August 3rd, 2011
07:50 PM ET

Air Force: Bible and nukes don't mix

By, Barbara Starr and Jennifer Rizzo, CNN

Washington (CNN)–The Air Force has suspended an ethics briefing for new missile launch officers after concerns were raised about the briefing's heavy focus on religion.

The briefing, taught for nearly 20 years by military chaplains at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, is intended to train Air Force personnel to consider the ethics and morality of launching nuclear weapons - the ultimate doomsday machine.

Many of the slides in the 43 page presentation use a Christian justification for war, displaying pictures of saints like Saint Augustine and using biblical references.

"Abraham organized an Army to rescue Lot," one slide read, referring to the story of the Hebrew patriarch and his nephew found in the book of Genesis.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church and state • Military • United States

Prosecution rests in polygamist sect leader trial
August 3rd, 2011
07:32 PM ET

Prosecution rests in polygamist sect leader trial

By the CNN Wire Staff

San Angelo, Texas (CNN) - Texas prosecutors rested their case Wednesday in the sexual assault trial of polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs after playing a key piece of evidence for jurors: an audiotape they allege documents his sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl.

One juror wiped her eyes as she listened to the recording. Another looked at Jeffs out of the corner of her eye. Still another had a hand covering her mouth.

The tape contained praying at the beginning and end, and in it a man alleged by prosecutors to be Jeffs addresses the alleged victim by name. At one point, the man asked her how she feels, and a girl replies in a small voice, "I feel fine, thank you." At another point, the man appears to address other people who are present.

"It was very hard to listen to," CNN's Gary Tuchman said of the recording. Authorities seized it from the car Jeffs was traveling in when he was arrested in 2006.

Read the full story here on the latested in the Jeffs trial

August 3rd, 2011
05:48 PM ET

The feminine face of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood

By Shahira Amin, for CNN

Editor's note: Shahira Amin was deputy head of Egyptian state-run Nile TV - and one of its senior anchors. After 22 years with the network, angered by its censorship of the Egyptian revolution, she quit on February 3 2011.

Cairo, Egypt (CNN) - When Iman Abdella steps out of a black-and-white Cairo taxi in Haggana, residents of the impoverished quarter rush to greet her with jubilant cries and trilling zaghareet.

"Alf marhaba (welcome a thousand times)," cries Soad Bekheit, a shabbily dressed mother of four, opening her arms to embrace the familiar visitor. "It's as if the Prophet himself has visited us today."

For the families in this desolate ghetto, one of Cairo's poorest, a visit from this chubby woman in a traditional Islamic head scarf means they will not have to go to sleep on an empty stomach - at least, not tonight.

Abdella is on one of her charity missions - part of her work as a devoted member of the Muslim Sisterhood, the female division of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's oldest and largest opposition group.

Read the full story here
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Egypt • Muslim

Big 'response' for Rick Perry?
August 3rd, 2011
02:10 PM ET

Big 'response' for Rick Perry?

By Jim Acosta, CNN

Washington (CNN) – It's likely not the response Rick Perry was expecting.

Earlier this year, the Texas Governor called on Christians across the U.S. to come to Houston for a prayer event aimed at bringing God's help to a "nation in crisis."

Organizers of the religious gathering, dubbed "The Response," say only 8,000 people have registered on-line to attend this Saturday's event at Houston's Reliant Stadium, a venue with a seating capacity of 71,000.

Eric Bearse, a "Response" spokesman and former speech-writer for the potential GOP presidential candidate, says attendance numbers are a non-issue.

"Not concerned whatsoever. We think it will be a powerful event whether it is 8,000 or 50,000. The only people concerned about numbers are press," Bearse said.

Read the full story here from CNN.com/politics
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Church and state • Politics

August 3rd, 2011
10:38 AM ET

Despite objections, jury hears tapes in polygamist sect leader's trial

By the CNN Wire Staff

San Angelo, Texas (CNN) - The state of Texas is expected to rest its case Wednesday in the sexual assault trial of polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs.

On Tuesday night, the jury heard audio recordings that, prosecutors said, show Jeffs instructing a 14-year-old victim and his other young "wives" on how to sexually please him in order to win God's favor.

Jeffs - who is representing himself - repeatedly and loudly objected to the playing of the recordings on religious grounds. Each time, Judge Barbara Walther overruled him.

There can be "no claim of privilege, regardless of the religion, with respect to communications directly relevant to sexual assault of a child," prosecutor Eric Nichols said when the judge invited him to respond to Jeffs' outbursts.

Read the full story here on the latested in the Jeffs trial

August 3rd, 2011
08:00 AM ET

My Take: How I turned 'misery to ministry'

By Jacquie Hood Martin, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Jacquie Hood Martin is Chief Spiritual Officer for Jacquie Hood Ministries and author of “Fulfilled, The Art and Joy of Balanced Living.” She is married to CNN contributor Roland Martin. The CNN Red Chair Interview weekly franchise strives to look at people’s past to see what made them who they are today. We also want to know their biggest pivotal and “aha” moments in their lives.

(CNN) – It’s true what they say, that hindsight is 20-20. Looking back provides me with the clarity and ability to address the many things that have happened in my life.

Many people will say there are no bad experiences, that it’s our perspective on the things that happen in our lives that cause us to label them good or bad. I believe that is an improper analysis.

I have been able to find the silver lining in all the things that have happened to me, but only because the love I know the Lord has for me lets me be in God’s grace and keeps me well adjusted.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Faith • God • Sex abuse

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.

August 2011