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October 10th, 2012
12:01 PM ET

Congressman draws fire for calling evolution, Big Bang ‘lies from the pit of hell’

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Washington (CNN) – A U.S. congressman is attracting attention and criticism for an online video that shows him blasting evolution and the Big Bang theory as “lies from the pit of hell” in a recent speech at a church event in his home state of Georgia.

“All that stuff I was taught about evolution, embryology, the Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell,” U.S Rep. Paul Broun said in an address last month at a banquet organized by Liberty Baptist Church in Hartwell, Georgia. “And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior.”

Broun, a medical doctor by training, serves on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

Speaking at Liberty Baptist Church’s Sportsman’s Banquet on September 27, he said that “a lot of scientific data that I’ve found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth.”

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“I don’t believe that the Earth’s but about 9,000 years old,” Broun said in the speech, which Liberty Baptist Church posted on its website via YouTube.  “I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says."

Scientists say that the Earth is roughly 4.5 billion years old and that the universe dates back 13.7 billion years.

In his speech to the church group, Broun called the Bible the “the manufacturer’s handbook. … It teaches us how to run all of public policy and everything in our society.”

“That’s the reason, as your congressman, I hold the holy Bible as being the major directions to me of how I vote in Washington, D.C., and I’ll continue to do that,” he said.

A spokeswoman for the congressman, Meredith Griffanti, said that Broun was not available for comment on Wednesday and that the video showed him “speaking off the record to a large church group about his personal beliefs regarding religious issues.”

The congressman’s remarks about science have drawn attention online, with critics taking aim at his role on the science committee.

Bill Nye, the popular science personality, told the Huffington Post in an e-mail that "Since the economic future of the United States depends on our tradition of technological innovation, Representative Broun's views are not in the national interest."

"For example, the Earth is simply not 9,000 years old," said Nye, a mechanical engineer and television personality best known for his program "Bill Nye the Science Guy." Broun "is, by any measure, unqualified to make decisions about science, space, and technology."

Talking Points Memo reported on the church video over the weekend after being tipped off by the Bridge Project, a progressive group that tracks conservative activity.

Most creationists believe in the account of the origins of the world as told in the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible.

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In the creation account, God creates Adam and Eve, the world and everything in it in six days.

For Christians who read the Genesis account literally, or authoritatively as they would say, the six days in the account are literal 24-hour periods and leave no room for evolution.  Young Earth creationists use this construct and biblical genealogies to determine the age of the Earth and typically come up with 6,000 to 10,000 years.

The Gallup Poll has been tracking Americans' views on creation and evolution for 30 years.  In June, it released its latest findings, which showed that 46% of Americans believed in creationism, 32% believed in evolution guided by God, and 15% believed in atheistic evolution.

– CNN's Eric Marrapodi contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Evolution • Politics • Science

soundoff (5,886 Responses)
  1. Colin

    Here is the email address of the US House Committee on Science Space and Technology.

    http://science.house.gov/contact-us/email-us

    PLEASE send him an email of protest. If you like just copy and paste one (or more) from below.

    I was appalled to hear that you, as a member of the US Committee on Science, Space and Technology would seriously say something as utterly absurd as you did. Please resign.

    Mr Broun is to our Children's minds what Jerry Sandusky is to their other ends. Please make him resign immediately.

    I will do everything in my power to ensure you are never again in a position to influence my children. You must resign.

    And we wonder why Europe and Asia continues to surpass us in science and math. Please resign immediately.

    Paul Broun should NOT be on the Committee for Science, Space and Technology. He should also be banned from any school.

    Is there a law to keep Mr., Broun away from our children? I know there is one for $exual predators. Is there one for complete simpletons

    Um, Mr. Broun, just wondering, what are oil gas and other fossil fuels? I learned at school (in Europe) that they were the fossilized remains of organisms from the Cretaceous and Devonian Periods. Note the name – FOSSIL fuels. What are they under your “talking snake” theory of geological formation, and why did God give them all to the Muslims?

    October 11, 2012 at 7:13 am |
  2. harpman

    This subject is not worth a response. Broun's religious doctrine and views on science are on the level of the Taliban. He completely ignores the preponderance of scientific evidence. I don't think dinosaurs have existed within the last 9000 years (but who really knows).

    October 11, 2012 at 7:13 am |
  3. Seethroughu

    Evolution is silly and I will debate anyone on the topic.

    October 11, 2012 at 7:08 am |
    • NoTheism

      ok, why is it silly?

      October 11, 2012 at 7:09 am |
    • Are_you_kidding?

      I have evidence and fossils,start your debate.You first.

      October 11, 2012 at 7:11 am |
    • Curran

      The silly one is you. Put forth a theory explaining why evolution is false to defend you claims that evolution is "silly."

      October 11, 2012 at 7:13 am |
    • NoTheism

      for some reason I'm expecting a shifting of the burden of proof now..

      October 11, 2012 at 7:15 am |
    • Seethroughu

      Did you know George Washington was bleed to death because science taught that by letting the blood you let the issue. However 3000 years ago the Bible said the life is in the blood. Which tells us what science has recently learned. But I digress, no one has ever observed the big bang, stellar evolution, chemical evolution or positive biological evolution. Tested it. Had those tests repeated by others. It's all hypothesis.

      October 11, 2012 at 7:16 am |
    • Johnny Caruso

      We are waiting...

      October 11, 2012 at 7:18 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Seethroughu: To believe in the bibile version means you must accept that incest is okay...the world could not have been populated otherwise! You are an uneducated fool and your opinion on evolution does not change the facts. You're either too brainwashed to come out of the belief in your imaginary friend, a grade school student who hasn't yet studied evolution or just simply delusional. Time to grow up and live in the 21st century!

      October 11, 2012 at 7:19 am |
    • Are_you_kidding?

      No one was out there treading water observing the creation either.If your going to debate.@ least start off with something intelligently said.Go on.

      October 11, 2012 at 7:19 am |
    • Chedar

      Just think why your doctor tell you to take your antibiotics a minimum of 7 days. If you don't know don't post here. Your are mentally challenged.

      October 11, 2012 at 7:20 am |
    • Seethroughu

      Because God is the Master Creator. That's the way it works. It takes life to create life.

      October 11, 2012 at 7:45 am |
    • Seethroughu

      Piltdown man was in the text books for 40 years before it was proven a fraud. 500 people got the Phd's on that fraud and went on to teach thousands others, who taught thousands others. But not one of those people. Their Phd's were based on a fraud. This is how evolution works, it's not a solid scince like biology, chemistry, physics, etc.. But a faith based psuedo science built by atheiists to back up their beliefs.

      October 11, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • Colin

      Seethroughu – that is just a lie.

      I would be interested to know how you explain the rich, diverse, temporally consistent and vast array of hominid fossils we have acquired over the last170 years. We have found thousands upon thousands of hominid fossils in Ethiopia, Chad, Tanzania, South Africa, Croatia, Isreal, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Moldovia, the Ukraine, Java, China, the Phillipines, Iraq, Pakistan and Iran. They tell an interesting tale and show the gradual evolution in "humanness" including bipedalism, tool use, and brain capacity.

      The last common ancestor of man and chimpanzees lived about 6 million years ago in Africa. Around that time, there was a branching in the evolution of the species and any intermediate species between this last common ancestor and modern man (Ho.mo sapiens) is called a hominid.

      A number of different species have been identified. Beginning, roughly with the oldest to the newest, these are –

      Sahelanthropus tchadensis
      Australopithecus afarenses
      Australopithecus africanus
      Ho.mo habilus
      Ho.mo ergaster
      Ho.mo erectus
      Ho.mo heidelbergensis
      Ho.mo neanderthalis (Neanderthal man)
      Ho.mo foresiensis
      And us, Ho.mo sapiens.

      The ages of the respective fossils suggest that our immediate ancestor was Ho.mo Erectus and that Ho.mo heidelbergensis, Ho.mo neanderthalis (Neanderthal man) and Ho.mo floresiensis all went extinct.

      The above is an over-simplification, omits many other intermediate species and is not without controversy in some areas, but is a useful yardstick to gauge how humans evolved from the last common ancestor we shared with the great apes.

      But, we wil lfind the answers in the fossil record, not in Genesis.

      October 11, 2012 at 8:08 am |
  4. ken

    Another embarrassment to Georgia, why do we keep electing these nuts to office.

    October 11, 2012 at 7:07 am |
  5. Sarita

    WOW...this guy's a %&#%$ idiot!

    October 11, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • Seethroughu

      Just because you have been told a lie your whole life and believe it doesn't make someone who does not share the same belief an idiot.

      October 11, 2012 at 7:07 am |
    • Are_you_kidding?

      @Seethroughyou.......yes it does.

      October 11, 2012 at 7:10 am |
    • NoTheism

      That would be true, @Seethroughu, is the theory of evolution (and I'm assuming this is what you're referring to) were a "lie". I'm not sure how you can disprove the theory of evolution, since the vast majority of scientists believe it to be true. Not only that, but evolution theory is the backbone of biology. I guess we should discard biology too, then.
      Oh, and the Catholic Church accepts the theory of evolution also. Apparently though, because YOU think it's a lie, it must be.
      Let's talk about the lie that is your god... perhaps you are better at arguing about the existence of fairies and unicorns.

      October 11, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • Seethroughu

      I disagree, there are many scienetists that subscribe to the creation account. Many has started the very sciences we study to day. Many many. We both have the same facts to look at but interpret them differently. And biology a good solid science can well stand on its own without evolution. I never said anything about faries. Is that biblical? Unicorn schmonicorn beats have 2, 3, 4, and more whats thie big deal with accounts of an extinct species? Is it because of too much tv?

      October 11, 2012 at 7:23 am |
    • NoTheism

      "many scienetists that subscribe to the creation account." yeah, they're called quacks. What is the creationist account? Oh, the bible says that god did it... What kind of a scientific explanation is that? Please, spare me the BS.
      "We both have the same facts to look at but interpret them differently." yeah, and it seems that you're blind.

      October 11, 2012 at 7:29 am |
    • Seethroughu

      God put many complex laws into place that scientists discover and work with every day. Like electricity. We use it, but what is it? No one seems to really know. At any rate sounds like you have never read the Bible. To have a difference of opinion is one thing, but please at least let be educated and not born of ignorance. And I don't mean that to insult you.

      October 11, 2012 at 7:37 am |
    • Sarita

      Seethroughu: I'm pretty sure I didn't include your name when calling this man an idiot. People have their own beliefs and that is fine. Mine just happen to (apparantly) disagree with yours. This is a congressman...he is an idiot because he does not filter what he says for the public to hear...much like you. So I guess, I was calling you an idiot without even knowing it

      October 11, 2012 at 8:07 am |
  6. Island Jack

    Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers. The only way a moron like this could get elected. Probably more than once.

    October 11, 2012 at 7:04 am |
  7. Science Prevails

    Yes the Bible does tell us how to run all of society. Deuteronomy tells us that if you have an unsolved murder, you do the following. Find the nearest town to where the body was found. The elders of that town must get a cow that has never been worked in a field, take it down to a stream and break its neck. Then they are to wash their hands in its blood to wash away the sin of the unsolved murder they had nothing to do with. Science on the other hand gives you forensics. I'll let you take your pick.

    October 11, 2012 at 7:01 am |
    • Seethroughu

      Cmon now arent we being a bit absurd? If youre going to dispute something at least use facts instead of making things up. Makes you look like you can't argue your piint from the facts.

      October 11, 2012 at 7:04 am |
    • RJ

      Well, seeth, the fact is that Deuteronomy says exactly that. The fact is, there are millions of bits of evidence that show evolution in progress. These are both fossils and living creatures.
      But, you have such strong faith, that you can ignore these. That is impressive. Troll.

      October 11, 2012 at 7:20 am |
    • Seethroughu

      The massive massive beds of billons of tissued creatures all inbedded in rock, something that doesnt happen today on that scale all show a world wide catatrosphe, like a world wide flood. Not billions of years.

      October 11, 2012 at 7:25 am |
  8. JAB62

    This guy is an i_d_i_o_t and so are the people who elected him. He's no "scientist" and as far as his medical "training" I wouldn't let him work on a dead dog. Isn't it time to end belief in BS written by ignorant people 2000 years ago?

    October 11, 2012 at 6:55 am |
  9. Are_you_kidding?

    I have some other stories for the good congressman.The three little pigs , Jack and the beanstalk,The old woman who lives in the shoe,the list goes on and on.

    October 11, 2012 at 6:52 am |
  10. Seethroughu

    Good job conressman. You got everyone talking about God. Now let's win some souls.

    October 11, 2012 at 6:52 am |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      Making a fool of god does not serve you.

      October 11, 2012 at 6:53 am |
    • Seethroughu

      What do you mean?

      October 11, 2012 at 6:55 am |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      That's what I thought. Have you ever had an IQ test ?

      October 11, 2012 at 6:56 am |
    • Seethroughu

      Oh I see now, the atheists #1 tool, ad hominem attacks instead of facts. The picture is much clearer now thanks.

      October 11, 2012 at 7:01 am |
    • Colin

      Seethroughu – You son-worshippers just dropped in the polls again. Nonreligious just broke 20% and are rising. I don't see you winning many souls

      October 11, 2012 at 7:08 am |
    • Seethroughu

      I'm trying as hard I can, but I also have a really cute girl on the phone. I'm single and hoping one day to split a cell with her.

      October 11, 2012 at 7:27 am |
    • Bruce

      See, you are mistaken, the Bible never mentions cell-splitting, must not be true.l

      October 11, 2012 at 7:52 am |
    • Seethroughu

      A cell has to split to make a baby. It was a joke. I want to take her to dinner and you know... Surely you can understand that yes?

      October 11, 2012 at 8:01 am |
  11. boyamidumb

    American Taliban. Watch out they are evil

    October 11, 2012 at 6:51 am |
  12. mre2

    Broun is seriously delusional, as in clinically delusional. Nobody has ever been able to prove the existence of good. That belief comes without proof. Scientific investigations can readily prove the earth is well more than 6,000-10,000 years old as the young creationists believe.

    Creation and evolution are not at odds with each other. They are indeed quite compatible. The question is what was crated and what evolved from that creation. To believe theta the account of creation as it is represented in Genesis is factual is a sure sign of a misguided mind. That story as we read it today, is a fairly modern translation of an ancient story written by men. It has and cannot have any factual basis. Even if you believe for whatever deluded reason that the earth is but 9,000 years old, answer the question when was that account written?

    October 11, 2012 at 6:50 am |
    • mre2

      Ooops – a serious correction. The second sentence should read ...

      Nobody has ever been able to prove the existence of God.

      October 11, 2012 at 7:23 am |
  13. Seethroughu

    Sorry Ben both are religions based on faith. The Bible is the word for Christians, evolution is the word for atheists. It is not I that don't understand the facts in front of me or the congressman. You sound more devout than a catholic priest. kudos But why do you new agers get so angry?

    October 11, 2012 at 6:49 am |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      YOU would use Evolution to get out of prison. You believe in DNA. You are just too stupid to understand why.

      October 11, 2012 at 6:52 am |
    • harpman

      I don't agree that evolution is the word for atheist. Many Christians believe in evolution ( and science). But they are able to reconcile the idea of evolution with the creation.

      October 11, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • Jebbb

      Science and its theories (evolution, embryology, the "big bang," planets revolving around the sun, gravity, etc, etc, is not based on faith but on testing hypotheses by examination of the evidence. That is why science evolves, and theories are refined or replaced. The opinions written in the Bible, which appear to be a mix of confused history, bad science, tribal mores, myth, and propaganda for the writers' opinions (which are not always compatible) never change. You have to take them on faith, or abandon them, because they don't pass the rational examination of the evidence test. They're like tools which increasingly don't fit the work to be done, but cost a fortune, and people fight over them. You can't build a computer by sacrificing bulls, sheep, goats or your son. You need science and technology. And you can't deal with your neighbors, I hope, like Moses dealt with the Midianites in the Book of Numbers, killing every man and boy and adult woman, but giving the little girls to his Israelite army... Those are brutal stories from tribal history and propaganda. Hope they're not true, but if there's any truth to them, yikes.

      October 11, 2012 at 7:13 am |
    • Kevin

      Sigh. Evolution is based on scientific fact. Creationism is based on the writings of human beings who knew nothing about science. End of story.

      October 11, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • Seethroughu

      Evolution is not based on fact it's based on faith. And according to you a computer should be able to evolve out of a junk yard. Yet how is it we look at a computer and think of a designer, but when a person on an almost infinite level of complexity stands in front of you you think of a rock billions of you ago that came from nothing. It takes life to create life,

      October 11, 2012 at 7:31 am |
    • Michael

      @Seethroughu – You have it completely backwards. Faith is belief in that which cannot be proven; Science is understanding of the natural world through experimentation, review, revision and, finally once all of the pieces fit the hypothesis, stated as a Scientific Theory. Think Gravity. If you want to put your faith in a dead man on a stick, so be it. I prefer to place my faith in what I can see, touch, smell ... ergo, the natural world all around me. I am post-Capernican; the world revolves around the sun which, in turn, revolves about the galactic center. Of all of the scathing things I could add, I won't; your arguments do not hold water. ID and Creationism don't hold water. I know that you live in your own little world, but it's OK, everyone knows you there ...

      October 11, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  14. whitman30

    There are a lot who do argue it, plus some merge the perspectives that the earth's form changed until humans arrived or were created. The Bible does mention that as well or gives clues to it as Satan was thrown to earth destroying it, the first time. Read the Bible and other scientists before you throw everything out; however my father always said, "A hit dog hollers." Think on that idiom for a moment. Why do you care so much? http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/healthscience/2007/October/Earth-Thousands-Not-Billions-of-Yrs-Old/ How about try the book, World's in Collision- by a nonChristian scientist?

    October 11, 2012 at 6:48 am |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      It's crap. read "Who Wrote the Bible", by Dr. Richard Elliott Friedman. 99.99 % of scientists accept evolution. Your father was a fool.

      October 11, 2012 at 6:51 am |
    • tkogrady

      You know, good Christians like you and Michael Vick shouldn't hit your dogs. God gave dominion over all creation to take care of it – – – hitting your dog would be the work of Satan!!!

      October 11, 2012 at 6:57 am |
  15. Growup

    It's no wonder the US is falling so far behind when someone like this sits on and influences through science committee. The Bible was written by illiterate goat herders thousands of years ago and they didn't know what the sun or stars were, why the earth shook during earthquakes or why the birds went away in fall and came back in spring.

    The is the 21st century but not in Georgia I guess

    October 11, 2012 at 6:48 am |
  16. johnmenacherjr@rocketmail.com

    so where does good ole Etcha sketch take on this stuff? No one wil ever get a straight answer.

    October 11, 2012 at 6:47 am |
    • LakeRat1

      After kissing the rears of all those kind of people in the GOP, and convincing tem that he's one of them, the "etch-a-sketch" has now been erased! Mitt is now doing a bang-up job of impersonating a normal rational person. (And people believe him!)

      October 11, 2012 at 6:56 am |
  17. LakeRat1

    Who elected that guy? It's well established that there are nut jobs in this world, but how do these people get elected? I'd like to see a survey of the people in the church Broun was speaking in, to see how many of the congregation actually agreed with him. Here's another question: How could the House of Representatives allow him to serve on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. (For that matter, why would he want to?).
    It boggles the mind!

    October 11, 2012 at 6:46 am |
    • LakeRat1

      Oh, I forgot the REAL qquestion; What is Alec Baldwin doing, talking to him?

      October 11, 2012 at 6:49 am |
  18. johnmenacherjr@rocketmail.com

    And you wonder why we are dropping like rocks educationally? Yup lets get rid of science as it surely will kill us all! So how much tax payer moneies are involvulved in this religious group? I bet plenty Goota love them partisan republicans NOT!

    October 11, 2012 at 6:45 am |
  19. TG

    For genuine Christians, these look very closely at the Genesis account in the Bible and recognize that the six days of creation are not six literal 24 hour days, but each "creative" day is several thousand years long. How can this be known ? If one does their "homework" carefully, by a critical examination of the book of Hebrews written by the apostle Paul, these would be able to determine from Hebrew chapters 3 and 4 that God's "rest" day or the "seventh day" of creation was still ongoing during his time (Heb 4:1-10), some 4000 years after the the creation of Adam at the end of the sixth "creative" day".

    Unlike the 1st six "creative" days, whereby these had closure saying: "And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, a.....day"(Gen 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31), the "seventh day"(Heb 4:4) has not seen such closure yet, but is still ongoing, now some 6000 years after Adam's creation in our time.

    And of the age of the earth, It does not take a "scientist" to recognize the meaning of Genesis 1:1, which says that "in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth". Hence, the earth is of the same age as the starry heavens that were created "in the beginning", perhaps billions of years ago or longer. Being the center of the earth is an iron core, this requires the earth to be billions of years old, for an iron core is end result of a star, after starting out as hydrogen being changed into helium, then into oxygen, then carbon, then eventually into an iron core.

    Upon this iron core, our Creator, Jehovah God, allowed the earth to cool down and shaped the earth according to his will into a planet that now has abundant life throughout, being prepared over the course of six "creative" days, with Adam and Eve being God's final act of creation.(Gen 1:26-28) The earth is an intentional act of Jehovah God for obedient humans to enjoy life forever.(Ps 37:11, 29)

    October 11, 2012 at 6:37 am |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      "genuine Christians". Oh really ? You get to determine that. That is the No True Scotsman Fallacy. The first line in Genesis was plagiarized from the Enuma Elish, and why can't your dumb god communicate clearly ? Didn't she know she was talking to humans ?

      October 11, 2012 at 6:48 am |
    • Seethroughu

      Wrong again fluffy. Where did you read this from. More atheist publications?

      October 11, 2012 at 6:50 am |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      Nope. Look it up, idiot. Where did you THINK it came from ? You don't have the guts to seek the truth.

      October 11, 2012 at 6:55 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Seethroughu: You obviously are a clueless dolt who doesn't comprehend the meaning fo the word Atheist!! All that word refers to is a disbelief in a god(s), it does not refer to what a non-believer believes otherwise. Atheists don't have a hand book or set of doctrines they go by. Can you provide evidence outside of your giant book of fairy tales (the buybull) for the existence of your god? How are you so certain you have the correct god? Just because you are too blind to accept the facts that are based on peer-reviewed studies and evidence does not make them less true, it only makes you lazy and blind. Try co-existing in the 21st century where the information is updated, instead of in the 1st century when that book was written (and has never been updated since).

      October 11, 2012 at 6:59 am |
  20. Seethroughu

    However Nye's comment on the conressmans qualifications because of a difference in religious beliefs I think is a bit of an issue. Maybe anger or something deeper.

    October 11, 2012 at 6:32 am |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      No. He's incompetent. Pure and simple. Dangerous and incompetent.

      October 11, 2012 at 6:37 am |
    • Ben

      Has nothing to do with religious beliefs. If you're unable to accept the evidence and facts in front of you, then what are you basing your decisions on? When presented with economic data, or of military build up in some country, is this guy just going to decide something else is true and make some random decision?

      October 11, 2012 at 6:42 am |
    • Seethroughu

      Well Nye started doing childrens shows.. If he is really dangerous I hope people keep their kids away from him. Wouldn't want Nye trying groom the kids.

      October 11, 2012 at 6:44 am |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      Seethroughu is SO dumb, he can't even read a sentence, in English. Seethroughu, you are embarrassing your god. Please stop.

      October 11, 2012 at 6:59 am |
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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.