August 9th, 2012
02:56 PM ET

Gold medalist returns to Olympics as spiritual guide

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

London (CNN)– Madeline Manning Mims has a message for the athletes at the London Olympics.

"They are loved. They are a part of humanity in a very special way and what they do matters," Mims said.

She's not talking about being loved by the fans - she's talking about being loved by God.

Mims is a gospel singer and a sports chaplain, and she's no stranger to the Olympics.


- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Christianity • Sports

August 8th, 2012
12:16 PM ET

August 2nd, 2012
10:48 PM ET

Faith vs. performance at the Olympics

(CNN) - Ramadan proves challenging for Muslim athletes and weightlifter Khadija Mohammad is torn about fasting during the games.

- CNN's Laura Koran

Filed under: Islam • Middle East • Sports • United Arab Emirates

My Take: Why is NCAA taking sex abuse more seriously than Catholic Church?
Crews work to remove the Joe Paterno statue at Pennsylvania State University on Sunday.
July 24th, 2012
11:04 AM ET

My Take: Why is NCAA taking sex abuse more seriously than Catholic Church?

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

(CNN) - As a resident of the most Catholic state in the nation (Massachusetts), I have watched for more than a decade as the Roman Catholic Church responded to charges of priestly pedophilia with a troubling combination of procrastination and obfuscation.

Far too often, Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals have identified not with abused children but with their “band of brothers,” their fellow priests.


- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Opinion • Pennsylvania • Sex abuse • Sports • United States • Vatican

My Take: Penn State’s dark fellowship
Joseph Loconte looks to C.S. Lewis for help understanding the reaction of Joe Paterno, above, and others to Jerry Sandusky.
July 15th, 2012
03:00 AM ET

My Take: Penn State’s dark fellowship

Editor's Note: Joseph Loconte, Ph.D., is an associate professor of history at the King’s College in New York City and the author of The Searchers: A Quest for Faith in the Valley of Doubt.

By Joseph Loconte, Special to CNN

(CNN)–The results of the investigation into the sexual abuse scandal at Penn State University, released last week, suggest a crisis of conscience in the academy. The report blames “the most powerful leaders at the university” for concealing vital facts about football coach Jerry Sandusky’s chronic record of child abuse. Singled out are university President Graham Spanier, Athletic Director Tim Curley, Vice President Gary Schultz, and head Coach Joe Paterno. “Our most saddening and sobering finding,” the report said, “is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State.”

Last month Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse, including rape and sodomy. If the investigation’s conclusions are correct, he had help. It seems that all these individuals, men of public achievement and outward propriety, conspired together to protect a serial pedophile. How is it possible?


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Cults • Sports

Bryce Harper’s ‘clown question’ quip speaks to Mormon prohibition on alcohol
Bryce Harper's 'clown question' clip has lit up the Internet.
June 14th, 2012
09:38 AM ET

Bryce Harper’s ‘clown question’ quip speaks to Mormon prohibition on alcohol

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) – Nineteen-year-old baseball phenom Bryce Harper isn’t known for drawing attention to his faith – he’s kinda the anti-Tim Tebow in that way – but he didn’t hide his dismay Tuesday when thrown a question that intersected squarely with his Mormonism.

A Toronto reporter asked Harper, a Washington Nationals outfielder, whether he’d have a beer to celebrate a whopper of a home run and the Nationals’ win against the Blue Jays, taking advantage of Ontario’s lower drinking age.

Harper’s response: “That’s a clown question, bro.” The quip quickly blew up on the Internet.


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Mormonism • Sports

Not all New York evangelicals lining up behind Tebow
March 23rd, 2012
04:02 PM ET

Not all New York evangelicals lining up behind Tebow

By Jason Kessler, CNN

(New York) - New York is known for its skyscrapers, not its steeples. But it's hardly the den of godlessness suggested by some media coverage of Tim Tebow's trade to the Jets.

"Welcome to Sodom," read a New York Magazine headline on Thursday.

In fact, the country's largest metropolis has plenty of faith-minded folk. About 6,780 properties in New York qualify for a property tax exemption offered to houses of worship, according to a city spokesperson. That doesn't factor in the many congregations that don't own property.

Tim Tebow, who was signed by the New York Jets this week, is hardly the first religiously devout athlete to don a New York jersey.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • New York • Sports

Denver Christians mourn Tebow’s departure, say they’ll root from afar
Tim Tebow will now be "Tebowing" for the New York Jets.
March 21st, 2012
02:28 PM ET

Denver Christians mourn Tebow’s departure, say they’ll root from afar

By Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN) – When star quarterback Peyton Manning signed with the Denver Broncos this week, Denver pastor Jim Mackey signed at the thought that Tim Tebow probably wouldn’t be wearing Broncos blue and orange next season. The Broncos don’t need two star quarterbacks and the New York Jets announced Wednesday that Tebow is now theirs.

“It was a topic of conversation last night,” Mackey said in a phone interview Wednesday, describing Tuesday night services at his Next Level Church.

“It is an emotional thing and a bit more emotional for people who have connected with Tebow’s expression of faith,” Mackey said. “Rather than just a QB controversy, which is not unique in the NFL, this does seem to have hit more of a personal nerve for those in the Christian community.”

Mackey’s church meets Tuesday nights, not Sunday mornings, because Mackey believes Sunday is a day for people to do Colorado things – skiing, hiking and Broncos games.


- Dan Merica

Filed under: Christianity • Colorado • New York • Sports • United States

Church of NASCAR ministers to drivers in a 'life-or-death sport'
As NASCAR drivers face life and death on the track, a traveling group of ministers attends to their spiritual needs.
March 3rd, 2012
10:00 PM ET

Church of NASCAR ministers to drivers in a 'life-or-death sport'

By Shannan Adler, Special to CNN

(CNN) - The scene at the pre-race drivers’ meeting at Daytona International Speedway last Sunday morning, before the Daytona 500 was delayed a day because of rain, was a typical pre-race circus.

Reporters everywhere. Blinding flashbulbs and microphones jammed into drivers’ faces. VIP guests like Mitt Romney and Sports Illustrated “it” model Kate Upton.

But after the meeting, which happens two hours before each race, the media leaves and the doors are shut. The roar gives way to silence. Church is about to begin.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Sports

Playoff game rescheduled for Jewish basketball team that refused to play on Sabbath
The Beren Stars will play their playoff game on Friday afternoon, before the Jewish Sabbath begins.
March 1st, 2012
03:08 PM ET

Playoff game rescheduled for Jewish basketball team that refused to play on Sabbath

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) – A Jewish high school basketball team that had opted out of a shot at a Texas state championship because it refused to play on the Sabbath will now get that shot, after a playoff game was rescheduled on Thursday.

The game, initially set for Friday night, after the Jewish Sabbath begins, has been rescheduled for Friday afternoon, Houston’s Robert M. Beren Academy announced Thursday.

The Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) made the scheduling change after parents threatened a lawsuit, the Orthodox Jewish private school said in a statement.


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Judaism • Sports • Texas

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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.