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Latino minister fires up Ebenezer on King Day
The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is the first Latino to give the keynote address at Atlanta's MLK Jr. commemorative service.
January 22nd, 2013
05:01 AM ET

Latino minister fires up Ebenezer on King Day

By Moni Basu, CNN

In all the 45 years of a commemorative service on the birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., there had never been a Latino delivering the keynote address.

That changed Monday as the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez took the podium and belted out a sermon that would have surely made King proud. His message was sown together with the language of faith and justice:

"Justice is not the purpose of big government. Justice is the passion of a big God," he told the crowd at Ebenezer Baptist Church in downtown Atlanta.

"Justice is not a political term to be exploited but a prophetic term to be lived out."

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Christianity • Latino issues

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

Evangelical Christians prepare for ‘largest ever grassroots push on immigration’
January 12th, 2013
10:00 PM ET

Evangelical Christians prepare for ‘largest ever grassroots push on immigration’

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – When the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez talks about immigration, it is as someone who has witnessed the way a religious community is affected when a family is torn apart by deportation.

“It is personal for me,” Rodriguez said, describing deported friends and congregants as "lovely people. These are wonderful, God-fearing, family-loving people.”

Rodriguez, the head of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, has a naturally boisterous voice that booms with authority. When he speaks about immigration, passion oozes out of every syllable. But his voice softens as he speaks of those close to him who have been deported: an associate pastor's wife, a friend from Sacramento, California, a well-known congregant - the list seems committed to memory.

Even as he relives the heartache, the pastor seems hopeful, if not optimistic.

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Evangelical • Immigration • Latino issues • Protestant • Race

Survey: Among black, Hispanic Americans, complexity reigns on abortion issue
July 26th, 2012
11:36 AM ET

Survey: Among black, Hispanic Americans, complexity reigns on abortion issue

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) - A large majority of black and Hispanic Americans identify as both “pro-life” and “pro-choice” when it comes to abortion, according to a survey released Thursday. The poll finds that both minority groups are more likely than Americans in general to embrace or to reject both labels.

Large majorities of African-Americans identify both as “pro-life” (71%) and “pro-choice” (75%), according to a Public Religion Research Institute survey released Thursday. Hispanic Americans harbor similarly complex views on abortion, with 77% identifying as “pro-life” and 72% calling themselves as “pro-choice.”

The survey found that 52% of black Americans and 47% of Hispanic Americans acknowledge that they embrace or reject both labels, proportions that are higher than those for Americans overall. Thirty seven percent of all Americans embrace both labels or neither label.

The numbers show that most people see the pro-life and pro-choice identifiers through their own unique prisms, says Robert P. Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute.

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Abortion • Black issues • Latino issues • Race • United States

November 1st, 2010
06:22 PM ET

My take: Which religious voters will show up on Tuesday?

Editor's Note: Anthea Butler is Associate Professor of Religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania and is an expert on Black churches, evangelicalism and the religious right.

By Anthea Butler, Special to CNN

The focus throughout the mid-term campaign has been on the Tea Partiers and predominately white religious communities supporting Republican or Tea Party Candidates. What about other religious communities of African Americans and Latino’s? These constituencies, facing immigration issues, foreclosures, and high unemployment levels, have social issues requiring urgent action.

For Latino and African American Voters of faith, the traditional appeal to values voting or litmus tests applied to candidates are not the sole means of vetting candidates.

Social concerns often drive voting from these religious communities.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Black issues • Christianity • Faith Now • Latino issues • Politics • Race • Tea Party

September 1st, 2010
07:00 AM ET

Our Take: For faithful, immigration reform is today's civil rights movement

Editor's Note: The Rev. Luis Cortés is president of Esperanza USA. The Rev. Derrick Harkins is senior pastor of the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.

By the Rev. Luis Cortés and the Rev. Derrick Harkins, Special to CNN

During the civil rights movement, religious leaders locked arms in solidarity and marched against the systemic sins of racism and oppression. In the face of Bull Connor’s fire-hoses, diverse people of faith met the despair of segregation with hope for an America that lived up to its noblest creeds.

A new struggle for justice now unites African American and Hispanic clergy, who refuse to remain silent as a broken immigration system divides our communities and undermines our nation’s values.

As pastors who minister in urban communities where African Americans and Hispanics share both common aspirations and challenges, we reject any claims of a “black-brown” divide over this contentious issue.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Black issues • Christianity • Church • Latino issues • Opinion • Race

August 5th, 2010
12:07 PM ET

Our Take: The surprising religious divides on Proposition 8

Editor's Note: Dr. Robert P. Jones is the CEO and Daniel Cox is the Director of Research for Public Religion Research Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and education organization specializing in work at the intersection of religion, values, and public life.

By Robert P. Jones and Daniel Cox, Special to CNN

The ruling yesterday by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker that Proposition 8 violates the constitution highlights the shifting attitudes in California and in the nation over the legality of same-sex marriage. A major public opinion survey released last month by our firm, Public Religion Research Institute, casts important light on the changing religious landscape on this issue, with some surprising findings.

The PRRI survey of more than 3,000 Californians found that if Proposition 8 were on the ballot today, it would not pass.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Gay marriage • Latino issues • Protestant • Race

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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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