By Brian Vitagliano, CNN
New York (CNN) – Divorce. Dinosaurs, Birthdays. Religion. Halloween. Christmas. Television. These are a few of the 50-plus words and references the New York City Department of Education is hoping to ban from the city’s standardized tests.
The banned word list was made public – and attracted considerable criticism – when the city’s education department recently released this year’s "request for proposal" The request for proposal is sent to test publishers around the country trying to get the job of revamping math and English tests for the City of New York.
The Department of Education's says that avoiding sensitive words on tests is nothing new, and that New York City is not the only locale to do so. California avoids the use of the word "weed" on tests and Florida avoids the phrases that use "Hurricane" or "Wildfires," according to a statement by the New York City Department of Education.
Editor’s note: Edward L. Queen II directs the D. Abbot Turner Program in Ethics and Servant Leadership at Emory University’s Center for Ethics.
By Edward L. Queen II, Special to CNN
(CNN) – The true architects of the Trayvon Martin killing not only will not go unpunished, they also will go unnamed.
Those who created the conditions for Martin’s killing – those who, one might say, invited it – were the Florida legislators who voted for a law that undid not only decades of positive law regarding self-defense but also centuries of legal tradition.
In promoting “stand your ground” laws, self-proclaimed conservatives become grossly irresponsible radicals, drastically and dramatically undoing centuries of accumulated wisdom in their evisceration of the traditional formulation of self-defense.
They rip apart the traditional understanding of the legitimate use of deadly force in self-defense and invite people to kill.
From Mariano Castillo and David Ariosto, CNN
Havana, Cuba (CNN) - Pope Benedict XVI spoke in general terms, saying "Cuba and the world need change," but steered clear of political statements during a Mass he celebrated in Havana's Revolution Plaza on Wednesday.
The pope said that such change can come only if "each one is prepared to ask for the truth and if they decide to take the path of love, sowing reconciliation and brotherhood."
Earlier in his trip, the pontiff had prayed for "those deprived of freedom" and told reporters that Cuba's Marxist political system "no longer corresponds to reality."
Many in Cuba and around the world listened closely to the pope's homily at the enormous open-air Mass to see if the pontiff would expand or be more forceful in his apparent criticisms.
By Patrick Oppmann, CNN
Havana, Cuba (CNN) – Driving out of Havana on the four-lane and mostly empty Carretera Central, it’s easy to miss the future of the Catholic Church in Cuba.
But on the left hand side of the highway is the San Carlos and Ambrosio Seminary, looking more like one of the many sprawling Spanish resort hotels that dot the Caribbean island.
“We are shaping Cuba’s priests of tomorrow here,” said the Rev. Jose Miguel Gonzalez, the seminary’s rector and a Spanish priest, who has worked in Cuba for 12 years.
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.