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January 9th, 2013
10:52 AM ET

My Take: An open letter to Justin Bieber

Editor's Note: Cathleen Falsani is an award-winning religion journalist and author of four books including her latest, BELIEBER: Fame, Faith and the Heart of Justin Bieber. Find Cathleen on Twitter @godgrrl or on Facebook.

By Cathleen Falsani, Special to CNN

Chickity check yo self before you wreck yo self ~ Ice Cube

Dear Justin,

Please consider this a well-being check from someone who genuinely cares about you: Me.

Let me begin by saying that I am for you. I have studied you and your career since you stepped into the public spotlight as an adolescent. You are a gift to the world – to your family, your friends and your tens of millions of devoted fans.

Sweetheart, here’s the thing (and this is an “and,” not a “but”): I’m worried about you. It’s not that you smoke pot (or anything else). It’s what that choice and behavior means.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Music • My Take • Uncategorized

The spiritual but not religious likely to face mental health issues, drug use, study says
January 9th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

The spiritual but not religious likely to face mental health issues, drug use, study says

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) - Can being spiritual but not religious lead to mental health issues? The answer is yes, according to a recent study.

The study, published in the January edition of the British Journal of Psychiatry, says spiritual but not religious people, as opposed to people who are religious, agnostic or atheist, were more likely to develop a "mental disorder," "be dependent on drugs" and "have abnormal eating attitudes,” like bulimia and anorexia.

“People who have spiritual beliefs outside of the context of any organized religion are more likely to suffer from these maladies,” said Michael King, a professor at University College London and the head researcher on the project.

Thirty percent of respondents who identified as spiritual said they had used drugs, a number that was nearly twice as much as the 16% of religious respondents who said they had used drugs, according to the study. Among the spiritual respondents, 5% said they were dependent on drugs, while 2% of religious respondents identified as dependent.

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Faith Now • Spirituality • United States

January 9th, 2013
05:38 AM ET

Saint-like prayer for Chavez

Praying for Hugo Chavez has been a divine inspiration for some in Venezuela. CNN's Paula Newton reports.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Catholic Church • Venezuela

Thousands protest in Shiite provinces in southern Iraq
Iraqi protestors gather in support of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in the city of Karbala, southwest of Baghdad, on January 8, 2013.
January 9th, 2013
05:34 AM ET

Thousands protest in Shiite provinces in southern Iraq

By Mohammed Tawfeeq, CNN

(CNN) - Thousands of government supporters demonstrated in at least five Shiite provinces in southern Iraq on Tuesday, opposing protests by thousands of people in mainly Sunni provinces that have gone on for more than two weeks.

The demonstrations highlight the country's sectarian tensions.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Iraq • Islam • Protest

January 9th, 2013
05:22 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Wednesday, January 09, 2013

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: Washington National Cathedral to wed same-sex couples
When laws went into effect in three states for same-sex couples to marry, many were quick to line up at their city halls to exchange vows. Now they may do so in one of the nation's most prominent churches – the Washington National Cathedral.

CNN: Atlanta pastor, Evers' widow named to speak at inauguration
The widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers and an Atlanta pastor will deliver the invocation and benediction at President Barack Obama's inauguration January 21, the Presidential Inaugural Committee announced Tuesday.

FULL POST

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Morning Read

Washington National Cathedral to wed same-sex couples
January 9th, 2013
02:46 AM ET

Washington National Cathedral to wed same-sex couples

By Ben Brumfield, CNN

(CNN)— When laws went into effect in three states for same-sex couples to marry, many were quick to line up at their city halls to exchange vows. Now they may do so in one of the nation's most prominent churches - the Washington National Cathedral.

Most Americans know the house of God, also called the Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, as a place where sacred rites are carried out on behalf of the nation. It has been host to the funerals of numerous presidents and of inaugural prayer services for four presidents, including Barack Obama.

But it is also an active house of worship in the Episcopalian Church, said the Cathedral's dean, Gary Hall. The denomination has developed a blessing rite that mirrors current wedding ceremonies for heterosexual couples and allows each bishop to decide to allow same-sex marriages in their churches or not.

FULL POST

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Episcopal • Gay marriage • Gay rights

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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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