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February 8th, 2012
04:30 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Wednesday, February 8

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: White House offers an olive branch to Catholic voters?
The White House appears to be softening its stance on the controversial rule forcing some religious organizations to provide birth control as part of their health insurance plans.

Over the past two weekends, the American Catholic hierarchy have distributed letters that harshly condemn the HHS policy to be read at parishes nationwide during Mass.

CNN: Battle escalates over Obama rule for contraception coverage at Catholic institutions
The battle over a new White House policy compelling Catholic institutions to cover contraception in health insurance plans continued to escalate Tuesday, with the Catholic Church threatening to sue, liberal groups spotlighting Catholic support for contraception, and the Obama administration vowing to confront religious concerns.

CNN: Alleged child sex abuse victim speaks out at Vatican conference
An Irish woman who detailed her own harrowing experience of child sexual abuse at the hands of a priest spoke out during a Vatican symposium on Tuesday, telling church officials that an apology was not enough.

Tweet of the Day:

From @EricCNNBelief: Opening prayer at this caucus site. “If you don like open prayer go outside and down the hall.”

Enlightening Reads:

The Christian Post: Prop 8 Ruling Deemed ‘New Judicial Low’
Tuesday's 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that California's voter-approved Proposition 8 is unconstitutional is setting off a firestorm and war of words between supporters of traditional marriage and homosexual marriage advocates.

Sojourners: Poll: Americans support contraception coverage, divided over religious exemptions
A majority of Americans — including Catholics — believe that employers should be required to provide employee health care plans that cover contraception and birth control at no cost, according to a new survey.

Religion News Service: Dickens and religion: A tale of two views
Britain's Prince Charles kicked off a yearlong celebration of Charles Dickens' 200th birthday on Tuesday (Feb. 7) with a wreath-laying ceremony at London's Westminster Abbey.

Australian Broadcast Company: Evangelicals lose faith in Republican candidates
Evangelicals made Romney the winner twice, Gingrich and Santorum once each, tied Romney and Gingrich once, did not vote religious affiliation and, perhaps most significantly, did not follow the dictates of their leaders. Though they may seem a tad disorganized, these tallies are the children of evangelical tradition and the history of the Republican Party.

Quote of the Day:

There is no question that the media has driven this story, forced the apology from the Komen foundation and is approaching the whole narrative from the left.

Howard Kurtz, host of CNN’s Reliable Sources, believes the media’s coverage of the Komen Foundation and Planned Parenthood dispute has skewed to the left. According to Kurtz, he has been getting hammered on Twitter for an article he wrote that elaborated that point. So what did Kurtz do? Double down on his point via a Daily Beast video.

Today’s Opinion:

CNN: My Take: On Komen controversy, media told half the story
Much like Howard Kurtz from above, Mollie Ziegler Hemingway, a media critic at GetReligion and editor at Ricochet, argues that the media only told half the Komen controversy story. In particular, Hemingway says the media's coverage of the controversy was highlighted by Andrea Mitchell complimenting efforts to force Komen to buckle under pressure.

Join the conversation…

CNN: Crossing the plains and kicking up dirt, a new Mormon pioneer
The home and life Brooks has created is the product of a complicated journey. She cannot separate The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from her identity any more than she can leave cheese out of funeral potatoes. But like her persecuted ancestors who braved the unforgiving plains to reach the promised land of what is now Utah, Brooks, 40, fights for her faith.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. Morgan Davidson

    As to the Catholic Church Story....I'm a Baptist and don't want to pay for my Drug coverage. I'm an american and don't want the government to choose one religion over another. Give all religions their religious rights in a private setting, but when it spills over into the public, treat us all the same. The incorrect question is being asked by the media... Is the qovernment granting the Catholic freedom or supporting a religious belief?

    February 12, 2012 at 11:27 am |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    February 8, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • Nope

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs."""~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      February 9, 2012 at 8:13 am |
  3. waiting for proof

    so! god, where are ya?
    there don't seem to be any proof of you down here.
    please, i need help in knowing why people still feel the need for a shoulder thats imaginary to cry on even as adults???please help me!

    thank you,
    from your dearest pal –
    Santa Clause

    February 8, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • just sayin

      Creation itself declare the existence of God
      Jesus Christ declares the person of God
      Millions of followers throughout history give testimony to God
      The very fact that there are those that doubt Him declare there is a God

      February 8, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  4. Robert Brown

    In the beginning

    Space…,

    Time…,

    Matter…,

    Energy…,

    or God…

    February 8, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      None of the above. People tend to think of our observable 3 dimensional space as "the universe". The universe has higher dimensions that do not necessarily consist of time or space. The big bang was only an expansion of our 3 dimensional space.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Where did the observable 3 dimensional space or universe come from?

      February 8, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      The answer is very technical and see were you are going with this, but the key word in your post above is "or". We can argue over the semantics of what makes up the universe, but the point is there was always "stuff" or always God. Not being able to explain where "stuff" comes from does not mean you DON'T have to explain where God came from. The questions are identical, neither has more merit than the other.

      February 8, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Honestly not trying to play gotcha. Just wondering if you would consider there is God that created the stuff.

      February 8, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  5. Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Prayer fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
    Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
    Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
    Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
    Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
    Prayer makes you hoard cats.
    Prayer makes you smell like kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
    Prayer wastes time.

    February 8, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  6. lunchbreaker

    How does that belief serve a greater purpose then just for your self comfort? I think about it like this: some people do good deeds like giving a bum change, donating to a good cause etc. NOw poepl have various reasons for doing so. Some people do it because they believe their god wants them too, those who do not believe in a god still may feel some social pressure do do these same good deeds. Some people just like to help people. But each time you are faced with the decision to do a good deed in your head there is a cost benefit analysis. Now you may say your doing it because your god says to, but aren't you really doing it because letting down your god will make YOU feel bad or guilty. You donate to a cause so your not the only guy at work who didn't. You pass by that bum on the street, you later feel guilty, so after that you give bums change to avoid the feeling of guilt. So while beliefs may be the driving force behind some good deeds, the real purpose is your own self comfort. We really only do good, so to not feel bad for not doing good.

    February 8, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Oops, meant to post this below.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  7. Prayer changes things

    Prayer has brought us to today
    And prayer will see us through

    February 8, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Nope

      ~~~~The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs."""

      February 8, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Why don't you pray like the people in the Thaipusam festival then.
      I'll be happy to pay for a Kavadi for you.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

      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 excessive CO2 emissions.
      Prayer fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
      Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
      Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
      Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
      Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
      Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
      Prayer makes you hoard cats.
      Prayer makes you smell like kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
      Prayer wastes time.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  8. Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

    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 neck and your back.
    Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
    Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
    Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
    Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
    Prayer makes you hoard cats.
    Prayer makes you smell like kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
    Prayer wastes time.

    February 8, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  9. No please ...

    Belief CAN be one, among many, motivators for good action. Some require it. Many do not. Good people do good things. Prisons are full of those who say they are Christian, (the majority BY FAR). So it's not all that much of a help, apparently.
    Mostly belief serves the comfort function. It's a convenient reference point, when people encounter any of the apparent questions and unknowns.

    February 8, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  10. Chuckles

    Question for today's folks who are anti-abortion (this comes right on the heels of me watching Tosh.0 which featured a bunch of people "giving up" something until abortion ends so bear with me):

    If you are anti-abortion, and a child was conceived by inc.est, than philosophically do you support ince.st because god allowed for the child to be conceived in the first place? I mean, medical science as well as experience has taught man that inces.t can lead to some real issues, yet by religious means, if god allows for the child to be conceived and theoretically can be brought to term than in a way, god approves of inces.t (ignoring the Adam and Eve story where god clearly planned for it to happen)

    February 8, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • hippypoet

      i'm wierded that no one has answered your post chuckles – in the instance, if you are religions i guess you have to come to terms (pun intended) with the baby that is now yours free of will or choice to decide to have one...afterall, having the baby aborted means you are going to hell... so i can see a really pious person calling this an act or test of faith!

      February 8, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Chuckles

      What I find funny is that I think no one is answering because no one wants to say they are pro-inc.est if they are anti-abortion but no one wants to step up to the plate and explain how it makes sense to keep a child conceived through inc.est and presumably out of wedlock.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Jb

      That's kinda like saying if you own an iphone, then you support child labor.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • hippypoet

      no, no its not like that at all... i think if someone told you that the phone you were about to buy was made by child labor you might not buy it, but being ra.ped or having incest is not something your likely to miss.
      well, maybe you thats a whole nother story!

      February 8, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @JB

      Nope, sorry but if we apply your line of thinking thats saying having a child born out of ince.st is being pro-in.cest, but I think the having se.x with your brother/sister/father/mother is what means you are pro-inc.est. Then again, do you think a child born from that relationship should be born, probably with a host of genetic abnormalities and issues or that for the safety of the mother among other things means abortion is allowed in this instance and if so, at what point do you draw the line and "interpret gods will" to know if a child born from inc.est is a bad thing if god allowed it.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      God has no problem with incest.
      Just ask Cain, Abel, Noah, and Lot.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • just wondering

      Doc Vestibule
      Who was Able's wife?
      Who was Cain's wife?
      Who did Noah have incest with?
      Why is Lot included when He was clearly not responsible or aware for what happened?

      February 8, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • fred

      Chuckles
      On a Christian line God would not approve of in-cest due to the harm caused all around including the offspring. The pain would fall on all parties involved just as the consequense of STD's is a natural consequense of deliberate action.
      The issue of when to terminate the life of the child is now separate from the initial in-cest. A repentent believer could not terminate the pregnancy unless there was significant risk to the mother.

      February 8, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
  11. Nonimus

    Very interesting poll at http://publicreligion.org/research/2012/02/january-tracking-poll-2012/
    "Survey | Majority of Catholics Think Employers Should Be Required to Provide Health Care Plans that Cover Birth Control at No Cost"

    I find the divisions/distinctions interesting:
    "A majority of Catholics (52%) say that religiously affiliated colleges and hospitals should have to provide coverage that includes contraception.
    Among Catholic voters, however, only 45% support this requirement, while 52% oppose it."

    At the very end are two other unrelated results:
    "Fourteen percent of Americans agree that American Muslims want to establish Shari’a or Islamic law as law of the land. More than two-thirds (68%) disagree.
    A majority (54%) of Americans believe that American Muslims are an important part of the religious community in the U.S. One-third of the public disagrees and roughly one-in-seven (14%) report that they do not know."

    February 8, 2012 at 10:46 am |
  12. Worrisome

    Lol these comments have the maturity of a 15 year old or extremely ldiotic people. It's hilarious watching the same people bicker back and forth and nobody ever presents anything of substance, just the same old tired responses to the simplest overarching question, which shows no intellectual capability whatsoever.

    Pathetic...

    February 8, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • hippypoet

      by posting you are now that which you are making fun of...thought you should know.

      February 8, 2012 at 10:13 am |
  13. hippypoet

    why is belief in something greater then yourself good for you?
    how does it serve a great purpose rather then just personal comfort?

    February 8, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      Unfortunately, I attended a Christian high school. People would sometimes refer to Christians who used thier salvation as "fire insurance" (I swear that has nothing to do with William below). Basically some people were not conserned with being good Christians, they just did not want to go to hell. Many people are scared into believing. Once they do believe, then the justification game begins. With no actual proof to back thier beliefs, some people (not all) start making up reasons that belief in God is good for something other than "fire insurance".

      February 8, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • Brad

      This is like your question regarding purpose in life. We go about building each other up, our families and society – and regard that as a worthwhile, even "higher" purpose. We could call that "good" by definition. What else can be regarded as a higher purpose? I suggest this: finding out as much as you can about as much as you can. Why is that good for you? It at least makes more of you in that you become more complex and better able to do other things.

      February 8, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • J.W

      By greater than yourself do you mean a god? Or do you mean more of a greater purpose for your own life?

      February 8, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • hippypoet

      no no no, i mean greater purpose – its you who puts meaning to those words... whats your greater purpose...and is your meaning of greater purpose serve just yourself as in comforting or does it serve to better others as well....in your own opinion that is.

      February 8, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • J.W

      I personally do not do anything that is going to save the world, but I do donate some money to charity and do a little volunteer work. I think doing things like that helps out those that are less fortunate than you, and you are making their lives better. If we helped out everyone in the US who was less fortunate I personally believe we would have a better economy and less crime. I think even if you mean greater purpose as far as a better job, usually with a better job comes more responsibility, therefore you have a greater effect on the people around you. So in a way it is the same concept.
      As far as how it would effect each person individually, I personally have always believed in karma. If you do a lot of good for people around you, it makes the world around you better, and then good things will start happening to you.

      February 8, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • fred

      Poet
      Without God there is no “greater” purpose. Simply by default we then are all there is. If this moment in time and space is all we have greater purpose can only serve self. Having served self to the fullest an eternity of non existence becomes as meaningless as life. Without an eternal record of a universe that once was a dream has equal validity.
      Simple chemical reactions in organic matter become nothing as does a fetus in cold stainless bowl at Planned Parenthood. Other chemical reactions in organic matter that continue for a greater length in or outside the cold stainless bowl end in the same state as the fetus. What greater purpose than to gasp for air has the fetus than the fully formed organism that ponders the universe at a university? Beginning from nothing and moving through states of chemical change then end in nothing without eventual trace of existence is meaningless and devoid of purpose. Being devoid of purpose any attempt to elevate purpose is nonsense.

      February 8, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      Are you asking if belief in something greater leads to fulfilling a greater purpose? If so, I would say no. Anyone is capable of achieving great things or fulfilling a higher purpose. Some people just need a book to motivate them.

      February 8, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • hippypoet

      fred – you are tapped...

      February 8, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • No please ...

      ferd,
      All that does is display your essential Nihilism.
      "Without God there is no “greater” purpose."...you forgot to add, FOR ME...speak for yourself. Not everyone is THAT negative or depressed.
      "Simply by default we then are all there is." Wrong. Your assumption is that "meaning" is conferred only to INDIVIDUALS, by YOUR god. You painted yourself into a stupid corner.
      "If this moment in time and space is all we have greater purpose can only serve self."
      BS. I can serve another, in this space and time. And life is "meaningless" only if your thought patterns have been trained to go ONLY down that path. "Meaning" is not conferred only by a "really long TIME". (eternity). Being ABLE to ponder the universe in a university IS a WONDERFUL thing, and confers meaning, all by itself. You are brainwashed.

      February 8, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • hippypoet

      ok there seems to be some confusion here about the questions..... the whole greater then yourself thing is simple, most view themselves as the most important but some place more value in belief of something they view as above themselves...why is that a good thing?

      and two – how does that belief serve a greater purpose then just for your self comfort – greater purpose being anything you view as greater then yourself and your self comfort. i hope that helps.... these questions i ask aren't really set up to be answered on the fly with minimal thought but rather with some deep thought and feeling, be true to yourself and by doing you are answering questions most ask only after a life altering event that normally shakes us to the core of our being.

      February 8, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Hippy

      From an evolutionary standpoint, don't we all try to convince ourselves that we're greater than our time on earth leads us to believe because doing so will mean that we want to spread out genes as much as possible and make sure our specific genetics don't get drained out of the gene pool. Not to mention, everyone feels important by the simple fact that we're selfish creatures that believe that for instance, my world should revolve around me, it seems almost natural that of course people (especially narcissists) would take that a step further and say we're here to serve a greater purpose. It sounds noble, it sounds self-sacrificing in a way, it gives people the most virtuous reason for continuing to live without having to get into the messier details of what that greater cause is or why its important I'm the person that is serving that cause.

      Think of this, how many people would want to be say, Job? The guy gets totally fuc.ked by god all so he can win a bet with satan, his purpose was basically to get picked on, lose everything and show what "good" faith is, yet how many people out there believe there purpose would be to fulfill a bet, or die so an atheist can live and see the "error of his ways" or be evil and viewed for the rest of history as the worlds most evil human being? I think you'll be surprised (probably not) just how many christians who talk about a "higher purpose" view themselves as just, kind, virtuous, all the good reasons and dismissing the very thought their "higher purpose" could mean being a paragon of evil to show the rest of their community what evil is.

      February 8, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • fred

      How odd to evaluate greater purpose without a standard bearer. How odd to attaché purpose to life on one hand yet claim life itself came into existence without purpose. The only rational line of reason is that there was no purpose in the beginning and thus no purpose in the ending. This reason also follows the rational line that nothing in the beginning concludes with nothing in the end. At a minimum balance is achieved and matter is neither created nor destroyed.
      What foolishness to sit at university looking at a small enclosed ant farm and ponder greater purpose of one ant over another. The ants whether worker or queen have no purpose in and of themselves yet the student has purpose in his creation or experiment. The problem with a man that believes life was brought into existence without purpose is that he does not realize he is an ant. He does not realize the student set up the environment for his purpose not the ants. You may be the strongest best sugar hauling ant on the farm but, only as long as the student is interested in keeping you around.

      February 8, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • LOL

      "You may be the strongest best sugar hauling ant on the farm but, only as long as the student is interested in keeping you around."

      To believe this type of crap is why you keep proving over and over again, your god is a monster and a made up delusion of man.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Fred

      your ant farm example is perfect for how god probably sees us, only we're the sand in the ant farm. Now tell me, how much purpose does a single grain of sand have, don't give me bull either about the combined meaning of the sand, I'm talking about the single grain, just one. Assign that one grain a purpose and I can show you how to assign meaning to a single person in this crazy world.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • J.W

      What if one grain of sand gets into your eye. Then you cant see as well, and you accidentally bump into the girl. You start talking to the girl, and she is the girl of your dreams. You get married and have a wonderful family. All because of that one grain of sand.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • No please ...

      ferd,
      I go to the dentist, even though I no longer get the lolly pop.
      Your NEED for validation/cause/meaning does not, ipso facto, mean it's real.
      The journey is the destination.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @JW

      Ha! Thank you for proving my point ever so succinctly. I meant a grain of sand in the ant farm, but any grain will do I suppose. So a) What comic significance does this grain of sand have in this situation, sure it brings me and this mythical girl of my dreams together, suppose we have a child or two, how important would this grain of sand be to anyone else? b) Did this grain MEAN to fly into my eye, or was it lucky happenstance?

      That's the crux of the problem isn't it? Luck vs. Fate. Miracles vs. Coincidences. As I see it, a miracle consit.tutes as something unexplainable, something that could never happen and yet it somehow did. Now, as va.gue as that sounds I'm talking about something falling from the sky that isn't water, dead people coming back to life, ect... I do not believe a miracle is something that could otherwise happen and as luck has it, happens at a good time, say a speck of sand flying into my eye leading me to bump into the girl of my dreams and so on.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • fred

      Chuckles
      Does not Job give the complete view of purpose of life? No can accuse God of not telling us in clear exacting language exactly what the purpose of life is simply by reading Job. If you had all the wealth and power the world could muster then Solomon clearly describes how meaningless all the thoughts and purpose of man apart from God really are. There can only be the illusion of greater purpose when God is removed. Adam and Eve rejected God for the greater illusion of being like God. Once again God clearly shows us the process man takes to go his own way.
      Once we have rejected God and the Bible the nonsense begins as man now attempts to justify purpose. I notice that you found it necessary to refer to God in order to even begin to think of greater purpose. All you did was wind up with principles of God as expressed in the Bible (i.e. God using Christians for evil, Job). Amazing those atheists who claim nothingness in the beginning and end of existence still need a standard bearer at the subconscious level as a greater purpose cannot be expressed without God. That should tell you something about nothing.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • hippypoet

      fred, this is the most simple any one can explain purpose – living thnigs live to reproduce...we ( because we have the ability to think and comprehend – most of us) give meaning, a new purpose, and then our value to things (things – objects otherwise meaningless but not lacking purpose such as rubys emeralds diamonds and gold) ... the purpose of god was to answer questions first about life's questions then about after life questions – the purpose of science is to prove such ideas about these things either correct or incorrect.if this is lacking in any way please let me know

      February 8, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Fred

      Try again, seriously, I didn't understand what you were trying to say. You mentioned my allusion to Job and how job is a good thing, yet let me ask you, have you seen Trading Places? Eddie Murphy, Dan Akeroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis? The bad guys bet one dollar to ruin their best investors life and see if they can take a person from the street and make him equally as good. Is this not what the story of Job is about in a modernized version? Only of course this time, Job is the protagonist and the Dukes (a.k.a god and the devil) are the villains.
      As for me using god as a standard bearer.... um, no, no I didn't. When we're talking about religion and specifically the meaning of life according to your religion, duh i'm going to bring up god. In my view, god need not be there, of course he doesn't. Please tell me what is "meaningful" throughout history and I'll show you the billions of people who felt they were equally meaningful and yet were never recorded.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • No please ...

      ferd,
      What you think your god "tells you" is what some humans write a LONG time ago, and YOU interpret as god "telling you". If you knew the long convoluted very human history of YOUR god, you could not possibly take it seriously.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • fred

      Chuckles
      Upon reading Job one of the lessons would be that I don’t know what purpose one grain of sand holds. As Job said “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand things too wonderful for me to know” Job was not like the movie and not a wager yet a simple picture for atheists that answers all their questions as to purpose. The purpose of man is up to God for God created man with purpose. The battle of good and evil is in the principalities of light and darkness. Evil is restrained by God not a game of chance. The purpose of man is so God can demonstrate His love by blessing His creation.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • fred

      @Please – the history of man as we know it plays out exactly as the Bible expressly illustrates. There is no contradiction.

      @Poet – If there is no God then man is but animal without anything outside of what is physical and explained by materialistic beliefs. In such a case purpose is the same as that of a whale or ape. Our greater purpose of say bravery or love is little different than Old Yeller when the dog protects the child from a rabid beast. A dog will show greater devotion to the love of his life than most humans. Cats I am not to sure about.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • hippypoet

      to the grain of sand comments that were floatin around – check this out, very cool!
      http://geology.com/articles/sand-grains.shtml

      @fred – i think you are starting get it.... and no, the history of the human race hasn't gone as the bible said it has... we don't all stem from 2 people! the bible also states the age for the planet – is that also correct? NOPE! so when i say you are starting to get it, i mean it very loosely!!!

      February 8, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      How does that belief serve a greater purpose then just for your self comfort? I think about it like this: some people do good deeds like giving a bum change, donating to a good cause etc. Now poepl ehave various reasons for doing so. Some people do it because they believe their god wants them too, those who do not believe in a god still may feel some social pressure to do these same good deeds. Some people just like to help people. But each time you are faced with the decision to do a good deed in your head there is a cost benefit analysis. Now you may say your doing it because your god says to, but aren't you really doing it because letting down your god will make YOU feel bad or guilty. You donate to a cause so your not the only guy at work who didn't. You pass by that bum on the street, you later feel guilty, so after that you give bums change to avoid the feeling of guilt. So while beliefs may be the driving force behind some good deeds, the real purpose is your own self comfort. We really only do good, so to not feel bad for not doing good.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • fred

      lunchbreaker
      Ok, yes certainly Christian and non Christian give for the reasons you stated. The goal however for a Christian is to gradually develope a mind like Christ so that giving and loving is who you are. This is why Jesus said the road is narrow and few are on it. That kind of belief serves a greater purpose than self comfort. There are some individuals I have run accross that also exhibit the same Christ like mind yet are not believers.

      February 8, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • fred

      Poet
      The Bible certainly and clearly states that the line of the Chosen ones came from Adam then Eve via a$exual reproduction. The Bible does not give a date for that point in time when God made man in his image. Some assume that it was 6,000 years ago by counting time between recorded ancestries. This is a man made number and assumption as God did not reveal that to us. The Bible is the story of God redeeming a people for himself and the purpose of Adam and Eves beginning was to identify the creator and His creation that rejected Him. The hominids that preceded this event are no concern to the story as purposed.
      The age of the universe and earth are not given and can be any period of time before that.

      February 8, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    February 8, 2012 at 6:15 am |
    • Philippians 1:3-11

      We share Paul's feelings in our feelings about you:

      I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
      It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
      And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

      February 8, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Nope

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.

      February 8, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

      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 neck and your back.
      Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
      Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
      Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
      Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
      Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
      Prayer makes you hoard cats.
      Prayer makes you smell like kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
      Prayer wastes time.

      February 8, 2012 at 11:58 am |
  15. WilliamVWilson

    I have read somewhere on the news that something like "Penny Medical" is offering lowest health insurance rate for low and middle income families so search online and find them.

    February 8, 2012 at 6:11 am |
    • William Nilliam

      After death comes the end of all tears. No more cares, no more worries. No thanks to insurance companies.

      February 8, 2012 at 9:32 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.