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Your Take: Author who calls 'spiritual but not religious' a cop-out responds to comments
October 2nd, 2012
04:04 PM ET

Your Take: Author who calls 'spiritual but not religious' a cop-out responds to comments

By Alan Miller, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Alan Miller is director of The New York Salon and co-founder of London's Old Truman Brewery. He is speaking at The Battle of Ideas at London's Barbican in October.

By Alan Miller, Special to CNN

I wrote a Belief Blog piece on Sunday called "My Take: 'I'm spiritual but not religious' is a cop-out," which has received more than 8,000 comments, many taking up key points I raised.

My assessment is that the wider disorientation of Western society, the decreasing respect for many institutions and the disdain for humans alongside what Christopher Lasch has termed a "culture of narcissism" has played out both among the "spiritual but not religious" identifiers as well as among many "new atheists." Lots of the comments bear that out.

Some commenters accused me of outdated and dangerous dogmatism in sticking up for traditional religion. A commenter whose handle is spectraprism spoke to this view:

“The problem this author advocates is that of thinking anyone has the ONE COMPLETE TRUE WAY- and everything and everyone else therefore NOT advocating it completely must be wrong. This is dogmatic, archaic, leads to extremism and is completely incorrect. Not being challenged into blindly following whatever scripture is not showing softness of any kind - it's showing you have a brain to draw your own personal conclusions that work and make sense to YOU.”

I don't happen to believe in a religious "one true way" and in fact am not religious myself. My comments and observations are based on an increasingly common phenomenon in the past 20 years.

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It is telling, though, that this and many other comments converge on dogmatism and extremism and juxtapose them with the notion that an individual choice is immune to any of that. These comments speak to my point that not wanting to be held accountable to any set of ideas or principles is a very popular position among the “spiritual but not religious."

In recent decades, the demise of the notion that there can be universal truths and the ascendancy of relativism and the new preaching of "many truths" and the idea that "all truths are equally valid" has clearly had significant impact on that identity.

The disenchantment with belief and a commitment to some wider authority has also had an impact on the self-described new atheists, who are furious that anyone could have the audacity to believe in something bigger than themselves.

The end of the big ideas of liberalism and socialism left a vacuum in society. Atheism used to be a small component of bigger movements in society. Ironically, today what defines many new atheists is a shared outlook with “spiritual but not religious” views.

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New atheists define themselves in negative terms, as not believing without any broader sense of a positive alternative, while those identifying with a "spiritual but not religious" outlook define themselves as not religious rather than according to the strong convictions that they do have.

This commenter summarized the sentiments that lots of others express on my piece:

Gina Hamilton
So I should believe in God because Bach did and it was the basis for his work? What Miller fails to understand is that most of us started out with a religious tradition in our lives, and gradually grew up and out of it. I can say clearly that I am a recovering Catholic who at the age of 16 became a humanist and freethinker, but that from the acceptance of the lack of a god proceeds a sense of the oneness of the universe and my place in it. It's not touchy-feely; it's science, and yet it is profoundly spiritual as well. Perhaps Miller, one day, will have this sort of understanding.

It is so interesting how so many people now use the therapeutic language of recovery - "recovering" from organized religion. The group American Atheists describes anguish and toil as the "first step" of "coming out," making the analogy with gays coming out the "closet," as though somehow atheists are oppressed today in America.

The therapeutic outlook is of far more concern with regard to human autonomy and freedom than organized religion. The idea is that humans are all "damaged goods" and in need of constant counseling and instruction.

These comments take off on that theme:

Paul Dykstra
Now you need to do an article on ..... "The dangers of being religious, but displaying NO spiritually aware behavior at all".....

Dustin
Major religions such as Christianity and Islam have proven to be nothing but damaging and vile to our world. I reject this notion that we have to "take a side" on the matter of a higher power. The basic truth about it all is that no matter how much we read or try to decipher life's mysteries we were never meant to have concrete proof of what put us into existence. What is the point in living if you know all the answers? I am spiritual but not religious because religion is a disease of manipulation and control. I can believe in a higher power while also believing that it was never meant for me to understand this higher power until AFTER I die.

honesty is paramount
As a scientist, I am neither religious nor spiritual. I definitely know right from wrong and one of the things that positively defines me: when I don't know the answer to something, I indicate "I don't know". Don't EVER call that indecisive or "wishy-washy".

It is interesting how "spirituality" seems to be thought of as "clean" and unimpeded by problems.

Dustin calls religion a "disease" - once again we see the therapeutic language. Striving for an understanding of the world is an important and essential human attribute, yet so many of the comments have reiterated a generality about "spiritualism" and "my choice" that it seems to endorse the point I made that what seems so paramount is in a determination not to be "labeled" or dictated to by an authority.

So what is left? The superstition and mysticism of some "oneness" and often a therapeutic notion of being "spiritual."

Here’s a comment from someone who identifies as 51yo:

I always had a hard time with the guy in the front of the church, he's a guy... I'm a guy, what's the difference? He will one day be proven as a womanizer or worse, I will never walk that path. After another guy (Constantine) put his hands all over the Bible, I have little faith it is any more true than words my neighbor might come up with. Like you said, I search for truth and read as much as I can, but the final analysis is my own; I'm not tied to someone else's redistribution of "facts" or their interpretation of great stories. I can do that and be a good person without the trappings of a traditional place of worship, or someone telling me to do something they are incapable of.

The commenter 51y0 doesn't want to be tied to anyone else's "facts." While we all have to work out our things in life, I am interested to know what “spiritual but not religious" facts are.

It can seem that on the one hand there's a reluctance to commit to advocating anything and also that words can end up losing any meaning if one simply says something to the affect of "spiritual means it's right for me." Nick says it can mean a lot of different things to people:

Nick Heise
The author of this piece, though he admits that calling the spiritual-but-not-religious movement a movement would be incorrect, still wrote this entire piece as these people were a united group whose thoughts and beliefs could be analyzed and criticized as a group. I'm no genius, but these seems to make his entire position quite flawed.

I put myself out there as a point of reference since, as I'm talking about my own person, I don't have to rely on complete conjecture like the above article. Yes, I have used the expression "I'm spiritual, not religious." But what does that mean to me? Surely it can mean a lot to different people, just like the same scripture of the Bible can be inspiring to many Christians in countless different ways. To me, saying that I'm spiritual but not religious highlights that I'm not a person who believes in the existence of God as a fact, but neither do I believe in his nonexistence as a fact. It's my assertion of the respect and awe that I have in the face of a universe that I can't understand, which contains forces (perhaps a God) that I can never prove to exist or not exist. For me, it's not an unwillingness to think and make a decision - it's the result of years of thinking and consideration with the conclusion that I haven't yet gathered enough information to make a definitive choice.

I’ll end with this comment:

JustAGirl_78
If you look at the definition of religious – even atheists are religious, they just strongly believe in NO God...this is from Webster's Online Dictionary: Definition of RELIGIOUS 1: relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity.

Maybe it's just that people are tired of being fanatical about church – and want to go back to a more open an honest approach to beliefs? Maybe the stigma of being a church member now has such a negative impact on how people think of you that people don't want to admit they go to church? Being spiritual means you believe in something (which I think is better than nothing) – the alternative is NOT only being an atheist....

Organized religious beliefs (even going back into ancient times) have caused more death and destruction than any other organization in the world ... and it's done in the name of (whomever your beliefs say to) – and has been since the beginning of mankind! Maybe choosing to say you're "spiritual" means you don't want to be associated with all the chaos and destruction – and maybe organized religions need to rethink their controls on individuals.

This remark will chime with many – the new atheists among them - who believe that being "spiritual" means you don't want to be associated with all the "chaos and destruction."

It strikes me that having an opt-out plan should have something more than simply a negative, whether it's a "spiritual" one or a "new atheist" negative. We live in an age where many are disillusioned with institutions and humans generally, yet not so evident is a positive alternative.

Thank you for the comments. The event we held last night, "I'm Not Religious – I'm Spiritual" benefited from some of them.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Alan Miller.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Opinion • Spirituality

soundoff (1,789 Responses)
  1. Ross Carnegie

    I'm* not religious.
    Does no one edit this?

    October 3, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
  2. pat

    Amniculi – no.

    October 3, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • hinduism by Judaism self center ,secularism source of hindu filthy hinduism, racism.

      Another word for hindu Atheism, self center sim, just like hindu Judaism, criminal self center ism, denial of truth absolute or pig ism.

      October 3, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Amniculi

      No what?

      October 3, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • pat

      Your question: do you believe in god? no.

      October 3, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Amniculi

      Then I stick to my previous assessment that it sounds like you are an atheist. Welcome to the club.

      October 3, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  3. Zeus Christ

    I know because of science.

    October 3, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  4. Guester

    I think the author is confusing religion with philosophy. His real question is 'should morality be relative or absolute?';

    October 3, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • pat

      If morality is absolute, what happened to slavery?

      October 3, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • hinduism by Judaism self center ,secularism source of hindu filthy hinduism, racism.

      Morality, limit is based on truth absolute, no one cane dream of this kind of hinduism, ignorance, but a mentally hindu, in darkness. for more visit limitisthetruth.com and click on word Choice on website to open file.

      October 3, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • snowboarder

      morality is a construct of society and is continually evolving.

      October 3, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Non Atheist

      If we accept morality as relative then we will have to accept what each person decides what is right and wrong. In that scenario, the state has no right to enforce any laws because that would be an absolute standard of right and wrong for the state overruling what each person believes. What do you think that would lead to? Lawlessness, chaos and anarchy.

      In practice, the state does establish a standard of right and wrong that we all have to accept. That is a fact - e.g. polygamy, why is it illegal in US? It should not be banned in a nation accepting relative moral standards.

      There is no question of practical relative morality as long as the state makes and enforced laws for every citizen.

      October 3, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Non Atheist

      @snowboarder

      relativistic morality is an individual construct and by definition not a construct of the society. if the state decides what is right and wrong for all of us, there is an absolute standard irrespective of what an individual believes, e.g. polygamy or child marriage etc

      October 3, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • snowboarder

      non – but that standard, whether community or government, is incredibly variable throughout the world and evolves over time. that makes it quite relative.

      October 3, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • snowboarder

      non – your anarchy assertion is baseless. morality is and always has been a construct of society. society sets moral standards, whether democratically or by theocratic or sovereign decree.

      October 3, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  5. Anybody know how to read?

    allan miller, the author, says, 'I don't happen to believe in a religious "one true way" and in fact am not religious myself.' He sure does know how to get the haters in an uproar.

    October 3, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Who are "the haters"?

      October 3, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • hinduism by Judaism self center ,secularism source of hindu filthy hinduism, racism.

      their is no other way, but way of truth absolute, she need try to get out of way of truth absolute and have a life in peace, Islam, no way , hose. impossible, unless person is a hindu, ignorant, unable to recognize truth absolute, THE GOD..

      October 3, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Anybody know how to read?

      The Creator haters.

      October 3, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Amniculi

      @Anybody, it is impossible to hate something that doesn't exist. The human concept of religion is entirely detestable, however, it seems that the "spiritual" crowd are more likely to be "the haters" in this instance.

      October 3, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  6. MagicPanties

    The most positive alternative is to let go of irrational belief.
    Most religious people blindly believe whatever they were taught as children.
    There is nothing "spiritual" inherent in organized religion; it's all about power and money.

    October 3, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • TRC

      Yea! Power and money!! That's why it costs money to go to Catholic Church! They force you to pay at the door, right?

      And, power, yea! Because priests follow you home after mass and force you to pray! And, then they call you out at mass in front of everyone if you've sinned. Its all a part of their scheme to have power over you.

      October 3, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
  7. Azillion

    Being "Spiritual but not Religious", as everything, varies person to person. Facts of being "Spiritual but not Religious" would include fable-esque notions of right and wrong that have endured. Those would include "Do on to others as you would have them done on to you," or "Two wrongs dont make a right." These 'lessons' may be found in Religous texts, childrens books, through people, or through events. A man or woman can lead an honest, just, fruitful, and fullfilling life without Religous guidance or involvment. Furthermore, the creation of rules or legislation in this countryat least cannot be done through religous mediums. A non-religous yet 'spiritual' approach is the only way for to evolve and for people to prosper as a whole. Yet we villify those who have no religous backing. I thought we got over that predisposistion back when God(s) determined who ran the populations of our world. God, be he/she/it one or many, took part in our existance somehow. I can settle for the premise that "I am here, so I should live. I can think, so I should concider. I can do, so I should do." The only spiritual necessity to human existance is, hope, and I can assure you that you need not have a religion to have hope.

    October 3, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
  8. hinduism by Judaism self center ,secularism source of hindu filthy hinduism, racism.

    Rob, Word Jew is based on Hebrew word Ye hood, meaning self centered, denier of truth absolute, essence of existence and word hindu is based on Latin word hindered, negative, Hun, great, Han, to be in greatness, hin, to be negative to both of them, hindu, a noun in negativity, hinduism, way of negativity. for more visit limitisthetruth.com and click on word Choice on website to open file.

    October 3, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
  9. PHOTOMAN67

    Ugh. As if religion itself isn't a cop out.

    October 3, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
  10. Mayflower

    I am far more offended by those who blame all the ills on the world on a religion. Corrupt people will always be corrupt and whatever societal construct they can to excuse their selfishness. Religion often takes that hit. Sure, plenty of horrible things have been done by Christians, but to condemn modern Christianity for the atrocities of the Crusades, for example, if incredibly myopic. We must put crusading Christians in proper context to understand that their acts were fairly common at the time. Instead of a land grab in the name of their king, it was a land grab in the name of their god.

    In fact, those who condemn religion the most tend to operate purely on the stereotypes which have arisen around groups of people. I have met a few truly awful people who claim they are religious...but that is the exception. When we see people for who they truly are instead of believing in the stereotypes, we generally find that most people are good. It's honestly mind-boggling to me that the intellectuals who so soundly condemn the religious for being so narrow-minded are just as guilty of it.

    The original article by Miller was spot on. These people tend to believe that what they are is better than whatever deity might be out there, and that is why we as a society have become so selfish. People need to look beyond themselves and overcome that natural arrogance we all have. If you find that source of strength and peace and desire to help others in a religion, beautiful. If you find it somewhere else, great. Just go find it. Otherwise you are guilty of confirmation bias in seeking only to validate your own views of this world.

    October 3, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • hinduism by Judaism self center ,secularism source of hindu filthy hinduism, racism.

      Religions are hinduism, corruption of truth absolute, handy work of hindu Jew's, corrupt self centered, deniers of truth absolute to make humanity their gentile, slaves.

      October 3, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • sybaris

      Hence the culturally conditioned "need" to be guided.

      There's been and is a lot of money to be made from that.

      October 3, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Another

      2 things:

      1. Christians that don't fit the mold of the ugly vocal elements that drive the stereotypes should resist those who would, from that perspective, skew the faith and the public perception thereof

      2. Your presumption and blanket dismissal of "these people" as being arrogant shows far less consideration and mindfulness than you try to imply. That part suggests to me that perhaps you are not as free of the christian stereotypes you disdain.

      October 3, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • jm

      This. Exactly this. Said so eloquently.

      So sad that this gem of a comment will be lost in a sea of drivel, but thank you.

      October 3, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  11. TR6

    Fergus spake these words and he said, This shall be my creed, whereby shall I live my life, as it were a shining example of Virtue and Excellence, well worthy to be enshrined in Heaven as a model for all who are wise to follow. My creed shall into three parts, like Gaul, be divided. Firstly, I shall constrain myself to Mind My Own Business. Secondly, I shall endeavour at all times and in all places to Keep My Nose Clean by the most expedient possible means. Thirdly, and finally, I shall always exercise the utmost care to Keep My Hands To Myself

    October 3, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
  12. Abdul Al-Sharrif

    Islam is the way of peace , and the perfect path to submission to Allah .

    October 3, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • snowboarder

      submission is obviously a human invention.

      October 3, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      and is man made like every other religion out there.

      October 3, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

      Yeah, that's why you guys like to kill people who don't believe your nonsense.

      October 3, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
  13. Gary

    I'd say that "New Athiests" such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens are decidedly not spiritual. They reject any notion of a supernatural force which is the basis of spirituality; whetner religious or non-religious.

    I have heard some, especially religious folks, argue that athieism is actually a belief based on faith that there are no supernatural forces. It's a in line with ad hoc post hoc thinking.

    October 3, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

      Since there is no evidence of one single, observable, indisputable and recordable event of supernatural forces at play, it is most certainly not a belief.

      It is a fact.

      October 3, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Gary

      " It's a in line with ad hoc post hoc thinking. "

      Curious as to what your thinking is here ?

      Peace..,

      October 3, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Gary,

      is "new atheists" a term you are familiar with, or did you make an assumption that it referred to Dawkins/Hitchens etc.

      It is not an expression that meant anything to me.

      October 3, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Gary

      in line with @therealpeace2all, by "ad hoc, post hoc" do you mean "post hoc ergo propter hoc" (after this, therefore because of this) logical fallacies?

      October 3, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Amniculi

      "is 'new atheists' a term you are familiar with, or did you make an assumption that it referred to Dawkins/Hitchens etc.
      It is not an expression that meant anything to me."

      Right?

      October 3, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @GOPer

      Post hoc ergo propter hoc is one of my favorite fallacies to call someone on.

      Trivia for you... are you a tv buff ? If so, what very famous tv show, in season 1... first episode (maybe 2nd) was ti tled "Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc" ?

      Political show... one of the most well-written shows ever.

      Peace...

      October 3, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @therealpeace2all,

      I really can't claim to know the answer to your question, but the wikipedia page for 'post hoc, ergo proctor hoc' has the following under the main caption:

      "Post hoc" redirects here. For the analytical technique, see Post-hoc analysis.
      For the West Wing episode, see Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc (The West Wing).

      So 'The West Wing'?

      It also shows up on 'The Big Bang Theory' in a conversation between Sheldon and his Mom.

      October 3, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @GOPer

      *Bingo*... you got it... It's..."The West Wing" if you didn't see it, it is arguably one of the best tv shows ever.

      Extremely well-written and acted. Sorkin is amazing. He also is doing "The Newsroom."

      Well done... GOPer ! 😀

      Peace...

      October 3, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  14. snowboarder

    spiritualism, whether religious or not, is a person standing in a silent room convincing themselves of the presence of sound.

    October 3, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
  15. busted!

    Seems to me writers these days don't research before they write. Visit a variety of Sunday services. Go to a variety of spiritual gatherings. Ask the probing questions why people choose their particular lifestyle and belief system. You have to push yourself away from the keyboard and venture out into the real world. Then write about it. Isn't that journalism 101?

    October 3, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • snowboarder

      almost universally a persons "choice" of religion is determined by the location and time of their life. it is no coincidence that the population of iran is 99% islamic or that america is 85% christian.

      October 3, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
  16. Teamski

    A very interesting article. The sad fact is that faith seeking for many people is a reaction to the fear of the unknown. They will fall into a line of "authority" to In doing so, they miss out what we are sent down on Earth to learn: that live is not about "me", it is about learning that life and the universe itself is more important than the individual. Today's Evangelical movement is anything but. I could give a rat's caboose if I am saved or not. I believe that the world's religions each hold some part of the whole truth, the rest is man made. Thus, I am a Deist. If more people took the transcedentalist viewpoint of following one own's conscience, the world would be a better place. God wants all of us to learn and the world is getting to small for fundamentalist thought.

    October 3, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
  17. Freefall

    Being unaffiliated with a religious group does not imply being an athiest. On the contrary, it can just as easily mean a resistance to following a herd mentality and a desire to logically think religious beliefs through on ones own and then formulate a thought response that makes sense for you. But this too does not automatically construe that spirituality is involved. Most individuals would be hard pressed to even come close to defining what spirituality is, let alone demonstrate it in their lives. Certainly spirituality does not involve making a spectacle on a public beach by clasping your hands in an apprarance of prayer for the viewing benefit of others. Such a display is the very opposite of what Jesus suggested.

    October 3, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
  18. Izoto

    Lol, Miller owned all the smart alecs.

    October 3, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

      Thinking isn't in your repertoire, is it?

      October 3, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • sam stone

      Miller is a punk

      October 3, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Dan

      Actually, he got owned pretty hard. I looked at a few of the comments, and he could have picked many which more accurately articulated the sentiment against him. I think he feared doing so, and that doesn't surprise me a bit. The fact that he got slaughtered this way is why he felt the need to come back.

      When we live in a world where ahteists and apostates are statistically overrepresented in prisons, as opposed to elite universities, than perhaps we can talk about the so-called dangers of not having a compass. At this point, a population with more atheists would clearly be a good thing, considering the correlation with education and the tendency to avoid prison.

      I wonder how many readers will be statistically astute enough to notice that I use the word 'proportionately.' I'm sure some idiot will come back with 'there are fewer atheists in prison because there are fewer period' and brand himself/herself as an idiot. Even when relative populations are taken into account, atheists are still less likely to go to prison.

      October 3, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
  19. FactoidLover

    In my community in the Midwest, I know individuals who have been threatened with job loss if they promote non-belief in god in casual conversations at work. The author may find this a one-off type of situation, but unfortunately it is not. Poll after poll shows the believing portion of the public do not trust atheists because they mistakenly believe all morality comes from religion. Non-believers do go through trauma and Miller's unwillingness to acknowledge this is insensitive at best and cruel at worst. "Original sin" and "Infidels" are labels still used with severe consequences in this world. Your spiritual but not religious argument is capsized by your apparent inattention to pertinent information.

    October 3, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Izoto

      Why the theatrics?

      October 3, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • sybaris

      "In my community in the Midwest, I know individuals who have been threatened with job loss if they promote non-belief in god in casual conversations at work."

      While at the same time being a felon but christian is perfectly acceptable

      October 3, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  20. suckItUp

    done?

    October 3, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • suckItUp

      Am I talking to myself again?

      Please, someone, I need psychiatric help!

      October 3, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

      You've been schooled and embarrassed, yet you are still in denial.

      Tsk, tsk.

      October 3, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • suckItUp

      don't stop

      October 3, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • whocaresCNN

      what are you two on about?

      October 3, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
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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.