March 2nd, 2012
04:49 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Friday, March 2

By Laura Koran, 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: Mormon proxy baptism of Daniel Pearl draws family’s ire
A muckraking ex-Mormon researcher struck again this week, revealing that some Mormons conducted a proxy baptism for slain Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl last year.

The Beren Stars will play their playoff game on Friday afternoon, before the Jewish Sabbath begins.

CNN: Playoff game rescheduled for Jewish basketball team that refused to play on Sabbath
A Jewish high school basketball team that had opted out of a shot at a Texas state championship because it refused to play on the Sabbath will now get that shot, after a playoff game was rescheduled on Thursday.

CNN: Senate votes to kill controversial contraception amendment
The Senate voted Thursday to kill a controversial proposal pushed by Republicans that would allow employers to opt out of providing health care coverage that they disagree with on moral grounds.

Tweet of the Day:
From @GdnBelief: A test for “family values”: if you could ban either straight divorce or gay marriage which would you choose?

Enlightening Reads:

Catholic News Service: Vatican Secret Archives marks 400th anniversary with Rome exhibit
Working with the city of Rome, the Vatican Secret Archives is celebrating its 400th anniversary with an exhibit designed to shed light not only on its holdings, but on some of the myth and mystery surrounding its collection of millions of documents.

The Washington Post: ‘SalamWorld’ to be Facebook for Muslims – but much cleaner
Muslim users who choose to ditch Facebook for the upcoming social network SalamWorld shouldn’t expect to find a Madonna video or discussion of sex anywhere on the site. Salamworld hopes to be a far cleaner version of Facebook, by “filtering out harmful content” and ensuring that its pages “uphold and respect family values,” according to the company’s commercial.

Catholic News Agency: NASA worker’s lawsuit charges discrimination over intelligent design
A NASA mission specialist allegedly demoted for his beliefs about intelligent design is suing Jet Propulsion Laboratories in a civil trial to begin in Los Angeles March 7.

Huffington Post: Arlen Siegfreid, Kansas Lawmaker, Proposes Capitol Meditation Room
Saying state legislators do not have space for private time during the workday, a Republican legislative leader in Kansas has proposed the creation of a chapel in the Capitol building.

Quote of the Day:

New Mexico has always been known to have interesting things happen during the Lent time.

David Sandoval of Espanola, NM, on his alleged discovery of the image of Jesus in a tortilla on the first day of Lent. From The Christian Post.

Join the conversation…

The American Atheists president acknowledges that the pair of new billboards will likely cause a stir.

CNN: Atheist group targets Muslims, Jews with ‘myth’ billboards in Arabic and Hebrew
The billboard wars between atheists and believers have raged for years now, especially around New York City, and a national atheist group is poised to take the battle a step further with billboards in Muslim and Jewish enclaves bearing messages in Arabic and Hebrew.

- CNN's Laura Koran

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. kamana

    Beliefs are a product of language and cannot exist without language. Language is an invention and, therefore, is artificial, unnatural and unreal. Everything created by and through the use of language must likewise be artificial, unnatural and unreal. All beliefs, faiths, prayers, sermons, incantations, etcetera, must, like language, be artificial, unnatural and unreal.

    March 5, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  2. hippypoet

    thank you Bo Burnham for this lovely song part 1

    All the seats at the sunday m@sses,
    Filled with the m@ss's m@ssive @sses,
    Cl@sses p@ss as fast as mol@sses.
    Ceremonial reading gl@sses.
    Read a little bit of leviticus.
    All the kids are a little too little for this.
    All the parents nod in agreement –
    "I think I can va.guely see what he meant."
    It's too early in the morning glory
    To read another allegory story,
    The father, reads a little bit farther,
    @ssuring the @ssured that they need not bother
    "when god, in verse 45, said the slaves are okay to buy,
    He meant that people, all from the start
    Each have slaves within their hearts.
    Things, that we have sold or boughten, that are forced to pick our moral cotton
    God calls us to set these free, free our hearts from slavery...
    And then as god goes on to explain the logistics of buying and selling slaves..."

    March 2, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • hippypoet

      part 2

      In the back, I sit and I nod to the beats that are bumpin from my ipod
      My god, they're starting to pray
      And over the music I can hear them say
      "dear god, dear lord, dear va.gue muscular man with a beard or a sword.
      Dear good all-seeing being, my way or the highway yahweh.
      The blue-bal.led anti-mast.urb.ator, the great, all-loving fa.g.got hater,

      March 2, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • hippypoet

      cnn won't let me post this for some reason – so i shall post 1 or 2 lines until it lets me post more...

      I'd like to thank your holy might for making me both rich and white
      And though this is your day of rest, I come to you with one request

      March 2, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • hippypoet

      There's so much pain beyond this steeple,
      Wars and drugs and homeless people.

      March 2, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • hippypoet

      Sadness, where there should be joy, hate and ra.p.e and soulja boy.
      A world in darkness needs your light, so I'm sure your schedule's pretty tight
      But my dog just had leg surgery if you could fix that first...

      Debra messing's fingers in a holy place, "hail mary full of grace."

      March 2, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • hippypoet

      last but not least-

      Obama, could you p@ss some hope to the pope
      I know a couple dude's who wanna elope
      See the pope said, "nope" so the bros can't cope.
      (The bros can gro.pe but the bros can't cope)
      They've been in love, they've been addi.cted
      Who said they shouldn't? benedi.ct did.
      Cause in the holy land of the lord he's the holy landlord and di.cks are evicted.
      Cause you can be a benedi.ct if you've been a di.ck under benedi.ct but
      You can't have benedi.cts because there's only one pope and only one di.ck
      What? a di.ck on a pope is
      Just like a soap on a rope cause it's
      Pointless, unless in prison, throw up your bibles, christ has risen.
      Hallelujah, now it's raining men,
      Because the gender ratio is 1 to 10.
      Winos at the eucharist station, trans-gendered-substantiation
      Jesus wasn't the messiah, get back I'm a heretic and I'm on fire
      It was oedip.us, and those holy nights
      The holy motherfu.cking christ.
      I'm a blasphemah post-katrina cruising the marina. on a crusade to cruise aids
      And blast FEMA
      You're too late, we're fu.cked we don't need ya.

      March 2, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  3. RightTirnClyde

    If there were and image of Elvis Presley in a Tortilla what would that infer? Suppose it was in New Mexico: would that prove that Elvis liked New Mexico better than Graceland? Would it prove that the tortilla was made from Martha White flour? But what if there were a tortilla with the words "WSM Nashville" and the WSM logo imprinted on it (in New Mexico)? What if there were a dozen tortillas on the first day of Lent .. and they had the images of Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry, WIllie Nelson, Hank WIlliams, Merle Haggard, Waylan Jennings, Emmylou Harris, Bobby Helms, Patsy Cline ... would they be worth $50 million? Or would it be seen as a cheap promo? Hard to say. To be a real miracle it would have to happen someplace else .. NYC or Rome! Or India. Didn't Nostradamus write some quatrains about images in tortillas? About New Mexico? Well there must be some rationale ... who can explain a tortilla on the first day of Lent in New Mexico?

    March 2, 2012 at 11:49 am |
  4. RightTirnClyde

    Wow this is a slow day ... absolutely nothing worth reading. Even the comments. Reading some of the Friday posts reminded me of how my Ex thought she was the primary reason the universe existed. She believed the sun "rose" to put light in her day, set so she could sleep. The road existed so she could go to her shopping mall. She even regarded God as existing to hear her prayers (and to answer them promptly .. she was THAT important). She the very center of the universe and everything that existed was to serve her., I see that in some many of the commenters on this BLOG. Ego's as large as the Milky Way and privileged beyond imagination.

    March 2, 2012 at 11:22 am |
  5. lunchbreaker

    I've got a beef with Aquinas, well, actually people who still use Aquinas's arguments today. 800 years ago there was little we could comprehend to contradict his arguments, but this is now. I do want to make it clear I am not arguing whether or not God exists. I am arguing the logic of Aquinas's proofs of God. Let's start with:

    There is a cause for all things such as the existence of a clock. And nothing can cause itself into existence. A clock cannot will itself into existence, it must be created and caused into existence by something else. A clockmaker creates a clock and causes its existence, and yet the material of the clock and the clockmaker did not cause themselves to exist. Something else must have caused their existence. All things can attribute their existence to a first cause that began all causes and all things. We call this first cause God.

    Now 800 years ago this seemed infallible. Let's take it a step further. So somebody begat somebody, who begat somebody who became the clockmaker. For the sake of argument we will assume evolution is true and then before life we go back to the big bang. Now the big bang was merely an expansion of our 3 dimensional space out of a higher dimesion. Aquinas would claim that at some point there was just nothing. But he was never able to substantiate that claim.

    So the question is how, based on aquinas argument, can one prove that at one time there was nothing. NOw 800 years ago this would just be "common sense" which we all no can be wrong. If you cannot prove that the universe (not our 3 little dimensions now) did not exist at some point, Aquinas's has no foundation for his statement.

    March 2, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • RightTirnClyde

      So since you believe Aquinas was nothing (in comparison to you of course) then Aristotle must be seen as a fool as well - he predicated a "Prime Mover" that causes everything and he believed there were only FOUR elements. So he is a fool too right? And Plato of course .. they were all simpletons (you are not, however, you are brilliant .. at least in your mind). Well then .. Thomas Edison was stupid by comparison .. who cares about recording machines or light bulbs today? And the wright brothers - they were flying kites .. if they were really smart they should have made and SST. Well Bill Gate was a dummy too .. he came up with MS-DOS .. today we have iphones. How dumb of Bill Gates (made way too much money - it should go to you .. you are the one who is really brilliant). Salk too .. polio is old hat .. who cares about polio today? Who cares about refrigeration or gasoline engines? They are old hat junk. Everybody before you were just dummies. You are the one who is luminous. WHy is the world so stupid that it cannot see it? It is so obvious. Why can't we just drop what we are doing and admire you for what you are? You are lunchbreaker!!

      March 2, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      So much for an actual debate, sigh.

      March 2, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Brad


      I guess I have a problem with Aquinas too: the first motion and the first cause that he describes in his first two proofs are events or phenomena which would seem to occur within time, which has to come into being somehow. Can we suppose that the first cause is outside of time?

      March 2, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      I would think if there were a first cause it would have to be outside of time. I guess I could reword the question. Can we prove the universe had a beginning?

      March 2, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Brad

      Focusing on the second proof, I question Aquinas' assertion that an infinite ordered series of causation is impossible. However, our universe appears to have come into being in much the same way Aquinas thought – as if there had been a first cause. Recently, people have been looking toward quantum vacuum and changing states in it as the precursor of the universe. Some would say the quantum vacuum is "eternal" in some way, so that though spacetime does not extend infinitely (except perhaps into the future), the quantum vacuum does in whatever it is embedded in. So the stakes have shifted: Does the quantum vacuum have a beginning? What would that look like? I would guess some sort of boundary between true vacuum and quantum vacuum. What would compel us to believe such a thing exists?

      March 2, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • hippypoet

      well, i would have debating it with you being i like Aquinas but i agree with your point about how it is very outdated...however it does give insight into many things about how and why such beliefs are held with high regard.

      the reason why i didn't debate just like i normally do is the work load is beyond insane here...two shows this weekend and lots of work to get them to flow smoothly.

      March 2, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  6. ...

    Funny how Mirosal and Captain America always seem to appear on this blog on the same day...could they possibly be the same person?

    March 2, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • mirosal


      March 2, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • Captain America

      Busted !

      March 2, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  7. Colossians 2

    9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

    March 2, 2012 at 7:38 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Gotta love the worship rites of the Cult of the Zombie Carpenter.
      Ritual drowning, cannibalism and genital mutilation – oh my!

      March 2, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • captain america

      Gotta love an insidious canadian spewing hits anti American bull sh it on a country it says it supports. Keep your crap opinion north of 44 40 we are one nation under God down here. There's your sign

      March 2, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Cap'n Troglodyte
      What about the preceding statement was anti-american?

      March 2, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • captain america

      One nation under God, moron, when you undermine the American belief system you undermine our way of life. F doc v. There's your sign

      March 2, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Brad

      Good selection – there are several things going on in it. Paul claims that Christ is fully God. The physical circumcision of legalism has be supplanted by baptism into Christ. He ends by saying that baptism allows us to conform to Christ's resurrection – which is how we are raised into eternal life.

      March 2, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Mirosal

      Hey, CA, you're an idiot. your 44 – 40 rant is off by 10 degrees. The border is 54 – 40. Your geography is off by 10 degrees, and your I.Q. is off by 54.40 points. You can relax though. If we add 54 points to your I.Q., you might be able to give Forrest Gump a run for the money, but the odds would still be in his favor.

      March 3, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • captain america

      The reference is to an old border debate. You would think a card carrying GENIUS would have picked up on that. There's your sign.

      March 3, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Captain Asshole, it was you that first mentioned "44 40" so Mirosal is substantially correct and you as usual are completely wrong. Only thing that Mirosal got wrong is that the Canadian/USA border, west of the Great Lakes, is at 49 degrees. The USA lost its claim to the Oregon Territory more than 150 years ago – get over it. Is it true that all your anger stems from the USA losing the Vietnam war?

      March 3, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  8. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    March 2, 2012 at 7:09 am |
    • Jesus

      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.

      March 2, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • just sayin

      To it that takes the Lords name in vain. You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting

      March 2, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Just sayin
      And the God Maat has weighed your heart against a Shu feather and found it heavier.

      March 2, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • captain america

      Doc V is a butt in canadian , tell ass hole doc to go F itself I always do. There's your sign

      March 2, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Jesus

      "You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting"

      Lying is a sin.

      March 2, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things

      March 2, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Jesus

      "Prayer changes things

      You've been proven wrong from the experts.

      March 2, 2012 at 6:56 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.