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August 30th, 2011
04:23 PM ET

Preparing clergy for war: army chaplains train by the hundred for the combat zone

By Eric Marrapodi and Chris Lawrence, CNN

Fort Jackson, South Carolina (CNN) – The summer sun beats down on camouflaged Kevlar helmets.  Weighed down by heavy body armor, men and women of the cloth are crawling through sand, under barbed wire and learning how to run with soldiers.

Explosions in woods simulate the battlefield as an instructor barks commands.

"You are not following simple instructions!  Cover me while I move!  Got you covered!  Let's go!"

This is the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, where the Army trains clergy of all faiths how to survive in combat.

Once many of these chaplains complete this modified basic training they will head to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, where the explosions and gunfire are not simulated.

U.S. Army chaplain candidates train at Fort Jackson in South Carolina.

Here at Fort Jackson, on a range in the woods, there is a bevy of broken down cars and trucks to simulate an urban battlefield.

The army says being a chaplain in combat is among the most dangerous jobs because the chaplains move from base to base ministering to soldiers.

"Once you move behind the vehicle, the chaplain, who has no weapon, will stay behind the engine block or the wheel base. That is the safest place for you to be,” the instructor yells to the long line of chaplains who are readying to run this course.

On the battlefield, chaplains look just like any other soldier.

Decked out in camouflage and body armor, the only addition is a two-inch patch signifying their religious affiliation.  Christian clergy wear a cross, Jewish clergy tablets showing the Ten Commandments, and Muslim clergy wear a crescent.

A cross patch signifies a chaplain's religious affiliation.

What they do not have is a weapon.

Chaplains are unarmed at all times.

They travel in combat with a chaplain assistant who carries a weapon and protects the clergy member.

For this drill the chaplains are learning to hold onto the back of their assistant as they run from obstacle to obstacle.

The pairs have to stay low and move through the course two pairs at a time.  The chaplain assistants have to cover the others as they move.

“Cover me while I move!”

“Got you covered!”

Then they run and dive for cover.

Army chaplains must learn to run with soldiers.

"Hold onto him like this and you will not get separated or you will be taken out. You are the target of opportunity.  You stay on him!" The instructor yells when a chaplain is separated from his assistant.

This is about as far away from a suburban pulpit or seminary these clergy can get.

“In school I'm used to sitting at a desk and reading and writing, so it's definitely a little more physical,” 2nd Lt. Adri Bullard said.  She is a Methodist seminarian, pursuing a Master’s in Divinity at the divinity school at Vanderbilt University.

“Being in grad school and trying to get your (degree) takes discipline and the discipline is pretty steady throughout my life right now. Getting up early, staying up late. These big booms, that's the main difference.  You really don't have those going off at seminary or divinity school, hopefully,” she smiles and pauses as explosions punctuate her points.

She is the smallest person on the range and sports the biggest smile.  What she lacks in physical stature, she makes up two-fold in effort and energy.

Bullard is among 200 chaplains and chaplain hopefuls going through various stages of chaplain school at any given time.  In Bullard’s class of chaplain candidates, the group covers a wide range.  “We’ve got two of our students who are actually in their 50s and we have two that are 22,” said Chaplain Maj. Harold Cline, who is an instructor.

Regardless of age, the candidates are put through their paces.

“When you’re working with soldiers, they’re in good shape. That’s part of their business. If you’re going to minister to them and work with them, rub elbows with them, you’ve got to be in good shape as well.”

The U.S. Army employs around 2,900 chaplains.  About half are active duty and the other serve in the reserves.  Eight-hundred chaplains and chaplain assistants are deployed in the war on terror and 300 of them serve in the Middle East and Afghanistan, according to a spokesman.

In order to join the ranks, a member of the clergy also has to meet the ordination requirements of their own faith and be endorsed by them to join the military.

Bullard has at least a year of schooling to go before she can be ordained in her church to serve as a full-time minister and an active duty chaplain.

She said she felt the call to ministry in college, “(I) did some of that in a congregational setting, yet felt like there was something else I needed to be doing, maybe taking it to another level in another setting.  Military chaplaincy seemed to fit that.”

Even in training she sees a parallel between her spiritual calling and the military.

“You're helping to meet the most basic needs a person has to live and thrive and flourish.  I'm going to look for everyone around me and make sure they're drinking water. I'll go get them water if they need it.  And that's scriptural,” she said, referring to a passage in the gospels where Jesus talks about giving water to the thirsty.

“So I think it's pretty easy to do ministry out here in the beating South Carolina sun.”

The task at hand

In the Army, each combat unit is able to have a chaplain with them if the commanding officer wants one. They report to that commanding officer and are paid by the military for their services.

The chaplaincy corps had to grow in a hurry as combat operations increased in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last decade, said Chaplain Carlton Birch, the spokesman for the chaplain corps.

“Our country is becoming more pluralist,” Birch said.  “We’ve had our first Buddhist chaplain, now we have our first Hindu chaplain. Our chaplain corps has had to adapt.”

It’s a long way from the start of the chaplaincy corps on July 29, 1775, under George Washington.

Today army chaplains minister to soldiers of all faiths regardless of their own.  They hold services in remote areas, connect a soldier of another faith with a chaplain of their own, and conduct ceremonies to send a fallen soldier home.

“They are the listening ear, they are there in times of crisis and turmoil for the soldiers,” Birch said.  “The value we hold dear is to meet a person at their time of need.”

The danger of their job was brought home for many here last summer when Chaplain Dale Goetz was killed when an improvised explosive device struck the vehicle he was riding in Afghanistan.

He was the first chaplain killed in action since the Vietnam War.

“The danger is sometimes what gives us the credibility to minister to our soldiers.  They know we've been there.  We've been there with them.  We've faced the fear,” Chaplain Capt. Karlyn Maschhoff said.

Maschhoff is a seasoned chaplain with multiple tours to the Middle East under her belt.

She came to Fort Jackson for another component of training – moving from rookie status like Bullard to being a more senior chaplain and helping those new to this unique ministry position.

Before September 11, 2001, she was writing Sunday school material and doing mission work. “I came into the chaplaincy after the events of 9/11. That made a profound impact on me when I saw the need for chaplains,” Maschhoff said.

“It was a combination of patriotism and recognizing the needs of soldiers as they climbed on those planes to go to a place where they would be in harm’s way and I just felt the need to be with them, to go with them. That is what led to me accepting the call.”

During her prior tours in Iraq she has seen the worst of war on the battlefield and on the home front.

“My first deployment was in 2005-2006 and that was a tough period. There was a lot of loss of life, a lot of bloodshed and a lot of uncertainty. But then I also went back later in 2008 for a 15-month deployment and at that time you got to see things improving.  Incidents were happening, but you got to see progress.”

“Losing soldiers is always tough,” she said.  “Watching families struggle through a deployment, yet you come on, you struggle on together.  You get through the tough days together. You continue on. As a chaplain you bring hope for the future and that is our message to our soldiers, that it's a dark day but it's going to get better.”

Heading home the hard way

"In country if you're doing one of these it could be 100, 130 degrees, maybe even hotter," Cline barks as rookie chaplains learn how to send a soldier home the hard way, with a dignified transfer ceremony.

They practice with a flag-draped metal transfer case, identical to the thousands of cases used to send slain soldiers home from war.

Before the transfer case boards the plane for the long flight home, the chaplains say a prayer or hold a brief service.

“She may have moved on from this Earth, but she's still in my heart," a chaplain in training says as he looks over the transfer case.

Six soldiers pick up the case.  They snap their heels together and begin to move.

Chaplain Cline instructs chaplain candidates how to do a dignified transfer for a soldier killed in action.

"You do not want to be the chaplain who is walking too slow in front of an honors team,” Cline said.  “Why? They're carrying the body, they're carrying the transfer case, and even though the case is relatively light, it's got a body in it and it’s full of ice, so they're carrying a lot of weight.  Don't slow them down and don't make them hold that transfer case up while you're doing something ceremonial."

The chaplain candidate puts his hand on the flag, bows his head, and sends the solider off with a prayer.

Today is a drill, but the Army says in as little as two weeks, these trainees could be doing the real ceremony on an airstrip in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Days after our interview, Maschhoff was on a plane back to the Middle East to begin her third tour, fully confident of her mission from her commanders and from on high, “It's challenging and  you know there are tough times ahead, but you're there to do what you've been trained to do. You're there taking care of soldiers and it doesn't get better than that.”

–CNN’s John Person and Jonathan Schaer contributed to this report

Watch The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer weekdays at 4pm to 6pm ET and Saturdays at 6pm ET. For the latest from The Situation Room click here.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Afghanistan • Belief • Buddhism • Christianity • Content Partner • Hinduism • Iraq • Islam • Middle East • Military • TV-The Situation Room

soundoff (818 Responses)
  1. Mairead

    I do respect our soldiers, because I realize the huge sacrifices they make. But let me ask you this . . . Who would Jesus kill? I mean does the whole "Thou shalt not kill" thing just not apply to war? Yes, there are horrible people who do awful things, but is war really the answer? We are "one nation, under God", and God's own son said these words: "You have heard that it was said, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' 39 But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; 40 and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; 41 and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. 42 Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you. 43 "You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven. (Mattew 5:38-45) I am a Chritian and therefore cannot support war. Jesus wants us to follow his example, and again . . . Who would Jesus kill?

    August 30, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • EnergyBeing3

      Mairead.... excellent post and as you come across religious, your comments would seem logical. I've also said that the Jesus Character would NEVER stand for murder or killing. Humans will manipulate religions to be self-serving. Yes, even if it means making up a delusion about killing in the name of Jesus. Try reading through a few Atheist web sites to better understand why humans are contradicting and weaponizing the Christian religion.

      August 30, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
    • jD

      ...you took the words right out of my mouth.

      "Killing in the name of religion, something I don't understand"
      -Megadeth

      August 30, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • Ed

      @Mairead,
      Your point is fair but has little to do with the article. The chaplains are unarmed anot killing anyone. They are providing a service to the soldiers. I think Jesus would disagree with the war but not the chaplains service since they are not killing nor condoning killing. They are providing religious guidance to soldiers who despite the war do need guidance. I think Jesus would agree with that.

      As for turn the other cheek. Little known fact but when Jesus stated this a Roman soldier could punish a resident or citizen for a minor offense by a slap to the face. However if he slap the other side as second punishment the soldier then could end up facing a court marshal. So if a Roman soldier slapped your face give him the other cheek to prevent more slaps since he could not hit it. Jesus would have know this although I think his real point was forgivness.

      August 30, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • KentAZ

      Ed:

      Chaplains DO in fact condone killing, by virtue of the fact that they belong to the military. In fact during armed conflicts chaplains are known to offer prayers for the success of the troops in battle and to bless the arms.

      August 31, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Ed

      @KentAZ,

      It is true that some chaplains have prayed for success in battle and blessed weapons. Blessing weapons is with out a doubt a mistake. As for success in battle, what exactly does that mean? Many soldiers I spoken to have stated the military no longer considers success in battle based on the nuber on enemys killed. The y base it on success of the mission with as little loss of life as possible. This can be seen in the raid on the Bin Laden compound. One of his wives came at the seals armed. The seals could have simply killed her. Instead they disabled her and moved out of the line of fire. Hardly the act of some one just trying to rack up kills. he mission was a success because they killed bin laden not because they killed everyone in sight.

      The chaplains are not saying to the soldiers go call everyone you can today its good to do this because this is war. That would be condoning killing. If a soldier comes to a chaplain with emmotional concerns after killing a enemy combatant in combat. The chaplain discusses it with them I don't what gets said because I've never been there. But you dodn't know either so to say the are condoning the act of killing is unfair. The article seems to suggest otherwise.

      Finally being in the military does not mean you like killing or even condone killing. How low of an opinon of American soldiers you seem to have. It requires a desire to serve your nation and unfortunately sometimes that requires combat and in combat people die. Its sad but its accurate. America Has a long history of trying to avoid unneccesary deaths. In WWII America flew bombing mission in the day when the could more easily see and therfore hit their target. It also exposed or airmen to greater risk since the where easier to see. Other nations on both sides flew at night to protect their planes but the missed more often becasue their airmen could not see as well. Just one example of how we tried to be safer for civilans.

      August 31, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  2. John Doe from Michigan

    Good ole' relaxin' Jackson! If anyone has ever met a chaplain then they know that they have an easy job. You get paid to be a story teller, how cool is that?

    August 30, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • tkessler45

      Yeah, but you only get to tell one story...

      August 30, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  3. Chaplian Assistant

    I'm a Chaplian Assistant

    August 30, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • tkessler45

      I can tell!

      August 30, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • John Doe from Michigan

      This fine individual can't even spell his MOS, congrats on having a lower GT score than 99 percent of 11 Bravos. This just shows how much the Army actually cares about CHAPLAINS!

      August 30, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
  4. Bob Rock

    If a dying solder needs comfort, give him some morphine, not silly god talk!

    August 30, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • tkessler45

      No...give him what he needs. If he's a religious man and wants his "last rites" then give him that. If he wants to say something then listen. If he just needs the pain to end then offer all that you can in that respect as well.

      August 30, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • EnergyBeing3

      LMAO ... good comment. I would take the morphine also. Oh choices choices.

      August 30, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
  5. Bob Rock

    Think about religion as another drug addiction. Instead of "mind altering chemicals", people are getting "mind altering illusions". Same thing. People love their addictions and are willing to down-trade to religion, but not give it up entirely!

    August 30, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  6. Wow

    To all that say there shouldn't be chaplains: Have you served in a combat theater? If not, shut up. For the people who are ticked off about there being Christian Chaplains: There are almost all other religions covered in the chaplaincy. Chaplains don't try to convert anyone. They serve as asked to serve, unarmed. They do this out of a sense of duty to their country. And William Demuth, to say you would have killed a chaplain says alot about you. You saying that shows where you stand mentally. That would be challenged.

    August 30, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • tkessler45

      I say bring on the chaplains, but also include the Rabbis and Imams and even the voodoo witch doctors...

      August 30, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • EnergyBeing3

      Very smart. Lets soothe the dying murderer. Yes, fully agreed.

      August 30, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • Andrew

      If you read the article, you would know that the chaplancy covers just about all faiths, not just Christianity....

      August 30, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
  7. bailoutsos

    All they need to be trained to say is, "God works in mysterious ways. You are going to die. Peace be with you."

    August 30, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  8. tkessler45

    What the heck happens if the chaplin is surrounded by the enemy and they're drawing fire and need anyone they can to shoot back? Does the chaplin pick up a gun and help out, or is that against some rule?

    August 30, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  9. joey

    What are pastors doing in war? Was Jesus a warrior?

    August 30, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • tkessler45

      He fought against tyranny and persecution, and thereby waged his own "war" or sorts.

      August 30, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • EnergyBeing3

      Yup, forget about Jesus trying to help the sick and the unwanted and spreading messages of love and unity with God the Creator. Our new Jesus was a BAD AAAASSSSSS who carried knives and guns. Did you get the memo? Now don't you just want to eat some of his body and drink some of his blood while you pray to a torture device? (the crucifix)

      August 30, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
  10. Airborne

    Our Chaplains Assistant was the first to die since Vietnam. That was last summer in the city of Kandahar at the police head quarters where our battalion decided to stay the summer. Three suicide bombers broke through the compound like a seal team, one fired RPG's as cover fire, while the other two spread out and shot and killed a total of 8 people in a few quick minutes. SSG Stout was unfortunate enough to be in the bombers path while he set off his vest. I dont know why this story never made head line news. If a whistle blower wanted an example, the full story would be great.

    RIP SSG Stout

    August 30, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  11. Bob Rock

    Unfortunately, we are dealing with mentally sick people when it comes to religion, both the chaplains and the soldiers that are religious. Psychologists would call it untreated "Delusional Disorder". Very difficult to cure, and only if the patient recognizes his/her problems as a sickness and is willing to be treated (therapy sometimes helps these people). What needs to be done is prevention – the government should be strongly opposed to any religion, especially in the battlefield!

    August 30, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • Paulie

      Did you hear that psychobabble from your own psychiatrist I wonder?

      August 30, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • Paulie

      Its not just about religion its about aid and comfort to our soldiers possibly at the end of their lives. Why not just mind your own business?

      August 30, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • Bob Rock

      Pulie –

      Untreated delusional disorder (religion falls under the subject) can be treated!

      August 30, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • Bob Rock

      Paulie – If a dying solder needs comfort, give him some morphine, not silly god talk!

      August 30, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  12. Eric

    Since it's religion that causes these conflicts, it's only fitting that some of the people in harms way should be the enablers. Just don't like tax payer money being used for it.

    August 30, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  13. oneSTARman

    TRAINING Chaplains to Help The Military keep their soldiers Murdering without worrying about HELL is Like Staging an Narcotics Anonymous Meeting in The Basement of a Crack-House to let the Addicts 'Quit' after every Pipe – Until They Get out The Door.

    August 30, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • NamCbtVet

      Wouldn't want you to be covering for me,

      August 30, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  14. someoneelse

    Why do pastors need to prepare for war? They read the Bible, probably one of the most violent treaties on various wars and what God commanded people to do in them.

    August 30, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • ralph

      OMG so one of our children risks his life protecting some man "of the cloth"? Ridiculous. If they are going to go around teaching myths, they can carry a gun themselves or let their gods protect them. What a crock.

      August 30, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • Paulie

      Because when people die they need last rites and comforting. Atheists dont really do that for people. The clergy does.

      August 30, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • rose

      Ralph, being a chaplain's assistant is an actual MOS, so Soldiers have to apply for it, it's not randomly assigned to someone. All of them have to want to do it.

      August 30, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • tkessler45

      Paulie,

      When "religious" people die (and specifically christians) then they need last rites. Athiests and others can offer just as much comfort to those who do not have a requirement for a specific religious ritual.

      August 30, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • Bob Rock

      When people are dying, the last thing they need is some idiot babbling nonsense!

      August 30, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  15. EnergyBeing3

    If you are secure in your faith and you fully believe, you won't need anyone by your side pushing more of that belief. You'll know in your heart what your own truths are.

    If you are a Christian, you will need to take some time and read through a few Atheist web sites to understand the Atheist's perspective and thoughts. If you find the Atheist to be the enemy, then you owe it to yourself to learn as much about your enemy as possible. I'll give you a site, TheThinkingAtheist which is just one of many sites. Then you'll understand this revolt against Christianity. You'll be better equipped to support our stance on religion by learning as much as you can from the Atheists.

    No, I'm not Atheist. I'm deeply spiritual. There is a difference and I keep my spiritual beliefs to myself but love to learn about the religions of the world and other spiritual ideas and discoveries. Yes, I even like to learn from non-believers such as the Atheists.

    August 30, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • A Theist

      I agree about the security of belief, but the morbid truth is, chaplains have always been there for the main purpose of easing the soon-to-be-dead. Unlike freak car-accidents–which no chaplain could get to in time– or slow cancerous deaths–which allow for plenty of therapy–soldiers are in the rare position where they realize they could die at any moment, miles away from home without a chance to say goodbye to their loved ones. Chaplains are trained to provide a source of comfort for the dying, not necessarily preach messages (though they can do those too). Considering how little we pay them and the cost they take for protecting our country, I see no problem in spending a bit of my tax money to ease their discomfort.

      August 30, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • EnergyBeing3

      If it is simply a human comforting a human, then sure, I'm understanding. I love human compassion in all it's forms and flavors. I also love human kindness. Although, I can't help but find it ironic that the murderer needs (or is allowed) to be soothed with religion. Very strange.

      August 30, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
  16. John Stefanyszyn

    ...without disrespect for the people that have died or have been injured, or to the families that have lost their sons or daughters..

    Which "god" do the clergy preach?
    ...the True Creator God and His Christ (cannot be for he taught us to exalt and love Only Him and love our neighbor and our enemy)
    OR INSTEAD do they preach the "God of the belief in freedom of rights".....for all these men and women (of different "religions") are going to fight for him and to die for him.

    August 30, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • ralph

      you are an insane little person.

      August 30, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • oneSTARman

      MARS the God of WAR and Marduk the ancient God of Babylon – Which, just as in Rome, with its Standard or The United States and Its FLAG to Which Children Pledge Their Allegiance – is WORSHIP of The STATE as SACRED – our Greatest Glory and Duty being to MURDER and DIE for its GLORY.

      August 30, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  17. SGT Deal

    I was in the convoy that took the lives of Chaplain Dale Goetz, SSG Kevin Kessler, SSG Jesse Infante and SPC Chad Clements. It was one year ago today. May they Rest in Peace!!

    August 30, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • CH (1LT)

      Thank you for remembering.

      September 1, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  18. Bo

    =========== I'm not sure, but things could hace changed since I was in the military, I think chaplins were allowed to carry a side arm for self defence if they wished. I think it would do a whole lot of good to learn a lot more about chaplins and their service before anyone, religious or not before making coments. This article is so brief it shouldn't have been allowed. Chaplins are not there to encourage killing or discourage killing. Chaplins are there to take care of the spiritual needs of the soliders that want and need it. They are not there to proselytize. Don't critisize these brave men and women, they face a great deal of danger just to give a little comfort to a dying person. I'm inclined to say to unbeliever who just wants to critisize, butt out, this is a very sensitive area and not in your territory.

    August 30, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
    • EnergyBeing3

      Bo, excellent post and you are right, this is a bit sensitive in some respects. I know humans have good intentions but lets be realistic and use a touch of logic. If I'm fully and completely SECURE in my Christian faith, then I would never need a Chaplin by my side. I'd believe in heaven and that my deeds would get me into heaven. Some other human by my side feeding me lines only suggests that I'm not secure in my religious views. Perhaps why so many on here are lashing out, because they, deep deep down, realize that the Christian Bible is so grossly over exaggerated and not based in reality. Christians need to support each other in their illusions and fantasies. It's seriously dysfunctional on so many levels.

      August 30, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • Ed

      well said

      August 30, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • ralph

      Non Believers have rights to voice their opinions if it impacts our lives. I don't want my son protecting some bozo just because he has a cross on his fatigue. Let him carry a gun or let his "god" protect him.

      August 30, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • Geneva

      Bo, Chaplain's can't carry any weapon per the Geneva Convention. They can't even cary a big knife. That's why they are supported by specialists. In the Navy they are called Religious Program Specialists. They are taught personal security to handle unarmed personnel in combat situations.

      August 30, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  19. Andrew

    Very interesting. I learned something new from this article, about the religious diversity the military supports.

    August 30, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  20. Laurie

    Their greatest threat is using the name of JESUS...yes I am being facetious.

    August 30, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • Paulie

      Why is this stupid story front page and the NJ disaster not even a side story. Its huge news.

      August 30, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
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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.