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June 4th, 2012
04:31 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Monday, June 4

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: Deliberations continue in Catholic child abuse cover-up case
Deliberations resume Monday in Philadelphia in the landmark trial of Monsignor William Lynn, the highest-ranking cleric charged with endangering children by allegedly helping cover up sexual abuse. Lynn, a defendant with another Philadelphia priest, is accused of knowingly allowing dangerous priests to continue in the ministry in roles in which they had access to children.

CNN: The Gospel of Stephen King
When the horror novelist Stephen King was once asked why he wrote such gross stories, he said he did it because he had the heart of a small boy – which he kept in a jar on his desk. With his beady eyes and I-just-killed-the-cat grin, King looks and sounds like a horror novelist. But when the Rev. Paul F.M. Zahl read several of King’s novels, he learned something new about the author: There’s a lot of faith behind his fright.

Mack Wolford and his father were both serpent handlers who died of snake bites.

CNN: Death of snake handling preacher shines light on lethal Appalachian tradition
Mack Wolford, one of the most famous Pentecostal serpent handlers in Appalachia, was laid to rest Saturday at a low-key service at his West Virginia church a week after succumbing to a snake bite that made headlines across the nation. Several dozen family, friends and members of Wolford's House of the Lord Jesus church in tiny Matoaka filled the simple hall for the service, which lasted slightly more than an hour. At the request of pastor's widow, Fran Wolford, media were forbidden inside the building.

CNN: Survey: Nearly half of Americans subscribe to creationist view of human origins
Forty-six percent of Americans believe that God created humans in their present form at one point within the past 10,000 years, according to a survey released by Gallup on Friday. That number has remained unchanged for the past 30 years, since 1982, when Gallup first asked the question on creationism versus evolution. Thirty years ago, 44% of the people who responded said they believed that God created humans as we know them today – only a 2-point difference from 2012.

CNN: Southern Baptists reprimand top official over Trayvon Martin remarks
The country’s largest evangelical Christian denomination on Friday announced it is reprimanding one of its top officials over comments he made regarding the Trayvon Martin case, pledging to cancel the official’s national radio show. The trustee committee of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission announced two reprimands on Friday for Richard Land, who leads public policy efforts for the Southern Baptists, according to the official press arm.

Protesters in New York show support for American nuns in the face of Vatican criticism.

CNN: American nuns come out swinging against Vatican in face of ‘radical feminist’ accusations
The leadership representing most of America’s nuns came out swinging Friday against the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church, in the face of charges from the Vatican that the nuns are espousing “radical feminism” and straying from church teaching. The Vatican’s criticism of the American nuns has “caused scandal and pain throughout the church community, and created greater polarization,” the Leadership Conference of Women Religious – which represents about 80% of American nuns – said in a statement Friday.

Tweet of the Day:

Enlightening Reads:

The Washington Post: Is Mitt Romney’s Mormonism fair game?
Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign has developed a simple method to determine whether coverage of the candidate’s Mormonism has crossed a line. “Our test to see if a similar story would be written about others’ religion is to substitute ‘Jew’ or ‘Jewish,’ ” Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul wrote in objection to a Washington Post article last fall about the candidate’s role as a church leader in Boston.

The Guardian: Vatican leaks: No respite for Pope Benedict as more documents published
Pope Benedict XVI may have been hoping for some respite from the scandal which has engulfed his papacy, with a visit this weekend to Milan, where he celebrated an outdoor mass for a million faithful and took in a performance of Beethoven's ninth at La Scala opera house. For the 85-year-old pontiff, the three-day trip outside the Vatican walls was a break from the Vatileaks scandal, which has seen his butler, Paolo Gabriele, arrested on suspicion of disclosing dozens of embarrassing letters alleging corruption and nepotism at the Holy See.

The New York Times: Twitter Dynamos, Offering Word of God’s Love
Why are some tweets more popular than others? When a Twitter staff member set out to answer that question 10 months ago, he thought the answer would emerge among posts from N.B.A. players, politicians or actors. Instead, he found a mystery: a set of messages that were ricocheting around Twitter, being forwarded and responded to at a rate that was off the charts. Joyce Meyer, Max Lucado and Andy Stanley were not well known inside Twitter's offices. But they had all built loyal ranks of followers well beyond their social networks – they were evangelical Christian leaders whose inspirational messages of God's love perform about 30 times as well as Twitter messages from pop culture powerhouses like Lady Gaga.

The London Evening Standard: Bailiffs raid Hindu temple as priests refuse to move out for Travelodge
Bailiffs have carried out a dawn raid on a Hindu temple, evicting priests and seizing its sacred contents. Backed up by the police, they moved in on the Sivayogam temple in Hebdon Road, Tooting, following a protracted legal dispute with owner Barrowfen Properties Ltd, which has plans to turn it into a Travelodge.

Join the conversation…

CNN: Church videos with harsh words for gays go viral online
First it was a Christian pastor in North Carolina who told his congregation on Mother's Day that the way "to get rid of all the lesbians and queers" was to put them behind an electric fence and wait for them to die out. That video went viral, fetching more than a million views on YouTube. On Sunday, Pastor Curtis Knapp of Kansas preached that the government should kill homosexuals, in another videotaped sermon that drew lots of online attention.

- CNN's Laura Koran

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Kindness

    Something For you.
    A thought to consider without a typical ego response

    Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Transcend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.

    The key is be present and transcend our own desire to physically see evidence. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.

    Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both christians and non are sinners.

    We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Let go and let god".
    It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .

    Try reading corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
    See the truth...
    do we do what it says in todays society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from som other person...which may have been full of arogance pride or vanity..

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancsend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find any truth you can take with you ....in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life..... You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf.... the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed..... your good deeds will be forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated..... your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over . This is truth .

    Trancsend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent.... Repent means knowing

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible . Ask Jesus in faith for dicernment and start reading the new testament... You will be shocked when you lay down your preconceived notions and ....see and hear truth ... see how christ sets an example ... feel the truth....

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth in Christ.

    Sell all your cleverness and purchase true bewilderment. You don't get what you want ....you get what you are in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
    You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it

    You're all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.
    I'ts a personal free experience you can do it free anytime . Don't wait till you are about to die.. START PUTTING YOUR TREASURES WHERE THEY REALLY MATTER >
    Its awsome .

    June 5, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  2. Mark from Middle River

    Thank God CNN has minimized the number of stories showcasing how awesome they believe niggers are.

    June 4, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  3. Hypatia

    *yawn* more babble from the bible addicts

    June 4, 2012 at 11:53 am |
  4. Stephen King

    Critics are morons. Critics who based there criticism on religion are ubermorons.

    June 4, 2012 at 11:23 am |
  5. Bo

    I don't know if I have ever watched any movie adapted from a Steven King novel other than "The Green Mile", (I didn't know Steven King was the author. I'm not exactly what you could call, a “movie buff”. I generally pay little attention to the credits of a movie or the players.)
    While watching "The Green Mile" I felt I could relate a lot of it to the Bible because of the evil vs, good, I felt the convicted prisoner, a supposed killer, to be so much like the Christ (the convicted prisoner I felt was also the main character, not Tom Hanks) I thought the evil guard to be so much like Satan and all unbelievers, who wished to cause as much pain as possible to the convicted prisoner: the Christ. The innocent little mouse was so much like converted Christians: Satan wants to destroy them also as did the evil guard who wanted to destroy the mouse. Tom Hanks, the only actor in the movie that I recognized, and supposedly the star of the movie, filled the role of God who believed in the innocence of the the convicted prisoner, but could do little about it, because of the choice of the evil unbelieving people.
    If this was the purpose of Steven King's story, he had it right, but not complete. If it were complete he would have somehow included the fact that although Jesus the Christ did die a torturous death he died not just “because” of the sins of evil mankind, but He died “for” the sins of mankind, that is He died in man's place. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.” Romans 6:23
    Jesus loves you and me so much, that rather than destroying sinful mankind as he deserved He left His glorious home, took on the the degenerated body of man and took his place and died the death that he deserved that he may be saved. For with God nothing shall be impossible.Luke 1:37
    “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness; but is long suffering to-ward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9. This is the mystery of the love of God: this is a mystery of love that we can not comprehend.
    I notice that some say that we can,‭ ‬without religion live a moral life,‭ ‬grant that is a part of a religious life,‭ ‬but I wish to explain: there is more than living a moral life to be saved,‭ ‬it is putting faith in God: it is:‭ “‬If you love me,‭ ‬keep my commandments.‭” ‬John‭ ‬14:15‭ It is about loving God and obeying Him. “‬Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21
    This is not to convert anyone: it is to explain where the Christian is coming from.
    You have the God given right to live and make your own choices.

    June 4, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      You should chack out The Stand, when you have a lot of free time. It is about 6 hours long. Kinda parallels Revelations, post Apocolyptic stuff. I enjoyed it. Plus the intro scene fetures "Don't Fear the Reaper" by B.O.C.

      June 4, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • JA

      gotta agree with lunchbreaker. the stand is the best ive seen. also for some odd reason "the storm of the century" is one of my favs.

      June 4, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'm surprised nobody has mentioned "Stand By Me."

      June 4, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Flick

      Bo, why didn't you post your religious babbling in the Stephen King thread? Your god does not exist otherwise he would have guided you to post your dribble in the correct spot.

      June 4, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Bo

      @ Flick: if you will note the time, the Stephen King thread wasn't there when I posed. Thanks anyway.

      June 4, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  6. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    June 4, 2012 at 4:32 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!

      June 4, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • The Real Story

      All religion and no play makes zealots a dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull boy.

      Dull. Very dull.

      June 4, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • At death atheists believe

      I think "prayer changes things" and "Jesus" are the same person..strangely enough this "Jesus" character appears everytime "prayer changes things" post something.

      June 4, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      I did a little playing around on google one day and found that some guy claims he made a bot that autoposts anytime someone uses the phrase "Athiesm..." posts "prayer changes things" on the belief blogs.

      June 4, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      WOW, I brutalized the english language on that one. Should have been:

      I did a little playing around on google one day and found that some guy claims he made a bot that autoposts anytime "Athiesm..." posts "prayer changes things" on the belief blogs.

      June 4, 2012 at 4:05 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.