home
RSS
February 22nd, 2012
12:06 PM ET

Graham clarifies remarks on Obama's faith

By the CNN Political Unit

(CNN) – The Rev. Franklin Graham clarified his thoughts on President Barack Obama's Christian faith Wednesday, one day after the evangelical leader took heat over making comments about the president's ties to Islam.

"I don't question the president's faith. I'm not questioning whether he's a Christian," Graham said on CNN's "Newsroom." "I disagree with his position on abortion."

On Tuesday, Graham stirred controversy when he expressed uncertainty over whether the president is sincere enough in his faith.

He said when he asked Obama about how he became a Christian, the president said he joined a church in Chicago after becoming a community organizer, leaving Graham to speculate whether he became a Christian for the right motives.

Read the full story here from CNN's Political Ticker
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Billy Graham • Christianity • Church and state • TV-CNN Newsroom

Got a question for Oliver Stone’s son on his Muslim conversion?
Sean Stone in Tehran in 2011.
February 22nd, 2012
08:03 AM ET

Got a question for Oliver Stone’s son on his Muslim conversion?

Got a question for famed director Oliver Stone’s son, who reportedly converted to Islam last week in Iran?

Sean Stone, 27 and also a filmmaker, will be on CNN Newsroom Wednesday during the 1 PM ET hour. Post a question in comments and we may ask it during the interview.

The son of Oscar-winning director converted to Islam last week in a ceremony in central Iran, a national news agency reported.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: TV-CNN Newsroom

February 22nd, 2012
04:34 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Wednesday, February 22

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: Faith Online: Social media bridges the old and the new
The General Theological Seminary was founded in 1817, making it the oldest Episcopalian seminary in the country. Twitter, on the other hand, was introduced to the public in 2006, making it, by comparison, a newborn. Colin Chapman and Joseph Mathews, the relatively young founders of Digital Formation, hope to bring those two worlds together.

Jeremy Lin credits his faith with his success in the NBA.

CNN: Jeremy Lin emerges as emblem of burgeoning Asian-American Christianity
Lin, who had been baptized into an evangelical Chinese church near San Francisco in ninth grade and had come to value Christian fellowship through his youth group, was part of the Harvard-Radcliffe Asian American Christian Fellowship group, regularly attending Bible study.

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Uncategorized

New York's Bloomberg defends city surveillance of Muslims
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended on Thursday his police department's monitoring of Muslim student groups' websites.
February 22nd, 2012
03:28 AM ET

New York's Bloomberg defends city surveillance of Muslims

By Kiran Khalid, CNN

New York (CNN) - New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Tuesday fired back at the president of Yale University and others who have suggested city police went too far in their surveillance of Muslims.

"We have to keep this country safe," the mayor told reporters, addressing questions about an Associated Press report that said the NYPD was closely monitoring Muslim student associations in schools across the Northeastern United States.

"If people put things on websites and make them available to everybody, of course the NYPD is going to look at anything that's publicly available in the public domain," Bloomberg said. "And given we've had a dozen people arrested or convicted of terrorist acts who've come from similar organizations, we have an obligation to do so."

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Islam • Muslim • New York • United States

Faith Online: Social media bridges the old and the new
Joseph P. Mathews (on left) and Colin Chapman participate in one of the latest Digital Formation webinars.
February 22nd, 2012
02:39 AM ET

Faith Online: Social media bridges the old and the new

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – The General Theological Seminary was founded in 1817, making it the oldest Episcopalian seminary in the country. Twitter, on the other hand, was introduced to the public in 2006, making it, by comparison, a newborn.

Colin Chapman and Joseph Mathews, the relatively young founders of Digital Formation, hope to bring those two worlds together.

As a social media consulting endeavor, Digital Formation looks to help clergy and lay church leaders work their way through the ever-changing world of social media. When Chapman and Mathews proposed using webinars and classes as the means of teaching, the leadership of the seminary embraced the idea.

Though the organization is still in its early stages, the fact that Digital Formation was so quickly embraced shows how religious organizations not only desire more exposure to Twitter, but are willing to throw out what Chapman describes as a “behind the times” attitude to get that exposure.

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Culture & Science • Episcopal • New York • Technology • United States

February 22nd, 2012
12:06 AM ET

Faithful prepare for Lent with pancake feast, race

By Stacey Samuel, CNN Producer

Washington (CNN) – Tuesday at the Washington National Cathedral, school children alongside clergy competed in a pancake tossing relay race. It was an exercise in religious fun, the day before Ash Wednesday.

"It is the last opportunity to feast, and be merry before we enter the Holy season of Lent, which is the time of abstinence and reflection," said Reverend Jan Naylor Cope, vicar at the National Cathedral, who took part in the races herself.

Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras by a different name, Shrove Tuesday is the Anglican Church’s pre-Lenten celebration before kicking off the 40-day fast leading up to Easter Sunday. The origin of the word “shrove” is believed to be a derivation of “shriving” which means to ask for forgiveness.

But why a pancake race? Shrove Tuesday traditionally is the day that Christians emptied out their cupboards that would be filled with flour, sugar, eggs and other dessert ingredients which had to be used before observers began their Lenten sacrifice.

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Anglican • DC • Holidays • Lent • United States

Will presidential candidates wear ashes at Wednesday debate?
Pope Benedict XVI is annointed with the placing of ashes during the Ash Wednesday service at the Santa Sabina Basilica on February 17, 2010.
February 21st, 2012
10:11 PM ET

Will presidential candidates wear ashes at Wednesday debate?

Editor's note: Tune in Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET for the last presidential debate before Super Tuesday, the CNN/Arizona Republican Party Debate hosted by John King. Follow it on Twitter at #CNNDebate and on Facebook at CNN Politics. For real-time coverage of the Arizona and Michigan primaries, go to CNNPolitics.com or to CNN apps or the CNN mobile site.

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Washington (CNN) - "You've got something on your forehead."

Every year on Ash Wednesday it's how the awkward conversation begins.  A well meaning co-worker points out a black smudge on someone's forehead, not knowing it's supposed to be there.

The smudge is the imposition of ashes, often on the forehead in the shape of a cross.  Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lenten season, when Christians take time to prepare for Easter through a time of fasting and prayer.  The  imposition of ashes nears a holy obligation for many Catholics, although technically it is not.

As two prominent Catholic presidential candidates take to the debate stage for the CNN Republican Presidential Debate in Mesa, Arizona, lots of people are asking will they or won't they wear ashes?

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Newt Gingrich • Politics • Rick Santorum

February 21st, 2012
06:20 PM ET

Jeremy Lin emerges as emblem of burgeoning Asian-American Christianity

By Steve Almasy, CNN

(CNN) - When Jeremy Lin was a sophomore at Harvard, he was struggling emotionally. A good guard on an awful basketball team – the Crimson finished the season with an 8-22 record – he needed something more than hoops.

Lin, who had been baptized into an evangelical Chinese church near San Francisco in ninth grade and had come to value Christian fellowship through his youth group, was part of the  Harvard-Radcliffe Asian American Christian Fellowship group, regularly attending Bible study.

But most of his life was spent with his basketball teammates and other athletes, he later told the Student Soul, a website of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.

“It’s a tough environment and if you don’t have appropriate boundaries, you’ll compromise your faith,” he told the website, run by a major Christian college ministry, in 2010.

FULL POST

- Producer/Writer

Filed under: Christianity • Sports

February 21st, 2012
05:00 PM ET

Santorum and Satan - the devil is in the details

Editor's note: Tune in Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET for the last presidential debate before Super Tuesday, the CNN/Arizona Republican Party Debate hosted by John King. Follow it on Twitter at #CNNDebate and on Facebook at CNN Politics. For real-time coverage of the Arizona and Michigan primaries, go to CNNPolitics.com or to CNN apps or the CNN mobile site.

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Washington (CNN) - A 2008 speech by Rick Santorum at Ave Maria University is making waves this week, in large part because Santorum said Satan had his sights set on America and the country was facing spiritual warfare.

The speech came at the beginning of the academic year at the Catholic university in Florida.  At that point, the 2008 presidential campaign was in full swing.  Then-candidate Barack Obama had recently made a statement about abortion and the issue of deciding when life began, which he said was above his pay grade.

Santorum was using the devil-tinged language after explaining Obama's position on abortion.  He quoted Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo, North Dakota, who said at the time, “Catholics who support so-called ‘abortion rights’ support a false right, promote a culture of death and are guarded by the father of lies."

"This is not a political war at all, this is not a culture war at all, this is a spiritual war," Santorum said, according to a recording of the speech on the university's website. "And the father of lies has his sights on what you think the father of lies, Satan, would have his sights on.  A good, decent, powerful, influential country, the United States of America."

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Politics • Rick Santorum

Franklin Graham questions Obama, Romney on Christian faith
Franklin Graham challenged the Christianity of President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
February 21st, 2012
02:16 PM ET

Franklin Graham questions Obama, Romney on Christian faith

(CNN) - Franklin Graham, son of famed evangelist Billy Graham, on Tuesday questioned whether Mitt Romney's Mormon faith qualified as Christianity.

He also raised concerns about President Barack Obama's dedication to Christianity, as well as to Christians living in Muslim countries.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons as members are colloquially known, identify themselves as Christians.

Read the full story on CNN's Political Ticker
- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Uncategorized

« newer posts    older posts »
Advertisement
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.

Advertisement
Advertisement