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Christiane Amanpour Explores the Abrahamic Faiths

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Veteran journalist Christiane Amanpour most recent foray into investigative journalism lands her in the heart of of the Middle-East, the Holy Land of the three Abrahamic faiths. In her latest special "Back to the Beginning," Ms. Amanpour travels the world to do research on the origins of the Abrahamic faiths and to interview leading individuals within these faiths. What she comes away with is a tantalizing documentary that provides a balanced, independent history of the Abrahamic faiths.

    The Abrahamic religions, while all very similar, have played a major role in nearly every war that this world has seen for thousands of years. One has to wonder how people that follow the same God are all so willing to kill each other in the name of this God. What Ms. Amanpour does in this documentary is explain how these three religions came about and how they often find themselves at odds with each other.

    My views on religion are deep and complex and I am far from an expert, but I can't help but wonder that if we understood more about where religion came about and why we believe what we do that we would all be more willing to talk with each other and accept people for who they are.
    Why is it that Christians, Muslims, and Jews all believe in the same God, but often find themselves at war over their interpretation of this God? Humans are not born knowing how to hate, it is a learned behavior. Think if these religions that preach peace actually follow what they say. What could the world be like if we learned to accept each others difference and welcome the things that we agree on? One can only imagine.
  • Democrat
    Lawrence, MA
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    Jared, in the Roman Catholictradition people are encouraged to pray for faith. Faith is said to be the hope of things unseen. To believers, however, it is not belief in figments of the imagination. Seekers should, as St. Paul counseled, "develop reasons for the faith that is in you." Other religions also seek and claim to have faith. The problem arises when these people claim to have faith and then proced in the world as though they have certainty. When a person is certain that their belief is the correct one.....anyone who deviates from that belief is ......as Muslims believe....an infidel. Once we place others outside the realm of what we think is correct t thinking in these matters..... it is a small step to thinking that they don't, or shouldn't , have any rights whatsoever. This is why I believe that the government should step in , for example, when American evangelicals attempt to use the corecive powers of government to force others into conformity with their religious belief. At the very least these chirches should lose their tax exempt status......Faith is not certainty. This is an idea that needs to be hammered home.
  • Center Left Democrat
    Democrat
    Flagstaff, AZ
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    Jared:


    Another good source about the Abrahamic faiths is Karen Armstrong's "A history of God" Although she has written a total of at least 13 books on religion so far, this one is the only one that I have on my bookshelf - next to my two copies of the Koran and my King James Bible.

    Thomas Friedman, of the New York Times, is also a very good source about the Middle East, especially his first book,
    "From Beirut to Jerusalem".

    Not long after reading my first copy of the Koran, I actually wound up writing a "book report", which I titled "what Vietnam can teach us about the Koran" . Since it turned out to be 14 pages and over 4000 words, it's far too long to post here, but the process gave me a much better understanding of the Islam religion.

    If you'd like a brief synopsis, the link below can help:

    http://tohell-andback.blogspot.com/2009/06/book-of-signs.html

    A related article, "the mosque at ground zero", has turned out to be one of the most popular articles that I have published to date (close to 2000 "page views" in various countries around the world):

    http://tohell-andback.blogspot.com/2010/09/mosque-at-ground-zero.html
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    I wonder what the intention is of this topic; I guess regardless of Abraham, Moses or Pagans, Aztecs you name it, religions will stay or evolve as at present; I do not think the Pope or an Anglican Bishop or a Buddhist will change its beliefs because of this research. I've mentioned in other threads that "bibles" and "koran's" are all written by a whole bunch of humans; the basis of it has always been "history" as they saw it from an individual perspective, interwoven with the mental thinking of the particular person who wrote any section thereof. I'm not at all surprised that certain things are mentioned in both "books" related to certain things in history. Do not forget in the then "flat" world the middle east was very small and had trade routes to the far east. But as I said this will not have any influence on our present church teachings; neither on our Muslim friends. So I'll drink to Abraham, I hope he is feeling great, must be 6000 years old by now; I wonder what he has been doing all that time?
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    Oiling his guns?
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    "pgr" Old Abraham probably did not survive 1776; the only thing he oiled is likely his creeky old angel wings; saw him fly by yesterday without GPS.
  • Strongly Liberal
    Independent
    Seattle, WA
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    jaredsxtn Wrote: Veteran journalist Christiane Amanpour most recent foray into investigative journalism lands her in the heart of of the Middle-East, the Holy Land of the three Abrahamic faiths. In her latest special "Back to the Beginning," Ms. Amanpour travels the world to do research on the origins of the Abrahamic faiths and to interview leading individuals within these faiths. What she comes away with is a tantalizing documentary that provides a balanced, independent history of the Abrahamic faiths.

    The Abrahamic religions, while all very similar, have played a major role in nearly every war that this world has seen for thousands of years. One has to wonder how people that follow the same God are all so willing to kill each other in the name of this God. What Ms. Amanpour does in this documentary is explain how these three religions came about and how they often find themselves at odds with each other.

    My views on religion are deep and complex and I am far from an expert, but I can't help but wonder that if we understood more about where religion came about and why we believe what we do that we would all be more willing to talk with each other and accept people for who they are.
    Why is it that Christians, Muslims, and Jews all believe in the same God, but often find themselves at war over their interpretation of this God? Humans are not born knowing how to hate, it is a learned behavior. Think if these religions that preach peace actually follow what they say. What could the world be like if we learned to accept each others difference and welcome the things that we agree on? One can only imagine.
    .

    Ms. Amanpour was probably inspired by the work of Karen Armstrong, who is an ex-Nun and a leading fellow of the Westar Institute and the Jesus Seminar.

    Some years ago Armstrong wrote two best-selling books, The History of God and The Battle For God, which cover the same material Ms. Amanpour covered.

    Armstrong is a leading scholar of the Hebrew Torah and Tanakh (Old Testament), the Christian New Testament, and the Qur'an. She is also the Founder of The Charter for Compassion. The Coalition of Jews, Christians and Muslims for Peace also furthers that work. Many Deists and Unitarian Universalists also believe in and promote the same Interfaith and Interspiritual cooperation.

    There is a song sung in that same spirit, called Why Fight Over A Name?, which you can listen to at http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=9687461