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: Driven by personal tragedy, man builds crosses for Aurora victims, thousands of others
In a vacant lot across from the site of last week’s movie theater shooting, 12 white crosses stand solemnly, their arms covered in messages of hope and the ground around them full of flowers. For the loved ones of the 12 killed in the Aurora, Colorado, theater, the crosses have become a focal point of remembrance, a place to memorialize victims and pray for their families and friends. But for the man who built the white crosses, each just over 3 feet tall, the crosses are something more: symbols of his own survival since tragedy struck his family 16 years ago.
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The Huffington Post: Michele Bachmann-Accused DHS Advisors Say Claims Of Muslim Brotherhood Ties Are Unfounded
Huma Abedin is, in some ways, lucky. Although a group of five conservative lawmakers have alleged that she may have connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, public officials on both sides of the aisle have since rushed to defend the character and good name of the high-ranking State Department official. But the other Muslim American individuals targeted by these lawmakers, who aren't quite as famous as Abedin, haven't been so lucky.
Religion News Service: Court upholds Georgia ban on guns in church
A federal appeals court has upheld Georgia’s ban on bringing guns into places of worship. The Rev. Jonathan Wilkins, a Baptist pastor, and a gun-rights group had argued that church members should have the right to carry guns into worship services to protect the congregation. But the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday (July 20) that a Georgia law adopted in 2010 does not violate the Thomaston congregation’s First and Second Amendment rights.
The Guardian: Indonesian mosques invest in hi-tech sound systems for calls to prayer
Indonesia's mosques are trying to sound their best for the Ramadan fasting month, splashing out on high-quality loudspeakers to avoid upsetting people. With about 800,000 mosques serving the world's largest Muslim population, the cacophony of calls to prayer from poor quality and poorly synchronised speakers has become an increasing irritation. Senior Muslims, and even the country's vice-president, have questioned whether the enthusiasm might be getting out of hand.
The New York Times: Complex Emotions Over First American Indian Saint
The last time the Vatican canonized saints from along this stretch of the Mohawk River, it was 1930, and more than 35,000 Catholic pilgrims came to mark the occasion. The Jesuits here constructed a coliseum-size church to hold the crowds, and placed wooden statues of the new saints at the peaks of its stockadelike altar. Those saints, three of them, were French Jesuits, tortured and murdered in the 17th century by the Mohawk Indians they were seeking to convert, according to the church. But in a twist of history, this October the Vatican will canonize a fourth saint from the Mohawk Valley: Kateri Tekakwitha, a Mohawk woman born in 1656, a decade after the missionaries were killed in her village.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency: Congressmen to hold moment of silence for Munich 11
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives will hold a moment of silence for the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches slain by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich Olympics. “We’re going to give one-minute speeches on the House floor and devote a substantial moment of that to silence on Thursday,” Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said in a conference call with the media on Wednesday. Following that, he and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) will lead a group of lawmakers to the Capital grounds for another moment of silence.
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Twelve crosses comprise a makeshift memorial near the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater, scene of last week’s mass shooting
CNN: Where was God in Aurora massacre?
Where was God in Aurora? It’s a fresh take on an age-old question: Why does God allow suffering, natural disasters or – if you believe in it – evil? We put the question to Twitter on Tuesday and got some starkly different responses.