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Some commenters accused me of outdated and dangerous dogmatism in sticking up for traditional religion.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.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

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.

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

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".....

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:

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. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    October 4, 2012 at 4:29 am |
    • LLR

      Prove it.

      October 4, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. The degree to which your assertions may represent truths is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertions may represent truths, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      October 4, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • Veritas

      Then pray for some imagination

      October 4, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  2. Knee

    1. I love and fear YHWH with all my life
    2. I love and respect my neighbor as myself just as he or she is just the way he or she is
    3. YHWH loves us all as Himself with all His Life just as we are just the way we are no matter what.
    Gleaned from the Bible n totally liberating!

    October 4, 2012 at 2:04 am |
    • The Truth

      1. I love and fear the Snuggles Bear with all my life
      2. I love and respect my neighbor as myself just as he or she is just the way he or she is
      3. The Snuggles Bear loves us all as Himself with all His Life just as we are just the way we are no matter what.
      Gleaned from the Bubble n totally liberating!

      October 4, 2012 at 3:12 am |
    • Nii

      The Snuggles Bear I do not know but if He has the properties that YHWH has then fine by me. Actually these 3 have helped me a lot since I started using them 3 years ago. I hope the Snuggles Bear does same for you. I love you as myself

      October 4, 2012 at 3:59 am |
    • Nii

      I forgot to add some fake laughter ...lolololol

      October 4, 2012 at 4:04 am |
    • nojinx

      Really? You've been liberated from the need to believe in gods? Congratulations, you are on your way!

      October 4, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
  3. mmi16

    Spirituality is of one's soul and GOD!

    Religion, all of them, is a device created by man to enslave other men using God as a boogey man.

    October 4, 2012 at 1:30 am |
    • Chad

      Well we created God too but that's a whole other booger, man.

      October 4, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • sam stone

      "A soul is something parents made up to scare kids, like the boogieman or Michael Jackson" – Bart Simpson

      October 4, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • Amniculi

      So, Chad, are you saying God doesn't exist?

      October 4, 2012 at 11:28 am |
  4. Read Me

    That's not very nice Chad

    October 4, 2012 at 1:15 am |
    • Chad

      Well go suck a duck then

      October 4, 2012 at 1:39 am |
  5. IJ Dee-Vo

    Who the bleep cares! As long as you don't break any law and not a complete jerk, why should it matter what you belive, or don't believe?

    October 4, 2012 at 1:13 am |
    • CTYank

      Who cares what you believe? "Why" is more important.

      Enormously more important is what you do to others, and the extent to which love drives your actions. Do you remember "and the greatest of these (three) is charity"?

      We've got a lot of hateful people hugging bibles/quran/whatever.

      October 4, 2012 at 1:36 am |
  6. Knee

    The problem with religious people is how hard they stick to dogma like Salvation by faith alone, Islam is the only true religion, Only JWs are going to Paradise, If u r not a Bhuddhist u will b reincarnated as an animal etc. Spiritual people love their neighbor as themself, period.

    October 4, 2012 at 1:05 am |
    • alez1963

      "Spiritual people love their neighbor as themself, period."

      Well said, as this truly captures the essence of a spiritual person. I have come a long way in becoming a spiritual person myself. Although I must confess that religion and even atheism did helped me find my path towards a more spiritual self, as well as debunk the sinister purpose behind every religion. I belief that anyone who feels their belief is the only one for everyone else is only fooling themselves. Being spiritual however is a very personal journey where you are the center of your own world, and that is o.k so as long as your actions/intentions don't interfere/harm others.

      October 4, 2012 at 1:34 am |
  7. Read Me

    Someone's not letting my posts go through.

    October 4, 2012 at 12:56 am |
    • Chad

      It's me. I block all your posts.

      October 4, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • Helpful Hints

      Read Me,

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters or some html tricks to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
      co-on.....as in racc-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, sopho-more, etc.
      ho-oters…as in sho-oters
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      hu-mp… as in th-ump, th-umper, th-umping
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-oon… as in sp-oon, lamp-oon, harp-oon
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sm-ut…..as in transm-utation
      sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, t-itle, ent-ity, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, salt-water, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      There's another phrase that someone found, "wo-nderful us" (have no idea what sets that one off).

      October 4, 2012 at 1:50 am |
  8. Read Me

    So if I understand you correctly, Mr. Miller, you basically just felt like arbitrarily lumping a broad group of people together based solely on their opinion of themselves as "spiritual, not religious" and then making sweeping generalizations about their lack of conviction, their wishy-washiness, their failure to offer a positive alternative to organized religion (and not even being man enough to do it directly, noting the paucity of statements which include "I think...","I believe...", "In my opinon...", etc.). I would offer that you should perhaps show some conviction of your own and declare exactly what it is you're getting at; do you believe a rejection of organized religion is incompatible with spirituality? Do you believe someone has only two valid choices, either accept the dogmatism of organized religion or embrace the opposing dogmatism of atheism? And do you really think someone who holds spiritual beliefs outside the domain of organized religion has any responsibility to offer some concrete alternative to religion? Maybe one of the many points you've missed is that at least some of these people you've chosen to criticize are not so fond of the idea of offering up one's system of beliefs to others as a prescription for better living. It's the rising tide of evangelism that many find so distasteful, and so it makes little sense for you to criticize them for choosing not to offer up yet another flawed system of beliefs to the present maelstrom of preaching, scolding and indignation.

    October 4, 2012 at 12:51 am |
    • alez1963

      this!!! love your response!!!

      October 4, 2012 at 12:58 am |
    • Sam

      Well said!!

      October 4, 2012 at 9:45 am |
  9. alez1963

    Here we go again! the author is trying to push the same rhetoric as his first article, no different from this one I may add!! the first article he comes across as a "Wolf dressed up in a sheep custom" pro religious sympathizer, except this time around he is dressed up in a Mitt Rommey wolf Halloween custom. You know the type, the one that say sweet nothings to his victim/enemy and what he/she needs to hear, while his real intent is to have them for dinner.

    Religion is a doctrine/belief usually used to control/change the masses! having said that the author of this article is quite astute in using CNN as a way to influence the masses via his own personal views's on this subject of Spiritual vs. Religious peoples. While Atheists and religious peoples may appear to have different beliefs on the existence of God; in my personal and humble opinion they are both equally arrogant and dead wrong on their beliefs in convincing others of what God is or isn't to each one individual! Meanwhile a "genuinely spiritual" person, and I dare say "person" and not people, is one that follows his/her own human heart and shows it through their capacity of self love and a love for others, and you do not need a belief system to figure that one out. I am therefore consider myself a truly spiritual person. I love myself but dare not judge anyone who does not love me!!

    October 4, 2012 at 12:46 am |
    • alez1964

      Hem hem I daresay I daresay hem hem tisk tisk

      waiter do you have any...

      October 4, 2012 at 1:06 am |
  10. Read Me


    October 4, 2012 at 12:44 am |
  11. brich22

    I do not believe in gods, leprechauns, goblins, ghosts, spirits ad nauseam.

    Some people like to meditate to relax. Meditating is neither religious or spiritual.

    October 4, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • Peteyroo

      What about unicorns? Santa Claus? The Tooth Fairy? Tinker Bell? Loving, thoughtful evangelicals? The Loch Ness Monster?

      October 4, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • Sam

      I know several thousand buddhists who would disagree with you.

      Meditation is not just for relaxation, meditate long enough and you begin to have some powerful experiences, which leave you feeling one with everything

      October 4, 2012 at 9:48 am |
  12. Reality

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    The NY Salon has not filed an IRS Form 990 which is required of all non-profits unless your organization is a recognized religion. (guidestar.org). So Mr. Miller is apparently in this for the money he can make peddling real estate at his Old Truman Brewery and sponsoring meetings of high brows at between $1000-$5000 a pop. CNN might want to do a bit of background searching before allowing Mr. Miller to present commentary on any subject especially since his educational background as per his website amounts to directing a few films????

    "Alan is the co-founder of The Truman Brewery, a 10 acre site in London's East End. The Truman Brewery now has over 200 companies, ranging from recording studios to art galleries, entertainment spaces, restaurants, bars, cafes, fashion and retail. It has been largely responsible for regenerating a significant area of London and creating a new cultural quarter. Alan is also a film director and has had his work broadcast internationally, with a specialization in music videos and live events. He writes on various cultural issues for several publications and is a published author. http://www.alandmiller.net"

    October 4, 2012 at 12:02 am |
  13. Dogma Vacuum

    Reality check

    October 3, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
  14. GeeWhillikers

    8,000 plus comments and he still doesn't get it. Cluelessness: it's a skill.

    October 3, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • LLR

      Maybe his cluelessness comes to him naturally?

      October 3, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
  15. Just Post it

    Taliban and al-Qaeda warlords have brutally attacked Sufi devotees – the 'spiritual' wing of their own Islamic religion. The dogma wing attacking the spiritual wing that teaches compassion, because the dogma can't co-exist with the spiritual notion of compassion. Deadly skirmishes – as old as all of human history. Some are hopelessly imprisoned inside their ideological preferences and they can see nothing outside the prison gates. Plato spoke of it in his "Cave Shadow Allegory." They're just stuck. And no 'hammer & chisel' rescue effort is ever going to dislodge them. You can't force a thirsty goat to drink. Just show them the watering hole and leave them to their own choices.

    October 3, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • LLR

      Yes, and on the field of American Christianity we have the dogmatic fundamentalist Right calling the more compassionate liberal denominations "dead churches" leading their followers towards damnation. In the Bible the roles were played by the dogmatic Pharisees criticizing the liberal Jesus. The funny thing is that the fundamentalists actually think that they're the ones following Jesus' example.

      October 4, 2012 at 12:03 am |
  16. rob

    "Organized religious beliefs (even going back into ancient times) have caused more death and destruction than any other organization in the world". An absolute lie. The fact is, secular humanism is the #1 cause of death and destruction. For proof, see the facts here: http://blogs.christianpost.com/confident-christian/the-myth-of-religion-being-the-1-cause-of-war-10924/

    October 3, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Chad

      Many misconceptions out there, "religion" certainly not guilt free, but facts are facts. Only 7% of all wars can be attributed to religious reasons.

      In their Encyclopedia of Wars, authors Charles Phillips and Alan Axelrod attempt a comprehensive listing of wars in history. They doc ument 1763 wars overall, of which 123 (7%) have been cla ssified to involve a religious conflict
      ^ Axelrod, Alan & Phillips, Charles Encyclopedia of Wars, November 2004, ISBN 978-0-8160-2851-1

      October 3, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, look, see Chard quote a spurious source. See Chard pretend to have facts. See Chard run. Run, Chard, run!

      October 3, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • LLR

      Since more wars are fought over resources than ideology, maybe capitalism is a better bet?

      October 3, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      Rub, you're full of crap.

      October 4, 2012 at 12:05 am |
  17. Liberty

    Here's what I think: God is real. Man didn't invent Him, He disclosed His existence to mankind. He gave us the information we need to know His character and His plan in the Bible. According to the Bible, God is interested in relationship with individuals. It's not something I get to decide for Him, I need to come to grips with who and how he is and learn to adjust my thinking and my life to be in harmony with what He desires. Somewhere over the past 2000 years, religion became a means for 1) tax-free land ownership 2) personal fortunemaking 3) power and celebrity. I call it Christianity Incorporated and it bears little resemblance to the original Christianity. Then there are those who come up with ourageous claims about what the Bible is 'really' saying and from their own wants needs and desires, make up a religion and call it Christianity, when it is not. I call that 'Krystianity' – it is the religion of those who practice faux Christianity. I believe the reason people say they are 'spiritual' but not 'religious' is because they sense the vast disconnect between incorporated and faux Christianity and the reality of God who somewhere in their experience continues to knock on the door of their heart to join them in the life He originally intended.

    October 3, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Chad

      that was really well said.. nice job

      October 3, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Gosh, what an endorsement. The Vegetable cheers!

      October 3, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I just get such a tingle from reading Chard's enthusiastic posts! It's almost orgasmic!

      October 3, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • LLR

      Let's start at the beginning: Why do you think God is real?

      October 3, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      Livery, you're crazy my friend. God doesn't exist. You're confused and totally lost. Turn to an atheist for help in your time of need. We're here for you. It's not your fault that Mother Nature gave us atheists brains and good looks. She gave you folks low IQs and no imagination. It's just not fair!

      October 4, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • Chad

      Here's what I think. Christianity is all faux and no gaux.

      October 4, 2012 at 1:42 am |
  18. dhkeith

    This guy just doesn't get it. For every cogent argument against him, he manages to spin it to conform to his tenets. He says we nonreligious don't believe. He is dead wrong. I absolutely do believe – just not in his god or religion. I also believe passionately in his absolute right to his own beliefs – my agreement with said beiliefs being completely irrelevant. In return, I expect him and others like him to spare me their dogma and accord me my right to my beliefs.

    October 3, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot


      To be fair, I don't see anything in his piece which would take away your *right* to believe as you wish. He's arguing for his views... that's all. It's an Opinion piece, not a draft for legislation.

      October 3, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
  19. Terminal Ferocity


    October 3, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
  20. deedee

    Strike 2 for this guy. Find something else for him to do.

    October 3, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34
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.