November 1st, 2010
06:22 PM ET

My take: Which religious voters will show up on Tuesday?

Editor's Note: Anthea Butler is Associate Professor of Religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania and is an expert on Black churches, evangelicalism and the religious right.

By Anthea Butler, Special to CNN

The focus throughout the mid-term campaign has been on the Tea Partiers and predominately white religious communities supporting Republican or Tea Party Candidates. What about other religious communities of African Americans and Latino’s? These constituencies, facing immigration issues, foreclosures, and high unemployment levels, have social issues requiring urgent action.

For Latino and African American Voters of faith, the traditional appeal to values voting or litmus tests applied to candidates are not the sole means of vetting candidates.

Social concerns often drive voting from these religious communities.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Black issues • Christianity • Latino issues • Politics • Race • Tea Party

November 1st, 2010
06:21 PM ET

My Take: Custom versus costume

Editor's Note: Laura Silver is a freelance journalist and knish researcher. You can follow her on twitter @knishme.

By Laura Silver, Special to CNN.

“You’re cheese?”

“A smushed banana?”

“A bunch of mustard?”

The brunch crowd outside the Mile End Delicatessen in the Boerum Hill section of Brooklyn was getting warmer.

“I’m a vehicle for mustard…” I egged them on, revealing the white boa around my waist, “filled with fluffy mashed potatoes…”

A square of yellow foam enveloped my torso, shoulder to shoulder, neck to shins. I wore a golden, rumpled t-shirt on my head and sunglasses to shield my eyes.

“Something you can get at a Jewish deli…,” I hinted.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Food • Judaism • Kosher • New York • Opinion • United States

November 1st, 2010
05:54 PM ET

Would-be Christian foster parents sue, alleging discrimination

Editor's Note: CNN's Richard Allen Greene files this report from London.

Denied permission to foster children because their Christian beliefs won't let them say homosexuality is OK, a British couple took their local council to court Monday. It's a groundbreaking case, Britain's Equality and Human Rights Commission said.

"It's raised a really interesting question that needs to be addressed, and we are very keen to see what the court will decide in this case," the commission's Zena Ambrose said, adding that the case was "broad-ranging and sets a legal precedent."

"How do you balance between a person's right to practice their religion and the right to have a sexual orientation?" she asked. Eunice and Owen Johns are suing the Derby City Council to force a clarification in British law, their legal team said Monday.


- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Courts • Europe • United Kingdom

November 1st, 2010
10:21 AM ET

Third Day's "Move" hits No. 1

Third Day is drummer David Carr, guitarist Mark Lee, frontman Mac Powell and bassist Tai Anderson

Third Day is a rock band. They are from the South. But to label their new CD as a return to their Southern rocks roots isn't entirely accurate.

Make no mistake, if you grew up listening to the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd and .38 Special (as I did), some of the songs on "Move" definitely have a familiar feel, but others just "don't go that way," one of the band's members said.

"Going into it, it's kind of like, we're Third Day, and it's a Third Day record and when you hear a Third Day record you're going to get hints of Southern rock, you're going to get hints of rock, you're going to get maybe just a tinge of country," drummer David Carr said, "and a lot of other stuff in between. Hopefully that makes us a stand out in that regard."


- Producer/Writer

Filed under: Christianity • Culture & Science • Music

November 1st, 2010
10:14 AM ET

Prominent Jerusalem rabbi warns of religion's limits

[cnn-video url= http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2010/10/31/hartman.limits.cnn%5D

From CNN's Izzy Lemberg in Jerusalem:

I recently ran into David Hartman, a prominent philosopher and Orthodox rabbi, at a Jerusalem café and asked what he was working on. He said he's trying to understand if religion is in fact helpful to the human condition.

Hartman has long been a provocative figure. His Jerusalem-based Shalom Hartman Institute has engaged in such controversial work as the Orthodox ordination of women rabbis, a practice that most Orthodox Jews reject.


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Books • Israel • Judaism • Middle East

November 1st, 2010
09:55 AM ET

Death toll rises to 58 in Iraq church standoff

The death toll from a hostage standoff at a Catholic church in Baghdad has risen to 58, police officials with the Iraqi Interior Ministry said Monday.

Seventy-five others were wounded in the attack by armed gunmen Sunday, the officials said, adding that most of the casualties were women and children. Two priests were also among the dead, as well as 17 security officers and five of the gunmen.

The hours-long standoff ended Sunday after Iraqi security forces stormed the Sayidat al-Nejat church.

Eight suspects were arrested.

"All the marks point out that this incident carries the fingerprints of al Qaeda," Iraqi Defense Minister Abdul Qader Obeidi said on state television Sunday.

He said that most of the hostages were killed or wounded when the kidnappers set off explosives inside the church.

Read the full story here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Iraq • 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.