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: Dutchman builds replica Noah's Ark after flood dream
A Dutchman has built a replica of Noah's Ark to biblical proportions, following a dream his homeland would be flooded. Johan Huibers, a wealthy businessman, used the ancient measurement of the cubit – the length of a man's arm from elbow to fingertips – to build the vessel to the dimensions specified in the book of Genesis.
CNN: Church that barred black wedding affirms commitment to equal treatment
A Mississippi church that wouldn't allow a black couple to marry in its sanctuary because of the couple's race appears to be trying to right a wrong, as officials with the church's denomination decried the incident. Charles and Te' Andrea Wilson, regular attendees at First Baptist Church in Crystal Springs, Mississippi, were forced to relocate their wedding this month at the last minute. Their pastor, Stan Weatherford, made the relocation request on behalf of some congregants who didn't want to see the couple married there, according to CNN affiliate WLBT.
CNN: Christian groups allege threats to religious freedom in anti-Chick-fil-A campaigns
The nation’s biggest evangelical group said Monday that religious freedom is threatened by American mayors who say Chick-fil-A is not welcome in their cities because of the restaurant leader’s opposition to gay marriage. “Individuals have the right to decide whether or not to ‘eat mor chikin.’ But no government leader should restrict a business or organization from expanding to their district based on the personal or political views of the owners,” Leith Anderson, the president of the National Association of Evangelicals, said Monday.
Female Saudi Judo athlete Wojdan Shaherkani, left, arrives with her father at Heathrow airport on July 25, 2012.
CNN: Headscarf may bar Saudi woman from Olympics judo competition
One of the two women on Saudi Arabia's Olympic team may be pulled from the competition because of the kingdom's insistence that she wear a headscarf in her judo matches. Saudi and international Olympic officials met late into the night with International Judo Federation representatives to resolve the case of Wojdan Shaherkani, the Saudi Olympic committee said Monday.
Tweet of the Day:
66% say #religion is losing influence on American life - among the highest % since the question was first asked in 1957 pewrsr.ch/OdqJFe— Pew Forum (@pewforum) July 30, 2012
66% say #religion is losing influence on American life - among the highest % since the question was first asked in 1957 pewrsr.ch/OdqJFe
Belief on TV:
The New York Times: China Assails U.S. ‘Arrogance’ in Report on Religious Freedom
The United States has issued its annual report on religious freedom around the world, taking particular aim at repression and crackdowns in China, North Korea and Myanmar. China shot back that the report was “full of prejudice, arrogance and ignorance.”
Catholic News Agency: Vatican daily slams 'confused' Gates Foundation policies
Vatican daily L’Osservatore Romano has published an article sharply criticizing the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for securing $4.6 billion dollars over the next eight years to promote contraceptives, starting in Africa. In her July 29 front-page story, reporter Giulia Galeotti said Melinda Gates, who self-identifies as Catholic, “has gone astray.”
The Chicago Tribune: Catholic fertility methods help Chicago woman conceive
Mary-Louise Hengesbaugh admits to growing bitter as she counseled women who considered having abortions to end their unwanted pregnancies five years ago. Pregnancy was all she wanted. But as the director of the Chicago Archdiocese's Respect Life office, she couldn't share her struggle with infertility, which lasted for more than nine years. "I thought, 'Is God laughing at me?'" she said." I had a real chip on my shoulder."
Quote of the Day:
It’s particularly urgent that we highlight religious freedom, because when we consider the global picture and ask whether religious freedom is expanding or shrinking, the answer is sobering. More than a billion people live under governments that systematically suppress religious freedom. New technologies have given repressive governments additional tools for cracking down on religious expression. Members of faith communities that have long been under pressure report that the pressure is rising. Even some countries that are making progress on expanding political freedom are frozen in place when it comes to religious freedom. So when it comes to this human right, this key feature of stable, secure, peaceful societies, the world is sliding backwards.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in her remarks at the release of the 2011 International Religious Freedom Report to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on Monday.
Join the conversation…
Twelve crosses comprise a makeshift memorial across the street from the movie theater where last week’s mass shooting happened.
CNN: My Take: This is where God was in Aurora
Rob Brendle is the founding pastor of Denver United Church, a former associate pastor at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, and the author of "In the Meantime: The Practice of Proactive Waiting." He gives his take on the question, “Where was God in Aurora?”
Prayer changes things
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!-
It's my birthday! Congratulations to me!
Excellent job not dying this past year :)
Why you're celebrating Chuckles, remember:
Submission of chosen targets (American Indians, Muslims, blacks, gay, females of every race, mexicans, etc.) are gradual as they adopt the Talmudic concepts as being Christian, thus producing a Jewish society. It is what Rabbi Martin Siegel call, "the Judaization of Christianity.")
I think you need to thank God for creating you and allowing you to live all these years.
You're right! Thank you Buddha I am not one year older and 3 years wiser.
Gays are the newest front line for the atheists cowards that crucified Jesus Christ, want his teachings removed from society to usher in satan's lies of the Talmud.
You better fvckin belief it you cowards who do the persecution are getting your butt handed back to you.
Within your own moronic doctrines.. persecution of different beliefs. Protestants vs Catholics.. persecution against the Jewish.
Women.. colored people.. inter-racial marriages.. LGBT community and now us atheists.
Are there anybody left out in the world that you religious morons haven't persecuted?
Christians have always been persecuted by the j.e.w.s. idiot. You're just the latest front man. J.e.w.s cry all the time so no one knows they are the stalkers and hunters.
How did you manage to fit that much bat-sh!t-crazy on two lines?
Huebert, the j.ew atheist is coming in to insult any and all that oppose him of his mini-tiny god complex.
Small minds, big plans to conquer the world.
Jew atheist? You mean Chuckles?
We are trying to save the jobs of 5 people
If you can help, please do
Here you go, Neil
Your numbers are terrifying. You are over leveraged.
I don't see a real path forward for you, because your debt load is unsustainable.
Perhaps offer a code here, for a nominal discount, and generate some revenue?
I'm a ni-gerian investor. If you send me your bank information I can make a return to you of 15% of our nations GDP
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.