January 22nd, 2013
06:30 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Tuesday, January 22, 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: Latino minister fires up Ebenezer on King Day
In all the 45 years of a commemorative service on the birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., there had never been a Latino delivering the keynote address. That changed Monday as the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez took the podium and belted out a sermon that would have surely made King proud. His message was sown together with the language of faith and justice.

CNN: Iran begins trial for U.S. pastor held since September
On Monday, American Saeed Abedini appeared in an Iranian court. The Christian pastor gave the judge a written statement and was questioned by prosecutors and his defense lawyer, whom he only met Monday. But apparently that is not the end of the legal proceedings, according to his wife and lawyers who are assisting her with the situation.

Belief on TV:

Enlightening Reads:

Religion News Service: Obama extols a biblical vision of equality for all in second inaugural
A presidential inauguration is by tradition the grandest ritual of America’s civil religion, but President Obama took the oath of office on Monday (Jan. 21) in a ceremony that was explicit in joining theology to the nation’s destiny and setting out a biblical vision of equality that includes race, gender, class, and, most controversially, sexual orientation.

Reuters: Israel considers ban for far-right candidate over gaffe on blowing up shrine
An Israeli panel weighed a request on Sunday to disqualify a candidate of a powerful far-right party from running in a January 22 election for alluding in a speech to the possibility of seeing one of Islam’s holiest shrines in Jerusalem “blown up.”

The Guardian: How the Vatican built a secret property empire using Mussolini's millions
Few passing London tourists would ever guess that the premises of Bulgari, the upmarket jewellers in New Bond Street, had anything to do with the pope. Nor indeed the nearby headquarters of the wealthy investment bank Altium Capital, on the corner of St James's Square and Pall Mall. But these office blocks in one of London's most expensive districts are part of a surprising secret commercial property empire owned by the Vatican.

Religion News Service: Episcopalians battle over aid to Israel
A group of prominent Episcopalians is criticizing their church’s stand on Israel, urging it to join 15 other denominations who call for an accounting of U.S. aid to Israel. The public letter released on Friday (Jan. 18) notes that leaders of 15 religious groups, including Lutherans, Presbyterians and Methodists, asked Congress to take that step last October, and that the “voice of the Episcopal Church is woefully missing.”

Huffington Post: 'Beyond the Robe': New Generation of Buddhist Monks Embraces Science
Recently, the Dalai Lama addressed a luncheon gathering at my home in Boston and announced a decision by the leaders of the monasteries to make the study of Western science part of the core curriculum required of all monastic scholars in the Gelug tradition. His Holiness further commented that the decision to include Western science was the most significant change to the monastic curriculum in centuries.

Quote of the Day:

For every mountain you gave us the strength to climb. Your grace is pleaded to continue that climb for America and the world… We ask that you grant our president the will to act courageously but cautiously when confronted with danger and to act prudently but deliberately when challenged by adversity. Please continue to bless his efforts to lead by example in consideration and favor of the diversity of our people.

- Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of civil rights leader Medgar Evers, delivered the invocation at the 57th Presidential Inauguration on Monday, January 21, 2013. She is the first laywoman to ever give an inaugural invocation.

Opinion of the Day:

My Take: Obama delivers Lincoln's Third Inaugural
Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," labeled President Barack Obama’s second inauguration as “Lincoln’s Third Inaugural” becuase “the words of our 44th president were animated throughout by the vision of our 16th.”

Join the conversation…

CNN: My Take: An almost chosen nation
Joseph Loconte, Ph.D., author of The Searchers: A Quest for Faith in the Valley of Doubt, explains the irony behind President Barack Obama’s decision to use Bibles previously owned by President Abraham Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when he is sworn in at inauguration.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. CoFl;yBoy

    What a bunch of senseless crap. You christians are all a fry short of a happy meal.

    January 29, 2013 at 1:02 am |
  2. Guliver Perevin

    I just got paid $6784 working on my laptop using these simple steps leaked on this web page. Make up to $85 per hour doing simple tasks that are so easy to do that you won't forgive yourself if you don't check it out! Payments are paid every Friday! Here is what I've been doing Rich45.ℂOM

    January 23, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
  3. Science

    To Russ
    Here is another court case, religion/bible's creation story LOST big time go figure.

    New science standards for 2013 (stem)

    Thank you to the National Centre For Science Education (NCSE) for providing this information.

    For years to come, the lessons from Dover will continue to have a profound impact on how science is viewed in our society and how it is taught in the classroom


    January 23, 2013 at 7:24 am |
  4. Russ

    @ CNN: 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade & not even a mention on the Belief Blog? Swing & a miss.

    Over 55 million abortions in the last 40 years. Some call it a celebration of freedom, others call it the greatest tragedy of our era. Hard to understand why CNN has been so silent on that issue today.

    January 22, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
    • LinCA


      You said, "CNN: 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade & not even a mention on the Belief Blog? Swing & a miss."
      They covered it in a relevant section. It's in "Health".

      January 22, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
    • Not Russ

      Doesn't it just anger you when news organizations don't obey your editorial demands?

      January 22, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
    • Russ

      @ LinCA: you can't have it both ways. Considering the consistent treatment of this topic on this blog & the magnitude of the event (for both sides of the debate), that's a substantial miss.

      January 22, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
    • OTOH


      "a substantial miss"

      I think it is you who missed it - it was covered last week in anticipation of the anniversary:


      January 22, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • LinCA


      You said, "you can't have it both ways."
      I couldn't care less where, or even if, they cover it. It's an anniversary of a court decision. Nothing changed today. There is no news to report. The "news" on this subject is no different from what it was yesterday, or last month.

      This was a non-event that was known 40 years ago it was going to happen today. Some news, huh.

      You said, "Considering the consistent treatment of this topic on this blog"
      The topic of abortion comes up on occasion when some religious lunatic tries to force his or her moronic beliefs on the sane part of society. It's because of the religious dimwits that the news they create about it, belongs on the belief blog, occasionally.

      You said, "the magnitude of the event"
      It's a freakin' anniversary!

      January 22, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • Russ

      @ LinCA: 55 *million* abortions and counting in the US...
      EITHER that's 55 million murders or 55 million celebrations of freedom – that's the debate.
      Either way, it's a day worth noting.
      Your argument works just as much against MLK's birthday. Are you for ignoring that, too?

      January 22, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
    • Harvey Tersallis

      Banning abortion will no more reduce it than prohibition reduced drinking. As it already was illegal, we know the results: no reduction in abortions, but a big increase in dead and maimed young women due to the nature of black market medical care.

      You see, abortion became legal because of a massive practical problem, which is still taking massive numbers of women's lives in parts of Africa where abortion is illegal.

      It is not about ideology; it is aboutnot killing oour daughters when they are desperate, and religion had NEVER stopped that.

      January 22, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
    • LinCA


      You said, "EITHER that's 55 million murders or 55 million celebrations of freedom – that's the debate."
      Among rational people there is little or no debate. It's a medical procedure. One that you don't need to avail yourself of, if you don't want to.

      You said, "Either way, it's a day worth noting."
      If you feel so strongly about it, why don't you organize your own celebration?

      You said, "Your argument works just as much against MLK's birthday."
      There are anniversaries that I find more important than others.

      You said, "Are you for ignoring that, too?"
      May I remind you that it wasn't ignored? It was in the proper section on CNN.

      January 22, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Oh, please. If there had been an article about it, Russ and his ilk would be complaining that it was the "liberal left" posting articles that furthered their agenda.

      January 22, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
    • CoFl;yBoy

      Russ, If you don't like it, I suggest going to Fox News, where you will be REALLY informed.

      January 29, 2013 at 12:53 am |
    • HotAirAce

      And over 70% of those abortions were had by god fearing believers! You'd think that some god would take some action if for no other reason than to have more cult members.

      January 29, 2013 at 12:57 am |
  5. Martin

    Hi.. I have been approached with the view of reinterpreting Christianity as a whole through the most commonly used English bible in Western society today. Can any one let me know of a blog that will give me maximum exposure.

    January 22, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
  6. truth be told

    Once you recognize that all comments from so called atheists are lies it puts those lies in a proper perspective. There is no use for an atheist in this world or the next.

    January 22, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      God sure isn't doing a whole lot about us, though. Why don't you follow his example and deal with us as much as he does?

      January 22, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Given up on "JustTheFacts" then. Provide evidence of atheist lies.

      January 22, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • truth be told

      Evidence of atheist lies? All day every day on these blogs including the two responding to my Truth.

      January 22, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
    • Archibald Smythe-Pennington, III

      Chad, you ignorant Slut4Him. Make your life more interesting. Take up needlepoint or something similar.

      January 22, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • truth be told

      Its hard to show how smart you are archie when you're on the wrong thread.

      January 22, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
  7. Robert Brown

    God treats everyone alike. He accepts people only because they have faith in Jesus Christ. All of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. But God treats us much better than we deserve, and because of Christ Jesus, he freely accepts us and sets us free from our sins. God sent Christ to be our sacrifice. Christ offered his life’s blood, so that by faith in him we could come to God. And God did this to show that in the past he was right to be patient and forgive sinners. This also shows that God is right when he accepts people who have faith in Jesus.

    What is left for us to brag about? Not a thing! Is it because we obeyed some law? No! It is because of faith. We see that people are acceptable to God because they have faith, and not because they obey the Law. Does God belong only to the Jews? Isn’t he also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, he is! There is only one God, and he accepts Gentiles as well as Jews, simply because of their faith. Do we destroy the Law by our faith? Not at all! We make it even more powerful.
    (Rom. 3:22-31)

    January 22, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Ah the same old "believe or burn forever" doctrine. So loving.

      January 22, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Good afternoon hawaiiguest,
      Romans is a good book to start with for those interested in Christianity. Paul did a very good job of explaining it.

      January 22, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      I don't really care what Paul says. The basic doctrine is believe or burn. End of story. No amount of flowery language and apologetics changes that.

      January 22, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Deb

      hawaiiguest, you're choosing not to believe. Stop putting the blame on Jesus that the lies of Satan are more appealing to you,

      January 22, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • Oso

      Your "god" does not exist and never did. People make shit up, you dumbass.
      You are just a schmoe. A clueless schmoe. I bet you've given tons of money to anyone who says the magic word, eh? LOL

      January 22, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      Oh wow such an insightful comment. How can one ever disregard it?
      Like this.
      Beliefs require you to be convinced of the truth of a claim, whether for good or bad reasons. Belief is not a simple choice. I use logic and reason to determine the validity of the arguments for the existence of god and the validity of the bible as presented. I have to use logic and reason due to the utter lack of empirical scientific evidence to support the god claim.
      I do not believe in god, satan, or any of that other supernatural woo, and you having the utter arrogance to tell me what I think or appeals to me is fairly standard religious rhetoric, even if it is completely flawed.

      January 22, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
  8. Science


    Please see date it says Jan 21 2013
    Evolution wins hands down, it is time for god(s) religion to get the HELL out of the way OK

    A Relative from the Tianyuan Cave: Humans Living 40,000 Years Ago Likely Related to Many Present-Day Asians and Native Americans

    Jan. 21, 2013 — Ancient DNA has revealed that humans living some 40,000 years ago in the area near Beijing were likely related to many present-day Asians and Native Americans

    January 22, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
  9. Thinker23

    Compare the situation in Israel where a candidate who once said that the Golden Dome would explode is disqualified by court from running and the situation in the pillar of Islamic democracy Iran where the President saying that the "regime in Jerusalem" would "vanish from the page of times" is re-elected and cheered by his supporters in Iran and other countries.

    January 22, 2013 at 11:55 am |
  10. Saraswati

    The dog story is sweet – not really about religion at all, but a good reminder of the love in animals other than humans.

    January 22, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • Zingo

      The priests will surely "love" that dog. Because dogs don't talk, and they don't hire lawyers.

      January 22, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
  11. pnesswrinkle


    January 22, 2013 at 9:59 am |
  12. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Pray without ceasing in 2013
    Prayer changes things

    January 22, 2013 at 9:14 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 22, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your repeated assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your repeated unfounded assertions may represent truths is: "CHRONIC TOTAL FAIL". Perhaps the following book can help you cope with the problem of repeating unfounded assertions:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...

      January 22, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • just wondering

      It must be the anonymous nature of these blogs that allow two hate filled racial bigots to come on a blog dedicated to a great man of prayer and belittle that mans belief system. Neither one of those hooded bas.tards can ever contribute to mankind what the Reverend King did.

      January 22, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • Douglas

      "just wondering" with that post neither do you.

      January 22, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • truth be told

      Once again bottom feeding hate monger atheists prove they are all liars. With special thanks to little "dougie"

      January 22, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Pete

      "atheists prove they are all liars"

      more lies from the xtians – 129!

      January 22, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Atheists know their own crapola and in their spreading of such filth dare brings upon the world pure and unabashed hatred upon those they vehemently disagree with! No sense in discussing with such haters of the logical investors who sees Life for what it truly is,,,, not the kingdom domains of God! For the kingdoms of God are inside us all and we all are God's buildings created by God's husbandry and in labors do we all with God share in Godliness morals of righteous God sent civilities appearances.

      The "goal of freedom" is exactly just what? Free to be a thinker of thoughts outside the hindrances the indoctrinated souls who dare convolutions of socialized degradations? Where then should freedom lovers be so found acclimated upon? Are uncivil morbidities of detrimental moralities fast becoming a doctrinal normality?

      The judicial trump card has given the American tramps and harlots, their rights to kill children at will without physical ailment being the souled culprit for abortive reasoning. Are American abortion rationales ever to seek the uncivil moralist bucket's bottom dwellers? Without God art all tramps and harlots who dare kills future generations of Life! Repent and kill no more futures’ forsakenness just to satisfy one's own lusts of immoral unjustifiability!

      January 22, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • .

      LL is the belief blog pseudo intellect, don't bother reading their drivel ramblings, just laugh and move on.

      January 22, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Which God?

      lionlylamb. Hey Chucky "Cheese" Milton. How you doing boy? How is the weather there in Ca? Still living under that old tree? This guy is a troll from other blogs. Name is Charles Milton. Makes claims of super natural knowledge.. By his texts, you can see he spews word salad and unadulterated nonsense.

      January 22, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Zingo

      "Atheism is not . . . " "just wondering", "truth be . . . " – so many names, so few brains. They are the many heads of the sock puppet hydra of one ignorant nincompoop.

      January 22, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Which God?

      Sorry big boy! I am no California bound entrenchment! My name is not that which you say! Do yourself a compliment and quit lying your way thru Life! You are such a ripe prune needing to be thrown out,,, a discard of whatnot!

      January 22, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Which God?

      lionlylamb. Yep, it's you. Busted, azzhat. Deny it all you want. Busted! You can't diguise your writng style, etc. What a jerk.

      January 22, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      @Which God?,

      LL has told us that he lives in Florida. Never fear, though, there's at least one guy down there who claims to be Jesus reincarnated too:


      January 22, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Which God?

      You are such a loon! Never was I named "Chucky"! Show us your proof I am that which you make falsehoods regarding myself! You seem to be an alias of morbidity the likes of which I a yet unsure of. Go take yourself a long walk and never turn back!

      January 22, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • Cal

      Anybody else find it ironic that LL would say it is pointless to have a discussion with certain folk.

      January 22, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      A Frayed Knot,,,

      Me, Jesus incarnate? What a fool saying the foolishness in hopes the foolish will follow suit! I am but a souled individual and in rivalries am I found out and made to be that which others make recognitions to and towards. I do so Love God, the Father of all the gods and Christ Jesus is the mightiest Lord of all the lordly gods! 1Corinthians 8:5. “For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)” 6. “But to us [there is but] one God, the Father, of whom [are] all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom [are] all things, and we by him.”

      January 22, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Deb

      Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)

      January 22, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • Oso

      Yet without knowing which is actually true or false and relying instead upon mere empty claims, one side, at least, is surely foolish and how interesting it is that they are also the ones who do the most evil, as in the Inquisition, Nazi Germany, the Dark Ages, and every form of torture known to human history?

      The religious lose the argument every time on matters of good vs evil. Every time.

      January 22, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • truth be told

      Atheists have tortured and killed more innocent people in the last 100 years than were killed in all previous centuries. Is that what you call good aso?

      January 22, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "truth be told", but your repeated assertions regarding atheism are unfounded. There is no data indicating that populations under ruthless dictators of past regimes have committed atrocities in the name of atheism. There is data indicating that segments of populations under different religions have committed atrocities in the name of their respective religions. Your truth value, "truth be told", remains at zero.

      January 22, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • truth be told

      Once again hal slithers out to prove that all atheists lie. Thanks again.

      January 22, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
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.