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December 27th, 2011
04:31 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Tuesday, December 27

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:

Our top five stories for 2011, in no particular order, focused on a U.S. senator, a Muslim congressman, a recovering atheist alcoholic, a labyrinth walker, and an unlikely patriot.

CNN: My Faith: 2011 year in review
This year, here at the Belief Blog, one of our most popular features was My Faith. It was a chance for people to explore and explain their faith – or faithlessness. There were submissions from across the religious spectrum and a host of comments from our loyal readers.

CNN: Ulta-Orthodox demands spark debate in Israel
Eight-year-old Naama Margolis is afraid to walk to school. She's afraid, her mother says, because life has become a nightmare for anyone who doesn't follow the edicts of the ultra-Orthodox Jews who have flocked in recent years to their city of 80,000 just outside of Jerusalem.

Blasts were reported at churches in five cities Sunday.

CNN: Death tolls rises from Nigeria church bombings
The death toll from the worst of several church bombings Christmas Day in Nigeria has reached 32, an emergency official told CNN Monday. Another of the bombings killed at least three people, officials said.

CNN: Hanukkah video goes viral
CNN's Josh Levs shares a catchy Hanukkah song from "The Maccabeats" that has become a new viral video. This holiday tune is a take off of another Jewish artist, Matisyahu – who may or may not still be a Hasidic reggae star.

Tweet of the Day:

From @AmericaMag: How Seminaries Are Changing in Response to Sex Abuse Crisis: bit.ly/tMsEMp

CNNBelief’s follow of the day:

America Magazine, @AmericaMag, is also our follow of the day. This twitter account from the National Catholic Weekly tweets both long, feature articles along with breaking news from the Catholic Church. A great follow.

Enlightening Reads:

New York Times: Is Americans’ Religious Freedom Under Threat?
Companies have pulled their ads from a TV show that portrays Muslims as benign. Religious groups may be required to offer insurance that covers drugs that can induce abortions. A federal judge rejected a ballot initiative on same-sex marriage partly because of its religious arguments. Are these just bubbles in the American melting pot, or signs that religious freedom is under threat?

Ynet News: 25,000 domino pieces create menorah
It's not kosher, you can't use it to light candles – and it actually collapsed within minutes, but the menorah placed at the Israel Museum's entrance hall is probably one of the most impressive Israel.

Jewish Journal: Israel’s Mr. Basketball is also Mr. Goodwill
Selected 12th overall in the 1965 National Basketball Association draft, Tal Brody passed on the American Dream so he could help change the landscape of Israeli sports—turning down the Baltimore Bullets for a spot on Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Christian Post: ‘Alien Nativity’ Featured in Former Ore. Church Building
Although the Christmas season is a time for manger scenes to be displayed throughout the nation, one Oregon resident created an out-of-this world unconventional seasonal display.

Quote of the Day:

I just asked people for a bit of silence so we could recollect ourselves and pray for the person involved.

Monsignor Vincent Harvey said this after three churchgoers at a Christmas Eve mass threw chairs and punches at St. Edmund’s church in Southampton, England.

Join the conversation…

CNN: ‘What’s Christmas without chopsticks?’ How other faiths celebrate December 25th
Two days before Christmas, Imam Mohamed Magid, the executive director at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, preached about Jesus at Friday prayers. "We live in a country with a majority of Christians, where Christmas is a major holiday... It's a reminder we do believe in Jesus. Jesus' position in Islam is one of the highest prophets in Islam," Magid said, adding that Muslims view Jesus as a prophet on par with Abraham, Moses, Noah and Mohammad.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Jim

    @Religion

    Well Richard just laid that out for you by showing you the verse, so thanks for that Richard.

    @Richard

    You're right. The example i put forth made it very easy to comprehend the question. So congratulations, you are smarter than a fifth grader. Instead of just using verse 34 ill post the whole chapter.

    Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

    3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

    4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.

    9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

    15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’[a] spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.

    22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.

    26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

    29 “Immediately after the distress of those days

    “‘the sun will be darkened,
    and the moon will not give its light;
    the stars will fall from the sky,
    and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’[b]
    30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth[c] will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.[d] 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

    32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it[e] is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

    So for example verse 4-14 have future tense references in bold. But how do we know if Jesus was talking about the generation at that specific time or a different generation? I'd like to point out verse 14 where Jesus said the gospel will be preached in the whole world. It's incomprehensible to think that just the apostles would start a mission to preach the gospel to the entire world when it took 2 years for the wise men to travel 800-900 miles to find Jesus after his birth. Also, how would that even be possible if the Vikings presumably weren't the first to land in the western world until a thousand years later.

    If God is truly omniscient, it just makes sense concerning increased earthquakes, famines, pestilences, and false prophets in our time. Mostly because information concerning these happenings are quickly and easily accessed nowadays.

    December 18, 2012 at 11:41 am |
  2. KMULTRA BRAINCHIPMAN

    MILLIONS TO BE ASSASSINATED FOR THE SAKE OF $$$ LIABILITIES(mk-ultra, chip implants, electroshocks etc. performed on them) AND NEW WORLD ORDER(multiculturalism = terrorism) POLITICAL AGENDA KNOWN AS "YOU ARE NEXT...YOU ARE NEXT"(liabilities are 2 expensive for the government and it is cheaper to get read of you instead !!! NOW YOU KNOW WHAT US CONGRESS IS SOOO BUSY WITH WHEN PLAYING IN FRONT OF CAMERAS WHERE CLAIMING ONLY HOW SOMETHING HAVE TO BE DONE WHILE KNOWINGLY OMITTING AND IGNORING FACTS OF GENOCIDE AS SEEN ON THIS WORLDWIDE WELL KNOWN COMPLAIN )!!!

    http://myshortbiography.blogspot.com/

    LEARN TRUTH ABOUT UNITED NATIONS, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL AS WELL AS NEW WORLD ORDER(MULTICULTURALISM = TERRORISM) GOVERNMENTS !!! NOT THERE TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS, BUT TO DENY YOUR RIGHT TO EXISTENCE !!!

    ABDUCTIONS / BRAIN CHIP IMPLANTS / BLACKLISTING / FORCEFUL UNEMPLOYMENT / MK-ULTRA BRAINWASHING AGAINST WHITE(under "NAZI" lie) CIVILIAN POPULATION TODAY IN 2011/2012 ACROSS THE EUROPE AND NORTHERN AMERICA !!!

    http://myshortbiography.blogspot.com/

    WHY TO ACCEPT LIABILITIES FOR CRIMES COMMITTED WHEN WE CAN SIMPLY ASSASSINATE OUR VICTIMS(YOU) THANKS TO HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS AND FREE PRESS/MEDIA(most severe censorship of genocide ever !!!)!!

    This news is related to WHITES AREN’T WELCOME IN AMERICA ANY LONGER !!! OUT OF AMERICA WITH WHITES NOW !!! http://www.youtube.com/user/BostjanAvsec OR http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xGfYOAydjw

    December 27, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • KMULTRA BRAINCHIPMAN

      THERE IS A COMMUNIST MULTICULTURAL TERRORIST PLOT AGAINST WHITE BREAD, ESPECIALLY TOAST, YEAH, TOAST, AND . . . HOLD ON A SECOND, I HAVE TO SCREAM . . .

      AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      THAT'S BETTER. NOW BACK TO OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED SCREAM-SCREED: CONSPIRACY!!!!!!!!!

      THE NEIGHBOR'S HAMSTER IS TELLING ME TELEPATHICALLY TO MURDER JOHN WAYNE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND THEN ELVIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! STOP ME BEFORE I KILL A DEAD MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      December 27, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  3. mylifemyway

    What about me? I love, I tolerate, I accept those who are different than me. I am not perfect by all means. I make mistakes, I've said things I regret, I've done things I regret. However; I strive to be good because, well, it's the right thing to do! I don't need a book of fables to tell me what is right or wrong. Is this such a hard concept? Is it truly so unfathomable to think that the human race can do good in this world without the hatred in your texts? I feel that religion *can be a good thing. It has helped many people overcome hard times. I understand it is human nature to seek the answers of how and why we are here. The problem is, there are no answers! When we realize we are just here, in this one life we're given, and stop fighting over who's daddy is the best, there might just be some hope for humanity.

    December 27, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
  4. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Pray without ceasing in 2012
    Seek God while He can be found

    December 27, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • William Demuth

      I see God everyday in the eyes of the madman who espouse his legend.

      You claim at some point God will no longer be able to be found?

      Good riddance to him, and his army of simpletons.

      December 27, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • Inconvenient George

      Oops, ya missed the cut-off. He can no longer be found.

      December 27, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Pray without ceasing in 2012
      Seek God while He can be found
      God does not leave you do

      December 27, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • But atheism IS very healthy for adults, and other mature beings

      I'm praying, I'm praying. So when do I get to feel something change ?

      December 27, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Psalm 51:17

      The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

      December 27, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • An inconvenient truth

      Atheism is a fraud that deceives sinners into thinking they can get away with sin. No mature adult buys into that. The cry of the atheist is the cry of the undisciplined, spoiled child. I WANT MY OWN WAY- ME- ME- ME . Atheism at it's core is selfish and destructive without controlling authority. The world would have been a better place with millions of victims spared if 4000 years ago atheism was made and kept a capital offense. To have executed a few ne'er do wells over the centuries would have spared devastation and suffering to billions on the planet.

      December 27, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • But atheism IS very healthy for adults, and other mature beings

      But I though god was in control of the planet. Which is it ? Obviously atheism is the plan he has for us.

      December 27, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      @An inconvenient truth:
      First of all, telling an Atheist they are sinning is rather funny considering we don't believe in sin. Sin is a biblical item that does not exist.
      Second, look at the jails and the number of christards in them...the numbers are exceptionally high.
      Third, We are causing no harm to anyone by not believing and until you can provide the evidence that we are, you have no valid point in your comment.
      Sadly it is you that is committing the atrocity by telling us how we need to believe. You have no proof outside of the buybull for what you believe and until science provides the evidence of your god, it does not exist.
      Call me a sinner all you wish but that is like the pot calling the kettle black...your buybull teaches you not to judge and not to be a hypocrite. You really have no clue how fulfilled my life is and you do not get to judge that. Suck it up buttercup...you have failed!

      December 27, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • captain america

      If a canadian hasn't got the common decency to refer to a text in it's proper t itle what good are they to canada. We don't really need ignorant canadian failures spewing their venom into America. There's your sign

      December 27, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
  5. William Demuth

    Shall 2012 be the end of us all?

    Based on the cream of this blog, I must confess I hope so!

    December 27, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      I don't want 2012 to be the end for anyone honestly but I would like to see it be the end for christianity and the constant shoving of their delusions and fairy tales down our throats...probably too much to ask but one can hope.

      December 27, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • captain america

      2012 would be a good year for canadians to resolve to keep their atheistic noses out of American business.There's your sign

      December 27, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • Keith

      No, actually ToiletPlunger can start now. In 2011. The canadian witch should get right on that.

      December 27, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
  6. Brad

    hippypoet: "what do you think would happen if jesus was to return today, in this world, in this country, right now?"

    Some people think this time in history is particularly evil, or special in some way. I doubt that that's true. Christ's return would have the same implications now as at any other time. First, everyone will recognize him and this will be a kind of judgment in and of itself. Then judgment will be passed on individuals and nations. All nations and all people have always deserved judgment and the justice that follows. But people who hold to faith in Christ will experience mercy and more than that – an eternal relationship with God. Coincidentally (ironically?), enemies of God will get what they want: separation from God.

    Personally, I wish all the best to people who desire peace, love, acceptance, tolerance. After all,

    “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
    Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
    Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
    Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
    Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
    Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called sons of God.
    Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

    December 27, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • William Demuth

      The story remains the same

      It is NOT what you do, it is whom you worship.

      If your God is petty enough to condemn anyone simply for failing to worship him, then he is undeserving of worship.

      Free your mind from your indoctrination. You do NOT need false deities to rationalize goodness, because it is inherent in ALL human beings.

      Be they Muslim or Hindu, Wiccan or Jew, Christian or Buddhist, we ALL know basic right from wrong.

      Stop demeaning what we humans have accomplished. We have evolved, and it has made all the difference.

      So please don’t try and convince anyone that our destiny is in anyone’s hands but our own, and stop trying to imply that you have a special relationship with an imaginary creature that controls our futures.

      It makes you seem foolish, and in some ways dangerous.

      December 27, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Brad

      Hi Brad,

      I just came by to greet you.

      How was Christmas?

      Happy new year!

      December 27, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • Brad

      Hello Rainer

      Christmas was nice – a relaxing time with family. How was yours?

      All the best to you in the new year!

      December 27, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • hippypoet

      sry i wasn't able to responed to you earlier, i went home sick with broncituis or however you spell it... anyway, i disagree with you... the only way the J man could create an impact like the one you speak of and i'm sure hope for is if he was to appear in some third world country where the docs wouldn't do a pysch test on a man claiming to hear the voice of god and even be his son... i said this country and with that he would be committed to a pysch ward where he could be studied. He would be broken down to be a very charasmatic person anda schizophrenic who has the ablity to create mass delusions thru hopes of an afterlife. The power of suggestion and deceit is a powerful tool of con-artists and a very common trait of those seeking to be a messiah figure. It helps that most are predisposed to believe in such ridi.culious things out of fear of this being the only life one gets and sadly they have this notion of this life being too late to be fixed or corrected. This is the fault of the society we live in, they glorifie the horrors of life and down play the joyness moments as they view them as having a lesser impact. Understandible but wrong. Thank you for repling to my question in the most honest fashion you could... its appreciated. 🙂

      December 27, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
  7. IT'S THE 2011 BELIEF BLOG DIARRHETORIC AWARDS !

    The contestants for the covetted Belief Blog Diarrhetoric Award are:

    – Rainer Braendlin, for his endless dedication to producing gibberish in defense of incredibly absurd Christian illogic.

    – Reality, for her massive cut-and-pastes, and her inability to come up with a new though despite the ponderous length of her posts.

    – Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things/George/An Inconvenient Truth/et al, for most poster names with the least to say (though Mark From Middle River challenged him hard in this category).

    The Central Scrutinizer, for often using 15,000 words where 15 would do.

    – Russ, for numerous massive, contorted attempts to pretend he understands philosophy, and that his strange collages of idea fragments somehow support the massive non-sequiturs he has made.

    AND THE WINNER IS . . . IT"S A TIE ! ! ! THEY ALL ARE CHAMPION DIARRHETORICIANS ! ! !

    Honorable mentions go to HeaventSent, Adelina/Frederica/Happy Meal, Muneef, and all the rest of you who make the Belief Blog so special!

    December 27, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • Inconvenient George

      Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap.

      December 27, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • Inconvenient George

      Oh, dare I ask what the trophy looks like ?

      December 27, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • just sayin

      dang Inconvenient George caught the clap from that post

      December 27, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @IT'S THE 2011 BELIEF BLOG DIARRHETORIC AWARDS !

      And what is your contribution?

      Nothing at all?

      Bully!

      December 27, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      Rainer: I don't hear you calling Captain America a bully for slamming Canadian's but yet you call this person a bully? Wow, slightly hypocritical...don't you think?

      December 27, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • captain america

      The good captain only "slams" those ignorant atheistic canadians that are trying to infect America with their failure. Perhaps if canadians tended to canada and left US to our own issues the noble captain would not have to point out their insignificance. There's your sign

      December 27, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
  8. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Payer changes things
    Pray without ceasing in 2012

    December 27, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • hippypoet

      ok so we going to try this again...perspective changes things... try pulling your head out of your @ss then research the placebo effect. Have you ever heard of the power of suggestion? How about the saying "mind over matter"... yes, no, maybe, only on tuesdays? prayer is just another mind trick you play on yourself...whats sad is you are too stupid to realize it and have come to believe that it works because "god" exists and even cares about your peity issues...thats called delusional. Heres another question for you, do you hear god talk to you? thats called schizophrenia! You sir need help.

      December 27, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      Prayer has never been proven to work...stop trolling with the only thing you apparently know and try to use some logic and reason in your posts...try staying on topic. You're not convincing anyone with your rhetorical broken record syndrome.

      December 27, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • captain america

      Stay the course! liarprevails is an atheistic canadian offering no valid point on our American news site. I wouldn't trust it's opinion on a canadian story. There's your sign

      December 27, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
  9. mylifemyway

    Jesus would take one look at his followers, turn around and leave, not taking a single one of them with him. Many (not all, many) christians are not christ like. If everyone would just stop believing in fairy tales and start practicing what they preach... Love, acceptance, tolerance, this world would be a much better place!

    December 27, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • hippypoet

      i completely agree – if you take out any and all gods and the sense of superiority but leave the messages of peace, love, acceptance, tolerance – this world would truly be a place worth fighting for...the irony is, no one would be fighting. ready for the pun, its a double one – god forbid that reality ever see the light of day!

      December 27, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • HeavenSent

      mylifemyway, I'm glad that you like this great concept that Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior teaches. Just think what you could learn, apply to your life to come out to righteous conclusions if you followed ALL his spiritual truth instead of sitting on the edge of the pool, judging, without jumping into the waters of life.

      Amen.

      December 27, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @mylifemyway

      What about you, preacher?

      December 27, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • tallulah13

      Maybe you should give it a go, too, HS. But your job should be taking out the parts you've added to please yourself, and the parts Paul added after Christ died to change christianity to suit himself.

      December 27, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • 0G - No Gods, Ghosts or Goblins

      Maybe mylifemyway is on to something. If there is any truth to the Jesus myth, and I doubt there is, maybe he has already returned and left in disgust.

      December 27, 2011 at 11:50 am |
  10. Rainer Braendlein

    Concerning Mr. Keith Ellison:

    He converted from Catholicism to Islam.

    Was that a spiritual advance or regression?

    It was neither an advance nor a regression. He merely shifted from the Western Anti-Christ to the Eastern Anti-Christ or from the pope to Muhammad.

    The elders called Muhammad the Eastern Anti-Christ and the pope the Western Anti-Christ. That statement was true and is still true. It is confirmed by the Book of Revelation of the Bible.

    One could claim that at least the pope doesn't kill people in contrast to the Imams (the disciples of Muhammad).

    At Luther's time the so-called enlightenment had not yet taken place and the pope was still higher than the emperor, that means at Luther's time the pope ruled the whole Western Church and the whole Europe. The pope had the most ecclesiastical power and the most secular power at the same time and was thus the most mighty man on earth during Luther's lifetime. Once, some German princes had to ask the pope for permission, if their bakers could use butter for the Christmas stollen.

    I constantly read original sermons of Luther and he mentions repeatedly that at his time Protestants were persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church or by the pope. Not a few were killed.

    By the impact of enlightenment the pope lost his secular power, which he had kept 666 years. Assumed, the enlightenment had not taken place, the pope would still persecute the Protestants. We should be aware of that. The pope is more or less merely a tamed beast.

    In the Eastern parts of the world the purely secular powers are obviously still to weak to tame the Islamic beast, which still tries to rule.

    May God give the real faith to Mr. Ellison. In contrast to the pope and Muhammad Jesus Christ never reached out for secular rule, although he was the legitimate king of Israel. Jesus took care of the health of the souls of the people. Jesus cured body and soul of the people. He was a real saviour.

    Damned pope (killer, greedy for honor, power and riches).

    Damned Muhammad (killer, greedy for honor, power and riches).

    Blessed Jesus (saviour, concerned about the health of the people).

    December 27, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • Inconvenient George

      Rainer.
      Oh shut up. Go outside, and take a walk. Have you ever considered medication ?

      December 27, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • geraldh

      Your post lacks historical perspective. Protestants persecuted and killed Catholics as well. 19 priests and nuns killed in switzerland. Over 200 priests killed in England and Catholic services banned there. They even burned Catholic bibles for the gold in the bindings (yes protestants burned bibles for greedy purposes). Protestants persecuted and killed prots to. 55 protestants were killed in what is called the Geneva Inquisition and a man named John Calvin participated. Anabaptists drowned by baptists. Even Luther commanded that 100,000 protestant peasants in Germany be killed.

      December 27, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • geraldh

      The fact is that in those days people took their religion seriously and killing of the soul by preaching heresy was akin to killing the body. Thus both protestant and Catholic countries had laws forbbiding heresy. It was not because of the Popes commands but because of the laws of countries. It is no coincidence that religous affiliations went along country borders. The country became what the king was, whether protestant or Catholic, by persecuting the other side out of the country. These are the facts, regarless of your biased postings of tripe.

      December 27, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
  11. 1 Peter 3

    "Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened." But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect

    December 27, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • hippypoet

      ok, i'll bite – what do you think would happen if jesus was to return today, in this world, in this country, right now?

      December 27, 2011 at 10:18 am |
  12. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    December 27, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • hippypoet

      perspective changes things... try pulling your head out of your @ss then research the placebo effect. Have you ever heard of the power of suggestion? How about the saying "mind over matter"... yes, no, maybe, only on tuesdays? prayer is just another mind trick you play on yourself...whats sad is you are too stupid to realize it and have come to believe that it works because "god" exists and even cares about your peity issues...thats called delusional. Heres another question for you, do you hear god talk to you? thats called schizophrenia! You sir need help.

      December 27, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • Inconvenient George

      It's all about endorphins....circulating beta-endorphins. It explains EVERYTHING.

      December 27, 2011 at 11:26 am |
  13. Colin

    As I look at the religious stories making news, as we round out 2012, the remarkable ability of religious supersti.tions to invoke violence is brought sharply into focus. Sunnis bomb Shiites in a spate of bombing attacks in Baghdad, Christians are slaughtered in five separate bombings in Nigeria by the Boko Haram Islamic terrorist group, and young Jewish children cannot walk to school without being assaulted by their more orthodox neighbors.

    And that is just the current news from this week!

    To all those atheists out there, I say we need to redouble our efforts in 2012 and help as many young people as possible escape the cycle of generational indoctrination that causes them to adopt the religious supersti.tions of their parents. The only way to do so is to continue to promote free thought, reason and logic as an alternative to dogma, unthinking acceptance and scientific, historical and geographical ignorance.

    The internet and chat forums such as this are our best weapons to open minds and help these kids. Every mind opened is a victory and the demographic studies are increasingly showing that we are slowly succeeding in dumping blindly accepted religious dogma into the dustbin of history. Onwards and upwards for 2012!

    December 27, 2011 at 9:38 am |
  14. Jimmy G

    "Many conservative bankers regard it as more consonant with their cloth, and also as economising thought, to shift public discussion of financial topics off the logical on to an alleged 'moral' plane, which means a realm of thought where vested interest can be triumphant over the common good without further debate."
    –JM Keynes, A Tract on Monetary Reform.

    December 27, 2011 at 8:42 am |
  15. Ironicus

    Prayers do nothing but fool you into thinking you've done something real instead of imaginary.

    December 27, 2011 at 5:31 am |
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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.