October 21st, 2012
04:00 PM ET
By Dan Merica, CNN
Washington (CNN) – When he campaigns in southern Florida on Monday, Mitt Romney will have an unwelcome traveling partner: a mobile billboard attacking his religion.
The billboard on wheels, sponsored by American Atheists, attacks the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for its treatment of African-Americans and gays, though the church says the attacks are inaccurate.
The billboard, which American Atheists says will follow the Romney campaign for seven days, features two messages on Mormonism: “No Blacks Allowed (until 1978)” and “No Gays Allowed (Current).”
The first line is a reference to the church’s practice of denying lay priesthood to black male members until 1978.
October 1st, 2012
02:24 PM ET
By Dan Merica, CNN
Washington (CNN) – When it comes to reaching voters, the co-founders of a Jewish super PAC aimed at re-electing President Barack Obama have this tip for you: Use humor, even if it isn’t kosher.
Two campaign videos produced by the Jewish Council for Education and Research – one featuring actor Samuel L. Jackson, the other comedian Sarah Silverman – have received a flood of attention over the past few weeks. A foul-mouthed Silverman pushes people to do whatever it takes to make it to the polls in spite of voter ID laws, while an uncensored Jackson orders disenchanted Obama supporters to “wake the f*** up” and get to work.
While Silverman warns viewers about being kept out of the polls, introducing herself as “your Jewish friend Sarah," Jackson, who voiced the recent bedtime story for parents “Go the F**k to Sleep,” rhymes his warning to voters, in a video that's been seen over a million times on YouTube.
March 28th, 2012
02:53 PM ET
Editor’s note: Edward L. Queen II directs the D. Abbot Turner Program in Ethics and Servant Leadership at Emory University’s Center for Ethics.
By Edward L. Queen II, Special to CNN
(CNN) - The true architects of the Trayvon Martin killing not only will not go unpunished, they also will go unnamed.
Those who created the conditions for Martin’s killing - those who, one might say, invited it - were the Florida legislators who voted for a law that undid not only decades of positive law regarding self-defense but also centuries of legal tradition.
In promoting “stand your ground” laws, self-proclaimed conservatives become grossly irresponsible radicals, drastically and dramatically undoing centuries of accumulated wisdom in their evisceration of the traditional formulation of self-defense.
They rip apart the traditional understanding of the legitimate use of deadly force in self-defense and invite people to kill.
February 1st, 2012
02:36 PM ET
(CNN)–Reverend O'Neal Dozier, pastor of the Worldwide Christian Center in Pompano Beach, Florida, joined CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin to discuss some controversial statements he has made in the past on social issues.
Dozier, an honorary Rick Santorum co-chair, defended his views that homosexuality is 'disgusting' and 'the paramount sin' in the eyes of God.
He went on to explain why he thinks that Mitt Romney is unelectable due to his Mormon faith.
Get all the latest from Brooke Baldwin's show at the CNN Newsroom Blog.
February 1st, 2012
06:55 AM ET
By Dan Merica, CNN
Washington (CNN) – Sen. Marco Rubio has introduced the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2012, bringing to the Senate the ever growing charge that President Barack Obama and his administration are violating the rights of religious Americans.
The bill looks to repeal health care reform mandates that “violates religious liberties and conscience rights of faith-based institutions,” Rubio said in a news release.
The main concern from religious organizations has been the Department of Health and Human Services’ decision to finalize plans that would require church-affiliated organizations to offer private health care that would include contraceptives.
“The Obama Administration’s obsession with forcing mandates on the American people has now reached a new low by violating the conscience rights and religious liberties of our people,” said Rubio, a Florida Republican.
September 12th, 2011
08:16 PM ET
(CNN) - Sol Laufer, an 83-year-old Holocaust survivor, celebrated his bar mitzvah Saturday.
The German native missed his chance as a young man to celebrate the coming-of-age ritual, which young Jewish men participate in at age 13, because his family was on the run. At age 14, he ended up in a concentration camp.
"I am doing this to proclaim to the Nazis that they did not succeed," Laufer told CNN affiliate WWSB. "Here I am, after all of that. I am healthy, I have a nice family, and I am having a bar mitzvah."
August 15th, 2011
01:24 PM ET
By Chris Boyette, CNN
NEW YORK (CNN) - An inconclusive autopsy left unanswered questions Monday in the death of Florida megachurch founder Zachery Tims, whose death in a New York hotel room shocked members of his congregation.
More tests are needed to determine the cause of death, a process that could take a few weeks, said Grace Brugess, spokeswoman for the New York Medical Examiner's Office.
Tims, 42, was found unresponsive about 6 p.m. Friday on the floor of a room in the W Hotel in Times Square, New York Police Department spokesman Sgt. John Bethorn said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
June 17th, 2011
05:00 AM ET
By John Couwels, CNN
Orlando, Florida (CNN) - Christian missionaries have been traveling to remote regions around the world for centuries to spread, as they would describe it, the good news of Jesus Christ.
But now a tiny plastic and metal device packed with cutting-edge technology attached to a computer could accelerate the pace of spreading that news - like an answer to prayer.
The answer has come in the form of a satellite terminal that is smaller than a laptop computer. The device, a BGAN satellite terminal, brings the Internet to some of the most remote parts of the world.
Corporations, governments and television networks have used BGAN devices for years to communicate by e-mail, phones or to broadcast live video signals from remote locations.
Wycliffe Bible Translators has only just begun distributing these devices to translators and linguists working to translate the Bible into every spoken language.
June 3rd, 2011
02:47 PM ET
A church was recently discovered by a team of archaeologists in St. Augustine, Florida. Affiliate WJXT reports.
June 2nd, 2011
04:28 PM ET
By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
(CNN)– With the NBA Finals under way between the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks, Catholic bishops from Miami and Dallas are betting on the action.
Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski is a big Heat fan. He offered a "friendly wager" to Dallas Bishop Kevin Farrell, himself an avid Mavericks fan.
"Archbishop Wenski approached us. He decided he wanted to prove the Miami Heat were much better than the Mavs. I couldn't let them think they were better than we were," Farrell said by phone from Dallas.
While the Heat's Lebron James and Maverick's Dirk Nowitzki battle it out on the court over the right to hoist the NBA's Larry O'Brien championship trophy, they are also unwittingly fighting for the bishops' bragging rights and some hometown gear.
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