When Christians become a 'hated minority'
Evangelical Christians say they are the new victims of intolerance - they're persecuted for condemning homosexuality.
May 5th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

When Christians become a 'hated minority'

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - When Peter Sprigg speaks publicly about his opposition to homosexuality, something odd often happens.

During his speeches, people raise their hands to challenge his assertions that the Bible condemns homosexuality, but no Christians speak out to defend him.

“But after it is over, they will come over to talk to me and whisper in my ear, ‘I agree with everything you said,’" says Sprigg, a spokesman for The Family Research Council, a powerful, conservative Christian lobbying group.

We’ve heard of the “down-low” gay person who keeps his or her sexual identity secret for fear of public scorn. But Sprigg and other evangelicals say changing attitudes toward homosexuality have created a new victim: closeted Christians who believe the Bible condemns homosexuality but will not say so publicly for fear of being labeled a hateful bigot.

As proof, Sprigg points to the backlash that ESPN commentator Chris Broussard sparked recently. Broussard was called a bigot and a purveyor of hate speech when he said an NBA player who had come out as gay was living in “open rebellion to God.” Broussard said the player, Jason Collins, was “living in unrepentant sin” because the Bible condemns homosexuality.

“In the current culture, it takes more courage for someone like Chris Broussard to speak out than for someone like Jason Collins to come out,” says Sprigg, a former pastor. “The media will hail someone who comes out of the closet as gay, but someone who simply expresses their personal religious views about homosexual conduct is attacked.”

When is disagreement hate?

Bryan Litfin, a theology professor at Moody Bible Institute in Illinois, says Christians should be able to publicly say that God designed sex to take place within a marriage between a man and a woman.

“That isn’t so outrageous,” Litfin says. “Nobody is expressing hate toward homosexuals by saying that. Since when is disagreement the same as hate?”

But quoting the Bible doesn't inoculate anyone from becoming a bigot or hater, some scholars say. There's a point at which a Christian's opposition to homosexuality can become bigotry, and even hate speech, they say.

Crossing such a line has happened many times in history.

A literal reading of the Bible was used to justify all sorts of hatred: slavery, the subjugation of women and anti-Semitism, scholars and pastors say.

“Truly damaging speech cannot be excused just because it expresses genuine religious belief,” says Mark D. Jordan, author of “Recruiting Young Love: How Christians Talk about Homosexuality.”

“Some religious beliefs, sincerely held, are detestable. They cannot be spoken without disrupting social peace,” says Jordan, a professor at the John Danforth Center on Religion & Politics at Washington University in St. Louis.

The point where religious speech becomes hate speech is difficult to define, though, scholars and activists say.

The Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama is a nonprofit civil rights group that combats and monitors hate groups. Three years ago, it designated the Family Research Council, the group that Sprigg represents, as a hate group - a characterization the group stridently rejects.

Mark Potok,  a center spokesman, says there’s no shared definition of what constitutes hate speech.

“There is no legal meaning. It’s just a phrase,” Potok says. “Hate speech is in the ear of the beholder.”

'One of the most hated minorities?'

Intolerance may be difficult to define, but some evangelicals say they have become victims of intolerance because of their reverence for the Bible.

The conservative media culture is filled with stories about evangelicals being labeled as “extremists” for their belief that homosexuality is a sin.

Their sense of persecution goes beyond their stance on homosexuality. There are stories circulating of evangelical students being suspended for opposing homosexuality, a teacher fired for giving a Bible to a curious student, and the rise of anti-Christian bigotry.

A blogger at The American Dream asked in one essay:

“Are evangelical Christians rapidly becoming one of the most hated minorities in America?”

The reluctance of evangelicals to speak out against homosexuality is often cited as proof they are being forced into the closet.

Joe Carter, editor for The Gospel Coalition, an online evangelical magazine, wrote a blog post entitled “Debatable: Is the Christian Church a ‘Hate Group’?" He warned that young people will abandon “orthodox” Christian churches that teach that homosexuality is a sin for fear of being called haters.

“Faux civility, embarrassment, prudishness and a fear of expressing an unpopular opinion has caused many Christians to refrain from explaining how homosexual conduct destroys lives,” Carter wrote.

Some Christians fear that opposing homosexuality could cause them to lose their jobs and “haunt them forever,” Carter says.

“It’s easier to just go along,” says Carter, who is also author of “How to Argue Like Jesus.” “You don’t want to be lumped in with the bigots. That’s a powerful word."

Edward Johnson, a communication professor at Campbell University in North Carolina, says we are now living in a "postmodern" era where everything is relative and there is no universally accepted truth. It's an environment in which anyone who says "this is right" and "that is wrong" is labeled intolerant, he says.

There was a time when a person could publicly say homosexuality was wrong and people could consider the statement without anger, he says. Today, people have reverted to an intellectual tribalism where they are only willing to consider the perspective of their own tribe.

“They are incapable of comprehending that someone may have a view different than theirs,” Johnson says. “For them anyone who dares to question the dogma of the tribe can only be doing so out of hatred.”

Sprigg, from the Family Research Council, says his condemnation of homosexual conduct does not spring from intolerance but a desire to protect gays from harmful conduct, he says.

Sprigg, a senior fellow for policy studies at the council, wrote in a council pamphlet that homosexual men are more likely to engage in child sexual abuse than are straight men. He also wrote that gay men are also afflicted with a higher rate of sexually transmitted diseases and mental illness as well.

Sprigg says he does not believe homosexuality is a choice and that “personal testimonies" and "clinical experience” show that some people “can and do change from gay to straight.”

“Maybe we need to do a better job of showing that we are motivated by Christian love,” Sprigg says. “Love is wanting the best for someone, and acting to bring that about.”

'That's a lie'

Potok, from the Southern Poverty Law Center, has little use for the love Sprigg talks about.

He calls it hatred, and his voice rose in anger when he talked about the claims by Sprigg and other Christian groups that gay men are more predisposed to molest children and that homosexual behavior is inherently harmful.

He says the Southern Poverty Law Center didn’t designate the Family Research Group a hate group because they view homosexuality as a sin or oppose same-sex marriage, Potok says. There are plenty of Christian groups who hold those beliefs but are not hate groups, he says.

A group becomes a hate group when it attacks and maligns an entire class of people for their “immutable characteristics,” Potok says. The Family Research Council spreads known falsehoods about gays and lesbians, he says, such as the contention that gay men are predisposed to abuse children.

“That’s a lie,” Potok says. “These guys are engaging in straight-up defamation of a very large group of people. There are not many things much worse than you can say in America about somebody than they are a child molester.”

Potok scoffed at Spriggs’ claim that the council and other evangelical anti-gay groups are victims of intolerance.

“That’s whining on the part of people who spend their days and nights attacking gay people and then some people criticize them and they don’t like it,” he says. “That’s pathetic. It reminds me of slave owners complaining that people are saying ugly things about them.”

What the Bible says

What about the popular evangelical claim, “We don’t hate the sinner, just the sin” – is that seen as intolerance or hate speech when it comes to homosexuality?

There are those who say you can’t hate the sin and love the sinner because being gay or lesbian is defined by one’s sexual behavior; it’s who someone is.

“Most people who identify as gay and lesbian would say that this is not an action I’m choosing to do; this is who I am,” says Timothy Beal, author of “The Rise and Fall of the Bible: The Unexpected History of an Accidental Book.”

Beal, a religion professor at Case Western University in Ohio, says it should be difficult for any Christian to unequivocally declare that the Bible opposes homosexuality because the Bible doesn’t take a single position on the topic. It's an assertion that many scholars and mainline Protestant pastors would agree with.

Some people cite Old Testament scriptures as condemning homosexuality, such as  Leviticus 18:22 - “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.” But other Christians counter by saying they are not bound by the Old Testament.

There are those who also cite New Testament scriptures like Romans 1:26-27 - “… Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men. …”

Beal, however, says Jesus said little about sex. And the Apostle Paul, who wrote Romans, was probably referring to male prostitution and men having sexual relations with boys, a practice in the Greco-Roman world.

“Paul does not understand genetics and sexual orientation the way we understand it now as something much more than a choice,” says Beal.

Some evangelicals say Christians can’t change their view of biblical truth just because times change. But some scholars reply:

Sure you can. Christians do it all the time.

Denying a woman’s ability to preach in church was justified by scriptures like 1 Timothy 2:11-12 - “… I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.” But many churches have abandoned that teaching - and some scholars say a woman preached the first Christian sermon, when Mary Magdalene proclaimed that Jesus had risen.

Slaveholders in 19th century America justified slavery through a literal reading of the Bible, quoting Titus 2:9-10 – “Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything. …” And anti-Semitism was justified by the claims that Jews killed Jesus, such as Matthew 27: 25-26 - “Let his blood be on us and on our children.”

Litfin, from Moody Bible Institute, acknowledged that the Bible once sanctioned slavery, but he said that practice was a “cultural expression” that changed over time. Evangelicals who oppose same-sex marriage by citing the Bible are on more solid ground, he says.

“Marriage is a universal and timeless institution that God set up for maximum human flourishing. He set it up in the first book of the Bible with the story of Adam and Eve. It is consistent throughout the whole Bible. … Marriage is in a different category than those cultural things.”

Public jousts over the Bible's stance on homosexuality rarely change people’s minds. What changes is when people get to know gay and lesbian people as friends and hear their story, says Beal, author of “The Rise and Fall of the Bible.”

“If you open up to that other person genuinely, you basically come to a point where you have to sacrifice them to your ideology or crack open your ideology to make a hospitable place for them,” Beal says.

One Christian pastor who is gay says the uproar over the ESPN commentator’s comments can actually be good,  because debates help settle moral disputes.

“What appears to us as antiquated and prejudicial now was once a disputed issue that required debate,” says the Rev. Richard McCarty, a minister in the United Church of Christ and a religious studies professor at Mercyhurst University in Pennsylvania.

Until the debate over homosexuality is settled - if it ever is - there may be plenty of evangelical Christians who feel as if they are now being forced to stay in the closet.

Carter, the evangelical blogger, says he foresees a day when any church that preaches against homosexuality will be marginalized. Just as many churches now accept divorce, they will accept sexual practices once considered sinful.

“It’s getting to the point,” he says, “where churches are not going to say that any sexual activity is wrong.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Church • Church and state • Culture wars • Protest • Sex • Sexuality • Sports

soundoff (10,982 Responses)
  1. Darwin

    LUCKILY, the brave skeptics, freethinkers, and non-believers over the last 300 years have FREED us from the oppression of CLERICAL POWER. If that were not so then the BISHOP'S THUGS would right now be hunting down all you HERETIC POSTERS and hauling you down to his dungeons to be WHIPPED and tortured in punishment for your insolence against GOD and his HOLY WORD!

    May 5, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • Answer

      Quack quack.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:56 am |
  2. Willie Houston

    Forget religion, it's about the anatomy man can do whatever they want to do but it does not make it right.. Aids is one indication.

    May 5, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Patrick

      Highest risk group for HIV: Gay men
      2nd Highest: Straight women
      3rd Highest: Straight men
      Lowest risk group: Les bian women.

      The problem isn't ho mo se xua lity.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • Fernando

      Have you investigated and studied human anatomy and Aids in coming to this conclusion?

      May 5, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
  3. c5boi

    AWWWW little minds: You are not hated, you are pitied for your stupidity, ignorance, prejudice and intolerance.

    May 5, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Russt

      Wait... Which group are you talking about...?

      May 5, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
  4. ii2bcnii

    This article does nothing but encourage hate speech.

    May 5, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Jesus the Christ

      cnn is owned by Rupert Murdoch...guess what that means...

      May 5, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • Answer

      It encourages people to be pro-active in rejecting the silly beliefs of the believers.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Russt

      Really... Funny how debate or opinion that is not the same as yours is hate... Pull your head out and engage the conversation... Don't stifle it

      May 5, 2013 at 11:54 am |
  5. Johnboy

    All religions are man-made nonsense, pure and simple! They have no bearing on the world we live in.

    May 5, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Russt

      Weather you are right or wrong is not relevant... The first amendment protects the right you idiot

      May 5, 2013 at 11:52 am |
  6. Jesus the Christ

    So really, why do people in America say that Christians came to America (way back when...of course) to escape religious persecution when the countries they came from were Christian????

    May 5, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • JJ

      The only "persecution" that Christians face are from other Christians. Same with Muslims, Sunnis against Shias. Those who realize it's all bullshit are the most tolerable of all.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • Russt

      Read the history books jack ass

      May 5, 2013 at 11:51 am |
  7. JoeD

    Awesome article.

    May 5, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Justin

      How is this an "awesome article"?

      May 5, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
  8. Jake

    Sorry folks... the bible is (gasp!) man-made. Get over it... and just treat people the way you would like to be treated yourself... unless you are a sadomasochist.

    May 5, 2013 at 11:45 am |
  9. NTG

    Not long ago Atheists were burned at the stake. And now the rational thinking are rising in numbers I wonder how many christians are being burned at the stake? None.

    May 5, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Jesus the Christ

      I say we throw them to the lions...again.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • NTG

      Unfortunately there aren't enough lions.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Russt

      Let me get this straight... Stating an opinion or expressing a belief is hate speech.... But making references to lions... Isn't? The duality is numbing...

      May 5, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
  10. MJKT

    It seems that for some their idea of freedom of religion is the freedom for them to impose their personal religious views on others through law thus limiting the freedom of religion of others. If they are not able to impose their religious views on everyone through the government, they are being persecuted. Freedom of religion is not limiting the rights of others by imposing your religious views on them through law.

    May 5, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Russt

      Aren't laws by definition a mechanism to limit rights of others... Wear a seatbelt, wear a helmet... Don't kill, don't steal...

      May 5, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • David Nelson

      Really? I see ultra conservative bible thumpers preaching on tv and loudmouth militant atheists posting on the internet as equals.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • Russt

      I say let them get married... Just don't make the church conduct it or recognize it... Let individuals still say it is right or wrong... Don't try to legislate what many to believe is immorality to be demanded as moral.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
  11. hhbonobo

    And labeling Broussard courageous for expressing his bigotry might be is one reason why you're hated.

    “In the current culture, it takes more courage for someone like Chris Broussard to speak out than for someone like Jason Collins to come out,”

    May 5, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Angel Moronic

      Chris Broussard is gay, really ??

      May 5, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • David Nelson

      Speaking your mind when your opinions are likely to draw scorn IS brave.

      You can argue the content of what he said as much as you like, but the fact that he said it IS brave.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
  12. Reality

    The last sentence of the topic article: "It’s getting to the point,” he says, “where churches are not going to say that any s-exual activity is wrong.”

    The following should put s-exual activity in the proper light:

    The reality of se-x, abortion, contraception and STD/HIV control: – from an agnostic guy who enjoys intelligent se-x-

    Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...

    The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

    : The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill (8.7% actual failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% actual failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

    Added information before making your next move:

    "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."
    See also: http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/26/opinion/bolan-se-xual-health/index.html?hpt=hp_t4

    And from:
    "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about (even though is becoming a major cause of throat cancer)," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (Maybe it should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

    Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.

    The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":

    – (Abstinence, 0% failure rate)
    – (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate)

    Followed by:

    One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
    Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
    The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
    Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
    IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
    Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)
    Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal) and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)
    Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)

    Every other method ranks below these, including Withdrawal (4.0), Female condom (5.0), Diaphragm (6.0), Periodic abstinence (calendar) (9.0), the Sponge (9.0-20.0, depending on whether the woman using it has had a child in the past), Cervical cap (9.0-26.0, with the same caveat as the Sponge), and Spermicides (18.0).

    May 5, 2013 at 11:44 am |
  13. comoose00

    Thats because it is not anyone's place to tell someone else how to live. There are 108 passages in the bible about judging others. All o them say don't do it. Yet evangelical Christians love to get into people lives and tell us how we are all living in sin.

    May 5, 2013 at 11:43 am |
  14. Patrick

    EXTREMIST Christians love to ignore verses from their own bible because they're either too brutal or too loving:

    Leviticus 25:44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

    Exodus 21:20 “Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, 21 but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.

    Matthew 25:34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

    37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

    40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

    41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

    44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

    45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

    46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

    May 5, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • Russt

      You might want to study the economic constructs of that time and place... And also then read the prior verses...

      May 5, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
  15. nitrat

    Jesus said: "My kingdom is not of this world" and "Render unto Caesar".

    I cannot fathom how the writer of this piece and some of the people he quotes could possibly Interpret those two statements of Jesus as other than an admonition to keep religion out of politics.

    But, today's modern evangelical fundamentalists, going back to the days of Abraham Vereide founding of the religio-business-political cabal The Family/The Fellowship/C Street/National Prayer Breakfast, chooses to ignore Jesus' comments about his ministry and are bound and determined to have our government controlled by theocratic politicians who are passing laws to further their goal of turning this country into an theocracy.

    More evangelical fundamentalist Christians need to ponder "My kingdom is not of this world" and "Render unto Caesar" before they whine about blowback from trying to ram their interpretation of a great religion down the throats of everyone.

    You are an extremely prideful, prideful bunch who think you should dictate our foreign policy to fulfill Biblical prophesies – I guess you don't think God can accomplish things without your support for right wing democracies and dictatorships around the globe ( see The Family/The Fellowship/C Street/National Prayer Breakfast and its unholy alliances).

    No one is demanding that you keep your mouth shut. Just don't think you have the political right to run the show because you call yourselves Christians...although I have never known many of you who cared too much about "the least of these" unless they are members of your church.

    May 5, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • Choomba

      Well said!

      May 5, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • Patricksday

      Very well stated! If you have ever seen Shawshank Redemption you have the very "Religious" Warden of the Prison who lies, cheats, and has people murdered while he passes judgement on the Prisoners, they typical mindset of the Religious Right they use bully tactics to control people with religion while they live personal wicked lives worse than any Gay person they hate.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • azdave

      Great post

      May 5, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Russt

      While I agree that we need separation of church and state... It is a stretch to say that our politicians are establishing a theocracy...on the other hand, you are turning a bling eye to the billions of dollars that have gone into hospitals, universities, feed the hunger programs... All funded by people of faith.

      May 5, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
  16. STFU

    that shadow on the board looks like of Aflac duck, I might be wrong.

    May 5, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • Angel Moronic

      Or the ghost of R. Milhous Nixon ?

      May 5, 2013 at 11:45 am |
  17. azdave

    I've always considered self-righteous evangelical Christians to be a hated minority ... except that there are too many of them. We talk about Islam still being in the Dark Ages, but evangelical Christians would bring us back there as well if they had their way.

    May 5, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • Russt

      Not so much...

      May 5, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
  18. Jet hero

    Just because something is in the BIble doesn't mean it's not bigoted. No one is trying to take away free speech rights. You can say whatever you want, but that doesn't mean you won't be criticized for it.

    May 5, 2013 at 11:42 am |
  19. j9darkwing

    CNN and Fox both have blogs on belief and religion written by Christians. Why doesn't CNN find an atheist blogger and have a nationwide CNN backed blog pointing out how foolish all these theists act and the ridiculous fairy tales in which they believe? Religion is harmful to society and civilized life and should be banished. If you disagree just go back to the main news pages and look at the stories of religioun causing harm right now, today in our world.

    May 5, 2013 at 11:42 am |
  20. Matt in Oregon

    Conservative fundamentalist Christians view any attempt to prevent them imposing their beliefs onto others as persecution. Its a bit like the schoolyard bully who says he is being picked on when the other kids get big enough to stand up for themselves.

    May 5, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • nitrat

      You are so, so, so right.

      May 5, 2013 at 11:47 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.