April 14th, 2014
08:30 AM ET
(CNN) - A Missouri man, with a long virulent history of anti-Semitism, is suspected of killing a boy and his grandfather outside a Jewish community center in Kansas City and a woman at a Jewish assisted living facility nearby.
While police in Overland Park, Kansas, stopped short of labeling the Sunday attacks a hate crime until they were further along in their investigation, the suspect - Frazier Glenn Miller – is the founder and former leader of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Patriot Party.
Both operated as paramilitary organizations in the 1980s, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups.
The 73-year-old Miller, who also goes by Frazier Glenn Cross, faces charges of premeditated first-degree murder. He is expected to appear in court Monday.
March 20th, 2014
05:06 PM ET
(CNN) - Fred Phelps - the founding pastor of a Kansas church known for its virulently anti-gay protests at public events, including military funerals - has died, the church said Thursday.
The 84-year-old died of natural causes at 11:15 p.m. Wednesday, according to church spokesman Steve Drain.
Phelps founded Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, in 1955 and molded it in his fire-and-brimstone image. Many members of the small congregation are related to Phelps through blood or marriage.
In a statement Thursday, the church chided the "world-wide media" for "gleefully anticipating the death."FULL STORY
February 4th, 2014
10:05 PM ET
By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor
(CNN) - Did you miss the debate between creationist Ken Ham and Bill "The Science Guy" Nye?
Don't worry, we've got you covered.
The debate was moderated by CNN's Tom Foreman, and, if there's one thing both sides can agree on, it's that he did a swell job.
Here's almost everything else you need to know, from Genesis to um, Revelation.
November 20th, 2013
12:11 PM ET
Editor's note: This story is part of CNN's American Journey series to show how old buildings around the United States have found new purposes and helped to build communities. Are there repurposed buildings in your community? Share the stories with CNN iReport and they could be featured in a CNN story.
Sandy Springs, Georgia (CNN) - The old Chevrolet paint and body shop was vacant - 24,000 square feet of metal and concrete surrounded by a sea of asphalt.
But when some members of Congregation Or Hadash saw it, they saw a home.
Since it was founded in 2003, the conservative Jewish congregation had bounced from location to location outside Atlanta - a Methodist church, a windowless space in a school, any place they could rent or borrow as they grew.
"Sometimes, from week to week, we didn't know exactly where we were going to be," said Fred Wachter, president of the congregation and a member since its early years.
"All the while ... we probably walked every piece of available property and real estate in Sandy Springs, trying to find something, anything, that would look like it."FULL STORY
October 15th, 2013
09:42 AM ET
(CNN) - A Malaysian court ruled Monday that a Christian newspaper could not use "Allah" to refer to God. Ram Ramgopal reports
October 2nd, 2013
03:43 PM ET
(CNN) - It was only a year and a half ago that a phenomenon swept the globe and made basketball fans a little, well, "Linsane."
Remember that? Back then, Jeremy Lin led a historic New York Knicks winning streak, dubbed "Linsanity." Crowds fell for the feel-good story of an overlooked bench-warmer who slept on friends' sofas to take a shot in the NBA.
A new documentary takes a look at the life of Jeremy Lin before the madness.
"Linsanity," out in select theaters October 4, offers a glimpse of Lin's road to stardom: He was a standout basketball player in summer leagues, competed in a tightly contested high school state championship and faced racial epithets as an Ivy League athlete before landing, undrafted, in the professional league.
From the documentary, it's clear the 25-year-old Lin was used to being an underdog, and overcame his share of challenges with a deep faith and persistent spirit.
"I'm always trying to have a good time, joking around, goofy," he said. "I think I try not to take anything really too seriously."FULL STORY
July 9th, 2013
11:40 AM ET
Opinion by John S. Dickerson, special to CNN
Prescott, Arizona (CNN) - If you stood next to one in a grocery store line, you could smell the smoke on his fire pants.
They were known as the Granite Mountain Hotshots, but to us they were sturdy, sweaty, smoke-stained neighbors, fathers, friends, husbands, sons and uncles.
They were the strong shoulders and backs who ran into danger to protect us. Just two weeks ago they ran toward the 200-footl flames of the Doce Fire northwest of Prescott, diverting it away from my neighborhood.
On June 30, while battling a fierce wildfire in Yarnell, 19 of these elite Prescott firefighters died. It was the deadliest day for firefighters since September 11, 2001, and it had a devastating effect on our small community.
April 18th, 2013
10:45 AM ET
Editor’s note: Greg M. Epstein is the Humanist chaplain at Harvard University and author of the New York Times best-seller "Good Without God." He directs the Humanist Community Project, a national think tank helping to study and build communities for the nonreligious.
By Greg M. Epstein, Special to CNN
Cambridge, Massachusetts (CNN) — After two days of holding back my own feelings to focus on the needs of a community in mourning, what finally split my heart in two was scrolling through the list of donations to the fund-raising page for Celeste and Sydney Corcoran, a mother and daughter among the tragically injured at the Boston Marathon.
Celeste, the mother, has volunteered for my congregation. She’s basically an aunt to a senior member of our staff. So I cried for the two-sidedness: A member of our community lost her legs below the knees, and nearly lost her daughter. And, in one day, nearly 4,000 people donated more than $250,000 to support them. They seemed to be saying, through their gifts, “Please do this for me too if anything should ever happen to me or my family.”
As a chaplain, I’m struggling to make sense of this tragedy just like any other member of the clergy. And like faith communities across the country, the thousands of people I work with are doing what needs to be done when tragedy strikes close to home. We’re offering one another comfort. We’re calling around to the point of exhaustion, trying to figure out who needs help and how we can provide it.
The only difference is, we are a community of atheists — a congregation of Humanists. FULL POST
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