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October 16th, 2013
11:38 AM ET

In Syria, Muslims struggle to celebrate holy day

By Saad Abedine. Hala Gorani and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

(CNN) - Muslims throughout the world have been marking Eid al-Adha, but in war-torn Syria there is nothing to celebrate. Most people are struggling to meet the most basic of needs: food, water, and shelter.

Their plight has been highlighted by Arabic media reports which cite a fatwa, or religious ruling, by a local imam which allowed people who are desperately hungry to eat dogs and cats.

Eating dog, cat or donkey is forbidden under Islamic dietary laws.

The imam in the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in the capital, Damascus, reportedly said at a mosque Friday that dog, cat and donkey meat could be eaten "after reaching a desperate need and the stores of food were inadequate to feed the population under the siege."

Yarmouk has been besieged for months by Syrian government forces seeking to flush out rebel fighters.

During the Eid al-Adha holiday, considered one of Islam's most revered observances, many Muslims around the world sacrifice a sheep and share the meat with the poor. It corresponds with the height of the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia that annually draws 2 million Muslims.

Outside Syrian, Muslims held more plentiful Eid al-Adha celebrations.

MORE ON CNN: Photos: Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha

FULL STORY
- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Eid al-Adha • Faith • Food • Holidays • Islam • Islamic law • Islamic law • Middle East • Muslim • Syria • Traditions

soundoff (233 Responses)
  1. Phelix Unger

    Jesus did it

    October 17, 2013 at 12:17 am |
  2. mayhem4u

    LET THEM EAT PORK!!!!!!!

    IT IS THE WILL OF ALLAH!!! THE PROFIT MUHAMMAD WEARS WOMEN'S CLOTHING AND CONSORTS WITH GOATS & DONKEYS!!

    October 16, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
  3. Reality # 2

    Only for the new visitors to this blog:

    AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD

    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 "tinker bell" 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 16, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
  4. bluemarine

    I just read an article that was written more than 50 years ago about the problems of Syria it could of been written today.

    October 16, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
  5. Lionly Lamb

    Cannabis Cures Cancers

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=90fQss8OL9Q

    October 16, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
  6. Topher

    Hey Lawrence, you catching any of the Strange Fire conference?

    October 16, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      Unfortunately, no, I've had too much work to do, I WILL be getting the book though! I'm sure it's going to be very similar to "Charismatic Chaos."

      October 17, 2013 at 7:45 am |
  7. ME II

    I'm guessing that there aren't many around but what about pigs? Dogs, cats, donkeys, but no pigs?

    I mean really ... BACON! ... come on.

    October 16, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Kim

      There are a lot of good reasons not to eat bacon. The cholesterol, the fat, the fact that it had a face once...

      October 16, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • Juliett1313

      Another Muslim atrocity, they will eat their pets but not a pig. Ya know, If they would learn about population control and stop breeding like rabbits when they know they can't afford more kids it might help the problem.

      October 16, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
  8. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    I like Islam (religion of peace)... right before they shoot at you or set off their IED vests they yell 'Allah Ak'bar!' Makes it much easier to know who to empty your magazine into...

    October 16, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
  9. Colin

    So, this is a beauty. I am currently flying from NEw York to Chicago and the woman beside me asked me to staop making atheist comments online as she is worried that God might bring the plane down (we just hit some turbulance and that set her off). I refused and she has gone to complain to the stewartess!!

    I will have to explain that an all powerful God could smite me at any time and need not wait until I am vulnerable at 30,000 feet and that he could easily give me a heart attack and avoid the "friendly fire" of bringing the whole plane down.

    Ya gotta love Christians and their superst.itious ways.....

    October 16, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Colin

      Must go, as we will soon be dropping below 10,000 feet (and not in a screaming, burning panic as some would have believed).

      October 16, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
      • Sara

        Report back what the flight attendant did...unless it makes the 5:00 news as any actual action likely would.

        October 16, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
        • Colin

          Actually, I ended up truning it off voluntarilly. I was genuinely frightening the poor thing.

          October 16, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • Maddy

      What kind of nosy dolt were you sitting next to, anyway?

      October 16, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
      • OKfine

        A Christian, enough said, minding everybody else's business.

        October 16, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • Go cardinals!

      Wait a sec... You were using your mobile device with Internet on a plane?!?! TSA would be happy about this 😀

      October 16, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
      • Colin

        Laptop with WiFi. Most domestic flights have the mnow.

        October 16, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
  10. Colin

    Lawrence of Arabia, what is your understanding of the whole bethula/almah/pathenos translation issue? Do you agree that the authors of MAtthew and Luke scre.wed it up when they made up the whole virgin birth story based on the erroneous translation i nthe Septuagint?

    October 16, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      You're saying that Matthew and Luke were written FROM the Septuagint? That's your problem right there...

      October 16, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • Colin

      As I don't have a Bible with me, can u pls explain how MAtthew 1:25 hepls

      October 16, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        "...but he kept her a vi.rgin until she gave birth to a Son, and he called His name Jesus..."

        October 16, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
        • Colin

          Sorry, LoA, I might be missing a subtlty. Are you saying Josph drilled her or not?

          October 16, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Colin,
          That would be a no... Until after Jesus was born... After all, Jesus had several half-brothers. One of which, James, wrote a book in the Canon.

          October 16, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
  11. Colin

    Topher, two quick Qs

    1. which of the following beings do you and do you not believe in:

    The Judeo-Christian god
    Jesus – in the sense of still around
    The Holy Spirit
    Angel Gabriel
    Other Angels
    Arcangels
    Saints
    Satan
    Other demons

    2. Are there any other post mortem beings you believe in?

    October 16, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      How is a saint post mortem? Topher IS a saint, according to the actual definition.

      October 16, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
      • ?

        Really LofA
        I am sure there is some minimum IQ level that is required to become a saint that Topher could never achieve no matter how hard he prayed.

        October 16, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Topher

      You might add the Trinity to that list.

      October 16, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Not Topher

      I'm not Topher but I'm going to answer for him. I for one believe in categories most people haven't even heard of and your Topher list looks pretty standard issue.

      Always remember If you did what they told you to do in school, listened to your mom and followed the right way of thinking and your life turns out boring as a result it's your own fault.

      October 16, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      How about satyrs as described in Isaiah 13:21 and 34:14?
      If the Bible says that half man, half goat beasts are real then it must be so!
      Cherbum?
      Seraphim?
      7 headed dragons that spew water and snack on pregnant women?

      October 16, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        "How about satyrs as described in Isaiah 13:21 and 34:14?"

        Satyrs
        In Isaiah 13:21 and 34:14, the KJV and RSV translate the Hebrew sa`iyr as “satyr.” The Hebrew word is translated 55 times in the KJV as “he-goat” or “hairy.” However, the word was also thought to imply demon-worship associated with goats, and so we find the word translated “devil” twice and “satyr” in the aforementioned verses. However, based on the context of each passage in Isaiah, it is almost certain that wild goats are intended by the Hebrew sa`iyr, not the goat-man creature of legend, and certainly not the faun of classical myth.

        "Cherbum? Seraphim?"

        These are angels beings... But because you don't believe in the supernatural, then it would be pretty hard to convince you of this.

        "7 headed dragons that spew water and snack on pregnant women?"

        The apocalyptic portions of Daniel and Revelation contain famous visions of strange creatures. Both books describe four creatures with the heads, bodies, limbs, and wings of different combinations of animals—heads of lions with wings of eagles, etc. These are not mythological but symbolic descriptions of angelic beings.

        Revelation predicts “locusts” with human faces, women’s hair, lions’ teeth, and scorpions’ tails, topped off with wings. Also, in Revelation 9:13–19, an army of 200 million horsemen ride horses with the heads of lions, breathing fire and sulfur, and sporting tails like serpents with heads. The descriptions of these strange creatures are figurative—in other words, the visions are symbolic of real beings, nations, or judgments in the future.

        I can also tell you about unicorns in the Bible, and prove to you that YOU believe in unicorns, if you want.

        October 16, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
        • Colin

          I'll take you up on nyour unicorn offer. I'll bet "behemoth" and/or gaints was a reference to dinosaurs, too, right?

          October 16, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Colin,
          See below. See? You DO believe in unicorns!!!!!

          October 16, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          And there are the standard apologetics.
          Any time you encounter something absurd in the inerrant Bible that is the literal Word of God, it is a translation error, a metaphor or an inexplicable miracle that must be taken on faith.

          The Bible is such a gargantuan collection of contradictions that one can use it to bolster any side of any given argument.
          "Gott mit uns" said the Nazi uniforms. During the American Civil War, the North quoted scripture against slavery while the South used the same book to make the opposite argument.

          October 16, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Doc,
          But I think you make the point that MEN scr.ew up the Bible... The Bible on the other hand is never wrong.

          October 16, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          And neither is Nostradamus.
          If you think his prophecies aren't absolutely correct, you're just not reading them right.

          If the One True Deity, shaper of The Universe, wishes their words to be transmitted and adhered to, they should have been a bit less ambiguous. Expecting people to select The Truth out of limitless possibilities on faith alone seems a sloppy way to run things – especially if the punishment for a wrong choice is eternal torment.

          October 16, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        Unicorns
        The Hebrew word re'em is mentioned eight times in the Bible, and signifies some kind of horned animal that could possibly be the now extinct aurochs – a wild ox related to a cow. In the Latin Vulgate however, the translators used the words “unicornis, unicornium, rinocerota, rinocerotis, and rinoceros” whose English rendering in the KJV is “unicorn” for the name of this horned animal each time it occurred: Job 39:9-10, Numbers 23:22, 24:8, Psalm 22:22, 29:6, 92:10, Deuteronomy 33:17, and Isaiah 34:7. Depending upon the context of the passage however, the authors either use the word “rhinoceros” if the intent was to speak of two horns, or “unicornis” if the intent was to mean a singular horn. In Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary, the word “unicorn” has this as its entry: “An animal with one horn: the monoceros. This name is often applied to the rhinoceros.” It goes on to say under the entry for “rhinoceros” that: “a genus of quadrupeds of two species, one of which, the unicorn, has a single horn growing almost erect from the nose. This animal when full grown, is said to be 12 feet in length. There is another species with two horns, the bicornis. They are natives of Asia and Africa.” Even today, the scientific name for the Asian one-horned rhinoceros is “Rhinoceros unicornis,” (the same word as mentioned in the Latin Vulgate) while the two-horned black rhinoceros is the “Diceros bicornis.”

        October 16, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
        • Colin

          Lawrence of Arabia, what is your understanding of the whole bethula/almah/pathenos translation issue. Do you agree that the authors of MAtthew and Luke scre.wed it up when they concocted the whole virgin birth story?

          October 16, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Read Matthew 1:25... That pretty much clears up any confusion there. The wording AND the context are clear there.

          October 16, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Colin,
          Do you believe in unicorns?

          October 16, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
        • Alias

          Unicorns are just skinny rhinos.
          Got it.

          October 16, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
        • Colin

          LofA, I read with interest your etomological explaination. I am not in a position to agree or disagree with it. Sounds plausible, but suspi.ciously apologetic to the strict invulnerability of scripture – and let's face it, you have priors......

          October 16, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
      • Not Topher

        I'm not that familiar with the Bible but I'd like to hear more about the machine elves you see on DMT.

        October 16, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • Colin

      That's quite a list of magical beings. Christianity is no more a monotheistic religion than an or.gy is private masturba.tion.

      October 16, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
      • ?

        Thanks Colin that reminds me my p0rn channel has a half price sale on Wednesday afternoons.

        October 16, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
        • tammy

          mm, I hope ? is just a small indication of bigger and bigger things to come...

          October 16, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
  12. carol

    muslims shouldnt even be allowed to have a holy day. there terrorists

    October 16, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      Where terrorists? There terrorists...!

      October 16, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Where terrorists?

      October 16, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Or is it wereterrorists? ...only transforming on the fullmoon.

      October 16, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • Alias

      And if some christian bombs a clinic (again) do we have to cancel christmass? And easter??

      October 16, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
  13. Pray for Peace!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Ne32WltohB8

    October 16, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      #1, she needs to dress more modestly
      #2, I can see her deodorant

      October 16, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
      • Do as you are told!

        #1. If you are tempted to lust, close your eyes.
        #2. Listen to the words of this beautiful song.

        October 16, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          If someone is dressing in such a way so that they intice lust, then they share in sin. Matthew 18:7

          October 16, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
        • Do as you are told!

          Close your eyes and listen to the music!

          Always say no to temptation! Take a stand against temptation!

          October 16, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          The nudist is not the one with a problem but the prude who struggles with their suppressed s ex uality who turns red in the face at the sight of an ankle or a bit of side b o o b is.

          October 16, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          I love being called a Prude. That's such a compliament to me. Thank you.

          October 16, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
      • Richard Cranium

        LoA
        Would there be anything wrong if she sang completely nude? Only to those who have a problem with their own self control.

        We are all naked under our clothes. Does that bother you LoA?

        October 16, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "Would there be anything wrong if she sang completely nude? Only to those who have a problem with their own self control."

          Of course there would be a problem... The flaunted nudity of warped naturalists or the per.verted nudity of po.rnographers or rock singers or movie actors may be called freedom, or a return to nature and innocence, but in reality it is not, because one cannot recover innocence in this life. (Romans 7:14-25) Rather, it merely parades the victory of the flagrant sinner over reasonable shame – they have become callused to sin due to the constant practice of it.

          "We are all naked under our clothes. Does that bother you LoA?"

          Nope. Not a bit.

          October 16, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          I think maybe LoA is so repressed that he doesn't even understand his own s exuality and doesn't want to get embarrassed when he's wearing sweat pants and see's another man jogging by in short shorts with six pack abs, I mean he has such low self control he can't help but pitch a tent...

          October 16, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
        • sam

          So repressed, you probably couldn't get a needle up there with a sledgehammer.

          October 16, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Sam,
          Maybe it's because my younger days are far behind me, and I'm not up to date on what children these days call humor, but would you mind explaining to an old Prude what it is that you intended to say in that remark?

          October 16, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
      • Madtown

        she needs to dress more modestly
        -----
        The human female body is a beautiful creation. As a believer, you'd consider it the work of God. To appreciate it can't possibly be a "sin". It's only a sin from the repressive perspective of religion.

        October 16, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Madtown,
          Of course it is a work of God, but are you trying to tell me that you can "appreciate" a n.ude woman's body without a SINGLE se.xually oriented thought? Who are you trying to kid? Are you a sod.omite?

          October 16, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
        • Madtown

          Who said anything about n.ude? Oh, you did. The repressed one. The woman in the picture is clothed, you just think she needs to wear more clothes, because she's showing too much of God's gift. I'm I a "s.odomite"? I'm not, sorry. Are you looking again?

          October 16, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
        • sam

          I love how LoA goes straight to 'sodomite'. Jesus.

          October 16, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
        • Maddy

          The more I read of LoA, the more he seems out of place in the 21st century. He'd be at home in the Dark Ages.

          October 16, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
  14. Joey

    But until you are willing to admit that you are vile, wretched, and sick by nature,

    If I admit that it would be a lie and god would still send me to hell. A real lose, lose proposition if you ask me.

    October 16, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      So someone had to teach you to disrespect your parents? To lie? The fact that you have the ability to do "wrong" things, means you are broken.

      October 16, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
      • Joey

        No it doesn't.

        October 16, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
      • Alias

        That is my point.
        God made us broken.
        How is it not his fault we are what he made us?

        October 16, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Think of it like this: Romans 3:5 says that our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God… God is not the author of evil, He did not create it, but He ordains it because had a plan for it. And God’s ultimate plan is His own glorification... In eternity past, God determined to put His attributes on display, and in order to do that, He had to create a people who would be sinners – in so doing, God’s attributes of love, mercy, forgiveness, and grace would be demonstrated through the salvation of the elect. And in the same way, God’s attributes of hate for evil, justice, and wrath would be demonstrated in those who refuse to love Him. Thereby, for all eternity, the elect will forever glorify God in His mercy, and the damned will forever glorify God in His justice.

          October 16, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Here's a bit from the Westminster Confession of Faith:
          “God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so, neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of secondary causes taken away, but rather established. Sinfulness proceeds only from the creature and not from God who being most holy and righteous neither can be the author and approver of sin, but all that God decrees and all that God providentially brings to pass is all to the praise of His glory.”

          What this says simply is that God ordains everything that comes to pass without being the author of sin, and without eliminating free will

          October 16, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "What this says simply is that God ordains everything that comes to pass without being the author of sin, and without eliminating free will"

          It's like an author who gets to write a book and take all the credit for the compelling story but then rejects any critics complaints because he is not the subject of the book... It's not his fault the characters are so feeble...

          October 16, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          Here is the real issue: Christians claim we are flawed due to inherited sin and thus must throw ourselves on Gods mercy to be saved from this sinful nature. Our DNA says we did not descend from a single pair of premade humans which means the Genesis account of when sin entered into the human race is wrong and thus no inherited sin and no flaw and no need for a ransom or redemption. What most Christians would consider "sin" are just those humans who refuse to follow the social norms that are constantly evolving based on human needs. We will never have a society where there are not at least a few who choose not to follow the accepted behaviors of their fellow humans and thus man invented laws and penalties to try and keep society in line. Religion was just another human invention meant to force a populace to conform to a set standard of laws.

          October 16, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Interesting how you will use DNA to say that we did not come from 2 parents, but that same DNA will tell us that humans first "sprang up" around Africa... Ummm, that's the region that the Garden of Eden was located.

          October 16, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "Mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam have been established by researchers using genealogical DNA tests. Mitochondrial Eve is estimated to have lived about 200,000 years ago. A paper published in March 2013 determined that, with 95% confidence and that provided there are no systematic errors in the study's data, Y-chromosomal Adam lived between 237,000 and 581,000 years ago"

          I think the problem is that Christians hear the term "Mitochondiral Eve" and think "biblical Eve" but they are two completely different things. And unless Adam lived for nearly 40,000 years the two traced DNA roots could not have ever met. The Genesis account cannot be true when faced with actual DNA evidence no matter what you name things.

          October 16, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
        • Alias

          LOA
          You may have the approximate location right, but you are still wrong about us all coming from 2 people.
          Also – according to your bible therer was a flood that killed everyone who missed the boat, so the location of the garden is a moot point anyway.

          October 16, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          So there was a 37,000 year gap between males and females?

          October 16, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "So there was a 37,000 year gap between males and females?" So there was an educational gap in your upbringing? Humans evolved and interbred with other species such as neanderthals and denisovians, we can trace these roots but they are still not complete and the Y chromosome and motochondiral eve genes are not representative of any single pair of humans but are markers we can trace along a much larger web. The Genesis myth falls apart when faced with the evidence.

          October 16, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Just the Facts,
          But differenct species cannot successfully mate with other species... That's why they're called species... Unless you believe in Crocoducks.

          October 16, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
        • Alias

          Look up LIGER.
          Lions and tigers are different species, but thencan produce offspring.

          October 16, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          So crocodiles and ducks CAN mate? COOL! I've always wanted a crocoduck! Lions and tigers are both still big cats... Are you saying that neanderthols and humans were both humans, or both apes? And if we're apes, why can't we mate with apes?

          October 16, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Oh, yeah, Nazi Germany already tried that, I forgot...

          October 16, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
        • Maddy

          Nazi Germany? Trite, even for you, LoA. Remember, Nazi Germany was Christian, mmmkay? So leave that stupid argument out of the mix.

          October 16, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
        • ME II

          @Lawrence of Arabia,
          I think Lions and Tigers are closer genetically than humans and gorillas (technically we are both in the Great Ape category), but are definitely closer than crocodiles and ducks (will Ray "banana man" Comfort never be forgotten?). Although I don't know for certain that a human/gorilla cross would be impossible. I'm not aware of any research on it.

          October 16, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        It is amazing how well fear of getting stoned to death works for keeping mouthy kids in line.
        Well, that and the potential for a diving horde of ravenous bears tearing them limb from limb.

        October 16, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          "diving" = "divine"

          October 16, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Well that doesn't work, because the Apostles were in fear of being crucified if they didn't "keep in line," and that didn't work!

          October 16, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
        • Joey

          The apostles supposedly believed that they would get to live forever in heaven after they died so they probably weren't all that scared of death in fact one could argue that they longed for it.

          October 16, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
        • Check

          Doc V,

          Hilarious - I found that same typo yesterday in an article:

          "Boganina affair Sister Boganina, Sisters of the Diving Savior,"

          http://www.eurekaencyclopedia.com/index.php/Category:South_Dakota_Dioceses

          October 16, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
  15. Reality # 2

    Dear Syrian Muslims,

    There is a very easy and peaceful solution as noted below.

    October 16, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      From the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi----–

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      The First Five of the 77 Branches:

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings
      be upon him) alone."

      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

      Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

      October 16, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
      • Reality # 2

        From Google Translate: the above in Arabic, the official language of Syria-

        من الدراسات من أرمسترونغ ، رشدي ، هيرسي علي ، ريتشاردسون و البيهقي -–

        في خمس خطوات ل أبطل تأثير 1400 سنة من الأساطير الإسلامية :

        ( – خطوات اتخاذ أقل من دقيقتين لإنهاء – ببساطة مدهشة ، دقيقتين لإحلال السلام والعقلانية إلى أكثر من مليار فقدت النفوس لا تقدر بثمن !)

        هل أنت مستعد؟

        استخدام " الفروع الإسلامية 77 من " الإيمان " مجموعة الإمام البيهقي المترجمة كنقطة انطلاق . في ذلك، وهو ما يفسر الفضائل الأساسية التي تعكس صحيح " الإيمان " ( إيمان ) من خلال الآيات القرآنية ذات الصلة، و أحاديث نبوية . " أي ملخص لطيفة من المعتقدات القرآن والإسلامية .

        الخمسة الأولى من الفروع 77 :

        " 1 . الإيمان بالله "

        كما يعرف أيضا باسم الله ، الرب ، زيوس ، الرب ، الطبيعة الأم ، وما إلى ذلك يجب أن تضاف إلى الخلايا العصبية التطهير الذاتي الخاص .

        " 2 . إلى الاعتقاد بأن كل شيء غيرها مما كان الله غير موجود. بعد ذلك، الله سبحانه وتعالى خلق هذه الأشياء ، وبعد ذلك جاءوا إلى حيز الوجود . "

        التطور و الانفجار الكبير أو " غي ب G- NAB " ( عند بدء الكون لإعادة تدوير ) هي أكثر ترجيحا و ينبغي أن تدرج في " المندرجة " في سبيل الله إذا كنت لا تزال تشكل " بجمعية العقارات، tionist " .

        " 3 . إلى الاعتقاد في وجود الملائكة . "

        A بندا رئيسيا لتطهير الخلايا العصبية . الملائكة / دي VILS هي الإبداعات الأسطورية من الحضارات القديمة ، على سبيل المثال HITT خائبي ، لشرح / تعريف الأحداث الطبيعية ، والاتصالات مع آلهتهم ، والطيور الكبيرة ، والرياح المفاجئة ، وحماة خلال الليالي المظلمة ، وما إلى ذلك لا " ثينجيس افسح المجال ل جميلة / UG- LY " بزيارة أي وقت مضى أو تحدثت إلى محمد ، يسوع ، مريم أو يوسف أو جو سميث . اليوم سوف نصنف الملائكة كما F- airies و " القصدير كير تكون LLS " . تصنف الحديثة دو VILS مثل دي مونس هيئة اجتثاث mented .

        " 4 . إلى الاعتقاد بأن جميع الكتب السماوية التي تم إرسالها إلى الأنبياء مختلفة صحيحا . ومع ذلك ، وبصرف النظر عن القرآن ، كل الكتب الأخرى ليست صالحة بعد الآن . "

        ومن البنود الرئيسية في حذفها. لا يوجد كتب في ولاية روح السماء (إذا كان هناك واحد ) فقط حيث لم تعد هناك ملائكة لكتابة / نشر / توزيعها . القرآن ، OT ، NT وما هي ببساطة الكتب التي كتبت من قبل البشر للبشر .

        اخترعت الأنبياء من قبل الكتبة القديمة عادة للحفاظ على الجماهير غير المتعلمة في الخط. اليوم ونحن ندعو لهم فرز الأصوات لل تناغم .

        النبوءات كما invali مؤرخة من قبل الطبيعية / الله / الله الهدايا من الإرادة الحرة و المستقبل.

        " 5 . إلى الاعتقاد بأن جميع الأنبياء صحيحا . ومع ذلك ، ونحن مأمورون اتباع النبي محمد ( عليه الصلاة والسلام
        صلى الله عليه وسلم) وحده " .

        قضى محمد ثلاثين يوما " الصيام " (أسطورة رمضان) في كهف الساخن قبل أول اتصال له مع الله الملقب الخ الله عبر " ممتزوجات افسح المجال ل جميلة " . الحس السليم يتطلب حذف الخلايا العصبية من # 5 . # 5 هو أيضا المصدر الرئيسي لل الاسلامي VI- olence أي تحول محمد "سريع ، يحركها الجوع " hallu – cinations إلى واقع فظيع لغير المؤمنين .

        المشي هذه خمس خطوات ، ونحن نضمن الانتعاش الكامل من الطرق الإسلامية الخاصة بك! !

        للأسف ، لا توجد العديد من المعلقين مسلم / القراء على هذا بلوق لذلك " مدة دقيقتين " العلاج هو عدم الحصول على لأولئك الذين في حاجة إليها . إذا كان لديك صديق مسلم ، ترسل له نسخة و تساعد في إنقاذ العالم .

        تتوفر خطوات مماثلة في طلبك للحصول على deprogramming الأساطير المسيحية واليهودية والبوذية والهندوسية و الوثنية ..

        October 16, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
  16. Lawrence of Arabia

    The refugees of any conflict have my utmost sympathies, but for the record, cat and dog are both good meals!

    October 16, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
  17. Doc Vestibule

    Where are all the Christians denouncing "the war on religion"?
    I guess they're only concerned with the imaginary war on THEIR religion.

    October 16, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Topher

      Maybe I missed it, but nothing in this story says this is a "war on religion".

      October 16, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        @Topher
        You know full well that whenever there is a story about Christians suffering somewhere in the world, there is a host of voices crying out against the persecution that followers of Christ endure.
        Don't be obtuse.

        October 16, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
        • Topher

          Doc Vestibule

          "You know full well that whenever there is a story about Christians suffering somewhere in the world, there is a host of voices crying out against the persecution that followers of Christ endure."

          Well, that would in fact be persecution because of their religion. This is not that.

          October 16, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Oh, you mean like Rand Paul's "War on Christianity" in the US?

          October 16, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          So anytime Christians suffer, it is persecution.
          Anytime Muslims suffer, it is ... what exactly?

          October 16, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Doc, this is Muslim on Muslim violence... If ga.ys were beating each other up in New York, would you say that is was ga.y persecution?

          October 16, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
        • Topher

          Doc Vestibule

          "So anytime Christians suffer, it is persecution. Anytime Muslims suffer, it is ... what exactly?"

          It's only persecution if they are suffering because of their faith. If a Christian gets punched in the nose because they cut someone off in traffic, that's not persecution.

          October 16, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          It's more akin to Catholic on Protestant violence and discrimination than it is Muslim on Muslim. Much like how Christianity has splintered so has the Islamic faith.

          October 16, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          When Irish Protestants hurl stones at Catholic school children, is that Christian persecution?
          When the Manmasi National Christian Army hold Hindu children at gun point and demand their conversion to Christianity, what kind of persecution is that?

          October 16, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
        • Topher

          Doc Vestibule

          "When Irish Protestants hurl stones at Catholic school children, is that Christian persecution?"

          Nope. One, it's just wrong. Two, Catholics aren't Christians.

          "When the Manmasi National Christian Army hold Hindu children at gun point and demand their conversion to Christianity, what kind of persecution is that?"

          The MNCA are not Christians, either.

          October 16, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
        • Joey

          Who didn't see that coming form Topher?

          October 16, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Hey Bill Deacon! Topher says you and your Church aren't Christians, despite the fact that the Catholic Church is the oldest, richest and most influential sect of Christianity is all of history.

          Topher – yours is not the only tartan in Scotland.

          October 16, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          There's a reason that Topher said that Catholics are not Christians.
          Topher believes that the Bible is the final authority on all spiritual matters (Sola Scriptura) and Catholics do not.

          October 16, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Catholics also believe wrongly in:
          praying to someone other than Jesus
          believing that Mary has authority over Jesus
          Justification follows Sanctification
          Traditions carry equal or more weight than scripture
          The pope is the "vicar of Christ"
          And I can go into more depth, but those are some big ones...

          October 16, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
      • Colin

        Topher, even by your, hmm, less than exacting standards, saying Catholics are not Christians is a beauty. Care to explain?

        October 16, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
        • Topher

          I think Lawrence did a fine job just above your post.

          October 16, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Ummm, let's see...
          Tradition equal to or greater authority than scripture
          They deny Sola Scriptura as taught in scripture
          Magisterium
          The false, unbiblical idea of purgatory
          The false idea that sacraments impart grace
          The false idea that justification follows sanctification
          The believe that the pope is the head of the church, not Christ, as taught in scripture
          They don't believe that Christ is the only mediator
          They don't believe in the priesthood of all believers
          The call Mary the "Mother of God" whose connotations are disastrous
          They believe in visions of Mary, where scripture speaks against such things
          They pray to Mary, venerate Mary, and believe that their salvation is in part through the merits of Mary
          The "Immaculate Conc.eption" of Mary which is a lie
          The believe in the "Perpetual Vir.ginity" of Mary, which is a lie
          The believe that Jesus serves Mary
          The false idea of the Treasury of Merit
          Alms, Indulgences, Penance
          Repet.ition of prayers
          They believe they offer Christ up daily in the mass, not once and for all as taught in scripture
          Infant Baptism

          And on, and on, and on...

          October 16, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
        • Noah Little

          Colin,

          Topher and Lawrence have degrees from Saint Noah Tall University.

          (They are egg spurts on these matters!)

          October 16, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
        • Colin

          None of that means they're not Christians, it just means they are different Christians to you. That's like claiming Dallas Cowboys supporters are not football fans because they root for the wrong team.

          October 16, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "None of that means they're not Christians, it just means they are different Christians to you."

          If they can be Christians and believe all of that, then they can sign up for a PETA membership while eating a cheeseburger.

          October 16, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
        • Topher

          Colin

          "None of that means they're not Christians, it just means they are different Christians to you. That's like claiming Dallas Cowboys supporters are not football fans because they root for the wrong team."

          No. These are not minor issues. They are very major issues that put them outside of orthodoxy. That's the whole point of the Protestant Reformation.

          October 16, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
        • OKfine

          LofA and Topher
          Numbers from wiki, approximate
          World Population....7 Billion
          Christians...............2.1 Billion...31.5% of the worlds population
          Catholics................1.2 Billion
          Protestants.............600 to 800 million
          Other sects.............100 to 300 million.
          So in your definitions of true Christians, what are your numbers, your comments have ruled out the majority?

          October 16, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
        • Joey

          As far as I'm concerned anyone who believes that Jesus died on the cross to forgive the sins of mankind is a Christian. Everything else is just window dressing.

          October 16, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Are Orthodox Cathlics outside of orthodoxy?
          Protestants are the Johnny Come Latelies compared to Catholics.
          Splinter groups, like the one created by Martin Luther's dissention, are unorthodox by definition.

          October 16, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
        • Topher

          OKfine

          "So in your definitions of true Christians, what are your numbers, your comments have ruled out the majority?"

          What does majority have to do with it?

          October 16, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
        • OKfine

          Topher
          Nothing. I am asking in your world view and LofA's view how many true Christians exist, you have already ruled out the 1.2 billion catholics? You are being obtuse again, why do you so often answer a question with a question like a child does?

          October 16, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          OKFine,
          Since when does "majority rule" have anything to do with right and wrong?

          October 16, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Any good professor will often answer a question with a question... It forces the questioner to think. Anyway, in Noah's day, only 8 people in the entire world were right... My guess is that there are comparatively few these days who understand correct theology. It takes serious study, and few these days have the patience for such things. I'm sorry, but the Bible can't be explained in sound bytes.

          October 16, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
        • Topher

          OKfine

          "Nothing. I am asking in your world view and LofA's view how many true Christians exist, you have already ruled out the 1.2 billion catholics?"

          I wouldn't say they are all ruled out. Some of them will actually meet the Biblical standard and be saved. But that does make them very bad Catholics.

          But to answer your question, I have no idea what the numbers are. I can tell you I've seen statistics for the U.S. that put those claiming a Christian faith at 90 percent and then another said it was more like 70 percent. But then I've seen it said it was more like 15 percent who actually met the Biblical standard of repentance and faith.

          "You are being obtuse again, why do you so often answer a question with a question like a child does?"

          I'm just making sure I understand and get you to clarify before I answer. Also because there's plenty of you going for a "gotcha" moment.

          October 16, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
        • OKfine

          Topher LofA
          Let me rephrase the question, how many true Christians, by your definitions exist in the world today, period? Thank you for a response.

          October 16, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          It sure is tough to determine who God will appoint as righteous.
          Lot was supposedly a righteous man, and yet he was more than happy to toss his vir/gin daughters over to a ravenous mob to be ra/ped.

          October 16, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
        • Topher

          OKfine

          I have no idea how many there are. Very few.

          October 16, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
        • OKfine

          LofA and Topher
          My ulterior motive in the question was to have you estimate how many have made it into heaven as of today. Remembering that just 350 years ago there was only the RCC and beliefs like your didn't evolve until a few hundred years ago. So it begs the question of how exclusive is your heaven must I believe as you do, or can other believers in an old timey religion get in without abandoning their church and its dogma?

          October 16, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
  18. Alias

    Okay, I was hoping christians would post comments here about how unfortunate it is that war has caused so much pain for innocents.

    Since that didn't happen, maybe I should ask a question:
    if we are all born with some sin we did not commit, and we have no clear instructions as to how to save ourselves, Who is really to blame if we all go to hell?

    October 16, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Topher

      You're still responsible for yourself.

      October 16, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
      • Alias

        Let's see if I follow,
        god is going to send millions of souls to eternal torment because they are what god made them, and it is all their fault?

        October 16, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
        • Topher

          Alias

          "Let's see if I follow, god is going to send millions of souls to eternal torment because they are what god made them, and it is all their fault?"

          No. God is going to send people to Hell because they have broken His laws and thus they deserve it.

          October 16, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Try looking at it another way. Humanity is on its way to hell because they willingly rebel against God, but God, for no other reason than His own pleasure, desired to save some. He didn't have to – He would actually be just in sending all of humanity to hell, but instead He chose some to take to heaven with Him, and He did so by paying their fine for them... What mercy...

          October 16, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
        • Alias

          Topher, LoA,
          You are both refusing to acknowledge the fact that not everyone is told what rules god has given us.
          Even in America, tere are many different interpretations of what god wants.
          People who live in places like Iran will never read a bible. Why should they be condemned?

          October 16, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Alias,
          People are not condemned because they have never read a Bible, people are condemned because they are sinners.

          Paris Reidhead had a good sermon on that I believe, called Ten Shekels and a Shirt, found here:
          http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=10180222445

          October 16, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
        • Topher

          Alias

          "You are both refusing to acknowledge the fact that not everyone is told what rules god has given us."

          You don't need to be told. You already know it is wrong to lie, steal, murder, etc.

          "People who live in places like Iran will never read a bible. Why should they be condemned?"

          They will be condemned for breaking God's laws. Like I said earlier, you already know those things are wrong. Plus you've been given the creation and a conscience to know God exists, so no one will have an excuse.

          October 16, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
        • Alias

          The bible also says you MUST accept jesus as your savior.
          If you never heard of him, you could not accept him.
          god will comdemn all those who breaking the 10 commandments.
          Even those who don't kow what they are or that they were ever carved into stone.

          October 16, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
        • Topher

          Alias

          "The bible also says you MUST accept jesus as your savior."

          No, you don't have to accept Him. You have free will not to. Besides, Christ doesn't need your acceptance. You need His.

          October 16, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "Humanity is on its way to hell because they willingly rebel against God, but God, for no other reason than His own pleasure, desired to save some. He didn't have to – He would actually be just in sending all of humanity to hell, but instead He chose some to take to heaven with Him, and He did so by paying their fine for them... What mercy..."

          First, what kind of vindictive pr ick would design a universe where his own creations would get a few minutes on earth to prove themselves worthy and if they fail it's not the creators fault they are going to burn in torment for eternity. And not only that, we are now supposed to praise said creator for giving a narrow path of salvation to a handful of followers who were lucky enough to be born in an area that worshiped the right brand of creator. What mercy? None, that is how much mercy your imaginary God has shown mankind. And paying their fine? You mean the one he set that was way to high for the crime? It would be like getting pulled over by the police and informed that you were driving in the commuter lane and have to pay a fine and when you ask where the signs were to designate it the officer says "Oh, there aren't any signs, you just should have known better, and by the way, the penalty is all the money you have ever made, and we'll take your car and your license and you'll never get them back, oh, and don't bother trying to fight it because i'm also the judge in this town, unless of course you would like to do some... lip service...."

          October 16, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
        • Joey

          Topher how is someone supposed to accept Jesus if they have never heard of him?

          October 16, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
        • Alias

          Topher,
          TAKING THINGS OUT OF CONTEXT DOES NOT MAKE YOU RIGHT, IT JUST MAKES YOU RUDE, or an idiot.
          the bible says you must accept juses to be saved. If you never heard of him, you cannot be saved.
          Therefore, according to the bible, everyone who never heard of jesus is going to hell through no fault of their own.

          Flaws in logic like this and christians like you are why i am an atheist.

          October 16, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Just the Facts,
          I posted this earlier, and it may help to explain the position...

          Think of it like this: Romans 3:5 says that our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God… God is not the author of evil, He did not create it, but He ordains it because had a plan for it. And God’s ultimate plan is His own glorification... In eternity past, God determined to put His attributes on display, and in order to do that, He had to create a people who would be sinners – in so doing, God’s attributes of love, mercy, forgiveness, and grace would be demonstrated through the salvation of the elect. And in the same way, God’s attributes of hate for evil, justice, and wrath would be demonstrated in those who refuse to love Him. Thereby, for all eternity, the elect will forever glorify God in His mercy, and the damned will forever glorify God in His justice.

          “God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so, neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of secondary causes taken away, but rather established. Sinfulness proceeds only from the creature and not from God who being most holy and righteous neither can be the author and approver of sin, but all that God decrees and all that God providentially brings to pass is all to the praise of His glory.”
          -Westminster Confession of Faith

          What this says simply is that God ordains everything that comes to pass without being the author of sin, and without eliminating free will

          And once again, the authority of the Bible is not based upon its availability. People don't go to hell because they've never read the Bible, they go to hell because they are sinners, and they love it so...

          October 16, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
        • Topher

          Joey

          "Topher how is someone supposed to accept Jesus if they have never heard of him?"

          Then they can't. So get saved yourself since you HAVE heard of Him and go spread the Gospel.

          Alias

          "Therefore, according to the bible, everyone who never heard of jesus is going to hell through no fault of their own."

          IT IS their own fault for breaking the laws. How many lies have you told? If it's even one, the Bible says "all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone" Rev. 21:8

          "Flaws in logic like this and christians like you are why i am an atheist."

          You mean flawed logic is why you are an atheist. Dude, you reject things you don't understand. I'm pleading with you, look into these things. If you still must reject it then fine, but don't get caught saying to God, "I didn't know." You won't have an excuse.

          October 16, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
        • Joey

          Topher, I proudly reject your god and Jesus. If god or Jesus has a problem with that then they can do something about it. Luckily for everyone alive they don't exist.

          October 16, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "And God’s ultimate plan is His own glorification... In eternity past, God determined to put His attributes on display, and in order to do that, He had to create a people who would be sinners – in so doing, God’s attributes of love, mercy, forgiveness, and grace would be demonstrated through the salvation of the elect"

          You make your God sound more like a Bridezilla than a loving, caring creator. The fact is that you cannot have it both ways. Your God cannot be the embodiment of love while also being the vindictive p r i c k who just created us to prove how awesome he is and discards the majority of us who don't make his cut. No, not just discards, but he apparently made a special place of torment where he gets to be aware of us in agony with no hope for redemption based solely on the few moments we had on this planet and didn't bow low enough or grovel fast enough.

          I am not so arrogant as to rule out the possibility of some universal creator, I do however rule out the possibility of YOUR imagined universal creator and I do so because I have read the bible and I know that no real creator would have created a book with that many flaws and contradictions and then let absolutely wicked and evil humans hijack this message and use it to manipulate and fleece the uneducated and trusting masses.

          October 16, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
        • Topher

          Joey

          "Topher, I proudly reject your god and Jesus. If god or Jesus has a problem with that then they can do something about it."

          That's fine. Jesus loves you enough not to force Himself on you. If you reject Him you will simply get what you request — an eternity without Him. But of course you know what that means.

          October 16, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Just the Facts,
          You believe that way because you have the wrong idea of what "loving" is. If God is loving, then He is also just. If God loves, then He must also hate. And a Just Judge of all the World will not let sin go unpunished.

          October 16, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "And a Just Judge of all the World will not let sin go unpunished."

          There is not an ounce of justice in the concept of heII.

          October 16, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
        • Joey

          I find your proxy threats to be meaningless, Topher.

          October 16, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
        • Topher

          Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "There is not an ounce of justice in the concept of heII."

          How isn't it just? You don't want lawbreakers to be punished? You don't want Hitler to get what's coming to him? If someone ra.pes your wife, mother, or daughter, you don't want justice?

          October 16, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
        • Alias

          Topher,
          You are confusing justice and revenge.
          I do think dangerous people need to be removed from society, but torturing them has no value.

          October 16, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
        • Topher

          Alias

          I'm not confusing anything. You break the law, you pay the fine.

          October 16, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
        • OKfine

          Since I deny the biblical notion of "sin" especially "original sin" I can honestly say I have never sinned. So far in my life I have had one conviction on a moving violation while driving and when a foolish youth, one conviction on DUI when in the Army and influenced by a heavy alcohol consumption culture, small fine. I am lucky to be not influenced by any of the mythical gods and have no fear of the nothingness that will probably come after my death other than those that may remember I once existed. I am star stuff and my particles will remain star stuff for eternity as long as universes and stars are born and are reborn again, infinity.

          October 16, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Joey

      Topher is right, according to the bible all you need to do is look at a flower and realize that Jesus died for your sins and god is real even if you have never heard of Jesus or the bible. By the way, Topher actually thinks that makes perfect sense.

      October 16, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      "if we are all born with some sin we did not commit, and we have no clear instructions as to how to save ourselves..."

      You are born with the capacity to sin, this is known as a "sin nature," and because the human will only desires to please itself, you sin. Think about it, have you ever had to take a course on "how to lie?" Nope, you do it willingly... And you are born with an ability to do so. It is "not lying" that must be taught.

      Next, you can't save yourself. That's a common misconception. There's no work that you can perform, no sacrament that you can keep, and no tradition that you can perform. Salvation only comes to the one who is humble and contrite in spirit, and who trembles at the word of God. Faith in the saving work of God, who has done all of the work for you, and a repentant nature that flows out of grat.itude for what God has done for you.

      But until you are willing to admit that you are vile, wretched, and sick by nature, you will never reach a place of repentance and faith.

      October 16, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
      • Alias

        Wrong.
        You are assuming everyone is born with access to a correct bible. That is not the case.

        October 16, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          I'm not assuming anything. You assume that the authority of the Bible is based upon the availability of the Bible.

          October 16, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
        • Topher

          You don't need a Bible to know lying is wrong. God wrote His laws on your heart.

          October 16, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
        • Joey

          Topher, so if you lie and tell your kids that Santa is real is that something you should repent for?

          October 16, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Joey,
          Yep.

          October 16, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
        • Topher

          Joey

          It's a lie, isn't it?

          October 16, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
        • Check

          Topher,
          "God wrote His laws on your heart."

          Your own old book says, "He who trusts in his own heart is a fool" – Proverbs 28

          October 16, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
        • Joey

          No more of a lie than telling your kid that Jesus rose from the dead.

          October 16, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
        • Madtown

          Topher
          You don't need a Bible to know lying is wrong. God wrote His laws on your heart.
          ------
          Once again, Topher confirms that religion is completely unnecessary. Not sure why he continues to follow it when he thinks this, but then again........it's Topher. He's the resident buffoon for good reason.

          October 16, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
        • JWT

          Lying is not always wrong either.

          October 16, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
        • ME II

          @Topher & @Lawrence of Arabia,
          How about the classic question...
          If Anne Frank was hiding in your house and Nazis showed up at your door and asked if you were hiding anyone, would it be wrong to lie?

          October 16, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
      • Check

        Lawrence of Arabia,
        " you are vile, wretched, and sick by nature"

        It sounds like you have been listening to old Paul of Tarsus - that misogynistic, misanthropic, body-hating zealot, who was raised on the tenets of Stoicism and Judaism - Oy! what a combo!

        October 16, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          History is FULL of dead people who disagree with you. People who's scholarship far outweighs any modern scholastic.

          October 16, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
        • Joey

          Well Lawrence the same can be said to you.

          October 16, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Joey,
          OK, I'll start then:
          John Calvin
          John Owen
          Jonathan Edwards
          Charles Spurgeon
          John Bunyan
          Thomas Gouge
          John Flavel
          John Howe

          October 16, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
        • Check

          Cotton Mather
          Thomas Danforth
          John Hathorne
          Fred Phelps

          October 16, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
        • Cristeros for Satan

          Not to mention the OT creation story etc was plagiarized by much much much much older mythology.

          October 16, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
      • Cristeros for Satan

        Why would one put faith in a book which origins were plagiarized from much older mythology?????????????

        October 16, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
  19. RELIGION IS CLASS WAR

    "Kill your family, friends & neighbors for our amusement," say the rich muslims to the working class muslims.

    And in the USA, xtians join this class war, where the working class votes to elect the political party of the rich: GOP.

    LOL. dvmbfvcks

    October 16, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.