December 10th, 2012
04:38 AM ET
By Joan Nathan, Special to CNN
(CNN) - It is no accident that Hanukkah comes in the darkest time of year. The winter holidays are about light, about miracles, and about waking up to light when it is least visible to the naked eye. Food-wise, we jolt our senses alive through texture, taste and flavor with fried foods that couple warmth, crispness, and the smoothness of oil in order to reinvigorate and fine-tune us just as the sun begins to seemingly disappear altogether.
For some, Hanukkah is "the potato pancake holiday" - a holiday that takes the mundane potato and gives it a massive makeover. It is shredded and tossed and recombined, squeezed and remolded into new form and then fried up lightly so that its texture shifts, its flavor alters. The latke (pancake) itself becomes the miracle of light, of oil, and of transformation.FULL STORY
August 3rd, 2012
08:41 AM ET
By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor
(CNN) - The website for the WinShape Foundation, a group started by Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy that’s financed almost entirely by Chick-fil-A profits, doesn’t look like a battlefield in the culture war.
The site features warm and fuzzy snapshots of winding country roads and rustic cabins along with links to a cornucopia of social welfare programs the foundation funds - from foster homes to kids’ camps to college scholarships - that would seem to be the furthest thing from controversial.
The foundation's “simple but profound goal” is also hard to take issue with: “Help ‘shape winners.’ ”
But gay rights groups are incensed about the chain’s financial support for what they say are anti-gay groups. WinShape-backed groups deny that accusation, while WinShape stresses its activities are almost entirely aimed at youth and families, as opposed to conservative advocacy.
August 2nd, 2012
11:30 AM ET
Chick-fil-A says it set a sales record on Wednesday, the day that supporters rallied around the fast-food chain amid a debate over its president's opposition to same-sex marriage.
The chain said it won't release sales numbers, but "we can confirm reports that it was a record-setting day," said Steve Robinson, Chick-fil-A's executive vice president of marketing.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee had called on people to buy food at the chain on Wednesday, which he dubbed "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day," after a backlash against the company and their president.FULL STORY
July 30th, 2012
02:54 PM ET
By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor
The nation’s biggest evangelical group said Monday that religious freedom is threatened by American mayors who say Chick-fil-A is not welcome in their cities because of the restaurant leader’s opposition to gay marriage.
“Individuals have the right to decide whether or not to ‘eat mor chikin.’ But no government leader should restrict a business or organization from expanding to their district based on the personal or political views of the owners,” Leith Anderson, the president of the National Association of Evangelicals, said Monday.
“Such evident discrimination and attempts to marginalize those with religious values have no place in American democracy,” Anderson said.
July 27th, 2012
06:53 PM ET
By Sarah Aarthun, CNN
Atlanta (CNN) - Ordering lunch just got a lot more complicated than deciding how to answer, "Do you want fries with that?"
Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy sparked reactions that were swift and strong after he weighed in on same-sex marriage by saying his company backs the traditional family unit.
Politicians from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum spoke up. Supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage protested. And suddenly, the type of fast-food bag you carry could reveal your views on a hot-button social issue that has split the country.
Some proponents of same-sex marriage have decried Cathy's comments and called for a boycott of the chain, which had annual sales of more than $4.1 billion last year and has more than 1,615 locations in 39 states and Washington, D.C., with the strongest concentration in the Southeast.FULL STORY
July 26th, 2012
02:18 PM ET
By Richard Allen Greene, CNN
(CNN)– Billy Graham, the dean of American evangelists, has once again broken his usual silence on hot-button issues, defending the president of the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain for his opposition to same-sex marriage days after issuing a letter decrying what he sees as the nation's moral decay.
Earlier this year, the ailing preacher publicly endorsed a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay unions in North Carolina, raising eyebrows among many who'd watched Graham studiously avoid thorny social issues for years.
On Thursday, he issued a statement of support for the popular fast-food chain. Many people have slammed Chick-fil-A President Don Cathy for saying his company backs the traditional family unit and is opposed to same-sex marriage.
July 24th, 2012
01:20 PM ET
[Updated at 6:41 p.m. ET] The comments about same-sex marriage made by Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy a week ago continue to generate controversy this week, with politicians and puppets, well at least their handlers, weighing in.
"Guilty as charged," Cathy was quoted as saying in the Baptist Press last week when asked about his company's support of the traditional family unit as opposed to same-sex marriage.
"We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business," Cathy was quoted as saying.
That stance didn't go over well with the Jim Henson Co., whose Jim Henson's Creature Shop toys have been served up in Chick-fil-A's meals for kids. Jim Henson Co. is named after the creator of the Muppets, though the company transferred the Muppets' rights and ownership to the Walt Disney Co. in 2003, according to Jim Henson Co.
Correction: Previous versions of this story identified toys given away with Chick-Fil-A meals as Muppets. They were not. The toys are characters from Jim Henson's Creature Shop.FULL STORY
March 7th, 2012
11:42 AM ET
We are adding the tortilla guy to our running list of people have claimed to see the image of Jesus Christ in all sorts of unconventional places, from telephone poles, to store receipts to a cheesy snack.
Last year a plucky entrepreneur even came up with a do-it-yourself version of divine food visions with the Jesus toaster.
February 25th, 2012
02:00 AM ET
By J. Wilson, Special to CNN
About this time last year, I set off down a path that hadn’t been traveled for centuries. I fasted on beer and water for the duration of Lent.
While that sounds like a frat boy stunt, my “Diary of a Part-Time Monk” project was actually rooted in the Catholic Church, though that’s not what brought me to the idea.
A homebrewer and certified beer judge who is passionate about the flavors and culture of craft beer, I am what they call a “beer geek,” and so the monastic origins of the doppelbock style of beer had long intrigued me.
According to legend, the 17th century monks of Neudeck ob der Au outside Munich, Germany, developed the rich-and-malty beer to sustain them during Lenten fasts, the traditional 46-day lead-up to Easter.
December 24th, 2011
05:00 AM ET
Editor's note: The Rev. Dr. Craig Goodwin is the author of "Year of Plenty: One Suburban Family, Four Rules, and 365 Days of Homegrown Adventure in Pursuit of Christian Living." His family is dedicating a year to explore the role of food in Christian spiritual formation by eating their way through different food traditions, one month at a time. He is writing about their experiences at www.tablesofplenty.com.
By The Rev. Dr. Craig Goodwin, Special to CNN
(CNN) - Advent is a season of feasting for most American Christians. It unofficially begins on Thanksgiving with gut-busting portions of turkey and potatoes and carries on all the way through to Christmas with a dietary gauntlet of party trays, cookies and candy canes.
Our family is trying a different approach to Advent this year by following what Orthodox Christians call the Nativity Fast in which participants refrain from dairy, eggs, oil, wine and meat. Fish, wine and oil are allowed on certain designated days. As my 9-year-old daughter explained to her friends over school lunch, “We’re going vegan this Christmas.”
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.