August 29th, 2011
10:19 PM ET

NY Times editor's column on candidates' religious faith sparks online firestorm

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

A New York Times column by outgoing Executive Editor Bill Keller has unleashed a hailstorm of online criticism among religious bloggers and conservative activists. The fact that the column compares religious believers to folks who think that space aliens are residing on Earth is just the beginning.

Keller’s column,  “Asking Candidates Tougher Questions About Faith,” argues that the crop of candidates competing for the White House next year should be grilled on their religious beliefs and on how those beliefs inform their political views.

That’s especially true, Keller reasons, because many of this year’s GOP contenders hail from “churches that are mysterious or suspect to many Americans.”


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Politics

August 29th, 2011
03:33 PM ET

Polygamist leader Jeffs hospitalized in Texas

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - Polygamist leader Warren Jeffs was in critical condition in a Texas hospital Monday after falling ill during a fast, a state prison official and his attorney said.

The leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a breakaway Mormon sect, was sentenced early this month to life in prison plus 20 years for sexual assault. Jason Clark, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, said Jeffs was sent to a hospital in Tyler on Sunday night and was in critical but stable condition Monday.

"He was not eating or drinking enough fluids and also has some other medical conditions," Clark told CNN. He would not elaborate, citing inmate privacy rules.

Read the full story on Warren Jeffs' hospitalization

A Muslim family's 9/11 loss
August 29th, 2011
02:07 PM ET

For Muslim family, faith complicates grief for loved one lost on 9/11

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Edmond, Oklahoma (CNN) - His smiling image has been cut out of a snapshot and carefully added to a photo of his father, so it looks as if he is standing beside the man. It smacks of a bad Photoshop job, but it gives the two a shared moment, even though they never met.

The boy's sister, Fahina, is 15 and clings to scant memories and aging photographs. But Farqad, almost 10, has nothing.

She remembers sitting beside their father on amusement park rides, his words - "Look at my daughter; she's so brave" - soothing her nerves; she still thinks of him whenever she's on a rollercoaster.

She leaned on his legs when he watched basketball on TV and imagined him cheering her on when she played the sport after he was gone. She recalls being driven to see Harvard University, before she even started elementary school, and dreams of attending an Ivy League school to make him proud.

Read the full story about a Muslim family's grief 10 years after 9/11
- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: 9/11 • Islam • Oklahoma

August 29th, 2011
01:59 PM ET

Texas pastor opens drive-in church

A pastor outside Dallas has launched a drive-in church that operates along the same lines as a drive-in movie theater: Congregants stay in their vehicles and tune in to the sermon on their car radios.

Sanctuary Under the Sky, which meets in a high school parking lot in Lucas, Texas, is the third outdoor church launched by Pastor David Ray, according to CNN Dallas/Fort Worth affiliate WFAA.


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Church • Pastors • Texas • Uncategorized

August 29th, 2011
01:02 PM ET

August 29th, 2011
10:16 AM ET

Despite daily Ramadan fast, Muslim NFLer trains for the season

By Chris Welch, CNN

Eden Prairie, Minnesota (CNN) - Watching Minnesota Vikings starting safety Husain Abdullah on the sun-drenched field during practice on a recent afternoon, you’d never guess he hasn’t had any food or drink since sunrise.

Abdullah is an observant Muslim, which during Ramadan - the Islamic holy month that ends Monday night - means no eating or drinking from sunup to sundown, not even water.

“My religion is very important to me," Abdullah said after practice. "I mean, it’s the basis of my life.”


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Islam • Ramadan • Sports • Uncategorized

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.