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November 30th, 2011
09:20 PM ET

Nativity Project leaders hope Supreme Court trek resonates

By Stacey Samuel, CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) - It made for an incongruous sight on Wednesday morning, as volunteer actors playing Mary and Joseph walked in procession in front of the U.S. Supreme Court with Baby Jesus (a 4-month-old).

Following them - wearing crowns and robes that didn't fully conceal jeans and sneakers underneath, - were volunteers dressed as two Wise Men and a Wise Woman, trailed by a two-humped camel and a 6-month-old donkey (also named Mary). The people weren't guided by a star, but by their religious conviction.

"First [we're] proclaiming the powerful message of Christmas: peace on Earth and good will toward men," said Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, who helped organize the Supreme Court Nativity. "And, then also embracing and celebrating religious freedom and our First Amendment right."

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Christmas

November 30th, 2011
07:34 PM ET

Hotel cites national security defense in discrimination suit

(CNN)–The Mandarin Oriental Hotel in DC barred a Muslim employee from serving an Israeli delegation, claiming it had no choice but to comply with a national security mandate from the U.S. government. CNN’s Barbara Starr reports.

Read the full story from CNN's Security Clearance
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: TV-The Situation Room

Joel Osteen developing reality show with 'Survivor' producer
Joel Osteen is developing a reality show that will feature members of his Houston, Texas, megachurch.
November 30th, 2011
10:57 AM ET

Joel Osteen developing reality show with 'Survivor' producer

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - Joel Osteen, who leads the largest church in the United States and reaches millions of Americans through his televised Sunday sermons, is developing a reality show with the producer of “Survivor,” the televangelist said Tuesday.

Osteen has signed a deal with famed reality TV producer Mark Burnett to develop the show, a spokeswoman for Joel Osteen Ministries said.

"Victoria (Osteen's wife) and I are looking forward to working with Mark Burnett on this project,” Osteen said in a statement Tuesday.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Leaders • TV

November 30th, 2011
04:28 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Wednesday, November 30

By Dan Merica, CNN

Here's the Belief Blog’s morning rundown of the top faith-angle stories from around the United States and around the world. Click the headlines for the full stories.

From CNN:

CNN: Gingrich meets with pastors in South Carolina
The first stop on Newt Gingrich’s three-day swing through South Carolina was a town hall-style event at a church in Summerville, where the rising GOP presidential hopeful answered questions from area pastors on a range of issues.

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Uncategorized

My Take: Is Tim Tebow performing miracles?
Tim Tebow’s penchant for kneeling in prayer has birthed a new word: Tebowing.
November 29th, 2011
12:01 PM ET

My Take: Is Tim Tebow performing miracles?

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

(CNN)–In 1966, John Lennon famously claimed that The Beatles were "more popular than Jesus." Today that title may belong to Tim Tebow, the Denver Broncos quarterback more famous for praising Jesus than for throwing touchdowns.

As anyone who has visited Dallas or Atlanta on any recent weekend can attest, America’s two great religions are Christianity and football. In recent weeks, these two great faiths have come together in Tim Tebow, the new starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos and America’s latest merger of faith in Jesus and faith in the Almighty Touchdown.

When viewed from the perspective of “the world,” Tebow is, at best, a mediocre NFL quarterback. When viewed through the eyes of faith, however, he is something like the Second Coming of Joe Montana. And maybe Something More.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Christianity • Opinion • Sports

November 29th, 2011
07:27 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Tuesday, November 29

Here's the Belief Blog’s morning rundown of the top faith-angle stories from around the United States and around the world. Click the headlines for the full stories.

By Dan Merica, CNN

From the Blog:

CNN: Pastor fights HIV stigma in Southern town
Only three people had shown up for this month's HIV/AIDS awareness meeting. Usually, there are 10 to 12 - a surprisingly good turnout for a congregation of 25, which just goes to show how many people the disease affects in this small Southern town.

CNN: Want cheaper tuition? Find religion
With church membership dwindling and more families struggling to afford the cost of college, many private religiously-affiliated colleges and universities are slashing tuition and offering incentives to attract new students – and to stay afloat.

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Uncategorized

My Take: Defending TLC’s ‘All-American Muslim’ against Muslim complaints
Samira Amen, who's featured in "All-American Muslim."
November 28th, 2011
02:38 PM ET

My Take: Defending TLC’s ‘All-American Muslim’ against Muslim complaints

Editor's Note: Khurram Dara is the author of "The Crescent Directive: An essay on improving the image of Islam in America," coming this winter (Tensile). He tweets @KhurramDara.

By Khurram Dara, Special to CNN.com

For the last decade, Islam has been under a lot of scrutiny, and understandably so. When you’ve got terrorists all over the world declaring war on America and the West in the name of Islam, it’s only natural that people will have questions.

But this reasonable concern has rapidly turned into irrational suspicion, with anti-Muslim groups seizing on the opportunity to paint all Muslims in America as radical-loving, violence-approving foreigners.

The problem is that the response from American Muslims has been about as effective as Herman Cain’s PR strategy in the face of sexual harassment allegations. Instead of pooling our resources to combat radicalism, or taking a more active role in our communities so that other Americans better understand us, we’ve resorted to defense tactics.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Islam • Opinion • TV

HIV/AIDS in rural South Carolina
November 28th, 2011
10:51 AM ET

Pastor fights HIV stigma in Southern town

By Jacque Wilson, CNN

Dorchester, South Carolina (CNN) – The fan by the window pushed humid air uselessly against the church pews.

Diana Martinez made small talk as Tommy Terry shifted uncomfortably in his seat. The man sitting next to Martinez cracked a joke. Nobody laughed.

A clock on the back wall ticked minutes away in a mocking cliché.

Read the full story on the rural South's struggle with HIV/AIDS
- davidmichaels18

Filed under: Christianity • HIV • Sexuality • South Carolina

Want cheaper tuition? Find religion
Davis College, a christian school, cut tuition by up to 22% for the current school year.
November 28th, 2011
10:50 AM ET

Want cheaper tuition? Find religion

By Blake Ellis, CNNMoney

New York (CNNMoney) – With church membership dwindling and more families struggling to afford the cost of college, many private religiously-affiliated colleges and universities are slashing tuition and offering incentives to attract new students - and to stay afloat.

Read the full story on how Christian colleges offer tuition discounts
- davidmichaels18

Filed under: Christianity • Economy • Education

A preaching 'genius' faces his toughest convert
The Rev. Fred Craddock's stories revolutionized preaching, but few know about the pain behind them.
November 28th, 2011
10:49 AM ET

A preaching 'genius' faces his toughest convert

By John Blake, CNN

Blue Ridge, Georgia (CNN) – Fred Craddock was a young preacher trying to find his voice when he received a call from his mother one day.

"You need to go see your father," she said. "He may not live longer."

Craddock found his father in a VA hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Fred Craddock Sr. had whittled down to 73 pounds. Radiation treatments had burned him to pieces. He couldn't eat or speak.

Read the full story on the experiences that helped shape the revolutionary preacher
- davidmichaels18

Filed under: Christianity • Georgia • Protestant

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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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.

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