August 20th, 2012
04:42 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Monday, August 20

By Arielle Hawkins, 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: First lady to visit families of Sikh temple shooting victims
First lady Michelle Obama will travel to Wisconsin Thursday to meet with family members of those killed and injured in a Sikh temple shooting earlier this month, White House officials confirmed Sunday. The shooting – which left six people dead and four others injured – occurred August 5 in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. The shooter, identified by police as 40-year-old Army veteran Wade Michael Page, was shot to death by police responding to the Sunday morning attack.

CNN: Obama, Romney mark campaign-free Sunday by attending church
The two men locked in an intense campaign for the White House marked one of the rare days that neither has a campaign event by attending church services with their families on Sunday. President Barack Obama, along with first lady Michelle Obama and their two daughters, Sasha and Malia, walked across Lafayette Square on an overcast Sunday in the nation's capital to attend mass at St. John's Episcopal Church. Romney, who is taking a reprieve from the campaign at his house in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, attended a Mormon sacrament meeting Sunday morning with his wife, Ann, as well as his son Tagg's family of six children.

CNN: Attacks against U.S. Muslims spike during Ramadan
To mark the end of Islam's holiest month, Iftikhar Ali will head not to a mosque but to a convention center guarded by law enforcement officers. That's because this month, during Ramadan, the mosque in Joplin, Missouri, burned to the ground. Its rubble smoldered for two days as a shocked Muslim community came to terms with what had happened.

CNN: Shooting sparks controversy over 'hate' designation for conservative group
It's an online gallery of hate. Here on the Southern Poverty Law Center website is Blood & Honour, a racist skinhead group with members who killed two homeless people they deemed inferior, according to police. A quick scroll away is the World Church of the Creator, which calls nonwhites "mud races" and preaches "racial holy war" that has, according to authorities, inspired some members to commit violent crimes. Then there's the Family Research Council. The SPLC says the conservative Washington policy group is listed as a hate group because "it has knowingly spread false and denigrating propaganda" about lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.

CNN: Conservatives see Family Research Council attack as more evidence of what they call war on religion
For many conservative Christians, this week's Family Research Council shooting that wounded a security guard and that the FBI is investigating as a possible act of domestic terrorism was hardly a one-off attack. Rather, they say the incident is the latest evidence in what they allege is a growing war on religion from the left, an offensive they say extends from the Obama White House down to the liberal grass roots and even foreign governments.

Tweet of the Day:

[tweet https://twitter.com/theResurgence/status/237352011903954944%5D

Belief on TV:

Enlightening Reads:

The Jerusalem Post: 'Women of the Wall' are detained praying at Kotel
Police detained four members of the Women of the Wall organization on Sunday morning for wearing tallitot (prayer shawls) at the Western Wall plaza. According to a 2001 law, it is illegal for women to perform religious practices traditionally done by men in Orthodox Jewish practice at the Western Wall, such as reading from a Torah scroll, wearing tefillin or a tallit, or blowing a shofar.

New York Times: A Gaza Border Slams Shut, and With It, Chances for a Pilgrimage to Mecca
Every Ramadan for the past two decades, Mouin Mushtaha has made the pilgrimage to Mecca during the last 10 days of the Muslim holy month. This year, as Ramadan ticked away, he sat gloomily at the office of his tourism agency here, watching the festivities on television. For Mr. Mushtaha, it was not just a lost spiritual experience, but a missed business opportunity: the Ramadan pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia is a major annual source of profit. But Gazans were unable to go to Mecca this season because exits through the Rafah crossing to Egypt were extremely restricted after an Aug. 5 attack nearby that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers.

Religion News Service: Russian punk band found guilty of ‘hooliganism’ and ‘religious hatred’
A Moscow court on Friday (Aug. 17) found three members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot guilty of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" after a guerrilla performance in Moscow's main cathedral in February. They were sentenced to two years in a penal colony. The band performed a "punk prayer" against Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill I.

Huffington Post: Bill Keller, LivePrayer.Com Founder, Plans Southern Poverty Law Center Lawsuit For 'Hate Group' Label
A prominent evangelist is threatening to sue the Southern Poverty Law Center(SPLC) after it labeled his Internet-based ministry a "hate group." According to a press release, Bill Keller - deemed "the world's leading Internet evangelist" and the founder ofLivePrayer.com - is planning a $100 million defamation lawsuit against the SPLC.

Opinions of the Day:

CNN: My Take: How evangelicals could grow to love Muslims
Eboo Patel, founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core, and author of Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice and the Promise of America, discusses why “the dynamic of evangelicals cheering for Catholics is one of the most stunning shifts in American political history” and how that relationship could be built between evangelicals and Muslims.

CNN: Opinion: Who will claim the Catholic vote?
Timothy Stanley, a historian at Oxford University, blogger for Britain's The Daily Telegraph, and author of The Crusader: The Life and Times of Pat Buchanan, explains why "today's Catholic vote is divided by intensity of faith."

Join the conversation…

CNN: My Take: GOP's non-Protestant ticket changes meaning of 'values'
Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," discusses why it’s harder to understand the role of religion in politics as “more religious perspectives make their way into our public space.”

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Ni

    Please don't feed the trolls. BTW, Heaven and Atheism is not healthy are the same person.

    August 20, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • tell the truth

      Be a sport and prove that.

      August 20, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Ni, that's not factual. Then again, facts are not reigning supreme on this site. Other people's handles are their own and I for one, respect their rights to freedom of speech.

      August 21, 2012 at 2:39 am |
  2. Hypatia

    filthy thug and crazy xians all belong together in the hell of their own making

    August 20, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Revelation 13:4-9


      August 21, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  3. toad

    Good morning Murica. Does the First Lady look like the Wolfman (see the photo)?

    In a peaceful, an ordered and progressive society: "According to a 2001 law, it is illegal for women to perform religious practices traditionally done by men in Orthodox Jewish practice at the Western Wall, such as reading from a Torah scroll, wearing tefillin or a tallit, or blowing a shofar."

    August 20, 2012 at 6:51 am |
  4. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    August 20, 2012 at 5:39 am |
    • God is eternal and immutable

      Your premise and mine cannot both be true. Make up your mind.

      August 20, 2012 at 6:37 am |
    • Mirosal

      You're as'suming that "it" has a mind to make up in the first place. The jury is still out on that decision.

      August 20, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Atheist = miserable.

      August 20, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • BRC

      Duck = flavored with orange

      See, I can do it too (you know, make up a false analyses where a claim is made that a statement that can be true is presented as always true).

      August 20, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • Veritas

      You prayed for imagination and that hasn't happened

      August 20, 2012 at 1:18 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 20, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • God is eternal and immutable


      Please do not pray for Heart Surgery patients. You will harm them.

      August 20, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things

      August 20, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • kindless

      As it turns out, Atheism is wonderful for everyone! It allows you to use your mind to its fullest potential. Atheism also discourages people from hiding their misdeeds within their religion which is a disservice to society. and you know, prayer is not all it's cracked up to be. one can meditate to rest the mind. And if you need to collect your thoughts or think about someone else (a real person), then get a good cup of tea and then sit down and collect your damn thoughts – you don't need to pray to people that lawyers and politicians made up long ago. keep a strong mind and be a do bee atheist like mama kindless.

      August 20, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      BRC, or it can mean, get out of the way, drop to the floor, etc.

      August 21, 2012 at 2:57 am |
    • HeavenSent

      kindless, I find you atheist very conditioned in your closed mindedness.

      August 21, 2012 at 2:59 am |
    • HeavenSent

      kindless, I never mentioned meditation. That was brought up by Huebert. I said to quiet your mind, I should have mentioned ... so you can reflect. Big difference of slowing down, quieting your mind, blocking out all the noise in your world versus meditation. I am not supporting meditation.

      August 21, 2012 at 3:02 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.