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September 25th, 2012
06:52 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Tuesday, September 25

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: Police: Pakistani teen innocent of blasphemy, but case continues
A 14-year-old Pakistani girl who had faced life in prison for allegedly burning the Quran will have her case heard in juvenile court, the girl's lawyer told CNN. A local court ordered the transfer on Monday, Tahir Naveed Choudhry said. Pakistani police told CNN their investigation concluded Rimsha Masih is innocent and was framed by an imam. "There was no legal evidence against Rimsha," officer Munir Jafri told CNN.

CNN: Mormon blogger says he faces church slap-down, possible excommunication
A Mormon blogger in Florida typed his way into national headlines when he recently went public about facing possible disciplinary action from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. David Twede, who says he’s a fifth-generation Mormon, is the managing editor of MormonThink.com, an online publication that invites debate and open discussion about the LDS Church.

Belief on TV:

Enlightening Reads:

New York Times: A Successful Yom Kippur Fast, With a Medical Assist
In a basement room crowded with medical equipment, about 20 people at one time — sick, pregnant, frail and elderly, or on lifesaving medication — will be hooked up to intravenous drips on Wednesday to receive nutrients they need to get through the day. The unlikely setting will be the main synagogue of the Bobov Hasidic sect, a cavernous house of worship in Borough Park, Brooklyn, that sets up hospital beds and intravenous drips in advance of the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. The patients will be frail Orthodox Jews trying to make it, with a little boost, through a day of religiously required fasting.

Haaretz: In battle to survive the Yom Kippur fast, one small, doughy weapon
Just because it's a fast day doesn't mean Yom Kippur is devoid of culinary interest. Jews are determined to reach the most important fast of the year on a full stomach, and no one ignores the previous day's edict: to eat. The hours and days before Yom Kippur are devoted in many Jewish kitchens worldwide to one particularly tough decree – preparation of kreplach, those pale dumplings that Ashkenazim are inclined to consume at least three times a year: at Purim, on the seventh day of Sukkot known as Hoshana Rabbah, and on the eve of Yom Kippur.

Religion News Service: Judge blocks New Orleans law that prevents preaching in French Quarter
A federal judge has temporarily blocked enforcement of a city law that was recently used to arrest Christian evangelists who were preaching on Bourbon Street during Southern Decadence, the annual celebration of gay culture in the French Quarter. Part of the city's recently enacted "aggressive solicitation" ordinance orders people not to "loiter or congregate on Bourbon Street for the purpose of disseminating any social, political or religious message between the hours of sunset and sunrise."

AFP: No tax, no sacraments, decrees German Catholic Church
Germany's Roman Catholics who refuse to pay a church tax will be barred from receiving the sacraments or becoming a godparent, under controversial new restrictions entering into force on Monday.

Catholic News Service: Albanian Catholics to excommunicate participants in blood feud
Albanian Catholic leaders warned they would excommunicate anyone involved in the traditional "gjakmarrja," or blood feud, after complaints of worsening violence. "People kill without hesitation in this bloody, barbaric system of revenge, often justifying their actions from a centuries-old tradition," Archbishop Angelo Massafra of Shkoder told a Sept. 18 news conference to present a pastoral letter against the blood feud.

Religion Dispatches: Dear Mitt, Young Mormon Families Need Medicaid Too
Last week, Mitt Romney criticized the “47%” of Americans who rely on government programs such as Medicaid, arguing that they don’t “take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” Since then, it’s been pointed out that the 47% includes the elderly, the unemployed, and veterans—but it also includes a significant number of young Mormons like me.

Quote of the Day:

I feel loved by Allah. I fear him, but I love him more. I simply do what my heart tells me. In the name of Allah, people have judged, marginalized, and even killed...being homosexual can’t be worse than that.

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Michael Sinan, Mr. Gay Denmark discusses whether his sexual orientation makes him a sinner.

Join the conversation…

CNN: Different Takes: Should we abandon idea of hell?
Frank Schaeffer, New York Times bestselling author, discusses “ the political implications of having a huge chunk of humanity believe in damnation for those who disagree with their theology.”

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Uncategorized

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  3. hippypoet

    belief itself isn't a bad thing. i can say that honestly and believe those words. any belief that makes one want to be a better person is a grand belief to be sure! however, the belief in something unpovable full heartedly is what i find to be disconcerting. the real issue with religion is when those that believe full heartedly run a country or when the majority of the cizitens are religious. For as we all know, the majority make the rule. wether it be thru having more votes or greater numbers in your army the idea is the same, strength in numbers! But when this is the case what you get is oppession.

    any religiously ran government is an oppressive one. All religions state what people should, should not, can, and can not do and even at times religions state when one should do these things. it is in its most basic function a form of social control that warps the mind of the creature being controlled so that the end result is a person who willin
    gly acts in accordance to that very same oppressive government thereby making the government appear to be not controlling at all.

    it is a very nice trick, but aren't tricks for children?
    should we not grow up?
    are dreams really worth giving reality up?
    how is a hope greater then knowledge?
    why aren't other things taken at face value with the same "faith"?
    if anything then at least shouldn't the tenets of your faith be adhered to and be upheld?
    should you stone your own children because they were dissrespectful to you?
    should you kill those of differing cultures or beliefs because they have differing cultures and beliefs?
    would you allow those that survive YOUR jihad to be enslaved and turned into property?
    should women be viewed as property and treated as such?
    how many commandments do you follow and how many do you think there are?
    shouldn't the followers of the abrahamic faith know the answers to these questions?
    was hope greater the knowledge?
    did the dream live up to its reality?

    food for thought.

    September 27, 2012 at 11:44 am |
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  5. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    September 25, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. The degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 25, 2012 at 6:20 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! *.

      September 25, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • truth be told

      Follow me as I follow the real Jesus.

      September 25, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Veritas

      So pray for some imagination

      September 25, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Religion is good

      I tink you should be more possitive in your message and as so negative by bad mouthing atheism.

      September 25, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
  6. Atheism is Great for Kids and Grown-Ups Too!

    It's really best for all people including children to have an agnostic approach to god, and an atheistic approach to all religion. It keeps things simple for kids, and lets them be all that they can be. They just need to be taught that some things, like all religion, were just made up by salesmen and politicians from long ago. (Yes, charlatan folklore and spam started long before the Bible; what would make you think they hadn't?) And they need to be taught that other things, like God, we really don't know a damn thing about.

    Atheists have strong minds and don't need a religion. Many religious folk have the best intentions. But too often, religious folk run and hide their misdeeds within their religion (and by doing so, they disserve society). And too often, religious folk are easily offended when someone mocks their make-believe characters – and, as we can see they can get really CRAZY!

    Although there are many religious folk with good intentions – some selflessly helping others, religions and religious organizations are, as a whole, just big old clubs – each trying to out do each other and inspiring hate and division (often disguised as love) along the way. The problem is that people too easily buy into religion and don't realize how unfounded it all is. And when they buy into it, they buy into a lot of really old, really weird tenets that are nothing but harmful for the human species.

    Take Christianity, for instance. Just look at all the things that Christians argue about amongst themselves today – abortion, men's and women's roles in the church, celibacy, contraception, acceptance of gays, etc. Most of these issues have their roots in the conflicted, unfounded tenets of early Christianity. Non-Mormons harp on Joseph Smith these days. But we really don't have any more proof at all to believe that Paul, the self-proclaimed "apostle" was anything more than an ordinary man who needed to make up religious "sales literature" to survive and spread his own personal beliefs. And yet a good chunk of the NT is attributed to Paul and accepted by many Christians. And a lot of what he wrote about has to do with many of the issues I mentioned above that have Christians fighting amongst themselves hundreds of years later. It's way too unfounded to argue over.

    Get a good cup of tea, and sit down and collect your thoughts. If you find it helpful to pray to a god, fine. But it is really healthier for the mind to leave behind all the characters that people over the centuries have invented or given powers to, for which there is little or no foundation. Because with those invented characters and powers – that's where division and hate join the little party in your mind. That's where, in your mind, you are inheriting the division and hate from ordinary politicians, lobbyists and salesmen from long ago. My goodness.

    mama kindless

    September 25, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • nope

      @atheism....
      nope

      September 25, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • snopes says

      nope to nope

      September 25, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
  7. 24 Hour Crisis Center

    God created the universe. Many billions of years ago, a life form evolved on a planet not so far distant and their scientists deduced the building blocks for life existed in the universe and from it, new life forms could be created. These ancient ones populated Mars with life and eventually, due to asteroid events over millions of years, life arrived here on Earth. We are a product of that primeval turbulence. Therefore, we must worship the Aliens, not God. The Aliens have to worship God. This is all true because I have faith that it happened just this way.

    September 25, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The Founders seeded the galaxy with life and Sisco is their emmissary.

      September 25, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      Sisko from star trek??

      September 25, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Towelie

      I don't even know what's goin' on.

      September 25, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • ME II

      The robots that we will build will have seeded the universe early in it's history.

      September 25, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • Towelie

      @ME II

      Do YOU want to get high?

      September 25, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
  8. Early Irish Catholics

    ...and though they grieved and rent their clothes, it was in the pub the followers gathered for darts and dark ale which they hoisted in sadness and drank with great sorrow. Many libations they consumed and they called it the blood of the son of God.

    September 25, 2012 at 11:45 am |
  9. CielExpédié

    Monsieur Eh bien, si vous voulez savoir, j'ai été obligé de fuir ces articles par tommie tom, scotty toux quand ils m'ont couru pour être un chrétien. Maintenant, je suis dans la clandestinité en France de faire le travail du Seigneur Dieu à l'abri. C'était pour moi diffuclt voler si je devais prendre une barge poubelle sur les mers.

    Amen.

    September 25, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Irrational Exuberance

      Muy astuto.
      Señor, yo te saludo!

      September 25, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • CielExpédié

      @Irratioal

      Merci beaucoup. Amen.

      September 25, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  10. averagejoe76

    It's man's details surrounding God that causes tension. Only if we'd be humble enough to admit we know nothing about God. Taking the agnostic approach is the best way to do this. Convincing people of this is a definitely challenging.

    September 25, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • hippypoet

      take it one step further – just teach what we know....let children make stories of their own and watch as they grow up and out of those stories they once lived by.

      leave any notion of god(s) out of it. the easiest answer when asked anything that one might lean towards a god type is say the truth – i don't know. honesty is a quality lacking in todays world by most of those that lay claim to high moral standards and so called ethics.

      September 25, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Towelie

      Do you wanna get high?

      September 25, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Irrational Exuberance

      The more thought I give to the matter the more I become convinced there is no such thing as an agnostic theist.

      You can't be agnostic and make any kind of claim in belief in a deity. They mouth the words that they aren't laying a claim to knowledge, but the presentation of a belief of a god inherently carries with it a claim of some knowledge. Specifically that a god, no matter how they do or refuse to define it, exists. At which point they stop being agnostic. It is a catch-22, the agnostic would claim no knowledge, but the theist simultaneously claims the matter of their non-knowledge exists.

      So that to be an agnostic one must be an atheist, not just unreligious.

      September 25, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • You'reajoke

      What challenges does an atheist have in life? None, except, don't let others know your motive in life is all about you.

      September 25, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • hippypoet

      we atheists have the exact same challenges in life as you believers do – only we accept them and deal with them while believers attempt to pray their issues away or just accept them as what they are and claim that its gods work and god works in mysterious ways.

      thats the only difference, well that and we have the ability to accept responsibility for our actions – you folks claim it as gods will.

      September 25, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  11. Atheism is Great for Kids and Grown-Ups Too!

    It's really best for all people including children to have an agnostic approach to god, and an atheistic approach to all religion. It keeps things simple for kids, and lets them be all that they can be. They just need to be taught that some things, like all religion, were just made up by salesmen and politicians from long ago. (Yes, charlatan folklore and spam started long before the Bible; what would make you think they hadn't?) And they need to be taught that other things, like God, we really don't know a damn thing about.

    Atheists have strong minds and don't need a religion. Many religious folk have the best intentions. But too often, religious folk run and hide their misdeeds within their religion (and by doing so, they disserve society). And too often, religious folk are easily offended when someone mocks their make-believe characters – and, as we can see they can get really CRAZY!

    Although there are many religious folk with good intentions – some selflessly helping others, religions and religious organizations are, as a whole, just big old clubs – each trying to out do each other and inspiring hate and division (often disguised as love) along the way. The problem is that people too easily buy into religion and don't realize how unfounded it all is. And when they buy into it, they buy into a lot of really old, really weird tenets that are nothing but harmful for the human species.

    Take Christianity, for instance. Just look at all the things that Christians argue about amongst themselves today – abortion, men's and women's roles in the church, celibacy, contraception, acceptance of gays, etc. Most of these issues have their roots in the conflicted, unfounded tenets of early Christianity. Non-Mormons harp on Joseph Smith these days. But we really don't have any more proof at all to believe that Paul, the self-proclaimed "apostle" was anything more than an ordinary man who needed to make up religious "sales literature" to survive and spread his own personal beliefs. And yet a good chunk of the NT is attributed to Paul and accepted by many Christians. And a lot of what he wrote about has to do with many of the issues I mentioned above that have Christians fighting amongst themselves hundreds of years later. It's way too unfounded to argue over.

    Get a good cup of tea, and sit down and collect your thoughts. If you find it helpful to pray to a god, fine. But it is really healthier for the mind to leave behind all the characters that people over the centuries have invented or given powers to, for which there is little or no foundation. Because with those invented characters and powers – that's where division and hate join the little party in your mind. That's where, in your mind, you are inheriting the division and hate from ordinary politicians, lobbyists and salesmen from long ago. My goodness.

    mama kindless

    September 25, 2012 at 7:37 am |
    • CielExpédié

      Vous pouvez athées me chasser hors du pays, mais vous ne pouvez pas changer la vérité de Jésus, qui est la vérité de Dieu. Vous croyez aux mensonges de satan et de détourner de Jésus. Mon camel-toe englouti 3 moutons dans la campagne française. Tu ferais mieux de commencer votre marche avec Jésus.

      Amen.

      September 25, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
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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.