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July 31st, 2012
04:15 PM ET

Black pastors group launches anti-Obama campaign around gay marriage

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – A group of conservative black pastors are responding to President Barack Obama’s support of same-sex marriage with what they say will be a national campaign aimed at rallying black Americans to rethink their overwhelming support of the President, though the group’s leader is offering few specifics about the effort.

The Rev. Williams Owens, who is president and founder of the Coalition of African-Americans Pastors and the leader of the campaign, has highlighted opposition to same-sex marriage among African-Americans. He calls this campaign “an effort to save the family.”

“The time has come for a broad-based assault against the powers that be that want to change our culture to one of men marrying men and women marrying women,” said Owens, in an interview Tuesday after the launch event at the National Press Club. “I am ashamed that the first black president chose this road, a disgraceful road.”

At the press conference, Owens was joined by five other black regional pastors and said there were 3,742 African-American pastors on board for the anti-Obama campaign.

When asked at the press conference for specifics about the campaign – funding, planned events and goals – Owens said only that the group’s first fundraiser will be on August 16 in Memphis, Tennessee. But Owens insisted that “we are going to go nationwide with our agenda just like the president has gone to Hollywood.”

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: 2012 Election • Barack Obama • Black issues • Obama • Pastors • Politics • Race • Same-sex marriage

My Take: Chick-fil-A controversy reveals religious liberty under threat
July 31st, 2012
10:36 AM ET

My Take: Chick-fil-A controversy reveals religious liberty under threat

Editor's Note: R. Albert Mohler Jr. is president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world.

By R. Albert Mohler Jr., Special to CNN

(CNN)–Cultural upheavals often occur in the most surprising contexts. Who expected that a clash between sexuality and religious liberty would be focused on a restaurant company mainly known for its chicken sandwiches?

And yet the controversy over Chick-fil-A is a clear sign that religious liberty is at risk and that this nation has reached the brink of tyrannical intolerance from at least some of our elected leaders.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church and state • Homosexuality • My Take • Opinion • Religious liberty

July 31st, 2012
04:34 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Tuesday, July 31

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: Dutchman builds replica Noah's Ark after flood dream
A Dutchman has built a replica of Noah's Ark to biblical proportions, following a dream his homeland would be flooded. Johan Huibers, a wealthy businessman, used the ancient measurement of the cubit – the length of a man's arm from elbow to fingertips – to build the vessel to the dimensions specified in the book of Genesis.

CNN: Church that barred black wedding affirms commitment to equal treatment
A Mississippi church that wouldn't allow a black couple to marry in its sanctuary because of the couple's race appears to be trying to right a wrong, as officials with the church's denomination decried the incident. Charles and Te' Andrea Wilson, regular attendees at First Baptist Church in Crystal Springs, Mississippi, were forced to relocate their wedding this month at the last minute. Their pastor, Stan Weatherford, made the relocation request on behalf of some congregants who didn't want to see the couple married there, according to CNN affiliate WLBT.

FULL POST

- CNN's Laura Koran

Filed under: Morning Read

July 30th, 2012
10:53 PM ET

Dutchman builds replica Noah's Ark after flood dream

By Tim Hume, for CNN

London (CNN) – A Dutchman has built a replica of Noah's Ark to biblical proportions, following a dream his homeland would be flooded.

Johan Huibers, a wealthy businessman, used the ancient measurement of the cubit - the length of a man's arm from elbow to fingertips - to build the vessel to the dimensions specified in the book of Genesis.

The finished craft - which has just been opened to the public on the Merwede River in the Dutch town of Dordrecht - is 300 cubits long (about 450 feet or 137 meters), 50 cubits wide (about 70 feet or 21 meters), and 30 cubits high (about 45 feet or 14 meters).

FULL STORY
- CNN's Laura Koran

Filed under: Bible • Christianity

July 30th, 2012
04:53 PM ET

Church that barred black wedding affirms commitment to equal treatment

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) –A Mississippi church that wouldn't allow a black couple to marry in its sanctuary because of the couple's race  appears to be trying to right a wrong, as officials with the church's denomination decried the incident.

Charles and Te' Andrea Wilson, regular attendees at First Baptist Church in Crystal Springs, Mississippi, were forced to relocate their wedding this month at the last minute.  Their pastor, Stan Weatherford, made the relocation request on behalf of some congregants who didn't want to see the couple married there, according to CNN affiliate WLBT.

Weatherford performed the ceremony at a nearby church.

At services on Sunday, the congregation's leadership addressed the controversy in a statement read to the church.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Baptist • Christianity • Church • Faith Now

Christian groups allege threats to religious freedom in anti-Chick-fil-A campaigns
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has discouraged Chick-fil-A from coming to his city.
July 30th, 2012
02:54 PM ET

Christian groups allege threats to religious freedom in anti-Chick-fil-A campaigns

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

The nation’s biggest evangelical group said Monday that religious freedom is threatened by American mayors who say Chick-fil-A is not welcome in their cities because of the restaurant leader’s opposition to gay marriage.

“Individuals have the right to decide whether or not to ‘eat mor chikin.’ But no government leader should restrict a business or organization from expanding to their district based on the personal or political views of the owners,” Leith Anderson, the president of the National Association of Evangelicals, said Monday.

“Such evident discrimination and attempts to marginalize those with religious values have no place in American democracy,” Anderson said.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Evangelical • Food

Headscarf may bar Saudi woman from Olympics judo competition
Female Saudi Judo athlete Wojdan Shaherkani, left, arrives with her father at Heathrow airport on July 25, 2012.
July 30th, 2012
10:51 AM ET

Headscarf may bar Saudi woman from Olympics judo competition

By the CNN Wire Staff

London (CNN) – One of the two women on Saudi Arabia's Olympic team may be pulled from the competition because of the kingdom's insistence that she wear a headscarf in her judo matches.

Saudi and international Olympic officials met late into the night with International Judo Federation representatives to resolve the case of Wojdan Shaherkani, the Saudi Olympic committee said Monday.

The meeting failed to break the deadlock that threatens to keep the kingdom's only female judo competitor from participating Friday, Saudi National Olympic Committee representative Razen Baker said.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Faith Now • Islam • Saudi Arabia • Uncategorized

July 30th, 2012
10:46 AM ET

The politics of Romney's Israel trip

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Evangelical • Israel • Judaism

July 30th, 2012
10:09 AM ET

July 30th, 2012
08:30 AM ET

Church refuses to marry black couple in Mississippi

(CNN) – Hurt. Devastated. Crushed.

Those are words an African-American couple used to describe how they felt when they were forced to change the venue of their wedding because of their race.

"Because of the fact that we were black, some of the members of the congregation had got upset and decided that no black couple would ever be married at that church," Charles Wilson told CNN on Sunday night.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Faith Now

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About this blog

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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.

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