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June 28th, 2014
08:12 AM ET

The Belief Blog guide to Ramadan

(CNN) - For 1.6 billion people, the holiest month of the year began this past Saturday.

The exact starting date sometimes depends on the locale, but most Muslims across the globe will be fasting, praying and abstaining from sex and smoking during daylight hours. Many call it a time of spiritual purity and rededication to God.

Here's everything you need to know about the observance.

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the name of the ninth month in the Hijri, or Islamic calendar. The word derives from the Arabic ramida or ar-ramad meaning a fierce, burning heat.

How important is it?

Ramadan is the most sacred month in the Muslim year, commemorating the revelation of the Holy Quran - the sacred religious text of Islam - by the angel Gabriel to the Prophet Mohammed, according to Islamic tradition.

What does it involve?

The main obligation of the festival is the Sawm, or fast. Believers are expected to refrain from eating and drinking from dawn (fajr) until dusk (maghrib) for the entire month, a discipline that is thought to burn away all sins (hence the origin of the word 'ramadan'). The Sawm is considered one of the five "pillars," or foundations of Islam, the others being the Shahadah (profession of faith), Salat (praying five times daily), Zakat (charity) and Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca).

When does the festival start?

Ramadan begins with the sighting of the new moon. Because it is calculated according to a lunar rather than a fixed calendar, its precise dates change from year to year, and it can begin at different times in different parts of the world. According to the Fiqh Council of North America, Ramadan started this year on June 28 and will end July 28.

Is there more to Ramadan than fasting?

Yes. As well as eating and drinking, the faithful are expected to abstain from smoking and sexual relations between dawn and dusk, and to abjure lies, slander, greed, covetousness, giving false oath and denouncing someone behind their back (all of these are prohibited throughout the year by Islam. To commit them during Ramadan, however, is considered particularly sinful). Muslims are also expected to recite a special 'night prayer', the taraweeh, in addition to the five daily prayers.

Is every Muslim expected to fast?

No. Young children - before the onset of puberty - are exempted, as are those with an illness or medical condition that would be exacerbated by fasting. If the medical condition is only temporary, the sufferer is required to make up for the days missed once they have recovered. If the condition is permanent, the spiritual benefits of fasting can be obtained by feeding a needy person for a month.

What happens if you break the fast?

If a believer intentionally breaks the fast, or performs any other prohibited activity, they become subject to a penalty, or kaffara (literally, atonement). This can take the form of an extra 60 days of fasting at the end of Ramadan, feeding 60 people in need, or - not quite so easy in the modern world - freeing a slave.

And what happens at the end of Ramadan?

Ramadan officially ends on the first day of the month of Shawwal. This heralds a three-day celebration called Eid al-Fitr, or the "Festival of Breaking Fast", a joyous occasion during which believers attend mosques, give gifts, visit friends and family and decorate their homes.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Eid al-Fitr • Faith • Holidays • Islam • Ramadan • Uncategorized

soundoff (554 Responses)
  1. bostontola

    When 2.2 billion people believe a lie it nevertheless remains a lie. We should not honor the christian faith at all because this "faith" has absolutely no releasing power, and even denies the divine Allah who is the only one who is able to set us free. I claim that the Christian even worsens people instead of reforming them (Crusades, cruel slaughtering of animals, hate against other beliefs and believers, etc.)..

    The Christian is no divine religion of belief but a supersti-tion. We have to enlighten the Christians about the backwardness of their so-called faith. May every Christian become a Fill in the blank right now. Love, rightesousness and virtue we will only find in Fill in the blank.

    What hubris you have.

    July 13, 2013 at 8:43 am |
    • bostontola

      Was to be a reply to below post.

      July 13, 2013 at 8:44 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      You make a mistake. Its is foolish to compare the Christian faith and the Islam that way.

      Why?

      Just look on the founders of the two religions: The historical Muhammad was a thief, a murderer, a liar, a womanizer, etc. The most unworthy man which has ever lived on earth was Muhammad, the master of beheading and bloodshed.

      In contrast, the historical Jesus cured people, he cured soul and body. Jesus founded a community of love, joy and happiness, a blessing for the mankind.

      Of course, many churches have degenerated, that is true. But this is no argument against the genuine church which is good, and a testimony for the good, Christian faith.

      July 13, 2013 at 9:01 am |
    • lionlylamb2013

      Hi traveler Boston to LA,

      As our hampered socialistic world becomes more and more a stewardship of the emotionally transfigured iconoclasts in servile reciprocities, many emotive bases need to be covered. From the focal deliriums of youth-charged irrational configurations to the emotionally disfigured elders, many religious anthologies are as vespers of “serviently illed aptnesses” within many a social “deconfigurement” that may be viewed with cynical degrade-abilities leveraging that entails little common goodness of righteous wholesomeness.

      July 13, 2013 at 9:40 am |
      • fintronics

        From that many religious anthologies and more as vespered socities more and more as vespers of that many a socities need irrations to the emotive bases” within servile configurationally disfigured. From the focal common goodnesses” with cynical “deconfiguremenesses” with cynical deliriums of youth-charged socities leveraging the focal configurational degrade-abilittle conoclasts in many reciprocial degrade-abilittle reliriums of righteous whologies more a stewardship of youth-charged iconfigurations

        July 1, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
    • bostontola

      Rainer,
      You appear delusional and arrogant. You show no respect for other's beliefs. Their beliefs have equal basis as yours (admittedly scant). I copied your own words hoping you'd see them objectively, I failed.

      July 13, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • lionlylamb2013

      Oh concise Rainer Braendlein,

      The mass exodus away from religious theosophies within their bitter translucencies are opaquely unsettling toward the commonwealths of sanctimoniously enduring considerations leaving the young of ages befuddled and within the uneducated folds of philosophic impurities the elderly summon up and conjure their young ones in displeasing enumerations being an unjust rationalism of civilities within moralized unsound practices,,,

      July 13, 2013 at 9:52 am |
      • fintronics

        The elderly enduring theosophilosophies are theosophies are opaquely summon up and considerationsiderly endurities away from religious are the mass exodus the mass exodus are their young enumerationsiderly unsettling of phic impuring ones in the elderations befuddled uneducated unjust rations being enduring ones within the elderly summonwealths of ages in theosophilosophies are the commonwealths of civilities are opaquely unsettling toward their young toward the elderly endurities befuddled

        July 1, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
    • mrBORGest

      NO
      YOU
      WILL
      NOT
      RESIST

      RESISTANCE IS FUTILE

      July 13, 2013 at 10:07 am |
  2. Rainer Braendlein

    When 1.6 billion people believe a lie it nevertheless remains a lie. We should not honor the Muslim faith at all because this "faith" has absolutely no releasing power, and even denies the divine sonship of Jesus Christ who is the only one who is able to set us free. I claim that the Islam even worsens people instead of reforming them (Jihad, cruel slaughtering of animals, hate against other beliefs and believers, etc.).

    Ramadan belongs to the 5 pillars of Islam. It satifies the needs of the religious human flesh but provides absolutely no contribution to practical righteousness and love of neighbour in everyday life. On the contrary, through Ramadan the religious self-righteousness of the Muslim gets strengthened, and he will increasingly neglect his fellow human beings which he regards as infidels which have not deserved his attention, love, support, assistance, etc.

    Ramadan has nothing to do with real, Christian fasting. Christian fasting means to eat little or modestly during the whole year. Modest eating promotes the rule of the Holy Spirit in us against our bad old nature which we have inherited from Adam. Christian fasting is always connected with daily prayer. We ask God for giving us more faith, and for the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

    The Islam is no divine religion of belief but a supersti-tion. We have to enlighten the Muslims about the backwardness of their so-called faith. May every Muslim become a Christian right now. Love, rightesousness and virtue we will only find in Jesus Christ, the Son of God who is a person of the Holy Trinity.

    http://confessingchurch.wordpress.com

    July 13, 2013 at 8:30 am |
    • Filthy Hind I love to Mithrism lick and talk Islam bunk

      No religion is "divine". All religions, including yours, are human inventions.
      You, you self-righteous child, are just as deluded as any of the billions you think you are so superior to.

      July 13, 2013 at 8:40 am |
    • Mirosal

      typical christian argument .... "yours is wrong mine is right you'd better see the light MY way or "god" will punish you" ... your god can kiss my a$$ ... your book was written by herders in an agraian society that no longer exists. Islam was written by a man who was suffering from heat stroke and hallucinations. Not to mention nine year old girls. Yea, my kind of role model ... NOT.

      July 13, 2013 at 8:48 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      "The Sawm is considered one of the five "pillars," or foundations of Islam, the others being the Shahadah (profession of faith), Salat (praying five times daily), Zakat (charity) and Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca)."

      Dear Muslim, my fellow human being despite having gone astray,

      the real God who has made heaven and earth is not at all interested in the 5 pillars of Islam. God only wants us to love Him and our fellow human beings. This love towards God and our neighbour we don't possess by birth. We become able to love, and to deny our intrinsic selfishness only through the redemption which is in Jesus Christ. Through faith in Jesus we become able to love God and our neighbour. This simply is the mystery of the gospel.

      Dear Muslim, become able to love everybody through faith in Jesus, deny your intrinsic hatred through faith in Jesus, and become a Christian today.

      July 13, 2013 at 8:48 am |
    • snowboarder

      @braen, you write the craziest stuff.

      July 13, 2013 at 8:49 am |
    • lionlylamb2013

      A goodness sakes morning to you sired Braendlein,

      Your opening sentence saying, "When 1.6 billion people believe a lie it nevertheless remains a lie."

      Such a standing of "waywarded" subliminal prowess is an unhealthy stance to be conformed to especially within a public setting. How can the majorities of such a religion as the Muslim faith(s) be ridiculed for their children's misfortunate deeds? I do though admit that a small handed number of elderly Muslim believers utilize their youngsters of faithfully enamored genders to waylay their may lay of embittered destructiveness and raising Cain,,,

      We live nowadays within a psycho-reactive embolism where travesties rule people's mindsets whereby societal gatherings become a cultured norm in folks socialized conditionings. People who vent thru social sparks of mass ridicule and physical destructiveness are yes mentally unbalanced. Heck, even today's Christendom has had its fair shares of embittered and lethargic ills within its growth and Christians are paying the proverbial piper,,,

      July 13, 2013 at 8:54 am |
    • snowboarder

      @lionly, though written in your usual unintelligible manner, you might have a point.

      July 13, 2013 at 9:01 am |
    • Ayed

      "The historical Muhammad was a thief, a murderer, a liar, a womanizer, etc. The most unworthy man which has ever lived on earth was Muhammad, the master of beheading and bloodshed"

      Could you please, read what scholars in the West or in the East says about "Mohammed" Did you know that He is #1 in the One Hundred Great People in the History of mankind. Come on, don't deny the fact. the fact is fact and no body will change it.
      A child can easily explain Islam with strong confidence, unfortunately, this is not the case in Christianity. The mastery of trinity is confusing everybody including your scholars in the field.

      July 13, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • lionlylamb2013

      Hello Ayed,

      As your namesake inclines me to ascertain are you a Muslim? I am but a lowly Christian who is making an attempt toward a civility for moralizing my discerning understandings of many religious issues that seem to be like plaques among our emotional welfare issues. I do not want to upset anyone's individualized religious theologies and yet I see a faulted system of each religion's societies in generalizations unremarkable yet blatant conscripts of their elderly influences upon their religiously devoted youth-fields.

      July 13, 2013 at 10:10 am |
  3. Ayed

    I really feel very sorry for people who just want to deny the fact that I slam is the fastest religion on the earth. It would surprise you to know that the second religion in America, France and Britain is Islam. Don't keep making lie by saying, it is forced by sword, nether by Al Qaeda. There must be reason but your mind and heart not yet realize it.

    I am sure that everyone today know who is the main killers?

    May Allah open your heart to the truth and the fact whenever it is.

    July 13, 2013 at 8:26 am |

    • I'm pretty sure NASCAR is faster than Islam.

      July 13, 2013 at 8:30 am |
    • Ayed

      Dear Rainer Braendlein

      Again and again, you are trying to shy a way from the truth. and I challenge you to define, the basic meaning of Islam. Love without giving is nothing. I invite you to talk a glance at the five pillars of Islam so that you can understand why it is there?!!
      Islam is way of life not just relax and say God will do things for me. Let me simplify it for you, stop going to your job five days and then if your manager asked you why you did not come for work, just tell him I LOVE YOU. I am just wondering what would be his response to you?!!!. God created you to obey Him and to lesson to Him and follow his guidance. If you did you will go to Heaven if not then you will go to Hill. It is as simple as this, why complicate through the love process. Why should someone suffer for you?!!

      July 13, 2013 at 9:29 am |
  4. Tutuvabene

    I'm going to observe Ramadan by eating bacon every day.

    July 13, 2013 at 8:15 am |

    • You could train swine to answer the call of the muezzin to kneel toward Mecca five times a day.

      July 13, 2013 at 8:29 am |
  5. Reckless

    Criminy
    I got to the first paragraph and read all the wonderful and purifying things they do... and the sentenced finished with "DURING DAYLIGHT HOURS" – what a crock! Anyone can abstain from anything (except breathing) for the daylight hours in a day. It means nothing.
    ---------------------

    And what exactly do you do that makes you so righteous? Do you think they wont eat at all, it's a month long? You also realize that when the sun is up they can't even have immoral thoughts not just actions. Try just for two hours to not be a * hole and I'm sure you'll have more empathy. For the record before you make assumptions, I'm not muslim.

    July 13, 2013 at 8:11 am |
    • Saraswati

      Have you tried going without food or water for 15 hours...while holding a job and doing your daily tasks? Give it a try and get back to us, because I'm pretty sure you haven't. It's a remindier, and one that's hard to ignore. I think Islam has some real issues, but this isn't one of them.

      July 13, 2013 at 8:14 am |
    • Shakira

      Why don't you go a week living your normal life, doing yard work, ect with no food or water for around 15 or so hours and see how easy it is for you to do. If it is so easy go for it and them come back and say what it was like.

      July 13, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • Dippy's Aide

      Shakira,

      It's "etc." (et cetera = and the others)... hope you don't say, "eck cetera" out loud either.

      July 13, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
  6. LVSam

    In the USA, why should we even care about this holiday? Are we to treat every fringe group's beliefs like this? If so, what about the Wickens? Seriously, we're on a trail to the trivial-as-news.

    July 13, 2013 at 8:02 am |
    • Reckless

      Because we believe in religious tolerance and Islam is a large demographic. Eliminating ignorance of other beliefs, though that seems lost on you.

      July 13, 2013 at 8:05 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Because ignorance of others leads to fear and hatred.

      Because all religions come from the culture and people who create them and speak to the basic fears and desires of mankind as a species.

      Because it isn't all about you.

      July 1, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
  7. mark

    Eat pork Ill bless it for them

    July 13, 2013 at 7:55 am |
    • Dippy

      I'll, not Ill. Can you see the difference?

      July 13, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
  8. John Stefanyszyn

    As with Christians, Catholics, Protestants, Jews...the religious traditions of men are intended to be seen by men..for its own reward of self "religious" righteousness.
    BUT Jesus Christ, Son of the One and Only Creator, taught that the True Way of life is love for and acknowledgement of the One Creator as Father and love for neighbor as per the righteousness and Will of the Father Who gives existence to all that
    exists.

    July 13, 2013 at 7:22 am |
    • james

      thanks John, and I would just add that said Father and Son in line with Jeremiah 7:31 (and others) are not cruel so that neglect to obey those two commands will not cause you to burn forever but will certainly cause us to miss out on something so wonderful that it is promised to be well worth the effort, thanks again, j

      July 13, 2013 at 7:32 am |
    • Filthy Hind I love to Mithrism lick and talk Islam bunk

      Simon of Perea was a better messiah. He got more messiah stuff done than your guy did. And Simon bar Kochba got a WHOLE lot more messiah stuff done. Yours, however, got none of the prophesied stuff done, so you cannot claim he is even in the running.

      July 13, 2013 at 8:43 am |
  9. Reckless

    To all of the people who are making comments degrading different or all religions, I'm not religious and haven't been since I was five. But religion in general in it's pure form isn't the problem. It's the manipulation of religion by unethical people for immoral selfish reasons that cause all of the issues associated with religion.
    Note that one of the traditions of Islam is charity, it's also a consequence for breaking ramadan. Now note that you never hear about muslim terrorist groups doing charity work. Note that half of the things that the terrorists groups say is in the Quran isn't in the Quran.It's just like all of the interesting "Interpretations" of the Christian Bible.

    Religion in it's purest form is really about spirituality. Spirits/souls wouldn't wan't people to kill one another. When you die if there is a "heaven" and you go there, are you going to be sitting around all day wishing more people were killing other people in your religions name? If "God" is almighty why would he want us to kill one another over our different views? How could an almighty being be so insecure? It doesn't make sense. If "God" exists in any form or under any name which I'm not denying wouldn't he want us to improve ourselves as his creations and grow as sentient beings as any parent/creator would? Would you want your children to kill each other over a dispute about beliefs regardless if you felt one side was right?

    July 13, 2013 at 6:48 am |
    • snowboarder

      there is no such thing as religion in a pure form. they are all created by men and deeply flawed.

      July 13, 2013 at 8:55 am |
  10. Kungpaobeef

    I'm a Moslem , I am gay, god willing I will get married with my partner.
    Oh btw, I am fasting too.
    Anyone wanna judge me?

    July 13, 2013 at 6:36 am |
    • rs1201

      good for you!
      Just don't advertise the fact that you're gay to your fellow muslims...not a good thing to do!

      July 13, 2013 at 7:01 am |
    • Ayed

      You know more than anyone else that you are a liar. Simply because gay practice is one of the greatest sin in Islam and lesbian as well. And I am sure you know where the largest gays and lesbians population is located. Please, don't through your work on others.

      July 13, 2013 at 10:19 am |
  11. Reckless

    This was a really interesting article, I knew it was a fast but that's all I really knew. There's a Somali restaurant that I go to all of the time (great food) they're really nice people. I wish that more people would take the time to actually know someone let alone two people of a different culture before making generalizations about them. People also have to understand that radicals are not average Muslims, just like radical Christians don't represent the average Christian. Not to mention the fact that our country was founded on religious tolerance. I think it's really interesting that Jewish, Christans, and Muslims all have Michael and Gabriel as angels( I actually looked it up and there's three in total that they share the third being Raphael). I don't mean to imply anything by that just interesting.

    July 13, 2013 at 6:29 am |
    • Tom

      Christians don't share anything with Muslims. Period. Don't be deceived. Only historically did the Muslims come out of the Abrahamic line through Ishmael, but nothing about their god resembles the true and only GOD of the universe.

      July 13, 2013 at 7:43 am |
    • Criminy

      I got to the first paragraph and read all the wonderful and purifying things they do... and the sentenced finished with "DURING DAYLIGHT HOURS" - what a crock! Anyone can abstain from anything (except breathing) for the daylight hours in a day. It means nothing.

      July 13, 2013 at 7:55 am |
  12. Fatima

    Alhamdulilah (Thank you Allah) for guiding me to the right path and making me part of this great religion.

    July 13, 2013 at 4:52 am |
    • Google Translator

      Translation: "I'm stupid and gullible."

      July 13, 2013 at 5:00 am |
    • rs1201

      I wonder if Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Christmas, Easter, or Passover are announced in muslim countries as CNN think it's appropriate to announce the arrival of ramadan?
      I'm quite sure that none of these Holy Days are announced and so the only thing I have to say to CNN is...WHO CARES?

      July 13, 2013 at 7:04 am |
    • Shakira

      @rs1201 you cared enough to read the article and comment on it.

      July 13, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
  13. Rashad Chowdhury

    Dear CNN,
    first it was very nice of you guys to tell people about Ramadan and Islam. I thank all the CNN workers thanks. However, there are some people here does not like muslims or they do not care about our rituals. Please remove this blog, because as muslim we feel terrible when others say(comments) that we (1.6 billion) should go back to allah 🙁

    July 13, 2013 at 4:27 am |
    • Basically

      If your religion didn't kill and oppress so many people, then you wouldn't have such a bad PR problem.

      July 13, 2013 at 5:01 am |
    • Observer

      They are Hindus posting hate filled messages against Muslims with fake names

      July 13, 2013 at 5:27 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "Please remove this blog, because as muslim we feel terrible"

      First off, CNN won't remove the blog.
      Second, your persecution complex is no different than the christians who cry when their belief is questioned and then called out. Silly beliefs in the imaginary deserve to be scrutinized.

      July 13, 2013 at 6:48 am |
    • rs1201

      You brought it upon yourself...if people dislike or have stronger feelings against muslims...it's purely because of what your people have done....9/11, Ft Hood, Times Square, underwear bomber, Boston Marathon....etc.
      As an American Jew, I enjoy all holidays...Jewish and Christian...I love to see the happiness of children at Christmas time and their anticipation of gifts...the joy of children at Chanukah with the prospect of getting gifts every day for 8 days...it's innocent...joyful...and absent of malice. When I see muslims in my country...America...going about their business I resent them to high heaven...the first thought that comes to mind is "would I, an American Jew, be able to function and go about my business in Riyadh or would I be scurrying about worried that I might be beheaded if anyone discovered who I am?.

      July 13, 2013 at 7:14 am |
      • myweightinwords

        Why live your life with so much fear and hatred in your heart? That hurts no one but yourself.

        American Muslims are no different than American Jews and American Christians and American Buddhists and American Hindus and American Atheists and all the rest of us. We share a common bond and a common freedom.

        Your hatred does nothing but burn inside you and alienate you from others.

        July 1, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
  14. Veritas

    Amazing all these ridiculous nonsensical rituals people still engage in. How long will the religious silliness prevail before we all evolve?

    July 13, 2013 at 12:26 am |
    • Athy

      I'm guessing about 250 years (10 – 12 generations). But who knows? We could possibly extrapolate based on polls. The only important thing is, religion is fading and truth is winning.

      July 13, 2013 at 1:03 am |
    • Clark high

      We should get rid off these lunatics altogether

      July 13, 2013 at 1:30 am |
    • faith

      march 3 2016
      9am sharp

      July 13, 2013 at 2:48 am |
    • faith

      Porcius Festus was procurator of Judea from about AD 59 to 62, succeeding Antonius Felix. His exact time in office is not known. The earliest proposed date for the start of his term is c. A.D. 55-6, while the latest is A.D. 61.[1] These extremes have not gained much support and most scholars opt for a date between 58 to 60. F. F. Bruce says that, "The date of his [Felix's] recall and replacement by Porcius Festus is disputed, but a change in the provincial coinage of Judaea attested for Nero's fifth year points to A.D. 59"[2] Conybeare and Howson lay out an extended argument for the replacement taking place in A.D. 60.[3]

      Festus inherited all of the problems of his predecessor in regard to the Roman practice of creating civic privileges for Jews. Only one other issue bedeviled his administration, the controversy between Agrippa II and the priests in Jerusalem regarding the wall erected at the temple to break the view of the new wing of Agrippa's palace.

      Bronze prutah minted by Porcius Festus.

      Obverse: Greek letters NEP WNO C (Nero) in wreath tied at the bottom with an X.

      Reverse: Greek letters KAICAPOC (Caesar) and date LE (year 5 = 58/59 A.D), palm branch

      During his administration, Jewish hostility to Rome was greatly inflamed by the civic privileges issue. Feelings were aroused which played an important part in the closely following Jewish War of AD 66.

      In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul had his final hearing before Festus. In Acts 25:12, Festus sought to induce Paul to go to Jerusalem for trial; Paul appealed to the Emperor. The appeal resulted in Paul being deported to Rome.

      ^ Encyclopædia Britannica, s.v. "Bible". Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1910. pp. 892f.
      ^ Bruce, F. F. (1983). New Testament History. Doubleday. pp. 345f.
      ^ Conybeare, W. J. and J. S. Howson (1905). The Life and Epistles of Saint Paul. Hartford: The S. S. Scranton Company. pp. 899f.

      July 13, 2013 at 3:04 am |
    • Tom

      @Veritas and @Athy,
      Silly and ridiculous? How are you so completely sure that GOD doesn't exist and billions of others are absolutely positive He does?

      Exactly when do you think religion was 'made up'? Millions of years ago? 2000 years ago? 100 years ago? Last week? When you decide on a time, think about the people of that time. How do you think they would have responded when they were told about GOD, Jesus walking on water, raised from the dead, bringing others back to life. Do you think the people would have said, 'wow, that's amazing. That could happen. Sure thing, I believe it."? No, of course not. They wouldn't believe any of it. They would know immediately that it's all made up. To me, the only way it could have happened is as it did. Jesus came back to life. Thousands of people saw him. They touched his wounds. And it was written. Hundreds of examples like this are possible only if they happened and were written at the time.

      So I pose my original question again. How are you so completely sure that GOD can't exist? Why is it so hard for you to believe? When did you turn your back on GOD? Why do you hate GOD so much that you won't even consider His promise to you? He wants to know you. And He has a perfect plan for your life. Learn more about Him before making your final decision. There's still time. Read your Bible. Start with the book of John. And let GOD transform your life.

      July 13, 2013 at 8:04 am |
      • fintronics

        "So I pose my original question again. How are you so completely sure that GOD can't exist? Why is it so hard for you to believe?"..........

        Well, that's an easy one for me....... no evidence.... ZERO, nothing.....

        July 1, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
      • fintronics

        Why do you think we can hate something we don't believe in??

        July 1, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
    • Mirosal

      @ Tom ... Our species has bee around for abot 200,000 years. in that time, man has worshiped 10,000 + "gods", and to date, not a single one of them has shown any proof of its existence. It's so easy to kill a god, simply stop believing, and it fades into the realm of mythology. Also, about your little book of fables, not a single eyewitness wrote a word in it. EVERY story about your dead zombie savior was written decades after he suppposedly lived and died. It is nothing but hearsay, and THAT is not evidence. I'd bet that you'd readily admit that every other "god" is false, does not, and has never, existed. So, without using your book of recycled myths, tell us your evidence that out of that 10,000 plus, yours is more real that, say, Zeus.

      July 13, 2013 at 8:28 am |
  15. TDM

    piouslylame, is there some reason you feel compelled to answer every post?

    July 12, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      Hello TDM,

      I can do many things TDM! I am right now listening to youtube music and the local news on TV and commenting here! I am just an old man with time on my hands and am finding out the freedoms in multi-tasking,,, and yes I feel a compelling need to converse with many people posting their individual connotations of conjectured rationalisms. Does this answer your posited queery?

      July 12, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
    • Athy

      Queery? Interesting word. In any event, lion, your answer, as always, was pompous and not all that direct. You could have done it in ten words or less. And I mean "understandable" words.

      July 12, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
  16. AdoplhH

    So force feed them, watch them all go to Allah. World problem solved.

    1.6 billion? That many dullards believe in a fake deity ?

    July 12, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      Hi there Adop,,

      I hope for religious sakes your hopes will never come to fruition,,, and beside such wishful thinking is rotting your mind and shows a sense of negativity commonly written by many junior and juvenile interlopers,,,

      July 12, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • bostontola

      "1.6 billion? That many dullards believe in a fake deity ?"

      What do you think of the 2.2 billion Christians?

      July 12, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
    • Mirosal

      @ bostontola ... you talk of fake deities ... please tell us which of the 10,000 + deitied man has worshiped are the real ones.

      July 13, 2013 at 2:26 am |
    • bostontola

      Mirosal,
      I believe there are no deities.

      July 13, 2013 at 8:35 am |
  17. BBQ MASTER

    Eat at a BBQ in Carolina. Safest place to eat. No Muzzies!

    July 12, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      Here in the swamplands all religious denominations are all welcome to my BBQ! "Muzzies too !"

      July 12, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
      • fintronics

        but no atheists?....

        July 1, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
  18. Dan

    I live in the Middle East and I cannot tell you how much I have grown to hate Ramadan. A bunch of people whinging and crying about how hungry they are, how good they are for doing it and then stuffing themselves silly all night. Then they come to work the next day (if they bother) too tired to get anything accomplished because they're not sleeping properly and the whinging gets even worse...unless, of course you're rich...then you sleep all day, wake before the sun goes down and call it a fast. PPPPPPTTTTHHHHHHPPPT. Pfooey!

    July 12, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
    • Dan

      But, on the upside, the malls are open to 2 a.m.

      July 12, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      Hello Danny "boy",

      I have a really hard time believing you Danny Boy. I sense a futile teenager who wants to be a socially accepted bigoted fool. Truth?

      July 12, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
      • fintronics

        Lion lamb chops.... I sense you are an old man that desperately clings to a fairytale religion.

        July 1, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
    • justuandme

      Hi Dan,

      Just an FYI, if a Muslim complains about being hungry during the fasting period especially in a public manner. It breaks the fast and is a sin. Any other similar notions or motions will break the fast. So you see you may want to tell the truth the next time around and not make up lies.

      July 13, 2013 at 7:18 am |
    • Ram a dan

      "I live in the Middle East and I cannot tell you how much I have grown to hate Ramadan."

      Maybe it's your name, Dan.

      July 13, 2013 at 7:32 am |
  19. Reality

    Summarizing for the new members of this blog:

    Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc.) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details available upon written request.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    July 12, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      Hello Reality,

      This discomfort you seem to be paroling, has it overtaken your Life conjuring will to explain to others your religious misfortunes and discomforting issues that you find an ensuing and unquenched need to tell others what your found upon the net; information others may find enlightening as you have found it to be?

      July 12, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
    • Reality

      References to peruse:

      Only for the new members of this blog:

      o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.

      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

      30-60 CE Passion Narrative
      40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
      50-60 1 Thessalonians
      50-60 Philippians
      50-60 Galatians
      50-60 1 Corinthians
      50-60 2 Corinthians
      50-60 Romans
      50-60 Philemon
      50-80 Colossians
      50-90 Signs Gospel
      50-95 Book of Hebrews
      50-120 Didache
      50-140 Gospel of Thomas
      50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
      50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
      65-80 Gospel of Mark
      70-100 Epistle of James
      70-120 Egerton Gospel
      70-160 Gospel of Peter
      70-160 Secret Mark
      70-200 Fayyum Fragment
      70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
      73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
      80-100 2 Thessalonians
      80-100 Ephesians
      80-100 Gospel of Matthew
      80-110 1 Peter
      80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
      80-130 Gospel of Luke
      80-130 Acts of the Apostles
      80-140 1 Clement
      80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
      80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
      80-250 Christian Sibyllines
      90-95 Apocalypse of John
      90-120 Gospel of John
      90-120 1 John
      90-120 2 John
      90-120 3 John
      90-120 Epistle of Jude
      93 Flavius Josephus
      100-150 1 Timothy
      100-150 2 Timothy
      100-150 T-itus
      100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
      100-150 Secret Book of James
      100-150 Preaching of Peter
      100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
      100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
      100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
      100-160 2 Peter

      3. Historical Jesus Studies, faithfutures.org/HJstudies.html,
      – "an extensive and constantly expanding literature on historical research into the person and cultural context of Jesus of Nazareth"
      4. Jesus Database, faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html–"The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
      5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      6. The Jesus Seminar, mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      7. Writing the New Testament- mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/testament.html
      8. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias
      joezias.com/HealthHealingLandIsrael.htm
      9. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.

      July 13, 2013 at 12:15 am |
    • Reality

      16. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
      17. Diseases in the Bible:
      etd.unisa.ac.za/ETD-db/theses/available/etd-08022006-125807/unrestricted/02dissertation.pdf
      18. Religion on Line (6000 articles on the history of religion, churches, theologies,
      theologians, ethics, etc.
      religion-online.org/
      19. The Jesus Seminarians and their search for NT authenticity:
      mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      20. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT ntgateway.com/
      21. Writing the New Testament- existing copies, oral tradition etc.
      ntgateway.com/
      22. The Search for the Historic Jesus by the Jesus Seminarians:
      members.aol.com/DrSwiney/seminar.html
      23. Jesus Decoded by Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco (Da Vinci Code review)jesusdecoded.com/introduction.php
      24. JD Crossan's scriptural references for his book the Historical Jesus separated into time periods: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan1.rtf
      25. JD Crossan's conclusions about the authencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the conclusions of other NT exegetes in the last 200 years:
      faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan2.rtf
      26. Common Sayings from Thomas's Gospel and the Q Gospel: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan3.rtf
      27. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
      28. Luke and Josephus- was there a connection?
      infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html
      29. NT and beyond time line:
      pbs.org/empires/peterandpaul/history/timeline/
      30. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
      harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm
      31. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
      32. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.
      33. The books of the following : Professors Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
      34. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
      35. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus

      July 13, 2013 at 12:16 am |
  20. luke hildebrand

    Islam is an invention.

    July 12, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
    • Filthy Hind I love to Mithrism lick and talk Islam bunk

      Just like all religions.

      July 12, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      Hello Jukebox Luke,

      I guess then your being an "invention" of procreation puts the damper on wishful conditioning then?

      July 12, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
    • Veritas

      Duh! All religions are human inventions to cope with the lack of obvious purpose and meaning as well as their fear of dying.

      July 13, 2013 at 12:27 am |
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About this blog

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