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White House announces new appointees to faith council
February 4th, 2011
05:54 PM ET

White House announces new appointees to faith council

By Dan Gilgoff and Eric Marrapodi, CNN

The White House announced a dozen appointments to its faith advisory council on Friday, with the leader of the nation’s largest evangelical group and the head of the nation’s leading Christian denomination serving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people are both on the list.

National Association of Evangelicals President Leif Anderson and Nancy Wilson, head of the and Metropolitan Community Church - the nation’s largest denomination expressly serving LGBT Americans - are among the appointees to the panel, which was launched by President Barack Obama in 2009.

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- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Church and state • DC • Politics • United States

Chick-fil-A controversy shines light on restaurant's Christian DNA
February 4th, 2011
05:09 PM ET

Chick-fil-A controversy shines light on restaurant's Christian DNA

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

The ongoing Chick-fil-A flap - which has gay rights groups blasting the restaurant chain for donating food to an anti-gay marriage group - may be a fleeting controversy for a privately held company that is more accustomed to fiercely loyal patrons and generally positive press coverage.

But Lake Lambert, author of the book Spirituality Inc., says the flap may be a sign of more turbulence ahead for Chick-fil-A as it attempts to hold onto its conservative Christian business culture while expanding its chain beyond the Bible Belt.

“If you have a faith-based corporate identity and you want to function in the national marketplace, you’re going to continue to encounter resistance to those values because not everybody is going to share them,” says Lambert. “The only other option is some sort of secular identity and that’s not where Chick-fil-A is going.”

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- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Gay marriage • Gay rights • Money & Faith

New imam quits embattled Islamic community center
The site of the prosed islamic center near Ground Zero in a file photo.
February 4th, 2011
04:06 PM ET

New imam quits embattled Islamic community center

By Allan Chernoff, CNN

A Park51 imam announced his resignation Friday, just three weeks after being appointed to his post at the embattled Islamic community center in New York, according to a written statement Friday.

"I wish the project leaders well," said Imam Adhami, saying he needed more time to complete a book meant to assist English readers in understanding the Quran.

His resignation comes on the heels of a controversial post on his website, sakeenah.org, in which he claimed that "an enormously overwhelming percentage of people struggle with homosexual feeling because of some form of violent emotional or sexual abuse at some point in their life."

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

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

February 4th, 2011
01:22 PM ET

Philadelphia archdiocese raising funds for burials in abortion case

By Sarah Hoye, CNN

Philadelphia (CNN) - The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is collecting donations in an effort to pay for the burial of fetal remains found in the clinic of a doctor who is accused of killing newborn babies during illegal abortions.

Such a burial will have to wait, though, prosecutors say, because the remains are evidence in the case against Dr. Kermit Gosnell.

"It's an extremely unusual case and unusual request," said Tasha Jamerson, spokeswoman for Philadelphia District Attorney's Office.

Read the full story on the archdiocese raising funds for burials
- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Abortion • Bishops • Catholic Church • Pennsylvania

Prayer amid protest in Egypt
February 4th, 2011
12:40 PM ET

Friday brings prayers amid protests in Egypt

Friday's huge "Day of Departure" protests in Cairo, Egypt coincided with Friday afternoon prayers, the most important of the week for Muslims.

It was the second Friday in a row that Egyptian protest organizers used Friday prayers as launch events for huge demonstrations.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Africa

Gay rights advocates question Obama's prayer breakfast appearance
President Barack Obama and wife Michelle at Thursday's National Prayer Breakfast
February 4th, 2011
11:54 AM ET

Gay rights advocates question Obama's prayer breakfast appearance

By Padmananda Rama, CNN

Washington (CNN) – As President Barack Obama spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday, demonstrators outside reignited a simmering debate over the role the breakfast's organizers in an attempt to pass anti-gay legislation in Uganda.

Gay rights activists urged President Obama not to attend this year’s National Prayer Breakfast accusing the Fellowship Foundation - which hosts the annual event - of promoting anti-gay legislation in Uganda.

“We would love for the President to come out and join us at the “Breakfast without Bigotry,” said Michael Dixon, an organizer with GetEqualDC who organized Thursday's prayer breakfast demonstrations.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Barack Obama • Christianity • Gay rights • Politics • Uganda

Taking questions for Tony Blair
February 4th, 2011
11:45 AM ET

Taking questions for Tony Blair

CNN is scheduled to sit down with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Monday at his faith foundation headquarters in London.

Since leaving office in 2007, Blair has devoted much of his time to faith-based work, launching the Tony Blair Faith Foundation to promote interfaith efforts (it was his first big initiative after stepping down), leading a course in religion and globalization at Yale University and partnering with American faith leaders like the Rev. Rick Warren on issues like fighting poverty.

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- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Europe • Politics • United Kingdom

February 4th, 2011
10:42 AM ET

Lunar New Year: year of the rabbit

The Lunar New Year begins, bringing in the Year of Rabbit. CNN's Pauline Chiou reports.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Asia • Belief • Holidays • Money & Faith • Taoism

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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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