May 31st, 2010
06:13 PM ET

Gospel singer Kirk Franklin on his new book

Gospel singer Kirk Franklin - an abandoned youth who became a father in his teens - talks with CNN's T.J. Holmes about his new book, "The Blueprint: A Plan for Living Above Life's Storms."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Books • Christianity • Culture & Science • Leaders • Music

May 31st, 2010
09:50 AM ET

An alternative model for Protestant politics

An American preacher rails against the popular caricature of believers as backwards and narrow-minded, decries the popular culture’s hostility toward religion and implores Christians to stop being so politically correct in the workplace and to start loudly expressing their faith-based opinions. Sounds like a typical evangelical Protestant minister, cribbing lines from Focus on the Family.

Another American preacher decries imminent government cuts to programs for the poor, urging Christian churches to mobilize politically to protect society’s most vulnerable. Sounds like a typical mainline Protestant minister, cribbing lines from Jim Wallis.

Christian conservatives feel besieged by the secular culture, liberal Christians want more social justice. Everyone knows that.


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Anglican • Christianity • Culture wars • Politics • Protestant

What do headstone symbols mean?
May 31st, 2010
07:14 AM ET

What headstones say about the living

Cemeteries are known for telling the stories of the people buried there. But the symbols on headstones and monuments can tell a different story: how our view of death has changed over time.

“Historic cemeteries really function as outdoor museums,” says Steve Estroff, education manager at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.


- Associate Producer

Filed under: Art • Culture & Science • Traditions

May 31st, 2010
03:19 AM ET

A Muslim voice at ground zero

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 United States has from its inception seen itself as something new. But populism—the politics of nostalgia—has a long history here. And the nation’s capital is, among other things, a Necropolis—a site for the memorialization of the dead.

How a nation memorializes the dead matters, not least by revealing what it lives for. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial tells us that the dead are to be remembered by name. So does the Oklahoma City National Memorial, whose 168 chairs represent the individuals taken by terror on April 19, 1995.

The memorials we are now building out of the ashes of 9/11 tell us something about the United States, too, as does the Ground Zero site itself, which is why the recent scuffle over whether there is to be a mosque in the vicinity is a matter not just for the Tea Party spokespeople who oppose it or the New York City community board that voted 29-1 to support it. It is a matter for all Americans, and the questions it calls are two.


- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Culture wars • Islam • Politics • Religious liberty • Violence

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.