This week's Belief Blog story on doomsday leader Harold Camping claiming he still expects the world to end on October 21, even after the apocalyptic events he predicted for Saturday failed to materialize, fetched nearly 5,000 comments.
Lots of you left tongue-in-cheek ripostes to Camping's insistence that he merely misinterpreted the Bible's guidance about Judgement Day:
The end of the world is a big deal. Preach on, brother. Since the end is surely coming, I would like to help you and your congregation by accepting all of your money since you won't be needing it. I imagine that all of us sinners will be buying & selling right up to the end, and I for one would like to relieve you of the trouble. Besides, I saw the new SLS this year & have a pretty good idea that I could have it if all of you paid for it.
By Steve Almasy, CNN
(CNN) – Oprah Winfrey closed her sentimental final show with the words, "I won’t say goodbye, I’ll just say until we meet again."
Then, after a subtle pause, she added, "To God be the glory.”
With her work done, she walked through the audience and left the set of her talk show. During the show's 25-year run, she interviewed more than 30,000 people and won more than 40 Emmys. The credits rolled as she walked the hallways of the Harpo complex, saying goodbye to her staff.
She has been one of the most influential people in America, if not the world. Commentators looked at the power she held over her audience, and some people even likened her viewers to members of a cult.
Winfrey professed her faith and her belief in God, but over the course of the show, some observers saw her more as a spiritual person than a Christian.
By Eric Marrapodi and Brian Todd, CNN
Joplin, Missouri (CNN) - It’s quiet here. The only sound in the hospital room is the steady hum of a ventilator pushing air into Lage Grigsby’s lungs. It’s a stark contrast to the haunting noise of Sunday's Joplin tornado, which put him here.
Lage’s father, James Grigsby, sits by his 14-year-old son’s bedside anxiously keeping vigil, praying and hoping his boy will pull through OK. Lage is in a medically induced coma.
He has an open skull fracture and a broken vertebra in his neck. His doctors suspect he may have a brain injury and be partially paralyzed but they don’t yet know for sure. There’s a chance he won’t be able to kick a soccer ball again - or even be able to remember a time when he did.
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
A couple weeks ago, some Catholic leaders called out House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan and House Speaker John Boehner for neglecting Catholic social teachings in their proposed 2012 budget.
Boehner avoided the issue in his recent commencement address at Catholic University, but Rep. Ryan tackled it head on in an April 29 letter to New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Dolan responded in a letter dated May 18, and Ryan responded in turn. All three letters are now available on the House Committee on the Budget website.
Oh Lord, the Bible is being turned into a miniseries.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, reality TV producer Mark Burnett will be helming the series, which will be a "five-part, 10-hour scripted docu-drama with live-action and state-of-the-art CG" to air on the History Channel.
"This is probably the most important book in mankind, regardless of your beliefs or religious affiliation," History president and general manager Nancy Dubuc told THR. "This series will bring the historical stories of the Bible to life for a new generation.
Editor's Note: Kathryn Lofton teaches U.S. religious history at Yale University and is the author of Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon, published by the University of California Press.
By Kathryn Lofton, Special to CNN
For some people, the end of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" today is no big deal. As one colleague said to me recently, “I am never home at 4 p.m. and I don’t want to hear about people’s feelings. Why should I care?”
Why should he? Television shows come and go. Celebrities rise and fall. This moment will disappear as soon as the next one hits the headlines, and even the most famous woman in the world will be eventually forgotten.
Commentary: My last 'Oprah Winfrey Show'
But I am a historian of religion, so it is my job not only to remember the forgotten, but to observe what is repeated from our past in the present. For a long time, I have been focused on the ways the Oprah empire resembles a religion in modern society.
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.