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Iran begins trial for U.S. pastor held since September
Saeed Abedini
January 21st, 2013
11:00 PM ET

Iran begins trial for U.S. pastor held since September

On Monday, American Saeed Abedini appeared in an Iranian court. The Christian pastor gave the judge a written statement and was questioned by prosecutors and his defense lawyer, whom he only met Monday.

But apparently that is not the end of the legal proceedings, according to his wife and lawyers who are assisting her with the situation.

Naghmeh Abedini said "a few" laymen with the Christian church in Iran told her husband's attorney that they have been called to testify in the case, in which the pastor is being tried for his religious beliefs. The lawyer indicated that neither he nor the pastor were expecting to be allowed to attend Tuesday's hearing.

FULL POST

- Producer/Writer

Filed under: Christianity • Iran

My Take: Obama delivers Lincoln's Third Inaugural
Obama took the oath on two Bibles: one used by Lincoln in 1861, the other the “traveling Bible” of Dr. King.
January 21st, 2013
04:32 PM ET

My Take: Obama delivers Lincoln's Third Inaugural

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

Equality. That's what today's inauguration was about. And we have Abraham Lincoln and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to thank for it.

President Obama took his oath of office on two Bibles: one used by Lincoln during his 1861 inauguration, the other the “traveling Bible” of Dr. King. And during his second inaugural address, Obama read U.S. history through the words and actions of these two men.

In his Gettysburg Address, Lincoln turned to Jefferson's words in the Declaration of Independence to argue that the United States was “dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” In his "I Have a Dream" speech, King argued that our national commitment to equality demanded that we emancipate ourselves from segregation as well as slavery. FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Bible • Black issues • Latino issues • My Take • Obama • Politics • Race • United States

January 21st, 2013
08:14 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Monday, January 21, 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: Obama ends oath with 'So help me God'

At his request, President Barack Obama is ending his inaugural oath with: "So help me God." Those four words are not legally or constitutionally required, unlike other federal oaths that invoke them as standard procedure. Historians have wrangled over whether George Washington established precedent by adding the phrase on his own during his first Inaugural acceptance, but the Library of Congress website states he did.

CNN: Godless mom strikes a chord with parents
Deborah Mitchell, a mother of two teenagers in Texas who feels “immersed in Christianity,” started a blog about raising her children without religion because she felt frustrated and marginalized. She didn’t want to feel so alone, she says. This week, she gained a whole new audience and the reassurance that she's not alone. Her essay on CNN iReport, “Why I Raise My Children Without God,” drew 650,000 page views, the second highest for an iReport, and the most comments of any submission on the citizen journalism platform.

FULL POST

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Morning Read

January 21st, 2013
06:09 AM ET

Obama ends oath with 'So help me God'

By Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer

Watch CNN's comprehensive coverage of President Barack Obama's second inauguration this weekend on CNN TV and follow online at CNN.com or via CNN's apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. Then, on Monday, follow our real-time Inauguration Day live blog at cnn.com/conversation. Need other reasons to watch inauguration coverage on CNN's platforms? Click here for our list.

Washington (CNN) - At his request, President Barack Obama is ending his inaugural oath with: "So help me God."

Those four words are not legally or constitutionally required, unlike other federal oaths that invoke them as standard procedure.

Historians have wrangled over whether George Washington established precedent by adding the phrase on his own during his first Inaugural acceptance, but the Library of Congress website states he did.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: God • Obama • 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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