home
RSS
Is the black church guilty of spiritual hypocrisy in same-sex marriage debate?
Delman Coates at Mt. Ennon Baptist Church is among a minority of black ministers in Maryland who have endorsed gay rights.
May 12th, 2012
08:00 AM ET

Is the black church guilty of spiritual hypocrisy in same-sex marriage debate?

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - Some people wonder if the black church will punish President Barack Obama for announcing support for same-sex marriage.

Here’s another question:

Why would the black church cite scripture to exclude gays when a similar approach to the Bible was used to enslave their ancestors?

“It’s so unfortunate,” says James Cone, one the nation’s most influential black theologians and author of “The Cross and the Lynching Tree.”

“The literal approach to scripture was used to enslave black people,” he says. “I’ve said many times in black churches that the black church is on the wrong side of history on this. It’s so sad because they were on the right side of history in their own struggle.”

Call it historical irony: Black church leaders arguing against same-sex marriage are making some of the same arguments that supporters of slavery made in the 18th and 19th centuries, some historians say. Both groups adopted a literal reading of the Bible to justify withholding basic rights from a particular group.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Opposition to gay rights is not the standard position of all black churches. Still, while several predominately white mainline denominations have officially accepted gays and lesbians in various forms, the vast majority of black churches still consider homosexuality a sin.

Black church leaders recently helped lead a successful drive to amend North Carolina’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage. The Rev. Fred Robinson, a black pastor in Charlotte, says most black churchgoers aren’t hypocrites. They take scripture, and sin, seriously.

“Black people are not confused,” Robinson says. “If you look at the scriptures that oppose homosexuality, Old and New Testament, they are clearer cut than the ones people used to justify slavery.”

Yet there are other factors beyond the Bible that shape the black church’s resistance to same-sex marriage.

“It’s more than scripture – it’s history, culture, how we were raised,” says the Rev. Tim McDonald, founder of the African American Ministers Leadership Council.

Some black church leaders are still fighting hard just to persuade straight black couples to marry. Accepting same-sex marriage when so many black households lack a husband and wife makes McDonald uneasy.

“I am not comfortable performing a wedding ceremony of the same sex,” says McDonald, an Obama supporter. “That’s just where I am.”

Some black pastors, however, embrace a literal approach to the Bible not just to exclude gays but to get rid of competition, says Edward Blum, a San Diego State University historian.

Some black pastors cite New Testament passages such as Paul’s demand that women keep silent in churches to argue against black women in the pulpit.

That argument is harder to make when black women’s energy and donations form the backbone of the black church, Blum says, but some still get away with it.

“The biblical literalist reading has kept male leadership in power in a church that is hugely female,” Blum says. “It keeps power in men’s hands.”

The one book that mattered

Black churches also embrace a literal reading of the scripture because of its unique history, says Blum, author of “W.E.B. DuBois, American Prophet.”

During slavery and segregation, many blacks saw the Bible as the one document they could trust. The Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, state and local laws – all found some way to ignore their humanity, Blum says.

The Bible, though, was one book that told them that they weren’t slaves or three-fifths of a person, Blum says.

It said they were children of God.

“Throughout the 18th and 19th century, what document could they trust?” Blum says. “When the Bible says it’s so, it’s something that black people believed they could trust.”

Their enemies, though, used that same veneration of the Bible against them. Slaveholders had a simple but powerful argument when critics challenged them: Trust the Bible.

They cited scriptures such as Ephesians 6:5. (“Slaves, be obedient to those who are your earthly masters, with fear and trembling. ...”) And they said Jesus preached against many sins, but never against slavery.

Since the Bible is infallible, and scripture sanctions slavery, it must be part of God’s order, slaveholders concluded.

“Slavery is everywhere in the Bible,” Blum says. “When Americans who were in favor of slavery defended it with the Bible, they had a treasure trove of clear biblical passages that accepted enslavement.”

Blum says abolitionists found it difficult to mount an effective counterargument. They couldn’t just say trust the Bible. They preached another approach to scriptures.

They said you couldn’t enslave people based on the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do to you. (Obama cited the Golden Rule and his Christian faith in supporting same-sex marriage).

“The abolitionist turned to the ethics and spirit of the Bible,” Blum says. “They were theological modernists before modernism.”

And what are black clergy and churchgoers today when they cite the Bible to oppose same-sex marriage?

Robinson, the North Carolina pastor, says they’re not homophobes.

“It says in the Bible that homosexuals will not inherit the Kingdom of God,” he says. “How do you explain that one away? A lot of honest Christians are not trying to hate homosexuals. They’re saying that if I take the Bible seriously, I’m not sure I can say it’s right.”

Robinson says that some opposition to homosexuality is actually based in compassion:

“If I’m concerned about your soul, I have to tell you the truth in love.”

Cone, who teaches at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, says black churchgoers opposed to same-sex marriage are instead mimicking their ancestors’ oppressors.

“I tell some people, ‘These people were against you.’ They would have lynched you. How are you going to now join them and help them lynch somebody else?’”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Barack Obama • Christianity • Culture wars • Gay marriage • Gay rights • Homosexuality • Politics

soundoff (4,348 Responses)
  1. A tad too far....

    Simply put, I have had it with the gay community. You ask us to tolorate and respect your differences and then you come back and covet our traditions. Shame on you.

    May 13, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • YeahRight

      "have had it with the gay community. You ask us to tolorate and respect your differences and then you come back and covet our traditions. Shame on you."

      Fighting for civil rights has always been part of American history, it's too bad we still haven't learned from our mistakes. Duh!

      May 13, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • mandarax

      Who you calling "us?" I am happily married to a person of the opposite se.x, but I don't presume that marriage is "our" tradition, and I certainly don't see it either belonging to one group of people, nor would I include myself in your group. So, please don't presume to speak for the rest of us.

      May 13, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • tony

      Actually Christianity has a long record of stealing earlier religions traditions. And most recently, de-secularizing pop music

      May 13, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      You are ticked at the gay community when people who get divorced crap on your tradition more than anything else...

      Moron

      May 13, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • sam stone

      marriage is not just your tradition

      May 13, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  2. LyingLiberals

    I truly admire Back Men for standing up to Gay fascist

    May 13, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Gay Fascist?

      May 13, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • YeahRight

      "Gay fascist"

      Standing up and fighting for your civil rights in fascists moron.

      May 13, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • sam stone

      yeah, everyone needs a ni**er, and i guess some have found them in gays

      May 13, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  3. dmx01

    It wasn't the Bible that put blacks into slavery, it was the greed of their compatriots who sold them. Like Joseph's brothers.

    May 13, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • LyingLiberals

      This is true they were NOT Christian.

      May 13, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • be

      Right.......the good Christians that bought them had nothing to do with it.

      May 13, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  4. April

    Now it's unfortunate that the black church would stick to it's teachings over voting for someone with the same color skin-–wow--Obama's re-election is even more important than black peoples relationship with GOD! How much more arrogant can he get!!!!!!

    May 13, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • LyingLiberals

      How do you think Marxism works twist the truth.

      May 13, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • GailS

      Obama is arrogant because of the actions of Black people?

      May 13, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  5. tell the truth, now

    people actually believe church speakers? how about this truth; the pope wears a dress, ruby red shoes and a ruby red hat, and claims gay is wrong. For all we know, he dresses in nuns' outfits in the vatican, and giggles, as the bishops chases him around.

    May 13, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • LyingLiberals

      The Pope very well may be gay but HE is celibate.

      May 13, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • tell the truth, now

      if that is the case, then gays are celibate too.

      May 13, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • YeahRight

      "claims gay is wrong"

      Actually the pope has stated being gay is not a sin.

      May 13, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • LyingLiberals

      If a gay is celibate then he is not sinning just like the drunk who does not drink.

      May 13, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • tell the truth, now

      no such thing as a drunk who doesn't drink.. BTW: the pope is a liar and deceiver, why would anyone pay attention to him. Oops, most don't anymore and most who are counted as catholics by the church have nothing to do with the filthy religion.

      Most don't realize the pope and bishops are simply juvenile delinquents that never grew up.

      May 13, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • YeahRight

      "If a gay is celibate then he is not sinning just like the drunk who does not drink."

      Nowhere in your bible does your god condemn the saved loving respectful relationship of a gay couple as we know and understand it today. Only prejudice bigots twist the scripture to pass judgment on them.

      May 13, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • sam stone

      how do you know who is celibate, lying lunatic?

      May 13, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  6. tony

    Which of the thousands of denominations is the REAL Christian one then?

    May 13, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • LyingLiberals

      All of them

      May 13, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • tell the truth, now

      proof,, they all have variations which is exactly how they were created – mans imagination.

      May 13, 2012 at 10:13 am |
  7. Mark

    Them and Catholics alike

    Believe what you want to but don't call yourself a Christian and not even come close to practicing it...

    May 13, 2012 at 10:08 am |
  8. JOHN FIGTREECUTTER

    EVEN THOUGH OBAMA HAS PUBLICALLY ACCEPTED GAY AS BEING OKAY, THE BLACK CHRISTIANS WILL STILL VOTE FOR HIM BECAUSE HE IS BLACK. I PERSONALLY WILL NOT VOTE FOR ANYONE WHO PROMOTES ANYTHING THE BIBLE CLEARLY IS OPPOSED TO.. WHEN GOD SAYS DON'T, WHAT IS IT THAT YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND? EITHER YOUR A REAL CHRISTIAN AND SHOW PEOPLE YOU ARE BY THE WAY YOU VOTE OR YOUR NOT. CLEAR AS THAT.. NOW DON'T GET ME WRONG. GOD STILL LOVES GAYS, BUT HE HAS SHOWN US IN SCRIPTURE HE NOT ONLY IS OPPOSED TO IT, BUT ALSO CLEARLY DETESTS IT WITH A PASSION.. YES, HE LOVES THE PERSON, BUT WILL NOT PUT UP WITH THE SIN.

    May 13, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • tell the truth, now

      can you type even bigger letters?

      May 13, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • YeahRight

      "I PERSONALLY WILL NOT VOTE FOR ANYONE WHO PROMOTES ANYTHING THE BIBLE CLEARLY IS OPPOSED TO."

      So here is a list of abominations in the bible, Unclean things (Lev. 7:21) ; Cheating (Mic. 6:10) ; A proud look (Pro. 6:16-17) ; A lying tongue (Pro. 6:17; 12:22) ; Hands that shed innocent blood ((Pro. 6:17) ; A wicked scheming heart (Pro. 6:18) ; A false witness that speaks lies (Pro. 6:19) ; A sower of discord (Pro. 6:19) ; A false balance or scale (Pro. 11:1) ; The proud of heart (Pro. 16:5) ; Justifying the wicked (Pro. 17:15) ; Condemning the just (Pro. 17:15) ; Refusing to hear the law (Pro. 28:9) ; Wearing clothes of the opposite sex (Dt. 22:5) Re-marriage of former companions (Dt. 24:1-4) ; Cheating others (Dt. 25:13-16) ; Making images/idols (Dt. 27:15) ; Eating unclean things (Isa. 66:17) ; Robbery (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Murder (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Adultery (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Oppression of others, particularly the poor or vulnerable (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Violence (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Breaking vows (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Lending with interest to a brother (Ezek. 18: 6-13) ; Lying with a menstruous woman (Ezek. 18: 6-13).

      So basically you probably shouldn't vote at all. Oh...that's right only prejudice bigots pick and choose what they want to in th bible. What a hypocrite.

      May 13, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • YeahRight

      "BUT HE HAS SHOWN US IN SCRIPTURE HE NOT ONLY IS OPPOSED TO IT, BUT ALSO CLEARLY DETESTS IT WITH A PASSION.."

      Nowhere in your bible does your god condemn the saved loving respectful relationship of a gay couple as we know and understand it today. What your bible condemns is male prostitution, idolatry and worshiping a pagan god using sex. Part of reading comprehension 101 is putting the scriptures into historical context.

      May 13, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • GailS

      Exodus sanctions selling daughters into slavery; Exodus also says Christians should not work on the sabbath and if they do they should be put to death. Leviticus states it's okay to have slaves as long as they're purchased from neighboring nations; Leviticus also states that men may not be around women while she's in her period of menstrual uncleanliness. My point is that our understanding of Bible evolves ... so should your understanding.

      May 13, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • BibleReader

      Scripture bans the eating of pork. Here I am at the church potluck digging into the baked beans. What is that stuff in here? Bacon? Why is THAT not a sin?

      May 13, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  9. LyingLiberals

    Being Black is NOT a choice.

    May 13, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • YeahRight

      Being gay is NOT a choice!

      May 13, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • LyingLiberals

      May be not but committing gay sin is.

      May 13, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • GailS

      Doesn't make any difference if it's a choice or not. Gay rights are civil rights and they want the same things that we (black people) marched for in the 19060s - to be treated equally. Nothing more and nothing less.

      May 13, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • Joe

      Neither is being gay!

      May 13, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • LyingLiberals

      Where were your gay friends when YOU were marching. I dont think MLKjr would have allow them there. I know Malcolm X would have been disgusted.

      May 13, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • YeahRight

      "May be not but committing gay sin is."

      No it's not as we know and understand it today. Part of reading comprehension 101 is reading the scriptures in historical context. Duh!

      May 13, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • John

      "May be not but committing gay sin is."

      Some argue that since homosexual behavior is "unnatural" it is contrary to the order of creation. Behind this pronouncement are stereotypical definitions of masculinity and femininity that reflect rigid gender categories of patriarchal society. There is nothing unnatural about any shared love, even between two of the same gender, if that experience calls both partners to a fuller state of being. Contemporary research is uncovering new facts that are producing a rising conviction that homosexuality, far from being a sickness, sin, perversion or unnatural act, is a healthy, natural and affirming form of human sexuality for some people. Findings indicate that homosexuality is a given fact in the nature of a significant portion of people, and that it is unchangeable.

      Our prejudice rejects people or things outside our understanding. But the God of creation speaks and declares, "I have looked out on everything I have made and `behold it (is) very good'." . The word (Genesis 1:31) of God in Christ says that we are loved, valued, redeemed, and counted as precious no matter how we might be valued by a prejudiced world.

      There are few biblical references to homosexuality. The first, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, is often quoted to prove that the Bible condemns homosexuality. But the real sin of Sodom was the unwillingness of the city's men to observe the laws of hospitality. The intention was to insult the stranger by forcing him to take the female role in the sex act. The biblical narrative approves Lot's offer of his virgin daughters to satisfy the sexual demands of the mob. How many would say, "This is the word of the Lord"? When the Bible is quoted literally, it might be well for the one quoting to read the text in its entirety.

      Leviticus, in the Hebrew Scriptures, condemns homosexual behaviour, at least for males. Yet, "abomination", the word Leviticus uses to describe homosexuality, is the same word used to describe a menstruating woman. Paul is the most quoted source in the battle to condemn homosexuality ( 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 and Romans 1: 26-27). But homosexual activity was regarded by Paul as a punishment visited upon idolaters by God because of their unfaithfulness. Homosexuality was not the sin but the punishment.

      1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Paul gave a list of those who would not inherit the Kingdom of God. That list included the immoral, idolaters, adulterers, sexual perverts, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, and robbers. Sexual perverts is a translation of two words; it is possible that the juxtaposition of malakos, the soft, effeminate word, with arsenokoitus, or male prostitute, was meant to refer to the passive and active males in a homosexual liaison.

      Thus, it appears that Paul would not approve of homosexual behavior. But was Paul's opinion about homosexuality accurate, or was it limited by the lack of scientific knowledge in his day and infected by prejudice born of ignorance? An examination of some of Paul's other assumptions and conclusions will help answer this question. Who today would share Paul's anti-Semitic attitude, his belief that the authority of the state was not to be challenged, or that all women ought to be veiled? In these attitudes Paul's thinking has been challenged and transcended even by the church! Is Paul's commentary on homosexuality more absolute than some of his other antiquated, culturally conditioned ideas?

      Three other references in the New Testament (in Timothy, Jude and 2 Peter) appear to be limited to condemnation of male sex slaves in the first instance, and to showing examples (Sodom and Gomorrah) of God's destruction of unbelievers and heretics (in Jude and 2 Peter respectively).

      That is all that Scripture has to say about homosexuality. Even if one is a biblical literalist, these references do not build an ironclad case for condemnation. If one is not a biblical literalist there is no case at all, nothing but prejudice born of ignorance, that attacks people whose only crime is to be born with an unchangeable sexual predisposition toward those of their own sex

      May 13, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • GailS

      I am so proud to say that gay people marched with us–they may have done it quietly, but they did it. Go listen to Julian Bonds speech to the Human Rights Commission on youtube. He explains it all. Gay rights are civil rights and don't forget it.

      May 13, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • sam stone

      you have no authority to speak or god, lying lunatic

      May 13, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  10. Aaron the Moor

    Blum uses the worn out "three-fifths of a person" argument. This also included white people who were identified as indentured servants.
    The South was fearful of the more populous North politically over ruling them in the House of Representatives
    If-the-3/5s-compromise-was not included in-the-Const!tut!on-and -South-had gone its own way, then-there would-not have been a-C!v!l-War-nor would there had been an Emanc!pation-Proclamat!on and North America might very well have-slavery-in the 21st Century

    May 13, 2012 at 10:01 am |
  11. Ralph M

    Without a doubt. On many levels.

    May 13, 2012 at 10:00 am |
  12. JM

    May each of us experience God's love today.

    May 13, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • LyingLiberals

      And his wrath for those who twist his words.

      May 13, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • JM

      Thankfully, He is merciful. None of us deserves His love and mercy.

      May 13, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • tony

      Perhaps you could be the first to untwist the bible's words so they make some kind of non-contradictory sense and worth?.

      May 13, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • JM

      'Blessed are the merciful,
      for they will be shown mercy.'

      23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold[h] was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

      26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

      28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins.[i] He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

      29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’

      30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.

      32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

      35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

      May 13, 2012 at 10:10 am |
  13. RdWhtNBlu

    Black churches show how pathetic they really are as a group. First of all, religeos belief has nothing to do with their attendance. It is nothing more than a social gathering and fashion show. Then, how about that preacher screaming to a congregation that has their hands up, eyes closed, dancing and hollering. Come Monday morning, it's business as usual, selling drugs, scamming the system, petty theft, and no interest in raising their families right. Hypocrits for sure!

    May 13, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • tell the truth, now

      Then again, you just described all religions

      May 13, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • JOHN FIGTREECUTTER

      YOUR ABSOLUTELY CORRECT!!!

      May 13, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • Roco

      Sounds to me like any church in America or in the world. Especially here in AZ. Do As I Say, Not As I Do!!!! So don't blame it only on the Black churches.

      May 13, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • Joe public1

      I want to respond to your ignorance with something insightful but the good book teaches me not to cast my pearls before swine lest you trample them under foot, then bite me.

      May 13, 2012 at 10:12 am |
  14. freqflyr

    As a white man, I greatly admire the black church's adherence to a literal scriptural reading of the Bible. There are so many disciplined, well-read christians in the black community. God bless to all the mamas todays who taught the Word of God to your children when they were young.

    May 13, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • RdWhtNBlu

      How come Daddy didn't teach the word of god? Oh, that's right, after pregnancy they hit the next available ho.

      May 13, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      As a white man, you are idiot

      May 13, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • LyingLiberals

      I agree with you 100% to bad the Catholics wont follow suit and straighten out Notre Dame.

      May 13, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • sam stone

      isn't that quaint, they adopted the god of their slavemasters.....hallelujah

      May 13, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  15. Joe

    EXACTLY! Being gay is not a choice and we should have the same rights. Blacks are hypocrites

    May 13, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • Marc

      Blacks are not hypocrites. Some Black churches are hypocrites. Many, many Black people support your cause including the President who invited LGBT groups to the white house and banished don't ask, don't tell. I'd tone it down.

      May 13, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • tell the truth, now

      well Marc,, you are wrong. There mere fact that those who support gay marriage in their church, don't stand up against their church. If they did, the church would change its opinion. No different than being catholic and allowing the bishops to lobby to stop laws that would expose the worst criminals. (BTW; most do by doing nothing)

      May 13, 2012 at 10:07 am |
  16. ArloTK

    Geeze, some people don't like gays, get over it already.

    May 13, 2012 at 9:42 am |
  17. John B

    Every Church is guilty of hypocrisy.

    May 13, 2012 at 9:42 am |
  18. Mr

    This kind of mentality will only serve to keep churchgoing blacks from getting anywhere. Who will take them seriously as they hold on to these ridiculous beliefs. The black community is shooting itself in the foot.

    May 13, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • RdWhtNBlu

      Wait a second, someone takes blacks seriously now?

      May 13, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  19. Mark9988

    The author has a staggering lack of understanding of scripture, the concept slavery in the ancient near east, or God's demand that His people be holy.

    May 13, 2012 at 9:41 am |
  20. David Ouellette

    Yes.

    May 13, 2012 at 9:40 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62
Advertisement
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.