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August 20th, 2014
08:31 PM ET

James Foley’s prayers and the dark side of faith

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog editor

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(CNN) – We don’t know if James Foley, the American journalist beheaded by Islamic extremists, prayed in the hours and days before his death. We probably never will.

But Foley said faith sustained him during another ordeal in 2011, when he was held captive for 44 days by forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi in Libya.

In a gut-wrenching article he wrote for Marquette University’s alumni magazine, Foley said he prayed while imprisoned that his family, many miles away, would somehow know that he was safe.

“Haven’t you felt my prayers?” Foley asked his mother, Diane, when he was finally allowed to call home.

Diane Foley told her son that his friends and family had been praying, too, holding vigils filled with former professors, priests and Marquette students. She echoed his question back: Have you felt ours?

He had, the journalist said. “Maybe it was others’ prayers strengthening me, keeping me afloat,” Foley wrote.

The 40-year-old Catholic, who reported for the GlobalPost among other publications, was abducted again in 2012, captured this time by the extremist group ISIS, which calls itself the Islamic State.

On Tuesday, ISIS released a video showing a Muslim militant clad in black beheading Foley, who was wearing an orange jumpsuit and kneeling in the sand.

The ISIS militant, a man with an apparent British accent, said that Foley’s murder was payback for U.S. airstrikes against the group in Iraq. On Monday, President Barack Obama said the American operation has helped drive ISIS from strategic cities and infrastructure in northern Iraq, which apparently angered the Muslim militants.

“Any attempt by you, Obama, to deny Muslims liberty and safety under the Islamic caliphate will result in the bloodshed of your people,” the ISIS militant said in the video.

The man in orange, kneeling. The man in black, wielding a knife. One asked God to cross the “cosmic reach of the universe” and soothe his family. The other claimed to kill in the "name of Allah, the most gracious, the most merciful."

Admittedly, we know relatively little about Foley's faith and even less about the ISIS militant in black. But the contrast between the two religious paths - one led a journalist to cover conflicts, the other a jihadist to create them - is jarring.

"It's story versus story," said Martin Marty, an emeritus professor of religious history at the University of Chicago, "and the more you are threatened, the more dramatic and deep the story is going to be."

It should be said, and repeated often, that the contrast is not between Christianity and Islam.

“ISIL speaks for no religion,” Obama said on Monday, using an alternate name for ISIS. “Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday, and for what they do every single day.”

Muslims were among the first to lament Foley’s killing and have repeatedly condemned ISIS’ reign of terror in Iraq and Syria. They are victims, too, of the crimes committed in the name of Islam. Many have worked tirelessly to combat them.

But even as most Muslims reject ISIS, it cannot be denied that the extremists use faith to justify their brutal acts of war.

“Do jihad in the cause of God, incite the believers and be patient in the face of this hardship,” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, said in a video released in June.

“If you knew about the reward and dignity in this world and the hereafter through jihad, then none of you would delay in doing it.”

Under that call to arms, ISIS militants have rampaged through Iraq, forcing Muslims, Christians and Yazidis to convert to their brand of Islam, pay a protection tax or be killed.

ISIS has bombed revered religious sites, murdered hundreds and tortured and enslaved many others - all in the name of building an Islamic state.

Foley's friends and family say his faith inspired a very different moral course.

He organized fundraisers for slain journalists, taught convicts in Chicago to read, and risked his life to tell the stories of people living under the brutal rule of dictators.

He was the kind of guy who always offered half his sandwich or cigarette, one friend recalled.  He was mensch, if such can be said of a Catholic from New Hampshire.

The source of his unselfishness was clear, said Foley’s friends.

"Jim's faith was something we all agreed not to discuss publicly while he was held in Syria,” said Max Fisher, a journalist at Vox.com, “but it was the wellspring of his generosity."

It’s a paradox of modern life - most of human history, actually – that saints and sinners alike draw from the same religious waters. Christian crusaders, Sufi pacifists. Sharp knives, soft prayers.

Religion isn’t ever quite so black and white. Most of us live in the vast gray space between. But at moments like this, it's hard to miss the contrast.

"It's story versus story," as Marty put it, "and you get rid of the bad ones by telling good ones."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Discrimination • Faith • Iraq • Islam • Middle East • Muslim • Religious violence

soundoff (995 Responses)
  1. unsername1

    @khidir619,
    No, I wasn't referring to the current headcount of Muslims. Read the post by Reality again and your post too. Anyway, why do you think dead muslims don't count for anything and how do you know Muhammad was not another ISIS type beheader in his time??

    August 22, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
    • khidir619

      @user: Why don't I count dead people? Umm, because they're dead. When the Census is taken, are people who died in 1933 counted? Of course not. We were both talking about the current Muslim population. I have no idea why you can't understand that... Islam is my belief. Therefore I have faith in what is said about the Holy Prophet in the Hadith. Why as a Muslim would I chop up the Hadith and change Prophet Muhammad into something he wasn't. ISIS? Cmon now. There's no comparison. What the Holy Prophet took place in is called war. And he fought the right way. What ISIS is doing isn't war. ISIS wants to take over the Middle East and eventually the world and run the world according to its sick power hungry ways. They have no intention of peace with anyone and they need to be exterminated. The same definitely cannot be said about Prophet Muhammad and his Ummat (congregation in Arabic).

      August 22, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
      • Reality

        Only the ISIS wants to take over the world? Added details:

        o On the koranic passages and world domination:
        o
        "Mohammed could not have known the size of the world, but several passages in the Koran show that he envisioned Islam dominating all of it, however large it might be: “He it is who sent his messenger . . . that he may cause it [Islam] to prevail over all religions´(Koran 9:33, M.M. Ali; see also 48:28 and 61:9). M.M. Ali designates these three passages as “the prophecy of the ultimate triumph of Islam in the whole world.”

        Mohammed’s successors, the caliphs, quoted passages like these to inspire Muslim armies as they advanced out of Arabia, imposing Islam by the sword upon a peacefully unsuspecting Middle East and North Africa, as I described in the previous chapter.

        Islamic armies, imbued with what Mohammed claimed was divine authorization, imposed Islam by force over vast areas, all the while extorting wealth from subjugated Jews and Christians to fund their ongoing conquests. As I noted, major defeats at Tours, France, in A.D. 732, and again at Vienna, Austria, in A.D. 1683, halted Islam’s attempt to take all of Europe by force. Gradually Islamic forces were forced to retreat from Europe, except for part of the Balkans. But Islam has again set its sights on a conquest of Europe and of European civilization, wherever the latter has spread to North and South America and other regions. Muslim strategists ask their followers, Why do we find in these modern times that Allah has entrusted most of the world’s oil wealth primarily to Muslim nations?

        Their answer: Allah foresaw Islam’s need for funds to finance a final politico-religious victory over what Islam perceives as its ultimate enemy: Christianized Euro-American civilization. So, Islam follows Nazism, fascism and communism as the world’s latest hostile takeover aspirant.

        Nazis, fascists and communists failed. Does Islam have a better chance at success? I believe it will flounder if we awaken to its threat in time; yet, if there is not adequate planned resistance, Islam does have a better chance of succeeding. Communism’s world takeover attempt was guaranteed to fail because its economic policy was naively contrary to human nature. Advocating the rubric What is mine is thine, and what is thine is mine, communism failed to see that human nature will not keep those two balanced propositions in equilibrium. Like

        a female black widow spider consuming her mate, the latter part of the formula makes a meal of the former, leading to the collapse of any system based upon that formula.

        In contrast, political systems do well if they can persuade people to adhere to What’s mine is mine and What’s thine is thine maxims.

        Only if a strong religious incentive is added does such an idealistic formula have any long-term chance. Even then success will be spotty. But communism (and Nazism, for that matter) excluded religion. And that mistake was the final nail eventually clamping a lid on communism’s coffin. Communism, on a historical scale, perished while still in its childhood.

        Islam is not repeating communism’s mistake. Mating political cunning and incredible wealth with religious zeal, Islam does have a chance to succeed and will succeed unless major parts of the Western world unite to take appropriate countermeasures. But many Western leaders, unable to believe that a mere religion could possible be a serious political threat, keep proclaiming themselves as Islam-friendly, reasoning that all religions are good-aren’t they?

        A Muslim strategist in Beverly Hills, California, declared several years ago, as quoted by a friend of mine: “Now that the struggle between Western democracies and international communism is winding down, it is time for the real and final struggle to begin, and we are going to win!”

        Don Richardson

        August 22, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
        • khidir619

          The Holy Prophet envisioned a world of peaceful monotheists. Religion was extremely perverted from its original word and it showed in the actions of not most, but still too many people. There's nothing wrong with righting a wrong with war. And you cherry pick verses anyway. You don't know anything about the Qur'an. You obviously don't know about the constant threats to the Prophet and the rest of the peaceful congregation. You constantly try to talk down on something you've obviously never read thoroughly. READ before you debate. Wanting one Earth under God in peace is never bad. That's all the Holy Prophet wanted. And stop acting this nation of ours is so angelic. Islam is a threat to the West?? Stop acting like the West isn't a threat to anyone. Do you have any idea how many problems we've caused worldwide? Please. Stop being scared of anything not white and atheist. Islam is no threat and the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) didn't want it to be a threat. And thankfully, people with your mindset are in the minority, therefore most don't want it to be a threat. That's why everything will work out. These gangs have pushed enough buttons now where the entire world is against them. Their end is near. And when they're gone, Muslims will continue on minding their business and living peacefully. Islam isn't going anywhere.

          August 22, 2014 at 7:51 pm |
      • unsername1

        @khidir,
        Holy Prophet [I guess Muhammad] wanted Earth under one God, but his way of achieving his dream was bar baric then and it is still bar baric. His followers are doing pretty good job of eliminating minorities by forcing them to leave their country or be converted to Islam, but you know what, those days of Koranic abuse are over, people are hitting back at s. a. v. a g e s from air, governments around the world are not hesitant to call them terrorists and killing them any place they find. China killed over hundred locals calling them terrorists two or three weeks ago, all muslims, and no one around the world even blinked. See how att.itude of people have changed!!!

        August 22, 2014 at 9:31 pm |
        • khidir619

          @user: Your hate and fear literally makes me laugh. Islam is not barbaric. War is barbaric. Sometimes war is necessary. If Islam were barbaric, you would already be gone.

          August 22, 2014 at 9:39 pm |
        • Reality

          "If Islam were barbaric, you would already be gone."

          Well so far we have been fortunate. Others, however, have not been so lucky. Some examples of the barbarism, terror and horror that is Islam:

          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.

          28) the koranic-driven ISIS – 2014

          August 23, 2014 at 12:07 am |
        • khidir619

          @ reality: Now tally up the actual perpetrators in those deaths, then compare that number to the number of good Muslims like myself. Exactly. You're talking about thousands of killers vs . billions of stand up people. So once again, you still have no idea how to separate good religious people from hypocritical power mongers. So your post isn't about "Islamic barbarism," there's no such thing (and it's an oxymoron, look up the definition of Islam), your post is about gangsters doing gangster s*it. So once again, Islam isn't going anywhere. Why not? Because peace isn't going anywhere that's why. As long as peace exists, there will always be good people constantly thanking their One Maker for that peace. Those people never have and never will bother their neighbors. Those people are called Muslims. Good day.

          August 23, 2014 at 8:32 am |
        • unsername1

          khidir619 – if you are such a firm believer that Islam is about peace, what have you done locally in your mosque to oppose those who support gangsters? Have you challenged fiery speeches of mullahs,imams, hakeems? The answer is no. And FYI " If people hadn't been so tolerant to muslim minorities in their own countries, Islam would already been wiped out from face of the Earth centuries ago. Muslim religion survived and flourished when it was mixed with other cultures, but pure Islam turned people into 'gangsters' like ISIS, Boko Haram, Al Shabaab.

          August 23, 2014 at 10:25 am |
        • khidir619

          My community service is between me, my Maker and the community. It's not service that makes the news and it's not service I'm sharing on an online blog for heathens to ridicule. Good day.

          August 23, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
  2. Vic

    I was thinking, humans inherently have good and bad traits, and either can be triggered/exploited or suppressed depending on the acting agent(s) on them. Love is the best acting agent that can trigger good traits while preventing the bad ones, hence the Great Commandment of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    August 22, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
    • rusty2115

      another made up "Lord" whose followers seem to have ignored that message throughout history and currently today especially in Uganda and in the US

      August 22, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
  3. rusty2115

    Dalahast

    give an example of a religion that says you should questions everything and that has run a govt w/o brutality and oppression

    you keep glossing over this without answering it with more generalities and words – it's a basic question in response to what you posted

    your post: I don't really belong to a religion that accepts or promotes blind faith. I'm free to search the truth.

    your post: I still ask God

    WHICH ONE??

    August 22, 2014 at 11:49 am |
    • Dalahäst

      You made a whole bunch of generalities yourself. And in questioning you, you made more generalities.

      I don't think religion should run a government. That is why I said a secular government is a Christian ideal. By that same token, I don't think a government should promote secularism. That is not what government is for. Our government protects freed of and from religion. There is a way we can all live together and approach this in a mature manner.

      I'm not one to give religion a free pass. It should be questioned and scrutinized. But so should your claims. Some people with no religion have been very vile to me. And I've seen some commit atrocities. How do you explain that? Do you have blood on your hands? How do I have blood on my hands for being in a religion?

      What group is there on this Earth with clean hands currently or in history?

      Why are there religious groups in my community that do positive things that help my community? They haven't committed any atrocities, but have come to the aid of those who have been harmed by others. They don't have a violent ruler. I would struggle to find any violence they have committed. Unless charging them with guilt by association I can't believe your claims are that valid. And if we can charge people for guilt by association, there is blood on your hands, too.

      August 22, 2014 at 11:55 am |
      • rusty2115

        Dalahast

        give an example of a religion that says you should questions everything and that has run a govt w/o brutality and oppression

        you keep glossing over this without answering it with more generalities and words – it's a basic question in response to what you posted

        your post: I don't really belong to a religion that accepts or promotes blind faith. I'm free to search the truth.

        your post: I still ask God

        WHICH ONE??

        _________________________________
        bait / (your posts above) switch (when you don't answer my question based on your claims and posts)

        Then you claim a secular gov't is a Christian ideal – no verification just your opinion. A secular gov't is more of a Roman and pre Christian ideal. Ancient muslims often let people practice their religion once conquered they just had to pay a tax. (beats beheading or the atrocities during the crusades)

        you make claims with no history or facts to back them up then claim you come from religion that's open to questioning won't name it or answer questions

        kinda contradicting yourself

        August 22, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          There is nothing in my religion that prevents me from questioning things. There is nothing in my religion that prevents me from running a got w/o brutality and oppression. I'm free to question things. I'm free to run a govt. w/o brutality and oppression.

          I didn't say Christians invented the concept of a secular government. I said it is an ideal that some hold. It is something they embrace.

          August 22, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Is it bait and switch when you don't answer my questions? Or do you hold yourself to a different standard?

          August 22, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
        • rusty2115

          Why won't you name your religion you make all these claims about?

          ________________________________________

          Some people with no religion have been very vile to me. And I've seen some commit atrocities. How do you explain that? Do you have blood on your hands? How do I have blood on my hands for being in a religion?

          What group is there on this Earth with clean hands currently or in history?

          My original post is why is religion not held responsible for its extremists?? I've also posted that the problem that lies within that is apathy by its followers – they do not speak out they do not defend the innocent that are being slaughtered in their religions name – they don't get a pass for their religion b/c they think they're "do gooders" elsewhere.

          The point of this is – it is mankind and no imaginary God that mankind uses to commit atrocities. No God will save you No God will be waiting in judgement b/c there is none.

          August 22, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Why didn't you just ask? The Eighth Day Resurrected Covenant of the Holy Trinity.

          August 22, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          You can't hold religion responsible for all the extremists. Some religions are not responsible for it.

          If you want to hold the extremist religions who are responsible for it responsible for it, that is something I agree with.

          There are people who say there is no God who commit atrocities. Should I hold anti-theism responsible for that fact?

          August 22, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
        • LaBella

          Lol...yet killin me, Dala...lol...

          August 22, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
        • rusty2115

          Dalahast
          The Eighth Day Resurrected Covenant of the Holy Trinity
          __________________________
          troll alert!

          August 22, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Haha. Relax. It was a joke.

          August 22, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
        • LaBella

          FWIW, Dala, I thought it was funny...

          August 22, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
        • ausphor

          rusty
          Hard to keep up with our Dalecarlian Horse/Dalahast (Swedish), when the Irish jig starts and he begins his tap dancing routine. He is a troll, more lucid than most but still a troll.

          August 22, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          "In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion."

          Ausphor,

          It seems like you are the one always trolling after me. I come here to talk about my belief in God – this seems like a logical place to do so. Sure, sometimes I get in disagreements and arguments. But that isn't trolling. I can't see how you can honestly call me a troll, given your track record of posts to me and others.

          August 22, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
        • ausphor

          To those that may be concerned; I was not talking to Dalahast but making a comment about his quite obvious pattern of behaviour on this blog. As much as Dalahast can deny the obvious only his fellow apologists find his ramblings believable.
          Do not feed the trolls.

          August 22, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Nobody cares.

          Don't take yourself so seriously. It is an opinion blog. Have fun with it.

          August 22, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
  4. Reality

    And what drives Muslims to commit such acts of terror and horror? Obviously, their "holy" book, the koran:

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

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

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

    "Fight against such as those to whom the Scriptures were given [Jews and Christians]...until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued." (Surah 9:29-)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Quran (8:12) – "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them"

    Quran (9:5) – "So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them."

    August 22, 2014 at 11:39 am |
    • rusty2115

      ALL religion is violent – maybe you should read some of the violent Bible posts and OT posts.

      August 22, 2014 at 11:42 am |
      • Reality

        Did that many times and posted the results here many times but in case you forgot or skipped the comments:

        To wit:

        •Exodus 32: 3,000 Israelites killed by Moses for worshipping the golden calf.

        •Numbers 31: After killing all men, boys and married women among the Midianites, 32,000 virgins remain as booty for the Israelites. (If unmarried girls are a quarter of the population, then 96,000 people were killed.)

        •Joshua: ◦Joshua 8: 12,000 men and women, all the people of Ai, killed.
        ◦Joshua 10: Joshua completely destroys Gibeon ("larger than Ai"), Makeddah, Libnah, Lachish, Eglon, Hebron, Debir. "He left no survivors."
        ◦Joshua 11: Hazor destroyed. [Paul Johnson, A History of the Jews (1987), estimates the population of Hazor at ?> 50,000]
        ◦TOTAL: if Ai is average, 12,000 x 9 = 108,000 killed.

        •Judges 1: 10,000 Canaanites k. at Battle of Bezek. Jerusalem and Zephath destroyed.
        •Judges 3: ca. 10,000 Moabites k. at Jordan River.
        •Judges 8: 120,000 Midianite soldiers k. by Gideon
        •Judges 20: Benjamin attacked by other tribes. 25,000 killed.

        •1 Samuel 4: 4,000 Isrealites killed at 1st Battle of Ebenezer/Aphek. 30,000 Isr. k. at 2nd battle.
        •David: ◦2 Samuel 8: 22,000 Arameans of Damascus and 18,000 Edomites killed in 2 battles.

        ◦2 Samuel 10: 40,000 Aramean footsoldiers and 7,000 charioteers killed at Helam.
        ◦2 Samuel 18: 20,000 Israelites under Absalom killed at Ephraim.

        •1 Kings 20: 100,000 Arameans killed by Israelites at Battle of Aphek. Another 27,000 killed by collapsing wall.
        •2 Chron 13: Judah beat Israel and inflicted 500,000 casualties.
        •2 Chron 25: Amaziah, king of Judah, k. 10,000 from Seir in battle and executed 10,000 POWs. Discharged Judean soldiers pillaged and killed 3,000.
        •2 Chron 28: Pekah, king of Israel, slew 120,000 Judeans

        •TOTAL: That comes to about 1,283,000 mass killings specifically enumerated in the Old Testament/Torah.

        The New Testament has only one major atrocity, that of god committing filicide assuming you believe in this Christian mumbo jumbo. Said atrocity should be enough to vitiate all of Christianity.

        August 22, 2014 at 11:55 am |
  5. rusty2115

    FACT: Never in recorded history has anyone's God shown up (other than they "say") and helped in any way shape or form.

    FACT: If one would just show up I'm sure somebody would give it approrpriate air time and probably a reality show

    FACT: Until at least one of the over 30,000 Gods show up they're imaginary

    [I don't have a problem with God only its fan club] VIOLENT M o fo's (and that can be proven throughout history)

    August 22, 2014 at 11:38 am |
    • Alias

      Yes. Very. Much. This.

      August 22, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
  6. bostontola

    ISIS is killing anyone that deem unworthy. They are killing many more Muslims than Christians or Americans. They are destroying Sunni and Shiite (and other smaller sects) mosques, killing those that they deem impure. They have assumed the role of God and are judge, jury, and executioner.

    Religion and belief in God(s) is a benevolent delusion the majority of the time, ISIS shows what happens when the psychosis gets out of control.

    August 22, 2014 at 10:45 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Presumably One True God would act to prevent sincere people from diverging from his will while they continue to think they are doing his will.

      August 22, 2014 at 10:53 am |
      • ragansteve1

        That is a presumption not well founded.

        August 22, 2014 at 10:57 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Yes, steve, gods generally don't help people conform to their will. Do you suppose it's because there are no gods involved in human affairs?

          August 22, 2014 at 11:08 am |
        • ragansteve1

          NO. But thanks for asking.

          August 22, 2014 at 11:27 am |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Yes, it is unfounded. There clearly is no "one true God".

          August 22, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          GOP, and your irrefutable evidence is . . .?

          August 22, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Oh there's no evidence that there isn't. You can't prove the non-existence of anything.

          There's just no evidence that there is, other than that people simply want to believe.

          August 22, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          So, if you have no irrefutable evidence, how can you say there is "clearly no one true God?" Clearly is an absolute. There must be something there other than your opinion. Opinions are clearly not absolute fact.

          August 22, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          It is abundantly clear to me.

          You are of course enti.tled to your own opinion.

          August 22, 2014 at 8:02 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          The key phrase is "one true God".

          When so many people with different versions of God(s) claim a monopoly of truth for their interpretation exclusive of all the others, the logical conclusion is that none of them are right.

          August 22, 2014 at 8:05 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Logic does not throw the baby out with the bathwater....just cause there are so many versions does NOT negate there is one true God....

          August 25, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Nice. Well you're enti tled to your opinion as well. Just as long as we know it's an opinion and not "clearly there is no one true God."

          August 22, 2014 at 9:29 pm |
      • bostontola

        While over 90% of humans believe in a higher power, no God has even 1/3 of humans believing in it. These Gods are not very good at what they do.

        August 22, 2014 at 10:59 am |
        • Alias

          THAT JUST PROVES SATAN IS DOING A GOOD JOB IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST'S MASTER PLAN!

          Sorry, that much reason and common sense just needed an insane reply for balance.

          August 22, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Of humans have a really lousy ability to follow.

          August 22, 2014 at 7:53 pm |
        • khidir619

          @boston: ...."but most will not believe in this message. " I can't count how many times I've read that at the end of a verse. God is (as always) right on point. You might want to thoroughly read about God before critiquing His perfection. "Thou would only, perchance, Fret thyself to death, Following after them, in grief, If they believe not in this message. " There's no worries among believers about most people not worshipping God because we already know that. "We have explained In detail this Qur'an, For the benefit of mankind, Every kind of similitude: But man is, in most things, contentious." Things aren't supposed to be nice and neat for people of God. We understand we're on punishment. Are there beautiful things within this fleeting punishment? Of course there are. God will never give souls more than they can bear. Of course God won't let us see Him in this life. Of course He won't give us an actual description of Heaven, he gives us descriptions through parables. If we had an actual description of Heaven, everyone would just dig a hole, lay in it, eat dirt, drink groundwater and pray to God every night that the day we just completed would be our last. Everyone would want to hurry up and die. If He showed us Himself in our current state we'd fall out and die from the breathtaking beauty, obviously defeating the purpose of this test. We're on punishment. When I put my son in timeout and he's facing the wall, do you think he is doing just that, or do you think he's facing the wall while I'm behind him talking about SpongeBob? Or our next trip to Disney World. What kind of a timeout is that? Does he get a beautiful lesson about love, living and learning from me after his timeout is complete? Absolutely. Does he get to do fun things afterwards? Of course. He was just punished for a time. Just like we're down on Earth .."for a time. "...

          August 23, 2014 at 9:37 am |
      • pens & needles

        have to say I agree with you.

        August 22, 2014 at 11:10 am |
    • bostontola

      Gaza (CNN) - Hamas executed 18 suspected informants for Israel in Gaza on Friday, the Hamas-run Al Aqsa TV reported.

      Suspected. No trial. Judge, jury, executioner. The God complex, out of control.

      August 22, 2014 at 10:56 am |
      • ragansteve1

        Not surprisingly, Hamas does not subscribe to the American justice system, or even the Israeli system. That has little to do with God and everything to do with land.

        August 22, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
    • ragansteve1

      Nice. Good painting everyone of faith with the same brush and color paint.

      August 22, 2014 at 10:56 am |
      • bostontola

        steve,
        In fact, I did the exact opposite. I asserted that ISIS is a minority, separating them from the majority of religious. How did you conclude that?

        August 22, 2014 at 11:01 am |
        • ragansteve1

          "Religion and belief in God(s) is a benevolent delusion the majority of the time, ISIS shows what happens when the psychosis gets out of control."

          This statement says that religion is a "delusion" and ISIS is simply an out-of-control example of the "psychosis." What could more clearly paint all people of faith as the same as ISIS, except in constraint or not. We're all deluded and therefore psychotic. It's just that some of us are taking our meds.

          August 22, 2014 at 11:23 am |
        • bostontola

          steve,
          Religion must be a delusion a majority of the time, no 1 religion holds a majority of the human population. Unless other religions are also right, then they are delusional. Christianity is less than 1/3 of people. As I said, it is usually benevolent delusion. ISIS and Hamas show what happens when delusion gets out of control.

          August 22, 2014 at 11:40 am |
        • ragansteve1

          That's not an answer to the paint brush issue. It simply restates your thesis in other words.

          August 22, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
        • bostontola

          steve,
          If I hadn't said 'a majority of the time', it would have painted all with the same brush as you said. But I did put that modifier in, and I later demonstrated that the majority must be wrong (hence delusional). So I never said all religious are the same (painted with 1 brush).

          I also segregated ISIS and their kind away from the benevolent religious.

          So I clearly did not paint all with the same brush.

          August 22, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Unfortunately, I disagree. You used the terms delusional and psychotic in the same passage applied to people of faith.

          Merriam-Webster says:

          Full Definition of DELUSION
          1
          : the act of deluding : the state of being deluded
          2
          a : something that is falsely or delusively believed or propagated
          b : a persistent false psychotic belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self that is maintained despite indisputable evidence to the contrary; also : the abnormal state marked by such beliefs

          Clearlly, your use of those words eliminate definition 1 as an option. First, this substantiates the paint brush issue. Second, I would ask what "indisputable evidence to the contrary" would you offer for my faith?

          August 22, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          steve,
          There is no evidence to support any of the personal gods, and all the evidence we have points away from those personal gods, e.g. the foundational stories are all incorrect. No other word to describe that than delusion. We see (on a smaller scale) christians for example killing workers at clinics that provide abortions (because of the former's beliefs) – do you deny that that is psychosis?

          August 22, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
        • bostontola

          steve,
          I did use delusion and psychosis in the way you describe, that doesn't mean that is one brush. You keep leaving out the part where I say a majority of the time. Most people don't believe in your God, most people worship another false God. I call the worship of a false God a delusion. Most people worship a false God. Therefore people as a whole are delusional most of the time.

          August 22, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          OK, let's hypothesize (new word I learned recently) that there is a majority of the faithful who are delusional and a minority who are not (or vice versa, it works either way). How would you differentiate?

          August 22, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
        • bostontola

          steve,
          I can't differentiate. What is a fact, is that no God is believed by the majority of humans. Over 2/3 of people believe in something other than the most popular God (Jesus). Therefore, most people are delusional. If one of the minority Gods is the real one, the result is the same. If none of the Gods worshipped by humans is real the result is still correct, and if there are no Gods the result is still correct.

          I commented on religion(general term), and belief in God (another general term). I wasn't specifically calling out yours. I don't know what is true regarding God(s). My statement is based on numbers. I'm not sure why you are taking it personally.

          August 22, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          OK, if you cannot differentiate, how are you going to NOT paint us all with the same color paint and brush? Are you going to let us paint ourselves? That would be interesting!! Christian #1: I am going to paint myself blue because I don't think I am delusional. Christian #2:Oh but I am going to paint myself red because I am clearly delusional. Christian #3:And I am going to paint myself purple because I am psychotic.

          August 22, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          OK missed the second question. I am not taking it personally. I am trying to figure out how you can say what you said and not be painting us all the same. See above.

          August 22, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
        • bostontola

          steve,
          It's not about Christians, it's about all people and all religions. If Jesus is God, then Christians are not delusional, and my comment is still correct.

          August 22, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Boston, quit being obtuse. I just used Christian as an example. I could just as easily have said "person-of-faith" 1, 2 and 3. The point, AND FACT, is that if you have no way of differentiating between loons and sane people, then you cannot say "I don't paint everyone with the same brush" because you cannot tell who is and who isn't. Thus, if you want to say, this guy is a loon because he believes this and this guy is not because he believes that, you have no basis for that judgment. With no standard for differentiation, you either paint them all, or you paint none of them.

          I've spent my professional life diagnosing people. If I had no way of differentiating, they would all be in one classroom–or not. Just saying "the "majority" is nowhere near good enough to avoid the fact that you apparently either think we are all loons, or you don't. Given other things you have written, I suspect you think we are all loons. And that's OK. You have every right to your opinion. You just can't have it both ways.

          August 22, 2014 at 7:48 pm |
        • bostontola

          steve,
          I'm not being obtuse at all. It's simple numbers. That's all. My point has nothing to do with which person is delusional and which isn't. Having a delusion is different than being a loon. I'm surprised a person tat treats people would use that terminology.

          August 22, 2014 at 8:35 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Don't be too surprised. There is a lot of gallows humor in every profession.

          It doesn't matter what the proportions or numbers are if you're making judgments about people. It matters that you can provide evidence of delusion in the "majority" you say are delusional or psychotic. The only difference you stated was out of control psycho and in control psycho. I continue to be mystified as to why this point eludes you.

          If you like numbers then let's look at set theory. There are members of set "A" and not members of set "A". We have to be able to draw a circle around those in set "A". What makes a member of set "A" a member, and a not member–not?

          August 22, 2014 at 9:37 pm |
        • bostontola

          steve,
          It is numbers, not set theory. I believe that more than half the people on earth believe in and worship Gods that don't exist. By my definition that means they have a delusion. It's that simple. Since the vast majority of those people do no harm, I say the delusion is not harmful. A small percent let the delusion do harm.

          By my definitions, I am using different brushes for the deluded (those that believe in false Gods), and yet another brush for harmless deluded, and harmful deluded.

          Even if I can't tell one from another on an individual basis, I still used different brushes. You can continue to create false sets, and redefine terms all you want. You may even prove my point wrong. What you haven't done, it show that your contention of a single brush is correct, it is simply false.

          August 23, 2014 at 7:46 am |
        • ragansteve1

          Well, no, but whatever . . . . This argument is not worth the time.

          August 23, 2014 at 8:31 am |
      • Dalahäst

        I wonder if he can see his constant deifying of science as an actual and observable benevolent delusion? I think he might have a blind spot in that regards.

        August 22, 2014 at 11:12 am |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          What does that have to do with this post?

          Why do you think I regard science as a God? I have stated to you many times that I regard science as a tiny part of what humans use to live. We love art, literature, music, etc. I don't regard those as Gods either.

          Science illuminates a small part of reality. There is much more of reality that science hasn't addressed than science has addressed. But that small part of reality that science has addressed is objectively validated. If belief conflicts with that slice of reality illuminated by science, then that belief is unfounded.

          That is a far cry from regarding science as a God. I have stated these things to you directly more than once. You misrepresenting me is beneath you.

          August 22, 2014 at 11:21 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Easy now. I was just wondering how you would react if someone suggested you hold benevolent delusions. It looks like you don't like it either.

          There are people who treat their belief in science a lot like the way you describe people who believe in a religion. And both groups have people that like to speak as if they are an authority on the subject. And they hold some massive delusions about themselves they can't see. A friend will point it out.

          August 22, 2014 at 11:26 am |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          You did direct that at me personally, not at 'some people'. I do have a sensitivity to being falsely accused, it has happened to me in serious situations in the past.

          If science is a benevolent delusion, then existence is an illusion and solipsism reigns.

          August 22, 2014 at 11:34 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Oh, man. If you were a Christian on this blog you would be pulling your hair out by now if being falsely accused offended you. I know for a fact it sucks. Imagine having it happen to you routinely.

          Your statement in the OP does sound a bit arrogant and offensive. And what I said is fair and along the same lines of your reasoning by your standards. It didn't seem to match what you have told me about yourself. Take it as constructive criticism.

          August 22, 2014 at 11:49 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I never said or intended to say science was a benevolent delusion. How some people treat it science is definitely a benevolent, and sometimes harmful, delusion.

          August 22, 2014 at 11:51 am |
        • bostontola

          Your words:
          "Dalahäst
          I wonder if he can see his constant deifying of science as an actual and observable benevolent delusion?"
          1. I just showed above that I don't deify science, therefore it's a false accusation.
          2. I just showed that if science is a benevolent delusion then solipsism reigns.

          I simply responded to to your 3rd person words.

          August 22, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I know you don't think you deify science. And you can rationalize why you don't. Isn't that how we deal with blind spots?

          Just because I think your personal view of what you call science is a benevolent delusion, does not mean that solipsism reigns. It is just my view on your opinions you express.

          August 22, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
        • bostontola

          I know you don't think you deify science. And you can rationalize why you don't. Isn't that how we deal with blind spots?
          ==>I gave you my view on science, call them rationalizations if you want, but my stated view is clearly not deification. Your assertion should come with some evidence. If not, it is a fabricated position to support your contention. I'll wait for your evidence.
          Just because I think your personal view of what you call science is a benevolent delusion, does not mean that solipsism reigns. It is just my view on your opinions you express.
          ==> I stated my view on science, please identify how that could be a delusion without solipsism.

          August 22, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          What if someone were to suggest you carved yourself a nice little idol about your view of science? That is a great opinion you hold. And I'm glad it helps you. It would be awesome if you actually conducted some science or contributed to our scientific knowledge, not just philosophize about it.

          August 22, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
        • bostontola

          I use science. I am an engineer. I make contributions in other ways. I have many patents and I have developed mathematical algorithms previously undiscovered. I also fund much science with my budgets, contributing in that way as well.

          None of that is on point to my request. You made assertions about what I think and that my view of science is a delusion. I provided evidence to the contrary. I asked for the evidence supporting your assertion. Still waiting.

          August 22, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          A majority of the time this is what it is like to interact with some of the atheists on this blog. They don't have evidence, but make claims based on opinions. If you deny it, they just keep asserting that you are wrong (look at the 'guilt by association' thread) or delusional. I really just disagree with your opinion and was surprised you made it.

          August 22, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
  7. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Let's say you are in absolute command of a small independent military unit. You are absolutely convinced that God wants you to go down into a valley, destroy all the villages there and kill everyone, including children – everyone. About 5000 people. You believe you are to kill all the domesticated animals as well, then leave taking nothing with you. What will you do?

    August 22, 2014 at 9:45 am |
    • bostontola

      No, because the bible clearly instructs that while you should kill all the men, you should keep the women and children as slaves, and keep the animals and property as spoils.

      August 22, 2014 at 9:49 am |
      • kudlak

        Actually, the Bible says to keep all the virgin girls for yourself, but to kill all the other women and the boys. (Numbers 31:17-18)

        August 22, 2014 at 9:59 am |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        1 Samuel 15

        August 22, 2014 at 10:00 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the Lord sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the Lord. 2 This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. 3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’”

          August 22, 2014 at 10:06 am |
        • bostontola

          True. And Deut 13:
          15 Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, udestroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword. 16 And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the street thereof, and shalt xburn with fire the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for the Lord thy God: and it shall be yan heap for ever; it shall not be built again.

          I guess there is some leeway regarding spoils and slaves.

          August 22, 2014 at 10:09 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          Maybe one village had darker skin than the other, or was full of fugly women...

          August 22, 2014 at 10:31 am |
        • ragansteve1

          Happier, OR, maybe one was markedly more evil than just an enemy-sacrificing young children to their gods-and God decided there was no saving them. They had to be destroyed completely or they would infect the entire human race. Sounds like ISIL to me.

          August 22, 2014 at 10:51 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "sacrificing young children to their gods"

          You mean like Abraham?

          August 22, 2014 at 10:55 am |
        • ragansteve1

          You may recall, if your anything close to fair, that he ultimately did NOT sacrifice Isaac.

          August 22, 2014 at 10:58 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          steve,

          That isn't the point. He was willing to do it and he is viewed by believers as being morally correct to follow through with it if he believed god wanted him to. Nasty stuff.

          If you truly believed god wanted you to kill your child, would you do it?

          August 22, 2014 at 11:08 am |
        • ragansteve1

          I have already gone through this with Tom. Read the stuff. I am not going to repeat myself.

          I believe Abraham knew, as in had faith, that God would provide a way. And that IS the point. If we are faithful, he will provide a way that is not immoral.

          August 22, 2014 at 11:19 am |
        • kudlak

          Guys
          All this proves is that YHWH had varied tastes in his pillaging and genocide, and liked to change things up, giving his Hebrew goons different instructions as the mood suited him.

          Supposedly, he also like to watch, so they made sure to perform in a way which "pleased" him.

          Great guy, that YHWH!

          August 22, 2014 at 11:20 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          steve,

          That completely sidestepped the issue and my question. And I have no idea why you think Abraham believed he would not have to go through with it, he prepared and obviously intended to. Now obviously I think this is just a story. The point is if someone believes in a god, any god, and they truly believe that god told them to sacrifice a child, are they morally justified to do it?

          I don't think they are. Do you?

          August 22, 2014 at 11:27 am |
        • ragansteve1

          Cheese, as I said earlier, I have been through all of this with Tom in threads below. But, so as not to be accused of "sidestepping" your question–NO, it is not moral to sacrifice a child. That is one of the great reasons God asked Israel to go to war against other tribes at times. Many tribes did sacrifice children to their gods. Israel did not.

          August 22, 2014 at 11:31 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "maybe one was markedly more evil than just an enemy-sacrificing young children to their gods-and God decided there was no saving them."

          "infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’”

          I'm sure they were all infected with cooties so they had to die... right steve?

          August 22, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Maybe not cooties, but maybe. I don't know. I wasn't there and neither were you.

          August 22, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "NO, it is not moral to sacrifice a child."

          Is it moral for a god to even ask a parent to sacrifice a child just to check the person's loyalty?

          August 22, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Are you asking my opinion? If so, I wouldn't do it. But then I am not God. I have a hard time even thinking about judging God. Since He created me, it is more for Him to judge me than the reverse.

          August 22, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Yeah I was just wondering where you were at on the issue.

          I don't look at it like judging god. More to the point of if something like that even makes sense.

          August 22, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "NO, it is not moral to sacrifice a child."

          But I guess in the case of the Amalekites it was moral for the Israelite's to sacrifice other peoples children...

          August 22, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Israelites never sacrificed children under Gods commands..in other words..any sacrifices the Israelites ever did, of babies were not commanded nor approved of by God

          August 22, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Happier, children dying in war is not "sacrifice" to a god. Children killed in Berlin, Dresden, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki were not sacrificed to any god. But they were just as dead. The Amalekites did practice human and child sacrifice. That may have been the reason God told Saul to kill them all. ISIL would be another good candidate for extermination, only now as opposed to 3,500 years ago.

          August 22, 2014 at 9:43 pm |
        • kudlak

          kermit4jc
          If God was just the excuse that the Israelites used to do as they liked, who's to say that they didn't just invent this God character for this precise purpose?

          August 23, 2014 at 6:40 pm |
    • bostontola

      31:7 And they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males.
      31:8 And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword.
      31:9 And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods.

      August 22, 2014 at 9:54 am |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        This was a pivotal event in Judaic mythology/history. Saul was called upon to destroy the Amelekites. He failed to follow that specific requirements of God, He fell into disfavour with God. Ultimately David became king.

        August 22, 2014 at 9:58 am |
        • realbuckyball

          No. You just don't understand. You see now there's a "new covenant bla bla bla .. 'er something like that.

          Seriously the "falling out of favor with the priests" is a fascinating episode that has to be sort of "teased out" of those stories. When, because of military pressure, the Confederate Tribes decided they needed a central authority, some of the conservative prophets knew it could lead to abuses, and some vehemently opposed it : "Fallen is the virgin Israel, never to rise again, etc etc" .. (Amos)." The king was originally installed as a strictly military leader. Saul over-stepped himself. It's recounted as one incident (told twice), but scholars think it was likely a pattern in which he antagonized the priests and attempted to take more power than they wanted him to have. So he was said to have offered a sacrifice, (or something like that), ... clearly a priestly function. So he was on the outs. The OT makes perfect sense if it's read in the light of warring priestly-political factions, (Northern Kingdom vs Southern Kingdom). It's why a lot of what we see written there, actually was written in .. to make the other camp look bad, and take the side of the editor-redactor.

          August 22, 2014 at 10:09 am |
        • bostontola

          Bucky,
          There may be a new covenant, but Yahweh is still Yahweh, no? He ordered all of that.

          August 22, 2014 at 10:11 am |
        • realbuckyball

          Yahweh was the 70th son of the chief Babylonian deity. The war god. Israel had expansionist ambitions, (just like they still do), and wanted a war god to lead their armies. Theat's why they made an agreement (the original "covenant") with him. They would only worship him, IF he would lead their army.

          They acted just like all their surrounding Canaanite neighbors. Culturally quite normal for the time. Nothing unusual.
          For religionists claiming they were in some way unique, it proves they were not.

          BTW, the texts that became the Bible was never the, (or "a") central organizing feature of Hebrew society, back then. Most of the texts were not even written-assembled then. That all happened much much later.

          August 22, 2014 at 10:24 am |
    • Dalahäst

      Imagine what Paul Warfield Tibbets Jr had to deal with.

      August 22, 2014 at 9:59 am |
      • LaBella

        I...can't even...

        August 22, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
    • atlantic9

      There are medications that may help with that kind of psychosis.

      August 22, 2014 at 10:01 am |
      • transframer

        Right

        August 22, 2014 at 10:17 am |
    • ragansteve1

      BTW: You didn't answer this question either. HAVE you stopped beating your wife?

      August 22, 2014 at 11:39 am |
      • ragansteve1

        That's for Tom, BTW.

        August 22, 2014 at 11:40 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          She's never asked me to, steve.

          August 22, 2014 at 11:42 am |
        • ragansteve1

          Your dodging the question. Yes or no.

          August 22, 2014 at 11:52 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          No

          August 22, 2014 at 11:56 am |
        • ragansteve1

          Good. I'll get to call 9-1-1.

          August 22, 2014 at 12:03 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          One would have to start, to stop, steve.

          No worries, steve. I did say your resistance to God's will is healthy and I'll add that it's a good sign, too. Would that ISIS fighters were more like you.

          August 22, 2014 at 12:07 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          The questions assumes an ongoing state. But, fine. What ever.

          August 22, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
    • ragansteve1

      Tom,

      Do you support the fact that America and her allies carpet bombed Berlin into rubble ki lling who knows how many tens or hundreds of thousand Germans? Do you support the allies' fire bombing of Dresden, wiping that city off the map and ki lling who knows how many thousands or tens of thousands more? Do you support the atomic bomb attacks at Hiroshima and Nagasaki that kil led hundreds of thousands if not millios ultimately?

      August 22, 2014 at 11:51 am |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        If I'd been around, I like to think I'd have opposed such things. Why do you ask, if I may ask?

        August 22, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Because the whole crux of the issue is war. War is HELL. There is no other way to describe it. But when someone brings it to you, you have only one choice–die or kill them. This is the real world, not one we would like. There is evil in the world. And it must be stopped-cold.

          August 22, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          There are myriad choices in something as large and complex as war. What guides you in deciding whether fire-bombing a city or using nuclear weapons is permissible under the moral framework you try to live by?

          August 22, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
        • tallulah131

          The Ten Commandments mandate that "thou shalt not kill". Christ instructs to "turn the other cheek". Yet christians are as eager to kill as any non-christian, and they twist the bible in all sorts of way to defend that position.

          August 22, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          GET the correct useage of the Hebrew word..thou shall not MURDER...there is a HUGE difference between murder and kill...murder is something that is premeditated...if I went out in my car and someone ran out in the road that I did not have any time to stop, I hit and kill them. I did not murder them.....and I did not do any wrong..I wont even be charged for it

          August 22, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Tal, so you say.

          August 22, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Tom, you appear to be equivocating, Do yu have an answer, or not? And I asked first.

          August 22, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
        • Doris

          With all due respect, Steve, you started with some specifics and then jumped to the generalized "war". What exactly is war these days in your opinion?

          August 22, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Is your question about opposing evil through violence? I've studied fighting arts most of my life. I believe violence has real utility. And I did say earlier that ISIS should be opposed by violence – to the last one, by which I meant fighter. I don't approve of the use of genocide or terror. Hope that helps, steve.

          August 22, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Doris, This is an extension of a much longer exchange that Tom and I have been having. He started with Saul and his refusal to k ill everyone Samuel (for God) had said to k ill. That devolved into "would I k ill if I were convinced God wanted me to. And then it went to k illing in war as with Saul. So, it's kind of been around the barn and back.

          August 22, 2014 at 2:35 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Doris, I am sorry. I forgot your question in explaining how Tom and I got to where we are.

          War is evolving. I am not sure of all the ramifications. But clearly there are at least two kinds. There are the conventional kinds such as cold war and hot war between nations. But the more prevalent war now is the war related to terror. And it is a war. It is ridiculous for AG Holder to open a "criminal" investigation into ISIS activity. What's he going to do? Send a couple of FBI agents to arrest someone? Good luck with that. We'll see them in orange on youtube.

          I don't know if that helps, but that's about all I know.

          August 22, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Yes, steve. I do say. Because you very obviously advocated violence even as you profess your faith.

          August 22, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Tal, So, you want to take the commandment literally right? You want no exceptions? Then watch out for the bugs, and you can't eat any meat, or fish, or shellfish, or anything else that crawls around. You just get plants.

          There are exceptions to the violence rule when evil exists. I ONLY advocate violence in the face of abject evil, or to protect innocent people. Get a grip and debate honestly.

          August 22, 2014 at 9:47 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        "If I'd been around, I like to think I'd have opposed such things."

        I can't answer your question any other way. I wasn't around.

        August 22, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          So, then why would you press me so hard for a firm answer. I was not around when Saul failed.

          Plus, If we are going to fight ISIS, as you say you are willing to do, there are decisions that will need to be made and "innocent" people will die. They may die by the hundreds or even thousands-maybe more. What guiding principle are you going to use to decide what level of violence you would support? What if, someone in the government decides that it would save lives and shorten the war if we used nuclear weapons again? I can think of Iran for example getting a nuclear weapon and having little reticence using it. No deterrent threat would likely stop them. Perhaps someone would propose a "first strike?"

          I am not taking a side - yet. Just asking.

          August 22, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          God's will was plain to Samuel and presumably made so to Saul. I posed a question in which if God's will was plain to you, such that you were absolutely convinced that you know what it was, if you would obey it as an ISIS fighter might – one believing he is obeying God. I gathered that you would not.

          August 22, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          So, what guiding principle would you use to determine the acceptable level of violence in pursuing the destruction of ISIS?

          August 22, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Identify them, and destroy them when possible, steve. The level or kind of violence depends on where they are found and how they've positioned themselves.

          August 22, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          I'm sure people will want to weigh the chance of destroying unintended targets, killing innocent people, against time and cost. I would go for patience.

          August 22, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          I certainly appreciate patience, except when those people are exterminating dozens to hundreds of innocent people, deca pitating then, crucifying them, burying them alive and so on. And patience doesn't work very well when the e vil is geographically spreading like a cancer. The time for patience was a year or so ago when we first learned of this cancer. Now is the time for action and what do we have? "We're monitoring the situation closely." Give me a break.

          August 23, 2014 at 8:38 am |
  8. rusty2115

    Not posted enough and the point to this story:

    Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities – Voltaire

    There is no religion with clean hands, they all came to power through violence and a sypathetic ruler.

    August 22, 2014 at 9:34 am |
    • bostontola

      Sounds a lot like many Governments through history as well.

      August 22, 2014 at 9:46 am |
      • rusty2115

        the point: Blind Faith is bad and leads to atrocities

        and many of those gov't that committed atrocities are overthrown or only hold power though violence – just like religion needs to be overthrown

        August 22, 2014 at 9:49 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Not all religions promote blind faith. Some actually oppose it.

          And there are people who don't have blind faith that commit atrocities, too.

          August 22, 2014 at 9:57 am |
        • bostontola

          I was agreeing. My point is that it is not just religion that creates fervor to exploit. Despots, dictators, kings, rulers of many kinds have done it with and without religion. Religion is a handy excuse that is/was frequently exploited.

          August 22, 2014 at 9:58 am |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          Who amongst any religion actually admits that their faith is "blind"? All believe that they have sufficient reason to believe, even these ISIS people, right?

          August 22, 2014 at 10:03 am |
        • Dalahäst

          kudlak

          Not necessarily. I'm encouraged to question, test and not just accept what is told to me. There is a dangerous mindset all human beings can hold – and it affects both the religious and non-religious. I see it in the very anti-religious, too.

          August 22, 2014 at 10:08 am |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          I'm open to taking my search wherever the truth may lead me. Possibly that will be a religion. We'll see where I'm at when I die, I suppose?

          But, if you find an answer not deemed "correct" by your religion, and accept it as the truth, then won't you probably find yourself outside of that faith?

          You see, having a faith means living according to some venn diagram which outlines what lies within the bounds of "truth" and what doesn't, which seems completely oppressive to anyone sincerely seeking to discover what the truth actually is. After all, if you trust that what your faith says is actually the truth, then you believe that you already know the truth, so how can you sincerely claim to be seeking it?

          August 22, 2014 at 10:40 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "I'm encouraged to question, test and not just accept what is told to me."

          The problem is that if you were applying actual tests that could be repeated by anyone that would empirically prove Gods existence and give a factual foundation for your faith then everyone would be reaching the same conclusions and worship the same God and wouldn't need the word "faith" any longer as the religion would be based on fact. You do not question the absence of this evidence, you do not truly test your faith because you fear that it is weak and do whatever you can to bolster your faith by ignoring and twisting truth to fit your preconceived ideology that puts you and your loved ones in the "winner" seat claiming all the rewards while condemning those who have different beliefs with calloused disregard.

          August 22, 2014 at 10:43 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't really belong to a religion that accepts or promotes blind faith. I'm free to search the truth.

          I do appear to find myself outside your idea of faith. And that doesn't bother me anymore than being outside the idea of a believer's idea of faith.

          If faith means living according to some venn diagram which outlines what lies within the bounds of "truth" and what doesn't, which seems completely oppressive to anyone sincerely seeking to discover what the truth actually is, then I have no faith.

          And I'm fine with that. I still seek the truth. I still ask God to help me. And I have trust and confidence in His guidance. I have evidence that the peace and patience I need to get though this world will be given to me if I keep following this action. It is not about me, but about helping with others.

          August 22, 2014 at 10:48 am |
        • Dalahäst

          neverbeenhappieratheist

          – The problem is that if you were applying

          I'm going to assume you are just describing your experience, which isn't my experience. I'm not sure why you are speculating that about me, but I don't think you know me that well. You are making claims about me that are false.

          August 22, 2014 at 10:52 am |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          And, if you find a truth that disagrees with your religion you will have to face a choice of either changing your interpretation of the truth to match your faith, or abandoning your religion because it doesn't promote the truth, which is what I did.

          I recall your saying that your conversion was just a few years ago, so I guess we can forgive you for still being in the honeymoon phase, but what if the truth you discover is that you can't actually trust God and have confidence in His guidance? You have to be prepared for that possibility and willing to accept that answer when it comes. If not, then your faith truly is blind, correct?

          August 22, 2014 at 11:06 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't have that kind of mindset you have. I know some religious people have it. And some convert to atheism and still keep that mindset.

          If I discover I can't trust God and have no confidence in His guidance I will stop seeking it. So my faith is not truly blind, correct?

          August 22, 2014 at 11:17 am |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          Under those conditions, you'll only ever know that your faith wasn't blind if you happen to lose it, right?

          And what "mindset" do you imagine I have?

          August 22, 2014 at 11:26 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "I'm not sure why you are speculating that about me,"

          what I said "The problem is that if you were applying actual tests" in response to your claim that you are:

          "encouraged to question, test"

          So I was not making any speculations, I was pointing out that if what you say is true, then anyone and everyone would be coming to the same conclusion about the same creator, instead you get 41,000 different flavors of one brand along with tens of thousand of other brands. Therefore your tests are invalid if they cannot empirically and consistently provide the same results for anyone and everyone.

          August 22, 2014 at 11:45 am |
        • Dalahäst

          A know-it-all mindset. I try to share what I know. And not try to tell other people what they must believe because of the conclusions I've drawn up about them.

          August 22, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          I've never claimed to know-it-all, have I? I disagree with you, but I could be wrong.

          August 22, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No, but it feels like you are preaching to me. Especially when you tell me what it means to have faith. That is not what my faith looks like. If that was your experience that is fine. But don't insist that it is mine.

          August 22, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          Not that I feel that I am preaching, but I find it funny that you belong to a church and you object to being "preached to"? As in all cases, you are free to simply stop talking to me.

          As with my response below, all of your objections would disappear if you were less cryptic about what you actually do believe. It's almost as though you are afraid to open up your true beliefs to any criticism. So, please, tell us what your faith actually is in order to avoid our being forced to speculate. What do you have to lose?

          August 23, 2014 at 6:36 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      I'm not one to give religion a free pass. It should be questioned and scrutinized. But so should your claims. Some people with no religion have been very vile to me. And I've seen some commit atrocities. How do you explain that? Do you have blood on your hands? How do I have blood on my hands for being in a religion?

      What group is there on this Earth with clean hands currently or in history?

      Why are there religious groups in my community that do positive things that help my community? They haven't committed any atrocities, but have come to the aid of those who have been harmed by others. They don't have a violent ruler. I would struggle to find any violence they have committed. Unless charging them with guilt by association I can't believe your claims are that valid. And if we can charge people for guilt by association, there is blood on your hands, too.

      August 22, 2014 at 9:55 am |
      • kudlak

        Without "guilt by association" how could the Christian theology of Original Sin work?

        August 22, 2014 at 10:09 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I've never heard Christian theology describe it as guilt by association in regards to any sin. The negative effects and consequences are passed down. But we are still responsible for what we do.

          August 22, 2014 at 10:14 am |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          Adam and Eve supposedly "sinned" and we still have to pay the price for that action. All of humanity is deemed "guilty" by our common association with this pair, and we will all pay the price ... unless we convert, yes?

          August 22, 2014 at 10:18 am |
        • Dalahäst

          That is not really the point.

          August 22, 2014 at 10:24 am |
        • bostontola

          Guilt by association isn't about being responsible for your transgressions, it's about being guilty for other's transgressions. Original sin is universal guilt by association, guilty by virtue of being human. Yahweh also punished generations of transgressors before they were born. Guilt by association is a trademark of Yahweh.

          August 22, 2014 at 10:24 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "That is not really the point." lol, found yourself on your theological heels again eh?

          August 22, 2014 at 10:33 am |
        • Dalahäst

          That is a totally different kind of theology than I've been shown.

          August 22, 2014 at 10:38 am |
        • Dalahäst

          neverbeenhappieratheist

          + lol, found yourself on your theological heels again eh?

          Not really. I know some people do hold that theological outlook. Apparently some atheists and Christians do. But I really don't.

          Not sure why that puts me on my heels. I'm just disagreeing. I can show you resources that explain it differently.

          August 22, 2014 at 10:40 am |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          If you don't believe in Original Sin then why did humanity need Christ as a Savior?

          August 22, 2014 at 10:43 am |
        • kudlak

          18 Therefore, as one trespass (Adam's) led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness (Jesus') leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:18-21

          You never encountered this in your church?

          August 22, 2014 at 10:51 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I need saved for my sins. Sin was introduced into this world by humans. And it effects all humans. And it takes God to overcome it.

          August 22, 2014 at 10:55 am |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          See, you do accept human guilt by association with Adam and Eve.

          They sinned, and we still have to pay the price for what they did. It really shouldn't affect all humans any more than something your great, great, great, great, great grandfather did should affect your life, but who ever said that God's sense of "justice" was ever fair, right? What it does is give God the excuse to impose himself upon humans, which you would recognize as also being unfair if you were looking at this with eyes wide open.

          August 22, 2014 at 11:13 am |
        • Dalahäst

          No I would call it guilt by association and draw up the conclusions you have.

          Sorry.

          August 22, 2014 at 11:19 am |
        • Dalahäst

          No I would not call it guilt by association and draw up the conclusions you have.

          Sorry.

          August 22, 2014 at 11:20 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Get it? My sins.

          August 22, 2014 at 11:21 am |
        • bostontola

          Exodus
          5"You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,

          Is that guilt by association?

          August 22, 2014 at 11:29 am |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          How is it not guilt by association? Please explain how it's different from my analogy with your great ancestor?

          Also, Original Sin is the explanation for why nobody can ever be good enough in the eyes of your God, thus explaining why everyone supposedly needs Christ to magically make them right. Why should anyone not see this as some theology concocted to give Jesus' death some meaning? After all, he utterly failed to live up to what the majority of Jews expected of their Messiah, right?

          TTFN Good talk, as always, catch you later.

          August 22, 2014 at 11:35 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "I can show you resources that explain it differently." lol, you and every other religious nut on the planet. Everyone has their own proof, everyone has their own validation that they are the chosen ones, they know the true God and everyone else has it wrong. It would be funny if it wasn't so sad.

          August 22, 2014 at 11:48 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          So we are not born having sinned so we are not paying the price for Adams sin, but we were born from Adam who sinned and thus we have no choice but to commit sin as we grow up with zero chance of not sinning because we are Adams children and will die a deserving death and earn and eternity of torment for giving in to that sin and not figuring out which one of the thousands and thousand of Gods is the right God and worship him the way he wants to be worshiped? Sounds pretty delusional to me, and if true is about the worst possible creator scenario I could imagine, unless I was constantly telling myself "I" had figured it out when billions and billions of others on the planet all have it wrong and "I" was going to be saved along with those I care about... but who would be that vain? Who would have such hubris?...?

          August 22, 2014 at 11:54 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I've sinned. I've harmed others. I've failed to live up to my own ideals. I've harmed myself. I probably will continue doing these things.

          I can shift the blame on Adam and Eve. Or accept it. And ask for help to overcome these sins.

          I find these sins do separate me from God. I find a better understanding of him, and it is nothing like any of you have told me you imagine what that looks like.

          So, for me, calling it just 'guilt by association' is not a great description. There is much more to it than that.

          August 22, 2014 at 12:06 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          I've harmed others too, but I don't believe that I've sinned against some deity. I'd have to believe in that deity first. I can accept it without believing there ever was an Adam and Eve, where you now are left to find the alternative meaning to their story.

          To be aware that we harm others, to establish ideals to live by personally, and to feel guilt for not living up to those ideals are things shared by all religions. Yet, they require no gods in order to give them meaning, which means that they're just shared human experiences which religion co-ops to serve its own purposes.

          Our not being able to completely describe what you believe only testifies to the idea that every believer taylor-makes a God to fit what they want to believe. Likely, nobody else on the planet shares your particular model of God and what that implies theologically, correct?

          August 22, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I have no clue what you mean about "Our not being able to completely describe what you believe only testifies to the idea that every believer taylor-makes a God to fit what they want to believe". Who is "our"? And why do I have to worry about what these people believe? I get hundreds of different explanations for what and how I believe – and none are the same. They seem to be taylor-made to suit each person's needs, too. That simplistic explanation of "every believer" seems a bit far fetched.

          I also don't think all religions are about being aware that we harm others, to establish ideals to live by personally, and to feel guilt for not living up to those ideals. Certainly not the one I follow.

          August 22, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          "Our" is everyone on this board who apparently share my inability to pinpoint exactly what you believe. Not that you help in this regard. You are so cryptic regarding what you actually believe that I often question the sincerity of your willingness to "discuss" those beliefs. Either that, or you're just denying holding any critical belief just to win arguments, representing yourself as a type of Christian that simply doesn't exist in real life as a result. As it is, I've learned not to count any of your references to your personal faith due to this possibility. Sorry, but if you actually do belong to a church or denomination with some standard set of common beliefs, what's the harm in sharing that information?

          Wait a minute! Are you saying that your religion doesn't focus on preventing people from harming others and establishing ideals to personally live by? Are you saying that your religion doesn't want people to feel guilty for their failures?

          Which religion do you follow, then?

          August 23, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
      • rusty2115

        Governments either protect their citizens or evenutually get overthrown. Secular democratic governments protect their citizens from the extremists. Relgion has stood by time and again while their extremists commit atrocites and they just collect the cash. Never protect maybe a few words of condemnation.

        In the end we will not remember the words of our enemy only the sillence of our friends. MLK

        August 22, 2014 at 10:18 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Secular democratic governments are a Christian ideal. But they are far from perfect. The const.itution is not a secular manifesto.

          There have been people who have believed in God who have taken a stand against those who commit atrocities. There are examples of people in a religion standing up to extremists with no religion in history.

          August 22, 2014 at 10:28 am |
      • rusty2115

        Secular democratic governments are a Christian ideal. But they are far from perfect. The const.itution is not a secular manifesto.

        There have been people who have believed in God who have taken a stand against those who commit atrocities. There are examples of people in a religion standing up to extremists with no religion in history.

        ____________________
        not historically acurate and more rewriting of history

        you make general statements without any examples

        give an example of a religion that says you should questions everything and that has run a govt w/o brutality and oppression

        August 22, 2014 at 11:13 am |
        • Dalahäst

          You make general statements without examples!

          My church has a secular and democratic governing system. The church itself isn't a secular group, but how we govern it is. That is what I meant by a secular government being a Christian ideal. It isn't an exclusive Christian ideal. And some don't hold it. The US is an example of a predominately Christian nation supporting a secular governing system. (And that secular governing system has been brutal to some)

          August 22, 2014 at 11:42 am |
    • transframer

      "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities – Voltaire" – could be
      "There is no religion with clean hands, they all came to power through violence and a sypathetic ruler".- maybe, I don't know of all religions. In the case of Christianity, the violence started the other way around, against the Christians

      August 22, 2014 at 10:12 am |
      • rusty2115

        Christ's daddy killed the first born of Egypt wiped out cities. Jesus preached peace and that the rule of law had no dominion that one should only answer to God. The Christians have a bloody past and most recently have committed genocide in Uganda. You can't seriously state they're just defending themselves.

        August 22, 2014 at 10:16 am |
        • transframer

          Well, it looks like you you agree that God exists and personally killed people, right?

          August 22, 2014 at 10:38 am |
        • rusty2115

          In the case of Christianity, the violence started the other way around, against the Christians
          ________________________________________________________
          Your claim posted above – my response was your God is the violent one ie.. the one you claim exists

          Pointing out the hypocrisy in your statement does not mean I believe in your God. Just pointing out how convoluted the story is.

          August 22, 2014 at 10:45 am |
        • transframer

          So, are you talking about stories or about facts?

          August 22, 2014 at 10:48 am |
      • In Santa We Trust

        Spread by conquest – originally by the Romans, then the Europeans.

        August 22, 2014 at 10:47 am |
        • transframer

          Historically, when Christianity became relevant in the Roman Empire, they were no longer in conquest phase, they were barely able to defend. The subject in this case and the fact is that Christianity started as an oppressed religion

          August 22, 2014 at 11:02 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          It was the religion of the Empire and spread to the conquered countries, some of which then spread by conquest e.g. Americas and Caribbean, or by missionary conquest, e.g. Hawaii

          August 22, 2014 at 11:13 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          All religions created since history was recorded could be considered oppressed in the sense that they had to overcome or at least coexist with existing religions who typically had a symbiotic relationship with power.

          August 22, 2014 at 11:16 am |
        • transframer

          In Santa We Trust
          It was the religion of the Empire and spread to the conquered countries, some of which then spread by conquest e.g. Americas and Caribbean, or by missionary conquest, e.g. Hawaii
          ----------------------------–
          Right, but that is another subject

          August 22, 2014 at 11:19 am |
        • transframer

          In Santa We Trust
          All religions created since history was recorded could be considered oppressed in the sense that they had to overcome or at least coexist with existing religions who typically had a symbiotic relationship with power.
          --------------------------------------
          Maybe, as I said I don't know about all religions. In the case of Islam this overcome and coexist didn't mean oppression, just bloody fight to impose it. In the case of Christianity, in the beginning, there was no fight, just martyrs

          August 22, 2014 at 11:30 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          How do you get to be martyred if you're not fighting?

          August 22, 2014 at 11:39 am |
        • transframer

          A martyr is, by definition, a person who is killed because of their religious or other beliefs. It has nothing to do with fight.

          August 22, 2014 at 11:51 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          True, but are there any practical examples where one could be martyred without making one's beliefs known or resisting the dominant religion?

          August 22, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
        • transframer

          By practical examples I guess you mean non christian/religious sources. Yes, they are, I don't have time to search now, if you are really interested you'll find them

          August 22, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Partially. I mean how would a person become a martyr if they were not involved in a struggle. You made the comment about martyrdom – that's why I made mine – so you could support it.

          August 22, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
        • transframer

          No struggle. For example they refused to publicly reject their beliefs as in the case of Polycarp

          August 22, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Then I guess we have different ideas on what a struggle is. It seems to me that someone trying to spread their religion in opposition to the incumbent religion is in a struggle.

          August 22, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
        • transframer

          Struggle: a forceful or violent effort to get free of restraint or resist attack. There was not such thing.

          August 22, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          You need a better dictionary. If you really believe that christians were killed without being involved in a struggle then you also need a new history book.

          August 22, 2014 at 6:26 pm |
      • rusty2115

        transframer

        So, are you talking about stories or about facts?

        ___________________________
        You are the one claiming Christianity is so persecuted and innocent.

        ie.. your posts that Christians were just defending themselves and a minority persecuted religion (claims all based on books written after Christ) by people with an agenda

        FACT: religion all religion is a story with maybe some historical fact thrown in (ie.. any good con has some reality thrown in)

        August 22, 2014 at 11:10 am |
        • transframer

          Not sure which posts of mine are you talking about? In this case the subject (your claim) was the beginning of Christianity, not the whole history, and yes it was persecuted then, that's all I said

          August 22, 2014 at 11:16 am |
  9. awanderingscot

    Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. – Genesis 1:26-27, NKJV

    – God is the creator, of all things including the first man and woman.

    And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” – Matthew 19:4-6, NKJV

    – The Lord Jesus Christ confirms the account of creation

    And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. – 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12, NKJV

    – Evolution is the lie, it denies God. Those still believing the lie when He comes are condemned.

    August 22, 2014 at 9:09 am |
    • bostontola

      scot-bot cut/paste: Those passages report WHAT was created, not HOW.
      Genesis = what.
      Evolution = how.

      I wonder if the scot-bot programmer can incorporate that into the program.

      August 22, 2014 at 9:19 am |
      • Dalahäst

        Or you could also say "who" created it.

        At the time a lot of people (especially those with power over the Hebrews) were worshiping the world – the moon, the sea, the sky: that story points to who should be worshiped – the Creator of those things.

        August 22, 2014 at 10:18 am |
        • bostontola

          Genesis is clear on who and what, it does not say how.

          August 22, 2014 at 10:27 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Somehow he took chaos and made order. He took nothing and made life.

          August 22, 2014 at 10:37 am |
        • bostontola

          Humans can take chaos and make order, that happens every day. The bible doesn't speak to how.

          August 22, 2014 at 10:49 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          So which was it? Did he take "chaos" and make an orderly universe or did he take "nothing" and fill it with something? Your own words seem to betray the fantasy you present.

          August 22, 2014 at 10:50 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I never said man can't make things orderly. That wasn't my point. And that certainly wasn't the point in the Genesis story.

          I also didn't say what the happyatheist claims. In Genesis it describes something like chaos being made orderly. And then life made from dirt (nothing).

          August 22, 2014 at 11:01 am |
        • bostontola

          Back to the OP, the bible doesn't address how.

          August 22, 2014 at 11:08 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Right. We don't know how.

          August 22, 2014 at 11:37 am |
        • bostontola

          True, we don't know all of how by any stretch. We do know some parts. We know that the observable universe is very old and very vast, it is expanding, etc. We know that life on earth started billions of years ago and has evolved into complex forms including us. Obviously, an omniscient omnipotent being could do that.

          August 22, 2014 at 11:55 am |
        • awanderingscot

          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 is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. – 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, NKJV

          – Since God truly is the giver of life, He deserves worship as such. Evil men today want to claim this for themselves and are working towards achieving this. Their aim is to exalt themselves above God and show that they are gods (sitting in the temple of God as creators of life). They will ultimately create an 'abominatiion' but a prison of Hell awaits them where they will have an eternity of punishment for this evil act.

          August 22, 2014 at 12:07 pm |
        • bostontola

          scot-bot continues to cut and paste. The programmer must be away on vacation.

          August 22, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Some of us think we know. Sometimes what we know is wrong. Even backed with the best science we have available today it would not be surprising things we know were misguided understandings. Better science comes and changes how we view everything.

          August 22, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      This article has nothing to do with Evolution...it has to do with the slaughter of an innocent man-does humanity and empathy mean nothing to you at all? Come out of your bubble.

      August 22, 2014 at 9:25 am |
    • awanderingscot

      Wrong. – According to their KIND He created them.

      August 22, 2014 at 9:34 am |
      • bostontola

        scot-bot can't distinguish what and how.

        August 22, 2014 at 9:43 am |
        • awanderingscot

          God-denying evolutionists believe in miracles, but they believe they only occur in nature, randomly. Sheer idiocy and pride.

          August 22, 2014 at 10:04 am |
        • bostontola

          To the scot-bot programmer; Please buy more memory and write some new subroutines, these same old responses are boring.

          August 22, 2014 at 10:16 am |
        • awanderingscot

          Matter spontaneously self-constructed miraculously to produce the first single-celled organism which by the way had to be complex at the very start in order to sustain itself AND reproduce? Sure it did. It cannot be done in a lab with everything we know about chemistry and physics and yet it supposedly occurred randomly in nature without even the slightest directed intelligence. Who's delusional? The nutcases who propose this preposterous theory.

          August 22, 2014 at 10:52 am |
        • bostontola

          scot-bot programmer,
          More repeti.tion? Please develop some new processing. These old refrains are primitive.

          August 22, 2014 at 11:12 am |
    • awanderingscot

      "He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,"

      – "at the beginning", not later on. mankind was created "at the beginning" male and female. 'man' and 'kind' does not mean 'ape' and 'kind'.

      August 22, 2014 at 9:39 am |
      • bostontola

        scot-bot can't distinguish when and how.

        August 22, 2014 at 9:44 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        So they have a creation story like your religion does...both myths, no supporting evidence for either thus your attempt to sound intelligent fails yet again.
        Once again, this article is about the slaughter of an innocent human not whether evolution is fact (which it is) or not.
        Keep up and show some empathy.

        August 22, 2014 at 9:46 am |
    • joey3467

      What the bible says about how the Earth was created is meaningless unless you can prove it is true without using the bible. Good Luck with that.

      August 22, 2014 at 9:41 am |
      • rusty2115

        After the debate at the Creation Museum with Bill Nye the Science Guy relying solely on the Bible was pretty much "smote"!

        August 22, 2014 at 10:26 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Posting a bible quote and implying that it proves anything is like me posting a quote from a Harry Potter book and implying that proves people fly around on brooms playing quidditch or go to a school for wizards named Hogwarts.

      All either quote proves is that someone imagined something and wrote it down once.

      August 22, 2014 at 10:06 am |
    • kudlak

      scot
      All ancient peoples had a creation myth. Why wouldn't Jesus be just as familiar with it as any other Jew?

      Do you believe that whoever wrote 2 Thessalonians was opposing evolution, or some other teaching he found problematic?

      August 22, 2014 at 10:14 am |
      • awanderingscot

        Yes Kudlak. Christ was of course "aware" as any other Jew but He also had special knowledge too because all of creation was accomplished through Him. All peoples on earth are also aware of creation because they all descended from Adam and Eve.

        August 22, 2014 at 11:33 am |
      • awanderingscot

        And yes Kudlak i believe Paul's letter to the Thessalonians was a counter to the evil disbelief encountered by early Christians, materialism was around even then.

        August 22, 2014 at 11:42 am |
      • kudlak

        awanderingscot
        No, other peoples had different creation myths, ones that didn't include Adam, Eve, God, or talking snakes. There's no reason to assume that Jesus' ability to recall this story from his Jewish scriptures makes him God any more than Adam Sandler's ability to do the same thing.

        Actually, there's more evidence that Paul was warning his Thessalonian converts not to listen to other gospels, which most likely means not listening to missionaries representing what his rivals, like Peter, were teaching. Christianity, from its very beginning after Jesus' passing, failed to achieve agreement within its leadership. There were multiple "Christianities" back then, as there are now. People not representing his own brand of Christianity were who Paul was referring to, and it's interesting that he was warning people from following what actual apostles learned from Jesus' feet.

        August 22, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
    • Alias

      If your singular god said, "Let Us make ..." then he has provided proof of his own psychosis.
      His supporters are now a little easier to understand.

      August 22, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        NOT at all Alias....that's assuming God is a person..God is nto a WHO..but a WHAT....youhave three PERSONS....sorry..but yor argument shos ignorance of Trinity and Bible God..you ASSUME God is a who...

        August 22, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
        • Alias

          please google 'humor' or 'sarcasm'
          If you really want to understand the truth, google 'mockery' while you're at it.

          That post was obviously not ..... oh nevermind. I don't know enough small wordds.

          August 22, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
  10. Reality

    Once again, from my scrapbook of essential theology and history of religion:

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

    The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

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

    Are you ready?

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

    The First Five of the 77 Branches:

    "1. Belief in Allah"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    August 22, 2014 at 7:47 am |
    • Reality

      من الدراسات ارمسترونغ، رشدي، هيرسي علي، ريتشاردسون والبيهقي ----–

      خمسة خطوات لأبطل تأثير 1400 سنة من الخرافات الإسلامية:

      (ğ اتخاذ خطوات أقل من دقيقتين يصل إلى النهاية ببساطة مدهشة، دقيقتين لإحلال السلام والعقلانية إلى أكثر من مليار فقدت الارواح كريسماس لا تقدر بثمن!)

      هل أنت مستعد؟

      باستخدام "إن الفروع الإسلامية 77 من" الإيمان "مجموعة جمعتها الإمام البيهقي كنقطة انطلاق. في ذلك، وهو ما يفسر الفضائل الأساسية التي تعكس صحيح" الإيمان "(إيمان) من خلال الآيات القرآنية والأحاديث النبوية المتعلقة". أي ملخص لطيفة من القرآن والمعتقدات الإسلامية.

      الخمسة الأولى من الفروع 77:

      "1. الإيمان بالله"

      كما يعرف أيضا باسم الله، الرب، زيوس، الرب الطبيعة الأم، وما ينبغي أن يضاف إلى الخلايا العصبية تطهير نفسك.

      "2. إلى الاعتقاد بأن كل شيء غير الله كان معدوما. بعد ذلك، خلق الله تعالى هذه الأشياء وبعد ذلك جاءوا إلى حيز الوجود".

      التطور والانفجار الكبير أو "غي ب G-NAB" (عندما يبدأ الكون لإعادة تدوير) أكثر قبولا وينبغي إدراج "المندرجة تحت عبارة" إن الله إذا كنت لا تزال يكون "بجمعية العقارات-tionist".

      "3. يعتقد في وجود الملائكة".

      عنصر رئيسي لتطهير الخلايا العصبية. الملائكة / دي Vils قابل للهي الإبداعات الأسطورية من الحضارات القديمة، على سبيل المثال HITT خائبي، لشرح / تحديد الأحداث الطبيعية، والاتصالات مع آلهتهم والطيور الكبيرة، والرياح المفاجئة، حماة خلال الليالي المظلمة، الخ لا "جميلة / ميكروغرام لاي ثينجيس wingy" بزيارة أي وقت مضى أو تحدثت إلى محمد، يسوع ومريم أو يوسف أو جو سميث. اليوم كنا تصنيف الملائكة وF-airies و "القصدير كير يكون بين LLS". تصنف دي Vils قابل الحديثة مثل دي مونس هيئة اجتثاث mented.

      "4. إلى الاعتقاد بأن جميع الكتب السماوية التي تم إرسالها إلى الأنبياء مختلفة صحيحة، ولكن بصرف النظر عن القرآن، كل الكتب الأخرى ليست صالحة بعد الآن."

      بندا رئيسيا آخر للحذف. لا توجد كتب في ولاية روح السماء (إذا كان هناك واحد) كما أن هناك ملائكة لكتابة / نشر / توزيعها. القرآن، OT، NT وما هي ببساطة الكتب التي كتبها البشر للبشر.

      اخترعت الأنبياء من قبل الكتبة القديمة عادة للحفاظ على الجماهير من الامم المتحدة وتلقى تعليمه في الخط. اليوم نسميها الأصوات للحن.

      نبوءات هي أيضا invali مؤرخة من قبل الطبيعية / الهدايا الله / الله من الإرادة الحرة والمستقبل.

      "5. إلى الاعتقاد بأن جميع الأنبياء صحيحة، إلا أننا مأمورون اتباع النبي محمد (عليه الصلاة والسلام
      عليه وسلم) وحده ".

      محمد قضى ثلاثين يوما "الصيام" (أسطورة رمضان) في كهف الساخن قبل أول اتصال له مع الله الملقب الخ الله عبر "ممتزوجات wingy جدا". الحس السليم يتطلب حذف الخلايا العصبية من رقم 5. رقم 5 هو أيضا المصدر الرئيسي للالاسلامي VI-olence أي تحول "، يحركها الجوع بسرعة" cinations hallu محمد إلى واقع فظيع لالكافرين.

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

      للأسف، لا توجد العديد من المعلقين المسلمين / القراء على هذا بلوق وبالتالي فإن "دقيقتين" هو عدم الحصول على علاج لأولئك الذين في حاجة إليها. إذا كان لديك أحد الأصدقاء المسلمين، أرسل له نسخة وتساعد في إنقاذ العالم.

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

      August 22, 2014 at 7:53 am |
  11. zhilla1980wasp

    for a full list of every contridiction in the bible, see link.
    ( tried to post them all, however nannybot makes that difficult.)

    LINK: http://www.evilbible.com/Biblical%20Contradictions.htm

    August 22, 2014 at 7:21 am |
  12. gruphy

    Faith is believing you are loved by someone in the context of the Bible.

    August 22, 2014 at 2:20 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Oops wrong! Do you not know what a dictionary is? It is the book used to define in words for everyone in this world and those definitions are the correct ones, not your biblical definition-that one has not pertinence outside of your religion!
      So here is the true definition...http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Faith

      August 22, 2014 at 4:22 am |
    • rogerthat2014

      Faith is believing something on bad evidence.

      August 22, 2014 at 6:59 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Faith is the willing suspension of critical thinking in order that one might accept supernatural dogma as fact.

      August 22, 2014 at 8:00 am |
  13. Reality

    For complete disclosure:

    Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

    This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, the Filipino “koranics”and the Boston Marthon bombers.

    And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

    Current crises:

    The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

    August 22, 2014 at 12:05 am |
    • khidir619

      Lmao. All opinion. No facts. Do you even realize that everything you just said can be directed right back at you. One can say everything you believe in is a myth and drug induced also. And you'd reply the same way I did, by telling that person that what they said was pure speculation. You just seem scared of anything that isn't American. You nervous? Fear of a black planet?

      August 22, 2014 at 12:48 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        I think you have fear in us mixed up with the fear you live...the "believe in this imaginary god or else go to the imaginary place called hell"....that is the true definition of fear. It's okay for you to give up your imaginary friends...you're apparently an adult and adults don't usually have imaginary friends.

        August 22, 2014 at 6:42 am |
      • Reality

        See the Five Steps to Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths noted above a 7:47 am.

        August 22, 2014 at 7:49 am |
    • khidir619

      BTW, everyone you just mentioned in that post represent how many people? None of the 1.6 billion. They killed themselves, that's their problem. They're going to Hell for committing suicide. Sucks for them.

      August 22, 2014 at 12:56 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Hell is an imaginary place...oops again you're wrong about people going there. You might wish to get an education...it's the cure for such blatant ignorance as you have portrayed on here. Again you're changing numbers to fit your delusional mind...the actual number of Muslims is listed below (over 2 billion)...to say it includes the extremists who in your OPINION are not true Muslims is to use the No True Scotsman fallacy-so you have once again shown ignorance and a lack of care for facts....time for you to grow up and accept facts. You want respect, you might want to start giving it...you're not as persecuted as you seem to think you are and you're doing a pathetic job of showing that you are a good Muslim (being abusive).

        August 22, 2014 at 4:41 am |
        • khidir619

          He'll is imaginary? Prove it. Oops, you can't. Your the first one to talk about definitions. The definition of a Muslim is one that submits his will to God with prayer and good behavior. So I'm not using some made up number to fit some delusion. By definition, I don't count the evil ones. Oops, try again...I feel persecuted? How? Once again, an opinion. I feel just fine and am fine. Oops. Aren't you atheists always bi.tching about factual proof? Then why is it you never use that method? You are giving atheists a bad name, it's not me giving Muslims a bad name. I don't want or need your respect. I can hold my own. There's no changing hate and fear for people like you. And you hate and fear Islam and it shows. So don't tell me about being abusive. Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. You insult, visit insult back, it's a right. Quit crying about it... Suicide is for cowards, period... So once again you blabbed and got absolutely no where, like always. Facts or shut up. I suggest you use the latter Master Atheist.

          August 22, 2014 at 6:02 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Burden of proof lies on the one making the claim, not the one saying they don't believe you.
          Shutting up would appease you and keep you happy, so sorry unless you come up with hard evidence supporting that your imaginary friend exists, we'll keep asking for proof.
          Judging others is a sin according to your fables, so it is your hell you enjoy it. Just please don't claim to be a good Muslim when you have the manners of a rock.

          August 22, 2014 at 6:16 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          I don't fear Islam...so stop making absurd assumptions when you do not know what you're speaking of. And btw: regardless of how you spin it, the number of Muslims (it includes everyone who identifies as one) is as it was stated. Using the No True Scotsman fallacy makes you look weak and ignorant.

          August 22, 2014 at 6:18 am |
        • khidir619

          I'm happy whether you shut up or not. This is a belief blog. But yet you're the one constantly wanting facts and you don't have any yourself. It's called belief for a reason. So I won't shut up until you come up with hard evidence to prove your fairy single cell...How is it absurd that I believe you fear Islam? Reread your posts and you'll see how one can take you for a fearful individual.

          August 22, 2014 at 6:46 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          I understand fully what this blog is about...maybe you should think on that one yourself.
          I stated much earlier that I know good Muslims, so no I don't fear Islam, I fear extremists-as should anybody.
          You can make all the assumptions you wish but you're wrong. You have no right to speak for other people.

          August 22, 2014 at 6:57 am |
        • khidir619

          Are you male or female? I can't tell because you think you're right about everything like a man but you cry like a bi.tch like a woman. Which one are you? Or are you sometime else?

          August 22, 2014 at 6:49 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          None of your business. Calling some a bitch male or female doesn't show that you're a good person.

          August 22, 2014 at 6:58 am |
        • khidir619

          *something

          August 22, 2014 at 6:52 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Saying women whine like bitches is rather sexist and like the rest of your cult shows you have no respect for women. It doesn't matter what ones gender is, standing up against extremists and confronting absurdities is important if religious nut cases are to be silenced of their extremist beliefs.

          August 22, 2014 at 7:02 am |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          khidir: "But yet you're the one constantly wanting facts and you don't have any yourself."

          FACTS:

          1) no gods are walking on this planet.
          2) history of all religions started by conquest. yes even islam.
          3) factions of the "same" early religions would fight over who had the correct holy book.
          4) jews were first ones to successfully inforce the "one god" idea.
          5) no such thing as magic.
          6) angels descriptions fail the aeronautic test for something human shaped to be able to fly.
          7) no flying charots......however i might be willing to accept that charots stood for aircraft; because we do "fly".
          8) violence is written and commanded by each god of all religions.

          long story short we have tons of facts as to why gods are real, namely they aren't here. just like zues, odin and ra don't impacted our lives any long niether does any other gods.
          they are just really poorly made ghost stories.

          August 22, 2014 at 7:33 am |
        • awanderingscot

          Lashing out again TP?

          August 22, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          This coming from you is humorous. What do you do aside from post crap that you THINK proves evolution wrong?
          How is this lashing out to speak the truth? HELL is an imaginary place...that is FACT.

          August 22, 2014 at 8:26 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Btw: Suicide is the result of mental health issues, no sin or anything like that involved. Obviously you do not have an education or you wouldn't be so ignorant of that fact. It's not something YOU merit the right to insult (although insulting seems to be all you are capable of) when you don't know a thing about it, outside of the fact that it is the result of ending ones own life.

        August 22, 2014 at 4:53 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          To clarify...even suicide bombers are mentally ill..they've been so severely brainwashed (religion is good at that). So try to take a more empathetic approach, instead of being ignorant.

          August 22, 2014 at 5:08 am |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          prevails: you want to hear something interesting from an iraq vet?

          a lot of those suiside bombers, weren't even part of their insane group.

          the devout allah followers would take mental patients and strap bombs to them. people with down syndrome and such.
          they would take someone's family hostage and force a person to detonate a bomb near military personel.

          long story short they are chicken ________ liars. they scream about how they would die for allah, yet they prefer to use others in their place.
          don't they want their 72 virgins?

          August 22, 2014 at 7:42 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          oh and the 72 virgin thing...I would love to know where that comes from. Perhaps it is that the writers of the Qu'aran (sp??) couldn't get laid and so they left it in the imaginary friends hands?

          August 22, 2014 at 8:00 am |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          prevails: that's why i love george carlin. he pointed out one blaringly obvious over sight in the koran.

          it doesn't say those 72 virgins are women. lmao

          he had fun with that one; what if it's 72 virgin men? or 72 eighty year old virgins? and the work to break in 72 virgins, who wants the work of having to do that?

          LMFAO. again george carlin is god and we all must follow his godlyness.

          August 22, 2014 at 8:24 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Love George Carlin...
          So that 72 virgins could be 'the talking snake'; sheep; just about anything???
          lol
          Comedy central

          August 22, 2014 at 8:31 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "Perhaps it is that the writers of the Qu'aran (sp??) couldn't get laid and so they left it in the imaginary friends hands?"

          Well you try getting laid while living in a cave and never shaving... suicide virgins is their last best hope!

          August 22, 2014 at 10:24 am |
      • unsername1

        @khidir – you said "everyone you just mentioned in that post represent how many people? None of the 1.6 billion." that is including Muhammed, too. Why do you say Muhammad does not represent Islam? Are you not committing blasphemy? You're a bad muslim by standard of 1.6 billion people.

        August 22, 2014 at 7:27 am |
        • khidir619

          We were both referring to the current head count of Muslims on Earth right now, not all time. An all time number would be much higher. Last time I checked, Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) died 1400+ years ago. So no, I wasn't referring to him or any other person that is dead. I'm at work. Maybe I can find some time tonight to finish mopping you guys up.

          August 22, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
      • unsername1

        @TruthPrevails1 – don't you understand from his posts, this dude Khidir is an extremist, too!!

        August 22, 2014 at 7:51 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          I'm starting to believe that with the right amount of push he very well could be. He's ignorant, poorly spoken; sexist...everything I dislike in a man...I'm imagining he controls his women sadly.

          August 22, 2014 at 8:45 am |
        • zhilla1980wasp

          ii'm imagining he has NO women to control, seeing no woman will accept being treated like that.

          August 22, 2014 at 9:12 am |
        • khidir619

          Lol @ your psychological profiles of "Khidir. " I respect all men and women who respect me. If they're disrepectful, I fire back. It's a right, doesn't make me evil. And btw, I'm just fine in the ladies department and have a wonderful life. Wish the same could be said for you two.

          August 22, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          khidir619: You keep making silly assumptions. All we're stating is based on the fact you have shown yourself to be a sexist, we can't imagine why anyone would want to be near your type...being in an abusive relationship or one where there is any form of disrespect is not healthy. Your cult preaches about the oppression of women, that says very little of the men within.

          August 22, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      @Reality
      – broadbrushing people again with your hateful venom?

      August 22, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
  14. winter2267

    Can never understand why atheists are such angry people. They really are like vultures who swoop down when someone of faith is killed. Feel bad for them and the emptiness they must have.

    August 21, 2014 at 10:26 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Feel bad for religionists who actually know no atheists, who feel the need to project their superiority and Church Lady-ness.

      August 21, 2014 at 10:34 pm |
    • In Santa We Trust

      I haven't seen any comments that fit your description. While no one is happy that he is dead and especially the brutal way he was murdered, it does challenge the notion of an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent god watching and tending its flock.

      August 21, 2014 at 10:55 pm |
      • gruphy

        So u guys think the victim will be happy with your comments here?
        How pathetic!!!

        August 22, 2014 at 2:16 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          What? Do you ever make sense??? You have what-a grade 3 education maybe? Skip the ignorance and get an education outside of your book of fables (aka bible). I'm guessing you're merely trolling...so please locate your bridge and get back under it!

          August 22, 2014 at 4:49 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          So are we supposed to decide what the victim would approve of and what he wouldn't? Does this go for everyone or just those you don't like?

          August 22, 2014 at 9:28 am |
    • tallulah131

      I'll never understand why some christians blatantly lie in order to vilify people who don't share their belief. Perhaps you can enlighten me, winter. Why are you lying about this? Did you learn how in your church?

      August 21, 2014 at 11:00 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Dyslexic vulturE doesn't quite work ...

      August 21, 2014 at 11:23 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Well now if you had a majority group trying to use their beliefs in the making of laws that pertain to equality, you'd be taking a stand also. It's not anger you're seeing, it's Atheists finally having a voice...a voice that people like you have tried to stop for far too many years.
      Intolerance of intolerance is not a bad thing.
      We're sorry you feel persecuted and threatened by rational open minded people.

      August 22, 2014 at 4:18 am |
      • awanderingscot

        "rational open minded people."

        – if "open minded" translates to acceptance of degeneracy then i guess you fit the description perfectly.

        August 22, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
        • hal 9001

          I'm sorry, awanderingscot, but use of "big words" you've recently added to your vocabulary will not improve your current credibility value of zero. Perhaps, a reeducation in true biological sciences will help improve your score.

          August 22, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Degeneracy?
          Smoking crack again?

          August 22, 2014 at 8:26 pm |
    • rusty2115

      "swoop down like vultures" and do what? remind you that your imaginary God never shows up??

      a/k/a Kill the messenger

      August 22, 2014 at 9:37 am |
  15. tallulah131

    Yes, steve. I did say it's beyond me. I don't understand how any adult could look at the bible and think for a second that it is anything other than a human construct. There is certainly no evidence to indicate that it's anything more than that. It is beyond me how adults in this age of information can choose to believe a myth. I guess some people fear their own mortality enough, they'd believe anything. That's why cults succeed, and what is christianity, other than a very large, well-established cult?

    August 21, 2014 at 10:15 pm |
    • tallulah131

      ah, wrong place.

      August 21, 2014 at 10:16 pm |
      • ragansteve1

        It's OK. I found it. My meaning is that it is beyond anyone as an individual.

        August 21, 2014 at 10:29 pm |
        • tallulah131

          So even you yourself cannot understand why you follow your religion?

          August 21, 2014 at 11:01 pm |
        • gruphy

          So Tallulah do u know why u r such a religious Atheist?

          August 22, 2014 at 2:11 am |
        • ragansteve1

          No Tal, I understand WHY I follow Jesus. I just don't understand all of the implications–why He cares, Exactly how He created all of this material energy world, when He will return, what eternity is like, and so on. As Paul said, now we are looking through a glass darkly. But one day we shall see Him face to face. There are lots of things that are beyond me. But why I follow Him is not one of them.

          August 22, 2014 at 4:00 am |
  16. tsnorris1965

    Nothing brings out the lonely, atheist trolls like a story about a courageous man sustained by faith.

    August 21, 2014 at 10:10 pm |
  17. unsername1

    Islam has no place on Belief Blog.

    August 21, 2014 at 8:04 pm |
    • khidir619

      Elaborate. I already know how dumb you are, but I still want you to at least try to elaborate.

      August 21, 2014 at 8:10 pm |
      • unsername1

        Belief Blog is a place to discuss religions, not terrorist organization.

        August 21, 2014 at 8:15 pm |
        • khidir619

          You still didn't elaborate. Terrorists have beliefs along with everyone else. So technically terrorists are more than welcome to the belief blog. So obviously Muslims belong too.

          August 21, 2014 at 8:27 pm |
        • LaBella

          With all due respect, weren't you just castigating Daniel Burke for featuring ISIS?

          August 21, 2014 at 9:40 pm |
        • khidir619

          @bella: Was I castigating Burke for Isis? I think this is the first time I've ever posted something directly to the author. I remember slamming Isis not the fact that he wrote the article.

          August 21, 2014 at 10:13 pm |
        • LaBella

          I must have misunderstood your 7:29 post. Apologies.

          August 21, 2014 at 10:21 pm |
      • winter2267

        Khidir, you seem like a rational person to discuss Islam. Interested in exact quotes from Islam that talks about respecting those of other faiths? I admit not knowing much about it so would be helpful to see examples.

        August 21, 2014 at 10:29 pm |
        • khidir619

          @ winter: People that hate Islam love to cherry pick verses in the Qur'an without reading anything before or after the verse. There is a verse in the Qur'an that says "take not for friends Christians and Jews..." Haters love to run with that. They don't understand that much of the Qur'an is directed right at Muhammad. That was one of those instances. The heathens that I post about that say they are religious but are truly evil are the same kinds of people God was warning the Holy Prophet about. Jews and Christians excepted Muhammad and most don't know that. It's the fakes he was told not to befriend. They called themselves Jews and Christians even though they were anything but. It was directed at the Prophet but it can also be utilized by the reader. So to answer your question, we take for friends the Jews, Christians, Sabians and any other people that have faith in Allah (God, in Arabic).

          August 21, 2014 at 10:43 pm |
        • khidir619

          *accepted, sorry.

          August 21, 2014 at 10:45 pm |
        • transframer

          khidir,
          You said: "take not for friends Christians and Jews..." Haters love to run with that. They don't understand that much of the Qur'an is directed right at Muhammad.
          Not sure what you mean by that but anyway I guess by haters you mean a lot of Muslims too that don't understand that either and take it at face value

          August 21, 2014 at 10:59 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Khidir,

          You did not post an example as winter asked....you just argued that the verse you mentioned is not to be taken at face value.

          August 21, 2014 at 11:02 pm |
        • unsername1

          @Khidir, here comes the 'truthiness' test for you...which branch of Islam do you follow, Sunni or Shi'a??? [I put money on Sunni].

          August 21, 2014 at 11:09 pm |
        • khidir619

          @trans, @ cheese, @user: I've tried to reply to you guys twice. It won't go through. I'm done typing and I'm going to bed. Blessed night all.

          August 21, 2014 at 11:48 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I think it is a perfect place to discuss terrorists...people need to connect the dots.

      August 21, 2014 at 10:56 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Absolutely and is exposes the potential extremists like khidir619.

        August 22, 2014 at 6:23 am |
  18. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Apparently believers here, at least one, would not kill someone if all they have to go on is absolute conviction that it's what God wants. I think that's great, but didn't King Saul fall into disfavour over something like that?

    August 21, 2014 at 7:56 pm |
    • ragansteve1

      Saul lost his legacy over taking cattle and sheep for himself and his army when he was told not to do so.

      August 21, 2014 at 9:36 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        What was Saul commanded to do?

        August 21, 2014 at 11:37 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Go to war.

          August 22, 2014 at 4:01 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          What did Saul fail to do?

          August 22, 2014 at 8:31 am |
        • ragansteve1

          1 Samuael 15:9 " But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves[b] and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed."

          Clearly Saul left the king alive and took the cattle and sheep, as I said. That was disobedient so he lost his legacy–his family line as kings ended with him. So, now you want me to justify ki lling everyone? Or, do you want me to justify punishing Saul? Or both?

          Not likely. I am not going to judge Saul. That he was a weak leader, listening to his men rather than God, is obvious. But I'll let God be the judge. I am not going to judge Samuel. His decision was based on facts 3,500 years old. What do I know about that time? And I am certainly not going to judge God. He will judge me.

          Your questions are "Gotcha questions." They are not designed to get information. You already have your mind made up. You just want to make me look bad, weak, morally corrupt, hypocritical, or all of the above.

          So, let me ask you a couple of questions. Do you support the fact that America and her allies carpet bombed Berlin into rubble ki lling who knows how many tens or hundreds of thousand Germans? Do you support the allies' fire bombing of Dresden, wiping that city off the map and ki lling who knows how many thousands or tens of thousands more? Do you support the atomic bomb attacks at Hiroshima and Nagasaki that kil led hundreds of thousands if not millios ultimately?

          In war, people evaluate the conditions and make decisions based upon a co mplex set of variables. The arguments for and against each of the WWII attacks that I note are well docu mented, so I won't go into them now. But choices have to be made in war. And there are no good alternatives, most of the time.

          So, if your real question is, "Would I exterminate ISIl?" The answer is "yes."

          August 22, 2014 at 10:33 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Since, apparently, the ISIS members who do such things as kidnap and behead noncombatants act with the conviction that it is what God wants them to do, it's relevant to ask of believers in general if absolute commitment to doing God's will as they think they know it is a feature of true belief in God. The questions may seem leading, but you haven't come out and said what you would do if you absolutely believed that God wants you to do something that, in your previous thinking (not God's) seemed evil.

          August 22, 2014 at 10:50 am |
        • ragansteve1

          If you read above, you will see my response to cheese on one of your threads the outcome of Abraham and Isaac in that sacrificial situation. That is one reason I have answered in the way I did. I WILL NOT be convinced that my God would have me ki ll someone in that manner. He will find a way out if I am faithful. The ram in the story was Abraham's way out.

          You can bash me all you want. You can harass me for a yes or no answer. and you will not get one. Have you stopped beating your wife? The reason you will not get one is that it is an obtuse question, once again designed not to gain information, but to deride me and my faith.

          ISIL may or may not think they are acting on the orders of God. I doubt it, but even if they do, I do not believe it is in fact true. Allah, or Yahweh, or Christ, (whatever anyone wants to call God) I do not believe, would require that kind of kil ling.

          So, I notice that you neatly ignored, or dodged, my equivalent questions as well.

          August 22, 2014 at 11:14 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          The question was not about what God would do or ask you to do steve, but about what you would do if you were absolutely convinced that God wanted you to do something that runs contrary to your understanding of what is evil.

          August 22, 2014 at 11:28 am |
        • ragansteve1

          "to do something that runs contrary to your understanding of what is evil." Yes, I would do anything that God asked that runs contrary to evil. But no I would not kill my child nor would I kill James Foley. Get it? Got it? Good.

          August 22, 2014 at 11:38 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Well, I'll take that as a healthy willingness to tell God to take a flying leap rather that do something under his will that you think might be evil.

          August 22, 2014 at 11:48 am |
        • ragansteve1

          Well, that would be taking my response a leap too far. But I am getting bored with this exchange so have it any way you like.

          August 22, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
  19. khidir619

    *gangs

    August 21, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
  20. khidir619

    Muslim militant. Islamic extremists. SMH. Daniel Burke, why don't you just call them criminals? Or militants? Why do you continue to put Islam down with your choice of words? Why do you believe religion has anything to do with power hungry gang? You're either Muslim or you're not. There is no militant Or extreme part of it. If someone is either one, then they're automatically not Muslim. You need to take that nonsense out of your articles.

    August 21, 2014 at 7:29 pm |
    • unsername1

      by beheading James Foley, Islam, as truly someone called a gutter religion, has reached the bottom of the bottom, no amount of reporting can put the Islam down any further. If you're a muslim, it is time you drop the Muhammed.

      August 21, 2014 at 7:55 pm |
      • khidir619

        Actually, we're 1.6 billion strong and rapidly growing. Your opinion is just that, an opinion. The negativity actually brings more curious people towards reading the Qur'an. Once they're done, they see how these gangs are anything but Muslim. So 1.6 billion is the bottom and the gutter? That's a beautiful gutter. Monotheism isn't going anywhere but up. Drop the Muhammad? How can I drop something I never picked up? I worship God, not Muhammad you heathen.

        August 21, 2014 at 8:05 pm |
        • unsername1

          1.6 billion strong and rapidly growing!!! ya, right, by kidnapping school girls, by death threats. You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig. Islam has reached the bottom of cesspool, new generation would never accept Islam as a religion, but terrorist organization.

          August 21, 2014 at 8:12 pm |
        • khidir619

          I'm talking about 1.6 billion Muslims. You're talking about somebody else.

          August 21, 2014 at 8:29 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Islam has no place in modern society. It's full of hate and the Quran talks about killing those who reject Islam, and/or refuse to believe. You are truly delusional.

          August 21, 2014 at 8:40 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          It appears you're wrong and that is truly scary.
          "The study establishes that the Muslim population is increasing steadily due to higher birth rate as well as conversion, while adherence towards other faiths are either dropping or remained static due to leaving the faiths or lesser growth rate. For example, the Christian population in the west & America(North & South) is dropping due to lesser growth rate through conversion or birth rate as compared to Muslim population and at the same time renouncing the faith system altogether. Christian population is in increase in many of Asian and African countries by both birth rate and conversion. Current data displays that in 2014 Christian population are about 2.01 billion and while Muslims are 2.08 billion."
          (http://www.religiouspopulation.com/)

          Let me clarify...I know good Muslim people who I do not believe would wish harm upon another person.
          I say these stats are scary because any time a certain religion becomes a power force in this world, we are likely heading for great issues and further divide within our species. I recognize that the people who are doing these horrific crimes are blindly using their belief as a smoke screen...sadly we see it too often.

          August 21, 2014 at 8:41 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          "I'm talking about 1.6 billion Muslims. You're talking about somebody else."

          No True Scotsman Fallacy. THEY would say they are "True Muslims", and that you are not. YOU have no more claim to your fairy tale than they.

          August 21, 2014 at 8:42 pm |
        • khidir619

          Yea, that's my point. "They" would call me and billions of others fake Muslims. And ignorant people like you take their word for it. Pathetic...@bucky: Delusional? Cmon man. No matter how much you atheists moan and groan, beings will always believe they came from something that's beyond our intelligence. And those beings will always be in droves. Sorry for your salty feelings.

          August 21, 2014 at 8:53 pm |
        • khidir619

          @truthprevails: The 2 billion number you have is the heathens included. I don't count kidnappers and ra.pists. 1.6 is about right.

          August 21, 2014 at 8:59 pm |
        • evolveddna

          khidir619.. so tell us. if you would. as we all hear non truths ..if you wanted out of Islam could you do it safely? could you convert to some thing else. As all kids are indoctrinated into their parents religion could you , as an adult, find another one that may you could find better and discuss it it a peaceful manner with your Muslim friends. It appears to some of us that once in you are you cant get out?

          August 21, 2014 at 9:04 pm |
        • khidir619

          @dna: I can do whatever I want to do whenever I want to do it, whether safety or if danger is involved. That's a God given right. Of course I can change my beliefs. I just don't. My stubbornness is one of the main reasons I have so much faith in God. People like me are the first ones to say they don't believe what they don't see or hear. And as anyone that knows me would attest, I'm stubborn as all hell. I just see and feel The Creators signs all around us. I don't see how that doesn't belong" on a belief blog. I didn't comment on atheism. I commented directly to the author about his choice of words. Then you all came in like hungry wolves. If you don't like my faith in God, keep scrolling, the comment wasn't for you anyway.

          August 21, 2014 at 9:20 pm |
        • unsername1

          @khidir619 – you verbally abuse people by calling them dumb, ignorant, pathetic to force them to believe what you think is true, your friends ISIS, al qaeda, al shabaab, boko haram behead, stone people to death or threaten them to kill for what they believe is true. You and your friends are two sides of the same coin, nothing more. It is time you must denounce Islam, religion of death and destruction, before it fills you with so much hatred, you decide to explode in some strange country.

          August 21, 2014 at 9:30 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          "No matter how much you atheists moan and groan, beings will always believe they came from something that's beyond our intelligence"

          Unfortunately for you, that sentence is meaningless, (and false, and the fallacy known as "ad populum". "Beyond" requires spacetime and Causality already in place. It assumes things which it cannot. It's known as "Special Pleading" fallacy. You really should try getting an education some day.

          August 21, 2014 at 9:33 pm |
        • new-man

          TP,
          8:41 PM... "Let...........
          Is that you TP, well done & God Bless you. Have a great night!

          August 21, 2014 at 9:33 pm |
        • khidir619

          @ username: You throw insults and then cry about it when it comes back. I just flat out don't deal with people like that. Have a blessed night...@bucky: I'm Muslim, I believe time itself is a creation of God. I don't believe time exists on the other side. All of your scientific lingo simply strengthens faith. Science has the looks of something created and organized. Science is one of God's many countless signs...@truthprevails: So what about murderers that don't have faith in God. People all over Southeast Asia were absolutely slaughtered for having any kind of religious faith. What if those killers took over the world? What would you say then? They had no religious faith. If that happened in your lifetime, would you blame their faith in nothing as the culprit for the problems on Earth? Why do you feel so threatened by a religious faith being a majority when people without faith are crazy as hell too? You and many others don't know how to separate religious people from money grubbing fakes.

          August 21, 2014 at 9:58 pm |
        • unsername1

          @khidir – I love it when you say "Science is one of God's many countless signs". eh huh, if you did not know, study says "the Muslim world produces a disproportionately small amount of scientific output, and much of it relatively low in quality. In numerical terms, forty-one predominantly Muslim countries with about 20 percent of the world's total population generate less than 5 percent of its science." Go figure.

          August 21, 2014 at 10:31 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          You're either Muslim or you're not. There is no militant Or extreme part of it. If someone is either one, then they're automatically not Muslim.

          So then. He uses the 1.6 billion number when it serves his cause, and out of the other side of his mouth, says some of his 1.6 billion are not what they claim they are. So which is it ?

          August 21, 2014 at 10:36 pm |
        • khidir619

          @bucky: You missed the boat. You should've read truthprevails' comment above stating the 2 billion Muslims. ISIS, and all of the other gangs are counted as Muslims. I don't count them. I don't use 1.6 when it's convenient, I use it all of the time. There is no "which is it?" It is what it is. There's 1.6 billion people on this Earth who believed this rock was made by a Creator. Those 1.6 billion people are damn good people.

          August 21, 2014 at 10:54 pm |
        • khidir619

          Just because Muslim countries are not all around strong in science and technology doesn't mean they don't believe in it and fascinated by the limited science they are exposed to. The organization and beauty of science is a clear sign that our Creator is present, regardless of how much science a country is exposed too. The Qur'an clearly states we started in water. That's science right?

          August 21, 2014 at 11:05 pm |
        • unsername1

          @khidir – enough, can you translate Boko Haram for me???

          August 21, 2014 at 11:12 pm |
        • khidir619

          @user: Google

          August 21, 2014 at 11:51 pm |
        • Reality

          http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html

          Religion………………………… Adherents

          Christianity ……………………..2.1 billion

          Islam…………………………… 1.5 billion ( 1.2 billion Sunnis who despise 300 million Shiites and vice versa)

          Irreligious/agnostic/atheism…… 1.1 billion

          Hinduism 900 million
          Chinese traditional religion 394 million
          Buddhism 376 million
          Animist religions 300 million
          African traditional/diasporic religions 100 million
          Sikhism 23 million
          Juche 19 million
          Spiritism 15 million

          Judaism…………………………………….. 14 million

          Baha'i 7 million
          Jainism 4.2 million
          Shinto 4 million
          Cao Dai 4 million
          Zoroastrianism 2.6 million
          Tenrikyo 2 million
          Neo-Paganism 1 million
          Unitarian Universalism 800,000
          Rastafari Movement 600,000

          August 22, 2014 at 12:02 am |
    • ragansteve1

      How about "Nazis?" Ethnic cleansing did not start with the Nazis but they certainly made an art form out of it.

      August 21, 2014 at 7:58 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
        Sadly these extremists take on similar traits of Hitler and gang. Lets just hope they are stopped before too many more lives are lost at their hands.

        August 21, 2014 at 8:32 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Amen to that!!

          August 21, 2014 at 10:32 pm |
    • evolveddna

      Khidir619... Do you consider your self as conciliatory? would you consider other views and admit that your views or even your choice of god is incorrect?

      August 21, 2014 at 10:57 pm |
      • khidir619

        Why would I admit I'm wrong? It's my belief. That belief was my choice, nobody put a gun to my head and made me pick my faith... And you said I was wrong. Proof?

        August 21, 2014 at 11:10 pm |
        • evolveddna

          Khidihir619...never said you were wrong..read it again.. I asked would you be willing to change your views in the face of facts rather then what you have been told..or are your views immutable? I imagine that your views were forged in your childhood and have you ever managed to perhaps look at other points of views .. such as evolution..? or have you dismissed it out of hand.

          August 21, 2014 at 11:40 pm |
        • khidir619

          You asked if I would admit that my views or choice of God are wrong. Nobody can prove me wrong, therefore I don't look at my beliefs as incorrect at any time. As far as evolution, I simply believe that if it were true , we wouldn't exist as we are. The beasts that were here before us would've evolved into intelligent species before we even existed. We'd be getting led into the slaughterhouse everyday not cows, pigs etc.. This universe is just too damn organized for me to believe anything else.

          August 22, 2014 at 12:02 am |
        • evolveddna

          khidir..I doubt if you would even consider other views , so proof would be wasted on such a position anyway. As far as evolution do you know why the dinosaurs and the prehistoric critters were larger than animals today? There are many books on evolution out there so i will not go in that here..if you want to get the facts directly and actually think about it , it may help you see the world from a non supernatural perspective. as far as the universe.. regardless of any god you believe in..the atoms of iron in your blood, the gold you may have in a ring, the carbon in your cells all was forged in the heart of a long dead star and ejected out into the universe. You and I are billions of years old in fact we have been recycled many times and we are just currently in this form....now that is really spectacular . sleep tight.

          August 22, 2014 at 12:55 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "Nobody can prove me wrong"

          Keep it up, you give the decent Muslims a bad name. Such arrogance! Of course you can be proven wrong...your holy book was written by man, no god involved; thus your belief is based on the fairy tales told by men who saw a gullible fool a mile away-see, how easy that is???
          As for the actual number being only 1.6 billion, sorry the stats say different and your opinion on who the actual number includes is moot. We don't separate Christian extremists from the good Christians...you ilk is no different. Just a different imaginary friend involved and extremism.

          August 22, 2014 at 4:32 am |
        • awanderingscot

          That's correct. Matter magically and randomly materialized to produce life and life then began magically evolving ... evolving into morons called atheists.

          August 22, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.