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:
Photo credit: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images
CNN: Googling the Dead Sea Scrolls
Tania Treiger pulls on her tight blue gloves and picks up her tweezers, preparing for the extraordinary job she has been hired to do. She is one of only five conservators in the entire world allowed to handle one of the most significant discoveries of the 20th century. Treiger’s job is to help conserve and record the more than 2,000-year-old pieces of parchment that make up Dead Sea Scrolls. The work she and many others are doing now is making it possible for anyone around the world with access to the Internet to see and study the scrolls.
Photo credit: ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images
Iranian women look at the window of a shop selling Christmas ornaments in Tehran on December 23, 2012.
CNN: Iranians seek relief in Christmas celebrations
Iran has a population that is 98% Muslim, and the government is widely recognized for its repressive rulings, censorship and efforts to cut ties with the United States and the West, but more Iranians are openly celebrating Christmas and expressing their desires to be part of the global celebration.
Tweet of the Day:
@huffpostrelig In 2013, #ihopefor women to have a greater voice in religious opinion that affects their rights, choices and opportunities.— Chrissy Horansky (@MissMillennial) January 01, 2013
@huffpostrelig In 2013, #ihopefor women to have a greater voice in religious opinion that affects their rights, choices and opportunities.
The Guardian: Israel's Jewish population passes 6 million mark
Israel's Jewish population has passed the symbolically significant 6 million mark for the first time – equivalent to the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust. Figures released by the central bureau of statistics this week show the total population of Israel at 7.98 million, 75.4% of whom are Jewish. Just over 20% are Arab and 4% are defined as "other".
Huffington Post: Religious Holidays 2013: An Interfaith Calendar (Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim And More)
Click through the slideshow to see a pictorial religious calendar for 2013 with photographs of celebrations of the world's numerous beautiful and sacred holidays.
Reuters: Pope hopes for 2013 of peace, slams unbridled capitalism
Pope Benedict said in his New Year's message on Tuesday he hoped 2013 would be a year of peace and that the world was under threat from unbridled capitalism, terrorism and criminality.
Ynetnews: Top rabbi: Soften attitude towards gays
Religious gays’ battle for rabbinical and communal recognition continues to bear fruit: Rabbi Dr. Aharon Lichtenstein, a senior Religious Zionism rabbi, has ruled that people with homosexual inclinations should not be condemned more than Shabbat desecrators or frauds. According to the rabbi, the religious public must rise above its feelings of aversion and soften the "aggressive" attitude towards homosexuals and lesbians.
Quote of the Day:
Almighty God – source of strength for stressed out emotions and strained minds – we don’t pray to inform you of things you don’t know or to urge you from a reluctance to help us. Lord we pray to obey your command to arouse ourselves to action, to mitigate anxiety, to exercise faith and to embrace your promises. Thank you for using our senators in the early morning hours of this new year to accomplish your purposes. May the sparks from their bipartisan cooperation ignite flames of unity that will illuminate the inevitable darkness to come. Lord, give our lawmakers the resiliency, resourcefulness and resolve to accomplish your will on earth even as it is done in heaven.
- Rev. Barry Black, Senate Chaplain, prays about Congress’ vote on the fiscal cliff.
Join the conversation…
Photo credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Domino’s Pizza founder, Tom Monaghan.
CNN: Pizza magnate wins temporary ruling on contraception coverage dispute
The billionaire founder of Domino's Pizza has won a temporary court victory, with a federal judge blocking enforcement of part of the health care reform bill requiring most employers to provide a range of contraception and reproductive health services. Some business owners and their staff see that as a violation of their religious rights.
But they can't seem to understand this....
Stephen Hawking: God didn't create universe
Is it written "Seek first the kingdom of God"? Is it also written that "This world is not of the kingdom of God"? Yet is it so written that, "The kingdom of God is inside you"? Likewise are we not, "Labourers together with God and are we not but God's conceptualized husbandry and also God's buildings"? Christians need to get their Acts together! For there is more than enough room upon the cellular cosmologies of the inner atomized realms to allow all of deadened celestial based life a real and relative placing amid the insides within living embolisms of generation-made living celestially megalithic buildings of atomized cellular life!
Open your ears,"Lunchbreaker"! The"world"is not the problem;the hearts and minds of mankind is! Every since mankind has been as the Apostle described us in his epistle(Again,2nd Timothy 3:1-5;see also what Jesus said in Mark 7:20-23),the only thing that has"advanced"at our hands is our architecture,our technology,and our search for medicinal cures for what ails us.No one is denying that we've done tremendous good with these various advances,but we've also done awful,vicious,horrendous atrocities and brutalities as well.I've heard it quoted that out of all the centuries,millennia that we've considered ourselves"civilized",we've had only a few hundred years where something approximating peace has held sway among us.So again,I'm all world seeking to"make the world a better place",as it were;I just believe that mankind in his present moral,ethical,and spiritual configuration is capable of doing so.We can always enhance out technological prowess,improve our architechural designs,and make our drugs more powerful,but what about our hearts?
Who has more of an incentive to try to bring about peace, someone who believes armagedon has a 100% chance of occurring or some one who doesn't believe our future is set in stone by a diety?
With all due respect, the holy books are books written by humans hundreds or rather, thousands of years ago. This is the reason thousands of pretty smart individuals worked hard for many centuries trying to interpret the old text and bring it to agreement with the actual world. I personally believe in living and acting God having the right to make changes as He sees appropriate to the world He created. I disagree with those reducing the God to a machine running a program written in an old book that was set thousands of years ago, a program that even the God can not change. I believe in God. They believe in a book.
Morning all. Hope your new year has started out great.
Gonna be just another beautiful year without god(s).
Listen,I don't mean to pick on Catholics in general or the pope in particular,but seriously-PEACE??In THIS world as it stands TODAY?Get real,people!!!As long as mankind is what they are,there will NEVER be peace among us,certainly not global peace in any meaningful sense,and anyone who thinks otherwise is either dangerously naïve or pathetically stupid,frankly.Knock the dust off your Bible,Benedict!The great Apostle Paul predicted today's situatio perfectly over 2,000 years ago,and I quote:"But know this:difficult times will come in the last days.For people will be lovers of self,lovers of money,boastful,proud,blasphemers,disobedient to parents,ungrateful,unholy,unloving,irreconcilable,slanderers,without self-control,brutal,without love for what is good,traitors,reckless,conceited,loversof pleasures rather than lovers of God,holding to the form of religion but denying its power"...(2nd Timothy 3:1-5)-Hello! Wake up,Benedict!!THAT is the state of mankind,spelled out in all its vile,ugly,putrid mess! You need to get out more,pope,and stop living in a Kumbaya fantasy world! If anything,serious Bible scholars expect the world to get worse;the next World War is more than likely just over the horizon.Peace.If that wasn't so pathetically sad it would almost be funny.Humanity has been and is many things,but peaceful is not one of them.Peace will come when THE PRINCE OF PEACE comes;as the so-called pope I would think you of all people would know that.
So basically since it has been prophesied, there is no point in trying to make the world a better place?
No human knows the future. No one knows humanism's futuristic oncoming days. The negativities of human potencies is wrought with cynicisms of blackened projections bemusing toward milking mankind's herds of their monetary indignations. Shame festers where false teachings are spread upon the lands tyrannies of propagated self-serving dynamics' feeding frenzies!
Death mars the rewards of life being lived! The concubines of thought upon ideals dare riddles holes within the fabricators tempters of fated anomalies crying out for vengeance betrothals of timeliness aggregates ever inching along upon the tempters of the ridiculers ensued wrangling ways. Eating of others' prophetical words brings about cynical indigestion and souled impartations of gaseous bloating! For someone to belch their wordage promiscuously is all that mainly does matter within the grand schemes of cosmologic servitudes.
You sound like a evan-funda-publican. Even so, they usually don't come out on the side of being against peace. Perhaps what is really bugging you is that the Pope slammed unregulated capitalism...which is something that the right wingers seem to love even more than their bibles. Blech.
Delusional rantings from a child..
Not bright enough to use the reply function properly? As if you really had something to say. You are a waste to humanity.
And if any one will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town.
Truly, I say to you, it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomor'rah than for that town.
This idiot is an insult to real chickadees everywhere.
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.