April 26th, 2012
04:34 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Thursday, April 26

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: Survey: Religion a key factor in determining support for Obama vs. Romney
Religion is playing a key role in determining which presidential candidate Americans support, with President Barack Obama enjoying a wide lead over Mitt Romney among moderately and less religious voters and Romney dominating among very religious voters, according to a Gallup survey released Wednesday.

CNN: The Dalai Lama sits down with Piers Morgan
On Wednesday evening, "Piers Morgan Tonight" welcomed His Holiness the Dalai Lama for a wide-ranging and enlightening interview, touching on politics, religion and temptation.

Tweet of the Day:

From @wolfblitzercnn: Congrats to @CNNBelief nominated for a #Webby. Vote for Belief to win People’s Voice Award http://bit.ly/Ip5coP @WebbyAwards

Belief on TV:

Enlightening Reads:

Religion News Service: United Methodists to debate allowing gay clergy and same-sex marriage
As nearly 1,000 delegates from across the world gather in Tampa, Fla., for the United Methodist Church's General Conference, gay and lesbian activists have printed pamphlets promoting their cause in five languages, including Portuguese and Swahili.

The Guardian: Catholic church urges pupils to sign anti-gay marriage petition
The Roman Catholic church has written to every state-funded Catholic secondary school in England and Wales asking them to encourage pupils to sign a petition against gay marriage.

The Christian Post: Atheist Group Wants Memorial Cross Removed From RI Fire Station
An atheist organization is demanding that a Rhode Island city move a memorial cross from public property, deeming it a violation of the Establishment Clause.

The Sun Sentinel: West Broward High School girls show support for Muslim teammate
Most of them will never know what it's like to be taunted for their faith. They'll likely never be bullied or physically attacked for what they wear or have racial epithets thrown their way. But on Thursday afternoon, some members of the West Broward High flag football team took a stand and got a small taste of how difficult life can sometimes be for one of their own.

Quote of the day:

What makes us special? People say maybe we have a soul and chimpanzees don't. I feel that it's quite possible that if we have souls, chimpanzees have souls as well.

Other people say, "What about religious behavior? Do chimps show any signs of that? In Gombe, there are fantastic waterfalls where the water drops eighty feet through a natural gorge. There's a wind caused by the displacement of air with the dropping water, and ferns waving and vines hanging down. And this spectacle causes what we call an incredible "waterfall dance." The chimpanzees will sway rhythmically from foot to foot, and sometimes sit and look at the waterfall.

That makes me feel that if the chimpanzees could speak, if they could share the behavior that makes them perform these displays, which I think must be related to awe and wonder, that could lead to one of those early animistic religions where people worship water and sun and elements they can't understand.

Jane Goodall internationally renowned expert on chimpanzees, tells Christianity Today.

Join the conversation…

CNN: Osteen: Romney is a Christian
Famed pastor Joel Osteen reiterated his position that Mitt Romney is a Christian on Tuesday, saying as long as the likely GOP presidential nominee believes that Jesus is the Son of God then he subscribes to the Christian faith.

- CNN's Laura Koran

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Prayer changes things

    Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    April 29, 2012 at 6:52 am |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    April 28, 2012 at 6:43 am |
  3. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    April 27, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      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!

      April 27, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  4. The Speed Read is a bad idea

    Do I really need to be on speed to read this? What kind of speed,a nd how much? Is meth good enough, or should I do dexies or bennies instead? Why is everybody looking at me?!?! There are hidden cameras everywhere! I haven't slept in three days!!!

    Could we have a Valium Read for a change please?

    April 26, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Have some Ritalin. It's like training speed.

      April 26, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  5. Plain Ol' Dreamer

    Do quarks want to remain quarks thru and into infinity's Timeliness? Are gluons feeling the sameness as quarks? Does the atom what to be within the microcosmos forever and with no hope of growing toward becoming something greater in size? Who among us humanists can in all honesties say that matters of lessor sized particles within the innernesses of everything want to remain steadfast and unchanging? Where truly does one say Life Begins! Why do we so narrow-mindedly think atomic matter is not a Life or Life-Force? God may well know each individual atom by its' God-given name! Our prudences' tend to deny matter its' right to exist and to grow! Shame on humanities for their pridefulness and vanities!

    April 26, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Plain Ol' Dreamer

      What was I thinking? Musta went to the deep end of the pool! LoL,,,, My bad!

      April 26, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  6. J.W

    Will the world become better or worse in the next 5-10 years?

    April 26, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Hank

      For who and in what way do you mean "better or worse" pertaining to what, exactly?

      For the extinct Dodo bird species, the world is likely to become better due to advancing genetics research that could someday bring back the Dodo species, but worse in that when and if they are revived as a species, we are likely to breed them and eat them using unhealthy livestock management practices.

      Kentucky Fried Dodo could be the one food that saves the human race from a world-wide famine. Are you prepared to risk the future of humanity because of your personal translation and interpretation of some goat-herding nomad who wrote down a bunch of made-up lies?
      I'm not.

      April 26, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • J.W

      I was talking in your view. Some think the world will become less religious. Some consider that good and some consider it bad. There may be more technological advancement which may be good. Maybe there will be fewer wars. Maybe the global economy will completely collapse. There is a lot that could happen.

      April 26, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      I once was listening to a talk show about origins of the universe. The cosmologist on the show presented 2 scientific theories. A caller to the show asked which theory the cosmoligist thought was right. The cosmoligist replied that based on the current information they were both equally plausible. The caller became very irritated after repeatedly asking which thoery he "thought" was right. The caller could not wrap his head around the idea that you can have 2 possibilities presented and not choose one. So.... I don't know.

      April 26, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • 6

      The world will be what it is. On an existential level, whether it is better or worse depends on completely unpredictable things like fortune/luck, the health and welfare of loved ones, and your own personal health and prosperity. No way to know.

      On a societal level, we must break it down into perception and reality. The reality side of it is also unknown, dependant on the presence of war, famine, disease, and economic events. In general, those should improve slightly, but again, there is too much in the way of unknowns to be sure. Anyone who thinks they know is a fool. Which leads us to our next category . . .

      In the area of perception, people will believe it is better or worse based on various ideologies, and with any ideology, the perception will probably have nothing to do with reality. Republicans will scream that it is worse if Obama wins, Democrats will howl if Romney wins, but the actual influence of a president is usually far less than everyone thinks. The economic recovery will continue, America will be shy about going to war due to recent conflicts, but things are actually likely to be about the same.

      I plan to do a lot of interesting things in the future, so I suspect my future will be pretty good. Of course, I have experienced periods of chaos and pain which occured unexpectedly, so anything might happen.

      But I won't let my perception of the world be distorted and perverted by ideologies of politics or religion, which are really someone else trying to make me feel angry and afriad so that I do what they want, like vote and give them money. I will not be manipulated by the side I tend to agree with, and I will not be bullied by those deluded fools trying to force their ideologies upon me. Those I will fight as necessary.

      I am not a number; I am a free man.

      No gods, no masters.

      April 26, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Plain Ol' Dreamer

      Live one's self in-the-moments and let Time itself take care of that which shall never change its' coursings' omnipresence shapeliness! The aggregated and difuse social commodities are deemed liberal enough for underpinning and opining evaluations' constrainments of one's Self-afforded desirabilities' foresakedness! Such issuences do though tend to parlor towards self-serving monoliths of the ritualistic varieties within the commonly types ever leveraged thru aloofness desirables! God forbid this world should end before the next day goes by! Love therefore, the tenderness wonders of all Life's issuances!

      April 26, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • William Demuth

      The trends shall continue

      The wealtiest shall continue to amass more, retreating further and further into isolation.

      The disenfranchised shall become more restless and frustrated.

      Then KABOOM!

      I see it about six years out, maybe less if Europe disintegrates.

      The powers that be shall tighten the noose slowly, so most wont know they are choking for a while yet, but sooner or later the have nots will panic like livestock smelling the blood at a slaughter house.

      Many have begun to realize the American Dream has become a fantasy, but only a few realize at this point it is just a lie told to pacify.

      When the majority see it, we get change. Sudden and probably violent, but change non the less.

      April 26, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
  7. momoya

    The story about the chimps was fascinating..

    Perhaps one factor in the evolution of god/religion was due to ignorance about the human body.. Sometimes people who "look dead" aren't and they get back up.. That might have been confusing a couple hundred thousand years ago.. Throw in a few near death experiences and you've got the start of a god myth.

    April 26, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      I think the root was fear of death. Leonard Shlain has an excellent book called "Se x Time and Power", in which he discusses peoples struggle witht the realization of thier own mortality, among other things.

      April 26, 2012 at 9:43 am |
  8. lunchbreaker

    How avout a little thought expirement. So we know that based on the limitation of the speed of light, the light from stars that are billions of light years away, would take bllions of years to reach us. So, for you8ng earth creationists, that would mean instead of God just creating the star, He created a star and a beam of photons that was billions of light lears long. This fact doesn't really mean anything in the grand scheme of things, just a thought.

    April 26, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • momoya

      I've always wondered why that fact was not the death knell of Young Earth Creationism..

      April 26, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
  9. William Demuth

    All this talk of souls has reminded me of Star Trek fans debating the intricacies of warp drive.

    They can spend countless hours commenting on the specifics of something that doesn’t exist.

    Souls are merely human propaganda designed to elevate us above the other animals. By trying to postulate that certain animals have them, then it becomes necessary for humans to fabricate a higher level of soul to continue to distinguish itself from the others.

    This is how we end up with di-lithium crystals! It’s just another layer of lies designed to “qualify” the original lie.

    Soul’s don’t exist, and no amount of wishful thinking will ever change that basic fact.

    April 26, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • Bo

      Again—it depends on how “soul” is defined. Even though you may not believe in God, a body needs that “breath of life” to be a living “soul”. The “soul” is the summation of a body plus that unidentifiable “spark of life”, what ever it may be. (Although it is something that scientists have not been able to duplicate.) It has nothing to do with worshiping God. A soul is simply a living being.

      April 26, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Hank

      Then there is no supernatural thing called a "soul" if it is merely the label for the life processes of a body.

      Such a "soul" would cease to exist at the moment of death. Sounds about right.

      April 26, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The inherent limitations of Warp drive may explain where God Himself came from.
      Using Okuda's TNG warp chart, if a starship exceeds Warp 10 it occupies all points in space and time simultaneously – so the crew would theoretically be omnipresent and omniscient.
      God is a Trekkie!

      April 26, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Bo

      @ Hank: Right! When the body dies it ceases to live. When you are dead—you are dead. There is nothing in the Bible that teaches otherwise. However, there will be a resurrection when when the dead shall come to life again. In a nutshell both the righteous and the unrighteous will be brought back to life. The righteous to to live forever, and the unrighteous to receive judgment and die a second death. Read Revelation 20:4—6

      April 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      There is a general resurrection where the bodies are reunited with the spirit and soul as you reference, but we also contend that when the spirit and soul leave the body it goes immediately back to God who gave it.

      2 Corinthians 5: 1-8
      For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

      April 26, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Bo

      @ Robert Brown: I know that this verse may seem to say that when we die we go directly to be with the Lord, but if we compare it to numerous other texts there would be a lot of contradiction, so this text must mean something other than what is commonly thought. Death is frequently referred to as a sleep. Even Jesus referred to it as a sleep when talking about Lazarus. I will direct you to a few texts: Jn 5:28, 29; Acts 2:39; Eccl 9:5, 6, 10 Ps 115:17; Job 14:12; 1Cor 15:52. There are many others. Do not confuse the soul to be different than the spirit, because these two words can be used interchangeably.
      Please reply.

      April 26, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Bo

      ‭@ ‬Robert Brown:‭ ‬Sorry,‭ ‬I forgot to mention,‭ ‬the soul and the spirit simply means the same as the breath of life.‭ ‬This is what Strong's Concordance has to say:
      Hebrew:7307‭ ‬ruwach roo‭'‬-akh from‭ ‬7306‭; ‬wind‭; ‬by resemblance breath,‭ ‬i.e.‭ ‬a sensible‭ (‬or even violent‭) ‬exhalation‭; ‬figuratively,‭ ‬life,‭ ‬anger,‭ ‬unsubstantiality‭; ‬by extension,‭ ‬a region of the sky‭; ‬by resemblance spirit,‭ ‬but only of a rational being‭ (‬including its expression and functions‭)‬:–air,‭ ‬anger,‭ ‬blast,‭ ‬breath,‭ ‬X cool,‭ ‬courage,‭ ‬mind,‭ ‬X quarter,‭ ‬X side,‭ ‬spirit‭((‬-ual‭))‬,‭ ‬tempest,‭ ‬X vain,‭ ((‬whirl-‭))‬wind‭(‬-y‭)‬.‭
      Greek: 4151. pneuma pnyoo'-mah from 4154; a current of air, i.e. breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively, a spirit, i.e. (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, demon, or (divine) God, Christ's spirit, the Holy Spirit:–ghost, life, spirit(-ual, -ually), mind. Compare 5590.

      April 26, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Hey Bo,

      Yes, I will agree with the references to sleep and that the spirit and soul could be the same. Absent from the body, present with the lord is the spirit only. The body sleeps and the spirit goes back to God. Also, if you go to sleep the next thing you know you wake up. So, either way from the perspective of our awareness we go to sleep and awake with the Lord. Also, the old body is traded for a glorified body referenced as being clothed. I have never heard of the breath of life being the spirit and soul but it sounds reasonable.

      April 26, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • Bo

      @ Robert Brown: Sorry but I've been away to mid week service and it was much longer than usual—two hours. I think we have agreed on some points. The danger of believing that we go straight to heaven is the problem of Spiritualism. Satan would like to deceive some with the idea that they can have visits from past loved ones and that perhaps in some way the loved one could have an influence with God to do something for them in this life.

      April 26, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
  10. Bo

    Although the article read:‭ “‬Why Jane Goodall thinks Chimps May Have Souls‭” ‬I read nothing in the article that stated so,‭ ‬but in reply to that, I say:‭ ‬That may depend on the definition of‭ “‬soul‭”‬.‭ ‬Genesis‭ ‬2:7‭ ‬reads:‭ “‬And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground,‭ ‬and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life‭; ‬and man became a living soul.‭” ‬Some versions read:‭ “‬...became a living being.‭” ‬I think the interpretation of this verse and combined with other verses would conclude that the‭ “‬soul‭” ‬of a man,‭ ‬and also animals,‭ ‬has nothing to do with the‭ “‬spirituality‭” ‬of a man,‭ ‬but rather the summation of the‭ “‬...dust of the ground...‭” ‬and‭ “‬...the breath of life...‭”‬.
    Anyone who has worked with,‭ ‬and observed animals very much would see that animals have some degree of reasoning,‭ ‬and they have many of the emotional characteristics as there are in humans.‭ (‬Humans can‭ “‬know‭” ‬what is right and wrong without a conscience.‭) ‬Animals can love,‭ ‬hate,‭ ‬have happiness,‭ ‬fear and anger and also have a degree of conscience of right and wrong.‭ ‬I do not think that this precludes that an animal has any awareness of supernatural beings,‭ ‬i.e.‭ ‬God,‭ ‬or a need to worship a god.
    I believe the need to worship a god is something that was created in mankind by God which can be rationalized away.

    P.S. I have seen several of Jane Goodall’s filmed reports. I think she has done a tremendous work, something that I would not have wanted to engage in; I don’t think I would have even wanted to be her camera man because of some of the precarious situations she placed herself in.

    April 26, 2012 at 8:11 am |
  11. Jay

    Jane Goodall is a very smart lady.
    Cue the religious haters who don't like being shown how they are just clueless to the Nth degree.
    I expect them to scream like monkeys over the idea that religion is just cluless and always has been.

    April 26, 2012 at 6:20 am |
  12. Down with the editors! Down with the policy that allows this! Boo! Hiss!

    Do you seriously think I'm going to vote for THIS BLOG to win a "People's Voice" award when you cannot say dozens of normal words if they contain "BAD" letter combinations?

    Where there is a "report abuse" button? Where any person may have his or her name effectively "hijacked" at any time?
    Where you cannot say "ho.mo.se.xual" in comments to articles ABOUT the LGBT community?
    Where you cannot say "gra.pe" when Christians use gra.pe juice as part of their biggest ceremony?
    Where you cannot say "docu.ment" at any time even though religious docu.ments are the only foundation for most religions?
    Where you cannot say"Const.itution" while commenting on articles about religious freedom and the First Amendment?
    Where you cannot say "na.ked" even though Adam and Eve covered theirs up, etc.

    So that we cannot talk normally about "se.x", mention that something is too "va.gue", talk about a person's "at.itudes", or any of the other things BANNED in THIS BLOG using such a policy towards all the visitors to the blog?

    Fuuuuuuuuck NO! If I could vote against it, I would. You guys don't deserve an award for giving anyone a "voice" when you've effectively denied thousands of innocent commenters their voice!!!!

    April 26, 2012 at 5:26 am |
    • Jay

      I agree. This blog does not deserve an award for freedom of speech, but rather the opposite. Where can I vote for that?

      April 26, 2012 at 6:22 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.