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Interfaith group protests ad that says 'Support Israel. Defeat Jihad'
Opponents of the New York City subway ad unveiled their own ad on Tuesday.
September 25th, 2012
05:03 PM ET

Interfaith group protests ad that says 'Support Israel. Defeat Jihad'

By Kristina Sgueglia, CNN

(CNN) - Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious leaders gathered in New York to protest advertisements that claim "Support Israel. Defeat Jihad" smattered across 10 city subways stations Monday and to debut a counter-ad that is due up in the same stations at the end of the week, according to the interfaith group.

"I am Muslim," explained Adem Carroll of the Muslim progressive traditionalist alliance on the steps of New York City's City Hall. "On a personal note, when I ride the subway and see messages smeared that demean me, I am scared."

Carroll is speaking about an advertisement originally rejected by New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority that reads: "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad."

The authority's decision to reject the ad, which was produced by a Judeo-Christian law firm, was overturned last month when a federal judge ruled the ad is protected under the First Amendment

Opinion: NYC subway ads are protected hate speech

A counter ad, funded by the United Methodist Women, reads "Hate speech is not civilized. Support peace in word and deed."

This ad will appear in the same 10 subway stations at the end of this week, according to the Harriet J. Olson, general secretary of the women's group. These posters are spread across Manhattan on almost all the lines, including popular commuter hub Grand Central Station, according to the Interfaith Center of New York.

The ad has stirred a conversation about the fine line between free speech and hate speech.

Opinion: Time for evangelicals to face Islamophobia

"This ad tipped the balance," the Rev. Chloe Breyer, executive director of the Interfaith Center of New York, said at the press conference Monday.

Political activist Pamela Geller, who promoted the ad with the help of her law firm the American Freedom Defense Initiative, told CNN's Erin Burnett last week, "The First Amendment protects all speech, not just ideas that we like, but ideas that we don't like."

She told CNN she submitted this ad last September when she says there was a series of anti-Israel ads running on the subway.

"I am running them because I can," Geller said.

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Maureen Silverman of Jews Against Islamophobia said Monday, "Pam Geller hides behind free speech to perpetuate hatred."

"We think these ads are racist," Silverman said.

"I respect the issue of free speech, but that also means we can condemn this speech," Silverman said.

"We condemn it if it incites violence and destruction, and this hate speech could do just that."

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

Geller's ad was released nearly two weeks after an anti-Islam film produced in the United State led to protests throughout the Middle East, including an attack that led to the death of U.S ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

"Never underestimate the power of hate speech" said Linda Sarsour of the Arab American Association of New York, who issued a Twitter campaign against Geller using the hashtag #mysubwayad, encouraging the public to submit new ideas for subway ads.

"We speak hundreds of languages in New York; hatred is not one of them," Sarsour said at the gathering on City Hall steps.

The interfaith group is also calling on the MTA to use revenue from payments made to promote the American Freedom Defense Initiative's ad to fund the placement of human rights posters.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Interfaith issues • Islam • Israel • New York

soundoff (191 Responses)
  1. Truthseeker

    Please no lies, jihad means struggle not holy war. its meaning is personal.To learn about islam yourself, not from blogs.

    September 26, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • John

      Your post is correct and to the point. Jihad is not about terror and killing innocents. War is a perversion of Jihad to rationalize hate. So here we have another perverse concept of an ill-conceived attempt to defeat hate with more hate. The underlying theme of these signs is ignorance promoting more hate and fear.

      September 27, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
  2. Theen Allah Fat Mullah (the original hinduism source.....)

    Defeat Jihad,corruption of Theen A, denier of truth absolute 360*, absurdity of Navi A, destroyer of world peace.

    September 25, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • Nate

      You stole what I was going to say........

      September 26, 2012 at 12:00 am |
  3. rocinante

    Giving the haters national media coverage just helps the haters.

    September 25, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
  4. boinky

    I wonder if a NYC judge will allow a: "Support your local KKK" ad?

    September 25, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
  5. JRRinAtlanta

    Sorry, but how is "Defeat Jihad" hate speech? After all, most islamic extremists use that term to represent a holy war. We should strive to defeat all forms of war, especially the ones perpetrated in the name of religion.

    September 25, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • Idaho49

      You make sense! How is it hateful if Isreal defends itself against terrorism? They have a tiny population surrounded by people who want to kill them. They have western views and value life and freedom. I have never heard of a jewish suicide bomber. I am a Christian and do hope they defend themselves, and take of business. I pray for the state of Isreal.

      September 25, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • Truthseeker

      Enough of this nonsense about defending israel, Us must end its support for this country with nukes that has attacked and threated others in middle east

      September 25, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
    • Sherri

      For God sake, Jihad is not a Holy war and there is nowhere in Quran about Holy War. It is a Bible terminology.

      September 27, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  6. Richard

    You will never, ever see signs decrying the Palestinian situation because they don't control the media and the courts.

    September 25, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
  7. Mickey1313

    I think we should defeate jayhad, but FVCK ZIONISTS

    September 25, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Rafik

      I am an American Muslim and I love working with other faith-based communities to deal with the hard problems that mankind is struggling with such as poverty, hunger, etc. I am humbled to see that other faith-based communities have come to the help of Muslims when we need help. Thank you, America. I love you.

      September 25, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
  8. Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

    No we need to get Atheism posters in those same 10 subway stations.

    Wow!

    September 25, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Mickey1313

      Jjjb, you are a f_tard

      September 25, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
  9. ug

    Suck up's.

    September 25, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
  10. Defeat Israel. Support Jihad.

    September 25, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • Idaho49

      Defeat everything!! Support nothing!! You are an idiot.

      September 25, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      i will agree with the death to Israel but not the holy war
      its an oxymoron

      September 26, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  11. Sam Yaza

    its offensive toward every one Christians have killed in the last 2000 years not just Muslims. Remember; Custer died for your sins!

    September 25, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • truth be told

      Atheists have tortured and murdered more people in the last 100 years than were killed in all previous centuries.

      September 25, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Lies.

      September 25, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Snow

      TBT, unless you can prove that those mass murderers who happened to be atheists killed to forward atheism and atheistic agenda, please do us a favor and shut the f up.. If a man commits a crime and he happens to be like from alaska, would you call all alaskans are criminals..?? gosh, explaining differential equations to a temperamental petulant child would be easier than making you understand such a basic thing..

      September 25, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "truth be told", but your assertions regarding atheism and murder are unfounded. The degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 25, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • Tony

      truth be told:

      That's a strong statement. Care to back it up with some evidence? Good Luck (you're gonna need it).

      September 25, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • Mickey1313

      Custer died because he was impatient, and left his gatling guns at camp.

      September 25, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Idaho49

      Atheists derive pleasure from the darkness our world is now experiencing. Hitler was the ultimate atheist. Stalin, Pol Pot, etc, etc. NOT a Christian among history's greatest murderers. Let's not compare today's technological genocide with the relative handful of people who were absolutely killed in the name of religion in the middle ages. Atheism as we know it has only existed for a few hundred years. The evils it is capable of are only beginning to be known....

      September 25, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Idaho49", but your assertions regarding atheism and Hitler are unfounded. (For example, Hitler was a Christian.) The degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      September 25, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • charlotte

      Idaho49 – you are even more ignorant than your name suggests. Atheists don't derive any "pleasure" from darkness, evil or any other characteristic that you embody. Atheists are simply people who understand that good morals and high ethics and joy in life and caring about humanity and all living creatures is NOT something that requires belief in fake, imaginatry invisible sky people. Goodness and kindness and intelligence are not predicated on some horrible "God" thing. Atheists are much better people than you have proven to be.

      September 25, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • Kelly

      I would like to point out that Hitler pretended to be a christian prior to World War 2. After that he persecuted Christians (he didn't like that they served God before him.) I advice you use that IEE scale on yourself

      September 26, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • sma Yaza

      Stalin, was a selfist he thought he was a god

      Pol Pot was a Stalinist he thought Stalin was a god

      the only atheist butcher/leader was Attila the Hun, and only Attila; he was not only an Atheist he was a anti-theist

      but regardless Christians have killed the most
      just look at the Spanish conquest of America
      the Burning Years I, II, III
      manifest destiny
      the crusades
      the Potato Famine
      ect.

      September 26, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      in just California
      1769-1834  81,000 Children(Forced) natives were baptized in the missions, and 60,000 deaths were recorded age 2-12.
      basically if you wont converted by your 12th birthday you were a lost cause and put to death, if the horrible living conditions didn't kill you first. ether way you were striped from you family your heritage and your land to live in these death camps.

      the number grow extremely large when you add the rest of the Americas, we don't know for certain but its approximately 12 million plus in the same year span now because the population of the world is was not as large as it was in the holocaust days the deaths were not as ghastly accu.mulating; but what we do know is approximately 55 % of the world population at the time was exterminated

      way to go Christians

      September 26, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      Hitler was in fact a christian he was born a Catholic (mother was a catholic/ father was a Jewish Catholic convert) converted to Lutheran, then help start Positive Christianity, trust me i know they guys the drummer in my band in he.ll.

      ps Martin Luther was an anti-Semite

      September 26, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  12. 200 TON HAMMER

    king David would have killed jihadist real talk he would not just stand by and let them run all over isreal he would go before Adoni the ark of G~D and the urim thumim
    also for wisdom and a answer from G~D of Isreal

    September 25, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Rest assured he will stand with Muslim, follower of truth absolute like him, and kill every hindu Jew'. criminal self centered, secular, denier's of truth absolute. hindu Jew's, criminal self centered are not Israelite but hindu's, deniers of truth absolute of Egypt and Persia pretending to be Israelite to hind ,fool humanity. Visit limitisthetruth.com to learn more.

      September 25, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Theen Allah Fat Mullah (the original hinduism source.....)

      Rest assured Uncle S ism will stand with humanity, follower of truth absolute, and kill every paki turd, corruption of Theen A, goons of MECCA.

      September 25, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
  13. libtards are just libtards

    What is wrong with defeating evil?
    Interfaith group should be supporting peace and fighting evil not fighting an ad that supports defeating evil acts.

    September 25, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Fighting against "evil" does not mean we must support Israel. I am completely opposed to aid to Israel, as well as Islamic extremist actions "jihads".

      September 25, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      evil is vary subjective one man evil is another mans virtue

      to me Christians are the most evil thin in the world, because thy are lairs thieves and killers. Countless genocide and ecocides and everything they have; they have stolen from pagans. they say love and practice hate, the say truth and teach lies. they follow a socialist and yet are closer to Ayn Rand.

      their monsters as pure as one can be.

      September 25, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • charlotte

      Good for you, Hawaiiguest. Terrorism is bad. Islamic terrorists are as bad as Israeli ones.

      September 25, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    prayer changes things
    Proven

    September 25, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. The degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 25, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

      Not proven, except to mindless simpletons.

      September 25, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Tony

      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things:

      Proven, huh? Care to provide JUST ONE such instance where prayer solved anything? Prayer is like alcohol or drugs, it makes you feel good for a while but, in the end, you've still got the same problem(s) you originally had.

      September 25, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
  15. Atheism is Great for Kids and Grown-Ups Too!

    It's really best for all people including children to have an agnostic approach to god, and an atheistic approach to all religion. It keeps things simple for kids, and lets them be all that they can be. They just need to be taught that some things, like all religion, were just made up by salesmen and politicians from long ago. (Yes, charlatan folklore and spam started long before the Bible; what would make you think they hadn't?) And they need to be taught that other things, like God, we really don't know a damn thing about.

    Atheists have strong minds and don't need a religion. Many religious folk have the best intentions. But too often, religious folk run and hide their misdeeds within their religion (and by doing so, they disserve society). And too often, religious folk are easily offended when someone mocks their make-believe characters – and, as we can see they can get really CRAZY!

    Although there are many religious folk with good intentions – some selflessly helping others, religions and religious organizations are, as a whole, just big old clubs – each trying to out do each other and inspiring hate and division (often disguised as love) along the way. The problem is that people too easily buy into religion and don't realize how unfounded it all is. And when they buy into it, they buy into a lot of really old, really weird tenets that are nothing but harmful for the human species.

    Take Christianity, for instance. Just look at all the things that Christians argue about amongst themselves today – abortion, men's and women's roles in the church, celibacy, contraception, acceptance of gays, etc. Most of these issues have their roots in the conflicted, unfounded tenets of early Christianity. Non-Mormons harp on Joseph Smith these days. But we really don't have any more proof at all to believe that Paul, the self-proclaimed "apostle" was anything more than an ordinary man who needed to make up religious "sales literature" to survive and spread his own personal beliefs. And yet a good chunk of the NT is attributed to Paul and accepted by many Christians. And a lot of what he wrote about has to do with many of the issues I mentioned above that have Christians fighting amongst themselves hundreds of years later. It's way too unfounded to argue over.

    Get a good cup of tea, and sit down and collect your thoughts. If you find it helpful to pray to a god, fine. But it is really healthier for the mind to leave behind all the characters that people over the centuries have invented or given powers to, for which there is little or no foundation. Because with those invented characters and powers – that's where division and hate join the little party in your mind. That's where, in your mind, you are inheriting the division and hate from ordinary politicians, lobbyists and salesmen from long ago. My goodness.

    OBAMA 2012!
    CLINTON 2016!
    CLINTON 2020!

    mama kindless

    September 25, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • TheDonna

      By FAR one of the best posts I have EVER read!
      Well done!

      September 25, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • Oshkosh

      I am an atheist by heart. I like all you said but please don't put all the atheist in your democrat side. Atheist= democrat not always true.

      September 26, 2012 at 1:26 am |
  16. Bill

    Who killed more Jews, Christians or Muslims? The answer is German Christians. Who took Jews in when Christian states did not want them? Muslim states.

    September 25, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • truth be told

      The real answer is German atheists. Muslims are a close second.

      September 25, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • MDAT

      Atheism did not dictate that.

      September 25, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Bob

      "The real answer is German atheists."

      Guess you actually don't know the real truth by that stupid answer.

      September 25, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • TheRealTruth

      "My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice. And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people." -Adolf Hitler

      September 25, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "truth be told", but your assertion regarding the killing of Jews, Christians or Muslims is a falsehood. The degree to which your assertion may represent a correct statement is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertion may represent a correct statement, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertion may represent a correct statement is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat unfounded statements and falsehoods with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 25, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Fact

      @TheRealTruth – do you really believe Hitler was a Christian? Good grief, is that what they are teaching in the government schools now or did you read it in Hitler's autobiography? How naive, but I guess he fooled a lot of the youth, back then, and that's why he had such a great following. Wow, kind of remind you of another "great" leader who is presently fooling the youth as we go "forward" into Collectivism?

      September 25, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
  17. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    September 25, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. The degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 25, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs! *.

      September 25, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

      It turns people who have a brain into functional zombies. If that is what you mean, then you are correct. However, I think you're already a mindless zombie, so it's probably not what you had in mind.

      September 25, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
  18. hippypoet

    now this is just confusing...but thats because i think for myself compared to those religious nutsjobs who take their cues from imaginary friends...i guess their imaginary friends tell them to kill the other guys imaginary friends – that is petty and jealous...its time at least to me that these people get one of two things...either a better god or lose the notion all together!

    September 25, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
  19. hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

    Word Jew is based on Hebrew word Yehood, meaning self centered, a secular, criminal or word pig based on old Persia, language, meaning the same, self centered or secular, denier of truth absolute, Think twice before calling your self to be a Jew, secular or believing in hinduism, illegality of Judaism, self center ism, or pig ism.

    September 25, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • TheDonna

      Um, really? You DO know that Hinduism and Judaism are two completely different faiths, do you not?

      September 25, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • Theen Allah Fat Mullah (the original hinduism source.....)

      Science Be Upon You Paki turd, corruption of dead Navi A.

      September 25, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
  20. Reality

    To the nitty-gritty- only for new members of this blog:

    What instigated the attack on the Twin Towers, Flight 93 and the Pentagon?

    And what drives today's 24/7 mosque/imam-planned acts of terror and horror?

    The koran, Mohammed's book of death for all infidels and Muslim domination of the world by any means.

    Muslims must clean up this book removing said passages admitting that they are based on the Gabriel myth and therefore obviously the hallucinations and/or lies of Mohammed.

    Until then, no Muslim can be trusted anytime or anywhere to include the NYC subways..................................

    And yes the Old Testament also needs to be cleansed. Actually it has been. See

    origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

    New Torah For Modern Minds (from 1.5 million Conservative Jews and their rabbis)

    An excerpt from the listed review:

    “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob•a•bly
    Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

    September 25, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Jane

      Hey bozo, stop reading antichrist sites that hate Jesus.

      September 25, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • MDAT

      Stop spouting hate against atheism.

      September 25, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Jane

      You guys hate yourselves enough and call it narcissism. No need for outsiders to hate you. You do a good job all on your own.

      September 25, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • MDAT

      We do not.

      September 25, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • kempo

      here here!! THIS!!!!!!!!

      September 25, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • Reality

      Only for the new members of this blog:

      AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD

      Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)

      "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

      Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

      Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

      Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As does BO and his family)(As does Biden and Ryan)

      The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

      Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

      September 25, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.