December 6th, 2011
04:59 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Tuesday, December 6

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: Church reverses ban on interracial marriage
Two weeks ago, Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church in Pike County, Kentucky, voted 9-6 to ban couples in interracial marriages from attending or participating in the church. But on Sunday, the small church reversed its course.

CNN: Baby boomers heading back to seminary
According to a decade-long study of enrollment by the Association of Theological Schools released in 2009, the fastest-growing group of seminarians include those older than 50. In 1995, baby boomers made up 12% of seminarians, while today they are 20%.

Tweet of the Day:

From @sarahposner: Bishop Gene Robinson says he wishes the church had started the Occupy Wall Street movement. bit.ly/sCzJ4t

@CNNBelief’s follow of the day:

Harvard Divinity, or @HarvardDivinity, is the official Twitter feed of Harvard Divinity School. Following Harvard Divinity, with its insightful lectures and deep essays, is like going to Harvard, except without the crippling debt or Cambridge winters.

Enlightening Reads:

JTA: Bearded rabbi allowed to join army without shaving
A Chabad rabbi has won his battle to join the U.S. Army without shaving his beard. Rabbi Menachem Stern, whose approval to serve as an Army Reserve chaplain in 2009 was rescinded because he refused to shave his beard, will be allowed to serve after settling a lawsuit against the military, Chabad.org reported. Stern expects to be sworn into service next week and begin chaplain training in January.

Huffington Post: Newt Gingrich's Catholic Conversion Is Part of a Larger Spiritual Shift in His Life and Politics
As former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich's star continues to rise ahead of GOP Republican primaries, he has had less time for what in recent years has become a calming, soothing Sunday tradition: sitting in the pews at the cavernous National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, praying to Jesus and the Virgin Mary during noon Mass while listening to his wife sing in the choir.

Catholic News Service: Vatican official urges end of violence, 'real reforms' in Syria
A Vatican official deplored the growing violence in Syria, and called on political leaders there to enact "real reforms."

“An unfortunate mistake”…
Get Religion: TV station mistakenly reports Bill Graham’s death
Evangelist Billy Graham was admitted to the hospital last week and was diagnosed with pneumonia. On Saturday, CBS-affiliate WBTV (located near Graham’s home in Charlotte) falsely reported that Graham had died.

Quote of the Day:

Our research shows just how tightly linked religion and family are in U.S. society… so much so that even some of society's least religious people find religion to be important in their private lives.

Dr. Elaine Howard Ecklund of Rice University said this after releasing a study that found one in five who consider themselves atheists nevertheless bring their children to a church service one or more times a year.

Looking for a Christmas list late add?
We present to you, Higher Power, a cruciform surge protector that watches over your devices, shielding them from evil power surges, costly energy vampires, and the horrors of AC contamination.

Join the conversation…

CNN’s Richard Allen Greene writes that a number of new polls find that Muslims are much more likely than Christians and Hindus to say that their own faith is the only true path to paradise. The article has started a great conversation with almost 5,500 comments.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Saul

    Brilliant, Insperational,humerous.. ive done Alaska to acapulco by bike. Im pniannlg on going back and finishing at Tierra del fuego so its great to see the delights what lay ahead! Bigup.

    March 2, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  2. Michele

    Working as a social worker/ counselor for many years I have seen God at work in peoples lives. God does help people to find hope and change their lives. Inspired by all I have experienced in social services over the years. I wrote this book to show that God is there fir you and to provide hope to hurting people in times of crisis. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1467933562?ie=UTF8&force-full-site=1

    December 6, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  3. William Demuth

    I am amused by those who are surprised by Atheists taking kids to church.

    We take our kids to the zoo, don't we?

    My son has seen more cult rituals than most, because we are equal opportunity mockers.

    He is particularly amused by the Pentecostals!

    If I take him to Auschwitz, it is not because I want him to be a Nazi, but rather he be familiar with their atrocities.

    I take him to houses of worship for the same reason.

    December 6, 2011 at 11:15 am |
  4. hippypoet

    i met a girl with flowers in her hair,she smoked my stuff and drank all my wine. Makes me wonder, really makes me wonder, oh it really makes me wonder! Now its time to ramble on. I will go over the hills and far away where I shall make my last stand here with Achilles! Perhaps before i leave this world i can travel to Kashmir where the songs remain the same. And there i shall sing the immigrant Song and attract me a whole lotta love from those lovely indian women! But its been ten years gone now and since i've been lovin you all i can think of is when the levees broke and our black dog died! Buy hey hey what can i do? We are but a ship of fools in this time of our dying heading towards the black mountain side! I say we bring it on home. Flying high on top the summit of Misty mountian, its a great view of the hindu kush but i have a different kush in mind! 🙂

    December 6, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • William Demuth

      I hear you crying in the darkness, Don't ask nobody's help
      Ain't no pockets full of mercy baby, Cause you can only blame yourself

      December 6, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • SlackBabbath

      Close the city and tell the people that something's coming to call
      Death and darkness are rushing forward to take a bite from the wall, oh

      You've nothing to say
      They're breaking away
      If you listen to fools...
      The Mob Rules
      The Mob Rules

      December 6, 2011 at 11:08 am |
  5. Chad

    @CNN "physicians recognize more readily the relationship between God and science. A recent study by the University of Chicago showed that seventy-six percent of physicians believe in God, and fifty-five percent say their faith influences their medical practice. It seems that the dichotomy between faith and science, while common in popular discourse, is not as popular as among doctors themselves."

    =>That's good news

    @"Dr. Elaine Howard Ecklund of Rice University said [the above clip was excerpted from that article] after releasing a study that found one in five who consider themselves atheists nevertheless bring their children to a church service one or more times a year."

    =>interesting.. as they say, there are no atheists in foxholes.

    December 6, 2011 at 8:39 am |
    • Archtype

      Go die in a foxhole, troll.

      December 6, 2011 at 8:43 am |
    • William Demuth


      It's ironic how Christians don't believe Athiests don't believe.

      It's even MORE ironic how many Christians don't actually believe in Christ or Christianity.

      I seems obvious in the battle of hypocrisy, Christians are WAY in the lead.

      Just read this colum, and even you in your blindness I suspect you would admit that many of your supposed bretern are in fact nothing more than liars.

      December 6, 2011 at 8:57 am |
    • Chuckles


      December 6, 2011 at 9:27 am |
    • Dot

      Not in here mister, this is a Mercedes!

      December 6, 2011 at 9:29 am |
    • I'm The Best!

      Most atheists have no problem taking their child to a church if that child wants to go. Can the same be said about most theists and letting their children stay home or even go to a church that's a different religion? I doubt it.

      December 6, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • Brad

      Francis Collins, head of the NIH and former head of the NHGRI dates his acceptance of Christ to his time as a practicing physician/scientist. Being involved on a daily basis with decisions that truly involve life and death for people often appears to put physicians on a path to at least seek out God. I've known several physicians like Dr. Collins. It doesn't surprise me that the number would be as high as 65%.

      December 6, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • Brad

      That some atheists would take a child to church is surprising. Richard Dawkins, for example, rates religious education of children with child abuse – worse than his own early encounter with a child molester (which he does downplay a bit).

      December 6, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad and Brad

      I just want to point out that physicians being christians means very little to me. The only thing that concerns me are the physicians who are actually letting their faith influence their medical practice and what that means exactly. If a physician abstains from helping someone in favor of prayer and letting gods will be done....well they'd be a pretty shi.tty doctor.

      Besides that a doctor is in no way a theologian or, presumably most physicians have little to no education in religion other than what you get in sunday school and mass.

      Just thoughts to keep in mind.

      December 6, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • Chuckles


      Not having children myself I can't definitively say if I would or wouldn't take my own child to church/syngagoue a mosque or another holy temple of some sort. I think I would first want to sit down and talk about the reasons why he/she would want to go. Maybe some atheists will disagree with me, but from my POV if a child really feels he/she is called to god of whatever religion and chooses that path after having all the options laid out for them, then I wouldn't stop him/her. I'm an atheist because when I did my own research and critical thinking on history, comparitive analysis of many different religions and personal refelction I came to my own conclusions. Any person who does this I can respect whatever conclusion they reach, it's the people who have always been one thing or another and their cognitive dissonance and absolute refusal to accept disbelief in god as an alternative in any capacity that I have beef with.

      December 6, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • AGuest9

      If my doctor is going to rely on faith rather than science, I'm looking for a new doctor!

      December 6, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • AGuest9

      Administrators don't save lives, they push papers around. It's easy for them to abdicate control. But, "it's out of our hands" doesn't mean it's in someone/something else's.

      December 6, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • MarcTTF

      I think that Dawkins was referring to indoctrination of children by their parents. If either of my children decided they needed religion, I would not get in their way. While i hope i did a good enough job raising them that they will be able to see religion for what it is, if they made the choice, I would respect it.

      December 6, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • A surgeon; A miracle

      Jeremiah 1:5

      The attending physician told his Father, “Mr. Tebow, your child is a miracle baby. I can’t explain how it happened, but despite all odds, he beat them. Only a small part of the placenta was attached, but it was just enough to keep your baby nourished all these months.”

      “Mom had surgery when I was a week old, and she finally became to recover after the health challenges of many months. The doctor told my parents that if we had not come to Manila, Mom probably would not have survived my birth,” he recalls. “My mom, dad, and family were so grateful for my safe arrival and thanked the Lord for His protection of both my mom and me.”

      December 6, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • Chuckles

      @A surgeon

      While you were typing out that POS, god killed a couple thousand babies

      December 6, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • A surgeon; A miracle

      Chuckie-I hope your wifey and you have a miracle baby akin Tebow, then you will probably be singing a different song 'bout letting your child go to a church or synogogue.

      December 6, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • Chuckles

      @A surgeon

      Define miracle baby? Does mine fly? shoot webs out of his hands? is it jesus? Or are you saying that a baby that's born that has a higher likelihood of not living but does anyway is a miracle? If it's the latter then boy do I have a couple of neat magic tricks to show you.....for a price of course.

      December 6, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • Chad

      @William: If you don't believe in Christ, you aren't a Christian.. that's the definition...

      @atheists: glad to hear that you would let your children attend church if they wanted to!

      December 6, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
  6. Salid

    I whip my harem back and forth

    December 6, 2011 at 8:20 am |
  7. Mark

    Charlotte is in N.C. not Virginia.

    December 6, 2011 at 7:32 am |
    • William Demuth

      Actually Charlotte is in the copy roon on the second floor.

      December 6, 2011 at 8:58 am |
    • ......

      She's not a well woman.

      December 6, 2011 at 9:26 am |
    • Tomas

      I think she lives elsewhere....

      December 6, 2011 at 10:18 am |
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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.