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August 4th, 2014
12:06 PM ET

What's religion's role in the Mideast crisis?

CNN's Poppy Harlow interviews religious leaders from Christianity, Islam and Judaism about the role of religion in the Mideast conflict.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Foreign policy • Islam • Israel • Jerusalem • Judaism • Middle East • Muslim

soundoff (414 Responses)
  1. MadeFromDirt

    Two religions that reject Christ. Instead of following the Giver and Redeemer of life, they replace Him with the foolishness of self-righteousness, and so their paths lead only to ongoing self-destruction. That's what you get.

    August 5, 2014 at 1:08 am |
    • tallulah131

      They have just as much evidence that their beliefs are the "right one" as you do. All you're doing is claiming that your made up story is better than their made up stories.

      August 5, 2014 at 1:58 am |
      • MadeFromDirt

        Tallulah131, here's a test to determine the truth of a doctrine: Look at its fruits - does it affirm our Creator's absolute sovereignty, or elevate man in God's place?

        August 5, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
    • bostontola

      ISIS is killing Christians in Iraq, is that what they get? Your pridefullness is showing.

      August 5, 2014 at 7:38 am |
      • igaftr

        ISIS is killing anyone who tries to get in their way.
        Even AL Queda cut all ties with them for being too radical.
        Try to wrap your brain around that one.

        August 5, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
      • MadeFromDirt

        Bostontola, you have a short-sighted and man-centered view of existence. Our lives, tribulations, suffering, and deaths in this world fade to nothing compared to God's gift of eternal spiritual life with Him. Even events which seem horrible to us in this world are used by God for His greater eternal purposes. The reasons can be discovered, sooner or later. Christians have been persecuted and killed since the early days of Christianty, even by others claiming to be Christian, just as Christ warned. Being adopted into Christ's family is no guarantee of an easy life in this fallen world, but it is a guarantee of His eternal love and protection.

        August 5, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          dirt: "Even events which seem horrible to us in this world are used by God for His greater eternal purposes."

          now remember that when one of your children,mother,father,aunt,uncle,cousin,brother,or sister dies a horrible way to a diease, natural weather disaster or random act of violence.

          remember it's all part of your god's plan to cause you suffering.......it's ok he will kiss it and make it better after you die.

          August 5, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
        • evidencenot

          Dirt speaking for an imaginary god again.... ho hum

          August 5, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
    • igaftr

      " the foolishness of self-righteousness"

      Yes, and you are a fine example of foolish self righteousness.

      August 5, 2014 at 10:25 am |
      • MadeFromDirt

        Igaftr, it is not self-righteous to rely on the righteousness of Christ. You can call me foolish for my faith in Christ if you want, but I have no faith in my ability to stand alone before God. And I am not boasting; my favored position before God is entirely His gift to me, not because of anything I did, do, or deserve.

        August 5, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
        • igaftr

          " it is not self-righteous to rely on the righteousness of Christ. "

          Yes it is, if the myths surrounding the man are not true, and none of the supernatural claims can be shown to be true.
          That means, you do not knwo if Christ was "righteous", and most liekly was not. So that means you also are most likely not right, so cannot be righteous. By all means , prove you OR christ were right and you may claim righteousness, until you can prove it, it is just another case od delusion and FALSE righteousness, which is a plague in America.

          August 6, 2014 at 9:02 am |
        • MadeFromDirt

          Igaftr, you're being redundant on purpose I'm sure, but it is so true. If you start with presupposing there is no Creator, as you do despite the proof of your existence, then of course to you anything anyone believes about Christ has to be delusional and self-based and self-generated and self-confirmed, and so would be your own belief about your life and purpose.

          But the good news is the flip side, where if you admit there is a Creator, then you must go outside self to consider the pure eternal power of the Being who could create and sustain everything we see and experience, and you have to go outside self to accept His authority, and you go outside self to see His chosen means of communication to His creatures revealing the truth of how we can be united to Him and His infinite power despite our impurities and limitations.

          Will today be the day God shows you the way away from yourself and back to Him?

          August 7, 2014 at 2:23 am |
  2. awanderingscot

    Of course the media wants the focus of the wars in the world today to be on the Middle East. This came about with the industrial revolution and the need for oil and thus the strategic importance of the region. Control of the regions' resources is the underlying cause for conflict, and religion is only ancillary.

    There are however many wars in the world today, many of them ideological in origin. The ideological struggle between Marxism and capitalism has probably spawned more wars during the last half of the previous century up to this day. Even in these wars religion is only ancillary.

    August 4, 2014 at 8:19 pm |
    • observer

      awanderingscot,

      This is a RELIGIOUS war.

      Try again.

      August 4, 2014 at 8:52 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "There are however many wars in the world today, many of them ideological in origin.
      ---------------------
      Yes, let's go with the Central African Republic or northwest Nigeria, or northern Mali.

      Yep, nothing to do with religion there.

      August 4, 2014 at 9:14 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        Answer War has been used for hundreds of thousands of years as a way of attaining a certain goal through the use of force. There are two main categories for which countries go to war: 1. Political, 2. Economic. All of the possibilities fit into one (or both) of these two categories. For example: 1. Freedom from oppression (political) 2. Boundary disputes (political) 3. Assasination (political) 4. Resources (economic) 5. Poverty (economic) 6. Boundary disputes, again (economic)

        – Wiki Answers

        August 4, 2014 at 9:23 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        If your argument is that religion is a tool of politics, then sure, I agree.

        August 4, 2014 at 9:44 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      Land is a resource and in this very small part of the Middle East the fight is over land (territory). Religion is ancillary. It's oil that is the bigger resource in the Middle East and the bigger problem. I know, I've been there and I've had conversations with the residents.

      August 4, 2014 at 9:18 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Obvious troll is obvious.

      August 4, 2014 at 9:52 pm |
  3. dandintac

    Religion's role in the mideast crisis is CENTRAL and absolutely necessary. By that I mean that if it were not for religion, there would be no conflict in Israel. And the wars in Iraq would not exist either.

    The Jews and Muslims in Israel/Palestine do not want to be part of each other's societies. Can anyone tell me the sole reason the Palestinians aren't simply granted Israeli citizenship and rights? One reason only: they belong to the WRONG RELIGION! This is the basic truth of the matter. If they were Jewish, they would be welcomed with open arms! But they are "The Other." If they were all Muslims, or all Jews, or all atheists, there would be no problem.

    The same with Iraq. If they were all Sunni, or all Shia, there would be no conlfict. These conflicts could not possibly exist if there were no religion.

    August 4, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
    • bostontola

      I think the current Middle East wars are more a result of European colonial wake than religion. The unnatural borders imposed when the European imperialistic powers released them have reverberations that continue. This same effect was felt in SE Asia, India, etc.

      August 4, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        "I think the current Middle East wars are more a result of European colonial wake than religion."
        -----------------------
        Broadly speaking yes, (though I would say 'post-colonial'). In the case of Israel and the Palestinian territories, it is a pretty unique combination of 20th century European hegemony and religion.

        Zionism would never have had the support it garnered without the Balfour Declaration and the aftermath of the Third Reich, but you cannot separate Zionism from religion.

        August 4, 2014 at 8:06 pm |
      • dandintac

        boston,

        Would there be any conflict in Israel right now if all those Palestinians were Jews? Or if Israel were a Muslim State instead of a Jewish one? Please tell me how this is a European colonialist issue. That entire long, bloody conflict is SOLELY because of religion.

        How about the Sunnis and Shiites fighting each other in Iraq? How is the colonialists' fault? That entire conflict is based on religion. If they were all Sunni or Shiite, there would be no Muslim vs Muslim fighting in Iraq today.

        This seems to me manifestly clear.

        August 5, 2014 at 11:32 pm |
    • kevinite

      I think of Andalusia of where when Jews and Muslims lived in relative peace for centuries despite their religious differences,. There was a certain amount of civility mutual agreement, so I don't think that this is all completely due to religion. When there is more to it such as territorial disputes, which then leads to by this point in time since the Zionist movement and especially since 1948 a few generations of deeply imbedded hostilities, I believe there is more to the rift besides religion between the Israelis and Palestinians.

      A difference of course being between Andalusia and Israel is being specifically a separate autonomous nation state of Non-muslims in a region where it was predominately Muslim for so many centuries. An area that has also been of such great religious significance for Muslims, which also happens to a region that has been of such vital importance to those Non-muslums, the Jews, as not only being a land of their religious significance but also ethnic and cultural significance to them. It's not that religion doesn't play a significant role here, because I do believe it does, but I also believe that there are other significant factors in play here as well. When Saladin retook Jerusalem and the bitter struggling with the Crusaders that treaty was made to secure Christian pilgrimages to Jerusalem and that the Church of the Holy Sepulcure was then maintained in Christian hands, so I do believe a religious solution could be possible, but of course if there are those who must believe that for peace that one group has to leave the disputed territory altogether which makes the others who may be otherwise more reasonable to not be so reasonable because of the actions of the fringe groups then that can create a situation that can spiral out of control. These are factors that could be considered religious based but they can also be viewed as also being ethnic or culturally based, or even just due to simple differential intolerance as a whole in regards to one's turf.

      August 4, 2014 at 9:05 pm |
      • dandintac

        Kevin,

        Did you know there's no genetic difference at all between Muslims who have lived in Palestine/Israel for generations, and Jews? They are literally the same people in every since of the word–with the exception of religion! If the Palestinians were Jews, they would be welcomed with open arms, and legally enti-tled to Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return.

        Religion is everything in this conflict! We often talk about this conflict as if the Israelis were humans, and the Palestinians were something else–perhaps orcs, but they are all human with the sole difference being their religion.

        August 5, 2014 at 11:50 pm |
        • kevinite

          You mean just like the original Christians were Jews as well? I was aware to the common Semitic ancestry. Just like in Andalusia the Muslims and Jews knew of their commonality and despite their religious differences they were able to to have peace. I never said religion had no factor at all but that doesn't mean that religion is the only factor. There could still be open arms between the two like in Andalusia where if there were not other issues like dealing with territorial issues in the Levant between the two groups.

          August 6, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
  4. bostontola

    1. If there were no religions, I think the world would have had about as much war and killing as we've actually experienced.
    2. That said, religion has been an accelerant in many cases.
    3. In the specific case of Israeli wars, religion is uniquely causative. This land is small, not very productive, or very strategic other than as a center for Abrahamic religions. It was geographically well positioned as a center for trade between Asia and Europe, but not uniquely so (Lebanon, Turkey, etc. could have been equally useful in that regard). This land has resulted in war and death far beyond its intrinsic value. The reason is religious attachment.
    4. In the broader Middle East religion is as in point 1, a convenient excuse for 1 group to gain power and resources over another (even within the same religion, new sects formed).

    August 4, 2014 at 7:15 pm |
  5. Peaceadvocate2014

    NOTHING.

    The hatred toward a group or religion was i think due to the violence inflicted, thus, the perpetuation of violence or hatred.

    The mideast crisis in my opinion is not about religious belief but GREED.

    August 4, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
    • austin929

      yes . you could substi.tute other words in there for greed too. anger. revenge. ect.

      August 4, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
      • Peaceadvocate2014

        Anger, revenge etc are results of being greedy.

        History repeats itself. Remeber the crusades. Religion is often used for causes.

        August 4, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
      • Peaceadvocate2014

        Althought there are others who are deceived that it is about religion.

        August 4, 2014 at 6:59 pm |
    • igaftr

      Advocate.
      Considering the FACT that Isreal would not exist today if it were not for religious beliefs, the root of the problem is still religion. It is not the only factor, but it is the root and one of the biggest factors.

      If all they wanted was peace, they could leave, but they stay because of their beliefs.

      August 5, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
      • Peaceadvocate2014

        Religion may have been used to promote the establishment of the state of israel.

        Listen to moderate christians, muslims, jews and others. They all think we could all live together without figthing through war. The hawks from each denomination would certainly disagree to attain more whatever. Human nature. A nature we are trying to control or apply with our moral evolution.

        August 5, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
  6. austin929

    Jeremiah 4:22 ►

    "My people are fools; they do not know me. They are senseless children; they have no understanding. They are skilled in doing evil; they know not how to do good."

    August 4, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
    • Doris

      Goodness – one minute they are touting how man is so far above the animals and next thing you know, they are placing such great import on talking snakes and bullfrogs.

      August 4, 2014 at 6:36 pm |
      • austin929

        Man was cursed beyond what animals were cursed.

        August 4, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
        • harlow13

          Come the next full moon, I will bury a dead chicken beneath a great oak and recite the proper incantation. Boogie boogie!

          August 4, 2014 at 6:55 pm |
      • ausphor

        Doris
        The three dog night reference probably flew right through austin's head, Joy to the World, anyway, such as it is.

        August 4, 2014 at 6:56 pm |
    • ausphor

      Austin
      Their are certain words that the editors of the blog do not like us to use when referring to another poster (id!ot, m0r0n, f00l, ret@rd, in$ane, psych0path etc.) so I will refrain from using them in your case. However, if you really believe that 5 out of seven people that reject your rather absurd beliefs are some how relegated to a mythical severe punishment in a mythical after life, well I recant, you are all of those things I am not allowed to say. BTW, Topher believes that there are only a very, very few really, really, real true Christians that are worthy of the handle, how about you, are you part of the elite? You guys, craz-ier than a bag of hammers!!!

      August 4, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      So then, Jebus' death did no good then, and nothing is different.

      That's what I thought.

      August 4, 2014 at 7:22 pm |
      • evidencenot

        It's THE oldest con game

        August 5, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
    • evidencenot

      Kings 2:23-24

      "He [Elisha] went up from there to Bethel; and while he was going up on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, saying, “Go away, baldhead! Go away, baldhead!” When he turned around and saw them, he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two she-bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys."

      August 6, 2014 at 8:23 am |
  7. unsername1

    what is religion's role in the Mideast crisis? I guess they are responsible for 99% of untimely deaths in middle east.

    August 4, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
  8. lunchbreaker

    Stange men lying on mountain tops, distributing rocks is no basis for a system of government. If I said I was enti/tled to a lovely peace of beach front because a flaming pillar lobbed a scroll at me, they'd put me away.

    August 4, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
    • joey3467

      Supreme executive power should be derived from the masses, not some farcical aquatic ceremony.

      August 4, 2014 at 5:29 pm |
      • evidencenot

        see the violence inherent in the system!!

        August 5, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
  9. Reality

    And the peaceful solution?? WAIT FOR IT............................................ ATHEISM !!!!! Details previously presented.

    Barring that since neither side has an historical claim to the area, (as noted previously), the Jews of Israel should move to the USA and Canada and the Muslims of the USA and Canada should go to Palestine/Israel.

    August 4, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
    • austin929

      no one has a claim?

      you may want to be careful is all. because Israels enemies are cursed. I don't know who the exact people referred to in the bible are Israel are, nor do I know who is truly saved, but I do know the Israel has a claim authored by God.

      August 4, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
      • harlow13

        It sounds like you believe in curses. If so, I don't think you are applying critical thinking to the concept.

        I realize they were fictional, but the Darling family from the old Andy Griffith show believed in curses.

        August 4, 2014 at 6:37 pm |
        • evidencenot

          "Beak of owl,
          Strip of swine,
          tooth of the comb,
          take mine from thine.
          Kinaba in, Kinaba out
          Kinaba in and 'round about. "

          August 5, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
      • LaBella

        Austin,
        Do you feel that a Israel can do no wrong, based on the OT?

        August 4, 2014 at 7:11 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        " I do know the Israel has a claim authored by God."

        That is a large part of why this keeps going. Far too many people take those words to heart and will stop at nothing until they have fulfilled that. This battle will endure until the last Palestinian has drawn their last breath or Hamas obliterates Israel...either way, this is ludicrous and people need to put down their holy books and learn to live in peace.

        August 4, 2014 at 7:48 pm |
        • G to the T

          True – certainty of one's position does not lend itself to compromise.

          August 5, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
    • austin929

      Reality, I think that your statement is valid and not offensive if you truly do not believe in the God of the Israel.

      but you have been told by people such as me that He is truly real. And you also have the completed Word of God.

      August 4, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
      • austin929

        Deuteronomy 30:7 ►

        The LORD your God will put all these curses on your enemies who hate and persecute you.

        August 4, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
        • Doris

          I think I heard somewhere that is the short version of that verse. If I remember correctly, the original verse was:

          The LORD your God will put all these curses on your enemies who hate and persecute you because he is a witch.

          August 4, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
        • LaBella

          Is that the MP version, Doris?
          Yer cracking me up.

          August 4, 2014 at 6:37 pm |
        • Doris

          Oh yeah – maybe it was them...lol.

          August 4, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
        • austin929

          really though, God rejection is the reason for the persecution of Jews.

          again , the worship of error becomes an idol and it desolates ones soul, and the devil walks in and one becomes soul enslaved.

          August 4, 2014 at 6:43 pm |
        • tallulah131

          He turned me into a newt!

          August 4, 2014 at 7:00 pm |
        • Doris

          Nahh, austin. All you have to remember is this:

          I must not fear.
          Fear is the mind-killer.
          Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
          I will face my fear.
          I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
          And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
          Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
          Only I will remain.

          August 4, 2014 at 7:02 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          really though, God rejection is the reason for the persecution of Jews.
          again , the worship of error becomes an idol and it desolates ones soul, and the devil walks in and one becomes soul enslaved.

          Seriously ? In 2014 you actually still believe in invisible fallen angels ?

          How many times did Israel's god promise to never let them down again ? How many times has it broken that promise ?

          August 4, 2014 at 7:24 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Austin still believes it but Austin saw the light...he's sooooooooooooo speciallllllllllll (in a needy kind of way). I think the boy received some brain damage at some point and that the AA meetings the courts forced him to attend really did more harm than good, plus as some other person mentioned, it does look good at the parole board to say you found jesus.

          August 4, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          @Doris,

          I don't think that Austin is the Kwisatz Haderach somehow.

          August 4, 2014 at 9:09 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Doris
          How do you know that He is a witch?
          Does He weigh the same as a duck?

          August 5, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
        • evidencenot

          @Austin = " really though, God rejection is the reason for the persecution of Jews."

          This is truly a very sick person...

          August 5, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
  10. Vic

    ♰ ♰ ♰ Jesus Christ Is Lord ♰ ♰ ♰

    As I study the Bible, I learn that what grieves God the most is disbelief in Him and malevolence of humans towards each other.

    That was the case when the earth was corrupted by violence after humans started multiplying that led to the measure of the great deluge. (Genesis 6:9-13)

    That was also the case with Sodom and Gomorrah where people were proud in disbelief and ignored the poor and destitute culminating in seeking fornication with Lot's guest Angels. (Genesis 18:20 & 19:4-11, 1Kings 15:12 & Ezekiel 16:49)

    Then was the precedent at the Garden of Gethsemane when one of the disciples struck and cut the apprehending soldier's ear with a sword where the Lord Jesus Christ immediately stopped him, healed the soldier's ear and rebuked violence. (Matthew 26:50-56 & Luke 22:49-53)

    The Lord Jesus Christ Is Our Peace

    Ephesians 2:14-16
    "14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity." (NASB)

    August 4, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
    • igaftr

      "As I study the Bible, I learn that what grieves God the most is disbelief in Him and malevolence of humans towards each other."

      At least according to the MEN who wrote it.

      One thing is still certain...there continues to be no evidence of any gods.

      August 4, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
      • austin929

        igaftr

        try and get in touch with the Holy Spirit, and your guardian angel. And I believe that they will warn you about rejection.

        August 4, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Try to get in touch with reality, Austin.

          August 4, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
        • igaftr

          "try and get in touch with the Holy Spirit,"

          I did try, then I realized that that only exists in your head, so I did not bother deluding myself...it looks good on you though ( Rodney reference)

          Still no evidence austin...none at all.

          August 4, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
        • Reality

           AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC/SATANIC CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD

          Joe Smith had his Moroni and Satan/Perdition/Lucifer. (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 and of course Satan and his demons.

          Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around) and of course the jinn.

          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/ugly/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.

          Some added references to "tink-erbells".

          newadvent.org/cathen/07049c.htm

          "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."

          Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:

          "TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."

          August 4, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
        • austin929

          tallulah and igaftr.

          lol! you two are cool with me! I like talking to you both!

          August 4, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Dude, you need more help than our faltering mental health system can give.

          August 4, 2014 at 9:54 pm |
      • rogerthat2014

        God: "It really grieves me that so many people do not believe in me. Oh what shall I do?"

        Roger that: "How about making an appearance somewhere other than someone's imagination?"

        August 4, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
    • ausphor

      Vic
      God does not love you, is not going to save you and doesn't even like you, grow up, Jees.

      August 4, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
      • believerfred

        Your concept of God is not God as presented or known by the vast majority of believers. In short you make up a god in your head then you tell believers your made up god is not like God.

        August 4, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          fred, Each religion and each sect within a religion is the minimum number of "ideas of god" and that's presuming that all members of a given sect have the same idea – so tens of thousands at least.

          August 4, 2014 at 6:02 pm |
        • believerfred

          In Santa
          If you are attempting to limit God by mans concepts then you do not know God.

          August 4, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
        • ausphor

          fred
          The concept of any sort of god that I would admit to would not be anything close to the personal god that so many religions believe in, after all I am a Deist. My god can simply be a scientific fact or concept that we have not discovered; certainly not some supernatural hocus pocus. I don't know, neither do you, the difference is I am willing to admit that fact while you would rather listen to the soothsayers.

          August 4, 2014 at 6:13 pm |
        • austin929

          your choice of excuses or escapes, because idolatry and desolate your soul.

          Error is idolatry, and it is seductively appealing to one with total enmity toward God.

          self justification of error becomes an idol, an abomination of the soul. your choose wrong, you make an idol of that thing, that person or job, that gives Satan the opportunity to walk into your soul and take control, and you become soul enslaved.

          August 4, 2014 at 6:15 pm |
        • ausphor

          Austin
          Really. LOL.

          August 4, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
        • Doris

          "...the opportunity to walk into your soul and take control, and you become soul enslaved."

          You know, I think that's what happened to me while I was enjoying that new James Brown movie that just came out.

          August 4, 2014 at 6:33 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Your own concept of god isn't the same as most believers. Geez, when are you going to grow up and learn to stop judging people???

          August 4, 2014 at 8:06 pm |
        • believerfred

          ausphor
          "certainly not some supernatural hocus pocus. I don't know, neither do you, the difference is I am willing to admit that fact"
          =>I know it is not hocus pocus simply because magic involves illusion or delusion. A virgin birth is not magic it is real or a lie.
          =>When God said let it be and it was so this is a construct of some form unknown to me. I prefer let it be and it was so over a quantum flux any day. As I see it today there is no difference other than I have added agency. This I do because science and the Bible reflect cause and effect. There is no justification for suddenly deciding causality was non existent

          August 4, 2014 at 8:25 pm |
        • believerfred

          TruthPrevails1
          "Your own concept of god isn't the same as most believers. Geez, when are you going to grow up and learn to stop judging people???"
          =>The nature of your soul is showing. This is a true statement and stands on its own. Acknowledgement of contrast of concepts is not judgement on either concept. A more popular concept is not necessarily the right one or the wrong one.

          August 4, 2014 at 8:30 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          fred, I don't have a concept of a god as I see no evidence for one I am not convinced that there is one. What I meant is the concept of a god is described by the various religions and their various sects and each is different – they can't all be right but they can all be wrong. Whatever concept you have of a god is not universal and is only one person's concept. Why does fred alone understand god?

          August 4, 2014 at 9:01 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "The nature of your soul is showing"

          I know this hurts your feeling but a soul can't be proven to exist, so there is no reason for anyone to accept it-not your word, not the word of the men who imagined it; no-one. So when you say such moronic things I'm left wondering if you even care about humanity or if you simply like being an arrogant ASS and take pleasure from it. Do you even think about the garbage you spew? 3/4's of it has no bearing in reality or on the lives of 5 billion people on the planet. Grow up and learn some respect.

          August 5, 2014 at 5:49 am |
        • believerfred

          In Santa we Trust
          "I don't have a concept of a god as I see no evidence for one I am not convinced that there is one."
          =>I have yet to run into anyone who has not come to a choice concerning the concept of God within their culture. This is biblical and it is an objective observation that cannot be denied. In all recorded history everyone answers the question and makes the choice. Your concept of God is a form and substance which is unknowable to man and by extension the best minds of science. This fits my concept and is the typical understanding of most. Your demand for evidence that in reality you know does not exist by your own concept simply highlights a conflict in your belief (no god). This is one of the reasons people begin an earnest seeking for purpose which leads to faith.
          There is no such thing as non existence in form ,substance or concept which is why non existence is always explained by what is not present and why the notion of a non existent concept requires a preexisting concept that exists. There exists a God bucket because for all time people are driven to put something in this quadrant, we cannot help ourselves. You do it and even militant atheists such as Colin are constantly doing it. We can argue about what everyone puts in this bucket or demand evidence for what was put in the bucket but the fact is clear and objectively observed and 100% predictable that this bucket exists. Militant atheists such as Colin simply have a higher degree of anxiety over the internal conflict of their belief verse reality.

          "concept of a god is described by the various religions ... each is different – they can't all be right but they can all be wrong."
          =>No, this is simply Dawkins Dogma which has no evidence and further presents a logical fallacy. It is impossible to have one concept of a form and substance that is itself without boundaries. When you couple this with the unique perspective of each individual (no too people are the same) their must be more potential concepts than there are people.
          Not all concepts however are evidenced in reality. God is evidenced in reality by affect while Zeus is not.

          "Why does fred alone understand god?"
          =>I understand your concept agrees with my concept as to form and substance. If you were to spend the next 30 days in prayer and fasting asking for Gods presence in your life you would experience a peace that transcends all understanding. Then the wonder of God will begin to unfold

          August 5, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
        • believerfred

          TruthPrevails1
          When you watched Maleficent could you not see the conflict within the soul and final revelation of soul in the main characters?

          August 5, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          fred: "Not all concepts however are evidenced in reality. God is evidenced in reality by affect while Zeus is not."

          that can be written this way also and still be correct.

          "Not all concepts however are evidenced in reality. Zues is evidenced in reality by affect while God is not."

          same proof for both; which boils down to simple piece of parchment with magic words written on them. lmao

          August 5, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          fred: "When you watched Maleficent....."

          it's fiction, just like the bible; nuff said.

          August 5, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Now fred, I get that everyone likes a good story but there are those of us who are capable of seeing fact from fiction and much like your bible, the movie is merely fiction. Your use of the word soul falls on deaf ears when you can't verify that a soul exists. Once again, you prove your arrogance by not providing any evidence but making outrageous claims and thinking you are making a valid point.

          August 5, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
        • believerfred

          zhilla1980wasp
          Zeus is of human origin, form and substance the concept of which conflicts with reality. Zeus concept is myth given conflict in reality. As such is without affect with effect limited to prevalence of concept.
          God in form and substance is the same since the earliest oral traditions. The form and substance of God is evident in existence today both in concept and reality. Reality evidence by debate over presence and origin of affect. In the beginning God breathed life into man and since then man breaths this life into subsequent generations. The enemies of Israel did not fear God because they did not know God or have the Hebrew concept of God but, they feared Israel because God was them. The presence of God is in man and it of form and substance not of matter and energy known but a physical presence in mankind. That is the affect of God and why we see a living God not a god of the dead.

          August 5, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
        • believerfred

          Oops, above should read: they feared Israel because God was WITH them.

          August 5, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
        • believerfred

          TruthPrevails1
          We build artificial life with artificial intelligence that meets the definition of life. Current programming allows Bot to generate its own code and initiate independent protocol with almost childlike inquisitive response. There is a big difference however between Bot and a dog which we all recognize as life. There is something missing in Bot even though we can have actual extended conversation with some bizarre twists.
          I understand that if you think we are simply animals why would we have anything a dog or whale does not have. Yet we do have capacity to worship which animals do not, capacity towards creativity and artistic expression. This expression extends beyond what is known in the natural and by exposing that which exists yet was never previously known or visible. Call it fantasy but it is still a conceptual form and substance that previously escaped our attention. We landed on the moon out of a fantasy and built a Bot out of a fantasy...life imitating art. We worship what cannot be seen and the Western World View still prevalent became reality through the worship of Christ. This is the longing of the soul not present in animal

          August 5, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
        • G to the T

          "Yet we do have capacity to worship which animals do not..."

          Dogs howl at the moon...

          August 5, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
        • believerfred

          G to the T
          Looks like they believe in one more god than the atheist does.

          August 5, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
  11. austin929

    https://www.ihcc.org/Resources/GilRughMessages#0

    This like is the correct explanation for the topic of slavery in the world. The bible does not condone slavery. The New Testament explains that slavery is an opportunity to serve as a way to glorify God.

    Daniel did it. He is an example, so is Joseph.

    If you understand that Christians are called to stand the test of subjection to Nero like wicked authority, in every land and time that, then you will understand the grace of the gospel and the desire for Christ not to attack wicked governments.

    The age of the Church is a time of Gods patience and grace while the harvest of souls is reaped for the kingdom.

    The new testament is not a religion of war.

    Apostacy is Satanic perversion.

    August 4, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
    • ausphor

      Austin
      I cannot be certain if you are satanic, of course gods and demons do not exist in my world, but in your mind (such as it is) I can see nothing that could be described as Christian.

      August 4, 2014 at 5:50 pm |
      • austin929

        Ausphor,

        using scripture, show me where i am wrong in terms of "Christian " biblically.

        August 4, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
        • ausphor

          Austin
          Oh dear demanding that you are right because of something is written in scripture, how wonderful for you, classic satanic reasoning.

          August 4, 2014 at 6:22 pm |
        • austin929

          "satanic reasoning"

          Praise the Lord, you are making progress.

          August 4, 2014 at 6:25 pm |
  12. austin929

    and 1,000,000 died in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    is America a war criminal?

    August 4, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
    • austin929

      igaftr?

      August 4, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
      • igaftr

        austin
        George HW Bush is. He invaded a sovereign country violating international law, under false pretenses. The country is not war criminals, but individuals can be, and there are many Isreralis that were looked at by the UN, but the US vetoed anything offical.

        August 4, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
        • austin929

          very true. what about the followers of Adolf Hitler. like all the people who cheered him on. are they criminals?

          August 4, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
        • igaftr

          Following and cheering are not crimes, and your questions are seriously becoming inane.

          Do you have a point?

          August 4, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
        • Reality

          Our War on Terror and Aggression: (or War is Hell)

          An update (or how we are spending or how we have spent the USA taxpayers’ money to eliminate global terror and aggression)

          The terror and aggression via a Partial and Recent and Not So Recent Body Count

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

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

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

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

          and more recently

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

          1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          26 ) September 12, 2012
          U.S. AMBASSADOR KILLED
          Envoy to Libya dies in rocket blast

          27) Boston Marathon horror – April 2013, four dead, hundreds injured and maimed for life. A
          Continued below:
          Other elements of our War on Terror and Aggression:

          -Operation Iraqi Freedom- The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles as of 09/15/2011/, 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

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

          – Sa-dd-am, his sons and major he-nchmen have been deleted. Sa-dd-am's bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. Kuwait was saved.

          – Iran is being been contained. (beside containing the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Baghdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes, essential oil continues to flow from the region.)

          – North Korea is still u-ncivil but is contained.

          – Northern Ireland is finally at peace.

          – The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. Unfortunately the Annapolis Peace Conference was not successful. And unfortunately the recent events in Gaza has put this situation back to “squ-are one”. And this significant stupidity is driven by the mythical foundations of both religions!!!

          – – Fa-na–tical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. Ditto for a wall between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

          – Timothy McVeigh was exe-cuted. Terry Nichols escaped the death penalty twice because of deadlocked juries. He was sentenced to 161 consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole,[3][7] and is incarcerated in ADX Florence, a super maximum security prison near Florence, Colorado. He shares a cellblock that is commonly referred to as "Bombers Row" with Ramzi Yousef and Ted Kaczynski

          – Eric Ru-dolph is spending three life terms in pri-son with no par-ole.

          – Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, the "nuns" from Rwanda, and the KKK were all dealt with and either eliminated themselves or are being punished.

          – Islamic Sudan, Dar-fur and So-malia are still terror hot spots.
          – The terror and tor-ture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended by the proper application of the military forces of the USA and her freedom-loving friends. Ra-dovan Karadzic was finally captured on 7/23/08 and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war – charges related to the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina's secession from Yugoslavia.

          The capture of Ratko Mladić: (Serbian Cyrillic: Ратко Младић, pronounced [râtkɔ mlǎːditɕ], born 12 March 1943[1][2]) is an accused war criminal and a former Bosnian Serb military leader. On May 31, 2011, Mladić was extradited to The Hague, where he was processed at the detention center that holds suspects for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).[3] His trial began on 3 June 2011.

          – the bloody terror brought about by the Ja-panese, Na-zis and Co-mmunists was with great difficulty eliminated by the good guys.

          – Bin Laden was executed for crimes against humanity on May 1, 2011

          – Ditto for Anwar al-Awlaki on September 30, 2011

          – Ditto for Abu Yahya al-Libi on June 5, 2012

          – The capture of Abu Anas al-Libi on October 7, 2013

          August 4, 2014 at 5:10 pm |
        • austin929

          I consider the people who supported Hitler, to be guilty of some sort of crime against God. As i do the people who supported Bush.

          funny how Prescott Bush , was a financial supporter of the Nazi government. He was in bed with the Nazis in the defense banking industry.

          "George Bush's grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany.

          The Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism.

          His business dealings, which continued until his company's assets were seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act, has led more than 60 years later to a civil action for damages being brought in Germany against the Bush family by two former slave labourers at Auschwitz and to a hum of pre-election controversy. "

          August 4, 2014 at 5:18 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Hold on a second. The HW Bush was defending Kuwait, how is that a war crime?

          August 4, 2014 at 5:21 pm |
        • austin929

          ya you have a point and i get the two mixed up. But HW was high up in the CIA when kennedy got as.sas.sinated. He is probably responsible for that!

          but what i am saying is this. The bible says "if you are a slave do not rebel " you can say what you want about government, but the bible says that the governments are following a satanic procession. The who.re that rides the beast will be countered by Satans army of punishment for the apostates.

          the new testament law is steadfast long suffering love and service, even if a slave. for the chance to win anothers heart for the gospel, slave or free.

          That would certainly put a damper on war.

          August 4, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
        • austin929

          how is what Sadaam did any different than arming al queda with American weaponry? I don't even think you can say America is innocent for getting involved with Kuwait. All our motives are sick and wrong.

          August 4, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "International rules of war gets spoken
      when it suits someone to have them broken
      Its funny how they'll go on and define terror as
      Killing and exploding things to force your own agenda"

      International War Criminal, The Slackers

      August 4, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
      • austin929

        its amazing how the new testament will take the bias out of a citizen anywhere when it comes to peace.

        August 4, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
        • tallulah131

          It's amazing that you can function in society.

          August 4, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
    • Reality

      NO ONE SHOULD DIE OVER MYTHICAL GODS AND RELIGIONS BASED ON SEVERELY FLAWED THEOLOGY AND HISTORY but to keep the records straight.

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

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

      August 4, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
  13. guidedans

    Hey everyone,

    Let me tell you about a group of people who, one day realized that they wanted to live somewhere else and use the resources of that new area. One day, they left the place that they lived and they moved into this new area of land and set up shop. The problem is that there were already people living there. Pretty soon, there was a fight over resources of that area. Turns out however that the new folks in the land were technologically and militarily superior to the ones already living there. So, the invaders could easily wipe out the natives, but instead, they try to work with them. Eventually, this angers the natives, who feel that they have a claim to the land so they begin to wage a war against the invaders. Because the natives are so weak, however, those who stand up against the invaders are killed and those who do not are integrated into the invader's new society. If all of the natives continue to revolt and remain committed to the destruction of the invaders, eventually, they will all be killed.

    Does this story sound familiar? Oh wait, it's the story of EVERY country's past. How do you think countries get started? How did the US get started? How did Saudi Arabia get started? What about China and Russia?

    You know what happens in life? Dominant forces win stuff and less dominant forces either align with the dominant forces and live or battle the dominant forces and die. It happens in business, it happens in social settings, it happens in nature.

    Is this fair? No. But guess what, life isn't fair.

    August 4, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
    • igaftr

      If the middle east doesn't show you the huge problems religions represent, you truly are blind.

      August 4, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
      • kevinite

        Actually, it boils down to what one's beliefs represent whether they may be religious-based or not.

        August 4, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
        • LaBella

          Neither of the two religions involved are inherently peaceful.

          August 4, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
        • kevinite

          Which individuals within the two religions are we talking about or are you just saying that about absolutely everyone within the two religions?

          August 4, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
        • LaBella

          I am talking about the two religions in conflict in the ME right now.
          What were you talking about?

          August 4, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
        • fortheloveofellipsis

          "Which individuals within the two religions are we talking about or are you just saying that about absolutely everyone within the two religions?"

          Okay, let's see if you actually believe your own rhetoric. Does this also apply to Muslims? Do you subscribe to the popular belief that ALL Muslims are terrorists or terrorist sympathizers?...

          August 4, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
        • kevinite

          I'm talking about not everyone within the two religions in the ME are involved and that the motives behind their involvement are not completely based on religion.

          August 4, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
        • LaBella

          Kevinite,
          Agreed. Their motivivations are decidedly not based in religion at all.

          August 4, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
      • guidedans

        I gotta agree with kevinite a little here. People are motivated by a lot of things. Religion is just one of them. If there were no religion, there would still be wars, so I don't know if war is a good illustration for what is wrong with religion, more of what's wrong with humanity in general.

        All I am saying is that, what is happening in the Middle East is not abnormal in any way and eventually, either Israel, with its superior force, will destroy the Palestinians who are not willing to integrate, or Palestine will find someone to ally with to make themselves the dominant force and conquer Israel.

        Don't know what else to say here. This is just how the world works. Sucks. But it's the truth.

        August 4, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
        • austin929

          ok guideans................but that is not what the prophecy says will happen.

          15“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’a spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.

          my understanding is that Israel is going to once again get devoured.

          August 4, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
    • tallulah131

      So I guess it comes as no surprise when the people who are having their homes taken away from them resort to terrorism. When facing invasion from a group who gets billions in resources from another country, that's pretty much the weapon that's left to them.

      August 4, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
      • guidedans

        Nope, and it is no surprise when the people with billions of dollars use that money to destroy the folks that are terrorizing them. If there is someone who is stronger than you, and you don't like it, then you either get stronger than they are and dominate them, or you learn to deal with it. If you just start a fight with them from an inferior position, you will lose and die. Again. That's just how life is.

        August 4, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      You know what happens in life? Dominant forces win stuff and less dominant forces either align with the dominant forces and live or battle the dominant forces and die.
      ----------------------------
      OK, except you left off a bit. The 'dominant forces' invent a religion that rationalizes that their invasion was just and righteous. Then they fight over the religion.

      August 4, 2014 at 2:38 pm |
      • guidedans

        They can do that too. But they don't have to. Plenty of wars have been fought over non-religious reasons. In fact, land grabs are a very popular reason to wage war. Do you think Ukraine and Russia practice different religions and that is why they are fighting?

        Religion can be a tool that people use to motivate the troops to wage war, but it is not the reason that wars occur.

        August 4, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
        • austin929

          Ukraine Russia are fighting because the U.S staged a coup through their covert cia involvement. they went from lybia, egypt iraq syria and now ukraine. That is a line.

          Russia has strategic territorial integrity to worry about. Crimea is a strategic peninsula that they for totally obvious reasons can not hand over to europe.

          Is China handing over North Korea?

          August 4, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
        • guidedans

          That is a pretty good description of the issues in Russia/Ukraine, Austin. No religion involved in that conflict. Religion can be used as a motivation for people to wage wars, but it is not the only reason why wars are waged. Usually it is because people want to take things from someone else. Yes it sucks, but it is not abnormal.

          August 4, 2014 at 5:28 pm |
        • austin929

          i think that "not abnormal" simply implies that the processional of Satanic governement is real.

          but i dont think evil is "not abnormal" I think evil is demented and not normal at all.

          August 4, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
    • fortheloveofellipsis

      "You know what happens in life? Dominant forces win stuff and less dominant forces either align with the dominant forces and live or battle the dominant forces and die. It happens in business, it happens in social settings, it happens in nature."

      So, skippy, if someone takes over YOUR home, you'll just submit to the new regime, right? Right? Might makes right in your world, after all...

      August 4, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
      • guidedans

        Yep,

        I guess I would, wouldn't I? Either that, or I could try to fight them and, if they met the criteria I outlined of being superior to me militarily and technologically, die.

        And I did not say that might makes right, I said that might makes for success in acquiring new land and resources. I clearly stated that it was not fair, but neither is a species of fish going extinct because a bigger, new fish ate all its food.

        Am I wrong though? Seriously, am I? Tell me a country whose origins did not involve either ousting or consuming the native peoples of the land. Tell me one whose origins did not involve some sort of brutal conflict between peoples.

        Why is the Middle East conflict any different than the origin of every other country?

        August 4, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
        • G to the T

          And just because it's happened in the past, is that some kind of justification for it to continue? I think not.

          August 4, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
        • guidedans

          I applaud your idealism, G to the T, but I am sorry, this is how life is. I did not say it was justified what was going on there. I said it was the way the world operates.

          Do you know the only way that this kind "strong take from the weak" will stop? There has to be someone even stronger than everyone else enforcing laws that prevent it from occurring. Then, guess what, the strong are still taking from the weak, but instead of taking away stuff, they are taking away peoples' ability to take from other people (among other freedoms).

          The strong will always set the rules until someone stronger comes along and takes that power away from them. Then, you just have a new strongest person setting the rules.

          Sorry, but that's life. If you want to change it, then you have to be the strongest person/group out there to set the rules. But wait a second, then that doesn't really change anything does it? still the strong at the top setting the rules...

          August 4, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Guidedans,
          What a crappy system. It's almost as if there was no planing whatsoever.

          August 4, 2014 at 5:14 pm |
        • guidedans

          I understand what you are trying to get at, Kens, but Man set up the governmental system. God told Israel not to have kings, but they demanded it. If we were all working in line with God's will, there would be no wars. That is probably really the only way that we would have no wars. But this conversation is a much bigger one than the point I was trying to make above.

          I don't think any Christian argues that God plans all the wars of humanity. They may argue that God uses all of the evil that man commits during war for good, but not that God wants the wars to happen.

          August 4, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
        • ausphor

          guide
          Do you ever go back and read the garbage you write about what the world in reality is all about and how that would equate to a loving omnipotent god, really? No wonder you people have to think/reason in circles, reality proves your god wrong day after day.

          August 4, 2014 at 6:01 pm |
        • LaBella

          There is nothing good about what's happening between Palestine and Israel. Nothing.

          August 4, 2014 at 6:02 pm |
        • austin929

          La Bella , I agree with you. Israel is not obeying, either is Palestine.

          August 4, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
        • evidencenot

          " obeying"..... what a clown

          August 6, 2014 at 8:15 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      You are neglecting cases that end in a peace treaty.

      Did we take over Ja/pan after we nuked them?

      Did we go back across the Atlantic and take over Great Britian?

      August 4, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
      • lunchbreaker

        On a side note it took me several tries to figure out that the word filter was triggered by J A P.

        Seriously?

        August 4, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
        • LaBella

          Right?? The filter thinks we're all adolescents, apparently.

          August 4, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
      • guidedans

        That is a good point, but I would wager to say that, in the case of Ja/pan, the strongest party still got to run things. It was just the case that the strongest party did not want to conquer Ja/pan for the land, but rather use it as a commercial ally. The US in that situation still was dominating Ja/pan and preventing the people from rising up militarily, it was just doing it in a way that didn't pi/ss off the ja/panese very much.

        With the US not going back to conquer England, the US was not the strongest party in that war, but they aligned themselves with someone who was stronger than they were (the French) in order to become the strongest. If they then wanted to conquer England, they would have probably lost France's support and would have become weaker once more.

        Peace Treaties are just the strongest party agreeing not to crush the weaker party (either because it would be too costly, or because they have moral qualms about it). The strong are still in control of things, they are just deciding to allow others to function as sovereign because they have no desire to take them over.

        It is kind of like an Elephant and a tree sloth. The elephant could totally ki/ll the sloth, but the it doesn't because it doesn't want to. Now if the sloth started ban/ging on the elephant, the elephant may reconsider its preferences.

        August 4, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Did we go back across the Atlantic and take over Great Britian?
        --------
        If this is in the context of 1783, then it is a ridiculous statement.

        "With the US not going back to conquer England, the US was not the strongest party in that war, but they aligned themselves with someone who was stronger than they were (the French) in order to become the strongest. If they then wanted to conquer England, they would have probably lost France's support and would have become weaker once more.
        ------------------
        Note that the world war (for that is what it was) started by the American colonial revolution, was essentially lost by France in the end. Britain won in India. The only real winners were the fledgling United States.

        The United States were so grateful for France having beaten the British in the North American colonies, that they almost went to war with Republican France before the end of the 18th century.

        August 4, 2014 at 8:01 pm |
  14. Doc Vestibule

    When it comes to violent conflict, there's nothing quite like religion to enable rationalizations for why the enemy is deserving of punishment.
    "Heretic" has always been a great label to assign people you wish to de-humanize.

    August 4, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
    • LaBella

      "Apostasy" is another great label to hang on one.

      August 4, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        They're even worse because they should know better, right?

        August 4, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
        • LaBella

          Better than to interpret things differently?
          Thus, the ease in which that word is used as a weapon.

          August 4, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        I do think the definition of apostate suits me well.

        August 4, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
      • austin929

        well from the Christian standpoint there is a section in the NT called the "great apostacy" the prophecy of the church falling away. Its in the bible.

        2 Thessalonians 2 New King James Version (NKJV)
        The Great Apostasy

        2 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ[a] had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin[b] is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God[c] in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

        5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He[d] who now restrains will do so until He[e] is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

        August 4, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
        • austin929

          so for a Christian to condone war, which is against the NT calling of the gospel, I consider such Hitler like people apostates.

          but nothing in the New Testament says "put an apostate to death" ..............you just shun those types. thats as far as it can go.

          August 4, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
        • evidencenot

          ""Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."

          Matthew 10:34

          August 6, 2014 at 8:18 am |
        • evidencenot

          [Jesus] said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one..." The disciples said, "See, Lord, here are two swords." "That is enough," he replied.

          Luke 22:36,38

          August 6, 2014 at 8:19 am |
        • evidencenot

          The bible encourages violence and war;

          "Exodus 32:27-29

          Then he said to them, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.' "The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died. Then Moses said, "You have been set apart to the LORD today, for you were against your own sons and brothers, and he has blessed you this day."

          August 6, 2014 at 8:28 am |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          evid:"Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.'

          doesn't this sound oddly like what Ares from the greek myths would have said? i mean the guy was the god of war. lol

          August 6, 2014 at 8:38 am |
    • igaftr

      The word "pagan" originally meant a citizen or a non-combatant, but the Christians hijacked that word and it was meant as derogatory, and still is used that way.

      Now it means someone who does is not christian, muslim or jewish, so most of the world is "pagan".

      August 4, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
  15. Dyslexic doG

    the men who wrote these bronze age fairy stories could not have known just how much havoc they would cause and for how many millennia. Though I am sure they were keenly aware just how gullible mankind is.

    August 4, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
    • tallulah131

      I don't think they cared. Religion has never truly been about peace.

      August 4, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "Religion has never truly been about peace."
      --------------------
      It's mostly about maintaining some kind of status quo.

      August 4, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
  16. Vic

    "What's religion's role in the Mideast crisis?"

    It is the culprit!

    August 4, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
    • LaBella

      Yep.

      August 4, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
  17. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    "What's religion's role in the Mideast crisis?"
    ----------------
    Causal?

    August 4, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
    • G to the T

      Dangit! Beat me too it!

      August 4, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
  18. joey3467

    All I know is that religion certainly isn't helping the situation.

    August 4, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
    • Theo Phileo

      You're right, religion isn't the answer – God is. (Ezekiel 16, Zechariah 12-13)

      August 4, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
      • evidencenot

        No, imagination and mythology are NOT the answers.

        August 5, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
  19. Theo Phileo

    The Jews claim rights to the land based on the Abrahamic Covenant through Abraham, Isaac and then to Jacob. The Arabics claim a right to the land based on the lie that the promise was given to Ishmael rather than to Isaac.

    This point is significant because of its link to the origin of the Arab peoples, (Genesis 12:16 – Abraham’s receiving of Egyptian female servants), and the root of the conflict between Jews and Arabs, (Genesis 16:2 – Sarah’s insistence that Abraham father a child through her servant Hagar which resulted in the birth of Ishmael and subsequent animosity between ethnically diverse members of Abraham’s household.)

    In Genesis 17:18 "Abraham said to God, ‘that Ishmael might live before you!" The phrase "might live before you" can also be translated as "might live with your blessing." The point is Abraham himself considered Ishmael as a possible descendant to whom God would give this land. However, in the very next verse (v. 19) God said, ‘No, Sarah your wife is going to bear you a son and you will name him Isaac. I will confirm my covenant with him as a perpetual covenant for his descendants after him."

    In Genesis 17:20 God promised to bless Ishmael and use him to create a great nation, but His covenant to Abraham, (which again prominently included the specific promise of land), was to be accomplished through his son Issac, not Ishmael (Genesis 17:21).

    By quoting Genesis 21:12, Hebrews 11:18 also affirms that God’s covenantal promises to Abraham will be realized through Isaac, not Ishmael.

    August 4, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      For the sake of argument I'll claim to be a descendent of the Canaanites. Joshua captured Canaan by force and dispossessed the Canaanites. The Israelite occupation of Canaan was illegal and I claim my ancestral homeland as my birthright.

      This is no different from *any* other argument for possession of this area.

      August 4, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
    • MidwestKen

      I would've thought that all ancestral claims to the area ended after the Ottoman empire lost WWI, at a minimum, let alone biblical times.

      August 4, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
      • fortheloveofellipsis

        And just think, Ken; these are the people who tell us on the one hand that the OT no longer applies because of the alleged New Covenant(tm), yet think Leviticus still applies to questions of se.xual orientation, and Israel has claim to all the land they held at the height of King David's reign. They love them some OT–at least when they want it...

        August 4, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          You need to get a video called "Herman Who?" by Todd Friel with Wretched Radio. It's an introductory course to the topic of hermeneutics. It will, among other things, teach you how to know what laws are applicable to the Church Age under the New Covenant, and which are not, and the Biblical reasons why.

          August 4, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
        • tallulah131

          The bible isn't a deed for property or a legally binding contract. It's just a book of mythology. Israel is an artificial state created by the UN.. The subsequent Israeli habit of stealing land has not endeared them to the locals.

          When people's homes are taken from them, they will fight back. This conflict was inevitable.

          August 4, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          The bible isn't a deed for property or a legally binding contract
          -------------
          No, but it does doc.ument the everlasting covenant made by God. And the fact that the terms of this covenant were violated by Israel is the reason for all the conflict in the area. It should be noted that while the gift or t.itle deed to the land is unconditional, actual enjoyment of the land is conditioned upon obedience.

          In Deuteronomy 29:2-30:1, Moses prophetically spoke of Israel’s coming disobedience to the Mosaic Law and subsequent scattering over the entire world. This is one reason why full restoration of Israel to its land with complete peace and security will require the second coming of Messiah—immediately prior and scripturally requisite to that great eschatological event is foretold the spiritual regeneration of Jewish physical survivors of the Tribulation resulting in a new capacity to render Spirit–empowered obedience to God.

          August 4, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
        • LaBella

          Still isn't legal. And cannot be used as such.

          August 4, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
        • tallulah131

          The bible is not a legally binding contract. Your opinion on the matter has no bearing on the reality of the matter.

          August 4, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
        • joey3467

          In Deuteronomy 29:2-30:1.. blah, blah blah.

          So what? Not everyone cares what the bible says, and short of 100% proof that said god exists I don't see any reason to put much stock into what the bible says about anything. One could just as easily use the Koran to prove that the land belongs to the Arabs because the Koran says so, and then we would be right back where we started.

          August 4, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Theo Phileo,
          "No, but it does doc.ument the everlasting covenant made by God. "

          No. it is a doc.ument of what some people said happened.

          August 4, 2014 at 7:25 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        The Ottoman loss of Palestine to the British (and the Balfour declaration) were the impetus for the problems we have.

        The history of the British Mandate was fraught with Zionist terrorists (many of them 'heroes of modern Israel') and Arab terrorists. The British were forced to give up the Mandate by pro-Zionist factions influencing the US and the UN and the British did not have the power, the resources, or the will to continue.

        August 4, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
    • In Santa We Trust

      theo, So you've given your property to the local native Americans then?

      August 4, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
      • Theo Phileo

        Aside from the fact that my Father-in-law Cherokee melungeon, and although europeans were terrorists to the Native Americans here, there are no everlasting covenants for this land made for the people by God. Israel on the other hand, has an ever lasting covenant to the land (among other things) and it WILL be back in their hands one day.

        August 4, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Joseph Smith thought otherwise. So you believe it's fair as long as others are impacted and not you.

          August 4, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Joseph Smith also thought the moon was made of green cheese.

          August 4, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
        • joey3467

          Well Theo, if the bible said that you would believe it, so you are only slightly less crazy than he was.

          August 5, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
        • hotairace

          The Jews' alleged covenant would never stand up in any court of law. Bullsh!t claim based on a bullsh!t book!

          August 12, 2014 at 12:04 am |
    • tallulah131

      So Theo, I'm guessing that you believe that all non-native Americans should move to refugee camps so that we can return the continents to the indigenous people. After all, we don't even need a bible to tell us who was here first.

      August 4, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
      • Theo Phileo

        Although what Europeans did to the Native Americans here was equivalent to terrorism, and I do not condone their actions, there was no covenant made by God for the land here for anyone. The best I can say for the situation here is that it is what it is, and we have found ways to live in peace. Such is not the case in the land of Israel.

        August 4, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
        • tallulah131

          When you can prove that your god exists and that the bible is his word, then you can use it as an excuse to take homes that belong to others. But no on has EVER proven that your god or any god exists, and there is no evidence that shows that the bible is anything other than a human construct. Your belief is not evidence. You are simply using your religion to excuse bullying and murder. Shame on you.

          August 4, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          You err in thinking that the theologian's task is to first prove to you that God exists. That's not the job of the theologian at all. I can show you evidences all day long, but until God, Himself does a work in you, you won't believe no matter what evidences I give you.

          Your biggest problem is that you think you're generally a good person, but the Bible says you're not. None of us are. And that's why many people choose to not honor God.

          August 4, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
        • LaBella

          Theo,
          The Bible cannot be used for justification in stealing people's homes illegally, so you err in thinking that it does.

          August 4, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
        • tallulah131

          I agree with Bella. If you are using the bible as a reason to take property, then you sure as hell better be able to authenticate it's authority. Otherwise, it's not different than claiming your neighbor's house using a receipt from Burger King.

          August 4, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
  20. Martin

    It all comes down to the Bible Vs. Koran.

    August 4, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
    • Martin

      Israeli history is more than 5000 years old much before Islam was born.

      August 4, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
      • #peace

        For a peaceful solution:

        The neighbors of Israel and all nations of the world have to accept the rights of Israel to exist as a sovereign nation.

        There is not one dry eye when you see innocent children who are injured or maimed and are caught in the cross fire, our heart is heavy when we see images of dead and hurt helpless innocent little children.

        Adults need to realize that violence only begets violence. Stop the violence, let Israel live peacefully and in so doing earn your peace.

        Please give peace a chance and let the children live!

        God have mercy on us and put an end to the violence, may wisdom prevail and may hearts be softened and may all those children(Israeli and Gazan) have a great and prosperous future and that is our prayer today!

        August 4, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
        • fortheloveofellipsis

          IOW, just give Israel a blank check to do anything they want? You get all weepy when Gazan children die, but you don't seem all that concerned that their adults are not allowed regular food, water, and electrical supplies, have fishing grounds confiscated, are not allowed to rebuild destroyed homes. It seems to me that you don't really care about those children if you don't give the proverbial tinker's d@mn about how they're supposed to live...

          August 4, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
        • igaftr

          "There is not one dry eye when you see innocent children who are injured or maimed and are caught in the cross fire, "

          Don't even try to tell me that the UN safe areas , schools, hospitals are "crossfire". The Isrealis have weapons that can be far more accurate. They are indiscriminately firing...This is not a cross fire...this is fish trapped in a barrel.
          They are war criminals.plain and simple. but the US won't allow the UN to declare that, so they get the green light from us, knowing that no one will stop them unless they choose it.

          August 4, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
        • Martin

          You raise some valid points , peace comes from

          1) Acknowledging the right of the State of Israel to defend itself.

          2) Acknowledge that while "bridges" are meant to bridge gaps, "tunnels" only facilitate push the conflict further into the trenches.

          3) If people can't live peacefully with each other, the other alternative would be for all the Muslims in the West to move to the ME and have all the Jews and Christians from ME to move to the West. This is hardly a solution given that the Jewish roots dates back to millennia before Islam was even born and the state of Israel has every right to its homeland and would not be a fair proposition to the State of Israel.

          August 4, 2014 at 6:55 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "The neighbors of Israel and all nations of the world have to accept the rights of Israel to exist as a sovereign nation"

          And what about the rights of the Palestinians?? It is their land that is being forcefully taken over. They are victims standing up to the villain and the media/bible has warped enough peoples minds that people remain blind. While I don't agree with any of the violence, I agree with the right of the Palestinians to stand up for their rights as HUMANS.
          Drop the religious bs and peace will be found.

          August 5, 2014 at 8:33 am |
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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.