May 11th, 2012
04:43 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Friday, May 11

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:

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have starkly different views on gay marriage and other social issues.

CNN: More ways social issues and religion will shape 2012 election (besides same-sex marriage)
Everyone knows the 2012 presidential race is about jobs and the economy. As likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney said a couple weeks ago: “It’s still about the economy, and we’re not stupid.” But have you noticed how the culture wars keep intruding into this it’s-all-about-the-economy election?

Belief on TV:

Enlightening Reads:

Wired: U.S. Military Taught Officers: Use ‘Hiroshima’ Tactics for ‘Total War’ on Islam
The U.S. military taught its future leaders that a “total war” against the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims would be necessary to protect America from Islamic terrorists, according to documents obtained by Danger Room. Among the options considered for that conflict: using the lessons of “Hiroshima” to wipe out whole cities at once, targeting the “civilian population wherever necessary.”

Religion News Service: Nonbelievers flex their political muscles
One of the biggest growth areas in political activism around religion is coming from an unlikely source: the nonreligious. And it's happening far from the marbled corridors of power in the nation's capital. The Secular Coalition for America, an umbrella organization that represents 11 nontheistic groups, is looking to take its secular-based activism out of the nation’s capital and into the states.

The Huffington Post: 'The God Box': Author Mary Lou Quinlan Discovers Hundreds Of Mother's Prayers And Dreams
Mary Lou Quinlan always knew that her mother, Mary Finlayson, kept a God Box, a simple container where she put her prayers and dreams for everyone she knew and even those she didn’t know. To her amazement, Quinlan found not one, but 10 boxes stuffed with hundreds of tiny petitions that spanned the last 20 years of her mother’s life.

Jewish Telegraphic Agency: Jewish groups, Orthodox excepted, laud Obama on gay marriage
A number of Jewish groups praised President Obama's endorsement of gay marriage, and an Orthodox group said it was "disappointed." "History will regard his affirmation of this core right for the LGBT community as a key moment in the advance of civil rights in America," the Reform movement's Religious Action Center said in a statement Wednesday. "While the President has long publicly supported civil unions, these are distinct from full marriage rights."

Quote of the Day:

It wasn't that they were afraid they were going to hurt or injure her, it's that (they believe) that a girl's place is not on a field.

Arizona mother Pamela Sultzbach told the Arizona Republic. Pamela’s daughter Paige was unable to play in her school’s championship baseball game after the other team, a fundamentalist Catholic school, forfeited the final game rather than play against a team that fielded a female player.

Opinion of the Day:

CNN: My Take: On gay marriage, Obama, Billy Graham, and a tale of 2 Christianities
Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," writes about the politics of religion.

Join the conversation…

President Barack Obama addressing a gay rights group in 2011.

CNN: Obama's gay marriage support riles religious conservatives, but political effects not yet clear
U.S. President Barack Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage on Wednesday outraged conservative Christian leaders, who vowed to use it as an organizing tool in the 2012 elections, but the move is also activating the liberal base, raising big questions about who gains and loses politically.

- CNN's Laura Koran

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    May 11, 2012 at 5:58 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!.

      May 11, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
  2. Robert Brown

    Why you can't see the proof.

    1 Corinthians 2:13-15
    Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

    May 11, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • momoya

      Yet nonbelievers cannot objectively verify your claim.. Why?

      May 11, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Quoting Bible versus won't convince someone who does not belive the Bible is true. Pretty good trick though, found a religion that contians a rule that it cannot be proven.

      May 11, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Robert Brown


      No need, I am sure to, preface this with “it is my opinion”. A nonbeliever would not be able to objectively verify because of unbelief or lack of faith. If you can say without a doubt that there is no God then without his direct intervention you have no hope. If you believe that there could be a God then you have some faith. The faith you have, can grow and if it reaches the point of conversion then you receive Gods Holy Spirit. This is really the only way you can communicate with God and obtain the proof you speak of because the flesh is at enmity with God. He said flesh and blood cannot enter his kingdom. We can only reach him through the spirit because he is a spirit.

      May 11, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Robert Brown


      It wasn’t intended as a trick. Just trying to explain why the scientific method or the search for evidence or proof using human reasoning is ineffective in detecting the spirit.

      May 11, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • momoya

      If your claims cannot withstand the scrutiny of a nonbeliever then they aren't much good.. You have a bad habit of a.ssuming your little Christian mantras must be true without actually examining whether there is any other reason than your a.ssumption.. Anybody can define their belief in such a way that it cannot be proved or disproved just as you do, but that skill makes neither them nor you correct.. Your reasoning for your faith is too sloppy to be sustainable by somebody who really cares for sound logic.

      May 11, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • momoya

      @ Robert Brown

      You said *"It wasn’t intended as a trick. Just trying to explain why the scientific method or the search for evidence or proof using human reasoning is ineffective in detecting the spirit.*

      That is a stupid statement because it does not account for the wide range of contradictory beliefs held by all those who use that exact method.. If you're going to claim that your reasoning is above the standard rules for reasoning then you have a DOUBLE responsibility to show that the rules you do use provide consistent results.. To say that your "spiritual knowledge" relies on methods that can't be verified even by those who believe in the same rules you use seems rather pointless.

      May 11, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Robert Brown


      Exactly the point of the above verses. What you call sound logic or reasoning comes from your brain which is flesh or carnal and is at odds with God.

      May 11, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Robert Brown


      Hopefully, those who understand the seperation of the spirit and flesh will jump in here and back me up.

      May 11, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      The idea of a separate "mind" and "soul" is easy (in my opinion) to understand, but something else completely to believe it. Just like the Bible verse, the mind/spirit duality explanation has no bearing if the person you tell does not believe it. It's like saying you would understand the Bible verse above, if you would quite using your brain. I know that's not your intent Mr Brown, but things can easily be misunderstood.

      May 11, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • momoya


      You can't prove that there's any reasoning that exists outside of the human mind at all.. You keep wanting us to look at the pretty flower you're holding but you've got nothing in your hands..

      When we look at theologians, apologists, and well-read believers we don't see any proof of the realms and beings and thought-systems they describe.. Those realms, beings, and though systems can't be proven to exist by any method whatsoever.. Why do you refuse to engage your religion with the same criticism that you would bring to any large purchase or legal problem?. Your god looks invisible and you keep treating him like he's visible.. How stupid!. Why do you trust your indoctrination more than the reasoning that is so useful in the rest of your existence?

      May 11, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      I refuse to engage my faith with the same criticism that I bring to any large purchase or legal problem because of trust. My faith motivates me to trust because it has been affirmed. The first time I purchase a particular large ticket item I am skeptical. If the item turns out to be as good or better than touted then if I wanted another I would have some faith and trust that it would also be as good or better. Faith in God is similar in that once you have trusted him and he delivers the trust and the faith grow.

      I will readily admit that I haven’t seen God but I have experienced him and he is all and more than described. If I was indoctrinated then the folks doing it did a poor job. I used to be very rebellious. Nothing like the trials of life and crisis of faith to grow faith.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nice try, GOD.

      Seek abstinence, dear. You're a drunk.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Crom

      @Robert Brown – Yer a sad little troll. Haven't got a clue and don't want one, eh? Yeah, that'll work great as you go through life.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:02 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Robert Brown. Amen.

      We keep telling them they have no eyes to see, nor ears to hear His truth.

      May 12, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • momoya


      Thanks for finally admitting it.. Of course you don't critically engage your faith; if you did, you'd lose it.. You mistake the benefits of belief for proof of a particular god-exactly as the Muslim and Hindu do.. It's pitifully sad, but your brain may be too far lost to the thought-virus you continually feed.

      May 12, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • momoya

      @ HeavenSent

      I used those sorts of arbitrary statements for the fifty years I was a believer and minister–and I fully believed it then just as you do now.

      May 12, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  3. momoya

    There is ZERO proof for:

    Your god
    Other people's god
    A "soul"
    A "spiritual" realm
    An afterlife

    If you're living your life concerned about items on the above list, stop it.. There's plenty of real, actual, true issues to weigh in on and manners in which you can physically help.. Don't pray; do something.. You can pray or meditate as you work.

    Have a nice day.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:47 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.