.
March 1st, 2012
06:17 PM ET

Lesbian denied communion at mother's funeral

(CNN) -  Barbara Johnson  says she was denied communion at her mother's funeral in Gaithersburg, Maryland on Saturday because she is a lesbian.

Later, as she delivered the eulogy, she says Father Marcel Guarnizo left the altar and didn't return until she was done speaking.  Johnson says the Priest also skipped the burial service, claiming he was sick.

Johnson tells CNN the reason she is speaking out about this now is because, "we would not want any other family to go through what was the worst experience on the very worst day of all of our lives."   That is why, she adds,  "we believe it's important that Father Marcel is removed from parish life."

The Archdiocese of Washington says it is looking into the incident and will handle it as a personnel issue.

Playoff game rescheduled for Jewish basketball team that refused to play on Sabbath
The Beren Stars will play their playoff game on Friday afternoon, before the Jewish Sabbath begins.
March 1st, 2012
05:07 PM ET

Playoff game rescheduled for Jewish basketball team that refused to play on Sabbath

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - A Jewish high school basketball team that had opted out of a shot at a Texas state championship because it refused to play on the Sabbath will now get that shot, after a playoff game was rescheduled on Thursday.

The game, initially set for Friday night, after the Jewish Sabbath begins, has been rescheduled for Friday afternoon, Houston’s Robert M. Beren Academy announced Thursday.

The Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) made the scheduling change after parents threatened a lawsuit, the Orthodox Jewish private school said in a statement.

Read the full story on CNN's Belief blog

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Federal judge apologizes for racist e-mail aimed at President Obama
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Cebull says the e-mail was "inappropriate and stupid."
March 1st, 2012
03:41 PM ET

Federal judge apologizes for racist e-mail aimed at President Obama

By Bill Mears, CNN

(CNN) - Montana's chief federal judge has offered his apologies for forwarding a racist e-mail aimed at President Barack Obama. Liberal advocacy groups demanded that U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull to resign.

Cebull, in an interview Wednesday with the Billings Gazette newspaper, offered his regrets for forwarding the e-mail, saying it was "a hard lesson to learn."

"To say it's inappropriate and stupid is an extreme understatement," according to the newspaper. "There is no doubt it's racist. It wasn't forwarded for that purpose. If anything, it was political."

Read the full story

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Filed under: Black in America • Discrimination • Politics • Race • Who we are
Engage: Could the next American Idol be Asian-American?
Charice Pempengco had success as a singer, but some Asian-American artists say racial barriers prevent success in the U.S.
March 1st, 2012
12:00 PM ET

Engage: Could the next American Idol be Asian-American?

Engage with news and opinions from around the web about under-reported stories from undercovered communities.

Profile: 24-year-old mayor's personal story fuels success: 'This is the story of a community that conspired together to raise a child' - Rock Center with Brian Williams

Asian-American artists fight for recognition - Global post.com

Will Cristina Rodriguez be Yale Law School's first-ever tenured Latina professor? - Yale Daily News

Opinion: The next great leap for women should be women creating and earning wealth on par with men - Forbes

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March 1st, 2012
09:28 AM ET

Opinion: Americans, don’t ignore Syria

Editor's note: Ahed Al Hendi is a dissident who fled his native Syria after being  imprisoned and tortured by Syrian authorities for establishing a secular student organization that was against the regime. He is now the Arabic Programs Coordinator at CyberDissidents.org, a New York-based human rights organization that highlights the voices of pro-democracy bloggers in the Middle East.

By Ahed Al Hendi, Special to CNN

(CNN) – I am a 27-year-old Syrian-American who came to the United States as a refugee.

In January 2009, I stood at the John F. Kennedy international airport in New York staring at a giant American flag.

As I examined each stripe, I thought of the long path I had traveled over the past two years to escape the tyranny of in Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

Bashar al-Assad: Syria's unintended president

I said to myself that everything has an end, and in my case, a happy ending.

I told myself that Syria would never change so I should forget about it.

I was jailed and persecuted for my political views and I was tempted to just be an American and leave it all behind.

But I could not.

And the current unrest reminds me why all Americans must not forget Syria.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Ethnicity • Politics • Social justice • Technology • Who we are
March 1st, 2012
07:00 AM ET

Jewish school to give up shot at state championship to observe Sabbath

Updated 3:40 p.m. March 1: Playoff game rescheduled for Jewish basketball team that refused to play on Sabbath

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) – With a shot at high school state championship glory on the line, a Jewish basketball team in Texas is opting for the sidelines, aiming for something a little higher.

The Robert M. Beren Academy in Houston will forfeit its semifinal playoff spot in the Class 2A basketball championships this weekend because the game falls on a Friday night, the start of the Jewish Sabbath.

The private Orthodox Jewish school observes the weekly Jewish day of rest, called Shabbat, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.

Read the full post on CNN's Belief blog

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Filed under: Community • Education • Religion • Who we are