Our story this week about whether the Republican Party and the rest of the country are ready for a Mormon president has attracted nearly 3,000 comments and counting. The story was provoked by Mitt Romney officially launching his presidential campaign on Thursday, while another Mormon, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, weighs a White House bid.
Comments ranged from those questioning the rationale for an article about candidates' faith to those challenging Mormon beliefs. Here's a sampling:
Even though America is founded on freedom of religion, or *no religion,* an atheist or an agnostic has almost no chance of being elected president. Atheists and agnostics face the most discrimination out of anyone in the faith aspect of life. They have to lie in order to get anywhere. I want an atheist as president!
By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
Washington (CNN) – Someone pushed a baseball and a ballpoint pen at Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, through the scrum of reporters' note pads and tape recorders as she was chased up an escalator.
Her heels clicked as her staff hustled her out of the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference at the glitzy Renaissance hotel in Washington, DC.
Bachmann didn't look fazed as reporters pressed in and ran along side her on the stairs. When she got to the top of the floor, she grinned as wide as always and paused to field a few questions.
"Is there a national question?" she wondered aloud.
Editor's Note: Tom Krattenmaker is a writer specializing in religion in public life and a member of USA Today's board of contributors. He is the author of Onward Christian Athletes.
By Tom Krattenmaker, Special to CNN
Now that Jim Tressel is out as the coach of the mighty Ohio State University football team, resigning under the weight of rampant NCAA violations by his players and program, it’s tempting to bring the customary snark and cynicism.
Here, after all, is a coach who came on strong with the Christian faith-and-character message, a man honored by the prominent Christian ministry group Athletes in Action just one year ago with induction into AIA’s “Hall of Faith”—an honor meant to recognize recipients’ faith, leadership, character, and integrity.
Tressel kept a prayer-request box on his desk, preached the importance of a moral and spiritual foundation to his players and staff, and presented an image of himself that prompted admirers to call him “senatorial” or, to quote the title of the 2009 book about him, “More Than a Coach.”
A church was recently discovered by a team of archaeologists in St. Augustine, Florida. Affiliate WJXT reports.
By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor
(CNN) – A man arrested on charges of making terrorist threats against a Dearborn, Michigan mosque will argue that he is a Muslim convert and that it makes little sense for him to attack a Muslim house of worship, his lawyer says.
Roger Stockham, 63, of Imperial Beach,California, was charged with one count of false report or threat of terrorism and one count of explosives - possession of bombs with unlawful intent.
He was arrested in January in the parking lot ofDearborn’s Islamic Center of America. Police say Stockham had fireworks in his car at the time of his arrest and that he planned to use them in an attack.
Stockham has been held in a Wayne County, Michigan jail on $500,000 bond since his arrest. Jury selection for his trial was scheduled to begin last month but was postponed when a judge ordered a competency hearing for Stockham, who has a history of mental illness.
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
Over the last year or so, I have read repeatedly that the Christian Right has gone the way of Netscape, Betamax and the buggy whip. The Tea Party phenomenon and the deficit crisis together redirected the GOP from cultural issues to economic ones.
Or so goes the conventional wisdom.
This wisdom is foolishness, for two reasons.
Exhibit A is the long list of Republican speakers for the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference being held this Friday and Saturday in Washington, DC.
Washington (CNN) – On Friday and Saturday, just about every Republican hoping for a shot at the GOP nomination for president will metaphorically kiss the ring of Ralph Reed and schmooze his conference crowd.
The political powerhouse is throwing the event of the moment in Washington, DC - the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference.
Among those pondering or having acknowledged presidential aspirations: Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum are all scheduled to take the stage and address the 1,000 conference attendees and 250 credentialed members of the media. Newt Gingrich, who spoke last year, is sending in a video.
They will be joined by Donald Trump, Glenn Beck and Marco Rubio on the speakers schedule. It is a veritable who's who of Republican presidential contenders and conservative political power players.
They are all coming because Reed is known as an evangelical whisperer.
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.