February 23rd, 2012
04:34 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Thursday, February 23

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: For the rush on Ash Wednesday, ashes on the go
If not on this Ash Wednesday, groups of Methodists and Episcopalians took to the streets in cities across the country to make sure you got them, representing a growing ashes-on-the-run movement.

CNN: After Anne Frank baptism, Mormons vow to discipline members
Reacting to a report that well-known Holocaust victim Anne Frank had been baptized by proxy in a Mormon temple, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says it is committed to disciplining members of its church who conducted such baptisms, which violate church policy.

One iReporter shares photos of Catholics in the Philippines receiving ashes on Ash Wednesday.

CNN: iReport: Ash Wednesday in the Philippines
iReporter "armantaylo" shot these photos Wednesday of Catholics receiving the imposition of ashes at the famous Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Manila, Philippines. "The service went peacefully but the line to get anointed is never ending, as passerby also join the line," he said.

CNN: Graham clarifies remarks on Obama’s faith
The Rev. Franklin Graham clarified his thoughts on President Barack Obama's Christian faith Wednesday, one day after the evangelical leader took heat over making comments about the president's ties to Islam.

Tweet of the Day:

From @LiveMinistries1: Christianpost: Lent: United Methodist Church Calls for 'AlcoholFree' Season: For Lent thi... http://bit.ly/AtGnBx

Belief on TV:

Enlightening Reads:

The Jewish Daily Forward: ‘Jew Pond’ Earns Unwanted Scrutiny
One could say it was bacteria that caused Jew Pond to emerge from the miasma of history. In the summer of 2010, an algae bloom forced the closure of a small swampy pond near the center of Mont Vernon, a storybook New Hampshire town of 2,400 people. And so it was that “Jew Pond” was splashed across the headlines of the local papers.

Rick Santorum has worn his faith on his sleeve during this election.

The Christian Science Monitor: Politics of Rick Santorum's theology: Is faith a kingmaker or deal-breaker?
The language of personal faith appears to be helping GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum turn lingering doubts among Protestant evangelicals about Mitt Romney's Mormonism (and even President Obama's Christianity) into a poll surge.

The New York Times: Irish Poised to Revisit Abortion Law
Abortion is back on the agenda in Ireland after a European Court of Human Rights ruling last year found the state in violation of its own Constitution on the matter. Ireland’s abortion laws are the strictest in Europe, but the Irish government may be about to address the previously unapproachable: whether to loosen restrictions on ending a pregnancy.

Quote of the Day:

It is something that is rooted in the nature of every human being. We see it across the animal kingdom all animals discipline their young they have to if the animals are going to survive. So it stands to reason that if it is wise, good and according to nature, God is going to agree with it because he's pretty smart too.

A new controversial book titled Train Up A Child, tells parents to spank their children using wooden spoons, spatulas and even plumbing tools. Michael Pearl talks with a reporter from WVNSTV about what he says is the importance of this type of punishment.

Today’s Analysis:

Get Religion: A ‘quieter battle’ over… gay marriage and ordination
If you watch internal church debates, you know that nothing gets people riled up more than just about anything to do with sex: premarital sex, homosexuality, you name it. People feel quite passionately about these issues, enough to part ways with one another. So I laughed out loud when I read a line from a piece published in New York Times about a “quieter battle” being waged within churches over gay marriage and gay ordination.

Join the conversation…

CNN: Jeremy Lin emerges as emblem of burgeoning Asian-American Christianity
Lin, who had been baptized into an evangelical Chinese church near San Francisco in ninth grade and had come to value Christian fellowship through his youth group, was part of the Harvard-Radcliffe Asian American Christian Fellowship group, regularly attending Bible study.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (143 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 has been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for.
    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 you secretively flatulent and embarrassed about it.
    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 25, 2012 at 10:28 am |
  2. mickey

    GOD: God is the Creator of the universe in all its dimensions and the source of Knowledge in all sentient beings.
    God has sent a New Revelation, a Teaching and a Pathway to rekindle humanity’s relationship with the Creator as we face living in a declining world. The New Message comes with the Will and Power of God to unite the world’s religions, to end our ceaseless conflicts and to call forth the greater gifts that each person has brought into the world. The New Message is the largest Revelation of its kind ever to be given to humanity.
    We stand at the threshold of Great Waves of environmental, economic and political upheaval and change which will alter the face of Earth. Humanity must unite to prevent collapse from within and subjugation from without.
    Each of us has been sent into the world for a greater purpose, waiting to be discovered. This greater purpose resides beyond the realm and the reach of the intellect, in Knowledge that lives deep within us.
    KNOWLEDGE: Knowledge is the core reality within us, a deeper mind beyond the intellect, and is our direct connection to God. Knowledge represents the part of us that has never left God. Instinct and Intuition are at the surface of Inner Knowledge.
    We live in a Greater Community of intelligent life in the universe for which humanity must prepare.
    We live in both a mental and physical environment. The mental environment contains forces that affect our thinking and emotions and that can dominate us until we become strong with Knowledge.


    February 24, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  3. Lucifer's Evil Twin


    Hey you, standing in the road
    always doing what you're told,
    Can you help me?
    Hey you, out there beyond the wall,
    Breaking bottles in the hall,
    Can you help me?
    Hey you, don't tell me there's no hope at all
    Together we stand, divided we fall.
    "Hey You" – Waters

    February 23, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Brad

      "Look mummy, there's an aeroplane up in the sky"

      Did you see the frightened ones?
      Did you hear the falling bombs?
      Did you ever wonder why we had to run for shelter when the
      promise of a brave new world unfurled beneath a clear blue

      Did you see the frightened ones?
      Did you hear the falling bombs?
      The flames are all gone, but the pain lingers on.

      Goodbye, blue sky
      Goodbye, blue sky.

      February 23, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • hippypoet

      NOW THATS HOW YOU END A BUSY @SS DAY!!!!! By the way, which one's Pink?

      thank you folks. 🙂

      February 23, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  4. Brad

    I recently had fun with some people's claims that the 2nd law of thermodynamics is the ultimate basis of sin. This has implications from the 3rd law: a sinless state might be a pure crystalline state at absolute zero. Quantum decoherence might not be problem then.

    February 23, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Using the 2nd LOT as an argument in favor of anything religios is so played out. Nice Joke.

      February 23, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  5. jimtanker

    The Big Bang for beginners: http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2012/02/the_big_bang_for_beginners.php

    I know that most of you thumpers out there won’t take the time to read it but that’s OK. You probably wouldn’t understand it anyway. It’s written at a 10th grade reading level.

    February 23, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  6. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    February 23, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Prior

      "...then did Tilius say to the people of the low plains: seek not the wickedness amongst your neighbors, lest it find purchase in your own house."

      "Hallowed are the Ori."

      February 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  7. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Move along folks... move along, nothin' ta' see here.

    February 23, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  8. lunchbreaker

    I've got a question for all of the Newtonion determinists. Do you think it is possible that quantum mechanics has any influence on our actions? Is it possible that any aspect of our decision making process is not subject to decoherence? If so that could lead the way to a possibility of free will. Currently most of the scienctific community would state that quantum fluctuations cannot influnce the macroscopic world. But a few people are trying to make a case for it.

    February 23, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      I'm not allowed to smoke pot... otherwise, I'd be all over this converstation.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • William Demuth

      My assumption would be that if it has any, it would seem probable that it would be the only influence.

      February 23, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • William Demuth


      I get where you're going

      The hand of God is a quantum hand?

      February 23, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Brad

      I would say not. Quantum effects have been recently observed using a number of fairly large things, e.g. diamond (films?) a millimeter or so across. Most claims for larger systems are variations on Schrodinger's cat which seek to link something large to a quantum system. All of these seem to fail because the link, whatever it is, leads to decoherence.

      February 23, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Brad

      I recently had fun with some people's claims that the 2nd law of thermodynamics is the ultimate basis of sin. This has implications from the 3rd law: a sinless state might be a pure crystalline state at absolute zero. Quantum decoherence might not be a problem then.

      February 23, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      (IMHO), the question is not whether quantum fluctuations can influence macro systems, (as the Plank constant is just to small), but whether, (as Libet has suggested), the "choice" is actually made, before our neurological system has become "aware" of it.
      Interesting question.

      February 23, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      should be "too small"... sorry

      February 23, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      @ Will, Oh no, I'm not trying to bring God into it. Just plain science talk.

      @ upside down bucky ball, I recently read about the possibility of our conscienceness being a result of the EM field emited by our neurons as opposed to existeng within the nueron itself. While even something as small as a nueron is subject to quantum interference, the EM field might get around interference and actually influence the nueron.

      February 23, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      I think even neurons are way too big to be influenced by qtm interference, (their electrons etc, on the other hand...). The most interesting proposal I have read recently was the "complexity" theory, (http://cogprints.org/3857/), because it will be testable, in a machine model, at some point. 😈

      February 23, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      nuerons are definitly too big. The problem witht the electrons on the nueron is that they interact with the nueron. I was referring to the actual EM field influencing the nueron. The EM field would be more likely to maintain itself as a wave and possibly avoid decoherence.

      February 23, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
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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.