Belief Beat

Belief Beat

Fun Friday: If Muslims & Christians Pray Together, Can Santa – or God – Tell the Difference?

Check out this field report about interfaith cooperation from last night’s Daily Show With Jon Stewart, in which correspondent-comedian John Oliver plays the role of a conservative Christian confused by a Virginia church allowing Muslims to pray in its multi-purpose room. (Seems like old news to me, but I guess Canada’s “Little Mosque on the Prairie” hasn’t aired in most American markets yet.)

“Here’s the problem: What if the Muslim God overhears the prayers from the Christians. Is there not a danger that those prayers will get… It’s like Santa Claus. He can only come down one chimney, and he needs to know if they’ve been good, or if they’ve been Muslim,” Oliver asks the Rev. Dr. Dennis Perry, a Methodist pastor, and  and Naeem Balg, of the Islamic Circle of North America.


Speaking of Christian-Muslim relations, today marks the 10-year anniversary of now-Blessed John Paul II becoming the first pope to visit a mosque.

On a more serious note, some of you may similarly chuckle — in a  “preach it, but is only the choir listening?” way — at the God “wants gays around” speech by Minn. State Rep. Steve Simon, as lawmakers debated a gay marriage ban there. Then again, check out the comments section of that link.

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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posted May 6, 2011 at 9:27 pm

The Simon speech was pointed out to me. It’s a good one.

There’s always the question of whether pray-ers are praying to the right god and what the right god might think about all those false prayers and the misguided pray-ers.

It certainly seems simplest if, as the lack of evidence suggests, there is no god.

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posted May 6, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Thanks for linking to the Daily Show clip. Naeem Balg’s expressions at John Oliver’s questions were painful and funny at the same time. The turban and his baiting of Dr Alex MacFarland were a riot too.

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posted May 8, 2011 at 12:59 am

Like nnms, I found this hilarious and sad the same time. As a Christian, myself, I have to be careful about being too critical of the fundamentalists, as we are all on a journey of faith, regardless of faith, religious or otherwise, and indeed, some of my best friends are fundamentalists/evangelicals. To the contrary, I’m not surprised, I’m saddened ,by the hatred and antagonism that many (not all, but sadly many) fundamentalists have towards those who “don’t ascribe to our faith”. In fact, this goes to the heart of one of the central tenets of scripture, where no less than 68 references, I think, are made to how we care for the stranger, those whom society tends to despise. In fact, our sermon this morning had a similar theme, so really poignant
Thanks, Nicole, and God bless.

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