By Rose Marie Arce and Susan Candiotti, CNN
Colchester, Connecticut (CNN) – Juliet Steer was dying of lymphoma when she told her brother Paul she wanted to be buried just like Jesus, following Jewish customs. Even though she’s a black Christian, she chose a plot in the secluded interfaith section of this quiet town's Jewish Ahvath Achim Cemetery.
“She felt like it was a nice and peaceful place,” Paul Steer said. Juliet liked the quiet. When she died, Paul had her buried in the plot, hopeful that she’d finally rest in peace.
But this Jewish cemetery in Colchester, Connecticut, has been anything but peaceful since one of its board members sued Paul Steer. It’s now the center of a legal fight tinged with allegations of racial and religious prejudices.
Maria Balaban, a cemetery board member who has relatives buried there, is demanding Paul remove Juliet’s remains from the cemetery because she is not Jewish and has no ties to anyone in the Jewish section. Paul Steer believes part of the reason Balaban wants his sister's remains removed is because she was African-American.
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 the Blog:
CNN: Many South Carolina evangelicals focus on piety over politics
More than 150 influential evangelical leaders went to a ranch outside of Houston over the weekend to pick an alternative to GOP presidential front runner Mitt Romney. They emerged backing former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
We know what Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. thought about race, but what about gay rights? His life and his sermons offers clues, some say.
CNN: What did MLK think about gay people?
We know what King thought about race, poverty and war. But what was his attitude toward gay people, and if he was alive today would he see the gay rights movement as another stage of the civil rights movement?
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.