By Dan Merica, CNN
Here's the Belief Blog’s morning rundown of the top faith-angle stories from around the United States and around the world. Click the headlines for the full stories.
From the Blog:
CNN: ‘Plan B’ decision puts pro-life groups, bloggers in an unfamiliar position
The decision by Kathleen Sebelius to keep age restrictions on the purchase of the “morning after pill” puts some conservative religious groups in an unfamiliar position – endorsing a move by Obama administration.
The event featured more than 500 guests, according to the White House
CNN: Obama hosts an early Hannukah reception
President Barack Obama on Thursday celebrated the Jewish holiday of Hannukah a bit early, holding a White House reception more than a week before the eight-day festival begins.
CNN: Black, atheist and living in the South
Benjamin Burchall first realized how different his experience in the South was going to be while looking for something to watch on television on a Sunday night.
CNN: The Mormon group – whether they like it or not
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints oversees BYU, and the members of the singing team Vocal Point, whether they liked it or not, were going to be representing the church on primetime television. And with a recent Pew Research poll finding that nearly 25 percent of people have negative views of the Mormon Church, Vocal Point would be representing a misunderstood and at times maligned religion.
Tweet of the Day:
From @KarenBonner1: Happy #Bodhi Day! The Buddha achieved enlightenment today. A good time to remember to be mindful & compassionate.
What is Bodhi Day? The Huffington Post has a good explainer on the Buddhist holiday.
Religion News Service: Hanukkah Music: Young Hip Jews Leading A Makeover
What last year seemed like a happy coincidence has become a hip new Hanukkah tradition: groups of harmonizing young Jews releasing seriously Jewish, yet seriously danceable, songs for the Festival of Lights.
Egypt held a much anticipated election last week.
Sojourners: Egypt’s Bumpy Road to Democracy
Initial results from Egypt’s first round of elections produced an unexpectedly large showing for Islamists. The Freedom and Justice Party of the Muslim Brotherhood gained approximately 37 percent of the seats selected from political party lists, in line with predictions.
The Christian Post: Family Groups Challenge Gay History Law in Calif.
A coalition of pro-family groups in California launched another effort Tuesday to overturn the state's landmark law that requires gay history to be taught in public schools.
Baptist Press: Nativity’s potential removal sparks outcry
For the sake of his three young sons and the daughter he and his wife will soon adopt from Africa, Pastor Nathan Lorick says he has drawn a line in the dirt of his East Texas community in defiance of an atheist group's demand that a nativity scene be removed from the lawn of the Henderson County Courthouse.
Huffington Post: Rick Perry’s Anti-Gay Iowa Ad Divides His Top Staff
Texas Gov. Rick Perry's newest television ad criticizing the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell was created over the objections of at least one top staff member, sources in the Perry campaign tell The Huffington Post.
Quote of the Day:
The only danger the church can and should fear is the sin of her members.
Pope Benedict XVI told worshipers this during the fest of the Immaculate Conception Thursday. Though the pope acknowledged the churches history of persecution, he went on to say that the church “is supported by the light and strength of God" and will always end up victorious.
The Guardian: Tibet’s old way of life is slowly dying. Not even self-immolation will change that.
Tibet's desperate protests cause embarrassment rather than anxiety in China. Britain too is looking the other way, write Panjak Mishra of the Guardian.
Join the conversation…
Some atheist scientists wanted to expose their children to religion.
CNN: Study: Some atheists with children attend religious services
Nearly one in five atheist scientists with children involve their families with religious institutions, even if they personally do not agree with the institutions teachings, a recent study says.