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February 27th, 2012
04:48 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Monday, February 27

By Dan Merica and Laura Koran, CNN

Here's the Belief Blog’s morning rundown of the top faith-angle stories from around the United States and around the world. Click the headlines for the full stories.

From the Blog:

Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua ordered a list of suspected abusive Catholic priests to be destroyed according to a 1994 memo.

CNN: Attorneys: Cardinal ordered memo on priest destroyed
A Philadelphia archdiocese official on trial for allegedly covering up the sexual abuse of children has asked a court to throw out charges against him based on a 1994 memo showing Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua ordered a list of suspected abusive Catholic priests to be destroyed.

CNN: Seven states sue government over contraceptives mandate
Seven states on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the federal government requirement that religious employers offer health insurance coverage that includes contraceptives and other birth control services.

CNN: Newark mayor urges probe into NYPD spying program
The mayor of Newark has called for an investigation into a far-reaching New York Police Department surveillance program that was allegedly conducted in the New Jersey city's Muslim neighborhoods.

Tweet of the Day:

From @lukecoppen: Just posted: Morning Catholic must-reads: http://t.co/cp9YqdKU

Enlightening Reads:

Huffington Post: Police Spying Leaves New York Muslim Students 'Violated'
On Friday, Ali Shah seemed distraught. He was confused. And hurt. He came to the Islamic center with a few dozen Muslims, some of the hundreds at the university who learned that New York police had been monitoring the center's website for signs of terrorist activity.

Jewish Daily Forward: For Jews, Gross Case is Complicated
Communal reticence to turn Gross into a cause célèbre — and there has been some, despite claims to the contrary — stems, in part, from the fact that Gross’s mission was not altogether altruistic. He was in Cuba on a $500,000 contract from a subcontractor of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Religion News Service: Richard Dawkins says he’s not entirely sure God doesn’t exist
A controversial Oxford University professor billed by many as the world's "most famous atheist" now says he is not 100 percent sure that God doesn't exist - but just barely.

Quote of the Day:

Romney seems to have a kind of ceiling, and I think it’s from a fear that he might be too tied to the church. It’s too bad that kind of animosity still exists.

Walt Tranmer told the Washington Post this in an interview about presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s Mormonism. According to the Washington Post, Mormons are concerned about supporting Romney too strongly – “don’t expect them to go starting a ‘Mormons for Mitt’ group anytime soon, writes Sandhya Somashekhar.

Opinion of the Day:

CNN: My Faith: What I learned from my 46-day beer-only fast
About this time last year, I set off down a path that hadn’t been traveled for centuries. I fasted on beer and water for the duration of Lent. While that sounds like a frat boy stunt, my “Diary of a Part-Time Monk” project was actually rooted in the Catholic Church, though that’s not what brought me to the idea.

Join the conversation…

CNN: My Take: Stop sugarcoating the Bible
The Bible is a gritty book. Very raw. Very real. It deals with people just like us, just as needy and screwed up as we are, encountering a God who would rather die than spend eternity without them. Yet despite that, it seems like Christians are uncomfortable with how earthy the Bible really is. They feel the need to tidy up God.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. lweba

    What is a prayer?
    Why do people pray?
    Consider this, what goes on in the minds of;
    1. A Christian, a Moslem and an Animist observing a Hindu meditating? or
    2. A Christian, a Muslem and a Hindu observing an Animist praying? or
    3. A Christian, a Hindu and an Animist observing a Moslem praying and so on.
    If we let these observers argue on whether a prayer is essential in our lives, what conclusion do you think they will arrive at? Remember only one of the four will probably be believing in a true religion but not at all or none of the four.
    So since prayers will always continue whether or not we believe in true or false religions, let people continue praying as long as they feel they get psychological satisfaction in the act.

    March 16, 2012 at 9:38 am |
  2. Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Prayer has been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for.
    Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
    Prayer makes you fat.
    Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Prayer fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
    Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
    Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
    Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
    Prayer makes you think doilies are exciting.
    Prayer makes you secretively flatulent and embarrassed about it.
    Prayer makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
    Prayer has been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for.
    Prayer gives you knobbly knees.
    Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just google him to find out.
    Prayer dulls your senses.
    Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
    Prayer makes you hoard cats.
    Prayer makes you smell like shitty kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
    Prayer wastes time.

    February 27, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  3. nown

    +1, yes.

    February 27, 2012 at 10:08 am |
  4. Ni

    I find it funny there is a link to the supposedly "new" revelation from Richard Dawkins. It is in no way new, and anyone that has read The God Delusion will know, has ALWAYS been his stand. In fact, any self respecting atheist says the exact thing. We can not prove he does not exist in the same manner that you can not prove he does. The whole thing about proving a negative. We just aren't arrogant enough to state our side as fact (of course there are a few). We can have our minds changed. It is just highly unlikely there will be any new evidence to do it.

    Just because some one says it, does not make it true. Whoever wrote that article should be embarrassed.
    The truth is the truth even if no one believes it. A lie is a lie, even if everyone believes it.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • nown

      Sorry,
      + 1 here

      February 27, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • Observer

      The god Richard Dawkins probably does not believe in is fairly well-defined in his book. As Alister McGrath points out, it seems to be his personal god.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Brad

      I think the term is "weak" or "negative" atheism when an atheist is unwilling to make the assertion that there are no gods.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      A negative atheist refers "to a person who simply has no belief in a deity because there are currently no rational grounds that support [its] existence.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  5. hippypoet

    if you have the choice, what period of history would you choose to live in and why?

    February 27, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • Brad

      I'll go with now. The times are interesting. Everything we do matters. The stakes are high and getting higher. Besides, there is good dental and medical care.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • A Lion

      Rome. Say, 3rd century C.E. What could be better than watching christians get eaten?

      February 27, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Dumb and dumber

      Absolutley today.
      So exciting to have the CERN, and understand Cosmology, Big Bang, QM, etc, etc.
      Besides, they have antibiotics. Most of us would be dead without them.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • hippypoet

      isn't it strange that when you ask people when/what time era they would like to live they seem to (majority rules) always pick the era that its easiest to die in not live in...or easiest to kill or watch the death of another in! just seems odd to me is all.

      i would choose the early roman republic, before marius....or the old west right after the civil war ended, when it become the real wild west! Its funny to think that in 1865 the civil war ended, the first amercian bank robber was born – jesse james 1866 ...and then a mere 70 years later john dillinger who idolized jesse in the way he was during bank jobs.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      I'd go back to the late nineties, form a band, "write" all of NIckelbacks songs and be a rich d-bag rockstar. Or maybe not.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @luncbreaker

      That is referred to in time travel circles as the "puddle-of-nickel-creed-theory".
      All the songs performed by those bands were actually written by a mildly reta.rded 13 year old boy in the year 2032, then sent back in time to a do.uc.he bag with a job in A&R at Sony records.

      February 27, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Nonimus

      2500 or 3000, just to see what happens.

      February 27, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  6. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    February 27, 2012 at 7:45 am |
    • Nope

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • nope

      nope

      February 27, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Nope

      "nope

      nope"

      LMAO – more esperation from the xtians. LOL!

      February 27, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • nope

      nope.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Nope

      "nope

      nope."

      More desperation proving Nope's post is correct. LMAO!

      February 27, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • nope

      nope .

      February 27, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  7. Ecclesiastes 12

    6 Remember him—before the silver cord is severed,
    and the golden bowl is broken;
    before the pitcher is shattered at the spring,
    and the wheel broken at the well,
    7 and the dust returns to the ground it came from,
    and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

    February 27, 2012 at 7:40 am |
    • Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
      Prayer has been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for.
      Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
      Prayer makes you fat.
      Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
      Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
      Prayer fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
      Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
      Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
      Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
      Prayer makes you think doilies are exciting.
      Prayer makes you secretively flatulent and embarrassed about it.
      Prayer makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
      Prayer has been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for.
      Prayer gives you knobbly knees.
      Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just google him to find out.
      Prayer dulls your senses.
      Prayer makes you hoard cats.
      Prayer makes you smell like shitty kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
      Prayer wastes time.

      February 27, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
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About this blog

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