By Alan Miller, Special to CNN
Editor’s note: Alan Miller is director of The New York Salon and co-founder of London's Old Truman Brewery. He is speaking at The Battle of Ideas at London's Barbican in October.
I wrote a Belief Blog piece on Sunday called "My Take: 'I'm spiritual but not religious' is a cop-out," which has received more than 8,000 comments, many taking up key points I raised.
My assessment is that the wider disorientation of Western society, the decreasing respect for many institutions and the disdain for humans alongside what Christopher Lasch has termed a "culture of narcissism" has played out both among the "spiritual but not religious" identifiers as well as among many "new atheists." Lots of the comments bear that out.
Some commenters accused me of outdated and dangerous dogmatism in sticking up for traditional religion. A commenter whose handle is spectraprism spoke to this view:
By Tomeka Jones, CNN
Dozens of faith leaders from across the country recently gathered to attend The Stand Up Education Policy Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, to talk education reform. The daylong conference was hosted by education organzations StudentsFirst, founded by Michelle Rhee and Stand Up, led by her husband, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson. The purpose of the event was a call for action for clergy to take part in the national movement to transform public education.
CNN spoke with some prominent religious leaders in the African-American community to find out their views on the role faith institutions should play in public education.
Rev. DeForest Soaries, Jr., a senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey, laid out what he believes are three roles of the church in education.
By Hada Messia, CNN
ROME (CNN) - Paolo Gabriele, former butler to Pope Benedict XVI, will take the stand in his own trial Tuesday to answer to criminal charges of stealing hundreds of secret papers from the pope's personal apartment and leaking them to an Italian journalist.
Corruption claims resulting from the publication of a book based on the leaked documents rocked the Catholic Church hierarchy and could even affect who becomes the next pope.
By Nasir Habib
Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) - For the second time in less than two weeks, a prominent Pakistani is offering a six-figure bounty to anyone who kills the man who produced "Innocence of Muslims," a film that has offended many Muslims throughout the world.
Former Pakistani lawmaker Ikramullah Shahid told demonstrators protesting the movie in Peshawar on Monday that he'd pay $200,000 to anyone who kills the filmmaker, according to Siraj Ul Haq, a senior leader of the religious group that organized the rally.
By Arielle Hawkins, 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:
Rimsha Masih, a Christian girl accused of blasphemy sits in helicopter after her release from jail in Rawalpindi.
CNN Explainer: Pakistan's blasphemy laws
It has been more than a month since a teenage Christian girl was charged in Pakistan under the country's blasphemy laws . Her accusers say she burned pages from the Quran, Islam's holy book. Amid twists in her case, including changed statements by witnesses, she is facing life in prison. On Monday, CNN reported that three witnesses whose testimony could absolve the 14-year-old Rimsha Masih have changed their statements, a potential setback for her. She has denied the charges.
CNN: Setback for Pakistani teen facing blasphemy charges
A Christian girl accused of violating Pakistani blasphemy laws by allegedly burning pages containing texts from the Quran will have to wait at least another two weeks to learn her fate after a court ordered a stay of proceedings in her case Monday. A juvenile court had been due Monday to hear the case of the girl, Rimsha Masih. But the Islamabad High Court said the hearing should wait until it has ruled on a petition by Rimsha's lawyers seeking a dismissal, one of the lawyers said.
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.