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October 18th, 2012
05:32 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Thursday, October 18

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: Secular coalition grades presidential candidates
When judged on their ability to relate to the desires of secular Americans, the presidential candidates aren’t making the grade, according to a large coalition of secular organizations. Looking at their positions on everything from faith’s place in the presidency to where it fits in education, health care and other American priorities, GOP candidate Mitt Romney got an F, President Barack Obama barely got by, earning a C, and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson came out at the top of the class, receiving a B.

Tweet of the Day:

Enlightening Reads:

Huffington Post: Louie Gohmert: Slavery Was 'A Blot On Our Existence,' But We're Farther From God Now
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) stated on Tuesday that the legacy of slavery in the United States was a particularly ugly moment in the nation's history, but that the situation now is even worse. Speaking on a conference call with far-right pastor Rick Scarborough, Gohmert warned listeners that the nation could be coming "toward the end of [its] existence," as evidenced by its leaders and citizens allegedly neglecting to remain true to biblical teachings.

Catholic News Service: Pope sends cardinals to Syria to promote peace, show solidarity
A papal delegation of bishops, including Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, will travel to the capital of war-torn Syria in late October to show solidarity with victims and encourage peace negotiations. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, made the announcement Oct. 16 at the evening session of the world Synod of Bishops.

The Boston Globe: Dalai Lama visits Medford center for Buddhist Studies
Geshe Tenley, clad in the crimson and saffron robes of a Tibetan monk, paused for a moment in a quiet room of the Kurukulla Center for Buddhist Studies late Tuesday afternoon. The crowd of nearly 2,000 had mostly dispersed. Sacred chanting still echoed though the building, and in the gompa, the teaching and meditation room, a few people stayed to pray near an ornate throne where the Dalai Lama had sat. The Dalai Lama had ¬returned to Medford, bestowing his blessings upon the ¬Kurukulla Center and, in doing so, fulfilling the dying wish of the monk’s uncle, Geshe Tsulga, who preceded him as the center’s resident teacher and had hosted His Holiness here nine years earlier.

AFP: Decade on from riots, Modi eyes main stage
He was in power during India's worst religious riots since independence. But Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat state [and a Hindu], insists his region is now a role model for the rest of India as he positions himself for a widely expected tilt at the premiership.

Catholic News Service: Ignorance of faith risks creating cafeteria Catholics, pope says
Ignorance of the faith puts Christians at risk of following a "do-it-yourself" religion, Pope Benedict XVI said. People need to become more familiar with the creed because it is there that the "Christian moral life is planted and ... one finds its foundation and justification," the pope said Oct. 17 at his weekly general audience.

Religion News Service: Jewish and Christian groups at impasse over U.S. aid to Israel
An established interfaith group is in danger of disintegrating as major American Jewish groups and prominent mainline Protestant churches differ over U.S. aid for Israel - a long-standing argument that the group was established, in part, to diffuse. Leaders of Reform and Conservative Judaism, the American Jewish Committee, and other Jewish groups sent a letter Wednesday (Oct. 17) to their Christian counterparts on the Christian-Jewish Roundtable saying they would not be attending a long-planned Oct. 22-23 meeting.

Join the conversation…


Mitt Romney meets with the Rev. Billy Graham and his son Franklin Graham.

CNN: Billy Graham site removes Mormon 'cult' reference after Romney meeting
Shortly after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney enjoyed cookies and soft drinks with the Rev. Billy Graham and his son Franklin Graham on Thursday at the elder Graham's mountaintop retreat, a reference to Mormonism as a cult was scrubbed from the website of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    October 19, 2012 at 9:51 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 22, 2012 at 11:05 am |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    October 19, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
  3. Boulderdash Gentile

    Is it too much to let God-fearing/loving people teach and preach others who seek out Godliness? Is it too much for non-believers in God to leave alone those who seek God and His wisdom? Why must both social ethnicities, God-teachers and God-deniers play games with each other's beliefs? I can love a Godly person just as much as a Godless one. It isn't one's religion or lack of it that makes a person whole.

    October 18, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Huebert

      Well said.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Why don't you god-teachers show us god-deniers how it's done, seeing as you have the indwelling power of god within you and we haven't that wonder-working power within us? Here's my issue: You "professional" believers can't agree on what god is or how he works, but yet the math professionals and chemistry professionals all MUST agree or it just won't work. When you folks can VERIFY that you're all talking to the same invisible sky-wizard and can UTILIZE the special knowledge you have about the universe, let us god-deniers know, and until then, quit pretending to have the license to tell everyone else what to do because you're special; you can't and you're not.

      October 18, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • Karl

      Well said Moby!

      October 18, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
  4. The math is very simple:

    Religion < sane

    October 18, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  5. hippypoet

    why do people keep saying this is a christian nation? I think if anything this country would be a mormon country since it was founded here...but since mythology is all myths lets all be happy we live in a country where people can believe what they wish and be open about it yet those beliefs based on nothing more then each persons personal "experiences" which are questionable at best have little impact on the government which dictates the laws we live by....WRONG! It is in our consti.tuation that politics and religion would be separated for even then we knew the inherit issues religion brings when hard, real, and life altering choices need to be made that don't only effect you but many others as well....LETS BE A BETTER GENERATION THEN THAT WHICH CAME BEFORE, LETS BE THAT WHICH WE SHOULD HAVE BEEN HUNREDS OF YEARS AGO, LETS BE A PEOPLE GOVERNED BY LAWS CREATED BY THOSE THAT ARE GOVERNED, ALL OF US – THAT INCLUDES ALL – religious and non religious a
    like...white and black side by side...lets be a country of laws instead of a land of god! I here and now ask again why, why have we never seen an atheistic view point in the body of government we call our own? Shouldn't logic and reason be held with higher regard then belief for a god which based on our laws should have no impact on choices made by that person??? Why then do people vote on a religious basis and not merit, honor, and integrity? Why in this country do we seem to teach that having faith in god is more important then having knowledge and wisdom based on lived experience rather then stories based on 2000 year old morals and ethics???? Lets grow up and start living up to our const.ituation, or is that just another truthless notion to which people claim to live by?

    October 18, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      I have always wondered why Mormanism hasn't grown more. Based on how Amerocenrist it is I figure super patriotic types would flock to it.

      October 18, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • BRC

      @lunchbreaker,
      I would like think that it's because much of America isn't that gullible, but just as likely that much of America is too lazy, and doesn't like being told what they can and cannot eat/say/do.

      October 18, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • mama k

      Around the time of the founding of the U.S. there was terrible feuding and persecution going on between various Christian sects in several states (or soon-to-be states). This is probably what led James Madison, our 4th President (chief architect of the U.S. Constitution) to say this:

      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, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

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

      then ten years later, this:

      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)

      So, it should be no surprise that a clear definition of how government should be separated from religion was top priority and would become the very 1st Amendment.

      Of course TJ and other founders had similar feelings and was perhaps even more outspoken about the necessity for separation of church and state. Easy to google.

      October 18, 2012 at 11:40 am |
  6. niknak

    Hi all,
    It's yet another beautiful fall day without god(s).

    October 18, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  7. hippypoet

    faith in god...meaningless if you don't believe but more importantly, delusional!
    why is having faith worn like a badge of honor and its measured by the amount of devotion you have for whatever you have faith in or for? faith is belief in something illogical, illrational, and not probable like it is GOING to happen or is real beyond a shadow of a doubt....how is that healthy? how is that something worth teaching – FROM BIRTH – thats brainwashing by the simpliest standards – how is this a good thing?

    you'd think if god was truly the god spoken of then faith would be unneeded and belief a thing of the past – yet – people will believe whatever they wish no matter the proof or lack there of and its truly sad to consider that this delusion type mass brainwashing is going on right now and has been for over 2000 years...please don't let the time in which this sm.ut has been around make you think its worth its wieght in salt – i bid Lot's wife its not – in ALL early man stories from around the globe people have created GRAND stories about the start and end of times – its that simple. its a story that has been with us since we started talking and asking questions...however, the time has come since we can now answer many of the very same questions that required a god in the past with science, a bigger question arises...are people truly this willing and wanting to replace reality proven by testible science with a fantasy? wt.f is wrong with people? faith – a mental handycap.

    October 18, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • niknak

      It is also measured by how big the cross you wear.
      I saw some dude with a cross so big hanging around his neck it could have been a midget.
      Soon, the fundies will be lugging around actual wooden crosses to show just how devote they are.
      I am suspecting a ring of thorns will be the new fundie fashion accessory.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  8. hippypoet

    i can fly. i had a personal expierence that proves it. i read in a book once that people could fly so that is the proof for you and you just have to take my story on faith that i am not lieing but can infact fly...now, what do you do?

    i must be superhuman if i can really fly, and so i must be a god or at the very least the son of one right?

    now people worship me and pay me to talk to them and teach them stuff....when they ask me to show them how to fly i referr them to books written by me they can purchase describing the topic in detail. When they ask me to fly for them...well it takes me a long time to meditate to get to the frame of mind to do it right, or i could go terribly off course – you wouldn't want that to happen would you?

    then i say something along the lines of "i will return" and then i leave.

    take this on faith –

    i swear to me it happened – that should be sufficient. plus, i never told a lie. i swear. oh yeah i forget to mention that if you choose not to believe in me then your soul goes to hell...why would you wish for that upon yourself? isn't it better to just believe in case it is real? i can fly, follow me and i will teach you how...trust not me but yourselves and your abilities...love yourself and all is possible...i CAN fly, so can you...just believe, have faith, and take that leap!

    October 18, 2012 at 9:07 am |
  9. Chick-a-dee

    RE: Catholic News Service: Ignorance of faith risks creating cafeteria Catholics, pope says

    For this Year of Faith, Pope Benedict has encouraged you to study and reflect on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Well, here's an easy and free way to do it. Simply enter your email address and – starting October 11, 2012 – you'll start getting a little bit of the Catechism emailed to you every morning. Read that little bit every day and you'll read the whole catechism in a year. Cool, right? https://www.flocknote.com/catechism

    October 18, 2012 at 6:13 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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.