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My Take: 9/11 Memorial not sacred enough
The names at the 9/11 Memorial are overly segmented, the author argues.
February 27th, 2012
02:51 PM ET

My Take: 9/11 Memorial not sacred enough

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

Sunday was the 19th anniversary of the first World Trade Center terrorist attack, which claimed 6 lives on February 26, 1993. I took this occasion as a chance to see the 9/11 Memorial, which remembers these six victims alongside the 2977 people killed on September 11, 2001, in the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

I have been writing recently about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the Lower Manhattan site is obviously influenced by that design. So it is hard to avoid comparisons. There are the granite walls, though in the New York memorial there is flowing over them. And there are the names of the dead, though in New York they are cut through bronze rather than inscribed on granite.

But the spirit of the 9/11 Memorial is very different.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: 9/11 • Art • New York • Sacred Spaces • United States

My Take: Stop supporting buffoonery in the pulpit
February 27th, 2012
12:52 PM ET

My Take: Stop supporting buffoonery in the pulpit

Editor’s Note: Rev. DeForest "Buster" Soaries is the senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey. He is a former Secretary of State of New Jersey.

By Rev. DeForest B. Soaries Jr., Special to CNN

(CNN) – When I was a child, if a crime were committed, my grandmother would say, “I hope he wasn’t colored.” Her concern was that all African-Americans suffered whenever one of us was caught doing something wrong. In those days black people raised their children to abstain from behavior that would give credence to the stereotypes that society had used to characterize us and justify the injustices heaped upon us. And most of us embraced that ethic.

Read the full op-ed at CNN's In America Blog
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Houses of worship

U.S. outreach to American Muslims may not curb Afghan violence
February 27th, 2012
12:19 PM ET

U.S. outreach to American Muslims may not curb Afghan violence

By Paul Courson, CNN

Washington (CNN)– After a weekend that saw continued deadly violence in Afghanistan triggered by what the U.S. says was the inadvertent burning of Qurans, an American Muslim group says outreach here is unlikely to help over there.

On Friday, a ranking Pentagon official visited a prominent mosque in the outside Washington and apologized for last week's incident, which involved copies of the Quran and other religious tracts that had been
kept at a U.S. detention facility in Bagram.

"On behalf of Secretary Panetta, and the Department of Defense, I offer my sincere regret for the incident at Bagram Air Base," said Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense Peter Lavoy.

But an Islamic activist group Monday suggested that the U.S. is preaching to the wrong choir if officials hope they can reach those in Afghanistan who have been perpetrating the violence.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Afghanistan • Belief • Church and state • Islam • Quran

Gingrich tells evangelicals: 'We need to stand up for ourselves'
February 27th, 2012
05:38 AM ET

Gingrich tells evangelicals: 'We need to stand up for ourselves'

By Shawna Shepherd, CNN Political Producer

Cumming, Georgia (CNN) - Vying for evangelical support in the GOP primary, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum appeared at the same Georgia church on consecutive Sundays.

Gingrich, a former Georgia congressman, is favored to win Georgia on Super Tuesday, March 6, but Santorum, who appears to be gaining ground in other early nominating states, poses a threat to the former House speaker.

Gingrich spoke for about 40 minutes during a regularly scheduled service Sunday morning at First Redeemer Church with about 2,300 people in the audience. The former Pennsylvania senator drew a much larger crowd when he spoke there in the evening a week ago.

Founding Pastor Dr. Richard Lee, a Gingrich supporter, introduced Gingrich as a "true American," with more veiled references to President Barack Obama in his opening remarks.

FULL STORY
- Dan Merica

Filed under: Georgia • Newt Gingrich • Politics

February 27th, 2012
04:48 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Monday, February 27

By Dan Merica and Laura Koran, 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:

Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua ordered a list of suspected abusive Catholic priests to be destroyed according to a 1994 memo.

CNN: Attorneys: Cardinal ordered memo on priest destroyed
A Philadelphia archdiocese official on trial for allegedly covering up the sexual abuse of children has asked a court to throw out charges against him based on a 1994 memo showing Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua ordered a list of suspected abusive Catholic priests to be destroyed.

CNN: Seven states sue government over contraceptives mandate
Seven states on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the federal government requirement that religious employers offer health insurance coverage that includes contraceptives and other birth control services.

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Uncategorized

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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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