By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
(CNN) - The news came in to Mitch Hamilton by phone just after midnight.
Members of his church had been inside the theater when shots rang out.
Hamilton is pastor of Mississippi Avenue Baptist Church, near the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, where a gunman opened fire early Friday, killing 12 and wounding dozens more.
“We’re close, but you feel like you’re a million miles away,” Hamilton said during a break from tending to the needs of his church and planning a prayer vigil.
“Things are happening so fast,” he said.
By Kevin Liptak, CNN
(CNN) – President Barack Obama, speaking Friday at a modified campaign event in Florida, urged a crowd of supporters to set aside politics on a day when the nation's attention was focused on a deadly shooting at a movie theater in Colorado.
"Even as we learn how this happened and who's responsible, we may never understand what leads anybody to terrorize their fellow human beings like this," Obama said. "Such violence, such evil is senseless. It's beyond reason. But while we will never know fully what causes somebody to take the life of another, we do know what makes life worth living."
"I know many of you came here today for a campaign event," Obama continued at the event in Fort Myers. "I was looking forward to having a fun conversation with you about some really important matters we face as a country, and the differences between myself and my opponent in this election. But this morning, we woke up to news of a tragedy that reminds us of all the ways that we are united as one American family."
By Shawna Shepherd, CNN
Bow, New Hampshire (CNN) – A campaign rally for Mitt Romney was devoid of politics following a deadly shooting in Colorado Friday.
"I stand before you today not as a man running for office, but as a father and a grandfather, a husband and an American," Romney said in New Hampshire. "This is a time for each of us to look into our hearts and remember how much we love one another."
Ahead of Romney's remarks, a couple hundred people who came to watch to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee unleash his latest attacks on President Barack Obama instead were bowing their heads with Father Christian Tutor to pray on behalf of victims and their families.
Campaign signs and slogans ubiquitous at most rallies were gone, except for a few American flags and the Romney stickers people were wearing on their shirts.
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: As Ramadan begins, controversial mosque won't be ready to open doors
Worshippers at an Islamic center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, will have to wait a few more weeks before they can use their new mosque, officials said Thursday. The mosque – subject of a two-year battle marked by legal wrangling, vandalism and anti-Muslim sentiment – still needs to pass inspection and get its occupancy permit, mosque officials said.
CNN: Chick-fil-A's marriage stance causing a social storm
The fact that Chick-fil-A is a company that espouses Christian values is no secret. The fact that its 1,600 fast-food chicken restaurants across the country are closed on Sundays has long been testament to that. But the comments of company President Dan Cathy about gay marriage to Baptist Press on Monday have ignited a social media wildfire.
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.