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) - On Wednesday, my students and I discussed Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris. Like other atheism books, this is a rant against the unreasonableness of religion. In that sense, at least, it is timeless.
But it derives much of its urgency from its claim that the Christian Right is taking over contemporary American politics.
As I was preparing for class, I learned that Mississippi’s voters had rejected the so-called “Personhood Amendment,” which would have outlawed abortion in the state by affirming as a matter of law that human life begins at conception.
By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
(CNN) - Congregants at Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Fairfax, Virginia, aren't just bowing their heads to pray, they are also ducking golf balls.
Despite nets and other efforts by a driving range that abuts the church property, duffers are shanking tee shots onto the church's property, knocking out windows and hitting church members.
One shot even hit the church's youth pastor. "The ball came through the trees and hit him on the head. He fell to the ground, stunned but not unconscious," Robert Mackey, an elder at the church told CNN affilate WUSA.
By Steve Almasy, CNN
(CNN) - Tim Tebow is used to being a lightning rod. While he was the quarterback at the University of Florida, he drew a lot of attention. And we mean a lot.
He won the Heisman Trophy (the only sophomore to ever win the award), and his team won two NCAA football titles. Plus, he was very public about his Christian faith. He wore Bible verses on his eye black. He invoked God frequently at news conferences.
No one doubted that Tebow was a great college quarterback and a good kid. But all the media attention made some people weary of the name. He's good, they said, but he's no messiah.
By Sarah Hoye, CNN
Philadelphia (CNN)– A former Whole Foods Market employee says he was fired because he is Muslim.
Glenn Mack Jr. told reporters Tuesday that he experienced harassment by his supervisors because of his Islamic faith, resulting in his termination.
A spokeswoman for the natural-food supermarket chain said the company denied Mack's allegations.
By George Webster, CNN
(CNN) – An estimated 2.5 million pilgrims have descended on the city of Mecca for the Islamic Hajj, said to be the largest annual gathering of people in the world.
Every fit and able Muslim is obliged by their faith to make the journey at least once in their lifetime. But with the rising threat of climate change, there are now calls for both pilgrims and authorities in Mecca to reduce the environmental damage wrought by this yearly influx of travelers.
"Everyone arrives at the same time, at exactly the same place, and every year there are more and more people," said Dr Husna Ahmed, principal author of "The Green Guide for Hajj," a booklet promoting ecologically-sustainable practices among Hajj pilgrims, released earlier this week.
Here's the Belief Blog’s morning rundown of the top faith-angle stories from around the United States and around world. Click the headlines for the full stories.
Compiled by Dan Merica, CNN
CNN: Mississippi voters reject anti-abortion initiative
Mississippi voters rejected an amendment to the state constitution that would have defined life as starting at conception and outlawed abortion and many forms of birth control if passed. The ballot initiative was part of a national campaign brought by Personhood USA, a group that describes itself as a nonprofit Christian ministry.
CNN: Holy cities face threat from polluting pilgrims
An estimated 2.5 million pilgrims have descended on the city of Mecca for the Islamic Hajj, but with the rising threat of climate change, there are now calls for both pilgrims and authorities in Mecca to reduce the environmental damage wrought by this yearly influx of travelers.
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.