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Supreme Court delays contraception mandate for two Catholic nonprofits
December 31st, 2013
06:33 PM ET

Supreme Court delays contraception mandate for two Catholic nonprofits

By Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer

Washington (CNN)–
The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily exempted two Catholic Church-affiliated nonprofits from requirements to provide contraceptive coverage to its employees under the Affordable Care Act.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued a brief order late Tuesday, hours before the controversial Obama administration mandates were set to go into effect.

The Little Sisters of the Poor – a charity congregation of Roman Catholic women in Denver – and the Illinois-based Christian Brothers Services had filed a lawsuit objecting to the contraception mandate, saying it violated their religious and moral beliefs. Some religious-affiliated groups were required to comply with contraception coverage or face hefty fines.

Sotomayor said the two groups were exempted from the mandates until at least Friday, when the federal government faces a deadline to file a legal response in the case.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bishops • Catholic Church • Christianity • Courts • Pope Francis

soundoff (1,682 Responses)
  1. Observer

    Live4Him,

    Please list the EXACT verses where the Bible says that birth control is wrong.

    January 3, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
    • Science Works

      The MAJOR rub is having to provide earned benefits that INCLUDE the DAY after pill maybe ?

      January 3, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Observer : Please list the EXACT verses where the Bible says that birth control is wrong.

      I cannot because they are too numerous. However, I've chosen a sampling of the verses to demonstrate the point.

      1) Theft from God (or playing god). Since God formed us in the womb, we belong to him (not to the parent).
      2) Advances the cause of promiscuity by mitigating one of the possible consequences of such acts.

      Exod 13:2 Consecrate to me every firstborn male. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether man or animal.

      Ps 139:13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

      Isa 44:24 This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, who has made all things

      Jer 1:5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew a you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

      Deut 5:18 You shall not commit adultery.

      Prov 6:32 But a man who commits adultery lacks judgment; whoever does so destroys himself.

      <><

      January 3, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        aaahhhh, the bible's endless lines of circular speak that can be taken to mean almost anything and most often are taken to mean whatever a christian wants the line to say so that they can judge someone else.

        January 3, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
      • Observer

        Live4Him,

        Adultery can create more babies and that is what God wants, right?

        January 3, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
      • Observer

        Live4Him,

        Not one thing in there that says birth control is wrong. Not one thing in there that would condemn condoms, for instance.

        Please try again.

        January 3, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Observer : Adultery can create more babies and that is what God wants, right?

          It wounds the soul, which God abhors.

          Observer : Not one thing in there that says birth control is wrong

          Considering that the term 'birth control' didn't exist until after the Bible was written, that it not surprising. However, the components that I mentioned still address the issue of birth control – theft from God and promiscuity.

          <><

          January 3, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
        • Observer

          Live4Him

          "Considering that the term 'birth control' didn't exist until after the Bible was written, that it not surprising."

          Bad answer. We are talking about preventing pregnancy so skip the pitiful SEMANTICS excuse.

          January 3, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
  2. Dyslexic doG

    >

    January 3, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
  3. midwest rail

    <

    January 3, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
    • midwest rail

      interesting...

      January 3, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
    • midwest rail

      ,<

      January 3, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
  4. bostontola

    Brainwashing, refers to an indoctrination process which results in "an impairment of autonomy, an inability to think independently, and a disruption of beliefs and affiliations.

    It usually refers to the process of changing those beliefs and affiliations rather than the creation of the original set of beliefs and affiliations. The original set was usually put in place by parents and family. It was "written" on a blank slate that is designed to absorb it from parents. In a sense, it is the easiest time to brainwash, the brain is already clean. The military uses these techniques in boot camp, cults use them, many school age history classes use it, etc.

    What isn't brainwashing? Science. Questions are asked, experiments are designed, data is analyzed, results are grilled by peers, independent tests are performed, when results are confirmed in independent ways, they are accepted as usable. In contrast to cultural and religious tenets, you get the same answer no matter who asks. Religious and cultural rules all have an arbitrary component, they work, but there is no universal correctness associated with any of them. They all form workable systems which compete, winners are Darwinian winners. Science comes out the same no matter who does it. It is not infallible, but it does improve over time. Evidence? The extraordinary edifice of technology we all take for granted and trust our lives to. Buildings and bridges don't collapse when properly designed, medicines defeat invaders, etc.

    January 3, 2014 at 12:32 pm |

  5. >

    January 3, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
  6. Dyslexic doG

    possible explanations for ... Live4Him's <

    – everything about christianity is fishy.
    – christians have bought the 'god is love' fantasy hook, line, and sinker
    – fish don't question the way things are. fish have no thinking power. they just blindly follow the currents of the river.
    – the Age of Pisces. Yet another adopted Pagan symbol
    – It means, "I've taken the bait."

    any more?

    January 3, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      <

      January 3, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      hmmmm .... Live4Him, it won't let me write your fish character. does your god not let atheists write it?

      is it a miracle or part of the censorship computer programming ... hmmmm

      January 3, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
      • Live4Him

        I'm special! 😉

        January 3, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          you are 🙂

          January 3, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Test
          <><

          January 3, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @In Santa we trust : Test

          See, you're one step closer to being a Christian! 🙂

          <><

          January 3, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          well done lads!

          January 3, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Dyslexic doG : well done lads!

          See what a computer background does for a person?

          <><

          January 3, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Test
          ______
          ><DARWIN>
          --
          L L

          January 3, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          ASCII stupid question, get a stupid ANSI.

          January 3, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
    • Some Observations

      Why early Christians may have started using a fish symbol:

      The Greek word for fish (ICHTUS), works nicely as an acrostic for "Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior"

      The fish would not be an obvious Christian symbol to persecutors

      Jesus' ministry is associated with fish: he chose several fishermen to be his disciples and declared he would make them "fishers of men."

      January 3, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
    • Alias

      Isn't three some connection to the myth about jesus feeding a field full of people from 2 loaves of bread a one fish?

      January 3, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
      • Live4Him

        Why do you claim it is a myth? Do you have evidence to support that claim?

        January 3, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          LofA
          For the same reason that people growing out of believing that Santa dos not deliver gifts to all the children on earth or that the easter bunny exists, it is not possible in a rational world.

          January 3, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
    • RC

      It's missing it's feet. <
      ||

      January 3, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
  7. Dyslexic doG

    I wish the church was as worried about the children after birth as before birth.

    We are all born as atheists. Once born, the child abuse begins when parents and priests brainwash children with bronze age fairy stories and the threat of eternal fire and torment if they don't believe.

    where are the laws against that?

    January 3, 2014 at 11:51 am |
    • Saraswati

      By all measure, believing in most of these mass delusions does not hurt most children on most measures of wellbeing. While it does hurt many in developing countries and some minority groups, I thin its a stretch to call the brainwashing child abuse in most cases.

      January 3, 2014 at 11:54 am |
      • bostontola

        When you think about it, a lot of what we "know" is from brainwashing. Our national cultures, food preferences as we're growing up, music preferences as we're growing up, the list goes on and on. I'd argue that it must be beneficial in a Darwinian sense. Of course, that doesn't confer "truth" to any of it.

        January 3, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
        • AtomHeart

          One could be brainwashed to believe God doesn't exist.

          January 3, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @bostontola : When you think about it, a lot of what we "know" is from brainwashing.

          So, how were you brainwashed as a child?

          <><

          January 3, 2014 at 12:03 pm |
        • Saraswati

          Agreed, bostonola. I generally don't use the term brainwashing as most of what it refers to in normal human acquisition of belief from their culture.

          January 3, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
        • bostontola

          L4H,
          I listed them above, that the US is the best country in the world, that my mothers food is the best, that God exists, the list goes on and on.

          January 3, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Yes, atomheart, they could; but most brainwashing is done to convince children/people to believe in unprovable ideas or ideology. As for someone "brainwashed" to be an atheist. What evidence would you provide that upon independent measurement would demonstrate the sensibility of believing in your god delusion?

          January 3, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
        • Saraswati

          If you really wanted to make a fine distinction, brainwashing would be the intentional installation of ideas, bypassing normal culturally defined standards of evidence and with the intent of instilling a delusional level of adherence to the associated beliefs. But in practice such distinctions are hard enough to make that "brainwashing" rarely appears in psychological literature.

          January 3, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
        • AtomHeart

          Cpt Obvious

          Slow your roll, I don't believe in God. I just meant if there is a God or Gods, we could be the victim of brainwashing to believe they don't exist.

          What is good for the goose...

          That being said; I am familiar with brainwashing that occurs in the world. Most religious Americans are not the victims of brainwashing. Overcoming brainwashing is difficult. I didn't find leaving Christianity as a young adult difficult at all.

          January 3, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Maybe it wasn't difficult for you, but for me it took almost an entire decade; that's how sever and deep-seated was the brainwashing I received. However someone who had been "brainwashed" to be an atheist will never discover an argument or compilation of evidence that demonstrates (to a critical thinker) that some god exists.

          Is it wrong to "brainwash" a person to think critically?

          January 3, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          severe

          January 3, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
        • AtomHeart

          I haven't seen any evidence that suggests that critical thinking always leads to atheism. There are a lot of non-atheist great critical thinkers. And there are also some atheist thinkers that do not practice sound critical thinking.
          We don't have undeniable proof of God. We also don't have undeniable proof there is no God.

          January 3, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          I agree, and I would also like to add that we do not have any conclusive evidence that the Tooth Fairy and unicorns don't exist. What sort of argument is that--for anything at all?

          January 3, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
        • AtomHeart

          I don't think, for example, we have any elite scientists that believe in the toothfairy or unicorns. I certainly do not know of any that publicly accept such a view. But we do have Hindus, Muslims, Jews, etc who are elite scientists and have mastered critical and logical thinking.
          I don't really think the toothfairy/unicorns don't exist so God doesn't exist theory is that credible or logical.

          January 3, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
        • Saraswati

          AtomHeart,

          "I don't really think the toothfairy/unicorns don't exist so God doesn't exist theory is that credible or logical."

          To my knowledge, no one has made that argument. The point is that for many people the level of evidense for each is assessed to be about the same.

          "I don't think, for example, we have any elite scientists that believe in the toothfairy or unicorns. I certainly do not know of any that publicly accept such a view. But we do have Hindus, Muslims, Jews, etc who are elite scientists and have mastered critical and logical thinking."

          I know a scientist who believes in fairies and lays out bowls of milk for them. The difference with the toothfairy is that that was developed as a fraud known by insiders.

          January 3, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "I don't really think the toothfairy/unicorns don't exist so God doesn't exist theory is that credible or logical."

          It is when you consider the toothfairy/unicorns and god(s) have exactly the same amount of evidence to support their existence.

          January 3, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
        • AtomHeart

          OK, it proves you don't believe in God. And you believe that belief in God is similar to belief in the toothfairy or unicorns.
          It doesn't prove anything but your opinion. And is dangerously close to circular reasoning:

          January 3, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
        • AtomHeart

          Not all Christians give the threat of eternal fire and torment if a child doesn't believe. In fact, that is just something an extreme atheist would claim on a religious message board and suggest all religion is child abuse. Extreme atheism is like extreme Christianity.

          January 3, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          It also proves there is not a good reason to believe that god(s) exist. Of course it does not prove that they DON'T exist. I, and most atheists I have intereracted with, don't claim non-existence, we claim a lack of evidence and there is nothing circular about that.

          January 3, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Not all Christians give the threat of eternal fire and torment if a child doesn't believe."

          You are partially correct. But I don't know of any Christian doctorine that does not include a consequence for non-belief, even if that consequence is annihilation, that is still a concept based on fear and an unproven claim...i.e. a lie. I don't find that rationalization of SOME christian docterine as being significantly better.

          January 3, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        I would say if you teach a child that a boogie man is living in their closet and will punish them if they are bad that is abuse. It may not be an arrestable offense but it is abuse.

        January 3, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          my point exactly!

          it's the fear that the threat of hell instills in little kids that is the abuse.

          January 3, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
        • AtomHeart

          Oh, no, if we tell them they lie and cheat they may reap bad consequences. And that might make our precious little snowflakes feel bad. Oh no!

          January 3, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Yes Atom, if we teach children that certain actions and thoughts are bad and lie to them about the consequences that IS bad. And to compound matters, as religion does, lets add natural behaviors like masterb@tion and se.xual thoughts to the list.

          Would it not be better to teach children why things like lying and stealing are ACTUALLY bad (it causes hurt to others) instead of making up imaginary consequences?

          January 3, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
        • AtomHeart

          Not all Christians give the threat of eternal fire and torment if a child doesn't believe. In fact, that is just something an extreme atheist would claim on a religious message board and suggest all religion is child abuse. Extreme atheism is like extreme Christianity.

          January 3, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Extreme atheism is like extreme Christianity."

          No it really isn't. Only when atheists want to withold personal rights and freedoms are they equatable and me pointing out the abuses of the docterine does not do that. There is no reason to conclude from anything I have written that I am an "extreme atheist".

          January 3, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
        • AtomHeart

          Atheist extremism is alive and kicking on this blog. There are countless opinion pieces written by reputable atheists in regards to this phenomenon. And the parallels you can draw to religious fanaticism is frightening.

          January 3, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Well why don't you define what you mean by "exteme atheism" because from what I can tell from what you have written on the subject is that opposition = extremism.

          I have seen a few instances of it but not to the level you claim...at least in the way I defined it.

          January 3, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
    • Walker

      No one is born hating another person, but all of us are born with the capacity to hate. Neither theists nor atheists have a monopoly on intolerance, ignorance, hate, or any other negative emotion or mental state.

      January 3, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        duh

        January 3, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
    • Responding to the Pride

      Failed your high school civics class?

      January 3, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
      • Teacher

        And science. And philosophy. He is just a baby, though. Give him time to learn.

        January 3, 2014 at 12:07 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          What about the root posts makes you determine that? You must be a svcky teacher if you make such hasty generalizations as you just did, here.

          January 3, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
        • Teacher

          Dyslexic doG is not a scientist. His atheist philosophy is a rehash of Dawkins/Hitchens embara$$ing rants.

          January 3, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          What does that have to do with your accusation? What did he get "wrong" that you can use to determine that he is not educated in the disciplines you describe?

          You fail at logic.

          January 3, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          actually I am a scientist!

          LOLOLOLOLOL

          are you embarrassed Teacher?

          January 3, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
        • bostontola

          D doG,
          What branch of science?

          January 3, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          hydrologist 🙂

          January 3, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
        • bostontola

          Very cool.

          January 3, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          *genuflect*

          January 3, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Dyslexic doG : We are all born as atheists.

      You think that we are all born believing that there are no gods! How funny! No, we are all born agnostic – we don't have the facts needed to make a decision.

      <><

      January 3, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
      • Walker

        Saying that everyone's born an atheist suggests that everyone starts with the concept of what a god is, and believes they don't exist. That's patently silly. "No-one is born a theist" would be less so, though.

        January 3, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          amen!

          January 3, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          I don't know how you define atheism, but most atheists define it as "a lack of belief in any gods." Because if you lack belief, you don't believe, and therefore are "atheist"–without belief (like asymmetrical-without symmetry). Do babies have a belief in god?No? Then they are atheist. What about in a country where they don't promote Santa? Is that child an "Asantaist?" Yes, since they lack a belief in Santa.

          So yes, any person without a belief in gods is an atheist. Think.

          January 3, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
        • Walker

          @amen

          Can you believe that came from my brainwashed and belief in bronze age fairy storied mind?

          January 3, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
      • Doris

        L4H: "You think that we are all born believing that there are no gods!"
        That's a misrepresentation when generalizing about atheism. The first paragraph on Wikipedia should clear this up for you: "Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist." Mainstream atheism is highly agnostic.

        January 3, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "I do not believe that just because you're opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed.
      And why would I think that you don't?
      Because you don't want any tax money to go there.
      That's not pro-life. That's pro-birth.
      We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is."

      – Sister Joan Chittister

      January 3, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
      • Akira

        I think this quote hits the nail squarely on the head.

        January 3, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        well said Doc.

        January 3, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
      • Doris

        Google earth zooms in on Sao Paulo slum

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDU5onlqzDc

        January 3, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
  8. Canaan Drum

    Apparently the government wishes to mandate than an organization comprised of abstinate men and women provide contraceptives... Is that what passes for intelligence these days?

    January 3, 2014 at 11:37 am |
    • Canaan Drum

      Well, then again, if the law applied to church-affiliated groups rather than the church itself I guess it makes some legal sense, since not everyone involved in THOSE inst.itutions would be celibate. But, then again, the const.itution grants freedom of religion – which they are denying them if they make them pay for the contraceptives...

      January 3, 2014 at 11:40 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        talking to yourself?

        January 3, 2014 at 11:45 am |
        • Canaan Drum

          Sure? Why not? It's great, I win all of my arguments that way. Unfortunately, I also lose all of my arguments that way...

          January 3, 2014 at 11:47 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          🙂

          yes, sometimes talking to yourself is the only way to get an intelligent conversation, eh?

          January 3, 2014 at 11:52 am |
    • Akira

      They are denying their employees.

      January 3, 2014 at 11:50 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      It isn't about health insurance for celibate priests.
      It is about Catholic Church affiliated organizations employing civilians (ie: non-clergy) and their legal requirement as an employer to provide medical coverage.
      They don't get to pick and choose what types of medicines and procedures are covered by the insurance.
      It would be akin to PETA saying that they won't pay their insurance company for any medication that was tested on animals.

      January 3, 2014 at 11:50 am |
      • Canaan Drum

        OK, let's go with your PETA analogy... Asking church-affiliated organizations to pay for contraception is like asking PETA members to buy stock in Burger King. Simply put – it violates their sincerely held religious beliefs.

        January 3, 2014 at 11:54 am |
        • Saraswati

          First, birth control saves insurance companies money, so no one is "paying for" birth control. They are get a good deal because a bunch of unplanned marriages may be avoided and are saving money. Second, the company isn't paying for this. It is employee earning. If some employees want to pay a bit more NOT to have birth control or abortion covered, I suppose that could be an option. But they should be paying more, not less.

          January 3, 2014 at 12:10 pm |
        • Alias

          Wrong.
          Requiring all employers to provide insurance is not the same as requiring the church to buy stock in abortion clinics.
          The employer has no business in deciding what medical decisions can be made by a doctor for their employees.

          January 3, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Manipulating employee group health insurance is a way for an organization to dictate how employees spend the money they have earned. That is what should not be allowed.

      January 3, 2014 at 11:56 am |
      • Akira

        Exactly.

        January 3, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
  9. AtomHeart

    Oh, my beloved science is a product of great polytheists and Christians? Really? Why do you try to say that I do the same thing when you're trying to disprove me now?

    January 3, 2014 at 11:25 am |
  10. California

    the Little Sisters of the Poor, and other Roman Catholic group is being forced to give contraception against the religious views. The government is in fact not only dictating to these people that they can't practice their religious beliefs but the federal government is DICTATING to these people how they should practice their religion.

    Separation between church and state goes both ways. STOP the government dictatorship NOW!!

    January 3, 2014 at 11:05 am |
    • Just Sayin...

      In that case, religion is as usual also doing dictating, and religion should lose out. Over time, it will lose out, or simply change, as religious doctrine so often has changed in history to suit current norms despite the "word of god" being "unchangeable".

      January 3, 2014 at 11:09 am |
      • Live4Him

        And before long, Congress will pass a law mandating religious teachings in public schools. 🙂 After all – religious freedom doesn't mean what the First Amendment says.

        January 3, 2014 at 11:57 am |
        • Saraswati

          There should be a survey class covering history of religions, major religions, unique instances, trends and religious psychology. Many countries have this working quite well.

          January 3, 2014 at 12:07 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      No one is forcing anyone to TAKE contraception. It is merely required that all women who want to, can, and at the same cost across the board.

      There is no violation of beliefs.

      January 3, 2014 at 11:13 am |
      • Live4Him

        If you pay for something, but don't consume it, you are still losing out on your religious beliefs.

        January 3, 2014 at 11:51 am |
        • Saraswati

          You understand that bc is a cost saving, right? Idiot.

          January 3, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
        • Saraswati

          Like I don't support property tax breaks for churches. The rest of us pay for those breaks thereby supporting the churches. My freedom infringed upon?

          January 3, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          So why can't a pacifist tell the IRS that they don't want any of their income tax going to the Pentagon?

          January 3, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
        • myweightinwords

          No, you're not.

          They are paying broadly for health care. They should not get the right to chose what that health care entails.

          Or, you believe that people with religious objections to blood transfusions have the right to refuse to pay for coverage for blood transfusions. Or those with religious objections to doctors of any kind have the right to refuse to pay for insurance at all?

          January 3, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
    • Akira

      What they are complaining about is filling out the exemption paperwork; they're saying THAT is what is violating their beliefs.
      They are complaining about providing the paperwork to their employees to get the contraceptives directly from the insurer.

      This is silly.

      January 3, 2014 at 11:26 am |
      • Live4Him

        @Akira : What they are complaining about is filling out the exemption paperwork; they're saying THAT is what is violating their beliefs.

        Money doesn't grow on trees. If their administrator is providing the contraceptives to its plan members, then where does the money come from? Of course – the Little Sisters of the Poor.

        So, they sign the waiver and still have to pay for it! IS that religious freedom? Nope.

        January 3, 2014 at 11:54 am |
        • G to the T

          Why would you deny the employees their free will in this instance?

          January 3, 2014 at 11:57 am |
        • Akira

          Ma'am, they are complaining about filling out the exemption form. The. Exemption. Form.

          As if to say, "oh, clearly you can see that we're a religious group; why do we have to fill out a form stating this?"

          January 3, 2014 at 11:57 am |
        • Live4Him

          @G to the T : Why would you deny the employees their free will in this instance?

          They are not denied their free will – but they shouldn't expect others (who object to their choices) to pay for it.

          <><

          January 3, 2014 at 11:59 am |
        • Live4Him

          @Akira : Ma'am, they are complaining about filling out the exemption form. The. Exemption. Form.

          Again – who pays!

          <><

          January 3, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
        • Saraswati

          I object to couples having more than two kids, My company can cut off benefits if you already have two? I object to family plans that offer a flat rate regardless of number of children. I object to a large number of medicines created in animal cruelty ways.

          I actually now a few pretty big employers who object to large families. Hopefully they can use this same logic to restrict hiring based on family size as well. And I wouldn't give any insurance to men with 2 or more kids who didn't have a vascectomy.

          January 3, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
        • Akira

          Getting the meds directly from the insurer is violating freedom to practice their religion how?

          January 3, 2014 at 12:06 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Saraswati : I object to couples having more than two kids

          Again, who pays? If they pay for their 11 kids, who am I to object? But, if I have to pay for a couple with one child, then I have a right to object.

          <><

          January 3, 2014 at 12:08 pm |
        • Saraswati

          L4H,

          Most company insurance offers single, plus 1 or family plans. Family plans cost the same if you have 1 or 12 kids. This means we all pay, with single people paying the highest burden by getting the lowest benefit.

          I have yet to meet anyone other that a multimillionaire who pays for 11 children. Children in most families attend public schools, at about $13,000 per child per year. Those that don't almost always accept child tax credits on their taxes (a transfer of wealth from childless to those with kids). Every time a kid uses a public park it is a social cost as is every town sponsored swimming lesson or activity at any organization funded by state or private sources.

          January 3, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      So back to the point I've been making over and over.

      Should Scientologists be exempt from covering mental health issues?
      Can Jehovah's Witnesses opt out of coverage for blood transfusions?
      Should Christian Scientists be allowed to deny any coverage at all to their employees?

      January 3, 2014 at 11:44 am |
      • Live4Him

        Should they lose their religious freedoms granted by the Constitution?

        January 3, 2014 at 11:55 am |
        • Saraswati

          It's money earned by the employees who are the ones losing their freedom. If they can't provide an appropriate group policy then pay that same cost directly to the employee in salary. We now have a system where they can use that money to get real insurance and any extra will pay down the deductable.

          January 3, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Saraswati : It's money earned by the employees who are the ones losing their freedom.

          I'd like caviar and you want birth control. If you pay for mine, I'll pay for yours. Deal?

          <><

          January 3, 2014 at 12:06 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Religious freedom doesn't mean they're exempt from the law.
          For example, if a hijab wearing Muslim woman works in a place where proper headgear is a safety requirement, they US Court of Appeals mandates that the employee must remove their headscarf.

          January 3, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
        • Tim

          I’d like caviar and you want birth control. If you pay for mine, I’ll pay for yours. Deal?

          <

          What kind of ignorant analogy is this? Here's the deal: you don't GET to impose your religious beliefs, including BC pills, on your employees. Against BC? Don't take it! Not that complicated.

          January 3, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Muslim women are required to show their faces when getting ID pictures taken and when passing through customs in the U.S. even if it goes against their deeply held religious convictions.
          Kosher and Halal abbatoirs are subject to the same safety, cleanliness and animal cruelty mandates as secular ones.
          Even if one's religion is against medicine, the law stipulates that "medical care shall be provided where permanent physical damage could result to a child."

          January 3, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        In Ohio, there is a Christian sect known as The Faith Assembly.
        Members of that church eschew medicine, especially as it pertains to childbirth.
        Death rates among female members of the Faith Assembly in childbirth are 870 percent higher than among Indiana women in general. Death rates among their infants are 270 percent higher than the statewide average.

        Should employers who are members of that church be allowed to deny their employees coverage for pregnancy and childbirth?

        January 3, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
        • Tim

          According the the warped mindset of L4H, yes.

          January 3, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
        • Saraswati

          According to L4H if conservative Islam continues to grow in the US most major companies will be able to deny coverage to anyone who wants to see a specialist of a different se.x.

          January 3, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
    • Saraswati

      The company is dictating how employees own earned dollars are spent. END CORPORATE DICTATORSHIP NOW!

      January 3, 2014 at 11:57 am |
    • Alias

      You are just an anti-government tool.

      January 3, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
  11. AvdBerg

    Golly, lawri, u go on forever about cream puff doctrine, but u can't attempt to explain y u love your god.

    Am I a genius or wat?

    January 3, 2014 at 10:15 am |
    • Akira

      @LoA:

      See?

      January 3, 2014 at 10:21 am |
  12. lol??

    lol??
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    lol??
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    "Progress is important."

    Suzie Q

    378,095 BCE

    January 3, 2014 at 10:05 am |
  13. Akira

    B honest for a minute. Do u really think I could b this amazing w/o gawd? U can't do it!

    Or, lawri, tell me y u love jeebus. Try that.

    January 3, 2014 at 9:53 am |
    • Akira

      Aren't you intelligent enough to come up with your own unique username?

      January 3, 2014 at 10:12 am |
      • Ken Margo

        First of all Happy New Year. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Sorry about the bears.

        January 3, 2014 at 7:44 pm |
  14. Akira

    Yo Lawrence, Austin, all u fellars I done outed yesterday as the phoney xtians, where did yas go? I was having fun pulling thine pants down

    January 3, 2014 at 9:40 am |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      Define irony...
      A non-Christian laying the ground rules for what a Christian should be.

      January 3, 2014 at 9:42 am |
      • Akira

        Wow! What timing. Lawrie, just playin. I no u r devout. I can spot sincere phonies a mile away!

        January 3, 2014 at 9:48 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Then please, do tell me how I am a phonie? Since you seem to know me so well...

          January 3, 2014 at 9:49 am |
        • Akira

          My god nos u

          January 3, 2014 at 9:56 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Akira,
          Do you mind not speaking in teenager-ese?

          January 3, 2014 at 10:00 am |
        • AvdBerg

          Gosh I'm good! I'm amazing! Incredible!

          January 3, 2014 at 10:17 am |
        • Akira

          Incredibably annoying.

          January 3, 2014 at 10:53 am |
    • Akira

      Lawrence, this is an imposter. He dies this all the time.

      I have no problem with anyone here, (with the exception of name-stealing trolls), and I use proper English and punctuation.

      Just ignore this attention-seeking troll.

      January 3, 2014 at 10:09 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        No problem.

        January 3, 2014 at 10:12 am |
  15. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Americans are compelled to accept the involvement of the Roman Church in government and everyday affairs. But Americans cannot compel the Church to address basic needs even within its own society. Perhaps this special relationship should be ended.

    January 3, 2014 at 9:37 am |
    • Science Works

      Yeah and 6 of the judges are catholic and one (Scalia) has publicly admitted to believing the devil is real – go figure ?

      January 3, 2014 at 9:52 am |
  16. Dyslexic doG

    christians claim that the bible is THE WORD of their omnipotent, perfect god.

    So based on the contradictory, ambiguous, brutal, misogynistic, scientifically historically and factually incorrect content of the bible, it amazes me that christians would actually worship such an incoherent, raving, nasty, petulant, sad.istic, confused, lying deity.

    If it was the word of a perfect god then the whole book would be PERFECT! Flawless. There would be absolutely no errors! There would be absolutely no contradictions. There would be absolutely no lines that could be ignored by christians or taken as optional and not command. There would be no need for translation or interpretation or explanation or apology because it would be perfect.

    Instead, you have a book that either is not the word of an omnipotent perfect god, or if these ARE his words, he is far from omnipotent and perfect.

    So why would you follow this book, and/or why would you worship this god?

    January 3, 2014 at 9:30 am |
    • Canaan Drum

      You're a very bitter and angry person, aren't you?

      January 3, 2014 at 9:36 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        Christian method: when your belief is proven foolish, resort to an insult.

        January 3, 2014 at 10:23 am |
        • Canaan Drum

          When has God been proven not to exist? You'd have to be insane to claim that you can posit a negative absolute...

          January 3, 2014 at 10:35 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          Unprovable theories:

          Zeus doesn't exist.
          Vishnu doesn't exist.
          Thor doesn't exist.
          Osiris doesn't exist.
          Adad doesn't exist.
          Tezcatlipoca doesn't exist.
          Apistotookii doesn't exist.
          Your god doesn't exist.

          – bostontola

          January 3, 2014 at 10:39 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          AND ... I said "you have a book that either is not the word of an omnipotent perfect god, or if these ARE his words, he is far from omnipotent and perfect" ... I did not say anything about proving god doesn't exist.

          your reading comprehension skills are sorely lacking!

          January 3, 2014 at 10:42 am |
        • Canaan Drum

          You said: "...when your belief is proven foolish..." And that is what I responded to.
          And here is more...

          1 Corinthians 1:18 – For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
          Psalm 14:1 – the fool has said in his heart there is no God

          January 3, 2014 at 10:49 am |
        • Canaan Drum

          And as for Zeus, Vishnu, Thor, Osiris, Adad, Tezcatlipoca, and Apistotookii, I remain agnostic.

          January 3, 2014 at 10:51 am |
        • Saraswati

          "When has God been proven not to exist?"

          This is a confusing question as several belief systems use a capitalize God to refer to their deity. But not the original poster did not say that no gods exists, only that the Christian god concept was foolish. Certainly any number of gods may exist, but certain theories are more logically and factually inconsistent (foolish) than others.

          January 3, 2014 at 11:10 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          Canaan,
          "And as for Zeus, Vishnu, Thor, Osiris, Adad, Tezcatlipoca, and Apistotookii, I remain agnostic."

          You remain agnostic but you don't believe. Whereas you do believe in your god which has no more evidence for it.

          January 3, 2014 at 11:51 am |
        • G to the T

          "And as for Zeus, Vishnu, Thor, Osiris, Adad, Tezcatlipoca, and Apistotookii, I remain agnostic." So you aren't a monotheist then? Sounds more like monolatry to me...

          Belief in (the modern version of) Yahweh kinda necessitates an active disbelief in all other "gods". I would think that's pretty fundamental to being a monotheist...

          January 3, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
  17. AvdBerg

    Consider the color purple depicted in the picture on top of the article. The following is recorded in Revelation 17:4.

    "And the woman (false church) was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, ...."

    For a better understanding of the history of the Roman Catholic Church and the spirit the hierarchy serves (Luke 9:55), we invite you to read the articles 'Papal Infallibility, Contradictions and Spiritual Blindness', The Mystery Babylon', 'Popes and the Princes of This World' and 'Shroud of Turin a Hoax', listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    All the other pages and articles listed on our website explain how and by whom this whole world has been deceived as confirmed in Revelation 12:9, and what mankind must do to be reunited with the true and living God.

    January 3, 2014 at 9:01 am |
    • midwest rail

      Now cite the verse as it's written without your personal interpretation added. Always the dishonest one, eh Andy ?

      January 3, 2014 at 9:05 am |
      • AvdBerg

        @ midwest rail

        The Word of God is not to be interpreted (2 Peter 1:20). Mankind in his natural condition is just not able to understand it (1 Cor. 2:14). For this reason do we preach repentance and the changing of spirits (Acts 26:18).

        January 3, 2014 at 9:10 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          "The Word of God is not to be interpreted" Really? Really???

          the bible is one long collection of flowery circular speak that can be taken to mean almost anything and most often is taken to mean whatever a christian wants the line to say so that they can judge someone else.

          the "word of god" is so imperfectly written that all we have are interpretations.

          what a crock!

          January 3, 2014 at 9:16 am |
        • Damocles

          Ok, well, whether something is interpreted rightly or wrongly it is still an interpretation, but you manage to clear that up by saying man can't understand it anyway. How can you preach on something you can not understand?

          January 3, 2014 at 9:20 am |
      • midwest rail

        " The Word of God is not to be interpreted .."
        That's exactly what you did. Still as dishonest as ever, I see.

        January 3, 2014 at 9:13 am |
        • AvdBerg

          @ midwest rail

          Seek, and ye shall find (Matthew 7:7).

          January 3, 2014 at 9:20 am |
        • midwest rail

          Cite the verse in your original post without your personal interpretation added, Andy. Too difficult ?

          January 3, 2014 at 9:22 am |
        • AvdBerg

          @ midwest rail

          Purple is purple. That is not an interpretation, unless you are color blind of course. Everybody on this Blog knows that you are already spiritually blind.

          January 3, 2014 at 9:24 am |
        • midwest rail

          Cite the verse as originally written, Andy. Still too difficult ?

          January 3, 2014 at 9:28 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          and you are spiritually Andy-capped.

          January 3, 2014 at 9:29 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Do you fashion a three cornered tin-foil hat, or do you prefer the traditional beanie style?
      Perhaps a yarmulke to please God?

      January 3, 2014 at 9:06 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I am curious.
      You say that The Bible is not to be interpreted.
      Do you understand ancient Hebrew and Greek, or do you rely on the linguistic interpretations of translators?

      What of the Proto and Deterocanonical books of The Bible?

      January 3, 2014 at 9:25 am |
    • midwest rail

      If nothing else, at least Andy is consistent. Still dishonest, still a coward.

      January 3, 2014 at 9:36 am |
    • Akira

      Sigh.
      Back again to steal advertising from CNN?

      January 3, 2014 at 10:16 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      If the Bible is NOT to be interpreted, how did you interpret the "her" to mean a false church?
      The verse you didn't quote entirely from Revelation is:
      "The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her se.xual immorality. "

      In the acient middle east, purple clothing was a sign of affluence, often connoting royalty.
      In the story of Christ's crucifixtion, those who were leading Him to His death put Him in a purple cloak and a crown of thorns in order to mock His divinity.

      January 3, 2014 at 10:16 am |
  18. Al_Z_Brains

    I'm so atheist I reject the scientific method because it was invented by a crazy, delusional Muslim.

    January 3, 2014 at 3:30 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I'm so punk, my chest hair is a green mohawk.

      January 3, 2014 at 8:33 am |
      • G to the T

        I'm so appathetic that...oh whatever...

        January 3, 2014 at 8:56 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      I'm so scared of what will happen after I die that I invented a magical land in the sky with a magical daddy figure to look after me there.

      January 3, 2014 at 9:18 am |
  19. ReadFred

    If our IQ is a product of evolution and survival then why are humans the only ones with the higher intellect?

    And why do people with higher IQs not live any longer than regular people?

    January 3, 2014 at 3:11 am |
    • Damocles

      That goes on the as-sumption that humans are the endgame for evolution. Since we are, as far as we know, the only animals with a 'higher intellect' (whatever that means), it would suggest that it is unnecessary. Sharks, jellyfish, snakes, etc etc seem to get along just fine without the ability to develop an iPad.

      I don't know of any studies that deal with your second question, but I would think that a higher IQ doesn't translate into immunity from diseases or common sense to avoid doing something stupid.

      January 3, 2014 at 8:48 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Define "higher intellect".
      There are other animals who use tools, manipulate the environment to their own advantage, communicate complex messages to others of their species, etc.

      A Candid Conversation between Two Species

      The Man: I am the predilect object of Creation, the centre of all that exists…
      The Tapeworm: You are exalting yourself a little. If you consider yourself the lord of Creation, what can I be, who feed upon you and am ruler in your entrails?
      The Man: You lack reason and an immortal soul.
      The Tapeworm: And since it is an established fact that the concentration and complexity of the nervous system appear in the animal scale as an uninterrupted series of graduations, where are we cut off? How many neurons must be possessed in order to have a soul and a little rationality?
      – Santiago Ramon y Cajal, Recollections of My Life

      January 3, 2014 at 9:03 am |
      • Canaan Drum

        Of course, that only works if you start with the as.sumption that there even IS a chain of organisms...
        The fact is, when you look at what percentage of organisms actually get fossilized, we don't have enough data to make the as.umption that there is a chain of organisms.

        Anyone in the field of statistics will tell you that small samples don't lend themselves to revealing much information. At least not much true information. You need large, stratified samples... The samples that we do have are stratified, but very small... Like going into a coffee shop in New York on a Saturday afternoon and attempting to make an observation about what newspapers Americans read... Just plain stupid.

        January 3, 2014 at 9:24 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          While your point may have had some validity in the 20th century, there is a vast array of evidence from sources other than the fossil record confirming the development of biological life.
          The Human Genome Project only wrapped up around a decade ago and scientists are still studying the results.
          Part of those studies has been comparative analysis of our genomes with those of other organisms.
          The logical first step was a look at our closest relative, the chimpanzee who shares around 99% of the same DNA as us. We found that about one third of chimp genes encode proteins that are exactly the same as their human counterparts.
          This, along with other findings too lengthy to elaborate here, exactly confirmed the predictions made by evolutionary biologists.
          Study of endogenous retroviruses has also confirmed the validity of the Darwinian law of common descent.
          The genes of virii are passed down through the generations of species who are infected. We have found identical chromosomal positions of virogenes in different species, thus indicating a common ancestor.

          January 3, 2014 at 9:55 am |
        • Canaan Drum

          Doc,
          OK, so they have two eyes, I have two eyes... They have a liver, I have a liver... Etc... Is that the kind of similarities that make up the 99%? If it is, then how can it be determined that it is due to common ancestry rather than a common creator without first assuming that there is no creator?

          January 3, 2014 at 10:06 am |
        • Canaan Drum

          I know this has been on these forums before, but if evolution is true, then keep going back as far as you can to the first life form, and you've got to wonder what the first life came from? Especially since it has been shown that life can only come from other life. Unless of course abiogenesis works... Which it doesn't...

          January 3, 2014 at 10:11 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Evidence for evolution appears in the fossil record, vestigial features, ebryonic development, biogeography, DNA sequencing, examining pseudogenes, endogenous retroviruses and other sources. There has been laboratory direct examination of natural selection in action in E-Coli bacteria, lactose intolerance in humans, the peppered moth's colour change in reaction to industrial pollution, and radiotrophic fungi at Chernobyl. We have directly observed speciation in Blackcap birds, fruit flies, mosquitos, mice, Shortfin molly fish and other creatures.

          The principles of evolutionary biology are applied on a daily basis by countless people in disparate fields.
          Without a firm understanding of evolution, modern agriculture would be impossible.
          Pharmaceutical biochemistry would be non-existent, reducing our overall health and life expectancy.
          Computer programmers use a principle called "Evolutionary Computing / Genetic Algorithms". This engineering technique is routinely used in aerospace engineering, architecture, astrophysics, data mining, drug discovery and design, electrical engineering, finance, geophysics, materials engineering, military strategy, pattern recognition, robotics, scheduling, systems engineering and a host of other fields.

          Darwin's 5 laws are confirmed and used in practical applications every single day by people all over the world.

          Since Darwin first posited his theory, evolutionary scientists have tried to lessen the conflict between evolution and religion.
          They worry that the public association of evolution with atheism will hurt evolutionary biology, perhaps impeding its funding or acceptance.
          The great majority see no conflict between religion and evolution, not because they occupy different, noncompeting magisteria, but because they see religion as a natural product of human evolution.
          Sociobiological evolution is the means to understanding religion, whereas religion as a "way of knowing" has nothing to teach us about evolution.

          January 3, 2014 at 10:22 am |
        • Canaan Drum

          I understand how genes are passed down, giving traits to their offspring and so on. But it's the leap from that, to say, a fish with gills eventually developing lungs to breathe air that seems like so much conjecture to me.

          Where does the "air breathing lungs" DNA come from to add to the "Water breathing gills" DNA in the fish so that it can breathe air now instead of water? And if this happens gradually instead of instantaneously, then how can the animal survive? Then, what about wings?

          If all animals within a population came from the same ancestor, then why didn't they all evolve into the same critter? What accounts for diversity when the populations share the same environment?

          January 3, 2014 at 10:33 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          There have been a number of transitional species discovered helping to explain the move from aquatic to terrestrial life.
          One of the more fascinating specimens is Tiktaalik. The creature had fins, scales, and gills like a fish, but the head and body are flat with eyes on the top of its skull, more akin to a crocodile and Its shoulders are not connected to its skull, giving it a functional neck (unlike fish). ON the top of its head, there were spiracles which indicate a kind of rudimentary lung for breathing air. It has ribs like some of the earliest tetrapods which were used to support the body and aid in living and breathing on land. Its fins display pseudo-fingers – the shape of the bones and joints in the front fins indicate it used them to prop itself up in shallow water.

          There are any number of variables that influence the development of a species, even in the same general geographical area.
          If you toss a fistfull of sand into the same sandbox from the same height, at the same speed etc, the distribution of the grains will be unique each time you do it.
          Evolution is not a linear process with a specific goal in mind. Human beings are not "ape V 2.0".
          It is a dynamic and anarchic process, full of dead ends and lots of surprises.

          There are 5 laws in the Theory of Evolution.
          1) Evolution as such.
          This is the understanding that the world is not constant, nor recently created, nor cycling, but is changing; and that the types of enti.ties that live on it also change.
          2) Common descent
          This is the understanding that every group of living enti.ties that we know of on this planet descended from a common ancestor.
          3) Multiplication of species
          This is the understanding that species either split into or bud off other species, often through the geographical isolation of a founder species.
          4) Gradualism
          This is the understanding that changes take place through the gradual change of population rather than the sudden production of new individuals.
          5) Natural selection
          This is the understanding that individuals in every generation are different from one another, or, at least some of them are. In every generation some individuals survive and reproduce better than others. Their genes multiply.

          January 3, 2014 at 10:48 am |
        • Canaan Drum

          Doc,
          Answer me an honest question though... If no one had ever seen a duck-billed platypus, and then found one in the fossil record, why would someone not claim that was a transitional species? And maybe not that particular animal, but animals that share characteristics from different animals? I mean, it has a bill like a duck and lays eggs like a bird, but gives milk to its young like a mammal.

          January 3, 2014 at 10:58 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.