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August 19th, 2010
11:06 PM ET

Franklin Graham: Obama born a Muslim, now a Christian

Evangelical leader Franklin Graham, son of famed presidential religious adviser Billy Graham, said Thursday that he believes President Barack Obama is a Christian, but that the president was born a Muslim because of his father's religious beliefs.

Asked by CNN Chief National Correspondent John King if he had any doubts about Obama's Christian faith, Graham, who has made controversial comments about Islam in the past, said the president's background is fueling the false perception that he is a Muslim.

Read the full story on CNN's Political Ticker

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Barack Obama • Christianity • Islam • Leaders • Politics

August 19th, 2010
03:48 PM ET

Ramadan road trip, day 2: 'Faith people have to stick together'

CNN's Wayne Drash filed this report:

The blue Chevy Cobalt pulled away from Atlanta, heading into toward the Muslim community of Jacksonville, Florida.

Driver Aman Ali jams to "Eye of the Tiger," his thumbs beating to the rhythm and his voice belting out along with Survivor's lead singer. His friend, Bassam Tariq, studiously reads fan emails and scans the internet.

"I just read a news piece that 1 in 5 Americans think Obama is a Muslim," Bassam says. "Isn't that crazy?"

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Islam • Journeys • Muslim • Ramadan

August 19th, 2010
03:31 PM ET

White House strikes back at 'Muslim' tag

The White House is responding to new polls Thursday that show an increasing number of Americans believe that President Obama is a Muslim.

"President Obama is a committed Christian, and his faith is an important part of his daily life," Deputy White House Communications Director Jen Psaki told CNN. "He prays every day, he seeks a small circle of Christian pastors to give him spiritual advice and counseling, he even receives a daily devotional that he uses each morning. The President's Christian faith is a part of who he is, but not a part of what the public or the media is focused on everyday."

Read the full story on CNN's Political Ticker

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Barack Obama • Christianity • Islam • Politics • Polls

August 19th, 2010
03:14 PM ET

State court nullifies police powers at religious colleges

CNN Supreme Court Producer Bill Mears filed this report from Washington:

A state-commissioned police officer arrests a motorist for reckless driving. Does the cop's employer matter when it comes to upholding the misdemeanor conviction? A North Carolina court says yes.

The state's Court of Appeals has tossed out the guilty plea of Julie Yencer because the arresting officer works for Davidson College, which is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The three-judge panel found that giving campus police power to enforce state laws created "excessive entanglement" with the Constitution's First Amendment ban on government endorsement of religion, or the Establishment Clause.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Church and state • Courts • Education • North Carolina • United States

August 19th, 2010
03:00 PM ET

U.S. Muslim group denounces 'historic injustice of the Holocaust'

CNN's Joe Sterling filed this report:

Eight prominent U.S. Muslim leaders paid a visit to Nazi concentration camps in Europe and have issued a strong statement denouncing anti-Semitism, discrimination against Muslims and other forms of hatred.

The group visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp complex in Poland and Dachau in Germany in early August, and met with survivors of the Holocaust, the Nazi attempt last century to exterminate world Jewry. That onslaught that led to the deaths of around 6 million Jews, and millions of others, such as Poles and Roma, were massacred by the Nazis and their supporters during World War II.

Meant to build bridges between Muslims and Jews, the trip occurred during a time of raw hostility between those peoples in the Middle East and heated arguments in the United States over the plan to build an Islamic Center near the site of the World Trade Center attack.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Holocaust • Islam • Leaders • Muslim

August 19th, 2010
12:54 PM ET

Sensitivity or Liberty? Pastor Phelps, ground zero, and our therapeutic nation

Editor's Note: 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

Pastor Fred Phelps is an insensitive man.

He and his followers at the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, made a name for themselves in the 1990s by protesting at the funerals of gay people who died of AIDS and, more recently, by protesting at the funerals of military officers. Their incendiary signs read, “God hates fags” and “Thank God for dead soldiers” and "Thank God for 9/11."

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Barack Obama • Christianity • Courts • Culture wars • Fundamentalism • Homosexuality • Islam • Politics • Religious liberty

August 19th, 2010
12:25 PM ET

Giuliani says Islamic center should not move forward

Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani said Thursday that if the developer of a proposed Islamic community center and mosque near Ground Zero was genuinely concerned with healing religious wounds, "he [would] not go forward with this project."

"This project is not healing," Giuliani, the mayor of New York during the 9/11 attacks, told Matt Lauer on NBC's Today Show. "This project is divisive, this project is creating tremendous pain to people who have already paid the ultimate sacrifice."

Read the full story on CNN's Political Ticker

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Houses of worship • Islam • Mosque • Muslim • New York • Politics • United States

August 19th, 2010
12:05 PM ET

Federal appeals court says highways' crosses are unconstitutional

Memorial crosses erected along Utah public roads to honor fallen state highway troopers have been found unconstitutional by a federal appeals court.

A three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that the 14 large crosses would be viewed by most passing motorists as "government's endorsement of Christianity."

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church and state • Courts • Politics

August 19th, 2010
11:36 AM ET

Amy Grant to combine tour and art fundraisers

Amy Grant will play for 300 people each night as part of 10 charity-event tour

Amy Grant will tour 10 cities this fall, playing small concerts and hosting an art gallery charity event at each show.

Entitled the "Pieces of Our Lives" tour, the shows will raise money for Compassion International, a charity that supports children who live in poverty.

FULL POST

- Producer/Writer

Filed under: Charity • Christianity • Culture & Science • Music • Uncategorized

August 19th, 2010
01:02 AM ET

Only a third of Americans say Obama is Christian; almost one in five say he's Muslim

President Obama speaking in a Washington church earlier this year.

A substantial and growing chunk of the country believes that President Obama, a self-described Christian, is Muslim, while only about a third of Americans are able to correctly identify his religion, according to a survey released Thursday.

Nearly one in five Americans believe Obama is a Muslim, up from around one in 10 Americans who said he was Muslim last year, according to the survey, conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

While most of those who think Obama is Muslim are Republicans, the number of independents who believe he is Muslim has expanded significantly, from 10 percent last year to 18 percent now.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Christianity • Politics • Polls

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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.

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