October 22nd, 2012
04:41 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Monday, October 22

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: Atheist billboard attacks Romney’s faith, but Mormons say it's misleading
When he campaigns in southern Florida on Monday, Mitt Romney will have an unwelcome traveling partner: a mobile billboard attacking his religion. The billboard on wheels, sponsored by American Atheists, attacks the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for its treatment of African-Americans and gays, though the church says the attacks are inaccurate.

CNN: Pope names first Native American saint
Sunday was a big day for Catholics in North America. Thousands of miles away in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI named 17th century Mohawk Kateri Tekakwitha the first Native American saint.

CNN: Is Obama the ‘wrong’ kind of Christian?
Historians may remember Obama as the nation’s first black president, but he’s also a religious pioneer. He’s not only changed people’s perception of who can be president, some scholars and pastors say, but he’s also expanding the definition of who can be a Christian by challenging the religious right’s domination of the national stage.

CNN: Quarterback moves to trademark 'Tebowing'
Thou shalt not Tebow, for the wages of Tebowing is trademark infringement. A management and consulting firm representing New York Jets back-up quarterback and evangelical sports icon Tim Tebow has moved one step closer to holding the trademark "Tebowing" for use on things as widespread as clothing, pencil sharpeners and holiday ornaments.

CNN: Mother Marianne becomes an American saint
An American health care pioneer will receive the Roman Catholic Church's highest honor this weekend. On Sunday, Mother Marianne Cope – along with another North American, Kateri Tekakwitha – will become a saint, a designation so difficult to achieve that only 10 other Americans have been canonized before her. Saint Marianne Cope, as she will soon be known, may be best remembered for her work with patients suffering from Hansen's disease – or lepers, as they were called at the time.

CNN: Mali Islamists destroy tombs in Timbuktu
Al Qaeda-linked rebels in northern Mali destroyed historic and religious landmarks in Timbuktu on Thursday, claiming the relics are idolatrous, residents told CNN. Three four-wheel-drive trucks carrying at least 30 armed fighters arrived Thursday morning at three mausolea – all U.N. World Heritage sites – in the southern Timbuktu neighborhood of Kabara, two residents told CNN by phone.

Tweet of the Day:

[tweet https://twitter.com/HuffPostRelig/status/260191242942554113%5D

Belief on TV:

Enlightening Reads:

Religion News Service: State of the God Gap
So what's the current state of the God Gap? A good deal less robust than it was in 2008. Just in is a new Hartford Courant/UConn poll that tabulates presidential preference by frequency of (reported) worship attendance. And what we find is that frequent attenders prefer the GOP ticket (Romney/Ryan) by 51 percent to 43 percent. That's down by one-third from the 55-43 margin for the GOP (McCain/Pain) in 2008.

The Jerusalem Post: Britain’s deputy PM makes visit to Auschwitz
Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg joined students from high schools and colleges from across the Southeast of Britain on a visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau on Thursday. The visit was part of the Lessons from Auschwitz Project, run by the Holocaust Educational Trust, the London based charity which organizes for 3,000 students from the UK to visit the camp in Poland each year – two students from each institution of learning.

Reuters: Tweeting Turkish pianist Fazil Say denies religious insult charge
Turkish concert pianist Fazil Say’s exuberance has won him fans around the world, but it has also helped land him in court as a cause célèbre for those alarmed by Turkey’s creeping Islamic conservatism. On trial for insulting religion in citing a thousand-year-old poem on his Twitter account, the 42-year-old performer and composer told a first brief hearing in Istanbul on Thursday that he denied the charge, which can carry an 18-month sentence.

The Boston Globe: ‘Now or Later’ serves a powerful brew of religion, rights, and politics
Heaven knows there has been no shortage this month of high-profile, and occasionally high-temperature, political debates. But the clash of ideas in the Huntington Theatre Company production of Christopher Shinn’s “Now or Later’’ contains an especially volatile ingredient, one that’s virtually guaranteed to bring even the most arcane arguments to a boil: family. A complex father-son relationship lies at the heart of Shinn’s nuanced and thought-provoking drama about freedom of speech, the West’s relationship with the Muslim world, the challenges to gay rights, presidential politics, the contradictions of liberalism, and the perils of fundamentalism, whatever the religion.

Religion News Service: ‘Distilled Spirits’ traces birth of New Age spirituality
Gerald Heard is the most influential religious thinker you’ve never heard of. Without Heard, some of the major spiritual developments of 20th-century America - the introduction of Eastern mysticism, the development of the human potential movement and the spiritual use of psychedelic drugs - might never have happened. And at least one skeptical California newspaperman named Don Lattin might never have sobered up, stopped using, and found a measure of serenity and faith.

Join the conversation…

CNN: Billy Graham buys election ads after Romney meeting
The most famous and revered pastor in America, Billy Graham, is calling on voters to cast a ballot for their faith in full-page ads in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and other newspapers. Graham's picture appears prominently in the ads, next to copy that reads, "As I approach my 94th birthday, I realize this election could be my last."

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (328 Responses)
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  2. AlongTheWay

    Well then. For those that don't believe - if you work a job where you get Christmas day off - make sure you're working that day as it doesn't apply to you at all.

    December 16, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
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  5. Zingo

    THE END OF THE WORLD IS COMING SOON (in cosmological time frames, that is).

    Collision between the Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxies should start around 4 billion years from now (I'll have to stay up late and watch that one), and the sun should g red giant in 5 billion years (stock up on sunscreen). Then again, the radual size increas of the sun may kill everything on Earth in 1 billion years.

    Hey, look at that! My birthday is the day Jeane Dixon predicted the AntiChrist would come and destroy the world! I must be the AntiChrist! Fear me! Dread me! Talk dirty to me!

    I'm not very well paid for an AntiChrist.

    October 23, 2012 at 2:12 am |
  6. A question for Robert?

    So Robert, when you are still around on December 22 and realize that nothing at all happened and that it was all phony delusion, will you finally realize that there is no God, that you have been chasing illusions, or wll you just make up excuses and replace it with new illusions conspiracy theories?

    I mean, you are looking at the very real possibility that your beliefs will be proven absolutely wrong on a specific date. If that happens, will you come to your senses, or come up with new lies?

    Here is an excerpt from National Geographic. NASA scientist gives his comments:

    2012 MYTH 3
    Galactic Alignment Spells Doom

    Some sky-watchers believe 2012 will close with a "galactic alignment," which will occur for the first time in 26,000 years.

    In this scenario, the path of the sun in the sky would appear to cross through what, from Earth, looks to be the midpoint of our galaxy, the Milky Way, which in good viewing conditions appears as a cloudy stripe across the night sky.

    Some fear that the lineup will somehow expose Earth to powerful unknown galactic forces that will hasten its doom—perhaps through a "pole shift" (see above) or the stirring of the supermassive black hole at our galaxy's heart.

    Others see the purported event in a positive light, as heralding the dawn of a new era in human consciousness.

    NASA's Morrison has a different view.

    "There is no 'galactic alignment' in 2012," he said, "or at least nothing out of the ordinary."

    He explained that a type of "alignment" occurs during every winter solstice, when the sun, as seen from Earth, appears in the sky near what looks to be the midpoint of the Milky Way.

    Horoscope writers may be excited by alignments, Morrison said. But "the reality is that alignments are of no interest to science. They mean nothing," he said. They create no changes in gravitational pull, solar radiation, planetary orbits, or anything else that would impact life on Earth.

    The speculation over alignments isn't surprising, though, he said.

    "Ordinary astronomical phenomena are imbued with a sense of threat by people who already think the world is going to end."

    October 22, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • Answer

      I just want Robert to admit that he is a Camping. XD

      Or in the least a Camping follower.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:55 am |
    • Zingo

      I do love the way the End Of The World people allow do-overs.

      October 23, 2012 at 1:59 am |
  7. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    October 22, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • HeavenSense

      Hi Prayer-Bot.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:38 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. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book can help you:

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

      October 22, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • .

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "Salvatore" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      Taskmaster" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "The Truth" degenerates to:
      "Thinker23" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
      "Kindness" degenerates to:
      "Lorraine" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian:...

      October 23, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • 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!`

      October 23, 2012 at 9:02 am |
  8. Answer

    Here are some universal truths (when they are defined):

    1) When you put a SINGLE object beside another object – you now have MORE than a single object.

    2) When you place the EXACT same amount of grouped objects beside each other – you now have DOUBLED them.

    3) When you point out "any ONE POINT" – it is defined as the "REFERENCE POINT"

    4) When you move FROM the REFERENCE and then STOP to another POINT.. you've created a LINE.

    5) When objects are tied to a STRING and SPUN, they travel in a CIRCLE around the CENTER. (You're holding the STRING!)

    6) When the said object in #5 is RELEASED – it travels in a LINE (on a TANGENT).

    You KNOW these!

    When I see a god – I can tell you IF it IS A GOD... a god would be able to SPIN that OBJECT IN A PERFECT SQUARE.

    October 22, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Robert

      I guess it was the Devil that spun you like a top.

      October 22, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • fred

      Yes, you now have your god doing silly tricks for you. Something tells me that when you bow before God your little slights towards what you do not know and cannot understand will be sign that you wish to spend eternity away from God.
      My suggestion would be that you read Luke 23:39-42 and take note of the two criminals on the Cross with Christ. It may just save your soul

      October 22, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Answer

      Oh the regular bible thumpers... yes.. that ole "I'll post about the devil and my god" bit.

      Throw in more drivel about the heaven and soul..

      Can't comprehend your delusions and realize those stated truths?

      October 22, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • OneTruth

      fred, Yet you can understand? Self-selecting methinks. As there is no god, no heaven, and no hell, there's no problem.

      October 22, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Robert

      Answer, here's some FACTS you received from Jesus, but, claim it as your own.

      You can see number displayed in a remarkable manner.

      The 12 signs of the Zodiac, each with three constellations, making 36 in all, which together with the 12 signs make a total of 48.

      There must be a reason, therefore, why the number 12 should thus pervade the heavens.

      Why should 12 be the predominating factor? Why should it not be 11, or 13, or 7, or 20?

      12 is one of the four perfect numbers, the number of governmental perfection; hence it is associated with the rule of the heavens, for the sun is given "to rule the day," and the moon "to govern the night." The significance of this, however, must be deferred till we come to consider the number "twelve" under this head. It is enough for us now to notice the fact here, upon the threshold of our subject, that we have one common measure, or factor, which is seen in the 12 signs of the Zodiac, the 36 (3×12) constellations,* the total 48 (4×12); the 360 (12×30) degrees, into which the great circle of the heavens is divided. No one can tell us why the number of degrees was first fixed at 360. It has come down to us from ancient times, and is used universally without a question.** And it is this division of the Zodiac which gives us the 12 months of the Zodiacal year.

      This is called also the Prophetic year, for it is the year which is used in the prophecies of the Bible.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Do Zen


      Lemme see here:

      My grandmother had 12 grandchildren
      My mother had 12 siblings
      My mother also had 12 grandchildren.

      I'll bet that either my younger brother (12th grandchild) or my daughter (12th next-generation grandchild) is the Messiah!! Ooooooh... this is gonna be fun!

      October 22, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Robert

      Why you are at it Answer, do tell, why are there 12 Apostles and not 11, 7, or 6?

      October 22, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Robert

      Do Zen, play all the games you want. I just wanted to let you atheist know where wisdom comes from. And ... it wasn't from you or your scientists.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • WASP

      @answer: huh? all those things you listed only exist in your mind. they are HUMAN terms to explain things, that's all. nothing magically about them.

      @robert: 12 perfect number? god's clock must be off because the earth isn't naturally broken down into 12 hour periods because the earth is slowing in it's rotation. our days are getting longer; if god had something to do with it then the earth should spin perfectly, but we don't. the earth just like the "tops" you played with as a child will eventually slow down that the earth will spend a day with one side facing the sun....................................however by the time that happens humans would have been dead for a few billion years.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • WASP

      @robert wisdom doesn't come from god.
      i have met 10 year olds that were wiser than their 30 something year old parents.
      i've met people that are wise in some aspects of life, yet ignorant in others...............speeking of which......lol.

      wisdom is nothing more than being capable of using stored information in your mind to benefit others instead of strictly yourself. it's knowing when and where to do what with what you know.

      example: it's wise of me to explain to my son why to keep his hands clean to prevent illness; it's ignorant for me to attempt to explain that same infromoation to a doctor.
      example 2: its wise to explain evolution if you have a common grasp of the processes required for evolution to take place; it is ignorant to attempt to explain evolution when the person has no grasp on basic science theory.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Robert

      WASP, the tilt in the axis is due to the Katabole. You can find that in the in the Bible. Seek and you shall find.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Robert

      WASP, the theory of evolution is flawed. Maybe that's why you atheists insists there are flaws in Jesus' truth. However, Jesus' truth is perfect.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • Answer


      If your fancy 12 is the magically number.. why do we humans have only 10? And if it isn't so as stated in your bible that humans are a creation based on god, then god has agreed to that 10.

      Using numerology .. "oh look at that heaven of stars and see how we've god has divided it into a PERFECT ZODIAC!"

      Go fvck off Robert.. we humans will form anything we see into pictures, device whatever we want and section things off into anything we want to make sense onto ourselves. Your bs is so childish.

      October 22, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Robert - King of the Wild Delusionals

      I wonder if Robert knows that the zodiac is of Greek origin and refers to the Greek pantheon and religious beliefs? It predates Jesus by centuries. I wonder why he thinks Jesus gave us an obviously Greek system of a different religion, and why that religion has relevance to Christianity?

      October 22, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • Yeah

      Muslims have a similar crackpot theory based on the number 19. Revelations played a similar number game with Nero's name, getting 666 and 616, depending on the form of Nero's name.

      It's all just silly.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • OneTruth

      Robert. What flaws are there in evolution? It's not certain that Jesus existed (as portrayed in the bible at least), and you know the bible is totally unreliable on most things – creation for one, origin of species for another, "historical facts" such as Noah's Ark, Jonah's whale, etc. etc.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
  9. DJ

    In the Jesus Gospel he discusses long journeys east of the desert where, "....there I encountered great wisdom and peace among the monks. They removed the sand from my sandals and blew upon my feet with flowered breath"

    He goes on to say that, "...we meditated together for many days, fasting but joyful in the divine and always mindful of odor."

    He brought these teachings to his 12 plus Mary and his parents saying, "...know me and know the many lives of the snake, the lizard, and the beasts of all previous lives. Mine is the journey of a God. Perfection can be found through self-sacrifice."

    This is well doc.u.mented but sadly, few too people understand that Jesus was no more a rabbi than me.

    He was a monk, and according to Timothy, an enthusiastic nudist. "...without concern nor bashfulness, the fullness of our Lord cannot be contained by his tunic."

    October 22, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • therealpeace2all


      You're fvcking killing me today ! LOFL ! 😀


      October 22, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Robert

      DJ. Give your pea brain a rest.

      October 22, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Goddess of Whine

      Robert, why is DJ a "pea brain"? Because DJ has the audacity to question your blind faith?

      October 23, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  10. A question for Robert

    So Robert, if SuperBuddy Jesus is going to mass murder everybody on the Winter Soltice, then you won't be voting, right? I mean, if your amazing insight is right there are no more presidencies, so there is no more need to vote.

    And you have no needto pay your property taxes either, so you going to ignore those earthly things that won't matter? Not going to pay your bills and mortgauge starting pretty soon? I mean, there will be no repercussions that will catch up to you.

    Are you going out on the Solstice in your Jesusy aluminum foil suit and await your magic rapturing?

    October 22, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Robert

      I never mentioned Jesus. I mentioned the winter solstice. Are you people daffy or what?

      October 22, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Robert

      I'm writing about what is happening in the heavens, what you call science and I want to know what you brilliant nots know what is happening this midwinter.

      October 22, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Robert

      A question. The rapture is man made. It's not in the Bible.

      October 22, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Robert

      Besides, A question, no one knows, not even Jesus, but the father, when the end comes. Read your bible, that is written.

      October 22, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • OneTruth

      A lot of stuff is written in the bible, mostly not true. So you'll need to do better than circular references.

      October 22, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      The bible is silent on the event known as "the winter solstice." It does, however, tell us that bats are birds and insects have four feet, so....

      October 22, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • Robert

      OneTruth, who died and made you the authority on what is in Jesus' gospel? Oh, no one. Enough said.

      October 22, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • Robert

      I'll differ with you on that. What the bible calls something is not what man calls it. For example. Man calls the behemoth, dinosaur. It is written. You just have never done your homework to know what scriptures say.

      October 22, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Robert, if you want to claim that the bible is some code book for a few select people who can use it by some magic power to make bullsh!t seem sensible, then I'm not going to argue with you. good luck

      October 22, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • WASP

      @shtick: i'll argue with robert, i'm bored at work and need a good laugh.
      hey robert please tell me your idea on what will happen during the "winter solstice"?
      ummm a behemoth is a completely different monster compared to dinosaurs and please don't tell me you think dinos and humans lived together.
      trust me i will say this slowly..........the ..............flintstones....................were..............not ................real.
      it was a childrens cartoon.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Robert

      Moby Schtick, I didn't say that you did. Besides, scientists have been working for years with computer generated compilations of the numbers in the bible. Let me say, they are still working on it and it freaks them out.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Robert

      WASP, you're arrogance is not amusing.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:02 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.