President Obama marks Ramadan
August 1st, 2011
12:14 PM ET

President Obama marks Ramadan

By Alexander Mooney, CNN

Washington (CNN)– President Obama Monday is marking the beginning of Ramadan, the month-long Muslim holiday of fasting and reflection.

In a statement issued by the White House, the president said, "Times like this remind us of the lesson of all great faiths, including Islam – that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us."

He also said he will be hosting an iftar dinner at the White House, an event he hosted last year as well.

You can read Obama's full statement on CNN's White House blog The 1600 Report
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Barack Obama • Belief • Holidays • Islam • Politics • Ramadan

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soundoff (186 Responses)
  1. Pennyonecent

    How can anyone with intelligence say there is no God? Who made the heavens and earth? Who made the first human ( or do you believe you descended from a monkey)? DNA has proven that human DNA is not the same as any other animal's DNA. We are unique. Who made the earth and all the planets? Who made them rotate around the sun? Who made the grass green? The sky blue? Science can explain how they work, but not how they began! Where did the first blade of grass originate? The first chicken or egg, LOL? How can anyone look at this world around us and not see there a devine power created it. I know man didn't create it. We may destroy it, but we didn't create it.

    August 3, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Ever hear of a library? Didn't you attend high school? How do you not know these simple concepts?.
      You can't even spell divine. [Shaking head.]

      August 3, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • 0369A9630

      There is a man by the name of Lee Strobel. He happens to know alot about that type of topic . .

      August 4, 2011 at 12:32 am |
  2. B.D. 62

    Thank you so much George for your very intelligent commentary. You have many historical facts straight and you are to be commended. Just like how American History is REPLETE with references of how the Founding Fathers incorporated Christian principles in our government to make this country great. The Declaration of Independence is considered our nation's birth certificate and it mentions "GOD" FOUR TIMES. However, many simply refuse to acknowledge the FACTS because they are too blind to admit their need of God to whom we all will one day answer, like it or not. "GOD BLESS AMERICA" has been a slogan for CENTURIES! May He continue to do so, I pray. God bless!

    August 3, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • pfeffernusse

      Many simply refuse to acknowledge the FACTS because they are too blind to admit their need to have history match their personal belief. It’s not enough for them to hold their belief. Their belief has to be built into the foundations of this country (which is most certainly was not) because they’re insecure. If you need to have your religion propped up all around you, maybe your faith isn’t strong enough.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:54 am |
  3. churro

    He cant hold the prayer breakfast which was held since Ike was president, but he can snuggle up to Islam? This man leaves no gray area to debate about what he believes. People wanted a change and they got one , now history will record the rest of the story.

    August 3, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Michael

      You DO know it's completely impossible for Obama to be Muslim, right? He's pro-abortion and is inching more and more towards being for gay marriage. Those are two things Muslims would literally shun him for.

      August 3, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • pfeffernusse

      You DO know it's completely impossible for Obama to be Muslim because he has stated, repeatedly, that he is a Christian? He attends Christian churches and has all his life. People are so upset that a black man sits in the Oval Office they are willing to believe any wild conspiracy theory to soothe the cognitive dissonance.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:47 am |
  4. A-man

    What's the big deal? So he marked the holiday. Maybe he is a Muslim maybe he isn't, we got more things to worry about.

    August 3, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • Pennyonecent

      What's the big deal? Are you kidding? Obama is in charge of the U.S. world policy. He CONTROLS a lot! Since he has taken control, the U.S. is being forced to buddy up to Islam and the "brotherhood". We are no longer considered allies with Israel even though every President before him felt it was important to maintain that friendship.

      August 3, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • pfeffernusse

      “Since he has taken control, the U.S. is being forced to buddy up to Islam and the ‘brotherhood’. “

      I just know you have sources to back this up. Surely you wouldn’t make up “facts” to suit your bias.

      “We are no longer considered allies with Israel even though every President before him felt it was important to maintain that friendship.”

      We are definitely allies with Israel. Israel couldn’t and doesn’t survive without US support. Of course, the reason our foreign policy is written around Israel is because some people believe that Armageddon is going to happen there and the US needs it to happen in a friendly nation. I guess so Americans can catch the right bus up.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:41 am |
  5. onlyoneway

    i feel for your souls. please put two and two together, read the Bible, the end is closing in on this world. Look to Jesus who is the only way, truth and life. please consider whats going on around this world and compare it to what the Bible says. we are headed for disaster but thank Jesus i wont be here and only hope and pray for the people that remain. remember if youre left behind look up because that is where your redemption is. God Bless

    August 3, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • Pennyonecent

      Amen to that!

      August 3, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • pfeffernusse

      I did all that. Nothing happened. Now what?

      August 4, 2011 at 10:38 am |
  6. Summary

    Mr. Obama cannot hide his Muslim heritage. He should be more devout one.

    August 3, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • pfeffernusse

      Can you hide from your ingnorant heritage? It runs in famliies...

      August 4, 2011 at 10:36 am |
  7. satudarah

    AMERICA White Head Chicken Wing afraid of Islam Domination. Its better not fight them, said General US on Iraqi

    August 3, 2011 at 4:17 am |
  8. Reality

    A refrigerator door sign for the White House:



    August 2, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
  9. Evan

    I don't understand how an intelligent person could be an Atheist.

    An Atheist is a person who believes that there is no God. When asked for evidence for this position, the Atheist will often reply "You can't prove a negative". But this is ridiculous for 2 reasons:

    1) Yes, you can prove a universal negative. You can prove that there are no Muslims in the United States senate. You can prove that there are no unicorns in the room you are currently sitting in now. You can prove that there are no married bachelors or square circles.

    2) If you admit that you can't prove that God doesn't exist, than why are you even an Atheist? You should be a Agnostic rather than a person who claims something that they can't prove.

    Atheists will often respond "That's the wrong definition of Atheism. Atheism is simply the lack of belief in gods. It makes no claim". But this is garbage. You either believe something exists or you don't. There is no inbetween.

    August 2, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
    • AGuest9

      It's very easy, Evan, because what's more amazing is how the "faithful" can believe all of the twisted, convoluted, contradictory fairy tales that they do. Atheists aren't hamstrung that way. There is nothing to believe. We're born, we live, we die, we make compost.

      August 2, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
    • Civiloutside

      Evan, what is meant by the statement "you cannot prove a negative," is that you can't prove the nonexistence of anything that has even the remotest possibility of being real. There are no square circles because their definitions completely exclude each other. And while I could prove that there are no unicorns in the room with me (so long as unicorns don't have properties of being invisible, inaudible, and intangible), it I impossible to prove the nonexistence of any unicorn anywhere in the universe. It is impossible to prove the nonexistence of invisible, intangible unicorns. It is impossible to prove the nonexistence of invisible fairy godparents whose wands are the sole power responsible for the nuclear and gravitational forces that bind the universe together. I could go on and list any innumerable and increasingly ridiculous scenarios that are entirely impossible to disprove, but I hope you get the point without me having to do so. The point is that you don't believe in the existence of those things, and probably don't find your disbelief remarkable in the slightest. Well, to us, gods are in the same category of, and the only remarkable thing about our disbelief is the extreme social pressure placed on u to abandon it.

      Atheism and agnosticism are not mutually exclusive. Agnosticism has to do with knowledge, while atheism has to do with belief. You'll probably find that most atheists are actually agnostic atheists, which means we don't *know* whether gods exist or not, but we don't *believe* that they do because we have seen no evidence that they do. So in much the same way that I will not be spending my life searching high and low for invisible unicorns, I will not be spending my life chasing after the approval of any gods.

      August 3, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • pfeffernusse

      I don't understand how an intelligent person could be a person of faith. How can someone blindly follow a collection of myths and stories (that are often contradictory) when the reality around them is so much more important?

      Evan, I take it you don’t believe in Thor, Osiris, Zeus, or any of the rest, correct? You are an atheist about those gods. I’m an atheist, too. I just believe in one less god than you do.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:32 am |
  10. hodgepodge4thesoul

    "Times like this remind us of the lesson of all great faiths, including Islam – that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us."...Something some of us (YOU) don't tend to do unless it's "one of your own kind." America is a melting pot, and I for one, think it's great that MY PRESIDENT acknowledged it. No where did he say that "he believed in Islam", he is trying to remind us that we need to take care of one another instead of stepping all over each other. KINDNESS transcends, something a very small-minded person doesn't understand.

    August 2, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
  11. fernace

    @ George, did it ever occur to you & you fellow missionaries that the population of the nation you were trying to "save," resented your interference & arrogance. I'm pretty certain they feel their religion is the "1 True Religion," & you & your friends were insulting them & their religion! Perhaps they didn't feel the necessity to be "saved"! I understand that you didn't feel you were doing anything wrong, but did you ask the people of their opinions? Obviously they disagreed with you! Also, to those who think only christians built this nation, that is a historically incorrect statement! This nation was built by people from around the globe, who represented many religions & some who represented no religion! Not to forget the Native-Americans who helped build the nation, even though their land was taken away from them! No1 can take a religion seriously,who's believers want to rewrite history & well known scientific facts!

    August 2, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • pfeffernusse

      Oh, there you go…being all logical and egalitarian.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:28 am |
  12. Fact-telling

    I make the forest smell bad.

    August 2, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  13. Al-Suq A'Kweer

    ♪♫ Happy ramadan to you...

    Happy ramadan to you..

    Happy Ramadan dirty Farkles...

    Happy ramadan to yooouuuuu.

    And a sad death of Ali ♪♫

    August 2, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • derp

      Sparkling wiggles!!!

      August 2, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  14. AGuest9

    CNN, please tell Disqus to fix the indexing on their Reply function, which doesn't appear to be working today.

    August 2, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  15. AGuest9

    -div E = del dot E = 0

    "An Introduction to Partial Differential Equations with MATLAB", Matthew P. Coleman, p. 67.

    The difference between your quote and mine? Mine isn't a fairy tale.

    August 2, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  16. Fact-tellingShatInForestScentZeldalinaBeatBonnie

    Marks it like a dog marks a fire hydrant.

    August 2, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  17. AGuest9

    "do unto others as we would have them do unto us."

    No, sorry. People who strap explosives to mentally handicapped children to send into crowded markets? I want nothing of this.

    August 2, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • Ron

      So, are you saying ALL Muslims do this? That would be like me saying that all conservative, evangel Christians kill others like the guy in Norway. You should consider statements that make such a broad brush stroke.

      August 2, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • AGuest9

      They are instructed to by the Qur'an, are they not? (Qur'an:47:4, Surah 9:5, et al.)

      August 2, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Or what you're telling me is that the religion is a sort-of smorgasbord that you can kind-of pick and choose what you listen to and what you don't? That's something else that bothers me about organized religion. As soon as one group of crackpots springs up, everybody likes to talk about how different they are. Are you Eastern, are you Western, are you conservative or fundamentalist? You either follow the defining principles, or you don't. Don't tell me about "that's being somebody else".

      August 2, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
    • helicalbevel

      What do atheist tell a dying person in a hospital room? Get ready for compost? Sad, very sad...

      August 2, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
    • AGuest9

      You tell a dying person that you love them. If you think telling a child some story about being in the sky and seeing dead grandparents an angels and their goldfish will make them feel better, why not? But with adults, let's deal with reality here, shall we?

      August 3, 2011 at 12:49 am |
    • AGuest9

      @helicalbevel – how many times have you been dead? For me – twice.

      The first time as a boy just after I was given last rights. I woke up about a week later in an ICU. No tunnel, no light, no dead relatives. The second time was about four years ago for a "routine" test. I opened my eyes to the cardiac team and a crash cart. No tunnel, no light, no nothing. That's because there is nothing else.

      Enjoy your life, be good to others around you and stop wishing for some delusion, because it doesn't exist, and any part of your free will that you are giving up to some "intermediary" is just giving them power they don't deserve.

      August 3, 2011 at 1:01 am |
    • fred

      If one were to follow Jesus in all that he said can you think of one thing that would cause harm to anyone? I see none so whether it is a delusion or truth it is all good.

      August 3, 2011 at 1:13 am |
    • pfeffernusse

      Aguest9, They are instructed to by the Bible, are they not? Exodus 22:20

      August 4, 2011 at 10:26 am |
  18. Civiloutside

    Actually, according to the Bible, the Israelites didn't even exist as a people At the time the Canaanites took up residence on what you're calling "their land," and the one family from whom they descended were just nomads wandering in the land at that time. Then they *voluntarily* moved to Egypt. When their descendants rebelled against the forced labor in Egypt, they returne to the patch of land that had never been theirs in the first place an systematically slaughtered everyone they could get their hands on. Note that these "squatters" as you call them had never encountered the Israelites before, much less done anything bad to them. It was an invasion of naked conquest, supposedly ordered by their god. And it's stated outright that god supposedly allowed the native peoples to live in the land first so that they could do all the hard work of building cities and infrastructure and then get killed off so the Israelites could live off that infrastructure without having to build it themselves.

    August 2, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • Civiloutside

      This was meant to be a reply to George's post below. Sorry for the confusion.

      August 2, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • History

      @Civil-, you are wrong. Israel punished those child-killing Sodom-like perverts once and for all. Whatever you say, Israel won the wars last century. Civiloutside, leave USA because the Chinese and Arabs own it.

      August 2, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • Kebos

      Just an observation. Whenever someone says "according to the Bible" then put your filter alert on. The Bible has so many errors and non-truths in it that it cannot be trusted. Wasn't intentional. It's just that after centuries of passing stories down by word of mouth, things tend to become twisted and exaggerated. An example – Noah and the Ark......right......like that happened as it is written. Hardly.

      August 2, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • Civiloutside

      Hmm... My attempts to post a reply seem to be vanishing into the ether. I'll try to get back to this.

      August 2, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Civiloutside

      Kebos – I relate tales from the Bible, not because I believe them to be literally true (as an atheist, I obviously don't), but because I find that many Christians believe things about the stories it contains that are not true to the text. These erroneous beliefs almost always whitewash the actions of "Biblical heroes" so that they appear more benevolent than they are actually portrayed.

      August 2, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • Civiloutside

      @History – Yes, those motivations are included in the Bible as well. But it is made pretty clear that the primary motive for the invasion is to secure the land and infrastructure for the use of the Israelites. You should ask yourself, and examine honestly, whether it's even possible for a people who are so irredeemably evil that even the infants deserve to be slaughtered to develop a city-building culture in the first place, or whether that sounds more like war propaganda designed to dehumanize them in order to justify said slaughter.

      August 2, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Kebos

      Civiloutside – As a fellow atheist, I do agree with your approach. I was merely spouting off about biblical inaccuracy. I'm in a feisty mood today, I guess.

      August 2, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Kebos

      Civiloutside – Good points on all your posts.

      August 2, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • George

      Actually the land was Israel. Given to Abraham by God. What right did God have to give it to them, you ask. Well...He created all things and so it all belongs to Him anyway. Abraham and even his sons bought large parcels of the country from the residents that were there as well. The same lands that they are fighting so hard for now. Then there's other descendants of Abraham that you read about: Canaanites, etc. dwelt in the land after Israel went to Egypt. These Canaanites were given 400+ years of GRACE to come back to the way of God. They were being called back to serve God and even Canaan's ancestor (Noah) served God. These Canaanites, and all the other Ites, did not repent! Don't underestimate that God is a Judge and a Righteous Judge at that. He used Israel to carry out His plan. God uses whatever method He wants to call people to Himself. He used Babylonians, He used Egypt, and countless other things that make no sense to us. Just like He even uses you, whether you believe that or not. It's amazing how He can take the stubborn and rebellious to bring people to Him. Because no matter how much you may rant and rave, someone will look for the truth themselves because of what you do and say. You may know a lot of history and other trivial facts, but you're missing the biggest key of all! God is God, not you and not any of us.

      It's the same thing that will happen in the future of this Earth when God will return for what is His. You can deny it all you want, you can make fun of it all you want, but it will happen. People make all kinds of comments about how narrow minded this is, but it's not really as narrow minded as a Big Bang Theory or Evolution Monkey Men. Believe what you want. Trust what you will. I know that the muslim people hide behind a label of peace and try to manipulate everything around them. You'll see it one day, hopefully it won't be too late. I'm not trying to convert anyone one here, that would probably be a useless venture. What I will do is quote Elijah, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” The answer is God is the only God! There is none beside Him.

      As for them not wanting help or asking for it, etc. My response to that is...

      They accepted to invitation, and when it got there...they wanted way more than what we could deliver. They never raised a finger to help themselves, and how much sanitation help can you give someone, who refuses to defecate and urinate where their supposed to but prefer to do it on the streets and in alleys. They are the blind leading the blind! You'll find this out one day, when after the world has given everything to them, and then they'll turn on you. At that time, whether you are a Christian, or if you are a Budhist, Hinduist, or anything other than islam ; they're going to put you into prisons and/or execute you. That's their way! They've been doing it for centuries. Their religion advocates it. They engrain it into the minds of their children before they are five years old. You may not believe what I am saying here, but look it up for yourself. Don't take my word for it. Nat'l Geographic and the History Chan have excerpts on it. Christians have been labeled as hate mongers and bigots for saying these things for years! You'll say the same things about me. The problem is, I'm right! You're afraid of what I am saying because in your mind you're asking yourself, "what if he's right". The world has exceeded the point of no return for what's happening. We've been too complacent and arrogant. It's like letting a bad kid run wild all its life. By the time that kid is grown, it becomes a criminal of the worst kind. That's what we are doing with islam! As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. As for all those who love this whole islamification, all I can say is God have mercy on you. You have a terrible future ahead for you.

      August 3, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • Civiloutside

      George: There are a few ways to look at all of that. If you go strictly by the Bible, god didn't actually spend any of the time that the Israelites were in Egypt making any effort to get the Canaanites to come to him. Nor were they given notice that the land they were living on "belonged" to Israel through God's authority. You can infer those thing if you like, but it is whitewashing the text to make the story go down a little easier.

      Of course, if like me you don't even believe god exists, it all reads as merely justification for a brutal campaign of aggression and genocide. Note that the only remotely praiseworthy motivation for the slaughter is obedience to god.

      If you do believe that god exists, you then have a choice to make. And that choice is: is genocide not only justifiable, but laudable when carried out in god's name. Clearly you take the position that it is – that god has the right to order mass slaughter, and the people who carry it out are good because they are obeying god. But by that logic, every atrocity anyone ever carries out in the belief that god wants them to do so then becomes noble and praiseworthy.

      You then go on to decry Muslims for being willing to lie and kill because god has told them to do so. The very trait you have just defended in the Israelites, you condemn in the Muslims. "It's right when my team does it and wrong when your team does it," is pretty much the definition of hypocrisy. They have just as much proof that they are carrying out God's desires as you have that they are not. It's the same god (the god of Abraham), commanding them to kill for the same reason (failure to obey him).

      August 3, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
    • redroksaz

      First Civiloutside, I am surprised you are bemoaning the fact the Israelites whipped the Canaanites, considering that the Israelites were greatly outmanned and outgunned. Don't you believe in natural selection? It looks like to me your law of natural selection must have been operating here. Survival of the fittest.

      On the other hand, since you don't believe in the God of Israel....what makes you an expert on this account? The fact of the matter is that The Lord's anger reached it's full measure against the Canaanites when they began sacrificing their children by fire to the false god molech. This is what justified the Israelites entering the land and wiping out the inhabitants. The Lord said it had never even entered His mind to sacrifice your children. The inhabitants of the land killed their children way before the Israelites showed up.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  19. Fact-telling

    Why doesn't Mr. Obama celebrate the Ja-pan-ese emperor's birthday? He stupidly bowed down to him.

    August 2, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • Kebos

      If it got Obama votes (which is why he did this, don't anyone be fooled) then I am sure Obama would.

      August 2, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Al-Suq A'Kweer

      Oppps..another Tea Party moron speaks. Just smile & laff & he'll go back under his rock.

      August 2, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Kebos

      Wrong. I'm not. In fact, IMO, Tea Party'ers will escalate the downward slide that the US currently finds itself in. I am for politicians doing what they say, taking responsibility for what they do, and for less government control on our lives. Sadly, three things that will never happen in the US or in my country, Canada.

      Furthermore, any leader of a democratic nation that gives any religion any time in the public eye whatsoever is, IMO, unnecessary and contrary to what we should all be striving for. That is, equality amongst all people regardless of race or color. (notice I have left religion out and hopefully so too will the majority of the world given enough time, unfortunately that will be centuries, not years).

      August 2, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  20. Fact-telling

    America will make 366 national holidays each year to celebrate everything that has nothing to do with formation and existence of USA.

    August 2, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • DamianKnight

      Do I get a paid holiday? Frankly, I don't care if we're celebrating the descent of the cheese monster from the planet Zorgbah if I don't have to get up at 5:30 AM.

      August 2, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • History

      Damian, face it. You Americans have way too many holidays. Mark the first and last day of Ramadan for next year.

      August 2, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      If you give me a paid day off of work on the first and last day of Ramadan, I will glady acknowledge that some people are celebrating a Muslim holiday. The same as I expect many athiests do on Christmas and Good Friday.

      August 2, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • Civiloutside

      Ironically, we hav too many holidays and too few at the same time. If you mean "holidays" as in "days designated to commemorate some person or event," then we have so many they are almost meaningless. However, almost none of them are holidays in the other sense, which is "a celebratory day off from work." when it come to holidays in the second sense, Americans have fewer than any other industrialized nation, and fewer than the vast majority of developing nations as well.

      August 2, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • History

      Damian, pagans and atheists did not a single thing to create or preserve America. Christians did everything. Holiday must have some meaning for the nation.

      August 2, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Civil – I agree. I think it comes from the Puritan work ethic which we can still see in various Menonite and Amish communities. Work, work, work. We are seeing the medical consequences of this with higher stress levels.

      @History – Really? Then explain to me Christmas and New Years Day. Neither one of which were intrinsic on "creating" or "preserving" the United States. As for athiests and/or pagans not doing anything to preserve or create the United States, I find that comment too ignorant to even justify with a response.

      August 2, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Sure, History. I'll email you from my office on Christmas.

      August 2, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • pfeffernusse


      Douglas Adams
      Robert Altman
      Isaac Asimov
      Kevin Bacon
      Dave Barry
      Johannes Brahms
      James Cameron
      George Carlin
      Marlene Diestrich
      Jodie Foster
      Benjamin Franklin
      Katherine Hepburn
      Joyce Carol Oats
      Abraham Lincoln
      James Madison
      Thomas Paine
      Ivan Pavlov
      Terry Pratchett
      Robert Louis Stevenson
      William Howard Taft
      Emma Thompson
      Pat Tillman
      Mark Twain

      Atheists like this, you mean?

      August 4, 2011 at 10:18 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.