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Christian’s year of living 'gay' leads to dramatic change, sparks controversy
December 2nd, 2012
06:45 AM ET

Christian’s year of living 'gay' leads to dramatic change, sparks controversy

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) - Timothy Kurek’s motivation to spend a year pretending to be gay can be boiled down to a simple conviction: it takes drastic change to alter deeply held religious beliefs.

The experiment began after a lesbian friend opened up to Kurek about being excommunicated by her family. All Kurek, an avowed evangelical Christian, could think about, he says, “was trying to convert her.”

He was quickly disgusted by his own feelings, more pious than humane.

In fact, Kurek was so disgusted by his response to his friend that he decided to do something drastic. Living in Nashville, Tennessee, he would pretend to be gay for a year. The experiment began on the first day of 2009; Kurek came out to his family, got a job as a barista at a gay café and enlisted the help of a friend to act as his boyfriend in public.

The experience – which stopped short of Kurek getting physically intimate with other men - is documented in Kurek’s recent book “The Cross in the Closet,” which has received international attention, landed him on ABC’s "The View" and elicited some biting criticism.

The book is the latest entry on a growing list of experiential tomes revolving around religion. They include Rachel Held Evans’ recent “A Year of Biblical Womanhood,” in which the author follows the Bible’s instructions on women’s behavior and Ed Dobson’s “The Year of Living Like Jesus,” which had the author “eat as Jesus ate. Pray as Jesus prayed. Observe the Sabbath as Jesus observed.”

For Kurek, his year as a gay man radically changed his view of faith and religion, while also teaching him “what it meant to be a second class citizen in this country.”

A yearlong lie

For years, Kurek says, the only life he had was “his church life.” Being an evangelical Christian was his identity.

He was home-schooled until seventh grade, almost all of his friends were from church and his social life was a nightly string of faith-based events, from church sports to a Christian Cub Scout troop. “It was the only thing I was used to doing,” said Kurek, who attended Liberty University, the largest evangelical university in the world, before dropping out after freshman year.

Kurek grew up in an “independent Baptist church.” “We were evangelical,” he said, “but we were more conservative than evangelical, too.”

His churchy lifestyle led to some deeply held views about homosexuality. Most evangelical churches condemn homosexuality as sinful. Many rail against certain gay rights, like gay marriage.

“I had been taught to be wary of gays,” Kurek writes of his beliefs pre-experiment. “They were all HIV positive, perverts and liberal pedophiles.”

Those views began to be challenged in 2004, when he first encountered Soulforce, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights group, on Liberty’s campus. The group made the school an important stop on its cross-country tour targeting colleges that they alleged treated LGBT people unfairly.

Kurek was struck by what he had in common with the protesters at Liberty. “It really impressed me that people who were coming to push their agenda were able to do it and be so nice about it,” he said.

His doubt about Christianity’s condemnation of homosexuality, Kurek writes, was “perfected” in 2008, when a close friend recounted the story of coming out to her family and being disowned.

“I betrayed her, then,” writes Kurek. “It was a subtle betrayal, but a cruel one: I was silent.”

His recognition of that betrayal, he writes, led him to believe that “I needed to come out of the closet as a gay man.”

“I believe in total immersion,” Kurek says in an interview. “If you are going to walk in other people’s shoes, then you are going to need to walk in your shoes.”

To ensure the purity of his project, Kurek says, he had to lie to his deeply religious family about being gay, something that troubled him throughout the year.

“I felt like they loved me but they didn’t know how to deal with me,” he says. “They didn’t understand how to handle having a gay brother or sibling.”

In the book, Kurek recounts learning that his mother wrote in her journal that she would rather have been diagnosed with cancer than have a gay son. That experience and others left Kurek feeling outcast by people he loved, confused about his new life and conflicted about past religious beliefs.

Kurek was living a lie. And even though he was conflicted by his family’s reaction to his new lifestyle, he was longing to be honest with them.

The response

It’s no surprise that the “The Cross in the Closet,” has spurred strong reaction, especially from the LGBT community.

“I feel for the gay community of Nashville, and for every person who trusted Kurek enough to flirt with him, hang out with him, and confide in him about their lives,” wrote Amy Lieberman on the blog Feministing. “If I were in that community, I would feel so betrayed right now.”

In a Huffington Post blog post titled “Pretending To Be Gay Isn’t The Answer,” Emily Timbol, a religion blogger, expressed a similar opinion: “What's sad is that every interaction Timothy had during his year pretending was fake.”

“He was welcomed under false pretenses, acting like someone who understood the struggle that his LGBT friends faced,” she wrote. “He did not.”

But Kurek says that that was not his aim. “This isn't a book about being gay, I could not write that book, I am not qualified,” he writes. “What this is about is the label of gay and how that label affected me personally.”

Throughout the book, Kurek emphasizes that distinction. While much of “The Cross in the Closet” is about the struggle to understand the gay community, which he tries to address by enlisting a friend to act as his boyfriend, much of it addresses how his former church’s community – and family – reacted to his new lifestyle.

“I am actually not friends or in contact at all with 99.99% of the people that I grew up with or the churches that I grew up with,” Kurek says.

Kurek says he isn’t opposed to interacting with people from his "former" life. When he has run into members of his old church, he said he generally has quick, cordial conversations and moves on.

But some of the new distance is by choice. When Kurek’s mother told a friend in her church that her son was gay, the person said Kurek’s sexuality could jeopardize his mother's standing in the church.

The evangelical community has remained fairly mum throughout much of the reaction; most responses have come from Christians who are in some way connected to the LGBT community.

The change

Though Kurek goes to church less now, primarily because he has yet to find one that feels like “home,” he says he feels more religious “in the biblical definition of religion.” He still considers himself a Christian, although no longer evangelical, and says he is interested in attending the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in the future.

Kurek quotes James 1:27 from the New Testament: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

There’s no mention of organized religion in passages like that, and Kurek says it’s the institutions of religion that worry him most today. He talks about his once robust church life as a distant memory.

Living as a gay man jaded him to religion, he says, though he has not surrendered all of his former beliefs. Yes, Kurek says, he is struggling with certain points of his theology, but he has been looking for the right church. “I am trying to figure out what place in the body of Christ I fit in,” he said.

As for his original goal, to radically change who he was, Kurek says mission accomplished. He says he has conquered his prejudices of the LGBT community and is happy with the person he has become.

“If anybody had told me back then who I would be or what I would believe now,” Kurek said, “I would have thought they were completely insane.”

For example, Kurek now thinks homosexuality is completely acceptable.

His family is happy to know that he is not gay, says Kurek. He has a new set of friends. And he lives in Portland, Oregon, where he moved shortly after finishing his experimental year.

The author plans to donate part of the proceeds from his book to help LGBT homeless youth who have been rejected by their families.

He is now at work on a book proposal for a follow-up to “The Cross in the Closet.” The book will be about the years after his experiment, transitioning back to honest living while continuing to engage the LGBT community.

“I want to tell more stories,” he says “and humanize the people who Christians always want to look at as labels.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Faith • Homosexuality • Sexuality • Uncategorized

soundoff (3,659 Responses)
  1. rexdogcanadien

    Evangelical are fanatics. They are the kind of people Christ warned his followers to, "Beware of wolves dressed in sheep's clothing." However, I wonder if the author of this story is truly emancipated from his beliefs about self, others and the world in which he lives.

    December 2, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Hey, rexdog – any relation to rex murphy?

      December 2, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
  2. John P. Tarver

    The reason the sweet breads are harvested from the brain of a young lamb is because the gland atrophies after puberty in mormal brains.

    December 2, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • Chef

      Sweetbreads do not come from the brains of anything...

      Sweetbread are from the thymus gland (also called throat, gullet, or neck sweetbread) or the pancreas (also called heart, stomach, or belly sweetbread) especially of the calf (ris de veau) and lamb (ris d'agneau) (although beef and pork sweetbreads are also eaten).[1] Various other glands used as food are also called 'sweetbreads', including the parotid gland ("cheek" or "ear" sweetbread), the sublingual glands ("tongue" sweetbreads or "throat bread"), and testicles (cf. Rocky Mountain oyster).

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweetbread

      December 2, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
  3. Seraphina

    We are all sinners and Christ died for our sins so that we may have eternal life by repenting of our sins and accepting him as our Lord and Savior

    December 2, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      BS. God sacrificed a tiny piece of himself to himself so that people can be saved from the supposed sin that the supposed first people that god made got into because they were curious. But because of this supposed non-sacrifice I can be the most horrible murderer-rapist in the world, but as long as on my deathbed I say, Okay, NOW i accept Jesus, then I spend eternity in paradise, while my many victims that I killed are in eternal torment because I killed them before they were saved?

      Ummm, hello???? You follow one fukked up religion. Have you ever stopped to actually THINK about it?????

      December 2, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • sam stone

      you desire eternal life with a being from whom you have to be saved?

      December 3, 2012 at 4:27 am |
  4. Joe

    I'm an atheist, pro-choice, and pro-gay marriage, and I think what this man did is honorable and great. I feel like members of the Catholic Church can be Catholic but also pro-gay and pro-choice because I feel like those aren't religious values but rather social issues.

    December 2, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • Patrick

      I'm gay, not Christian, but I do believe in God, I'm pro-Life, and I think what the guy did was great.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • hindu Gay ism = filthy hind loving ism, WAY OF hINDU FILTHY ANIMALS.

      Ya, atheist, self centered like a hindu filthy dog, hind, insult to be called human.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  5. John P. Tarver

    When the "sweet breads" in the gay brain fail to atrophy, as in a normal male, the affect is one of retardation. Being mean to retards is bad.

    December 2, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • mama k

      Bigoted rubbish – provide some sources. I doubt the interpretation is what you've indicated even if it were true.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Patrick

      You're the retard. You're offering these "facts" with nothing to back them up, as if someone is going to believe them.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Bob

      "When the "sweet breads" in the gay brain fail to atrophy, as in a normal male, the affect is one of retardation. Being mean to retards is bad."

      Prejudice people are so immature.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Verbal incontinence.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      Nut, nut, nut. I'm a nut, nut, nut.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
  6. John P. Tarver

    Gays are 13 forever and will never be any more satisfied with their lot in life than a 13 year old.

    December 2, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Bob

      "Gays are 13 forever and will never be any more satisfied with their lot in life than a 13 year old."

      Prejudice people are so immature.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Patrick

      Wrong. All you have to do if you want to see the percentage of gays who mo1est is go to a $ex offender registry like the one for the State of Texas that lists the age and gender of each mo1ester's victim(s). You can even enter a gay-friendly zip code and pull a random sample and you'll see that well over 90% are men mo1esting little girls ONLY. 2 to 3% are women molesters. 2 to 3% are men who molested both genders. 2 to 3% are men who molested males only.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Observer

      John P. Tarver,

      When your mental age reaches 13, maybe you'll understand.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Bob

      " All you have to do if you want to see the percentage of gays who mo1est is go to a $ex offender "

      You're talking about a pedophile not a homosexual moron.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Akira

      What an absolutely absurd assertion. Rubbish.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Patrick

      You should have finished reading the paragraph Bob. My point was that gays are no more likely to molest than straights.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      Nut, nut, nut. I'm a nut, nut, nut.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
  7. Pastorhawk

    I was General Manager of the local GLBT bookstore for several years. This guy worked for our coffeehouse three years ago. His story is a lie. He is lying and pretty stupid! His W-2 forms from working as an OUT GAY MAN can be provided.

    December 2, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Peter

      " His W-2 forms from working as an OUT GAY MAN can be provided."

      Give us a link to your story to prove it's true.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Patrick

      Sorry but w-2 and w-4 forms don't ask about $exual orientation and don't list it. You just proved yourself not only a liar, but stupid.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      CNN has been lieing pretty hard since the whole Zimmerman racist outburst.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Patrick

      @Tarver – You've pretty much been lying since you were born.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • Observer

      "lieing"? Wow.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Akira

      It says right in the article he started as a barista at a gay coffeehouse in 2009, so I am unsure of what your point is.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
  8. John P. Tarver

    The big secret is the results of AIDS research have led to an understanding of how the gay brain is different from the normal brain. There is a gland in your brain that controls the evolution of our brains to cerebrial maturity and that gland malfunctions in gays.

    December 2, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • mama k

      Provide sources including the support for your term "malfunctions".

      December 2, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Bob

      Cite your source if you can, we'll be waiting...till eternity.... because you're to stupid to realize straight people have aids too. ;-)

      December 2, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Observer

      lol again.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Erik

      "There is a gland in your brain that controls the evolution of our brains to cerebrial maturity and that gland malfunctions in gays."

      This is not true. All major medical professional organizations concur that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and Medical Associations all agree with this, as does the World Health Organization and the medical organizations of Japan, China, and most recently, Thailand. Furthermore, attempts to change one's sexual orientation can be psychologically damaging, and cause great inner turmoil and depression, especially for Christian gays and lesbians.

      The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.

      On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"

      Many of these reparative "therapists" are basing this concept on a random Bible verse or two. When you hold those up against the mountain of scientific research that has been conducted, peer-reviewed, and then peer-reviewed again, it absolutely holds no water. A person's sexuality – whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual – is a very deep biological piece of who that person is as an individual.

      The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.

      Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).

      There are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.

      Whether or not something is a choice is not a suitable criterion for whether someone should have equal rights and protections. Religion is indisputably a choice, but that fact is a not a valid argument for discriminating against a particular religion.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Patrick

      So funny that something like that would easily prove that gays don't choose to be gay, something we've been dying to prove for years, yet, no one has published it.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • midwest rail

      If you are going to pretend to be intelligent, you may want to spell "cerebral" correctly.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  9. Klaark

    Had he been a gay man pretending to be an Evangelical, these libs would be hailing him as a brave hero. Their hypocrisy would be stunning if it weren't so common.

    Personally, I'd rather have a pedophile in my community than a conservative Christian (Often the same, I know). The pedo has to register its address with the state while these church going bigots are allowed to carry their hatred and evil into all areas of the community unchallenged. I shudder at the thought of people holding any power or responsibility when they're so filled with hatred and meanness.

    December 2, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Dave, CA

      "Had he been a gay man pretending to be an Evangelical, these libs would be hailing him as a brave hero. Their hypocrisy would be stunning if it weren't so common."

      Don't hurt yourself jumping to all those conclusions.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  10. John P. Tarver

    Gould's work relies heavily on the geological evidence of an Ir24 layer between geological eras and the occurance of species, in supporting his baseless assertion of rapid eviolution; although Dr. Gould does do a meticuless job of proving slow changew is not a means to species. I perfer Creation, but NASA scientists a suggest retrovirus origin of species.

    December 2, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      Nut, nut, nut. I'm a nut, nut, nut.

      ps -I am one dum muthafukka

      December 2, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  11. Some one's opinion

    For a bible belt thumper (Which are typically people who preach peace on earth and treat others as you want to be treated)
    To go through that, and confront his own bigotry.... I say, Good for him! He is living like a true Christian... Most of you other religious nut freaks would never leave your comfort zone to do something like that... Too many big mouths and not enough action... Oh and for any of you who will comment back, and say im going to hell because I dont live how you live or see things how you see it.... One day God will point it out in your life that YOU not him, are quick to throw other peoples Souls into hell.... That day will be a shameful one, for YOU.

    December 2, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
  12. Chad

    I contend we are both conservatives, I just believe that one fewer societal behavior is proper than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible societal behaviors as being legitimate , you will understand why I dismiss your pet one(same sex marriage)." – Rephen Soberts

    December 2, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nice try, Chard. Fail.

      You can't explain why you believe gays should not be allowed to marry without resorting the "slippery slope" fallacy.

      You don't have a valid argument.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Very good, Chad, now be honest enough to admit that you're an unreasonable atheist who wants to have rights he would not allow others to have because he wants to equate illegal acts with legal ones.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Chad

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son
      Nice try, TT. Fail.

      You can't explain why you believe a father and a daughter should not be allowed to marry without resorting the "slippery slope" fallacy.

      You don't have a valid argument.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Bob

      "You don't have a valid argument."

      No he doesn't since he keeps deflecting to what is illegal. It's called desperation because he doesn't have a valid argument.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Bob

      "You can't explain why you believe a father and a daughter should not be allowed to marry without resorting the "slippery slope" fallacy."

      It's illegal. Next....

      December 2, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Chad: Why M, but not N, O, P, and Q?
      Reasonable poster: Because N, O, P, and Q are illegal and M isn't.
      Chad: Yeah, but why?
      Rp: Because M isn't illegal, and N, O, P and Q are illegal.
      Chad: But why not N, O, P, and Q?
      Rp: Ummm..... M isn't illegal, and the other are
      Chad: Yeah, but why not N, O, P, and Q?

      and on and on and on.......

      December 2, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Chad

      Bestiality, incest, polygamy.. are they illegal/prosecuted in all states?

      since they arent, I assume you are fine sanctioning such relationships with marriage..
      :-)

      December 2, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Patrick

      "Bestiality, incest, polygamy.. are they illegal/prosecuted in all states?"

      Really Chad which states is it legal in?

      December 2, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Chic

      Fantastic root post quote

      December 2, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • Douglas

      "Bestiality, incest, polygamy.. are they illegal/prosecuted in all states?"

      Animals can't consent and should be illegal. I don't have a problem with what consenting adults do in their bedroom. Chad the bible supports both incest and polygamy so why don't you support it, it's supported by your God?

      December 2, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • mama k

      Again Chad you show yourself to be amazingly stupid on this issue. The gay marriage rights issue is about affording benefits and rights equally across the board for couples regardless of gender. And we've been through this before, so you should know better than to bring your silly argument about how it doesn't differ than say rights for incestuous couples (as one of your examples). That's not what is being sought. What is being sought is a relaxation of the current law to not be specific about gender. That means that other aspects about such redefinition of marriage remain in place (such as no incestuous couples).

      Now if you are saying on what grounds in this country do we determine what we can fight for regarding rights – really the sky's the limit – if the U.S. society via our representation (along with legal and executive systems) doesn't like what you're trying to achieve – it will be obvious. But it's pretty obvious, Chad, that gay marriage rights are not unrealistic. Many people are seeing that gay couples, as heads of households, for instance, should be afforded the same benefits and other legal advantages as their straight counterparts. You have your opinion, you have your vote and I have mine.

      So with this statement: [Chad:] "If you are going to claim that any group doesnt have the right to impose their morality on another group, then atheists dont either."

      you again, for the hundredth time, miss the boat, Chad. What people don't have the right to do is impose their morality on law in this country other than through their vote. And even then, the courts can override the states to keep laws from infringing on rights (Example – 1963 ruling that mandated Bible readings in public schools is unconstitutional.)

      The business of affording benefits and advantages for couples termed and defined as "married" in this country is done so as a legal civic function therefore should be subject to equal application for whatever the voting population says meets the definition of marriage – and we see that is changing, Chad. So you need to take some of your silly ideas and for starters, consider them against states that have already moved forward and afforded gay couples those rights.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You think animals should be illegal?

      December 2, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • mama k

      (where I quoted Chad in the middle of my reply here came from Chad on page 25)

      December 2, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Of course I have a valid argument. You, on the other hand, do not, Chard. Why don't you post one? Or are you admitting you can't?

      Really, you are looking more and more like a 14-year-old.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • Chad

      @mama k "The business of affording benefits and advantages for couples termed and defined as "married" in this country is done so as a legal civic function therefore should be subject to equal application for whatever the voting population says meets the definition of marriage "

      =>right, so why do you oppose sanctioning bestiality, incest, polygamy with marriage??

      December 2, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chard, do you think 12-year-olds should be able to drink legally? Should they be allowed to vote? To drive? We put all kinds of restrictions on all sorts of behaviors based on age. Why, all of a sudden, are you just now figuring out that marriage also has age restrictions? We don't allow 12-year-olds to marry NOW, do we, even if they are of opposite genders? Why would allowing consenting adults of the same gender have any bearing on that?

      December 2, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Chad: Why M, but not N, O, P, and Q?
      Reasonable poster: Because N, O, P, and Q are illegal and M isn't.
      Chad: Yeah, but why?
      Rp: Because M isn't illegal, and N, O, P and Q are illegal.
      Chad: But why not N, O, P, and Q?
      Rp: Ummm..... M isn't illegal, and the other are
      Chad: Yeah, but why not N, O, P, and Q?

      December 2, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Chad

      so, society DOES have the right to restrict certain activities???

      wait..

      I"m confused.. I thought you said society didnt have that right..

      December 2, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The Vegetable: "so why do you oppose sanctioning bestiality, incest, polygamy with marriage". Why not?

      Do we allow 10-year-olds to purchase AK-47s? Do we permit adults to enslave children?

      Are you REALLY this stupid? Or are you just playing a retard on the internet, Chard?

      December 2, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Chad

      moby, guess you somehow missed it. Bestiality, incest, polygamy.. are not illegal/prosecuted in all states.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Do tell. Then list the states in which said behaviors are legal, Chard.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Patrick

      "I"m confused.. I thought you said society didnt have that right.."

      Stop feeding the troll.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Chad

      @TT, you have me so confused.. first you say society has no right to restrict behavior.. then you say it does, then you say it doesnt..

      which is it?

      December 2, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • Emily

      Bestiality is legal (or at least not expressly outlawed) in these U.S. states:

      Alaska
      Arizona
      Colorado
      Connecticut
      Florida
      Hawaii
      Iowa
      Kentucky
      Louisiana
      Missouri
      Nebraska
      Nevada
      New Hampshire
      New Jersey
      New Mexico
      Ohio
      Oregon
      South Dakota
      Texas
      Vermont
      Washington
      West Virginia

      Bestiality while legal in some states has been determined in other states to so offend the community standards and mores that those specific states have made the activity illegal. The same goes for countries that have restricted bestiality while some countries have accepted the practice.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Who said society doesn't have a right to restrict behaviors, Chard? If there are good reasons for doing so, of course it does. What good reasons can you provide for restricting two consenting adults from marrying each other?

      I can hardly wait to see what sort of bullish!t the Vegetable comes up with in response to this.

      Of course, the little coward won't answer honestly. He'll waffle, deflect, derail, and do anything else he can to avoid an honest, forthright discussion. He's a fvcktard.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      http://www.animallaw.info/articles/ovuszoophilia.htm

      Emily Chard, you might want to look a bit further than Yahoo for your information.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • Emily

      States where cousin marriage is legal: Connecticut, New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Diistrict of Columbia, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, Colorado, California, Oregon, New Mexico, Alaska, and Hawaii

      States where cousin marriage is legal under certain circumstances: Maine, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Utah, and Arizona

      States where cousin marriage is illegal: New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada, and Washington.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And if bestiality isn't illegal, Chard/Emily, then what are you bit@hing about? Your desire to boink your cat isn't restricted in some states, so if that's what's griping your azz, move to a place where you can violate your donkey all you wish.

      Doesn't have a thing to do with gay marriage.

      Last time I checked, bestiality didn't entail having an animal sign a marriage license.

      December 2, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • mama k

      Chad: [ =>right, so why do you oppose sanctioning bestiality, incest, polygamy with marriage?? ]

      I oppose the first two of those, Chad because history has proven there are very substantial health issues associated with them. I actually have nothing against polygamy, except that in many places where it has been exercised, it has involved very young girls who have been married off before there were of an age to be able to make their own decisions.

      And I think it is natural to not want to go against the law. But when you see reasons presented that show laws are gradually changing on an issue – it's worth taking a look at it to see how things might improve for people if they continue in the same direction. What are your views on same-sex unions, Chad?

      December 2, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Emily

      Tom, Tom not all the states were listed in your link.

      December 2, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Chad

      @mama k "because history has proven there are very substantial health issues associated with them"

      @Chad "AHHHHHHHHH

      ok, now it makes sense.. I just couldnt see any rhyme or reason to your stance..Why you would support extending marriage to one by not the others.

      ok, so you oppose allowing anyone to marry that had a congenital defect, or allowing any two persons with a genetic makeup to marry where history has shown substantial health issues associated with a resultant baby.

      NOW I understand.

      December 2, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So what? Not all were listed in yours, EmilyChard.

      December 2, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chard, can you give any reason gays shouldn't be allowed to marry? Go right ahead.

      December 2, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Chad

      TT, can you give any reason why persons involved in incestual relationship shouldn't be allowed to marry? Go right ahead.

      December 2, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • mama k

      But Chad, enough of your diversion tactics. I would like you to answer Tom's question, not only generally, but for the case where the state already has legal gay marriage rights effected. Let's see what you come up with.

      December 2, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • Chad

      @mama k "because history has proven there are very substantial health issues associated with them"

      =>I assume also that you are a staunch opponent of allowing mentally handicapped people to marry..

      December 2, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • mama k

      A certain someone is avoiding questions posed to him. It wouldn't be Chad, would it? Could it possibly be?

      December 2, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Chad

      But mama k, enough of your diversion tactics. I would like you to answer Chads question, not only generally, but for the case where the state already has legal incest rights effected (Rhode Island for example). Let's see what you come up with.

      December 2, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • mama k

      When you catch up on some of our questions Chad, I'll be more than happy to answer more of yours.

      December 2, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • Chad

      When you catch up on some of my questions mama K, I'll be more than happy to answer more of yours.
      :-)

      December 2, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Chad

      oh, and I asked the question first :-)

      December 2, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Chad

      which means I have dibs, the most powerful force in the universe (well, second most powerful)

      December 2, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • mama k

      What are your views on same-se x unions, Chad?

      [Tom:] Chard, can you give any reason gays shouldn't be allowed to marry? Go right ahead.

      And can you give us any reason, in states that already allow gay marriage, why gays shouldn't be allowed to marry?

      Of course Chad will only avoid answering these questions by diverting with other questions. Typical Chad.

      December 2, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Chad

      What are your views on incestual unions, mama k?

      [Chad:] mama k, can you give any reason people involved in incestual relationships shouldn't be allowed to marry? Go right ahead.

      And can you give us any reason, in states that already allow incestual relations, why they shouldn't be allowed to marry?

      Of course mama k will only avoid answering these questions by diverting with other questions. Typical mama k.

      December 2, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • mama k

      OK, Chad, let's just stick with one question, maybe that would be easier.

      My question "What are your views on same-sex unions, Chad?" was posed at December 2, 2012 at 7:03 pm (time stamp copied)

      PRIOR to the earliest question you posed to me that has not yet been answered.

      December 2, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • mama k

      It's no wonder they are always throwing the term dishonest at you, Chad.

      December 2, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • Chad

      OK, Mama k, let's just stick with one question, maybe that would be easier.

      My question "Bestiality, incest, polygamy.. are they illegal/prosecuted in all states? since they arent, I assume you are fine sanctioning such relationships with marriage..
      December 2, 2012 at 6:33 pm (time stamp copied)

      PRIOR to the earliest question you posed to me that has not yet been answered.

      December 2, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • mama k

      More dishonesty from Chad.

      That question referenced in your last post was not directed at me, but was answered in my reply at:

      December 2, 2012 at 7:03 pm

      So again, my last unanswered question posed to you is earlier.

      December 2, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Chad

      you mean here?

      think you still owe some answers.. :-)

      @Chad " so why do you oppose sanctioning bestiality, incest, polygamy with marriage?? ]
      @mama k "I oppose the first two of those, Chad because history has proven there are very substantial health issues associated with them."
      @Chad "so you oppose allowing anyone to marry that had a congenital defect, or allowing any two persons with a genetic makeup to marry where history has shown substantial health issues associated with a resultant baby. I assume you are a staunch opponent of allowing mentally handicapped people to marry as well?

      still waiting on those....

      December 2, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • mama k

      Even more dishonesty from Chad. My earliest unanswered question is still before your earliest unanswered question, Chad – so nice try by combining things from two posts to deflect. I mean you're the one who had the nerve above to say "oh, and I asked the question first".

      Did you find my unanswered question at December 2, 2012 at 7:03 pm, at the same time that I answered the question regarding polygamy, incest and bestiality?

      December 2, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • Chad

      dibs is dated by the first request, and applies to all subsequent ones.

      nothing I can do, my hands are tied. Dibs is the second most powerful force in the universe.

      any way, what are you so terrified of? If you feel you have a coherent position, defending it is trivial, right? :-)

      December 2, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • mama k

      dibs is for children Chad, but I guess I should not be surprised. And, I'm not terrified of anything here, Chad.
      And I was wondering the same thing, Chad – but if you wish not to discuss your views for those things that were asked, who am I to push it any further. You must have your reasons.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Chad

      Well, if you arent terrified, then why dont you answer the question?

      wait..

      I know :-)

      you dont like to admit the real reason, namely that we have the same reason for opposition, we dont feel it's right.

      You atheists crack me up, your inability to see in yourselves the same behavior you decry in others.. it's amazing.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      CHARD, you're a fvcking moron. I don't HAVE to give a reason. NO legislation is being proposed for any such marriage, you dolt.

      Now stop your stalling and give a reason why two consenting adults should be denied the right to marry. If you can't, say so, and stop pretending that this issue has anything to do with bestiality, pedophilia, or anything else. Because if it does, then so does heaters#xual marriage, you idiot. If you're going to argue that point, you must also include marriage as we currently know it.

      Are you ready to do that, you dishonest little turd?

      December 2, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Edit: heteros#xual.

      Chard, if you're going to attempt to use such tactics, then straight marriage must also be included. If you're going to contend that all relationships must be legal or none must be, then have at it. Make all marriage illegal. Otherwise, you're a hypocrite. Oh, wait, you're a hypocrite regardless.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Chad

      I don't HAVE to give a reason. NO legislation is being proposed for any such marriage (same sex) in my state

      December 2, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then why are you here, Chard? If gay marriage isn't being proposed in your state, why don't shut your pie-hole? My state has already legalized gay marriage. I'm thrilled. Eventually, the issue will probably be decided by the SCOTUS, and you'll still be harping on it.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • Chad

      Then why are you here, TT? If gay marriage has already been passed in your state, why don't shut your pie-hole?

      December 2, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Because azzholes like you persist in your attempts to make it illegal, dolt. What part of that is unclear?

      December 2, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • Chad

      what a remarkable coincidence, that's the same reason I'm here!!

      (just swap legal for illegal)

      December 2, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Now, knock off your stalling and answer the question, Veggie-brain: give a good reason for prohibiting gay marriage. Don't bother citing your bible and don't bother using the slippery slope arguments you've been forced to resort to. Give a reason. A valid one. Go ahead, you lying little sack of poop.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why are you opposed to allowing consenting adults to marry, Chard?

      I'll wait while you use your usual evasions to avoid answering. If you can't come up with a good reason, dear, then I'll assume there isn't one.

      December 2, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What reasons do you have for opposing legal same-s2x marriage, Chard?

      December 2, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • Chad

      Now, knock off your stalling and answer the question, TT: give a good reason for prohibiting incestuous marriage. Don't bother citing your ballot initiatives and don't bother using the slippery slope arguments you've been forced to resort to. Give a reason. A valid one. Go ahead.

      December 2, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      I have no problem with either incest or polygamy; it's one of those rare instances where I actually agree with the bible that they're ok.

      December 2, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Is polygamy being proposed? Is it on the ballot anywhere? Are initiatives being put forth to legalize it? How about bestiality? Is that being placed on any statewide referenda? Is it being brought before the SCOTUS? How about child-marriage? Pedophilia? Is any state making them legal? Intending to do so?

      No?

      Then stop pretending they are valid reasons for opposing gay marriage, Chard. It just reinforces the image you have here as being a completely dishonest axx.

      December 2, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, that answers that. Chad has no reason. He just thinks gay s3x is icky.

      Not surprising. I suspect the Chard thinks all s3x is icky. That's why he doesn't have any.

      December 2, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • mama k

      Chad: [ "you dont like to admit the real reason, namely that we have the same reason for opposition, we dont feel it's right." ]

      Ah – this is where you get into trouble, Chad – you make assumptions. That's all I will say to that.

      I think you're right, Tom about SCOTUS, although it's difficult to tell when. But assuredly more and more states will come on board with gay marriage soon, and soon after someone's bound to challenge their state's traditional marriage laws. Of course DOMA will fall long before that.

      December 2, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • Chad

      Is same sex marriage being proposed in my state? Is it on the ballot anywhere? Are initiatives being put forth to legalize it? Is that being placed on any statewide referenda? Is it being brought before the SCOTUS?

      No?

      Then stop pretending there are valid reasons for opposing incestuous marriages, TT. It just reinforces the image you have here as being a completely dishonest person.

      December 2, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • Chad

      @mama k " this is where you get into trouble, Chad – you make a.ssumptions"

      @chad "oh, my mistake.. what IS your reason for opposing incestuous marriages?

      December 2, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Perhaps Chad is speaking from some sort of experience. Were you ever attracted to someone or something inappropriate, Chad? Was your God of Israel there to help? Or did it forgive you later on after you defiled yourself in front of it?

      December 2, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So there it is. Chard's simply opposed to s3x of any kind if it's not vanilla.

      Good to know.

      December 2, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Incest, polygamy, and bestiality have no more to do with gay marriage than does heteros3xual s3x, Chard.

      Or are you skeeved out by that, too? I'd feel sad for your wife/girlfriend/female slave, except you don't have one.

      December 2, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I suspect the real issue here is that since Chard isn't getting any from any source, whether vegetable, animal, or mineral, and he'll be damned if he's gonna let anyone else have any joy if he can't.

      December 2, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I think somewhere in these pages is an admission by Chad to being attracted to certain male authority figures. He thinks his omnipotent God of Israel is male. He is deeply committed to defending its manual of male domination. If Chad thinks of Jesus as his brother there may some incestuous longings in there too. Come out, Chad. Real masculinity is waiting for you.

      December 2, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
  13. momato

    I wish everyone had as much courage to set aside preconceived ideas and be open to seeing the world from a different perspective. I hope this man's book does some good in the world. A worthier cause than "Borat", that's for sure . . .

    December 2, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Observer107

      I don't buy his "deception". How could a young straight person with his upbringing and life experience successfully deceive the gay community? I know many gay people successfully deceive the straight world, but they have a lifetime of practice and preparation.

      My guess is that his "coming out" was real, but the reality of the discrimination and ostracism was much worse than he was prepared to accept. Writing the book was his most convincing shot at having family, friends and church believe that he was just kidding.

      You gotta feel sorry for him.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
  14. Patrick

    The straights know they didn't choose to be straight. Why can't they understand that gays don't choose to be gay?

    December 2, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • John P. Tarver

      The science behind why Men are gay is supressed by gays themselves.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Observer

      John P. Tarver,

      lol.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Patrick

      Wrong, Stretch. We've had the ability to accurately and affordably test people's $exuality in a lab setting since the 1950s. And in all that time, not one person has ever been able to show that their $exuality changed during the course of their lifetime. Not from gay to straight, not from straight to gay, not even from gay to bi$exual. Not through theraputic means and not through religious means. Also, there have been tons of studies done on ho mo $exuality – if it was a choice there would be precursors to that choice leading someone to want to be attracted to the same gender or leading them to actually having attraction for the same gender – yet not one study has ever found any precursor or cause.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Yes, John T, because gays are able to control what scientific findings are and are not released. Why do you choose to be so stupid?

      December 2, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oooh, do tell, Tardver. What's the big secret???

      December 2, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • AK

      I didn't choose to need to wear glasses. But I still need them.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  15. dorothy

    I had to laugh at the person who said that they would have felt "betrayed" by him for having "pretended" to be gay when he was actually straight. Get over it, honey. Gay people pretend to be straight all the time......mainly because society wants them to. Look at all those "therapy" programs that actually encourage such dishonesty.

    December 2, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  16. Howard

    I don't think what thisguy did was fair to himself or the LGBT community. It was a sham. I don't think it requires faking a life style to try to be understanding of it.

    December 2, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Patrick

      Going by what you just said it probably would require you walking in those shoes to understand being gay.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
  17. Vinny

    From Christian extremist to gay? That's not much a stretch.....most clerics, pastors, choir boys take it in the âss.

    December 2, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Bob

      "From Christian extremist to gay? That's not much a stretch.....most clerics, pastors, choir boys take it in the âss."

      Prejudice people are so immature.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Just a guy

      Vinny

      The KKK call themselves Christians, much like those others you mention – a lot of bad is done in the name of God – don't blame Him and his believers for all that

      December 2, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Dave, CA

      Sounds like Vinny's got a little fantasy thing goin on there.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
  18. John P. Tarver

    The Global geological record proved 40 yers ago, with hard physical evidence, that species occur rapidly following a mass extinction, the opposite of evolution. Later Dr. Gould would prove in 1400 pages that Darwin was completely wrong and rapid evoution must therefore be the origin of species. Soon thereafter the Human Genome Project was completed proving that Dog is Man's closest genome relative. Thertefore Dr. Gould's baseless assertion that Dog and Man share a common ancestor is the state of evolutionary theory today.

    December 2, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Patrick

      Wow,
      You are wrong in every aspect! There is absolutely no geological record that supports your rapid evolution theory, quite the opposite in fact. i suspect you never read Goulds work, because he absolutely does not disprove (nor disagree) with Darwin. Finally, based on the human genome, our closet relatives are the Bonobo and the Chimpanzee. Go read a proper Science book

      December 2, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Ben

      I love the Belief Blog. Whenever I have a need for some complete pseudointellectual rubbish, I can always come to the comments section and there it'll be, guaranteed.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  19. lionlylamb

    Thusly does righteousness abbreviate upon long forgotten issues of fatherly intensions meant to be applauded then and forgotten of nowadays! We are living amid a day and age of once bitten frugally rent harborages of long ago lavishness. Alas do we ever tender to forget our elder generations once gleamed garnished essences! We live therefore to die an aloneness ever to be content in our mind’s eyes that the great seas of nothingness will be our ever unending rewards for a journey of abrupt lividness living was to be our only physical rewards! Are individual rights based on societal righteousness within the parameters of cultural soundness being the kindled line drawn and distanced by religious austerities? How far away from religious agendas will the leveraging hierarchies be twined and marked in being and becoming mere factors of the mythological?

    Have the vesper pottages of amassed humanisms become complacently illiterate nowadays? Where then do the root-commodities of religious socialisms truly matter and 'riotous' materialization make scalar upon spattering of regarding irrational causations? I do shudder in the crowds' 'revolting' laments, for of crowned sarcasms does lay the tutors of indemnifications' coverings leaving no more the generosities of the lividness' racial trees of multi-faceted generalists.

    December 2, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Observer

      Few people, other than themselves, are impressed by pompous babble.

      Intelligent people know that they need to be understood in order to most effectively communicate.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Ben

      That's awesome. Where did you find the script to generate such exquisitely florid nonsense text? I particularly like the way it occasionally seems like it MIGHT make sense if one just looked at it a bit harder, only to reveal a few words later that no, in fact, it's just really elegantly constructed gibberish. My compliments to the programmer.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Dave, CA

      Wow- even the screen name is pompous.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      I call many of my writings my quatrains similar to Nostradamus and even Edgar Cayce, a 20th century dreamer of sorts. My quatrains are meant to generate an enlightening form of mental expansionism!

      December 2, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • richellelj

      Super enlightening. Especially that last sentence, I had no idea heretofore that generalists had generous racial trees. It's also awesome that you use pottage in the plural. I think you think pottage is something other than stew, but then again maybe you are one of the illiterate humanisms that have become complacent about it? LOL, overall a really great read. It's sort of a great sea of nothingness.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  20. lionlylamb

    Sin is not spiritual. Sin is not physical. Sin is the emotional tendencies of displaced pleasing that others endure regarding another's emotionalism not being of equal but rather as an unequal measuring to the one viewing another's emotionalism.

    December 2, 2012 at 5:55 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.