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Your take: Comments on Jesus deniers
Jesus depicted healing a sick child.
April 8th, 2012
09:37 PM ET

Your take: Comments on Jesus deniers

Our story on a small cadre of authors challenging the existence of Jesus Christ drew almost 5,000 comments on Easter Sunday, with some upset that we did the story, others objecting to its publication on Easter, and plenty of others defending the article and the run date and debating the merits and implications of the debate.

Of course, most comments had nothing to do with our story, revolving instead around the debate about legitimacy of religion itself.

A sampling of the criticism:

Easter on CNN

You've gone too far.

While I am an advocate of spiritual exploration – by atheists to disprove or by the faithful to validate – running an article questioning the very core of a religious belief system on a holy day is indelicate, to say the least. Will you question that Muhammad received the word of God, running similar articles during Ramadan? Or on Yom Kippur, draw on conjecture to argue that the Book of Life is for fools?

This is not journalism. This sensationalist pander.

edeveryday

I would like to see if CNN would dare run a story saying that Muhammad was a "myth" on the Muslim' s holiest holidays and that Abraham was a "myth" on the Jewish holidays. Go ahead CNN and give it a try and see what happens.

rbsrs

Every Easter?...I mean why a negative story every Easter?? It has become a running joke.

ANGRY AT CNN!!!

CNN: IF YOU READ THIS GO TO HELL FOR YOUR ANTI-CHRISTIAN BIGOTRY THIS EASTER SUNDAY!!!!

Many other readers took aim at the critics:

JHC

To those who are insulted by this article,

If your faith is so weak that it cannot stand up to being looked at from an objective, historical, evidence based perspective, then this article is the least of your problems.

nomdefaitour

It is ironic that so many christians are "offended" at a dialogue about religion sponsored by CNN instead of greeting the opportunity to express their views. Perhaps they are shamed that we all know they are surfing the web when they should be worshipping on Easter Sunday.

Others weighed in on the merits and upshot of the debate over Jesus' existence:

JBOO

I do not doubt that a man named Jesus existed, and that he probably did preach about God. But I believe he was no different than any cult leader today that preaches about their own religious beliefs and gains a small number of followers. The difference with Jesus is that Christianity was already more wide spread, and the general population was very uneducated and easily influenced by a great orator. Do I actually believe their is a God, and Jesus is his son? No. But I'm sure the man existed.

Keith

It is actually more reasonable than not to conclude that Jesus was an actual living person. Whether or not he was "the Christ" is the only worthwhile point of debate. Regardless, many of the teachings of Jesus are worthy of people to take to heart whether they are Christians or not. As an agnostic, I take those things that are wise from any and all religions, and leave behind those things that are destructive.

gimmeslack12

I don't care whether he really existed or not. It's his story that never happened, at least the son of god part and dieing and coming back to life stuff. What matters to Christians is that he is a support system that is able to take the blame for all the bad stuff in your life so that you can move past them and continue living.

I was thinking about it the other day, and I think Jesus really is a great thing, because it allows people to psychologically take pressure, grief or guilt and remove the effects of anxiety and pressure that those feelings create. On the flipside it possible allows someone to conjure up Love by themselves.

I think Jesus is a psychological whipping boy for all things that people don't have or can't (don't want to?) deal with. So I think atheists and non-Christians (heck, maybe Christians themselves) are missing the point about the importance of Jesus to some people.

The Twitter conversation over the article was mostly complimentary:

@JoshTheLink

Interesting debate from CNN's site about whether or not Jesus was a real person: https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/07/the-jesus-debate-man-vs-myth/?hpt=hp_c1

@CommonDescent

CNN asks: Did Jesus exist? https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/07/the-jesus-debate-man-vs-myth/?hpt=hp_c2 Honestly, this is a topic I don't know much about. I'd like to learn more.

@TTCNews

CNN interviews two Thoughtful Christian authors for this intriguing question–Craig A. Evans... http://fb.me/1idvhPxXD

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Easter • Jesus

soundoff (2,443 Responses)
  1. Jack

    Hello. Everyone is invited to visit thestarofkaduri.com

    June 13, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
  2. james heartland

    Well… aren't we touchy? If Christ is in your heart, and you know Him, there's nothing in this world that can touch your faith.
    Whether or not JESUS existed has NO relevance to the existence of CHRIST. As Paul says, "God is everything and love."
    If so, isn't it time to OWN the truth of our origin in God's heart? YOU are one with the Lord, forever, and He is "with you always."
    Division is Satan's work. If you are tempted to react, judge or condemn another, you have forgotten you are in Heaven here and now. Wake up America, God is in your heart, loving you and the world as Jesus did! That"s why you are called to serve compassionately.

    April 24, 2012 at 10:52 am |
  3. François

    It doesn't matter if there was a real Jesus or not, religion is all just hokum, anyway. No one ever has, or ever will, walk on water. The dead have always stayed dead and they always will.

    April 22, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
  4. Muneef

    And even if We had sent down to you, [O Muhammad], a written scripture on a page and they touched it with their hands, the disbelievers would say, "This is not but obvious magic." 6:7

    And they say, "Why was there not sent down to him an angel?" But if We had sent down an angel, the matter would have been decided; then they would not be reprieved. 6:8

    And if We had made him an angel, We would have made him [appear as] a man, and We would have covered them with that in which they cover themselves. 6:9

    And already were messengers ridiculed before you, but those who mocked them were enveloped by that which they used to ridicule. 6:10

    Say, "Travel through the land; then observe how was the end of the deniers."
    6:11

    Say, "To whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and earth?" Say, "To Allah ." He has decreed upon Himself mercy. He will surely assemble you for the Day of Resurrection, about which there is no doubt. Those who will lose themselves [that Day] do not believe. 6:12

    And to Him belongs that which reposes by night and by day, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing. 6:13

    Say, "Is it other than Allah I should take as a protector, Creator of the heavens and the earth, while it is He who feeds and is not fed?" Say, [O Muhammad], "Indeed, I have been commanded to be the first [among you] who submit [to Allah ] and [was commanded], 'Do not ever be of the polytheists.' "
    6:14

    Say, "Indeed I fear, if I should disobey my Lord, the punishment of a tremendous Day." 6:15

    He from whom it is averted that Day – [ Allah ] has granted him mercy. And that is the clear attainment. 6:16

    April 20, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  5. Transcend

    I trust the word of God as the infallable repository of redemptive revelation. Im not trying to Judge anyone.... For myself ...reading the word combined with sincere prayer.... yeilded an unmistakable presence within me of the Holy Spirit. Ive led quite a life of questioning and pushing boundrys... Ive had lots of man made "experiences"... this was different..... Way different....
    I know it's not popular... and some would say fairy tales etc. I've heard it all.... and was once on the other side.( For ME)... It's like seeing a new colour. Cant explain it to anyone else.... and thats the way its meant to be... so that you have the free will to decide to trust Jesus Christ as your saviour. I will say that afterward...the scriptures made sence to me . After God enabled me to Itranscend my own egoistic ordering of the "unknown dark matter" that surrounds us all. . read what I wrote (Trancend) and feel what Im saying without an ego defense.
    Why would someone take such a position unless they were truly changed by Christ. .......All I can say is...Its real.buddy.
    Let go and let god.
    I will not comment again.

    April 19, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
  6. Trancend

    Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Trancend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ will result in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Currently.... your constructing your own path that suits your sin lifestyle.

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find a truth you can take with you in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life. You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf, the greatest minds knowledge fate or are eventually plagerzed, your good deeds are forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated, your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over .
    Trancend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Relise your a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent....

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth.

    Sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment. You don't get what you want you get what you are in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Down is up. Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.

    Your all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.

    April 18, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  7. Luigi Enrico Pietra d'Oro

    Doesn't matter much whther Jesus existed or not. If he did, then his existence and the relevance of his life has been replaced by 2000 years of the mental conceptions of others provided due to various motivations. Christianity has been a very successfully marketed brand and Jesus (real or not) was the victim. First he was the victim of torture (commonplace throughout history, even today), then he was branded as the victim of everyone's "sins." First he was cast as the "Forgiver" of even those who killed him, and then, and now, he is cast as the Judger of mankind.

    If he did exist, the Christianity practiced today would undoubtably make him vomit.

    There have been a few paragraphs and stories supposedly said and told by him that, if actually heeded and practiced, would benefit this world. Why not just "Love our neighbors as ourselves" and be done with all the rest. There really is no neede for debate since, if he did exist, all he would care about is the love part.

    April 18, 2012 at 5:38 am |
  8. Muneef

    Indeed, those who believed and those who were Jews or Christians or Sabeans [before Prophet Muhammad] – those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness – will have their reward with their Lord, and no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve. 2:62
    ---

    They are not [all] the same; among the People of the Scripture is a community standing [in obedience], reciting the verses of Allah during periods of the night and prostrating [in prayer]. 3:113

    They believe in Allah and the Last Day, and they enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and hasten to good deeds. And those are among the righteous. 3:114

    And whatever good they do – never will it be removed from them. And Allah is Knowing of the righteous. 3:115
    ---

    Indeed, those who have believed [in Prophet Muhammad] and those [before Him] who were Jews or Sabeans or Christians – those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness – no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve. 5:69
    ---

    Indeed, those who have believed and those who were Jews and the Sabeans and the Christians and the Magians and those who associated with Allah – Allah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection. Indeed Allah is, over all things, Witness. 22:17

    April 16, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Muneef

      Cold heart face.

      Where do you stand among those? 😉

      April 16, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
  9. Yeshua friend

    I think it's funny that CNN tells Christians to stand there and be abused, and Christian may get upset, but that is it. If CNN wasn't such a coward, they would do the same to other religions, like Islam.... But then there would be blood in the streets as a result. So this proves that Christians are setting a better example. Thank you CNN for proving our point, but you are still cowards, and the rest of you who mock us,.... read the book,.... we win!

    April 16, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • cold hard facts

      Jesus said to rejoice when you are persecuted..he didn't say complain..You should thank CNN and bless them for your perceived persecution as Jesus commanded...

      I believe that CNN read that part fo the bible and are testing true Christian behaviour in the responses..I believe thay also judge that the majority of Chrisitn comments do not reflect true Christian faith..according to Jesus' own mandate..if you can't tdo the simplest things in Jesus first sermon what good is anything else????
      9./11 was a test and all over the country too many Chrisrtians are failing miserably...

      April 16, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • cold hard facts

      alos Islam is not CNN's problem ..its' yours an mines... we already know how Muslims will react the problem si though how do you convert them....

      Ya see... we have the religion of miracles and power... Where is it??? 🙂

      April 16, 2012 at 11:39 am |
  10. WARREN

    I've lived long enough to realize that there are very few people who really "seek the truth".
    Instead most people decide what they WANT TO BELIEVE and merely make the rounds seeking those who already agree with them. I believe that Jesus was a real person and at the very least MUST HAVE BEEN THE MOST COMPELLING FIGURE OF ALL TIME.
    The things he said were at a stark juxtaposition with the other Rabbis of His era.
    Taken singularly, ( each bit of evidence) it might be possible to believe that Jesus is a myth. When ALL of the evidence is considered it then becomes a matter of faith to DOUBT HIS EXISTENCE.

    There are many intelligent men who believe that all there is came into existence from nothing even though they can't explain just HOW this series of events could occur.
    Personally, I DO find it hard to believe that a dead man got up out of a grave but again there are a lot of things in this world that I can't understand or explain.
    "EXPERTS" who used to scoff at the very idea of 'ANGELS' in the Bible now use these references to prove that 'Aliens' exist; IF you change ANGEL for ALIEN in the text. GO FIGURE.
    Richard Dawkins probably denies that the resurrection of Jesus actually took place but probably WOULD admit if Jesus was an ET He COULD have resurrected His corpse.
    His bias is clear.
    As a service technician I have, over the years, read in technical manuals how Electricity changed it's direction of flow three times. Of course it really didn't but it proves a point. I am now much more skeptical whenever I hear the words "SCIENCE HAS PROVED ! "
    When the most BRILLIANT SCIENTIST IN THE WORLD can explain to me how EVERYTHING that IS came OUT OF NOTHING without anything or anyone superintending the process then I'll ask Him or her how something as equally unbelievable (Resurrection) could NOT have occurred.

    Until then, the Historicity of both Jesus AND His Resurrection seem to me to be more plausible than to simply believe that all of it is a fabrication.

    April 15, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Goody for you.

      April 15, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • jimtanker

      You're absolutely right. There are some people who have already decided what they want to believe. And you are one of them.

      The scientific meathod is the only real path to truth.

      April 16, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      @jimtank: You mean the "scientific method," I assume?

      April 16, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
  11. metoogabba

    Blah.

    April 15, 2012 at 5:30 am |
  12. Muneef

    The story of Prophet Jesus with the Children of Israel;

    http://www.islamawareness.net/Prophets/isa.html

    To read all the stories of Prophets of GOD as per the Holy Quran from Adam down to Muhammed (Pbuh) ;

    http://www.islamawareness.net/Prophets/

    April 14, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  13. Muneef

    So have they not traveled through the earth and have hearts by which to reason and ears by which to hear? For indeed, it is not eyes that are blinded, but blinded are the hearts which are within the breasts. 22:46
    ---

     As usually happened in such events, the poor and needy were the steadfast believers from the community[7] and the suppressive were the rich and arrogant townsfolk. As Saleh took the side of the underprivileged, the chieftains of the tribe reviled the prophet and mocked his words.
    Although Saleh had told his people about God's mercy, they argued and demanded that he obtain a miracle. This showed a weakness on the part of the Thamud people, and represents in them a childish reliance on visual miracles rather than spiritual faith. 

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saleh

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thamud

    http://www.islamawareness.net/Prophets/salih.html

    April 14, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  14. May

    Jesus is Jesus rather you believe it or not. People are always gonna say this and that, but he is real. I love Jesus and i don't care what anyone has to complain about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 14, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • cold hard facts

      I know he is real , how do you know he is ? 🙂

      April 16, 2012 at 11:41 am |
  15. hypocritical much

    religious people get soooo worked up over every little thing athesists say and when something trivial comes up about questioning god they blow up!! Seriously whatever happened to freedom of religion or speech? If you all care so much about your religion then come say this crap to my face!.

    April 13, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • cold hard facts

      well as Ronnie Reagan would say, when you threaten a persons limited faith , you shoudl expect a server defence from them...they are after all protecting something close to the heart... which brings fear......the solution to that is the Baptismi in th Holy Spirit... that is being filled with the Spirit fo God in Jesus' name...one drink shoul last you a life time...however once you dring you will alwasy want more.... 🙂 🙂

      April 16, 2012 at 11:45 am |
  16. dave

    SCIENCE.

    April 12, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • cold hard facts

      The Holy Spirit 🙂 🙂

      The greatest Scientist there is 🙂 !

      April 16, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  17. JESUS IS GOD

    Jesus is God! He is everything he said he is. All you who refuse to believe in him are fooling yourselves and will pay for your unbelief one day. All other religions are false because no one can come to the Father unless through Jesus Christ. Trust in him and you will be saved.

    April 12, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • Josh

      For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting.

      April 12, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      Really? I thought theTooth Fairy a God.

      April 12, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • May

      true

      April 14, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • metoogabba

      Seems to me that in most ways I'm more Christian than most Christians, yet I happen to be an atheist.

      My mom was a nun for a year in 1964, I was raised Irish Roman Catholic, and although I hardly think that matters I mastered the idea that God could make a monkey and then improve upon it over His own timeline.

      I knew that if there was a God, He was ultimately responsible for everything and that for God, improving upon His early works, evolution made sense.

      I was in Second Grade. Was an Altar Boy between 12 & 15 years old.
      That's"Intelligent Design" y'all.

      Figured out by an atheist Irish Roman Catholic former Altar Boy.

      I'm not gonna tell you how to believe. But "Faith" isn't evidence for any kind of argument on history or civility,

      Think about yourself, if without, say... Jesus sacrosanct... would you would hear the message?
      THAT is the question. Do you love the message, or do you love the vessel. Can you do both?

      April 15, 2012 at 6:13 am |
  18. Muneef

    O Prophet, fear Allah and do not obey the disbelievers and the hypocrites. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Wise. 33:1

    And follow that which is revealed to you from your Lord. Indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted. 33:2

    And rely upon Allah ; and sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs. 33:3
    --

    And [mention, O Muhammad], when We took from the prophets their covenant and from you and from Noah and Abraham and Moses and Jesus, the son of Mary; and We took from them a solemn covenant. 33:7

    That He may question the truthful about their truth. And He has prepared for the disbelievers a painful punishment. 33:8
    --
    There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often. 33:21
    -–

    There is not to be upon the Prophet any discomfort concerning that which Allah has imposed upon him. [This is] the established way of Allah with those [prophets] who have passed on before. And ever is the command of Allah a destiny decreed. 33:38

    [ Allah praises] those who convey the messages of Allah and fear Him and do not fear anyone but Allah . And sufficient is Allah as Accountant. 33:39

    Muhammad is not the father of [any] one of your men, but [he is] the Messenger of Allah and last of the prophets. And ever is Allah , of all things, Knowing. 33:40

    O you who have believed, remember Allah with much remembrance 33:41

    And exalt Him morning and afternoon. 33:42

    It is He who confers blessing upon you, and His angels [ask Him to do so] that He may bring you out from darknesses into the light. And ever is He, to the believers, Merciful. 33:43

    Their greeting the Day they meet Him will be, "Peace." And He has prepared for them a noble reward. 33:44

    O Prophet, indeed We have sent you as a witness and a bringer of good tidings and a warner. 33:45

    And one who invites to Allah , by His permission, and an illuminating lamp.
    33:46

    And give good tidings to the believers that they will have from Allah great bounty. 33:47

    And do not obey the disbelievers and the hypocrites but do not harm them, and rely upon Allah . And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs. 33:48
    --–

    Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [ Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [ Allah to grant him] peace. 33:56

    Indeed, those who abuse Allah and His Messenger – Allah has cursed them in this world and the Hereafter and prepared for them a humiliating punishment.
    33:57

    And those who harm believing men and believing women for [something] other than what they have earned have certainly born upon themselves a slander and manifest sin.33:58
    ---

    O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice.
    33:70
    He will [then] amend for you your deeds and forgive you your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment. 33:71

    April 12, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Demon is a fraud

      allah is a false god an idol and mohammed is its fraud.

      April 12, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Fact

      @Muneef
      How do you know that Mohammed is the messenger from god? –Because god said so!
      How do you know god said that Mohammed is his prophet? –Because Mohammed said so!

      April 12, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • GHT

      The million dollar question is did god first say mohammed was his prophet or did mohammed first say god said he was his prophet?

      Who said it first??

      April 12, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • Muneef

      Fact.
      Thank you for this question...I would rather say it is because the Quran said so...The Quran was the Message and been revealed to Muhammed to convey it to his people has made him the Messanger of GOD that whom we are to obey.

      April 12, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • cold hard facts

      Muneef Muhammed is in hell because of his lies which damn millions even perhaps billions to hell with hm..well at least he has company...

      also you know very well that most Muslimis cannot accept critisim of theiir profet nor thier religion ....

      Jesus took critisism answered it and rose from the dead... there aint no better than he...he even instructed those who follow him to receive critisism and persections and to do someth8ing totally opposit of what survivors do...That is to bless their enemies and pray for those who curse them... this Jesus said and did ...because he had the ...........power of resurrection !!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      April 16, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Muneef

      Cold heart facts.
      Seems you already know the unknown and so sure about it ? You must be an Angel although I read that Angels only know what GOD want them to know it him GOD the Alknowing...!! So seems you claim to be more than that... 😉

      April 16, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
  19. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things. .

    April 12, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • cold hard facts

      then do be prayig a lot ... and mention me while your are at it.. 🙂 🙂 🙂

      April 16, 2012 at 11:55 am |
  20. try2think!

    Many Christians get so upset when they find that not all worship their invisible friend, wizard jesus. Sure he can do tricks for you, but David Coperfield was better.

    April 12, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Ashrakay

      Yeah. I posted this on the previous page, but felt it was worth repeating. I suppose the dirty truth is that if they KNEW what they believed was true, they couldn't be offended. Instead, they NEED it to be true and make it a part of their personal identi.ty—so when you attack religion, you are attacking them personally. If someone writes an article about how gravity doesn't really exist, I'm not going to take it personally because I KNOW it exists. These kinds of responses say more about the stability of the religion than I think these people realize.

      April 12, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • cold hard facts

      ever red the parable of the sower??? 🙂 those whom you describe would be stoney ground...

      Jesus has an answer for everything you might ever ask... 🙂

      he is alive and he answers me from tiem to time.. 🙂

      April 16, 2012 at 11:58 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.