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Belief Beat

Belief Beat

January 1970 Archives

Honor Killings & Clergy Abuse: The Exceptions That (Don’t) Prove The Rule?

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Stories about clergy abuse and honor killings have something interesting in common: the horror rarely seems to faze the truly faithful — or at least not the faithful who haven’t experienced it in their immediate circles. In my reporting and casual conversations, […]

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Fun Friday: 103-Year-Old Dancing Nun, Un-Kosher Israel Flight & Oscar Preview

posted by Nicole Neroulias

The Pew Research Center reports that religion coverage doubled last year — to a whopping 2 percent of overall news — largely due to negative stories like the Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal, Florida pastor Terry Jones’ threat to burn the Koran, the Park51 (“Ground Zero […]

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Obama: Defense of Marriage Act Unconstitutional (Unlike Health Care Reform Law)

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Updated Feb. 24 to add Catholic link. This just in: President Obama has ordered the Justice Department to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law that bars federal recognition of same-sex marriage, against lawsuits challenging it as […]

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Faithful Clash Over Proposed Budget Cuts

posted by Nicole Neroulias

As Religion & Ethics Newsweekly reported on PBS this week, proposed government budget cuts have prompted heated debate between religious groups morally opposed to cutting aid to the poor and limiting the rights of labor unions, and conservatives who consider America’s debt a […]

Fun Friday: Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Drake & Matisyahu Inspire Faithful Fans

posted by Nicole Neroulias

It’s awards season, so there’s lots of celebrity news — and the religion beat is no exception. Recent headlines include music superstars like Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga using their fame to weigh in on contentious values issues like abortion […]

Poll: Fox News Fans & White Evangelicals Fear American Muslims

posted by Nicole Neroulias

A new poll has asked Americans how they feel about U.S. Rep. Peter King’s plans for a Congressional hearing on the threat of homegrown Islamic terrorism. In my story for Religion News Service, I noted that most Americans haven’t heard […]

The Mighty Fall: Thomas Euteneuer, Charlie Sheen, Miley Cyrus

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Journalists can be a cynical bunch. (Perhaps we see too much, though there’s no excuse for some of the awful comments about CBS correspondent Lara Logan, who is recovering from a beating and sexual assault she suffered while reporting in Egypt.) Maybe that’s […]

Prophet Muhammad’s Birth, Buddha’s Death Converge Today

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Any Mu-Bu’s out there? (Muslim Buddhists… Not quite as catchy as Bu-Jews or Cashews, but maybe I’ll start a trend here.) There’s twice as much reason for you to celebrate today: it’s the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday as well as Nirvana Day, the […]

Happy Valentine’s Day: Faith News Roundup

posted by Nicole Neroulias

It’s Valentine’s Day: a Christian feast for some, a (happy or dreaded) Hallmark holiday for others. In addition to the story links provided by today’s Religion News Service daily roundup and a range of lovely links on Beliefnet’s main page, here are […]

Fun Friday: Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Biblical Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask)

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Lots of reporters and bloggers have been covering the new iPhone app for Confession, but it just feels like a retread of last month’s Fun Friday, about Penance, a similar app. Then again, you may need several silly, painless ways to seek […]

Congressional Hearing Will Focus on U.S. Muslims, Homegrown Terrorism

posted by Nicole Neroulias

U.S. Rep. Peter King of New York, the new Republican head of the House Homeland Security Committee, is moving full speed ahead on controversial hearings to assess the threat of homegrown Islamic terrorism. (To borrow an old Chris Rock joke, what […]

Must-Read: New Yorker Investigation of Church of Scientology

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Updated to add Rolling Stone link. Scientology has come under a lot of fire in the past year, as the St. Petersburgh Times, CNN and other media outlets — helped along by Anonymous, a kind of WikiLeaks of the organization […]

Vatican Updates Catholic Hospital Ethics Guidelines, But Pope Can’t Be Organ Donor

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Check out the medical news out of the Vatican, as covered by my Religion News Service colleague Francis X. Rocca: Vatican to Draft Guidelines for Catholic Hospitals Pope Can’t Be Organ Donor, Church Says (The first story relates to my […]

Did You Spot the ‘Rejected’ John 3:16 Ad During the Super Bowl?

posted by Nicole Neroulias

USA Today’s Faith & Reason blog and The Christian Post report that this Super Bowl ad reportedly rejected by Fox execs due to its religious content ran during yesterday’s game after all — at least, it did in Washington, DC. GetReligion […]

More Fun Friday: The Birth of a New Jewish Holiday in Texas?

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Comedy Central’s The Daily Show With Jon Stewart had a funny field report last night from Texas, covering the “miracle” of a Jewish Republican’s reelection. The show focuses on how Texas Rep. Joe Straus, Speaker of the Lone Star state’s House of […]

Fun Friday: Getting Ready for Super Bowl & Porn Sunday

posted by Nicole Neroulias

The Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers will face off in Super Bowl XLV this weekend, and there’s been plenty of faith-related coverage leading up to the big day. Here’s a sample, starting with a related preview story about […]

Gabrielle Giffords’ Husband, Astronaut Mark Kelly, Speaks at National Prayer Breakfast

posted by Nicole Neroulias

NASA astronaut Capt. Mark Kelly, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ husband, delivered the closing prayer at this morning’s National Prayer Breakfast. From CNN’s coverage: At one point during his wife’s hospitalization in Tucson, Mark Kelly said he visited an impromptu memorial set […]

Happy Year of the Rabbit & Presidential Prayers for Daughter’s Hemlines

posted by Nicole Neroulias

For such a short month, February sure does have a lot of holidays! Today is Chinese/Lunar New Year — it’s now the Year of the Rabbit, so my sister-in-law in Hong Kong and her pet bunny are in luck! — and Setsubun-sai, […]

Happy Groundhog Day and Candlemas: Prayers Answered for Winter’s End?

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Just a bit of sillinesss to balance out the Middle East today: It’s Groundhog Day, and Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow, which means he has predicted an early spring. (Sure, if you live in Seattle, where it’s been mild […]

Egypt News: Will Religious Freedom Win, Lose or Draw?

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Updated with more links at 2:30 p.m. EST. It seems like everyone has an opinion about the turmoil in Egypt, including what the implications may be for the region’s Islamic groups and religious freedom. This concerned confusion extends to the fate of […]

January Flashback: Memorial Circumcision, Religious DNA, Spiritual Fitness & Elvis-Kissing Nun

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Updated to add link to Entertainment Weekly story about Mother Dolores Hart. Belief Beat usually covers hard news or stories that make multiple headlines, but now that it’s February, let’s look back at a few interesting January features you may have missed: […]

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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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