By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor
(CNN) – The Rev. Franklin Graham on Tuesday apologized for publicly raising questions about President Barack Obama’s Christian faith, saying “I regret any comments I have ever made which may have cast any doubt on the personal faith of our president, Mr. Obama.”
The statement from Graham came in response to a letter from faith leaders associated with the NAACP that said Graham’s statements “have enormous negative effects for America and are especially harmful to the Christian witness.”
In a television interview last week that provoked huge media attention, Graham appeared to question the sincerity of Obama’s Christian commitment.
Editor's note: Tim King, the communications director at Sojourners, blogs at sojo.net. Follow him at @tmking.
By Tim King, Special to CNN
(CNN) – Christianity in America is in danger. As former Senator Rick Santorum recently pointed out, young people are leaving the church in droves.
In the mid-1980s, evangelical 20-somethings outnumbered those with no religious affiliation – the so-called “nones” – by a ratio of more than 2 to 1. By 2008, those proportions were almost flipped, with young “nones” outnumbering evangelicals by more than 1.5 to 1.
An entire generation, my generation, is leaving the church. What’s the cause? Santorum blames higher education, telling Glenn Beck last week that "62% of kids who go into college with a faith commitment leave without it."
The “war on religion” has become a frequent bogeyman among Christian and political leaders. But the reason church leaders have failed to stem the tide of a generation heading for the exit door is that they keep looking for an outside enemy to blame when the biggest problems are inside the church.
By Dugald McConnell and Brian Todd, CNN
(CNN) – A protester who ridiculed the Muslim prophet Mohammed claims he was assaulted by a Muslim who was offended by the stunt, but a judge has sympathized with the alleged perpetrator, in a case that has drawn national attention.
Self-proclaimed atheist Ernie Perce marched in a Halloween parade in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania last October, dressed in a costume mocking Mohammed.
In a YouTube video he posted, Perce can be seen wearing a long fake beard, a white turban and green face paint, calling out provocative phrases like: "I am the prophet Mohammed! Zombie from the dead!" Perce and someone else in a zombie-themed pope costume are carrying a banner that reads "The Parading Atheists of Central Pennsylvania / Ghoulish – Godless – God-Awful."
CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories
Then a man who is not seen on the video can be heard saying, "Take it down." Amid sounds of a scuffle, Perce can be heard saying "Hey, he's attacking me!"
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:
CNN: Pastor backing Santorum claims Romney is not a Christian
A Michigan pastor who introduced Rick Santorum at a Monday campaign event in Lansing claimed that Mitt Romney is not a Christian and said Santorum is the one Republican candidate who can awaken "the sleeping giant" of Christianity.
Strife between the United States and Muslims has been strained by recent news stories.
CNN: U.S. outreach to American Muslims may not curb Afghan violence
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.
By Peter Hamby, CNN Political Reporter
Lansing, Michigan (CNN) – A Michigan pastor who introduced Rick Santorum at a Monday campaign event in Lansing claimed that Mitt Romney is not a Christian and said Santorum is the one Republican candidate who can awaken "the sleeping giant" of Christianity.
Kent Clark, the CEO of Grace Centers of Hope, a faith-based homeless outreach facility in Pontiac, warmed up the pro-Santorum audience by calling the former Pennsylvania senator "a man who believes in a creator rather than we being the accidental creation of gas and dust."
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.