December 3rd, 2012
05:10 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Monday, December 03

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: Pope to open a personal Twitter account
On Monday, Pope Benedict XVI will officially join millions of people around the globe by launching his own Twitter account. The formal announcement is set for a press conference Monday morning at the Vatican with Catholic and Twitter officials. A Vatican official told CNN the pope will be composing the tweets for the new account himself. For the first tweet from the account, the pope will also press the button to send the tweet himself, but after that others will send the tweets on his behalf.

Christian’s year of living 'gay' leads to dramatic change, sparks controversy
Timothy Kurek’s motivation to spend a year pretending to be gay can be boiled down to a simple conviction: it takes drastic change to alter deeply held religious beliefs. The experiment began after a lesbian friend opened up to Kurek about being excommunicated by her family. All Kurek, an avowed evangelical Christian, could think about, he says, “was trying to convert her.”He was quickly disgusted by his own feelings, more pious than humane. In fact, Kurek was so disgusted by his response to his friend that he decided to do something drastic. Living in Nashville, Tennessee, he would pretend to be gay for a year. The experiment began on the first day of 2009; Kurek came out to his family, got a job as a barista at a gay café and enlisted the help of a friend to act as his boyfriend in public.

Faith-based activists in Minnesota helped defeat a proposed gay marriage ban there this month.

CNN: After gay marriage successes, activists look to build on new faith outreach techniques
It may not sound very powerful, but gay rights activist Debra Peevey said that a two-inch green button played a major role in convincing voters to legalize gay marriage this month in her home state of Washington. “Another Person of Faith Approves R. 74,” said the button, which refers to the ballot initiative that wound up legalizing gay marriage in Washington. As faith director for the statewide pro-gay marriage campaign, Washington United for Marriage, Peevey and her team distributed 5,000 of the buttons. They were conversation starters, she said, ways of letting people know they could relate to one another on the intimate level of religion. And that being religious didn’t meant you had to oppose gay marriage.

Photo of the Day:

Photo credit: ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images

Pope Benedict XVI (R) caresses a lion cub as thousands of participants to the 'Pilgrimage to Rome' festival -circus professionals, carnival people, street artists, madonnari (pavement artists), bands and folk groups – gather in Aula Paolo VI (Paul VI Audience Hall) in the Vatican on December 1, 2012 for their audience with the pope.

Belief on TV:

Enlightening Reads:

Reuters: Russia may soften religion law over Putin concerns
Russian lawmakers are reworking a draft law introducing prison terms for religious offences after signs that Vladimir Putin is concerned it could undermine the delicate balance between the country's many religions.

JTA: Harvard students receive anti-Semitic invitations for social clubs
Invitations to a fictitious club saying “Jews need not apply” were slipped under the doors of students living in the Harvard University dormitories. The flyers enclosed in the sealed envelopes discovered early Friday morning invited the students to the inaugural event of a new undergraduate social club, or finals club, called The Pigeon, the Harvard Crimson student newspaper reported. The flyer also said “Seriously, no f***ing Jews. Colors OK.”

Religion News Service: Muslim scholar wins prestigious Grawemeyer Award
For the first time, the University of Louisville's prestigious Grawemeyer Award in Religion, a $100,000 cash prize, will go to a female Muslim scholar. Leila Ahmed, a Harvard Divinity School professor specializing in women and Islam, will receive the 2013 Grawemeyer religion award for her 2011 book, "A Quiet Revolution: The Veil's Resurgence, from the Middle East to America." The book explores why a growing number of Muslim women are wearing religious headscarves.

Catholic News Agency: Theologian says China to have largest Christian population
During a recent book launch in Rome, a noted theologian said that China will be home to the majority of the world's Christians within the next two decades.
“Interfaith dialogue is something that China, which will have the world's largest Christian population in 20 years, lives with every day,” said Harvey Cox during the presentation at the city's Jesuit Gregorian University.

Religion News Service: Campus atheists score big funding from Wisconsin university
An organization of student nonbelievers is likely to receive $69,000 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the largest grant from an institute of higher learning ever awarded to a nontheistic, student-led organization.

The Express Tribune: Soldier Bazaar temple razed in hurried operation
In a hurried operation on Saturday, a builder demolished a century-old temple in Soldier Bazaar while the Sindh High Court was hearing a petition seeking a stay order. Apart from razing down the pre-partition Shri Rama Pir Mandir, the private builder also demolished three or four houses located next to it. Nearly 40 people became homeless as a result. “They destroyed our mandir and humiliated our gods,” said an angry Prakash, pointing towards the huge debris of concrete, stones and walls of the temple. The demolishing team did place the statues of four Hindu deities on the side but the residents accused them of taking away their gold jewelry and crowns.

Join the conversation…

Pat Robertson: "There was a time when these giant reptiles were on the Earth, and it was before the time of the Bible."

CNN: Pat Robertson challenges creationism
Televangelist Pat Robertson challenged the idea that Earth is 6,000 years old this week, saying the man who many credit with conceiving the idea, former Archbishop of Ireland James Ussher, “wasn’t inspired by the Lord when he said that it all took 6,000 years.” The statement was in response to a question Robertson fielded Tuesday from a viewer on his Christian Broadcasting Network show "The 700 Club.” In a submitted question, the viewer wrote that one of her biggest fears was that her children and husband would not go to heaven “because they question why the Bible could not explain the existence of dinosaurs.”

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Uncategorized

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soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. Yan Drollinger

    i always consult an online dictionary whenever i need to find the meaning of a certain word. they are really very useful indeed...,..:

    My very own web-site

    August 13, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
  2. Alejandrina Simmelink

    A false aneurysm or pseudo-aneurysm does not primarily involve such distortion of the vessel. It is a collection of blood leaking completely out of an artery or vein, but confined next to the vessel by the surrounding tissue. This blood-filled cavity will eventually either thrombose (clot) enough to seal the leak or rupture out of the tougher tissue enclosing it and flow freely between layers of other tissues or into looser tissues. Pseudoaneurysms can be caused by trauma that punctures the artery and are a known complication of percutaneous arterial procedures, such as arteriography, arterial grafting, or use of an artery for injection. Like true aneurysms, they may be felt as an abnormal pulsatile mass on palpation.-...,

    Consider our personal online site as well

    June 7, 2013 at 9:25 am |
  3. gman tello

    i love the pope

    great article


    December 5, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
  4. gman tello

    as long as you keep something in your heart


    December 5, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  5. lionlylamb

    Monotheisms religious variations do nowadays abound, for many variations of 'mono-isms' are but fetters, the bonds that do bind up and weigh shackled inward, towards errant subjugations upon the propensities of root cause unworthiness. The godless need the ungodly and vice versa and although goodly does prevail upon and thru all aberrancy placements, many though are plated placards and some are tainted filtrations while many are mere shadowy silhouettes. No one person should be upon another's backsides but raised up by the shoulders of another to such heights as deemed dutifully wise, needed and cautiously being sublimated. Goodness knows no boundaries yet many do not heed the goodly in others who share unendingly their mindfully deeded austerities.

    December 3, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Congratulations! You Have Been Selected As "Belief Blog Fop of the Year!"

      Flaccid prose, feculent point.

      December 3, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
  6. Topher

    Good afternoon, everyone!

    December 3, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Pete

      For me it would be good morning, so where are you?

      December 3, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Good morning T, ready to save some souls today?

      December 3, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      And a goodliness after the noon time to you as well Topher! Hope your day today will bring meaning as I seem bellicosely assured it will so be so done! 🙂

      December 3, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Dear Pete,

      Your morning time must be in the pacific. Yes? BTW Pete, Good afternoon to you my time! 🙂

      December 3, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Topher


      Well, good morning, then!

      December 3, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Topher


      Probably not, unfortunately. I've got bunch of work to do around the house, so not much time today.

      December 3, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Well, I don't think anyone will miss you. Good luck and the chores and don't be late for work!

      December 3, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Topher

      So what are we talking about today?

      December 3, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Huebert

      D@mn Apple, that was cold.

      December 3, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • dictionary.com

      bellicosely  bel·li·cose/ˈbɛl ɪˌkoʊs/ Show Spelled [bel-i-kohs] Show IPA
      inclined or eager to fight; aggressively hostile; belligerent; pugnacious

      December 3, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Apple Bush


      Hey man, the souls have a play day today! Topher is such a buzz kill.

      December 3, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Bellicosely – definition of Bellicosely by the Free Online Dictionary ...


      Warlike or hostile in manner or temperament.

      December 3, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Topher

      Hi, Huebert.

      Apple is a bit sour today because he doesn't like my taking God's side on a few issues.

      December 3, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Come on T, I am just bustin' your balls. You and god BFF. It's cute!

      December 3, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Topher

      Wow. Just saw a commercial that said "love is just a chemical reaction" ... guys, don't tell your wives that. 🙂

      December 3, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Adelina the Carnal Dentist

      Topher, if your brain were injured, and the chemical reactions not happening, you would not be sentient, and your emotional life would be halted. If not, please propose an alternate mechanism, and provide the evidence for it.

      December 3, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      My sister was a praise the lord kind of Christian and her God blessed her with an aneurysm that she shouldnt have survived. She has about as much emotions as a rock. She feels no sadness and no happiness and is like a machine. Emotions do not come from a soul if there is one. She is just another example of the lack of a god.

      December 3, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  7. Apple Bush

    I call B.S. on the Pope. You know one of those young 70-something-year-old whipper snappers is behind this!

    December 3, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Akira

      Those pesky kids!

      December 3, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Damn kids, always leaving their walkers on the lawn for the pope to trip over.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Afternoon A.B.Seer,

      I have done a lil work on my story. A few paragraphs. 🙁 I've been rereading a lot of my "quatrain" paragraphs though. Adding and taking away a word here and a sentence there.:-) So then, Have you fixed your leaky roof or?

      December 3, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Calling the insurance company today as a matter of fact. You?

      December 3, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      A.B. Seeded,
      Our house is paid-in-full! No insurance. 🙁 Bro and I have to either fix our leak ourselves or find a company and/or person to do it on the cheap! I'm the only one of us who has an income. 🙁 Seldom do I have any extra money though 🙁 It's the dry season now. Might get bro to Gerry-rig the leaks. 🙂

      December 3, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Home Depot Mr. Lamb.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • lionlylamb


      Home Depot to buy a 5-gallon bucket of milky white plasticized sealer the roll on top of a sheet of thin metal over the leaks is what bro and I have talked about doing. 🙂

      December 3, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Oldster


      My husband used to go up on the roof and slowly pour that sealer stuff all around - he theorized that it would drip and seep into the exact places that the rain water would go! It seemed to work, though!

      Dry season for you? Are you in Australia?

      December 3, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • lionlylamb


      Afternoon Oldster! Australia? For my sakes no! I live in Florida and we have but two seasons here. Either it's the dry season or it's the rainy! We started our dry season just recently. I feel it's gonna be a very so very dry spell this season. 🙁 Means more fires being spread and flaring up. Where you from Oldster?

      December 3, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Mr. Lamb, I didn't know you were in Florida, football fan?

      December 3, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Oldster


      I'm in very-soggy-at-the-moment California. Yeh, we have that same pattern - reversed - nary a drop from Jun-Nov, and wet Dec-May.

      December 3, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      BTW, A good afternoon to you Akira!

      A.B.Seer, I am a football fanatic come the super bowl! Hardly ever watch the other games.

      Oldster, I guess then we are a dichotomy of sorts! 🙂 🙁 🙂

      December 3, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Are we talking college football?

      December 3, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Apple Bush


      December 3, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • lunchbreaker


      December 3, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Akira

      Good afternoon, ll.
      If I were you. I'd get some home owner's insurance, anyway; it's a good thing to have, especially in FL.

      Btw: DA BEARS!

      December 3, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Akira, how did the Bears lose to Seattle? Even my lowly Dolphins beat Seattle!

      December 3, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Akira

      It's a cross we bear, Apple. I don't understand it, either.

      December 3, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  8. lionlylamb

    Thusly does righteousness facsimile abbreviate tenderly upon long forgotten issues of fatherly intensions meant to be applauded way back when and duly denied and verily forgotten of nowadays! We are living amid a day and age of once bitten frugally rent harborages of long ago gestated fathered lavishness. Alas do we ever tender the forgetfulness our elder generations once gleamed and garnished as melodramatic essences of tawdry told racialism! The levers of malicious contentment are found and tempered within and upon the tyrannical individualist mindset. Never to no more the tirades will usurp the nationalist movements.

    We live therefore to die as a cruel aloneness while many do ever to never wantonly be content in our mind’s eyes that the great seas of nothingness will be our unending rewards for a journey of abrupt lividness within societal living that dares to be our only emotional rewards! Are individual rights based on societal righteousness within the parameters of cultural soundness for so being as the kindled crooked line drawn, distanced and so bellicosely thwarted by religious austerities so choosing?

    How far away from orientations’ religious agendas will the leveraging societal hierarchies be twined and marked in so much their happenstance being and ever becoming as mere untrustworthy factors of the sadly tainted, godly mythological? I take a sitter’s seat and will never ever be of socialisms’ décor! For of imperfect individualism I shall rise up toward being and therewith become the solitary preamble of inner peace to never more or ever not even; become the assimilation’s tyranny tree of rudimentary causation!

    December 3, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Mr. Lamb good morning. I did not read your post.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Akira

      Apple, this is not your usual salutation to Mr. Lamb.
      Are you feeling all right?

      December 3, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      I thought I would give that crazy old fuck a break this morning.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • Akira

      Atta boy, Apple.

      December 3, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  9. myweightinwords

    Good morning denizens of CNN's Belief Blog. I hope all of you had a better weekend than I did.

    I spent a lot of it pondering death and dying...what I want to leave behind, what I want to do before I go.

    What legacy do you hope lives once you've gone?

    December 3, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Brenda

      "What legacy do you hope lives once you've gone?"

      Passing love and kindness forward.

      December 3, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Apple Bush

      I want to see the Dolphins win the Super Bowl before I die.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Huebert

      I want my legacy to be an increase in the number of people who appreciate education and critical thinking.

      December 3, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      And goodness sakes afternoon to you, myweightinwords! 🙂 🙁 🙂

      December 3, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      myweightinwords has asked, "What legacy do you hope lives once you've gone?"

      Having no children to carry on does mean my life's worthiness is with my brother's two children and their 3 kids to remember me by. I imagine my 'words' here and there will be my legacy myweightinwords. 🙂 Brother and I are mere recluses nowadays. He drinks mostly and I stay online reading and writing. I will leave this world with what I came here with. Nothing. I remain somewhat faithful that I will be granted a new physical body after I die and my memories of this life be erased to start a new in the memory games.

      December 3, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  10. Religion is irrelevant to most living things

    I went to school, worked hard, got my doctorate. I change things. You can too.

    December 3, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • Huebert

      Education changes things.

      December 3, 2012 at 9:33 am |
  11. Adelina the Carnal Dentist

    Tweet tweet.
    - That was Benny's new papal encyclical.
    Tweetum ad Gentium.
    What ? So he's busy. Give him a break.

    December 3, 2012 at 6:14 am |
  12. 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

    The lion does not look happy to be touched by pope-a-dope.

    December 3, 2012 at 5:59 am |
  13. 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

    If religion increases in China (largest christian population in twenty years) and atheism increases in the USA, the USA may have a chance to regain economic prominence.

    December 3, 2012 at 5:57 am |
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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.