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No. 3 BYU loses after dismissing player for honor code violation
Brigham Young University center Brandon Davies has been suspended for the rest of the season.
March 3rd, 2011
04:59 PM ET

No. 3 BYU loses after dismissing player for honor code violation

Sticking to principles appears to carry a steep cost for the nation's third-ranked college basketball team.

A day after Brigham Young University dismissed center Brandon Davies from the team for violating the school's strict honor code, the No. 3-ranked Cougars were throttled Wednesday by unranked New Mexico.

"The honor code really reflects who we are as a university. It defines us and it does make us different," BYU spokeswoman Carrie Jenkins told CNN affiliate KSTU-TV.

Davies, a 6-9 sophomore from Provo, was the team's top rebounder and third-leading scorer. He received the Cougars' Academic Excellence award last season, according to an online profile.

BYU had been gunning for a high seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament, but the team's fortunes took a tumble with Wednesday night's 82-64 loss to New Mexico.

University officials said Davies admitted violating the honor code at BYU, which is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church.

Read more from CNN's This Just In.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Mormonism • Sports • United States • Utah

My Take: The Bible really does condemn homosexuality
March 3rd, 2011
01:25 PM ET

My Take: The Bible really does condemn homosexuality

By Robert A. J. Gagnon, Special to CNN

Editor’s Note: Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D., is associate professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and author of The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics and (with Dan Via) Homosexuality and the Bible: Two Views.

In her recent CNN Belief Blog post “The Bible’s surprisingly mixed messages on sexuality,” Jennifer Wright Knust claims that Christians can’t appeal to the Bible to justify opposition to homosexual practice because the Bible provides no clear witness on the subject and is too flawed to serve as a moral guide.

As a scholar who has written books and articles on the Bible and homosexual practice, I can say that the reality is the opposite of her claim. It’s shocking that in her editorial and even her book, "Unprotected Texts," Knust ignores a mountain of evidence against her positions.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Homosexuality

Killer of U.S. airmen is radical Muslim, German official says
March 3rd, 2011
11:13 AM ET

Killer of U.S. airmen is radical Muslim, German official says

The man who shot and killed two American troops in Germany Wednesday was a recently radicalized Muslim whose aim was to kill American troops, a German official said Thursday.

The suspect seems to have been acting on his own, but had spent time on local radical Islamist websites, said Boris Rhein, interior minister of the German state of Hesse, where the shooting took place.

Read the full post on the man suspected of killing American troops in Germany on CNN's Just In blog
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Islam • Muslim

March 3rd, 2011
11:05 AM ET

Opinion: Funeral protest ruling painful but right

Editor's note: Jeffrey Toobin is a senior legal analyst for CNN and a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine, where he covers legal affairs.

(CNN) - The Supreme Court ruled that a Kansas church whose members travel the country to protest at military funerals, holding signs that say "Thank God for dead soldiers" and "God blew up the troops," has a right to continue such demonstrations.

The case was brought by Albert Snyder, whose 20-year-old son, Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, was killed in Iraq in 2006. The family-dominated Westboro Baptist Church, run by Fred Phelps, protested at Matthew Snyder's funeral to spread their opinion that American deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq are God's punishment for U.S. immorality and tolerance of homosexuality and abortion.

CNN.com talked to CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin about Snyder v. Phelps, which pitted the right of families to grieve in privacy against the First Amendment right to free expression.

Read Jeffrey Toobin's full op-ed about the Supreme Court's decision on Westboro Baptist Church
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Courts • Homosexuality • Opinion • Westboro Bapitst Church

March 3rd, 2011
11:02 AM ET

Rabbi gives update on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords

From CNN affiliate KHOU

For Gabrielle Giffords, home is now in Houston, which is more than a thousand miles from Tucson, but faith is never far, it’s always in her heart, said a Houston rabbi.

“Gabby is a spiritual person. She welcomes the opportunity to hear and to receive prayers and feel comforted by them,” said Rabbi David Lyon of Congregation Beth Israel in southwest Houston.

Lyon, who is a longtime friend of the Jewish congresswoman’s Rabbi Stephanie Aaron, in Tucson, meets with Giffords about three days a week at The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research in the Texas Medical Center.

Read the full story about Giffords' visits from a rabbi on KHOU.com
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Judaism

Jews laud pope's insistence Jews did not kill Jesus
Pope Benedict XVI in Rome in February.
March 3rd, 2011
10:09 AM ET

Jews laud pope's insistence Jews did not kill Jesus

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

Jewish groups and leaders around the world are welcoming a clear declaration from Pope Benedict XVI that the Jewish people are not collectively responsible for the death of Jesus.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he hoped to soon offer his "deep appreciation" to Benedict for his "forcefully rejecting ... a false charge that has been a foundation for the hatred of the Jewish people for many centuries."

"My fervent hope is that your clarity and courage will strengthen the relations between Jews and Christians throughout the world and help promote peace and reconciliation for generations to come," Netanyahu wrote in a letter to Benedict, which the prime minister's office made public.

FULL POST

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Catholic Church • History • Interfaith issues • Judaism • Pope Benedict XVI

What I learned profiling a ‘blasphemous’ Jesus scholar
March 3rd, 2011
06:00 AM ET

What I learned profiling a ‘blasphemous’ Jesus scholar

By John Blake, CNN

I first heard of the biblical scholar John Dominic Crossan through a head-turning quote. He said the body of Jesus wasn’t physically raised on Easter morning but was probably taken down from the cross and eaten by stray dogs.

You don’t forget comments like that. And indeed over the years, that’s how I came to know Crossan. He was that bespectacled historic Jesus scholar with the Irish accent who was always lobbing verbal hand grenades at traditional Christian beliefs in media interviews and in religious documentaries.

But recently I decided to write a profile of Crossan, and I learned that my perception of him was simplistic. Plenty of people who read the profile shared their impressions of him - the article netted over 12,000 comments and Facebook shares.

Now I’d like to share my own comments. I spent about two months talking to Crossan and his wife and reading his books. Three discoveries stood out.

FULL POST

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Bible • Books • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church • Culture wars • Jesus

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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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