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October 9th, 2012
05:38 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Tuesday, October 09

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 Belief Blog wins Religion Newswriters Association awards
We're gonna gloat. Over the weekend, CNN's Belief Blog won a stack of awards from the Religion Newswriters Association at the group's annual conference. It's a huge honor for us and we want to thank our readers, who help shape our coverage every day via comments, guest pieces, tweets and Facebook posts. Here's a rundown of the awards, with links to the stuff that took top honors.

CNN: Pastor at Ryan event once said Romney is not a Christian
The pastor who delivered a passionate invocation at Paul Ryan's rally in Rochester, Michigan on Monday evening told CNN earlier this year that the man at the top of the Republican ticket, Mitt Romney, is not a Christian. Romney's running mate was making his first campaign appearance in Michigan since August.

CNN: Pastor heralds success of endorsing from the pulpit, challenging IRS
In a sermon that likely broke the law, Indiana pastor Ron Johnson told his 400 congregants Sunday that for those who believe in the Bible, the decision to vote against President Barack Obama “is a no-brainer.” “For Christian people who believe the Bible is the inspired world of God, it is not rocket science,” Johnson told CNN after his sermon.

CNN: Philippines, Muslim rebels reach peace deal
The Philippines has reached a preliminary agreement with Muslim rebels after 15 years of talks, the president announced Sunday, marking a major milestone after decades of militant insurgency in the nation's troubled south. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front has fought for decades for an independent Islamic state in southern Philippines. It has been blamed for rampant attacks in the region.

CNN: Survey: One in five Americans has no religion
The fastest growing "religious" group in America is made up of people with no religion at all, according to a Pew survey showing that one in five Americans is not affiliated with any religion. The number of these Americans has grown by 25% just in the past five years, according to a survey released Thursday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

Tweet of the Day:

Belief on TV:

Enlightening Reads:

New York Times: Radicalism Prompts Warnings in France
Jewish and Muslim leaders here warned on Monday of rising anti-Semitism among young Muslims, two days after the police arrested 11 men and fatally shot one in raids in a handful of cities aimed at young radical French Muslims.

Religion News Service: Oregon dentist fined for pressuring employee to attend Scientology seminar
State labor officials have ordered a dentist to pay nearly $348,000 to settle allegations that he threatened to fire a dental assistant unless she attended a Scientology-related training session. The Bureau of Labor and Industries contends Dr. Andrew W. Engel repeatedly "badgered" Susan Muhleman about the three-day conference despite her concerns that it would conflict with her Christian beliefs. He also turned down her request to attend secular training instead, investigators said.

The Guardian: Former archbishop of Canterbury attacks gay marriage at Tory conference
The former archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, has accused David Cameron of "plundering" the institution of heterosexual marriage to promote same-sex marriage rights. Allowing gay marriage would cause deep divisions in society "without giving gays a single right they do not have in civil partnership", he said.

The Jerusalem Post: Women’s group battles anti-Semitism in Italy
A new Jewish women’s group in Italy is taking a stand against what it sees as a growing legitimization of fascism and anti-Semitism in the country. The group, Binah, protested the latest event appearing to signal renewed legitimization of Italy’s fascist past, when a mausoleum and park honoring a fascist commander was inaugurated in Rome in August.

Religion News Service: Pope Benedict XVI convenes bishops to confront ‘tsunami’ of secularism
Fifty years after the Second Vatican Council revolutionized life inside the Roman Catholic Church, hundreds of bishops from around the world are gathered in Rome to confront an external threat: a mounting tide of secularization. In a wide-ranging speech aimed at setting the tone for the bishops' discussion, Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl called on Christians to “overcome the syndrome of embarrassment” about their faith with a more assertive offense against the “tsunami of secular influence” that is sweeping away “marriage, family, the concept of the common good and objective right and wrong.”

Quote of the Day:

My refusal to endorse a candidate is not because of my disinterest in politics, but because of my respect for the integrity of religion generally and the pulpit specifically. A church pulpit is the nexus of Christian beliefs and contemporary issues. The pulpit's authority is compromised if those who stand in it and preach from it claim a divine authority for their endorsements of candidates. Such a commendation from a sacred desk trivializes other comments made there.

Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, president of Interfaith Alliance, a national, non-partisan grassroots organization, explains why he refused to endorse a presidential candidate.

Join the conversation…

CNN My Take: The five biggest misconceptions about secularism
Jacques Berlinerblau, associate professor of Jewish Civilization at Georgetown University and author of How to Be Secular: A Call to Arms for Religious Freedom, analyzes the misconceptions of secularism. He says “no -ism is as misunderstood as this one” and explains why these misconceptions are “bad for secularists, secularism and America.”

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    October 9, 2012 at 8:14 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 10, 2012 at 1:50 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!

      October 10, 2012 at 10:46 am |
  2. mama kindless

    James Madison (a Deist who sometimes attended Episcopal church) (He was the 4th U.S. President, and he was the chief architect of the U.S. Const!tution):

    During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superst!tion, bigotry, and persecution.

    –A Memorial and Remonstrance, addressed to the Virginia General Assembly, 1785

    October 9, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
  3. Prayer is the last bastion of idiots

    Prayer is ego masturbation.

    Proven!

    October 9, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  4. WASP

    Don't know where else to put this. THE TALIBAN ARE COWARDS! these asses shot a 14 year old girl that was speaking out against their terror of females going to school. they stopped her school bus going home and shot her. i know we aren't allowed to invade pakistan but i would like nothing more than to throw on my amry uniform and show these cowards what TRUE FEAR really is...........i hate times like this because it reminds me of how helpless i feel being a busted up old soldier. just for the chance to be unbroken and be able to fight to protect those that can't protect themselves again, i would give almost anything. i served eight proud years wearing my flag gladly upon my shoulder, now i have to leave the fight to those that can stand up for those that need a soldier.
    these moments are what make me feel the worst about no longer being able to serve.

    October 9, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  5. Joel

    Weren't atheists raised religious? Case closed.

    October 9, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • hippypoet

      weren't the religious raised atheists? stupid questions asked by stupid people prove nothing but their own stupidity.

      October 9, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  6. chairkit

    I believe in God. I believe there is one God. God has a thousand names. For a thousand years religion has been and excuse for one sect to hate and kill other sects. I don't think God approves of that.

    I believe in God. Not in religion.

    October 9, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Joel

      Another walking dead.

      October 9, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • yonathon

      I do not believe you... I believe that you believe that there is a god but you do not know who he is...

      There is a Pastor who has the largest congregation in the wold.. his name is Paul Y Cho .. Hi church in Seoul is as I said largest with near 500 Thousand members.. don't ask me how but he has 50,000 co-pastors...Before all this
      He cried out to God because he had a death sentence from the doctor..he accepted that he was going to die and wanted simply to know how to die,,,, obviously afraid .... but by his way came a young lady a missionary who was cathollic and she it was who gave him a religious tract .. he read the tract prayed got saved... and consequently got filled with the Holy Ghost...

      October 9, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  7. hippypoet

    going from the as.sumption that all this god stuff is real...lets do a quick history lesson...
    first there was Adam and Lillith – they were equals in all things and for this reason Adam was unsatisfied with Lillith for she refused to lay with him when HE wanted...Adam spoke to god and god removed her from the garden and then put Adam in a deep sleep where god then removed one of Adam's ribs and from it created Eve. Since Eve is from Adam god said Adam he would have the authority over her and then Adam was finally satisfied. Some time went by and the two people had two children. They were Cain and Abel. Cain is described as a crop farmer and his younger brother Abel as a shepherd. Cain was the first human born and the first murderer, and Abel was the first human to die. Cain committed the first murder by killing his brother. Abel was the bearer of the messiah and so since now he was dead Adam and Eve had Seth the new bearer of the messiah blood lin
    e....

    ok now the history lesson is done – here is my issue – if Abel being better being the first choice is now dead and Seth being the second doesn't that make Jesus, the supposed messiah, only second best? Speaking of Jesus, didn't he rise from the dead on the third day after deatjh? So all these people waiting for his second coming are really just late...by 2000 years no less!

    reasons to move on by hippy!

    On a side note, after Lillith was removed from the garden she in spite of gods actions towards her and angry at Eve for taking her place decided to become the first demon and make all women have periods and some have miscarriages...all the pain in the healthy child birth is also her doing...Fun right!

    October 9, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • Topher

      And where in the Bible is Lillith? Or are you just making stuff up?

      October 9, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • hippypoet

      if you are not familiar with Lillith then you not fully versed in the bible, its stories, and its history.

      Lillith is not in the bible as you know it because she was taken out by men...when the bible as you know it was put together many other books were removed for they either contradicted those they liked more or they simply were too hard to explain in terms that would be believed out right. Many books exist that are of the bible yet not found in the bible.

      if you seek proof that DOES exist in the bible for what i speak of then look as far as Genesis...god created man twice – one says he created man and woman, the other says he created adam and then created eve from adams rib – yet they are separate...

      check out enoch as well...there are three enochs in the bible...so tread carefully...the enoch i speak of walked with god and was no more....thats called a clue.

      what i speak of is truth only in the light of the bible and it being a book of stories much like as if we were discussing star wars "history" and its truth to its stories.

      October 9, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Joel

      hippypoet, your just another walking dead.

      October 9, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • hippypoet

      joel, you are just another idiot. We, those that live are all dead, our time is just not yet... conservation of matter and energy says it all...

      October 9, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • WASP

      @toph: lilith is in the torah; better known as the old testement to christians. her name and creation was removed during the council of nicea, however they couldn't remove all note of her because it would have left the first book in the bible even more confusing than it already is.
      if you must know here is the link to find her.

      http://paracleteforum.org/archive/email/history/lilith/dialogue.html

      October 9, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  8. mama kindless

    Every once in a while someone on these boards will try to convince you that the U.S. was founded on Christianity. Well, we know that several of the important ratifiers and even designers of our Const!tution were Deists – some of them attending Christian church, and some, not so much. The important thing is that the designers and ratifiers of the Const!tution felt it was very important for there to be a separation of church and state. And although they didn't call it as such in the First Amendment, the language of that text and their other writings are pretty clear. Here are some of my favorite writings from some of the key founders of our country.

    James Madison (deist who sometimes attended Episcopal church) (who became our 4th President, he is the chief architect of the U.S. Const!tution)

    During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superst!tion, bigotry, and persecution.
    –A Memorial and Remonstrance, addressed to the Virginia General Assembly, 1785

    Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other sects?
    –A Memorial and Remonstrance, addressed to the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of VA, 1795

    Thomas Jefferson (deist)(who became our 3rd President, he was the key author of the Declaration of Independence)

    Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person's life, freedom of religion affects every individual. State churches that use government power to support themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of the church tends to make the clergy unresponsive to the people and leads to corruption within religion. Erecting the "wall of separation between church and state," therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.
    –letter (as POTUS) to the Virginia Baptists (1808)

    and then of course we have clarifying moments in history such as:

    President John Adams and the U.S. Senate of behalf of the U.S.

    As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion;

    –from Article 11 of the U.S. treaty ratified with Tripoli in 1797

    I also like to include something Senator John F Kennedy said on Sept. 12, 1960, just prior to winning his Presidential election:

    I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute

    October 9, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Joel

      mama, I hope you don't have children. One dead head is bad enough.

      October 9, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • mama kindless

      I have great-grandchildren thank you.

      October 9, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • yonathon

      I agree with Adams and John Kennedy ...but today we pick and choose what we like to hear... I choose the Holy Spirit ...

      that's ll that matters to me...other Christians listen to bubba who repeats over and over again : I BELIEVE THAT MARRIAGE IS BETWEEN ONE MAN AND A WOMAN...lol :) roflol

      October 9, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  9. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    "The pulpit's authority is compromised if those who stand in it and preach from it claim a divine authority for their endorsements of candidates. Such a commendation from a sacred desk trivializes other comments made there."

    Any claim made on the basis of divine authority compromises the authority of the person making the claim. It can't be demonstrated that there is divine authority.

    October 9, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • yonathon

      It can be demonstrated that there is a divine authority ...but it can't be when one in engaged in politics and not in the practice of divine authority... for example the casting out of devils is an example of divine authority .. taking up serpents in Jesus name is another example Matthew 3:7 healing the sick in Jesus name another example ... laying hands on others to receive the Holy Spirit is yet another example .. :) :) :)

      October 9, 2012 at 2:06 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.