By Arielle Hawkins, 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: Mormon speakers at RNC mark sharp departure from Romney's reticence on faith
After years of keeping quiet about his Mormon faith, Mitt Romney’s campaign thrust his church life into the national eye Thursday night, as a handful of Mormons took to the Republican National Convention’s stage to deliver moving testimonials about the Republican presidential nominee’s role as a member and leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
CNN: Romney speech touches on faith
In a few hours the spotlight will shine on Mitt Romney at the Tampa Bay Times Forum and in excerpts released of his acceptance speech the GOP presidential nominee is shedding light on his personal faith. In the excerpts, Romney a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, plans to speak often of his faith although the excepts make no mention of the LDS Church or Mormonism by name.
CNN: Convention’s Mormon speakers expected to shed light on Romney’s faith life
Mitt Romney is famously quiet about his Mormon faith, but his campaign has said that some of Thursday’s speakers at the Republican National Convention will shed light on the candidate’s role in the church – and that Romney may open about his faith, too. Thursday’s invocation will be delivered by Ken and Priscilla Hutchins, Mormons whom Romney befriended in their Massachusetts ward – the word Mormons use for church. Another Romney Mormon friend and former co-worker, Grant Bennett, will deliver a prime-time speech.
Tweet of the Day:
Bloomberg: Myanmar Rape-Murder Sparks Outrage Over Abuse of Muslims
Seamstress Thida Htwe was walking home from her tailoring work on a remote Myanmar road in late May when attackers took the 27-year-old by knife point to a forest where they raped her and slit her throat. Local Burmese, including Buddhist monks, distributed incendiary pamphlets about the crime, and allegations quickly spread among the Buddhist majority in Rakhine state that Rohingya Muslims were to blame, according to New York-based Human Rights Watch.
Religion News Service: Rev. Benedict Groeschel apologizes for sex abuse comments
The Rev. Benedict Groeschel, whose comments defending priests who sexually abuse children sparked a firestom of controversy (see related story here), on Thursday evening apologized for the remarks. Groeschel had said that priests who sexually abuse children "on their first offense" should not go to jail and added that in “a lot of cases,” the child is “the seducer.”
Catholic News Agency: Former Vatican diplomat predicts Catholic swing toward GOP
Jim Nicholson, former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, thinks that the Catholic vote remains an important force in modern politics and that more Catholics than in the past will vote for Romney and the Republican Party in the upcoming election. “The Catholic vote is very relevant,” Nicholson told CNA on Aug. 29, “because there is a large number of Catholics” in the United States. The country currently has 55.6 million voting age Catholics and in swing states they make up 19 percent of the electorate, according to Georgetown's Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate.
In Hollywood’s ‘The Possession,’ the dybbuk is back
Thought your daughter’s odd behavior was just another preteen phase? There may be an alternate explanation: The dybbuk is back. The malevolent spirit from 16th-century Jewish mysticism and folklore reappears in “The Possession,” a Hollywood film featuring Matisyahu and Kyra Sedgwick that opens Friday.
Quote of the Day:
That is why the real battle is not between Muslims and the West, but between the moderates and extremists in all faiths. The extremist brand of Islam has become dominant as a result of many political factors, among them communism and secularism. What we need today is a concerted effort to say: We understand that history, but our faith is based on the higher values of loving God and neighbor.
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, founder of the American Society for Muslim Advancement and once the spokesperson for the controversial “Ground Zero Mosque,” talks to the Religion News Service’s Daniel Burke about Islamophobia and America’s standing among Muslims abroad.>
Opinion of the Day
CNN: The GOP has a Muslim problem
Dean Obeidallah, a former attorney, political comedian and editor of the politics blog The Dean's Report, explains why the absence of a Muslim-American imam at the Republican National Convention “sends a message that these people are ‘others’ and not truly Americans like the rest of us.”
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CNN: My Faith: My Sikh prayer for the Republican National Convention
On Wednesday Ishwar Singh, president of the Sikh Society of Central Florida, became the first Sikh American in U.S. history to deliver the invocation at a national convention. Singh reflects on this opportunity to share his faith with the nation.