January 9th, 2013
05:22 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Wednesday, January 09, 2013

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: Washington National Cathedral to wed same-sex couples
When laws went into effect in three states for same-sex couples to marry, many were quick to line up at their city halls to exchange vows. Now they may do so in one of the nation's most prominent churches – the Washington National Cathedral.

CNN: Atlanta pastor, Evers' widow named to speak at inauguration
The widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers and an Atlanta pastor will deliver the invocation and benediction at President Barack Obama's inauguration January 21, the Presidential Inaugural Committee announced Tuesday.

CNN: Christians divided on gun control
One of the most intense battlefields in today's gun control debate is happening inside Christianity. Christians of every stripe; conservative, moderate and liberal tend to agree with the Gospel's message of love and peace. However, they don’t agree on what that Gospel message means.

Tweet of the Day:

[tweet https://twitter.com/HuffPostRelig/status/288801024687370241%5D

Belief on TV:

Enlightening Reads:

Religion News Service: Bus ads aim to reclaim the meaning of ‘jihad’
An ad campaign on San Francisco buses is aimed at trying to change public perception of the word “jihad,” which the program’s founder says has been distorted by extremists — Muslim and anti-Muslim alike.

Reuters: About 100 million Christians are persecuted around the world: Open Doors report
About 100 million Christians are persecuted around the world, with conditions worsening for them most rapidly in Syria and Ethiopia, according to an annual report by a group supporting oppressed Christians worldwide. Open Doors, a non-denominational Christian group, listed North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan as the three toughest countries for Christians last year. They topped the 50-country ranking for 2011 as well.

New York Times: Indonesia Envisions More Religion in Schools
If a government proposal in Indonesia goes through, elementary schools would no longer teach separate science classes. The time, instead, would go toward teaching religion.

JTA: In Antwerp, a haredi pariah forces school to go coed
Friedman, a 40-year-old Brooklyn native, is an unlikely champion of gender equality in Jewish schools. The haredi rabbi became a pariah after attending a 2006 conference in Iran questioning the Holocaust and for his friendship with the country's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. A fierce anti-Zionist, Friedman has befriended the leaders of Hamas and has cast doubt on whether 6 million Jews actually died in the Holocaust.

Opinion of the Day:

CNN: My take: 'Atheist' isn’t a dirty word, congresswoman
Chris Stedman, author of "Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious,” writes that when Rep. Kyrsten Sinema’s campaign said “the terms non-theist, atheist or non-believer are not befitting of her life’s work or personal character” it implied that there is something unfavorable about nonbelievers.

Join the conversation…

CNN: White House officials reach out to Jewish community to answer Hagel concerns
Senior members of the White House staff called key American Jewish interest groups on Sunday to tell them about the impending nomination of Chuck Hagel to be Defense Secretary and to try to answer their concerns about his record, several sources familiar with the calls told CNN.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. niknak

    Hello all BB peeps,
    Gonna be in the 50s and sunny here, and just a beautiful day.
    And as always, without god(s).

    January 9, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
  2. Science

    Stephen Hawking: 'There is no heaven' – Under God – The ...
    by Elizabeth Tenety – in 624 Google+ circles – More by Elizabeth Tenety
    May 16, 2011 – There is no heaven... that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark,” Hawking told the Guardian.

    January 9, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
  3. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Pray without ceasing in 2013
    Prayer changes things

    January 9, 2013 at 7:25 am |
    • No Effect

      Long-Awaited Medical Study Questions the Power of Prayer – New ...


      Mar 31, 2006 – Prayers by strangers had no effect on the recovery of people who were undergoing heart surgery, a large study has found.

      January 9, 2013 at 8:00 am |
    • End Religion

      Maybe there is one thing prayer does change. If religious folks practice it ceaselessly, in a couple weeks there will be none left alive to debate the atheists.

      January 9, 2013 at 8:14 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Is it like this
      In death’s other kingdom
      Waking alone
      At the hour when we are
      Trembling with tenderness
      Lips that would kiss
      Form prayers to broken stone.

      T. S. Eliot

      January 9, 2013 at 8:54 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!

      January 9, 2013 at 11:09 am |
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.