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November 6th, 2013
08:02 PM ET

Meet the new Marvel superhero: A rebellious Muslim teen from New Jersey

Opinion by Hussein Rashid, special to CNN

(CNN) - In the world of comics, the news of Ms. Marvel’s return to the world of Iron Man and the X-men is a big deal – and not just because the character’s alter ego is a Pakistani-American Muslim girl from New Jersey.

The previous Ms. Marvel, for those of you not familiar with the Ka-Pow world of comics, was a blond, blue-eyed Air Force pilot.

The new Ms. Marvel is Kamala Khan, a 16-year-old student who favors hipster-geek glasses and Holden Caulfield-style hats. She's also Muslim, though she's no poster girl for the faith, according to G. Willow Wilson, her creator.

"Islam is both an essential part of her identity and something she struggles mightily with," Wilson said in an interview posted on Marvel's website.

FULL POST

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Art • Entertainment • Islam • Muslim • Opinion • Teens

My Take: Gays are coming out on TV. Christians are, too
Actor Samuel Larsen, second from left, on "The Glee Project."
May 11th, 2012
08:54 AM ET

My Take: Gays are coming out on TV. Christians are, too

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

The New York Times reports this week that gays and lesbians are now commonplace on hit television shows. But Christians are coming out of the closet and onto our television sets, too.

“Glee” may feature a gay couple (Kurt and Blaine), a lesbian couple (Santana and Brittany), and a transgender character (Unique), but it also includes the God Squad, a group of Christians that meet in school and struggle with the demands of their faith.

On the first season of “The Glee Project,” a reality show that trolls for talent to feature on “Glee,” actor Samuel Larsen won a seven-episode role in part because of a tattoo on his chest quoting from Psalm 18 (“I will love thee O Lord my strength”). Larsen, who also sports long dreadlocks, obviously has that elusive “it” factor, but one reason he won "The Glee Project" was that "Glee" executive producer Ryan Murphy wanted to feature a Christian character on the show.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Entertainment • Homosexuality • Sexuality • Teens • United States

Your Take: Rethinking the hookup culture
June 1st, 2011
01:02 PM ET

Your Take: Rethinking the hookup culture

On Tuesday we featured a guest My Take from Christian author Dannah Gresh: There’s nothing brief about a hookup.

Gresh encourages young people to abstain from sex because of her religious values but also presented a neuroscientific case against casual sex:

Casual sex is happening. We shouldn’t ignore it. That’s especially true of the faith community. But when we talk about it, we should use science. There’s nothing biologically brief about a hookup.

There was plenty of discussion about the post, which has fetched more than 600 comments so far. Here's a sampling:

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Faith & Health • Sex • Teens • Trends • United States

March 9th, 2011
07:51 AM ET

Blair launches new faith films contest for youth

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN Wire Editor

Last year, Tony Blair ran a film contest for young people, inviting them to make films about faith.

His Faith Foundation was overwhelmed by the response: hundreds of entries, from Jews and Christians, Muslims and Hindus, Sikhs and humanists, on five continents around the world.

Buoyed by the success of the first "Faith Shorts" film contest, Blair is now doing it again.

He was impressed not only by the quality of the films, he said, but what they said about the people who made them.

FULL POST

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Belief • Faith • Movies • Teens • United Kingdom

February 3rd, 2011
07:05 AM ET

Pakistani teen jailed for blasphemy, group says

Pakistan must immediately drop blasphemy  charges against a teenager and let him out of jail, Human Rights Watch said.

"Pakistan has set the standard for intolerance when it comes to misusing  blasphemy laws, but sending a schoolboy to jail for something he scribbled on  an exam paper is truly appalling," Bede Sheppard, senior children's rights  researcher at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement Wednesday.

Police told CNN Tuesday that they had arrested a teenager accused of  writing insulting comments about Muslim prophet Mohammed in a school exam.

They arrested 17 year-old Sami Ullah in Karachi after receiving a  complaint from the local board of education, said Karachi police official  Qudrat Shah Lodhi.

Read the full story on the teen jailed for blasphemy
- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Islam • Muslim • Pakistan • Religious liberty • Teens

January 21st, 2011
04:04 PM ET

Georgia county's graduations to be held in a church

The Cherokee County, Georgia school board in voted unanimously Thursday to continue holding graduations at a church, with more than 200 people showing up for the vote.

For the past several years, all of North Georgia's Cherokee County high schools have held their graduations at First Baptist Church in Woodstock, but recently, a Washington, D.C.-based group threatened to sue the school district on the basis of separation of church and state.

Read the full story on WSBTV.com
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Church and state • Georgia • Teens

October 5th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

My Take: A Christian response to anti-gay bullying

Editor's Note: Warren Throckmorton, PhD is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Grove City College. Along with Michael Frey, he leads the Golden Rule Pledge and blogs at warrenthrockmorton.com. Don't miss an "AC360°" special report in collaboration with PEOPLE Magazine, "Bullying: No Escape," all this week at 10 p.m. ET on CNN.

By Warren Throckmorton, Special to CNN

The nation is mourning the recent suicides of three young teens, Billy Lucas, Asher Brown and Seth Walsh. Although each situation was a little different, a common denominator was that a central feature of the harassment the boys experienced was anti-gay name-calling.

Sadly, these boys join a string of other suicide victims who'd been subjected to anti-gay bias.

The tragedies have heightened the attention of the public on an already contentious debate about how to prevent anti-gay harassment. While everyone agrees that such bullying is harmful and must be addressed, not all agree about the means to that end.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Homosexuality • Opinion • Teens

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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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