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May 23rd, 2011
05:04 PM ET

Preacher now says end of the world will happen in 5 months

By Kim Hutcherson and Dan Gilgoff, CNN

(CNN) - Harold Camping is sticking to his apocalyptic guns.

In his first radio broadcast since his doomsday prediction failed to pan out in a spectacularly public fashion, the California preacher insisted his was an error of interpretation, not fact.

What's more, he has another calculation for the day the world will end - October 21, 2011.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • End times

May 23rd, 2011
10:09 AM ET

My Take: This just in, Tennessee court says Islam is a religion

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

A few months ago I spoke at an interfaith forum at the University of North Alabama. One of the speakers on my panel was Ossama Bahloul, imam of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro.

Bahloul began his talk by observing that God must have a sense of humor to have given him a name as problematic as Ossama. But the heart of his talk concerned the compatibility of Islam with American values.

What surprised me about Bahloul, in both his public talk and our private conversations, was his deep and abiding faith in America. Signs at the construction site for his planned mosque had been vandalized twice and federal investigators had determined that a fire at the site was intentionally set. Efforts to build that mosque, appropriate for a growing congregation that had been active in the area for roughly two decades, were met not only with protests but also with a lawsuit.

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- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Church and state • Courts • Islam • Opinion • Tennessee • United States

Doomsdays throughout time
May 22nd, 2011
03:07 PM ET

Life goes on: Doomsday believers on the morning after

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

(CNN) – Theirs had been an unwavering belief, the sort that inspired some to quit jobs, leave their homes and walk away from family and friends to issue a doomsday warning.

Without question, they believed May 21 would be the day that Jesus Christ would return and rapture them - and a select 2 to 3 percent of the world’s population - up to heaven.  Everyone left behind would be on a crash course to final destruction, scheduled for October 21.

But now it’s May 22.

The sun rose, birds are singing and life as we know it continues. Those anticipated earthquakes that the May 21 doomsdayers said would ravage the earth on Saturday at 6 p.m. in each of the world's time zones never came.

And the faithful believers - who said the Bible guaranteed this day - are still here, trying to make sense of it all.

FULL POST

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Culture wars • End times

My Faith: How I learned to stop 'praying away the gay'
Don Lemon with his grandmother on his third birthday.
May 22nd, 2011
01:00 AM ET

My Faith: How I learned to stop 'praying away the gay'

Editor's Note: Don Lemon is a CNN anchor and author of Transparent, a memoir .

By Don Lemon, CNN

"School day, time to get up, sleepy head. School day."

Although she's been gone since 1998, my grandmother's words ring in my head just about every morning of my life. That's how MaMe, as I called her, got me out of bed and off to my Catholic school when I was growing up and in her care.

But before I shuffled my way to the bathroom to begin my morning routine, I had to hit the floor on my knees to pray, just as I had the night before.

It was usually The Lord's Prayer ("Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name...") followed by asking God to watch and guide me through my day until I returned to the safety of my home that evening.

But MaMe (pronounced MAH-me) didn't know that at a very early age her favorite grandson had begun to pray, silently, that God would change him from being different, from having crushes on boys, from being more curious about boys than girls.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Opinion

May 21st, 2011
07:23 PM ET

It's NOT the end of the world as we know it

(CNN) - This just in: Doomsday is doomed. And the world is still here.

After months of warnings and fear, the Day of Rapture, as predicted by apocalyptic Christian broadcaster Harold Camping, passed without apparent calamity. Judgment Day was to have started at 6 p.m., but as darkness fell on many parts of the world, it appeared that heaven could wait.

At this writing, there have been no reports of people soaring upward to the skies, but plenty of folks are talking about it.

Jim Brenneman, a cartoonist and CNN iReporter in Marcellus, New York, said he expects to remain on Earth, but you never know.

"Although I assume that I've lived a sinful life and will probably be here on Sunday, there is a small chance that maybe I was better than I thought and might get sucked up into the heavens on Saturday with all the other self-righteous wing nuts," he said. "If that happens, feel free to have my stuff. But probably not! Let the Looting Begin! HAPPY APOCALYPSE EVERYONE!!"

Read the full story here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity

Pope speaks with crew on space station
Astronauts on the international space station gather for a conversation Saturday with Pope Benedict XVI.
May 21st, 2011
06:32 PM ET

Pope speaks with crew on space station

Pope Benedict XVI spoke Saturday with the astronauts aboard the international space station, specifically mentioning Cmdr. Mark Kelly's wife, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who is recuperating from recent surgery on her skull.

"I know that Mark and his wife were the victim of a serious attack, and I hope that her health continues to improve," the pope said.

Kelly thanked the pope for mentioning Giffords. The Arizona congresswoman was shot in the head in a January assassination attempt.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Faith & Health • Pope Benedict XVI

May 20th, 2011
07:32 PM ET

Avlon on the end of the world

A Christian radio group says the world will end on Saturday. CNN talks with John Avlon about the possibility. Avlon is a CNN contributor, senior political columnist for The Daily Beast and the author of "Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe Is Hijacking America."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: End times

Strauss-Kahn arrest rattles French, American Jewish communities
Dominique Strauss-Kahn addressing a conference on security and policy in Israel in 2010.
May 20th, 2011
06:31 PM ET

Strauss-Kahn arrest rattles French, American Jewish communities

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Until this week, Dominique Strauss-Kahn was an object of Jewish pride, a hugely successful leader of the International Monetary Fund and an outspoken supporter of Israel who was viewed as potential contender to become France’s first Jewish president.

Now, the arrest of the former IMF chief on sexual assault charges has rattled France’s Jewish community, raising concerns that the case could inflame anti-Semitism and inspiring similar handwringing among some American Jews.

“Today, it is an incredible waste. … For me personally it is an incredible loss,” Rabbi Michel Serfaty, president of the Jewish-Muslim Friendship of France, said. “We lost him to a human weakness.”

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: France • Judaism

Baldwin goes behind camera for faith-based video
Stephen Baldwin (left) partnered with singer Cory Lamb on the video "Break the Cycle"
May 20th, 2011
05:27 PM ET

Baldwin goes behind camera for faith-based video

By Steve Almasy, CNN

(CNN) - Singer Cory Lamb’s new single is called “Break the Cycle,” a song about going from the world where you exist for yourself to one where you live for God.

“It’s about being in the world, not of it,” Lamb said recently by phone from New York.

The message of the song resonates with Stephen Baldwin, the youngest of the acting Baldwin siblings and a devout Christian who has been known to share his story of redemption - and his own breaking of “the cycle.”

Baldwin, who says he was born again shortly after the attacks of 9/11, directed the video for Lamb’s debut song on his new CD, also entitled “Break the Cycle.” It’s the first time Baldwin has ever directed a music video. But he seemed unfazed by being behind the camera instead of being in his usual spot out front.

FULL POST

- Producer/Writer

Filed under: Culture & Science • Faith • Florida • Music • TV

It's the end of the world as we know it – so let's go dine
May 20th, 2011
04:25 PM ET

It's the end of the world as we know it – so let's go dine

If the doomsday sayers of the Family Radio ministry are to be believed, the people of Earth are set to to meet their end on May 21, 2011. Saying farewell to one's nearest and dearest and preparing a howdy-do to to one's eternal fate is pretty grim business; might as well face it on a full stomach.

If you knew the world's end was imminent, what would you want for your last meal?

Make your final menu selection and submit your vote at Eatocracy

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Death • End times • Food

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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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