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October 19th, 2012
04:45 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Friday, October 19

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: Billy Graham buys election ads after Romney meeting
The most famous and revered pastor in America, Billy Graham, is calling on voters to cast a ballot for their faith in full-page ads in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and other newspapers. Graham's picture appears prominently in the ads, next to copy that reads, "As I approach my 94th birthday, I realize this election could be my last."

CNN: Twitter blocks content of German neo-Nazi group
Twitter will withhold content from a neo-Nazi account at the request of German authorities, the first time it has put into action a policy of local censorship it adopted in January and a step that will probably reignite debate over freedom of expression on the Internet. Alex Macgillivray, Twitter's general counsel, tweeted the company's decision Thursday: "We announced the ability to withhold content back in Jan. We're using it now for the first time re: a group deemed illegal in Germany."

CNN: Dinesh D’Souza resigns as Christian college chief in face of questions about marriage
Conservative writer and activist Dinesh D’Souza, who attracted wide attention with his recent anti-Obama film “2016: Obama’s America,” resigned Thursday as president of a Christian college in New York after questions were raised about his marriage. D’Souza had led The King’s College, a small but prestigious evangelical school in Manhattan, for the past two years.

CNN: Cheerleaders win temporary injunction in high-profile free speech case
Cheerleaders from a small eastern Texas town have won the first battle in their crusade to display Christian religious messages on banners at their high school's football games. State District Judge Steve Thomas of Hardin County implemented a temporary injunction Thursday in favor of the Kountze High School cheerleaders, and by setting a trial date of June 24, 2013, Thomas effectively allows the cheerleaders to keep displaying Bible-quoting signs at Kountze athletic events through the end of this current school year.

Tweet of the Day:

Belief on TV:

Enlightening Reads:

Huffington Post: In Same-Sex Marriage Fight, Catholic Church Gives More Than $1 Million, Human Rights Campaign Reports
Continuing its efforts to fight same-sex marriage in four ballot measures around the United States, the Catholic Church is now the top donor to the cause among religious institutions, according to a new report from the Human Rights Campaign. This fall in Washington, Maryland and Maine, voters will decide whether same-sex marriage should be legal, and in Minnesota, voters will weigh in on a ballot measure amending the state's constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Reuters: Mormon feminists? Yes they exist, and they're for Obama
One group was not surprised to hear Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's comments about "binders of women" at the presidential debate this week – Mormon feminists. Yes, there are Mormon feminists, and no, they do not think it is impossible to believe in women's rights and be devout members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a religion that once allowed polygamy and places a heavy emphasis on the role of women in the home.

Religion News Service: South Carolina diocese defecting from the Episcopal Church
The Diocese of South Carolina announced on Wednesday (Oct. 17) that it has disaffiliated from the Episcopal Church, escalating a long-running skirmish and setting the stage to become the fifth diocese to secede from the denomination. South Carolina said the split was triggered by disciplinary action taken against Bishop Mark Lawrence, its conservative leader.

Huffington Post: Study Shows How Prayer, Meditation Affect Brain Activity
How does prayer and meditation affect brain activity? Dr. Andrew Newberg, MD is the Director of Research at the Myrna Brind Center for Integrative Medicine at Thomson Jefferson University Hospital and Medical College and he has studied the neuroscientific effect of religious and spiritual experiences for decades.

Quote of the Day:

It’s written in scripture that tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance, character, and character hope. This country has fought through some very tough years together. And while we still have a lot of work ahead, we've come as far as we have mainly because of the perseverance and character of ordinary Americans.

President Barack Obama at the annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner Thursday

I've already seen reports from tonight's dinner. Headline: Obama embraced by Catholics, Romney dines with rich people …Of course the president has put his own stamp on relations with the church. There have been some awkward moments. Like when the president pulled Pope Benedict aside to share some advice on how to deal with his critics. He said, ‘Look Holy Father, whatever the problem is, just blame it on Pope John Paul II.’

Republican challenger Mitt Romney took a comedic jab at President Barack Obama at the annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner Thursday.

Opinion of the Day:

CNN: My Take: Hard truths matter; I’m Mormon, and I’m voting for Obama
There are two moments and two moments only that made my soul sit upright during Tuesday night’s presidential debate: President Obama, speaking about the loss of manufacturing jobs to low-wage economies like China: “There are some jobs that are not coming back.” Obama, speaking about four lives lost in the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya: “I am the one who has to meet those coffins when they come home.” Morbid? Not at all. I’m just a believer in the gospel of hard truths.

Join the conversation…

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.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    October 20, 2012 at 5:14 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency 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 can help you:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      October 20, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • .

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "Salvatore" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      Taskmaster" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "The Truth" degenerates to:
      "Thinker23" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
      "Kindness" degenerates to:
      "Lorraine" 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 22, 2012 at 10:51 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 22, 2012 at 11:00 am |
  2. 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!

    belief in anything without supporting evidence is a childrens game...We teach our children not to lie, judge a book by its cover, or to take anything at face value or to just believe without questioning...you know, we say stuff like check the source and don't believe everything you see/hear....should we teach seeking knowledge or to have faith in without?

    it seems to me that we teach hypocrisy more then we teach anything else.

    i understand that religous people take ALOT of sh!t on faith so why not then take everything on such a "leap" of faith?
    if anyone was to say anything without proof or perhaps i should say with as much proof as any person claiming the existence of god, would you believe them with as much or should i say without the care to investagate the truth of it?

    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 19, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  3. hippypoet

    @It's Disgusted

    you can insult atheists all you like, fact is we atheists on average know more then you about relgion and the god you claim is the one and only, the true god....question is, what do YOU know? besides to be mean and insultful!

    to be angry is easy, but to be angry at the right man, at the right time, and for the right reason… it is difficult. – homers odyssey

    you have much anger in you – star wars

    when you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all – all mothers everywhere.

    lets see how knowledgeable you are...i haven't seen one post by you, just replies in an angry fashion...so, not much to say as far as ground to argue from but you seem to think you have reason to open your mouth...why? either state a position, or shut up. otherwise everything you have to say is empty like you head. or is it?

    October 19, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  4. Which God?

    Whoops, Show itself. Sorry can't type

    October 19, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
  5. /// o \\\

    Robert Brown,

    Brainwashing exists on many levels. Some begin very subtly, as in the first time you listen to a preacher, or the first time you read something that sounds plausible, but then don't bother researching the credibility of either. It can come from just about any source, but I assure you, the likelihood that you receive it from something man dreamed up in his own image thousands of years ago, is zilch. If you had bothered to research the credibility, then you would see there is nothing but written stories, and much of it, as I said, is simply a by-product of prior written or word-of-mouth fable – hardly credible evidence of anything worthwhile.

    October 19, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • /// o \\\

      This is a reply to Robert Brown just below. I will copy it.

      October 19, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Disgusted

      The only ones that got brainwashed are the atheists believing the lies of today's Pharisees.

      October 19, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • niknak

      What lies would those be?
      DNA, carbon dating, physics, modern medicine, math, astro-physics, plate tectonics, radio imaging, aerodymanics, gravity, speed of light, etc.
      All the lies that make your life easier and better.
      And all the lies that completely shatter your god hypothesis.
      But go ahead, keep believing in your imaginary friend. I am sure it will cure you when you get gravely ill.........

      October 19, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  6. niknak

    Morning all;
    Just another great day without god(s).
    Weekend will be wonderful without them too.

    October 19, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Disgusted

      Are you 5 years old or six?

      October 19, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • niknak

      Does it matter?
      I am old enough to know the difference between facts and fairy tales.
      Your god is the latter of the two.
      Oh btw, great screen name.
      I am sure you really follow all the "unconditional" love bull your particular myth preaches.

      October 19, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  7. Robert Brown

    Faith is a gift from God. Faith comes by hearing the word of God. The word of God includes the written word and the preached word. The word of God is also, and most importantly, Jesus Christ. I don’t think you can try real hard and suddenly believe. I have faith because God gave it to me. If you obtain faith it will be because God gives it to you. I don’t say that arrogantly to brag, ha ha I have faith and you don’t. Why should I boast, it is a gift. I didn’t do anything to earn it and I don’t think I am better than anyone else because I have been given it. It is actually very humbling to think I have received it and others haven’t. I sincerely hope and pray God gives it to you too.

    October 19, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • /// o \\\

      "If you obtain faith it will be because God gives it to you."

      God is something man-made, and in man's image. The Abrahamic religions of today are simply fable that are by-products of older fable. What your mind obtains begins as brainwashing. The brainwashed mind, as powerful as it is, at some point will effect self-brainwashing. Partial psychosis at a minimum. But many live with it, so enjoy.

      October 19, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • Huebert

      Faith is nothing more than a willingness to abandon reason for something that makes you feel better.

      October 19, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Robert Brown

      /// o \\\,
      Having experienced a mild form of brainwashing (military training), what some may term as indoctrination or motivation, I would have to disagree that what I described as faith was obtained by those means. There was no sleep or rest depravation and no pushing to the limits of physical and mental exhaustion. Who brainwashed me, God?

      October 19, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Huebert,
      We can agree that there are good feelings involved and having faith does tend to allow you to surrender self, but you won’t be able to abandon self without faith. Faith comes before the abandonment of self, or reason, as you put it.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "The great trouble with religion – any religion – is that a religionist, having accepted certain propositions by faith, cannot thereafter judge those propositions by evidence. One may bask at the warm fire of faith or choose to live in the bleak certainty of reason- but one cannot have both."
      – Robert Heinlein

      October 19, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      I will agree with you Mr. Brown, that one cannot simply try to believe. You either do or you do not.

      October 19, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Huebert

      Robert
      I think we agree on the order of events, what we disagree on is weather or not abandoning reason is a good thing.

      Doc
      Greetings water brother. :)

      October 19, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Doc,
      Some say they cannot believe until they have evidence. I don’t believe you will get what you are currently thinking you need, but God can give you faith and then you will see evidence in all things.

      October 19, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • LOL!

      " I don’t believe you will get what you are currently thinking you need, but God can give you faith and then you will see evidence in all things."

      LOL! LOL! Santa can give you faith too and then you will see evidence of Santa everywhere, especially in the upcoming months! LOL!

      October 19, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • /// o \\\

      Robert Brown,

      Brainwashing exists on many levels. Some begin very subtly, as in the first time you listen to a preacher, or the first time you read something that sounds plausible, but then don't bother researching the credibility of either. It can come from just about any source, but I assure you, the likelihood that you receive it from something man dreamed up in his own image thousands of years ago, is zilch. If you had bothered to research the credibility, then you would see there is nothing but written stories, and much of it, as I said, is simply a by-product of prior written or word-of-mouth fable – hardly credible evidence of anything worthwhile.

      October 19, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Which God?

      RB. You really are deluded ol' boy. I don't need 'faith to know the sun will rise and set. But faith in an unseen enti.ty that refuses to shoewitself to us? Get real, it's an old book of stories, not any gods word. As for preachers, well, we all know what a snakeoil salesman is, don't we?

      October 19, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Lunchbreaker,
      Yes, you either believe or you don’t. If you believe God could be a possibility and you search the word, he could give you faith.

      October 19, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Huebert,
      The most blessed Christians are also the most yielded to Christ. If God ever gives you faith, then come back and let us know what you think about giving up on self.

      October 19, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      LOL!,
      I know you don’t see the difference, but equating God to Santa is apples and oranges. How many adults do you know who believe in Santa?

      October 19, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      /// o \\\,
      I doubt I will convince you on this blog, but I really don’t believe my faith was a product of any form of brainwashing. I am a skeptic. I am convinced it was God who gave me faith, not another person. I didn’t just decide this one day, it took a lot of thought and careful consideration. As far as credibility, when you find that God does what he says he will do, then you have confidence that he is both credible and trustworthy.

      October 19, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Which God?,
      Some believe anything they are told, others need more. If you saw someone, claiming to be the son of God, miraculously heal someone, you could say it was just staged. When Jesus walked the earth performing miracles, some saw him do them and believed, others saw and didn’t believe. What if you, even being a skeptic, were the one he healed?

      October 19, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • sally

      Robert Brown in reply to ///o\\\, " As far as credibility, when you find that God does what he says he will do,"

      Yeah – and boy, that's a strong case when the religious say that kind of thing. The thing is, they can't prove anything – you just have to take their word – just like some just have to take the word of Joseph Smith and his family. Lol. Right.

      October 19, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Disgusted

      You atheists have no facts on anything about life. All theories that you buy hook, line and sink ya.

      October 19, 2012 at 3:33 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.