Editor's note: Kirby Ferguson is a New York-based writer, filmmaker and speaker who created the web video series Everything is a Remix. His videos, like the one above, can be found on Vimeo, an online community where artists share their films.
By John Blake, CNN
(CNN) - Can you speak Christian?
Have you told anyone “I’m born again?” Have you “walked the aisle” to “pray the prayer?”
Did you ever “name and claim” something and, after getting it, announce, “I’m highly blessed and favored?”
Many Americans are bilingual. They speak a secular language of sports talk, celebrity gossip and current events. But mention religion and some become armchair preachers who pepper their conversations with popular Christian words and trendy theological phrases.
If this is you, some Christian pastors and scholars have some bad news: You may not know what you’re talking about. They say that many contemporary Christians have become pious parrots. They constantly repeat Christian phrases that they don’t understand or distort.
Marcus Borg, an Episcopal theologian, calls this practice “speaking Christian.” He says he heard so many people misusing terms such as “born again” and “salvation” that he wrote a book about the practice.
People who speak Christian aren’t just mangling religious terminology, he says. They’re also inventing counterfeit Christian terms such as “the rapture” as if they were a part of essential church teaching.
The rapture, a phrase used to describe the sudden transport of true Christians to heaven while the rest of humanity is left behind to suffer, actually contradicts historic Christian teaching, Borg says.
“The rapture is a recent invention. Nobody had thought of what is now known as the rapture until about 1850,” says Borg, canon theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Oregon.
How politicians speak Christian
Speaking Christian isn’t confined to religion. It’s infiltrated politics.
Political candidates have to learn how to speak Christian to win elections, says Bill Leonard, a professor of church history at Wake Forest University’s School of Divinity in North Carolina.
One of our greatest presidents learned this early in his career. Abraham Lincoln was running for Congress when his opponent accused him of not being a Christian. Lincoln often referred to the Bible in his speeches, but he never joined a church or said he was born again like his congressional opponent, Leonard says.
"Lincoln was less specific about his own experience and, while he used biblical language, it was less distinctively Christian or conversionistic than many of the evangelical preachers thought it should be,” Leonard says.
Lincoln won that congressional election, but the accusation stuck with him until his death, Leonard says.
One recent president, though, knew how to speak Christian fluently.
During his 2003 State of the Union address, George W. Bush baffled some listeners when he declared that there was “wonder-working power” in the goodness of American people.
Evangelical ears, though, perked up at that phrase. It was an evangelical favorite, drawn from a popular 19th century revival hymn about the wonder-working power of Christ called “In the Precious Blood of the Lamb.”
Leonard says Bush was sending a coded message to evangelical voters: I’m one of you.
“The code says that one: I’m inside the community. And two: These are the linguistic ways that I show I believe what is required of me,” Leonard says.
Have you ‘named it and claimed it'?
Ordinary Christians do what Bush did all the time, Leonard says. They use coded Christian terms like verbal passports - flashing them gains you admittance to certain Christian communities.
Say you’ve met someone who is Pentecostal or charismatic, a group whose members believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as healing and speaking in tongues. If you want to signal to that person that you share their belief, you start talking about “receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost” or getting the “second blessings,” Leonard says.
Translation: Getting a baptism by water or sprinkling isn’t enough for some Pentecostals and charismatics. A person needs a baptism “in the spirit” to validate their Christian credentials.
Or say you’ve been invited to a megachurch that proclaims the prosperity theology (God will bless the faithful with wealth and health). You may hear what sounds like a new language.
Prosperity Christians don’t say “I want that new Mercedes.” They say they are going to “believe for a new Mercedes.” They don’t say “I want a promotion.” They say I “name and claim” a promotion.
The rationale behind both phrases is that what one speaks aloud in faith will come to pass. The prosperity dialect has become so popular that Leonard has added his own wrinkle.
“I call it ‘name it, claim it, grab it and have it,’ ’’ he says with a chuckle.
Some forms of speaking Christian, though, can become obsolete through lack of use.
Few contemporary pastors use the language of damnation - “turn or burn,” converting “the pagans” or warning people they’re going to hit “hell wide open” - because it’s considered too polarizing, Leonard says. The language of “walking the aisle” is also fading, Leonard says.
Appalachian and Southern Christians often told stories about staggering into church and walking forward during the altar call to say the “sinner’s prayer” during revival services that would often last for several weeks.
“People ‘testified’ to holding on to the pew until their knuckles turned white, fighting salvation all the way,” Leonard says. “You were in the back of the church, and you fought being saved.”
Contemporary churchgoers, though, no longer have time to take that walk, Leonard says. They consider their lives too busy for long revival services and extended altar calls. Many churches are either jettisoning or streamlining the altar call, Leonard says.
“You got soccer, you got PTA, you got family responsibilities - the culture just won’t sustain it as it once did,” Leonard says.
Even some of the most basic religious words are in jeopardy because of overuse.
Calling yourself a Christian, for example, is no longer cool among evangelicals on college campuses, says Robert Crosby, a theology professor at Southeastern University in Florida.
“Fewer believers are referring to themselves these days as ‘Christian,’ ” Crosby says. “More are using terms such as ‘Christ follower.’ This is due to the fact that the more generic term, Christian, has come to be used within religious and even political ways to refer to a voting bloc.”
What’s at stake
Speaking Christian correctly may seem like it’s just a fuss over semantics, but it’s ultimately about something bigger: defining Christianity, says Borg, author of “Speaking Christian.”
Christians use common words and phrases in hymns, prayers and sermons “to connect their religion to their life in the world,” Borg says.
“Speaking Christian is an umbrella term for not only knowing the words, but understanding them,” Borg says. “It’s knowing the basic vocabulary, knowing the basic stories.”
When Christians forget what their words mean, they forget what their faith means, Borg says.
Consider the word “salvation.” Most Christians use the words "salvation" or "saved" to talk about being rescued from sin or going to heaven, Borg says.
Yet salvation in the Bible is seldom confined to an afterlife. Those characters in the Bible who invoked the word salvation used it to describe the passage from injustice to justice, like the Israelites’ liberation from Egyptian bondage, Borg says.
“The Bible knows that powerful and wealthy elites commonly structure the world in their own self-interest. Pharaoh and Herod and Caesar are still with us. From them we need to be saved,” Borg writes.
And when Christians forget what their faith means, they get duped by trendy terms such as the rapture that have little to do with historical Christianity, he says.
The rapture has become an accepted part of the Christian vocabulary with the publication of the megaselling “Left Behind” novels and a heavily publicized prediction earlier this year by a Christian radio broadcaster that the rapture would occur in May.
But the notion that Christians will abandon the Earth to meet Jesus in the clouds while others are left behind to suffer is not traditional Christian teaching, Borg says.
He says it was first proclaimed by John Nelson Darby, a 19th century British evangelist, who thought of it after reading a New Testament passage in the first book of Thessalonians that described true believers being “caught up in the clouds together” with Jesus.
Christianity’s focus has long been about ushering in God’s kingdom “on Earth, not just in heaven,” Borg says.
“Christianity’s goal is not to escape from this world. It loves this world and seeks to change it for the better,” he writes.
For now, though, Borg and others are also focusing on changing how Christians talk about their faith.
If you don’t want to speak Christian, they say, pay attention to how Christianity’s founder spoke. Jesus spoke in a way that drew people in, says Leonard, the Wake Forest professor.
“He used stories, parables and metaphors,” Leonard says. “He communicated in images that both the religious folks and nonreligious folks of his day understand.”
When Christians develop their own private language for one another, they forget how Jesus made faith accessible to ordinary people, he says.
“Speaking Christian can become a way of suggesting a kind of spiritual status that others don’t have,” he says. “It communicates a kind of spiritual elitism that holds the spiritually ‘unwashed’ at arm’s length."
By that time, they’ve reached the final stage of speaking Christian - they've become spiritual snobs.
true true Jesus Christ see Jerusalem it s key of our earth end , better call israel people to flee from old holy city as same as jerusalem , then we can bomb it . sudden Jesus Christ ll come quickly. God ,Jesus Christ and Holy Ghost have new jerusalem.. ..
CNN will let any writer attack Christians, but just let anyone say anything against any other religion, the PC Police pounce. Christians already know not to really listen to any CNN articles, but this is just further proof of the anti-Christian sentiment levied against Christians now on a daily basis.
Yes, atheists really respect the other two batcrap insane desert dogmas.
I wish CNN opinion writers had a clue about Christianity. They insult Christians so many times. They would not dare do that to Muslims.
Christianity insults itself.
Half the time it's a case of Poe's law. It's very hard to tell christianity from its parodies.
Anti-theists are an insult to the human race.
Anti-theists are a disgrace to the intellectuals they often pretend to be. While It's respectable to be an atheist or a theist, dissing the other is just lame. Gandhi once said "I like your Christ, I don't like the Christians" and I can respect that. He saw past the evangelicals and the radicals to the core values of a religion he didn't adhere to and realized "hey, this guy had some good ideas" TRUE intellectuals are open to other ideas. While they may not believe the same as someone else, they will listen to the other person's ideas and respect them. I myself am not a Muslim, but I can see that some of the points in it are great. Respect your fellow man, only kill in an emergency, and NOTHING about disrespecting women (that part was put in by the radicals) Am I a Muslim? No. But can I take the time to learn about other viewpoints? Yes.
Nothing new with this type of attack by a secular media like you people in CNN. Same with TIMES magazine. Your just like Dan Brown. Pretending to intellectual but seems to be otherwise. Tsk tsk tsk. Please get yourself a better education about your topic.
First off, It's called Time Magazine. Secondly, I'm sure Dan Brown proof reads what he writes before he lets others read it.
IMPORTANT ALERT TO ATHEISTS!
Why can't you just accept that Jesus is your Lord & Master? He asks only one thing of you. Worship him. Think of the consequences if you don't. Eternal torture in the hell-fires.
Only a fool would refuse.
I cordially suggest you eat a dick.
Only a cowardly idiot would believe that.
"Strange…a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; mouths Golden Rules and forgiveness multiplied seventy times seven and invented Hell; who mouths morals to other people and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man’s acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship him!" – Mark Twain
Why can't you just accept that you're brainwashed beyond any hope of regaining even a smidgen of intelligence?
You said "Why can't you just accept that you're brainwashed beyond any hope of regaining even a smidgen of intelligence?"
That is an easy one. Because he is.
Strange I thought that Good and Bad is in every one...but depends which we support to take over the other...and that is the meaning of choices really....
as in Jedi Master?...because you're making him sound like Dark Lord Jesus. Bow down before your master and spread the Sith..err...Lord's Plan. Order 66?
You're the Sith Lord we've been looking for! I'm calling Sam L. Jackson.
Do you speak Islam? Have you noticed that once you speak Islam you can never leave speaking Islam? Speaking Islam means if you ever stop speaking Islam other speakers of Islam with kill you for ceasing to speak Islam. Speakers of Islam may even kill non-speakers of Islam because they refuse to speak Islam. Speaking Islam means never, ever, having to speak Christian, Deism, Atheism, or Hinduism again, ever. Because speaking Islam is submission to speaking truth. And as all speakers of Islam know, it's true that all ideologies are false, except for Islam.
All religion is evil.
Religions are what we make out from them to be...if we what them to be religions for loving and caring we could...or otherwise we can make out of them to be religions for hating and hitting others as well we could... So really it depends on what our religious leaders popes,imams,rabbis call for...but if those managed to control theirs who will control the non religious??
Judging by a few things I read in this article, I don't think the author is very familiar with the subject first-hand, and comes across ill-informed.
Too bad the guy who wrote this article had no clue what he was writing about.
The Rapture was well-known prior to 1850. I've heard the claim before that it was "invented" around that time, but considering that the King James Bible was first printed in 1611 and the event is described therein, it does not take a rocket scientist to see that people knew about it a long time before 1850.
Raptors were around millions of years ago... But of course, whoever wrote the bible didn't know about them... Perhaps he/she/they couldn't spell "Velociraptor"...
Poor PraisetheLard. He has no life and uses what few brain cells he has got to troll the religion boards.
He mentions velociraptor and feels smart. Okay, pal. Here's a cookie. Now go play out in the traffic and stay off your mom's computer.
At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other (Matthew 24:30-31)
Our God comes and will not be silent; a fire devours before him, and around him a tempest rages. He summons the heavens above, and the earth, that he may judge his people: "Gather to me my consecrated ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice." And the heavens proclaim his righteousness, for God himself is judge (Psalm 50:3-6)
This and more speaks of the Rapture and this was way before the 1800s. Name it and claim it is not Biblical. Those who believe in that think that God OWES them because they are not sinners. HELLO!!
As for Atheist haters... it's casting pearls before swine. I'm not even going to address them.
2000 years later and the fools still await the second coming. This is an example of terminal gullibility.
Why can't you just accept that Jesus is your Lord & Master? He ask only one thing of you. Worship him. Think of the consequences of you don't. Eternal torture in the hell-fires.
Paul, you are citing what's known as "Pascal's Wager". It's wrong in so many different ways that there are entire websites devoted to its flaws. You should familiarize yourself with them before you embarrass yourself any further.
In today's world it's "God the Profit, God the Sum, and God the Holy Gross"
Resistance is futile. Your physical and spiritual components will now be assimilated to serve the collective.
One thing is for sure. These posts certainly destroy the myth of atheist intellectual superiority. There is hardly an atheist post here that is worth a damn. Think I'll go read some Camus and get all this high school **** out of my mind. Obviously, being an atheist doesn't guarantee intelligence or intelligent arguments.
Terrible troll is terrible.
Ah.... but I just got here. I'd love to debate you and your story book.
It's funny you talk about education in such a cavalier fashion when study after study confirms that the smarter you are, the less likely you are to believe in a god, or gods.
My goodness, you're not smug in your ignorance at all, are you? I've seen many excellent Atheist posts in this blog so far.
Maybe when you've got some time on your hands, you could look up lists of famous atheists and non-believers, past and present. Maybe then you'll understand why dropping supersti-tion and accepting the evidence of science is more beneficial to humanity? Regular, everyday, non-believers are coming out of the closet in droves now because we're sick and tired of having this woo nonsense rammed down our throats, whether by politicians, the media, or the zealot down the street. Our love for the truth fuels our passion and our patriotism for this great land, and we are determined to save it from the throes of idiocy.
Sorry, but if you think the planet is only 6000 years old, or that some dude named Noah travelled to the ends of the earth collecting 9 every known animal, insect, amphibian, etc, plus all of the required food that they'd need to survive, then you're severly brainwashed or just plain ignorant. There are over 900,000 different kinds of insects alone.
Ever heard of drug resistance? That's what happens when you try to kill off a particular virus or other unwanted creature and the strongest ones or those resistant to the drug manage to live and breed. Thus, it becomes even more difficult to destroy their offspring. Think about it, it's called evolution.
Is male-to-male intercourse wrong or not? Millions of people are not lobbying to gain the right to grow their hair long. Long-haired people are not lobbying to indoctrinate school children in the contributions of long-haired people. Many Christians are focusing on this issue because it is the focus of many in the LGBT community.
This is the problem with so many Christian leaders today. Many pastors and professors muddy the water with irrelevant arguments to win the approval of the culture. Evangelicals do it. Liberal theologians do it. Didn’t seminary teach you “to use great plainness of speech”? But that’s way too rigid when moral truths interfere with the approval of the masses. The Bible is not meant to be culturally relevant. It is not meant to be “practical” as that ignoramus at Christianity Today seemed to indicate. A cross is impractical. Self-denial is not a popular trend.
By the way, your usage of the words “mostly white” is pretty lame. Are you capable of an original thought, or do you just regurgitate talking points from your new intellectual masters? Do you know how many times “mostly white” is used as a pejorative these days? As if it’s white it can’t be alright. Your ignorance, arrogance, and trite expressions like that make your argument so predictably bad.
And to give your tacit approval or at least obfuscate the issue of abortion so you can really seal the deal and get your reckless and poorly reasoned article posted on CNN is particularly craven. That’s just what this society needs from a freshly minted Pharisee like you - mass genocide simply because most of these children happen to be inconvenient. Why even bother with a seminary degree? You have the thinking of a caveman.
Colin baby, who are you speaking to? Your post is incoherent without some context.
so much for the "..great plainness of speech" ...lol
if Gays would keep to themselves just exactly how long would it take before they become extinct just as the dinos of a long time forgotten! Have a nice night! :-)
You said "Is male-to-male intercourse wrong or not?"
No, it isn't. If you don't like it, don't do it.
You said "Millions of people are not lobbying to gain the right to grow their hair long. Long-haired people are not lobbying to indoctrinate school children in the contributions of long-haired people. Many Christians are focusing on this issue because it is the focus of many in the LGBT community."
Nobody is lobbying to gain a right they already have. Nobody is trying to deny those that want to grow their hair the right to do so.
It is the religious bigots (mostly christian in the US) that are trying to impose their perverted life style on the rest of society. It is the hateful believers that are denying equal rights to all people.
If you and your fellow believers stop trying to push your christian agenda, nobody will make an issue about gay sex or marriage. All you need to do is stop your sinful ways.
But not to worry. I only hate the sin, not the sinner.
You don't have to like gays, just as you don't have to like whites or blacks or Mexicans or any other group of people. You just don't have the right to discriminate against them.
To all Atheists who do persecute Christendom by stating the Bible does make no reference to the Trinity here's a quip! :-)
Mathew 18:19, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
Sounds like PROOF TO ME! :-)
Here comes the "We're being persecuted!" whinge.
Don't you people ever tire of this abject victimhood?
Proof of what? If you heard that the latest Harry Potter movie starred Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson, would it lead you to believe it was just a single really good actor made to look like 3 different people with trick photography?
SCOTTAND U TOO!
Why should I dally hither and dilly thereto in your ministries of Propograndorializing hootspa? (Wish I had a penny for everytime the foolish do make selfish arguements of Profusements in vain attempys to sweep one assunder) Have a wonderful future but if it's not clear, then I say, :LOts Oh Luck, Suckers!) :-)
"Forgive them father, for they not know what they do" Jesus. The battle is not between people (Christian vs Atheist etc.). Even if there were no Christians on earth, you will still try to deny His authority in any way or form. That's why you lead a sad life. Have everything but no peace and joy. Have fame but no comfort. Successful but still lacking. You see, it's not about me (Christian) nor about you. It is about submission to higher power, who is Jesus Christ. No body will beg you to accept Jesus Christ. But you do it at you own peril. You believe for your own benefit not for mine. Our mission is to declare the coming king. It is not to beg, not to prove, not to reason it out, not to wow you, not to please you (say what you want us to say) etc. You have heard the good news? good. What you do with it is your business. "God so loved the world, He gave his only begotten son so whoever believes in him shall have eternal life". You don't even know what is to happen when you wake up tomorrow or a day after.... Don't your foolishness, anger, betrayal, hatred etc. decide your life to come. Jesus is good no matter what man says, believes, does, doesn't, wishes, etc... and he does not need me to prove or fight for Him. He has and will always holds his own. Some have found themselves fighting God they can only wish could believe. Jesus is the way.
How can anyone still believe such nonsense after the age of 15? It's all cult mind control. Shame on you.
You go, brother!
Why I know That There is a God and That He Loves Me
A Personal Testimony.
Allow me to share a story. Not too long ago doubt was creeping into my head about the Lord and then a miracle happened.
It was 3 years ago and 50 members of my church were enroute to a bible camp in the Blueridge Mountains of Virginia. They were traveling in a chartered bus. As they sang blessed hymns to the Lord, Satan was up to his old tricks. You see, the bus driver was an atheist socialist and that day his coffee mug was filled with vodka. As the bus wound up through the switchbacks, the driver became progressively drunker. Then it happened. It was that day that changed this poor sinner's life forever. Entering a particularly tight switchback, the besotted driver finally lost control of the bus and it plummeted 1500 feet down into a ravine where it exploded into a fireball incinerating the flock. The only survivor that fateful day was a young boy who was thrown from the bus by his father seconds before it hit the bottom.
This young boy suffered severe brain damage from hitting a rock head first and will have to wear a football helmet and drool cup for the remainder of his life. But his survival proved to me that miracles do happen because God does exist and loves me. The Lord caused that accident to bring me back to his flock.
Praise Jesus! Just open your eyes to his miracles and you will see him everywhere.
Hello David and Peace be ever upon you and yours,
My Faith lay in what the LORD of Lords and lords has been given me in my aged demise. Of GOD were all things created and Of God were all things established and as god, we men do dither here and dally there but hardly ever do we stop to see that which flies around in one's mind as but being fleeting sights and wonders too swift to see. Remember this; Of GOD, By God I am but a god in sheep's clothing awaiting the day of departure from these others who do not care one way or the other. Their minds be as reprobates never catching the glimpses of that which flies by in the mind's eye.
I do know without doubt that the Kingdom of God is inside all Life Forms and Christ Jesus is the KIng of all Gods who reign Inside us all! Did Not The LORD Jesus say to His desciples, "The Kingdom of God is within/inside you"? Luke 17:21 and is it not written in 1 Corinthians 6:20, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."?
"Go Placidly amid the Noise and Waste always remembering the Peace one finds in finding a peace thereof." (A qutoe from I think what is called Deterioatta)
Here's a little quote from Jesus
Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division; for henceforth in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against her mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against his mother-in-law." Luke 12:51-53
I'm confused. Who is having a sad life? I don't know about you, but for most of us happiness and unhappiness are simply reflections of current events in our existence. It really doesn't have much to do with belief in anything. However, I'd much rather be unhappy and live in reality than have an unrealistic fantasy that everything is all right if I believe in the correct fable.
@ScoPastor Bobby Dufrane
OMg, I cannot stop laughing. It feels so wrong, it even hurts, but, but, BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!
Great Poe, man, GREAT POE!!
[For those who actually took this seriously the first time, go back and re-read it. It's called SATIRE for a reason.]
Do you speak Christian?
of course not. i do not like to lower my standards that far.i enjoy feeling clean rather than dirty.
Hey reed, sounds like old Satan is messing with your head again. Put down that assaalt gun and call 911 to have a loony bin pick you up and take you to the state funny farm. You are a menace to society and yourself.
funniest thing about religious articles is the immediate comments from atheists and forever haters of religion. you're no different than believers.
Not really, poindexter. I don't see one side trying sto shove their imaginary bully pal down the throats of the rest of us or threatening us with eternal torture of we don't swallow this vile nonsense.
Funny, I don't recall the 1st Church of Atheism making a TV pitch to somebody's demented old grandma to send in her life savings in return for NOT believing in something. If you're looking for a difference, you might start there.
Yep. No different at all. That's why we tell Christians they should not get married, because it harms our marriages... And why we say that "America is an atheist country", while trying to eliminate freedom of religion. Oh, and that"s why we fight against stem cell research, because every stem cell is like a tiny Carl Sagan baby. F'ng moron.
@ jay –the next time i see a homeless old person i'll make sure to give up my one dollar that i was going to spend on soda because if the christians don't care about them then we are pretty much doomed, i mean the homeless old people because nobody else out there cares.
At the end of this century...Religion will be observed as a nutter's hobby.
Mythology for the sheep in 2011.
WHY?? is so easy for you to sound off about christian, maybe some other religion lets see you call muslim snobs or maybe hindo. you know so much about christian lets here about other religions what they talk about. that would make some news now.. or are you to afraid or maybe to cccccccccccorrect. on your thinking<<<<
it's impossible. the idiots on here only know of christianity. they should somewhat educate themselves before striking against a group.
I used to be mormon. Speak in a deep voice with many pauses. Cry a little. Repeat this phrase over and over: I know that the churchofjesuschristoflatterdaysaints is the one true church. I know that Joseph Smith was prophet. I know that Pres Monson speaks directly to God. And when I went through the temple, I was told to make a slashing motion across my throat and promise that I would not reveal what I had been told in the temple and repeat the words, "Or I suffer my life to be taken." Gotta love the mormons.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.