By Dan Merica, CNN
Washington (CNN) - Emboldened by the re-election of President Barack Obama, a cadre of liberal Catholic activists and groups is waging a campaign alleging that America's Catholic bishops are out of touch with Catholic laypeople.
The Catholic bishops, who are in Baltimore this week for a quarterly meeting, spoke out against the Obama administration during the election cycle over what they said were White House violations of religious freedom.
Some bishops also spoke out against legalized gay marriage and abortion rights, positions embraced by many Republicans.
A Sunday opinion piece in the National Catholic Reporter by Thomas Reese, a Jesuit priest at Georgetown University, hammered the bishops for their public proclamations during the campaign, saying the church leaders' “political strategy … is not working.”
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: First Hindu elected to Congress
In an election that broke boundaries, Hawaii elected the nation's first practicing Hindu to the U.S. House of Representatives. Congresswoman-elect Tulsi Gabbard, who will represent the state's second district, told CNN Monday that her election "shows the respect, diversity and love and aloha that people have in Hawaii that would allow for something like this to happen." The 31-year-old Democrat said she will take her oath of office on the Hindu religious text Bhagavad Gita in January.
CNN: Salafis call for Islamic law in Egypt protest
Thousands of supporters of various Egyptian Salafi groups gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday calling for the immediate implementation of Islamic law. Before midday prayers, speakers called on the government of President Mohamed Morsy to move quickly to implement Sharia. Morsy won the office as the candidate for the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Freedom and Justice Party. About 10,000 demonstrators advocating for Sharia filled the square, chanting in unison, "The people want God's law applied."
Belief on TV:
(CNN)–As the nation winds down after a hard-fought and divisive election season, what needs to happen to heal our country? What have we learned? What can we hope for as we move forward?
We reached out to religious leaders and spiritual thinkers to get their perspectives. Here are excerpts of what they wrote in response.
Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, begins on November 13 and is celebrated for several days afterward by millions of Hindus across the world as one of the most important events on their spiritual calendar.
The word Diwali itself means 'festival of lamps', because houses and public spaces are decorated with scores of small oil lamps in honor of the goddess Lakshmi, to whom Hindus pray to for success and wealth. Throughout the festival, families purchase new clothes and buy sweets and snacks for themselves, relatives and friends.
To commemorate Diwali, we want to see your best images of the most beautiful festival lights. Send them to CNN iReport.
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.