August 24th, 2010
09:33 PM ET

Muslim tweet meant sarcastically, RNC says

The Republican National Committee distanced itself Tuesday from a tweet issued by the committee's new media director, Todd Herman, which questioned whether President Obama himself is part of the 20 percent of the country that believes he is a Muslim.

"Watch – Is @BarackObama amongst the 20% who think he's Muslim?" Herman tweeted on Friday. The message included a link to an interview taped during the 2008 campaign in which Obama stumbled while explaining his religious views.

First reported Tuesday by Politico, the tweet prompted the RNC to make clear that President Obama's Christian faith is "crystal clear" and that the tweet was sarcastic in nature.

Read the full story on CNN's Political Ticker

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Islam • Leaders • Muslim • Politics

August 24th, 2010
09:22 PM ET

Pastor says armed militia to protect church during Quran-burning event

An armed Christian organization, Right Wing Extreme, will protect a church that is planning to host an "International Burn a Quran Day" on the ninth anniversary of September 11, the church's pastor said on Tuesday.

The Dove World Outreach Center, in Gainesville, Florida, says it is hosting the event to remember 9/11 victims and to take a stand against Islam. With promotions on its website and Facebook page, the nondenominational church invites Christians to burn the Muslim holy book.

Dove's Facebook page, set up for the September event, has nearly 6,000 fans. The initiative has also drawn critics.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

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

August 24th, 2010
02:35 PM ET

August 24th, 2010
12:51 PM ET

Attention pilgrims: Leave your vuvuzelas at home

In anticipation of the pope's visit to the United Kingdom next month, the official papal visit site has a helpful list of what pilgrims coming to the Mass and other events can and cannot bring.

On the do not bring list (among other things) are "alcohol, gazebos and musical instruments." See the full list.

The Australian newspaper The Daily Telegraph checked with the papal press office and found that the ban on musical instruments includes vuvuzelas. Their headline: "Pope bans vuvuzelas on British tour."

That's right pilgrims, if you bought a vuvuzela after the World Cup in South Africa leave it at home.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Culture & Science • Europe • Pope Benedict XVI • United Kingdom

August 24th, 2010
12:03 PM ET

Judge stops federal funding of embryonic stem cell research

Last year, the Obama administration issued guidelines to allow federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

Washington (CNN) - A U.S. district judge granted a preliminary injunction Monday to stop federal funding of embryonic stem cell research that he said destroys embryos, ruling it went against the will of Congress.

The ruling by Judge Royce C. Lamberth was a blow to the Obama administration, which last year issued guidelines to allow federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

Lamberth's ruling said all embryonic stem cell research involves destroying embryos, which violates the Dickey-Wicker Amendment included in federal spending bills.

Read the full article here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Barack Obama • Catholic Church • Church • Culture & Science • Politics

August 24th, 2010
11:41 AM ET

Why a wooden cross divides Poland

Editor's note: David Frum writes a weekly column for CNN.com. A special assistant to President George W. Bush in 2001-02, he is the author of six books, including "Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again," and is the editor of FrumForum.

By David Frum, CNN Contributor

Warsaw, Poland (CNN) - I stopped on a recent night in front of the palace of the Polish president. I had no choice: The crowd stood so thick that I could not move. We were hemmed between the buildings on one side of the sidewalk and a police barrier on the other. The wide pavement between was obstructed by gawkers watching a strange performance: a weird seemingly incomprehensible little passion play of stereotyped figures.

What the hell is this? I asked an onlooker wedged against me. I kept asking. He answered, but in Polish, leaving me no wiser.

I had stumbled across the summer's big political conflict in Poland: the site of a wooden cross placed to commemorate the accidental death of Lech Kaczynski, the former president of Poland killed in an air crash near Smolensk in April.

Read the full article here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Church and state • Culture wars • Europe

August 24th, 2010
11:28 AM ET

Court rules World Vision can require employees to be Christians

File photo: World Vision

Editor's Note: CNN's Stan Case files this report on 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling with far reaching implications for religious charities.

The humanitarian organization World Vision can require its employees to be Christians, a federal appeals court ruled Monday. In upholding a lower-court ruling, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that World Vision is exempt from a provision in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act barring religious discrimination.

Three former World Vision employees brought suit after they were terminated when the organization discovered they had disavowed the Christian doctrine of the Holy Trinity. At the time they were hired, Silvia Spencer, Ted Youngberg and Vicki Hulse submitted personal statements describing their "relationship with Jesus Christ."


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Courts • United States

August 24th, 2010
10:35 AM ET

Opinion: Islam is a religion, not a terror ideology

Editor's note: Jocelyne Cesari is director of the Islam in the West Program at Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University.

By Jocelyne Cesari, Special to CNN

Opponents of an Islamic community center and mosque planned to be built near ground zero say it would desecrate hallowed ground. But suspicion has greeted proposed mosque projects in places less hallowed than ground zero - in Murfreesboro, Tennessee; Sheboygan, Wisconsin; Temecula, California; and elsewhere.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Islam • Opinion

August 24th, 2010
08:00 AM ET

Religious fashion

Here's a great look inside Fashion Week in Jakarta, Indonesia. Designers face some unique challenges when trying to create cutting edge fashion for Muslim women who want to look great and still adhere to the dress code standards of Islam.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Culture & Science • Islam • Muslim • Women

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.