August 1st, 2012
04:30 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Wednesday, August 1

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: Black pastors group launches anti-Obama campaign around gay marriage
A group of conservative black pastors are responding to President Barack Obama’s support of same-sex marriage with what they say will be a national campaign aimed at rallying black Americans to rethink their overwhelming support of the President, though the group’s leader is offering few specifics about the effort.

Tweet of the Day:

[tweet https://twitter.com/JTAnews/status/230354635171438592%5D

Belief on TV:

Enlightening Reads:

The Patriot-News (Pennsylvania): Charges filed against pastor in mock terrorism raid at Lower Swatara church
Dauphin County prosecutors today charged a church and its pastor after a mock "terrorism raid" in March. The fake raid occurred at Glad Tidings Assembly of God Church in Lower Swatara Township when four men - one carrying an unloaded but real gun - rushed into a room full of youth-group participants, put pillowcases over their heads and forced them into a van. The children didn't know the raid was fake. One was injured.

The Los Angeles Times: Immortality studies centered at UC Riverside get $5-million gift
Even a multimillion-dollar donation does not ensure a spot in heaven. Or at least that’s what most religions believe. But a $5-million academic grant, to be centered at UC Riverside, may go a long way toward gaining insights into the possibility of an afterlife and delving into what science and culture say about immortality.

The Courier-Journal (Kentucky/Indiana): Holocaust survivor discovers photo of family's flight from Nazis
Fred Gross had already done enough research to publish a book on his family’s daring two-year escape from the Nazis in World War II. But while searching the Internet this year for photos to help illustrate talks he gives to students on Holocaust awareness, the Louisville author made his most stunning discovery — a news photo showing his whole family aboard a truck crowded with refugees, arriving in a small French town.

LiveScience: Amish Population Booms in US
Though they travel at the pace of a horse and buggy, the Amish are spreading out across the nation more rapidly than most other religious communities. A new Amish settlement is founded in the United States nearly once a month, according to a new census, which also found that more than 60 percent of all existing Amish communities sprang up after 1990.

Newsday (New York): Snoop Dogg joins other rappers who found religion
Snoop Dogg, now known as Snoop Lion, has changed his name and found religion. The West Coast rapper once known for lyrics including “I’m a gangsta, but ya’ll knew that. Da big boss Dogg, yeah I had to do that,” is turning to the mellow sounds of reggae. It seems the rapper has joined the Rastafari movement.

Christianity Today: Richard Land Announces Retirement From Southern Baptist Ethics Commission
Richard Land, the outspoken president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), announced today that he will retire in October 2013 after 25 years of service. Baptist Press, which announced the news, noted that Land, 65, "led the transformation of the Southern Baptist Convention's ethics entity during the denomination's conservative resurgence."

Opinion of the Day:

CNN: My Take: Chick-fil-A controversy reveals religious liberty under threat
R. Albert Mohler Jr. president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world, weighs in on the Chick-fil-a controversy.

Join the conversation…

CNN: Church that barred black wedding affirms commitment to equal treatment
A Mississippi church that wouldn't allow a black couple to marry in its sanctuary because of the couple's race appears to be trying to right a wrong, as officials with the church's denomination decried the incident. Charles and Te' Andrea Wilson, regular attendees at First Baptist Church in Crystal Springs, Mississippi, were forced to relocate their wedding this month at the last minute. Their pastor, Stan Weatherford, made the relocation request on behalf of some congregants who didn't want to see the couple married there, according to CNN affiliate WLBT.

- CNN's Laura Koran

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    August 2, 2012 at 8:22 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!

      August 3, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • John20v31

      Prayers of the faithful are strong and powerful – God listens to His children and takes pleasure in hearing their most intimate cares and concerns – and the Lord is the one (by His Holy Spirit) that calls us to prayer and points us to Christ in prayer. Don't confuse God's timetable or His willingness to reject human requests as His absence. He is present everywhere ... in fact, He made you. Just because you reject Him does not render God absent – it just tells God that you reject Him. Why in the world would God want to hear from someone who rejects His mercy, grace and forgiveness. Apart from Christ you are lost in your sins ... lost forever. Repent and believe the Good News of forgiveness in Jesus. He will open your eyes and will give you the eyes and ears of faith to pray by His Spirit. The gospel of Christ is foolishness to those who are perishing. Come on along to Jesus ... He is the only way to freedom. You are still bound by the evil one who holds you captive in your sin ... of course you ridicule prayer.

      January 17, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • JWT

      Come along to jesus? You have got to be kidding.

      January 17, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
  2. lunchbreaker

    Huebert, it very well may end up that way due to the expansion of the universe and the limitation of the speed of light. While no object can move through space faster than the speed of light, the speed limit does not apply to the actual expansion of space itself. So depending on the geometry of space, eventually the expansion may exceed the speed of light meaning there would be an event horizon lost to us forever. But that would take about 2 trillion years, so plenty of time still.

    August 1, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      opps, supposed to be below.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Huebert

      I think if we are ever able to really explore the universe it will be with extra dimensional travel, such as worm holes or some other method of folding space. If we are ever able to do that even the event horizon would be with in our reach.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      That is the tricky part, wormholes and such. If your interested there is a good book by Paul Davies called "How to Build a Time Machine". Although time travel is the main topic, it inculdes a detalied discussion of the logistics of creating a worm hole big enough for a person to go through. Spoiler alert:

      The amount of energy needed is ridiculously large based, on todays technology of course.

      August 1, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • William Demuth

      I am the child of a well educated family, whom all believed we would NEVER break the sound barrier.

      Looking back that seems silly.

      We can get tp Proxima in a handfull of years at sublight speeds. We have dozens of bodies near by right now (Planets, moons, asteroids)

      Plus once humans are free of the gravity well, rest assured some would never come back to it.

      In fact, as soon as the first child is concieved and born off our planet, it would be quite reasonable to say he wasn't even human any longer,

      August 1, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Pepé la Pew

      It sounds like the universe is expanding in Demuth's pants again.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
  3. *facepalm*

    Random thought – ever notice how cars sporting the 'it's a poverty that a child must die so that you can live as you wish' bumper stickers always seem to be luxury vehicles? Because actual children – you know, the ones that are more than just a collection of cells, have an actual nervous system, and are outside the womb, wouldn't have to die of starvation if the money that went to that Lexus SUV went instead to a charity?

    August 1, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  4. William Demuth

    Question of the day.

    What will it mean for religion when the new Mars probe finds something to indicate Mars once had (or still has) LIFE?

    It seems to me that it spells doom for many of today’s religions.

    Granted it will take a while, but their propaganda seems incompatible with a shift in paradigm of that magnitude

    August 1, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • Huebert

      It will mean a new thing for religion to explain away. Heck young earth theorist have "geologist" that say that their is evidence for a world wide flood. The ultra religious will always find a way to justify their belief.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      I agree with Huebert. Most religious will find a way past the cognitive dissonance while still clinging to their belief.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • J.W

      I think it depends on how literal you take your sacred text.

      August 1, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • toad

      Imagine the disappointment if no life is found in the solar system beyond this planet. Also, if evidence of life anywhere else is forever beyond our reach. The Universe is not compelled to provide evidence to support anyone's ideas about it.

      August 1, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      Unless it was intellegent life capable of understanding and rejecting a particular religion, I don't see why they (religious folks) would care. But strangely enough some people will fight tooth and nail against the idea.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Ransom

      Still won't prove the atheistic religion correct.Atheists think it will take a punch at all religions but really you just say that to tick people off.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Huebert


      Why would life outside of our solar system be "forever beyond our reach"?

      August 1, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • William Demuth

      Strange, few voiced opinions either way.

      As for myself, I suspect life will be damn near everywhere we look.

      Truth is we have been on Earth for millenia and I suspect we still can't even recognize all the forms of life we have here.

      Once we begin to "open our eyes" I suspect that any sense of being "prefered" by divinity will seem ridiculous.

      I hope if we ever do find advanced life that they have evolved past the religious phase, because otherwise a bloodbath seems likely

      August 1, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Ransom

      Humans won't EVER stop killing,r.a.p.i.n.g war etc.Its very delusional for an atheist to think religion is the source when humans have been killing since the start.I sense no logic in this when reality disproves what you "logical" atheists believe.Its sad yes but its the truth.I hope you atheists come to realize this.Stop blaming and see what you think is just a fantasy.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • William Demuth


      Please reread your post, and translate it into a language other than your own.

      Otherwise you will be dismissed as some marginaly literate unstable zealot (But hey, if the shroud fits, wear it!)

      August 1, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Huebert

      You haven't dismissed him as such already?

      August 1, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Ransom

      Atheists think like many religious.One that dominates(just one faith etc) will destroy all sorts of evil.But history has shown,its not religion ITS HUMANS.Finally get what I'm trying to say? HUMANS cause it.And atheists are too high on their own throne to see it.

      7% of mankinds wars were fought for a religious reason.7%.What does that say about how much atheists deny reality?

      August 1, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • William Demuth


      We agree, humans suck.

      But we can NOT stop being humans.

      We can begin to mature, and a great first step would be to dispense with the bronze age nonesense.

      Either we become our own savior, or we die. No slightly delayed Palestinian Super Hero is going to arrive to save us.

      Our destiny is in our own hands and no Gods are required.

      They are in fact counter productive.

      August 1, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Ransom

      Ding ding ding!!!!! Finally someone who gets it!

      So no logic and reason can save us..as atheists think it will.No human can rise above tge human condition not even the so called "logicals".

      August 1, 2012 at 12:27 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.