Duke Chapel sits at the heart of the Gothic-style campus in Durham, N.C. Photo courtesy Erini Barker/Flickr.

Duke cancels Muslims' call to prayer after Franklin Graham leads revolt

Duke Chapel sits at the heart of the Gothic-style campus in Durham, N.C. Photo courtesy Erini Barker/Flickr.

Duke Chapel sits at the heart of the Gothic-style campus in Durham, N.C. Photo courtesy Erini Barker/Flickr.

 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

(RNS) Officials at Duke University abruptly dropped plans to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer from the iconic bell tower of Duke Chapel after online protests led by evangelist Franklin Graham and unspecified security threats.

The decision on Thursday (Jan. 15) came one day before the "adhan," or traditional call to prayer, was to be broadcast from the heart of campus in Durham, N.C.

Michael Schoenfeld, a Duke vice president for public affairs and government relations, said in a statement the school remains committed to “fostering an inclusive, tolerant and welcoming campus” for all students but "it was clear that what was conceived as an effort to unify was not having the intended effect.”

Schoenfeld said campus officials were aware of several security threats but declined to elaborate.

Graham, who leads his father's Billy Graham Evangelistic Association from the other end of the state, in Charlotte, said the call to prayer includes the words "Allahu Akbar," or "God is great," which was shouted by Islamist militants during last week's deadly attacks across Paris.

"As Christianity is being excluded from the public square and followers of Islam are raping, butchering, and beheading Christians, Jews, and anyone who doesn’t submit to their Sharia Islamic law, Duke is promoting this in the name of religious pluralism," he said on his Facebook page.

Graham urged alumni to withhold donations until the call to prayer was suspended, and the #boycottDuke hashtag spread on Twitter. On Friday, Graham called the change "the right decision."

Duke Chapel is a nondenominational Christian church that hosts Catholic and Protestant worship services, as well as Friday prayers for Muslim students. Photo by uneek78/Flicr.

Duke Chapel is a nondenominational Christian church that hosts Catholic and Protestant worship services, as well as Friday prayers for Muslim students. Photo by uneek78/Flicr.

Duke was founded by Methodists but is now largely secular. The Duke Chapel at the center of campus bills itself as a "Christian church of uniquely interdenominational character and purpose."

Omid Safi, director of the Duke Islamic Studies Center, said in an email that he was deeply disappointed. About 700 of the university's more than 14,000 students are Muslim.

“What could have been a celebration of Duke’s commitment to our robust and diverse religious community has had to be adjusted due to the bigotry of Franklin Graham (a noted Islam-hater since 2001) and anonymous people leaving threatening and violent messages for members of the Duke community.

"I know that there are many inside of the Duke community and beyond who want to see us be better, be a loving and welcoming community in which all of us bring our religious particularity to the public arena. I look forward to that beloved religious community at Duke, in America, and in the world community.”

Safi said Duke's Muslim community had received "credible threats" but said Friday prayers would continue as normal in the Duke Chapel lounge.

“The call to prayer will be given. It just won’t be amplified from the Chapel top," he wrote.

Khalilah Sabra, executive director of the Muslim American Society Immigrant Justice Center, and a member of the Raleigh-Durham Muslim community, said the reversal was the result of Graham pulling "his ranks together.”

Sabra cited Graham's outspoken criticisms of Islam. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he called Islam a "very evil and wicked religion" and last year called Islam "a false religion." In 2010, he apologized after questioning President Obama's Christian faith, saying he was "born a Muslim ... and the Islamic world sees the president as one of theirs."

“Basically for years, since 9/11 he has waged a campaign against Islam, against the rights of Muslims," said Sabra. "He has said basically they’re going to hell. He never misses an opportunity to suppress the dialogue of Muslims in North Carolina.”

Sabra said Duke's Friday prayers were supposed to be followed by an open discussion to talk about the pros and cons of having the adhan amplified from the bell tower. She said it would have been an event that gave Muslim students a chance to feel like they belonged.

“The majority of students were kindergartners when 9/11 happened. They were reared in a hostile environment, full of Islamophobia and bigotry. This was a way to get them feeling included and connected, to get them to connect with the American college environment, and the whole thing went up in smoke.”



  1. NO WHERE IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD would Christians be allowed to “call to prayer” of their fellow Christians. These Muslims are the intolerant ones. And what sick hypocrisy for the rabid and hysterical “secularist” mobs to allow Muslims to broadcast their intolerant religion over loud speakers, while Christian organizations are harassed off college campuses nationwide.

    Graham is a hero. And he is absolutely correct about Muslims and Islam.

    If Muslims want a “call to prayer,” let them use text messaging of each other.


  2. Ms. Sobh,

    It’s NOT just Muslims persecuting Christians. One more thing:

    Franklin Graham
    January 11 at 4:21pm

    Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran was fired for his faith in Jesus Christ. On Tuesday, January 13 at 1:30 p.m., I hope you will join hundreds of other Christians at the Georgia State Capitol Rotunda in Atlanta to send a message to those who would discriminate against believers. If you live near Atlanta, be sure to come show your support. All of us should pray for this event and for an end to the growing attacks on our freedom of religion and right to free speech.
    If you missed my statement on the firing of Chief Cochran, you can read it here: http://billygraham.org/story/atlanta-fire-chief-fired-for-his-faith-in-jesus-christ/

  3. Would duke allow the ten commandments to be posted on campus of course not. Call to payer form Muslims same thing why are Muslims given special treatment but Christianity is told to pound sand

  4. The purpose of the “call to prayer” was so that Muslims would not “miss” the minimum amount of times to pray in order to show their devotion. When this practice began there was no way other than vocally to accomplish this. Today it would be simpler to receive a text, tweet, call, or alarm on a smartphone as all these students in an AMERICAN school would have (as opposed to no modern conveniences in their native countries suffering under SHARIA LAW). It is obvious these students were somehow keeping up with their prayers WITHOUT this amplified message, so the PURPOSE of the changed method of the “call” must be something else (i.e. IMPOSING their culture on ALL rather than celebrating it among themselves).

  5. The stained glass windows of the Duke Chapel, where the call to prayer would have been recited, are filled with scenes from both the Old and New Testament.

  6. Again it bears repeating that at least four Muslim majority countries have religious freedoms and are democracies. Your “Nowhere in the Islamic world” is hyperbolic nonsense.

    That being said, Franklin Graham’s behavior should be considered shameful to any person in a democratic nation which values religious freedom as ours does.

    Graham and people supporting these hateful, anti-democratic actions are more of a threat to our nation than anyone who calls their god Allah ever has been.

  7. I just don’t understand the hypocrisy of a large number of Christians. As if the freedom of religion we are guaranteed in our constitutional rights applies only if you’re the RIGHT KIND of Christian. The Islamic militants are a small percentage of the Muslim population. Just as the KKK and most other white supremacist groups are a small percentage of the Christian population.

    During the wave of terror imposed across the Southern United States during the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s (and even before) no one was calling for the blood of Christians. Christianity has just as much blood on its hands from acts committed “In the name of God” or “For the glory of God” as Islam.

    The Christian community as a whole needs to realize they aren’t the only kids on the block when it comes to religion in the US. Tolerance across the board is what this world needs as I assume the bells of the Duke Chapel sound every Sunday for the call to mass or other Christian services. Come on now, can’t we all just get along? An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.

  8. In our democracy we must allow full freedom of speech and freedom of religion. We cannot outlaw the call to prayer any more than we can outlaw the ringing of church bells.

    To pollute the air with the explicitly stated “God is Great” five times a day is revolting. Church bells are at least less dogmatic and didactic.

    Even so, Muslims have the right to do this.

    Why not respond with a secular call to Science?

    The Science building on campus could follow every Muslim call to prayer and the ringing of church bells with:

    “God is not great”
    “Don’t let your God stop you from an education”
    “Question all religious claims”

    Secularism is going to have to respond this way
    or we are going to eventually be bullied into all sorts of nonsense
    by the religious.

    It is time for all religious claims to be questioned publicly – while not denying religious people any of their rights.

    for Peace, Civility and The Separation of Church and State

  9. More reason to consider Franklin Graham a raging hysterical fool.

    As usual cries of American Christians being persecuted depend on avoidance of facts, misrepresentation and outright fictions. See the article here for the details of the incident.

  10. If the campus has a church with church bells, it must allow the Muslim call to prayer. There should be no fear of this.

    But when the call goes out, “God is Great” that should be followed by “God is NOT great” – preferably from the same building.

    That is how freedom of religion works.
    You are free to claim your god is ‘great’, and I am free to say ‘YOUR GOD IS NONSENSE’ just as loudly.

  11. Franklin Graham — a slender-and-pale shell of his father — is un-American and not much of a Christian for his long-standing bigotry and hatred of all Muslims. If Jesus Christ were physically walking on Earth today, I wonder how HE would respond to Franklin. I’m not sure what happened to the principle of loving the Sinner but hating the Sin. NOT ALL MUSLIMS ARE ALIKE — any more than all Southern Christians believe Franklin’s narrow and conservative “flavor” of Christianity. Perhaps Franklin should focus on the problems he faces trying to take over his father’s religious organization and keep his hate-fueled rhetoric to himself. He is a genuine embarrassment. And pity the Duke Administration for giving in to Franklin’s bullying. Franklin’s hateful rhetoric offer ample reason for the First Amendment’s separation of Church and State.

  12. The Christian analog is the church bell, which rings in many (if not most, or even all) towns, cities, and university campuses across the U.S. and many other Western countries at least once a week. If, by asking for the Adhan to be called once a week, Muslims are “imposing” their culture or faith on Americans, what might an atheist like me say about Christians who ring their church bells on Sunday, or any other day of the week?

    It comes as no surprise at all (to me, anyway) that Christianity is alive and well at Duke, and hasn’t been told to “pound sand” as some think. In addition to the Catholic Center, Duke has active Presbyterian and Lutheran campus ministries, as well as Graduate Christian and Wesley Fellowships, not to mention interdenominational Christian services held several times a week. Hindus and Muslims are active in the Chapel too, according to their FAQ.

    To be clear, I’m not in favor of more public displays of piety, Islamic or otherwise. I’d much prefer a quiet neighborhood free of such things. And it’s true that predominantly Muslim countries aren’t exactly known for tolerance. But the U.S. isn’t a Muslim country, and our Constitution enshrines free expression, religious and otherwise. This is more tolerable to me than the alternative, so I’m willing to put up with pealing church bells, singing muezzins, and blowing shofars even if none of those are remotely meaningful to me. I’ll just turn up the volume and let Vivaldi, Bach, or Joe Satriani take me away.

    Let Franklin Graham and those who agree with him do the same.

  13. I’m willing to bet that the “native country” of most of those Muslim students is AMERICA.

  14. Franklin Graham is only just tryin to tell the people that Jesus is the only way!
    Romans 1:18-32 says that God is real. No true pophet can be revered if they
    are a liar so if Jesus wasn’t the Son of God He was a liar and can’t be revered
    or a true prophet so either He/Jesus was a liar or He was the/is the Messiah!
    It doesn’t make any sense to say all religions/ways are the same. Someone is
    right and someone is wrong! Only one God went to the Cross that’s because
    there is only one God the God of the Bible! All the Bible prophecy that came true with 100% accuracy like Psalm 22:16-18 and Isaiah 53:3-7 is the reason
    why we can trust Jesus/the Bible. Jesus is the Messiah/only way to heaven!
    Bible says Repent and believe the Gospel to be saved! We all must Repent!

  15. “Franklin Graham is only just tryin to tell the people that Jesus is the only way!”

    Which is fine if he keeps it in the confines of his church. Outside of the church it is obnoxious, hateful claptrap.

    Religious freedom, what keeps you from being burned at the stake by Christians of sects other than yours, means nobody ever has to be compelled to care what you think God says.

  16. If you carefully listen to what Franklin Graham said he is not denying Muslims their right to worship or saying that if you as an atheist have to worship. The chapel at issue at Duke is a Christian church. It was built and donated by Christians for the use of those who want to worship a Chrstian faith. The Muslim faith is in direct conflict of Christianity. If you have read the Koran those who worship any other God other than Allah should be put to death and suffer jihad. The Koran is very clear about that.even you as an atheist would be put to death because you deny Allah. Christianity does not care if you worship or not.
    To allow a Muslim faith to worship in a Christain church is something that we can not allow. Methodists donated that structure and support it.

  17. Thanks Ken! You are correct in your post. A male relative a Christian was stationed in a Muslim country after Vietnam. He said they had to pray when Muslims prayed and my mom could not send him a Christian bible, they did not want it in their country. So, why is America so tolerant! I don’t agree with Rev Graham on a lot of things but I do on this issue.

  18. “If Jesus Christ were physically walking on Earth today, I wonder how HE would respond to Franklin.”

    HE would probably give him a whip and ask him to help chase the Muslims out of the chapel just as HE chased out the money changers who were desecrating the temple in Jerusalem. It is not a holy place just on Sunday or Sabbath.

  19. Thanks Kevin Johnson! Why are we protecting the rights of immigrants or persons with a Visa to visit while we disrespect Americans and our right to worship?

  20. “So, why is America so tolerant!”

    Because we are better than some autocratic dictatorial nation!

    We do not take our cues from monarchs and presidents for life. You want to a government to act like Franklin Graham, you should have stayed in the country you were stationed in. Franklin shares the same views of religious freedom as they do.

  21. Duke is a private university. They can post the 10 commandments anywhere they want.The muslim call to prayer is being performed in a building originally built and still used for Christian worship.

  22. It is not a church. It is not run by any given diocese or sect. It is called a chapel and used for services of many faiths. It is property of the school, not any given religious group or sect. It is open to whomever the school wants to grant access to. Graham is simply lying to push Christian privilege and sectarian bigotry.

    Your opinions on a given faith are of no concern as to their rights to worship openly. Nobody has to care what you think of Islam or what I think of Christianity to understand how wrong it is to deny one access to worship in a reasonable manner.

    You cannot make a reasonable argument against the exercise of religion based on “this religion is evil!”.

  23. Which is why Christianity (or at least your brand) is so corrosive to democratic ideals. Any concept of religious tolerance and free exercise of religion is merely lipservice to “might makes right” bullying and lying for the lord with views such as yours.

  24. Larry you should care about Islam and understand it. What I said is not my opinion but fact. Why don’t you read the Koran and see if it supports democratic thought. The Myan’s sacrificed children as part of their worship and religion. Do you think that is ok? Are there no absolutes that some things are right and others are not? Is it ok then to enslave women or allow them to be turned into sex slaves? If you want o know what Jesus is really about read the Beatitudes in Matthew 5.

  25. I don’t have to care what you or anyone else thinks about Islam. I could care less what your Christian belief is either. It has no bearing on a right to free exercise of religion or the obnoxiousness of thwarting the efforts of others at such things.

    Let me be perfectly honest with you. Your Christian faith is as atrocious and full of things which are repugnant to my beliefs to me as Islam is. As many religions are. Yet I gladly uphold and defend the right to any religious grupi to exercise their faith as they see fit (within reasonable limits of laws of general application).

    Religious freedom means they can pray any way they want as long as it doesn’t break any laws of general application. Nothing about a call to prayer falls under such a category.

    There is no reasonable argument against a form of religious worship which is based on, “that religion is evil”. All it means is the speaker is full of sectarian prejudices and has no appreciation for what religious freedom means.

  26. So we should be as intolerant as the Saudis?
    This is America, Muslims have the same First Amendment right to practice their religion as anyone else.

    As a Christian I am appalled by Franklin Graham’s bigoted comments.

  27. Is anyone listening to what they write? Is there anyone left with common sense? What Grayham is saying Muslims to not have a right to preach at Duke University since Christians cannot do the same thing! Does anyone understand the separation of Church and state? Please do your homework before making stupid comments. Also please read about the prophet mohammed who married a 6 year old girl and raped had sex with her at 9 years of age. This statement is actually historical fact. No 9 years of age is still pre-puberty. He as a pedophile plain and simple. He even tried to marry a baby, but the baby died. The prophet Mohammed was a shameful, disgusting human being and anyone else that thinks he as a great doesn’t have any common sense. He was a rich warlord who got his money from his widow wife. People need to do their homework and stop defending Islam, but them again many Americans are lazy. What can I say.

  28. I agree with him.
    Besides Duke chapel is a Christian church!
    We are supposed to be a Christian nation and that church was made to worship our Lord Jesus Christ, to worship other gods in that church is a sin.
    It is a slap in the face to Christianity!

  29. It was when it was first built, but it wasn’t being used as one currently nor has been one for a very long time. No sect or religious group claims it as theirs. It is the property of the university to do with as they wish.

    Did you actually read the article?

    No we are not supposed to be a Christian nation. Never were. We are a nation of people. People of all faiths. All faiths are given respect and protection under our laws and society.

  30. Jesus the Christ says ….He and the Father are one. In the beginning was the WORD and the WORD was GOD and the WORD was with GOD. This country was built on Christ and God Almighty as one in the same. Put God Almighty back in the Education system (daily) JESUS THE CHRIST IS THE SON OF GOD.
    Anything thing less…. Enough is enough….
    MJ, Momma Jeane, Jeane Kirklen…you pick one!!! Freedom of choice rings supreme! !!

  31. Spot on, Larry. I blinked when I read “why is America so tolerant” and had to read it twice to believe what it said. And Frankie Graham might be the most repugnant voice of conservative “Christianity” today. When people laud him as a hero and think tolerance is an unAmerican virtue, our days as a nation might be numbered.

  32. “NO WHERE IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD would Christians be allowed to “call to prayer” of their fellow Christians.”

    Evidently,nowhere in American can there be a call to prayer either. Sounds like some want to be just like them.

  33. Franklin Graham is a horse’s ass. As a Christian, he, and others of his ilk make me shake my head in pain and embarrassment.

  34. Hey Josef it is not defending Islam, its defending freedom and democratic principles. Its upholding the notion that all people of all faiths are entitled to free exercise of their religion. Something you evidently have no use for.

    Nobody has to care what you think of another person’s religion. It is never an argument for preventing one from worshiping as they please. As long as people follow the laws of general applicability to everyone, nobody has a right to keep you from performing your religious duties.

    If you understood the separation of church and state, you would know that no argument involving discussion of religious ideas or dogma can ever be used to curtail one’s freedom. It is not the government’s job to talk about religious beliefs. Its sole concern is what people do in their god'(s) name.

  35. Yet you have no problem with Christians not being able to pray or carry their Bible to school? You see no difference in your allowance for all things Islamic, but complete intolerance for anything Christian? I think you are a greatly misinformed as to the dangers of Islam; ISIS poses a HUGE threat to Christians, Jews, (and how do you think ISIS would “tolerate” an atheist?), and just about everyone else that isn’t Islamic, all over the globe, EVEN in the USA. You don’t see the hypocrisy in your statement, do you?! And, btw, this country has ALREADY lost a great deal of our freedoms, in case you hadn’t noticed. I stand with Ken on this one!!

  36. Okay, Eric, then just how far do we let this “tolerance” go? Until they bring the jihad to our shores (it’s already here, guys!), or until the first Christians have been beheaded (already been done, guys), when the homosexual community is attacked and beheadings start, or will it FINALLY be enough with the “tolerance” when they come after you, and no one is left to help you??!!

  37. I don’t and neither does anyone else. If you think that people do, then you are a very gullible person with delusions of persecution. Because it doesn’t happen here. There is this need to lie and exaggerate by Christians when they want to exert undue privileges over others.

    Many Christians in the US claim they are being persecuted when in reality they are just being castigated for acting in obnoxious, antisocial or illegal ways. Evidently being told, “no, you have to follow the rules as everyone else” is being persecuted to some of the whinier people calling themselves Christian.

    If you feel the need to emulate the actions of people in dictatorships, then you really have no understanding as to what freedoms or democracy means.

    “this country has ALREADY lost a great deal of our freedoms, in case you hadn’t noticed. ”

    We have, but largely the work of a president and members of Congress who called themselves Christian. Those who found that fear was a great motivator for undermining civil liberties and justifying atrocities such as torture.

  38. How far does tolerance go? As far as the 1st Amendment allows. As long as people follow the same laws as everyone else, they can worship any way they please.

    Franklin Graham’s actions are reprehensible as are those who support him. To him and those like him, Free exercise of religion only applies to his form of Christianity. Sorry but our laws, our government and our society never accepted such ideas. Religious freedom is freedom for all religions.

    Lauri you are a hysteric who has no appreciation for the liberties you think you are protecting. Attitudes like yours do far worse damage to our nation than any jihadi can.

  39. We aren’t talking about just any religion here. We are talking about Islam and what it stands for (killing all who don’t convert; mutilating women; sharia law, to name a few). They are following the dictates of Muhammed in the Quran. They try to deny it, but is in black and white if you go on-line and read the Quran. They are a brutal people. The Muslims that don’t believe in all of the violence that goes with the Quran actually aren’t very good Muslims.

  40. Yes, J.C., we live in a land where the Constitution allows for freedom of religion. But what happens then, if there is a religion whose basic tenets are to DESTROY, preferably by beheading, all people that don’t believe in THEIR religion. Do just give them a “free pass” to do what their belief systems tells them to do? Christians can be pretty hard to put up with (and I AM one!), but we don’t believe in killing people (at least not since the Reformation) for not believing as we do. Where do you draw the line?

  41. All I can say, Larry, is that I think you will care very much when there’s a knife at your neck and told to renounce your atheism and become Muslim or you’ll lose your head!! Some people get it. Some just don’t, and won’t, ’til it’s too late to stop any of this horribleness from happening here in the US. I don’t think, Larry, that with a knife at the back of your head, you will be thinking about how Constitutional it is for these people to be “Practicing their religion”!

  42. You have no clue to what you are even replying about to Evan’s comment, Larry! Do you have any idea why Jesus was angry at the moneychangers at the Temple? Was He bullying? NO! He knew the difference between right and wrong! Jesus called the moneychangers a “den of thieves” because they were over-charging the Jewish people to change their Roman coins to the Jewish shekel. Jesus had no time for actions such as that, especially at the House of the Lord! Even if you think of this as a myth, surely you can see the point?!

  43. “ISIS poses a HUGE threat…”

    I am not naiive to that threat. I hate Islam as much as I hate Christianity and Judaism – all of the monotheistic religions are spectacularly evil – they encourage supreme selfishness and didactic horror.

    But I shall defend the right of religious expression, the 1st Amendment – the Establishment Clause.

    You shall have the right to be a Christian. ALWAYS.

    I only say that we Secular people have a right to be as LOUD AS WE CAN in shouting down all of these sick religions and to convince as many religious people as possible to ABANDON THIS GARBAGE before the world is blown to pieces over your stupid superstitions.

    ALLAH is garbage.
    God is garbage.
    Jesus is garbage.

    You have the right to believe in these Gods. Go ahead – I defend your right!

    But my sincere hope is that your children will teach you that religion is garbage and that the sound of their laughter at your prayers overwhelms you and brings you to your senses.

  44. Lauri,

    Your ignorance about the Establishment Clause should embarrass you.

    Your Jesus is just as bad as Allah and Mohammed.

    “Bring to me those enemies of mine and Execute them in front of me” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    All religion is sick.
    If you don’t like Allah take a look in the mirror. Yahweh, Allah and Jesus are all the same sick nonsense.

  45. Lauri,

    “JESUS .. knew the difference between right and wrong! Jesus called the moneychangers a “den of thieves”

    Allah, Jesus and Yahweh all belong in the same garbage disposal. Grind up the myths and flush them all away. The world must come to its sense and humanity must abandon all of these religions.

    Humanity can end this crap by walking away from doofus Imams and dumb pastors.

    We are done.

  46. Evan,

    Jesus would LOVE those enemies.

    “Love your enemies.” – JESUS (Matthew 5:44)

    Or Jesus would KILL them:

    “Bring to me those enemies of mine and execute them in front of me” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    Evan, your religion gives you permission to do whatever the hell you want.
    And Allah gives Muslims permission to do whatever they want, too.

    Shame on all of you religious people – none of you are for humanity.
    Religion is garbage. All of it.

  47. Lauri,

    “They try to deny it, but … They are a brutal people. The Muslims…”

    Just the Muslims?

    “The master shall cut him to pieces” – Jesus (Luke 12)
    JESUS describes what he intends to do to his own enemies.

    “..bring to me those enemies of mine who would not have me as their King, and execute them in front of me.” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    “Drown him with a millstone” (Matt 18:6)

    “And why do you break the command of God
    for the sake of your tradition? …. ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ ” (Matthew 15:3)

    “…if they are unworthy..REMOVE your blessing of peace.” – JESUS (Matt 10:13)

    “I have come to bring FIRE…What constraints! I am impatient to bring NOT PEACE BUT DIVISION.” – Jesus (Luke 12:49-51)

    “Hate your parents…hate your life” – Jesus (Luke 14:26)

    “Eat of my body” and “Be baptized and believe” or “Be condemned to Hell” – Jesus (John 6:53-54) (Mark 16:16).

    “I shall kill her children with Death” – Jesus (REV. 2:23)

    “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death…for ME.” – JESUS (Matthew 10:21)

    “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his daughter, and a daughter against her mother, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD.” – JESUS (Matthew 10:35)

    “And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet AS A TESTIMONY AGAINST THEM.” – JESUS (Luke 9:3-5)

    JESUS ENDORSED the stoning laws
    – He rejected any change to the stoning laws of Moses.

    “For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commands and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” – JESUS (Matthew 5:18-19 RSV)

    “not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law” – JESUS (Matthew 5:18-19)

    Inhabitants of conquered cities
    Victims of rape
    People who work on Sunday
    Uncircumcised men
    Men who have sex with women who are menstruating
    Ignorers of Priests
    Ignorers of Sacraments
    people who drink blood
    People who eat peace offerings
    People who let food go bad
    People who do magic tricks
    People who go to temple while filthy
    Women who think sexual thoughts

    Let your disgust wake you up.

  48. @Lauri,

    “Do just give them a “free pass” to do what their belief systems tells them to do?”

    NO. you just explain to Christian, Jews and Muslims and Hindus the truth.
    God stories are all garbage. Nonsensical primitive idiocy from caves of pre-history.

    No modern person needs religion of any kind.

  49. Good point, Jimlowe, although to be fair, the next step might well be not to ring church bells at Duke, assuming they’re being rung. Lots of people on both sides wouldn’t be happy, but it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

  50. In terms of numbers of people, Islam is a relative newcomer to the US…..compared to Christianity (obviously) and Judaism (colonial days).

    Moreover, Islam was introduced to most Americans by President Bush’s pathetic bleating that Islam was “a religion of peace” not long after 9/11.

    The introduction would have been a better one if Bush instead had said simply that the vast majority of Muslims were peaceful.

    Most Americans are trying to sort out what and how they feel about Muslims and Islam. Part of the answer is up to Muslims themselves. The more and the louder they speak out (and mean it) against radical Islamism, including peaceful as well as violent expressions of it, and the more they help law enforcement in dealing with the radicals, the faster they will become fully accepted in America.

  51. Feel free to add your own passages then. Lets be ecumenical about finding reasons to consider religion to be a dangerous thing. 🙂

  52. “Moreover, Islam was introduced to most Americans by President Bush’s pathetic bleating that Islam was “a religion of peace” not long after 9/11.”

    I guess most Americans never heard of Malcolm X, were unaware of 30 years of increased immigration from South Asia, or never heard of Deerborn Michigan.

    Pretty ignorant bunch. 🙂

  53. The knife is being held by people like YOU. The ones who are saying that freedom of religion is conditional on whether you like their beliefs.

    No Muslim in this nation has the kind of power that Graham just exerted. To make an anti-free hateful bigotry become public policy.

    People like yourself, who have zero clue as to what our religious freedoms are or mean are a greater danger to our nation than anything you think is in the pages of the Koran. Muslims in this nation are not attacking free exercise of religion.YOU ARE.

  54. And there flies another insult from Ad Hominem Jack, calling obviously brave and direct Atheist Max a coward.

    Nasty Ad Hominem Jack is back for 2015 and getting nastier. So much for your new year resolutions, Christian Jackie!

    Ad Hominem Jack you are.

  55. Two thumbs up for that post by Atheist Max. And I have to ask, why would an all-powerful being need anyone to worship it?

  56. Thank you Larry! A logical voice in this Era of media-incited phobia. I’ve taught in an Islamic school. I miss hearing the call of prayer. The only reason they should have for NOT broadcasting it is if they are not allowing other religions the same courtesy. Period.

  57. Kristy – as a Christian, I’m appalled that another Christian would show such intolerance! What happened to living as models of Christ, showing mercy, grace, tolerance and forgiveness? Duke is obviously trying to show Christian and AMERICAN principles of all these and has caved in to supposedly Christian bigotry values. I’m ashamed of the way our country, which should embrace freedom of beliefs and life, is suddenly turning into a hate and spite filled nation. Instead of emulating countries that aren’t tolerant, we should be a shining example of tolerance and peace, only squashing those who do wrong. God help us

  58. Well said, David. I’m Christian, but strongly support th 1st Amendment, giving everyone the right to believe and express their opinions. So sad how our country is forgetting that. The media is our worst enemy – inciting hate and fear.

  59. Amen, Atheist Max! I’m Christian, but will support anyone’s right to be wrong 😉 lol as long as no one is hurting others or spouting hate. Proud Army Brat

  60. Lauri, if this were true, we would have thousands of cities in the U.S. dealing with attacks and problems. Instead, we have attacks from Westboro Baptist, KKK, and other such hate groups. All supposed Christians. We have more to fear from white Christians and criminals. I’m a white Christian, and it’s embarrassing how we are all forgetting the Constitution and the whole point of “Land of the free.” God bless you. Please rethink the idea of being a model of Christ.

  61. Evan, you are so wrong! He would be talking to them and trying to understand them. Muslims view Christ (Issau) as a prophet and honor Him as such. Love and mercy – tolerance and grace. That’s how Christ would behave; the same way I try to live; the same way our Constitution protects ALL Americans. I think it’s ironic that the most supportive people here are the Atheists, who view all faith as silly. Yet they are defending our right to practice our own faith despite their opinions.

  62. Have read a lot of the follow up comments to Duke Chapel decision, and its reversal, to include the call to Muslim prayer on Fridays.

    Would be helpful when quoting to actually quote the text and the version of the text. Seems rather unhelpful for any real debate to toss in interpreted texts as quoted texts.

    The public square has always been a place of debate. Neither civility, one of the qualities of debate that fosters understanding, nor fact-checking would be out of place.

  63. @Jack,

    “he is too cowardly to ransack the Koran”

    These pathetic beliefs ransack themselves!

    1. Infidels are those who declare: “God is the Christ, the son of Mary.” (Sura 5:17)
    2. Infidels are those who say ‘God is one of three in a Trinity.” (Sura 5:73)
    3. Make war on the infidels who dwell around you. (Sura 9:123)
    4. The infidels (non-Muslims) are your sworn enemies. (Sura 4:101)
    5. When you meet the enemy in the battlefield, strike off their heads. (Sura 47:4)
    6. Mohammed is Allah’s apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to infidels. (Sura 48:29)
    7. Prophet, make war on the infidel. (Sura 66:9)
    8. Kill the disbelievers wherever we find them. (Sura 2:191)
    9. Believers, take neither the Jews nor the Christians for your friends. (Sura 5:51)
    10. Believers, do not make friends with those who have incurred the wrath of Allah. (Sura 60:13)
    11. Never be a helper to the disbelievers. (Sura 28:86)
    12. Fight those who believe not in Allah. (Sura 9:29)
    13. The only reward of those who make war on Allah and His messenger….will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off. (Sura 5:33)


    Your religion claims…

    “Zombies celebrated the death of Jesus and bought cookies and tea for everyone while crashing parties, weddings and funerals everywhere throughout Jerusalem.” (Matthew 27:52)

    This ridiculous religion is no better than Islam.
    And the harm to society of believing in these things is apparent everywhere!

    You don’t have the guts to agree that all of these religions add up to nonsense. That is yet another harm of religion – the denial of reality is so deep that it dares ‘courage’ to say so.

    Muslims and Christians need climb down from this nonsense and admit the truth that none of these religions makes any sense!

    God became man to die on a cross to save people from his own laws?? Ridiculous!
    An illiterate bedouin wrote down the final revelation for humanity from a cave in the desert and then rode up to heaven on a winged horse? Absurdist nonsense.

    Secularism – the abandonment of religion – is the only way to dial down this needless nightmare.

    Abandon this train wreck and eventually religions will fade away.
    Then we can reduce Jesus and Allah to the Leprechauns they are
    and maybe humanity can survive.

    For Peace, Humanity and The Separation of Church and State

  64. What happened to turn the other cheek? Here is an opportunity to demonstrate the righteousness of your doctrine by opening your your heart to someone different, something that Graham pointedly did not.

  65. I am an atheist. I have no problem with Christians carrying bibles to school or praying in public.

    My objection lies here: insisting that people who don’t follow conservative Christian beliefs have to be subject to those beliefs.

    You want to pray in school? I have no objection. You want me to pray your prayer in school, or use my time up in school so that you can pray publicly– someone important had something to say about that once, but it is ignored– I’m going to object.

    ISIS isn’t the bulk of the muslim world, any more than fundelibangelists like Robertson ( any of them) and the Family research council are the bulk of the Chrisitna world.

  66. @Lauri.

    Like the homosexual community is attacked very time someone like Pat Robertson or Franklin Graham opens his mouth and declares that gay people are vicious, evil, and a threat to everything that is good and holy and pure?

    to me, nothing illustrates the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the conservative Christian mindset than this particular bleat:


    There are a good many so-called Christians who would be as bad as the muslims if we didn’t live in a secular society, and it were not prevented by secular law.

  67. ” But what happens then, if there is a religion whose basic tenets are to DESTROY, preferably by beheading, all people that don’t believe in THEIR religion.”

    As a gay man, all I can say is “Welcome to the fundelibangelist word of modern America.”

    And before you tell me that those people who wish us executed or put in jail, or call us threats to everything good and holy, are not REAL Christians, I’d have ot say….

    Don’t tell me. Tell THEM.

  68. Why don’t you read the screeds of dominionist Christians and see if that supports democratic thought, let alone religious freedom.

  69. Philip…the real question is why he needs money.

  70. Lauri,

    as a gay man, I want ot welcome you to my world.

  71. Max, although I am not a “Christian” and I am somewhat sympathetic to your drift I must say that some of your Jesus quotes are taken out of context in a way that changes the meaning.

    For example, Yizzle or JC or what ever you want to call him is probably not advocating the killing of recalcitrant children, he is trying to say that the Pharisees are being hypocritical, changing laws when it pleases them.

    Unfortunately I cannot say the same thing about your quotes from the Quran.

  72. Rabbit,

    “Jesus….. is trying to say that the Pharisees are being hypocritical, changing laws when it pleases them.”

    I have given this great care and attention.

    Jesus is angry at the Pharisees for bending the rules.
    And What rules are the Pharisees bending
    which gets Jesus so angry?


    “Anyone who curses their father or mother must be put to death” – (Exodus 21:17)


    “Anyone who curses their father or mother must be put to death” – (Leviticus 20:9)

    Jesus scolds the Pharisees because they are hypocrites. Jesus has noticed they have stopped stoning their children to death.

    Jesus can only be telling them to stop being hypocritical.

    “And why do you break the command of God
    for the sake of your tradition? …. ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ ” (Matthew 15:3)

    This means – continue the stoning as the Law commands.
    Or, give up ALL THE LAWS OF MOSES because you are not following them anyway.

    The Pharisees are trapped by Jesus.
    Either kill your nasty kids.
    Or throw out the laws entirely.

    It is impossible for Jesus to mean the latter because he also scolds them to follow the Commandments which are in Exodus 20!
    So he can only be commanding the Pharisees to kill their unruly children.

    The Bible is profoundly disgusting and incoherent. But that is the best anyone can do with it.

    For Peace, Culture and The Separation of Church and State

  73. Randall Terry, the antiaborti0on king that never actually stopped one, who has a gay son, was always fond of saying that intolerance is a wonderful thing. Or maybe that tolerance was a horrible thing.

    “Randall Terry … I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you.”

  74. “All I can say, Larry, is that I think you will care very much when there’s a knife at your neck and told to renounce your atheism and become Muslim or you’ll lose your head!! Some people get it.”

    Again, Lauri, welcome to the world of gay people in America. AA good Christian told me: “No one is holding a knife to your throat and making you have disgusting gay sex.”

    I shot back: “But there sure are a lot of people holding a knife to my throat and demanding that I don’t.”

    The strongest way to protect your religious freedom is to protect the religious freedom of everyone, including the people who don’t share your religious beliefs.

  75. Muslims, so-called moderates ones, refuse to see and act against their radical associations. That equates to appeasement and complicity with their terrorist factions. This serves as a direct obstacle to attaining the freedom they say they want in America. Their cult politico “religion” of isolationism and smug self-righteousness including their support of their medieval sharia law attempts to subjugate American law everywhere it goes. History speaks volumes about their bipolar holy book with its promises of peace (submission) and its delivery of destruction. I am extremely glad Americans are coming to their senses over the last few decades and standing up to ignorant Muslims who never seem to listen to reason and that we are withdrawing financial support from institutions that act as appeasers and threats to our American way of life. Muslims continually want to put themselves above everyone else and do not know how to live in a land that allows multicultural beliefs in god. America has no real problem with other religions living together in peace. Stop the Christianaphobia! In fact stop the Westernaphobia!

  76. Ben,

    “The strongest way to protect your religious freedom is to protect the religious freedom of everyone, including the people who don’t share your religious beliefs.”

    May Americans wake up to that.

    “One would think your belief in God and your eternal life in Heaven would satisfy; that you would be the happiest people in history, but no. You won’t be happy, you cannot be happy until everyone else believes it too. Well you shall count me out, understand?
    You are welcome to it, enjoy it all you like. But I shall have nothing to do with it and I claim that right.”
    – Christopher Hitchens

  77. Christians, so-called moderates ones, refuse to see and act against the radical associations of the Religious right in america. That equates to appeasement and complicity with their terrorist factions, such as those who bomb abortion clinics, or the subtler repression of ballot initiatives aimed at harmless minorities. This serves as a direct obstacle to attaining the freedom they say they want in America. Their cult politico “religion” of isolationism and smug self-righteousness including their support of their medieval “biblical” law attempts to subjugate American law everywhere it goes. History speaks volumes about their bipolar holy book with its promises of peace (submission) and its delivery of destruction. I really wish Americans were coming to their senses over the last few decades and standing up to ignorant fundamentalists who never seem to listen to reason and that we are withdrawing financial support from institutions that act as appeasers and threats to our American way of life. Bible-believing Christians continually want to put themselves above everyone else and do not know how to live in a land that allows multicultural beliefs in god. America has no real problem with other religions living together in peace. But they do. Stop the Christianistas! In fact stop the freedomophobia!

  78. Ben,
    You are so ignorant that you don’t even realize that our system of laws and the fabric of the constitution is based on Judao christian principles. Take a look at Saudi arabia and sharia law. They have imprisoned a blogger and want to give him 1000 lashes for free speech. Sharia law allows:
    1. Abrogation- more moderate verses in the Koran are abrogated by the later more violent ones….hence jihad and beheadings
    2. Adultery- capital crime punishable by lashing and stoning to death
    3. Apostasy- apostates are to be killed wherever they are found.
    4. Democracy and Islam- any system of law other than sharia can never coexist in harmony
    5.- female genital mutilation
    6.- gender inequality- sharia explicitly regulates women to a status inferior to men
    7.- honor killings- a Muslim parent can murder a child or grandchild with no
    8- Hadud punishments- these cannot be waived or commuted. They include amputations, crucifixion, stoning and are mandated by the Koran.
    9- Islamic supremacism- islam is superior to any other faith or Government
    10- Jew hatred
    11- jihad- warfare to spead Islam
    12- lying/taqiyya- is permissible in Islam especially to non Muslims
    13- slander or blasphemy- anything that offends a Muslim
    14- underage marriage- marriage of pre-pubescent girls. Consummation may take place when the girl is 8 or 9.

  79. you could not be more wrong….we in Egypt are lucky as we celebrate two xmass one christian and another moslem…this is how toleranr our society is…it seems that you get your informations on Islam from such an extreme media outlets as Fox news and the likes…you’d be doing yourself a great favour by being informed by more moderate venues…..

  80. why set ISIS as a prototype for Islam…..it’s just like portraying the 16th century catholic church’s practices as a model for christianity….not too bright…

  81. Bush’s astonishing revelation on the eve of the Iraqi invasion that God talked to him blab blab blab, makes one wonder if American exceptionalism includes being the sole agent of god’s “delivery messages”……thers’s a great deal of double standards here……not too bright folks…

  82. not mentioning the Crusades which included 11 major wars and lasted 150 years…in recent history only…two world wars that took more than 40 million lives, the holocaust and it’s unprecedented barbarism are just a reminder of how the world under mostly “christian” dominated government had to endure those atrocities….om the other hand Moslem dominated Spain enjoyed unparalleled multicultural civilization where prime ministers could be Jews or Christians under an Islamic regime that lasted for almost 700 years….my point is that what we are witnessing these days by thosebarbaric folks who are once called Alqaeda or ISIS or many other names are simply manufactured to spread the strongest weapon there is…………..fear….that never fails to work and continues to do so….what really impresses me is the growing number of elightened folks especially in the western world starting to do the unthinkable………..which is thinking….and to do so realizing that the “main stream” media as it’s wrongly labeled is nothing that a front for the formidable corporation and their global agenda to continue ruling the world using their ruthless schemes and playing the same tricks over and over again…..

  83. where does it say in the constitution that the U.S is a christian country…?……..you need to get your facts right….brother christian………..!!

  84. Jared,

    Christians prefer machetes instead of suicide bombs – as in the most Catholic countries – such as Rwanda.

    Learn something, please.
    The United States is an Atheist country built on Atheist ideals.

    “I hate religion” – James Madison

    “Congress shall make no law establishing a religion…”
    That is Atheism; NON-belief in a god.

    The crimes you list are true of all religions: especially Christianity.

    Gays are killed at the command of Jesus.
    Children are killed at the command of Jesus.
    Adulterers are killed at the command of Jesus.
    Innocents are killed routinely at the command of Jesus.

    “Bring to me those enemies of mine who would not have me as their king and execute them in front of me.” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    “The only cure for homosexuals is that they be put to death” – Pastor, Robbie Galaty, Sept 4, 2014.
    Tennessee Megachurch, Memphis.

  85. Your comment about the egyptian tolerance is really hard to read for a Copt… Ask our christian’s sisters who are rapt and force married in their teenage if Egypt is a tolerant society ! I do not have any problem with muslims but please, stop your intellectual terrorism ( no i didn’t use the last word to upset u but i didn’t know how to say it in other way ) : in Algeria and Niger churchs are burned (and it’s forbidden in Algeria to build it), in Egypt the army killed 60 (yes, 60) of my brothers in Maspero Street during the revolution, in Arabia (Saudi, UAE..) we are not allowed to JUST SHOW we are christian, in Aceh (Indonesia) people can’t celebrate the new year’s eve, in Pakistan girls who want to study are burned with acid ! No, i’m sorry to tell u that your society is NOT tolerant.

  86. Atheist Max,
    Stop perverting what I stated. In the United states of America we have a system of government that does not allow the things you are stating. Sharia law will destroy it. Sharia law is practiced today in Muslim countries and I listed just a few of the key points of Sharia law. Let’s send you over to Saudi Arabia Max.
    You probably think it is ok to chop people’s hands and arms off or to marry a 6 year old girl!!

  87. Jared,

    “you don’t even realize that our system of laws and the fabric of the constitution is based on Judao christian principles. ”

    I’m not twisting any of your words. I’m calling you out.

    The USA is not founded on ‘Judeo-christian’ anything. That is Nonsense.
    The USA is ATHEIST.

    And it is ATHEISM which makes freedom of religion possible.

    Second, by claiming Christianity superior to Islam you champion ‘faith’ which is exactly the same argument the Muslims claim for Islam.

    You ignorantly wave the same flag which rallies Islam – “FAITH”.
    The only workable answer is to reject all faith.

    If there is no reason to believe a claim – it qualifies as garbage.

  88. I completely agree with Lauri/Ken she is correct. I am tired of the intolerance in this country regarding Christianity, and opening the door to an evil religion that has no tolerance for other religions!

  89. It seems like, the more we kick God out of our schools, government, and any other public place in this country, the more problems we have.

  90. This country was built on Christian values, “In God We trust”, “All men are created equal”‘ scriptures are carved all over the walls of the Whitehouse, Our government prays ever morning in Washington D.C. before they start the day, and yet Christians are not allowed to pray on the sidewalk outside of the Whitehouse! But they will close off a block in New York City so that the Muslims can celebrate there religion!

    The Word of God says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds”. Send in a prayer request to this email [email protected] Someone, somewhere is praying for you there’s no problem God can not handle, no matter you are going through now, don’t give up on life, only God can make the impossible to be possible. Seek the face of the Lord and He will not forsake nor leave you. God bless you as you do so, AMEN…

  92. <>
    The Muslim “Call to Prayer” is broadcast from rooftop speakers for all to hear (there’s no escaping) – that sounds to me like an establishment of religion. The “Call to Prayer” can be likened to brainwashing. This call to prayer involves seductive sounds, melodies that will seep into your mind. You would be powerless to keep them out. Muslims, Christians, Hare Krishna’s… have every right to worship their god, but not to broadcast from the rooftops to captive audiences. Our 1st Amendment allows the Christian to worship publicly in church, the Jew in Synagogue, Muslim, mosque and etc..

  93. Muslims practicing their religion by their call to prayer (blasted from speakers) would be a gross violation of your 1st amendment rights. Don’t know how old you are Bill, but my dad loved the Beatles. To this day I can sing a plethora of Beatles songs; they routinely swirl around my head from hearing them so often from when I was a young girl. Muslim’s call to prayer involves seductive sounds, melodies that will get inside of your head; you cannot stop them. I agree with you that Muslims.should have the right to worship, and they do!!
    But here’s where I differ Bill, Whatever your religion, don’t force it upon me. That’s exactly what the “Call to Prayer” at Duke would have done. Wherever you were on campus, and whatever you were doing — resting, studying, eating, writing, praying etc.. would be invaded by an insidious melodic chant that you cannot turn off. To some, this could be labeled torture!

  94. The call to prayer is just an alarm clock. And you’re just an alarmist.

  95. Stephen Coughlin a leading national security advisor and Islamic law expert explains how and why America is losing to jihadists in his new book: “Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of the Jihad”.
    On page #12 Coughlin writes, “I had entered the Intelligence Directorate adhering to the traditional methods of analysis. Soon, however, I discovered that within the division there seemed to be a preference for political correctness over accuracy and for models that were generated not by what the enemy said he was, but on what academics and “cultural advisors” said the enemy needed to be, based on contrived social science theories.”
    It seemed the enemy was aware of this as well. Forces hostile to the United States in the War on Terror appeared to have successfully calculated that they could win the war by convincing our national security leaders of the immorality of studying and knowing the enemy.” https://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/catastrophic-failure

  96. Alas career you are wrong they want you to believe so you will hate christians…. Its OK because Jesus is coming soon….?

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