Evangelist Billy Graham defends Chick-fil-A
July 26th, 2012
02:18 PM ET

Evangelist Billy Graham defends Chick-fil-A

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

(CNN)– Billy Graham, the dean of American evangelists, has once again broken his usual silence on hot-button issues, defending the president of the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain for his opposition to same-sex marriage days after issuing a letter decrying what he sees as the nation's moral decay.

Earlier this year, the ailing preacher publicly endorsed a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay unions in North Carolina, raising eyebrows among many who'd watched Graham studiously avoid thorny social issues for years.

On Thursday, he issued a statement of support for the popular fast-food chain. Many people have slammed Chick-fil-A President Don Cathy for saying his company backs the traditional family unit and is opposed to same-sex marriage.

Graham praised restaurant founder S. Truett Cathy and son Don Cathy, the company's president, "for their strong stand for the Christian faith."

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"I've known their family for many years and have watched them grow Chick-fil-A into one of the best businesses in America while never compromising their values," Graham said.

The Chick-fil-A controversy reflects what many see as America's deep cultural and religious divide. The company's position on same-sex marriage doesn't sit well with Jim Henson Co., whose Jim Henson's Creature Shop toys have been served in Chick-fil-A's meals for children.

Jim Henson Co. is named for the creator of The Muppets. However, the company transferred The Muppets' rights and ownership to the Walt Disney Co. in 2003, according to Jim Henson Co.

"The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over 50 years and we have notified Chick-fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors," the company said in a posting on its Facebook page.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a 2008 GOP presidential candidate, is backing Chick-fil-A. He urged people to turn out to Chick-fil-A restaurants on Wednesday to show their support for what Cathy had to say about marriage.

Graham says he appreciated Huckabee's leadership and plans to visit a Chick-fil-A on that day, August 1.

"Each generation faces different issues and challenges, but our standard must always be measured by God's word. I appreciate the Cathy family's public support for God's definition of marriage."

On Tuesday, Graham leveled deep criticism at the United States. He compared the country to Sodom and Gomorrah, the Biblical cities synonymous with sin.

"Self-centered indulgence, pride, and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle," Graham writes in the open letter released by his organization this week.

He blasts what he sees as efforts to keep references to Jesus out of the public sphere.

"Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone - except God. Yet the farther we get from God, the more the world spirals out of control," he writes in the letter released Tuesday.

Graham, 93, has preached to untold millions over six decades, and provided counsel to generations of U.S. presidents.

His open letter also contains a fund-raising appeal and a notice that Graham's son Franklin, himself a major evangelical figure, is launching a new effort to "bring the Gospel into neighborhoods and homes in every corner of America next year."

Randall Balmer, the chair of the religion department at Dartmouth College, suspects the motivation for the letter is at least partly political.

"It's hard for me to believe that this letter does not have political intent," he said.

Its move to decry what he would see as moral decay "would be tied to the Obama administration," he argued, asking rhetorically why Graham would not have issued the statement in response to an event like the Abu Ghraib torture scandal.

In response to the controversy, Larry Ross, Graham’s spokesperson, said that “the letter does not address timely issues.”

“‘My Heart Aches for America,’ was written 6-8 weeks ago – long before recent current events, such as the tragic shooting in an Aurora, Colo movie theater, or the ongoing Chik-fil-A controversy,” Ross said in an email to CNN. “He is responding to general struggles in our culture and a moral decline that has existed through his public ministry.”

At the same time, Ross said that Graham is keen on the idea of eating Chick-fil-A next Wednesday.

“Considering Mr. Graham's age and limited mobility, his statement today was more an expression of sentiment and solidarity with the Cathy family and their cause than actually a commitment to go to a Chik-fil-A himself,” Ross said. “But he does plan to ‘Eat Mor Chikin’ on Aug. 1, which I expect someone will be able to get for him to enjoy at home.”

Balmer said that evangelicals would take note of the letter, though Graham has largely retired from the public eye in recent years.

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"There is certainly admiration for Billy Graham, as there should be," Balmer said. "There is lingering respect for Billy Graham and I think that people will take notice."

But he said the comparison to Sodom and Gomorrah - which Graham attributes to his late wife Ruth in the letter - was startling.

"When Billy Graham came to Madison Square Garden in 1957, he made comments comparing New York City to Sodom and Gomorrah and was roundly criticized for it," Balmer said. Since that time, Balmer said, Graham has largely avoided making the comparison to the Biblical cities.

CNN's Joe Sterling contributed to this report.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Belief • Billy Graham • Christianity • Church and state • Food

soundoff (2,864 Responses)
  1. Carrot Cake Man

    Who do you think you're kidding, anti-gays? There's NO use telling this big fat anti-gay lie that your intended victims are "the real haters." Not ONE American will be fooled by this latest anti-gay lie.

    And something rings false about these words being put in Billy Graham's mouth. Notice how everyone quietly says this is out of character for him? This is just GOP persons in his organization pulling yet another GOP DIRTY TRICK®. Unless we see and hear Billy Graham say himself that he hates and wants to hurt LGBT Americans and wants to throw the presidential election, why should we believe the hateful words put in his mouth?

    July 30, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  2. Name*Lynesh

    I just read back over many of the comments posted here . I suggest you all do. You see where the real anger is. The real mean spiritedness . It’s not the Christians. It is also interesting to notice the language skills of the posters. Just making an observation .

    July 30, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • LinCA

      Lemme guess, you call yourself a christian?

      July 30, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Poorly phrased vitriol isn't unique to any specific ideology.
      I'm afraid ignornace knows no bounds.

      July 30, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • *facepalm*

      Yes, the people saying that its wrong to discriminate based upon genetics are the hateful ones. The ones who want to discriminate based upon an ancient book of highly questionable morals are the reasonable, loving ones.

      get over yourself.

      July 30, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  3. JP

    Is homosexuality a sin?

    Self-indulgence is a sin. But the relationship of two people of the same sex may or may not be self-indulgent.

    Abusing the neighbor is a sin. But the exploration of relationships among homosexuals as they search for partners, evaluate their existing formative relationships, and relate to each other may or may not be abusive.

    Disobeying what God commands in the Bible is a sin. But, we have biblically-derived criteria for assessing and applying specific commands by reading them against larger themes.
    Turning your back on God is a sin. Homosexuals are often among those who have turned their back on the church, and may be sinning because they also rejected the God they found in church. The church needs to be in mission to homosexuals with the message of Jesus and who God really is.

    Yielding to your passions, even celebrating them is a sin. Homosexuals do include those who have done this. But it is not an inherent aspect of being gay.

    Since we see people who have dedicated themselves to God, and for whom their gay sexual life is integrated into that decision and we see that their sexuality does not draw them away from church we must conclude that being and living gay is not a behavior in and of itself that produces pain to the neighbor and leads one away from God.

    By the criteria the scripture sets for us for what is godly life, and by the reasoning scripture asks us to employ, homosexuality cannot be described as against God’s law.

    If this seems like a rather quiet sort of justification for homosexuality; then perhaps it is because the grand clichés of this debate have been shouted at us for too long. But look at the Bible: it's demands and vision cut across all categories, not staying on the surface but penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart, rejecting all forms of self-justification, all forms of attack on the "other" and all forms of escape from God's assessment of our behavior. How on earth could we have ever thought that a series of flat rules was all God wanted to tell us on morality?

    July 30, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • *facepalm*

      You're talking about a god that advocates stoning rape victims. Using logic, reason, morality, or ethics is pretty much pointless.

      July 30, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Bob

      Did you know that the way that gays were taken off the DSM is because the docs changed the meaning to ,,,,if your ok with it then your ok ,,,,but that classification can go for peds or any mental illness thats out there? So essentially there is no clinical definition of gays not that its not a illness just there is no definition.

      July 30, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "but that classification can go for peds or any mental illness thats out there? So essentially there is no clinical definition of gays not that its not a illness just there is no definition."

      You really are clueless on this subject. he American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

      July 30, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
  4. YeahRight

    "Start to take a active role otherwise Christians will not be able to voice the truth we are the persecuted ones not the gays"

    That's why gays have been presecuted by Christians for centuries because of the prejudice lies that the Church spews about them. This is about Civil Rights! Duh! Heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

    July 30, 2012 at 10:40 am |
  5. Cindi

    LIKE YOU, I TAKE THE BIBLE SERIOUSLY! Many good people build their case against homosexuality almost entirely on the Bible. These folks value Scripture, and are serious about seeking its guidance in their lives. Unfortunately, many of them have never really studied what the Bible does and doesn’t say about homosexuality.

    We gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Christians take the Bible seriously, too. Personally, I’ve spent more than 50 years reading, studying, memorizing, preaching, and teaching from the sacred texts. I earned my master’s and doctoral degrees at a conservative biblical seminary to better equip myself to “rightly divide the word of truth.” I learned Hebrew and Greek to gain a better understanding of the original words of the biblical texts. I studied the lives and times of the biblical authors to help me know what they were saying in their day so I could better apply it to my own.

    We must be open to new truth from Scripture.

    Even heroes of the Christian faith have changed their minds about the meaning of various biblical texts.

    It took a blinding light and a voice from heaven to help the apostle Paul change his mind about certain Hebrew texts. A sheet lowered from the sky filled with all kinds of animals helped the apostle Peter gain new insights into Jewish law.

    Jerry Falwell believed the Bible supported segregation in the church until a black shoeshine man asked him, “When will someone like me be allowed to become a member of your congregation?” Through those simple words, the Holy Spirit spoke new truth about the ancient biblical texts to the Rev. Falwell, and in obedience he ended segregation at Thomas Road Baptist Church.

    Even when we believe the Scriptures are “infallible” or “without error,” it’s terribly dangerous to think that our understanding of every biblical text is also without error. We are human. We are fallible. And we can misunderstand and misinterpret these ancient words — with tragic results.

    What if someone asked you, “Is there a chance you could be wrong about the way you’ve interpreted the biblical texts sometimes used to condemn homosexual orientation?” How would you respond? What does it say about you if you answer, “No, I could NOT be wrong”? I am asking you to re-examine these texts — carefully and prayerfully. Lives hang in the balance.

    If heroes of the Christian faith could change their minds about the meaning of certain biblical texts, shouldn’t we be prepared to reconsider our own interpretations of these ancient words when the Holy Spirit opens our minds and hearts to new truth? That’s why we study the Bible prayerfully, seeking the Spirit of Truth, God’s loving Spirit, to help us understand and apply these words to our lives.

    On the night he was betrayed, Jesus told his disciples he was going away from them for a while, but that the Father would send them a “Comforter,” an “Advocate,” the “Holy Spirit” who would “teach them all things.”

    I believe with all my heart that the Holy Spirit is still teaching us. When we reconsider the texts that are used by some people to condemn God’s gay children, we must fervently seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance, or we risk being misled by our own prejudices.

    The Bible is a book about God – not a book about human sexuality.

    The Bible is the story of God’s love for the world and the people of the world. It tells the history of God’s love at work rescuing, renewing, and empowering humankind. It was never intended to be a book about human sexuality. Certainly, you will agree.

    In fact, the Bible accepts sexual practices that we condemn and condemns sexual practices that we accept. Lots of them! Here are a few examples.

    DEUTERONOMY 22:13-21
    If it is discovered that a bride is not a virgin, the Bible demands that she be executed by stoning immediately.

    If a married person has sex with someone else’s husband or wife, the Bible commands that both adulterers be stoned to death.

    MARK 10:1-12
    Divorce is strictly forbidden in both Testaments, as is remarriage of anyone who has been divorced.

    LEVITICUS 18:19
    The Bible forbids a married couple from having sexual intercourse during a woman’s period. If they disobey, both shall be executed.

    MARK 12:18-27
    If a man dies childless, his widow is ordered by biblical law to have intercourse with each of his brothers in turn until she bears her deceased husband a male heir.

    DEUTERONOMY 25:11-12
    If a man gets into a fight with another man and his wife seeks to rescue her husband by grabbing the enemy’s genitals, her hand shall be cut off and no pity shall be shown her.

    I’m certain you don’t agree with these teachings from the Bible about sex. And you shouldn’t. The list goes on: The Bible says clearly that sex with a prostitute is acceptable for the husband but not for the wife. Polygamy (more than one wife) is acceptable, as is a king’s having many concubines. (Solomon, the wisest king of all, had 1,000 concubines.) Slavery and sex with slaves, marriage of girls aged 11-13, and treatment of women as property are all accepted practices in the Scriptures. On the other hand, there are strict prohibitions against interracial marriage, birth control, discussing or even naming a sexual organ, and seeing one’s parents nude.

    Over the centuries the Holy Spirit has taught us that certain Bible verses should not be understood as God’s law for all time periods. Some verses are specific to the culture and time they were written, and are no longer viewed as appropriate, wise, or just.

    Often, the Holy Spirit uses science to teach us why those ancient words no longer apply to our modern times. During the last three decades, for example, organizations representing 1.5 million U.S. health professionals (doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists; counselors; and educators) have stated definitively that homosexual orientation is as natural as heterosexual orientation, that sexual orientation is determined by a combination of yet unknown pre- and post-natal influences, and that it is dangerous and inappropriate to tell a homosexual that he or she could or should attempt to change his or her sexual orientation.

    While there are some people now living in heterosexual marriages who once perceived themselves to be gay, there are millions of gay and lesbian persons who have accepted their sexual orientation as a gift from God and live productive and deeply spiritual lives. The evidence from science and from the personal experience of gay and lesbian Christians demands that we at least consider whether the passages cited to condemn homosexual behavior should be reconsidered, just as other Bible verses that speak of certain sexual practices are no longer understood as God’s law for us in this day.

    July 30, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Name*Lynesh

      You have put a lot of time in study and none in getting to know the person of Christ, honoring God, or being led by the Holy Spirit. I know that is very blunt . I apologize . But you are like the many groups and sects in the Bible.

      Jeremiah 9
      23 Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:
      24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.

      July 30, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You smarmy jerk. "I apologize." What a load. You are not "apologizing" for anything; you're too busy polishing your halo and patting yourself on the back. You think you know more than the person to whom you're responding simply because YOU believe something different. It's different, Ly. Not better. Not more correct.

      July 30, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Basing one's character on the teachings of Christ is a difficult and laudable endeavour.
      But is belief in the supernatural necessary to live a life of compassion, charity and humility?

      July 30, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Jen

      Let me translate lynesh' post:

      'just because you quote scripture doesn't mean you know Jesus. I'm going to prove I know Jesus by quoting scripture'. Oh....the irony.....

      July 30, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • J.W

      What does Jesus say about the topic of hom0s3xuality?

      July 30, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  6. Shawn

    Let me start this off with a quote from a famous lesbian, Lynn Lavner:

    "There are 6 admonishments in the Bible concerning homosexual activity, and our enemies are always throwing them up to us – usually in a vicious way and very much out of context.

    What they don't want us to remember is that there are 362 admonishments in the Bible concerning heterosexual activity. I don't mean to imply by this that God doesn't love straight people, only that they seem to require a great deal more supervision."

    I am going to attempt to keep this short and simple, so here we go.

    Some claim that Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 clearly say that homosexual sex is an abomination. In fact, it merits death. Isn't it obvious that God hates homosexuality?

    Yes, depending on which translation you are using, Leviticus does say, "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female, it's an abomination." However, a few points must be made about this statement:

    a) It appears in Leviticus, which was given to preserve the distinctive characteristics of the religion and culture of Israel. However, as stated in Galatians 3:22-55, Christians are no longer bound by these Jewish laws. Even if you, for some reason, argue that these "laws" are still important, then you surely follow all of them, right?

    It is interesting that people who use Leviticus against the gay community forget the part that talks about religious sacrifices, making women sleep in tents outside during their period, the dietary restrictions placed on them and how to cleanse a leper, all of which appear in Leviticus.

    The laws of Leviticus are completely obsolete for today's Christian; however, even if you do claim to live by the laws of Leviticus, it is not fair to pick and choose which laws you are going to live by, or condemn a people by, if you are not going to follow the others. You should not need any more convincing evidence than this; but if you do, be my guest.

    b) The word that was in the original work, "to'ebah," which was translated into Greek as "bdglygma" actually means "ritual impurity" rather than abomination (or enormous sin). These passages in Leviticus can be translated to not mean homosexual sex generally, but only limiting homosexual sex in Pagan temples.

    c) This passage does not denounce homosexual behavior as a whole, but just the specific act of anal sex. This was meant for the prevention of disease. It was ruled unclean because it was physically unclean; however, hygiene has made wonderful advances since that time.

    d) These passages in Leviticus can be interpreted in many ways. I have seen it interpreted by scholars and priests to mean: "don't have sex with another man in your wife's bed;" "don't have sex with another man in the temple;" and "don't have sex with another man and pretend he is a woman," just to name a few.

    I have never seen an interpretation in any Bible, or from any scholar, that specifically says to never have sex with a man.

    Some claim the Bible simply does not support gay marriage. Chapter two of Genesis defines marriage as a holy union between a man and a woman. And later, in Matthew 19:4-5, Jesus himself reiterates the traits of a traditional marriage. How can you argue that anything other than celibacy is honorable for gay and lesbian people?

    Yes, marriage is a holy union. However, in these passages, while Jesus reiterates (but does not require) the traditional marriage, he also provides an exception for eunuchs (castrated men – or otherwise impotent men, in today's terms), and allowed them to be married, saying that this law is given to those to whom it applies.

    Because these eunuchs were born sexless, God made an exception for them because it was natural. The same applies to the Gay community today. Science has proven homosexuality is completely natural, so it seems God would allow for homosexual marriages.

    In Matthew 19: 4-5, Jesus encourages a traditional path, but does not discourage alternatives, except in the case of divorce.

    Jesus did stress purity of marriage, but not in regard to the sexes of the people within it. It can be seen that the reason that churches are against homosexual marriage is not because it is explicitly said by God, but because of a lack of instruction to specifically allow it.

    In the time that the Bible was written it would have been impossible to foresee the future to be able to specifically allow or forbid homosexual marriage.

    Some claim, in Paul's letter to the Corinthians, he lists homosexuals amongst the many sinners who will not inherit the kingdom of God. Doesn't that make God's position on this vice very clear?

    If we look at the other types of people listed in this passage, we can understand what it is actually talking about. Law breakers, thieves, adulterers and drunks are specifically mentioned. The word "homosexual" was not found until the 1890s, so it would have been impossible for it to be in the original version.

    What actually appears in the original is Paul condemning those who are "effeminate" and "abusers of themselves with mankind." In this context, the original Greek word, "malakos," is translated into effeminate, or soft, which, more than likely, refers to someone who lacks discipline or moral control.

    In this passage, when Paul condemns "abusers of themselves with mankind," he is speaking of male prostitutes.

    Then there are the people who claim that, even though science has proven that people don't choose their sexual orientation, the fact remains that homosexuality is unnatural. Romans 1:26-27 tells us that humans have a sinful nature, and therefore commit sins against God. Certain people are predisposed to be alcoholics and pedophiles, but that doesn't make their actions any less immoral. God tells us to "tear out your eye" if it makes you stumble. Why can't you just accept homosexuality as the part of your nature you must deny?

    Because the Bible has gone through so many translations, and through the hands of many people (some being non-believers), it is not surprising that the meaning has become a little fuzzy in parts.

    Homosexuality is normal. The phrase "para physin" appears in the original text for this verse. This term is often translated to mean "unnatural;" however, more accurate translation would be unconventional.

    Proof for this can be found in 1 Corinthians 11:14 where Paul uses this phrase to refer to men with long hair (unconventional, not unnatural) and in Romans 11:24 where Paul uses this phrase to refer to the positive action God made to bring together the Jews and Gentiles.

    All in all, homosexuality is obviously not a sin, unless you take passages from the Bible and add your own words or you just try really hard to interpret it that way. Let's just remember Galatians 5:14, where Paul stated, "the whole Law is fulfilled in one Statement;'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'

    July 30, 2012 at 10:37 am |
  7. John

    Some argue that since homosexual behavior is "unnatural" it is contrary to the order of creation. Behind this pronouncement are stereotypical definitions of masculinity and femininity that reflect rigid gender categories of patriarchal society. There is nothing unnatural about any shared love, even between two of the same gender, if that experience calls both partners to a fuller state of being. Contemporary research is uncovering new facts that are producing a rising conviction that homosexuality, far from being a sickness, sin, perversion or unnatural act, is a healthy, natural and affirming form of human sexuality for some people. Findings indicate that homosexuality is a given fact in the nature of a significant portion of people, and that it is unchangeable.

    Our prejudice rejects people or things outside our understanding. But the God of creation speaks and declares, "I have looked out on everything I have made and `behold it (is) very good'." . The word (Genesis 1:31) of God in Christ says that we are loved, valued, redeemed, and counted as precious no matter how we might be valued by a prejudiced world.

    There are few biblical references to homosexuality. The first, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, is often quoted to prove that the Bible condemns homosexuality. But the real sin of Sodom was the unwillingness of the city's men to observe the laws of hospitality. The intention was to insult the stranger by forcing him to take the female role in the sex act. The biblical narrative approves Lot's offer of his virgin daughters to satisfy the sexual demands of the mob. How many would say, "This is the word of the Lord"? When the Bible is quoted literally, it might be well for the one quoting to read the text in its entirety.

    Leviticus, in the Hebrew Scriptures, condemns homosexual behaviour, at least for males. Yet, "abomination", the word Leviticus uses to describe homosexuality, is the same word used to describe a menstruating woman. Paul is the most quoted source in the battle to condemn homosexuality ( 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 and Romans 1: 26-27). But homosexual activity was regarded by Paul as a punishment visited upon idolaters by God because of their unfaithfulness. Homosexuality was not the sin but the punishment.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Paul gave a list of those who would not inherit the Kingdom of God. That list included the immoral, idolaters, adulterers, sexual perverts, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, and robbers. Sexual perverts is a translation of two words; it is possible that the juxtaposition of malakos, the soft, effeminate word, with arsenokoitus, or male prostitute, was meant to refer to the passive and active males in a homosexual liaison.

    Thus, it appears that Paul would not approve of homosexual behavior. But was Paul's opinion about homosexuality accurate, or was it limited by the lack of scientific knowledge in his day and infected by prejudice born of ignorance? An examination of some of Paul's other assumptions and conclusions will help answer this question. Who today would share Paul's anti-Semitic attitude, his belief that the authority of the state was not to be challenged, or that all women ought to be veiled? In these attitudes Paul's thinking has been challenged and transcended even by the church! Is Paul's commentary on homosexuality more absolute than some of his other antiquated, culturally conditioned ideas?

    Three other references in the New Testament (in Timothy, Jude and 2 Peter) appear to be limited to condemnation of male sex slaves in the first instance, and to showing examples (Sodom and Gomorrah) of God's destruction of unbelievers and heretics (in Jude and 2 Peter respectively).

    That is all that Scripture has to say about homosexuality, even if one is a biblical literalist, these references do not build an ironclad case for condemnation. If one is not a biblical literalist there is no case at all, nothing but prejudice born of ignorance, that attacks people whose only crime is to be born with an unchangeable sexual predisposition toward those of their own sex.

    July 30, 2012 at 10:35 am |
  8. Bob

    Chick-fil-A spokesman dies amid furor over same-S e marriage Do you see what they are doing that a man that wants to run a business the way he wants has a terror gay organization trying to limit his free speech as well as the city of Chicago wanting to limit him on business permits and saying he cant get a license to run his business and falsely stop a business from going forward. Merry Christmas has been taken away how much more is everyone going to let these losers limit the majority and those who know the truth. Its not only about gays but about socialism about the very same people we see here wanting to change the very fabric of society and not giving a dam about anyone else. wake up start voicing your opinion. They are not afraid to get up and insult us but we cannot do the same. Start to take a active role otherwise Christians will not be able to voice the truth we are the persecuted ones not the gays. The president of Chick only said he was against gay marriage nothing else and this is what happens. What happens to free speech and us being able to speak our mind without ridicule. If intimidation wont work as in San Fransisco and with Chick then we will lie then subvert the Bible if that doesn't work we will do what ever is necessary to achieve our goals. Start by going to this business and supporting all those that are against this use the tactics they use. We see a attacks here and there is no logic no caring no truth.
    repost from Solomon
    In the morning, the Stonewall bar was a burned-out wreck and four police were injured. Pro-sod leaders declared the violence a success. Interestingly, the anniversary of this event is known today as “Gay Pride Day” and features parades and other events most notable for their public felacio acts It is ironic that the very activists who emerged from this new environment developed the strategy of claiming victim status through the use of such symbols as the pink triangle. Following the Stonewall acts the Mattachine Action group called for organized resistance but control of the movement was taken out of their hands by a still more radical group Enter, the “Gay Lib Front” At the heart of this new circle of power was Herbert Marcuse a long time Socialist who had learned this and perhaps sod in pre-Nazi Germany

    July 30, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The city in which I live has the largest Pride parade in the world.
      Before I started a family, I lived downtown in the Gayborhood for years and never once did I witness "public fe.lla.tio".
      When black people and women were granted suffrage, did it destroy society?
      Were children, animals and inanimate objects suddenly allowed to vote?
      Did the fabric of American society and the Const/itution suddenly cease to exist?

      July 30, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • sam stone

      Poor, poor persecuted Christians.

      July 30, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • sam stone

      bob: seems to me that it is the christians who are interested in denying others's rights. of course, since you are all god's official spokespeople, you have a right to be pious bigots

      July 30, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • sam stone

      if you publicly speak your mind, do not be surprised if that opinion is subject to ridicule. free speech works both ways. now, put on your big boy pants and grow up.

      July 30, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • Bob

      Doc Im sure you attended the parades and would be the authority on them aren't you? Not to mention what about what the parade actually honors violence against society, and the normalization of wrongful conduct and I guess you are for both of those correct?

      July 30, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Bob

      A gay boy killed himself and there was a investigation and a woman thrown in jail so where is the perpetrators of this crime or since it wasn't against gays thats ok

      July 30, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • sam stone

      bob: and how many of them have you attended?

      July 30, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • sam stone

      Violence against society?

      July 30, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • sam stone

      "A gay boy killed himself and there was a investigation and a woman thrown in jail so where is the perpetrators of this crime or since it wasn't against gays thats ok"

      That doesn't make any sense.

      If the woman was thrown in jail, does that not indicate that police feel that she was the perpetrator of the crime?

      July 30, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I did attend the parades, actually.
      Hundreds of thousands of people come here every year for it.
      Can you guess how many violent crimes occur at the week long festival?
      I'll give you a hint – it's less than 1.
      As for "normalizing wrongful conduct", what conduct would that be?
      There is very little that is "normal" during the parade. It's a cornucopia of costumes, music, dance, art, and community spirit! A mealstrom of colour and sound and a celebration of love in all its forms..

      What is considered the first Pride Parade in Toronto was in 1981. There was a protest consisting of about 3000 people against a city-wide police raid of bath houses in which around 300 people were arrested. They blocked downtown traffic and chanted. 4 months after those winter time raids, the police did it again and there were more protests.
      One single person was charged with assaulting an officer. The charge was dismissed by the time it reached the provincial courts and the judge demanded an inquiry into POLICE conduct.
      The only violence at that protest was perpetrated by the police against the protestors.

      July 30, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Jen


      I've seen a parade while in Vancouver, and again, no violence. But Bob also says that public schools now give demonstrations of gay s-x acts, so clearly he is delusional and needs some psych medication.

      July 30, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Name*Lynesh

      I just read back over many of the comments posted here . I suggest you all do. You see where the real anger is. The real mean spiritedness . It's not the Christians. It is also interesting to notice the language skills of the posters. Just making an observation .

      July 30, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Poe-dar alert

      While I know that there are people out there as ignorant and dumb as Bob, I'm guessing they can't use a computer. My vote: Bob is a Poe and should be ignored as such.

      July 30, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Apparently you haven't read BoobyHatch's posts.

      You don't get it-you want to be allowed to tell gays they're lesser beings than you are and not have anyone tell you to stick it? Get a clue, Ly.

      July 30, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • *facepalm*


      If you're accusing me of being intolerance of intolerance, then guilty as charged. When people hate out of ignorance and seek to oppress others that are different than them, don't expect me to remain quiet.

      Do you think that the black community should have respected Jim Crow laws?

      July 30, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Carrot Cake Man

      It just doesn't matter how many times anti-gays repeat these lies. No REAL American will be fooled by anti-gays and their attempts to hurt America.

      July 30, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • Jen

      Well Name Lynesh, if you read Bob's post and did not think it was mean spirited then there is something SERIOUSLY WRONG with you.

      July 30, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Bob

      Gays, atheists, socialists think anything that is different than their own views are mean, so even if you tell the truth and it doesn't favor them then its mean. While they will call you names and insult you but that is ok. Well if you read and find the history of this movement that is how they started that is how they continue. Why do you think they dont like the Bible its speaks the truth and is not favorable to them so since they are having a hard time changing the wording they contort the meaning. They also have a hard time with not endorsing gay marriage and will lie and say that civil unions dont provide them the same protection which is a lie and some states do in fact have these laws on the books. But they are not pushing for this are they??? Gee I wonder why.

      July 30, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Bob

      It is ironic that the very activists who emerged from this new environment developed the strategy of claiming victim status through the use of such symbols as the pink triangle. Like I said same tactics different day but the real persecuted are the people of the US and Christians against these tactics.

      July 30, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • sam stone

      No, Name....it is Christians (read: pompous cvnts like you and bob) who purport to speak for god

      July 30, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Bob

      Hey Doc are you a real doc and do you do gender reassignment?? Or are you just another name??

      July 30, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Bob


      July 30, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "so even if you tell the truth and it doesn't favor them then its mean."

      You're the one not telling the truth. Heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

      July 30, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • J.W

      I am not really seeing the connection of being gay and socialism.

      July 30, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Jen

      Please name ONE instance where I have lied or abused another poster Bob. Hasn't happened. I called you uneducated – but you yourself admitted you do not have a masters degree so YES – you are uneducated. You also can't write in your own native language at a fourth grade level, something you can not dispute. You are the liar. I saw you post that kids are now watching gay s-x acts at school. That is a boldface lie! And you call me a liar! There's something VERY WRONG with you.....

      July 30, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • J.W

      Wow I didn't know I had to have a master's degree or I am completely ignorant. I better go get one.

      July 30, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Jen

      Well if you think uneducated and ignorant are synonyms JW you do need to go back to school. They are not the same thing at all.

      July 30, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I'm not that kind of doctor – I have an STD.
      (sacred theology doctorate)

      July 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • J.W

      Uneducated and ignorant are basically the same thing. Maybe not exactly but very closely related

      July 30, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  9. Bob

    August 7th is support Chick fil a day go there and place a order support business that support the Bible and Christians. There is no separation of church and state that was a letter written.

    July 30, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      After that day, their business will slowly decline. I give 'em two years before the new owners open it up on Sunday with Muppet happymeals.

      July 30, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • sam stone

      bob: go choke (on your) chicken

      July 30, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • sam stone

      bob: go choke (on) your chicken

      July 30, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Bigots Unite!

      I hear the KKK is going to be there as well. Ignorance breeds ignorance, after all.

      July 30, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bob, don't you get tired of being stupid?

      July 30, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  10. yseyu3457

    lol the guy seriously goes out in public with a face like that? gross

    also, start brushing your teeth dude lol

    July 30, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • Name*Lynesh

      God bless you Billy Graham! You have the glow of wisdom and the peace of the Lord. And without being mean or spiteful are able to articulate what many feel. I too will have chicken Wednesday.

      July 30, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • sam stone

      name: graham is a pious bigot, and what he says resonates with other pious bigots.

      July 30, 2012 at 9:27 am |
  11. Dr. Bolden

    This is great that this Man of God takes a Stand with this Corp. where are the present spiritual leaders T D Jakes has been compared to Evangelist Graham,and many other Teleevangelists, where is their public support for Chick-Fil-La! TBN, TCT, The Word NETWORK lets Stand with Chick-Fil-La
    Thanks Brother Graham and Brother Huckebee.

    July 30, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • Name*Lynesh

      i agree! Where are they? The gay community seems to be coming together against this Christian business. We definitely need to show our support for them and any other openly Christian business willing to take a stand for biblical truths.

      July 30, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I beleive God and his fleshly vassal Christ had a fair bit to say about money-lenders.
      Why aren't Christians protesting and boycotting financial inst/itutions and the ungodly, interest charging CEOs?

      July 30, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Name*Lynesh: Wow...what is your own personal reason for being a bigot??? Being gay is natural according to science and in the real world that is the only opinion that matters. If the church wants a say in these matters or you want to see the buybull used to make laws then the church can start paying taxes. Stop using your belief to impede on the basic rights of people!!! These people are doing you no harm and thus your opinion is nothing but bigoted and unwarranted.

      July 30, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      It's not their beliefs that are gagging the customers, it's their giving money to hate groups. Nobody can force us to eat their hate nugggets.

      July 30, 2012 at 10:20 am |
  12. mail disposable

    Undeniably imagine that that you stated. Your favourite reason seemed to be at the internet the easiest factor to keep in mind of. I say to you, I certainly get irked even as other people consider issues that they plainly don't recognise about. You managed to hit the nail upon the highest and defined out the entire thing with no need side-effects , other people can take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thank you

    July 30, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • Name*Lynesh

      What are you talking about? Look God is God whether you bow now or bow later. You will bow. Prayer does change things and
      Psalm 37:34
      Wait for the Lord and keep his way .
      He will exalt you to inherit the land;
      when the wicked are cut off, you will
      see it.

      July 30, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Name*Lynesh: Not capable of thinking for yourself, you poor bigoted moron!!!! No-one will know ever b/c there is no verifiable proof or evidence supporting your imaginary friend god. When you die, that is it...over, done...nothing more.

      July 30, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • sam stone

      "...whether you bow now or bow later. You will bow."

      Some people just ache to be subservient. They have the slave mindset.

      Get off your knees, b1tch

      July 30, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      " Look God is God whether you bow now or bow later. You will bow. " Submit to Al-Lah, eh? Same with every religion; bow down to my imaginary friend or my army will kill you.

      July 30, 2012 at 10:22 am |
  13. God is a man made delusion

    God is nothing more than a projection of human traits onto an all powerfull image of a ruler from that period.

    July 30, 2012 at 7:59 am |
    • sam stone

      seems that way to me, too

      July 30, 2012 at 8:03 am |
  14. Canadian Jim


    Go to their family nights, you don't have to buy much to legally occupy a booth. Chick-Fil-A – the choice of gay families everywhere! (It's going to be their new slogan whether they like it or not!)

    July 30, 2012 at 6:38 am |
    • Name*Lynesh

      Why is it not ok for Christians to take a stand ? How awful to suggest harrassing anyone for not sharing in your beliefs. Take up a booth in a business? How very sad you are to try so hard to force yourself into someone's pocketbook as a punishment for simply not agreeing with you.

      July 30, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Name*Lynesh: It's not okay for anyone to use their belief to impede on basic human rights and that includes gays who are doing no harm in society. The only people who have a problem with gays are those who hold a belief in a higher power or in the buybull. Can you give one reason without using the buybull as to why someone should speak out against gays?

      July 30, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • sam stone

      Name: Right you are. Just like when we let the ni**ers get the right to vote. There were some who took a stand based on their beliefs that it was wrong. Who were we to stand up to those pious folk?

      July 30, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • sam stone

      "How very sad you are to try so hard to force yourself into someone's pocketbook as a punishment for simply not agreeing with you."

      Do you feel the same about those who proposed boycotting those that Christians disagree with?

      July 30, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      "How awful to suggest harrassing anyone for not sharing in your beliefs. " How ironic to hear this from a gay-basher.

      July 30, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
  15. Arvoasitis

    If the traditional model of marriage is to be discarded, on what basis is the new model to be founded, especially if it is considered a right?

    The proponents and supporters of same-gender marriage are not at all clear or consistent on what the new model of marriage is to be based.

    If marriage is to be about love and se.xual fulfilment, the law must allow bigamy and polygamy. What power allows the law to ignore the marital rights of bis.exuals, men in love with several women, or women in love with several men?

    If marriage is not at all about se.x but is about property, pension and survivor benefits, the law must allow brother(s) and sister(s), parent(s) and child(ren), perhaps even owner(s) and pet(s) to marry.

    If marriage is to be about both of the above, the result will be a mess.

    July 30, 2012 at 5:13 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Well articulated and an outstanding comment!

      July 30, 2012 at 5:26 am |
    • sam stone

      I see a couple issues with your post.

      First of all, parents and children. There is an age of consent issue.

      Secondly, people marrying their pets, or farm animals. It seems that opponents of marriage equality always bring up this concept. Seems a bit like grasping at straws. Anyway, animals cannot consent under the law. Do you really see cross-species marriage to be an issue?

      July 30, 2012 at 6:19 am |
    • Mirosal

      Marriage is NOT religious. Marriage in its most basic form is a civil contract. Does your lawyer go to a priest when you have a contract? Priests cannot rule on contracts. That is why you need the license from thr CIVIL government, and if there's a divorce, it's handled by the CIVIL courts. No religion is need at all. That is why there are ages of consent for marriage. You must be of a certain age to sign a contract. Minors and animals cannot sign them by law. So your argument about kids and farm creatures is void from the start.

      July 30, 2012 at 6:43 am |
    • sam stone

      also, "traditional marriage" (how many wives did solomon have?) is not to be discarded (the sky is falling! the sky is falling!). it is simply not going to be the exclusive model.

      July 30, 2012 at 6:47 am |
    • sam stone

      a marriage without a marriage license (granted by the state) is not valid

      a marriage with a license but not done by a house of worship is valid.

      what then decides the validity of marriage? the license.

      July 30, 2012 at 6:49 am |
    • Arvoasitis

      There seems to be some confusion in the responses between a right and a privilege, and I didn't say anything about the age of the child(ren).

      July 30, 2012 at 7:59 am |
    • Keith

      Sam Stone, Consent? You qu.eers actually ask for consent? Really? Did Jerry Sandusky ask for the consent of his innocent boy victims? You perverts are disgusting.

      July 30, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • sam stone

      Keith: First of all, I am a straight man in a long term loving relationship with a woman I am going to marry. Secondly, Sandusky did not ask for consent, nor can children give consent. Now, pull that bible out of your rectum, you pious bigot.

      July 30, 2012 at 8:06 am |
    • Aden

      You're confusing homosexuality with pedophilia, Keith.

      July 30, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • sam stone

      Arvo: The 14th amendment provides for equal protection under the law.

      July 30, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • sam stone

      Keith is an angry little punk.

      Arvo: In Loving Vs. Virginia, the supreme court held that "Marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man,'"

      July 30, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • sam stone

      Arvo: If you and your adult child(ren) want to marry, have at it. I am on the nothern side of the Mason-Dixon line, so I cannot relate to your "nothing says lovin' like marrying your kin" mindset

      July 30, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      It isn't about a total upheaval of the inst/tution of marriage.
      The legal structures are all ready in place in regards to long term, consenting relationships between adults.
      There are no additions or re-definitions required, just the removal of the proscription against same-s.ex couples.

      When black people and women were granted suffrage, was it necessary to re-define the entire government and electoral system? Was there a "slippery slope" in which animals and children were suddenly allowed to vote?

      July 30, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • YeahRight

      "If marriage is to be about both of the above, the result will be a mess."

      The states where gays are allowed to get married, haven't made a mess of anything. It just shows how uniformed anti-gay people are. Duh!

      July 30, 2012 at 11:10 am |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things:

    July 30, 2012 at 4:49 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!^

      July 30, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      "Prayer changes things:" Quit saying that, you silly dip.

      July 30, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
  17. A diciple

    Its the Americans, the Europeans who taught us Asians the faith in Christ and we are very fortunate to be born into christian families. You'll don't deserve to have people like Billy Graham in your country because he is not appreciated. The American history boasts of the country being build on christian values, which obviously mean in the word of God, Gay unions are a definite big NO and yet looks like only a handful of true christian are there. What a shame

    July 30, 2012 at 2:50 am |
    • tallulah13

      You may not be aware of this (since is sounds like you learned about the United States from christians) but the men who founded our nation very deliberately separated church from state in the most important docu.ment in our history: The Consti.tution. Those wise men knew that when religion was given power, freedom was threatened or destroyed.

      The United States was founded on the principles of The Enlightenment Movement, which taught that logic and science were more important that religion and superst.ition.

      Also, there is more proof that people are born gay than there is proof the support the existence of any god. Therefore, using god as an excuse to deprive people of their rights is ridiculous and immoral. As far as I'm concerned, you can have Billy Graham.

      July 30, 2012 at 3:01 am |
    • sam stone

      It is about equal rights, not about adherence to translated, edited Iron Age (or older) hearsay "diciple". If you church wants to discriminate against people in a manner that they feel is pleasing to their god, that is fine. The government cannot do that.

      July 30, 2012 at 6:26 am |
  18. nokat

    Jim Henson Co., creator of The Muppets and Walt Disney Co.(holding gay pride days within disney grounds) have no respect for familys. I along with many are boycotting these companys.
    Billy Graham is a true evangelist teaching the gospel, where are the others?

    July 30, 2012 at 12:34 am |
    • sam stone

      First of all, nokat, Henson is dead;

      July 30, 2012 at 6:28 am |
    • sam stone

      First of all, nokat, Henson is dead. He died 22 years ago.

      Secondly, what makes you think he had no respect for famlies? He built an empire entertaining families, teaching kids life lessons.

      Lastly, Graham is expressing an OPINION. It may be an opinion you agree with, but it is an OPINION nonetheless.

      July 30, 2012 at 6:31 am |
    • sam stone

      I am certain that the boycott of a gaggle of inbred bigots will put a huge dent in the revenue of Walt Disney Corp (approximately $41B last year). They own ABC, ESPN, A&E, etc, etc, etc. Good luck with your your boycott.

      July 30, 2012 at 6:40 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Go ahead and boycott a company that actually pays taxes and not the person who doesn't...way to show your support for your countries economic crisis.

      July 30, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      So you are against the Henson Co for standing up for what they believe?

      July 30, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
  19. Jason

    Is there some reason chic f cant simply sell chicken and not take a position on issues such as these? Though I wont in the future, I always went there to eat not because I shared their so called "values" What kind of company "values" who I should be interested in marrying?

    July 29, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • LinCA


      It plays well in the region that they have most of their restaurants. It probably gives them (at least temporarily) a bump in sales. As the saying goes, "there is no bad publicity".

      July 29, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
  20. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    At any rate, shit is shit.

    July 29, 2012 at 9:54 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.