December 9th, 2011
05:49 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Friday, December 9

By Dan Merica, 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: ‘Plan B’ decision puts pro-life groups, bloggers in an unfamiliar position
The decision by Kathleen Sebelius to keep age restrictions on the purchase of the “morning after pill” puts some conservative religious groups in an unfamiliar position – endorsing a move by Obama administration.

The event featured more than 500 guests, according to the White House

CNN: Obama hosts an early Hannukah reception
President Barack Obama on Thursday celebrated the Jewish holiday of Hannukah a bit early, holding a White House reception more than a week before the eight-day festival begins.

CNN: Black, atheist and living in the South
Benjamin Burchall first realized how different his experience in the South was going to be while looking for something to watch on television on a Sunday night.

CNN: The Mormon group – whether they like it or not
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints oversees BYU, and the members of the singing team Vocal Point, whether they liked it or not, were going to be representing the church on primetime television. And with a recent Pew Research poll finding that nearly 25 percent of people have negative views of the Mormon Church, Vocal Point would be representing a misunderstood and at times maligned religion.

Tweet of the Day:

From @KarenBonner1: Happy #Bodhi Day! The Buddha achieved enlightenment today. A good time to remember to be mindful & compassionate.

What is Bodhi Day? The Huffington Post has a good explainer on the Buddhist holiday.

Enlightening Reads:

Religion News Service: Hanukkah Music: Young Hip Jews Leading A Makeover
What last year seemed like a happy coincidence has become a hip new Hanukkah tradition: groups of harmonizing young Jews releasing seriously Jewish, yet seriously danceable, songs for the Festival of Lights.

Egypt held a much anticipated election last week.

Sojourners: Egypt’s Bumpy Road to Democracy
Initial results from Egypt’s first round of elections produced an unexpectedly large showing for Islamists. The Freedom and Justice Party of the Muslim Brotherhood gained approximately 37 percent of the seats selected from political party lists, in line with predictions.

The Christian Post: Family Groups Challenge Gay History Law in Calif.
A coalition of pro-family groups in California launched another effort Tuesday to overturn the state's landmark law that requires gay history to be taught in public schools.

Baptist Press: Nativity’s potential removal sparks outcry
For the sake of his three young sons and the daughter he and his wife will soon adopt from Africa, Pastor Nathan Lorick says he has drawn a line in the dirt of his East Texas community in defiance of an atheist group's demand that a nativity scene be removed from the lawn of the Henderson County Courthouse.

Huffington Post: Rick Perry’s Anti-Gay Iowa Ad Divides His Top Staff
Texas Gov. Rick Perry's newest television ad criticizing the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell was created over the objections of at least one top staff member, sources in the Perry campaign tell The Huffington Post.

Quote of the Day:

The only danger the church can and should fear is the sin of her members.

Pope Benedict XVI told worshipers this during the fest of the Immaculate Conception Thursday. Though the pope acknowledged the churches history of persecution, he went on to say that the church “is supported by the light and strength of God" and will always end up victorious.

Today’s Opinion:

The Guardian: Tibet’s old way of life is slowly dying. Not even self-immolation will change that.
Tibet's desperate protests cause embarrassment rather than anxiety in China. Britain too is looking the other way, write Panjak Mishra of the Guardian.

Join the conversation…

Some atheist scientists wanted to expose their children to religion.

CNN: Study: Some atheists with children attend religious services
Nearly one in five atheist scientists with children involve their families with religious institutions, even if they personally do not agree with the institutions teachings, a recent study says.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. John


    December 10, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • .......

      TRASH ALERT – Don't bother viewing this garbage, click the report abuse link instead to get rid of this TROLL!

      December 12, 2011 at 11:09 am |


    December 10, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • LinCA

      No, no, no. The world is in turmoil over the excessive use of caps lock.

      December 10, 2011 at 10:09 am |
  3. Nonimus

    Sorry he was elected to the Board of Supervisors not Mayor. He was notable because he was openly gay and he was assassinated. He was "'...a martyr for gay rights', according to University of San Francisco professor Peter Novak." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Milk) However, the details of Milk are not important, what is important is how do you teach history properly without mentioning ho.mose.xuality?

    December 9, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  4. stacheman

    Because I did not "choose" to be gay. It is what I am.

    December 9, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  5. casey

    For all athiests out there, faith is real and only challenged by your own mixed thoughts. All people are capable of having faith, but few recognize their own faith. Believe in yourself and spiritual enlightenment can also be yours. God has faith in us all.

    December 9, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Faith is not a virtue.
      It is the willing cessation of rational inquiry.
      Blind acceptance of any proposition that totally lacks evidence and defending it unto death is dangerous delusion.

      December 9, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      As in the Big Bang, Boom or Evolution theories! LOL.


      December 9, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Burned in SF

      How could "God" have faith in us all? That would mean he has no proof that we exist. So much for "all-seeing, all-knowing" eh?

      Thanks for clearing that up. I was wondering if God was just a hoax. Now I know. Thanks.

      December 9, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If only someone would bang you, HS.

      December 9, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
  6. denny blackbird

    if any one says somthing about god you are lying you cant prove god is real. when you talk to your kids about god your lying?

    December 9, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • Threeonesandatwo

      So it would appear, yes. Who can stand before the cutting insightful questions of a child and lie? Evidently billions of people can do so with ease. What's at issue is the ethics of teaching a provably false doctrine to a child who is defenseless against your violent religion and associated imagery and contradictory concepts that do nothing but confuse children into growing up into confused adults.
      We don't need everyone to grow up confused. Let's start easing back on the extremism, okay?

      December 9, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  7. denny blackbird

    religion is a danger to everyone it promotes hatred and starts wars . look at palistine and israel look at china and tibet come-on people wake up beleive in each other not some make believe over seer

    December 9, 2011 at 10:21 am |
  8. Sacramento

    Can you just teach children history(period). Leave gay/straight out of my child's history lessons.

    December 9, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • Max

      I would rather my child study world history instead of learning biology in their history class.

      Do not confuse biology with history.

      Family Groups- thanks for challenging this.

      December 9, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • Scar

      Perhaps you'd also like to remove all references to civil rights, religious violence and bigotry as well?
      Why don't you pick one of your guns and just blow it out the back of your bigoted head?
      I'm sure the history of your mental illness will be ignored once you are dead.

      December 9, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • Nonimus

      I don't think legislating the content of history class is the right answer, but by your logic shouldn't we also ignore the Civil War in history class?

      December 9, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Sean

      Let us not confuse the issue of race with lifestyle choices, they are apples and oranges.
      My child need not learn about polygamy or any other lifestyle choices that brainwashes them from core family values.

      December 9, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • stacheman

      Sure, we'll be happy to wrap your child in the ignorance that you so strongly abide by.

      December 9, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • stacheman

      being gay is not a "lifestyle" choice Sean

      December 9, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Sean

      How you know it is not a lifestyle choice?

      December 9, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Let's not confuse history with biology. Harvey Milk changed the political landscape in San Francisco, he was the first openly gay mayor. That is historical, it happened. Is there some reason why children shouldn't know that?
      There are many other facts in history that involve hom.ose.xuality. It is a part of humanity, going back beyond our species. Heck it's in the freakin' Bible. Do you redact that from the Bible?

      December 9, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Sean

      What made Harvey Milk famous in history? that he was openly Gay?
      So , why should someone's s e x ual orientation be part of my child's history curriculum?
      While it is important for a child to learn history it is not necessary for a child to be forced to learn about orientation which is incomprehensible for a young mind.

      December 9, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Landlubber

      Sean, from your viewpoint perhaps you should look at it as giving your child the most comprehensive set of employable facts for them to use when making good decisions. Your role could be teaching them to know that hurting other people is bad and how to recognize threats and how to react to them, including knowing what sorts of things are actual threats.
      Gays are not a threat unless they are violent sociopaths as well as being gay. The gay part doesn't matter, you see. It should fall into the same category as a third secxual orientation similar to women desiring men but it is the males that have these desires, so they will have one shape while having a same-se.x interest in other people.
      But a threat is how you're treating the whole situation. That won't work. All you are going to do is confuse your kids at first.
      Then, once they've figured out that you're just stupid and confused, they will realize they have grown past your inability and have made more progress towards understanding the truth about their surroundings.
      If you are more aware of your surroundings and knowledgable, you can make better decisions and protect yourself and family much better than if you're just purposely ignorant and screwed up in your head. You cannot protect your family in this modern overpopulated world without having some idea of how things actually work. Being afraid of gays is not healthy, intelligent, factual, nor does it help you in following your religion. All it does is raise up a prejudice that has been proven wrong by scientists and becomes a religious stumbling block for you and your kids. Wise up and learn about the universe and how people actually work.

      December 9, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • LinCA


      You said, "Let us not confuse the issue of race with lifestyle choices, they are apples and oranges.
      My child need not learn about polygamy or any other lifestyle choices that brainwashes them from core family values.

      Living your life by religious principles is a lifestyle choice. Race and sexuality are inherent human traits.

      I need my children to learn about the difference so that they can make informed decisions about what is detrimental to society and what makes it more interesting. The more my children know about the absurdities of christianity and other religions, the less likely they will be falling for that nonsense and brainwashing.

      Your lifestyle choice is yours, and yours alone. It doesn't fit within my core family values and I would never consider it for myself. But won't try to deny you the right to make that choice.

      December 10, 2011 at 4:54 am |
    • Davey

      Sean-I would agree with you; leave lifestyle choices out of children's history curriculum.
      Young minds should not be corrupted by poor choices.

      December 10, 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.