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Kagan on faith, the high court and hunting
Justice Elena Kagan and Chief Justice John Roberts outside the U.S. Supreme Court, October 1, 2010.
October 19th, 2011
07:23 PM ET

Kagan on faith, the high court and hunting

By Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer

Baltimore (CNN) – Shortly after becoming the nation's 112th Supreme Court justice, Elena Kagan by tradition was presented with a silver cup, engraved with the names of those who preceded her in that particular seat.

Speaking Tuesday evening before an audience at a synagogue here, Kagan recalled one name standing out in her mind: Louis Brandeis, the nation's first Jewish justice.

"His nomination was controversial, and it took some courage for the president to name him to the bench," she said. "He later faced prejudice on the bench. Justice (James Clark) McReynolds would turn his back on Justice Brandeis when he spoke from the bench, and refused to shake his hand or have his picture taken with him."

Ninety-five years and three justices removed in that seat she now occupies, Kagan said her Jewish heritage barely attracted attention when she was nominated last year.

"There are three Jews on the court, but nobody talks about that. It doesn't matter, times have changed," she said.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Courts • Faith Now • Judaism • United States

October 19th, 2011
07:16 PM ET

Military backs off threat to pull atheist from ceremony

By Jennifer Rizzo, CNN

Washington (CNN) - Fort Jackson officials said Friday that an atheist soldier was asked to lower their head during a prayer portion of a graduation ceremony rehearsal, but then decided it was ok for the soldier to stand at Attention.

The 20-year old private first class, a proclaimed atheist, graduated from Advanced Individual Training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina on Thursday.

The soldier, who requested that CNN not give a name and gender for fear of repercussions, called the Military Religious Freedom Foundation on Wednesday after taking part in a rehearsal for the graduation.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Church and state • Faith Now • Military

Pastors hope for a louder, unrestricted voice in 2012 election
Jim Garlow is the senior pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in La Mesa, California.
October 19th, 2011
04:51 PM ET

Pastors hope for a louder, unrestricted voice in 2012 election

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) - When Pastor Jim Garlow took to the pulpit September 28, he was thinking two things.

He first thought that the sermon he was about to give, a sermon in which he was going to endorse a handful of 2012 Republican presidential hopefuls, might earn him a letter from the IRS, possibly even a visit from an agent. By endorsing candidates, Garlow was about to violate the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits tax-exempt churches from engaging in political activity.

But according to Garlow, the senior pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in La Mesa, California, the conviction that "our nation, economically and morally, is in such a condition that America as we have known it for its 200-plus years is on the verge of disappearing" was enough of an impetus to break the rules.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Faith Now • Politics

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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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