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In Aurora, the agonized seek answers through faith
A woman sits on her car near the Century Aurora 16 theater.
July 20th, 2012
02:04 PM ET

In Aurora, the agonized seek answers through faith

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - The news came in to Mitch Hamilton by phone just after midnight.

Members of his church had been inside the theater when shots rang out.

Hamilton is pastor of Mississippi Avenue Baptist Church, near the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, where a gunman opened fire early Friday, killing 12 and wounding dozens more.

“We’re close, but you feel like you’re a million miles away,” Hamilton said during a break from tending to the needs of his church and planning a prayer vigil.

“Things are happening so fast,” he said.

He thinks his church members are not among the dead, but with no list of victims, no one is sure. Either way, he knows there is a gaping wound in his community.

Clergy across Aurora, the Denver area and the state are wrestling with how to respond to a senseless act of violence that has rocked their community.

CNN's Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the big stories

Tonight, rabbis will take their pulpits for Shabbat services.

“It’s impossible to be prepared for actions that reek of such evil,” said Rabbi Richard Rheins of Temple Sinai in Denver. “It’s not as if any of us have answers.

“Evil is in our midst," he said. "We have to be vigilant. We have to be strong."

Rabbi Joe Black from Temple Emanuel knows that his congregants will be looking up from their seats tonight, waiting for answers.

“I’ve been a rabbi for 25 years, and I know that I don’t have any answers. And if anybody says they do, I’m concerned,” Black said. “I think what we need to do is come together and acknowledge the importance and the centrality of asking questions of the things in this world we can’t comprehend.”

A day ago, Jack Dowling was ministering to fire victims in Colorado Springs. He and team of five other chaplains from the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team got the news of the shooting Friday morning and headed straight for Aurora.

“We were on the ground here around 7:45 a.m.,” said Dowling, of Bangor, Maine.

He and his team of specially trained disaster chaplains are tending to families waiting for answers at Gateway High School in Aurora.

“This is a raw emotional situation. People are traumatized,” he said.

“The challenge here is, the incident location is still a crime scene and will be for some time. So the police have to deal with it as a crime scene. Under normal circumstances, that takes many hours to deal with that and then to gradually start identifying the victims.”

Family and friends are wandering the secured area at the school, asking questions, taking nervous cell phone calls and battling through uncertainty, Dowling said.

Some know their loved ones are at the hospital; "the others who haven’t had that confirmed, they don’t know. They don’t know if their family member is in a hospital and unidentified or if the other reason they haven’t been contacted is, they are still at the theater.”

Experiences ministering at massacres at Virginia Tech and Binghamton, New York, are a road map for Dowling. There are few words for the chaplain to share with the families.

“It’s not as much what you say as what you do. We have a ministry of presence to listen and listen and listen some more. They have a story to tell about a loved one who maybe they don’t know is dead or alive. There’s a lot of grief; there’s a lot of crying; there’s a lot of emotions; there’s a lot of uncertainty.

“It’s a very fragile situation for the victims,” he said.

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As Hamilton drove to Mississippi Avenue Baptist Church this morning, he wondered what he would say at the vigil tonight. Friday is a day off for the staff members at the church, but they all came in and got to work, he said.

They opened the sanctuary for prayer, called in a local Denver seminary professor who did grief counseling after the shootings at Columbine High School and started planning joint activities with Queen of Peace Catholic Church, which abuts their property.

Hamilton knows he’ll have to rip up the Sunday sermon he worked on all week. “The needs of the moment has kind of overwhelmed in so many ways.”

For him, Scripture comes to mind. He knows people will have questions and look for comfort.

“Everyone wants to go to Romans 8:28, which says, ‘God causes all things to work together for good for those who love God according to his purpose.’ But that’s the kind of verse you share in five years when people are looking back.”

“Will God do good things out of this? Yes. But that’s hard to get your arms around on a day like today,” he said.

He was thinking instead on Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the suffering of this present time is not worthy to be compared to the glory that is to be revealed to us,” he quoted without hesitation.

“There is great suffering today, but what I try to do is remind people, 'Let’s put this into context.' Yes, there is horrific suffering today, but it could have been worse. There were a lot of people who were injured, and praise God, there has not been more fatalities than there already has,” he said.

“To the family members who have lost, there’s not any words now, except perhaps Matthew 28, where Jesus said, ‘I am with you even to the end of the world.' ”

“Right now, it’s the end of the world for some people, and they can’t imagine …”

He paused.

His voice cracked. “Excuse me,” he said while he fought to regain his composure.

“They can’t image anything worse,” he said. “They need to know that God is with them, and he will never forsake them, even in the greatest tragedy. He’s with them. That’s what they need to hear.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Baptist • Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Judaism

soundoff (957 Responses)
  1. Bob

    Since "Kindness" is dumping bible quotes and Jeebus stories on us repeatedly, let's have a closer look at some of the fine stuff that's really in the Christian book of nasty AKA the bible. Kindness my ass; your god as described in the bible is clearly a bigoted, hateful, vindictive, violent jerk:

    Numbers 31:17-18
    17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
    18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

    Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

    Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

    Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

    Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

    And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

    So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.

    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

    July 28, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
  2. Kindness

    Kindness
    This is my experience... Thank you.

    MY personal testimony.
    A thought to consider without an ego response

    I Accepted Jesus christ as my lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Transcend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.

    The key is be present and transcend our own desire to physically see evidence. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.

    Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both christians and non are sinners. Even once we are saved by christs merciful grace we will still experience adversity to mold us to adhering to the truth.
    We will slip... But not fall of the ship ...carrying us onward to perfection in christs grace.

    We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Follow me".
    It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .

    Try reading corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
    See the truth...
    do we do what it says in todays society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from some other person...which may have been full of arogance pride or vanity..

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancsend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find any truth you can take with you ....in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life..... You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf.... the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed..... your good deeds will be forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated..... your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over . This is truth .

    Trancsend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent.... Repent means knowing (to change) The Holy spirit (within) will convict you beyond what you think you can do by yourself. Grace is given to those who renounce the world. That are" in" the world but not "of " the world.

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith ....above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible . Ask Jesus in faith for dicernment and start reading the new testament... You will be shocked when you lay down your preconceived notions and ....see and hear truth ... see how christ sets an example ... feel the truth....

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read romans or corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth in Christ.

    Sell all your cleverness and purchase true bewilderment. You don't get what you want ....you get what you are by faith above reason in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
    You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it

    You're all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.
    I'ts a personal free experience you can do it free anytime . Don't wait till you are about to die.. START PUTTING YOUR TREASURES WHERE THEY REALLY MATTER >
    Its awsome and It's just between you and Jesus

    my testimony

    Romans 10:9

    "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved

    July 28, 2012 at 10:33 am |
  3. Dr.Diamond

    -God came here on earth to help the human race, but we try to kill God, because we did not want Love so we hung Love on a cross and said the hell with God we don't need his Love. Today things have not changed we don't want love as a part of our human life so we kill each other, it's call free will not God's will. A fool say's there is no God and we humans created ourselves.
    The time will come we they will see just how foolish they are. We worship everything our hands made, but the things God made we humans can't touch. And we better pray that GOD does not consume us for our foolish ways. All GOD has to do to stop us in our tracks is to tell the sun not to shine, that would be the end of the human race.

    -Dr.Diamond 2012 A.D.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      but.....
      men created god....so.......

      July 25, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Nope!

      Yep, God knows how to humble the proud, arrogant fools. They may not get humble in their hearts, but they surely will lick the dust!

      July 25, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
  4. One one

    It never fails to amaze me what kind of convoluted absurd explanations believers come up with to rationalize their fantasy belief system.

    Two recent examples illustrate this.

    In defense of god killing unborn fetuses in the great flood a believer said it was actually a good thing. Because the fetuses did not yet have sin so they get an express trip to heaven, no need to stand in the judgement line. Given that logic, believers should celebrate abortion.

    Another believer said, god allowed the Aurora killings to humble mankind and motivate us to beg for mercy. According to this logic, god said "I could stop this, but I will let a few people get murdered to remind everyone who is in charge".

    Is it any wonder that people are abandoning religious affiliation in droves ?

    July 23, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • DCBuck

      Yes, as those voices do not represent the majority of people of faith. But, I suspect you are not interested in that fact and prefer to paint with a wide brush.

      July 23, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      "God allowed the Aurora killings to humble mankind and motivate us to beg for mercy"

      If there are Christians who think God doesn't use tragedies to wake up the proud, then they haven't read their Bible, neither do they know God!
      Why wouldn't God use those, especially the ones committed by evil men, to demonstrate to us what the society that has rejected Him has become?!

      He is God.

      We are His creation.

      He owns our lives.

      He extends His love and mercy to us.

      If we rebel, and disown Him, He will leave us to our own devices.

      In this He is justified .And yet, rebels call God a criminal!

      Try this in your own human relations...See what you get!

      Foolish, blind people! toblind to see reality, yet boasting of reason and rationality! Go ahead, keep humming to stan's drumming, till you find out where he has led you!

      July 26, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Who invited me?

      prism
      God also created "stan" as you call him,and he knew ALL of this would happen, he knew that by creating "stan" he would be unleashing this on everyone, so ultimately GOD IS TO BLAME.

      The alternative is ACTUAL reality in which men created god, as man has done thousands of times in the past , and men continue to create gods for himself.
      your theory of god....completely unsubstantiated, untestable and as plausible as the theory that we are nothing but a culture at the bottom of some supergalactic petry dish
      or
      more plausible, that all gods are created by men, and if there is some ultra power to the universe, we do not have a proper defintion.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      "so ultimately GOD IS TO BLAME."
      Oh, is He? WHO is man to judge and scrutinize God?
      If HE made man(kind) puppets, then HE would be hated for not giving us free will! But since we must have always someone else to blame, we'll blame God, right?! The truth is, man, every human, is corrupt in nature, and only by God's mercy and grace we can do anything good. That doesn't fit your "reasoning", we're not thrust in our "reasoning". Man without God is blind and incapable to see the truth/reality, about himself and world around him. What we've witnessed in Aurora, is the consequence of departing from the God our forefathers knew and honored. And we WILL SEE ONLY MORE of it! There is NO WAY around it. If you cast out God of your lives, satan will move in. And he has, evidently! Anyone who try to minimize the escalation of evil in our society in past few decades, especially blunt, shameless, "in-your-face" type of evil that's celebrated in our today's culture, is blind and has no ability to think coherently.. it is obvious even to those who are not particularly bright, yet they can even see! But the godless, proud and arrogant can't ! go figure!!
      But, just don't blame God if you have chosen to throw Him out and have declared your independence from Him! ! ! It is you an I who has to answer to Him for our lives, not He to us!
      As for my theory and fabrication of God I talk about... well, friend, you haven't seen and lived through what I have. You have only your impaired/inadequate human brain , and of those who are like you, to whom you listen too and put your faith in.... I have something re , which you know nothing about, which doesn't make me superior to you, but just wiser! It is not that you couldn't know also, but it takes a humble and contrite heart that acknowledges it's own poverty and need for God. That's just the beginning. But without that beginning, you'll remain in co/ndit/ion you're now, till you at the end of your journey face Him whom you've rejected in life. Whom will you blame then. Ponder these things in your heart... if you do, there still may be hope for you!

      July 26, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • innocent bystander

      PRISM 1234 How can you seriously claim that there is a god for certain. Even if we leave whether God decreed it for them or something, the fact remains the bible was not written by God. It was written by middle-aged males, in a time full ob bigotry and segregation. How is it that what was written in that book can still be claimed as true without any further proof? You do to believe that there is a Zeus or Poseidon.

      That leaves two options.

      1. Every single deity anyone has ever claimed to exist hangs out in some magical apartment in the sky. Which would make an amazing comedy.

      2. Your God doesn't exist, and none of the others exist.

      Oh, and "Who invited me?" it's called a typo. I'm pretty sure prism knows the difference between stan and satan.

      July 27, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      What can I say, Bystander?! You are so sure that my God is a fable and a figment of (hu)man imagination... You are so sure that I don't know what I'm talking about. So what can I say? There are many things I have already said in my posts here on these blogs, and there are many things still I wish I could say to each of you... But it would be of no avail. So I won't!..... I know that Jesus Christ is the only way, the truth and life. I believe His testimony, which the Spirit of God witness to my spirit that it is true.
      There was time when I rebelled. But God drew me to Himself, and shown me things I seldom speak of... I will never forget the cries of souls in Hell, the kind of cries that human ears never hear and were never intended to hear, nor is any human soul ever intended to end up there. It is the place of the damned, utterly desti-tute, the hopelessly lonely, where there is only regret and torment that never ceases. . I don't want any of you to end up there.
      Just the other day a person dear to me departed.. She was sick and knew the end was near. But she was a proud woman, and did not listen, nor humble herself...She thought her own religion is good enough....She believed a lie. My heart aches for her. There are so many lives wasted...so many souls are going to Hell.
      You can have your own opinions, friend, but when your time comes, no one will be there to stand in the gap for you if you reject Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross for you. Zeus won't Buddha won't Muhammad won't! They ar all dead. But Jesus Christ lives. Death could not hold Him. He lives, and because He lives, we who put our trust in Him will live also. There is no other way. You'll spend eternity in one of two places: with Christ or without Him. Don't be a fool, don't be wise in you own eyes. Pray, ask to be shown and then l-i-s-t-e-n ! I wish you'd take it to heart what I wrote to you here. It is very painful to see people go their own way, knowing where it leads. That's why we who know have such burden on our hearts for them. I should only hope you'll understand!

      July 28, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • What IF

      PRISM,

      Condolences on the loss of your dear one.

      I can only hope that in her last hours and days she was not subjected to your hideous harassment and bilious badgering. I cared for a dear friend until his death, and he had me promise that I would not allow his Jehovah's Witness or Seventh Day Adventist family members anywhere near him if/when he lost the ability to speak for himself.

      July 28, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      Oh, wow! A hideous harassment and bilious badgering? It's so tragic that you see things I said that way!
      But even in this the Scriptures are fulfilled, where it says :
      "....We are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. "
      But following is the prayer that I gave to my friend, saying, that If she humbles herself and prays it with a childlike, sincere heart, I will know that my prayer for her is answered. See just how hideous it is....

      July 28, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Lord, my God, You are very great.
      You reign in majesty and glory, and all that exists testifies of who You are.
      There is no end of Your wisdom, God, and my heart is in awe as I consider all things you have created.
      I am so small, Lord, a speck of dust in vast universe, and yet, You tell me that I'm loved by You and that You have prepared a place for me where You dwell in majesty and glory, that I could share eternity with You in your presence.
      This is more then I can comprehend, or could even imagine.... Therefore I owe You everything: my life, my affections, my trust, and I owe to honor You, and not take Your love for me for granted, treating Your commandments lightly...
      I am a fallen creature, God, by sin that dwells in me! But I reach out to You and plead that You make out of this sad, confused, broken and futile life a treasure for Yourself, that You may rejoice in it and be glad for the life You've given me.
      I love You, God my Father, even with a selfish love I only know to love with, but You who made all things, and are the Lord of all that was, is and ever will be, and who said "With Me all things are possible", to You I lift my heart , soul and my whole being in hope.
      You are my hope, God my Father, and in Your Son Jesus I find boldness to come before Your throne of grace.
      Thank you, Lord God for your mercy toward me, thank you that you have not left me orphaned in this world, to wander in darkness without knowledge of you, but have drawn me to Yourself because of your endless mercies. In your love and faithfulness redeem me, and make me a new creation, through my trust in Your Son Jesus Christ, who bore my sins on the cross of Calvary that I may be cleansed and made righteous by His sacrifice, and accepted as your son/daughter through faith in Him.
      Lord God in You is all my hope, and this day I make as a memorial of your love, mercy and faithfulness toward me, for all eternity !
      Amen

      July 28, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • GOD

      PRISM 1234, thank you for your supplications. Now rinse my forthcomings out of your mouth, turn around, and bend over.

      July 28, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • Nope!

      Some ppl make it easy to undersand why there is such place as Hell!

      July 29, 2012 at 12:18 am |
  5. Dyslexic Dog

    So James Holmes, a good, church going lad, can just say in his head that he repents and loves Jesus and God and then he goes to Heaven? Is that right oh Christian posters?

    Jerry Newcombe, Evangelical Leader, says only the Christian victims of the shooting are going to Heaven. Is that right oh Christian posters?

    July 23, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • derp

      Funny that this guy can repent, accept christ as his saviour and go straight to heaven.

      But I'm going to hell because I don't believe he should.

      July 23, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Steve

      No. Not in his head. It has to be deep within his heart. That would be between him and God.

      All true believers will go immediatley into the presence of The LORD (to await the end of this present age). The rest will get another chance during the Millenium (the next age). No different than it will be for all the aborted babies for example. God is merciful and just. Amen.

      July 23, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, gee whiz goshers, Steve, I surely am glad you cleared that up.

      July 23, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • Steve

      @derp; "Funny that this guy can repent, accept christ as his saviour and go straight to heaven. But I'm going to hell because I don't believe he should."

      Who said you are going to hell? You have the same opportunities as everyone else.

      July 23, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • Steve

      Well, well. If it isn't the open-minded and ultra-tolerant, leftie, TTPS. Glad to see you haven't lost your edge.

      July 23, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • DCBuck

      I know I'm probably wasting my effort by attempting to have a rational response to you, but as the other poster pointed out, if Holmes is a Christian and is truly repentant, then yes, he would be cleansed of his sin. That does not mean he would not have to face justice here on Earth. I suspect this nuance is completely, totally lost on you and your ilk.

      July 23, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • Romans

      That's a nice little strawman you got built up there dyslexic. You should look up the definition of "repentance" both grammatically and theologically. I think you'll find your caricature of repentance doesn't stand up

      July 24, 2012 at 12:37 am |
  6. yeahalright

    “They can’t image anything worse,” he said. “They need to know that God is with them, and he will never forsake them, even in the greatest tragedy. He’s with them. That’s what they need to hear.”

    Funny, it seems god wasn't with them, and did in fact forsake them right smack in the middle of their greatest tragedy.

    Once again, letting god off the hook. I'm sure tomorrow some athlete will be giving him all the credit for hitting a home run though. All the credit, none of the blame. Keep making excuses for your sky fairy. The logical and moral contortions are fascinating to watcy.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Dyslexic Dog

      sorry yeahalright ... not fascinating to watch ... excruciating to watch.

      July 23, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • DCBuck

      If you hate religion so much, why on Earth are you posting here? Your comment is about as relevant as a member of PETA posting on a "cooking with sausage" thread.

      July 23, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • Bob

      DCBuck, because religious morons vote.

      July 28, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
  7. catholic engineer

    Once again, the Bible nails it:

    "There are set before you fire and water; to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand. Before man are life and death, whichever he chooses shall be given him" Sirach (15:16-17).
    Interesting how, instead of looking human nature full in the face, people blame God for such things. Jesus is said to be either dead or never to have existed. But it's convenient to resurrect him long enough to blame him for what goes wrong.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      So the people that died chose to die?
      How exactly does a cryptic message from your ancient tome "nail it"?

      July 23, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • yeahalright

      I don't blame him when things go wrong. I blame, you know, the real actual people who are responsible.

      I just want some sense from the people who give him all the credit for home runs and pregnancies and near-miss accidents. Why all the credit and none of the blame? Doesn't sound very responsible to me.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Rundvelt

      > Interesting how, instead of looking human nature full in the face, people blame God for such things.

      What, the human nature that God created?

      July 23, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • One one

      Non-believers don't blame a god that doesn't exist. They are pointing out how absurd the proposition of a loving god who allows such suffering while at the same time he supposedly grants wishes from prayer. It's the believers they are addressing.

      July 23, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      one one, it's not an absurd proposition at all, it is called free will and it is described perfectly in the scripture CE posted. If you accept the premise of free will, which you must or we would all be believers, then you have to allow for the possibility of evil, sin, bad choices whatever you want to call them. When you insist that God prevent all bad things from happening you are essentially saying "take away my choices" This is not a request for more love from you to God, It is a request for less. You are asking God to take all the responsibility for all the choices everyone makes, even down to the thought level.

      July 24, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Bob

      Yeah, Billy D, we could sure use a lot less "love" from your god, when he demands and does awful stuff like this per your horrid bible (OT and NT):

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.

      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      July 28, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
  8. jimmer

    Idiot christard: "Dear jesus, why don't you stop crazy people from shooting places up"

    Jesus: "Because I don't really give fvck about any of you"

    July 23, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Al

      Jesus: And stop asking me to heal people. I've also been dead for about 2,000 years already.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  9. BU2B

    Faith doesn't provide any answers, it just stops you from asking the questions.

    July 23, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Eric

      I can see several events throughout history that could support that statement. The because GOD did it statement never sat well with me. Does that take away from the fact that GOD did no. Science is the quest to figure out how he did it. Atleast within the confins of what we can observe. Faith can answer the questions that science may never be able to answer. Sure we have theorioes but a theory still isnt fact. We believe them on faith also.

      July 23, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Who invited me?

      Erric
      Science is the search for truth ,not how an imaginary theoretical superbeing did anything.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • BU2B

      Scientific theories are based on observable scientific evidence, not faith.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Theories can be tested.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      The god / jesus theory / myth has been tested, for more than 2,000+ years, and is a clear fail!

      July 23, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • One one

      Beautifully worded.

      July 23, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      My faith has been tested and I find it reliable.

      July 24, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  10. jimmer

    It's times like this that remind me how much of a dick head god is.

    July 23, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • Eric

      And one day you will get the chance to tell him. I wonder how that will work out for you. Good luck.

      July 23, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, gee, something new and different. Some zealot threatening others with their loving god's retribution.

      Yawn.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • jimmer

      "And one day you will get the chance to tell him. I wonder how that will work out for you. Good luck"

      Well, if your magic sky wizard actually exists and I get to meet him; I'm going to kick him in the nuts, punch him in the face, fire him him on the spot, and take over the job of running the universe.

      Your all powerful superhero is doing a remarkably lousy job of running things. I'd do a much better job. If there is an afterlife, I'm kicking his a s s out and taking over.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      New Hollywood release "jimmer almighty" coming to a theater neat armegeddon this summer!

      July 24, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Eric: Wow, such a good christard you are...using your imaginary friend as a threat again. Why exactly would we want to worship a god that you make out to be such a monster?

      July 24, 2012 at 11:56 am |
  11. PRISM 1234

    God will allow things like these to happen to humble us and cry out to Him in desperation. When are people most humble? Have you ever seen a proud, arrogant person on some one's funeral ? Maybe there are some, but the fact is , we, human beings are most humble when we are vulnerable. Maybe that's the answer we need to look into, and then deal with the causes that brought us as a nation and society to this place!

    July 23, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • Mickey1313

      Spoken like a true sheep

      July 23, 2012 at 12:48 am |
    • Ting

      If someone was going to hurt your child and you could do something to prevent it, would you do something or stand by and let your child be "humbled"? If your God existed and was all powerful like the Bible claims, then he would be pure evil.

      God either can't do anything to help, doesn't give a sheet, or simply is not there. The world makes a lot more sense and easier to accept when you realize he's not there.

      July 23, 2012 at 2:29 am |
    • saggyroy

      Have you ever read the bible? God loves this kind of stuff!

      July 23, 2012 at 6:32 am |
    • One one

      So god said, "I could stop this but I will let a few people get murdered to r

      July 23, 2012 at 6:33 am |
    • One one

      So god said, "I could stop this but I will let a few people get murdered to remind people whose in charge"

      That is one of the most immature statements I have ever heard.

      July 23, 2012 at 6:36 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      @Mickey1313
      Answered like a true goat!

      ____________________________

      As for the others....
      God gives life, He is the One who takes it. The Earth and whole creation is under the curse – becaue of sin of mankind. We ar in never ceasing battle between good and evil. It is the outcome of the battle we are setting our eyes on, which gives us strength to go on. God has not promised to us lives without trouble.
      In His foreknowledge He determined who will live and who will die. If a small child dies, his soul goes straight to God. If that child lived, he may suffer much more then he did being shot.
      If a man or woman dies, being in right relationship with Him, once they come in God's Presence, they would never want to come back, and they are spared much suffering in this corrupt world.
      If a person dies without Christ, God knows that they would have never received Him anyhow.

      As for the evil that this EVIL person committed, Christ had this to say: “Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!” (Matthew 18:7).
      Also in another place " It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! 2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea...."

      So, if to the world it seems that God is nowhere around, it is because they are spiritually blind and have no understanding of the power , wisdom and sovereignty of God.

      July 23, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • BU2B

      Prism, we can all quote fiction books, it doesn't change anything. Our parents are our "creators", and this lunatic gunman is the one who took the life. How does a story about a god who created us imperfect, then punishes us for being imperfect, make any sense? Use your brain and think about your beliefs, they are not immune to critical thinking.

      July 23, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      Friend, your critical thinking is hopelessly impaired, because you have denied the part of you that would have made you complete and able to do real critical thinking. So, you can scrap your boasting on the pile of refuse with all the other4 worthless trash that's thrown at us daily by experts who , ever learning never come to the knowledge of truth. Anyone who puts their faith in them is lame and impaired... And that's where you are.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Hear This

      PRISM 1234
      "God will allow things like these to happen to humble us and cry out to Him in desperation."

      Your imaginary "God" character is a sadistic monster... and it seems that you have similar tendencies to even imagine such a scenario.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So, Prissy, your take on this is that your god sent Holmes to kill 12 people who had done nothing to harm anyone in order to make us all cry out to him for help and succor?

      You're beyond nuts.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Steve

      TTPS, I thought I explained this to you once already???

      Oh that's right. You're one of those open-mined, unltra-tolerant, lefties who refuses to consider or tolerate a differnt opinion from yours. Sorry. I forgot. My bad...

      July 23, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Prism: When did you get out of the asylum? Did they not tell you take your meds when the released you? Apparently you are not listening to them...more electro-shock therapy is in order apparently...your religious psychosis is very dangerous.

      July 24, 2012 at 11:58 am |
  12. AGuest9

    Why? It's a waste of time. Instead, ask your so-called leaders why the deranged have access to high-powered military weaponry.

    July 22, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • Mickey1313

      Easy, read the bil of rights, one has acsess to the weapons to defend against the military, should they turn against the citizens, for all the good it has done our spineless nation the past 11 years.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:47 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      At least 20 unarmed men were executed by Syrian troops in Damascus, according to opposition activists, as the government said Monday that the country's chemical weapons were secure and would never be used against civilians.

      Don't think it can't happen here.

      July 23, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So, Bill, do you think it's ok for anyone to be able to purchase assault weapons and huge amounts of ammo, just in case the government decides to turn on its citizens?

      July 23, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      I believe that's what the 2nd amendment guarantees. Obviously, there are individuals who should be restricted from this right, just as there are those who lose the right to vote, drive, consume alcohol etc. The answer is not to reduce the rights of the people to prevent abuses. The answer is to deal effectively with individuals who violate the rights of others.

      July 23, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ah, so there's no way to prevent such an event as Aurora. The guy who bought and stockpiled this equipment never had a single problem that would keep him from buying whatever he wanted. Thanks. That's a great solution, Bill.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Who invited me?

      Incorrect Bill
      The best way to reduce this kind of thing is to reduce the mentallity that it is somehow macho or empowering to own weapons.
      Look around the world and see them laugh at us everytime this happens (in an ironic way,not jovial)
      Most countries of the world, people DO NOT NEED weapons, they feel that firearms make you less of a person, less macho to own and use weapons.
      Get rid of the mindset, people will be less likely to use firearms, like the civilized countries of the world

      July 23, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      You mean like the civilized countries our forefathers fled and fought against to establish this country?

      July 24, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      TT actually, in a free country there is no way to prevent such tragedy. It is the cost of freedom. Who was it said "He who would sacrifice liberty for security deserves neither liberty nor security."?

      July 24, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Who invited me?

      Bill
      They were running from religious persecution, and trying to build a better life. They brought the guns with them, and did not want the goverment to take them away.They modified the English bill of rights (1689) and made the 2nd amendment, which has now been changed sufficiently that gun nuts can have their phallic symbols and think that this makes them stronger.
      The weakest mind in any situation is the first to think of violence.

      July 24, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      This is where I am thankful to live in Canada...red flags would have gone up if a Canadian was making these purchases on-line or otherwise. We still have the inevitable black market but nothing to the extreme that it is being seen in your country.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
  13. turi

    You are looking in the right place actually. When Christians are taught they are "born sinners" and cannot help but to sin, as they are taught it is not possible for them to be perfect, and that they are nevertheless given the "free gift" of salvation, they will have more of a tendency to act immorally, or, when Christians are taught they live in a world that is dominated by Satan, that it leads to immorality. Either way, it leads to immorality and chaos, and Christianity provides believers with a basis for the belief that they are absolved from taking responsibility for their own bad behavior. Jesus does that for them.

    July 22, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • One one

      The foundation of Christian doctrine is that the "sins" of the guilty can be absolved by punishing the innocent. All mankind must be punished for the "sins" of Adam & Eve. Jesus must be tortured and killed for the "sins" of all mankind. Is it moral to absolve the sins of the guilty by punishing the innocent ? What kind of morality is this?

      It's really quite disturbing.

      July 23, 2012 at 7:02 am |
  14. Reality

    Indirect accomplices to the Aurora horror:

    Accomplice #1-

    the Colorado state government which still does not have strict and enforced gun ownership laws.

    Accomplice #2:

    The movie theater management which apparently had no security and/or no manned security cameras. Said nut job propped open an emergency exit door and re-entered with his weapons and garb. Why didn't this activate alarms? Or did it activate a silent alarm and what security was present did not respond?

    Opening up an emergency exit door apparently is a typical way to allow non-paying friends into movie theaters. This is done as the paying customers are leaving the normal exits. A friend walks out the emergency exit and his/her friends walk in giving them immediate access to any movie playing in the typical modern multiplex movie theater. Observing this scenario once, I followed the non-paying person to the lobby and reported him to the manager. There were no security personnel there that I could see as they were my first choice.

    I highly recommend reviewing the security at your movie theaters before going again.

    Accomplice #3:

    Homeland Security/FBI. The taxpayers assume that part of our taxes are used to track anyone buying large amounts of ammunition. 6000 rounds of ammunition should have raised red flags in all of the government surveillance computers. Why didn't it???????????????

    July 22, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • .....

      ABSOLUTE BULL SH IT

      July 22, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Mickey1313

      Um his guns were all legal. We the people have the right to the hardware so that when the government turns tyranical we can defend ourselves, for all the good it had done us in the past 11 years. And the dhs budget is not infinite, they can follow every transaction all of the time. He spread out his transactions over the better part of a year to avoid the red flags. The only one to blame is the sociopath who did the deed. I agree however with the thought about the theater security.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:43 am |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    July 22, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • 4 hands working together accomplish more than a 1000 clasped in prayer

      ..

      July 22, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • just sayin

      Hands working without a plan are useless, that is why so little good is accomplished in this world. Prayer, talking with God provides a perfect plan. God bless

      July 23, 2012 at 4:44 am |
    • saggyroy

      If god has a plan why pray?

      July 23, 2012 at 6:15 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!|.

      July 23, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  16. johnfrichardson

    Yeah, keep looking for answers in the same pack of lies that have misled so many for thousands of years. Great plan.

    July 22, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Absolutely correct.

      July 22, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • Alicia

      A little bitter, are we?.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:01 am |
    • Mickey1313

      It is the only thought the sheep can muster, "save me jeebus"

      July 23, 2012 at 12:51 am |
    • Dyslexic Dog

      Amen. What a crock!

      July 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      "A little bitter, are we?."

      No-ones bitter...it's just that not everyone is gullible like the apparent good christards who have been brainwashed to accept things without any evidence to back them.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
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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.