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Belief Beat

Belief Beat

January 1970 Archives

‘Hugging Saint’ Amma & Devotees Tour U.S., Plan Japan Disaster Relief

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Amma, an Indian woman called the “hugging saint” for her method of blessing via embrace, came to the Seattle area with an entourage of devotees this weekend for the start of her 25th North American tour. I was able to […]

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May Flashback: San Francisco to Vote on Circumcision, Bishop Eddie Long Settles & More

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day weekend — prayers and picnics alike. Here’s my top five list interesting faith-related news from the past few weeks worth keeping an eye on: Battle over circumcision is shaping up in California (JTA) […]

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Fun Friday: Saint’s Head for Sale, Christian Brains for Study

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Mixed news for Christian noggins this week: The skull of St. Vitalis of Assisi, a 14th Century Benedictine monk who led an “immoral and licentious youth” before becoming the saint to pray with to be healed from bladder or venereal disease, […]

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Need a Hug, or Some Answers, From Amma the Hugging Saint?

posted by Nicole Neroulias

I’m meeting Mata Amritanandamayi — aka Amma, “the hugging saint” — at the start of her new U.S. tour tomorrow. (It’s nice when national religion news comes to the Seattle area!) Cathy Lynn Grossman at USA Today wrote about her during […]

Oprah’s Last Show Praises Jesus; Elizabeth Smart’s Last Court Appearance Affirms Faith

posted by Nicole Neroulias

It’s a strange juxtaposition of long-awaited faith-related news this afternoon, with Oprah’s final network TV show talk show episode, and the much-delayed sentencing of Brian David Mitchell, the homeless man who kidnapped and raped Mormon teenager Elizabeth Smart in 2002. […]

Why We Covered the May 21 Rapture (That Wasn’t?) & Will Cover October’s Judgment Day (That Isn’t?)

posted by Nicole Neroulias

In the days since the unrapturous Rapture, I’ve seen a lot of comments here and on other religion blogs asking why Harold Camping’s prophecy got so much coverage in the first place, alternately accusing the media of snarky schadenfreude or […]

Fun Friday II: Ready for the Rapture?

posted by Nicole Neroulias

It’s one thing not to take the world ending seriously… but most people, including reporters, seem to be using Harold Camping’s May 21 prediction as the chance to have some fun. (Especially since even Camping’s Family Radio ministry employees don’t […]

Fun Friday: Stephen Colbert’s Helpful Advice for Catholic Priests

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Stephen Colbert, a Catholic, had some helpful advice last night for pedophile priests confused by poor training and preparation for the social upheavals of the 1960s-1970s — one of the conclusions of a recent (extremely problematic) clergy abuse study: “Do: […]

UPDATED: Muslims, Jews Pay Close Attention to Obama’s Middle East Speech

posted by Nicole Neroulias

President Obama is giving gave a speech about the “Arab Spring” and related upheavals in the Middle East this morning, and is meeting with Israeli officials tomorrow and Sunday (unless the world ends). Here’s the text of the speech, which included this […]

Study Blames Poor Training, Not Celibacy or Homosexuality, for Catholic Clergy Abuse

posted by Nicole Neroulias

UPDATE: Whispers in the Loggia has a link to the lengthy report. Also, see the Comments section for more links and information, such as The New York Times revelation that this study used 10 as the victim age cutoff for […]

Vatican Sets May 2012 Deadline for Guidelines Against Clergy Abuse

posted by Nicole Neroulias

The Vatican has ordered Catholic bishops around the world to create clear, coordinated procedures to stop clergy abuse — by May 2012. The deadline is included in a new letter that the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith just […]

Billy Graham Released From Hospital; Lady Gaga’s Taking the Reins?

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Five days after being admitted to a North Carolina hospital with pneumonia, the Rev. Billy Graham has been released from the hospital, and is now resting comfortably at his mountain home. Meanwhile, is Lady Gaga trying to be the next […]

Fun Friday: Pope John Paul II Killed Bin Laden, Jesus Hammers Thor & The End is Near

posted by Nicole Neroulias

It’s Friday the 13th, so whether you’re scared or skeptical about this “unlucky” day, check out this CNN Belief Blog piece by Stuart Vise about the superstition. Now, if you’re ready for some fun, check out this “Yahweh or No Way” […]

BREAKING NEWS: The Rev. Billy Graham, 92, Hospitalized With Pneumonia

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Evangelist and “pastor to presidents” Billy Graham has been admitted to a North Carolina hospital, with pneumonia. Officials say Graham is resting comfortable, and perhaps it’s not too serious: CNN reports that his son, Franklin Graham, is not expected to return from […]

Poll: Americans Think Bin Laden’s in Hell, But Would Jesus Want Us to Celebrate (Much)?

posted by Nicole Neroulias

This month’s Public Religion Research Institute/Religion News Service poll asked how Americans  feel about Osama bin Laden’s death, whether the Golden Rule applies to terrorists, and other questions that probe the grey area between Christian belief and behavior. No surprise […]

Presbyterians, U.S. Navy Tackle Gay Acceptance — Upsetting Some Christians

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Do big gay faith news stories come in threes? If so, we’ve already had two this week: The Presbyterian Church got enough member region (presbytery) votes Tuesday to allow gay clergy, after more than three decades of debate and nearly […]

No Offense? Sojourners Rejects Gay Ad, Jewish Paper Rejects Hillary Clinton’s Image

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Here’s a case of two faith-related news stories that both illustrate two of my favorite sayings: “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you” and “The medium is the message.” Sojourners, the progressive Christian organization helmed by Jim Wallis, is getting lots […]

Happy Mother’s Day: Here’s a Bouquet of Faith-Related News

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Happy Mother’s Day — I’m enjoying a rare day off from everything, but here’s a quick round-up of related news — in exchange for sleeping in tomorrow? (I may have just jinxed the religion reporting universe…) Thanks, Moms (Whispers in […]

Fun Friday: If Muslims & Christians Pray Together, Can Santa – or God – Tell the Difference?

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Check out this field report about interfaith cooperation from last night’s Daily Show With Jon Stewart, in which correspondent-comedian John Oliver plays the role of a conservative Christian confused by a Virginia church allowing Muslims to pray in its multi-purpose room. (Seems like […]

UPDATED With Faith Links: Happy National Day of Prayer (Still Not Canceled!)

posted by Nicole Neroulias

It’s National Day of Prayer, and somehow this year we’ve managed not to hear any rumors about it being canceled by our not-Muslim President Obama. Perhaps this is the ultimate indication that killing Osama bin Laden — pretty much the answer […]

U.S. Jewish Groups Welcome Bin Laden’s Death, But Urge Continued Vigilance

posted by Nicole Neroulias

As religious and secular outlets alike scramble to cover the hell out of the death of Osama bin Laden, the two emerging angles have been “what’s the appropriate way to react to the news” and “was the at-sea burial Islamically appropriate, and […]

BREAKING NEWS: Osama Bin Laden Killed in Pakistan; U.S. Muslim Groups Respond; Updated Faith Links

posted by Nicole Neroulias

So much for the royal wedding stealing the thunder of Pope John Paul’s beatification, the Bible Belt tornado deaths, the “60 Minutes” interview with Lara Logan about her assault in Cairo, and all the other news going on this weekend — the top […]

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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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