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Vatican softens tone toward gays and lesbians
June 26th, 2014
12:14 PM ET

Vatican softens tone toward gays and lesbians

By Delia Gallagher, CNN

ROME (CNN) - The Vatican said Thursday that gays and lesbians must be treated with respect, their children may be baptized in the church, and admitted that Catholic priests are sometimes unsure about how to deal with same-sex couples.

There is a “certain unease at the challenge of accepting these people with a merciful spirit and, at the same time, holding to the moral teaching of the Church,” the Vatican said in a document, called an Instrumentum Laboris.

The 75-page document is a compilation of the results of a survey sent to 114 bishops’ conferences around the world.  Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, General Secretary of the Synod, said that 85% of the conferences responded to the survey.

The document will be used as a guideline for discussions at a synod, a meeting of top Catholic bishops convened by Pope Francis, to be held in Rome in October.

The official name of the synod is "The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization."

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Abortion • Belief • Bishops • Catholic Church • Christianity • Culture wars • Discrimination • Ethics • Gay marriage • Gay rights • Homosexuality • Leaders • Pope Francis • Same-sex marriage • Sexuality

A Buddhist guide to Valentine's Day
The Buddha has some sage advice for lovers looking forward to Valentine's Day.
February 13th, 2014
05:32 PM ET

A Buddhist guide to Valentine's Day

Opinion by Janet Nima Taylor, special to CNN

(CNN) - Valentine’s Day can conjure up the whole spectrum of human emotion, from the ecstasy of new love to the intense pain of loneliness.

It seems the day reeks of the expectation that we need a perfect relationship in order to be happy. But what do we really want?

Some of you might know that the Buddha left his wife and young child to pursue enlightenment, so maybe he’s not the best person to give advice about your love life. On the other hand, his teachings on love, relationships and suffering have a lot to say about our harried modern lives.

The Buddha’s first teaching,  known as the Four Noble Truths,  was about the connection between expectations and suffering.

He taught that life includes suffering because we seek happiness in inherently dissatisfying ways. If things are going great, we think they'll never change. (They always do.) If things are going poorly, we think it's because the world has failed us.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Buddhism • Holidays • Opinion • Sexuality • Spirituality

Does Phil Robertson get the Bible wrong?
Phil Robertson of A&E's "Duck Dynasty" has been suspended for his comments on homosexuality.
December 20th, 2013
11:23 AM ET

Does Phil Robertson get the Bible wrong?

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) – The Robertson family of "Duck Dynasty" fame has rallied around its patriarch, saying his controversial comments on homosexuality are "grounded in the teachings of the Bible." But Scripture is fiercely contested ground, and some experts say Phil Robertson misinterprets a key Bible verse.

A&E, the network that broadcasts the hugely popular "Duck Dynasty" show, suspended Robertson for a now infamous interview with GQ magazine. In the article, Robertson, who became a born-again Christian in the 1970s after a prodigal youth, is asked to define "sin."

Here's what Robertson says: “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men."

Robertson, 67, then paraphrases a Bible passage from the New Testament: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers they won’t inherit the kingdom of God.”

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Editor

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Church • Culture wars • Discrimination • Ethics • evangelicals • Faith • Gay marriage • Gay rights • gender issues • Prejudice • Same-sex marriage • Sexuality

How I learned to love polygamy
The Browns of reality TV show fame practice polygamy, which they call "plural marriage," for religious reasons.
December 18th, 2013
09:34 AM ET

How I learned to love polygamy

Opinion by Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio, Special to CNN

(CNN) When I heard a federal judge struck down part of Utah’s polygamy law last week, I gave a little squeal of delight.

To be clear, I'm an Episcopal priest, not a polygamist.  But I've met the family who brought the suit, and these people changed how I think about plural marriage.

Before I met the Browns made famous by the reality television show “Sister Wives” I had the kind of reaction most modern-day Christians would have to their lifestyle: Polygamy hurts women. It offers girls a skewed perspective of who they can be. It happens on cultish compounds. It’s abusive.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Editor

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Bigamy • Christianity • Ethics • Faith • Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints • gender issues • Opinion • Religious liberty • Sexuality • Women

September 10th, 2013
02:22 PM ET

Who gets to judge Anthony Weiner?

Opinion by Jeffrey Weiss, Special to CNN

(CNN) - A day before the start of the Jewish High Holy Days, New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner was out asking voters to judge him favorably in Tuesday's election.

He ran into a bit of unwelcome moral judgment, as well.

One of the city's best-known Jewish politicians got into a heated religious argument at the Weiss Kosher Bakery in an Orthodox neighborhood of Brooklyn.

The argument - replayed and reported on cable news - raised questions about how the Jewish tradition deals with transgression, judgment, repentance and rebuke.

Those are all prime concerns for the days around Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Repentance, which begins Friday night.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Holidays • Judaism • Opinion • Politics • Sex • Sexuality • Sin

Weiner addresses lewd exchanges
July 24th, 2013
04:13 PM ET

XXX Church pastor: Weiner is an addict, not a joke

Opinion by Craig Gross, Special to CNN

(CNN) - There are still a lot of details to come out, but here’s one thing we know about Anthony Weiner: He is not a punch line; he is an addict.

I would assume Weiner has always had an uphill battle against being the butt of someone’s joke, just by the nature of his last name. Immaturity has always reigned supreme, and now in the days of Internet memes and Twitter zingers,  Weiner seemed ready-made for a scandal.

And yet he managed to get elected to Congress and once had a respectable appearance on "The Daily Show." He was on the rise, a politician ascending.

And then he got busted by the media for tweeting pictures of parts that should remain private to random women.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Editor

Filed under: Opinion • Politics • Scandal • Sex • Sexuality • United States

When Christians become a 'hated minority'
Evangelical Christians say they are the new victims of intolerance - they're persecuted for condemning homosexuality.
May 5th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

When Christians become a 'hated minority'

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - When Peter Sprigg speaks publicly about his opposition to homosexuality, something odd often happens.

During his speeches, people raise their hands to challenge his assertions that the Bible condemns homosexuality, but no Christians speak out to defend him.

“But after it is over, they will come over to talk to me and whisper in my ear, ‘I agree with everything you said,’" says Sprigg, a spokesman for The Family Research Council, a powerful, conservative Christian lobbying group.

We’ve heard of the “down-low” gay person who keeps his or her sexual identity secret for fear of public scorn. But Sprigg and other evangelicals say changing attitudes toward homosexuality have created a new victim: closeted Christians who believe the Bible condemns homosexuality but will not say so publicly for fear of being labeled a hateful bigot. FULL POST

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Church • Church and state • Culture wars • Protest • Sex • Sexuality • Sports

Mormon Church 'satisfied' with Boy Scouts possibly lifting gay youth ban
The Boy Scouts of America has been considering a change in its longstanding policy against allowing openly gay members.
April 26th, 2013
08:20 AM ET

Mormon Church 'satisfied' with Boy Scouts possibly lifting gay youth ban

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said it was "satisfied" with the Boy Scouts of America’s move to consider no longer denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation.

In a statement Thursday, the Mormon church called the issue “complex and challenging” and said it believed the Boy Scouts were making “a thoughtful, good-faith effort” to address the issue.

“We are grateful to BSA for their careful consideration of these issues," the statement said. “We appreciate the positive things contained in this current proposal that will help build and strengthen the moral character and leadership skills of youth as we work together in the future.”

The Boy Scouts of America said last week it would consider a proposal that would no longer deny membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation but would maintain its ban on openly gay adult leaders. The organization's executive committee made the proposal.

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Mormonism • Politics • Sexuality

December 10th, 2012
10:27 AM ET

New Mormon site reaches out to gays

(CNN)–CNN's Susan Hendricks discusses MormonsAndGays.org and the shift in the Mormon church with a current & former Mormon.

Read more: Mormon website embraces LGBT community


Your Take: Praise, condemnation on ‘gay for a year’ story
Evangelical Christian Timothy Kurek, center, wrote about his experiences pretending to be gay in "The Cross in the Closet."
December 4th, 2012
02:59 PM ET

Your Take: Praise, condemnation on ‘gay for a year’ story

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – It came as no surprise that a story about an evangelical Christian pretending to be gay for a year provoked vocal responses from many different quarters.

Much of the feedback centered on the propriety of Timothy Kurek’s yearlong experiment. Some questioned why he would actively choose what they called a life of sin. Others questioned whether the author’s experiment was worthwhile or fair:

KGE
"On the surface, perhaps we are supposed to applaud someone who takes such drastic steps to make changes in hateful beliefs learned over a long, long immersion in evangelical religion. But here's what bothers me about it: Instead of approaching the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community with honesty, he built his entire 'conversion' on lies and deceit, pretending to be 'one of them' instead of who he is. It would have been more honorable and meaningful to learn, communicate, socialize and support a way of life that isn't his own."</blocquote

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Faith • Homosexuality • Sexuality

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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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