December 28th, 2012
04:40 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Friday, December 28

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: Hobby Lobby faces millions in fines for bucking Obamacare
Craft store giant Hobby Lobby is bracing for a $1.3 million a day fine beginning January 1 for noncompliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, dubbed Obamacare. The company opposes providing some contraceptives to employees through its company health care plan on religious grounds, saying some contraceptive products, like the morning after pill, equate to abortion.

CNN: Justice won't block Obamacare's required emergency contraception coverage
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Wednesday turned down a request that she block part of Obamacare that would require companies' health plans to provide for coverage of certain contraceptives, such as the morning-after pill.
Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., and Mardel, Inc. and five family members involved in ownership and control of the corporations had protested the requirement, which is to kick in January 1.

Tweet of the Day:

From @JoelOsteen: Be the best that you can be, and God will take care of your critics.

[tweet https://twitter.com/JoelOsteen/status/284490112732106752%5D

Photos of the Day:

Photo credit: MOHAMMED SAWAF/AFP/Getty Images

Iraqi Shiite Muslim pilgrims walk on December 27, 2012 along the main highway linking the Iraqi capital to the central shrine city of Karbala where they will mark later this week the Arbaeen religious festival which is the 40th day after Ashura commemorating the killing of Prophet Mohammed's grandson, Imam Hussein in the seventh century.

Enlightening Reads:

Reuters: Dutch Catholics “de-baptize” to protest Pope Benedict comments against gay marriage
Thousands of Dutch Catholics are researching how they can leave the church in protest at its opposition to gay marriage, according to the creator of a website aimed at helping them find the information. Tom Roes, whose website allows people to download the documents needed to leave the Church, said traffic on ontdopen.nl – “de-baptize.nl” – had soared from about 10 visits a day to more than 10,000 after Pope Benedict’s latest denunciation of gay marriage this month.

The Guardian: Aisha's Cushion: Religious Art, Perception and Practice in Islam by Jamal J Elias – review
Anyone who has a more than superficial knowledge of Muslim cultures will be aware of what can seem like a contradictory approach to art and representation. There are strong theological precepts against the creation of likenesses of living things, and above all of religious figures, especially Muhammad. And yet lush vegetation in mosaic form garlands the façade of the Umayyad mosque in Damascus, devotional pictures of members of the prophet's family are common among Shias, and merchants in the Tehran bazaar sell pendants with Muhammad's portrait on them. Animals prance across carpets, and manuscripts and miniature paintings bustle with human activity. So what's going on – does Islam prohibit such images or not? How come the bazaaris can carry on plying their trade, while Danish newspapers get picketed?

New York Magazine: The Black Orthodox: Double-consciousness and the pursuit of G-d.
The ad, plastered in the subway in the sixties, showed an African-American boy eating a rye sandwich: YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE JEWISH TO LOVE LEVY'S. If you were black, in other words, you weren’t Jewish. And to be black and Orthodox—that would mean encountering disbelief at your very existence. Estimates for the number of black Jews in the U.S. vary wildly, from 20,000 to more than 150,000, with some experts saying the population is too small to accurately measure. But MaNishtana Rison, who has become a prominent voice for Jews of color thanks to his advocacy work and dating website, estimates there are probably only 50 or 60 blacks among the roughly 500,000 Orthodox in Greater New York. “For the most part, we know each other,” Rison says. “It’s what we call Jewish geography—even if we’ve never met, we at least know someone in common.”

Photo credit: LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images

Huffington Post: Religious Pilgrimages: 14 Of The World's Most Spiritual Destinations
Every year millions of pilgrims travel to places with unique spiritual significance in hopes of experiencing elevation, transformation and attaining a new degree of wisdom. Pilgrimage destinations can be places where a religious teacher was born, a miracle or mystery took place, or where the natural world holds sacred significance. These fourteen pilgrimage call close to 100,000,000 people to their wonders every year.

Religion News Service: The seven most provocative religious videos of 2012
2012 might be dubbed the Year of YouTube – and that’s especially true on the religion beat. Religious videos sparked international riots, stirred up the U.S. presidential campaign and called young believers to the front lines in battles over homosexuality and church culture. Here are seven religious videos that made news in 2012.

Opinion of the Day:

Hugh Jackman plays Jean Valjean and Isabelle Allen is the young Cosette in the film version of the musical "Les Misérables."

CNN: My Take: The challenge of hope in 'Les Misérables'
Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio, an ordained Episcopal Church priest and author of God and Harry Potter at Yale: Teaching Faith and Fantasy Fiction in an Ivy League Classroom,asks: “Are we doing enough to imagine hope for those for whom it is possible, though it seems beyond their reach?”

Join the conversation…

CNN: Q and A with Matisyahu: 'Hasidic reggae superstar' sans the Hasidim
has been a year since Matisyahu, the famed Hasidic reggae star, shaved his beard, separated from his devout following of Orthodox Judaism and said he was ready for a "rebirth." Since that time, he has produced new music – including a recently released album, "Spark Seeker" – and is ready to stop talking about his big change. Of course, we asked him about it anyway. In his view, it was his decision to get into Hasidism and it was his decision to get out.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (91 Responses)
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    November 25, 2013 at 5:38 am |
    • Science Works

      Well shoot not the speed read L4H had the meltdown on and spit out the LIST.

      November 25, 2013 at 5:48 am |
  2. david defrank

    cnn dont refer to jesus as a dirty god...........you sound much like most of the fools on your blog.jesus is my father my creator god..............not a person who is dirty.he is allso your god.take off your little believe blog.lay off what we hold sacred .

    January 10, 2013 at 8:55 am |
  3. Police interview

    Ok, Sir. Take a seat right there and we'll get started.
    I'm looking at TV news video of you and your buddy running-away from Sandy Hook Elementary School after you heard someone shooting at schoolchildren. Is that right?
    "Ken. Is right...errr, Is right yes."
    Well, I see nothing wrong with abandoning schoolchildren in danger. You are free to go. WAIT! Have you been searrched for weapons yet?
    "Yes is right. No uzzi."
    Great. Have a nice day, sir.
    "Shalom. Cha cha."

    December 30, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • Akira

      Nice fictional piece.
      I especially like the way that, in addition to asserting that there is more than one shooter, you have deftly thickened the plot by insinuating that the second shooter is, for some reason, Jewish.
      I've seen some anti-semitic propaganda in my time, but this one is worthy of the big A H himself.
      Seig heil!

      December 31, 2012 at 12:45 am |
  4. Colin

    In the new year let's resolve to lead young minds away from the perversion of reason – gods and religion – and offer them nothing in return.

    December 29, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  5. Apple Bush

    No worries Akira, I am just on my period right now and the doc has me on my crazy pills AND a seditive. Christmas kinda fucks me up, How do you that blue link thing so I don't have to worry about worms?

    December 28, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      I obviously did not post that.

      December 28, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • applebush

      I most definately did post that!

      December 28, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      AB: Awesome!

      December 28, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Tis Me indeed! No more foolishness from you snail.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Jeff Roem

      Tis me that does all the hijacking. I can't help it...I lack substance in the wee-wee department and I have to get my jollies somehow.

      December 28, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
  6. Robert Brown

    In a day of illusions
    And utter confusions,
    Upon our delusions
    We base our conclusions

    -Author unknown

    December 28, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  7. Happy

    Where Does All Earth's Gold Come From? Precious Metals the Result of Meteorite Bombardment, Rock Analysis Finds

    To have some
    Sep. 9, 2011 — Ultra high precision analyses of some of the oldest rock samples on Earth by researchers at the University of Bristol provides clear evidence that the planet's accessible reserves of precious metals are the result of a bombardment of meteorites more than 200 million years after Earth was formed.

    December 28, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Ugh

      You quote the UK, but, insist that we broke away from them for a reason other than being double taxed. They gave us the invasion of the Beatles as well as Monty Python to mention a few things..

      December 28, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Mrs. Pepperpot

      Monty Python! Yes!

      December 28, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Happy for life

      Origin of Life: Hypothesis Traces First Protocells Back to Emergence of Cell Membrane Bioenergetics
      Dec. 20, 2012 — A coherent pathway - which starts from no more than rocks, water and carbon dioxide and leads to the emergence of the strange bio-energetic properties of living cells - has been traced for the first time in a major hypothesis paper in Cell this week.

      December 28, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  8. Apple Bush

    Hey Akira, my kids got me the last two "Wicked Years" books thanks to you,. I can't wait to read them!

    December 28, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Akira

      Tell your kids, "you're welcome", lol.
      I remember how hard it was to gift Dad...

      December 28, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  9. Busi

    The heart of the wise is in a house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in a house of pleasure.

    December 28, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      You got that right. And that is some messed up shit man.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      I did tell them. They thought that was cool and they think I am a blog geek. They are right.

      December 28, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Up there /\

      December 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  10. lionlylamb

    "Seek ye first the kingdom of God" are quests for all of us to endure in one's thought progressives. Where does the kingdom domains of God exist if not upon the insides of all things living? One cannot get there from here in life for only thru dying may one be afforded the soul's spiritual entrance 'back' into the Godly kingdom domains. For of said Godly domain did we once inhabit and we now are literally cast out of God's kingdom and are we truly made of such kingdom domains.

    Mathew 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God!"

    John 18:36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world!"

    Luke 17:21, "The kingdom of God is inside you!"

    1Corinthians 3:9 "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building!"

    December 28, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Shall I quote some Harry Potter as if it is relevant? lol

      December 28, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Busi

      > Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      What a cry of help, if I have ever seen one. Poor guy.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • +

      form of mental illness, are you going to make laws pertaining to Harry Potter? Don't forget your magic wand if you ever get robbed or mugged. I bet you'll be the first to run to the police. All laws of God's given to Moses that oversee your safety daily. Keep mocking his truth as you become part of the problem and never the solution. Didn't you know, laws were made for the unrighteous that also mock God.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Christianity, (actually it's Paulianity as preached today), requires one to believe in an ancient angry deity, who was such a jerk, that it required the death of a it's "son", (even though, in Hebrew culture, that ti'tle was afforded to many). Somewhere in there, the preaching of the apocalyptic preacher was lost, and he become the content of the preaching, which he never said a word about. He said "come follow me", not "come worship me".

      December 28, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Everyone on the Belief Blog

      lionlylamb, huh??

      December 28, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • lionlylamb


      I see your pain and anguish in your wordage. Alas, nothing I may do or say can help you in your anguish and pain. Still, in God's many ways, does God gather up all strays. Of life all shall die and only then will one know why. Keep therefore all your hate and in front of God one will know one's fate. I only know of the godly kingdom domains placing for my heartfelt time is rightly racing.

      We all live amid two chasms of cosmological orders. We have the inner-cosmos and the outer-cosmos. The inner-cosmos is atomically made and is the universal construct of the outer-cosmos. One could not have an outer cosmos without there being an inner cosmos. Both are synonymously of the same natures. It stands to reason the inner-cosmos was made first and the outer-cosmos came into being only after the passive finalization of the inner-cosmos was made near complete. The inner-cosmos is transcendent and fixed while the outer-cosmos is ascendant and malleable in their dualities nurturing natures.

      The third cosmos is of megalithic life itself made from the inner-cosmos living upon the terrestrial planetary faces of the celestial outer-cosmos. This third cosmos is the celled cosmos or the cellular cosmologic orders duly ordained of and by and even for all megaliths of monolithic life forms to be made anywhere cellular life can grab a foothold to evolve and gain in the abundant natures toward the inner intellectual evolution of its structures ever evolving in intellectualized base pairings. Without the two main Cosmos coming into existence; all living cellular cosmologies in the celestial confines could not ever exist.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  11. Happy

    Raising a chalice of wine into the air, Pope Leo toasted: "How well we know what a profitable superst_ition this fable of Christ has been for us ...

    December 28, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Seeing as how you've neglected to state WHICH Leo you're talking about and there is no citation for your alleged quote, I think I'm going to file this in the "Doesn't know his a$$ from his elbow" file.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Happy

      Pope Leo X "..fable of Christ..." – Catholic Answers Forums
      forums.catholic.com › Forums › Apologetics

      December 28, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Happy

      Pope Leo X "..fable of Christ..." – Catholic Answers Forums

      December 28, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Oh. You must be talking about this Q & A.

      Did Leo X say that Christ was a myth?
      Please clarify what the history is of this supposed quote ("It has served us well, this myth of Christ") that has been attributed to Pope Leo X. Is it real? If so, what was the context? How can we counter Protestants or non-believers who bring it up?

      Although the quote is commonly attributed without source docu.mentation to Pope Leo X, it is believed to have originated in a satirical piece by a Protestant controversialist named John Bale (1495-1563) ti.tled "The Pageant of the Popes" (source). Bale wrote:

      For on a time when a cardinall Bembus did move a question out of the Gospell, the Pope gave him a very contemptuous answer saying: "All ages can testifie enough howe profitable that fable of Christe hath ben to us and our companie."

      I'll take your post out of the "a$$ & elbow" file and drop it in the "lies like a rug" one.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Happy

      Read this the other day here is what is good about money and science, is it is the truth if you want to believe it or not.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Akira

      Things are taken out of context all the time; one reason people have trouble agreeing on anything, let alone something as complex as one's faith.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Akira

      Oops...I only meant for the word 'anything' to be emphasized.
      Thirty lashes with a wet noodle for the improper sentence emphasis foul.

      December 28, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  12. Apple Bush

    Chick-a-dee said: "Jesus' invitation to enter his kingdom comes in the form of parables"

    Definition of parables: "A simple story illustrating a moral or religious lesson."

    Chick-a-Dee basis her reality on fairy tails. LOL

    December 28, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Akira

      Hey, Apple!
      What's the haps?

      December 28, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Hey Akira, Just piggng out on leftovers! Still a little taken aback by that AB/
      Akira massacre. IF I change me nane, it will be one of a couple of old ones I used back in they day, "Ungodly Diiscipline" or "Alian Orifice"

      December 28, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      The Magisterium said it, not little ol' me.

      A parable is a succinct story, in prose or verse, which illustrates one or more instructive principles, or lessons, or (sometimes) a normative principle.

      AB, you purport yourself to be intelligent so cut the "fairy tale" crap. If you don't want to believe it, no one is holding a gun to your head. Others actually believe quite differently from you.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • Akira

      AB, I didn't see most of that, so I don't pay it any mind.
      This sh!t happens so much on another blog I'm on, it doesn't even phase me.
      Same guy, BTW.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Akira

      Apple, to avoid any confusion, any Akira that appears in light blue is me.
      My handle appears a different blue than any other; I don't know why.
      Any Akira appearing in black is a jacker, as well as any Akira in the darker blue of WordPress.
      I wouldn't say such a childish thing as "we're no longer friends", just so you know.
      You've never offended me; I doubt you ever will.
      If you do, trust me, you'll know, lol.

      December 28, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Akira

      And I didn't tell you I didn't want to be friends; that was my jacker, in black.
      I hope this clears things up; I never want to be a source of anger for you, Apple.

      December 28, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Apple Bush


      December 28, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Up there /\ again.

      Drug, uh!

      December 28, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  13. Apple Bush

    Chad said: "Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed"

    Definitin of Virtually: "Almost but not quite; nearly"

    So Chad's whold reality is based on "Almost but not quite." LOL

    December 28, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      The Magisterium said it, not little ol' me.

      A parable is a succinct story, in prose or verse, which illustrates one or more instructive principles, or lessons, or (sometimes) a normative principle.

      AB, you purport yourself to be intelligent so cut the "fairy tale" crap. If you don't want to believe it, no one is holding a gun to your head. Others actually believe quite differently than you.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Pete

      That is true some people do believe in fairy tales.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Chick-a-dee, please define "fairytale crap: and then I will take your advise.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Well I will take your word for it. I have weathered many dock your dong dodkers, but this one took the cake. When I saw the post from you to me that said we aren't friends anymore I got mad. I am an asshole but I do have a heart and value my friends. I get meloncholy this time of year so what can I say.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      That was meant for Akira on the post above. Sorry, I am on Soma and can't type.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  14. Chick-a-dee

    Jesus' invitation to enter his kingdom comes in the form of parables, a characteristic feature of his teaching. Through his parables he invites people to the feast of the kingdom, but he also asks for a radical choice: to gain the kingdom, one must give everything. Words are not enough, deeds are required. The parables are like mirrors for man: will he be hard soil or good earth for the word? What use has he made of the talents he has received? Jesus and the presence of the kingdom in this world are secretly at the heart of the parables. One must enter the kingdom, that is, become a disciple of Christ, in order to "know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven". For those who stay "outside", everything remains enigmatic.

    Self explanatory?

    December 28, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • Which God?

      Jesus said no such thing. What has been atrributed to be his words were merely made up long after he died. No one who wrote about him lived during his time, and no one who did wrote down what he said. It is fiction at best, at worst an outright hoax on those who believe. No real evidence for jesus

      December 28, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Chad

      @Which God? "No real evidence for jesus"

      =>two questions for you:
      1. What investigation have you dont that leads you to your belief that Jesus never existed?
      2. Are you aware of any historian that thinks that Jesus was not a real person?

      Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed,[5][6][7][8] and biblical scholars and cla ssical historians regard theories of his non-existence as effectively refuted.[9][10][11] Scholars generally agree that Jesus was a Galilean Jew who was born BC 7–2 and died AD 30–36.[12][13] Most scholars hold that Jesus lived in Galilee and Judea[14][15][16] and that he spoke Aramaic and may have also spoken Hebrew and Greek.[17][18][19][20][21] Although scholars differ on the reconstruction of the specific episodes of the life of Jesus, the two events whose historicity is subject to "almost universal as sent" are that he was baptized by John the Baptist and was crucified by the order of the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate.

      [5] Jesus and His Contemporaries: Comparative Studies by Craig A. Evans 2001 ISBN 0391041185 pages 2-5
      [6] Christopher M. Tuckett In The Cambridge Companion to Jesus edited by Markus N. A. Bockmuehl 2001 ISBN 0521796784 pages 122-126
      [7] Amy-Jill Levine in the The Historical Jesus in Context edited by Amy-Jill Levine et al. 2006 Princeton Univ Press ISBN 978-0-691-00992-6 pages 1-2
      [8] Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium by Bart D. Ehrman (Sep 23, 1999) ISBN 0195124731 Oxford Univ Press pages ix-xi
      [9] In a 2011 review of the state of modern scholarship, Bart Ehrman (who is a secular agnostic) wrote: "He certainly existed, as virtually every competent scholar of antiquity, Christian or non-Christian, agrees" B. Ehrman, 2011 Forged : writing in the name of God ISBN 978-0-06-207863-6. page 285
      ^ Robert M. Price (an atheist who denies existence) agrees that this perspective runs against the views of the majority of scholars: Robert M. Price "Jesus at the Vanishing Point" in The Historical Jesus: Five Views edited by James K. Beilby & Paul Rhodes Eddy, 2009 InterVarsity, ISBN 028106329X page 61
      [10] Michael Grant (a cla ssicist) states that "In recent years, 'no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non historicity of Jesus' or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary." in Jesus: An Historian's Review of the Gospels by Micjhael Grant 2004 ISBN 1898799881 page 200
      [11] Richard A. Burridge states: "There are those who argue that Jesus is a figment of the Church’s imagination, that there never was a Jesus at all. I have to say that I do not know any respectable critical scholar who says that any more." in Jesus Now and Then by Richard A. Burridge and Graham Gould (Apr 1, 2004) ISBN 0802809774 page 34
      [12] Robert E. Van Voorst Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence Eerdmans Publishing, 2000. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 page 16 states: "biblical scholars and cla ssical historians regard theories of non-existence of Jesus as effectively refuted"
      [13] James D. G. Dunn "Paul's understanding of the death of Jesus" in Sacrifice and Redemption edited by S. W. Sykes (Dec 3, 2007) Cambridge University Press ISBN 052104460X pages 35-36 states that the theories of non-existence of Jesus are "a thoroughly dead thesis"
      [14] The Gospels and Jesus by Graham Stanton, 1989 ISBN 0192132415 Oxford University Press, page 145 states : "Today nearly all historians, whether Christians or not, accept that Jesus existed".
      [15] Paul L. Maier "The Date of the Nativity and Chronology of Jesus" in Chronos, kairos, Christos: nativity and chronological studies by Jerry Vardaman, Edwin M. Yamauchi 1989 ISBN 0-931464-50-1 pages 113-129
      [16] The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament by Andreas J. Köstenberger, L. Scott Kellum 2009 ISBN 978-0-8054-4365-3 page 114
      ^ Joel B. Green, Scot McKnight, I. Howard Marshall, Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (InterVarsity Press, 1992), page 442
      [17] The Historical Jesus in Recent Research edited by James D. G. Dunn and Scot McKnight 2006 ISBN 1-57506-100-7 page 303
      [18] Who Is Jesus? by John Dominic Crossan, Richard G. Watts 1999 ISBN 0664258425 pages 28-29
      [19] James Barr, Which language did Jesus speak, Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, 1970; 53(1) pages 9-29 [1]
      [20] Handbook to exegesis of the New Testament by Stanley E. Porter 1997 ISBN 90-04-09921-2 pages 110-112
      [21] Discovering the language of Jesus by Douglas Hamp 2005 ISBN 1-59751-017-3 page 3-4
      ^ Jesus in history and myth by R. Joseph Hoffmann 1986 ISBN 0-87975-332-3 page 98

      December 28, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      @Chad: Thanks for the bibliography.

      @ Which: The paragraph above is not a direct quote from the gospel. It is paragraph 546 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The footnotes for this section reference back to the following scriptures. The catechism is for teaching.

      261 Cf. ⇒ Mk 4:33-34.
      262 Cf. ⇒ Mt 13:44-45; ⇒ 22:1-14.
      263 Cf. ⇒ Mt 21:28-32.
      264 Cf. ⇒ Mt 13:3-9.
      265 Cf. ⇒ Mt 25:14-30.
      266 ⇒ Mt 13:11.
      267 ⇒ Mk 4:11; cf. ⇒ Mt 13:10-15.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      Amidst all of the discussions about different beliefs there are only a few questions that really matter to aortal existence:

      Do we have an immortal soul?

      Are there consequences to alleged soul for believing or not believing in a certain diety?

      If so, how do we know which diety?

      December 28, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Once again, the above quotes re: jesus are but a few opinions, not facts or certainties. And they don't deal with the real question – was jesus a mere mortal or a god? So far, not a shred of evidence for being a god, or for any gods.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Q) Do we have an immortal soul?
      A) One principle is that all living things have a soul. Here soul is defined as what makes an organic body live. Now when any living thing dies, its soul is separated from its body. In the case of plants and animals the soul goes out of existence. But in the case of man, the soul remains in existence because it is a spiritual or immaterial thing. Consequently, it differs from the souls of animals in two important respects. First, it is the seat of intelligence or reason. For this reason a man is held responsible for his actions in a way that animals are not. Secondly, the soul is immortal. A thing which has no physical parts cannot fall apart or be poisoned or be crushed or be put out of existence. – Dr. Richard Geraghty, PhD, "Pets in Heaven?"

      Q)Are there consequences to alleged soul for believing or not believing in a certain diety?
      A) Yes.

      Q) If so, how do we know which diety?
      A) There is only one God, the Creator of heaven and earth, who is thus the God of all. Two facts are significant about this statement: all other gods are not God, and the universe in which we live has its source in God and was created by him. Certainly, the notion of creation is found elsewhere, yet only here does it become absolutely clear that it is not one god among many, but the one true God himself who is the source of all that exists; the whole world comes into existence by the power of his creative Word. Consequently, his creation is dear to him, for it was willed by him and “made” by him. The second important element now emerges: this God loves man. The divine power that Aristotle at the height of Greek philosophy sought to grasp through reflection, is indeed for every being an object of desire and of love —and as the object of love this divinity moves the world—but in itself it lacks nothing and does not love: it is solely the object of love. The one God in whom Israel believes, on the other hand, loves with a personal love. His love, moreover, is an elective love: among all the nations he chooses Israel and loves her—but he does so precisely with a view to healing the whole human race. God loves, and his love may certainly be called eros, yet it is also totally agape.

      Of course, that last one as.sumes that the person is aware of God. There are special circu.mstances for those "who through no fault of their own" are unaware.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Robert Brown

      0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls,

      Proof of God's Existence by John Daniel Nyce – Jesus’ birth, transfiguration, crucifixion, miracles, empty tomb, resurrection and postmortem appearances-The One who fulfilled 330 prophesies. Of all world religions (past and present), none, except Christianity even lay claim to a holiday like Easter (the celebration of the resurrection of that religions deceased leader) and no other has established and fulfilled prophesies for their leader. Eyewitness accounts of Jesus life and miracles abound (2 Pet 1:16) (1 Jn. 1:1-3). Jesus was God, incarnate (Isa 9:6; Rom 9:5) (see “Jesus is God”). Jesus’ year/week of death was foretold in 486 BC (Dan 9:25) “70 weeks” of Daniel. Jesus’ name was foretold in 519 BC (Zech. Chapter 3) “Joshua/Jeshua” means the Lord saves. Jesus appears in the recorded lives of many people in visions and apparitions. The day the whole earth went dark…Paul Maier wrote in his book, Pontius Pilate. This phenomenon (darkness) evidently was visible in Rome, Athens, and other Mediterranean cities. According to Tertullian…it was a cosmic or world event. Phlegon, a Greek author reported that in the fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad (i.e. 33 A.D.) there was the ‘greatest eclipse of the sun’ and that “‘it became night in the sixth hour of the day (i.e. noon) so that stars even appeared in the heavens’. There was a great earthquake in Bithynia, and many things were overturned in Niacea.’”

      December 28, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Which God?

      Chad, you really are duplicitous. You have been told over and over again. Your jesus, son of a god, never existed. Prove to me he did. Porphyry discounted your entire christian myth, from what has been left of his writings. Your fellow christians couldn't take the heat from him ,so they had his writing s burned. However, your fellow idiots forget that Origen wrote back, trying to refute. He couldn't do it, but his writng still exist. Your son of goD is a fake, he isn't real.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      @ 0G: Jesus as well as His apostles and disciples were Jews. The Jews have a history of oral tradition. For brevity, I will simply invite you to avail yourself of academic works regarding oral history and oral tradition. There is quite a lot of this material available for native Americans and also for tribal Africans.

      example: Native History Magazine
      Native American Oral Traditions & Archaelogical Myths
      "Historians and archaeologists are quick to debunk oral traditions the world over as "myths" with no relationship to scientific fact. Working on a research paper, Itztli Ehecatl has compared Native American oral traditions with archaeological and anthropological findings. Ehecati demonstrates that oral traditions confirm events as long ago as 250 million years - debunking several "myths" held by the mainstream scientific community."

      The cannon of holy scripture is the written account of oral history.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      The cannon of holy scripture is the written account of oral history.
      Which gives it VERY little credibility......lack of evidence and credibility require one to have FAITH.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Which God?
      Accounts of 22 famous contemporary historians with references to the person of Jesus Christ;
      Cornelius Tacitus (Roman A.D. 60) Thallus (Roman A.D. 52) Mara Bar Seraphian (Hebrew A.D. 73) Lucian of Samosata (Greek A.D. 125) Flavius Josephus (Hebrew A.D. 37) Suetonius (Roman A.D. 120) Plinius Secundus (Roman A.D. 112) Tertullian (Roman A.D. 175) Pontius Pilate (Roman A.D. 33) Justin Martyr (Roman A.D. 150); Jesus is also mentioned in the Jewish Talmud (work finished cir 500 AD) which incorporates the Mishna completed in cir 200 AD.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Pete

      Robert, all of those are after Jesus died, is that not one mention of him during his lifetime?

      December 28, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  15. myweightinwords

    Morning. Happy Friday!

    One of my favorite sayings is "Have the time of your life, and make your life worth the time."...it's kind of a motto for how I approach things.

    Do you have a motto, quote or piece of advice that sums up your approach to life?

    December 28, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Which God?

      No matter what happens, every day is a good day to be alive. This can be taxing at times, but, I try to live by it.

      December 28, 2012 at 10:30 am |
      • myweightinwords

        It can be hard at times to see the good around us, but worth the effort.

        December 28, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      I don't have a specific saying or motto, but even with all the clashing of different beliefs, I find the most important thing to me is how we treat or fellow humans. I used to be quite judgemental of people based on thier beliefs, now I just concern myself with how each individual treats those around them.

      December 28, 2012 at 10:34 am |
      • myweightinwords

        This is a good policy. I like that.

        December 28, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside a dog it is too dark to read.

      December 28, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      I'm waiting at the doctor currently. Hopefully doc can get me some meds to give me a slightly more positive outlook on today.

      December 28, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • Akira

      Hi, MWIW,

      "And in the end, the love you take
      Is equal to the love you make."

      From the Beatles song.
      It's always struck a chord with me.
      A nicer way of saying, "what goes around comes around"..."You get what you give"...something I think is true, so I try to live my life accordingly.

      December 28, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      @ Lunchbreaker: Good luck. Please be patient. It takes most antidepressants six to eight weeks to effect the patient. Meanwhile, here's some type of a help... during the day, keep a pen & paper handy. Jot down each positive thing that you notice. Before retiring for the evening, read your list. It may not be a dose of Prosac, but it will help to elevate one's mood by actively calling to mind the good rather than leaving the mind to wallow in negative thoughts. I hope the very best for you.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      Chic a dee, I appreciate the sentiment, but it's nothing like that. Just sick and joking about the good cough syrup.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:07 am |
      • myweightinwords

        Nothing like being sick to completely make everything look bleh...and the good cough syrup always makes everything silly for me. LOL.

        Feel better!

        December 28, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Doh! Well, Lunchbreaker, I still wish you good luck. Hope you feel better quickly. Do I qualify as a geezer if I say I remember when Robutussen always had codeine?

      December 28, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Akira

      Chick: a geezer? Lol! Haven't heard that term in a while.
      I didn't know Robitussin ever had codeine in it!
      I only remember getting some nasty-tasting stuff in brown bottles when I was a kid...mostly Vick's Formula 44, which tasted worse than having the cough in the first place...

      December 28, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Akira, I have a teenager...geezerhood is a very handy thing to blame for a lot of things. 😉 Yeah, I had a teacher who told us how he used to cook down cough syrup to get stoned in college.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Oh...BTW you can still get the codeine version of Robutussen but you have to haven an Rx.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  16. Happy

    Read somewhere the good thing about money and science is that it is true whether you believe it or not.

    December 28, 2012 at 10:12 am |
  17. Chick-a-dee

    The kingdom belongs to the poor and lowly, which means those who have accepted it with humble hearts.

    December 28, 2012 at 7:50 am |
    • $$$$$$$$$$$

      Put it is operated by the insurance companies. Weather is still act of god..but we should know that is not the case.

      December 28, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • WASP

      @chick: so the rich can't get into heaven........................well that's good to know. 🙂
      are you poor chick? if not you aren't getting into heaven. lol

      December 28, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • William Demuth

      So now the tennements in Camden are Heaven?

      I recently read a quote that stuck with me

      The opposite of poverty is not wealth, it is justice.

      If the Christian faith does not see immorality in the wealth distribution we have in the United States, than they are not a religion, but are in fact nothing more than a wing of the Republican Party.

      December 28, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Full quote:

      "The kingdom belongs to the poor and lowly, which means those who have accepted it with humble hearts. Jesus is sent to "preach good news to the poor"; he declares them blessed, for "theirs is the kingdom of heaven." To them — the "little ones" the Father is pleased to reveal what remains hidden from the wise and the learned. Jesus shares the life of the poor, from the cradle to the cross; he experiences hunger, thirst and privation. Jesus identifies himself with the poor of every kind and makes active love toward them the condition for entering his kingdom."

      The "poor and lowly" are not necessarily the people without monetary wealth. Rather they are the poor in spirit which means being grateful for the talents and opportunities that one has been given, acknowledging that everything that exists including those talents and opportunities come from God, realizing that God expects us to make our own decisions and be responsible for them, but also being accepting of the outcome if it is unexpected or not to one's liking, and looking for the good that has come about. So, no, being materially impoverished is not necessarily the route to heaven. Caring for those who are is a necessary condition to get there.

      December 28, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Aha! I found it. William, WASP: This pretty much sums up my take on the question of the "religious right" of the republican party.

      How Blest Are the Poor in Spirit!
      General Audience — November 30, 1994

      In the contemporary world, with its blatant contrast between ancient and new forms of greed and the situations of unheard-of misery in which enormously broad strata of society live, the value of poverty freely chosen and consistently practiced is seen ever more clearly at the sociological level. From the Christian point of view, poverty has always been experienced as a state of life that makes it easier to follow Christ in contemplation, prayer and evangelization. It is important for the Church that many Christians have a deeper awareness of Christ's love for the poor and of the urgent need to come to their aid. But it is equally true that conditions in contemporary society point ever more harshly to the distance between the Gospel of the poor and a world often absorbed in pursuing interests connected with the craving of wealth, which has become an idol holding sway over all of life. This is why the Church is ever more intensely aware of the Spirit's prompting to be poor among the poor, to remind everyone of the need to conform to the ideal of poverty which Christ preached and practiced and to imitate his sincere, active love for the poor.

      In particular, there is in the Church a revitalized and consolidated awareness of the front-line position occupied in this area of gospel values by religious and all those who seek to follow Christ in consecrated life. They are called to reflect in their own person and to witness before the world to the Master's poverty and his love for the poor. He himself linked the counsel of poverty both to the need for being personally stripped of the burden of earthly belongings so as to possess heavenly goods, and to charity toward the poor: "Go and sell what you have and give to the poor; you will then have treasure in heaven. After that, come and follow me" (Mk 10:21).

      In asking for the renunciation, Jesus set for the rich young man a prior condition for following him: that of sharing most closely in the renunciation of the Incarnation. Paul reminded the Christians of Corinth of this, to encourage them to be generous with the poor, imitating the example of Christ, who "made himself poor though he was rich, so that you might become rich by his poverty" (2 Cor 8:9). St. Thomas comments that Jesus "endured material poverty to give us spiritual riches" (Summa Theol., III, q. 40, a. 3). Everyone who accepts his invitation and voluntarily follows the way of poverty he inaugurated is led to enrich the human race spiritually. Far from simply adding their poverty to that of the other poor who fill the world, they are called to bring them true wealth, which is spiritual in nature. As I wrote in Redemptionis Donum, Christ "is the teacher and spokesman of poverty who makes us rich" (n. 12).

      If we look at this teacher, we learn from him the true meaning of gospel poverty and the greatness of the call to follow him on the path of this poverty. First of all, we see that Jesus really lived like the poor. According to St. Paul, Christ, the Son of God, embraced the human condition as one of poverty, and in this human condition he lived a life of poverty. His birth was that of a poor person, as shown by the hut in which he was born and the manger in which his Mother placed him. For thirty years he lived in a family in which Joseph earned his daily bread by working as a carpenter, work he himself later shared (cf. Mt 13:55; Mk 6:3). In his public life he could say of himself: "The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head" (Lk 9:58), as if to show his total dedication to his messianic mission in conditions of poverty. He died as a slave and poor man on the cross, literally stripped of everything. He chose to be poor to the very end.

      Jesus proclaimed the blessedness of the poor: "Blest are you poor; the reign of God is yours" (Lk 6:20). In this regard we should remember that the Old Testament already spoke of the "Lord's poor" (cf. Ps 74:19; 149:4f.), the object of God's good will (Is 49:13; 66:2). This does not mean simply the desti.tute, but rather the lowly who sought God and trustfully put themselves under his protection. This atti.tude of humility and trust clarifies the expression used in Matthew's version of the Beati.tudes: "How blest are the poor in spirit" (Mt 5:3). The poor in spirit are all those who do not put their trust in money or material possessions, and are open instead to the kingdom of God. However, it is precisely this value of poverty that Jesus praised and recommended as a life choice, which can include a voluntary renunciation of belongings, and precisely so on behalf of the poor. It is the privilege of some who are chosen and called to this way by him.

      However, Jesus affirmed for everyone the need to make a basic decision regarding earthly goods–to be freed of their tyranny. No one, he said, can serve two masters. One either serves God or serves mammon (cf. Lk 16:13; Mt 6:24). The idolatry of mammon, or money, is incompatible with serving God. Jesus noted that the rich are more easily attached to money (called mamôna' in Aramaic, meaning "riches"), and have difficulty in turning to God. "How hard it will be for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven" (Lk 18:24-25; and par.).

      Jesus warned against the twofold danger of earthly possessions–that with wealth one's heart is closed to God and is closed to one's neighbor, as we see in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (cf. Lk 16:19-31). Nevertheless, Jesus did not condemn the possession of earthly goods absolutely. Instead, he was anxious to remind those who own them of the twofold commandment of love of God and love of neighbor. But he asks much more of anyone who can and wishes to understand this.

      The Gospel is clear on this point: Jesus asked those he called and invited to follow him to share his own poverty by renouncing their possessions, however great or few they may be. We already quoted his invitation to the rich young man: "Sell what you have and give to the poor" (Mk 10:21). It was a fundamental requirement, repeated many times, which meant giving up home and property (cf. Mk 10:29; and par.), or boat (cf. Mt 4:22), or even everything: "None of you can be my disciple if he does not renounce all his possessions" (Lk 14:33). To his "disciples," that is, those called to follow him by totally giving of themselves, Jesus said: "Sell what you have and give alms" (Lk 12:33).

      This poverty is asked of those who are willing to follow Christ in consecrated life. Their poverty is expressed concretely in a juridical way, as the Council recalls. It can take various forms: the radical renunciation of owning property, as in the ancient "mendicant orders," and as practiced today by the members of other religious congregations, and other possible forms which the Council encourages to be sought (cf. PC 13). What matters is that poverty be really lived as a sharing in Christ's poverty: "With regard to religious poverty it is not enough to use goods in a way subject to the superior's will, but members must be poor both in fact and in spirit, their treasures being in heaven (cf. Mt 6:20)" (PC 13).

      Insti.tutes themselves are called to a collective witness to poverty. Giving new authority to the voice of so many teachers of spirituality and religious life, the Council especially stressed that insti.tutes "should avoid every appearance of luxury, excessive wealth and the accu.mulation of goods" (PC 13). Again, their poverty should be animated by a spirit of sharing between provinces and houses, and of generosity "for the needs of the Church and the support of the poor" (PC 13).

      Another point, which is emerging again and again in the recent development of the forms of poverty, is seen in the Council's recommendation concerning "the common law of labor" (PC 13). In the past, there was the choice and practice of begging, a sign of poverty, humility and beneficial charity toward the needy. Today it is rather by their labor that religious "procure what is required for their sustenance and works" (PC 13). It is a law of life and a practice of poverty. Embracing it freely and joyfully means accepting the counsel and believing in the gospel blessedness of poverty. It is the greatest service that religious can give to the Gospel in this respect: witnessing to and practicing the spirit of trusting abandonment into the Father's hands as true followers of Christ, who lived and taught that spirit and left it as an inheritance to his Church.

      December 28, 2012 at 10:54 am |
  18. WASP

    first. lmfao XD

    December 28, 2012 at 7:50 am |
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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.