October 14th, 2010
05:17 PM ET

Will the rescued miners' renewed faith endure? Maybe, say scholars

Omar Reygadas, 56, kneels down with a Bible after reaching the surface.

CNN's Moni Basu filed this report:
They survived for more than two months a half mile under the Earth's surface, and when the 33 trapped miners in Chile came out, many of them praised God.

Mario Sepulveda said he buried 40 years of his life down there. "I was with God, and I was with the devil. They fought, and God won."

Mario Gomez used to get annoyed that his wife asked him to say daily prayers. But trapped in darkness, he revisited his relationship with God and asked that a crucifix and statuettes of saints be sent down so the miners could construct a shrine.

That the miners found God in their moments of fear is not unusual. It happens to survivors of horrific events, hostages, prisoners and soldiers. Everyone has heard the phrase: There are no atheists in foxholes.

But how many of these "crisis conversions" endure?

Not many, if you ask theologian Tom Long.

"For a small percentage, this is a genuinely life-changing experience," said Long, who teaches at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. "For most people, it wanes and they settle back into their old way of life."

Long recalled how churches across America were packed on the Sundays that followed the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. He was asked then by journalists whether that was a sign of a religious renaissance in the United States. He predicted no - and he was right.

"There has been no upsurge in church membership," he said.

How long a renewal of faith lasts depends on whether the person was spiritually inquisitive or restless before the crisis event, Long said. In that case, the crisis becomes a catalyzing moment rather than an originating one, and the chances of that person continuing on that journey are much greater.

Much also depends on whether that person seeks out a community of people who reinforce the newfound faith.

Ralph Hood, a psychology professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, said many people come out of crisis thinking: "God has a purpose for me."

But if they cannot find the proper support group to help them continue to frame their lives in terms of God, they are likely to slip back into their former selves. They need a church, a mosque, a synagogue. They need interaction with others who will help nurture their newfound faith, said Hood, co-author of "The Psychology of Religion: An Empirical Approach."

Terry Anderson, who was taken hostage in 1985 by Shiite militants in Lebanon for seven long years, continues to hold onto his rediscovered Catholicism more than two decades later.

He was brought up in the church but lost his religion somewhere along the way. He was starting to rethink his faith when he was kidnapped. For him, captivity served as a catalyst.

He likes to tell a story of how one of his guards asked him if he needed anything and his answer was: "I want a book. I want a Bible."

He read it cover-to-cover for seven years.

He told a Kentucky audience earlier this year that he was still on his faith journey, according to an article posted on the Campbellsville University website.

In the early 1980s, the Israeli motivational speaker Yossi Ghinsberg got lost and survived three weeks in the Bolivian jungle. The son of an atheist said in a 2006 CNN interview that he could never go back to life the way he knew it.

"There is one moment in anybody's life when you go down on your knees and you cry for help," he said. "It's like in the core, just like survival. You don't need to learn it. Also faith. So I found that, and that makes life a totally different experience."

If anyone should know about enduring conversions, it's Chuck Colson, the former aide to President Richard Nixon who entered a guilty plea to Watergate-related charges.

He entered Alabama's Maxwell Prison in 1974 as a new Christian and when he got out, he founded Prison Fellowship Ministries, the world's largest outreach to prisoners.

"In my life, I was certainly converted to Christ at a time of stress," Colson said. "I am stronger in my faith today than I was then."

Colson said that faith-based programs have helped lower recidivism rates. To him, that's evidence of prisoners following a path of God.

"What we are dealing with here is a lasting phenomena," he said. "Once people have made that turn in their life, once they have understood what it is to follow Christ, they don't want to turn back.

Colson, like the rest of the world, watched the televised rescue of the 33 trapped miners in Chile this week. He watched some of them drop to their knees and make the sign of the cross.

They must have had the same feeling that Colson had when he walked out of jail, he thought.

"I'm free. It took my breath away," he said. "I know just what was going through their minds when they came out of that mine shaft. They faced life and death - and they knew what life meant."

That's different than praying to God or reading the Bible once in a while, Colson said. That's when you connect the dots.

- Moni Basu

Filed under: Chile • Christianity • South America

soundoff (210 Responses)
  1. mk

    @Dave, these people thank God for these helper who helped them. God deserves ALL of the credits, no matter how big or small they are. You are right. God has either caused or allowed this to happen for whatever reasons there is.

    @David Johnson: you're not stupid or anything, but evolution can't convince me. Don't worry. You have ignorance in religion as well. Actually, it's quite typical for atheism/science lover to think like you do.

    October 15, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
    • David Johnson


      If evolution is not true, then why are there transitional fossils? And there are a ton. Did god find it necessary to create prototypes until he got it right? Not too likely. He is by definition, perfect. If he is perfect, then all that he does must be perfect the first time. Hmm....

      Did you know about the following?

      Man has the genes for a fully functional tail.
      Whales have the genes for making legs
      Chickens have the genes for teeth

      These genes are simply not activated.

      Yep, we evolved. We have genes that are vestiges from previous more primitive organisms. If all the organisms were created once, these primitive vestiges would not exist.

      Happy Trails my friend!

      October 15, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
    • David Johnson


      I was under the impression, that I was perfect. Please help me with my religious ignorance. LOL

      October 15, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
  2. Pascale

    BeKind: Totally agree: why does this have to be a debate? Can´t people stand by and freely allow people of faith to say something?

    I believe exchanges like this totally debunk the myth that atheists are thinkers: au contraire! The ones here are squabblers and noise-makers, unable to hear a melodious harmony of events today where divine and human elements mingle. Leave some mystery! Maybe we are wrong, so what? Finally – the worst thing about thought-police is they live in the past, always crying about something they have never even lived through – some imagined "persecution" that other people truly HAVE suffered, to piece together ridiculous NOISE.

    Enjoy the good news of the Chilean miners, and let people touch the so-called elephant from their perspective without necessarily attacking what they see. Some see USA, some see God, some see Chile government – its ALL relevant.

    October 15, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
    • David Johnson


      Some say an unchallenged faith is not worth having. ?

      October 15, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
  3. Mark from Middle River

    Raison : "On a similar note, I keep seeing other "nominal" Christians who insist on attributing words to me that I have never said, meanings that I clearly did not express, and twisting it all into a slanted attack that makes me appear as someone else entirely."

    Well, I will take a shot and say it is me yah' talkin' about.

    Maybe Rasion, it is just something you need to look in the mirror and figure out that maybe Michael Jackson was right and that maybe the problem is with the man or woman in the mirror. If you feel that so many are against you then when or what is the point that a person crosses when they can be called truly paranoid?

    I compare you to those such as the Rev Terry Jones because of the statements that you have made here on the Belief Blog. Trust me I have not had the time or emotional desire to stalk you across the net. I am struggling enough with Biology 101 this semester to do even as much as a google search on you. For me it is that I have listened to many atheist on this blog, here at CNN. I have even read some of the great Reality's massive cut and paste post. Frogist.. Dave.. I can't really get a handle on Kate yet but, all of them were able to maturely make their arguments with out crossing the line into fanatical rants. Come on Raison you are upset because I compared you to a Quran burning person of hate after you spoke of burning Bibles? To many sane folks in society one version of hate is equal to another. If Jones is a person of hate then your statements would label you as one as well.

    I am not sure how old you are, I am not going to go into insults and say that you are a thirteen year old, but do you remember the Rodney King riots? There are two names I will remember all my life, Rodney King and Reginald Denny. The one I focus on the most is Reginald Denny. This guy was the white truck driver that had nothing to do with the first incident and was driving his truck attempting to get out of the area. If you do not know the story Rasion, he was pulled from his truck and beaten almost to death.

    I was still young then, but it did teach me one of my life lessons. Mr Denny, a white guy, was attacked by a group of black guys during a racially tinted riot because he was "white". To them, they did not know his back story. Mr Denny could have been adopted by a black family and had a black mother whom he would kill for. He could of had a black wife at home hoping and praying that he would make it home safely that day. These thugs did not know, to them he represented all of white America and he had to be beaten.

    I bring this up because here, on this blog I have read post from folks that attempt to paint all Christians one way or with one single brush stroke. As if we all watch the 700 club in the morning, Highway to Heaven during lunch... toss in a few Little House on the Prairie's and until Touched by a Angel comes on in the evening. Then we go to bed watching episodes of Amen. I remember you said on another thread about how the Christian's were causing things such as dance halls in your town to close up shop. What of the areas of the country where Christians are not, Rasion? Do you hate the Christian from New York or Miami because of the actions of the Christians in your town? The wild thing, that caught my attention about your story is how much the churches in my town use and almost fight over the dance halls for church banquets and large gatherings. Most churches have a small hall to or conference area within the church structure but most do not and local dance halls fit the need.

    Using your method of reasoning, should I hate my best friend, who is of German decent ...I guess you yourself would call him very "not" darkskinned... because of what happened to James Byrd Jr in Texas? You see Raison some, and I believe you have admitted to it, ..some believe that it is their life mission to fight religion or those of faith. I guess, when I read your post in some ways I felt that someone needed to counter you because the types of statements you have made could get someone killed. This is the type of talk, from ether side of the aisle that we need to get a hold of.

    A "Jolly Fun guy" .... you know I have been called many things but that is a first. What I am is a Foxnews conservative Republican African American. I have met enough people from diverse enough backgrounds that I realized that folks are not as black or white, off or on as many on the extremes want to admit. Another example, folks say that Christians hate gays but a gay bishop of a Christian denomination gets elected? Does it still hold water that Christians hate gays Raison? All whites hate and want to oppress blacks. My best friend, who is again white, has helped me through some of the darkest periods of my life and I was the best man at his wedding. Does it still hold water that all whites hate blacks.

    I could go on and on but I gotta run. Raison, David made a comment about how it is tiring when folks of faith say that Atheist do not have morals or have not the ability to do good in society. While I disagree with many of David's post, I do understand from many standpoints. Politically, racially, and relgiously, I understand when folks take the actions of some part of a group you belong too and attempt to hang it on you. Are there klan Republicans, yep. Are there massive amounts of African Americans in the jail system, yep. Are there Christians attempting to close dance halls, yep.

    Guess what kid.... I ain't one of them. There are Republicans against forced healthcare, there are African Americans that go to work with a shield on their chest attempting to protect and serve and there Christians who love to dance and rock until dawn. 🙂 ...I am in there with one or two of those and not one of the others. The point is that Rasion, that I was and still am in some subjects as rigid and not willing to see others points of view. At the same time, after meeting folks you soon find out that stereotyping a group is a waste of energy and all you need is one person to cause the cards to fall. I also learned that infighting within a group is so cut throat that it makes negative actions outside seem like a bubble bath.

    So Raison, if this was directed towards me then I hope you soon realize that many of us are tired of you folks at the extremes. Many just want explore if society can exist and function in a state of coexistence.

    If it was not me whom you were speaking of Rasion,......still take this as possibly a call to check the person in the mirror.

    PS: Everybody Cut ... Everybody Cut.... Footloose. 🙂

    October 15, 2010 at 11:03 am |
    • Raison

      You have me completely 100 percent wrong, Mark. 100 percent wrong. I am astounded that someone could misunderstand me so thoroughly.
      But when I read about how young you were and how you view the world it became pretty clear.

      Your view of the world is so twisted, I don't even know where to start. The world does not work the way you think.
      I do not work the way you think.
      I have done my damnedest to avoid "painting everyone with the same brush" not only within my own heart and mind, but in everything I say and do throughout my whole life because it makes no sense, is not logical nor is it good strategy.

      I am well over twice your age, have a daughter about your age, and have fought against prejudice and discrimination my whole life, for I, too, had childhood traumas to deal with.
      My I.Q is slightly over 135. I have read books about science and technology and everything else I took a liking to since I was six or seven.
      I have never been racist and have defended many people against racism. HeII, I even have dark-skinned friends who would be glad to show you the error of your ways....and I almost got a date with one of the ladies a few days ago, but the timing could not have been worse.

      I don't even have a problem being friends with gay people and have done my best to be polite to everyone. This blog has seen more rudeness out of me than I have expressed to people in decades. The cathartic effects have been liberating and very educational. But you, "Mark from Middle River" cannot handle the truth, obviously. Too bad. The truth can be a weapon against falseness, and I use it on the saner fundies daily. YOU are special. Very special. Oh, yes...real severe head trauma perhaps, or oxygen deprivation maybe...regardless of how you got this way, Mark, the fact remains that you honestly need medical help. I would ask you to seek it, if only for the sake of those around you..

      I would guess that you keep accusing me of being a 'phobe because this is a sensitive issue for you. I'm sorry you felt the need to pick me instead of some real 'phobe, but you obviously don't have much self-control. Time will cure that.

      I have always tried to do my best in considering that individuals are the ones who actually do things and have always found it easy to poke holes in stereotypes that people try to use. Stereotypes are complete BS. I have known that since before I even entered kindergarten. Yet another thing you are 100 percent wrong about.....you really are amazing...

      Hell, you couldn't be more wrong about me if you tried. And it sure as heII looks like you actually tried.
      But since you are, in my opinion, certifiably insane, then I guess all that doesn't matter, does it?

      And you WERE stalking me, and you DID do all those things to me. But I doubt you really know what the definition of stalking is...you're just someone who does something they don't even know they're doing. Great job, Mark! Now you can start clipping newspapers about me and making a collage out of all the wonderful things you find.

      I'm sorry you had all that childhood trauma, Mark, but I am not the one that did it to you. Don't you go putting your lies on me and painting me with that "broad brush" you are accusing ME of using. YOU are the one doing that.

      You obviously think that all "white" people are out to get you. Well, guess what Mark, I'm not "white" and I'm not out to get you. But you were out to get me. I have been beaten because of my skin color in the past. I do not hate them, nor do I paint them with any brush other than as criminal INDIVIDUALS. I know that, in time, they would have felt sorry for what they did if they had any conscience at all, and that's all that needs to be said about that...
      There's nothing quite like a clear conscience, Mark. You have no idea of the different things I have had to go through to keep a clear conscience over the years. It is one of the hardest burdens to bear, but I simply will not put it down. It means too much to me to have a clear conscience for me to actively go against it.

      But you say I'm a bad guy, filled with hate for my fellow man no matter how broad a brush I need for my supposed madness.
      LOL What a joke.

      And I have never been so insulted in all the time I have been on these blogs. To deliberately do those things to me when I was doing my damndest to talk politely with you!!!! You attacked me for no reason and you proudly sneer about it!

      If anything, I would have said you are a member of the KKK for acting like that, or some other tard group.

      You should be ashamed of yourself, but you have shown again and again that you have no shame for the evil you have done to me. You are an example of how crazies can pop up at the strangest times on the internet.

      And you think I'm going to have all of these messed up things going on in my head? IQ is problem-solving IQ, Mark.
      ***Problem-solving IQ.***
      If you want proof of what I say, just read all of my posts. I stand by almost all of my words that I have posted here. I am not perfect and I freely admit that I have more learning to do even at my age. But I don't know about you. You might be "all-done".

      Sometimes I hear about people like you or see their mugshots on the TV or internet. How shocking to meet one in a blog, although I suppose it was just a matter of time before this happened to someone here.

      How I wish it had not been me.

      There is really nothing more that needs be said between us Mark. I cannot have you committed to a mental instltution and you will never be able to understand rational thought. This is similar to how I feel about some of the religious posters on this blog, but you are the winner. Yessir, you win that big ole trophy!

      Faux News...LOL

      You go your way and I will go another. I said to not speak to me before and meant it.

      I still mean it. Quit addressing me in any way. Do not comment on my posts. Do not make or say anything about me and I will do the same for you.
      Don't even bother, okay? We can have a mutual non-contact policy and make it work, but you need to just keep your hands away from anything that looks like me and I will do the same for you.
      Politely ignore me and I will politely ignore you.

      If this is going to be too hard for you, let me know. We might still find that mythical "middle ground" you were looking for all those ages ago.
      But I hope you can just avoid me. I SURE as heII will be avoiding YOU.

      October 15, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Rasion – First, no. As long as folks talk pure hate and scorn someone has to be there to knock them out of their tree. As long as folks talk about burning others Holy books someone has to be there to call them out on it. So cry me a river kid, I will continue to comment on subjects here on CNNs Belief board and if I choose to comment when you say something stupid and hateful I will. Remember, always remember it has always been you who was so easliy compared to the rants of Bin Laden and Rev Terry Jones. Many in society are tired of you folks so far on the extremes. I know many on my side of the aisle and honestly it is as if all of you went to the same school. There has to be a middle ground Rasion, because so many of us are tired of being drawn into conflicts that the fringes, such as yourself have created. So Rasion, whenever you start spouting off I will try to be there to offer alternatives.

      Peace kid.

      All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Edmund Burke (1729 – 1797)

      October 16, 2010 at 11:39 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Whoops I forgot ....

      PS: Everybody Cut ... Everybody Cut.... Footloose.


      October 16, 2010 at 11:42 am |
    • Raison

      @Mark from Middle River

      I talked with my friends and showed them your posts. Consider yourself that big, ole N-word, punk. The N-word. You got me?

      October 16, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
  4. Mark from Middle River

    "I weary of the accusation that atheists aren't moral or incapable of doing good. Atheists are better citizens than many Christians."

    In a semi-joking spirit ... Dave, welcome to the club, we have jackets. Seriously though, it is wrong if anyone makes such accusations about someones intentions for what they feel are good acts. I understand because it is sometimes said about persons of faith. In the end it is just another slanderous tool to attempt to dehumanize someone or some group on the other side of the aisle. I agree it is tiring because no one can truly know the feelings in another's heart. At the least, the knowledge that few groups in history can be truly seen as being monolithic.

    October 15, 2010 at 1:45 am |
  5. BeKind

    It saddens me that so many would ridicule and condemn Christians in a story like this. Firstly, it was the 33 miners, and their families who put their faith in God (and the efforts of the rescuers). THEY were the ones trapped and suffering, not you guys. So what's it to you whether they thank their God or not? Why insist on lambasting those for whom their faith is so important? Isn't there some better use of your time than to tear into something you don't believe or don't understand? Such a sad state humanity has turned out to be.

    October 15, 2010 at 1:02 am |
    • Raison

      When you are surrounded by hostile people whose only claim to hostility is the fact that you do not believe in something that has been proven to be false, how would you feel?

      I am being stalked online by someone who hates me because (I guess) I am not dark-skinned enough, gay, or Episcopalian like him and because I have proven him wrong on numerous occasions and because I am an agnostic who posts here.
      I guess he resents this quite a bit. Why I do not know.

      I have done nothing else to him that I know of.
      He has attacked me, snidely insinuating that I am a racist, a homophobe, a "person of hate", a hypocrite(which I freely admit to), and he constantly compares me to Rev. Phelps, Hitler, etc.

      When confronted, he refuses to explain his reasons for acting this way, refuses to apologize, and merely continues the vicious insinuations with a sneering contempt that pretends to be a "jolly fun guy" while continuing his attacks.

      On a similar note, I keep seeing other "nominal" Christians who insist on attributing words to me that I have never said, meanings that I clearly did not express, and twisting it all into a slanted attack that makes me appear as someone else entirely.

      Is this a Christian thing? I thought I would ask you since you are using the name BeKind. Will you shed some light on my problem, since you appear to be a Christian? Is this something they teach in Jesuit schools?

      October 15, 2010 at 9:02 am |
    • David Johnson


      You said, "It saddens me that so many would ridicule and condemn Christians in a story like this. Firstly, it was the 33 miners, and their families who put their faith in God (and the efforts of the rescuers). THEY were the ones trapped and suffering, not you guys. So what's it to you whether they thank their God or not? Why insist on lambasting those for whom their faith is so important?"

      At least for my part, you are confusing 2 separate issues. I am not lambasting the miners for their faith or their praying. I have posted before, that I believe there are no atheists in fox holes or collapsed mines. Prayer/belief is a last ditch effort to control the uncontrollable. I am happy the miners made it through the ordeal. With that I have no issue.

      The issue I do have a problem with, is the believer's announcement that a miracle has taken place. There has been no supernatural event. None of the laws of nature were transcended. If there were, point it out to me.

      Believers try way to hard to find evidence for a god. They cry miracle, when they discover their lost car keys.

      A tornado races through a trailer park, destroying everything in its path. One man and his trailer are untouched. It is a miracle!

      No it isn't. It's random chance. Rewind everything and send the tornado back through the park. This time the fellow and his trailer will be toast. Someone else may well survive.

      Miracles consist of coincidence and random chance. No god required.

      October 15, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  6. Frank

    I hope their faith and joy last for them. I hope it motivates them to make a positive change in this world.

    October 15, 2010 at 12:05 am |
  7. Reality

    The USA gods to the rescue and their names are Hall and Fisher whose faith in their drillers and drilling equipment saved thirty-three very fortunate miners.


    October 14, 2010 at 11:33 pm |
  8. Whoa

    "Do you want an example of impossible miracles? Atheists lovingly helping others without expecting something in return"

    Mr. Mel, there are hordes of non-believers who help others all over the world. Ever hear of UNICEF, or Doctors Without Borders, or S.H.A.R.E or Rotary Clubs, or the many other secular organizations? They just don't toot an Atheist horn with pride like the Christians do - MY God did this!

    October 14, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
    • David Johnson

      And even me. I give to the local food bank and the Red Cross. I don't expect anything in return.

      I weary of the accusation that atheists aren't moral or incapable of doing good. Atheists are better citizens than many Christians.

      October 14, 2010 at 11:48 pm |
  9. Mark from Middle River

    What folks will take away from this is what they deem to be true or responsible for this miracle. Some will see it as a touched by a angel moment and others will look towards the science of geology to attempt to prove it.

    In the end each side of the aisle walks away stunned that these guys made it and questioning why the ones in china and other places did not. I am just happy it is over.

    October 14, 2010 at 8:54 pm |
  10. TheRationale

    The irony is that they pray to a God who let them get trapped down there in the first place.
    As we've seen in these 69 days, two hands working do more than a thousand clasped in prayer.

    October 14, 2010 at 8:48 pm |
    • Justina

      TheRationale, you are irrational. It's humans who made miscalculation and mistakes for the 33 miners. Don't blame God for the human shortcomings. You have no idea how wonderfully God hears prayers because you never pray.

      October 17, 2010 at 5:31 am |
  11. Gazork

    Neither the Atheists or the Godly have convincing arguments in matters such as this. If they did, they would not have to resort to name calling & irrational harangues. I would find it interesting if either or both sides would be rational & convincing. If you are scientific, then act that way. If you are faithful, then act that way. Maybe rational Atheists or
    Religionists do not have time to make comments in this format.

    October 14, 2010 at 8:48 pm |
  12. Chris

    In the stories in the Bible, God uses humans that believe in Him to deliver messages. Sometimes he uses "angels of the Lord" to give shape and form to his presence. With Jesus it was a direct communication, mind to mind. Jesus was told what to say and what to do. Every man has a will and every opportunity arrives with a choice. He's in your mind whether you want Him there or not. Or perhaps I should say each of our minds is part of God's mind, whether or not He likes what we think. God knows where every human is and how they got there. He doesn't make our decisions for us. But when called upon He can be a mighty force to reckon with. The key is, His powers must be invoked. The Red Sea didn't part without a prayer. I cannot imagine what those men endured the first 17 days. It can't be compared to a jail or watching an event unfold on t.v., no matter how terrible it is, it isn't the same as experiencing life or death situations first hand. I thank God the miners embraced hope to carry them through and I suspect that little white butterfly had a whole lot to do with it.

    October 14, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
    • Raison


      You say the Red Sea didn't part without a prayer. How do you know this? Were you there? Did you see it? Will you pray for my death as others have done because I question what you say?
      If God and Jesus are in everywhere and everything doing God knows what, how do you know that the only way they will "act" is if they are "invoked"?
      Wouldn't that mean that they are not doing anything else at all? Where do you get these ideas? I am curious. I haven't seen many ideas like them before.....?

      October 15, 2010 at 8:31 am |
    • Chris

      First of all, I wasn't suggesting that God and Jesus are the same, only that Jesus spoke the words that God provided to him and that those words came directly into his mind... like you and I get ideas. Jesus said this himself, that the Father in heaven told him what to say and what to do and that his message was "life everlasting." Secondly, the story of the parting of the Red Sea is in the Bible and you can pick up the book called 72 Names of God for an explanation. Moses was reminded of the prayer to invoke the Power needed to be able to cross the sea. God is Nature, and Creation, and Mind and yes He has a Willl of His own, but he also gave every human being their own will and provides a choice in everything we do. He can't interfere with our will and can only do His best to influence our decisions. He doesn't judge. But He promises to hold each and every one of us accountable to our actions. This is nothing new, it's straight from the Book. Jesus has nothing to do with it other than the message he delivered and proved by his resurrection.

      October 15, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
    • Raison


      Ah, I think I get it now...yeah. Well, thanks for responding to my questions.

      October 15, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
    • Chris

      No, I don't think you "get it." You assume the role of the devil's advocate; you've questioned almost everybody else's beliefs that are posted here. I wonder if you have your own. I think Glee's episocde called Grilled Cheesus was wonderful. Everyone has to put their faith in SOMETHING. I have more faith in Hollywood movies changing the world in the next 10 years - in a positive way - than what religion has done in the past 2000 years. Every civilization has their own story and every person within that civilization develops accordingly. It's a path; an evolutionary transformation. The movie "The Book of Eli" captured the message of the Bible–treat every human being the way you would like to be treated. The turning point to the Western world's story occurred 2000 years ago when the idea of "doing for others" was introduced. Sin is such a selfish act... and a tough one to follow.

      October 15, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  13. Mark from Middle River

    I did watch the footage if the miners as they came up from the mine and I did see them thank God and the crews that did the digging. Rasion, you paint the picture that they walked right past the diggers and went straight to the church. Since you are a person who admitted that they have nothing but scorn for folks of faith I would expect nothing less from such as you.

    In the end I know I joined with those around the world who prayed for their saftey and I do thank God that they will be home soon.

    PS: Rasion, did I hear correct that you mentioning burning bibles ..... It thus is true tell me then .... Without going emotionally unhinged and nuts again.... What really is the difference between yourself and rev Terry jones ?

    October 14, 2010 at 7:50 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Rasion :Let’s nail those Bibles up on a cross and see if they come to life…or would that not work…?
      Hmm, maybe we should burn ‘em instead and see if they rise from the ashes like a phoenix….??

      🙂 everybody cut , footloose. Rasion you make this too easy.

      October 14, 2010 at 7:55 pm |
  14. usa48312

    USA ... is a nation trusting in GOD. In all our bills we print

    In God (Holy Trinity) we trust.
    Trust God in bad time
    Trust God in good time
    Trust God ... always!

    GOD... please bless our country (America)

    October 14, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
    • Raison

      the concept of money is one which takes advantage of the delusional nature of symbolism.
      you cannot have "free market capitalism" and ethical behavior at the same time – they are completely incompatible as you can see if you look at how money "works".
      And what are you "trusting God" to do, anyway? No one has any details? He does nothing and we trust him for that?
      Please elaborate if you could, or just ignore my ramblings. I'm not picky...

      October 14, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
    • Faithful

      Actually, I always thought the "God" referred to on currency was the Almighty Dollar. That's what a capitalist country worships. You see, if we were truly a "Christian nation," we wouldn't be so hateful to the poor, the sick, and the foreigner, our prisons wouldn't be overflowing, government & corporations so corrupt, and we'd be much better stewards of the environment. Most of the time I just pray for God to have mercy on us. I'm getting an asbestos suit just in case...

      October 15, 2010 at 2:42 am |
    • Raison


      LOL That's a great response. I like that one a lot. 😀

      October 15, 2010 at 6:10 am |
  15. Joe Catholic

    76.7% of the population in Chile is Catholic according to their National census. At a time when they are rejoicing, you are putting a negative spin on it and offending three quarters of the country of Chile with your comments. Trying to rationalize the miracles that happened to save these "33" men according to your relative (lukewarm) beliefs is an insult as well.

    October 14, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
    • David Johnson

      If the mountain had moved, it would have been a miracle. Did a mountain move? Or did modern technology get the men out? Be honest. None of that business that god orchestrated the rescue.

      October 14, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
    • Mel

      Mr Johnson. the real miracle was the inspiration the Christian God provided the people of Chile to help their fellow Chilean under that mountain. You're thinking a miracle has to be something supernatural or amazing. No. When the Christian religion inspires so many people to do what is right, THAT is a miracle, and it's all the miracle we need.

      Do you want an example of impossible miracles? Atheists lovingly helping others without expecting something in return

      October 14, 2010 at 9:54 pm |
    • David Johnson


      You said, "Mr Johnson. the real miracle was the inspiration the Christian God provided the people of Chile to help their fellow Chilean under that mountain."

      Yeah, the Christian God gave the people of Chile the inspiration to call America for its technology and knowhow. The U. S. is the reason those miners are alive not some made up desert war god.

      Schramm Inc. of West Chester, Pennsylvania built the drills and equipment used to reach the trapped miners.

      Center Rock Company, also from Pennsylvania, built the drill bits used to reach the miners.

      UPS, the US shipping company, delivered the 13-ton drilling equipment from Pennsylvania to Chile in less than 48 hours.

      Crews from Layne Christensen Company of Wichita Kansas and its subsidiary Geotec Boyles Bros. worked the drills and machinery to locate and reach the miners and then enlarge the holes to ultimately rescue them.

      Jeff Hart of Denver Colorado was called off his job drilling water wells for the U.S. Army's forward operating bases in Afghanistan to lead the drilling crew that reached the miners.

      Atlas Copco Construction Mining Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin provided consulting on how to make drilling equipment from different sources work together under differing pressure specifications.

      Aries Central California Video of Fresno California designed the special cameras that were lowered nearly a mile into the ground sending back video of the miners.

      Zephyr Technologies of Annapolis Maryland, made the remote monitors of vital signs that miners will wear during their ascent.

      NASA Engineers designed the "Phoenix" capsule that miners would be brought to the surface in, and provided medical consulting, special diets and spandex suits to maintain miners' blood pressure as they're brought back to the surface.

      Oh, and Candadian-based Precision Drilling Corp. and South-African company Murray & Roberts, drilled a backup rescue shafts in case the American rig failed. Which it didn't.

      God did not have anything to do with this rescue. That is pure wishful thinking on your part.


      October 14, 2010 at 11:40 pm |
    • Mel

      @David Johnson
      Mr. Johnson, please, don't try to get this sidetracked. I'm not talking
      about God literally helping them. I know the Americans you mentioned helped
      them. That is not the issue. The issue is that they were inspired by Christianity
      (whether God is real or not that is another matter). That IS exactly my
      point. Americans wanting to save someone else but themselves? Why would
      very selfish Americans want to help HISPANICS save their lives? Praise Jesus! A MIRACLE!
      It was the Christian religion that inspired the Chileans to WORK to save
      them, not America or American technology. Your country is as relevant now
      as the Roman Empire is today. Thanks to the Chinese, you're ancient History.
      Who knows, in 2000 years,even the existence of the USA will be questioned,
      and your achievements will be credited to someone else. Don't waste my time
      with your Jingoism

      October 15, 2010 at 9:46 am |
    • David Johnson


      In times of disaster, the U.S. always steps up. Is always generous.

      Your god doesn't exist Mel. Sorry.

      Happy Trails Pardner!

      October 15, 2010 at 9:58 am |
    • newfilter

      David Johnson – how do you know that anyone prayed that a mountain would move with faith as small as a mustard seed? You can't just pray "move this mountain" and not believe that it is actually going to happen. I'm sure many people prayed, "please help them find these men." and "please help them be rescued." As far as technology goes, isn't it possible that God uses technology to get them out? It seems like you're not remotely open to the possibility that a God could exist that could have sustained these men, could have led the rescuers to move their drills to the correct place when they initially found them.

      October 16, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
  16. caitlyn

    its just horible what happened to the miners but its a relief that they got the miners got resqued

    October 14, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
    • USMC

      yes its sures a good thing they safed em'

      October 17, 2010 at 2:52 am |
  17. Faithful

    I don't find the faith of these men quite as remarkable as all the atheists who seem to park themselves on the Belief Blog. Some people seem to invest a great deal of time & energy in something they don't believe in. Just sayin...

    October 14, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
    • Raison


      LOL...I feel that I am fighting for truth, justice, and honesty coupled with rationality. This may be an irrational belief in itself considering the number of religious people who react like you do to anyone who questions their beliefs.
      Go ahead and question mine. I fight for humanity and believe that religion is a madness and a crime against humanity.

      Where else should I go? To heII? Some other blog where everyone is rational? LOL

      October 14, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
    • Um

      @Faithful – very interesting observation.... lots of naysayers bent on tearing down what they don't believe....

      October 15, 2010 at 12:50 am |
    • Raison


      If by "naysayer" you mean people like me, then, yes, I would be glad to tear down every lie and every bit of fraud I can find in the world. And since so much of this is "fruit" borne of religion, then look out! The TRUTH will end your life and your lies even if I cannot.
      Can you face the truth? It is often extremely painful. Seek comfort where ye may, but know that the truth remains in existence no matter where you go, what you "prefer" to believe, or what you do.
      The truth is cold comfort, perhaps, but it does have a lot going for it, you know......!

      October 15, 2010 at 2:05 am |
    • Faithful

      Aw, @Raison honey, I'm just saying live and let live. I think there's a difference between exercising one's personal faith and unwelcome proselytizing–which is very uncool. Personally, my faith in God is rooted more in science than religion & I'm all for truth, justice, honesty, and reason. I totally appreciate what atheists bring to the table in that regard–don't ever change! 🙂 So my advice would be, if you're going to take on religion in fighting for those things, pick your battles. If someone's faith sustains them through a difficult time, gives them the strength to overcome tremendous odds, brings people together for good, well let it be. What harm is that to you? If praying helped these guys from going crazy down there, why mock that? Save it for the hypocrites who try to force their beliefs on others. They are fair game. Otherwise I just find it curious that atheists are as passionate about religion (in their own way) as believers. I always figured if I were an atheist, I wouldn't be that interested. I learn something new every day! You can't prove God doesn't exist, and I can't prove He does, but we can both appreciate that something amazing just happened in Chile.

      October 15, 2010 at 2:14 am |
    • Raison


      On a personal note, I would appreciate it if you were to refrain from calling me "honey", as I do not know you and the term sounds more than just a little condescending and snarky.

      As for what you say I have done, you are wrong. I have not mocked their praying down there. As I said in my other post, "Fantastic job of "hanging in there" to everyone concerned. You work with whatever you've got. They had what they had."
      This is not mocking them. They had to use whatever they could to cope. I do not fault them for this. They coped using what they had and thought would work. They coped. I'm glad they were able to cope and make it out alive.
      I do not need to prove that God does not exist so I do not bother. You are free to hold on to your faith. We can have fun debating that if you like, but you need to stop saying I did things that I did not do. I'm not going to accuse you of something you haven't done if I can help it. I ask that you do the same.
      I am glad they were able to cope. I would not have used their methods myself, but that is me. Their faith, as such, means nothing to me even though I am glad they found it useful and did not use it as justification to harm anyone while they were down there.
      If one had murdered another because of a difference in religious opinion, what would you say then? Oh, we'd have a field day with that around here....but I guess I don't have to tell you that, hmmmm?

      October 15, 2010 at 7:47 am |
    • Raison


      And if you are Frogist, as I would guess, don't bother replying if you are just going to keep doing that incredibly disgusting thing of saying I said something I really didn't say, meant something that I didn't obviously mean, or any of that other crap.
      It's one of the most disgusting things anyone can do in a blog. Much worse than anything you may hate about me, as far as I am concerned.
      And if you are not Frogist.......well, you get the idea I hope....but you don't have too good of a track record about that, either...

      Just tellin'

      October 15, 2010 at 8:24 am |
    • Faithful

      @Raison, I'm sorry if I misunderstood you. I don't know what "frogist" is, and I don't hate you or condem you for your point of view. But please don't make assumptions about me either. I thought we were having a friendly conversation, but you seem to be trying to pick a fight. That's boring. Let's play!

      October 15, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
    • MandoZink

      @ faithful
      I am a former, very religious, person who woke up one day and dare to think for myself. It was a stunning and delightful experience to have the world suddenly make incredible sense. It actually deepened my moral principles and ability to empathize with others in a way that "faith-based" convictions could not begin to touch. I began this higher road thinking others could just go ahead and live in comfort with their faith-based reality. Then I started to see how living a life of "belief-with-no-evidence-whatsoever" is producing a society of people who are easily led astray. People who believe things without proof. We need to evolve out of this as soon as we can. We are becoming stupid and, worse yet, are forming dangerously opposing religious clubs that want their god to prevail. We need to get real before this blind idiocy(faith) kills us all.

      I am beginning to see a desperate need for someone to educate the non-rational.

      October 15, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
    • Raison


      I apologize for being so hasty, then. and for taking so long to get back to this thread. This has been a long day for me.
      Yes, I prefer to not pick fights, but I do like to find arguments without rancor being involved.
      I appreciate your patience.
      Maybe I'll do a new stupid thing at you next time. I'm pretty good at that stuff, you know... 😛

      October 15, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
    • Faithful


      No worries, my apologies for saying anything to offend you, please forgive a crazy old cat lady. Just because we don't agree, or I don't entirely get you, I certainly don't think you're wrong or evil or going to hell. You seem like a pretty intelligent, honorable guy to me. I know alot of agnostics & atheists who are better Christians than alot of Christians. Like the parable of the Good Samaritan, actions speak louder than words or vain piety. I can only speak to what I believe, and I accept that it's completely subjective. I don't claim to posess the truth, everyone has to find it for themselves anyway, but I enjoy comparing notes with other seekers. I do enjoy your posts and your insights which give me much more food for thought than I'd ever be able to fully capture here.

      October 16, 2010 at 3:30 am |
    • newfilter

      The belief that you cannot be intelligent and still have faith that an amazing God exists is false.

      October 16, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
    • Darthlawsuit

      I wonder if these people would shut up is they knew this country's laws were founded in certain religious beliefs and that the founding fathers were all religious. Probably won't work but there are a bunch of people that have no life and their only goal in life is to say that what someone else is doing is stupid.

      October 17, 2010 at 2:52 am |
  18. ktrails

    Wait, God can't use science? Does he know this?

    October 14, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
    • Princess

      umm..science comes from GOD.

      October 14, 2010 at 11:13 pm |
    • Raison

      To which definition of science are you referring?

      From dictionary(dot)com:

      1. a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws: the mathematical sciences.
      2. systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation.
      3. any of the branches of natural or physical science.
      4. systematized knowledge in general.
      5. knowledge, as of facts or principles; knowledge gained by systematic study.
      6. a particular branch of knowledge.
      7. skill, esp. reflecting a precise application of facts or principles; proficiency.

      October 15, 2010 at 1:52 am |
    • Princess

      Again, I pity those that do not believe in God. It is very funny that you think something is "NATURAL IN ORIGIN". I believe that NATURE itself came from GOD. so whatever is NATURAL comes from GOD. I will not force you to believe in what I believe in. I am just saying that it is very sad that you feel that you do not need to thank anyone for all the wonderful things that happen. And it is so sad that you do not have anyone to turn to when you feel like there is no hope. Do not worry Mr. Johnson, I am going to pray for your soul. 🙂

      October 15, 2010 at 2:03 am |
    • Raison


      Ewww! You stink!

      October 15, 2010 at 7:35 am |
    • Raison

      I was just doing my best to paraphrase you, Princess. But it works pretty well as a response, I must say....!

      October 15, 2010 at 8:19 am |
    • David Johnson

      You said, "Do not worry Mr. Johnson, I am going to pray for your soul."

      Jesus speaking:
      John 14:14 – If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
      Mathew 17:20 – He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

      Let's be honest. Don't be afraid. Jesus said the above, about prayer. Is it true? Can you post back to me and claim what Jesus said is true?

      If so, why were machines necessary to rescue the miners? Why didn't the mountain upon them just move? Why has there never been a doc_umented case of an amputated limb being restored? Do you think an amputee never prayed or had faith?

      Why aren't Jesus's words true? Can you think of any possibilities?

      A fundie once told me, that god always answers prayers in one of three ways:
      1) God says, "yes". You get what you asked for immediately.

      2) God says, "to wait". You will get what you asked for at some future date.

      3) God says, "no". You will not get what you asked for.

      Hmmm.... But I can get the same success from the carton of milk I have sitting on the breakfast table.

      1) If I pray to my magic carton, some things will come true immediately, just by chance and coincidence.

      2) Some things will come true at some future date, for the same reasons.

      3) If I don't get what I want, then my magic carton said, "no".

      I think there is a problem, when there is no difference between praying to a god and praying to a milk carton.

      I'm sorry, Princess. Prayer does not work. It should be resorted to in times of dire need, as a last ditch effort to control events.

      October 15, 2010 at 9:46 am |
    • Darthlawsuit

      So very very sad. I can understand you not believing in some of these religions but to not believe in god is pathetic. I assume you believe the universe didn't exist before time and randomly for a random event before the random laws of this universe were randomly designed in a very precise and random way so that life can randomly spawn in some random location for a random reason. Ya know true atheists don't make much sense and fail to answer ANYTHING. At least with god we can explain why the universe started from a central point, you still can't do it.

      Also the reason god doesn't save the miners magically is because he gave us all brains, arms, legs, and made us capable of making great machines to save them. He gave us everything we could possibly need to save the people and if are incapable of figuring out how to use it then its our fault for being stupid.

      October 17, 2010 at 2:05 am |
    • Mat

      @David: You still dont get it. When you quoted the bible did you really understand that what you were quoting? Why did you quote it and figure out how it did not happen in the miners case. When he himself took human body and came down to earth and performed miracles the humans crucified him. Do you think it would be different if the earth moved and miners came out? were you looking around for a massive demonstration of God's power. You dont even see his grace happening around you 24hrs a day, how would you recognize a big one? You would say people kill, cheat, stral etc., is it God's work? No its not. You dont understand the salvation of every human is left to himself. You can save yourself or condemn yourself. He has given individual freedom to each person. He not a puppet master.Those who knows the word of God and still dismisses him commits the greater sin. For those who has never heard his word would always have a second chance. As for him granting wishes, God will see if the wish is good for you, if so he will grant if not he will not. I have experience of many such instances where I was denied even after working hard for it but in a short time it became a great blessing I never got it. Like I said, faith is a journey with a mind kept open and belief in God.

      October 17, 2010 at 12:12 pm |
    • Princess

      @Jane – I think it is very funny that you think Faith is for the feeble minded and that it is for people who want to escape reality. If you have ever been in a third world country – like the Philippines (this is where I am from), there is no escaping reality. We embrace it. Don't worry, I will pray for your soul too.

      October 19, 2010 at 3:15 am |
  19. David Johnson

    You can't blame them for renewing their relationship with their god. They were buried beneath a mountain.

    But I feel it is my duty to inform everyone that it was modern technology, that got them out from under that mountain. No god.

    Lots of prayers. Lots of faith the size of a mustard seed, but the mountain didn't move. It was science my friends!

    If these men had been buried 50 years ago, they would have perished. Think about that, before we start saying it was a miracle etc.

    October 14, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
    • Princess

      It's so sad that you do not believe in God. It is a pity that you only rely on what you can see. Faith is stronger than any technology out there. Who do you think gave the miners the courage and strength that helped them endure the 17 days that they were gone and people thought they were already did. And furthermore, where do you think your precious "SCIENCE" came from. The smallest particle to the biggest mountain comes only from GOD.

      October 14, 2010 at 11:11 pm |
    • Dave


      Your God could have prevented this disaster. He didn't. That means he caused their suffering.

      So you're saying that God gave them the strength to endure the suffering he inflicted on them? That's a little odd.

      Of course, for us to accept what you're saying, you first have to establish that your God exists; and "knowing in your heart" doesn't count.

      Don't get me wrong. I'm delighted the miners have been rescued, and I don't begrudge them the use of any psychological or "spiritual" tool for getting through their ordeal.

      October 14, 2010 at 11:19 pm |
    • David Johnson


      You said, "It's so sad that you do not believe in God. It is a pity that you only rely on what you can see."

      There is no God. What evidence do you have for there being one?

      You said, "Faith is stronger than any technology out there. Who do you think gave the miners the courage and strength that helped them endure the 17 days that they were gone and people thought they were already did. "

      People have survived under collapsed buildings, afloat in the sea, lost in the desert, etc. All organisms have a strong will to survive. It isn't god. It is evolution.

      You said, "And furthermore, where do you think your precious "SCIENCE" came from. The smallest particle to the biggest mountain comes only from GOD."

      Actually science does not see any need for a god of creation. Mountains are not supernatural. They are natural in origin. No god required.

      October 14, 2010 at 11:26 pm |
    • BeKind

      @David Johnson – You've been reading too much Stephen Hawking. Have you seen a blackhole or a wormhole (not the one in the soil)? How do you know they exist? Based on what some "scientist" says and mathematical formulae that many don't even grasp (but pretend to understand for fear of being branded fools)? I'd say you're exhibiting faith in something you don't understand. Religious faith is like that. No one is trying to convert anyone here, just don't go around tearing into what you don't believe or understand. the world has enough problems.

      October 15, 2010 at 12:56 am |
    • Raison


      You said, in part, "...just don't go around tearing into what you don't believe or understand. the world has enough problems."

      My jaw just drops at how incredibly dense a statement that is when coming from someone who appears to be trying to defend religious people from David Johnson – Is he the "Scourge of God" or something? ha ha ha ha!

      "Oh, don't attack us, David! You don't understand M-Theory like we do!" LOL

      October 15, 2010 at 1:45 am |
    • David Johnson


      Religion relies on faith. Faith is the belief in something for which there is not proof.

      Science uses the Scientific Method to verify/falsify their hypothesis.

      The steps of the scientific method are to:
      • Ask a Question
      • Do Background Research
      • Construct a Hypothesis
      • Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment
      • Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion
      • Communicate Your Results

      That's the heart of science. Science has given us cures for Small Pox, and Polio. It put a man on the moon, Rovers on Mars, Cell phones, computers, better fertilizers and seed etc, etc, etc. We owe our current quality of life to science. Can you imagine what the world will be like in 50 years? The Jetsons!

      If something that science believes to be true; a mathematical formula, evolution, gravity, whatever, is found to be in error, the error will be corrected or the hypothesis will be falsified and discarded. To be wrong is also part of science. Science learns from their mistakes.

      Religion does not allow that luxury. You must believe, even when there is no evidence and your own common sense tells you it is not so.

      Religion is faith based. Science is not.

      One of the biggest problems the world has, is ignorance. I am helping believers overcome this ignorance.

      The biggest contribution of religion, which they can get from nothing else, is comfort. There are no atheists in fox holes or collapsed mines. I am no threat to this. What would I replace it with?

      October 15, 2010 at 9:01 am |
    • Jane

      Princess, it's a shame that you haven't evolved enough to comprehend that there isn't anyone up there. It's a shame that so many people still think as their ancestors did- if I throw a virgin in the volcano it won't erupt. Faith in a superbeing is for people who can't come to grips with reality. Religion is for the feeble minded.

      October 17, 2010 at 7:21 am |
    • Mat

      You have the answered the question that God exist. The whole of science is a hypothesis till some one comes along and changes it. The difference between faith and science is that faith is unquestioned because you arrive at it after all the questions, while science is all questions and hypothetical answers. Technology wouldnt have kept the miners alive underground for 2 months. The inner strength came from faith not technology.

      October 17, 2010 at 11:59 am |
  20. Raison

    I, too, would be very glad to get out of that hole, but I would thank the people who helped get me out.
    If the rescuers couldn't have done it without their fantastical beliefs prodding them into action, then I would thank them and their reliance upon their fantasies for doing a nice thing. How can one thank a fantasy? Why with another fantasy!

    Fantastic job of "hanging in there" to everyone concerned. You work with whatever you've got. They had what they had.

    Glad to see they are okay. I don't give a rip about their "faith".

    October 14, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
    • Tina


      Well put!!!

      October 17, 2010 at 8:17 am |
    • Margaret

      Sure you do. Otherwise you wouldn't have posted.

      October 17, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
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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.