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June 4th, 2012
05:43 PM ET

We don't teach hate, says church where anti-homosexual song filmed

By Ismael Estrada, CNN

Greensburg, Indiana (CNN) - About 20 protesters gathered on Sunday outside the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle here to voice opposition to a viral online video that was taped in the church and shows a young child singing song with lyrics that offer a harsh message for homosexuals.

The video, which surfaced on YouTube last week, shows a child in front of the congregation, singing "I know that God is right, and somebody's wrong... ain't no homo going to make it to heaven."

The congregation erupts in applause at those lines, which the unidentified boy repeats as the pastor looks on.

At another point in the video a voice is heard shouting,"That’s my boy."

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In the first Sunday service since the video surfaced, congregants arrived to the church as protesters jeered them over the video.

A church leader, who would not give his name, told CNN that journalists were not allowed inside the church and declined to offer anyone from church leadership to comment on the video.

The leader said that he needed to be cautious about letting outsiders into the church because it had received threats over the video and asked CNN to leave the premises.

Church videos with harsh words for gays go viral online

The local sheriff's office said the church had not reported any verifiable threats.

No one answered the door at the home of Jeff Sangl, the church's pastor.

The video of the singing boy was the latest in a string of viral anti-gay videos that have surfaced from independent churches.  Those videos have been resoundingly condemned by religious leaders, even by conservatives who believe homosexual sex is a sin.

The Apostolic Truth Tabernacle posted a statement on its website that says in part: "The Pastor and members of Apostolic Truth Tabernacle do not condone, teach, or practice hate of any person for any reason.”

The pastor's son, Josh Sangl, told CNN his father was away on vacation and that there was much more to the video than we were being told, though he wouldn’t elaborate.

The majority of the church members wouldn’t comment about the controversy or respond to questions about the parents of the young boy.

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"I think it's blown out of proportion, you know," said Robert Kirby, who is not a church member but was attending Sunday's church service in support of his daughter, who teaches Sunday School there. "They love everybody.

"They don't love sin though," he said. "It's all in the Bible."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Church • Homosexuality

soundoff (3,151 Responses)
  1. T. Foss

    This is so sad. Hate breeding hate. I'm a Pastor and I told my congregants that this type of behavior in a house of worship is not to be tolerated. Jesus wouldn't put up with it and neither do I. "He who has no sin, let him cast the first stone." Let's encouarage people to be the best they can be and stop the hate. Those who posted those videos ought to be ashamed of themselves and do everyone a favor...resign from the ministry. For those of you who were portrayed as evil, I'm sorry for the pain you have suffered because of those who hate and fear.

    June 5, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      Trust me brother, you do not need a god or a religion to feel the way you do right now about that situation.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • SoundFuture

      Voice,
      I'm glad that morality based on belief and morality based on humanity can cross each others path on occasion. Hopefully there's more of this in the future for both our sake's. Here's to a peace and prosperity!

      June 5, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • jungleboo

      Thank you, T Foss
      The next part of your ministry would best be put to teaching your congregation that the concept of The Christ simply means that we are all the "crossing" of the spiritual/quantum with the material/physical. The message that we are all part of some "divine" experience was new 2000 years ago, and it caught on like wildfire, given the generally barbaric treatment that was normal at the time. The Roman Empire adopted this new religion several hundred years into its initial blossoming, kidnapped it in the name of power, eradicated ethereal gnostic writings and codified the more literal tales that grew up around it. The Empire collapsed (as empires are prone to do) and the "Holy" Roman Empire flourished, spilling right into the Dark Ages, in which rational thought was punished, and belief in literal inexplicable situations was encouraged. Heaven/Hell became the dominant theme for the ignorant masses. And then the splintering began, resulting in hundreds of spin-off groups who can not/will not agree on each others' interpretations of their book of beliefs.

      The bottom line is this and only this. We are all brothers and sisters on this magical planet called Earth. No one knows where we came from or where we are going. The only thing we have is NOW. Past and future on simple constructs of the human imagination, setting us apart from animals who seem to live only in the NOW.

      The Christian message is simply that we are at our best best when respecting each other, loving each other, and staying out of each other's business unless harm is being done to another. We must especially look toward protecting the children from this kind of fundamentalism. They should be enrolled in schools of philosophy instead of fragmented religious schools. Free to think, free to discuss, free to create. The 22nd century will thank us for the work we are doing NOW.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:54 am |
  2. terry

    So, do these type of "churches" not have other better things to do than foster hate? What is the big deal aganinst gays anyway? Do they have kids singing that murderers, etc. don't go to heaven or do they just have a hangup against gay people? Such a nice "church."

    June 5, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • T. Foss

      Who knows why people do the things they do? And yes, I think many of these have nothing better to do but to look down their long noses at others who don't look or act like they do. This is the same kind of junk that Hitler and the Nazi's did prior to WWII and look how many were eliminated just because of being Jewish.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:34 am |
  3. Jay Honeyman

    This church lost the action of Jesus Christ somewhere alone the way.

    June 5, 2012 at 11:28 am |
  4. ATPMSD

    Religion is all about hate. If you are not my religion and do not believe as I do, then you are a lessor people. That's hate.

    June 5, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Nate

      No, it's just that the hate-filled ones are what the news likes to cover.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • What

      Well said

      June 5, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • SoundFuture

      It's easy to see it that way. Organized religion is the danger, as it can be a mob, and mobs have no intelligence and are easily led away from reason.

      I can tell you that when I'm looking for a home church, I am often forced to leave mid service out of complete disagreement with the ideology. Nothing nearly as bad as what's being reported here, but none the less, it's wrong and I won't be associated with it.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • J

      And it is none of the people's fault, nor God's.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:52 am |
  5. Marty in MA

    Thers is no heaven, no hell, no devil, no angels. The sooner we learn this, the better off we will be.
    THis crap was concocted when people belived the world was flat and phlegm ran through your body. 🙂

    June 5, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • What

      Right on the money

      June 5, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  6. MK

    As long as a church insists that gays are sinners, they are HATING. If you say you're a Christian, but say you don't agree with these outspoken churches, but you believe that gays are sinners, you are HATING.

    You can't say that you are not hating someone at the same time you are calling them a reprehensible sinner. It's not possible.

    June 5, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      If their belief is in the bible there is no escaping hate.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • STLBroker

      What you don't understand is that we are ALL sinners and are reprehensible. Not one of us deserve eternal life in Heaven. So it is not wrong to call gays sinners. It is wrong to pretend that one is any less of a sinner for not being gay.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • JM

      MK, You have no idea what you are talking about. Hating sin in no way prevents someone from loving a the sinner. Prison ministry is a great example of this. We hate murder but reach out to the murder in jail showing the love of Jesus. The two happen frequently, even though some cross the line of hate.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • duckforcover

      It's not just gays. These "Commercial Christians" seem to hate just about everyone. What ever happened to following the example of Christ's life?

      June 5, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • fedz

      But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
      Romans 5:8
      lol

      June 5, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Sinless and proud

      There is no such thing as sin.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Bibletruth

      All violations of the ten commandments are labeled sin by God. It seems to speak against sin in any way, even informationally, is hate to some. It seems they have nothing to speak against ,obviously. The gay lifestyle is most certainly sin according to the word of God. So it should be spoken against. And of course many things that are sin should be spoken against (including, LOL, those utterly stupid child abusing parents that buy their kids a chili's ultrburger with 1920 calories, 120 grams of fat including 43 grams of saturated fat, sodium equal to 6 pounds of well salted french fries, etc). Dont get me started..LOL

      June 5, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • J

      What is wrong is wrong, and what is right is right. It never changes. Simply reminding of that is not hate. Now acting upon what is wrong in a hateful way is hate, such as beating h o mo se xu als or making fun of them, but simply telling what is wrong is not hate. With your logic, not telling a murderer he is wrong is love, and telling him he is wrong is hate.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • MK

      "You have no idea what you are talking about. Prison ministry is a great example of this. We hate murder but reach out to the murder in jail showing the love of Jesus."
      First of all, I was a "Christian" for 30 years, so I understand the whole sinner thing. Secondly, they're not loving the prisoner, they're recruiting. Just like they recruit young kids. Just like they recruit people in third world countries by giving them bibles.

      "What you don't understand is that we are ALL sinners and are reprehensible. Not one of us deserve eternal life in Heaven."
      That's what they told you so that you would have to keep coming back to their church and repent. So your god created us all broken? Don't answer that, I know the answer already and it sounds like a fairytale.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
  7. Robert Brown

    The church, boy, or songwriter are not expressing hate. They are simply expressing their opinion that it is a sin and those who practice it won’t go to heaven. Subst.itute drunk instead of h.o.m.o. in the song, are you still mad? There is some sin on this blog by those who through pride are getting ticked off every time someone says something in disagreement to their lifestyle. If you are at peace with what you do, why all the outrage?

    June 5, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yes, I am 'still mad'. Telling a kid that people whose behaviors you dislike are "ain't going to heaven" is NOT Christian love. It's hate.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And when are you dolts going to get it that being gay isn't a "lifestyle" anymore than being straight, or left-handed, or black is a "lifestyle"?

      Grow up. Get an education. Stop being so damn stupid.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • Peteyroo

      It's not hate? Then what is it? Is there a new term for what is obviously hate? A casual observer would say it is hate. Please explain.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Madtown

      Ridiculous. Does "drunk" have the same perjorative punch that "h0m0" has? What an absurd comparison.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Morrisey25

      And yet, no Christian I have ever known has ever sang a song about drunks going to hell. Or murderers. Or rapists. Why is that? Why only pick gays? Why is this Church or this boy seem to only care that gays go to hell? Why not mention divorcees and adulterers? According to their own scripture, none of these people go to heaven either.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Sinless and proud

      Robert Brown you are a liar.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • WOW

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son:

      "Yes, I am 'still mad'. Telling a kid that people whose behaviors you dislike are "ain't going to heaven" is NOT Christian love. It's hate."

      I noticed you called it a behavior. You are leaning because being gay is a behavior not born gay.

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son:

      "And when are you dolts going to get it that being gay isn't a "lifestyle" anymore than being straight, or left-handed, or black is a "lifestyle"?

      Grow up. Get an education. Stop being so damn stupid."

      If not a lifestyle then a behavior. Thanks for that info.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |

      June 5, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
  8. Lee

    Luckily your average church follower lacks the basic intellect to log onto the web.

    June 5, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • J

      Well here's one, happy now?

      June 5, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
  9. Henry

    S-o-d-o-m-i-t-e-s will burn in h-e-l-l together with all those b-a -s-t-a-r-d-s that support them by rimming and licking their a-s-s-h-o-l-e-s while prostrated on their knees in adoration!!

    June 5, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Peteyroo

      Settle down, Henry. Let me ask you this: is it better to be a hateful Christian or a kind and decent atheist?

      June 5, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • mizh

      Sounds like you are an a-u-t-h-o-r-i-t-y on sodomy, pal.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Wow Henry...the fact that this is the 21st century elude that single brain cell of yours? You speak of hate and bigotry...try reading some articles based within the last decade instead of that 2000 year old hate filled book. Get off your lazy ass and start to think for yourself.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • MmmHmmm

      Takes one to know one, right Henry? *kisses* and a 😉

      June 5, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • jungleboo

      Henry, you know better than to tickle your fancy with these thoughts. There are more beautiful ways to get your jollies.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
  10. Pray For Those Who Hate

    And these folks are the proud and the mighty? I think not. It is execrable and beyond all human d_e_c_e_n_c_y to use kids for the promotion of Hate!

    June 5, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • Madtown

      Pure child abuse.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:24 am |
  11. post

    I get it. You are against gay marriage. Solution: Marry straight (or not at all) and move on with your lives.

    No need to interfere with other people's personal lives.

    June 5, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • Heather

      Thank you! There's some sense, finally!

      June 5, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  12. WooHoo

    God, please save me from your followers.

    June 5, 2012 at 11:21 am |
  13. Reality

    Only for the eyes of the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle:

    The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (references used are available upon request)
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    June 5, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  14. Sad Day

    It is a sad day for Christianity when a church would stoop so low as to incorporate a child in order to promote Hate.

    June 5, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      They didnt just start that right now. The only reason that there are xtians in the first place is that they start brainwashing them at an early age. Ever heard of Sunday school?

      June 5, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Mass Debater

      "when a church would stoop so low as to incorporate a child"

      Lower than r a p i n g one?

      June 5, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      Your namesake fits your remark. What do you think religions do? They get 'em while their young. Hello?

      June 5, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • Reality

      Why did today's pope, prelates, preachers and rabbis, so focused on society's se-xual sins, lose sight of clerical se-xual sins?

      FEAR, SHAME and GUILT and COVER IT ALL UP!!!

      Obviously ordination in any religion is not assurance of good behavior !!!!!

      Neither is coronation!!! e.g. Henry VIII, King David.

      Neither is marriage as 50% of those men convicted of pedophilia are married.

      Neither is being elected president of the USA!! e.g. Billy "I did not have se-x with that girl" Clinton, John "Marilyn Monroe" Kennedy".

      Neither is possessing super athletic skill!!! e.g. Tiger "I am so sorry for getting caught" Woods.

      Neither is being an atheist or pagan since pedophilia is present in all walks of life.

      If someone is guilty of a crime in this litany of "neithers" they should or should have been penalized as the law dictates to include jail terms for pedophiliacs (priests, rabbis, evangelicals, boy scout leaders, married men/women), divorce for adultery (Clinton, Kennedy, Woods), jail terms for obstruction of justice (Clinton, Cardinal Law) and the death penalty or life in prison for murder ("Kings David and Henry VIII).

      June 5, 2012 at 11:22 am |
  15. Tex71

    We don't teach hate! We teach our children that you are all going to he!! but we don't hate you! We LOVE it that you are doomed! We will stand merrily by and sing a jolly tune of everlasting torment to send you on your way to perdition. Enjoy your lava bath! Lots of love, Apostolic Truth Tabernacle.

    June 5, 2012 at 11:13 am |
  16. M

    Sooo, he's on vacation? Nice. Thailand by any chance? I thought so. See, hate is ugly any way you cut it, right?

    June 5, 2012 at 11:11 am |
  17. palintwit

    We arrive in rusty 1964 motorhomes.
    We bring our bibles and loaded assault weapons.
    We wear ridiculous clothing and have teabags dangling from our earlobes.
    We carry misspelled racist signs as we stomp all over the White House lawn.
    We love the baby jesus but we love to boink our cousins on even more.
    We believe that nascar is a real sport and that Dale Earnhardt was a great American athlete.
    We believe that the earth is only 6,000 years old and that man walked with the dinosaurs.
    We are Sarah Palin's 'real' Americans.
    We are the birthers. We are the baggers. We are evangelicals.
    We are morons and we are proud.

    June 5, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Mass Debater

      Your comment would be funnier if you exaggerated a bit more... as it is it's just scary.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • J

      Yes we are morons, because christianity is for the hurt.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:55 am |
  18. JD

    I believe Jesus EVEN loves his hating followers. As with most religions Christianity will be consumed by it's own flaws.

    June 5, 2012 at 11:09 am |
  19. WOW

    Do gay people go to heaven?

    June 5, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • YeahRight

      Some churches believe so which is why they now have gay clergy. LOL!

      June 5, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • LinCA

      @WOW

      You said, "Do gay people go to heaven?"
      There is no heaven.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • worktolive

      If you repent your sins and accept Jesus as your savior, you will be saved. If you die in your sin-wouldn't want to be in those shoes to find out. Not worth the risk, is it?

      June 5, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Madtown

      Why wouldn't they go to heaven?

      June 5, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • WOW

      @Lin: You are right, looks like you won't be going to heaven if you don't believe in it. Guess your time here on earth was just a short span of nothing and then you will die and thats it, nothing else. So sad for you huh?

      June 5, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      @WOW

      In defense of reality, reason and logic, there is no god or heaven. You are deluded and close to insane.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • WOW

      @Mad: Very good question. So what did you find out when you looked up the answer? If you haven't looked it up yet, take a few minutes and do so and let us all know what you found out.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • WOW

      @Voice: I see you are back as usual. Thanks for the remarks they are always so refreshing from you but dull. Do you ever have a fresh angle to comment on?

      June 5, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Madtown

      WOW
      @Mad: Very good question. So what did you find out when you looked up the answer?
      ---------
      They'll go. If there's any type of person that wouldn't, it's the hateful/judgemental type, such as yourself.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Bet

      @ Wow

      So if I don't spend my time hating everyone who doesn't think as I do, my life is wasted? Laughable.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      @WOW

      And I will continue to post so get used to me being around for a long time. There is no other angle then the truth. The truth being there is no god and no heaven and no sin. The things you people claim are ridiculous and founded on nothing but fear of death. There is no substance to your drivel. It's nonsense.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • J

      It's simple. Yes they do, if they give their life to god.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • WOW

      Lol... Such hostility toward me... Do I feel that Voice is talking hate words to me? Hmmm... Voice, I would only figure you would be on here LOL.

      @Bet: you are the one stating your life is a waste not me. I only pointed out that if you don't believe in heaven then how can you go there after you die and if you die then all you have to show for your life is what you did while here. Have you done something so great in your life so far that others will remember you years after you die? Other than posting here on CNN LOL.

      @Mad: where did you find that answer from? Lol

      June 5, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Madtown

      WOW
      @Mad: where did you find that answer from? Lol
      ---------
      Common sense, logic, the things you disregard. The "answer" is not in any human-authored book.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • WOW

      @Mad:

      "Common sense, logic, the things you disregard. The "answer" is not in any human-authored book."

      So where do you, Mad, get your information about Heaven if not from the Bible? And what does it say? Point is if you are going to debate a Christian about what the Christian bible says then back it up.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • Madtown

      get your information about Heaven if not from the Bible?
      ------
      LOL!!!!! Aren't you the little gullible one? How could one possibly know a thing about heaven? Go to a human-authored book? And, how would those human authors know? Are they more insightful than the rest of us? Oh, they were "inspired by God" to write those words. I'm sure they want you to believe that. What better way to have your words accepted, then to tell everyone that your words were inspired by God? Absurd. Human beings are faulty, imperfect, fallible. Similarly, everything that human beings create contains those same failings. Why is the bible any more an authority than any other book from any other man-made world religion? And, what of all the human beings on this planet who will never even see the bible, or hear the name Jesus? Are they not God's creations, equal in base human value to you? I suppose you think they will burn for eternity as well, just because they don't follow YOUR ways? They've never heard of your ways!!! Think for yourself, man.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • WOW

      @Mad: Why do you attempt to alter the course of your response away from what you know about the bible. It was you who said : "Why wouldn't they go to heaven?"

      You still have not stated why they should but only that everything humans do are "faulty, imperfect, fallible" (per your own words) so you are telling me you could be wrong in what you say, oh wait scientific studies done by HUMANS could be wrong...

      Again, state why they should go to heaven.

      June 5, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Madtown

      Again, state why they should go to heaven.
      -----–
      For the same reasons that you(unlikely), or I, or anyone else would.

      June 5, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  20. Jonathan Thomas

    one thing i will offer to this is that the entire congregation is not responsible for what happened here. just a select few. if you know anything about how a church operates you know that the members are individuals. And they are subject to do things outside of church doctrine. more information is needed here to make a just judgment.

    June 5, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Ancient Curse

      The cheering heard on the video says all that I need to know about this situation. This church might not teach its members to hate, but it certainly encourages it.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • M

      But this was at a church service, condoned by the parishoners present and the pastor present as well... if it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck... It's probably not a zebra.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Bet

      Has anyone from the church been interviewed who has said that they disagree with this? That they think it's a terrible example of christianity? I'm asking seriously, not just as a challenge.

      Perhaps there were people there who disagreed but didn't want to face a lynch mob by stepping forward during the service. People can do terrible things as a group when they get riled up.

      Churches also use peer pressure and social ostracizing to keep the flock in line. I've been there, got shut out of a congregation for asking too many questions about the bible.

      June 5, 2012 at 11:41 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.