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February 21st, 2012
04:28 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Tuesday, February 21

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:

The author argues there is not one Catholic vote, but three discreet Catholic votes.

CNN: My Take: The myth and reality of the Catholic vote
It’s easy to see why Catholics are sometimes seen as the swing voters whose shifting political preferences swing elections. Nevertheless, the idea of a Catholic bloc is patently ridiculous. As voters, American Catholics mirror the electorate as a whole, divided into Democrats, independents, and Republicans at about the same percentages as all Americans. And it’s hard to trace such political complexity to religious allegiance.

CNN: Pope appoints 22 new cardinals
Pope Benedict appointed 22 new cardinals at the Vatican on Saturday, with his choices for the lofty role likely to influence who will be appointed as the next pontiff.

CNN: Jury selection to begin in Philadelphia archdiocese scandal case
Jury selection begins Tuesday in the Philadelphia Catholic Archdiocese trial, a case experts have called one of the most sweeping sex abuse scandals in America.

CNN: Contraceptives, religious freedom: Are we in a new culture war?
Welcome to the culture wars 2.0, where the front lines now are religious freedom and contraceptives. Abortion? Gay marriage? Those are so last year.

Belief on TV:

Tweet of the Day:

From @ChristianPost: Former Drug Addict Converts School Bus Into a Traveling Ministry bit.ly/yzvdrR

Enlightening Reads:

Time: Report: NYPD Monitored Muslim Students
One autumn morning in Buffalo, N.Y., a college student named Adeela Khan logged into her email and found a message announcing an upcoming Islamic conference in Toronto.

The Tennessean: Southern Baptist Convention won't be changing its name
The nation’s largest Protestant denomination will not be changing its name. After months of speculation, a task force recommended that the Southern Baptist Convention retain its historic name.

The Jerusalem Post: 100 Jewish group leaders to meet king in Amman
Nearly 100 leaders of US Jewish organizations will travel to Jordan Tuesday to meet King Abdullah II and show support for his sponsorship of last month’s low-level Israeli-Palestinian talks.

Christian Post: Focus on the Family CEO: Christian Leaders Must Play Offense
Focus on the Family President and CEO Jim Daly said religious leaders must stop playing defense when defending marriage, family values and pro-life issues in the public square.

Quote of the Day:

We’re not going there to complain, we’re not going there to fight. [We want to] celebrate the fact that we are growing, we are stronger, and we are taking our place in American society.

Thousands of atheists are reportedly expected to attend the “Reason Rally” next month in Washington, D.C. According to the Reason Rally website, the rally is hopes to encourage to claim their place on American society.

Today’s Opinion:

Rick Santorum addresses a crowd in Ohio.

CNN: My Take: Why should Santorum decide who's a real Christian?
We are now being asked to debate which of the Christians running for president isreally a Christian. I am referring here not to questions about Mitt Romney, whose Mormonism according to many evangelicals is not the right theological stuff, but to questions about President Barack Obama.

Join the conversation…

CNN: Facing death, a top pastor rethinks what it means to be a Christian
Ed Dobson is not afraid of dying. It’s the getting there that really scares him.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
    Prayer makes you fat.
    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 think doilies are exciting.
    Prayer makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
    Prayer gives you knobbly knees.
    Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just google him to find out.
    Prayer dulls your senses.
    Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
    Prayer makes you hoard cats.
    Prayer makes you smell like shitty kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
    Prayer wastes time.

    February 21, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • joseandmaegan

      Sir,

      Your note on prayer doesn't consider the possibility that their might be a personal God. If there is a personal God that we can relate with, then prayer would most definitely be one of the greatest acts an individual, family, or community could participate in. Prayer is agreeing with God's desire for earth to be restored, for the broken to be healed, for the lonely to come into family, for the hopeless to be given hope. Prayer to a loving God who desires freedom and life to abound is the very lynch-pin of history.

      Besides that, prayer connects our spirit to His life-giving Spirit, so we may truly be alived and awakened.

      March 10, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
  2. The Jackdaw

    A negative cannot be proven.

    God’s non-existence cannot be proven.

    God is therefore a negative.

    February 21, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Underpants Gnome

      Step 1: Underpants
      Step 2:
      Step 3: Profit

      HEY, WHAT'S STEP 2?

      I hope this post is also a joke. But if not I believe is missing a step.

      February 21, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      Step 2 is clearly to attribute magical properties to said underpants.

      February 21, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  3. hippypoet

    myth – A traditional sacred story, typically revolving around the activities of gods and heroes, which purports to explain a natural phenomenon or cultural practice.

    mythology -1) a body of myths, as that of a particular people or that relating to a particular person.
    2 ) the science or study of myths

    jewish mythology = christian mythology = islamic mythology....is anyone confused? you believe in myths equal to EVERY OTHER MYTH ON THE PLANET – to deny this is to show pride which is to sin...to accept this is to be conceited which is also being full of pride – again, sin...welcome to hell.

    February 21, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      A fun fact is that the Bible recognizes the Babylonian god's. Jeremiah 50:2 | This is what the LORD says: "Tell the whole world, and keep nothing back! Raise a signal flag so everyone will know that Babylon will fall! Her images and idols will be shattered. Her gods Bel and Marduk will be utterly disgraced. It makes it sound like they recognize Bel and Marduck as real, and the Lord totally dissed them.

      February 21, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
  4. w.jackson

    HAS RELIGION BEEN MORE OF A SOURCE OF GOOD, PER SE, OR DESTRUCTION? It cannot be 50/50____Don't know how we stay so blind; Neither,probably,is God

    February 21, 2012 at 9:52 am |
  5. w.jackson

    Please;a question towards the highest sources-HAS RELIGION, PER SE, BEEN MORE OF A SOURCE OF GOODNESS SINCE ALL OF ITS INCEPTION, OR DEATH & DESTRUCTION? HOW MANY HAVE DIED FOR THE CAUSE OF GOD?? HOW MANY HAVE DIED DUE TO LACK OF BELIEF? SIMPLY: MORE OR LESS. I. M. WAYLAND

    February 21, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @w.jackson
      You're about to get replies from apologists referencing Mao, Pol Pot, Stalin and Hitler.
      They will entirely miss the point that those were cults of personality with the leader as godhead.
      They did not wave a flag of atheism for the populace to rally around, nor did they commit their atrocities in the name of atheism.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Brad

      I've noticed that almost everyone has died. Everyone who has died died because of some major system failure, such as asystole, being converted to an aerosol by a blast of some kind, a lot of stuff in between. I'll be an apologist for death today. Death happens. Death works. People who die for causes die pretty much the same way as other people die.

      February 21, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • hippypoet

      @brad "I've noticed that almost everyone has died. " lol well duh, i mean except for the ones that are still alive – FOR NOW MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

      anyway- to answer the question asked – (quoted from brad) – Death happens. Death works .... it is the best answer i could think of... we all die, it is the law of life! i could go into how everything has its opposite but i won't. 🙂

      February 21, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • An inconvenient truth

      They were atheists and murdered millions. Without moral restraint or conscience. They didn't need to wave an atheist flag it is there for all to see.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      If you are trying to prove whether or not God exists or any particular religion is the correct one, the question is moot. Horrible actions have been commited by members of every religion, race, etc. And we all know it is wrong to sterotype an entire group by the actions of any percentge of people within said group. Even if the percentage was 99.999999%, that means some of those people are still good. And just to give a quick logic quiz: True or False, people from group A commited horrible acts, therefore group A's belief system is incorrect.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • J.W

      I think some of those leaders such as Stalin were not necessarily killing in the name of atheism, but they did want to destroy religion, so in that sense they were working towards an atheist cause.

      February 21, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  6. Romans 5:6-8

    You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

    February 21, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      He didn't die if he came out of his cave 3 days later. No-one in recorded history has ever returned from the dead.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • just sayin

      Jesus did ! There is more evidence for the resurrection than for any other event in ancient history.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • Observer

      I can understand why the implications of Christ's resurrection are more than you would want to deal with.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • hippypoet

      @Observer

      you aren't done observing the natural world but yet you claim to know already the mysteries of life and death....very intertesting!
      I smell bullsh!t.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @just sayin
      Please provide just one tiny iota of verifiable evidence (note: the bible itself is not evidence).

      The dying/resurrected God is an old mythological archetype represented in the stories of Julunggul, Wawalag, Tammuz, Ishtar, Quetzlcoatl, Xipe Totec, Adonis, Baal, Eshmun, Melqart, Zalmoxis, Osiris, Amun, Amun-Min, Adonis, Cronus, Dionysus, Orpheus, Persephone, Kali, Shiva, Chinnamasta, Izanagi, Heitsi-eibib, Kaknu, Gullveig, Odin, Baldr, Attis, Aeneas, Bacchus, Proserpina, Jarilo,Kostroma, Marzanna, Dumuzi, Inanna, Obatala, and Moremi (for starters).

      February 21, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Observer

      I am claimless! Claimless, I say!

      February 21, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • NT

      What proof are you looking for? an iReport? a Video clip? a Twitter feed? a FB post?

      There was enough proof of the empty tomb and the risen Lord to those who knew him and to Peter who had denied him at the cross, to Thomas who doubted he rose again, to both men and women alike.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @NT
      You're usign the Bible to prove the Bible is true.
      Gilgamesh, a 3/4 divine ancient Babylonian king, travelled through the underworld.
      It is true becuase the Epic of Gilgamesh doc/uments the 4,000 year old eyewitness testimony.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • NT

      What is the proof you are looking for?

      February 21, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @NT
      Just sayin' said "There is more evidence for the resurrection than for any other event in ancient history."
      I therefore am challening them to provide said evidence.

      February 21, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • just sayin

      One of the greatest evidences for the resurrection comes from the opposition. The leadership of the Jewish people, political the Herods and religious, the high priest and the temple majority did not accept that Jesus was the Messiah (Christ).When confronted with the empty tomb they, the sworn enemies of Jesus invented the story that the disciples stole the body. An excuse that is still prevalent today. The proof is in the opposition, even as it is in the opposition today. There is no reason to create an alternate scenario for a non existent person or event. There is no reason for atheist types to attack something that they feel isn't there, yet every day they do.

      February 21, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Brad

      I am impressed by the transformation of the people who were said to have been witnesses of the resurrected Christ, but that doesn't rise to the level of proof. A similar transformation occurred in me when I began to understand the resurrection. That satisfies me, but can't serve as proof for anyone else. It concerns me when believers, in particular, look toward historicity for proof of something that happens today in us. I understand that there is a desire to defend the faith and convince unbelievers, but really, faith doesn't come about that way.

      February 21, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      One of the greatest bits of evidence for the Existence of Gilgamesh is from his enemies.
      After he built the walls of Uruk, invading armies were repelled for hundreds of years, much to their frustration.
      After the death of his loyal companion, Enkidu, Gilgamesh travelled to seek the wisdom of Utnapishtim who told him the bleak truth – the there is no secret to immortality and that we all must die.
      The fact that humans have continued to die since the story is evidence of its veracity, as is the knowledge granted to all via the transcendent understanding of Utnapshtim that death is inevitable.

      just saying – I'm still waiting for some kind of evidence that is more than anecdotal.
      Have you references to the ancient Hebrew texts to which allude? Something that would corroborate the Biblical account?

      February 21, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Just Saying is lying again

      Where does this magical "evidence from his enemies" come from, just saying? There is absolutely NO contemporary evidence from that era, and the first non-Christian writings mentioning Jesus come a century later. Neither the Romans or the Jews thought enough of Jesus to even bother keeping records or being impressed enough to say anything about it.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:24 am |
  7. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    February 21, 2012 at 7:24 am |
    • Primewonk

      Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam!
      Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!
      Spam spa-a-a-a-a-am spam spa-a-a-a-a-am spam.
      Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam!
      Spam spam spam spam!

      February 21, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Proven

      February 21, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • just sayin

      Truth Wonderful Truth

      February 21, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • just sayin

      I like posting on my own threads with different names so that it looks like people like me.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • just sayin

      Actually i am more dedicated to God's Truth than popularity and it amazes me that i can post without even being on line. A rare and miraculous gift.

      February 21, 2012 at 2:09 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 prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
      Prayer makes you fat.
      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 has never made even a single fucking thing better.
      Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
      Prayer makes you think doilies are exciting.
      Prayer makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
      Prayer gives you knobbly knees.
      Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just google him to find out.
      Prayer dulls your senses.
      Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
      Prayer makes you hoard cats.
      Prayer makes you smell like shitty kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
      Prayer wastes time.

      February 21, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Proven
      Powerful

      February 21, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
  8. TruthPrevails

    On far too many occasions we hear the christards ask why we Atheists come to the belief blog...the simple answer is that this is amusing. We get to watch as you fight over who has the correct god and who is a true christard. You all quote scripture and all of you interpret those scriptures differently. These are the exact reasons that religion of all forms needs to be kept out of the public in every sense.

    February 21, 2012 at 7:02 am |
    • Mirosal

      Hello m'lady!! :)They are just mad because they can't legally run an Inquisition anymore and force people to convert. They don't like to be told "NO". When a 6 year old has an imaginary friend, it's cute. When a 36 year old has an imaginary friend, that person needs therapy.

      February 21, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      I couldn't agree more...just look at Mr Delusions of Grandeur Nii for proof of that. 🙂

      February 21, 2012 at 7:52 am |
    • Because I knew you

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UFpQtOuOnc&w=480&h=360]

      February 21, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • For Good

      (Elphaba) I'm limited
      Just look at me – I'm limited
      And just look at you
      You can do all I couldn't do, Glinda
      So now it's up to you
      For both of us – now it's up to you...

      (Glinda) I've heard it said
      That people come into our lives for a reason
      Bringing something we must learn
      And we are led
      To those who help us most to grow
      If we let them
      And we help them in return
      Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
      But I know I'm who I am today
      Because I knew you

      Like a comet pulled from orbit
      As it passes a sun
      Like a stream that meets a boulder
      Halfway through the wood
      Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
      But because I knew you
      I have been changed for good

      (Elphaba) It well may be
      That we will never meet again
      In this lifetime
      So let me say before we part
      So much of me
      Is made of what I learned from you
      You'll be with me
      Like a handprint on my heart
      And now whatever way our stories end
      I know you have re-written mine
      By being my friend...

      Like a ship blown from its mooring
      By a wind off the sea
      Like a seed dropped by a skybird
      In a distant wood
      Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
      But because I knew you

      (Glinda) Because I knew you

      (Both) I have been changed for good

      (Elphaba) And just to clear the air
      I ask forgiveness
      For the thing I've done you blame me for

      (Glinda) But then, I guess we know
      There's blame to share

      (Both) And none of it seems to matter anymore

      (Glinda) Like a comet pulled from orbit
      As it passes a sun
      Like a stream that meets a boulder
      Halfway through the wood

      (Elphaba) Like a ship blown from its mooring
      By a wind off the sea
      Like a seed dropped by a bird in the wood

      (Both) Who can say if I've been
      Changed for the better?
      I do believe I have been
      Changed for the better

      (Glinda) And because I knew you...

      (Elphaba) Because I knew you...

      (Both) Because I knew you...
      I have been changed for good.

      February 21, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Mmmmm – random lyrics.

      ATHEIST PEACE (Bad Religion)

      Maybe it's too late for an intellectual debate,
      but a residue of confusion remains.
      Changing with the times,
      and developmentally tortured minds
      are the average citizen's sources of pain.
      Tell me what we're fighting for
      I don't remember anymore,
      only temporary reprieve
      And the world might cease
      if we fail to tame the beast
      from the faith that you release
      comes an atheist peace.

      Political forces rent
      bitter cold winds of discontent
      and the modern age emerged triumphantly.
      But now it seems we've stalled
      And it's time to de-evolve
      and relive the dark chapters of history
      Tell me what we're fighting for
      No progress ever came from war,
      only a false sense of increase
      and the world won't wait
      for the truth upon a plate
      but we're ready now to feast on an atheist peace.

      February 21, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • Elpheba

      Fly, fly, fly ........

      February 21, 2012 at 9:07 am |
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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.