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 more.
From the Blog:
CNN: Latino evangelicals challenge Alabama brethren on immigration
When the Alabama legislature approved what is considered the nation's toughest anti-illegal immigration law, much of the state's religious community was quick to condemn it. But Latino evangelical leaders say a key voice in Alabama's debate is missing – that of their own denominations.
@CNNBelief’s follow of the day: @beliefbeat aka Nicole Neroulias, religion reporter with Reuters, Religion News Now and Belief Net.
New York Times: Nuns Who Won’t Stop Nudging
Way up on the 41st floor, in a conference room overlooking the World Trade Center site, Sister Nora and her team from the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility laid out their advice for three Goldman executives. The Wall Street bank, they said, should protect consumers, rein in executive pay, increase its transparency and remember the poor.
The Christian Century: Black seminaries embrace hip-hop
It's hard enough to get young people out of bed and into the pews on a Sunday morning, but two leading black seminaries think they have found a way to grab the next generation: hip-hop.
Vatican Radio: Pope Benedict: Charity, the fundamental gift
The Pope reminded people gathered on Sunday at St. Peter’s Square that "charity is the fundamental good that no one can fail to make use of and without which all the other gifts are in vain” before adding that only “by practicing charity, can we also take part in the joy of our Lord.”
Romney addresses a crowd in Michigan.
Quote of the Day:
If the whispers about Mitt Romney’s faith have faded, it’s not because conservative evangelicals suddenly feel ashamed about their qualms, but because they’re starting to realize that it’s a lost cause.
– Amy Sullivan of TIME Magazine writes that the religious right is struggling to find their candidate and barring a come-from-behind boomlet by an unconventional candidate, the religious right will likely be left without a viable candidate.
CNN: My Take: Keep government out of mind-reading business
For the first time in human history, we are peering into the labyrinth of the mind and pulling out information, perhaps even information you would rather we did not know.
Penn State students rally around a cut-out of football coach Joe Paterno after he was fired.
Join the conversation…
Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar, writes that reactions to Joe Paterno’s firing and Herman Cain’s alleged sexual harassment point to a "not-so-Christian nation." Over 2,000 comments so far...
@BRC, I don't remember seeing your handel before, but to answer your question; I've grown weary of disputing with people, who, although they have been respectful toward me, have no intentions of changeing their position, so it boils down to a senceless argument. I believe there are better and more constructive things to talk about. I believe God loves all people and wants no one to perish, but it is all about choice. Aheists are not interested in salvation so it is useless and a waste of time to talk to them. They can "listen in" if they wish, and I think if a sincere question is asked I would try to answer it, for instance: Bob, recently asked about anaimal sacrifices. The answer is not simple, and I will try to answer him when I can get to the library. (I can't put that much information on my cell.)
Well Bo, here's what Paul had to say: "And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else." I think you do all these things.
@Brad, I agree that they are not all egoists, some ask meaningful questions that deserve an answer. When a statement or question is made about the existance of God, the only honest yet unaceptable answer, is the evedence of God in our lives, that is: what has God done for you. there is no tangeable proof of God. I once recounted, what was to me, a remarkable story of how God had provided a house for me and my family. To me it was a miracle. The response, "...just a coenicidence, nothing extra ordinary like you geting an arm cut off and a new one grew in it's place." This could be a springboard to a dialogue. Why is it that we don't see some miracles such as is recorded in the Bible, like when Peter healed the lame begger (Acts 3) or raised Tabitha from the dead (Acts 9) My opinion is there are some they just don't get the reconition. A man I knew got a sliver of steel in his eye. His doctor said it would take surgery to remove it. The next day after prayer, unexplainable, the sliver was gone.
@Brad, I hope you are still around. It's not that you are going to be harmed, it's that you are feeding their ego. I would rather they go away so Christians coulld share with one anothr more meaningful dialogue. It's like, if you wanted to enjoy a good picnic with someone special, would you want a swarm of pesky flies buzzing all around you and the food?
Your point is well-taken. But I think we might be able to carry on a meaningful dialogue among people of faith if we establish ourselves here and ignore the dazzle-paint of the egoists you refer to. And not all of them are egoists. Some are sincerely trying to lay out ethical and moral positions of a kind. They are well worth reading.
This is also a place for the Gospel. It is not defaced or detracted from here. There are follow-on posts that you can either take or leave, but once posted, it's up for all to see and I've not seen it changed.
I must say I am a little surprised. For as much as I dissagree with you on pretty much every point as far as faith and religion are concerned, I've noticed that you are always willing to defened your belief, adn at least seemed to take the time to thin about why you believe what you do, and to show that through intellignet discourse with those who are of a different opinion. This new position seems a bit cowardly, and I would not have considered you a coward.
There are rude and disrespectful people on both sides of the fece here, and nobody should pay attention to any of them; completely agree. But to categorically say that you wil, and advise others to ignore all comments and conversation from others simply because they have a different belief from you doesn't make any sense. discussion of your faith, of why you think and believe what you do shouldn't cause that faith to waiver, and if it does, maybe it was a discussion that needed to be had. Either you learn something new and it changes completely, or you learn a new way to look at what you have and it gets stronger. Everything in life is made stronger by conflict, nothing is made better by complacency.
What confuses me even more is that, of all people, those who believe in afterlives are the least questioning and curious about the implecations. My wife (who is a Catholic) mad ea good point the other day, that she finds that most Catholics don't ask questions. They hear what they've always heard and always known, and they accept it as true (she now listens much closer and asks questions, she says because of dealing with me. it hasn't lessened her faith, it's cause her to understand it better, and to recognize the parts that are trully just man made and questionable). I don't believe there is an afterlife, so I really don't care, but if you do, and you believe that your sould is either going to be rewarded or punished for all of eternity, are you really just giong to accept what someone else tells you, unreservedly at face value, because it's what they've always said? Me, I would want to look into every possible angle and make sur ethat what I'm doing really makes sense, and genuinely seems like the best thing for my soul; and that means asking questions.
Finally, just to make something clear; the atheists aren't all bullies. Some of us are just curious people, who are trying to understand the faiths and minds of others. We're not trying to upset anyone, so ignoring us doesn't make us get bored, it makes it seem like you haven't actually put any thought into your position, which seems like a weak basis for faith (not saying you are weak, merely explaining the perception). Noone truly expects you or anyone else to prove gods exist on these boards, but if someone asks for a personnal interpretation of a part of a bible, or how people internally reconcile parts of religions that don't make sense, it doesn't cause us to stop asking the questions, it makes it seem like other people are incapable of thinking through their own answers. We already have answers to the questions we ask, (or at least I do), we want to know yours.
Looks like chuckles is grasping at straws....
Care to put your money where your mouth is?
@Brad, I should have mentioned, did you notice how Bob inticed you into an argument about translating the Bible into Jamacan Creole. He tried to make you seem stupid, and you responded. If you had not responded he would have gone away to look for some other victum. This is the way satan works, and they are just tools in the hand of satan, and they know no better. What I'm saying is: to argue with these people is to parley with satan. Don't go there.
I am unharmed, Bo. Philippians 4:7.
Brad is also uninformed, ignorant, and brainwashed. Amazing what evolution has produced in Brad the Tiny Nail.
He probably eats a staple diet, poops out small metal objects, and then exclaims over the "designs" he finds in the toilet.
@Brad, I'm not sure it is pleasing to God that we argue with athests. Their only intention on this blog is to antagonize Christians. Jesus in Matthew 7:6 tells we should not throw our pearls before swine, and this is what He was talking about. To ignore them on religious matters is a waste. I say, don't reply to them, don't challenge them. When they learn that they can not irritate you they will go away. So, just communicate with other Christians. Believe me, some of them will come unglued to be refered to as pigs, but don't respond. After all, it was Jesus who compared them to swine, not you or I.
My, aren't we just so superior, now, aren't we ? Snort.
If the religious couldn't feel they were better than the rest, what would they keep busy doing, anyway ?
@RTC, I'll back you up. To be sure the liberals have rewriten the school books so the students get a diffrent education than when you and I went to school. I have read the same account that you have about Thanksgiving. I will add my thoughts; Thanksgiging may not be a religious holiday, but, fortunately, it has religious overtures. Nonetheless, every Ameican, no matter what their convictians are, can be thankful that, in spite of our politicans, we have a great country to live in.
If we're talking about the Thanksgiving established by Lincoln's proclamation in 1863, he had in mind a holiday of people of faith: "I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens." Of course, everyone is welcome to the table.
Don't know if liberals "rewrote" Lincoln's proclamation – I'm more than a little bit socialist, but I'll stand behind it.
I think you're all missing the point. Thank god for something does not immediatly make it a religious holiday. It may give it a religious connotations insofar as an atheist won't be thanking god for anything, but the religious overtures stop there. The holiday is about being thankful of what you have, end of story. Holidays like Tgiving or the fourth of july are some of the few out there that aren't religious and don't require a religion to participate in, all you need is American citizenship. You can make those holidays as religious as you want, heck, you could carve your turkey into a likeness for jesus all I care, but thanksgiving is nothing like christmas, or easter.
@Bob You and several other persons have insisted that pdople using cell phones have a reply button on this blog site. I have searched every possiable way and I have found nothing. The only other way is to "sign up" which I have tried many times and for some reason I'm always taken back to the home page–like it will not let me rigistister. It may be that my phone will not store my password; in other words, I have limited internet service.
try once your a member or whatever, try signing in then go to the opinion page.
Just curious @Bob. Why are you all about animal sacrifice?
While there are many other horrors in the bible attributed to god or commanded by god, such as genocide, ra-pe, and so on, I've found it best to focus just on that one. It keeps typical Christian question dodging to a minimum and helps to keep the discussion focussed.
Of course, feel free to discuss the other bible horrors, if you really feel inclined that way.
No particular favorites. Just thought something had happened to your kitty or something.
No, not a kitty... but my goat converted to Judaism and committed self-immolation.
Did he have to take pre-sacrifice classes for that ?
˙ɯıɥ ɥʇıʍ əʇɐɔıunɯɯoɔ oʇ ƃuıʎɹʇ ɯɐ ı ˙oslɐ pəʇɐloɯɯı ɟləs əɥ ʞuıɥʇ ı ˙ɹıɐ əɥʇ uı dn sƃəl sıɥ ɥʇıʍ ƃuıʎl 'əıʞood 'ɹəʇsdɯɐɥ ʎɯ punoɟ ʇsnɾ ı
Not much happening for the Belief blog: Penn State is old news now (everybody's had their say), the Muslims have done R.a.m.a..d.a.n, the Catholics are revising the window dressing, the i.l.l.e.g.a.l immigrants are m.a.d at Arizona and Alabama, Obama has not approved any new mosques, the Amish are finished cl.i.p.p.i.n.g beards ... Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner (but CNN does not like Christians so they are unimportant), ... but now here comes 2012 and the end of times again! .. Mayan, Hopi, futurists, UFO-ans, dooms-dayers, n.u.t cases, occupy movement ... they are all e.x.c.i.t.e.d about 2012 .. stock up so you can live even after the world ends..
Mind explaining to me how Tgiving has anything to with religion?
LOL ..you must be under 30 and a product of our American school system (which has zero success in any subject).
OK if you review north American history back in 1600 AD English protestant Christians landed at (a) Jamestown and (b) Plymouth and they were Calvinist or Puritan and no longer welcome in Anglican England. (so they are religious people). They do not prosper but starve and die of swamp diseases (mosquitoes). So new settlers arrive (also Christians) .. and as they begne to be established the indigenous peoples (Indians) help them to avoid starvation by bringing them food which had been gathered in the local wilderness: turkey, cranberry, pumpkin squash, maize(corn) .. the food from Europe had run out.
So the Christians prayed to Our Lord Jesus thanking Him for allowing them to befriend these generous neighbors without whom they would have starved. But it is not always amiable and the Indians also massacred settlers in 1622 along the James.
In spite of that a nation arose and declared its independence under God and claimed a number of rights under God and so every year (after harvest) Christian Americans have had a day of praise and thanksgiving to God (Our Lord Jesus Christ) for all of our blessings: education, freedom, rights, food (bounty), children, grand children, redemption and salvation, warm homes, peace, love, neighbors, hope, vision, possibility. Many of these things had been shut off in England and in Europe.
In time there were cities and new territories and new peoples and it became a coast to coast nation. But it always remembered that it existed at the will of God and the grace of Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior. So on the last Thursday of November we devote one day to thanking God for our blessings. (those of us, at least who are Christian and do not take it for granted)
You must be incredibily old and a product of a school system rife with inaccuracies, or just really bad at criticial thinking. I would like to state for the record that I am under 30, a product of the American private school system of one of the best schools in the state. Lets just say I was fortunate enough to attend a school that focused on academics and critical thinking and did not let any student slack under their watch.
Your obviously and clear mistake is implying a religious connotation from a holiday although involving religious peoples, has nothing to do with christ, god or anything in the bible. It wasn't until FDR that we finally set the date as the 4th thursday of November, however it was never, in ANY capacity a holiday devoted to give thanks to god or jesus, it was simply a holiday devoted to give thanks period. If you want to try and rewrite history, thats fine but I think you might want to go back to modern school because clearly the education you got in the 1800's needs a little update.
It looks like you TRIED to rewrite history (not me) and did a miserable job. Your loser private school owes you a refund because you failed to get an education. You think you know it all so you do not need a school (right?). But you are completely wrong and poorly educated.
George Washington proclaimed a Thanksgiving in December 1777 as a victory celebrating the defeat of the British at Saratoga. The Continental Congress proclaimed annual December Thanksgivings from 1777 to 1783, except in 1782. George Washington again proclaimed Thanksgivings, as President, in 1789 and 1795. President John Adams declared Thanksgivings in 1798 and 1799. President Madison, in response to resolutions of Congress, set apart a day for thanksgiving at the close of the War of 1812. Madison declared the holiday twice in 1815; however, none of these were celebrated in autumn.
In the middle of the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day, to be celebrated on the final Thursday in November 1863 (and not FDR)(Lincoln was a Republican).
The practice of THANKSGIVING preceded the official government recognition of it. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 by the Wampanoag and the "They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their house and dwelling against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty. For as some.. were exercised in fishing, about cod and b.a.s.s. and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion. All the summer there was no want; and now began to come in store of fowl, as winter approached, .. And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides, they had about a peck of (corn) meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to that proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned by true reports." … yet **by the goodness of God,** we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."
In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared that the Thanksgiving holiday (already a national; custom) would be on the next-to-last Thursday of November rather than the last. The country was in the midst of The Great Depression and Roosevelt thought this would give merchants a longer period to sell goods before Christmas (the birthday of Jesus Christ .. see the movie "Miracle of 5th Avenue") At the time (1939) it was inappropriate to advertise goods for Christmas until after Thanksgiving. Roosevelt persisted in 1940 to celebrate his "Franksgiving," as it was termed. (Your school didn't know that because they did not teach itt - you paid too much)
But the federal holiday came earlierand the Christian practice even earlier than Jamestown. Look at this: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15 ...thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance Colossians 1:12-14 Thanks be to God, 1 Corinthians 15:56 giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:17 giving thanks to His name.” Hebrews 13:15 "We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ Colossians 1:3-5 And even here in the Old Testament (about 3500 years ago) "Therefore I will give thanks to You....” Psalm 18:49
Your private school was not worth the expense. Maybe you should have listened. It will be OK .. there aer more C and D students and you are in a larger group. My private school was paid for by the G.I. Bill whch I EARNED defending YOUR bill of rights and your EN.T.I.T.LEMENT .. not your en.t.i.t.lement a.t.t.i.t.u.d.e. .. including education. However, I got more than you did as
@RightTurnClyde: Becoming irrelevant sucks, doesn't it?
Got to agree with SeanNJ here, becoming irrelevant must be terrible.
So when GW declared thanksgiving a holiday after the british defeat in saratoga, that had to do with jesus? Or any other preisdents for that matter? Sounds like you're inserting "Thank God" to mean Thanksgiving somehow has become a strictly christian holiday.
As for FDR and Lincoln's parties....as irrelevant as it may be, I would have thought you would be old enough to have lived through the transformation of the Lincoln Republicans to become the democrats of today. The ti.tle "republican" might be the same for the repubs in 1860's and now, but that's just about all they had in common.
In general, you may be angry that I got a way better education than you could have ever hoped for, but I can tell you this, learning history through the lens of the unbias is what is making our country better, not worse. quoting biblical verses that literally have NOTHING to do with thanksgiving, but pertain more towards just saying grace before a meal, any meal, shows the depth in which you clearly failed and are now just a crotchety old man who demands to be taken seriously because you fought in a war, as if that somehow nullifies everyone else equal rights to disagree with you and show you your ignorance.
If you want to go after my schooling, that's fine. I know I got an excellent education and I won't rethink this just because some old, clearly uneducated person on an internet forum thinks I got a bad education but I've disagreed with him and shown him his errors.
Like I said, you might want to update your education from the 1860's because it's clearly lacking. Calling thanksgiving a christian holiday is akin to calling july 4th a christian holiday because we have "in god we trust" on our money.
@Brad, What was the lesson Jesus was trying to teach with this parable?
God gives us things, perhaps many things, and in response and as a matter of duty we are to make the most of them according to his purpose. This applies to charity, but also to many other things. Charity: If I have 100,000 dollars to donate, I might use it to help develop a malaria vaccine and help save many thousands of lives – a big increase in value if people are of infinite worth to God. Example of a different kind work: if I only have a facility with Jamaican Creole, I might make best use of it translating the Bible into Jamaican Creole and in that way help others with mission work in Jamaica – ultimately perhaps enabling thousands to come to faith.
Brad, that would be an awful thing to do. Why would you translate such a horrid, wicked book as the bible, with all its gory demands for doing animal sacrifice? Jamaica has enough problems already, without more evils from religion.
And as for malaria, yeah, that's just another of the many awful diseases that your god apparently sent along to make us suffer.
No thanks. Please keep that sicko supersti-tion known as Christianity to yourself and stop trying to spread it. The world has enough religion-driven problems already.
And what are we supposed to learn from the last paragraph? Sounds like "the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer" and the sort of thing the Occupy XYZZY folks are complaining about. Certainly doesn't sound charitable or christian.
@HotAirAce: The last paragraph warns us that we've been given in trust is not ours, and if we make no use of it perhaps someone else can and will. "Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him" refers to people of no faith – ultimately they will die and lose everything they've tried to store up for themselves. I wish I could say they "fade to black", but I don't believe in annihilation. There is a state of exclusion and separation from God. The last part refers to this.
A state of exclusion and separation from a delusion is called "sanity". Try it sometime, Brad. Your god does not exist, answers no prayers, does nothing in this universe and is only a feel-good distraction from the mess people like you have made of the world. Go suck an egg.
Pope Benedict's sermon text was the Parable of the Talents, Matthew 25:14-30:
Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’ His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’ His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
I think it is more like: "What is mine is mine and what is yours is mine".
That goes for government, as well.
It's much easier to hold onto my stuff, and tell YOU to give away yours.
Martian T, Do you really believe an impartial Vatian wants to manage the economy of the world?
The reply button. Yes, you can access it on your phone.
If Charity is the fundamental gift, then why doesn't the Vatican bail out Italy and settle the crisis in Europe? I mean, doesn't the Catholic Church hold more wealth than nearly EVERY European nation anyway?
Better yet why are they not paying taxes to help with the economic crisis?
@martin, thats not true, they hold a very large amount of wealth sure, but not if you combine all the nations of Europe. Which is what the nations are striving for i think with the euro and everything.
@TruthPrevails – the Vatican doesn't pay taxes because it is considered to be its own nation...it has its own police force, its own laws... you can name anything that is in a country and the Vatican has it.. or something like it.
@Hippy: Cool, I thought that was only in their minds that they were separate from the rest of Italy. Do they not still fall under international laws though and do they get diplomatic immunity when they leave their safe haven? I know certain things about the church but not enough to ever state total facts (outside of the obvious ones-they are still delusional for their belief system; they have harbored somewhere around 5000 ped.o.philes and they worship the Virgin Mary-thus I believe the reason for the rosary beads.). I'll have to take some time to get acquainted with the history of this cult.
the diplo immune thing i don't know about. But so give you a sense of what its like, imagine driving into another state, there isn't a difference but there is at the same time. I don't know a whole lot about the Vatican myself... most of what i know is from history studies i have done – like for instance, there was a pope who built a causeway connecting a building near the Vatican with the Vatican.. it was for his mistress who had kids with the pope – this wasn't uncommon – but in later years the causeway was used as a get-a-way for a pope while running for his life... nearly all the swiss guards were killed – i think 2 survived. I can't remember when this happened... sry for a lack of dates, thats annoying on my part. 🙁
The Vatican is a city state that has independence and autonomy. They are on the same level as "Palestine" (a.k.a. the Gaza Strip and the West Bank) are, the difference is they are not occupied by Italian, or any european soldiers and they aren't seeking to become anything greater. Their nebulous position as a country or a city-state allows them the full autonomy without having to deal with eurozone politics. They can maintain the ability to be the figurehead and leader of the catholic world without needing a specific nation to operate in. I likened them to Palestine, but I guess when I think more on it, it's more like Washington DC, but again without the grumbles of wanting to become something greater (whereas DC is demanding to become the 51st state). I think the only thing the Vatican wants but won't get is a nation status in the UN, because as of now all they have is observer status.