By Ana Sebescen, for CNN
Thousands of well-wishers sang "Happy Birthday" Wednesday to the Dalai Lama, who turned 76 at the beginning of an 11-day visit to the capital on which he will meet with top congressional leaders.
So far, the White House has remained silent on a potential meeting between the Tibetan spiritual leader and President Obama
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has invited the Dalai Lama to the Capitol on Thursday to meet with congressional leaders, his office announced Wednesday. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will be among those attending.
Obama met with the Dalai Lama in Washington in February 2010, triggering a rebuke from China, which considers the Dalai Lama the leader of a separatist movement.
"I always say, the best gift to me is to practice compassion," said the Dalai Lama said Wednesday. He urged the crowd to search for happiness within and promote non-violence, compassion and equality around the world.
By Samantha Stamler, CNN
New York (CNN) – A new street sign that reads “Seven in Heaven Way,” and that was recently unveiled in Brooklyn, New York, to commemorate seven local firefighters who lost their lives in the September 11, 2001 attacks has drawn the ire of some atheists, who say they’re prepared to go to court to have the sign taken down.
New York City Atheists, a group that opposes the public use of religious references, is challenging the new sign, which was erected in Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood.
Atlantis' journey to Alpha, the international space station, will be NASA's 135th and final mission in the space shuttle program, which began 30 years ago. Tune in to CNN's live coverage of the launch Friday, starting at 10 a.m. ET on CNN, CNN.com/Live and the CNN mobile apps. Then check out "CNN Presents: Beyond Atlantis" Friday at 10 p.m. ET.
Editor's Note: Madhu Thangavelu conducts the Space Exploration Architecture Concept Synthesis Studio at the University of Southern California.
By Madhu Thangavelu, Special to CNN
Religion and scientific pursuits parted company centuries ago, at least in the eyes of the public.
Everyone knows the story of Galileo, who stood by his empirical evidence of the Copernican, sun-centered view of our solar system even under the threat of death by the church’s preferred method for punishing heresy: burning at the stake.
The church confined Galileo to house arrest for the rest of his life.
America's Space program, then and now
And yet for millennia, religion was the primary purveyor of science, especially astronomy. That’s evident in the symbols and images projected in cathedrals and mosques and temples all over the world. For a long time, the heavens belonged to God and religion, and scientists from Newton to Einstein have framed scientific inquiry as a divine investigation.
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.