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:
A statue of the Archangel Gabriel stands on a 36 metre high Corithian Column in Budapest's Heroes' square.
CNN: Author Lorna Byrne: I see angels
Are there really angels among us? Lorna Byrne claims she’s been able to see angels since she was a child. The Irish-born author of the international best-seller “Angels in My Hair” says guardian angels watch over believers and nonbelievers alike all the time.
CNN: Las Posadas: Joseph and the Virgin Mary travel in Maryland
Guitars strummed and the cheerful voices of young and old sang “Feliz Navidad” as people in the streets cheered the birth of Christ with Spanish lyrics and upbeat rhythms in Oakview, a neighborhood in Silver Spring. Though it wasn’t immediately apparent, these members of St. Camillus Church weren’t caroling, but were celebrating the Central American Catholic tradition of Las Posadas. The celebration comes just as the world celebrates the birth of Jesus on Tuesday.
Belief on TV:
Photos of the Day:
Foud Twal, the Latin Patriarch of the Holy Land, holds the Baby Jesus in Saint Catherine's Church at the end of the Christmas Midnight Mass and walks in procession to the 'Grotto', where Christians believe the Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ, in the adjacent Church of the Nativity on December 25, 2012 in Bethlehem, West Bank. Thousands of pilgrims made their way to the Church of the Nativity this week to worship at the sacred site believed to be the birthplace of Jesus.
Reuters: Pakistan’s loneliest church celebrates Christmas in Taliban territory
This Christmas, Pastor Nazir Alam will stoke up a fire, lay a fresh cloth on the altar and welcome parishioners as they arrive at his church in Waziristan, a Pakistani tribal area known as an al-Qaeda haven. “The lights are all up, and the choir boys are ready. The church is looking its best,” said 60-year-old Alam, a former missionary who has celebrated his last ten Christmases there. “There’s not much left to do but to pray and rejoice.”
Religion News Service: Ask the Experts: Christmas Questions Edition
Religion is a vast territory, and it’s always nice to find fellow travelers. Even better, a guide. With that in mind, we’re starting a new feature here at RNS called “Ask the Experts.” The idea is, readers like you send in questions about theology, history, literature, or any topic related to religion, and we’ll contact scholars to find out the answers.
New York Times: Illinois Clergy Members Support Same-Sex Marriage in Letter Signed by 260
More than 250 religious leaders in Illinois have signed an open letter in support of same-sex marriage, which the legislature is likely to take up in January. This is not the first time members of the clergy have endorsed same-sex marriage, but the public nature of the letter and the number of signatures made it an especially strong statement.
Quote of the Day:
So Christ is our peace, and he proclaimed peace to those far away and to those near at hand (cf. Eph 2:14, 17). How could we now do other than pray to him: Yes, Lord, proclaim peace today to us too, whether we are far away or near at hand. Grant also to us today that swords may be turned into ploughshares (Is 2:4), that instead of weapons for warfare, practical aid may be given to the suffering. Enlighten those who think they have to practise violence in your name, so that they may see the senselessness of violence and learn to recognize your true face. Help us to become people “with whom you are pleased” – people according to your image and thus people of peace.
- Pope Benedict XVI at Christmas Eve mass at St. Peter's Basilica.
Join the conversation…
The figure of Santa Clause is based on a fourth-century saint, the original St. Nicholas.
CNN: My Take: The Christmas message of the real St. Nicholas
Adam C. English, associate professor of religion at Campbell University and author of "The Saint Who Would Be Santa Claus: The True Life and Trials of St. Nicholas of Myra," discusses his quest to learn the truth about St. Nicholas and how it led him to Italy’s Adriatic coast.
Almost all spiders are venomous. That's how they hunt. Most spiders are too small, or their venom too weak, to be dangerous to humans. Some spiders are pretty well known and seem to get blamed for most of the spider bites out there.:;.."
Newest posting on our web-site
AB, wherever you are, I bought The Hobbit yesterday.
I love it, so far!
What a coincidence, Mrs. Pepperpot!
So did I!
Pepperpot and Akira. Beware! I came in during the Tolkien renaissance during the 70’s. The Hobbit led to LOTR, led to dictionaries, let to biographies, let to the Silmarillion, led to the the lost books, led to the translations, led to the children's books, etc. etc. It is a wonderful journey. I hope you enjoy it as I did and still do. My Tolkien shelf includes every known publication and I cherish them.
Fantasies. But you know they're fantasies, right?
Fantasy? Of course not. Truth is relative.
In order for truth to be relative man must elevate himself above God. That can be done by lowering God to the level of man or rejecting God.
My sister and I were talking about which came first: the Hobbit, or...?
I'm too lazy to look it up right now.
I know the difference.
"In order for truth to be relative man must elevate himself above God. That can be done by lowering God to the level of man or rejecting God."
Well, I am a woman, so your point is pointless...and unprofound.
Man is over the woman yet both have equality in Gods eyes that is the truth which did not change simply because society thinks order is relative.
Truth is truth. It's not relative; we are relative, and our understanding is relative. Morality, certainly is relative. Truth simply is.
Well, that's nice to know.
I wonder why the Bible doesn't seem to give that same equality.
In any case, the conversation was a (formerly) light-hearted conversation on The Hobbit.
You have yourself a lovely evening now, as that conversation seems to be over now.
And as for your assertion that man is over woman: pfft.
Take a page out of your God's book: get over your misogynistic thinking and get over your yourself.
"I bet you think all rubberheads throw fish." – Steve Martin, comedian.
They do and everyone knows it! So there!
I want to call you a rubberhead.
I protest this base calumny against all fish-throwers everywhere! How dare you, sir!
Amaterasu / and the other two siblings....
did i miss one,... no cant be Jesus he was born in May
"The acrid stench, the miasma of foulness that assailed their nostrils was indeed the one known as Chad, but they came well-prepared with long-handled farm implements whereupon they carried him over to the midden heap where he came from."
– Chapter 2, verse 8. Book of Japthet
"Lo" said the angel as the people of Harrton watched her dance around the pole, "I have come to give you gratis a view of Heaven for the wealth you do have is nothing compared to it."
And then did their eyes bung out with lust and desire, for the angel started removing a Holey Garment whereupon rays of light shot out with the force of a thousand suns and blinded all those present.
"I shall turn down the Heavenly Disco Lights," said one of the cherubic attendants. And the people did rejoice.
– Verse Seven, Gospel of Zeke L
Where's the rest of this book? Where can I find a copy??????Where????
..." their eyes bung out with lust and desire..."
This got me cracking up...inspired writing, truly.
What Christmas means to me my Apple Bush:
1. Serial Killers
2. Prescription drugs
3. Squashing innocent insects.
4 My mom smashing my step father over the head with a pan.
6. Heroin addicts and crack heads
7 Teenage moms abusing their kids
8 Clubbing baby seals
9. Over fishing
10. Disney TV
11. Falsely imprisoned people.
12. Prison rape
13. Corrupt cops
17. The end of the American Indian
18. Al Qaida
19. Anti-biotic decline
20. Bed sores
21. Killer storms
22. The moment when a parent must choose.
23. The junk yard full of toxins that will kill us all.
Christians know that Christ was not born on December 25th, but we celebrate His glorious birth regardless. Happy Birthday to my Lord, Savior, Redeemer, Messiah, King of kings, JESUS CHRIST. We love you Lord...
What Chrstmas means to me by Apple Bush:
10. Mental Illness
12. Child Abuse
14. Female Castration
15. Drug Abuse
17. Nucleur Weapens
20. Baby rape
21. Child torture
22. North Korea
25. flesh eating bacteria
28. mental illness
29. bone cancer
31. Babies with flies laying eggs in their eyes
32. oil spills
33. jet crashes
34. smog and pollution
35. contaminated rivers an streams
37. Acid rain
38. school shootings
39. mass kilings
40 skin cancer
41. a beating with a belt by dad
42. underage prostitution
43. snuff films
44. nuclear weapons
You have issues only God can resolve, I will pray for you. Merry Christmas...
What Christmas means to me part 2:
1. Preists raping little boys
2. Black Widow spider bites
4. Uncles fondling their neices
5. Murder for drug money
6. Green House Gasses
7. Destruction of the Reefs
8. Extinction of the whales
9. Slash and burn farming at the equator
10. Little boys burning grasshappers with magnifying glasses
11. Black market for human organs
14. Sea World
15. Trash barges
16. Dying sea turtles
17. Captive children
20. Country Music
If God can resolve them, then why doesn't he genius?
I dunno, He probably finds you amusing as is or something.
We have been cast into Hell because we failed to find where God has been hiding since eternity began. Gosh, what a horrible place this is, though. No clean water, no clean air, nothing but orc talk and filthy scraps instead.
But where to look? It's too late. There is no god here to find. That's the definition of Hell, right? Except for some other things that also don't make any sense, it is clear this is some sort of hell for idiotic animals who get confused over abstract notions without any reason to do so.
Michigan center Elliott Mealer, right, accompanies his brother, Brock, onto the field before the 2010 season opener against UConn. Brock was given a 1 percent chance of walking after being paralyzed in a Christmas Eve car crash in 2007.Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Christmas Eve remains a day that conjures memories of death and destruction for Elliott Meal
It was five years ago, on Christmas Eve night, that a 90-year-old man slid through a stop sign and struck the Mealer family's SUV near Wauseon, Ohio. Elliott's father, David, and girlfriend, Hollis Richer, were killed. His brother, Brock, was paralyzed
Apple, we get it. You're in a bad way. I hope someone finds you, shows you some love and things improve. For the rest of us, it's Christmas Day and we're celebrating. Let the rest of us have our day of peace and love.
Anne, you get nothing. Everything is in a bad way. We live in hell. Don't you see? We missed it. We are bad. This is the bad place. Pretend all you want. The evidence is clear and God laughs a you.
That Archangel Gabriel (pictured above) sure is an ugly sucker. I'm stopping off at the Home Depot tomorrow and getting a larger fly swatter.
Go get 'em, mama k! We'll back you up. That cross and that crown are dripping with human blood and misery. Begone!
Proof that artists gave angels their wings.
It's a bit of a stretch to call the person who made that statue an "artist."
"Booty is between the thighs of Debby Holder." – Mr. Holder
Is booty between the thighs of Mrs Holder? Inquiring minds want to know! Show us the pics!
"Beauty is in the thighs of Debbie Holder." – Debbie Holder's husband, Mr. Holder
We apologize for the inconvenience.
May today mark one with joyousness and thanks giving toward those who were all made beforehand and did raise us all up to become of the nowadays; a more kinder lot of people in the masses of ever living in ongoing life onto the forever of our treasured wills and wants!
Let Us Love,
God's Oldest Dreamer
May today always bare fond remembrance of those killed in drunk driving accidents and terminal illnesses. Thank you god and merry Christmas. Don’t forget to praise and remember the children starving to death in African too. Go Jesus!.
Joyeux Noel! May we bring about God's peace. Vatican Radio has internet broadcast of Midnight mass from St Peter's in Rome.
May this be the last day of the dark ages of religion and the day that mankind takes a serious step towards truly shedding god and death cult myths.
Peace and love toward all on this most joyous day of remembrance!
Let Us Love!
God's Oldest Dreamer
Remembering your salad days, eh?
Merry Mythmas everyone!
Such a beautiful day without god(s), just like all the rest of them.
You wouldn't know.
Is this where we line up for food stamps? I think I'm lost. The security guard tased me and I don't feel so good.
We should help Mr. Ratzinger:
Decide for yourself that today swords should be turned into ploughshares, that instead of weapons for warfare, practical aid should be given to the suffering. Enlighten those who think they have to practice violence in anyone's name, so that they may see the senselessness of violence. May we become people with whom we would like to live and thus become people of peace.
The Pop is entirely too focused of the s.ex lives of women and gays and not focused enough on the abuse that passes for a s.ex life within the clergy of the church he represents.
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.