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January 17th, 2011
03:24 PM ET

Martin Luther King Jr. What's in a Name

Editor's Note: This video comes from I-Reporter seeitnow. They went to Germany to explore the connection between Martin Luther and Martin Luther King Jr.

Read the full story
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • History

January 17th, 2011
01:28 PM ET

Atheist Ricky Gervais thanks God at Golden Globes

At the 68th Golden Globes, Ricky Gervais takes on the "Sex and the City" cast and thanks God for making him an atheist.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Celebrity

January 17th, 2011
10:54 AM ET

Egypt's sectarian strife

Coptic Christians are on edge in Egypt, after a spate of extremist violence. Egyptian TV's Shahira Amin reports.
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Christianity • Church • Coptic • Egypt • Violence

January 17th, 2011
10:52 AM ET

Man sentenced to death for killing Christians

A man accused of killing Christians after a Christmas mass a year ago in Egypt has been sentenced to death, Egypt's state-run Al Ahram newspaper reported Sunday.

Mohamed El-Kamouny, one of three people accused in the targeted killing of members of the Coptic Christian sect after a Christmas mass, is the first to be sentenced.

Seven people were killed - six Copts and a Muslim guard - in the January 2010 incident outside a church in the southern town of Naga Hammadi. Coptics observe Christmas Day on January 7.

The judge who sentenced El-Kamouny postponed the sentencing of the other two defendants until next month, Al Ahram reported.

The sentencing comes in the wake of a new round of concerns over the security of Copts in Egypt.

Read the full story here about the sentence for the man accused of killing Christians in Egypt.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Christianity • Church • Coptic • Egypt • Violence

Our Take: Is alleged Arizona shooter evil or mentally ill?
January 17th, 2011
07:00 AM ET

Our Take: Is alleged Arizona shooter evil or mentally ill?

By Michael First and Jerome C. Wakefield, Special to CNN
Editor's Note: Michael First, M.D., a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University, has worked as a forensic psychiatric expert in capital cases such as the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, the convicted co-conspirator in the 9/11 attacks, and is the editor of the current edition of the psychiatric diagnostic manual, DSM-IV-TR.
Jerome C. Wakefield is a university professor and professor of social work and psychiatry at New York University, and coauthor of The Loss of Sadness: How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sorrow into Depressive Disorder.

At last week's memorial service in Tucson for the victims of the Arizona shooting, President Obama said that “scripture tells us that there is evil in the world, and that terrible things happen for reasons that defy human understanding. “

It is tempting to view this heinous crime as purely an act of evil, with its senseless loss of innocent lives. However, as Obama went on to say, “we have to guard against simple explanations in the aftermath.” In one sense, any terrible harms that befall us are “evils in the world.” But are the suspected gunman’s alleged actions best understood as human evil, in light of evidence that the suspect has a mental disorder?

Whether a particular hurtful behavior, like the taking of a life, can be considered evil depends on the context in which it occurs and the intentions of the person committing the behavior.

Taking someone’s life because that person was about to kill one’s child would not be considered an act of evil. For a particular behavior to be considered evil, the person committing the act must be in a position to knowingly make a moral choice between doing something wrong and doing something right, choosing the bad action over the good.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Arizona • United States • Violence

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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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