By Arielle Hawkins, 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: From Kurt Warner’s wife to ‘Christian famous’
Brenda Warner used to known for her unflinchingly defense and championing of her superstar husband KurtWarner, former quarterback for the St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals and two-time National Football League MVP. In the two years since Kurt’s retirement, Brenda has become what some call "Christian famous" – a renowned evangelical speaker who tours the country with the likes of the 2012 Women of Faith tour, which will reach tens of thousands of Christian women with a message of hope and faith.
CNN: Christian pastor – once sentenced to death in Iran – is released, group says
A Christian pastor sentenced to death in Iran for apostasy was reunited with his family Saturday after a trial court acquitted him, said a nonprofit group monitoring the case. Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, born to Muslim parents and a convert to Christianity by age 19, was released after being held in prison for almost three years under a death sentence, said Tiffany Barrans, international legal director of the American Center for Law and Justice.
CNN: Unpacking the 5 faithy moments from Obama’s convention speech
Barack Obama’s Thursday convention speech contained insights into the president’s faith life and subtle messages to religious voters – if you knew what to listen for. Here are the five faithy moments I caught…
Belief on TV:
Huffington Post: Mitt Romney: Mormon Values Led Me To Politics
Mitt Romney opened up about his faith on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday morning, saying the values he cultivated from the Mormon faith led him to trade in his lucrative business career for politics.
New York Times: Gabriel Vahanian, Professor, Dies at 85; Was Linked to ‘Death of God’ Movement
Gabriel Vahanian, a theologian whose 1961 social critique, “The Death of God: The Culture of Our Post-Christian Era,” gave a name to a seemingly atheistic but widely misunderstood theological movement, died on Aug. 30 at his home in Strasbourg, France. He was 85.
Reuters: Russian Orthodox Church under attack: Patriarch
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church used a Sunday prayer service and a state TV interview to argue that the church he presides over is under attack from foes he said fear its post-Soviet revival and want to destroy its places of worship. Patriarch Kirill did not name punk music group Pussy Riot but was clearly referring to the collective, three of whose members were sentenced to jail for performing a "punk prayer" at the altar of a Moscow cathedral during which they criticized President Vladimir Putin.
The Jerusalem Post: Thieves sentenced for stealing 18th century Torah
The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court sentenced four people on Sunday to between nine months and four years imprisonment for stealing Jewish ritual and holy objects worth approximately $1 million from the Great Synagogue of Milan. The stolen objects included rare crowns and ceremonial objects placed on Torah scrolls dating back to the 18th century.
Reuters: Archbishop of Canterbury says job too much for one person
The outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury said his dual role as the head of the Church of England and spiritual leader of the 80 million-member global Anglican Communion was too much for one person and should be divided in the future. Rowan Williams, who steps down in December, told the Daily Telegraph he believed a more presidential figure should take on the wider role of guiding the Communion, a loose federation of 38 national and regional churches.
Quote of the Day:
The pledge says 'under God.'…I will not take God out of the name of our platform. I will not take God off our coins and I will not take God out of my heart. We’re a nation that’s bestowed by God.
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney at a campaign event in Virginia Beach, Va., alluding to Democrats’ decision to take God out of their party platform only to reinstate Him later.
Join the conversation…
CNN: Conventions leave atheists asking: What political party represents me?
This convention season has not been good for atheists. The word "God" was reinserted in the Democratic platform after it had been removed. A plan to raise atheist billboards in the convention cities was stymied by opponents. And though there were preachers and rabbis and other religious leaders opening and closing each day of each convention, there wasn’t an avowed atheist talking up unbelief on either convention’s speaking list. The political lockout has left many nonbelievers asking, “What political party represents me?”
And there is a similar analogue?
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Check out this hilarious song about Mormons
Prayer changes things
Yep. It flew airliners into buildings.
Though it was far less effective in getting trapped people out of plane-hit buildings.
I'm sorry "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but you assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:
I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
by the Alzheimer's Disease Society
Can anybody take part in this blog? If so, here's my question: What was God thinking about when he created the ebola virus?
The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, knew Satan and wrote a filthy book for him made up entirely of lies. This pleased Satan and he gave Muhammad the semen of many animals to replace his own pitifully weak semen. Muhammad went on to father two male children with his daughter Fatimah, Al-Hassan and Al-Hussein. A daughter was born of Fatimah as well, but only after she inseminated herself with the semen of feral dogs.
LET MY PEOPLE GO – HILLIARY CLINTON AND hussein Obama
OBAMA. LET JONATHAN POLLARD GO NOW LET MY PEOpLE GO
LET MY PEOLE GO
LET MY PEOPLE GO
LET MY PEOPLE GO SENETOR HILLIARY CLINTON
AND PRESIDENT OBAMA. LET JONATHAN POLLARD GO NOW
LET JONATHAN POLLARD GO NOW. WHAT WAS IS AND WILL BE
IN THE FUTURE. LET MY PEOPLE GO. LET JONATHAN POLLARD GO.
LET MY PEOPLE GO LET JONATHAN POLLARD GO NOW ON HUMANITARIANISM.
HE SERVED LONG ENOUGH
NEWS RELEASE: JERUSLAEM, ISRAEL
9/3/2012, Elul 16, 5772
MKs to Discuss 'Deterioration' of Relations With US
MKs will meet next week to discuss Israel's current relationship with the United States. The special session will be held next Wednesday, and was called by Kadima MKs, to discuss “the drastic deterioration of relations between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Barack H. Obama
LET MY PEOPLE GO – HILLIARY CLINTON AND hussein Obama
You know, god does advocate for things like abortion among other things when someones life is in trouble. It's called Pikuah Nefesh and it means that a person's life is sacred and should be saved regardless of the cost. This is usually used during times like Yom Kippur when a person needs to eat because of illness or some other thing, but it applies generally to everything. If the mothers life is in danger, it's a part of gods command to save the mothers life.
Noah's Ark – about 440 feet long and made of wood. All attempts at making wooden ships bigger that 300 feet resulted in vessels that were structurally unsound, flexing and leaking badly. Almost all had steel reinfircement and still were unsound. The largest was 377 feet – 63 feet shorter than the Ark. The ark is a myth – wood cannot make a boat that size, especially with the jointery techniques of the time.
Noah's Ark was the size of a World War II Liberty Ship. It would have been built by four guys, who had to cut down and haul all that lumber, then cut it into usable sizes, then build it into and enormous vessel. As a reference, it took 592,000 man-hours to build a Liberty Ship, which is much faster as they had cranes and other advanced machinery, and did not have to cut, haul and shape the wood, as Noah and his sons would. Assuming they worked 12 hours a day, six days a week (can't work the sabbath), it would have taken at least 157 years for them to do it.
Then they would have to travel the world to gather two of every species, and enough food to support them, then travel back, creating climate-controlled cages for those that couuld not survive in the Middle East. Let's see, there is 6,500,000 non-bacterial land species, and we are still discovering more, so Noah and sons travelled to undiscovered countries to catch every species in every part, then transported them all back, made cages, and left them to go get more. No way to not do the travelling, for any flood big enough to kill all the people would flood the whole world, not just a region.
Then he would have had to put 13,000,000 animals on board his Liberty Ship-sized ark, which is way too big to be made of wood but also way too small to carry that many, as well as food. Then they would have had to feed the animals during the storm – 8 people feeding 13,000,000 animals.
Then, when the storm was over, he had to take them all back home to their proper regions, where they would of course starve instantly, because if your have only two ants, the ant-eaters die, and only two squirrels, the coyotes die, and so on.
And then, Noah's descendants and every species were devastatingly inbred due to lack of diversity in the gene pool.
The Noah's Ark story is logistically so impossible that it is silly to believe it is true. And why would God bother? Aside from the genocidal psychosis of wanting to exterminate the human race, he cold simply have had a plague that would have spared all the animal handling and ship building absurdity. Seriously, the story makes God a cosmic dumb-ass, doing this the weirdest and most absurd way possible when he had tools that could do it instantly and efficiently, to the same end.
And this is all just one impossible story is a book of impossible stories.
Great post! Stupid stories from the bible are funny.
I always wondered how the human race went from being Noah, his sons, and their wives, to aborigines in Australia and Indians in India and blonds in Scandanavia and blacks in Africa and a wide range of natives in the Americas. How did they get there, and how did they change so fast, especially if you deny evolution?
tu tu tuvia . . read about this dude and the red cow. wacko!
Psalm 139:13-16 ... "For you have possessed my reins: you have covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise you; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are your works; and that my soul knows right well. My substance was not hid from you, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect; and in your book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them."
If a man still prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall say to him, "You shall not live, because you have spoken a lie in the name of the Lord." When he prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall thrust him through. (Zechariah 13:3 NAB)
kill the non believers!
1) Psalms are just songs, even the bible does not attribute them divine inspiration.
2) I believe in defending children, but a fetus is not yet a child, and nature will stop more developing children from being born then humans ever will, so again, it's a matter of interpretation.
"1) Psalms are just songs, even the bible does not attribute them divine inspiration."
Yes it does. ALL of the Bible is divinely inspired. God wrote all of it. And I'm not done giving passages yet. Keep reading. :)
"2) I believe in defending children, but a fetus is not yet a child, and nature will stop more developing children from being born then humans ever will, so again, it's a matter of interpretation."
So when does it become a child?
If god wrote the bible, then why was he so damn inconsistent? God needs an editor!
Yes, god wrote all of the bible, including the parts where it's ok to beat your slaves to death, slaughter innocent children as long as they're from a rival tribe, and stone rape victims.
Then again, one wouldn't really expect anything different from a war god.
In my opinion, they are a life when they are capable of surviving outside of the mother with medical assitance (currently 22 weeks according to our capabilities).
So what happens if our capabilities increase to sustain a life younger than 22 weeks? So it becomes a life depending on your capabilities in medicine. That's just not right at all.
Why not? If we develope the ability to remove a still developing embryo/zygote/very early stage fetus from a woman and either transplate to another or raise and develope it ecternal to a human body it would be a huge step in eliminating the need for abortions.
Still, I see what you're saying. I was trying to softne my opinion, but as always that just mucks things up. The more correct way to look at it would be to follow the rule life is life, and count the fetus as a life when it is capable of surviving (ie. breathing, pumping blood, and regulating internal functions on its own (which I still believe can be as early as 22 weeks, but this way that number doesn't change). That is probably a much better way to draw the line.
Open question to believers: If real undeniable proof that a religion OTHER than yours is right is found (or divinely imparted on all of humanity), what would you do? WOuld you convert? Would you recognize that your religion was wrong, but refuse to accept the other? OR would you continue your faith unchanged?
As an athiest, if there was ever PROOF that one of the world's religions was right, and it was one that believed in gods, I would stop being an athiest. I wouldn't convert to that religion, and I wouldn't change the way I live my life, but I would definitely admit I was wrong.
OK, I have to ask. If you KNEW there was a god, WHY wouldn't you get involved in that religion?
Because I don't take actions without reasons. I know there's a France, doesn't mean I'm going to go live there. My experiences in this world so far have shown no need for divine aid or intervention, and I've seen no reason to believe that any gods are watching out for humans. I'm not going to rush to worship a deity just because it exists. If it wants recognition it can earn it, until then I will continue to live my life the best way that I can. At teh same time, I'm not syaing that I'm going to start worhipping that deity to get what I want. I would much rather continue to be strong enough to not need a god then to suddenly change my life to rely on one just because I know it exists.
"If it wants recognition it can earn it, until then I will continue to live my life the best way that I can."
I suppose it depends on which god is proven to be true. Let's say it is the God of the Bible. Couple things to point out ... you statement makes it sound like God needs us, when it is just the opposite. We need Him. Second, if Jesus Christ is true, didn't He already earn our love and devotion by what He did for us on the cross? Third, if the God of the Bible is true, then you do realize being a good person won't get you into Heaven, right?
If the "God" of the bible is true, I will most certainly NOT be converting, and would be happy to tell him off. AS we've discussed before, the "God" of the Old Testament is a petulant murderous child, who plays manipulative pwoer games with people and causes killing and genocide on a whim. The "God" of the Bible is not worth following, I'll be spending my eternity in Hell.
As for Jesus, I will admit that he's a cool enough guy (though technically he's just "God" so I dont' know why he would be here seperately); but no, he has not earned my praise or worship. this exchange has been covered to many times already so I'll summarize, he sacrificed himself to himself, when he knew he was just going to heaven, and no matter how much it may have sucked, we're all still going to hell by default, so it was a truly hollow gesture that nobody asked for. Funny thing about that story, there were plenty of pepople living there lives just fine throughout the workd before Jesus came along, so I don't really thin he did anytihng for us. Many people clearly didn't need him. Jesus is only a concern if you're worried about teh afterlife. I'm not.
Wow, dude. That may be the saddest statement I've ever heard. So Jesus did the kindest thing anyone could ever do for anyone and you still don't want anything to do with Him?
What do you mean by He's "just God"?
"... so it was a truly hollow gesture that nobody asked for."
I ask for it. I NEED His forgiveness. I'm a vile, wretched sinner and deserve Hell.
"Funny thing about that story, there were plenty of pepople living there lives just fine throughout the workd before Jesus came along, so I don't really thin he did anytihng for us."
You can't get to Heaven by "living your life just fine." Every one of us has accrued a sin-debt that must be paid for. The Bible says there are no good people, "no, not one."
"Many people clearly didn't need him. Jesus is only a concern if you're worried about teh afterlife."
EVERY person — past, present and future — needs to be forgiven for their sins. The only way that happens is through Jesus paying your fines upon the cross. That's incredibly loving for God to take the beating, even to death of His body, for us. How in the world can anyone see this as a bad thing?
"You can't get to Heaven by "living your life just fine.""
You also can't expect Santa to leave you presents by 'living your life just fine'
The Jesus story is of course pure fantasy. The truth lies with Horus. Or is it Dionysus? All of these virgin-birthed, dying then resurrecting diety stories can be hard to keep straight.
If God doesn't need us, then why is He "a jealous God" who demands flattery and obesisance and becomes petulant should He not get it?
"I ask for it. I NEED His forgiveness. I'm a vile, wretched sinner and deserve Hell."
That us the saddest statement I've EVER seen written..... Why, Topher, do you think you are so vile? Have you killed someone? What have you done that is so vile?
He is evil for the same reason we're all evil.
6,000 years ago, a genetically modified clone of a human fashioned from dirt listened to a talking reptile and was consumed an apple, thereby condeming us all to hell unless we psychically submit to a Cosmic Overlord.
Also, you never answered my question. Hypothetically, one day fire that doesn not burn rains down from the sky all over the world, and all at once every man woman and childs is spoken to directly by Allah, and he says that Mohammed was his last true profit, and the way of Islam is the true way. Would you convert?
Seems to me that atheist looking for a political party that represents them is as futile as the legendary Greek Diogenes and his search for an honest man. Seriously, the platforms of either party contain statements that practically no one agrees but are there for the fringe. Knowing how our political system is structured we vote based upon our perception of the man who is running. Get serious atheist, which party represents the devil worshipper or Druid?
Dems are the party of helping people and trying to do what's best for everyone. Reps hate the country and hate helping people.
Not much of a choice? On the contrary, the contrast is overwhelming.
I am for reasonable government, the Reps are for destroying everything in a hissy fit because a black guy is President.
Easy choice there for me.
It's not like the Christians have a clear-cut choice here either. You've got one ticket that is OK with abortions and where both candidates are considered outside of orthodox theology (if not rank heresy/cultish) and then you have the current guy that is the most pro-abortion president we've ever had who claims to be a Christian and continues to make policies that clearly show he isn't.
You can be a Christian and be okay with abortion. It just means that Christian has a different interpretation of the bible from you.
Honestly, I don't see how you can be. It's murder. There are verse after verse in the Bible talking about how much God cares about the unborn. This isn't a matter of interpretation, it's a matter of whether you believe God's word.
Find the passage in the bible that says no abortions. YOU consider it murder, not everyone does. The "God" of the bible is against murder, but he's certainly not against killing (there is a difference). I also can't recall the passage saying that you must allow one life to be ruined so that a nother life might have a chance (not saying pregnancies ruin lives, but it is unrealistic to deny that in the wrong situation it can). It is about interpretations, and what you're forgetting is that yours is not the only one.
"Find the passage in the bible that says no abortions."
I'm not sure that word is found in the Bible. But it's pretty clear how God feels about it. You want some verses to back up my argument?
"The "God" of the bible is against murder, but he's certainly not against killing (there is a difference)."
"I also can't recall the passage saying that you must allow one life to be ruined so that a nother life might have a chance (not saying pregnancies ruin lives, but it is unrealistic to deny that in the wrong situation it can)."
I'd like to read that passage if you remember where it is ...
Think you missed my point on that last one. I'm saying that the bible does NOT advocate that (ie. there is no passage).
Psalm 106:37-39 ... "Yes, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood. Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a wh.oring with their own inventions."
Psalm 127:3 ... "Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward."
Psalm 139:16 ... "our eyes did see my substance yet being imperfect; and in your book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them."
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.