May 7th, 2013
08:27 AM ET
By Adam Aigner-Treworgy, CNN
(CNN) - During a more than two-hour meeting at the White House on Monday, Vice President Joe Biden asked leaders from across the faith community to keep up pressure on lawmakers to support compromise background check legislation even as Congress begins to shift its focus to immigration reform, according to several attendees who spoke to CNN.
Biden urged the roughly 20 faith leaders in attendance not to be discouraged by recent legislative failures, and instead assured them that the White House had not given up.
"Even though he suffered a defeat, he didn't sound defeated," said pastor Michael McBride of the PICO National Network. "And we need that kind of hope from the bully pulpit of the White House."
In the run-up to last month's Senate vote, religious organizations from across the denominational spectrum pressured members of Congress to vote for background check legislation.
Without mentioning the names of any lawmakers, Biden acknowledged the effectiveness of such lobbying efforts and asked those in attendance to continue to target those whose opinions can be swayed.FULL STORY
May 6th, 2013
03:48 PM ET
(CNN)–Ibrahim Rahim, the Imam of Yusuf Mosque in Massachusetts, says Tsarnaev doesn't deserve to be buried in a holy place.
May 5th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
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
May 2nd, 2013
12:52 PM ET
By Dan Merica, CNN
Washington (CNN) – LeRoy Butler, a former safety for the Green Bay Packers, is one of many professional athletes to tweet support for Jason Collins, the NBA player who came out as gay this week.
“Congrats to Jason Collins,” Butler tweeted April 29, the day Collins came out in a Sports Illustrated cover story.
But Butler says the four-word tweet cost him a speaking appearance at a Wisconsin church.
He was scheduled to speak at the church (whose name he has not revealed) about bullying and his new book, "The LeRoy Butler Story: From Wheelchair to the Lambeau Leap." That was until the church, according to Butler, told him he was no longer welcome because of his tweet in support of Collins.
"The pastor called me and that's when we got into the old, the whole religion thing about gay people and things of that nature and the conversation just went back and forth for us a couple of minutes," Butler told Anderson Cooper on Thursday.
May 2nd, 2013
12:51 PM ET
By Dan Merica, CNN
Washington (CNN) – In the last two days, newly installed Pope Francis has become increasingly vocal about economics issues.
On Wednesday, the Pope Francis made reference to a building collapse in Bangladesh that killed upwards of 400 people in a sharp condemnation of worker exploitation and “slave labor.”
"Not paying a just (wage), not providing work, focusing exclusively on the balance books, on financial statements, only looking at making personal profit. That goes against God!" Pope Francis in his homily.
On Thursday, Pope Francis continued with his economic message by tweeting “My thoughts turn to all who are unemployed, often as a result of a self-centred mindset bent on profit at any cost,” to his almost 2.5 million followers.
May 2nd, 2013
12:37 PM ET
By Eric Marrapodi and Hada Messia, CNN
Rome (CNN) –Pope Francis welcomed his predecessor Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI back to the Vatican on Thursday afternoon.
The now retired Pope Benedict had been living at the papal retreat in Castel Gandolfo since he formally stepped down as head of 1.2 billion Catholics around the world and left Vatican City on February 28.
Benedict was the first pope in nearly 600 years to resign.
Benedict traveled back to the Vatican on Thursday by helicopter. He will live on the Vatican grounds at a newly renovated convent called Mater Ecclesiae. He was driven from the Vatican heliport to his new residence where he was greeted by his successor. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told reporters that Francis greeted Benedict, "with great fraternal cordiality. Together they went to the monastery chapel for a brief moment of prayer."
May 1st, 2013
01:48 PM ET
By Jethro Mullen and Farid Ahmed, CNN
Savar, Bangladesh (CNN) - Pope Francis, speaking at a Mass on Wednesday, made reference to the Bangladesh building collapse that killed upwards of 400 people in a sharp condemnation of worker exploitation and "slave labor."
"Not paying a just (wage), not providing work, focusing exclusively on the balance books, on financial statements, only looking at making personal profit. That goes against God!" Pope Francis said.
He continued: "When society is organized in such a way that not everyone has the opportunity to work, to be anointed with the dignity of work, then there is something wrong with that society: it is not right! It goes against God himself, who wanted our dignity, starting from here."FULL STORY
May 1st, 2013
10:58 AM ET
By Kevin Liptak, CNN
(CNN)–After weathering a political and personal scandal that made her the subject of glaring media scrutiny, Paula Broadwell says she's ready to move forward.
The former Army reservist who became romantically involved with Gen. David Petraeus while penning his biography, and was later accused of sending threatening e-mails to another woman, Broadwell told a local television station in Charlotte she's returning to the faith-based environment of her childhood.
"I grew up in a strong faith-based family," Broadwell told News 14 Carolina-Charlotte. "I think I have selected to return to those roots for strength, for my family, for myself and to protect our children and to forgive others and move on and face forward."
She was speaking after attending a YMCA-sponsored prayer breakfast in Charlotte, which she said had "touched her heart."
"I've made some mistakes in the past but I'm trying to look forward with my family," she said.FULL STORY
April 30th, 2013
03:33 PM ET
By Dan Merica, CNN
Washington (CNN) – A Pew Research Center study released Tuesday takes an in-depth look at Islam, including how Muslims around the world view extremism, sharia law and the meeting of religion and politics.
The study is a four-year effort by Pew, which conducted 38,000 face-to-face interview in 80-plus languages for the survey. In total, 39 countries and territories were included, all of which had over 10 million Muslims living there.
Here are the report’s five major takeaways:
April 29th, 2013
12:48 PM ET
Editor’s Note: Today marks the 20th anniversary of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. It was Elie Wiesel’s idea to make this an institution of learning rather than a simple memorial. Michael Schulder, host of the "CNN Profiles" radio show, sat down with Wiesel to talk about a range of issues, including how a sense of humor survives in so many survivors. This story, though, is about faith.
By Michael Schulder, CNN
(CNN) - “They called him Moishe the Beadle, as if his entire life he had never had a surname.”
This is the opening line of the most widely read memoir of the Holocaust, Elie Wiesel’s "Night."
I had the opportunity to ask Wiesel about Moishe the Beadle recently when we sat down for an in-depth CNN Profile, which you can listen to here.
When Wiesel won the Nobel Peace Prize, the committee that chose him called him a messenger to mankind.
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 and frequent posts from religion scholar and author Stephen Prothero.