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October 25th, 2012
05:19 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Thursday, October 25

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: iReporters: 5 life lessons from the Hajj
Millions of Muslims began the Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, which represents one of the largest annual human gatherings on the planet. The Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, a journey every Muslim is expected to take in his or her lifetime if the person is physically and financially able. Our iReport team asked pilgrims who have performed the Hajj about how the experience changed them – and for their advice to those undertaking the pilgrimage for the first time. The result is a mix of spiritual and practical life lessons that transcend Islam.

CNN: 1 killed in shooting at Georgia megachurch
World Changers Church International in suburban Atlanta became a crime scene Wednesday when a gunman entered and began shooting, killing one, police said. The golden-domed megachurch, which claims about 30,000 members, is led by well-known prosperity minister Creflo Dollar. There were about 25 people in the church when the shooting happened, police spokeswoman Cpl. Kay Lester said.


Some readers thought we went too far by asking why some thought President Barack Obama was the "wrong kind of Christian."

CNN: Look at Obama’s faith draws criticism, praise
People have all sorts of questions for presidential candidates in an election year. But there was one question I asked last weekend that scores of readers griped about: Why do so many people doubt President Barack Obama’s faith? Obama has talked publicly about his faith for years, but doubts persist. Why? Was it race? Was he a different kind of Christian than his predecessors? How can anyone judge whether another person is a Christian?

Belief on TV:

Enlightening Reads:

Huffington Post: Einstein 'God Letter' Sold On eBay For Just Over $3 Million
Albert Einstein's "God Letter" was sold for $3,000,100 to an anonymous online bidder. According to eBay, there were only two bids on the historic document, but the competition was enough to bump the sale to just above the asking price of $3 million, i09 notes.

Catholic News Service: Pope names six new cardinals, including US Archbishop Harvey
Pope Benedict XVI surprised pilgrims in St. Peter's Square Oct. 24 by announcing he would create six new cardinals, including 63-year-old U.S. Archbishop James M. Harvey, prefect of the papal household, in late November.

Religion News Service: Mormon missionary applications soar by 471 percent
Just two weeks since Mormon President Thomas S. Monson announced that young men could go on full-time missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at age 18 (down from 19) and young women could go at 19 (down from 21), the Utah-based church has seen applications skyrocket from an average of 700 a week to 4,000 a week.

The Guardian: Nazi buddha from space might be fake
The narrative was, perhaps, just a little too good to be true. When news broke last month of the so-called "buddha from space" – a swastika-emblazoned statue, apparently 1,000 years old, that had been carved out of a meteorite and looted by a Nazi ethnologist – the world was enthralled. There were only, it turns out, a few slight catches. According to two experts who have since given their verdict on the mysterious Iron Man, it may have been a European counterfeit; it was probably made at some point in the 20th century; and it may well not have been looted by the Nazis. The bit about the meteorite, though, still stands.

Huffington Post: Knock-Knock-Knocking On Hell's Door
Keenan Roberts didn't invent the idea of scaring Christian youth into salvation, but he has done more than anyone else to turn it into an industry. For $299–and with the Denver-based pastor's approval–you can build your own "Hell House," complete with theatrical scenes of teen suicides and gay marriages gone wrong.

Excerpt of the Day:

The view that only heterosexual couples should be entitled to play the role of spouse within the institution of marriage is inconsistent with the principle that we should love our neighbors as ourselves.

Tenzin Norbu, author, radio host, and retired philosophy professor in his article “The Bodhisattva's View of Same-Sex Marriage”

Join the conversation…


The divide between social justice Catholics and social issues Catholics became most evident during this years debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan.

CNN: Survey: Catholics divided on political issues, as adherent numbers decline
As important as the Catholic vote is in the 2012 election, a new survey finds that the group is far from monolithic and is not largely focused on the issues that get a lot of attention from church leaders – abortion and gay marriage. Among the Catholics surveyed by the Public Religious Research Institute, 60% believe the Church should focus more on social justice issues and their obligation to the poor, even if it means focusing less on social issues like abortion and right to life. Thirty-one percent say the opposite – they favor social issues over social justice issues.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. hippypoet

    Matthew 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
    Matthew 10:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
    Matthew 10:18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.

    maybe someone got it wrong...gentiles are perhaps all going to hell anyway...so whats the point?

    October 25, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
  2. hippypoet

    Ever wonder how amazing the world would be if people stopped acting on beliefs and went on facts? Or is the human race an infallible one so that any idea can be ,move over should be, taken on faith of its truth no matter the reality of things and then acted on without concern of the real truth which was "WILLFULLY" overlooked?

    October 25, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • cristopher hitchens

      And the facts lead to belief.

      October 25, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Christopher

      Ever wonder how amazing the world would be if atheists moved to the communist country of their choice instead of insisting to wreak havoc in our Christian nation?

      October 25, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • hippypoet

      you must realize the idiocy of your statement! facts lead to belief.... if anything belief would lead one to question and find facts to support their claim or find that their claim is not supported by anything but the belief in it and then lead one from belief to knowledge of.

      October 25, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • hippypoet

      not sure there christ where and how you grew up but if someone told you that this is a christian nation then you still have some growing up to do. go now and seek knowledge that you may not be ignorant.

      October 25, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • hippypoet

      chris not christ – do not take compliment... none is there, infact i can't think of anything i would compliment you on so far!!! sry.

      October 25, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • niknak

      And what havok would that be that you think atheists are doing here Christopher Robin?
      Like letting woman vote?
      Or blacks sit in the front of the bus?
      Or providing medical care for everyone?
      Or trying to keep religion OUT of our government and classrooms?

      Seems you have not been keeping up with current events.
      We get reports daily of religious people doing horrible things to others.
      I don't think it was atheists who walked into abortion clinics and shoot them up.
      Or an atheist who blew up the federal building in Oak City.
      Or an atheist who walking into that Sikh temple and shot that up.
      Was that fundie moron who shot and killed that person last night at that mega church an atheist. NO.

      We atheists put our believe in science and what is proven by facts. We don't kill or need to wreck havok for that.
      Science produces people who create airplanes, religion produces people who fly airplanes into buildings......

      October 25, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Same old same old

      I want to know what facts could ever lead to a belief in something that has no facts or evidence of an kind.

      October 25, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Don't Quit Your Day Job

      Fact: atheists are fools.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • hippypoet

      and your supporting evidence to lump free minded free people into a group based on choices made is?

      October 25, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      hippypoet:"We atheists put our believe in science and what is proven by facts. We don't kill or need to wreck havok for that."

      The "Batman" killer is a self-avowed atheist.

      October 25, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • The Ole Bullsh!t Detedtor Is Going Off Again

      James Holmes, the movie shooter, was the regular church-going son of a church-going family. He apparently attended church at least a few weeks prior to the slaughter.

      It is a lie to say he was an atheist . . . but Christians aren't too good with that Ninth Commandment, are they?

      October 25, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • niknak

      Nothing proves how much a fundie loves his god then killing another living thing with his gun.

      October 25, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
  3. mama k

    Had the Catholic tenets regarding abortion and contraception been strictly followed since the founding of the U.S., we would now have a population like China and our city slums would make Latin American slums look like Pleasantville. Our population is already too big. I'm not for people getting abortions for convenience, and the rate is way too high, but right-to-lifers have always been completely out of touch with reality, as is this idiot candidate.

    October 25, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • William Demuth

      Exactly!

      Being hip deep in Hill Billies and Ghetto Rats is NOT my idea of paradise.

      If you can't feed em, don't breed em

      October 25, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Ronald Regonzo

      Iraq, Iran and North Korea were made for controlling overpopulation. Cannon fodder doesn't grow on Republican trees. Romney / Ryan 2012

      October 25, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Christopher

      If men kept it in their pants, we wouldn't have a problem.

      October 25, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • hippypoet

      @ christopher, if your father had only done exactly that we wouldn't have this creature you call yourself...kinda a waste of space really but you have potential to be something not moronic still so perhaps you can still use air better suited to others with goals in their lives other then to please their non existent sky fairy.

      October 25, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • == o ==

      "cristopher hitchens" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert" degenerates to:
      "Taskmaster" degenerates to:
      "Ronald Regonzo" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      and many other names, but of course I prefer to refer to this extreme homophobe as
      the disgruntled Evangelical Fortune Cookie Co. writer boot camp flunkie.

      October 25, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • Don't Quit Your Day Job

      hippypoet, if your parents believed in abortion, I wouldn't have to read your nonsense.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • hippypoet

      i am a proud accident... i have grown past that...time for you. intelligence is not based on much but a 2000 yr old book so they called it right i guess...moron!

      October 25, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
  4. niknak

    Top of the day to you all;
    As usual, just another great day without god(s).

    October 25, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • and as always

      niknak is wrong

      October 25, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Christopher

      niknak, as with all atheists haven't a clue what they think or speak, but, will proudly share their stupidity with all.

      October 25, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • niknak

      Oh, and you "believers" really know whats up Christopher Robin?
      Like all atheists, I am still waiting for any kind of proof of your sky fairy from you or your fundie friends, that does not involve magic or 'cause you said so.

      October 25, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Don't Quit Your Day Job

      Good one Christopher. niknak, you are a fool.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • hippypoet

      chris, i bet i know more then you and it is a fact mind you that the average atheist knows more then the average believer... sad but true. check it.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  5. Robert Brown

    Some say they don’t want anything to do with Christ because of the behavior of Christians. Well who could blame them? If you knew nothing about God or Christ and heard a Christian condemning someone else, what would you think of Christianity? Jesus really had a great sense of humor, paraphrasing here; you should get the log out of your own eye before you worry about the speck in your brother’s eye.

    October 25, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • WASP

      @robert: holy carp i must have had too much to drink and not enough sleep because you truly made sense there robert. OMNG what is happening to this world christians are starting to make sense, ROFLMFAO. XD

      October 25, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • nii

      ROBERT
      You are so right. Its a shame that these boards seem to elicit such a response from the dogmatics on both sides rather than the tolerants. I love you as myself.

      October 25, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • == o ==

      Good point.

      A good example when "pervert alert" aka "Ronald Regonzo" aka "nope" aka "truth be told", etc., frequently writes judgmental posts (that most often inaccurate) such as "que ers the ones who gave aids to america", or, when just about any Christian posts judgments detailing what their supreme commander is thinking.

      October 25, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Robert Brown

      While part of what you said is quite true, I would contend that Jesus didn't have a great sense of humor, since it is from what Jesus supposedly said that the whole doctrine of hell came about, as well as some ther things he said that I would contend is fairly bad advice.

      October 25, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • William

      Robert, the body means all the followers of Jesus Christ. Not a body part.

      Matthew 5:29-30

      29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast [it] from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not [that] thy whole body should be cast into hell.

      30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast [it] from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not [that] thy whole body should be cast into hell.

      October 25, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  6. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    "The view that only heterosexual couples should be entitled to play the role of spouse within the institution of marriage is inconsistent with the principle that we should love our neighbors as ourselves."

    Practice safe-sex within the confines of self-marriage. Love yourself as yourself. And remember: only you can prevent forest fires.

    (Sorry. I support same-sex marriage, but not because of nonsense like Tenzin Norbu's.)

    October 25, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • pervert alert

      Whatever one qu eer lies to the others swear to. Qu eers the folks who gave AIDS to the world.

      October 25, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • == o ===

      "pervert alert" speaks out on abortion in various articles today as "Ronald Regonzo"
      would you trust his opinion based on his post here?

      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert" degenerates to:
      "Taskmaster" degenerates to:
      "Ronald Regonzo" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      and many other names, but of course I prefer to refer to this extreme homophobe as
      the disgruntled Evangelical Fortune Cookie Co. writer boot camp flunkie.

      October 25, 2012 at 9:44 am |
  7. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    October 25, 2012 at 7:11 am |
    • His cur jests

      Curb your God.

      October 25, 2012 at 7:40 am |
    • nope

      @hi...
      nope

      October 25, 2012 at 9:12 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 25, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • TrollAlert

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "Salvatore" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" 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:
      "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 25, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • Christopher

      Troll alert, why are you wasting space posting your nonsense?

      October 25, 2012 at 3:58 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 26, 2012 at 11:13 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.