By Dan Merica, CNN
Washington (CNN) – In a stadium filled with 8,000 evangelical Christian women, one person near the stage stands out.
Sporting short salt-and-peppered hair, broad shoulders and a high-collared shirt, the man sits calmly as ballerinas flutter across the stage, women tell jokes about menopause and the event’s emcee announces that almost all the men’s rooms at the Verizon Center in downtown Washington have been converted to female restrooms for the night, provoking a round of applause.
For Kurt Warner, former quarterback for the St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals and two-time National Football League MVP, this is about as far away from the testosterone-driven world of the gridiron as you can get.
Onstage is the reason Warner’s here: Brenda Warner, her angular face and close-cropped blonde hair radiating in professional lighting, telling the audience about God’s plan for her life.
For years, Brenda was known as Kurt’s uber-supportive wife – a woman whose unflinchingly defense and championing of her superstar husband sometimes made news in it its own right.
Today, two years into Kurt’s retirement, those roles are changing.
My Faith: What people talk about before they die
Brenda has become what some call "Christian famous" - a renowned evangelical speaker who tours the country with the likes of the 2012 Women of Faith tour, which will reach tens of thousands of Christian women with a message of hope and faith. As one of the tour’s headliners, Brenda will travel the country each weekend until November to tell her story – one of heartbreak, love and growth.
Through much of it, Kurt will be there with her, sitting in the audience as his wife does her thing before throngs of adoring fans.
“Brenda Warner is no longer Kurt Warner’s wife,” one awestruck woman says after listening to Brenda’s story at the Verizon Center. “Kurt Warner is now Brenda Warner’s husband.”
‘We need each other, we all have a story’
Brenda Warner’s story is a tear-jerker, whether or not you accept the God part.
When she was 18, she joined the Marine Corps, a job that took her from her hometown of Parkersburg, Iowa, to bases in Japan and in Virginia Beach, Virginia – where she would marry another Marine and give birth to a baby boy.
When Brenda begins to explain her life to the crowd in Washington, women applaud for the lines about joining the Marines and having baby Zachary.
Then the story takes a dark turn.
Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter
While working one day in Virginia Beach, Brenda got a phone call that changed her life. Her husband had dropped Zachary on his head, an accident that would leave their toddler legally blind and developmentally disabled. Speaking in Washington, Brenda recounts the scene at the hospital.
“Zachary had a seizure – they worked around him trying to stop it,” she says. “I did all that I knew to do – I called out, ‘Jesus, Jesus, let this be the last seizure.’”
A hush has fallen over the stadium. Women wipe tears from their cheeks; one has pulled her pink T-shirt over her eyes.
She and her husband struggled to make things work with Zachary, Brenda continues. She got pregnant again, she tells the audience, but when she was a month from her due date her husband told her he had feelings for another woman. “I got out of bed, I called home and said mama come get me,” she says. “He doesn't love me, after all that we have been through.”
Brenda became a registered nurse, largely to learn how to better cope with Zachary’s condition. To make ends meet, she stood in line for food stamps and moved out of her parent’s basement and into low-income housing.
Then, another bombshell.
One night in 1996, Brenda’s sister called to report that their mother and father, who had retired to a cabin in Arkansas, had been killed in a tornado. Their house had been wiped off the map.
“They were always my soft place to fall,” Brenda tells the crowd.
At this point, the woman with her head in her T-shirt is a sobbing headless body. But as quickly as she has just dropped the mood, Brenda builds it up by telling the women that God brought her through it all.
“I married that football player,” she says, gesturing toward Kurt. “He adopted my two and we have five more.” Tears are giving way to applause.
Kurt and Brenda Warner first met when Kurt was playing college football at University of Northern Iowa.
CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories
Near the end of the speech, Brenda brings Zachary out to say hello to the crowd.
“If you have ever felt like life has cheated you, stand up with me,” Brenda says. “If you have ever felt disappointed in life, stand with me. If you have ever received a call that changed your life forever, brought you to your knees and took your breath away, look around, we are all in this together, we need each other, we all have a story.”
Afterward, many women say they saw themselves in Brenda’s story.
“She is just a normal everyday mom raising a family just like everybody,” says Sena Hohman, her two daughters accompanying her to the event. “Hearing these stories, you find out she is just like me, with ups and downs in life, with peaks and valleys.
“To be able to see somebody has overcome” what she has, said Judy Gerlitz from Centerville, Virginia, “shows me that I can do it.”
Super Bowl champion, philanthropist
When she’s offstage, Brenda and Kurt often operate as a team in their faith-based work.
On the recent Friday morning before Brenda addresses the Women of Faith conference, the couple find themselves in a small, bland conference room in downtown Washington.
Kurt takes notes while Brenda’s eyes stay fixed on the architect who’s briefing them. The topic: plans for a multi-apartment home for developmentally disabled young adults that the Warners want to build in their hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona.
The project is inspired by Zachary, now a 23-year-old high school graduate.
“Zach has probably impacted more people than all of us combined because there is something unique and special and honest about these individuals that see it like it is and call it like they see it,” Kurt says.
Zachary lives in a group house in St. Louis. The Warners are modeling the group home they’re building in Arizona, called Treasure House, on the St. Louis Life concept for independent living for those with special needs.
At the meeting in Washington, Kurt is very much in control, with the architect and a consultant urge the Warners to use Kurt’s celebrity to help raise funds. “Leverage your history,” the consultant says, looking at Kurt and talking football.
Kurt’s story, like Brenda’s, includes some letdowns. After going unselected in the 1994 NFL draft as a quarterback out of University of Northern Iowa, Kurt became a Hy-Vee grocery store stock clerk to make money. While stocking shelves, he signed with the Iowa Barnstorms, an Arena Football League team in Des Moines, Iowa. With his big arm and accuracy, he became an AFL star.
After a short stint with NFL Europe, Kurt became the third -tring quarterback for the St. Louis Rams for the 1998 season. In 1999, after an injury to the Rams’ starting quarterback, he got his chance. Leading the Rams to a Super Bowl XXXIV victory, Kurt won both the league and Super Bowl MVP award that year.
Kurt Warner drops back to pass in Super Bowl XXXIV, a game his St. Louis Rams defeated the Tennessee Titans, 23-16.
Brenda was there through all of it, from AFL to NFL. She and Kurt met while Kurt was attending college in Cedar Falls, Iowa, at a country bar where she was taking line dancing classes. She worried he wouldn’t be able to handle the fact she was divorced with two kids.
When he showed up the morning after their first date and said he wanted to meet her kids, Brenda says, “I feel in love with him before he fell in love with me.”
When Kurt led the Rams to their 1999 Super Bowl victory, not only was Brenda there - she became part of the story.
Brenda was vocally defensive of her husband when he had a bad game, even calling into radio stations to criticize the Rams coaching staff. That zeal and her on-camera postgame kisses for the star quarterback had some fans calling her the Yoko Ono of football.
Throughout his 12-year NFL career, Kurt was known for both his skill and overt faith. “Well, first things first,” Warner told a reporter after his first Super Bowl victory. “I've got to thank my Lord and Savior up above — thank you, Jesus!”
The interview provided a name for Kurt’s foundation, First Things First, which is “dedicated to impacting lives by promoting Christian values, sharing experiences and providing opportunities.” The group raises money, taking advantage of Kurt’s NFL connections, and organizes events for ill and developmentally disabled children.
Today, Kurt spends much of his time on such work. It’s why he’s talking building schematics instead of defensive schemes.
“My retirement isn’t quite like what people think about with retirement,” Warner says. “I am very busy and have a lot of things that I am active in. It is not a complete 180 from being gone every day to being home every day.”
But talking about civil engineering in a drab hotel conference room is a long way from the National Football League. The common thread: Brenda and their religious faith.
Bonded by faith
Kurt says he had wanted Brenda to pursue her speaking career for years. But while he rose to superstardom, Brenda was a stay-at-home mom.
Now that Kurt is home more, he says, Brenda is free to pursue her dreams.
“What we have realized is there are seasons in all of our lives and dreams take sacrifices but they become family things,” Kurt says. “Dreams are family dreams.”
Brenda and Kurt now work closely together planning the couple's newest philanthropic venture – Treasure House.
Armed with her story and the star power that comes with her last name, Brenda has carved her own path on the Christian speaking circuit. Asked about the Warners at the Verizon Center’s Women of Faith event, only a few of the attendees know about her famous husband.
The tour is marketed to evangelical women to “celebrate what matters,” and also features appearances by female evangelical authors and media personalities. The tour is like a conference, with sessions on different challenges women face.
Kurt and Brenda see their changing professional seasons as part of God’s plan for them. “I don’t think that is the way that I would have written it, but I see that God has worked it out for good,” Brenda says. “I can see how he has been faithful. I can say now I am grateful.”
Telling her story has become second nature for Brenda. She has become expert in pitching God as the cure to heartache.
“He called me by name, he loves me and he won’t leave me,” Brenda repeats in her speech. “God was true to his word that he wouldn’t leave me.”
And neither, it seems, will Kurt.
gosh golly- a story of two perfect people. it just cannot get better than this. Praise Jesus.
Why is it so interesting? One word: MILF
actually two words: schwing!
again missing the point – what part of this story is devoid of heartbreak, failure, sadness..... gosh are you missing the point
Plus, in the end you get super rich byotch
The reason they're as "perfect" as a human being can be is the exact same reason you hate them.
The trust the LORD.
Instead of hating them, and losing, why not join them? They'd love to have more brothers and sisters in the LORD's family.
Don't worry...we all know the deal you're clamoring for.
"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." – Mark 16:15
"preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction." 2 Tim 4:2
See, we know your deity commands you to spread this garbage to everyone you can. Conversion as a growth strategy has always been central to the major religions. Of course Christians will always say that they just spread the word and it's the Holy Spirit that does the conversion. My friends, this is absolutely splitting hairs. The goal is still conversion, and I don't care for that mentality one bit. You leave me to my life, and I'll leave you to yours. All I know is that no atheist has ever asked me for money, obedience, or allegiance to one belief over any other. Try having that relationship with any other religion.
Well, let's see. I have always been of the opinion that people accept religion for one of two reasons:
1) They were indoctrinated at a young age
2) They experienced trauma in their life and turn to god as a coping mechanism.
This story certainly seems to have elements of both. EVERY life has its share of ups and downs. People simply deal with that fact differently. I personally see no need to have a deity to turn to, but I know that most people need some kind of external support or rationale behind their life. I get it, and I"m fine with that. Her story of pain and heartbreak is nothing new. Her life as a beautiful, fit, healthy, wealthy wife of an NFL superstar IS unusual. Brenda Warner is getting PAID to do these speeches, and this event raked in roughly $800,000 of revenue for one day of activity. I'm willing to bet that it turned a tax-free profit for someone (not necessarily for the Warner's, of course). No bad. Let's just make sure we see this as it is...a transfer of money in exchange for some feel good moments and a sense of belonging.
Oh HAHAHAHA! i didn't even see the corporate sponsors...Amway, etc. And I also forgot about all the books, clothing, DVD's, music CD's, bibles, and more. Okay, my estimate of $800K revenue per event was likely WAY too low.
100% agreed. I appreciate what this couple went through, but it seems to me that it is her " turn" to make big money, after his retirement. Every hardworking woman, every mother has stories to share and teach others examples of courage and strength.
Your premise is wrong.Your foundation is wrong.
You conveniently judge yourself to be superior, and exempt yourself. You're not exempted. You are precisely as religious as every other conscious human being has ever been.You hold your own religion/religious beliefs, just like everyone else.
The difference between you God-haters and everyone else is that you tell yourself that, since other people's religious beliefs seem to involve more rituals than yours, your religion/religious beliefs don't count as religious beliefs.
Oh, it's a question of how many rituals a person has now? What's the magic number of rituals your deity deems fitting as worthy of it?
My premise is wrong? My premise is that people are shelling out a lot of money to hear some feel good stories and gain a sense of belonging while reinforcing their deeply held beliefs (which all people do). This is basic psychology at work, so you'll need to explain how my premise, as well as the entire field of psychology, is wrong.
The rest of your post is irrelevant because I am atheist, not surprisingly. I have no beliefs on this matter. I don't hate god...I simply don't believe gods exist...at least certainly not in the way the major religions would have you believe. I am certainly well within my rights to exempt myself from belief in any god...funny that you think you somehow have authority to tell me what I can and cannot choose to do. Typical Christian thinking....is that the tyranny you have in mind?
The biblical scholars teach that the books in the bible have been altered by various men in different time periods...verses have been added, verses have been taken out. The books don't even exist in their original languages any longer in many cases. As you know, the original followers of Jesus did not worship Jesus as a god, or a god incarnate or a son of God. These people were known as the Church of James. They did not pray to Jesus.
Many years after Jesus, a man came and mixed Judaism and the message of Jesus with Roman and Greek philosophy. Greek philosophy had trinities and gods with sons, and god incarnates. His name was Saul, he changed it to Paul and the Roman empire killed off the remaining followers of Jesus and ordered the pagans to accept this newly innovated religion.
2 bananas 4:1
wow. some of these posts. wow. we truly are close to the end of it. almost want to say we now have made sodom and gomorrah look like disneyland for leave it to beaver. wow.
yeah......nothing more convincing than edited, translated iron age hearsay
Don't worry dude, the world isn't going to end!
Rollie, you're such a drama queen. You do know that you christians have been saying it's "the end" for almost 2000 years now, don't you? Geesh, sooner or later you'll find a new hobby and give up on that mythological man.
2 Peter 3:3-10.
two can play that game, but it seems a little silly, doesn't it?
Seven kids?!?!?! What gives them the right to suck up so many resources. Selfish people!
And you realize that the 7 kids are not only going to suck up our resources, but also end up as...em...empty as their parents.
Another rich self rightous bored sports wife....the is always darkness behind evangelical behavior.... always......
No news to see here folks, move along!
This would be more appropriate on TBN or the Faux Channel.
Fox News Tourette's Syndrome strikes again.
You might want to have a doctor look at that.
Is your screen name supposed to be ironic? requiretsyranny? requiret??? syranny????? or is it a deficit in spelling? or typing? or proofreading something as basic as the name you use? What?
The snake oil business is booming
You just call your snake oil something other than "snake oil", and think you're exempt.
You're a victim of your own pride.
Not at all. I think a lot of people who happen to be atheist tend to reject these kinds of events for the same reason they would tend to reject ANY kind of motivational speaker, even if there was NO religious basis to it. They don't see a need for it. Some people NEED to have external motivators and external sources of meaning in their lives. Most atheists do not. They find their own meaning...their own motivation. Before smarting off, maybe you should try to understand the fundamental differences in PEOPLE, and then see how those differences drive the behaviors of those who are and are not religious. Seek first to understand before being understood...
Look at the sign behind her...."AMWAY".....Says it all right there...network marketing drivel.
well played my man, well played.
Didn't even notice that, good call. So she's a corporate shill, I bet the tent revival turns into an Amway pitch for the last half hour or so.
This is the "belief" section. What, do you all just repeat yourselves on every article that "belief" is bad?
Fair enough, I guess.
Their problem isn't with generic belief or faith, as they'd have you believe.
Their problem is the LORD/Savior. That is the true target of their hate.
Speaking only for myself, of course, I do not hate the belief, only what is done in the name of that belief.
Again, you're completely incorrect. Atheism holds an equal view of all religions. They all lack observable evidence while ignoring much more plausible explanations for what we see, hear, and feel. You may find atheists to bristle more towards Christians and Muslims, because those two groups are not shy about trying to spread their beliefs into public schools, politics, laws, and secular workplaces. That is unacceptable, regardless of who or what you worship.
Belief is not bad; irrational belief is bad.
I have not followed her message, but it is nice to hear an evangelical give a positive view of Christ's love. I just hope she doesn't start with anti-gay, anti-women's health (birth control, not nec. abortion) crap. Her experience with handicapped kids and having to stand on her own should ground her in the reality that God is love, not persecution.
What if God doesn't just love you and me? What if He also loves the millions of innocent babies who's murders you just cheered for?
If he loves them so much, he shouldn't be allowing fetuses to die through no fault of the mother.
Damocles said: "If he loves them so much, he shouldn't be allowing fetuses to die through no fault of the mother"
Can you clarify your statement? What are you trying to say?
Lib – if he was concerned hecwould do something about it. There are plenty of examples of that in the bible. He is apparently not concerned.
Miscarriage is Murder? Should we outlaw drinking Coke and eating junk food during pregnancy?
You said that your deity loves all the millions of children that have been killed, I'm guessing you mean killed by abortions? Your deity seems to be fine with killing unborn children through means other than abortions.
telecomjunkie said:"if he was concerned hecwould do something about it. There are plenty of examples of that in the bible. He is apparently not concerned"
What's with the obvious (fatal) assumptions in your thought process? Your foundation is assumption. Not very logical.
How do you know He's not "doing something" about it? You're not omnipotent.
You think nothing escapes your knowledge?
Pride is our enemy. Your statement oozes vulgar, self-destructive pride.
Your fatal assumption is to believe that some deity is going to punish a person in some afterlife program of hell. Stand up for that belief and go peti-tion that we have no more need of a legal system because your deity is going to get them after they are dead.
Lib – your entire comment is pure hogwash.
Why is a god who was supposedly so active in the lives of men millenia ago so obviously absent? Because he doesn't exist.
"Your post epitomizes what most people have come to expect from the raging religious right. Name calling, pigeon holing, lots of put-downs and hate-speech. Where's the Christ and Christianity in that.....how Jesus would respond to you if he read all that. I don't think he'd be very pleased."
You obviously don't know Jesus (at all). I suspect you only know the Jesus of your prejudiced imagination, which is a perversion of the real thing. The REAL SAVIOR calls people names that I can't even repeat here because they aren't allowed on this site, because they're supposedly "hate-speech" ("adulterers", "serpents"; "vipers", "dogs", 'children of Satan'. "hypocrites", "evil", 'fools").
Seek the real Savior, instead of seeking your own prejudiced imagination.
How does your real savior differ from any other real savior? There are billions of versions of real saviors out there.
Damocles said: "How does your real savior differ from any other real savior? There are billions of versions of real saviors out there".
Mine is the ONLY one that actually fits the simple definition of "Savior". None of the others do. Any sincere person, even a very very young child, can easily recognize that simple truth.
Give me one example of another alleged savior, and I'll easily and simply explain exactly how the person making the allegation is just inventing, or intentionally perverting, the definition of "savior", in order to do so.
Everything you spew is completely anti-christian.....sorry.
Liberalismrequirestyranny, you know nothing about me. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go get my drink on!
rescuer: somebody who rescues somebody or something from harm or danger
I had a doctor operate on me, possibly saved my life, should I worship him? Notice you can have a plural form of savior by adding an S to the end of it. Should I worship all doctors, then, to be safe? I'd hate to make one of them mad by not worshipping all of them because who knows when I might go under the knife of the doctor that I chose not to worship. Weird..... the definition of savior makes the case for worshipping everything to avoid offending anything.
@Liberalismrequiretsyranny: what is "requiret syranny? Is that supposed ti be ironic?
Odd, how "evangelicals" seem to love and spend money on rich people.
Only a corrupt mind would find it "odd" that evangelicals would love people.
I think it is miraculous that a person has such close communication with God.
I have tried thousands of times but he won't say a word to me. I guess I am not holy enough.
Think "snake oil" and maybe you'll get a special message you can sell to evangelicals.
Your hypocrisy (acting) doesn't fool anyone, but it does make a fool out of you.
He went way out of His way to make sure His words are incredibly easy for you to access and keep.
Yet, here you are, sniveling about how HE allegedly won't talk to you.
Your problem isn't that you aren't holy.
Your problem is that you are demonstrably insincere.
@Liberalismrequiretsyranny, your problem is that you are demonstrably brainwashed.
"The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth".....The Rich and Powerful throughout history have sure gotten a lot of mileage out of that one...
I guess they don't give much weight to "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven".
lol....All nice little catchphrases to keep people content in their slavery...."Only poor people go to heaven"..."Trust me...you don't want to be one of those Evil Rich people"
P.S. This whole article was highly innane. It is not newsworth at all, but it does meet the standard of catering to the lowest, vacuous print anything but the truth standard, that CNN and other mainstream media are forced to foloow presumably from their Corporate Masters. I wasted at least 10 minutes reading, and trying to find the point in this mindless pablum article, gushing about religion that they have l ittle, if any, understanding of.
Good morning, believers and non-believers,
There is a good, reasonable discussion going on over at WaPo this morning. It is about a mother who is upset that, although she taught her daughter to be a Christian, her daughter rejected it and is atheist.
The columnist makes a lot of sense.
Especially where the columnist mentions that atheist "come out". As it is for gays, so have atheists been the object of scorn for 1000s of years. That is why they have so much objection today, to people asserting that just because they believe in god or gods they are 'better'. They especially don't like evangelizing.
All I know is that–whether you believe in the supernatural or you do not– we had better begin to get along and take care of this planet or there will not be a place for humans in the future earth.
The problem lies in the kinds of actions where people totally reject science in favor or scripture written1800 years ago by men who did not even understand that we are composed of cells. That all life is connected through DNA.
They just did not know much. They were trying but they did not know. And they were TRIBAL. Guess what? So are we. And the tribalism–fear of the "other" will be our undoing, too. That and environmental destruction. I think young people have a problem with that. So do I.
War is humanity's hereditary curse (apologies to E.O. Wilson, 2012).
She is clearly very similar to Sarah Palin in that she will go traveling, give speeches, and accept MONEY while ignoring her children who are damaged goods.
She knows there is no god otherwise she wouldn't be doing what she is doing.
Religion is nothing but a "Drug" used in past times to control people. Without it,...the masses would have to be in charge of their own lives instead of passing the blame off to an imaginary Deity. It would also mean they would have no one to blame but their leaders for the condition of today's World. Wouldn't that scare the heck out of some people ! For a Political party that touts "exceptionalism" and "self reliance" as desirable traits,...it's one of their biggest lies to also tout Religion,...unless they are also using it as a "control" mechanism.
CHALLENGE TO A CHRISTIAN HERE (OR CNN)>
Explain sensibly how parting the red sea and drowning 250,000 innocents in the last coupla Tsunamis are the acts of your loving god
Faith and logic don't always jive but faith is the more important of the two. Here's what I know: God is good and bad things happen to good people.
You can not reconcile a 'good deity' with bad things. If a parent abuses his or her child, it's still abuse, regardless of the parent's reasoning behind it. Would you be unwilling to see an abuser punished because they said it was for the good of the child?
Gene is clearly retarded and unable to answer a simple question.
There is no god, good or bad.
Things happen because of physics. They are neither good nor bad.
There is no moral force in this universe.
There is nothing holy or sacred.
Your god does not exist anywhere but in your imagination.
When you pray you are just imagining yourself talking to yourself pretending to be your god.
You don't know shlt, Gene. You should be put in a reservation and removed from polite society.
If you believe in a God, then surely you believe in the Devil and the work he does? If you had ever chosen to read the bible, then you would realize that God is responsible for all Good, and the Devil is responsible for all Evil. Needless to say you shouldn't speak about something that you have never read (IE: The Bible). Your kind remind me of all the Windows Vista haters who had never even used it. You praise Windows 7, but fail to realize that Windows 7 was and is only slightly updated Windows Vista! The joke's on you! LOL
I don't understand people who will point the finger so quickly at God when something goes wrong, but are so slow to point that same finger towards God for all the righteous, good things that occur? Those same people are the ones who refuse to take responsibilities for their own actions, and would rather blame God than the Devil, or themselves for the evil things in our world today. Pure Ignorance.
gene: "jibe", not "jive"
I don't know if that was directed at me, but it seems like it so I'll respond.
I'm puzzled as to why believers are so quick to say their deity is responsible for only the good. If your, or anyone's, deity is 'everything', then by definition it is good, evil, cute, ugly, a destroyer and a creator. If you are unwilling to mean everything when you say everything, then don't use that word to describe your deity.
Hello, why does everyone blame God for evil? There is another being who has rule over this world. He is the author of death and destruction. People continue to lay responsibility for all the pain and sadness in the world at Gods feet. These same people have never sought Him out and tried to get answers. They think that all their worldly experiences qualify them to "Know" the truth. Sounds like they just want to blame.
If you give your deity the ti-tle of 'everything, creator of the universe and everything therein', then you have to stand by that definition. An 'everything' deity would be just that, everything.... good, evil, happy, sad and everything else. Trying to add a 'devil' type being into the mix leaves you with the impossibility of having two 'all knowing, all everything' beings because that would be the only type of being able to compete with your deity.
I don't care if you want to attribute all good to your deity, but your belief forces you, if you are a true follower, to attribute all bad things to it as well.
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.