August 3rd, 2011
10:38 AM ET

Despite objections, jury hears tapes in polygamist sect leader's trial

By the CNN Wire Staff

San Angelo, Texas (CNN) - The state of Texas is expected to rest its case Wednesday in the sexual assault trial of polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs.

On Tuesday night, the jury heard audio recordings that, prosecutors said, show Jeffs instructing a 14-year-old victim and his other young "wives" on how to sexually please him in order to win God's favor.

Jeffs - who is representing himself - repeatedly and loudly objected to the playing of the recordings on religious grounds. Each time, Judge Barbara Walther overruled him.

There can be "no claim of privilege, regardless of the religion, with respect to communications directly relevant to sexual assault of a child," prosecutor Eric Nichols said when the judge invited him to respond to Jeffs' outbursts.

Read the full story here on the latested in the Jeffs trial

July 26th, 2011
03:07 PM ET

Warren Jeffs seeks to control polygamist sect from jail

Editor’s Note: CNN’s Gary Tuchman explores the latest developments in the saga of polygamist Warren Jeffs, the jailed leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in a special report on tonight’s “AC 360” and for CNN Presents, airing Sunday, July 31, at 10 p.m. ET.

By David Fitzpatrick, CNN

El Dorado, Texas (CNN) - Fundamentalist Mormon leader Warren Jeffs has been held in a tiny jail in this west Texas town for roughly three years. According to his jailers, he has spent his time doing one thing above all else: talking on the phone..

Schleicher County Sheriff David Doran told CNN that in one month, Jeffs has spent roughly $3,000 on phone cards.

And while Jeffs was recently held in another Texas jail roughly 50 miles away, he spent close to $10,000 in phone cards in three months.

Reagan County Sheriff James Garner, who oversees that jail, told CNN that no inmate there has ever spent that much money on phone cards.


July 13th, 2011
07:45 AM ET

What's going on at the Bachmann clinic?

By Jim Acosta and Erika Dimmler, CNN

Lake Elmo, MN (CNN)-In her campaign for president, Michele Bachmann touts her background as a small business owner.

"A small business job creator," is how the Minnesota Congresswoman and Republican Presidential candidate described herself in her first campaign ad in Iowa.

That business is Bachmann and Associates. It's a Christian counseling service located outside Minneapolis. Bachmann started the center with her husband, Marcus who is the lead counselor at the clinic. The aspiring First couple and their children are pictured on the center's web site.

For at least five years, Bachmann and Associates has faced accusations it uses a controversial therapy that encourages gay and lesbian patients to change their sexual orientation.

Andrew Ramirez, a former patient at Bachmann and Associates, said in an interview with CNN he witnessed the practice first-hand. In 2004, Ramirez turned to the clinic at the urging of his mother who wanted him to talk about his homosexuality.

Read the full story here from CNN.com/politics
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bachmann • Belief • Christianity • Content Partner • Homosexuality • Politics • TV-Anderson Cooper 360 • United States

May 19th, 2011
08:47 AM ET

Reports conclusion called 'absolutely absurd'

Anderson Cooper speaks with Richard Hoatson about a new report on abuse of minors by Catholic priests.

Read more about the report here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bishops • Catholic Church • Christianity • Content Partner • Sex abuse • TV-Anderson Cooper 360 • United States

May 11th, 2011
08:36 AM ET

Pastor admits lying about Navy SEAL service

CNN's Anderson Cooper reports on a Pennsylvania pastor who has admitted to lying about being a U.S. Navy SEAL.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Content Partner • Pastors • TV-Anderson Cooper 360

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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.