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October 18th, 2011
08:54 AM ET

The liberal church of Herman Cain

By Eric Marrapodi and John Blake, CNN

Editor’s note: CNN’s John Blake was formerly a member of Antioch Baptist Church North. He left 13 years ago.

Atlanta (CNN) -  Herman Cain has vaulted to the top of the polls as a Republican presidential candidate, but there’s one audience that may prove tougher for him to win over: his hometown church.

Cain, a conservative who recently said African-Americans were “brainwashed” into voting Democratic, is an associate minister at an Atlanta megachurch that has been a stronghold of liberal activism and is led by a pastor who cites Malcolm X as one of his influences.

Cain is a longtime member of Antioch Baptist Church North, which sits near the former college and home of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

The church, founded by freed slaves 134 years ago, boasts 14,000 members and an operating budget of more than $5 million. For years Antioch has hosted a “who’s who” of civil rights activists as guest speakers, including Jesse Jackson and Andrew Young.

Antioch’s powerful senior pastor, the Rev. C.M. Alexander, doesn’t share Cain’s political philosophy, Atlanta clergy say. But Cain and Alexander are so close that Cain sang “The Impossible Dream” for the pastor’s 50th anniversary celebration. The Atlanta businessman-turned-presidential hopeful is well liked by many members of his church, though some disagree with his politics, Antioch pastors say.

Cain’s piety may be just as fascinating as his politics, interviews suggest.

“He’s a real person who is more complicated than the sound bite you may have heard from him,” says the Rev. Fredrick Robinson, a friend of Cain’s who was an associate minister at Antioch before leaving to form his own church.

At Antioch, Cain has had to share the pews with fiery critics of the Republican Party like Joe Beasley, a man born to sharecroppers who once said he’s been called the “N-word” more times than he can count.

Read about Cain's stint as an Atlanta radio talk show host

Beasley is a deacon at Antioch and serves as Southern regional director for Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition. He also knows Cain and has no problem with his presence at Antioch.

“We’re good friends. He’s a great speaker and a great singer. He has a great love for the church,” Beasley says.

Beasley says he doesn’t talk politics with Cain, though.

“I respect him – and I want to keep my respect for him,” Beasley says.

Beasley, who worked with Cain on his unsuccessful 2004 run for one of Georgia’s U.S. Senate seats, says Antioch’s acceptance of the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO is not unusual. It’s an attitude, he says, that starts at the top with Alexander.

“The reverend’s position is when we open the door, whosoever comes, let them come,” Beasley says.

Alexander did not return calls seeking comment. Cain also was not available to comment for this article.

‘He’s family’

The black church has long been a paradox. It is one of the most politically liberal but theologically conservative institutions in the black community. Cain’s house of worship embodies some of these contradictions.

Antioch is a member of the National Baptist Convention USA Inc., a denomination in which some churches do not ordain women. The denomination’s leadership publicly broke with King over his civil rights activism.

But like many black Baptist churches, Antioch has developed a strong social justice component to its ministry over the years. It offers ministries for people suffering from drug addition and those infected with HIV/AIDS, and it has been a Sunday stopover for black politicians running for office.

Cain and his family blossomed in this world, according to some people who’ve known them at Antioch.

Robinson, the former Antioch minister, says Cain’s parents were pillars of the church. Cain graduated from Morehouse College, King’s alma mater, and went away to make his fortune. He returned to Antioch amid “great fanfare,” Robinson says.

Cain eventually became a fixture in the church’s deacon’s corner, a row of seats near the pulpit. On any Sunday, Cain could be seen sitting with the other deacons in his favorite light-blue dress shirt shouting, “Preach Rev!” or “Say it,” as the minister preached, Robinson says.

In 2002, Cain became a licensed minister at Antioch, he told Christianity Today.

Antioch members accept Cain because “he’s family,” Robinson says.

“If Herman Cain was one of those real uppity ‘I’m too good for regular blacks folks’ kind of person, he wouldn’t have mingled with us like he did,” Robinson says.

Robinson left Antioch to form his own church in rural Georgia and invited Cain to speak three times. All Robinson could afford to pay Cain was $200. It didn’t matter to Cain, whose speaking fee is usually far more, Robinson says.

Cain accepted the offer and brought a group of worshippers along with him to support Robinson’s small church, the pastor says.

Cain’s views on race aren’t simplistic, Robinson says. Cain says he doesn’t think racism is a huge obstacle for blacks, but Robinson says Cain has privately told him it’s a problem and once even complained about “the good ol’ boy” network in Georgia Republican politics.

“He knows there’s racism in the tea party, but he’ll never say that because they are his supporters. That bothers a lot of people, but he plays to that base not because he’s a sellout but because he’s a politician,” Robinson says.

In one video on his campaign website, “The Official Herman Cain Train Music Video,” Cain poses with young African-American and white supporters at a tea party rally and bellows, "To those who say the tea party is a racist organization, eat your words!"

The Rev. Gerald Durley, senior pastor of Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta and a longtime activist, recalls when Cain performed the key song from “Man of La Mancha” for Antioch’s pastor.

Cain sang “The Impossible Dream” in his deep baritone and “got a standing ovation,” Durley says. (Cain, who recently released an album of gospel tunes, also belted out the song at a recent campaign stop.)

Cain’s conservative message that blacks should forget about racism and focus on pulling themselves up by their bootstraps doesn’t mesh with his pastor’s philosophy, says Durley, himself a longtime leader among Atlanta clergy.

When the evangelist Billy Graham visited Atlanta in 1994 for a crusade, Alexander demanded that Graham include blacks on the various committees that organized his speaking event at the Georgia Dome, Durley says.

“He’s not going to talk about pulling yourself up by your bootstraps,” Durley says of Antioch’s pastor. “It’s about providing bootstraps.”

Alexander has said pastors should be agents of social change, not “religious pop stars.” He says Malcolm X and Rosa Parks are some of his civil rights influences.

“It’s not enough to talk about what black folks ought to do,” Alexander once said. “We have to also look at what government is not doing to ensure fairness and equal opportunity. God is on the side of the least of these. Jesus said, ‘The first shall become the last and the last shall become the first.’”

But Durley says Alexander can separate Cain’s political and religious beliefs.

“(Alexander) has respect for him,” Durley says. “Cain has been there for years. I would imagine that Alexander would say, ‘I can separate his spiritual soul and salvation from his political dogma.’”

‘Very clear … faith walk’

Ken Blackwell - former Cincinnati mayor, former Ohio secretary of state and fellow African-American Republican - first worked with Cain on an economic growth and tax reform commission in the mid-1990s.

“(Cain) is a person who tries to live his faith in the way he conducts himself in public and private life,” Blackwell says. “He doesn’t just talk the talk. He actually lives what he says and believes in.

“We have prayed with and for one another,” Blackwell says.

Both Cain and Blackwell are cancer survivors, and the two men leaned on each other during their health struggles. Blackwell beat prostate cancer in 2000 and Cain was diagnosed with stage four cancer in 2006. Cain has said his faith, coupled with the right medical treatment, was a major reason he was able to fight and beat the disease.

“I was able to see he has a very clear and discernible faith walk he was very comfortable with and very dependent on as he met his challenges,” Blackwell says.

Ralph Reed, head of the Faith and Freedom Coalition and former Christian Coalition leader, says the time Cain spent behind the podium at Antioch has helped him connect with voters on the campaign trail.

“Herman Cain can hold his own with Mike Huckabee in terms of his ability to connect with and really develop a rapport with voters of faith,” Reed says. Cain heads back to Iowa next week to speak at a Faith and Freedom event with Reed.

“He shares their faith, he shares their values and he’s extremely good at being able to communicate his views,” Reed says. “I think someone who is comfortable with the lexicon of evangelicals is clearly going to over-perform in the early primaries.”

But while voters have welcomed Cain and helped rocket him to the top of polls, there are some fellow African-American clergy who are not as accepting.

The Rev. Artis Johnson, an Atlanta pastor, wrote an open letter to Cain in a local online newspaper, the Cascade Patch, after Cain said last month that blacks were brainwashed into voting Democratic.

“We are not circus animals or attendees of hypnotism shows that cannot make the reasonable and right decisions about who our greatest political enemies are, ” Johnson wrote.

In his letter, Johnson asked Cain why blacks would vote Republican when the party desires to disenfranchise blacks at the voting booth, denies the power of racism and believes the free market is going to address the needs of the poor and elderly.

“In my heart,” Johnson wrote, “I was hoping that you would represent a politician that did more than appeal to the worst in the electorate.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Baptist • Belief • Christianity • Herman Cain • Politics

soundoff (1,058 Responses)
  1. scieng

    The problem with Dems is that the rest of the world has moved on, and they are still stuck teaching hatred for racism that mostly exisits in themselves. Cain is right to promote positive change by advising ALL people to look for a positive goal, and invest their energy and time into achieving it. This is far more like Martin Luther King than Malcom X.

    October 19, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • MJ

      You are totally out of touch with reality.

      October 19, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • Not All Docs Play Golf

      "The problem with Dems..." Sounds like you've got a little hate of your own going on. Actually, if Cain says blacks have been brainwashed into voting Dem, then "Christians" have been brainwashed into voting Repub.

      October 19, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • MJ

      @Not All Docs Play Golf... YES. Christians absolutely are brainwashed. Just like the sheep they claim to be.

      October 19, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
  2. MJ

    If you are really a true "Hard Line" Right Wing conservative candidate there is no way you are a member of a Liberal Church! There is no way that Liberal church lets you become an associate minister. faith is a reflection of ones beliefs. Ones beliefs are a reflection of ones views. It is not like there are no large conservative churches in Atlanta that would love to have a rich successful African American in their congregation..... Associate pastor? This should get interesting! I am sure this church records every service. I am sure Cain has spoken in front of the congregation. Get ready for sound bites!

    October 19, 2011 at 11:36 am |
  3. Jake

    You do understand that a larger percentage of Republicans voted for and supported civil rights then Democrats. It was the Democrats in the south that wanted Slavery, and Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. Thomas Jefferson was quoted as saying Slavery was an abomination and put in the frame work for it's eventual elimination and that all of man be treated equally. It wasn't until the passing of civil rights that Democrats have been more accepting, since the government can no longer discriminate.

    October 19, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • MJ

      Jake, Hello? .Its 2011. the Civil War ended in 1865......146 years ago Jake! You are aware that over time things change....... right? If Lincoln was in office today he would be a democrat.

      "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt".
      Abraham Lincoln

      October 19, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • Jake

      C'mon MJ...
      “Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” Abraham Lincoln.
      Abraham Lincoln claimed it himself that he was a conservative and being that, he would identify with the right, even today. The simple fact is that he WAS a Republican, and no matter how much you wish otherwise, he will always be. Perhaps if you like Lincoln so much, you may wish to reconsider the political side you may be on.

      October 19, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
  4. NObama

    Obama is an illegal immigrant Muslim.

    October 19, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • omg, stfu!

      really huh.... and your proof is where? stupid people like you should have any acces to public life taken away as you make the general public dumber for having the inconvinence of reading your crap, good day to you moron. may you life be fulled books and no more internet.

      October 19, 2011 at 10:31 am |
    • and

      And you (white people) are illegal, you stole the land from the indians. So there....

      October 19, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • MJ

      Yes NObama.... Of course he is! Now, take your underwear off of your head, turn off the Glenn Beck show and take your meds.........

      October 19, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • YouAreRight

      Dude you are right. America is great. America is a great place. Obama is delutional, sorry add 'N' before Obama.

      October 19, 2011 at 11:56 am |
  5. Dingleberry

    My name is equivalent to 90% of the posters on here. Yes I'm talking to you Hippypoet, Central scrutinizer, Reality, etc.

    October 19, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • kimsland

      The opposite to reality is religion
      Agreed religion is dimwitted

      October 19, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • hippypoet

      LOL... thats good.. i called someone a dingleberry the other day... the world keeps turnin 🙂 if you are not intelligent enough to understand what i am doing by each and every post then you are just a waste of breath much like most of all believers in some imaginary god....and your post was in no way better then any of mine preaching about the ALMIGHTY SUN who is totally better then all other fake gods as mine is real, not a god but way more important to us then god, if your smart that is!

      MAY THE ALMIGHTY SUN SHINE UPON YOUR IGNORANCE AND RELEASE IT FROM YOU. GO NOW AND WALK IN THE LIGHT! 🙂

      HUGS AND KISSES

      October 19, 2011 at 10:27 am |
  6. hippypoet

    THE ALMIGHTY SUN SHINES UPON ALL OF YOU, GO AND WALK IN THE LIGHT. MAY THE LIGHT OF THE ALMIGHTY SUN FILL YOU WITH WARMTH.

    October 19, 2011 at 9:36 am |
    • Boring .....

      It was marginally amusing the first time. Now it's just tired. Have you nothing to contribute ?

      October 19, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • kimsland

      Yes the sUn is healing, which is obviously the original intention before religion twisted it up.
      Plus I noticed that looking up to the stars at night is truly divine, I we all go there when we die, pretty sure in old fashioned days they called the stars and universe at night the heavens, what a strange name.

      Religion has misconstrued all these good old stories, and now they have lost there meaning.
      Good going religion, idiots.

      October 19, 2011 at 9:55 am |
  7. Life of Riley

    Ignoring everything else, there is an excellent reason that Cain should not even be trying to get on the ballot: he has Stage IV cancer in his colon and metastases to his liver.

    October 19, 2011 at 1:40 am |
    • Bill

      You need to educate yourself on understanding the difference between having cancer and being in remission. Mr. Cain is in remission which means he does not have cancer. The longer someone is in remission from cancer, the better the chance that it will not return. The term cured is being used now for some types of cancer.

      October 19, 2011 at 7:08 am |
    • Life of Riley

      Steve Jobs was in remission too. You need to educate yourself as to what Stage 4 and metastasize mean. Long-term remission, meaning one term in office, is very unlikely for his scenario.

      October 19, 2011 at 9:04 am |
  8. HeavenSent

    Seriously, if there is a god, which is pretty fskcing unlikely, that god simply just doesn't give a flying fsck about what the average stupid American thinks, nor about what church Herman Cain belongs to.

    It's sickening that religion is a factor in a modern election related to who becomes president of the most powerful nation on the planet. Just sickening.

    There's no god. Get over your stupid religion already.

    October 19, 2011 at 12:02 am |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @stalker
      You are stalking HS now? That is wierd since you both have a combined IQ of 5.

      Amen

      October 19, 2011 at 12:17 am |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @stalker

      Considering that you are unable to reply to the correct post half the time, I wouldn't make the attempt to attack anyone's intellect if I were you. And as far as HeavenSent goes, I'd find it pretty pointless to turn it's skin into an outfit a la Silence of The Lambs. I prefer to go tor the aggressive trolls that think insulting everyone will actually get them somewhere. You are like a lost little puppy. People try to be nice, but you're frightened and feel backed into a corner. So you lash out. That's what a troll is. I'm just floating around this toilet bowl putting people like you in your place.

      October 19, 2011 at 12:24 am |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      Ok, that makes sense now. Thanks.

      October 19, 2011 at 1:08 am |
    • Joseph

      "Get over your stupid religion already."... Wow, when you put it like that, I'm surprised those bible thumpers aren't throwing in the towel.. (sarcasm).. People like you ensure religion will be around for another millennia or two.

      October 19, 2011 at 2:08 am |
    • Take That

      Joseph, "People like you ensure religion will be around for another millennia or two."

      Just to be ornery, eh?

      October 19, 2011 at 2:14 am |
    • martinipaul

      How about HS and kimsland running on the atheist ticket for president? Think of all the votes they would get! And don't tell me atheists aren't political.

      October 19, 2011 at 2:45 am |
    • JohnR

      @martinipaul The "real" HeavenSent is a Christian. About as charming and intelligent as kimsland, but on the opposite side. She and Adelina were amongst the first to have juvenile trolls steal screen names and write things they never would. It was pathetic then and pathetic now that people are doing it with CentraL Scrutinizer and Tom, Tom the Piper's Son. This blog is poorly managed in many ways. The word filter is idiotic and the lack of password protected screen names ridiculous, since some people are obviously juvenile enough to get their jollies posing as someone else.

      October 19, 2011 at 10:29 am |
  9. kimsland

    “He’s a real person"

    I think our present open society has gone cuckoo or something?
    It is so obvious that religion is ridiculous a child would understand.

    If you are a Allah worshiper or a jesus nut case praiser, or any of the other thousand religions out there, you need help.
    Religion was made up because of death (that's it in total) It has nothing to do with life, any life, here on Earth or anywhere.
    Religious beliefs are hindering our present society in advancement in technology and space exploration.

    Enough of this religious ridiculous already, teach your children that religion is an old fashioned pathetic ignorant philosophy.
    Hopefully the next generation will rid the world of this embarrassment of religious beliefs, and we will move ahead.

    .

    October 18, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      I am pickin' up what you're are puttin' down kimsland. Let the sun shine.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
    • kimsland

      Thanks.
      Look maybe we need more education on tv or something?
      We could have daily shows for children, showing them that religion is pathetic.
      Eventually the old adults ideas will die off and the new generation will be able to 'politically' help our society progress.

      Now I understand the Freedom of Religion, is a small step at removing religion from societies decisions, but I'm pretty sure we are up to the next step now. Removal of religion all together.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      kimsland, here is the problem. I think it is fair to say that most people are needy. They need re-assurance. They need help with grief and pain. Most of all they fear death. Some of us can live with the idea that we don't know anything. Most cannot. Because of fear, religion will NEVER go away. That being said, as a country and a democracy it MUST be removed from decision making. And that is what we need to teach our children. Not indoctrination, not brain washing, just a simple understanding that you are free to worship as you wish, BUT it must not conflict with government policy. Why? Because laws affect us ALL and we don't all feel the same. I fear we are not as advanced as you think, but I wish it were so. Even as I read this back to myself, I realize my logic is not completely sound, but for my part I teach my kids to think for themselves, think critically about the world they live in, enjoy and explore the mysteries of science and above all, make your own decisions. No matter what I think or anyone else. Just be well-educated and fair and loving. Live a good life and don’t worry about death.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
    • kimsland

      You have gone a step further.
      My concern is the present belief in religion, ie the Bible the Qur'an etc
      If someone wants to write a book on wonders of afterlife and possibilities that could be, so be it.
      But for christians to say praise the lord or burn in hell, and Islam to just blatantly kill anyone who does not believe is NOT a good fear loving religious value.

      ok we don't know everything, but science does help in this area by continuing on. Present religion is backward and ignorant, and most importantly detrimental to our society on any level.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
    • Shasta msha

      I"t offers ministries for people suffering from drug addition and those infected with HIV/AIDS, and it has been a Sunday stopover for black politicians running for office."'

      CONSERVATIVE religious churches believe in doing these things at the church level , Hello, CNN needs a "belief blogger" that knows something about religion .
      CNN is becoming more of a joke everyday

      October 19, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @kimsland
      I can’t disagree with anything you are saying, but it is an uphill battle. I choose to take it slow and just make people think. I don't want to be a hypocrite and push my ideas on others. I don't know anything anyway. Arguing over religion is never productive. It is EDUCATION that will ultimately make a difference. Schools must be secular and teach facts, not fiction. Then maybe someday…..but you know we are the minority.

      October 19, 2011 at 12:14 am |
    • wonderment9

      Human rights, among other significant advances in humanity, is logically and historically grounded in theism. OTOH, Kimsland helpfully demonstrates the totalitarian impulses of doctinaire atheism (as did much of the twentieth century) with his comment, "I'm pretty sure we are up to the next step now. Removal of religion all together."

      For all the talk about "liberation" from religion, the tendency of hard-core atheists to trash rights of conscience when seeking to push their own vision for society inevitably surfaces.

      October 19, 2011 at 12:15 am |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      wonderment9 makes my point. I think. It was not very well written.

      October 19, 2011 at 12:21 am |
    • kimsland

      What I'm pushing is reality and common sense.
      And if the world is not ready for that (namely the US and Middle East) then I wish I was born 100 years from now.
      It is very frustrating hearing that people are religious, I DO try to help as many as I can see that religion is pathetic, I hope that's ok with you other atheists out there.

      October 19, 2011 at 12:22 am |
    • martinipaul

      i nominate kimsland to be the Voice of Atheistm. Can't wait for the Tele-Tubbies Atheist Hour. The book burning rallies will make for great tv as will Letterman crushing the Pieta with a steamroller. Some sort of game show where the contestants smear feces on the Last Supper may be interesting. Yes, the possibllities of spreading truth, justice, and the atheist way are endless!!!!

      October 19, 2011 at 12:38 am |
    • tallulah13

      Paul? Atheists aren't like christians. It's not a religion. While there may be organizations, it it certainly not necessary to join one to not believe in god. Trust me when I say that atheists speak with their own voices, therefore a single person is not qualified to speak for all. The only real thing we have in common is that we don't believe in god. Can you understand that?

      October 19, 2011 at 12:58 am |
    • Way WAY Too Many Martinis For Paul

      Don't bother with little paul, Tallulah. He made a fool of himelf below, and being unable to actually support any of his ridiculous claims, he has now trying out the "infantile troll" routine, with lots of silly knee-jerk buffoonery like Teletubbies and smearing feces.

      martinipaul can be safely ignored. He is incapable of doing anything other than make religious people and conservatives look like utter morons.

      October 19, 2011 at 1:13 am |
    • martinipaul

      Isn't that what I'm supposed to be? But come on, isn't the idea of indoctrinating children through kiddie tv a little strange?

      October 19, 2011 at 2:37 am |
    • Wild Bill

      Isn't the concept of indoctrinating children through Sunday school and religious camps and church attendance and the Boy Scouts very strange? I have always wondered why religious people were so afraid of letting their children have all the information and choosing for themselves.

      October 19, 2011 at 9:09 am |
  10. martinipaul

    Anyone up for pistols at dawn? Fulbright, Smathers, Russell, Talmidge, Long, Stennis, Ervin, Thrurmond, Gore, Byrd, Wallace, Maddox. Desegregation: Eisenhower. Civil Rights Act passing: Dirksen. Voting Rights Act: Senate Republicans 94% yes. Demos: 72% Republicans have done more for blacks than Demos ever thought about doing. I like Ike!

    October 18, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @drunkpaul
      Now I know you meant "African Americans" right?

      October 18, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      Then again, the term "blacks" is ok to use as well, since it merely describes skin color.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      Better to live in fear of a word, than to bother living life at all.

      That's what I say!

      October 18, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
    • Too Many Martinis For Paul

      That's a stunningly ignorant piece of revisionist history, martinipaul. Eisenhower only sent in troops once, and was only carrying out the law that the Supreme Court had recently decided in Brown v. Board of Education. Very tepid, and the Southerners easily nullified it all by closing public schools to end desegregation. He championed NO legislation – that mostly came in the Kennedy-Johnson years.

      You would also be more honest to note that in the 50s and 60s the South was still Democrat because Lincoln had been Republican. They were very different from the Democrats of the rest of the country – and THEY SINCE HAVE BECOME REPUBLICANS ! ! ! That is why the votes were as they were – and the Republicans were hardly being noble: they hoped that Southern blacks might actually vote for them as the white South was Dixiecrat.

      So don't be a liar and say that Republicans have done more for Blacks than Democrats – that has not been true since 1865.

      Maybe you are not a liar. Maybe you are one of the Limbaugh borg who hear this gibberish on the radio and otherwise has such a total ignorance of history that it soounded good to you. If so, don't forget to listen to rush again so that you know what your opinions are.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @stalker
      Look, I am sure drunkpaul can't understand you any more than I can or care less, but I have always noticed in you a complete lack of a sense of humor. That is a regrettable trait. I have told you this once or twice. It is OK to joke around. We are all brothers and sisters no matter our differences. You have no balance friend.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
    • Ozymandias71

      Yep, it's a shame that, with such a pedigree of social justice and progressive thought, the Republicans have become what the Democrats were 50 years ago!

      October 18, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @toomany
      Right on and well put.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @stalker name thief, whoever you are,

      You completely missed the boat on this one. You confused a term that describes skin color with being derogatory. You don't see white people getting angry over being called "whites," do you? Even though everyone's skin color is actually a yellow base, whites don't care. Every black person I've met has referred to him or herself as being black. Why? It's a loosely based characterization of skin tone. Nothing more, nothing less. If you'd like to spend the rest of your life living in fear of a word, then so be it. But to say we are all brothers and sisters, I laugh. I've seen you degrade people time and again over political affiliation. Your favorite term of choice? "Republican pigs." Prefaced of course by none other than a four letter word shaved down to a three letter word to avoid the word filter.

      Don't talk to me about brotherhood. You know nothing of the sort.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @Ozymandias71

      How do you figure? obama has continued bush policies. He's a democrat, no?

      October 18, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
    • martinipaul

      History must not be your strong point, guys. LBJ would have gotten no where without Dirksen. LBJ I believe voted against the civil rights act of 1957 which was proposed by Republicans and defeated by Democrats. Dishonest not to include Honest Abe. Prove that Demos have done more.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
    • Way WAY Too Many Martinis For Paul

      Let's see, did Dirksen introduce or champion the bill? No. Then what did he do? With three Democrats, he co-authored watered down version to get past a filibuster. That's it. Bit part player, definitely not a leader. More revisionist history bullshit.

      The Civil Rights Bill of 1957 was not defeated, dumb-dumb. It passed. It was also totally ineffective. Effective legislation came under Kennedy and Johnson.

      As you made the original claim that "Republicans have done more for blacks than Demos ever thought about doing", it is up to you to prove that truly absurd claim.

      The Republican Party under Lincoln bears almost no resemblance to the modern version. They were anti-slavery, pro-railroad, pro-gold standard, and pro-tariff. That does not sound much like anything anyone is saying today. They passed the first income tax and many excise taxes. They were in favor of a huge national debt to pay for the war. Does the Party of Lincoln sound like the modern Republicans?

      October 19, 2011 at 12:11 am |
    • martinipaul

      When I mentioned Dirksen it was in reference to the '64 act. You are quite correct on the '57. A version mangled by the Demos was passed. Thank you for the correction. That you will not admit that Abe was a Republican, thus losing, I consider an insult, therefore, an affair of honor. So I demand pistols at dawn.

      October 19, 2011 at 2:32 am |
    • Martinis Have Killed Paul's Brain Cells

      You are really clueless. That WAS a description of Dirksen in the 1964 act. By modern standards, Lincoln was a RINO.

      You could not support your argument, so now you cop out to an idiotic "pistols at dawn" joke? How stupid! Use you pistols on yourself, you ignorant dingbat.

      October 19, 2011 at 9:19 am |
    • scieng

      You are right. Racism is a historical fact for the Dems, whether being controlled by the KKK until the 1950s, or the current anti-white racism. Cain's point is that people succeed based on their focus on positive change, and investment of their energy into positive actions toward their goals. That is true for anyone. The personal responsibility for that is a core teaching of Christianity in his church. Racism is a fact, but focusing on it is a distraction away from positive action.

      October 19, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • Really Now

      martinipaul changes his ID to scieng and compliments himself on his bizarre misinterpretations. Right. Not like it's totally obvious or anything.

      October 19, 2011 at 11:54 am |
  11. Central Scrutinizer

    @Watson

    Well, whether is is the Herbster or not doesn't matter. It is fun thinking it is him. or Heaven Sent maybe. I believe it is a Herbster/HeavenSent Hybrid! I did read the hybrids are losiing their popularity though.....God Bless

    Amen

    (just to cover all the bases!)

    October 18, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
  12. Central Scrutinizer

    LOOK AT HOW AWESOME I AM HERE WITH MY AWESOME POSTS ABOUT HOW MUCH I HATE REPUBLICANS

    GOD I LOVE OBAMA

    BILLY MAYS HERE WITH A CAPS LOCK KEY!!

    October 18, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @stalker
      You make my job here SO easy. But again, what is the logic of using my name to insult ME. I still don't follow....

      October 18, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      Do you want me to pick out a name for you? I will pick you out a good one that makes you sound really smart ok?

      October 18, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      *fart*

      October 18, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @stalker
      *fart* hmmm....no I don't think so. Guess I will just stick with stalker. Feel free to use it. You are five huh?

      October 18, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      My name is Central Scrutinizer. It fits me well. If my stalker is 5, that doesn't say much about me. : (

      October 18, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
    • Swine got busted

      Uncouth Troll is at it again. Really a bummer how you busted yourself by forgetting to change your name before posting that one time. Not that the style and attitudes don't give you away.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      Guess again. Just another screen name I like to wear like a hat once in a while. I've got a whole bunch : )

      October 18, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
    • I_get_it

      That "Punch in the Nose" guy was unique - better than being an impostor 🙂

      October 18, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      Who's an imposter? I'll punch him in the nose!

      October 19, 2011 at 12:11 am |
  13. Central Scrutinizer

    Look at these choices for president folks:

    Michele Bachmann: (The 10 Craziest Michele Bachmann Quotes: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/the-10-craziest-michele-bachmann-quotes) She is crazier the Palin and that is an impressive accomplishment! Christian Creep.

    Herman Cain: In October 2011, Herman Cain described the Occupy Wall Street movement as "un-American". He further stated, "I don’t have facts to back this up, but I happen to believe that these demonstrations are planned and orchestrated to distract from the failed policies of the Obama administration. Yeah, why bother with facts.

    Newt Gingrich: His own party has turned him into a political outcast.

    Ron Paul: Ron Paul doesn’t know if he is Libertarian or a librarian, but at least he speaks his mind. Which is exactly why he is un-electable.

    Rick Perry: Regards evolution as a theory. I could go on but nuff said. Please oh please now more Dubya’s!!

    Mitt Romney: Cultist (they all are) but he lies about his faith. I once said, "Well, we’re going to have to hang the ‘Obama Misery Index’ around his neck." Nice.

    The others will withdraw so I won't bother with them. The biggest problem is, they ALL just come off STUPID (because they are).

    Sure Obama is learning on the job, but I believe he is the real deal If the republicans would stop blocking him at every turn and be part of the solution rather than the problem, This could be a very successful 2 term presidency. And he is presiding over one of the toughest eras in our country’s young history.
    Additionally, no matter what happens in the elections. Unless you are rich and/or willing to be on the take AND Christian or pretending to be, you can't get anywhere in Washington. That is bad because it omits the huge surplus of knowledgeable, intelligent and morally sound people we have in our great country from wanting to run for office. That is why we have that mess if idiots running for president!!!!

    October 18, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      And I will keep posting this over and over and over again and again because I have the power to change every idiot republican pig's mind. My words shall be read on CNN by all.

      October 18, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @CS Stalker
      Hey! There you are. Right on schedule, this one always seems to get you to crawl out from under your rock and blast me. You are very reliable that way. What would be nice is if we could have a conversation rather your silly posts. Oh well, different strokes for different folks. Are you gonna try to spoil all my fun again stalker? Me sad.

      October 18, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • You Are A Moron

      Republicans blocking Obama? Wow, you are an idiot. Please note that Obama Democrats controlled the House and Senate for nearly 2 years. Democrats still control the Senate. Oh, by the way, the Senate can't pass Obama's job bill.

      You need to read something other than CNN. Try reading all sides of the story.

      October 18, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      CS, Lis here. Herbie must be desperate. He can't even post under his own name anymore.

      Our little stalker! He's adorable, but a little dull.

      Oh, well. Into every life a little herbie must fall.

      October 18, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • Steve

      Please list the exact range of dates that Obama had a filibuster proof Senate.

      October 18, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @moron
      Clearly you nothing about how laws are debated and passed / how congress works. I supposed I should watch Fox?? Go away dummy.

      October 18, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @LS
      Hey Lis! Yeah, I know. Strange fellow.

      October 18, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      That's the understatement of the decade.

      October 18, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @steve
      Not sure who you are asking.

      @moron
      The Senate's quiet acceptance of the filibuster–and therefore a 60 vote threshold for most legislation–is dangerous to the country's ability to govern itself, no matter who's in power.
      To see that invoked on every single piece of legislation, during the course of this year, is unheard of.
      That is blocking Obama’s agenda knot-head.
      And the minority leader’s offer to vote immediately on the job’s bill was a stunt that had to be put down by the majority leader. Read up on it. Maybe YOU should stop watching Fox all day and look at both sides of the issue yourself.

      October 18, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
    • kiara

      riiight because if we just let Obama keep spending, some how we will end up with a positive number. what type of math are you using? And I seem to remember Obama having a democratic majority in both houses, soooo the republicans really could not stop him. If they could, we would not have Obamacare.

      October 18, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It would be more pleasant if you two children didn't continue insulting everyone : ) So, until then, you're going to have to deal with this. And from what I can tell, it's going to be a VERY long time. I assure you. I'm far more persistent than you : D AND more intelligent! *GASP!*

      CS, ever consider NOT posting these lengthy diatribes that look like they came from the fingertips of an angry republican from Montana? Yes, yes captain obvious, I'm aware that yours are the political rantings of a boi-toy OBSESSED with obama. It was merely a comparison.

      Ah, TT and CS together, the two most self-important people on the planet. You kids make Barbara Streisand jealous, you little prima donnas.

      October 18, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And both of us have you wrapped around the axle, don't we? You're so put out you can't stand it, little shadow.

      I am pleased.

      October 18, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @kiara
      The minority can and does block the majority, and thus the will of the American people constantaly. You do not need to have a filibuster to threaten one. It is pretty simple.

      I CAN and WILL blame Dubya and the replicans for the mess Obama is trying to clean up. And the good friends the corrupt special interest groups, banks and white collar criminals they love to pal around with. You probably voted for Dubya, and Reagan huh? So this is YOUR fault.

      October 18, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @herbie
      Can you explain why you post under other people's names? I don't get that. You can insult me without using my name. Please explain. God Bless

      October 18, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, you think yourself persistent, do you? We'll see. I'll bet you'll be exposed ere long. And even if you aren't, why would I care? I post here to amuse myself. If you aren't able to use your own screen name to get your jollies, dear, have at it.

      October 18, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
    • booyah1

      you are a total uneducated idiot. Obama sucks,so do his policies.you have to be one of the people who want everything given to you and have to earn nothing.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
    • booyah1

      central scrutinizer,get a job. you are a total imbecile

      October 18, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      CS, there you go insulting people again! Say, wasn't it Clinton's policy to give homes to everyone, knowing full well that they couldn't all pay for them? And then the housing market takes a dump during your beloved "Dubya's" term. So, who's to blame again? MMmmmmmmmm education tastes good.

      Say, what's to expose anyway? Another screen name? I fancy this one. I fancy a few others as well. I'll wear them as I see fit. It's obviously upsetting the trolls. What's that you say? I'm a troll? Believe it or not, I'm not the troll here. I just use this as a medium to mark the trolls as territory much like a dog does to a tree. You amuse yourself, I'll amuse MYSELF.

      If you don't want a little whiz on ya, then stop being trolls : )

      October 18, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      FYI, Central. Ever thought about not following your "LS" around like a lost puppy? Be a man.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
    • MoSez

      Hey, Fraudster,

      I hope that you are not a Christian or Jew... because you are breaking at least 3 of the 10 Commandments with your hijackings (maybe 4, if you are getting, ahem, other kinds of 'jollies' from it) 🙂

      October 18, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      I sure hope I'm not either. That would mean I'd actually have to believe in those ancient books written by cavemen. I assure you, I'm not the religious sort. I'm not a "wait until marriage" kinda guy.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
    • Respondez

      Ah, then I suppose you must have sum other raison for your comedy routine then...

      October 18, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @Bo-obya or whatever
      Interesting how you said something (twice) but had nothing to say. How did you manage that? It is always interesting to me how easy it is to tell someone who regurgitates information versus someone who actually has an opinion (and that is all it is, an opinion) developed on their own through thoughtful consideration of the facts. No one is perfect, but some are closer than others. You stand out like a sore them as someone being hand-fed information with no basis is history or fact.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      RAISON

      I like that. I must have some other "raison."

      October 18, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
    • Eric

      Just to clear this up for you central scrutinizer. If W is still the reason we are in the tanks then it stands to reason that clintons success was in part the first bush's fault. If the right sides up with corporations so much why does it costs 30K+ dollars to attend an obama dinner? Seeing as how they are always packed I'm guessing the left is equally in the pocket of corporations if not more. Regulation actually helps many mega-corporations in the financial industry. More regulation more risk and need for analysis of that risk. Thus democrats help corporations by regulation and repubs help corporations by lack of regulation. Just different industries. If Obama is such a grand president why has he not gotten us out of any wars. Actually in truth he has started another war we can't afford (libya, funded heavily by the US luckily he was smart enough to get NATO involved so we can tag any mistakes by us on NATO lol def a smart deceiver he is). He did have control of both the senate and house and the presidency. The left not being competent enough to do what needed to be done while they had that power is not the rights fault. They as always were to chicken to enact there policies 100%. In reality Obama has been slightly less worse than W. It will be the worst back to back presidents in history. OWS is a group of mostly Obama voters who are so butt hurt that he was a failure they are demanding change again cause he failed to give it. I support most of what OWS says except the biased political agendas most of them spout. Obama is in the pockets of wall street as much if not more than any previous president that much is clear after this economic crisis. He has done nothing of actual merit for the people. Anything he did do for the people was either a bandage fix or so poorly thought out it will never work with our new economic budget.

      October 19, 2011 at 11:43 am |
  14. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Liberal and church, what an oxyMORON.

    October 18, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hi, herbie, honey. Bad day again today? Did mommy make you wash out your dirty undies again?

      October 18, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      There's a rumor going around that some post-menopause, angry old bag thinks I'm "herbie." Holy jesus christ chex, that is funny! Dearest LS, you self-important, whining, arrogant ponce, wherever you may be on this lovely Tuesday evening... You're wrong as usual!

      October 18, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Aww, you're so cute when you're p*ssed off, herbie.

      October 18, 2011 at 9:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Herbie, why is it you're only posting under my name now? Are you embarrassed to show yourself, after having written such inane drivel? I'm not surprised, but I do feel some compassion for you and Uncouth Swain. Neither one of you has much of a hide if you can't take posting on a public forum without taking to your fainting couches.

      Poor, sensitive little swans.

      October 18, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I wonder, herbie, why you're too shy to admit you're the author of so many of the posts you made under my screen name, and that of Central Scrutinizer. After all, if you're so erudite, you should be proud of it, honey. Spending all that time with your thesaurus deserves praise.

      October 18, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      Dearest Sherlock,

      I'm writing you to say that I do believe we've been duped. Yes, quite the scoundrel wouldn't you say? Yes indeed, it is in fact the truth that I have found that "herbie the burbler" is not our man! Perhaps we should have realized sooner instead of gazing upon our reflections in the mirrors like giraffes in love. One day soon, I hope, we may happen upon the right track and sniff the little devil out! Please take this note as serious as possible, for it is a post on the internet!

      With the utmost sincerest and warmest regards,

      Watson

      October 18, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Eh, who cares who it is? He's a turd, and you can't polish one of those. Let him post; what possible harm can a lame-brain like that do anyway?

      October 18, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      @Watson

      Well, whether is is the Herbster or not doesn't matter. It is fun thinking it is him. or Heaven Sent maybe. I believe it is a Herbster/HeavenSent Hybrid! I did read the hybrids are losiing their popularity though.....God Bless

      Amen

      (just to cover all the bases)

      October 18, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You know CS, maybe we should stop being so aggressive and demeaning toward others. It might actually get the point across if we stopped calling people morons and idiots. Who knows? If we act like human beings and treated others with a little dignity, then other people might leave us alone! Wouldn't that be lovely? We could actually converse AND be respectful while doing it!

      October 18, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      By the way, you are Watson, and I am Sherlock in this little charade. You always have and always will be, just a little sidekick.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
  15. Anon

    Christians are screwed up in the head.
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUVXEmJRGns&w=640&h=390]

    October 18, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  16. If I had a penny for every stupid Republican I'd be rich!

    Why would Cain even accept the $200 speaking fee in the first place?

    October 18, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • Central Scrutinizer

      That's $200. To talk. About nothing. It's free money. That's why.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
  17. chad

    Dont know to much about Mr. Cain, but what I've seen I like!

    October 18, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • sparknut

      You mean like everyone except the very rich paying far more in taxes under his 9-9-9 plan? This was determined by a non-partisan group today, but I already figured it out. No way pizza man!

      October 18, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • Eric

      Since his 9-9-9 plan has not been developed at all how could a group possibly come to the conclusion it would only benefit the rich. As far as I've heard there are many many taxes added to the 9% above a certain amount. Clearly a non-partisan group... Anytime I hear non-partisan group all I have to do is look at which way their opinion skews to know it was not non-partisan. A flat tax is what this country needs it has worked in other countries and will work here. Just need someone with the balls to actually enact change... (btw obama does not have the nuts to enact change that much has been made clear the last 3 years).

      October 19, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  18. Reality

    If Cain's 9-9-9 program has any chance of balancing the budget and he gets nominated, I will vote for him. BUT his chances of winning are probably nil unless he can somehow get rid of the "pro-life" label.

    To wit:

    All the conservative votes in the country "ain't" going to help a "pro-life" presidential candidate, i.e Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Ron Paul or Rick Santorum, in 2012 as the "Immoral Majority" rules the country and will be doing so for awhile. The "Immoral Majority" you ask?

    The fastest growing USA voting bloc: In 2008, the 70+ million "Roe vs. Wade mothers and fathers" of aborted womb-babies" whose ranks grow by two million per year i.e. 78+ million "IM" voters in 2012.

    2008 Presidential popular vote results:

    69,456,897 for pro-abortion/choice BO, 59,934,814 for "pro-life" JM.

    And all because many women fail to take the Pill once a day or men fail to use a condom even though in most cases these men have them in their pockets. (maybe they should be called the "Stupid Majority"?)
    (The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions ( one million/yr) and S-TDs (19 million/yr) in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or condoms properly and/or use other safer birth control methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.)

    Statistical data provided by the CDC and the Guttmacher Inst-itute.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • You Are A Moron

      You do realize that the popular vote doesn't necessarily win the election?

      pretty much anyone is better than Obama right now. and please, don't give me, "it was Bush's fault." Increased regulation, healthcare, absolutely no idea how to fix the economny (Stimulus 2, seriously?) ... all of these are killing US jobs.

      i'm not sure the GOP is the answer, but Obama definitely hasn't made life any better for anyone.

      October 18, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • Reality

      A plus 10 million vote differential in the popular vote guarantees a victory in the electoral college.

      October 19, 2011 at 8:34 am |
  19. Cain2012

    The good thing out of this is when black people vote for Cain (because he is black), at least they will be voting for a candidate with a brain.

    October 18, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You sound like a racist to me.

      October 18, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
    • Steve

      The same percentage of black people voted for Gore as they did for Obama.

      October 18, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
  20. RealGlaird

    Imbedded in this very article is the roots of Cain's remark that certain groups of Americans are brainwashed. "Artis Johnson ...asked Cain why blacks would vote Republican when the party desires to disenfranchise blacks at the voting booth ...". If that is not the product of brainwashing what is it?
    Substantiate that claim Mr. Johnson. Where in any Republican party literature, platform, or candidate's messages do you hear anything remotely stating that Republicans want to rescind black American's right to vote? Next we will be hearing the Republicans eat little children.
    Liberal politics is so predictable. Forget facts, just assassinate character. And the truly sad thing, I hear this kind of empty nonsensical rhetoric mindlessly repeated over and over by, YES, brainwashed followers (regardless of their heritage).

    October 18, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Big_D

      Sure Jim Crow the GOP never has done anything nor is Florida trying to do more currently. Do you always lie or do you have good days?

      October 18, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • Big_D

      So what is with the GOP sending out fliers with the wrong dates to black neighborhoods and sending absentee ballots with the wrong address? That is the GOP track record for way back in 2010.

      October 18, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
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About this blog

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.