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June 11th, 2012
06:16 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Monday, June 11

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: Megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar on his daughter: 'She was not punched'
Telling thousands of parishioners that he should never have been arrested, Pastor Creflo Dollar said at his Sunday morning service he neither choked nor punched his 15-year-old daughter, as she claimed in a report to police. Dollar, senior pastor of World Changers Church International in suburban Atlanta, told congregants in the sprawling megachurch and listening at one of more than a dozen satellite churches that when the facts of the case come out, they will be "appalled."

CNN: Hasidic NYPD recruit says he was fired over beard length
A Hasidic NYPD recruit is planning a lawsuit after being dismissed for refusing to trim his beard for religious reasons, his attorney said Sunday. Fishel Litzman, 38, was asked to leave the police academy on Friday, his attorney, Nathan Lewin, told CNN. He began the police academy in January, he said, was in the top 1% of his classes and is "highly regarded" by his peers.

CNN: Creflo Dollar's Prosperity Gospel finds followers and critics
The arrest of Georgia megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar brought renewed attention to his message of the Prosperity Gospel, controversial to some and faith-fulfilling to its followers. Dollar, who was arrested last week after allegedly assaulting his teenage daughter, is the founder and pastor of World Changers Church International in suburban Atlanta.

CNN: Pastor risks church for his principles
Before Sunday morning services, the Rev. Oliver White looked at the rows of empty pews in his tiny St. Paul, Minnesota, church without regret. "If this was a mistake," White said, "then I will make the mistake all over again." In 2005, White made a costly decision. At the United Church of Christ's annual synod in Atlanta, White was among delegates voting in favor of a resolution supporting same-sex marriage.

Go away, U.S. Court of Appeals tells self-proclaimed vampire imprisoned in Texas.

CNN: Court says lawsuit of 'Vampsh Black Sheep League of Doom Gardamun Family Circle Master Vampire High Priest' is 'frivolous'
A man who said his religious freedom to practice "Vampirism" is being violated in prison won't have his day, or even night, in court. While vampires are a big business, with the "Twilight Saga" film series raking in billions of dollars and HBO's "True Blood" returning on Sunday for its fifth season, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans would not bite on the case.

CNN: Argentinian man's relatives battle over transfusion
Relatives of a 38-year-old Argentinian man are fighting a legal battle over whether his religious beliefs should be allowed to trump doctors' recommendations that he be given a blood transfusion. The life of Pablo Albarracini may hang in the balance.

Sister Vickey Haran, who works with the poor in the Los Angeles area, says Rome should "look at itself first."

CNN: Nuns brace for Vatican meeting
The leadership of America's largest group of Catholic nuns will head to the Vatican on Tuesday to address accusations that it strayed from church doctrine. “I don’t know why Rome is not happy,” said Sister Vickey Haran, a nun from the Los Angeles area. “All of our energies have gone into making ourselves better so that we can serve the poor people of God."

CNN: Police arrest Georgia megachurch pastor after disturbance at home
Megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar was arrested in suburban Atlanta for an alleged assault on his 15-year-old daughter, police said Friday. Deputies in Georgia's Fayette County responded to a call about a domestic disturbance about 1 a.m. Friday. Dollar's daughter said she argued with her father over attending a party, said Investigator Brent Rowan of the Fayette County Sheriff's Office.

Tweet of the Day:

Belief on TV:

Enlightening Reads:

The New York Times: Across Religions, Persistent Battles Over What the Faithful May Read
The Sister Margaret Farley indictment is pretty ineffectual as a way of banishing “Just Love” — indeed, the paperback version has shot to No. 16 on Amazon.com. But the episode raises anew the question, always lurking in the cathedral, of who decides what we’re allowed to read, and how we’re supposed to read it. In religion, who controls the books?

The Guardian: Vatican bank's former president accused of negligence
The ousted head of the Vatican bank came under a withering counter-attack at the weekend as his former top official accused him of negligence and leaked documents were published casting doubt on his mental health.

Christianity Today: Book Buyer Beware? It's Christian Fiction.
Atlanta novelist Creston Mapes is thrilled that a recent weekend of free Kindle downloads gained him legions of new followers. That despite some negative reviews of his book, Nobody. Before the giveaway, Colorado literary agent Rachelle Gardner warned in a blog that if Christian authors fail to mention their books' faith-based content, they are in danger of receiving nasty reviews.

The New York Post: Wheel strict: Hasidic schools banning bikes
Hasidic schools run by the United Talmudical Academy in Brooklyn are putting the brakes on kids riding bicycles to school, warning parents in a letter that students will be expelled for any free-wheeling offense. “Even borrowed bicycles” are off limits, the “final warning” letter reads. The ban was instituted decades ago by Satmar sect Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum, but parents said recent infractions prompted the letter.

Opinion of the Day:

CNN: My Take: Cuban cars, Santeria, and the spirit of improvisation
Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," writes about a recent trip to Cuba.

CNN: My Take: Syria’s Christian conundrum
Hind Aboud Kabawat is a Syrian attorney. She is also a conflict resolution specialist and senior research analyst at the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution, which is based at George Mason University in Virginia.

CNN: My Take: Catholicism is a dialogue, not a monologue
Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," responds to his Catholic critics.

Join the conversation…

CNN: Same-sex ceremony on Army post draws fire
A same-sex ceremony between an enlisted woman and a civilian woman on a U.S. Army post last month drew protests from lawmakers Thursday. The "private religious ceremony" took place at Fort Polk in Louisiana in May, post spokesman Scott Stearns said, but he would confirm few other details. Rep. John Fleming, a Louisiana Republican whose congressional district includes the Army post, said the military confirmed to him that the same-sex ceremony was performed by an Army chaplain in the chapel.

- CNN's Laura Koran

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (87 Responses)
  1. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    June 14, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • 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 makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just go to http://santorum.com to find out more.
      Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
      Prayer makes you fat, pale, weak, and sedentary.
      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 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.

      June 14, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • 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 15, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  2. aeesh

    Really Very Good Jwelery & Medals!!

    'We have a wide selection of suppliers and will gladly to do the search for you. Please give us a try! We strive to provide excellent customer service! catholic gifts

    June 12, 2012 at 12:51 am |
  3. Kindness

    Kindness
    For you.
    A thought to consider without an 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. "Follow me".
    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 (to change) The Holy spirit (within) will convict you beyond what you think you can do by yourself. Grace is given to those who renounce the world. That are" in" the world but not "of " the world.

    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 and It's just between you and Jesus

    my testimony

    Romans 10:9

    "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."

    June 11, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • Who cares

      Accept the fact that god and Jesus are not real.

      June 11, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
  4. Raptor Jesus

    money is the only real god

    June 11, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  5. junior

    To atheists,
    Even when prayer was removed from public schools, it didn't affect me. I have been a teacher for 40yrs. On the wall hangs a crucifix, on my desk a picture of the Blessed Mother, In my desk drawer holy water that I sprinkle in the classroom before class commences.
    God is Love.

    June 11, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • hippypoet

      god is skepticism, pessimism, and fear. not love.....love has not caused wars like hate and fear have – and they are all largely due in part to gods non existence – for if god did infact exist, do YOU think that a war in his name would have really happened? or are you just that dumb?

      June 11, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • junior

      Yet I can still love you, My basic instict is to despise you but the divine gift of Love changes me to keep peace on earth.

      June 11, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • junior

      On waging wars in the name of God,
      there is the commandment "Thou shalt not use the name of the Lord in vain"

      June 11, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • hippypoet

      luckily for you i know of no one who has really said your lords name, they just say god...which is a ti tle not a name....there are a great many gods, and each its own name....

      however, you seem to be happy with the commandments you were given.....just how many do you follow?
      the fact you said if it weren't for god you would despise me, love thy niehbor!
      thou shall not lie – you claim to have insticts yet insticts are for a animals not humans, well not atleat according to your god who supposedly created us in his image....ever wonder why we all look different too? how many faces does god have? i know that , if god exists, then he has atleast two faces. your thoughts?

      June 11, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • junior

      I have broken commandments. For this reason I am grateful for the sacrament of reconciliation. His message that he still loves me despite my inequities.

      The Face of God:
      You expect God to be a bigger version of us, He isn't, before the world was created HE IS. Jesus is the living portrait of God. The perfect man who is also God. My King, My Lord, My Saviour.

      June 11, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • hippypoet

      please keep in mind that there is a total of 613 commandments given to men by god and so by you stupidly only following 10....enjoy hell you moron.

      learn to read and then learn to start at the begining and when you reach the end – stop!

      June 11, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • hippypoet

      sry no one told you – jesus is dead! has been for some time now.

      June 11, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • junior

      There are SEVEN deadly sins, WRATH being one,
      I see it has consumed you by the tone of your remarks, I will pray for your healing

      June 11, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • hippypoet

      deadly sins....what is this friggin harry potter?

      here, this is a collection of sins from the bible – not a movie....and i am not full of wrath, but i do thank you for the godly compliment....:)

      http://www.wogim.org/sinlist.htm

      i hope the site works, it doesn't always.

      June 11, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      If God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent – The Alpha and Omega – then He is indeed love.
      And also hate, malice, anger, wrath, jealousy and all other things good and bad.
      Why pick "love" as the defining characteristic?
      Is not one of the core statements regarding your God that He is "a jealous god"?
      It therefore would be more accurate to say "God is Jealousy" instead of "love"

      June 11, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • junior

      He is Love

      June 11, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      If Love is God's primary characteristic, why are 4 of the 10 Commandments demands for obsequious submission upon penalty of eternal damnation?

      June 11, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Raptor Jesus

      If god answers prayers, dose the devil answer prayers? I'm going to pray to Satan and post my finds.
      Funny thing is that many things Christians do (deny civil rights to women, ga•ys and minorities, preach intolerance towards other religions, etc) would seem like something Satan would be in favor of....go figure, a bit ironic.

      June 11, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • junior

      Satan is not God, he is not God's equal. St. Michael the Archangel is his equal, and we know how that turned out.

      Saint Michael the Archangel,
      defend us in battle;
      be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
      May God rebuke him, we humbly pray:
      and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
      by the power of God,
      thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
      who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
      Amen.

      June 11, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • rousch15

      So you have no regard for students whose beliefs counter yours?

      June 11, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Primewonk

      junior – if you aren't anignorant troll, and aree in fact a public school teacher, then with your intense faith you should have no problem posting the name and address of your school so that we could call for an official investigation. Surely a god as powerful as yours will have no problem protecting you.

      June 11, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Huebert

      Do you want a cookie?

      June 11, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • junior

      Primewonk
      Now why would I do that? I think the serenity in the classroom speaks for itself.

      June 11, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Primewonk

      So junior IS an ignorant troll, or a liar. Otherwise he would have absolutely no problem with his god protecting him from an investigation.

      A pity his faith is too weak.

      June 11, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • junior

      I don't see a need for imperial entaglements. Do you?

      June 11, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Answer

      I can once again laugh at this tool calling himself a man of god. Such joy in finding useless people to laugh at.

      June 11, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Chuckles

      I have an honest question for you, what has the crucifix, picture of the west's idea of mary and the holy water done to make you believe that it actually affects your classroom in anyway?

      June 11, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
  6. hippypoet

    god is a farce! deal with the truth and move on....oh yeah, santa isn't real either! 🙂

    June 11, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Santa

      Somebody is getting coal for Christmas.

      June 11, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • hippypoet

      thank you.... it will cut my heating bill.

      if i am really bad, will you bring alot of coal??? 🙂

      June 11, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • Santa's energy department

      Due to the increasing cost of fossil fuels we are no longer able to provide coal on a per transgression basis. The current naughtiness / coal exchange rate provides for one lump of coal, per month, in which total aggregate naughtiness exceeds the established acceptable levels of misanthropic behavior. If you feel as though your naughtiness requires special consideration feel free to contact Blitzen in the complaint department.

      June 11, 2012 at 10:26 am |
  7. Doc Vestibule

    On December 25th, long long ago, a child was born unto a virgin.
    Following a star shining in the east, 3 great kings of far off lands came to adorn the child with gifts to recognize his holiness.
    By the age of 12, the child was teaching learned men valuable lessons.
    By the age of 30, He had 12 disciples with whom he travelled the land performing miracles and spread the word of His ministry.
    Alas, He was betreayed to his enemies and crucified.
    Upon His death, he was buried for three days – but miraculously rose from the dead!The child was known by many names, including The Truth, The Light and God's Shephard.
    His name was Horus.

    As for the Jewish Carpenter who shares these biographical elements, a lot of the core prophecies "fulfilled" by Jesus that define Him as "The Messiah" are up for debate.
    For example: They say that Jesus being born of a virgin fulfills the Isaiah 7:14prophecy.
    However, the Hebrew term in Isaiah “almah” which means a “young woman”. "Virgin" is a mistranslation.
    Christians assert that Jesus is from David's line, but tribal line cannot be passed on through adoption. Jesus cannot be "son of David" through Joseph. A tribal line also does not pass through the mother, and even if it did, Mary was not descended of David through Solomon.
    Furthermore, did Jesus manage to:
    1) Rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem? Kind of hard to do since the Temple still stood during Christ's lifetime.
    2) Re-establish Jewish law as the only law?
    3) Save Israel? Lessee – just after His death (and Zombification)the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, Jerusalem was laid to waste, and the Jews went into exile to begin a 1900 year long night of persecution, — largely at the hands of Jesus' followers.
    4) Establish a world government run from Jerusalem?
    5) Return all the exiled Jews to Jerusalem?
    Don't forget that during that time, there were MANY claimaints to the Messiah role like Simon of Peraea, Athronges, Menahem ben Judah, Vespasian, Simon bar Kokhba, etc. ad nauseum.

    June 11, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Doc Vestibule,

      Could you provide references for your 1-5, also, for the similarities between Horus and Jesus? Thanks.

      June 11, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • hippypoet

      3) Save Israel? Lessee – just after His death (and Zombification)the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, Jerusalem was laid to waste, and the Jews went into exile to begin a 1900 year long night of persecution, — largely at the hands of Jesus' followers.

      this one strikes me as proof of jesus being the antichrist.... 🙂

      June 11, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • Jesus Is Mythology

      > On December 25th, long long ago, a child was born unto a virgin.
      > ...

      Nice tale, but you do realize that even December 25 was a fabrication?
      Constantine, in an effort to stabilize and unification, placed the dates of his unified religion on top of the other religions. So Christmas went on December 25, even though even in the Bible, the myth has the setting in the herding season (spring).

      Basically, Constantine created Christianity as you know it. Under him, the books in the bible were finalized, pagan holidays/rituals were turned into Christian ones.

      Why do you believe in the Jesus myth without evidence?

      June 11, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • junior

      "Basically, Constantine created Christianity as you know it."
      Wrong, Christianity was already formed, the liturgy of the word and the liturgy of the Eucharist already existed. His mother was a Christian while he was a pagan.

      June 11, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Jesus is Mythology
      Read the entire post before commenting.

      @Robert
      1) Revelation 11, 13 states that the Temple is rebuilt before the coming of Y'SHUAH
      2) Isaiah 1:26: "And I will restore your judges as at first and your counsellors as in the beginning; afterwards you shall be called City of Righteousness, Faithful City." Sanhedrin has not been restored.
      3) The Jewish people will experience eternal joy and gladness (Isaiah 51:11) The ruined cities of Israel will be restored (Ezekiel 16:55)
      4) The peoples of the world will turn to the Jews for spiritual guidance (Zechariah 8:23)
      Once he is King, leaders of other nations will look to him for guidance. (Isaiah 2:4)
      The whole world will worship the One God of Israel (Isaiah 2:11-17)
      5) All Israelites will be returned to their homeland (Isaiah 11:12)
      Don't forget the flat out impossible criteria like:
      Death will be swallowed up forever (Isaiah 25:8)
      There will be no more hunger or illness, and death will cease (Isaiah 25:8)
      Weapons of war will be destroyed (Ezekiel 39:9)

      "And if a king shall arise from among the House of David, studying Torah and occupied with commandments like his father David, according to the written and oral Torah, and he will impel all of Israel to follow it and to strengthen breaches in its observance, and will fight Hashem's wars, this one is to be treated as if he were the anointed one. If he succeeded and built the Holy Temple in its proper place and gathered the dispersed ones of Israel together, this is indeed the anointed one for certain, and he will mend the entire world to worship the Lord together, as it is stated: "For then I shall turn for the nations a clear tongue, so that they will all procalim the Name of the Lord, and to worship Him with a united resolve (Zephaniah 3:9)."

      June 11, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • rousch15

      Christ was n o t born on December 25. 12/25 was a p a g a n holiday from which the Catholic Church c r e a t e d Christmas.

      June 11, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • junior

      Really don't care if the birth of our Lord and Savior happened December 25. What is important is that a day is set aside to give reverence, thanks for the arrival of the Messiah.

      June 11, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Junior
      Why set aside a day to revere the birth of He Who Was NOT The Messiah (for all the reasons listed in the root post).

      June 11, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • junior

      Yeshua HaMashiach. And that my friend is EWANGELIUM

      June 11, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Doc Vestibule,

      1-I could not find anything in Revelation 11 – 13 about the temple being rebuilt.

      2- God is saying he will restore justice and righteousness = Jesus

      3- Isaiah 51:11 “Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.” Just replace Zion with Heaven and you will get the meaning of this verse you referenced. For the reference from Ezekiel you gave you really have to read Ezekiel 16: 44-59 to get the context which is just the opposite of what you wrote.

      4- Zechariah 8:23- This is the gentiles coming to God through Jesus. Paul and Timothy were the first Jews that gentiles took hold of their skirts to go with them through faith in Jesus.
      Isaiah 2:4 – When Jesus was born there was peace on earth, no war. Jesus brought the peace to individuals that passeth all understanding.
      Isaiah 2:11-17- Speaks of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans and then by Rome. The Jews would lose their pride and look to the Lord.

      5- Isaiah 11:12- These are the Jews who come to Christ.
      Isaiah 25:8 – Jesus has done this for the believer through eternal life.
      Ezekiel 39:9 – After defeating the army of Gog instead of burning all the enemies weapons in a huge bonfire they used them for firewood for seven years.

      The prophets are difficult reading at times. If you read them with the thought of the coming messiah in mind, it does help. Also, a good commentary can be useful.
      The Jews who refused to accept Jesus as the prophesied messiah, took a lot of the prophesies literally as you are doing, instead of spiritually as they were intended. Jesus has established the spiritual kingdom of God. He is the King of the Kingdom and all believers are his subjects.

      June 11, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Who cares

      Some king you have Robert, so powerful....oh I mean not powerful at all! What a joke, no trace of your god but a 2000 year old book of fairy tales. Their is more "proof" of Zeus than your god. If your god does exist (it doesn't) he is a huge fvcking coward and a p•ssy on top of that.

      June 12, 2012 at 9:24 am |
  8. Portland tony

    Wearing your religion on you sleeve is no way to become a cop. A Hasidic Jew presents problems to any organization since they are bound by a higher set of religious dogma that might not agree with established governmental policies. That being said, there is nothing that would make a Hasidic Jew unfit to serve. However if this beard controversy is any indication of what's to come ie: dress, holy days etc..then the NYPD will have quite a discipline problem.

    June 11, 2012 at 8:28 am |
  9. junior

    For every Christopher Hitchens, there is a Peter Hitchens. Nothing more beautiful as the path to salvation.

    June 11, 2012 at 7:55 am |
    • Huebert

      Unicorns. Unicorns are far more beautiful than your mythical salvation.

      June 11, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • junior

      Beauty is even more beautiful

      June 11, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Raptor Jesus

      Satan rules. Nothing is more awesome than the devil. God is a pansy and junior a poser.

      June 11, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • junior

      @ Raptor,
      Satan does in fact rule you. I choose God

      June 11, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Huebert

      @Junior

      Have you ever seen a unicorn?

      June 11, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Raptor Jesus

      @junior
      Satan does not exist, neither does any god. Yor a tool. Amen.

      June 11, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  10. HeavenSent

    Another day that I can wait ... to read the lying, bullying, controlling, selfish non-believers comments on this blog so they can continue their bad behavior to manipulate everyone and anyone that comes along their path in life to get their, their, their way. Selfish is as selfish does ... as they whine and complain that it's everyones' fault, but, their own. Oh, they were born selfish and have no intentions of changing ... ever. Sound familiar?

    June 11, 2012 at 6:25 am |
    • Mirosal

      yes, it does. It sounds like the christard minfesto .. to convert at all costs .. even if it means to kill them to save them. Just ask the Incans, Mayans and Aztecs . oops wait ... sorry, the Spanish christards killed them all.

      June 11, 2012 at 6:31 am |
    • Mirosal

      christard manifesto ... damn typos

      June 11, 2012 at 6:33 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Mirosal, you can't stand that Christians got your selfish, lying, controlling number to get your way in life at anyone/everyone's expense.

      Oh, boo, hoo, now you hate us for telling you Jesus' truth.

      June 11, 2012 at 6:55 am |
    • Mirosal

      There's no truth to jesus. He is the product of myth. His story is similar to other myths about gods bearing children to mortal mothers. You're the arrogant one by labeling me as selfish, a liar, and a control freak. Is that what religion and your "good book" taught you? I've made no such claims towards you. How am I selfish? What did I lie about? And just what am I trying to control?

      June 11, 2012 at 7:02 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Mirosal, you posted "There's no truth to jesus. He is the product of myth. His story is similar to other myths about gods bearing children to mortal mothers. You're the arrogant one by labeling me as selfish, a liar, and a control freak. Is that what religion and your "good book" taught you? I've made no such claims towards you. How am I selfish? "

      Answer: Jesus is truth. Satan is lies. If you can't comprehend this it's because you either want to smoke screen truth or were conned to believe lies of other that want to bury truth. Either way, you are believing satan's lies.

      June 11, 2012 at 7:17 am |
    • Mirosal

      How can I believe the "lies" of something that doesn't exist? There is no god, of ANY knid, nor is there any evil counterpart. And you still didn't answer the last 3 questions of my previous post.

      June 11, 2012 at 7:20 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Mirosal, I don't have the time to babysit you.

      June 11, 2012 at 7:38 am |
    • Mirosal

      I asked rather simple questions, and you shy away. You call me names, and accuse me, and when I ask for your proof of those accusations, you run and hide. You're all bark, and no teeth to bite with. Before you start to run with the big dogs, you'd better stop pi'ss'ing like a little puppy.

      June 11, 2012 at 7:44 am |
    • junior

      Jesus' story is not similar. How many gods offer themselves up for others? How many come to this earth out of humility? How many come to serve us? It is a shame that you know of Him but do not know Him.

      The Lord be with you.

      June 11, 2012 at 7:49 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Mirosal, I told you that I am not babysitting you to walk you through baby steps what is right and what is wrong. Go take your circular arguments ....

      June 11, 2012 at 7:53 am |
    • Mirosal

      I had to spend the better part of 12 years in religious schools. I know what your book says, and I know all the stories. Unlike you, I have outgrown the need for imaginary friends. You're sure there's no Santa, Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy, so why would you think this fairy is real? Because a BOOK told you it was? Now there's a circular argument.

      June 11, 2012 at 8:01 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Mirosal, the reason you can't know Jesus is because you refuse to go humble. Not my fault that your ego has a hold on you.

      June 11, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • Mirosal

      My ego is just fine and dandy. I am fully aware that I will never know everything, and it's rather fun to LEARN. However, I will not put stock into some imaginary thing that "knows all" and will reveal what IT wants when IT wants and be heppy with that. You're the arrogant one, by thinking you're above all others and already know everything. You'd better check YOUR ego.

      June 11, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • Nothing fails like atheism

      Oh but great Mirosal,if I said disprove Santa clause you wouldn't react in such a harsh immature manner.But if I said disprove God,there is something that changes.You become increasingly violent towards the believer who asks proof of your claim.You react childishly creating delusions from your own life such as "I went to a religious school for 12 years".

      Yet if I said disprove Zeus the same thing applies.You wouldn't react in a harsh manner.Only when something is said about God it makes you tick.

      That makes a very strong statement.A statement in which..deep down you do know but in the surface wish to deny it in front of everyone for your own self gain.

      Guess what? Heavensent is right you are selfish and to me lazy because you want the work done by another person not done by you

      June 11, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • Nothing fails like atheism

      If you want it so badly,find it yourself.YOU demand it so YOU find it.

      June 11, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • HeavenSent

      No one can know everything about Jesus. However, Christians read His truth throughout our lives, comprehend what He teaches, apply it to our lives to conduct righteous outcomes. If that irks you. Too bad. At least we paid attention to His first request to rid ourselves of our egos ... as to not knock heads with His truth. And you? You prefer to go around in circles believing lies.

      June 11, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • Huebert

      I love it when the religious demand that atheist find evidence for god. When they do this they are showing three weaknesses in their own arguments. First they are admitting that they don't have the evidence, if they did they would share it. Second they are showing their ignorance of logic, It's impossible to prove a universal negative. Third, they are ignoring the fact that most atheist grew up in a religious tradition. Personally, I spent years looking for god; and after about ten of those years without any sort of evidence for the existence of the most powerful being in the universe I logically concluded that he does not exist.

      Just curious HS and Nothing fails, how many other religions did you honestly examine before you concluded that Christianity was the correct one?

      June 11, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Huebert,

      I agree with you that there is no sense in arguing about something that cannot be proven with evidence. You said you spent ten years looking for God. Did you ever have a spiritual experience during your search? Lots of people hunt for God by looking for something tangible or physical. God is a spirit. No one can prove God to another unless they are willing to accept a personal testimony. I don’t believe you can “find” God. He finds you. You must seek but he does the finding. Have you ever looked for him following his directions?

      June 11, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • Huebert

      @Robert

      Yes, I looked for god by Reading the bible, attending church services, exploring and appreciating nature, and by trying to submit my self to the will of the universe. God isn't real. The only voice I ever herd was my own; when I was a child I thought it was god but then I realized that I was talking to my self. Additionally if god wanted believers all he would have to do is show himself, and not to individuals, but to everyone at once.

      June 11, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • C'mon

      HeavenSent,

      Point, point, point that finger...

      June 11, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Alfred

      " and by trying to submit my self to the will of the universe"

      And thats where you went astray, Huebert. You must submit to the will of The Lord.

      Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
      To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey

      All it takes is one step forward, and He comes running toward you.

      June 11, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Huebert

      @Alfred

      Tell me. What is the difference between an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, being, and the universe?

      June 11, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Huebert

      @Alfred

      Also you don't seem to understand that I, along with the majority of atheist, were believers at one point. I didn't become an atheist until I started to look for god.

      June 11, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Trust and Obey.
      So suspend all disbelief, even when faced with that which is patently absurd and/or contradictory?
      And whom should be obeyed? The Nicene Council who assembled the Bible as we know it?
      The modern shamans who claim to speak His Truth?
      The vengeful, smitey God of the Old Testament?
      Or his Son as presented in the NT?
      The problem is that God seems to use only a select few people as his mouthpieces – and the prophets all seem to disagree on rather important bits of The Message.
      If we are to obey the Son, then Jefferson's Bible is the way to go.
      Belief in resurrections, miracles, and other supernatural mumbo-jumbo is not needed to live a life of pacifism, humility and charity.

      June 11, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Huebert,

      You said “God isn’t real.” Are you absolutely convinced that there is no God, or have you just never found evidence of him?

      If you can say without any doubt that there is no God, then without his direct intervention to change your heart and mind, you have no hope. If you believe that there could be a God, then you can seek and he will find.

      You said you read the written word and attended church services. You started with “Yes”, was that yes for a spiritual experience or for following his directions? If you have had a spiritual experience then recalling that may be a good starting point. If not, reading the word and attending church are good ways to be where you can have one. Since you have read the bible you know that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. So, to obtain faith hear the word of God preached in the power of the holy spirit.
      Try visiting churches until you find one where the good news is preached.

      June 11, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  11. Nothing fails like atheism

    Case closed!

    June 11, 2012 at 6:25 am |
    • Portland tony

      No, case not closed....It's your intellect that's closed.

      June 11, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • Nothing fails like atheism

      Wanna talk about logic?

      Atheists believe in magic.

      We exist by random but never have they ever proven it.

      June 11, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • hippypoet

      what magic....you believe if you say its the power of god it makes it any less magical? you sir are a moron.....

      random is a mathematically sound idea where as god is a simple creation of some MAN from long ago to explain the unexplainable of the day...chaos theory is quantum physics 101 and is also based solely on the notion of random events...not to mention quantum uncertainty which is one of my favorites. random yet not....its a cool one.

      on the topic of proof – we atheists need not prove the lack of existence of something that has no impact on our daily lives, however those that believe based purely on the idea of somethings existence is a bit disconcerting! proof is the burden of those that believe where the real fact is that those who believe use the lack of proof to show how non believers can't show any proof of its non existence....circular agurments can be fun but i prefer ones that go places. Your belief in god or any god type is nothing less then equal to that of children believing in santa – be good or else! maybe thats your believers problems – poor parental figures as children so you joined the cult who whorships a make believe father ( who killed his son) – not very bright my unintelligent friend.

      June 11, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Portland tony

      @nothing...Atheism, as far as I'm concerned, is just the absence of a religious belief. Those who "preach" it are on a fool's mission. I personally am not intellectually prepared to understand the universe's creation and it's significance. You see if there were a great omniscient power that created it all, why would a book like the Bible be needed. If the truths that supposedly are written are the Creator's law, they would be embedded in our DNA!

      June 11, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • Nothing fails like atheism

      oh but hippy it does.If you obsesse it makes a huge impact.

      Stop lying

      June 12, 2012 at 9:27 am |
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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.