February 15th, 2012
04:35 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Wednesday, February 15

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: Gospel singer Kim Burrell remembers praying with Whitney Houston
Every week for 13 years, Whitney Houston called her friend, gospel artist Kim Burrell, who she adored like a sister. When Houston struggled with personal issues, Burrell would pray with her.

Tweet of the Day:

From @DrDannyPenman: Borrowing from Buddhism to chase away the blues http://bit.ly/zu58YH Oxford University podcasts on beating depression bit.ly/vXwYvM

Enlightening Reads:

Religion News Service: New York Knicks’ Jeremy Lin dubbed the ‘Taiwanese Tebow’
New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin's underdog story and outspoken evangelical faith have some sportswriters dubbing him the "Taiwanese Tebow."

Religion News Service: No More Religious Groups in NYC schools— Where's a Hipster Church to Go?
The deadline came, and the deadline passed. Last Sunday, February 12, was the final day religious groups were able to hold services in New York City public schools, marking the culmination of a battle that began back in 1994. Despite protest efforts and hopes of intervention from the state legislature, the June 2011 U.S. appeals court ruling stood, causing at least 60 congregations to find new homes.

Catholic News Agency: Vatican spokesman says leaks are incentive for further reform
In the face of leaks of various Vatican documents, Holy See officials must not become caught up in controversy and confusion but should stay committed to reform and “authentic transparency” in government, Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi said on Monday afternoon.

Jewish Journal: How Jewish groups became involved in the contraception coverage debate
What were the Jews doing becoming so involved in a debate over contraception? It was a question that more than Jewish official asked themselves over recent months as tensions between the Obama administration and leaders of the Catholic Church rose to the boiling point over the issue of contraceptive coverage.

Exceprt of the Day:

The culture wars are over, right? Perhaps some helpful soul could inform the Catholic bishop of Pittsburgh, who last week calmly explained that “the Obama administration has just told the Catholics of the United States, ‘To hell with you!’” A quiet word in the ear of the dogged opponent of gay marriage Maggie Gallagher might have helped too. Just after Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in California, was struck down by a court on narrow grounds, she titled a blog post: “Ninth Circuit to 7 Million California Voters: You Are Irrational Bigots.”

In a piece titled “How Obama Set a Contraception Trap for the Right,” Andrew Sullivan from the Daily Beast asks argues that while conservative and religious groups gleefully revived the culture wars, “They’re not winning.”

Today’s Opinion:

CNN: My Take: Top 5 myths about American Muslims’ love lives
A lot has been written about Muslim women, but very little of it has been written by Muslim women ourselves, Ayesha Mattu and Nura Maznavi, co-editors of "Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women."

Join the conversation…

Reaction to contraception compromise has been mixed.

CNN: Nicki Minaj did what?
Even with a superstar memorialized and a Beach Boys reunion, it was a confusing high church send-up, complete with exorcisms that stole the show at Sunday night's Grammy Awards.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. duckforcover

    Going to church doesn't make you "religious" any more than standing in your garage makes you a car. Demonstrate your faith by doing good for others.

    February 16, 2012 at 8:16 am |
  2. AGuest9

    CNN missed:

    Baroness Warsi expanded on a speech she gave in Rome on Tuesday, and an article she wrote for The Daily Telegraph, that British society was under threat from a rising tide of "militant secularisation".

    Yeah! The British are coming around. Now, America!

    February 15, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Brian Westley

      Warsi is bigoted against gays, and religion isn't making a comeback in the UK. She's on the wrong side of history.

      February 15, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
  3. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    February 15, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  4. J.W

    I found a fallacy that many atheists are guilty of. The spotlight fallacy.

    February 15, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      Exactly what is the basis for you using the term many. Do you have a statistical basis for how many athiests commit the fallacy versus those that don't? The fact that you use the word many is your attempt to create a bias against athiests, which is really just your personal opinion. You accuse athiests of using the media coverage to determine there own bias when you resort to using internet responses to news articles.

      February 15, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • J.W

      No I have not sat down and made a list of which atheists have done it. I did not know I needed an exact percentage of which atheists have done it and which haven't. But I am seeing it used on the next story several times.

      February 15, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Sparky Griswold

      J.W., do you have any idea how long the list would be of fallacies regularly used by religious people here? I started making one for you, but stopped at about 15 when I was only up to C.

      Look, here is the reality of the situation: Religious people are trying to argue a position that has absolutely no evidence to support its existence, much less its validity. As such, all argumentation used by them is inherently fallacious. In other words, if you don't have any evidence at all, your line of reasoning must resort to trickery and dishonest reasoning to appear valid. That's why this place is such fun for some of us atheists: it's like going to a war and finding the enemy has no weapons at all.

      The only thing that even starts to look like evidence is the scripture of the religion in question, but that falls apart due to the contradictory nature of the information in them, and the large number of assertions and tales in them that are also without evidence and do not match the observed behavior of the real world. Again, fallacies abound, actual evidence is absent, and all you get is the fallacy of circular reasoning.

      It all boils down to the total lack of evidence for the religious positions.

      February 15, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • J.W

      I come here to discuss faith related to the articles. I do not come here to prove anything to anyone. I believe that the universe had a creator, and that the creator was God. Most scientists believe the universe had a beginning, and I choose to believe that God caused that beginning. I should have posted this comment on the next article. I see many comments on there that seem to say because there have been a handful of cases like this that all theists are like this, but that is not true.

      February 15, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Sparky Griswold

      "I do not come here to prove anything to anyone." Totally false. You started this string by trying to prove that atheists use fallacies, and a quick glance at your other posts shows a lot of attempts at proving things.

      "I come here to discuss faith related to the articles." Your posts here are nothing of the sort, and the ones elsewhere are usually off the topic of the article.

      In your comment, you are abandoning your line of reasoning and trying to make yourself appear above the topic that you yourself started. That is not an impressive approach to argumentation either.

      You are proving my point. Thanks.

      February 15, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • J.W

      I was just responding to what you said. I also defending what I said in my original post.

      February 15, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • LinCA


      You said, "I found a fallacy that many atheists are guilty of. The spotlight fallacy."

      Thanks. I appreciate and would like to encourage rational critique of any post. I'm not sure whether I've committed this particular fallacy, but I'll keep an eye out for it.

      February 15, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Question: How is "When a person uncritically assumes that all members or cases of a certain class or type are like those that receive the most attention or coverage in the media" different than "When a person uncritically assumes that all members or cases of a certain class or type are like those that post most often on the belief blog."?

      February 15, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • AGuest9

      You could rewrite that as: "I found a fallacy that many people are guilty of", the spotlight fallacy.

      It is neither endemic to atheists, nor are the religious immune to it.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  5. hippypoet

    ok so, my question for the day....

    Do you think its reasonable to believe in something without taking in all that which has been attributed to it?

    February 15, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • William Demuth

      Selective faith?

      Parsing dogma is the first step towards refuting religion.

      Once one realizes the "part and parcel" of the belief system has egregious errors in it, it becomes inevitable that within a few generations the entirety of it is rejected if the errors of the system are not corrected.

      Be it capitalism or Christianity, many who were born and raised under them are drawing lines in the sand.

      Either they be adapted, or they shall be rejected.

      February 15, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • Brad

      Yes, it is entirely reasonable, even essential. Assuming we are talking about belief in something that is true, retaining false attributes only obscures the core truth.

      February 15, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      When you say "attributed to it", is that like needing to believe every single thing in the Bible to be a Christian or things that people have done because of the beliefs, like the crusades or manifest destiny. Or maybe both?

      February 15, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • hippypoet

      people do things in the name of belief, there actions do not create believers but it may inspire some people to believe.

      February 15, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • hippypoet

      ok, well ... i'm gone for the day, taking my family out for a special get the hell outta here type surprize!

      but please, dwell on this question – it has huge depth to it and can ,if willing, take you to awesome conclusions of the mind.
      later folks! 🙂

      February 15, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      This question reminds me of people who still insist on flying the confedrate flag. They give a million reasons why they still displayit like that it's part of history or argue the various reasons for the civil war. They claim the flag is not racist, and just completely ignore that it has been used as symbol of hate in recent history.

      February 15, 2012 at 10:02 am |
  6. Robert Brown

    I counted dollars while God counted crosses;
    I counted gains while He counted losses.

    I counted my worth by the things I could store;
    But he sized me up by the scars that I bore.

    I coveted honors and sought for degrees;
    He wept as He counted the hours on my knees.

    I never knew until one day by the grave;
    How vain are the things that we spend life to save.

    I did not yet know until my loved one went above;
    That richest is he who is rich in God's love!

    Unknown Poet

    February 15, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • Nonimus

      I did not yet know until my loved one went above;
      That richest is he who is rich in life's love!

      Spend more time with your loved ones, less time grabbing material things, or praying for imaginary things.

      February 15, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      Hmmm, getting a degree shown as negative. Is promoting ignorance a Christian value?

      February 15, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • AGuest9

      It seems to be, lunchbreaker. Many of the religious think that the Earth is thousands, rather than billions, of years old, and that evolution isn't taking, and hasn't taken, place. It's pathetic.

      February 15, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
  7. hm

    Many religious people abuse their children for religious reasons because they don't have a clue on how to treat children, not even their own children, in a caring and nurturing manner.

    This is because they were raised the same way and think there is nothing wrong with treating children badly, filling their minds with lies and distortions, beating them and castigating them, even beating them or starving them to death as long as they can use religion as an excuse.

    And religion is also a form of abuse in most cases. Some people only use it to cope and not to treat others badly, but that does not change the fact that religion is irrational and extremely dangerous and usually harmful.

    It only needs to be eradicated from places like the public square.
    Some people should not be allowed to have children or even be around children at all regardless of religion or lack of it.
    There are just some people who should be totally separated from those they would harm.

    February 15, 2012 at 7:34 am |
  8. Philippians 2

    3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

    5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

    6 Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
    7 rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
    8 And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
    even death on a cross!

    9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
    10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
    11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

    February 15, 2012 at 6:32 am |
    • Flinders, the butler

      ONE of the three circulating theories of Yeshua's "divinity, at that time.
      gospel of Mark : human > divine
      gospels of Matthew and Luke, and Paul's letters : divine > human > divine
      gospel of John : divine > (human+divine) > divine
      Each very different.

      February 15, 2012 at 7:01 am |
    • William Demuth

      It is so tragic to see modern men still blinded by Bronze Age Bull!

      February 15, 2012 at 9:05 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.