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Pope: The Internet is a 'gift from God.' But watch out for the trolls
Pope Francis addressed digital technology and social communications on Thursday.
January 23rd, 2014
10:40 AM ET

Pope: The Internet is a 'gift from God.' But watch out for the trolls

By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) Careerist clergy. The super rich. And now we can add another pelt to Pope Francis' collection: Internet trolls.

In statement released on Thursday, the Pope said the Internet and social media are making people across the world "increasingly interdependent."

"The Internet, in particular, offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity," Francis said. "This is something truly good, a gift from God."

At the same time, though, all those tweets and texts and comment streams can cause people to "lose our bearings," said the 77-year-old pontiff.

"The speed with which information is communicated exceeds our capacity for reflection and judgement, and this does not make for more balanced and proper forms of self-expression," Francis said.

"The variety of opinions being aired can be seen as helpful," he continued, "but it also enables people to barricade themselves behind sources of information which only confirm their own wishes and ideas, or political and economic interests."

There's a tinge of irony to the Pope's comments, considering that his own soaring popularity can be partially traced to the Internet and social media. According to a study released in November, Francis was the most talked about person online last year.

MORE ON CNN: Pope Francis won the Internet. Literally.

Whether consciously or not, the Pope has become an unlikely poster boy for how stories spread in the modern world.

Photos and videos of him washing the feet of Muslim inmates, embracing a severely disfigured man and giving his pal a lift on the Popemobile have gone viral, with hundreds of thousands sharing the images.

MORE ON CNN: Pope Francis' greatest hits of 2013

"Goodness always tends to spread," Francis said in his apostolic exhortation, "The Joy of the Gospel," a line that could have been uttered in the boardrooms of savvy online outlets like Upworthy and BuzzFeed.

But the Pope's theory of communication seems to derive from a more ancient source: his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi.

"Preach the Gospel all the time. Use words when necessary," the 13th century friar is often quoted as saying. (Some call the quote apocryphal.)

Rather than "bombarding people with religious messages," the Pope urged Catholics on Thursday to listen patiently and engage their interlocutors' doubts and questions.

"Let our communication be a balm which relieves pain and a fine wine which gladdens hearts," Francis said.

The Pope also warned against spending too much time online, saying  the "desire for digital connectivity" can sometimes isolate people from their friends, family and neighbors.

“It is not enough to be passers-by on the digital highways, simply 'connected'; connections need to grow into true encounters," he said.

"We cannot live apart, closed in on ourselves. We need to love and to be loved. We need tenderness. Media strategies do not ensure beauty, goodness and truth in communication."

Drawbacks aside, the Pope did not argue that people should reject social media, which he said can foster unity and "help us feel closer to each other."

Instead he argued that advances in bits and bytes shouldn't distract from the fact that digital communication is, at root, about people connecting with each other.

"What is it, then, that helps us, in the digital environment, to grow in humanity and mutual understanding?" the Pope asked.

"We need, for example, to recover a certain sense of deliberateness and calm. This calls for time and the ability to be silent and to listen. We need also to be patient if we want to understand those who are different from us."

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Internet • Pope Francis

soundoff (2,371 Responses)
  1. Atheist, me?

    Jesus Beloved
    Your Joseph Prince post was just lovely!
    Most people try their best to get God to notice how much they love Him(religious) they later give u disappointed (Atheists) or finally learn to focus on accepting that God loves them totally (spiritual)!

    January 25, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
    • Jesus' Beloved

      I think if more people listened to the teachings of Joseph Prince, they would have a very different concept of God.
      Most people think God is out to get them, and this is such wrong thinking.

      God Loves us, totally and unconditionally.
      People love to throw in conditions, for what ever reasons. (Just watch) 😦

      January 25, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
      • VM

        "People love to throw in conditions"

        See your ancient rule book. I don't need to 'throw them in'.

        January 25, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
        • Atheist, me?

          VM

          It is not a secular law which you only find exists when you are arrested. It is built into us already. The Bible only shows us what our spirit needs to assuage its conscience perfectly!

          January 25, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
      • Atheist, me?

        That is why I define faith as the ability to
        a. Believe that God loves you as Himself with all His Life no matter what!
        b. Believe that your neighbor loves you as himself no matter what!
        It is only then that you will be able to love your neighbor as yourself no matter what which will prove to God that you love him with all your life.
        That is why Paul says that faith worketh by love!

        January 25, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
        • ???

          Paul totally messed up Jesus's message. You follow Paulianity, not Christianity.

          January 25, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          Yes, I saw the points you wrote and thought they were very succinct and to the point and hoped others were able to gain from it.
          As I just said to Austin, the banner of Christ is Love.
          If we all love others as we would want them to love us, the Kingdom of Heaven will have arrived within us.

          January 25, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
        • Atheist, me?

          ???
          I think Peter pointed out that Paul was right but
          people tend to twist his message.
          In fact for a long time I would read the Gospels
          and avoid the Pauline letters for the same
          reason you say this!
          However Paul and the other Apostles were the
          ones who made me understand what Christ
          meant when he defined the two Greatest
          Commandments!
          They made me see that I could only love God
          with all my life if I love my neighbor as myself!
          Religious people make it seem like Paul
          believed in Salvation by faith alone. What Paul,
          James, John and Peter all believed was that you
          needed to have faith to show love and that is
          true acceptance of Christ’s work and not the
          Sinner’s Prayer(which was from a Passage on St.
          Peter’s Sermon and not Paul)!h

          January 25, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
        • Atheist, me?

          Jesus' Beloved
          My thoughts exactly and it makes one so happy that I wonder why we resist!

          January 25, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • Atheist, me?

          Austin
          I do not care much for memory verses! It is what I practise I speak of! The Book of Romans talks of Salvation by faith and this faith worketh by love so if you are focussing on any verse in the Bible Christ has told us what we should focus on. Love your neighbor as yourself no matter what! If you start practising this then the Bible and Christianity will make more sense than it does to you now!

          January 25, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          I think we resist because most of us were taught basic salvation, but were not taught how to renew our minds (to the Word of God)
          I think for others they feel as though they're giving up something they feel they must control...
          and looking around, if one is completely honest, it is not the easiest thing to love each person as yourself... and there in we see the grace, majesty, and awesome Love of Christ.

          January 25, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
        • Atheist, me?

          Beloved
          I rarely meet a Christian who has such spiritual insight! Thanks for making me learn so much more in this short time! Iron really sharpeneth iron!

          January 25, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
        • Atheist, me?

          I sometimes wish I could drag Rev Ministers to this blog to see how defenceless when we are only taught the basics and left to fumble in the dark when it comes to renewing our minds! Its like hoping your children wil become Engineers after Kindergarten! Hmm

          January 25, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
        • Atheist, me?

          Reading the article again, Scince!

          January 25, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Just think how cool it would be if y'all had ANY proof at all.

          God is as invisible, undetectable, and irrelevant as are unicorns.

          January 25, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
  2. Observer

    NRA solution: fewer background checks, more guns, metal detectors and guards on every public building?

    January 25, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
    • Vic

      Gun control laws are already in place. Also, raising awareness is imperative.

      The real gun control is self control.

      January 25, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
      • Pamela

        Vic, that is stupid and false. The only real, effective gun control is not having one. You have no need to carry a convenient means of killing someone else, no matter how violent your religion or your temper makes you.

        January 25, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
      • Observer

        Vic,

        We are the most HEAVILY ARMED nation in the world. After mass public killings nearly every week, the NRA wants us to have far more weapons on the streets.

        January 25, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
        • Austin

          and the government is a world wide gun salesman.

          January 25, 2014 at 4:02 pm |
        • Austin

          our tax dollars, pay the firms, to throw guns in bulk numbers all over the globe. Free guns for the world! you paid for them.

          January 25, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
      • Vic

        It's a grassroots effort. Without self control, there is no real gun control.

        January 25, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Actually you should want to control the fellow who wants to shoot people. Unless that's you, Vic, your self-control isn't all that useful.

          January 25, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
        • Scince Works

          Hey Vic do not want to get technical on you – But gun control is on purchasing weapons legally coast to coast in the US
          having a conceal to carry enables you to walk out of said store the same day with weapon in some states.

          January 25, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
  3. Yelp reviews

    I have to pull a L4H, because the page changed.

    Austin: "I choose to answer this way because... "

    I don't care why you choose to, Austin, it is spectacularly unhelpful to answer a question about a biblical verse with yet on other biblical verse.

    "Why does two plus two equal four?" "PI=3.14 unless you live in Indiana."

    January 25, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
    • ???

      Gee no answer from Austin. I'm shocked, I tell you, SHOCKED!

      January 25, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
  4. Vic

    I don't what to say other than it is a gloomy day today. The saga continues, this time in Columbia, Maryland.

    January 25, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
    • Vic

      "I don't know what to say.."

      Out of words already.

      January 25, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
    • Austin

      people wont address spiritual truths about the acts of murder. there is always the satanic truth ,and that is "not acceptable" to talk about.

      in other words, lets not address the matter for what it is. what a mystery!

      January 25, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
      • Austin

        pitiful helpless secular blunder

        January 25, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
      • Vic

        I hear you.

        Murder is an act of evil, I have no doubt in my mind.

        That's a reminder of Jesus Christ's call for the "Love" and treating each other well.

        January 25, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
    • Yelp reviews

      What's going on in Colunbia, Vic?

      January 25, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
      • Vic

        Shooting at a shopping Mall where three were dead including the shooter.

        January 25, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
        • Yelp reviews

          That's horrible!

          January 25, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
        • Vic

          Sure is!

          January 25, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
    • Jesus' Beloved

      The earth is crying out for the manifestation of the sons of God.
      People have to arise and use their words to speak healing, and health, and life, and whatever else they want to see.
      We are not helpless.
      We have the Spirit of the Living God (Holy Spirit) dwelling within us for a reason.

      January 25, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
      • Austin

        I am going to work on not using discouraged tones.

        January 25, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
        • Austin

          my library time is running out on the 3 hour allotment, and I will follow up tommorrow. I do apologize, I have forgotten my gmail password. lol. so if you have not gone there yet, don't bother please. would they erase on the word press for content?

          I think they did. so i will work on an alternative, i will tomorrow try to get into gmail.

          January 25, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          Austin, it is a process for all of us.
          When we all fully love, as Christ loves us all, then the Kingdom will be fully realized within us.
          Until then, we continue to demonstrate the Kingdom under the banner of love...and the Word in concert with the Spirit makes all things possible.

          January 25, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
        • Austin

          hey what you said about banners is awesome. The Lord gave me dreams about the process of banners and way to set them up, it was special. .Jehovah Nicea (sp?) The Lord our Banner!

          January 25, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
  5. Mary

    Why can't strange religions be a reflection of the strangeness that happens at the quantum level?

    January 25, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
    • Austin

      satan fell, he competes. came to lie, kill, and destroy.

      attack with intent to destroy.

      January 25, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
    • Phil Douglas, CS, CO

      They can be.

      January 25, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
  6. Mary

    Why would atoms create themselves to be used in computers?

    January 25, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
    • Phil Douglas, CS, CO

      To take over THE WORLD!! Bwahahaha haha hahaha!

      January 25, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
      • Ed

        Good one, Phil Douglas. Several thumbs up.

        January 25, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
  7. Question

    Any atheists posting here?

    January 25, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
    • And the gods posting here are ?

      .

      January 25, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
      • Ed

        I'm a god to my dog, or so he seems to think before dinner time and walkies.

        January 25, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          The average dog: Wow!! This person feeds me and takes care of all my needs!! He MUST be god!!

          The average cat: Wow!! This person feeds me and takes care of all my needs!! I MUST be god!!

          January 25, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
  8. Atheist, me?

    Doobz
    My God does not have to pretend. His Life, the Eternal Life is in the way He thinks not His Body. That is what he came to teach us! Life is in our thoughts. If you understand this then you will understand why being in a fragile human body was important! If Bill Gates comes to me to teach the secrets of being rich by giving up his riches and then building up his fortune from scratch again that will be more authentic than him writing a book on how to become a millionaire with all his billions!

    January 25, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
    • Jesus' Beloved

      "If Bill Gates comes to me to teach the secrets of being rich by giving up his riches and then building up his fortune from scratch again that will be more authentic than him writing a book on how to become a millionaire with all his billions!"

      Well said.

      January 25, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
      • Austin

        did you check the other cite i left a message. i will get back there this weekend if you have not yet, no hurry.

        January 25, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          Checked just now.... don't see.

          http://secretplacesofelelyon.wordpress.com/

          January 25, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
        • Austin

          may have been erased. holler.

          agolf70@gmail.com

          January 25, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
        • Austin

          no worries here. but i wont be offended if you cant do that.

          January 25, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          no problem.

          Wasn't erased.... perhaps written to another site.... again...no prob.

          January 25, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
      • doobzz

        You're pretty gullible if you think that was something profound. It isn't even accurate.

        January 25, 2014 at 9:51 pm |
    • doobzz

      It would be helpful if you posted this in the relevant thread.

      " If Bill Gates comes to me to teach the secrets of being rich by giving up his riches and then building up his fortune from scratch again that will be more authentic than him writing a book on how to become a millionaire with all his billions!"

      Check Amazon.com. I think he's already done that, except he just started out as a regular guy. He didn't start out as a billionaire.

      "My God does not have to pretend."

      Was Jesus born with original sin?

      January 25, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
    • Phil Douglas, CS, CO

      Bill Gates' charity disperses millions to needy people. Unsure of why you think anyone should be asked to do more.

      January 25, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
      • tallulah13

        Because for some people, real human compassion isn't enough. Some people need the approval of magical beings.

        January 25, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
  9. Tech has made killing more efficient and governments more oppressive.

    ******$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ 🙂 🙂 🙂

    January 25, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
    • Austin

      you are a blessing.

      January 25, 2014 at 2:35 pm |
    • Ed

      Think about that next time you are treated by modern medicine, and given that you have a longer lifetime than previous, less technologically advanced generations. In some ways, the modern internet also makes it harder for oppressive governments to hide their evildoing. There are pros as well as cons.

      January 25, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
  10. Jesus' Beloved

    "Let our communication be a balm which relieves pain and a fine wine which gladdens hearts," Francis said.

    Jesus took your place, so you can take His.
    Jesus also took your place of no protection at the cross. For the first time, He gave up divine protection so that you can have it every day of your life! And because He became sin, He took your curse at the cross so that today, as you take His gift of righteousness, you receive only blessings from God.

    Jesus received the full brunt of God’s wrath in His body once and for all when He carried your sins. All of God’s anger and condemnation fell on Him, consuming all your sins until God’s wrath was exhausted.

    Today, God is not angry with you. The body of Jesus absorbed everything—your sins, curses, and God’s anger and condemnation. So live life expecting to see not the judgment, but the goodness and blessings of God!

    JosephPrinceMinistry

    January 25, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
    • Atheist, me?

      True talk! Love it! Most people are too focussed on getting God to know they love him (religious) then give up on it disappointed (Atheist) and they may finally decide to focus on accepting that God loves them totally (spiritual at last!)

      January 25, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
      • Jesus' Beloved

        That's why some see my handle as "self-exalting"... when it's quite the opposite.
        One should be aware at all times of Jesus' love for them. It was this awareness of Father's love for him (Jesus).. "this is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased" that also sustained Jesus in the wilderness.
        When the devil tempted him, he dropped off the beloved and said..."if thou be the son of God...."
        Why didn't the devil want to remind Jesus that he was the Beloved Son of God?

        So one should always be mindful of the great love Christ has for us.
        In this is love... not that we love him...but He loves us and gave his life for us...

        January 25, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
        • VM

          J'B,
          "not that we love him"

          Are you serious? That's not what your old rule book says. You MUST "love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with thy whole strength;" or else.

          January 25, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
      • Fan2C

        @Atheist, me?

        Then 'he' will not hold it against us that we cannot believe those ancient Middle Eastern legends, fantasies & superst.itions?

        January 25, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
    • Atheist, me?

      Jesus Beloved
      Your Joseph Prince post was just lovely!
      Most people try their best to get God to notice how much they love Him(religious) they later give u disappointed (Atheists) or finally learn to focus on accepting that God loves them totally (spiritual)!

      January 25, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
  11. Atheist, me?

    The sacrifice is not in the sense of him being slaughtered alone but in the life that He led which made Him hugely unpopular with the powers that be like MLK or Nkrumah or Mandela or say like Abraham Lincoln! He paid with His Life for telling us the Truth about ourselves!

    January 25, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
  12. Topher

    Austin, is that me? Where did we leave our truck?

    January 25, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
    • igaftr

      Parked between the second and third sets of pews, on top of the dead cat.

      January 25, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
      • Austin

        i had not had any of the 30 visions at that point that have come true.

        January 25, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
      • Austin

        1 Corinthians 15:9-10, "For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me."

        But did he kill anyone?

        Acts 8:1-5, "And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word. Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them."

        January 25, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
        • Austin

          so the good news is that God saves unexpected or unworthy individuals. and He uses them in His will.

          You are justified.
          acts 2
          38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

          January 25, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
  13. Atheist, me?

    Deep!
    His Life is His immortality which he chose to give up and took it up again! In John 10:17,18 Christ makes this claim!

    January 25, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
    • igaftr

      You will never acheive enlightenment with that at!tude.

      January 25, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
      • Atheist, me?

        But I have sweetness!

        January 25, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
        • igaftr

          You'll never get into Valhalla with "sweetness".

          January 25, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
        • doobzz

          Me too. I keep it in the pantry next to the agave syrup.

          January 25, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
        • Yelp reviews

          You have Walter Payton? Ew.

          January 25, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
        • tallulah13

          He's gotta be smelling pretty gamy by now.

          January 25, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
      • Atheist, me?

        Valhalla is not my worry anymore! Enlightenment or eternal life has got nothing to do with the afterlife

        January 25, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
        • tallulah13

          So the afterlife is just temporary?

          January 25, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
  14. Atheist, me?

    1. YHWH loves me as Himself with all His life, just as I am, just the way I am no matter what!

    2. I love and enjoy my neighbor as myself just as he/she is just the way he/she is no matter what!

    3. My neighbor loves and enjoys me as himself just as I am just the way I am no matter what!

    4. We all love and enjoy one another as ourselves no matter what because YHWH loves and enjoys us all as Himself with all His Life just as we are just the way we are no matter what!

    January 25, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
    • Deep thoughts

      "YHWH loves me as Himself with all His life"

      hmmm... His life..

      So he was mortal after all. So shouldn't that be "loved [others] as Himself"?

      January 25, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
    • VM

      "no matter what!"

      That's not what the famous old rule book says. What's the basis that you use?

      January 25, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Awwww... Your imaginary friend loves you! How sweet!

      January 25, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
    • Atheist, me?

      Agape fully translated means loving someone as yourself no matter what.
      The law therefore translates fully as
      Love your neighbor as yourself no matter what!

      January 25, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
      • VM

        "The law therefore translates fully as
        Love your neighbor as yourself no matter what!"

        Or else, what happens...?

        January 25, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
        • Atheist, me?

          Or else you strangle your own happiness on earth are less able to act intelligently and you live in fear. All proven by psychology and the other brain sciences. In fact it is the way we are wired to only that lacking faith in others makes us decide to do otherwise!

          January 25, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
        • VM

          Perhaps so, but I guess you don't believe in any "eternal" consequences for not living the letter of this "law" then?

          January 25, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
      • G to the T

        "Agape" is Greek. Jesus wasn't speaking greek. So what does the defintion of a word he didn't use actually matter?

        January 26, 2014 at 8:13 pm |
    • doobzz

      If this is true then there is no need for zombie god/man human sacrifice, is there?

      January 25, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
      • Atheist, me?

        Doobz
        The sacrifice is not in the sense of him being
        slaughtered alone but in the life that He led
        which made Him hugely unpopular with the
        powers that be like MLK or Nkrumah or
        Mandela or say like Abraham Lincoln! He paid
        with His Life for telling us the Truth about
        ourselves!

        January 25, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
        • doobzz

          You mean the life he borrowed for a short time and then went back to his regular gig as a deity?

          That's sort of like saying if Bill Gates puts on some ratty clothes and hangs out on skid row for an hour, then returns to his estate, that he has lived a life of true poverty.

          Any of the men you mentioned lived a more compelling life than your god who pretended to be a real man for a few years.

          January 25, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
        • Atheist, me?

          Doobz
          My God does not have to pretend. His Life, the
          Eternal Life is in the way He thinks not His
          Body. That is what he came to teach us! Life is
          in our thoughts. If you understand this then you
          will understand why being in a fragile human
          body was important! If Bill Gates comes to me
          to teach the secrets of being rich by giving up
          his riches and then building up his fortune from
          scratch again that will be more authentic than
          him writing a book on how to become a
          millionaire with all his billions!

          January 25, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
        • VM

          @Atheist, me?

          Ah, but you need Bill Gates to come up to you and tell you about it, eh? What about folks 50 years from now reading or hearing stories written by a few local Seattle fans about Bill's exploits, with that being the only evidence that it ever happened?

          January 25, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
        • doobzz

          @AtheistMe?

          "My God does not have to pretend. His Life, the
          Eternal Life is in the way He thinks not His
          Body. That is what he came to teach us! Life is
          in our thoughts. If you understand this then you
          will understand why being in a fragile human
          body was important!"

          Was Jesus born with original sin?

          January 25, 2014 at 10:18 pm |
  15. In the mighty name of Jesus!

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCbADp9Xh4A&w=640&h=360]

    January 25, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
    • doobzz

      Peter Popoff sounds like a porn name.

      January 25, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
      • VM

        It sure does! 🙂

        January 25, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
        • doobzz

          I'm sure that's an old joke, but I couldn't resist. Even when I was a fundie, I thought it was a spectacularly funny name.

          January 25, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
        • Atheist, me?

          Doobz
          Oh so you were a Fundamentalist Christian! Well glad you left so that you have the opportunity to develop spirituality!
          Unfortunately most people do not get it that being pious and being spiritual are polar opposites and God prefers the former!

          January 25, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
        • Pamela

          "Spirituality" is for fundies and wingies. It has too high a woo factor for anyone who can think clearly.

          January 25, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
        • Ed

          Pamela, "too high a woo factor" -love it! Can we do lunch or dinner?

          January 25, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
        • doobzz

          @AtheistMe?

          "Oh so you were a Fundamentalist Christian! Well glad you left so that you have the opportunity to develop spirituality!"

          Gosh, are you saying that I wasn't a True Christian™? LOL! That's what I hear all the time. Oh well then, you weren't a True Christian™! I just love it when people who don't even know my name decide that they know all about my experiences and my life.

          "Unfortunately most people do not get it that being pious and being spiritual are polar opposites and God prefers the former!"

          Since you know god's mind so well, tell me, does he prefer red sauce or green sauce on his tamales? I've always been curious.

          January 25, 2014 at 9:39 pm |
  16. poium

    "Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake" no one writes a sentence like that when they are trying to con the world into believing in their new religion

    January 25, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
    • Austin

      700 BC Isaiah 53
      Isaiah 53

      New International Version (NIV)

      53 Who has believed our message
      and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
      2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
      and like a root out of dry ground.
      He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
      nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
      3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
      a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
      Like one from whom people hide their faces
      he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

      4 Surely he took up our pain
      and bore our suffering,
      yet we considered him punished by God,
      stricken by him, and afflicted.
      5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
      he was crushed for our iniquities;
      the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
      and by his wounds we are healed.
      6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
      each of us has turned to our own way;
      and the Lord has laid on him
      the iniquity of us all.

      7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
      yet he did not open his mouth;
      he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
      and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
      so he did not open his mouth.
      8 By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
      Yet who of his generation protested?
      For he was cut off from the land of the living;
      for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
      9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
      and with the rich in his death,
      though he had done no violence,
      nor was any deceit in his mouth.

      10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
      and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
      he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
      and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
      11 After he has suffered,
      he will see the light of life[d] and be satisfied[e];
      by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant will justify many,
      and he will bear their iniquities.
      12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[g]
      and he will divide the spoils with the strong,[h]
      because he poured out his life unto death,
      and was numbered with the transgressors.
      For he bore the sin of many,
      and made intercession for the transgressors.

      January 25, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
      • Austin

        no pollution. no one can say without slander that this was not a prophecy about Jesus.

        2 Corinthians 1:22 ►

        set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

        January 25, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
      • sam stone

        Wow. Austin....a cut and paste! I can only speak for myself, but I find that very impressive indeed

        January 25, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • Austin

          anther example sam,
          would be the foreshadowing of Moses

          Passover, / lamb of God
          unleavened bread sin, rise up out of bondage
          first fruits the seed of Abraham, the first born of God, the resurrection of the spirit, seed of the spirit, consecrated harvest
          feast of weeks----the assencion

          January 25, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
        • Sue

          Austin, prophecies without real specifics in them, including precise dates on which the predicted event is predicted to happen, are pretty much worthless. Anyone can say "X is gonna happen", and enough stuff happens over time that they will frequently eventually be right.

          Show us a prophecy with real specifics in it, including predicted dates of the events before they happened, and then demonstrate that the predicted events happened on those dates. If you cannot do that, then please have the fortitude to retract your claims of "prophecy".

          January 25, 2014 at 1:54 pm |
        • Austin

          all you have to do is read isaiah 53 and then look at who Christ was. and Again Moses was another sufficient example.

          I am not a prophet. I have experienced spiritual revelaton that in hindsight were sovereign manifestations. in hindsight. and that is the truth.

          But the prophets, WERE, prophets.

          27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’”

          Sue, i can understand you wanting a sign from God, but He has said that this is not the way you are saved.

          You can be saved, and receive the gift of faith, through the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
          Acts 2
          38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

          January 25, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
        • sam stone

          every bit as impressive as the first one, austin

          January 25, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
        • G to the T

          Austin –

          Prophet – a person regarded as an inspired teacher or proclaimer of the will of God. The idea that they were speaking to a distant future event is a different from what they understood at that time. They were speaking of their time (or the very near future) in regards to policitcal/religious issues of their time. When you assume an "unseen hand" in the creation of the bible you deny these authors that chance to tell you what they were trying to say.

          January 26, 2014 at 9:35 am |
      • doobzz

        And there's NO POSSIBILITY that the writers of the NT read Isaiah and created a messiah that fit the narrative, right?

        January 25, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
        • Austin

          that possibility is one entertained by unbelief. and the fact remains, the prophecy is one about Christ.

          unbelief conflicts with the truth. it always has and always will, yet it is worse than useless to entertain it. it is damning.

          January 25, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
        • doobzz

          "that possibility is one entertained by unbelief. and the fact remains, the prophecy is one about Christ."

          No, it isn't. It's a vague, ambiguous passage, much like your dreams, that you can fit a story into and fool fools into believing it's a prophecy.

          January 25, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
        • Yelp reviews

          "The fact remains" is your opinion.

          January 25, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
        • Austin

          no it is absolutely NOT VA.GUE.

          you can take every single aspect of the 53 chapter and apply it directly to what and who Christ EXACTLY, did and was.

          January 25, 2014 at 2:19 pm |
        • doobzz

          Of course you can, Austin. Just like you can take your dreams of dead cats and apply it to your other fantasies. That doesn't make it so.

          January 25, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
        • Austin

          there was no fantasy Doobs see the thread below.

          i had the dream first, and then the experience later. that is not fantasy. its truth.

          January 25, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
        • doobzz

          Austin, it's not surprising that when you hang out with drug addicts, you might at some time have a dream about a drug overdose, and then some time later one of your drug addict friends dies of an overdose.

          That's not supernatural, no matter how badly you want to be part of the special club.

          January 25, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
        • Austin

          doobs, the dream had ANOTHER PART TO IT . my ex girlfiriends mother being in the dream. if i had a dream about a woman who overdosed, THAT, alone would be random. but not with my ex girlfriends mother in the dream.

          I hate to break it to you, you are trying way to hard to reject what i am telling you. it does not take a genius at all to realize that what i have experienced is supernatural. on the contrary, you have to simply be stubborn to assume that it MIGHT NOT BE, supernatural. and STATISTICALLY, it IS PROOF of supernatural communication.

          intelligence is overruled by alcoholism and sin. But not the voice of God.

          January 25, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
        • doobzz

          "doobs, the dream had ANOTHER PART TO IT . my ex girlfiriends mother being in the dream. if i had a dream about a woman who overdosed, THAT, alone would be random. but not with my ex girlfriends mother in the dream."

          I dream about family members, ex boyfriends, former teachers, and other people who exist in the real world, too. A lot of people do. As I said, it's just your brain going over what you experience when you are awake. It's not anything special or supernatural.

          "intelligence is overruled by alcoholism and sin. But not the voice of God."

          Indeed, intelligence is overridden by drugs and alcohol. That's why so many alcoholics and drug addicts claim that they hear the voice of god.

          January 25, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
        • Austin

          had not seen the woman or sister for 13 years, had not seen my ex mother for 5 years. do not recall dreams about my ex/s mom and i have re read them, that was the only dream with her in it. had many with my ex, but not her mother,.

          to suddenly walk into the situation of the dream, with the two parts, and the addition of an unsolved case/crime, also with "2 men caught on tape" in the dream is statistically proof of supernatural activity.

          Thanks, I am intelligent.

          January 25, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
        • doobzz

          So? I have random dreams about my father, who died in 1977.

          January 26, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
      • Yelp reviews

        I find people who post bible verses in answer to a direct question about the bible to be useless.

        It's like having a fourth grade teacher giving another math problem as an answer to a student's asking about how to figure out how to do the first one.

        "And show your work!"

        January 25, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
        • Austin

          i choose to do it because I have received the testimony of the Holy Spirit, through the Word, and grappling with the Word.

          The Work of the Holy Spirit

          26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

          January 25, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
        • doobzz

          @Austin

          You choose to do it because you think you are receiving messages from god. You have dreams like everyone else and give them supernatural value when they are just dreams.

          It's not anything spectacular that you would dream of death by overdose the same day you heard about two acquaintances dying of drug overdoses. It's just human brain activity.

          January 25, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
        • Austin

          no no , I dreamed about it in Jail, two years before the 3 parts to the dream came together . i dreamed about the overdose, and my ex girlfriends mother, 2 years before the event., 22 months before the crime.

          January of 2012 was when the dream was written.

          January 25, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
        • Austin

          this has happened 30 times now. they are sovereign messages. God is validating His presence in my life.

          and this is only to build a testimony, and not to make me prophet. and my testimony that i give you is true. I have received the truth bearing supernatural Holy Spirit.

          January 25, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
        • doobzz

          Austin, it's not surprising that when you hang out with drug addicts, you might at some time have a dream about a drug overdose death, because that hangs over an addict every time they shoot up or snort. The danger of OD is part of a drug addict's life.

          It's also not surprising that one of your drug addict friends might later die of a drug overdose. It's simply a consequence of being a drug addict. When you are around drug addicts, you're bound to see ODs from time to time. It's tragic, but there's nothing supernatural about it.

          It's not a sovereign message. It's your brain reacting to what it is experiencing when you are awake.

          January 25, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
  17. Austin

    Life has not changed one bit, even with the technology and knowledge, the value of life, and the experience, is exactly the same.
    I agree in general, although

    " humans value life more now than in the past."
    why do you feel this way?

    Man has changed nothing. I will say this, the only change with technology has been negative.
    I disagree. The standard of living is much enhanced with technology even if you take it for granted. Hammers, nails, farming, etc are all technology.

    " standard of living", whos standard? a temporal standard? , what about the spiritual standard, which if real is the all that matters?

    Hey, I am not trying to push you are argue , but I absolutely disagree with your perspective, I find it very displeasing to think that life has a standard of living that could ever change. God does not change, the value of eternal life does not change. people, humans, do not change.

    January 25, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
    • Austin

      meant to reply @ bostontola.

      January 25, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
    • bostontola

      Austin,
      In the past, there was much less respect for a human life. That is reflected in the laws and practices. Today, there are international human rights.

      Standard of living is not my invention. It is an economic term. Some people are starving and/or don't have access to clean water, some people don't have basic safety. Those people have a low standard of living.

      Some areas have advanced farming technology, water treatment technology, desalination technology, etc allowing enough food for their population. Those people have a higher standard of living.

      January 25, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
      • Austin

        and so you judge the value of life based upon materials. There is no materialistic bearing on the eternal life. life is a spiritual test, and a small step.

        example of the rich man.
        “A voice of one calling in the wilderness,

        ‘Prepare the way for the Lord,

        make straight paths for him.’ ”a

        4John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.

        January 25, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
        • Austin

          judge the standard (not necessarily the value)

          January 25, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
        • bostontola

          Austin,

          and so you judge the value of life based upon materials.

          I said no such thing, not even close. Your conclusion from my post indicates that you expected a response from me that you didn't get, but replied as though I did. Bias is clouding your perceptions.

          January 25, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
        • Austin

          the "standard" value you base "standard" upon materials.

          This is a false basis to judge anything. we learn this from a biblical outlook. The standard of living has no bearing on the value of life, and such a temporal outlook is vanity. useless.

          January 25, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
        • Austin

          The standard of living was at its highest in the garden of Eden, when there was no technology and man walked naked with God.

          January 25, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
        • bostontola

          Austin,
          I based the standard on food and water, essentials for life. You are way off base. Are you serious? If we can't agree that food, water, medicine etc are basics for life then we have no basis for productive discussion. Your religion may be distorting your view of life to a pathological level.

          January 25, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
        • Austin

          I am not God , but you are implying that God is patholigical. Because Adam lived very long, and had food and water. and originally, he didn't have to toil or labor over it, there were no birth pains until sin entered the picture.

          And God states, that the world gets more evil, more technological, and less wise.

          And so there is no way that you can say that based upon wisdom, "the standard of living has gone up"

          because you are disagreeing with the Word of God. that is where i am coming from, you it is not a personally conceived opinion.

          January 25, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
        • Austin

          God's standard of living can be understood by the lesson on "manna".

          ◄ John 6:35 ►

          Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

          based upon the fact of the resurrection, there is no greater lesson for the standard of everyones life.

          we should not provide democracy in the middle east, we should provide the Word of God.

          ◄ Matthew 4:4 ►

          Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"

          you can not improve the secular standard of life with a temporal material thing. life is spiritual .

          January 25, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • Austin

          to further my point, God tells us to give to the needy.

          but take for example spending 1 trillion to war in iraq and afghanistan. instead of doing that we could have spent 250 billion and provided a bible to everyone in the world, and the witnessed the supernatural effects of the prince of peace. This is the will of God. but instead, we spend 1 trillion to level and rebuild a "democratic" islamic government, and we still have war and terrorism, we sent 1000000 people to death prematurely, and we have allowed the rejection and outlawing/persecution of the Word.

          Mans ways are ignorant. Secular/ democratic man is so far from the will of God, that it is clear that this world has NO HOPE, outside of our King and Savior.

          January 25, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
        • Bob

          Many of the things that the bible talks about are regarding material things. And many of the statements in the bible are just plain wrong, or just vile.

          Now get out and sacrifice that goat or that mean ole god gonna whup you ass and burn you forever, nasty vindictive ass hole that he would be, if he existed.Christian god could be tried and convicted in a human rights court if he existed, for all the murder and threats of torture that he is claimed to be responsible for.

          January 25, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
        • bostontola

          Austin,
          You again assert "what I implied" instead of what I actually wrote. Try conversing with people based on what they say vs what you project. Have a nice day.

          January 25, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
        • Yelp reviews

          "This is a false basis to judge anything. we learn this from a biblical outlook. The standard of living has no bearing on the value of life, and such a temporal outlook is vanity. useless."

          If one doesn't have the basic necessities of supporting life, ie, potable water and enough food to eat, they are not going to be sustained by any standards, much less your biblical ones.

          Why are you deliberately missing Boston's point?

          January 25, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
        • Austin

          bob , you should be tried for spiritual criminality and for killing your soul. there is no injustice. but in the mean time, by grace and mercy , you ARE JUSTIFIED BY THE NAME AND BLOOD OF CHRIST.

          January 25, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
        • Austin

          Matthew 25:14-30 (English Standard Version)
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          Matthew 25:14-30

          English Standard Version (ESV)
          The Parable of the Talents

          14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants[a] and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents,[b] to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.[c] You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

          January 25, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
        • VM

          Austin,
          "30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’"

          Well now, there's your UNCONDITIONAL love right there. Yessiree!

          @Atheist, me? Take note.

          January 25, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
        • Austin

          you have to seek forgiveness and atonement. if you reject God's love, you reject God's love and uncoditional forgiveness.

          you bring on a curse and pass it on to your children.

          4–6 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandment

          January 25, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
        • Austin

          you have to receive it , willingly , or you would not choose it , or have free will.

          You are being tested spiritually and Satan wants your soul, he thins if he persecutes you that he will be doing God's work or redeeming himself.

          January 25, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
  18. tony

    To understand the mysteries of faith, just follow the collection plates. . . .

    January 25, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
    • Austin

      Tony, if you experience the Holy spirit, and you understand that EVERYTHING,including your very life, is God's, then you will have no problem honoring and glorifying Him with everything.

      Eternal life,and becoming a slave to the cross, is the same as living as son's of God. If you are a son of God, then you are eternally free. Pondering eternal life is difficult when you are spiritually dead , and when you are not born of spirit, water and fire, you are only felling the corruption of the flesh. Our life is not secular, our life is eternal and spiritual.

      Understand this, there is another realm that you can be born into as a child of God. Money is nothing.

      12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

      January 25, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
      • Science Works

        Austin

        Mystery of your faith – a corner in a round room .

        January 25, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
        • Austin

          science are you going to watch the super bowl?

          January 25, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
        • Science Works

          It might be Superbowl Saturday/Friday .so it depends .

          January 25, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
        • Austin

          who are you going for.

          I consider the oscillation, mania, the polarity, the sound of the crowd, the alcohol, and the distraction, and the sport,

          to be absolute idolatry. most those people will never become excited like that about the resurrection. This is a Satanic victory to distract them from what is important. I am spending my time focusing on the harvest of the first fruit of God. Christ.

          January 25, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
        • Austin

          and for believers, they are hpynotized out out of the spirit. profane secular waste. way more bad comes out of football than good. Right now I am considering a new church that wont try to embellish its purpose by apathetically mentioning the game during the service.

          It has no place being mentioned in the house of God.

          January 25, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
        • Science Works

          You are stuck in that corner of a round room.

          January 25, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
        • sam stone

          the super bowl is real to those following it.

          the resurrection is not so much

          are you calling jesus a fruit?

          January 25, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
        • Austin

          Sam, lol, you should not tempt me to laugh at such a comment.

          January 25, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
  19. tony

    DAMAGE CONTROL!

    January 25, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
  20. bostontola

    If Bcells produce antibodies then how does CHO cells fit into large scale antibody production?

    Humans can't answer this question, therefore all of medical science is called into question. That brings all of science into question. You should only trust the bible for answers until scientists have no more questions, and all lay people can understand all science without having to be educated.

    January 25, 2014 at 11:56 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.