By Kevin Liptak, CNN
(CNN) – For the first time since 2001, a plurality Americans say there is too much religious talk from politicians, according to a new survey released Wednesday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
The poll showed 38% of Americans saying there was too much religious expression from politicians, compared to 30% who said there was too little. Twenty-five percent said the current level of religious rhetoric was the right amount.
Those figures represent a shift from 2010, when more Americans (37%) said there was too little talk of faith compared to those who said there was too much (29%).
Wednesday's survey was the first time since 2001 the figure for Americans believing there is too much religious talk in politics has surpassed the number who say there is too little.
By Dan Merica, CNN
(CNN) – When star quarterback Peyton Manning signed with the Denver Broncos this week, Denver pastor Jim Mackey signed at the thought that Tim Tebow probably wouldn’t be wearing Broncos blue and orange next season. The Broncos don’t need two star quarterbacks and the New York Jets announced Wednesday that Tebow is now theirs.
“It was a topic of conversation last night,” Mackey said in a phone interview Wednesday, describing Tuesday night services at his Next Level Church.
“It is an emotional thing and a bit more emotional for people who have connected with Tebow’s expression of faith,” Mackey said. “Rather than just a QB controversy, which is not unique in the NFL, this does seem to have hit more of a personal nerve for those in the Christian community.”
Mackey’s church meets Tuesday nights, not Sunday mornings, because Mackey believes Sunday is a day for people to do Colorado things – skiing, hiking and Broncos games.
By Jessica Ravitz, CNN
(CNN) – The four victims of Monday’s shooting at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, were buried Wednesday morning – not in their home community but, after an overnight flight from Paris, in Jerusalem.
Though two of the young victims were born in Israel, the Consistory of Paris, which represents Jewish communities, told CNN that all the victims were being buried there for reasons of faith, not nationality. Being laid to rest in Israel, the birthplace of Judaism, ensures that their remains will not be tampered with, the group said. It also added that 40% of practicing French Jews are buried in Israel.
French religious Jews aren’t alone in wanting this, and the reasons run deep.
By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor
(CNN) – A Washington advocacy group training in-the-trenches religious leaders to speak out on hot-button issues like abortion is nothing new.
But a liberal beltway group training left-leaning clergy to speak out for abortion rights is.
“Religion does support a woman’s personal decision-making about whether she is ready to become a parent,” said Sally Steenland, director of the Faith Initiative at the Center for American Progress, a progressive group that launched its Faith and Reproductive Justice Leadership Institute on Tuesday.
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.