July 13th, 2012
05:09 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Friday, July 13

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: Strange religious bedfellows unite for letter against hotel porn
A letter penned by two notable scholars – a Christian and a Muslim – and sent to a number of different hotel industry executives has asked those hotels to remove pornography from their company’s in-room movie selections. Robert P. George, a professor at Princeton University and the past chairman of the conservative National Organization for Marriage, and Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, co-founder of Zaytuna College, a Muslim school, wrote the letter to urge hotels “to do what is right as a matter of conscience.”

Tweets of the Day:

[tweet https://twitter.com/CatholicNewsSvc/status/223384126953242624%5D

[tweet https://twitter.com/mboorstein/status/223492503091937284%5D

[tweet https://twitter.com/RickWarren/status/223511403691126786%5D

Belief on TV:

Enlightening Reads:

The Huffington Post: American Confidence In Organized Religion At All Time Low
According to a recent Gallup poll, the number of Americans who have faith in organized religion is at an all-time low. Only 44 percent of Americans today have a lot of confidence in organized religion, compared to 66 percent in 1973 when organized religion or church was the highest rated institution in Gallup's "confidence in institutions measure."

The Tampa Tribune: Muslims seek law enforcement instructor's ouster
Local Muslims are asking for the removal of a state-contracted counter-terrorism instructor whom they say spreads false information about their religion and encourages law enforcement officers in Florida to racially profile people of the Islamic faith. The Council on American-Islamic Relations in Tampa sent a letter Tuesday to state officials, asking them to sever ties with instructor Sam Kharoba. The trainer's presentations are "full of inaccuracies, sweeping generalizations and stereotypes," the letter said.

Businessweek: How the Mormons Make Money
It’s perhaps unsurprising that Mormonism, an indigenous American religion, would also adopt the country’s secular faith in money. What is remarkable is how varied the church’s business interests are and that so little is known about its financial interests. Although a former Mormon bishop is about to receive the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, and despite a recent public-relations campaign aimed at combating the perception that it is “secretive,” the LDS Church remains tight-lipped about its holdings. It offers little financial transparency even to its members, who are required to tithe 10 percent of their income to gain access to Mormon temples.

Religion News Service: New Muslim prayer mat sheds light when facing Mecca
Devout Muslims pray five times a day, facing the holy city of Mecca. But what if you don’t know what direction Mecca is? Try the new illuminated prayer mat. Invented by London-based Turkish designer Soner Ozenc, the mat lights up when facing the Saudi city.

Opinion of the Day:

Tibetans at a protest in Taipei in 2011 display portraits of people who killed themselves by self-immolation.

CNN: My Take: Dalai Lama should condemn Tibetan self-immolations
Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," explains why he believes the Dalai Lama should abandon his position of neutrality on the “epidemic of self-immolations” going on in Tibet.

Join the conversation…

Actress Katie Holmes recently filed for divorce from actor Tom Cruise.

CNN: Unpacking report that Katie Holmes has rejoined Catholic Church
In the blizzard of reports surrounding Tom Cruise's recent split with Katie Holmes, this one stands out: After her years married to Scientologist Cruise, Holmes is said to be rejoining the Roman Catholic Church of her youth. A report from the Huffington Post with the decisive headline "Katie Holmes Returns to Catholic Church" has been rattling around the Internet since Monday. But the Internet newspaper cites a lone unnamed member of the church choir, who claims Holmes has registered as a parishioner of the Church of St. Francis Xavier in New York.

- CNN's Laura Koran

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. знакомства караганда

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    July 17, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
  2. Jesus is the most powerful figure known to mankind (Fact)

    Belief is based off of opinion, it can either be true or false. Atheist and some scientist believe there is no Creator (God), but creation created itself. Christians know that there is a God due to the evidence all around us. There is a difference between believing and knowing. Scientist cannot give solid physical evidence proving that love exists. Yet doesnt pretty much everyone know it exist? There is less evidence that love exist then there is evidence that God exist. There are physical things all around us proving God's existence. What evidence can anyone prove that love exist? So who is blind Christians or atheist? The answer is crystal clear. Just a reminder John 8:47-"He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God." John 15:19-"If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you."

    July 15, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Your post is nearly unreadable.

      July 15, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
  3. Chuckles

    The character of god is so pervasive, it's tough, now a days, to tell the difference between the cultural image of present day god and the one of the bible, or rather, even of the god only 300 years ago. God now accepts behavior that was unthinkable and yet, if you ask any person who believes in their specific god, they'll all tell you that he (maybe the one thing that hasn't changed is his gender) is eternal.

    My observation is simply this; for any person who is a believer out there, do you live the same as a puritan of the 1600's and if so why? If not, then why not? Were the Puritans good christians or have you figured out something that people for hundreds of years before you could not?

    July 14, 2012 at 1:16 am |
  4. What's a brony?

    Many atheist posters are cyberbullies.When they say "you are a loser",its a form of cyberbullying.Or "retards"...

    So much for them having "logic" which makes them "educated".

    July 13, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Satan is waitin!

      What's a brony? Great question. A brony is a form of the common internet troll. The brony uses the known tactic of "baiting". We he accuses a group of some form of "hating". After inviting a response he proceeds to act like a jag off and be a hypocrite.

      July 14, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • Lewis Keseberg

      Thanks for the enlightening post. You can go back to stroking your over-inflated inferiority complex now.

      July 14, 2012 at 12:32 am |
  5. Robert Brown

    ….Dr. Harry J. Deuel Jr., Dean of the University
    of Southern California’s graduate school. When he was head
    of U.S.C.’s biochemistry department, he said:
    Believe in God? Yes, I think a great engineering
    intelligence underlies the very foundations of
    science….Out of the chaos of elements from which our
    world was formed has come order and direction. Order
    so exact that it can be measured with minute precision
    and predicted to the split second. Everywhere is the reign
    of perfect law….No man, not even the most brilliant
    scientist, has penetrated life’s ultimate mystery. But when
    he does, I’m sure he will stand face to face with God.

    July 13, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Answer

      Fallacy of looking up for an authority figure. Such a shame that all men are just that 'men'. Given to errors of logic and unwilling to go all the way past the "god did it" or "god must have done it".. such drivel it is to quote useless god people.

      Quoting from any useless religious people who have died actually makes things worse for yourself because you're following right along in being an idiot. You'll die an idiot also.

      July 13, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Answer

      It's like this: an example: everyone appreciates Isaac Newton for his genius for giving us his contributions. We attest by them even as of today. But he also had a fallacy and stopped his work by giving up and started referencing 'god'. Then his works fell off.. since then other geniuses have taken his works and have added way more to them. Newton could've have been at his absolutely maximum potential if he ignored the premise of god. His name would've ended up where the others had overlapped his works.

      July 13, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      1. We don't know anything ABOUT the supposed "designer" of our universe, so it's silly to say that the hole of our mud puddle was made in just the precise shape for our volume and density of water to fit in it. It just a/ssumes way too much.

      2. Even if we do go with that explanation, it gets us no closer to knowing the type of god or his/her/its will and nature. In fact, if we study nature, we come to the conclusion that god does NOT want to reveal anything definitive about himself, because he could have made himself as obvious as gravity–but he chose not to do so. He could have made his nature and will as understandable and emergent as the concepts of geometry or chemistry–but he chose not to do so. What a stupid god to make physical laws and mathematical principles so obvious, yet can't do so about himself.

      July 13, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Sorry, meant to add this:

      The universe is hurtling towards a cold death where particles keep pushing farther and farther apart until all motion stops and all heat is gone. No energy, no mass, no more universe. Is this god's ultimate message? That HE, and we, get thinner and less substantial until we dissolve in cold meaninglessness? Because that's what the universe is teaching us.

      July 13, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Steve

      @ Moby Schtick wrote "We don't know anything ABOUT the supposed "designer" of our universe..." and"Even if we do go with that explanation, it gets us no closer to knowing the..."

      Oh, Grasshopper. We can most assuredly know Him quite intimately. I speak from experience...

      July 13, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      And how do you know your little interpretation is correct?

      July 13, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • just sayin

      The same way all moral, rational and decent people do. God bless

      July 13, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Steve

      "For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive."

      -Jeremiah 29:10-14

      Seventy years is symbolic of a spiritual journey. Babylon literally means confusion. Only God Himself can lead us out of Babylon. I speak from personal experience. That's about all I can tell you...

      July 13, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @just sayin

      I guessthat leaves you completely out of the running then. 0 of 3 is a pretty bad record for you.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      If all you have is personal experience, then you can't expect anyone else to take you seriously.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Unless they already agree ith you that is.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • just sayin

      Actually if you only knew what you were not talking about you would be amazed. As it is your thinking is 180 degrees off, with no real hope for recovery. God bless

      July 13, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Steve

      @Moby Schtick "The universe is hurtling towards a cold death where particles keep pushing farther and farther apart until all motion stops and all heat is gone. No energy, no mass, no more universe. Is this god's ultimate message? That HE, and we, get thinner and less substantial until we dissolve in cold meaninglessness? Because that's what the universe is teaching us."

      This is not our home. This universe is neither the beginning nor the end of our journey. That is what it teaches us.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      Makingan assertion like that requires actual evidence.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • Steve

      The evidence is everywhere if you earnestly and sincerely seek after it.

      July 13, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Standard apologetic answer. Is that truly all you're capable of?

      July 13, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
  6. Anne

    My post wasn't addressed to Achilles, but, I did notice that Reality's nose is out of joint.

    July 13, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  7. *

    To all the Christians on this site, the same person writes under all the atheists posts, that being Reality.

    July 13, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • *

      Wow did you just show your stupidity or what. To all out there Christians are liars and can't follow their own rule book!

      July 13, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Achilles

      * is HeavenSent, Atheism Is Not Blah Blah Blah, Captain America, and others.

      * is stupid enough to think that the many different writing styles and approaches are all from one person.

      July 13, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Anne

      Thank you for the reminder. We knew that months ago.

      July 13, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Anne

      Notice how Reality is coming to the rescue.

      July 13, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Robert

      I know the Captain personally, those other Christians aren't him.

      July 13, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Achilles

      Add Anne and Robert to the list of HeavenSent aliases.

      July 13, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Achilles, don't mention my name in your post Tommie, Tom.

      July 13, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  8. Jefferson Bedford Forrest

    Time for a real simple lesson, you doomed atheists! Learn it and you won't have to snap. crackle and pop in the Lake Of Fire!

    Psalm 23, beloved by all Christians, will save your butt if you accept it. The LORD is my shepherd. Easy as that. Accept it and you are saved from your inevitable doom.

    And it is so beautiful. Jesus is the shepherd, and you are the sheep. Wait a minute . . . uh, I know Jesus means that in the best possible way. Don't worry about Jesus thinking you are a sheep. Let's move on.

    Jesus will be the best of shepherds, and he will lead you where shepherds take sheep. Wait a minute . . . shepherds take sheep to . . . slaghter. Uh . . .

    Look, Jesus is too busy answering prayers to write good metaphors, so just be a sheep and love Jesus! Wait . . .

    Let's talk about something else.

    July 13, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Jefferson, play all the games you want. Don't worry about a thing. Eat, drink and be merry. LOL.

      July 13, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Answer

      How's the praying going to help you lot in the Mid-West and beyond that are suffering in drought conditions?

      Pray you losers but science is the one that is going to tell us how to save ourselves.

      July 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  9. JA

    God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy

    July 13, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Crazy Larry

      Believing that the world is what it looks like is crazy, believing that there is an invisible man who runs every last corner of the universe but has nothing better to do than be your personal buddy while war and cancer and torture and child abuse go on and on and on, that's sane?

      You really haven't thought about it at all, have you.

      July 13, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • JA

      And here you are on your "lack of belief" blog whining about wars, illness, and abuse, while blaming it on some invisible dude who doesn't exist to you. You sound more delusional than what you folk claim christians to be mr. lazy larry.

      July 13, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • Crazy as Larry

      I think you misread what he said. If there were a great god why would he/she/it permit the things listed.

      July 13, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Crazy Larry

      Reading comprehension has always been difficult for you, hasn't it?

      I don't blame any of that on things that don't exist. I am pointing out the absurdity of your position, which credits your imaginary buddy with a few particular behaviors, but who ignores things he really should be helping with.

      July 13, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • JA

      I admit I had trouble reading my own handwriting when i was young. Then I was prescribed corrective lenses. But it would be irrelevant to do the same for a blind man.

      July 13, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Wow, you really showed him, JA.

      July 13, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
  10. On the contrary

    Praying is simply imaginary talking to an imaginary being inside your head and nowhere else in the universe.

    July 13, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • !

      Sinners are the reason why Jesus came to earth so they may hear his truth and be saved.

      July 13, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Cal

      What was wrong with slaughtering sheep to pay for your sins?

      July 13, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • That's funny

      I got God iin my belly.. 🙂 🙂

      I got em exactly the way Jesus said in John chp 7 now 34 years to this tiem. 🙂

      Jesus is not for everyone.. but a few... he said so .... I just wanted to let you know...

      That I'm one of those few...

      Jesus Christ is all about immortality and in this world we who know him as he prescribed get to try that out .. 🙂
      the one thing we all as humans have is death... Glad to know by my experience with immoratalilty that I live on after death has seized this body of mines.. by Jesus Christ... I take him at his word , that ther is no other way... 🙂

      July 13, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Jesus

      You are not taking me at my word if you haven't followed these words:

      "Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!"

      Got that? Don't work, because God will feed you like he feeds the ravens.

      "Sell your possessions and give to the poor."

      Got that? Impoverish yourself. You will be fine.

      That's my word. Take me at it.

      I wonder why none of my followers actually does that?

      July 13, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Cal, either some atheist stole your handle or you're a phony yourself asking questions about Jesus yesterday as if you wanted salvation.

      July 13, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Cal

      Nothing phony about asking legitamite questions. As I tried to discuss with you yesterday, I can not get any Christian to discuss how "salvation" worked in the OT. Maybe that is a moot point, but I don't get why it makes you so defensive. The fact is according to the Bible, there are people in Heaven who did not accept Jesus as thier savior, because He had not died yet. Why is that such a hard question to answer?

      July 13, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Cal, Jesus said,

      I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

      Revelation 1:8


      July 15, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  11. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    July 13, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does 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!

      July 13, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • That's funny

      It changed things for me ... I received the Holy Spirit in 1978 .. thirty four years ago..in Jesus name...

      You are not JESUS ... 🙂 BECAUSE HE WOULD NEVER SAY WHAT you said to Prayer changes things...

      that would you the liar in JESUS' name... woe be unto you... 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Wait a minute, That's not funny 🙂

      July 13, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Jesus


      BURN, SINNER!!!!!

      July 13, 2012 at 12:08 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.