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Belief Beat

Belief Beat

October 2010 Archives

Fun Friday: Faith Groups Plan ‘Faux-test’ at Stewart-Colbert Rally

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Comedy Central’s Daily Show host (and one of America’s top 50 influential Jews) Jon Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear” — essentially a giant eyeroll at Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally and Al Sharpton’s “Reclaim the Dream” counter-march two months ago — […]

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Christians + Sunday Oct. 31 = Holyween, not Halloween?

posted by Nicole Neroulias

I happen to be a big fan of Halloween, but plenty of people — particularly some Christians — see the holiday as all trick, no treat. And with Oct. 31 falling on a Sunday this month, it seems the debate […]

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Do Politicians Need Prayers? O’Donnell, Obama, & Others Say ‘Amen’

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Christine O’Donnell and Michelle Obama don’t agree on much, but they do believe in the power of prayer — specifically, at the polls.  Though trailing Democrat Chris Coons in Delaware’s U.S. Senate race, O’Donnell says God wants her to win this election. In […]

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Catholic News: Bishops Take Stand On Israel; Legal Woes At Home, Abroad

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Tons of Catholic news to report today, so here’s some links from Religion News Service’s daily roundup: Catholic Bishops from the Middle East summoned to Rome by Pope Benedict XVI demanded that Israel end its “occupation” of Arab lands. Benedict called on Islamic countries in the […]

Juan Williams, Muslims, Free Speech & Political Correctness

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Lots of journalists and/or bloggers have weighed in on the Juan Williams-NPR-Muslims controversy over the weekend, with public opinion leaning towards “NPR was wrong/premature to fire Williams” line of thinking. (Don’t cry for Williams: contrast to the departures of Helen Thomas and […]

Fun Friday: Berenstain Bears are Christian; Simpsons are ‘Presbylutheran’

posted by Nicole Neroulias

The Berenstain Bears have found Jesus — some examples of recent titles starring the furry forest family include The Berenstain Bears Go To Sunday School and The Berenstain Bears Show God’s Love. So much for my vague — and I […]

Obama’s India Trip Will Skip Sikh Temple: Islamophobic Victory?

posted by Nicole Neroulias

The New York Times reports that President Obama will not visit the Golden Temple, a Sikh holy site and major tourist attraction, during his trip to India next month — apparently because a photo of him wearing the required head covering would […]

Christine O’Donnell & Church-State Separation Confusion: WW(T)JD?

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Christine “I’m Not A Witch” O’Donnell , Delaware’s aspiring senator, is now making headlines for current events (as opposed to youthful indiscretions): her confusion at yesterday’s debate with Democratic opponent Chris Coons over what the First Amendment says about religion. Here’s […]

Crystal Cathedral, Megachurch Home to ‘Hour of Power,’ Files for Bankruptcy

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Crystal Cathedral Ministries, the Southern California megachurch known for its weekly “Hour of Power” TV show, has filed for bankruptcy court protection. Founded by televangelist Robert Schuller in the 1950s, the church more than $40 million in debt. His daugher, senior pastor Sheila […]

Pope Benedict Apologizes (Again) For Abuse, Canonizes Whistleblower Nun

posted by Nicole Neroulias

In a letter to seminarians around the world today, Pope Benedict has once again denounced abusive priests for causing “profound shame and regret,” while encouraging aspiring clergy to continue their studies and insisting that celibacy still “makes sense.” An excerpt: Recently […]

Fun Friday: British Catholics Campaign to ‘Reclaim’ Halloween

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Halloween has my vote for most fun holiday, so this jumped out at me this week: Catholic News Agency reports that a British Catholic leader has launched a “window light campaign intended to ‘reclaim’ Halloween as Christian holiday.” Damian Stayne, […]

Bishop Gene Robinson Helps Assure Gay Teens That ‘It Gets Better’

posted by Nicole Neroulias

New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson, the Episcopal Church’s first openly gay bishop, has contributed a video to the “It Gets Better” project, aimed at assuring gay teenagers who are considering suicide that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel of high […]

Chilean Miners Saved — and ‘Saved?’

posted by Nicole Neroulias

The 33 Chilean miners have been miraculously rescued from their two month underground ordeal, answering the world’s prayers. As an update to my post yesterday on this topic, check out GetReligion’s latest roundup of the faith-related coverage. Now that everyone is […]

Rescue Efforts Underway for Chilean Miners, Sustained by Faith

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Rescue efforts for the trapped Chilean miners are going slowly but smoothly, as I type this. All we can do now is hope and pray, as the families in that predominantly Catholic country have done for the past two months — […]

Gay Faith News Roundup: Paladino, Bullies, Marriage & Mormons

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Over the holiday weekend, it looks like my prediction about gay news overtaking Islamophobia (Obama’s Muslim roots, Park51, etc.) came to fruition: National Coming Out Day meets polarized American politics meets tragic bullying-related suicides… brace yourselves. While I catch up on […]

PBS Miniseries, ‘God In America,’ Probes U.S. Faith History

posted by Nicole Neroulias

I’m looking forward to catching Monday night’s debut of God in America, a six-part series that aims to explore how deeply religion has influenced and informed public life in the United States, from Catholic missionaries’ first encounter with Native Americans […]

Fun Friday: Praise for Grilled Cheesus on ‘Glee’

posted by Nicole Neroulias

This week’s episode of Glee focused on religion, with lunkhead leading man Finn Hudson’s creation of a “Grilled Cheesus” (burned toast resembling Jesus) prompting him to coax New Directions to sing about faith. The glee club’s musical numbers included covers […]

Hate Group Church Defends Right to Protest Military Funerals

posted by Nicole Neroulias

The new (now with more Jews!) Supreme Court has heard from Pastor Fred Phelps today, defending his Westboro Baptist Church’s right to picket military funerals with signs that say things like “God Hates Fags” and “Thank God for Dead Gay Soldiers.” (The […]

Tea Party & Religious Right: Same Time, Same Place, Different Invite?

posted by Nicole Neroulias

According to a Public Religion Research Institute study released today, Tea Party supporters tend to be members of the religious right — though not all members of the religious right are Tea Party supporters. (Get it?) From the researchers: Much of the […]

Design for Park51, the Mosque Near Ground Zero: Look, Ma, No Horns!

posted by Nicole Neroulias

In my Fox News debate a few months back with Pamela Geller, the anti-Muslim activist who funded those awful bus ads against Park51 (formerly known as Cordoba House, smeared as the “Ground Zero Mosque”), I called the situation “false advertising.” One […]

Fun Friday: Do Aliens (The E.T. Kind) Have Souls?

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Truth has been stranger and sadder than fiction lately in the religion news world, so here’s a quick Fun Friday to set a lighter mood: Speaking at the Britain Science Festival, Dr. Guy Consolmagno, 57, one of 12 astronomers working at the Vatican’s observatory and […]

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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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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

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