6 other calamities blamed on divine retribution
Destroyed vehicles and rubble in Minamisanriku, Japan
March 16th, 2011
04:55 PM ET

6 other calamities blamed on divine retribution

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Age-old questions about divine punishment are back. Again.

On Tuesday, the governor of Tokyo apologized for saying the earthquake and tsunami that killed thousands of Japanese were divine retribution for national egoism.

Television and media personality Glenn Beck, meanwhile, has sent mixed messages about whether he thinks God is behind Japan's natural disaster. “I’m not saying God is, you know, causing earthquakes,” he said Monday, adding he's “not not saying that, either.”

“Whether you call it Gaia, or whether you call it Jesus, there’s a message being sent and that is, ‘Hey, you know that stuff we’re doing? Not really working out real well,’” Beck said. “Maybe we should stop doing some of it.”

Blaming human sinfulness for natural and man-made disasters is nothing new. “This kind of thinking is actually typical rather than atypical in world history,” says Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion professor and CNN Belief Blog contributor.

Here’s a list of natural and man-made calamities that have been attributed to divine retribution for human transgression. Let us know what others should make the cut.

1. The Haiti earthquake

A day after Haiti’s devastating 2009 earthquake, U.S. Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson said the disaster was provoked by the Haitians' "pact to the devil."

The “700 Club” host said Haitians had entered that pact to gain independence from French rule in the early 1800s. “They said, 'We will serve you if you will get us free from the French.' True story,” Robertson said. “And so, the devil said, 'OK, it's a deal.' "

“Ever since,” Robertson continued, "they have been cursed by one thing after the other." The magnitude 7.0 earthquake claimed more than 200,000 lives.

2. Hurricane Katrina

A handful of politically conservative Christians blamed 2005’s Hurricane Katrina - which struck New Orleans, Louisiana, and left more than 1,800 dead - on the Crescent City’s embrace of gay pride events.

“All hurricanes are acts of God, because God controls the heavens,” John Hagee, a Texas-based evangelical pastor who leads the Christian Zionist movement in the United States, said after Katrina. “I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they are - were recipients of the judgment of God for that."

3. The September 11 attacks

Two days after the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, the Rev. Jerry Falwell said the attacks were, at least in part, God’s judgment on those who would secularize American public life.

“I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America, I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen,'” Falwell said on Pat Robertson’s “700 Club" program.

"God will not be mocked,” said Falwell, who was made famous by leading the Moral Majority in the 1980s.

In a phone call to CNN later the same day, Falwell stepped back a bit, saying that only the hijackers and terrorists were responsible for the attacks.

But Falwell reiterated that forces trying to secularize the U.S. “created an environment which possibly has caused God to lift the veil of protection which has allowed no one to attack America on our soil since 1812."

4. The Civil War

Abraham Lincoln entered the White House conceiving of God as a distant creator. But the presidency transformed that view into one of a God who acts in the universe. The turnaround was triggered largely by watching the Civil War’s casualty numbers rise into the hundreds of thousands.

In 1862, Lincoln scribbled down his thoughts about God and war. “I am almost ready to say this is probably true - that God wills this contest, and wills that it shall not end yet," he wrote. “He could give the final victory to either side any day - Yet the contest proceeds.”

Lincoln elaborated in his second inaugural address in 1865, framing the Civil War as divine punishment for slavery, which he considered a sin. It was his last speech to the American people before his assassination.

5. The Holocaust

During and after World War II, some Orthodox Jews attributed the murder of 6 million fellow believers to Jewish transgression. Many in that camp pointed a finger at Zionists, who they accused of trying to establish Israel too soon, before the Messiah’s return.

“There were groups that claimed this was divine punishment because there were no other theological options,” says Bernard M. Levinson, a Jewish studies professor at the University of Minnesota. “Their own piety made things difficult.”

More recently, one of Israel’s leading rabbis generated controversy for claiming that last year's devastating fire in the Jewish state - the worst in the country’s history - was divine retribution for Jews failing to observe the Sabbath.

6. The biblical flood

The God of the Hebrew Bible is frequently portrayed as a ruler who doles out major rewards - and some very harsh punishments. One of the most famous is the flood in Genesis, which God orchestrates in response to human wickedness. He allows the righteous Noah to build an ark to ride out 40 days' worth of rain.

Widely cited as the archetypal act of divine retribution, some biblical scholars say the story was intended less to warn of a vengeful God than to establish the role of human agency in world events. Levinson says the story is a counter-narrative to The Epic of Gilgamesh, a Mesopotamian tale that involves a massive flood but that depicts humans as powerless in the face of capricious gods.

“The author of the flood story is saying that God doesn’t act randomly, that God responds to human action,” Levinson says. He notes that the Noah story is set in prehistoric times, which he says shows the narrative is meant to be taken as metaphor, not as a practical explanation of natural disasters.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Asia • God • Holocaust • Japan

soundoff (939 Responses)
  1. Joie

    I honestly find it fascinating to read everyone's opinions on religion. There are few topics that can bring SO much passion from all sides like religion can.

    I believe in God. I believe that He doesn't create these awful things anymore than a father is to blame while walking and holding his child's hand if they fall down. The father didn't push the child down (ok, honestly, let's just believe that THIS PARTICULAR FATHER DID NOT push the child down...). It just happened. But just like father is there to help pick his child back up, so is God for us.

    That's what I believe. But I don't mock or do any name calling to those who don't believe what I do. In fact, I can see why you believe what you do. It doesn't mean I agree with it, but I also was brought up to respect other people's opinions and thoughts and beliefs.

    I believe that if YOU believe with ALL OF YOUR HEART in something, then that is the truth...for you. Christian, Catholic, Jewish, Aetheist, Etc...it's what you believe and I respect that. And the only thing that makes me mad is that the name calling and hatred starts spewing from all sides. THAT is the disgusting part.

    March 17, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Eric G.

      So, if someone believes with all their heart that their God told them that they should kill you because you don't read from the same holy book, you respect their belief and think it is ok?

      Beliefs form actions. I would prefer that everyone base their world view and actions on as much factual and verified evidence as possible. People who do otherwise are a threat to the rest of us because their actions are not based on reality.

      March 17, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • PeterVN

      Eric. G, thanks for that post of reason.

      March 17, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
  2. Gaunt

    Two people pass away.

    One was a monsterous murderer in life, who had a propensity to violate his victims and brutalise them before they died. He has lived his life on the principle of hurting others for fun, and particularily liked abusing children. On his deathbed, he realises the horrible futility of his life, and bursts into tears. He realises the damage he has done, begs for honest forgiveness, and accepts JC into his heart, repenting wholeheartedly of his vile ways.

    Person two was a good man, who lived his life to help others. He set up foundations for the desperate and disenfranchised, worked in third world countries helping the poor, gave away all his profits to the needy, tended the sick, never turned away from anyone in need, and never asked for a single thing in return or any aknowledgement. He lived a life of charity, peace, honesty, self-sacrifice and love. He was a Hindu.

    Which of these men does your 'all Good' god let into paradise, and which gets sent to burn down below?

    March 17, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • PRISM1234

      Gaunt, I don't have time now, but I like to respond to your comment. It will be tonight, and that's only if my comment goes thru. The " Your comment is awaiting moderation" thing has become a menace!

      March 17, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Mark

      It's a valid question. And one that's been debated for ever and ever. I'll be the first one to admit that in our human-ness it's VERY hard to accept the answer because it sounds so counter-intuitive and preposterous. We just simply cannot accept the fact that people who have lived very good, honest, upstanding, respectable, and charitable lives can possibly find themselves in Hell one day. It's inconcievable to us. Our first reaction is, "well, where's the justice in that?"

      I also know that everthing I say from this point forward is going to be mocked and ridiculed and dismissed, but I'm going to say it anyway. I mean, as long as the question was asked, here's the answer I'd give.

      First of all, everything I believe about Heaven, Hell, Sin, God, Jesus, etc etc is based on what I read in the Bible (just letting you know the basis behind my answer).

      I believe the Bible teaches us that God is Love.

      Jeremiah 31:3 -
      "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness".
      John 3:16 -
      "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son....."

      But, I also believe that God is Holy, Sinless, Perfect, and Just. He hates sin. He cannot and will not allow sin into Heaven. If he cannot allow sin into Heaven, that means that you and I cannot enter Heaven (on our own merit). We're sinful creatures. From birth, we turn away from God. We're born with a nature bent toward sin and doing wrong. When was the last time you had to teach a child to throw a temper tantrum, or lie, or cheat, or steal, or disobey? Never, they do those things instictively. We all do. It's our sin nature.

      Romans 3:23 -
      "For all have sinned and fall short".
      Romans 3:10 -
      "There is none righteous, not even ONE"
      Isaiah 64:6 -
      "...and all our righteousness are as filthy rags"

      So, the Bible compares all of our good deeds to filthy rags. Our best actions are nothing more than rags in God's sight compared to his Holiness. Which is the basis behind why I would say it doesn't matter how good you are, or how much you give to charity, or how much you've helped others. I'm not saying those aren't all GREAT things and very commendable. But, if that's what you're relying on to make you "good" enough to enter Heaven....it's not enough. Which is the very reason why God sent Jesus into the world.

      1 John 4:9
      "This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him".

      So, if there were another way to God, then why would He have sent Jesus to die? If we could enter Heaven based on our own "good" deeds then why was Jesus made to suffer for us? If we were "good" enough to enter Heaven apart from Jesus, then Jesus died for absolutely no reason at all.

      That's my answer.

      March 17, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • PeterVN

      So Mark, which animal did you bloodily sacrifice to your god today, as your god commands that you do?

      Quite the as-shole of a god that you worship. What a fscking jerk it would have to be. And as for sending its "son" to die, a truly omnipotent being could make all the desired outcomes of that happen without the death. Christianity is a farcical fiction.

      The real answer is that your god simply does not exist, with your claimed characteristics.

      March 17, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • James


      The one that took JC will go to Heaven and the Hindu will be reincarnated and maybe in their next life they will believe in JC. Simple.

      March 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • Jenn

      @PeverVN – sure, God could have made us to do whatever he wants....robots. But then love would then be meaningless.

      As to the rest of your comments, I don't think they deserve response because honestly you sound incredibly jaded by Christianity for some reason, for which I am sorry. However, it doesn't sound like you want to debate so much as fight and namecall. I don't think that is productive for anyone. I wish you a nice night.

      March 17, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • PeterVN

      @Jenn, kindly quote where in my above comment that I have "namecalled" a person. My statements in that comment were about the apparent characteristics of the Christian "god", not about persons.

      My conclusions about the truly nasty characteristics of the god of the Christian fables are also well justified, per my remarks, and I stand by them. Furthermore, a written demand supposedly by your god for bloody sacrifice is not in line with humans doing "whatever we want", so I'm not sure what you thought you were getting at there.

      Nice try at a graceful quit you made, though.

      March 17, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
    • Jenn

      @PeterVN – I consider calling God a name, to be namecalling, and I find it deeply offensive. So, understandably, I prefer not to debate with someone who goes to this line of defense.

      I do find it interesting how much time unbelievers spend debating this God "of fables". I don't sit around and debate the existence or characteristics of unicorns or Santa Claus or zeus. Because I am thoroughly, completely, 100% convinced that non of them exist and it would be an utter waste of my time to engage in such a debate.

      March 17, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
    • PRISM1234


      I had your question on my mind most of the day, and after I've seen that Mark addressed it, and explained much of what I wanted to say, I will make few points, and then I'll get to the point of two people you used for example. But first I have to say that I tot-ally agree with Mark, and I'll also be the first one to admit that in our human-ness it is hard to accept the answers....It is true, we people , in our-own-selves, simply cannot accept the fact that people who have lived very good, honest, lives in every way, can possibly end up in Hell one day. It's inconceivable to us. But it is because in our human abilities we can not understand God.
      But God sent His Son into the world, who came to live among us, human race, to declare and explain the Father, and who is the ONLY WAY to salvation given to mankind, because has given Him, we didn't deserve Him. All the others who came before or after, came in their own name, but He came sent from the Father, and went to the Father, becoming tthe Lamb of God whose sa-crif-ice is the only acceptable sa-crif-ice to the Father. That's why no one will enter the dwelling place of God without Lord Jesus Christ....
      Here are the major crucial points to understand:

      – God is Holy, Sinless, Perfect, and Just.-
      – Man is sinful and his sins separate him from God
      – Man has no righteousness of his own, and can not approach holy God in his OWN righteousness, no matter how good he was in his life
      – Jesus Christ , the Son of God came into the world to de-clare and explain the Father, who loved the people H created so much to send His only Son Jesus Christ, that who ever believes, clings to, relies on anf puts his trust in Him, will not be condemned, but have eternal life.
      – Jesus Christ came to save the lost sinners , the ones who KNOW and ACKNOWLEDGE their unworthiness, and come to the foot of the Cross where Christ Jesus suffered and diesd for them, , to receive God's righteousness, knowing they have none of their own.
      – Jesus Christ did NOT come to save the "righteous", the ones that are righteous in their own eyes, who believe they don't need His sa'cri'fice for their sins. Their sins remains, because they did not recognize their need for God's righteousness and have thought that they are good on their own.
      And now the case of two man....
      The one who was a monstrous criminal, and lived hi life as you described, then on his deathbed, he realises the horrible futility of his life, and bursts into tears. He realises the damage he has done, begs for honest forgiveness, and accepts Jesus Christ into his heart, repenting wholeheartedly of his vile ways.
      His verdi-ct is GUILTY---yet--- FORGIVEN. It is because he has seen his sins, acknowledged that he is worthy of death, and eternal punishment, truly repenting of his wretched life, and he accepted Christ Jesus' sa-cri-fice for his sins. The bloo-d of Jesus Christ, God's Lamb, washed away all his sins. He will be accepted by the Father, because God has seen the righteousness of His Son on his poor w'ret'ched soul.

      Now, the good man who lived his life to help others..... He set up foundations for the desperate and disenfranchised, worked in third world countries helping the poor, gave away all his profits to the needy, tended the sick, never turned away from anyone in need, and never asked for a single thing in return or any acknowledgement. He lived a life of charity, peace, honesty, self-sacrifice and love...He was a Hindu.

      This man knew all the right things, and he has done them. Here is where God cuts deep into the intents of the heart of man: He knows if this an's hopes are that, if he does the things he knows are right, that this will be his way to eternal salvation. If this is so, when he stands before God, he will have no coverings for his sins, even though he worked good deeds, because he trusted in HIS OWN works.

      But if this man through his life has always done what is right, but in his heart he always knew that even though he did good, ther was no good thing of his own in him, but he owes it all to God whom he longs to know, knowing deep in his heartt and soul that the religion he was exposed to, anf followed for so long, never answered his questions, and has left a void in his heart, that he can't explain, but it's ever present there....and in humbleness of his heart he cries out to be shown and led to the One whom he does not know, and yet wants to know, this man will be shown the truth. God will move heaven and earth to reveal Himself to such person, and when he hears of Jesus Christ, and what He did for him, that man will recognize the truth, and will know that only Christ is able to save him, and that only in His righteousness He will be accepted to the Father. You see, friend, God knows every human heart. He knows if a man dies in disaster, what he would do if he didn't die, and has lived full life...

      So, the Hindu man who did all the good works, but trusted in them for his salvation, will not have covering for his sins, because although his sins were not like other man's , whom we talked about eearlier, he ascribed to himself the righteousness of God, and trusted in himself to attain it... That's why his verdict is GUILTY-–NOT FORGIVEN, BECAUSE THE ONLY SACRIFFICE FOR MAN'S SIN ACCEPTABLE TO GOD IS SHED B'LO'OD OF HIS SON, ON THe CROSS OF CAL'VARY.
      This is something that only those understand who know that they need righteousness of God , and have nothing to boa-st on their own.

      March 17, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • Stand Up


      You are an evil, hideous person - and so is the god that you have created in your imagination.

      March 18, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  3. brad

    Evolutionary theory says that humanity "crawled up out of the muck" over eons, developed intelligence and consiousness (somehow). Then man had to survive disease, pestilence, natural calamity, and he has somewhat prevailed. According to evolution, mankind started from a very low place. Science teaches this from observation and rational thought. In evolution, there's no reason to make sense of suffering – it just happens.
    Myth, however, is man's first attempt at science – to explain our condition before scientific method was available. In the creation myth, man was created from mud. From there, he eventually stood up and asked "who am I". He reached a great height, then took a long fall resulting in dimmed consiousness and intelligence. Evolution says man started . The story of the fall says that he started over. But in Christianity, there's a reason for man's struggle. We cannot escape the notion that we must pay a dept for our transgressions. That's why age after age, we try to understand the reasons for our suffering The Christian story of the fall addresses this. Evolution is silent in this matter.

    March 17, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • Gaunt

      It is the height of arrogance to presume that there must be a 'reason' for our suffering. It is a desperate attempt to hide from reality by inventing fairy tale of future rewards. It is a convenient fiction with no basis in fact.

      March 17, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • brad

      You haven't stated how much "fact" you actually know. And you haven't stated whether you understand the "facts" you do know. It is also arrogant to think that we know all that can be known.

      March 17, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • Q

      Ridiculous. In addition to the first response, evolution does address why we "suffer", i.e. an emotional response born of an evolved intellect capable of abstract emotional thought reacting to the difficulties of surviving in a stochastic world. The only reason you find this insufficient is because it doesn't pacify your suffering the way your mythology does in a vain promise of immortality in some perfect happy place for believing the right kind of magic.

      March 17, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • brad

      "The only reason you find this insufficient is because it doesn't pacify your suffering the way your mythology does in a vain promise of immortality in some perfect happy place for believing the right kind of magic."
      You assume an awful lot based on what little I said. This is not scientific. You'll want to preach scientific method sometime. Lean about it before preaching it.

      March 17, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • Q

      @Brad – Of course it wasn't scientific, it was editorial. The scientific part was the evolutionary explanation you claimed simply didn't exist. Suspecting you wouldn't respond to this, I added the latter part. Furthermore, I'd place my knowledge and practice of the scientific method against yours any day.

      March 18, 2011 at 12:45 am |
  4. JohnR

    Well, this article is pretty depressing. Nothing is so bad that you can't make it worse by flinging blame around recklessly.

    It terms of justice, the civil war as punishment for slavery is the only claim that isn't just plain offensive. But that doesn't make it any more accurate than the rest, at least as far as divine mandate is concerned. Given the often ludicrous levels of praise heaped on Lincoln, I suppose it's good to remind ourselves from time to time that he was perfectly capable of irrational raving. He was also capable of trashing fundamental civil rights, as in his notorious suspension of habeus corpus.

    March 17, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • comment

      Well, from what I did read, the slavery in the U.S. was attempted to be 'justified' by some-persons/ a-caste as being in accordance with (parts of) the Bible. So, at least in a metaphorical sense, 'civil war as punishment for slavery' isn't that far-fetched.

      March 17, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • Gaunt

      Except that slavery is sanctioned by God in both the old testament and new testament. God is entirely pro-slavery.

      If anything the casualties of the civil war were God's punishment for going against his doctrines and abolishing slavery in the North. I suppose he will continue visting disasters down on man until we obey his holy word in the bible, and reimpose slavery, as your 'good' god wills.

      March 17, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
  5. Bent

    As a believer in Jesus Christ I am saddened by the way some of the quoted Christians responded. With trembling I believe that God is Sovereign over all things. I believe that any good and any bad that comes into our lives are from Him for an infinite variety of reasons. There were no doubt Christians and non-Christians who died in many of these disasters. That said, I think it is incredibly hypocritical for anyone to say that disaster come on one place because their sin was so much greater. The Bible makes it clear that we are all sinners in God's sight and deserve far worse than any bad that has yet happened on earth. I do not know why God brings disaster on some and not on others, but I think the Bible would make clear what our response should be. These disasters should humble us and make us ask "why wasn't I included in that? I certainly deserve it. Who can stand before Almighty God?" For those of us who are still alive I believe He would be calling us to repent and turn to Him while we still live and trust in the provision of His Son Jesus, dying on the cross as a sacrifice on our behalf, bearing all of God's wrath so that we might not receive what our sins deserve but instead receive unimaginable blessing by being with God forever.

    March 17, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • PeterVN

      So, Bent, do you believe that your god is kind and loving? If your god actually existed (obviously it doesn't) as the all-powerful being that Christian stories claim, then the only reasonable conclusion in the face of recent disasters is that Christian god is a complete fscking as-shole.

      Time to discard your buy-bull fairy tales.

      March 17, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • Godless

      So if god gives a cr*p what 6 billion people are doing at any given time on earth, does he care about what they are doing in heaven? What if you sin in heaven? Given how long the earth has been around, I would think there'd be lots more people in heaven than living on earth – does god not pay attention to them? It seems like if getting to heaven to be with god is your reward, you'd want his attention, right? So upon whom does he pay more attention – the living sinners or the people already in heaven?

      March 17, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • SeanNJ

      @Bent: "The Bible makes it clear that we are all sinners in God's sight and deserve far worse than any bad that has yet happened on earth."

      Well then...your god can b.low me. Do you realize how stupid this sounds? At all? Not even a little bit?

      March 17, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • Gaunt

      "The Bible makes it clear that we are all sinners in God's sight and deserve far worse than any bad that has yet happened on earth."

      And you are comfortable worshipping a god who is, by your own admission, an arrogant bully and vindictive sadist who slaughters people for no other reason than he thinks everyone is bad from the moment they are born?

      March 17, 2011 at 12:14 pm |

    Satan does not exist.Who and/or what can better identify satan than those who are themselves satanic by choice.

    March 17, 2011 at 11:33 am |
  7. france Britt

    It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living GOD.

    March 17, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • kit

      Yes. And remember we are accountable for every little thing we say or do, so be careful.

      March 17, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  8. Nonimus

    "Satan has control over the natural 'elements' and because of free will and Satan's dominion, given by God, God will NOT intervene in human disasters."
    I'm confused. If Satan controls the elements, then why an natural disasters attributed to sin. Wouldn't Satan reward sin with like a beautiful sunset or something?

    March 17, 2011 at 10:56 am |
  9. Barbara

    God is NOT the ruler of this earth. Satan is. Satan has control over the natural "elements" and because of free will and Satan's dominion, given by God, God will NOT intervene in human disasters. When we sin as a people (that includes EVERYONE on earth) we open ourselves up to the forces of nature, we lose the veil of protection God affords and then we have disasters. Only when God returns for the Millenium, to create a new heavens and earth, will He take dominion over the earth, (climate, etc.) Read the bible. It will confirm the above.

    March 17, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • Godless

      Just so I understand this: Satan causes all the natural disasters because humans, using free will, deny god? What about natural disasters before humans? Were the dinosaurs being sinful so Satan sent an asteroid their way? And why would Satan punish sinners by killing them? That seems backwards to me. And if god is returning for the millenium, he's running about a decade late. Doesn't an all-powerful god know how to use a watch? Maybe he has an iPhone that has trouble with keeping time...

      March 17, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • Magic


      Then Satan 'wrote' the Bible too. Satan is the one whispering in your ear, saying that he is "God" and that he needs worship and adoration, and that you are on the right 'spiritual' path.

      No. Men wrote the Bible, using their imaginations for the supernatural fantasies. And you are talking to yourself.

      March 17, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  10. Rebecca

    It is in our psychological nature to find a cause to something. I think a portion of this is true, but a vast majority of it is not. We cannot blame anyone for these events, as they are natural occurences (Sept.11th is a natural cause, it is our tendency to disagree, to live in a society in which things are coveted, criticized, and inflicted upon...to cause war). Yes, the creator of the Earth does have reign over these things. Just as the flood in biblical times, there was a reason for that. Pinpointing a reason such as New Orleans "embrace of gay pride events-" is illogical and will not get anyone anywhere. It only makes sense to place these events as worldly. Things like this happen, tragedy, war, depression, etc. It is life. As unfortunate and unfair as it seems.....Ghandi said to be the change you wish to see in the world.

    March 17, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • 4mercy

      Rebecca, I keep trying to be that change – but all of the non-believers keep standing in my way and telling me I can't do that/be that/believe in that. I'm being repressed!

      March 17, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  11. VoipOfReason

    Wow. My son has "FAITH" that the boogy man lives in his closet, and my son believes, that if he goes to sleep without the night light on, that the boogy man will get him. Fortunatly for him, "FAITH", and "FACT" are at the opposite ends of the spectrum.

    March 17, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • x

      You have no evidence that your son's boogy man does *not* exist.

      March 17, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The inner workings of your son's closet defy rational explanation.
      The strange sounds and sense of foreboding experienced by him are sufficient evidence to support the existence of the BoogieMan, or Nocturnus Horribilis.
      The conditions in a child's closet are so perfectly balanced for boogie beings that no other conclusion than a Great Boogie Designer can be reached.

      March 17, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • Barbara

      "God has chosen "foolish things" of the world to confound the wise." If you think faith is foolish, you can make the assumption.

      March 17, 2011 at 10:54 am |
  12. Dominus


    @Dominus. There is a simple way to test this. If one really trusts in god, one should ignore science. The next time you are sick, stop taking your medicine and sacrifice a goat, or get on your knees and wait for your sky-god to read your mind as you silently run through a Hail Mary or two. See how far you get.

    If you do not have the courage/foolishness to do so, then knock off the Orwellian double-speak and accept that you do not have faith your god, ghost or goat. You have faith in science and pay lip service to your superst-ition when doing so risks nothing

    I have lots of Faith in my God.

    Stop mocking God, Colin.

    March 17, 2011 at 9:16 am |
    • Eric G.

      Dominus: The question is why do you have Faith in your God when you have no evidence that supports his existence? Can you give me an example of any other aspect of your life that you do not use rational thought and the examination of evidence to support your world view?

      I am not trying to offend you. I really am curious.

      March 17, 2011 at 9:35 am |
  13. Colin

    To the list in this article, we can add pretty much every natural disaster in history. There will always be the less educated among us who feel the need to look for ghosts in the clouds and goblins in the garden. In the USA nowdays, we call them Christians.

    March 17, 2011 at 8:42 am |
    • Dominus

      Yeah, it does. It is a fact that you cannot access God and the things of God, without Faith. So, the fact is there.

      March 17, 2011 at 9:12 am |
    • civiloutside

      If natural disasters were god's way of punishing sin, the only conclusion one can make is that he's an absolutely horrid disciplinarian. Every first year psych student (and nearly every parent) knows that punishment has no chance whatsoever of extinguishing a behavior without some clear link between them. Yet god never makes any kind of announcement as to what specific thing entire populations are being wiped out for doing.

      So one can conclude the announcements don't come because god isn't there to make them, or because he's there has no understanding of effective punishment, or because he's there and understands, but doesn't care that it's ineffective ao long as he gets the satisfaction of killing a bunch of people. Personally, I go with the first.

      March 17, 2011 at 9:41 am |
    • Gaunt

      Dominus: Not only is that not a 'fact', it isn't even a sentence.

      You have no idea if there is a god, what kind of god he or she is, what they want, what they seek in a follower (if they seek followers at all) and how they respond to 'faith'. NONE of these are facts.

      I say you cannot access valhalla and the realms of Odin's honored dead without dying surrounded by your dead enemies. How is my claim any more or less a 'fact' than yours?

      March 17, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • Nonimus

      "It is a fact that you cannot access God and the things of God, without Faith."

      Technically, this may be correct. If it is a fact that God doesn't exist, then it is also a fact that you can't access this non-existent God without Faith. Also, not 'with' faith, but that's secondary.

      March 17, 2011 at 10:23 am |
  14. Miro3

    Sorry before it is too late.

    March 17, 2011 at 8:25 am |
  15. Eric G.

    I have a question for everyone.....

    Two people are in a room...
    Person "A" makes claims of knowledge through verification of evidence to support a hypothesis while welcoming new evidence to enhance their understanding of the world around them.

    Person "B" makes claims of absolute knowledge without supporting verifiable evidence while attacking conflicting theories, even when the conflicting theories are proven as fact.

    The question is.....
    Which person is arrogant? Which is honest?

    March 17, 2011 at 8:04 am |
    • Dominus

      Eric G.

      I have a question for everyone.....

      Two people are in a room...
      Person "A" makes claims of knowledge through verification of evidence to support a hypothesis while welcoming new evidence to enhance their understanding of the world around them.

      Person "B" makes claims of absolute knowledge without supporting verifiable evidence while attacking conflicting theories, even when the conflicting theories are proven as fact.

      The question is.....
      Which person is arrogant? Which is honest?

      Both are honest. One believing in scientific things, the physical qualities, the other being based on fact, the spiritual things.

      The arrogant one would be the one that refuses to accept that the other persons claim can only be understood by something they refuse to do, in order to know the truth, based on fact..it is called "FAITH". In that case the opponent is saying the other party's claims are lies, but yet refuse to acknowledge there is a condition that needs to be met, in order to know this.

      The FACT being that one cannot know the things of God, unless one has FAITH. So, to call that persons claims bogus, without any attempt to acccess Faith, makes them arrogant.

      March 17, 2011 at 8:24 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The issue is that by it's very definition, "FAITH" does not require FACT. Faith is belief in something regardless of whether it is factual.
      "The great trouble with religion – any religion – is that a religionist, having accepted certain propositions by faith, cannot thereafter judge those propositions by evidence. One may bask at the warm fire of faith or choose to live in the bleak certainty of reason- but one cannot have both."
      – Robert Heinlein

      March 17, 2011 at 8:39 am |
    • Colin

      @Dominus. Just a long winded way of saying "I blindly accept religious nonsense becuase it makes me feel good."

      March 17, 2011 at 8:40 am |
    • Gaunt

      Dominus, your answer doesnt even make any sense. 'the spiritual things' are not 'fact' they are myths and fairy tales, stories without a shred of evidence.

      Or, to put it another way, the idea of a Christian God is exactly as plausible and likely as the pantheon of Odin, heimdall and Thor.

      Add a third person to the room. This person 'believes' that the universe was the result of a bout of bad flatulence from a giant invisible celestial moose, and that you must sacrifice milk to the sky every tuesday at 3pm to prevent the celestial moose from having another bout of flatulence and wiping us all out. That is something the third person believes with all their heart and soul.

      Be aware that the person who believes in the flatulent sky moose and the person who believes in the Christian god are EXACTLY THE SAME, neither has a shred of evidence or support, both ignore scientific reality for their belief, and both are passionate zealots for their faith refusing to consider other options.

      You probably look at my 'invisible sky moose' example above and think its just silly. Yet you persist in your invisible sky man' thoery with the same fervour as the moose worshipper...

      Science is an absolute. It is not a thing, it is a process: a process that invites, in fact REQUIRES evidence and testing, and invites challenges, and always seeks to improve upon itself with more and better data.

      Faith is a mental dead end, where you think you have answers no matter what reality demonstrates to be the case, and refuse to consider alternatives or facts proving you wrong.

      March 17, 2011 at 8:41 am |
    • David Johnson


      The problem is, that believers see belief and faith to be a subst_itute for evidence and knowledge. Evidence that is contrary to their beliefs aren't accepted by them. Believers, believe, in spite of evidence, not because of it.

      You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep-seated need to believe. – Carl Sagan


      March 17, 2011 at 8:45 am |
    • Colin

      @Dominus. There is a simple way to test this. If one really trusts in god, one should ignore science. The next time you are sick, stop taking your medicine and sacrifice a goat, or get on your knees and wait for your sky-god to read your mind as you silently run through a Hail Mary or two. See how far you get.

      If you do not have the courage/foolishness to do so, then knock off the Orwellian double-speak and accept that you do not have faith your god, ghost or goat. You have faith in science and pay lip service to your superst-ition when doing so risks nothing.

      March 17, 2011 at 8:47 am |
    • Eric G.

      @Dominus: "The FACT being that one cannot know the things of God, unless one has FAITH."

      I'm sorry, I need a little clarification on this statement. To "know" something implies existence of a thing. To claim that someone can only know something if they have "faith" means that you need to clearly define the qualities and attributes of "faith" so they can be measured and tested. Once a baseline is defined to establish who does or does not have "faith", we can then use the positive sample to define the attributes of God. These attributes can then be tested to verify the existence of God.

      Please provide your attributes of "faith" so we can find the attributes of "God". Once we have established exactally what "faitth" and "God" are, we can then begin to establish what the "things of God" are.

      March 17, 2011 at 8:53 am |
    • Eric G.

      Easy Guys! You will scare away all the fundies with your facts and logical reasoning. Where is the fun in that?

      March 17, 2011 at 9:00 am |
    • civiloutside

      Dominus, what you have essentially said is that the only way to "know" that Person B's claims are true is to assume that they are and maintain a steadfast determination to keep yelling yourself that they are in spite of anything that might suggest that they're not. Surely you realize that this exact same method can be used to affirm the "truth" of any nonsense whatsoever.

      One could just as well argue, btw, that Person B is arrogant because they refuse to practice the thing necessary to understand person A's claim: rational thought.

      March 17, 2011 at 9:29 am |
    • Glenn

      What facts are there that God does not exist? What facts are there that all existence came from nothing? What facts are there that life came from non life.

      There simply are none. It is all belief and therefore faith. Oh sorry atheists call it assumption.

      March 17, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • Eric G.

      @Glenn: I'm sorry, you must be new here so I will fill you in on a few rules.

      1. The burden of proof lies with those making claims.
      2. Proof comes from the presentation of evidence for verification.
      3. A claim made without any supporting evidence is a slapdash attempt at fiction.
      4. A person who makes claims without supporting evidence to validate is either making an argument from ignorance (if they do not understand demonstrative evidence contrary to their claim), or dishonesty (they do understand the demonstrative evidence contrary to their claim but deny it exists because it does not fit their claim).

      So, now that you are up to speed......
      Please provide verifiable evidence that your God exists.....or.........admit that you have no evidence and you just believe a God does exist because it makes you feel better about yourself.

      March 17, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Godless

      Glenn, if I were to say that there is a pink planet 100,000,000,000,000 light years away that is run by an evil unicorn overlord and the dinosaurs are a small rebellious group that is trying to win their freedom, would you say I was crazy? Probably, and rightly so. However, can you prove me wrong? No, you can't. This is why the argument "Prove God doesn't exist" is illogical – how do you prove a negative?

      March 17, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Glenn

      @Eric G. and Godless I think you both prove my point. First Eric G. thank you for being so accepting and enlightening me on the rules of this blog. However I make no ascertain that there is a God simply because you cannot prove there isn't one. That was a stretch on your part. Personally I choose to believe in a creator but that is because of faith not fact. If it were fact then I gather we would not be having this conversation. The intent in my statement was simply this: All my atheist friends are men and women of great faith. They truly believe in the unknown.

      You must have unbelievable faith in the theory that the big bang happened. Likewise you must have remarkable faith that life sprouted from non life. While I do believe it is ridicules that there is an evil unicorn lord on a pink planet I must confess that... as Bill Maher put it “I don't know and you don't either.”

      At the end of the day it is not about proof but faith. I think an easier word for you to stomach would be assumption. It is all about assumption.

      March 17, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Eric G.

      @Glenn: I form my world view and actions based on verified evidence. Evidence does not require faith to exist.

      As far as Bill's statement of "I don't know, and neither do you", I have never claimed to have all the answers. I welcome new evidence to add to my understanding of the universe. I also welcome challenges to our current understanding based on new, verified evidence. Believers, on the other hand, claim to have all of the answers but have presented no evidence to support their claim.

      Hypothetically, let's say that demonstrative evidence existed that would either prove or disprove the existence of God, and it was in a box. Would you look into the box to find the truth?

      March 18, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • Glenn

      @Eric G.
      Like everyone else you cannot base your faith or assumption or belief in God or no God, as you put it, with verifiable evidence. You simply have none when it comes to the existence or non existence of God. Eric there is no verifiable evidence of the big bang or life from non life. I am sorry to tell you they are simply theories. That is all. And at this very moment in scientific history you don’t have much verifiable evidence of true macro evolution. Again like me you are a true person of faith.
      Eric if you really based your actions on verifiable evidence then you wouldn’t ask me a hypothetical question about looking into a box with demonstrative evidence on the truth. It wouldn’t be hypothetical if you knew would it. You would simply show it to me and we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
      By the way to answer your question… of course I would look. You don’t happen to have a box do you? No I didn’t think so.
      Eric it has been lovely chatting with you. I mean you no disrespect and I wish I had the magic box to show you what I believe but I simply do not and neither do you.

      March 20, 2011 at 1:22 am |
  16. Reality

    If there were a god, he/she/it and/or spirit would not tolerate the stupidity of Beck thereby proving there is no god. Ditto for all others who consider natural disasters as being the work of some god.

    Think infinity and recycling with the Big Bang expansion followed by the shrinking reversal called the Gib Gnab and recycling back to the Big Bang repeating the process on and on forever. Human life and Earth are simply a minute part of this cha-otic, sto-cha-stic, expanding, shrinking process disappearing in five billion years with the burn out of the Sun and maybe returning in another five billion years with different life forms but still subject to the va-ga-ries of its local star.


    March 17, 2011 at 7:54 am |
  17. Tony

    Will religion save us...
    A series of Cataclysmic events will take place, to mention a few, earthquakes, Yellowstone, the coming California earthquake August 9, 2011, the earth wobble, the volcanic eruptions, the oceans rising, the earth splinting open spilling lava all over, the atmosphere will be consumed killing all living things.
    the end

    March 17, 2011 at 7:52 am |
  18. Ahab

    It is obvious that Hurricane Katrina was sent by God to punish the pork-eaters of the South. If the Bible teaches anything at all, it is that the consumption of unclean pork is an affront to God and a terrible sin. Those who consume pork will, of course, spend eternity in Hades. Katrina was God's warning to young southerners not to follow their elders into the eternal damnation that all pork eaters are destined to endure.

    March 17, 2011 at 6:35 am |
    • David Johnson


      I was going to have French Toast for breakfast, but after reading your post I'm having bacon and eggs.

      Maybe pork chops this evening...


      March 17, 2011 at 8:27 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      This morning I had bacon wrapped shrimp washed down with a tall glass of milk.
      Then I went and shaved, put on my poly-cotton blended overalls and tended to my field where three kinds of cattle graze and two different crops grow.

      Just a typical morning of sacrilege for which I should be stoned to death.

      March 17, 2011 at 8:58 am |
    • Nonimus

      The pork factor, of course!

      And Ja.pan's earthquake/tsunami was because of the shellfish(Lev 11)! It's so obvious! You know what, I bet every hurricane and tsunami in history can be traced to shellfish. Of course, the fact that all hurricanes and tsunami affect humans on the coastlines where shellfish are most likely eaten has absolutely nothing to do with it. We really shouldn't eat shellfish!

      March 17, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I thought cleav.age was to blame!
      Hojatoleslam Kazem Seddiqi of Iran said "Many women who do not dress modestly lead young men astray, corrupt their chast.ity and spread adultery in society, which increases earthquakes" and everyone should "adapt their lives to Islam’s moral codes” to avoid being "buried under the rubble".

      Don't blame the poor piggies and lobsters – direct your ire at boobs!

      March 17, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • x

      "direct your ire at boobs"

      Yeah! glad to!
      (... now i just need to figure out what part of me is an ire, so i can direct it a boobs)

      March 17, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • PeterVN

      Doc Vestibule and David Johnson,

      Ah, but if you saved some of the dead animal you ate, you can still use it as a bloody ritual sacrifice to god, as he commands you to do in the Christian book of horrors, a.k.a. the bible (see e.g. Leviticus for the gory requirements for the sacrifice), thereby appeasing god and making amends for your misdemeanors.

      Cheers (with a glass of non-communion red wine, for which I will now be stoned, or something like that)

      March 17, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
    • Serj

      youre kidding right? lol

      March 18, 2011 at 1:06 am |
  19. IronRider

    Please for the sake of humanity stop trying to speak to the actions of God. It was man who built their homes by the sea. It was man who put the power station by the sea and it was man who failed to listen to the warnings. It was the techtonic plates under the earth moving that caused the quakes. The rest of the majority of you are pretty arrogant and ignorant. Even science recognizes intelligent design. More science has supported the events in the bible than disprove it. Man thinks he is so smart when in fact has much to learn. So hopefully this will be a learning lesson for the world. There are many lessons to learn from these events. My prayers are to the victims of this tragedy and those who are called to help.

    March 17, 2011 at 6:14 am |
    • Gaunt

      What an astonishing series of lies.

      Science recognises Intelligent design? Why would you post such an obvious and unquestionable lie like that? Science utterly and completely (and easily) rejects intelligent design. The very idea is scientifically propostrous, and has millions of examples of evidence against and NO examples of evidence for.

      More science supports Bible than disproves it? Again, I dont know why you feel the need to humiliat yourself by posting flagrant lies like this in public, but in fact since the Bible is a historical fairy tale loosely based on some actual events, and filled in with mythology, 'science' doesnt have much to say on it one way or another. Certainly there is NO scientific or historical evidence of the divine fairy tales of the old testament, and MOUNTAINS of scientific proof directly proving it false.

      I have no problem with faith. If you choose to melieve in a given mythology, then power to you. But if you have to lie outright to people to justify your own beliefs, then your faith is hollow indeed.

      March 17, 2011 at 6:25 am |
    • IronRider

      Look at your arrogant self on the attack. There are many publications in the scientific community supporting Intelligent design and that is a published fact to disprove your ignorant rant that I am a lier. Their are also plenty of archeological findings with scientific data to support them published all over the place supporting many places and events of the bible. That's a fact. Do your research before you speak. Start with Wikipedia and Google you might learn something. You seem to think the Darwin theory is a fact but the last time I checked it was still a theory. You can scream lier all you want but anyone who reads this and does a little diligence will find I have not as you say – lied.

      March 17, 2011 at 7:02 am |
    • Eric G.

      @IronRider: Good morning! I think the problem is a general misunderstanding of the word "theory". In your post, you referenced the theory of evolution. Using that as an example, the theory of evolution is supported by verifiable evidence that has been tested with repeated results. Once tested and verified, the evidence becomes demonstrative and the theory is proven as fact.

      There is also the theory of creationism. Creationist theory and evolutionist theory are both "theories". They both make hypothetical claims and thus, have their own burden of proof. Both theories must provide evidence to support their claims that can be tested and verified.

      From your post, I as-sume you do not support evolution theory. Does this mean you support creation theory?

      March 17, 2011 at 7:54 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Where are the scientific, peer reviewed studies supporting intelligent design?
      Please note that anything coming from The Discovery Insti.tute is not scientific and has been throroughly discredited.

      A theory is what one or more hypotheses become once they have been verified and accepted to be true. A theory is an explanation of a set of related observations or events based upon proven hypotheses and verified multiple times by detached groups of researchers. Unfortunately, even some scientists often use the term "theory" in a more colloquial sense, when they really mean to say "hypothesis." That makes its true meaning in science even more confusing to the general public.
      In general, both a scientific theory and a scientific law are accepted to be true by the scientific community as a whole. Both are used to make predictions of events. Both are used to advance technology.

      Intelligent Design is a rationalization for creationism, not a scientific theory.

      March 17, 2011 at 8:02 am |
    • Gaunt

      I'm not 'screaming liar', I am calling you a liar, and I am absolutely correct: a fact you prove with your next post, expounding on your litany of lies.

      There is not one, NOT ONE SINGLE peer reviewed secular scientific journal on the planet that has supported the fairy tale theory that is intelligent design. Not ONE you liar.

      So, as I see it you have two (and only) two options. Either provide a link to one, JUST ONE article in a peer reviewed secular journal supporting Intelligent design, JUST ONE!, or apologize for spreading your fairy tales and being a liar.

      You said there were many, so posting just one should be easy. Well? We are all waiting...

      Of course, like most liars you wont answer, and if you are a typical liar, you are probably a coward as well, and dont have the strength of character to actually face up to your lies.

      Secondly, as I said, some of the places and battles in the Bible have been found to be based loosely on real events, though the Biblical dates are always wrong, but only SECULAR events. battles, names of kings, population movement, etc. There has never been a single SHRED of evidence, scientific or historical, found to support any of the supernatural tales of the Bible, not one.

      I have done my research you poor little boy, apparently you have not. I can back up my claims little liar, you cannot.

      And while we are embarassing you in public, the #'theory' of evolution has not been called a theory by any scientific establishment in years: Universities teach 'Evolutionary Biology' or 'Evolutionary science', as evolution has long been established as an unquestionable, undenyable fact.

      Sorry my sad little friend, you lose.

      March 17, 2011 at 8:33 am |
    • Dominus

      Thanks for the facts, IronRider! Now, if we can only get the rest of the blind ones here to use some logic. Yoou are right on!

      March 17, 2011 at 8:39 am |
    • Nonimus

      I agree that IronRider is incorrect, but name calling in not necessary. I would assume that he/she is simply misinformed, like so many creationist/IDers, about what science is and what we know based on science. Liar implies intentional misrepresentation and that has not been established.

      March 17, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • Gaunt

      No. Had he claimed intelligent design to be a fact, then he is incorrect or misinformed. But if he claims, repeatedly, that scientific jounrals support ID, that there is mass scientific evidence for ID, and that scientists have admitted ID, then he is lying, flat out.

      March 17, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • Tripp

      YOu are a liar! Is that how chistians behave? Scientist do NOT recognize intellegent design. Only irrational people like you recognize that. "You know god is man-made when he hates and dislikes the same things you do".

      March 17, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • Infidelephant

      @IronRider: In all humility, I ask you to conduct some additional research outside what your pastor/world view has led you to believe. You will find that the scientific definition of "theory" is different than the typical layman's usage, that there is an EMBARRASSING GLUT of true, hard evidence that supports evolution (there really is), and that there is little to no credible, peer-reviewed, scientific publication that supports Intelligent Design.

      Sorry brother – it is what it is.

      @Gaunt: Quit being a dick. I don't see a liar – just someone misinformed. Name calling (yeah, I know, I just called you a dick), bullying, and condescension does NOTHING to advance the secular cause, but only builds up the polarization between good, honest folks who are simply trying to figure this crazy universe out. Give him (them) a break.

      March 17, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • Mark


      Wow! Where to start? Your statements are so far off base that it's almost impossible to even find a starting point at which to interject any sense of reason. It's replete from start to finish with utter nonsense.

      You can always pick out the individuals who obviously ascribe to a belief system (evolution) but have absolutely no idea why. They're always the ones like yourself, with all of your blustering and wild claims about "mountains" of evidence and "millions" of examples that support evolution. Geez man, I'm laughing out loud right now. You at least need to meet up with the rest of your humanistic, like-minded buddies and at least learn how to play the part of a "good little athiest". I would ask you to provide your "mountains" and "millions" but I know it would do no good. Why? Because you don't have it? Why? Because it doesn't exist. Why? Because the evidence supports creation and not evolution. The vast number of scientists, even the ones who hold tight to the theory of evolution readily admit that the supporting data isn't there. Fossil records? No. Transitional fossis? No. Not ONE single solitary "in between" transitional type fossil has ever been found. EVER! The fossil record shows ONLY complete, well formed, complex species that appear SUDDENLY in the strata.

      Biologists, Physicists, Medical Doctors, Mathematicians, Biochemists, Geologists, Paleontologists, etc etc. Individuals from these respective scientific diciplines (as well as many others) will tell you. It's a lie, and YOU'RE repeating it.

      "I think only an idiot can be an athiest" – Christian B. Anfinsen (PhD. Biochemistry. Harvard Univ. Nobel prize for Physics)

      "Evolution is a fairy tale myth. Society has suffered from this adult fantasy. Evolutionists claim their theory is scientific. Where's the science? I can assure the reader the American Kennel Club would not certify an ancestor of your dog based on [such] evidence" – Isaac V. Manly, M.D. Harvard Medical School

      "Creation is supported by all the data so far". Arno Penzias, Nobel Prize for Physics

      "By faith, and by appreciation of scientific necessity, God must exist". – P.C.C. Garnham, M.D. D.Sc. Professor Emeritus of Medical Protozoology, University of London

      "To me, the concept of God is a logical outcome of the study of the immense universe that lies around us. The evidence is all too per-vasive for me to think otherwise". Thomas C. Emmel, PhD in population Biology, Stanford Univ., Professor of Zoology, Univ of Florida at Gainesville.

      And the list could go on and on and on.........

      March 17, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Transitional fossils exist in abundance.
      Do some looking into the 400 million year old Tiktaalik.
      Researchers show how Tiktaalik was gaining structures that could allow it to support itself on solid ground and breathe air, a key intermediate step in the transformation of the skull that accompanied the shift to life on land by our distant ancestors.

      It is a recently discovered (2004) ancient aquatic animal with many transitional features.
      For example, it's fins has wrist bones and fingers which show they were weight bearing.
      It also bears evidence of having both lungs and gills, a ribcage and a neck.

      If you're looking for a still existing example of transitional life forms, reserach the coelacanth.

      March 17, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Nonimus

      I haven't checked your quotes for accuracy or context but I would ask,

      "How many Steves are on your list!?"

      March 17, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Also – the vast majority of scientists reject creationism flat out.
      Professor Greg Graffin's thesis paper "Evolution, Monism, Atheism and the Naturalist World-View" found that less than 5% of the world's preeminent evolutionary biologists believe in a personal god.
      78% of them described themselves as "pure naturalists" – no Gods, no spiritual world, nothing supernatural whatsoever exists.

      March 17, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Doc Vestibule,
      Tiktallik (sp?) is always a good example. I also like to point to Ambulocetus (sp?), it being an example of the return to the sea of mammals. The series of fossils before and after it show the development of the tail into flukes, the diminution of the hind legs, and the migration of the nostrils from the nose/snout to the top of the head. Very cool stuff.

      March 17, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Other quotes from Christian B. Anfinsen ,Professor of Biology:

      "The origin of life, it seems to me, was an inevitable consequence of the evolution of the universe speaking physically. There came a time when a combination of elements, heat, water, and who knows what else led to the formation of a living thing – that is, an object that could reproduce and could be susceptible to mutation and selection in the Darwinian sense."

      "Like all other living things, ho.mo sapiens, in my view, developed from lower forms by the generally accepted processes of mutation and selection. Indeed, even the Vatican appears to be happy about man's descent from lower forms of life."

      "Science and the scientist should continue to approach the questions of origin as is now being done by studying more and more primitive organisms such as the archae bacteria and other forms of life that perhaps resemble the original reproducing forms."

      Although he may not be an Atheist, he does not seem to support Creationism. And strangly enough, these quotes appear to be from the same letter as your quote: http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/KK/B/B/H/F/

      March 17, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • Mark

      @ Doc & Nonimus...

      Thanks, I'll research that.

      Most of the quotes were taken from: Cosmos, Bios, Theos: Scientists reflect on Science, God, and the origin of the Universe, Life and ho-mo sapiens".

      March 17, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • Jenn

      @Doc – the coelacanth has been used to support the other side as well.


      March 17, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Infidelephant

      ...I wish I could do some sort of mind meld with so many of you. Not to say, by ANY stretch, that I beLIEve my own personal viewpoint to be true – and NOT to suggest that, by ANY means that I am not avidly familiar with the typica,l online, anonomous, "conversation" – but BOTH sides sound ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS!!!

      Creationist:"HEY!!! If I come up with a quote by a creationist with an alphabet soup after their name, that will prove my beLIEf true!!! – Argument over!!!

      Secularist: "HEY!!! If I come up with a quote by a secularist with an alphabet soup after their name, that will prove my beLIEf true!!! – Argument over!!!


      Why do we FIGHT over this??? Why do we call each other stupid JUST BECAUSE THEY DISAGREE WITH US??????

      Someone is right – and someone is wrong. I just ask BOTH sides to go outside their comfort zones and find out – AND TRULY CONSIDER what the other is saying. If you're a Christian, and if God be just, you won't lose your assigned seat at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. If you DON'T believe – well.... you have nothing to lose! So WHY BE AN INTOLERANT DICK TO PEOPLE JUST BECAUSE THEY DISAGREE WITH YOU?

      To be honest – this sort of thing just perpetuates the idea that you ALL are just monkeys – throwing poo! And it ALL stinks.

      March 17, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  20. Danny

    "God" sounds like a pretty mean guy. I don't know about you, but if disobeyed my dad I wouldn't want him to kill me for it.
    "Religion has actually convinced people that theres an invisible man living in the sky, who watches everything you do, every minute of every day, and the invisible man has a special list of 10 things he does not want you to do, and if you do any of these 10 things he has a special place, full of fire, and smoke, and burning and torture and anguish; where he will send you to live, and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry....... but HE LOVES YOU, he loves you and he needs MONEY!"

    March 17, 2011 at 6:01 am |
    • Lauren

      First off, God doesn't kill anyone for disobeying Him. However, God does allow these disasters and tragedies to happen. As humans, we are arrogant and prideful, and we think we don't need God in our lives. We go around acting like we can handle all that life throws at us on our own. But we can't! We need God every second of every minute of every day. God wants us to lean on him and cast our worries on him. He tells us, "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Math 11:28)." He takes delight in taking on our burdens and troubles, because that is when we are leaning solely on him. Most of the time, though, we push God to the side and get caught up in sin. That is when God allows these tragedies to happen. He DOESN"T cause them, just allows them, so that we may turn back to him, and see how much we truly need him.
      Secondly, God most definitely doesn't need your money or my money. Look around you, everything that you see is his! God doen't need anything from us. God asks us, though, to give up just a fraction of what He has given us so that it may be used for his glory. It is our way of showing the sacrifices we are willing to make so that others may know his love too.

      You did get one thing right (even though you were being sarcastic). He DOES love us! He created us and he adores us more than you or I could ever fully understand. I just pray that you will know that love for yourself, because it's an amazing experience to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ!

      March 17, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • achepotle

      Lies make Baby Jesus scream like a whale.

      March 17, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • Q

      @Lauren –
      According to your holy book, God killed the world (save 8) with a global flood. God ordered the slaughter of Amalekite children and infants. God directed Elisha's magic she-bears to kill the mocking kids. God failed to prevent Jepthah from sacrificing his daughter to Him. Etc, etc, etc. Did you actually read that thing? It's pretty sick and twisted by any rational standard...

      March 17, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Q

      "eight" (Stupid emoticons...)

      March 17, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Magic

      "it's an amazing experience to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ!"

      A personal relationship is a two-way deal. I can understand that you think that you are talking to Jesus; but does he talk back? What does he say? Does he say things that you already know... or that you could figure out using your imagination? Does he tell you anything that you couldn't possibly know otherwise... such as, your complete genome sequence, or the intricacies of E=mc2, or how to speak in Uzbek?

      You are talking to (and hearing) yourself.

      March 17, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Danny


      Funny thing is you all say a bunch of different things, contradicting each other, scurrying for a "divine" answer, when in fact there is none its all in your head, because its been put there by people before you. The only reason why it is so strong and you believe it so much is because thats how the brain works, if you repeat something long enough it becomes second nature. Your belief is second nature, anything that happens you turn to your religion for an answer, EVEN IF ONE ALREADY EXISTS. The brain programs itself to make a choice closer to the one that it is more common with, in your case religion the one you have been "worshiping" your entire life. It's really just a big waste of time. I would much rather stick to the facts.

      March 17, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Serj

      ...I think you missed something somewhere. Or talking about some different god...read the bible, not the whole thing, new testament will be enough, youll be surprised 🙂

      p.s. God doesnt want/need your money, the greedy guy on TBN does 🙂

      March 18, 2011 at 12:54 am |
    • Lauren

      @Q-Yeah, actually I have read the Bible; cover to cover. But you seem to have missed quite a bit yourself. You are right in that in the old testament God did allow people to be put to death, because "the wages of sin is death." However, you missed the whole new testament where-and this is the most important part-Jesus Christ died an agonizing, painful death on the cross. He took on the sin of the world and died for everyone so that we wouldn't have to. So no, God doesn't kill people for their sins.

      @Magic-Yes I do have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and it is a "two-way deal." Has God ever spoken to me in an audible voice? Nope, can't say thats happened. But God does speak to me in other ways. He speaks to me mostly through His Word (the Bible), but he also speaks to me through other people, and by opening up doors and providing opportunities to me. So no, I'm not just having a conversation with myself.

      @Danny-I don't turn to religion for anything, but I do turn to God for everything. It's not about religion, its about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Religion wont save you, but God will. And by the way, religion isn't second nature to me because I have been worshiping it my entire life. My first instinct is to turn to God, though, because he has changed, and saved me from the person that I was becoming. As so many of you say, I haven't been brainwashed my entire life. In fact, just the opposite-God opened up my eyes to the darkness that I was living in, and he saved me and redeemed me, and gave me a purpose in life.

      @Serj-I'm not disagreeing with you there. There are plenty of people who take up money for the so-called cause of Christ. Some of them are fake, but that is where you have to use your own judgement.

      March 18, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • Q

      @Lauren – First, you were factually wrong. God did kill for disbelief/disobedience/sin, e.g. the flood, the Amalekites, etc,. Second, there is "death" and then there is active murder. The God of the Bible claims responsibility for both. The NT does nothing to expunge this behavior but only confirms the capricious and schizophrenic nature of the Bible's deity.

      March 19, 2011 at 12:41 am |
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About this blog

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