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August 2nd, 2012
04:30 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Thursday, August 2

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: Chick-fil-A restaurants become rallying points for supporters
Throngs of people weighed in on the Chick-fil-A debate at stores across the United States on Wednesday, buying chicken sandwiches to show their support for the restaurant chain and its president's opposition to same-sex marriage. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee dubbed it "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day." He called for a vocal response to the backlash against the fast food restaurants and their president.

Some atheists may ask questions on the Internet that they wouldn't have asked in church.

CNN: 'Where was God in Aurora?' comments show Internet as church for atheists
The Internet has become the de facto global church for atheists, agnostics and other doubters of God, who of course don’t have bricks-and-mortar churches in which to congregate. We see this phenomenon in motion every day on the CNN Belief Blog, where atheists/agnostics/humanists are among the most zealous commenters.

Tweet of the Day:

Belief on TV:

Enlightening Reads:

Religion News Service: Does the contraception mandate really kill religious freedom?
The Obama administration’s policy requiring most employers to provide free birth control coverage in their health insurance policies takes effect on Wednesday (Aug. 1) - a deadline that has sparked apocalyptic warnings from conservative activists and some faith groups.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency: Barak orders haredi Orthodox conscription
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the Israeli Defense Forces to draft haredi Orthodox men as it does other Jewish Israelis. Barak has allowed a month for officials to formulate regulations on haredi conscription, according to reports. The order came as the Tal Law, which allowed haredi men to defer army service, expired on Wednesday. Israel’s Supreme Court overturned the law in February.

Reuters: French mayor retreats after suspending fasting Muslims
A French mayor has revoked the suspension of four Muslim camp counsellors following an uproar after he said they could not work properly because they might be weakened by their all-day fasting for Ramadan. Muslim groups threatened to sue the Paris suburb of Gennevilliers for discrimination for recalling the four after an inspector found on July 20 – the first day of the Muslim holy month – that they were not eating or drinking during the day.

The Guardian: Somali comedian who mocked Islamists is shot dead
One of Somalia's most popular comedians, known for his parodies of Islamist militants, has been shot dead in the capital, Mogadishu. Abdi Jeylani Marshale was reportedly killed shortly after leaving a local radio station where he worked as a drama producer and performer. It is not known who carried out the murder but last year Marshale was threatened by the extremist group al-Shabaab, prompting him to go into hiding in neighbouring Somaliland for several days.

The New York Times: Musicians on Trial Over Crude Anti-Putin Song in Moscow Cathedral
At the opening of their trial on charges of inciting religious hatred, three young women who performed a crude anti-Putin song on the altar of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior said on Monday that they were prepared to take responsibility for “an ethical mistake.” But they denied the formal criminal accusations read aloud by prosecutors.

Quote of the Day:

On this day, let us renew our determination to reverse the mandate and restore the religious liberty that has been demolished by the Obama Administration’s actions.

Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner said in a statement Wednesday, as new Department of Health and Human Services mandate went into effect. The mandate requires insurance companies, including those catering to religiously affiliated employers, to provide free contraception coverage, drawing the ire of many faith leaders.

Join the conversation…

CNN: Black pastors group launches anti-Obama campaign around gay marriage
A group of conservative black pastors are responding to President Barack Obama’s support of same-sex marriage with what they say will be a national campaign aimed at rallying black Americans to rethink their overwhelming support of the President, though the group’s leader is offering few specifics about the effort.

- CNN's Laura Koran

Filed under: Morning Read

soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. fintastic

    @shiningtard "Entice them to play the radio or cassette player whenever they drive, to keep the TV, the VCR, and their CD's going constantly in their homes."

    I knew that cassette player was EVIL! EVIL I SAY!!!!! bwahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

    August 8, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    August 2, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • 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!

      August 3, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • intelligent independent scholar

      Reviewing the claims of the so called "Jesus" we find said "Jesus' to be faulty in opinion and inconclusive in data cited.

      August 10, 2012 at 10:20 am |
  3. Believer

    Question for the Atheist:

    Suppose tomorrow a legit spaceship showed up in Earth's orbit. It landed and out came genuine extraterrestrials from another planet. All we know so far about life in the universe is here on Earth so it's safe to at least theorize that alien life forms have a very good chance of being bipedal and humanoid. If these aliens land and walk out and are human looking, down to the closeness in DNA and they have a similar religion to say, Islam. Would you convert?

    Same question holds true for other christians, jews and eastern religious people.

    For me personally, it would be a big sign for me if Aliens landed and looked like us preaching a similar story to the Koran. I am a methodist, but that would definitely make me rethink my entire stance on the matter.

    Now your turn:

    August 2, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Huebert

      Unless these aliens brought some kind of evidence for their religion and the existence of their deity, such as a demonstration of the power of their form prayer, I really have to much to rethink. If these aliens came form a planet of similar size, chemical composition, and distance from its star it stands to reason that they could be very similar to us in many ways up to and including our penchant for religions.

      August 2, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Huebert

      *I really wouldn't have to much to rethink.

      Sorry I often suck at typing.

      August 2, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Well, if we take your statment,"All we know so far about life in the universe is here on Earth so it's safe to at least theorize that alien life forms have a very good chance of being bipedal and humanoid." then we have some ideas similar to ideas about our origins we already have 1. God created us both, explaining the similarities or 2. evolution will inevitably produce humanoid creatures (which i think is ridiculous) and a 3rd, although highly unlikely 2 species light years across randomly had the same evolutionary results. Now addressing the the latter 2, it could stand to reason that if we evolved similarly, so too could social and religous ideas. If given that, I would answer you no, it was just a coincidence. Given that, I would dismiss the first option. I would place the same burden of proof on the aliens.

      I would not convert based on that scenario alone, but I admit I would do alot more thinking about it.

      August 2, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Jonathan Delafield

      yeah, there'd have to be some evidence like that. Just remember: "atheist" means lack of belief. It does NOT mean believing in nothing. There's no "believing" for atheists, just the following of evidence. An alien showing up preaching something that looked like Earth religion would make me sit and notice ... or maybe a 900 foot apparition of Jesus over the National Mall. But no one has ever seen anything like this, thus all the christian excuses about hiding the sign, or whatever.

      August 2, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Answer

      Here is the premise and conclusion of said alien encounter..

      An alien race coming to earth.. two things have to be noted:

      1) they themselves have overcome their religious dogma to be technologically advanced.
      2) they need technology to travel ~~note the long journey~~

      So unless you're a retard still – who is hung up on TRYING to convert people that your brand of fairy tale will be evoked by these SAID aliens you will be awfully disappointed.

      Could aliens be humanoid is the ultimate question? It is NOT whether they have a religion when they travel through space.
      Because per the above summary you'd be stupid and they're advanced. Technology is their culture. And that explains why they can get to us.

      August 2, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • K-switch

      Well, I do think "space muslims" that mastered space travel might be an inspiration to some of the extremist muslims today.

      August 2, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Answer

      And to really conclude the ultimate premise of an alien culture...

      If they hold a religion when they are that advanced .. they WILL BE OUT to CONQUER and CONVERT. Meaning – they will euthanize the human race.

      August 2, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • Answer

      To really prove the point...

      What/whom do you of the religious apply the word/label "inferior" towards?

      August 2, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Believer

      Some good answers, interesting.

      I have to say, it's pretty unfair to as/sume that if an alien race can travel to earth, they'd be atheists themselves. Religion can be a strong motivator. I also don't want to theorize what sort of religion these space aliens have, I was just choosing islam because that's a religion I have no intention of ever converting to, but in this highly unlikely event, it could change my mind. If there were islamic aliens coming to earth, sure they might be here to kill and conquer, but I'm focusing on religion in general.

      Would a race of humanoid aliens not be enough evidence though at the existence of God (that is, if they were preaching a similar gospel of course). Why is it necessary to need more proof than that?

      August 2, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Believer

      Because it has still not been demonstrated. It wouldn't matter how many different people, things, or whatever came and told me the same gospel, if there still is no evidence, then there's no evidence and no reason to believe.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • Believer

      @Hawaiii

      would you not even give it a second thought? I mean, ALIENS! FROM OUTER SPACE! I know I'm not going to win you over with the idea of just how improbable something is, but would you not even for a moment think about how unlikely a humanoid species lightyears away could evolve so similarly to us along with such a similar religion. That would be INSANE!

      August 2, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Believer

      Sorry, but no I wouldn't. If all they have is the same assertions, and arguments, with no evidence to back it up, then my position would stay the same.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Believer

      You my think it insane, but it is merely an ad populum argument.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      I think the more basic principle of god-ness often gets overlooked. I voted for Obama, but I support very little of what he does. I don't see why my att.itude should be any different to a so-called deity. If I agree, I agree. If I don't, I won't. An externally imposed morality is nothing more than mental slavery.

      If aliens showed up with evidence of a deity, does that mean that we must all bow down and start groveling and worshiping this deity? Grow a spine, people and stand up straight and have some pride.

      August 6, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
  4. Hypatia

    It's rather hilarious that xians have found their 'voice' in greasy fattening food. May the most clogged artery win!

    August 2, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Giovana

      Yup. #6 is the last line of The Return of the King. And yes, Dorothea, #1 is Wharton (her short story Roman Fever ) nice catch! #5 is totally The Dead you're right, Mike, it is kind of ppulre in comparison with the rest of that paragraph.#7 isn't Dante, but, now that I think about it, it does sound rather Dantean. Which is actually really interesting.

      October 8, 2012 at 4:46 am |
  5. LinCA

    In other religion news, believers act on their god given morals and set a couple of lovers straight. The article doesn't address any court proceedings, but I'm sure they had a fair trial and were duly represented by competent defense attorneys.

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/02/world/africa/mali-couple-stoned/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

    August 2, 2012 at 11:11 am |
  6. NoSign4U

    Matthew 16:4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.

    August 2, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      Did you mean "Jonah" ?

      August 2, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Orem

      A rational generation asks politely for evidence.

      August 2, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • K-switch

      Personally I'm too busy seekething extramarital affiars. I have no time to seeketh a sign.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Huebert

      So god is intentionally hiding his existence. Does he not understand that the longer he hides the more atheist he will create or, does he just not exist? Because that would make a lot more sense.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      No: All this post does is show your laziness and inability to live in the present day. Did you make it out of the 1st grade? Those the people who are usually dependent on others to think for them.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Mandy

      Atheists are always complaining.

      Isaiah 29:16 Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?

      August 2, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Shinning Star

      The Characteristics of Satan.

      Created by God, and not equal to God (Prov 16:4).

      Defies God and despises truth (John 8:44).

      Was given limited power (Job 1:8-12).

      Was defeated at Calvary (Eph. 1:20-23).

      Rules the masses outside God’s protection (Eph. 2:1-36.

      Commands a hierarchy of demons (Eph. 6:10-12).

      Came to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10).

      Masquerades as "an angel of light." (2 Cor. 11:14-15).

      Tries to hide the actual truth about our God. (Acts 13:6-13).

      Twists the meaning of Scriptures to fit his purposes. (Gen. 3:1-5).

      Offers counterfeit promises that he can't and won't fulfill. (Job 41:1-34).

      Always seeks an "opportune time" to tempt us (Luke 4:13)

      Our enemy Satan is a cunning adversary and knows just what it takes to destroy our hopes, happiness, and our need for God.

      He uses knowledge that spans time and eternity to use against us while we only have a limited amount of years on this earth to learn about him.

      Our short life span put up against Satan's amassed knowledge makes us ill equipped against this mighty enemy.

      But be not afraid,because God's Scriptures are the weapons we use against this ardent foe of our life, whose only goal is to defeat your life.

      There are five main things he does to discourage, disrupt, and damage Christians.

      Doubt: Makes you question God's word and his goodness.

      Discouragement: Makes you look at your problems rather than God.

      Diversion: Makes the wrong things seem attractive so you want them more than the right things.

      Defeat: Makes you feel like a failure so you don't even try.

      Delay: Makes you put off something so it never gets started or completed.

      Satan wants a believer to dwell in ignorance of God’s word and will.

      Satan wants a believer to walk in impatience with God’s will.

      Satan wants a believer to walk in independently from God’s will.

      Satan wants you to feel guilty but not to repent of your sin, nor to be baptized in Jesus' name.

      Satan wants you to be religious but not saved.

      Satan wants to flood your mind and have you to believe his lies.

      For still our ancient foe

      Doth seek to work us woe;

      His craft and power are great,

      And, armed with cruel hate,

      On earth is not his equal.

      Satan's Tactics to Destroy Believers.

      Satan called a worldwide convention.

      In his opening address to his evil angels, he said,

      We can't keep the Christians from going to church.

      We can't keep then from reading their Bibles and knowing the Truth.

      We can't even keep them from conservative values.

      But we can do something else.

      We can keep them from forming an intimate, abiding experience in Christ.

      If they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken.

      So let them go to church, let them have their conservative lifestyles, but steal their time, so they can't gain that experience in Jesus Christ.

      This is what I want you to do, angels.

      Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!

      How shall we do this?, shouted his angels.

      Keep them busy in the non-essentials of life and invent un-numbered schemes to occupy their minds, he answered.

      Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, then, borrow, borrow, borrow.

      Convince the wives to go to work and the husbands to work 6 or 7 days a week, 10-12 hrs. a day, so they can afford their lifestyles.

      Keep them from spending time with their children.

      As their family fragments, soon, their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work.

      Over stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still small voice.

      Entice them to play the radio or cassette player whenever they drive, to keep the TV, the VCR, and their CD's going constantly in their homes.

      And see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays music constantly.

      This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ.

      Fill their coffee tables with magazines and newspapers.

      Pound their minds with the news 24 hrs a day.

      Invade their driving moments with billboards.

      Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, sweepstakes, mail order catalogues, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering, free products, services, and false hopes.

      Even in their recreation, let them be excessive.

      Have them return from their recreation exhausted, disquieted and unprepared for the coming week.

      Don't let them go out in nature.

      Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, concerts and movies instead.

      And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences and unsettled emotion.

      Let them be involved in soul-winning.

      But crowd their lives with so many good causes they have no time to seek power from Christ.

      Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family unity for the good of the cause.

      It was quite a convention in the end.

      And the evil angels went eagerly to their assignments causing Christians everywhere to get busy, busy, busy and rush here and there.

      Has the devil been successful at his scheme?

      You be the judge.

      http://www.scribd.com/doc/25352650/The-Characteristics-of-Satan

      August 2, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Very good Shinning Star.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • Mirosal

      All your catterwalling still does not do one thing. You still have not shown any proof or evidence of any "god" or "devil".

      August 3, 2012 at 2:20 am |
    • Beth

      Mirosal, scientists discovered that the frontal lobe of the atheists is not utilized making atheists not working on all cylinders.

      August 5, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Beth, I wouldn't crow too hard. You left out a lot of information. For those people interested in the whole story, not just Beth's dishonest interpretation, here is a link.

      http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=is-there-a-difference-between-the-brain

      August 5, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • Beth

      I wasn't crowing, that's what you atheists do. To not use that area is the reason you atheists don't believe. Like anything, use it or loose it.

      August 5, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • fintastic

      Beth, does mommy know you're using her computer? please go back to playing with your Barbie dolls.

      August 8, 2012 at 5:23 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.