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November 2nd, 2012
07:18 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Friday, November 02

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:


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

CNN: My Take: Billy Graham and Ralph Reed are putting politics before God
Stephen Prothero, Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," asks: “Why are evangelicals like Billy Graham and Ralph Reed stumping for Mitt Romney? And why are roughly three-quarters of white evangelicals inclined to vote for him?”

Tweets of the Day:

Belief on TV:

Enlightening Reads:

Religion News Service: Hawaii Democrat poised to be first Hindu in Congress
Hindu Americans have run America’s major companies and universities, won Nobel prizes and Olympic gold medals, directed blockbuster movies, and even flown into space. But one profession has so far been out of reach: Member of Congress. That may change next week in Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district, where Democrat Tulsi Gabbard is poised to win an out-of-nowhere bid over Republican opponent Kawika Crowley. Gabbard was leading Crowley 70 percent to 18 percent, according to an Oct. 12 poll by the Honolulu Civil Beat.

JTA: Anti-Semitic incidents in U.S. declined by 13 percent in 2011, ADL audit finds
The number of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States declined by 13 percent in 2011, an annual audit of anti-Semitic incidents found. The annual Anti-Defamation League Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, released Thursday, reported a total of 1,080 incidents of assault, vandalism and harassment, compared to 1,239 incidents reported in 2010.

Huffington Post: Daniel Jenky, Illinois Catholic Bishop, Orders Anti-Obama Letter To Be Read In Diocese
Earlier this year, a Roman Catholic bishop came under fire from the Anti-Defamation League and others for comparing President Barack Obama to Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler during a sermon delivered at an Illinois church. Now, as the 2012 election approaches, Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria has reportedly ordered "every priest in his diocese" to read an anti-Obama letter to their congregations.

The Salt Lake Tribune: Russian affront: Pro-Kremlin youths want Mormon missionaries out
A pro-Kremlin youth group is calling for a ban on all Mormon missionaries in Russia, alleging the LDS proselytizers are "potential American spies" and that many join the FBI or CIA after their two-year church service. The group, the youth wing of the country’s ruling party, staged a protest Thursday in front of the Utah-based church’s Moscow headquarters, USA Today reported, holding signs that read, among other slogans, "No, to foreign agents!"

The Christian Science Monitor: All politics is local, even the US election as seen by Kenyans
Kenyans are closely watching the US presidential election, with two groups in particular rooting for each of the candidates. US President Barack Obama’s reelection bid is preoccupying the people in Nyang’oma Kogelo, his Kenyan father’s home village, as challenger Mitt Romney’s run is invigorating Mormons in the East African country. Mr. Romney’s candidacy has thrust the Christian group into the spotlight here, with its leaders on Monday unveiling a website called Kenya Mormon Newsroom to help answer questions ignited by the American political process. Leaders say the church maintains a firm political neutrality.

Join the conversation…


A church sign from Sunday in a town on Long Island, New York.

CNN: Online conversations around Sandy feature God, prayer and atheism
As millions of Americans begin to clean up from Superstorm Sandy, many will turn to insurance companies to cover damages caused by an “act of God.” It’s legalese for natural disasters. Some of the online conversation around Sandy have treated it as such an act, with the term “prayer” trending on Facebook on Monday, as the nation awaited the storm’s landfall. We noticed four themes emerging that touch on God and religion on Facebook, Twitter and in CNN.com’s comments sections.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Uncategorized

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soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Rummy Pirate Times-Dispatch

    "In Greed We Trust"

    In 1994, Bain invested $27 million as part of a deal with other firms to acquire Dade International, a medical-diagnostics-equipment firm, from its parent company, Baxter International. Bain ultimately made nearly 10 times its money, getting back $230 million. But Dade wound up laying off more than 1,600 people and filed for bankruptcy protection in 2002, amid crushing debt and rising interest rates. The company, with Bain in charge, had borrowed heavily to do acquisitions, accumulating $1.6 billion in debt by 2000. The company cut benefits for some workers at the acquired firms and laid off others. When it merged with Behring Diagnostics, a German company, Dade shut down three U.S. plants. At the same time, Dade paid out $421 million to Bain Capital’s investors and investing partners.

    For 15 years, Romney had been in the business of creative destruction and wealth creation. But what about his claims of job creation? Though Bain Capital surely helped expand some companies that had created jobs, the layoffs and closures at other firms would lead Romney’s political opponents to say that he had amassed a fortune in part by putting people out of work. The lucrative deals that made Romney wealthy could exact a cost. Maximizing financial return to investors could mean slashing jobs, closing plants, and moving production overseas. It could also mean clashing with union workers, serving on the board of a company that ran afoul of federal laws, and loading up already struggling companies with debt.

    Marc Wolpow, a former Bain partner who worked with Romney on many deals, said the discussion at buyout companies typically does not focus on whether jobs will be created. “It’s the opposite—what jobs we can cut,” Wolpow said. “Because you had to document how you were going to create value. Eliminating redundancy, or the elimination of people, is a very valid way."

    Bain closed GST Steel plant in 2001 laying off 750 workers.

    Controlling share owner Bain Capital closes BRP plant (Southern Illinois) so the 340 jobs there could be outsourced to Mexico.

    http://www.examiner.com/article/mitt-romney-implicated-perjury-and-stock-fraud-made-millions-process

    November 2, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Evangelical

      Way too long.

      Vote Romney/Ryan 2012!

      November 2, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Huebert

      Is anyone surprised that it is the evangelical who has trouble reading a three paragraph post?

      November 2, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  2. Topher

    Good morning, everyone!

    November 2, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      Top o' the mornin' to ya.

      November 2, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • LinCA

      @Topher

      You said, "Good morning, everyone!"
      While I appreciate the sentiment, it is discriminatory to exclude those that live in parts of the World where it is no longer (or not yet, if you will) morning.

      Please consider using more inclusive language in future communications.

      Have a good day.

      November 2, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      What are the chances of Topher being more successful at being inclusive than he is in explaining and providing supporting evidence for his cult's beliefs? Given his complete inability to (rationally) explain anything about his beliefs, it may be approaching infinity!

      November 2, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Topher

      LinCA

      Oops! My apologies to those still in the dark. :)

      November 2, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Lighteness

      Topher, good reply. LOL.

      November 2, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      You seem to be extra chipper today topher. Anything other than your salvation putting an extra beat in your step?

      November 2, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Topher

      It's a beautiful day, it's Friday and I get to hang out with my wife this weekend. Woo-hoo!

      November 2, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • I Don't Get It

      "Lighteness"?

      Our resident genius is at it again, I see.

      November 2, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Lighteness

      You never will get it if you don't change your sinful ways.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Sue

      If your god is all-merciful as so often claimed, then why should I change my sinful ways one iota, when all I need do is ask your god for forgiveness, after doing all the sins I please?

      November 2, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • A Few Questions For Topher

      You have avoided these questions three times now. Do you have the courage today?

      How did Noah build an Ark 440 feet long when wooden boats over 300 – 350 feet failed? That is waaaaaaaaaaaaay too big for a wooden boat, even with steel reinforcement.

      How did Noah get two of every animal, with their food, from all over the world to the Middle East? There are 3,000,000 non-bacterial land species.

      How did he get 6,000,000 animals and a six month supply of food and water into a 1,500,000 cubit foot boat? Thats 1/4 cubic foot for each animal and its food and water.

      How did they care for them? Each of the 8 people on board could give each species a quarter of a second each day for feeding, watering, and cleaning, assuming they never sleep and never stop and that quarter second includes going for the food and water. 24/7, non-stop for six months.

      How do the animals get home? What do the carnivores eat without wiping out the species that were saved? How do they deal with the inbreeding that will ruin every species?

      How do Noah's descendants become black and get to Africa, become indigenous and get to the Americas, become Asian and end up in Asia, aborigines in New Zealand, etc? How did Noah's family deal withthe intense inbreeding?

      Why did God massacre all the other animals?

      Why didn't God do something more intelligent like send a plague that only affected humans, except for Noah and his family? Or do the Don Yahweh Corleone thing he did in Sodom and Gomorrah, and send in his hit men thug angels to kill every one? Why did God pick the dumbest, most labor-intensive possible way of massacring humans when he could have achieved the same result far more easily?

      Are you going to run away again? At least Robert had the courage to try – though his results of "I don't know, therefore it's true" are a little, uh, totally unsatisfactory.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Topher

      Sue

      God is merciful, that is true. But He's also just. He's right to punish you for your sins. Just asking forgiveness isn't going to help you.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Topher

      A Few Questions ...

      If I sat and answered all those questions it would take all day. Pick one that you are honestly curious about and we'll talk. But I doubt you will because you are more interested in trying to give me "gotcha" questions and seeking to make me look foolish. And don't tell me to pick one like the other day ... you'll just claim I picked the easiest and will make more excuses. So pick one and let's get on with it.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Andy

      Topher: "God is merciful, that is true. But He's also just. He's right to punish you for your sins. Just asking forgiveness isn't going to help you."

      I wonder if people realize how funny they sound when they are describing something in their heads – something that they can't prove is real.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @A Few Questions
      Anytime you ask "How", the answer is "magic".
      Anytime you ask "why", the answer is "God works in mysterious ways".

      November 2, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Sue

      Topher, if I am forgiven, then why am to be punished? That means your god isn't all-merciful. In fact, it means that he is a liar.

      Would you care to try a different claim?

      November 2, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Bob

      No no, Sue. God wants to torture you forever. That's what he considers fair for some minor stuff you did wrong in your short mortal life. Ergo, Christian god would be an ass hole if he existed, and a human rights abuser according to any modern court.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Sue

      Great point, Bob, and it speaks directly to Topher's invalid claim of his god being "just".

      November 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Topher

      Sue

      "Would you care to try a different claim?"

      No, ma'am.

      "Topher, if I am forgiven, then why am to be punished? That means your god isn't all-merciful. In fact, it means that he is a liar."

      Good for you for asking questions. I'm guessing you don't believe ... that's fine. But I commend you on at least asking questions so you at least know what you are rejecting. If you've heard that "all you have to do is ask for forgiveness and you'll be saved" you've been misinformed or at the very least not given the full story. The Bible says you must repent and trust in the savior. Now, yes, repent does mean to ask forgiveness ... in part. But it also means to turn from sins. So no, you can't just keep sinning at will and receive the gift God has offered you. For instance, if you have the sin problem of watching or looking at inappropriate images, you can't just apologize and then go back to looking at them. You must apologize and STOP looking at them. You must also trust in the savior to do what He claimed He would do. Understand that Jesus' punishment and subsequent death on the cross was Him voluntarily paying for your sins. He was taking the punishment that you deserve. He then rose from the grave 3 days later defeating death. He did that for YOU. If you think you can shake your fist at Him and say, "Oh, I'm sorry, now let me into Heaven," then you are mistaken to think you're good to go. Again, the Bible says to repent and trust. When you do that, you'll be what we call "born again" ... which means you'll have a change of atti.tude and heart toward God. This is how we Christians know we've been saved from the wrath that is to come.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • A few questions for Topher

      And Topher chickens out again. Talk about a total lack of integrity!

      There's only six questions.

      Don't worry, Topher. We know why you are running away: because the answer to each is "it's totally impossible, and even a god would not choose such a bizarre and massively awkward approach, magic or not."

      Go ahead, face up to the real answer: Noah's Ark is totally impossible.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Topher

      Not only have I not "chickened out" but I'm still right here. But once again you atheists prove to be completely predictable. I said you wouldn't pick one and you'd make excuses and that's exactly what you've done.

      Not only was the ark possible, but it was accomplished.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • A few questions for Topher

      You are still evading. Anyone who actually had answers would start at the top and work down. If you actually need guidance on how to answer questions, what you do is start with the first one and answer it, then the next, then the next.

      How did you ever get through grade school? "Uh teechur, what kwestshuns do you want me to anser on thu test? But witch won furst? what, all ov them?!?! I kant do that!"

      At least Robert Brown had the courage to try.

      What's your excuse now, Topher?

      November 2, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Topher

      There is absolutely no evidence of the ark. Your claim is merely that, a claim. Completely worthless on its face and with no evidence to back it up.

      November 2, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Topher

      Dude, pick one question, or get over it. I have less than an hour before I have to get ready for work. I'm tired of your silliness. Let the record show that I've given him multiple opportunities to ask one. If he can't do it, see it for what it is.

      November 2, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Topher

      Aww don't start ignoring me now. You just assert "DA ARK HAPPENED", and I'm saying to prove it! Don't wait until you have to "work", post some inane non-answer, and leave so you don't have to see those nasty dissenting opinions.

      November 2, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Obviously the biggest issue with the story of Noah's flood is the fact that IF it happened, God had to violate the scientific laws He created in order for the Biblical account to have occurred. I think the best one should expect from some one of faith is "God did it"? I'm not a believer, but I find that atleast it is a consistant answer. But Topher, keep in mind that if God can bend scientific laws as He chooses, there is no point in using ANY science, including science you claim supports the Bible. If ANY scientific laws can be broken at whim by a supreme, NO scientific results can be trusted.

      November 2, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Topher

      hawaiiguest

      What sort of thing would prove it to you?

      November 2, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Topher

      Only 10 minutes left guys ... we gonna do this or not?

      November 2, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Hey Topher, you and your wife have fun this weekend.

      November 2, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Topher

      lunchbreaker

      Thank you! You have a good one, too.

      A Few Questions ....

      Seriously dude, next time we're on together, ask me one of your questions. But only one. I've been on here long enough to know the multiple-question posts are a trap for atheists to whine and complain I didn't answer everything. So go ahead, ask me one next time. I'm not afraid of a single one of those questions. As if there hasn't been research into those things for thousands of years and aren't answers for them.

      Until then, I hope you all have good weekends and you think on the things of God. Eternity is too important to just slap aside and not know what you are rejecting. None of us are promised another day, so don't go to sleep tonight without thinking about it. God bless.

      November 2, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Topher

      Why would you ask "what would convince you"? If you have evidence of the ark existing, or even of a global flood, then present it.

      November 2, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • A few questions for Topher

      And once again, Topher ran away without addressing any part of the issue, using every dishonest evasion he could think of. This is the fourth time.

      At least Robert Brown had the guts to stand up and give an answer. He even copied it from an earlier story and brought it up. At least there is one Christian with character.

      November 2, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I agree–at least Robert Brown doesn't attempt to defend his faith by proffering false "evidence." He generally says that belief in god is a matter of faith and is not "provable." At the very least, that's an honest answer and I can respect it. He believes. He doesn't claim to "know" or have "proof."

      The Gopher, like Chard, have to lie about their beliefs. It is demeaning to the definition of "faith."

      November 2, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
  3. Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Prayer has been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for.
    Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just go to http://santorum.com to find out more.
    Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
    Prayer makes you fat, pale, weak, and sedentary.
    Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Prayer fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
    Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
    Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
    Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
    Prayer makes you think doilies are exciting.
    Prayer makes you secretively flatulent and embarrassed about it.
    Prayer makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
    Prayer gives you knobbly knees.
    Prayer dulls your senses.
    Prayer makes you hoard cats.
    Prayer wastes time.

    November 2, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • Lighteness

      Remember atheists. You choose to stay spiritually dead.

      November 2, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Kevin

      It takes courage to follow reason to the inevitable conclusion that Christian god does not exist. Christian believers with their false claims of "spirituality" are merely cowards.

      November 2, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Huebert

      Remember Lightness, there is no evidence for the existence of the spirit.

      November 2, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Lighteness

      Remember Kevin and Huebert, you can't prove God doesn't exist.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Huebert

      Lightness

      Remember, you can't prove that a rainbow farting unicorn doesn't exist.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Sue

      Actually, Lighteness, it can be proven, and has been proven, that Christian god does not exist. There are several distinct proofs. A commonly stated one involves the fact that the claimed characteristics for Christian god are contradictory and self-inconsistent.

      What are the general characteristics that you would claim for your particular god?

      November 2, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  4. 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.

    November 2, 2012 at 9:02 am |
  5. Athiest Hunter

    Shhhhhhhh. Be vewy vewy quiet, I'm huntin' athiests.

    November 2, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • christopher hitchens

      O. K. just shoot the dumb sobs

      November 2, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • Huebert

      Isn't that cute. AH made a friend.

      November 2, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • Damocles

      @ah

      I have every confidence that you will be at least as successful as Elmer.

      November 2, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Gandhi

      Ooh look, fake hitchens has finally learned to spell his own handle; gradually evolving from a dumb sob itself.

      November 2, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • I Don't Get It

      Athiest Hunter,

      Are you the most athi hunter, or what? Who would be athier?

      November 2, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • christopher hitchens

      Please use mouthwash before addressing anyone gandi we know what you drink.

      November 2, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  6. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    November 2, 2012 at 7:27 am |
    • WASP

      (YAWNNNNNN!) MOURNING PRAYERBOT. nice to see you are functioning at optimal capacity. :)

      November 2, 2012 at 7:36 am |
    • and as always

      wus...p
      is wrong

      November 2, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • TrollAlert

      2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse | Reply

      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.

      November 2, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • and as always

      trollalert/hal/ phony jesus /(.)/ =o= etc etc are totally wrong, wrong in statement, wrong in thought and wrong for America.

      November 2, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • TrollAlert

      Add "and as always" degenerates to: to the list.

      November 2, 2012 at 9:01 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.

      November 2, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • no one gives a sh it

      about you your list or your multiple posts under different names hal.

      November 2, 2012 at 9:38 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

      November 2, 2012 at 10:58 am |

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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.