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: Anti-Obama mail piece: ‘We are no longer a Christian nation’
Focus on the Family, the Colorado-based social conservative organization founded by evangelical author and radio host James Dobson, is targeting Iowa voters with a mailing that quotes President Obama as saying “we are no longer a Christian nation.”
CNN: Sistine Chapel ceiling turns 500 years old
Michelangelo's fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, one of the world's most iconic pieces of art, will celebrate its 500th anniversary on Wednesday in Vatican City. Pope Benedict XVI is set to mark the occasion with the celebration of Vespers in the chapel on Wednesday evening.
Tweet of the Day:
Huffington Post: Mayans Protest 'Twisting Of Truth' Over 2012 Doomsday Predictions
As the so-called "Mayan doomsday" approaches, the Mayans of Guatemala are speaking out against what some are calling a government- and tour business-led effort to profit off misinterpretations of their traditions. Doomsday and catastrophic predictions related to the Mayan calendar, which hits a symbolic turning point on Dec. 21, 2012, aren't new. They already permeate pop culture through films, songs and hundreds of books. But as the new year approaches, interest has spiked.
Religion News Service: Library of Congress exhibit celebrates Jewish history, artifacts
A 19th century copy of the U.S. Constitution in Yiddish and Hebrew. A 15th century Hebrew book from Italy open to a page of passages that had been censored by the Catholic Church during the Inquisition. A 20th century “Curious George” children’s book translated into Yiddish. Spanning across the centuries and the globe, they’re all part of a new exhibit, “Words Like Sapphires," which celebrates 100 years of Hebraica at the Library of Congress.
Catholic News Agency: Denver bishops organize prayer campaign ahead of elections
The Catholic bishops of Denver have called on Catholics across the U.S. to pray for the country ahead of the Nov. 6 elections, encouraging parishes in their archdiocese to organize rosaries and holy hours. “As Americans we have a civic responsibility to vote and to participate in the political process,” Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver said Oct. 30. “As Catholics, we have a moral duty to vote with an informed conscience, and to pray for wisdom and guidance as we head to the voting booth.”
Reuters: German Catholics wary about major Luther festivities planned for 2017
German Protestants are planning jubilee celebrations in 2017 to mark the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s launching of the Reformation, a major event in the history of Christianity, of Europe and of the German nation, language and culture. The Protestants have invited the Catholics to join in, a gesture in harmony with the good relations the two halves of German Christianity enjoy and the closeness many believers feel across the denominational divide.
Religion News Service: Sultans of Satire aims to bridge gaps with Muslims, Arabs through comedy
Produced by the Levantine Cultural Center, which is dedicated to highlighting Middle Eastern and Arab culture, the Sultans of Satire stand-up show aims to challenge stereotypes and sensitivities while bringing people together with a few laughs. While only about 50 people came to the Westwood Hills fundraising event, it would only take the right person in this town to see the act and put it on television. And "that'd carry along the entire cultural center," said Jordan Elgrably, the Levantine's co-founder.
Opinion of the Day:
CNN: My Faith: Reclaiming Halloween's religious roots
Christine Hoff Kraemer, managing editor of the Patheos.com Pagan Channel and instructor in Theology and Religious History at Cherry Hill Seminary, describes the religious history of Halloween.
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My Take: When evangelicals were pro-choice
Jonathan Dudley, author of "Broken Words: The Abuse of Science and Faith in American Politics," explains why Missouri Rep. Todd Atkin’s comments about what he termed legitimate rape have “reinforced a false assumption, shared by liberals and conservatives alike: that uncompromising opposition to abortion is a timeless feature of evangelical Christianity.”