August 27th, 2010
12:47 AM ET

Some evangelicals on defensive over partnering with Glenn Beck, a Mormon

A handful of prominent evangelical activists are defending their decision to attend television host Glenn Beck's conservative rally in Washington this weekend after some Christians complained that evangelicals shouldn't be partnering with Beck because of his Mormon faith.

Video: Glenn Beck rally stirs controversy

"There is no need to 'de-Christianize' each other over the matter," wrote Jim Garlow, an influential California pastor, in a five-page memo this week arguing that evangelicals can attend Beck's rally and partner with the television and radio personality in good conscience.

"Glenn Beck is being used by God - mightily," Garlow wrote in the memo, which was obtained by CNN. "The left loves to slam him and do so viscerally and often with vulgarities. Glenn is not perfect... But his expose on America's sins is stellar."

Garlow - who partnered with Mormons in California to help pass Proposition 8, the state's gay marriage ban, via ballot initiative in 2008 - is one of several high profile evangelicals on the defensive about participating in Beck's rally, called Restoring Honor.

The rally, which is to be held near the Lincoln Memorial on the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, is to be headlined by Sarah Palin.

Christian critics of the event have taken specific aim at some evangelicals' participation in a prerally event Friday at the Kennedy Center called Glenn Beck's Divine Destiny.

Beck, who many evangelicals say is not a Christian because of his Mormon beliefs, says on his website that the Friday event "will help heal your soul."

"Guided by uplifting music, nationally-known religious figures from all faiths will unite to deliver messages reminiscent to those given during the struggles of America's earliest days," his site says of the event.

Brannon Howse, a conservative writer and founder of Worldview Weekend, which organizes Christian conferences, criticized evangelical participation in that event in a column this week.

"The Apostle Paul warns Christians against uniting with unbelievers in spiritual endeavors," Howse wrote. "While I applaud and agree with many of Glenn Beck's conservative and constitutional views, that does not give me or any other Bible-believing Christian justification to compromise Biblical truth by spiritually joining Beck."

Much of the criticism - along with confusion about the propriety of evangelicals politically linking arms with Mormons - is less formal and more rooted among in-the-pews churchgoers than evangelical elites.

"Jesus Christ's Church has universally rejected Mormonism's Anti-Trinitarian theology and its claim that mortals may become God," David Shedlock, a contributor to the evangelical blog Caffeinated Thoughts, wrote in a post this month. "Beck asks Christian leaders to 'put differences aside,' but Beck himself daily peppers his broadcasts with Mormon distinctives because he cannot keep his beliefs to himself."

Evangelical defenses of attending the Beck rally are largely aimed at ordinary evangelicals. Garlow circulated his memo in an email titled "In case some criticize you for attending the Glenn Beck Rally – since he is a Mormon."

Many Christians say that some Mormon beliefs, including that Mormon church leaders are prophets and that the Book of Mormon is sacred scripture, are incompatible with Christianity.

Mormons, though, consider themselves Christian. The Mormon church is called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Many conservative evangelical activists argue that evangelicals and Mormons should set aside theological differences to partner on moral and political issues.

"For Christians concerned about Glenn's faith, I would ask the following questions: What fruit do you see produced by Glenn," David Barton, an influential evangelical activist who is joining Beck's rally, wrote on his Facebook page recently. "Good or bad? If you judged Glenn only by the fruits he has produced, would you still hold concerns over his faith?"

"Christians concerned about Glenn's faith should judge the tree by its fruits, not its labels," Barton, a former Republican National Committee consultant, continued. "After all, Nancy Pelosi and Bill Clinton openly call themselves Christians... Although these individuals have the right labels, they have the wrong fruits."

Other evangelical activists have gone further, arguing that Beck's faith isn't that different from that of mainstream Christians.

"I have interviewed persons who have talked specifically with Glenn about his personal salvation - persons extremely well known in Christianity - and they have affirmed (using language evangelicals understand), 'Glenn is saved,' " Garlow said in his memo, which was dated Wednesday. "He understands receiving Christ as savior."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Mormonism • Politics • Sarah Palin

soundoff (1,239 Responses)
  1. Terry

    Mormons are not Christians for the same reason Christians are not Jews. The moment you believe in additional sacred texts, revered people or spiritual concepts, you're branching off into something different.

    August 27, 2010 at 4:31 am |
    • Boyd

      All the Bible IS is a bunch of different books by different authors put together by people hundreds of years later. And by that time Christianity had become so flawed by the Kings and leaders who were trying to unite all faiths. Its ironic because in Revalations it actually DOES say let me man add or take away from this book, but Revelations was written well before most of the books in the New TEstament. Why cant God give us more Revelations? That is all the Bible is about

      August 27, 2010 at 11:46 am |
  2. ron

    In my humble opinion there are only two kinds of religious people, those that- live – the teachings of their religion and those that -talk – about living there religion .. glen beck talks and talks and talks

    August 27, 2010 at 4:30 am |
  3. LaGryphon

    Schulz....I am not the fool here. And there were blood oaths which were removed in 1990. How do I know? Because I took them in that temple of yours. "Suffer my life to be taken" while drawing my right thumb from the left ear to the right ear across the throat . "That will do" was said after the motion of slitting my throat. "Suffer my life to be taken" while drawing my right thumb from the left side of my gut to the right side of my gut signaling disembowling. "That will do" was said after the motion. So you can see the first hand knowledge that I have of the cult's practices. FYI....scroll down & read "Blair's" post....pretty informative

    August 27, 2010 at 4:29 am |
    • Schulz

      It astounds me the capacity that humans have to lie. You should be ashamed of yourself, yet you wallow in you grime. Rejoice in your filth.

      August 27, 2010 at 4:40 am |
    • LaGryphon

      Schulz I am not lieing.....and what you call wallowing in my filth is the "filthy history" of your church. Do not deflect that onto me....it's your history, it's your ordinances....OWN IT....IT'S YOUR FILTH.....what you can't tolerate or digest is what the truth is & you find it filthy....I have spoken the true experiences & you call it filth.....Why I might ask are you calling your own church/cult filth?

      August 27, 2010 at 4:52 am |
    • LaGryphon

      Schulz.....my suggestion to you is to read "Under the Banner of Heaven" by Jon Krakauer to find out the true history of what you call a church. Don't take my word for it, read it from others accounts.

      August 27, 2010 at 4:56 am |
    • Josh

      Were you excommunicated? its a simple question. As for DNA testing please again show me the results. Show me where it is documented I would be greatly interested.

      August 27, 2010 at 5:23 am |
    • dsldex

      Lagryphon, one of the commandments is not to bear false witness! but damn dude you lie like a filthy rug. Did your Bishop not offer you a food order or something? You are a sorry sole....i am glad I am not like you. a filthy liar!

      August 27, 2010 at 5:43 am |
    • LaGryphon

      dsldex.....if this is your way of ignoring the truth by calling me a filty liar, then so be it. It's your only defense because you have nothing else. I've been through that temple before 1990 & I know what oaths I took. Those blood oaths were removed in 1990 because very few people especially converts would go back through the temple after being exposed to such a practice. Now, you can go to youtube & type in Mormon temple ceremony & that will show you what goes on in there. If you are a Mormon, ask the elders in your church about the removal of certain temple ordinances & they'll give you the rationale that they had to be removed to protect the sacredness of the ceremony.

      August 27, 2010 at 5:58 am |
    • Ryan

      Schulz my man.....what did he say that is wrong? You say he is lying, lying about WHAT? Instead of just calling him a liar, tell me WHAT he lied about. I am an open minded person. Think if it as if you are at my door, trying to get me in your church.
      Im just kidding about the door thing......but help me unbderstand what dude is lying about.

      August 27, 2010 at 1:13 pm |
    • Ryan

      dsldex.....question to you too. What is he lying about? You are on here calling people "liar" and "pig", calling people names like a child yet dont offer any rebute to what he is saying.
      If what he says is true (not saying it is) can you see why people think you belong to a cult? Maybe it isnt true, could you please tell me? I want to understand mormonism. I like all people. i dont know what is right here.

      August 27, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
    • LaGryphon

      Ryan, if you want to know the truth about Mormomism go to your bookstore and ask if they have the book UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN by JOHN KRAKAUER. You will read about the history of the church & their practices. So much is hidden from the Mormon members so much so that they don't even know their true history. I was once a member who believed whole heartedly all that was in the doctrine & that came from the so called prophet's mouth. I wasn't offended by anyone or anything. I came to see the truth and thusly could not stay a member

      August 27, 2010 at 1:38 pm |
    • Schulz


      I was a little ambiguous, my apologies. Everything in his post was a lie, the blood oaths, the wording, the idea that we removed an ordinance. None of these things have happened.


      Why would I read an account written by someone obviously hostile to the people they are writing about? That would be like reading speaks by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Jews. Also it is clear to any member of the LDS church that you are lying because you are using the wrong terms and clearly don't understand how the leadership of the church works. Elders are not the main authority in the church, which you would have know if you had actually been in the temple or were actually ever a member.

      August 27, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
    • LaGryphon

      Schulz....I meant elders as in older people. So you can go to your priesthood leader, you can go to your bishop. you can go to your stake president, you can go a to member of the quorum of the 70's, you can go to an apostle or you can go to the church presidency or the prophet himself to ask questions & you won't hear the truth.....you can call me a liar...I don't care. Call me whatever names you wish it isn't going to offend me. And you cannot take the pre 1990 temple experience away from me try as you may. Do believe you can one day become a God & live the law of plural marriage? Do you believe the blacks are cursed with the mark of Cain? Do you believe the Catholic Church is the wh00000re of all churches? Do you believe all other religions are an abomination in the site of God? If you believe all this then you can bow your head & say yes. If you do not have the fortitude to stand up & own up to what your church teaches then you are a hypocrite. Peace be with you

      August 27, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
    • alf

      Ryan: dsldex.....question to you too. What is he lying about? You are on here calling people "liar" and "pig", calling people names like a child yet dont offer any rebute to what he is saying.
      Sorry man, you did it again. Quit playing the games of asking for proof when someone is making wild, general accusations.

      August 28, 2010 at 2:02 am |
  4. Blair

    As someone who was raised in cultic Mormonism (from age 2 to 18) and left the chronically dishonest LDS (Mormon) Church in 1992 after discovering what a massive fraud Mormonism is (one of the biggest in history), I can assure CNN readers and viewers that the LDS religion is NOT Christian.

    Since 1830, the Mormon Church has systematically indoctrinated millions of unsuspecting people to believe that it is the 'true', 'restored' church of Jesus Christ. This is the same religious organization founded by con man, polygamist, adulterer and pedophile Joseph Smith, Jr. (as Mormon 'prophet' and church president, Smith made other men's wives and girls young enough to be his daughters his plural wives while lying to his first and only legal wife as well as naive, duped church members about his practice of polygamy).

    The Book of Mormon (mentioned in this CNN report) has been proven by science to be a work of fiction. The book claims to be a 'true' history of the ancient Americas (from ~2,200 BCE to 421 CE) and includes such ridiculous LDS 'truths' as a group of Jews travelling from the Middle East about 26 centuries ago to the Americas where a part of them were 'cursed' by God with dark skin, thus becoming the ancestors of all Native Americans as well as the dark-skinned peoples of Hawaii and Polynesia! What's more, according to the 'true' BoM and the LDS Church, Jesus Christ 'magically' visited the Americas and taught people here after his crucifixion and resurrection (as per the New Testament). Funny how outside of Mormonism, there is no archaeological record of any kind of such a momentous visit – and not even any native legend!

    Beck belongs to a pseudo-Christian, cultic religious organization that systematically indoctrinates people, including children, to believe that Mormon nonsense is 'true', while irrefutable facts are suspect. They're also 'programmed' to believe that their 'eternal salvation' partly depends on them handing over at least 10% of their allowance and money gifts (yes, kids are indoctrinated by the multi-billion-dollar Mormon Church to pay up), wages and salary. Since Smith's day, the Mormon Church has become VERY wealthy (it's spending about $4 billion on a shopping-mall-and-condos project in Salt Lake City and building a multi-million-dollar hotel in Hawaii this year, and has spent tens of millions of dollars buying up real estate, water and mineral rights, and other assets).

    Now, if Jesus Christ were among us today and had $4+ billion, would he spend it to become even richer, or reduce suffering? After all, nearly 17,000 children starve to death each day and about 2 billion people live on less than $2/day. Christians would say, "Golly! Jesus would spend the cash on reducing suffering!" Latter-day Saints (Mormons) would say, "Well, spending huge amounts of money on commercial real estate projects that benefit the church IS the plan of the Lord!"

    For more info. about the cultic religion that Beck apparently has 'faith' in and the deceitful LDS Church that he attends, Google "Mormonism".

    August 27, 2010 at 4:20 am |
    • Sobey

      Excellent, Blair, excellent. Of course, a similar deconstruction of any given religion in the world is equally easy. For some reason, though, the faithful feel that their particular brand of oogie boogie has more weight if it's been around for a while.

      So the scale goes

      Heaven's Gate=0


      August 27, 2010 at 4:48 am |
    • Josh

      Let me guess were you excommunicated? I sense a lot of bitterness and anger. If this religion is what you stated "nonsense" why so much energy into this comment? You can keep trying and convincing yourself that its not true but you know deep down something different.

      August 27, 2010 at 4:53 am |
    • LaGryphon

      Josh.....it's always the "were you excommunicated" line isn't it? Did you ever stop to think that once OUR eyes were open we left willingly? That is what cult's do...indoctrinate you to believe no one really wants to leave on their own free will & if they do it is because they were evil or did evil doings. Blair knows in his heart as I do it was all based on a lie from day one. Tests prove the Native Americans have Asian DNA not Jewish, but your mopologists say what can science prove? You have to feel it with your heart. DNA is a blueprint, can't be altered, can't be denied

      August 27, 2010 at 5:10 am |
    • Boyd

      The Mormon Church is one of the leading organizations when it comes to Charity and giving to the needy. Just like EVERY SINGLE other religion they ask for tithing from their followers (which was practiced in the Bible). You have to be Blind to not see all of the aid they have given during every single natural disaster. Your argument about them being a greedy multi Billion Dollar industry is completely flawed. And they dont force their kids to pay tithing. Maybe YOUR parents did, but mine never did. Its a personal decision. Joseph Smith practiced Polygamy just like every single prophet in the Old Testament. So if you are claiming that was wrong than you must throw away your bible as well. It is a flat out lie that he was a pedophile in any way. You are taking small truths and blowing them out of proportion. Please get over your bitterness towards whoever offended you when you were a member and get on with your life.

      August 27, 2010 at 11:33 am |
    • Ryan

      Josh, do you care to explain why Blair is wrong in what he brought to the table? Is what he said true about Mormonism? You say he is just angry, but dont refute any of that crazy stuff you believe in (im guessing you believe in that since you didnt refute him). If all that he said IS true, can you see why people think you are a "cult"?
      I am not a mormon, dont know much about them. I have an open mind. Tell me why he is wrong.
      Where is that Schulz character? I wanna see what he says about all these accustations.

      August 27, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
    • Frogist

      @LaGryphon: I think what we need is less testimony from you about your experiences and more proof that what you say is real. Your words are hard to believe, and with little knowledge of the Mormon tradition, I find it hard to refute you. What I can say is a condemnation of an entire religion based on your experience, while it may be appropriate on a personal level for you, is not convincing on a general level. I am still inclined to believe that despite "indoctrination" there is still goodness in people, no matter what their faith.

      August 27, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
    • LaGryphon

      Frogist......I'm not condemning the Mormon religion at all....what I'm doing is stating facts & what you do with those facts is your choice. I don't care if you join the LDS church & embrace the lifestyle, in fact if it suits you I say please by all means become a member. My intention is to point out the actual history & facts. And yes you are right there are a great many fine upstanding people in the LDS religion....NEVER at any time have I said there was not...NEVER.

      August 27, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
    • Frogist

      Actually by calling it a cult and saying you were participant in blood oaths and disembowelings because of this religion, is fairly condemning rhetoric. And it remains biased rhetoric, conjecture and just your opinion until you provide factual proof that what you say is real.

      August 27, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  5. dalis

    This is nothing new. Many Christians don't consider Roman Catholics to be Christians. Many Christians don't consider Muslims to worship the Abrahamic God. People, there are so many more crucial (so to speak) questions than "Are you Christian?", like "Are you GOOD?"

    August 27, 2010 at 4:18 am |
  6. effusing

    Asking if Glenn Beck is a Christian is like asking if tornadoes occur more often at 3pm or 7pm. It's a question that takes our eyes off more important questions that examine the veracity of Beck and how his vitriol does disservice and damage to America. Just as the most important characteristic of tornadoes is the damage they wreak, the most important characteristic of Beck is how he inflames and misleads the ignorant and angry, and damages America in the process.

    And so CNN makes its inane assertions about Beck and Mormonism, and does its own form to disservice to the American public. By having any coverage of Beck without repudiation, is an implicit affirmation of legitimacy of Beck by CNN.

    August 27, 2010 at 4:15 am |
  7. donna

    Christians don't allow gays into their congregation, so I don't see how Beck could be considered a Christian.

    August 27, 2010 at 4:09 am |
    • dalis

      donna Which Christians don't allow gays into their congregation? Because I am a gay Christian, and my church welcomes everyone.

      August 27, 2010 at 4:15 am |
  8. Jesus Is Not A Republican

    Why is it that God chooses to speak through rich, middle-aged white guys? W said God told him to be president which, if true, firmly establishes that the Almighty does indeed have a terrific sense of humor. (If W had been born to any other family, he would have been lucky to get a job sweeping floors at the Piggly-Wiggly, regardless of God's command.) Beck says God is going to speak through him at the Beckapaloser festival this weekend. What will God say to him? "Tell everyone to buy more gold, Glenn!" "Glenn, tell the world that I hate Democrats!" "Glenn, how the hell did a negro get in the white house?" If being a Christian means adhering to the "values" spewed by a hysterical right-wing lunatic TV personality, I choose paganism. However, as this article states, I don't think Beck should not be considered a Christian just because he is a Moron. Many Morons consider themselves Christians. Oh.. wait... didn't see the "m" in there. Sorry. Mormon. Okay.

    August 27, 2010 at 4:05 am |
  9. Rob

    You sure Beck is mormon, and wasn't instead trying to classify himself as MORON?

    August 27, 2010 at 3:58 am |
  10. Sandra

    Beck is about as much of a Christian as I am from Mars. He is constantly bearing false witness (making wild accusations that are flat out lies), serves Mammon (shilling for Goldline all the time), and claiming to know the mind of God. He needs to be fitted for a straitjacket and dosed with some lithium asap.

    August 27, 2010 at 3:57 am |
  11. Rock God

    What we do know is that the people that support Beck are complete morons and about as un-Christ-like as they come.

    August 27, 2010 at 3:54 am |
  12. Sobey

    Take one hundred non-believers and one hundred fundamentalists (pick your religion). How many on each side do you think are truly evil? I think it's roughly equal. Now, consider how many would commit evil acts. How many of you think that the evil actors would be significantly skewed towards the fundamentalist side? I do. Non-believers (atheists, agnostics, humanists) don't have hateful dogma to rile them up to do things that are irrational.



    August 27, 2010 at 3:48 am |
    • William

      I once heard a point similar to yours put, "The church feels it has to shut down the strip club; but the strip club never tries to shutdown the church".

      August 27, 2010 at 3:54 am |
    • Sobey

      Interesting quote, William, thanks. I think, though, that it could be interpreted two ways. Is it "strip clubs are evil and don't want to rile up the opposition" or "churches are trying to shove their beliefs down our throats and have the time and energy to do so"? I think you're saying the latter. In that case, the only reason I don't really like the comparison is that strip clubs can be galvanizing to non-believers, too (e.g. objectification of women).

      August 27, 2010 at 4:10 am |
    • Frogist

      I think your grouping might be incorrect. A better comparison would be fundamentalists vs agressive non-believers. Because much as there are fundies and moderates, there are the same equivalents on the non-believer side. And fundamentalist ideology will always be dangerous no matter whether you have a book or no since it requires complete adherence to the rules without any exception. Atheists adhere to the rule that god does not exist. A militant atheist might be prone to blowing up churches to further his/her ideology. What I would add is that atheists do not have as much of a network while the religious fundamentalists do. The group mentality might promote any instances of hate towards violence more than an individual might.

      August 27, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
  13. ufadoof

    Christians: Just being plain awesome and spreading peace since 0000. /end sarcasm

    August 27, 2010 at 3:47 am |
  14. William

    I know this is Belief Blog and the main audience is interested in issues of faith. But I found it mesmerizing that you have Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, making an appearance on the anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, at the site of that speech, and the discussion is about who is a Christian and who is not. Talk about being distracted from the issue.

    Two of the most overexposed pinheads of our time, will try to coopt the legacy of one of the most important leaders (agree with him or not) in American history. "Restoring Honor"? That is like a prostitute leading a rally for virginity.

    August 27, 2010 at 3:47 am |
  15. Jamoke

    some very funny satire u have there

    August 27, 2010 at 3:42 am |
  16. DeadCenter

    Glenn Beck gets no respect from intellectuals from either side because he is, in short, not an intentional liar, but someone whose brain is diseased by his own false beliefs to the point where he believes those who make objective statements of truth are liars.

    August 27, 2010 at 3:41 am |
    • Frogist

      @Dead Center: I'm not sure he believes what he says. He could just be an opportunistic liar. I would think if he really truly believed what he said he would show some remorse or recognition of his fallacies when he contradicts himself... But that could just mean he is a compulsive liar and sociopath who has no emotions. This is all conjecture. I would love to see someone do some psychoana-lysis on him.

      August 27, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
  17. Lily

    I think a better question would be: As a Mormon, is Beck sane?

    August 27, 2010 at 3:35 am |
  18. Gina

    Wow, and you call the right wing angry.....so there is "no gods"...amazing how many people cry out to "god" when they think their life is about to end..I am a nurse..see it all the time......everyone wants to believe then .......

    August 27, 2010 at 3:35 am |
    • Jamoke


      Your lies are getting more transparent, my dear. Your sadistic and hypocritical "profession" should be replaced. Just a thought.

      August 27, 2010 at 4:17 am |
    • Ryan

      Lady, I am guessing the people who are crying out for God are probably Christians, not Atheists who are trying to "save" themselves. What is your point here? Anything?
      Dont knock the nursing profession dude- they do a GREAT job for us people. It is a tough job, and at sometimes it can be downright nasty. I dont agree with Gina and her weird posts, but I do respect her job. Quit acting like a jerk.

      August 27, 2010 at 12:59 pm |
    • Frogist

      @ Gina: Yes, people cry out to god in when they are dying BECAUSE the belief in a life after death and the consquent organization of it into a religion is a response to our perception of ourselves as finite beings. Our fear that we will no longer exist prompts us to desperation. That is not however proof of god. Nor is it necessarily hypocritical to want comfort that your life will go on even if you are not here. How this ties in to a right wing/left wing issue is beyond me.

      August 27, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
  19. Robrob

    Beck is only a Mormon by birth but he's a wingnut by choice.

    August 27, 2010 at 3:33 am |
    • Chris

      He's not Mormon by birth.

      August 27, 2010 at 3:35 am |
    • LaGryphon

      Glen Beck has been telling the world he is Mormom & the media will expose him even further as a Mormom just like you see in this article. In doing so, people will start investigating what the Mo's are & what they believe, right? hmmmmmmmm that didn't work out too well for Mitt Romney did it?

      August 27, 2010 at 4:00 am |
  20. Daniel

    Okay, see this is why I am an atheist. Nobody can agree on who's invincible magic god is more real. Please, there is no god and if there is one, it it likes Glen Beck and all the evangelicals who think like him then I would want nothing to do with it. Doesn't really matter cause, in all liklihood, there is no god(s). It's all a feeble attempt by bronze age people who didn't know how the world actually worked.

    But anyway, Beck is an idiot along with Palin and all the right wing nutjobs who think that "their" god wants to put them into power. Please, how is this any different then the Taliban. Both want a theocracy. One in America and the other in the Middle East.

    August 27, 2010 at 3:30 am |
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About this blog

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.