January 11th, 2011
05:53 PM ET

Leading evangelical halts effort to increase political civility

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

At a moment when many Americans are decrying the overheated tone of American politics, an influential evangelical voice said Tuesday he is folding a project he helped found to increase political civility.

Mark DeMoss said he is halting the initiative, called the Civility Project, due to lack of interest.

“After only three members of Congress agreed to sign this Civility Pledge last year I’ve decided to shut it down,” DeMoss told CNN by e-mail on Tuesday. He runs a public relations firm that represents Franklin Graham, Campus Crusade for Christ International and other major Christian figures and groups.


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Politics

January 11th, 2011
12:54 PM ET

Mourners to hold 'community healing' Mass after Arizona shooting

Mourners will gather at a memorial Mass Tuesday for victims of the weekend shooting outside an Arizona supermarket that killed 6 people and wounded 14 others.

The Mass will be held at 7 p.m. (9 p.m. ET) at St. Odiilia Church in Tucson, Arizona - where 9-year-old shooting victim Christina Green had her First Communion a year ago.

"Right now it is important as a community to pull together and to reach out in care and concern to all who have been affected by this tragedy," Bishop Gerald Kicanas wrote Monday in a letter to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson.

The alleged shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, 22, appeared in a Phoenix courtroom Monday to formally hear the charges against him - including two counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of attempting to kill a member of Congress.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Mass

College kids feeling passion for conference
January 11th, 2011
12:00 PM ET

College kids feeling passion for conference

By Steve Almasy, CNN

The Passion conference is more than just a huge gathering of college-age kids, organizers say.  the recent Atlanta conference was a call for the next generation to make Jesus a focal point in their lives and to share that passion with others, they said.

"Church was never meant to be an island of self-indulgence, but a missional community of Jesus-followers so in love with Him that they can do nothing else but carry His name to the world," pastor Louie Giglio said in an e-mail this week.

The event drew more than 22,000 students to the Georgia capital's convention center and to Philips Arena. It was even more successful than Giglio had hoped for.


- Producer/Writer

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Music

January 11th, 2011
10:18 AM ET

Arizona lawmakers plan to block protesters within 300 feet of funerals

The Arizona State Legislature is expected to pass legislation Tuesday that will bar protesters at funerals from getting within 300 feet of services, a spokesman for the state Senate said.

The action, according to Senate spokesman Daniel Scarpinato, is in direct response to a controversial church's announcement that it will picket the funeral of Christina Green, the 9-year-old who was one of six people killed Saturday during the attempted assassination of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, has made its name by staging protests at funerals of people who died of AIDS, gay people, soldiers and even Coretta Scott King.

Tucson just isn't that kind of town, says Christin Gilmer.

Read the full story here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • United States • Violence • Westboro Bapitst Church

January 11th, 2011
06:00 AM ET

My Take: 3 sermons you’ll hear about homeless radio phenom Ted Williams

Editor's Note: Jon Acuff is the founder of the blog, StuffChristiansLike.net.  He is the author of two books, "Stuff Christians Like" and "Gazelles, Baby Steps and 37 Other Things Dave Ramsey Taught Me About Debt."

By Jon Acuff, Special to CNN

A few things happened last Sunday if you went to a Protestant church.

You tried to beat the person next to you in a race when the pastor said, “Please open your Bibles and turn to …”

The guy who led worship had on a v-neck T-shirt and possibly an unnecessary scarf.

You heard a sermon about Ted Williams, the “Homeless Man with Golden Pipes.”

If that last one didn’t happen, it’s going to. Trust me.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Opinion • Protestant • 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.