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Secular coalition grades presidential candidates
October 17th, 2012
09:11 AM ET

Secular coalition grades presidential candidates

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – When judged on their ability to relate to the desires of secular Americans, the presidential candidates aren’t making the grade, according to a large coalition of secular organizations.

Looking at their positions on everything from faith’s place in the presidency to where it fits in education, health care and other American priorities, GOP candidate Mitt Romney got an F, President Barack Obama barely got by, earning a C, and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson came out at the top of the class, receiving a B.

At a time when the Pew Forum determined the religiously unaffiliated are the fastest growing “religious” group in America, with one in five Americans not affiliated with any religion, a candidate scorecard from secularists should matter, says Lauren Anderson Youngblood, spokeswoman for the Secular Coalition for America.

The coalition, which is made up of a collection of atheist, humanist and agnostic organizations, set out to grade the candidates by first identifying the criteria it deemed most important. The coalition then crafted questions to determine where the politicians stack up when it comes to, say, their stances on faith-based initiatives, public prayer and support of the word “God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. The group pulled media reports and speech transcripts to find answers and further analyze these politicians’ performances on issues that matter to secular voters.

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: 2012 Election • Atheism • Barack Obama • Belief • Faith Now • Mitt Romney • Politics

October 17th, 2012
04:40 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Wednesday, October 17

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:

CNN: Billy Graham site removes Mormon 'cult' reference after Romney meeting
Shortly after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney enjoyed cookies and soft drinks with the Rev. Billy Graham and his son Franklin Graham on Thursday at the elder Graham's mountaintop retreat, a reference to Mormonism as a cult was scrubbed from the website of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

CNN: Documentary about 'Jesus' wife' papyrus delayed
If you set your DVR to record the Smithsonian Channel's documentary on the "Jesus Wife" papyrus fragment two weeks ago and it didn't, it wasn't your fault. Despite the massive publicity the documentary received after the discovery was announced, the Smithsonian Channel has delayed the release of the film about the Coptic fragment with the phrase, "Jesus said to them, 'My wife..." to wait for further testing on the fragment.

FULL POST

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Morning Read

October 17th, 2012
02:11 AM ET

Bible Belt Christian pretends to be gay

Timothy Kurek talks to HLN's "Evening Express" team about why he pretended to be gay for a year.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Christianity

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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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