Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.
By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN
Some believe that the United States is held together by a common creed. What marries our “pluribus” to our “unum,” they argue, is a common commitment to a shared "American idea."
I am not so sure. Americans may agree on certain values such as “liberty” and “equality” but we disagree fiercely about what these keywords mean and how to weigh one against the other.
What holds us together are rituals.
By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor
Washington (CNN) – For many conservative Christian leaders, it was a nightmare scenario: Barack Obama decisively re-elected. Same-sex marriage adopted by voters in some states. Rigorously anti-abortion candidates defeated in conservative red states.
On multiple levels, Tuesday’s election results raised questions about the Christian right’s agenda on American politics, eight years after the movement helped sweep President George W. Bush into a second term and opened the era of state bans on same-sex marriage.
“For the first time tonight, same-sex marriage has been passed by popular vote in Maine and Maryland,” said Robert P. Jones, a Washington-based pollster who specializes in questions about politics and religion.
By Saad Abedine and Mustafa Al-Arab, CNN
(CNN) - Bahrain has revoked the citizenship of 31 Shiite activists, the latest clampdown on the opposition amid continued unrest in the Persian Gulf kingdom.
The state-run Bahrain TV announced the move Tuesday evening, citing an interior ministry statement. The television anchor read out the names of the 31 activists, which included Jawad Fairouz, a former member of Parliament for the Shiite opposition group Al-Wefaq, and his brother, Jalal.
Among the other prominent opposition figures who were stripped of their citizenship were Said al-Shihabi, the head of the Freemen of Bahrain movement, and Ali Hassan Mushaima, the son of the leader of Al-Haq group.
Also on the list were three Shiite clerics: Hussein Mirza, Khaled Mansour Sanad and Alawi Sharaf.
Bahrain's ruling Khalifa family is Sunni Muslim, but about two-thirds of the country's people are Shiite.
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: Your Take: Should we have polling places in churches?
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.
Tweet of the Day:
CNN Commentator: "Latinos were disillusioned by Obama but terrified by Romney." Same for Muslims. #ElectionDay2012— Wardah Khalid (@YAmericanMuslim) November 07, 2012
CNN Commentator: "Latinos were disillusioned by Obama but terrified by Romney." Same for Muslims. #ElectionDay2012
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.