May 13th, 2011
04:31 PM ET
My take: Rethinking the pro-life label
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
The pro-life label isn’t just for abortion opponents anymore.
On Wednesday, 70 professors, priests and nuns at Catholic universities criticized House Speaker John Boehner for a legislative record on the poor that was, in their words “among the worst in Congress.” His “anti-life” budget, they wrote, ignores the “most ancient moral teachings” of the Catholic Church on the duty of the powerful to care for the powerless.
A similar scolding is now being meted out to Rep. Paul Ryan, who spearheaded that GOP budget. In a pro-life ad that will greet Ryan as he returns to Wisconsin this weekend for a congressional recess, Father Thomas Kelley of Elkhorn, Wisconsin, blasts Ryan for proposing a budget that “abandons pro-life values.”
May 13th, 2011
11:47 AM ET
Half of New Testament forged, Bible scholar says
By John Blake, CNN
(CNN) - A frail man sits in chains inside a dank, cold prison cell. He has escaped death before but now realizes that his execution is drawing near.
“I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come,” the man –the Apostle Paul - says in the Bible's 2 Timothy. “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.”
The passage is one of the most dramatic scenes in the New Testament. Paul, the most prolific New Testament author, is saying goodbye from a Roman prison cell before being beheaded. His goodbye veers from loneliness to defiance and, finally, to joy.
There’s one just one problem - Paul didn’t write those words. In fact, virtually half the New Testament was written by impostors taking on the names of apostles like Paul. At least according to Bart D. Ehrman, a renowned biblical scholar, who makes the charges in his new book “Forged.”
“There were a lot of people in the ancient world who thought that lying could serve a greater good,” says Ehrman, an expert on ancient biblical manuscripts. FULL POST
May 13th, 2011
10:29 AM ET
My Take: Why we fear Friday the 13th
Editor's Note: Stuart Vyse is professor of psychology at Connecticut College and the author of "Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition," which won the American Psychological Association's William James Book Award.
By Stuart Vyse, Special to CNN
Why do we fear today above all other Fridays? On any other Friday we hear the gleeful exclamation of “TGIF.” The work week is almost over and playtime is about to begin.
But when Friday the 13th arrives, many of us respond quite differently. Travel arrangements are canceled and doctor appointments are rescheduled. Risky endeavors of all kinds are put off in an effort to avoid tempting fate. Modern Homo sapiens are remarkably sophisticated creatures, capable of writing symphonies, solving the Poincare Conjecture, and inventing Nutella, yet we carry around a number of fears that seem to be more characteristic of our ancient past.
Why? And why do we fear Friday the 13th in particular? There are several reasons.
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.