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February 28th, 2014
12:24 PM ET

Homeless Jesus statue sparking debate

(CNN)–A sculpture of Jesus as a homeless man installed outside a church causing some controversy, as WCNC's Tony Burbank reports.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Episcopal • Houses of worship • Jesus

February 28th, 2014
12:08 PM ET

Opinion: #HotJesus: Must He be sexy?

Opinion by Carol Costello, CNN

Editor's note: Carol Costello anchors the 9 to 11 a.m. ET edition of CNN's "Newsroom" each weekday. Watch at 9:40 a.m. ET Thursday for a discussion of the new film about Jesus.

(CNN) - Clearly Jesus was sexy.

After all, He is the Son of God.

I don't mean to be disrespectful, but as I watched the trailer for the new movie, "Son of God," I found myself gawking at the actor portraying Jesus.

Diogo Morgado is one hot dude. His Jesus looks more like Brad Pitt than that nice man with the beard in all those paintings.

I'm not the only one gawking at Morgodo's Jesus. He inspired the hashtag, "#HotJesus". It went viral on Twitter. The actor told The New York Times he doesn't want his looks to distract from the movie, but, "If the message of Jesus was love, hope and compassion, and I can bring that to more people by being a more appealing Jesus, I am happy with that."

Clearly we have a new trend. A "more appealing" Jesus is not just a better prophet, he's ... sexy.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Jesus • Movies • Opinion

February 26th, 2014
03:12 PM ET

CPAC reverses decision, will not allow atheist group at conservative conference
David Silverman, the president of American Atheists, will not have a booth at CPAC.
February 25th, 2014
02:53 PM ET

CPAC reverses decision, will not allow atheist group at conservative conference

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington - Organizers for the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference will not allow American Atheists to have an exhibition booth at the conservative conference, the group's spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The decision comes just hours after American Atheists, the outspoken organization that advocates for atheists nationwide, announced that it would have a booth at the event. David Silverman, president of American Atheists, tells CNN that a groundswell of opposition from high-ranking members of CPAC compelled the group to pull the invite.

Meghan Snyder, a spokeswoman for CPAC, said in a statement to CNN that “American Atheists misrepresented itself about their willingness to engage in positive dialogue and work together to promote limited government.”

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Politics

Atheists plan conservative outreach with booth at CPAC
The Reason Rally, sponsored by American Atheists and other secular organizations, draws a crowd to the National Mall in March 2012.
February 25th, 2014
06:00 AM ET

Atheists plan conservative outreach with booth at CPAC

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – American Atheists, an outspoken organization that advocates for atheists nationwide, will have a booth at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference.

The atheist institution, which is well known for its controversial billboards and media campaigns, informed CNN of its inclusion on Monday night, and a representative from CPAC confirmed that the group will have a booth at the annual national gathering of conservative leaders and activists in March. American Atheists hopes to use the forum to tap into the conservative movement and bring conservative atheists “out of the closet.”

“Just as there are many closeted atheists in the church pews, I am extremely confident that there are many closeted atheists in the ranks of conservatives," said David Silverman, president of American Atheists.

Silverman said coming to CPAC will be “the first step of many” in reaching out to Republicans.

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Politics

February 24th, 2014
08:20 AM ET

Good news about the ‘spiritual but not religious’
The rapid rise of the "spiritual but not religious" crowd may not be such a bad thing.
February 22nd, 2014
09:06 PM ET

Good news about the ‘spiritual but not religious’

Opinion by Linda Mercadante, special to CNN

(CNN) -
Despite the ongoing decline in American religious institutions, the meteoric rise in people who claim to be “spiritual but not religious” should be seen positively - especially by religious people.

To accept this as good news, however, we need to listen to what they are saying, rather than ridicule them as “salad bar spiritualists” or eclectic dabblers.

After spending more than five years speaking with hundreds of “spiritual but not religious” folk across North America, I’ve come to see a certain set of core ideas among them. Because of their common themes, I think it’s fair to refer to them by the acronym: SBNR.

But before we explore what the SBNRs believe, we first need to learn what they protest.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Lost faith • Nones • Opinion • Spirituality • Trends

February 19th, 2014
02:36 PM ET

Funeral held for snake-handling pastor

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Death • Faith • Pentecostal

The Pope Francis 'book' of insults
Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI meet at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery at the Vatican last December.
February 19th, 2014
11:35 AM ET

The Pope Francis 'book' of insults

Opinion by Laurence England, special to CNN

(CNN) - In the year since Francis was elected Pope, the media have told us a certain story about this man “from the ends of the Earth,” as he once described himself.

Francis, we are told, is warm and friendly, gentle and compassionate. He embraces the poor, the disfigured, the outcast.

These attributes pose a sharp contrast, we are informed, to his mean-spirited, judgmental and arrogant predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who was known for his fancy vestments and aloof, academic attitude.

If Francis has the common touch, the story goes, Benedict was firmly out of touch, perched on an ivory tower far inside the Vatican.

To many Catholics this media-driven contrast between the two Popes is laughable.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Opinion • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope Francis

February 17th, 2014
06:41 PM ET

Satanists: Accused Craigslist killer not one of us

By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) -  She's not one of us.

That's what Satanists are saying about accused "Craigslist killer" Miranda Barbour.

The 19-year-old told The Daily Item, a Pennsylvania newspaper, that she joined a satanic cult in Alaska when she was 13 and participated in several murders.

Barbour, who has been charged with one slaying in 2013, told the newspaper that she has been involved in  at least 22 killings.

But authorities haven't corroborated her claims, and top Satanists say they have no ties to Barbour or her husband, Elytte Barbour, who is also charged in the 2013 killing of 42-year-old Troy LaFerrara. Police say LaFerrara responded to a "companionship" ad placed by Miranda Barbour on Craigslist.

FULL POST

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Crime • Cults • Satanism

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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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.

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