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Belief Beat

Belief Beat

August 2010 Archives

Belgian Cardinal: ‘Naive’ in Advising Abuse Victim to Stay Silent?

posted by Nicole Neroulias

The investigation of Catholic Church clergy sex abuse has hit a new low/high in Belgium, where secular authorities raided church headquarters earlier this summer: the release of tapes from an April 8 meeting in which retired Cardinal Godfried Danneels advised a victim, now […]

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Glenn Beck’s Faith: More Christian than Obama’s?

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Glenn Beck held his “Restoring Honor” rally at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday, the 47th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech. The news reports before, during and after the events makes it pretty […]

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Fun Friday, Hurricane Katrina Anniversary Edition: Monks vs. Funeral Directors in Casket Wars

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Five years after Hurricane Katrina all but destroyed a pine forest owned by St. Joseph Abbey, the Benedictine monks have been trying to turn lemons into lemonade — in this case, damaged timber into hand-crafted caskets — to raise funds. Unfortunately, they found themselves […]

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On Mother Teresa’s 100th Birthday, Protesters Head to Empire State Building

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Mother Teresa would have turned 100 today — an event celebrated with a Mass in Calcutta, India, where she devoted her life to the poor – and some Catholics are upset that the Empire State Buliding won’t be lighting up in blue and white in […]

Embryonic Stem Cell Research = Abortion? The Pro-Life Response

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Updated to add Gallup’s pro-life poll results. A U.S. district judge has granted a preliminary injunction to stop federal funding of embryonic stem cell research that destroys embryos, a blow to the Obama administration, which plans to appeal the decision. Some […]

The Real Story Behind the ‘Ground Zero Church’ Rebuilding Delay

posted by Nicole Neroulias

As the so-called “Ground Zero mosque” (neither at Ground Zero, nor a mosque) controversy has raged on, fellow Greek Americans have been urging me to instead write about St. Nicholas, the Ground Zero church (no qualifier needed) destroyed on 9/11. Here’s […]

Soldiers Coerced Into Attending Christian Concerts? Military Religious Freedom Foundation Investigates

posted by Nicole Neroulias

As requested, here’s a roundup of links regarding the Military Religous Freedom Foundation’s investigation of claims that dozens of soldiers have been punished for opting out of attending a religious concert series at Fort Eustis in Virginia, organized by Maj. Gen. James E. […]

Pope’s UK Visit Forbids Booze, Pets, Musical Instruments; Susan Boyle to Perform

posted by Nicole Neroulias

(Updated to add vuvuzela ban.) Pope Benedict will embark on the first official papal visit to England and Scotland in a few weeks, and organizers have released a list of what is allowed and not allowed at the large-scale gatherings in London […]

Fun Friday: Team Jesus vs. Team Mohammed

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Updated: Check out what else applies to 1 in 5 Americans, over at my Huffington Post column. First, the not-so-fun news: The Rev. Franklin Graham went on CNN and perpetuated the misconception that President Obama was born Muslim because his absentee father’s family […]

Why Do People Still Think President Obama Is Muslim?

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Updated: Check out what else applies to 1 in 5 Americans, over at my Huffington Post column. I thought I was just being a little snarky in my last post about Park51 (the not at Ground Zero, not a mosque proposal ) when I […]

Christian College’s Police Force Ruled Unconstitutional

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Davidson College, a small private Presbyterian school in North Carolina, can’t have police officers with the power to arrest suspects and enforce state law — because of its religious affiliation, the state Court of Appeals ruled yesterday. From the Associated Press story: Allowing the […]

Another ‘Hallowed Ground’ vs. First Freedoms Debate: Hate Group Church Can Protest Military Funerals?

posted by Nicole Neroulias

The Westboro Baptist Church, a small hate group predominantly comprised of the Phelps family of Kansas, still has the right to picket at military funerals with signs like “Thank God for Dead Gay Soldiers” and “God Hates Fags,” asserting its claim that […]

The Case for Breaking Hallowed Ground: Israel’s Muslim Cemetery, NYC’s Lower Manhattan

posted by Nicole Neroulias

With President Obama throwing his constitutional law support behind the proposal to build an Islamic cultural center (community center, mosque, etc.) a few blocks from Ground Zero, the debate seems to have just gotten even more heated. Given that some Americans […]

Fun Friday the 13th: A Break from Serious Fears

posted by Nicole Neroulias

With all the panic lately about gay marriages resuming in California and mosques proposed near Ground Zero and elsewhere, plus Muslims scared that this year’s timing of the end of Ramadan will be interpreted as some kind of Sept. 11 celebration, it’s […]

Ramadan Begins With Fasting, Reflection, Creative Writing

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Ramadan, the holy Muslim month of reflection and daytime fasting, started yesterday. (This was not acknowledged during my Fox & Friends debate about the “Ground Zero Mosque” — perhaps I should have snuck in a cheerful “Ramadan Kareem” greeting to any Muslim […]

PopeWatch: Kentucky Clergy Abuse Lawsuit Dropped; Irish Bishop Resignations Rejected

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Nothing like a summer vacation to lift your spirits, especially after an especially stressful winter and spring. Pope Benedict, currently staying at the papal summer residence of Castel Gondolfo, has just gotten another reason to relax after his scandal-plagued Year for […]

Debate Continues on NYC’s 9/11 Bus Ads Against ‘Ground Zero Mosque’

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Here’s the clip of my appearance on Fox & Friends this morning, briefly discussing why I think the 9/11 NYC bus ads against Park51 (formerly called Cordoba House, inaccurately smeared as the “Ground Zero Mosque”) are bad advertising at best, grossly […]

NYC Bus Ads Will Use 9/11 Photo To Oppose Islamic Center Near Ground Zero

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Update: I’ll be appearing on the Fox & Friends morning show at about 8:15 a.m. Wednesday morning (August 11), along with Stop Islamization of America’s Pamela Geller, to discuss this issue. The New York Times reports that some New York City buses will […]

No Atheists in Foxholes? Christopher Hitchens Proves Otherwise

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Vocal atheist (among other things) Christopher Hitchens is gravely ill, with esophageal cancer. After his diagnosis became public two months ago, people, particularly Christians, wondered whether it would be appropriate to pray for the author of God Is Not Great: How […]

Fun Friday: Julia Roberts Becomes Hindu (While Eating, Praying, Loving)

posted by Nicole Neroulias

People reports that Julia Roberts, who was raised Christian, is now “definitely” Hindu. Presumably, she felt a spiritual connection to the faith while filming Eat Pray Love in India. According to the magazine: The entire Roberts-Moder family, she reveals, goes […]

Cheerful Jews, Fearful Catholics React to Elena Kagan’s Supreme Court Confirmation

posted by Nicole Neroulias

The Senate has approved the nomination of U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan, 50, to the Supreme Court. With Kagan, it’ll be the first time the court has three female justices, three Jewish justices, and no Protestants. Catholic News Agency reports that Kagan’s […]

Religious Reactions Range to Overturn of Prop. 8 (Gay Marriage Ban)

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Updated at 6 p.m. to add more links. U.S. Judge Vaughn Walker has struck down Proposition 8, California’s 2008 ban on same-sex marriages, finding it unconstitutional. It’s the latest battle lost in the conservative Christian war on gay marriage — […]

Mayor Bloomberg Welcomes Muslims, as NYC Denies Landmark Status to ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ Site

posted by Nicole Neroulias

In a unanimous vote and with Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s blessing, New York City’s landmarks commission has withheld historic protection from the downtown building slated to become Park51, a kind of Muslim-based YMCA. (Recently rebranded from its Cordoba House name, but still better known […]

Feeling Burned Out? Clergy Can Relate

posted by Nicole Neroulias

I thought crossing the country with a teething toddler, while still trying to crank journalism out between major family festivities, was exhausting. Good thing I’m not a priest/pastor/minister/rabbi — they’ve apparently got it worse! (I wonder how the compensation compares…) […]

Chelsea Clinton’s Interfaith Ceremony Ends Wedding Speculation, But Not Marriage Debate

posted by Nicole Neroulias

I’m a religion reporter with a personal and professional interest in interfaith families, but I was put off by the endless speculation and random weighing-in about Chelsea Clinton’s wedding ceremony these past few weeks. (Though, to be fair, what seemed like […]

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posted 4:57:28pm Feb. 14, 2012 | read full post »

Fun Friday: Atheist Temple Planned for UK's Nonbelievers
Author Alain de Botton has announced plans to build an Atheist temple in the United Kingdom, presumably so nonbelievers have a place to gather and share their philosophies. Um... isn't that what Starbucks is for? Also, I can't wait to see how the architect will handle this kind of project. May

posted 2:53:42pm Jan. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Alaska Airlines: High Payers No Longer Offered Sky Prayers
Alaska Airlines, now the country's seventh-largest airline, has announced it will stop offering prayer cards with its in-flight meals. (It's just raining religion news in the great unchurched Pacific Northwest lately.) I've flown Alaska several times since moving to Seattle, but I confess that I'

posted 11:07:56am Jan. 26, 2012 | read full post »

Washington's Gay Marriage Debate: Clergy vs. Clergy
I reported for Reuters at the Washington state Capitol yesterday, covering the public hearings on a gay marriage bill -- and in between, the breaking news that the state Senate now has enough votes to pass the bill. (The House already had enough votes.) It now appears that Washington's lawmakers wi

posted 11:24:39am Jan. 24, 2012 | read full post »

What Israel's Domestic Policy & Santorum Supporters Have in Common
Hope everyone had an introspective Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, whether observed as a faith-related holiday, a nice break from the work week or something else entirely. Check out this story from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly about how mandatory sentencing for drug crimes and non-violent offens

posted 1:32:44pm Jan. 18, 2012 | read full post »

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