July 18th, 2012
04:30 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Wednesday, July 18

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: Ordination on the go? There’s an app for that!
Ever wondered what it would be like to become ordained as a priest, rabbi or imam? If you have an iPhone, you could be just a few screen swipes away from finding out. That’s because Tony Jones, theologian-in-residence at Solomon’s Porch in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has developed an application, or “app,” that allows iPhone users to experience mock ordinations in more than two dozen faiths.

Tweets of the Day:

[tweet https://twitter.com/BeliefBeat/status/225443623548878849%5D

[tweet https://twitter.com/HuffPostRelig/status/225313923895803906%5D

[tweet https://twitter.com/publicreligion/status/225258685763551234%5D

[tweet https://twitter.com/EricCNNBelief/status/225261555607027712%5D

Belief on TV:

Enlightening Reads:

Religion News Service: Seventh-day Adventists file suit over door-to-door solicitations
Seventh-day Adventists have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of two ordinances in an Alabama city that the church says bars it and other religious groups from door-to-door solicitations unless they first register and pay license fees. The lawsuit was filed after a member of the church's Summer Student Missionary Program was ticketed in June by a police officer for selling books door-to-door without a City of Alabaster permit, the lawsuit states. After the citation, the group suspended its program in Alabaster, which is about 20 miles south of Birmingham.

The National Journal: Muslim Americans Using Comedy to Break Down Stereotypes
Political comedy is nothing new. But in a post 9/11-world, some young Muslim Americans are finding that comedy is one way to break down stereotypes and educate mainstream America about one of the most racially diverse religious groups in the U.S. Comedian Dean Obeidallah, a New Jersey native whose father is Palestinian and mother Sicilian, told a small recent gathering in Washington that humor is a way to openly talk about important subjects on politics, religion, and current affairs. Obeidallah, an attorney-turned-comedian, performed in Comedy Central’s Axis of Evil special. He is the coproducer of an upcoming documentary, The Muslims are Coming!

Christianity Today: Mixed Views on Vanderbilt Veto
Vanderbilt University will stand by its "all-comers" policy for student groups next fall, after a veto from Tennessee governor Bill Haslam in May stopped popular legislation that sought to block it. The policy requires student groups to open membership and leadership positions to all. The legislation, which passed both state houses easily, would have instructed Tennessee's public universities—and Vanderbilt—to drop "all-comers" policies or extend them to now-exempt fraternities and sororities.

The New York Times: Mormons’ First Families Rally Behind Romney
More than 150 years after the followers of Joseph Smith settled in Utah, descendants of those first families of Mormonism are joining together in a new effort: delivering the White House to Mitt Romney, whose great-great-grandfather Miles Romney settled alongside many of their ancestors in Nauvoo in 1841 and joined their torturous migration.

Religion News Service: Churches shifting summer worship from Sunday to Wednesday nights
As New England sweltered in early July, Sunday mornings came and went without a single soul showing up for worship in the hot, stuffy sanctuary of First Congregational Church of Salem, N.H. Even the pastor stayed home. But God wasn’t forgotten. Worship just waited until Wednesday evenings, when the cool comfort of the basement fellowship hall drew as many as 40 to sing and pray. That’s 50 percent more than the church attracted when it met on summer Sundays.

Opinion of the Day:

Arsalan Iftikhar says the debate on circumcision is really about religious freedom.

CNN: My Take: Jews and Muslims should unite against Germany circumcision ban
Arsalan Iftikhar is an international human rights lawyer, founder of TheMuslimGuy.com and author of the book "Islamic Pacifism: Global Muslims in the Post-Osama Era." He gives his take on a recent and controversial ban by a German court on the circumcision of baby boys.

Join the conversation…

CNN: Hotels asked to dump porn
In many hotel rooms, finding adult entertainment is as simple as a click of the remote. But that may change. A Christian scholar and a Muslim scholar are teaming up to ask hotels to stop selling in room adult entertainment. CNN's Susan Candiotti reports. Read more about the story here.
Strange religious bedfellows unite for letter against hotel porn

- CNN's Laura Koran

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    July 20, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • 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 20, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  2. J.W


    July 18, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • K-switch


      July 18, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  3. Johnny Blammo

    Hey Robert! Why haven't you provided the evidence that "Supernatural phenomena happen all the time"?

    Should be easy to do if it happens all the time.

    July 18, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Johnny Blammo,
      There are a mult.itude of miracle testimonies available. Google it and read as many as you want.

      July 18, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      Again, The unexplained does not mean miracle nor supernatural. They mean unexplained.
      A UFO only means unidentified...does not mean it is an alien spacecraft....same logic behind it
      unknown does not equate to miracle.
      to your point it also does not exclude the possibility of a miracle

      July 18, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Robert -a nutter claiming "I saw "X", and it's a miracle" is not evidence.

      I see Jesus, er, Frank Zappa in my toast all the time. Is it a miracle? No. It's a bent wire in the toaster and the human proclivity to see patterns where there is no pattern.

      July 18, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  4. Speakin in tongues

    @ who invited me ? Don't you think your last response was a little condescending of persons who have their prayrs answered...Why if a person has their prayers answered they are likely to pray more often... don't cha think?

    and all the time you living in your own strenght till the end , which will certainly come... unless of course scientists can create a eternal life pill .... 🙂 🙂 🙂 good luck with that

    July 18, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Who invited me?

      Not condescending at all. to an irrational and illogical mind, prayers are answered.
      it is the jump to a conclusion based on a total lack of evidence as to cause/ effect.
      The religious like to make that jump and call it god.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Darwin's Ghost

      Like when Governor oops prayed so successfully for rain in Texas?

      July 18, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Answer

      Start praying for rain for next year and the next one after that.. the United States is going to need it.

      You delusional idiots that want to stay on your knees.. stay there til you rot. Keep praying for the rain to end the droughts.

      July 18, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  5. K-switch

    first off, the ti tle of the article was a question, because divine intervention could not be proven, other than the "feelings" of those involved. But I was refering to the more dramatic stuff: parting seas, reanimating dead bodies, ascending into the sky, angels mating with humans. It is convenient that stuff happened IN the Bible, but never after it was written.

    July 18, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Robert Brown

      The bible covered 4000+ years. In that time water got parted a couple of times, dead got raised a few times, ascending a couple. The angels mating with humans is debatable, as far as, the interpretation of the verse, but even so, was only recorded once. The dead being raised all occurred while Jesus was on earth. Paraphrasing here in the story Jesus told of Lazarus the beggar and the rich man, Abraham said even if someone came back from the dead, some still would not believe (Luke 16:31). I see what you are saying though, and I think Gods answer is faith.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Speakin in tongues

      I speak in unknown tongues since 1978 ... 🙂
      that's about 2000 years after it was first done in Acts chapter 2. 🙂

      I've also had dreams and visions ; that's another thing mentioned in the bible, which happens today ..

      andof course God speaks to me... 🙂 🙂 🙂

      July 18, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Speakin in tongues

      @ Robert Brown... 🙂 I've entertained and angel and I was made aware; before hand to be aware, by the scripture you are quoting ...so that when it happened , I made a remark about the sentence upon me. 🙂
      that was in 1993, I'm still waiting, expecting 🙂

      and still here! 🙂

      July 18, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • K-switch

      That's a lot of happy faces.

      July 18, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • K-switch

      Good point about the elapsed time. I suppose over 4000 years that would make those "dramatic" defiances of natural law less common. But I'm a skeptic. In this day of camera phones if something like that happened, hopefully someone would record it and post it on youtube 😉

      July 18, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
  6. Robert Brown

    This centurion stepped out from the crowd, took his place beneath the cross, and said, “Truly this man was the Son of God” (Mark 15:39). It’s not how much you know, it’s whom you believe, that’s the thing that is important.

    July 18, 2012 at 7:20 am |
    • AGuest9

      Or, how much bronze age BS you choose to believe.

      July 18, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • JellyBean


      July 18, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • HeavenSent

      AGuest and JellyBean, It is your choice not to believe, but, I wouldn't want to waste my life waiting not to be deceived by satan, who deceives the entire world. That's why most of us seek Jesus' truth.

      Revelation 20:1-3

      1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
      2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
      3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.


      July 18, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • Mirosal

      Anybody who really believes that angels and dragons are REAL should never be taken seriously.

      July 18, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • K-switch

      How convenient that supernatural phenomena happend all of the time, up until about 2000 years ago. I might believe too if the earth shook after someone was crucified, atleast until I took a geology course or 2.

      July 18, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • Robert Brown

      I have never personally seen an angel but, …”some have entertained angels unawares.” (Heb 13:2)

      July 18, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • Robert Brown

      AGuest9 & JellyBean,
      The centurion was Roman, probably worshipped Apollo and Caesar, never heard of Jesus till he helped crucify him, something he probably did to a lot of people, and yet….

      July 18, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Supernatural phenomena happen all the time. People can’t explain, but surely it couldn’t be God, because he doesn’t exist, right?
      Research miracles for yourself, here is one that came up when I searched; http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/7293237/ns/today/t/did-prayers-god-help-cure-cancer/

      July 18, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • Who invited me?

      It amazes me how often "we don't know"becomes evidence of god.
      Things happen that are not easily explained or for the time being we cannot explain. This is not evidence of a god, or of no god.
      If you examine the cases where the catholic church has determined a miracle, they are phenomina where "we do not know" became "its a miracle"....attributing the unexplained as supernatural and evidence of a god.

      July 18, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Who invited me?, Next you'll be trying to convince the world that scientists have some voo-doo rituals going behind the scenes causing the unknown because you refuse to learn Jesus' truth.

      July 18, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Who invited me?,
      Yes, I would agree that to an objective observer who does not believe in God miracles are not accepted as acts of God. But, if a person prays to God for a miracle and receives it, wouldn’t you agree that is acceptable evidence to them.

      July 18, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Who invited me?

      To an irrationaland illogical mind, you are correct. otherwise it is presumption

      July 18, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why would scientists need "voodoo rituals", HS? Evolution is working just fine without any intervention.

      July 18, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • K-switch

      Opps, this posted in the wrong place before.

      first off, the ti tle of the article was a question, because divine intervention could not be proven, other than the "feelings" of those involved. But I was refering to the more dramatic stuff: parting seas, reanimating dead bodies, ascending into the sky, angels mating with humans. It is convenient that stuff happened IN the Bible, but never after it was written.

      July 18, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Darwin's Ghost

      What credentials did this unknown unnamed lowly soldier have that he should supposedly make such a sweeping statement of which there is no evidence and be believed by educated reasoning people?

      July 18, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Johnny Blammo

      "Supernatural phenomena happen all the time."

      Support that whopper with examples.

      July 18, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Darwin's Ghost,
      That is all we are told, so we have no way of knowing anything else about him.

      July 18, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Darwin's Ghost

      My point is why believe him? I could say that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the son of god – does that make it true?

      July 18, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Darwin's Ghost,
      That was his testimony. We have it, along with the testimonies of the New Testament writers, and the millions of Christians since. What more could you ask for?

      July 18, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Robert Brown

      How about something that is verifiable by everyone, regardless of how they think or blieve? Isn't it strange that what you said can be applied to every other religion in the world currently?

      July 18, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      I can give you my "testimony" of exactly why I BELIEVE there are no gods
      It remains only my belief

      July 18, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Robert Brown,
      "That was his [the Roman Centurion's] testimony. We have it,..."

      No, you do not have his testimony. You have a story about it from a 1st century evangelist.

      And even if you did have it, it is not enough. If you want, you can go get the "testimony" of a couple of dozen folks in Baton Rouge, who "saw" blood coming from the head of a statue of the Virgin Mother!

      July 18, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • AGuest9

      "Blah blah, satan, more BS, blah, blah"

      July 18, 2012 at 5:19 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.