Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.
By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN
Religion isn’t just for Republicans any more.
One key to President Obama’s 2008 election victory was his willingness to speak openly about his personal faith and to connect the dots between his public policies and biblical values.
In his inaugural address, he famously described the United States not as a secular nation or a Christian nation but "a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and non-believers."
Yesterday that patchwork nation was on display at the White House in an event on interfaith and community service on college campuses co-sponsored by the Obama administration’s Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and its Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation.
Activists campaigning for the Catholic Church to ordain women as priests were asked to leave the Vatican on Tuesday.
They argue that women in the priesthood could have helped lessen the impact of the child abuse scandal sweeping the church.
The half-dozen campaigners had unfurled a banner and were handing out leaflets when Vatican police asked them to go.
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The religious left, unhappy with the Obama administration, has organized a conference in Washington this weekend to call on the president to "Be the Obama that Americans thought we elected in 2008."
Led by Rabbi Michael Lerner, the event is officially called "Taking Back Washington From the 'Pragmatists' and 'Realists': A Strategy Conference for Religious and Secular Progressives," featuring the likes of evangelical minister Brian McLaren, Rep. Keith Ellison (one of Congress' two Muslim members) and Riverside Church minister emeritus James Forbes.
From CNN Senior National Editor Dave Schechter:
Most Americans have never heard of Rabbi David Nesenoff, but they now know his work behind the camera. Nesenoff is an independent filmmaker who asked columnist Helen Thomas the question that brought an end to her decades-long career.
Nesenoff was at the White House on May 27 with a media credential, representing his website www.rabbilive.com, to cover an event marking Jewish Heritage Month. He was accompanied by his 17-year-old son Adam, who also was credentialed – representing his website www.shmoozepoint.com – and a friend of his son.
They had attended a White House news conference at which Thomas, known as the dean of the White House press corps, was one of the reporters to question President Obama. Afterwards, Nesenoff and his son asked various people at the White House – from a TV reporter to a Jewish boxer to visiting rabbis – to offer thoughts on Israel.
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.