December 22nd, 2011
04:28 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Thursday, December 22

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: Christmas compromise lesson for lawmakers
The mad dash to buy last minute Christmas presents is about at its peak. Shoppers rush around, their eyes glaze over. No words are exchanged but the message is clear, what can I find? What will it cost? Will they like this?

Interested in the answer for the long held Hanukkah, Chanukah, Hannukah question?

TIME: Is there a right way to spell Hanukkah? Chanukah? Hannukah?
It began last night at sunset: Hanukkah. Or is it Chanukah? Or Hannukah? Sometimes getting the proper spelling of a Hebrew word transliterated into English gets tricky, especially when far more than a trio of options prove technically correct. But if you don’t fall into the Hebrew-scholar category, what should you do?

CNN: Menorahs lighted in New York, nation’s capital
From big balloons at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to a big Christmas tree at Manhattan's Rockefeller Center, the Big Apple is known for going big around the holidays. And on Tuesday, the first night of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, New Yorkers went big again, lighting a massive menorah outside the south side of Central Park.

CNN: Piers Morgan learns to ‘Tebow’
CNN's Piers Morgan is coached on how to pray like Tim Tebow of the Denver Broncos.

Archuleta made the announcement while on tour in Salt Lake City.

CNN: David Archuleta to embark on Mormon mission
Fresh-faced “American Idol” star David Archuleta is putting his promising career aside for a higher calling. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Archuleta – or Archie, as he’s known to fans – has announced that he’s embarking on a Mormon mission.

CNN: After layoff, finding new meaning in a lower paying job
“Four days short of my 58th birthday," Carl Fields said, “I received notice I was being laid off. It came as a total shock, honestly.” The company was reorganizing and his position was being eliminated.

Tweet of the Day:

From @sojourners: The #Top10 #Worst Toys to Give Your #Daughter This #Christmas http://ow.ly/872zL @MadameCAdams

CNNBelief’s follow of the day:

This is a thank you follow. Catherine Suthard, or @ZRanchLady, regularly engages with the Belief Blog and retweets many of our stories. We would like to thank Catherine for talking about our work and engaging with us on social media. Catherine, who is a self taught graphic artist from Washington State, is worth a follow for more than just her regular Belief Blog tweet, though.

Enlightening Reads:

Newt Gingrich on Tuesday told a voter he would not be the right choice for those basing their decision on the issue of same-sex marriage.

The Christian Post: Gingrich and Gay Marriage: Strong Opposition, But Religion Grounds Unclear
GOP candidate Newt Gingrich again made it clear this week that a gay’s right to marry a same-sex partner is not his issue, but it is still unclear whether the former House Speaker is defending marriage on the grounds of religion freedom.

Catholic Sun: New missal translation introduced in 2011 also an evangelization tool
Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl doesn't have a problem with the fact that there will be some missteps and some wrong words spoken during the first weeks of using the new English translation of the Roman Missal at Mass.

Houston Chronicle: Christmas Eve brings together Houston Jews, Muslims
On Christmas Eve, Jews and Muslims may find themselves with nothing to do while Christian neighbors plan fancy dinners and special church services. For the past two years, the Jewish and Muslim communities in Houston have taken advantage of their free schedules to gather together to learn about each others’ traditions and find commonalities as minority faiths.

The Telegraph: Muslim baby adopted because of fear of honor killing
A baby born to a Muslim couple having an affair had to be adopted to save it from being murdered by its mother’s family in a so-called honor killing, senior judges have ruled.

Quote of the Day:

[The baby] was conceived in a relationship which was unacceptable to [the mother's] traditional Muslim family and conducted in secrecy. When she realised she might be pregnant she ran away from home for fear of the reaction of her family and, in particular, her father.

This quote is from court documents in a case regarding a baby born to a Muslim couple. According to the documents, the pregnancy came from a woman having an affair and the ruling led to the baby being adopted to save it from being murdered by its mother’s family in a so-called honor killing, senior judges have ruled.

Today’s Opinion:

A provincial court sentenced Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani to death in 2010.

CNN: My Take: Iran must stop persecuting minority religion
In March 2009, when I was detained in Evin Prison in Iran, two evangelical Christians were arrested. I never met them but spotted them a few times through the barred window of my cell as they walked back and forth to the bathroom down the hall.

Join the conversation…

CNN: SNL Tim Tebow controversy continues debate over quarterback’s faith
When “Saturday Night Live” parodied Tim Tebow’s relationship with Jesus last weekend, not everyone was laughing.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (9 Responses)
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    April 4, 2012 at 2:32 pm |


    December 22, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  3. Just this guy, you know?

    Sing it with me:

    Ô Canada!
    Terre de nos aïeux,
    Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux!
    Car ton bras sait porter l'épée,
    Il sait porter la croix!
    Ton histoire est une épopée
    Des plus brillants exploits.
    Et ta valeur, de foi trempée,
    Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.
    Protégera nos foyers et nos droits

    Or if you prefer:

    O Canada!
    Our home and native land!
    True patriot love in all thy sons command.
    With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
    The True North strong and free!
    From far and wide,
    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
    God keep our land glorious and free!
    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

    December 22, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • captain america

      True north? 54 40 and above, the rest belongs to US and we claim all the mineral rights above 54 40 as well .There's your sign

      December 22, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • ----------

      What a great song ! And we all know the best gay bars on the continent are in Calgary, well maybe not, but just as good as Atlanta and LA.

      December 22, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • captain america

      Qu eer canadian alert ! America be on guard against insidious,perverted canadians trying to implant canadian doctrine into the American way. Watch lest they succeed in undermining all our amendment rights. There's your sign

      December 22, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
  4. Isaiah

    As you glaze:
    "what can I find? – The Greatest gift of all to mankind
    What will it cost?- Nothing, the price was already paid
    Will they like this?"-What is not there to like the Joy, Peace and Love that came down at Christmas!

    Celebrate the real reason for this season!!!

    December 22, 2011 at 9:57 am |
  5. Rainer Braendlein

    The Temple

    Some months ago there was a radio broadcast on DLF (German radio station) about the intention of orthodox Jews to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.

    Could this be meaningful?

    For a long time the Temple in Jerusalem was actually a sacred place, it even was the most sacred place on earth, because the God of Israel had promised, to be present at the Temple (1 Kings 8, 29: That thine eyes may be open toward this house night and day, [even] toward the place of which thou hast said, My name shall be there: that thou mayest hearken unto the prayer which thy servant shall make toward this place.).

    Jesus Christ is God’s only begotten Son. Although Christ is a Person of the Godhead and yet in His days on earth the following statement was a valid one: “ For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. (Colossians 2, 9)”, that means, where Jesus was present also the Triune God was present, He still recognized or accepted the Temple as God’s tenement (John 2, 16: … my Father’s house …).

    Still after Pentecost (foundation of the Christian Church by the giving of the Holy Spirit) the disciples gathered a long time at the Temple. The Jewish Temple became the first cathedral of Christianity. And this is just natural, because Christianity is the lawful successor of Judaism. Finally a Christian is just a “Jew”, believing that his Messiah has yet come, and is called Jesus from Nazareth. Christianity has replaced Judaism and is now the prescribed (by God) religion for every human being.

    70 years after Christ the Temple was destroyed by the Romans under the rule of Ti-tus. From a historical view shortly before fanatical Jews had chased away the Christian Church from Jerusalem. When someone reads Acts, he will notice that in the first chapters the Temple is still mentioned and, like said yet before, is used by the disciples as Church. After turnout of the disciples from Jerusalem, the Temple is hardly mentioned any longer (there was a remain of disciples in Jerusalem, but probably they had to live underground and could not appear publically at the Temple). It seems that God’s glory was about to leave the Temple, and God was about to have got solely one single place, where he wanted to be present: The Christian Church. Yet at Pentecost the Holy Spirit had come to the disciples, and so the band of the disciples had become the new tenement of His glory.

    To sum it up: From the view of the Christian Church the following is to say: The intention, to rebuild the Temple, is pure naivete. Even if the plan for the building would materialize, God’s glory will never dwell there.

    Israel should accept his Messiah today (right now)! Jesus from Nazareth is the Messiah of Israel. The new Temple is the Christian Church.

    By the way today there are no sacred buildings any longer. Every church-building is simply a building, having the purpose, to celebrate there worship services. In no case God dwells in any church-building. Solely during the worship service, when the congregation is gathered, then God is present in the church-building by His Holy Spirit.

    Even if church-buildings are no sacred places, it is a heavy crime against Christianity and the living God, when a country (for example Turkey has done it) destroys church-buildings intentionally. By destroying church-buildings hatred is expressed against Jesus Christ and His Church.

    Some more: St. Paul says in Romans, the Christian Church (the heavenly Israel) has no right to turn up her nose at the earthly Israel (descendants of Jacob) . On the contrary, it is a matter of fact that God’s gift and calling will never be regreted (the Old Testament Covenant of God with Israel remains valid for ever, despite of the rejection of the gospel by Israel). All descendants of Jacob are God’s beloved people. They just reject Jesus as their Messiah. But St. Paul says, the day will come, when Israel will realize it’s Messiah. One of the greatest events of history has not yet taken place.

    The Christian Church awaits Her brother Israel.

    The German Evangelical Church (EKD) and the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) are no longer Christian Churches. The RCC is ruled by the pope instead by Jesus Christ and the EKD practises gay ordination. God may give us a Church, which is lively and where God is present by His Holy Spirit (a good example was the Confessing Church, which fighted against Nazi rule in Germany during the Third Reich.)

    December 22, 2011 at 7:40 am |
    • Bo

      Rainer, you have posted a great deal of information here, perhaps too much for this type media.
      There are several points which could be argued, but right here I will only address one.
      Stated in this post, “The new Temple is the Christian Church.” This is a sensitive spiritual matter that needs some rethinking.
      First of all, when the Bible was written, the word translated “church” had a different meaning that the word “church” has today. Today we more inclined to think of “church” as meaning more of a building and less as a congregation. With the early Christians it was just the opposite, in fact a building was not even considered. When Paul spoke of the “Temple” in 1Cor 6:19, 20 he said, “What? Know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost,...”. The new temple is not the “...Christian Church”, but the body [mind] of the believer, not a building. This is very important in the concept of living a Christian life and needs a lot of deep Bible study to fully understand. A whole book could be written on the subject.
      I doubt that the Jews will ever re-build the Temple in Jerusalem, the death of Christ terminated the need of the Temple services. Read Matt 27:51, recording the indecent of the veil of the Temple being torn from the top to the bottom when Christ died, signifying the end of the need of the Temple services. The Temple services were primarily for making animal sacrifices that were anti-typical to the sacrifice of Christ from the time of Adam to the cross.

      December 22, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
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.