By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
(CNN) – While controversy swirled around Phil Robertson Wednesday evening, the "Duck Dynasty" patriarch was at his longtime church, praying for a young woman who suffers from cancer, the TV star's pastor told CNN in an exclusive interview.
"Phil led us in prayer," said Mike Kellett, senior pastor of White's Ferry Road Church of Christ in West Monroe, Louisiana. "There were greater things on our minds than the firestorm of controversy about this article."
Asked how Robertson is taking the fierce criticism of his remarks on homosexuality, Kellett said, "He's very calm, and very confident that if he serves the Lord, God will take care of everything."
Robertson, 67, was suspended by the A&E network on Wednesday after the publication of comments in GQ magazine. Citing the Bible, the outspoken Christian called homosexuality sinful and compared it to bestiality and drunkenness.
Robertson's remarks were a rough paraphrase of the New Testament, in which Paul catalogs a list of vices, including, in many Bible translations, homosexuality. Scholars and pastors disagree, however, about whether Paul's remarks should apply to modern gay and lesbian relationships.
Gay rights groups were outraged, calling Robertson's remarks "homophobic" and "hateful." A&E said it was "disappointed" by the comments, "which are based on his own beliefs and are not reflected in the series 'Duck Dynasty.' "
But Robertson, who looks a bit like an Old Testament prophet, says conservative Christian beliefs and values have permeated every corner of his life ever he gave up his self-described heathen lifestyle as a honky-tonk operator in the 1970s.
"I myself am a product of the '60s; I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom Savior," Robertson said in a statement on Thursday. "My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together."
‘Duck Dynasty’ reactions debate: Free speech or bigotry?
Robertson is an elder at White's Ferry Road Church of Christ, a nondenominational church that gathers around 1,200 worshippers on Sunday mornings. That means he offers spiritual counsel, helps teach the faith, hosts Bible studies and offers charity to the poor, Kellett said.
"He has literally helped bring hundreds of people to the Lord," the pastor added.
Robertson's son, Alan, co-pastored White Ferry with Kellet for eight years before joining the cast of "Duck Dynasty."
The show, which A&E says drew nearly 12 million viewers to the premiere of its fourth season in August, is enormously popular among conservative Christians, many of whom defended Robertson on social media Thursday. A online petition called "I Stand With Phil," garnered nearly 10,000 signatures by midday.
Opinion: ‘Duck Dynasty’ suspension doesn’t violate First Amendment
As Robertson's fame has grown, so has the size of his pulpit. He has preached at megachurch Pastor Rick Warren's Saddleback Church in California. Publishers peddle "The Duck Commander Devotional" and churches clamor for guest appearances by the Robertson family.
“We’re kind of the John the Baptists of the 21st century," Alan Robertson has said. "It’s how you imagine, with the wild hair and the locusts."
Kellett said his church backs Robertson, whose family is nearly royalty in West Monroe, a city of 13,000 in northern Louisiana. "We support the Robertson family, and strongly believe in our Bibles and in Jesus Christ as lord."
The pastor said he agrees with Phil Robertson's comments about homosexuality and is concerned about his critics' treatment of Christianity.
"I think it's unfortunate that when you quote the Bible people get upset about one particular sin that always seems to get a lot of attention," Kellett said. "But sometimes the Bible is going to rub folks the wrong way."
Palin and Jindal weigh in
And now it's time for my amazing predictions for 2014! It's what you have all been waiting for!
I predict that in 2014 Christians will still ignore whatever parts of the Bible they find inconvenient, but endlessly chastise others for doing the same thing!
I predict Miley Cyrus will do an entire tour nude, and break all known records for ticket prices and sales.
I predict Muslims will claim to be a religion of peace then detonate.
I predict Anna Nicole Smith will resurrect and be heralded the true messiah. She will be the first of a series of zombie resurrections that will include Truman Capote, Fatty Arbuckle, and Pee Wee Herman, who was not aware he was dead. This will end when Danny Bonaduce does Zombie Rule #2 on them.
I predict that the heads of Tea Party members will start exploding all over the country from the pressure of too much rage.
I predict that the head of the Mormon church will receive a divine message that twerking is the true path to Kolob, and that their protective undergarments must now be thong panties.
I predict that no matter who you elect to public office, the mess will get worse.
I predict that the Constitution and Bill of Rights will be recognized as thoroughly bastardized, and be replaced with a menu from Chili's.
I predict that Edward Snowden will release definitive information proving that the NSA sneaks in at night and fondles your children's naughty bits while you are sleeping. Many will be in favor of it because the threat of terrorism is just more important than a few silly rights.
I predict that secularism will continue to grow rapidly thanks to the idiotic behavior of religious people and the absurdities of religious scripture.
I predict Snooki Polizzi will become the latest Republican darling presidential candidate, but things will go badly for her. In the weeks up to November, her internal polls show doing very poorly. Her chief political adviser, Christine O'Donnell, will have her do an ad campaign claiming that she is not a demon squish-kitty in Austin's brain, which goes poorly too. Come November, she will lose the election Her concession speech will blame the libtards for not telling her it wasn't a presidential election year. FOX News will give her a well-paid position to share her fair and balanced views on the nefarious liberal War On Good Friday.
And remember my friends, we are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember, my friends, future events such as these will affect you in the future.
They can be saved and atone for past transgressions by turning over a new leaf
and self-declaring the earnest pursuit of celibate, clean living.
I have seen many move on following the discovery that they have been journeying down the wrong path.
Open the doors of the church and extend the hand of fellowship to celibate believers weary of
living a lie in sin. Our prayer circle continues to grow with new faces eager to say no to
fornication and yes to celibate living.
Open the door to these folks at your place of worship and help them move along on the road to salvation!
Celibacy is more "unnatural" than being gay.
Get back to reality.
Phil Robertson is back. Good one A & E. That's the American way!
Yes, it is the american way: Capitalism, greed, survival of the fittest (economically and socially).
The American Way is to NOT follow a huge number of commands in the Bible. Fortunately, our laws are not determined by the Bible. No slavery. No discrimination against women. No discrimination against the handicapped. No beating of helpless children. No forced marriages, etc.
So what is the problem then? I've been observing Observer and found atheist spend a lot of time disproving what supposedly isn't real. So what is the catch? It seems an exhausting effort mitigating gods or leprechauns that aren't real. For what? What is the point to this blog? Does this blog represent the spokespersons for your beliefs or disbeliefs?
Now everyone go find a hobby.
The PROBLEM here is the sheer HYPOCRISY of so many Christians who do things like pick on gays when Christian adulterers are a bigger problem or the Christians who fantasize that the Bible ever mentions abortion so they can pick on pro-choice supporters. Everyone should be able to pick the religion of their own (or none) but should not force it on others or use it to deny equal rights to others. I address those abuses.
By the way, why do so many believers NOT know that "atheist" is a singular (not plural) word? Not too observant.
hil Robertson is back. Good one A & E. That's the American way!
*typed this one too fast*
Man went from philosophy based upon deep thought by learned men, such as Aristotle, Plato, Leibniz, Kant, Confuzi, Descartes, Russell and others. Now in the 21st Century, philosophy is based upon revered men, like Phil and Uncle Si. The downward spiral accelerates.
No one gets philosophy from an entertainment service. One gets it from books, discussion/debates and a lot of thought.
Maybe religious rights should be last on the menu what do you say ?
For human rights to flourish, religious rights have to come second
Phil got it right...the Bible condemns h-o–m-o behaviors in both the Old and New Testaments.
A&E has come to its senses and GLAAD has gone back to partying in LA where it belongs.
GLAAD cannot change the eternal word of God. When the pressure hit and the angry, pro-Phil emails and tweets
poured into GLAAD's in box, they tucked their tails between their legs, folded up their tents and
went back home.
No Douglas Phil did not get it right – BUT 16 states have so far !
Embrace the fact you're gay and move on. Live your life out of shadow.
It was a publicity stunt, you nutter.
Accept yourself for the person you are and realize how much support you will have from so many bloggers on here.
A&E has decided to reverse their decision and star filming new episodes of DD in the spring WITH Phil Robertson back in the show.
Big shock, right?
DD got publicity, GLAAD got publicity; a win win sitch for all concerned.
What a stunt.
Ducks Unlimited is sellin' duck candy to the trendy. Just ask for their smart pills.
Waldorf Salad for me please.
The Robinsons might make good Pentacostals someday : Hope so :
@Russ "@ Lucifer: well, by your comment, you clearly wanted to be entertained rather than discuss what's important.
and yes, i'm not here to make jokes, but i did find your comment ironic."
Sorry, I had to go to a meeting... but I didn't want to just leave you hanging. What exactly was ironic? People come on here and spout off all kinds of nonsense... I don't exclude some of my fellow atheists either... The point I was trying to make to you... is if you drone on like an unthinking blind fundamentalist, don't be shocked when some of us take exception.
LET's Religiosity Law #3 – If you habitually spout off verses from your "holy" book to make whatever inane point you're trying to make, with total disregard to the recipients' beliefs or disbeliefs, and not once does it occur to you to question whether your book is accurate in the first place, then you are definitely mentally deficient. (See Law #4 & #5)
A&E didn't "censor" Phil Robertson, they made a business decision based on their informed prediction that keeping him on would likely hurt ratings, resulting in less ad revenue and thus lower profits, which could require them to cut staff. What exactly is it that conservatives have against profits and jobs?
i'm always amused how some of these folk believe they quote 'the Lord' when Christ actually never did say anything about gays (or birth control or abortion). I'm more startled by his memories of his youth and how the blacks picking cotton were always happily singing. Huh? Maybe Ducky Dad is confused and believes the opening scene to "Gone With the Wind" is actually the way things were in his childhood (you know, unlike the real one where blacks were lynched and civil rights workers were murdered?) No wonder the twits at Faux "News" just love him.
Janet, you are trying to sound "knowledgeable", but all you are proving is just how ignorant you really are. Christ came to fulfill the Second Covenant with God, which is in place today. Oh, and that whole "You shall not murder" is one of the top-10 biggies, which covers abortion, FYI.
Pick up a book once in a while, you'll sound more intelligent afterwards.
well hate to burst your bubble there buddy ol pal, however the lady is correct in her statement. the whole south didn't beat slaves to death, however they weren't kind to their "property" either.
during the attempted emacipation of the slaves, we were in a war; north vs. south.
southerners wanted to keep the slaves and were using the bible to ok them owning their "fellow man"
flip forward to the women's revolution women were expected to shuffle on back home and let "men do men's work" however when they fought back for equal rights, like the right to vote the bible came out again to protect those that "believed according to the bible", that they didn't have rights.
now present day, the same BS from the constant losing side of history and again religion will lose; hell even the pope is taking a more understanding appraoch to LGBT.
So you are opposed to the military because "Thou shall not kill" right?
Taking something out of context is fallacy of logic.
Yet another example of supposedly logical people making a fallacy of logic.
And your claim to "knowledge" is a story about a person no one can prove existed, as told selectively by men with political agendas some 600 years after he was supposed to have lived, a story which has been rewritten and translated differently hundreds of times over two+ centuries and used to protest every kind of civil right and humanitarian progress? Who's ignorant?
@ Barbara: i'm not defending bldrrepublican's remarks above, but you are severely misinformed on your biblical scholarship here...
1) even Bart Ehrman (a self-proclaimed "agnostic with atheistic tendencies" and widely regarded as one of the most liberal biblical scholars on the planet) readily acknowledges the historical person of Jesus. he even has a book about it, citing the evidence. while i disagree with much of what he says, the forward to his book "Did Jesus Exist?" makes my point here... [90 second read here]
2) Paul wrote 1 Cor.15:3-7 within 20 (if not 15 years) of Jesus' death. note well: he's naming names of eyewitnesses and encouraging fact checking on the resurrection.
3) we have manuscripts incredibly close to the originals here (especially when compared to other ancient doc.uments). i don't know where you're getting your "600 years" or many times orally passed down, but the scholarship clearly says something else (especially since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls). here's a brief overview:
That's why the world's largest research complex and museum has clearly stated in a report the bible is NOT an historical docu.mnet because it contains literary genre and folk lore. LOL! You can try and spin your interpretation of your religious book, but that is all it is just another made up religion by man.
I gave annotated bibliographies & scholars.
you gave an out of hand, unsubstantiated dismissal.
who is doing the spinning again?
"I gave annotated bibliographies & scholars.
you gave an out of hand, unsubstantiated dismissal.
who is doing the spinning again?"
You still are still spinning, I am talking about the report from the Smithsonian. LOL! You know very well what I was referring too since you've been here posting under various handles spewing your nonsesnse for a long time.
1) i have only ever used this handle on this blog. your conspiracy theory is mistaken.
2) i had no idea what you were talking about b/c you didn't state it. again, your assumptions here are mistaken.
3) i'd be very interested to read an article on that (if you have one). simply put, such a claim fails to account for literary genre in some substantial ways. literarily, there are no such parallels in folk lore or myth. here's one very well known, Cambridge, lifelong myth expert refuting such claims in an essay. i'll leave you with the link & a sample...
"I have been reading poems, romances, vision-literature, legends, myths all my life. I know what they are like. I know that not one of them is like this. Of this text there are only two possible views. Either this is reportage – though it may no doubt contain errors – pretty close up to the facts; nearly as close as Boswell. Or else, some unknown writer in the second century, without known predecessors, or successors, suddenly anticipated the whole technique of modern, novelistic, realistic narrative. If it is untrue, it must be narrative of that kind. The reader who doesn't see this has simply not learned to read. I would recommend him to read Auerbach."
I would think that Gid would be against owning another human, and would make that one of his Top Ten, or at least in the top hundred. But no.
He could have forbidden it from the get-go. But no.
I guess little statues being forbidden was MUCH more important than the insignificant little owning another human being to treat as one wishes thingy.
" i'd be very interested to read an article on that (if you have one). simply put, such a claim fails to account for literary genre in some substantial ways. literarily, there are no such parallels in folk lore or myth. here's one very well known, Cambridge, lifelong myth expert refuting such claims in an essay. i'll leave you with the link & a sample..."
The article has been posted on this site from the Smithsonian and you've been on here long enough and had participated in this type of debate before, it's in a pdf which can't be posted on this site or are you too lazy to look it up? Keep spinning since that is all your good at doing.
1) you don't have to post the actual pdf. just put the link. it's as easy as copying & pasting the link in the address bar. or even just reference the article name so i can google it (instead of asking me to fish for it w/o any details).
2) you didn't address any of the scholarship or points I put forward. considering that you expect me to look up your article (w/o giving a reference to it), yet you haven't interacted with (or maybe even *read*?) the quote & linked essay i posted, don't you find that somewhat hypocritical?
3) you really seem to be making a lot of assumptions about me – not least of which is relative omniscience regarding what has been discussed in the voluminous pages of comments on the belief blog.
Good evening Russ. Happy Christmas.
Perhaps, sometime, we can argue about whether the historical Jesus is the Christ or if Jesus evolved into the Christ after his death as necessary things were added to his story by the evolving Christians.
@ TTTOO: merry Christmas to you as well.
i'd gladly be up for that discussion. on that topic, two books with much of the scholarship i'd press against the evolutionary argument:
"Rise of Christianity" by Rodney Stark
"Jesus & the Eyewitnesses" by Richard Bauckham
at the least, it'd be worth your time to google some good scholarly reviews of those two works.
Read a Bible sometime. Fetuses and slaves are not treated like PERSONS. The Bible NEVER mentions abortion, but actually offers more to support it than oppose it.
a) regarding your claims on slavery...
b) regarding your mistaken read of Ex.21:22-25
the Hebrew word is for premature birth, not miscarriage.
Of course one of the apologetic spin miesters can "interpret" any verse on any topic to mean anything. The important part is that they must do so. The bible never once says that it is wrong to own another human, but it does give instructions on how much you can beat them, when you can sell which of your children and for what price, and other regulations on slave ownership. "Thou shalt not own another human" too hard for god to put in the ten commandments? Better to have one on not wanting similar stuff to your neighbor, huh?
The Bible even gives rules on how badly you can BEAT your slaves without punishment.
Regarding YOUR MISTAKEN READ of the Bible, it DOES say "miscarriage", just not in the VERSION you are looking at. Please identify a TRUE Bible.
@ Observer & Cpt Obvious:
1) you clearly didn't watch the video (or even take the time to google Paul Copan's arguments, for that matter – he & Thom Stark have gone back & forth here).
2) i wasn't arguing from an English translation, but basing my argument off the Hebrew word itself. miscarriage is not what the Hebrew word means (the child "came forth"), but rather it is about premature delivery. the child's death is not in view – hence abortion is an irrelevant interpretation of the verse. it's not about paying money to reimburse for life because the life was NOT lost.
here's another helpful article pointing out the same thing...
Please summarize the 45 MINUTES of his speech.
NOTHING he could have said will change the Bible's support for slavery, including rules for how badly you can beat your slaves with a ROD and have no punishment.
Published on Dec 16, 2013
Does God exist? Could our universe be a simulation? Watch WSF co-founder Brian Greene and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, in a lively discussion on philosophical ideas of atheism, science and religion. Recorded in front of a live audience at New York's 92nd Street Y, http://www.92Y.org.
Does God exist? Well my friend the Bible declares "The fool hath said in his heart there is no God." The Bible also declares "the demons believe and tremble!" However no where in the Bible does God ever declare that He must prove His existence but it does declares "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handy work" Furthermore, scripture reveals, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: For it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse" Lastly the Bible declares, "But without faith it is impossible to please God: for the person that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him." Consider this "Everything that has begun owes its existence to a cause. We have a watch we must have a watchmaker, we have a building we must have a builder, there is a creation so we must have a creator." This creation could not have come into existence without an intelligent, personal creator any more than an alphabet could produce a Book without an author. Now let;s discuss your thought about consulting those who support evolution and other theories of today. Be it known that men,s opinions often change with new theories, their ides change with what they perceive as new evidence, their beliefs change when they are misled, and their concept of reality changes when they try to understand things that are unexplainable. But, God never changes, He is the same yesterday, today and forever and His Word is "settled in Heaven" and will never change. God's Holy Word is the ONLY DIVINE TRUTH available today as always, and many opinions and theories abound, but there is only ONE TRUTH and that is God's revelation, or the Holy Bible, given to man by the Holy Spirit who inspired every writer of both the Old and New Testaments!
If the bible was inspired by god, why is it so wrong in so many places?
Why do you think that EVERY OTHER religious text is wrong?
Why do you accept your "god" yet reject the thousands of others?
Why do you accept any god whatsoever since there is no evidence of any of them? (ACTUAL evidence, verifiable and corroborated, and not from one source such as the bible, which cannot be used to verify itself)
How do you know that the bible isn't actually a work of Satan, since it and its contents have been used by mankind to commit MANY atrocities on mankind?
The audacity of the christian supremacist.
Trying to explain things this spiritual to you since you and your thinking is so carnal would be hopeless.
Dr. Mark Lynch
So, what you are saying is that you have the exact same thing that a muslim has when he claims that the Koran is the revealed word of god and when he claims more conviction and faith than you have. There's no way to measure faith; thus, there is no way to measure which god believer is accurate even according to something so nebulous as that.
Dr. Lynch, you may as well be talking about unicorns. I will gladly listen and honestly evaluate anything you have to say on the "spirit realm" if you can only prove to me that the spirit realm exists.
That's exactly why I do not want to correspond with you because you are so carnal you could not understand spiritual things if I tried to explain them to you for spiritual things can only be discerned by spiritual people because the carnal mind cannot understand them.
Ahhh ad hominem....nice christian for you.
My thinking is no more or less "carnal" than any other person.
You on the other hand have taken ONE possibility out of an infinite number and proclaimed it correct, even taking it to a form where you think you are a "doctor" of that one minute highly improbable possibility.
Start with an easy one. Why is the bible so wrong in so many places?
Genesis for example says there was a great world encompassing flood, but MANY sciences disprove that stroy ever happened. Also in Genesis, a man makes striped goats by having mating pairs stare at striped objects....clearly does not work, but it is in your there.
And what of the test for a wife's fidelity in Numbers, where a woman drinks the "bitter" water which is nothing more than water and dust from the floor, but will tell if she has been unfaithful....clearly does not work, so is untrue.
That is my point my friend. You are carnal and spiritual things cannot be understood by carnal minds. Case in point "You do not understand dispensational time periods of the bible and how God dealt with people in the Old Testament different than He does today or in other dispensational time periods, nor do you understand scripture in general simply by your statement that "you believe scientist theory more than the infallible, inerrant Word of God" which holds no mistakes or errors within its pages and is the inspired word of God which was sent directly from God, given to earthly men to write it down through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God. So it would be a waste of my time to try and explain spiritual things to you until you open your carnal mind to the truth and move away from carnal earthly thinking.
Yes. I accept your criticism and the criticism of the muslim when either of you tell me that I am not steeped in enough of your brand of magic to converse about that magic as if it existed with zero evidence of that magic.
Again, if you can demonstrate that the "spirit realm" exists, then I will listen to your claims and honestly evaluate them. If you're just going to describe the pastures and mountain streams where unicorns play and live, and then act incredulous when I ask for evidence of unicorns existing at all, then you'll have to just keep on talking to people who already believe in unicorns.
You have ZERO evidence for your "unicorn pasture/spirit realm," and while faith is good for you convincing yourself to continue to believe in the unicorn pastures, it is no good at all at convincing other people that unicorns exist and frolic every day in the stream from 2pm to 3:15.
So what you are saying, is that your indoctrination is so complete that you cannot fathom the FACT that the bible is wrong, and you think it is a problem with me.
YOUR mind is closed....and there were none so blind as those who think a book helps them see.
There is nothing wrong with my mind, and your fixation with my mind being "carnal" is evidence of that very same thing. YOUR mind is JUST AS "CARNAL" as mine, you are not special...not even slightly, yet you think I have some affliction that prevents me from "seeing".
How wrong can one person be "doc"...you have deluded yourself to the point you can't fathom the HIGH probability you are wrong. Such a shame. I pity you for your handicap...not like someone who loses a limb, I don't pity them unless they pity themselves.....but you have done this to yourself...
You will never reach enlightenment...re-incarnation will find you as a lower life form, and you can't get into Valhalla unless you die in glorious battle, but cheer up, if you please Zeus, he'll give you a beautiful view from Mt. Olympus.
Restrict the phrase "Scripture" to the Four Gospels & many will be shocked at what Jesus did & didn't say. Like Sarah Palin & Rush Limbaugh.
What exactly are the requirements for being a 'Pastor' or 'Minister' these days? Isn't it, in fact, only that you call yourself one, espouse what you believe are the true religious tenets and then get at least 4 people to listen to you? Sure seems that way these days.
If that were the criteria, Manson would be considered a Minister....
It depends on the church. If you want to perform marriages in some states you must register with the state and prove a congregation.
Christian religion has become a hate group.
Liberal elitists such as yourself are doing a real good job of establishing a hate group also....
Bldr – you say "liberal elite," I say "well educated."
With top rightwing commentators like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity lacking college degrees, college-educated liberals may look "elitist" to them.
Of course the religious right is going to stick by Phil. They are looking to replace the old tired blood of the GOP, and they are banking on this to resurrect the party.
My uncle has a farm.
He violates Leviticus 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend).
He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot.
Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Leviticus 24:10-16)
Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Leviticus 20:14)
The punishemnt needs to fit the crime, so stoning it is.
Dose he also commit the sin of eating crawfish ?
We know Duckboy does. He's from Louisiana..,
Put it on pay per view. You'll make a mint.
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.