February 5th, 2012
02:00 AM ET

The new Christian abolition movement

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Greensboro, North Carolina (CNN) —The truck-stop hooker is no Julia Roberts, the trucker in the cab with her no Richard Gere, and this truck stop off the highway could not be any farther from Beverly Hills, the staging ground for “Pretty Woman.”

The woman sports baggy shorts, a white T-shirt and frizzy hair. Her fat middle-aged pimp sits in a beat up red Honda, watching as his “lot lizard” moves from truck to truck, in broad daylight.  If this pimp has a cane it is for substance, not style.

She moves through the parking lot, occasionally opening a cab’s passenger-side door and climbing in.

The trucker and hooker disappear in the back for 10 minutes.

Danielle Mitchell watches from the other end of the parking lot and shakes her head.

“We know from talking to other victims and other agencies that girls are taken to truck stops and they’re actually traded,” she says, sitting in her car, a shiny silver sport utility vehicle, keeping a healthy 50-yard distance from the pimp.

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Mitchell is North Carolina human trafficking manager for World Relief.  World Relief is a Christian nonprofit attached to the National Association of Evangelicals and is best known for its efforts to combat global hunger and respond to disasters around the world.

Mitchell is trying to tackle a disaster in her home state.   And she is not alone.

Motivated in large part by their religious traditions of protecting the vulnerable and serving “the least of these,” as Jesus instructed his followers to do in the Gospel of Matthew, World Relief and other Christian agencies like the Salvation Army are stepping up efforts and working with law enforcement to stem the flow of human trafficking, which includes sex trafficking and labor trafficking.

“Jesus didn’t just go around telling people about himself.  He also healed the blind and healed the brokenhearted, he freed captives, and I think that it would be ridiculous to walk up to someone who is hurting and tell them, ‘Let me tell you about the Gospel,’ and then walk away while they’re still hurting,” Mitchell says.

In North Carolina, the result of those efforts can be seen in the number of victims of human trafficking being referred to World Relief for services, up 700% in 2011, Mitchell says.

“It’s not that North Carolina is all of a sudden trafficking more people,” Mitchell says. “It’s that we know what to look for and we’re actually identifying and rescuing them.”

Truck stops and sweet potatoes

North Carolina’s rich soil makes it an agricultural hub. It produces more sweet potatoes than anywhere else in the country.  The state acts as a crossroads for three major interstate highways. The mix of accessibility and low-paying farm jobs make a good working environment for traffickers, Mitchell says.

This truck stop is the type you think twice about.  It’s grimy and run down.

How badly do I really have to use the bathroom?  I bet I could hold out for another 12 miles.  That kind of place.

Mitchell walks in and politely asks the women behind the register if they have tape.

“Over there, honey,” the cashier says, pointing to a dimly lit portion of the store.

After paying for a roll of industrial packing tape, she tucks it in her purse and heads for the restroom.

In a stall on the far end, she shuts the door behind her and pulls out the tape and a poster with words in English and Spanish.

“Need help?” the poster asks. “Are you being forced to do something you don’t want to do?” There’s a toll free number, 888-373-7888, for the National Human Trafficking Hotline, run by the nonprofit Polaris Project.

More on the fight against modern-day slavery at the CNN Freedom Project

“A lot of times when girls are being trafficked they’re being controlled,” Mitchell says. “They’re often not allowed to get very far from their trafficker.  And we’ve found one of the very few times girls are alone is when they’re in the bathroom.”

She used to ask if she could hang posters in truck stop restrooms. Now she just hangs them.

That toll free hot line number is plastered on combs, lip balms and nail files that Mitchell and other anti-trafficking workers can slip discreetly to men and women they suspect might be victims. Slipping a potential client an anti-trafficking business card could be dangerous, even deadly, they say.

A comb, nail file and lip balm feature the number for the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

But it’s not the only way Mitchell gets in touch with victims.  Law enforcement is reaching out to her more and more.

When North Carolina law enforcement breaks up a trafficking ring, they call her.

She helps the victims get safe places to live, food and job training,  along with just being a conversation partner.

Since 2010, North Carolina has had a statewide coalition to fight human trafficking. Law enforcement officers are now trained in what to look for. The program includes rapid response teams made up of representatives from law enforcement, service providers, hospitals and charities. When a potential victim comes into a hospital or is discovered through an arrest, the team springs into action.

“Victims are not going to self-identify,” says Mitchell, who has since left World Relief and is considering going back to school after a lack of funding threatened to cut her hours to part time. “ They’re not going to say ‘I’m a victim of human trafficking.’ So the burden is really on the service providers and law enforcement and the community."

In North Carolina, the partnerships between those groups, she says, “have helped to rescue victims.”

Church and state in an unlikely coalition 

Christian groups working to combat trafficking are providing law enforcement with some much-needed relief.

“Because of the limitations of our work, we like to partner with organizations that can provide services,” says Kory Williford, a victim specialist with the FBI based in North Carolina.

“Human trafficking isn’t the only victim population we work with, so to have organizations who can provide care to our victims on a longer term basis than we are able to is huge,” she says.

“A lot of sex trafficking is occurring in this state” and labor trafficking is on the upswing, Williford says.

The FBI in North Carolina has been partnering with World Relief for several years.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Anand P. Ramaswamy, who focuses on human trafficking cases across the state from the federal prosecutors office in Greensboro, says he has been collaborating with local law enforcement on human trafficking.

“Those kind of cases have only recently been on the uptick,” he says. “As officers become more trained in what to look for, the number of cases goes up.”

The nation and the state are still working to catch up with the reality of trafficking, he says.

“Sometimes the victim was treated as part of the problem,” he says.  “In one instance a 16-year-old girl was charged with prostitution by local authorities.  So we have to go and sort of undo that.  That’s also the case where the person may have done something wrong, so they’re reluctant to come forward.”

Ramaswamy is keenly aware that his office and religious groups do not always have the same interests. His is in upholding and enforcing the law, while religious groups are interested in practicing their religion.

But the assistant U.S. attorney still believes in the partnership between church and state.

“On one hand the fact they’re a religious organization is not directly relevant,” he says. “However, if you look at the history of the abolitionist movement, it has always been religious communities and those are the people who are concerned enough to be active in it.

“And today with modern-day slavery the same is the case.”

The new Underground Railroad

Westover Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, is imagining what fighting modern-day slavery could look like. The nondenominational suburban church is cut from an evangelical cloth and has 5,000 members and a sprawling campus.

In 2011, the church started a ministry called “Abolition!” to fight human trafficking. It focuses on prayer, awareness and resources.

“In truth we didn’t know what we were going to do. We just knew we had a really strong passion for it,” says Dianne Stone, an "Abolition!" member. “We didn’t want to be a group that got together and said, ‘Oh we feel so bad for this.’ We wanted to do something and we wanted to make a difference.”

In a bright room off the sanctuary, Stone, Cambre Weller and Jennifer Craver, all members the group, explain why they got involved. They seem unlikely fighters against trafficking.

They could easily pass for a women’s Bible study group as they casually chat about their children and church activities before turning their attention to trafficking concerns in their area.

“It’s another thing to realize this is in your backyard and that’s our responsibility to address that and protect those who are being exploited,” Craver says.

What's the role of faith in fighting slavery?

Craver says the things they have learned about trafficking are horrible and keep her up at night. “I don’t want to know about trafficking, but I do know about it and as a Christian, I feel like I have to respond to that,” she says. “That is part of my calling.”

The group screens documentaries about human trafficking at other churches and sends out speakers to the Christian circuit. They also prepare emergency bags: canvas totes with a comb, brush, journal, pajamas, clean towels and other basics they learned that most trafficked women don’t have.

They keep a ready stash of bags for World Relief to distribute to victims, particularly those who are rescued during raids.

Mitchell says her faith has played a large role in her work to help victims of trafficking. “I don’t think I’m any different than anyone I work with, in vulnerability or dignity,” she says. “And man, I really believe that Christ saw everyone equally.”

Danielle Mitchell views her faith as integral to her work in fighting human trafficking.

“I could have been born in a brothel in India,” she says.

But there is a limit to how much personal faith she shares with clients.

“We’re completely client centered,” she says. “That means we’re not going to force our faith on anyone.  And I don’t talk to the clients about what I believe, unless they ask me.”

“If a client asks me and they want to go to a Buddhist temple, then I’m going to take them because that’s what they want.”

Prostituted not prostitute

Back at the truck stop, Mitchell explains that she hates the term “prostitute” and despises the phrase “lot lizard.”  She says it strips people of their dignity.

Instead, she refers to a “woman or man who is being prostituted.”  It is a slight change in wording that reveals a starkly different viewpoint.

“A lot of people think of sex trafficking or prostitution, they think it’s glamorous and that you can pinpoint someone who is selling sex or being sold for sex,” she says. “Usually it’s just average people who maybe aren’t taking care of themselves."

The prostitute, or woman being prostituted, or potential human trafficking victim, gets back into the beat up red Honda with the overweight pimp, who drives off, maybe after catching a glimpse of a journalist and activist watching them from a safe distance.

Mitchell calls the police to report what she just saw.

A few hours later, they call back and say the alleged pimp and alleged prostitute are long gone.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church and state • North Carolina • United States

soundoff (1,631 Responses)
  1. AtheistSteve

    Believe what you will. Atheists have no interest in winning you theists over to our point of view. We only want to exist without persecution or violation to our rights. I think most people, especially the faithful, do not understand the difficulties associated with the de-conversion from religious indoctrination. It takes incredible courage to adopt a worldview that runs counter to the vast majority. Far easier is the path that goes with the flow. Atheism springs inexorably from the skeptical inquiry and rational @nalysis of religious supernatural claims. But at great cost. Typically shunned as pariahs we fear condemnation from family, discrimination from employers and persecution from religious fanatics. Don't believe me? Try an experiment of placing positive atheist promotion signage in public areas to see how quickly vandals strike out. Religious iconography on the other hand is not only prevalent but almost never defaced because the advancement our ideals isn't furthered by lashing out but by pacifism. Parallels to coming out as an atheist can be drawn to the struggles that the gay community still fights to gain mainstream acceptability. The new atheist movement is still in it's infancy but growing all the time. Isolation and a dearth of like-minded support communities is beginning to be overcome by a surge of awareness and acceptance thanks to the internet and social networking. The taboo against criticizing religious ideology is thus rendered powerless and the pattern of bullying made impotent. In this way are we reaching out to each other. We will not be silenced and we will not go away.

    February 5, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Sports Fan

      That is exactly the philisophy you have to have going into a championship game like this. BOTH teams want it and want it bad. Something has to give! Who will blink first?

      February 5, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • EatYouAlive

      We will never be silenced. The religions are realizing that they are a dying breed and will react with violence and hatred... nothing unusual for them.

      The day that citing religion for being a conscientious objector does not exist, is the day the world approaches sanity.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • John H

      "Sports Fan" is cracking me up. That's some good trollin', nice work.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Your point is well taken AtheistSteve! I read somewhere that atheists are viewed worst then rapists, incredible!

      February 5, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • captain america

      Try existing in your own country we have more than our quota of idiots here already, we do not need to import godless canadians. Try screwing up your own country and leave Us to ours. There's your sign

      February 5, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Alfred E Neuman

      Another phrase for athiest? See the word atheist substi tute ass hole and it is the same meaning.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:49 pm |

    • AtheistSteve – How that rolls off the tongue: Atheist + Steve. If you were just Steve (not CanadianSteve of course), you could live without fear of believers' reactions to your challenges. But you dare believers with your arrogance. You are playing a game and invite opponents. Enjoy.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      "Another phrase for athiest? See the word atheist substi tute ass hole and it is the same meaning"

      A perfect demonstration of my argument.

      "AtheistSteve – How that rolls off the tongue: Atheist + Steve. If you were just Steve (not CanadianSteve of course), you could live without fear of believers' reactions to your challenges. But you dare believers with your arrogance. You are playing a game and invite opponents. Enjoy."

      To acknowledge what I am is arrogance? Yet to endure the endless proclamations of religious belief by politicians, sports figures, community groups and proselytizers is not? Hypocrisy I say.

      February 5, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  2. EatYouAlive

    When is the belief blog going to list the 100s of thousands of atheists doing good works for NO other reason than helping their fellow man?

    February 5, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Mike

      Never. The reality is the belief blog is a place for Christians to post editorials that promote their faith with a veneer of legitimacy.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Toby

      I thought athiests DIDNT believe.. I think you mean you want an "athiest section"

      February 5, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • EatYouAlive

      How about a "humanities" section. This belief blog is a thin veneer for spreading the word.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Sports Fan

      Exactly EatYouAlive, professional athletes and teams have wonderful foundations helping the poor, needy and kids all of the country, but the don't get much credit for all the good work they do. We tend to only here about the bad things.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Bo

      Why don't you pick up the banner Make a list; then post it?

      February 5, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Exactly! If you need the threat of eternal damnation or at best the promise of eternal heavenly reward to do good works for humanity .. you're not sincere & are doing selfish act. Whereas Atheists do good for it's own sake.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Toby

      True athiests dont believe in "good" or "bad". Thats a religious concept.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • EatYouAlive

      good and bad are NOT religious concepts.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Toby, that is a statement born of ignorance of the truth & fear of being wrong.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  3. Bobby

    None of these women are "forced" to do this. No one has a gun to their head. They can escape and get help if they want. Just more drivel on the lack of personal responsibility that so many lack. No one is responsible for their miserable lives but.........themselves.........

    February 5, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Believer in Jesus as my Savior

      Spoken with all the ignorance you could muster? While in a few limited cases that may be true, but you fail to realize the power the pimps have over the girls both psychologically and physically.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Sports Fan

      It is all about compet.i.tion. You want to be a starter? Want to get off the practice squad? You MUST compete! Look at Wes Welker, slot receiver for New England. Not drafted, makes the team in San Diego, winds up in Miami and gets traded to New England. Now he is one of the best receivers in league! It is all HIM and his hard work and work ethic.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Viper1j

      Danielle Mitchell and all those women sitting at that table look like they haven't been laid since Nixon was in office.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • mike

      do you know what a pimp is?

      February 5, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • John

      Wow! Religion aside, this woman is a hero, unlike most of the people commenting!

      February 5, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • APersona

      A lot of people ARE forced to do this. Google "Human Trafficking" and you will see.

      February 5, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  4. RH

    How are they supposed to call the number if they're never left alone? Are they just going to whip out their Iphone while they're in the restroom? Yeah right.

    February 5, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Sports Fan

      Every wide receiver wants to get his number called as often as possible. If you don't drop balls and run quality routes (and can get some yards after the catch!) The coaches and the QA WILL look for you.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
  5. Dan In Tampa

    And in other news, Zealots were so busy intruding into everyone else's lives that they forgot to live their own..

    February 5, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Toby

      Huh? Wrong article man...

      February 5, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Sports Fan

      The press is crazy, I agree. BUT that is what the people want I guess. It has become such a spectacle, folks can't get enough!

      February 5, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
  6. Tim

    It is good to finally see Christians address the s.e.x trade problem in a way that seeks to end it as opposed to being its customers.

    February 5, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Toby


      February 5, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Sports Fan

      It IS nice to get the perspective from INSIDE the locker room and not just what the sports news channels show us.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  7. A Plus

    Please read between the lines, as I must get past the CNN automatic filter.
    I am not making an excuse for the six industry. I believe that all of it – including parn and stimming – is bad for the soul.
    But in these transactions, many times, the customer is also the victim. He can catch a disease or be separated from large amounts of money very quickly. Not that any of those things ever happened to me.
    But to sum it up, people in the six industry enter for various reasons, and one of them is that it is lucrative.
    Thank you, and good night.

    February 5, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Sports Fan

      You are right about that, there are many potholes and temptations for young athletes. That is why they have rookie seminars to educate the young men on how to stay out of trouble, manage their money and stay away from potential traps!

      February 5, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  8. EatYouAlive

    Get 'em on religion while their desperate. Religion is the true evil.

    February 5, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • A Plus

      Not so!!
      So if there were NO religion, everyone would walk around being nice and honest, just....because???

      February 5, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • Toby

      Wow. Talk about hate. So even if something good is going down, if it has anything to do with religion its evil? That is some REALLY bizarre logic.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • mike

      1. I'm not so sure she's pushing religion on them. There are some people just out there to help others. Period.
      2. And lets say they were. Religion is the true evil? While sometimes I agree with you, if you're talking about organized religion, its a bit of a silly comment in this context. If two groups are preying on the desperate, one getting you to attend some church services and the other forcing you to sell your body, not sure I'd say the church group is the more evil of the two.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • retrostar1000

      Indeed. Thank you for that.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • CJG

      A Plus, nice straw man argument you've got going there. Of course if there were no religion not EVERYONE would be nice and honest "just because." Most of your comments are nonsensical drivel.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • c230

      Yes ... if there was no religion everyone would walk around being nice to one another – absolutely. If the only reason you are being nice to someone is because of your religion than you're the one with deep problems.
      This isn't the 1500s where religion may have been necessary to establish a moral society. We've evolved wayyyy past that and religion is no longer needed for people to be nice to one another. Human beings are inherently good to one another.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Sports Fan

      That is why it is so important to strike quick and play from head rather starting the game in a hole. I think in the big game, whoever wins the toss should receive and try to get on the board first!

      February 5, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  9. jb

    Lot Lizard was a name given to them by truckers because of how leatherface and ugly they can be and by the way they slide quickly in and out of sight between the trucks. It was not given by the pimps.

    February 5, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Sports Fan

      All great teams are given nicknames but it has to be earned of course. The Orange Crush in Denver, The Hogs in Washington, The No Name Defence in Miami. Tradition!

      February 5, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
  10. Fred

    Good for her. I think Jesus would cheer.

    February 5, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Sports Fan

      Who WOULD Jesus cheer for in the big game today? I think he would take the underdog Giants!

      February 5, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
  11. ZZZZZ

    Who cares

    February 5, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Sports Fan

      That's true, a lot of people aren't really fans, just love the party and pass out by half time!

      February 5, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
  12. Frustrated with Religious DoGooders

    I think it's about time we make going to church illegal. It is upsetting to those who don't go to church to see others go waste their time. It's the Church Leaders of all faiths who seem to be causing the most trouble. Christian Church Leaders are raping our children, Muslim Church Leaders are promoting Terrorism. It's time we ban all church activity to save our society.

    February 5, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Hooray! Hooray! Can you imagine how far along we would be with curing disease, poverty, war and crime? Maybe we could get the population count in check to coincide with our natural resources. There, I've said it, population control.
      If there is going to be church and religion then they should be taxed just like every other business. Our country could use the bucks instead of the prayers!

      February 5, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Toby

      Have you really read your post? This is the funnest thing ive ever read. Make church illegal? Ha ha

      February 5, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Travis

      Maybe North Korea would be better suited for you than America.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Sports Fan

      I think Tim Tebow is ent.i.tled to where his religion on his sleeve. He actuall IS a do gooder so good for him. Not much of a QB but who knows, he may improve a lot this off season with a normal pre-season routine.

      February 5, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  13. AtheistPlus

    I love how this article ignores the only way to improve this problem: legalize it and let all of these people have full legal protection instead of having to rely on shady characters for protection. The government should have no say in what you do with your own body.

    And as a side note, I love how the topic of this article is a banned word that will get your comments deleted...kind of makes it hard to discuss the topic.

    February 5, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • The Pickle Man

      Maybe this is CNN's way of demonstrating how censorship ruins free expression.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • ignorance is bliss?

      It's legal in parts of Europe and still, many, many of those "workers" fall into the "trafficked human" category.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Believer in Jesus as my Savior

      Here's an idea, legalize everything and then there will be no crime.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Sports Fan

      I agree completely, the whold concept of not being able to avoid a sack by grounding the ball is stupid. All these rules have been created to protect the QB and the one thing that would ACTUALLY protect him is illegal. It makes no sense! The two feet in on catches rule is stuped too.

      February 5, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  14. A Plus

    Please stop filtering decent comments!!!

    February 5, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      see the list of filtered word fragments on pg. 5 of these comments.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • Sports Fan

      You can't filter the chatter going on at the line of scrimmage! Good thing we can't here what those big mean dudes are saying.

      February 5, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  15. Michael

    And these "Christians" just can't seem to keep their minds of what someone else might be doing...
    Geez... Get a life...

    February 5, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Sports Fan

      Well the tape study really is one of the most important things teams and individual players do to prepare for a game against an oponent. You are looking mostly for the other teams tendancies and then preparing your game plan based on first, their base looks and then what the do in critical situation like red zone or third downs.

      February 5, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  16. really?

    more do gooders

    February 5, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  17. Rolph

    Let's remember they were all Jewish salesmen

    February 5, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  18. George

    Christians just can't help themselves. For all the talk of how "moral" they are, they can't seem to keep their noses out of other people's underwear.

    February 5, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Toby

      I agree. Helping these people is just sooo wrong. Christians should just do nothing like you

      February 5, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Rol

      I doubt you have had any "christians" in your underwear, right, or do you know anyone who ever had? ("you're 'almost' funny")

      February 5, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  19. JT

    And in the meantime....non-Christians continue to do good works daily helping others out of the spot light with the only motivation of helping their fellow man and less fortunate being it's simply the right thing to do. No belief in some 2000 year old myth required, hope for a great reward or fear of a great eternal punishment in the afterlife. Christians seem to do this mainly to proselytize and score points with their Jesus.

    February 5, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • mike

      While there are indeed a lot of hypocritical "Christians" out there, or others that just follow the rules for selfish hope of being rewarded in the afterlife, there ARE some out there that wish to do good just for the sake of doing good and thereby relate to Jesus in the bible. Unfortunately, I've known more of the former than the latter in my life.

      But then why would you criticize one of these rare people when you come across the good they are doing, just because of the group they are associated by name only?

      February 5, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Toby

      Jt. How can you mock something that you have no understanding of? And you serisouly have a problem with these people and what they are doing? Thats pretty cruel man. And by the way, the "reward system" you speak of is built into the human existance. Athiests do things for reward as well. Its part of our makeup. Everything we do is for a reward.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  20. Andy Breeden

    “Jesus didn’t just go around telling people about himself." I guess Danielle Mitchell hasn't gotten to the Gospel of John yet.

    February 5, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • mike

      ""Jesus didn't JUST go around telling people about himself."" I guess Andy Breeden hasn't got to the word "just" in the quote he just wrote.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:26 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.