October 14th, 2013
01:58 AM ET

Inside the hajj: The world's largest annual pilgrimage

By Sarah Brown, CNN

(CNN) - Millions of Muslims began the Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, which represents one of the largest annual human gatherings on the planet.

The Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, a journey every Muslim is expected to take in his or her lifetime if the person is physically and financially able.

This year, the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca is hosting more than 2 million Muslims, about 1 million fewer than last year, according to the Associated Press.

Our iReport team has asked pilgrims who have performed the Hajj about how the experience changed them - and for their advice to those undertaking the pilgrimage for the first time.

The result is a mix of spiritual and practical life lessons that transcend Islam.

1. Patience

iReporter Amir Abdul Latip from Brunei said the Hajj taught him a patience that’s carried over to his life after the pilgrimage.

“I'm still not perfect, but the Hajj has changed my perspective on the temporal nature life, the universe, and everything else,” he says.

“Just be patient and always try to help others,” Latip says, adding that the Hajj helped “widen my views to see a bigger picture of our existence.”

Read more about Latip’s Hajj experience

Patience is an order during the Tawaf, a Hajj ritual in which throngs of pilgrims circle seven times around the Kaaba, a cube-shaped building considered the most sacred site in Islam.

The whole five-day event, which attracts around 3 million people, is slow going and sometimes chaotic.

CNN Explains: What's the Hajj?

“Several times things are not in control of the organizers – they try their best for pilgrims but they cannot do all due to some unforeseen circumstances,” said iReporter Muhammad Zafar from Simi Valley, California, who performed Hajj in 2011 with his family.

2. Down to earth

Ameer Hassoun, an Iraqi-born doctor who lives in New Jersey, said a key part of the Hajj is learning from other pilgrims.

“It taught me how to be very down to earth, to treat everything with humility, that there is no difference between us - no matter where we are," he said.

See images of Hassoun’s visit to Mecca in 2011

“People around the world share their own experiences from their home countries and so it’s a very fertile land for learning.”

For Hira Hasnain, a student in North Carolina who spent three weeks undertaking the Hajj, one of the most rewarding experiences was uncovering new aspects of her faith by meeting new people.

“It brings you closer, it provides a sense of unity.,” she says. “You realize that everyone around the world is striving to … achieve closeness to God and everyone has different ways of doing it.”

“Try to understand where everyone is coming from and your enjoyment of Hajj will be that much more meaningful,” Hasnain says.

Listen to more of Hasnain’s advice and see images of her hajj journey

3. Everywhere was white

iReporter Rafiu Olasunkanmi Yusuf, a Nigerian who works in Malaysia, said his 2003 pilgrimage revealed a “need to move closer to God.”

“Everywhere was white, that symbol of purity,” he said. “There was no distinction on the basis of race, country or color of the skin. One can feel the presence of the Almighty God as we perform the religious rites.”

Since then Yusuf, has tried to “devote more time to spiritual uplift and less time to worldly pursuits."

Haq, meanwhile, says his pilgrimage taught him to acknowledge God in “everything I do.”

“I pay close attention to my obligations as a Muslim,” he says. “My prayers, obedience to parents, fasting, zakat [gifts to charity - another of the five pillars of Islam] - I repent more often, and make more dhikr [prayers reciting the names of God].

“I also try to educate my Muslim and non-Muslim friends, co-workers and peers on Islam,” he says.

4. The hajj is hard

iReporter Amaan Haq from Woodbridge, Virginia, undertook his first Hajj in 2011 with his wife and said preparation was essential.

Read about Haq’s preparations for his Hajj

“Read and understand before embarking what acts are required from you,” he said. “The Hajj is hard even if you're young.”

The Hajj can be a physical and mental endurance test, with pilgrims sometimes walking miles each day. Haq advises pilgrims to take drinks or electrolyte salts to stay hydrated in the 90-degree Arabian sun.

Other iReporters recommended that first time pilgrims obtain a guide if possible, saying the complex sequence of rituals to be performed and the sheer size of the gathering can be overwhelming.

5. Just do it

Latip from Brunei said his final advice for those wishing to undertake the journey was to get going.

“Just do it,” he said.

“Don’t wait until you’re too old and frail,” he says. “And with costs rising year after year, it’s better to do it sooner if you can.”

That advice can apply to journeys other than Hajj, too.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Islam • Saudi Arabia

soundoff (779 Responses)
  1. bsc1216

    It's good to see that there is some peace over there in the middle east. More nations in that area need to practice this ritual.

    October 14, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
  2. Inside My Dodge

    There was an annual pilgrimage to my Dodge back in the day.

    October 14, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • AB


      October 14, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • 110 million per blast

      annual only? bi-weekly here

      October 14, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
  3. Smarter than ewe


    October 14, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
  4. the dude

    And yet... there is no god....
    our species is in real trouble now, all these crazy people are reproducing, and raising crazy little kids.... man, this is some scary stuff.

    ** que the creepy children of the corn music **

    October 14, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      You can see the more extreme wings of Christianity like the FLDS creating their own little communes where they try to indoctrinate and then impregnate kids at an age where they don't feel they can say no. It is a sad and scary cycle of abuse and should be dismantled.

      October 14, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
  5. Slappy_McGiggles

    If this was a Christian or Jewish pilgrimage, the Muslim suicide bombers would be all over it!

    October 14, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Petercha


      October 14, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • McGriddles...

      Where would American Christians go on pilgrimage? Bibleland? To go see the grilled cheese with the Jesus image on it? Or maybe to the Superbowl since apparently they believe God is a huge football fan? 9/11 Ground Zero? The golden arches during their McRib special offer? Or maybe to a lap band surgon who can use prayer, magic and strap around their stomachs so they can lose some faith, er I mean, fat...

      October 14, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        You can always find plenty of Christian pilgrims in Israel, Rome and Lourdes.

        Not so many Muslim suicide bombers specifically going after pilgrims even in Israel where they have other preferred targets. All these places (including Mecca) need security from crazy martyrs.

        October 14, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
  6. meoww

    If not combined with POLITRICKS, religions do no harm !!

    October 14, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
  7. Ellen

    I am not Muslim, but I am a seeker of peace on the earth plane. Reading this article on the Haji was inspiring and makes it clear that spiritual seekers of whatever religion fundamentally are looking for the same thing. Is it possible that one day we might all realize that and start focusing on our similarities rather than our differences? Perhaps having an expectation that a holy site exists inside most of us could make a difference. There will always be those who have chosen evil over good, but I continue to believe that is a small percentage of our population on this plant.

    October 14, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
  8. ben

    Hoping all Muslims at the Hajj are looking at their inner reflection, that's where you will find peace.

    October 14, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  9. Portland tony

    Actually the peaceful gathering in Mecca of Muslims from all countries in the world can't be all bad. The interchange of ideas of mainstream worshipers tends to illuminate and bring into doubt some of teachings of the radical "fringe" imams! If only Christians could pull this off without a chaotic outcome .

    October 14, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • meoww

      If not combined with politricks, no harm.. Happy Thanksgiving – from Canada !!

      October 14, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  10. Roger that

    This is off topic and may have been discussed before, but what is significant about the number 5 and why is the CNN Belief Blog fixated on that number? Is it a writing style or symbolism?

    This article lists the 5 spiritual and practical life lessons that transcend Islam. The Haji is one of the 5 pillars of Islam.

    "A journey of faith in 5 tattoos"

    "Holy Trollers: How to argue about religion online" (There are 5 types of bloggers)

    "5 things Bill O'Reilly flubs in 'Killing Jesus'"

    "5 questions for NBA star Jeremy Lin"

    "The 5 things you need to know about Rick Warren"

    "Why everyone fights over Jerusalem" (article lists the 5 most contested sites in the city)

    The list goes on.

    October 14, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      It's a bunch of writers who wanted to do a top ten list and got half way through and ran out of good ideas...

      October 14, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Commenter

      It seems to reflect the attention span of much of the reading public.

      October 14, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Commenter

      Fixated? Maybe. The Bible is big on 40 and 7.

      40 – Used 146 times – traditional Hebrew number for the duration of a trial of any kind, when times are hard and a person’s faith is tested.

      7 – Used 440 times


      October 14, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
      • Roger that

        You can find references to 5 as well. Jesus' crucifixion injuries. Two hands, two feet, plus the sword in the side. There are others. I'm wondering if the number 5 has a significance to Daniel Burke.

        October 14, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
      • tc

        And we use 440Hz to define A

        October 14, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • Vic

      That is a good observation. The number five is a symbol of Islam; however, it is originally Christian. In Christianity, and before Islam, the number five symbolized/symbolizes the Grace of God.

      A natural use of the number five is the human as in head, two arms and two legs. That's where the pentagram comes from.

      October 14, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
      • sam stone

        the grace of god?

        you actually believe that tripe?

        October 14, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Reality # 2


      The book of Psalms is arranged into five books, paralleling the Five Books of Moses.

      The Khamsa, an ancient symbol shaped like a hand with five fingers, is used as a protective amulet by Jews; that same symbol is also very popular in Arabic culture, known to protect from envy and the evil eye.

      The Torah contains five books—Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy—which are collectively called the Five Books of Moses, the Pentateuch (Greek for "five containers," referring to the scroll cases in which the books were kept), or Humash (חומש, Hebrew for "fifth").

      IslamicThe Five Pillars of Islam

      Muslims pray to Allah five times a day

      In Islam, particularly Shia Islam, the Panjetan or the Five Holy Purified Ones are the members of Muhammad's family: Muhammad, Ali, Fatima, Hasan, and Husayn and is often symbolically represented by an image of the Khamsa.

      There are five basic "pillars" of Islam.


      The five sacred Sikh symbols prescribed by Guru Gobind Singh are commonly known as Panj Kakars or the 'Five Ks' because they start with letter K representing Kakka (ਕ) in the Punjabi language/Gurmukhi Script. They are: Kesh (unshorn hair), Kangha (the comb), Kara (the steel bracelet), Kachhehra (the soldiers shorts), and Kirpan (the sword) [in Gurmukhi Script: ਕੇਸ, ਕੰਘਾ, ਕੜਾ, ਕਛਹਰਾ, ਕਿਰਪਾਨ]. Also, there are five deadly evils: Kam (lust), Krodh (anger), Moh (attachment), Lobh (greed), and Ankhar (ego).


      In Discordianism, 5 is seen as a very important number. This is demonstrated in the Law of Fives, as well as in the Pentabarf, which contains five rules.

      Each page of the Principia Discordia —the primary religious doc-ument in Discordianism— is labeled with five digits."

      And the winner??? The Pentabarf !!!

      October 14, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I think the attention span comment hits the nail on the head.

      A list of three item has insufficient gravitas to be serious and people lose patience working through a list as long as ten.

      Of course if it's pictures we're talking about then 20 or more is fine.

      October 14, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
      • Roger that

        I agree, but only Mr Burke knows the real answer?

        October 14, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
  11. Vic

    That is a prime example of exploiting the works of the Law to be closer to God while faith is a pure matter of the heart (spirit.) Such exploitation makes you dependent on the works of the Law to believe in God, which, in turn, makes you self-righteous, and separates you from reality in that sense. On the other hand, faith in God sustains the believer constantly, regardless of the circumstances, and without losing touch with reality.

    Works of the Law are like fireworks, they put on an exhilarating momentary display, and then it's totally over.

    God imputes "righteousness" unto people on the basis of faith in Him and not the works of the Law. Nothing pleases God like Faith.

    Hebrews 11:4-7

    "4 By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks. 5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. 7 By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith."

    Scripture Is From:

    New American Standard Bible (NASB)
    Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation


    October 14, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Apul M'Deek-Aoud

      Screw god.

      October 14, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
      • Alias

        Very interesting concept.
        Do you think there is s.e.x. in the afterlife?
        For what purpose? Can we have more children there, or would it be just for the fun?

        October 14, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          Which raised another question, if there is no s e x in heaven then why do we call God a "He"? What is the difference between the masculine and feminine without s e x organs?

          October 14, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
        • LDSareChristian

          Study the LDS for more info. 😉

          October 14, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
        • Alias

          There must be some s.e.x. in heaven.
          The bible clearly says men can't get in without Mr. Happy intact.
          Also, if no one had gender, how would we know who was in charge and who is submissive?

          October 14, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
        • sam stone

          no one ever heard of coming in the name of the lord?

          "ohhhhh, gggod.....oh jeeebus"

          October 14, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • Madtown

      Nothing pleases God like Faith.
      Hebrews 11:4-7
      Interesting. God created us all. For some of us, he placed us in an area of the world where christianity doesn't exist and isn't practiced. This is God's doing. If nothing pleases God like faith in christian scripture, interesting that he doesn't provide means to learn christian scripture to all of us! It's almost like it doesn't make any sense.

      October 14, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
      • karl from az

        God has provided the means: it's called The Bible! Try reading it!

        October 14, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          The bible is the work of men. There is no reason ( other than the bible, and don't bother with the circular reasoning that says the bible is right because it says so in the bible.) to believe otherwise. We know where the stories came from, and we see the bibles glaring flaws.
          Do you have anything else that would show any of the thousands of gods?

          October 14, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
        • Madtown

          God has provided the means: it's called The Bible!
          God wrote the bible Karl? How come so many variants? I have read it.

          October 14, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
        • Joey

          Tell that to every single person who lived in North or South America prior to the Europeans arriving on the scene? Did god just not care about them karl?

          October 14, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
      • Vic

        God is just, and we can not nor are we capable of knowing everything about His Divine Wisdom and Justice and how they work. It is part of faith in Him. Also, faith is by hearing:

        Romans 10:17
        "17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ."

        Scripture Is From:

        New American Standard Bible (NASB)
        Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation


        October 14, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
        • Madtown

          "What does Romans 10:17 mean?"

          – your human brother who God placed in an area of the world with no bibles

          October 14, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
      • LDSareChristain

        That would be the LDS explanation for the Book of Mormon. God DID teach his gospel here in the ancient Americas. While the early inhabitants rejected and lost touch with the Gospel, it explains how so many of their legends resemble Christian concepts.

        October 14, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  12. mfh1957

    More political motivated dribble. If CNN paid this much attention to Christianity everyone would cry foul.

    October 14, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • sadfsg

      umm cnn does articles on Christian events too. like picking the pope. you're just a nutjob

      October 14, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
  13. meki60

    Obama wanted to go to sharpen his evil ways.

    October 14, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      feeble attempt at trolling ...

      October 14, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
  14. DP

    Why do atheists commit so few crimes?

    I read that only a few percentage of prison inmates were atheists. As a religious individual, I dont want to commit a crime as it is obviously immoral but also to please God.

    Even though I am obviously wrong in this assessment but if you remove God from the equation, I would assume that one would be more likely to do wrong.

    Why is this so? Any ideas?

    October 14, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • derpa

      Because crime is directly related to stupidity.

      October 14, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      It's pretty difficult to show causality between religious belief or lack thereof and crime statistics. There are too many other societal factors involved, such as poverty, authenticity or false conversions, education and comparative crime standards. I'm sure someone will trumpet a half baked study here to show their favorite outcome though.

      October 14, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
      • OKfine

        BD. Were you a catholic when you committed your killing or did you convert after the fact, reaching for the golden crutch of redemption?

        October 14, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
        • sam stone

          did billy boy whack someone?

          October 14, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
        • OKfine

          He participated in an abortion or at least accepted the procedure and therefore in his crazy catholic belief system he murdered a fetus, strange but true.

          October 14, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
    • Gordon

      Because atheist morality is based on logic. Don't do to someone else what you wouldn't want done to yourself. I also think that atheists in general are better educated, hence less likely to be criminals.

      October 14, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Steve

      1) There are so few of them that the data is not valuable. That's like comparing who likes McDonald's food the most... people age 1 to 90 or people age 91 to 170. If you have 1000 people over 91 and only one likes McDonald's food you can't get a good comparison to that to hundreds of thousands on the other age group. It's not a good sample group.

      2) The people who commit crimes may or may not even give a thought about religion. If they were following the teachings of a Christian religion they wouldn't have committed the crime. They choose not to follow it or simply just fail to follow it. Of course their is human failure but God continuously works good from evil.

      October 14, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
      • Cristeros for Satan

        Get mental help Steve

        October 14, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
        • LDSareChristian

          A more likely mental case is a poster with Satan in his name.

          October 14, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
  15. I Don't Get It

    Why are the first 7 pages of these comments dated October 2012?

    October 14, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • midwest rail

      Recycled article.

      October 14, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      It's an annual event

      October 14, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • Dmitri

      Because the editors of this blog are stupid and lazy. No other explanation needed.

      October 14, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Alias

      God told us it was coming, so we typed our thoughts in advance.

      October 14, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
  16. Universe

    beautiful pictures..

    FYI, Quran says (Islamic Scripture)

    “God: there is no other god besides Him, the Living, the Eternal. Never a moment of unawareness or slumber overtakes Him. To Him belongs everything in the heavens and everything on earth. Who could intercede with Him, except in accordance with His will? He knows their past, and their future. No one attains any knowledge, except as He wills. His dominion encompasses the heavens and the earth, and ruling them never burdens Him. He is the Most High, the Great.” [2:255]

    “There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces the devil and believes in God has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. God is Hearer, Omniscient.” [2:256]

    “God is Lord of those who believe; He leads them out of darkness into the light. As for those who disbelieve, their lords are their idols; they lead them out of the light into darkness – these will be the dwellers of Hell; they abide in it forever.” [2:257]

    “The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]

    “It does not befit God that He begets a son, be He glorified. To have anything done, He simply says to it, "Be," and it is.” [19:35]

    “No soul can carry the sins of another soul. If a soul that is loaded with sins implores another to bear part of its load, no other soul can carry any part of it, even if they were related. ... [35:18]

    “They even attribute to Him sons and daughters, without any knowledge. Be He glorified. He is the Most High, far above their claims.” Quran [6:100]

    Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to visit whyIslam org website.

    October 14, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • Stanley

      Have you every wondered why Jesus referred to as the "Word" from God in your Koran?

      October 14, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Stanley

      Have you every wondered why Jesus is referred to as The Word of God in your Koran?

      October 14, 2013 at 10:38 am |
      • Saddleback


        October 14, 2013 at 10:41 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        I'm not sure what the Islamic interpretation of that is, but to the Christian, God is referred to as “the Word” because that Greek word “Logos” is so loaded with meaning:

        To the Gentiles of that time: In the Greek world of philosophy and religion, the “Logos” was the t.itle given to the creative force behind all things, the ordering intelligent mind of the universe. This was an abstract, impersonal principle of reason, order, and intelligence – a source of knowledge and wisdom. A modern equivalent of this idea is the “Intelligent Design” movement first posited by Albert Einstein. He said: “Of course there is an intelligence behind the universe, but we could never know it.” This movement is a non-theistic way of saying that there must be an intelligence behind our universe because the universe itself is intelligent.

        What John is saying is that the “Logos” is not some impersonal floating creative force – it is in fact, God, and He became flesh that we might know Him personally.

        To the Jew: The “Word” held even more meaning. Over and over in the Old Testament, you will find the statement “the word of the Lord came…” The Word came to mean simply God revealing Himself – His person, His nature, His will, His wisdom, His truth. It was the expression of the true and living God.

        Hebrews 1:1-2 – God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son…

        October 14, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • Reality # 2

      Now for the very dark side of the Koran:

      http://www.muslimaccess.com/quraan/arabic/005.asp et al

      o "Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends." (Surah 5:51)
      "Believers, when you encounter the infidels on the march, do not turn your backs to them in flight. If anyone on that day turns his back to them, except it be for tactical reasons...he shall incur the wrath of God and Hell shall be his home..." (Surah 8:12-)

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

      "...make war on the leaders of unbelief...Make war on them: God will chastise them at your hands and humble them. He will grant you victory over them..." (Surah 9:12-)

      "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-)

      "It is He who has sent forth His apostle with guidance and the true Faith [Islam] to make it triumphant over all religions, however much the idolaters [non-Muslims] may dislike it." (Surah 9:31-)

      "If you do not fight, He will punish you sternly, and replace you by other men." (Surah 9:37-)

      "Prophet make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home." (Surah 9:73)

      "Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them." (Surah 9:121-)

      "Say: 'Praise be to God who has never begotten a son; who has no partner in His Kingdom..." (Surah 17:111)

      "'How shall I bear a child,' she [Mary] answered, 'when I am a virgin...?' 'Such is the will of the Lord,' he replied. 'That is no difficult thing for Him...God forbid that He [God[ Himself should beget a son!...Those who say: 'The Lord of Mercy has begotten a son,' preach a monstrous falsehood..." (Surah 19:12-, 29-, 88)

      "Fight for the cause of God with the devotion due to Him...He has given you the name of Muslims..." (Surah 22:78-)

      "Blessed are the believers...who restrain their carnal desires (except with their wives and slave-girls, for these are lawful to them)...These are the heirs of Paradise..." (Surah 23:1-5-)

      "Muhammad is God's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another." (Surah 48:29)

      "Shall the reward of goodness be anything but good?...Dark-eyed virgins sheltered in their tents...They shall recline on green cushions and fine carpets...Blessed be the name of your Lord..." (Surah 55:52-66-)

      October 14, 2013 at 10:41 am |
      • James Williams

        LOL, hardly a "dark" side. We in the West like to demonize the "other" guy all too often. Growing up, before I rejected it as fabrication, I would read even worse in the Bible. But as a Christian, I knew that these were types of verses were based on context. Now we're doing it to the Muslims and the Quran. It's a dishonest and shady practice. I read the Quran and Hadiths personally, and much of the "dark" side of Islam that people are so quick to point out are nothing more than the inability of the ones doing the pointing to use their own critical thinking abilities.

        Like this you cited: "Believers, when you encounter the infidels on the march, do not turn your backs to them in flight. If anyone on that day turns his back to them, except it be for tactical reasons...he shall incur the wrath of God and Hell shall be his home..." (Surah 8:12-) ..... how can that even be close to the "dark" side? Have you not thought it through before you copied/pasted this? It's an exhortation – clear as day even in the English language – to not be demoralized in battle and flee but to keep fighting. Muhammad was leading a group of followers into battle who may or may not have been experienced in warfare...what do you want him to say, "When you see the enemy, run for your lives!"? LOL

        I think our country is falling apart because there are too many people who pass on their own opinions and interpretations as facts and sadly no one thinks to question these people. You speaking on Islam (and likely other religions as well) is like Billy Graham speaking on science. If you don't know what you're talking about, don't deceive other people. If you don't like Muslims, Christians, Hindus, or whatever other group, then do other things to harm them with your words, but to twist things and be deceptive, that's just spreading ignorance into the world.

        October 14, 2013 at 11:46 am |
        • Andy

          Love your response, wish there are a lot more literate people like you but we all know the reality.

          October 14, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          What instigated the attack on the Twin Towers, Flight 93 and the Pentagon?

          And what drives today's 24/7 mosque/imam-planned acts of terror and horror?

          The koran, Mohammed's book of death for all infidels and Muslim domination of the world by any means.

          Muslims must clean up this book removing said passages admitting that they are based on the Gabriel myth and therefore obviously the hallucinations and/or lies of Mohammed.

          Then we can talk about the safety and location of mosques and what is taught therein.

          Until then, no Muslim can be trusted anytime or anywhere..................................

          Some of the results of Muslims following the dictates of the Koran :

          As the koranic/mosque driven acts of terror and horror continue:

          The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

          ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

          and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

          and more recently

          1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

          1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

          2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

          3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. Iraqi civilians killed as of 05/10/2013/, 113,249-123,978 mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

          4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

          5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

          6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

          7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

          8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

          9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

          10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

          11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

          12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

          13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

          14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

          15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

          16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

          17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

          18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

          19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

          20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

          21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

          22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

          23) "October 4, 2011, 100 die as a truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded Tuesday at the gate of compound housing several government ministries on a busy Mogadishu street. It was the deadliest single bombing carried out by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia since their insurgency began. "

          o 24) Mon Jun 4, 2012 10:18am EDT
          BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A suicide bomber detonated an explosive-packed car outside a Shi'ite Muslim office in central Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 26 people and wounding more than 190 in an attack bearing the hallmarks of Iraq's al Qaeda affiliate.
          The bombing on a Shi'ite religious office comes at a sensitive time, with the country's fractious Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs locked in a crisis that threatens to unravel their power-sharing deal and spill into sectarian tensions."

          25) BURGAS, Bulgaria | Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:27am EDT

          (Reuters) – A suicide bomber carried out an attack that killed seven people in a bus transporting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, the interior minister said on Thursday, and Israel said Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants were to blame.

          26 ) September 12, 2012
          Envoy to Libya dies in rocket blast

          27) Boston Marathon horror – April 2013, four dead, hundreds injured and maimed for life. A
          Continued below:

          October 14, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
        • The watch

          Love your response

          October 14, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
      • nino

        The word for the day is: Context.

        October 14, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
        • Apul M'Deek-Aoud

          The word for the day is LEGS!

          Go forward 7 spread the word!

          October 14, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Alias

      The Koran is closer to making sense than the bible.
      However, I still balieve that Mohamad was in that cave alone.
      Why wouldn't an Angel talk to the people gathered outside?
      Why wait so long before sending correct instructions on how to live?
      Why would the god they describe let us everyone believe incorrectly for so long?

      October 14, 2013 at 10:47 am |
      • Richard Cranium

        The Koran makes more sense than the bible?....perhaps, but Star Wars makes more sense than the Koran.

        October 14, 2013 at 11:03 am |
        • Alias

          The Matrix makes more sense than Star Wars.
          Yoda was a muppet. He had no business fighting with light sabers.

          October 14, 2013 at 11:38 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          I'm a Star Trek fan myself. 😉

          October 14, 2013 at 11:40 am |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Tron, The Legacy...

          October 14, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
        • Andy

          Apparently you have seen Star Wars, have you read the Quran from cover to cover?

          October 14, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          There was an episode of Babylon 5, where a character was a mass murdered, who then as punishment had his brain wiped and replaced with a personality that was keyed to serve others, so the character became a monk. This character then went to see the Minbari ambassador. That scene gave the Minbari point of view.
          It was the best I had heard. I don't have a link but the episode was called "Passing through Gesthemene"...worth a look for any who want a different perspective
          ( also understand they characters are fictional, but the scene was written by humans, and it was a pretty interesting scene)

          October 14, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
      • Reality # 2


        Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)

        "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

        Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

        Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

        Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As do BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan)

        The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

        Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

        October 14, 2013 at 11:45 am |
        • Wastrel

          The creature told Mohammed that he was the angel Gabriel. The evidence of history suggests that perhaps this was a lie, and that the Koran was dictated by the devil himself. Or, maybe Mohammed lied, and he made it all up. By the way, I am reconning the god Poseidon into an omniscient creator of the universe and all you need to do is join me, give me money, and in a few thousand years we can kill off all the believers in other gods.

          October 14, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
  17. Topher

    If I belonged to a "DO" religion and didn't DO what I was supposed to to get to that religion's god, I can see how people would reject it.

    October 14, 2013 at 9:26 am |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      And even if they "do" like they are supposed to, there's no guarentee that their god will accept them. Only if they die as a martyr are they guarenteed entrance... Hmmm, that could explain some of the things that happen within the "religion of peace."

      October 14, 2013 at 9:48 am |
      • Topher

        Exactly. What a burden it would be to not have assurance.

        October 14, 2013 at 9:57 am |
        • ME II

          You have no guarantee either, do you? Isn't God the ultimate judge, not you? Aren't you by nature unworthy?

          October 14, 2013 at 10:05 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Only in Catholicism is the "assurance of salvation" thought of as a sin... Presumption I think they call it.
          Actually, if one believes the Bible, there are TONS of scripture that tell the believer that he has assurance of his salvation through faith.
          John 17:6-12, Romans 8:37-39, John 6:37-40, 1 Peter 1:1-9, John 10:25-30... And I can list about a dozen more...

          October 14, 2013 at 10:08 am |
        • Topher

          ME II

          "You have no guarantee either, do you?"

          Christians DO have assurance.

          "Isn't God the ultimate judge, not you?"

          Of course.

          "Aren't you by nature unworthy?"


          But God has made a promise to us. He said that if we repent and trust in Him, He will save us.

          October 14, 2013 at 10:10 am |
        • ME II

          @Topher, & @Lawrence of Arabia,
          " He said that if we repent and trust in Him, He will save us."

          Is not your supposed God the ultimate judge of whether you have truly repented and truly "trust in Him"? Does not the Bible warn of self-deception / pride / self-righteousness?

          October 14, 2013 at 10:22 am |
        • Topher

          ME II

          "Is not your supposed God the ultimate judge of whether you have truly repented and truly "trust in Him"?"

          Yep. But you know better than anyone (except God) whether you've truly repented and have put your trust in HIm (faith).

          "Does not the Bible warn of self-deception / pride / self-righteousness?"

          Sure. Not sure what you are getting at, though.

          October 14, 2013 at 10:29 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia


          "Is not your supposed God the ultimate judge of whether you have truly repented and truly "trust in Him"? Does not the Bible warn of self-deception / pride / self-righteousness?"

          I think the key to knowing that you have truly repented can be found here:
          "He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion." Proverbs 28:13.
          The repentant man will not be a hypocrite... He will still sin, of course, but his lifestyle will not be marked by a constant desire to seek out occassions to sin with no remorse. The repentant person's life is marked by a desire to please God in all that he does. Certainly, a man can be deceived, that's why we have the scriptures. "To the law and to the testimonies! If he does not do according to these, it is because he has no light."

          If a man's life can be marked by a sincere desire towards godliness, and he has faith in the saving work of Jesus and who He is, then that man can rest in assurance of his salvation.

          2 John 1:9 – Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son

          October 14, 2013 at 10:32 am |
        • Topher

          Well said, Lawrence.

          October 14, 2013 at 10:35 am |
        • ME II

          @Topher & @Lawrence of Arabia,

          You both sound very convinced that you are in fact truly repentant and saved while admitting that man can be deceived, by himself among others, and the supposed God is the ultimate judge. If that's enough for you, good luck to you.

          October 14, 2013 at 10:39 am |
        • Madtown

          He said that if we repent and trust in Him, He will save us.
          Muslims trust in God. Adherents to other religions trust in God. Why do you think you're special?

          October 14, 2013 at 10:43 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Anyone can be deceived, but there are tests in scripture to see if you are truly saved. Why then should there be any doubt?

          If someone tells me that a red-looking pepper is sweet, not hot, I can believe him right up until I test it – then, once my tongue could start a forest fire, I KNOW the truth of the matter... "Test yourself to see if you be in the faith..."

          October 14, 2013 at 10:48 am |
        • Topher


          "Muslims trust in God."

          Perhaps they do. But they must also DO things, like the 5 Pillars — ie, go on a hajj.

          "Adherents to other religions trust in God. Why do you think you're special?"

          Why is Christianity special in comparison to other religions? Good question. All "religions" can be lumped into one of two groups. The first group would include EVERYTHING EXCEPT Christianity. Those religions say you must do things in order to appease god or earn your way to heaven. The other group — Christianity alone — says you can't do anything to earn your way to Heaven. The work has already been done for you on the cross. So how much charity work you do, how much money you give, no matter how many times you go to church or walk old ladies across the street, none of that will get you into Heaven. Jesus Christ — God himself — took the punishment for our sins on the cross then defeated death when He rose from the grave 3 days later. Because He paid our fine, we can walk free on Judgment Day. Pretty cool, huh? All you have to "do" is repent and have faith.

          Also, I'd like to add this distinction. Christianity is the only one that offers an answer to the sin problem, No others do. If you believe you should be punished for breaking moral laws and conclude you've done that, you've got a problem. You deserve Hell. And as we've established, you can't DO anything to make up for it. Only Christianity gives you a way out.

          October 14, 2013 at 11:00 am |
        • ME II

          @Lawrence of Arabia,
          What are you talking about? There are swweet red peppers.

          What tests?
          "He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion."

          We know that this is incorrect, because successful preachers of all stipes are constantly getting caught in their transgressions and hypocracies. And, I would guess that by sheer statisical probablity many that transgress are also not caught.

          "Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son"

          How is this a test? How exactly does one tell whether they, or someone else, "abides" in the teaching of Christ or not? What does that even mean, specifically?

          A va.gue test is worse than no test because it leads to false conclusions.

          October 14, 2013 at 11:01 am |
        • ME II

          "If you believe you should be punished for breaking moral laws and conclude you've done that, you've got a problem. You deserve Hell."

          1) The best that one can do is to attempt resti.tution.
          2) No one deserves Hell. No one deserves eternal punishment for a finite crime, that seems immoral if anything is.

          October 14, 2013 at 11:08 am |
        • Madtown

          All "religions" can be lumped into one of two groups.
          You're getting into some specifics, I'm just looking to make a big-picture statement. Specifically, if God intended all of humanity to follow a specific method of thinking/acting(religion), then he'd naturally have to provide a way for all his creations to have access to it. This is where it all breaks down. You won't admit this, because you give ultimate authority to the bible. I say the bible cannot be authority for ANYONE, until EVERYONE has access to it. This is not the case, whether you'll admit it or not. Religion remains a creation of man. It could be the case that there is really only 1 God, each religion thinks of the same God, but the specifics and details that have developed within each religion over time have diverged.

          October 14, 2013 at 11:08 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Try this video... Paul Washer is a dear sweet and softspoken man, and you'd never expect him to be a preacher like this. I had the pleasure to meet him once during a revival in North Georgia, it wasn't this particular sermon, but he teaches that we need to examine ourselves, and he shows you how...


          October 14, 2013 at 11:10 am |
        • tallulah13

          This begs the question: would Larry or Topher be christians if they didn't have that Get-Out-Of-Death-Free promise?

          October 14, 2013 at 11:13 am |
        • ME II

          @Lawrence of Arabia,
          Videos aren't working for me presently.

          October 14, 2013 at 11:14 am |
        • Topher

          ME II

          "1) The best that one can do is to attempt resti.tution."

          You can't accomplish it, though. You're already tarnished. The Bible says all our good works are like filthy menstrual cloths. Disgusting. Look at it like this. Would you accept a gift from Hitler? I'd hope not. You wouldn't want to be associated with someone like that. And no matter how nice the gift, it's still from Hitler.

          "2) No one deserves Hell. No one deserves eternal punishment for a finite crime, that seems immoral if anything is."

          How can the crime be finite if the crime is against an infinite being? So yes, we do all deserve Hell. The Bible says there are NONE who are good. No, not one.

          October 14, 2013 at 11:15 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          If you need to examine yourself, You should study the Buddha....most of what Christ allegedly said came from the Buddha 400 years prior. If you want a better understanding of the christ character, study the Buddha.

          October 14, 2013 at 11:17 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          10-4, I'll try to write this out, we'll see if it posts...

          1)If you’re a Christian, then you like being with other Christians. (1 John 1:7)
          2)If you’re a Christian, then you will reco.gnize to the very core of your being, that you have a vile, dis.eased, wr.etched, des.picable, ab.ominable, ut.terly sinful heart. (1 John 1:8)
          3)If you’re a Christian, then His commandments are not burdensome to you, and you will strive to obey His commandments. (1 John 2:3)
          4)If you’re a Christian, then you will not love this world and all of the evil that it offers you (1 John 2:15)
          5)If you’re a Christian, then you will know Jesus, and confess Him before others. That means, you understand and believe the true nature of Christ as revealed in Scripture – that He is God in the flesh, the 2nd part of the Trinity, co.existing and co.eternal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. If you do not have that understanding of Jesus, then you are not saved. (1 John 2:23)
          6)If you’re a Christian, then you anticipate seeing God, not because you are tired, but because of who God is, and what He has done for you. (1 John 3:2)
          7)If you’re a Christian, then you will not practice a sinful lifestyle. That is not to say that a Christian will never sin, but you will not willingly run to sin – you do not have a lifestyle of constant sinning with no repentance. (1 John 3:8-9)
          8)If you’re a Christian, then not only do you like to fellowship with other believers, but you love them. (1 John 3:14)
          9)If you’re a Christian, then you will love the teaching and preaching of the Word of God. (1 John 4:6)
          10)If you are a Christian, then you will proclaim Jesus Christ to others. (1 John 4:15)

          October 14, 2013 at 11:20 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          I have made a study of a LOT of religions, including Buddhism... It fell into the ridiculous category when I read that the goal is to rid yourself of all desires... But you have to have the desire to rid yourself of desires if you are to rid yourself of desires... It kindof falls apart after that...

          October 14, 2013 at 11:22 am |
        • tallulah13

          Hey Topher, nice to know you find the natural emissions of the reproductive cycle to be disgusting and compare them to Hitler. I bet women really freak you out.

          October 14, 2013 at 11:25 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          So what you are saying is that ONE part of what he taught is invalid, so throw it out? Then you need to throw out all religions, since none of them make sense.

          Still 90% of what the Buddha taught is what your Christ character taught. Non-violence, service to community, fix self before criticizing others....etc.etc.etc.etc on and on. It is obvious that either Christ was a Buddhist, or the people who created the character Christ, incorporated much of the Buddhas teachings.

          October 14, 2013 at 11:31 am |
        • Topher


          Umm ... what?

          October 14, 2013 at 11:32 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          I might be dating myself here, but I'm reminded of an old movie called "Enemy Mine." Pretty good little flick... Anyway, there's a scene where the alien is quoting from his religious text, and the human says, "Hey, I've heard all that before" (referring to the Bible) and then the alien says, "Of course you have, because truth is truth..."

          OK, here's what I mean by that analogy the Buddah may have had a grasp on some of the moral components that God would have His people live under, since they were taught from the beginning of man, but because he failed to recognize the source of all morality, and repent of his sins to Him, he failed the test for proper theology.

          October 14, 2013 at 11:35 am |
        • Topher


          "Specifically, if God intended all of humanity to follow a specific method of thinking/acting(religion), then he'd naturally have to provide a way for all his creations to have access to it."

          God gave us the Creation and conscience so that we are without excuse. We ALL have both those things.

          "You won't admit this, because you give ultimate authority to the bible."

          Sure, the Bible is authority. It certainly reveals God to us. But I don't have to have read it to know God exists. See above.

          October 14, 2013 at 11:36 am |
        • tallulah13

          Short term memory loss, Topher? Scroll up and read your own post from 11:15. Sheesh.

          Also, I'm still curious if you and Larry would still be christians without the whole promise of eternal life.

          October 14, 2013 at 11:38 am |
        • ME II

          A) You seem to think that what "the Bible says" actually carries weight. It does not.

          B) I said the best that one can do, not that it would always be sufficient. Some things are not repairable.

          "How can the crime be finite if the crime is against an infinite being?"

          1) What infinite being? You assume there is one.

          2) Even if there was an infinite being, the duration of a crime is not dependent on the duration of the one offended, else infanticide would be a misdemeanor and abortion wouldn't be an issue even for Christians.

          3) Even if the duration of the crime were dependent on the duration of the offended, it would still be necessary to be a continuous offense, e.g. continued "rejection", otherwise the offense is simply the duration of the offense. In other words, once the offense stops then the crime stops, i.e. finite.
          Hell offers no reprieve for change of heart/mind.

          October 14, 2013 at 11:40 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Yeah, it's the whole "testing" business that makes god an azzhole. If he is going to test us, his will should be easily understood and crystal clear. All this fighting over difference of opinion over what god might want proves that god doesn't give a ripe fvck whoever thinks whatever about what he wants. With math and chemistry, you testable knowledge goes hand in hand with observable discovery; if you get it wrong, it won't work–or, at least, it always provides the same drastic results. But wow, with god, anybody can believe anything, and there's no firm measuring stick to objectively determine whose opinion is right or wrong or closer or further away from "the truth."

          October 14, 2013 at 11:41 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Given what I have studied about God and His nature over the last 24 years of my life, I will agree with Job that even if the will of God for my eternity would be the flames of judgment, "Yet though He slay me, I will ever praise Him."

          My eternity DOES matter to me, but the ultimate goal in life is the glory of God, and if my destruction would glorify God MORE than my salvation would, then so be it. Only God is deserving of praise, and I will that in whatever capacity that He may choose.

          October 14, 2013 at 11:44 am |
        • ME II

          @Lawrence of Arabia
          10 points. Thanks for posting them.

          I see nothing in there that is not self-verified. If one admits that they can be deceived, even by themselves, then how can one ever be certain of their own "Christianity", if the tests are only verifiable by a deceivable self?

          October 14, 2013 at 11:49 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          I would agree with Lawrence of A, but I would my acceptance goes out to the ever-changing, multi-dimensional geometric structure that is all of existence....of which our universe is a flicker, of which the age of the stars is a flicker, of which the milky way and the Orion Spur is a flicker, of which you and I are a flicker.

          I could never believe in such a small and silly little brat as the god of the bible.

          October 14, 2013 at 11:50 am |
        • Madtown

          God gave us the Creation and conscience so that we are without excuse. We ALL have both those things.
          Well alright then! I kind of agree with this. But, I wonder if you're bright enough to realize that with this statement, you render the bible and christianity irrelevant and unnecesary? If God has "written his laws on ALL our hearts", as you've said before, but God has NOT provided a means for all of us to know of christianity, then it simply follows that God doesn't deem christianity necessary for us. Case closed.

          October 14, 2013 at 11:52 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Self-verified, true enough, as John intended this to be a self-examination... But John tells us that if we claim to be a Christian, but our style of life reflects nothing of God's character as revealed in scripture, then we are a liar. Our character can be outwardly verified by those who are closest to us, wives, children, etc... But I think that after an honest introspection after reading 1 John, even the hypocrite will be able to recognize himself as a hypocrite.

          October 14, 2013 at 11:56 am |
        • Richard Cranium

          Buddha taught that there are gods or not, what we do or do not will not change that.
          He believed what he did did not matter to whatever god there might be or not, as long as you did well by yourself and others.

          Odd though that so much of what the Buddha taught, also came out of your Christ's mouth (allegedly). Why didn't your Jesus give credit for so much of what Jesus allegedly taught. If he was so enlightened, why not give credit where credit is due.

          Most likely reason ( and the likely reality). the men who wrote the bible and created incorporatedmany stories and teaching to more match what was being shared among the people. What better way to organize and control the people, but to take some of what they already agree with and add to it.

          You must understand, I know the bible is not the word or work of any god or gods, I see the stories it was based on, and where much of the things in it came from, so I am working from the standpoint that it was created as a means to control more consistantly the people who would then be "taught" it.
          The bible is part of the biggest scam ever created...I know no god would be so wrong in so many places as the stories of the bible are. It was clearly written by ignorant men, and it shows. Any god would have known better.

          October 14, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
        • OKfine

          LofA You may have just as well have quoted Ghandi. "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." Seems to fit you and Topher to a Tee.

          October 14, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
        • Rett

          ME II, I john says "these things I have written to you that belive on the Son of God, that you might KNOW that you have eternal life"....so yes, assurance of salvation is possible, even expected....however it is not something to boast about because it is true that no beliver is worthy of what has been bestowed on him. As Mark Twain said, "if heaven was gained by merit your dog would get in before you." No human righteousness is good enough to grace the gates of heaven.

          October 14, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
        • ME II

          @Lawrence of Arabia,
          "But John tells us that if we claim to be a Christian, but our style of life reflects nothing of God's character as revealed in scripture, then we are a liar."

          At best this is a negative test and doesn't prevent a false positive, i.e. those who have "a style of life" in chararacter, but are not truly repenetant, etc., for whatever reason.

          "But I think that after an honest introspection after reading 1 John, even the hypocrite will be able to recognize himself as a hypocrite."

          Really? I'd suggest that you are either unaware of the full nature of self-deception or you are deceived. Those truly deceived honestly believe that they are not deceived.

          Do you not suggest this very scenario for the unbeliever?

          October 14, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
        • ME II

          Keep reading. It appears to me that the "these things" are those that follow.

          "...if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him."

          Ask and ye shall receive, otherwise, you are not asking "according to his will", in which case, are you really "with" God?

          "18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them."

          Do you continue to sin?

          October 14, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Careful ME II you're on the verge of making a case for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

          October 14, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
        • ME II

          @Bill Deacon,
          lol, thanks for the warning.

          I'm not arguing for the need to be cleansed of sin, which I don't think exists, but against a lack of verification of spiritual status, or achievement. If, as John seems to be saying, those saved will sin no more, then everyone should be able to spot the saved. However, that does not seem to be the case.

          October 14, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          I'm curious... How have I shown myself to NOT be Christ-like?

          October 14, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
        • tallulah13

          I don't think you understood my question, Larry. What if there were no heaven? No heaven, no hell, no afterlife at all. Would you still be a christian?

          October 14, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          OK, I'll try to paraphrase a bit...

          If you're saved, you'll live like it.

          After all, that's what "belief" is. It isn't just a statement of understanding and knowledge, because even the demons believe in God, we're told, but they are not saved. So what's the difference in belief between a demon (whose belief can be argued to be the MOST orthodox) and a man who believes? Lifestyle...

          James says that our belief is evident in how we live. If we live for Christ, love Christ, and desire to give glory to Christ, then we have assurance of salvation.

          It's like this, if you truly live for Christ, you cannot be deceived. If you are deceived, you cannot live for Christ.
          Salvation is not in words only, but is evidenced through what we do. If we proclaim to belong to Jesus, then walk out the door and deny Him by our lifestyle, then we are liars.

          October 14, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
        • OKfine

          Hey BD, Topher doesn't even believe you are a Christian and most certainly does not accept your sacraments, catechism, dogma, etc. as being anything other than BS. Have got to agree with Topher at least once, for example a virgin woman that had at least two children and when the kids look like the local goat herder, well you know!

          October 14, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "What if there were no heaven? No heaven, no hell, no afterlife at all. Would you still be a christian?"

          I think the real question to ask is if they knew there was njo heaven, no God, no afterlife, would they give up their morality? Would they refuse to recognize the responsibility they still have to their fellow humans? Or might they join the enlightened and realize that leading good moral lives in order to promote the human race is its own reward?

          October 14, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          You didn't ask me Tallulah (perhaps on purpose) but I'd like to answer. I would still be a Christian and in fact I am a Christian regardless of the outcome after life. I don't subscribe to the old saw that I am only in it out of fear of death. I don't fear death. What I fear is life without truth and for me, the truth is that Jesus came to show us the way out of our sin, or as he put it he came to BE the way out of our sin. So, whether I reap eternal bliss or torment is of no consequence. The world still needs Christ and as our friend madtown likes to point out, there are still great numbers of people who have not heard the good news. That being, there is a Way, there is the Truth and there is a Life. Do I still sin? Of course. Has my sin subsided as my faith has grown? I pray that it be found so. Will I cease to sin forever at some point? No doubt, when at last I am in eternal communion with my Savior.

          October 14, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
        • OKfine

          LofA, pompous, arrogant, know it all, that has abandoned logic and reason for a myth, hardly the humble man that the Christ myth represents. Have you not claimed to be a fallen person that has sinned; not Christ like at all unless you include those youthful trysts with Simon, boys will be boys.

          October 14, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          The question is somewhat moot because those things do exist, but, as I said before, yes...
          It is evident that God exists (Romans 1:18-32), and, having made it my own life's goal of finding out who that God is, having studied many religions, it has become well evident to me that the God of the Bible is the one, true God. Knowing the nature of God through His written word, and understanding how worthy of praise that He truly is, I would serve Him for no other reason than to give Him glory.

          The whole purpose of salvation is to accrue to the glory of God: In the counsels of eternity past, before creation, the Father proclaimed His love for the Son, and desired to express that love by giving Him a gift; that gift was in the form of a redeemed humanity – love often shows itself in gifts, and divine love gives divinely, and without limits. The Father, in an expression of His love for His Son, determined that He would create a world, and that He would allow that world to fall into sin, and that He would recover from it a redeemed humanity that He would then give to His Son as a bride to Him so that this redeemed humanity could forever and ever, for all eternity glorify His Son. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:24 that when the end comes, and all who will be redeemed by God have been redeemed, The Son will then take that redeemed humanity and Himself and turn over that gift back to God in a reciprocal act of love. (John 17)

          October 14, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
        • Lawrence of Aruba

          It's like this, if you truly live for Christ, you cannot be very smart. If you are very smart, you cannot live for Christ.
          Extortion is not in words only, but is hustled through what we fear doing. If we proclaim to belong to Jesus, then don't walk out the classroom door and deny your education by your religious lifestyle, then we are liars.

          October 14, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          I knew it was just a matter of time before someone stole my name...
          Way to show maturity.
          By the way, do you realize that by using my name, you are associating yourself alongside a follower of Christ?

          October 14, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          ME II maybe a fine point but one I overlooked in your earlier comment. In the past the Sacrament was called "confession" and the emphasis developed that it was about "cleansing sin" as you put. This was distortion of the purpose placing too much stock on the penitent's need to confess, which is of course, Biblical. The Sacrament is now more properly identified as "reconciliation" and the emphasis is placed, more properly on the grace of God by which sinners are brought into fellowship with God. The mechanics are the same but the nuance is critical. I am not cleansed of my sin by the act of confession so much as I enter a state of grace, by His mercy, which I prepare myself for by an examination of conscience, a contrite heart, a confession of sin and repentance with a firm resolve to sin no more. The faithful practice of the Sacrament, like all Sacraments, provides a visible means to experience the grace of God. This is what I mean when I make the argument from time to time that one cannot know God unless one obeys His precepts. Confession is a precept. Since you don't believe in sin, or don't believe you sin or whatever, you find no need to confess and therefore you never encounter God in the Sacrament. The you stand outside the Church and demand someone prove Him to you. It's kind of funny, really.

          October 14, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          To Lawrence of ARUBA,
          What is it about the freedom of speach in this country that you hate so much that you would rather ridicule those whom you disagree with rather than reason with them?

          October 14, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          'Suppose that the whole horizon, as far as you can see from this mountain, were a sea of fire; if we cast into it a bit of oakum, it will disappear in an instant. So, when you have committed a fault, humble yourself before God, and cast your fault into the infinite ocean of charity, and at once it will be effaced from your soul; at the same time all distrust will disappear.'

          St. Paul of the Cross

          October 14, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
        • tallulah13

          So basically, Larry, what you are saying is no, you would not be a christian if there were no heaven or afterlife.

          October 14, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          No, that's exactly opposite of what I said...
          I would follow Christ REGARDLESS of my outcome.

          October 14, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
        • OKfine

          BD. The horror, the horror of being you the fallen whose sins are numerous but you can go to your temple/church, mumble over your beads, confess, kiss some clergy butt and maybe throw a few bucks in the pot to get you forgiven until next week and start over. By sins I refer only to those that are defined by your silly beliefs not those against your fellow humans or the laws that lead to an orderly society.

          October 14, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
        • tallulah13

          No, you said the point was moot because those things exist. Any answer after that was colored by the fact that you expect a reward.

          October 14, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          'Only those who have reached the extremes of virtue or of evil are not judged by their consciences.'

          St. Thalassios the Libyan

          October 14, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
        • tallulah13

          Mea culpa, Larry. You claim you would believe despite the outcome. But you still can't separate your "service" from your expectation of reward, so I doubt you even honestly considered the question.

          October 14, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Then believe what you will about me. What you think of me is none of my business.

          October 14, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
        • Lawrence of Aruba

          "What is it about the freedom of speach in this country that you hate so much that you would rather ridicule those whom you disagree with rather than reason with them?

          So you don't consider claiming that anyone who doesn't believe in your Christ is "decieved" as ridicule? And when someone turns around and refutes your premise that person is now the ridiculer? Lawrence, you are the one being decieved and I was merely pointing out how those of small minds and small education tend to be decieved easily.

          October 14, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
        • tallulah13

          Larry, I ask because I have met few christians who would honestly answer that question. Most, like you, refuse to even conceive christianity without the reward of heaven. To me, that indicates that the philosophy of your faith is secondary to the prize you hope to win.

          October 14, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
        • OKfine

          "Then believe what you will of me." Except your goofy god says if I do not believe in HIM, I will be tortured for eternity. So what the hell is going on with your thinking; what I think about your Jesus is your business, why?

          October 14, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          L of Aruba,
          "Lawrence, you are the one being decieved and I was merely pointing out how those of small minds and small education tend to be decieved easily."

          It is postmodern thinking that has made it almost a crime to tell someone that they are wrong about anything. It seems that only in math class are we allowed to tell someone they're wrong anymore. So, no, telling someone that they are wrong isn't ridicule. Actually, it is one of the most loving things that someone can do.

          Telling someone that they are deceived because you think they are stupid and have no education however, is nothing but ridicule. You have no idea who I am, what degrees I hold, what areas those degrees happen to be in, in what capacity I have served, nor where I have served. Not that this discussion is about me, but if you wish to avoid looking like someone who is merely out to throw stones, then at least have some idea about who it is that you are speaking to, and what it is that you wish to discuss, only then can you discuss the merits of its validity.

          October 14, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          If you follow the teachings of the Bible and worship Jesus, then for all eternity you will bring glory to God for His mercy. If you reject the teachings of the Bible and do not worship Jesus, then for all eternity you will bring glory to God for His justice. My duty is to present the gospel as ordered by Jesus, and passed down through His word. Your duty is to obey the desires of your will.

          October 14, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
        • Lawrence of Aruba

          "You have no idea who I am, what degrees I hold, what areas those degrees happen to be in, in what capacity I have served, nor where I have served."

          I don't have to know you to understand that you believe in spirit beings and invisible creatures based on word of mouth and nothing else and you call it faith and believe it to be revered. I believe the exact opposite, that faith should be thrown under the bus of human advancement as faith contributes nothing but contention and bickering about unproveable things. If you don't have any empirical evidence of your God then please go practice it in the privacy of your own home and keep it away from my children.

          October 14, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
        • OKfine

          Your duty might be to spout eternal bullsh!t about your beliefs and I a$$ume your deluded mind will never allow you to stop the practice, good for you. Although not a duty, I like to point out to you and your ilk that you longer have free rein to brainwash others into your sects and rip them off, taking advantage of those you suck into your scams should get some sort of punishment.

          October 14, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
        • ME II

          @Lawrence of Arabia
          "It's like this, if you truly live for Christ, you cannot be deceived. If you are deceived, you cannot live for Christ."

          But if you are deceived into thinking you "truly live for Christ" when you do not, are you saved? How would you tell?

          October 14, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "But if you are deceived into thinking you "truly live for Christ" when you do not, are you saved? How would you tell?"

          We all fall into sin, but to the one who sins and then wonders if he is truly saved, he needs to look to the life that he lives... If we were to film every detail of a person's life 24 hours a day for a whole year, would we see a style of life that desired to know God’s commandments, desired to obey them, was growing in victory in obedience, and a sincere brokenness when they didn’t obey?

          Do they tremble at God’s Word? When was the last time that they were so broken over their sins that they wept before God in prayer and repentance?

          If THAT is reflective of their life, then regardless of how they see their salvation, they are saved.

          Isaiah 66:2 – ...“But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.

          October 14, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          I think you are making a straw man Tallulah. Most of the Christians I know aren't so much focused on their eternal rewards, although that is part of it. Most are simply in love with Jesus and enjoy the life He has given them.

          October 14, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          I heard an analogy one time...
          Imagine a father and son walking in the snow. The son is just a little boy, and his father is a great big man – the son's one desire as a little boy is to be just like his father, and as he is following his father in the snow, he strives to walk in his father's large footsteps. He will falter and he will fall down, but his desire is still to be like his father and walk in his steps...
          That describes the Christian life.

          October 14, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
        • ME II

          @Bill Deacon,
          "...you stand outside the Church and demand someone prove Him to you. It's kind of funny, really."

          Actually, what I'm asking is how do you know that you are "saved"? Not how do I know? (although you may not agree with the knowing aspect, I'm not sure.)

          Basically, what it seems to boil down to is that, according to some, a Christian "knows" they are saved because they think that they are "living with God" or "faithful practice of the Sacrament" or whatever.
          My question is how exactly, if one can deceive oneself, can one "know" they are "living with God" or faithfully practicing or whatever, and therefore how can one "know" they are saved?

          If it is "faith" then that's fine, but don't claim to "know" when it is actually that you have "faith" that you are saved.

          October 14, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
        • ME II

          @Lawrence of Arabia,
          Oh, how I tire of parent / child analogies... God would be a horrible parent, in my opinion.

          So, based on your analogy, it is the desire and effort to "follow God" that makes one a Christian, correct? But how does one "know" that they haven't wandered off on the wrong set of footprints? There are many footprints in the snow, i.e. denominations of Christianity (unless you are claiming to "know" the one true denomination).

          October 14, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
        • tallulah13

          No Bill. I am drawing from the comments I have read here. I have asked the same question multiple times, and only once has a christian told me he would believe if there were no promise of an after life. The others who actually answered refused to separate the faith from the reward, exactly as Larry did. Often there are comments about how atheists will discover how we are wrong after we die. Again, the promised reward or punishment is called into play.

          In fact, this is how this very thread started:


          If I belonged to a "DO" religion and didn't DO what I was supposed to to get to that religion's god, I can see how people would reject it.

          Lawrence of Arabia

          And even if they "do" like they are supposed to, there's no guarentee that their god will accept them. Only if they die as a martyr are they guarenteed entrance... Hmmm, that could explain some of the things that happen within the "religion of peace."
          October 14, 2013 at 9:48 am | Report abuse | Reply


          Exactly. What a burden it would be to not have assurance."

          So how am I "making a straw man" again?

          October 14, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          This is why I entered this discussion. Because I think we can see a distinction between Catholics and Protestants. Catholics would say we hold to the promise of salvation, by faith through the grace of Christ's saving passion. Though I am indelibly marked as one of Christ's own, I've always been a little uncomfortable with the idea that I held an iron clad contract. It is only through His eternal and perpetual resurrection that I have that hope. This is probably why Catholics sometimes have been mis-named as works based. Our salvation is not works based but our lives will be judged based on our works. We are assured that only a deliberate and unrepentant mortal sin will keep us from the purification and sanctification which is required to enter the presence of God Almighty, but that is by His mercy and our cooperation with it, not because we made one decision which is some binds God to a contract. Dietrich Bonhoeffer and some others talk about this dynamic in a book called "The Cost of Discipleship" and different treatises on cheap grace.

          October 14, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
        • tallulah13

          But would you still hold your faith if there was no heaven or hell or any type of afterlife? That is my question, the question that only a single christian answered with an unambiguous yes.

          October 14, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • Colin

      Let's face it, Islam is every bit as childish and silly as the Judeo-Christian beliefs that gave rise to it, just with different rituals.

      October 14, 2013 at 9:50 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        Only to a minority of people in the world. Not that majority rules or anything like that, but rather it's those who haven't studied theology in general, and Christianity specifically who feel that its silly.

        October 14, 2013 at 9:58 am |
        • Alias


          October 14, 2013 at 10:26 am |
        • Joey

          Sorry Lawrence but I think that anybody who actually believes that they will live forever after they die if they just believe in Jesus is fairly silly.

          October 14, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Walter

      You should probably ask that question to @Universe who posted above.

      I guess you are right, there is no guarantee you will go to heaven for a Muslim.

      Even if you perform all the rituals there is no assurance of heaven. All your life you live with that doubt.

      October 14, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • Walter

      If you understand their theology, Salvation for them is purely " works" based and ultimately as they say is at Allah's discretion.

      October 14, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • Alias

      Are you sure you don't belong to a 'do' religion?
      And there is no guarantee that you will be judged the way you want to believe you will.

      October 14, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • ?

      Only Christianity gives you a way out. Yes the cowards way out letting some mythical idea take your punishment for you, quite ridiculous.

      October 14, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • sam stone

      awww, gopher......you are assured that god is going to forgive you your bread crumb sins

      how nice


      October 14, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • OKfine

      Cute little rant about your supposed god. In round ball terms your god seems short on competence if he was to save humanity, 2 out of 7 free shots, leaving about 5 billion bits of humanity HE could not convince, pretty pathetic.

      October 14, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • OKfine

      Cute little rant about your supposed god. In round ball terms your god is short on competence if he was trying to save humanity, 2 out of 7 free shots, leaving about 5 billion bits of humanity HE could not convince, pretty pathetic.

      October 14, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        Unless of course God's intent was to leave a certain amount of people unsaved...

        “Holy Scripture most especially highlights this eternal and undeserved grace of our election and brings it out more clearly for us, in that it further bears witness that not all people have been chosen but that some have not been chosen or have been passed by in God's eternal election– those, that is, concerning whom God, on the basis of His entirely free, most just, irreproachable, and unchangeable good pleasure, made the following decision: to leave them in the common misery into which, by their own fault, they have plunged themselves; not to grant them saving faith and the grace of conversion; but finally to condemn and eternally punish them (having been left in their own ways and under his just judgment), not only for their unbelief but also for all their other sins, in order to display His justice. And this is the decision of reprobation, which does not at all make God the author of sin, but rather its fearful, irreproachable, just judge and avenger.”

        Canons of Dordrecht, First Head (Chapter 1) Article 15

        October 14, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
        • OKfine

          of A. BS and that equates with an all loving god, how exactly? As sam would say, who could believe in such a murdering vindictive pr!ck of a god, no one but a christian.

          October 14, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          That's because you have a man-centered view of what a "loving God" looks like.
          You believe that a loving God would not send a man to hell because he doesn't deserve hell.
          The Bible tells us that God should not send men to heaven because they all deserve hell.
          God is loving in that He chose some that He would save from hell for no other reason than He chose to love them.

          October 14, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
        • OKfine

          So your loving god is a bigot, got it, that probably makes you one too.

          October 14, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          It must take a lot of energy to maintain your level of hatred.

          October 14, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
      • OKfine

        No, not really you Christian apologists throw that word "hatred" out so easily and yet Christians are the largest group of bigots of all, alright, Islam, second largest. I could not possibly spend my time hating anyone, but ridiculing a silly religious concept, I am good with that.

        October 14, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      A "DO" religion. You do have to believe and you do have to repent. Some Christians say no, God does this all for you, but then it appears God does for some and not others.

      October 14, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
  18. Colin

    Can anybody name a Muslim majority country where non-Muslims have equal rights with Muslims and women have equal rights with men?

    October 14, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • ME II


      October 14, 2013 at 10:07 am |
      • ljethrogibbs46

        Except that PM Erdogan will soon try to change all that.

        October 14, 2013 at 11:57 am |
  19. The award goes to...

    #7, he got the best seat of them all!

    October 14, 2013 at 9:04 am |
  20. what is Hajj?

    To the author of this report-Why did you not include what the Hajj is all about? We have to do our own research???

    The Hajj is associated with the life of the Islamic Prophet from the 7th century, but the ritual of pilgrimage to Mecca is considered by Muslims to stretch back thousands of years to the time of Abraham (Ibrahim). Pilgrims join processions of hundreds of thousands of people, who simultaneously converge on Mecca for the week of the Hajj, and perform a series of rituals: Each person walks counter-clockwise seven times around the Ka'aba, the cube-shaped building which acts as the Muslim direction of prayer, runs back and forth between the hills of Al-Safa and Al-Marwah, drinks from the Zamzam Well, goes to the plains of Mount Arafat to stand in vigil, and throws stones in a ritual Stoning of the Devil. The pilgrims then shave their heads, perform a ritual of animal sacrifice, and celebrate the three day global festival of Eid al-Adha.[6][7][8]-Wikipedia

    October 14, 2013 at 8:56 am |
    • ljethrogibbs46

      In her book, "In the Land of Invisible Women", Dr. Qanta Ahmad gives a compelling account of her journey to Mecca for the Hajj. Many fascinating details on the pilgrims, transport, lodging, & her visit to the Kaaba. Well worth reading.

      October 14, 2013 at 12:34 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.