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November 6th, 2012
05:12 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Tuesday, November 06

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: Viral video shows Romney in testy exchange over his faith
In campaign time, it’s ancient history: a 2007 video showing a testy off-air exchange between Mitt Romney and a radio host over the candidate’s faith and his stance on abortion. But the back-and-forth has resurfaced in the days before Election Day. Video of the exchange posted on YouTube on October 31 had garnered nearly 1.8 million page views as of noon ET Monday.

CNN: Paul Ryan asks for blessing day before election
Mitt Romney's running mate Paul Ryan, a Roman Catholic, asked a priest he met at a restaurant Monday to bless a rosary he carries with him. The Republican vice presidential nominee was in the middle of a five-state battleground blitz through Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, and Wisconsin, the day before Election Day when he met Father Greg Ames prior to his second rally in Johnstown, Colorado.

CNN: Egypt's Coptic Christians pick new pope
Egypt's Coptic Christians picked a new leader Sunday, a process that involved a blindfolded boy choosing one of three names in a crystal chalice. Bishop Tawadros Theodorus II – the nation's 118th Coptic Pope – replaces the former leader who died in March. The death of Pope Shenouda III sparked anxiety in the embattled minority group in Egypt's Muslim majority. Thousands of people flooded into a Cairo Cathedral in March to bid farewell to the 88-year-old pope who led the nation's Coptic Christians for about four decades.

Photos of the Day:


Diwali is a five-day Hindu festival, known as the Festival of Lights, that takes place this year from November 11-15. It is a contraction of the word Deepavali, which means row of lights in Sanskrit.


Diwali is not only celebrated by Hindus, it is also an occasion for celebration by Jains and Sikhs (pictured). The Sikhs celebrate Diwali to mark the return of the Sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind Ji, who was freed from imprisonment and also managed to release 52 political prisoners at the same time from Gwalior fort by Mughal Emperor Jahangir in 1619.


These small clay oil lamps are known as diyas. Hindus in India adorn their homes with lots of these lamps during Diwali to commemorate the Hindu legend of the return of Lord Rama from his 14 year-long exile after murdering the ten-headed demon Ravana.


Brightly-colored rangolis are drawn on the ground at the entrances to homes and offices during Diwali, using the fingers and colored flour, rice power, rice grains, flower petals, powders and chalk. In villages the rangolis are drawn on top of fresh cow dung. The purpose of the rangoli is to welcome guests and to encourage the Hindu goddess Lakshmi inside.


Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity, both material and spiritual. She is the household goddess of most Hindu families, and a favorite of women. Both the oil lamps and the rangolis are used to try and encourage Lakshmi to come inside the home, and of course to welcome guests..


During Diwali it is common to set off fire crackers as the noise is believed to herald the defeat of evil and catch the attention of the gods.

Enlightening Reads:

Huffington Post: Indiana Church Sign 'Vandalized' With Anti-Romney Message: 'Romney Hates Women'
In October, the pastor of an Indiana Church of Christ congregation woke up to find his church had been the target of some politically motivated vandals. Minister Luke Jackson was as surprised as anyone to learn that overnight his church's message board had become an anti-Romney political ad, WANE reports. One side of the South Broadway Church of Christ marquee read “Christ voted Democrat” and the other read “Romney hates women." Perhaps unsurprisingly, many church members quickly called Jackson to complain.

Religion News Service: Buddhists aim to bring mindfulness to the ballot box
The mindfulness movement has seeped into Silicon Valley, Capitol Hill, and even the United States Military Academy at West Point. Next stop: the voting booth. A new California-based group wants the estimated 5 million Americans who practice mindfulness to move off their meditation cushions and into the polls on Tuesday (Nov. 6). If meditation can calm hyperactive kids, ease the pain of drug addicts and tame the egos of Fortune 500 CEOs, it can surely help a stressed-out and polarized country choose a president, says the Rev. Angel Kyodo Williams.

Catholic News Agency: Vatican computer technician goes on trial over press leaks
Despite his lawyer’s appeal to drop the case on the opening morning of hearings, a Vatican judge ruled that the trial for the second man accused in the so-called Vatileaks scandal will continue. Claudio Sciarpelletti, the Vatican Secretariat of State’s computer programmer, is accused of aiding and abetting the Pope’s former butler, Paolo Gabriele, in stealing documents from Benedict XVI.

Reuters: Strong Swiss franc forces Reformed church group out of Calvin’s city Geneva
The Swiss city of Geneva has a long history of affording refuge to religious dissenters, most notably the 16th-century reformer John Calvin, but the strong Swiss franc currency has made it hard on his followers. The exchange rate of the Swiss franc to other currencies has forced the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) to move its global headquarters, which has a staff of seven, to Germany from the city known as “the Protestant Rome” when Calvin ruled it as a strict theocracy. A WCRC statement on Monday said the group, which represents about 80 million Christians in Reformed, Presbyterian and other churches around the world, would move its office to Hanover by December 2013.

Huffington Post: 2012 Sikh International Film Festival Guide: Sikhs Explore Pride, Prejudice in Films
What makes a Sikh film? Our annual film festival considers the film's point of view, subjects or background of the filmmaker. Sikh films comprise a small but growing segment of the hundreds of popular South Asian films, but these works illuminate a fascinating, little-known people, culture and faith.

Quote of the Day:

Following Jesus, I strongly believe, does mean marriage between a man and a woman for those who have placed the values of God above political values and the standards of our world. But it also means not demonizing or judging those who have chosen a different lifestyle. The greatest commandment: ‘to love God and every neighbor as you love yourself,’ calls evangelical Christians to a higher standard of manifesting God’s love to everyone.

– Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, lawyer, ordained minister with a Doctorate of Ministry, and president of the Skinner Leadership Institute.

Opinion of the Day:


How many times do hot-button issues come up in the Bible?

CNN: My Take: Counting the Bible's words doesn't yield a Republican Jesus
Stephen Prothero, Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," responds to angry emails he received after writing a Belief Blog post in which he takes issue with evangelicals using Jesus as a political tool to benefit the Republican Party.

Join the conversation…

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.”

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Morning Read

soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Neal Buhlig

    Computer programming requires some very intricate work. This is the type of work that thrives on details and people who work in this field understand that the absence of even the minute elements can spell a huge difference in the overall result. If a programmer fails to correct this problem, it can lead to errors down the line. As a result, bugs will appear in the system and errors will emerge later on. Programming is also taxing work, requiring hours upon hours of writing, testing and debugging. This is why computer programming thrives on team work. Without team work, a single computer program can take decades to complete.^^

    I'll see you in a bit
    <http://www.healthmedicinentral.com

    May 3, 2013 at 12:30 am |
  2. Kaushal Sharma

    Beautiful story from India about Sikhism and its present state of elevated spiritualism.This should bring the reality of the peace loving Sikhs to forefront.

    November 15, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  3. Kathleen Winfrey

    Believing yourself is very important. Though Romney did not won the election but, they still have the same ambition for our country so, it is better if they'll work hand in hand for the success of America.

    November 7, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
  4. Cal

    I hate to stear everyone away from the troll fest (or feast, due to the constant feeding of trolls), but I am curious about something of a theological nature.

    So before man, God and the angels were chilling up in Heaven, right? Just like God and the saved will be chilling up in Heaven at some later date. If an angel can "choose" to defy God, is there any reason to think that a saved human soul could not choose to defy God, after already being in heaven?

    November 6, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Sane Person

      The entire story is a myth. Hope that answers your question.

      November 6, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Cal

      @ Sane Person, Good enough for me, and probably as good as it will get.

      November 6, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  5. Akira

    GIMA: your ass is a great intellect? O.o
    You could earn some money from that Mensa ass.

    November 6, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
  6. Rodents for Romney

    The apocalypse has begun.
    Every ankle we bite, is a higher place in squirrel heaven.
    Halleluiah.
    All praise to Bippy.

    November 6, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
  7. Hate-filled Christians of the world, unite!

    "great intellect my ass" = "captain america" = "nope" = "prayer troll"

    November 6, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • great intellect

      Proof please?

      November 6, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
  8. niknak

    Just another beautiful day without god(s).
    And going to be an even better one tomorrow without Rmoney.

    November 6, 2012 at 10:11 am |
  9. FSM_Minister

    If you must pray and believe, make certain it is the one and true Noodly appendages that you are worshiping!
    Prayer to and the worship of any other God or gods is foolish and hopeless!

    November 6, 2012 at 7:37 am |
    • great intellect my ass

      Catch a clue ass hole.

      November 6, 2012 at 7:40 am |
    • Mirosal

      And may the sauce be with you!!!

      November 6, 2012 at 7:58 am |
    • great intellect my ass

      You can't get much lamer sally, or can you. Mensa my ass

      November 6, 2012 at 8:01 am |
    • Mirosal

      As I previously stated, humor escapes you, as does a simple parody. Do you have anything relevant to say, or have you not yet learned the arts of debate and forensic speech?

      November 6, 2012 at 8:05 am |
    • FSM_Minister

      Ass Troll,
      GROW UP!
      GET A LIFE!

      November 6, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • great intellect my ass

      I guess you can get lamer sally. Mensa my ass

      November 6, 2012 at 8:12 am |
    • Mirosal

      I'm not the screen name of FSM_Minister. I only have the one screen name, because I have nothing to hide. But, since you haven't a clue as to what "FSM" refers to, the whole concept of humor/parody is lost upon you.

      November 6, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      @ GIMA, to utilize a piece of theist logic, you can't prove she's NOT in mensa.

      November 6, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      GIMA, there is exactly (exactly!) the same evidence for the FSM as there is for any other god. Go ahead, prove your god exists and the FSM does not.

      November 15, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
  10. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    November 6, 2012 at 6:52 am |
    • Mirosal

      It matters to whom or what you are praying to. If you are praying to an invisible being "in the sky", the nothing changes. However, if you are like George Carlin, and pray to Joe Pesci, then he can accomplish quite a lot with a baseball bat.

      November 6, 2012 at 6:59 am |
    • great intellect my ass

      and as always sally is an ass hole. Mensa my ass.

      November 6, 2012 at 7:01 am |
    • Mirosal

      Apparently humor (or humour if you are in Canada or the UK) eludes you, as does rational thought.

      November 6, 2012 at 7:08 am |
    • great intellect my ass

      This from an ass hole sally that actually had the balls to post two other stupid comments on this page. Mensa my ass

      November 6, 2012 at 7:15 am |
    • Mirosal

      The stupid commets are coming from your keyboard. Do you have anything relevant to say, or a starting point for a little diatribe, or are you just going to throw what you consider insults at people? Ben Franklin was right when he described you.

      November 6, 2012 at 7:22 am |
    • great intellect my ass

      Ben Franklin has been dead for a couple hundred years, that's how you're defending your stupidity sally? Mensa my ass

      November 6, 2012 at 7:28 am |
    • Mirosal

      Your "savior" Jesus has been dead for almost two THOUSAND years, yet you still think his words are important. Ben's life is verifiable, the life of your "son of god" is not. Hercules was the "son of a god" too, and he is pure myth. So is Jesus.

      November 6, 2012 at 7:41 am |
    • great intellect my ass

      Do you ever do anything sane, you're way off on a tangent sally, you're not grounded. Mensa my ass

      November 6, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • Mirosal

      What tangent are you referring to?

      November 6, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • great intellect my ass

      I never mentioned religion only that you were an ass hole and to date you have only confirmed that statement. Mensa my ass

      November 6, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • Mirosal

      You really have no idea as to which Ben Franklin quote describes you, do you?

      November 6, 2012 at 8:19 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.

      November 6, 2012 at 11:16 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 6, 2012 at 11:22 am |
  11. Good morning Murica

    Save your prayers. Get out the vote.

    November 6, 2012 at 5:44 am |
    • Mirosal

      Don't say a prayer for me now, save it 'til the morning after. No, don't say a prayer for me now, save it 'til the morning aft-teeeerrrrr . Sorry, had a Duran Duran moment there lol

      November 6, 2012 at 6:34 am |
    • Akira

      Love that song, Mirosal.

      November 6, 2012 at 12:02 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.