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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. Muneef

    http://mycatbirdseat.com/2011/03/william-a-cook-what-does-it-profit-a-congressman-to-retain-his-office-but-suffer-the-loss-of-his-soul/

    March 19, 2011 at 11:41 am |
  2. Luke

    People should wake up and take a look at what they are doing? There are many sinful things being done now that never were done before!

    March 19, 2011 at 9:06 am |
    • Eric G.

      Are you saying that "Sin" is proof of evolution?

      March 19, 2011 at 9:30 am |
    • PraiseTheLard

      And you know this... how? How do you define "sin" ??

      March 19, 2011 at 11:44 am |
  3. Keith Ward

    Why is it that so many human beings simply can't observe and think for themselves? Why do they just believe whatever they're told to believe by their parents or teachers or preachers or bibles or whatever? When are they going to learn that human beings lie and have lied for thousand of years to further their own ends which consist mainly of exercising control over anyone else that they can? Don't these Christians realize that most of the new testament was written hundreds of years after the death of Christ? You really think it's accurate? Then you are truly simple minded. There are more galaxies in the universe than there are people on this planet. We do not even reach the status of microbes, and the so called loving god so many people believe in wipes us out hundreds of thousands at a time as he did with the tsunami in Indonesia and the earthquake in Haiti. I can just see those hundreds of thousands now wondering why this so-called loving creator, who they and their children prayed to so faithfully, decided to wipe out a half a million or more of them at the same time. Yes it would appear there does seem to be some kind of intelligent construction going on in the creatures we have seen on this planet although it makes you wonder if the old dude that's supposed to be running things is on some kind of learning curve since he spent a few hundred millions years screwing around with big lizards until he (or maybe he didn't) decide to get rid of them all and go on to mammals, which means if you pursue this logically it's only a matter of time before we're replaced with something but my point is he or she or it or whatever could have just started out with us furry dudes to begin with. Anyway it's too much to think about it and we poor monkey relatives will never have the mental capacity to understand it. Hell, we can't even comprehend that the entire mess is mostly empty space. So all you poor people out there who have swallowed the propoganda put forth by the people who want to control how you think and even what you do, I feel sorry for you. Hopefully for the rest of us you will be among the first to be replaced.

    March 19, 2011 at 12:23 am |
    • Barry

      The message of the Bible is that when humans have been left to their own devices, they commit violence and inhumane acts to one another, to the animals, to the plants and to the earth (and water), as well.

      The message of the Bible is the story of revelation from God, for the purpose of salvation. In other words God steps in to prevent humans from destroying each other and from destroying his creation (the world).

      All one need to do is look around the world and around our communities and homes, in order to see the destructive forces of humans and what will happen, if their actions are left unchecked.

      Mercifully for the weak and vulnerable, they have a powerful and benevolent champion, who intercedes through his word and through the events of nature and history to restore justice and to defeat and destroy the evil and unjust.

      “And God said: Let there be light…And God saw that the light was good…”

      March 22, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
  4. Vita

    Gaunt

    Its not about repentance or forgiveness either. Take a third man, as evil and depraved as the first, who also has a deathbed revalation of the evils of his life, and truly repents his actions, with heartfelt sorrow and humility. But he repents to the wrong God. Vishnu, or Odin perhaps.

    He burns.

    So the good man who lived his whole life in blessing, and obeyed 9 of the 10 commandments? burns.
    The bad man who broke every commandment but sought genuine repentance to the wrong god? burns.

    The bad man who broke every commandment, but at the end of his life sought repentance to the right god? Rewarded.

    I can keep going, but the pattern is the same. Acts, deeds, behaviour, and goodness dont matter. Repentance, doesnt matter. Only calling the right name.

    We cant know, but if Adolf Hitler sought repentance to JC in his final moments in the bunker, he is in heaven, while Mahatma Gandhi burns down below.

    And that is the actions of a 'good' god?

    You miss the fact that its not about who is better or worse , but wether you have become a new creature in Christ. Putting off the sins of the flesh, thru the atoning work of Jesus blood shed for you on the cross.

    You think it wrong, if the "good" man goes one way, and the "bad" man goes another. I tell you they will both go one way, if they have not been born again.
    Yes, If either man recognise's he is sinful, and truely repents, he will be saved. All sin is bad in Gods eyes. Thats why he says, If you broke one commandment, you broke them all. The commandments were established by God, to convict people of thier sinful ways. Jesus died so all sinners could be restored to God, and have eternal life.

    I don't understand why you are so hateful towards God. You don't believe, so why bother hangin out to bit-ch at people who do? Or, to mock that which you don't believe in?

    March 18, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
    • fsmgroupie

      If I make it to heaven ( because I call out the right name in the end) can god go back on his word and send me to hell should I grow tired of kissing his a$s after the first billion years? Is anyone truley safe in heaven or is the threat of burning in hell always going to be there?

      March 19, 2011 at 12:09 am |
    • Q

      In demanding the slaughter of Amalekite children and infants, God asked Saul to break his own "holy" commandment not to commit murder. When Saul failed to fully comply, God turned away because he spared Agag and the Amalekite livestock. I reject and condemn any God that demands children and infants be slaughtered...

      March 19, 2011 at 12:50 am |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Vita: so you don't understand why you some are so "hateful towards God" or mock that in which they don't believe?

      Well, not speaking for anyone else, but... If the deluded simpletons who run their lives in accordance with ancient fairy tales and who truly believe in myths would simply stay in their little cubicles, twiddling their thumbs and wallowing in their ignorance, it's likely that they'd be ignored. However, when they start crusading about, trying to force conformity to their beliefs upon others, then they deserve all the scorn that can be mustered.

      March 19, 2011 at 1:27 am |
  5. Roy

    God Bless You All, because apparently if he Damns You – You are in big trouble!

    March 18, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
  6. GPS

    Divine payback is a biatch!

    March 18, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  7. jacob

    In all the time that has occurred, Not a single direct communication from a deity, why would a god need to use the elements or natural disasters to get a point across? Why not a direct manifestation of "his" (funny-it just has to be male) presence would be awe-inspiring enough to turn people from "sin"-oh right it might be too much for us-but then a god surely is capable of turning it down a notch or making a direct connection without harm? Why all the unnecessary and unproductive suffering and destruction? If the god is all-knowing -a better system could not be designed?

    March 18, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  8. cyberCMDR

    Introduction to statistics:
    If something happens that is improbable (such as rolling dice and getting 10 sevens in a row), we can compute the odds and show that while unlikely it will happen eventually (if enough people roll dice). In other words, improbable doesn't mean impossible, it just doesn't happen as often. If an improbable event happens that directly affects people (earthquake, cancer remission, car accident), it must be God causing the event. This is how most Americans view statistics.

    March 18, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  9. johnnyleen

    After a snowstorm a couple of months ago, I was without electricity for two days....divine retribution! Today my eyes are itchy from pollen....divine retribution! Two bulbs in the chandelier over my dining room table have burned out....divine retribution! It took me over an hour and 15 minutes to get to work today instead of the normal hour....divine retribution!

    March 18, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • Barry

      For the Lord's anger lasts only a moment,
      but his favor lasts a lifetime;
      weeping may stay for the night,
      but rejoicing comes in the morning.

      –Psalm 30:5

      March 18, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Normon

      Look at how many hours the electricity has worked, how often you don't have allergies, or how many bulbs are still working. You are blessed!

      Oh, wait... Man invented electricity... and light bulbs... and God supposedly came up with pollen.... hmmm.

      March 18, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • Sybaris

      Amateurs..........................I lost count how many times I've lost my keys due to divine retribution but a snappy prayer always brings them back!

      March 18, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  10. 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 18, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • cyberCMDR

      Actually, cosmologists have pretty much ruled out the "big crunch", where the universe collapses back in on itself and starts anew. Still the possibility of further Big Bangs, after this universe expands into infinity.

      As for what Beck believes, I'm sure that what he believes in is pure bull she/he/it.

      March 18, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  11. Barry

    Vel,

    Regarding your comments about Satan, I encourage you to read the book of Job and consider the following.

    Satan appears in the book of Job as one of the "sons of God", and he appears in the role as the inspector general, not as one having a contest with God. As inspector general, he makes an observation about an individual, and raises the reasonable question: Does an individual truly love God? Are they truly righteous and just? Or are they motivated my ulterior motives, such as desire for benefits or fear of punishment, which motivates them?

    Incidentally it is a mistake to read into this text that the figure here is the same Satan of the New Testament. The figure Satan was unknown to Israel, until they were taken captive, during the Babylonian Exile. During the seventy-year exile, they were exposed to all things Babylonian and Persian, including their religion, Zoroastrianism and Satan, who was one of the principals of this religion.

    If you will read the story of Job—and I mean the entire story—you will find that the question of a person’s goodness and integrity is the question; there is no frivolous or capricious contest or game being played here. And of course here we are talking about your goodness and mine, or the lack thereof.

    Here one of the most profound and important issues of life is being examined.

    Eventually–during the course of his trials–even a righteous man like Job (or the nation of Israel) reaches his/their breaking point and says: As sure as God lives who has denied me justice….

    Now we know the extent of Job’s goodness and righteous; for, we never know what we are made of, until we are tested in the fiery trials of life. Job's suffering was the suffering Isreael was suffering, as the result of the attacks of the armies of Assyria, which laid waste to the northern kingdom (Israel), and the Babylonians, which came along and destroyed Judah and Jerusalem and took them away into captivity.

    In the end Job (Israel) says to God: Lord my ears had head of you, but now my eyes have seen you.

    Job (Israel), after their harrowing ordeal, was now better for the experience. They had grown, become purified, and had been elevated to a higher plain. Now we know that Job or Israel had no ulterior or impure motives, and that it could stand the test, just as an inspector must know whether a bridge can support the wieght of those passing over the bridge.

    Now it was clear that Job (Israel) was doing what was right–just because it was the right thing to do, even though there would be no rewards, and even though suffering would continue.

    That's the highest level of morality and integrity.

    Through the suffering Job (Israel) experienced, they had become better, closer tp the one who created them and gave them life.

    And so it is for you and me.

    March 18, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  12. PRISM1234

    "Smite Me"
    I have said all need to say about the God I know and worship!
    I will tell you little about myself! .... No, I'm not CW, and I'm not hateful! It appears to you as rigid what I say, but it is because you are offended by things I say , because of what is in your own heart!
    (Jesus said things that made people foam out of their mouths, but that's because WHO was in their hearts....
    We really don't know WHO IS MADE OUT OF WHAT, until they are exposed to the Word of God, and confronted by Christ, who is the Word of God made flesh.)
    As for making fun about my "foreign" accent.... When you learn to speak, write and communicate in two other languages then your own native one, without ever attending the school speaking those languages, THEN you can throw rocks at me, and make smart-aleck remarks about "hiccups in my accent!" GET IT?!

    I

    March 18, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • SHRIKE

      baaaa baaaa

      March 18, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • Glenn

      PRISM1234

      I just wanted to say that I have enjoyed your posts as well as Jenn's.

      March 18, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • Sybaris

      "Jesus said things that made people foam out of their mouths"

      Whoever wrote the gospels weren't even witnesses to anything they wrote about.

      Go read some Dawkins, at least you can observe what he's talking about.

      March 18, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • PRISM1234

      Glenn,
      Thank you.... We know that all glory, honor and praise belongs to Him who loved us with everlasting love and sent His son Jesus Christ to redeem us. I ALSO thank God for His people.... :)

      God's blessings and His peace be with you and yours.

      March 18, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • Sybaris

      Your god could only create one son?

      So much for almighty.

      Not only that but he impregnated another mans wife or were they really married.

      March 18, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  13. b4bigbang

    I'm not taking sides however. There are minuses associated with low birthrate countries also.

    March 18, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • Smite Me

      Yeah, the Vatican has a zero birthrate ;)

      March 18, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  14. b4bigbang

    And that is one of the several differences between Catholics and Protestants.

    March 18, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  15. b4bigbang

    It will be interesting to see if the Lord returns before the earth's population becomes a major problem.

    March 18, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      If people would stop being fruitful and multiplying as God commands them to, over population wouldn't be such an issue.

      March 18, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Muneef

      Some filtering has always existed but not related to populations mult-i-plying but it is more about taking two kinds of people;
      – God would take out those he loved and do take them when their chances for getting to paradise are more and if stayed alive in this life longer they would have harvested sins and have lost that chance...

      – God would take out those who he did not love because of their sins and disbelief,those who he wanted to take before getting a chance to repent or do good.

      – God give chance to those left to repent and do good.....
      – God give chance to those who want to harvest more sins in their disbelief for those are the worst dooms...
        

      March 18, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Muneef

      Al-Kahf sura 18:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      And verily We have displayed for mankind in this Qur'an all manner of similitudes, but man is more than anything contentious. (54) And naught hindereth mankind from believing when the guidance cometh unto them, and from asking forgiveness of their Lord unless (it be that they wish) that the judgment of the men of old should come upon them or (that) they should be confronted with the Doom. (55) We send not the messengers save as bearers of good news and warners. Those who disbelieve contend with falsehood in order to refute the Truth thereby. And they take Our revelations and that wherewith they are threatened as a jest. (56) And who doth greater wrong than he who hath been reminded of the revelations of his Lord, yet turneth away from them and forgetteth what his hands send forward (to the Judgment)? Lo! on their hearts We have placed coverings so that they understand not, and in their ears a deafness. And though thou call them to the guidance, in that case they can never be led aright. (57) Thy Lord is the Forgiver, Full of Mercy. If He took them to task (now) for what they earn, He would hasten on the doom for them; but theirs is an appointed term from which they will find no escape. (58) And (all) those townships! We destroyed them when they did wrong, and We appointed a fixed time for their destruction. (59).

      March 18, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  16. anna

    There are countries in this world that just have far too many people.
    Could this be a divine way of reducing populations??

    March 18, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • Muneef

      Anna.
      You are right it is like that if you read it here it is for all events natural disasters,wars and conflicts...

      Al-Hajj Sura 22:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      Lo! Allah defendeth those who are true. Lo! Allah loveth not each treacherous ingrate. (38) Sanction (to fight) is given unto those who fight because they have been wronged; and Allah is indeed Able to give them victory; (39) Those who have been driven from their homes unjustly only because they said: Our Lord is Allah – For had it not been for Allah's repelling some men by means of others, cloisters and churches and oratories and mosques, wherein the name of Allah is oft mentioned, would assuredly have been pulled down. Verily Allah helpeth one who helpeth Him. Lo! Allah is Strong, Almighty – (40) Those who, if We give them power in the land, establish worship and pay the poor-due and enjoin kindness and forbid iniquity. And Allah's is the sequel of events. (41).

      March 18, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • DB

      @ Anna,

      I thought God wants us to multiply and there should be no birth control according to almost all religion..isn't that true? So god wants human to multiply but then he would punish them for following his order? wow that makes a lot of sense...

      March 18, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Eric G.

      If that is the case, I guess their God must actually support gay marriage.

      March 18, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  17. Muneef

    Sad sura 38:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    Say (unto them, O Muhammad): I am only a warner, and there is no God save Allah, the One, the Absolute, (65) Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, the Mighty, the Pardoning. (66) Say: It is tremendous tidings (67) Whence ye turn away! (68) I had no knowledge of the Highest Chiefs when they disputed; (69) It is revealed unto me only that I may be a plain warner. (70).

    March 18, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Reality

      Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      March 18, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  18. Muneef

    Al-Rad sura 13:
    Is he who knoweth that what is revealed unto thee from thy Lord is the truth like him who is blind? But only men of understanding heed; (19) Such as keep the pact of Allah, and break not the covenant; (20) Such as unite that which Allah hath commandeth should be joined, and fear their Lord, and dread a woeful reckoning; (21) Such as persevere in seeking their Lord's Countenance and are regular in prayer and spend of that which We bestow upon them secretly and openly, and overcome evil with good. Theirs will be the sequel of the (heavenly) Home, (22) Gardens of Eden which they enter, along with all who do right of their fathers and their halpmeets and their seed. The angels enter unto them from every gate, (23) (Saying): Peace be unto you because ye persevered. Ah, passing sweet will be the sequel of the (heavenly) Home. (24) And those who break the covenant of Allah after ratifying it, and sever that which Allah hath commanded should be joined, and make mischief in the earth: theirs is the curse and theirs the ill abode. (25).

    Al-Rad sura 13:
    Allah enlargeth livelihood for whom He will, and straiteneth (it for whom He will); and they rejoice in the life of the world, whereas the life of the world is but brief comfort as compared with the Hereafter. (26) Those who disbelieve say: If only a portent were sent down upon him from his Lord! Say: Lo! Allah sendeth whom He will astray, and guideth unto Himself all who turn (unto Him), (27) Who have believed and whose hearts have rest in the remembrance of Allah. Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest! (28) Those who believe and do right: Joy is for them, and bliss (their) journey's end. (29) Thus We send thee (O Muhammad) unto a nation, before whom other nations have passed away, that thou mayst recite unto them that which We have inspired in thee, while they are disbelievers in the Beneficent. Say: He is my Lord; there is no God save Him. In Him do I put my trust and unto Him is my recourse. (30).

    Al-Rad sura 13:
    Had it been possible for a Lecture to cause the mountains to move, or the earth to be torn asunder, or the dead to speak, (this Qur'an would have done so). Nay, but Allah's is the whole command. Do not those who believe know that, had Allah willed, He could have guided all mankind? As for those who disbelieve, disaster ceaseth not to strike them because of what they do, or it dwelleth near their home until the threat of Allah come to pass. Lo! Allah faileth not to keep the tryst. (31) And verily messengers (of Allah) were mocked before thee, but long I bore with those who disbelieved. At length I seized them, and how (awful) was My punishment! (32) Is He Who is aware of the deserts of every soul (as he who is aware of nothing)? Yet they ascribe unto Allah partners. Say: Name them. Is it that ye would inform Him of something which He knoweth not in the earth? Or is it but a way of speaking? Nay but their contrivance is made seeming fair for those who disbelieve and they are kept from the right road. He whom Allah sendeth astray, for him there is no guide. (33) For them is torment in the life of the world, and verily the doom of the Hereafter is more painful, and they have no defender from Allah. (34).

    Al-Infitar sura 82:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    When the heaven is cleft asunder, (1) When the planets are dispersed, (2) When the seas are poured forth, (3) And the sepulchres are overturned, (4) A soul will know what it hath sent before (it) and what left behind. (5) O man! What hath made thee careless concerning thy Lord, the Bountiful, (6) Who created thee, then fashioned, then proportioned thee? (7) Into whatsoever form He will, He casteth thee. (8) Nay, but ye deny the Judgment. (9) Lo! there are above you guardians, (10) Generous and recording, (11) Who know (all) that ye do. (12) Lo! the righteous verily will be in delight. (13) And lo! the wicked verily will be in hell; (14) They will burn therein on the Day of Judgment, (15) And will not be absent thence. (16) Ah, what will convey unto thee what the Day of Judgment is! (17) Again, what will convey unto thee what the Day of Judgment is! (18) A day on which no soul hath power at all for any (other) soul. The (absolute) command on that day is Allah's. (19).

    March 18, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Reality

      Obviously, Muneef's brainwashing in Islam is deep but again the cure is rather easy:

      To wit:

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      The First Five of the 77 Branches:

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.
      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

      Analogous step programs are available for "deprogramming" Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus and Pagans.

      March 18, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  19. Sy2502

    Human ignorance knows no bounds.
    Earthquakes are caused by the shifting of tectonic plates.
    Hurricanes are caused by weather patterns.
    Wars are caused by human nature.
    The Biblical flood never happened.

    Of all the events in the list, the only one who was, in fact, caused by god was Sept. 11th. Caused by a poisonous, delusional belief in an invented deity.

    March 18, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      @Sy2502
      I agree with the 1st 4 of your statements.

      March 18, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • Richard T

      Thank You for that! I agree

      March 18, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • christina

      just a few questions, why do you believe God caused it to happen? (i haven't really read your previous stances on God if you have written any thus far) For what reason? Wouldn't you think that the blame is on man for creating a perverse idea that such self-sacrifice would mean a reward that's only beneficial to you while harming others? I personally think there's a huge delusion on what battle is being fought and what is being won and also reveals true motives and intentions of a human heart.
      I mean, as a human you most likely have a stance at what is right and wrong. If God is good and everything perfect, and let's say hypothetically the reason for that would be human depravity (and so there would need to be something opposite and just), shouldn't the fault just fall back on man?

      If God is everything wrong with this world, where does our idea of perfection come from? How can we compare to something that we don't know of?

      (i know that there's a bunch of wholes in this response, but i'm at work and now should get back to it. :D)

      March 18, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • Sybaris

      I agree with all your statements, especially #5, which is the crux for all of this nonsense.

      The biblical flood never happened however the author of Matthew said that the alleged Jesus spoke of Noah and the ark. This illustrates that Jesus was just a priest bent on a self-fulfilling prophecy. If he had been who he said he was he’d have known the flood didn’t happen. Quite simply Jesus was just one of a litany of false prophets to emerge ever since man developed the ability to talk.

      March 18, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Normon

      "The Biblical flood never happened."

      Are you crazy? It's simple.
      Biblical floods are caused by printing too many Bibles.

      March 18, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • BlingThing

      Back in those days, a flooded area of 150 square miles or as far as the eye could see from Mt Sinai, it was biblical.

      March 19, 2011 at 3:28 am |
    • Sybaris

      BlingThing. That's a typical way apologetics fit a square peg in a round hole, ...........they just make something up and try to pass it off as fact. In fact they weren't there so they have no way of knowing what it meant.

      March 19, 2011 at 9:56 am |
  20. b4bigbang

    @Gaunt
    I think you hit the nail on the head about it being a limitation of perception. I just had a rather radical idea; may I be so bold as to say that God hasn't sent natural disaster since Before Christ?

    March 18, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • Godless

      So are you saying there were no natural disasters before Christ? Or that there were, but that they weren't ordained by god?

      March 18, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Gbird

      I believe he's saying that God hasn't caused a disaster on Earth since Jesus was born, IE: God flinging down disasters were an Old Testament thing.

      March 18, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.