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May 4th, 2011
12:01 PM ET

My Take: No apology for celebrating after bin Laden's death

Editor's Note: Lauren Kolodkin is an undergraduate student at Boston University; among her professors is CNN Belief Blog contributor Stephen Prothero, who wrote that the celebrations that followed bin Laden's death made him cringe.

By Lauren Kolodkin, Special to CNN

For the past 10 years, my generation has had it pretty bad.

Our youth was taken away by the attacks on 9/11 and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Our teen years were pockmarked by the Great Recession. Our college days are splattered with political unrest. And when we graduate from college, we will emerge overeducated and underprepared into an America with no jobs, no opportunities and no hope.

My generation has been told for years that our world is a place where there is little reason to celebrate anything.

But then, on Sunday night, President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden, leader of al Qaeda, mastermind of the attacks of September 11, 2001, was killed in Pakistan. The man who murdered thousands of Americans and instigated the war on terror is finally gone. And my generation celebrated.

Hundreds of college students across the city gathered in Boston Common and cheered together. I went from my dorm at BU. We cursed bin Laden and sang rousing renditions of “God Bless America.” We smiled and laughed and waved at cameras. A friend of mine turned to me and said, “Someday we’ll talk about this with our children. This is amazing.” For a night, at least, we forgot our troubles and reveled in the joy of our peers.

But what exactly were we celebrating that night? Someone’s death?

I know some students who shied away from the celebrations, in Boston and elsewhere, because they felt uncomfortable cheering someone else’s demise. We are taught by our parents, by God, by the world around us that life is sacred, and death is a time for reflection, not revelry. For some people, this death renews memories of a mother or father lost, a friend gone or a life ruined.

Closure is rarely delivered by vengeance, and this death surely isn’t the end of our sorrow. A bullet through the icon of terror does not bring your sister or brother back, it doesn’t rebuild the twin towers, and it doesn’t erase a decade of sadness and hardship.

I cannot imagine what it would have been like to lose someone on 9/11. I’m not from New York. I don’t know anyone who works at the Pentagon. No one I knew died on that day. But I remember watching my fourth grade teacher cry that morning and refusing to tell us why, because she’d been instructed to leave that grim task to our parents.

I remember getting off the bus to find my mother waiting to tell me what had happened. I remember seeing the smoke on the television screen, choking me from a distance, clips of disaster playing over and over again.

I remember seeing Osama bin Laden’s face for the first time. I was 9 years old.

My generation is cursed by those images of horror and destruction. We are cursed by that face. And since that day, we have been burdened with the consequences.

But on May 1, 2011, something changed. A man who hurt so many people will never hurt anyone again. I know that this is not the last of horrible men, but at least it is the last of this horrible man, this symbol of hatred and war and bloodshed.

That is why my generation celebrated on Sunday night and Monday morning. We did not celebrate his death; we celebrated the dawn of a new day without bin Laden. We celebrate because maybe the world isn’t as bad as they told us. We celebrate because we can.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Lauren Kolodkin

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 9/11 • Death • Osama bin Laden • Terrorism

soundoff (642 Responses)
  1. gary

    Yippee! Rabid Xtians ecstatic over a man's death! Just like all those anti-abortion bible humpers who are so gung-ho about war, and happy to see US bombs on anyone who doesn't look like them.

    May 28, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
  2. Mujahid Jafri

    "The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Lauren Kolodkin"

    Why does CNN keeps hiding behind such disclaimers even where humanity demands that it should take a stand? Is CNN afraid of losing its popularity?

    May 28, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  3. Jason M

    Took more than ~10 years, ~$1.3 trillion, messing up 2 countries and at least ~919,967 casualties to finally get this guy. We lost ~3k lives on 9/11 and yet sacrificed ~5k of our own troops between the 2 wars. He rallied people who, like him, did not like the U.S.A. messing around in the middle east.

    If you look at the numbers (and feel free to research them yourself) one asks "Did we really accomplish anything?"

    No, in the end he won and he knew it. We blew his brains out, big whoopy-do- Keep messing around with other country's interal affiars and another like him will rise, motivate like minded folks to do bad things and we'll do the same thing and lose more money, lives, and end up killing more people to accomplish very little.

    Yea, go ahead and celebrate you sadistic morons.

    May 28, 2011 at 8:24 am |
    • Derrique

      No, you pretty much nailed it. Sadly, that's the gist of it.

      May 28, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • Mr Mike

      Can't people like you just be happy for one day? Just try to enjoy the fact that we have achieved one victory in the past 10 years? Is that not enough for you? Is it not enough that this country lets you speak out against it publicly has been through some of the most terrible hardships and now that OBL is dead, mission accomplished, we are finally bringing our loved ones home. Isn't that enough for you? Or do you wish to continue to live in a world of hopelessness and despair, the world isn't changing anytime soon there will always be war and death and fighting. We cannot change this and it won't be changed. Your remarks are hurtful to those that have had family die in the events of Sept 11th or any terrorist attack against american's whether it be on US soil or not. My brother died in Iraq, my cousin in Afghanistan, my friend's father during the attack of the towers. If we killed the man who killed members of YOUR family I would celebrate. Why not mine? Be American. Be human. Have a heart.

      May 28, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • Jason M

      I don't think many people quite grasp the magnitude of the information I typed. (Not suprised).
      People die all the time, firends and family of mine are of no exception- deal with it.
      Cheer up! It is only going to get worse. on.

      Till then here's a happy face poem for you:

      Some people wear tin foil hats-
      Some people grow wool on their backs-
      meanwhile I will continue to watch-
      while people die under attacks-

      -Jason M

      May 28, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
    • Muneef

      Them making money is the name of the game as we say "Tragedy for some people is a benefit for others", so you see such films will continue because few in high posts are making money from generating such stories....after all they were the ones who created those actors...!

      May 28, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
    • Muneef

      Such as those BrainwashIng that causes fears and distrusst among peoples of nations....other than having sawn the seeds of evil that take advantage of such prophecies to make believe and to market their products....
      Kindly go through link; http://ourlady3.tripod.com/

      May 29, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  4. Felix1877

    To fight against terrorism led us to commit a family massacre in front of their children and drag their dead bodies again in front of their children, in their family home and famous celebrations over it in the States too. This reminds me of archeological findings about Neanderthals who had funeral ceremonies, burying their dead with flowers and that they took care of injured individuals between 60 and 80,000 years ago.

    May 28, 2011 at 3:20 am |
    • grizzlycouch

      brilliant statement mate
      the stone creatures were more civilised than we are

      May 30, 2011 at 12:13 am |
    • Felix1877

      Am I a persona non grata anymore, dear CNN? Why my postings don't appear?

      May 31, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  5. JIm Marshall

    Good essay. For those of you saying that these young folks haven't had it as bad as previous generations let me set you straight. We have now been at war longer than we were at war for WWII, longer than when we had combat troops in Vietnam. This is the biggest economic downturn since the great depression. We have the greatest concentration of wealth at the top since the days of the railroad barrons. In most prior generations, kids had a childhood. This is the thing that was taken away. I grew up during the Vietnam war. I was allowed to be innocent, I was allowed to be a child. My parents grew up during the depression. They had it tough, but again, they were allowed to be children. My mom tells me about playing kick the can and my dad tells me about building little boxcar racers. This man spoiled a lot of kids lives.

    May 28, 2011 at 2:58 am |
    • Derrique

      Yes, but these kids aren't working in factories or selling war bonds, either. Times aren't as tough as they used to be. This mainly affected my fellow soldiers getting their heads, arms, and legs blown off. 10 years and countless lives lost, just to get the man, and now another will step up in his place. The only 'victory' that was acquired in the end, was Bin Laden's. It's unfortunate to put it that way, but it's true.

      May 28, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • Jason M

      A mellinnial saying they're generation had it rough? W.O.W.

      Let me tell you something coming from a guy born in the early 80's-we got it made.

      Now, if you do like I do and go live in a country that isn't as pampered as U.S.A say like... some dirt poor barangay in a province of the philippines then come back and we'll talk about times a 'lil' tough

      or, maybe serving in a war zone? It is not as fun as you might think. Nothing like waking up every day or night knowning there is a chance you could die. It is like you part of a game of 'whack a mole' and guess who the whacker is and who the mole is.

      Look at you, fair white skin, groomed hair, sun glasses, access to computers, in college, running hot water, edible 3 meals a day, weather that isn't life threating, clothes on your back, and the attention of some 600+ people reading this opinion piece and you claimed we had it bad?

      pure *&%$ ing ignorance.

      May 28, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
    • Brian

      I'm still trying to figure out how today's children are not allowed to be children. What exactly has been taken away?

      If anything it seems to be they are allowed to be children well into their 20s.

      May 28, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
  6. your mom

    wow. this just proves that AMERICANS just search for an opportunity to party.even if its someones death. thanks, you STUPID girl who wrote this article:)

    May 27, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
  7. Muneef

    OMG....I do not believe what I hear ....Where one man saying would cause a whole nation or race be suspected and discriminated all over the world...!!! This is not fair not fair at all... This one man just with few word has thrown atomic bombs against all Muslims in the name of Taliban Pakistan by their speaker (Mahsood)...
    This man not only thrown the bomb on Islam but even against Christians,Jews and those whom he called Infidels...!?

    How can a man execute nations bringing distrust,fear and hate among them in the country as well as to those aboard working or citizens in other countries!!!?.this is unfair and unbelievable.... He has made of the late Ossama as the Prince of believers!! 
    Now only I understand what these blogs were talking about...what's happening to the world is far more dangerous Plague than any Birds Flu... Pigs Flu...or Cow Madness..!!!!  This is madness from some one speaking in the name of Islam to do any believers or non believers for a crime they have not committed...that was one of the commandments made to Children of Israel;

    Grossness of Murder
    [5:32] Because of this, we decreed for the Children of Israel that anyone who murders any person who had not committed murder or horrendous crimes, it shall be as if he murdered all the people. And anyone who spares a life, it shall be as if he spared the lives of all the people. Our messengers went to them with clear proofs and revelations, but most of them, after all this, are still transgressing.

    May 27, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  8. Dr. M. M. Abdullah

    Ms. Kolodkin I applaud you for having the courage to express your beliefs. It is a common experience that people perish by the very means which they seek to destroy others. Let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just. Pious.

    May 27, 2011 at 9:20 am |
  9. Kanageloa

    I am not sorry that I celebrated his death. My grandfather celebrated Hitler's death, my father celebrated the death of the Soviet Union and I am happy to celebrate the death of pure EVIL. Maybe I'll celebrate more in the coming months?

    May 26, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  10. Carlos

    This is how i look at it, Millions of americans were happy the day Osama was killed we all cheered and relief swept over us, BUT to celebrate his death in running around your school, I mean how lame are you, someone was killed. KILLED i know what is SAID he did is wrong but are any different form the guys dancing around when they kill our soldiers, your telling me you are like they very people you claim to hate, im 23 years old i was in 7th grade when 9/11 happened i cryd i saw thousands of people jumping off towers. am i traumatized?? NOPE our world feeds off stuff like this, it all happened for WAR
    yes it sux but i feel its the truth. without war's how can we prosper...... the very same town ur sitting in is there most likely due to a war, call me dumb call me an un-loyal umerican..... but i think 9/11 was one HUGE PLAN.. and if it was so be it, the truth is WE WILL NEVER KNOW THE TRUTH..... lies like this follow people to their graves.

    May 24, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
  11. Jeannie 807

    Your generation has had it pretty bad? Are you kidding? pampered by indulgent parents, freedom to to whatever they want,
    and as far as overeducated, I'd like to disagree. Sure you can use a computer with great speed, but they are merely tools. Great Wisdom doesn't come from a computer, but by putting your brain to work. What books are you reading in order to become a wiser or more creative person, or know more about the history or culture of the world? Just because you're out of school doesn't mean learning stops. It means you're just starting on the journey to become yourself.

    What about the "Youth Lost" when Pearl Harbor happened? Vietnam? Korea", You're NOT a special group – these generations had their problems and dealt with them, I suggest you do the same and stop whining.

    If you want to know of a generation that has had it tough – talk to my Mother. She was raised during the Great Depression,
    many times she went to bed hungry (can you say that?), her shoes had soles made from tire treads and clothes were
    passed down time and time again. (Can you imagine that either?) Your generation of "Must Have Everything I Want Now" has no idea what living in poverty is like. Are you tough enough to be able to do it if needed? Surely not.

    BTW – my Mother did very well for herself and is loved by all three of her children (all college grads).

    May 24, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
    • Jason

      The generations prior were shielded to a far higher degree from the trauma of all the events you listed. A nine year old in 1941 would have only heard about Pearl Harbor in what information they got from their parents, their friends, from radio reports after the fact. A nine year old in 1969 would only know about the Vietnam War from when they see Walter Cronkite standing around in the jungles on the evening news, giving out a body count number that would be nothing but a statistic to them. The graphic parts, the pain and the agony, were endured by adults, who shielded their children from those parts of it.

      For all the pain of the Depression, for the most part, it was a slow, numb boil that came upon

      A nine year old in 2001 saw their fellow Americans hurl themselves out of 50th floor windows, saw hundreds of people die horribly before their eyes when the second plane hit the towers, watched thousands more die as the towers collapsed, heard the pure trauma in the voices of everyone in New York as they reported live. They were a -part- of that, in a way that no American child in 1941 or 1969 could possibly be. They saw mass murder – not the execution of war, but mass murder – live before their eyes.

      You cannot possibly understand how that day felt unless you were yourself an innocent on that day. Whether 'kids today have it so easy!' is completely and utterly irrelevant. Helicopter moms and pampered childhoods you refer to. Does a pampered child not still bleed, not feel pain as much as anyone else, when you stab it?

      September 11th was a knife in the psyche of every youth of that era – and it is why the generation that came of age in that time tends to be a bit darker, a bit more cynical, than the one that came before it. There simply was no precedent for our brains to cope with what we were seeing, so of course it had a dramatic impact on us.

      May 24, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • Jeremy

      + 10 points for Jason

      May 24, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
    • Edrick

      Jason,
      You've made some good points, but why do you think we were attacked?

      May 24, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
    • Juro Gagne

      "many times she went to bed hungry (can you say that?),"

      Yes. And on thanksgiving, once, that was depressing. Also, I thought we ate spaghetti every night because we liked it, not because it was all we could afford half the time,

      "her shoes had soles made from tire treads and clothes were
      passed down time and time again. (Can you imagine that either?)"

      I never owned first-hand clothes until I graduated from highschool. I didn't have access to a computer of my own until college.

      "Your generation of "Must Have Everything I Want Now" has no idea what living in poverty is like. Are you tough enough to be able to do it if needed? Surely not."

      Gotta love some middle-class, middle-aged, privileged person spouting generalizations about my peers and I. Just so you know, poverty is not dead. Why the hostility, Jeannie?

      May 25, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • Tim M

      Your comment, however you think was appropriate, was not. It does not apply. This was not an attack on the military but on people who worked in office buildings. The orphans left behind will testify to that. They did not think they were going to die that day, neither had they any expectation of a militaristic attack on their office building.

      May 26, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Derrique

      @Jason: Unfortunately, you weren't alive for most of that period, and neither was I. We can only speculate. in 1941, America was just coming out of the Great Depression and into World War II. Children back then went without most provisions, in order to focus everything on the war efforts. Any extra money was tied up into war bonds. Fathers were fighting in Europe, mothers were working in factories, and children had to make good on their own, mostly. My grandfather was 5 in 1941, and he always said that life was tough when he was a kid. Kids had to act like adults and get jobs, at that age. 9/11 hit closer to home, and the wars have lasted longer, but things are different now. People can still go to school, buy whatever they want, do whatever they want, say whatever they want, and not have to care about the war. A week after 9/11 hit, my unit was in Saudia Arabia, looking for Bin Laden. I was 20 years old, still at the college age. I KNOW that nobody else (save the victims and familes in NYC) was personally affected, except for gaining a burst of patriotism. After that, life just continued, as it always had. Nothing was different, except for my fellow soldiers and their families. Even still, being the child of a soldier is nothing that nobody else hasn't had to endure before. Even the new recruits coming in now are complete garbage. The talk back, they have no respect, they don't feel they need to follow the rules. They're pampered, and it shows. All of us NCO's are scratching our heads over it. Ms. Kolodkin's essay was well-written in wordage and grammar, but her point of view is a little skewed. Graduating college or writing a paper, even after some research, don't necessarily make one an expert on any given subject. Life experiences give you the greater wisdom to compare and contrast that given knowledge. So, essentially, you need both. She's on the right track, but she just needs to get a little bit older and experience life first, before she makes up her mind on what's 'gospel truth'.

      May 28, 2011 at 11:22 am |
  12. Edrick

    What a nice piece of propaganda.

    May 24, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  13. Alex Gessong

    We're celebrating that Osama bin Ladin is no longer in this world that he hated so much. Now he no longer lives in
    fear of being captured. Or having to hide behind one of his wives. We're celebrating for the one billion peaceful, law-abiding Musilms in the world who no longer have to fear being stigmatized by the image of Osama bin Ladin. And we're celebrating that a very bad man can do no more bad things and the world is a better place for it.

    May 24, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  14. Krissy

    we had every right to celebrate! It just shows that we Americans are not afraid!!!!

    May 24, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • Randy

      As a follower of Christ, I found these statements captured my sentiments.
      Rejoice that an enemy is dead. The Bible is full of examples of rejoicing over the death of the wicked.
      Grieve that a soul is lost. Osama bin Laden is in hell. A believer should grieve that the message that could have saved bin Laden was rejected.
      Pray for those under deception. The Islamic world is deceived alone with many others.
      Long for the days of Messiah's reign. Someday (Not May 21st , obviously) the deceiver will find himself locked away, defeated by the returning King

      May 24, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  15. Brian

    "My generation has had it pretty bad..."

    LOL.

    Ah, the ignorance of youth...

    I'm sure I was never that naive. 🙂

    May 24, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • Brian

      Sorry to continue my own post, but seriously, what are you talking about?

      "For a night, at least, we forgot our troubles and reveled in the joy of our peers." What? I'm sure you haven't been to a party since 2001. I'm sure college campuses across the nations are now like mausoleums, filled with depressed students who "lost their childhood" on 9-11 and now have no joy. No doubt BU is like a monastery.

      Like most others I was happy to receive the news about Osama. But I did find it odd that the college students, those that were too young to really grasp the significance of 9-11 at the time, were the ones out celebrating in the streets. And I can't help but think that this is not an outlet for having had your youth taken away, but rather just another avenue to make everything about you. The crappy tv shows and your iphones and all of the things you've grown up with (as your childhood was taken away) feed this ego. Its SOOOOOOOO hard to be young these days. Give me a break. Wait until you grow up.

      And there's also the dramatic doom and gloom "we'll emerge with no jobs and no hope" bs. Built in excuses. And more of the same selfish nonsense.

      May 24, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • LB

      Be Nice Brian.

      May 24, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Dillon

      Brian,

      As a member of Ms. Kolodkin's generation I agree with what she has said. I relate to it. I am a 20 year old student from the midwest who will be starting my junior year of college in the fall. I was in the 5th grade and was 11 years old on September 11, 2001. She raises good points about the world we have lived in since 9/11. There is no argument that it has been more difficult for our generation. I don't think anyone would suggest that. But what you have failed to acknowledge is the fact that this is the world we have lived in for nearly half of our lives, and most of our memory. I think you sound ignorant when you say that my generation doesn't understand the significance of 9/11. I think we understand it all too well. I think you sound arrogant when you mock her, suggesting that there has been no happiness for our generation since. That is, and I think you know this, not what she was saying. You can't argue that we will be entering the job force during the worst time since the great depression (something I'm sure was before your time, considering you're on the internet). I grew up with threat levels. I don't remember a time when the airport wasn't a security nightmare.

      Now, all social effects aside, I want you to take a moment to consider one more thing: since my birth in 1990, what has America accomplished? Other than the first Gulf War in 1991 (I was 5 months old), America hasn't done anything we've set out to do. Until now. My generation didn't see the end of the Cold War. We didn't see the Berlin Wall fall. We missed Civil Rights. We didn't see either world war. We've been told our whole lives about American exceptionalism, but until the death of Osama Bin Laden, we have not seen our country succeed in such a way. This was our Berlin Wall. This was our Civil Rights movement. This was our example of American success. You can downplay its importance to my generation all you want. You can suggest that I've had an iPhone since I was 6 and that I spend all of my time partying, unaffected by my countries foreign policy and failing economy if you want. But I've been told, and with reason, for most of my life that Bin Laden was public enemy number one. And when we got him it meant a lot.

      DiD yOu EvEr ThInK oF tHaT bRiAn?!

      May 24, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • Brian

      Dillon,

      You are 20. And dumb. And naive.

      Guess what?

      So are most 20 year olds. In any generation.

      The difference now is that you are absolutely more indulged than any other generation in history. I have a hard time imagining other collegiate teenagers in history whining about how bad they have it. Even in the 1930s.

      Stop pretending that September 11 changed your lives all that much. It didn't. And acting like it did is disrespectful to those whose lives were actually affected.

      May 25, 2011 at 1:39 am |
    • Juro Gagne

      "Stop pretending that September 11 changed your lives all that much. It didn't. And acting like it did is disrespectful to those whose lives were actually affected."

      It didn't affect us? This is one of the most ignorant statements I've ever read. It defined our lives and still does. You think going home from school and watching the video of those towers burning over and over and over again on the news didn't affect us? You think the Patriot Act didn't affect us? You think those two wars and the threat of more attacks didn't affect us? You really think we can't grasp the impact of those attacks on the world we live in?

      I know people will ignore you just because of your "youth." So if that's what you think, then I guess I can't change your mind.

      May 25, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • Brian

      Poor you.

      You saw the images on tv. You had to grow up with the Patriot Act.

      How do you manage to get out of bed in the morning?

      Try seeing those images and being aware that at any moment the government could pull your card and send you off halfway around the world to kill or be killed.

      Oh, that's right...you don't have to worry about that.

      I think the best thing for you to do at this point is update your facebook page.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  16. Pete J

    The problem, though, is that a short term view of our issues in the world doesn't flesh out the fact that these 'wars' are far from over, Bin Laden's death doesn't bring jobs back (and really 9/11 didn't take them in the first place), nor does it make us safer (see the Pakistani attack last weekend). If anything, it escalates the pace of this conflict.

    Yes, bin laden dead is a milestone in our war on terror, yes he was an evil man and yes, he probably deserved death. Caution should be our watchword of the day because our world just got a little more interesting.

    May 24, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  17. Kris

    Great article, Lauren! Thank you for sharing your thoughts in an atriculate and thought-provoking way.

    I honestly had never thought about how the younger generations may have viewed these events in our lives, and I loved your perspective!

    May 24, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  18. JJ

    The "muslims" celebrated the deaths of thousands of civilians on September 11, 2001. We only celebrated the death of one individual. Get over it.

    May 24, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Jack H

      You ignorant fool...I am in no way shape or form in favor of Bin Laden however in celebrating the death of him or an human person – we are becoming the beast we are trying to fight. It is a human life – no matter how cruel or vile he was. You are DUMB>

      May 24, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  19. William

    I felt relief but I will leave the macabre celebrations to the 'educated' hordes.

    May 24, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  20. johnny orlando

    Hell yeah we should have and did celebrate the death of that pig sucking loser. I hope it angered the terrorists, what are they gong to do? Try to kill us? They have been trying to kill us all this time, it wont change anything.

    May 24, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.