January 10th, 2012
04:40 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Tuesday, January 10

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: Young cancer warrior meets Christian singer idol via Kyra Phillips
Not many people start fundraising at age seven, but that's what Tori Svenson did. She heard about a three-year-old with a brain tumor in her hometown and wanted to help, so she competed in a "Relay for Life" beauty pageant to raise money for the girl.

Tim Tebow celebrates as he walks off the field after his Florida Gators won the BCS National Championship game on January 8, 2009. In the black below his eyes John 3:16.

CNN: Tebow’s passing yards bring up biblical number
Early Monday morning, the top item on Google Trends hot searches is John 3 16, the passage from the bible that reads: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." The number two and three searched terms on Google? Tebow and Tim Tebow.

Belief on TV:

Get more involved with Belief:

Subscribe to our Religion News Twitter feed and message @danmericaCNN your opinion of the Speed Read.

Tweet of the Day:

From @latimesreligion: South Bay church collects signatures opposing strip club lat.ms/wiqaif

Enlightening Reads:

Jewish Daily Forward: When ‘Savior of Jews’ is Deeply Flawed
Yad Vashem, Israel’s center for Holocaust research, has opened an investigation into revoking the title of “Righteous Among the Nations” from a Belgian official credited with saving hundreds of lives during the Holocaust.

U.S. Catholic: Philly school mergers, closures signal news model of Catholic education
Jan. 6, traditionally celebrated as Epiphany, represented a true epiphany for thousands of Catholic school parents and students in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Relevant Magazine: OMG, What Did You Say?
There are plenty of people, including me, who immediately cringe when they hear those words. Christians specifically tense up as they recall the words of the Third Commandment: “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”

Kim Jong Un is shown inspecting the Seoul Ryu Kyong Su 105 Guards Tank Division.

Christian Today: Christian back human rights plea to Kim Jong-un
Christian groups are among the signatories of an open letter to the new North Korean leader appealing for an end to human rights abuses in the country.

Quote of the Day:

I think [the Obama administration has] aggressively protected religious liberty in some issues and failed to protect it in other issues. But they're not hostile.

Douglas Laycock, a constitutional lawyer, told Barbara Bradley Hagerty of NPR. In an article titled “Has Obama Waged A War On Religion?” Laycock and other scholars discuss how the Obama administration has dealt with religious issues.

Today’s Opinion:

Baptist Press: Biblically, does everyone qualify for charity?
On a recent Saturday morning, I was waiting to pick up my son, John, from a musical practice at church, so I decided to walk around the building for some exercise. While walking, I encountered a man knocking on the front door of the building.

Join the conversation…

Reversing JFK: Santorum’s bid to marry faith and politics
It was election night in November 2006, and Rick Santorum had organized a private Catholic Mass in a room at the Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh. The senator from Pennsylvania had just lost his re-election bid. “You’d think he would have been crushed,” says Dan Santorum, Rick’s younger brother. “But he wasn’t even bitter. He didn’t complain. He just said it was God’s plan.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. north west fishing forum

    There's definately a great deal to find out about this issue. I like all of the points you made.

    May 22, 2012 at 3:26 am |
  2. work on the road jobs

    I’m amazed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come across a blog that’s both equally educative and interesting, and without a doubt, you've hit the nail on the head. The issue is something that not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. Now i'm very happy I came across this during my search for something regarding this.

    April 4, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  3. work on the road jobs

    It’s nearly impossible to find knowledgeable people in this particular subject, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

    April 4, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  4. Iqbal Khan


    January 10, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  5. Real America

    This is for you hippypoet (and anyone who might be interested).
    Topic: Should humans increase or decrease in intelligence and sapience?

    Wouldn't it be nice to evolve into harmless creatures that live lightly on the land?

    January 10, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • hippypoet

      well this sounds like a conversation i'd love to be a part in but i have 25 minutes to play – so i will provide an answer quickly.

      i think as a species we need to remember the old saying "don't bite the hand that feeds".
      people generally fear change and so preferr to live life by traditions but forget that its tradition that traditions change.
      we have come too far in our quest for an easier life so much so that now we are fast forgetting how to live on this planet against the elements and the animals the live along side us.
      we need to once again have reverence for the past and creatures that we feed off of. we need to show reverence for those who have knowledge and wisdom once again as well.

      to simply answer your question – i believe that a more evolved human would be less sapient and more animal like at least if we still living on this planet. we are not built for survival but rather to think, so our next jump would be to go back to a neanderthal type sapient where we have stronger bodies that are built to take a hit, but with a higher level of intelligence.

      January 10, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Real America

      Tomorrow, then. Intelligence is highly prized, but is it good for us in the long run?

      January 10, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • hippypoet

      catch me on the speed read blog crap to keep this conversation going – its a good one.

      January 10, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  6. Is This Really The Best CNN Can Do?

    More recycled trash. Dan Merica is apparently CNN's news garbageman.

    Pretty soon, we'll be getting some "My Take" rehashes of the Speed Read rehashes, just to really get the most reprints out or the same material.

    January 10, 2012 at 11:35 am |
  7. hippypoet

    open dabate for any interested – topic nomadic lifestyle vs settler lifestyle

    gerry this is for you from yesterday – have at it... 🙂

    i choose having a nomadic lifestyle, it is better for us, the human race, all other organisms on this planet, and the planet itself. The Nomadic lifestyle when compared to the Settler lifestyle is a healthier one and can been seen on such base levels as food acquirement and waste disposal.

    January 10, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • O Brother

      In other words, you prefer driving around and living in RV lots all over the country, drifting from place to place.
      That's a very narrow idea of a nomadic life.
      How about traveling as a raiding party, murdering people and taking everything they owned?
      Isn't that part of your nomadic life? Why not?
      Or traveling as a band of thieves?
      Or a circus / entertainment troupe?
      Or a religious / other band of con-artists? "Revival tent" / grifters?
      Or traveling for other purposes?
      Where are you, as a nomad, getting your money, food, clothing, etc?

      January 10, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • What's In Your Wallet!!! ATTACK!!!

      GET THEM!!!


      January 10, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Sigurd Orvaldsson, Viking

      -chops everyone's heads off-

      January 10, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Vargon Visigoth

      No one can stand up to our bloody axes!
      No survivors! Let them eat cake!


      January 10, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Is This Really The Best CNN Can Do?

      VIKINGS?!?!?! We're not ready for Vikings! We have no Spam for them!


      January 10, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Chuckles

      @O Brother

      I think he's more referring to the original native american sort of lifestyle where they moved where the herds of buffalo went. I personally disagree with the hippy that a nomadic lifestyle is "healthier", maybe healthier for the environment perhaps, allowing for resource consumption to cease for a time to let the land recover, but for humans it's less than ideal physically and mentally. I like to think a nomadic lifestyle has its pro's (adventure, living more "in the present) but probably has too many cons to actually make a reality.

      Humans by nature are like insects. We find a place and we make a hive from there. This is the most effective way for us to thrive in our environment so obvious the settler model is better for humans – even if it's pretty much the worst thing ever for the earth around us..... I guess in this way you could say we're more parasitic than anything else.

      January 10, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • hippypoet

      thank you chuckles for finally hitting the nail on the head – only thing is that whats best for the planet one lives on is by default best for the one that lives – base level instinct is to reproduce, and in the best enviroment...forethought is needed by those that can process such things in order to maintain the earth we currently live on. And so to that end i feel that the nomadic lifestyle is more fitting to the earths natural resources and the time it takes bacteria and other organisms to "take care of" our waste products... plus we don't reform the land and by doing change the way animals live in that area as a nomad. Being a settler and living in cities with only cereal grains with fish and some meat spread out thru-out the year is an extremely centered diet and has created dietary issues such as chrones and celiacs disease... after we learned how to keep animals the chicken and cow, goat, sheep, ox, or other of that type we get allergies towards eggs, milk, then with more fish to balance the diet we get shellfish allergies – all this says is that the over consumption of certain foods has sparked intolerences in our bodies plus we are taking away those select resources from the surrounding land and by killing off or forcifully moving those animals that need those exact foods to survive! Then once the resouces are all used up, we move on to a new place where we keep this pattern of destruction of the natural world thru changing the landscape to suit us, resource depletion, and then finally we again move on once all is dead, which is always the end result for cities...death. plus with the close promity of the human waste, the first cities actually used our poo in the walls of the houses – it was mortor...that drew in rats which lead to disease – totally unhealthy and completely different from the nomadic lifestyle. The true end result of city life is that humans have create a value system based on materials and not life...nomads value materials but only to the extent of what they need to live and maybe some extras...the modern world however has been encroaching there land for years and now we see a mixing of the two worlds...some bedouin still maintain stronge ties with there grazing nomadic lifestyles but with some modern flare – cell phones are a big hit...no joke either.

      January 10, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Gerry

      *rolls eyes*

      January 10, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • hippypoet

      gerry, as first i thought then i seconded it with hope of a greater purpose- i was first right and second wrong, you sir are a waste of time and a moron with no real intelligence. your rebuttal was completely what i thought it would be but not what i thought it could have been... too bad. show me to be wrong...please

      January 10, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • Chuckles


      In this we agree and disagree at the same time. What's best for the planet is NOT what is best for us. I'm a believer (or since believer might be too strong of word for this forum, lets just say that I accept) gaiology, meainging the planet will regulate itself and go through cycles (volcanic eruptions, ice ages, etc) in effect, it will have cosmic seasons. A lot of the time, what might be best for the earth would be detrimental for us. Choosing the nomadic lifestyle life the native americans does very little damage to nature (which makes sense considering native americans revere mother nature), however it's a tough life that almost goes completely against human instinct survival of the fittest. Our genes demand that we do what we can to survive and we use any means necessary to do so and pass along our genes.

      As for the effects of cities, it's actually because we have been able to pasturize animals that we have aquired the ability to eat and drink lactose into our adult years. We've actually adapted to be able to eat all these things and ingest them more thouroughly than before precisely because we've adapted. As for the rise in the diseases you mentioned, that's just genetic variation. It's rising because our population is rising.
      You mentioned that our base level instinct is to reproduce, and look at how human population is moving because we've centered around the settler model instead of nomadic lifestyle.
      The bedouins are an interesting case study, because as you have mentioned they are nomads trying to modernize while still sticking to tradition – but that's precisely what it is. It's not because that way of life is "better" by any stretch of the imagination. Life in the desert is tough and precarious, and one of the biggest reasons bedouins still exist in the desert is because of ingrained tradition.

      January 10, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Gerry

      hippypoet, my response of rolling my eyes is entirely warranted and an excellent rebuttal of your empty-head frothings.

      You might as well seek to debate me on the price of tea in China without any context either.
      You are, unfortunately, brain-damaged, so I will not blame you for your inability to think clearly. It is not your fault.

      January 10, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • hippypoet

      yes a hard life is the nomads way but hardships are not without there lessons... however creating easy living is without lessons. The reason we like cities is for a great many reasons but i will focus on the main ones...

      first is protection , walls – it feeds into our base instinct to reproduce in a safe enviroment
      second is study – sciences and agriculture – allows for learning beyond our limits physically
      and third is the most important – like a multi celled organism the humans living in a city change, they become specialized i.e. the potter, weaver, engineer, priest, law maker and enforce – later become a separate job.
      Thru building we created time for us to fiddle with things, make new things or improve others...while being a nomad is pretty much the same as it was 10,000 thousand years ago – just different animals, well somewhat different.
      And no chuckles, the dietary illments i spoke of are in all of us... its lesser greater factor – those with more something are less likely to be harmed by milk... we had pasturization at the begining 18th century and a tad before thank you mr Luie pasture....yes i spelt his first name wrong – who cares... living in a city has its plus and its nev.... like all things...
      you mentioned living as a nomad being a tradition- thats as equal to someone saying that living in a city is tradition... its what we are born into is all. We would not be as knowledgible about the world or space or even history without city life but is all that needed for true life and happiness to exist...many live a hard life in cities and vice versa but the lessons learned and the values are different, but the most important difference is the impact on the planet – nomads are a more simple lifestyle therefore less impact to the land and animals they encounter.

      @ gerry, your a sad little creature. you may wish to project all you want but that crap just doesn't work with me... try again with a proper argument or just go away... i knew you would say something like this and have no argument for the topic because you have no real intellect and are just playing at one... sigh...like most...now shoo.

      January 10, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Gerry

      *rolls eyes again*

      January 10, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • hippypoet

      whats a matter gerry – nothing to say, this i can believe knowing how much of a moron you are. morons often don't have much to say.

      January 10, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Chuckles


      So a couple of things. Living in a city most certianly does teach you lessons, just not the same lessons of living as a nomad. Now, here is where it becomes opinion on whether the "city lessons" are any better or worse, but it's ridiculous to think that man has not learned a thing or two from living in a city that is more beneficial than living as a nomad.
      Second, yes, the dietary restrictions are in all of us and have been. Everyone is lactose intolerant to a degree (ever see someone try to drink a gallon of milk?), what I'm referring to is the degree of intolerance is what makes the genetic variation. Specifically for lactose intolerance, I'm talking WAY before Louis Pasteur, our intolerance to dairy (in the west, not so much in china) started to retreat in ancient egypt when we started dometicating animals. I guess Pastorization was the wrong word in my initial post, I meant domestication, especially of cows and using the milk as part of our diet.

      Lastly, living in a city is NOT a tradition the way that being a bedouin is. It's more than just being born into it, there's a culture and way of life that people born in cities do not possess to the same degree. Cities are celebrated for their multiculturalism and diversity and as far as I know, there's not a specific tradition that everyone in a specific has to do, unlike say the bedouins, who regardless of friend of foe have to invite wandering travelers in and serve them tea and give them a place to sleep. Having traveled the desert and stayed with different bedouins for a couple of days I can say from my experience that their heritage as a bedouin is WAY different than mine as a city dweller.

      As for impact on the earth, well you and I both agree that man has acted like a particularly vicious parasite to its host and is hellbent on killing it rather than maintaining it. You and I also both agree that in order for our survival, we need to maintain the earth instead of the outrageous impact that we're having on it now. However where we disagree is that I believe although we know these things intellectually, it actually runs counter to human instinct insofar as 1. find a safe place 2. have babies 3. have more babies 4. make sure those babies survive to carry on your genes.
      We live in a darwinian world and the rules are to survive by any means necessary. It's how the earth shaped us, hostile environments force our hand to adapt to survival, reward ambition and hostility over cautiousness. It may be sad but true. It's impossible and fool hardy to the extreme to think we can devolve and return to a nomadic lifestyle, we need to look forward and use our ambition, our brains and our drive for survival to create our environments that benefit us and the earth.

      January 10, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      Humans need fresh water. To travel far from water reserves without knowledge of where to get more is a death knell.

      Settlers win.

      January 10, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      As far as nomadic lifestyles go, they existed BECAUSE we didn't have agriculture, etc. Even nomads would stay in one place until the food ran low. Then they'd move on.

      Being nomadic today wouldn't make much sense. There's practically no place you can go where you wouldn't bump into another human being. The places you could go would be completely inhospitable to human life.

      January 10, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Gerry

      Like I said, it's not your fault.
      You can't help saying dumb things and asking dumb questions.
      Chuckles wants to play your gormless game, why not play with him?
      I'm not going to hold your lack of intelligence against you this time, since it appears that you have retreated into your hole to yip and bark insults at me when I am just rolling my eyes at your gormless posts.
      I can call names too. If it makes you feel better, and it should, then get it out of your system. Let the poisons out!
      Release the Kraken! Purge the foul humours of thy frustrated ignorance! Cast out the demons!...etc.

      January 10, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • hippypoet

      ah chuckles, you cut straight thru it like i knew you would... excellent! You see now where my orginal idea stems from...let me break it down – i feel the need.... the destruction of our planet by us...then i looked into other lifestyles with less impact – nomadic is the best of all of them but with very clear downsides... the main hardlines for our species as of now is food acquirement and waste disposal as it was when the first cities were being constucted – only now we have 7 billion world wide and are all part of a global connection thru trade and what not...i starting studing nomads a few months ago and haven't stopped but came to a conclusion early on... if i could create an enviroment of debate using an old outdated (even by those that do it) basis for an argument (nomadic lifestyle) against its own evloution(settler) as a means for survival....well the end result is an appreciation of the past or different lifestyle choices with an understanding the true impacts of yourself as part of one of the lifestyles...i saw it as an exercise in what we are and do when compared to what we were and how we did it to create an illusion of failure as to now seek out a better, more health wise solution ...plus i realized thru all of it that as a species we hold the future of earth in our very hands and this is a great process to create the thought pattern thats needed for a poisitive impact against years of mistreatment by humans against the earth and its organisms............ i know i'm insane but its all true, i had these thoughts only a few days ago and then i sought a way of bring it out in other people – debate works well for this forum but not in real life (face to face) people interject and cut you off – just no proper debating nor any true conversation...so this is me saying thank you for seeing the truth in the muk that is our world. p@ss it along to others, find your own way of allowing them to come to the thought on there own so its impact on the person is of the greatest it could be.

      January 10, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • jared

      well thats a way to do things isn't it! do you always use people as tools? do you always imply that people are just not good enough at understanding something that you feel the need to "create" an "enviroment" where they will learn your lesson on their own??? thats totally conceded, yet i like it. I

      January 10, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • marky mark

      lol, yeah that was abit excessive hippy. i agree with jared. its not that i don't like or agree with the points you make, i do alot of the time agree with you, its the way you make your points. Freakishly outlandish! Are you insane? seriously, are you? your thought pattern can't be followed by anyone of sound mind yet at the end of it all you somehow make sense. Thats completely beyond me. You do make me think thou, about alot of things. i guess thats your goal, so you have succeeded but at what cost? You appear a moron, a fool with no direct pattern of thoughts. you spew things at one point then add it to another yet made before you finish the first one. You need to work on that. i shall from this day forth call you insane-hippyboy. let me know if you like it, k.


      January 10, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • hippypoet

      i am going to take those statements as compliments mr. marky mark and jared – i thank you. and just so ya know, the greatest minds in history have tap toed on the edge of insanity... i do more of a salsa, then i switch it up and go into the waltz – its more fun using ones mind then only having it hang around and wait for the next hair cut...besides i am well beyond mosts understanding of normal and i have been hearing that whole life from everyone...there is not merit in being normal. 🙂

      January 10, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @hippypoet: You couldn't come up with better alter egos than the fat guy from the subway commercials and the head of "The Funky Bunch?"

      Misspellings, lack of capitalization, lack of punctuation. I could probably find similarities in "sentence" structure and word choice if I looked for more than a few seconds.

      January 10, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • hippypoet

      @SeanNJ i don't play at being other people... i am the hippypoet and thats what i post under – so sorry if within the 7 billion humans on this planet a few spell like i do – oh the horror... and i don't see any similarities with theres and mine besides being on cnn.com – you are trying too hard my friend, and why would i insult myself? you make no sense...whatever, have your thoughts and live life by them.. its sad that in this whole postings you only have that to say.... shooo troll

      January 10, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  8. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    January 10, 2012 at 4:43 am |
    • hippypoet

      so does a breath mint ...whats your point?

      January 10, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The John Templeton Foundation funded a 10 year, $2.4 million dollar study involving 1,800 cardiac patients to measure the effectiveness of intecessory prayer.
      The patients were broken into three groups. Two were prayed for; the third was not. Half the patients who received the prayers were told that they were being prayed for; half were told that they might or might not receive prayers.
      Analyzing complications in the 30 days after the operations, the researchers found no differences between those patients who were prayed for and those who were not.
      Over the longer term, patients who knew they were being prayed for had a higher rate of post-operative complications like abnormal heart rhythms, perhaps because of the expectations the prayers created, the researchers suggested.
      A 1997 study at the University of New Mexico, involving 40 alcoholics in rehabilitation, found that the men and women who knew they were being prayed for actually fared worse.

      Prayer does indeed seem to change things - for the worse.

      January 10, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • J.W

      The people who did worse were probably Satanists or something. They did not have faith that the prayer would work is what I am guessing.

      January 10, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • fred

      J.W if they were Satanists they just had a different faith but it soudns like they where Christians. Caveat empty.

      January 10, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Greg

      Christians are too PHAT so they have worse heart probs.

      January 10, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • tallulah13

      Prayer didn't help the children of the Followers of Christ church, the sect that believes that it is a sin to go to the doctor and pray for healing instead. They have a graveyard full of children that shows just how well prayer works.

      January 10, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Jiminy Cricket

      When you wish upon a star
      Your dreams come true.

      January 10, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Jiminy Cricket

      When you wish upon a star
      Your dreams come true

      January 10, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • think for yourself

      prayer = talking to yourself

      January 10, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Seek the full council of God
      And you will not be led astray
      Speak to God early
      And at midday
      And in the evening
      Pray without ceasing in the love of God
      Listen to the heart of God
      In the wonders of His creation
      Prayer changes things

      January 10, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • hippypoet

      not having toilet paper changes things too – but in a rather sh!tty manner. if i pray to god for a wipe, will i get it? if a god falls in the world and theres no believers to care, did it ever exist at all?
      belief in the unprovible is a childrens game, how old are you?

      January 10, 2012 at 9:03 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.