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July 4th, 2012
04:29 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Wednesday, July 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: PHOTOS: Famous Scientologists, beyond Tom Cruise

CNN: Tom Cruise divorce raises question: What is Scientology, anyway?
News of Tom Cruise's split with Katie Holmes and questions about any role that Cruise's status as a Scientologist may be playing in the divorce have a lot of people wondering: What is Scientology, anyway? In a series of tweets on Sunday, News Corp. boss Rupert Murdoch called the religion "a very weird cult" and said that Cruise is the "number two or three" man in the church's hierarchy. Here are the basics about the religion. What other questions do you have?

CNN: Mormon influence in Nevada fading, but still a factor
In 1986, with control of the United States Senate up for grabs, The Economist dispatched a reporter to Nevada, an important battleground that year, to survey the race between then-Rep. Harry Reid and his Republican opponent, James Santini. "Mr. Reid's performance in Las Vegas could well turn on the Mormon vote," the correspondent noted, spotlighting Reid's religion. "Though only some 12% of Nevadans are Mormons, they punch more than their weight. Less than half the state's eligible voters bother to register, but Mormons almost always do, which gives them about a quarter of the likely turnout."

Tweet of the Day:

Belief on TV:

Enlightening Reads:

The Jewish Telegraph Agency: More Reform rabbis agreeing to officiate at intermarriages
Danny Richter and his fiancée, Lauren Perkins, have never been to a Jewish wedding. That's about to change. This fall, the interfaith couple is planning to be married in a Jewish wedding ceremony. The wedding marks other significant firsts: It also will be the first time that Rabbi Jill Perlman, assistant rabbi at Temple Isaiah in Lexington, Mass., has ever officiated at an interfaith wedding. In fact, it will be the first time that any clergy from the Reform congregation - Richter’s family synagogue for three generations - will have done so.

USA Today: Ruling lets S.C. students earn credit for religion classes
In a ruling that advocates called "a tremendous victory for religious education," a three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the right of a school district to award high school credit for religious courses, as long as they meet secular standards. The decision, which stemmed from a 2009 lawsuit filed against Spartanburg District 7, gives a constitutional stamp of approval to a 2006 South Carolina law that authorized school districts to accept credit from "Released Time" courses using the same criteria as for accepting credit transferred from private schools.

Reuters: Church of England vote on women bishops could be derailed
A vote to allow women bishops in the Church of England looks set to be derailed by its own supporters, who say a last-minute concession to conservative opponents is a step too far. Pro-women bishop campaigners want a final vote at the church's General Synod, or parliament, on Monday to be delayed so the amendment can be sent back to the House of Bishops for reconsideration.

The Virginian-Pilot: SEAL training range won't show woman as target
The Navy will not use a target depicting a Muslim woman holding a gun at a new training range for SEALs in Virginia Beach. The announcement came hours after the Council on American-Islamic Relations asked the Pentagon to remove the target. A picture of the cardboard target, which shows a woman in a headscarf holding a pistol, was published in The Virginian-Pilot on Tuesday. The image shows verses of the Quran hanging on the wall behind the woman, which also generated criticism from the group.

Quote of the Day:

"I'm an American. This is an independent restaurant. I can do as I wish and I'm going to continue to offer the church-bulletin discount."

Pennsylvania restaurant owner Sharon Prudhomme told Lancaster Online. Prudhomme’s restaurant, Lost Cajun Kitchen, is the target of a discrimination complain, which alleges that its policy of offering Sunday discounts to customers who present church bulletins discriminates against non-religious patrons.

Opinions of the Day:

CNN: My Take: Library of Congress's 'books that shaped America' list plays down religion
Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," reacts to the Library of Congress' new list of the 88 “Books That Shaped America.”

Join the conversation…

CNN: Busing nuns cover 2,700 miles to rally in D.C. against Ryan budget
A group of nuns who took to the road 2,700 miles ago reached Washington Monday carrying the same message they began with: "Reasonable revenue for responsible programs." Standing in front of the United Methodist Building near the U.S. Capitol, the "Nuns on the Bus," as they have billed themselves, rallied an excited crowd with stories from the road and a call to action for future protests to protect social programs. Starting in Iowa, the nuns traveled through nine different states in a trip ended right outside the Capitol building.

- CNN's Laura Koran

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (171 Responses)
  1. modekicks overblog

    It is definitely a fantastic along with valuable part of information. I'm satisfied you discussed this particular beneficial information along with us. You should continue to be people up to date like this. Thank you for discussing. modekicks overblog

    July 5, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    July 5, 2012 at 4:23 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does 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!

      July 5, 2012 at 10:35 am |
  3. A known Filipino

    Some Atheists are extremists. Some Christians are extremists. No matter what there will be people who take everything out of context.

    July 5, 2012 at 3:18 am |
  4. UK Dave & crew

    I continue to score goals for the Church! 🙂
    What do you continue to score?
    Did you finally score misery or do you continue to score goals?
    When I shake hands with God, you will know precisely who I am! 🙂

    July 4, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • mafia don

      I finally scored misery! 😦
      My boys finally scored misery! 😦

      July 4, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • mafia don

      My boys & I finally scored misery! 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦

      July 4, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • mafia don

      I know precisely who you are Jesus! 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦

      July 4, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • mafia don

      I just know you're gonna shake hands with God UK Dave! 😦
      I guess I should really be happy for you UK Dave!
      I guess I'll try UK Dave!

      July 4, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • mafia don

      Mafia Don now shuts my mouth UK Dave! 😦
      You are a far greater Mafia Don than I'll ever be UK Dave!
      Are you a real Godfather UK Dave?

      July 4, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • mafia don

      Are you the proper Godfather UK Dave?

      July 4, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • UK Dave

      Yes, I'm the proper Godfather & I Godfather the Community properly mafia don! 🙂
      When I shake hands with God, you'll know precisely who I am responsive mafia don! 🙂

      July 4, 2012 at 11:33 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.