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July 8th, 2014
01:01 PM ET

Eye for an eye: The Bible's role in revenge attacks

Opinion by Joel Baden, special to CNN

(CNN) – This past Sunday, six Israelis were arrested for the murder of a 16-year-old Palestinian boy. Israeli officials admitted the likelihood—already acknowledged by many—that this killing was carried out in revenge for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers.

Both sides have stepped up their aggression in the past few days, with rocket launches from Gaza into Israel and Israeli airstrikes against Gaza.

It’s a familiar cycle: attack for attack, murder for murder. Such patterns are familiar from conflicts across the world, but they have a special resonance in the Holy Land.

After all, it was from Israel, nearly 3,000 years ago, that this famous concept spread.

The Book of Exodus in the Hebrew Bible says, “The penalty shall be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.”

The Book of Deuteronomy uses even stronger language: “Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.”

And the Book of Leviticus says again, “Anyone who maims another shall suffer the same injury in return: fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. The injury he inflicted on another shall be inflicted on him.”

Few biblical laws are repeated three times; this is one of those few. It is known as the lex talionis, or “law of retaliation,” and it would seem to be central to the biblical worldview.

Flare-up in Israeli-Palestinian violence: Why now?

This law is often brought as evidence that the Bible cannot be a reliable guide for modern morality: Who today would truly advocate for this kind of retributive justice?

It seems barbaric that the penalty for arson, for example, would be burning the arsonist to death—this sounds like something out of the Middle Ages, not out of the 21st century.

Though famously biblical, lex talionis isn’t a biblical creation at all.

It was already present in the famous Code of Hammurabi, from the 18th century BCE: “If an upper-class man should blind the eye of another upper-class man, they shall blind his eye,” and so on through breaking bones, knocking out teeth, etc.

Earlier Mesopotamian law codes, two generations before Hammurabi, take what we would consider a more civilized approach to the matter:

“If a man bites the nose of another man and thus cuts it off” —don’t ask— “he shall weigh and deliver sixty shekels of silver; an eye, sixty shekels; a tooth, thirty shekels …”

It turns out that the oldest codes in the Near Eastern legal tradition, Sumerian laws from the 21st century BCE, also have payment in place of retaliation.

The concept of “eye for an eye” isn’t really representative of some primitive state of humanity—it’s actually a development from an earlier system of monetary compensation.

Yet it was not a permanent shift; some of the earliest interpreters of the Bible read the lex talionis as advocating for monetary compensation: the value of an eye for an eye.

This remains a very common interpretation even today—quite likely as an attempt to make the biblical custom seem less harsh in comparison to contemporary cultural and legal norms.

Has the Middle East crisis reached a tipping point?

In the Talmud, the fundamental Jewish legal text, there is an extended discussion about the phrase “eye for an eye,” with multiple rabbis arguing, and the text concluding, that the phrase means nothing other than financial compensation.

Eventually, in Judaism the literal reading of lex talionis came to be associated with heresy.

There is another important aspect of “eye for an eye” that is often overlooked: in the Bible, the law prescribes that the punishment be leveled against the offending individual by the state.

It is not permitted for the victim himself to turn around and inflict the same injury on the aggressor. On this the Bible and modern law agree.

But another biblical legal tradition provides the exception to this rule, and it too has enjoyed a long life down to the present: the idea that in the case of premeditated murder, someone from the family of the victim is appointed the “blood-avenger.”

The notion of putting a murderer to death is common enough even today (see: death penalty). But not so the idea that it is the obligation of the victim’s family, rather than of a central government.

This biblical passage enshrines in law the retaliatory instinct of anyone whose close relative has been injured. And it is this instinct that we see playing itself out in the Middle East today.

The problem, both between the two nations and for the rest of the world, is defining which side is playing which role. Both Israel and Gaza believe themselves to be the blood-avenger, and the other to be the murderer.

Yet even in the case of blood vengeance, biblical law at least keeps the system under the watchful eye of the elders, who arbitrate the claims of the respective parties, just as in the more direct cases of lex talionis.

Nowhere in the world is the Bible more alive and its traditions more present than in Israel and Palestine, the lands from which the holy book emerged.

Was teen's death a revenge killing?

As the conflict between the two parties worsens, yet again, comparisons with the kinds of retaliation and blood vengeance found in the Bible grow more and more apt.

And so, therefore, does the need for a third party to play the part of arbitrator: to settle the price of monetary compensation, to declare the terms of retaliation, and to put a stop to the cycle of blood vengeance.

That's a role the Bible calls for someone to fill - and we're all still waiting.

Joel S. Baden is the author of “The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero,” and professor of Hebrew Bible at Yale Divinity School. The views expressed in this column belong to Baden.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Ethics • Foreign policy • Israel • Jerusalem • Judaism • Opinion • Palestinians • Religious violence • Violence

soundoff (3,582 Responses)
  1. karlemmerich

    If Joel is quoting the "Bible", why not take counsel from the New Testament? Few verses are more taken out of context than an "eye for an eye". Rather than a prescription for revenge, the Bible advocates beneficent reciprocity - returning good for evil. We need be more complete when we quote from "The Bible". Consider Joel, what "The Bible" really says about 'an eye for an eye": Mat 5:38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
    Mat 5:39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. Mat 5:40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.

    August 7, 2014 at 8:44 pm |
    • ericraj

      Joel also needs to recall that God has declared that "vengeance is Mine." It is not up to us to obtain revenge but to give it over to God to handle in His time and in His way.

      September 4, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
  2. cluelessdoctors

    I was real mad today in watching a CNN news (August 3, 2014). A gorgeous blond reporter was interviewing a Priest, a Rabbi, and an Imam. She was not allowed to ask questions from the Imam. For that they brought in a male reporter over the screen.

    In the US, on MY land, on the "Land of the Free" a woman is not able to ask a question from an Imam? And this with CNN support?

    Shame on you CNN!

    And shame on the Imam who would not take a question from a gorgeous blond but who stared at her in his response to the male reporter without ever looking at the male reporter! Whose right was broken here? What happened to our freedom? I am not a political person but this really got me angry!

    On this land, until we believe in the land of the free, a woman better have the right of asking a question from an Imam! Because if she doesn't, we just bowed to Islam and allowed them to take our freedom from us AGAIN on our land!

    Angela

    August 3, 2014 at 7:19 pm |
  3. monica7c

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU9MbXueRFg&w=640&h=390]

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU9MbXueRFg

    August 1, 2014 at 7:40 am |
  4. truth1914

    ARMAGEDDON! An Act of Love?
    The book of Psalms, the prophet Zephaniah, Jesus Christ, and the apostle John, said that this earth wide event, Armageddon, will begin the start of a time period where only the meek will inhabit the earth.
    Psalms 37:11, 29 11 …the meek will possess the earth, And they will find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.+
    29 The righteous will possess the earth, And they will live forever on it
    Zephaniah 2:3 Seek Jehovah,+ all you meek ones* of the earth,
    Who observe his righteous decrees.*Seek righteousness, seek meekness.*Probably* you will be concealed on the day of Jehovah’s anger
    Matthew 5:5 Jesus confirms: “Happy are the mild-tempered,*+ since they will inherit the earth.+
    Revelation 7:14 The apostle John’s vision: “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation,+ and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (See also 1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
    Revelation 1:3 Happy is the one who reads aloud and those who hear the words of this prophecy and who observe the things written in it,+ for the appointed time is near.

    http://www.JW.org

    July 27, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
    • Bob

      1914, while you are quoting bible bile, let's have a look at what's really in that Christian book of nasty. From both foul testaments:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      1 Timothy 2:11
      "Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."

      Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

      Leviticus 25
      44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
      45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
      46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.

      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      July 30, 2014 at 9:14 pm |
      • ericraj

        You have made it very clear that you have not read the entire Bible. Animal sacrifice went out with the crucifixion of Christ Jesus. Read the Book! Not sure why you quoted I Timothy or Revelation since those are rather self-explanatory to the reader. But I do sense that you would rather focus upon the Old Testament rather than the New Testament. Why is it the Old Testament? Because it was superseded by a New Testament that was put into effect by the death of its author. Please get with the program.

        September 4, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
        • idiotusmaximus

          Get with the program????????????????????? it's all fictional crap....who needs to get with fictional crap?

          September 4, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
        • idiotusmaximus

          What is said in the BIBLE is no more relevant that what is said in any HARRY POTTER story....SO WHO besides the fearfully ignorantly cares?

          September 5, 2014 at 11:08 am |
      • idiotusmaximus

        Funny how there were no gods till man arrived and invented them........isn't it?...and I say gods cause there have been thousands created and they all end in the dumpster of history...the currant ones will too..

        September 4, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
    • Bob

      1914, while you are dumping bible bile on us, let's have a look at what's really in that foul book. From both foul testaments, and note the text following the quotes:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      1 Timothy 2:11
      "Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."

      Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

      Leviticus 25
      44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
      45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
      46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.

      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      July 30, 2014 at 9:16 pm |
  5. truth1914

    This good news of the kingdom will be preach in all the inhabited earth...Matthew 24:14

    July 27, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
    • igaftr

      Propoganda....man made, man created, propoganda.
      Oldest scam ever.

      July 27, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
      • truth1914

        Despite your disbelief and mocking God still wants you to have a chance for everlasting life.

        John 3:16 and 17:3

        July 27, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
        • igaftr

          Despite you belief in that false god, Odin wants you to die in glorious battle so that he may welcome you into Valhalla.

          On the other hand , I will remain in the realm of reality.

          July 27, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
      • truth1914

        None of the 40 writers of the Bible felt that way. Even God's very own son Jesus believed in the word of God and quoted from it on many occasions.

        July 27, 2014 at 10:28 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          According to the writers of the bible.

          July 30, 2014 at 9:35 pm |
  6. 19covenant19

    Great MIRACLES have been discovered in the GOSPEL (=John & Luke & Mark & Matthew);
    it will change the World forever!

    http://www.19covenant19.com
    BIBLICAL EXCELLENT MIRACLES -3-

    July 27, 2014 at 6:44 am |
  7. jonathanlk

    I would rather cultivate a strong intuitive sence of judgment and understand the root of morals from within that to live by a very limited and conflicted set of rules such as in the KUran or Bible and never cultivate a good sense of judjment or a moral sense. If you just memorize verses and only obey rules you may never learn how to think and will just waste your life on earth.

    July 25, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
  8. thesamyaza

    oh i have not covered this fact yet

    Hamas are not terrorist, they are a resistance movement.

    think the wolverine from Red-Dawn, they are heroes fighting against an occupy government. if what happened in Palestine happened in America would you call the resistance terrorist or heroes?

    July 21, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
    • kenmargo

      You can call it whatever you want. Bottom line the palestinians are the real losers here. Hamas is not doing anything for them. They've had these clashes with Israel for years and the Palestinians have ALWAYS been getting their azzes kicked.

      July 21, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
  9. Reality

    And once again returning to the topic:

    An easy solution (saw this mentioned a few years ago on this blog):

    All the Muslims in the USA should voluntarily move to Israel. All the Jews in Israel should voluntarily move to the USA.

    Tis easy considering that there is no historic justification for either religion as both Abraham and Moses are fictional characters invented by the Jewish scribes. Details previously presented.

    July 20, 2014 at 11:23 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Good luck getting the Israelis to give up their hold on Jerusalem. And why should American muslims move to a country where they've never been? Religious freedom. Look it up.

      July 21, 2014 at 1:06 am |
    • thesamyaza

      an easier solution, raze Jerusalem!

      July 21, 2014 at 1:46 am |
      • tallulah131

        Go for it. Let's see how long you survive.

        July 21, 2014 at 2:32 am |
      • kenmargo

        The Palestinians want jerusalem to be their capital also. Destroy it and what will you leave the Palestinians!

        July 21, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
    • kenmargo

      What brand of crack are you smoking? I noticed the word "voluntarily". And if they don't volunteer? Don't forget to add christianity to the list of made up religions.

      July 21, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
      • Reality

        Obviously if they don't volunteer, they will continue to suffer the pain and horror of war driven by the stupidity of their religions.

        July 21, 2014 at 11:32 pm |
  10. Robert Brown

    Ice core samples also have limits.

    Shallow cores, or the upper parts of cores in high-accu.mulation areas, can be dated exactly by counting individual layers, each representing a year. These layers may be visible, related to the nature of the ice; or they may be chemical, related to differential transport in different seasons; or they may be isotopic, reflecting the annual temperature signal (for example, snow from colder periods has less of the heavier isotopes of H and O). Deeper into the core the layers thin out due to ice flow and high pressure and eventually individual years cannot be distinguished.

    July 20, 2014 at 10:31 pm |
    • Reality

      So??

      July 20, 2014 at 11:09 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Trapped in these ice cores are bubbles of atmospheric gas.
      Weather/climate is determined by spectrographic an/alysis of these gas bubbles.
      If there had been a WWF, there wouldn't be differences in these gas bubbles.
      There is other evidence that comes in the form of trapped dust. For example, volcanic activity causes specific particles to be deposited in the snowfall – these dust particles give further evidence of the age of these samples.
      n 2011, a 10,928-foot column of ice was taken out of the Antarctic by US researchers.
      The site for this project was chosen because it is unusually thick and also comparatively stable, not having moved or flowed as much as other Antarctic ice.
      These are very clean and detailed ice samples that will allow scientists to literally count off the time, like with tree rings, more than 40,000 years into the past.

      Detailed ana/lysis of acient ice cores can be found in the paper:
      "Microbial Ana.lyses of Ancient Ice Core Sections from Greenland and Antarctica"
      – Caitlin Knowlton, Ram Veerapaneni, Tom D'Elia, and Scott O. Roger

      http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/icecore/

      July 25, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
  11. austin929

    Romans 13
    Submission to Governing Authorities

    13 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has inst.ituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

    6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

    July 20, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
    • austin929

      2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has inst.ituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

      now this is a letter to the church in rome , to Christians, some of whom were Jewish people who were sub citizens of Rome. He is saying to them, obey,

      why though?

      3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

      I think its worth talking about. God has a covenant relationship with Government. God also has a plan to bring about the return of Christ. The prophecy is that evil will rule the world. Yet Paul instructs the civilians of all these governments to obey for their own good.

      Yet as americans, we rebelled from Briton. so where does it end and why do we deter?

      Are we as Christians supposed to fight against the acts of evil? And how do we do that? Were Pauls instructions situational? Were they intended for the Roman Church at that time and not to the reader today?

      July 20, 2014 at 7:03 pm |
      • LaBella

        We got a lot of governments in this country, Austin. Which one are you talking about?

        July 20, 2014 at 10:01 pm |
      • tallulah131

        Paul appeared to think that Christ would return in his lifetime, so I doubt he thought that far ahead.

        July 21, 2014 at 1:08 am |
      • thesamyaza

        when evil is anything not of your god then of course that prophecy is coming, however your Jesus is in no way going to return to the world, chances are he already has, chances were ha came back and christian burned him as a witch. the days of your god are over the world does not need the psychopath, not know that people know their are more gods out their and its just a click of the mouse, and if that don't float the boat, reason has already hold your lie for what it is. your dark ages are over.

        July 21, 2014 at 1:41 am |
        • readerpan

          Incoherent.

          July 24, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
  12. austin929

    i have a question for the believers in this blog.

    If Christ had to die for our sins, and did, then after that, then why did the apostles and disciples also die?

    why then are you special, and how can you condone american war if the disciples and apostles did not start a military?

    I find it as an absolute double minded cop out for a christian to suddenly condone military action even though there was not even one example of a new testament missionary who became yoked also with a military.

    were the Apostles and disciples threatened?

    if you think you are dignified because you are willing to vote for a war country and president, how is it that arent willing to move first to that region of the world and distribute the word of God and rely on supernatural spiritual redemption . Rather you think it is a time to kill?

    Are you ordained to promote war?

    July 20, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
    • Alias

      Austin
      Jesus said "Give to Ceasar what is Ceasar's."
      Even your mythology believes in obeying the law.

      Aren't you the one who writes down their dreams and gets all excited when one 'comes true'?

      July 20, 2014 at 5:03 pm |
      • austin929

        ya i do .

        July 20, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Are you blogging them so they can be verified?

          July 20, 2014 at 10:34 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      I think the sermon on the mount is similar to the OT law in this way, we aren't capable of living it. For if we say we are without sin, then we lie. Whether in thought or deed, I need his forgiveness everyday.

      July 20, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
      • austin929

        awesome Robert! very meek. The kingdom is coming! You are a light.

        July 20, 2014 at 7:05 pm |
    • thesamyaza

      considering the teaching of Christ has inspired more wars then any other theology in the history of the world, and the reverence of the god of death destruction and lies i would say their more then justified in any and all war.

      July 20, 2014 at 6:14 pm |
      • austin929

        the same yaza. yaza ya gotta understand the whole story though about what the anti pseudo christ is. The new testamet is clear, that the fake Christ will be a killer.

        Again, yaza, what teachings are you referring to? can some one site one example from the new testament of a Christian who was yoked to the military? The new testament is not linked to any military action at all. For the age of the church, there is zero reference to an ordained military cause or reason.

        and the real hero s the disciples and apostles, resisted persecution with grace and death. not with guns or swords.

        If we were supposed to focus on a war, then Paul would have used his roman citizenship to get into the army, and save the whole army, and thy would have ruled the world by God's power.

        BUt our kingdom is eternal. And our victory is through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Angels rejoice when men are saved from their sins.

        You can be in prison, in a cistern, in a lions den. You can loose your family, your home, you can go through persecution and still inherit a kingdom that actually matters.

        July 20, 2014 at 6:49 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)

          Justification of killing those who are not their own.

          So God let them go ahead and do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other's bodies. Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies. So they worshiped the things God made but not the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever. Amen. That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relationships with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men and, as a result, suffered within themselves the penalty they so richly deserved. When they refused to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their evil minds and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, fighting, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They are forever inventing new ways of sinning and are disobedient to their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, and are heartless and unforgiving. They are fully aware of God's death penalty for those who do these things, yet they go right ahead and do them anyway. And, worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too. (Romans 1:24-32 NLT)

          this is inflammatory and lead to people hated the "Others"

          Meanwhile, the LORD instructed one of the group of prophets to say to another man, "Strike me!" But the man refused to strike the prophet. Then the prophet told him, "Because you have not obeyed the voice of the LORD, a lion will kill you as soon as you leave me." And sure enough, when he had gone, a lion attacked and killed him. (1 Kings 20:35-36 NLT)

          calls for violence to prove a point of obedience

          the teaches of Christ though sometime inflammatory and hat full do n ot call for violence, it did however historically inspire it.

          While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with Pagans and sinners?”

          17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

          Jesus calls an entire faith tradition an illness in this one.

          “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.Luke 14:26

          this by far is the mos appalling teaching i have ever read.

          regardless of what he said i regard it by the fruit he bore and what he bore was the dark Ages, manifest destiny, enslavement of the west Africans, the genocide of the Aztec, the holocaust, and the current ecological crises we know face. all these thing are inspired by Christ.

          July 20, 2014 at 7:19 pm |
        • austin929

          YAZA,no you are off though you need a teacher. one who has the gift of discernment and teaching.

          when it says "hate father or mother, brother or sister" it simply means that you should confess the sins that your family is guilty of and put God first. Jesus many times makes a profound statement, NOT to be taken literally. this is one of those statement.

          you are to hate no one, you are to "love you enemies. " The Lord's teaching throughout, in parable and in direct saying, pressed home to his followers that no home love, no earthly affection, must ever come into compet.ition with the love of God. If home and his cause came ever into collision, home and all belonging to it must gently be put aside, and everything must be sacrificed to the cause.

          what you can do bud, is type in the verse on google, and click on the "bible hub" and scroll down for the commentary.

          July 20, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
        • austin929

          "Jesus calls an entire faith tradition an illness in this one."

          that is the great part about being a Christian, since all men are sinners, every person next to you MATTERS.

          Romans 3:23 ►

          for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

          ◄ Romans 3:10 ►

          As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one;

          July 20, 2014 at 7:34 pm |
        • austin929

          They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)

          Justification of killing those who are not their own.

          yAZA, this was from the old testament. in the new testament, no justification for killing is given anywhere.
          John 18
          36Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

          July 20, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          regardless of what the book teaches what it has inspired are different

          and your just interpenetrating the book to mean what you want it to

          and finally on the Luke thing, no i don't think it is healthy to but god before your family, i'm a direct victim of this not only that but their are countless others
          [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlcbgnHtnQY&w=640&h=390]

          and what make the interpretation over your is any more right.

          July 20, 2014 at 7:59 pm |
  13. austin929

    @ bella, can you find me a verse in the bible that says, "if you feel that your life is being threatened, you can go ahead and kill the other person". And I would prefer to stay in the new testament.

    also , is there a verse that says, if a " peace officer "feels threatened he can kill."

    Doug had $100,000 of equity in his home. He was going through a second option in the public mortgage journal , and He had an unloaded gun.

    the cops unlocked his door with a lock smith, and it was blocked by furniture. then they broke through the blockage, he had a gun and they shot him.

    Did they do their JOb?
    Doug was SLOW. How many western movies have you seen where the guy comes out with a rifle........."get off my property"

    I hear people saying "thats the law" "thats the law"

    But that is not God's law. Like the dude said, in california the cops are a murdering gang. Do you remember the woman in DC who around the time of the Boston bombings got shot by DC police? you telling me that you sympathize with the cops?

    The government is getting so bad, that as you complacent people sit around and condone them, because you worship (excessive devotion) the government, then you all will end up with the worst case scenario.

    No one is revising the law. There is trouble brewing because the country now a rogue as.sas.sin. abroad, and at home.

    people aren't going to protest. The tide is going to turn and there will be a greater evil because justice is perverted.

    Banks rob . Cops kill. and you sing songs about bombs. and you tout the law, yet you still resist the king of England?

    You people are the new flavor of Hitler.

    July 20, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
    • austin929

      the day after Doug got shot, the news paper came out and said doug was shooting at the cops. only only one problem, his gun wasn't even loaded. Did doug threaten to kill the cops? i seriously doubt it? if if he did, should they just break in and shoot him?

      the christian radio station here, says that Ishmael is related to Islam somehow. And people around here add a word in their bible that says "like an wild "ass" of a man" from Genesis 12. that is really popular, i grew up watching people chuckle as they read that mis translation.

      do you condone people referring to people as monkeys? how bout asses(donkeys)?

      Then the christian radio station says "oh the united states is God's providentially inspired country". meanwhile, these fundemental people eat up racist, mis translated bible verses, and they worship a war society.

      how cn God's providence provide guns to the entire middle east? did God create man with a gun in his hand?

      The fact is this. there is absolutely no people or person who should be so proud about ANYTHING, that permits them or requires them to have a gun to shoot at people.

      The united states is nation full of fanatical narcisstic freaks.

      My neighbor is mason, wwII vet. He is the biggest as.s whole, and he is a known crook. The other day I worked at an elderly womans house, and she was showing me picture of her husband in his military uniform and he was in the pacific too.

      This woman sat there, and every doubt she had about our contract, or work that could be done, I was the one who was responsible for all this extra work. same as my neighbor, he would contract me for one thing,and then use me for 12 other things that were way way way outside of the contract area.

      I am simply saying, that people are by and large lousy. There is nothing so special that someone has the right to kill over it.

      THIS IS THE ENTIRE POINT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.

      AMERICANS ARE IDOLATROUS MURDERS, AND IF YOU CONDONE KILLING, YOU ARE AN ACCESSORY TO MURDER.

      July 20, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
      • igaftr

        Didn't you have enough trouble with the FBI before?

        I've said it before to you, I'll say it again...seek competent, non-religious psychological help.

        July 20, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
        • austin929

          what are you talking about? what trouble?

          July 20, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
      • LaBella

        I specifically said that the gun was unloaded. The police, however, couldn't know that.

        I also stated that it is tragic. And that it could have been avoided. It wasn't, however, due to some pretty ignorant choices by the people surrounding Doug who could have averted this standoff.

        July 20, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        Fighting cops is a lose lose situation. Police are a tool of the gov't. As such they do what they are required to. Cops over step their bounds all the time but you don't deal with it by going "toe to toe" with the police. You fight it in the courts.

        July 20, 2014 at 5:18 pm |
      • thesamyaza

        although i understand were your coming from leave your God out of this, hes worse then the police.

        July 20, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
    • LaBella

      Comparing me to Hitler, Austin?
      Because...why?

      You are desirous of anarchy. And I'm not. You gave up on this country. I refuse to.
      If the only laws you respect are those that come from God, you're in the wrong country.
      AGAIN, where was your best friend and the Senator?
      Your story changed, you know. I gave my answer based on what information you, yourself gave.

      July 20, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
      • thesamyaza

        Austen a Theocrat

        I'm an Anarchist

        no the difference

        July 20, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          sorry ausy i misunderstood your not a theocrat, your using gods law to criticize "the beast"

          July 20, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
        • austin929

          exactly! the beast gets punished by the devils army. That is two guilty fighters.

          July 20, 2014 at 5:56 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          actually the beast is Bella,.. you know beauty and the beast,

          oh may goddess your an anarcho-christian,.. i never actually talked with a living oxymoron before, theirs just so many questions,.. i don't know were to began.

          what do you think of the sovereign citizen movement, most importantly their light christian undertone?
          what your opinion of other religions living in your direct community?

          i have so many more just cant think about them right know.

          July 20, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
        • LaBella

          actually the beast is Bella,.. you know beauty and the beast,
          Good thing I'm LaBella, or I'd think you'd be trying to insult me, thesamyaza.

          July 20, 2014 at 6:20 pm |
        • LaBella

          I find it so hilarious that anarchists are the first to hide behind the 2nd Amendment when their right to brandish their holy idol guns are threatened.

          July 20, 2014 at 6:26 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          LaBella is the woman the beast fell in love with I'm insinuation that that she meaning you are the beast in that story, Disney would later call her Bell in the remake total losing the real meaning be hind the classic tale, could be worse you could be brier rose know their is a horrible peace of human excrement.

          July 20, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          I find it so hilarious that anarchists are the first to hide behind the 2nd Amendment when their right to brandish their holy idol guns are threatened.

          this statement proves your ignorance. although you you have some if not small truth to is all "conservatives" are against the idea of giving power to the government in some form or another and this includs are right to have "rights" that are protected by the second amendment, if you wish to give up gun then get a pitchfork or a Hoe your going to need it.

          July 20, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
        • LaBella

          Actually, Briar Rose was Sleeping Beauty.
          Belle was the beauty in Beauty and the Beast.
          (The Disneyized versions of the original tales.)
          I especially like you comparing me to a beast or a price of crap because I disagree with your desire for anarchy. Very mature of you.

          July 20, 2014 at 6:37 pm |
        • LaBella

          this statement proves your ignorance. although you you have some if not small truth to is all "conservatives" are against the idea of giving power to the government in some form or another and this includs are right to have "rights" that are protected by the second amendment, if you wish to give up gun then get a pitchfork or a Hoe your going to need it.
          Then explain how I'm wrong instead of calling me names.
          And I never said I was against the 2nd Amendment, only that anarchists are the first to yell that their second Amendment rights are constantly being infringed upon. Which is an oxymoron, as they are against the government on the first place...

          July 20, 2014 at 6:42 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          not in the story i read bell was a monster and briar was useless freeloader, you know the people you hate so much, but i guess because she was born into a wealthy family its OK to suck up all the money from the people to benefit your unproductive life style.

          wow you did exactly what i thought you would do their, you most not play chess.

          July 20, 2014 at 6:45 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          tis the interwebz name calling is to be expected. ad hominem are just good clean fun. their is no way im going to be able to when an argument with some one determined on living a life of servitude so i just call you what you are a blind obedient slave. but its cool your children and your childrens children will get it.

          July 20, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
        • LaBella

          not in the story i read bell was a monster and briar was useless freeloader, you know the people you hate so much, but i guess because she was born into a wealthy family its OK to suck up all the money from the people to benefit your unproductive life style.
          In Grimm's fairy tales? It's been probably 45 years since I've read those.
          As for your second sentence, I haven't the foggiest clue as to what you're alluding to.
          I don't hate anyone; I think you're projecting. Oh, and sam? I'm an independent who leans more left than right. So, you may want to rethink your stance on what it is precisely you think I stand for.

          wow you did exactly what i thought you would do their, you most not play chess.
          It is obvious you are playing pigeon chess.
          I see it is futile to keep carrying on a conversation with someone who wants to sh.it all over the board.

          July 20, 2014 at 7:00 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          oops your right i trapped the wrong person i thought you were Alias for a second there, oh well it not like i hurt you or anything i mean wrong house and all but shit happens when on job i cant be responsible for collateral feeling being hurt. it my job to offend the sensibility of the ignorant. i mean its not like my comment here is relevant to any thing were talking about so forget about it.

          [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSSwx9WL6A4&w=640&h=390]

          July 20, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
        • LaBella

          I'm not ignorant because I don't agree with you, Sam.
          I merely disagree with you. Big fucking deal.

          July 20, 2014 at 8:02 pm |
        • LaBella

          And I agree that the cops should be held accountable for raiding the wrong house, etc. The way to rectify it isn't to get rid of police completely, no matter what The Anarchist's Handbook tells you.

          July 20, 2014 at 8:05 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          i actually agree , i do not wish to do away with law enforcement completely just consolidate two redundant organization in to one, disband FOP and expand the sheriffs who are held accountable to the people and the election proses, and who face government scrutiny. not only will this save us money we can use the money we save to improve are education infrastructure, which help reduce crime , something FOP and CCPOA(i do not now what the call it in other states) have been historically against, those two Gangs have no desire to reduce crime in fact they lobby to increase it; by supporting new legislation and fighting against ones that will reduce crime

          July 20, 2014 at 8:18 pm |
      • austin929

        La Bella, I hope you don't feel offended because i did not want to offend you. I only compare American pride, to a different flavor of Hitler. It seems to me that the pride that went in to winning ww2 never landed in reality. now we seem to be a war country. look at the world today. can you believe for one second that the answer is a war?

        my main problem , is with the elderly white so called christian men, who i know personally. if you consider how when a crowd is laughing hysterically that it is easy to laugh too, even though you didn't hear the joke..........the promotion for war in the church is exactly the same.

        preacher go up and give emotional sermons, and the congregation sits there and becomes programmed with error and deceptive doctrine and they seem to me to absolutely defenseless to the brainwashing! Think about how hitler had a whole country of followers behind him! The united states might have stopped Hitler, but we are a demonic train wreck now.

        There is no reason to be loyal to anything that has an offensive military. there is not one single man on the face of the earth that is that important. All people, all americans, are low down sinners. Look no further than the local elderly selfish people in your own neighborhood.

        or your local fraudulent bank.

        July 20, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          ♥♥♥♥

          July 20, 2014 at 6:11 pm |
      • LaBella

        Austin, rage away. That's your right. And I'll fight for your right to say it, even if I don't agree with it.
        I'm not very fond of the people who use the Bible to obtain power, either. Or who use that same Bible to suppress the rights of our citizens.

        July 20, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
        • austin929

          like the "right" through delusion that a cop has the "right" to shoot to kill someone who has not gone to court?

          July 20, 2014 at 7:08 pm |
        • LaBella

          Listen. If one pulls a gun on a cop, one runs the risk of getting shot. If you don't like it, don't pull a gun on a cop.
          It's common sense. If one doesn't posess any, one should not be allowed to own a gun. Period.

          If you don't want to abide by the laws of this country, by all means, don't. But please don't act shocked and outraged when you feel the repercussions of your choices.

          July 20, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          "Listen. If one pulls a gun on a cop, one runs the risk of getting shot. If you don't like it, don't pull a gun on a cop.
          It's common sense. If one doesn't posess any, one should not be allowed to own a gun. Period. "

          and all were saying is the cop does not have the right to pull a gun on a citizen. what give the officer the right of impunity, i did not delegate that privilege i do not remember any vote to delegate that.

          July 20, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
        • austin929

          La Bella, you need to go off of the auto program response!

          If someone has a gun, you should run. and the cops should do the same. could they not run? if you think to yourself, if I see a gun I am going to kill someone, then we all ready have a problem.

          The cops are the problem to begin with.

          July 20, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
        • midwest rail

          " you should run. and the cops should do the same."
          They don't get paid to run. You're either trolling, or seriously detached from reality.

          July 20, 2014 at 7:48 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          i wont even say that much you have a responsibility to not just protect your self, but other as well

          even if the one threaten is a cop

          July 20, 2014 at 7:49 pm |
        • LaBella

          Austin and Sam,
          When is it appropriate for a policeman to draw his gun?

          I get your point, sam, but you seem to dig violence, so I'm going taking that into consideration.

          July 20, 2014 at 7:53 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          when their is an imminent threat not when the cause the threat.

          and yes i am slightly valiantly inclined, but never the cause Violence and chaos are inherent in the universe, but those who attempt to uphold the idea of peace need to be of a higher standard. they do not under no circumstances need to be the cause of violence.

          July 20, 2014 at 8:08 pm |
        • LaBella

          Sam,
          Such as, having a gun pulled on them? Would imminent danger be applicable?

          July 20, 2014 at 8:38 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          yes, actually. but all to many times the pull the gun first.

          July 20, 2014 at 9:04 pm |
    • LaBella

      Oh, and BTW, when refinancing one's home, one doesn't get the luxury of forgoing their current financial obligations toward their previous mortgage.
      As helpless and as hopelessly brain damaged as you are portraying Doug to be, I have to wonder why your best friend or the Senator wasn't cognizant of that fact, and why they continued to let him live alone.

      July 20, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
    • LaBella

      Answer me this, Austin.
      You mentioned a couple of instances where individual cops were considered out of control.
      And yes, that happens. Sad, but true.

      Do you think every policeman is like that?

      Yes, or no? A simple question requiring a one-word answer.

      July 20, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
      • thesamyaza

        i can anser

        not every police man in the Gang are despots their are good cops, although the organization is cruel I'm actually friends with cops who wish to see change in their organization. to be a successful agitator it is important to have connections on the inside, you cannot bring forth change or know the wrong individual cops are doing with out some one in the locker room.

        luckily every gang has "rats"

        July 20, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
        • LaBella

          It's always beneficial to weed out the bad ones rather than condemning the good ones.
          Which seems to be somewhat of a pattern for people disapproving of any organization.

          July 20, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
        • austin929

          not all cops are bad. no. but at the same time, they are all the ones who ticket petty theft, and turn their backs to business fraud. This simply points to a blatantly crooked government. in other words, slavery is promoted in secret through the cult judicial system. The US attorney, and the attorney General are who.res pieces.

          The set up is just like the 33rd degree mason.

          July 20, 2014 at 6:37 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          unfortunate there are 1 good one for ever 12 bad ones in this organization, they would not be "rats" other wise. the "rat" is already going against the overwhelming majority that whey they are "rats"

          it like trying to save a single blade of grass in a forest of Poison Oak.

          July 20, 2014 at 6:41 pm |
        • LaBella

          Austin, in every society, ever, there have been laws.

          July 20, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Laws are the price we pay for the protections of civilization. Police are hired to enforce those laws. Societies don't survive where there are no laws and no enforcement. Are all cops good? No. But they certainly aren't all bad, and they have a very important job enforcing the laws that keep civilizations civil.

          In this country, there are peaceful ways of changing laws that are wrong or obsolete. So pardon me if I don't admire people who are too lazy or too selfish to do things the right way. In this country, the second you pull a gun on someone else just because you don't like a law, you become a criminal and deserve the full consequences of your actions.

          July 20, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
        • austin929

          In this country, there are peaceful ways of changing laws that are wrong or obsolete

          yep, like the rodney king riots for the cop that gets off and shouldnt. That is the extent of the greatness of America. does the rest of the world deserve to have that situation perpetrated into their country through war and righteous occupation?

          . "So pardon me if I don't admire people who are too lazy or too selfish to do things the right way. In this country, the second you pull a gun on someone else just because you don't like a law, you become a criminal and deserve the full consequences of your actions."

          Talullah, the devil is a liar, and the accuser. All men sin. And you are saying "throw a stone at that type of crisis"

          the law of the new covenant, is forgiveness. now, that goes for Paul the Jewish jihadist, he got it, so did David and Moses. so should the jihadists. and especially so should doug for holding a gun. if you think doug deserved to DIE, TO DIE , because he held a gun, you are a total freak. do you worship evil? are you DEVOTED to the act of death?

          THAT IS THE DEVILS JOB.

          July 20, 2014 at 7:20 pm |
        • LaBella

          Well, gee, Austin, how do I know you and sam aren't the devil trying to spread anarchy?
          You're trying to tell people to break Caesar's laws...is that what Jesus would do?

          July 20, 2014 at 7:36 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          because i am the devil trying to spread anarchy. Samyaza look it up

          also i am working to change it i lobby for thing that require police to be more accountable, right know were working on have cops were cameras on their person, and i plan on making cops not allowed to use guns with live ammo, unfortunately the FOP and correctional unions own California.

          July 20, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Austin, until you can prove that your god, your devil or any god for that matter actually exist, then your argument is meaningless. Utterly meaningless. You don't offer solutions, you're offering delusions.

          You and sammy deserve each other. You are nothing more than two spoiled little boys who want the world to bend to their personal wishes. No thank you.

          July 21, 2014 at 2:39 am |
      • LaBella

        Then do something to change it, Austin, instead of freaking complaining about it.

        July 20, 2014 at 7:33 pm |
      • thesamyaza

        "Austin, until you can prove that your god, your devil or any god for that matter actually exist,"

        he cant do it, but i can.

        behold the one being we are all beholding to that with out we simply would not be, the one being that are vary lives depend on. the one being we base a notion of time on, a true god

        [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Wr27O5qSJo&w=640&h=390]

        July 21, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
  14. igaftr

    It seems Robert Brown is having a fish fry...all the red herring you can eat.
    His new information comes to you from the inst!tute for Creation Research...a misnomer since all they really are doing is misrepresenting science and claiming that proves creation. There is no actual creation research being done there because creationism is a hypothesis, so there is NOTHING to research. so all they do is make straw men and red herrings, and they got RB to hand them out.

    Thanks robert, but we've had enough fish for today.

    July 20, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
    • austin929

      fish usually tastes different every time you eat it depending on how it was cooked though.

      July 20, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
      • igaftr

        Red herring always tastes like smoke and mirrors. Like nothing.

        July 20, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
        • bostontola

          Red herring is tasteless, but pickled herring in sour cream is heavenly. Jews got that one right.

          July 20, 2014 at 4:12 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.