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Florida Evangelicals a different breed of voter than brethren in Iowa, South Carolina
Evangelicals are expected to account for about 40% of the Republican vote on Tuesday's primary in Florida.
January 28th, 2012
02:00 AM ET

Florida Evangelicals a different breed of voter than brethren in Iowa, South Carolina

By John Sepulvado, CNN

(CNN) - Conservative Christian activist Ralph Reed has called the Bible Belt home for decades, but he grew up in Miami in the 1970s, when the city was emerging as a diverse megalopolis.

Among his middle school friends were Jews, Catholics and Methodists.

Then, at age 15, Reed's family relocated to the sleepy mountain town of Toccoa, Georgia, so his dad, a doctor, could take a better-paying job.

“It was very conservative,” says Reed, who now lives outside Atlanta. “At first – as would be true of any 15-year-old – I didn’t like it. I think it was a culture shock.”

Ultimately, the mostly evangelical residents of Toccoa shaped Reed’s faith, helping lead him to Jesus in his 20s. But in terms of his faith-based organizing, the well-known activist drew more on his experiences in hyper-diverse Miami.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Politics

American Jews confront internal rancor over Israel
Some see signs of growing strife within American Jewry over the issue of Israel.
January 27th, 2012
10:40 AM ET

American Jews confront internal rancor over Israel

By Joe Sterling, CNN

Atlanta (CNN) - When the editor of a Jewish newspaper here wrote this month that the Jewish state might consider assassinating an American president, his column made national headlines and provoked a Secret Service inquiry.

The most striking criticism came from the Jewish community itself, which collectively held its nose and harshly denounced the column by Andrew Adler, who is also the owner of the weekly paper, the Atlanta Jewish Times. Anti-Defamation League national director Abraham Foxman called Adler's words "irresponsible and extremist."

Adler apologized and resigned as editor, but some see the episode as the latest example of an increase in divisive, over-the-top rhetoric within American Jewish communal life, revolving largely around the hot-button issue of Israel and its policies toward the Palestinians.

The tensions have provoked Jewish groups across the country to launch programs aimed at lowering the political temperature in their own religious communities.

Israel is not "one of the great unifying factors" that it once was in the Jewish community, said Samuel Freedman, author of "Jew vs. Jew: the Struggle for the Soul of American Jewry.”

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Israel • Judaism

January 27th, 2012
04:29 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Friday, January 27

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: On call with conservatives, Romney speaks to Mormon beliefs
In a recent conference call with conservatives across the country, Mitt Romney expounded upon subjects he usually doesn’t talk much about: Jesus and eternity.

Alaska Airlines distributed prayer cards like these on flights for more than 30 years.

CNN: Alaska Airlines ends prayer cards on flights
Passengers on Alaska Airlines will no longer get a free Psalm with their meal. On Wednesday, the airline announced it is ending its more than 30-year tradition of including printed cards with short Bible verses during meal service.

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Uncategorized

On call with conservatives, Romney speaks to Mormon beliefs
Mitt Romney spoke to core Mormon beliefs on a Wednesday call with conservatives.
January 26th, 2012
11:23 PM ET

On call with conservatives, Romney speaks to Mormon beliefs

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN

(CNN) - In a recent conference call with conservatives across the country, Mitt Romney expounded upon subjects he usually doesn’t talk much about: Jesus and eternity.

Asked on the call how his faith had shaped his success as a businessman and his political career, the presidential candidate spoke about “a conviction that life is eternal, that your family is your greatest prize, that ultimately what we accomplish in life is of little significance compared to the interests of the savior Jesus Christ and his purposes.”

“It puts everything into perspective and the perspective is that there are things more important than the here and now,” Romney continued on the Wednesday call, which was organized by the Faith and Freedom Coalition and included thousands of participants.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics

January 26th, 2012
09:17 PM ET

Alaska Airlines ends prayer cards on flights
Alaska Airlines distributed prayer cards like these on flights for more than 30 years.
January 26th, 2012
04:21 PM ET

Alaska Airlines ends prayer cards on flights

By Aaron Cooper, CNN

(CNN) - Passengers on Alaska Airlines will no longer get a free Psalm with their meal.

On Wednesday, the airline announced it is ending its more than 30-year tradition of including printed cards with short Bible verses during meal service.

“I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name O most high,” was written on one card, over an image of foggy blue mountains. Another card featured these words over a beach at sunset: "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.”

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Alaska • Prayer

January 26th, 2012
01:22 PM ET

Suspected 'honor killings' shock Canada

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Canada • Islam • Violence

January 26th, 2012
04:26 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Thursday, January 26

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: My Take: Reclaiming Jesus’ sense of humor
Here’s a serious question about levity: The Bible clearly paints a picture of Jesus of Nazareth as a clever guy, but he never seems to laugh, much less crack a smile. Did Jesus really have no sense of humor; didn't he ever laugh?

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Uncategorized

January 25th, 2012
12:52 PM ET

My take: Reclaiming Jesus’ sense of humor

Editor’s note: James Martin, SJ, is a Jesuit priest, culture editor of America magazine and author of "Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life," from which this article is adapted.

By James Martin, Special to CNN

Here’s a serious question about levity: The Bible clearly paints a picture of Jesus of Nazareth as a clever guy, but he never seems to laugh, much less crack a smile. Did Jesus really have no sense of humor; didn't he ever laugh?

Well, one difficulty with finding humor in the New Testament is that what was seen as funny to those living in Jesus' time may not seem funny to us.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • TV

January 25th, 2012
04:27 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Wednesday, January 25

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:

Like all observant Mormons, Mitt Romney gives 10% of his earnings to his church.

CNN: Romney tax returns shine light on Mormon tithing
Although many Americans may have wondered just how much money Mitt Romney makes and how much taxes he pays in the lead-up to the release Tuesday of his tax documents, there was little suspense around how much he gives to his church.

CNN: Oral Roberts’ son arrested on suspicion of DUI
The son of late evangelist Oral Roberts and former president of Oral Roberts University was arrested early Tuesday on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and speeding, authorities said.

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Uncategorized

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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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