January 28th, 2013
05:19 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Monday, January 28, 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: Recounting the nightmares of the Holocaust…
Photographer Maciek Nabrdalik was visiting a Holocaust memorial and museum in Poland when he noticed an obituary posted for one of the survivors. The next day there was another one. “At that moment I realized that we are the last generation who can approach them to talk and ask questions,” he said. Since then, he has sat down with more than 40 former camp prisoners to help tell their stories for his ongoing project, “The Irreversible.”

CNN: Lawyers for Catholic hospital argue that a fetus is not a person…
Life begins at conception, according to the Catholic Church, but in a wrongful death suit in Colorado, a Catholic health care company has argued just the opposite. A fetus is not legally a person until it is born, the hospital's lawyers have claimed in its defense. And now it may be up to the state's Supreme Court to decide.

CNN: Iran sentences U.S. pastor to 8 years in prison, group says…
An Iranian judge has sentenced an American Christian pastor to eight years in prison after he was tried for his religious beliefs, a U.S.-based religious group said Sunday. Saeed Abedini was swiftly sentenced by a member of the Islamic Republic's Revolutionary Court, according to the American Center for Law and Justice, an organization founded by television evangelist Pat Robertson. CNN was not immediately able to confirm what went on in the court proceedings.

CNN: 'None' leaders to chart path for more political, cultural power for religiously unaffiliated…
The religiously unaffiliated – the "nones" – have noticed their ranks are growing. And at a meeting Saturday, a group of leaders looked to turn those swelling numbers into workable political and cultural power. It's one of the top priorities of the eighth annual Heads Meeting, which will be held in Atlanta. Some of the nation’s most influential leaders, representing various organizations, convened to chart a path forward and discuss the most important issues facing "nones" today.

Photos of the Day:

A street dancer performs during the annual Grand Santo Nino Procession in Manila on January 27, 2013. The annual Grand Santo Nino Procession features almost 300 floats with different images of the child Jesus flown in from various parts of the country. The Philippines is Asia's bastion of Catholicism and the Sto Nino feast is one among dozens of religious festivals honoring various saints and religious icons, a legacy of three centuries of Spanish rule across the archipelago.

Filipino Christian devotees display their religious icons of the baby Jesus during the annual Grand Santo Nino Procession in Manila on January 27, 2013

Hindu devotees make their way up the 272 steps to the entrance of the Batu Caves during the Thaipusam procession on January 27, 2013 in Batu Caves, Malaysia. Thaipusam is a Hindu festival celebrated on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai. The festival marks the birthday of Lord Muruga and also commemorates the day Hindu Goddess Parvati gave her son a lance to defeat the evil demon Soorapadamwhen.

Hindu devotees carry a statue while making their way towards the Batu Caves to perform their religious during the Thaipusam Festival on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur on January 28, 2013.

Enlightening Reads:

New York Times: In Fight Over Life, a New Call by Catholics…
The March for Life in Washington on Friday renewed the annual impassioned call to end legalized abortion, 40 years after the Roe v. Wade decision. But this year, some Roman Catholic leaders and theologians are asking why so many of those who call themselves “pro-life” have been silent, or even opposed, when it comes to controlling the guns that have been used to kill and injure millions of Americans.

Huffington Post: NYPD Muslim Spying Lawsuit Moves Forward
"I'm laughing. I'm laughing on the phone right now," said Syed Farhaj Hassan. "That's hysterical." That's how Hassan reacted when he heard that the New York City Police Department blames the press for exposing its Muslim surveillance program - and not its own cops for running it. Hassan is the lead plaintiff in an ongoing lawsuit by the non-profit group Muslim Advocates over the NYPD's extension of its spying program into New Jersey. The group dropped its latest filing in the case on Friday.

The Guardian: Russian gay rights activists detained as MPs vote for 'propaganda' bill…
Russian police have detained 20 gay rights campaigners and militant Orthodox Christian activists near parliament as politicians overwhelmingly backed a bill that would ban "homosexual propaganda". Russia's State Duma, the lower house of parliament, voted 388-1-1 for the law that makes public events and the dissemination of information on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, community to minors punishable by fines of up to $16,000 (£10,000). After two more readings, the bill will have to be signed by President Vladimir Putin.

Religion News Service: Catholic college engages atheism head-on…
Talk about an unlikely course in an unlikely place. The main chapel at Jesuit-run Regis College at the University of Toronto is adorned with stained glass windows, icons of Mary and Joseph, and the Stations of the Cross. The eight-week course, which meets every Wednesday afternoon, is on atheism. Or more precisely, “Responding to 21st-Century Atheism.” It’s an attempt, says the Rev. Scott Lewis, for people of faith to understand and come to terms with the increasingly muscular secularism and atheism that has arisen in Western societies over the past generation.

Quote of the Day:

On this day, we recall the courage, spirit, and determination of those who heroically resisted the Nazis, exemplifying the very best of humanity. And like these courageous individuals, we must commit ourselves to resisting hate and persecution in all its forms.

–Statement by President Barack Obama on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Opinion of the Day:

My Take: An American Jew finds MLK – and a new understanding – on the West Bank…
Arri Eisen, PhD. – professor of pedagogy at Emory University’s Center for Ethics, Department of Biology and Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts – says the symbolism of President Barack Obama’s inauguration falling on Martin Luther King Day was not lost on many of the Palestinians he met while at the West Bank. “Who would have thought in Martin Luther King’s day that you would now have a black president? If that can happen in the U.S., then maybe one day there can be peace here,” he heard.

Join the conversation…

CNN: Twitter must identify racist, anti-Semitic posters, French court says…
For months now, the French-language twittersphere has lit up with a rash of racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic tweets using the hashtags #UnBonJuif (a good Jew), #SiMonFilsEstGay (if my son is gay), and #SiMaFilleRamèneUnNoir (if my daughter brings home a black guy). Last fall, under pressure from French advocacy group Union of Jewish Students (UEJF), Twitter agreed to remove some offensive tweets. In October 2012, at Berlin's request, Twitter also suspended a German neo-Nazi account based in the city of Hanover, the first time the company had responded to such a government request.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (280 Responses)
  1. Science

    New tools for Robert Brown Chad Topher Live4Him to use.

    updated 1 hour 55 minutes ago

    Scientists have unearthed and dated some of the oldest stone hand axes on Earth. The ancient tools, unearthed in Ethiopia in the last two decades, date to 1.75 million years ago.


    January 29, 2013 at 7:18 am |
    • just wondering

      And mistakes were made. The rock was old the ax was not.

      January 29, 2013 at 7:26 am |
    • midwest rail

      Please enumerate said "mistakes".

      January 29, 2013 at 7:39 am |
  2. lionlylamb


    January 28, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
    • lionlylamb


      January 28, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
  3. lionlylamb


    January 28, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
  4. lionlylamb

    Hightech investors needed for Focused fusion reactor!


    January 28, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
    • lionlylamb


      January 28, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Sorry about double posting,,,,,Here's what I meant to post


      January 28, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
    • pee wee

      you are replying to yourself with the same video? you need to spend some time in the playhouse, and if things don't go well there, you'll have to go to another special place where someone can help.

      January 28, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
  5. Robert Brown

    For those of you who continue to ask for evidence or proof of God from believers,

    Suppose one of you goes to a friend in the middle of the night and says, “Let me borrow three loaves of bread. A friend of mine has dropped in, and I don’t have a thing for him to eat.” And suppose your friend answers, “Don’t bother me! The door is bolted, and my children and I are in bed. I cannot get up to give you something.”

    He may not get up and give you the bread, just because you are his friend. But he will get up and give you as much as you need, simply because you are not ashamed to keep on asking.

    So I tell you to ask and you will receive, search and you will find, knock and the door will be opened for you. Everyone who asks will receive, everyone who searches will find, and the door will be opened for everyone who knocks. Which one of you fathers would give your hungry child a snake if the child asked for a fish? Which one of you would give your child a scorpion if the child asked for an egg? As bad as you are, you still know how to give good gifts to your children.

    But your heavenly Father is even more ready to give the Holy Spirit to anyone who asks.
    (Luke 11:5-13)

    Have you requested what you think you need from the only one capable of giving it to you?

    If you will ask God for the Holy Spirit, you will have all the evidence or proof you will ever need.

    January 28, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      You said you needed evidence. It is yours for the asking.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Seriously, this is straight from the word of God.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Standard "you have to believe to believe" crap. Not one believer can back up anything they claim about their silly, childish, delusional beliefs.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
    • Robert Brown


      So, I take it you don’t want any evidence of God. No one can give you any advice if you just flat out proclaim you wouldn’t want anything to do with God even if he did reveal himself to you. I think with that att.itude you will get your wish.

      Darn them t.i.t.'s

      January 28, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Jesus said, the heavenly father is more than ready to give you the Holy Spirit, if only you would ask.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • Answer

      Ya only if you ask...

      Only if you are delusional like a fvcktard and ask. Go ask.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Robert Brown", but anything that starts with a capital letter is an element of mythology and therefore 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: "EPIC 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 28, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      I determined years ago that the probability of there being any gods is virtually zero and that all religions are bullsh!t. Asking for evidence of a god is simply one way to demonstrate to believers, and those thinking about becoming believers, that there is no factual or logical basis for the myths delusional believers call truth.

      And there's nothing wrong with tits.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • Robert Brown


      Another poster who refuses to even ask, I guess God could hit you upside the head with 2×4 and say hey dummy it is me, God. Would you believe then?

      January 28, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
    • Answer

      @Robert Brown

      A retard like yourself can just off yourself. Spread your virus daily but it's still a virus.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
    • Answer


      When the day comes around that your jeebus calls you.. thank him for me. Call him to attend this issue of what I am asking.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      hal 9001,
      Your posts are funny, but do you ever engage in conversation?

      January 28, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
    • truth be told

      Atheists = all liars all the time. This simple Truth enlightens the way normal people can view an atheists comment.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Robert. That is not evidence as you well know. There is no other aspect of your life where you would blindly trust – not without the very high probabilty of being sold shoddy goods, sold poor investments, provided poor home repairs, provided poor car repairs, etc. etc. What you said is basically what fortune tellers say – it doesn't work if you don't believe.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
    • Answer

      @Robert Brown

      ==I've made a little improvement to your stupidity.

      truth be told

      Your posts are funny, but do you ever engage in conversation?

      ==Go engage that troll. XD

      January 28, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • Robert Brown


      Ok, if you are satisfied, then there isn’t anything I could say to change your mind. I always encourage those who didn’t find God in a prior search to try again.
      By the way, how do you get t.i.t. by the word filter without spaces or periods and such.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      “him to attend this issue of what I am asking.”

      You lost me there, what are you talking about? What are you asking?

      January 28, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
    • Answer


      You're too stupid to get it. I'll leave ya to comb over it. You may as well add another orifice in that head off yours.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Robert Brown", but "God" is an element of mythology, therefore the notion that it can be found or that it can find someone or something is 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: "EPIC 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 28, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
    • Robert Brown


      Ok, I understand that what I told you isn’t evidence, and even if you receive the Holy Spirit, I have been told that wouldn’t be evidence either, because you couldn’t demonstrate it to someone else, so to speak. But, if you successfully obtain the Holy Spirit by the method Jesus proscribes and I do, and several others also do, wouldn’t those successes carry some weight?

      January 28, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Sorry, Robert. I'm sure you can relate:

      That which was from the beginning, which we have (not) heard, which we have (not) seen with our eyes, which we have (not) looked at and our hands have (not) touched–this (you) proclaim concerning the Word of life.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
    • Robert Brown


      I could be stupid compared to someone, but you haven’t left me anything to comb over. It is obvious you don’t believe and you enjoy insulting people who do, that is my take away.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      Jeez are you still spouting this crap when people have pointed out the problems over and over and over? You're merely showing exactly how little reason there is to believe in your myths.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • Answer


      And just what do you know about the stuff you do believe?

      You're as hilarious as Chad on his 5 points and even sillier.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Tom, Tom, the Other One,

      That I can understand.

      January 28, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
    • Robert Brown


      How am I showing, how little reason there is to believe?

      January 28, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Robert Brown

      You said, "For those of you who continue to ask for evidence or proof of God from believers,"
      I suspect that most that ask for evidence of gods aren't particularly interested in the "evidence" the believer thinks (s)he has. Most know that there is no evidence that can stand up to any level of scrutiny. The requests for evidence are far more often meant as an encouragement to the believer to rationally evaluate that "evidence".

      Now, if you have actual evidence that could stand scrutiny, I suggest you publish a paper. Submit it for peer review. If it holds up, you'll be the next Nobel laureate.

      January 28, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
    • Robert Brown


      What I know is that I have what Jesus said I could have, just for asking, the Holy Spirit. If you could ever bring yourself to ask the one who can give you what you need, you wouldn’t need to ask anyone else.

      Chad seems like a good Christian, so I will take that as a compliment. Thanks.

      January 28, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
    • Robert Brown


      I understand that what I have doesn’t qualify as the evidence you are interested in. The intention is to point you to the one who can satisfy your needs.

      January 28, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
    • Answer

      "I have what Jesus said I could have"

      ==Classic loser.

      You've gone in this infinite loop of saying "you ask.. I ask .. you get .. I get"
      How pathetic you are.

      January 28, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Gods who appear invisible and undetectable should be treated as nonexistent.

      January 28, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Actually, Chad comes across as an odd sort of Christian, Robert. Unlike Chad you seem to be motivated by a personal relationship you feel you have with God. It's hard for a non-theist to argue with that except by calling you delusional or by accusing you of lying. Less effective are apologetics and exegetics that fail miserably time and time again.

      January 28, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Robert Brown

      You said, "I understand that what I have doesn’t qualify as the evidence you are interested in."
      Do you also understand that without evidence, your case for your god is non-existent? The "evidence" you have, or claim can be had, is only convincing to those that already believe. There is no evidence that could possibly convince anyone who doesn't already believe.

      You said, "The intention is to point you to the one who can satisfy your needs."
      The only ones who could possibly provide the evidence don't exist.

      January 28, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
    • pee wee

      RB: " The intention is to point you to the one who can satisfy your needs."

      Well, OK. Let me tell you what I need, and then you see if your guy can hook me up: Male, tall and dark preferably. No tattoos, but it's not a deal-breaker. Non-smoker. 30-40 years old. Oh, and must like to spend time in playhouses.

      January 28, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
    • Answer

      The internet's text format of blogs/messageborads is the perfect place for the religious clowns to come down to and die.

      There's no place to crawl away from. No way for your insanity not to be pointed out on. No amount of emotional pleas can be conveyed through words. Threats of hellfire by the fvcktards can be laughed at. A joyous environment to simply showcase the dying dogmas.

      Supposed personal relationship are nothing. There is no basis to compare wealth, position and or status. The only valid response to an argument is to give a response to argument. The verified falseness are trample down and are ridiculed.

      The sweet truth of the internet.

      January 28, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • End Religion

      @BobbyB: " By the way, how do you get t.i.t. by the word filter without spaces or periods and such."

      Don't feel bad, Bibbity-Boo. Men may go a lifetime and not figure out how to effectively circumvent boob protection. Those snaps are a bitch.

      January 29, 2013 at 1:19 am |
    • HotAirAce

      RB, the answer is in The Babble on page. . . If you beleve, it will come to you. Or it may just be atheist black magic!

      January 29, 2013 at 1:33 am |
    • tallulah13

      I believe what Robert Brown is trying to say is that there really is no proof, but people who want to believe in something can convince themselves of pretty much anything.

      You can believe whatever you want, Robert. I will continue to wait for proof.

      January 29, 2013 at 1:47 am |
    • Observer

      Robert Brown,

      If I went to my next door neighbor in the middle of the night and said "There are 20 children being slaughtered here", he wouldn't sit around and DO NOTHING.

      January 29, 2013 at 1:59 am |
    • Science

      @RB Just had to leave this for you Robert, Ask god how that word made it by the word filter.


      January 29, 2013 at 6:49 am |
    • Pete

      "Atheists = all liars all the time."

      more lies from the xtians – 161!

      January 29, 2013 at 7:42 am |
    • Robert

      "Have you requested what you think you need from the only one capable of giving it to you?

      If you will ask God for the Holy Spirit, you will have all the evidence or proof you will ever need."

      No, it's not proof at all. What you can't seem to comprehend is the atheists posting here are former Christians and former ministers. It's not the proof you will ever need because the reality is your god doesn't exist.

      January 29, 2013 at 7:47 am |
  6. lionlylamb


    January 28, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
  7. lionlylamb


    January 28, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
  8. lionlylamb


    January 28, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
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About this blog

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