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Fun Festivus: Top Religion Stories of 2011 & See You Next Year!

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Thanks to everyone who made it out last week to the Religion Newswriters Association & Religion Communicators Council networking event at The Huffington Post. Looking forward to more RNA/RCC gatherings; it’s a great way to talk faith-related news and get […]

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RIP Christopher Hitchens: In Heaven, Hell, In Between or Nowhere in Particular

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Prolific writer and ascerbic atheist Christopher Hitchens died yesterday, more than a year into his public battle with esophageal cancer. Kicking, screaming and ‘blaspheming’ until the end, surrounded by friends and prayed for (despite his indifference) by supporters? It’s a comforting […]

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Religion News Porridge: Too Hot, Too Cold, Just Right?

posted by Nicole Neroulias

My ancestors defined the “golden mean” as the middle ground between extremes; moderation in all things. A few thousand years later, Goldilocks and three bears made a similar discovery about ideal food temperature and furniture comfort. This Greek philosophy seems to […]

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Fun Friday: Colbert’s Reax to Mass Changes, Israel Backs Off Un-Kosher Ads & Religion Reporters Ready to Mingle

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Catholic comedian Stephen Colbert devoted a “Yahweh or No Way” segment to the new English translation of the Roman Missal (Mass). Only Colbert could work in references to Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” and They Might Be Giants’ “Istanbul (Not Contantinople)” […]

RIP Steve Jobs: From Christianity to Buddhism, Jesus Phone Included

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Rest in Peace, Steve Jobs. From playing Number Munchers on my third grade classroom’s Apple computer, to filing stories and photographs from my iPhone yesterday, your products changed my life — and the world. Jobs, 56, wasn’t much associated with faith […]

Fun Friday: Cagefighting Jesus, Alternative Southern Baptist Names, Ted Haggard’s Wife Swap

posted by Nicole Neroulias

The Daily Show and The Colbert Report aren’t resting on their Emmy laurels — they each had entertaining faith-related bits this week, particularly on the end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict’s United Nations edition. (Unfortunately, Comedy Central […]

Faith News Roundup for July 4: America Is/Was/Not a Christian Nation?

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Sorry for the delay, folks — technical difficulties! The Huffington Post’s Religion section published a range of July 4-themed columns, reflecting the range of beliefs practiced in the United States these days: ‘God of Liberty': The Role of Religion in […]

Fun Friday: Who Needs Soap Operas When We Have Pink Toenail Drama?

posted by Nicole Neroulias

As another possible sign of the (May 21?) apocalypse, we now have Soapocalypse: ABC has canceled longtime soap operas “All My Children” (home of Susan Lucci, with notable alums including Kelly Ripa and Christian Slater) and “One Life to Live.”  […]

Fun Friday: Afterlife Runs Short of iPad 2, But Hey, A Gay Caveman!

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Perhaps a bit morbid for a Fun Friday, but I still got a kick out of this story — partly because I’m still debating whether to buy this gadget now, or wait for the inevitable upgrade: iPad 2 sold out in […]

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 […]

Fun Friday: Got Sin? There’s an App for That

posted by Nicole Neroulias

We’ve had a lot of somber religion news this week, so here’s something from Religion Dispatches to lighten the mood: Crowdsourced Catholicism: New iPhone App Lets Users Forgive Sins. Penance, an application released for the iPhone in early December, allows users […]

Fun Friday: ‘War on Christmas’ Time Again!

posted by Nicole Neroulias

While I appreciate that some people have genuine concerns about church-state separation, religious freedom and cultural sensitivity, I simply can’t take “war on Christmas” stories too seriously, given the real wars going on in the world. As Stephen Colbert noted last night on […]

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 — […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Debate Continues on NYC’s 9/11 Bus Ads Against ‘Ground Zero Mosque’

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Here’s the clip of my appearance on Fox & Friends this morning, briefly discussing why I think the 9/11 NYC bus ads against Park51 (formerly called Cordoba House, inaccurately smeared as the “Ground Zero Mosque”) are bad advertising at best, grossly […]

Fun Friday: Jon Stewart Riffs On Fox News (Again), This Time About NASA-Muslim Outreach, Mosque Protests

posted by Nicole Neroulias

There were a lot of quirky religion news stories with serious undertones this week, ranging from a cussing Catholic priest ministering to Mexican gangsters to the appointment of a Muslim mayor in a strongly Orthodox Jewish suburb of New York City. Iran […]

Don’t Judge Stephen Prothero’s ‘God Is Not One’ By Its Cover

posted by Nicole Neroulias

My much-hyped (in certain circles) interview with Stephen Prothero, author of God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World — And Why Their Differences Matter, is now up at The Huffington Post. Check it out. Basically, I had […]

Critics Blast Religion News Covers: Time’s Pope Piece, Newsweek’s ‘Saint’ Sarah Palin Story

posted by Nicole Neroulias

The religion beat has suffered more than its share of budget cuts and turnover in recent years, so I was pleasantly surprised to see both major American weekly news magazines feature faith-based cover stories recently. Unfortunately, religion and journalism experts have found plenty of […]

Documentary Explores U.S. Evangelical Influence on Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill

posted by Nicole Neroulias

If you’re interested in learning more about the role that conservative religious leaders — including Pastor Lou Engle and other American evangelical Christians — have played in Uganda’s efforts to pass a harsh anti-gay law, check out tonight’s “Missionaries of Hate” […]

Happy Mother’s Day 2010, Despite Disappointing Research Results

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Mother’s Day, which falls this Sunday, is technically a secular holiday, but a range of denominations incorporate it into their worship services each year. Check out Beliefnet’s Mother’s Day 2010 page for inspirational quotes, prayers and other links for the […]

Pope Watch: Public Editor Defends NYT Coverage of Abuse Scandal

posted by Nicole Neroulias

In his weekly column yesterday, New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt defended the newspaper’s coverage of the Catholic Church’s clergy sex abuse scandal. The NYT has received hundreds of letters complaining about its investigation, mainly from lay Catholics who […]

RIP Alicia Parlette, San Francisco Chronicle’s Cancer Writer

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Alicia Parlette, 28, passed away yesterday, five years after her devastating diagnosis of sarcoma. a type of cancer. As I mentioned in my blog post last week, tens of thousands of readers had followed her emotional first-person series, Alicia’s Story, in the San […]

Muslim Extremist News: Lebanese TV Psychic Saved, South Park Censored

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Looks like the media spotlight and global campaigning by groups like Amnesty International has succeeded in saving Ali Hussain Sibat, the Lebanese TV psychic sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for “witchcraft” after being arrested by the country’s religious police during a pilgrimage. […]

Prayers for Alicia Parlette, San Francisco Chronicle’s Cancer Writer

posted by Nicole Neroulias

I was working in the Bay Area when one of my competitors, the San Francisco Chronicle, began running “Alicia’s Story,” a first-person account from a young copy editor who had been diagnosed with a rare form of sarcoma cancer. The compelling 17-part series, […]

Fun Friday: Vatican Newspaper Forgives The Beatles

posted by Nicole Neroulias

This week’s most entertaining religion story came out of the Vatican — a nice surprise, considering the significantly less pleasant headlines from there lately. In short, the Holy See’s official newspaper published a glowing tribute to The Beatles, on the 40th anniversary […]

Glenn Beck Gets ‘Twitterstorm’ From Jewish Social Justice Group

posted by Nicole Neroulias

From 9 a.m. today and for the next 24 hours, Jewish Funds for Justice is sending one “Tweet” a minute to Glenn Beck’s personal Twitter account. The “Haik U” messages (like haiku poems) are protesting the conservative broadcaster’s comments about religion and social […]

John Piper, Megachurch Pastor and Author, Takes Break to Tackle ‘Sins’

posted by Nicole Neroulias

John Piper, a prolific evangelical Christian author and founder of Desiring God Ministries, is taking an 8-month leave of absence from public life, including his role as pastor at Bethlethem Baptist Church in Minnesota. It’s not an April Fools’ Day joke […]

Pope Watch: Vatican Strikes Back at The Gray Lady

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Coverage of the Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal had focused on Ireland and Germany and other parts of Europe lately, until The New York Times started revisiting old American cases, trying to find a link between church coverups of pedophile priests and […]

Scientology Abuse Claims Investigated by CNN, AP

posted by Nicole Neroulias

The Church of Scientology is getting more unwanted publicity this week, as reporters look into claims made by former members accusing high-ranking officials — including church leader David Miscavige, who also served as best man in Tom Cruise’s wedding to […]

Trying ‘National Day of Unplugging,’ aka the Sabbath?

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Several years ago, I failed to make it through Lent without visiting my favorite time-sucking Web site; I’ve never even considered giving up Facebook or going offline entirely (not a professional option, anyway). But, all this coverage of the Sabbath Manifesto’s call […]

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More Blogs To Enjoy!
Thank you for visiting Belief Beat. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy:   Beliefnet News   Good News Happy Reading!   ...

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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