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Belief Beat

Belief Beat

September 2010 Archives

President Obama Expresses His Christian Faith (Again)

posted by Nicole Neroulias

President Obama has talked about his Christian faith, once again. He explained at a New Mexico town hall-style discussion on the economy yesterday that he’s Christian “by choice” — wording presumably meant to reassure anyone who thinks he’s a “born Muslim” because […]

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Survey: Atheists, Jews, Mormons Know More About Religion than Protestants, Catholics

posted by Nicole Neroulias

The reason “atheists” are trending high right now on Twitter, Google and other search engines: A Pew study of religious literacy has found that atheists, followed by Jews and Momons, know more than Protestants and Catholics, based on a quiz […]

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Eddie Long, Black Megachurch Bishop, Vows to Fight Gay Sex Scandal

posted by Nicole Neroulias

I haven’t blogged yet about Eddie Long, the black church pastor who has preached against homosexuality and is now accused — falsely, he insists — of coercing men into sexual relationships. After sifting through dozens of stories about this emerging scandal, I […]

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RNA2010 Notes & Belated Fun Friday: Rainn Wilson, Stephen Colbert Express Their Faith

posted by Nicole Neroulias

I’m back from the annual Religion Newswriters Association conference, where journalists, academics and PR folks gather every year to talk shop. (Check out the live Twitter feed I helped produce: #RNA2010.) This year’s gathering was in Denver and included sessions […]

BREAKING NEWS: Texas School Board Adopts Resolution Against ‘Pro-Islamic’ Books

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Leave it to the Texas Board of Education to sneak this one in while so many religion reporters are at an annual convention…Here’s the story from the Houston Chronicle. From the article: A suggestion by board member Bob Craig to revise the […]

RNA2010 Notes: Tackling Bible Translations & Tweets (Mostly to Miley Cyrus)

posted by Nicole Neroulias

I’m attending the Religion Newswriters Association conference in Denver, and yesterday’s sessions focused on Bible translations. (For quick notes from the conference, check out the Twitter feed from the convention — #rna2010.) The news hook: Next year will be the 400th […]

Archbishop Chaput, Rainn Wilson to Speak at Religion Newswriters Conference in Denver

posted by Nicole Neroulias

I’m attending the annual Religion Newswriters Association conference in Colorado for the next few days, covering some of the sessions for Religion News Service, Huffington Post, this Beliefnet blog and via Twitter. (I missed last year’s RNA gathering in Minnesota, due to water-breaking news, haha… incidentally, […]

David Gregory, ‘As a Jew’ and Press Corps Insider, Slams Helen Thomas’ ‘Well-Known’ Views

posted by Nicole Neroulias

When a faith-related story falls off the radar, sometimes I try to catch up up with it, Lewis Black-style. (In all seriousness, it amazes me how short our news attention span is — when’s the last time you heard about the earthquake in Haiti, the […]

Conservative Christians Relieved as Senate Fails to Repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

posted by Nicole Neroulias

The Senate vote on a military bill that would have included the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” allowing openly gay troops to serve in the U.S. armed forces (as do our allies, including England and Israel), didn’t get enough […]

Monday Morning Quarterbacking: Obamas Attend Church, Hitchens Ignores Prayers, Muslims Meet in NYC

posted by Nicole Neroulias

While I continue to sift through all the coverage of Pope Benedict’s now-concluded visit to the United Kingdom, here are some links to other religion news stories that have made headlines in the last 24 hours: 1) Today is “Everybody Pray for Hitchens Day,” […]

PopeWatch: Does Being Pope Mean Always Having to Say You’re Sorry (For Clergy Abuse)?

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Remember that Time magazine cover story I blogged about a few months ago, “Why Being Pope Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry?” Pope Benedict seems to feel otherwise, given the number of apologies he has made lately — including two […]

Seattle Faith News: New Catholic Archbishop Appointed; ‘Draw Muhammad’ Cartoonist Goes Into Hiding

posted by Nicole Neroulias

The Pacific Northwest may be the least churched part of America, but two big religion stories come from my backyard today: a new Catholic archbishop heading to Seattle, and The Seattle Weekly announcement that “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” cartoonist Molly […]

Fun Friday II, Yom Kippur Edition: Colbert Nation Atones Via Hotline & Twitter

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, starts at sundown today, and once again, Jews who have wronged Stephen Colbert in the past year can apologize via his “Atone Phone” hotline: 1-888-OOPS-JEW. (Not to be confused with 1-888-MOPS-KEY, 1-888-MOSS-LEW or […]

Fun Friday, PopeWatch Edition: UK Bans Ice Cream Ad With Pregnant Nun

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Talk about an ice cream headache: an ad for Antonio Federici gelato, featuring a heavily pregnant nun spooning up the frozen treat paired with an “immaculately conceived” tagline, has been banned by Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority, prompted by Catholic outcry […]

PopeWatch: Anger, Apathy, Excitement Await Benedict in United Kingdom

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Pope Benedict’s four-day visit to England and Scotland kicked off today, and with the exception of the island’s excited Catholics and a warm welcome from British Prime Minister David Cameron and Queen Elizabeth, public sentiment apparently ranges from angry to apathetic. In other words, […]

France Bans Muslim Face Veils: Burqa & Niqab (Not Hijab)

posted by Nicole Neroulias

After months of will-they-or-won’t-they, the French government has banned face-cloaking veils such as the Muslim niqab and burqa (check Religion News Service for the distinctions). The law will go into effect in six months, assuming it gets the final stamp […]

Megachurch Rankings: Bigger, Faster (Growing), Better?

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Outreach magazine has come out with its list of America’s largest and fastest-growing churches. More than one million Americans attend the top 100 largest churches (at 384 worship sites). About half of these churches identify themselves as “nondenominational.” The top five: […]

Chickens as Yom Kippur Scapegoats? Jewish Kaparot Controversy Continues

posted by Nicole Neroulias

It’s the week between Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the fasting Day of Atonement. This period of introspection, called the Days of Awe, includes another observance for ultra-Orthodox Jews (also known as Hasidic or Haredi Jews): sacrificing chickens. […]

Ninth 9/11 Anniversary: A Mix of Grief, Conflict, Hope

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Despite the “rifts amid mourning,” we’ve survived another Sept. 11 anniversary – and some of us, including four of my friends and a new baby, even celebrated birthdays. As this New York Times story about 9/11 birthdays notes, this timing […]

Fun Friday: Muslim Mason Immortalized as Gargoyle on French Cathedral

posted by Nicole Neroulias

In the spirit of recognizing that the media have made a mountain out of the anthill that should be Pastor Terry Jones’ “Burn a Koran Day” (assuming it’s even still happening?) tomorrow in Florida, I’m not going to post any […]

Sarah Palin & President Obama Agree: Quran-Burning Is Wrong

posted by Nicole Neroulias

The chorus of voices against Pastor Terry Jones’ plan to host “Burn a Koran Day” at his ironically-named Dove World Outreach Center church in Florida church tomorrow — Sept. 11, which coincides with the Muslim celebration of Eid-al-Fitr, the joyous culmination […]

As Jewish, Muslim Celebrations Converge, Some Christians Prepare to Burn Qurans

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Rosh Hashanah 2010, the Jewish New Year (also spelled Hashana), begins tonight at sundown. The two-day festivity coincides this year with the Muslim celebration of Eid-al-Fitr 2010 (also spelled Id-al-Fitr — Judaism and Islam give copy editors headaches), which marks the end […]

Stephen Hawking’s Not-God Conclusion & the Religious Response

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Hope everyone had a good Labor Day weekend. What better way to start off a short week with a big religion news question: what does Stephen Hawking mean, writing that God is “not necessary” to explain the Big Bang? My […]

Fun Friday: Atheist Christopher Hitchens Still Alive, Kicking and ‘Blaspheming’

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Cancer takes a horrible toll on the body, so perhaps we can crack a smile when we find examples of the soul remaining defiantly intact — even if it is the potentially-damned soul of someone who doesn’t believe in such […]

Recession, Outreach Goals Prompt Jews to Tackle High Cost of High Holy Days

posted by Nicole Neroulias

The high cost of being Jewish — kosher food, synagogue dues, tuition, etc. — has made secular and religious headlines in recent months. It’s not a new problem, but the recession and the Madoff scandal have taken a heavy toll on Jewish […]

Some Lutherans, Like Episcopalians, Split to Form Gay-Free Church

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Are you someone who opposes openly gay clergy, if not homosexuality in general, and find that your religious group has become too permissive in recent years? If so, you may be a Lutheran. Or Episcopalian. Or Presbyterian. Perhaps a conservative Jew? Hmmm. To focus […]

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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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