August 5th, 2010
10:34 PM ET

A mosque, a strip club or a toxic waste site?

From CNN Senior National Editor Dave Schechter:

Would you be more comfortable with a strip club in your neighborhood than a mosque? What about a toxic waste site? I admit those questions sound extreme, but considering the opposition to the proposed location of mosques in this country, perhaps they’re not so far-fetched.

Look beyond the controversial Islamic center and mosque to be situated in a building (above) near the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks in New York City.

In the New York City borough of Staten Island, the board of a Catholic Church reversed an agreement initially made by its pastor to sell a building that formerly housed a convent to Muslims seeking to create a mosque and community center.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Houses of worship • Islam • Mosque

August 5th, 2010
09:58 PM ET

Kosher processer Rubashkin asks for a new judge

From CNN's Talya Minsberg:

Agriprocessors executive Sholom Rubashkin’s trial may be becoming nearly as messy as his shuttered meatpacking plant.

Rubashkin’s lawyers claimed Thursday that U.S. District Court Chief Judge Linda Reade, the judge in the case, met with the law-enforcement team that participated in the May 2008 immigration raid of Agriprocessors kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa.

According to Rubashkin’s counsel, Judge Reade had not disclosed this information before presiding over the trials.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Food • Judaism • Kosher

August 5th, 2010
07:36 PM ET

Atheist Christopher Hitchens on God and those praying for him

Updated Friday 11:30 a.m. The full interview with atheist Christopher Hitchens on his personal battle with cancer and how it hasn't affected his atheism, from last night's AC360°.

Program Note: Anderson's interview with author Christopher Hitchens on his cancer diagnosis and whether it has changed his thoughts on God will air tonight on AC360° at 10pm ET. Watch a sneak preview below.

[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/bestoftv/2010/08/05/ac.hitchens.on.cancer.god.cnn"%5D
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Books • Prayer

August 5th, 2010
05:40 PM ET

U.S. Muslims underestimate 9/11 effect, Muslim thinker warns

Linda Rivera holds her head after a New York panel ruled the site of a planned Islamic center and mosque near ground zero can be demolished.

There's been plenty of opposition to the plan to build an  Islamic center near the site of ground zero in New York, but so far it has overwhelmingly come from outside the Muslim community.

Now a prominent Muslim thinker is warning that the idea is potentially dangerously misguided, and that American Muslims have failed to grasp how deeply the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, affected the country.


- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Houses of worship • Interfaith issues • Islam • Muslim • Religious liberty • Violence

August 5th, 2010
12:07 PM ET

Our Take: The surprising religious divides on Proposition 8

Editor's Note: Dr. Robert P. Jones is the CEO and Daniel Cox is the Director of Research for Public Religion Research Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and education organization specializing in work at the intersection of religion, values, and public life.

By Robert P. Jones and Daniel Cox, Special to CNN

The ruling yesterday by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker that Proposition 8 violates the constitution highlights the shifting attitudes in California and in the nation over the legality of same-sex marriage. A major public opinion survey released last month by our firm, Public Religion Research Institute, casts important light on the changing religious landscape on this issue, with some surprising findings.

The PRRI survey of more than 3,000 Californians found that if Proposition 8 were on the ballot today, it would not pass.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Gay marriage • Latino issues • Protestant • Race

August 5th, 2010
08:09 AM ET

Thoughts before debating Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens (right) with author Mark Danner in 2004.

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. CNN's Anderson Cooper interviews Christopher Hitchens tonight at 10 ET on "AC360."

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

After professional provocateur Christopher Hitchens announced that he had come down with cancer, legions lined up to pray for him. I have been known to lapse into prayer on occasion, but I did not pray for Hitchens, and I don't expect I will.

I understand why Mormons want to baptize the dead and, on the theory of "no harm, no foul," I don't object to it in most cases. But praying to God for the Great Unbeliever seems like something akin to sacrilege (and not against the divine).


- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Atheism • Culture & Science • Opinion • Prayer

August 5th, 2010
06:46 AM ET

My Take: The Jewish case for the ground zero mosque

Editor's Note: Rabbi Arthur Waskow is director of The Shalom Center and co-author of The Tent of Abraham.

By Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Special to CNN

First, the facts: The Cordoba Institute, led by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and his wife Daisy Khan, plans to build an Islamic community center with a prayer space included, in Lower Manhattan, two blocks from the site of the World Trade Center murderously destroyed on 9/11/01.

Some family members of those killed on 9/11 have opposed this siting; others, and a large majority of the local neighborhood community board, have supported it. The national Jewish Council on Public Affairs describes Imam Rauf thus: "The leader behind this initiative is Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, author of What's Right with Islam, who has spoken at JCPA programs in the past, and, along with his wife Daisy Kahn, has developed close relationships with members of the New York Jewish community."


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Houses of worship • Interfaith issues • Islam • Judaism • Mosque • New York • Opinion • United States

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.