January 18th, 2012
04:21 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Wednesday, January 18

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: Lawsuit demands Christian black woman be exhumed from Jewish cemetery
Juliet Steer was dying of lymphoma when she told her brother Paul she wanted to be buried just like Jesus, following Jewish customs. Even though she’s a black Christian, she chose a plot in the secluded interfaith section of this quiet town's Jewish Ahvath Achim Cemetery.

Tweet of the Day:

From @askmormongirl (Joanna Brooks): pew survey sez mormons think we face worse discrimination than af-americans. dear brothers and sisters: Get A Grip. http://tinyurl.com/7ko9svt

Enlightening Reads:

Religion News Service: Muslims say Ron Paul is their kind of Republican
While some political observers question whether Paul has the staying power and widespread appeal to win the nomination, his campaign has proven unique in one respect: he’s drawing serious support from Muslims.

After winning in Iowa and South Carolina, Romney looks to make it three wins in a row in South Carolina.

Big Government: Catholics Shifting to Romney?
Despite the best efforts of Rick Santorum, so far in this early primary cycle, Mitt Romney is winning over the ultimate swing voters–Catholics.

Catholic News Agency: Mexican archdiocese urges candidates to avoid organized crime
The Catholic newspaper in Mexico City, Desde la Fe, is calling on Mexican presidential candidates to “distance themselves from organized crime, criminal groups and negative interests.”

Christian Post: Discontent Presbyterians Meets to Discuss ‘New Reformed Body’
As conservative Presbyterians discontent with the PC(USA) gather this week in Florida for a conference to create a “New Reformed Body,” one church that championed the idea will not be joining the new group.

Quote of the Day:

There was a profound sense of unease this past Shabbat in Bergen County. It’s largely anecdotal, but in conversations I’ve had with individuals and community leaders, there is a strong sense of unease and real anxiety over what’s happened lately.

Etzion Neuer, the acting regional director of the New Jersey branch of the Anti-Defamation League, said this to the Jewish Journal after a number of attacks on Jews in New Jersey.

Today’s Opinion:

Huffington Post: Islam in America: Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know – But Were Afraid to Ask
One of the more unfortunate outcomes of the anti-mosque protests, anti-sharia legislation and the impact of the Islamophobia network is that they have left many Americans confused about the truth of Islam and Muslims in America. According to the Public Religion Research Institute's recent findings, few Americans report having much knowledge about who Muslims are and what Islam is all about. Only 14 percent of Americans say they know a lot about the religious beliefs and practices of Muslims, and 57 percent say they know only a little.

Join the conversation…

We know what Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. thought about race, but what about gay rights? His life and his sermons offers clues, some say.

CNN: What did MLK think about gay people?
We know what King thought about race, poverty and war. But what was his attitude toward gay people, and if he was alive today would he see the gay rights movement as another stage of the civil rights movement?

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. yay


    January 23, 2012 at 12:19 am |
  2. yay


    January 23, 2012 at 12:16 am |
  3. yay


    January 23, 2012 at 12:14 am |
  4. yay


    January 23, 2012 at 12:13 am |
  5. yay


    January 23, 2012 at 12:11 am |
  6. yay


    January 23, 2012 at 12:09 am |
  7. yay


    January 23, 2012 at 12:07 am |
  8. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Prayer upsets demons

    January 18, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for Christian delusions

      Prayer changes things
      Prayer keeps those evil demons away
      Prayer keeps leprechauns from their pesky doorbell ditching antics
      Prayer has always protected me from vampire bites and werewolf attacks
      Prayer ensures Godzilla will never squish you with his big smelly reptile foot
      This is all proof that prayer works, for those who pray NEVER have those things happen to them!

      And if that isn't proof that God exists, then you are just an angry, bitter, dry bones, lake of fire atheist.

      January 18, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • An ode to Prayer


      January 18, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • George Carlin Responds To The Nincompoop Singer And The Blithering Prayer-Nazi


      January 18, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • just sayin

      well there was one demon that reacted

      January 19, 2012 at 4:52 am |
    • Prayer is delusion

      Demons are supernatural beings, moron.

      Which of you many names do you prefer, Not Healthy Just Saying Prayer Inconvenient Herbie Troll Boy?

      January 19, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Christian Playbook

      @just sayin correctly demonstrates an excellent tactic and one of the fundamentals of the Christian Playbook – when someone disagrees with you, call them evil.

      January 19, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  9. Commenter

    I hate it when stories from the front page take over the Belief Blog's "Recent Comments" section.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Commenter

      Also, "Refresh Page" all too often is ending up as, "Page Not Found".

      January 18, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  10. paulthinkingoutloud

    Isn't this morning speed read thing a bit redundant when there's only one new article posted that day?

    January 18, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • jason

      Hi Paul, how did you get your handle to be a hyperlink?

      January 18, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • OMG


      January 18, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • jason

      Thanks. Too bad there is a blackout today.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:45 am |
  11. hippypoet

    ok i have yet another interesting topic (in my opinion that is)

    which holds greater value for you, friends or family and why?

    January 18, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • Brad

      Family because of those Selfish Genes.

      January 18, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • hippypoet

      i say friends because they like you for who you are. a friends might call just to say hey, while family only calls when theres a party or a seasonal get-together or a death in the family. friends do things together for fun, family is often made to be with whoever and then "asked" to do things... friends are more honest with dislikes while family is just rude or lacking acknowledgement of you or your issues....you can punch a friend in the face for being an @ss but the same act risks causing a rift thru the family by bringing out old issues never resolved....this is a highly opinionated topic, but thats what i love about it! 🙂

      January 18, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • You Sir, Are A Tard

      Family because they're there through thick and thin. Friends come and go but family will always be by your side no matter what (or they should atleast). Doesn't mean that family can't call you out for being wrong, but they should do that hoping to correct your errors. Friends lots of times will have short term fun w you, but you're long term interests are rarely their concern. Therefore family are the true friends.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • DamianKnight

      I'd have to say family. Friends come and go throughout your life. Family is (or at least should be) a stable constant in your life.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • SeanNJ

      "You can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family."

      Which is a shame, because if I could pick my family, it would be my friends and not that family I have now. Sharing genetic material doesn't create a bond that's stronger than years of friendship.

      I'd be willing to wager that those that pick "family" are significantly younger than those that choose "friends."

      January 18, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • hippypoet

      i am 25 but i have learned many life lessons by now that most learn much later on, however due to those lessons, i may be warped towards certain things that most view as a constant, i don't view anything as a constant! friends come and go true but no one is as real as a true friend – i could give two sh!ts about my family – save my wife and children whom i love with all my heart. To help in any ones wishes of how i see things – i have said that people are tools and those that do not realize themselves to be tools are tools to be used for others ends. One day my aunt ,i was living in her apartment mind you, caught me selling weed to some friends – well she got mad, rightfully so, and told me to get out and then gave me 2 months to find a new home – i was 20... so instead of looking for a new place to live i plotted... when i was done i thought i had a fool proof plan to not have to leave my lovely home – which i had destroyed through parties and just being myself, these were my experimental years with drugs – drinking, smoking, tripping – whatever.... ok so it took me about 2 1/2 weeks to think of a way to keep my apartment, then i took 3 weeks thinking of ways it could go wrong...by this time i have only 2 weeks to find a place to live and save enough to move in – that was an impossibility for me then – so my plan was now my only option save moving back home with my mother – which i am not above doing i just didn't want to....

      ok this was my plan –
      Step 1 – create a forum where the entire family would find themselves (late summer bbq and pool party)
      Step 2 – make sure my grandparents are there or all is lost
      Step 3 – (most simple and most important) any time you see my father he has nothing to say to you until that is when its time to leave, then he has a pattern of bringing up the most important thing in your life and starts talking about it. let the conversation happen!
      Step 4 – involve my grandfather in the conversation some how – i got lucky in this one, he was within earshot of me and my father. State things based on his racisms .. i.e. blacks, asians, and jews!
      Step 5 – create an argument then storm off leaving the fight unresolved.
      Step 6 – wait to be offered the apartment back by my aunt herself !

      i told a friend of mine at the time of my plan – she had major doubts of me being able to pull it off – then she added that if i was able to do all things in the plan i am banking on my aunt GIVING me the apartment back. I was fully into my plan and had extremely high hopes that it would work.

      this is the day and how it went down – i sent out invites as if i was my fathers wife to a pool party that my father and step mother didn't know about. I talked my father into having a shin dig at his house because he has a pool and a brand new grill – it wasn't hard 🙂 ... then i was left to hope that my grandparents would show – they were late getting there so i was a bit fearful up until there arrival. Now was the hardest part, staying at my fathers for a few hours acting like i want to be there...it was harder then it sounds – my stepmother is a bit.ch – ok well now its time to leave, my grandfather is talking to my father so it was made too easy. I said my goodbyes to everyone, gave hugs and kisses, then i came to my father – as i said goodbye he started to ask questions about my apartment search and how it was going – my grandfather had no knowledge of this before this point. So now he is in the conversation, which was the key... now asked where i was looking i start to list off places high in population of blacks, asians, and jews knowing my grandfather is going to have a cow at this... then i get mad at him insulting my friends whom i made up for this plan, i leave pretend angry and before any solid answers were given... this is what happened after i got home – not even 3 hours after getting home to the apartment i was being forced to leave – my aunt knocks on my door and in tears offers me the apartment back in light of where i was going to be living – and she couldn't have that!

      the behind the scenes – my grandfather all huffy puffy rags about me to my grandmother who then calls my aunt telling her the whole story of where i am being forced to live – and bam ! the plan has works flawlessly. i never even packed, not a thing was put away in any kind of moving bin – call me conceded but it worked. perhaps i am just evil but it was a great time and one that taught me many things. blind is the man with hate in is eyes. i have since used the stupidity and racisms of my family again but this was the first time i did it and by far the best one – it also gives me a tinglely feeling inside when i talk about it.

      January 18, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • fred

      Were your wife and children sweating bullets or were they in on the sure fired plot

      January 18, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Chuckles


      Well played, though I won't say it's right, it's a deft manipulation. I will point this out there. Clearly you have a tenuous relationship with people in your family, but the only way your manipulation paid off was a) you intimate knowledge of these people (not necessarily their views, but knowing how they would react to specific stimuli) and b) your reliance on them loving you enough to work through your manipulation.

      As much as I value friendship, and true friendship at that, there's nothing like love of family. Brad makes the point about the Selfish Gene, but there's something about family that even though they might be the people you hate the most, that doesn't take away from their value.

      Also I might add that although you speak very highly of your friends, it seems you are a family man through and through with your wife and kids, so when you say family, do you only mean parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents or do you include your family of wife and children as well?

      January 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • hippypoet

      fred – this was before i met my wife and daughter – if they had been there at this time, i would have just moved. if its just me, thats fine, i have no issue with having a plan backfire on me and make me look like an @ss but if others are invloved then i am more or less going to fold. I would never put them in harms way - ever!

      chuckles – when i say family i mean those that i had no control over having as part of my family – my wife and kids are separate... we say our family when referring to us, and my family when talking about our parents, siblings, aunts and uncles. And yes, it was my knowledge of how they would react and there love of me – but thats exactly the point, i didn't deserve to stay in that home, i deserved to be kicked out and left out. Emotions are traps as are family ties – its always best to just view the person and deed as they appear and then and only then add additional information as needed. Never trust appearences either... if salt is all you have and salt is whats being asked of you – it should only go to the deserving.

      January 18, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Chuckles


      I mean, yes you are right that it sounds like you should have gotten thrown out on your as.s right then and there instead of being given the time you had to work out this scheme of yours, but keep in mind that a) these people are genetically linked to you and it's programmed into them to feel protective over you enough to help you even when you don't deserve it. b) You don't get to choose your children the same way you don't get to choose your parents, the wife... sure, that you do get to choose but it's a little unfair to say you value your firends more than family, excluding your family.

      Personally I find comfort in the fact that even when I deserve anything but love, I still get it from family where I wouldn't from friends. I don't see that as a problem or a weakness of character on anyones part, I see that as a strength. You've stated (at least in subtext) that you knew what you did was bad, or wrong or whatever so why is that the fault of family? I can respect your view that people should have treated you the same way you treat other people (golden rule and all) but don't you think they are deserving of more that even in the face of disrespect they looked past your issues and wanted to help, doesn't that in turn deserve at least a little love tossed their way?

      If you couldn't tell by the way, I'm a family guy myself. I don't know how I could live without my twin, I can see life without any of my other friends though.

      January 18, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • hippypoet

      lol, oh hell yes i know what i did was completely wrong on many levels – but doing whats right is no fun when doing what you can is an option. love is not respect, respect is not love – while you may love someone you may find that they are not worthy of your respect...and while you may respect someone, you may not feel love towards them. I love my family, i have no respect for most of them! Those that i respect, i treat as i do my best friend – with common speech...often too often its taken as disrespect because they are my elders and are due more respect then that i give my pears – thats BS...but yet the most common understood manner in which to give respect. My most loved saying is "you should not respect someone because others tell you to do so but rather because they are worthy of respect" being old is not in itself worthy of respect, but rather a showing of the amount of time one has had to experience life and then become wise and then be worthy of respect. And my family hasn't alwys been there for me – i have lived in cars, ditches, tents, you name it – my friends have put me up in there homes more then my family has – and none of them know of my using them to keep an apartment i lost ayear later anyway. inshort, i hold no guilt nor care for those i used and would have done it again given the chance....i love my family but again have little or no respect for them as most are not worth any ones respect.

      January 18, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Chuckles


      Well apart from the differences between love and respect, you used the word value, "which do you value more", in this instance my opinion is that you don't have to respect someone to necessarily value you them, nor do you need to love them in order to value someone, but it sure helps. All in all I would say that clearly this topic is based solely on peoples opinions and personal experience rather than any sort of quanti.tative side, however I think the greatest strength of family, regardless of relationship, is that you can't pick them and through cosmic fate, or god or whatever you want to call it, you are irrevocably tied to these people in a way that you can't be with anyone else. A spouse might be the exception I think in cases with children because of a bond a share.

      January 18, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • hippypoet

      thank you for getting me back on topic of value – i said value because i think its more meaingful when you create a bond with someone not your family – spouse would again be the execption. what one values is different for each person, but we all have families and not all families are valued by all in them – i thought it would be a good topic for conversation – i value friendship over family for i put forth an effort to maintain them as did the friend in question – while your family just is your family...no real effort there but to not kill each other!

      January 18, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  12. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    January 18, 2012 at 4:46 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH...You are so clueless!!

      January 18, 2012 at 6:45 am |
    • fred

      why you keep posting?

      January 18, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • SeanNJ

      @fred: Because you people keep responding. Trolls feed on attention. Let this one starve for chrissakes.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:33 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.