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21 priests put on leave after review of suspected child sexual abuse
Left to right, from top: Edward Avery, James Brennan, Charles Engelhardt, William Lynn and Bernard Shero were charged in connection with sex abuse against minors.
March 8th, 2011
04:12 PM ET

21 priests put on leave after review of suspected child sexual abuse

By the CNN Wire Staff

Philadelphia (CNN) – Twenty-one priests have been placed on administrative leave following a review of suspected child sexual abuse by members of the Catholic Church in Philadelphia, according to a statement from the city's archbishop.

The church investigated 37 priests identified in a grand jury report as remaining in "active ministry with credible allegations of child sexual abuse," according to Cardinal Justin Rigali.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Faith Now

March 8th, 2011
03:49 PM ET

Dearborn mayor: Muslims misrepresented

Dearborn, Michigan, Mayor Jack O'Reilly Jr. discusses Rep. King's Muslim radicalization hearings.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Culture wars • Michigan • Muslim

New website targets anti-Muslim political rhetoric
Reps. Peter King, R-New York, right, and Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota, discuss a hearing on "Muslim radicalization" Sunday.
March 8th, 2011
01:13 PM ET

New website targets anti-Muslim political rhetoric

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

A Muslim advocacy group launched a website Tuesday aimed at tracking what it calls anti-Muslim rhetoric, particularly among elected officials, two days before a congressional hearing that focuses on the American Muslim community.

“One of the first items we’re going to be highlighting is the King hearings,” said Farhana Khera, executive director of Muslim Advocates, a national group that launched the site.

New York Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, convened Thursday's hearing, which he says will focus on “radicalization in the American Muslim community."

“Our concern is that the King hearings are going to sow fear and mistrust of the Muslim community at a time when the nation needs to be coming together,” Khera said. "It’s essentially a congressional stamp of approval for anti-Muslim hate.”

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Faith Now • Islam • Muslim • Politics

Firestorm grows over 'Christian heresy' book
March 8th, 2011
12:49 PM ET

Firestorm grows over 'Christian heresy' book

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

The firestorm around Rob Bell has grown considerably in the last week.  Now the leadership of his Mars Hill Bible Church is rushing to his defense, and we're learning more about the fight to publish his controversial new book.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Books • Christianity • Church • Faith Now • Michigan • United States

Pakistan's Christians mourn, and fear for their future
Pakistani Christians attend a funeral ceremony in Khushpu.
March 8th, 2011
11:56 AM ET

Pakistan's Christians mourn, and fear for their future

As they wailed and wept and prayed under the tin awning that shades the path into this clustered colony of small homes, the question on the minds the Pakistani Christians gathered in Gojra was expressed by a priest: "Who will protect us now?"

Last week's brutal assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan's Minorities Minister and sole Christian Cabinet minister, has united his coreligionists in despair — not for the first time. "Life here stopped in horror," says Pastor Zulfikar, as he is widely known in the community, of the moment that the news of Bhatti's murder had arrived. "We couldn't speak. We couldn't eat," he says, his voice growing thicker with emotion. "Our greatest leader had been martyred, and we began to worry again."

Read the full story on TIME
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Culture wars

March 8th, 2011
11:37 AM ET

Kody: I'd like to marry all four wives

Here's a sneak peek at tonight's primetime exclusive interview with the cast of Sister Wives. In this clip, Kody Brown talks about his desire to legally marry all four of his wives.

For more of the interview be sure to tune into "The Joy Behar Show" tonight at 10 pm ET/PT on HLN.

Crazy about the "Sister Wives?" Check out our guest post from Danielle Elizabeth, a female priest who can't get enough of the show.

And if you're looking for a primer on fundamentalist Mormon polygamy, this piece, by CNN's Jessica Ravitz, should do the trick.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Culture wars • Fundamentalism • Mormonism

My Take: Why some people hate God
March 8th, 2011
10:07 AM ET

My Take: Why some people hate God

Editor's Note: Bernard Schweizer is an associate professor of English at Long Island University in Brooklyn. He specializes in the study of iconoclasts and rebels, including the controversial writer and public intellectual Rebecca West. His third book is “Hating God.”

By Bernard Schweizer, Special to CNN

There’s a lost tribe of religious believers who have suffered a lasting identity crisis. I am referring to the category-defying species of believers who accept the existence of the creator God and yet refuse to worship him. In fact they may go so far as to say that they hate God.
 
No, I’m not talking about atheists. Non-believers may say contemptuous things about God, but when they do so, they are simply giving the thumbs-down to a fictional character. They may as well express dislike about Shakespeare’s devious Iago, Dickens’ scheming Uriah Heep or Dr. Seuss’ Grinch who stole Christmas.
 
For atheists, God is in the same category as these fictional villains. Except that since God is the most popular of all fictional villains, New Atheists – those evangelizing ones such as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins - spend a considerable amount of energy enumerating his flaws.
 
But someone who truly believes in God’s existence and yet hates or scorns him is in a state of religious rebellion so perplexing as to strain our common understanding of faith to the breaking point.
 
FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Books • God • My Take • Opinion

Ensign announces he won't seek re-election, says there are consequences for sin
March 8th, 2011
08:35 AM ET

Ensign announces he won't seek re-election, says there are consequences for sin

Nevada Republican Sen. John Ensign announced Monday he will not seek reelection in 2012, saying in statement "there are consequences for sin."

"I do not want to put my family, those that I care about, or this state through what would be a very ugly campaign that would ultimately cause a great deal more pain than has already been felt as a result of my actions. For these reasons, I will not seek reelection in 2012," Ensign said during remarks at the Lloyd G. George Federal Courthouse in Las Vegas.

During the speech, the two-term senator made reference to his extramarital affair with Cindy Hampton, his onetime campaign treasurer, which he admitted to last June. She is the wife of Doug Hampton, a former top aide to the senator.

Ensign and his family were longtime friends with the Hamptons. Doug Hampton has given interviews stating his family has received money and employment offers from Ensign after he and his wife left the Senate staff in April 2008. Ensign admitted his parents gave the Hamptons $96,000 but said the money was a gift, not an effort to suppress word of the affair.

Read the full story here

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Faith Now • Politics

March 8th, 2011
08:33 AM ET

GOP contenders make early pitch to Iowa evangelicals

By Peter Hamby, CNN Political Producer

Waukee, Iowa (CNN) - There was no "truce" in Iowa on Monday night.

While the national political debate continues to swirl around the state of the economic recovery, five Republicans with their eyes on the White House spent the evening in a Des Moines suburb pitching themselves to the evangelical Christians who dominate the Hawkeye State's crucial first-in-the-nation caucuses.

The potential candidates made their appeals at a forum sponsored by the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, the first major Iowa gathering of the 2012 election cycle. The organization seeks to promote "high moral values" and "Christian principles" in public life.

It was no surprise, then, that the now infamous "truce" proposal floated last year by Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels was an unpopular one in the auditorium at Point of Grace Church on Monday.

Read the full story here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Evangelical • Faith Now • Politics

Your Take: Is it the end of the world as we know it?
Some Christians believe Judgment Day is just around the corner. Their job is to warn the people.
March 8th, 2011
06:00 AM ET

Your Take: Is it the end of the world as we know it?

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Note to self: When writing about the End, expect no end of comments.

On Sunday we published “Road trip to the end of the world,” about a group that’s traveling by RV to spread a May 21 doomsday warning. You’ve posted about 10,000 comments on the story. And that doesn’t touch your responses to a sidebar, in which we took you on a historical journey called “Doomsdays throughout time.”

There’s no way to condense the opinions of all of you who expressed them, but here are some of the themes that seemed to emerge. FULL POST

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Belief • Bible

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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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.

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