August 20th, 2010
07:45 PM ET

N.Y. Archbishop may be part of Islamic center dialogue

Archbishop Timothy Dolan, leader of the Roman Catholic Church in New York, said Friday he would be honored to join the conversation around the controversial proposal to build an Islamic center near ground zero.

In a blog post, the Archbishop stressed the importance of not framing the debate as a choice between healing and religious freedom. He said both duties are good and necessary.

"While I'm hardly an expert in this area, and there are certainly far more competent voices than mine, the Archdiocese of New York would be honored to be part of any such conversations," the influential prelate wrote about the center.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Bishops • Catholic Church • Interfaith issues • Islam • New York • United States

August 20th, 2010
05:10 PM ET

Religious leaders speak out against International Burn a Quran Day

Religious leaders in Gainesville, Florida, have planned a Gathering for Peace, Understanding and Hope, in response to a local church's International Burn a Quran Day.

"We feel compelled to raise our voices to proclaim that the action the Dove World Outreach Center is proposing is absolutely wrong and counter to the life and teaching of the Jesus whom we love, follow and call savior and Lord," Senior Minister Dan Johnson of Trinity United Methodist Church said, in a note posted on his church's website Wednesday.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Books • Christianity • Church • Florida • Islam • Quran • United States

August 20th, 2010
03:55 PM ET

Ramadan road trip, day 3: View from the top

Aman Ali, right, and Wayne Drash atop the Jacksonville minaret

CNN's Wayne Drash filed this report:

Shauib Karim calls me back into the office at the Islamic Center of Jacksonville, Florida. "You've got to see this."

He boots up a computer and opens a file from May 10. On the screen, there's an image of a hunched-over, middle-aged guy carrying a 3-foot pipe bomb and a gas canister.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Islam • Journeys • Mosque • Muslim • Ramadan

August 20th, 2010
03:29 PM ET

To ban mosque is to subvert Constitution

Editor's note: Roland S. Martin, a CNN political analyst, is a syndicated columnist and author of "Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith," and the new book, "The First: President Barack Obama's Road to the White House." He is a commentator for TV One Cable Network and host of a Sunday morning news show.

By Roland S. Martin, CNN Contributor

"My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total. And I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction, of the Constitution."

Those eloquent words were spoken on July 25, 1974, by an outstanding woman and fellow Texan, Rep. Barbara Jordan, when she was a member of the House Judiciary Committee investigating the impeachment of President Richard Nixon.

And as I have listened and watched the stunning debate over the potential location of an Islamic community center and mosque two blocks away from where the World Trade Center towers were destroyed on September 11, 2001, Jordan's precise words keep coming to mind.

Read the full commentary

- CNN Belief Blog

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

August 20th, 2010
12:36 PM ET

My take: Why aren't more Mormons supporting Islamic Center?

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.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

When America’s leading Republicans started to ratchet up the rhetoric over the Islamic community center and mosque near Ground Zero, I immediately thought of my former governor Mitt Romney.

In 2007, when he was running for the Republican nomination for president, Romney gave a speech that I described at the time as “an instant classic in American civil religion." In "Faith in America," he spoke glowingly of religious liberty and the separation of church and state. He also said he had himself learned much not only from Catholics, evangelicals and Jews but also from “the commitment to frequent prayer of the Muslims.”


August 20th, 2010
12:14 PM ET

Opinion: 'Burn Quran Day' an outrage to Muslims

By Akbar Ahmed, Special to CNN

Editor's note: Akbar Ahmed is professor and Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington. He is author of "Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam," Brookings Press 2010.

In less than a month, Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center in Florida plans to host "Burn a Quran Day" to mark the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

The pastor, author of the book "Islam is of the Devil," is using the burning to urge American Christians to "stand up" to what he describes as a monolithic Muslim threat. A Facebook page for the event has accrued thousands of "likes" and Jones has said people have been mailing him Qurans to burn.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Books • Christianity • Islam • Opinion • Quran

August 20th, 2010
10:19 AM ET

Metallica goes to church

CNN's Chris Ford brings us this story about a Canadian Pastor who brought heavy metal to his church.

Several years ago, facing a dwindling membership at his church, Canadian Pastor John Van Sloten of Calgary, Alberta decided to branch out from traditional Christian preaching and to look for God in more unconventional places.

He’s not your average pastor, exemplified in the title of his first book, "The Day Metallica Came to Church," out this month.

“Everywhere I turn I see a face, hear a voice, have an experience," says Van Sloten, "a knowing of God in the strangest places. It’s a huge idea. I’ve begun to articulate that idea, and it’s a good life trying to articulate it."


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Culture & Science • Music

August 20th, 2010
10:19 AM ET

Dear Mr. President

Editor's Note: CNN Correspondent Tom Foreman has posted an open letter to President Obama about his faith. Foreman has been writing open letters to the President for over two years now. You can see the entire collection over at the AC360 Blog.

Dear Mr. President,

As much as Americans like to talk about separation of church and state, it seems to me that it can be very hard being president if voters don’t think you are Christian. I suppose that is patently unfair, but that pretty much seems to be the case. And as I’m sure you know, a new survey from the Pew folks says you have a problem on that front. To wit: A startling number of Americans either think you are a Muslim, or don’t think you are a Christian, or aren’t sure what you are.

Read the full letter.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Barack Obama • Belief • Christianity • Islam • Leaders • Politics

August 20th, 2010
10:00 AM ET

Christian band The Museum explains how it got its name–and vision

The Museum is bassist Chris Brink, lead singer Ben Richter, guitarist Geoff Ashcraft and drummer Josh Kirk

The question always comes, says singer Ben Richter: How did the band decide to call itself The Museum?

The Christian rock quartet, based in the Decatur, Georgia, is new to the commercial music scene; its first CD to be released under a record label, "Let Love Win," has been out for just a few weeks.

"I don't think we really planned on that being a band name," Richter said by phone as the band rode its bus from Jackson, Mississippi to San Antonio, Texas. "We kind of dreaded having that conversation, to pick a name."


- Producer/Writer

Filed under: Christianity • Music

August 20th, 2010
09:00 AM ET

To Kill a Mockingbird as book of Christian parables

“In the name of God, do your duty!”

If you’ve ever watched Gregory Peck deliver those closing lines to a jury in the 1962 film, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” you’ll appreciate the powerful story behind his rousing challenge.

But will you appreciate the Christian parables spread throughout "To Kill a Mockingbird?" One high school English teacher is betting you will.


- CNN Writer

Filed under: Black issues • Books • Church • Culture & Science • Race • Uncategorized

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.