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June 21st, 2012
09:40 AM ET

Harsh anti-gay preaching alarms gay rights supporters and Christian conservatives alike

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

(CNN) - The little boy with a buzz cut shows no sign of nervousness as he sings in front of the church congregation.

Dressed in a pressed white shirt and blue sweater vest, he holds the microphone and sings that the Bible is right, then lets loose the line that brings whoops from the congregation: "Ain't no homo gonna make it to heaven."

Next to him, an adult beams as worshippers rise to their feet and cheer.

FULL POST

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Christianity • Homosexuality

June 10th, 2012
04:00 AM ET

Pastor risks church for his principles

By David Mattingly, CNN

St. Paul, Minnesota (CNN)–Before Sunday morning services, the Rev. Oliver White looked at the rows of empty pews in his tiny St. Paul, Minnesota, church without regret.

"If this was a mistake," White said, "then I will make the mistake all over again."

In 2005, White made a costly decision.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Church • Gay rights • Homosexuality • Minnesota • Pastors • Same-sex marriage

My Take: Catholicism is a dialogue, not a monologue
The Holy See should be engaged in a dialogue not a monologue, author argues.
June 8th, 2012
08:50 AM ET

My Take: Catholicism is a dialogue, not a monologue

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

(CNN)–Whenever I write about Roman Catholicism, as I did earlier this week in a post about the Vatican’s condemnation of Sister Margaret Farley’s Just Love, traditional Catholics write to tell me to shut up.

The most common complaints are two: First, that because I am not a Catholic I have no standing to kvetch; second, that Catholicism is what the hierarchy in Rome says it is, so no one, Catholic or Protestant or otherwise, has any standing to criticize what it has to say.

The tone is not always Christian, or even civil, but I have to admit my critics have a point.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Gay marriage • Homosexuality • Same-sex marriage • Sexuality • United States • Vatican

Same-sex ceremony on Army post draws fire
June 7th, 2012
05:04 PM ET

Same-sex ceremony on Army post draws fire

By Alan Duke, CNN

(CNN) - A same-sex ceremony between an enlisted woman and a civilian woman on a U.S. Army post last month drew protests from lawmakers Thursday.

The "private religious ceremony" took place at Fort Polk in Louisiana in May, post spokesman Scott Stearns said, but he would confirm few other details.

Rep. John Fleming, a Louisiana Republican whose congressional district includes the Army post, said the military confirmed to him that the same-sex ceremony was performed by an Army chaplain in the chapel.

The incident was an inevitable consequence of the end of the don't ask, don't tell policy in September, which previously banned homosexuals from military service, Fleming said.

FULL STORY
- Dan Merica

Filed under: Gay marriage • Homosexuality • Military

June 4th, 2012
05:43 PM ET

We don't teach hate, says church where anti-homosexual song filmed

By Ismael Estrada, CNN

Greensburg, Indiana (CNN) - About 20 protesters gathered on Sunday outside the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle here to voice opposition to a viral online video that was taped in the church and shows a young child singing song with lyrics that offer a harsh message for homosexuals.

The video, which surfaced on YouTube last week, shows a child in front of the congregation, singing "I know that God is right, and somebody's wrong... ain't no homo going to make it to heaven."

The congregation erupts in applause at those lines, which the unidentified boy repeats as the pastor looks on.

At another point in the video a voice is heard shouting,"That’s my boy."

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Church • Homosexuality

My Take: Vatican is unjust to condemn nun's 'Just Love'
The Vatican publicized its condemnation of Sister Margaret Farley on Monday.
June 4th, 2012
01:20 PM ET

My Take: Vatican is unjust to condemn nun's 'Just Love'

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

A few years ago I sat on a book prize jury and weighed the merits of the book "Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics" by Margaret A. Farley, a nun in the Sisters of Mercy order. I thought it was well-researched and well-argued, and I was not surprised when it won the 2008 Grawemeyer Award in Religion (and with it a $200,000 prize).

On May 21, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith forwarded to Sister Patricia McDermott, president of Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, a Notification condemning Farley's "Just Love." On Monday, the Vatican published that Notification online.

Not surprisingly, the matter preoccupying the Vatican here is not poverty or hunger or oppression. It is sex.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Ethics • Homosexuality • Opinion • Same-sex marriage • Sexuality • United States • Vatican

June 4th, 2012
12:00 PM ET

Utah gay pride parade draws hundreds of Mormon participants

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - A gay pride parade in Mormon-heavy Salt Lake City drew thousands of participants, including a few hundred Mormons, whose church has been criticized by gay rights activists for its activism against same-sex marriage.

The Mormon contingent for Sunday's parade wasn’t made up of gay members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but rather straight Mormons who want to show support for gay and lesbians, according to CNN affiliate KSTU-TV in Salt Lake City.

The Mormon group marched near the front of the parade, just behind the event's grand marshal, Dustin Lance Black, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter ("Milk") who grew up in the church, according to KSTU.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Homosexuality • Mormonism • Utah

May 31st, 2012
05:17 AM ET

Church videos with harsh words for gays go viral online

By Richard Allen Greene and Dan Gilgoff, CNN

First it was a Christian pastor in North Carolina who told his congregation on Mother's Day that the way "to get rid of all the lesbians and queers" was to put them behind an electric fence and wait for them to die out.

That video went viral, fetching more than a million views on YouTube.

On Sunday, Pastor Curtis Knapp of Kansas preached that the government should kill homosexuals, in another videotaped sermon that drew lots of online attention.

FULL POST

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Homosexuality

May 28th, 2012
11:56 AM ET

Pastor's comments about gays draw protesters

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN)–Hundreds of protesters gathered this weekend in Maiden, North Carolina, to voice their displeasure with a pastor's statement that gays and lesbians should be rounded up behind electric fences.

Sheriff Coy Reid estimated between 1,500 and 2,000 protestors came to the Catawba County Justice Center for a peaceful protest on Sunday. He said only two citations for noise violations were issued and there were no arrests.

The protest was organized by the Catawba Valley Citizens Against Hate in response to a Mother's Day sermon by Pastor Charles Worley at Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden.

"I figured a way out, a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers, but I couldn't get it past the Congress," Worley said to his congregation on May 13. A video of his comments went viral on YouTube.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Homosexuality

May 23rd, 2012
12:57 PM ET

Mixed reactions around church whose pastor’s anti-gay rant went viral

By Ismael Estrada, CNN

Maiden, North Carolina (CNN) – Just about everyone here is talking about the local pastor who made national headlines this week after a video that features him telling congregants how to “get rid of” gays went viral.

Neighbors of the Providence Road Baptist Church – where a sign advertises “old time religion” - say Pastor Charles Worley is known for being over the top, with one neighbor describing him as “fire and brimstone” whose views are out of sync with much of the surrounding community.

"I figured a way out, a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers, but I couldn't get it past the Congress,” Worley told his church on May 13, in a video that has been seen half a million times on YouTube.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Homosexuality • North Carolina

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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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