By Eric Marrapodi and Dan Gilgoff, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
Washington (CNN) – Joel Osteen, the pastor of America’s largest church, swung by the offices of CNN's Belief Blog on Tuesday. He’s in town for a "Night of Hope" event at Nationals Park baseball stadium this weekend, which is expected to draw thousands of worshipers who wouldn't otherwise step foot in a church.
Before taking batting practice with the Washington Nationals and delivering the opening prayer in Congress, Osteen sat down for a freewheeling interview with us. Five things we learned from his visit:
By Charles Riley, CNN Money
Rep. Paul Ryan is scheduled to deliver a speech at Georgetown University later this week, but he is unlikely to receive a standing ovation from some members of the faculty.
Almost 90 faculty members at the prestigious Jesuit school have signed a letter to Ryan that claims the Republican budget guru is misinterpreting Church doctrine as it relates to the role of government in public life.
"We would be remiss in our duty to you and our students if we did not challenge your continuing misuse of Catholic teaching to defend a budget plan that decimates food programs for struggling families, radically weakens protections for the elderly and sick, and gives more tax breaks to the wealthiest few," the letter says.
The Ryan budget, which has passed the House but stands no chance in the Senate, calls for massive spending cuts over the next decade when compared to the president's plan. The non-security discretionary part of the budget, which contains many social welfare programs, would be hard hit.
Read the full story on CNN Money.
By Ashley Killough, CNN
(CNN) – Famed pastor Joel Osteen reiterated his position that Mitt Romney is a Christian on Tuesday, saying as long as the likely GOP presidential nominee believes that Jesus is the Son of God then he subscribes to the Christian faith.
"When I hear Mitt Romney say that he believes that Jesus is the Son of God–that he's the Christ, raised from the dead, that he's his Savior–that's good enough for me," Osteen said in an interview to air on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."
While Osteen described the Mormon faith as "not traditional Christianity," he said he believes Mormons fall under the Christian tent.
"Mormonism is a little different, but I still see them as brothers in Christ," the pastor argued.
Romney's faith has largely remained an outlier in this presidential cycle, though some have expressed skepticism at the likely Republican nominee's religious views.
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:
CNN: Priest's guilty plea throws wrinkle into Philadelphia sexual abuse trial
Attorneys in the child sexual abuse and conspiracy trial of two Philadelphia priests debated Monday over which potential witnesses jurors would be allowed to hear regarding a third defendant who pleaded guilty to molesting boys just days before opening remarks.
CNN: Liberty University responds to Romney controversy, angers online students
Liberty University reacted over the weekend to a brewing controversy over the fact that the evangelical school has selected Mitt Romney, a Mormon, to speak at the school’s graduation. In a statement from Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr., the school says that the complaints have significantly died down and that many of those complaining “had no affiliation with the university.”
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.