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August 30th, 2010
01:20 PM ET

Ramadan road trip: Not all Kumbaya

Two young Muslim Americans are taking a cross-country spiritual journey at a fascinating time in the nation’s history.

Just this weekend, conservative commentator Glenn Beck stood before a crowd of hundreds of thousands in the nation's capital and proclaimed that "America today begins to turn back to God."

Hours earlier, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, four construction vehicles used for the groundbreaking of an Islamic mosque were vandalized and damaged in a fire suspected to be arson. The mosque has faced stiff local resistance.

Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq are on Day 19 of their cross-country trip to 30 mosques in 30 states during the holy month of Ramadan. Beginning in New York, they traveled down the East Coast to the South and then onward West, covering thousands of miles and meeting Muslims of all walks of life.
FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Culture wars • Faith • Holidays • Islam • Journeys • Mosque • Ramadan • Traditions • United States

August 30th, 2010
12:12 PM ET

Strippers vs. church

Editor's note: We'll let this post just speak for itself.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church and state

August 30th, 2010
11:59 AM ET

Faces of Faith: Christian radio show too racy?

Editor's note: In this week's Faces of Faith, CNN's TJ Holmes reports on a Christian radio show some say is too racy. Remember you can catch Faces of Faith every Sunday on CNN.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Culture & Science

August 30th, 2010
10:58 AM ET

Catholic Church defends male-only priesthood

Barring women from being Catholic priests is not the result of sexism 2,000 years ago, it's because women cannot fulfill a basic function of the priesthood, "standing in the place of Jesus," a leading British Catholic thinker argued Monday.

"This teaching is not at all a judgment on women's abilities or rights. It says something about the specific role of the priest in Catholic understanding - which is to represent Jesus, to stand in his place," argued Father Stephen Wang in a statement sent out by the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales.

It's rare for the Catholic Church to defend its fundamental positions in this way.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Anglican • Catholic Church • Leaders • Pope Benedict XVI • United Kingdom

August 30th, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Jeremy Camp: I was overcome recording new album

Christian rocker Jeremy Camp

While recording the bridge of the song "Overcome" on his new album, Christian music singer Jeremy Camp says he was literally overcome.  

He had to stop when he got to these words:  

We will overcome
By the blood of the Lamb
And the word of our testimony
Everyone overcome
  

Camp said he was overcome by what he said was God's presence in the studio. In the booth, he could see his producer and his father with hands raised.  

FULL POST

- Producer/Writer

Filed under: Christianity • Culture & Science • Music

August 30th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

My Take: Beck’s rally was about restoring virtue and God's place

Editor's Note: Jim Garlow, Senior Pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, California, is a radio commentator and author of Heaven and the Afterlife: What Happens When You Die?

By Jim Garlow, Special to CNN

What was the theme of Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor rally? As someone who attended the combined six hours of the Friday and Saturday events, the themes were obvious.

For starters, a call to decency reigned. Not some bland, gray, boring form of mundane living, but rather the centuries-old respectable virtues that gave us the America we now enjoy.

Sometime around 1960, morals jumped off the bridge without first attaching the bungee cord. The result is a nation with everything from devastated families, drug- and crime-infested communities to a hedonistically driven national debt.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Opinion • Politics

August 30th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

My take: Losing my faith after Hurricane Katrina

Editor's Note: Kathleen Koch is a Washington-based freelance journalist, author and speaker. Her new book, “Rising from Katrina,” traces her Mississippi hometown’s recovery from Hurricane Katrina and her experiences covering it. For 18 years, she was a CNN correspondent.

By Kathleen Koch, Special to CNN

Five years ago, when Hurricane Katrina was bearing down on New Orleans, I prayed. I prayed that the monster storm would veer east and spare the 1.3 million residents of the city and its surrounding parishes. I knew I was praying the hurricane right into my hometown, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

Katrina’s eye roared onshore at the state line and then churned east over Mississippi. The sustained 125-mph winds and 30-plus-foot storm surge shredded the house where I’d grown up, my neighborhood, the town and most of the eighty-mile-long Mississippi Gulf Coast.
FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Faith • Louisiana • Opinion • United States

August 29th, 2010
08:06 PM ET

Feds investigate fire at site of future Tennessee mosque

A fire at the future site of a mosque in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, is under investigation but "you can reasonably make the assumption" that it was arson, an FBI spokesman told CNN Sunday.

"The evidence is being analyzed to see what the origin of the fire was," Keith Moses, an assistant special agent with the FBI in Nashville, told CNN Sunday. "We have to follow the facts."

The fire, which struck early Saturday morning at the future site of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, is under investigation by the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Houses of worship • Mosque • Tennessee • United States

August 29th, 2010
03:24 PM ET

Cabbie stabbed after Muslim question out of work, worried

New York cab driver Ahmed Sharif cannot bring himself to talk about the young man who allegedly cut his throat and nearly killed him last week, a taxi union representative said Sunday.

"Ahmed is a strong man, but mentally he has limits," said Bhairavi Desai of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance. "The trauma he's experienced will last for a long time."

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Islam • Muslim • New York • United States • Violence

August 29th, 2010
03:15 PM ET

Pope prays for trapped Chilean miners

From CNN's story today on the 33 Chilean miners who've been trapped underground for more than three weeks:

Pope Benedict XVI said in his weekly message from Castel Gandolfo, his summer residence, on Sunday that he was praying for the miners and their relatives.

"I entrust them and their families to Saint Lorenzo," the pope said in Spanish. "I'll continue to pray for them so they can remain calm as they wait for a happy resolution to the ongoing rescue efforts."

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Chile • Pope Benedict XVI • Prayer • South America

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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.

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