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November 7th, 2013
06:08 PM ET

Billy Graham turns 95 at star-studded birthday

By Phil Gast, CNN

(CNN) - The Rev. Billy Graham took people to church, perhaps for the last time, as hundreds joined the iconic evangelist Thursday evening for his 95th birthday.

A guest list that included former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Rev. Rick Warren and businessmen Rupert Murdoch and Donald Trump came to pay tribute to a man beloved for his humility and faithfulness.

Because the frail Graham no longer has the strength to speak behind a lectern, his enduring message of salvation through Jesus Christ came in the form of "The Cross," a 30-minute DVD that made its debut at the celebration.

"He is my spiritual hero," said entertainer Ricky Skaggs shortly before the celebration began at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina. "He exemplifies brokenness and humility."

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Billy Graham • Christianity • evangelicals • Leaders • Protestant • Sarah Palin

Atheist group apologizes for misquoting Palin, but defends billboard's intent
March 4th, 2013
04:06 PM ET

Atheist group apologizes for misquoting Palin, but defends billboard's intent

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – An atheist group that misquoted former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in a billboard in Texas is apologizing to the Republican and correcting the mistake. But it continues to defend the “intent and context” of the effort.

CNN first reported on Sunday that American Atheists, a group known for its in-your-face tactics, was sponsoring a billboard calling out Palin for something she said while on Fox News.

“We should create law based on the God of the Bible,” the billboard reads.

The only problem: That isn’t what Palin said.

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Politics • Sarah Palin

First on CNN: Atheists ratchet up rhetoric, use billboards to attack Republican politicians
March 3rd, 2013
05:00 AM ET

First on CNN: Atheists ratchet up rhetoric, use billboards to attack Republican politicians

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – An atheist organization known for being provocative plans to take that reputation to the next level this week by putting up seven billboards that call out prominent politicians and religious leaders.

American Atheists plans to target three Republican politicians: former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, former House Speak Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

The seven signs will go up around Dallas and Austin, Texas.

In one billboard, a picture of Palin is featured on the left, with a quote attributed to her. "We should create law based on the God of the Bible," the quote reads. Underneath the graphic is a tag line "GO GODLESS INSTEAD."

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Catholic Church • Newt Gingrich • Politics • Pope • Rick Santorum • Sarah Palin

Michele Bachmann, evangelical feminist?
June 27th, 2011
06:09 PM ET

Michele Bachmann, evangelical feminist?

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - If Hillary Clinton, the woman who came closest to becoming a major party presidential nominee, is a feminist icon, could something similar be said of Michele Bachmann, who officially launched her presidential campaign on Monday?

Bachmann is seldom described in those terms; the conservative Minnesota congresswoman and Tea Party darling might cringe at the feminist label.

But some religion and politics experts say that she exemplifies an evangelical feminism that is producing more female leaders in Christian nonprofits, businesses, and education and politics, even as more traditional gender roles prevail in evangelical homes and churches.

“It’s not that evangelical feminism is entirely new,” says R. Marie Griffith, director of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion & Politics at Washington University in St. Louis. “But this lack of fear going into top positions of power is new and astonishing and exciting for this segment of the population.”

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Politics • Sarah Palin

June 19th, 2011
10:01 PM ET

June 16th, 2011
12:07 PM ET

Your Take: Comments on Sarah Palin's e-mail from God

One theme to emerge in the comments on yesterday's post about Sarah Palin penning an e-mail in God's voice is that a lot of her critics were quite moved by her note:

ckbabs
I am certainly not a Sarah Palin political fan but I thought this email was wonderful. It truly shows that she, as a mother, views her beautiful boy as a blessing and perfect in spite of what society may say. I cannot imagine how difficult it would be to hear those words from your doctor and spend months carrying the baby, not knowing just quite what this extra chromosome means. ... She embraced it and shows unconditional love. Truly refreshing. I wish we all could view everyone in the same light regardless of any differences

HealthyMom

I feel exactly the same way. When I see her name in headlines I usually cringe, but this piece of news is actually refreshing!

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Comments • God • Politics • Sarah Palin • Technology

Sarah Palin e-mail message written as though from God
Sarah Palin in Philadelphia last month.
June 15th, 2011
12:03 PM ET

Sarah Palin e-mail message written as though from God

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - Among the 24,000 pages of e-mail from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin released on Friday, one message stands out for its signature line. It's signed by the "Creator" and "Your Heavenly Father." In other words, God.

Palin sent the e-mail to family and friends in April 2008 in anticipation of the birth of her and her husband Todd's fifth child, Trig. Palin knew her son would have Down syndrome, and the e-mail is a meditation on that knowledge and on how others should view him in light of the diagnosis.

"I am blessing you with this surprise baby because I only want the best for you," the e-mail message begins. "I've heard your prayers that this baby will be happy and healthy, and I've answered them because I only want the best for you!"

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Politics • Sarah Palin • Uncategorized

My Take: Ralph Reed event shows Christian Right still matters
Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition conference is drawing many GOP presidential contenders.
June 3rd, 2011
10:09 AM ET

My Take: Ralph Reed event shows Christian Right still matters

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

Over the last year or so, I have read repeatedly that the Christian Right has gone the way of Netscape, Betamax and the buggy whip. The Tea Party phenomenon and the deficit crisis together redirected the GOP from cultural issues to economic ones.

Or so goes the conventional wisdom.

This wisdom is foolishness, for two reasons.

Exhibit A is the long list of Republican speakers for the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference being held this Friday and Saturday in Washington, DC.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Culture wars • Mitt Romney • Politics • Polls • Sarah Palin • Tea Party • United States

My Take: More places Palin should visit on bus tour
Sarah Palin leaving the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia on Tuesday.
June 2nd, 2011
07:55 AM ET

My Take: More places Palin should visit on bus tour

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

Dear Governor Palin,

Your it’s-not-a-campaign-bus-tour has motored through the National Archives, Mount Vernon, Arlington National Cemetery, Gettysburg, Independence Hall, the Statue of Liberty and Donald Trump’s penthouse.

So obviously you are highlighting America’s most historic sites. But as you head toward New England and beyond, I’d like to suggest four additional sites, sacred to the chain of memory that is American religion.

Together these sacred places acknowledge not only the powerful role that Christianity has played in American life (something you often mention) but also the fact of American religious diversity (something you might mention more).

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Houses of worship • Mormonism • Politics • Sarah Palin • Uncategorized • United States

Franklin Graham on 2012: Maybe Trump?
April 24th, 2011
03:45 PM ET

Franklin Graham on 2012: Maybe Trump?

By Gabriella Schwarz, CNN

Washington (CNN) – The Rev. Franklin Graham said he might support real estate mogul Donald Trump as his candidate of choice in the 2012 presidential election.

Graham, whose family has close ties to past presidents, said when Trump began interjecting himself in the conversation he thought it was a joke, but “the more you listen to him, the more you say to yourself, ‘You know, maybe the guy’s right.’”

When asked Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” if he would choose the “Celebrity Apprentice” star as his candidate, Graham said “Sure, yeah. Sure.”

And although he has traveled with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, he predicted she will not launch a bid for the White House.

Read the full story on CNN's Political Ticker

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Politics • Sarah Palin

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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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