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My Take: CNN readers' 7 answers to 'Where was God in Aurora?'
A man pauses at a memorial of crosses near the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, the scene of last week's mass shooting.
July 26th, 2012
02:49 PM ET

My Take: CNN readers' 7 answers to 'Where was God in Aurora?'

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

Over the last few days, CNN’s Belief Blog has received more than 10,000 responses to its question, “Where was God in Aurora?”

The underlying concern here has vexed theologians for centuries: How can evil happen in a world that is lorded over by a good and all-powerful God? As CNN's readers struggled to make sense of God's presence (or absence) in the Aurora, Colorado, massacre, I counted seven different answers to this question:

1. There is no God.

Self-professed atheists may make up only 2% of the U.S. population, but they are extraordinarily active online, and on CNN's Belief Blog. A commenter who identified as Jason spoke for them when he wrote, “Where was God? He was where he has always been. Nowhere because God does not exist.” Bob Dobbs agreed: “God is imaginary. The question is moot.”

Many in this camp also quoted the ancient Greek philosopher (and skeptic) Epicurus:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?

2. Don’t blame God, blame Satan.

Many theists on the site described the world as a battleground between God, who is working for good, and Satan, who is working for evil. “As long as Satan is loose to promote evil, bad things will happen to good people,” wrote kat.

3. Don’t blame God, blame us.

Probably the most common response from Christian commenters was that evil is a result of free will. Do we really want to be “puppets” or “robots"? Of course not. So God has given us the will to choose either evil or good.

Watch: Survivor of massacre says he forgives gunman

Believer summed up this position well:

"It's been said that the only thing we can truly give God is our will because its the only thing we possess that is uniquely ours. Everything else was given to us by him, and is, in effect, not ours to give in the first place. As such, and despite his omnipotence, he cannot intervene. . . .  He only possesses power where power can be possessed - and controlling our actions is not within that realm."

Here Deborah also chimed in: “This act of violence was not God's will. I get so tried of people blaming God for evil acts. Humans of their own free will do evil things.”

4. God was behind the massacre, and it was just.

Some believers saw God’s righteous hand in the Aurora massacre, inflicting a just punishment on a wayward nation now run by secular liberals rather than conservative Christians.

Lenny wrote:

"We as a country have been telling God to go away. We told him to get off our currency, get out of our schools, get out of our Pledge of Allegiance, take your Ten Commandments out of our courthouses, get those Bibles out of hotels and no graduation ceremonies in our churches. How can we expect God to give us his blessing and his protection if we demand that he leave us alone?"

Read: The man who made Aurora’s iconic crosses

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, took a similar tack in an appearance on the Heritage Foundation's "Istook Live" radio show, laying the blame at the feet of a nation that has turned away from its God:

"You know, when people say, where was God in all of this? Well, you know, . . . we’ve threatened high school graduation participants that if they use God’s name that they’re going to be jailed, we had a principal of a school, and a superintendent or a coach down in Florida that were threatened with jail because they said the blessing at a voluntary off campus dinner. I mean, that kind of stuff… where is God? Where, where? What have we done with God? We told him that we don’t want him around. I kind of like his protective hand being present."

5. God was present at the massacre but with the victims, not the perpetrator

One classic claim in the Abrahamic tradition of Jews, Christians and Muslims is that God is with those who suffer - the poor and the oppressed. Some commenters saw God’s miraculous hand in the midst of this suffering, not causing it to happen but bringing it to an end.  “This may sound crazy,” wrote Diana, “but I believe God had a hand in that the gun jammed so that more people weren’t killed.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

The most common claim in this category came from peacemaker, who wrote, “God is and was with the victims and s/he is weeping.” In a more explicitly Christian vein, Lauren wrote: “He was there in the theater, pierced by bullets with the victims. He was scarred by the shrapnel. His eyes were scorched with gas and then burned with tears as He mourned alongside the broken.”

6. Which God?

Some commenters interrogated the question itself, arguing that the knots it twists us into are rooted in what commenter Ego_Death called “a false idea of what God is.” After all, the problem of evil in a world ruled by a sovereign and good God only presents itself if you posit one personal God who is both good and all-powerful.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

Referring to "our idea of a human-like personal God" as "an ancient myth," Northstar56 wrote:

"But just because this kind of God does not appear to exist, does not mean that God, in fact, does not exist. I think many have developed a more mature and realistic perspective . . . in which God exists as a pure fundamental consciousness or state from which all of existence arises. This God does not control anything, but rather continues to perpetually emanate as reality . . . God was present in all of the victims, and everyone else. God was present in the killer as well. The tragedy is that the killer's awareness was so distorted and twisted that he could not see or be aware of the intrinsic priceless value of every person he gunned down."

Evoking something more akin to the “watchmaker” God of the deists, who makes the world and its laws and then refuses to intervene in its operation, Norm wrote: “God is not involved in our everyday mundane activities. How arrogant of man to think he’s the center of the universe and has God’s constant attention and every action is ‘God’s will.’”

Taking a different tack, "varun" invoked the teachings of the beloved Hindu scripture the Bhagavad Gita:

"Only the followers of Semitic religions have problem with understanding this - because they do not believe in rebirth and karma. As soon as you introduce these two concepts into (the) picture along with the eternal indestructible soul (something Semitic religions do believe in), everything makes sense. Read Bhagavad-Gita and everything would be as clear as daylight."

7. Who knows? It’s a mystery

Agnosticism is a rare virtue in the United States nowadays, but there were a few commenters who admitted to something less than the absolute certainty exhibited by atheists and evangelicals alike. "The answer," wrote Terry, "is we don't know where he was." Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom saw this "God works in mysterious ways" move as “ultimate cop-out/rationalization,” but I am not so sure.

In September 1862, in the midst of a much greater American tragedy, Abraham Lincoln wrote a private “Meditation on the Divine Will” in which he struggled to make sense of what God was doing in the Civil War. He later reworked those reflections into his second inaugural address, one of the greatest speeches in American history.

Surveying the corpse-ridden landscape of North and South, Lincoln observed, “Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other.” Clearly there was little good in slavery, he reasoned, yet equally clearly God was not giving a swift and sure victory to the Union. So what was God up to? In the end, Lincoln had to admit he did not know. Or, as he put it, “The Almighty has His own purposes.”

I suppose this is in a sense a “cop-out,” but it is a humble one, uninfected by the absolute certainties (either pro- or anti-God) that have shed more blood on earth than agnosticism ever will. It is also a classic example of answering a question with a question: What is God doing with this war? Who knows?

“Josephpusateri” also answered our question with a question. His comment was in my view the best of the hundreds I read, so I will end with it here:

"Oh, the blindness of such a question... as if only theodicy was a relevant question in white, American suburbs. Where is God in Afghanistan? Where is God in Gaza? Where is God in Syria? . . . Where is God, indeed."

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Christianity • Culture wars • Devil • Ethics • God • Violence

soundoff (4,074 Responses)
  1. DuhhhUidiot

    Let's not blame God here, how about blaming Satan for what happened.

    July 26, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Smurfette

      The Satan that was created by an all-powerful, all-knowing God? THAT Satan?

      July 26, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • sybaris

      Because your god created your satan

      July 26, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Etalan

      But the bible state that god kill more people than Satan.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Smurfette

      This God of yours really seems to like passing the buck, doesn't he? She? It? Whatever? How about your God taking a little responsibility?

      July 26, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Hmmm. Shift blame from one invisible, imaginary thing to another. Yeah, THAT'S productive. Thanks for the tip.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
  2. SciGuy73

    I suspect the fact that so many non-believers make their feelings known on these forums underlines the fact that there are way more Athiests out there than people realize, but who aren't comfortable accepting the social stigma that goes with the term 'Athiest'. It is time we take back the term as our own, and wear it loudly and proudly. I am an Athiest.

    July 26, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      There's not as many fools out in the world as you want people to believe. We all know that you atheists use multiple handles to post and respond to yourselves on this site. In between your nonsense of the multiple handles, you hijack Christian handles to make it look as we are as foolish as you.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Observer

      HeavenSent,

      Believers not only use multiple names, they sometimes just post SPAM and are scared to have to answer any questions.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Observer, you need to look past yourself and realize that some Christians leave their posts and move forward through the article. They don't sit on the section where they posted to see if someone else posted or asked a question of them. If they are in a conversation with someone, yes, they'll review the posts after their post. If not, they simply moved on and never come back to the same location they posted because there are multiple articles to post their opinion. I've posted days or weeks after a question was posted to me because I never went back to look on the day I was posting on certain articles. I'm sure there are many questions I've never answered because I never went back to look due to what schedule I was adhering to on a certain day.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @SciGuy73,

      I think you are right there. In our culture full of bigoted religionists, many atheists are reluctant to claim that label.

      I don't believe in God either. I am an atheist.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
  3. illuminated Genius

    I would have to say perhaps Richard Dawkins and other Atheists are right. There is no God, and God is imaginary like Batman, Superman, Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed. The tragedy in Colorado shows that a PhD neuroscience evil genius can go on a killing spree against innocent people and fill his sick disgusting fantasy of the Joker. It is highly possible that God does not exist. We can always put a question mark on it, but overall from the evidence we see no real intervention from this God. The world has enough problem caused because of religious beliefs by both Christians, Muslims. I feel most sorry for the Jews, who carry a curse of being hated despite incredible accomplishments. I think our world would be better off with science, math, philosophy, study of evolution and new explanations. God is nothing more than a question mark.

    July 26, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • SciGuy73

      God is less than a question mark. There is absolutely zero evidence supporting the existence of god. Not one single piece of reliable, proven, supportable evidence. There is exactly as much evidence for god as there is for the Flying Spaghetti Monster who created the universe. Is there also a question mark for FSM (May pasta be upon Him)?

      July 26, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Sociopaths are the most horrifying of individuals you ever could have the worst luck to encounter. They always have an ulterior motive pertaining to any situation they encounter. Something as simple as saying hello to them, is looked at as a challenge to them.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
  4. Dr. Rev. Jonathan

    Bible study should be a requirment at public schools.

    July 26, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • Satan

      Yea, so people can realize religious hypocrisy.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • Atheist = Thinker

      So you don't believe in freedom of religion??

      July 26, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • Smurfette

      The Bible,the Talmud, the Koran, Gilgamesh, the Illiad, the Norse myths, etc, etc etc. Schools should offer World religion, belief, and non-belief courses – but taught from an academic point of view.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • yeahalright

      You start preaching your hocus pocus anywhere near my kid and you're going to have a big problem. And that's coming from an athiest, who at least doesn't believe you're leading him to eternal damnation. I suspect you'll have even bigger problems with many muslims and jews and even different sect christians.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Psychology seems a little steep for high school, but it would give the talented and gifted students something to toy with.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Smurfette, would you be okay with having public school classes on santa, the easter bunny, and leprauchans? Seems like the time could be better spent.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • Etalan

      Because our math and science rank isn't low enough. (both need critical thinking.)

      July 26, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • Regis990

      The Bible should be put in the fantasy section of Barnes and Noble. Right next to Game of Thrones, The Hobbit, and Dr. Seuss. Pure fantasy.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Smurfette

      @ exlonghorn – I think that the more people are educated about the many belief systems and religions in our world, the less likely it would be that they would be brainwashed into a single religion. Of course, what I'm suggesting will not be happening anytime soon, because believers (I suspect) know intrinsically that if their specific belief system is exposed to the light, that it will fail, and they don't want that to happen. They don't want their children coming home from school asking them tough questions they can't answer about their religion.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Actually, it's ATHEIST = ENEMY TO ANY COUNTRY, INCLUDING THE USA

      July 26, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
  5. Observer

    Rev. Jonathan,

    It's likely that the 3 Top Issues for Christians are:

    Gay Marriage (Old Testament)
    Ten Commandments in Schools (Old Testament)
    Abortion (never mentioned)

    Obviously, the vast majority of Christians are nothing like what you fantasize them to be.

    Why not be real?

    July 26, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • Rev. Jonathan

      True. Actually many Christians are for abortion... this is more culturally. Stop listening to the media bashing Christians all the time. Not all Christians live in the U.S only..

      July 26, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • nottolate

      "True. Actually many Christians are for abortion... this is more culturally."

      Then I question whether they are authentic Christians at all.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Observer, my post is being blocked because of course, Christians can't correct atheist's ignorance on a subejct.

      Matthew 5:17-18

      Amen..

      July 26, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Yes, they'll always take the typos.

      July 26, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
  6. nottolate

    The author thinks himself a scholar yet misses the obvious answer to the question: He's there as he is everywhere. But you people don't belong to him.

    July 26, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Satan

      Or....god has never existed. No god.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • Etalan

      You use the word "scholar ", but i don't think you know what it mean.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • nottolate

      @Etalan

      What's hard about it?

      a : a person who has done advanced study in a special field b : a learned person

      July 26, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • Etalan

      @nottolate
      you are judging scholar base on the idea he, a male god is have mass or energy on all area of open space in the range set by your mind, and state that people are an item that have an owner. I would have attack you on your idea of god too, but that would be too easy.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • nottolate

      @Etalan

      It is written,

      7I can never escape from your Spirit!

      I can never get away from your presence!

      8If I go up to heaven, you are there;

      if I go down to the grave,a you are there.

      9If I ride the wings of the morning,

      if I dwell by the farthest oceans,

      10even there your hand will guide me,

      and your strength will support me.

      11I could ask the darkness to hide me

      and the light around me to become night—

      12but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.

      To you the night shines as bright as day.

      Darkness and light are the same to you.

      13You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body

      and knit me together in my mother’s womb.

      14Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!

      Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

      15You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,

      as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.

      16You saw me before I was born.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
  7. yeahalright

    You know what, I change my mind, there is a god. That capslock troll spazz TOMG appears to have been banned. Or the tranqs kicked in. Thank you jesus.

    July 26, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Thank you to the scientists, marketers, distributors, packagers, and salespeople who got the tranqs there.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Smurfette

      All praise to Jeebus! Vanquisher of the evil TOMG!

      July 26, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • Sam

      Americans kicked God out of public life. Why ask?

      July 26, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • yeahalright

      Try and keep up Sam.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
  8. Mark

    People are stupid

    July 26, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Smurfette

      yup

      July 26, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • Satan

      Believing in a god is stupid

      July 26, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
  9. Lace

    God was at a midnight showing in NYC.

    July 26, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • Chis

      Lol.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
  10. Wayne

    There is no God. Problem solved.

    July 26, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      No kidding...how much more peaceful that I don't have to live this one live scared, paranoid, and prostrate to a higher power that demands I irritate and judge my fellow humans.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
  11. SciGuy73

    2% Athiests? I think you missed a few. You need to widen your definition a bit. Secularists are the fastest growing segment of the population. According to a Pew Trust survey in 2007, 22.4% of people in the U.S. self categorized themselves as Athiest, Agnostic, Unaffiliated or Secular. Secularists very nearly outnumbered Catholics at 23.9% I'd love to see the numbers now, after 5 more years of growth.

    July 26, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • Rev. Jonathan

      Not really. At most there are 3% atheists/agnostics/secularist in the U.S. – at least what every single poll shows all the time.

      ~15% are not members of any religion, but only 2% of those consider themselves as 'atheists/agnostics'.
      I know plenty of those 15% who do not belong to any religion, but believe in God.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      PLease use the word "evolution" instead. People seem to get a rise out of that word.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • manbearpig

      Isn't it great?!?!

      July 26, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @SciGuy73,

      The current report published by the Pew Forum lists unafilliated as 16.1%. There is supposedly some very recent data at 19%, but I can't find it on the Pew websites.
      http://religions.pewforum.org/

      This number includes atheists (1.6%), agnostics (2.4%), religious unafilliated (5.8%) and secular unafilliated (6.3%).

      This number includes believers who do not ascribe to a particular denomination (the religious unafilliated). I would accept the argument that the secular unafilliated are essentially non-believers who are unwilling to declare as atheists, but this is speculative.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Rev. J.

      The Pew Forum has 4% atheists + agnostics, with an additional 6.3% secular unafilliated. Clearly this is >3%, but not by an order of magnitude.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • SciGuy73

      @Rev Jonathan More than 3% identified as atheists/agnostics/secularist. I quoted the poll, so obviously it isn't "every single poll". You can check it out. But I understand if you have trouble with facts. 🙂

      July 26, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      http://religions.pewforum.org/reports is the 2007 survey.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Okay, what does it matter whether or not 2% or 80% of the population believes one thing versus another? Either way, that neither invalidates nor strengthens either belief.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • SciGuy73

      @ no GOPer The 5.8% religious unafilliated are not included in the 22.4%, as they are religious. The 6.3% secular unaffiliated are included.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • Please...

      Half the people I work with are atheist. All are educated to the Masters or Doctorate level too. The 2% figure probably came from a religious cult. Even that amount doesn't cover all the people faking a religion so that they don't lose friends and family. Most intelligent, LOGICAL, ANALYTICAL people don't believe in sky fairies. I'm sorry if that sounds arrogant and that I'm saying people are dumb, but it is what it is.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @SciGuy73,

      where do you get 22.4%? The 2007 Pew data clearly states 16.1% unafilliated including the religious unafilliated number of 5.8%.

      Other sources (from wikipedia – if you trust it)
      2004 BBC poll 9%
      2008 Gallup poll 6%
      ARIS report, released March 9, 2009, 1.6% explicitly describes itself as atheist (0.7%) or agnostic (0.9%)

      July 26, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • JPP

      There is a difference between being secular/ non-religious and being an atheist.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Please...

      there is a clear correlation between education level and atheism.

      It is not surprising.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • ArchieDeBunker

      SciGuy73: Actually it's 0% of the population are atheists. Some people call themselves atheists – but of course they really aren't. In fact, the only true atheists are people whose brains don't work properly – who are, in fact, insane. Here's why: Your brain, if it's healthy, is not equipped to do irrational thinking. If you're standing in your yard and a rotten apple hits you, there isn't one person in 12 million who would truthfully say "Oh, that rotten apple materialized out of nothingness and hit me!" No, in fact, what any sane person would immediately think, even if he/she is an atheist is "Hey! Who threw that apple?" It doesn't, even for a second, occur to the person that the rotten apple wasn't thrown by some one or some thing. Likewise, the human brain is not equipped to really believe that there is no "First Cause" from which the Universe sprang. The overwhelming majority of those who call themselves "atheists" (or agnostics, for that matter) are simply running from the realization that, if there is a God, we are answerable to him, and such a realization causes most people to have to re-think their behavior. And BOY, do they resist doing that!

      July 26, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
  12. Okay

    if there is a god why would it care anymore than we do about an ant?

    July 26, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
  13. Dinea Malone

    Where was God? He had nothing to do with this shooting. God gave us all free will. Or perhaps he was on the other side of the planet dealing with more important disasters. With the amount of psychos in our society these days, God is pretty busy. Toss in all the natural and man made catastrophes, God has his hands full. God probably believes it is high time we deal with all the sick freaks on our planet and he will deal with the rest in moderation. If we want salvation, then we had better start relying on ourselves and quit expecting God to do it all. My guess, God is done with us as a whole. Leaving it up to God is not an option in today's society.

    July 26, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • Satan

      Or.....god has never existed. God is man made.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • manbearpig

      Really? Your god is too busy to handle it? It's pretty pathetic for an omnipotent deity to be unable to handle his own supposed creation.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Really? An almighty, omnipotent, all-powerful deity who created the universe in a day and the earth in a week (go figure) "as his hands full"???? Are you kidding? I am curious exactly how far you're willing to stretch the limits of your own self-justification.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • Smurfette

      "God has his hands full."??? Really??? But, if he's God, why can't he give himself more hands? Sort of an Octo-God. Which reminds me of the one about the guy who was born with 3 p-enises. His pants fit him like a glove! Ba dum bum! Here til Thursday – try the veal!

      July 26, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • yeahalright

      His secretary quit, it's been a real pain in the you know what to find a replacement. Temps just don't cut it.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
  14. Bill

    god is fake, period. you religious nutjobs need to get a clue. worship me or burn? really? you people are brainwashed fools

    July 26, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
  15. Observer

    Rev. Jonathan,

    "Christians focus on the teaching and loving life of Christ. That's why we call ourself CHRISTians."

    So why are Christians so obsessed with the Ten Commandments, trashing gays, or pretending the Bible mentions abortion?

    July 26, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Bill

      you are a brainwashed idiot so why listen to you?

      July 26, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • Rev. Jonathan

      There's nothing wrong with the 10 commandment. Everybody should follow them, both religious and non-religious. Something that non-religious people may ignore is the mention of "God" and "Sabbath".

      If Christians followed the 10 commandment – nobody would have every worked on a Sunday for example.
      Yes, there are few Christian sects who keep the sabbath, but most don't.

      Most Christians do not agree with same-s.ex marriage due to traditional reason. Not only most Christians do not agree, so do Jews and Muslims. What's next.. getting married to an animal?

      July 26, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • manbearpig

      Johnathan, you are an idiot. Gay marriage and beastility are completely unrelated, and you know it.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • Observer

      Rev. Jonathan,

      Just like everyone else, you just pick and choose from the Bible. It's all HYPOCRISY.

      Please try to stay on topic. Gay marriage and bestiality are two DIFFERENT topics.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • Rev. Jonathan

      No, I/We do NOT pick and choose from the holy Bible.

      Jews follow Old Testament.
      Christians follow New Testament.

      New Testament started after Christ' birth.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • Observer

      Rev. Jonathan,

      Jesus NEVER trashed gays.
      The Bible NEVER mentioned abortion.
      The Ten Commandments are in the Old Testament.

      Now tell me again that Christians ONLY follow the New Testament.

      Get serious.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • Rev. Jonathan

      Read the New Testament please. You will see nothing but love and great Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, not all Christians act like Christ :/

      July 26, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
  16. The Truth!

    The true god must be Batman! With Batman, there's always one horrible crime, then there's (raspy batman voice) "JUSTICE." Just wait...

    July 26, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
  17. Brian

    Seems to me the best thing you could say about God, if you believed He existed, would be to say that He is very clearly a hands-off sort of deity. The Holocaust ought to have made that very plain. He isn't intervening in our football games, beauty pageants, cancer treatments, wars, school examinations, college admissions or anything else on this earthly plane. He didn't come down out of the sky to stop Hitler from murdering 6 million Jews, or to stop Stalin from murdering who knows how many Russians, and He didn't come down to Aurora, CO to stop the shooting in the movie theater.

    July 26, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
  18. Dave

    I'm not buying that only 2% of Americans are atheist.

    July 26, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Rev. Jonathan

      There are probably less than that.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Cheers to the 2%!!!

      July 26, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Dave,

      that's what the most authoritative surveys say.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • Etalan

      America is still not a safe place for atheism. So most of them are still in hiding.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
  19. Rev. Jonathan

    Christians do not follow 'Old Testament' (Jewish law). We do not keep Kosher, we do not circúmcise our boys, etc.
    Thank God for the New Testament!

    July 26, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Satan

      New testament is just as bad. Jesus condones slavery. Its in your bible.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Yet so many of them believe the earth is 6,000 years old (Genesis) and that homosexuality is bad (Leviticus).

      Why is this if you have left the old covenant behind?

      July 26, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Observer

      Rev. Jonathan,

      Good. We won't have to hear about how Christians are upset about the Ten Commandments anymore.

      No more nonsense about gays. Great!

      July 26, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Dave

      Interesting. You completely disavow the Old Testament? That makes teaching creationism kind of tough, doesn't it?

      July 26, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Rev. Jonathan

      Christians focus on the teaching and loving life of Christ. That's why we call ourself CHRISTians.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Rev. Jonathan

      Dave @

      No, we do not completely disow the Old Testament, but we do not follow its law that Jews do. If we did, we would have still been a Jewish sect.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Rev. J.

      and so one would think. Why then do they quote chapter and verse from the OT so often?

      July 26, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • yeahalright

      In other words, rev, you pick and choose what to believe out of the bible? At least you admit it.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @yeahalright

      and why shouldn't a "Christian" only follow the NT? With all the "I am the new covenant" talk that seems logical to me.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      But wait! Explain this..."Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." MATTHEW 5:17-18 If an apostle can't blow off the Old Testament, how can you?

      July 26, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • BigGuy

      "Christians do not follow 'Old Testament' (Jewish law). We do not keep Kosher, we do not circúmcise our boys, etc." - rev Jonathan

      That is a copout Rev. Jonathan. Jesus clearly told his followers in the New Testament to keep the Commandments. And, in In Matthew 5:17, Jesus declared, "Think NOT that I am come to destroy the Law . . ."

      So can't use that.

      Which means that, according to the Bilble –

      – Slavery is fine.
      – Selling your daughter is fine.
      – Raping women and children of defeated enemies is fine.
      – Women are to keep their mouths shut, pretty much.
      – If you beat a slave and he lives for two days, then you did not beat him too hard (straight from God's mouth – really loving, nice guy, don't ya think?)

      July 26, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • Smurfette

      Why does there seem to be a deafening silence when someone points something out directly from the Bible that clearly and unequivocally contradicts the position of the believer? Why is that? Paging Rev Jonathan! Hellooo???????

      July 26, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
  20. thinquer

    http://www.watchtower.org/e/200611/article_02.htm

    July 26, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Satan

      saladandchips.com

      July 26, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Dave

      Only Satan would suggest a salad AND chips! True Christians would pick one or the other.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Satan

      Well my name is Satan.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • Smurfette

      @ Satan – hey, didn't some English bloke – Mick Something Or Other – sing a song about you?

      July 26, 2012 at 10:07 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.