January 12th, 2012
04:36 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Thursday, January 12

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:

Survey: American Mormons feel discrimination, hope
Nearly half of American Mormons say they face a lot of discrimination in the United States, though most also say that acceptance of their religion is on the rise, according to a major survey released Thursday.

The decision by the Supreme Court was unanimous.

CNN: Teacher loses church-state employment appeal
A former teacher at a Michigan religious school lost her workplace discrimination claim at the Supreme Court Wednesday, as the justices deftly avoided the larger questions raised in the church-state dispute.

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 @BeliefBeat: Correllation btwn ppl who persist on saying/spelling it "Moslem" and far right-wing beliefs? Or is it just a generational thing?

Enlightening Reads:

Religion has been a major component of the Santorum platform.

Religion News Service:Is Rick Santorum Catholic or evangelical? Yes.
Just days after Rick Santorum surged to a virtual tie for first in the Iowa caucuses, conservative activists at an invitation-only summit along the South Carolina coast were buzzing about the former Pennsylvania senator’s sudden and promising breakthrough.

Christian Post: Christians Petition to Support Persecuted Brethren in North Korea
Release International, a ministry that supports Christians who are persecuted for their faith, is set to present a petition for religious freedom to the North Korean embassy in London on Jan. 20.

Jewish Journal: Opinion: The changing face of Judaism in the U.S., Israel
Harvey E. Goldberg is emeritus professor and Sarah Allen Shaine Chair in Sociology and Anthropology at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Utilizing both field research and historical documentation, he has focused on the cultural history of Jews in North Africa, ethnicity and religion in Israeli society, and, more generally, on the interface between anthropology and Jewish studies. Recently he has been involved in projects concerning Jewish life in the United States, where he was born.

America Magazine: Faith at the Movies
Among those entertainments that might be termed “biblical burlesque” was “11-11-11,” released, naturally, on Nov. 11, 2011, involving false prophets, the Beast, the Man of Sin and very little that was revelatory. Close on its heels was the exhausting “Immortals,” a hodgepodge of Greek and Roman mythology, excessive violence, lazy history and deities as martial artists; it was enough to give polytheism a bad name. These are ludicrous examples of a trend that elsewhere, however, found movies with genuine spiritual intentions (some realized, some not). Often these were endowed with a sense of aspiration that was inspirational.

Exerpt of the Day:

Interviews conducted as voters left the polls in the 2012 New Hampshire Republican primary show that Mitt Romney – who won the overall vote by a double-digit margin – was the winner among born-again evangelical Christians as well as among non-evangelical voters. Romney’s advantage among evangelicals was smaller than it was in the electorate overall, but his performance among evangelicals in New Hampshire was better than it was among evangelicals in the Iowa GOP caucuses.

This comes from a newly released Pew Forum analysis on the New Hampshire primary and the role that religion played in Mitt Romney’s victory.

Today’s Opinion:

My Take: How Thomas Jefferson’s secret Bible might have changed history
Imagine the following scenario: A U.S. president is discovered to be spending his spare time taking a razor to the New Testament, cutting up and re-pasting those passages of the Gospels that he considered authentic and morally true and discarding all the rest.

Join the conversation…

CNN: Explain it to me: John 3:16
The New Testament verse is held up by Christians around the globe because it neatly summarizes some key points of Christianity: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whosoever believes in him would not perish but have eternal life."

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. .........

    best advise ever hit report abuse on all reality bull sh it

    January 12, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer works its wonders tn revealing the heart of God

    January 12, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
  3. Puzzled

    It is Thursday. RIght, Dan?

    January 12, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • hippypoet

      i was thinking the very same thing.

      January 12, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • Pops

      Dan does not follow my One True Religion.
      If he did, he would not have made such a large error.
      It is a SIGN that my GOD is the BEST!

      January 12, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • SeanNJ

      Groundhog Day

      January 12, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Chuckles


      Fun Fact, if I remember the factoid correctly Bill Murry's character in Groundhog Day relived the same day for approximately 5 years according the math done by some fans and 10 years according to the director.

      January 12, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • SeanNJ

      @Chuckles: I'll have to dig around for that "math" that comes up with 5 years. Granted I haven't seen it in a couple of years, but I don't recall a lot of clues that would lead me to believe anything could be calculated with that kind of accuracy without making a lot of assumptions.

      Did they use the amount of time it would take for him to become a proficient piano player with a one-hour lesson each day and little to no independent practice time?

      January 12, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Chuckles


      I think, and this is what I read a little bit ago so I don't remember the exact details, but you are right about the piano, making concessions for the 1 hour a day lessons without any independent practice to become a piano player capabable of what he was playing by the end of the movie. As well as all the different ways he killed himself, proficiency in becoming an ice sculpter with boke chisel and chainsaw, trying to save the homeless person, throwing cards, going around town and "saving" all the random townspeople, amount of dates he had to go on with the woman from the beginning (where he pretended to go to highschool with) and all the dates he had to go on with rita to find out the amount of information he did, using 1 day = 1 fact. Obviously it's A LOT of assumption, I found in interesting though that even with all the concessions and leeway and the dubiously high number that he came up, the director meant for it to be almost double that.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:02 am |
  4. Psalm 118:24

    This is the day the LORD has made;
    let us rejoice and be glad in it.

    January 12, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • Pops

      Your use of your false religious text will not help you against my GOD. My GOD is the only True GOD.
      Your Bible is false. Even saying this day is made by your fake god is falseness. This day was made by my GOD not yours.

      January 12, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • JA

      This is the day, this is the day, that the Lord........has......made!
      I remember that song from sunday school, good times!

      January 12, 2012 at 10:20 am |
  5. It's a New Day

    I went to sleep last night tired from the fight
    I've been fightin' for tomorrow all my life yeah
    I woke up this mornin' feelin' brand new
    Cause the dreams that I've been dreamin' have finally came true

    It's a new day...
    It's a new day...
    It's a new day...
    It's a new day...
    It's a new day...

    January 12, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • hippypoet

      its not a new day – its still today, tomorrow is always tomorrow and yesterday will remain in the past... its always today and its never new – same old people and old sh!t....nothing new! sadly!

      January 12, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • Pops

      No, hippypoet, you are WRONG!

      Today is First Holy Day! The only one you will ever see in this universe! Celebrate the Truth! Today is the First Day of the One True Religion! Already people are following the only REAL GOD! All others, like the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim gods are all FAKE!
      Every day is different! That is the nature of Time! Nothing remains the same but the Universe! Truth is always True!
      Party, hippypoet! There will never be another First Holy Day! This is not an annual event but the One True Beginning Day of the One True Religion! My GOD has shown us a sign! Laws do not matter! Feel Free to Party! You have seen the rarest of things! The True Beginning of the Only True Religion! Are you not filled with AWE? I am! It is AWESOME!

      January 12, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • hippypoet

      "Nothing remains the same but the Universe!" thats an argument for steady state theory – which has been proven to be wrong... no worries – i like your idea thou – fu.ck yeah lets party like its 1986!

      January 12, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • Pops

      Physical laws remain the same because they are part of my GOD! The Universe remains the Universe! It does not change into other things! Tautology is important here! Do not be fooled by the ambiguities of your English! There are definite definitions to every word! Do not assume you know what I am talking about or go ahead and assume! Feel Free! Be Free! Act Free!

      January 12, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • hippypoet

      ok so what your saying is what every believer in any god says – that your god has the power to DO ANYTHING and therefore no law of nature or of man applies here... come on man, be original at least.. or go super old school, but don't be what everyone else is at the current time – wheres the fun in that... your just another vanilla ice cream claiming your better then the vanilla right next to you. sad really – i mean me, being lactose intolerent... i love ice cream. 🙁

      January 12, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • Pops

      My GOD says that human laws do not matter. You cannot escape the physical laws of the universe. They are everywhere and cause everything to happen. Everything. If you live in America, you are now in a Pluralistic Theocracy. Embrace it. It is a gift from my GOD to show all atheists that you have lost your little war. It is a SIGN to me from my One True GOD that Truth is True and arbitrary human laws are worthless.
      You can either be an atheist and lose, or you can join the Only True Religion and have the religious power to ignore any human laws you like. Your choice will be made for you by my GOD. You have no actual choice. My GOD is too powerful to let you just choose something that violates physics. You can't and never will. My GOD is too powerful.
      You cannot win unless you join the One True Religion and follow the Only True GOD. That is how you will know whether you have been chosen to join.
      Open your eyes to the Truth! There is nothing but the Truth and it is True! HOOAH!

      January 12, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • hippypoet

      i already ignore human laws – most are made for the stupid peoples benifit and only make life harder on those who can think and process information so it may be used later... and your god must prove itself to me or it is as all other gods are and have been, make believe!

      i think that the vikings were the closest to the truth, if there are gods then they aren't really gods of our understanding but rather just interstellar beings that have transvervesed the stars and stopped down on our little hole in the galaxy...perhaps shared some info or even fought a war with us for sh!ts and giggles... but they are not in any way due any thanks for life or survival of life on this planet...and therefore aren't really worth worshipping, for it accomplishes nothing but a tool to waste time!

      January 12, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • Pops

      Perhaps you do not have the capacity to understand what is True compared to what is Not True.
      If so, that could be the reason my GOD has not chosen you to be a follower. You do not have a choice about it.
      It will either happen or it will not. Fortunately it is not up to me or you.

      Truth is always True and what is Not True is never True. My List of True Stuff 1:7

      January 12, 2012 at 10:21 am |
  6. Pops

    A sign has been given! My GOD has made the Supreme Court rule in my GOD's favor! It's a True Sign! My religion says so!

    Ignore all laws! They don't matter anymore! Just express your religion any old way! My GOD says that's OKAY!


    It is ironic that my GOD used the Vatican to show me the Truth that all laws do not matter! My GOD will destroy the Vatican and grab all the trillions of dollars they swindled from their deluded followers!

    My religion is the One True Religion!
    All others are false but don't let that stop you from ignoring the laws!

    My GOD enjoys seeing people ignore all those silly laws, regulations, rules, and values because of their religious expression!
    It is like incense only better!

    My GOD is the BEST and kicks ASS!!! If you followed my GOD you would know it to be TRUE!!!

    January 12, 2012 at 8:06 am |
  7. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    January 12, 2012 at 4:55 am |
    • Jesus Hates Hypocrites

      You mock God. You will burn in Hell.

      January 12, 2012 at 6:11 am |
    • God

      I will mot be bocked.

      January 12, 2012 at 6:58 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things
      Prayer changes things"

      should read: Theism is not healthy for children and other living things
      Prayer changes nothing!

      January 12, 2012 at 7:10 am |
    • hippypoet

      when you die you stand in front of st. peter and he weighs your good deeds and bad deeds then askes you the question – do ya fel lucky? well do ya, punk? be careful thou, failing the weigh in can mean you don't get to play in sundays game! its the saints vs the cardinals – lol love me some puns!

      January 12, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • Bryan

      You da man truth, since you obviosly know it all we probably should following you. Who are you to say what we should or should not believe.

      January 12, 2012 at 4:14 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.