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June 21st, 2012
04:37 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Thursday, June 21

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: No verdict in Philadelphia priest sex abuse trial, source says
A Philadelphia jury was unable to reach a verdict Wednesday on four of five charges in a landmark priest sex abuse case, according to a source familiar with the proceeding. There appear to be two holdouts, and the judge has ordered jurors to keep deliberating, the source said. It is not clear which charges could not be agreed upon.

CNN: New Southern Baptist leader: Former street preacher, Katrina survivor
Hospitalized at age 21 with compound fractures and serious head injuries after a motorcycle accident, Fred Luter Jr. decided to give his life to God and enter the ministry. A native of New Orleans' impoverished lower Ninth Ward neighborhood, Luter was the third of five children raised by a divorced mother who worked as a seamstress and a surgical scrub assistant, according to Thom Rainier, president and CEO of the Nashville, Tennessee-based LifeWay Christian Resources and a friend of Luter's.

Ex-priest Jim Smith, opponent of Minnesota's ballot to ban same-sex marriages, says these are difficult days to be Catholic.

CNN: Can 'true Catholics' support same-sex marriage?
Jim Smith is a former Roman Catholic priest who left his post with the church 10 years ago. He's an ex-priest for several reasons, he says, but one of his main concerns was the church's stance against same-sex marriage and other LGBT issues. But Smith remains a Catholic – though he says being a Catholic who actively campaigns for legalized same-sex marriages can be difficult these days.

Tweet of the Day:

Belief on TV:

Enlightening Reads:

Religion News Service: ‘Radicalization’ hearings on Muslim return to Capitol
House lawmakers split along party lines at a hearing Wednesday meant to gauge Muslim responses to earlier hearings on the “radicalization” of American Muslims. Testimony by four witnesses was overshadowed by Republicans who defended the four prior hearings and Democrats who questioned whether they were misguided or actually harmful to Muslim Americans.

USA Today: Catholic bishops press cause against federal mandates
U.S. Catholic leaders, claiming religious liberty is under assault from the Obama administration, are launching two weeks of non-stop nationwide teaching, preaching and public events to press their cause. The campaign kicks off Thursday. Government, they say, should not decide who is religious enough to be exempt from government mandates — particularly a requirement to provide free contraception insurance coverage — that would force the faithful to violate church doctrine.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency: Hebrew-language charter school in N.Y.’s Harlem gets go-ahead
A Hebrew-language charter school approved for the Harlem neighborhood of New York is scheduled to open in the fall of 2013. The Harlem Hebrew Language Academy Charter School was formally approved Tuesday by the New York State Board of Regents. It will be modeled after the Hebrew Language Academy Charter School in Brooklyn.

Opinion of the Day:

CNN: My Take: Asian immigration is making U.S. less religious
Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," gives his take on new immigration statistics, and what they could mean for the future of religion in the United States.

Join the conversation…

According to a 2008 poll, 31% of Americans were raised Catholic, but only 24% describe themselves as Catholic.

CNN: 'Recovering Catholics' reveal spiritual journeys
Kristen Kelly was raised Roman Catholic, attended Catholic elementary school and considered herself a good Catholic, but when she was 21-years-old that changed. “A coworker asked me if I believe in Jesus Christ,” she says. Despite spending her entire life in the Roman Catholic Church she couldn’t answer the question.

- CNN's Laura Koran

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. ElmerGantry

    Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things stated once again.
    "Prayer changes things"

    June 21, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    Earlier I challenged you to do something positive for humanity by praying to stop the international sëx forced trafficking of the estimatated 800,000 people.

    To wit,

    I see your prayers to stop the estimated 800,000 people who are forced into sëx traficking across international borders yet.
    Wait since prayer changes things that means you have not been praying to stop this scourge on humanity.

    Why won't you pray to stop this repulsive human abuse?

    In Matthew 21:21:
    I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.

    Mark 9:23
    All things are possible to him who believes.

    In Luke 1:37:
    For with God nothing will be impossible.

    Nothing could be simpler or clearer than Jesus' promises about prayer in the Bible.
    So there you have it, straight from the New Testament in clear, simple, and unequivocal terms.

    You are a sincere believer are you not?
    Well since you are why do you not pray to end this horrible and repulsive human abuse.

    Jesus says very unequivocally that if you have faith and do not doubt that you will receive whatever you ask in prayer and nothing is too big to ask for.
    Sinnce this horrible practice has not ended, that means you are not praying to end it.

    Why not?
    Knowing that you could put a stop to such practices but don't implies you are a sicko enjoying the schadenfreude.

    How is that cognitive dissonance in you brain knowing that you could stop this human abuse but choose not to stop it?

    Put up or shut up you TROLL

    June 23, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • ElmerGantry

      Correction,
      I see your prayers to stop the estimated 800,000 people who are forced into sëx traficking across international borders has not worked.

      June 23, 2012 at 8:42 am |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    June 21, 2012 at 8:49 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!

      June 22, 2012 at 11:31 am |
  3. dougaussie

    I have a question. In luke 23:43 is the comma in the wrong place. verily i say unto thee.... , ..... today you will be with me in paradise. shouldn't it read : verily i say unto thee today.....,.... you will be with me in paradise. Because why would jesus tell the thief he would be with him in paradise today if jesus was actually going to hell first to preach, and then being resurrected because in the garden he said to mary he hadn't yet ascended to the father? Did Jesus look all beat up, disfigured, for 40 days till he ascended?

    June 21, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  4. junior

    That CNN created this blog not to promote religion and morality but to use it as an avenue of entertainment and as a soapbox for those who fester in nihilism.

    June 21, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  5. kindness

    This is my experience... Thank you.

    MY personal testimony.
    A thought to consider without an ego response

    Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Transcend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.

    The key is be present and transcend our own desire to physically see evidence. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.

    Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both christians and non are sinners.

    We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Follow me".
    It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .

    Try reading corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
    See the truth...
    do we do what it says in todays society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from som other person...which may have been full of arogance pride or vanity..

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancsend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find any truth you can take with you ....in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life..... You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf.... the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed..... your good deeds will be forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated..... your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over . This is truth .

    Trancsend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent.... Repent means knowing (to change) The Holy spirit (within) will convict you beyond what you think you can do by yourself. Grace is given to those who renounce the world. That are" in" the world but not "of " the world.

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible . Ask Jesus in faith for dicernment and start reading the new testament... You will be shocked when you lay down your preconceived notions and ....see and hear truth ... see how christ sets an example ... feel the truth....

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth in Christ.

    Sell all your cleverness and purchase true bewilderment. You don't get what you want ....you get what you are in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
    You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it

    You're all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.
    I'ts a personal free experience you can do it free anytime . Don't wait till you are about to die.. START PUTTING YOUR TREASURES WHERE THEY REALLY MATTER >
    Its awsome and It's just between you and Jesus

    my testimony

    Romans 10:9

    "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved

    June 21, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • TROLL ALERT

      click the report abuse link to get rid of this TROLL and garbage so hopefully they'll start blocking them from posting .

      June 21, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Yabba Dabba Don't

      You did not put one "experience" in you experiences. It's just a mish-mash of discredited cliches.

      Major fail.

      June 21, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  6. CNN Snark Update for Thursday

    When CNN is finally torn from its southern bigoted moorings, where will it land?
    Deeper in the swamp? In the clear air of ethical news reporting?
    Or will it die a lingering death from the pathetic programming ideas of clueless executives?
    Everyone aboard the failboat! It is sinking fast! Get your deck chair tickets at the CNN ratings booth today!

    June 21, 2012 at 7:41 am |
    • @CNN Snark Update for Thursday

      That you, hippypoet?

      June 21, 2012 at 8:05 am |
    • Bo

      Obviously you are very angry, but do you have specifics? What do you mean by. “...clear air of ethical news reporting?” To me it seems clear that the job of CNNs blog editors is to stir up contention among it's posters; in that, they do a fairly good job. The only thing is: too many of the posters really have nothing to say of value; they only make snide, critical and pointless statements. I suppose that is OK for entertainment, but in my opinion it is “low brow” entertainment.

      June 21, 2012 at 9:31 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.