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Your Take: Should we have polling places in churches?
Many polling places are in churches.
November 6th, 2012
06:45 PM ET

Your Take: Should we have polling places in churches?

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) – It's an election issue that gets virtually no attention, but we found out today that many of you do feel strongly about it: Churches being used as Election Day polling places.

A guest Belief Blog piece on the subject Tuesday morning, "My Take: Stop using churches as polling places," fetched more than a thousand comments, prompting us to ask Twitter followers to share their church-based voting experiences and pictures. Then we noticed the "My Take" rising to near the top of reddit politics, sparking a lively discussion there.

Lots of you who cast ballots inside a house of worship today were bothered by it. Others were bothered by the notion of church-based voting, whether or not you participated in it. A sampling of opposition to church-based voting:

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Church • Comments • Politics

6 ways religious demographics could determine Tuesday's winner
November 6th, 2012
02:19 PM ET

6 ways religious demographics could determine Tuesday's winner

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) – Just because President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney mostly have avoided talking religion during this campaign doesn't mean religion won't play a big role in determining the winner of the presidential race. Here are six ways religion's role in the electorate may shape the outcome on Tuesday.

What factors would you add? Let us know in comments.

1. Will Catholics pick the winner, again? Representing more than a quarter of the electorate and voting with the winner of the popular vote in every presidential election since at least 1972, Roman Catholics are quintessential swing voters. They encompass such a diverse set of concerns and ethnic groups that some challenge the very idea of a Catholic "voting bloc.” However, both campaigns have conducted intense outreach  to Catholic voters and have Catholic vice presidential nominees – Joe Biden and Paul Ryan.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Politics

My Take: Stop using churches as polling places
The author says that churches that act as polling places can sway voters.
November 6th, 2012
09:19 AM ET

My Take: Stop using churches as polling places

Editor’s note: The Rev. Barry W. Lynn is executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

By Barry W. Lynn, Special to CNN

I live in Maryland, where we have a lot of controversial questions on Tuesday's ballot, including referenda on marriage equality, the rights of immigrants and the expansion of gambling.

Many churches and other houses of worship have taken stands on these issues and lots of others, which is their prerogative. Although federal law prohibits churches from endorsing or opposing candidates, they have the right to speak out on ballot referenda and on other issues, from abortion to zoning.

All of this church-based political activity makes me uneasy about casting ballots in houses of worship, especially those festooned with political signs. And yet today, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of churches around the country are being pressed into service as polling places.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 2012 Election • Church • Church and state • Politics

Diwali: One festival, many customs
Diwali is not only celebrated by Hindus, it is also an occasion for celebration by Jains and Sikhs (pictured). The Sikhs celebrate Diwali to mark the return of the Sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind Ji, who was freed from imprisonment and also managed to release 52 political prisoners at the same time from Gwalior fort by Mughal Emperor Jahangir in 1619.
November 6th, 2012
05:21 AM ET

Diwali: One festival, many customs

By Naomi Canton, for CNN

(CNN) - Diwali is one of the most important Hindu festivals in India - but the colorful customs and meanings associated with it can vary dramatically depending on whether you reside in the countryside or the city.

On the streets of densely populated conurbations like Mumbai, Diwali - popularly known as the Festival of Lights - is often a raucous affair, marked by a cacophony of firecrackers on the streets and a flourish of ceremonial gambling in the home. The wealthier urban dwellers splurge on gold, jewelry, clothes and expensive gifts such as electronics, which they buy for themselves and their loved ones.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Hinduism • India • Sikh

November 6th, 2012
05:12 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Tuesday, November 06

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: Viral video shows Romney in testy exchange over his faith
In campaign time, it’s ancient history: a 2007 video showing a testy off-air exchange between Mitt Romney and a radio host over the candidate’s faith and his stance on abortion. But the back-and-forth has resurfaced in the days before Election Day. Video of the exchange posted on YouTube on October 31 had garnered nearly 1.8 million page views as of noon ET Monday.

CNN: Paul Ryan asks for blessing day before election
Mitt Romney's running mate Paul Ryan, a Roman Catholic, asked a priest he met at a restaurant Monday to bless a rosary he carries with him. The Republican vice presidential nominee was in the middle of a five-state battleground blitz through Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, and Wisconsin, the day before Election Day when he met Father Greg Ames prior to his second rally in Johnstown, Colorado.

FULL POST

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Morning Read

Paul Ryan asks for blessing day before election
November 6th, 2012
03:10 AM ET

Paul Ryan asks for blessing day before election

By Shawna Shepherd, CNN Political Producer

Johnstown, Colorado (CNN) – Mitt Romney's running mate Paul Ryan, a Roman Catholic, asked a priest he met at a restaurant Monday to bless a rosary he carries with him.

The Republican vice presidential nominee was in the middle of a five-state battleground blitz through Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, and Wisconsin, the day before Election Day when he met Father Greg Ames prior to his second rally in Johnstown, Colorado.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: 2012 Election • Paul Ryan • Politics

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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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