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October 11th, 2012
04:49 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Thursday, October 11

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: Emory University owns up to dental school’s anti-Semitic history and offers regrets
Nearly 60 years after he was told he wasn’t good enough to be a dentist, retired orthodontist Art Burns is about to get the apology he deserves. Burns, of Jacksonville, Florida, is one of many Jewish men who were dubbed failures by the now-defunct Emory School of Dentistry in Atlanta between 1948 and 1961. Though the university never admitted discrimination by the school’s then-dean and faculty, research by the Anti-Defamation League showed that 65% of the Jewish students at that time either flunked out or were forced to repeat coursework – up to a year of it – in order to stay.

CNN: Congressman draws fire for calling evolution, Big Bang ‘lies from the pit of hell’
A U.S. congressman is attracting attention and criticism for an online video that shows him blasting evolution and the Big Bang theory as “lies from the pit of hell” in a recent speech at a church event in his home state of Georgia. U.S Rep. Paul Broun, a medical doctor by training, serves on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

CNN: Anti-jihad ads make their way to D.C. subways
An anti-jihad ad that has caused a stir in other cities now has another destination for its message: the subways of Washington. The ad by the American Freedom Defense Initiative states, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.” Jihad – Arabic for "struggle" – is considered a religious duty for Muslims, although there are both benign and militant interpretations of what it means.

Tweet of the Day:

Enlightening Reads:

Huffington Post: Quico Canseco Mailers Accuse Catholic Opponent Of Denying God
Rep. Francisco "Quico" Canseco's (R-Texas) reelection campaign is sending harshly-worded mailers to voters in his district accusing his opponent of denying God, supporting "abortion for young girls" and wanting "marriage to be between man & man."

New York Times: A Model of Inclusion for Muslim Women
Could an old religious tradition from China help solve one of the world’s most pressing problems — violence committed in the name of Islam? The irony of an officially atheist country possibly offering a way out of an international religious problem is intense. Yet that is what some Islamic scholars in China and elsewhere hope may happen as they point to a quietly liberal tradition among China’s 10 million Hui Muslims, where female imams and mosques for women are flourishing in a globally unique phenomenon.

Religion News Service: The Pope says: “May Allah Bless You.”
Several news agencies are reporting that as part of his visit to Lebanon, Pope Benedict XVI included Arabic in the languages that he blessed and prayed in, stating in Arabic: “The pope prays for all people who speak Arabic. May God bless you all.” If the Pope spoke in Arabic, the only word for God (Capital-G, “The God”) is Allah. What the Pope said probably was: "Baarak Allah fi-kum." May the blessing of Allah, the one and only God, be with you all.

Huffington Post: Catholic Priest Bans Yoga Classes From Church Hall
A row has erupted over a priest banning yoga from a Southampton church hall because the class was "not compatible" with the Catholic faith. Instructor Cori Withell said the classes she booked for yoga and pilates at St Edmund's Church building were cancelled with 10 days to go. She was told by the booking secretary of the church that it was because yoga is a Hindu religious activity. Father John Chandler from the church said that the hall has to be used for Catholic activities and he banned it because it was advertised as "spiritual yoga".

Los Angeles Times: Files on Catholic priests in abuse cases to be made public
Personnel files of Los Angeles Archdiocese Catholic priests accused of sexual molestation will be released to the public within the next few months, an archdiocese lawyer said Wednesday. The release follows a decision by the California Supreme Court on Wednesday to deny an attempt by individual priests to keep the records private.

Religion News Service: Analysis: 50 years ago, Vatican II changed the Catholic Church—and the world
Fifty years ago on Thursday (Oct. 11), hundreds of elaborately robed leaders strode into St. Peter's Basilica in a massive display of solemn ecclesiastical pomp. It signaled the start of a historic three-year assembly that would change the way members of the world’s largest Christian denomination viewed themselves, their church and the rest of the world. It was the first day of the Second Vatican Council, more popularly known as Vatican II, which was designed to assess the church’s role in a rapidly changing world. Leading the prelates was Pope John XXIII, who said frequently that he convened the council because he thought it was time to open the windows and let in some fresh air.

Join the conversation…

CNN: Surprise Mormon announcement could open doors for more women missionaries
Big news broke in the Mormon world this weekend, when the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a lowered minimum age requirement for missionary service, most notably for women.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Morning Read

soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    October 11, 2012 at 7:42 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 12, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but everything you have ever asserted regarding atheism and prayer is 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 13, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
  2. BRC

    I would like to see a message along these lines from members of the Scientific community back to Broun-
    "You call our work lies from the pit of hell? We devote our lives, our time, our energy and often our own money towards study, and learning, and practice of our knowledge, towards research, and developement and testing, we spend long hours doing work that many people can't even understand, often away from family and friends because we are commited to finding knowledge and answers, and using the fruits of our labor to make mankind better, safer and healthier; and you say that our works are the products of what you percieve to be the universe's ultimate source of evil. Go f-ck yourself, and the ignorant backwards horse you rode in on."

    Apollogies to the horse.

    October 11, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  3. correctlycenter

    "How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension!" Psalm 147:5...

    October 11, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Mortimer Snerd

      How amazing is our fantasy superfriend! How invisible and magicy and just oh so loving in his murderous wrath! And I am his personal buddy, humbly the extraspecial friend to the most powerful being I can imagine, unlike those arrogant atheist who believe they are just 1 in 7,000,000,000 and that the word is how you see it and not controlled by amazing invisoguy who is my personal superbuddy. What arrogance!

      October 11, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @correctlycenter

      Back again troll?

      October 11, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  4. niknak

    It's another beautiful day without god(s).

    October 11, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  5. correctlycenter

    Ok, so you nonbelievers do not like to hear God's word in the Psalms, then how about this: Darwinism is something most intelligent, educated, logical, and reasonable people just cannot go ape about...

    October 11, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
  6. William Demuth

    Not sure if Obama could beat Romney in fisticuffs, but I suspect Ryan would whop Biden

    But one thing is DAMN sure Michelle would go "Hulk Hogan" on Ann!!!

    October 11, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
  7. TiredODaCrap

    Why do they call this the "Belief Blog"? Not one story I've seen in recent days does anything to support or uplift belief. The majority of the posts are made by those who either don't believe, or believe in no God.
    Why doesn't CNN call it what it truly is, "Belief Bashing Blog"? Why do those who obviously have no belief come to this "Belief Blog" to spew the hatred and condemnation that they claim only relgion spreads? Just not sure that I get it....

    October 11, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Simply believing something different then you does not mean a person does not believe....and since this is the Belief Blog, it would stand to reason that it would make at least an effort at representing many different beliefs, both in the articles it represents and in the folks who respond to them.

      Perhaps if discussion of beliefs that differ from yours is threatening it is because you have not adequately studied and understood what it is you believe, and why.

      October 11, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • William Demuth

      Because we "believe" in reality.

      We also "believe" you are a simpleton.

      Do you get it now?

      October 11, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Theresa

      Reality? You believe your Hulk Hogan joke was funny? It was immature and insensitive. Not being in touch with you emotions or maturity. Now, that's reality.

      October 11, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • TiredODaCrap

      Cute responses – and I appreciate you proving my point about the hate rants....

      Anyone with the intelligence you each claim to have knows exactly what a "Belief Blog" would be about. There is no other way to interpret it. No fear here, choose not to believe. Fine with me, just be happy. But, again, the question is not answered. Why come to a "Belief Blog" to just spew hatred? No way I would go onto an atheism blog just to tell them that they are going to hell, idiots, etc (same as I am not doing here with you).

      I guess the part I don't get is going to a portion of a site – which everyone knows exactly what it is/should be about – only to ridicule and spew hate over the reason for that part of the site. Who has that much time? No one is saying you can't, or shouldn't. It's your choice. I just don't see the point in going into a portion of a site just to pick and rant at those who sign on there to try to read about things that the site should be talking about.....

      October 11, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Theresa

      Be a good Christian and service your husband.
      Leave your thinking to the Pope, and the rest of the pedophilles.

      October 11, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • sam

      @Tired – you're acting like this is actually The Believer's Blog. No one here goes over to religious forums and yells at them. If you want to talk strictly about things that seem best to you, go to one of those. A blog like this looks at all angles, and like any blog where comments are allowed, there are going to be trolls, etc.

      You're not doing yourself any favors wandering in here and chastising anyone.

      October 11, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Theodoric of York

      One symptom of brainwashing is viewing any criticism at all as extremely hostile no matter how mild or polite.

      October 11, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  8. William Demuth

    I was just crunching data in Excel and I realized something

    At one fourteen this afternoon it will be 10-11-12,13:14

    Where's a Mayan when you need one?

    October 11, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I'll be in my bunker if anyone wants drop by to play spades before the end comes.

      October 11, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  9. 24 Hour Crisis Center

    Mittens debates himself.

    October 11, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • mama k

      I have never seen a candidate in my life that flip-flopped as much as this one. My goodness.

      October 11, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Obama's only problem is that he seemed weak. In the next debate he needs to take off his shirt and bitch slap Mitt. Pull that carbon fiber club handle Mitt uses for a backbone out of his ass and take his name. No one wants rhetoric.

      October 11, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  10. mama k

    Every once in a while someone on these boards will try to convince you that the U.S. was founded on Christianity or solely on Christian principles. The problem with this notion is that it is presumptuous to assume that any group "owns" a certain kind of principle.

    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. There was a significant amount of persecution between different forms of Christianity going on during those times, so it should not be any surprise that the key founders had an immediate need for the separation of church and state. Here are some of my favorite writings from some of the key founders of our country.

    James Madison (our 4th President, 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

    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 (our 3rd President, 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 on 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

    Senator John F Kennedy said on Sept. 12, 1960, just prior to his winning the Presidential election:

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

    October 11, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • fred

      This country was founded by Christians, for Christians. If you don't like it, get out.

      October 11, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • Towelie

      Do you wanna get high?

      October 11, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • HeavenSent

      You atheists come on these blogs to spew your lies about Jesus' truth, the Bible which is the truth of God. My camel-toe was arrested for disturbing the peace.

      Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Matthew 7:13

      Amen.

      October 11, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • .

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "The Truth" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian..

      October 11, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Veritas

      Actually Fred, the evidence shows the opposite. So will you be taking your own advice?

      October 11, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • === o ===

      What are you insinuating "Dottie"? (".") It is true that there is a h0mophobic poster that goes by:

      Atheism is Not Healthy . . .
      truth be told
      captain america
      nope
      ronald regonzo
      pervert alert (who writes such lovely things as "QUE ERS THE ONES WHO GAVE AIDS TO AMERICA")
      !
      etc., but it's pretty obvious from mama k's posts that these have nothing to do with her – quite the opposite, actually since she is out front with her atheism. Could it be that you are, in fact another name for the above? Hmm?

      October 11, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Theresa

      Your ploy for Ad nauseam is boring.

      October 11, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • !

      === o ===

      You missed fred idiot.

      October 11, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Mortimer Snerd

      This country was founded by Christians who killed off the indians who had it before, and who stole it from those Pope-sucking Spaniards who also had it before, and those Christians made America the slave economy that it was for so long.

      And just because those early Christian created a disastroous theocracy in England doesn't mean we shouldn't try it again. And the fact that they hated Christmas and refused to celebrate it, uh, and the fact the various religious factions oppressed each others at every opportunity, like the Puritans versus the Quakers, uh, and they witches, uh, and the refusal to put out fires started by God's lightning, uh . . .

      Let's talk about something else.

      October 11, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  11. Where is your God now?

    You wake up feeling amazing with Marie next to you. She finally spent the night. You can make out the curve of her buttocks beneath the thin sheet. Your groin reacts and you press against her, fitting neatly in the begging crevice. She smells like flowers and honey. You throb with anticipation and she moans in anticipation. You reach for a condom, but realize to your dismay that your dog is busy chewing and has something stuck in his teeth…

    October 11, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • Towelie

      If your dog is chewing up your last condom, don't forget to bring a towel!

      October 11, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • Theresa

      Atheists always dreaming. Your dog is getting more action than the likes of you.

      October 11, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • sam

      Theresa – first off, you have no real idea who here is atheist or not. I doubt you even have a firm grasp on the definition of it.

      If you want to play that game: you're coming off like one snotty, holier than thou bitch. Not too christian of you. Or maybe it is, in your circles.

      October 11, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Here Is My God Now!

      I boink her jumblies instead in a most holy and Christian way!

      "For truly I tell you, haveth thee not a rain coat for thine amazing python of love, then verily must thoublaze a path repeatedly between her quivering mountains." Gospel of John Thomas 4:13-45

      October 11, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  12. Meatwad

    Oh man I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and now I'm stuck. I wanted waffles.

    October 11, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • Rogggggg

      Waffles are grid eating.

      October 11, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • Meatwad

      Grid eating? Am I going to die?

      October 11, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • Rogggggg

      Grid grief! A cartoon character asks me if it is going to die. What color would you like? What are you dying?

      October 11, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Meatwad

      I don't know if you are such a great person. Sometimes you can be cranky.

      October 11, 2012 at 9:55 am |
  13. William Demuth

    "It was the first day of the Second Vatican Council, more popularly known as Vatican II"

    They should have called it Popeapalooza!

    Basicaly a rave for transvestiets, with Altar Boys handed out as party favors.

    Now generally I am not a fan of truck bombs, but I do believe if they ever have a third one the towel heads should definitely consider it, if for no other reason than so I may turn on Fox and watch O'Reily have a complete meltdown!!!

    But I bet Sheppard Smith would be fist pumping away!!!

    October 11, 2012 at 9:28 am |
  14. correctlycenter

    "What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord, whose people He has chosen for His own." Psalm 33:12...

    October 11, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • William Demuth

      And what nation is that Bollo Botswana? Seychelles? Madagascar?

      October 11, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      correctlycenter is quoting from the foundational myths of the Jewish people, lately used to prop up the nation Israel in the hearts and minds of people misguided by Christianity.

      October 11, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Theodoric of York

      You may as well tell us that you are brain-damaged, stunted, and have absolutely no clue on how to tell when you've been lied to or not, and that the nurse will be along any second now to give you your happy pills.

      October 11, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • William Demuth

      Really Tom?

      I thought the "Psalms" were a new basketball franchise out of Detroit??

      October 11, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Rogggggg

      Anyone who quotes religious text is wasting their time here. Go mumble your bs over on some wacko Christian site.

      October 11, 2012 at 9:37 am |
  15. Theodoric of York

    Prayers are imaginary. Fact.

    October 11, 2012 at 6:31 am |
    • William Demuth

      And religion is imaginary facts.

      October 11, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  16. Prayer Changes Nothing

    Ha ha.
    Beat ya prayerbot.

    October 11, 2012 at 6:24 am |
    • HeavenSense

      Hi Prayer Changes Nothing-bot.

      October 11, 2012 at 9:27 am |
  17. Theodoric of York

    And Mel Gibson says he doesn't agree with the new RCC and wants to go back to the old RCC that supported the Nazis.

    October 11, 2012 at 5:09 am |
    • Tom, Tom. the Other One

      Joey Ratzinger wants much the same thing.

      October 11, 2012 at 5:33 am |
    • Theodoric of York

      Joey needs to be arrested and the Vatican should be obliterated, including the dungeons that are still being used to torture ppl.
      But who will do it?
      Who wants the trillions of dollars held by the Vatican, one of the largest criminal organizations in the world...?
      Just think of the good we could do with that money, that is being used to buy expensive dresses for men instead.

      October 11, 2012 at 6:04 am |
    • Theresa

      Don't look to an atheist to do anything. They just talk, talk, talk .... and when their mouth is open, a lie pops out.

      October 11, 2012 at 12:35 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.