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 Where is God in Japan?
March 20th, 2011
01:00 AM ET

Finding faith amid disaster

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Around the world, people are still struggling to come to terms with the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, which have left more than 8,000 dead, thousands more missing and hundreds of thousand others homeless. The threat of a nuclear crisis only adds to the uncertainty.

In times like these, many people find comfort in their faith. But disasters can also challenge long-held beliefs. The CNN Belief Blog asked some prominent voices with different views on religion how they make sense of such suffering, where they see inspiration amid destruction and how they respond to people who wonder, “How could God let this happen?”

Rabbi Harold Kushner, author whose books include “When Bad Things Happen to Good People”

Whenever a disaster like this occurs, I go back to the Bible, to the First Book of Kings. Elijah, in despair over the situation in Israel, runs to the desert, back to Mt. Sinai to find the God of the Revelation to Moses.

"And lo, the Lord God passed by. There was a mighty wind, splitting mountains and shattering rocks, but the Lord was not in the wind. There was an earthquake but the Lord was not in the earthquake."

To me, that is the key: the Lord was not in the earthquake.

Natural disasters are acts of nature, not acts of God. God cares about the well-being of good people; Nature is blind, an equal-opportunity destroyer.

Where is God in Japan today? In the courage of people to carry on their lives after the tragedy. In the resilience of those whose lives have been destroyed, families swept away, homes lost, but they resolve to rebuild their lives. In the goodness and generosity of people all over the world to reach out and help strangers who live far from them, to contribute aid, to pray for them.

How can people do such things if God were not at work in them to lend a counterweight to a natural disaster?

The Rev. Tesshu Shaku, chief priest of Nyoraiji Temple, a Jodo Shinshu (True Pure Land sect of Buddhism) temple in Ikeda City, Japan

Buddhism is called a religion with no god. So we don’t think God caused this, according to the Buddhist way of thinking. We think of the law of cause and effect, searching for a cause. It is the same approach as science. The cause of this earthquake is the friction between the North American plate and the Pacific plate.

The Japanese are more focused on relationships as opposed to faith, feeling the pain of others. I have witnessed this at the time of the Hanshin Awaji earthquake. [In 1995, the Great Hanshin earthquake on the island of Awaji killed about 6,500 people.] There were many people who came to the affected area to help and volunteer.

There is a word, “earthquake children,” for people whose perspectives were affected by the disaster. They became very active in community service or became Buddhist monks. So people will be more spiritual, feeling the pains and joys of others.

The Rev. James Martin, Jesuit priest, culture editor of America magazine and author of “The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything”

For the believer, there is no satisfactory answer for why we suffer. Each person has to come to grips with that. It’s not as if some magic answer can be found. But the idea of God suffering along with us can be very helpful.

The Christian believes that God became human and that God underwent all the things we do. Jesus on the cross cried, “My God, my God, why did you abandon me?” Christians do not have an impersonal God, but a God who understands what it means to suffer. People can relate more easily to a God who understands them.

Where is God? God is right there with the people who are grieving and sorrowful. In my own life, when I have felt great sorrow I have trusted that God is with me in this and that I’m not facing my struggles alone.

Oftentimes people become more religious in times of sorrow. They find that they are able to meet God in new ways. Why? Because when our defenses are down and we’re more vulnerable, God can break into our lives more easily. It’s not that God is closer, it’s that we’re more open.

Dr. Sayyid Syeed, national director of the Islamic Society of North America’s Office of Interfaith and Community Alliances

These sort of natural disasters become the collective responsibility of all mankind to mobilize our compassion and resources to ease the pain of the people who have suffered.

This disaster is not the result of any sins of these people; we need to be clear that there is no belief that these victims “deserved” it for any of their actions. Rather, Muslims see these kinds of tragedies as a test from God. Muslims believe that God tests those he loves, and these tragedies also serve as a reminder to the rest of us to remain grateful to God for all our blessings and cognizant that we must support those in need.

These kinds of calamities should push us in positive ways. They should strengthen our faith in God and in his goodness. We attribute the things we don’t understand to his limitless wisdom and comfort ourselves that he is with us and he loves us, so there must be some meaning in what has happened, even if it is beyond our comprehension here at this time.

We are trained by our faith that every suffering, whether big or small, brings us closer to God’s mercy and forgiveness, to the extent that the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) said, if you are walking and feel a thorn pierce your foot, you should know that even this little bit of pain brings you divine blessing and God’s forgiveness. These times of suffering give us an opportunity to demonstrate patience and faith, and therefore, become closer to God.

Every natural phenomenon challenges us as God’s trustees on this Earth, showing us that we should continue to study and explore ways of safeguarding humankind and all creatures from being subjected to this kind of devastation. It is the collective duty of all humankind to put resources in this and advance our understanding of how to respond to these disasters in a scientific way.

Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk, writer and activist who founded the Unified Buddhist Church in France, and Plum Village, a Buddhist community in exile

As we contemplate the great number of people who have died in this tragedy, we may feel very strongly that we ourselves, in some part or manner, also have died.

The pain of one part of humankind is the pain of the whole of humankind. And the human species and the planet Earth are one body. What happens to one part of the body happens to the whole body.

An event such as this reminds us of the impermanent nature of our lives. It helps us remember that what’s most important is to love each other, to be there for each other, and to treasure each moment we have that we are alive. This is the best that we can do for those who have died: We can live in such a way that they can feel they are continuing to live in us, more mindfully, more profoundly, more beautifully, tasting every minute of life available to us, for them.

Sam Harris, author of books including “The End of Faith,” and co-founder and CEO of Project Reason, dedicated to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values

Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes like this, or he doesn’t care to, or he doesn’t exist. God is either impotent, evil, or imaginary. Take your pick, and choose wisely.

The only sense to make of tragedies like this is that terrible things can happen to perfectly innocent people. This understanding inspires compassion.

Religious faith, on the other hand, erodes compassion. Thoughts like, “this might be all part of God’s plan,” or “there are no accidents in life,” or “everyone on some level gets what he or she deserves” - these ideas are not only stupid, they are extraordinarily callous. They are nothing more than a childish refusal to connect with the suffering of other human beings. It is time to grow up and let our hearts break at moments like this.

The Rev. Franklin Graham,  president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, an international Christian relief organization

I don’t believe God does want this to happen. I don’t think it was ever God’s intention.

We know that there are going to be storms in life. No matter what happens we need to keep our faith and trust in almighty God.  And I want the people of Japan to know that God hasn’t forgotten them,  that God does care for them and that he loves them.

We care and God cares, and we’re standing by them.

CNN's Carol Costello contributed to this report

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Belief • God • Japan

soundoff (1,886 Responses)
  1. Da

    Organic nature and anorganic 'nature'. If we say that anorganic nature is a cause of something, then we should have no problem at all to talk about Gaia being a living being, should we?

    March 21, 2011 at 7:37 am |
  2. Dave in SC

    Without adversity we are no longer human beings, we become some other type of creature. Think of the traits that we humans value: courage, honesty, self-sacrifice, faithfulness, compassion – those cherished traits would mean nothing in a perfect world. God could have made pampered pets, but he prefers the complex, noble, wretched creatures called humans – who are challenged by each other as well as by their planet.

    March 21, 2011 at 7:34 am |
  3. God is Real and is Good!

    John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." KJV Trust in Him before its to late! God loves you and wants everyone in heaven with him. Accept Christ today! You won't regret it!!!!!

    March 21, 2011 at 7:30 am |
  4. cmedrs

    The following message represents what I (personally) believe and of corse can not be proven. That is what faith is all about, to believe in what you cannot see or prove.

    Earthquakes and natural disasters would never have happened if Adam didn't eat the apple. But he did eat the apple because he wanted to be his own god and make his own decisions of right and wrong and most of all,.keep his beautiful wife Eve. What he did not know was that Satan and God had a wager going, that if Satan could find a way to get adam to eat from that one tree then the human race and the world would become Satans property. So now the world is cursed and Satan owns it, wich is why someday god will destroy the world and Satan and all of his possessions. The only people who could be saved from this in the beginning were the Jews. But now all people can be saved because Jesus has finished the work of the cross. to find out more Start with the book of Romans. read all of the Pauls letters then read the Bible. Then find a church and be careful not to be decieved. Counterfeit churches our everywhere.

    March 21, 2011 at 7:25 am |
  5. Veritas

    WHO CREATED gOD?
    If you are going to bust on the Big Bang Theory and ask what caused it....well...then....who created god?
    And don't hand the fecal matter over and say he has always been.
    Who created the creator?

    March 21, 2011 at 7:23 am |
  6. arlo

    I agree with the atheist, but he comes off as a condescending jack@ss and that's the problem with a lot of high profile atheists. Religious people are convinced that atheists are amoral (or even immoral), selfish and ignorant. His post doesn't help the cause. Moreover, how can you have a serious discussion about the religious reaction and not include Catholicism?

    March 21, 2011 at 7:06 am |
  7. mth

    Since Adam and Eve man has insisted to run his life to govern people in a manner of his choosing. Ignoring godly wisdom and standards. God does not take an active role in the harm or the saving of people. WE do. We all do. We want to blame God when the situation is sad, we want to credit Godly miracles when we can't explain a happy situation. The reality is far less "spiritual". The consequences we experience are nothing more than the result of certain decisions, big or small, collectively or short periods of time or long. Building cities over ground that is constantly moving, and growing those cities with high density population increases the risk of broad and catastrophic experiences when the earth changes. When we build structures that can't sustain earthquakes, high winds etc. we increase the risk of loss of life. Personally I am a spiritual person, to the best of my ability I yield to biblical standards in my life, and this does not make better than anyone, nor more right than anyone, it is a choice and nothing more. In my understanding of the scriptures, God has allowed man to run the affairs of this world, it isn't God's job or role to serve man, but for man to acknowledge his authority and right of rulership. As long as man continues to manage world affairs as long affluence, commercialism and all the other things that drive our current socio/economic environments stay the same we will continue to experience these hardships. If money was not the core focus in this world, would we still build cities the way we do, would we insist on population density in specific areas, would we work 40,50,60 + hours a week missing family and community? Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the use of all modern convenance, it's just the tragedy we see is not at God's hand, it's our own, whether it be through aggressive expansion or through a lack of knowledge regarding the world around us.

    March 21, 2011 at 6:40 am |
  8. Believer

    Thank you Grace Marie, you expressed my thoughts. God is very real to those that seek Him. He is a part of us everyday. We don't seek Him only in times of need, but ALL the time. He is there waiting for all that wish to know Him.

    Grace Marie
    What I find so astonishing about the bible is the fact that even though it was inspired by God thousands of years ago...it speaks to me today as if someone who knew me intimately was writing it. It addresses the very trials, joys, problems, emotional issues I am dealing with in 2011. God has healed me of so much in my life. Healing that no man, no psychiatrist, no self help, no intellectual could heal me of. He literally gave me back my life. I was living in darkness and was in such a bad place that I couldn't even laugh, literally.
    He restored my mind and gave me back my life. Everything in my life without God has been meaningless, dark, self centered. With God, my life has joy, meaning, beauty, great relationships, love. If you only knew the living God, Jesus Christ. You would not be blind any more. You would fully understand how real He is and how the bible is the perfect manual for life.

    March 20, 2011 at 11:34 am

    March 21, 2011 at 4:00 am |
    • booksamurai

      Wow! Then you need to grow up and find yourself before you do any 'conversing' with God.

      March 21, 2011 at 5:07 am |
  9. Lauri

    Well done, CNN. That's about as bland a quote as you can get from Sam Harris that you put in the picture 5. Chicken?

    March 21, 2011 at 3:25 am |
  10. Belief_Matrices

    For the sake of the future of mankind, I truly hope that we can all one day come to the understanding that morality is defined not by any one religious text, but by the infinite intricacies of the individual human heart. People have been walking this earth for millions of years, but only during the most recent years have we begun to scratch the surface of understanding what makes us behave the way we do. Prior to that understanding, we relied on philosophical texts such as the bible and the quran to give us a sense of direction in the absence of wisdom. And, unfortunately, our inability to interpret the underlying meaning of those texts and the subsequent the reliance on literal interpretation is what has brought us so much violence and intolerance throughout human history. The human brain does not fully develop its capacity to reason and to act without impulsiveness until the early to mid 20s. During that period of development, religion serves as a temporary structure for a person's consciousness while that person learnw to grasp life on his/her own. What unfortunately happens all too often is that that individual becomes accustomed to viewing events through the narrow lens of religious context and thus never truly outgrows that structured consciousness. The result is the inhibited development of emotional maturity as wits take a backseat to "beliefs."

    March 21, 2011 at 3:20 am |
  11. wilson

    I kind of wish there was a God, so that when I die and if I were to come before him to be judged, I could walk up and punch him in the nose for being so selfish and cruel to all the people he supposedly loves. But there is no God, or certainly none that deserves the worship he receives.

    March 21, 2011 at 2:37 am |
    • J

      I will remember this comment on Judgement Day. Good luck with that one.

      March 21, 2011 at 7:37 am |
    • LetsThink123

      @J
      What judgment day? there will be no judgment. just because it says it in the bible, doesn't mean its true.
      Jesus said he would return when the last person of his generation died (I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” – Matthew 24:34). This controversial verse is in all three of the Olivet Discourse accounts. (These accounts are to be found in Matthew 24:1-51, Mark 13:1-37, and Luke 21:5-33). For some time, critics of the Christian faith have argued that Jesus explicitly said here that all of the events prophesied in the Olivet Discourse, including His return, would happen before the last person living at that time died. Jesus promised, that He would return within that generation, but He did not. Since He was wrong, He could not have been God, so the Christian faith, is based on error. To bolster the argument, in all of the other places in the Gospels where Jesus used the term “this generation,” he was referring to people living at that time.

      March 30, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  12. Marz

    @Al...god does not need u but u need god...ur life would be much better and prosperous if u had god in ur life...

    March 21, 2011 at 2:28 am |
  13. IbelieveInTruth1

    SLW_99, If you are trying to mock Christians or Aquinas, who was a great Western Scholor of Philosophy. His writings, and work formed Western thought in Philosophy, Politics, and Religion. He formed the ethics of war, which was used to form the Geneva Convention came from his study of Aristotle, Plato, and other Greek Scholors. He also believed that we exist, and that our existance comes from God. His Academic Philosophy included Physics, and that if an obect moves, then the force that makes the object move comes from God. In the beliefs of Christianity, God created all we see on Earth and the Heavens above.

    Billy Joel, who Elton John will tell you has lost his way struggling with substance abuse. Joel always struggled with his Catholic-Christian up-bringing has for many years struggled with his substance abuse wrote in a song, "I was searching for something in the middle of the night when I went down to the River so deep for we swam in the Ocean and went to the Valley of Pain in the middle of the night." I love Billy Joel's Music, but as an Artist, he expressed his own personal pain, and never found himself as he so misguidedly referred to Man evolving from being a Dolphin to an Ape to Man. Dolphins...Really? FYI, Dr. Laughable, Modern Day Anthropoligists have disproven Darwin's Theory, who like Joel struggled with his faith in God denying his existance, which his wife wrote how he became mad and obsessed and disconnected with reallity. If you subscribe to the Big Bang Theory, then where did the matter come from before it exploded, and how did this physical mass in space suddenly explode spewing matter forming the Planet Earth which somehow begot you and I....Now that's laughable!

    March 21, 2011 at 2:28 am |
  14. Brian

    God is definetly real. Even if know one understands him, you have to admit that an intelligent being created this universe! look at how orderly it is. all these scientific laws that we can rely on to keep the human race living day to day. the beauty and how everything works together to sustain human beings for life. it's like a painting. you don't look at a painting and say "GEE, I wonder if there was a creator, or if paint randomly splashed on the canvas and by chance created this masterpiece?" you know it was created by something intelligent because it has an intelligent design.

    Scientists say that the universe was created when the "BIG BANG" occured – but what caused that big bang to occur?

    March 21, 2011 at 2:27 am |
    • Jcork

      Brian, how educated are you? I would assume you don't know very much about our origins and about the universe. It's people like you that make a piece of my heart shrivel up, wither, and die. I only hope you inquire further to enlighten yourself on what is real and what is fantasy.

      March 21, 2011 at 3:02 am |
    • Brian

      @Jcork – I am a scientist

      March 21, 2011 at 3:07 am |
    • C4N4D14N

      1. You say "BIG BANG occured – but what caused that big bang to occur?". Nobody knows this answer, but just because we don't know, does not mean God did by default. This is known as the "god of the gaps". Lets leave this as a mystery.

      2. You also say how perfect the laws of physics are for us to exist. If you 'are' a scientist, they you would understand we are a result of the laws of physics and evolved to adapt to our environment. Its not as if the universe was specifically designed for us. On other planets in outside galaxy, possible living beings would be completely different since their environment would be different.

      3. The universe is too big for us to understand. Just admit we don't know what happened before the big bang and accept the fact that it is the greatest mystery of all time – possibly an question that can NEVER be answered. Just because we dont know, dont automatically insert God as a placeholder.

      March 21, 2011 at 3:56 am |
    • Q

      @ Brian – For your sake, as a "scientist", you should familiarize yourself with the difference between apophenia and actual evidence.

      March 21, 2011 at 5:01 am |
    • meg

      Brian, it takes someone with intelligence to come out with such a rounded comment! I couldnt have said it better myself......you often hear of scientists left with unanswered questions, which led them to seek answers outside of science. God is real:-)

      March 21, 2011 at 5:15 am |
  15. Just another "liar"

    Logically and rationallly it seems there are only two options for faith. Know God or No God. If anyone has read to this point, there is no excuse for not having had the chance to at least consider God. Some who have written have bought the "fire insurance". But even if they are wrong, they are no worse off than those without it in the end. How can they be faulted for caring enough to want others to make the same investment?
    But then, what if the "No God" crowd is wrong?

    Two choices for two possible outcomes.

    Everyone believes or has faith in something.- An ideology, a person, themselves, knowledge, science...etc.
    For those persuaded to believe in the spiritual realm, Satan is a being who acknowledges God, imitates God, masquerades as God, and uses the words of God with his own twisted spin to deceive anyone he can to deny God, accuse God, or blame God..

    But there is only one outcome that will prevail. In the end, It seems, there is only one ultimate question that will really matter ( or not mattter) as to how it is answered on this earth "What did you choose to do with your opportunity to "Know God?"
    There will never be enough evidence to convince anyone who has no need for God even if God Himself presented Himself face to face to them. You see, it is a matter of faith.

    March 21, 2011 at 2:23 am |
  16. God..

    Where is god in North Korea as well?

    March 21, 2011 at 2:16 am |
    • Roy

      many of these Asian nations have chosen not to seek Christ in their hearts

      March 21, 2011 at 2:37 am |
    • Tom Shriver

      @Roy
      The Asian nations of which you speak have their own, time-honoured religions that in many cases predate Christianity. It's not that they've actively excluded Christ, as you wrongfully imply; it's that they have no need for him.

      March 21, 2011 at 7:30 am |
  17. Bob

    As soon as you see God as separate from yourself then you have trouble. When you try to define God=trouble. When it is said that God is everything and nothing is outside of God, I think that clears it up. God is certainly part of that earthquake and the victim also. We live amongst a field of all possibilities including tragic ones. If we were to personalize God, he might look out over the lion chasing and killing the zebra, the sun rising, the stormy sea, the earthquake, a childs birthday party, and say. "I hope you like it". But he is not separate, but ingrained in the experience itself, both good and bad.

    March 21, 2011 at 2:15 am |
    • paul

      if you read the bible , in Hebrews chapter 12 verse 26.whose Voice then Shook the Earth, but not He hath Promised saying: i shake not the earth only but the heaven.also read verse 27. in 1727 there was a great earthquake in the USA. the next day Puritan Preacher Jonathan Edwards, was used Mightily by God in the Great Awakening that Followed there....

      March 21, 2011 at 6:42 am |
  18. allfaith

    The real question is 'What are we learning?
    Other questions include;

    Is our capitalist system driving us toward wreckless behaviour?
    Is mass production good for the world?
    Should power production be a local concern?
    Shouldn't such dangerous enterprises be more transparent about potential risk?
    Why are we not focused on economic sustainability?
    Why don't Christians and Muslims accept themselves as equal individuals with equal worth without requirement?

    March 21, 2011 at 2:09 am |
    • Havildar

      Jews, Christians and Muslims all drink from the same "well of faith". They worship the same GOD and the laws are the same for the Jews and Muslims with the Christians modifying it to suit their situations. There is very little difference between these 3. Now we look at Sikhs they took the best fromm all 3 and the local Religions in India to form their Religion. so on and so on with the other world's religion all of them have a common good thread even those that claim to belive in nothing.

      March 21, 2011 at 7:56 am |
  19. cocopuf2

    Only the fool says to his heart that there is no God.

    March 21, 2011 at 2:09 am |
    • wilson

      I kinda thought it was the other way around. But whatever...

      March 21, 2011 at 2:17 am |
    • booksamurai

      Pride comes before a fall.

      March 21, 2011 at 5:01 am |
    • Juanita M

      When in doubt, whip it out.

      March 21, 2011 at 6:56 am |
    • Esop

      A fool and his money are soon parted.

      You can't fool an honest man.

      Don't count your chickens before they are hatched.

      March 21, 2011 at 7:22 am |
    • Jacob

      It really upsets me that theists have to force people to believe in God at the moment. "Remember sheep, believe in God as you suffer though no one gets better and everything gets worse."

      March 21, 2011 at 7:46 am |
    • Sean

      I thought St. Anselm was dead?

      March 21, 2011 at 11:16 am |
  20. JW

    You know how labor pains come on a woman slowly at first, but then as the birth approaches, the contractions get harder, faster and more painful. Even as she is about to not be able to stand the torture anymore, she gives birth to a beautiful baby, and all the pain and sorrow is forgotten., and there is great joy.God has prepared His Kingdom, the Kingdom of God, in which there will be no natural disasters, destruction, evil and sorrow of any kind. The knowledge of God will cover the earth, all will know Him and revere Him and worship Him. It will be a time of great peace, abundance and joy on earth. But now is the time when earth is in her labor pains, and there is sorrow, destruction, and increasing natural disasters. But in the end, Jesus is going to come back and the righteous will inherit the earth, where He will reign as King. Now is the time when He is calling all to come to Him for protection, salvation and blessing. He will forgive all your personal sins if you believe in Him and follow Him. And you will be a part of His kingdom when He comes back to rule. The opportunity is there for everyone, but as these disasters increase, the only place of safety is in God. Put your faith in Him, and give your all to Him. He loves you, and will be there for you always.

    March 21, 2011 at 2:08 am |
    • Know What

      JW,

      A valiant attempt at high-blown prose... I'm sure that you worked hard on it.

      Besides all the philosophical objections I have to it, however, I will simply point out one major physical one. No mother ever 'forgets' the pain of childbirth. Ask any one of them and they will give you a blow by blow, pant by pant account of it. Many, if not most, are joyful about their new little babies; but also for many, it is a new burden and another mouth to feed and care for.

      March 21, 2011 at 3:06 am |
    • james

      you are a delusional idiot. earth's sun will go super nova in several million years and vaporize the planet – scientific fact, it happens to all stars eventually – as they exhaust their fuel BOOM lights out. naturally the religious nuts believe that magically our sun will be exempt from this universal law of physics, but then most never graduated high school and they don't teach physics and astronomy in religious school.

      March 21, 2011 at 3:06 am |
    • Unikraken

      Any religion that asks you to have faith in a world that is testable and real is false indeed.

      March 21, 2011 at 3:35 am |
    • Norma

      I hope you are not discouraged by the negative responses. THey need our prayers. A mother never forgets her pains? Them why do some go on to have 12 or 13 beautiful children? As w/ anything, the pains are forgotten, blow by blow, pant by pant and another beautiful creation of Gods is here to love and care for and not be looked at as an expense or a burden, but a joy in the parents life and one of God's blessings. It is indeed very sad to see so many people so bitter and angry that they see the negative in everything about life. Too bad there is not more joy around us. I will pray for them.

      March 21, 2011 at 5:45 am |
    • jaysunstar

      The earth has been through much worse than what you see going on now. This belief that we are having more and more natural disasters is nonsense. Perhaps more natural disasters relative to the last decade. But compared to the entire 4.5 billions years this planet has existed, there was a time when the entire planet was completely uninhabitable. That day will come again. If a disaster is manmade or not is irrelevant. The planet will shake us of like a bad case of fleas and regenerate itself leaving nothing but a little bit of plastic. The earth probably sees plastic as just one of it's own children. In fact that could be the reason for our whole existence. Plastic. Think about it folks. -George Carlin

      March 21, 2011 at 7:29 am |
    • Phillis Boehm

      JW
      You are so right, these are the "birth Pangs" that Jesus spoke of. We have to pray for the lost. Its sad to see people that cannot understand that the Bible is the truth. For those that don't believe, I would like them to explain to me how it is that a book written so long ago accurately prophesied all the things that are coming to pass in the world today. And yet they mock this Holy Word of God. Soon, very soon they will see the truth and for many it will be too late

      March 21, 2011 at 7:36 am |
    • MarkyMerlot

      Sorry Norma, the morons who have 12 or 13 "beautiful children", are part of the reason the world is in this mess. The root cause of most of the world's problems, is overpopulation and ether through ignorance, or stupidity, just add to the burden.

      March 21, 2011 at 7:46 am |
    • jaysunstar

      I grew up in a strong Christian family. I understand why you would think I am lost. I have heard the lectures all before. But I can tell you that Christians are amongst the most lost people in the world. The bible was written by man. NOT by GOD. This is the hardest truth for ALL Christians to admit. Because it requires them to admit that they can not actually prove the bible was written by God without quoting from the bible itself. It is by faith alone that it was written by God. A book cannot validate itself. There is no logic in that. I am not dismissing the idea that God exists. I just don't agree with modern Christian thinking. What most Christians today believe is truth, is NOT the same as it was hundreds of years ago. I don't mock the idea of a God. But I mock the idiots who subscribe to radical fundamentalism that has become the popular version of Christianity today.Here is a start: DO a google search on the beginning of the fundamentalist movement and inerrancy of the bible. See that what you call Christianity is really just a radical phase and distortion of traditional Christianity. Please please, I ask you to educate yourself. But I suggest if you want and intelligent debate, we do it elsewhere. And try not to get your facts from the bible. You need more than one source. Like a said, a book cannot validate itself. If you understand that concept, then I would be more open for discussion on this. Good luck.

      March 21, 2011 at 7:51 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.