home
RSS
My Take: The Bible condemns a lot, but here's why we focus on homosexuality
The author writes that it's fine for Christians to take certain biblical condemnations seriously while ignoring others.
May 21st, 2012
10:00 AM ET

My Take: The Bible condemns a lot, but here's why we focus on homosexuality

Editor's Note: R. Albert Mohler Jr. is president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world.

By R. Albert Mohler Jr., Special to CNN

Are conservative Christians hypocritical and selective when it comes to the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality? With all that the Bible condemns, why the focus on gay sex and same-sex marriage?

Given the heated nature of our current debates, it’s a question conservative Christians have learned to expect. “Look,” we are told, “the Bible condemns eating shellfish, wearing mixed fabrics and any number of other things. Why do you ignore those things and insist that the Bible must be obeyed when it comes to sex?”

On its face, it’s a fair question. But it can be posed in two very different ways.

First, the question can be asked to suggest that the Bible’s clear condemnation of sexual sins can simply be set aside. The other way of posing the question represents a genuine attempt to understand how the Bible is to be rightly applied to life today.

In truth, those asking the question the first way really don’t want an answer.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

An honest consideration of the Bible reveals that most of the biblical laws people point to in asking this question, such as laws against eating shellfish or wearing mixed fabrics, are part of the holiness code assigned to Israel in the Old Testament. That code was to set Israel, God’s covenant people, apart from all other nations on everything from morality to diet.

As the Book of Acts makes clear, Christians are not obligated to follow this holiness code. This is made clear in Peter’s vision in Acts 10:15. Peter is told, “What God has made clean, do not call common.”

In other words, there is no kosher code for Christians. Christians are not concerned with eating kosher foods and avoiding all others. That part of the law is no longer binding, and Christians can enjoy shrimp and pork with no injury to conscience.

The Bible’s commands on sexual behavior, on the other hand, are continued in the New Testament. When it comes to homosexuality, the Bible’s teaching is consistent, pervasive, uniform and set within a larger context of law and Gospel.

My Take: The Christian case for gay marriage

The Old Testament clearly condemns male homosexuality along with adultery, bestiality, incest and any sex outside the covenant of marriage. The New Testament does not lessen this concern but amplifies it.

The New Testament condemns both male and female homosexual behavior. The Apostle Paul, for example, points specifically to homosexuality as evidence of human sinfulness. His point is not merely that homosexuals are sinners but that all humanity has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

The New Testament condemns a full range of sexual sins, and homosexuality is specified among these sins. In Romans, Paul refers to homosexuality in terms of “dishonorable passions,” “contrary to nature” and “shameless.” As New Testament scholar Robert Gagnon has stated, the Bible’s indictment “encompasses every and any form of homosexual behavior.”

Your Take: Rethinking the Bible on homosexuality?

Some people then ask, “What about slavery and polygamy?” In the first place, the New Testament never commands slavery, and it prizes freedom and human dignity. For this reason, the abolitionist movement was largely led by Christians, armed with Christian conviction.

The Old Testament did allow for polygamy, though it normalizes heterosexual monogamy. In the New Testament, Jesus made clear that marriage was always meant to be one man and one woman.

“Have you not read that He who created them made them male and female?” Jesus asked in Matthew. "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” For this reason, Christians have opposed polygamy on biblical grounds.

Why are Christians so concerned with homosexuality? In the first place, that question is answered by the simple fact that it is the most pressing moral question of our times. Christians must be concerned about adultery, pornography, injustice, dishonesty and everything the Bible names as sin. But when my phone rings with a call from a reporter these days, the question I am asked is never adultery or pornography. It is about homosexuality.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

Christians who are seriously committed to the authority of the Bible have no choice but to affirm all that the Bible teaches, including its condemnation of homosexuality. At the same time, our confidence is that God condemns those things that will bring his human creatures harm and commands those things that will lead to true human happiness and flourishing.

In other words, we understand that the Bible condemns all forms of sin because our Creator knows what is best for us. The Bible names sins specifically so that each of us will recognize our own sinfulness and look to Christ for salvation and the forgiveness of our sins.

Christian love requires that we believe and teach what the Bible teaches and that we do so with both strong conviction and humble hearts. The Church must repent of our failures in both of these tasks, but we must not be silent where the Bible speaks.

Are Christians hypocrites in insisting that homosexual behavior is sin? We, too, are sinners, and hypocrisy and inconsistency are perpetual dangers.

The church failed miserably in the face of the challenge of divorce. This requires an honest admission and strong corrective.

At the same time, this painful failure must remind us that we must not fail to answer rightly when asked what the Bible teaches about homosexuality. Love requires us to tell the truth.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of R. Albert Mohler Jr.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Gay marriage • Opinion

soundoff (7,995 Responses)
  1. Surthurfurd

    Why follow a belief system that allows you to pick and choose which of its morals to follow?

    May 21, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • @ Surthurfurd

      It doesn't allow you to pick and choose... people do that. A book cannot make you do anything unless you read it and take note of what messages are inside.

      I'm sure you pick and choose what you like out of the things you read and do all the time. It's just what human beings do, it's not what the Bible says.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • Bob

      The censors are tough today. They usually are on these religious stories. No amount of defending gay adolescents will be tolerated by the moderators.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  2. davetharave

    Yes, but it's not 2000 years ago. Do we not progress ? Why would we let things written that long ago run our lives today ? There is so much that biblical writers were affected by, dreams, natural disasters, visions induced by bad food and serious illness, etc. Trying to live today as those early writers interpreted and wrote about just doesn't make sense. The word of God ? How do we really know if it is or isn't ? And you cannot impose that on civil law.

    May 21, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Actually, the argument is, no we do not progress. We are still what we always were, selfish self centered spoiled, destructive little sinners who want what we want when we want it and we want it all now. Oh, and we want everyone else to do what we want them to do. If we are honest, we realize very few of us have the ability to live even a relatively decent life and none of us has been perfect. Only one and we crucified Him for trying to teach us how to live. Perhaps he would have had more to say had we allowed it. Perhaps we can ask His spirit to guide us. Let us ask Him.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Bob

      All gay people are not selfish and self centered. Get over yourself already.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  3. Hayood

    Please. So you can pick and choose? Hey do all religious nut jobs look the same? It's all fiction. It is a myth, nothing more.

    May 21, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Tina

      God sure did create a whole lot of gay people. Is that to give brownie points to the gay bashers in heaven?

      May 21, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  4. TheDudeAbides

    I wonder what the author would think of Romney, who presumably believes Jesus and Lucifer were brothers and black people will be segregated in heaven.

    May 21, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Drew

      I don't think we need to go after Romney's religion, he has enough other weaknesses

      May 21, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • RichS

      Might be interesting if you knew what you were talking about.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      And we certainly don't need to construct a false flag argument, label it Romney and then argue about it.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Tina

      Romney's religion is fair game. I support Obama and I still believe that Jeremiah Wright is fair game. The Mormon church funded the anti-gay California referendum, Proposition 8 to the tune of $20 million. Romney added money to the pot.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
  5. PunchInTheFace

    When you make up a book of fairy tales like the Bible, it's easy to change the rules later on to say "Um.... yeah, what we really meant was this". Kinda how George Lucas keeps changing Star Wars and making it the new canon. Christianity is fiction.... a collection of fairy tales and stories, nothing more. To assume otherwise is delusional and to base national policy on a book of fairy tales is tragedy.

    May 21, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Surthurfurd

      You mean the sun does not go around the earth?

      May 21, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • RichS

      Too bad you don't take time to actually read the Bible. Then you could discuss it intelligently with others.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      You practice the venerable tradition of contempt prior to investigation I see

      May 21, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  6. n8263

    Christians think Sharia Law is immoral but impose their own Sharia Law here in America. No matter what version, it's immoral to impose your religion by denying others civil rights.

    May 21, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • RichS

      Apparently you don't know the difference between religion and Christianity. A religion is a lot of man-made rules. Christianity is following the teachings of the Bible.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Me

      @ Rich S, the bible is a book written by who...MAN. And a religion is by definition "collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values"....Christianity is a religion in ALL meanings of the word

      May 23, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  7. Truth Hurts

    They should get an athiest blog on CNN so athiests can rejoice together. This seems to me like a crowded room that needs to be emptied.

    May 21, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  8. Wonder

    simply amazing how many stupid people are out there..........JUDGEMENT DAY OH PAH LEZZZ

    May 21, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • @ Wonder

      As ridiculous as someone's beliefs are or may be, the fact that you have no respect for others shows from the fact that your only arguments are insults. It's fine to believe whatever you want to believe, but to bash someone else for their beliefs? If you find someone else's actions to be offensive why would you stoop down to their level?

      Don't worry, you're not the only one. There's a lot of people here hurling insults. You can believe in the flying spaghetti monster for all I care, but at least show some respect to people. You're definitely not the smartest guy on the planet, I can tell you that... and THAT is not an insult. It's FACT.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • jungleboo

      I'm a little late for this reply, but I just read this page. Consider this. If you trot your religious ideas out onto a public platform, you are asking for it to be reviewed. If rotten tomatoes come your way, what did you expect?

      Your religious ideas belong IN YOUR HEAD, where you care for them and act accordingly. Voices crying in the wilderness seldom hear, "Oh you poor thing, come on over here and have some dinner!" This is a verbal fist fight, aiming to crush the fundamentalists from getting a foot in the door of the American government. It's worth the trip.

      May 21, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
  9. Drew

    Who cares what the bible says? Spirituality is an individual endeavor, and there are no absolutes

    May 21, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • John

      Drew just gave us an absolute by telling us there are "no" absolutes.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Marty

      "there are no absolutes" This contradicts your belief....just sayin'

      May 21, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Al

      Sooo... there are no absolutes? Ok, if I accept there are no absolutes then your comment that there are "no absolutes" is an absolute statement... soooo ... where does that leave me? wait... i know... it left me nowhere.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • JeramieH

      Except when people start passing laws based on their beliefs, but against others.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Me

      You all took Drew's good comment out of proportion, Take what it means that there are no ways to tell if ANY religion/ belief is true, and to be who you want to be, believe what you want to believe. Don't let a few words written in a book guide your life, live as you want to, not as your told to. Why are so many people in forums and comments nit-pick about grammar and spelling?

      May 23, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  10. Mark

    And the Aztecs used to make human sacrifices for their Gods. If only the church fought as hard for the sick, starving and dying children in the world as much as they fought for the conscience it would be a better places. This will not hapeen because fighting for the sick, starving and dying children of the world impacts the pocket book. It is an attack on the bright shiny trickets that we all covet. A fight for marriage is an attack on the conscience and does not cost us our bright shiny trinkets.

    May 21, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • gdf

      By choice, Christians are more concerned with and spend more of their money and time dealing with issues of poverty, starvation, and health issues worldwide than any other. I say by choice of course. In that you help the efforts against HIV in Africa thru tax money you're forced to pay the government in which the government sends to Africa. But by choice, Christians outdistance any others and have for years given their money, time, even lives in devotion to the poor and sick of the world. So I'm not sure what this lack of concern is you're referring to.

      I would hesitate though to generalize for any one group – but rather focus on individuals. I'm sure there are many self-proclaimed Christians who no doubt give nothing for the poor, not their money or time. But as a whole, Christians and Christian organizations have focused heavily on these issues in the world.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • JeramieH

      Yeah, think of all the poor and homeless that money could have helped, but instead built massive Catholic churches with gilded halls and marble floors.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  11. RichS

    For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. God loves all sinners. I don't want everlasting death, why would you? You have faith enough to believe in a wild story about everything having come from nothing, the so-called big bang theory which has a mathmatical improbabily to trillions to one. For by grace, through faith are you saved, and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast. God will even supply the faith to believe in Jesus! You can't earn the way to heaven by doing "good" things. All of God's goodies are a gift.

    May 21, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • PunchInTheFace

      What is the mathematical probability of a Christian God?

      May 21, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • sifc33

      Exactly! well said sir, well said indeed.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      how on earth do you think you can mathematically work out the probabilty of a big bang?

      May 21, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • sam stone

      rich....perhaps we do not abide by iron age stories because they are not relevant to our lives

      May 21, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • sam stone

      rich: you do realize that quoting a book to those who do not accept it's validity has only so much effectiveness, don't you?

      you don't want everlasting death, but you are fine with eternal subservience?

      May 21, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
  12. Paul

    What absolute rubbish. I've seen the august Reverend Mohler on TV and he doesn't listen to anybody, he just preaches.

    Newsflash Pastor Mohler: I don't CARE what your religion says, and you have NO RIGHT to impose it on me!

    May 21, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  13. Raven76

    Christians talk about choices. Want to know why your voice isn't so well received? You blithely choose which version of the bible supports being prejudiced and which backs up your condemnation and desire to control others. There's a choice for you. Choose a version that doesn't mean controlling others and condemning them in your own eyes and maybe we'll talk about your faith having a place in things. The flaw isn't in others, just to be clear. When you believe that others are wrong in the eyes of your God, you are ignoring the very basic tenets and opportunities to find a better answer, and which should purify your own souls. Hide behind scripture in order to espouse the flaws you believe in others if you will, but don't wonder why it is increasingly falling on deaf ears. Your book, the one you so imperiously mandates you castigate others has been warped beyond meaning. The original writings say nothing to back up your claims, and yet you choose to turn your face elsewhere to affirm your convictions of wrong. Apparently, when tested again and again, you never learn.

    May 21, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • EasyTiger

      You are right. With all the focus on using the Bible for every other purpose but for the one for which it was intended, it's hard to talk about who Christ really is and what it's all about. I've actually had people tell me they thought I didn't like gay people because I'm a Christian. That is messed up. So much for loving our neighbor! I want the Christians out here to listen to what you are saying because it's so true. The gospel of Christ is about his love for us. How does it get this ugly?

      May 21, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  14. jtsuter

    The death rattle of this monster that we call Christianity is becoming so loud that the people are waking up en masse. Its grip has has finally failed. What a horrible stain on humanity; I'm glad it's coming to an end so we can finally move forward.

    May 21, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • jungleboo

      I think their self-described Apocalypse is occurring right before their eyes. They have gleefully foretold this rubbish for too long. As more and more of us men and women stand up to them (once called heretics and put to death), we now have the freedom to put them in the place they so rightly deserve. They get a curious pleasure from the condition they find themselves in. It's called masochism. Well, they were s.adists for an awfully long time. Turnabout is fair play, you know?

      May 21, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  15. Borat

    Al seems like a smart guy.....pause.....NOT!

    May 21, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  16. bama

    Finally! The Christian view is accurately and articulately defended. Thank you. Good job.

    May 21, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      The christian view is crap! The same christian church that molested children and then protected the molesters. If any other group did what the catholic church did, they would be black listed until the end of time.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Chris

      Accurately and articulately defended??? This is merely another man's interpretation...one of many. But I guess it's just easier to jump on board with somebody's thoughts that agree with your own rather than do the research and come to your own conclusions...

      May 21, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • John

      And what is Chris's conclusion after all his "research?" I suppose it is just another person's opinion also– certainly not definitive.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  17. Ken Margo

    The bible, koran and all other religious readings were written by MAN. Not some made up mythical being. Notice how the bible has different versions and revisions. How in the hell can you revise the bible? The koran is the biggest joke going. Muslims pray 5x a day and still are the most miserable people on earth.

    May 21, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • shut_up

      they are speaking of the BIBLE here goof ball. call it a joke and follow the world. you will be whining and weeping someday if you do. you want to take a chance that it is wrong like this maggot writing this baloney? go ahead i will take my chances with the BIBLE

      May 21, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • @ Ken Margo

      And do you know any Muslims personally or do you just go by what you see on TV?

      May 21, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  18. javitz

    Hmmmmmmmmmm, I wonder if Mohler will be doing an expert revue on other religious tomes, eh, R. Albert???

    May 21, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  19. Snow

    Honestly, will the christians make up their mind? is the Old Testament still valid or not, after the new testament was written? can anyone give an answer for that? I dare you?

    May 21, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • shut_up

      Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess the name of JESUS. your dare is answered idiot! go against him and you will have a big surprise. run along like the good little atheist you are. haaaaaaaaaaaaaa

      May 21, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Genevieve

      The Bible teaches us love, tolerance, and concern for our fellow man. Nothing else in the Bible matters.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Holly

      Snow, the Old Testament is still "valid". But there's a big difference. The "Law" or the "Ten Commandments" is still very much required but only BECAUSE we love God and want to please him. The sacrifices and the "rules" are no longer necessary as Jesus paid the ultimate price.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • RichS

      What parts of old and new don't you understand? Read covenant in place of testament. The old covenant was made with the Jews, the new covenant was made by Jesus and required only his sacrifice to pay for our sins. Not a continual sacrificing as in with the old covenant. Jesus was the perfect "lamb" He knew no sin. He satisified the requirements of the old covenant. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. That's why God sacrificed animals for skins that Adam and Eve wore when they left the Garden.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • clarify

      I'm not sure I understand your question fully, but all the Christian's I know (and, yes, I am one) agree that the Old Testament is valid in word and history. It shows us all that came before, the life of God's chosen people, and gives us a glimpse of what He is like. As the author of this article so clearly explained, many of the laws in the OT were specific to Hebrew Law and the nation of Israel in order to set them apart. When all people were welcomed into God's family in the NT, it is made clear that Christ fulfilled the law. Sin is still sin, though, and that has never changed. Hope that helps:)

      May 21, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • oh really

      going against allah in Quran has similar fate.. and going against Zeus in greek mythology has the same fate.. and going against ra has the same fate.. how is yours different.. coz you believe in it?

      Only such narrow minded idiots like you can not see the broader world view than what their local priest shoved down your throat in sunday school.

      Stupid bigots like you always reminds me of the great quote "Science flew us to the moon. Religion flies us into buildings"

      ps. you still did not answer the question.. scared of what it might mean?

      May 21, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Michael

      @Holly, which commandment forbids a secular g-a-y marriage? Can you remind me, I seem to have missed it?

      May 21, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • mema

      Dare taken! The Old Testament laws are regards the chosen Isrealites is no longer in effect. Jesus birth and death for mankind made those laws irrelavent. Those laws were established to set them apart and to preserve the lineage to Christs arrival. Once Jesus was born there was no longer a need to preserve that lineage or the Isrealites as a whole. However many of the Old Testament is still "benefical for teaching, reproving and setting matters straight" as is said in the New Testament. But are not required, big difference! Jesus said we should "love our God with our whole heart and love our neighbor". This reflects the idea that if we have that love, much of what the OT says we should guard against, will still take place because due to this love we would not behave indecently or kill or steal ect...The entire bible is for mans benefit but the laws and regulations of the OT have already served their purpose. The New Testament serves as more of a survivors guide to Gods Great Day. It gives instruction on how to live ones life and also on the events to anticipate as a warning of that Great Days arrival. The bible as a whole however was preserved for a purpose, therefore Christians should benefit from its entirety.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • lovehealshearts

      The Old Testament is a part of the bible, however, the portion of it, set forth as the Mosaic Law, became invalid with Christ's sacrificial death.

      "For Christ is the end of the Law, so that everyone exercising faith may have righteousness." (Romans 10:4) When the Law Covenant was in effect, the way to be declared righteous was by following the commands in the Law., however, with Christ's perfect sacrifice, that "law" was abolished we are declared righteous by our faith.

      Paul expressed this in even clearer language to the congregation in Ephesus when he said, "By means of his flesh [Christ] abolished the enmity, the Law of commandments consisting in decrees, that he might create the two peoples in union with himself into one new man and make peace; and that he might fully reconcile both peoples in one body to God through the torture stake, because he had killed off the enmity by means of himself." (Ephesians 2:15-16) The Law did not reconcile us to God, only the death of Jesus was able to accomplish that.

      "A man is declared righteous, not due to works of law, but only through faith toward Christ Jesus...because due to works of law no flesh will be declared righteous." (Romans 2:16)

      May 21, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      "He knew no sin"

      isnt anger a sin? and didnt he lose it with the money lenders in the temple?

      May 21, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Snow

      So, where in the NT is it mentioned that gay is bad? only the words from Lev are quoted to say being gay is wrong and should be considered a sin..

      Now, since you have established that with NT, OT is invalidated, why are certain portions of it encouraged to be followed while the others unsavory parts all but ignored? selective-reading-itis?

      May 21, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Snow

      "However many of the Old Testament is still "benefical for teaching, reproving and setting matters straight" as is said in the New Testament."

      and who decides which parts are beneficial to follow and which parts not? All through the book it is quite obvious that man's judgement is flawed and only god can decide the right way.. so how come you get to choose the parts you want to follow but reject the unsavory parts at your whim?

      May 21, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
  20. khrog

    I've noticed a pattern about people uncomfortable with smiling since George Bush was president: one side up, one side down/flat.

    May 21, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112
Advertisement
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.