By Laura Koran, 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: Across country, black pastors weigh in on Obama's same-sex marriage support
Addressing his large, mostly black congregation on Sunday morning, the Rev. Wallace Charles Smith did not mince words about where he stood on President Barack Obama's newly announced support for same-sex marriage: The church is against it, he said, prompting shouts of "Amen!" from the pews.
CNN: With or without Romney, D.C. a surprising Mormon stronghold
A few hundred Mormons filed into a chapel just outside the Washington Beltway one recent Sunday to hear a somewhat unusual presentation: an Obama administration official recounting his conversion to Mormonism.
CNN: Text of Mitt Romney's commencement address at Liberty University
Mitt Romney used the platform the commencement address at Liberty University to reach out to the evangelical community and discuss the importance he puts on faith. Per the Romney campaign, here are Romney's prepared remarks.
CNN: For Liberty students, graduation a moment of celebration, with or without Romney’s speech
When Michelle Berry got up this morning, she wasn’t thinking about Mitt Romney. For her, this day was a long time coming. Berry, a 48-year old senior at Liberty University, has dreamed of college graduation for a long time. After finishing high school 30-years ago, Berry got her associates degree in nursing. Until today, a bachelor’s degree has eluded her.
Delman Coates at Mt. Ennon Baptist Church is among a minority of black ministers in Maryland who have endorsed gay rights.
CNN: Is the black church guilty of spiritual hypocrisy in same-sex marriage debate?
Some people wonder if the black church will punish President Barack Obama for announcing support for same-sex marriage. Here’s another question: Why would the black church cite scripture to exclude gays when a similar approach to the Bible was used to enslave their ancestors?
CNN: DNC makes appeal to evangelical community ahead of Romney’s Liberty speech
Mitt Romney’s commencement speech at Liberty University on Saturday may be a significant moment for the presumptive Republican nominee’s relationship with the evangelical community, but Democrats are not ready to give up the powerful voting bloc and are even trying to use this weekend’s speech to draw a distinction with Romney.
CNN: Unsolicited Advice: What should Mitt Romney say at Liberty University?
We asked a couple of Christian college presidents to give some unsolicited advice to Mitt Romney ahead of his commencement speech at Liberty University on Saturday. The school, founded by Jerry Falwell, will offer Romney a big "evangelical moment." Here's how the leaders responded.
CNN: Complexity in black church reactions to Obama’s gay marriage announcement
After the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. first gained wide public recognition in the mid-1950s, he made a special request to evangelist Billy Graham. King was poised to join Graham on one of his barnstorming crusades, but he would do so only on one condition. He asked Graham to publicly speak out against segregation, a request Graham declined, says San Diego State University historian Edward Blum.
Tweet of the Day:
Belief on TV:
Christianity Today: How Evangelicals Have Shifted in Public Opinion on Same-Sex Marriage
President Obama's announcement that he supports same-sex marriage will likely cause ripple effects among evangelicals. Polls show that evangelicals remain among the most opposed to same-sex marriage, but the same polls also show that opposition has diminished over the past two decades.
The Huffington Post: Mothers Day: Amazing Moms From The Bible And Other Religious Traditions
Our religious traditions are filled with tales of extraordinary mothers. These mothers were prophetesses and goddesses; and gave birth to gods, prophets and religious leaders. The mothers from our religious traditions were theologians, artists, warriors and business leaders. Many of them were revolutionaries and feminists in their own time. They were models of compassion, love, grace, self-sacrifice, purity, protectiveness and ferocity.
Christianity Today: Why Jerry Falwell Sr. Isn't Rolling In His Grave over Romney's Liberty Invitation
Every year at Liberty University at least some students, as do students at commencement ceremonies everywhere, express disagreement with the school's choice of speaker, but never has their discontentment been so amplified by both national media coverage and the power of social networking. However, while the reach of both traditional and social media may be wide, it isn't deep, nor is its memory long. It was only three years ago, when most of the current graduates were sophomores and not likely paying attention, that Glenn Beck, who is Mormon, delivered the commencement address amidst a few largely unheard grumblings.
The New York Times: Bronx Teenager Knows Her Torah Trivia
The Torah scholar wore bluejeans. That might seem a fairly trivial thing to say about Shalhevet Schwartz, the 14-year-old girl from the Bronx who, in between softball games and the demanding homework at her Jewish high school, studied hard enough to win her division of the National Bible Contest, held last Sunday at Yeshiva University in New York.
The Guardian: Dalai Lama: national service
The Dalai Lama was reborn into a system where his legitimacy was based entirely on his "discovery" as a child and the status that this conferred in the religious system. Over the last 50 years he has patiently transformed it into a legitimacy based on the democratic aspirations of his people. This is almost unique among world religious leaders, and we might well wish that more of them would follow his example.
Opinion of the Day:
CNN: My Take: Gays are coming out on TV. Christians are, too
Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," writes about the growing prevalence of gay characters on television, and how these shows’ Christian characters are shown to react to homosexuality.
Join the conversation…
Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have starkly different views on gay marriage and other social issues.
CNN: More ways social issues and religion will shape 2012 election (besides same-sex marriage)
Everyone knows the 2012 presidential race is about jobs and the economy. As likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney said a couple weeks ago: “It’s still about the economy, and we’re not stupid.” But have you noticed how the culture wars keep intruding into this it’s-all-about-the-economy election?