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January 11th, 2011
06:00 AM ET

My Take: 3 sermons you’ll hear about homeless radio phenom Ted Williams

Editor's Note: Jon Acuff is the founder of the blog, StuffChristiansLike.net.  He is the author of two books, "Stuff Christians Like" and "Gazelles, Baby Steps and 37 Other Things Dave Ramsey Taught Me About Debt."

By Jon Acuff, Special to CNN

A few things happened last Sunday if you went to a Protestant church.

You tried to beat the person next to you in a race when the pastor said, “Please open your Bibles and turn to …”

The guy who led worship had on a v-neck T-shirt and possibly an unnecessary scarf.

You heard a sermon about Ted Williams, the “Homeless Man with Golden Pipes.”

If that last one didn’t happen, it’s going to. Trust me.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Opinion • Protestant • United States

August 5th, 2010
12:07 PM ET

Our Take: The surprising religious divides on Proposition 8

Editor's Note: Dr. Robert P. Jones is the CEO and Daniel Cox is the Director of Research for Public Religion Research Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and education organization specializing in work at the intersection of religion, values, and public life.

By Robert P. Jones and Daniel Cox, Special to CNN

The ruling yesterday by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker that Proposition 8 violates the constitution highlights the shifting attitudes in California and in the nation over the legality of same-sex marriage. A major public opinion survey released last month by our firm, Public Religion Research Institute, casts important light on the changing religious landscape on this issue, with some surprising findings.

The PRRI survey of more than 3,000 Californians found that if Proposition 8 were on the ballot today, it would not pass.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Gay marriage • Latino issues • Protestant • Race

July 12th, 2010
12:04 PM ET

Pastor to wounded missionaries in Uganda: 'God is bigger than any evil'

People watch the World Cup final at a restaurant in Kampala late on July 11, moments before blasts tore through the crowds.

The Rev. Kathleen Kind leads the Pennsylvania congregation that saw five missionaries injured in yesterday's Uganda bombings. She spoke with CNN Monday morning about the condition of the injured and about how the incident would affect future missions at the 500-member Christ Community United Methodist Church in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.

What’s the latest on the injured missionaries from your church?

Those injured are receiving medical treatment and a number of them are en route to other hospitals for more specific or higher quality medical services. Everybody is alive and everybody is stable. We had six people in our group and five of them were injured, some seriously. Some of the wounds involve broken bones and shrapnel. The State Department, the consulate and the General Board of Global Ministries, an agency of the United Methodist Church, are all working together to provide as much care as necessary for our team members.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Africa • Christianity • Methodist • Missionaries • Protestant • Uganda

June 18th, 2010
05:50 PM ET

New Anglican group comes to America

A group of Anglican leaders who left the Episcopal Church have formed a new diocese in the South for “orthodox” Christians.

The Anglican Diocese of the South was formally recognized by the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) at the council’s meeting in Amesbury, Massachusetts this month.
FULL POST

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Anglican • Christianity • Episcopal • Homosexuality • Protestant

June 11th, 2010
04:23 AM ET

Ted Haggard, Resurrected

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

Ted Haggard is back.

In 2006, a gay sex and drug scandal knocked this former head of the National Association of Evangelicals from his perch as pastor of the 14,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Earlier this month, Haggard emerged from his own private purgatory, announcing that he has started a new nondenominational church, St. James, which will meet in his home. 

Haggard’s resurrection left me with a series of questions, including whether he has done his time and what this unending cycle of sin, confession, and redemption says about America. To answer these questions, I contacted Susan Wise Bauer, an independent historian and author of The Art of the Public Grovel: Sexual Sin and Confession in America—a history of how the high and mighty fall, confess, and (more often than not) bounce back.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Christianity • Homosexuality • Protestant

June 4th, 2010
06:08 AM ET

Souter v. Scalia at Harvard Yard

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

Score one for David Souter. In the fisticuffs that is the Supreme Court, the recently retired justice often found himself on the losing side of 5-4 decisions. But in delivering Harvard’s 2010 commencement address last week, he gave the court’s conservatives a soft-spoken smackdown.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Anglican • Christianity • Courts • Opinion • Protestant

May 31st, 2010
09:50 AM ET

An alternative model for Protestant politics

An American preacher rails against the popular caricature of believers as backwards and narrow-minded, decries the popular culture’s hostility toward religion and implores Christians to stop being so politically correct in the workplace and to start loudly expressing their faith-based opinions. Sounds like a typical evangelical Protestant minister, cribbing lines from Focus on the Family.

Another American preacher decries imminent government cuts to programs for the poor, urging Christian churches to mobilize politically to protect society’s most vulnerable. Sounds like a typical mainline Protestant minister, cribbing lines from Jim Wallis.

Christian conservatives feel besieged by the secular culture, liberal Christians want more social justice. Everyone knows that.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Anglican • Christianity • Culture wars • Politics • Protestant

May 24th, 2010
10:21 AM ET

'Should,' 'supposed to' and the Supreme Court

Religion scholar Stephen Prothero will be a regular contributor to CNN's Belief Blog. With his bestselling book "Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know–And Doesn't," Prothero became the country's leading explainer of how religion undergirds much of American life and history - in ways that most us don't realize. With his new book, "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," the Boston University professor has taken his franchise global. A few times each week, Prothero will offer posts on the hidden faith angles behind the news.

By Stephen Prothero, CNN Belief Blog contributor

In my first CNN Belief Blog post, “Do 6 Catholics + 3 Jews = 9 Protestants?” I argued that, no matter how you do the math, we need more religious diversity on the Supreme Court. Over 700 comments flooded in, flowing in all sorts of intriguing directions. Many said we need more atheists; some said nine nonbelievers was about right. Meanwhile, “Trinity” suggested an approach apropos of his or her name:

How about 3 religious (pick your religions), 3 non-religious (atheists) and 3 indifferent (agnostics)? Sounds fair to me.

The most consistent criticism, however, was one I have heard many times before: when it comes to presidents, legislators, and Supreme Court justices, religion shouldn’t matter because the work of public officials should never be influenced by personal religious commitments.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Atheism • Catholic Church • Courts • Judaism • Opinion • Politics • Protestant

May 19th, 2010
08:58 AM ET

Do 6 Catholics + 3 Jews = 9 Protestants?

Religion scholar Stephen Prothero will be a regular contributor to CNN's Belief Blog. With his bestselling book "Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know–And Doesn't," Prothero became the country's leading explainer of how religion undergirds much of American life and history - in ways that most us don't realize. With his new book, "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," the Boston University professor has taken his franchise global. A few times each week, Prothero will offer posts on the hidden faith angles behind the news.

By Stephen Prothero, CNN Belief Blog contributor

I think I might have done the math wrong.

Shortly after President Obama nominated Elena Kagan (who is Jewish) to replace Justice John Paul Stevens (who is Protestant) on the Supreme Court, I was quoted in Boston Globe, Beliefnet, and CNN stories, saying that her nomination represented one giant step away from the not-so-good-old-days of Protestant parochialism. "I don't think this means Protestant America is over,” I told the AP, “but I do think it means the old way of thinking about Protestant America is over."

On Monday morning in USA Today I argued, against bloggers like Beliefnet’s Rod Dreher, that the religious commitments of judges matter. I then called for a more religiously diverse Supreme Court. Why not an agnostic? An evangelical? A Muslim?

In all these articles, I was doing the math like this: 6 Catholics + 3 Jews = 0 Protestants. I’m no longer sure that’s right.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Courts • Judaism • Opinion • Protestant

May 3rd, 2010
10:24 AM ET

A Supreme Court without Protestants?

The current Supreme Court has six Catholics, two Jews and one Protestant.

For most of American history, a Supreme Court with no Protestant Christian judges would have been unthinkable. Nearly three quarters of all justices who've ever served on the nation's high court have been Protestant. And roughly half of all Americans identify themselves as Protestant today.

But since John Paul Stevens announced his retirement last month, legal and religious scholars have begun entertaining the unprecedented prospect of a Supreme Court without a single Protestant justice.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Leaders • Politics • Protestant

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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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