If The National Prayer Breakfast Is Apolitical and Nonsectarian, Why Is It Used to Question Obama’s Faith?

Many conservative commentators are apoplectic over these remarks by President Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast yesterday:

But we also see faith being twisted and distorted, used as a wedge — or, worse, sometimes used as a weapon.  From a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris, we have seen violence and terror perpetrated by those who profess to stand up for faith, their faith, professed to stand up for Islam, but, in fact, are betraying it.  We see ISIL, a brutal, vicious death cult that, in the name of religion, carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism  — terrorizing religious minorities like the Yezidis, subjecting women to rape as a weapon of war, and claiming the mantle of religious authority for such actions.

* * * *

Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history.  And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.  In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.  Michelle and I returned from India — an incredible, beautiful country, full of magnificent diversity — but a place where, in past years, religious faiths of all types have, on occasion, been targeted by other peoples of faith, simply due to their heritage and their beliefs — acts of intolerance that would have shocked Gandhiji, the person who helped to liberate that nation.

So this is not unique to one group or one religion.  There is a tendency in us, a sinful tendency that can pervert and distort our faith.  In today’s world, when hate groups have their own Twitter accounts and bigotry can fester in hidden places in cyberspace, it can be even harder to counteract such intolerance. But God compels us to try.  And in this mission, I believe there are a few principles that can guide us, particularly those of us who profess to believe.

And, first, we should start with some basic humility.  I believe that the starting point of faith is some doubt — not being so full of yourself and so confident that you are right and that God speaks only to us, and doesn’t speak to others, that God only cares about us and doesn’t care about others, that somehow we alone are in possession of the truth.

They’re apoplectic because, as Ed Kilgore aptly interprets it, they believe “we’re in a ‘religious war’ and the president needs to show solidarity with ‘our’ religion.” Suggesting that Christianity has ever been used as a pretext for violence is, in this view, sacrilege.

But as the evangelical writer Rachel Held Evans points out, “Acknowledging that violence and injustice has been committed by Christians and in Christ’s name shouldn’t be controversial. It’s a fact.” Ta-Nehisi Coates adds, in a post titled “The Foolish, Historically Illiterate, Incredible Response to Obama’s Prayer Breakfast Speech,” that of course “Christianity did not ’cause’ slavery, anymore than Christianity ’caused’ the civil-rights movement. The interest in power is almost always accompanied by the need to sanctify that power. That is what the Muslims terrorists in ISIS are seeking to do today, and that is what Christian enslavers and Christian terrorists did for the lion’s share of American history.” One would only object to this characterization, Coates adds, if “you view the entire discussion as a kind of religious one-upmanship, in which the goal is to prove that Christianity is ‘the awesomest.'”

Enter Erick Erickson, who lambastes Obama not only for “attacking” Christians over the Crusades, but because the president is a “moral relativist” (egads!) who calls himself a Christian but really isn’t one: “Christians know Christ is truth itself. To have truth, we must have Christ. To suggest that everyone can have some version of God and some version of truth is worldly babbling, not Christianity.”

Lest you think this is an isolated incident, let’s look back on past prayer breakfasts, and ask ourselves why, if the event, as its organizers claim, is a non-partisan, non-sectarian event, why Obama routinely gets attacked by conservatives for failing to express properly sectarian religious views. In 2013, Ben Carson delivered a highly political speech attacking Obama’s policies as Obama sat a few feet away. In 2012, Rep. Phil Gingrey walked out of Obama’s speech, saying he was “disturbed and offended by the president’s use of prayer and reflection time for partisan politics and class warfare.” That same year, Obama was accused roundly by conservatives of promoting “phony religiosity.” He received no brownie points from conservatives for his 2011 appearance, during which he described his Christian faith as “a sustaining force for me over these last few years,” a sustenance required, in part, because “When Michelle and I hear our faith questioned from time to time, we are reminded that ultimately what matters is not what other people say about us but whether we’re being true to our conscience and true to our God.”

With each passing year, Obama’s appearance almost seems calculated to set up a conflict between the “true” Christians and the “worldly babbling” of the president. Whether the keynote speaker was Eric Metaxas, Ben Carson or, this year, NASCAR driver Darrell Waltrip, who devoted his entire speech to his own story of salvation, the keynoter is afterwards presented as the true defender of the faith, and Obama as the quisling relativist. Why does Obama keep going, year after year? Sure, no president has missed this event since 1957. But why would skipping it be worse than attending, if he could truly make a statement on behalf of millions of American Christians, like himself, who think that attendance at a prayer breakfast that promotes one particular view of Christianity isn’t good for the country–or the soul?

84 Comments

  • jpt691@yahoo.com' JPT says:

    It isn’t the United States of Christian Supremacy, though many *true* men of God will have their flock vaguely carry that notion.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    American Christianity seems to be splitting into two religions, conservative and progressive. Conservative Christianity believes in all the traditional beliefs, the creeds, heaven and hell, the trinity, the name of Jesus is the only path to salvation, creationism, and probably rapture. In Progressive Christianity everything is optional. There may be no actual heaven and hell, you don’t need the creeds, and the trinity is open to question or interpretation. As conservative Christianity becomes more anti-science and crazy in general, the divide grows and the options of conservative Christianity shrink, so they need to hate anything they can come up with to hate, and that puts President Obama in the cross hairs.

  • b1gh0ss@hotmail.com' headonstraight says:

    Christians in America crave respectability. One major reason they often do not get it is the reluctance of the more respectable elements of the Christian community to speak out against the disgraceful charlatans and hucksters who prey upon the naive and gullible in order to fatten their own bank accounts and live like kings–all in the name of Jesus Christ. I refer to such greed-infested televangelist promoters of the “prosperity gospel” as Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Peter Popoff, Mike Murdock and others who peddle their un-Biblical and heretical doctrine that amounts, in essence, to “Send ME your money and God will make YOU prosperous.” Politically-engaged Christian spokespersons of national prominence who criticize the larger Muslim community for failure to condemn atrocities of Muslim extremists need to look inward. Why don’t THEY criticize and expose the false prophets of the “prosperity gospel”? Why are most of them silent when it comes to exposing the noxious host of egregious, money-grubbing apostles of avarice who contaminate cable and satellite television and give Christianity a bad name?

  • imjessietr@yahoo.com' Kelly says:

    There are three Christianities:
    1. Liberal/Progressive
    2. Conservative/Traditional
    3. Chick Tract/Bullshit

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    The problem with speaking out against the charlatans is where do you draw the line?

  • b1gh0ss@hotmail.com' headonstraight says:

    The problem with speaking out against charlatans is that the legitimate Christian community is not speaking out against even the worst, most flagrantly and egregiously corrupt of them!

  • Isn’t this what we are saying about Islam? Why doesn’t the larger Muslim community speak out more forcefully against the fundamentalist crazies?

  • robert.m.jeffers@lonestar.edu' Rmj says:

    Actually the UCC issues all manner of press releases and books and articles, etc., which can all be interpreted as “speaking out against the charlatans.”

    Just because you know know about it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. I mean, if you aren’t in the forest to hear the tree fall doesn’t mean somebody didn’t hear the sound.

  • robert.m.jeffers@lonestar.edu' Rmj says:

    “Seems to be”? This has been going on since the 19th century. Fundamentalism in American Christianity (where it started and gave it the name) dates to the early 20th century.

    This has been going on for a long time.

  • robert.m.jeffers@lonestar.edu' Rmj says:

    All of us crave this “respectability”?

    News to me. I guess I’ve been doing it wrong for 60 years.

  • robert.m.jeffers@lonestar.edu' Rmj says:

    Soon as all men speak out against domestic abuse (not just the NFL). And all white people speak out against racism (not just the blatant KKK type). And all privileged 1st world people speak out against exploitation and poverty in the 3rd world. And…..

  • GregAbdul@comcast.net' GregAbdul says:

    Religion always calls us to be absolutist. I believe totally in the Quran and that it is the perfect word of God. Having said that, that does not mean I think that non Muslims are less than anything God created them to be. God created all human beings. He didn’t create a set of people whose duty is to be fodder for another set of people. That is certainly not what Islam teaches. My problem with what the President said was that he spoke of Christian evil in the past tense. Our real duty is to see the perfection we are called to, as we equally see the gross imperfections all around us. Today in America we have a huge group of Christians fighting to keep medical care away from the poor. We have a 25% child poverty rate in the richest country on earth, where the austerity party constantly hollers about being the defenders of Christianity. We have endemic racism in a country where the black people took on their master’s religion during and after slavery, only to be told over and over, they are not really a part of the American dream. There are plenty of bad Christian practices in America TODAY that kill people. Throwing someone in jail over marijuana…is that what Christ would do? Obama, in his own way, as usual, really did not bash modern Christianity and it only shows how far off we are, many of us, from healthy useful religious practice that aids in the public square and makes the world a better place, instead of these absolutely stupid dichotomies that seek to justify and sanction hate and prejudice.

  • b1gh0ss@hotmail.com' headonstraight says:

    OH? And do you perhaps crave disrespectfulness?

  • b1gh0ss@hotmail.com' headonstraight says:

    The UCC also takes a position on homosexuality that is in egregious conflict with the scriptures. That in itself disqualifies them from standing in the legitimate Christian community.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    That’s all true, but I see a difference. Several decades ago the Christian political spectrum seemed to be a bell shaped curve, with a few at the extremes, and bulging at the middle. Now it seems more like a double hump with a bell shaped curve on the conservative end and another one on the progressive end, and pretty sparse in the middle. As things continue the two humps move farther apart, and that is the split.

  • I think the question answers itself. As long as the President keeps hammering away at the idea that we should be humble and respectful before God, he keeps highlighting the difference between those who are following the King of Peace, and those who are more interested in the carnographic fantasies of Left Behind.

  • phatkhat@centurylink.net' phatkhat says:

    Well said. And it is interesting to note that one of the most progressive (i.e. concerned with PEOPLE, not with corporate masters) members of Congress, Keith Ellison (D-MN), is a Muslim. Religious faith can be used for good or bad, regardless of the religion.

  • moonberggj@gmail.com' golden_valley says:

    Where in the Constitution is a president given the duty of being chief Christian and giving a Christian prayer each year? Where in the Constitution is there permission given to combine Christianity or any other religion with government?

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    It’s not the constitution. The voters just decide that way.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    I agree. The King of Peace fantasy is not as dangerous as the Left Behind fantasy.

  • ptc2001@hotmail.com' Iplumeria says:

    The president made it political and sectarian when he compared Christians to the blood thirsty Islamic terrorists. He is so ignorant of history, it is an embarrassment.

  • GregAbdul@comcast.net' GregAbdul says:

    not one inch of blood thirsty and ignorant in you right Plum?????

  • ptc2001@hotmail.com' Iplumeria says:

    Not one!!!

  • Dennis.Lurvey@live.com' GeniusPhx says:

    Christians are most afraid of loosing their prefered place in america. They have been allowed to bring church into state unchallenged till now. They still have power in the courts and congress. The supreme ct is stacked with catholics who believe if they make a decision for anything against their religion, they will take on that sin personally and go to hell. Congress is 98% christian, mostly catholic, even though caths make up only 25% of america. There is NO representation for non christians or non believers in congress.

    Now the atheists as well as the ACLU and others are demanding christianity step down from their prefered place and be, as the law requires, equal to all other beliefs and no belief. We are taking them out of schools, crosses off govt land, 10 commandments out of courthouses and parks, etc. Who knows what they will do to hold on to that power they think they have, but are loosing very quickly.

  • Dennis.Lurvey@live.com' GeniusPhx says:

    and who decides who is a charlatan and who is not? that’s why we have freedom of conscience in america, so no one gets to decide which belief is real and not.

  • GregAbdul@comcast.net' GregAbdul says:

    You have missed your calling. Jesus could have used you when he walked up on the mob that wanted to stone the adulterous woman.

  • oaim50@yahoo.com' Don says:

    I don’t know about you, but I always try to court dishonor whenever feasible.

  • ptc2001@hotmail.com' Iplumeria says:

    You are so right.

  • b1gh0ss@hotmail.com' headonstraight says:

    “By their fruits ye shall know them.”

    ————Jesus, Galilean Prophet, circa 31 C.E.

    You go ahead and send your money to these con artists if you wish, secure in the knowledge that you are contributing to their outlandishly
    lavish lifestyles.

    Meanwhile, study up on these charlatans. They really do exist. Get your “tolerant” self educated:

    http://home.earthlink.net/~19ranger57/halosham.htm

    http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/359504-filmmakers-expose-televangelist-scam/

    http://www.conservativecrusader.com/articles/televangelists-snicker-all-the-way-to-the-bank

    http://crooksandliars.com/2008/01/30/cbs-investigating-the-accountability-and-lack-thereof-of-televangelists

  • Hilewhousels@dayrep.com' Frank6550 says:

    Obamas ignorance and those defending him are truly embarrassing.

  • asmorrell@gmail.com' Andre M says:

    Proud to have him representing us here! 🙂

  • asmorrell@gmail.com' Andre M says:

    this @ssh0le again.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    Catholics are overrepresented because the other Christian branches distrust each other even more than they distrust Catholics. Probably with good reason.

  • michael@mocmin.org' M. O. Christensen says:

    What about the sponsorship and startup of the prayer breakfast by The Family? Talk about semi-secret right wing!

  • michael@mocmin.org' M. O. Christensen says:

    Jesus hasn’t told me that. Just the opposite!

  • jaunita1@fuse.net' jaunita says:

    The Obama-Haters will look for any opportunity to criticize the President, it’s as simple as that. What is so very shameful is the majority of them claim to be Christians themselves.

  • b1gh0ss@hotmail.com' headonstraight says:

    Romans 1:21-27.
    Read up.

    And if you believe that “just the opposite” stuff, then ante up YOUR scriptural basis,

  • b1gh0ss@hotmail.com' headonstraight says:

    The National Prayer Breakfast is sponsored by the Congress, not the President.

    The best reason NOT to have this thing is because it is the creature of, and organized and led by by a noxious, secretive group of theocratic scheming weasels. This organization was exposed in detail by Jeff Sharlet, as summarized below:

    <<>>

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fellowship_(Christian_organization)

  • phatkhat@centurylink.net' phatkhat says:

    I wish we had one like him. Our rep is a teabag through and through. Right up there with Bachmann, LOL.

  • robert.m.jeffers@lonestar.edu' Rmj says:

    Yup, actually.

    Best way I know to get people to leave me alone.

  • robert.m.jeffers@lonestar.edu' Rmj says:

    Again, I didn’t realize I distrusted Catholics and other Protestant denominations.

    I really gotta check my inbox. I don’t seem to be on any of the right mailing lists.

  • robert.m.jeffers@lonestar.edu' Rmj says:

    No, it isn’t sponsored by Congress, it is hosted by individual Congressional members. It is organized by a private religious group.

    It’s about as “national,” in other words, as the National Cathedral. Which is an Episcopal church, not a church “sponsored” by Congress or any part of the U.S. Government.

  • robert.m.jeffers@lonestar.edu' Rmj says:

    Ah, I see you are the arbiter of who is and who isn’t a Christian.

    Good to know. I’ve been wondering where you were.

    Although I’ll stay with the illegitimate Christian community just the same. We like being in egregious conflict with the Scriptures. Especially because they said the same thing about Jesus.

  • robert.m.jeffers@lonestar.edu' Rmj says:

    Scripture wars? BORING! “My proof text beats your proof text!”

    “Nuh-uh!”

    “Nuh-huh!”

    NEXT!

  • robert.m.jeffers@lonestar.edu' Rmj says:

    You realize, of course, that by your fruits, we already know you.

    Just sayin’…..

  • b1gh0ss@hotmail.com' headonstraight says:

    Yep, just SAYIN’–but proving nothing, offering up nothing of substance. That’s you.

  • b1gh0ss@hotmail.com' headonstraight says:

    You are right. But the individual Congressmen who are involved deeply in this affair and in other matters (see below) are members or sympathizers with a dangerous, secretive group of Congressional

    theocrats known as “The Family” and led buy one Doug Coe, a right wing, fundamentalist schemer whose influence is little realized by most people but huge as regards his successful and excessive influence

    with highly-placed U.S. Government officials.

    Read up:

    http://www.alternet.org/story/87665/worse_than_fascists%3A_christian_political_group_'the_family'_openly_reveres_hitler

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120746516

  • b1gh0ss@hotmail.com' headonstraight says:

    Romans 1:21-27.
    Read up. See what the Scriptures actually SAY about perversion.

  • b1gh0ss@hotmail.com' headonstraight says:

    The voters can not legally override the Constitution of a constitutional republic such as ours. The Constitution protects the rights of minorities against the dominance of those who would seek to coerce them in a manner that is in conflict with rights defined for all of us in the Constitution.

  • b1gh0ss@hotmail.com' headonstraight says:

    They are indeed semi-secret and that is why so many shallow dupes in this nation of the ill-informed do not realize what a bunch of scheming weasels like The Family is, and what they have been, up to in their last 3 decades of manipulating government toward illicit theocratic objectives.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    The voters can make this a Christian nation by voting only for a professed Christian for president, and strongly favoring Judeo-Christians at all levels of elected government, and often making supreme court rulings that are in line with us being a Christian nation, even though according to the law we are not.

  • b1gh0ss@hotmail.com' headonstraight says:

    Uh, Jim–a little civics less for you here. The “voters” do not make “supreme court rulings.” The Supreme Court does that.

    I suppose you might have known that and that your literal mis-statement is simply a function of your clumsiness with the English language, but just in case…

    This nation is not a pure democracy. Given the rampant ignorance of a huge sector of the electorate, that is a good thing.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    The voters elect the president who selects justices and the congress approves them. The voters ultimately decide the direction the government takes. We are now conservative and conservative Christian because the church got so political a few decades ago.

  • asmorrell@gmail.com' Andre M says:

    Ah, fair point. We did produce Bachmann. D:

  • cgoslingpbc@aol.com' cgosling says:

    Why do I have this feeling that our President is really and atheist or agnostic? My personal opinion is that his original Christian beliefs have eroded over the years. They served him well early on in his career to the extent he became our president, but now he sees the hypocrisy in all religions and the harm radical religion has done. Years from now, I’ll bet, it will leak out that he gradually lost his faith after witnessing the role religion has played in suffering around the world. Blind faith is what drives extremists of all religions. Our president is well aware of this, and referred to it in his address at the prayer breakfast. Hopefully, some day, in the future, secular humanism will openly play a greater role in government to the benefit of all moderate religions and humankind.

  • b1gh0ss@hotmail.com' headonstraight says:

    If by “we” you mean the majority of the electorate, then you are missing the mark widely. If you are alleging that the U.S. is now “conservative Christian,” then you have blown it on that one also.

  • blastdorro1955@att.net' Blast_Dorrough777 says:

    The dedicated purpose of the American Revolutionists was to dethrone evil King George and his court of Corporatecrafters and demonic Christians to establish a constitutional Republic. 24,000 U.S. First Vets gave their lives to assume their equitable station in life entitled to Humankind by the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” The Declaration of Independence shows that the United States was founded on the true theology of science-based Deism in rejection of all fear-based religioncraft as false, dogmatic theology. Thomas Jefferson recognized: “History, I believe furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.” Letter of December 6, 1813 to Alexander von Humbolt. “In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.” Jefferson letter of March 17, 1814 to Horatio G. Spafford. “Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not. Such a government will be best supported by protecting every citizen in the enjoyment of his religion, by neither invading the equal rights of any sect, not suffering any sect to invade those of another….It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties…Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other sects?” James Madison at Constitutional Convention. “The poor Quakers were flying from persecution in England. They cast their eyes on these new countries as a asylums of civil and religious freedom; but they found them free only for the reigning sect. Several acts of the Virginia assembly had made it penal in parents to refuse to have their children baptized; had prohibited the unlawful assembling of Quakers; had made it penal for any master of a vessel to bring a Quaker into the state; had ordered those already here and such as should come thereafter, to be imprisoned till they should abjure the country; provided a milder punishment for their first and second return, but death for their third; had inhibited all persons from suffering their meetings in or near their houses, entertaining them individually, or disposing of books which supported their tenets.” Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned, yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.” Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVII.

  • auto48017106@hushmail.com' BillStewart2012 says:

    Popoff got caught using a radio headset with people in the back room telling him information about people in the audience that “God” could reveal to him when he was on stage. Pure charlatan, and probably still doing that.

  • auto48017106@hushmail.com' BillStewart2012 says:

    In right-wing conservatism, divorced people getting remarried is just fine, even though the Bible (particularly the New Testament) says far more about that than about homosexuality. And if your President covets his neighbor’s oil and bears false witness against him so he can kill him and steal his land and give a lot of money to his buddies, that’s just fighting against the heathens so it’s ok.

  • tony.j.adamson@gmail.com' Tony Pepperoni says:

    “I believe totally in the Quran and that it is the perfect word of God.”

    Do you not see this as part of the problem? There are many divisive messages in the Quran, so to think it is anything other than words written by men gives the problematic verses validity and your stamp of approval. The bible is the same and if you believe it is the true word of God then everything Obama’s detractors say makes perfect sense.

    Admittedly I am not religious, so maybe you can explain to me why it is so important that these books be thought as direct messages from God instead of man’s interpretations. It would seem to me the latter would make religions capable of progressing.

  • GregAbdul@comcast.net' GregAbdul says:

    yes I see this is part of the problem. you actually sit there at your computer playing a demigod whose job it is apparently, is to give approval of my relationship with my Creator…..don’t know much about the First Amendment and Civil Rights laws do you?

  • GregAbdul@comcast.net' GregAbdul says:

    a little long, but Jefferson and company did not banish or outlaw religion. They set it up so that everyone would be free to worship as as they pleased, as a “natural right.” Jefferson was a student of religion, not a rejector of religion.

  • tony.j.adamson@gmail.com' Tony Pepperoni says:

    So no answer then? I find it ironic that you chastise me as ignorant but won’t attempt to educate me with your vast knowledge. Answering me should be a piece of cake.

    I would continue but you are clearly unable to discuss your religion rationally. I have a close Muslim friend at work that will discuss these topics openly and in friendship which has enriched both of our understandings of each other. Maybe you should try that.

    Oh, but as to not be a hypocrite, here are my answers:

    Of course I know about the first amendment and civil rights laws. I don’t see how they apply to me asking you a question or how they apply to me personally as a Canadian, but I digress.

    Yes my mother is important to me, as is the rest of my family.

    It seemed like an odd question.

    I expect you to be open to discussion on a discussion forum and you can believe as you wish, I am just asking a question that you seem offended by and/or don’t have an answer for.

    I have spent zero years formally studying religion. Zip, nada. I have also never studied economics formally but I still question banking practices effectively. This seems to me like a convenient way to discredit my questions.

  • joehall@hughes.net' Joseph Hall says:

    This has nothing to do with Islam or Christianity or any other religion. This has to do with the unending flow of non-stop disasters beset upon the US in the Middle East, stemming from the bungled Neocon invasion of Iraq. And instead of these self-righteous Americans admitted the mistakes they made and flat-out lies they told – they find it much easier to wallow in the mud of religious bigotry.

    We all feel bad about how it all went down in Iraq, and we should. So let’s stop throwing rocks at other’s religion. And take a good long look in the mirror. You’ll see the problem….

  • blastdorro1955@att.net' Blast_Dorrough777 says:

    U.S. a “multi-faith” society with “free-exercise” thereof restricted to homes and places of worship for obvious reasons. American Revolution purpose to birth constitutional Republic based on Rule of Law as our Moral Compass and only Authority in rejection of any notion of a theocratic state based on man-contrived opinions and tales about the nature of an assumed God. We all know that the man-contrived cruel God of many faiths makes cruel, evil human beings.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    I see Cranky-Frankie had to come up with a new handle after his latest banning. It really is too bad that Disqus doesn’t have a way to ban by IP address …

  • chris@mindcramp.com' Observer says:

    Over the top! The man asked questions and you’re making all sorts of unwarranted assumptions in an apparent effort to avoid discussion.

  • chris@mindcramp.com' Observer says:

    What you’re witnessing is the death throes of Christianity in the United States. The power of conservative Christianity will consolidate into a smaller, but more “pure” base, while liberal Christians will drift away from the fold and diminish in influence. The future will be something like Europe, where religion is comparatively lacking in influence.

  • GregAbdul@comcast.net' GregAbdul says:

    1) I put in bold letters that you have never set foot in a mosque
    2) you have never learned Islam from a Muslim scholar to tell anyone what Islam teaches.
    3) considering the first two facts, it takes your ignorance and arrogance to world class levels, when you sit there at your computer and think it gives you license that I am supposed to explain to you why I do my religion as in it first has to be passed by you.
    another white person playing god and denying it when caught….how surprising…NOT.

  • tammyloveyoulongtime@aol.com' Fortified I am Buzzlightyear says:

    YOUR QUOTE abdul
    ” I side with Sharia law. Now one day, when your prejudice stops making you so cozy with your ignorance, you can go to mosque and find out what Sharia actaully is instead of parroting hate sites. Please quit being an internet KKK.”
    END QUOTE

  • tammyloveyoulongtime@aol.com' Fortified I am Buzzlightyear says:

    YOUR QUOTE
    ” I side with Sharia law. Now one day, when your prejudice stops making you so cozy with your ignorance, you can go to mosque and find out what Sharia actaully is instead of parroting hate sites. Please quit being an internet KKK.”
    END QUOTE

  • tammyloveyoulongtime@aol.com' Fortified I am Buzzlightyear says:

    YOUR QUOTE
    ” I side with Sharia law. Now one day, when your prejudice stops making you so cozy with your ignorance, you can go to mosque and find out what Sharia actaully is instead of parroting hate sites. Please quit being an internet KKK.”,
    END QUOTE

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    Liberal Christians leaving the conservative fold doesn’t have to mean diminished influence. They can become more like secular humanists and work to actually solve humanity’s problems in modern ways instead of pushing belief in ancient scriptures that recommend we just destroy everything in the hopes that God will save us.

  • chris@mindcramp.com' Observer says:

    In fact the diminished influence of Christianity in general probably does mean the increased influence of Secular Humanism, as it has in Europe.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    As liberal Christianity discards the obsolete conservative Christian beliefs it becomes the same as secular humanism, and that will be its power.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    Yes, I think we will probably get there some day. But we are still the world’s only superpower, so it will probably be a lot of years before that becomes necessary.

  • GregAbdul@comcast.net' GregAbdul says:

    ohhh…let me see if I can make my tone come through in this text…

    aw boy.. a stalker!

  • tony.j.adamson@gmail.com' Tony Pepperoni says:

    1) So I can’t talk to you because I am not Muslim? Do i have to be Muslim to question it? How convenient for you.

    2) I am asking you what Islam teaches and you said that the Quran is the word of God. How am I telling you what Islam teaches?

    3) Not.. how clever. The religions of the world affect me and I have the right to question them all (remember the 1st amendment brother?). If you are too insecure to discuss your beliefs with me like an adult that is just fine, but don’t sit there and accuse me of arrogance or ignorance when all you have done get angry that someone should dare question you.

    Mankind has both suffered and thrived with religion and as a fellow human being I can question why. If asking this question offends you it says more about you than about me.

  • GregAbdul@comcast.net' GregAbdul says:

    PLEASE QUIT BEING INTERNET KKK STALKER….

    obsessed, dense, creepy AND not too bright.

  • GregAbdul@comcast.net' GregAbdul says:

    your deduction needs a little work. I am chatting with you via text, so obviously I need said in word or deed I cannot talk to you.

    You are not asking. If you were actually asking, I would tell you using Islamicfinder to visit your local mosque and by all means ask hard questions…but you are asking loaded questions full of ignorant assumptions. So first we have to quit the ignorant assuming.

    You can question me about what my faith teaches. You do NOT get to question me in a form that puts you in some some sort of decision making capacity as far as what I do or don’t pray to.

    Please let me know when you want me to teach you about Islam. Like I say for the umpteenth time, I will first tell you don’t learn religion online without real word contacts, because the internet is for the most part, not the real world. A bunch of hateful white people with personal computers does not make for much of a university.

  • tony.j.adamson@gmail.com' Tony Pepperoni says:

    I think my deductive reasoning is just fine, but it is difficult to truly analyze your religious belief and be honest with things that need to be corrected so I can’t expect you to get into this topic.

    I can’t even get my mother to do it so I can’t expect to get this topic going with someone I don’t know on the internet.

  • GregAbdul@comcast.net' GregAbdul says:

    no not “restricted to homes and places of worship…”

    Blast making up a reality online and then typing is a waste of time. Congress prays every day as do many government proceedings and our legislation usually involves mores that have religious origins.

    Please join us here on planet earth.

  • blastdorro1955@att.net' Blast_Dorrough777 says:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”, meaning that man-contrived opinions and tales about the many gods of religioncraft is prohibited from consideration in government and civil matters. Period. However, the “Liars For Jesus” have been crusading for the Bible to be the U.S. ruling Authority, not the Constitution. They are not satisfied with mere “free exercise” of their perversions of the teachings of Jesus. U.S. Founders realized that demonic Christians were more influenced by those demons and devil existing only in their mind than by the teachings of Jesus. Only GOP Christiancrafters seem to be afflicted with demonism and want it practiced from government and public forums. “I concur with you strictly in your opinion of the comparative merits of atheism and demonism, and really see nothing but the latter in the being worshiped by many who think themselves Christians.”–Thomas Jefferson. Letter to Richard Price, Jan.8, 1789 (Price had written to TJ on Oct. 26, about the harm done by religion and wrote: “Would not society be better without such religions? Is Atheism less pernicious than Demonism?”)

  • GregAbdul@comcast.net' GregAbdul says:

    Blast for the final time…the Constitution PROHIBITS government from interfering in the free exercise of Religion….that means religion can enter the government sphere and it does in America on a daily basis. You are not Jefferson and no one has made you grand poobah. The role of religion in America is established law, not an internet, make up what you think it should be thing. Delusions are dangerous because deluded people cause problems in the real world. Religion is a basic part of the fabric of America. Christmas is a national holiday. Now please participate with us in the real world and stop ranting about fantasies. Most Americans believe in God and pray regularly to open government meetings. Being angry at and insulting people who believe in God is not very bright when most Americans are not angry internet atheists.

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