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February 18th, 2013
09:55 AM ET

Could Pope Benedict be put on trial?

(CNN)–Pope Benedict XVI's resignation brings calls for his prosecution. CNN's Nic Robertson investigates the claims.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bishops • Catholic Church • Courts • Pope Benedict XVI • Vatican

January 16th, 2013
12:07 AM ET

Flight attendant wins right to wear cross

CNN's Dan Rivers reports on a big legal victory over a small cross.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Christianity • Courts

Split ruling on discrimination against UK Christians
January 15th, 2013
05:39 AM ET

Split ruling on discrimination against UK Christians

By Laura Smith-Spark and Richard Allen Greene, CNN

London (CNN) - A British Christian woman suffered religious discrimination when British Airways told her not to wear a visible cross over her uniform, a top European court ruled Tuesday.

However, three other British Christians lost related religious discrimination claims at the European Court of Human Rights.

British Airways violated the article of the European Convention on Human Rights that guarantees freedom of religion when it stopped employee Nadie Eweida wearing her cross openly, the court said.

Eweida said she experienced discrimination from 2006 to 2007, when she started wearing the cross visibly and was transferred to another job. The airline has since changed its policy on uniforms to allow employees to wear religious or charity symbols.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Christianity • Courts • Discrimination • United Kingdom

January 11th, 2013
03:40 PM ET

Hobby Lobby finds way around $1.3-million-a-day Obamacare hit - for now

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='EricCNNBelief']

Washington (CNN) - By Friday, Hobby Lobby would have racked up $14.3 million in fines from the Internal Revenue Service for bucking Obamacare. But in keeping with the great American tax tradition, they may have found a loophole.

The company is facing $1.3 million a day in fines for each day it chooses not to comply with a piece of the Affordable Care Act that was set to trigger for them on January 1. The craft store chain announced in December that, because of religious objections, they would face the fines for not providing certain types of birth control through their company health insurance.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Church and state • Courts

Justice won't block Obamacare's required emergency contraception coverage
December 27th, 2012
07:52 AM ET

Justice won't block Obamacare's required emergency contraception coverage

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Wednesday turned down a request that she block part of Obamacare that would require companies' health plans to provide for coverage of certain contraceptives, such as the morning-after pill.
Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., and Mardel, Inc. and five family members involved in ownership and control of the corporations had protested the requirement, which is to kick in January 1.

They said they would be required "to provide insurance coverage for certain drugs and devices that the applicants believe can cause abortions," which would be against their religious beliefs, Sotomayor wrote in her opinion.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Abortion • Christianity • Courts

'Choose Life' license plates ruled unconstitutional in North Carolina
December 11th, 2012
01:13 AM ET

'Choose Life' license plates ruled unconstitutional in North Carolina

By Joe Sutton, CNN

(CNN) - A federal judge ruled that North Carolina's new "Choose Life" license plates are unconstitutional because the state does not offer a pro-choice alternative.

"The State's offering a Choose Life license plate in the absence of a pro-choice alternative constitutes viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment," U.S. District Court Judge James Fox wrote in the ruling Friday.

The ruling was praised by the American Civil Liberties Union, which had filed a lawsuit in 2011 to stop the specialty plates.

FULL POST

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Abortion • Courts • North Carolina

Egyptian court orders death sentences over anti-Islam film
Protesters destroyed an American flag pulled down from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt while protesting the offensive online film "Innocence of Muslims" in September.
November 29th, 2012
04:38 AM ET

Egyptian court orders death sentences over anti-Islam film

By Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, for CNN

Cairo (CNN) - Seven Coptic Egyptians living abroad were sentenced to death Wednesday by a court in Cairo for their connection to an inflammatory anti-Islam film, the prosecutor's office said.

The suspects are accused of being involved with the production of the film in California, said Adel Al Saeed, official spokesman for the prosecutor's office.

Since the Egyptian citizens were tried in absentia, the sentence would be applied only if they returned to Egypt.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Courts • Egypt • Islam

The Gospel according to Obama
President Obama is not just a racial trailblazer, but some say a religious pioneer as well. No president has ever shared his type of Christianity, historians say. Some say he may revive a form of Christianity that once dominated America.
October 21st, 2012
06:59 AM ET

The Gospel according to Obama

By John Blake, CNN

President Barack Obama was sharing a pulpit one day with a conservative Christian leader when a revealing exchange took place.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, a conservative Christian who has taken public stands against abortion and same-sex marriage, had joined Obama for an AIDS summit. They were speaking before a conservative megachurch filled with white evangelicals.

When Brownback rose to speak, he joked that he had joined Obama earlier at an NAACP meeting where Obama was treated like Elvis and he was virtually ignored. Turning to Obama, a smiling Brownback said, “Welcome to my house!”

The audience exploded with laughter and applause. Obama rose, walked before the congregation and then declared:

“There is one thing I have to say, Sam. This is my house, too. This is God’s house.”

Historians may remember Obama as the nation’s first black president, but he’s also a religious pioneer. He’s not only changed people’s perception of who can be president, some scholars and pastors say, but he’s also expanding the definition of who can be a Christian by challenging the religious right’s domination of the national stage.

FULL POST

- CNN Writer

Filed under: 2012 Election • Atheism • Barack Obama • Belief • Bible • Books • Christianity • Church • Courts • Creationism • Culture & Science • Culture wars • Evolution • evolvution • Faith • Fundamentalism • Gay marriage • Gay rights • God • History • Homosexuality • Interfaith issues • Obama • Protestant • Religious liberty • Same-sex marriage • Schools • Science

Cheerleaders win temporary injunction in high-profile free speech case
October 18th, 2012
04:14 PM ET

Cheerleaders win temporary injunction in high-profile free speech case

By Jason Morris, CNN

Dallas (CNN)– Cheerleaders from a small eastern Texas town have won the first battle in their crusade to display Christian religious messages on banners at their high school's football games.

State District Judge Steve Thomas of Hardin County implemented a temporary injunction Thursday in favor of the Kountze High School cheerleaders, and by setting a trial date of June 24, 2013, Thomas effectively allows the cheerleaders to keep displaying Bible-quoting signs at Kountze athletic events through the end of this current school year.

Macy Matthews, a 15-year-old Kountze sophomore, was eating lunch at cheerleading camp last July when her friend Megan became inspired by images she saw on social media.

"She saw a picture on Pinterest of a team that had made a run-through sign with a scripture on it, and as we were sitting down eating, she showed us and asked if we would be interested in doing that for the football season. So, we all talked about it," Matthews remembered. "We all loved the idea and thought it was really cool and encouraging."

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Courts

My Take: The five biggest misconceptions about secularism
Misunderstandings about secularists and secularism do a disservice to America, says Jacques Berlinerblau.
October 6th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Take: The five biggest misconceptions about secularism

By Jacques Berlinerblau, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Jacques Berlinerblau is associate professor of Jewish Civilization at Georgetown University. His book, How to Be Secular: A Call to Arms for Religious Freedom has just been released.

As far as the Republicans are concerned, President Barack Obama is secularism’s go-to guy in Washington. Newt Gingrich refers to him as a “secular-socialist.” Mitt Romney charges that his opponent advocates a “secular agenda.” And Rick Santorum frets that Obama is imposing “secular values” on “people of faith.”

The president, however, seems not to have received the whole him-being-a-secularist memo. American secularists have thrown up their hands in frustration over his supersizing of George W. Bush’s Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives. They roll their eyes at his God talk. As for his recent call for days of “prayer and remembrance” to commemorate 9/11, well, would the late Rev. Jerry Falwell have done it any differently?

After spending years trying to sequence the genome of American secularism, I have arrived at a sobering conclusion: no -ism is as misunderstood as this one. All of which is bad for secularists, secularism and America. Let’s look at some of the biggest misconceptions out there: FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Church and state • Courts • Politics

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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.

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