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My Take: Gays are coming out on TV. Christians are, too
Actor Samuel Larsen, second from left, on "The Glee Project."
May 11th, 2012
08:54 AM ET

My Take: Gays are coming out on TV. Christians are, too

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

The New York Times reports this week that gays and lesbians are now commonplace on hit television shows. But Christians are coming out of the closet and onto our television sets, too.

“Glee” may feature a gay couple (Kurt and Blaine), a lesbian couple (Santana and Brittany), and a transgender character (Unique), but it also includes the God Squad, a group of Christians that meet in school and struggle with the demands of their faith.

On the first season of “The Glee Project,” a reality show that trolls for talent to feature on “Glee,” actor Samuel Larsen won a seven-episode role in part because of a tattoo on his chest quoting from Psalm 18 (“I will love thee O Lord my strength”). Larsen, who also sports long dreadlocks, obviously has that elusive “it” factor, but one reason he won "The Glee Project" was that "Glee" executive producer Ryan Murphy wanted to feature a Christian character on the show.

Larsen’s character, transfer student (and former home schooler) Joe Hart, debuted on the "Heart" episode on Valentine’s Day, and since then he has been the “Christian guy” - aka "Teen Jesus" - at William McKinley High.

In that episode, the God Squad raises money by performing singing telegrams at $10 a pop, but when Santana (Naya Rivera) asks them to sing for her girlfriend Brittany (Heather Morris), Joe balks and a discussion about the Bible and homosexuality ensues.

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Mercedes (Amber Riley) calculates that since “one out of every ten people are gay . . . one of the twelve apostles might have been gay.” Sam (Chord Overstreet) observes that “the Bible says it’s an abomination for a man to lay with another man,” prompting Quinn (Dianna Agron) go ask, “Do you know what else the Bible says is an abomination? Eating lobster, planting different crops in the same field, giving somebody a proud look. Not an abomination? Slavery. Jesus never said anything about gay people. That’s a fact.”

Matt Philbin at the Media Research Center cites this episode as an example of the liberal “crusade against faith,” characterizing “Glee” for “attacking the Bible while pushing the gay agenda.

I have a different take. I think it’s about time that Christian characters are showing up on television shows. I think it’s great that these characters are portrayed as flesh-and-blood people who struggle with their faith like the young Christians I know who struggle with theirs. And I think it’s amazing that characters on one of the most popular shows on television are actually discussing the Bible!

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In a more recent episode, called “Dance With Somebody,” Joe gets into another conversation about how to live as a Christian. He has fallen for Quinn while helping her rehabilitate from a car crash, and he’s trying to reconcile what his teenage body says about sex with what the Bible says.

In the boys locker room, Sam tells him to go for it, arguing that you can be a good Christian and a sexual person at the same time. But Joe isn’t so sure he should give in to temptation. And when he hints in a conversation with Quinn that he would give up his Christian faith in order to be her boyfriend, Quinn tells him no. “It’s nice knowing there’s something out there that can’t be lost," she says.

I’m not saying Joe is everybody’s idea of a good Christian. But out there in the real world in actual U.S. high schools there are all sorts of people who fall somewhere between chaste born-again Christians who see holding hands as a gateway drug to illicit sex and frisky secular humanists who spend more time hooking up than doing their homework.

Let's see more of Joe Hart on "Glee," I say, and more of real Christians (and their struggles) on network television.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Entertainment • Homosexuality • Sexuality • Teens • United States

soundoff (752 Responses)
  1. GAW

    CNN Belief Blog = Giving Trolls something to do on a Saturday morning.

    May 12, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Joe

      Glad you are so occupied.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:34 am |
  2. Korndog Lobstertail IV

    Outlaw Christianity !

    May 12, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Joe

      In some places it is outlawed. Some other religion dominates there. Not sayin that's a good thing.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:33 am |
  3. Doobie Doobie Doo

    I love the insults. Some of you need to understand what you read.

    May 12, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Joe

      DooDoo, you suck.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Doobie Doobie Doo

      @Joe

      And you're a wonderful human being. I love you.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Joe

      Yes, I am, and you still suck.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:28 am |
  4. Doobie Doobie Doo

    @MadZagyg

    I'm not saying you need to be religious to have morals. I'm saying they don't make sense in a naturalist world view. You are living as if there are things outside of the physical universe, yet you say you only believe in a physical universe. It doesn't make sense.

    May 12, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • MadZagyg

      Wrong.

      Compassion, generosity, happiness, etc. all fall within the varied range of human emotions. They arise from NATURAL traits that have evolved in our brains over the course of human history.

      Consider: which tribe is more likely to survive? The tribe that kills one another and has no compassion for its own kind, or the tribe that works together, shares resources to ensure survival, and cares for its sick and wounded?

      Obviously, the latter. Since these traits would have been passed on to the descendants of the tribe, you should be able to understand how empathic emotions should arise in a very natural way.

      Stop believing in magic sky gods.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Joe

      Learn about the reply button, proud UCLA grad...

      May 12, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  5. Doobie Doobie Doo

    @Sue

    Compassion doesn't make sense in an atheistic worldview. Why would you care? What reason do you have to care in a completely physical universe? How do you account for morality and reason in a naturalistic world view? YOU CAN'T.

    You choose to live in a theistic world .

    May 12, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • michaelwg

      "How do you account for morality and reason in a naturalistic world view? YOU CAN'T."
      Spoken like a theist.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Doobie Doobie Doo

      @michaelwg

      Nice response. Absolutely no answer. Brilliant.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Bill

      DDD, so invent a fictional creature to support your particular morals. Yeah, that'll work.

      Come on. It's how we have Middle East religious conflicts and others. My sky fairy's better than yours...

      May 12, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Ack

      Way to cite the same old tired arguments about Atheism. You obviously know no Atheists. Its interesting that people like you argue that you can't have morality without fear of a god who will strike you down if you don't do what he says. Haven't you ever heard of 'free will'? Some of us can be good people because we want to be, because we know it's the right thing to do, and not because we fear some bogeyman in the sky, or because some book tells us to.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:28 am |
  6. Casey

    Christians are in for a real shock when they met God and he tells them they followed and hated in the name of a false god, Jesus, as he escorts them to the gates of Hell for it. Thou shall have no other Gods before me.

    May 12, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • yannaes

      And what is your god? Selfishness, greed, lasciviousness, ego, pride, and the list can go on. Name your god in your most self righteous manner.

      May 12, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Sue

      Yanneas, some of us are a lot smarter than you, and are also brave enough that we don't need a fairy tale creature in our lives.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • yannaes

      I would agree that you, of all people have the greater intellect. No doubt in my amoebic frail mind. Thank you for your assessment of my intellectual prowess. You truly are the enlightened one. I am sure the regents will disavow my degrees from U.C.L.A. just on your recommendation.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • GAW

      Sue your response sounds a bit self righteous. You don't sound that much different than yannaes' post.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • Sue

      GAW, I actually explained and justified what I was saying, so go masturbate somewhere else.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • Sue

      Yanneas, UCLA sucks. Any idiot can get in there. Stanford/Harvard myself. And yes, you are stupid.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • yannaes

      That is a rather moronic statement you made Sue. Numerous professors I had were from Stanford, Yale, U.C.L.A. and if you make those type of statements then this explains your moronic verbiage, indeed.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • GAW

      Thank you. Your response just proved me right. Ha ha

      May 12, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Stan

      Fight! College fight! I'm betting on Sue. Sounds like she has more balls.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Joe

      Well, Sue is right that UCLA sucks. Anyone can get a degree there. I did!
      -and now I paint houses...

      May 12, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • GAW

      Balls? And we all know that Sue is really a guy. Unless he's a Boy Named Sue ode to Johnny Cash

      May 12, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • yannaes

      Sue would not understand the term, "balls." With her superior intellect one might use the term testicles. Sue, that is from the latin testiculus.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • yannaes

      Joe, did you ever think that it is not U.C.L.A that was the problem?

      May 12, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • JM

      Jesus, the Son of God?

      The trinity? The godhead: 3-in1 (father, son, Holy Spirit).

      May 12, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Joe

      Yanneas, no, I'm pretty hard of thinking, like most of my classmates. Yourself?

      May 12, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Joe

      Godhead? Never met that one. Sounds like fun. At uni, used to drink beer from a goathead.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • MomOf3

      Wow...yannaes has Google and a thesaurus...he MUST be smart! 😉

      May 12, 2012 at 10:48 am |
  7. Doobie Doobie Doo

    @obviousisobvious

    Morals, good and evil. They don't exist in an atheist/naturalist world view. You cannot account for them because they are outside of your completely physical universe.

    Most atheists I've met are very nice people. But things like charity and sacrifice don't make sense in a "survival of the fittest" world view. Which is what modern atheism is all about.

    May 12, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • MomOf3

      You really haven't met any atheists...you have no clue!

      May 12, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • Doobie Doobie Doo

      @MomOf3

      That's all you got? Really?

      May 12, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • Observer

      Morals don't exist for atheists?

      You are totally CLUELESS. If that was the case, all atheists would be in prison.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • Sue

      Actually, Doobie Doobie Doo, natural selection does promote benevolence and compassion, and many forms of cooperative behaviour. Guess you don't get out much, nor read much beyond your book of fairy tales. Then again, your religion is known for the hatred, violence and bigotry that it advocates and promulgates.

      Care to reveal more of your ignorance, by posting more of your drivel?

      May 12, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • Doobie Doobie Doo

      @Observer

      I didn't say they don't exist for atheists. Most atheist I've met are very moral people. I said that they fit into their worldview.

      If their is nothing outside of the physical universe, then you can't account for things like morals. They don't exist outside of your own personal feelings towards it. There is not and cannot be a moral standard because it is all up for your own personal interpretation in a survival of the fittest mentality.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • MadZagyg

      It is ridiculous to imagine that morality can only arise via an imposition of fear of punishment. You are basically saying that atheists cannot be moral because there is no driving force in the universe that decides FOR them what is right and wrong. It's so patently stupid I don't even know why I'm bothering to respond.

      Atheism is merely the lack of belief in a supreme being. I do not need a divine source to tell me that harming another peaceful human being, causing a sentient creature to suffer needlessly, or arguing with morons on internet news story message feeds is a bad thing to do.

      In your case, I'll break my last rule.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • Observer

      Doobie Doobie Doo,

      Are you actually claiming that all atheists have a survival of the fittest philosophy?

      May 12, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • TheFirst109

      I don't need a God to know what is right or wrong...

      May 12, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • GAW

      "survival of the fittest' was an observation that Darwin made. He didn't intend for it to become a moral law.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • MomOf3

      Yeah, it's all I got, 'cause it's all I need to give you!

      May 12, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • art

      If an atheist can't speak for a Christian, how can a Christian speak for an atheist? A sense of right and wrong, fair and unfair is not exclusive to religion.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  8. MuyGuapo

    By the way, Christians don't come out. If they are gay, they are not Christians (even though they insist they are). You can't have your cake and eat it too. Next thing you know, pedophiles and adulterers will be presenting themselves as faithful Christians!

    May 12, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • Did you really say that?

      Like priests?

      May 12, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • PulTab

      Many already are. Such as mormons.

      May 12, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • BB

      See, this is what is wrong with this discussion. Why is that you feel so confident defining what it means to be a Christian on everyone else? Why is not possible to be both? God created us all and none of us are perfect. If you are correct, and it is an "abomination" don't you want gay people to be part of your church so that you can help them find their way? Where is the tolerance you are so proud of!

      May 12, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • phoodphite

      Gays may not be Christians according to Paul (you know one of those that constantly said got his message wrong). But clearly, Jesus loved all of God's children and constantly stressed avoiding disenfranchisement. If you are following Paul's word and not Jesus' word, then what kind of Christian are you?

      May 12, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • Bert in UT

      So, help me out here. Which sins can someone commit and still be a christian, and which are disqualifying? There seem to be quite a few adulterers who think they are christians. Some of them even running for president.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • phoodphite

      correction to my last post it should ready Paul (the you know one of those that *Jesus* constantly said got his message wrong) . . .

      May 12, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • Sam Walwortha

      Oh, that means the ENTIRE Catholic Priesthood is in trouble, because while MOST of them perpeteuted pedophilia, the entire church worked ACTIVELY to do the COVER UP.. making them more responsible than ever!

      So by your definition, the entire Catholic Clergymen are not christians / cathollics

      May 12, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by MuyGuapo is an instance of the No True Scotsmen fallacy.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      May 12, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • See

      MuyGuapo, there's a reason Jesus said something to the effect of "let he who is without sin cast the first stone." If the definition of a Christian is someone who commits no sin, then there are no Christians. Not a one of you goes a day without committing a sin, according to the Bible. One of the biggest complaints of vocal atheists is that so-called Christians don't seem to read their own holy book.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:26 am |
  9. stvnkrs10

    it's sad how throughout history religion holds us back from advancing as a society however the fear of death will make the majority believe in anything to avoid dieing.

    May 12, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • MuyGuapo

      Look at North America. It advanced phenomenally as a Judeo-Christian society. Love, peace, liberty, freedom. It is when we are atheistic in our beliefs we end up like North Korea!

      May 12, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Doobie Doobie Doo

      That's false. Gregor Mendel , Copernicus etc. etc They're are many religious scientists throughout history.

      May 12, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • wow192

      Not true MuyGuapo. Some of the safest countries with the highest standards of living are in Scandinavia, and they are also some of the most secular.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • Viking

      There are a lot more churches in Scandanavia than in North Korea. Modern Scandanavia culture was shaped heavily by their Christian heritage.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • John

      Tell that to Breivik's victims

      May 12, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  10. MuyGuapo

    I always get a kick out of the oft-quoted number of 10% of people being gay. The actual number in virtually all legitimate unbiased studies has been in the 1% to 2% range. (But sure, you can go to a gay neighborhood and due your study there and get even higher than 10%!). Honesty would be a good policy for the gay community if it seeks any kind of credibility at all.

    May 12, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • MomOf3

      I can't believe you would use the term 'gay neighborhood' and then be concerned with anyone's credibility!

      May 12, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • PulTab

      Cite your unbiased studies or S T F U.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:05 am |
  11. Zaphod2010

    @atheism is not healthy, yes, because praying is so important. The Greeks and Romans used to pray to their imaginary gods. They are NOT real!!
    Do you realize how many wars and terrorism acts are started on a prayer? Probably all of them.

    May 12, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Doobie Doobie Doo

      Let's see here. Stalin , Mao, and Pol Pot were all atheists. How many people have died under an atheistic world view?

      May 12, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • MuyGuapo

      Zaphod2010 is way out of touch. I often hear about wars beginning over religion. In reality though, the vast majority (if not all of them) have to do with people's greed for power or resources or just good old hatred of others. No relationship to religion at all.

      May 12, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • darte

      Doobie Doobie Doo before you start with the "holier than thou", you might want to read about the inquisitions, Salem witch trials, ect

      May 12, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • Doobie Doobie Doo

      @darte

      I'm not saying people haven't done evil. I'm saying it isn't specific to people of faith or lack there of.

      May 12, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • yannaes

      And the war inside you, what does it start with, a condom?

      May 12, 2012 at 9:59 am |
  12. yannaes

    This is wonderful. Good news. It is about time!

    May 12, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • jim

      Indeed! It's about time the world's REAL bigots had their say!

      May 12, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • yannaes

      That was a bigoted remark, for REAL.

      May 12, 2012 at 9:53 am |
  13. Doobie Doobie Doo

    Atheism/Naturalism is completely illogical.

    The funny thing is, while they reject theistic world views, they choose to live in a theistic world. They choose to follow morals and other dictates that are outside of their belief system. I love the hypocrisy.

    May 12, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • obviousisobvious

      How are morals outside our "belief" system? They certainly aren't within a Christian belief system. Being good to others isn't against human nature, even animals can manage that.

      May 12, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • Bert in UT

      Doobie, you have it completely backwards. Atheists believe morals came before religion. They believe people invented religions as a way to explain basic morals that 97% of people are born with. World survey after world survey shows there are basic values that all humans share, regardless of their religion. And the 3% who don't come with those values have to be prevented from hurting the rest of us.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:12 am |
  14. Billy Hotpants

    Christianity equals a slow walk towards the Taliban.

    May 12, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • Doobie Doobie Doo

      By that logic, Atheism is a slow walk towards marxism.

      May 12, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • MuyGuapo

      With a name like Billy HotPants, I would be concerned. But Christianity of the bible being likened to the Taliban??? The only thing they have in common is extreme views. Extreme love vs. extreme hate. The atheists probably fall somewhere in the middle with extreme intolerance.

      May 12, 2012 at 9:43 am |
  15. rconatser1

    So many Christians...so few lions. What a travesty.

    May 12, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • yannaes

      Not enough Christians, to many "GAYS." Hope you are enjoying your life on the dark side.

      May 12, 2012 at 9:31 am |
  16. Patrick

    Take your shows back to church! I just turn the channel when I see you not in church and instead on my TV. Go back to your church and clsoe the windows. I am not interested. They are NOT GAY they are PEOPLE!

    May 12, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • yannaes

      They are people that have their show in the street and on the media. So the show you present is filled with darkness and living in the underworld of life. We will go back and praise our CREATOR and you will praise what, the failings of man through his sodomizing lifestyle? Enjoy your SHOW.

      May 12, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • jim

      @yannaes It's almost scary to know that people as hopelessly brainwashed as you still exist. You would have had a blast during the Inquisition!

      May 12, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • yannaes

      Brainwashed....interesting coming from someone of whom is caught in the GAY frenzy. Is this the only explanation you have for someone of whom believes in something greater than oneself is the term, "brainwashed?" Sounds rather immature and without substance.

      May 12, 2012 at 9:56 am |
  17. SuFiSm iS dIfFeReNt

    Jesus never said anything about gay people. That’s a fact.”
    Jesus was too liberal that is why he will not be featured in upcoming reprints.FACT.
    I read it one month ago on this very site.

    May 12, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • MuyGuapo

      And your point???

      May 12, 2012 at 9:41 am |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    May 12, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • Patrick

      Aetheism your are not healthy for everyone.. It all depends whom you pray to. if you are prating for help that is called begging, when you pray to improve that is called self improvement, if you follow through and improve. Unlike prayer if you make efforts you wil see change, if you pray, than what. WAIT and SEE what GOD says.

      May 12, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • Lfrank

      I think that atheism can be very healthy. Root your children in facts and reality. Let them know that hard work, determination, and relationships with real live people are the keys to their success in life. Not that some mysterious, invisible, all powerful being controls their lives and will punish them for not living cookie cutter, mundane existences. What good is life if you only use it to be like everyone else? How does that add any value to society?

      By the way – I do study religion. i think that Jesus had some good things to say and that we'd be better off if people actually followed his teachings personally instead of trying to make them rules and laws to force upon other people. however, I don't believe that he was son of God, that there is a god, and that he rose from the dead. I also think that adding all this fantasay and magic to somehow make Jesus something he wasn't diminishes his teachings. We put way to much emphasis on who we think he was instead of what he said.

      We can benefit from studying religion. I think a world religion course should be taught in all schools so that we are better prepared to deal with others in our multicultural world that gets smaller everyday.

      May 12, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • william montague

      Prayer changes everything? Really? I'll believe that when you show me an amputee whose missing limb was restored through the magic of prayer. Get real.

      May 12, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Chuck

      And a frog gives a rats ass about whether pray to a sky fairy or not? I've noticed there's sure a lot of so called religious people that wish to harm the environment for their own profit.

      May 12, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • Chuck

      I agree with William too. Show us a an arm, leg or, even a finger grown back and we might believe.

      May 12, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • yannaes

      If my History serves me correctly: Stalin, Mao, Pot of Cambodia, and one can go on with countless other Atheistic leaders committed genocide against millions of people. So, cast your stones against Christians.

      May 12, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • MomOf3

      And, if my history serves me correctly, you have the Crusades, Antisemitism in driven by the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages, the Inquisition, the Witch Trials...heck, from the 10th century to the 17th century in Europe, the Catholics fought against all Protestant groups, at one point or another, to keep them from leaving the Church. Wars are fought for a lot of reasons...

      May 12, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Mike

      YANNAES lets throw some stones, witch burning, the inquisition, the crusades, pagans, saxons, germans who didnt want to pay the church, the Albigensians, the Huguenots ordered killed by the pope, christians killing other christians (Magdeburg and the 30 year war. The list could go on. LOVE THY NEIGHBOR indeed, harass and murder him if he doesnt act and think like you.

      May 12, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • MomOf3

      @Mike...great minds think alike...or we have the same Wikipedia page open! 😀

      May 12, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  19. Puzzled in Peoria

    So tedious, so tedious. No one is going to convince anyone of anything in these comments. They get more hateful and more useless every week.

    May 12, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • Doobie Doobie Doo

      Your view of "hate" is COMPLETELY different than mine is.

      May 12, 2012 at 9:54 am |
  20. sharkfisher

    To New yorker: You havn't been reading these posts have you?

    May 12, 2012 at 8:47 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.