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May 3rd, 2012
04:24 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Thursday, May 3

By 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:

CNN: North Carolina pastor retracts sermon remarks about punching gay kids
A Fayetteville, North Carolina, pastor has retracted controversial language used during a weekend sermon in which he instructed parents to hit children who exhibited behavior associated with homosexuality.

CNN: Who is David Barton, #1 trending topic on Google?
A longtime star on the conservative Christian circuit, controversial evangelical historian David Barton is today the No. 1 trending topic on Google. The online surge comes on the heels of Barton’s appearance on The Daily Show on Tuesday night. Barton argues that religion – and Christianity in particular – played a huge role in the founding and history of the United States, and that that role has been largely scrubbed from the history books by modern secular elites.

Tweet of the Day:

From @ReligionNewsNow: Happy Birthday, Book of Common Prayer. Don't worry, 350 is the new 30. http://ow.ly/aFftQ #Anglican #BCP

Enlightening Reads:

Religion News Service: United Methodists reject calls for divestment from Israel-related companies
United Methodists twice rejected measures on Wednesday that called for the denomination to divest from companies accused of contributing to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Neither vote was particularly close, with about two-thirds of the 1,000 delegates gathered in Tampa, Fla., through May 4 rejecting the calls for divestment.

The Christian Post: Minister Critical of Romney and 'Mormon Cult' Suggests Third-Party Options
Christian minister Bill Keller of LivePrayer.com, who has frequently spoken out on the so-called dangers of voting for presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in this year's general election due to his Mormon faith, suggests that the only real option for Christian voters are third-party candidates. Keller recently compared the choice of voting for Mitt Romney or for President Barack Obama as "flipping a coin where Satan is on both sides."

BBC: Forced marriage campaign targets mosques in Scotland
A Muslim scholar has launched a groundbreaking campaign against forced marriage in Scotland. Shaykh Amer Jamil says the practice has no place in Islam. During the next few weeks leaflets and sermons are being given in mosques as part of an initiative to educate the community. "In the Muslim community there's a misconception amongst some people that religion allows this, that parents have an Islamic right to choose partner of their children, and that they don't have a choice in this," says the Glasgow-based Imam.

Religion News Service: Soldiers’ Bibles exhibit a walk through American history
The Museum of Biblical Art's exhibition, "Finding Comfort in Difficult Times: A Selection of Soldiers' Bibles," is American religious history come alive. The exhibit showcases three dozen copies of Scriptures published for members of the U.S. Armed Forces from the Civil War onward, from leather-bound, 19th-century copies to contemporary Bibles clothed in camouflage.

Excerpt of the Day:

Prayer has always been a part of the American story, and today countless Americans rely on prayer for comfort, direction, and strength, praying not only for themselves, but for their communities, their country, and the world. […] Now, therefore, I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 3, 2012, as a National Day of Prayer. I invite all citizens of our Nation, as their own faith directs them, to join me in giving thanks for the many blessings we enjoy, and I call upon individuals of all faiths to pray for guidance, grace, and protection for our great Nation as we address the challenges of our time.

President Barack Obama, in a signed proclamation marking the National Day of Prayer.

Join the conversation…

CNN: House candidate and rising GOP star is black, female – and Mormon
To call Mia Love a minority is an understatement. She’s a black woman who won an upset primary race to become the Republican candidate in Utah’s 4th Congressional District. If elected, she’d be the first black Republican congresswoman in the House of Representatives. Love, who has attracted lots of national Republican support, also stands out because of her religion: She’s a Mormon.

- CNN's Laura Koran

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Proven
    Powerful

    May 4, 2012 at 5:15 am |
    • Jesus

      You are a proven liar over and over again. Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      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!`~

      May 4, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  2. mpottsp

    this "Bill Keller" guy sez "good" christians best vote neither Obama nor Romney and that a vote for either is a vote for satan...people like this guy put on a sanctamonious face of agreeably dissagreeing but i believe he'd just as soon shovel 'em into the gas chamber as have any one who deviates from his mindset on his world. these haters are apostate and his ilk will unchecked give rise to the antichrist. "Atheism is unhealthy"... and "?jesus" make nice before someone gets a headache.
    PRAYER CHANGES THINGS..AGREED...

    May 3, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
  3. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Proven

    May 3, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Jesus

      You're a proven liar. Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      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!!

      May 3, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • George

      Jesus...ever hear of the 'placebo affect'? Self-fulfilling prophecy? Thes ehtings do have an affect- they can have a very large affect. So, what is the difference between 'prayer' and 'believeing' in a sugar pill or believing a certain action will occur when there is not reason for them to? Prayer works when one asks and then one deeply believes in the outcome enough to elicit the change themselves. Certainly, praying for God to heal my sick child and doing nothibng further will probably not happen- but then if it did, what would we call it? But prayer in which one seeks Gods advise as to how to heal that child and then takes actions to do the healing would in fact be an answer to that prayer. We humans like to so limit our viewpoit of life that we seek knowledge by not understanding the totality of the envronment within which the event takes place. It is like looking at a Caraggio and questioning one brush stroke in order to understand the entire master piece. We can find where that brush stroke is worthless all by itself but take it away and the entire image may fall apart. This behavior we have only states the limitiations we have to undderstand the world at large and so we deconstruct it and reduce it forgetting that nothing exists outside of its relationship with all that surrounds it and we call this knowledge.

      May 4, 2012 at 10:07 am |
  4. Minister Peter

    While the noise what to pray, who should pray, and how is buzzing around. For the followers of Jesus, 2 Chronicles 7:14 provides guidance to the heart of humility to which the Lord will answer. Prayer is not parroting a bunch of words for the sake of being religious. Prayer is the cry of the heart for salvation of souls. The question is not the how, why, or selected set of words of piety. The real question is: If you life was to end today and you were standing before the Lord of the Universe, would your eternal soul be ready? Would he say, "Well done thy good and faithful servant OR depart from me your doer of iniquity - I never knew you? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAtD_-YKKe8&feature=plcp

    May 3, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • momoya

      Why would god say anything at all to nonbelievers except, "Isn't it a good thing I forgave you"? It seems to me that if a god wanted all of humanity to worship him he'd just make himself as obvious as gravity, math, or chemistry–all believers USE those facts because they work, but they believe in disparate gods because none work better than any other god..

      But if you believe in a "good" god who's going to torture most of the people he created by forcing them to live forever in a pit of torment and fire, then you have no sense of morality or justice and you can tell THAT god to shove it up his azz.

      May 3, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • JM

      You were told what was wrong and what was right and you decided to go against it anyhow. I dont see how you think being punished for something you were told not to do is immoral. God is holy and cannot stand sin, it was satan who rebelled and said I will be my own god, and do what i please. Also Grace is not an excuse to sin.

      May 4, 2012 at 6:01 am |
    • momoya

      @JM

      Yes, I've been told by other PEOPLE, but unfortunately never the god himself.. If the god of my upbringing can't prove himself any better than any other gods of other people's upbringing, then he doesn't deserve any special treatment.. The point is, if god wanted to forgive people, he can just do it; to make it contingent upon us believing in a bunch of stupid fairy tales that can't be proved at all–just like the god of the fairy tale–is incredibly stupid of him.. That god would even consider making such a place makes him unsuitable as consideration for "god" of anything.

      May 4, 2012 at 8:34 am |
  5. hippypoet

    those of whom can not prove the existence of god or any god type creature believes purely on the idea of its existence...the notion of what the idea stands for is great – a supreme being with infinite knowledge and power who is behind it (life) all....truly a fantastic idea indeed.... a grand idea based on superst.ition from an age of ignorance....why is such an improvable idea held with such belief as if it is true?

    May 3, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Bleah

      Because brainwashing you idiot.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      The answer to your question is faith. It starts with an interest in God, which requires a little bit of faith or belief. As more is learned the faith grows. When the word of God is heard preached in the power of the Holy Spirit the faith can reached a point where the person feels drawn to God. Conversion or salvation occurs and the faith increases exponentially. Prayers are answered, more is learned, and faith continues to grow. How could someone not hold belief of such an idea of the truth?

      May 3, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • momoya

      Because it doesn't work like that, Robert, unless you continually apply your own bias in an effort to rationalize WHY you continue in a faith that has no real power.. If it did work like that, nobody would be any other religion.. Because your rationalization for your faith is exactly the same type as the Muslims and Hindus use, no god belief ever comes out on top–it's the belief that carries the placebo effect, not the specific religion or god.. That's why all believers say pretty much exactly what you just said.

      May 3, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  6. jimtanker

    I’m staging a National Day of Irreverence. My goal today is to break every one of the ten commandments in Exodus 20. For those of you who don’t know what the ten commandments are (xtians mostly) go look them up. I AM NOT suggesting that anyone go out and break the law but using the infamous “Way of the Master” version. Lust after a woman to commit adultery in your heart, covet things instead of stealing, and hate (someone who cuts you off in traffic or a minister who says that you should beat your kids if they are gay) instead of murder.

    Enjoy your National Day of Irreverence and pass this on to as many people as you can.

    May 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Jim, carnal is as carnal does.

      If you keep going this way, you'll always remain spiritually clueless.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  7. God's Oldest Dreamer

    Did not Jesus himself abolish the commandments? Does not Ephesians 2:15 declare the commandments becoming null and void?

    Ephesians 2:15, "Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, [so] making peace;"

    May 3, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • jimtanker

      OK then. If there are no commandments that we have to follow then there are no sins so then your magical Palestinian zombie died for nothing.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
  8. God's Oldest Dreamer

    Do we of the church'd charities here in the U.S.A. have enough donations to feed all the starving children in Africa? Do we here in the U.S.A have enough of charities donations to keep all the children in the Asian countries from being bound to fleshened slavery conditions? Just exactly how can one or any nation/homeland cure the ills of the world if their own homeland is in much need of neing repaired? A house that cannot stand on its' own merit, cannot ruly ever get another nation's homeland to stand upon its' own weightiness of their own malignancies of social disfigurements!

    Mike Blackadder responded to my prior post on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 10:19 pm, declaring, "What an absurd response. Don't feed starving children Africa, you haven't yet obtained my approval."

    Alone and decrepid is,- are many nations' malignancies of social disfigurementations. Can any nation who has yet to cleanse their own homeland's malignant social disfigurations be of any real worths to afford to otherly nations upon just tokens of not much weighted worthiness' considerations? The Faiths of a nation, their homeland's ever abundant measurings of devoted charities should not be their cup's being less than half-filled charities upon another nation's social disfiguements until such a faith-based nation's disfigurements in social malignancies be first arrested and made woefully whole. It makes no sense to spread one's national charities in the Faiths concernments of all nationally gathered charities to try and make but token accolades toward other nations' infirmaties with no real saving graces for such otherly nations to be cured!

    May 3, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • Willam Demuth

      For a while I wasn't sure, but I suspect more and more that your postings are some form of parody?

      The "style" is similar to other posters with different names, all of which seem to have an underlying psychosis to them.

      So based on that assumption, I want to offer one criticism.

      Parody implies an underlying humor, and perhaps your psychosis permits you to see humor others can’t, but the rest of us don’t seem to get it?

      May 3, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      The trick to writing this badly is to take a passage from the Bible, then translate it into Finnish using Google Translator. Then traslate it from Finnish to Swahili, then from Swahili to Mandarin, then into Navajo, and finally back into English. Then post it here and pretentiously think it is something really amazing.

      The real trick is to actually think it is good. That's what really makes it crap.

      May 3, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      Some people will add to other's edifications to pilfer the audascious; foresaking the coetous angularisms only one has the balls to not foreskae other's nameplate!

      May 3, 2012 at 11:28 am |
  9. God's Oldest Dreamer

    Did not Jesus himself abolish the commandments? Does not Ephesians 2:15 declare the commandments becoming null and void?

    May 3, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • JA

      Matthew 5:17 “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.

      in ephesians 2:15, it says he ended "the system of the law"....... not the law, the system.

      May 3, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      I would be willing to bet that if an openly athiest person made this same argument, Christians would claim said athiest was misinterpreting the scripture.

      May 3, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • JA

      To clarify,

      The system of redemption of OT: sacrificing animals for the remission of sin.
      NT: Jesus made anew the system of redemption by becoming the sacrifice for eternity.

      May 3, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      doesn't matter...those are merely words of a bunch of men over a long period of time who then edited the book to fit their own personal agenda of controlling weak minded people with fear mongering and promises of eternal life. Those are NOT words of a god....those are words of fallible human beings.

      May 3, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • JA

      lunchbreaker,
      unfortunately its true in some cases.
      I have to admit, most of you really know your stuff.

      May 3, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      I do have to wonder the point of the post though. It seems strange to simply state Jesus abolished the commandents without it being in reference to something else. I would imagine that it would be a good rebutlle to the whole Roy Moore thing.

      May 3, 2012 at 9:36 am |
  10. Bo

    Not that I would in any way support the LGBT community, but neither will I support a minister [Harris] who talks as this man. It is not kind, loving, or graceful. He talks more like a tyrant than a Christian. Not only should he apologize for his remarks, he should apologize for calling himself a Christian abd a minister of the gospel. I think I would have gotten up and walked out of his congregation. The Bible also condemns adultery, but consider Jesus' reaction toward the adulteress. (John 8:1—11

    May 3, 2012 at 8:01 am |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      1 Corinthians 3:9 says all that is needed to be said of God and our bodies' laments!

      May 3, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • momoya

      Why not support the LGBT community?. Is the LGBT community a threat to your world view?

      May 3, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • Bo

      @ momoya: Yes and no. I do not approve of their life style, it is condemned by God, but that does not mean that I should go about chastising them. I do not know how much LGBT is involve in promoting that their life style be taught as a norm in public schools, but it is entirely unnecessary and I think can cause little kids to be very confused. Life is confusing enough. BTW, I don't think that $&x ed in schools is necessary either, or at least the kind that I witnessed when my kids were in school. I didn't get it when I was in school and I had no problems. We did get all that was necessary in biology i.e. the anatomy, function and reproduction system of the human male and female. But, no how-to-do-it's. And another BTW, how do you explain to a little kid that some other schoolmate has two mommies or two daddies when they have one mommie and one daddy? I'm going to be gone the rest of the morning, but I'll check in later.

      May 3, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • momoya

      @bo

      I don't understand how ho.mos3xuality is any more confusing for children than hetero.. It's part of everyone's biology.. Everybody has "one" and everybody figures out what it does at some point.. Unless the person is too stupid to breathe, they recognize that it's a body part like any other and that doctors and lovers need not be of a certain gender to examine or play with it..

      Because it's a part of our body and it requires special care not given to other body parts, it is necessary that we teach such biological functions in school (why teach about the entire body except for that one part?!?!?!!!?).. Also, some kids don't get educated about that at home and knowledge is power.. The more knowledge a person has about what their body does, the more responsibly they can use their body..

      I don't think that kids need any explanation about why a friend has two mommies or two daddies.. At least not any more of an explanation than when kids see their first prosthetic limb or bodily deformity or something like that.. It's a part of life.. How do you explain to a kid what happened when they lose a family member or a pet or a friend?? You deal with it because life doesn't care how easy things are to explain–it happens anyway.. If god made the universe in such a way that kids could never know about death or disease or deformity until a certain age, then maybe you could use an argument like that, but not the way things are.

      I support the GLBTQ community because I don't think it's fair that I get to be married to the person/gender of my choice (my hubby), but they can't get married to the person of their choice.. Their behavior isn't harmful or destructive and the adults are consenting.. I don't see why I should be allowed to do something that they can't–especially when there's so many sc.re.wed up marriages and hetero homes where children are abused.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  11. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    May 3, 2012 at 5:28 am |
    • AGuest9

      Obviously, it doesn't because we know that so many of the right-wing had prayed that Obama didn't return from his trip.

      May 3, 2012 at 7:27 am |
    • Jesus

      -Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      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!-

      May 3, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • HeavenSent

      God answers all prayers. It's man's perceptions that block the comprehension of His marvel.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:21 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.