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October 2nd, 2012
05:29 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Tuesday, October 02

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:


Rimsha Masih, a Christian girl accused of blasphemy sits in helicopter after her release from jail in Rawalpindi.

CNN Explainer: Pakistan's blasphemy laws
It has been more than a month since a teenage Christian girl was charged in Pakistan under the country's blasphemy laws . Her accusers say she burned pages from the Quran, Islam's holy book. Amid twists in her case, including changed statements by witnesses, she is facing life in prison. On Monday, CNN reported that three witnesses whose testimony could absolve the 14-year-old Rimsha Masih have changed their statements, a potential setback for her. She has denied the charges.

CNN: Setback for Pakistani teen facing blasphemy charges
A Christian girl accused of violating Pakistani blasphemy laws by allegedly burning pages containing texts from the Quran will have to wait at least another two weeks to learn her fate after a court ordered a stay of proceedings in her case Monday. A juvenile court had been due Monday to hear the case of the girl, Rimsha Masih. But the Islamabad High Court said the hearing should wait until it has ruled on a petition by Rimsha's lawyers seeking a dismissal, one of the lawyers said.

CNN: Viral and profane pro-Obama ads channel tradition of Jewish humor
When it comes to reaching voters, the co-founders of a Jewish super PAC aimed at re-electing President Barack Obama have this tip for you: Use humor, even if it isn’t kosher. Two campaign videos produced by the Jewish Council for Education and Research – one featuring actor Samuel L. Jackson, the other comedian Sarah Silverman – have received a flood of attention over the past few weeks. A foul-mouthed Silverman pushes people to do whatever it takes to make it to the polls in spite of voter ID laws, while an uncensored Jackson orders disenchanted Obama supporters to “wake the f*** up” and get to work.


Rioters torched Buddhist temples and homes in Bangladesh over a Facebook photo deemed offensive to Islam.

CNN: Bangladesh Muslims torch Buddhist shrines, police say
Crowds of angry Muslims attacked Buddhist shrines and homes, torching some of them Sunday in Bangladesh to protest after a photo of a partially burned Quran was posted on Facebook, police said. The protesters chanted anti-Buddhist slogans, blaming the burning of the Muslim holy book on a Buddhist boy, district police superintendent Saleem Jahangir said.

Belief on TV:

Enlightening Reads:

The Los Angeles Times: Would Romney be 'most religious' president? What about Carter?
If Mitt Romney wins the Nov. 6 election, would he become our most religious president? It's an odd question, but one that has come up in recent days after writer Nicholas Lemann said as much in a profile of Romney that ran in the New Yorker magazine. “If elected,” Lemann wrote, “Romney, scion of an old, distinguished Mormon family (his ancestors had a direct connection to Joseph Smith and Brigham Young), would arguably be the most actively religious president in American history.”

Reuters: Russia bans controversial anti-Islam video
A Russian court paved the way for a potential closure of the video-sharing website YouTube by banning an anti-Islam video on Monday that sparked violent protests across the Muslim world. Moscow's Tverskoy Court ruled that the crude video, which was made in the United States and portrays the Prophet Mohammad as a fool and a womanizer, was "extremist".

Religion News Service: Descendants want justice for Connecticut witches
Connecticut was executing suspected witches some 40 years before Salem, Mass. Scores of others were put on trial until witchcraft was no longer listed as a capital crime in 1715. But unlike other states, Connecticut has yet to acknowledge those sent to the gallows. And descendants are trying to change that.

The Los Angeles Times: Daystar, TBN ready for Messiah in Jerusalem
If the Messiah descends from the Mount of Olives as foretold in the Bible, America's two biggest Christian broadcasters are well-positioned to cover it live thanks to recent acquisitions of adjacent Jerusalem studios on a hill overlooking the Old City. Texas-based Daystar Television Network already beams a 24-hour-a-day live webcam from its terrace. Not to be outdone, Costa Mesa-based Trinity Broadcasting Network last month bought the building next door.

Religion News Service: Shariah or not, Muslim divorces can get tricky
Islamic marriages typically include a basic marriage contract - but when it comes time to divorce, some judges see the dowry as a simple contract, others as a prenuptial agreement, and others as a strictly religious matter in which they don’t want to get involved.

Quote of the Day:

The tradition of mystical prayer is another way to access the peace that belongs to our soul. It is born from a need to rediscover our heart's relationship with the divine, our own personal and most intimate inner connection.

Sufi teacher Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Ph.D. offers advice on finding peace.

Join the conversation…


The author notes that more and more young people are rejecting traditional religion and taking up a variety of spiritual practices.

CNN: My Take: 'I'm spiritual but not religious' is a cop-out
Alan Miller, Director of The New York Salon and Co-Founder of London's Old Truman Brewery, calling a person spiritual but not religious “offers no positive exposition or understanding or explanation of a body of belief or set of principles of any kind.”

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Morning Read

soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. PeterVN

    Like that great blog post said, religion is for the ignorant, the gullible, the cowardly, and the stupid, and for those who would profit from them.

    October 4, 2012 at 4:44 am |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    October 2, 2012 at 5:39 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!

      October 2, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • TROLL ALERT

      Please don't feed the troll. But, if you can't resist the urge to respond please be kind to him. Bless his heart, this is the most attention that he gets all day.

      October 2, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. The degree to which your assertions may represent truths is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertions may represent truths, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      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

      October 2, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • .

      The s a t a n i s t s are complaining.

      October 3, 2012 at 2:12 am |
  3. hippypoet

    to all christians and christ followers....you love a 2000 year old dead man who is nailed to a cross who them supposedly rose from the dead on the third day to scare a few into the belief of him as the messiah...sounds kin.ky and a tad necromancish if you ask me.
    thou shallnt suffer a witch to live...thats in there somewhere and since necroromaning is witchcraft , it would seem to me that we all need to burn that jesus boy before he spreads the messages of the devil.

    please keep in mind this is only going on the logic of a true believer in god and his message as known thru the bible.

    thank you.

    October 2, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • nope

      @dip...
      nope

      October 2, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • snopes says

      nope to nope

      October 2, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • .

      Hippypoet, why are you concerned? Yes, we go against who you worship ... aka S A T A N.

      October 3, 2012 at 2:14 am |
  4. niknak

    Morning all.
    It is another beautiful day without god(s).

    October 2, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • nope

      @nik...
      nope

      October 2, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • snopes says

      nope to nope

      October 2, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • .

      niknak, paddy wack. Just another marvelous day in the neighborhood for p e r v e r t s, I see.

      October 3, 2012 at 2:15 am |
  5. BRC

    What's the Arabic word for Irony? I only ask becasue it amazes me that there are still articles about "The Innocence of Muslims." A dolt makes a video that is dismissed by the western world as bigotted absurdist trash, and could easily be overlooked and forgotten in minutes. But, the nations ruled by the religion that the video so cruedly made fun of are FULL of people practictally fighting each other to see who can prove him right the most. The more needless violence, militant threats and statements, and really any reaction at all is paid to the video, the more it makes a point, which it shouldn't, because it's stupid. To the extremist and reactionist Muslim's of the world- STOP GIVING THE VIDEO TRACTION. Move on and rise above it

    October 2, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Rob

      Most of the world had high opinions about Americans. Now that the atheists are out of control, we're hated throughout the world.

      October 2, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • sally

      Atheists in control?? LOL. It's really just all the bad press coming from the Repubtards. Once the election is over and Rummy pirate is out of the way, things will get better. Rummy pirate's ship is sinking fast.

      October 2, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • .

      Funny, most Christians are voting for him. Your polls are bogus.

      October 3, 2012 at 2:16 am |
  6. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    "The tradition of mystical prayer is another way to access the peace that belongs to our soul. It is born from a need to rediscover our heart's relationship with the divine, our own personal and most intimate inner connection."

    You rarely see so many ill-defined terms together in one place: mystical, soul, heart (in this context), divine, inner connection.

    We can give it another go:

    The tradition of prayer, the utility of which we are quite certain, though for reasons we may never know, is another way to access the peace that belongs to a part of us that does not actually exist as anything independent of our organic selves, though people persist in claiming that it does. It is born from a need to produce in our chests a sensation that persuades us that we have a relationship with an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient being for which there is no evidence, but with which we each nonetheless can have direct contact.

    October 2, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • Rob

      Face the facts that atheists are sociopaths. That's why none of you get it.

      October 2, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • hippypoet

      @rob – that was joke right...atheists as sociopaths – i think if you truly put some thought into it you will find that more rational and logical person is the atheist – we look at events and question to find the truth. we don't just jump to "god did it"....

      October 2, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • hippypoet

      i understand that wasn't very clear on the subject of us being sociopaths but it does really, see, by examining something we need others to help in the act of examination...or else all we have is our own point of views which aren't trust worthy as the human brain can be tricked and fooled. the more on the job the better and more reliaible the evidence.

      October 2, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • melvin

      Who is this "you" this rob tool is talking to?

      October 2, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • .

      Just by writing what you wrote Tom, is a prayer to SATAN.

      October 3, 2012 at 2:17 am |

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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.