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November 5th, 2012
05:45 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Monday, November 05

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: What would a Mormon White House look like?
Should Mitt Romney win the presidency next Tuesday, it will mark an historic first: a Mormon couple moving into the White House. What would this mean and look like? Would there be “dry” state dinners, since faithful Mormons don’t do alcohol? Would Secret Service tag along to sacred ceremonies only open to worthy church members? What book would a President Mitt Romney use to take his oath of office? We can’t be absolutely sure about all the answers. But if the practices and homes of devout Mormons like the Romneys – not to mention his history as governor of Massachusetts – are any indication, we can begin to paint a picture of what a Romney-inhabited White House might look like.

CNN: Do you believe in a red state Jesus or a blue state Jesus?
If elections are about choices, so is faith. And in Christianity, liberals and conservatives choose to see Jesus in different ways. Some liberals see Jesus as a champion of the poor who would support raising taxes on the wealthy, while some conservatives think Jesus would be more concerned with opposing abortion and same-sex marriage. Good luck to anyone who tries reconciling their Jesus with the biblical accounts of his life. Even Jesus' earliest followers clashed over who he was and what he meant.

Photos of the Day:

Torah scrolls were laid out to dry over the pews at the Mazel Academy in Brooklyn, New York after being soaked by the damaging waters of Superstorm Sandy.


Photo credit: Chabad.org


Photo credit: Chabad.org


Photo credit: Chabad.org

Belief on TV:

Enlightening Reads:

The Guardian: Egypt's new Coptic pope faces delicate balancing act
Some huddle in conclave before announcing their decision in a puff of smoke. Others ballot church dignitaries and pray for the wisdom to elect the right leader. Not so the Coptic church, which on Sunday selected its new pope by getting a blindfolded boy to pick a name from a bowl. The winner, Bishop Tawadros, became Pope Tawadros II. They call it the altar lottery, and it's how the Coptic Orthodox church has been selecting its heads since the 18th century.

Religion News Service: A Religious Breakdown of 12 Battleground States
Our resident religion & politics guru Mark Silk assesses the religious layout of 12 battleground states – and explains why religion will matter on Election Day.

Catholic News Agency: Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
After being closed for 10 years, the reopening of the National Shrine of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini in Chicago has helped energize the religious congregation she founded. Sister Joan McGlinchey, the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus’ representative at the shrine, said Mother Cabrini had “particular concern” for the poor and vulnerable, and the shrine “celebrates and remembers her holiness and her mission.”

U.S. Catholic: Read: Gandhi and the Unspeakable
It’s a slight book, but a profound one: In just 126 pages, author and theologian James Douglass explores the conspiracy behind the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, revered by Indians as the father of India’s independence from 90 years of British rule. When he was shot at age 78, Gandhi had been fasting to end the terror that raged between Muslims and Hindus following partition. Grief-stricken, nearly a million people, Hindu and Muslim alike, stood in the boiling sun waiting for Gandhi’s body to reach the Yamuna River for cremation. Behind the scenes, Hindu nationalist Vinayak Damodar Savarkar had masterminded this murder and went free; his puppet, Nathuram Godse, was executed for firing the fatal shots.

Huffington Post: Breezy Point Catholics Meet For Mass After Hurricane Sandy, Taking 'Strength In Faith'
Some came by foot, walking miles in mud-soaked jeans and galoshes from cold shelters and barely inhabitable homes. Others carpooled from far-flung cities and boroughs where they had sought refuge. They came bearing small crosses, candles, hymn books and American flags, and squeezed into pews in one of the few familiar spaces left intact after Hurricane Sandy tore through Breezy Point, a tight-knit oceanside community and one of the city's most devastated neighborhoods.

Reuters: French RC Church says gay marriage for few, to be imposed on all
France’s leading Roman Catholic prelate said on Saturday a government plan to legalize same-sex marriage would profoundly affect the equilibrium of French society, calling it a reform for the few not the many. Speaking in the pilgrimage town of Lourdes, Paris Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois urged Catholics to show their opposition to a planned marriage reform by writing and speaking to their elected officials and through other “democratic means of expression”.

Quote of the Day:

The President sends his warm congratulations to Coptic Orthodox Christians and all Egyptians on the joyous occasion of the selection of Bishop Tawadros as the 118th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of all Africa on the Holy See of St. Mark the Apostle. The United States shares Bishop Tawadros' commitment to unity, tolerance, and interfaith dialogue. We wish him great success in leading the Middle East’s largest Christian community during a time of great change in the region, and reaffirm our strong support for religious freedom and mutual respect among people of all faiths. The American people will continue to stand with Egyptians of every faith as they work to fulfill the goals of their revolution, including freedom, dignity, and economic opportunity.

– November 04, 2012 Statement by the United States Press Secretary Jay Carney on the Selection of the Coptic Pope

Opinion of the Day:


Nate Silver's blog at The New York Times has consistently predicted President Barack Obama will likely be re-elected.

CNN: My Take: I've got my money on the Church of Nate Silver
Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," discusses “the war on Nate Silver” and explains why “what we are witnessing is in my view a major shift in American political life not unlike the shift in American religious life brought on by the First Great Awakening.”

CNN: My Take: On Election Day, proclaiming my loyalty to Jesus
Mark Schloneger, pastor of North Goshen Mennonite Church in Goshen, Indiana, says that he “initiated the Election Day Communion Campaign out of a concern that Christians in the United States are being shaped more by the tactics and ideologies of political parties than by our identity and unity in Christ.” He goes on explain that “Gathering for Communion on Election Day seems fitting, for the practice of Communion is an inherently political act. It is both a pledge of allegiance to Jesus and a declaration of independence from all other powers making claims on our bodies, minds and souls.”

Join the conversation…

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?”

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Morning Read

soundoff (43 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? 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, moving production overseas 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."

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

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

    BAIN'S INVESTOR "SUCCESSES" WERE PRIMARILY CONTINGENT ON MASS LAY-OFFS OF WORKERS

    November 5, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
  2. Tomorrow is the Great "Does Prayer Work" Test!

    Yes, tomorrow we will discover if prayer works! Yes, since Romney is getting vastly more prayer than Obama, as are the republican senate candidates, a loss of either of those two areas will clearly show that . . .

    PRAYER DOES NOT WORK!!!!

    See you all tomorrow for a very funny evening of watching Jesus lose the Senate and Presidential elections.

    November 5, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  3. niknak

    Afternoon all,
    Just another beautiful day without god(s).
    Gonna be another beautiful day without Mitt Rmoney on Wednesday.

    November 5, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • nope

      @ni...
      nope

      November 5, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • snopes confirms

      nope is always false

      November 5, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • niknak

      And where will you be Nope fool when Rmoney is sent packing on the 6th?
      That's right, still believing in your sky fairy and posting your usual "insightful" one word post.
      You are right at home in the repub party, as they are the party of no.
      Punk

      November 5, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  4. hippypoet

    fact or fiction?
    for the all opinions ever spoken,
    people say mine are that which means i must be toke'n...
    but i say to you, for all that you believe –
    would you ever question if the end result was for you to leave?
    all you ever known, to say goodbye and be what should to shown...
    to not say but to act...cease the belief and follow fact!

    November 5, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  5. hippypoet

    "just some thoughts...have your own!"

    Ho.mo sapien,
    latin for thinking human...
    how much have you done?

    November 5, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Bippy, the . . . uh . . . the running out of names squirrel-something of things, other things, and obscure other other things, esq.

      You're all a bunch of infidel moronosapiens compared to that most perfect of perfect animal families: the Sciuridae!

      Especially the noble and renown Sciurus blabberonalotus, of which I am king, god, bulter, and junior sub-assistant to the assistant condiment application technicial (mustard division).

      Sapiens. Blah.

      November 5, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  6. hippypoet

    god is dead...

    this is not a world for poetry in verse but in action.
    this was once a world of taken satisfaction...
    of forced labor and false happiness manufaction...
    has the world changed for the better or just been placed in the hands of another fraction?
    do your math and you will see the horrors of man and the killings done to thee in accordence to the "plan"...
    god, if you can hear me...I think you failed your job. You allowed your creation to take the perfection and destroy its habitation...
    god, oh if you exist, I did hope you'd avenge this with a water tight fist...
    but alas, you did not...
    it was MY @ss that fought.
    i saw no godly power in the worst and darkest hour!
    when called for you, you acted the coward and hid until paid like a street who.re...
    such a god are thee that you allow me?
    to call you out and await the bout?
    but here i stand alone in the cage...with fists of rage
    alone...waiting...
    fading...
    its done.
    i've won.
    your son and you, the myth you are, has now died.
    and new sun will rise and the old shall dissappear with those that lied.
    freedom.

    November 5, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  7. And now some sad news from the campaign headquarters of Bippy, the Shiniest-Suit Bestiest-Shiny-Hair Smoothiest-Silver-Tongue Squirrel-Candidate for President and Notable Good Performer of Rap Yodelling. Maker of Fine Hamburger Condiments, and Mime to the

    We sandly must inform you that due to it's excessive prolixity, Bippy, the Shiniest-Suit Bestiest-Shiny-Hair Smoothiest-Silver-Tongue Squirrel-Candidate for President and Notable Good Performer of Rap Yodelling. Maker of Fine Hamburger Condiments, and Mime to the Stars, batteries not included, was not included on any ballot this election. That and something to do with qualifying.

    SO . . . please write in Bippy, the Shiniest-Suit Bestiest-Shiny-Hair Smoothiest-Silver-Tongue Squirrel-Candidate for President and Notable Good Performer of Rap Yodelling. Maker of Fine Hamburger Condiments, and Mime to the Stars, batteries not included on your ballet and rectify this terrible slight.

    Vote early, vote often, Bippy needs you! The country needs Bippy, and Bippy needs the power.

    And let's face it – with candidates lie these, you may as well elect a squirrel.

    November 5, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
  8. And Now, It's Imagination Time With Miss Attribution!

    Compassionate Jesus is exactly like Malibu Barbie: It's all just whatever spin you want to imagine onto your action figure of the mind.

    You can make him Republican Jesus, or Ballerina Jesus, or Vengeful Lake-Of-Fire Jesus, or Totally Hair Jesus, or God Of Love Jesus, or G. I. Jesus With The Kung Fu Grip, or Himmler Jesus Of The Eternal Auschwitz.

    You can even make him Blond White Guy In The Middle East Jesus.

    All it takes is your imagination. Or course, you can say Barbie created the universe and sent those hurricanes and tsunamis, and no one can prove you are wrong either. No one can prove your Malibu Barbie isn't the all-mighty god of everything who uses a special magic that no one can discover testing.

    November 5, 2012 at 11:38 am |
  9. Doc Vestibule

    "I could never follow Stalin. He puts people in the Gulag."

    This is what doubters tell themselves to rationalize their rejection of Stalin. But the truth is that Stalin does not send anyone to the Gulag. It is those who have hardened their hearts against him who send themselves to the Gulag through their bourgoise atti/tudes and counterrevolutionary actions. This was not Stalin's plan at all. He truly wants everyone to go to the Worker's Paradise. And it grives him that so many harden their hearts against him. But he wil not force anyone into the Worker's Paradise against their wishes – he respects their free will.

    So if you don't want to go to the Gulag, just open your heart to the love of Stalin and stop resisting him.

    Hey Christians – does that sound at all familiar?

    November 5, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • captain america

      Hey Americans doc vestipuke is a foreigner who has no say in the USA, It can't vote and it contributes nothing of value to the American way of life. doc v is the dog sh it on Americas sidewalks, unneeded, unwanted and unheeded.There's your sign

      November 5, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Pete

      "it contributes nothing of value to the American way of life"

      Captian America just admitted he is from Canada. Very Strange.

      November 5, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Pete

      Also, I would just like to point out that anybody who quotes the Blue Collar Comedy Tour to end every post is probably super smart, and in no way a total and complete moron.

      November 5, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • == o ==

      The only kind of "trickle-down" that actually works:

      "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.

      November 5, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • niknak

      @ Captain unamerica,
      I would take a room full of Docs over you any day.
      Can we trade you for him?

      November 5, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • LittleHero

      What is your problem Capt A? Did a Canadian schtup your mom or something? When I travel outside the US, I put on a Molson shirt and my best accent because of idiots like you.

      November 5, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • nope

      @pe...
      nope

      November 5, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • nope

      @ni ...
      nope

      November 5, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • nope

      @lit...
      nope

      November 5, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • snopes confirms

      nope is false

      and

      nope is a dope

      November 5, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  10. Atheism is great for everyone! Pets too!
    November 5, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • nope

      @at...
      nope

      November 5, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • snopes confirms

      nope is false

      November 5, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • and as always

      snopes is wrong

      November 5, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • snopes confirms

      nope and as always

      are always false

      November 5, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  11. Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

    Prayer changes elections.
    Get on your knees.
    Rodents for Romney pray that Bippy will be elected.

    November 5, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • Mirosal

      If Bippy gets elected, will we all have to protect our nuts? lol :)

      November 5, 2012 at 8:44 am |
  12. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    November 5, 2012 at 6:25 am |
    • Good morning Murica

      November 5, 2012 at 6:53 am |
    • Mirosal

      only in YOUR weak deluded mind. Do you always believe what others tell you to believe?

      November 5, 2012 at 7:10 am |
    • christopher hitchens

      Prayer is the language of free thought, progressive thought and intelligence, what's your point ass hole?

      November 5, 2012 at 7:16 am |
    • Mirosal

      Prayer is not required to be free-thinking, progressive, or intelligent. In fact, no deity at all is required for any of the aforementioned items.

      November 5, 2012 at 7:40 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 5, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • TrollAlert

      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 5, 2012 at 9:05 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 5, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • WASP

      @chris: critical thinking is questioning your enviroment and everything around you;
      religion requires adherence to doctrine and unwavering devotion to it's teachings, no questioning permitted nor encouraged.

      November 5, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • nope

      @wus...
      nope

      November 5, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • snopes confirms

      nope is false

      November 5, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • and as always

      snopes is wrong !

      November 5, 2012 at 4:20 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.