

    "When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." – Stephen F Roberts

    September 1, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
  8. Maggie

    Why would a being as advanced as God need worship anyway? Makes no sense at all.

    September 1, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      Buddhists do very well not worshiping God and he blesses their seed.

      September 1, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
      • Dan W

        Brahman.

        September 1, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • Dan W

      Conservation of energy. It's not that God can't do whatever He wants, it's just that He has no obligation to do it the way you think is right. If He's so great He would obviously do things your way, but you're understanding of the system we live in is limited to this world, and this world is a prison. Everything has a purpose, its just that we dont understand the purpose behind certain things, and we refuse to think about the purpose of the bad stuff that happens to us. Because if there is a God He wouldn't let us suffer right? Wrong. We suffer because we refuse to be like Him, to seek Him out and trust in His good and upright ways. Death is a voyage home, if 10 million people die, 10 million people were just set free from prison. It's a terrible way to think about it if you operate on a paradigm shaped by our modern society, because we hate death, but it's just another part of life, a mechanism in the plan.

      September 1, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
      • Sejones

        There is absolutely *no* evidence of anything you just stated, and your romanticizing and glorifying the hypothetical death of 10 million people as a good thing is exactly why atheists find your delusional, religious thinking dangerous.

        September 1, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
        • Dan W

          What evidence would you suggest I bring to the table? A photo? A signed letter from God with an unbroken wax seal? The interesting thing about the atheist desire for evidence is that they only mean to dispel the evidence, not actually consider it. It's a trap. I used to fall into it, but that was before, this is now. I've grown wise to the array of Atheist traps, because Atheists don't reason, they trap and devalue. There isn't a real conversation going on here. Its point / dispel. You all aren't bringing anything to the table, you're just clearing the table so you don't have to discuss stuff you don't believe in. But you ask believers to unleap their faith to talk on your level. Why not come up to our level and talk to us here, I'm tired of having to dumb myself down to talk to you all.

          September 1, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
        • heehee

          @DanW: Any evidence. Anything at all.

          September 1, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
        • Sejones

          @ Dan W - Convenient that you completely sidestep my point about romanticizing and the death of 10 million people. If you want a real discussion, let's have one. I won't criticize your faith, but I will criticize the thought process that leads to you being okay with such a horrible notion. Explain to me how it's a good idea to think on terms that allow you to accept such an atrocity?

          September 1, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
        • Dan W

          It's hard to keep track of these comments they're building up so fast. I started commenting on page 1 or 2, there's 42+ pages now. Thinking about things the way I do removes the emotional outburst associated with things like 'kids with cancer'. Why? Because only the good die young, and dying means going home. There can be no evidence without God being the one to deliver it, and right now we're still playing clue trying to figure out who done it. I could theorize a way to produce technology that would allow for us to 'see' Heaven. There are several reasons we can't find it. First of all we are developing non-biological tools to see something that only a living biological creature can find. Second, when you look at it, it appears as a single point in your vision, a sorts of single point that looks like a tiny dot of static, I'm sure you've seen it. That dot is the end of a communication string (a signal) that's shaped like a spiral staircase. Then there are 'the veils' that stop us from looking beyond a certain point. The veils are simply colors (red and blue) over the information. The veils are also in a specific order and the data is stretched out literally over the whole universe. So if you could look through my eyes, see through the fuzz spot, and through the veils you would be lifted out of your body and be shown the evidence you seek. But that's it, there is no physical ability to transfer anything from there to here except understanding and some knowledge. Symbols that seemed erroneous become more prevalent (because you notice them more) and you realize they are saturated with special meanings. If someone could extract my memories, they would be amazed at the things I've seen.

          September 1, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
        • Dan W

          This would insinuate that the only thing stopping all of you from knowing there's a God is the lack of technology associated with memory. Build a machine that can show what Ive seen and that will be your evidence.

          September 1, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
        • heehee

          @DanW: You've got paragraphs attempting to excuse the lack of evidence, but no evidence. Telling.

          September 2, 2013 at 9:46 am |
  9. Doc3072

    I beg to differ about the top three religions. I believe the one predominate religion is paganism. The majority of people worship money and things (objects) which is the basis for paganism. This is especially true in the United States as shown by the envy people that don't have money have toward the people who do. Anyone disagree? If you do, then give all your money away along with your possessions and follow the religion you claim to feel so strongly about.

    September 1, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Dan W

      This is a common feeling about believers, that some how belief denotes perfection of the self. Everyone is working on themselves, religious people just have a map showing how to get to where they want to be. Atheists, have no long term goals except the destruction of religion.

      September 1, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
      • What is going on? FREEDOM

        Dan W. you have serious problems. I always have long term goals. One of them I accomplished many years ago when I graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice and graduated the academy. Now I am working on opening a business, which has always been a long term goal of mine.

        September 1, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
        • Dan W

          Me Me Me. I, I, I. I'm talking about groups of people with societal goals. Atheism's goal is clear, to spread disbelief.

          September 1, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
        • What is going on? FREEDOM

          Dan W. you need to get out in the world more often. I know many Atheists that don't give a crap about religion as long as people aren't forcing it into the government.

          September 1, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
        • Dan W

          As a whole it would seem you all think the world would be a better place without religion in it. You see religion as the thing that divides us, which is true, but it is also the thing that will ultimately unite us.

          September 1, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
      • Akira

        Dan, atheists do not desire destruction of religion. That is patently false. Lol.

        September 1, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
        • Dan W

          You're reading these comments aren't you? Most atheists think the world would be at peace and a better place without religion in it. I am not new to debating with Atheists. "Delusions, sky fairies, and ignorance, oh my". That's all you got.

          September 1, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
        • Dan W

          Tell that to the Russians and the Chinese who have killed millions of people and tore down thousands of temples. All in the name of atheism.

          September 1, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
      • heehee

        What do you mean, atheists have no long term goals other than the destruction of religion? What are you talking about? I know lots of atheists and this doesn't describe any of them.

        Don't just imagine how the world is. Try to find out how it actually is.

        September 1, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
        • Dan W

          I am talking about as a whole group of people. Oi vey.

          September 1, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
        • heehee

          @DanW: um.... shouldn't a general claim about a group of people apply to a majority of the members of that group?

          Sorry, I thought we were talking in English.

          September 1, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
        • Sejones

          Dan W - this means you are generalizing and stereotyping, which makes you a bigot. Another prime example of why your kind of thinking of dangerous to the human species.

          September 1, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
        • Dan W

          That's how the brain works. You call yourselves Atheists but you don't want to be associated as one. I speak to many many atheists and they all have the same demeanor, bitter and angry about the bad things religion has done without a single hint of how it came to civilize us or create the modern rule of law. I don't make 7 billion individual distinctions, I categorize. Stereotypes exist because they are rooted in the truth. Is it true for everyone? No, but I'm talking about a reasonable doubt, not a shadow of a doubt.

          September 1, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
        • heehee

          @DanW: if you're going to caricature people, at least get it right.

          September 2, 2013 at 9:51 am |
      • Doc3072

        It's not about perfection, but what one worships. The majority of people, by action, show they worship money. Money being a "pagan object" then is the god of those that worship it as exemplified by their devotion to obtaining it. I understand there are those who speak of their religion/God with devotion and fondness, but actions speak louder than words. Including mine!

        September 1, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
        • Anthony Hebert

          That's true to some extent. I've tried to explain this before, Christianity is a lifestyle (as I'm sure is true with other major religions). It's all about a person's words and actions and what is deep within them. And, also, it is about how one behaves in the dark when no one else is watching.

          September 1, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
      • Anthony Hebert

        Dan, I don't think atheists want the destruction of organized religion. They just don't want to believe in the supernatural God of the Universe. But, that's their free choice and their decision.

        September 1, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • heehee

      What is it with this idea of worshiping money? It's a bizarre black and white caricature of the actual world.

      Why do Christians feel the need to imagine that they have a monopoly on ideals and values?

      September 1, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
      • Dan W

        I'm not Christian.

        September 1, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
        • heehee

          Um, I was replying to Doc3072. Try to stay with me.

          September 1, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
        • Helena

          you have a deity though, you reek of it. When you die, you won't meet it, and your body will feed the worms, nothing more. Blessed are the cheese makers!

          September 1, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Anthony Hebert

      You're right to a large degree. Paganism or non-belief is with us to stay. It's patently obvious that the whole world isn't going to become religious. And that is okay because it is all in God's plan for the ages.

      September 1, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
  10. Maggie

    Why would a being as advanced a God need worship anyway? Makes no sense at all.

    September 1, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
  11. Seamus Ruah

    The FSM is the one true god, rAmen. All other gods are false, I know this because I was touched by his noodley goodness.

    September 1, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
  12. EinstEin

    I I believe in Dinosaurs. I believe the guy named Jesus was probably a guy... with schizophrenia.

    September 1, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • Doc3072

      Do you believe in lightening bolts? Because there may now be one out there with your name on it. (kidding of course ;>)

      September 1, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
  13. Markus

    It's like arguing about one system of constellations versus another. The atheist is the lone person in the room who raises their hand and says 'excuse me, but why are we drawing lines between all these random dots?'

    September 1, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      Atheists suppress science in education, as they have done for almost a century.

      September 1, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
      • Markus

        Name one instance.

        September 1, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
        • John P. Tarver

          General Relativity.

          September 1, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
        • Markus

          Created by a non-believer, believed when the evidence came in. Try again.

          September 1, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
      • What is going on? FREEDOM

        There goes Tarver again with his clueless ramblings. Let me guess you don't like science, mathematics, and history because you failed those classes right?

        September 1, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
        • John P. Tarver

          Science just canceled Hawking's black hole theory.

          September 1, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
        • What is going on? FREEDOM

          Tarver do you know the difference between theory and reality?

          September 1, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
        • John P. Tarver

          A theory under the scientific method is demonstrable and repeatable,unlike the black hole and evolution as a means to species.

          September 1, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
        • What is going on? FREEDOM

          Unlike? A theory is a theory foolish one. You can't just throw a theory out that you don't like which is quite obvious is what you are doing.

          September 1, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
        • Markus

          Evolution by natural selection is confirmed by, amongst many other things, the success of genetic algorithms. Read more before you criticize.

          September 1, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
      • heehee

        Who, when?

        September 1, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
        • John P. Tarver

          Darwin's notion that species are an outcome of evolution was proven false 40 years ago by the global geological fossil record; as species are an outcome of a mass extinction.

          September 1, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
        • What is going on? FREEDOM

          Tarver so you believe that mammals just came out of no where huh? You think Mosquitos (which were around since the Dinosaurs as well as other insects) just came out of no where after a mass extinction event? Clueless much

          September 1, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
        • heehee

          @John Tarver: again, I urge you to read the literature on the topic.

          September 1, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
  14. EinstEin

    George Carlin is God!

    September 1, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Roger that

      Joe Pesci is God.

      September 1, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
      • Doc3072

        No, Tony is God – he just said so! Didn't you read his post – he answers prayers online.

        September 1, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
  15. John P. Tarver

    "There are those who say I have come to bring peace. I have come not to bring peace, but a sword, to turn brother against brother and father against son."

    September 1, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • What is going on? FREEDOM

      You seem to be doing that very well Tarver.

      September 1, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
      • John P. Tarver

        I am getting a lot of traction on modernizing science.
        Perhaps you might enjoy these facts:
        http://theconversation.com/new-theory-of-general-relativity-casts-doubt-on-dark-matter-16446

        September 1, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
        • What is going on? FREEDOM

          Yawn. Get lost Tarver. You have been beaten many times by people far more intelligent then you and you are only on here because you are to much of a coward to talk to a real scientist.

          September 1, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
        • heehee

          A single paper in physics review D hardly represents a new scientific consensus.

          More importantly, I can't figure out what it has to do with the article or other posts.

          September 1, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
        • John P. Tarver

          Perhaps these facts will help you understand better:
          http://www.nbcnews.com/science/milky-ways-giant-black-hole-spits-out-its-food-8C11034082

          September 1, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
        • heehee

          @John Tarver: huh? Do you read the posts you reply to?

          Have fun!

          September 1, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • Anthony Hebert

      Tarver, you need citations in your posts. These are not your words buddy!

      September 1, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
  16. Teresa Gleason

    I believe there is only one God and one God alone, but people has different believes on how to get thru to that god, some believe you have to go thru Jesus, some goes thru mary and others goes thru a different

    September 1, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      I have to go with John 3:16, but there are many different versions of Jesus for sale at churches.

      September 1, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
  17. chachooga

    wolfing down Big Macs??? wow. Is that an attempt at humor? It is revealing as to how much credibility to give this article....I put it on the level with a conversation with a middle school student, a homeless man and a Varsity cheerleader. They might know what they are talking about, but they might not.

    September 1, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
  18. EinstEin

    God makes us feel all warm and fuzzy about dying... of course, if you believe in science, Darwin and evolution or any other proven theories... you will burn in a lake of fire!

    September 1, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      If you believe Darwin, your science is outdated. Darwin is about racism, not science.

      September 1, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
      • What is going on? FREEDOM

        If anyone listens to Tarver then you are about as uneducated as he is.

        September 1, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
      • heehee

        John Tarver: consider reading.

        September 1, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • William Bellah

      A "proven theory" becomes a fact of which there are very few of as science is ever evolving.

      September 1, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
  19. God has a name

    Test

    September 1, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • Rebbe Bupkis

      God's name is "Test"? Is that why they call them Testaments? I did not know that.

      September 1, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
  20. Mary

    Clearly we can see that Islam is not the true faith, since killing people who don't believe is their mantra. Faith to believe should not come at the threat of a sword. Jesus told us that He was the way, the truth and the light. No one else can come to the Father except through Him. No room for doubt there.

    September 1, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • Dan W

      Islam has to be able to defend itself against the Crusaders that keep coming back. Also, the Sword is a religious symbol denoting channeling of the holy spirit. The King of Hearts isn't a suicide king, he's 'the one' who is channeling the holy spirit, God's love.

      September 1, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Sejones

      The fact that you think there is a "true faith" speaks volumes about your ignorance and arrogance. Of course Islam is not the "true faith," but neither is Christianity. There is no true faith. If there were a god, the probability that he would even remotely resemble your Holy Trinity is completely delusional.

      September 1, 2013 at 3:02 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.