Why is obscure Bible verse from Exodus trending on Twitter?
Rapper Pusha T, far left, has a song out that takes its name from a verse in Exodus.
May 24th, 2012
12:21 PM ET

Why is obscure Bible verse from Exodus trending on Twitter?

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - It’s not every day a Bible verse lights up social media, but a relatively obscure verse from the Hebrew Bible - what Christians call the Old Testament - was trending on Twitter worldwide Thursday.

The verse, Exodus 23:1, offers this admonition: “You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with the wicked to act as a malicious witness.” (New Revised Standard Version)

It comes in a section following Moses’ bringing the Ten Commandments down from Mount Sinai. "Exodus 23:1" also is the title of a new song from rapper Pusha T, which may explain why it’s trending.

In the song, Pusha T aims verbal barbs at someone who he says wronged him. Hip-hop websites have speculated that that someone is fellow rapper Drake.

“Beef is best served like steak/well done/get a gun in your face,” Pusha T raps in the song, which makes no mention of the Bible verse but which certainly channels its spirit.

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And the rapper cited the verse Thursday when he tweeted: "Do not spread false reports. Do not help a wicked man by being a malicious witness." That’s the New Living Translation of Exodus 23:1.

The Book of Exodus tells the story of the Israelites fleeing from bondage in Egypt, wandering in the desert in the years before they reach Israel. Exodus 23:1 comes not long after the story of God’s parting of the Red Sea so that the Israelites could escape, a tale that established Moses as a hero.

After Moses returns from Sinai and delivers the Ten Commandments, he goes on to explain God’s laws in greater detail. The laws dictate how the Israelites are to function as a society, regarding everything from property rights to the conduct of annual festivals.

Gallery: Bible verses and pop culture

“This verse is understood by the rabbis to mean two separate things,” Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld from Ohev Sholom, the National Synagogue in Washington, wrote in an e-mail to CNN, referring to Exodus 23:1.

“The great medieval commentator Rashi understands the first half of the verse to mean: ‘Don't accept a false report or malicious rumors about someone,’ ” the scholar said. “Other commentators say the first part of the verse means don't spread false rumors.

“The second part of the verse has a slightly different meaning. It means: ‘Don't convince another person to join with you and offer false testimony,’” Herzfeld wrote, noting that Jewish law requires two witnesses for testimony to be heard.

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O. Wesley Allen Jr., an associate professor of homiletics and worship at Kentucky's Lexington Theological Seminary, said that Exodus 23:1 is among several verses in which “God dictates to Moses instructions that in different ways unpack and expand upon elements of the (Ten Commandments).”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Bible • Music

soundoff (883 Responses)
  1. surfdog

    Who cares what a bunch of bonehead wannabe rappers do anyway? How can this possibly be newsworthy.

    May 24, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • jbkorn02

      There are quite a few marijauna legalization issues in the news today. Some places just refuse to report on the subject.

      May 24, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • jbkorn02

      The percentage of Americans polled the other day moved up to 56% in support of legalization too. That's up 6% from just a couple months ago. It is a major issue in this years vote with 4 more states about to join Colorado and Washington with full legalization on the ballot. The pepole keep demanding to hear about it and the government and they're news agencies ignore the whole issue. We never even got a real debate like Obama promised.

      May 24, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  2. billsf

    I always find it funny when Christians attack New Agers, but when you think about it Jesus was a New Ager to the Jews 2000 years ago.

    May 24, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • surfdog

      you obviously have no idea what you are talking about, and have probably never even cracked the bible open, so why even throw out such a goofy comment for all to see................

      May 24, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • jbkorn02

      I've read the bible and found a few intersting stories and it had the overall message of just to be good to others. It was not written to be taken litterally. Nobody ever rounded up every animal on the planet and put them on an ark. But in it the God seems to be the most evil of all.

      May 24, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      jbkorn02, Noah's flood was NOT global but regional. Therefore, the animals that went onto the ark were from his area. Check with shepherdschapel.com for learning Jesus' truth.

      May 24, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      So the Bible lied then HeavenSent? Good to know.

      May 25, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • HeavenSent

      3rd try to post ...

      Jac-ques Strap-pe, sor-ry to bur-st that bub-ble, but, God can-not lie (read Ti-tus 1:2). Re-search-ers of His truth have un-covered by cross refer-encing pas-sages of His truth to show the flow of how scrip-tures read. I've posted many times, it would be nice if every-one was on the same page ... in-stead of bas-hing Jesus' truth, help out with un-covering what He wrote to ALL of us.

      May 25, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  3. Lilith

    Uh Oh, I see HeavenSent (aka Just Sayin) is on here. Shouldn't be long before we're hit with the "Prayer Changes Things" spam again.

    May 24, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • jbkorn02

      Anyone who doesn't believe exactly what he does is evil!

      May 24, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Lilith, AGuest9 wrote this same assumtion same. Either you follow another fool, or, you are AGuest9.

      Non-believers again, getting caught in their lies as they want chaos to rule supreme.

      May 24, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
  4. jbkorn02

    Every war I can think of other than the last few for oil have been fought becasue of religion. I'm sure it was the same before the bible was ever written. One tribe didn't like the other tribe worshipped the sun instead of the water so they killed them. Also second to war the other thing any organized religion is after is money. Take a look at any of they're major places people worship. They are huge and very expensive. Everything is in gold and even the window of churches are made from more expensive colored glass made into pictures. The best example of this is the main Mormon temple. I'm not sure where it is but look it up and see the most expensive looking building I have ever seen.

    May 24, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  5. EatYouAlive

    Your religion is an accident of birth. Should you have been born elsewhere you would believe in a different god, god(s) or subset of god(s). And yet all of you insist you are right and quote your own holy books and shamans as proof.

    Not insane at all... 🙂

    May 24, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • If God Exists...then what?

      Not really. There are Indian Christians who have been Christians for 2,000 years. The apostle Thomas died there. So, they were Christian before Christianity came to Europe.

      May 24, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • jbkorn02

      Whatever faith your parents are you automatically are until you grow up and learn to believe in things that have been proven true by science.

      May 24, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • If God Exists...then what?

      Until something is 'proven' true by science? If one waits for that to happen, nothing wil ever be investigated, explained. One has to have a hypothesis and pursue it (or just happen upon something) to discover it.

      "[The New Atheists] are not open or willing to go where the evidence leads, unless that evidence sustains their own naturalistic assumptions. They have covertly reduced all philosophical thought and deduction to– ironically—faith!" – Ravi Zacharias

      May 24, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • jbkorn02

      If someone showed me on ounce of proof there was anything after death I may start to believe. Until that I think it's just over

      May 24, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • If God Exists...then what?

      Most people 'believe' because they have experienced God (through prayer, etc.).

      Try reading A.W. Tozer's 'The Knowledge of the Holy' for kicks.

      May 24, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • jbkorn02

      People have "experienced God through prayer"? That is the kind of stuff people say that make me not believe.

      May 24, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • jbkorn02

      Even though it holds our country and civilization back as a whole it is our right (for now since they are all being taken away) to worship whoever or whatever you want. I have no problem with anyone doing this as long as they don't preach to people who don't believe in the same and put them down like they usually do.

      May 24, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
  6. HeavenSent's Cats

    Help one of us, he is stuck in the folds of fat of your body.

    May 24, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Bob the Cat

      meow. help me. meow.

      May 24, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Typical non-believer shifting the subject ... believing Christians don't know you live a life of loving and following satan's lies.

      Proverbs 14:5


      May 24, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Bob the Cat

      Jeez lady, quit spouting nonsense and let me out!!!

      May 24, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Sad, most cats that I rescue are out due to the acts of the selfish, self centered of the world discarding them after the fleeting seconds of enjoyment is over.

      May 24, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
  7. Pannir

    'An obscure verse from Hebrew Bible'. May be it is for an illiterate anti-semite; but not for ordinary work on a job and pay taxes. If you want to write about Scriptures, toned down your words and be diplomatic. I am sure you would, if you were writing stuff about OWS.

    May 24, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • If God Exists...then what?

      I really have no idea what the point of this article is.

      Essentially, this verse says: don't slander people.

      Pretty common sense verse.

      May 24, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  8. davkaorg

    Fascinating that a Bible #Torah verse should trend as Jews around the world prepare to celebrate Shavuot and the giving of the Torah. In fact, an effort is underway "Tweeting #Torah to the Top in the cloud as we gather at Sinai". You can learn more about the effort (and join us) here: http://www.facebook.com/events/356141537769695

    May 24, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Very cool!

      May 24, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  9. Billy

    Do not spread/Gossip things that you cannot verify. Do agree with someone to spread these possible lies/untruth.

    May 24, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  10. jbkorn02

    Organized Religion = Violence and Greed

    May 24, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Tim B.

      Humans = Violence and Greed. Organized Religion is an attempt to aspire to a better nature. But it can be corrupted with violence and greed.

      May 24, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Typical non-believer doesn't want Christians to know they love and follow satan's lies.

      Proverbs 14:5

      May 24, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  11. liz

    Get rid of religion and you get rid of almost all of the worlds problems. Atheism is the only way to go.

    May 24, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Yes, then man will be his own god and we can all do whatever we want! Just like Caeser

      May 24, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • Common Sense

      Right, right. Kind of like Stalin In Russia? Or Mao in China? Or Hitler replacing the catholic priests and bibles with his own priests and twisted version of the bible. Sure, sure. I think your tired assertion based on no truth is getting a little old.

      The only way to get rid of evil is to get rid of humanity. Not religion

      May 24, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • EatYouAlive

      Hmmm... all those mass murderers created systems that were religions in all but name.

      May 24, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Liz, Proverbs 14:5


      May 24, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • jbkorn02

      I'm with you 100% on that one.

      May 24, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  12. gran

    The verse is such a sharp insight into human behavior! And doesn't it aptly describe the words and actions of the political scene today? As soon as one person thinks of something bad to say, he/she slinks around looking for someone to back him/her up, so they can go out and say, See, here is what we think, and we must be right because two of us say it.

    May 24, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  13. Atheist Hunter

    Psalm 53
    The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.

    May 24, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • EatYouAlive

      Ah, quoting the bible to defend the bible... ummmm... how logical is that?

      May 24, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • I believe

      Atheist hunter, we not dealing with atheist ppl! they HAve evolved to DEMONS. and i plead the blood of jesus on them,

      May 24, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      EatYouAlive, it's not a Christian's problem that you are a well without water, no eyes to see or ears to hear His truth. You follow satan's lies cause he strokes your ego. Same sin of PRIDE that will take satan down. How ironic.

      May 24, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest


      Attempting to judge others as you do and to put them down with things they don't even believe exist is stupid. Your condescension towards others who don't believe as you do shows your pride in your own beliefs. Isn't that the very sin that you condemn others for?

      May 24, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      HawaiiGuest, Judging Is Believing. Yes, and why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right? (Luke 12:57)

      What is right?

      The statutes of the Lord are right (Psalm 19:8).


      May 24, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      The bible verse fallback, what a huge surprise. So are you saying you have a divine right to judge others, in turn showing your own prideful nature?

      May 24, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      HawaiiG, you say it's not right to judge. Fools hypocritically condemn us for judging (Luke 6:37), and they hypocritically judge that we judge. Too funny. When we identify false teachers leading both themselves and those who follow them to hell (as in your list of societies that stroke your egos), when we declare others as on their way to hell, and especially when we warn them they are lost, we often hear these words (or the equivalent), "Judge not" (Matthew 7:1). Yet, these words are exactly why we judge. As I stated early, the statutes of the Lord are right (Psalm 19:8) not the ways of man (meaning women too).

      May 24, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      1) You are judging that they are false prophets, based on your own interpretation of the same book they use.
      2) I really don't care if you think hell is real, I don't think it is, and find the very fact that you are willing to follow a religion that preaches eternal torture for finite crimes one of the most insulting and sad things ever. You have given up humanity, humility, and morality in favor of an immoral religion.
      3) If you want to believe that humans are inherently worthless, that's fine, but don't try to poison the thoughts of others with your devaluing doctrine of hate.

      May 24, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      H-guest, you don't think everything through to it's conclusion. You non-believers get this idea that you can make a better mouse trap. Then, you run all over the place with it, not ever seeing it's been done, didn't work, was put on the shelf by previous generations. You're raised with Jesus' truth and then turn your backs away from your heritage, assuming everyone is born good and will automatically live a decent life. It's obvious that you have yet to walk through the fire and still stand. When that should happen. We will talk. Until then, steal all Jesus' truths, rename them and claim it as your own (e.g. common sense is Jesus' wisdom, to mention one). Believing in satan's lies is what you are good at because satan knows that the sin of Pride is bringing him down and he wants to take all of God's foolish children with him. He doesn't want to fry alone.

      May 24, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest


      How dare you think you can say anything about my past, you self-righteous little bit.ch. You think you fuc.king know anything about my life? You know what, live in your self-righteous delusional bubble, and when you can actually find some kind of true compassion for another human being, and not some fuc.ked up sense of divine right, then maybe you'll see just how insulting and condescending you've been.

      May 24, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      HawaiiGuest, is this how you discuss your serious issue. I wrote on another post ... I'll seriously read what you want me to read and give you an answer. Other than that, I guess we missed each others posts.

      May 24, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      I don't know what the hell your babbling about, but whatever it's not like you made much sense before anyway. The only serious issue I have right now is your pompous bullsh.it in thinking that you know ANYTHING about my life at all.

      May 25, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • HeavenSent

      HawaiiGuest, you never mentioned specifics, therefore, how would I know? You only post that you do not believe in God.

      May 25, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Yes I don't post anything personal, and maybe that's a hint to not make assumptions about my life. So maybe think before you post that kind of sh.it thinking that you can know anything about my personal life.

      May 25, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  14. HeavenSent's Cats

    HeavenSent's Cats

    Please change our litter box, it smells.

    May 24, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Yeah Go Do it


      May 24, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Non-believers love and follow satan's lies because they need their egos stroked.

      May 24, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  15. Thomas Reyna

    As a Christian the Bible tells us to be disciples of all nations. I do not force Christianity down people's throats. Jesus tells us NOT to do that. The way i do it is I go up to someone and say. "Hi, my name is Thomas, would you like me to tell you about the good news of Jesus Christ?" If they say no, then i ask why. if they strongly imply no or ignore me i say "Okay thank you sir/mam have a nice day" and that's it. But if they say yes then i tell them. Christians already have a bad rap for forcing it through people, i do not in anyway aprove of that. Heaven Sent i personally am not comfortable with the way you throw out your statements. I wanna be part of a group that breaks the mold of hateful Christianity that invades people's personal space. Oh by the way God loves Gay's, and i honestly do care about them enough to treat them the same as anybody else.

    May 24, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Thomas, have you ever read any of the scriptures pertaining to Jesus wants us to be salty Christians in His word? If not. Do so.

      May 24, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
  16. Tim B.

    I love how the non-religious bag on the religous with the
    'Religion has killed so many' argument. They conveniently forget
    that most of the world's greatest killers – Hitler, Stalin, Mao,
    Atilla the Hun, Pol Pot – were non-religious. I also love how the
    Atheists are all high and mighty when they champion a basically
    flawed viewpoint. How can you categorically deny there is no
    higher existence? In order to do so, you need to know everything.
    You basically need to be God to say there is no God. The only
    rational position for a non-religious person is Agnosticism. At least
    they're not sure if there's a God.

    May 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • ME II

      @Tim B,
      While some you mentioned were non-Religious (Hitler was not non-ReligioUs) none of them killed because of their non-religion. Religious folks on the other hand have killed millions in the name of their religion. That's the point.

      Most Atheists are not "stong atheists", those that claim "there is no god," but instead simply lack a belief in god(s).

      Even famous Atheists like Richard Dawkins don't claim certainty, but "6.9 out of 7.0."

      May 24, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Charles

      Not completely true Tim B. The Nazis based most of what they did on Christianity, and had the words "We Go With God" inscribed on their belt buckels.

      May 24, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • MickyC

      The belt buckles the NAZI's had were a throw back to the Prussian Empire. Hitler wanted to get rid of it, but his other officer's balked at that claiming it was their tradition.

      May 24, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Oh, what nation benefited because of them?

      May 24, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
  17. Republican Baptist

    Anyone can believe whatever they want... but they WILL believe in Jesus as God. "Every knee shall bow, and every mouth confess that Jesus Christ is Lord" this statement is made immediately preceding the final judgement when the "modern" atheist is sent to the Lake of Fire with Satan and his demons... The wheel was designed 4,000 years ago, but we still use it. The Bible is just as effective as it has always been, and will continue to be until the end of time.

    May 24, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Marquice Moore

      Jesus is the Son of God foolish soul.

      May 24, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Whatever

      Your "Jesus" is about as meaningful as Zeus, or Thor, or any of the other gods that people once believed in so fervently. Believing in any kind of magic sky man is a crutch the weak use to answer questions they're not brave enough to admit they can't answer.

      May 24, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • momoya

      We have no idea if "jesus" ever existed.. The Pauline cult of "christianity" originated in other myths, evolved to further strength and power, and is now dying as all other myths before it–to be recycled into the myths our cultures are now forming for themselves.

      May 24, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      momoya – HAHAHA you crack me up. Open your eyes and recognize the whole world is or soon will be talking about Jesus. Even those who come on here to dispute find Him at the center of their discourse LOL

      May 24, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • jakesinko

      Actually @momoya, there are virtually no historians who deny the existence of a man named Jesus from Nazareth who lived until about 33 A.D. The Bible is considered to be a pretty accurate historical account of humanity by most historians, christian or not.

      May 24, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • ME II

      "The wheel was designed 4,000 years ago..."
      The first design, maybe, but we're on version 2,389,230 now, I think. And I don't think the wheel itself is claiming it is perfect, either.

      May 24, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • pilgrim

      I stand with you-pilgrim

      May 24, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      ME II. I like your post. If I apply it to Christianity I would say that each Christian is a new version of the truth of God's love for us. Not that we are perfect but that we all have the ability to become the best version of ourselves that we were intended to be. So Christianity is not a stagnant believe system codified in ancient and venerable text but rather an experience of becoming and relating to the world with Jesus as our model and guide

      May 24, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • The Heretic

      "whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire"

      Put that in your lake of fire and smoke it, Marquice

      May 24, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • Rynomite

      @jakesinko – You are misinformed. The existence of Jesus is a hotly debated topic among scholars Chrstian and Non. There are even Christians scholars who do not believe he existed.

      Personally I do think a man named Jesus existed and taught bhuddist principles he had most likely learned from a missionary. He just wasn't a son of a magical sky fairy.

      May 24, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • ME II

      @Bill Deacon,
      Unfortunately he was referring to the Bible not Christians, but the Bible has 100's of versions too. Maybe they'll get it right one of these days. who knows?

      @Rynomite and @jakesinko,
      I went looking for this and found neither conclusively. Either of you have any evidence for your position?

      May 24, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Well Rinomite, Jesus said he was the Son. Taking from C.S. Lewis, this man from Nazarene was either who he said he was or he was history's most outlandish lunatic. The course of history seems to indicate he was certainly not a lunatic.

      May 24, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Saying there are hundreds of Bible version is like saying there are hundreds of books on math. Bibles have been translated and distilled over time but the central message has never changed

      May 24, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • I believe

      JESUS in mexico term means HEY Zeus (thats for whateva)

      May 24, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • ME II

      @Bill Deacon,

      Lewis seems to have missed the possibility that he existed but people lied about him and what he did. Whether from nefarious or righteous motives is immaterial.

      Interesting comaparison with math books, unfortunately, unlike math, the Bible is not self-checking. A math book that states 3+3=7, can easily be dismissed, but a Bible that claims there are 7 named Archangels... not so much.

      May 24, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  18. Smako

    All it means is, don't lie, and seek not to be like evil men, nor to be like them. This being pimped by someone who probably does it all in every day life, just got stung by a homie and decided to vent it with a Bible verse.
    Hokum or not, if everyone held to the standards of the Bible there would be a lot less trouble. Of course, we would all have to hold to the same definition of the standards, and that is why Muslims are killing Muslims as we post here.

    May 24, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  19. Chris

    Someone should send that to Fox News

    May 24, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • gwtars

      You read my mind. It's the first thing that I thought of when I read the headline. 🙂

      May 24, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Jerry

      I thought of NBC news because of the way they intentionally altered Zimmerman's 911 recording...

      May 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  20. Da King

    Who's extolling? The truth has set Believers in Jesus free of that stuff and those who are still lost. We can only pray for them to come to the Light. "The gate is narrow and few will enter through it."

    May 24, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • HeavenSent's Cats

      Y U no hit the reply link?

      May 24, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Typical multiple handles used by non-believers who follow the lies of satan.

      May 24, 2012 at 5:57 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.