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Belief Beat

Belief Beat

November 2010 Archives

Christians Conflicted as Gays in Military, Anti-Bullying Movements Gain Support

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has officially recommended that U.S. lawmakers repeal the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, citing a Pentagon study – taking religious concerns into account – that reports allowing openly gay troops would cause only “limited and isolated” short-term disruptions to military […]

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Terror Suspect Thwarted at Oregon Tree Lighting; Muslims Fear Backlash

posted by Nicole Neroulias

I’ll always remember Thanksgiving 2008 as the one where we carved the turkey to the sounds of CNN, anxious for updates on the attacks on Mumbai’s hotels, train station, cafes and Chabad House. Fortunately, this year’s holiday weekend remained terror-free, thanks to federal investigators […]

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Faith-Based Charities – and Cons – Gear Up For Holiday Season

posted by Nicole Neroulias

I’ve just written a Religion News Service story about whether people of faith make easier marks for con artists, prompted by the news of a Ponzi scheme that scammed $30 million from Chicago-area Muslims, along with other affinity frauds that have targeted Jews (Madoff, […]

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Pope’s Comments on Condoms Confuse Catholics, Correspondents

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Pope Benedict attempted to clarify the Catholic Church’s anti-condom policy in a recent interview with a German journalist over the weekend, but only seems to have caused more confusion. Basically, the pontiff affirmed the Vatican’s stance against artificial contraception (condoms, […]

Fun Friday: Lead Us Not Into Temptation, But Deliver Us From Facebook?

posted by Nicole Neroulias

A New Jersey pastor, the Rev. Cedric A. Miller, has announced that married leaders at Living World Christian Fellowship Church must quit Facebook, due to a surge in adultery among church members who have rekindled old flames or struck up […]

Obama Reforms White House Faith-Based Office: Too Much, or Not Enough?

posted by Nicole Neroulias

President Obama has signed an executive order to streamline the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, a group created under former President George W. Bush. The reform reflects recommendations made earlier this year by council members and critics, including […]

Surprise Promotion for NY Archbishop: Progress for Abuse Victims?

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Catholic and secular media outlets alike blared the news yesterday: in a surprise upset, New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan is the new head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) — the first time in decades that the group’s […]

Muslims Around the World Celebrate Hajj Pilgrimage

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Between 2 and 3 million Muslims have converged on Mecca, Saudi Arabia, for this year’s annual hajj — the pilgrimage to Islam’s holy city, birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad. (Only Muslims allowed.) Around the world, the event culminates with today’s Eid […]

NYT: Faithful Buy Exorcisms, Burning Bush, But Draw Line at UFOs, ESP?

posted by Nicole Neroulias

These two New York Times religion stories caught my eye over the weekend: The Burning Bush They’ll Buy, But Not ESP or Alien Abduction (by Mark Oppenheimer) For Roman Catholics, Interest in Exorcism Is Revived (by Laurie Goodstein) Oppenheimer’s piece […]

Fun Friday: Atheist Hymn, Jewish Oscar the Grouch, and Giant Jesus Race

posted by Nicole Neroulias

There were too many entertaining faith-related headlines to pick just one newsmaker this week, so here’s a Top 3 video edition of Fun Friday. (If you only want a print story, I also enjoyed the Baltimore nuns cashing in on a rare […]

Faithfully Appreciating Our Veterans

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Today (and every day, really) is Veterans Day, and I’d like to thank my father and others for their service and sacrifice. Incidentally, now that I live near Canada (and get to watch CBC’s figure skating coverage), I’ve seen how […]

Obamas in Indonesia: Headscarves, Handshakes & Heartfelt Words

posted by Nicole Neroulias

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have concluded their trip to Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country and the president’s former childhood home. Although the Indonesia visit had been postponed twice because of erupting domestic American concerns, the […]

Abduction Survivor Elizabeth Smart Testifies on Faith, Survival

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Elizabeth Smart, a sheltered, devout Mormon teenager from Salt Lake City, was abducted, raped and held against her will as the “plural wife” of self-proclaimed prophet Brian David Mitchell in June 2002. After reuniting with her parents and five siblings nine […]

Faith on the Move: Pope Benedict Visits Spain, President Obama Celebrates Diwali in India

posted by Nicole Neroulias

From today’s Religion News Service roundup: In Spain over the weekend, Pope Benedict XVI defended traditional families and the rights of the unborn, attacking Spanish laws that allow gay marriage, fast-track divorce and easier access to abortions; the pontiff was […]

First Openly Gay Episcopal Bishop Will Retire Early

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Bishop V. Gene Robinson, who recently made headlines for adding his voice to the “It Gets Better” project aimed at preventing gay teen suicides, has announced that he will retire in 2013. Robinson will only be 65 when he steps […]

Fun Friday: Colbert ‘Gives Props’ to Oklahoma Voters for Shariah Ban

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Comedy Central hosts Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert didn’t skip a beat this week, coming back from their Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear to satirize the mid-term elections (aka “Indecision 2010″) — including live Election Night coverage. Check out […]

South Asian Faithful Prepare for Diwali & Obama’s Visit

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Diwali, a major Hindu holiday also celebrated by some Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists, starts tomorrow — just as President Obama kicks off his 10-day tour of India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan. McClatchy’s Washington Blog reports: Obama knows all about the […]

Election Day 2010: Faith News Roundup

posted by Nicole Neroulias

The Republicans have the majority again in the U.S. House of Representatives — poising Rep. John Boehner to become its fifth-ever Catholic speaker and Rep. Eric Cantor to become its first-ever Jewish majority leader – but the U.S. Senate has kept its Democrat majority. Meanwhile, […]

Election Day 2010: News From The Pews

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Unless you’ve already voted by mail (the norm here in the Pacific Northwest), don’t forget that today is Election Day. Time to find out whether religious conservatives — especially the Tea Party — will help secure a Republican majority in the House […]

Catholics Killed in Baghdad Cathedral; Jews on High Alert in Chicago Synagogues

posted by Nicole Neroulias

If you’ve been out celebrating Halloween, Reformation Sunday, All Saints’ Day, Dia de los Muertos, Samhain or all/none of the above, you may have missed some really scary religion news: Muslim terrorists have killed dozens of Iraqi Christians inside a Baghdad cathedral, […]

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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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