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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

[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(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. Reality

    Putting some closure to this thread:

    James Foley died because of the lies of one Mohammed who said he had visions from the mythical Gabriel. The significant stupidity of it all !!!!!!!!!

    August 27, 2014 at 9:30 am |
    • gruphy

      Reality
      No James died because of people like you who believe they are fighting for Go(o)d against the heathen.

      August 28, 2014 at 2:33 am |
      • Reality

        Obviously, gruphy is new to this blog. An update:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Added details available upon written request.

        A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

        e.g. Taoism

        "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

        Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

        August 28, 2014 at 6:52 am |
    • realbuckyball

      If I did something in the name of Zeus, would the ancisnt Greek priests/oracle be responsible ?
      No. No religion is responsible. It's adherents are.

      August 29, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
      • gruphy

        Bucky u r 100% right!

        August 30, 2014 at 8:14 pm |
  2. Drake

    What is God screaming in Ferguson?

    God says, "STOP TAKING MY NAME IN VAIN"

    August 25, 2014 at 11:45 am |
    • Cherubims

      What has Ferguson got to do with this post?

      August 25, 2014 at 11:48 am |
      • Drake

        Actually, everything. Aside for the fact that the editors won't let us comment on that article, that statement holds true in this case where a wonderful life was cut short by a fanatic which was killing in the name of the god it worships. All around the globe people have to realize that taking the name of God in vain is a serious offense and everyone should refrain from doing so.

        August 25, 2014 at 11:55 am |
        • niknakk

          Hey Flake, Phuk god.

          August 25, 2014 at 6:45 pm |
      • Cherubims

        Both in Ferguson and in Foley's case, God seems to be the one providing healing and comfort to the surviving members of the family.

        You can ask those families and they will be the first ones to admit that without God they will not be able to move forward with their grief.

        God is their rock! So, it's not taking the name of the Lord in vain, in either case. Both families need God in this time of grief.

        August 25, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
        • Drake

          No, that was not the point made. In terms of comfort for the surviving members of the family it can be said, yes, God is source of their strength. In terms of the lives, Foley's life is in contrast to what we know of Brown, Brown seemed to be a normal teenager with a rebellious at.itude, did that justify his death – no. Foley on the other hand, much is not known about his faith, what we know of him, he was passionate about telling the stories of those people who are caught in the cross fire in those war torn countries. In that sense, Foley was a hero.
          Hopefully, both these stories will bring changes, look forward to seeing young African American children thriving and being successful in life. Also, hopefully there is a chance for Syrian/Iraqi children to excel in life and live in a free country that embraces religious freedom.

          August 25, 2014 at 2:32 pm |
        • Doris

          Well a belief in God can definitely have a placebo effect – no doubt...

          August 25, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
  3. Vic

    http://gretawire.foxnewsinsider.com/breaking-news/breaking-news-london-rapper-believed-to-have-executed-james-foley-click-to-read/

    August 25, 2014 at 10:29 am |
    • Alias

      Please keep the sourse in mind when following links.
      Fox News has more credibility than a bible hugger who wants to attack evolution because it is bad for church attendence, but not much.

      August 25, 2014 at 10:41 am |
    • Vic

      http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/british-born-rapper-isis-jihadist-beheaded-james-foley-article-1.1915465

      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/25/world/middleeast/britain-james-foley-isis.html

      August 25, 2014 at 11:09 am |
  4. Løki

    “The Universe is eternal. God(s) only last a couple of thousand years at best.” ~LET

    August 25, 2014 at 10:13 am |
    • Alias

      Uh oh.
      That means your time is almost up.
      I do hope you have plans to go out with a bang.

      August 25, 2014 at 10:27 am |
      • Løki

        During Ragnarök, the Norns foretell of the god Heimdallr and I slaying each other on the battlefield.

        August 25, 2014 at 10:55 am |
  5. niknakk

    This isn't the dark side of faith, it is the end result.
    All religions will eventually lead to killing others who disagree with what the leaders of the faith are pushing.
    It evangelicals had their way, they would be just as nasty as Isis.

    When you can get people to believe in fairy tales you can get them to do anything.
    God is Santa for grown ups.

    August 24, 2014 at 10:56 pm |
    • transframer

      What's wrong with Santa?

      August 24, 2014 at 11:40 pm |
      • niknakk

        Nothing.
        But one shouldn't be going around beheading peeps in his name.

        That definitely will put you on the naughty list, at least with Santa.

        August 25, 2014 at 7:40 am |
        • Alias

          Wrong. This is where it starts-
          Firat you quit giving presents to those on the naughty list (aka those who don't believe in Santa), then you want to keep their toys for yourself ....

          August 25, 2014 at 10:30 am |
  6. lookatuniverse

    Quran says (Islamic Scripture)

    “Do you say that Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Patriarchs were Jewish or Christian? Say, "Do you know better than God? Who is more evil than one who conceals a testimony he has learned from God? God is never unaware of anything you do." [2:140]

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

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

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

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

    “Recall that your Lord said to the angels, "I am placing a representative on Earth." They said, "Will You place therein one who will spread evil therein and shed blood, while we sing Your praises, glorify You, and uphold Your absolute authority?" He said, "I know what you do not know." [2:30]

    “They say , "We live only this life; we will not be resurrected. If you could only see them when they stand before their Lord! He would say, "Is this not the truth?" They would say, "Yes, by our Lord." He would say, "You have incurred the retribution by your disbelief." [6:30]

    “We have honored the children of Adam, and provided them with rides on land and in the sea. We provided for them good provisions, and we gave them greater advantages than many of our creatures.” Quran [17:70]

    “O children of Adam, when messengers come to you from among you, and recite My revelations to you, those who take heed and lead a righteous life, will have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.” Quran [7:35]

    “O children of Adam, do not let the devil dupe you as he did when he caused the eviction of your parents from Paradise, and the removal of their garments to expose their bodies. He and his tribe see you, while you do not see them. We appoint the devils as companions of those who do not believe.” Quran [7:27]

    “Losers indeed are those who disbelieve in meeting God, until the Hour comes to them suddenly, then say, "We deeply regret wasting our lives in this world." They will carry loads of their sins on their backs; what a miserable load! [6:31]

    ‘Say, "We believe in God, and in what was sent down to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Patriarchs; and in what was given to Moses and Jesus, and all the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction among any of them. To Him alone we are submitters." [2:136]

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

    August 24, 2014 at 10:56 am |
    • Reality

      Some of the koranic passages that make Islam the terror and horror religion that it is:

      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 24, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
      • aaagentx

        Did you even try to read the passages? Every single verse if you took the time to check refers to times when the muslims were attacked. Every verse that came before and after gave specific instructions on how war should be conducted, how sparingly it should be used, and above all, in a book of tens of thousands of verses, you cherry-picked 20 that were taken out of context and you still expect to be taken seriously? Pathetic.

        September 4, 2014 at 7:39 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          yes..admittedly some Christians do cherry pick..not all..and most atheists do the cherry picking of the BIble anyways

          September 5, 2014 at 1:47 am |
  7. austin929

    Erwin Lutzer said the other day that he put a computer in his home and that night he had a dream that 3 demons had him subdued..........and they said "we are going to devour you inside your home.'

    Lutzer went on to say he believes God in His grace allowed the dream.

    I want to testify to the exact type of situation................I had a2 demonic revelations..................and in them I received a supernatural premonition.............and I have always thought it was God in His grace providing not only a miracle but also the recognition of demonic activity.

    August 23, 2014 at 9:53 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      The only demons that have you two subdued, are your own delusion demons. There are no "demons". Truly amazing that in 2014 humans actually still believe in "fallen angels". They really should read Dr. Elaine Pagels' "The Origins of Satan".
      The Babylonians cooked them up. You religion adopted these "other" divine beings from the "heavenly host".

      August 23, 2014 at 11:42 pm |
      • austin929

        bucky...............the examples I am giving you................are times where I had a dream that a demon revealed something to me.................and then woke up and something I had never imagined before I dreamed it..............actually came to pass.............and it had been revealed by a dream where a demon gave me the message.

        I think they are real...................and in real life you many not get the opportunity to see them but you can willingly adopt their personality and become like them..........

        through obsession.................or anger.................or hatred. you might not be able to see it.............but these can be accelerated by demonic influence.

        August 24, 2014 at 12:31 am |
        • Alias

          So how do you explain all the dreams you have written down over the years that are not coming true?

          August 25, 2014 at 10:54 am |
        • realbuckyball

          You seriously need mental health help.

          August 29, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
    • Reality

      Austin, you might want to review the meaning of nightmares and what causes them.

      August 24, 2014 at 9:03 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Austin: It appears you are suffering from delusions of grandeur when you make these silly claims about your dreams.
      "People with a delusion of grandeur often have the conviction of having some great but unrecognized talent or insight. They may also believe they have made some important discovery that others don’t understand or appreciate.

      Less commonly, the individual may have the delusion of having a special relationship with a prominent person (such as being an adviser to the President). Or the person may believe that actually are a very prominent and important person, in which case the actual person may be regarded as an imposter.

      Grandiose delusions may have religious content, such as the person believes he or she has received a special message from God or another deity."
      (http://psychcentral.com/encyclopedia/2008/delusion-of-grandeur/)

      There is medical help available for you, please seek it.

      August 25, 2014 at 8:44 am |
  8. bostontola

    I wonder if the ISIS leaders were brought to an international court and charged with murder, if they could get off by pleading insanity. They believe that they are acting in the interest of an omniscient, omnipotent being that they love.

    Most people believe they are acting in accord with a God. Most of them believe their God(s) is the only real God(s), that other Gods are false. The good thing is, the majority of those actions aren't harming others.

    An interesting point is, no group is the majority. In fact, the largest group, Christians, make up less than 1/3 of the human population. So even if they are right, more than twice as many people worship false Gods as a real God. If Christians are wrong, then even more worship false Gods.

    So while more than 2/3 of the humans on earth worship false Gods, luckily just a few murder for them.

    August 23, 2014 at 9:40 am |
    • unsername1

      Religions = primitive form of government, some are based on democratic values, or some are communist type, some are liberal, or some are conservative.

      August 23, 2014 at 10:53 am |
    • ragansteve1

      Well, RE: our previous conversation, I believe I have figured out the problem. We cannot agree, because we have different definitions of people who are religious. Your numbers include the entire world's population. For some reason I did not see that.

      I do not believe two-thirds or even half the world's population is really religious. Sure, as in a Pew poll, they will claim the name. But if you watch people's lives, they are primarily secular in their approach.

      My guess would be that you think those "religious" people are sane. That would be the differentiating factor. Close?

      August 23, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
      • bostontola

        steve,
        I didn't specify religious, I said believers in God or some other higher power. I also didn't say that people who believe in false Gods are insane. I said they have a mild psychosis or delusion. I don't think they are insane. The nut cases that kill in the name of their deity are insane by my definition (I'm not a psychologist, just my lay definition just as I said for the other terms).

        August 23, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
        • ragansteve1

          Well, OK. That was my best shot at some kind of agreement. I guess we'll just have to "agree to disagree." Isn't the first time and likely won't be the last.

          August 23, 2014 at 7:07 pm |
        • austin929

          what if people who don't believe in God and Satan are insane?

          August 23, 2014 at 9:59 pm |
        • bostontola

          Austin,
          Then they'd be insane.

          August 23, 2014 at 10:37 pm |
        • austin929

          I guess it depends.

          August 24, 2014 at 12:28 am |
      • a4mrtheist

        Yes, most do believe in a god of some form but that does not mean they are religious, just delusional, which also does not mean they are insane or killers...those are the extremest but not isolated to any one god or religion.

        August 24, 2014 at 7:25 am |
  9. Reality

    "If Islam were barbaric, you would already be gone." – khidir619

    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 12:11 am |
    • Alias

      So why use the geometric mean instead of the average?

      August 23, 2014 at 9:44 am |
      • Reality

        See M. White, http://necrometrics.com/warstatz.htm#u. Said reference is one of the best sources for world atrocities and body counts with cited references to support the analyses.

        August 23, 2014 at 10:24 am |
    • unsername1

      In your references, you must include mass killing of Hindus, Christians, Sikhs by muslims during Indian parti_tion. History says, Indians bowed down to demand of separate Islamic country today's Pakistan by muslims, and they sent back trains full of bodies of non-muslims. That was in 1940s, not 1700 years back.

      August 23, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
      • Reality

        From the M. White study referenced above

        "India (1947): Parti-tion Riots, 500,000

        •The rioting and dislocation associated with part-ition cost how many lives?

        ◦1984 World Almanac: 200,000
        ◦Hammond 500,000
        ◦Eckhardt: 800,000
        ◦D.Smith 1,000,000
        ◦B&J: 1,000,000 (1945-48)
        ◦Hartman: 1,000,000
        ◦Stanley Wolpert, A New History of India (1993): 1,000,000
        ◦Collins and Lapierre, Freedom at Midnight (1975) cite these sources: ◾Khosla, Stern Reckoning: 500,000
        ◾Moon, Divide and Quit: 200-250,000
        ◾Hodson: The Great Divide: 200-250,000
        ◾Chanduli Trivedi, governor of Punjab: 225,000

        ◦P. Johnson puts the death toll at 200-600,000. In addition to some of the Collins and Lapierre sources, he cites these authorities: ◾Stephens, Pakistan (1963): 500,000
        ◾Edwardes, Last Years of British India (1963): 600,000

        •The median of these 14 estimates is 500,000."

        August 23, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        You have a hate-on for Muslims...not that I totally blame you...just an observation but it does seem they are 'history repeating itself' in a more extreme way and with a slight twist to the belief/extremism....unfortunately, it's hard to separate the good ones from the bad ones at times just due to extreme baffling effect that their holy books offer-how in the 21st century does one manage to stay so blind?

        August 23, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
        • unsername1

          You're not going to find too many people who love all regions.

          August 23, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          You're right....it's just evidence of one of the dangers of religion-sometimes it is used to create great divide.

          August 23, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
        • unsername1

          * religions

          August 23, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
        • Reality

          Better that we educate Muslims by words of wisdom vs. bullets and bombs. Details previously given in the Five Steps to Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths.

          August 23, 2014 at 11:50 pm |
  10. lordssword

    'But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.' (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, NKJV)

    – A believer understands the reality of death because he is spiritual. The believer is comforted with the knowledge that Christ rose from the dead and so would His brothers be raised to life. The body goes to 'sleep' but the spirit is received by the Lord Jesus Christ. Christians of course grieve for those who have died, but it is not a despairing grief that unbelievers without hope experience.

    August 22, 2014 at 7:57 pm |
    • Bob

      The whole Jesus-sacrifice thing is actually a steaming pile of bull-do. How is it again that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers? Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      August 22, 2014 at 8:25 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        – Bob, it's not that God couldn't have offered salvation another way but since He is sovereign and chose to do it this way you could at least show some grati-tude and have a positive atti-tude about it. (no one likes a grouch or an ingrate). You must also remember that the Word stepped off His throne willingly and with great love walked this earth among sinners such as me and you; and then offered Himself up to die a horrible death in order to ransom our souls. Remember Bob, no one likes an ungrateful person.

        in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:18, NKJV

        – Bob, it is God's will that we give thanks in everything. Be grateful Bob. God commands it.

        August 22, 2014 at 11:00 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          How do you know god commands anything when there is no proof that this god said anything but plenty of proof that man did? To claim god said anything you need to provide evidence of god but much like your screams of evolution being false and not being able to provide one iota of evidence to support that, it is safe to say you can't provide evidence of god...so saying it said anything is a LIE!!

          August 23, 2014 at 6:43 am |
      • austin929

        Bob...............what is "actually" supposed to mean...............like when you use the word "actually" does that mean you are "actually" correct?

        August 23, 2014 at 10:02 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Actually, when he says "ask the questions", he doesn't actually mean to ask him actual questions.

          August 24, 2014 at 12:03 am |
    • bostontola

      "but it is not a despairing grief that unbelievers without hope experience."

      How arrogant and prideful does a person have to be to say that? Do you think you know how another person feels? How about an entire group of people? You sound like you fancy yourself a God. That can't be good.

      August 22, 2014 at 8:41 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        knowing what other people feel is called empathy, apparently you've never experienced it.

        August 22, 2014 at 10:40 pm |
        • LaBella

          So you're saying you know what a "despairing grief that unbelievers without hope experience." feels like, Scot? Wow. That is truly empathetic. You must be a physical medium.

          August 22, 2014 at 11:17 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          Not a medium, but have experienced this despairing grief when i was still an unbeliever. Is that unusual?

          August 22, 2014 at 11:25 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Sorry awanderingdolt, lordsfreak claims to know what non-believers feel during times of grief and for him to claim that is blatantly arrogant, ignorant and fallacious. You can't possibly know how another person is truly feeling-you're not capable of reading minds. You can empathize with loss but empathy is not contingent on belief.

          August 23, 2014 at 6:56 am |
        • bostontola

          What percentage of the non believers has lords word met? What percent of those was he close to during a loved ones death?

          So this person could possibly have working empathy for a tiny percent of non believers, yet speaks for them. You two must be peas in a pod. Delusions of Godhhood. If your God actually exists, you and lords word would be in trouble. It's a sin to have idols, it must be a really bad sin to make yourself an idol.

          August 23, 2014 at 7:26 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Buncha crap. You don't really buy that stuff. Given the choice to live or die, YOU would choose life, just like every other Christian. If you REALLY bought that crap, you would WANT to die. Why did the doctor cured of Ebola thank his god for sparing his life ? IF he REALLY believed what he claims to believe, he would WISH to go be with his Jebus.

      August 23, 2014 at 11:47 pm |
    • a4mrtheist

      The reality is that dead is dead forever. Religion and heaven is a myth believed by those who fear death and cannot accept their mortality.

      August 24, 2014 at 7:56 am |
      • transframer

        And what if you are wrong? What if there is a life after death?

        August 24, 2014 at 11:39 pm |
        • Alias

          What if you're wrong, and te IPC judges me more favorable than you because I did not worship the wrong god?

          August 25, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
        • transframer

          If you say that you assume there is a God, any God, right?

          August 25, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          There is no possible mechanism for life afer death. The ONLY reason humans think and know anything, is because they have heathy brain tissue and function. We know this from taumatic brain injuries damage mentation. With a dead, unoxygenated brain, no one can think. Period.

          August 29, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
  11. Bob

    Vic, the whole Jesus-sacrifice-salvation story, the foundation of your crazy superstition, is a steaming pile of bull-do out of the gate. How is it again that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers? Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

    August 22, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Will you just answer one question for me?

      August 22, 2014 at 6:33 pm |
      • Bob

        Stop dodging, coward Dalahast.

        August 22, 2014 at 8:27 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Lol!

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

          I know, stop dodging. I'm a coward.

          This is a recording. This message will repeat.

          August 22, 2014 at 8:49 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Coward Dalahast, you've been caught dodging again.

          August 22, 2014 at 9:17 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          One of Dalahast's most common tactics here in trying to defend his sicko god delusion is to dodge and change the subject.

          August 22, 2014 at 9:18 pm |
  12. Vic

    May God bless his soul James Foley and free Steven Sotloff and all the others from captivity.

    To the captives:

    The Lord Jesus Christ is the way unto Salvation

    John 14:6
    "6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." (NASB)

    p.s. This is the Original Post intended last. There was even more to it but got deleted in a haste. This will do.

    August 22, 2014 at 6:12 pm |
    • Vic

      Here we go again!

      "To the captors:"

      I just don't know why hell breaks loose whenever I post anymore!

      August 22, 2014 at 6:21 pm |
    • Bob

      Vic, the whole Jesus-sacrifice-salvation story, the foundation of your crazy superstition, is a steaming pile of bull-do. How is it again that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers? Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      August 22, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
  13. Reality

    Reposted from p. 3 of the commentaries:

    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 5:11 pm |
  14. Reality

    Off topic:

    Catholics vs. Protestants and their different beliefs? Do we really care considering that both groups got it wrong about their man, Jesus. Details on the historic Jesus have been previously presented to include a extensive reference list.

    But both groups agree on the resurrection, the biggest of the "wrongs" !!! Again the details were previously presented.

    August 22, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
    • Alias

      Once again, my point was not who is right.
      My point is that the bible is unclear. It is obviously not the word of any god.
      If it were, we could all read the bible and reach the same conclusions.

      August 22, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        your argument is flawed..it blames the Bible..not man...man is the problem..the Bible is very clear....once I got to reading it for what it is (Written by Middle Eastern people, using Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek languages, written 2000+ years ago) and then doing some research of those things, it becomes more and more clear....if people would take the time to actually do that, it would be more clearer

        August 22, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
        • Alias

          I'm tempted to point pout why this is an invalid justification AGAIN, but why should I bore everyone with the same posts over and over?

          August 22, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
        • hal 9001

          So if some people followed ancient Hinduism more closely, they would be closer to God. I think I understand your viewpoint, kermit4jc.

          August 22, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          that was NOT the point at all.....totally different topic

          August 22, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Presuming that religious texts are accurate, how did you determine that the hindu, sikh, etc texts were not accurate but that christian texts were?

          August 22, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          where you want to lead with that? you want to ask if these their texts would then prove their gods are real?

          August 22, 2014 at 6:40 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          You said that you researched the bible – presuming that a god exists, how did you determine that it was the christian god? What research showed that all the other religions were incorrect and yours was not?

          August 22, 2014 at 6:43 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Getting to know God Himself.....I cannot accept other gods..when one finds truth....why keep looking? when one looks for his keys, and then finds them. does he still keep looking?

          August 22, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          How do you know it is the truth? Others believe theirs to be the truth. Keys are not a good analogy – you presumably had them before and recognize them.

          August 22, 2014 at 10:42 pm |
  15. Vic

    The Lord Jesus Christ is the way unto Salvation

    John 14:6
    "6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." (NASB)

    August 22, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
    • joey3467

      Jesus did say that allegedly, but I see no reason to believe it is true.

      August 22, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
    • Reality

      Again, from my scrapbook of essential theology and history of religion:

      John 14:6. This passage was not said by the historical Jesus but was wishful thinking and an embellishment by John to make Jesus more like the ancient and local gods of first century Palestine. Said passage is a single attestation found no where else in the NT making it historically unreliable. e.g. http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?ti-tle=210_Place_of_Life

      See also Professor Gerd Ludemann conclusions in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 535-540.

      August 22, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
    • Bob

      Vic, the whole Jesus-sacrifice-salvation thing is a steaming pile of bull-do. How is it again that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers? Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      August 22, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
  16. Alias

    Twelve Differences Between Catholics and Protestants:
    1. The Pope. Catholics have a Pope, which they consider a vicar for Christ — an infallible stand-in, if you will — that heads the Church. Protestants believe no human is infallible and Jesus alone heads up the Church.
    2. Big, Fancy Cathedrals. Catholics have them; Protestants don’t. Why? Catholicism says that “humanity must discover its unity and salvation” within a church. Protestants say all Christians can be saved, regardless of church membership. (Ergo… shitty, abandoned storefront churches? All Protestant.)
    3. Saints. Catholics pray to saints (holy dead people) in addition to God and Jesus. Protestants acknowledge saints, but don’t pray to them.
    4. Holy Water. Catholics only.
    5. Celibacy and Nuns. Catholics only.
    6. Purgatory: Catholics only.
    7. Scripture: The be-all, end-all for Protestants is “the Word of God.” For Catholics, tradition is just important as scripture — maybe even more so.
    8. Catechism: Protestant kids memorize the Bible. Catholic kids get catechism.
    9. Authori-tay: In Catholicism, only the Roman Catholic Church has authority to interpret the Bible. Protestants hold that each individual has authority to interpret the Bible.
    10. Sacraments: Catholic are the only ones to have the concept of the seven sacraments (baptism, confirmation, the Eucharist, penance, anointing of the sick, holy orders, and matrimony). Protestants teach that salvation is attained through faith alone.
    11. Holidays: Catholics have 10 Holy Days of Obligation (which mean they must go to Mass). Protestants are more like, “Just come to church on Christmas, that’s all we ask.”
    12. Communion: In Catholicism, the bread and wine “become” the body and blood of Jesus Christ, meaning that Jesus is truly present on the altar. In Protestantism, the bread and wine are symbolic.

    even if it is not protected, credit whre it is due:
    http://wendythomasrussell.com/catholics-protestants/

    August 22, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
    • Alias

      The bible is So correct and clear that anyone who reads it can agree on the important points of how to worship god, right?

      August 22, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        you make it sound so simple..as if everyone reads and thinks alike...that's not reality..Youre going to have people who don't consider context, who don't consider the languages the Bible was written in, you will have people who will only read it and take from it to justify their thoughts, or actions, and ignore context, etc etc

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

          So which group has all this right, and which one do you think is reading it all wrong?

          August 22, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          The group that uses context...I cannot say Baptists, or Catholics, or such....cause you have individuals within these groups....there are catholics who don't believe in purgatory (though they may be very few) etc etc....lets drop the labels. and look at individuals...which is what I have done..those who read in context. For most part though. the mainline protestants agree on the major points of the Bible, and the minor points-doesn't matter since they do not affect salvation...

          August 22, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
        • hal 9001

          That is one aspect to consider, kermit4jc. Then there are those who do consider context and just come to different conclusions as others who also consider context. All of this, of course, is indicative of the wobbly foundation of many belief systems.

          August 22, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Again, the blame is on the humans..not the Bible or God....humans have the capability to make choices, and they will make wrong ones...whether consciously or not.

          August 22, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          If you think you are the one who has this all right, you are probably wrong.

          August 22, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
        • Alias

          Kermir
          Duck, dodge, and weave. Tell us which is correct in your opinion.
          There are hundreds of millions catholics and protestants. Thousands of them – millions over the centuries – have read the same bible as you and reached different conclusions on important issues. Are you really going to deny this?
          When large numbers of intelligent, educated people cannot agree on the basic premises of a book, the book is unclear.

          August 22, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I DID not dodge! IM looking at REALITY...seems YOU are the one not looking at reality..the REALITY is that NOT ALL Catholics think alike, so on and so forth..so I am NOT going to label! I will use Individuals...what is so wrong with that?

          August 22, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          no....again yu oare the one wanting to shift blame on something else rather than human mind and will. no matter HOW plain anything is...SOMEONE will take it wrong..period..thats reality...that's MAN

          August 22, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yea, that was not a dodge.

          August 22, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Thank you Dal..and as for the being right..I don't know it all...I still am fuzzy on some points..but the major tenants, I feel I have it correct (ie salvation, Jesus is God, Grace, not works)

          August 22, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          When I first started to find some compelling reasons to believe in God I went to go talk with people about it. One pastor I spoke with at a Lutheran church said we don't have all the answers and we don't do everything right. I respected that honesty. And I've found it to be true about me. And true about others. It is not about proving you are right.

          August 22, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
        • Alias

          kermit
          Fine. There are still millions of individuals who have read the bible and have reached fundamentally different conclusions on very important issues. Not all of them are ignorant of context.
          Men wrote your bible in pieces, and later compiled it into the book we have today. It is not clear or perfect. If you are going to deny this you are in denial of reality; and strange use of capitalization will not invalidate my argument or make you right.

          August 22, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
        • hal 9001

          kermit4jc: "no matter HOW plain anything is...SOMEONE will take it wrong..period"

          I'm afraid you are correct, kermit4jc. No one really takes it in any way that is absolutely correct.

          August 22, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          People CAN take it correctly...the thing is..not everyone will...and thus the problem is NOT the Bible, but the reader

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

          I still contend that if the bible were perfect most people would agree on what it says.
          If the majority of people could get one meaning from the book, then you would be correct in balming the few who got it wrong. However, that is not the case.

          August 22, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
        • hal 9001

          kermit4jc: "People CAN take it correctly.."

          So some people are God. Very interesting viewpoint, kermit4jc.

          August 22, 2014 at 5:29 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          did I say perfectly?

          August 22, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
        • Alias

          The bible was intended as an instruction manual for poeple.
          If most people cannot understand it, then it is a very poor manual.
          If it is a poor manual, then it cannot be the perfect word of an all-knowing god.

          August 22, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          still a flawed argument..as if people are perfect and can read perfectly written literature....it assumes arrogance....you seem to dismiss the notion that man, the reader is flawed and the problem

          August 22, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
        • hal 9001

          I see, kermit4jc. So above, my statement:

          "I'm afraid you are correct, kermit4jc. No one really takes it in any way that is absolutely correct."

          is, in fact, correct. Thank you for your confirmation, kermit4jc.

          August 22, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
        • redservant

          I would like to expand upon kermit4jc's statement that "No one really takes it in any way that is absolutely correct."

          This the result of a particular aspect of humanity's being...the finite and limited aspect of the mind.

          Human knowledge amounts to little more than a spec in an ocean of knowledge that can be attained (a good reason for humility if there ever was one).

          So yes, no one can follow God in the perfectly right way due to inherently sinful nature (think "born this way") and no one can fully understand God because they're lacking in the omniscience department.

          Same goes for other beliefs or non-beliefs if you will (same difference).

          Thank you kermit4jc for speaking truth.
          As an individual who believes that the Bible (clearly) states that there's a God who is both loving and righteous and is willing to go to undeserving lengths to prove it, I find you among the most awesome of my defenders. (though God still takes first place)

          Thank you.

          As for the non-believers, many of you are more willing to hold a legitimate conversation than the vast majority of bloggers. I admire your restraint. Thank you as well.

          To close, I think it's safe to say that we can get along well enough without a need to prove our respective points. After all, we choose what to mentally accept and reject...beliefs become tricky that way. I for one have had to come to terms with rather difficult things to believe and reject things I desperately wished to cling onto (even things supposedly tied to Christianity). So yes, I'm like y'all in that way. Can we respect each other for it? Can see each other as human beings who are just as (beg pardon) legitimate as ourselves? Or will we just keep trying to outwit one another 'til we're six feet under or the trumpets sound?

          August 28, 2014 at 12:07 am |
      • believerfred

        Atheists or anti theists I talk with seem to have united front. My guess is they are united because they are no aware of soul. Tell me if I am wrong but do you think Alias will just become a stinking heap like all other animals that have no soul? An accidental existence without purpose? Death without purpose? Yet, somehow the space between absence of purpose is filled with purpose and that somehow makes sense?

        August 22, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Is it just me, or do some just seem to pick and choose when they are united only when it suggests a positive thing? Any negative connotations and then suddenly – "atheism just means you don't believe in God!".

          August 22, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
        • gruphy

          Thanks
          there are the
          Spiritual vs the Religious
          Atheist vs Anti-theist
          Christian vs Christianist
          Muslim vs Islamist
          Thats something we got to be clear about.
          signed
          knee gruphy

          August 22, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
        • gruphy

          @Dalahast.
          lol

          August 22, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
        • LaBella

          gruphy,
          Very good points.

          August 22, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
        • Alias

          Fred,
          I believe you are unwilling, or unable, to accept the idea that you may not have a soul.
          "Yet, somehow the space between absence of purpose is filled with purpose and that somehow makes sense?"
          I can accept that this life is all there is. You need to believe there is a final justice and a purpose for yourself.

          August 22, 2014 at 5:29 pm |
        • believerfred

          Dalahäst
          Atheists have more sophisticated denominations than do Christians. There is that standard attack against Catholic belief that wine becomes the blood of Christ while they believe a rock plus time turns into intelligent life. When confronted with the inorganic transformation into organic they realize they have no more hard science than Catholics concerning transformation. Atheists and Catholics both have their reasons to justify their belief, but most Catholics understand the physical properties of wine have not changed in our present time and space while the atheist clings desperately to faith in the magic rock.

          August 22, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Fred,

          You might appreciate this:

          "I don’t belong to a religion. In fact I would have to be described as an atheist. But I’m friendly to religion on the grounds that it seems to me to be distinctively human, and it has produced many good things. But you see these humanists or rationalists who seem to hate this distinctively human feature. This to me seems to me very odd. These evangelical atheists say things such as: religion is like child abuse, that if you had no religious education, there would be no religion. It’s completely absurd."

          – J. P. O’Malley

          Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2013/03/different-kinds-of-atheists/#ixzz3B9w1f63V

          August 22, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
        • midwest rail

          " There is that standard attack against Catholic belief ..."
          Seriously, fred ? How often have you confronted the rabid anti-Catholics on these pages who identify as Christian ? Ever ?

          August 22, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
        • Alias

          fred,
          that is the 'god of the gaps' fallacy.
          You don't understand where it all came from therefore god id it.
          I look at your bible and your religion and cannot believe it.
          I don't have all the answers, but I know your god does not exist just as surely as you know he does.

          August 22, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
        • believerfred

          Alias
          "You need to believe there is a final justice and a purpose for yourself."
          =>Even before my personal experience with God I could not understand the existence of pain and suffering. I always did the best I could to help others possibly as the result of abuse suffered as child or perhaps I was simply born to help out. Even today I do not understand the terrible things man is capable of. Yet I am not concerned about justice for anyone not even Hitler. If someone is causing harm I do what is necessary to stop it and leave justice to those interested in justice, as I am not.
          =>Purpose has always nagged at me and for some reason I always knew there was something more. I have always looked for surprises under rocks, in creeks and where ever my mind could take me. What you see is a function of who you are which is very different than what science can see which is a function of known laws and principles concerning relationships between matter and energy. One is a product of man (science) while the other is the expression of soul.

          August 22, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
        • believerfred

          midwest rail
          I was thinking about colin who 3 times a month posts his anti catholic rant.

          August 22, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          3 times a month is a bit conservative!

          August 22, 2014 at 6:01 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          3 times an hour sometimes.

          August 22, 2014 at 6:02 pm |
        • LaBella

          Seriously, fred ? How often have you confronted the rabid anti-Catholics on these pages who identify as Christian ? Ever ?
          Or those that deny Catholics are even Christian in the first place...oh, yes. I see this a lot.

          August 22, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
        • believerfred

          Alias
          "You don't understand where it all came from therefore god id it."
          =>No. I understand the general science in most fields and where science leaves off. I do not claim that because we lack certain transitional evidence the common understanding of evolution theory is false. I do not claim that because we cannot get beyond Planck epoch god must exist.
          =>I rejected God for a great deal of my life and it took an act of God to wake me up. I cannot claim that experience never happened because it did. I cannot claim the Holy Spirit does not exist because it abides in me. I claim that I now see reality that includes the perspective of God which is a reality I was blind to. That reality opened up and extended back in time and forward in time revealing a wonder I will never forget.

          August 22, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
        • believerfred

          LaBella
          You are right I do not confront Catholics or others unless there is something said that would cause someone weak in their faith to lose faith.

          August 22, 2014 at 6:21 pm |
        • midwest rail

          fred – so a hate filled anti-Catholic rant is tolerable from a believer because it doesn't meet your standard requiring opposition, and a hate-filled anti-Catholic rant from a non-believer is only intolerable because it allows you to score a cheap political point ? That is some interesting ethical ground you've staked out for yourself, fred.

          August 23, 2014 at 6:42 am |
        • evolveddna

          fred.. how do you know that animals have no souls....and that only humans have them. We are the only animals that wear shoes perhaps thats it?

          August 25, 2014 at 10:22 pm |
    • believerfred

      Alias
      Nice list but the Bible is clear that we are not to choose who gets past Peter at the Pearly Gates or a hot poke in the behind from Lucifer.
      Have you not noticed that the plan of creation will bring out exactly who you are and what your true desire is? Do you know of anyone who has identical desire or self awareness?

      August 22, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
      • Alias

        Fred
        You missed my point, which is understandable as I hit "POST" too soon.
        I have no intention of debating who is right. My point is that millions of poeple have read the bible and there is no clear majority opinion as to what it says on several major points.
        That brings the validity of the bible into question.
        Don't you think if god existed he would have given us a book that was understandable?

        August 22, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
        • transframer

          No. God wants him to understand with the heart not with the brain

          August 22, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
        • transframer

          No. God wants us to understand him with the heart not with the brain

          August 22, 2014 at 5:10 pm |
        • hal 9001

          transframer: "No. God wants us to understand him with the heart not with the brain"

          So do the kings of Nigeria. Check your email.

          August 22, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Right. God wants our love. He can use or minds. But he doesn't need them. That is why it is all about love.

          August 22, 2014 at 5:14 pm |
        • gruphy

          of course not alias.
          There being several sides to us we make interpretations on the based on our own perspectives.

          August 22, 2014 at 5:18 pm |
        • Bob

          The Christian god really is not loving. According to the Christian book of nasty AKA the bible, he's a very vicious and vengeant jerk, as these direct quotes from both foul testaments show clearly:

          Numbers 31:17-18
          17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
          18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

          Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

          1 Timothy 2:11
          "Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."

          Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

          Leviticus 25
          44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
          45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
          46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

          Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

          Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

          And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

          So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          August 22, 2014 at 8:32 pm |
        • transframer

          Hey Bob,
          But what if, after all, there is a God and he is really loving? What if you are wrong?

          August 22, 2014 at 9:22 pm |
  17. rusty2115

    Dalahast

    Post: I come her to talk about my God ...... yet names an imaginary TV religion as their religion

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

    _______________________________
    If you think the violence that religion has reaped upon world is something to have fun with- you're correct it's an opinion article go for it. Don't for one minute think you're not a troll or any of the "chosen people" of a God or think for one minute that you're making any kind of point with your "fun"

    Just sayin' now feel free to troll and justify your trolling – good luck with that

    August 22, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      I don't think violence that religion has reaped upon world is something to have fun with at all. Nor is the violence that come from non-religious sources. In fact I don't think it is fair to blame all the violence in the world on religion, especially when ignoring the benefits that it provides.

      When you demand I answer your questions, but fail to answer mine, I'm not going to take you seriously.

      If I'm a troll, then you are a troll. If you say I can't even think for one minute think I'm not a troll – you sound just as horrible as the religion you imagine that forbids me from thinking. What is my alternative? Your narrow-minded point of view?

      August 22, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
      • gruphy

        Well said!

        August 22, 2014 at 5:01 pm |
    • ausphor

      rusty
      A summary of the Dalecarlian Horse/Dalhast tactics...
      Make a statement/pontification.
      When asked for clarification, deflect.
      When challenged about the deflection, claim an ad hominem attack.
      Respond with an ad hominem attack.
      Use "The most (whatever) that I Dalahast have experienced......
      And break down eventually and just admit that he, The Dalecarlian Horse/Dalahast is having fun trolling.

      August 22, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        do you think begin a sadist makes you any more credible?

        August 22, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
        • ausphor

          Just having fun trolling, if you do not enjoy same, why do you do it all day? The stock market is closed, down day, bummer.

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

        That sounds like you.

        You claim I'm a liar. You jump into threads and tell people I'm a liar.

        I ask you for what lies I told. I ask you to clarify what exactly I lied about. Show me the posts.

        And you don't or can't explain it. But just tell me I know I do it.

        I'm really not trolling. And I suspect you use the word troll like you use the word liar. Just meant as an insult. rusty2115 doesn't know me that well, so he is guessing that I'm trolling. I have confirmation from another poster that I'm not a troll – and it is not the first time someone has come to my defense. Actual atheists have come to my defense on this subject before.

        I'm going to trust them over you. Do you blame me?

        August 22, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
      • Bob

        ausphor, you are right on. One of Dalahast's most common tactics here in trying to defend his sicko god delusion is to dodge and change the subject. Another is to make personal attacks, which he does very frequently.

        August 22, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Have you noticed you also use personal attacks? And that you dodge questions, too? What is the difference when you do it?

          August 22, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
        • Bob

          Coward Dalahast, you've been caught dodging again.

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

          You accuse me of insulting, and then insult me.

          You accuse me of dodging, and then dodge my questions.

          I'm not afraid of you, yet somehow in your imagination that makes me a coward?

          August 22, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
        • Bob

          Coward Dalahast is dodging as usual.

          August 22, 2014 at 8:28 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          You do the exact same thing.

          It is no different when you do it.

          August 22, 2014 at 8:38 pm |
    • ausphor

      Oh dear! It appears that if I am not a CHRISTIAN troll, I am to be condemned as a heretic/heathen while the apologist crowd, no matter how different their beliefs will band together in righteous indignation. If the hypocrisy wasn't so laughable, I would fear a crusade coming on. I stand by ridicule, mockery and derision as the only weapon against the Holy Trinity. BTW I have a very thick skin, if you really can't see your way to turning the other cheek, that is your gig isn't it, take your best shot. Har de har.

      August 22, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
  18. awanderingscot

    Just curious. Is it your premise that a) being spiritual translates to faith that God loves unconditionally; b) being a 'fanatic' is analogous to self-righteousness and c) non-believers are afflicted with disorders associated with self-image ?

    August 22, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, awanderingscot, but posting to yourself will not improve your current credibility score of zero.

      August 22, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
      • rusty2115

        I don't think personal attacks w/o answering their questions gives you any points either

        August 22, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          no attack at all, just asking for clarification.

          August 22, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        ok Dorian

        August 22, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
    • rusty2115

      posting to yourself will not improve your current credibility score of zero
      ___________________________
      that's not asking for clarification

      August 22, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        gruphy

        1Faith is believing that someone loves you.
        2Self-righteousness is believing you love someone more than they love you.
        3Disbelief is the inability to believe that you are loved owing to past experience of dissapointment.
        These are exemplified by
        1 the spiritual
        2 the fanatic
        3 the non-believer
        The best state is 1,3 and 2

        – this is what i was responding to ... for some reason WP gets retarded sometimes, lol

        August 22, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
        • gruphy

          Yeah Scotty I got it just that Rusty got in the way. Thanks you know the truth too. Now if these disappointed Christianists masquerading as Atheists will pipe down a bit. lol.

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

          LOL .. yeah the gnashing of the teeth gets a bit loud at times.

          August 22, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
  19. Vic

    The Commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ

    Matthew 22:34-40
    "34 But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. 35 One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”" (NASB)

    John 13:34
    "34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another." (NASB)

    Christianity

    John 3:16
    "16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." (NASB)

    August 22, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
    • rusty2115

      Somebody should remind the Christians

      August 22, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
      • gruphy

        and Rusty as well.

        August 22, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Jesus' interpretation of Judaism is inspiring and uplifting. Why did people have to go and declare him God so that now, and for centuries before, we fight over him?

      August 22, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        Christ never once denied His deity.

        August 22, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          I doubt if you've ever denied being the rightful queen of England.

          August 22, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          ooh .. the big man behind the microphone. LOL.

          August 22, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
        • G to the T

          "Christ never once denied His deity."

          The authors of the books accepted as part of the new testament never had Christ deny his deity.

          This is obstacle you must overcome before I can concede your point.

          August 25, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          The authors of the books accepted as part of the new testament never had Christ deny his deity.<–and you know this, how?

          August 25, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
      • ausphor

        TTTOO
        Oy vey, why did we have to be that Gods chosen people, we could have done better, way better?

        August 22, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          (Jesus as Delores in In The Heat of The Night)

          And then things went a bit too far.
          Is that what you're sayin'?
          Did they get a little bit outta line?
          Come on now.
          Is that what you're tryin' to say?
          Come on, girl! Is it or ain't it?

          – Yeah, they went too far!
          – Well, fine!

          August 22, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another."

      – Christ was speaking to His brothers here, yes?

      August 22, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
      • hal 9001

        There is insufficient data at this time, awanderingscot, to know exactly the number and gender of the siblings of Jesus of Nazareth.

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

          Spiritual brothers, and God knows the exact number.

          August 22, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
      • Vic

        I am drawing a contrast between Christianity and others in how to treat everybody as opposed to eliminating them, hence, what happened to James Foley. The Lord Jesus Christ commanded His disciples to love one another (John 13:34) as well as their enemy (Matthew 5:43,44,) and that they (His disciples) will be known as His through that love treatment of each other (John 13:35.)

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

          Indeed you have it right brother. The love Christ spoke of in the story of the good Samaritan comes to mind, "love your neighbor"

          August 22, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
    • Vic

      Christianity is the only belief system that proclaims "Time Dispensations" and "Redemption/Salvation by Grace." Other belief systems proclaim 'merit-based redemption' that leads one into a state of constant contemplation of keeping scores, self-righteousness, and adherence to barbaric punitive laws. "Salvation by the Grace of God through Faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior" in Christianity, on the other hand, puts the Lord Jesus Christ center stage and leads the believer into a state of rest, peace, and constant reverence for and personal relationship with God. The Lord Jesus Christ is our focus.

      Christianity is God's "New Covenant," hence the reign of the "Dispensation of Grace," and the end of the "Old Covenant," hence the end of the "Dispensation of Law;" it is the culmination of God's plan for redemption. Right now, we are still in the "Dispensation of Grace" and awaiting the "Dispensation of the Millennial Kingdom."

      The Lord Jesus Christ, in Him is our peace and He is the only way unto Salvation and unity.

      John 10:14-18
      "14 I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. 18 No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”"

      John 14:6
      "6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."

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

      All Scripture Is From:

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

      http://www.biblegateway.com/

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

        Vic the truth is that judgement was the Original Sin. Are you sure you are not being biased in favour of Christianity. Then learn that Christ will not judge whether we are Christian or not but whether we did good or we did wrong. The only difference here is that he taught that score keeping will not make us do good. He taught that being convinced that God loves you is enough to make you do good things for others which will get you salvation. Grace has never meant unmerited favour. Grace is God's help to those who try. If you don't think so check the Matt 5.

        August 22, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
      • Vic

        John 1:16,17
        "16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. 17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ." (NASB)

        Galatians 4:4,5
        "4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons." (NASB)

        Ephesians 1:7
        "7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace" (NASB)

        Ephesians 2:8,9
        "8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast." (NASB)

        Titus 3:5
        "5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit," (NASB)

        August 22, 2014 at 5:12 pm |
        • Bob

          More direct quotes from Vic's foul mythbook AKA the bible. From both horrid testaments:

          Numbers 31:17-18
          17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
          18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

          Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

          1 Timothy 2:11
          "Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."

          Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

          Leviticus 25
          44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
          45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
          46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

          Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

          Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

          And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

          So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          August 22, 2014 at 5:29 pm |
  20. gruphy

    1Faith is believing that someone loves you.
    2Self-righteousness is believing you love someone more than they love you.
    3Disbelief is the inability to believe that you are loved owing to past experience of dissapointment.
    These are exemplified by
    1 the spiritual
    2 the fanatic
    3 the non-believer
    The best state is 1,3 and 2

    August 22, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
    • rusty2115

      1) self serving and delusion when the belief its an omnipotent deity with no proof whatsover
      2) mankind can justify any behavior
      3) projecting and assuming

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

        You're right, the carnal man can and does justify sinful behavior, only when the spirit is quickened by the Holy Spirit can man begin to experience God's holiness. Contrary to being self serving, one born-again abases himself and throws himself to the dust at Christ's feet. The only delusion that occurs is when unregenerate man looks upon that born-again child of God and assumes he has lost his mind when in fact his mind and heart have been liberated.

        August 22, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
        • rusty2115

          just more delusional rantings without a shred of evidence

          Until the "righteous" actually take action (action speaks louder than words) take care of the extremists in their midst its just more BS! If you're Christian go to Uganda and stop the Christians who are slaughtering there. If you're a Jew go to the ME and stop the Jews that are salughtering there. If you're a Muslim go to the ME and stop the Muslims slaughtering there. ALL the "righteous" need to do is demand their leaders stop the slaughter in the name of their religion – does that happen – NO. All that proves is your extremists are running your religion.

          August 22, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Oh, pull the other one scotty. I think we've all been around enough born-again types to know that they can be some of the most fanatically self-congratulatory believers of them all. But nice try, troll.

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

          @Rusty
          Everyone is accountable to God for their actions, even you.

          August 22, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
        • gruphy

          @ Rusty
          Until you go to China and stop the slaugthering Atheists there we are under no such obligation! lol

          August 22, 2014 at 4:36 pm |
        • evolveddna

          Scotty.. throwing your self at the foot of god...thats sounds submissive and not at all liberating. Why would god not allow his favorite creation to meet him face to face . It smacks of times when humans were fearful of the natural world and imagined angry gods behind every natural event..What better way to appease them than to be submissive.

          August 24, 2014 at 10:59 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.