August 6th, 2012
04:57 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Monday, August 6

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:

SWAT officers surround a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, where a gunman stormed the service and opened fire on Sunday, August 5. The incident left six people and the gunman dead.

CNN: Gunman, six others dead at Wisconsin Sikh temple
The FBI will investigate Sunday's rampage at a Sikh temple in a Milwaukee suburb as a "domestic terrorist-type incident" that left at least six people and the gunman dead, the town's police chief said. Another three people were wounded, including the first officer to respond to the scene, Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards said. A second officer returned fire, killing the suspect, according to the chief.

CNN: Explainer: Who are Sikhs and what do they believe?
Sikhism, the world's fifth most popular religion, is a monotheistic faith that believes in equality and service to others, Sikh officials say. "Everyone is the same," says Raghunandan Johar, president of the Guru Nanak Mission of Atlanta. "There is no distinction, no caste system." Navdeep Singh, a policy adviser to the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, says Sikhs believe in freedom of religion, community service and inclusiveness.

CNN: 10 years after Sikh murder over 9/11, community continues to blend in and stand out
Ten years ago, Balbir Singh Sodhi was gunned down, apparently because he looked Muslim or Arab. He was neither. Sodhi was a Sikh. Members of the religious tradition say he was the first person to be murdered in retaliation for the 9/11 attacks. That claim has been backed up by the Justice Department.

Norman Gershman and Stu Huck discuss a portrait in a documentary about Albanians who rescued Jews during the Holocaust.

CNN: Documentary seeks to explain why Albanians saved Jews in Holocaust
How many people would lay down their lives for a stranger? It’s the question at the center of the new documentary “Besa: The Promise,” which premiered last weekend at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. The filmmakers’ answer: “Albanians would.” During one of humanity’s darkest chapters, when millions of Jews, gays, communists and racial minorities were rounded up across Europe, many Albanians put up a fight to save complete strangers.

CNN: Survey: Small minority of Americans use Facebook, Twitter for religious reasons
Despite the attention that major religious leaders have received for their use of Facebook and Twitter – including pastors like Rick Warren and Joel Osteen – a new survey finds that only a small minority of Americans use social media for religious reasons. Six percent of Americans say they are part of a spiritual group on Facebook, and 5% report that they follow a spiritual leader on Twitter, according to a survey released this week by the Public Religion Research Institute. The numbers come as nearly half of Americans report using Facebook at least a few times a week.

CNN: Your take: Snoop, Rastas and weed
Snoop Lion, as Snoop Dogg now calls himself, has thrown his fans a curveball. The popular West Coast rapper has taken himself from ‘thug’ life to ‘Rasta’ life. His new image isn’t the only thing that has changed. His latest song "La La La," produced by Major Lazer, has garnered plenty of attention for its reggae sound. Curiosity drew a lot of fans and others to our post “Snoop Dog is a Rasta now, so what’s Rastafari?”

CNN: Chicken, with a side of politics
Call it a crisis of faith. A co-worker and I walked into the office break room Wednesday, national Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, to find a dozen or so foil-wrapped sandwiches beckoning us from the counter. This being Atlanta, home of Chick-fil-A, we recognized them immediately, and a closer look at the puck-sized packages bearing the iconic scribbled red logo confirmed our suspicions – and deepened our paranoia. "Is this a trick?" my co-worker asked as he stood frozen in front of the counter. "Will someone judge me if they see me eating one?"

Chick-fil-A’s charitable giving has come under scrutiny in the controversy over its president's opposition to same-sex marriage.

CNN: Chick-fil-A controversy shines light on company’s charitable giving
The website for the WinShape Foundation, a group started by Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy that’s financed almost entirely by Chick-fil-A profits, doesn’t look like a battlefield in the culture war. The site features warm and fuzzy snapshots of winding country roads and rustic cabins along with links to a cornucopia of social welfare programs the foundation funds – from foster homes to kids’ camps to college scholarships – that would seem to be the furthest thing from controversial.

Tweets of the Day:

[tweet https://twitter.com/nikkihaley/status/232199719173120000%5D

[tweet https://twitter.com/NicholsUprising/status/232228325853118464%5D

Belief on TV:

Enlightening Reads:

The Chicago Tribune: At least 7 shot dead at Sikh temple near Milwaukee
Six people were slain at a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee Sunday morning before police shot and killed a gunman as congregants, many of them women and children, hid inside, authorities say. One of the first officers to arrive at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek around 10:25 a.m. was tending to a victim found on the grounds when the gunman "ambushed" him and shot the officer several times, according to Oak Creek Police John Edwards.

Religion News Service: Missouri to vote on prayer amendment as critics warn of legal nightmares
Missourians will vote on Tuesday on a proposed amendment to the state constitution that supporters say would protect residents' right to pray in public, and if a recent poll is any indication, it could pass by a mammoth margin. Supporters say the so-called "right to pray" ballot measure — known as Amendment 2 — better defines Missourians' First Amendment rights and will help to protect the state's Christians, about 80 percent of the population, who they say are under siege in the public square.

The Huffington Post: Church In A Bar: Auckland Pastors Bring The Gospel To Local Pub
Beer with that Bible? Starting this Sunday, a pair of pastors is Auckland, New Zealand, will be making that an option, as they bring the Gospels to Albany Sports Bar on the first Sunday of every month, at 7 p.m sharp.

Quotes of the Day:

Michelle and I were deeply saddened to learn of the shooting that tragically took so many lives in Wisconsin. At this difficult time, the people of Oak Creek must know that the American people have them in our thoughts and prayers, and our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who were killed and wounded. My Administration will provide whatever support is necessary to the officials who are responding to this tragic shooting and moving forward with an investigation. As we mourn this loss which took place at a house of worship, we are reminded how much our country has been enriched by Sikhs, who are a part of our broader American family.

Statement by President Barack Obama following the shooting Sunday at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.

Ann and I extend our thoughts and prayers to the victims of today’s shooting in Wisconsin. This was a senseless act of violence and a tragedy that should never befall any house of worship. Our hearts are with the victims, their families, and the entire Oak Creek Sikh community. We join Americans everywhere in mourning those who lost their lives and in prayer for healing in the difficult days ahead.

Statement by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney reacting to the Wisconsin shooting.

Opinion of the Day:

CNN: My Faith: The danger of asking God ‘Why me?'
Timothy Keller is senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York and author of The New York Times best-selling book "The Reason for God." His book for church leaders, "Center Church," will be published in September. In this Belief Blog contribution, Keller considers a question often asked in difficult times: “Why me?”

Join the conversation…

CNN: Snoop Dogg is a Rasta now, so what's Rastafari?
Rapper Snoop Dogg announced Monday that he's burying his name and old career, all because of a religious experience with Rastafari, an Afrocentric religion with origins in Jamaica. Snoop Dogg wants to be called Snoop Lion and instead of rapping on his latest album now he'll be singing reggae. "I want to bury Snoop Dogg and become Snoop Lion," he said at a Monday press conference. "I didn't know that until I went to the temple, where the high priest asked me what my name was, and I said, 'Snoop Dogg.' And he looked me in my eyes and said, 'No more. You are the light; you are the lion.'

- CNN's Laura Koran

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (24 Responses)
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    June 22, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    August 9, 2012 at 8:28 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 10, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  3. Satan

    Tell your Congress-person to stick up for Biblical marriage, and ONLY Biblical marriage : (you have many options)

    ■Marriage consists of one man and one or more than one woman (Gen 4:19, 4:23, 26:34, 28:9, 29:26-30, 30:26, 31:17, 32:22, 36:2, 36:10, 37:2, Ex. 21:10, Judges 8:30, 1 Sam 1:2, 25:43, 27:3, 30:5, 30:18, 2 Sam 2:2, 3:2-5, 1 Chron 3:1-3, 4:5, 8:8, 14:3, 2 Chron 11:21, 13:21, 24:3).

    ■Nothing prevents a man from taking on concubines or se’xual slaves in addition to the wife or wives he may already have (Gen 25:6, Judges 8:31, 2 Sam 5:13, 1 Kings 11:3, 1 Chron 3:9, 2 Chron 11:21, Dan 5:2-3).

    ■A man might choose any woman he wants for his wife (Gen 6:2, Deut 21:11), provided only that she is not already another man’s wife (Lev 18:14-16, Deut. 22:30) or a relative (Lev 18:11, 20:17, Lev 20:14, Lev 18:18). The concept of a woman giving her consent to being married is not in the Bible.

    ■If a woman cannot be proven to be a virgin at the time of marriage, she shall be stoned to death (Deut 22:13-21).

    ■A ra’pist must marry his victim (Ex. 22:16, Deut. 22:28-29), unless she was already a fiancé, in which case he should be put to death if he ra’ped her in the country, but both of them killed if he ra’ped her in town (Deut. 22:23-27).

    ■If a man dies childless, his brother must marry the widow (Gen 38:6-10, Deut 25:5-10, Mark 12:19, Luke 20:28).

    ■Women must marry the man of their father’s choosing (Gen. 24:4, Josh.15:16-17, Judges 1:12-13, 12:9, 21:1, 1 Sam 17:25, 18:19, 1 Kings 2:21, 1 Chron 2:35, Jer 29:6, Dan 11:17).

    ■Women are the property of their fathers until married and the property of their husbands thereafter (Ex. 20:17, 22:17, Deut. 22:24, Mat 22:25).

    ■The value of a woman might be approximately seven years’ work (Gen 29:14-30).

    ■Inter-faith marriages are prohibited (Gen 24:3, 28:1, 28:6, Num 25:1-9, Ezra 9:12, Neh 10:30, 2 Cor 6:14).

    ■Divorce is forbidden (Deut 22:19, Matt 5:32, 19:9, Mark 10:9-12, Luke 16:18, Rom 7:2, 1 Cor 7:10-11, 7:39).

    ■It is better to not get married at all—although marriage is not a sin (Matt 19:10, I Cor 7:1, 7:27-28, 7:32-34, 7:38).

    August 7, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • Roger

      2 Peter 2:14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:

      August 7, 2012 at 9:56 am |
  4. Doc Vestibule

    The Curiosity Mars Rover landed this morning to begin it's two year mission hunting for signs that the Red Planet once had the necessary environment to support microbial life.
    I'm curious as to what the fundamentalist lot would say should the mission prove beyond successful and evidence of life is actually found.
    Would life on other planets upset their belief system since we are supposed to be the predilect objects of Creation on the only inhabited planet in the universe?

    August 6, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      Obviously the smartest scientists on the planet would all of a sudden not know what they are doing.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • oralisM

      I lost that feeling of being at the apex oc Creation when I learned that the biomass of ants exceeds ours (termites too). Oh wait, worse still, the genetic information in our bodies is predominantly that of the microbes that colonize us.

      August 6, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Repent and believe in Jeebus and you will be put in a 401k

      There was an urgent mandatory meeting called at Creationist centers across the country.
      The meeting agenda was :
      a. Oh sh1t. What will we do when they prove Mars is older than the Babble says.
      b. Other plans and uses for present facilities, to minimize costs, and maximize revenue.

      August 6, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Peter

      Not all Christians believe in creationism. The Catholic Church believes in evolution and has for a while now.

      August 6, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      The discovery of life on mars or other planets will not reduce my faith. It would be really interesting though.

      August 6, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Huebert


      Are you a creationist, or more specifically a literal creationist?

      August 6, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      I suppose I am but probably not what is normally understood to be one. I believe God is the creator but I don’t believe he told us the “how”. The creation account he gave to Moses is extremely brief and I think it is very interesting that the Hebrew equivalent of create or to make from nothing was only used twice, in verse one and when he made man. While I respect and love several pastors who will proclaim that God created everything in six days 6000 years ago, I think there is as much room for time and anything else you want with the limited summary we are given.

      August 6, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Huebert


      " I believe God is the creator but I don’t believe he told us the how."

      Would you accept evolution as a possible "how"?

      August 6, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Marvin

      Only fools believe in evolution or the big bang. There's a reason you do this. You refuse to acknowledge your sins, refuse to change your sinful behavior, and look for other avenues to escape your pending doom. Then you mock others who have overcome as we scratch our heads saying, we're not going where you are doomed to go if you don't repent. So, keep laughing fools. You are only fooling yourself.

      August 7, 2012 at 4:30 am |
  5. Andrea

    Actually, the tenets of Sikhism are remarkably similar to the tenets of true christianity; worship of one god, caring of one another, social equality, the seeking of truth, the struggle for justice, the embracing of the most needy in the society,the rejection of lust, greed,anger, hate and ego. Sikhs believe that you can only get closer to god through daily prayer, religious worship through song, physical and spiritual work and charity, and starting a family and raising them in the word of God. One difference though, in Sikhism, women are EQUAL to men.

    August 6, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • Repent and believe in Jeebus and you will be put in a 401k

      Where do I look up the tenets of false christianity ?

      August 6, 2012 at 11:50 am |
  6. Axes

    Mirosal : Couldn't agree with you more!

    August 6, 2012 at 6:42 am |
  7. Rainer Braendlein

    First, my heartfelt sympathy to the relatives of the victims.

    The gunman has commited an evil crime, and will be punished according to his guilt.

    I have heard Obama had said the Sikh would belong to the American "family". I think Obama should not make such statements. A state is not a family but an administrative structure which allows extremly different people to live together on a certain level of tolerance. However, this level can never be the level of close friendship between relatives.

    Still, America has got a Christian culture. It needs no proof that Christian culture and Sikh culture don't fit together perfectly. Nobody should try to unite such distinct cultures. Somebody who ignores natural conditions will face damage. Don't try to unite what is totally distinct.

    It sounds so nice when Obama says family but he makes a great mistake. He implies that it would not matter what exactly you believe, main thing you believe anything. That is not good.

    Obama should be convinced of his personal faith but about all the other beliefs he should simply say nothing, excepted that every citizens of America is expected to live a life of love, righteousness and virtue.

    I myself am a Protestant, and I believe in Jesus Christ. I am convinced that Christianity is the real faith, but assumed Obama had the same faith like me, I would not expect him to prefer the Protestants. He shall confess his own faith honestly, but should the citizens only require to be people of love, righteousness and virtue.

    In a word, freedom of religion is a very good achievement of the modern world, but it is not good to lump together all religions. Citizens of a state should be allowed to prefer (if they want) the one religion which causes love, righteousness and virtue, yet nobody can be forced to do that. Also it should be allowed to say that religions which promote bigotry and fanaticism cannot be very advanced. A reasonable man will prefer a faith which causes love which is independent from color, faith, nationality, status, etc. of the neighbour.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:24 am |
    • Axes


      August 6, 2012 at 5:47 am |
    • Mirosal

      A reasonable man should not require the mandates of any religion. Remember, freedom of religion is a good thing, of course, but with that you also have freedom FROM religion as well.

      August 6, 2012 at 6:32 am |
    • K-switch

      Hey Rainer, come to the American South East and see the love, independent of color, protestants demonstrate.

      August 6, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • .

      Mirosal, maybe there's room for you and the other atheists on Mars. Praise Jesus.

      August 6, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Repent and believe in Jeebus and you will be put in a 401k

      And what would we ever do without yet another sermon from Braindead Rainerlein ?

      August 6, 2012 at 11:53 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.