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'Choose Life' license plates ruled unconstitutional in North Carolina
December 11th, 2012
01:13 AM ET

'Choose Life' license plates ruled unconstitutional in North Carolina

By Joe Sutton, CNN

(CNN) - A federal judge ruled that North Carolina's new "Choose Life" license plates are unconstitutional because the state does not offer a pro-choice alternative.

"The State's offering a Choose Life license plate in the absence of a pro-choice alternative constitutes viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment," U.S. District Court Judge James Fox wrote in the ruling Friday.

The ruling was praised by the American Civil Liberties Union, which had filed a lawsuit in 2011 to stop the specialty plates.

FULL POST

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Abortion • Courts • North Carolina

May 23rd, 2012
12:57 PM ET

Mixed reactions around church whose pastor’s anti-gay rant went viral

By Ismael Estrada, CNN

Maiden, North Carolina (CNN) – Just about everyone here is talking about the local pastor who made national headlines this week after a video that features him telling congregants how to “get rid of” gays went viral.

Neighbors of the Providence Road Baptist Church – where a sign advertises “old time religion” - say Pastor Charles Worley is known for being over the top, with one neighbor describing him as “fire and brimstone” whose views are out of sync with much of the surrounding community.

"I figured a way out, a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers, but I couldn't get it past the Congress,” Worley told his church on May 13, in a video that has been seen half a million times on YouTube.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Homosexuality • North Carolina

May 22nd, 2012
11:23 AM ET

Video of North Carolina pastor's plan to 'get rid of' gays goes viral

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) – Video of a North Carolina pastor preaching that gays and lesbians should be rounded up inside an electric fence is going viral on the Internet, two weeks after North Carolina passed a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and President Barack Obama voiced personal support for legalizing such marriages.

"I figured a way out, a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers, but I couldn't get it past the Congress," Pastor Charles L. Worley can be seen telling his Providence Road Baptist Church congregation in the video, which had more than 250,000 YouTube views by Tuesday.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Homosexuality • North Carolina

February 5th, 2012
02:00 AM ET

The new Christian abolition movement

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Greensboro, North Carolina (CNN) —The truck-stop hooker is no Julia Roberts, the trucker in the cab with her no Richard Gere, and this truck stop off the highway could not be any farther from Beverly Hills, the staging ground for “Pretty Woman.”

The woman sports baggy shorts, a white T-shirt and frizzy hair. Her fat middle-aged pimp sits in a beat up red Honda, watching as his “lot lizard” moves from truck to truck, in broad daylight.  If this pimp has a cane it is for substance, not style.

She moves through the parking lot, occasionally opening a cab’s passenger-side door and climbing in.

The trucker and hooker disappear in the back for 10 minutes.

Danielle Mitchell watches from the other end of the parking lot and shakes her head.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church and state • Faith Now • North Carolina • United States

Soccer team 'not about winning'
August 16th, 2011
10:20 AM ET

Christian pro soccer team: ‘Scoring souls, not goals’

By Elizabeth Johnson, CNN

Charlotte, North Carolina (CNN) - With 12 minutes left in the game, the Charlotte Eagles are losing 2-0. The North Carolina humidity hangs thick in the evening air. The home crowd becomes restless as the opposing team's goalie blocks kick after kick.

But the team gets a big break in the 78th minute and scores twice in two minutes against the Rochester Rhinos. This men’s soccer match ends in a tie.

Did God bless the Eagles with those goals?

“I don’t think God cares if we win or lose,” Eagles captain Josh Rife says, shrugging.

Coach Mark Steffens agrees: “Our No. 1 goal is not winning games. Our goal is to bring glory to God.”

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • North Carolina • Sports

May 15th, 2011
05:29 PM ET

Evangelist Billy Graham is released from the hospital

(CNN) – Evangelist Billy Graham was at home Sunday after being discharged from an Asheville, North Carolina, hospital where he was treated for pneumonia, the hospital said.

The 92-year old minister was admitted to the Mission Hospital early on Wednesday and returned to his home in the nearby town of Montreat, North Carolina, Sunday afternoon. His physicians said Graham's response to treatment has been good, but stressed his recovery will be slow.

"He has responded very well to treatment, with progressive improvement since his admission," said Lucian Rice, Graham's primary care physician. "We expect continuing recuperation at home with very gradual recovery, returning to normal activities over several weeks. I'm delighted that he has come back this fast."

Read the full story here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Faith Now • North Carolina • United States

May 11th, 2011
05:51 PM ET

Billy Graham hospitalized for pneumonia

(CNN) - Evangelist Billy Graham, 92, was admitted Wednesday for treatment of pneumonia following a health episode overnight, according to Mission Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina.

Initial pulmonary testing suggested pneumonia, and further tests showed Graham's heart was normal, the hospital said in a statement.

Read the full story
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Evangelical • Faith & Health • Faith Now • Leaders • North Carolina

Amid March Madness, some Christians decry sports worship
Those kids at Duke sure are passionate about their basketball.
March 25th, 2011
02:21 PM ET

Amid March Madness, some Christians decry sports worship

Believe it or not, there are Duke University students who were fired up Friday morning, even though their Blue Devils lost to Arizona Thursday night in the NCAA basketball tournament.

They may be a minority, but these students feel like the same passion that goes into cheering on the basketball team should go into worshipping the Lord.

They've been holding outdoor worship services on campus all week and are sponsoring an afternoon-long Christian music concert on Saturday. Think of it as faith-based March Madness, though officially the events are part of Blue Flame Worship Explosion 2011.

"While our whole school is seemingly captivated by basketball, we are proposing an alternative to bring more peace to March," said Regine Jean-Baptiste, one of the organizers of the Duke Christian events, wrote in an e-mail message.

“Often times everyone in life gets wrapped up in something … more than they should,” she wrote.

FULL POST

- Producer/Writer

Filed under: Belief • Books • Culture & Science • Ethics • Faith • North Carolina • Sports

March 18th, 2011
11:39 AM ET

Woman who says she was forced to wear Santa hat gets $55,000

From CNN Raleigh, North Carolina affiliate WRAL:

Belk Inc. has agreed to settle a federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lawsuit that alleged the chain's Crabtree Valley Mall department store fired a woman because of her religious beliefs.

The lawsuit alleges that Myra Jones-Abid was working as a gift wrapper at Belk's in November 2008 when store managers ordered her to wear a Santa hat and Christmas-themed apron during the holiday season.

Jones-Abid is a Jehovah's Witness, and her religious practices prohibit her from celebrating holidays like Christmas, according to the lawsuit.

Read the full story about the lawsuit at WRAL.com

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Faith Now • Money & Faith • North Carolina • United States

Westboro Baptist Church says it will picket Elizabeth Edwards' funeral
December 9th, 2010
10:16 AM ET

Westboro Baptist Church says it will picket Elizabeth Edwards' funeral

Editor's Note: This report comes from the CNN Political Ticker.

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church announced Thursday plans to picket Saturday's funeral for Elizabeth Edwards in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The Kansas-based Church – monitored by anti-hate groups such as the Anti-Defamation league and the Southern Poverty Law Center – is known for its extremist opposition to homosexuals, Jews and other groups.

The church members also oppose the War in Iraq.

According to the church's website, members will hold a protest from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Edwards, the estranged wife of presidential candidate John Edwards, died Tuesday after a six-year battle with breast cancer.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Church and state • Faith Now • Gay rights • Homosexuality • North Carolina • Politics • United States

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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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