January 19th, 2012
04:35 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Thursday, January 19

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: Jewish groups split over reprinting of ‘Mein Kampf’ excerpts in Germany
Jewish groups in Germany and abroad are divided about a British publishing house's intentions to print excerpts of Adolf Hitler's infamous manifesto "Mein Kampf."

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

CNN: Evangelical for Mitt: A South Carolina power brokers promotes the frontrunner
You’ve probably never heard of her, but Cindy Costa’s tablemates at a Sunday prayer breakfast here hint at her influence. Inside a hotel ballroom bulging with 400 socially conservative activists, Costa is seated with the headliners: White House hopeful Rick Perry and political operative Ralph Reed.

Belief on TV:

Tweet of the Day:
From @Relevant: "After the hype dissipates, we’ll all realize once and for all that “hypocrite” is one more thing that Tebow isn’t." relm.ag/A91fVc

Enlightening Reads:

WTHI: Prayers for human trafficking
Human trafficking is a growing concern in the United States and with the 2012 Super Bowl just around the corner, one local group is afraid of what the sporting event will bring with it.

The Washington Times: Coptic Christians in Egypt fear Islamists’ rise
Living in a nation marked by ongoing bouts of sectarian violence and no government protection, Ms. Hanna fears for the future of her town, Abo Korkas, which is tucked within the larger Upper Egyptian city of Minya and is home to both Muslims and Christians.

Religions News Service: Flood of ‘de-baptisms’ worries European church leaders
A decade ago, Rene Lebouvier requested that his local Catholic church erase his name from the baptismal register. The church noted his demands on the margins of its records and the chapter was closed. Lebouvier’s case is among a growing wave of de-baptisms in Europe, one of the most visible manifestations of the continent’s secular drift. Websites offering informal de-baptism certificates have mushroomed. Other Christians are formally breaking from the church by opting out of state church taxes.

Quote of the Day:

We're beginning to have larger numbers of American kids going into Muslim studies and become imams. Now if you look at ads for imams, they ask for candidates who know English, can relate to interfaith groups and communicate with a younger generation. They don't want to lose the younger generation.

Asif Umar, a 27-year old living in the St. Louis area, represents a new brand of Islam that finds younger American-born Muslims are interested in becoming an imam. He spoke with Tim Townsend of Religion News Service about this shift.

Today’s Opinion:

The Broncos have already told Tebow that he will be their starting quarterback in the 2012-2013 season.

Huffington Post: Jews for Tim Tebow
For Tim Tebow's faithful Christian followers, the Denver Broncos' lopsided playoff loss Saturday night to the New England Patriots might have posed a theological problem. Where was God who had so graciously heeded Tebow's prayers in all of those previous come-from-behind victories this season? Did Tebow pray differently before this game? Did he kneel wrong this time? Did his petitions lack the usual fervency and intention? Was God too busy to respond to Tebow's calls for help?

Join the conversation…

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 (52 Responses)

    Albert Einstein: God is a Product of Human Weakness
    The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.

    if this being is omnipotent, then every occurrence, including every human action, every human thought, and every human feeling and aspiration is also His work; how is it possible to think of holding men responsible for their deeds and thoughts before such an almighty Being? In giving out punishment and rewards He would to a certain extent be passing judgment on Himself. How can this be combined with the goodness and righteousness ascribed to Him?

    January 21, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
  2. Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer causes small kids to get hit by buses when they aren't paying attention.
    Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Prayer fucks up your knees and your back.
    Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
    Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
    Prayer makes you hoard cats.
    Prayer wastes time

    January 20, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
  3. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Prayer illuminates the Holy Bible
    Prayer is friendship with God
    Prayer changes things

    January 20, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
  4. Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer causes small kids to get hit by buses when they aren't paying attention.
    Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Prayer fucks up your knees and your back.
    Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
    Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests who want to jump you.
    Prayer just wastes time.

    January 19, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
  5. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Prayer upsets demons

    January 19, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
  6. Prior

    "Blessed are the Ori."

    January 19, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
  7. Ungodly Discipline

    Bible Fun for Jan. 19


    In a divine type of daylight savings time, God makes the sun stand still
    so that Joshua can get all his killing done before dark. "Is this not
    written in the book of Jasher?" Beats me. 10:12-13

    "The Lord fought for Israel." I wonder what kind of weapon he used.
    Probably the jawbone of an ass. 10:14, 10:42

    "And the coast of Og king of Bashan, which as of the remnant of the
    giants ..." Why is there no record of any of these giants in the
    archeological record? 12:4, 18:16

    Poor Joshua must have had trouble with math. He says there are 29 cities
    in verse 32, but he lists 38 in verses 21-32. Then he says there were 14
    cities in verse 36, but lists 15 in verses 33-36. 15:32, 36

    January 19, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
  8. Ironicus

    Stuck in the house today:
    Here's some questions for you, hippypoet, and anyone else:

    If someone with a split personality threatens to commit suicide, is it a hostage situation?

    What level of importance must a person have, before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?

    Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?

    What hair color do they put on the driver's license of a bald man?

    When you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn?

    Why are there interstate highways in Hawaii?

    January 19, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • The Further Adventures of Mr. Cuddles, Fluffy Kitten Of DOOM!

      If someone with a split personality threatens to commit suicide, is it a hostage situation? No, it's time for ice cream. Ice cream makes everything better

      What level of importance must a person have, before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered? They need a library card and a membership in the Pickle-Of-The-Month Club.

      Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard? Tarzan is a butch lesbian. Duh!

      What hair color do they put on the driver's license of a bald man? Do you really want to know where they check?

      When you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? I don't know. I only choke chickens.

      Why are there interstate highways in Hawaii? Money. That's true, by the way. They were designated Interstate so that Hawaii could have a cut of federal highway dollars.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Ironicus

      Thanks to the fluffeh kittenz! It's amazing they can type coherently they are so fluffeh!

      January 19, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Ironicus, pray without ceasing in 2012. Then you have the answers you seek. God dam Mongorians!

      January 19, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Ironicus

      Nah, I'd rather pet the fluffeh kittehs, UD.

      But you go ahead and waste your time "praying" unceasingly if you want.
      There is nothing there. Your prayers echo inside your empty mongorian head.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      You do not appreciate the true weirdness of prayer. Once you get one going, then you start a second prayer at the same time. If you can juggle two, try for three. See how long you can maintain three prayers then you can really start tripping out. Kitties make me sneeze.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Ironicus

      If you seek mental concentration, why not start a concentration camp? (just kidding)

      Prioritizing and concentrating can help you focus and avoid distraction, yet you do not control your body or your mind to any great extent, thus your intent is lost, your concentration interrupted, and your focus lost to distraction.

      That's just the way our brains work. You can no more keep it up than anyone else. At some point you will have to pee.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  9. The Return of Bippy, the Lesser Squirrel God of Rapped Polka

    Hey, if the atheists can get de-baptism certificates, then religious people should be able to get de-education diplomas, where they graduate from the tyrrany of thought and logic, and let the world know their IQ has plummeted down below "Gump" to "Religious."

    January 19, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Ironicus


      January 19, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Rodent gods rule

      Welcome back, oh great Bippy. These forums are much better when we are enlighted by the various rodent deities who grace us with their presence.

      January 19, 2012 at 11:49 am |
  10. hippypoet

    ok you have one day left to live – what do you do?
    lets for the sake of ease say that money is not an issue, traveling to distant places is not an issue – lets say you can do anything but you will die afterwards – if life is a play, how will you end your last act?

    January 19, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Brad

      Well, I have a lot of apologizing to do. That would keep me busy for a day.

      January 19, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • tallulah13

      Unless I had plenty of warning, I'd be cleaning out the basement. When my parents died, we were kind of amazed at how much stuff they'd collected. Getting it taken care of took quite a while.

      After that, I wouldn't wish the task of cleaning up my "collection" on anyone.

      January 19, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • J.W

      I have always wanted to try meth.

      January 19, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • J.W

      After that I may spend some time with family. I do not think I do that enough. I like hiking so I may go to the mountains somewhere and climb the mountains.

      January 19, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • Ironicus

      So we can instantly travel anywhere and do anything?

      Could you at least be realistic here? If I can travel around the world instantly, like Puck, then there would be quite the bloodbath, let me tell you....

      January 19, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • DamianKnight

      I'm going to assume this is going to be a painless death, not like, I'm dying of bone cancer which by all accounts pretty much renders a person immobile in pain.

      I think I would gather my friends and family around me in some tropical location, like Tahiti, and tell them how much I love them and instructing them on what I wanted after my death. This would, of course, take place on a huge party. Not some kind of sad mourning and wailing, but a celebration of my life. Then I'd probably retire at some point to reflect on my life and spend much of it in prayer.

      Yeah, I think that'd do just nicely.

      January 19, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • J.W

      And if I wanted to go on a date with a beautiful woman, could I assume that she would just automatically want to or would I have to convince her?

      January 19, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • hippypoet

      ok all i said was that you have money and can travel anywhere you want – i never said anything about picking up women J.W. tisk tisk –

      brad – way too whinny, forget the sorries – put your sorries in a sack and lose it. this is the time to live if you really haven't yet!

      if your a believer there is an amazing place in ethiopia that can only be reached by rope pullie – its one of the oldest churches in the world and its beautiful.

      i like the family ideas and J.W.'s meth idea but i still feel we are lacking something – not sure what thou. i could make the joke and say time but thats too easy!

      idk what i would do honestly.... 🙁

      January 19, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Ironicus

      So being realistic doesn't appeal to you? Do tell.

      January 19, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • DamianKnight

      Well, my alternative, if I couldn't do all that is play Skyrim all day.

      Gonna hit level 50 yet!

      January 19, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • hippypoet

      why would one wish to be realistic when in a theoretical conversation? thats kinda backwards don't ya think?

      January 19, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • Ironicus

      Well if you're going to be that way about it, then I, for one, will simply become an immortal super-being at that time and won't have to worry about dying after 24 hours at all.
      Yes, by all means, let's be "theoretical" and avoid all logic, common sense.
      ...and why not bring in some "magic" as well?
      Bartender, bring me a triple and send in the se.x slaves!

      January 19, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • The Return of Bippy, the Lesser Squirrel God of Rapped Polka

      If it is a theoretical conversation, then why are you concerned about whether one person picks up on women, or another want to be whiny and lame? It's their hypothetical day.

      Watch out – they may hypothetically give the squirrel satanists lots of acorns with which to pummel you to death. Slowly. It takes a lot of time. The satanist squirrels are not particularly good at killing, and haven't figured out that they are only achieving minor annoyance. But they will minorly annoy you in a really, uh, vicious, uh, not really, well, you are really gonna get an owie! Hypothetically.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      Oh geez. It's not meant to go to those lengths.

      It's meant to say, "If money wasn't an object and your last day could take place anywhere in the world, where would you ideally want it and what would you ideally do?"

      I understood what you meant, Hippy.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Ironicus

      Anyone who plays Skyrim is surely simple-minded as we can see here using DK's replies as proof.

      "money no object" and "anywhere in the world" "travel no problem" etc., are just ridiculous "theoreticals" to use in seeking "last day" fantasies unless you really don't care about being realistic, like so many religious idiots. Oops! Did I mention DK again?

      January 19, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Without a doubt, I would take a boat out to sea as far as I can go until the end comes. And trolll for Tuna of course. So boating, Sashimi and death. Sounds good.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • hippypoet

      @ Ironicus – your a bit of a dic.k – but thats ok, so am i... and i agree with damian, that is exactly what i meant and yes you are taking it to the extreme, but once again, thats ok – i do that too...only i am better because i have pink fluffy slippers so what now!

      January 19, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I'd repent to every God that ever existed and offer whatever sacrifice they like best.
      Anyone know where I can find a place that sells goats, heathens and virgins?
      Gotta cover Pascal's wager!

      January 19, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      That is not all you have Hippy Poet, now quit bogarting the Glen Fiddich and pass the SPF fiddy!!

      January 19, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      Well if you find the question so ridiculous, why do you waste your time even replying? Since none of us really know the day we are going to die (unless you're going to be executed or something similar), the whole idea of getting "one last day" is pretty much a fantasy.

      But that's why it's a theoretical conversation about what your ideals are. It's the same conversation of, "Ok, if I won 280 million dollars in the lottery, what would I do with it?" There's nothing wrong with it. I don't understand why you are so antagonistic to the question, when you can simply just move on.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Brad

      Damian is right, there are usually a lot of associated complications when you know you have one day to live – prison, or a last round of radiation therapy etc.

      This could be interesting: The sun acts up. We have one day before a massive solar flare arrives and sterilizes the Earth's surface. We all have just one day. We're all free and healthy until the moment arrives.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Wow - Guess You Have NO Friends

      You losers really need to find something better to do with your time.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • J.W

      If I knew everyone was gonna die in just one day that is way different. In that case I may kill someone just to see how it feels. He would die the next day anyways.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Brad

      J.W. Of course, you're right. But killing per se is not at all that exciting. If you really want the thrill try it on ecstasy and nitrous oxide.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Ironicus

      DK – because I hate empty philosophical nonsense and I'm an ass-hole.
      Plus, I'm bored and would rather point out someone's lack of reasoning skills and other things like that.

      hippypoet – You win with the slippers. No question.
      Mine are sad grey things that need a wash rather badly.
      Do you have a tone poem for pink slippers?
      Or maybe a slipper haiku would be good.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  11. I'm The Best!

    "Religions News Service: Flood of ‘de-baptisms’ worries European church leaders"
    Awesome, good for Europe. Now to get that started here in the US.

    January 19, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • Webster

      It is time. By all means, let's separate the wheat from the chaff.

      January 19, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • tallulah13

      Yep. The chaff is more than welcome to the church.

      January 19, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • The Return of Bippy, the Lesser Squirrel God of Rapped Polka

      Only if they bring cash, tallulah, only if they bring cash.

      January 19, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Matthew 3:11-12

      “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

      January 19, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • The Return of Bippy, the Lesser Squirrel God of Rapped Polka

      God sure is angry and cruel and vindictive if you don't obey, is he Matthew? He's a real bully, filled with hatred and a desire to punish. He's like Trujillo of Hitler, slaughtering anyone who does not totally obey him.

      Here is the definition of terrorism: "the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion." God does that, so God is a terrorist.

      January 19, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Brad

      Actually it sounds like he's more of a farmer. I'm a Christian and I can't say I've ever felt terror or coercion.

      January 19, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • The Return of Bippy, the Lesser Squirrel God of Rapped Polka

      Farmers endlessly torture people who don't agree with them? Farmers demand total obedience from their followers or they will punish them brutally?

      I never met those farmers. They must farm the grounds at San Quentin.

      January 19, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Ironicus

      It's time to crack down on these terrorists! Somebody arrest "God" and be sure to spray pepper-spray into his filthy face!

      January 19, 2012 at 12:03 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.