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October 26th, 2011
01:32 PM ET

Punishing kids in the name of religion

Gary Tuchman investigates adults who say they're following the word of God when beating children, sometimes to death.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: TV-Anderson Cooper 360 • Violence

October 26th, 2011
01:22 PM ET

Yemeni women burn veils to protest regime

From Mohammed Jamjoom and Hakim Almasmari, CNN

Sanaa, Yemen (CNN) - Yemeni women defiantly burned their traditional veils Wednesday in protest of President Ali Abdullah Saleh's brutal crackdown on anti-government demonstrations.

Thousands of women gathered in the capital, Sanaa, said witnesses. They carried banners that read: "Saleh the butcher is killing women and is proud of it" and "Women have no value in the eyes in Ali Saleh."

They collected their veils and scarves in a huge pile and set it ablaze - an act that is highly symbolic in the conservative Islamic nation, where women use their veils to cover their faces and bodies. It's the first time in the nine months of Yemen's uprising that such an event has occurred.

Read the full story on Yemenis burning their veils
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Islam • Yemen

Short Takes: Are we turning Steve Jobs into a saint?
Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs, who died this month, was published this week.
October 26th, 2011
06:00 AM ET

Short Takes: Are we turning Steve Jobs into a saint?

CNN asked four experts on religion and technology to weigh in on whether former Apple chief Steve Jobs is achieving a kind of secular sainthood. Here are their responses:

Steve Jobs for Sainthood? Absolutely.

Gary M. Laderman is chairman of Emory University’s religion department, director of the online magazine Religion Dispatches and author of "Sacred Matters."

The face. The face is everywhere now.

Steve Jobs the man is dead. But Steve Jobs the myth is only growing in stature and will only continue to grow as a cultural point of reference as an inspiring model for aspiring entrepreneurs, as a compelling success story with perplexing moral commitments and as an appealing icon whose life, death and products will, for many, cross over the line from profane to sacred.

In a USA Today review of Walter Isaacson’s new book, "Steve Jobs," the author rightly suggests that no Silicon Valley figure has attained the “mythical status” of Jobs and notes his “almost messianic zeal” for work.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Technology

October 25th, 2011
10:10 PM ET

Survey: U.S. Catholics going to church less frequently

By Dan Merica, CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new survey paints a picture of a less-strict American Catholic community, with 86% of respondents stating they believe a Catholic "can disagree with aspects of church teachings and still remain loyal to the church."

Among the most devout, older Catholics, Mass attendance has fallen from 64% in 1999 to just over 50% in 2011, according to a new survey of American Catholics.

And as those older Catholics die, they are replaced by a millennial generation that questions some of the church's social beliefs and attend church less often than older worshipers.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Church

My Take: Why Christians are embracing their LGBT neighbors
Some Christian denominations have officially welcomed gays and lesbians in recent years.
October 25th, 2011
12:09 PM ET

My Take: Why Christians are embracing their LGBT neighbors

Editor’s note: Ross Murray is director of religion, faith and values at GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

By Ross Murray, Special to CNN

America is embracing its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens. Don’t believe me? Just look at the progress being made in faith communities.

The Christian church was once considered the final holdout for those who oppose equality for LGBT people. Staunch believers could gather in worship with people who thought just like them to hear sermons affirming the anti-LGBT beliefs they held in common.

For those of us who identify as LGBT, church was a place of fear and secrets. We had to figure out how to hide ourselves or how to find a more welcoming community.

But that is changing.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Homosexuality • Opinion • Same-sex marriage

Jewish chaplains honored at Arlington National Cemetery
Veterans visit the new Jewish Chaplains Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.
October 24th, 2011
06:20 PM ET

Jewish chaplains honored at Arlington National Cemetery

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) - Standing atop the USAT Dorchester after it had been hit with a German torpedo, four "immortal chaplains" handed out life jackets as the ship sank into the dark Atlantic Ocean on February 3, 1943.

After giving their own life jackets to soldiers, the four chaplains linked arms and began to pray. The men stood together as the lifeboats drifted away; they were last seen singing as the ship began to slip into the horizon.

Three of those chaplains - the Rev. George L. Fox, the Rev. Clark V. Poling, both Protestants, and the Rev. John P. Washington, a Catholic - were memorialized on both their faiths' plaques and the World War II plaque atop Chaplains Hill in Washington's Arlington National Cemetery.

Though the fourth chaplain, Rabbi Alexander D. Goode, was memorialized on the hill's World War II memorial, there was no memorial to Goode's faith, Judaism.

On Monday, Goode and 13 other Jewish chaplains joined their interfaith brethren atop the hill at the unveiling and dedication of the Jewish Chaplains Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: DC • Death • Judaism

Vatican calls for new global financial authority amid economic crisis
The new Vatican document cites Pope Benedict XVI's calls for putting ethical concerns over economic ones.
October 24th, 2011
01:35 PM ET

Vatican calls for new global financial authority amid economic crisis

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - Against the backdrop of the European debt crisis and the birth of the Occupy Wall Street movement, the Vatican on Monday called for a new “global public authority” to help reform the world’s finance and economic systems.

New ideologies are “reducing the common good to economic, financial and technical questions, (placing) the future of democratic institutions themselves at risk," said Roman Catholic Bishop Mario Toso at a Monday press conference.

The document, called "Towards reforming the international financial and monetary systems in the context of a global public authority" quotes former Pope John Paul II in bemoaning the “idolatry of the market.”

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

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

October 22nd, 2011
11:27 AM ET

Worker says prayer break got her fired

(CNN)–A Muslim former Hertz employee says she was fired because she didn't clock out for her prayer breaks. CNN affiliate KOMO reports.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Islam

Occupy London protests require St. Paul’s Cathedral to close
Protesters set up in front of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, forcing the famed church to close until further notice.
October 21st, 2011
06:32 PM ET

Occupy London protests require St. Paul’s Cathedral to close

By Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN) - Citing “practical and safety issues,” the dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London announced Friday that the historic cathedral will be closed “until further notice” because of the growing number of Occupy London protesters camping in the shadows of its dome.

Though the Right Rev. Graeme Knowles said he was delighted that the London protests have been peaceful, he indicated in a news release that closing the church was his only “lawful” option.

“The Health, Safety and Fire officers have pointed out that access to and from the Cathedral is seriously limited,” he said. “With so many stoves and fires and lots of different types of fuel around, there is a clear fire hazard.”

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Church • Europe • United Kingdom

October 21st, 2011
03:32 PM ET

Basketball innovators go from hardwood to the big screen

By Sarah Hoye, CNN

Philadelphia (CNN) - The sound of high heels clicking against the marble floor and the din of ice cubes in cocktail glasses fills the main lobby of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts on a recent Friday night.

Theresa Shank Grentz barely steps through the glass doors when the crowd, dressed in ball gowns and tuxedos, erupts in cheers.

Standing nearly 6 feet tall, Grentz, one of the winningest coaches in women's Division 1 basketball, is given a hero’s welcome.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bishops • Catholic Church • Christianity • Movies • Pennsylvania • Sports

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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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