By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor
(CNN) - The Roman Catholic Church announced a major campaign Thursday aimed at bringing attention to what it said were growing threats to religious liberty in the United States, including the pending White House rule requiring health insurance companies to provide free contraceptive coverage to employees of Catholic organizations.
An official with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said the initiative would stretch out over the course of a few years and that it would include everything from encouraging priests to address religious liberty concerns in church to sending inserts for church bulletins.
“Religious liberty is under attack, both at home and abroad,” the American bishops said in a new document titled “Our first, most cherished freedom.”
By Josh Levs, CNN
Editor's note: This story contains offensive language
(CNN) - Mel Gibson frequently spews "looney, rancid" anti-Semitism, has talked about killing his former girlfriend, and is prone to hate-filled diatribes slamming everyone from John Lennon to Walter Cronkite, according to a screenwriter who has been working with him.
Joe Eszterhas, who wrote a screenplay about the Jewish hero Judah Maccabee for Gibson, recounts numerous alleged incidents in detail in a nine-page letter to Gibson published by the website thewrap.com.
In a letter replying to Eszterhas, Gibson denies the allegations, saying most of the claims are fabricated.
By Paul Steinhauser, CNN Political Editor
Washington (CNN)–Two leading national anti-abortion organizations Thursday endorsed Republican Mitt Romney for president.
The moves may be the first indications of social conservatives coalescing around Romney after their first choice, Rick Santorum, dropped out of the race.
In backing the former Massachusetts governor and all but certain GOP presidential nominee, both National Right to Life and the Susan B. Anthony List highlighted what they called Romney's strong "pro-life" positions and criticized President Barack Obama for what they call a "pro-abortion agenda."
"On pro-life issues, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama provide a stark contrast. As the country's most pro-abortion president, Barack Obama has pursued a radical pro-abortion agenda," said National Right to Life President Carol Tobias. "It is now time for pro-life Americans to unite behind Mitt Romney. For the sake of unborn children, the disabled, and the elderly, we must win."
(CNN)–Rob Cargill doubts an archaeologist actually found early signs of Christianity in the so-called "Jesus Family tomb."
By 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:
Mitt Romney campaigning on Wednesday.
CNN: Evangelical leader: Mormonism will become a bigger issue for Romney
A top evangelical leader who is close to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign says the candidate’s Mormon faith will be even more of an issue in the general election than it has been in the primary, predicting that the focus on Romney’s faith will present a challenge to Romney.
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.